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Concordat of 1801

An agreement made between Napoleon Bonaparte and Pius VII in 1801 by which the Roman Catholic Church was formally restored in France. By its terms the French government recognized the Roman Catholic religion as the national faith. The pope, in concert with the government, was to make a new division of dioceses, requiring if necessary the resignation of existing bishops. The state was given the right of nominating new bishops. Bishops were required to swear allegiance to the government and to offer ritual prayers for the consuls. Alienated church property was to remain with those who had acquired it, but the government agreed to provide fittingly for prelates and clergy. These provisions were considerably modified by Napoleon's “Organic Articles” (1802). At the same time, Protestants were accorded full religious rights. The Concordat was to govern the relations between France and the papacy until the separation of church and state in 1905.