FRENCH REVOLUTION, RELIGIOUS EFFECTS OF.
Early Friendly Attitude of the Church (§ 1).
Influence of Financial Considerations (§ 2).
Reconstitution of Church and Clergy (§ 3).
Clerical Opposition Causes Persecution (§4).
More Extreme Anticlerical Measures (§ 5).
Movement Becomes Antireligious (§ 6).
Rationalistic Cults Introduced (§ 7).
The Turn in Affairs (§ 8).
The Coming of Napoleon (§ 9).
I. Early Friendly Attitude of the Church. The violent commotion which, toward the end of the eighteenth century, shattered the vital structure of the French state was directed primarily against medieval feudalism. But, inasmuch as this was closely related to the Roman Catholic Church, the element of destruction of necessity reached the Church. From this it was an easy step to the attack upon religion in general. Distrust of the positive teaching of the Church and the frivolity which was hampered by the moral philosophy of the day combined to arouse the suspicion that the clergy clung to their prerogatives, social organization, and possessions not because of their conviction of the essential rightness of these things, but simply from a desire for power. As financial stringency had given the first impulse to the revolution, so later it seemed just and natural to make use of the wealth of the Church to save the State from bankruptcy. But from the beginning the political status of the clergy was a matter of consideration. It was commonly expected that they as a body would side with the nobility; but while the nobility maintained their purpose to contend for their ascendancy in the assembly, on June 22, 1789, 148 of the 308 clerical delegates sided with the third estate, and on June 24, 151 others joined in the movement under the leadership of Talleyrand. The abolition of tithes aroused little opposition; already the clergy had offered their possessions for the national good; and the proposal to use the church vessels for public relief had been agreed to, while the offer of 140 million francs was accepted by the assembly Sept. 29. But the advancing revolutionary spirit was no longer satisfied with a friendly attitude on the part of the Church; it would satisfy its hate by appropriating all the Church's possessions. It is therefore noteworthy that a high dignitary of the Church, Talleyrand, bishop of Autun, recognizing that the especial prerogatives of the Church could no longer be preserved, lent his aid to the expression of the general feeling. He proposed, Oct. 10, 1789, that a third of the ecclesiastical revenue (fifty millions of francs) be applied to cover the deficit in the accounts of the State, justifying the proposal by the fact that the clergy were not owners of the Church property, but merely in possession of a usufruct, while the State had power over every institution within its jurisdiction. Talleyrand, Mirabeau, and Abbé Grégoire carried their point against the opposition of Sieyès and the Abbés Maury, Montesquieu, and others, by a vote of 586 to 346. A resolution passed reciting that all ecclesiastical property was at the disposal of the State on the condition that the latter defray the expenses of public worship and provide for the support of the Church's officers and for the maintenance of the poor. Two days later this was ratified by the king while in confinement. Yet the clergy, so far from receiving sympathy, were the recipients of ridicule and insults from the populace.
2. Influence of Financial Considerations. New plans against the clergy came continually to the front, personal attacks were made upon the church dignitaries, while the monasteries were especial objects of assault. On Feb. 11, 1790, Treilhard proposed for the second time the abolition of monasteries and of monastic vows. After many debates the resolution passed on Feb. 13, 1790, dissolving all orders and congregations of both sexes with the exception of those devoted to the instruction of children and to the care of the sick. Monastics might leave their cloisters on notifying the local authorities; monks who were unwilling to leave were assigned houses for their use. Great numbers seized the freedom offered and became most enthusiastic in their devotion to the revolution. Nuns were allowed to remain where they were, and few left their orders. Pensions were granted to those who entered civil life, depending in amount upon the condition of the monastery, the rule of the order, and the age of the individuals. The clergy had hoped that the resolution to sell the property of the Church would be a dead letter, but the lack of gold and the growing deficit made this measure an immediate eventuality. The archbishop of Aix proposed a loan of 400 millions of francs, guaranteed by the property of the clergy, who would pay the interest and then gradually the principal through the proceedings from sales. But the majority would not accept this plan, not recognizing the position of the clergy which could warrant the offering of such a sum. Meanwhile, Dom Gerles, a member of the clerical committee, urged that, in order to satisfy those who feared for the existence of religion, the Roman Catholic religion be regarded as that of the nation, and that its services alone be regarded as authorized by the State. After considerable debate the assembly decided not to entertain the proposal, since it was neither willing nor able to enter decrees upon matters of religion (Apr. 13, 1790). The Paris chapter, the members of the Right, and the cities of Nîmes, Nantes, and Rennes complained against this decision and defended the Roman Catholic religion. The assembly determined to assume administration of the clerical estates under the directors of departments and districts, 400 millions to be paid therefor and the money to be given to the clergy.
3. Reconstitution of Church and Clergy. Behind the financial gain which the people thought to make on this occasion lay the main purpose, the dissolution of a detested yet powerful aristocratic body. The clergy was regarded as the corner-stone of the feudal system, the demolition of which was the goal of the whole political movement. Several other moves followed the completion of the change in the status of the clergy. The number of bishoprics was reduced from 134 to 83. The bishop became the immediate pastor of the community in which he lived, and instead of the former chapter had a number of vicars who formed his council and gave him advice in all matters. The bishops were chosen by the same bodies as named the members of the departmental assemblies, and were forbidden to seek papal confirmation. The choice of the pastor was left to the active citizens of each district, but he was inducted into his post by the bishop. Bishops and pastors took the oath of allegiance to the nation, the law, the king, and the constitution. These changes, concluded May 31, followed a severe struggle led on the part of the clergy by the archbishop of Aix and the Jansenist theologian Camus. The civil constitution of the clergy was finished July 12, the salaries being fixed as follows: the archbishop of Paris, 50,000 livres; the other bishops, 20,000; the vicars, 2,000 to 6,000; and the pastors, 1,200 to 4,000, with dwelling and garden. The king, being urged to sign this constitution, found himself in difficulties, and wrote the pope for advice. The latter could no better solve the problem, called a meeting of cardinals, and asked the king to await the result of their deliberations. But the aspect of the people and assembly was so threatening that the king signed Aug. 24, 1790, though the pope and the bishops began a passive resistance. Protests from all quarters came in, the leading one by Boisgelin, archbishop of Aix, who voiced the feelings of the Church and its opposition to the new constitution in a paper under the title Exposition des principes, signed by 110 bishops. The assembly, regarding this as a revolutionary movement, replied by a decree of Nov. 27, 1790, requiring all bishops to take the oath of obedience to the civil constitution of the clergy, and threatening those who resisted with dismissal from their posts.
At the suggestion of the king, Boisgelin, in the hope of securing some concessions, presented to the pope a paper to the following purport: it suggested (1) that the pope confirm the arrangement made by the assembly for the metropolitan and other dioceses; (2) that the bishops who were deprived of sees or whose dominion was limited be advised to approve the new divisions; (3) that he give his sanction to the establishment of the new dioceses; (4) that he give the metropolitan power in the matter of canonical investiture of the new bishoprics; (5) that he approve of the arrangement for a council of vicars for the conduct of parochial business; and (6) that he admonish the bishops to accept the transfer of the vacant parishes to the incumbents chosen by the people in case there were neither moral nor canonical reasons against it. The archbishop did not expect that the pope would assent to these propositions, yet he laid them before him, while the latter took refuge in procrastination. Meanwhile the king was driven to sign the threatening decree, Dec. 26, 1791, and on the next day Abbé Grégoire took the oath of allegiance, and was at once followed by Talleyrand and three other bishops and by seventy-one of the 300 clerical members of the assembly. It was the purpose of the assembly to have the new Church free from the authority of the pope.
