I. A treaty, but usually restricted to a convention between the pope of Rome and any secular Roman Catholic government for the settling of ecclesiastical relations. Treaties which the pope, as a secular sovereign, concludes with other princes, are not called concordats. Conventions between the pope and a Protestant government for the settlement of the ecclesiastical relations of the Roman Catholic subjects of the latter are properly only called conventions, though it is common to apply the term concordat to any convention. The name concordat was for the first time applied to the convention made in 1418 between Pope Martin V and the representatives of the German nation, which was called Nonnulla capitula concordata et ab utraqueparte suscepta. The name is now, however, generally applied to earlier conventions also. One of the most important of the earlier concordats is that of Worms, called also the Calixtine Concordat, made in 1122 between Calixtus II and Henry V, in order to put an end to the long contest on the subject of investiture, and which has since been considered a fundamental ordinance in Germany. Most of the concordats have been extorted from the popes by the different civil powers. This was done as early as the fifteenth century; for when the Council of Constance urged a reformation of the papal court, Martin V
saw himself obliged, in 1418, to conclude the concordats of Constance with the German, the French, and the English nations. Chap. 1 restricts the number of cardinals, and makes provisions as to their character and mode of appointment. Chap. 2 restricts the papal reservations. Chap. 3 treats of papal annates and taxes, which for France were reduced for the space of five years to one half of their former amount; while in the English concordat these were abolished altogether. Chap. 4 defines what trials are to be lodged at Rome. Chap. 5 reduces the number of commendams. Chap. 6 enjoins a strict proceeding against simony before the forum conscientioe. Chap. 7 provides that excommunicated persons need not be shunned before the publication of the ban. Chap. 8 reduces the number of papal dispensations. Chap. 9 treats of the revenue of the papal curia. Chap. 10 reduces for Germany the papal indulgences, and repeals those that had been issued since the death of Gregory XI: in the French concordat nothing is said about this point. Chap. 11 provides that the German and French concordats are to be valid only for five years, and that with regard to the French the royal sanction is reserved. The English concordat is definite. The German and English concordats obtained at once legal authority; the French in 1424.
At a meeting of the German electors at Frankfort, in October, 1446, the reformatory demands of the German nations, which for several years had been the subject of negotiations, were finally agreed upon. They chiefly concerned the recognition of the supreme authority of general councils, the convocation of a new general council, and the redress of the grievances of the German nation. Pope Eugene IV, through his ambassadors, declared his readiness to concede these demands, and on his death-bed, Feb., 1447, signed five bulls by which they were severally granted. The Frankfort demands, and the bulls of Eugene IV, by which they are ratified, are together called the Frankfort Concordats, or the Concordat of Princes. The chief basis of these concordats was the series of reformatory decrees which had been adopted by the Council of Basle. Nicholas V, on March 28, 1447, ratified the concessions made by his predecessor to the German nation.
On Feb. 17, 1448, the Emperor Frederick III concluded (without the cooperation of the electors) with the cardinal legate Carvajal a concordat at Vienna, which made to the pope far-reaching concessions; in particular, the right of ratifying the election of all the bishops (which right, by the Concordat of Princes, had been restricted to the bishoprics immediately subject to the pope), of canceling uncanonical elections, and of appointing bishops for the dioceses thus become vacant. This convention was formerly called the Aschaffenburg Concordat or Recess, but the more correct name is the Vienna Concordat. The Frankfort Concordats and the; Vienna Concordat together are called the Concordats of the German Nation. They formed a fundamental law of the German Empire, and part of them continued, even after the destruction of the German Empire, to be a part of the ecclesiastical law of the several German countries.
In France, the reformatory decrees of the Council of Basle had been, in 1438, adopted as a law of the kingdom at the Diet of Bourges. But this law — the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges — was never recognized by any of the popes of the 15th century; and in 1516, Pope Leo X prevailed upon king Francis I to conclude a new concordat, which the Lateran Council, then in session, approved and embodied with its decree, while the king made it a law of the country, notwithstanding the protest of the Parliament and the University of Paris. It established the annates, referred the causoe majores for adjudication to Rome, and gives to the king the right of nominating the bishops.
