A Paris newspaper on the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790)


In late July 1790, the radical newspaper Les Revolutions de Paris printed this comment on the newly passed Civil Constitution of the Clergy:

“THE REIGN OF THE PRIESTS HAS PASSED!

The reign of the priests has passed; and the more efforts they make to shore up the tottering remains of ecclesiastical power, the sooner will they hasten its collapse.

The National Assembly, in debating the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, has declared that each department will form a single diocese. It has established the election of bishops and cures, and committed this election to the same body that nominates the members of the departments and districts.

If the clergy were less concerned with their past glory and wealth, if they did not wish to foment civil war at any possible price, they would no longer resist the lawful will of the nation. We would not see the majority of the bishops of France, together with the cures, crying out that the Catholic religion is lost because they have been denied a display of wealth that is both insolent and absolutely opposed to the principles and spirit of the Gospel.”