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FRENCH INFLUENCE AT THE VATICAN.
SINCE the memorable quarrel of Philip pires of the treasury. The public purse le Bel with Boniface VIII, French in- in their hand is “a bag with holes." fluence has been felt more or less in the Almost every resource has been exbaustVatican. Indirectly, all Europe has ex- ed to raise money, and the Council is the perienced good or evil from it. We pro- last and most desperate. pose in this article to review a certain No one acquainted with history can series of facts, gathered from authentic doubt that, politically, the policy of sources, and illustrating the extent and Rome has since the death of Boniface nature of the interference of France in the VIII been suicidal. The Papal throne affairs of the Papacy. The documents was filled by ambitious but inefficient alluded to are some of them published men, who opposed themselves blindly for the first time, but the majority are to every sign of progress among the taken from the Papal archives of the ex- nations, entrusting themselves with exLegations of Bologna, &c. A few years communicating their enemies and makago there appeared at Florence an offi- ing monks. Thus the crisis was supercial publication entitled, Il Governo Pon- induced that tore the greater half of tificio e lo stato Romano: Documenti pre- Europe from Roman moorings. On the ceduti da una Esposizione Storica, e rac- subsidence of the troubles produced by colti, per Decreto delle Romagne, dal Cao. the Reformation, the Papacy ranked Achille Gennarelli, &c. This collection only among the feeblest powers. Henceof records reveals the most intimate re- forth all hope of domination over nalations between the Vatican and France. tions was chimerical. Thus the affairs For a full appreciation of the means that of the Papacy since the Council of led to them we must look to the history Trent are totally insignificant till the of Pius VII. A great many facts re- advent of Napoleon I. Following in specting the dealings of this Pontiff well-worn paths, Rome, like a squirrel with Napoleon I. came under the wri- in its cage, went round with the revoter's notice at Rome, and possess espe- lution of years, but never advanced. cial interest at the present time.
Its chief care was to preserve the débris The maxim of Marcellin, Roma dum of immense revenues. With an adminerunt homines victuras, was never so much istration totally ineffective, a police sufalsified as now, when she is seeking to pine and indiscreet, a neglect of all fortify herself by a spiritual panoply sanitary and architectural improveagainst the assault of impatient liberal- ments, the people of Rome became the ism on the one hand, and of a native most devout in religion, but the most population desperate under aggravated dissolute in morals of every European misrule on the other, Statesmen in and nationality. The Reformation of the about the Vatican have long ago, as far sixteenth century gradually produced back as the inception of the council, the political revolutions of the eightlooked upon the situation in its more centh. And Rome was destined to feel important aspects as hopeless.
the reflux of the mighty wave that change,” said Antonelli, “must bring swept away thrones and dynasties cenimprovement; for we have almost come turies old. Her spiritual prestige has to the dernier ressort." The sunken failed. Men fear no longer to discuss rock, so constantly menacing the Pa- her dogmas as they discuss any dogma pacy, is Bankruptcy. The "four bri- of philosophy and science. She cries, gands," as the Romans style the broth- “to doubt is to be damned ; ” but men ers Antonelli, are the pecuniary vam- doubt more and more.
The victorious armies of France, hav- the Church in France, and, it is now ing subdued all Italy under the leader- well known, nominated Cardinal Chiaship of Bonaparte, wrung from Pius ramonti as the man with whom he preVI the Bull consenting to the condi- ferred to deal. By a unanimous vote, tions imposed by the conqueror. this prelate was elected March 14, 1800.
This is the commencement of a new He embarked for Rome the sixth of the phase in Roman political history. The following June, hoping to recover someact of the Pope, probably the least hon- thing of the dethroned power of the orable of his life, revealed a character Papacy. The character of the new Ponready at any time to sacrifice to circum- tiff was mild and conciliating, but the stances far more than they demanded. policy of his council frequently opposed Pusillanimity and maladresse are evi- his personal predilections, and frequentdent in his conduct to the French, whose ly prompted resolutions that were barmviews he sought henceforth to second. ful to himself, to religion, and to Rome. He baptizes the ensanguined banner of His first act was the reëstablishment '89 with the benison of the Church. “Be of the Society of Jesus—it is now evigood Christians,” he says, “ and you will dent, from recently discovered papers, be excellent republicans. The first Chris- from no liking of the Order. In France, tians were animated with the spirit of where they had intrigued the most, democracy. The labors of Cato and the their abolition was thus decreed : “ The illustrious republicans of Rome met with Order is inadmissible by its nature in Divine favor."
