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Concordat of 1801

From Academic Kids

After successfully leading a coup d'état against the French Directory in 1799, and then one month later declaring himself First Consul with the support of a popular vote, Napoleon Bonaparte was convinced that coming to terms with the Catholic Church would be crucial to the success of his ventures. The Catholic Church had been at odds with the French since the National Assembly had issued the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, in which the church lands were confiscated and the Church became a department of the state, rejecting all authority from the Pope.

The main terms of the Concordat of 1801 between France and Pope Pius VII included:

  • A declaration that "Catholicism was the religion of the great majority of the French" but not the official state religion, thus maintaining religious freedom, in particular with respect to Jews and Protestants
  • The papacy had the right to select bishops
  • The state would pay clerical salaries and the clergy swore an oath of allegiance to the state
  • The church gave up all their claims for the church lands that were confiscated during the French Revolution
  • The Sabbath was reestablished as a "festival", effective Easter Sunday, 18 April 1802. The rest of the French Republican Calendar, which had abolished it, was not replaced by the traditional Gregorian Calendar until 1 January 1806.

The Concordat was abrogated upon the separation of Church and State in 1905. Some terms of the Concordat are still current in the area of Alsace-Moselle in Eastern France.

See also

External links

fr:Concordat de 1801

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