4. Clerical Opposition Causes Persecution. Jan. 4, 1792, was the day set for the general administration of the oath. It was a day of great bitterness of feeling in the assembly, but the majority of the clergy of Paris took the oath; in the provinces three-fourths of the clergy remained true to the old order. These consecutive steps against the clergy had created a great stir among the French people. The nobility and those who, from the circumstance of birth or of civil or political position, were hostile to the new order joined with the clergy who were opposed to the constitution. The king, realizing his position, began to think of flight and of retaliation with outside aid. The assembly, on the other hand, saw itself checked by the very extreme to which it had been carried. In the South there were rumors of an insurrectionary movement; the large number of those deprived of positions was itself a cause for grave apprehension, and it was not due to thoughts of charity that pensions were provided for these and further persecution checked. While the Roman Catholic clergy were lamenting the dissolution of their church, Protestants were enjoying their newly found liberty as granted by the new civil constitution. The latter thus became the friends of the revolution, their clergymen taking the oath without hesitation. The pope at last broke his silence, announcing his absolute rejection of the civil constitution. The first declaration was in a document sent to the archbishop of Sens, threatening him with degradation from the cardinalate unless he formally retracted the oath of allegiance to the constitution. The archbishop replied by sending his cardinal's hat to the pope, but declared his intention to remain as bishop at the head of his church. The pope expressed his condemnation of the civil constitution in other acts. He wrote on Mar. 30 to the thirty bishops who had joined in the memorial of the archbishop of Aix in the Exposition des principes, and threatened them with canonical punishment in case of failure on their part to retract their oath of obedience to the constitution. In other letters he declared all arrangements made in accordance with the constitution null and void; he commanded all clergymen who had taken the oath to retract within forty days under penalty of permanent suspension, and warned the people to have no dealings with the prelates or pastors who had been forcibly installed. These letters afforded a new basis for the opposition of the bishops and clergy, and many withdrew their oaths. But the very zeal of reaction aroused again hatred for the clergy, Church, and religion. The pope became the object of insult, and on May 4, the day after his letters had been made public, he was burned in effigy before the palace with the applause of the populace. The bishops were driven from their diocese partly by direct command of government, partly by turbulent violence. Talleyrand resigned his bishopric and returned to private life. The churches of the resisting bishops were closed or put to other than religious use. At this juncture the clergy began to break away from celibacy, and this the assembly encouraged, promising to pay the pensions and declaring that there was no law forbidding the marriage of the clergy. In later times of persecution those who had married found their marriage state a protection, as it signified that the priest had discarded his ecclesiastical relationships. The opposing clergy avoided this step, and the upholders of royalty regarded it a duty of honor to seek the sacraments from these only. The king's vain attempt at flight in June, 1791, became a new pretext for persecution of the clergy, and this in Nantes was carried to extremes. The suspicion that the clergy had been connected with this unfortunate attempt was strengthened by a letter of July 7 from the pope to the king, expressing the pope's high hope of the king's speedy and victorious return to Paris, clothed with full authority and surrounded by the regular bishops, who would then be able to return to their respective dioceses. This letter fell into the hands of the revolutionists. The immediate results were more severe regulations against the disobedient clergy, and the union of Avignon and the county of Venaissin to France, Sept. 14. Reports of conditions in Vendée and Montpellier, as well as from other parts of the country, aroused a new hatred of the Church, which was shown in a decree of the assembly, Nov. 29. Priests who had not taken the oath were given eight days' grace in which to take the oath of citizenship; all failing then to do this were to be deprived of their pensions, were to be considered as under suspicion, and were liable to imprisonment; if they were found in a place where trouble occurred, in case this was due to religious causes, they might be removed from the place. The government of each department was charged with the carrying out of these regulations and was to report to the assembly in case further measures were required.
5. More Extreme Anticlerical Measures. The opposing clergy in Paris, as well as the directorium of Paris, urged the king to veto this bill, which he did on Dec. 19, 1791, moved also by regret at signing the previous bills. Now a storm of indignation broke out against the king and monarchical institutions: he was called a traitor and the ally of internal and external foes, whose sanction of the laws was not needed. While the resolution of Nov. 29 had not the force of law, proceedings took place in many departments--Toulouse, Nantes, Rennes, Angers--which assumed its binding force, and the nonjuring priests were maltreated and cast into prison. The hate which first was directed against the priests was now turned against the Roman Catholic Church and against religion itself, as was particularly the case in the Jacobin club. Nevertheless, though many showed themselves atheists, the attitude taken by Robespierre indicated plainly that the revolution was not wholly under antireligious influence. Robespierre expressed himself thus: "To call upon divine Providence, not to be willing to lose sight of the idea of the divine Being who influences so essentially the affairs of nations, who appears to me to be in particular watching over the French Revolution--and this last does not appear to me to be too bold a thought--all this is for me a necessity. How could I, relying upon my own spirit alone, have endured all these conflicts which call for more than human strength, had I not raised my soul to God?" On Apr. 28 a law was passed abolishing clerical dress, and on May 27 a bill went through directing that at the request of twenty active citizens of a canton the directors of a department should see to the deposition of nonjuring priests as instigators of sedition. The apparent justification of this law lay in the fact that there were rumors at the time of the suppression of a conspiracy in the department of Tarn to kill the Calvinists of that locality. The king delayed ratifying this bill, and indeed finally interposed his veto, a deed which by no means bettered the condition of the priests or enhanced the security of his throne. At first the means of deportation of the priests failed, yet in Lyons, Chalons, Angers, Nantes, and Dijon there were numerous arrests of priests. On Aug. 10 began the close confinement of the king, while the extreme party gained the ascendancy in the assembly. On Aug. 23 a bill passed commanding all nonjuring priests to leave France within fourteen days under penalty of being sent to Guiana. Then came the dark month of September in which so many priests were slain. Many were brought to Paris to be deported, and on the way to the place of detention in the city eighteen were killed by the mob and sixty more in the courtyard, while later in the monastery of the Carmelites 200 were killed. As a consequence the priests delayed no longer in obeying the law to leave the country, finding refuge in the papal dominions in Switzerland, in the Netherlands, and in Spain. In consequence of this law 40,000 priests were expatriated, and in Protestant England 8,000 found a home.
