From the French Revolution to Vatican I





Document Type

Book Chapter


DOI: 10.4324/9781315537627-36


Following the French Revolution, the Catholic Church went into a reactionary mode that lasted into the twentieth century. The Revolution had been a traumatic experience for the church, first by nationalizing the French hierarchy as an arm of the state, then by executing the king, and finally by radically de-Christianizing France altogether. Loyalty to the pope was fostered by improved travel and communications, which made it easier for Catholics around the world to visit Rome and to keep informed about the pope. The constitution stated that the pope’s authority did not contradict the authority of individual bishops in their dioceses but did not explain how, a topic that would not be dealt with until the Second Vatican Council a century later. The pope became even more firmly established at the top of the clerical hierarchy.

Published in

The Christian Theological Tradition, 4th ed.

Citation/Other Information

Hollerich, Michael J. “From the French Revolution to Vatican I.” In The Christian Theological Tradition, 490–492. 4th ed. Routledge, 2020.

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