Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

Source: Macmillan's Magazine, Vol. XXXI ( 1874-1875), p. 270. German text in Johannes B. Kissling , Geschichte des Kulturkampfes im Deutschen Reiche ( Freiburg, Germany, 1913), II, 462.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

References for Document 105.


108
My Laws (Extracts) May 1873

Fruitless efforts to obtain concessions from Rome moved Bismarck to increase statutory curbs on Catholicism. Adalbert Falk ( 1827-1900), appointed Prussian minister of worship in 1872, was entrusted with drawing up the legislative program, which passed the Landtag in May 1873. There were four principal measures. One governed clerical education and appointment. Others provided for appeal from ecclesiastical discipline to a state court, limited discipline to strictly religious penalties, and established means for legal withdrawal from church. Greatest Catholic objection was made to government intrusion into the area of clerical appointments and discipline. The program was further strengthened by harsher measures in 1874 and 1875, of which the most important provided for civil marriage, severe punishment for refractory clergy, punitive suspension of state grants, and dissolution of religious orders. Resistance and disobedience were widespread, resulting in imprisonment and exile of bishops and priests, while the Center party increased its representation. Reproduced below are portions of (A) the law on education and appointment of clergy, and (B) the law on ecclesiastical discipline.


A. From the Law on Education and Appointment of Clergy, May 11, 1873:

I General Provisions

1. Ecclesiastical office in any of the Christian churches may be conferred only on a German who has completed his academic preparation in accordance with provisions of the present law, and to whose appointment the government has raised no objection.

2. The provisions of [article] I are applicable, whether the office is conferred on a permanent or revocable basis, and even when the appointment is simply that of a deputy or assistant. If there is danger in delay, an appointment of deputy or assistant may be made provisionally, reserving the right of the government to object.

3. The provisions of [article] I are applicable, without prejudice to [article] 26,

-267-

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