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of the Westphalian Peace which secured to Protestants the free exercise of their religion, and admission to civil offices, that filled the Pope, as he said, with profound grief (cum intimo doloris sensu). And this sentence was adhered to, for in 1789 Pius VI. declared that the Church had never admitted the Westphalian Peace, “Pacem Westphalicam Ecclesia nunquam probavit.” Thus again in 1805, Pius vil., in writing to his nuncio at Venice, upholds the punishments imposed by Innocent III. for heresy, viz., confiscation of property for private persons, and the relaxation of all obligations of tribute and subjection to heretical princes; and he only regrets that we are fallen on such evil days, and the Bride of Christ is so humbled, that it is neither possible to carry out, nor even of any avail to recall, these holy maxims, and she cannot exercise a righteous severity against the enemies of the faith.
These “holy maxims," then, are allowed for a while to lie dormant, though, according to the Jesuit plan of the campaign, they are to be raised at the approaching Council to the dignity of irreversible dogmas through the assertion of Papal Infallibility. Better times must be waited for, when the Church (that is, the Court of Rome) shall be raised once more from the dust, and seated on the throne of her universal, world-wide, spiritual sovereignty.
plenitudine, prædictos alterius seu utriusque Pacis hujusmodi articulos cæteraque in dictis Instrumentis contenta . . . . ipso jure nulla, irrita, invalida, injusta, damnata, reprobata, inania, viribusque et effectu vana omnia fuisse, esse et in perpetuo fore; neminemque ad illorum et cujus libet eorum etiamsi juramento vallata sint, observantiam teneri . decernimus et declaramus.”—Magnum Bullar. Roman. t. v. p. 466 seq. Luxemb. 1727.
1 The Italian text of the letter is given in Essai sur lu Puissance Temp. des Papes (Paris, 1818), vol. ii. p. 320.
But here the true Catholics” are divided into two parties. The one party, which is sufficiently educated to understand something of the spirit and tendencies of the age, cherishes no illusions as to the possibility, or at least the near approach, of a thousand years' reign of absolute Papal dominion, and therefore despairs of humanity, which in its scornful blindness has rejected its last anchor of hope. The age we live in is the dark age of Antichristian dominion, the age of wailing and woe which is to precede the appearance of the bodily Antichrist for two years and a half, after which comes the end of all things and the general judgment. This party was represented in Bavaria by a learned and influential ecclesiastic, now dead, who gave it expression in a pastoral of the present Cardinal Reisach. It simply means : As history does not go our way, there shall be no more history, or, in other words, the world must come to an end, because our system is not carried out. As their wisdom is at fault, they presume the wisdom of Providence is exhausted also! Men of this school think a Council so near the end of the world superfluous, or at best only last warning, given to men rather in wrath than in mercy.
1 [Windischmann, Vicar-General of Cardinal Reisach when Archbishop of Munich, one of the few very learned men modern Ultramontanism has produced.—TR.]
The other party, and the Jesuits at their head, see in the Council the last star of hope, and expect that, when Papal Infallibility and the articles of the Syllabus have been proclaimed, mankind will bow down its proud neck, like the royal Sicambrian, Clovis, and will burn what it adored before, and adore what it burnt.
A holy bishop, Francis of Sales, often expressed his dislike of writings which deal with political questions, such as the indirect power of the Pope over princes, and thought with good reason that, in an age when the Church has so many open enemies, such questions should not be mooted. But St. Francis of Sales is no authority for the Jesuits.
i Euvres, xi. 406.
THE NEW DOGMA ABOUT MARY.
IN comparison with the principles involved in sanc
tioning the Syllabus, the new dogma proposed about Mary is harmless enough. No one indeed can comprehend the urgent need for it only a few years after Pius ix, has solemnly proclaimed the Immaculate Conception as a revealed truth. But there never seems to be enough done for the glorification of Mary. It is worth while, however, to take note of this second exhibition of the characteristic contempt of the Jesuits for the tradition of the ancient Church.
Neither the New Testament nor the Patristic writings tell us anything about the destiny of the Holy Virgin after the death of Christ. Two apocryphal works of the fourth or fifth century—one ascribed to St. John, the other to Melito, Bishop of Sardis—are the earliest authorities for the tradition about her bodily assump
tion. It is contained also in the pseudo-Dionysius; he and Gregory of Tours brought it into the Western Church. But centuries passed before it found any recognition. Even the Martyrology of Usuard, used in the Roman Church in the ninth century, confined itself to the statement that nothing was known of the manner of the holy Virgin's death and the subsequent condition of her body : “ Plus eligebat sobrietas Ecclesiæ cum pietate nescire, quam aliquid frivolum et apocryphum inde tenendo docere.”3 If this floating tradition too is made into a dogma under Jesuit inspiration, it may easily be foreseen that the Order—l'appétit vient en mangeant—will bestow many a jewel hereafter on the dogma-thirsting world, out of the rich treasures of its traditions and pet theological doctrines. There is, for instance, the doctrine of Probabilism, which lies quite as near its heart as the Syllabus and Papal Infallibility, and which has stood it in such excellent stead in practice. What a glorious justification it would be for an Order which has been so widely blamed, if the Council
1 Εις την Κοίμησιν της υπεραγίας Δεσποίνης, and De Transitu Mariα. % De Nom. Div. 3. De Glor. Mart. i. 4. • Usuard, Martyrol. 18 Kal. Sept.
4 [The lax system of Jesuit casuistry exposed in the Provincial Letters of Pascal. Innocent xi. condemned some of the extremer forms of it. –T.]