any state, as contrary to natural rights, Nevertheless, the French were unpopu- aiming at the destruction of every kind lar at Rome, and the people took violent of authority temporal and spiritual, and means to testify their aversion. The tending to introduce into the state, unFrench ambassador was insulted and his der the specious disguise of a religious palace mobbed. And finally, feeling that institution, . . . a corps politique, whose despite flattering words the Pope was essence consists in a ceaseless activity to their secret enemy, the French entered accomplish their plans by any sort of Rome, overturned the chair of Peter, and means, direct or indirect, public or arrested Pius VI. He died an exile and secret." a prisoner at Valence, August, 1799. This Order, whose real power lies in
A despatch recently discovered proves fostering the latent passions of unrethat at this period the Cardinals secretly strained human nature, attempts now, recognized the royal rights of the House as then, to invade society, and subjugate of Bourbon. The Conclave assembled opposition by the most formidable of at Venice, and thence issued the usual
weapons, missions and schools. Despite announcement to the kings of Europe their complete abolition in France, what of their intention to elect a Pope. Louis is the actual state of affairs? In coery XVIII thus replied :
toron of note in France there is a Jesuit,
engaged as a secular priest or private “We will solemnly acknowledge the tutor. When the time comes that it may Pontiff chosen by you; and whenever be done with safety, they will spring up he, by whom kings reign, shall establish us upon the throne of our ancestors,
like the tares of the field. Nor are they we will cause his legitimate authority careful to disguise the fact. Père Ravito be respected throughout our domin- gnan, a popular Paris preacher, is a Jeions, thus justifying our title of Most suit, and they are tolerated by the ultraChristian King and Eldest Son of the montane party everywhere. Conceive a Church.
Jesuit, if you can. The authority of his “Given at Mittau, November 24, 1799."
chief, the General at the Jesu, is bound
less. He must be obeyed in all and evThe election lasted seven months, and erywhere. To quote the Constitutions of would probably have continued longer, Ignatius Loyola, he is " a stick in the but that the First-Consul reëstablished hand of him who carries it, a corpse incapable of resistance."
He must rc- their functions. The remainder either nounce his own senses and reasoning emigrated or were massacred. powers, and believe that he who com- On the 18th Brumaire, Napoleon was mands is always right, obeying without placed at the head of the Republic, and reasoning or hesitation. It is the total- at once commenced measures to heal ity of authority. “Je vois Jésus-Christ existing religious dissensions. M. Porlui-même dans mon supérieur," says Ravi- talis, in the Corps Législatif, demongnan. The entire possessions of the Or- strated the general necessity of religion, der, its administration, its direction, are and that the majority of Frenchmen all centred in the General. Upon his will adhered to the Catholic phase of it. depends the destiny of each member, The Popes were harmless, and the the existence and condition of his per- monks abolished, reasoned the orator, son, his actions and goods, his con- and the clergy to be established would science, his doctrines and teachings, and be " intéressés à défendre nos maximes his manner of thinking on all points. comme leur propre liberté.” The proThus the spirit of the chief animates the visions of the Concordat assured to the body and all its members. He is there- Romish Church in France full and free fore more potent than a king at the head exercise of worship and teaching, and of armies. His militia, immense in num- revoking all nominations to Sees, debers and perfect in discipline, is spread clared that the nomination should rest everywhere; a militia composed of slaves in the First Consul, with canonical into their chief, and of tyrants and spies stitution by the Pope. The clergy were to their equals and subordinates. In to take oath of fidelity to the state, and uniting itself to the Jesuits, the court to reveal all plots contrary to its welof Rome has obtained auxiliaries whose fare. The Pope engaged not to molest secret power is enormous; whose force the temporalities of the bishops, and by and devotion and perseverance overcome this act, illegally, and contrary to their almost every obstacle, and who are bound protest, deprived thirty bishops of their by no tie civil or political.
