Revolution had experimented in 'de-Christianization' and much of the 'refractory' portion of the Gallican clergy had found no refuge except in the Italy of a very anti-Gallican papacy - a papacy that, not content with their rejection of the Civil Constitution, persisted in imposing on even such refugees the signature of the Formulary and acceptance of Unigenitus.

It was not until after the Terror that a reconstituted 'constitutional' church cut loose by the state as well as anathematized by the papacy was able to take up some of the reforms postponed by the priority given to the campaign against the Jesuits. And it was then and only then that an aged but indomitable abbe Clement, recently elected bishop of the new diocese of Versailles, was able to persuade a Catholic Church to put the matter of Molinistic 'errors since the Council of Trent' on its official agenda, submitting doctrinal statements on the subject to this church's two national councils in 1797 and 1801.27 With the need for councils themselves on its agenda, the National Council of 1801 also appealed its case to a future general council - the last such appeal in the history of Christendom.

But by the time of this appeal, Napoleon Bonaparte was interring the constitutional clergy by means of a concordat with Pius VII that would give the papacy the unprecedented power to abolish and reconstitute the entire Gallican episcopate. In the same year, at the behest of Tsar Paul I, Pius issued the brief Catholicai fidei canonically sanctioning the de facto existence of the Society of Jesus in Russia.


1. Phrase from the text of the papal brief Dominus ac Redemptor, translated into French by Jacques Crétineau-Joly, Histoire religieuse, politique et littéraire de la Compagnie de Jesus composée sur les documents inédits et authentiques, 6 vols. (Paris: Mellier Frères, 1844-46), vol. 5, p. 284.

2. Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, Sur la destuction desjesuites en France, par un auteur désintéressé (n.p., 1765), pp. 96-7.

3. Giovanni Marchetti, Che importa ai preti ovvero, l'interesse della religione cristiana nei grandi avvenimenti di questi tempi, third edn (Cristianopoli, 1798), pp. 25-7.

4. Alain Tallon, Le concile de Trente (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 2000), pp. 45-63.

5. François Pinthereau, Les nouvelles et anciennes reliques deMessireJean du Vergier de Hauranne, abbede Saint-Cyran, extraites des ouvrages qu'il a composes et donnés au public et des informations de sa vie et de sa doctrine (Paris, 1648), pp. 5, 246-7; Jean Filleau, Relation juridique de ce qui s'est passe a Poitiers touchant la nouvelle doctrine des jansenistes (Poitiers, 1654); [Louis Patouillet, alias La Croix], Leprogres du jansénisme (Quiloa, 1757).

6. 'Tableraisonneeetaphabetique', Nouvelles ecclesiastiques, ou Mémoires pour servir a l'histoire de la constitution Unigenitus (Utrecht: aux depens de la Compagnie, 1728-1803), rère partie, pp. 660-868.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment