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Vehementer Nos was a papal encyclical promulgated by Pope Pius X on 11 February 1906. He denounced the French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State enacted two months earlier. He condemned its unilateral abrogation of the Concordat of 1801 between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII that had granted the Catholic Church a distinctive status and established a working relationship between the French government and the Holy See.The title of the document is taken from its opening words in Latin, which mean "we strongly".
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Roman Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop. The word comes from Late Latin encyclios.
Pope Pius X, born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, was head of the Catholic Church from August 1903 to his death in 1914. Pius X is known for vigorously opposing modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting liturgical reforms and orthodox theology. He directed the production of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the first comprehensive and systemic work of its kind.
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.
Prior to the French Revolution of 1789, Roman Catholicism had been the state religion of France, and closely identified with the ancien regime. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly had taken Church properties and issued the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, which made the Church a department of the State, effectively removing it from papal authority. Subsequent laws abolished the traditional Gregorian calendar and Christian holidays. The revolution led to a brief separation of church and state in 1795, ended by Napoleon's re-establishment of the Catholic Church as the state religion with the Concordat of 1801.
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
During the French Revolution, the National Assembly, which existed from 14 June 1789 to 9 July 1789, was a revolutionary assembly formed by the representatives of the Third Estate of the Estates-General; thereafter it was known as the National Constituent Assembly, though popularly the shorter form persisted.
The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was a law passed on 12 July 1790 during the French Revolution, that caused the immediate subordination of the Catholic Church in France to the French government.
While the Concordat restored some ties to the papacy, it was an attempt on Napoleon's part to win favor with Catholics in France and largely favored the state.According to its terms Catholicism was recognized as the religion of the great majority of the French but not the official state religion. While the Papacy had the right to depose bishops, the French government retained the right to nominate them. The state would pay clerical salaries to clergy who swore an oath of allegiance to the state. The Catholic Church also gave up all claims to Church lands confiscated after 1790, but Sunday was reestablished as a "festival", effective Easter Sunday, 18 April 1802.
In 1905 the French government passed a law stipulating “the separation of churches and the state, and unilaterally abrogating the terms of the 1801 Concordat. According to Sheridan Gilley while claiming to guarantee freedom of worship, the law kept religion under state regulation.The act stipulated that all Church property be turned over to "associations" of lay people. The pope and most French Catholics considered the law as undermining the independent authority of the Church. Pius viewed it as related to Modernist theories popular in France, and a concerted attack upon the Church. In Italy, Modernism was more political than doctrinal.
Modernism is a philosophical movement that, along with cultural trends and changes, arose from wide-scale and far-reaching transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the factors that shaped modernism were the development of modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed then by reactions of horror to World War I. Modernism also rejected the certainty of Enlightenment thinking, and many modernists rejected religious belief.
In February 1906 the government began to make inventories of ecclesiastical property in order "to prevent any theft of antiques". This provoked riots in Paris, Lille, and some country districts by disgruntled French Catholics. People barricaded themselves in churches. According to Mary McAuliffe, people rang church bells to sound the alarm, and armed themselves with sticks and pitchforks. She notes that in the Pyrenees, the Basques brought their bears.Opposition to the reforms was supported by the monarchists.
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.
Hugues-Félicité Robert de Lamennais was a French Catholic priest, philosopher and political theorist. He was one of the most influential intellectuals of Restoration France. Lamennais is considered the forerunner of liberal Catholicism and social Catholicism.
The relations between the Catholic Church and the state have been constantly evolving with various forms of government, some of them controversial in retrospect. In its history it has had to deal with various concepts and systems of governance, from the Roman Empire to the medieval divine right of kings, from nineteenth and twentieth century concepts of democracy and pluralism to the appearance of left- and right-wing dictatorial regimes. Although the Second Vatican Council's decree Dignitatis humanae emphasized that people must not be coerced in matters of religion, it "leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ", i.e., that in an ideal society the Catholic Church would be recognized as the official religion of the state.
The Gallican Church was the Roman Catholic Church in France from the time of the Declaration of the Clergy of France (1682) to that of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790) during the French Revolution.
The Catholic Church in France is part of the worldwide Catholic Church in communion with the Pope in Rome. Established in the 2nd century in unbroken communion with the bishop of Rome, it is sometimes called the "eldest daughter of the church".
Pietro Gasparri, GCTE was a Roman Catholic cardinal, diplomat and politician in the Roman Curia and the signatory of the Lateran Pacts. He served also as Cardinal Secretary of State under Popes Benedict XV and Pope Pius XI.
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 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and State was passed by the Chamber of Deputies on 9 December 1905. Enacted during the Third Republic, it established state secularism in France. France was then governed by the Bloc des gauches led by Emile Combes. The law was based on three principles: the neutrality of the state, the freedom of religious exercise, and public powers related to the church. This law is seen as the backbone of the French principle of laïcité (secularism).
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 Organic Articles was a law administering public worship in France.
The Concordat of 11 June 1817 was a concordat between the kingdom of France and the Holy See, signed on 11 June 1817. Not having been validated, it never came into force in France and so the country remained under the regime outlined in the Concordat of 1801 until the 1905 law on the Separation of the Churches and the State.
Holy See–France relations are very ancient and have existed since the 5th century, and have been durable to the extent that France is sometimes called the eldest daughter of the Church.
The relationship between Napoleon and the Catholic Church was an important aspect of his rule.
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.
Protestantism was generally proscribed in France between 1685 and 1787. During that period Roman Catholicism was the state religion. The French Revolution began a process of dechristianization that lasted from 1789 until the Concordat of 1801, an agreement between the nation and the Papacy. The French general and statesman responsible for the concordat, Napoleon Bonaparte, had a generally favorable attitude towards Protestants, and the concordat did not make Catholicism the state religion again.