6. Movement Becomes Anti-religious. The next attack was upon institutions which connected civil life and Christianity. A decree of Sept. 20, 1792, transferred the registry of births, marriages, and deaths from the Church to the civil authorities. Only a few days earlier, Aug. 30, divorce was made possible by simple declaration only, and on Sept. 20, by common agreement; already for Protestants declaration before a judge had constituted legal marriage. The calendar was changed at this time. Since Sept. 22 they had reckoned from the first year of the republic; on Oct. 5, 1793, an entirely new calendar was devised in which each of the twelve months was divided into three decades, the first of each decade of days taking the place of the Christian Sunday. The five surplus days of the year were made a festal period. The names of the days were taken from natural products of the soil and the like. The national convention which succeeded the national assembly on Sept. 21, 1792, assumed an attitude still more inimical to Christianity. At the instigation of Chaumette, a noted despiser of religion, the Christmas festival was abolished and in its place was installed the "feast of the sansculottes." Attacks upon church rites, dignities and feasts were numerous, and atheistic declarations were frequent. In its earlier days the convention was milder in its dealings with the clergy, declaring the outrages against them punishable. But the harsher side came to be seen before long. Some of the school-children, of course prompted to this course, asked that they be not made to pray in the name of a so-called God, but that they be given instruction in the fundamentals of equality, the rights of mankind, and the constitution; but at the time this petition met with rebuff. Toward the end of the year 1793 atheistic fanaticism gained ascendancy, and on Nov. 1 a delegation from Nantes petitioned for the abolition of Roman Catholic services. On Nov. 7, after the reading of a letter to the convention, beginning: "I am a priest, that is, a charlatan," Gobel, the archbishop of Paris, went to the president's desk and laid his letter of appointment to the post upon the table, saying amid great applause that the will of the people had been his first law, and that from this time on there could be no national worship except that of freedom and equality; he renounced his position as a servant of the Roman Catholic Church. He received congratulations from the president of the convention, and then laid aside his red cap, his cross, and his ring, and his vicars also deposited there the insignia of their offices. But this unworthy act brought Gobel no safety, since five months later he ascended the scaffold on the charge of aiding in the destruction of morals. In the scene just portrayed a Protestant minister took part--Julien, of Toulouse, declaring that Protestantism also had its charlatanry, and that henceforth he would have no other sanctuary than that of the law, no deity than freedom, no Gospel than the republican constitution. He died at the guillotine in Apr., 1794. Bishop Gregoire was the only ecclesiastic of the convention to oppose this unworthy movement. His stand was bold and his declaration emphatic that his religion was a part of his most solemn convictions; his office was from the hands of the people, but his call to it came neither from the people nor the convention. He was violently assailed, but remained steadfast, continued to wear ecclesiastical dress, and presented so imposing a mien that no one ventured to lay hands upon him.
