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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Of the pase regio in his domain


of the _pase regio_ in his

domain. A further step was taken in 1771, when the pope consented to the reform of the nunciature, whereby that tribunal, henceforth called the _Rota_, was to be composed of six Spanish judges nominated by the king and appointed by the pope. A great many measures were also undertaken in this reign to subject the Spanish clergy to the royal authority, and to better economic and religious conditions. The following enactments were representative of this phase of the royal policy: the recourse of _fuerza_ was frequently employed in cases of conflict of laws between the civil and the ecclesiastical courts, and the jurisdiction of the former was favored; a law of 1766 required bishops to exercise vigilance to see that priests should say nothing against the government or the members of the royal family, and even the _alcaldes_ were given authority to assist in this regard in conserving the good name of the state and its rulers; the rights of asylum in churches and the personal immunities of churchmen were limited, as by a law of 1774, according to which such rights were not to obtain in the case of those guilty of participation in riots; in 1780 it was ordered that the profits of vacant rural benefices should be applied to the repair of churches of the diocese or to the repopulation of abandoned districts; bishops were prohibited by a law of 1781 from appointing vicars without the prior consent of the king; an attempt was made in 1786 to do away with the custom of burying deceased persons
in churches, but the effort was unsuccessful, owing to the opposition of the clergy; in the same year ecclesiastical judges were forbidden to handle the temporal aspects of matrimonial cases, being restricted to decisions affecting the canonical bonds established by marriage; and in 1787 all cases of smuggling were removed from the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts, even though a churchman were involved. In the reign of Charles IV there were intervals when the church was less rigorously dealt with, but the majority of the ministers followed the tradition of their predecessors.

[Sidenote: Royal action diminishing the power of the Inquisition.]

There had been many complaints against the Inquisition in the period of the Hapsburg kings, but they became more frequent in the far more tolerant eighteenth century, and now that the monarchs no longer regarded the danger of heresy as serious they were reinforced by the royal policy of reducing all outstanding phases of authority. The conflict with the Inquisition was fought out over the following issues: questions of jurisdiction between the civil courts and that of the Inquisition; abuse of power by the Inquisition, which was accused of using its authority in matters of religion as a political arm; decrees of the Inquisition inconsistent with those of the king, or failures to observe the royal claims of a right to apply the _pase regio_; arbitrary condemnations of books by the Inquisition; and the extraordinary amplitude of cases falling within the purview of its tribunals, such as those of usury, smuggling, the importation of coin into the kingdom, and the raising of horses, all of which were far removed from the primary objects of the institution. Not much was done until the reign of Charles III. That monarch had already shown himself hostile to the Inquisition while king of Naples, prior to his accession to


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