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The relationship between Napoleon and the Catholic Church was an important aspect of his rule.
Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
In 1796, French Republican troops under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Italy, defeated the papal troops and occupied Ancona and Loreto.
The Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars (1792–1802) were a series of conflicts fought principally in Northern Italy between the French Revolutionary Army and a Coalition of Austria, Russia, Piedmont-Sardinia, and a number of other Italian states.
Pope Pius VI sued for peace, which was granted at Tolentino on February 19, 1797; but on December 28 of that year, in a riot blamed by Papal forces on Italian and French revolutionaries, the popular brigadier-general Mathurin-Léonard Duphot, who had gone to Rome with Joseph Bonaparte as part of the French embassy, was killed and a new pretext was furnished for invasion. General Berthier marched to Rome, entered it unopposed on February 10, 1798, and, proclaiming a Roman Republic, demanded of the Pope the renunciation of his temporal power.
Pope Pius VI, born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 15 February 1775 to his death in 1799.
Tolentino is a town and comune of about 20,000 inhabitants, in the province of Macerata in the Marche region of central Italy.
Léonard Mathurin Duphot was a French general and poet, whose Ode aux mânes des héros morts pour la liberté was highly fashionable at the time.
Upon his refusal he was taken prisoner, and on February 20 was escorted from the Vatican to Siena, and thence to the Certosa near Florence. The French declaration of war against Tuscany led to his removal (he was escorted by the Spaniard Pedro Gómez Labrador, Marquis of Labrador) by way of Parma, Piacenza, Turin and Grenoble to the citadel of Valence, the chief town of Drôme where he died six weeks after his arrival, on August 29, 1799, having then reigned longer than any Pope.
Pius VI's body was embalmed, but was not buried until January 30, 1800 after Napoleon saw political advantage to burying the deceased Pope in efforts to bring the Catholic Church back into France.
Napoleon realized the importance of religion as a means to increase obedience and his control over the French. It was not until the conclave of Cardinals had gathered to elect a new Pope that Napoleon decided to bury Pope Pius VI who had died several weeks earlier. He gave him a gaudy ceremony in an effort to gain the attention of the Catholic Church. This eventually led to the Concordat of 1801 negotiated by Ercole Consalvi, the Pope's secretary of state, which re-systemised the linkage[ clarification needed ] between the French church and Rome. However, the Concordat also contained the "Organic Articles" which Consalvi had fiercely denied Napoleon, but which the latter had installed regardless.
The Concordat of 1801 was an agreement between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII, signed on 15 July 1801 in Paris. It remained in effect until 1905. It sought national reconciliation between revolutionaries and Catholics and solidified the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France, with most of its civil status restored. The hostility of devout French Catholics against the state had then largely been resolved. It did not restore the vast church lands and endowments that had been seized upon during the revolution and sold off. Catholic clergy returned from exile, or from hiding, and resumed their traditional positions in their traditional churches. Very few parishes continued to employ the priests who had accepted the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of the Revolutionary regime. While the Concordat restored much power to the papacy, the balance of church-state relations tilted firmly in Napoleon's favour. He selected the bishops and supervised church finances.
Ercole Consalvi was a deacon and cardinal of the Catholic Church, who served twice as Cardinal Secretary of State for the Papal States and who played a crucial role in the post-Napoleonic reassertion of the legitimist principle of the divine right of kings, of which he was a constant supporter.
The papacy had suffered a major loss of church lands through secularizations in the Holy Roman Empire following the Peace of Lunéville (1801), when a number of German princes were compensated for their losses by the seizure of ecclesiastical property.
Secularization is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward nonreligious values and secular institutions. The secularization thesis refers to the belief that as societies progress, particularly through modernization and rationalization, religion loses its authority in all aspects of social life and governance. The term secularization is also used in the context of the lifting of the monastic restrictions from a member of the clergy.
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.
The Concordat of 1801 is a reflection of an agreement between Napoleon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII that reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church as the majority church of France and restored some of its civil status.
While the Concordat restored some ties to the papacy, it was largely in favor of the state; the balance of church-state relations had tilted firmly in Napoleon Bonaparte's favour. As a part of the Concordat, he presented another set of laws called the Organic Articles.
From the beginning of his papacy to the fall of Napoleon I Bonaparte in 1815, Pius VII was completely involved with France.[ clarification needed ] He and Napoleon were continually in conflict, often involving the French military leader's wishes for concessions to his demands.
