Civil Constitution of the Clergy

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy (French: "Constitution civile du clergé") was a law passed on 12 July 1790 during the French Revolution, that subordinated the Roman Catholic Church in France to the French government.

It is often incorrectly stated that this law confiscated the Church's French land holdings or banned monastic vows: that had already been accomplished by earlier legislation. It did, however, complete the destruction of the monastic orders, legislating out of existence "all regular and secular chapters for either sex, abbacies and priorships, both regular and in commendam, for either sex", etc.

Perhaps surprisingly, some of the support from this came from figures within the Church, such as the priest and parliamentarian Pierre Claude François Daunou, and, above all, the revolutionary priest Henri Grégoire. The measure was opposed, but ultimately acquiesced to, by King Louis XVI.

Events prior to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy:

* On 4 August 1789 tithes were abolished.
* On 2 November 1789, Catholic Church property that was held for purposes of church revenue was nationalized, and was used as the backing for the assignats.
* On 13 February 1790 (some sources give the date as 11 February for example), monastic vows were forbidden and all ecclesiastical orders and congregations were dissolved, excepting those devoted to teaching children and nursing the sick.
* On 19 April 1790, administration of all remaining church property was transferred to the State