pastors for individual parishes, rather than allowing congregations to recruit their own ministers.

As French Calvinists worked to adapt to the new organizational structures, they continued to face shortages of pastors and solicited help from migratory foreign clergymen, often from Switzerland. Napoleon allowed the Calvinists to open a seminary in Montauban in 1809 and enabled them to claim some seventy-five buildings across France, mainly churches that had formerly belonged to the Catholic Church. Out of tradition and necessity, outdoor worship also continued in some regions. Despite the efforts of the French state to normalize Protestants' status, on the local level old animosities between Protestants and Catholics persisted. Notably, in the Gard in 1815, royalist bands wreaked vengeance on Protestants and even murdered some who were vilified as former revolutionaries or who served as government officials during the Hundred Days.

Although Jews were legally tolerated, they were not included within the 1802 settlement. But between 1806 and 1809, Napoleon set up several institutions to incorporate Jews under state supervision and facilitate negotiations between the Ministry of Religion and Jewish leaders. Staffed by Jewish notables, these institutions, such as the governing Central Consistory and departmental consistories, tied Judaism more closely to the state and often created tensions among Jewish communities accustomed to local decision-making. But Jews did not surrender authority over their communal practices. Rabbis and notables strove to cultivate good relations with Napoleon while simultaneously forging a unique Jewish identity. As Frederic Cople Jaher notes, 'Consistories faced both ways, policing Jews at the behest of the government while defending the community against official and unofficial persecution and encouraging cohesion'.7

The majority of Catholics welcomed the Concordat, although members of the breakaway 'Petite Eglise' fused royalist opposition to Napoleon with resentment of the Concordat. The mainstream church gradually whittled away at these tenacious pockets of clandestine practice and resistance in the west, Normandy, and Lyonnais. Across France as a whole, Catholics faced two more pressing and widespread problems. The church had to overcome great losses of property and personnel from the revolutionary decade. Beyond the massive sale of church lands, individual parishes struggled to repair damaged churches and to replace lost sacred objects, statues, bells, or crosses. In 1808, of the 60,000 secular and religious clergy remaining from the 1790s, only 55 per cent still exercised the priesthood. Twenty-five per cent had married or definitively abdicated, while another 20 per cent lived as clergymen but did not

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment