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II.—: ECCLESIASTICAL CORRESPONDENCE - John Emerich Edward Dalberg, Lord Acton, Selections from the Correspondence of the First Lord Acton, Vol. I (Cardinal Newman, Lady Blennerhassett, W.E. Gladstone) 
Selections from the Correspondence of the First Lord Acton, edited with and Introduction by John Neville Figgis and Renald Vere Laurence. Vol. I Correspondence with Cardinal Newman, Lady Blennerhassett, W.E. Gladstone and Others (London: Longmans, Gree and Co., 1917).
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NEWMAN, DÖLLINGER, DUPANLOUP
Sir John Acton to John Henry Newman.
June 4, 1861.
. . . My books have an irresistible attraction for me which makes me miserable in London. I feel very painfully that I am altogether unworthy to be regarded as the champion of the cause which is yours, and the cause suffers from its identification with me. Faber, quitting the ground of argument, has set up his own claims as the sole teacher and authority, on the grounds of sanctity and humility; and thus disturbs people’s consciences. Very holy and distinguished priests, whom I shall name to you as soon as I am authorised, offer me materials and support, but refuse to share responsibility, and therefore to give the authority of their views which is wanting in my hands. Gratry and Lacordaire are so intimidated that I found Montalembert ignorant of their real opinions. We are still listening in vain for the voice we most reverence and most love to hear.
J. H. Newman to Sir John Acton.
My dear Sir John,—
As to Manning, I cannot quite follow you. I am sure he has a great respect for you. His Lectures contain scarcely a sentiment surely which you could not accept. The Register spoke of them as if they even agreed practically with writers like Döllinger. In consequence he wrote a letter, which appeared in the Register of May 25, in which he so explained his views that it would be very difficult to find the fault of them. He said (if I recollect) that the possessions of the Holy See had been lost and recovered again and again—and so it would go on till the end of time. This quite removed any idea of his predicting the speedy end of all things. Then again, instead of any strong declaration on the subject of the temporal power, he said that two things were attributes of the Pope, first, that he could not rightly be a subject; secondly, that he had a spiritual jurisdiction over Kings. People who don’t know him well, seem to me to misunderstand him. He is most sensitively alive to the enormous difficulties, political, social, and intellectual, in which we are.
And now as to myself, since you evidently wish me to say that I am not an advocate of the Temporal Power. I really do not feel there is any call on me to give my opinion—rather, duty lies the other way. It is difficult to state all my reasons.
1. The Duke of Wellington said that a great power cannot have a little war—and I say that a great subject cannot have a little book. Such a theme would require a whole treatise in order to bring out what I thought and why I thought it.
2. I simply have no right to speak. I am not called to do so by position, or any external relation. Why should I speak more than another? If I had deeply studied the subject, that might be a reason, est cuique in suâ arte credendum. But what is the fact? Why, that my life has been cut up so that I have followed out nothing, and have got just a smattering of many things, and am an authority in none. I might have pursued history, or theology, or metaphysics; but I am at the end of life, and have no claim to give an opinion in any one of them. You can’t think how this weighs upon me. Every one has his primâ facie view of things, and I have mine. I have a right to have it, no right to obtrude it on others. This would not justify me to pretend to hold what I do not see my way to hold, but it does oblige me not to profess what I do not see my way to prove.
3. Accordingly I think I fulfil my duty in keeping silence. You may be sure that people wish me to speak on the other side, and to maintain the Temporal Power. That I have not done; and the omission itself is going a great way. People take words in the last Rambler to allude to me; and the very fact that I do not repudiate the sentiment ascribed to me there is in some measure avowing that sentiment myself. You may be sure that there are people watching me very narrowly, and who would rejoice if I brought out in any tangible form what they believe I hold in my heart.
4. I cannot but feel bound to consult for my body here. An imprudent act might get them into great trouble. To tell you something in confidence, already has Propaganda been on the point of inflicting a most serious injury on us, by altering, without telling us, our Rule, at the suggestion of others. It might destory us by a stroke of the pen. The Pope out of kindness appointed me Head fourteen years ago. If I died, Propaganda would have a precedent, if it chose, of dispensing with our Rule, and choosing a second head for the body (please not to mention this) and in a number of other ways it might be our ruin.
5. But lastly, who saved us, in our late danger? It was the Pope himself, and the Pope only. I am bound in gratitude to him.
But the post is going.—Ever yours affectionately,
John H. Newman.
From Sir John Acton.
June 9, 1861.
Your letter is a great encouragement to me, and would be a great consolation, but for the desponding manner in which you speak of what you have done and are yet to do.
I have been often very sorry to think that I was taking a line in politics in which I was not sure of your approbation. On some points, I suppose, I must acknowledge that you would really disagree with me; but I sometimes flatter myself that it is my way of putting things that repels you rather than the views themselves. I have studied politics very elaborately, and more as a science than people generally consider it, and therefore I am afraid of writing like a doctrinaire, or of appearing zealous to force a particular and very unpalatable system down people’s throats. This would not be the right way to convert them, and my plan has been from time to time to put forward a fragmentary view on one subject, and then another separate fragment, without pointing out the connection or interdependence of the two, and especially without trying to derive them from the fundamental general truths from which I believe them to proceed.
I am very much more troubled by what you say of Simpson’s1 treatment of Pius V. It must be remembered that the Papers on Campion are Chapters of a history, not Articles in a Review; that simple truth, therefore, and not effect is the guiding consideration, and that scientific treatment requires to be pursued sine acceptatione personarum. Only a Jansenist can say that a Pope or a Saint was not liable to sin and error, and that the Church has the same infallibility in Government as in faith. When such personages appear in history, they cannot be treated as subject to different laws from other men; and in the Life of a Saint, written even for religious instruction and edification, I suppose the account of his faults is as instructive, or at least as necessary for instruction, as the account of his virtues. Here, however, is a matter not affecting his sanctity, but his judgment as Ruler of the Church; and nobody, I suppose, will say that Saints are necessarily wise in the wisdom of the world. In the saying of your Dominican friend, I can discern nothing but a dread of that which is one of the foundations of religion and holiness, and a spirit which seems to me more pernicious and more important to oppose than anything which is outside the Church. I really cannot discover a bridge by which I can hope to get over the very wide chasm that seems to me to separate me from you on this point; and, when you can find time to write about it, I earnestly hope you will give me the chance of finding my way to you.
From Sir John Acton.
June 6, 1861.
. . . I must ask leave to retract anything in my letter which seemed to you expressive of impatience or of importunity regarding your silence on the present crisis of the Church. I gave in the Summary what seemed to me very good reasons and a sufficient explanation of the reserve of persons in your position. I know too well that the Temporal Power is but a very small part of a very vast question. It is in this way that Döllinger treats of it in the book he is just finishing, and which I still hope may provoke you to some criticism in our September number. What I feel is, not that I am unjustly accused and attacked, but that it is a presumption against the principle I represent that I should be the head and front of the offending cause. Half the arguments you use for keeping aloof disturb me; because, if you have no call or right to speak, I personally have none. And I believe too that you see more distinctly the signs of a coming reaction against the popular Catholic views than I do in the midst of my opposition to them. But the latter part of your letter imposes silence on me on this topic, both towards yourself and others; and I hope you will consider all this said by way, not of urgency, but of explanation. The session will be over early and I shall be impatient to get to my books, . . . which I continue to hope will some day tempt you over to Aldenham.
I have just received your note with a Letter on the Council of Trent, which will, of course, find its place in the next number. But I must express to you my astonishment that it should come with your recommendation, seeing that it altogether ignores what is really meant by receiving the Council of Trent, which is a very definite matter, on which long controversies have been carried on, in France, for instance. Again, to suppose that the Bishops are censured, when it is said that the Council of Trent is not accepted, seems to me the most unjust mode of argument, trying to interest religious reverence in a question merely of fact and history. Nor does the writer deal with the enormous consequences which follow from his statement, such as putting England and Ireland on one footing in regard to marriage.
Without your note, I should not have thought of admitting the letter. With your note, I do not of course hesitate.
From Dr. Newman.
Rednall,June 20, ’61.
. . . . . . .
I am not the fit person, nor perhaps would you ask me, to give any opinion on Manning’s proposal. If I were you, nothing would bully me into giving up the Government, if I felt I ought to go with them. The case of Simpson is far more delicate. It is impossible if you can leave him to bear the brunt of responsibilities, which you share; but what Manning aims at, I suppose, is the suppression of the Rambler. I confess, I should not be sorry at your literary undertakings (if such is to be your course), taking a less ephemeral shape than the pages of a magazine. Gibbon, in the beginning of his Autobiography, refers to Aldenham—might it not become more classical (and somewhat dearer to a Catholic) than Lausanne? Gladstone, in the dedication of one of his early works to Lord Lyttelton, talks of his writing in the classical groves of Hagley; yet what is the History of Henry II to the opus magnum which might be identified with Aldenham? My own feeling is that the Rambler is impossible.
The patrons of a new Quarterly will find it a difficult task. There cannot be life without independence.
John H. Newman.
From Dr. Newman to Mr. Monsell.
January 13, 1863.
My dear Monsell,—
I will send you the correspondence in a few days; you need not return it to me.
Other persons besides your Bishop think that Dr. U.1 is hard upon Simpson, and misunderstands him. However, to put the case as most favourable to S., Dr. U. is as likely to understand him as the run of the Catholics; and as he offends Dr. U., so he may scandalise and mislead them. The question is, what is the effect of his writings? The Rambler is essentially a popular work, as being a periodical. It addresses, not the few and learned, but the many. Moreover, the articles themselves were in no slight measure of a controversial cast. The attack on the Temporal Power, that on St. Pius’s policy towards England, were not wrought out from premisses to conclusion, but views thrown out, and expressed in terms which were not defined or explained. This, of course, is an evil connected with the periodical press, and the Church is not slow to meet it with a vigour corresponding to that which that new description of literature exhibits.
And this leads me to say, secondly, that I believe the very passages of Simpson which our Bishop censured were specified by Propaganda. Moreover, I think I am right in saying that the Acts of Propaganda are the Pope’s, in an intimate manner,—a privilege which the other sacred Congregations do not share. It gives great weight to the words of the Bishop of Birmingham that the substance of them has the direct sanction of the Holy See.
Nor have I any difficulty in receiving them as such. It has ever, I believe, been the course of proceeding at Rome to meet rude actions by a rude retort; and, when speculators are fast or flippant, to be rough and ready in dealing with them:—the point in question being, not the logical rights and wrongs of the matter, but the existing treatise or document in concreto. The Pope is not a Philosopher, but a Ruler. “He strangles while they prate.”
I am disposed, then, to think that Mr. Simpson has no cause to complain, though he has been hardly treated. Why did he begin? Why did he fling about ill-sounding words on sacred and delicate subjects? I should address him in the words of the Apostle: “Quare non magis injuriam accipitis?—quam non magis fraudem patimini?” I think he might have written a better pamphlet.
I will tell you what seems to me to be the real grievance, viz., that in this generation the Bishops should pass such grave matters (to use the Oxford term) by cumulation, i.e. in taking D.D. degrees. The wisdom of the Church has provided many courts for theological questions, one higher than another. I suppose, in the Middle Ages (which have a manliness and boldness of which now there is so great a lack) a question was first debated in a University, then in one University against another, or by one order of friars against another—then perhaps it came before a theological faculty; then it went to the Metropolitan; and so by various stages and through many examinations and judgments, it came before the Holy See. But now, what do the Bishops do? All courts are superseded, because the whole English-speaking Catholic population all over the world is under Propaganda, an arbitrary, military power. Propaganda is our only court of appeal; but to it the Bishops go, and secure it and commit it, before they move one step in the matter which calls for interference. And how is Propaganda to know anything about an English controversy, since it talks Italian? by extempore translation (I do not speak at random) or the ex parte assertion of some narrow-minded Bishop, though he may be saintly too. And who is Propaganda? Virtually, one sharp man of business, who works day and night, and despatches his work quick off, to the East and the West; a high dignitary indeed, perhaps an Archbishop, but after all little more than a clerk, or (according to his name) a Secretary, and two or three clerks under him. In this age at least, Quantulâ sapientiâ regimur!
Well, if all this could be said of any human institution, I should feel very indignant; but it is the very sense and certainty I have of the Church being divine which at once makes it easy to bear. All this will be over-ruled; it may lead to much temporary mischief, but it will be over-ruled. And we do not make things better by disobedience. We may be able indeed to complicate matters, and to delay the necessary reforms; but our part is obedience. If we are but patient, all will come right. I should say all this without any reserve to my own Bishop, if he gave me the opportunity, for, I think, to do so is a duty of loyalty. But I do not expect any Bishop will try to find out what I, or any one who sees what I do, thinks on the matter; and therefore I leave it to God. The logic of facts will be the best and most thorough teacher as He shall dispose. Meanwhile, it is a grave consideration, that in England, as things are, upon theological questions the Pope and the individual Catholic meet each other face to face, without media, in collision, without the safeguard of springs or cushions, with a jar; and the quasi-military power of Propaganda has the jurisdiction and the control of the intellect.
And this is what I have to say, and you will say that it is enough, in re Simpson.
As to your question about your continuing your contributions to the H. and F., I should be very glad that such as you should do so; but, at the same time, I think you ought, and have a right, to bargain that there should not be the smack of Protestantism in the Review, which is unmistakable in the article you remark upon. It was a smack of something or other, which I should call a tone—which ruined the Rambler; not its doctrines; but a tone in stating or alluding to them; and a Protestant smack will be fatal to the H. and F. The article may be the writing of a free-thinking Catholic, but it is more like a Protestant’s. The distinction between Catholic and Christian morality which you notice, is unintelligible till explained; and it is not explained, but left, though enemies will be sure to explain it in their own way. Then he speaks of “so-called orthodoxy,” which is very suspicious. Pusey got himself into a scrape thirty-five years ago by speaking of “orthodoxism.” This, however, is worse, as suggesting that “so-called” has been inserted by the Editor to improve matters. Then, what he says, page 87; of “Christianity being the pure and living truth,” but in particular ages it is “mingled with foreign ingredients,” and “distorted [sic] impure glosses,” is most suspicious, till explained; and it is not explained, but offered neat deliberately to the jealous criticism of the whole Catholic body, who are fast enough to criticise what even does not need explanation: “Essential truth!” “human ideas!” it is as if they wished to ruin their own work. It keeps up the traditions of the Genesis article in the foregoing number; nor is it, as you observe, a sufficient answer to say that it is “communicated.”
If; then, you continue to write for it, you really must insist on this ambiguous, uncomfortable style of writing simply coming to an end. I know how great are an Editor’s difficulties, but articles in a tone like this will merely serve to write up the Dublin by contrast. I am not speaking against the author of it; who, if he is a Protestant, is a candid and dispassionate, as well as an able man, but against its appearance, as it stands, in a Catholic Review. It is intolerable.
And so am I too, I am sure you must be saying; so stop.
John H. Newman.
P.S.—It would be a great thing, if Simpson’s separation from the Home and Foreign were known, but Acton of course will feel delicate about seeming to cast him off.
My dear Lord Acton,—
Granville sent me yesterday your interesting letter about the Papal Election, and I made the brief answer which suggested itself at the moment. But on thinking the matter over I am struck with what seems to me something like an essentially false position in the case of the Italian Government. From the formation of the Italian Kingdom, or at any rate for a great many years, the Italian Government has refused to take any cognizance of the state of parties in the Roman Church. Tros Tyriusve mihi nullo discrimine habetur. There is a party there which is at war with liberty and civilisation. There is another party which holds principles favourable to both. The first party is strong, the other weak. The Italian Government has done nothing to uphold the weak and nothing to discountenance the strong. And now with the Papal Election in view it desires to find means of averting the mischiefs which are too likely to follow from an election conducted by the dominant or Papal party. Its arguments, criticisms, and wishes seem to me to be in hopeless contradiction with its own conduct. Were it indeed possible to treat the question as purely religious, their attitude might be justified by logic. They might say governments do not interfere in theological questions: we want our Ultramontanes to be good citizens, and such they may be, however extravagant their merely ecclesiastical or theological opinions. Do they then hope to convert and pacify Ultramontanism in the civil sphere by letting it alone in the religious sphere? That may be possible, although I do not think it free from doubt, in England. But it is utterly and evidently impossible in Italy until the idea of restoring the temporal power shall have been utterly abandoned. Meanwhile temporal means, the powerful engine of starvation, are freely used by the ecclesiastical power against any priest who makes peace with the Kingdom of Italy. And nothing (as I believe) is done to sustain such priests in their unequal conflict. If this is so, how can the Italian Government wonder that its deadly and irreconcilable enemies should act towards it in conformity with the policy which it allows them to enforce against its own loyal subjects? The German Governments (I do not speak of the law against the Jesuits, on which I am ill able to give an opinion) are surely far nearer the mark, for they give some kind of support and countenance to what may be called the rational party in the Church. I feel deeply the reasonableness of the views of the Italian Government about the new election, but I also feel that it lies with itself to take the first step towards causing such views to prevail by giving countenance within its own sphere to loyal and right-minded priests.
These are the impressions which your letter leaves upon me.
I have sometimes had an idea of serving three or four purposes at once by running to the Continent for a fortnight or three weeks, perhaps as far as Munich, altogether unseen. But I know not whether it can come to anything.—Believe me, sincerely yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
I have tried in vain to reconcile myself to your opinion that Ultramontanism1 really exists as a definite and genuine system of religious faith, providing its own solutions of ethical and metaphysical problems, and satisfying the conscience and the intellect of conscientious and intelligent men.
It has never been my fortune to meet with an esoteric Ultramontane—I mean, putting aside the ignorant mass, and those who are incapable of reasoning, that I do not know of a religious and educated Catholic who really believes that the See of Rome is a safe guide to salvation.
They no doubt think their own communion the best and safest help to sinful men, and they wish its system and authority to be thought of as favourably as possible both outside and within. They will therefore deny, or conceal, or explain away the things that are its reproach, but they do not believe in or approve them. Generally, in confidence, they will admit that they do not accept the responsibility of the enormities imputed to them. Some are unwilling to avow their disbelief, or the limitations and exceptions in their belief in those things to which the Papacy is committed; but even among these I know none who really entertain the convictions they wish to impose.
When I alluded to a decree of Urban XI encouraging people to murder excommunicated persons, a letter was published which met the case with the example of Phinehas. The writer either meant that Urban was right, or he meant nothing. I happen to know him intimately. He is a most self-denying and estimable priest, near eighty years of age. I found, on talking to him, that he meant nothing at all, but only to put dust into the public eye. “You know,” he said to me, “allusions to Scripture always make an impression on Protestants,” and he laughed like an haruspex.
It required great pressure to bring Newman to admit that he disagreed with Liguori. He made it appear that he thought Liguori a saint, and his doctrine not so very wrong. I am quite sure that Newman thinks it a sin to lie; and he must therefore think that the Holy See promotes a sinful and erroneous doctrine with a fervour it shows in favour of no other system.
I might go on with examples for ever. These men all accept the Pope with their own conditions and interpretations.
Athenæum Club, Pall Mall.
Now the essence of Ultramontanism is that the Pope—or that system of authorities concentrated in him—decides the points on which salvation depends.
That principle is rejected by those who believe that it is wrong to tell lies or to commit murder for the good of the Church. Practically they may not choose to act against their own people, like the Emigrés, but in their consciences they give up the whole principle. Many motives array them on that side, but with reservations and saving clauses, by which the whole thing is surrendered. With those motives it is impossible to deal. Apart from them there is little to discuss. I could scarcely imagine how it could be right or reasonable to argue with a professed Ultramontane; it would seem an impertinence to ask him to put off his uniform and speak in his real character.
In short, I do not believe that there are Catholics who sincerely and intelligently believe that Rome is right and that Döllinger is wrong.
And therefore I think that you are too hard on Ultramontanes, or too gentle with Ultramontanism. You say, for instance, that it promotes untruthfulness. I don’t think that is fair. It not only promotes, it inculcates distinct mendacity and deceitfulness. In certain cases it is made a duty to lie. But those who teach this doctrine do not become habitual liars in other things.
I should also have a point to raise on the other side, as I think you do scant justice to Pantheism, or at least to the Hegelian doctrine.
I say nothing of other parts, because I agree with them too thoroughly.
Munich,le 12 juillet .
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
J’espère que Madame de Forbin recevra un exemplaire de l’ouvrage publié en Angleterre à son retour en France. C’est un livre qui n’est pas très commun, mais le libraire a promis de le trouver. Du reste, il était connu au Cardinal Pallavicini. Le meilleur manuscrit de Massarelli1 est celui que Mme de Forbin possède en extraits. S’il ne va pas plus loin, il n’y a plus rien à y faire. Il y en a bien un autre exemplaire à Rome, anciennement dans les mains de la famille Ludovisi, je crois. Mais il est probable que c’est la même chose, ou à peu près. Le Summarium est très court, et ne va pas plus loin que le Diario qui se trouve dans Le Plat.2 La Décrétale Omnes3 est authentique. C’est à dire, elle n’appartient pas à la collection du faux Isidore qui est beaucoup plus ancienne. Sans doute elle est basée sur les fausses Décrétales et inspirée par elles. Du reste, il faut se souvenir qu’à Trente tout le monde croyait que les fausses Décrétales étaient authentiques—excepté le seul évêque de Lérida.1
Le professeur2 embrasse avec joie l’idée de venir à Reichenhall, si vous vous décidez à y rester. Seulement il est lié à Munich pendant quinze jours encore, et ne peut partir qu’après le samedi 25. Qu’en dites-vous? Que feriez vous autrement du mois d’août? Et pourrait-on trouver à le loger convenablement? Je ne sais encore ce que feront vers ce temps-là les miens. En tous cas j’accompagne le professeur et j’espère que ce ne sera pas pour m’en aller trop tôt. Nous en causerons à notre aise—car j’espère venir vous trouver un de ces jours. J’ai proposé au Probst de m’accompagner, à vol d’oiseau, mais il est trop occupé de son discours. En attendant j’espère vos nouvelles demain par Emerich.3 —Croyez-moi, chère Lady Blennerhassett, votre bien dévoué,
My dear Lord Acton,—
When I was at Munich lately I commended to Dr. Döllinger’s particular attention a scheme, or rather an idea, for it has not grown to be a scheme, which has been in my mind for many years. It is a republication in series of the best works of those whom I would call the Henotic or Eirenic writers on the differences which separate Christians and Churches from one another.
He appeared to approve much of the idea. But it is no trifling enterprise, especially as if done now it should be done well, and done internationally.
I have been reading Pichler’s Théologie des Leibnitz, which I daresay you know. It is, as it could not fail to be, a most interesting book. But Pichler’s own mind has evidently been veering during the composition of it, and in such a manner as sometimes to suggest the idea that it is Pichler rather than Leibniz whom he gives to his reader. It seems to me, too, very defective in form: his references and citations too few, his dissertations too many. In the “Schluss” he seems to give to German Protestantism a “clean bill of health” in rather suspicious terms.
It was delightful to me to see Dr. Döllinger first so well and secondly so inaccessible to the influences of religious passions. My opinion of him, formed twenty-nine years ago, was not altered, but simply heightened and confirmed.
Circumstances have made me feel it necessary to say a few words, meant to be emphatic, in a recent paper on Ritualism, with respect to the actual Church of Rome in its relation to mental freedom and civil loyalty. I cannot yet judge whether it will be necessary for me to sustain, by reference and expansion, what I have said.
If you go to London, and can call on Panizzi,1 I am sure the attention will be much felt. He is lonely and rather giving way in strength.—Believe me, very sincerely yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
I am aware of Pichler’s personal miscarriage.
Aldenham,October 21, 1874.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I am sorry to learn that Panizzi is not so well. I will try to do what I can to cheer him.
Döllinger wrote to me how much pleasure your visit, shortly followed by one from Strossmayer, had given him. What you say of him fully confirms my own feeling. When I first came to him, nearly a quarter of a century ago, there was some eagerness and sharpness about him, which time and trials have mellowed into an admirable gentleness and serenity. What I am beginning to apprehend is a falling off of the producing power. He seems clogged and overwhelmed by the vastness of the knowledge he has acquired, and a book which I have long been urging him to write is, unfortunately for religion, still unwritten.
You are undoubtedly right in thinking that there would be much instruction in a collection of the Eirenic writers since the Reformation. Pichler,1 with all his knowledge, was intensely partial and narrow in his sympathies. Three volumes of Leibniz’s letters, which have just been published by Klopp,2 put his negotiations in a much clearer light—and, by the way, are interesting also in connection with the Act of Settlement and the Hanoverian succession. It seems that Bossuet’s3 stiffness at last was due to political influences as much as to theological opinion.
A curious point which I propose to exhibit in the history of Union and Separation is the willingness of Rome at one moment to accept the Confession of Augsburg, as a reasonable basis for negotiation and reconciliation. I have got the papers.
I know pretty well what you wrote the other day, although the reading of the actual essay is a treat reserved for an early visit to London; and I can easily believe that you will find it necessary to say more. In such matters it is best to be as definite and as explicit as possible. No reproach can be too severe. The difficulty is to point and limit it with perfect justice. I am persuaded that there are many loud and ardent adherents of Rome who know not what they adhere to, and are unconscious of the evil they are really doing, besides many who take a more or less honest refuge in inconsistency. This, I think, ought to be distinctly recognised. Real Ultramontanism is so serious a matter, so incompatible with Christian morality as well as with civil society, that it ought not to be imputed to men who, if they knew what they were about, would heartily repudiate it. I don’t see why what you have to say should offend any honest man or peaceable citizen in Ireland.
Some one has written to me, “I suppose you were not taken by surprise at Ripon’s conversion”—from which I conclude that some of his friends knew what was going on. For my part I certainly was taken by surprise.
The new Edinburgh reminds me that Reeve1 has been rather persistent in proposing Disraeli at the Club. Walpole was to sound you and Lowe. Lowe tells me that he would stay away altogether if Disraeli is elected. I propose to give Walpole a hint to move no farther in the affair.—I remain, yours faithfully,
I hope Lenbach did himself justice.
My dear Lord Acton,—
What you have said on the subject of Ultramontanism and of the mode in which it should be handled appears to me to be as wise and as good as is possible. It is really a case for hitting hard, but for hitting the right men. In anything I say or do on the subject, I would wish heartily and simply to conform to the spirit of your words.
But I feel myself drawn onwards. Indeed some of your words help to draw me. The question with me now is whether I shall or shall not publish a tract which I have written, and of which the title would probably be “The Vatican Decrees in their bearing on Civil Allegiance: a Political Expostulation.” I incline to think that I ought to publish it.
If it were in your power and will to run over here for a night or two I should seek to profit by your counsel and should ask you to read as much of the MS. as your patience would endure. I have got Mr. de Lisle2 (who desires his best remembrances) here now, and I hope to get from him something of a like service. A more substantial attraction would be that I could go over much of my long and interesting conversations with Döllinger.
I have a letter from him to-day: he is uneasy on the question of Peace and War.
He has entered seriously into the notion of publishing the Henotic or Eirenic writers, and wants it to be started in this country. Your counsel would be essential.
My belief is that no friend was in the slightest degree aware of Ripon’s1 intentions, until they were virtually consummated. He is an excellent fellow: at least he has been: may it all continue . . . .—Ever sincerely yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
There has been a grievous pressure on my time and energy for the last week or two, and I much fear that I have left your letter unanswered until the answer has become superfluous.
On the question of the Syllabus, which is not clearer to me than it was at Hawarden, I consulted the most intelligent and independent layman among the Catholics, and I send you his answer, with this qualification only, that the idea that the sacrament is conferred by the parties contracting, though the opinion of the pars sanior, has never, I think, been adopted at Rome to the exclusion of the sacerdotal theory.
Döllinger became professor of theology at Munich in 1826. I enclose a passage concerning him, from the work of Werner,2 who is probably the best known and most considerable writer on Divinity in Austria, who has written an Ethik, 3 vols., on St. Thomas Aquinas, a Life of Suarez, a History of Apologetic Literature, in 5 vols., etc.
