Until the middle of the XVIII century, Russia was in confrontation with France, since the latter was an ally of the opponents of Russia - Sweden, Poland and Turkey. However, the rapid rise of Prussia, the conclusion of Frederick the Great of a union with England forced Austria and France to forget for a time their differences and unite in the face of dangerous rivals. In 1765, this union managed to be sealed with a marriage contract. The ten-year-old daughter of Maria Theresa and Franz I, the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, Maria-Antoinette (1755-1793), was engaged to France's heir, Louis. That same year, her father died, and five years later, in 1770, Marie-Antoinette marries the future king of France, Louis XVI.
Meanwhile, Russia, not wanting the rise of Prussia, entered into an alliance with Austria and took part in the Seven Years' War, occupying Berlin in 1761. Only the death of Elizabeth Petrovna and the coming to power of the fan of Frederick II Peter III drastically changed Russia's foreign policy.
After these events in the international European field, five differently sized countries took the leading position for a long time: England, France, Austria, Russia and Prussia. However, Catherine II, having come to power, although she dissolved the military alliance with Prussia, but did not fight with her, but established a parity relationship, considering Prussia "not as a threat to balance, but as an essential element in it, to weaken that over measure was not beneficial ".
But the XVIII century, especially its second half, remained in stories under the name of the Enlightenment, "the age of reason", the time of philosophers and economists. During this period in England, and then in France, the ideological trend developed widely, based on the conviction that reason and science play a crucial role in the knowledge of the "natural order" corresponding to the true nature of man and society. It was in France that the period between 1715 and 1789, the time of the greatest dissemination of the ideas of the Enlightenment, became known as the “Age of Enlightenment”.
The main enemy for all representatives of this trend, which covers not only England and France, but also Germany, the United States, Russia, becomes religious beliefs. Indeed, the attitude of the world, the people of the XVIII century. has undergone significant changes. Practical, positive knowledge began to be appreciated, a peculiar cult of mind arose. This rationalism coincided with the crisis of the religious world perception and the church as a public institution. Therefore, the enlighteners considered religion and the church obsolete, unable to meet the demands of society. In their place was put science and education. It seemed that the scientific view of the world can explain all its phenomena, that everything can be known through logic and scientific observations. It was a great conquest of the mind that put a man, intoxicated with his own strength, in the center of the universe. The culture of the Enlightenment acquired the features of rationality, some dryness and speculation. Spirituality was replaced by reasoning, emotional impulse - by a system of evidence, faith - by scientific conviction.
For enlightenment of Christianity, such terms as ignorance, obscurantism, religious fanaticism are fixed. Belief in God they considered the causes of all human disasters. But the enlighteners also opposed the feudal absolutist regime, for political freedom, civil equality. The ideas of the Enlightenment had a significant impact on the development of social thought. It is only in the XIX-XX centuries. the ideology of the Enlightenment began to be criticized for the idealization of human nature, an optimistic interpretation of progress as the steady development of society based on the improvement of the mind. But in the XVIII century, in a broad sense, enlighteners called eminent disseminators of scientific knowledge.
But if in France the light of enlightenment turned into the darkness of the revolution, then in the Slavic lands he lit the path to the struggle for national-state independence. The Slavs of the Enlightenment gave a lot of positive in social development. First of all, the education system was improved, especially in the lands belonging to the Austrian monarchy of the Habsburgs (Czech Republic, Hungary with Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia), which gradually became a country of continuous literacy. Developed high school. Educational activities have become especially popular.
Historians around the world for more than two centuries in detail, by day and time are engaged in all the events that took place in France at the end of the XVIII century. Tens of thousands of articles and books about it were published, almost in all languages. Everything that happened in this single country really marked the beginning of a new era in the history of all mankind. In the Soviet Union, this topic was dealt with particularly actively. After all, there was a proven experiment to destroy the old world order and create a new state, the spiritual foundation of which was a new worldview that did not exist in the state form. It was from there that many examples were taken in order to repeat all this in our country - the USSR at that time. I remember my teacher in the Stavropol State Pedagogical Institute MP. Zaikin, a former political worker who served until 1953 in the Stavropol Suvorov School. I have never seen a more enthusiastic man who raved about the ideas and events of a revolution that knew by heart the biographies of all its leaders.
Nonetheless, the revolution in France has been evaluated differently by historians and publicists for more than two hundred years. Many people greet her and write about her only in an enthusiastic tone, just as many of her contemporaries admired her not only in France, but also in other European countries. But an equally large number of historians consider this event to be disgusting, bloody, to undermine the foundations of not only the Christian ideology and the church, but also disrupt the course of world historical events.
There is one more, rather stable point of view, not without a serious documentary basis, that the revolution in France in 1789 was prepared and carried out by freemasons. It was the largest conspiracy in the 18th century. Moreover, it was the first in the world attempt by free masons to create an exemplary Masonic state with the simultaneous destruction of all opponents of their ideas.
On the one hand, most of the major figures of the French Enlightenment and those who considered themselves belonging to the intellectual strata of society in the years preceding the Great French Revolution did indeed join the ranks of freemasons. This has become a peculiar fashion and a sign of elitism. On the other hand, it is known that Freemasons, Martinists and Illuminati - many of them were in several lodges at once - welcomed the French revolution, although it was not started by them. It is also true that among the revolutionaries there were masons (Danton, Robespierre, Mirabeau, and others), but among the masons themselves there were high-born aristocrats and even faces of royal blood. For these and a number of other reasons, the masons did not play the main role in the French Revolution, and with the beginning of terror they completely "disappeared", degenerating into patriotic circles of a mystical sense.
