must accept limits more strictly defined than previously, particularly in matters of taxation. In Milan, where the Giunta Economale (1765) disposed of state powers over the clergy, instructions of 1768 stated: 'There is no prerogative, no interference of ecclesiastics in the temporal sphere which can be proclaimed as legitimate if it does not originate in the consent and voluntary grant of the sovereign . . .'.2 The anti-Jesuit campaign and the rash of mid-century concordats between princes and the papacy showed that tendency, while later Jansenism encouraged state power as a form of protection for itself, in effect, a variant within the Erastian tradition. In the Austrian Netherlands, the goal was to insert the church into 'the natural order of the state' as Zeger-Bernard van Espen (1646-1728), Professor of Canon Law at Louvain, said. Priests should not forget that they were both subjects and citizens.
The administrative services of the clergy remained at a premium in the running of Catholic states. Monarchs and ministers put a lot of thought into nominating bishops whose political skills were at least as conspicuous as their pastoral ones. At the same time, the fact that promotion was conditional on winning royal favour made bishops and higher clergy as skilled as ever in courtly arts and naturally sympathetic to entrenching regal powers at the expense of papal ones. Any minister expected the co-operation of the episcopate and used the patronage system to make it more likely than not. Thus when Pombal made his first moves against the Jesuits in 1757, he had his brother appointed Inquisitor-General and relied throughout on the compliancy of prelates. In France as elsewhere, bishops were prominent in managing Provincial Estates while cardinals Fleury and Brienne followed the precedent of Richelieu and Mazarin and served in practice as Principal Minister of the realm. Legislative roles were commonplace. In Poland, the seventeen bishops sat in the Senate; the Archbishop-primate of Gniezno was the second dignitary of the commonwealth after the king. In most French parlements a number of magisterial posts (six in Bordeaux, twelve in Paris) were reserved for the clergy. In Spain, Cardinal Portocarrero of Toledo intrigued with some effect in the late 1690s for the accession of the Bourbon dynasty, and as many as nine of the twelve presidents of the Council of Castile in 1700-51 were clerics. Spanish prelates were always caught up in activities that ranged far beyond the pastoral and the charitable. Lorenzana of Toledo tried to revive the decaying silk industry of his seat; Fabian y Fuero of Valencia and Llanes y Argiielles of Seville opened public libraries in their palaces; Bertran of Salamanca founded a vocational school for the training of goldsmiths. The parish clergy, too, were vital spokesmen for, and upholders of, royal authority in their parishes that
Was this article helpful?