I have really failed—when I came back here—to find my Sendschreiben,1 but I will make a better search.
You spoke to me of Döllinger’s sense of despair for Rome, and what you said struck me the more, because something like it was indicated in some of his recent letters. I have entered into the question with him, in reference to the position I have taken up in the midst of the waters you have troubled, and I find that the difference I had feared does not exist between us. He agrees with me in hoping for the ultimate recovery of Rome, for the triumph of the better elements lying almost concealed and inoperative in the Church; and he accepts my view that Ultramontanism should be attacked in the root and stem, rather than in the flowering top. Although this is what I am doing, there is very little chance of my escaping excommunication.
Newman has been writing to me very kind but unsatisfactory letters. He does not mean to embark on the present controversy.
I agree and rejoice in every word you say about your wish to separate yourself from the theological fray. It is due to your position, and it is the only way in which good can be done. Considering the extreme profaneness of the Liberal mind, it is very important to make it clear that you are doing the work of a statesman, and to divest them of the uneasy feeling that you are acting as a divine.
Of the people I have seen or heard from, I find Cardwell and Playfair the most entirely favourable to your letter; Coleridge and Hartington and Lord Granville, almost as favourable; Carlingford not quite so favourable; and Lowe and Goschen rather silent.—I remain, yours very truly,
11 Hesketh Crescent,
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
Döllinger has just sent me Sicherer’s Eherecht in Bayern. Probably you have also received a copy. Sicherer is one of the ablest, most moderate, and most sincerely religious of the opponents of Infallibility in Bavaria, and what he says can be trusted. He cites things which are pertinent to your discussion of the Matrimonial question. Perrone, for instance, says that it is a distinct advantage to Protestants that they can keep their wives or marry others, at will, when they are converted. The very words of the decree, establishing your point, are given by Sicherer, p. 12, and he shows that, while upholding the principle, they tried to dissimulate for fear of consequences.
I hope you will not publish without examining what Sicherer says pp. 12-14. If you have not got the book, telegraph to me for it.—Yours very truly,
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
I remember now that you are right and that there are cases in which the hat was refused or withheld on the ground you mentioned.
Everybody in England compares him to the late bishops of Exeter1 and Winchester. He had Exeter’s fire and zeal, and Wilberforce’s charm, gift of adaptation, artfulness, and power of influencing high and low.
It was a great merit not being a scholar, to promote classical studies, even a Greek play, in face of the opposition there was in the clergy. He cannot have known Greek, for at Rome it came out that he had never seen a Greek Testament. He knew Latin fairly, not elegantly. The Hungarians were shocked at the Latinity of his protest, and made many alterations.
Nothing proves better his real want of culture than his proposal that you should write a life of St. Paul. He cannot even have known why it would be well to write such a book, or he would have known how much minute Greek scholarship was required.
“Surtout, méfiez-vous des sources,” is the most characteristic of all his sayings.
When he came to Herrnsheim to see the Professor in September 1869, I was appalled at his ignorance. After he was gone I said to the Professor, with some emotion: “What is to be expected, if this is one of the best specimens?” Under this impression he [Döllinger] wrote his Erwägungen,1 which impressed Dupanloup very much, though, on the Roman question, he had a very strong feeling indeed against the Professor. Perhaps the expression, in 1840, was, that Affre2 was less exaggerated—which might apply to politics as much as to religion.
Don’t forget that, in 1871, he refused the Archbishopric of Paris. Rémusat’s3 words to me were stronger than I said last night. He said that the French Government appoints, and does not present for papal approbation, and that of course they were ready to appoint him; but he himself dissuaded them, on the ground that the Pope would not like it.
When he wanted Thiers to come to the Council, he said to me: “Il les charmerait tous.” They had become friends in 1848 about Falloux’ laws.4
He also wanted Broglie to come; and when I said “mais il est orléaniste,” he did not see at first what I meant, and then rather liked it.
Down to 1855 I trace a coldness between him and Montalembert, perhaps as long as Lacordaire lived. There is a Biographie du Clergé, par un solitaire, about 1840. When the life of Dupanloup appeared in it, he was spoken of as a failure.
You may be quite sure that to a man accustomed an das strenge Denken,5 to Scherer, Taine, St. Hilaire, he appears a mere windbag—otherwise pour les beaux esprits, I can fancy Sainte-Beuve or Renan (his disciple) taking delight in him.
Observe his outwardness, his belief in the influence of the press, his constant articles in newspapers during the Council, his petty polemics. All his thoughts were for influence in his own time and country.
He was a very patriotic Frenchman, knowing very little of other countries or other languages. I don’t tell you the gross mistakes I corrected for him in his book on the Sovereignty of the Pope.
“Cela déshonorera les Jésuites, mais on ne peut plus l’éviter,” he said to me about the scheme of enlarged Erwägungen.1 That shows how little his mind was clear, how little he moved on lines self-traced, towards an understood goal. But I think he was more under the influence of circumstances than of conversations—flottant plus que faible. I once expressed my astonishment at his quoting De Maistre as an authority, meaning of course that if De Maistre is any authority it is on the other side. I came away with the impression that he did not know what I meant. I did not observe that he always attributed bad motives to adversaries, but he was suspicious that people were actuated with national motives.—Ever yours faithfully—in haste—packing up,
Mentone, 17 février, 1879.2
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Nous avons su par la voix de la presse unanime le véritable succès de votre travail, avant même de le voir. Nous ne l’avons même presque pas vu, puisque Madame Minghetti1 l’a immédiatement emporté, et en fait des extraits, la nuit, au lieu de dormir.
Je comprends naturellement, que la voix de l’amitié reconnaissante ne se fait pas entendre pour dire le lendemain de la mort tout ce qui appartient à l’impitoyable histoire. Le duc d’Audiffret-Pasquier2 sera, je suis persuadé, aussi scrupuleux que vous de ne pas franchir la ligne, ou plutôt l’abîme, qui sépare l’éloge funèbre du jugement lointain de l’avenir. Heureux s’il réussit autant que vous à faire reconnaître les traits personnels.
Vous m’avez souvent dit que je suis un naïf, et je m’en aperçois à la manière dont vous devez avoir parlé de l’évêque d’Orléans. Que le Professeur, en adoptant votre article reconnaisse dans un défenseur du pape, du syllabus, et du pouvoir temporel, un chrétien, plus ou moins éclairé, représentant l’église Catholique, et jouissant du bienfait de ses sacrements—reconnaisse, par conséquent, qu’au delà de cela il y a autre chose—voilà ce qui me donne bien à réfléchir, et m’ouvre des horizons imprévus. Newman a très bien dit que la plupart des controverses provient de ce que les gens ne se donnent pas la peine de définir exactement leurs points de vue.—Croyez moi, votre très dévoué,
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
After writing in half a dozen Reviews and having published many letters and lectures, monotonous, as they appeared to me, by perpetual iteration of the very few ideas for which I care and upon which I trade, I never apprehended that I could still be obscure. When misrepresented, I have generally supposed that such misconstruction was nothing but the usual veil of disagreement. You show me that I was mistaken and overvalued my own perspicuity or the perspicacity of others; and certainly if not clear to you whom I have so emphatically bored, I must have puzzled many. A wide vista opens, showing a somewhat altered world.
Let me try as briefly as possible and without argument to tell you what is in fact a very simple, obvious, and not interesting story. It is the story of a man who started in life believing himself a sincere Catholic and a sincere Liberal; who therefore renounced everything in Catholicism which was not compatible with Liberty, and everything in Politics which was not compatible with Catholicity. As an English Liberal, I judged that of the two parties—of the two doctrines—which have governed England for 200 years, that one was most fitted to the divine purpose which upheld civil and religious liberty. Therefore I was among those who think less of what is than of what ought to be, who sacrifice the real to the ideal, interest to duty, authority to morality.
To speak quite plainly, as this is a confession, not an apology, I carried farther than others the Doctrinaire belief in mere Liberalism, identifying it altogether with morality, and holding the ethical standard and purpose to be supreme and sovereign.
I carried this principle into the study of history when I had the means of getting beyond the common limit of printed books.
There I presently found that there had been a grievous evil in the Church consisting of a practice sanctioned by the theory that much wrong may be done for the sake of saving souls. Men became what we should otherwise call demons, in so good a cause. And this tendency overspread Christendom from the twelfth century, and was associated with the papacy, which sanctioned, encouraged, and employed it. Associated, not exactly identified, for I do not find that the Gallicans were better than the Ultramontanes. But they had not quite the same retrospective interest or moral solidarity. The Ultramontane, desiring to defend the papacy, had to condone and justify its acts and laws. He was worse than the accomplices of the Old Man of the Mountain, for they picked off individual victims. But the papacy contrived murder and massacre on the largest and also on the most cruel and inhuman scale. They were not only wholesale assassins, but they made the principle of assassination a law of the Christian Church and a condition of salvation.
Was it better to renounce the papacy out of horror for its acts, or to condone the acts out of reverence for the papacy? The Papal party preferred the latter alternative. It appeared to me that such men are infamous in the last degree. I did not accuse them of error, as I might impute it to Grotius or Channing, but of crime. I thought that a person who imitated them for political or other motives worthy of death. But those whose motive was religious seemed to me worse than the others, because that which is in others the last resource of conversion is with them the source of guilt. The spring of repentance is broken, the conscience is not only weakened but warped. Their prayers and sacrifices appeared to me the most awful sacrilege.
The idea of putting on the same level an Ultramontane priest and a priest of licentious life was to me not only monstrous but unintelligible. I understood the movement for the glorification of the papacy as a scheme for the promotion of sin. Arbues1 and Liguori2 seemed to me the normal and appropriate associates of the Syllabus and the Council; and I was uneasy and perplexed when I saw that the honours paid to them were regarded as special, additional facts with a significance of their own.
I heralded the Council by pointing out that the Popes had, after long endeavours, nearly succeeded in getting all the Calvinists murdered.1 It meant: give them any authority or credit that may be their due, but let it be always subject to that limit and condition. Let everything be conceded to them that is compatible with their avowed character and traditions; but see that you do nothing that could shelter them from the scorn and execration of mankind.
It is well that an enthusiast for monarchy be forced to bear in mind the story of Nero and Ivan, of Louis XIV and Napoleon; that an enthusiast for democracy be reminded of St. Just and Mazzini. It is more essential that an enthusiast of the papacy be made to contemplate its crimes, because its influence is nearer the Conscience; and the spiritual danger of perverted morals is greater than the evil of perverted politics. It is an agency constantly active, pervading life, penetrating the soul by many channels, in almost every sermon and in almost every prayer book. It is the fiend skulking behind the Crucifix. The corruption which comes from revolutionary or absolutist sympathies is far less subtle and expansive. It reaches the lower regions of the mind and does not poison that which is noblest.
That is my entire Capital. It is no reminiscence of Gallicanism. I do not prefer the Sorbonne to the Congregations or the Councils to the Popes. It is no reminiscence of Liberal Catholicism. Rosmini2 and Lacordaire, Hefele3 and Falloux seem to me no better than De Maistre,4 Veuillot, or Perrone. It is nothing but the mere adjustment of religious history to the ethics of Whiggism.
It seems to me that this is very plain sailing, that each step of the process is easy and natural, that those who think it utterly wrong must admit the unity and consistency and simplicity of the exposition; that they may think it a reductio ad absurdum of Liberalism more easily than an obscure, a difficult, an unintelligible argument. That is why, hitherto, I have had much difficulty in believing that my doctrine required comment or explanation. I have not felt that it required defence, because I have never really perceived that it was attacked. My impression has rather been that people thought it inconvenient and likely to lead to trouble, and, of course, solitary and new.
To Sir Roland Blennerhassett
My dear Blennerhassett,—
It proves impossible to recover the Professor’s earlier letters to me. You may be able to help me over a stile or two if you carry your thoughts to the time when you were at Munich in 1863 and 1864, Oxenham being there too.
You then wrote to me that Döllinger could not understand why Newman hesitated to throw over Liguori. Is it your impression that that is a tenable, or only a highly-coloured, account of his then state of mind? He became sensitive afterwards to misinterpretation and censure. Do you think he had no sense of it whatever in 1864?
Of course I see a sort of truth in what you wrote; but I cannot make up my mind how far that numbness or denseness went.
What is your impression, looking back now, as to how far he was then conscious of existing or threatening differences? It is certain that insight came to him late. There is the political difference, with what it involves since 1861. There is the German opposition to Roman scholasticism, since the Gelehrtenversammlung1 in 1863, and there is the Inquisition in 1867.
But my impression is that in 1864 he was unconscious of the yawning gulf. At that time, though there were theological issues superadded to the original political one, it is certain to me that there was no ethical issue before him, and the question of the Inquisition seems to me to have been pressed upon him by the French.
I find very little trace of external influences on the course of his life. But at this moment I do suspect that Persecution was made a topic of meditation, by Montalembert and his friends, who were much occupied with it in the Malines days1 and often speak of it in letters.
I should be really much obliged if you would rack your memory, which is much better than mine, as to this series of questions.
You perceive my point:
Since 1861 he is aware that he condemns Rome politically, but not expressly more than politically.
Since 1863 he becomes dimly aware that Rome backs the theologians who are against him; but this is still mere theory.
In 1867 he embarks on the question of Persecution, declares an ethical opposition, and goes almost all lengths.
This last step, to my certain knowledge, was not dreamt of in 1864.
What I cannot tell is, how wide was the theological gulf, how clear the perception of it in ’64? and how did persecution, which gave him no concern in August 1864, become so important in the days of Arbues2 ?
It is a fact that it vexed the French in those days, and was much dwelt upon in Montalembert’s letters. Is there any objection to that apparent and plausible derivation?—Ever yours,
Tegernsee,August 11, 1890.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I earnestly hope that you will remember me at Hawarden, and my great need of the correspondence in the tower. For several weeks I have been laid up at Kissingen, and unable to do any serious work. But I have succeeded in collecting a good many letters from different quarters, and still have a delicate and unpromising negotiation with the representatives of Montalembert. Some transitions in the progress of Döllinger’s thought are still obscure to me, especially between 1864 and 1867. There as elsewhere I count firmly on light to come from you.
This has been an opportunity for reading many old letters from Newman, which I shall have less scruple in quoting since the sad news of his death. If Wemyss Reid is the man I take him for, there will be something in your hand on the greatest of your English contemporaries.
You know that in this instance I am forced to use the ambiguous word great as I should in speaking of Napoleon or Bismarck, Hegel or Renan. But I should quarrel with every friend I have, in almost every camp or group, if I said all I know, or half of what I think, of that splendid Sophist.
You know that the Dean of St. Paul’s has a book on the Oxford Movement ready in type. I believe he had a compact with Newman not to publish in his time. I hope he will be induced now to do it. I have read the book with very great interest, and with that admiration which belongs to all the Dean ever writes.—Ever yours,
Tegernsee,August 14, 1890.
Tegernsee,le 18 août, 1890.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Impossible de vous dire combien votre envoi1 m’a été précieux, et combien je vous en suis reconnaissant. J’ai parcouru à vol d’oiseau ce qui est personnel, et avec le plus grand soin ce qui est réél et par conséquent caracteristique. Je n’ai pu achever qu’aujourd’hui et j’ai regretté de laisser partir vos enfants sans vous rendre ce que votre fille m’a remis.
Cela vous attend et ne vous attendra pas longtemps, j’espère. Autrement je vous apporterai tout cela à Munich, ainsi que les Montalembertiana, qui ont été pleins d’instruction pour moi.
Il y a bien des choses que je sais et que je ne savais pas avant de lire ces letters. D’abord ce sont les meilleures qu’il ait écrites. Elles ont bien plus de mouvement et de couleur que toutes celles que j’avais vues de lui. Je constate cependant une diminution d’intérêt vers 1869 ou 1870.
Ensuite je m’aperçois que non seulement il y avait des choses que je ne comprenais pas, mais que je comprenais mal, comme Michelet—que j’ajoutais l’erreur à la simple ignorance. Je suis heureux d’être à temps, grâce à votre très grande bonté et amicale confiance, de changer une partie de ce que j’avais—plus ou moins—écrit.
Pour la plupart, sa vie m’est intelligible et claire; et je vois venir, grandir l’antagonisme avec le Catholicisme usuel, depuis 1861 jusqu’en 1867.
Mais je ne sais pas fixer le jour où il l’a compris lui-même; je ne vois pas encore bien combien l’histoire contemporaine y a ajouté à l’histoire du passé, et je ne puis pas exactement déterminer jusqu’à quel point il s’est jamais dit qu’il s’agissait d’une guerre au couteau.
Si je devais terminer aujourd’hui, je dirais, sur ces trois points restés douteux, que la rupture intérieure consciente date de l’été 1867; que l’histoire contemporaine n’y est pas pour grand’chose; et qu’il ne s’est jamais dit que, par exemple, Sailer1 et Catherine de Medicis sont de religions différentes.
Si ajoutant les souvenirs aux Correspondances vous croyez que je me trompe, sur ces trois points, ou sur ceux qui ne me paraissent pas incertains: que le véritable mouvement, en sens inverse de celui de Rome, n’a pas commencé avant 1861 et était achevé en 1867—avertisez-moi je vous en prie. Les lettres que le Professeur m’a écrites dans les premiers temps ont disparu.
Je suis frappé de ce que les Français sentaient tellement plus profondément que lui, la grandeur et la profondeur de l’abîme qui les séparait. Si j’avais ce que je n’ai pas ici, le Testament de Lacordaire, le discours de Malines, et l’article de Montalembert sur l’Espagne, je pourrais mieux le montrer.
En vous écrivant comme dans une lettre que Montalembert cite, et en parlant de moi aux dames de céans, il dit bien souvent qu’on est d’accord au fond, qu’il n’y a pas de différence de principes, etc.
Je me demande si c’était sincère? Je crois bien que la discussion l’ennuyait, surtout par écrit. Mais aussi je me demande s’il ne craignait pas de trop creuser les choses. Il est sûr qu’il a mieux aimé s’éloigner de moi et rabattre de notre intimité que d’envisager tout à fait franchement le problème que je lui posais pendant des années à toute occasion et sous toutes les formes.
Corrigez-moi encore si mes souvenirs m’égarent lorsque je ne vois qu’une personne, Baader, qui a eu, directement, de l’influence sur son développement. Il y a bien un moment très critique, l’entrée en scène de l’Inquisition, où je soupçonne un peu l’influence des Français. Mais cela c’est toute une situation; ce n’est pas l’action d’un esprit sur un autre.
Croyez à toute la reconnaissance de votre dévoué,
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Tini1 vient de me dire que vous avez désiré savoir ce qui en est de Montalembert, dont Mlle Jeannette n’aurait pas trouvé quatre cahiers.
Il est vrai que trois cahiers manquent au manuscrit que vous avez eu l’insigne bonté de m’envoyer. Je n’y avais pas songé, étant dans une partie que je n’avais pas à étudier. Après le No. 4 sans titre, il n’y a rien jusqu’au No. 8 voyage d’Allemagne, etc. Vous devez avoir cela parmi vos papiers à Munich. Ce sont les Nos. 5, 6, 7.
Avec les copies des lettres de Montalembert on m’a envoyé celles d’Eckstein ainsi que quelques autres du même format. Cela m’a beaucoup intéressé, et je vous en parle de peur que vous ne vous demandiez ce que c’est devenu. Cela attend vos ordres et plutôt votre présence à Tegernsee.
Je n’ai pas trouvé les originaux des lettres de Montalembert parmi les papiers du Professeur. Il soupçonnait une fois en vous ecrivant, qu’on l’avait volé. Il se pourrait que quelqu’amateur eût emporté ces précieux autographes. Je suis d’autant plus reconnaissant de vos copies.
Deux lettres manquent entièrement.
Dans l’une il parlait de son discours à l’Académie et de la réponse de Guizot. Dans l’autre de Mgr. de Ségur1 qui l’aurait calomnié, et auquel il tenait à répondre. Je dois vous avoir raconté cela dans le temps.
J’ai remarqué que le Professeur ne vous a pas dit qu’il écrivait sur l’Inquisition, dans l’été de 1867, acte par lequel il tranchait tous les fils. Bientôt après il cite de vous ce mot, not to burn his ships.
Je me demande ici s’il s’est expliqué avec vous alors sur ce thème absolument décisif, et si vous pensez qu’il s’en rendait compte. Vous voyez, je reviens sur un de mes points obscurs, et je devine que c’est à ce propos que vous aurez parlé des vaisseaux.
Laissez-moi vous demander encore une fois de vouloir bien contrôler mes souvenirs: Pensez-vous comme moi (ou autrement), qu’il mettait Moehler2 au-dessus de tous ses amis, avec ou après Goerres—que c’était là le jugement permanent et final; et que tout en aimant beaucoup Montalembert, il ne mettait pas ses amis Français sur la même hauteur?—Croyez-moi, votre dévoué,
Tegernsee, 19 août 1890.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Ce que vous avez eu l’extrème bonté de chercher pour moi, avec peine et de m’envoyer avec difficulté est arrivé hier au soir, et ce matin j’ai tout extrait.
Je vous en remercie le plus sincèrement possible. Ce qui manque ne fait vraiment rien. Tout est clair dans le mouvement d’esprit de Montalembert, qui l’a isolé en France, et l’a ramené vers le Professeur, par des causes extérieures pour la plupart. J’ai assez de preuves pour la pointe de lumière que ce parallélisme fait jaillir sur le changement qui s’est opéré chez le Professeur entre 1866 et 1867.
Et ce que j’ai, c’est à vous que je le dois, que je dois de comprendre ce que je crois aujourd’hui comprendre, et ce que certainement je n’ai pas compris de son vivant.
Ce qui ne m’en console pas du tout c’est d’avoir appris, aussi par vous, que lui, au fond, ne me comprenait pas du tout, et ne savait pas pourquoi en histoire, je mets en avant autant que je puis, l’idée de crime au lieu de celle d’erreur et de péché. Je ne lui ai parlé que de cela pendant dix ans, et je m’humilie de reconnaître que, avec les hommes les plus intelligents, les plus instruits et les moins disposés à entretenir des préjugés contre ma doctrine, le plus sérieux et le plus médité de mes discours ne vaut qu’une chanson.
Ma jeunesse se fait une grande fête d’accepter votre bonne invitation, le jour où elle ira à Munich, et nous vous en sommes très reconnaissants. Le jour où elles viendront n’est pas établi encore, ou le mauvais temps et l’approche menaçante de l’oncle d’Amérique. J’espère que ce sera la semaine prochaine.
Je prends S. pour Sicherer et j’en conclus que ma doctrine n’est pas sûre d’être agréée d’avance, sur l’influence de la docte Italie du XVIIIe siècle sur l’Allemagne du XIXe. Raison pour soigner mes paroles sur ce chapitre.
L’Epilogue1 aurait eu ceci d’intéressant que Rio2 était du dîner des artistes aux pèlerins (de l’église et de la liberté), pendant lequel Lamennais a appris sa condamnation. Le Professeur en était aussi et il est allé après avec les trois à la Menterschweige, où ils étaient fort gais. Il n’a jamais su ce que Lamennais avait ce jour-là dans sa poche. Il m’a dit que Lamennais lui a écrit en partant, c’est-à-dire le lendemain, pour lui dire adieu, et s’excuser de ne pas venir le voir.
Cette lettre est-elle encore entre les mains de ces demoiselles1?—Votre dévoué,
Hawarden,Sept. 1, 1890.
My dear Acton,—
I have been asked from many quarters to write about Cardinal Newman. But I dare not. First I do not know enough. Secondly, I should be puzzled to use the little knowledge that I have. I was not a friend of his, but only an acquaintance, treated with extraordinary kindness, whom it would ill become to note what he thinks defects, while the great powers and qualities have been and will be described far better by others.
Ever since he published his University Sermons in 1843, I have thought him unsafe in philosophy, and no Butlerian, though a warm admirer of Butler. No: it was before 1843, in 1841, when he published Tract XC. The general argument of that tract was unquestionable: but he put in sophistical matter without the smallest necessity. What I recollect is about General Councils: where, in treating the declaration that they may err, he virtually says, “No doubt they may—unless the Holy Ghost prevents them.”
But he was a wonderful man, a holy man, a very refined man, and (to me) a most kindly man.
I have written to Dr. Reusch about getting a translator for the Döllinger Briefe, etc., lately published.
It is most pleasant to infer from your letter that you have the great subject before your mind, and mean to take it in hand. When you write again, I hope you will be able to report yourself absolutely well.
I have the fear that my Döllinger letters will disappoint you. When I was with him he spoke to me with the utmost freedom; and so I think he wrote, but our correspondence was only occasional. I think nine-tenths of my intercourse with him was oral: with Cardinal Newman nothing like one-tenth. But with neither was the mere corpus of my intercourse great, though in D.’s case it was very precious, most of all the very first of it in 1845.
It is profoundly interesting to think of you at Tegernsee: but how it brings back the great figure.—Ever yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Vous êtes toujours trop bonne de continuer à penser à moi et mes incertitudes et mes énigmes. Il m’a semblé que certainement des choses manquaient, et le voisin Friedrich1 les tenait probablement. Du reste il m’a donné de son mieux toutes les informations que je lui ai demandées.
Sicherer a beau jeu s’il me reproche d’avoir appris peu de choses et fort lentement. C’est vrai, et cela ne me fait pas honneur. Mais cela ne change rien à mon problème.
Je n’ai jamais su, du vivant du Professeur s’il comprenait et repoussait ma pensée, ou s’il ne la comprenait même pas. C’est là-dessus que, grâce à vous, la lumière—tardive—s’est faite. Et cela donne à réfléchir, quand on pense que ma doctrine est simple, claire, tranchante, que je l’ai fait connaître avant le Concile qu’elle a seule inspiré mon opposition et n’a pas été, par conséquent, sans quelque influence dans le monde. Ajoutez que, depuis que j’ai remarqué, vers 1879, que nous ne nous entendions pas, je n’ai fait qu’en parler au professeur; et que tant d’autres n’ont pas trouvé cela dûr à comprendre, ou difficile à repousser.
Ma femme me fait observer que plusieurs personnes ont de la peine à comprendre qu’on s’agite beaucoup, pendant des années, non pas pour convaincre un adversaire, mais pour apprendre son point de vue. Il se peut qu’il y ait de cela dans l’obstacle contre lequel je me suis heurté.
Loin de vouloir dire chose pénible, je vous dois la plus sincère reconnaissance, en général d’abord; mais surtout au moment où je dois écrire, et où il serait fâcheux de ne pas voir clair. Il y avait, jusqu’ici toujours cette possibilité, qu’il ne tenait pas à approfondir, ou qu’il me supposait d’autres motifs, tels qu’un Ultramontanisme inconscient, ou un rationalisme caché. Et puis je croyais que, n’écrivant rien, je passais à ses yeux pour avoir étudié moins que je l’ai fait, et qu’il ne prenait pas toujours fort au sérieux ce qui était le résultat d’un bien long et rude travail.
Tous mes doutes n’ont pas disparu, car tout n’est pas conséquent. Mais votre témoignage a le plus grand poids.—Votre dévoué,
Tegernsee,le 10 septembre.
Hawarden,Oct. 6, 1890.
My dear Acton,—
Having one thousand subjects to speak to you about, I reduce them to nine hundred and ninety-nine by discharging on you a copy of what I have written to Mr. Hutton (R. H.) about Cardinal Newman, and I think you will not resent it, though the letter is written from my personal and perhaps peculiar point of view. I shall be glad to have it again, only when we meet: perhaps you will bring it!
It is certainly the extinction of a great luminary, and so many have died lately, that it seems as if the century ought now to die too.
I have a vehement desire to show you, when I may, my new library, as it is called: though I trust it is only a nucleus or a germ. I have moved about half my books there, say 12,000. At some time I want you to do me a very great service, if you will assume the burden. That is, to furnish me with some suggestions towards supplying the gaps in some leading branches. The ultimate capacity of the building as I have made it is, I estimate, 40,000 volumes.
