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The Modern Regime, Volume 2 The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 6 by Hippolyte A. Taine

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colleges where there is but one professor "he will be obliged to teach
it one of three consecutive years." - The professors are required to
hand in to the competent authority " their minutes dictated to the
pupils." - None of them can be "licensed, whether in theology or in
canon law, nor graduated as doctor, without having maintained the said
doctrine in one of his theses."

[78] Cf., for details, d'Haussonville, I., p.200 et seq.

[79] Pelet de la Lozère, p. 205. (Words of Napoleon, Feb. 4, 1804.)

[80] A procedure used by Stalin and copied by all his satellite
states. (SR.)

[81] Thibaudeau, p.157 (Messidor 2, year X).

[82] Roederer, III., pp. 535, 567.

[83] Pelet de la Lozère, p.203. (Napoleon's words, Feb. 4, 1804.) -
Law of March 14, 1804.

[84] Cf. "Letters of Mgr. Claude Simon, bishop of Grenoble, April 18,
1809, and October 6, 1811."

[85] Articles Organiques, p.68.

[86] Bercastel and Henrion, "Histoire générale de l'Église," XIII.,
p.32. (Speech by M. Roux-Laborie, deputy in 1816.) - At the present
day, the ordinations oscillate between 1200 and 1700 per annum.

[87] Decree of November 15, 1811, articles 28, 29, 32. " On and after
July 1, 1812, all secondary ecclesiastical schools (small seminaries)
which may not be situated in towns possessing a lycée or college shall
be closed. No secondary ecclesiastical school shall be placed in the
country. In all places where there are ecclesiastical schools the
pupils of these schools shall pursue their studies in the lycée or
college classes."

[88] "Correspondence of Napoleon (notes for the Minister of Worship),
July 30, 1806." In order to be curé of the first class, chanoin,
vicar-general or bishop one must henceforth be bachelor, licencié,
doctor in the university grades, "which the university may refuse in
case the candidate shall be known to entertain ultramontane ideas or
ideas dangerous to authority."

[89] D'Haussonville, V., p.144 et seq. (Letter of Napoleon to the
Minister of Worship, Oct.22, 1811, omitted in the "correspondence.")
The letter ends with these words: "This mode of working must be kept

[90] "Histoire de M. Emery," by Abbé Elie Méric, II., p. 374. The
order of expulsion (June 13, 1810) ends with these words: "Immediate
possession is to be taken of the house which might belong to some
domain and which, at least in this case, could be considered as public
property, since it might belong to a congregation. If it is found to
be private property belonging to M. Emery or to any other person, the
rents might first be paid and then afterwards it might be required,
save indemnity, as useful for the public service." This shows in full
the administrative and fiscal spirit of the French State, its heavy
hand being always ready to fall imperiously on every private
individual and on all private property.

[91] Letter of Napoleon, Oct. 8, 1811.

[92] Ibid. Nov. 22, 1811.

[93] D'Haussonville, V., p.282. (Letter of Napoleon, Aug. 14, 1813,
omitted in the correspondence.") - " Mémoires" du Chancelier Pasquier,
II. pp. 88-91.

[94] Roederer, III., p.430 (Germinal 19, year X): "The legate was
received today in the consular palace; in making his speech, he
trembled like a leaf."

[95] Pelet de la Lozère, p.206 (May 22, 1804).

[96] Decrees of May 31, 1804, Dec.26, 1804, and Sep.30. 1807, with the
list of succursals by departments. - Besides the succursalists paid by
the State, there were vicars not less dependent on the bishop and
maintained by allowances from the communes or by private donations.
(Bercastel et Henrion, XIII., p.32, speech by M. Roux-Laborie in the
chamber of Deputies, 1816.) "In his re-composition of the Church of
France the usurper established 12,000 vicars dependent on alms, and it
will not surprise you that, instead of 12,000, there were only 5000
who were courageous enough to die of starvation or implore public
charity. . . . Thus are 4000 country churches without worship or

[97] Thibaudeau, p. 166, and article of Brumaire 30, in the Moniteur.

[98] Roederer, III., p. 479 et seq. (Report on the Senatorerie of
Caen.) The priests everywhere feel that they are watched and set
aside. "Most of those I encounter exclaim, Poor curé, an unfortunate
curé. The functionaries are devoted to the Emperor as their sole
support against the nobles, whom they dread, and against the priests,
whom they slightly esteem. . . . The military, the judges, the
administrators when alluding to the priests or to religion merely
smile; the priests, on the other hand, express very little confidence
in the functionaries."

[99] Decreee of Sept. 30, 1804 (with allotment of 800 scholarships
and 1600 demi-scholarships to each diocesan seminary). These will be
allowed us on being presented by the bishops.

[100] D'Haussonville, II., p. 227.

[101] Idem. IV. Order of arrest of M. d'Avian, archbishop of
Bordeaux, as one of the opponents of the Council (July 11, 1811).
Savary himself, Minister of Justice, raises objections. "Sire, do
nothing with M. d'Avian. He is a saint and we shall have everybody
against us."

[102] Idem., IV. p. 58. Address of the ecclesiastical commission
enumerating the favors granted to religion, "the legion of Honor,
conferred on many prelates, the titles of baron and count assigned to
bishops and archbishops of the Empire, the admission of several of
these to the legislative assembly and senate."

[103] D'Haussonville, IV.,p. 366. (Last session of the national
council, August 5, 1811.)

[104] Reading this, as Lenin must have done, could he help but dream
of the day, when he could become head of a state, head of a foreign
service, of a secret police force and hence be able to subvert the
entire world including the religious organizations, the political
parties, diplomatic services not to speak of international
organizations in New York or Brussels. (SR.)

[105] Idem., I., pp. 203-205.

[106] Idem., p. 228. Cf. the "Almanach impérial de 1806-1814." -
Lanfrey, "Histoire de Napoléon,"V., p. 208. The Prince de Rohan, head
chaplain, writes in a request he makes, The great Napoleon is my
tutelary divinity. On the margin of this request Napoleon attaches the
following decision: "The Duc de Frioul will pay to the head chaplain
12,000 francs, - tax on receipts of the theatres." (Feb. 15, 1810.)
Another example of the same type is M. Roquelaure, archbishop of
Malines, who addresses Josephine with a little ancient-régime speech,
at once episcopal and gallant. The First Consul, therefore, makes him
Member of the Institute. (Bourrienne, V., p. 130.) This archbishop, in
the administration of his diocese, zealously applies the policy of
the First Consul. "We have seen him suspend from his functions a
priest who had exhorted a dying man to restore ecclesiastical property
which he had taken." ("Dictionnaire biographique," published at
Leipsic by Eymery, 1806, 1808.)

[107] Roederer, III., p. 459 (December 30, 1802).

[108] D'Haussonville, II., 257. (Report by Portalis to the Emperor,
Feb. 13, 1806.) - Idem., II., 226.

[109] D'Haussonville, II., 237, 239, 272. - Pelet de la Lozère, 201:
"At other times Napoleon praised the priests, wanted their services,
largely attributing the departure of conscripts and the submission of
the people to their influence." - Idem, 173 (May 20, 1806, words of
Napoleon): "The Catholic priests behave very well and are of great
service. It is owing to them that the conscription this year has been
better than in former years. . . No branch of the State speaks so well
of the government."

[110] D'Haussonville, III, IV.,and V., passim.

[111] Mémoires," by the Chancelier Pasquier, IV.,358.

[112] D'Haussonville, IV.,366 (last phrase of the text): "A deputation
of six bishops will go and beg His Holiness to confirm this decree."

[113] To an ordinary reader, even Catholic, if not versed !in canon
law, Napoleon's exactions seem mediocre and even acceptable; they
reduce themselves down to fixing a delay and seeming to add to the
competency of councils and the authority of bishops. (D'Haussonville,
IV.,366, session of the council, Aug. 5, 1811, propositions adopted
and decree. Cf. the Concordat of Fontainebleau, Jan. 25, 1813, article

[114] Comte D'Haussonville, IV.,121 and following pages. (Letters of
the prefect, M. de Chabrol, letters of Napoleon not inserted in the
"Correspondence," narration of Dr. Claraz.) 6000 francs, a present to
the bishop of Savona, 12,000 francs salary to Dr. Porta, the Pope's
physician. " Dr. Porta," writes the prefect, "seems disposed to serve
us indirectly with all his power. . . . Efforts are made to affect the
Pope either by all who approach him or by all the means in our power."

[115] Ibid. (Letters of M. de Chabrol, May 14 and 30, 1811.) "The Pope
has fallen into a state of stupor. . . . The physician fears a case of
hypochondria; . . . his health and reason are affected." Then, in a
few days: "The state of mental alienation has passed."

[116] Mémorial (Aug.17, 1816).

[117] D'Haussonville, V., 244. Later, the Pope keeps silent about his
interviews with Napoleon. "He simply lets it be understood that the
emperor spoke to him haughtily and contemptuously, even treating him
as an ignoramus in ecclesiastical matters." - Napoleon met him with
open arms and embraced him, calling him his father. (Thiers, XV.,
295.) - It is probable that the best literary portrayal of these tête-
à-tête conversations is the imaginary scene in "Grandeurs et
Servitudes Militaires," by Alfred de Vigny.

[118] Comte Chaptal, "Notes": "No, in the course of sixteen years of a
stormy government, Bonaparte never met with so much resistance and
never suffered so many disappointments as were caused by his quarrel
with the Pope. There is no event in his life which more alienated the
people as his proceedings and conduct towards the Pope."

[119] Ultramontanism; a set of doctrines establishing the pope's
absolute authority.


I. The Catholic System.

The effects of the system. - Completion of the ecclesiastical
hierarchy. - Omnipotence of the Pope in the Church. - Influence of the
French Concordat and other precedents from 1801 to 1870. - Why the
clergy becomes ultramontane. - The dogma of Infallibility.

In 1801, at Rome, pending the negotiations for the Concordat, when
Pius VII. still hesitated about the deposition in mass of the
survivors of the ancient French episcopacy, clear-sighted observers
already remarked, "Let this Concordat which the First Consul desires
be completed,[1] and you will see, on its ratification, its immense
importance and the power it will give to Rome over the episcopacy
throughout the universe." - In effect, through this "extraordinary,
nearly unexampled" act of authority, and certainly unequaled "in the
history of the Church,"[2] the ultramontane theory, contested up to
this time, maintained in the speculative region of abstract formulae,
comes down to solid ground, into practical and lasting use. Willingly
or not, "the Pope acts as if universal bishop;" urged and constrained
by the lay power, attached to a dictatorship,[3] he entered upon it
and so installed himself, and, ten years later, Napoleon, who had
impelled him on, regretted that he had done so. Warned by his Gallican
jurists, he saw the ecclesiastical import of his work; but it was too
late to retreat - the decisive step had been taken. - For, in fact,
the Pope had deprived all the chieftains of a great church of their
thrones, "his colleagues and co-bishops,"[4] successors of the
apostles under the same title as himself, members "of the same order
and stamped " with the same "character," eighty-five legitimate
incumbents[5] and, still better, as admitted by himself, blameless,
worthy, persecuted because they had obeyed him, banished from France
on account of their unwillingness to quit the Roman Church. He had
ordered them to resign; he had withdrawn apostolic powers from the
thirteen who had refused to tender their resignations; to all, even to
those who refused, he had appointed their successors. He assigned to
the new titularies dioceses of a new pattern and, to justify novelties
of such gravity,[6] he could allege no other reasons than
circumstances, the exigencies of lay power, and the welfare of the
Church. After that the Gallicans themselves, unless accepting the risk
of a schism and of separating forever from the Holy See, were obliged
to allow the Pope above and beyond the ordinary powers exercised by
him within the old limits of canons and of custom, an extraordinary
power unlimited by any canon or by any custom,[7] a plenary and
absolute authority, a right above all other rights, by virtue of
which, in cases determined by himself, he provided in a discretionary
way for all Catholic interests, of which he thus becomes the supreme
judge, the sole interpreter and the court of last appeal. An
indestructible precedent was set up; it was the great corner-stone in
the support of the modern Church edifice; on this definitive
foundation all other stones were to be superposed, one by one. In
1801, Pius VII., under the pressure of the reigning Napoleon, had
obliged the prelates of the old régime, sullied by a monarchical
origin and suspected of zeal for the dethroned Bourbons, to abandon
their seats. In 1816, under the pressure of the re-established
Bourbons, the same Pius VII. obliged Fesch, cardinal-archbishop of
Lyons, and uncle of the fallen Napoleon, to abandon his seat.
Bercastel et Henrion, XIII, 192. Cardinal Fesch having been banished
from France by the law of January 12, 1816, "the Pope no longer
regarded the person of the cardinal, but the diocese that had to be
saved at any cost, by virtue of the principle salus populi suprema
lex. Consequently, he prohibited the cardinal from "exercising
episcopal jurisdiction in his metropolitan church, and constituted M.
de Bernis administrator of that church, spiritually as well as
temporally, notwithstanding all constitutions decreed even by the
general councils, the apostolic ordinances, privileges, etc." In both
cases the situation was similar, and, in the latter as in the former
case, motives of the same order warranted the same use of the same

