Radet`s men carried ropes, ladders, axes and some locksmiths, and bribed a former servant of the pope (he had been dismissed for theft) to guide them through the labyrinthine corridors of the Vatican Palace. After the Pope turned off the light in his room (around 2 a.m.), the papal guard lowered and the French troops went into action. But it shouldn`t be smooth. Some of the ladders used by Radet`s men broke aloud, woke up the guard and spoiled the element of surprise. What followed was total confusion: a papal servant sounded the alarm; a group of soldiers who had entered through a window let the main body of the French troops into the palace; the Pope`s Swiss Guard has left the papal chambers; and the soldiers began looting the palace. After a long period of time, the Pope got up from his bed and, accompanied by Cardinals Pacca and Despuig, went to his public audience chamber. Radet was then left in this room with his men and led the pope to captivity after a brief interview with the Pope. Asked later how he felt to stop the Pope, Radet remarked that everything was as usual, until he lit up the Holy Father in the eyes. “That`s when,” he notes, “that my first communion broke before my eyes!” 11 An agreement was necessary because the increasingly radical French Revolution deprived the old rights and privileges enjoyed by the Church, requisitioned much of its land and sold it to lay landowners, and at one point, under Robespierre and the Committee for Public Safety, it seemed on the margins of a new religion. When Napoleon took power, the division between church and state was greatly reduced and a Catholic renaissance took place in much of France. This had led some to downplay the performance of the concordat, but it is important to remember that the French Revolution had torn apart religion in France, and whether or not there was a Napoleon, someone had to try to make peace.
The Concorda was established by a commission made up of three representatives from each party. Napoleon Bonaparte, who at that time was the first consul of the French Republic, appointed Joseph Bonaparte, his brother, Emmanuel Crétet, a state councillor, and the theologian physician Étienne-Alexandre Bernier.