Perhaps before long I shall hear from you what you intend about the life of Dr. Döllinger. I even hope you may perhaps have written to Murray, or to somebody, direct.
I had both the ex-priest librarians, Law1 and Hutton,2 here last week, very able men, whose interests are by no means estranged from religion; but I cannot quite make out their exact positions.—Ever yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I return with very sincere thanks—not the letters, but—your letter to Hutton. He is an excellent critic, and a most able man, and Dick will have to send me his book.
You are undoubtedly right on that point, of Newman’s inacquaintance with the sixteenth century, both English and foreign. I think he knew his English—Anglican—seventeenth century pretty well. But then Hooker and Andrewes and Hammond were not the root of things.
Allowing for only four great gaps of imperfect knowledge, for knowledge always imperfect except when got up for a purpose, as the fourth century undoubtedly was, and also for that sophistical tendency natural to a man who was always looking for a view, for something tenable logically, whether tenable historically or not, I do think it is very difficult to speak too highly of his capacity. He is so much better when he is wrong than most men are. For good and evil he greatly reminds me of Fénelon; but Newman was the stronger man. I cannot help thinking that you will, one of these days, for your own satisfaction, put on paper your recollections of him and the way you stood towards each other. And I shall be sorry if you do not do it while the iron is hot.
The letters are infinitely more precious than you suppose, and it is quite impossible to say how great a debt of gratitude I owe you for trusting me with them.
I have used them only slightly in my essay, and have ventured to keep them longer, as I could not make final extracts until I got some leisure. Be sure that they are in the hands of one who knows their value, and what is involved, in the sending of them.
They bring up to about 300 the number of the Professor’s letters that have been in my hands. I have used only about a dozen out of the whole number; and you will see that my paper, though unreasonably long, is one chain of omissions.
I have ventured to refer to your conversations of 1845, although, unfortunately, I know them only by oral report.
And you will see, by the side-lights, that my notion would be to place Döllinger in the centre of a vast circle of chiefly friends. I have not written to Murray, and have not spoken of anything more to anybody; but having now gone over the ground and examined the materials, I think it might be in my power to write a more complete memoir.
If, therefore, I may again appeal to you for aid and intervention, and you would be generously willing to move Murray on the matter, and to make him propitious, I shall once more be deeply grateful to you.
I have had all his papers and manuscripts communicated to me, and have seen, as I said just now, the best of his correspondence. I was constantly with him, or in correspondence with him, for forty years; and have had the fortune to find that he had kept all my letters from 1852, and I may cite to you this passage from his letter to me of June 27, 1869: “Wenn Sie bedenken dass Sie der Einzige sind gegen den ich mich ganz offen auch bis auf die innersten Gedanken aussprechen kann, so werden Sie begreifen wie sehr ich mich sehne, Sie zu umarmen.”1
I put myself in your hands: but whether Murray or another is best, you must say. Perhaps you will be so extremely good as to think this over—after Dalmeny.—I remain, ever truly yours,
I have been puzzled about the Huttons, for I fancy the other committed himself about J. H. N.
Tegernsee,October 12th, 1890.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
The accounts of Lord Granville have been very alarming, when one knows his weak condition, and Dick, calling two or three times last week, was not allowed to see any member of the family. Freddy Leveson now tells us that things look better; but we are left a good deal to conjecture.
Séché asks me for letters of Döllinger to you, without actually saying that he has your promise. I shall not feel bound, or even distinctly authorised, to send them, until I have your injunctions. His book, founded on new material, is in part interesting. His purpose is to show that Liberal Catholicism, of which he takes Döllinger as the type, originated in a development, or a transformation, or a decomposition of later Jansenism.
I do not think that this is good history, still less good biography. Döllinger had so great a dislike of the essential doctrine of Jansenism that it amounted to a prejudice against some writers of the party, and especially against Pascal. What is more decisive is this, that he never did proceed, in the characteristic actions of his life, from any dogmatic system, or from any particular theory. He got, no doubt, to be in touch, successively, with the considerable writers of every school, and one can trace the impress or the stimulus of each. But it was not so much by preference as by the necessities of history which compelled him to take in all sorts of things.
It is as a scholar, not as a theorist, by the study of facts, not by attachment to dogmas, that he became what he was. The Döllinger of the Vatican Council and the Bonn Conference is not the product of certain opinions in the past, but of a certain level of present knowledge. He acted under the impression made on his mind by the state of learning at that time, by particular books published between 1863 and 1868, and the enquiries they enabled him to pursue. The mark of just that time was upon him to the end. He went on with his own studies upon those lines. But he did not follow contemporary discoveries in the eighties as efficiently as in the sixties.
I would say not only that Döllinger was not a Jansenist or a product of Jansenism, but that he also was not a Liberal. There was, I think, a moment in his later life when he was conscious of the tremendous consequences to the Church of Liberal thinking, and recognised that what is essentially a political principle becomes equivalent to a religious principle when applied to the Catholic Hierarchy. It was when you were at Tegernsee last, on the day after your expedition. He had had a seizure, and he came into my room, and spoke some very solemn words which I have never repeated. But excepting that occasion, he kept Liberal theories quite out of his theological system, and was always a little impatient of the ways in which I applied them. I could hardly make some of my historical judgments intelligible to him without much explanation; and when he knew what I meant he certainly did not like it.
But it is enough to say that it was the mark of a Jansenist, to be influenced, especially, by St. Augustine; and of Döllinger, to be influenced by St. Vincent, and strangely independent of St. Augustine.
Therefore I can hardly imagine a more disputable thesis than that of our French friend; and what I shall have to say will be very distinctly opposed to him. And I wait your directions before satisfying his request.
Until Aston Manor1 I thought that all my friends at home made too much of the evil done by Parnell to the cause. I am sorry now to be obliged to suspect you were all right. But his breakdown at Cork, if it is confirmed, is a serious blow to his confidence and credit. Can you imagine that I was invited to stand for Creighton’s chair2 ? I venture to ask your indulgence for Talleyrand in the next Knowles.3 —I remain, yours ever truly,
Cannes,March 22, 1891.
Victoria Hotel,St. Leonards,
My dear Acton,—
Your account of Dr. Döllinger4 is intensely interesting. With my inferior faculty and means of observation, I have long adopted your main proposition. His attitude of mind was more historical than theological. When I first knew him in 1845, and he honoured me with very long and interesting conversations, they turned very much upon theology, and I derived from him what I thought very valuable and steadying knowledge. Again in 1874 during a long walk when we spoke of the shocks and agitation of our time, he told me how the Vatican decrees had required him to re-peruse and re-try the whole circle of his thought. He did not make known to me any general result, but he had by that time found himself wholly detached from the Council of Trent, which was indeed a logical necessity from his preceding action. The Bonn Conferences1 appeared to show him nearly at the standing point of Anglican Theology.
I thought him more Liberal as a Theologian than as a politician. On the point of Church Establishment he was as impenetrable as if he had been a Newdigate.2 He would not see that there were two sides to the question.
I long earnestly to know what progress he had made at the last towards redeeming the pledge given in one of his letters to me that the evening of his life was to be devoted to a great theological construction.
I once proposed to him the idea of republishing in series the works of (so to call them) the Henotic writers. He entered into it warmly. I then propounded it to Dr. Mozley, the Regius Professor, who did the like. I wanted it done by the Oxford faculty, but Dr. Bright took some sideways objection which “blocked it,” and Mozley’s life was unhappily soon cut off. Disraeli provided a very inferior successor.3
I should have called Dr. D. an anti-Jesuit, but in no other sense, that is in no sense, a Jansenist. I never saw the least sign of leaning in that direction.
When Séché1 applied to me for his letters, I used you rather as a screen or buffer, and gave no consent. I could not see that they entered legitimately within his precinct. He was surely built upon-quite other lines. Jansenism was too narrow for such a profound and comprehensive historic mind.—Meantime, and ever yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
The fires of Hawarden have so many irons in them, that I did not succeed in saying half the things I had in my mind, or thanking you in the least possible degree for all I have to thank you for.
I should have told you, as I owe it to you, that I propose so to write the life of the Professor as to give a substantive chapter dealing with each of the matters that engaged him. As for instance: Döllinger and his Church history would be an occasion for describing where Church history stood, how it got so far, when he began.
Döllinger and the Frankfort Parliament2 would be a reason for describing Church policy, and the rise and meaning of Liberal Catholicism; Döllinger and the Vatican Council would contain all I know about that event.
Döllinger and Reunion, a short view of that question, with some extracts from your letters to him, after submitting them to you for permission.
Döllinger and the Roman question, in like manner, the natural history and fall of the temporal power.
Döllinger and England—both his personal relations with contemporaries and his points of contact with the Anglican and the English Catholic theology of the seventeenth century—and so on. I would try in each case to give only new matter, of which there is a good deal, and to set him in a very large frame, embracing all his main subjects. I see a moment coming when I should be glad to go into some detail with you as to certain points.
Oxford has been a mine for me, the literature of the English Catholics being otherwise so rare. In London, where I go to-morrow, I propose to take the great liberty of calling on your editor Hutton, at the National Liberal Club, and asking after your collected speeches, and how they get on.
Rosebery has forgotten to put before his book the motto which contains it all: “Latet anguis in herba.”1 I have seen a good deal of Morley, and found him admirably reasonable, practical, and clear. But very fearful indeed about Harcourt’s condition.—Ever sincerely yours,
Mitre,Oxford,Dec. 1, 1891.2
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
It has been a sacrifice to be away this time, but I rejoice to see that the two aspects of Southern France have both justified themselves, and that you have been doing well while so much has happened at home.
Manning3 had certainly mellowed lately, and much of his early feelings towards you had been revived by his calculated liberality on the Irish question. He used to tell me that he was a Liberal from his Colonial Office days, much differing therein, as in most things, from the greater but so much less efficient colleague. The choice of Hutton for his immediate biographer, in defiance of Catholic feeling generally, makes it likely that his animosity and distrust will not be buried with him.
I certainly regret that things have been so managed at Oxford as to do dubious honour to the memory of Newman. It is true, he was not a great academic personage, and he may have done harm as well as good to the University. But he was great enough to obtain national celebrity, and to stand above contention. The site was so badly chosen that it seems to have been done on purpose, slily to represent the burning of the bishops as a thing condoned, if not deserved. I don’t think the town ought to consent to that.
The principle being admitted, the spot that occurs to me is that place in the railings of the Camera that is opposite the second entrance to St. Mary’s. It is not a region frequented by townspeople, it is not obtrusively conspicuous, and it would be like a monument to a general on his greatest field of battle.1
Indeed this is one of several points on which I should have much to say and to hear, if we were to meet soon. Letters of Newman have reached me from strange quarters enabling me, I hope, to say something worth the saying in the process of describing all the most notable men and the most considerable lines of thought that touched or crossed the Professor’s path. I don’t suppose you ever knew it, but in 1859-1862 Newman was much nearer you on the Italian question than Döllinger was. Both Hutton and Tom Arnold tell me that they were not aware of it.
I will at once see Sicherer, late Rector of the University, and my best friend among those on the Committee, and inform him of your generous intention of subscribing to the monument, and I will, with your permission, make it twenty pounds. You will be perfectly safe if you send a draft to him, Königinstrasse, or, in his name, to and through me.
Rossendale will, I suppose, retard the Dissolution to the natural end of the Session. Dick and I thought it a proper occasion to drink your health in a glass of champagne. It has made a greater impression on ministerialists than even those elections which showed, last winter, that Parnell was not strong enough to injure you. I have always been trembling, lest a new reign, or a European war, might slur and confuse the issues at the General Election; but I was hopeful all through, and I thank God now, that the earthly crown of your glorious life is very near.
We have been less fortunate than you, out there, three of us having been down with influenza; but it is nearly over, and has not been severe at Munich.—I remain, ever yours,
Dear Mr. Gladstone.—
I have received your cheque for twenty pounds towards Döllinger’s monument, and will to-day hand it over to Professor Sicherer. The Committee will, I am sure, be deeply impressed by the way in which you mark your early friendship.
What was obscure in my letter must have been an allusion to the Gladstone-Librarian Hutton.1 Manning was so well pleased by his article on Newman, and by what he said of Newman’s relations with himself, that he at once resolved to have his own biography written by Hutton, and gave him several interviews during the autumn for that purpose. The book is now announced, if not actually advertised. I took for granted that your own Librarian had consulted you upon the matter. For he asked me to revise his book for him, and I was obliged to explain that it would not do. But perhaps it would be right that he should know what Manning said to you, as throwing light on the condition of fortune in which he lived and died.
I see that Oxford accepts the statue, but refuses the Broad Street site. There can be no doubt that it was intended to balance the Martyrs’ Memorial.
I have only just discovered that Montalembert, after the coup d’État, not only condoned it, which was public, but privately asked the bloodstained Dictator for certain concessions to the clergy, in return for their support. So that he was ready to sell the liberties of the nation for a price to be paid to the Church. Walewski2 told Houghton that he had asked for the ministry of Foreign affairs; and although I have no proof of that, I really come very near it. Napoleon refused his demands, and so he had to make the most he could of the Orleans confiscation, to justify his breach.3
Artom, Cavour’s Jewish secretary and confidant, has written to assure me that the scheme of the Libera Chiesa was not merely an expedient and machine of war, but a political dogma with him. I used to think that Minghetti had made more of it than Cavour intended, but I am obliged to accept this assurance. If Döllinger had understood this, he would have spoken otherwise than he did in 1861.
His letters to Loyson have been published by our friend Séché.—I remain, ever yours,
Munich,Feb. 9, 1892.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
It seems to me that the Government would make a mistake in dissolving now, in their party interest; but I shall be glad if they do. I hear that we are generally prepared, and am not very apprehensive, except of the remaining Irish split.
I wish Rosebery would make an excuse to go to some German waters, and get better acquainted with post-Bismarckian Prussia. So much is changed since he made friends there with the fallen giant. But the strangest change of all is their quarrel with their friend Leo XIII, and his rash speculation in French Republicanism.
If I am fortunate enough to see you, I shall come as an honest restorer of property. Also I bring the receipt for your donation to Döllinger’s monument, which was accompanied by verbal acknowledgments such as you can well imagine. One of the Committee was deputed to make them, and to ask me to convey them to you.
My collections are growing rapidly, and I see my way to what will, I hope, be an interesting book. The Dictionary of National Biography has offered me Newman; but I should not get access to the necessary papers; and I cannot discover the secret of his quarrel with Manning, typical of his quarrel with ecclesiastical authority generally. All that I know about him, I mean of the richer and more exquisite species of knowledge, comes into my book in connection with the Roman question, and serves as a very appropriate foil. As I shall never have another opportunity, I propose to extend that half chapter out of proportion. I fear that Hutton’s book, nor yet Purcell’s—will not tell me what I want to know; and they will surely not tell the world what I want to say.—Ever truly yours,
8 Briennerstrasse, 14 avril 1894.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Vous avez raison. J’oublie bien des choses quand je vous vois. N’ai-je pas oublié votre travail dans la Rundschau, sur Newman, que je connais bien?
Votre mari me donne un Newman très habile, éclairé, rationnel, délié, très éloigné du commun des Ultramontains, par son intelligence.
Vous m’en offrez un autre, spiritualiste encore plus que spirituel, séparé de Rome par sa profondeur religieuse.
Je voudrais, par le moyen de l’un ou de l’autre, échapper à un troisième Newman que ni la religion ni l’esprit ne sépare de l’Ultramontanisme pur et simple, défenseur prédestiné de l’autorité temporelle et spirituelle, mais empêché, repoussé, irrité par son expérience personelle des autorités contemporaines. Lequel ne me satisfait pas, parce que s’il était intérieurement aussi autoritaire que je le trouve, on ne voit pas bien pourquoi les autorités actuelles l’ont repoussé, ont négligé d’en faire leur profit. J’arrive à croire qu’on le soupçonnait à cause du Développement qui était, en effet, une révolution, et qui lui donnait un peu l’air d’un personnage qui exigeait, pour le satisfaire, une théorie imaginée exprès pour lui et qui justifiait sa première manière, ses attaques, et la lenteur de sa conversion, jusqu’à ce qu’il l’eût découverte.
Car en Angleterre comme en Amérique, elle était toute nouvelle, et on sentait qu’elle renversait l’ancienne défensive Catholique en faisant droit à ses adversaires.
Wiseman a dit ce mot significatif. Il est d’une arrogance impossible.
Ce même développement emprunté à Tübingen et confirmé, soutenu, encouragé par tout le mouvement Romantique et Historique, est évidemment l’une des choses qui ont distingué, et ensuite séparé, le Professeur des siens, en abaissant les cimes et déconsidérant, en grande partie, la théologie Catholique et la Gallicane en particulier.
L’autre est sa théorie de la Tolérance. Celle-ci mène encore beaucoup plus loin. Mais on comprend que, de 1820 à 1850 à peu près, on pouvait croire la doctrine opposée morte. Rome semblait y avoir renoncé, par mille témoignages indirects.
Le plus grand mystère chez le Professeur c’est de s’expliquer comment il n’a pas compris qu’il s’agissait de deux systèmes religieux, de deux morales, de deux Dieux—lui qui voyait si clair dans les choses qui diffèrent, et qui n’aimait pas les brouillards qui confondent, les ressemblances qui rapprochent ou qui identifient.
J’ai dit: Ce même développement. Je sais bien que la théorie de Newman n’est pas la même; mais pour la rupture avec l’ancienne théologie cela revient au même.—Votre dévoué,
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Nous avons été tous reconnaissants d’avoir de vos meilleures nouvelles, et moi de ce que vous avez bien voulu m’envoyer. J’étais chez Dick, et le messager de vos bontés n’a pas attendu mon acknowledgment. Je conclus de ce que vous m’envoyez Lacordaire que le Montalembert de Foisset,1 commencé au Correspondant, n’a pas paru séparément.
Pour Eckstein il me revient ce souvenir que le Comte de Menton2 vous a écrit que ses lettres ne méritaient pas d’être reproduites, à cause d’une certaine originalité ou indépendance malsonnante. J’en prends une pointe d’opposition dans son attitude religieuse, au delà de ce qui paraît dans ses écrits; mais il se peut qu’il s’agissait seulement de ses jugements personnels.
Il me semble aussi que la Marquise voulait écrire sur Brownson: mais je crois qu’elle ne l’a jamais fait. Je suis occupé d’un petit épisode, d’une Einschaltung sur Newman; et dans la carrière de Newman il y a un petit rôle pour Brownson.
Je suis effrayé de voir combien je me suis toujours contenté d’une connaissance sommaire des Français plus ou moins Libéraux. Vos cahiers sont pleins de nouvelles lumières; et si jamais vous aviez d’autres secours littéraires sur l’un ou l’autre de toute cette école, à partir du Génie du Christianisme,1 songez à moi.—Votre dévoué,
Le samedi 16.
8 Briennerstrasse,le vendredi 13, 1894.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Vous me promettez une bonne nouvelle, et puis vous m’en donnez une mauvaise, en remettant la rencontre espérée. Pourvu que ce ne soit que jusqu’à ce soir.
Que vous êtes bonne et admirable de me confier les précieux extraits sur le regrettable Chateaubriand. Je vous en suis d’autant plus reconnaissant que j’y ai trouvé des choses inconnues, et très utiles pour l’usage que je fais de lui.
Il entre dans la vie du Professeur plus que celui-ci, qui ne s’intéressait pas à lui, ni soupçonnait. Car c’est lui qui a inauguré en France le mouvement des Catholiques Libéraux, et une bonne partie de leurs bagages vient de lui, tandis que lui, à ce qu’il me semble, a puisé sa doctrine nulle part sinon dans les péripétiés de sa carrière. Il précède Lamennais de trois ou quatre ans.—Votre dévoué,
Munich,Monday,Jan. 28, 1895.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
As you are setting to work on Butler, I will venture to submit two or three things for consideration:
1. To bear in mind that the doctrine of the Sermons on the infallible Conscience, is not only borrowed from Sarasa,2 but is also indefensible.
2. To take notice of Sidgwick’s remarks on the Sermons in connection with Utilitarianism, and of Matthew Arnold’s on the argument of the Analogy.
3. To view Butler in connection with his immediate predecessors, Leibniz, and especially Malebranche, in order to determine the degree to which he can be considered an improver or strengthener of evidences.
4. To examine his relations with Kant, who never mentions his name, but who comes very near him in questioning demonstration and in exalting conscience. This must have been set as a Thesis in Universities; but I cannot find that any book treats of it.
In reply to your kind question about Döllinger, there has been much progress in the quietude of the Recess. Several necessary episodes require very full treatment and occupy excessive time and space. One is the rise of the science of ecclesiastical history, which, in our Church, has never been described. For Döllinger was formed not by the divines, but by the ecclesiastical historians, and one can trace the growth and establishment amongst them of those precepts and ideas which are distinctive of him alone among his contemporaries. Another topic that I have had to go fully into is the history of the Liberal Catholics in France. They were in constant touch with him, and many of them came to Munich, and it is a common notion, partly countenanced by the Professor himself, that he agreed with them, and that that was the key to events. Their history, also unwritten, and leading into many recesses, political and religious, will show that there was a well-defined difference between them. But I have to show the possibility that what passed with Montalembert in the decisive years, 1863-1867, may have had something to do with Döllinger’s own attitude. Regarding Montalembert I have much new matter.
Newman claims a chapter to himself, with regard to the line men of note took in the Roman question. I have had two hundred of his letters in my hands, and you will be surprised to find to what lengths of opposition he went, during a series of years. This will be a new Newman, who would otherwise be in some danger of passing into oblivion. A fourth substantive topic is the Roman question. Stanmore has allowed me to see his father’s papers, and the Elliots offer me Lord Minto’s. In my last talks with our good friend Lacaita I obtained much, and among other things a certain paper of advice of yours, of 1865. Even the question you touched in writing to Burns has to be discussed. For those rather obscure writers of our Church in England influenced Döllinger at one time. They began the method of eliminating school opinion from dogma—Holden1 —which was the root of all reunion; and another, Davenport2 —whose collected works, I am afraid, will never be found for St. Deiniol’s—anticipated No. 90. To bring into light the unity in the Professor’s life I have to be careful of past detail—showing how it might appear to a man looking into Church matters about 1820, that very many old defects had been expiated and purged away, that there had been a sort of Conversion of Rome, compared to the days of Sixtus; and how this illusion led him to become an Ultramontane of a peculiar kind. The main point is, that he was always cut off from what we understand by the term, by his theory of Development and of Toleration. I have to tell, for the first time, the history of the theory of Development, which made men reject the old theology, and admit to a high place in their Councils the Protestants of the seventeenth century. Toleration was a still larger cause of division; and the point most difficult to bring out clearly is, why Döllinger never came to see it, and imagined himself holding the same fundamentals as Bellarmine or Bossuet. It is only by bringing forward many things, and employing, for light or shade, all the ecclesiastical writers of his time, that I can hope to make all this intelligible. For the Council, I have not only his Roman Correspondence, but also that of the Prussian Government, including that of 1873 which led to the Kulturkampf.
It seems unnecessary to say that I have spoken of all this to nobody but yourself. I have sent to the Museum a list of the books I have still to consult, and they have promised to buy any they have not got.
A complete Newman came out as my Christmas gift to my daughter Annie, and in going over many volumes again I have been struck by the art with which he tries to make believe that he holds opinions of which, in private, he professed the contrary.
Esther Waters, I blush to say, is the only one of the books you name that I have before me. But I have not had time for more than fifty pages, and have not discovered I will not say the charm, but—the spell. Also, blushing, I confess to having broken down in the first volume of Marcella; so that my daughters, in their indignation, have lent it out to friends.—Ever yours,
Tegernsee,le 13 sept. 1900.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Je profiterai avec reconnaissance, à mon retour en Angleterre de vos informations sur les lettres de Newman à Mozley. Je n’en avais rien vu. Lilly a reproduit les siennes dans ses Essays and Speeches, et il me dit que les Pères1 ont fini par lui savoir gré de cette publication. La masse de ses lettres Catholiques est, à cette heure, assez considérable.
Je vois clair dans le problème de la vie de N.—Pourquoi profondément Romain lui-même, était-il en lutte avec tous les représentants de l’Ultramontanisme officiel? D’abord, parce qu’il n’aimait pas à être contrôlé et empêché déjà comme Anglican. Ensuite parce que l’Ultramontanisme officiel gâtait son plan de rapprocher Catholiques et Anglicans. Enfin parce que les diverses formules de son développement effrayaient les gens les plus sincères.
Mais je ne sais pas dans quelle proportion il faut faire la part des trois motifs.
Avez-vous jamais vu la traduction allemande des Discours on the Present Position of Catholics? Il y a une Préface par Döllinger. Dans la 5e Lecture Newman mit, à sa façon, à peu près comme Perrone, les bûchers de Rome. Il serait curieux de voir si le Professeur a laissé passer pareille énormité. Cela prouverait combien, en 1851 encore, il avait peu approfondi ces choses, et vivait encore dans son idéalisme primitif.
J’ai averti Friedrich de ne pas trop appuyer sur le voyage de Rome. Mais il se trouve une notice de 1887 où le Professeur dit que c’est depuis son retour de ce voyage qu’il est arrivé aux conclusions qu’il tenait encore. Je crois qu’il veut dire: depuis les recherches auxquelles il s’est livré dès lors, et non en conséquence des choses qu’il y a vues.
Il me dit qu’il achèvera cet hiver, avec le troisième volume.
Vous me donnez une bien mauvaise nouvelle de cet ami vraiment supérieur. Je vois bien pourquoi ce mal doit lui être dangereux. Ce serait une grande perte, en Allemagne, pour la littérature Catholique—je crois, la plus grande.
Votre mari m’a envoyé une indication qui m’est précieuse sur le père Finlay et je l’en remercie, si vous me le permettez, par ces présentes.—Votre dévoué,
THE VATICAN COUNCIL AND THE VATICAN DECREES
My dear Sir,—
It has been suggested to me that I might take the liberty of sending some copies of my Is Healthful Reunion Impossible? to you, and that if you thought good you would give it with my respects to any Bishop to whom you should think it desirable. My aim has been to follow Bossuet1 as closely as I could. Unhappily, where one is altogether agreed, what one has to say can be written in small space, when there is difficulty, explanation is necessarily long. And so nearly half of my volume is occupied with the subject of the Pope. But it was suggested to me that it might not be without its use at this crisis, if your hierarchy were to see how injurious the declaration of Papal infallibility would be to the hope of reunion. I have, therefore, dwelt largely upon it, as was suggested to me.
I hope that you will excuse this liberty.—I beg to remain, your faithful servant,
E. B. Pusey.
To the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone
74 Via della Croce,Nov. 24.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I have been obliged to wait for a safe opportunity to write to you on one of the topics touched upon in your letter.
Everything is prepared here for the proclamation of Papal Infallibility, and the plan of operations is already laid down, in a way which shows an attentive study of Sarpi’s History of the Council of Trent. They are sure of a large majority.
For some time hopes were entertained that it would be possible to gain the object by a sort of surprise. The zealous conformity of the bishops had been fully tested, and there was a widely spread ignorance as well as much indifference and apathy to be relied on among the laity. This plan broke down when the alarm began to be sounded at Munich and the Bavarian Government made itself the organ of the Faculty of Theology. In June the Pope already declared that he had no hand in the Civilta, and the Declaration of the German bishops at Fulda accidentally coinciding with the appearance of Janus1 caused a great fear. About the same time Dupanloup made a journey in Germany and Switzerland, and it was announced that he had come to an understanding with a great mass of opposing bishops. Soon after, Maret’s book2 was published. From that time the Court of Rome became anxious to conceal its design, and to make it appear that there was no such project in existence. This language is still held, and they have considered whether it would be better to get the substance in another form or to commit the bishops by private assurances, without insisting on a formal decree. All these subterfuges will be vehemently opposed by those bishops who have been ardent apostles of the doctrine in their own countries.
