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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What is the "Josephinism" heresy?

A. 1. "Josephinism" was the liberal ideology of Joseph II of Austria who attempted to impose it on the Catholic Church.

According to wikipedia.org, "Josephinism was the collective domestic policies of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (17651790). During the ten years in which Joseph was the sole ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy (17801790), he attempted to legislate a series of drastic reforms to remodel Austria in the form of the ideal Enlightened state. This provoked severe resistance from powerful forces within and outside of his empire, but ensured that he would be remembered as an 'enlightened ruler.'"

"Regarding the Catholic Church, Joseph was virulently opposed to what he called "contemplative" religious institutions reclusive institutions that were seen as doing nothing positive for the community."

"By Joseph's decree, Austrian bishops could not communicate directly with the Curia anymore. More than 500 of 1,188 monasteries in Austro-Slav lands (and a hundred more in Hungary) were dissolved, and 60 million florins taken by the state. This wealth was used to create 1,700 new parishes and welfare institutions."

"The education of priests was taken from the Church as well. Joseph established six state-run 'General Seminaries'. In 1783, a Marriage Patent treated marriage as a civil contract rather than a religious institution."

"Josephinism" was condemned by Pope Pius IX's "Syllabus of Errors," by pope Leo XIII's Encyclical "Immortale Dei," and by the first Vatican Council.

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