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concordat

concordat (kənkôr´dăt), formal agreement, specifically between the pope, in his spiritual capacity, and the temporal authority of a state. Its juridical status is now generally accepted as being a contract between church and state and as such it is a treaty governed by international laws. The term concordat has also been applied to other agreements; thus, in the Swiss Confederation before 1848 federal decisions were called concordats. The fundamental antithesis between church and state found particularly violent expression in the quarrels over investiture during the Middle Ages and gave rise to the practice of concluding concordats. The earliest agreement to be called a concordat (see Worms, Concordat of, 1122) was a dual proclamation rather than a bilateral act. The Concordat of 1516 between Pope Leo X and King Francis I of France, which abolished the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (see pragmatic sanction), gave the king the right to nominate bishops, abbots, and priors but reserved to the pope the right of confirmation and special rights of appointment. That right was revoked at the States-General of Orléans in 1561, and the struggle between Gallicanism and ultramontanism was resumed, to last until the French Revolution. The Concordat of 1801, most famous of all concordats, regulated the status of the church in France for a century. In the 19th and 20th cent. numerous concordats were concluded. The appointment of bishops still remained an important issue, but the advance of secularism gave increasing importance to the status of religious education, monastic orders, and church property and to the seemingly conflicting loyalties of Roman Catholics to the state and to the church. In the Catholic countries of Latin America the conflicts and adjustments between church and state gave rise to a number of concordats. The concordat of 1855 with Austria gave vast rights to the church, but it was abrogated by Austria upon the proclamation of papal infallibility. The Kulturkampf between Otto von Bismarck and the papacy ended (1887) with a modus vivendi, which was a tentative agreement and not called a concordat. The status of the papacy in Italy was regulated in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty. The threat of National Socialism (Nazism) to the Roman Catholic Church prompted the concordat of 1933 with Adolf Hitler, who violated it from the start. In Spain, where Francisco Franco had abrogated the concordat of 1931, a provisional agreement with the Vatican over the appointment of bishops was reached in 1941. After World War II a number of concordats (notably that with Poland) were abrogated by Communist regimes. A new concordat with Spain was signed in 1953.

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Concordat of 1801

Concordat of 1801, agreement between Napoleon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII that reestablished the Roman Catholic Church in France. Napoleon took the initiative in negotiating this agreement; he recognized that reconciliation with the church was politic. It would help consolidate his position, end the royalist–clerical rebellion in W France, reunite the clergy, which had been divided since the French Revolution, and win the support of the large majority of peasant-farmers. By its terms Roman Catholicism was recognized as the religion of most French citizens. Archbishops and bishops were to be nominated by the government, but the pope was to confer the office. Parish priests were to be appointed by the bishops, subject to government approval. Confiscated church property, most of which had been sold to private persons, was not to be restored, but the government was to provide adequate support for the clergy. To implement the concordat Napoleon issued (1802) the so-called Organic Articles; these restated the traditional liberties of the Gallican church (see Gallicanism) while increasing Napoleon's control of church activities. The Organic Articles were not agreed to by the pope, and he did not consider them binding. A century later, anticlericalism, intensified by the Dreyfus Affair, led to the imposition of severe restrictions on the church, culminating (1905) in the formal repudiation of the concordat, thereby separating church and state.

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Concordat

Concordat. An agreement between a religious group and the government of a country on matters of mutual concern. Thus the Vatican entered into concordats with both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. An important model is the Pactum Callixtinum, or Concordat of Worms (1122) whereby the contest between the Popes and the Holy Roman Emperors over the right to appoint bishops was resolved in favour of the Popes.

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