No bishop has hitherto declared publicly that he rejects the doctrine as erroneous, and the opposition intends to take its stand on the ground of expediency. At present a majority of French, German, and Austrian bishops mean to take that line. Some, no doubt, will give way under the influences of Rome; and the rest will find their position very difficult to defend. It will be very easy to drive a wedge between those who deny the expediency of the decree and those who deny the truth of the doctrine. If the Court of Rome is defeated, it can only be by men of principle and of science.
This position has been occupied, so far, by one man only, and that is Janus. You have no doubt recognised the same inspiring mind in the articles of the Allgemeine Zeitung which were reproduced in the Saturday, in the answer of the Munich divines,1 in the letter2 of Hohenlohe3 and the recall of the Bavarian Minister at Rome, in the Pope and the Council, and in the little pamphlet on Infallibility which has since appeared.
I thought the book of Janus very important because it alters the position of the Catholics towards those who are not in communion with Rome, and I don’t know any book from which I have learned so much. But it seemed to me very insufficient for the purpose of arresting the Roman current and projecting a great reform. For that I think it is necessary to trace the growth of many errors besides that of Infallibility, to bring down the inquiry strictly to the present time, and to make a clear and complete confession of all that it behoves a pure Catholicism to renounce. I have good hopes that such a book will be written and published before Easter. It will not influence Rome; but it cannot fail to act widely and deeply on public opinion in Europe.
Dupanloup intends to make use of the English argument both in reference to Union, and, I hope, in respect of the social and political danger to the Catholic subjects of the Queen of any measure which would weaken their defenders and strengthen, and even justify, as well as exasperate their enemies. In all this he will be contradicted by Manning, who will make the most of his acquaintance with you, and will give all manner of assurances that the Irish and English Catholics have much to gain and nothing to lose by the establishment of his favourite doctrines. If you should think it not impolitic to allow your own opinion on this, the secular side of the question at least, to be known, in case of need, authentically to the bishops, who would know how to use it properly, you might, I think, exercise a very considerable influence at a critical moment. I hope there will be something of the sort in Russell’s instructions. A letter from yourself, proceeding from the existing condition of things in the United Kingdom, would be still more efficacious. If you don’t think it proper to write it, I am sure you do not underestimate the magnitude of the approaching crisis for all Christendom, or the stress of the feelings with which I am writing.—Believe me, very truly yours,
J. D. Acton.
Pal Chig., 6 Dec. ’69.
My dear Acton,—
Mr. Gladstone desires me telegraphically to let you know that you may use the strongest language you think fit respecting his opinion on the subject about which you desire it should be known.
Mr. Gladstone will write by early opportunity.
I fear this may reach you too late, for instead of reaching Rome on the first of December we only arrived late last night, having been detained by snow between Piacenza and Parma, and again by the state of my son’s health and my wife’s anxiety about him.
I hope to call on you to-day or to-morrow, to congratulate you on Her Majesty’s acknowledgment of your value and merits.—Sincerely yours,
Rome,Dec. 19, 1869.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
Your most welcome letter, received by the courier, supplies the desired weapon. I shall keep it in reserve for the contingency with a view to which you wrote, but I shall be able at once to make effective use of your remarks on the direct influence of Ultramontanism on the prospects of educational legislation.
All my anticipations fell short of the reality, so far as the intentions and preparations of the Court of Rome are concerned. A resolute attempt is being made to restore all that is most obnoxious, all that has been most pernicious, in the maxims and the policy of the Popes. The claim to Infallibility forces them to accept the responsibility of the most monstrous words and deeds, and they seek to anticipate objections by their boldness in acknowledging the worst of their traditions. A Bull published on Friday virtually revives the Bull In Coena Domini, which has slumbered since Ganganelli. It will be explained away on the plea that it contains nothing new. I hope you will find time to read it. I cannot understand the position of a Liberal Ministry in France which should continue to buttress and patronise an authority so misused.
There is reason to believe that another Bull is in preparation directly condemning the scientific as this does the liberal element in the Church.
The Congregation De Fide, which is to report on the dogmatic question, contains no name taken from the list of the opposition.
A conjuncture is very probably approaching where the French Government will no longer enjoy the undivided support of the Episcopate in its Roman policy.
I cannot estimate the opposition higher than 200. That number will be reduced, if they allow the question of Dogma to be separated from the question of expediency, to a score or two. If they manage to hold together, and conduct their resistance in such a way as to make each section of their party seek the help of the other, they could at least prevent the fatal decree and give the impulse to a great reaction. But their force is likely to be exhausted rather than confirmed by such a victory, and they would probably give their consent to those secondary decrees which would be the consequence and object of Papal Infallibility, and its alternative and compensation if it is rejected. One of the most eminent prelates in Europe said to me the other day, that he had come to Rome with little hope and great fear, but that he had found things far worse than he had expected.
The traveller who will post this letter in Germany is just starting, and I must close it. Lord Romilly has written to me, with the sanction of the Treasury, about materials for English history in the Roman archives. I hesitate, at this moment, to take any step which would involve the English Government in obligations.—I remain, yours very sincerely,
Rome,January 1, 1870.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
The events at Paris, coincident with the change in the position of things at Rome, suggest a possibility of exercising some influence on the progress of the Council. Each step taken by the Roman Court has added to the danger and increased the need for prudent and intelligent action on the part of the States.
The Regulations which were the first document issued, assumed to the Pope the right of making decrees and defining dogmas, and left to the Council only the function of approving. It has not even a right to propose questions for its own consideration, as nothing can be submitted to the Council without the permission of a Committee representing the Pope. Only eighteen French bishops signed a remonstrance against these arrangements.
On the 30th of December a bishop, Strossmayer, objected to the title of a decree, and to the formula which excluded the Episcopate from all real share in the defining authority, and he was stopped by one of the presiding Cardinals, Capalti,1 on the ground that this point had been settled by the Regulations. He passed to another topic and the other bishops submitted in silence.
The position therefore is this, that the Pope alone proposes decrees, that he can refuse his sanction to any act of the Council, that the Council cannot prevent, invalidate, or rescind, any act of his. This is now no longer merely a claim of the Roman Court: it has been accepted and implicitly acknowledged by the Council. The sole legislative authority has been abandoned to the Pope. It includes the right of issuing dogmatic decrees, and involves the possession of all the infallibility which the Church claims.
This is not distinct or final, but it is an important step towards the intended dogma, and an indication of the amount of resisting power among the bishops.
The second manifestation of policy was the Constitution reciting the excommunications directed against the spirit of civilised governments. It is nothing less than a revival of the Bull In Coena Domini,1 which was dropped by Ganganelli2 when he suppressed the Jesuits, and which naturally appears again, now that the Jesuits are in power. Everything is done to mollify foreign Powers, and especially France, on the ground that States having a Concordat are exempt from these censures, which is utterly untrue and cannot be said officially.
The Irish bishops wish to have the Constitution modified in this particular, that they shall have authority to absolve in all the reserved cases; by which, in fact, they would accept the principle and incur the complicity. They will hardly protest, as it is not submitted to the Council, but is an independent, sovereign act of the Papacy.
Thirdly, a paper was distributed, containing censures upon a great number of opinions. It anathematises those who deny several of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, but it includes a condemnation of secular science. It declares that human science cannot be independent of divine Revelation, and explains this by saying that science has no certainty and no authority apart from that of the Church and her organs. It follows that the opinions received and approved here may lawfully be supported by censures against any disturbing conclusions of historical or physical science.
This would revive the action of the Index in its extreme form, not only against opinions, but against mathematical discoveries and historical documents.
In these three papers the papal absolutism reveals itself completely, in its hostility to the rights of the Church, of the State, and of the intellect. We have to meet an organised conspiracy to establish a power which would be the most formidable enemy of liberty as well as of science throughout the world.
It can only be met and defeated through the Episcopate, and the Episcopate is exceedingly helpless.
There is indeed a considerable minority opposed to the Papal Infallibility, and to the other enormous claims of Rome, and its numbers have been increasing up to the present time. There are even signs of organisation. An international committee has been appointed, consisting of the most enlightened bishops of France, Germany, and America. They have concerted a plan of action in case of an attempt to proclaim the Dogma by acclamation; and they have brought their numbers to something like two hundred. The two first discussions, on Tuesday and Thursday, were entirely occupied by speakers of this party. To the surprise of everybody several Italians were amongst them. I have before me now the notes made for Menabrea on the character and probable opinions of the Italian bishops, and they are not entirely unfavourable.
It is not likely that the opposition will add further to its numbers. The disintegrating influences will soon begin to tell. The most ardent opponents feel their helplessness, and look for encouragement to the laity. The Constitution, containing so many political censures, awakened hopes that the Governments at home would be roused from their apathy and that the opposition would have something to fall back upon. This idea has begun to show itself lately in several unexpected quarters. It was expressed to me by one of the most conspicuous and moderate of the Prussian prelates. These men find themselves abandoned to the wiles and threats of Rome. All that hope and fear can do will be done to break down their resistance, and it is sustained by no human inducements whatever. I know that one of those who showed courage and vigour in the opening debate, on the 28th, has since complained that he is left to his fate, that he is a ruined man.
The result of the first two days of discussion has been to make it certain and notorious that the elements of a real and sincere opposition exist, an opposition which is worth supporting, which is almost sure to prevail if it is supported, and almost sure to be crushed if it is not. The position is therefore essentially altered, since Hohenlohe’s proposal fell to the ground, and the policy of indifference was adopted by the Powers.
That policy was adopted by other States in consequence of the determination of the French Government to take no part, and to send no ambassador. Prussia, Bavaria, Portugal, and, I presume, other States, waited to follow the example of France. The Emperor put himself in communication with the bishops who were likely to exercise influence at the Council, even with some who are unfriendly to the Empire, such as Dupanloup, and showed them clearly what his hopes and wishes were. Maret saw him also, and was at one time confident that an ambassador would be sent. But the Prince de la Tour d’Auvergne,1 advised by M. Armand, late Secretary at Rome, and a strong partisan, appears to have prevented it. M. Ollivier2 is a man of another stamp. He has seriously studied religious questions, and entertains views on the old French Church, and the Concordat which destroyed it, which he will very probably keep secret for some time. But his views on the Roman question are known, and he has lately confided to Nigra3 his sentiments regarding the French occupation. It will certainly not be his own wish to follow in this respect the line of his predecessors. He will have the support of at least half the French Episcopate if he abandons it. At this moment Dupanloup relies on about forty, of near seventy who are in Rome. When the crisis comes there will not be quite so many. But it may come in such a shape that Darboy,1 Dupanloup, and their friends will have to look for the aid which the State alone can give. The idea of proclaiming the Pope infallible by acclamation is not given up, and if the Roman party attempts to carry it by a mere vote and to crush the minority, few bishops will dare to risk a schism. They will know that they can protest without fear of isolation and schism, if they are backed by their Government. The ablest and most popular of the French bishops will meet the new minister half-way if he gives them the least encouragement. I know that they have been considering what their position would be if they had to leave the Council, with a public protest.
The States, at present, are exerting little or no influence. The Austro-Hungarian Episcopate, indeed, is nearly united, but not by reason of any advice from the ambassador, who has little weight, or from Beust,2 who seems to have no ideas about the Council, either from ignorance of Catholic matters or from natural levity. Spain is unrepresented at Rome. The Prussian Minister is a Protestant, and on that account, probably, the few Prussian bishops do not bestow their confidence on him. One of them has admitted this to me, and both Baron Arnim3 and other members of the Legation have spoken of it to me with much regret and annoyance. During the summer Arnim advised Bismarck to send an ambassador to the Council, and he is still strongly of the same opinion, although he would be, to some extent, eclipsed. The experience of the last few weeks has confirmed his original idea. It would certainly be satisfactory to him and to his Government, which fully entered into his view in the summer, if the example of France made it possible to send an ambassador for Germany. As Bavaria would unite in accrediting the same ambassador, there would even be a slight point gained in the existence of one representative for all extra-Austrian Germany. Count Lavradio1 arrived with credentials as ambassador for the Council, but he put them in his pocket, and declared himself only a Minister when he found what the other Powers have done. Spain, of course, will be guided by the consideration whether it would or would not be convenient to reopen its embassy here under cover of the Council.
The question will be a very anxious one for Italy. Menabrea2 was not prepared with any definite plan of action for the Council. The new Ministers, Lanza and Sella, are both impatient of Church questions, and have never attended to the Roman difficulty. It is left entirely to the Foreign Secretary, Visconti Venosta. He has already arranged with Lanza that he shall be free to use what means he can to assist the better portion of the bishops. Their property is still in the hands of the Government, and their position is very trying and unsettled. Arrangements will be made for regulating their affairs as speedily and as favourably as possible, giving the preference to those who best deserve it. There is even some idea of giving back the unsold property of the Church, to be administered by lay trustees. But this is a legislative, not an administrative question, and cannot be undertaken without interference of Parliament. I don’t even know what Visconti thinks of the plan. It has much occupied his Segretario Generale, Albert Blanc. But I know that Visconti is alive to the importance of doing something for the Council. Lavradio has charge of Italian interests here, and the Pope has said something to him of his wish to reopen negotiations on ecclesiastical questions. If they send an envoy for the Council, the probable failure or at least delay of his negotiations with the Vatican would not so much matter. By sending him for the Council they would avoid the affront or awkwardness of having no Nuncio in return. And, in appearance, the mission would have a conciliatory effect, and might be a step towards an understanding. There will be a great difficulty about the title of the sovereign to be represented; but that alone will hardly prevent the sending of an Italian ambassador.
It is the French, not the Italian, whom they will be afraid of at Rome. The change of Ministry has already caused much alarm, though the ambassador Banneville declares that there will be no change of policy. I am told, confidentially, that nobody would do better, or would be less distasteful than Rouher. If the new Ministry makes some general profession of an intention to bring about the recall of the French troops, the presence of Rouher would have a positively reassuring effect upon the Court as well as the Council. Indeed any ambassador to the Council would be a new security, for the time. Yet I can imagine that a time may come when Dupanloup himself will look for the departure of the French as the way to save the Church.
My very gloomy view of the prospects which are before us is not the effect of a momentary change for the worse. On the contrary, the opposition are jubilant to-day. Cardinal Rauscher,1 who was supposed to be thoroughly Roman, has circulated a paper against Papal Infallibility, and led the attack on Tuesday. He was supported by Italian prelates. Two whole days have been entirely occupied with speeches against the decrees proposed in the name of the Pope, and there are still eighteen speakers to be heard on both sides of the same question. Time has been gained for the preparation of a paper which the bishops have asked me to obtain from Germany, and which they think will be decisive. The arrival of Hefele, the new bishop of Rottenburg, with whom no Roman divine will bear comparison for a moment, is expected daily, and the bravest of the bishops, the Croatian, Strossmayer,1 has made a very great impression by his eloquence. I live almost entirely with the opposition, and seeing and hearing what I do, and knowing the bishops as I have learned to know them before and since coming here, I am bound to say that I do not believe that the means of preventing the worst excess exist within the Council. In the case of almost every bishop it would be possible to point out the way in which his position may be forced or turned. The only invincible opponent is the man who is prepared, in extremity, to defy excommunication, that is, who is as sure of the fallibility of the Pope as of revealed truth. Excepting Strossmayer and perhaps Hefele, I don’t know of such a man among the bishops; and some of the strongest admit that they will accept what they do not succeed in preventing. It is to give these men strength and courage that the help of the State is needed. The time seems to have arrived when the counsel of England, or of other Powers speaking in concert with England, would effect the necessary change in the policy of France. I understand that the Emperor hesitated, and was alarmed at finding that some prelates deemed hostile to the Empire—Bonnechose, for instance—recommended the sending of an extraordinary envoy, while some of his own friends gave opposite advice. Lavalette,2 I am told, was not favourable to the proposal. If anything is done it would probably be better that it should be done at Paris, or at least not through Lavalette alone.
I now hear that the international Committee has been dissolved by the Pope, as savouring of clubs and revolution; and that the Regulations will be made stricter, so as to take away all liberty of speech.
If you do not altogether reject the idea even of indirect action, the time has unmistakably arrived when it is most likely to take effect,—I remain, yours very sincerely,
Necessary precautions have delayed this letter till to-day, the 4th. Twenty-five Germans have protested, like the French, and no addition to the Regulations has yet been made public. On the third day of debate the opposition continued to speak, and an Eastern Patriarch pronounced against all innovation, in the name of the Oriental Christians.
My dear Lord Acton,—
I take the opportunity of a messenger from the Foreign Office to write a few lines.
My answer to your appeal was written on the instant, and I stated that which first occurred to me, namely, the additional difficulties which the rampancy of Ultramontanism would put in the way of our passing measures of public Education which should be equitable and not otherwise than favourable to religion.
But in truth this was only a specimen. There is the Land Bill to be settled, and there are the wings of the Church Bill: one the measure relating to Loans for Building, the other having reference to the Ecclesiastical Titles Act. Even the first will be further poisoned, and either or both of the two last may become the subject of fierce and distracting controversy so as to impede our winding up the great chapter of account between the State and not the Roman Church or Priesthood but the people of Ireland.
The truth is that Ultramontanism is an anti-social power, and never has it more undisguisedly assumed that character than in the Syllabus.
Of all the Prelates at Rome none have a finer opportunity, to none is a more crucial test now applied, than to those of the United States. For if there, where there is nothing of covenant, of restraint, or of equivalents between the Church and the State, the propositions of the Syllabus are still to have the countenance of the Episcopate, it becomes really a little difficult to maintain in argument the civil right of such persons to toleration, however conclusive is the argument of policy in favour of granting it.
I can hardly bring myself to speculate or care on what particular day the foregone conclusion is to be finally adopted. My grief is sincere and deep, but it is at the whole thing, so ruinous in its consequences as they concern Faith.
In my view the size of the minority, though important, is not nearly so important as the question whether there will be a minority at all. Whatever its numbers, if formed of good men, it will be a nucleus for the future, and will have an immense moral force even at the present moment, a moral force sufficient perhaps to avert much of the mischief which the acts of the majority would naturally entail. For this I shall watch with intense interest.—Believe me, most sincerely yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
Rome,January 8, 1870.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
You will have heard some days before this can reach you of the strange plan for the abdication of the Pope. I believe he has thought of it for some time, but its execution, of course, will depend on several contingencies. If the Council does not prosper, he will be unwilling to close his career in the midst of so great a failure. And if he cannot fill all the vacant hats, he will not feel so sure of controlling the election. This may be a serious difficulty. He can hardly appoint any Cardinals as long as he refuses the Archbishop of Paris. It would be dangerous to defy the Emperor in that way just before a Conclave where he exercises a protectorate and a veto. Probably if the plan is announced in the papers before it is ripe, it will be denied and abandoned. I am anxious to keep this weapon in my hands for use in case of necessity. If it becomes known, it will greatly diminish the influence of the Pope over the bishops, as it is, in fact, a conspiracy against the Council, and an attempt to preserve the party now in power from the natural vicissitudes of elective monarchy. All the suppressed expectant jealousies would be vigorously aroused.
There are many curious points of analogy between the Pope and Lewis XVI, between what is passing now and what passed in the days of the National and the Legislative Assemblies. The discovery of this design before the time would have some effects like the flight to Varennes.
But there is one contingency in which they may be tempted to make it known themselves much sooner than they could wish. If the new Ministry in France1 show any signs of wishing to recall the troops, at some indefinite but not distant period, or at the death of Pius IX, to whom personally the Emperor is so deeply committed, then they may reply by playing this card almost at once. An idea so much like it presented itself at Paris last summer, that the full significance would be keenly appreciated in France; and the Emperor might not find it easy to disengage himself when he expects to do so.
There is no doubt this consideration also, that the Infallibilist party would make great capital out of the Pope’s resolution to carry the Dogma for the see and not for himself, to abdicate as soon as he has obtained it.
For these reasons it may be right that you should warn the French Government. Their embassy here is curiously ill informed, and probably does not enjoy the confidence of Ollivier and Daru. They might not believe it if we were to send it in that way. And as the French are jealous of Russell, it would be in your power to refer to other sources of information.
It may happen at any time that I may publish the design, after consultation with the best of the bishops.
Although our information is good, it would of course be enough, should you think it right to communicate with France, to warn them of this possible answer to their policy. Meantime, I have tried to prevent the news getting to Paris, until you have considered its bearings. But I could not prevent its being sent to Munich.
The time is not come for Dupanloup and the others to accept a policy hostile to the temporal power, but it will come soon.
I shall soon have occasion to use your letter. Count Apponyi, who is here on leave, and assures me of his hearty sympathy with our cause, tells me that a priest of some note, who is intimate with Manning, told him in London that you quite agree with the Syllabus, which the credulous diplomatist began to read over again, with much surprise.
The bishops are taking an active and open initiative for Infallibility, and I hope that those whom I see will take some strong immediate step the other way. If not, the topic of my last letter gains seriously in importance.
Pusey’s new book1 may do some good, if anybody has patience to read it. I have distributed several copies.
In haste, to catch the Prussian Courier.—I remain, most truly yours,
Rome,February 2, 1870.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I will not take up your time, at the eve of the opening of Parliament, longer than I can help. Your two letters are invaluable weapons in our hands for the purpose of awakening bishops to the terrible realities of the position, and there has been a very remarkable progress among them in the right direction. At the same time they are becoming aware that they can only save the Church at the expense of the papacy. The Pope is now so openly identified with the scheme for promoting the new Dogma that the failure will involve a very serious loss to the authority and consideration of Rome. Therefore, although the opposition has gone on increasing in numbers and in determination, there are many who would still shrink from the only measure that can ensure victory, a public protest in Rome and an appeal to the Church among the nations. The able and courageous men who lead the party, Darboy and Strossmayer, have forced their colleagues to look that bitter alternative plainly in the face. It is doubtful at this moment whether they would be supported by sufficient numbers in taking such a step, and they must at any rate reserve it for a decisive occasion.
The mass of the opposition would be relieved if the crisis is avoided through some event that would interrupt the Council or change all the chief conditions. Within the last few days the resolution of the French Government to recall the troops in the event of the Dogma being carried, has become known here. Everything will be done to diminish the effect of this announcement. There will be comfort in the letters of the Nuncio, and some hope that the Ministry may fall. Probably they will try to frighten the French with the bugbear of Malta. If they are still able to do so, if that offer is still open, it will have an injurious and unfair effect on the course of things in the Council and in Italy. It very nearly frustrates the new policy which the Ollivier Ministry has adopted in concert with England, and it increases enormously the difficulty, and removes the prospect of an understanding between Rome and Italy, which is absolutely necessary for the restoration of confidence and financial prosperity in the Kingdom. The language of many leading Italian prelates in the Council has afforded a good opportunity for the Government to take up a more conciliatory position towards them, and to obtain the support of a considerable part of the Episcopate. This may lead to very important consequences if the Court of Rome is compelled to make terms.
The Maltese refuge would seriously disturb all these favourable conditions.
Used as a threat, it will prolong the occupation, through the inevitable jealousy of France, and render nugatory all conciliatory measures of the Italian Government. The actual flight of the Pope would break up the Council, either after a fatal vote by the majority, or else without any definite success of the minority.
But if things are allowed to go on, with the certainty that, in case of the Dogma being defined, the Pope will be left to the care of the Italians and the protesting bishops will have the support of France, then, I do not doubt, the better part of the Church will prevail, and there will be a vast change in religious prospects.
M. Daru’s1 recent conversation with Lord Lyons on the Roman question seems almost to involve the request that you should join in giving efficacy to the threat of recalling the troops.—I remain, yours very sincerely,
Rome,February 16, 1870.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
The opinion which I expressed to you many weeks ago, that the opposition would prevail with aid from the European Powers, and would fail without it, has been adopted by the leading bishops of the party. I am writing now not only with their knowledge, but at their express and most urgent request, renewed several times during the last week. It is better that I should mention no names; but Lord Granville will easily remember one bishop with whom I have long been on intimate terms.
The habit of exercising absolute authority, and the habit of submitting to it, have reached such a point in the Catholic Church that the prophecy in the last pages of Janus is very nearly realised. There is very little hope that the Council, left to itself, will have sufficient vigour and consistency to resist the pressure of the Court. There is a determined minority, but it is so small that it will be overwhelmed if it stands alone. It carries with it a considerable group of undecided, perplexed, and ignorant men, who will resist only up to a certain point. They are impressed with the discouraging belief that the Governments abandon them, and that public opinion, except in part of Germany, is indifferent to their struggle. Rome is determined to carry things to extremity, and it is certain that many of the opposing bishops are prepared to yield before coming to extremity. Efforts are being made by them to check the demonstrations which Döllinger has provoked, and the action of France has hardly been perceptible.
The question of Infallibility will be brought forward shortly. Yesterday and to-day French bishops urged that it should be introduced immediately, as it was the only question they were brought here to decide.
The language of the French Government has been clear enough, but its effect has been weakened by the Nuncio at Paris, by the ambassador here, and by the belief that there is no understanding between France and Italy as to the settlement of the Roman question.
Two days ago a definite message was sent by the Emperor to Cardinal Antonelli, in which the Emperor declared that he could not afford to have a schism in France where all the employé class, all the literary class, and even the Faubourg St. Germain are against the Infallibility of the Pope. He added that it would dissolve all the engagements existing between France and Rome. They are unmoved by these threats, because they expect to obtain an apparent unanimity among the bishops, and they think that if the bishops yield the rest will follow.
Hitherto, it appears, the French Government have shared this opinion. Seeing at the head of the opposition men notorious as defenders of the Syllabus and agitators against the recall of the French troops, they must have suspected that they would not resist to the uttermost the proposal to sanction and dogmatise propositions which scarcely go further than the Syllabus, and that they would not support the Emperor in a course of action adverse to the temporal power. That such a man as the Bishop of Orleans should be really willing to sacrifice the Roman State, which he has so warmly defended, out of aversion for the ideas of the Syllabus, which he has defended not less warmly, implies so vast a change that they might reasonably hesitate.
But the change has really occurred, and the proof will be in the hands of the French Government before this reaches you. I have induced the bishop alluded to at the beginning of my letter to commit himself explicitly, and I forwarded yesterday to M. Daru a paper drawn up under the bishop’s eye exposing the anti-social character and the political danger of the Schema de Ecclesia. The bishop says quite truly that it only requires to be understood in order to rouse the indignation and anger of every Government in Europe. For the Canons which have been published are the most innocent part of the Schema. It makes civil legislation on all points of contract, marriage, education, clerical immunities, mortmain, even on many questions of taxation and Common Law, subject to the legislation of the Church, which would be simply the arbitrary will of the Pope. Most assuredly no man accepting such a code could be a loyal subject, or fit for the enjoyment of political privileges. In this sense the French bishops have written to the French Government, and that is what they ask me to write to you.
They see no human remedy for this peril other than the intervention of the Powers.
They say that as long as the question at issue was Infallibility, which is a question of dogmatic theology and only indirectly dangerous to society, the abstention of the Governments might be justified. But it is not now the only question, and the Schema de Ecclesia, to be followed by a yet extremer Schema de Romano Pontifice, proves what the object, what the consequence of exalting the attributes of the Papacy would be for the civilised world. They therefore desire, through me, to make a direct appeal to the Government of the Queen. They believe that you cannot have read the extracts published by the German press without understanding as they do the purport and the peril of the measures proposed to the Council by the Pope. They believe that you are as much interested as Catholic States can be in preventing the results that would ensue, and that you are in a position to act in the matter without offending susceptibilities. They do not wish to give to their appeal the undue form of actual suggestions. But I can say that the idea in their minds is that England should urge the Great Powers to take united action, in the shape of a joint—or identical—note upon the subject of the new Schema, and of the Dogma which would include it. Of course this implies the hope that a new settlement will be come to with Italy, as to the temporal power—a settlement which cannot well be entirely contingent on the result of the Council.