7. Rationalistic Cults Introduced. The Paris council instituted, in celebration of the abolition of the Roman Catholic religion, a feast of reason, carried out on the twentieth of Brumaire (Nov. 10), 1793, in Notre Dame, in which a so-called temple of philosophy was erected, in which sat as the representative of reason an opera singer, Mademoiselle Maillard. The celebration was continued in the national convention, whither the representative of reason was carried in a sedan-chair, was proclaimed goddess of the feast, of freedom, and reason. The procession then went again to the cathedral, where the celebration was held and hymns were sung to reason. This ceremony was imitated in other parts of the country, the sanction of the convention having been given to the new cult of reason. On Nov. 13 the subordinates of the convention were empowered to receive the renouncements of the clergy and the latter were urged to abjure Christianity. In the festivals the churches were often plundered and the treasures appropriated as state property. Proposals were made to destroy the towers which held the bells and the sculptures of Notre Dame on the ground that they implicitly opposed equality. The convention received reports from various quarters of the burial of Christianity and the abolition of the worship of God. In cases where the clergy submitted to the demands made upon them, the fact was noted and celebrated as the triumph of philosophy over prejudice and error, while the churches were stripped of adornment and turned into temples of reason or even put to ignominious uses. Books of prayer or hymns were burned, the citizens were forbidden to keep Sunday as a holy day, while on Nov. 22 all bishops and clergy who had renounced their functions were assured of pensions. In spite of all this there were many, especially women, who still went to the churches for prayer and worship. Even in the convention the voice of Robespierre was raised against the prevalent tendency, and on Nov. 21 at the Jacobins' club he declaimed against Hébert, who had just delivered a harangue upon the dangers of fanaticism and priesthood. He declared that there were men who under the pretense of destroying superstition made a sort of religion of atheism. This might do for aristocrats, but the people needed a Supreme Being to watch over oppressed innocence and to punish victorious crime. But the representatives of atheism were not to be overthrown without a struggle. A few days later they put through the city council a decree to close the churches and making of all who contraverted this suspicious persons.
8. The Turn in Affairs. Chaumette, however, secured a partial recall of this resolution, and on Nov. 26 Danton carried the resolution in the convention that the antireligious masquerades should cease and that an end be put to the persecution of the priests, while no obstacle was to be laid in the way of any worship, the decree for freedom of worship passing the convention on Dec. 6. Robespierre began to pose as the patron of religion; and though he was far from desiring to give to the priests their earlier power, declaring them to be in religion what charlatans were in medicine and that the true priest of the Highest Being was nature, whose temple was the universe and his worship virtue, yet he prevailed upon the convention, May 7, 1794, to make the following declaration: The French people acknowledges the existence of a Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul; it recognizes that the worthy worship of him is the fulfilment of man's duties, the first of which are the detestation of faithlessness and tyranny, the punishment of tyrants and traitors, and the support of the unhappy; festivals shall be appointed with the object of bringing mankind again to the thought of the deity. The first of the festivals provided for was celebrated June 8, 1794, at which Robespierre, then president of the convention, appeared in gay costume and delivered a political-moral address. Though shortly after Robespierre went to the scaffold charged with making for himself a priesthood, his speeches marked the turning-point in favor toward religious belief. On May 30, 1795, the use of the churches was granted to their former possessors, though the public announcement of service, as by the ringing of bells, was forbidden. The constitution of Aug. 22, 1795, granted freedom in matters of religion to all who submitted to the law. Oversight by regular authorities was provided for, the clergy was forbidden to interfere in the matter of the registry of vital statistics and to publish foreign documents hostile to the republic. The last was aimed against the pope, who by rescripts was continually endeavoring to control the French Church. Full freedom was given to the rearing of religious sects, and owing to this was a remarkable development of "Theophilanthropists," which reduced all religious teaching to the doctrines of God and of immortality and the moral ideas which flowed from them. The dispersal of these sects caused no little trouble later when Napoleon, after the signing of the concordat (see CONCORDATS AND DELIMITING BULLS, VI., §§ 1-2), forbade their meetings, especially those of the Theophilanthropists, whose sect had spread widely over France. Even after the decree of 1795 the persecutions of religion did not entirely cease. In Oct., 1795, the convention threatened with death all exiled clergy if they returned to France. But the lot of the religious was making advance toward betterment during the year 1796 and the first part of 1797.
On June 17 Camille Jordan, deputy from Lyons, delivered an address in favor of the priests and calling for a revision of the laws respecting religion. On June 24 the directorium reported to the Five Hundred that, in consequence of the more favorable outlook in religious affairs, a large number of priests had returned and many religious organizations were asking freedom of worship. Finally a decree was passed to restore to the priests their civil rights, though in September of 1797, during a temporary period of control by the republican radicals, persecution of the priests was renewed, and of the returned priests stern requirements were made, such as vowing hatred to royalty. Under these conditions many of the exiled clergy returned, and about 17,000 took the required oath; but others were exiled, and about 380 transported to Guiana, while others died miserably on the islands of Oleron and Rhée.
