against the left wing of his liberal party. Throughout his long period of office (1875-90) he therefore avoided anything that might have provoked a conflict with the Catholic Church. Using skilful tactics he ensured that parliamentary questions and petitions which might have disturbed the interdenominational peace disappeared from the agenda, and he even granted more protection for religion by means of several new laws. The bishops were content with this tactic of letting sleeping dogs lie (quieta non movere), as they themselves were of a moderate liberal persuasion, and in any case they had no other option. However, despite the basic agreement between Tisza and the bishops, there were some conflicts, particularly in the areas of education and finance. When the government introduced a bill in parliament to permit marriages between Jews and Christians, and the bishops caused its defeat, Tisza retali-atedby reforming the 'panel of magnates' (Magnatentafel): the so-called 'chosen bishops' lost their seats and were replaced by representatives of the Protestant and Orthodox churches who were loyal supporters of the government. Moreover, the new law made it possible for the monarch to appoint batches of fifty new members of the upper house as and when required (known in Hungarian as Pair-Schub, or batches of peers). Ten years later, these new members of the upper house decided the fate of the so-called 'interdenominational laws'.

Despite many problems, the bishops remained loyal to the government. As a result, the church was allowed to maintain its social influence, its institutions and its property, and even to develop them further. There was no question of founding a Catholic political party on the model of the German 'Centre Party'; the church even allowed the government to extend the royal 'right of patronage' ever more widely, and saw politically active, pro-government prelates become bishops, mainly as a result of the government's right to nominate candidates. The bishops lived and behaved like aristocrats; they paid no official visitations to their dioceses, and delegated administrative matters and confirmations to their vicars-general and suffragans. The lower orders of the clergy lived as they pleased. They chased better benefices, did scarcely any pastoral work, and preferred to devote their energy to managing their parish estates and participating in the life of high society. The bourgeoisie was either indifferent to religion or Protestant. Under the leadership of the Protestants, the extremely liberal spirit of the age pervaded every national institution, the press, and even the academy.

In the circumstances it was not surprising that the government once again took up the old and repeatedly postponed plan to enact new marriage laws. First, the minister for cults issued a ruling in which he added an enforcement

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