I have the best reason to believe that Prussia would be willing to join in such a step as this; though the co-operation of Bavaria might not now be obtainable. Austria has been, as far as its Government is concerned, an impediment to our cause. The Emperor Napoleon would have great influence on the Court of Vienna, and they would only have to be invited to support their own Episcopate.
The thing could probably be done by means of a good understanding between England and France; more especially as France does not profess to wish that you should act directly on the Court of Rome.
The Archbishop of Paris is not one of those who are in the secret of this appeal. His relations with the Emperor prevented me from consulting him upon it. Whatever may be his political sentiments in the matter, I am able to say positively that, in the interest of the Council, he substantially agrees.—I remain, dear Mr. Gladstone, very faithfully yours,1
11 Carlton House Terrace, S.W.,
My dear Lord Acton,—
I have waited for an opportunity to answer by messenger your letter of the 16th. Immediately on its arrival I sent it to Lord Clarendon. He has had every desire to forward your views though with little hope of effecting any considerable result. In truth I am myself sorrowfully conscious that it is in our power to do little or nothing with advantage beyond taking care that the principal Governments are aware of our general view, and our repugnance to the meditated proceedings, so that they may call on us for any aid we can give in case of such. However, Lord Clarendon has gone beyond this and has conveyed to the German Courts the kind of intimation you wished. But Bismarck apprehends positive mischief from his taking a forward position, and the King of Bavaria is, I suppose, disabled by the overthrow of Hohenlohe. He (B.) points to the attitude of Austria as indecisive, and I understand him to say the only thing to be done is to exhort the Austrian bishops to work with their German brethren, and that as far as Prussia is concerned they may rely upon being thoroughly supported by the Government on their return home. As respects France, you know we have done the little that in us lay.
I never read a more extraordinary letter than that of Newman2 to Bishop Ullathorne, which doubtless you have seen: admirable in its strength, strange in its weakness, incomparable in speculation, tame and emasculated in action.
The Irish Land Bill is to be attacked, as it is said, on the second reading, from the extreme Irish quarter, by a motion to the effect that nothing short of carrying the Ulster custom throughout Ireland will meet the wants of the country. It does not follow that because they make this motion they will desire to poison the public mind in Ireland with respect to the Bill. But they are probably under pressure from knots of their constituents; those probably who are more or less affected by Fenian sympathies. And to Fenian pique it is absolutely vital to disturb and break up the remedial process. Hence probably the manifestations of violence at elections in Ireland. For this is a case where violence, instead of being used for an end, is itself its own end. To disturb the country is the way to assert the remedy. But the Irish members are at the best playing with edged tools: and I make no doubt the prelates will do all in their power to discountenance any proceedings that could even by possibility favour the pernicious purposes of Fenianism.
Apprehending that fear will be the governing agent in determining the issue at Rome, I can only desire, as I do from my heart, that the fears of the majority may be more violent than those of the minority. A great courage, I suppose, may win, on that side. Nothing else can.—Ever yours sincerely,
W. E. Gladstone.
Rome,March 10, 1870.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
You have already seen, by the production of the decree of Infallibility on Sunday, that the position of things has altered in Rome.
The Pope has at last openly identified himself with the extreme party, at the very moment when France is beginning to use sterner language, and the minority is protesting against the Regulations in terms that threaten the authority and the Oecumenicity of the Council. The change was sudden, and probably the deciding motive was the desire to be beforehand with the Germans, whose protest was expected to be more threatening than the one which the French presented on Friday. But there was also the publication of Daru’s letters in the Times of Thursday, and the fact that the Pope had shown a disposition to accept a formula proposed by the archbishops of Rouen and Algiers, and others of the Centre.
If you have seen the French protest—I sent it on Sunday to the Perseveranza, and I suppose it has been copied in the other papers—you will understand how flagrant an insult to the minority is the proposal of the new Dogma at such a moment and in such a form.
In Chapters VIII and IX the Protest affirms the principle that no Dogma can be proclaimed which does not command a moral unanimity among the bishops representing churches. The Germans have added, at the end of VIII, where those words occur, a very significant passage, which I can only communicate to you in strict confidence: Haec conditio pro Concilio Vaticano eo magis urgenda esse videtur, quum ad ferenda suffragia tot patres admissi sunt de quibus non constat evidenter, utrum jure tantum ecclesiastico, an etiam jure divino ipsis votum decisivum competat. It is obvious that, if the office of the bishops in Council is to bear testimony to the faith of their respective flocks and to the tradition of their several churches, the numerous bishops made out of Roman Monsignori, who have no jurisdiction and no flock, are a foreign as well as an arbitrary element in the Council.
The last paragraph of IX, where the bishops say that the claim to make dogmas in spite of the minority endangers the authority, liberty, and Oecumenicity of the Council, was inserted by me. These two passages supply materials for further action, in reply to the invitation to discuss the new decree. I have proposed a declaration in which the bishops would say that they cannot admit this topic for discussion until the doubts they have just expressed as to the authority and legitimacy of the Council, in the eyes of the world and of posterity, are removed by an explicit explanation of the points which are ambiguous in the new Regulation.
There is no immediate prospect that this measure will be adopted. The minority are in great confusion and uncertainty, and disposed to rely on external help.
There is no doubt, I think, that the issuing of the proposed decree puts the Governments in a position more favourable for action. The prerogative of inerrancy or infallibility in all questions of morals, that is, in all questions of conscience, gives to the Pope the ultimate control over the actions of Catholics, in politics and in society. We know also, from the Schema de Ecclesia, in favour of what principles and of what interests that supreme and arbitrary power will be exerted. The Catholics will be bound, not only by the will of future Popes, but by that of former Popes, so far as it has been solemnly declared. They will not be at liberty to reject the deposing power, or the system of the Inquisition, or any other criminal practice or idea which has been established under penalty of excommunication. They at once become irreconcilable enemies of civil and religious liberty. They will have to profess a false system of morality, and to repudiate literary and scientific sincerity. They will be as dangerous to civilised society in the school as in the State.
Divine truth cannot long be bound up peaceably with blasphemous error, and the healthy forces in the Church will end by casting off the disease. But there would be a disastrous interval and a formidable struggle. We know something of the vitality of religious error. Rome taught for four centuries and more that no Catholic could be saved who denied that heretics ought to be put to death.
The proposed decree makes the Infallibility of the Pope embrace everything to which the Infallibility of the Church extends. But in the twenty-one Canons de Ecclesia the Church is declared infallible in all matters that are necessary to the preservation of the faith. The Infallibility of the Pope would therefore be unconditional and unlimited, as he alone would have to decide what is necessary for the preservation of the faith. My letter has just been interrupted by a visit from the most learned prelate in Rome, Hefele, bishop of Rottenburg. He says distinctly that the Pope would have no limits to his Infallibility, and therefore to his authority, but such as he might choose to set himself.
There was no exaggeration in that which I wrote to you last December of the political dangers involved in this insane enterprise. Its bearings on English affairs, and on some of the measures which you have in hand, especially its consequences for the conflict against sin and unbelief, are incalculable. I am convinced that you see this as clearly as if you had passed the winter here, and I only wish that you might deem it consistent with policy and duty to speak a word of warning in Parliament, or in a letter that might be published, such as would sound the alarm far and wide.
I hope we shall yet succeed in preserving the Church from this great calamity. But the papacy itself cannot cast off the guilt and the penalty or recover the moral authority it enjoyed before.—I remain, my dear Mr. Gladstone, ever faithfully yours,
I am obliged to mark this letter private both on account of the quotation from the Protest, and of the mention of Hefele.
Rome,March 11, 1870.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
Since I wrote to you I have had some conversations with bishops, which strongly confirm what I said in my letter.
Antonelli is reported to have assured Beust that there is nothing to apprehend, on the part of the State, from the Schema de Ecclesia, as it is merely matter of dogmatic theology. The bishops say that this is quite untrue, that the Schema bears on politics in many ways, that the Canons, giving infallible authority to the Pope in all matters needful for the preservation of faith and in questions of morality, give him an arbitrary power of the most unlimited kind in everything with which he chooses to deal. They are entirely in contradiction with the conditions of allegiance which the Catholics formerly accepted in England. I don’t give this as a discovery of the bishops, and it would not do, of course, to quote them, but the fact that they openly acknowledge it is very remarkable.
I told them that I had written to you, and had spoken of the utility of some public utterance of your view on these particular points. They said that it would be of the greatest use; that it would make a deep impression if you spoke of the danger to the interests of religion in the legislative questions coming on; and that, if you expressed your confident belief that the English and Irish bishops would be careful not to renounce the principles by virtue of which their toleration was obtained, and not to make the carrying of liberal, tolerant, and remedial measures impossible, those words would have great weight among the Irish bishops in particular. The last suggestion was made to me by one of the prelates, in a way that showed that he deemed it of the highest practical importance. I think he is right; but speaking from a strictly Roman, local point of view, I should be afraid of the effects here of a debate in the House, which should bring out the violence of Protestant feeling and the blind folly of the Catholics.
I am persuaded that nothing would have greater effect here than some declaration of that kind, made in Parliament and not diplomatically.
Count Daru appears anxious to influence the Council usefully, but hardly knows how to set about it. The Archbishop of Rheims has just told me that the ambassador is skilfully managed by certain prelates of the Vatican party, and there is no doubt that he succeeds in blunting every blow.
I believe that Daru also could do more in the Chamber than in Rome. But it is very weak not to compel an immediate and definite settlement of the question of the ambassador. I wish he would do so by telegraph. If they cannot gain time, they will probably refuse; and then things will have been carried forward one step.
The Italian Ministry seems determined to propose further measures of confiscation against the property of the Church. That will settle the question of the attitude of the Italian bishops. It will not only neutralise Italian influence for all good purposes, but it will supply the Court with very welcome and efficient arms.
You will probably see Dr. Moriarty1 on his way home. With excellent intentions and much common sense, he has proved quite unequal to resist the subtle and deceptive influences at work in Rome. These internal divisions are intolerable to him, and he is ready to accept anything that will satisfy Rome and prevent a conflict.—I remain, yours very sincerely,
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
A Protest on the question of Papal Infallibility was presented to-day by certain bishops of the United Kingdom.
They exhort the Legates to pause before they put that doctrine to the vote. They state that the English and Irish Catholics obtained their Emancipation, and the full privileges of citizenship by solemn and repeated declarations that their religion did not teach the dogma now proposed; that these declarations, made by the bishops and permitted by Rome, are in fact the condition under which Catholics are allowed to sit in Parliament and to hold offices of trust and responsibility under the Crown; and that they cannot be overlooked or forgotten by us without dishonour.
I have reason to believe that one at least of the prelates who have signed this most significant paper would not be among the theological opponents of the Definition, but that he regards this consideration of morality and public integrity as an insuperable barrier for men enjoying the benefit of the Act of Emancipation.—I remain, yours very sincerely,
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
It appears to be ascertained that the ambassadors will be refused. Meanwhile M. de Banneville has gone to plead his own cause at Paris; and Bismarck has telegraphed that he has never opposed the joint action of the Powers, as nothing of the kind has been proposed, so that Arnim has seen the Bishop of Orleans and has despatched a courier urging his Government to take a more active part.
The French Government, having accomplished nothing hitherto beyond giving the minority some hope of future aid, will have to make up its mind decidedly on the line to take, and it will be a good opportunity to bring neighbourly influence to bear.
The Powers have a distinct claim upon France, as France is responsible for all the evil that the Council may do. Since the Schema de Ecclesia and the Decree de Infallibilitate Pontificis were published, there can be no uncertainty as to the designs of Rome. We know that it seeks to be made absolute over the consciences of men, and we know for what civil purposes it will employ its power.
The danger which thus threatens religion and society is made possible by the French occupation, and would be impossible without it. The French Ministry do not profess to be indifferent to the consequences, or to deny the danger for which they are responsible. It threatens other countries quite as seriously as France, and they have good ground for remonstrance and a perfect right to insist in the strongest way that such troubles should not be caused by a Power professing to be liberal and friendly.
The religious pretext for the occupation cannot be urged at a time when it is indirectly producing effects injurious to religion, and is continued only on account of the interest which France has in dividing Italy. The liberal Ministry of Ollivier and Daru are preparing grave internal difficulties for England and Germany in order to keep up difficulties of another kind for the Italians.
If they do not send an ambassador, they have no other security to offer to Europe, except the recall of the troops. To give up the Concordat and all the system of the French Church would be, at least for the time, an injury rather than a benefit to religion, and a blow struck not so much at the Pope as at the Episcopate.
It is easy to show that the financial embarrassment of Italy is increased by the Roman question. It excludes the conservative element from political life, and makes it a merit with great part of the population to resist the law. The Government is driven to the resource of confiscating Church property by the Roman difficulty itself. The religious houses are suppressed, the schools of divinity reduced, the priesthood almost starved, because France is determined to keep the Pope on his despotic throne. It is a policy which degrades the Italian Government in the eyes of the nation, nurses the revolutionary passion, and hinders the independence of the country, and which can no longer be defended on the score of religious liberty. The French protectorate has become as injurious to Catholicism as to the Italian State, and it is about to prove as pernicious to other countries as it is to Italy.
I find one part of the Episcopate busily trying to find sophisms that will justify persecution, despotism, regicide, and the other things to which the Church is committed if the Popes are infallible; and I find others anxiously awaiting the active intervention of the European Powers. Both seem to me to suggest the same moral.
All the Governments that dislike to act now, and look forward to some mode of self-protection after the Dogma is adopted, must prefer that the necessity should be averted, that the Definition should be prevented before it involves them in struggles and disputes at home.
If it is true that Count Daru is nearly alone in the Ministry in the view he takes of the Council, it will be impossible for him to stand the refusal of his ambassador. His resignation would greatly weaken the Ministry. Probably he will either insist, or seek some alternative.—I remain, yours very sincerely,
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
There is one way in which you might notably aid our cause at this moment.
The Archbishop of Paris tells me that the French Government has copies of the stenographic reports of the debate on Infallibility. He says that M. Guizot has read them. This is confirmed from other quarters. Can you not obtain communication of these Reports? At least, can you not get hold of the speeches of English subjects, of Cullen,1 Manning, MacHale,2 Macevilly,3 Clifford,4 Connolly,5 which must be of the greatest interest to you as head of the Government?
And if you see them, would it be possible to allow some use of them to be made for the purpose of enlightening the Catholic public? Several of the bishops send me their speeches, and it would be of the utmost importance to make them known. But those who give them are all on one side. To publish them would be to expose the speakers, and this danger can only be avoided by giving at the same time some speeches of the other side, which are, indeed, often quite as instructive and as significant as the best speeches of the opposition. Nothing would throw more light on the present position of things than Manning’s speech, for instance. It would be a very powerful assistance to our side of the question if you could help me in this matter. I would make known about a dozen speeches, and the worldly would be rather surprised at what would be in them.
The collapse of the French influence has been a serious matter, and things are looking ill. I shall spring one more mine this week and then leave Rome. If you can give me any hope, pray, send it to me, Hotel d’Italie, Florence, where I shall be till the 13th, and then chez le Comte d’Arco, Tegernsee, Bavière.—I remain, yours most sincerely,
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
Can I entertain any hope that you will obtain the Reports of the debates in Rome? I am obliged to trouble you with the question because I am writing to some of the bishops on the subject, and what I write depends in some degree on the prospect in France. Two Englishmen, Errington1 and Connolly, made nearly the most effective speeches in the last stage of the discussion.—I remain, yours very sincerely,
Lord Lyons thought that, on many grounds, it would be very undesirable that the French Government should be asked to furnish copies of the speeches at the Œcumenical Council.
July 18, 1870.
My dear Acton,—
I did not like to tell you by telegraph that I had any instructions for you.
But if you will show Blomfield this letter he will show you confidentially the despatches which bear upon our position as Neutrals, and the necessity we have found ourselves in of declining the pressure put upon us by France, Austria, and Italy to take a more active part.
With regard to Italy, our advice to the Pope has been not to leave Rome.
Our instructions to the “Defence” have been to protect British subjects and property and to afford an Asylum to the Pope, if he made a formal demand for it, but not to offer it to His Holiness.
I shall have much to tell you, and to learn from you when we meet. In the meantime send all the news you can, when you have safe opportunities.—Yours sincerely,
Hotel Westminster, Rue de la Paix,
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I don’t know whether you will remember a topic I wrote about to you more than a year ago, when the Council was the thing still uppermost in our thoughts. Archbishop Darboy had told me that the stenographic reports of the debates at St. Peter’s, at least on the question of Infallibility, had been sent to Paris, and that Ollivier had shown them to Guizot. It would be of the greatest importance to obtain exact knowledge of these reports, and you were good enough to sound Lord Lyons about it. Lord Lyons disliked the notion of asking Gramont for that sort of thing, and there was an end of it.
Lord Lyons’s objection probably holds good still. So does the extreme importance of these papers. They would probably have as much interest for you as for me; and I presume they are still in the hands of the Government. I should like to make an attempt to get at them, but I do not see any prospect of succeeding unless I can make the request for you, and in your name, when I see Rémusat. If the relations subsisting between you and Thiers admit of it, I should be glad to be able to say that I had your authority to make this request, for the communication of the reports, obviously of great value to you for many reasons.
May I, within any limits and under any restrictions, open this matter with Rémusat?
I know nothing that could contribute more to the ultimate, though very distant, restoration of unity and truth. I remain, yours most sincerely,
Athenæum Club,Pall Mall,
. . . Here we are disturbed by alarmists with stories of approaching war. But it does seem that Thiers would be crazy to fight while the Germans are in the Departments, and while Russia, the one possible ally, remains so inaccessible.
The Government is floundering with the Ballot Bill and Forster is losing much of the prestige he got by Education. But there are hopes of saving the American treaty1 after all, as opinion seems to be coming round, out there.
Does any Frenchman you see contemplate a possible combination with Germany for the dismemberment of Belgium?
Your conversations with that wise old man Guizot must have been very interesting. He seems to me to write now as well as he ever did.
Oxenham writes this Saturday a warm panegyric on our friend Michaud’s new book.2 I need not tell you that I cannot agree with him, and I perceive that the difference which existed between us at Herrnsheim1 is one of fundamental principle. The new book explains what was obscure in his first steps. Deeming Rome heretical, he did not wait till his archbishop put the knife at his throat, but took the initiative of that operation on himself. So that, in fact, he is renouncing communion with us who wish to remain in communion with Rome. He must mean that there was nothing heretical in the Church before 1870, if the Decrees of July make such a difference—and that is the most direct contradiction of my theory that the decisive objection to these decrees lies in the previous doctrines which are sanctioned and revived thereby. I think very much worse of the Vor Juli Kirche than he does, and better of the Nachjuli Kirche.2 . . .
I am very curious about Mme. de Forbin’s3 Council of Trent. The fact is, whoever writes on that subject ought to be able to dispense with the two famous historians,4 and to make up his account with the very documents. I wonder how she has tested Pallavicini’s testimony, and with what result. . . .—Ever yours,
Tegernsee,August 24th .
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
. . . I hope you will be at Munich in the course of next month. The professor5 seems to be enjoying himself here, and we have been deep in past times. But the actualité is beginning to assert itself. Michaud was here yesterday, with Wassiliew. He will come again to spend some days, and will probably bring Langen6 with him, who is studying at the Munich library.
Huber1 also is here, so that there will be some opportunity of discussing Church questions and the Cologne meeting. Michaud is in a great state of mind about Montalembert. In France they are employing all means to suppress what they do not wish to be known. It will therefore be dangerous to consult French friends, if you persist, as I hope you do, in the idea of writing about him. On the other hand, it will be an excellent reason to obtain from Michaud what he cannot produce in his own country. Michaud certainly has good materials, and he was an independent observer. He does not confirm the stories about Hyacinthe,2 but says that he has become what Michaud calls half an Ultramontane. That is to say, he does not throw over the Hierarchy altogether.
The present is generally the enemy of the past, and brings interruption. But the topic of Montalembert ought not to stand in the way of Ganganelli3 more than a few weeks. It is extraordinary how different both will appear in the mere light of sincerity.
I ought to say that Döllinger disagrees with what I said in my letter about Staupitz.4 And I have no materials here to support my view that he never really renounced his Lutheran sympathies.—Yours very faithfully,
Tegernsee,Sept. 2, 1872.
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
. . . No actual, authentic publication of Montalembert’s papers is to be expected, and it is neither possible nor proper to make any collection of them without the consent of the family and literary executors. But a sketch such as you will write, fortified with new and original matter, will steady his reputation and frustrate the conspiracy.
Michaud has some precious materials, and will doubtless give them up to you. But Mrs. Craven1 would be the best of all helps. If Mrs. Oliphant’s2 book appears she might be provoked into giving you the letters she possesses.
Langen was with us yesterday, and left me a very favourable impression.—Believe me, dear Lady Blennerhassett, yours very sincerely,
It may be convenient to give the operative words of the Decree:—
Definimus: Romanum pontificem, cum ex Cathedra loquitur, id est, cum omnium christianorum Pastoris et Doctoris munere fungens, pro suprema sua Apostolica auctoritate doctrinam de fide vel moribus ab universa Ecclesia tenendam definit per assistentiam divinam, ipsi in beato Petro promissam ea infallibilitate pollere, qua divinus Redemptor Ecclesiam suam in definienda doctrina de fide vel moribus instructam esse voluit; ideoque ejusmodi Romani Pontificis definitiones ex sese, non autem ex consensu Ecclesiæ, irreformabiles esse.
Cf. Acta et Decreta Sacrosancti et Oecumenici Concilii Vaticanii, ii. 187.
LETTERS TO THE TIMES ON THE VATICAN DECREES
To the Editor of “The Times.”
May I ask you to publish the enclosed preliminary reply to Mr. Gladstone’s public Expostulation?—Your obedient servant,
“Athenæum,” November 8.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I will not anticipate by a single word the course which those who are immediately concerned may adopt in answer to your challenge. But there are points which I think you have overlooked, and which may be raised most fitly by those who are least responsible. The question of policy or opportuneness I leave for others to discuss with you. Speaking in the open daylight, from my point of view, as a Roman Catholic born in the nineteenth century, I cannot object that facts which are of a nature to influence the belief of men should be brought completely to their knowledge. Concealment is unworthy of those things which are Divine and holy in religion, and in those things which are human and profane publicity has value as a check.
I understand your argument to be substantially as follows:—The Catholics obtained emancipation by declaring that they were in every sense of the term loyal and faithful subjects of the realm, and that Papal Infallibility was not a dogma of their Church. Later events having falsified one declaration, have disturbed the stability of the other; and the problem therefore arises whether the authority which has annulled the profession of faith made by the Catholics would not be competent to change their conceptions of political duty.
This is a question which may be fairly asked, and it was long since made familiar to the Catholics by the language of their own Bishops. One of them has put it in the following terms: “How shall we persuade the Protestants that we are not acting in defiance of honour and good faith, if, having declared that Infallibility was not an article of our faith while we were contending for our rights, we should, now we have got what we wanted, withdraw from our public declaration and affirm the contrary?” The case is, prima facie, a strong one, and it would be still more serious if the whole structure of our liberties and our toleration was founded on the declarations given by the English and Irish bishops some years before the Relief Act. These documents, interesting and significant as they are, are unknown to the Constitution. What is known, and what was for a generation part of the law of the country, is something more solemn and substantial than a series of unproved assertions—namely, the oath in which the political essence of those declarations was concentrated. That was the security which Parliament required; that was the pledge by which we were bound, and it binds us no more. The Legislature, judging that what was sufficient for Republicans was sufficient for Catholics, abolished the oath, for the best reasons, some time before the disestablishment of the Irish Church. If there is no special bond for the loyalty of Catholics, the fact is due to the deliberate judgment of the House of Commons. After having surrendered the only real Constitutional security there seems scarcely reason to lament the depreciation of a less substantial guarantee, which was very indirectly connected with the action of Parliament, and was virtually superseded by the oath.
The doctrines against which you are contending did not begin with the Vatican Council. At the time when the oath was repealed the Pope held the same right and power to excommunicate those who denied his authority to depose princes that he possesses now. The writers most esteemed at Rome held that doctrine as an article of faith; a modern pontiff had affirmed that it cannot be abandoned without a taint of heresy, and that those who questioned or restricted his authority in temporal matters were worse than those who rejected it in spirituals, and accordingly men suffered death for this cause, as others did for blasphemy and Atheism. The recent decrees have neither increased the penalty nor made it more easy to inflict.
That is the true answer to your appeal. Your indictment would be more just if it was more complete. If you pursue the inquiry further, you will find graver matter than all you have enumerated, established by higher and more ancient authority than a meeting of Bishops half a century ago. And then I think you will admit that your Catholic countrymen cannot fairly be called to account for every particle of a system which has never come before them in its integrity, or for opinions whose existence among divines they would be exceedingly reluctant to believe.
I will explain my meaning by an example:—A Pope who lived in Catholic times, and who is famous in history as the author of the first Crusade, decided that it is no murder to kill excommunicated persons. This rule was incorporated in the Canon Law. In the revision of the Code, which took place in the sixteenth century, and produced a whole volume of corrections, the passage was allowed to stand. It appears in every reprint of the Corpus Juris. It has been for seven hundred years, and continues to be, part of the ecclesiastical law. Far from having been a dead letter, it obtained a new application in the days of the Inquisition, and one of the later Popes has declared that the murder of a Protestant is so good a deed that it atones, and more than atones, for the murder of a Catholic. Again, the greatest legislator of the mediæval Church laid down this proposition, that allegiance must not be kept with heretical princes—cum ei qui Deo fidem non servat fides servanda non sit. This principle was adopted by a celebrated Council, and is confirmed by St. Thomas Aquinas, the oracle of the schools. The Syllabus which you cite has assuredly not acquired greater authority in the Church than the Canon Law and the Lateran Decrees, than Innocent the Third and St. Thomas. Yet these things were as well known when the oath was repealed as they are now. But it was felt that whatever might be the letter of the Canons and the spirit of the Ecclesiastical Laws, the Catholic people of this country might be honourably trusted.
But I will pass from the letter to the spirit which is moving men at the present day. It belongs peculiarly to the character of a genuine ultramontane not only to guide his life by the example of canonised saints but to receive with reverence and submission the words of Popes. Now Pius V, the only Pope who had been proclaimed a saint for many centuries, having deprived Elizabeth, commissioned an assassin to take her life; and his next successor, on learning that the Protestants were being massacred in France, pronounced the action glorious and holy, but comparatively barren of results; and implored the king, during two months, by his Nuncio and his Legate, to carry the work on to the bitter end until every Huguenot had recanted or perished. It is hard to believe that these things can excite in the bosom of the most fervent ultramontane that sort of admiration or assent that displays itself in action. If they do not, then it cannot be truly said that Catholics forfeit their moral freedom, or place their duty at the mercy of another.
There is waste of power by friction even in well-constructed machines, and no machine can enforce that degree of unity and harmony which you apprehend. Little fellowship and confidence is possible between a man who recognises the common principles of morality as we find them in the overwhelming mass of the writers of our Church, and one who, on learning that the murder of a Protestant sovereign has been inculcated by a saint, or the slaughter of Protestant subjects approved by a Pope, sets himself to find a new interpretation for the Decalogue. There is little to apprehend from combinations between men divided by such a gulf as this, or from the unity of a body composed of such antagonistic materials. But where there is not union of an active or aggressive kind, there may be unity of defence; and it is possible, in making provision against the one, to promote and confirm the other.
