Concordat of 1801

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Concordat of 1801,

agreement between Napoleon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII that reestablished the Roman Catholic Church in France. Napoleon took the initiative in negotiating this agreement; he recognized that reconciliation with the church was politic. It would help consolidate his position, end the royalist–clerical rebellion in W France, reunite the clergy, which had been divided since the French Revolution, and win the support of the large majority of peasant-farmers. By its terms Roman Catholicism was recognized as the religion of most French citizens. Archbishops and bishops were to be nominated by the government, but the pope was to confer the office. Parish priests were to be appointed by the bishops, subject to government approval. Confiscated church property, most of which had been sold to private persons, was not to be restored, but the government was to provide adequate support for the clergy. To implement the concordat Napoleon issued (1802) the so-called Organic Articles; these restated the traditional liberties of the Gallican church (see GallicanismGallicanism
, in French Roman Catholicism, tradition of resistance to papal authority. It was in opposition to ultramontanism, the view that accorded the papacy complete authority over the universal church.
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) while increasing Napoleon's control of church activities. The Organic Articles were not agreed to by the pope, and he did not consider them binding. A century later, anticlericalism, intensified by the Dreyfus Affair, led to the imposition of severe restrictions on the church, culminating (1905) in the formal repudiation of the concordat, thereby separating church and statechurch and state,
the relationship between the religion or religions of a nation and the civil government of that nation, especially the relationship between the Christian church and various civil governments.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Gallican check on papal paper reemerged in the Organic Articles unilaterally appended by Napoleon to the Concordat of 1801. But since the state had divested itself of any religious character, it couldn't claim the distinction within unity that had been the French crown's assertion.
Robespierre's re-introduction of God worship paved the way for Napoleon to re-instate the Catholic religion by the Concordat of 1801. Only in 1905 did France return to the secular ideals of the Revolution when a policy of laicite (secularism) was established, and the rest is modern history.
However, based on the Concordat of 1801, some churches receive financial support from the state.
William Roberts's account of the Concordat of 1801 and its consequences shows clearly enough the mixture of political and religious factors involved.