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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/762

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NAPOLEON


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NAPOLEON


council would not have sufficient authority in ques- tions affecting the whole Catholic Church. It also declared that the pope could not complain of any es- sential violation of the Concordat, that, when he ad- vanced his temporal spoliation, ;is one reason for his refusal to institute the bishops canonically, he was confounding the temporal order with the spiritual, that the temporal sovereignty was only an accessory of the papal autliority. that tlii' invasion of Hoin(> was not a violation of the Conconlat, and that the national cotmcil would interpose an appeal from the Bull of Ex- communication either to the general council or to the pope better informed. The manner in which canoni- cal institution might be secured for the bishops, if the pope should continue his resistance, was twice dis- cussed. Urged by the Government, the council ad- mitted that, taking the circumstances into considera- tion, the conciliary institution given by a metropoli- tan to his sulTrauans, or by the senior suffragan to a new metro])oIitan, might possibly be recognized by a national council as, provisionally, a substitute for pontifical Bulls. Emery, thinking the council too lenient, refused to endorse the answers, which were sent to Napoleon on 11 January, 1810.

On 17 Februarv-, 1810, the Act regulating the Ro- man territory and future condition of the pope, in- troduced by Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Ang^ly, was passed unanimously by the .senate. The Papal States, in accordance with this decree, were to form two departments; from Rome, which was declared the first city of the empire, the prince imperial was to take his title of king. The emperor, already crowned once at Xotre-Dame, was to go within ten years to be crowned at St. Peter's. The pope was to have a rev- enue of two millions. The empire was to charge itself with the maintenance of the Sacred Congregation of Projjaganda. The pope, on his accession, must prom- ise to do nothing contrary to the four articles of the Galilean Church. Another Act of the Senate, of 25 February, 1810, made the Declaration of 1682 a gen- eral law of the empire. Thus did Napoelon flatter himself that he would reduce the papacy to servitude and bring Pius VII to live in Paris. He even prepared a letter to Pius VII in which he told him: "I hold in execration the principles of the Bonifaces and the Gregory's. It is my mission to govern the West; do not meddle with it." This letter he would have had taken to the pope by bishops who were to give notice to Pius VII that in future the popes must swear alle- giance to Napoleon, as of yore to Charlemagne, and to inform him that he himself would be dispensed from this obligation, but that he must undertake not to reside at Rome. Napoleon expected in this way to bend the pope to his will. Wiser counsellors, how- ever, prevailed upon him not to send this insulting let- ter. Nevertheless, to carry out his plan of removing the papal throne from Rome, he ordered MioUis to compel all the cardinals who were still at Rome to set out for Paris, and to have the Vatican archives trans- ported thither. In ISIO there were twenty-seven Ro- man cardinals in Paris: he lavished gifts upon them, invited them to the court festivals, and wished them to write and urge Pius VII to yield; but, following the advice of Consalvi, the cardinals refused.

It was in the midst of these bitter conflicts with the church that, Napoleon desiring an heir, resolved to divorce Josephine. Ever since the end of 1807 Met- temich had been aware of the reports that were cur- rent about the emperor's approaching divorce. On 12 December, 1807, Lucien Bonaparte had vainly en- deavored to obtain from Josephine her consent to this divorce; some time after, Fouch^ had made a similar attempt with no better success. In December, 1809, at Fontainebleau, in the presence of Prince Eugene, Josephine's .son, the emperor induced her to consent; on I'i December, this was solemnly proclaimed in the throne room, in the presence of the Court, in an ad-


dress delivered by Napoleon, and another read by the unhappy Josephine, who was prevented by her tears from finishing it. The Act of the Senate (16 Decem- ber), based on a report of Lac(5pede, the naturalist, himself a member of the Senate, ratified the divorce. Napoleon then thought of marrying the tsar's sister. But Mettcrnich, getting wind of this project, made L.aborde and Schwarzenberg sound the Tuileries to see if Napoleon would marry an Austrian archduchess. The idea pleased Napoleon. The Court of Vienna, however, first required that the spiritual bond between Napoleon and Josephine should be severed.

This bond the pope alone was competent to dis- solve; Louis XII had had recourse to Alexander VI; Henry IV to Clement VIII; but Napoleon, excom- municated by his prisoner Pius VII, could not apply to him. Cambaccres, the arch-chancellor, sent for the diocesan officials of Paris and explained to them that the marriage of Napoleon and Josephine had been invalid in consequence of the absence of the parish priest of the two parties and of witnesses. In vain did they object that only the pope could decide such a case; they were told to commence proceedings, and be quick about it. On 26 December, the promoter of the case, Rudemare, begged Cambaccres to submit the matter to the ecclesiastical council over which Fesch presided. On 2 January, 1810, Cambacdr^s sent are- quest to the official, Boislesve, for a declaration of nullity of the marriage, alleging, this time, that there had been absence of consent on Napoleon's part. On the next day the ecclesiastical council replied that if the defect of Napoleon's consent could be proved to the otficiulity, the marriage would be null and void. Cambaci'Tcs wished to produce Fesch, Talleyrand, Duroc, aiui Bertliier as witnesses. The testimony of Fesch was very confused; he explained that the pope had given him the necessary dispensations to bless the marriage; that two days later he had given Josephine a marriage certificate; that the emperor had then up- braided him, declaring to him that he (the emperor) had only agreed to this marriage in order to quiet the empress, and that it was, moreover, impossible for him to renounce his hopes of direct descendants. The other two witnesses told how Napoleon had repeatedly expressed the conviction that he was not bound by this marriage and that he regarded the ceremony only as "a mere concession to circumstances [acte de pure circonslance] which ought not to have any effect in the future".

On 9 January the diocesan authorities declared the marriage null and void, on the ground of the absence of the lawful parish priest and of witnesses; it pro- nounced this decision only in view of the "difficulty in the way of having recourse to the visible head of the Church, to whom it has always belonged in fact to pronounce upon these extraordinary cases." The promoter Rudemare had concluded with the recom- mendation that the tribunal should at least lay a pre- cept upon the two parties to repair the defect of form which had vitiated their marriage; Boilesve, the offi- cial, refrained from proffering this invitation. Rude- mare then appealed to the metropolitan authorities on this point. On 12 January, 1810, the oflicial, Lejeas, with much greater complaisance, admitted both the grounds of nullity advanced by Cambacdres — that is, not only the defect of form, but also the defect of the emperor's consent. He alleged that the civil marriage of Napoleon and Josephine had been annulled by the decree of the Senate, that by the concordat ary laws (lois concordataires) the religious marriage ought to follow the civil, and that the Church could not now ask two parties who were no longer civilly married to repair the defects of form in their religious marriage. Thus, he declared, the marriage was religiously an- nulled. It may be noted here that the Catholic Church cannot be held responsible for the excessive complaisance shown in this matter by the ecclesiasti-