9. The Coming of Napoleon. The return of Napoleon from Egypt gave to the affairs of the Roman Catholic Church a favorable turn; the imprisoned ecclesiastics were released, and freedom of worship was proclaimed (Dec. 28, 1799). The services of the Church were no longer confined to the first day of each decade, and the only requirement of the clergy was that they declare their submission to the law and the constitution of 1799, while the festivals of the Revolution were reduced to two. Bonaparte, believing the assistance of the Church essential in establishing his power, opened negotiations with Pius VII., and on Apr. 18, 1801, a solemn service was performed in Notre Dame. In spite of the strong hold unbelief had gained in France during the Revolution, 40,000 communities shortly returned to the Roman Catholic Church. A great difficulty arose in this restoration of the Church owing to the split in the ranks of the clergy over the oaths imposed by law. The nonjuring clergy considered themselves the only true representatives of the Church; on the other hand, the constitutional priests maintained that their attitude of yielding had saved its existence, thereby rendering the greater service. Napoleon at first was drawn toward the side of the nonjuring priests, since they seemed to be held in higher esteem by the people. Then he attempted to aid Bishop Grégoire, the head of the constitutional clergy, to secure reconciliation. But he soon saw that neither the pope nor the nonjuring priests would have anything to do with the constitutional clergy, and won the support of the nonjuring element by concluding a concordat with the pope in 1801 against the advice of Grégoire. Since in the concordat no mention was made of the Protestants, and the first article seemed to make the Roman Catholic cultus the one having principal rights, a special statement of Mar. 9, 1802, declared that the other churches were to enjoy equal rights with the Roman Catholic, it being the duty of the State to protect the noble-minded Protestant minority, which had many claims upon the respect and favor of the nation. Three months were allowed for the organization of the different ecclesiastical bodies. The ratification of the concordat could not be accomplished so quickly, however, there being many obstacles in the way. Many of the constitutional and of the nonjuring clergy, and some statesmen also, were opposed to the proposed restoration of the churches. A difficult part of the work lay in getting the bishops to lay down their offices. The pope, however, in Oct., 1801, directed both classes of clergy to lay down their offices, and was obeyed by all, even the exiled, except those in England. Bonaparte found opposition also among the political forces, the senate, the tribunal, and the legislature, and he had to use his constitutional right to reduce the membership of the tribunal before introducing the concordat. The concordat itself needed a "constructive" article defining the public policy of worship according to the principles of the document itself. This article, assuring to every religion the sufferance and protection of the State, was presented to the council Apr., 1802. According to it, without the permission of the government no bulls or briefs might be published nor any councils held; every priest was to acknowledge "Bossuet's declaration" of 1682 and promise obedience to the Church in spiritual matters and to the civil power in temporal affairs; the bishops, appointed by the First Consul and confirmed by the pope, were allowed to name their pastors, provided they sought civil approval before installing them; they might build churches and seminaries, but in the choice of teachers the confirmation of government was necessary, and the pupils might not become priests before their twenty-fifth year; the new archbishoprics created were Paris, Malines, Besançon, Lyons, Aix, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Bourges, Tours, and Rouen; the salaries of the archbishops were to be 15,000 francs, those of the bishops 10,000, and of the pastors 1,000 to 1,500. Of the property of the Church there were to be restored only the pastoral dwellings and the appertaining gardens; the use of bells was again permitted. The republican calendar was modified so that the week and its days were as they were before. Sunday thus being restored; in marriage the ecclesiastical ceremony was again given its place, but a prior civil license was required. This article also provided for the Protestants that no confessions were to be published without governmental approval; the State paid the salaries of the pastors, previously appropriating church property. Two seminaries were permitted in eastern France for the instruction of the candidates for the Lutheran ministry, and one in Geneva for the Reformed faith. The direction of Lutheran affairs was placed in the hands of local and general consistories, while the Reformed were to have synods based upon the Church census. This constructive article became law without being submitted to the pope. The appointment of bishops became the bone of contention , the pope desiring that the constitutional bishops be wholly excluded, while Napoleon gave twelve of the sixty bishoprics to them. By the concordat the pope had yielded to the First Consul what been refused to the assembly--submission of the Church to the civil power, while the nonjuring clergy had now by command of the pope to agree to what they had formerly resisted. On the other hand, the Church had won a politically recognized existence and with this a large part of its legitimate power and in later time the papacy regarded as one of the victorious results the relegating of the French episcopacy to a position of dependence upon Rome. The concordat thus became the introduction to the Vatican Decrees (see VATICAN COUNCIL).