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*It must relate to things in themselves good or evil. If the Pope prescribed lying or revenge, his command would simply go for nothing. If he forbad his flock to eat any but vegetable food, he would in like manner be going beyond his province. The individual, of course, is to exercise his judgment in each case.
Suppose, then, that an individual is satisfied that a Papal precept of morals is not drawn from the moral law as defined by Scripture and tradition, in such case he is at liberty to consider it null, and to disobey it.
The Minimizer furnishes another test of the obligation of Papal moral precepts. The definition must relate to things necessary for salvation.'? If, then, an individual is of opinion that the Pope prescribes what is not in itself necessary to salvation, as not having been prescribed by God, he is in that case entitled to neglect the Papal ordinance.
With regard to Papal commands and injunctions generally, the Minimizer lays down the broad principles that the Pope may command things which must not be done,' 3 that we are not to be simply obedient to him in all things,' that he must be obeyed by all, when his commands are good, that if he should command anything against Holy Scripture, or the articles of the faith, or the truth of the sacraments, or the commands of the natural or divine law, he ought not to be obeyed.'4 It | Newman, p. 119.
2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. p. 52.
seems that the most ardent Protestant need not ask for more than is here conceded.
Furthermore, says the Minimizer, “It is lawful to resist the Pope . . . if he troubled the State.'' Civil governments will no doubt applaud this maxim to the echo. It would be particularly salutary if applied in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Ireland.
These maxims completely harmonise with the following broad principles of the Minimizer: “A Pope is not infallible in his laws, nor in his commands, nor in his acts of State, nor in his administration, nor in his public policy.'2 That is to say, his commands and laws may be founded in error or mistake. If he commands the Germans to resist the Falck laws, and to hinder the consolidation of the Empire, he may be quite mistaken. If he orders the bishops rather to go to prison than obey the laws, he may be entirely wrong. If he asserts that his temporal dominion over a part of Italy is essential to his spiritual independence, he may be quite in error. He may be wrong in inciting foreign nations to intervene in the affairs of Italy. He may be wholly mistaken in forbidding the Roman Catholic hierarchy of Ireland to tolerate mixed education.
He may be entirely in the wrong; there is no obligation to obey him in any of these cases.
Should the Pontiff threaten or inflict excommunication on those who refuse to obey his mandates in these
· Newman, p. 52. ? Ibid. Letter to Duke of Norfolk, p. 62.
and other respects, the Minimizer supplies them with consolation. The Pope can make mistakes in acts of excommunication ;' and if any individual should be conscientiously unable to conform himself to the judgment of the Pope, in that case it is his duty to follow his own private conscience, and patiently to bear it if the Pope punishes him; ? knowing of course that an unjust excommunication only injures him who makes it.
I will not dwell upon the Minimizing recognition of the rights of conscience, in deciding upon the obligation of Papal commands; or on the cases in which it is supposed to authorise disobedience; or on the numerous details and applications of all the foregoing principles. It may on the whole be said, after duly considering the effect and bearing of the entire system, that it is impossible not to agree with the profound observation approved by certain
sober theologians,' that “Papal definitions obligatory on our faith are of rare occurrence.” On those principles they certainly must be rare indeed; for to all appearance the Minimizing principles are broad enough and deep enough, to sweep the whole of the Papal definitions, decrees, precepts and commands, out of the sphere of human obligation and action. On those principles the Papacy becomes a sublime abstraction; an entity perpetually engaged in self-admiration ; but absolutely without the power of interfering, except nominally, in the affairs of this sublunary world. Those who are jealous of Papal power
1 Newman, p. 63. 2 Ibid. p. 66. Ibid. p. 124.
certainly may abandon all fear of Ultramontanism in this shape. The civil powers must heartily desire and encourage the progress and reception of principles like these ; for in proportion as they are adopted by Roman Catholics, in the same proportion will all danger of collisions between the State and the Papacy be lessened; and they will co-operate as powerfully to that end as Gallicanism or Cisalpinism used formerly to do. If Pius IX., who has approved of Bishop Fessler's exposition of these principles, would only be good enough to issue a Bull • Ex Cathedra, establisbing as de fide the complete principles of Minimism, he would entirely remove from the minds of statesmen all feelings of alarm; while he would have the satisfaction of retaining intact all the theoretical claims of the Vicar of Christ,' subject merely to the trifling drawback of abandoning his whole practical authority, and limiting himself to the diocesan duties devolving on him as bishop of Rome. Were it possible that this system of Minimism could reach the masses and be spread widely among them, civil governments would have no reason to fear the aggressions of Ultramontanism. It would be effectually enervated. But it is probable that refinements of this kind cannot extend much beyond the schools and the highly educated. On the masses the bold and overbearing assertion of authority, and the terrors of excommunication and anathema, will carry the day, and give to the Papacy what it claims, and what a subservient priesthood is ready to announce as—the Gospel.'
§ 5. THE GALLICAN FAITH.
GALLICANISM, like Minimism, is of unimpeachable orthodoxy in one point of view. If, as Fleury says, it somewhat ties the Pope's hands, it at least reverentially kisses his feet. Nothing can be more eloquent than the language of Bossuet in describing the admiration, the reverence, the prostrate humility with which the Papacy is to be regarded. The Gallicans always acknowledge the Pope to be the successor of Peter by divine institution, the Vicar of Christ, the possessor of the keys of heaven and hell, the supreme pastor of souls, the centre of Catholic unity by divine institution, out of whose communion salvation is not to be attained. One would suppose that these concessions would be sufficiently satisfactory.
There is, however, always some alloy in the greatest earthly pleasures. We have seen that there is something of the kind in the case of Minimism. Nor is Gallicanism also without an element which has proved offensive to the See of Rome, and which has been denounced by its partisans in the strongest terms.
The Gallican doctrines were, as we learn from Fath