fulminated in a letter to his Italian viceroy Eugene de Beauharnais, 'What does Pius VII want to do . . . put my thrones under interdiction, excommunicate me?. . . Does he believe that our century has returned to the ignorance and brutishness of the ninth century? Why doesn't the pope want to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's?'13
Within months imperial troops had occupied Rome and made Pius VII a prisoner within the Vatican. (They later moved him to Liguria and eventually to Fontainebleau in 1812.) In 1809, Napoleon annexed the Papal State as two new French departments. Calmly recalcitrant, the pope withheld investiture from new bishops and refused to bless Napoleon's new marriage with MarieLouise of Austria. As a result, their son, defiantly named the King of Rome, was illegitimate in the eyes of the church. Napoleon's original Concordat with the church had essentially crumbled, while Pius's stature rose dramatically and his ill treatment fostered ever-greater resentment towards Napoleon in Catholic Europe. Bonaparte pressured the pope into signing a new even more Gallican agreement, the Concordat of Fontainebleau, but the empire collapsed before its implementation and Napoleon finally sent Pius back to Italy in 1814.
The disastrous breakdown of Napoleon's relations with the papacy and the Catholic Church in some ways paralleled the broader trajectory of Napoleon's rule. Just as his geopolitical reach had far exceeded his grasp by 1813, so too his religious policy had suffered because he overestimated his own power and his ability to effect far-reaching change. In moving too far beyond the successful religious pacification of France in 1802, Napoleon had proved only too well his own insight that political peace demanded a secure religious settlement within Europe. While Europeans rejoiced at Napoleon's downfall, many Catholics in France welcomed back the Bourbon monarchy, deeply allied with the church.
For all that the Bourbons might dream of returning to the ancien regime, the revolutionary and Napoleonic eras had fundamentally transformed Catholicism. Until the 1905 separation of church and state, the Concordat of 180102 framed the complex relationship between the newly secular state and the Catholic Church, debunked from its ancien regime dominance yet solidly acknowledged as the 'religion of the majority of the French'. Moreover, the divisive religious politics of the 1790s lived on in French memory: Catholicism, most often allied with the Right, remained deeply embroiled in the political struggles between Left and Right. Last but not least, in France and the empire, the revolutionary and Napoleonic eras had fostered both secularization and religious zeal: over the course of the nineteenth century, the decline in religious practice would co-exist with currents of deep devotion.
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