174 con?irm his predecessors’ religious concessions.55 In his view, the estates owed him unconditional homage; if they held grievances, they could subsequently appeal to him for redress. The delegates persisted, but Ferdinand had nothing more to say. In order to break the stalemate, the Styrian estates decided to interpret this silence as tacit approval. On 12 December 1596 they paid homage to their new prince; the subsequent day they informed their Carinthian and Carniolian peers and assured them that all their privileges had been upheld.56 In early 1597, Carinthians and Carniolians followed suit. It would not be long before the estatist interpretation proved an illusion. In September 1598, Ferdinand ordered the curial of?icers to abolish the church and school ministry in Graz and Judenburg as well as his other municipalities; the attached pastors were banned from the country.57 A month later, the turn came to the Protestant teachers and ministers in Carniolian Ljubljana.58 A torrent of protests and supplications accomplished nothing. With undisguised irony, the archduke wondered why the Protestant nobles felt violated in their freedom of conscience. Had not their preachers denied the sanctity of rites and proposed the universal priesthood of believers? If they yearned to receive the genuine sacraments, however, they could always turn to their proper Catholic priests.59 The estates did not shrink from using their sharpest weapon, the temporary withholding of revenues, but Ferdinand unwaveringly stayed the course. In June of 1600, he felt con? ident enough to extend his proscript ions to Carinthia, the most Protestant of his provinces. By that time, however, the removal of preachers and ministers no longer suf?iced. The Inner Austrian Counterreformation reached an early climax in the campaigns of reformation commissions, whose leadership was entrusted to the Swabian-born bishop of Seckau, Martin Brenner.60 Accompanied by a military detachment, these commissions assembled the inhabitants of towns and villages, appealed to them through sermons, and ordered them to return to Catholicism. In the course of a two-month campaign through Carinthia in the fall of 1600, four churches and their cemeteries were destroyed, 27 pastors and teachers expelled, 1500 heretic books burned and thousands of Protestants outwardly converted.61 The burghers in the regional centers of Villach and Klagenfurt lost their ecclesial institutions as well. Four years later, however, Bish55 For some of the advice he relied on, see ibid., 1:141-149. 56 Ibid., 1:222f. 57 Ibid., 1:309f.; 1:344f. 58 Ibid., 1:376f. 59 Ibid., 1:350f. 60 For Brenner, see Schmid: Bischof Martin Brenner, and Schuster: Fürstbischof Martin Brenner. The diocese of Seckau comprised parts of Styria. 61 Loesche: Geschichte des Protestantismus, 249. The most detailed contemporary source of the reformation campaign--from a highly sympathetic perspective--is Jakob (baptized Johannes) Rosolenz: Gründlicher Gegen Bericht. This report by the Augustinian abbot of Stainz proved so controversial that it triggered a heated dispute in the Styrian diet.
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