In 1451 a concordat was concluded with the duke of Savoy, by which the latter received the right of nominating for the most important benefices. In 1486 king John II of Portugal concluded a concordat with Pope Innocent VIII, by which he abandoned the Placet Regium, which the kings had exercised since the beginning of the century, though, since 1427, the popes had protested against it. The concordat was disapproved by the Cortes. In 1523 Pope Adrian II gave to the kings of Spain the same right as regards the nominating for ecclesiastical benefices which had been conceded to France. No concordat was concluded during the 16th century after the year 1523, and none at all during the 17th century.
II. The Concordats of the Eighteenth Century. — The concordats of this period (1717-1774) were occasioned by the revival of the anti-papal tendencies of the Church of Rome, which had prevailed in the 15th century, and still more by the development of the theory of the absolute state. They all belong to the Latin nations of Europe.
1. Savoy. — The arrangement of 1451 had been the subject of long controversies, which were partly settled by an agreement in 1727, and fully by a concordat on Jan. 6, 1741, which made provisions on the admission and authority of papal bulls in the country, on the limits of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, on the exemption of church property, on the right of asylum, etc.
2. For Milan, which, since 1706, belonged to Austria, a concordat was concluded Dec. 10, 1757, concerning exclusively the exemption of church property.
3. In Naples the so-called Monarchia Sicula; or the right claimed by kings to act as papal legates, had long been a hereditary subject of controversy between the secular governments and the popes. It was finally regulated, together with other differences, by a treaty concluded June 2, 1741, which recognized, though in somewhat modified form, the exemption of church property and of the clergy from taxation, the right of asylum, ecclesiastical jurisdiction in marriage affairs, and the right of the Church to superintend the importation of foreign books.
4. Spain. — The conflicts between Spain and the pope concerning the extent of the royal right of collation were settled by a preliminary agreement in 1737, anid by a concordat concluded Jan. 11, 1753. An appendix to the concordat concerning the rights of the papal nuncio in Madrid was agreed upon.
5. Portugal. — In 1740 Benedict XIV granted to the kings of Portugal, by a concordat, the right of nominating for the episcopal sees and all benefices.
III. The Concordats of the Nineteenth Century. — The present century has witnessed the conclusion of a very large number of concordats. Most of them were called forth by a desire of the secular government to rearrange ecclesiastical affairs, which had been thrown into utter disorder by the French Revolution and the territorial changes in Europe following it.
1. France. — Bonaparte, when first consul, concluded a concordat with Pius VII, July 15, 1801, which went into operation in April, 1802. It re- established the Roman Catholic Church, which is declared to be the religion of the majority of Frenchmen, and has become the basis of the present ecclesiastical constitution of that country. It guaranteed to the Roman Catholic Church freedom and publicity of worship, which was, however, placed under the general laws of police; promised a new circumscription of dioceses, and provided for the resignation of all the bishops at that time in office; it gave to the first consul the right of nominating the bishops, and prescribed the oath of fidelity toward the secular government which the bishops and other priests have to take. The bishops received the right to appoint the parish priests, but the latter must be agreeable to the secular government, Of the churches not yet sold, as many as were necessary for divine worship were to be restored to the bishops. The Church renounced all claims to the property that had been sold during the Revolution, and the state promised to, pay the bishops and priests a sufficient salary. The former rights and prerogatives of the French crown were recognized as having been transferred to the first consul, but in case a person not a member of the Church of Rome should be invested with the latter office, new provisions were reserved. The concordat was published as a law of France in 1802, together with some introductory "organic articles." Against the latter, however, the popes always protested. The concordat and the new circumscription of dioceses were also valid for Belgium, and those parts of Germany (the left bank of the Rhine), Switzerland, and Savoy which, by the treaties of peace at Luneville and Amiens, had been united with France.
