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The Counterreformation in Inner Austria (1579-80)

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The following expedients may be used in the case of persistent disobedience and recalcitrance.

1. To divide the previously conjoined estates from one another. The resulting losses to the military defenses of the borders (5) may be recovered either by raising loans with interest, as discussed in the previous petition, or else by collecting directly the taxes and levies on subjects belonging to the two estates and strictly forbidding payment of the same in any other form.

2. To establish a clandestine alliance between the neighboring princes, namely His Roman Imperial Majesty, Archduke Ferdinand, and the Duke of Bavaria, such as existed years ago, in which the mutual aid owed is clearly defined and reciprocally directed solely at the disobedient subjects of one or the other ruler. [The prince-archbishop of] Salzburg should be drawn into the alliance at the earliest opportunity. And also to dispatch one or two trusted advisors from each ruler and lord to a specific place at a certain time (the selection of which shall be left to His Imperial Majesty) to form the alliance under the guise of another purpose.

3. To petition His Papal Highness through My Lord Cardinal of Trent for substantial assistance and a considerable loan as soon as possible and – again under the guise of some other purpose – secretly to send a trusted person with the necessary credentials, who is to report everything in order, to My Lord Cardinal.

4. Similarly, to appeal to the King of Spain.

5. Not to leave out the salt tax, as already advised, in order to fund the following expedients.

6. To organize 100 Catholic archers, also 50 foot soldiers.

7. To reinforce the garrison stationed in the main palace at Graz with more men.

8. Similarly, to deploy more men to the [archducal] court's provost-marshal, so that he and the infantry and archers might be deployed at need against one or another rebel.

9. To assemble supplies of ammunition and armaments (as though arming against the [Ottoman] archenemy alone) in good time.

10. To negotiate with those foreign lords who hold property in Your Princely Graces’ lands, so that they fill those offices in their gift with Catholics and oust the sectarians.

The preparations necessary to begin and sustain this work are as follows:

1. That Your Princely Grace recruit Catholic advisors, especially in privy council, and discharge those who openly confess sectarian or otherwise impure beliefs at the earliest opportunity.

2. That Tyrol and Bavaria may supply all possible assistance to this end.

3. To recruit some young people who, having studied at a university, might in good time be suited for public office, and to give them an annual sum or allowance until they have gained some experience and learned the customs of the land.

4. To make constantly every effort to attract and train native Catholics, which can occur if Your Princely Grace favors Catholics over others in appointments to office and is more generous to them than to others in other ways as well.

5. To encourage, with His Papal Holiness’s aid, the bishops conscientiously to visit and reform their jurisdictions, to install qualified archpriests (6) throughout as mentioned earlier, and in addition to this, to establish seminaries in accordance with the Council of Trent as soon as possible.

6. As His Imperial Majesty's present program [of reformation] at Vienna proceeds successfully – as is, with God's help, to be hoped – their Highnesses, Archduke Ferdinand and His Princely Grace in Bavaria, should make good their recent oral commitments not to abandon but instead to give most brotherly aid and their support as cousins. This will substantially further Your Princely Grace's own program.

A Precaution against any Eventuality

That Your Princely Graces should seek absolution from His Papal Holiness as soon as possible, so that Your conscience may be relieved, and that the work will proceed that much more propitiously in future. [ . . . ]

(5) Losses in funds appropriated for the defense of the Austrian border against the Ottomans – trans.
(6) Priests who had supervisory duties over a number of parishes. The term, usual in Eastern Orthodoxy, is equivalent to the office of dean in the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church – trans.

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