population increased by 50 per cent. Habsburg powers of patronage over a relatively small episcopate were limited. Bishops were elected by cathedral canons in the first instance, according to German custom. Prelates were also well represented in the diets and the clergy furnished up to a quarter of the administrators chosen by these assemblies. The imperial monarchy was determined to reduce the tax immunities of the clergy and achieved this objective at mid-century: after 1749, the regular orders had to pay taxes for a ten-year period and could no longer discuss the amount to be paid annually.

The detachment of the monarchy after mid-century from Jesuit influences was a historic rupture, because Austrian Catholicism had been deeply marked by them. However, the empress was bent on a programme of educational reforms that would increase the role of the secular clergy and the laity. The Habsburg tradition of anti-curialism was reactivated again by Paul Joseph Ritter von Riegger, Professor of Canon Law at Vienna University, drawing on Jansenist-inspired canonists like van Espen, whose own pupil was Febro-nius himself. The latter's ideas were condemned in 1764 by Clement XIII, who feared that the Habsburg monarchy and the German principalities had a common agenda that would end in greatly reducing papal power in central Europe. Maria Theresa was no Febronian, but she pressed on with the policy of secularizing intellectual life in the interests of the monarchy. In 1767, a new administrative department was created to initiate and implement ecclesiastical legislation in the empire. The major participants were her son and co-sovereign, Joseph II, Chancellor Kaunitz, and (from 1769) Franz Joseph Heinke, senior official of ecclesiastical affairs. All were persuaded that state power was fundamental to the task of Catholic reform. Maria Theresa still worried about betraying her family's historic role as the defenders of Catholic culture. In fact, her empire contained a number of non-Catholic minorities, including, in Vienna, an estimated 2,000 Protestants - 1 per cent of the population - and a substantial number of Jews. In the Kingdom of Hungary, the Magyar elite was divided between Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists. Jews also resided in Trieste, Goricia, and Mantua, though community and public worship remained unauthorized there and in both Bohemia and Moravia. In Bohemia, adherence to Protestantism was punishable by death in Charles VI's reign (1711-40), although covert Protestants were tolerated after the annexation of neighbouring Silesia by Prussia in 1745. In 1777, whole Moravian villages declared themselves Protestant, and Kaunitz argued that persecution was inimical both to the interests of true Christianity and to the true interests of the state. But continued disagreement on how to treat religious minorities soured relations between the empress and Joseph II in the 1770s.

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