John Entin, Professor Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania, in his article recently published in Russian on the subject of conspiracy theory that is extremely intriguing to today's political world, noted that "conspiracy theories as a means of interpreting history and politics are a dangerous and destabilizing phenomenon in today's world." And then the author explicitly pointed out that "conspiracies go as far into the past as politics itself. Their roots should be sought in the Middle Ages, and perhaps even in antiquity, but for the most part they originated from the French revolution of the late 18th century, the great a nurse for all the world’s isms. ”And then the author writes that it was this revolution that gave rise to conspiratorism, with which we live to this day. Paradoxically, the revolution itself destroyed opportunities for the success of a big conspiracy. During the“ ancienne regime ”the elite dominated Revolution marked the beginning of a century of ide the emergence of the most diverse "isms", political parties and mass movements in public life. Moreover, the emerging industrial relations on a pan-European scale have made the market a significant determinant of social and political transformation "(1).
For the first time, Abbot Augustin de Barrulles reported back to the participation of the Freemasons in the 1789-1798. Fleeing persecution in England from his homeland, the former Jesuit wrote a four-volume history of secret societies — the Freemasons, the Illuminati, and others. He even linked the French conspirators with the Jacobins. He first explained the French Revolution to the result of a successful Freemason conspiracy. Interpretation Barrulya was an attempt to the most detailed and elegant in terms of a whole collection of external attributes of scientific imagery. By 1812, his multi-volume work was translated into nine languages, including Russian, and was reprinted several times, right up to 1837. Barrul influenced several generations of French thinkers and left a deep impression on German romanticism.
It should be noted that the original attitude to the Freemasons in France was not just tolerable - no one in the government structures attached any importance to him even at the royal court. For example, 27 in February 1771, Queen Marie-Antoinette, carelessly wrote to her sister Maria Christina:
"It seems to me that you attach too much importance to Freemasonry in France; it has not played such a role in us as in other countries, due to the fact that everyone here belongs to it and thus we know everything that happens there. In what do you see danger? I understand that one could fear the spread of Freemasonry if it were a secret political community, and this society exists only for charity and for entertainment, they eat a lot, drink, reason, sing, and the king says people who drink and sing don't can not be conspirators. Also, Freemasonry cannot be called a society of convinced atheists, because I heard they always talk about God there, besides, they give out many alms, bring up the children of poor or deceased fraternity members, marry them to their daughters - in all this I, I do not see anything wrong. The other day, Princess de Lambal was elected a great master of one of the lodges, she told me how sweetly she was treated there, but she said that she had drunk more than she had sung; the other day there is supposed to give a dowry to two girls. True, it seems to me that it would be possible to do good without any such ceremonies, but everyone has their own way of having fun; just to do good, and the rest is not indifferent to us. "
But already nine years later, Marie-Antoinette wrote 17 of August 1790 of the year to her brother, Emperor Leopold II, in a completely different way: “Farewell, dear brother, believe your unfortunate sister’s tenderness. The main thing is to beware of any Masonic community. In this way, all local monsters strive in all countries to achieve the same goal. "
It is this society, "existing for entertainment and beneficence," that will kill 2 September 1792, the princess de Lambal, and 16 in October 1793, and the queen herself. But it is, by the way.
How did fermentation begin in France? The beginning of revolutionary ideas, according to most historians, lies in the withdrawal of the Western European elite from humanistic ideas and the teachings of Christianity. Not without its socio-economic difficulties accumulated in this state for more than one century. In the 18th century, the overwhelming majority of French writers and philosophers unanimously, in one voice, began to oppose the Catholic Church and the monarchy. Such famous writers, who called the rulers of the thoughts of the entire enlightened population of European states, like Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau and many others, without hesitation and restraint poured dirt and ridicule on the church. It was they who first began to demand "freedom, equality and fraternity," and this is nothing more than the official Masonic slogan, which then became the slogan of the French Revolution.
The French intelligentsia, consisting mainly of the nobility, attracted by the “boldness and progressiveness” of the thoughts of these and other writers, became more and more fascinated by the ideas of a “constitutional” monarchy — the monarchy in which the monarch was virtually deprived of all his power (such as English).
So, the soil for the "free-thinking" ideas turned out to be superbly fertilized. For two or three decades in many European countries managed to destroy the respect for the church, faith in Christian moral values. The French intelligentsia is increasingly beginning to demand the right to participate in governing the country (these processes, if not strange, will repeat in the beginning of the 20th century, but already in Russia). It should be noted one feature of the highest clergy of the Catholic Church of France - it consisted of both representatives of the intelligentsia and the high-ranking nobility. It was these individuals who were not only susceptible to the influence of the atheistic views of the enlightening writers, but also themselves often, as we will see below, spoke with almost atheistic ideas. We will not be mistaken if we say that the higher clergy of France greatly helped the revolution: receiving considerable incomes, leading a luxurious, secular way of life, it increasingly departed from the Christian precepts of abstinence and service to the spirit. At the same time, the lower French clergy were literally in poverty. In such an atmosphere, the overwhelming majority of the French nobility eagerly and enthusiastically awaited the onset of "freedom, equality and fraternity" (as, incidentally, the Russian intelligentsia at the beginning of the 20th century), demanding these rights from the king.