Sees. The Gallican Church became a They were reëstablished by two Briefs, mere creature of the state, and the Pope bearing date March 7, 1801, and June and Napoleon might well say,
“ With 30, 1804. The almost inevitable result my prefects, my gensdarmes, and my of their presence is the production of priests, I can do whatever I choose." bigotry and ultramontanism. Since The Organic Articles which followed they have crept into France, these two the Concordat defined the rights and principles have flourished; and the privileges of the Gallican Church, and Romish sect in England and America became the sole code having legal auexhibits the same peculiarity from the thority. They did not please the Pope,
and in a secret Consistory held May 24, The Concordat of 1801 now claims 1802, he remarked that “the joy which attention. To understand its import- he felt at the happy restoration of reance, we require to glance at the politi- ligion in France was not exempt from cal and religious situation in France. disquietude.” His complaints to NapoThe Civil Constitution of the Clergy, de- leon vere answered by the memorable creed in 1790 by the Assembly, had been declaration that the sovereigns of France denounced by the Pope as contrary to regarded themselves as évêques du dehors, the canonical rights of the Holy See. and as such reserved the right of reguHe forbade the clergy to submit to it, lating the discipline of the Church. Soon under pain of excommunication, A afterwards, the First Consul assumed the certain number, however, did take the imperial crown, and offered his alliance required oath, but the majority refused. to the Pontiff. These offers were appreThe first were known by the name of ciated by him, for probably he hoped to constitutionnels and assermentés. These gain the restitution of the legations torn alone continued the free exercise of from the Roman authority by the treaty of Solentino. Consequently, on the sec- The anointing of Joseph Bonaparte as ond of November, 1804, Pius VII left King of the two Sicilies. Rome for Paris. The coronation itself The ultimatum was rejected February was a mere theatrical exhibition, pos- 29, 1808; and a short time afterwards sessing no real element of grandeur, be- six thousand Frenchmen, commanded cause all was hollow and untrue. The by General Miollis, entered Rome. A conduct of the Pope in the affair was hollow peace was nevertheless observed, severely censured by the ultramontanes, but it was destined to be broken by a especially as nothing came by it. Pius very trifling incident. Cardinal Pacca VII left Paris with flattering promises was commanded to write the following and gifts, but nothing more.
letter to the French commandant, which It is fairly questionable whether Na- we give in the original : poleon cared any thing for priests. He
“ Sa sainteté, ayant appris que le regarded them as a necessary constitu
Général Miollis a invité à diner tous les ent of society. In this light he was individus du Sacré-College, a ordonné a ever ready to bestow upon them as son prosecretaire d'état de signifier à much good as might be safely given. votre Excellence, qu'elle aime à croire But always the first idea was personal que, vu les tribulations où se trouve Sa advantage: “ l'état, c'est moi."
The Sainteté, aucun des cardinaux n'accep
tera une telle invitation." clergy were made to feel that their safety and well-being was united to that of Immediately certain cardinals, natives the Empire. But it is not a little that of Naples and subjects of the King of will content Rome; and her discontent Italy, were ordered to quit Rome, the caused the formation of a party that Pontifical troops were united to the singularly enough had for its head in French army, receiving a new cockade, France the Cardinal Fesch. The Em- and the rupture was completed by the peror, much annoyed, actually contem- promulgation of an excommunication plated a complete separation of Church against the Emperor, March 27, 1808. and State, and, in imitation of Peter The priests in the annexed provinces the Great, to declare himself head of were forbidden by the Pope to make the Gallican Church. At this juncture oath of allegiance to the new governRome united with England, Austria, ment, or to sing Te Deum for victories, and Naples, which terminated in the or make prayers for the army. In revictorious field of Austerlitz, and the taliation the Secretary of State was ordethronement of Ferdinand of Bourbon. dered to quit Rome in two days, and on Rome was filled with Neapolitan refu- the 17th of May, 1809, the states of the gees, and the Austrian Ambassador, Church were annexed to the kingdom with the gold and secret diplomaoy of of Italy. As of old, the Pope had reEngland, encouraged her to counte- course to the mightiest weapon in his nance and abet all sorts of intrigues spiritual armory, an Anathema. It fell against. France. As a decisive method powerless for two months afterwards; of cutting the Gordian knot, Napoleon the aged Pontiff was with scant cereforwarded to the Vatican his ultimatum mony hurried into his carriage, and of January 9, 1808. Five days were conveyed a prisoner to France. Misforallowed the Pope for deliberation upon tune is to some characters a boon. The eight very disagreeable propositions: life of the Pontiff as a captive is by far
1st. The establishment of a Patriarch the most brilliant portion of his reign. in France; 2d. The adoption of the The result of the captivity was a new Code Napoléon; 3d. Liberty of worship Concordat of 1813, which was broken for all; 4th. The reform of the Italian almost as soon as made. On the 22d of Episcopate; 5th. The abolition of Pon- January of the following year the Pope tifical Bulls for Italy; 6th. The total was restored to liberty, and offered a abolition of the religious orders; 7th. portion of his estates. But it was then The abolition of clerical celibacy ; 8th, too late to dictate, and the offer was
refused. A few days later the fall of seen in the ruined Villa Pamfilia and Napoleon restored to Pius VII the the church of San Pancrazio, General appanage of Peter.