In 1803 a special concordat was concluded between Pius VII and Napoleon for the Italian republic. It substantially agrees with the French concordat, though some provisions are more favorable to the pope. This concordat remained valid for the kingdom of Italy, which was established in 1805.
In 1813 Napoleon negotiated with the pope a second concordat (the Concordat of Fontainebleau), which was published against the consent of the pope, who had regarded it only as a preliminary agreement, and at once took back his consent. As the reign of Napoleon ceased soon after, the concordat never became effective.
Louis XVIII concluded at Rome with Pius VII (July 11, 1817) a new concordat, by which that of 1516, so injurious to the liberties of the Gallican Church, was again revived; the concordat of 1801 and the articles organiques of 1802 were abolished; the nation was subjected to an enormous tax by the demand of endowments for forty-two new metropolitan and episcopal sees, with their chapters and seminaries; and free scope was afforded to the intolerance of the Roman court by the indefinite language of art. 10, which speaks of measures against the prevailing obstacles to religion and the laws of the Church. This revival of old abuses, this provision for the luxury of numerous clerical dignitaries at the expense of the nation, could please only the ultra-royalist nobility, who saw in it the means of providing their sons with benefices. The nation received the concordat with almost universal disapprobation; voices of the greatest weight were raised against it; the Chambers rejected it, and it was never carried through. After the Revolution of 1830 the government fell back on the concordat of 1801, and the organic articles became a new subject of controversy between Church and State.
2. Germany, Prussia, and Austria. — The relations of the German Roman Catholics to the pope were greatly disturbed by the dissolution of the German empire. For some time everything was in confusion; at the time of the Congress of Vienna only five German bishops were still alive. When the political reorganization was begun, the pope at first demanded the restoration of the entire former state of things. But when it was found out that this demand would never be granted, negotiations with particular states concerning the conclusion of concordats began.
(1.) Bavaria was the first state which succeeded (July 5, 1817) in arriving at an agreement. By the Bavarian concordat two archbishoprics were established; seminaries were instituted and provided with land; the nominations were left with the king, with the reservation of the papal right of confirmation; the limits of the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction were precisely settled, and the erection of new monasteries was promised. This concordat was published in May, 1818, together with the new political constitution, by which all apprehensions for the Protestant Church in Bavaria were allayed.
(2.) The government of Prussia, in 1821, agreed with the pope upon a bull of circumscription (De Salute Animarum), which was published by the Prussian government as a law of the state. It divides the state into two archbishoprics and six bishoprics, and contains provisions as to the re- establishment of chapters, the election of bishops by chapters, the dotation of bishops and chapters, and the taxes to be paid by the episcopal chancellories to Rome.
3. The Ecclesiastical Province of the Upper Rhine. In 1818 the state governments of Wurtemberg, Baden, and a number of other minor German states sent delegates to a conference at Frankfort to conduct joint negotiations with the pope concerning the reconstruction of episcopal sees. In 1821, a bull of circumscription, beginning Provida sollersque, and providing for the establishment of an archbishopric in Baden, and bishoprics in Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Cassel, Nassau, and Wurtemberg, and for the dotation of the bishops, was issued and ratified by the governments in 1822. Some further points were agreed upon between these governments and the pope in 1827, and others continued to be the subject of animated controversy, and were in most states not yet settled in 1867.