King Louis XVI, who reigned at that time in 1789, finally convenes the "states-generals" after the 175-year recess, as the assembly of representatives of different classes was called in France. General States included only clergy (300 deputies), noblemen (300) and the "third estate" (600). This third estate, sitting separately, was a stratum between the clergy and the nobility and the workers and peasants. In other words, the people in the States were not represented. Of the third-class 600 deputies, more than 200 were lawyers (!). It was here that events began to occur, the development of which the king watched inattentively. To tell about all the incidents of the revolution in France is not our task, which is why we will pay attention only to certain events in the chronology of the first year.
1788.08.08 - The General Council appoints the opening of the States General of the Kingdom on May 1 1789.
1788. 27.12 - Royal Decree on the election of the States-General. The number of deputies of the third class is equal to the number of deputies from the first two classes taken together.
1789.05.05 - Opening General States.
1789.17.06 - Third-class deputies proclaim themselves the National Assembly.
1789.09.07 - Adoption of the name "Constituent" by the National Assembly.
It was here that the arousal of the masses began.
1789.12.07 - The first clashes of the insurgent people with the royal troops on the streets of Paris.
1789.14.07 - Storm and Bastille.
After this, conversations at meetings of the Constituent Assembly began to be more hostile to the church and the monarchy.
1789.04.08 - Declaration of Deputies from the nobility and the clergy on the abandonment of feudal privileges.
1789. 04-11.08 - Decrees abolishing the privileges of estates and provinces.
1789.26.08 - Adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
Speaking about the policy of revolution in France and the institutions created by it in relation to religion and the church, one should immediately say that it was never united not only at different stages of the development of the revolution, but even during the same periods. Fair opinion I.A. Kryleleva, that here "the deep class contradictions within the revolutionary camp, the struggle between different political parties and groups, the influence of different factions and directions of free-thinking" had an effect.
After the adoption of the "Declaration of Human Rights ..." it took only two months to finally restore society against the church. It didn’t have to spend much effort on this, during the whole XVIII century the relations between all layers of French society and church structures became so complicated that hostility to them turned out to be just ubiquitous than revolutionaries immediately took advantage of. By the beginning of November, the Constituent Assembly was ready to encroach upon church revenues, before that there was the abolition of church tithes without its compensation. This decision concerned not only those contributions that were made directly to the Catholic Church, but also tithe, which was deducted to monasteries and orders. However, this did not seem to be enough, the Constituent Assembly began at an accelerated pace to prepare public opinion about the need to lay a hand on the land holdings of the church, which, by the way, were considerable.
1789.02.11 - Decree on the transfer of church property to the nation.
12 January 1790 was decided to introduce the death penalty by means of the guillotine "as more humane." After that, the blood flowed like a river.
Well, now let's see what happened in the political life of France, how a negative attitude towards religion was prepared on the revolutionary scene.
After the abolition of church tithes at the meetings of the Constituent Assembly, deputies began to speak one after another: Marquis de Lacoste, Buzot, Dupont de Nemours, who argued that the property of the church was not of the nature inherent in other types of property. They said that the church received land and real estate only in order to perform certain functions, namely, to engage in charity and help the needy; as a result of this, on the day when the nation wishes to take over the performance of this function, it has the full right to seize these resources in order to ensure the task assumed.
To confirm and legally substantiate these provisions, the Constituent Assembly declared, referring to the Decree on the Abolition of the Privileges of Estates adopted by it, that, since the clergy ceased to be an estate, it could no longer be an owner as such. Moreover, the entire nation is always entitled to take away the property from the corporation, which is the church and its institutions that exist only by the will of the nation itself.
October 10 1789, with his proposals, was made by a very famous person, famous not only in the history of France, but also in the history of all world politics. We are talking about an intrigue of the highest class, whom was the Bishop of Oden, Prince of Benevento, Count Dino, Charles-Maurice Perigord Talleyrand. “Gentlemen,” he addressed the assembled deputies of the Constituent Assembly. “The state has been struggling with enormous difficulties for a long time, there is no person among you who would not know this, therefore, decisive means are needed to overcome them. All the usual means have been exhausted: the people are suppressed To the extreme, the least additional burden would be truly unbearable for him, and there is nothing to think about.
Emergency measures were tried (tax in the amount of a quarter of income), but these funds were mainly intended for the emergency needs of this year, and we need funds for the future, to restore order in general.
There is only one grand and decisive measure, which, in my opinion (otherwise I would reject it), is compatible with deep respect for the right to property. This measure, in my opinion, is entirely in the church property.
Here we are not talking about the taxation of state taxes corresponding to the taxation of other property: the latter could never be considered as a victim. The question is about the operation, which has a completely different meaning for the nation. It seems to me absolutely incontestable that the clergy is not the owner like other owners, because the property that it uses, but which it cannot dispose of, was given to him not for the benefit of individuals, but to perform certain functions.
It is absolutely indisputable that the nation, having a very broad power over all corporations existing in its bosom, if it does not have the right to abolish the clergy corporation as a whole, because this corporation is essential for religious worship, then it can certainly abolish certain parts of this corporation if she considers them harmful or simply unnecessary; and that this right to dispose of their existence inevitably entails for failure the most widespread right to dispose of their property.
