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Catholic Dictionary




The Church-State policy of Joseph II (1741-90), Emperor of Austria, which advocated secular interference and state supremacy in ecclesiastical affairs. He consolidated almost the entire property of the Church and merged all the religious funds into one great Religionsfund for the requirements of public worship. To achieve his purpose, he suppressed all the monasteries and secularized them. For meddling in Church affairs, even to the regulation of candles, he was called the "Sacristan Emperor."