Synod of Pistoia

1786. Held under the presidency of Scipione de' Ricci,* and quietly manipulated by Leopold II, grand duke of Tuscany, this was a Jansenist attempt at ecclesiastical renewal. Its fifty-seven points of church reform included a deep desire for catechetical and liturgical revision, a de-emphasized episcopate, reorganization of clergy, just distribution of church goods, and purification of private and public piety. Initially a diocesan project, it attracted clergy and laymen from Europe as a whole. Doctrine was widely discussed, and the proceedings published in many languages. A proposed national council was thwarted, but the synod affirmed the views of Jansen (see Jansenism), Arnauld,* Quesnel,* and Febronius (see Febronianism), adopted the Four Gallican Articles,* urged the vernacular, and decentralized authority throughout, thus enabling more popular participation in worship. The bull Auctorem fidei (1794) condemned many of the proposals, and Ricci recanted, but the theological concerns expressed through sources, writings, and seminary studies were to find positive development.