It is equally indisputable that the nation, if only because it is the defender of the will of the founders of the beneficiaries, may even have to seize those that have ceased to be used properly; that, in accordance with these principles, it has the right to provide useful ministers of the cult and use to the benefit and in the interests of society the income from assets of this kind, now not having useful use, and to allocate for the same purpose all those assets that will later be left unused for its intended purpose.
Until now, I do not see any difficulties or even anything that would seem to be something too extraordinary, because at all times we have seen how religious communities and benefices were abolished, how church property was returned to their original purpose and used for the needs of public institutions. ; The National Assembly, without a doubt, has the necessary power to decree such operations, since this is required by the good of the state.
Could it also reduce the income of living beneficiary owners and dispose of a portion of this income? ..
First of all, it is necessary at the moment to proceed from the actual state of affairs: this issue has already been resolved by a decree on the destruction of tithes.
No matter how inviolable possession of property, guaranteed to you by law, it is clear that this law cannot change the nature of property, although it guarantees it; that, when it comes to the property of the church, he can ensure to each owner a benefit only using what he was actually granted by the act on the basis of this benefit.
It is no secret to anyone that all documents justifying possession of church property, as well as various church laws explaining the meaning and spirit of these documents, say that only that part of these properties, which is necessary for a decent existence of a beneficiary, belongs to him; that he only controls the rest and that this rest is actually intended to help the unfortunate and to maintain the temples. Therefore, if a nation meticulously provides each beneficiary with a benefit, whatever the nature of his benefit, it is a decent existence, it does not in any way encroach on his individual property; and if she simultaneously assumes, to which she, of course, has the right to manage the rest, if she assumes all other obligations related to these properties, such as the maintenance of hospitals, charity workshops, repair of churches, public education expenses and t .d .; if it, and this is important, will draw funds from these assets only in moments of universal disaster, then it seems to me that all the intentions of the founders will be fulfilled and full justice strictly observed ”(4).
So, the crafty, dexterous and cunning politician, like Talleyrand all his life, realized that it was better to go for any tricks and prove that the great revolutionary expropriation would in no way violate the right of ownership than to lay your head on the guillotine. And yet, even despite the statement of the representative of the church itself, the famous lawyer Toure, considered that Talleyrand’s arguments were insufficient. He provided at the Constituent Assembly decisive legal arguments that, in his opinion, would destroy to the ground the clergy’s right to property and at the same time protect new and new property owners, individual and bourgeois, from any encroachment from any threat. In his speech, Toure specifically focused on the legal substantiation of the concept of "individual" and "corporation", by which the church and its institutions were meant:
"It is necessary to make a distinction between individuals, individuals, or real individuals, and corporations that are legal and fictitious in relation to each other and each in relation to the state. Individuals and corporations differ from each other mainly in the nature of their rights and the degree of authority that the law has with respect to these rights.
Individuals exist independently of the law, and even before the laws came into being, they possessed rights deriving from their nature and personal abilities, rights that were not created by the law, but only recognized by them, which the law protects and which it cannot destroy, just as he cannot destroy the individuals themselves. This is the right of ownership, since we are talking about private individuals. Corporations, by contrast, exist only on the basis of law; for this reason, the law has unlimited power over everything that concerns them, right down to their very existence.
Corporations do not have any proprietary rights arising from nature itself. They are just a fiction, an abstract concept, the creation of a law that can create them as it pleases, and, having created, change them as it pleases. Consequently, the law, having created corporations, has the right to destroy them, which can be given a hundred examples.
Consequently, the law could provide corporations with the enjoyment of all civil rights, but it has the right to cancel them; in particular, the constituent power has the right to check whether these rights should be reserved for them and, in any case, to what extent we can trust them to enjoy these rights.
Consequently, the law, which could and did not give corporations the right to own land property, could, when he recognized it necessary, prohibit them from acquiring one: the famous edict of 1749 serves as evidence of that "(5).
Toure finished his speech by presenting a draft of a new decree. All these legal contrivances made it possible to adopt 2 in November 1789, the "Decree on the transfer of church property at the disposal of the nation." It had only two points:
“The National Assembly decides: 1. That all church property is placed at the disposal of the nation, which must properly take care of the provision of funds for the service, the maintenance of the clergy, and the welfare of the poor, carried out under the supervision and instructions of the province.
2. That, when deciding on the amount necessary to provide clergymen, it should not be less than 1200 livres a year, not counting the dwelling and the adjacent garden ”(6).
And the Decree of 5 of November 1789, concerning the appointment of deputy deputies, in one of the paragraphs read: "In France there are no more class estates," even more shaken the foundations of church property, as the clergy ceased to exist as a class, thus turned out to be under threat as a corporation.
17 December 1789 Talleyrand, on behalf of the Church Committee of the Assembly, presented the report "on the state of the monasteries". On the same day, the text of the new law on the abolition of monastic vows, the prohibition of orders and monastic congregations, in which vows were given, was submitted. True, this Decree was adopted only 13 February 1790 g. But it was not just the abolition of civilian consequences associated with the laws that existed in France before the revolution, with eternal vows. The Constituent Assembly was not limited to the abolition of the "civil death" of monks and the return of the right to own property, bequeath it and inherit it as private individuals. It was now believed that bringing such vows was an encroachment on the freedom of the individual, and therefore all congregations were forbidden to allow such vows. Here is how it was formulated in the articles of the Decree:
"Article 1. The constitutional law of the kingdom will no longer recognize the solemn monastic vows of persons both male and female; accordingly, we declare that religious orders and congregations in which such vows are offered will be abolished in France and will remain prohibited without the right the creation of similar orders and congregations in the future.
Article 2. All persons of both sexes who are within the walls of the monasteries and monasteries can leave them after they make a statement in the local municipality, and their fate will be taken care of by providing them with an appropriate pension. Houses will be set aside, where monks who will not want to take advantage of these regulations will have to retire.
We further declare that at the present time there will be no changes in regard to congregations engaged in public education, as well as charity houses, until a decision is made on their account.
Article 3. The nuns can stay in the houses where they live at the present time, and they are released from the obligation, requiring the merging of several such houses into one. "
Analyzing the works of French historians who commented on this Decree, Jean Jaures made a serious analysis of the published study in his capital study of the French Revolution. Here is what he writes, for example, about the author of the chapter on the church and the Revolution in the "Universal History" of Lavis and Rambo. The historian did not just significantly soften, but simply distorted the meaning of this decree.
“This decree,” he wrote, “did not dissolve the monastic orders: the monasteries remained open, they were not closed. The law was no longer recognized as legal congregations where solemn vows were brought, but he did not consider them forbidden by law; he limited himself to that he refused to give civil sanctions to the former deprivation of the rights of monks. This decree was interpreted in the days of its appearance, and this interpretation obviously follows from a number of decrees that followed him and which were defined as monks who wished to live with topically, should be arranged and grouped in the monasteries. The decree of February 13, of course, I did not have the aim of favoring religious orders, but it would be unfair to portray him as a measure of anti-clerical. "
The writer, who throughout the chapter discovers such a biased attitude towards the church, ”comments Jean Jaurès, the author of the chapter in“ Universal History, ”and who views the secularization of church property as robbery, has an obvious goal. He does not want the dissolution of religious congregations to be read in the work of the first period of the Revolution; he prefers to be able to assert that the monasteries were closed only at the height of the revolutionary thunderstorm, on the eve of the era of terror.
The decision of the Constituent Assembly, taken on the calm days of the Revolution, could serve as a dangerous precedent. That's why the writer is dodging. Yes, it is true that the Constituent Assembly acted with great care.
Thiers in his “History of the Revolution” has a delightful phrase on this subject, the rush of his revolutionary youth, which he undoubtedly regretted later: “Since the property of the monks was taken away, the Constituent Assembly reimbursed it with pensions. Showing even greater foresight, it conducted the difference between the rich and mendicant orders and proportioned the content of those and others in accordance with their previous condition. It did the same with pensions, and when Jansenist Camus, who wished to return to the simplicity of the Gospel, suggested to keep all pensions to one very modest amount, the Assembly, at the suggestion of Mirabeau, lowered them in proportion to their level at that time and in accordance with the old situation of pensioners. As you can see, it was impossible to show a more careful attitude to habits, property ", - concluded Thiers.
Indeed, Camus spoke about the issue of pensions with the monks 19 and 20 in February, and then again on March 19 in 1790. Mirabeau spoke at a meeting of the Constituent Assembly 18 and February in 19. His phrase on this subject literally sounds like this: "When discussing the issue of pensions for monks, we must take into account their previous condition" (8).
Indeed, the Constituent Assembly did not want to force the monks and nuns, who decided to stay there, to be thrown out beyond the walls of the monasteries, but it went much further than what Thiers stated. If it wished only to deprive the monastic corporations of their legal character, it would not prohibit congregations that took an eternal vow, it would not seize the property of the monastic communities.
If associations united people who made a vow to remain in slavery, concludes J. Jaures, the Constituent Assembly would not consider it sufficient not to sanctify this inhuman vow by law, it would dissolve associations that allow people to condemn themselves to slavery. This is how the Constituent Assembly did with the monastic congregations (9).
Pope Pius VI rushed into battle against the revolution. 20 March 1790 was held a meeting of the secret consistory, at which he analyzed the events in France, which was necessary for the forthcoming development of a unified plan to combat the revolution. In the very first words, the Pope declared that he wanted to share with the assembled thoughts about the depressing situation "in which the French state was involved. This vast and powerful monarchy, which ranked first among the European powers, was struck now by blows inflicted on it by its own inhabitants. Quite quickly she plunged into the abyss of disasters and is on the verge of death. "
Further, the Pope noted that even the first acts of this revolution, which, although it declared that it wanted to establish a new order in public administration, the aim of which should be to reduce the people's burden, in fact turned out to be very far from the true fulfillment of the declared tasks.
Pius VI listed those acts of the victorious revolution that, in his view, deserved strong ecclesiastical condemnation. "The decrees issued by the States of the French nation attack religion and shake it ... And since all these kinds of evil had their source in false doctrine contained in the poisoned and depraved scriptures that went hand in hand, then in order to give a wider the publication of these infectious and poisonous teachings, in order to strengthen their effect, one of the first decrees of this assembly provides for everyone the freedom to think as he pleases, even in matters of religion, and to disseminate these thoughts among society with impunity ... One of the first “The decrees of this assembly,” the pope was outraged by the activities of the General States, “provide for everyone the freedom to think as he pleases, even in matters of religion, and to disseminate these thoughts with impunity among society."