There has been, and I believe there is still, some exaggeration in the idea men form of the agreement in thought and deed which authority can accomplish. As far as decrees, censures, and persecution could commit the Court of Rome, it was committed to the denial of the Copernican System. Nevertheless, the history of astronomy shows a whole catena of distinguished Jesuits; and, a century ago, a Spaniard who thought himself bound to adopt the Ptolemaic theory was laughed at by the Roman divines. The submission of Fénelon, which Protestants and Catholics have so often celebrated, is another instance to my point. When his book was condemned Fénelon publicly accepted the judgment as the voice of God. He declared that he adhered to the decree absolutely and without a shadow of reserve, and there were no bounds to his submission. In private he wrote that his opinions were perfectly orthodox, that his opponents were in the wrong, and that Rome was getting religion into peril.1
It is not the unpropitious times only, but the very nature of things, that protect Catholicism from the consequences of some theories that have grown up within it. The Irish did not shrink from resisting the arms of Henry II, though two Popes had given him dominion over them. They fought against William III, although the Pope had given him sufficient support in his expedition. Even James II, when he could not get a mitre for Petre, reminded Innocent that people could be very good Catholics and yet do without Rome. Philip II was excommunicated and deprived, but he despatched his army against Rome with the full concurrence of the Spanish divines.
That opinions likely to injure our position as loyal subjects of a Protestant sovereign, as citizens of a free State, as members of a community divided in religion, have flourished in various times, and in various degrees, that they can claim high sanction, that they are often uttered in the exasperation of controversy, and are most strongly urged at a time when there is no possibility of putting them into practice—this all men must concede. But I affirm that, in the fiercest conflict of the Reformation, when the rulers of the Church had almost lost heart in the struggle for existence, and exhausted every resource of their authority, both political and spiritual, the bulk of the English Catholics retained the spirit of a better time. You do not, I am glad to say, deny that this continues to be true. But you think that we ought to be compelled to demonstrate one of two things—that the Pope cannot, by virtue of powers asserted by the late Council, make a claim which he was perfectly able to make by virtue of powers asserted by him before; or that he would be resisted if he did. The first is superfluous. The second is not capable of receiving a written demonstration. Therefore, neither of the alternatives you propose to the Catholics opens to us a way of escaping from the reproach we have incurred. Whether there is more truth in your misgivings or in my confidence the event will show, I hope, at no distant time.—I remain sincerely yours,
To the Editor of “The Times.”
Many persons have called on me, both in public and in private, to furnish the means of testing certain statements made by me in a letter of 8th November to Mr. Gladstone. Those statements are easy to verify. But I comply with their appeal in order to repel the charge that the facts were invented for a theory, or that a faithful narrative of undogmatic history could involve contradiction with the teaching or authority of the Church whose communion is dearer to me than life.
In my endeavours to show that the safety of the State is not affected by the Vatican Decrees I affirmed that they assign to the papacy no power over temporal concerns greater than that which it had claimed and exercised before, and that the causes which heretofore deprived those claims of practical effect continue to operate now. The instance I chose was the deposing power which was renounced by the Catholic oath, and which most assuredly was present neither in the language nor in the mind of the Council. The facts I alluded to are these: King James I, whose sympathies were strong on the side of ecclesiastical tradition, and whose queen was a Catholic, repeatedly manifested a desire to be reconciled with Rome. He lived in the incessant terror of plots, and he proposed, through the French ambassador, to favour the English Catholics and to recognise the primacy of the Holy See on condition that the Pope would renounce the power of deposing kings. His overtures were rejected. Paul V was willing to discourage conspiracies, but he replied that to surrender his temporal authority would be to incur the reproach of heresy. The French ambassador writes from Rome, 19th August 1609: “Il me dit ne le pouvoir faire sans être taché d’hérésie” (Notices et Extraits des Manuscripts, vii. 310; Goujet, Pontificat de Paul V, i. 309). Cardinal Bellarmine relates that his Controversies were put on the Index by Sixtus V, not for denying this power, for he vehemently asserts it, but for denying the direct and universal dominion of the Popes over the whole world: “Sixtus enim, propter illam propositionem de dominio Papae directo in totum orbe, posuit Controversias ejus in Indice Librorum Prohibitorum, donec corrigentur; sed ipso mortuo Sacra Rituum Congregatio jussit deleri ex libro Indicis nomen illius” (Vita Card. Bellarmini, 22). Baronius proclaims it heresy to deny that the ecclesiastical power enjoys, by Divine institution, the right of judging in the temporal affairs of men (Analecta Juris Pontificii, 1860, p. 281). And Suarez, writing against James in 1613, holds that the deposing power is an article of faith: “Propositio haec, papa potestatem habet ad deponendos reges haereticos et pertinaces suove regno in rebus ad salutem animae pertinentibus perniciosos, inter dogmata fidei tenenda et credenda est” (Defensio Fidei Catholicae, 742). At that time the Venetian divines were attacking the doctrine which attributed to the Popes political authority beyond their own dominions. Paul’s biographer, Bzovius, calls the theory of these writers omnium perniciosissima haeresis, and the Pope himself said that their books were worse than Calvin’s (Notices et Extraits, vii. 305). Above a century later, an Italian divine, replying to Bossuet, affirmed that there is no foothold for Catholicism if the Popes have erred for many centuries on such a point as this (Bianchi, Potestà della Chiesa, i. 20).
The attitude of James I towards Rome is to be seen in Beaumont’s despatch of July 23, 1603; in those of La Boderie, June 21, 1606, and July 1, 1609; and of Puisieux, July 22, 1609; in Gondomar’s despatch of February 18, 1621; in a report of the journey of the Archbishop of Embrun to England in 1624; in the letters of the Tuscan agent, Lotti, and in a joint letter of James and Andrewes which is among the epistles of Casaubon (Mercier de Lacombe, Henri IV, p. 490; Siri, Memorie, i. 239; La Boderie, Ambassades, i. 130, iv. 387; Gardiner’s Spanish Marriage, i. 406; Mémoires Particuliers, iii. 224; Istoria del Granducato, v. 194; Casauboni Epistolae, p. 389, and his Ephemerides, p. 807). There were proselytes less likely than James I and Bishop Andrewes. I have seen in the library of St. Mark a letter from the Nuncio Rossetti, dated Ghent, July 19, 1641, in which he states that Archbishop Ussher applied to be received into the Catholic Church, and to be allowed to end his days at Rome, with a pension from the bounty of the Pope.
It was my object to show that the principle of imputing to the Catholics whatever may seem to be involved constructively or potentially in the Vatican Decrees, and throwing on us the burden of disproof, would lead to extravagant consequences; and I drew attention to the acts of two famous pontiffs of the Middle Ages, Urban II and Innocent III. Urban lays down the rule that it is no murder to kill excommunicated persons, provided it be done from religious zeal only, and not from an inferior motive: “Non enim eos homicidas arbitramur, quos adversus excommunicatos zelo Catholicae matris ardentes, eorum quoslibet trucidasse contigerit” (Urbani II Epistolae, ed. Migne, 122). The words are copied by Ivo of Chartres (x. 54), and by Gratian in the second part of his Decretum (causa 23, quaestio 5, cap. 47). This may fairly be taken to be one of those passages of which Roger Bacon says that much of Gratian’s jurisprudence was already obsolete. But it stands in the revised edition to which Gregory XIII prefixed the injunction that nothing should ever be omitted; and the gloss gives the following paraphrase: “Non putamus eos esse homicidas qui zelo justitiae eos occiderunt.” The spirit of the rule survived in the sixteenth century. Several citizens of Lucca, having imbibed Protestant opinions, fled into foreign countries. The government of the Republic, acting under pressure from Rome, made a law that if any one should kill one of these refugees his reward should be three hundred crowns; that if he had been outlawed for previous crimes, his outlawry should be reversed; and that, if he was not in trouble himself he might transfer his freedom to another who needed it (Archivio Storico Italiano, x. App. 177). The date of the decree is January 9, 1562. On the 20th, Pius IV replied. He congratulated the Republic on this wise and pious law, esteeming, he said, that nothing could do greater honour to God, provided it was diligently executed: “Legimus pia laudabiliaque decreta . . . Gavisi admodum sumus tam pie et sapienter hec apud vos acta et constituta fuisse . . . Nec vero quicquam fieri potuisse judicamus, vel ad tuendum Dei honorem sanctius, vel ad conservandam vestrae patriae salutem prudentius. . . . Hortamur vos, et ceteros qui in isto munere vobis successuri sunt, ut diligenter ea servanda et exequenda curetis” (p. 178).
In the Bull Rem Crudelem Audivimus of 10th March 1208, Innocent III deprives and proscribes the Count of Toulouse in these words: “Cum juxta sanctorum patrum canonicas sanctiones, ei qui Deo fidem non servat fides servanda non sit, a communione fidelium segregato, utpote qui vitandus est potius quam fovendus, omnes qui dicto comiti fidelitatis seu societatis aut federis hujuscemodi juramento tenentur, auctoritate apostolica denuntient ab eo interim absolutos, et cuilibet Catholico viro licere, salvo jure domini principalis, non solum persequi personam ejusdem, verum etiam occupare ac detinere terram ipsius” (Teulet, Trésor des Chartes, i. 316). In the same Pontificate the Fourth Lateran Council determined that the Pope might depose any prince who neglected the duty of exterminating heresy, and might bestow his State on others (Harduin, Concilia, vii. 19). The same canon reappears in the Decretale of Gregory IX (lib. iv. tit. 7, cap. 13); and S. Thomas Aquinas declares that the loss of all claim to political allegiance is incurred by the fact of excommunication (Summa, 1853, iii. 51).
I have been asked whether I meant to hold Innocent III responsible for the maxim that faith must not be kept with heretics. He was speaking undoubtedly of the fidelity which is paid to princes, but the principle applied with equal force the other way, and was liable to be construed in a wider sense. In the days of the Council of Constance, Ferdinand of Aragon employed the same words to induce the Emperor to disregard the safe conduct he had given to Hus: quoniam non est frangere fidem ei qui Deo fidem frangit (Palacky, Documenta Joannis Hus, p. 540). A decree embodying this maxim, which is found among the Acts of the Council, is not authentic. But the theory remained. When Henry of Valois swore to respect the liberty of conscience in Poland, the Cardinal Penitentiary informed him that it would be a grievous sin for him to observe his oath, but that, if it was taken with the intention of breaking it, his guilt would be less: “Minor fuit offensio ubi mens ea praestandi, quae petebentur defuit” (Hosii Opera, ii. 367). At this time it was the common opinion of divines that a private person need not keep faith with a heretic: “Ob tanti hujus criminis pravitatem, communis doctorum sententia recepta est, fidem a privata praestitam haereticis servandam neutiquam esse” (De Roias, Opus Tripartitum, iii. 55).
In order to establish my point that a gulf divides the extreme opinions from the common sentiments of Catholics, I spoke of the conspiracy of Ridolfi and the massacre of St. Bartholomew. It would seem that a thoroughly consistent and unflinching partisan of those extremes must regard the slaughter of Protestants with feelings akin to favour if the act obtained the approval of the supreme authority, and could hardly look with horror on the murder of a queen if it was sanctioned by a saint. On the other hand, it would not be easy to point to a single English writer at the present day whom the prestige of canonisation and authority has inclined to applaud such deeds.
Queen Elizabeth had reigned ten years, and had nearly accomplished the suppression of the Catholic religion in England, when Pius V declared that she had forfeited her Crown, and forbade her subjects to obey her. The first insurrection failed, as the bulk of the Catholics pleaded that the Papal orders had not been brought to their knowledge. Many copies of the Bull had been delivered to Ridolfi, a Florentine who was the secret agent of the Pope (Acta Sanctorum, Maii, i. 661). By means of this man a new conspiracy was set on foot, and Ridolfi went to Rome to explain the details to the Pope, and to seek his aid. Pius earnestly recommended the matter to the King of Spain, assuring him that it was most important for religion. At Madrid Ridolfi was supported by the Nuncio Castagna, and he produced credentials which left no room to doubt that he spoke the real mind of the Pope, and presented truly the business on which he was sent. For Pius had accredited him in the following terms:—
“Has literas nostras Majestati tuae reddet dilectus filius Robertus Rodolphus, qui, adjuvante Deo, nonnulla ei praesens praesenti praeterea exponet, ad honorem ejusdem omnipotentis Dei reiquepublicae Christianae, non parum pertinentia utilitatem: super quibus ut ipsi, sine ulla hesitatione majestas tua fidem habeat vehementer illam in Domino requirimus ac rogamus a qua pro eximia sua in Deum pietate illud majorem in modum petimus, ut rem ipsam de qua cum majestate tua acturus est, animo ac voluntate suscipiens quidquid ad eam conficiendam opus atque auxilii ferre se posse judicaverit, id sibi faciendum esse existimet.”
When Ridolfi had exposed his commission it became apparent that it resolved itself into little more than a plot for murdering Elizabeth. We read in the report of the deliberations of the Council: “Ridolfi aseguró que los Catolicos de Inglaterra estaban resueltos a apoderarse de la Reina Isabel y matarla” (Memorias de la Academia de la Historia, vii. 361). Feria, who received the first communication from Ridolfi, says the whole question was, how to get the Queen killed without open war: “La empresa se ha de hacer de la persona de la reina de Inglaterra, que hecho esto es acavado toto. . . . Conviene atender a despachar a la reina. . . . Conviene no venir a rotura.” Another councillor, Velasco, describes the death of Elizabeth as the real object: “El verdadero efecto es la muerte.” Philip himself wrote to Alva on the 14th of July 1571: “Il dit que le moment le plus favorable à l’exécution de l’entreprise serait le mois d’Août ou de Septembre; que la reine Elizabeth quittant alors Londres, pour aller à ses maisons de campagne, ce serait une occasion de se saisir de sa personne, et de la tuer. . . . Le Saint Père, à qui Ridolfi a rendu compte de tout, a écrit au Roi et lui a fait dire, par son Nonce, l’Archevêque de Rossano, qu’il envisage cette affaire comme étant de la plus haute importance pour le service de Dieu.” The man who finally undertook to do the deed was Ciappin Vitelli. The letter of Pius V, and the remarks of Feria and Velasco are printed from the archives of Simancas in Mignet’s Marie Stuart, Appendix K; and the letter of Philip to the Duke of Alva is calendared by M. Jachard, Correspondance de Philippe II, ii. 185.
In common with many who have raised objections to my letter, I was long tempted to doubt the accuracy of this story on two grounds—because it seemed inconsistent with the many virtues of Pius, and because it ought to have been an obstacle to his canonisation. Neither of these objections is valid. The first allows too little for the influence of the Inquisition, over which Pius presided in the years of its greatest activity, on the minds of humane and charitable men. Pius V declared that he was willing to spare a culprit guilty of a hundred murders rather than a single notorious heretic (Legazioni di Serristori, p. 443). His Roman panegyrist relates that he caused men to be kidnapped in foreign countries that they might be brought to trial and punishment at Rome (Catena, Vita di Pio V, p. 158). He assured the King of France that he must not spare the Huguenots, because of their offences against God (Pii Quinti Epistolae, p. 103). He declared that a Pope who should permit the least grace to be shown to heretics would sin against faith, and would thus become subject to the judgment of men (Catena, p. 325). He required that they should be pursued until they were all destroyed: “ad internecionem usque . . . donec, deletis omnibus, exinde nobilissimo isti regno pristinus Catholicae religionis cultus . . . restituatur” (Pii Quinti Epistolae, p. 155). It was a cruel mercy, he said, to spare the impious: “nihil est enim ea pietate misericordiaque crudelius, quae in impios et ultima supplicia meritos confertur” (p. 242). He appears to allude to a theory which was current, that it is a mercy to heretics to shorten their opportunities of sin: “expedit eos citius tollere e medio, ne gravius postea damnentur” (Lancelottus, Haereticum Quare, p. 579). A declared heretic was considered a public enemy whom any private person might rob or kill: “Si infidelitas peccatum est notorium, et judices dissimulant, tunc quidem a privatis occidi possunt haeretici” (Stephanus, Episc. Oriolanus, De Bello Sacro, 146; Jacobus Septimancensis, Institutiones Catholicae, 166). Nothing in the character or the position of Elizabeth exempted her from the rigorous application of these maxims. In the judgment of the entire Catholic world, she was a bastard and a usurper, and she was by far the most ingenious, the most powerful, and the most successful oppressor of the Church then living. If the summary punishment of contumacy could ever be justified, it was reasonable to apply it to her.
Sovereignty was no protection, for it had been forfeited by the Papal sentence, and the common belief was that the Pope may lawfully ordain that condemned princes be put to death. John of Salisbury, the divine who obtained from the English Pope Ireland as a gift to the Norman kings, introduced the theory of tyrannicide into Christian theology; and it became generally popular under the presumed but not undisputed authority of St. Thomas. Long after the death of Pius the Fifth it continued to be taught by the most renowned divines—by Gregory of Valentia, for instance, and Suarez. The language of Suarez is explicit: “Post sententiam latam omnino privatur regno, ita ut non possit justo titulo illud possidere; ergo ex tunc poterit tanquam omnino tyrannus tractari, et consequenter a quocumque privato poterit interfici” (Defensio, 721). In a work on moral theology which was widely popular, and which was printed after the middle of the last century, we still find the maxim that a person lying under the ban of the Pope may be killed in any place: “Bannitus autem a Papa potest occidi ubique” (Zacharia, Theologia Moralis, i. 260).
The case of Tyrrell, in the time of Gregory XIII, resembles that of Ridolfi, but Mr. Froude gives, I think, good reason to doubt the evidence on which it rests. But the lawfulness of similar actions was scarcely doubted. On the 13th of January 1591, the Nuncio at Paris reports that a young friar had applied to him for permission to murder Henry IV. The Nuncio replied that he would know whether the spirit that impelled him was from above by taking the opinion of the Pope on his design; at the same time he wrote to Rome that the man seemed to him really inspired. The letter is in the Chigi Library. An extract is printed in the North British Review, li. 62.
One piece of evidence exists, which has never, I think, been employed in this inquiry. A petition from Ridolfi to Pope Gregory is extant at Rome in which he describes his services and his claims, but does not say that the plot was aimed at the life of the Queen. This circumstance appears to me to throw not a feather-weight into either scale. But if it is cited at all, it can only be cited to exonerate the memory of the Pope.
Having stated that Gregory XIII approved the massacre of St. Bartholomew, but complained that too little had been done, I have been assured by a Doctor, and former Professor, of Divinity, who has devoted twenty years to these researches, that this is a hackneyed story, which the veriest bigot is ashamed to repeat. I submit to the later and better judgment of my correspondent the facts which I am about to prove. When Gregory was informed that the Huguenots were being slain over the whole of France, he sent word to the king that this was better news than a hundred battles of Lepanto. On the 11th of September the Ambassador, Ferrals, wrote as follows to Charles the Ninth: “Après quelques autres discours qu’il me feist sur le contentement que luy et le collège des Cardinaux avoient receu de ladicte exécution faicte et des nouvelles qui journellement arivoient en ceste cour de semblables exécutions en vostre royaume, qui, à dire la vérité, sont les nouvelles les plus agréables que je pense qu’on eust sceu apporter en ceste ville, sadicte Saincteté pour fin me commanda de vous escrire que cest évènement luy a esté cent fois plus agréable que cinquante victoires à celle que ceulx de la ligue obtindrent l’année passée contre le Turcq, ne voulant oublier vous dire, Sire, les commandemens estroictz qu’il nous a feist, mesmement aux françois d’en faire feu de joye, et qui ne l’eust faict eust mal senty de la foy.” The Pope proclaimed a jubilee, principally to thank God for His great mercy, and to pray that the king might have constancy to pursue to the end the pious work he had begun. This Bull has not, I think, been reprinted. I take the words from one of the original placards distributed in Rome from the press of the Apostolic Chamber: “Nos ipsi statim hoc audito una cum venerabilius fratribus nostris S. R. E. Cardinalibus, in templo Sancti Marci quas maximas potuimus omnipotenti Deo Gratias egimus, et ut pro sua immensa bonitate Regem ipsum in persequendo tam pio salutarique consilio conservare et custodire, viresque ei ad Regnum antea religiosissimum a pestilentissimis haeresibus omnino expurgandum, et ad pristinum Catholicae religionis cultum redigendum ac restituendum subministrare dignetur, ex toto corde, totaque mente nostra precari et obsecrare. . . . Pro felici Christianissimi Regis contra haereticos successu gratias agant ipsumque orent ut quae idem Rex auctore Domino facienda cognovit, ipso operante implere valeat.” A rumour gradually spread that the slaughter, far from being an act of religion, had been provoked by the discovery of a Protestant conspiracy. The Nuncio Salviati informed the Pope that this was an utter falsehood, too ridiculous to be believed: “Cela n’en demeurera pas moins faux en tous points, et ce seroit une honte pour quiconque est à même de connôitre quelque chose aux affaires de ce monde de le croire” (Despatch of September 2. The letters of Salviati are preserved in Paris in copies made by Chateaubriand, and I am quoting his translation of them). There were signs of intermission, and Gregory required the Nuncio to insist on the utter extirpation of heretics: “Je lui fis part de la très-grande consolation qu’avaient procurée au Saint Père les succès obtenus dans ce royaume pour une grace singulière de Dieu, accordée a toute la Chrétienté sous son pontificat. Je fis connaître le desir qu’avait sa Sainteté de voir pour la plus grande gloire de Dieu et pour le plus grand bien de la France, tous les hérétiques extirpés du royaume, et j’ajoutai que dans cette vue le Saint Père estimait très à propos que l’on révoquat l’édit de pacification.” Salviati wrote this on the 22nd of September. On the 11th of October he says: “Le Saint Père, ai-je dit, en éprouve une joie infinie, et a ressenti une grande consolation d’apprendre que sa majesté m’avait commandé d’écrire qu’elle espérait qu’avant peu la France n’aurait plus de Huguenots.” Cardinal Orsini having been despatched as Legate from Rome with extraordinary solemnity to congratulate Charles and to support the exhortations of Salviati, describes, on the 19th of December, his audience with the king. Orsini assured him that he had surpassed by this action the glory of all his forefathers, but he pressed him to fulfil his promise that not a single Huguenot should be left alive on the soil of France: “Se si riguardava all’ objetto della gloria, non potendo, niun fatto de suoi antecessori, se rettamente si giudicava, agguagliarsi al glorioso et veramente incomparabil fatto di sua Maestà, in liberar, con tanta prudentia et pietà in un giorno solo regno da cotanta diabolica peste. . . . Esortai . . . che non essendo servitio ne di Dio ne di sua Maestà, lasciar fargli nuovo pede a questa maladetta setta, volesse applicare tutto il suo pensiero et tutte le forze sue per istirparla affato, recandosi a memoria quello che ella haveva fatto scrivere a sua santità da Monsignor il Nuntio, che infra pochi giorni non sarebbe più un ugonotto in tutto il suo regno” (this letter may be found in the Egerton Manuscripts, 2077, and in the Paris Library, MSS. Ital., 1272).
This language is the expression of a spirit that has not passed entirely away, though it is no longer to be feared. Some months after the event the Cardinal of Lorraine, haranguing the king in the name of the assembled clergy of France, declared that he had eclipsed all preceding monarchs, not by the massacre only, but by the holy deceit with which he had laid his plans (Procés Verbaux des Assemblées du Clergé, i. App. 28). A writer of our day, distinguished by his valuable publications on the history of the Jesuits, describes the discourse in which these words occur as a favourable specimen of the tone which becomes a bishop. He compares it advantageously with the obsequious rhetoric of Bossuet, and he designates the speaker as a saintly and illustrious prelate, whose memory will ever be dear to Catholics (Documents Inédits Concernant la Compagnie de Jésus, xxii. 63-67).
From the midst of the applauding Cardinals one voice was raised in protest. Montalto, who was destined, as Sixtus V, to stand in the foremost ranks amongst kings and pontiffs, and who was a true type of the Catholic revival in its grandeur and in its strength, entreated the Pope to prohibit rejoicings which would convince the world that the Church was thirsting for blood. It was an act in keeping with the character of Sixtus, as an unsparing censor of preceding Popes. In spite of his deadly feud with Elizabeth he shared so little the feelings of Pius against her, that he spoke of her as the ablest ruler of her time, and commended her example to the King of France, for the plausible legality with which she achieved the ruin of Mary Stuart. He went so far as to say that Clement VII had upheld the marriage of Henry VIII with Catharine from a sordid motive, whereas it was a sinful and invalid union which Rome had no right to tolerate.
I affirmed that the apprehension of civil danger from the Vatican Council overlooks the infinite subtlety and inconsistency with which men practically elude the yoke of official uniformity in matters of opinion. I used the obvious illustration that astronomy flourished at Rome in spite of the condemnation of Copernicus and Galileo; and I stated that Fénelon, while earning admiration for his humility under censure, had retained his former views unchanged. “The Archbishop of Cambrai,” said Bossuet, “is very sensible of his humiliation but not at all of his error.” In his celebrated pastoral letter of the 9th of April 1699, Fénelon used these words: “Nous adhérons à ce bref, mes chers frères, tant pour le texte du livre que pour les 23 propositions, simplement, absolument, et sans ombre de restriction. . . . A Dieu ne plaise qu’il soit jamais parlé de nous, si ce n’est pour se souvenir qu’un pasteur a cru devoir être plus docile que la dernière brebis du troupeau, et qu’il n’a mis aucune borne à sa soumission.” Three weeks later, on the 1st of May, he writes to a friend: “Je n’admettrai rien d’ambigu ni sur la pureté de mes opinions en tout temps, ni sur l’orthodoxie de la doctrine que j’ai soutenue. . . . Si les gens de bien ne se réveillent à Rome, la foi est en grand péril.” These passages, as well as the others to which I made allusion, will be found among the letters at the beginning of the tenth volume of Fénelon’s works.
Lastly, in support of my contention that the policy of Rome in modern times has seldom prevailed, even with the most zealous kings and the most Catholic nations, against their own ideas of political interest, I pointed to the resistance of the Irish, and to the attitude of Philip II and James II towards the Holy See. The quarrel between Philip and the Caraffas, and the opinion of Melchior Cano touching a war with the Pope, may be studied in books as common as those which tell how Adrian invested Henry with an emerald ring, which was the symbol of his lordship over Ireland. That William of Orange secured the sanction of the Pope for his expedition in 1688 was a circumstance already known to Carte. We now learn that the Emperor wavered long between hatred of Louis XIV and alarm for Catholicism in England; but that Innocent XI relieved his scruples by assuring him that the Government of James II was inspired not by religion but by France (Droysen, Friedrich I, p. 42). For James, though advised by Jesuits, did not live on cordial terms with Rome. Just then, indeed, the bonds that attached the Society to the papacy had somewhat relaxed. Innocent had set himself against the system of ethics taught in most of their schools, and he reproached them with having degenerated from their old fidelity to the Holy See. The general of the Jesuits, Gonzales, in his evidence for the beatification of Innocent (No. 180), reports his sentiments in these words: “Quod Societas Jesu hoc tempore videretur, oblita sui primitivi spiritus, quo eam S. Ignatius instituerat ad defensionem Apostolicae sedis, pro quo quondam tanta cum laude se gessisse ejus filii, quorum degeneres viderentur qui hoc tempore viverent, dum tam alte tacebant, quando nunquam major adesset necessitas loquendi.” The Jesuits on their side would not undertake to defend the Roman theory against the Gallican articles of 1682, which, in France, they afterwards brought themselves at last to adopt (Declaration of the 19th of December 1761, Procés Verbaux, viii. App. 349). In these circumstances Innocent persistently refused the prayer of James to make Father Petre either a Bishop or a Cardinal. Petre threatened vengeance, and James was induced to write a curt and angry letter warning Innocent that Catholics could contrive to live without the Court of Rome: “Li Giesuiti havevano inteso cosi male le repulse di Sua Santità, di quale natura elle si fussero, che era tempo ormai di monstrare a Sua Santità qualche risentimento; e proposera a sua maestà la richiamata del suo ministro da Roma, la discacciata del di lui Nuntio d’Inghilterra, come che attribuiscano a questo l’obbietioni tutti e l’esclusive, che vengano da Sua Santità. Ma fu resoluto in fine, e messo in esequtione, che scrivesse a Sua Santità la Maestà de Rè una secca e compendiosissima lettera, con la quale rimostrasse al Papa la Maestà Sua che non era più il vescovato, ma che era il cardinalato che si pretendeva al presente, concludendo finalmente, che si poteva bener esser Cattolico Romano e passarsi della Corte di Roma.”
