Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

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

Newman, universally received by the English and Irish Roman Catholics of the last generation. They are now pronounced to be heretical by certain leading authorities in the Church of Rome. Dr. Manning, Father Newman, the Pope, the Vatican Council, the German bishops, have all condemned them as heretical. What are these impious, detestable, infernal, and abominable doctrines? They are comprised in the four articles drawn up, in 1682, by Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux, the Prince of Roman Catholic Controversialists,' and the archbishops and bishops of France assembled in synod, and subsequently received by the entire episcopate and clergy of that kingdom; in which kingdom they also became, and have continued to be, a fundamental law of the realm. The horrible and demoniacal principles embodied in these articles are in substance as follows:

1. The Pope has no power over princes in temporal matters. Princes

are not subject in temporals to any Ecclesiastical power. They cannot by the authority of the keys (Pope) directly or indirectly be deposed; nor can their subjects be absolved from their faith

and obedience to them, or from their oath of allegiance. 2. The decrees of the Synod of Constance concerning the superiority

of a general Council to the Pope shall remain in force, and unshaken; and those who infringe their authority or wrest their meaning only to the time of schism are disapproved by the

Gallican Church. 3. The exercise of the Papal power is to be regulated by the canons

of the Universal Church. The ancient customs and institutions

of the Gallican Church shall remain unshaken. 4. The judgment of the Roman See in matters of faith is not infallible.

Now if we take these doctrines and compare them with the doctrine of the Papal supremacy as actually admitted by the Gallicans, we see at once that they are entirely contradictory to it. To say that God has appointed a deputy on earth for the purpose of ruling, guiding, and teaching His Church, and then to assert that the Church has the power of ruling, restraining, judging God's deputy, is a contradiction in terms. It supposes God to have instituted two different supremacies and chief rules in His Church; to have given it, in fact, two heads. else, if it does not suppose the Church's authority to rest on Divine institution, how can it consistently pretend that under any circumstances the Church can limit the exercise of the Papal power, which is Divine ?

This utter contradiction has in the end caused Gallicanism to be abandoned by great numbers. The argument of the Ultramontanes against it on this ground is irresistible. Gallicanism has conceded a principle which leaves it without a logical position.

The Gallican doctrine had been held and taught in France, under the protection of the kings, from the time of Philip the Fair (c. 1300), whose contest with Boniface VIII. has been already noticed. The first of the four articles above stated comprised the doctrine of regal independence, asserted by King Philip, and condemned in the Bull Unam Sanctam. The Popes always struggled, of course, to establish Ultramontanism in France, and the kings struggled as hard to prevent them. Both bad

partisans; but the clergy, for the most part, sided with the king, and made their peace with the Pope as best they might.

After the declaration of 1682 the professors of every university in France were obliged by edict to teach the articles comprised in it; and the English and Irish Roman Catholic priesthood, who were educated at Douay, St. Omers, and the Sorbonne, were duly trained in the Gallican doctrine; and were taught to reject the Pope's infallibility, his temporal power over kings, his right to depose princes and absolve subjects from their allegiance, and his despotic power over all laws of the Church.

Accordingly the whole Roman Catholic body in these countries, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, rejected Ultramontanism. When English statesmen manifested a willingness to relax the laws against Popery, the Roman Catholics publicly professed to reject Ultramontanism in all its details. The hierarchy from 1790 to 1826 on many occasions rejected the deposing power, the temporal power, and all the other tenets calculated to cause uneasiness to the State. They avowed perfectly orthodox Gallican principles.'

Hence the Vicar Apostolic Milner, in his · End of Controversy,' repudiated the notion that Roman Catholics believed in the Pope's temporal supremacy, remarking that our Lord Himself positively declared that His king

See the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone's l’atican Decrecs, &c., p. 24 -32.

« НазадПродовжити »