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 Les Dieu Donnes 
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Post Les Dieu Donnes
I've always wondered about the relationship between the Pope and the Bourbon monarchs. The Pope is considered Christ''s representative on earth; the Bourbons ruled by 'divine right.' Having two people claim divinity is bound to create problems. For example, as far as I know, the Pope was very quiet and offered no assistance to Louis and Antoinette even as his 'brother in Christ' and family climbed the steps to the scaffold. The Pope, as far as I know, didn't attend Louis' coronation. nor were there reciprocal visits. Certainly Louis and family attended mass and seemed to adhere to the tenets of the church and the Pope didn't send armies to conquer Prussia. Was there some sort of understanding between the two 'divinities' as to what was acceptable vs. unacceptable actions?


Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:15 am
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Post Re: Les Dieu Donnes
Well, they were just two different spheres of "divine right". The Pope was the representative of Christ on earth, as you said, and so had a spiritual as well as a temporal power, while the king of France was, as other kings were, simply the one who had been assigned the task of ruling of a country by the will of God. So there was not real contradiction, at least in pronciple. Of course during the Middle age and Renaissance relationships between Popes and kings (let alone Emperor) had often been difficult, when not violent, but I think in the XVIII century the problem was very much solved. Still, it's true that the Pope acted not only as a spiritual leader, but also as a sovereign, so he had to conform his action to principles of international politics. I don't really know which the precise relationships between Vatican and France were in that period and what could have affected the Pope's policy; however, I don't think they were in conflict. After all, in the revolutionary period the French monarchy represented a hope for the Church against revolutionary plans of putting religion under control of the State (which actually happened with the civil constitution of clergy), so undermining its role.

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Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:22 pm
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Post Re: Les Dieu Donnes
Interesting points, Rosalie, ...Thank you.


Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:21 pm
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Post Re: Les Dieu Donnes
'Another interesting point, Rosalie, is the Pope's attendance at Napoleon' s coronation. Yet he was not present at Louis XVI's. I wonder if His Holiness would have stayed away if Josephine was not crowned Empress and Napoleon crowned his second wife, Marie Louise, as Empress. That had to create some controversy since Marie Louise was Marie Antoinette's niece.


Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:30 pm
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Post Re: Les Dieu Donnes
That is very interesting, Artois! I had never thought of it. What did the Pope's presence at Napoleon's coronation mean, according to you?

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Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:32 pm
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Post Re: Les Dieu Donnes
You have to remember that the Pope who reigned during Louis XVI's time, Pius VI (1775 - 1799) was actually held captive by the French Revolutionaries, when the Papal States were occupied by the French during the Revolutionary Wars. He died at Valence. His successor, Pius VII did attend Napoleon's coronation, but didn't crown him -- Napoleon did that himself. Pius VII was also held prisoner by Napoleon for several years because they were continually in conflict over a variety of matters.

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Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:55 pm
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Post Re: Les Dieu Donnes
I'm not sure the Pope's participation in Napoleon's coronation was completely voluntary, though I don't remember the details. But it seems to have pretty much been Nappy who decided Nappy should be crowned emperor and then made sure everything else was in place.

I think, however, that the original question is based on imprecise assumptions.

For divine right, it's important to remember that this was a relatively recent doctrine:

Quote:
The immediate author of the theory [of divine right] was Jean Bodin, who based it on the interpretation of Roman law. With the rise of nation-states and the Protestant Reformation, the theory of divine right justified the king's absolute authority in both political and spiritual matters. The theory came to the fore in England under the reign of King James I of England (1603–25, having been King James VI of Scotland from 1567). King Louis XIV of France (1643–1715), though Catholic, strongly promoted the theory as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Right_of_Kings

I don't know of any claim that the pope is divine in any sense, or even divinely chosen. The closest is the doctrine of infallibility, which is very recent in papal history (and did not exist in our period):

Quote:
Papal infallibility is the dogma in Catholic theology that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error[1] when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. It is also taught that the Holy Spirit works in the body of the Church, as sensus fidelium, to ensure that dogmatic teachings proclaimed to be infallible will be received by all Catholics. This dogma, however, does not state either that the Pope cannot commit sin in his own personal life or that he is necessarily free of error, even when speaking in his official capacity, outside the specific contexts in which the dogma applies.

This doctrine was defined dogmatically in the First Vatican Council of 1870. According to Catholic theology, there are several concepts important to the understanding of infallible, divine revelation: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Sacred Magisterium. The infallible teachings of the Pope are part of the Sacred Magisterium, which also consists of ecumenical councils and the "ordinary and universal magisterium". In Catholic theology, papal infallibility is one of the channels of the infallibility of the Church. The infallible teachings of the Pope must be based on, or at least not contradict, Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture. Papal infallibility does not signify that the Pope is impeccable, i.e., that he is specially exempt from liability to sin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

And in fact this doctrine only grew as the Vatican's secular power diminished:
Quote:
Gradually forced to give up secular power, popes now focus almost exclusively on spiritual matters.[3] Over the centuries, popes' claims of spiritual authority have been ever more clearly expressed, culminating in the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra (literally "from the chair (of Peter)") to issue a solemn definition of faith or morals.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope

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Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:54 pm
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Post Re: Les Dieu Donnes
jimcheval wrote:
I'm not sure the Pope's participation in Napoleon's coronation was completely voluntary, though I don't remember the details. But it seems to have pretty much been Nappy who decided Nappy should be crowned emperor and then made sure everything else was in place.

I think, however, that the original question is based on imprecise assumptions.


You are correct that Pius VII probably didn't attend the coronation of his own will. If I recall, Napoleon offered to return some of the Papal treasures which had been plundered by the French troops previously. He also produced a new Papal Tiara for the Pope.

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Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:19 am
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