And further, speaking of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, the Pope said: "This decree proclaims that no one can be bound by any laws except those to which he himself has given his consent." The consequence of the adoption of this state act was the next step, which "was struck by the very discussion of the question whether the Catholic cult should or should not be retained as the dominant religion of the state. All non-Catholics were declared eligible to hold any municipal, civil and military positions ... members of all religious organizations of both sexes were allowed to leave the monasteries "(10).
A few days after 10 in August, the Legislative Assembly issued a Decree on the closure of those monasteries that still existed on 11 in August 1792. Here is what was written in it:
"From October 1, all homes still occupied by monks or nuns must be abandoned by the aforementioned monks and nuns and made available to the administrative authorities for sale."
Thus, the final verdict of monastic life was pronounced. So, together with other orders, it was liquidated, or rather outlawed, on the territory of France and the Order of Malta, previously deprived of property.
The attack on the church, meanwhile, continued. There are a lot of documents that testify that in one of the most Catholic countries, atheistic ideas prevailed within a short period of two years.
So, for example, 30 in November 1792 G. G. Danton made a speech in the Convention in which he stated: "At the moment, when people are in a state of barbarism, an attempt to take away his ideas and delusions from him would be a crime against the nation. Let us wait until the light of enlightenment illuminates the hut of the poor. I personally do not know any other deity except the god of the universe, or any other faith besides belief in justice and freedom, but the peasant also believes in the comforter man in whom he sees the saint, because he owes him moments of happiness, because the shower this accident requires tenderness and passionately attached to anything that is the greatness of printing.
Yes, leave him his delusions, but enlighten him. Tell him quite clearly that the task of the Convention is not to destroy, but to improve, that it pursues fanaticism precisely because it wants freedom of religious opinion. "
However, these crafty words contained not just a complete denial of God, but also a plan to combat religious beliefs. And some time later, the cult of reason was declared the state religion in France, designed to take the place of persecuted Christianity. And here the revolutionaries turned for help not to philosophers, but to artists. One of the operatic artists of Paris was proclaimed the personification of the mind, the goddess of the new cult. The clown carnival, carefully rehearsed by her colleagues, broke out on the streets of the French capital. The naked actress, like a statue of a pagan goddess, was carried in her arms into Notre Dame de Paris; This procession was accompanied by comic performances and frivolous songs, in which Christian sacraments were mocked. Then the actress was put on the throne of the Council, as if on a throne, and the members of the Convention greeted her, continuing the clownish act. The theater bohemia of Paris was delighted.
Shortly after the arrest of Louis XVI, Pope Pius VI published an appeal to all the French, in which he threatened them: "... you, the French, enemies of the throne, tyrants, to whom the whole earth has disgust, tremble! Our forces will unite against you ... It is necessary that you find out that there are still defenders, there are avengers for the religion of our fathers, which you eradicate in your environment "(13).
25 February 1792 d. Pope sends a letter to the Russian Empress Catherine II, in which she appeals to organize an invasion of revolutionary France, because then the "cruelty of the National Assembly in France will be crushed by the united forces of the European powers ..." restored on its old foundations. "
In a speech delivered in the 17 secret consistory on June 1793 on the occasion of the execution of Louis XVI, Pius VI criticized the ideas of the revolution and the philosophies with which they were inspired. Freedom, from his point of view, is a false bait for people; equality is a chimera that "rejects all the foundations of civil society"; the constitution is "blasphemous"; Louis XVI should be considered a martyr of faith (14). To the French and international Catholic clergy, the pope offered a consistent program, the implementation of which should have led to the restoration of the old, feudal order.
But the French Catholic clergy were far from unanimous in their determination to follow these instructions. Not less than half of him swore to the republic, who of their own free will, under the penalty of the death penalty, as the 19 decree of 1793 in March (15) demanded. At best, they were subject to expulsion to Guiana (16). In fear of their lives, they formally refused to recognize papal anathemas. Moreover, some members of both the lower clergy and the episcopate declared that they were aware of the falsity of the religion and that they had to remove their dignity (17). Usually this was done in a solemn atmosphere at a meeting of the Convention or the General Council of the Paris and other communes, so that the minutes of these meetings kept interesting reports on such acts. Priest Paran wrote to the Convention: "I am a priest, I am a parish priest, that is, I am a charlatan. Until now, I was a conscientious charlatan, I deceived only because I myself was deceived. Now that I have become enlightened, I admit you would not like to be a bona fide charlatan "(18).
Some representatives of the Jewish clergy, for example, “citizen Jacob Benjamin, who previously professed the religion of Moses, Abraham and Jacob,” spoke in a similar way. Together with their priestly letters and other ecclesiastical documents, those who had reproached brought material values, including gold and silver utensils from churches and synagogues, to the republican authorities for surrender.
And yet, despite the repression, the bulk of the French clergy took counter-revolutionary positions and led a stubborn struggle against the revolutionary government. The further the revolution developed, the more actively the clergy opposed it. When the counter-revolutionary uprising broke out in the Vendée, the clergy became its main force. In the spring of 1793, in one report from the departments involved in the uprising, it was said: the unifying rebel symbols are "white banners and white cockades, all wear shoulder pads and rosaries; the king and their priests are their slogan" (19).
