The Fate of the Pistoian Ideal
In the same year as the Synod, the Bishop of Pistoia was due to make his triennial report to the Holy See. Ricci complains in his memoirs of this time that what should be a means of unity among the churches was used as a means of enslaving them and of separating them from their Sovereign (“per ridurle in servitù e per metterle in collisione coi principi.”) Leopold, doubtless on Ricci’s suggestion, ordered that in future all triennial letters to Rome should first be submitted to the Government.1 Ricci’s letter, approved by Leopold, was not censured. No doubt, he says, “that Babylonian Curia” had shown enough annoyance with Tuscany by “the insulting letter” sent to censure the recent pastoral letter of Bishop Pannilini (a censure which was to be renewed by the majority of the Tuscan Bishops at their National Assembly in 1787).2 The Bishop of Pistoia was naturally sensitive to any reproof received by a bishop like Pannilini, who was one of his few active supporters among the Bishops of Tuscany.
KeywordsReligious Order French Revolution Pastoral Letter Parish Church Parish Priest
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