This passage from the despatch of the Florentine envoy, Terriesi, was printed by Madame de la Campana in her work on the later Stuarts (ii. 148). The king’s letter is not extant, but Terriesi had the information from Petre, of whom he says: “Cadde in seguito a raccontarmi quanto ho di sopra descritto.” This I take from the Florence Transcripts at the British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 25,375. There also will be found recorded, in a despatch of 12th January 1688, the words of the Jesuit speaking of the Pope.
I know that there are some whose feelings of reverence and love, are, unhappily, wounded by what I have said. I entreat them to remember how little would be gained if all that came within the scope of my argument could be swept out of existence—to ask themselves seriously the question whether the laws of the Inquisition are or are not a scandal and a sorrow to their souls. It would be well if men had never fallen into the error of suppressing truth and encouraging error for the better security of religion. Our Church stands, and our faith should stand, not on the virtues of men, but on the surer ground of an institution and a guidance that are divine. Therefore I rest unshaken in the belief that nothing which the inmost depths of history shall disclose in time to come can ever bring to Catholics just cause of shame or fear. I should dishonour and betray the Church if I entertained a suspicion that the evidences of religion could be weakened or the authority of Councils sapped by a knowledge of the facts with which I have been dealing, or of others which are not less grievous or less certain because they remain untold.—I am, sir, your obedient servant,
“The Times,” Monday, November 30, 1874
To the Editor of “The Times.”
The Bishop of Nottingham thinks that I have misrepresented Pope Urban II and Suarez. I hope not. But if I have, I will endeavour promptly and fully to repair the wrong.
And, first of all, it is true that the words I transcribed from Suarez do not contain the definite and final statement of his opinion. I ought to have taken that from the paragraph of which the Bishop has quoted a part. Suarez states his own conclusion, a few lines lower than the point where the Bishop’s extract ends, in the following words: “Recte dixit Soto—licet Rex in solo regimine tyrannus non possit a quolibet interfici, Lata vero sententia quisque (inquit) potest institui executionis minister. Eodem moda si Papa Regem deponat, ab illis tantum poterit expelli, vel interfici quibus ipse id commiserit.”
It may be thought that there is little practical difference between the two propositions that a king deprived by the Pope may be murdered by anybody, and that he may be murdered only by persons commissioned by the Pope to do it; and for my purpose, which was to show that participation in Ridolfi’s conspiracy would be no bar to canonisation, they are of equal effect. But, for Suarez, there was probably this important distinction—that the former might have brought him under the decree of Constance against tyrannicide, a decree which the General of the Jesuits had pressed on the attention of the Society after the assassination of Henry IV. This difficulty might be avoided by making the lawfulness of the murder depend on the commission given by the Pope.
While I wish to make this correction in the most explicit way, I regret I cannot profit by the Bishop’s other criticism. Urban II says positively that he deems the killing of excommunicated persons no murder if done from religious zeal only. But he wishes a penance to be imposed, in case there may have been any intrusion of an inferior motive. It would hardly be possible to say more definitely that though there may be murder in one case there is no murder in the other.
It may be worth while to mention that the page I referred to in Droysen is 47, not 42; and that in citing Bianchi I have not given the page but the chapter, as the argument in question runs through several pages.—I remain, sir, your obedient servant,
To the Editor of “The Times.”
December 12, 1874.
One whose distinguished position and character give him the strongest claim to be heard has expressed to me his belief that, “the charge of equivocation brought by” me, “against Fénelon, cannot be sustained.” In support of my contention that the agreement in thought and deed attainable among Catholics is not of a kind which justifies the apprehension of danger to the State, I described Fénelon as earning credit by his humility under censure while he retained his former views. I said: He “publicly accepted the judgment as the voice of God. He declared that he adhered to the decree absolutely, and without a shadow of reserve, and there were no bounds to his submission. In private he wrote that his opinions were perfectly orthodox and remained unchanged, that his opponents were in the wrong, and that Rome was getting religion into peril.” The doubt entertained by my correspondent may apply either to my account of the Archbishop’s public acts or of his private thoughts; I will therefore give the authority for both.
Fénelon explained his personal sentiments in a letter of the 9th October 1699: “J’ai toujours soutenu que je n’avois jamais cru aucune des erreurs en question. Le Pape n’a condamné aucun des points de ma vraie doctrine, amplement éclaircie dans mes défenses. Il a seulement condamné les expressions de mon livre avec le sens qu’elles présentent naturellement, et que je n’ai jamais eu en vue. Dire que je me suis retracté, ce seroit faire entendre que j’ai avoué avoir eu des erreurs, et ce seroit me faire une injustice.”
On the 3rd of April in the same year he wrote: “Je n’ai jamais pensé les erreurs qu’ils m’imputent. Je puis bien, par docilité pour le Pape, condamner mon livre comme exprimant ce que je n’avois pas cru exprimer, mais je ne puis trahir ma conscience, pour me noircir lâchement moi-même sur des erreurs que je ne pensai jamais.”
On the 17th he describes himself as “un archevêque innocent, soumis, qui a défendu l’ancienne doctrine sur la charité contre une nouveauté dangereuse.” He says on the 3rd of May: “Ne voit-on pas que je ne puis en conscience confesser des erreurs que je n’ai jamais pensées?” And on the 24th of April, speaking of his opponents, he says: “Ils n’ont rien de décidé sur le fond de la doctrine.” He continued to think that they, not he, were theologically in the wrong, and that Rome encouraged them. He wrote, on the 17th of April, that it was felt that all honest men thought him right and Bossuet wrong: “que tous les honnêtes gens me plaignent, et trouvent que j’avois raison, et M. de Meaux tort dans notre controverse.” On the 3rd of April he wrote: “Si Rome ne veut point rendre témoignage à la pureté de la doctrine que j’ai soutenue, et qui est tout ce que j’ai eu dans l’esprit, ils font encore plus de tort à cette doctrine qu’á moi.” On the 24th of April: “Le parti est d’une telle hauteur qu’ils entrainent tout. Rome a donné des armes à des esprits bien violens.” He writes on the 1st of May to his agent at Rome: “Il faut tâcher d’éviter les surprises dans une cour où tout est si incertain, et où la cabale ennemie est si puissante.” And again, on the 15th: “Vous connoissez l’esprit de mes partis, et vous ne savez que trop par l’expérience combien ils sont accrédités dans la cour où vous etes.”
That is Fénelon’s avowal of his opinions. I proceed to the account he gives of his submission.
On the 28th of April he wrote: “Ma soumission sera, moyennant la grâce de Dieu, aussi constante qu’elle est absolue, et accompagnée de la plus sincère docilité pour le Saint-Siège.” On the 8th of May: “On peut juger par là combien mon mandement est d’un exemple décisif pour la pleine soumission à l’Eglise Romaine.” In his letter to Innocent XII, of the 4th of April, he says: “Libellum cum XXIII propositionibus excerptis, simpliciter, absolute, et absque ulla nel restrictionis umbra condemnabo—Nulla erit distinctionis umbra levissima, qua Decretum eludi possit, aut tantula excusatio unquam adhibeatur.” It was, he declared, the most perfect submission a Bishop could make (April 3).
I know nothing in my remarks on Fénelon which these extracts, added to those which I have already given, leave unproved. In matters of history it is well to abstain from hazarding unnecessary judgments. I have not expended an adjective on Suarez, and have imputed nothing worse than subtleties to Fénelon. The reproach of equivocation, which I have not adopted, was made by his adversaries: “Ils disent que ma soumission si fastueuse est courte, seche, contrainte, superbe, purement extérieure et apparente; mais que j’aurois dû reconnoitre mes erreurs évidentes dans tout mon livre” (May 15).
The agents of his accusers have recorded their impression as follows: “On croyait qu’il ne songeroit plus qu’a réparer le scandale qu’il avoit causé à l’Eglise par une rétractation publique de ses erreurs, mais on n’y trouva rien d’approchant, tout y paroissait sec et plein de paroles vagues, qui pouvoient n’exprimer qu’une soumission extérieure et forcée” (Relation du Quiétisme, ii. 278). “Au lieu d’en être édifié, j’en fus scandalisé au dernier point. Il ne me fut pas difficile d’en découvrir tout l’orgueil et tout le venin. On voit bien par là ce qu’on doit penser de la soumission, qu’il n’est plus permis de croire sincère, et qui ne peut être que forcée” (Abbé Bossuet to his uncle, May 5).
Bossuet, though he expressed himself with greater dignity, thought the pastoral evasive: “M. de Cambray ne se plaint que de la correction, en évitant d’avouer sa faute. On est encore plus étonné que, très-sensible à son humiliation, il ne le paroisse en aucune sorte à son erreur, ni au malheur qu’il a eu de la vouloir répandre. Il dira, quand il lui plaira, qu’il n’a point avoué d’erreur. Encore qu’il ne puisse pas se servir du prétexte de l’ignorance, il n’en manquera jamais” (May 25, April 19).
Of Fénelon’s explanations, he said (May 25): “Si elles sont justes, si elles conviennent au livre, le Saint Père a mal condamné le livre in sensu obvio, ex connexione sententiarum, etc. Il ne faut que brûler le bref, si ces explications sont reçues. Si sa doctrine est innocente, que devient le bref? C’est le Saint Siège et son decret qu’on attaque, et non pas nous.”
This was the general impression. Fénelon himself gave no public intimation that, as has been said, it was his grammar and not his theology that he condemned. Neither the decree nor the pastoral distinguished the doctrine of the author from the text of his book, and the people who read the condemnation, qualified by no saving clause, could hardly fail to suppose that Fénelon had been in error.
“Ce qui est certain c’est que les uns n’osent plus parler d’amour de pure bienveillance, et que les autres supposent tout ouvertement qu’il est condamné dans mon livre. Aussi disent-ils qu’il ne s’agit pas de mes expressions, mais de ma doctrine, qui est, disent-ils, condamnée, en sorte que je dois l’abjurer” (April 24).
Although Fénelon knew that this belief prevailed he let it pass; and the motives of the reserve which brought him exaggerated credit for humility under censure continue to be variously interpreted.
But in dealing with his own suffragans and with the Court of Rome he took care to explain that he deemed his orthodoxy unimpeached, and he even endeavoured to have it formally acknowledged. It would go against his conscience, he declared, to renounce his real opinions: “Tout le repos de ma vie roule sur l’acceptation de cette soumission, faute de quoi nous tomberions dans une persécution sur un formulaire captieux, qui nous mèneroit à d’affreuses extrémités.”
He speaks with alarm of “le danger d’un formulaire qui allât à me faire souscrire, contre ma conscience, la condemnation de sensus ab auctore intentus” (April 4, 17).
Fénelon’s position was understood at Rome. His friends wished to have his real sentiments expressly excluded from the condemnation of his book, and his opponents wished that he should be required to retract them. But neither party prevailed. The Pope appears to have hoped that he would recognise his errors, but admitted afterwards that he was not convinced of having erred. He said to the Abbé Bossuet, “qu’il falloit espérer que l’Archevêque de Cambrai reconnoitroit ses erreurs et s’humilieroit.” Three weeks later, when he had received Fénelon’s answer to the Decree, he said, “qu’il voyoit très bien qu’il n’étoit pas persuadé d’avoir erré” (April 14, May 5). Bossuet himself was of opinion that although the submission was illusory it ought to be accepted.
It is open to men to decline his harsh interpretation, and to prefer the milder judgment shown in the tolerant acquiescence of Rome. If I adopted the worst view of Fénelon’s conduct I should detract materially from the effect with which his example shows the difficulty of forcing upon men an iron rule of uniformity. To imagine that British institutions are secure because ecclesiastical authority may be evaded by those who choose to equivocate, or that conscience can be sheltered by duplicity, would be the part of an idiot. But it is a valid and relevant illustration of my argument to note that a famous controversy which raged for years between the ablest prelates in the Church, setting in motion all the influence of France and all the resources of Rome, and occupying for many months the anxious thought of the Pope and his Cardinals, a controversy which was decided by the unqualified triumph of one party and the defeat of the other, ended by leaving the feud unquenched, and each side persistent in maintaining the orthodoxy of its own exclusive opinion.—I remain, sir, your obedient servant,
My dear Lord Acton,—
1. You will have seen the disparaging terms in which Bp. Ullathorne has spoken of Dr. Döllinger’s Theology. I want to be in a condition to say a word on this subject, if I write again, which Manning’s announced reply may perhaps force me to do. Can you tell me in what year he became Professor of Theology? I have read what is in Friedrich’s Documenta, 1, vi., about Card. Schwarzenberg’s1 testimony. Is there any other which I ought to quote?
2. You made no observation on my Prop. No. 14, from the Syllabus about Matrimony: I do not know whether you observed it. Coleridge the Jesuit2 has assailed me on it: MacColl propounded another interpretation. I am not satisfied with either of theirs, nor, I frankly admit, altogether with my own. Coleridge says the Syllabus No. 73, latter number, condemns a “bilateral proposition.” This proposition is:
“Aut contractus matrimonii inter christianos semper est sacramentum, aut nullus est contractus, si sacramentum excludatur.”
I have asked Coleridge: Who ever propounded this? What does it mean?
To me, I own, it appears nonsense: and the two things not disjunctive, but conjunctive. Should we not say: If the contract (among Christians) is always a sacrament (which I understand to be the Roman doctrine) then of course no sacrament, no contract.
I have puzzled over this a good while; but Coleridge writes to me contemptuously, and seems to feel himself quite infallible.
Do not trouble yourself with this unless so inclined: my No. 1, for Döllinger’s sake, I am sure you will not grudge.
3. About the Sendschreiben1 ?
And now lastly a few words without a query.
This business is very serious. It certainly will please me, and I suppose it might not displease you, if others will take up the question of Ultramontanism theologically. But this is no business of mine, in the present conflict. It is my duty, on the ground of incompetence, and on other grounds, to keep out of it. I have another duty more difficult and delicate which I must not neglect. I see already, and feel, efforts to draw me (from the Protestant side) through interpretations put on this pamphlet, into the general anti-Roman controversy. All such I meet by saying that I shall abide by and prosecute if needful the argument to the best of my power within the limits which I have already marked out for myself.
I have been busy in many ways with the fruits of the pamphlet. Among other matters, I am reading the curious volumes of Discorsi di Pio IX,2 published at Rome. I may find it my duty to write, collaterally, upon them. I daresay you know the book.—Believe me, sincerely yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
My dear Lord Acton,—
1. When you were putting in caveats and warnings, you did not say to me “Now, mind, this affair will absorb some, perhaps many, months of your life.” It has been so up to the present moment—and it evidently will be so for some time.
2. But for me it is nothing compared with what it is for you. And I assure you, I have asked myself much and many times what was my duty to you, and others like you. And my answer to myself has been this:
(a) To move others, if I could, to take up their position abreast of you. For, in such a position, Defendit numerus. I have laboured at it, but as yet without effect.
(b) By carefully watching my own language, and making no attack on the R.C. religion such as an R.C. was required to hold it before July 1870. To this I have endeavoured rigidly to conform. A furious and inveterate Protestant foe of mine, Dr. Porter, or Potter, of Sheffield, has pointed this out in print. I might deviate by accident. If I do, pray pull me up. Of course I do not, and cannot hold myself tightly bound as to reserves of language in speaking of the Roman authorities who have done all this portentous mischief. You perhaps saw a letter of mine in the papers to some Nonconforming ministers. It was intended to mark out my province. Unfortunately they had misread “clearly” and printed it “thereby.”
(c) By curbing myself from all endeavours to turn to account this crisis in the interest of proselytism.
3. A thousand thanks for the admirable passage about Dr. Döllinger. I enclose my projected rendering of it. I would also print the original.
4. His words to me in English on the point you mention were to the effect that he despaired of any satisfactory change under the ordinary working of the Roman Curia, though it might, however, come by crisis or revolution. But you doubtless have heard from him in German, which in these nice matters is better.
5. I agreed with every word of R. S.1 till I came to “G. should own himself mistaken here like a man.” But it seems to me that I am exactly right. I put No. 13 to illustrate No. 14. I complain of No. 14. And simply because it condemns civil marriage as, per se, null and void, or, as the Pope calls it in his marvellous speeches, un concubinato. I manifestly cannot confess an error which I do not see.
6. On the Syllabus generally I have understated the case. It seems to be clearly a condemnation ex cathedra, which I did not venture to assume.
7. Pray do not think any more now about the Sendschreiben.
8. There is a notion that Manning’s rashness has been disapproved at Rome. I have a letter from Nardi this morning, but nothing to confirm this.
9. I keep R. S. until desired by you to return him. No, I return him—as you may want it should you read the Coleridge letters.—Always sincerely yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I do not know whether I ought to wish others to commit themselves in my behalf. Very few look on these questions exactly as I do, and the direct attack on the Council, when not absolutely inevitable, as it was made to the German divines, can hardly lead to any palpable results. The actual retractation of the Decrees is hopeless. What is not hopeless is to make the evils of Ultramontanism so manifest that men will shrink from them, and so explain away or stultify the Vatican Council as to make it innocuous.
I have brought my bishop to admit that I am quite in order as far as the Vatican Council goes, that I am not breaking the obligations of the Apostolic Constitution, or incurring any anathema; and I have tried to explain to him that my attack is directed elsewhere, and would, in fact, lose its real effect if I were to contradict the Vatican Decrees. I am not likely to succeed so well with Manning, who will probably think that the Council cannot practically be sustained if my course is allowed to be regular and will require something more than a merely negative conformity.
What I want people to understand is that I am not really dealing with the Council, but with the deeper seat of the evil, and am keeping bounds with which any sincere and intelligent bishop of the minority must sympathise. If I am excommunicated—I should rather say when I am—I shall not only be still more isolated, but all I say and do, by being in appearance at least, hostile, will lose all power of influencing the convictions of common Catholics.
I put the question on this ground only—Can a Catholic speak the truth or not?
The Italian translation is a good opening, and it would be interesting to take advantage of it. But I am compelled to give all my time to my own work, either for the purpose of meeting attacks, should any come which need attention, or, if my part of the controversy languishes, for the purpose of getting ready a revised and reinvigorated edition of my second letter, with a superabundance of proof. I have a vision of a tract containing in 100 pages the distilled essence of all my researches.
Although I cannot do what Bianchi wishes (and if I could, it would not be to throw you over except in the measure you knew at Hawarden), I should like to see it well done. The writer of the letter, which I return, is the author of some brilliant articles you must have read on D.’s Reform Bill in 1868, in the Chronicle. He is so able and so good a man that I should have liked him to see your correspondence with Coleridge. And he would be the most competent man I know to do what the Italians ask for.
Your translation is quite accurate. Werner’s importance must not be exaggerated. But he was the man chosen in all Germany to do for Catholic Theology what Dorner1 did for Protestant—that is, to be the rival of a writer of the first rank.
I think you are right (and I thought you were wrong) about the Syllabus. It is hard to prove that it is now an ex cathedra declaration. But it is impossible to disprove it, and it will be left in the twilight until wanted in the glare.
There are parts of your letter that call for a warmer acknowledgment than these few lines.—Yours most truly,
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I don’t see my way clearly about the Marriage question, and should be very glad if my friend, R. Simpson (of 4 Victoria Road, Clapham), succeeded in throwing light upon it.
I sounded him as to the Italian project, but I am afraid he does not bite. Newman is probably much attacked and worried in private by bishops and friends, and so feels compelled to speak. From his letters to me I gather that he will say that the Council has defined little or nothing in politics, that it does not sanction the Syllabus, that the more history speaks out the more it will be found that its facts are compatible with the Decrees, and that he accepts every word of them. I think I told you that he had at one time renounced the idea of writing.
With every good wish for this festive time.—I remain, yours very truly,
My dear Lord Acton,—
1. I am very sorry that Mr. Simpson is not available for Bianchi’s1 purpose. Can you suggest any other person? Do you know Rev. Mr. Case of Gloucester, and would he do? Capes or Suffield could write against one of the isms better than they could set up the other. Can I do anything except refer to Germany. And who is there that would do it so that it should be readable and effective? Dr. D. could not be expected to perform such a task.
2. Von Schulte2 on the Power of the Roman Popes is very difficult to read—in English: the German I have not seen. I believe he is very learned, and trustworthy as to facts and citations.
3. Can you tell me where I should find (in London, I suppose):
(a) The files of the Civilta Cattolica;
(b) Pius IX’s approval of it;
(c) The series of his Briefs and allocutions—or any book showing the cases in which he has condemned and annulled State laws and constitutions.
4. I fear I have conceded too much to the Papal party in three points:
(a) In not treating the Syllabus as ex cathedra.
(b) In allowing that the Popes have been apt to claim “dogmatic infallibility” for wellnigh a thousand years: p. 28.
(c) As to the Oecumenicity of the Vatican Council.
5. Manning hits out wildly like a drunken man. You see, however, he is obliged to pass by the letter in Macmillan. I am told it is confidently said in Rome that the Curia thinks he has been imprudent.—Yours sincerely,
W. E. Gladstone.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I send you what I have got in the way of papal utterances, with the Sendschreiben and the denunciation of the Austrian constitution. As to the points conceded to Rome:
I believe it is very hard to prove that the Decrees literally and certainly sanction the Syllabus. Gigli, then Magister Sacri Palatii, told me that he considered the Syllabus an informal document. This is inconsistent with the terms of the encyclical, but, if it was technically possible for so high a functionary to say that, there may still be some formal or technical flaw—such as the absence of sanctions or penalties—enabling men to maintain that it is an open question whether the Syllabus is positively authenticated by the Council; as long as men can honestly deny it, without a too glaring inconsistency, one must give them the benefit of the doubt. I remember, indeed, that I expressed these doubts to Döllinger, and he overruled them, but I cannot recall the chain of his reasoning against me.
The genesis of Infallibility is the most obscure of questions. As long as the Popes anathematised Honorius1 they, of course, testified against it; but at the same time traces of the claim are surely a thousand years old. I fancy you know Langen’s excellent book on the Tradition of the Church in this matter. But Langen avoids the real question, which is, the succession of forgeries by which the claim was sustained. This point is only slightly touched by Janus.
The question of oecumenicity is very large. It is only since the Reformation that the Roman divines have accepted all the later Councils—four, or eight, were all that were commonly accepted as oecumenical before. But you must attack Trent if you attack the Vatican Council, and that at once shifts the ground of your contention. Even now there is no authentic list of Councils that Rome holds to be oecumenical; and I remember that Dupanloup left out Constance from his list.
The powerful writer in Macmillan might do for Bianchi, but there are very good reasons why we should not propose it to him.
Schulte is learned and trustworthy, but a very clumsy writer. Do you know Frommann,2Geschichte und Kritik der V.C.?
I wish you a very happy and very peaceful New Year, and remain, yours sincerely,
Archbishop’s House,Westminster, S.W.,
My dear Lord Acton,—
I have to thank you for your letter dated yesterday: from which I gather, with much satisfaction, that your answer to my first question, whether in your letter to the Times you intended to repudiate the Vatican Decrees, is in the negative.
I am not; however, able to gather what answer you desire to give to the second question, namely, whether you adhere to the doctrines defined in the Vatican Council: unless you intend to describe yourself as one of “Those who adopt a less severe and more conciliatory construction” of those decrees.
If I am right in this inference, I would still ask you to enable me to understand what that construction is.
I see with great pleasure in your note that you had written an emphatic repudiation of the statements of the Times: and I regret much that any advice should have defeated your judgment of what is at this moment urgently needed for your own sake. Let me therefore ask you to enable me to reassure the minds of a multitude of those who at this time believe of you what the Times has sent all over the world.1 —Believe me, my dear Lord, yours faithfully,
✠ Henry E., Archbishop of Westminster.
The Lord Acton.
P.S.—I must ask you to forgive the omission of date in my last letter.
It was written on Thursday 12.
✠ H. E., Abp.
Draft of Reply to Cardinal Manning.
My dear Lord,—
I gave no answer to the question, which did not seem to me to arise out of the terms or the spirit of my letter to Mr. Gladstone.
But I must decline the inference which a passage in my letter of this last Sunday has suggested to you. I have no private gloss or special interpretation for the decrees of the Vatican Council. (Trent)
The acts of the Council are the law which I obey. I am not concernedbound to follow the comments of divines or to supply their place fromwith private judgments of my own. I am content to adhere implicitly with an absolute reliance on God’s Government of his Church to the construction she herself shall adopt in her own time.
Command. Submit to accept.
His Grace the Archbishop of Westminster.
Athenæum Club,Pall Mall,
My dear Lord,—
I could not answer your question without seeming to admit that which I was writing expressly to deny, namely, that it could be founded on anything but a misconception of the terms or the spirit of my letter to Mr. Gladstone.
In reply to the question which you put with reference to a passage in my letter of Sunday, I can only say that I have no private gloss or favourite interpretation for the Vatican Decrees. The acts of the Council alone constitute the law which I recognise. I have not felt it my duty as a layman to pursue the comments of divines, still less to attempt to supersede them by private judgments of my own. I am content to rest in absolute reliance on God’s providence in His government of the Church.—I remain, my dear Lord, yours faithfully,
The objectionable word is not in the original. Instead, the word Church. But I can get quite round the difficulty.
I cannot thank you sufficiently for the patient help you have given me.
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
. . . Le mieux ne s’est pas soutenu chez Newman. Voici mon évêque qui perd patience à ma politesse, et fait la même demande que son métropolitain. Vous voyez que ça chauffe.—Revenez bien vite et bien sûr, votre tout dévoué,
11 Hesketh Crescent,Torquay,
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
. . . From my bishop1 I have had notice of renewed contention, and at the same time the persistency with which some of my statements continue to be disputed, after three months, will oblige me sooner or later to write more. So that I have filled Torquay with old books, and am at work again. . . .—Believe me, faithfully yours,
Torquay,April 2 .
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
. . . I did my bishop wrong, at least for the moment. It is clear that there has been some hesitation lately as to pushing things to extremity, and it has delayed any critical and decisive proceedings. The German bishops have repudiated the Vatican doctrine that the Pope absorbs the authority of bishops in every diocese; and they have not only been approved by the Pope, but he has declared that there is nothing new or changed in the Church. Stated in this connection his words are a virtual acknowledgment of the rule of faith, and preclude all interpretations that are inconsistent with tradition. Newman’s declaration on the authority of conscience necessarily implies that one may not build up one’s system on forgeries, or omissions, or forced constructions, and the results that can be obtained subject to this rule are such as none can quarrel about. So that Gladstone’s attack certainly has helped to produce a momentary reaction. It may not be voluntary or sincere, or lasting, and it is certainly ambiguous, and capable of being explained away, like other things. But it is a sign of what I have always said—to your husband, amongst others—that the way out of the scrape will yet be found in insisting on the authority of tradition as the only lawful rule of interpretation. There will be many variations and oscillations before that way is definitely adopted. Yet there is a faint glimmer of hope.—Believe me, dear Lady Blennerhassett, yours most faithfully,
Dover,April 13, 1875.1
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
. . . Nothing can be more just than your estimate of the religious situation. It is simply at the choice of the authorities, Pope, Cardinal, bishop, or priest, when I am excommunicated. I cannot prevent, or even seriously postpone it, although Newman’s conditions would make it possible, technically, to accept the whole of the decrees. But if they take further steps, it can only be with the object of pushing things to a crisis, and then they would take care so to prepare their tests that there would be no possible protection. It can only be a question of time. . . .—Believe me, yours faithfully,
My dear Madam,—
As to the present troubles among Catholics of these parts, to which you refer, Mr. Gladstone’s Pamphlet has thrown Catholics together in a most unexpected manner—and, though there will be always differences in a large body of men belonging to so many distinct classes and of so many distinct interests, about foreign Catholic politics, yet the present promise and prospect of things is much more cheering than it was some time ago. I do not think you should say what you say about Lord Acton. He has ever been a religious, well-conducted, conscientious Catholic from a boy. In saying this, I do not at all imply that I can approve those letters to which you refer. I heartily wish they had never been written.—I am, yours truly in Christ,
John H. Newman.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I shall certainly take advantage of your authorisation and ask, as I hereby do, to be allowed to see the proofs of your rejoinder. I only hope it will be in type before the middle of next week, when I must leave town for Torquay.
