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THRONE IN THE TIME OF STORMS

Deeply shaken by the Revolution and the ambitions of Bonaparte, Europe seethed with factions taking sides for and against the Pope. Though on the surface reaction had won a complete victory, the spirits which had summoned upheaval had not been curbed. Many real opportunities presented themselves to the Church, to endorse the new and to help Europe find peace; and many of them were really grasped. But the leaders of the Spiritual Monarchy did not discern the real meaning of the historical evolution, and failed to utilize the right mo- ment to ally themselves with legitimate demands for freedom and reasonableness in the way which the nature of the Church itself sug- gested. For decades the Papacy was unable to make up its mind or to take the initiative in any striking way.

It was a brilliant but burdensome victory which Consalvi won when, after arduous negotiations with England, Austria and Russia, he put through the restoration of the Papal States at the Congress of Vienna. He could be grateful to the Napoleonic system for the administrative reforms it bequeathed to him, but he now went on to create some- thing entirely new in the form of an absolutistic spiritual bureaucracy, Despite the fact that it was economically beneficial to the Papal do- mains, this really marked the beginning of great misfortune for Italy, for the Papacy and for Papal world prestige. Much more advanta- geous were the concordats and conventions that were concluded, es- pecially those arrived at with the several states of Germany, where the beginnings of an inner revival of Catholicism in Bavaria, Prussia, and Hanover coincided with the grant of a new canonical status and the erection of a Church province in the region of the upper Rhine. Finally the restoration of the Society of Jesus throughout the world, which Pius VII decreed immediately after his release from French cus- tody, was an attempt to strengthen the power of the Church and the Papacy. The brief in question, Sollicitudo omnium ecclcsUrum (August 7, 1814), was read solemnly in the Gesu, the ancient princi- pal church of the Society in Rome, and expressed the confident hope that "the powerful and experienced oarsmen," would bring the barque


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