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to support the reawakened Christianity. They called upon rulers to assist in rebuilding parish churches, cathedrals, abbeys, friaries, and convents, and in restoring, where possible, ecclesiastical lands and revenues. They expected the social elites to set examples of public and private devotion. Some looked to the Holy Alliance to unite the states of Europe in shared Christian values and preserve Europe from what they viewed as the twin evils of atheism and revolution.

The Roman Catholic Church, which in the later i790s had been so severely weakened, now entered a new era of power and influence. Pope Pius VII returned to Rome from his French captivity amid popular adulation in i8i4, and the representatives of the great powers meeting at Vienna agreed to restore most of the former papal territories to his temporal authority. Pius re-established the Jesuit order in i8i4, and worked with new confidence to rebuild the structures of the church in war-torn Europe. Significantly, he did not subscribe to the Holy Alliance, on the grounds that the pope could not join with Protestant and Orthodox schismatics in rebuilding Christendom; that was the responsibility of the one true church. In France, the Restoration of the Bourbons to the throne brought increased influence for the Catholic Church. Conservative French thinkers, including Vicomte de Bonald, Joseph de Maistre, and the young Felicite de Lamennais, convinced many that only a strong Catholic Church could impose authority over the rebellious hearts and minds of fallen humanity and thus protect the social order from a renewal of revolution. In Spain, the hierarchy restored the Inquisition and silenced liberal reformers among the clergy who supported a constitutional monarchy. In the Habsburg territories, a triumphalist Catholic Church received political support from Prince Metternich and intellectual support from such Catholic romantics as Adam Müller and Friedrich Schlegel, who both glorified medieval Christendom.

European Protestantism also entered a new era of confidence and missionary outreach. In the United Kingdom, the state had in i809 begun a programme of reforms of the established Protestant churches in England, Ireland, and Scotland, combined with large-scale investment of public money in strengthening pastoral care and religious instruction for the masses. A major parliamentary grant in i8i8 contributed to the erection of hundreds of new churches in the urban districts of England. These so-called 'Waterloo churches' were intended as a national monument to the victory over Napoleonic France, and as a defence against the contagion of revolution among urban and industrial workers. There was also an increase of missionary activity, as the British State in 1813 officially opened its possessions in India to missionary activity

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