The Gallican Catholic Church was originally created as a government backed body to try to abolish some of the Catholic Church's privileges in France. It became a legally registered fraternal society in 1795, when the assembly decreed a complete separation of church and state.
Although it has over the years tried to stay close to the Roman Catholic faith, its origin and the enmity between them and the anti-revolutionary clergy has led to some differences: an elected clergy, authorisation for priests to marry, and divorces are accepted as long as the couple has first tried mediation.
The Gallican Church is devoid of contemplative orders but has some monks and nuns dedicated to either charity work or education. This follows the original suppression of orders, during the French Revolution, that were deemed "without charge of souls".
The church is divided in dioceses (which correspond exactly to departments) and parishes (based on cantons). Priests and bishops are elected by the faithful. Bishops elect from amongst themselves a conclave of ten metropolitans who have charge of making decisions in matters of faith.