363 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Frsaoe
copal palaces. and parsonages are declared the property of the State and the communes, and are loaned to the religious associations for a term of two to five years. These associations have to furnish, on occasion of general annual conventions of their members, exact financial reports with respect to their economic activity. Should no religious association be organized in places where church property existed, the latter is transferred to the communal institutions for charitable purposes. The use of churches for divine service is permitted only by virtue of annual notifications to the civil authorities pending the term of their use. Religious insignia or symbols on buildings or on any public site are forbidden. Incumbents who had served upward of twenty years are allowed a pension; the others, proportional allowances of their former stipend, for a term of four years.
The entire law ignores the Church as such, and treats religion as a concern for voluntary associations on the part of the citizens. On the 6. Effect of other hand, the Church has complete Separation freedom on the side of its organization, on Clergy. its hierarchy, discipline, and liturgical arrangements (except as regards the announcement of the appointed times of divine service).The pope, in a proclamation to the French epis copate, declared it to be incompatible with the canonical regulations of the Church to comply with the law of separation; so that some other plan must be devised for the execution of the law, if it is to be carried out without too prolonged disturbances of domestic and ecclesiastical peace. The question of financial provision will the more pressingly assert itself with reference to the parochial clergy; seeing that the. cathedral chapters and the scholastic es tablishments for the clergy had to be supported from the episcopal revenues for the last twenty years. In 1885 the theological faculties attached to the universities were likewise abrogated; and only the vicars-general continued to draw an actually sig nificant State allowance (3,000 to 5,000 francs). Henceforward, indeed, the bishops alone will nomi nate all their provincial dignitaries, whereas hitherto the so-called titularies of the cathedral chapter were named by the State; while only the remainder, the honoraries, obtained the canonical rank pursuantly to the episcopal election. As a matter of course, the bishops also received power to make all parochial appointments; although in this connection the dis tinction as to desservants is no longer observed. The dissolution of the religious congregations occa sioned much concern for the bishops, as the admin istrative activity of these societies came to an end; although many individual fraternity clerics contin ued their labors. WILHELM GOETZ. II. Protestant Churches. -1. The Reformed Church: Until 1906, when Church and State were separated, the legal status of the Reformed churches in France rested on the law of April 8, 1802 (afterward altered and extended by the law of March 26, 1852). Each congregation was to have its presbytery, chosen by general vote, over which was to be the consistory, usu ally including several congregations, and five con IV.-23
sistories were to form a provincial synod (these synods, however never came into existence). Up to 1872 the Church had no power to summon a general synod; at its head was only an advisory commission, the Conseil central, which was by no means equal to a synod. From the beginning of the nineteenth century there were two parties in the Church, the orthodox and the liberal, that at first lived together in peace, but at last the peace was broken by the liberals. The famous preacher Adolphe Monod (q.v.) was removed from office because of a bitter sermon against the despisers of the Lord's Supper (April 15, 1831). However, at that time the liberals had not abandoned all positive belief. They still believed in historic Christianity and in miracles. This was soon changed under the influence of the new school of theology, and gradually even the orthodox party deserted the old doctrines and laid stress on only the chief dogmas and on the facts of Bible history. The liberals went still further, attacked the authority of the Bible, and denied not only the divinity, but even the sinlessness of Christ. The founding of the Union Protestante Lib6rale and Renan's Vie de Jesus (Paris, 1863) hastened the crisis. The split was widened at the conferences of pastors held in Paris every year, and at the one in the year 1864 Guizot proposed and carried a declaration of faith in the immanence of God in the world, the inspiration and authority of Scripture, the divinity, the immaculate conception, and the resurrection of Christ. The liberals took revenge at the conference of Nimes; and 121 men were compelled to separate themselves and form the Conf6rence Nationale tvang6lique du Midi, which subscribed to the declaration of Guizot. The strife was renewed the next two years; another declaration of belief in the Apostles' Creed and the authority of Scripture was made, so that the liberals were forced to secede. From now on the orthodox party worked for the calling of a genehal synod, in which they were opposed by the liberals. Finally Thiers decreed the summoning of a general synod, which met June 6, 1872. In the synod straightway appeared four parties: Right, Right Center, Left, and Left Center. The synod, which sat for a month, chiefly split upon a creed, which was finally accepted. Forty-one liberal consistories protested against the decisions of the synod; there was also a middle party which worked for the formation of an orthodox and a liberal church. The orthodox party won the day with the government, and a synod was called to publish the creed, which the liberals did not attend (Nov. 20, 1873). New elections were held for the consistories in which the liberals refused to take part. At last in 1877 there were again new elections in which the liberals did take part, since the government allowed them to treat the decrees of the synod according to their conscience. The liberals and the orthodox then lived under the r6gime of the official union with common consistories. The orthodox part of the Church grouped the consistories that accepted the creed of 1872 into twenty-one provincial synods, over which was placed a formal general synod entrusted with the direction of the Church. The liberal part of the Church was represented by a