But the situation, in being prolonged, multiplied, for the Church, the
number of urgent cases, and, for the sovereign pontiff the number of
cases of intervention. Since 1789, the entire civil order of things,
constitutional, political, social and territorial, had become
singularly unstable, not only in France but in Europe, not only on the
old continent but likewise on the new one. Sovereign states by
hundreds sunk under the strokes and counter-strokes, indefinitely
propagated and enforced by the philosophy of the eighteenth century
and of the French Revolution; others, by dozens, arose in their place,
and, in these, different dynasties succeeded each other; here,
Catholic populations falling under the rule of a schismatic or
Protestant prince ; there, this or that Catholic country, for fifteen
years included in a mixed state, detached from it and constituted
apart. In Protestant America, the Catholics, increased to millions,
formed new communities in Catholic America, the colonies had become
independent; almost everywhere in America and in Europe the maxims of
government and of public opinion had changed. Now, after each of
these changes, some initiative, some direction, some authority was
necessary, in order to reconcile ecclesiastical with lay institutions;
the Pope was on hand, and on each occasion he establishes this
concord.[8] At one time, by a diplomatic act analogous to the French
Concordat of 1801, he negotiates with the sovereign of the country -
Bavaria, Wurtemburg, Prussia, Austria, Spain, Portugal, the two
Sicilies, the Netherlands, Belgium and Russia. Again, owing to the
tolerant liberalism, or to the Constitutional indifference of the lay
government, he alone prescribes, notably in Holland, in Ireland, in
England, in Canada, and in the United States, a division of the
country into ecclesiastical districts, the erection of new bishoprics,
and the lasting regulation of the hierarchy, the discipline, the means
of support and the recruiting of the clergy. Again, when sovereignty
is in dispute, as after the emancipation of the Spanish colonies, he
does without it, in spite of the opposition of the mother-country,
and, "without putting himself in relation with the new governments,[9]
he, acting for himself, "that he may put an end to the widowhood of
the Churches," appoints bishops, assigns them a provisional régime in
anticipation of the epoch when, in concert with better founded
governments, he will decree their definitive régime. In this way, all
the great existing churches of the Catholic universe are the work of
the Pope, his latest work, his own creation attested by a positive act
of contiguous date, and of which the souvenir is vivid: he has not
recognized them - he has made them; he has given them their external
form and their internal structure; no one of them can look within
itself without finding in its laws the fresh imprint of the sovereign
hand which has fashioned it; none of them can assert or even believe
itself legitimate without declaring the superior authority to be
legitimate which has just endowed it with life and being. The last
step, the greatest of all, above the terrestrial and practical order
of things, in speculative theology, in the revelation of the
supernatural, in the definition of things that are divine: the Pope,
the better to prove his autocracy, in 1854, decrees, solely, of his
own accord, a new dogma, the immaculate conception of the Virgin, and
he is careful to note that he does it without the concurrence of the
bishops; they were on hand, but they neither deliberated nor

Thus arise durable powers, spiritual or temporal, little by little,
through the uninterrupted and uncontested series of their acts; from
1791 to 1870 all ecclesiastical precedents, one added to another,
became consolidated, one through the other and through their mass;
story after story, steadily ascending and converging to raise the Pope
higher still, until at last, on the summit of the edifice, the Holy
See becomes the keystone of the arch, the omnipotence of fact being
completed by omnipotence of right.

Meanwhile Catholic opinion came to the aid of pontifical opinion, and,
in France, the clergy spontaneously became ultramontane because there
was no longer any motive for remaining Gallican. Since the Revolution,
the Concordat and the Organic Articles, all the sources which
maintained in it a national as well as particularist spirit, had dried
up; in ceased being a distinct, proprietary and favored body; its
members are no longer leagued together by the community of a temporal
interest, by the need of defending their privileges, by the faculty of
acting in concert, by the right of holding periodical assemblies; they
are no longer, as formerly, attached to the civil power by great
social and legal advantages, by their honorable priority in lay
society, by their immunities from taxation, by the presence and
influence of their bishops in the provincial parliaments, by the noble
origin and magnificent endowments of nearly all their prelates, by the
repressive support which the secular arm lent to the church against
dissenters and free-thinkers, by the immemorial legislation and
customs which, erecting Catholicism into a State religion, imposed the
Catholic faith on the monarch, not alone in his quality of a private
individual and to fix his personal belief, but again in his quality of
public magistrate, to influence his policy and to share in his
government. This last article is capital, and out of its abrogation
the rest follows: at this turn of the road the French clergy is thrown
off the Gallican track, every step it takes after this being on the
way to Rome. For, according to Catholic doctrine, outside of the Roman
Church there is no salvation; to enter it, to rest in it, to be led by
it is the highest interest and first duty of man; it is the unique and
infallible guide; all acts that it condemns are culpable, and not only
private acts, but likewise all public acts; the sovereign who commits
them may, as an individual, be Catholic by profession and even loyal
at heart; but, as a ruler, he is disloyal, he has lost his semi-
ecclesiastic character, he has ceased to be "the exterior bishop," he
is not worthy to command a clerical body. Henceforth, the Christian
conscience no longer bows down before him with love and respect;
nothing remains to him for support but social prudence; and again is
it with resignation, because the Church commands obedience to the
authorities, and the same Church commands disobedience to these
authorities when, abusing their power, they encroach on its rights.

Now, ten years ago, the State had done nothing else, and, to the old
Concordat which was not good, it had just substituted a Concordat that
was worse. This new alliance, concluded by it with the Church in
1802, is not a religious marriage, the solemn sacrament by which, at
Rheims, she and the King promised to live together and in harmony in
the same faith, but a simple civil contract, more precisely the legal
regulation of a lasting and deliberate divorce. - In a paroxysm of
despotism the State has stripped the Church of its possessions and
turned it out of doors, without clothes or bread, to beg on the
highways; next, in a fit of rage, its aim was to kill it outright, and
it did partially strangle it. Recovering its reason, but having
ceased to be Catholic, it has forced the signature of a pact which is
repugnant, and which reduces their moral union to physical
cohabitation. Willingly or not, the two contracting parties are to
continue living together in the same domicile, since that is the only
one they possess; but, as there is incompatibility of humor, they will
do well to live apart. To this end, the State assigns a small,
distinct lodging to the Church and allows her a meager supply of food;
this done, it fancies that it may cry quits; and, worse still, it
imagines that she is always its subject, and still pretends to the
same authority over her; the State is determined to retain all rights
conferred upon it by the old marriage, and these rights it exercises
and adds to. Meanwhile, it admits into the same lodging three other
Churches which it subjects to the same régime: that makes four mess-
rooms to be maintained and which it watches, supports and utilizes the
best it can for the temporal advantage of the household. There is
nothing more odious to the Catholic Church than this advertised,
practical polygamy, this subvention granted indifferently to all
cults, this patronage in common, more insulting than abandonment, this
equal treatment[11] which places the pulpit of truth and the pulpits
of falsehood, the ministry of salvation and the ministries of
perdition, on the same footing. Nothing is more serviceable for
alienating a Catholic clergy, for making it consider civil power as
foreign, usurping, or even inimical, for detaching the Gallican Church
from its French center, for driving it back towards its Roman center
and for handing it over to the Pope.

Henceforth, the latter is the unique center, the sole surviving head
of the Church, inseparable from it because he is naturally its head
and because it is naturally his body; and all the more because this
mutual tie has been strengthened by trials. Head and body have been
struck together, by the same hands, and each on the other's account.
The Pope has suffered like the Church, along with and for it. Pius
VI., dethroned and borne off by the Directory, died in prison at
Valence; Pius VII., dethroned and carried off by Napoleon, is
confined, sequestered and outraged for four years in France, while all
generous hearts take sides with the oppressed against his oppressors.
Moreover, his dispossession adds to his prestige: it can no longer be
claimed that territorial interests prevail with him over Catholic
interests; therefore, according as his temporal power diminishes his
spiritual power expands, to such an extent that, in the end, after
three-quarters of a century, just at the moment when the former is to
fall to the ground the latter is to rise above the clouds; through the
effacement of his human character his superhuman character becomes
declared; the more the sovereign prince disappears, the more does the
sovereign pontiff assert himself. The clergy, despoiled like him of
its hereditary patrimony and confined like him to its sacerdotal
office, exposed to the same dangers, menaced by the same enemies,
rallies around him the same as an army around its general; inferiors
and superiors, they are all priests alike and are nothing else, with a
clearer and clearer conscience of the solidarity which binds them
together and subordinates the inferiors to the superiors. From one
ecclesiastical generation to another,[12] the number of the
refractory, of the intractable and of independents, rigorists or the
lax, goes on decreasing, some, conscientious Jansenists, hardened and
sectarians of the "Little Church," others, semi-philosophers, tolerant
and liberal, both inheriting too narrow convictions or too broad
opinions for maintaining themselves and spreading in the newly founded
society (milieu).[13] They die out, one by one, while their doctrines
fall into discredit and then into oblivion. A new spirit animates the
new clergy, and, after 1808, Napoleon remarks of it, " It does not
complain of the old one, and is even satisfied with it; but, he says,
they are bringing up new priests in a sombre fanatical doctrine: there
is nothing Gallican in the youthful clergy,"[14] no sympathy for the
civil power. After Napoleon, and on getting out of his terrible
hands, the Catholics have good reasons for their repugnance to his
theology; it has put too many Catholics in jail, the most eminent in
rank, in holiness, bishops and cardinals, including the Pope.
Gallican maxims are dishonored by the use Napoleon has made of them.
Canon law, in public instruction and in the seminaries (of the
Catholics), ends insensibly in unlooked-for conclusions ; texts and
arguments opposed to the Pope's authority seem weaker and weaker;
texts and arguments favorable to the Pope's authority seem stronger
and stronger;[15] the doctors most deferred to are no longer Gerson
and Bossuet, but Bellarmin and Suarez; flaws are discovered in the
decrees of the council of Constance; the Declaration of the clergy of
France in 1682 is found to contain errors condemned and open to
condemnation.[16] After 1819, M. de Maistre, a powerful logician,
matchless herald and superb champion, in his book on "The Pope,"
justifies, prepares and announces the coming constitution of the
Church. - Step by step, the assent of Catholic community is won or
mastered;[17] on approaching 1870, it is nearly universal; after 1870,
it is wholly so and could not be otherwise; whoever refuses to submit
is excluded from the community and excludes himself from it, for he
denies a dogma which it professes, a revealed dogma, an article of
faith which the Pope and the council have just decreed. Thenceforward,
the Pope, in his magisterial pulpit, in the eyes of every man who is
and wants to remain Catholic, is infallible; when he gives his
decision on faith or on morals, Jesus Christ himself speaks by his
mouth, and his definitions of doctrine are "irrefutable," "they are so
of themselves, they alone, through their own virtue, and not by virtue
of the Church's consent."[18] For the same reason, his authority is
absolute, not only in matters which concern faith and morals, but
again in matters which concern the discipline and government of the
Church."[19] His judgment may be resorted to in every ecclesiastical
case; nobody is allowed to question his verdict; "nobody is allowed to
appeal to the future oecumenical council;"[20] He has not only "a
priority by right, an office of inspection and of direction; he holds
again priority of jurisdiction, a full and supreme power of
jurisdiction over the universal Church, . . . ", "the total plenitude
of this supreme power," not indirectly and extraordinarily, but
"directly and ordinarily, over all churches and over each one of them,
over all pastors and all believers, over each believer and each of the
pastors." - Read this in the Latin: each word, through its ancient
root and through its historic vegetation, contributes to strengthening
the despotic and Roman sense of the text; the language of the people
which invented and practiced dictatorship had to be employed for the
affirmation of dictatorship with that precision and that copiousness,
with that excess of energy and of conviction.

II. The Bishops and their new Situation.

The bishop in his diocese. - Change of situation and rôle. -
Depreciation of other local authorities. - Diminution of other
ecclesiastical authorities. - Decline of the chapter and the
jurisdiction. - The bishop alone dispenses rigors and favors. - Use of
displacement. - Second-class clergy subject to military discipline. -
Why it submits to this.

The change brought about in the condition and role of the bishop was
not less grave. Along with the court noblesse and great ecclesiastical
property, we see the prelate of the old régime disappearing by
degrees, the younger son of a noble family, promoted by favor and very
young, endowed with a large income and much more a man of the world
than of the Church. In 1789, out of 134 bishops or archbishops, only 5
were of plebeian origin; in 1889, out of 90 bishops or archbishops
there are only 4 of them nobles;[21] previous to the Revolution, the
titular of an Episcopal see enjoyed, on the average, a revenue of
100,000 francs; at the present day, he receives only a salary of from
10,000 to 15,000 francs.[22] In place of the grand seignior, an
amiable and magnificent host, given to display and to entertaining the
best company, keeping an open table in his diocese when he happens to
be there, but generally absent, an habitué of Paris or a courtier at
Versailles, we see another stepping forward to take his seat He is
bearing the same title, is a personage whose habits and origins are
different, a resident administrator, much less ornamental but much
more active and governing, provided with a more ample jurisdiction,
with more absolute authority and wielding more effective influence.
The final effect of the Revolution in relation to the bishop is the
same as in relation to the Pope, and in the French diocese, as in the
universal Church, the modern régime sets up a central, extraordinary,
enormous power of which the ancient regime knew nothing.

Formerly, the bishop encountered around him, on the spot, equals and
rivals, bodies of men or individuals, as independent and powerful as
himself, irremovable, owners of estates, dispensers of offices and of
favors, local authorities by legal sanction, permanent patrons of a
permanent class of dependents. In his own cathedral, his metropolitan
chapter was, like himself, a collator of benefice; elsewhere, other
chapters were so likewise and knew how to maintain their rights
against his supremacy. In each body of regular clergy, every grand
abbot or prior, every noble abbess was, like himself, a sort of
sovereign prince. The territorial seignior and justiciary on his own
domain, was through the partial survival of the old wholly secular
feudal order equally sovereign. Likewise sovereign, was, for its part,
the parliament of the province, with its rights of registry and of
remonstrance, with its administrative attributes and interference,
with its train of loyal auxiliaries and subordinates, from the judges
of the presidencies and bailiwicks down to the corporations of
advocates, prosecutors and other members of the bar.[23] The
parliamentarians of the district capital (chef-lieu) , purchasers and
owners of their offices, magistrates from father to son, much
wealthier and much prouder than nowadays, were, in their old
hereditary mansions, the real chiefs of the province, its constant
representatives on the spot, its popular defenders against ministerial
and royal absolutism. All these powers, which once counterbalanced
episcopal power, have disappeared. Restricted to their judicial
office, the tribunals have ceased to be political authorities and
moderators of the central government: in the town and department, the
mayor and general councilors, appointed or elected for a certain time,
enjoy only temporary credit; the prefect, the military commandant, the
rector, the treasurer-general are merely passing strangers. The local
circumscription, for a century, is an exterior post where individuals
live together in contact but not associated; no longer does any
intimate, lasting and strong bond exist between them; nothing remains
of the old province but a population of inhabitants, a given number of
private persons under unstable functionaries. The bishop alone has
maintained himself intact and erect, a dignitary for life, the
conductor, by title and in fact, of a good many persons, the
stationary and patient undertaker of a great service, the unique
general and undisputed commander of a special militia which, through
conscience and professions, gathers close around him and, every
morning, awaits his orders. Because in his essence, he is a governor
of souls. Revolution and centralization have not encroached on his
ecclesiastical prerogative. Thanks to this indelible quality he has
been able to endure the suppression of the others; these have come
back to him of themselves and with others added, comprising local
superiority, real importance and local ascendancy; including the
various honorable appellations which, under the ancient régime,
denoted his rank and preeminence; at the present day, under the modern
régime, they are no longer in use for a layman and even for a minister
of state; after 1802, one of the articles of the Organic Laws,[24]
interdicts them to bishops and archbishops; they are "allowed to add
to their name only the title of citizen and monsieur." But
practically, except in the official almanac, everybody addresses a
prelate as "my lord," and in the clergy, among believers, in writing
or in speaking to him, he is called "your Grace," under the republic
as under the monarchy.

Thus, in this provincial soil where other powers have lost their
roots, not only has he kept his, but he has extended them and much
farther; he has grown beyond all measure and now the whole
ecclesiastical territory belongs to him. Formerly, on this territory,
many portions of it, and quite large ones, were enclosures set apart,
reserves that an immemorial wall prevented him from entering. It was
not he who, in a great majority of cases, conferred livings and
offices; it was not he who, in more than one-half of them, appointed
to vacant curacies. At Besançon,[25] among 1500 benefices and
livings, he once conferred less than 100 of them, while his
metropolitan chapter appointed as many curés as himself; at Arras, he
appointed only 47 curés and his chapter 66; at Saint-Omer, among the
collators of curacies he ranked only third, after the abbey of Saint-
Martin and after the chapter of the cathedral. At Troyes, he could
dispose only of 197 curacies out of 372; at Boulogne, out of 180, he
had only 80, and this again because the chapter voluntarily abandoned
to him 16. Naturally, the eyes of all candidates turned towards the
collator; and, among the highest and most lucrative places, those
which gave the least trouble and afforded the most satisfaction, all
sinecures, ranks, simple benefices and large urban curacies,
probendaries and canonicates, most of the offices, titles, and incomes
that might tempt human ambition, were in the hands, not of the bishop,
but of the king or of the Pope, of an abbot or prior, of an abbess, or
of a certain university,[26] of this or that cathedral or college-body,
of a lay seignior, of a patentee, or of an indultaire, and often of the
titulary himself. Thus, the hold of the bishop on his clercs was feeble;
he did not hold them through the hope of a favor. And, on the other
hand, he had still less hold on them, no hold at all, through fear of
losing favor. They might displease him almost with impunity; his
faculty for punishment was much more restricted than his means of
recompense. His subordinates could find shelter and refuge against
his displeasure, and even against his hostility. In the first place,
and as a principle, a titulary, whether ecclesiastic or secular, owned
his office and hence was irremovable; they themselves, plain vicar-
curates, the humble desservans[27] of a rural parish, had acquired
this privilege through the declarations of 1726 and 1731.[28]
Moreover, in case of interdiction, suspension or of censure, a titulary
could always recur to the courts against episcopal judgment and any
other, against all encroachment on spiritual or temporal prerogatives,
or on those which were useful or honorary belonging to his charge.

These courts were of two kinds, one ecclesiastical and the other
secular, and in each an appeal could be made from a lower to a higher
court, from the diocesan official to the metropolitan official, and
from the présidial to the parliament, with a complete judicial staff,
judge, assessors, public ministry, prosecutors, advocates and clerks,
restricted to the observing of all judicial formalities, authentic
papers, citations of witnesses and challenges of testimony,
interrogatories and pleadings, allegation of canons, laws and
precedents, presence of the defendant, opposing arguments, delays in
procedure, publicity and scandal. Before the slow march and
inconveniences of such a trial, the bishop often avoided giving
judgment, and all the more because his verdicts, even when confirmed
by the ecclesiastical court, might be warded off or rendered
ineffective by the lay tribunal; for, from the former to the latter,
there was an appeal under writ of error, and the latter, a jealous
rival of the former, was ill-disposed towards the sacerdotal
authorities;[29] besides, in the latter case, far more than in the
former, the bishop found confronting him not merely the more or less
legal right of his own party, but again the allies and patrons of his
party, corporations and individuals who, according to an accepted
usage, interfered through their solicitations with the judges and
openly placed their credit at the service of their protégé. With so
many spokes in the wheels, the working of an administrative machine
was difficult; to give it effective motion, it required the steady
pressure, the constant starting, the watchful and persistent efforts
of a laborious, energetic, and callous hand, while, under the ancient
régime, the delicate white hands of a gentleman-prelate were ill-
adapted to this rude business; they were too nicely washed, too soft.
To manage personally and on the spot a provincial, complicated and
rusty machine, always creaking and groaning, to give one's self up to
it, to urge and adjust twenty local wheels, to put up with knocks and
splashes, to become a business man, that is to say a hard worker -
nothing was less desirable for a grand seignior of that epoch. In the
Church as in the State, he made the most of his rank; he collected and
enjoyed its fruits, that is to say money, honors and gratifications,
and, among these gratifications, the principal one, leisure; hence, he
abandoned every special duty, the daily manipulation of men and
things, the practical direction, all effective government, to his
ecclesiastical or lay intendants, to subordinates whom he scarcely
looked after and who, at his own house, on his own domain, replaced
him as fixed residents. The bishop, in his own diocese, left the
administration in the hands of his canons and grand-vicars; "the
official decided without his meddling."[30] The machine thus worked
alone and by itself, with very few shocks, in the old rut established
by routine; he helped it along only by the influence he exercised at
Paris and Versailles, by recommendations to the ministers in reality,
he was merely the remote and worldly representative of his
ecclesiastical principality at court and in the drawing-room.[31]
When, from time to time, he made his appearance there, the bells were
rung; deputations from all bodies hurried to his antechambers; each
authority in turn, and according to the order of precedence, paid him
its little compliment, which compliment he graciously returned and
then, the homage being over, he distributed among them benedictions
and smiles. After this, with equal dignity and still more graciously
throughout his sojourn, he invited the most eligible to his table and,
in his episcopal palace or in his country-house, he treated them as
guests. This done, he had performed his duty; the rest was left to his
secretaries, ecclesiastical officials and clerks, men of the bureaux,
specialists and "plodders." "Did you read my pastoral letter?" said a
bishop to Piron. And Piron, who was very outspoken, dared reply,
"Yes, my lord. And yourself?"

Under the modern régime, this suzerain for show, negligent and
intermittent, is succeeded by an active sovereign whose reign is
personal and constant; the limited and easy monarchy of the diocese is
converted into an universal and absolute monarchy. When the bishop,
once invested and consecrated, enters the choir of his cathedral to
the reverberations of the organ, lighted with wax candles amidst
clouds of incense, and seats himself in solemn pomp[32] "on his
throne," he is a prince who takes possession of his government, which
possession is not nominal or partial, but real and complete. He holds
in his hand "the splendid cross which the priests of his diocese have
presented to him," in witness of and symbolizing their voluntary,
eager and full obedience; and this pastoral baton is larger than the
old one. In the ecclesiastical herd, no head browses at a distance or
under cover; high or low, all are within reach, all eyes are turned
towards the episcopal crook; at a sign made by the crook, and
according to the signal, each head forthwith stands, advances or
recedes: it knows too well that the shepherd's hands are free and that
it is subject to its will. Napoleon, in his reconstruction of the
diocese, made additions to only one of the diocesan powers, that of
the bishop; he suffered the others to remain low down, on the ground.
The delays, complications and frictions of a divided government were
repugnant to him; he had no taste for and no comprehension of any but
a concentrated government; he found it convenient to deal with but one
man, a prefect of the spiritual order, as pliable as his colleague of
the temporal order, a mitered grand functionary - such was the bishop
in his eyes. This is the reason why he did not oblige him to surround
himself with constitutional and moderating authorities; he did not
restore the ancient bishop's court and the ancient chapter; he allowed
his prelates themselves to pen the new diocesan statute. - Naturally,
in the division of powers, the bishop reserved the best part to
himself, the entire substance, and, to limit his local omnipotence,
there remained simply lay authority. But, in practice, the shackles by
which the civil government kept him in its dependence, broke or became
relaxed one by one. Among the Organic Articles, almost all of them
which subjected or repressed the bishop fell into discredit or into
desuetude. Meanwhile, those which authorized and exalted the bishop
remained in vigor and maintained their effect. Consequently,
Napoleon's calculation, in relation to the bishop or in relation to
the Pope, proved erroneous. He wanted to unite in one person two
incompatible characters, to convert the dignitaries of the Church into
dignitaries of the State, to make functionaries out of potentates.
The functionary insensibly disappeared; the potentate alone subsisted
and still subsists.

