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Concordat, agreement under international law between the Catholic church and the state concerning matters of mutual interest. The first concordat (called "Wiener Konkordat", 1448) concluded between King Friedrich IV and the Pope governed the appointments to church offices and church organisations (in force until 1803). The concordat of 1855 saw the culmination of Catholic influence in Austria. Matrimonial law, schools, the clergy and the Religionsfonds were brought under the control of the Catholic Church. In 1868 major provisions of this concordat were amended by the Maigesetze, and in 1870 after the dogmatisation of the Primate and on the proclamation of papal infallibility ( without the Austrian bishops) in 1870, the government abrogated the concordat in Austria; it was then replaced by state laws and formally abolished in 1874.

The 3rd concordat, which was concluded by the Federal Chancellor E. Dollfuss in 1933, took effect on May 1, 1934 (essential parts formed part of the Austrian constitution), again granting the Catholic Church major influence, in particular in school matters, marriage and the appointment to church offices in the spirit of the "Christian corporate state". The state recognised marriages performed by the church and the validity of decisions of the matrimonial courts of the church. In exchange the church promised to change the provisional apostolic administrations (Apostolische Administraturen) of Burgenland and Innsbruck -Feldkirch (Tirol) into dioceses.

The concordat was suspended from 1938 to 1945; after 1945 the government of the 2nd Republic recognised the validity of the 1933/1934 concordat in principle. Outdated provisions were replaced by new treaties and the proprietary relations were finally settled in 1960 (Religionsfonds-Treuhandstelle), but some questions are still open. In 1960 the Apostolic Administration of Burgenland became the diocese of Eisenstadt, the Apostolic Administration of Innsbruck-Feldkirch was replaced by the diocese of Innsbruck in 1964, and in 1968 Feldkirch became a diocese in its own right. In 1962 Catholic private schools were granted regular subsidies for the first time, which meant that the state paid 60% of the personnel costs; since 1970 all of the costs have been paid by the state.


W. Ploechl, Zur Vorgeschichte des Konkordats vom 5. Juni 1933, in: Religion, Wissenschaft, Kultur 9, 1958; F. Jachym, Kirche und Staat in Oesterreich, 21955; E. Weinzierl-Fischer, Die oesterreichischen Konkordate von 1855 und 1933, 1960; J. Kremsmair, Der Weg zum oesterreichischen Konkordat 1933/34, doctoral thesis, Salzburg 1980; H. Paarhammer, Die vermoegensrechtlichen Beziehungen zwischen Kirche und Staat auf der Grundlage des Konkordatrechts, in: idem (ed.), Kirchliches Finanzwesen in Oesterreich, 1989; H. Paarhammer et al. (eds.), 60 Jahre oesterreichisches Konkordat, 1993.