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 VIII
PAUL-THÉRÈSE-DAVID D'ASTROS

(1)

IT now becomes our task to analyze more carefully the motives that impelled many French ecclesiastics to abandon their traditional reverence for the age-long liberties of the Gallican Church. Fundamentally, it can be said that the aggressive attitude of Jacobin nationalism towards any international organization within the state compelled the leaders of the Church to revise their position on Gallican privileges. These privileges, they perceived, were constantly being used as a club to keep them in line with the ever-expanding interests of a self-conscious nation.

In the present chapter it is proposed to follow a sequence of events in the life of a prominent churchman as an illustration of the use that could be made of these rights by an ambitious monarch to further national ends, but which, at the same time, made clear to startled French clerics the danger of those same rights to the spiritual independence of the Church.

In a previous chapter1 it has been suggested that Bonaparte, even while he was negotiating with the Pope for a concordat, may have had in mind a far-reaching scheme of world domination, and that he was of the opinion that the Catholic Church could be made to serve a useful purpose in his grandiose plan. A Holy Roman Empire in which the Emperor and not the Pope would be the dominant partner, must have been the vision that floated before his mind's eye.

____________________
1
Vide supra, ch. i, p. 38.

-178-

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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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