At the present day, conformably to the statute of 1802, the cathedral
chapter,[33] except in case of one interim, is a lifeless and still-
born body, a vain simulachre; it is always, by title or on paper, the
Catholic "senate," the bishop's obligatory "council";[34] but he takes
his councillors where he pleases, outside of the chapter, if that
suits him, and he is free not to take any of them, " to govern alone,
to do all himself." It is he who appoints to all offices, to the five
or six hundred offices of his diocese; he is the universal collator of
these and, nine times out of ten, the sole collator; excepting eight
or nine canonships and the thirty or forty cantonal curacies, which
the government must approve, he alone makes appointments and without
any person's concurrence. Thus, in the way of favors, his clerical
body has nothing to expect from anybody but himself. - And, on the
other hand, they no longer enjoy any protection against his harshness;
the hand which punishes is still less restrained than that which
rewards; like the cathedral chapter, the ecclesiastical tribunal has
lost its consistency and independence, its efficiency; nothing remains
of the ancient bishop's court but an appearance and a name.[35]

At one time, the bishop in person is himself the whole court; he
deliberates only with himself and decides ex informata conscientia
without a trial, without advice, and, if he chooses, in his own
cabinet with closed doors, in private according to facts, the value of
which he alone estimates, and through motives of which he is the sole
appreciator. At another time, the presiding magistrate is one of his
grand-vicars, his revocable delegate, his confidential man, his
megaphone, in short, another self, and this official acts without the
restraint of ancient regulations, of a fixed and understood procedure
beforehand, of a series of judicial formalities, of verifications and
the presence of witnesses, of the delays and all other legal
precautions which guard the judge against prejudice, haste, error, and
ignorance and without which justice always risks becoming injustice.
In both cases, the head over which the sentence is suspended lacks
guarantees, and, once pronounced, this sentence is definitive. For,
on appeal to the court of the metropolitan bishop, it is always
confirmed;[36] the bishops support each other, and, let the appellant
be right or wrong, the appeal is in itself a bad mark against him: he
did not submit at once, he stood out against reproof, he was lacking
in humility, he has set an example of insubordination, and this alone
is a grave fault. There remains the recourse to Rome; but Rome is far
off,[37] and, while maintaining her superior jurisdiction, she does
not willingly cancel an episcopal verdict; she treats prelates with
respect, she is careful of her lieutenant-generals, her collectors of
Saint Peter's pence. As to the lay tribunals, these have declared
themselves incompetent,[38] and the new canon law teaches that never,
"under the pretext of a writ of error, may a priest make an appeal to
the secular magistrate";[39] through this appeal, "he derogates from
the authority and liberty of the Church and is liable to the gravest
censures;" he betrays his order.

Such is now, for the lower clergy, ecclesiastical law, and likewise
secular law, both agreeing together in not affording him protection;
add to this change in the jurisprudence which concerns him a no less
divisive change in the jurisprudence which concerns him a no less
decisive change in the titles which place and qualify him. Before
1789, there were in France 36,000 curés entitled irremovable; at the
present day, there are only 3,425; before 1789, there were only 2500
curés entirely removable, while to-day there are 34,042;[40] all of
the latter, appointed by the bishop without the approbation of the
civil powers, are removable at his discretion; their parochial
ministry is simply a provisional commission; they may be placed
elsewhere, passing from one precarious curacy to another no less
precarious. "At Valence,[41] Mgr. Chartrousse, in one month
transferred 150 priests from one parish to another. In 1835, in the
diocese of Valence, 35 transfers were sent out by the same mail." No
assistant-priest, however long in his parish, feels that he is at home
there, on his own domain, for the rest of his life; he is merely there
in garrison, about the same as lay functionaries and with less
security, even when irreproachable. For he may be transplanted, not
alone for spiritual reasons, but likewise for political reasons. He
has not grown less worthy, but the municipal council or the mayor have
taken a dislike to his person; consequently to tranquilize things, he
is displaced. Far better, he had become worthy and is on good terms
with the municipal council and the mayor; wherever he has lived he has
known how to mollify these, and consequently "he is removed from
parish to parish,[42] chosen expressly to be put into those where
there are troublesome, wrangling, malevolent, and impious mayors." It
is for the good of the service and in the interest of the Church. The
bishop subordinates persons to this superior interest. The legislation
of 1801 and 1802 has conferred full powers upon him and he exercises
them; among the many grips by which he holds his clergy the strongest
is the power of removal, and he uses it. Into all civil or
ecclesiastical institutions Napoleon, directly or by counterstrokes,
has injected his spirit, the military spirit; hence the authoritative
régime, still more firmly established in the Church than in the State,
because that is the essence of the Catholic institution; far from
being relaxed in this, it has become stricter; at present it is
avowed, proclaimed, and even made canonical; the bishop, in our days,
in fact as in law, is a general of division, and, in law as in fact,
his curés are simply sergeants or corporals.[43] Command, from such a
lofty grade falls direct, with extraordinary force, on grades so low,
and, at the first stroke, is followed by passive obedience. Discipline
in a diocese is as perfect as in an army corps, and the prelates
publicly take pride in it. "It is an insult," said Cardinal de
Bonnechose to the Senate,[44] "to suppose that we are not masters in
our own house, that we cannot direct our clergy, and that it is the
clergy which directs us. . . There is no general within its walls who
would accept the reproach that could not compel the obedience of his
soldiers. Each of us has command of a regiment, and the regiment

III. The new Bishop.

Change in the habits and ways of the bishop. - His origin, age,
capability, mode of living, labor, initiative, undertakings, and moral
and social ascendancy. [45]

In order to make troops march, a staff, even a croisier, is not
enough; to compulsory subordination voluntary subordination must be
added; therefore, legal authority in the chief should be accompanied
with moral authority; otherwise he will not be loyally supported and
to the end. In 1789, this was not the case with the bishop; on two
occasions, and at two critical moments, the clergy of the inferior
order formed a separate band, at first at the elections, by selecting
for deputies curés and not prelates, and next in the national
assembly, by abandoning the prelates to unite with the Third Estate.
The intimate hold of the chief on his men was relaxed or broken. His
ascendency over them was no longer sufficiently great; they no longer
had confidence in him. His subordinates had come to regard him as he
was, a privileged individual, sprung from a another stock and
furnished by a class apart, bishop by right of birth, without a
prolonged apprenticeship, having rendered no services, without tests
of merit, almost an interloper in the body of his clergy, a Church
parasite accustomed to spending the revenues of his diocese away from
his diocese, idle and ostentatious, often a shameless gallant or
obnoxious hunter, disposed to be a philosopher and free-thinker, and
who lacked two qualifications for a leader of Christian priests:
first, ecclesiastical deportment, and next, and very often, Christian

All these gaps in and discrepancies of episcopal character, all these
differences and distances (which existed before 1789), between the
origins, interests, habits, and manners of the lower and the upper
clergy, all these inequalities and irregularities which alienated
inferiors from the superior, have disappeared; the modern régime has
leveled the wall of separation established by the ancient régime
between the bishop and his priests. At the present day he is, like
them, a plebeian, of common extraction, and sometimes very low, one
being the son of a village shoemaker, another the natural son of a
poor workwoman, both being men of feeling and never blushing at their
humble origin, openly tender and respectful to their mothers, - a
certain bishop lodging his mother, formerly a servant, in his
episcopal palace and giving her the first seat at his table among the
most honored and noblest of his guests.[47] He is "one of fortune's
officers," that is to say, a meritorious and old officer.[48]
According the "Almanac" of 1889, the three youngest are from forty-
seven to forty-nine years of age; all the others are fifty and over;
among the latter, three fourths of them are over sixty. As a general
rule, a priest cannot become a bishop short of twenty or twenty-five
years' service in lower or average grades; he must have remained in
each grade a longer or shorter period, in turn vicar, curé, vicar-
general, canon, head of a seminary, sometimes coadjutor, and almost
always have distinguished himself in some office, either as preacher
or catechist, professor or administrator, canonist or theologian. His
full competence cannot be contested, and he enjoys a right to exact
full obedience; he has himself rendered it up to his consecration; "he
boasts of it," and the example he proposes to his priests is the one
he has himself given.[49] On the other hand, his moderate way of
living excites but little envy; it is about like that of a general of
division, or of a prefect, or of a high civil functionary who, lacking
personal fortune, has nothing but his salary to live on. He does not
display, as formerly, confessionals lined with satin, kitchen utensil
of massive silver, hunting accoutrements, a hierarchical staff of
major-domos, ushers, valets, and liveried lackeys, stables and
carriages, lay grand-seigniors, vassals of his suzerainty and figuring
at his consecration, a princely ceremonial of parade and homage, a
pompous show of receptions and of hospitalities. There is nothing but
what is necessary, the indispensable instruments of his office: an
ordinary carriage for his episcopal journeys and town visits, three or
four domestics for manual service, three or four secretaries for
official writings, some old mansion or other, cheaply repaired and
refurnished without ostentation, its rooms and bureaus being those of
an administrator, business man, and responsible head of a numerous
staff; in effect, he is responsible for a good many subordinates, he
has a good deal to attend to; he works himself, looking after the
whole and in detail, keeping classified files by means of a
chronological and systematic collection,[50] like the general director
of a vast company; if he enjoys greater honors, he is subject to
greater exigencies; assuredly, his predecessors under the ancient
régime, delicate Epicureans, would not have wished for such a life;
they would not have considered the benefit worth the effort.

Even when old, he draws on his energies; he officiates, he preaches,
he presides at long ceremonies, he ordains seminarians, he confirms
thousands of children,[51] he visits one after another the parishes in
his diocese; often, at the end of his administration, he has visited
them all and many times. Meanwhile, shut up in his episcopal cabinet,
he is constantly inspecting these four or five hundred parishes; he
reads or listens to reports, informs himself on the number of
communicants, on what is required in worship, on the financial state
of the fabrique, on the attitude of the inhabitants, on the good or
bad dispositions of municipal counselors and mayors, on the local
cause of dissension and conflict, on the conduct and character of the
curé or vicar; each resident ecclesiastic needs guidance or
maintenance between intemperate zeal and inert lukewarmness, evenly
balanced according as parishes and circumstances vary, but always in a
way to prevent false steps, to turn aside mistakes, to humor opinion,
to stop scandals. For the entire life of the clergyman, not only his
public life but again his personal, domestic, private life, belongs to
and concerns the Church:[52] there must be no evil reports, even
without foundation, on his account; if these occur, the bishop summons
him to headquarters, warns him, admonishes him, and, without
unburdening himself by handing the matter over to a responsible
tribunal, he alone passes judgment after personally conducting the
investigations, suffering the worries, and carrying out the painful,
painstaking labor always attendant on direct absolute power. Likewise,
in relation to his upper and his lower seminary: here are two
indispensable nurseries of which he is the head gardener, attentive to
filling annual vacancies and seeking proper subjects for these
throughout his diocese, ever verifying and cultivating their
vocations; he confers scholarships; he dictates rules and regulations;
appoints and dismisses, displaces and procures as he pleases, the
director and professors; he takes them, if he chooses, out of his
diocese or out of the body of regular clergy; he prescribes a doctrine
to them, methods, ways of thinking and teaching, and he keeps his eye,
beyond his present or future priests, on three or four hundred monks
and on fourteen hundred nuns.

As to the monks, so long as they remain inside their dwellings, in
company together and at home, he has nothing to say to them; but, when
they come to preach, confess, officiate or teach in public on his
ground, they fall under his jurisdiction; in concert with their
superior and with the Pope, he has rights over them and he uses them.
They are now his auxiliaries assigned to or summoned by him, available
troops and a reinforcement, so many chosen companies expressly ready,
each with its own discipline, its particular uniform, its special
weapon, and who bring to him in following a campaign under his orders,
distinct aptitudes and a livelier zeal. He needs them[53] in order to
make up for the insufficiency of his local clergy in arousing the
spirit of devotion in his parishes and in enforcing sound doctrine in
his seminaries. Now, between these two forces a common understanding
is difficult; the former, adjuncts and flying about, march in front;
the latter, holding the ground and stationary, look upon the new-
comers as usurpers who lessen both their popularity and their fees; a
bishop must possess great tact as well as energy to impose on both
bodies of this clergy, if not an intimate union, at least mutual aid
and a collaboration without conflict. - As to the nuns,[54] he is
their ordinary, the sole arbiter, overseer and ruler over all these
cloistered lives; he receives their vows, and renders them free of
them; it is he who, after due inquiry and examination, authorizes each
entrance into the community or a return to society, at first each
admission or novitiate, and next each profession of faith or
assumption of the veil, every dismissal or departure of a nun, every
claim that one makes, every grave act of severity or decision on the
part of the superior. He approves of, or appoints, the confessor of
the establishment; he maintains seclusion in it, he draws tighter or
relaxes the observances; he himself enters its doors by privilege of
his office, and, with his own eyes, he inspects its régime, spiritual
and temporal, through a right of control which extends from the
direction of souls to the administration of property.