In the autumn of 1793, the report of the Legislative Committee stated: "All priests strive for counter-revolution, and humanity is weary from the blood they shed" (20). And the letter from A. Dumont, the national representative sent to the departments of Somme, Pas-de-Calais and Oise from 22 in October 1793, contained the following message: "... I just ordered the arrest of priests who allow themselves to be commemorated by something holy days or sundays, I destroy the crosses and crucifixes, and I will soon prescribe to exile those black beasts called priests.
... Republic or death "(21).
At meetings of various Jacobin clubs in Paris, Limoges, Tulle, other municipal centers of France, and then at meetings of the Convention there were constant appeals: "We will present the priests to the court of truth - we will demand detailed explanations from them" ...
Quite a few decisions of the revolutionary authorities on the transfer of "all the rattles of the Parisian churches to the mint for turning them into republican coins" (22) have been preserved.
It is possible to examine in detail both the prohibition of all religious cults and the establishment of a new religion - the cult of Reason (23), in which the revolutionaries included a number of symbolic ceremonies. Christian churches were renamed the temples of the Mind and were furnished instead of icons and statues of saints, by busts of revolutionaries. 20 Brumaire (November 10) 1793 was the first time the solemn theatrical celebration of the Mind was held in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.
On the other hand, the deistic wing of the ideologues of the revolution, personified and led by Robespierre, did not agree to the abandonment of belief in God and the proclamation of atheism by the philosophical program of the revolution. In the speeches of Robespierre in the Convention and in the Jacobin Club, a new religion was promoted - the cult of the Supreme Being. Unlike the cult of Reason, which can hardly be considered religious, there was something that had a direct bearing on religion.
Robespierre strongly opposed atheism as a worldview, in his opinion, aristocratic. He defended not only the existence of God as the creator of the world, but also his activity as the ruler of the world, the subject of "providence." 7 May 1794. The convention on the proposal of Robespierre adopted a decree establishing the cult of the Supreme Being. The first paragraph of this decree read: "The French people recognize the Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul."
The bourgeois revolution did not find and could not find a scientific and consistent path of its struggle with the church counter-revolution and religion. The reason for this was the dual position of the bourgeoisie during the revolution. Its ideologists and leaders assumed that in the course of historical development the church and religion would become allies of the bourgeoisie in the alignment of the class forces of capitalist society, its weapons in the struggle for the perpetuation of the bourgeois order. This is what determined their position on the issue under consideration.
But what happened in Western Europe on the eve of the great revolution could only find an echo in Russia. Despite the cosmopolitan nature of the French liberation ideas, there was, one might say, another European country that was so immune from revolutionary propaganda as the possessions of Catherine II. In the last decades before the French Revolution, those feudal relations and class privileges that the "principles of 1789 of the year" inflicted in France on a fatal blow reached their culmination in Russia.
“Revolutionary propaganda,” wrote the famous French publicist Georges Sorel, “could not put Russia in serious danger ... not one distance saved her, but the very nature of the civilization of this empire” (24). French historians of the XIX - early XX centuries. Russia impressed with its cultural backwardness, "the people in it,” wrote Rambo, for example, “did not read anything, the provincial nobility and the townspeople read little, and the court and official nobility read mostly French books.” The educational philosophy of the XVIII century. could be understood in Russia extremely superficially, as the notorious "Voltaireanism". For a number of Russian free-thinkers of the mid-eighteenth century. "Voltaireism" was nothing more than the victory of common sense over superstition, as "easy cleansing of human brains, and not a hard struggle for the reform of human institutions and beliefs."
Such evidence of Western European researchers appeared only due to the lack of awareness and knowledge of what constituted Russian society in the middle to late 18th century. Yes, even the most educated representatives of the Russian society spoke of the largest French thinkers rather scornfully. “D'Alamberts and Diderotta,” wrote DI Fonvizin from Paris in one of his letters, “are the same charlatans I’ve seen every day on the boulevard; they all deceive people for money and the difference between a charlatan and a philosopher is that the latter adds unparalleled vanity to avarice "(25). And in this opinion of the French enlighteners, Fonvizin, like other Russian writers, by the way, turned out to be absolutely right. Paradoxical as it may seem, the Russians, being in the West at the beginning of the 18th century, were seriously engaged in studying European life, customs and order. They were so attentive that they noticed many negative aspects, and in the notes that came down to us, the letters expressed many critical words about at least the same French (26).
So, Catherine II seriously began not only to observe the events in France. The dispatches of the Russian envoys in France are full of archives. She understood the special destructive power of Freemasonry, and, naturally, understood all the destructiveness of events. Through secret channels, she began to receive materials about masons - figures of the "French contagion", who were already far from only in France, but also in many states bordering Russia. Much of this material was deposited again in the archives. The destruction of thrones and altars - there was nothing more terrible for all the states of Europe - this is what the revolution in France carried with it, this is what obedient performers did, I repeat, in the states surrounding Russia.
Naturally, in the person of Pope Pius VI, Catherine II found support. And now, finally, a copy of the letter, which was discussed at the beginning of the article, the original with a selection of original documents was sent to the pope. The letter is published with spelling features of the XVIII century.
"By title of Her Imperial Majesty.
Pius the Sixth, the Most High Bishop of the Church of Rome and the State Pope of the Regions.
