Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

Source: The Dublin Review, New Series, Vol. XV ( 1870), p. 307. Latin text, ibid., pp. 504, 506.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

R. Aubert, Le pontificat de Pie IX ( Paris, 1952), pp. 311-367.

R. Aubert et al., The Church in the Age of Liberalism ( New York, 1981), pp. 304-330.

J. B. Bury, History of the Papacy in the Nineteenth Century, 1864-1870 ( London, 1930), pp. 75-142.

C. Butler, The Vatican Council ( New York, 1930).

Cambridge Modern History ( New York, 1903- 1912), XI, 703-723. E. E. Y. Hales, Pio Nono. A Study in European Politics and Religion in the Nineteenth Century ( London, 1954), pp. 274-313.

A. B. Hasler, How the Pope Became Infallible ( Garden City, N.Y., 1981).

G. MacGregor, The Vatican Revolution ( London, 1958).


69
Abrogation of the Austrian Concordat (Extracts) August 6, 1870

The end of the concordat of 1855 was forecast by a widening rift between Vienna and Rome. Never fully implemented, the agreement was much qualified by legislation establishing civil marriage and divorce, suppressing episcopal supervision of schools, and canceling theological students' exemption from military service. In 1860 the government unsuccessfully explored renegotiation of the concordat with Rome. Foreign policy, administered since 1868 by the Saxon Protestant and liberal Count Friedrich Ferdinand Beust ( 1809-1886), nullified attempts to draw Austria into disputes with Italy over the Roman Question and, while adhering to nonintervention respecting the Vatican Council, deprecated the "infallibility" issue. Parliamentary liberals demanded an end to the concordat as a "foreign" infringement on Austrian liberty. Following closely on the publication of the definition, Karl von Stremayr, minister of worship, on July 25, 1870, proposed repeal of the imperial patent of November 5, 1855, giving legal force to the concordat. Five days later Beust sent the dispatch, which the Austro-Hungarian chargxé d'affaires, Palomba-Caracciolo, presented to Cardinal Antonelli on August 6. In the 1870s Austria set new policies on Catholic legal status and financial support, but there was no Kulturkampf as in Germany.

I authorize you to inform the papal government that the ministerial council has resolved upon the abrogation of the concordat. I believe that this decision is sufficiently justified by the actual circumstances. One cannot, without anxiety, maintain relations with a power that represents itself as unlimited and uncontrollable. To be sure, infallibility is to extend only to matters of faith and morals. Nonetheless, it is clear that he who cannot err also claims for himself the right to determine what

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