To so many obligatory matters he adds others which are voluntary, not
alone works of piety, those relating to worship, propaganda, diocesan
missions, catechizing adults, brotherhoods for perpetual adoration,
meetings for the uninterrupted recital of the rosary, Peter's pence,
seminary funds, Catholic journals and reviews-but, again, institutions
for charity and education.[55] In the way of charity, he founds or
supports twenty different kinds, sixty in one diocese alone, general
and special services, infant nurseries, clubs, asylums, lodging-
houses, patronages, societies for helping and placing the poor, for
the sick at home and in the hospitals, for suckling infants, for the
deaf and dumb, for the blind, for old men, for orphans, for repentant
prostitutes, for prisoners, for soldiers in garrison, for workmen,
apprentices, youths, and quantities of others. In the way of
education, there are yet more of them - works which the Catholic
chiefs have most at heart; without these, it is impossible in modern
society to preserve the faith in each new generation. Hence, at each
turning-point of political history, we see the bishops benefiting by
the toleration or warding off the intolerance of the teaching State,
competing with it, erecting alongside of its public schools free
schools of its own, directed or served by priests or religious
brotherhoods; - after the suppression of the university monopoly in
1850, more than one hundred colleges[56] for secondary education;
after the favorable law of 1875, four or five provincial faculties or
universities for superior instruction after the hostile laws of 1882,
many thousands of parochial schools for primary instruction.

Foundation and support, all this is expensive. The bishop requires a
great deal of money, especially since the State, become ill-disposed,
cuts off clerical resources as much as possible, no longer maintains
scholarships in the seminaries, deprives suspicious desservans of
their small stipends, eats into the salaries of the prelates, throws
obstacles in the way of communal liberalities, taxes and over taxes
the congregations, so that, not merely through the diminution of its
allowances it relieves itself at the expense of the Church, but again,
through the increase of its imposts, it burdens the Church for its own
advantage. The episcopacy obtains all necessary funds through
collections in the churches and at domiciles, through the gifts and
subscriptions of the faithful; and, every year, it needs millions,
apart from the budget appropriation, for its faculties and
universities in which it installs largely paid professors, for the
construction, location and arrangement of its countless buildings, for
the expenses of its minor schools, for the support of its ten thousand
seminarists, for the general out-lay on so many charitable
institutions; and it is the bishop who, their principal promoter, must
provide for this, all the more because he has often taken it upon
himself in advance, and made himself responsible for it by either a
written or verbal promise. He responds to all these engagements; he
has funds on hand at the maturity of each contract. In 1883, the
bishop of Nancy, in need of one hundred thousand francs to build a
school-house with a work-room attached to it, mentions this to a
number of persons assembled in his drawing-room; one of these puts his
hand in his pocket and gives him ten thousand francs, and others
subscribe on the spot to the amount of seventy-four thousand
francs.[57] Cardinal Mathieu, during his administration, archbishop of
Besançon, thus collects and expends four millions. Lately, Cardinal
Lavigerie, to whom the budget allows fifteen thousand francs per
annum, wrote that he had spent eighteen hundred thousand francs and
had incurred no debt.[58] - Through this initiative and this
ascendancy the bishop becomes a central social rallying-point; there
is no other in the provinces, nothing but so many disjointed lives,
juxtaposed and kept together in an artificial circle prescribed from
above; so that a good many of these, and of most consideration,
gravitate to and group themselves, especially since 1830, around this
last permanent center and form a part of its body; he is the sole
germinating, vivifying, intact center that still agglutinates
scattered wills and suitably organizes them. Naturally, class and
party interests incorporate themselves additionally along with the
Catholic interest which he represents, and his ecclesiastical
authority becomes a political influence; besides his secular and
regular clergy, over and beyond the two thousand five hundred
exemplary or directorial lives which he controls, we see behind him an
indefinite multitude of lay adhesions and devotedness. Consequently,
every government must take him into their calculations, and all the
more because his colleagues stand by him; the episcopacy, banded
together, remains erect in face of the omnipotent State, under the
July monarchy as claimants of free instruction and under the second
empire in support of the temporal power of the Pope. - In this
militant attitude, the figure of the bishop is fully unveiled; the
titular champion of an infallible Church, himself a believer and
submissive; his voice is extraordinarily proud and defiant;[59] in his
own eyes, he is the unique depository of truth and morality; in the
eyes of his followers, he becomes a superhuman personage, a prophet of
salvation or of destruction, the annunciator of divine judgments, the
dispenser of celestial anger or of celestial pardon; he rises to the
clouds in an apotheosis of glory; with women especially, this
veneration grows into enthusiasm and degenerates into idolatry.
Towards the end of the second empire an eminent French bishop, on a
steamboat on Lake Leman, taking a roll of bread from his pocket,
seated himself alongside of two ladies and ate it, handing each of
them a piece of it. One of them, bowing reverently, replied to him,
"At your hands, my lord, this is almost the holy communion!"[60]

IV. The subordinate clergy.

The subordinates. - The secular clergy. - Its derivation and how
recruited. - How prepared and led. - The lower seminary. - The higher
seminary. - Monthly lectures and annual retreat. - The Exercitia. -
The Manreze du Prêtre. - The curé in his parish. - His rôle a
difficult one. - His patience and correct conduct.

A clergy submissive in mind and feeling, long prepared by its
condition and education for faith and obedience, acts under the sway
of this sovereign and consecrated hand.[61] Among the 40,000 curés and
desservans "more than 35,000 belong to the laboring class of workmen
and peasants,"[62] not the first class of peasants, but the second
class, the poorer families earning their daily bread and often with a
good many children. Under the pressure of the ambient atmosphere and
of the modern régime, the others keep back their sons, retaining them
for the world and denying them to the Church; ambition, even low down
on the scale, has developed itself and changed its object. No longer
do they aspire for their sons to become a curé but a school master, a
railroad employee, or a commercial clerk.[63] It was necessary to go
descend further, a lower stratum has to be attained, in order to
extract from it the priests that are lacking.

Undoubtedly, at this depth, the extraction was more expensive; the
family cannot afford to pay for the child's ecclesiastic cal
education; the State, moreover, after 1830, no longer gives anything
to the lower seminary, nor to the large one after 1885.[64] The
expenses of these schools must be borne by the faithful in the shape
of donations and legacies; to this end, the bishop orders collections
in the churches in Lent and encourages his diocesans to found
scholarships. The outlay for the support and education, nearly gratis,
of a future priest between the ages of twelve and twenty-four is very
great; in the lower seminary alone it costs from forty to fifty
thousand francs over and above the net receipts;[65] facing such an
annual deficit, the bishop, who is responsible for the undertaking, is
greatly concerned and sometimes extremely anxious. To make amends, and
as compensation, the extraction is surer; the long process by which a
child is withdrawn and instructed for the priesthood goes on and is
finished with less uncertainty. Neither the light nor the murmur of
the century finds its way to these low depths; nobody
ever reads the newspaper, even the penny paper; vocations can here
shape themselves and become fixed like crystals, intact and rigid, and
all of a piece; they are better protected than in the upper layers,
less exposed to mundane infiltrations; they run less risk of being
disturbed or thwarted by curiosity, reason and skepticism, by modern
ideas; the outside world and family surroundings do not, as elsewhere,
interfere with their silent internal workings.[66] When the choir-
boy comes home after the service, when the seminarian returns to his
parents in his vacations, he does not here en-counter so many
disintegrating influences, various kinds of information, free and easy
talk, comparisons between careers, concern about advancement, habits
of comfort, maternal solicitude, the shrugs of the shoulder and the
half-smile of the strong-minded neighbor. Stone upon stone and each
stone in its place, his faith builds up and becomes complete without
any incoherency in its structure, with no incongruity in the
materials, without any hidden imbalance. He has been taken in hand
before his twelfth year, when very young; his curé, who has been
instructed from above to secure suitable subjects, has singled him out
in the catechism class and again at the ceremony of confirmation;[67]
he is found to have a pious tendency and a taste for sacred
ceremonies, a suitable demeanor, a mild disposition, complacency, and
is inclined to study; he is a docile and well-behaved child; whether
an acolyte at the altar or in the sacristy, he tries to fold the
chasuble properly; all his genuflexions are correct, they do not worry
him, he has no trouble in standing still, he is not excited and
diverted, like the others, by the eruptions of animal spirits and
rustic coarseness. If his rude brain is open to cultivation, if
grammar and Latin can take root in it, the curé or the vicar at once
take charge of him; he studies under them, gratis or
nearly so, until he has completed the sixth or the seventh grade, and
then he enters the lower seminary.[68]

This is a school apart, a boarding-house of picked youths, an enclosed
hot-house intended for the preservation and development of special
vocations. None of these schools existed previous to 1789; at the
present day(in 1885), they number 86 in France, and all the pupils are
to become future priests. No foreign plants, no future laymen, are
admitted into this preparatory nursery;[69] for experience has shown
that if the lower seminary is mixed it no longer attains its
ecclesiastical purpose; "it habitually turns over to the upper
seminary only the bottom of the classes; those at the top seek
fortune elsewhere". But if, on the contrary, "the lower seminaries
are kept pure, the entire rhetoric[70] class continues on into the
upper seminary; not only do they obtain the bottom of the classes
but the top." - The culture, in this second nursery, which is prolonged
during five years, becomes extreme, wholly special; it was less so
under the ancient régime, even at Saint-Sulpice; there were cracks in
the glass letting in currents of air; the archbishop's nephews and the
younger sons of nobles predestined for Church dignities had introduced
into it the laxity and liberties which were then the privileges of the
episcopacy. During the vacations,[71] fairy scenes and pastorals were
performed there with costumes and dances, "The Enthronement of the
Great Mogul," and the "Shepherds in Chains"; the seminarians took
great care of their hair; a first-class hair-dresser came and waited
on them; the doors were not regularly shut: the youthful Talleyrand
knew how to get out into the city and begin or continue his
gallantries.[72] From and after the Concordat, stricter discipline
in the new seminaries had become monastic; these are practical
schools, not for knowledge, but for training, the object being much
less to make learned men than believing priests; education takes
precedence of instruction and intellectual exercises are made
subordinate to spiritual exercises[73] - mass every day and five
visits to the Saint-Sacrament, with one minute to half-hour prayer
stations; rosaries of sixty-three paters and aves, litanies, the
angelus, loud and whispered prayers, special self-examinations,
meditation on the knees, edifying readings in common, silence
until one o'clock in the afternoon, silence at meals and the
listening to an edifying discourse, frequent communions, weekly
confessions, general confession at New-year's, one day of retreat
at the end of every month after the vacations and before the
collation of each of the four orders, eight days of retirement
during which a suspension of all study, morning and evening
sermons, spiritual readings, meditations, orisons and other services
from hour to hour;[74] in short, the daily and systematic application
of a wise and steadily perfected method, the most serviceable for
fortifying faith, exalting the imagination, giving direction and
impulse to the will, analogous to that of a military school, Saint-Cyr
or Saumur, to such an extent that its corporeal and mental imprint
is indelible, and that by the way in which he thinks, talks, smiles,
bows and stands in your presence we at once recognize a former pupil
of Saint-Sulpice as we do a former pupil of Saumur and of Saint-Cyr.
Thus graduated, an ordained and consecrated priest, first a vicar and
then a curé desservant, the discipline which has bound and fashioned
him still keeps him erect and presenting arms. Besides his duties in
church and his ministrations in the homes of his parishioners, besides
masses, vespers, sermons, catechisings, confessions, communions,
baptisms, marriages, extreme unctions, funerals, visiting the sick and
suffering, he has his personal and private exercises: at first, his
breviary, the reading of which demands each day an hour and a half, no
practical duty being so necessary. Lamennais obtained a dispensation
from it, and hence his lapses and fall.[75] Let no one object that
such a recitation soon becomes mechanical[76]; the prayers, phrases
and words which it buries deep in the mind, even wandering,
necessarily become fixed inhabitants in it, and hence occult and
stirring powers banded together which encompass the intellect and lay
siege to the will, which, in the subterranean regions of the soul,
gradually extend or fortify their silent occupation of the place,
which insensibly operate on the man without his being aware of it, and
which, at critical moments, unexpectedly rise up to steady his
footsteps or to save him from temptation. Add to this antique custom
two modern institutions which contribute to the same end. The first
one is the monthly conference, which brings together the desservans
curés at the residence of the oldest curé in the canton; each has
prepared a study on some theme furnished by the bishopric, some
question of dogma, morality or religious history, which he reads aloud
and discusses with his brethren under the presidency and direction of
the oldest curé, who gives his final decision; this keeps theoretical
knowledge and ecclesiastical erudition fresh in the minds of both
reader and hearers. The other institution, almost universal nowadays,
is the annual retreat which the priests in the diocese pass in the
large seminary of the principal town. The plan of it was traced by
Saint Ignatius; his Exercitia is still to-day the manual in use, the
text of which is literally,[77] or very nearly, followed.[78] The
object is to reconstitute the supernatural world in the soul, for, in
general, it evaporates, becomes effaced, and ceases to be palpable
under the pressure of the natural world. Even the faithful pay very
little attention to it, while their vague conception of it ends in
becoming a mere verbal belief; it is essential to give them back the
positive sensation, the contact and feeling. To this end, a man
retires to a suitable place, where what he does actively or passively
is hourly determined for him in advance - attendance at chapel or at
preaching, telling his beads, litanies, orisons aloud, orisons in his
own breast, repeated self-examination, confession and the rest - in
short, an uninterrupted series of diversified and convergent
ceremonies which, by calculated degrees, drive out terrestrial
preoccupations and overcome him with spiritual impressions;
immediately around him, impressions of the same kind followed by the
contagion of example, mutual fervor, common expectation, involuntary
emulation, and that overstrained eagerness which creates its object;
with all the more certainty that the individual himself works on
himself, in silence, five hours a day, according to the prescriptions
of a profound psychology, in order that his bare conception may take
upon itself body and substance. What-ever may be the subject of his
meditations, he repeats it twice the same day, and each time he begins
by "creating the scene," the Nativity or the Passion, the Day of
Judgment or Hell; he converts the remote and undefined story, the dry,
abstract dogma, into a detailed and figured representation; he dwells
on it, he evokes in turn the images furnished by the five senses,
visual, audible, tactile, olfactory, and even gustatory; he groups
them together, and in the evening he animates them afresh in order
that he may find them more intense when he awakes the next morning. He
thus obtains the complete, precise, almost physical spectacle of his
aspirations; he reaches the alibi, that mental transposition, that
reversal of the points of view in which the order of certainties
becomes inverted, in which substantial objects seem to be vain
phantoms and the mystic world a world of substantial reality.[79] -
According to persons and circumstances, the theme for meditation
differs, and the retreat is prolonged for a shorter or longer period.
For laymen, it generally lasts for three days only; for the Brethren
of the Christian Schools it is eight days annually, and when, at the
age of twenty-eight, they take their vows in perpetuity, it lasts
thirty days: for the secular priests, it lasts a little less than a
week, while the theme on which their meditations are concentrated is
the supernatural character of the priest. The priest who is confessor
and ministrant of the Eucharist, the priest who is the savior and
restorer, the priest who is pastor, preacher and administrator - such
are the subjects on which their imagination, assisted and directed,
must work in order to compose the cordial which has to support them
for the entire year. None is more potent; that which the Puritans
drank at an American camp-meeting or at a Scotch revival was stronger
but of less enduring effect.[80]