A concordat with the king of Wirtemberg, consisting of thirteen articles, was concluded in 1857. The government promises in it to execute the dotation of the bishopric as soon as circumstances will permit. The bishop received the right to confer all benefices which have no patron, of appointing his vicar general, the extraordinary members of the chapter, and the rural deans, yet he must appoint persons to whom the government has no objections. To the bishops belong all the regulations concerning divine service, the holding of synods, and the introduction of monastic orders, the latter, however, only in concert with the government. The episcopal court has jurisdiction over all ecclesiastical affairs, in particular also over all marriage affairs. The bishop has the right of inflicting ecclesiastical censures on clergymen and laymen. If clergymen transgress civil laws, the secular court will act in concert with the bishop. The intercourse of the bishop, the clergy, and the people with the papal see is free, and ecclesiastical decrees do not require the placet regium. The religious instruction of the youth, both in public and private institutions, is under the control of the bishop. He selects the catechism. He has the right of establishing seminaries and of superintending them. Provisionally, special regulations are made for the continuance of the three seminaries at Ehingen, Rottweil, and Tubingen. The theological faculty of the university of Tubingen is also under the control of the bishop, who authorizes the professors to lecture, and may refuse this authorization; who takes their confession of faith, and examines the manuscript of their lectures. The property of the Church is inviolate, but subject to public taxes. It is administered by the Church. The vacant benefices and the intercalar fund are administered by a joint committee of Church and State. The concordat was published by the government in its official paper in 1858, but did not receive the consent of the Legislature, without which many of its provisions cannot become valid.
4. In 1821 Hanover obtained a bull of circumscription similar to the one issued for Prussia, by which two bishoprics were established. For the kingdom of Saxony two bishops in partibus were appointed as vicars apostolic. The other minor states had their Roman Catholic subjects placed under the subjection of Prussian or Hanoverian bishops, or of those of the province of the Upper Rhine, and thereby ratified the agreements concluded between those states and Rome.
5. Austria. — The government of Austria began to negotiate with the pope about a new concordat soon after the beginning of the revolutionary movements in 1848. The concordat was concluded in 1855, and was most favorable to the claims of the papacy. The following are the most important points of the Austrian concordat. The Roman Catholic Church in all parts of the empire enjoys the protection of the government. The Placet Regium is abolished, and the intercourse of the bishops with the pope is free. The instruction of the Roman Catholic youth must be in accordance with the Roman Catholic religion. The bishops have the power to detain the faithful from reading pernicious books. Cases of the canon law, especially marriage affairs, belong to the ecclesiastical courts, while the civil relations of marriage remain under the jurisdiction of the secular judge. The bishops have the right of exercising the discipline of the Church, and of proceeding against members of the Church with ecclesiastical punishments. The power of the state is promised to the maintenance of the immunity of the Church. The episcopal seminaries are under the jurisdiction of the bishops. The emperor has the right of nominating the bishops, after taking counsel with the other bishops of the ecclesiastical province. The first dignity at every metropolitan and suffragan church is conferred by the pope. The monastic orders are under the jurisdiction of their superiors. The bishops have the right of introducing new orders, after coming previously to an understanding with the government. Church property may be acquired in the legal way, and is secured to the Church. In Feb. 1856, twenty "Separat- Artikel" (separate articles) to the concordat were published. They provide that the bishops may found one university independent of the state; that only Roman Catholic professors shall be appointed at the University of Pesth; that Church and State will work together for the suppression of books against religion and morals; that the state shall lay no obstacle in the way of erecting such confraternities and associations as the Church has approved; and that the bishops shall not be hindered from regulating in religious institutions everything that concerns religion and the purity of the Christian life. The immense majority of the Austrian people were indignant at this concordat, and in July, 1867, the Austrian Parliament, by an almost unanimous vote, called on the government to abolish it.
6. The Netherlands and Belgium. — Between the government of the Netherlands and the pope a concordat was concluded in 1827, which extended to the northern provinces the provisions of the French concordat of 1801, with the exception that the bishops were not to be nominated by the Protestant king, but to be chosen by the chapter from a list of candidates from which the government had the right to strike out any names not agreeable to it. The concordat was officially published by the government, but the bull of circumscription by which the provinces were divided into bishoprics was not recognized, and the concordat was never carried out. Later the papal government itself disregarded the concordat, and made a new division of dioceses without concert with the government.
In Belgium, which at the time of the publication of the French concordat of 1801 was a part of France, that concordat continued in force, while the country was annexed to Holland (1815-1880). In the new Belgian kingdom the Church was separated from the state, and thus the concordat naturally lost its authority.
