Civil Constitution of the Clergy
The National Assembly has heard the report of the ecclesiastical committee and as a result has decreed the following as constitutional articles:
Each department is a diocese and they all should have the same size and limitation
All bishoprics that are not in included by name in this article are forever eliminated
The Kingdom is divided into ten metropolitan districts.
To be overseen at Rouen, Rheims, Besancon, Rennes, Paris, Bourges, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Aix, and Lyons
No church or parish of France nor any French citizen may acknowledge upon any occasion, or upon any pretext whatsoever, the authority of an ordinary bishop or of an archbishop whose see shall be under the supremacy of a foreign power, nor that of his representatives residing in France or elsewhere; without prejudice, however, to the unity of the faith and the intercourse which shall be maintained with the visible head of the universal Church, as hereafter provided.
A new arrangement and division of all the parishes of the kingdom shall be undertaken immediately in concert with the bishop and the district administration.
All titles and offices other than those mentioned in the present constitution, dignities, canonries, prebends, half prebends, chapels, chaplainships, both in cathedral and col legiate churches, all regular and secular chapters for either sex, abbacies and priorships, both regular and in commendam, for either sex, as well as all other benefices and prestimonies in general, of whatever kind or denomination, are from the day of this decree extinguished and abolished and shall never be reestablished in any form.
Once the decree is published bishops and parish priests are elected
Elections are to be conducted through a ballot system and the person with majority is elected.
Bishop elections are to be done in accordance with the decree established December 22, 1789 (the section called: for the election of members of the departmental assembly).
The election of the Bishop must take place on a Sunday.The election must take place at the principal church of the chief town of the department.The election must take place at the close of the parish mass.All those partaking in the election must be present.
To become a bishopric the individual must have at least fifteen years in the completion of the following duties:
- The duties of the church ministry in the diocese.
- The duty of a parish priest.
- The duty of an officiating minister.
- The duty of a curate.
- The duty of a superior.
- The duty of directing vicar of the seminary.