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exception of Russia and the Roman States, is an outgrowth of this modern civilisation. Freedom of religious profession, worship, and teaching, freedom of political rights and duties before the law,—these, with the people's right of taxing themselves, and taking a part in legislation and municipal self-government, are the dominant principles and ideas which interpenetrate all existing Constitutions, and they are so closely connected, and so sustain each other, that where some of them are conceded, the rest inevitably follow. But an opposite course has been steadily pursued in the Church for centuries, especially since the pseudo-Isidorian decretals; the hierarchical system has become more and more built up into an unlimited oligarchical absolutism, and a constantly growing and encroaching bureaucratic centralization has killed out all the old Church-life in its harmonious disposition and synodal self-government, or turned it into a mere empty form.
Thus Church and State are like two parallel streams, one flowing north, the other south. The modern civil Constitutions, and the efforts for self-government and the limitation of arbitrary royal power, are in the strongest contradiction to Ultramontanism, the very kernel and ruling principle of which is the consolidation of
absolutism in the Church. But State and Church are intimately connected; they act and react on one another, and it is inevitable that the political views and tendencies of a nation should sooner or later influence it in Church matters also.
Hence the profound hatred, at the bottom of the soul of every genuine ultramontane, of free institutions and the whole constitutional system. The Civiltà not long since gave pointed utterance to it :-“ Christian States have ceased to exist; human society is again become heathen, and is like an earthly body with no breath from heaven. But with God nothing is impossible; he can quicken the dry bones, as in Ezekiel's vision. The political power, parliaments, voting urns, civil marriages, are dry bones. The universities are not only dry, but stinking bones, so great is the stench that rises from their deadly and pestilential teaching. But these bones can be recalled to life if they hear God's word and receive His law, which is proclaimed to them by the supreme and infallible doctor, the Pope."1
Let us remember that the noble mother of European Constitutions, the English Magna Charta, was
1 Vol. iii. pp. 265 seq., 1868. “Ossa, non pur aride, ma fetenti le università, tanto è il puzzo, che n'esce di dottrine corrompitrici e pesti. feri."
visited with the severest anger of Pope Innocent III., who understood its importance well enough. He saw therein a contempt for the Apostolic See, a curtailing of royal prerogatives, and a disgrace to the English nation; he therefore pronounced it null and void, and excommunicated the English barons who obtained it. We may readily do Pius IX. and his Jesuit counsellors, who are notoriously the authors of the Encyclical and Syllabus, the justice of admitting that they have done in 1864 what Innocent in 1215 was prophet enough to consider for the interests of the Church. What was then a weak and tender sapling has grown, in spite of the curse of the most powerful of all the Popes, into a mighty tree, overshadowing half the world, and is blest with blooming children and children's children. And so, too, its latest offspring, the Austrian Constitution,—which a far feebler successor of Innocent has stigmatized as an “unspeakable abomination” (infanda sane),—may rest in peace, and appeal confidently to the world's verdict on the world's history. And the more so, since this very successor was not ashamed, a year or two ago, to have the question asked in London, whether he too might not find a residence in the motherland of those “demoralizing" laws of freedom.
1 The Bull (Aug. 15, 1215) runs thus :—"Nos tantæ indignitatis audaciam dissimulare nolentes, in apostolicæ sedis contemptum, regalis juris dispendium, Anglicanæ gentis opprobrium et grave periculum totius negotii crucifixi (quod utique immineret, nisi per auctoritatem nostram revocarentur omnia, quæ a tanto Principe cruce signato totaliter sunt extorta, etiam ipso volente illa servari): ex parte Dei omnipotentis, Patris et Filii, et Spiritus sancti, auctoritate quoque beatorum Petri et Pauli Apostolorum ejus, ac nostra, de communi fratrum nostrorum consilio, compositionem hujusmodi reprobamus penitus et damnamus ; sub interminatione anathematis prohibentes, ne dictus Rex eam observare præsumat, aut Barones cum complicibus suis ipsam exigant observari: tam chartam quam obligationes seu cautiones, quæcunque pro ipsa vel de ipsa sunt factæ, irritantes penitus, aut cassantes, ut nullo unquam tempore aliquam habeant firmitatem.”—Rymer, Foedera, etc. (ed. Clarke), i. p. 135. Innocent sent a similar document to the English barons, and when they took no heed of it the ban and interdict followed.
Rome has shown herself no less hostile to the French than to the English Constitution. In 1824, Leo XII. addressed a letter to Louis XVIII., pointing out the badness of the French Constitution, and urgently pressing him to expunge from the charter those articles which savoured of liberalism.1 When Charles X. tried to change the Constitution by the ordinances of July 1830, every one gave the blame to his episcopal advisers, and especially his confessor, Cardinal Latil. The fall of the Bourbons was the result. Soon after the establishment of the new Belgian Constitution in 1832, Gregory XVI. issued his famous Encyclical, recently used and confirmed by Pius IX., which pronounces freedom of conscience an insane folly, and freedom of the press a pestiferous error, which cannot be sufficiently detested. The immediate consequence was the rise of a liberal party in Belgium, at internecine feud with the Catholic party. The contest still goes on, after nearly forty years; the schism has grown ever wider and deeper, and the hatred fiercer between them, and, as Ultramontanism makes every understanding or compromise between them impossible, the political controversy has merged in a systematic attacking and undermining of all positive religion. The Belgian Catholics have never been able to meet the reproach of being necessarily enemies to a Constitution condemned as wicked by the Pope, and that all their assurances of loyalty and conscientious respect for the fundamental law of the country are mere hypocrisy. And thus, with all the religiousness of the people, the liberal and anti-religious party is constantly gaining ground, while the Catholic party, divided against itself by the split between ultramontanes and liberals (i.e., Catholics true to the Constitution), is no longer competent to form any available Cabinet. The attempt of the Congress of Malines in 1863 was wrecked; the Syllabus has pronounced sentence of death on its programme, so eloquently set forth by
1 See Artaud de Montor, Hist. Leo XII. (Paris, 1843), vol. i. p. 234 seq.