Schorderet was a dominant influence, establishing in the 1870s a network of associations and newspapers in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, the most important of which was La Liberte.19
Representatives of the Ultramontane line of thought were also the main promoters of social reform. From the 1830s a number of charitable organisations were established, whose networks increased in the second half of the century and were united in the Schweizerische Caritasverband in 1901. In 1887, the Verband der katholischen Manner- und Arbeitervereine was founded by Joseph Beck, Caspar Decurtins and Ernst Feigenwinter. They proclaimed corporatist models aiming at an antimodernist restructuring of society as a whole, and their idea of self-help resulted in the foundation of Catholic health insurances and savings banks. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the old social movement was replaced by the Christian social labour movement.20 The Catholic networks were also essential for the foundation of the University of Fribourg in 1889. From its beginnings, the state university had the function of an international Catholic centre, which became manifest not least in the conferences of the Union de Fribourg which played an important role in the formulation of the encyclical Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII in 1891.21
During the first forty years of the new Switzerland, the historian and publicist Philipp Anton Segesser was the leader of conservative political Catholicism and its grouping in the Swiss parliament.22 This was the predecessor of the Christian-Democratic Party, one of the oldest Christian-Democratic parties in Europe. Although the Catholic Church only developed a positive attitude to democracy at a late stage, the majority of Swiss Catholics already took the democratic form of government for granted. Between 1874 and 1884, they frequently used the direct democratic instrument of the referendum to obstruct the politics of the national government. In 1891 Joseph Zemp was elected the first Christian-Democratic member ofthe Swiss government. In additionto the party, the Katholische Volksverein and media networks, especially the newspaper Vaterland, were important pillars of political Catholicism. After 1891, the Christian-Democrats were continuously represented in the Swiss government. However, internal opposition to mainstream conservative Catholicism from
19 See Alois Steiner, Der Piusverein der Schweiz: von seiner Gründung bis zum Vorabend des Kulturkampfes 1857-1870 (Stans: Kommissions-Verlag Josef von Matt, 1961).
20 See Altermatt and Metzger, 'Katholische ArbeiterundMilieuidentitat'; Ruffieux, Lemouve-ment chrétien-social; Von der katholischen Milieuorganisation zum sozialen Hilfswerk.
21 See Ruffieux etal. (eds.), Geschichte der Universität Freiburg Schweiz.
22 See Conzemius, Philipp Anton von Segesser, 1817-1888.
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