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In such a state of affairs the Church had not to fear any hostile civil legislation; yet she had to submit to a certain amount of usurpation on the part of the royal power, particularly in connection with episcopal elections and church property.The institution of the precaria , by which princes bestowed on their lay servants, especially their fellow-warriors, the revenues of churches and monasteries, was really a secularization of the goods of the Church.In this way education, the courts of justice, the army, the navy, the hospitals — in a word all activities under the control of the public authorities have been laicized in France.Laicization is the externalization and product of the rationalistic, anti-Catholic, and anti-religious movement.An attempt has been made to set up a "lay" morality, i.e.a moral code independent of all revealed religion, as if Christian morality were aught else than the dictates of natural law ; while some think they can establish a rationalistic morality without religion and without a Deity, without a future life, and with no real responsibility—a determinist morality which is the very negative of all morality.certain attacks on the popes, and the laicization of the monasteries by Constantine Copronymus (767).The situation of the Church in the Western kingdoms that rose on the ruins of the empire was different.

But in recent times, especially in France, the word lay has assumed a decidedly anti-clerical and even anti-religious meaning, which has extended also to the derivatives laicize and laicization .It is advancing towards two not disconnected results: first, it is marking off more and more distinctly the spheres of action of the two powers, "the spiritual and the temporal", as the Gallicans formerly said; secondly, the secular power, while it frees itself from the influence of the spiritual power, confines the latter to a purely religious domain, depriving it gradually of the privileges it enjoyed in the Christian societies of the Middle Ages.It is not the object of this article to give the history of secularization, which rather belongs to the history of each country where it has been attempted or effected.Moreover, it must be recognized that this movement, hastened, in so far as concerns the Catholic religion, by the Reformation, has been retarded and partially eliminated in non-Catholic countries—where the civil power already possesses more or less complete influence, if not authority, over religion &151; whilst in Catholic countries it is in presence of an independent religious authority which it even accuses at times of being foreign.But if we abstract from local differences, the main lines of this secularizing movement, as yet incomplete, are clearly all the nations of the Christian world .

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