Against the wish of most of the Curia, Pius VII traveled to Paris for Napoleon's coronation in 1804. Although the Pope and the papacy were promised several luxurious gifts and monetary donations, the Pope initially refused most of these offers. Napoleon acquiesced but did produce the Napoleon Tiara, which had as its main jewel, large emeralds from the Tiara of Pope Pius VI, which Napoleon's troops had previously looted. The painting by David titled The Coronation of Napoleon depicts the seated pope at the ceremony. In the painting the Emperor is crowning his wife; prior to this specific moment, Napoleon had placed the crown on his head himself, spurning the Pope's intent to do the same. Another concession was that the Portrait of Pope Pius VII was commissioned from David, and given to the Pope.
Appointed by Napoleon 4 April 1803 to succeed Cacault on the latter's retirement from the position of French ambassador at Rome, Cardinal Joseph Fesch was assisted by Châteaubriand[ clarification needed ], but soon sharply differed with him on many questions. Towards the close of 1804, Napoleon entrusted to Fesch the difficult task of securing the presence of Pope Pius VII at the forthcoming coronation of the emperor at Notre Dame, Paris (December 2, 1804). His tact in overcoming the reluctance of the pope (it was only eight months after the execution of the duc d'Enghien) received further recognition. He received the grand cordon of the Légion d'honneur, became grand-almoner of the empire and had a seat in the French senate. He was to receive further honours. In 1806 one of the most influential of the German clerics, Karl von Dalberg, then prince-bishop of Regensburg, chose him to be his coadjutor and designated him as his successor.
Subsequent events damaged his prospects. In the course of the years 1806-1807, Napoleon came into sharp collision with the Pope on various matters both political and religious. Fesch sought in vain to reconcile them. Napoleon was inexorable in his demands, and Pius VII refused to give way where the discipline and vital interests of the church seemed to be threatened. The emperor several times rebuked Fesch for what he thought to be weakness and ingratitude. It is clear, however, that the Cardinal went as far as possible in counselling the submission of the spiritual to the civil power. For a time he was not on speaking terms with the pope; and Napoleon recalled him from Rome.
Napoleon appointed Jean-Baptiste de Belloy bishop to the See of Paris. Notwithstanding his extreme age he governed his new diocese with astonishing vigour and intelligence, reorganized the parishes, provided them with good pastors, and visited his flock in person. He restored the Crown of Thorns (10 August 1806) to its place of honour in the Sainte Chapelle. Napoleon was so well satisfied that he asked and readily obtained for him the cardinal's hat, which Pius VII placed on the prelate's head in a consistory held in Paris, 1 February 1805.
Relations between the Church and Napoleon deteriorated. On February 3, 1808, General Miollis occupied Rome with a division. In the next month, the puppet Kingdom of Italy annexed the papal provinces Ancona, Macerata, Fermo, and Urbino, and diplomatic relations were broken off.
On 17 May 1809, Napoleon issued two decrees from the Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna in which he reproached the popes for the ill use they had made of the donation of Charlemagne, his "august predecessor", and declared those territories which were still under the direct control of the Papal State were to be annexed to the French empire. The territories were to be organized under Miollis with a council extraordinary to administer them. As compensation the Pope would receive a stipend of 2,000,000 francs per annum.On 10 June Miollis had the Pontifical flag, which still floated over the castle of St. Angelo, lowered.
When Pius VII subsequently excommunicated Napoleon, one of Napoleon's officers saw an opportunity to gain praise. Although Napoleon had captured Castel Sant'Angelo and intimidated the Pope by pointing cannons at his papal bedroom, he did not instruct one of his most ambitious lieutenants, Lieutenant Radet, to kidnap the Pope. Yet once Pius VII was a prisoner, Napoleon did not offer his release; the Pope was moved throughout Napoleon's territories, in great sickness at times, though most of his confinement took place at Savona. Napoleon sent several delegations of his supporters to pressure the Pope on various issues: yielding power; and signing a new concordat with France.
The Pope remained in confinement for over six years, and did not return to Rome until May 24, 1814, when the 5th Radetzky Hussars of the Allied forces freed the Pope during a pursuit of Napoleonic forces.The Hungarian Hussars escorted the pope back to Rome through the Alps. The cold weather wore Pius VII out but an officer gave him his own coat, this officer was Captain János Nepomuki Horváth who gave the base of the main protagonist of Sándor Petőfi's epic poem "János Vitéz".
