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engendered by the overgrown power and grandeur of the Papacy created the Reformation. Again Christianity sought to emancipate itself from the domination of a false principle. It succeeded as regards half Europe, after encountering the most desperate and bloody persecutions, although the Papacy, even up to the present hour, regards it with undying hatred.
Again the Papacy dreams of universal empire: its struggles keep Europe in terror for long years; it seeks to put the copestone on the edifice of its spiritual power, that it may march 200,000,000 to the conquest of the world, and may once more sweep down emperors and kings, as it did in the days of its prime. Scarcely has it taken the final step, when within its own bosom arises another reaction. Minimism comes forth to destroy its power, and to reduce it to impotence ; and society, alarmed at its danger, proceeds to chain down the power which seeks to reduce it to slavery.
What may we gather from this ? That the providence of God has willed that a human principle shall not be established in His Church as a Divine revelation. For this he caused the Eastern Church to bear perpetual witness against the error. For this He raised up many in the West, whose bones whitening on the hills bore witness to the same. For this He created Gallicanism, and told it to announce to the Christian world, that God had entrusted to His Catholic Church the powers which one of its pastors pretended to usurp. For this he caused
the Reformation to proclaim the truth afresh; and in every age since He has raised up witnesses to declare that the supremacy claimed for Rome must be resisted and repelled. The Gospel has thus been vindicated from intermixture with the inventions of man; and although many have been deceived, yet it may be hoped that the mass of Christians, even when nominally admitting an erroneous principle, have not been left under its absolute sway.
But before we conclude this branch of the subject, it becomes necessary to advert for a moment to an objection which may here be offered. It may be said that the Catholic Church has finally and formally decided these questions in the Vatican Council; and that as this decision defines the position of the Pontiff as springing from Divine appointment, and invests him with the attribute of infallibility, there is no longer any question on the subject.
Now I am not here about to repeat what has been said by the “Expostulation and by Mr. Shee on the subject of the form in which the Vatican Decree was made, viz., by the Pontiff, the Council only approbante' not “judicante,'' i.e. not exercising the power of defining or teaching. Still less am I about to dwell on the fact of its comprising bishops of the Papal obedience; nor on its being packed with 300 bishops of Italy the immediate subjects of the Papal throne, and 100 titular bishops liable to dismissal by the Propaganda ; nor on the resulting fact that Italy with twenty-five millions of Roman Catholics could thus outvote the representatives of 180,000,000 of the same creed. These are not the subjects on which I propose to dwell, but on the Decree itself.
| Dr. Capel is mistaken in saying (p. 21) that when the decree on Infallibility was made, the terms · The bishops of the whole world assembled round us (the Pope), and judging with us,' were employed. These words occur in the previous definition, not in that on Infallibility; and the change of form is most remarkable.
Dr. Manning has given us the secret history of this Council in which he had taken so active a part. It appears that originally in the • Schema de Ecclesia' submitted to the Council, the infallibility of the Pope was not introduced ; only his Primacy and authority were mentioned ; but in the end great pressure was used to introduce the Infallibility-Dr. Manning no doubt being amongst the most eager of the party, before the Council dispersed for the summer; and especially because war was impending; and lest therefore they might not meet at all again. So at length, under great pressure, and, as it appears quite suddenly, the Decree on Infallibility was drawn up, passed, and proclaimed.
Now when committees of the whole House meet in the Commons, or where resolutions have to be quickly drawn up by a number of persons, each offering his own suggestions, and each getting his own rider or his own bit of amendment put in, there is a very great chance that the product of their united labours may present a very motley appearance. It is quite possible that absolute contradiction or nonsense may be the result. There is an old proverb, Too many cooks, &c.'
It would appear that the eager and astute body of ecclesiastics who were engaged in the concoction of the Decree were somewhat in this condition ; for assuredly it does seem that some spirit of mischief must have introduced himself into the conclave under the outward form of a bishop, for the purpose of producing confusion, and spoiling the work of these holy fathers. One would have thought that defining the Pope to be infallible would have been the simplest affair imaginable. A few words would have done it, such, for instance, as these :
Divine Revelation declares that the Roman Pontiff, when defining doctrine Ex Cathedra, is possessed of Infallibility, and that his Definition thus made needs no consent of the Church ; but is infallible in itself.
This would have been intelligible and distinct. It appears, however, that there must have been some tempter present who represented that a definition like this would give offence to the Council, because it entirely ignored its authority and that of the entire episcopate ; and consequently, that something must be put in for the purpose of soothing the bishops, and disarming opposition. No sooner had this suggestion been made than the decree was forthwith amended by the insertion of a clause saving the rights of the Church, and it came out in the following form, which was at once passed, engrossed, voted, confirmed, and proclaimed in red hot haste. The decree as actually passed was this: and the insertion made in it to satisfy the Council is marked in italics. If this addition be omitted, there is a clear, consistent, and simple statement of Papal infallibility.
Docemus, et divinitus revelatum dogma definimus, Romanum Pontificem, cum ex cathedrâ loquitur, id est, cum omnium Christianorum Pastoris et Doctoris munus fungens, pro supremâ suâ Apostolicâ auctoritate doctrinam de fide vel moribus ab universâ Ecclesiâ tenendam definit, per assistentiam divinam, ipsi in beato Petro promissam, ea infallibilitate pollere, quâ Divinus Redemptor. Ecclesiam suam in definiendâ doctrinâ de fide vel moribus instructam esse voluit : ideoque ejus Romani Pontificis definitiones ex sese non autem ex consensu Ecclesiæ irreformabiles esse.
Si quis autem huic nostræ definitioni contradicere. ... Anathema sit.
The Decree, as actually made, may be thus stated in substance:
1. Jesus Christ conferred on His Church, i.e. the whole body of the
Episcopate, the power of formally defining articles of faith, in
fallibly-(the Gallican doctrine). 2. But Revelation declares that this power belongs to the Roman
Pontiff, and needs no definition or consent of the Episcopate
(the Ultramontane doctrine). [3. Consequently, Jesus Christ and Divine Revelation are entirely at
variance; and the Ebionites and Socinus must have been right. 7 4. Whoever dares to contradict this, is cut off from the Catholic
Church, and is doomed to eternal perdition.
We have here again, what we have already seen in the Roman communion, the struggle of two contradictory beliefs; one affirming that the Church is to be directed by the successors of the apostles or Episcopate (the Gallican principle); the other that the Church is to be directed by the sole Vicar of Christ. These two beliefs are utterly