Two different cordials, one reinforcing the other, are mixed together
in this drink, both being of high flavor and so rank as to burn an
ordinary mouth. On the one hand, with the freedom of language and the
boldness of deduction characteristic of the method, the sentiment of
the priest's dignity is exalted. What is the priest? "He is, between
God who is in heaven and the man who tries to find him on earth, a
being, God and man, who brings these nearer by his symbolizing
both.[81] . . I do not flatter you with pious hyperboles in calling
you gods; this is not a rhetorical falsehood. . . . You are creators
similar to Mary in her cooperation in the Incarnation. . . . You are
creators like God in time. . . . You are creators like God in
eternity. Our creation on our part, our daily creation, is nothing
less than the Word made flesh itself. . . . God may create other
worlds, he cannot so order it that any act under the sun can be
greater than your sacrifice; for, at this moment, he reposes in your
hands all that he has and all that he is. . . . I am not a little
lower than the cherubim and seraphim in the government of the world, I
am far above them; they are only the Servants of God, we are his
coadjutors. . . . The angels, who behold the vast riches passing
through our hands daily, are amazed at our prerogative. . . . I
fulfill three sublime functions in relation to the god of our altars -
I cause him to descend, I administer his body, I am his custodian. . .
. Jesus dwells under your lock and key; his hours of reception begin
and end through you, he does not move without your permission, he
gives no benediction without your assistance, he bestows nothing
except at your hands, and his dependence is so dear to him that, for
eighteen hundred years, he has not left the Church for one moment to
lose himself on the glory of his Father." - On the other hand, they
are made to drink in full draughts the sentiment of subordination,
which they imbibe to their very marrow.[82] "Ecclesiastical obedience
is . . . a love of dependence, a violation of judgment. . . . Would
you know what it is as to the extent of sacrifice? A voluntary death,
the sepulcher of the will, says Saint Climaque. . . . There is a sort
of real presence infused into those who command us. . . ." Let us be
careful not to fall "into the crafty opposition of liberal
Catholicism. . . . Liberalism, in its consequences, is social
atheism. . . . Unity, in Roman faith, is not sufficient; let us labor
together in the unity of the Roman spirit; for that, let us always
judge Rome with the optimism of affection. . . . Each new dogmatic
definition produces its own advantages: that of the Immaculate
Conception has given us Lourdes and its truly œcumenical wonders."

Nothing of all this is too much, and, in the face of the exigencies of
modern times, it scarcely suffices. Now that society has become
incredulous, indifferent or, at the least, secular, the priest must
possess the two intense and master ideas which support a soldier
abroad among insurgents or barbarians, one being the conviction that
he is of a species and essence apart, infinitely superior to the
common herd; and the other is the thought that he belongs to his flag,
to his chiefs, especially to the commanding general, and that he has
given himself up entirely to prompt obedience, to obeying every order
issued without question or doubt.[83] Thus, in that parish where the
permanent curé was once installed, especially in the rural
districts,[84] the legal and popular governor of all souls, his
successor, the removable desservant, is merely a resident bailiff, a
sentry in his box, at the opening of a road which the public at large
no longer travel. From time to time he hails you! But scarcely any
one listens to him. Nine out of ten men pass at a distance, along a
newer, more convenient and broader road. They either nod to him afar
off or give him the go-by. Some are even ill-disposed, watching him or
denouncing him to the ecclesiastic or lay authorities on which he
depends. He is expected to make his orders respected and yet not
hated, to be zealous and yet not importunate, to act and yet not
efface himself: he succeeds pretty often, thanks to the preparation
just described, and, in his rural sentry-box, patient, resigned,
obeying his orders, he mounts guard lonely and in solitude, a guard
which, for the past fifteen years, (from 1870-1885) is disturbed and
anxious and becoming singularly difficult.


[1] Artaud, "Histoire de Pie VII., I., 167.

[2] Comte d'Haussonville, "L'Église romaine et le premier Empire,
IV.,378, 415. (Instructions for the ecclesiastical commission of
1811.) "The Pope exercised the authority of universal bishop at the
time of the re-establishment of the cult in France.... The Pope, under
the warrant of an extraordinary and unique case in the Church, acted,
after the Concordat, as if he had absolute power over the bishops."
(Speech by Bigot de Préameneu, Minister of Worship, at the national
council, June 20, 1811.) This act was almost universal in the history
of the church, and the court of Rome started from this sort of
extraordinary act, passed by it at the request of the sovereign, in
order to enforce its ideas of arbitrary rule over the bishops."

[3] So stated by Napoleon.

[4] Bossuet, "Œuvres complètes, XXXII., 415. (Defensio declarationis
cleri gallicani, lib. VIII, caput 14). - "Episcopos, licet papœ divino
jure subditos, ejusdem esse ordinis, ejusdem caracteris, sive, ut
loquitur Hieronymus, ejusdem meriti, ejusdem, sacerdotii, collegasque
et coepiscopos appelari constat, scitumque illud Bernardi ad Eugenium
papam: Non es dominus episcoporum, sed unus ex illis."

[5] Comte Boulay (de la Meurthe), "les Négociations du Concordat," p.
35. - There were 50 vacancies in 135 dioceses, owing to the death of
their incumbents.

[6] Bercastel and Henrion, XIII., 43. (Observations of Abbé Emery on
the Concordat.) " None of the past Popes, not even those who have
extended their authority the farthest, have been able to carry such
heavy, authoritative blows out, as those struck at this time by Pius

[7] Prœlectiones juris canonici habitœ in seminario Sancti Sulpitii,
1867 (Par l'abbé Icard), I., 138. "Sancti canones passim memorant
distinctionem duplicis potestatis quâ utitur sanctus pontifex: unam
appelant ordinariam, aliam absolutam, vel plenitudinem potestatis. . .
. Pontifex potestate ordinaria utitur, quando juris positivi
dispositionem retinet. . . . Potestatem extraordinariam exserit,
quando jus humanum non servat, ut si jus ipsum auferat, si 1egibus
conciliorum deroget, privilegia acquisita immutet. . . . Plenitudo
potestatis nullis publici juris regulis est limitata." - Ibid., I ,

[8] Principal Concordats: with Bavaria, 1817; with Prussia, 1821; with
Wurtemburg, Baden, Nassau, the two Hesses, 1821; with Hanover, 1824;
with the Netherlands, 1827 ; with Russia, 1847 ; with Austria, 1855 ;
with Spain, 1851 ; with the two Sicilies, 1818; with Tuscany, 1851;
with Portugal (for the patronat of the Indies and of China), 1857;
with Costa Rica, 1852; Guatemala, 1853; Haiti, 1860; Honduras 1861;
Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua and San Salvador, 1862.

[9] Bercastel et Henrion, XIII, 524.

[10] Adstantibus non judicantibus." - One of the prelates assembled at
the Vatican, Nov. 20, 1854, observed that if the Pope decided on the
definition of the Immaculate Conception. . . this decision would
furnish a practical demonstration . . . of the infallibility with
which Jesus Christ had invested his vicar on earth." (Émile Ollivier,
"L'Église et l'État au concile du Vatican, I., 313.)

[11] Bercastel et Henrion, XIII., 105. (Circular of Pius VII.,
February 25, 1808.) "It is said that all cults should be free and
publicly exercised; but we have thrown this article out as opposed to
the canons and to the councils, to the catholic religion." - Ibid.,
(Pius VII. to the Italian bishops on the French system, May 22, 1808.)
"This system of indifferentism, which supposes no religion, is that
which is most injurious and most opposed to the Catholic apostolic and
Roman religion, which, because it is divine, is necessarily sole and
unique and, on that very account, cannot ally itself with any other."
- Cf. the "Syllabus" and the encyclical letter "Quanta Cura"of
December 8, 1864.

[12] Sauzay, "Histoire de la persecution révolutionnaire dans le
departement du Doubs," X., 720-773. (List in detail of the entire
staff of the diocese of Besançon, in 1801 and in 1822, under
Archbishop Lecoz, a former assermenté. - During the Empire, and
especially after 1806, this mixed clergy keeps refining itself. A
large number, moreover, of assermentés do not return to the Church.
They are not disposed to retract, and many of them enter into the new
university. For example ("Vie du Cardinal Bonnechose," by M. Besson,
I., 24), the principal teachers in the Roman college in 1815-1816 were
a former Capuchin, a former Oratorian and three assermentés priests.
One of these, M. Nicolas Bignon, docteur ès lettres, professor of
grammar in the year IV at the Ecole Centrale, then professor of
rhetoric at the Lycée and member of the Roman Academy, "lived as a
philosopher, not as a Christian and still less as a priest."
Naturally, he is dismissed in 1816. After that date, the purging goes
on increasing against all ecclesiastics suspected of having
compromised with the Revolution, either liberals or Jansenists. Cf.
the "Mémoires de l'abbé Babou, évêque nommé de Séez," on the
difficulties encountered by a too Gallican bishop and on the
bitterness towards him of the local aristocracy of his diocese.

[13] Cf. the "Mémoires de l'abbé Babou, évêque nommé de Séez," on the
difficulties encountered by a too Gallican bishop and on the
bitterness towards him of the local aristocracy of his diocese.

[14] " Mémorial," July 31, 1816.

[15] Both systems, set forth with rare impartiality and clearness, may
be found in "L'Église et l'Etat au concile du Vatican," by Émile
Ollivier, I., chs. II. and III.

[16] Bercastel et Henrion, XIII., p. 14. (Letter of M. d'Avian,
archbishop of Bordeaux, October 28, 1815.) "A dozen consecutive Popes
do not cease, for more than one hundred and thirty years, improving
that famous Declaration of 1682."

[17] Ernile Olliver, ibid., I. 315-319. (Declarations of the French
provincial councils and of foreign national and provincial councils
before 1870.) - Cf. M. de Montalembert, "Des Intérets Catholiques,"
1852, ch. II. and VI. "The ultramontane doctrine is the only true one.
The great Count de Maistre's ideas in his treatise on the Pope have
become commonplace for all Catholic youth." - Letter of Mgr. Guibert,
February 22, 1853. "Gallicanism no longer exists." - "Diary in
France," by Chris. Wordsworth, D.D., 1845. "There are not two bishops
in France who are not ultramontane, that is to say devoted to the
interests of the Roman See."

[18] "Constitutio dogmatica prima de Ecclesia Christi," July 18, 1870.
"Ejusmodi romani pontificis definitiones ex sese, non ex consensu
Ecclesiœ irreformabiles esse." (ch. IV.)

