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Belgium & the Holy See From
Gregory XVI to Pius IX (1831-1859)

Catholic Revival, Society & Politics in 19th Century Europe

By: Vincent Viaene
December 2001
Leuven University Press
ISBN: 9058671380
648 Pages, Illustrated
$95.00 paper original

The Roman orientation was the keystone of the religious revolution of the Catholic revival. New or renewed congregations, priests close to the people & militant laymen gave a decidedly social & activist turn to the faith. At this crossroad of religion & modernity, the papacy could all the more make its weight felt as the Belgian Constitution granted the clergy a unique liberty in relations with Rome. Over time, the Vatican would exert a powerful impact on the shape of modern politics in Belgium. The special relationship between Belgium & Rome was no one-way traffic. From a somewhat curious ecclesiastical court hopelessly entangled in the old spider web of the Papal States, the papacy became the institution we know today, the leader of a "modern" Catholic opinion. Belgium played a role of major importance in this transformation. The central theme of the book can therefore be defined as a process of mutual integration, if not acculturation, across the Alps.

Religion; Religious History
Kadoc-Studies, Vol. 26