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The encyclical claimed that there were three campaigns being waged against the Church at the time:
- The Kulturkampf in the German Empire.
- The suppression by the post-unification Italian authorities of the Gregorian University.
- An anticlerical movement in Switzerland, expressed through:
- The expulsion of Gaspard Mermillod, the Vicar Apostolic of Geneva, Switzerland.
- The enforcement of popular election of Catholic clerics in Geneva and to take an oath the Papacy found objectionable.
- Anti-Catholic laws in the Swiss Cantons of Solothurn, Bern, Basel-Landschaft, Aargau and Zurich.
- Suppression of Catholic priests in Jura.
References and notes
- "This noble constancy of the faithful Swiss is emulated with no less commendation by the clergy and faithful in Germany, who themselves follow the illustrious example of their ecclesiastical leaders. The Germans, assuming the shield of Catholic truth and the helms of salvation, fight the battles of the Lord and are a wonder to the world, to the angels, and to men who look on them from every side. All the more is their fortitude of spirit and unbroken constancy admired and extolled with outstanding praise as the bitter persecution set in motion against them in the German Empire and especially in Prussia increases with each day." Para 11, Etsi multa.
- "We have also seen recently something We never expected would happen, namely Our Gregorian University has been suppressed and abolished." Para 2, Etsi multa.
- "The violent banishment of Our venerable brother Gaspar, bishop of Hebron and Vicar Apostolic of Geneva took place as decorously and gloriously for him who endured it as it was foul and indecorous for those who ordered and carried it out." Para 5, Etsi multa.
- "These same laws provide that without the government's favor, which is revocable, the pastors and vicars could not exercise any functions and could not accept any office more extensive than those they received through popular election. Furthermore, they are compelled by the civil power to take an oath, the words of which denote apostasy." Para 6, Etsi multa.
- "Sad and calamitous as these events are which We have just recounted, more dreadful things have happened in five of the seven cantons which constitute the diocese of Basel, namely Solothurn, Bern, Basel-Landschaft, Aargau, and Zurich." Para 8, Etsi multa.
- "Meanwhile by a decree and vote of the civil magistrates of Bern, sixty-nine pastors of the territory of Jura were first forbidden to carry out the functions of their ministry and then deprived of office." Para 8, Etsi multa.
- "Some of you may perchance wonder that the war against the Catholic Church extends so widely. Indeed each of you knows well the nature, zeal, and intention of sects, whether called Masonic or some other name. When he compares them with the nature, purpose, and amplitude of the conflict waged nearly everywhere against the Church, he cannot doubt that the present calamity must be attributed to their deceits and machinations for the most part. For from these the synagogue of Satan is formed, which draws up its forces, advances its standards, and joins battle against the Church of Christ." Para 28, Etsi multa.