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A concrete historical example: Austrian "clericalism"

Ivan Pederin

Puni tekst: hrvatski PDF 697 Kb

str. 143-151

preuzimanja: 434



The Habsburg Empire was branded as clerical but this qualification is a result of political considerations rather than any serious study. In examining this question, the author first defines the meaning of clericalism. Then he describes the position of the Church in that old European state. The Church used to cooperate with state authorities to help ensure social and political order. That changed after the Enlightenment. In the Habsburg Empire, the Church retained its control of marriages and vital statistics. Schools were state-owned except for the bishop's seminaries, but many priests taught in these schools and bishops were consulted by state authorities on most matters concerning public order and morality (so, for instance, an unmarried couple was not allowed to live in the same household). The state authority was secular and separated from the Church, but it was Christian and not anticlerical as it was in France and Italy. The Church strongly influenced the public morality but not political decision-making. Just to mention the fact that in the Empire eight religious communities lived peacefully, that the Jewish community of the Empire was among the strongest in Europe and that the considerable Jewish influence in the press, literature, banking, industry and trade was not opposed by the Church. Indeed, the Empire may well be considered a multicultural model worth emulating and this model has not yet been surpassed.

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