The Concordat of 1801: A Study of the Problem of Nationalism in the Relations of Church and State

By Henry H. Walsh | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
JEAN-ETIENNE PORTALIS

(1)

THE members of the legislative bodies were, perhaps, the most hostile of all groups to the restoration of the Catholic religion in France. The Legislature had for its president in 1802 a sceptical and rude philosopher, who was elected to this office as a protest of defiance to Bonaparte for having dared to negotiate with the Pope. The Tribunate showed its displeasure by electing, as its head, Daunou, one of the First Consul's open opponents. Indeed, in order to secure the approval of these two bodies for the religious settlement that had been made with Rome, it was necessary to exclude by artifice sixty members from the Legislature and twenty from the Tribunate.1 Even then it required a great deal of persuasive talking and every assurance possible to get an intimation of acquiescence from these usually compliant departments of the government. For this very delicate task, the First Consul made a wise choice in his minister of ecclesiastical affairs, Jean-Etienne Portalis. In the speeches of the latter, before the legislative body, there is perceptible a reflection of the views of the Assembly itself, as well as those of Portalis and the First Consul, on the ideal relationship between Church and state.

Portalis' speeches are of special importance to our purpose here, as they give a clearer outline of Bonaparte's attitude

____________________
1
Jervis, The Gallican Church and the Revolution, p. 384.

-76-

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The Concordat of 1801: A Study of the Problem of Nationalism in the Relations of Church and State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Preface 5
  • Contents 7
  • Introduction 11
  • Chapter I - On the Eve of the Concordat 23
  • Chapter II - The Negotiations for the Concordat 39
  • Chapter III - Chateaubriand 62
  • Chapter IV - Jean-Etienne Portalis 76
  • Chapter V - Jean Siffrein Maury 100
  • Chapter VI - Henri Grégoire 123
  • Chapter VII - Jacques-André Emery 146
  • Chapter VIII - Paul-Thérèse-David D'Astros 178
  • Chapter IX - Joseph De Maistre 199
  • Chapter X - Conclusion 233
  • Bibliography 247
  • Index 251
  • Vita 260
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