Oudinot entered Rome, the people criCircumstances had considerably ed, “ Liberty forever! Down with the changed in France before a new Con- Pope-King !” General Bartolucci, comcordat was broached. The restoration mandant of the Roman cavalry, refused of 1814, in breaking the sword that had overtures of conciliation, and chose governed France, almost annihilated her with all the other leaders voluntary exmilitary prestige. To ideas of force, ile. The first act of the French General preponderance, and perhaps of univer- was to publish an order of the day abolsal monarchy succeeded those of mod- ishing the National Guard, and to reeration, of justice, and internal prosper- establish it on its ancient principles. ity. A peaceful sceptre bad replaced The first act was to please the Pope; the truncheon of the military chief. the second secured to the people a maNecessarily, religious ideas revived un- terial guarantee of their liberties. The der the new order of things. And the second article was never executed ; and old Concordat being declared null, a thus, breaking its own plighted word, new one was contemplated.
the Vatican made France a particeps signed June 11, 1817. By this new criminis. The manifesto of General document all preceding concordats were Oudinot was followed by the letter of revoked. The Sees abolished by the Louis Napoleon to Edgar Ney, protestBull of November 29, 1802, were re- ing that France could only be the minstored, and the State engaged to subsi- ister of civilized and rational governdize the whole, as well as seminaries ment. Apparently, he had perceived and curés.
that there was no hope that Pius IX The immediate result was general would keep the pledges of reform made discontent. It would be easy to show at the beginning of his reign. The from statements of prelates, that the President's despatch produced the folpractical working of the Concordat has lowing note from the Roman Court: been the total subjugation of the clergy
" Most ILLUSTRIOUS AND REVEREND to the bishops, and of the bishops to
SIR: A letter which assumes to be the Pope. Cardinal Bonnechose said in
written by the President of the French the senate, “ each of us has an army at Republic to Lieutenant-Colonel Ney in command, and it marches." From the Rome has given increased audacity to time of the restoration to the revolution the band of libertines, the sworn eneof 1848, the interposition of France in mies of the Pontifical government; and the affairs of Rome is not conspicuous. that it is intended to impose burden
rumors are everywhere spread about When, however, the Romans declared a
some conditions on the Holy See. The republic, and Pius IX, in the habit of a
anarchical party, in consequence of these menial, ignominiously fled from Rome, expectations, displays an insulting attithe French once more interposed. It is tude, as it believes and hopes to recover well known by the initiated that secret itself from the discomfiture it has unpromises of assistance had been given dergone. But this letter was NOT ANY by the republican party in France to product of a private correspondence. I
OFFICIAL CHARACTER, being merely the the republican party at Rome. But
will add, also, that even by the French Louis Napoleon, in restoring the rule of authorities in Rome it is viewed with the Bonapartes, knew that the Pope displeasure. The Holy Father is serimight become a useful ally. So this ously occupying himself about giving man, whose first act of importance was
to his subjects such reforms as he be
lieves useful to their true and solid to appear in arms a rebel against the Papal government, as a ruler turned the good; nor has any power imposed laws
upon him in reference to this, he aimarms of France against the victorious ing to attain so important an end withrepublic. When, after three days of he- out betraying the duties of his own roic fighting, traces of which are still conscience.