THE period from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries was characterized by a succession of political revolutions.  Beginning with the American War of Independence, followed by the French Revolution, the whole political face of Europe changed drastically.  France teetered back and forth between republic and monarchy/empire throughout the nineteenth century; and despite the attempt at restoration of monarchies following the downfall of Napoleon in 1815, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, and Italy were all convulsed with political ferment and revolutionary instability.



numbered according to the Organic Articles of Napoleon




C. The Declaration of 1682. March 19, 1682. Debidour. L'Eglisse et l'Etat en France, 651-652.
Numbering from Napoleon's Organic Articles is given in brackets]

MANY persons are striving in these times to subvert the decrees of the Gallican Church and its liberties, which our ancestors have supported with so much zeal, and to overthrow their foundations, which rest upon the holy canons and the tradition of the Fathers. Others, under pretence of defending them, are not afraid to excite an attack upon the primacy of Saint Peter and the Roman pontiffs, his successors, who were instituted by Jesus Christ, and the obedience which all Christians owe them, and to diminish the majesty of the apostolic Holy See, which is worthy of respect by all the nations in which the true faith is taught and in which the unity of the Church is preserved. On the other hand, heretics are putting everything at work to make that authority, which maintains the peace of the Church, appear odious and intolerable to kings and peoples, and, by these artifices, to remove simple souls from the communion of the Church, their mother, and therefore from that of Jesus Christ.—In order to remedy these inconveniences, we, archbishops and bishops assembled at Paris by order of the King, representing with the other ecclesiastical deputies the Gallican Church, after mature deliberation, nave decided that it is necessary to make the regulations and the declarations which follow:

1 [Org.Art. §74]. That Saint Peter and his successors, vicars of Jesus Christ, and even the whole Church have received authority from God only over things spiritual and which have to do with salvation, and not over things temporal and civil; Jesus Christ himself tells us that His kingdom is not of this world, and, in another place, that it is necessary to render to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar, and to God that which belongs to God. That is is necessary to hold to this precept of Saint Paul: that every person should be subject to the higher powers, for there is no power which does not come from God, and it is He who ordains those which are upon earth; that is why he who opposes the powers resists the order of God. In consequence, we declare that

kings are not subject to any ecclesiastical power by order of God, in things which have to do with the temporal,

and that they cannot be deposed directly or indirectly by the authority of the heads of the Church;

that their subjects cannot be exempted from the submission and obedience which are due to them, nor be dispensed from the oath of fidelity;

that this doctrine, necessary for the public peace, and as advantageous to Church as to State, ought to be regarded as in conformity with the Holy Scriptures and with the tradition of the Fathers of the Church and with the example of the saints.

2 [Org.Art. §75]. That the plenitude of power which the apostolic Holy See and the successors of Saint Peter, vicars of Jesus Christ, have over things spiritual is such, nevertheless, that the decrees of the holy ecumenical council of Constance, contained in sessions 4 and 5, approved by the apostolic Holy See and confirmed by the practice of all the Church and of the Roman pontiffs, and religiously observed of all time by the Gallican Church, remain in their force and vigor,[i.e. that a Council is superior in authority to the Pope] and that the Church of France does not approve of the opinion of those who make attack upon these decrees or enfeeble them by saying that their authority is not well established and that they are not approved or that their provision had regard only to the time of the schism.

3 [Org.Art. §76]. That it is necessary to regulate the use of the apostolic authority through canons made by the spirit of God and consecrated by the general respect of all the world ; that the rules, customs and constitutions received in the kingdom and in the Gallican Church ought to have their force and their vigor, and that the usages of our fathers ought to remain unshaken; that it is also for the grandeur of the apostolic Holy See that the laws and customs established with the consent of that see and of the Churches should have the authority which they ought to have.

4 [Org.Art. §77]. That, although the Pope has the principal part in questions of faith, and although his decrees relate to all the Churches, and each Church in particular, his judgment is not irreformable, unless the consent of the Church intervenes.

These are the maxims which we have received from our fathers and which we have ordered to be sent to all the Gallican Churches and to the bishops whom the Holy Spirit has established there to govern them, in order that we may all say the same thing, that we may be of the same sentiments, and that we may all hold the same doctrine.



THE TEST ACT of 1673



The test Act of 1673 enforced upon all persons filling any office, civil or military in England, the obligation of

The test Act of 1673 enforced upon all persons filling any office, civil or military in England, the obligation of

1) taking the oaths of supremacy [the King as Supreme Head of the Church] and allegiance

2) and subscribing to a declaration against transubstantiation

3) and also of receiving holy communion [in the Church of England] within three months after admittance to office.

The oath for the Test Act of 1673 was:

I, N, do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of the bread and wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever.


The act was repealed in parts during1828-1829

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