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face of an extremely poor parochial organization. In Bohemia, the religious orders were also important as a consequence of particular historical conditions linked to the seventeenth-century re-conquest. It was within this framework that Joseph II began his reforms of the secular parish clergy, providing the parish priests with an annual stipend paid for from the assets of the Jesuits and other religious orders which had been suppressed. In Hungary, as well, Josephism had a decisive effect, leadingto the suppression of 134 monasteries of the contemplative orders. Under state control, the income gained from these suppressions was used to create a thousand new parishes, while clergymen from the suppressed religious orders were secularized and used for parish service.

The secular clergy in the Polish-Lithuanian region was touched by less dramatic transformations than in the Habsburg lands. Here the accumulation of benefices and the non-residence of priests in their parishes would continue to characterize the secular clergy in a parochial framework, where the patronage and appointment of priests belonged to the nobility in 80 to 90 per cent of the 5,000 existing parishes. However, one element which distinguished the secular Roman Catholic clergy of Poland from that in other western and east-central European countries was the stability of the ecclesiastical population, which remained close to 10,000 or 11,000 throughout the two centuries from the Council of Trent to the partition of Poland. In this sense, the Catholic seculars closely resembled the 10,000 married priests of the Uniate Church, apart from the different rites used and the greater poverty and lower educational level of the Uniate clergy.

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