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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/170

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AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN
AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN
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tended to give the Church greater power over the schools. But while the bishops pressed the demand of "Catholic schools for Catholic children", the social-democratic convention which met the same year at Hainburg, took its stand upon "common schools without religious teaching, the separation of Church and State, religious belief is a private matter". Gregr, of the Young Czech party, also declared in behalf of his party associates: "A Leichtenstein has come again to dig a grave for the Bohemian nation, the grave of ignorance and demoralization." This was an allusion to what had happened after the battle of the White Mountain (1620). Against such opposition the bill could not be carried.

In 1891 Leo XIII regulated the meetings of the Austrian bishops in a manner which has proved fruitful in blessings. A meeting is to be held in Vienna every year. These meetings are either special or general. At these special meetings committees prepare elaborate and exact reports which are laid before the general assembly that meets at least once every five years. These assemblies of the bishops decide the course of the Church. The Austrian bishops feel and act as a unit, as a harmonious episcopacy. Schwarzenberg's successor, Cardinal Count Schönborn, died in 1899. Cardinal Gruscha, Archbishop of Vienna, followed him at the head of the episcopacy. In reviewing the action of the bishops in their conferences since this time, it is clear that the matter which has chiefly occupied their attention has been the schools of every grade. In all their memorials to state officials, and in all their pastorals to the faithful, one thought continually appears like a vein of gold: a child should learn in school the duties of a Christian and a citizen. This end can be realized only when religion is made the central point of education from which everything radiates, to which everything returns. For this reason the bishops sought (1897, 1898) to obtain the consent of the ministry to an increase in the time given to religious instruction in the primary and secondary schools. Prizes were offered for the pereparation of a Bible (1898). Two catechisms, a larger and a smaller one, were prepared after eight years' work. These were accepted by the bishops in 1897 and issued with explanatory directions. During this period religious instruction in the middle schools was rearranged, and religious exercises were again introduced. Religious societies (Sodalities of the Blessed Virgin Mary) were organized in 1897 and 1902. Religious instruction was introduced into the Sunday industrial schools (1898). Proposals were made as to the education of teachers of religion in the middle and normal schools (1901). The preparation of a correct textbook of psychology was urged (1894). Prizes were offered for textbooks on religion (1897). The bishops succeeded in obtaining a systematized course in philosophy for the theological schools (1892); they obtained, further, a rearrangement of theological studies and examinations. (Dissertations must be suitable for publication and three examinations are obligatory for a doctorate.) They complained of the spirit prevalent at the universities (1891) and of the unfair treatment of the student-societies composed of faithful Catholic students (1901).

During the reign of Maria Theresa an educational fund was created from confiscated property of the Jesuits. Under Joseph II a religious fund was created from the church property administered by the State only. But Joseph II acknowledged that the State was bound to pay the expenses of Catholic worship, for which the church revenues did not suffice. The salary of parish priests was fixed at 400 florins ($160), that of curates at 200 florins ($80). The retiring pension was made 200 florins ($80). These sums remained unchanged for one hundred years, although the cost of living and the value of money had varied. The speech from the throne in 1871 and 1879 referred to the improvement of the material condition of the clergy as an object of solicitude on the part of the Government, and since 1872 state subventions have been granted for this purpose. In order to obtain the money for this subvention, a tax for the maintenance of the religious fund was created in 1874. But although a sum reaching ten per cent of the capital fund was demanded every ten years, few priests received from it assistance amounting to more than 100 florins ($40). As this subvention was called an "advance" to the fund for the support of religion in the different provinces, the debts of the provinces grew every year, and the entire religious fund was in danger of being used up. The bishops, therefore, sent repeated appeals to the Government, praying for a suitable increase of the salaries of the clergy. In 1903 they agreed to demand for acctive pastors: (a) for curates a minimum salary of 1,000 crowns ($200); for pastors of second-class parishes 1,600 crowns ($320); for parish priests without curates, 2,000 crowns ($400); for parish priests with curates, 2,200 crowns ($440); (b) four retroactive decennial allowances to be reckoned from the date of the grant; the first allowance to be 100 crowns ($20), the second, 200 crowns ($40), the third and fourth to be each 250 crowns ($50), in all 800 crowns ($160). (c) Surplus of money destined for pastoral salaries is not to be drawn upon for the pensions of retired clergymen. For retired curates the bishops suggested a minimum pension of 100 crowns for curates, and of 1,900 crowns ($380) for parish priests. In 1891 and 1894 the bishop requested from the Minister of Worship an exact list of all the debts due by the religious fund in the hands of the Government and of all pious foundations. In 1891 and 1897 they deliberated concerning the delicate question of clerical fees. After a ten years' trial (1893) the bishops pointed out the hardship of the tax on the religious fund, and pointed out where amendment should be made. The bishops repeatedly discussed (1898, 1899, 1900) the law which promised the formation of parishes. The difficult question of the patronage of livings was also taken up (1899). The Christian character of the family life, the education of the young, the duty of voting ("Vote, vote right") were repeatedly the subjects of joint pastoral letters (1891, 1901). The bishops discussed the question of founding and supporting a daily religious newspaper (1891, 1982). They assured the Holy Father of their agreement with his letter to Cardinal Guibert, Archbishop of Paris, concerning the disrespectful utterances of Catholic papers about ecclesiastical authorities. They discussed uniform action in carrying out the Apostolic constitution "Officiorum ac munerum" as applied to Catholic newspapers (1898).

As in our day large results are only obtained by association, the bishops have especially encouraged the formation of workingmen's unions, of Gesellenvereine, the St. Boniface Society (March, 1901), the Holy Childhood Society, and benevolent societies (November, 1897). In these days much that is unsound rises to the surface. The bishops issued warnings against irreligion and national embitterment (1891). They encouraged lectures on Freemasonry (1897), complained of the destructive tendencies which are undoing the strength and force of Austria, and condemned the bad press, "the dangerous foe of faith" (December, 1901).

In 1897 a movement was set on foot which ten years before would have been held to be impossible. Its name, the Los von Rom, is an insult to Catholics, its existence a mortal blow to Austrians. Every possible misuse of speech and writing was employed to rob Catholics of their confidence in their priests, of their attachment to the holy sacraments, and even