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Congress of Ems

1786. A meeting at Ems in Hesse- Nassau of the representatives of the three elector-archbishops of Mainz, Cologne, and Trier, and the prince-archbishop of Salzburg. It sought to prevent a papal move to establish a new nunciature at Munich that would have enabled the Bavarian crown to communicate directly with Rome instead of through the archbishops as before. Another nunciature had been created at Cologne. The congress adopted the twenty-three “Points of Ems,” embracing both Febronian and Josephinian principles, asserting the political and ecclesiastical claims of the elector- or prince-archbishops. They would: accept only a limited primacy of the pope, require episcopal assent to papal communications and decrees, discontinue appeals to Rome and payment of annates to the Roman Curia, hold authority over members of religious orders themselves. Joseph II approved the points, but many bishops and German princes opposed them as unwarranted usurpation of authority by the archbishops. The effect of the French Revolution in Germany terminated the controversy.