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MECKLENBURG


no


MECKLENBURG


sovereign in making laws anJ Icvj-ing taxes. The crown iloinain iiichulcs ahont A.i per cent of the area and about JJ'J per cent of the inhabitants. Tlie es- tates have an important share in legislation and a deciding vote in questions of taxation, and in all questions pertaining to their rights; in other matters their opinion has to be obtained.

The Lutheran C'hureh has a consistorial constitu- tion. The hcatl of the church is the sovereign, who exercises his rights in Mecklenbin-g-Sclnverin by means of an upper consistorj'; in Mcckleiilnu'g- 8trelitz by a consistory. Mecklenl)urg-Schwerin is di%-ided into 7 suj^erintendencies and 35 provostships or deaneries; Mccklcnburg-Strelitz into 1 superin- tendency and 7 synods.

The Catholic Church in both grand duchies is under the supervision of the Vicar Apostolic of the Northern Missions, the Bishop of Osnabriick. After the Reformation Catholicism was almost extinguished in .Mecklenburg, and its public exercise threatened with punishment. For nearly a hundred years it could only be practised in secret. The conversion of Duke Christian Ludwig I in 1663 produced the first change of cuiulitioiis. Notwithstanding the protests of his ducal brothers and the estates, he called Catholic priests into the country and granted them the castle chapel at Schwerin for the celebration of Mass. The right to do this was confirmed to him in 1666 by the imperial iJiet. Jlaiay of the chief nobility followed, at that time, the example of their ruler, and returned to the Church of their forefathers, as the hereditary Marshal Joachim Christian Hahn, of the same family as that from which the convert Ida, Comitess Hahn- Hahn, came.

The Catliolic Faith, notwithstanding this, did not attain a legal position, and the duke never permitted aCatholic church to be built, although the Vicar Apos- tolic of the Northern Missions, Nicholas Steno, who lived in Schwerin from lOSo, made every exertion to gain his consent. Consequently, when Christian Lud- wig died the Catholic services ceased. The only church services no%v allowed were held in the private chapel of the chancellor of the next duke, Coimt Horn, who had become a Catholic. With the death of the count this privilege expired. It was not until 1701 that the free exercise of the Catholic religion was again permitted, this time in the chapel of the im- perial ambassador von Egk. In 1702, when the am- bassador left Schwerin, Duke Frederick William transferred this right to a Catholic lady, Frau von Bibow. Through her efforts the Jesuits were en- trusted with the mission in Schwerin ; from 1709 they established themselves here permanently. Father von Stocken (1730-43) was able to bring it about that in 1731 a house was secured for the mission, and that the church service, which up to then had been private, could be a public one. He also succeeded by unwearied effort in founding a school at Schwerin, where five to seven boys could be prepared for the Collegiimi Nordicum at Linz in LTpper Austria.

From 1701 a priest from Schwerin was able to dis- tribute communion to the Catholic soldiers at Rostock in the hall of the exchange, and to hold Mass for Catholics who attended the market there at Pentecost. Although Christian Ludwig II had granted permission for the building of a church, Frederick, who inclined to a rigorous pietism, forbade its erection. The pre- paratory school at .Schwerin came to an end when the Emperor Joseph II suppressed the Collegium Nordicum. Frederick Francis I, two of whose chil- dren became Catholics, gave the money to build the Catholic church at Jjudwigslust. On entering the Confederation of the Rhine, Frederick had agreed to place the e.\ercise of the Catholic religion on a legal parity with that of the Lutheran, and in 1811 this was done.

From that time on the Catholics in reality enjoyed


complete freedom, and in the year 1812 for the first time since the Reformation a Catholic bishop, Liipcke of Osnabriick, was able to hold a contirmalion at Schwerin. However, the conversion, from 1848 on- wards, of many important men, among them von Vogelsang, von Billow, von der Kettenlmrg, Professor Maassen, etc., gave an opportmiity to the intolerant party to withdraw the freedom granted the Catholics, to which action both estates ami Oovernment gave their aid. In 1852 extension to other localities of the Calholic services was forbidden, also tlie coming into Mecklenburg of priests not natives of the country; these measures were so strictly enforced that the pri- vate chajilain of Herr von der Kettenburg was taken over the boundary by gendarmes.

