(A) Decisions of the Munich Conference on Inner Austria (October 14, 1579)
Resolutions of the Munich Conference between Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, Regent of Tyrol and the Forelands; Duke Wilhelm V. of Bavaria; and Archduke Karl of Austria on the Recatholicization of Inner Austria, October 14, 1579.
[Recommendations for the subversion of the Inner Austrian Religious Concession of 1572 and measures to initiate the recatholicization of Inner Austria.]
[ . . . ]
First of all, that the concessions (1) made cannot and must not remain [in place] as they are, but that the direst necessity requires that these concessions be annulled and rescinded at the earliest opportunity, albeit not publicly through formal repeal (which would be difficult for Your Princely Graces for many reasons), but with moderation and according to a plan, that is, indirectly, outside the territorial parliament, and not in so many words, but in actual fact and this, not precipitately, but gradually and step by step. Thus be it understood:
That Your Princely Graces not allow the two noble estates (2), any disobedience in political matters, nor the usurpation of Your Princely Graces’ sovereignty and privileges by establishing and organizing print shops and the like, but earnestly employ all ways and means (as will be described hereafter) to put an end to such things as far as is possible.
That in addition to this nothing shall be permitted or allowed that is contrary to the abovementioned concessions as they are rightly understood as, for example, cities and market towns turning to their, the two estates' sectarian preachers, both in the four privileged cities of Graz, Judenburg, Klagenfurt, and Laibach (3) and in other places more generally, because the exercise of the Protestant religion in accordance with the Augsburg Confession applies only to the two [noble] estates and their subjects.
That the arrogance of the shameless public denunciation of Your Princely Grace’s religion from the open pulpit, likewise marrying, baptizing children, and other usurpations of clerical rights, including their likewise arrogated, illegitimate, alleged clerical ordination and the construction of new sectarian churches, as well as any other inappropriate things shall be resolutely prohibited.
In which case, there is no doubt that [those affected] will strongly resist and will not want to take any oath of obedience. In response, Your Princely Graces can reply in such a way that they, the two estates, [are trying] to extend and exceed Your Princely Graces’ well-meant concessions contrary to the clear letter of the law to suit themselves, and that under this guise [they] are attempting not only to oppress the Catholic faith, but also to withhold the obedience they owe.
This totally inappropriate and utterly unbearable extension reflects the rebellious and discontented preachers and their inflammatory teaching. Your Princely Graces must expect, by contrast, very different behavior on the part of the two noble estates on account of their nature and noble descent. It is expected that the two estates themselves shall, with the best of will, move against this creeping, dangerous evil and no longer simply observe or tolerate the preachers' actions. Instead, under pain of Your Princely Graces’ gravest displeasure and punishment, they must order their rebellious preachers to depart from each and every one of Your Princely Graces’ cities and market towns and forbid them to set foot again in such places.
Because there is, again, no doubt that this measure will meet with equally strong opposition, and that [those affected] will be even less likely to want to be obedient than they earlier were, Your Princely Graces will have all the more reason to object to this and particularly to press for religious peace, availing Yourselves of it no less than other Imperial princes do, and to take measures against the insubordinate subjects (4). By such gradual steps the concessions mentioned above will silently and indirectly be absorbed, quashed, and revoked. Furthermore, Your Princely Graces may not with reason and truth be accused of failing to keep Your word, but rather the opposite. The fact is that they [the Protestant nobles] have violated the agreement. Given the manner of this revocation, any further intervention of Imperial and princely counselors would be entirely unnecessary.
(1) On February 9, 1578, Archduke Charles II had conceded rights of religious toleration to the territorial parliament's two upper estates – magnates and knights – and also to the towns and marketplaces of Inner Austria. Only adherents of the Confession of Augsburg (i.e., Lutherans) might enjoy these rights – trans.
(2) The territorial estates typically had separate chambers for untitled and titled (magnates) nobles – trans.
(3) Ljubljana, capital of the duchy of Carniola (and now of the Republic of Slovenia) – trans.
(4) A reference to the ius reformandi accorded to secular rulers since 1555 by the Religious Peace of Augsburg – trans.