This weakness was due not to attacks from without - for orthodox Protestantism had long since lost its aggressive force - but to disruptive tendencies within the Church; the Enlightenment of the 18th century had sapped the foundations of the faith among the world of intellect and fashion; the development of Gallicanism and Febronianism threatened to leave the Holy See but a shadowy pre-eminence over a series of national churches, and even to obliterate the frontier line between Catholicism and Protestantism.
Constitutional Gallicanism dealt with the relation of church and state in France.
Possibly Gregoire's Gallicanism was fundamentally irreconcilable with the Catholic idea of authority.
In reality it was Gallicanism alone which was condemned at the Vatican Council, and it is Gallicanism which is aimed at in the last phrase of the definition we have quoted.
Political Gallicanism maintained that lawful sovereigns held their power directly of God,.
Dogmatic Gallicanism was concerned with the question of ecclesiastical government.
By his condemnation of Gallicanism (1613) Paul angered France, and provoked the defiant declaration of the states general of 1614 that the king held his crown from God alone.
In political philosophy he maintained the Scotist position, that civil authority was derived from the popular will, but in theology he was a scholastic conservative, though he never failed to show his approbation of Gallicanism and its plea for the reform of ecclesiastical abuses.
The French crown was willing to sacrifice the Jansenists, who disturbed that dead level of uniformity so grateful to autocrats; but Gallicanism touched its very prerogatives, and was a point of honour which could never be abandoned outright.
It was the Revolution, which at one moment seemed finally to have engulfed the papacy, which in fact preserved it; Febronianism, as a force to be seriously reckoned with, perished in the downfall of the ecclesiastical principalities of the old Empire; Gallicanism perished with the constitutional Church in France, and its principles fell into discredit with a generation which associated it with the Revolution and its excesses.