In 1S37 permission to bury the dead according to the Catholic ceremonial, and the right to celebrate Mass publicly were limited to Schwerin and Ludwigs- lust. The Government of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was still more intolerant. For many years, even in the nineteenth century, no priest was permitted to have a permanent residence in its territory; all that was conceded was that the Catholic priest at Wittstock in Brandenburg could stay at Neustrelitz one week of each month for ecclesiastical functions. This per- secution of Catholics was kept up, not by the rulers, who were generally well inclined, but by the narrow- minded estates. Public opinion, even outside of Catholic Germany, repeatedly arose against this per- secution, and was often expressed in sharp protest in the German Diet.

The Governments of the two duchies were finally forced by pressure from the empire to grant the Catho- lics a certain, yet still entirely insufficient, amount of freedom. There is however no equality as there should be to bring Mecklenburg into accord with the constitution of the empire or with a modern civilized state. Although an ordinance of 5 January, 1903 granted to Catholics the public exercise of their re- ligion everywhere, nevertheless the permission of the ruler is necessary for the erection and alteration of parishes, the building of churches and chapels, ap- pointment of priests, for the settling in the country of orders and congregations, and for the holding of pro- cessions; nor have the Catholics any legal redress if this consent is refused.

Furthermore in regard to educational mattcis, Catholics are not on an equality with Protestants. They must indeed contribute to the expenses of the schools, but for their purely private Catholic schools they receive no allowance from the civil communes, often indeed they are not allowed to use the state schools for giving instruction. There is no higher Catholic education in either grand duchy. Mecklen- burg-Schwerin has two Catholic parishes, one each at Schwerin and Ludwigslust, and dependent churches at Rostock and Wismar; the priests altogether num- ber 8. Mecklenburg-Strelitz has 1 parish with 2 priests. The spiritual care of the summer farm- labourers presents great difficulties. These men, who number about 20,000-22,000 and are chiefly Poles, sojourn in Mecklenburg annually from March until September in order to work on the farms and estates.

Bachmann, Die landeskundKche Literatur iiber die Grotsher- zooliimer Mecklenburg (Wismar, 1890); Lisch, M ecklenburgcr I'rkiiiiilrn C! vols.. .Schwerin, 1837-41); Wicgees, KiTchtn- ,,, .■ .11, u.-/ '..'/<;. (Parohim and Ludwigslust, 1840); iW«cA-- /. . I : M22 vols.. .Schwerin. IS6.3-1907);Boi-i„

(, ', \/ /. (2 pts., NeubrandenburK, 1855-56):

I', ., W . -///iiri^xfipts.. Wismar, 1872); Lehkeh,

11/, 1. .„./,- M 'i;:,i:ii(.n. 1880):Raabe,Mcc*-

, , ' , II . ! , ; vols., 1893-96); Mcck-
, , ,, I' / ■ihrnqen (12 pta., Berlin,

l-ii iiiii iiiMiM. 1/.- '/, y.'i.v, ,/„s ifircAcrerecAf (Berlin, )'( : . r i\<iKH, .SV'/'/rs-- uruS \ rrwaltungsrecht des GrosshcT-

M ■ n.nhurg-Hchwerin (Hanover, 1909); BllONSWlo,

>' ' I ' nraUungarechl des Groseherzogtums Mecklenburg-

si,.:ii i||iiiij\pr, 1910); Witte, Mecklenburgische Geschichle (Wirtiniir, 1909); ScHNELL, Das Unterrichtswesen der Groasker- zogtumer Mecklenburg-Schwerin und Mecklenburg-Strelitz (3 vols..