7. Switzerland. — The idea of establishing one national bishopric could not be carried out, as some of the cantons were unable to agree with the papal see. Gradually, by agreement with some of the cantonal governments, the ecclesiastical relations of the Roman Catholics were regulated, and six bishoprics established.
8. Italy. — For Sardinia a new bull of circumscription was issued July 17, 1817. Naples concluded a convention with the pope July 18, 1818, which in the same year was promulgated as a law of the country. The convention consists of thirty-five articles, and yields all the chief demands of the Roman court. The Roman Catholic Church is declared to be the exclusive religion of the state; the right of nominating the bishops is given to the king; the right to nominate the members of the chapters is divided among the pope and the bishops of the diocese. The Church recognizes the sale of Church property which had taken place during the French rule, and the property not yet sold is restored to her; she also receives the right of acquiring new landed property. The jurisdiction of bishops is enlarged; the influence of the Church upon public instruction is guaranteed; the abolition or fusion of ecclesiastical benefices without the consent of the pope is declared invalid; the property of the Church is declared inviolate.
The concordat with Tuscany of June 19,1851, consists of fifteen articles. It provides that the ecclesiastical authorities, in the exercise of their offices, shall find the protection of the state. The intercourse of the bishops with their diocesans and the papal see shall be free. They shall also have the censorship over religious publications, and the right of preventing the faithful from reading pernicious books. If priests offend against civil laws they shall be amenable to the civil courts, but the punishment shall not be inflicted without the consent of the bishops; and if it be the penalty of death, or any penalty involving infamy, the papal see shall take cognizance of the case. The property of the Church shall be administered by the bishops and the parish priests, and, in case of vacancies, by a joint committee of priests and laymen. By this concordat the ecclesiastical legislation of Leopold II, which was nearly the same as that of Joseph I in Austria, was abolished. The concordat was soon followed by some organic interpretations, by which the state, with the consent of the papal see, guarded some of its former rights. The provisional government of Tuscany in 1859 declared this concordat abolished. By the absorption of Naples and Tuscany into the kingdom of Italy their special concordats ceased.
9. Russian Concordat. — For the Roman Catholic Church of Russia a concordat was concluded by the emperor Nicholas Aug. 15, 1847. It guarantees to the Roman Catholics of Russia the free exercise of their religion, and permits the establishment of a new bishopric at Cherson for Bessarabia, Tauris, and the Caucasus. The government charged itself with maintaining the bishop, his chapter, and seminary. It also contained provisions on the elections of bishops not yet officially published.
10. A concordat with Spain, consisting of forty-five articles, was concluded March 16, 1851. According to it, the Roman Catholic religion is, to the exclusion of every other religious worship, the only religion of the Spanish people. Public instruction in all institutions is to be imparted in accordance with the Roman Catholic doctrine, and placed in this respect under the control of the bishops. The government is bound to assist the bishops in maintaining the purity of doctrine and of morals, and in suppressing pernicious books. The female orders which occupy themselves with education, and the Sisters of Charity, are to be maintained. The confiscated Church property which was not yet sold at the time of the conclusion of the concordat was to be restored to the Church, and to be administered by the clergy. The pope, on the other hand, promised to leave the former buyers of Church property in the undisturbed possession thereof. A new concordat, slightly modifying the preceding, was concluded Nov. 25,1859.
11. Portugal. — A concordat with Portugal was concluded in 1857, and ratified by the Portuguese Legislature in 1859 — almost unanimously by the Chamber of Peers, but only by a majority of fifteen (66 votes against 51) in the Chamber of Deputies. This concordat concerns only the present and former Portuguese possessions in India. It places again nearly the whole of British India under the jurisdiction of bishops appointed by the Portuguese government. — Pierer, Universalt Lexikon, s.v.; Herzog, Real- Encykl. 3, 60-87; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirch.-Lex. 2:741-760; the Manuals of Church Law (Kirchenrecht) by Richter and Walter; Munch, Vollstandige Sammluig aller altern u. neuern Concordate (Leipz. 1830, 2 vols.); Revue des deux Mondes, May 1,1865; Sept. 15, 1866.