At the first demonstration of unrest in the middle of the Republic of Poland, We, the Most Gracious Sovereign, had the righteous suspicion that they were excited by the benefit of that hellish gathering of atheists and regicides, who seized power in the kingdom of France and having disrobed the Law of God in it, all the ruling authority and goodness, looking to spread the same authority and goodness in it, spreading the power of authority and goodness in it, and spreading the power of God and the evil deceit in it, and spreading power in the Kingdom of France corruption around the world. Nowadays, this suspicion has become an indisputable truth by delivering to us from unreliable sources of news that the insurgent Koschushko, under whose command a real riot suddenly broke out all over the state, according to exact agreement and intercourse with these monsters and their very beginnings and grounds, came to us from the faithful and not a little doubt. Papers containing commemorated news are readily honored by Our Care for the common good of whole Christianity and Our affection for you, Most Sovereign Emperor, to inform you throughout the space, and therefore we attach them to this. Here you will clearly see that the aforementioned rebel Koshchushko is planning to commit the same vile and pernicious events in his true Fatherland that plunged France into the abyss of some troubles, and that, according to her example, the clergy and gentry, being an instrument of his evil intentions, were condemned in advance by the victim of success these are the ultimate destruction of the Christian faith and of all well-appointed bosses. Having imagined the perseverance and wisdom of your Sovereign Sovereign, all the foulness of evil that threatens the first object, especially your care, as the supreme pastor of the spiritual flock entrusted to you, expect from these same qualities that you are so rich in God that you are without the least loss of time to all those ways that your San and your well-known jealousy toward the faith you profess to be delivered to you can, so that by direct instruction to the Polish people, and especially to the clergy, to extract them from that pernicious delusion, in which flattery, camouflaged by the alleged liberty and freedom to capture their endeavor. We, together with our allies, the Emperor of Rome (the Emperor of Austria-VZ) and the King of Prussia, will not leave to use the most effective and powerful measures from the Providence of Our God to our power to speedily extinguish the burning fire, to which the Present State Benefit is demanding ,, can contribute a lot. Without doubting the attention, which you will honor this invitation from us in such a God-pleasing intention, we are pleased to take this opportunity to renew to you assurances of Our affection and Our reverence, entrusting you, Gracious Lord to God's preservation.
Such a letter is written in Dutch large paper, the translation is attached in Greek, folded four times and sealed in a package by the State seal of small stamp under a paper wax on red wax, and sent to Mr. Oberstrechtarima Teacher Matthew Fedorovich Kashtalinsky on Maya 31 XNUM-go for the grant. Archetti with a copy of Russian and Greek. The signature is written in Russian:
Pius the Sixth Supreme Bishop of the Church of Rome and the Most Reigning Pope of Her Region.
The translation is done in Greek by G. Nadvorny Councilor Sichkarev. (AVPRI. F. 78. Russian Relations with the Popes. Op. 78 / 2. D. 1. L. 115-117).
So, Kosciuszko's Masonic documents are available, they are stored in the archives of the Vatican. They, of course, can be found. It seems that their publication will open a lot of interesting things in how Kosciuszko and his entourage prepared the second Masonic (after France) revolution in the world - already in Russia and the countries closest to it.
1) Entin J. Conspiracy theories and conspiratorial mentality ... - C. 66.
2) Quote: Selyaninov A. The secret power of Freemasonry. - SPb., 1911. - C.103.
3) Krytelev, IA History of religions. T.1 ... - C. 260.
4) Ts .: J. Zhores. The Socialist History of the French Revolution. / Per. from French in 6-ti under total. ed. A.Z. Manfred. T. 1, Vol. 2. - M .: Progress, 1977. - S. 32-33.
5) Ibid. ... T. 1, Vol. 2. - S. 37.
6) Documents the history of the Great French Revolution in 2-s. T. T. 1. / Ed. Ed. A.V. Ado. - M .: Publishing House of Moscow State University, 1990. - S. 386-387.
7) Ts .: J. Zhores. The Socialist History of the French Revolution ... T. 1, Vol. 2. - S. 125.
8) Zhores J. The Socialist History of the French Revolution ... T. 1, Vol. 2. - S. 127, approx. 1.
9) Ibid. - S. 126-127.
10) Documents of the history of the Great French Revolution in 2's t. T ... 1. - S. 387-389.
11) Zhores J. The Socialist History of the French Revolution ... T. 1, Vol. 2. - S. 127.
12) Ibid. - S. 414-415.
13) Atheism in the fight against the church in the era of the French Revolution: Collected materials. CH 1. - M., 1933. - S. 68.
14) Ibid. - S. 85-86.
15) Documents of the history of the Great French Revolution in 2's t. T ... 1. - S. 415.
16) Decree of 23 on April 1793. See: Ibid.
17) Krytelev, IA History of religions. T.1 ... - C. 262.
18) Atheism in the struggle with the church in the era of the French Revolution ... Part 1. - S. 154.
19) Ibid. - S. 110.
20) Ibid. - S. 20.
21) Documents of the history of the Great French Revolution in 2's t. T ... 1. - S. 419.
22) Ibid. - S. 424-426 and others.
23) Popov M.S. The French Revolution and Religion. - Pg., 1919. - S. 316.
24) Sorel J. Reflections on Violence. - M., 1907. - S. 58.
25) Fonvizin D.I. Writings, letters and selected translations / Ed. P.A.Efremova. SPb., 1866. C. 237.
26) For more details, see: Russia and the West: horizons of mutual understanding. Literary sources of the first quarter of the XVIII century. Issue 1. - M .: Heritage, 2000.