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European Catholics with regard to modernity

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Once, the Catholic church was deeply upset as it was called into question by the philosophers of Lights, in particular by the fight initiated by Voltaire against ?religious fanaticism?. Its first defeat goes back to 1789, when the privileges of the French Church were abolished. This movement continued in the rest of Europe, encouraged by the evolution of the countries. The latter falls under the walk of the modernity, which, according to the words of Alain Touraine, can be defined as ?an idea [] replacing in the center of the company God by science, as well as possibly leaving the religious beliefs inside the private life.?

The concept of modernity also implies a transformation of the official structures, with the disappearance of the absolutist modes of divine right, confronted with a democratic ideal in full expansion, and the rooting of new values, falling under the conflict between freedom and equality. It is thus with regard to this modernity, which brings back the religion in the simple private sphere, that the Catholic church, closely associated before with the temporal powers of the European States, saw itself confronted with a necessary adaptation.

Under these conditions, it is necessary to consider the response of Catholics to the European modernity, which cracked both the value system and the traditional societal model proposed by their church. This answer, is it adapted to the challenges of modernity?

If, initially, the Church retreats in the face of the ultramontane reaction to the rise of liberalism, then, a fraction of European Catholics trying to respond to the transformation of society through the development of social Catholicism. Finally, the challenge of important scientific advances and their implications for theological theories will divide the church on the response to this problem again.

Roots in tradition, dogma and papal authority

- Facing the Gallican and Josephs (supervisory control of the church by the state, French or Austrian),strengthening the ultramontanism ('beyond the hills', referring to Italy, and therefore more especially in Rome), that is to say, loyalty to the Pope and the Roman centralization
- Triumph of the Roman liturgy (defended by Dom Gueranger, radical reform of the Benedictine order in France)
- Development of pilgrimages to Rome, rediscovery of Christian Rome (see Project for a Christian Rome of Father Gerbet)
- Recovery of Ad Limina visits, that is to say, the obligation for the bishops to make every five years a detailed report to the Holy See for their Episcopal actions
- Roman Question: disappointment of the Italian Union, which thought they could entrust the new Pope to Italian unity, apparently liberal Pope Pius IX, it turns out to be a radical convinced. In 1848, he will flee to Gaeta (until1850) and, upon entry of Italian troops in the city in 1870,considers himself a "prisoner of the Vatican." The Roman question remains watermark on this period as a symbol of the tensions between papal intransigence and the need for emancipation and freedom of the people.

Tags: European modernity, Vatican, Ad Limina , Catholicism

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