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Joseph II and Josephinism

(Josephism). Joseph II (1741–90; king of Ger. 1764–90; Holy Roman emp. 1765–90; coregent of Austria with his mother 1765–80, sole ruler 1780–90) tried to make the ch. subordinate and subservient to the state and to separate the ch. from Roman authority. Issued an edict of toleration 1781; it granted a large measure of freedom of religion to Prots., imposed restrictions on RC activities, and removed religious bars to civil offices. These and other similar measures raised RC protest. Pius VI (see Popes, 26) visited Joseph II in vain 1782. But disturbances gradually induced Joseph II to revoke his legislation. After his death the old constitution and privileges were restored. See also Church and State; Josephinism; Roman Catholic Church, The, D 2.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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