For his gallantry János N. Horváth received the highest papal decoration the Supreme Order of Christ and the pope gave the 5th Radetzky Hussars a flag with the text "Ungariae Patronae Pium comitatis ad Urbem; O felix tanto Roma sub auspicio - Boldog vagy Róma, hogy érzed a Magyarok Nagyasszonyának oltalmát, ki Piust a Városba kísérte" ("You are happy Rome to feel the protection of Our Lady of Hungary, who accompanied Pius to the City"). The flag is in the Arsenal today.
In a final remark on the situation, the pope had his secretary compose a letter to the British government asking for better treatment of the exiled emperor at Saint Helena. One of the final lines of the note stated, “He can no longer be a danger to anybody. We would not wish him to become a cause for remorse.”
At the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815) the Papal States were largely restored. The Jesuits were restored. The Pope offered a refuge in his capital to the members of the Bonaparte family. Princess Letitia, the deposed emperor's mother, lived there; likewise did his brothers Lucien and Louis and his uncle, Cardinal Fesch.
In February 1821, while exiled at Saint Helena island, Napoleon's health began to deteriorate rapidly. He reconciled with the Catholic Church. He died on 5 May 1821, after receiving the Sacraments of Confession, Extreme Unction and Viaticum in the presence of Father Ange Vignali.
Pope Leo XII, born Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiorre Girolamo Nicola Sermattei della Genga,
Pope Pius IX, born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was head of the Catholic Church from 16 June 1846 to his death on 7 February 1878. He was the longest-reigning elected pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving for over 31 years. During his pontificate, Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (1869–70), which decreed papal infallibility, but the council was cut short owing to the loss of the Papal States.
Pope Pius VII, born Barnaba Niccolò Maria Luigi Chiaramonti, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 14 March 1800 to his death in 1823. Chiaramonti was also a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict in addition to being a well-known theologian and bishop throughout his life.
The temporal power or jurisdiction of the Holy See designates the political and secular influence of the Holy See, that is jurisdiction of the pope of the Catholic Church, as distinguished from spiritual and pastoral activity.
Pope Pius VIII, born Francesco Saverio Castiglioni, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 31 March 1829 to his death in 1830.
Joseph Fesch, Prince of France was a French cardinal and diplomat, Prince of France and a member of the Imperial House of the First French Empire, Peer of France, Roman Prince, and the uncle of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was also one of the most famous art collectors of his period, remembered for having established the Musée Fesch in Ajaccio, which remains one of the most important Napoleonic collections of art.
The papal conclave of 1799–1800 followed the death of Pope Pius VI on 29 August 1799 and led to the selection as pope of Gregorio Barnaba Luigi Chiaramonti, who took the name Pius VII, on 14 March 1800. This conclave was held in Venice and was the last to take place outside Rome. This period was marked by uncertainty for the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church following the invasion of the Papal States and abduction of Pius VI under the French Directory.
The papal conclave of 1823, was convoked following the death of Pope Pius VII on 20 August 1823. The conclave began on 2 September and ended 26 days later with the election of Cardinal Annibale della Genga who became Pope Leo XII.
Giovanni Battista Caprara Montecuccoli was an Italian statesman and Cardinal and archbishop of Milan from 1802 to 1810. As a papal diplomat he served in the embassies in Cologne, Lausanne, and Vienna. As Legate of Pius VII in France, he implemented the Concordat of 1801, and negotiated with the Emperor Napoleon over the matter of appointments to the restored hierarchy in France. He crowned Napoleon as King of Italy in Milan in 1805.
The history of the papacy, the office held by the pope as head of the Roman Catholic Church, according to Catholic doctrine, spans from the time of Peter to the present day.
The Napoleon Tiara was a papal tiara given to Pope Pius VII in June 1805 a few months after he presided at the coronation of Napoleon I and Joséphine de Beauharnais. While lavishly decorated with jewels, it was deliberately too small and heavy to be worn and meant as an insult to the pope. In the painting of The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David, the tiara is held behind the pope by one of his aides.
Giulio Gabrielli was an Italian Catholic Church's cardinal. He spent most of his career in the Roman Curia.
Leonardo Antonelli was an Italian Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.
Bartolomeo Pacca was an Italian cardinal, scholar, and statesman as Cardinal Secretary of State. Pacca served as apostolic nuncio to Cologne, and later to Lisbon.
Pietro Ostini was an Italian papal diplomat and Cardinal.
The modern history of the papacy is shaped by the two largest dispossessions of papal property in its history, stemming from the French and its spread to Europe, including Italy.
Joachim-Jean-Xavier d'Isoard was a French bishop and cardinal.