[19] Ibid., ch. III. "Si quis dixerit romanum pontificem habere
tantummodo officium inspectionis vel directionis, non autem plenam et
supremam potestatem juridictionis in universam Ecclesiam, non solum in
rebus quœ ad fidem et mores, sed etiam in iis quœ ad disciplinam et
regimen Ecclesiœ per totum orbem diffusœ pertinent; aut etiam habere
tantum potiores partes, non vero totam plenitudinem hujus supremœ
potestatis, aut hanc ejus potestatem non esse ordinariam et
immediatam. . ."

[20] Ibid., ch. III. "Aberrant a recto veritatis tramite qui affirmant
licere ab judiciis Romanorum pontificum ad œcumenicum concilium,
tanquam ad auctoritatem romano pontifice superiorem, appellare."

[21] "Almanach national de 1889." (Among these four, one only belongs
to a historic family, Mgr. de Deux-Brézé of Moulins.)

[22] See "The Ancient Régime," pp. 65, 120, 150, 292. (Ed. Laffont I.
pp. 53-43, 92-93, 218,219.)

[23] Cf. the history of the parliaments of Grenoble and Rennes on the
approach of the Revolution. Remark the fidelity of all their judicial
subordinates in 1788 and 1789, and the provincial power of the league
thus formed.

[24] Article 12.

[25] "The Revolution," Vol. I. - Abbé Sicard, "Les Dispensateurs des
bénéfices ecclésiastiques avant 1789." ("Correspondant" of Sep. 10,
1889, pp. 887, 892, 893.) Grosley, "Mémoires pour servir l'histoire de
Troyes," II , pp. 35, 45.

[26] Abée Elie Méric, "Le Clergé sous l'ancien régime," I., p. 26.
(Ten universities conferred letters of appointment on their
graduates.) - Abbé Sicard, "Les Dispensateurs," etc., p 876. -352
parliamentarians of Paris had an indult, that is to say, the right of
obliging collators and church patrons to bestow the first vacant
benefice either on himself or on one of his children, relations or
friends. Turgot gave his indult to his friend Abbé Morellet, who
consequently obtained (in June 1788) the priory of Thimer, with 16,000
livres revenue and a handsome house. - Ibid., p.887. "The bias of
the Pope, ecclesiastical or lay patrons, licensed parties,
indultaires, graduates, the so frequent use of resignations,
permutations, pensions, left to the bishop, who is now undisputed
master of his diocesan appointments, but very few situations to
bestow." - Grosley, " Mémoires, etc.," II., p.35. "The tithes followed
collations. Nearly all our ecclesiastical collators are at the same
time large tithe-owners."

[27] An inferior class of priests, generally assigned to poor

[28] Abbé Elie Méric, ibid., p.448.

[29] Abbé Elie Méric, ibid., pp 392~4O3. (Details in support.)

[30] Abbé Richandeau, "De l'ancienne et de la nouvelle discipline de
l'Église en France," p. 281. - Cf. Abbé Elie Méric, ibid., ch. II .
(On the justice and judges of the church.)

[31] Mercur, "Tableau de Paris," IV.,chap. 345. "The flock no longer
recognize the brow of their pastor and regard him as nothing but an
opulent man, enjoying himself in the capital and giving himself very
little trouble about it."

[32] "Le Monde" of Novem. 9, 1890. (Details, according to the
Montpellier newspapers, of the ceremony which had just taken place in
the cathedral of that town for the remission of the pallium to Mgr.
Roverié de Cabrières.

[33] "Encyclopedie théologique," by Abbé Migne, ix., p.465. (M. Emery,
"Des Nouveaux chapitres cathédraux," p.238.) "The custom in France at
present, of common law, is that the bishops govern their dioceses
without the participation of any chapter. They simply call to their
council those they deem proper, and choose from these their chapter
and cathedral councillors."

[34] Ibid., id.: "Notwithstanding these fine titles, the members of
the chapter take no part in the government during the life of the
bishop; all depends on this prelate, who can do everything himself,
or, if he needs assistants, he may take them outside of the chapter."
- Ibid., p. 445. Since 1802, in France, "the titular canons are
appointed by the bishop and afterwards by the government, which gives
them a salary. It is only the shadow of the canonical organization, of
which, however, they possess all the canonical rights."

[35] Abbé André, "Exposition de quelques principes fondamentaux de
droit Canonique," p.187 (citing on this subject one of the documents
of Mgr. Sibour, then bishop of Digne). - " Since the Concordat of
1801, the absence of all fixed procedure in the trial of priests has
left nothing for the accused to depend on but the conscience and
intelligence of the bishop. The bishop, accordingly, has been, in law,
as in fact, the sole pastor and judge of his clergy, and, except in
rare cases, no external limit has been put to the exercise of his
spiritual authority."

[36] Émile Ollivier, "L'Église et l'État au concile du Vatican," p
517. - Abbé André, ibid., PP.17, 19, 30, 280. (Various instances,
particularly the appeal of a rural curé, Feb. 8, 1866.) "The
metropolitan (bishop) first remarked that he could not bring himself
to condemn his suffragan." Next (Feb.20, 1866), judgment confirmed by
the metropolitan court, declaring "that no reason exists for declaring
exaggerated and open to reform the penalty of depriving the rector of
the parish of X- of his title, a title purely conferred by and
revocable at the will of the bishop."

[37] Émile Ollivier, ibid., II.,517, 516. - Abbé André, ibid., p.241.
"During the first half of the nineteenth century no appeal could be
had from the Church of France to Rome."

[38] Émile Ollivier, ibid., I. p. 286. - Abbé André, ibid., p.242:
"From 1803 to 1854 thirty-eight appeals under writ of error (were
presented) to the Council of State by priests accused. . . . Not one
of the thirty-eight appeals was admitted."

[39] Prœlectiones juris canonici habitœ in seminario Sancti Sulpicii,
III., p.146.

[40] Émile Ollivier, ibid., I., 136.

[41] Id., ibid., I., p. 285. (According to Abbé Denys, "Études sur
l'administration de l'Église," p. 211.) - Cf. Abbé André, ibid., and
"L'Etat actuel du clergé en France par les frères Allignol" (1839). -
This last work, written by two assistant-curés, well shows, article by
article, the effects of the Concordat and the enormous distance which
separates the clergy of to-day from the old clergy. The modifications
and additions which comport with this exposition are indicated by Abbé
Richandeau, director of the Blois Seminary, in his book, "De
l'ancienne et de la nouvelle discipline de l'Eglise en France" (1842).
Besides this, the above exposition, as well as what follows, is
derived from, in addition to printed documents, personal observations,
much oral information, and numerous manuscript letters.

[42] "Manreze du prêtre," by the R. P. Caussette, vicar-general of
Toulouse, 1879., V. II.,p.523. (As stated by the Abbé Dubois, an
experienced missionary. He adds that these priests, "transferred to
difficult posts, are always on good terms with their mayors, . . .
triumph over obstacles, and maintain peace.") - Ibid., I., p.312. "I
do not know whether the well-informed consciences of our lords the
bishops have made any mistakes, but what pardons have they not
granted! what scandals have they not suppressed! what reputations have
they not preserved! what a misfortune if you have to do with a court
instead of with a father! For the court acquits and does not pardon. .
. . And your bishop may not only employ the mercy of forgiveness, but,
again, that of secrecy. How reap the advantages of this paternal
system by calumniating it!"

[43] Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup," by Abbé Lagrange, II.,p.43: "Mgr.
Dupanloup believed that pastoral removal was very favorable, not to
say necessary, to the good administration of a diocese, to the proper
management of parishes, even to the honor of priests and the Church,
considering the difficulties of the times we live in. Irremovability
was instituted for fortunate times and countries in which the people
fulfilled all their duties and in which the sacerdotal ministry could
not be otherwise than a simple ministry of conservation; at the
present day it is a ministry of conquest and of apostleship. The
bishop, accordingly, must dispose of his priests as he thinks them fit
for this work, according to their zeal and to their possible success
in a country which has to be converted." Against the official
character and publicity of its judgments " it is important that it
should not make out of a misfortune which is reparable a scandal that
nothing can repair."

[44] "Moniteur," session of March 11, 1865.

[45] In the following Taine describes the centralization and
improvement of the Church administration which probably made many
socialist readers believe that the same kind of improvements easily
could be introduced into private enterprise at the same time making
them more determined to exclude children from the old families from
all kinds of leadership in the coming socialist state.

[46] "The Ancient Régime," pp. 65, 120, 150, 292. "Memoires inédits de
Madame de ....." (I am not allowed to give the author's name). The
type in high relief of one of these prelates a few years before the
Revolution may here be found. He was bishop of Narbonne, with an
income of 800,000 livres derived from the possessions of the clergy.
He passed a fortnight every other year at Narbonne, and then for six
weeks he presided with ability and propriety over the provincial
parliament at Montpellier. But during the other twenty-two months he
gave no thought to any parliamentary business or to his diocese, and
lived at Haute Fontaine with his niece, Madame de Rothe, of whom he
was the lover. Madame de Dillon, his grand-niece, and the Prince de
Guémenée, the lover of Madame de Dillon, lived in the same château.
The proprieties of deportment were great enough, but language there
was more than free, so much so that the Marquise d'Osmond, on a visit,
"was embarrassed even to shedding tears. . . . On Sunday, out of
respect to the character of the master of the house, they went to
Mass; but nobody carried a prayer-book; it was always some gay and
often scandalous book, which was left lying about in the tribune of
the château, open to those who cleaned the room, for their edification
as they pleased."

[47] "Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup," by Abbé Lagrange. - " Histoire du
Cardinal Pie, évêque de Poitiers," by Mgr. Bannard.

[48] One could imagine the impression this text would have made on
Lenin and his plans to create an elite communist party once he should
take the power he dreamt of. (SR.)

[49] "Moniteur," session of March 14, 1865, speech of Cardinal de
Bonnechose: "I exact full obedience, because I myself, like those
among you who belong to the army or navy, have always taken pride in
thus rendering it to my chiefs, to my superiors."

[50] "Histoire du cardinal Pie," by M. Bannard, II.,p.690. M. Pie
left six large volumes in which, for thirty years, he recorded his
episcopal acts, uninterruptedly, until his last illness.

[51] Ibid., II., p.135 : "In the year 1860 he had confirmed 11,586
belonging to his diocese; in 1861 he confirmed 11,845." - "Vie de Mgr.
Dupanloup," by Abbé La Grange, I II ., p. 19. (Letter to his clergy,
1863.) He enumerates what he had done in his diocese: "The parochial
retraites which have amounted to nearly one hundred; the perpetual
adoration of the Holy Sacrament established in all the parishes;
confirmation, not alone in the cantonal town but in the smallest
villages and always preceded by the mission; the canonical visit made
annually in each parish, partly by the archdeacon, partly by the dean,
and partly by the bishop; . . . the vicarships doubled; life in common
established among the parochial clergy; sisters of charity for schools
and the sick multiplied in the diocese and spread on all sides;
augmentation of everything concerning ecclesiastical studies, the
number of small and large seminaries being largely increased;
examinations of young priests; ecclesiastical lectures; grades
organized and raised; churches and rectories everywhere rebuilt or
'repaired; a great diocesan work in helping poor parishes and, to
sustain it, the diocesan lottery and fair of the ladies of Orleans;
finally, retraites and communions for men established, and also in
other important towns and parishes of the diocese." (P. 46.) (Letter
of January 26, 1846, prescribing in each parish the exact holding of
the status animarum, which status is his criterion for placing a
curé.) "The État de Pâques in his parish must always be known while
he is in it, before withdrawing him and placing him elsewhere."

[52] The drafters of the charter of the United Nations Staff Rules had
the same idea in mind when writing Regulation 1.2: "Staff members are
subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by
him to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations. They
are responsible to him in the exercise of their functions. The whole
time of staff members shall be at the disposal of the Secretary-
General. The Secretary-General shall establish a normal working week."
The disciplinary means of which the bishops disposed are, however,
lacking in the United Nations secretariat. (SR.)

[53] "Moniteur," session of March 14 1865. (Speech of Cardinal de
Bonnechose.) "What would we do without our monks, Jesuits, Dominicans,
Carmelites, etc., to preach at Advent and during Lent, and act as
missionaries in the country? The (parochial) clergy is not numerous
enough to do this daily work."

[54] Prœlectiones juris canonici, II., 305 and following pages.