Cartwright is at work on an article on the Controversy, which he has paid great attention to.—I remain, yours very truly,
Athenæum,Tuesday,Jan. 28, 1896.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I am sorry that, by my own fault, I am made to figure so preposterously in the Life of Manning. The Author applied to me for help, but I could give him none; for I had refused Hutton, not having been on such terms of intimacy with the Cardinal as would justify my intervention.
I certainly wrote to you once from Rome in the days of the Council, probably in April or May 1870, and at the request of one of the bishops. Once, also, on a personal matter connected with the Council, to Lord Granville. The fact may have come to be known to Odo Russell,1 who would say: I know that he writes, etc., and so the actual would become habitual, and the single, plural. Somebody once said to my wife: “Est-il vrai qu’il écrit toujours à la Reine?” Some such story may have got about.
Hohenlohe’s Circular was dated April 9, 1869. Odo Russell was on the best of terms with Manning, and treated the whole thing with cynical persiflage. Cartwright, who took a more serious interest in what was doing, came home and complained of Odo’s “short-sighted and tortuous policy,” attributing the sentiment, if not the words, to me. Clarendon wrote a disagreeable letter to Odo, asking for explanation. As I had used no such expression, and did not gravely suspect Odo, I easily came to an understanding with him, and even with Lady William, who thereupon called Cartwright Cartwrong. Although Odo was under Manning’s influence, he was a channel of information to the Press. Daru, just then Minister of Foreign Affairs, wrote two very strong letters, which I left in Odo’s hands. Through him they came to be published in the Times. For he showed them to Tom Mozley, who told me the story a few weeks before he died.
I very much hope that now the holders of Newman’s papers will be stimulated to make them public.
Cambridge is really a haven of delight, and I am grateful to them all round for the way they tolerate and even accept me. My tendency to read everything I can get that relates to my subject, proves a drawback and a vice when I have to lecture, and I am always a little late and hurried.
My little Captatio meant that, late in ’49 or early in ’50,1 I attempted, through John Lefevre, to obtain admission as an undergraduate. But Magdalene, and two other Colleges, refused to have me. There is nobody there who remembers the circumstance, but they conjecture that Papal aggression had to do with it. I have not verified dates.
Hoping, in spite of delay, that this will find you at Biarritz.—I remain, ever truly yours,
[1 ] Richard Simpson contributed to the Rambler four articles on ‘Edmond Campion.’ It is to these articles that Newman is referring.
[1 ] Dr. Ullathorne.
[1 ] This passage with that following is in Acton’s handwriting without date. Clearly they refer to Gladstone’s criticism of ultramontanism. Cf. with these two pages those in Letters to Mary Gladstone, second edition, 131-3, and 185-7.
[1 ]Massarelli, Bishop of Teles. The MS. referred to is his diary of the Council of Trent.
[2 ]Le Plat, Josse. Monumentorum ad Historiam Concilii Tridentini potissimum illustrandam spectantium amplissima collectio. These seven folio volumes contain many of the most important sources for our knowledge of the Council of Trent.
[3 ] The Décrétale Omnes is in the Decretale of Gregory IX, and purports to come from Clement III. Its wording is as follows:—Omnes principes terræ et ceteros homines episcopis obedire beatus Petrus præcipiebat.
[1 ]L’évêque de Lérida. This is Antonio Augustin, afterwards Archbishop of Tarragona. He wrote two books of dialogues, De Emendatione Gratiani, and also a treatise on the Pope.
[2 ]Le Professeur here, as always, means Döllinger.
[3 ] Count Emerich Arco-Valley, one of Acton’s brothers-in-law. He was in the German Diplomatic Service, and died as German Minister at Athens in 1909.
[1 ]Panizzi, Sir Anthony (1797-1879), an Italian by birth. He was appointed assistant Librarian by Brougham in 1831. Afterwards he became Librarian. The present reading-room is due to him. He had a good deal to do with the inner life of both politics and literature of the reign of Queen Victoria.
[1 ]Pichler, Aloys (1833-74). Die Theologie des Leibnitz, 1869-70. He was supposed to have been one of the contributors to Quirinus, but this is not true. He wrote an earlier book on the schism between east and west.
[2 ]Klopp, Onno (1822-1903). Correspondance de Leibnitz avec l’Électrice Sophie, 1874.
[3 ] Twice during his later years Bossuet entered with Leibnitz into the question of reunion between Rome and the Protestants. It was rather Leibnitz’s stiffness than Bossuet’s that broke off the negotiations. With the English Act of Settlement in view, the Electress saw the advantage of remaining Protestant.
[1 ]Reeve, Henry (1813-95), editor of the Edinburgh Review from 1855. Chiefly known now as the editor of the Greville Memoirs.
[2 ]De Lisle, Ambrose Phillips. See his Life written by Purcell and E. De Lisle, 2 vols., 1901, on the Vatican Council, chap. xvii., ii. 32-96. De Lisle was a convert to Rome, but was an Inopportunist.
[1 ]Ripon, George Frederick Samuel (first Marquis of Ripon), was received into the Church of Rome on September 7, 1874. He was at that time Earl de Grey and Ripon. He was later on Viceroy of India, and became a marquis.
[2 ]Werner, Franz (1810-66), a Roman Catholic theologian who wrote much on the philosophy of religion.
[1 ]I.e. the famous Sendschreiben an einen deutschen Bischof.
[1 ] Dr. Henry Philpotts.
[1 ]Erwägungen für die Bischöfe des Conciliums über die Frage der päpstlichen Unfehlbarkeit, October 1869. J. von Döllinger, published in his Briefe und Erklärungen über die Vaticanischen Decrete.
[2 ]Affre, Denis Auguste (1793-1848), was Archbishop of Paris from 1840. He wrote a book on the origin and decadence of the temporal supremacy of the Popes. He was shot in attempting to pacify the insurgents in 1848.
[3 ]Rémusat, Charles Comte de (1797). He wrote against Lamennais, and contributed to the famous periodical Le Globe. He supported the Government of Louis Philippe and was exiled at the coup d’État of Louis Napoleon.
[4 ] The famous Falloux Laws, passed in 1850, by which freedom was secured to the Roman Catholic teaching of religion. This has been withdrawn since.
[5 ] To rigorous thinking.
[1 ]Neue Erwägungen über die Frage der päpstlichen Unfehlbarkeit, aus den anerkannten historischen Werken Döllingers urkundlich zusammen gestellt, 1870.
Presumably this is the “enlarged” Erwägungen referred to.
[2 ] This letter is of capital importance. It indicates the great divergence which Acton for the first time discerned between himself and Döllinger. Félix Dupanloup, the great Bishop of Orléans, died in October 1878. He was an Inopportunist, although not strictly speaking an anti-infallibilist. He had defended the Syllabus of Pio Nono. In a previous letter Acton indicates considerable contempt for him. In the Nineteenth Century for February 1879, Lady Blennerhassett published a laudatory article on Dupanloup. Acton, as this letter shows, was much disturbed by this article. It seemed to him that such eulogy bordered on the insincere. What, however, disturbed him still more was this. The venerated “Professor” had actually blessed the article with an introductory letter which is printed in the Nineteenth Century. In consequence of this there were many discussions between Acton and Döllinger. Döllinger, although he was excommunicated, because he would not accept the Vatican Decrees, was yet more lenient than Acton in regard to the toleration of persectuion. Neither of them approved persecution. Döllinger was unwilling to go so far as Acton in asserting the final damnation of all persecutors, and all favourers of persecution. This is the cause of the bitterness of the concluding paragraph of this letter. The next letter expounds Acton’s principles.
[1 ]Minghetti, Marco (1863-4). The Italian Premier was a personal friend and distant connection of Acton. Many letters from Minghetti to Acton exist.
[2 ]The duc d’Audiffret-Pasquier. A great French politician and military authority, was elected to the Académie Française in the place of Mgr. Dupanloup. In accordance with etiquette, his opening speech, delivered on February 19, 1880, was an elaborate eulogium of his predecessor. Acton’s ironical compliments are written in anticipation of this and are justified. The oration is to be found in the Recueil des Discours, vol. for 1880-89, part v. pp. 65-97.
[1 ]Arbues, S. Peter of (1441-85). He was appointed by Torquemada to be Inquisitor provincial in Aragon. He was assassinated in 1485. Pius IX canonized him in 1867.
[2 ]Liguori, Saint Alphonsus de (1696-1787), founder of the Redemptorists Order and Archbishop of Palermo. He is well known for his work on the glories of Mary, and for his treatise on moral theology.
[1 ] This refers to the article on the “Massacre of St. Bartholomew,” which was published in the North British Review in 1869. It is reprinted in the volume on the History of Freedom.
[2 ]Rosmini, Antonio (1797-1855), founder of the Order of Charity. He was accused of dangerous Liberalism, although he was an Ultramontane. Cf. Letters to Mary Drew, 171, 184.
[3 ]Hefele, Karl Joseph von, Bishop of Rottenburg (1809-93), author of the History of the Councils. Hefele was a strong opponent of Infallibilism, and left Rome with the minority in July 1870. Ultimately he submitted, in 1871, to promulgate the Vatican Decrees in his diocese.
[4 ]Maistre, Joseph de (1753-1821), may be described as the founder of modern Ultramontanism. His most important works are Du Pape and De l’église Gallicane. His standpoint alike in regard to politics and religion made him a powerful supporter of the Absolutist reaction after the French Revolution.
[1 ]Gelehrtenversammlung. The Congress of Scholars at Munich in 1863 is described by Acton in the Home and Foreign Review of January 1864.
[1 ]The Malines days refer to the Roman Catholic Congress at Malines in 1863, at which Montalembert made a great pronouncement.
T. Lecanuet, Montalembert, iii. 347 et seq.
Le Discours de Malines. This refers to the speech of Montalembert, “L’Eglise libre dans l’Etat libre,” delivered in the Catholic Congress at Malines, 1863.
The appendix to the two speeches contains an account of how Cavour was led to utter the famous phrase through a correspondence with Montalembert, p. 177 et seq.
[2 ]Arbues, S. Peter of Arbues was canonized in 1867. This much upset Döllinger. This was the occasion of Döllinger’s article, Rom und die Inquisition.
Cf. Friedrich, Ignaz von Döllinger, iii. 444 et seq.
[1 ] Lady Blennerhassett had sent to Acton Döllinger’s correspondence with her.
[1 ]Sailer, Johann Michael (1751-1832), Bishop of Regensburg. Sailer, both as professor and writer, had great influence on developing the inner and more spiritual life of the Church. He was accused of coquetting with the extremer mystics.
[1 ] The Countess Leopoldine Arco-Valley, Acton’s sister-in-law.
[1 ]Ségur, Louis Gaston Adrien, Mgr. de (1820-81); see his Life written by his brother, Souvenirs et Récit d’un Frère. He was auditor of the Rota, and given the episcopal privileges on his retirement.
[2 ]Moehler, Johann Adam (1796-1838), the author of the Symbolik, one of the greatest works of Catholic apology, was professor at Munich from 1835. Cf. Acton’s account of him in the article on German Schools of History. Döllinger had great admiration for him and edited his posthumous works. Friedrich published a work on him in 1894.
[1 ] Rio’s Epilogue à l’Art Chrétien.
[2 ]Rio. This refers to the visit of “The Pilgrims” (Lamennais, Montalembert, and Lacordaire) to Munich in 1832. A banquet was given in Lamennais’ honour by the artists and authors. What Lamennais had in his pocket was the encyclical Mirari Vos and a letter from Cardinal Pacca suppressing Lamennais’ writings. After the banquet Lamennais and the others took coffee at the charming village of “Menterschweige.” It was only the evening after that Lamennais told his friends. Cf. Lecanuet, Montalembert, i. 321 et seq. Rio, Epilogue à l’Art Chrétien, i. 166 et seq.
[1 ]Ces demoiselles, the Rios.
[1 ]Friedrich, Johann, author of the History of the Vatican Council, and the Life of Döllinger, each in 3 vols. Also a tract on Der Mechanismus der Vatikanischen Religion.
[1 ]Thomas Graves Law (1836-94), after being a priest of the Brompton Oratory (1860-78), left the Roman Church and became in 1879 Keeper of the Signet Library in Edinburgh. His best known books are those on the conflicts between Regulars and Seculars in the Reign of Elizabeth, and on the Archpriest Controversy.
[2 ]A. W. Hutton (1848-1912) had at one time been Librarian of the Oratory at Edgbaston. At this time he was Gladstone Librarian of the National Liberal Club, and edited Gladstone’s speeches. He wrote on Newman, and finally became Rector of Bow Church.
[1 ] If you remember that you are the only person to whom I can speak out entirely openly concerning my inmost thoughts, you will understand how anxious I am to see you again.
[1 ]Aston Manor. A by-election took place at Aston Manor, March 20th, 1891. It resulted in a much larger majority for the Unionist candidate than had been expected. This was due to the influence of the O’Shea divorce case, and the consequent split in the Home Rule Party.
[2 ]Creighton’s Chair. Mandell Creighton, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge, became Bishop of Peterboro’ in 1891. His successor was Henry Melville Gwatkin, who died in November 1916.
[3 ]Knowles, James, the founder and editor of the Nineteenth Century.
[4 ] Döllinger was never definitely an “Old” Catholic, i.e. he never acknowledged the jurisdiction of Bishop Reinkens.
[1 ]The Bonn Conference was a reunion and conference of old Catholics and others held in 1874-75 under the Presidency of Döllinger.
[2 ] Mr. C. Newdigate (1816-1887) was a rather absurd embodiment of extreme reactionary views in politics. He was member for North Warwickshire from 1843 to 1885.
[3 ] Ince succeeded Mozley as Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford in 1878, and held the post till 1910.
[1 ]Séché, Léon, author of Les Derniers Jansénistes, 1891, and Les Origines du Concordat, 1894, and many works on the Romantic Movement.
[2 ]The Frankfort Parliament. Döllinger was elected a delegate to the National Assembly at Frankfort in 1848. Cf. Friedrich’s Life, ii. ch. xvii. pp. 363-422.
[1 ] This refers to Lord Rosebery’s Pitt.
[2 ] This letter refers to Acton’s projected Life of Döllinger. It was never written. All we have is the paper from the English Historical Review, published in the History of Freedom, pp. 375-434.
[3 ] Manning, as will be remembered, began life in the Colonial Office. He died on January 14, 1892.
[1 ] The statue of Newman never went to Oxford after all. It stands now outside the Brompton Oratory.
[1 ] A. W. Hutton.
[2 ]Walewski, Alexandre Florian Joseph Colonna, Comte (1810-68), a Pole by birth, who became a French politician. He was ambassador at London. It was he who obtained from Palmerston the swift recognition of Louis Napoleon, which was the cause of Palmerston’s famous dismissal. He was French plenipotentiary at the Congress of Paris at the close of the Crimean War.
[3 ] See Montalembert’s side in Lecanuet, Vie de Montalembert, iii.
[1 ]Foisset, Joseph Théophile. Le Comte de Montalembert, 1877.
He was a friend of Montalembert, and published three articles in the Correspondant of 1872. These were republished in 1877 with an introduction by M. Douchaire, in order to defend Montalembert from the charge of meditating apostasy.
[2 ] Count Ratti-Menton, author of Rome et l’Intérêt français (1865).
[1 ]Le Génie du Christianisme, by François René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand, 1802.
[2 ]Sarasa, Alphonso Antonio de (1618-67), was a Jesuit. He wrote Ars semper gaudendi.
[1 ]Holden, Henry (1596-1662), a Roman Catholic divine, prominent on the secular side in the disputes between secular and regular clergy in England. “No man took more pains or was more successful in separating the approved tenets of the Church from the superstructure of school divines.”—Gillow, Biog. Dict. of the English Catholics.
[2 ]Davenport, Christopher (1598-1680), known as Franciscus a Sancta Clara. He wrote a book on the Thirty-nine Articles, which took very much the same line as Newman was to take in Tract XC. He wrote other books of apology.
[1 ] The Fathers of the Oratory at Edgbaston.
[1 ] Bossuet’s book, L’Exposition de la Foi catholique, was a moderate statement of the Roman position. It converted Turenne and other distinguished persons.
[1 ]Janus. (Der Papst und das Konzil.) Janus was the pseudonym of Döllinger, assisted by Friedrich and Huber. The book was published in 1869. It was an anti-papal review of the development of the papacy, designed to hinder the proclamation of Infallibility. It had, and has, a great vogue.
[2 ]Maret’s book. Henri Louis Charles Maret, Archbishop of Lepanto. The book is Du Concile général et de la paix religieuse, 1869.
[1 ]The answer of the Munich Divines. Prince Hohenlohe presented a thesis as to the probable political effects of the doctrine of Infallibility, and secured answers from various bodies. On this topic cf. Friedrich, Geschichte des Vatikanischen Konzils, i. 791 et seq.
[2 ] The letter of Prince Hohenlohe, Prime Minister of Bavaria and brother of the cardinal, is described in Acton’s chapter on the Vatican Council (The History of Freedom and other Essays, p. 503). He recalled the Bavarian minister at Rome, because he did not agree with his views.
[3 ]Hohenlohe; Prince Chlodwig Karl Viktor von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, brother of Cardinal Adolf von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, issued in 1869 a circular despatch warning of the dangers attending the proposed Council. It is printed in Friedberg’s Aktenstücke, p. 296 et seq. Prince Hohenlohe’s Memoirs were published both in German and English in 1906. After his career as Minister in Bavaria, he succeeded Count Arnim as ambassador in Paris. He alludes to this matter in his Denkwürdigkeiten, i. 366 et seq.
[1 ]Cf. Friedrich, op. cit., iii. 330 et seq.
[1 ] The Bull, In Coena Domini. This Bull, which took its final form in 1627, was proclaimed every year on Maundy Thursday. It contained a list of excommunications, in reserved cases, i.e. cases which none but the Pope could resolve. These included appealing from the Pope to a general council, from the ecclesiastical to the lay courts, and in general, invasion of clerical “immunities.” Many countries, e.g. France and Portugal, refused to allow it to be published in their territories.
[2 ]Ganganelli, Giovanni Vicenzo Antonio (1705-74), Clement XIV. Suppressed the Society of Jesus in 1773 by the Bull Dominus ac Redemptor Noster. He did not abrogate the Bull In Coena Domini, but merely dropped the practice of republishing it every year on Holy Thursday. Pius IX abrogated it by the Bull Apostolicae Sedis.
[1 ]The Prince de la Tour-d’Auvergne, Henri Godefroi Alphonse (1823-71), was Foreign Minister under Louis Napoleon under Chasseloup-Laubat. He refused to serve under Ollivier, alleging ill-health.
Cf. Ollivier, L’Empire Libéral, le dernier Ministère du Pouvoir personnel, vol. xii. pp. 37 et 207.
[2 ]Ollivier, Emile (1825-1913). Louis Napoleon’s Prime Minister; author of L’Empire Libéral.
[3 ]Nigra, Constantin, Comte (1828-1907), Italian ambassador at Paris to Louis Napoleon. He was afterwards ambassador at Paris, London, and Vienna.
[1 ]Darboy, Georges (1813-71), Archbishop of Paris, was shot by the Communards; was a saintly and determined opponent of the Papal Infallibility.
[2 ]Beust, Friedrich Ferdinand von (1809-86), was Foreign Minister of Saxony, then of Austria, and Chancellor of the Austrian Empire in 1867.
[3 ]Arnim, Henri Charles Conrad Edward, Count; was at the time Prussian Ambassador at Rome. Afterwards he was sent to Paris, whence he was recalled and persecuted by Bismarck.
[1 ]Lavradio, Francesco Almeida, Count de Lavradio was sent as ambassador to the Court of Rome at the time of the Council, but was expressly declared to be merely an ordinary ambassador with no reference to the Council.
[2 ]Menabrea, Louis Frédéric, Marquis de Valdora, Comte (1809-96). After much success as a general he became Prime Minister of Victor Emmanuel in 1866-69. He declared that he would leave the Italian bishops free to attend the Council. He removed the exemption from military service of students at the seminaries.
[1 ]Rauscher, Joseph Oltmar von, Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna (1797-1878). Rauscher, though opposed to Infallibility, did not sign the protesting memorial of the fifty-five bishops to the Pope. In due course he promulgated the Vatican Decrees.
[1 ]Strossmayer, Joseph George (1815-1905), Bishop of Bosnia and Sirmium with his residence at Diakovar, the most important of the anti-infallibilist bishops. He submitted to the Decrees. He became a great friend of Mr. Gladstone, through the influence of Döllinger and Acton.
[2 ]Lavalette, Charles Jean Marie Félix, Marquis de (1806-1881), was French ambassador at Rome in 1861, and afterwards Minister of the Interior; then, in 1869, he went to the London Embassy.
[1 ]The New Ministry in France. This refers to the Ministry of Emile Ollivier, which was formed at the beginning of 1870, and was designed to give the Empire a new lease of life, on a liberal and parliamentary basis.
[1 ]Daru, Napoléon, Comte de (1807-90), was Foreign Minister under Émile Ollivier. He resigned in April of the same year.
[1 ] There are two endorsements in Mr. Gladstone’s handwriting: “How could we prompt others without joining ourselves?”—W. E. G., Feb. 23. “When is there an F. O. messenger or opportunity to Rome?”—Feb. 24.
[2 ] This refers to the famous letter of Newman calling the Ultramontanes an “insolent and aggressive faction.” It was a private letter, but somehow got into the Standard. On this topic, see Wilfrid Ward’s Life of Newman, ii. 287 et seq.
[1 ]Moriarty, David (1812-77), Bishop of Kerry.
[1 ]Cullen, Paul (1803-78), Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin; leader of the English and Irish Infallibilists. His reply to the Bishop of Rottenburg was one of the ablest speeches on that side in the Council.
[2 ]MacHale, John (1791-1881), Archbishop of Tuam. Dr. MacHale was an Inopportunist, but submitted the moment the dogma of Infallibility was proclaimed.
[3 ]Macevilly, John, Bishop of Galway, afterwards Archbishop of Tuam.
[4 ]Clifford, William, Bishop of Clifton, was one of the chief opponents of Infallibility among the English.
[5 ]Connolly, Thomas, Archbishop of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Cf. his speech De Fide in Friedrich, iii. 323.
[1 ]Errington, George (1804-86), coadjutor to Wiseman, Archbishop of Trebizond in partibus. Compare the accounts of him in Wilfrid Ward’s Life of Wiseman and in Purcell’s Life of Manning.
[1 ]I.e. the Treaty of Washington, which settled the basis of the Alabama arbitration.
[2 ]Michaud, Eugène, was a historian, strongly opposed to the doctrine of Papal Infallibility; author of Louis XIV et Innocent XI, and many other works. In 1872 he published Comment l’Eglise romaine n’est plus l’Eglise catholique.
[1 ] Herrnsheim was the Dalberg estate on the Rhine which came to Acton through his mother and was sold in 1883.
[2 ] That is, the Church before and after the Vatican Decrees.
[3 ] La Marquise de Forbin d’Offède (d. 1884), began a monumental work on the history of the Council of Trent. She accomplished only the history of its first session. After much consultation it was withdrawn from the printer for fear of causing scandal. Cf. an article in Le Correspondant by the Marquis de Ségur, 1885.
[4 ] The two famous historians are Sarpi and Pallavicini.
[5 ] Döllinger.
[6 ]Langen, Joseph, Professor of Theology at Munich; wrote strongly against the Vatican Decrees.
[1 ]Huber, Alfons, historian (1834-98); conducted researches concerning the famous cantons Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden (1861); was professor in Innsbruck from 1863, afterwards at Vienna.
[2 ]Hyacinthe. This is the famous Père Hyacinthe, Charles Loyson (1827). He left the Roman Church after the Vatican Council, and married in 1872. He was intimately connected with Döllinger and the Old Catholics. His chief activities were at Geneva, and later at Paris.
[3 ]Ganganelli, Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio, was Pope Clement XIV, who suppressed the Society of Jesus in 1771.
[4 ]Staupitz, Johann von, Luther’s early friend and adviser, head of the Augustinian Order in Germany. He influenced Luther much in the doctrine of justification by faith, but he was not prepared to break with the Church.
[1 ] Mrs. Craven, the authoress of Le Récit d’une Sœur.
[2 ] In 1872 Mrs. Oliphant published in two volumes her Memoir of the Count de Montalembert. In 1875 Mme. Augustus Craven published a short Étude d’après l’ouvrage de Madame Oliphant.
[1 ] Fénelon’s book Les Maximes des Saints was condemned in a Papal Brief, 1699. This closed the long conflict between Fénelon and Bossuet.
[1 ]Schwarzenberg, Friedrich (1809-85), Cardinal Archbishop of Prague.
[2 ]Coleridge, Henry James (1822-93), was the author of many works. He was brother of the Lord Chief-Justice and First Baron Coleridge.
[1 ]Sendschreiben an einen Deutschen Bischof des Vaticanischen Concils, September 1870.
[2 ]Discorsi del Sommo Pontefice Pio IX pronunziati in Vaticano . . . dal principio della sua prigiona fino al presente per la prima volta raccolti e pubblicati dal P. Don de Franciscis, Roma, 1872-78, 4 vols.
[1 ] R. S., i.e. Richard Simpson. Acton had seen little of him for some years, but they came together again over this controversy. He died in 1876.
[1 ]Dorner, Isaac Auguste (1809-84). From 1862 onwards he was professor at Berlin. His most important book is his Entwickelungsgeschichte der Lehre von der Person Christi.
[1 ]Bianchi, Nicomède (1818-86), a Piedmontese patriot and historian. He published various works on diplomatic history, e.g. La politique du Comte Camille de Cavour, and Storia documentata di diplomazia in Italia, 1814-61. The purpose was a translation of Mr. Gladstone’s appeal, Gasquet, 364.
[2 ]Von Schulte, Johann Friedrich (born 1827), one of the leaders of the Old Catholic Party, and author of many works on the Canon Law. The book in question is Die Macht der römischen Pāpste über Fürsten . . . nach ihren Lehren und Handlungen zur Würdigung ihrer Unfehlbarkeit belcuchtet, Prague, 1871.
[1 ] The case of Honorius I is important on the topic of Infallibility. Honorius was Pope from 625-638. He is supposed to have supported the monothelite heresy. What was more important, he was condemned at the Council of Constantinople in 680. In the oath taken by every new Pope from the eighth to the eleventh century he was anathematised.
[2 ]Frommann, Theodor. Geschichte und Kritik des Vaticanischen Concils von 1869-70.
[3 ] This and the following letters refer to Acton’s letters to the Times in regard to Mr. Gladstone’s pamphlet on the Vatican Decrees. In consequence of these letters Cardinal Manning wrote three times to Acton demanding explanations. One of these is printed. The letters and discussion with Simpson printed in Gasquet 359-70 should be compared with these.
[1 ]Cf. Gasquet.
[1 ] Dr. Brown, the Bishop of Shrewsbury.
[1 ]Odo Russell, first Baron Ampthill (1829-84), together with his brother Arthur, was intimate with Acton from childhood. He was a diplomat, and from 1860 to 1870 he was unofficial British representative at the Vatican. Manning took him into his confidence, and thus endeavoured to undo the influence of Acton with Mr. Gladstone. While Acton was writing home one set of views to the Prime Minister, Odo Russell, inspired by Manning, was writing in the opposite sense to Lord Clarendon, his chief. Acton’s memory was at fault as to the extent of the correspondence, as will be seen from the preceding pages.
[1 ] This refers to a passage at the beginning of Acton’s Inaugural Lecture.