century is less the mutual competition than the capacity of both parties to build on the experience of mutual co-existence over the centuries and the fundamental awareness that each side needed the other. Nowhere was there much sympathy for ultramontane ideals as they would be articulated after 1815. The outreach of papal power may have contracted between 1648 and 1780; yet most of the popes adopted a realpolitik that served the institution well, and they benefitted from the increased professionalization of the advice available to them. The institutional foundations would thus be strong enough to survive the double blow of the dissolution of the Jesuits in 1773 and the French occupation of Rome in 1798. Rome was still capable of acting as the focus of the Christian world, as at the Jubilee of 1750 when St Leonard of Port-Maurice preached the penitential mission before the pope and cardinals and an audience of 100,000 people.
It would be quite misleading to say that it was all downhill for the Catholic Church from the mid-eighteenth century. If Tridentine initiatives were coming to a close, it was because the need for them scarcely existed. They had been completed successfully. Although symptoms of de-Christianization have been detected, Europe was really at its most Christianized, its populations ready to be mobilized against 'Enlightened' opposition to Christianity. One should not forget that, in a moderate form, Catholic opinion had its own Enlightenment imperatives. The increased importance of natural rights and Enlightenment debate shifted consciousness away from the denominational group to the individual believer. Joseph's Edict of Toleration extended newly defined rights from previous areas of denominational co-existence into the areas of Catholic uniformity. But what may be called 'civil rights' still fell short of those awarded Catholic subjects, as the 1787 edict in France indicated. Toleration may have indicated revised limits to confessional churches, it was never intended to cancel their powers and privileges. These still had their uses for any reforming monarch. The real problem for the church between 1750 and 1780 was producing a post-Tridentine agenda and here its imaginative and pastoral failure is evident. Monarchs were not interested in responding to clergy-led initiatives when their own concerns centred primarily on making the church into an efficient unit of state agency. Prelates largely complied because their own ambitions could be gratified by enhanced leadership roles within the polity. For its part, the papacy after Benedict XIV was too preoccupied with dealing with the international crisis caused by demands for the abolition of the Jesuits and its aftermath to have much time for constructing a new strategy for changed times. Church-state relations had become so fraught in the 1760s, so central to the domestic and foreign strategies of most Catholic powers, that
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