Historie – Otázky – Problémy

Enlightenment clerical policy and its influence to the movement freedom of clergy

Abstract: This report addresses the movement of the freedom of clergy within the context of the Enlightenment clerical policy. In the course of the reign of Joseph II, religious processions leading out of the country, as well as pilgrimages requiring overnight stays, were prohibited. Ever further, the government´s interest was sufficient to reduce the number of the clergy members in the country. This was brought into effect not only by the liquidation of convents and friaries that were not socially active, but also through an immigration policy in respect to foreign clergy. In Austria, foreign clerics could stay only for a limited period of time. After the French Revolution of 1789, French priests were even less welcome in Austria as they could be intentional, as well as unintentional, carriers of revolutionary ideas that they could very well disseminate while acting as clerics or private tutors. This report analyzes cases of French immigrants ranking among the clergy in the 1790s century in Moravia.

Key words: Clerical policy, mobility, foreigners, French Revolution of 1789