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every movement it dislikes. In a word, we reject that doctrine and idea of the Church which has for years been commended by the organ of the Roman Jesuits as alone true, as the sole remaining anchor of deliverance for the perishing human race.
It will more precisely indicate our point of view if we quote the words of a man regarded in his lifetime as the ornament and pride of the German clergy, the Cardinal and Prince Bishop Diepenbrock, who was himself the pupil of the ever-memorable Sailer, and shared his sentiments. Diepenbrock replied to the reforming suggestions of his friend Passavant, involving an alteration in the hierarchy, a softening of the sharp distinction between clergy and laity, a co-operation of the people in Church-government, and a transformation of the Roman Court, by saying that “only in this way can health be restored to the general body, and earthly conditions be elevated and ennobled, which is a task that Christianity must accomplish ; only thus, by developing and quickening the constitution and doctrine of the Church, can the questionings and aspirations this remarkable age of ours is everywhere seething with obtain their rest and satisfaction."
“It is true, indeed,” he added, " that the ultra party
in the Church hopes to reach its goal by an opposite road. But such a return to the past is an impossibility in history. The Middle Ages are left behind once for all, and nothing but a fata morgana can make them hover like a possible future before the lively imagination of
and his allies. The necessity of a complete renovation of the Church is already dawning on the vision of all who think without prejudice, while to the few only its nature and method are as clear as the thing itself. To speak out such ideas openly I hold to be a sort of duty of charity towards mankind.”
It would be easy to quote from the writings of Gügler, Görres, Eckstein, Francis Baader, and Möhler —to mention only the departed—a series of testimonies to prove that the most gifted and enlightened among German Catholics have entertained the same or kindred views.
Diepenbrock only lived to witness the first tentative approaches of that Ultramontanism which he has described. What appeared in his time as an isolated and half-unconscious tendency, has since grown up into a powerful party, with clearly ascertained objects, which has gained a firm footing through the wide ramifications 1 See Letters published in Passavant's Nachlass (Remains), p. 87.
of the Jesuit Order, and enlists the energetic services of a constantly increasing body of fellow-labourers in the clergy educated at the Jesuit College in Rome.
As it had become necessary to assail this party, which carries on its plans either in ignorance of Church history or by deliberately falsifying it, we were obliged to distinguish the primacy as it existed in the ancient Church from its later form, and we could not therefore avoid bringing forward in this connexion a very dark side of the history of the Papacy. Every one who examines the internal relations of Church history will be constrained to acknowledge that, since the eleventh century, there has been no period of it on which a Christian student can dwell with unmixed satisfaction; and as he endeavours to get at the bottom of the causes underlying that unmistakable decay of Church life, constantly getting a deeper hold, and more widely spreading, he will always be brought back to the distortion and transformation of the Primacy as the ultimate root of the evil. If the Primacy is on the one hand a source of strength to the Catholic Church, yet on the other hand it cannot be denied that, when one looks at it from the standpoint of the ancient Church—from the Apostolic age till about 845,—the Papacy, such as it has become, presents the appearance of a disfiguring, sickly, and choking excrescence on the organization of the Church, hindering and decomposing the action of its vital powers, and bringing manifold diseases in its train. And now, when for many years preparations have been going on for effecting the final completion of the system which lies at the root of the present incongruities in the Church, and surrounding it with an impregnable bulwark by the doctrine of Infallibility, it becomes the duty of every one who wishes well to the Church and to society, to which it supplies an element of life, to try, according to the measure of his knowledge and working power, what can yet be done to ward off so fatal a catastrophe.
We do not conceal from ourselves that the charge of a radical aversion to the Papacy will be brought from more than one quarter against this book and its authors. Their number is legion at the present day, for whom the scriptural saying, “ Meliora sunt vulnera diligentis quam fraudulenta oscula odientis,” has no meaning, and who cannot comprehend how a man can at once love and honour an institution, and yet expose its weak points, denounce its faults, and purposely exhibit their mischievous results. In their opinion, things of the
kind should be carefully hushed up, or only apologetically referred to. And for some time past this way of looking at matters has been designated “piety.” It is therefore pious to believe gladly and readily fables and falsehoods which have been invented for certain ends connected with religion, or are clothed in a religious dress; it is pious either wholly to deny the injuries and abuses of the Church's life, and the perversities in her government, or, when this is impracticable, to do one's utmost to defend them, and to gain them the credit of being due to good motives, or, at least, of having a tolerable side. The absence of such a disposition is visited in ecclesiastical circles with the reproach of impiety—a reproach which, accordingly, our work is sure not to escape. But we do not acknowledge the justice of this view; we consider it, indeed, a commendable piety to maintain silence about the personal infirmities or errors of a man in high position, or even at the head of the Church, or at least to deal gently with them, but we think it a complete misapplication of the term when it is called a duty of piety to conceal or colour historical facts and faulty institutions. On the contrary, we believe our piety owes its first duties to the Divine institution of the Church and to the truth, and