[55] "La Charité à Nancy," by Abbé Girard, 1890, I. vol. - "La Charité
à Angers," by Léon Cosnier, 1890, 2 vols. - "Manuel des oeuvres et
institutions charitable à Paris," by Lacour, I vol. - "Les
Congrégations religieuses en France," by Émile Keller, 1880, 1 vol,

[56] "Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup," I., 506 (1853). "More than one hundred
free ecclesiastical establishments for secondary education have been
founded since the law of 1850." - " Statistique de l'enseignement
secondaire." In 1865, there were 276 free ecclesiastical schools for
secondary instruction with 34,897 pupils, of which 23.549 were
boarders and 11,348 day-scholars. In 1876, there were 390 with 46,816
pupils, of which 33,092 were boarders and 13,724 day-scholars.

[57] "La Charité à Nancy," by Abbé Girard, p.87. - "Vie du Cardinal
by Mgr. Besson, 2 vols.

[58] December, 1890.

[59] Cf., in the above-mentioned biographies, the public and political
discourses of the leading prelates, especially those of M. Mathieu (of
Besançon), M. Dupanloup (of Orleans), Mgr. de Bonnechose (of Rouen),
and particularly Mgr. Pie (of Poitiers).

[60] A fact told me by a lady, an eye-witness. In the seventeenth
century it is probable that Fénelon or Bossuet would have regarded
such a response as extravagant and even sacrilegious.

[61] Imagine the impression this might have had on ambitious men
dreaming of establishing their own faithful parties. (SR.)

[62] Abbé Elie Méric, in the "Correspondant" of January 10, 1890, p.

[63] "De 1'État actuel du clergé en France" (1839), p.248, by the
brothers Allignol. Careers of every kind are too crowded; "only the
ecclesiastical is in want of subjects; willing youths are the only
ones wanted and none are found." This is due, say these authors, to
the profession of assistant-priest being too gloomy -eight years of
preparatory study five years in the seminary, 800 francs of pay with
the risk of losing it any day, poor extras, a life-servitude, no
retiring pension, etc. - "Le Grand Péril de L'Église en France," by
Abbé Bougaud (4th ed., 1879), pp 2-23. - "Lettre Circulaire" (No. 53)
of Mgr. Thiebaut, archbishop of Rouen, 1890, p.618.

[64] There is a gradual suppression of the subvention in 1877 and 1853
and a final one in 1885.

[65] Abbé Bougaud, Ibid., p. 118, etc. - The lower seminary contains
about 200 or 250 pupils. Scarcely one of these pays full board. They
pay on the average from 100 to 200 frs. per head, while their
maintenance costs 400 francs. - The instructors who are priests get
600 francs a year. Those who are not priests get 300 francs, which
adds 12,000 francs to the expenses and brings the total deficit up to
42,000 or 52,000 francs.

[66] Somewhat like television where he who controls this media
controls the minds of the people. (SR.)

[67] Circular letter (No. 53) of M. Léon, archbishop of Rouen (1890),
p. 618 and following pages.

[68] Had Hitler and Lenin read this, which is likely, then they would
have fashion their youth party programmes accordingly!! Kthe Catholic
faith in France today (in 1999) is nearly extinguished with only 14
seminaries and only a few hundred young men yearly entering

[69] Abbé Bougaud, ibid., p. 135. (Opinion of the archbishop of Aix,
Ibid., p. 38.) "I know a lower seminary in which a class en quatrième
(8th grade US.) of 44 pupils furnished only 4 priests, 40 having
dropped out on the way. . . . I have been informed that a large
college in Paris, conducted by priests and containing 400 pupils,
turned out in ten years but one of an ecclesiastical calling." -
"Moniteur," March, 14, 1865. (Speech in the Senate by Cardinal
Bonnechose.) "With us, discipline begins at an early age, first in the
lower seminary and then in the upper seminary. . . . Other nations
envy us our seminaries. They have not succeeded in establishing any
like them. They cannot keep pupils so long; their pupils enter their
seminaries only as day scholars."

[70] Old-fashioned name for the 11th grade in a French high school.

[71] "Histoire de M. Emery," by Abbé Elie Méric, I., 15, 17. "From
1786 onwards, plays written by the 'les philosophes," by the
'Robertuis' and the Laon community; they were excluded from the great
seminary where they ought never to have been admitted." This reform
was effected by the new director, M. Emery, and met with such
opposition that it almost cost him his life.

[72] M. de Talleyrand, "Mémoires," vol. i. (Concerning one of his
gallantries.) "The superiors might have had some Suspicion, . . . but
Abbé couturier had shown them how to shut their eyes. He had taught
them not to reprove a young seminarist whom they believed destined to
a high position, who might become coadjutor at Rheims, perhaps a
cardinal, perhaps minister, minister de la feuille - who knows?"

[73] "Diary in France," by Christopher Wordsworth, D.D. 1845.
(Weakness of the course of study at Saint-Sulpice.) "There is no
regular course of lectures on ecclesiastical history." - There is
still at the present day no special course of Greek for learning to
read the New Testament in the original. - "Le clergé français en 1890"
(by an anonymous ecclesiastic), pp.24-38. "High and substantial
service is lacking with us. . . . For a long time, the candidates for
the episcopacy are exempt by a papal bull from the title of doctor." -
In the seminary there are discussions in barbarous Latin, antiquated
subjects, with the spouting of disjointed bits of text: "They have not
learned how to think. . . Their science is good for mothing; they
have no means or methods even for learning. . . . The Testament of
Christ is what they are most ignorant of. . . . A priest who devotes
himself to study is regarded either as a pure speculator unfit for the
government, or with an ambition which nothing can satisfy, or again an
odd, ill-humored, ill-balanced person; we live under the empire of
this stupid prejudice, . . . We have archeologists, assyriologists,
geologists, philologists and other one-sided savants. The
philosophers, theologians, historians, and canonists have become

[74] "Journal d'un voyage en France," by Th. W. Allies, 1845, p.38.
(Table of daily exercises in Saint-Sulpice furnished by Abbé Caron,
former secretary to the archbishop of Paris.) - Cf. in "Volupté," by
Saint-Beuve, the same table furnished by Lacordaire.

[75] "Manreze du prêtre," by the Rev. Father Caussette, I., 82.

[76] Ibid., I., 48. "Out of 360 meditations made by a priest during
the year, 300 of them are arid." We have the testimony of Abbé
d'Astros on the efficacy of prayers committed to memory, who was in
prison for three years under the first empire and without any books.
"I knew the psalms by heart and, thanks to this converse with God,
which escaped the jailor, I was never troubled by boredom."

[77] As with the "Frères des Écoles Chrétiennes," whose society has
the most members.

[78] "Manreze du prêtre," by the Rev. Father Caussette, I., 9. The
Manreze is the grotto where Saint Ignatius found the plan of his
Exercitia and the three ways by which a man succeeds in detaching
himself from the world, "the purgative, the illuminative and the
unitive." The author says that he has brought all to the second way,
as the most suitable for priests. He himself preached pastoral
retreats everywhere in France, his book being a collection of rules
for retreats of this kind.

[79] Someone who, like me, have lived through the attempted Communist
conquest of the world, in Eastern Europe, in China, Korea, Vietnam and
other conquered territories, the terrible experiences of those
imprisoned in re-education camps, come to mind. Did Lenin have Taine
translated? Did Lenin and Stalin use this description of catholic
brainwashing as their model? We might never find out. (SR.)

[80] One of these enduring effects is the intense faith of the
prelates, who in the 18th century believed so little. At the present
day, not made bishops until about fifty years of age, thirty of which
have been passed in exercises of this description, their piety has
taken the Roman, positive, practical turn which terminates in
devotions properly so called. M. Emery, the reformer of Saint-Sulpice,
gave the impulsion in this sense. ("Histoire de M. Emery," by Abbé
Elie Méric, p. 115 etc.) M. Emery addressed the seminarians thus: "Do
you think that, if we pray to the Holy Virgin sixty times a day to aid
us at the hour of death, she will desert us at the last moment? " - "
He led us into the chapel, which he had decked with reliquaries. . . .
He made the tour of it, kissing in turn each reliquary with respect
and love, and when he found one of them out of reach for this homage,
he said to us, 'Since we cannot kiss that one, let us accord it our
profoundest reverence!' . . . And we all three kneeled before the
reliquary." - Among other episcopal lives, that of Cardipal Pie,
bishop of Poitiers, presents the order of devotion in high relief.
("Histoire du cardinal Pie," by M. Bannard, II.,348 and passim.) There
was a statuette of the Virgin on his bureau. After his death, a
quantity of paper scraps, in Latin or French, written and placed there
by him-were found, dedicating this or that action, journey or
undertaking under the special patronage of the Virgin or St. Joseph.
He also possessed a statuette of Our Lady of Lourdes which never was
out of his sight, day or night. "One day, having gone out of his
palace, he suddenly returned, having forgotten something - he had
neglected to kiss the feet of his Heavenly Mother." - Cf. "Vie de Mgr.
Dupanloup," Abbé Lagrange, I., 524. " During his mother's illness,
he multiplied the novenas, visited every altar, made vows, burnt
candles, for not only had he devotion, but devotions. . . On the 2d
of January, 1849, there was fresh alarm; thereupon, a novena at Saint-
Geneviève and a vow - no longer the chaplet, but the rosary. Then, as
the fête of Saint François de Sales drew near a new novena to this
great Savoyard saint; prayers to the Virgin in Saint-Sulpice; to the
faithful Virgin; to the most wise Virgin, everywhere."

[81] "Manreze du prêtre," I., 27, 29, 30, 31, 35, 91, 92, 244, 246,
247, 268.

[82] Ibid. I., 279, 281, 301, 307, 308, 319.

[83] Just like the believing faithful 20th century international
revolutionary Marxist-communist. (SR.)

[84] "Le clergé française en 1890" (by an anonymous ecclesiastic), p.
72. (On the smaller parishes.) "The task of the curé here is
thankless if he is zealous, too easy if he has no zeal. In any event,
he is an isolated man, with no resources whatever, tempted by all the
demons of solitude and inactivity." - Ibid.,,92. "Our authority among
the common classes as well as among thinking people is held in check;
the human mind is to-day fully emancipated and society secularized." -
Ibid., 15. "Indifference seems to have retired from the summits of
the nation only to descend to the lower strata. . . . In France, the
priest is the more liked the less he is seen; to efface himself, to
disappear is what is first and most often demanded of him. The clergy
and the nation live together side by side, scarcely in contact,
through certain actions in life, and never intermingling."


I. The regular clergy.

The regular clergy. - Difference in the condition of the two clergies.
- The three vows. - Rules. - Life in common. - Object of the system. -
Violent suppression of the institution and its abuses in 1790. -
Spontaneous revival of the institution free of its abuses after 1800.
- Democratic and republican character of monastic constitutions. -
Vegetation of the old stock and multiplication of new plants, - Number
of monks and nuns. - Proportion of these numbers to the total
population in 1789 and 1878. - Predominance of the organizations for
labor and charity. - How formed and extended. - Social instinct and
contact with the mystic world.

HOWEVER correct the life of a secular priest may be, he stills belongs
to his century. Like a layman, he has his own domicile and fireside,
his parsonage in the country with a garden, or an apartment in town -
in any event, his own home and household, a servant or housekeeper,
who is often either his mother or a sister; in short, a suitable
enclosure set apart, where he can enjoy his domestic and private life
free of the encroachments on his public and ecclesiastical life,
analogous to that of a lay functionary or a bachelor of steady habits.
In effect, his expenses and income, his comforts and discomforts are
about the same. His condition, his salary,[1] his table, clothes and
furniture, his out-of-door ways and habits, give him rank in the
village alongside of the schoolteacher and postmaster; in the large
borough or small town, alongside of the justice of the peace and
college professor; in the large towns, side by side with the head of a
bureau or a chief of division; at Paris, in certain parishes,
alongside of the prefect of police and the prefect of the Seine.[2]
Even in the humblest curacy, he regulates his budget monthly, spending
his money without consulting anybody. When not on duty, his time is
his own. He can dine out, order for himself at home a special dish,
allow himself delicacies. If he does not possess every comfort, he
has most of them, and thus, like a lay functionary, he may if he
chooses get ahead in the world, obtain promotion to a better curacy,
become irremovable, be appointed canon and sometimes mount upward,
very high, to the topmost rank. Society has a hold on him through all
these worldly purposes; he is too much mixed up with it to detach
himself from it entirely; very often his spiritual life droops or
proves abortive under so many terrestrial preoccupations. - If the
Christian desires to arrive at the alibi and dwell in the life beyond,
another system of existence is essential for him, entailing a
protection against two temptations, that is to say the abandonment of
two dangerous liberties, one consisting in the power by which, being
an owner of property, he disposes as he likes of what belongs to him,
and the other consisting in the power by which, being master of his
acts, he arranges as he pleases his daily occupations. To this end, in

Book of the day: