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 Assent Due to Certain Papal Utterances - Dublin Review, 1878 
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New post Assent Due to Certain Papal Utterances - Dublin Review, 1878
THE DUBLIN REVIEW, VOL. 83, JULY, 1878
ART. IX, THE ASSENT DUE TO CERTAIN PAPAL UTTERANCES

(to read with italics and other original formatting: http://books.google.com/books?id=JiSG2K0-Tm4C&dq=franzelin%20infallible%20security&pg=PA155#v=onepage&q=franzelin%20infallible%20security&f=false
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ART. IX.—THE ASSENT DUE TO CERTAIN PAPAL UTTERANCES.
1. Cardinal Franxelin, De Divina Traditione et De Habitudine Itationis
Humana ad Divinam Fidem. Ronue, MDCCCLXXV.
2. Dommico Berti, II Processo Originate di Galileo Galilei, pubblicato per
la Prima Volta. Roma. 1875.
3. Revue des Deux Mondes. Octobre, 1876.
4. Le P. Eugene Desjardins, Encore GaliUe. Paris. 1877.


THE author of the "Confessions of a Revolutionist" says that it is wonderful how we ever stumble on theology "in all our political questions. Donoso Cortes,* who has justly
*Essays, &c., chap. i.
been called one of the most profound thinkers of the nineteenth century, is astonished at these remarkable words, and observes on them, that there is nothing here to cause surprise but the surprise of M. Proudhon; for, he finally adds, theology, inasmuch as it is the science of God, is the ocean which contains and embraces all sciences, as God is the ocean which contains and embraces all things. The same author* ably points out how, even as the knowledge of the laws which control Governments, and of the laws which control human societies, is the possession of political and of social truth; so the knowledge of God comprises the knowledge of all these laws; and as the knowledge of God consists in knowing, by hearing and believing, what He affirms of Himself, and as theology is the science that has these affirmations for its object, it follows that "every affirmation relative to society or to Government, supposes an affirmation relative to God; or, what comes to the same, that every political and social, is necessarily converted into a theological, truth." It is, therefore, clear that a true understanding of historical facts, of those especially which involve in their importance weighty social and political questions, presupposes a true understanding of the doctrines, of the theological truths, with which they were at variance, or with which they harmonized. Principles, "unchangeable and eternal" as the first principle from which they flow, are the criteria by which men and men's acts, as they appear in public life and on the broad page of history should be judged, and then condemned or approved. By ignoring altogether the fundamental doctrinal tenets by which the Supreme Ruler means to have the world ruled, according to the dispensation which He has graciously established, or by completely losing sight, or completely making abstraction, in a most unpardonable manner, of theological teachings, writers without number have pored over the annals of the past, have written copiously of the characters, worthy and unworthy, who figure prominently on the dead record, have commented abundantly on the deeds which they did, and on the events to which they led the way; but, as the great De Maistre+ so energetically says, although they have but too well shown that they knew how to write, they have also proved that they certainly never knew how to read.

With writers of this kind we have constantly to deal. Indeed a Catholic Review, which has to cope with them, cannot but feel indebted to them for many and able contributions, of which they have not been the authors, but to which they gave occasion, and which they oftentimes strongly called forth.
* Essays, &c., chap. i. + Du Pape, livre II. chap. x
In order to meet difficulties, real or imaginary, at the outset, and to stem the evil in its source, it is invariably necessary to remind such enemies of truth and friends of falsehood, of undeniable, saving principles, which they either ignore or spurn; to show forth such principles in all their harmony, in their unity and variety, in the full noonday of their truthful lustre, and strenuously to vindicate them against direct or indirect attacks. Widely different, indeed, must necessarily be the judgments formed on men and things, according to the different or opposite standards by which they are judged, and according to the various levels from which they are contemplated; but there is only one standard by which they can ever be fairly and duly appreciated,—that of unswerving principle, only one level from which they can be so viewed as to be seen in their true colours, —that of elevated, unbending truth.

We propose, then, in the present article, to give the teaching of Catholic theology on the assent due to certain papal utterances, which are not strictly infallible, because not ex cathedra; and, in showing forth this doctrine, we intend following, as a worthy and sure guide, his Eminence Cardinal Franzelin, the prince of living theologians, who, whilst filling with ability unsurpassed the chair of dogmatic theology in the Gregorian University of Rome, enriched the treasury of the queen of sciences with works which tell how admirably he laid hold of the mind of the Church, how he was deeply imbued with the spirit of her divine tradition, and in how masterly a manner he compassed in his vast intellect the teaching of her noble fathers. The elevation of the great professor to the dignity of Cardinal is itself a manifest proof of how the Holy See appreciated his valuable services, and if, indeed, we needed it, would be a strong and more than sufficient recommendation of his authority as a Roman Catholic divine. It is now more than two years since, after following the same leader through the teaching of tradition on Papal Infallibility, we announced our intention of treating the present question. It is not too late to do so even now. Whilst we follow the path marked out by the Jesuit Cardinal, we shall compress or develop his expositions and arguments with full freedom, and shall not be afraid of digressing, and of drawing from other sources tributaries to his purpose and ours.

A sketch of the other works mentioned at the heading of this article will serve as an admirable illustration of the special point of doctrine with which we deal. The publication of the original documents connected with Galileo's process has called forth champions from the two hostile, ever-opposed camps: one to attack the Church's conduct in that case, and to warn her against a repetition of it; the other to justify that conduct, and to demonstrate that it was in full keeping with the Church's office and duty, that it was wise at the time, and would be wise at any time under the circumstances that then existed. This Review has more .than once considered at length and in detail the whole case of Galileo; but a notice of the works before us will not be a disagreeable recital of what has been so often said, and will be far from irrelevant on the present subject.

Before entering on the question which occupies us, and as a preparation for its due consideration, Cardinal Franzelin lays down the principle that the Holy Apostolic See may prescribe theological opinions, or opinions bearing on theology, as to be followed, or proscribe them as to be avoided; and that, too, not solely with the intention of deciding the truth by a definitive sentence, but even without any such intention, from the need it has and the design it entertains of looking to the security of Catholic doctrine, whether absolutely, or relatively only to particular circumstances. Now, although in declarations of this sort there is not infallible truth of the doctrine, since the supposition is that there is no intention of definitely deciding such truth, still there is infallible security, both objectively, as regards the teaching so put forth, and subjectively, inasmuch as it is safe for all to embrace it; whereas to refuse to embrace it would not be safe, and would be a violation of the law whereby Christians are bound to be submissive to the teaching authority which has been instituted by God. Nor can it at all be reasonably said that infallible truth and infallible security in doctrinal matters come to one and the same thing, that one cannot exist without the other; for it is plain, as a moment's reflection would suffice to show, that a theory or particular point of doctrine can be infallibly secure without being infallibly true. Opinions, for instance, which are only probable, in a greater or less degree, and not at all quite certain, may be, as they often are, most safe. Absolute certainty is by no means requisite for absolute safety, which a well-grounded moral certitude can frequently insure. Such is the importance of this distinction between the defining sentences of the Sovereign Pontiff speaking ex cathedra and other doctrinal decrees, enjoining, or prohibiting, which emanate from the Holy See,—a distinction to be borne in mind both as regards the speculative truth and the practical application of the pronouncements,—that they who deny it would be forced, says Cardinal Franzelin, to the absurd position of holding that all such decrees, referring in any way to doctrine, are ex cathedra definitions. Ecclesiastical history, the Holy See's usual way of acting, and the Vatican Council's careful explanation of what an ex cathedra definition really is, show how manifestly false this would be.

As we distinguish between ex cathedra definitions and other decisions of the Holy See which are not ex cathedra; as we distinguish between the infallible truth and the infallible security of doctrine; so, in the teaching authority instituted by Christ, we must distinguish between the infallible authority, which, by the aid of the Holy Ghost, infallibly defines truth, and the authority of universal ecclesiastical provision, or of doctrinal provision, which is the same authority as the other, not, however, exercising all its intensity in ultimately defining, but taking measures for the safety of the Church's teachings. The one belongs to the supreme Pontiff alone, and he cannot communicate it, so that if an infallible definition is said to be issued by any sacred Roman congregation, that manner of speaking is inexact; for, whilst a congregation is consulted, performs its duties of labour and research, and gives in the result of its own deliberations, it is only the Pontiff that defines. The authority of universal ecclesiastical provision, on the other hand, may be communicated by the Pope, in a greater or less extent, to certain congregations of Cardinals, not so as to leave it independent of, but keeping it dependent on, his own control. From this it is clear that whilst every ex cathedra definition is, no doubt, a definition of the Holy See, still every decree of the Holy See is not at all an ex cathedra definition; a decree of a pontifical congregation can never be said to be ex cathedra, in the exact and genuine sense of the word.

After these preliminaries, in which we have very closely adhered to Cardinal Franzelin's text (pp. 127-129), and which we deem of much moment, we come to our thesis itself.

It is quite false that the only authority to whose decisions intellectual assent is due is that of God revealing, or that of the Church of God or Roman Pontiff infallibly defining; for even as an assent of properly and immediately divine faith is due to the authority of God revealing; and as an assent of ecclesiastical or mediately divine faith is due to the authority of the church of God or of the Roman Pontiff defining any doctrine as true, though not as revealed;—so there is an intellectual religious assent due to the authority of universal ecclesiastical provision.

Before proceeding to fully prove this thesis, which is upheld by "the weightiest arguments," it is useful, and even necessary, to show its real nature and drift, what it does mean and imply, what it does not mean and does not imply.

The infallible ex cathedra definitions of the Holy See may have for object either truths revealed by God, and defined as such, to which so defined assent of properly and immediately divine faith must be given by all Catholics; or their object may be truths which are not revealed, but which are connected with, and have a close bearing on, those that are: as the former, when defined as revealed, must be believed by immediately divine faith; so the latter, when defined as true, must be believed as such by ecclesiastical or mediately divine faith. By a similar infallible definition, it follows, one doctrine may be condemned as heretical and opposed to the teaching of divine revelation, and another may be condemned, not as heretical or directly antagonistic to revealed truth, but as deserving of some censure, as false, as rash, as scandalous, or the like; and in all cases the doctrine is exactly what the infallible authority declares it ex cathedra to be (pp. 123, 124). Now, our thesis has not to deal with truths ultimately defined as revealed or as true, nor with error solemnly condemned as heretical, rash, or not safe; it has not to deal with ex cathedra decisions of any sort; but it has to deal with decrees or decisions emanating from the Holy See, which are not ex cathedra at all, and which, consequently, are not necessarily of themselves, and do not claim to be, infallibly true. The formal object, that is to say, the authority to which, the reason why, assent is, and should be, given, fixes the species of the act of assent itself, which is of faith immediately or mediately divine, or an intellectual religious one, according as the authority is that of God revealing, that of the Church, or her supreme head, infallibly teaching, or that of sacred authority, not solemnly defining, but looking to the interests of Catholic doctrine.

In an article of this Review on Galileo and the Roman Congregations,* it was remarked how, although the notion that firm interior assent can be due to a fallible judgment has been denounced as extravagant, still nothing is more common in everyday life, nothing deemed less extravagant, and more in conformity with good common sense. Thus, a patient, it was said, gives firm assent to the decisions of an eminent medical doctor, and resolves on following his prescriptions, although, surely, the physician is not infallible. In like manner, it was maintained, "a firm interior assent, ordinarily not accompanied by any doubt whatever, yet not so firm as to be incompatible with the co-existence of doubt," is due to the doctrine of a congregational decree. This we find to be in fullest harmony with what the Cardinal, whose steps we now follow, lays down in his statement of the question before us. So sacred, he says, is the authority, in virtue of the supreme and universal magisterium,
* July, 1871.
that, even when it is not defining ex cathedra a doctrine to be held by the universal Church, but only, without such a definition, prescribing a doctrine to be followed or not followed, obedience is due to it. Our adversaries* he continues, do not deny that this obedience is due, but they restrict it to the omission of external acts, to a respectful silence, to not teaching, writing, or expressing opinions on any doctrine forbidden in this way; and they hold that without an ex cathedra definition submission of the mind cannot be exacted to such a degree that a person should lay aside his opinions, and embrace the opposite with so firm a certitude as to declare adhesion to it on oath. We, however, he adds, maintain that in delivered judgments of this sort, even without an ex cathedra definition, an obedience is exacted, and should be tendered, which includes a submission of the mind; not, to be sure, that the doctrine put forth in such a decree should be looked on, and should be believed, as infallibly true or false, but that it should be deemed infallibly secure. Hence we argue that the intellectual religious assent of which we speak is not "so firm as to be incompatible with the coexistence of doubt," as to the truth or falsehood of a doctrine, although it is " ordinarily not accompanied by any doubt whatever "; still it is, and should be, " so firm as to be incompatible with the co-existence of doubt" as to that doctrine's infallible security, and the insecurity of its contradictory. It is true, then, that "without an ex cathedra definition, submission of the mind" to a doctrine as infallibly true or false, as of faith," cannot be exacted to such a degree, that a person should lay aside his opinions, and embrace the opposite with so firm a certitude as to declare adhesion to it on oath"; yet it is not less true that, without an ex cathedra definition, submission of the mind can be exacted, and even in this extreme degree, to a point of doctrine as infallibly secure, and to the proposition that the contradictory of some given doctrine is infallibly unsafe.

In the same article, the question as to whether this assent is due under pain of sin, whether mortal or venial, was but mentioned in passing, and was, as it formerly bad been, avoided by express design. Cardinal Franzelin, too, leaves this question to the professors of moral theology, and is satisfied with remarking on it, that, by reason of the object, and taking the matter in itself, there can be no sin, immediately or mediately, against faith; that, taking the subject into consideration, there can be no sin without deliberate obstinacy, and that the existence, of sin, as well as its gravity, depends on many circumstances regarding the object and the subject, which he would not take up singly and go through one after the other (p. 153).

It must be observed, moreover, that there are some decrees issued by the Holy See which enjoin silence, and nothing more; as was the case, for instance, with the decision of Paul V. on the auxilia of divine grace; and there are also private letters, in which certain authors, or schools, or the like, are recommended; of neither of these does the present thesis speak, but of those replies and decrees by which a doctrine is laid down as to be followed or not to be followed, to be taught or not to be taught, to be defended or not to be defended; and we contend that this following or not following, teaching or not teaching, defending or not defending, involves submission of the mind, and leaves no room for dissimulation and hypocrisy.

We shall arrange under three headings the proofs we adduce to uphold our thesis; under the first we shall give general proofs drawn from principles fundamental in theological science; under the second shall come those which are furnished by certain documents issued by the Holy See; and under the third, arguments drawn from the teaching of private doctors of name and weight.

I. First of all, then, there is an intellectual religious assent due to pronouncements of the Holy See which do not bear upon them the stamp of infallibility; if the obligation of such assent is in fullest harmony with essential constituent elements of the Christian economy, with the relation between the teaching and the taught, which is the physical essence, so to say, of our religion, and if the lawfulness of refusing such assent would be altogether at variance with, and opposed to, these elements and this relation. Now, that such is the case can very easily be shown. Authority to preach the Word of God on the one hand, and the obligation of hearing and believing it when preached on the other, were the two great essentials of the Christian religion in its foundation and first propagation, and since a thing cannot last if its essentials cease to be such, they are the essentials and constituents of that same religion to the present day, and so shall they be to the end. Our able author, at the beginning of his treatise on Tradition (p. 27) says that authority, a personal authentic magisterium, apostolic preaching, on the one side, and, on the other, a corresponding subjection, obedience, and obligation of receiving from the persons invested with that power the faith which is handed down, and its explanations, are not something external to the Christian religion and economy, are not something added on to it, as it were, by chance in certain changing circumstances, but they are an internal constituent, and an essential property of the economy instituted by Christ. We do not say, he continues, that the authentic magisterium and the corresponding duty of obedience of faith are essential a priori to any religion; but we do say, that they are essential to the Christian religion according to the very form which Christ impressed on it; for there is here no question of the metaphysical essence of religion in general, but of one of the essential elements, and of the physical essence, as it were, of the Christian religion instituted in this special form by Christ the Incarnate Word. Is it not then in fullest harmony with the unchangeable relation between the authority which has power to bind, and those subject to it, that the persons invested with the authority should meet with a religious submission to their dictates, even when they do not speak in all the fulness of their power, with anathema to crush the unbelieving? And would not lawfulness to refuse the submission called for be altogether at variance with, and opposed to, this essential element of the Christian economy? Surely nobody would say that the duty of filial respect and obedience would be fulfilled by a child who would obey only when the parent would give a rigid command and say: "If you do not obey, I shall disinherit you." Nor would anybody assert that a citizen in any society, in any condition, under any law, is bound to do only what is commanded, and to avoid only what is forbidden under pain of the severest penalties. Filial duty and social duty require much more from the child and from the citizen; and much more right has the more sacred authority set up over the Christian family and vast society of the Church to exact submission ex animo, on the part of its subjects, to the teachings which it inculcates, even when it does not prescribe them with the utmost solemnity. Nothing could be more conformable to the relation between the parent and child, and between the ruling and ruled in the State, than alacrity and heartiness in doing things which are recommended, though not strictly enjoined; and very much opposed to it would be bargaining and measuring the reach of unavoidable subjection; so, too, and a fortiori, nothing more in keeping with the mutual relations between the Church authentically teaching and her children who are taught, than freely to offer the assent we speak of to the decisions which are infallibly safe, if not infallibly true; and entirely injurious and antagonistic to that relation would be the refusal of this assent, the denial that it is due. Therefore we argue the truth of the doctrine we have laid down, because of its harmony and close connection with a doctrine which is beyond all question, as the groundwork of Catholic teaching.

II. Our second argument flows from that just given, and is, it would seem, nothing more than a further development of it. It is drawn from the mind and understanding of the Church, both teaching and taught, which constitutes between the authentic teachers and those instructed by them another relation, which may be fairly regarded as an effect, or as the natural outcome of that which we have just noticed. The Church of God is infallible in its teaching, in its universal preaching, and in its universal belief. A definition ex cathedra is indeed a criterion of infallible truth; but it is not the only one (p. 117). The Apostles, the first heralds of the Gospel and preachers of the Kingdom of Heaven, were all endowed with the extraordinary charisma of infallibility; all who would believe them and would be baptized should be saved, all who would not believe them should be condemned. The successors of the Apostles, taken singly and individually, are not infallible; but the head of that Apostolic succession and of the whole Church is infallible, and so are all the other pastors, collectively, together with him. Now, it is clear, and this seems to us a most powerful argument for the doctrine we lay down, that if the faithful are not bound to give any internal, intellectual, religious assent to any doctrinal utterances that are not strictly infallible, they are free to disregard and slight, and even condemn, at least internally, the ordinary teaching of their pastors — a doctrine the admission of which would be simply monstrous, and would mean the complete overthrow of the order established by the Good Shepherd between the pastors and their flocks, for in the latter it would substitute for the duty of learning the power of teaching and the right of criticising. On this special point the very wording of the thesis, to which the principle here put forward comes as a scholium, is deserving of minute consideration. The thesis is, that the conscience and profession of faith in the whole body of the faithful are always preserved free from error by the Spirit of truth through the authentic magisterium of the Apostolic succession. Therefore, although the duty of learning, and not the power of authentically teaching, belongs both to individuals from among the people and to entire peoples; still the "Catholic mind " of the whole Christian people, and their common belief in a dogma,, ought to be looked upon as one of the criteria of divine tradition (p. 103).

This statement involves two theological truths which arc correlative to one another. The members of the Apostolic succession, the pastors of the people, alone have the right and power of teaching authentically in the Church of God; whilst the duty of learning, the obligation of being taught, is incumbent on all the other children of that Church. This statement involves, moreover, two other theological truths which are also correlative to one another. The authentic magisterium is the cause, partially, ministerially and outwardly (p. 104), of the
VOL. xxxi. NO. LXI. [New Series.']
infallibility of the Church's universal belief; and this latter, consequently, is, in a corresponding manner, the effect of the former. From these truths we argue that this duty of learning, this obligation of being taught, brings with it the obligation and the duty of entering into and of embracing the "Catholic mind "; and, in like manner, we say, that this second obligation brings with it the duty of giving the assent of which we speak to the decisions which, as we hold, demand and have a right to demand it.

The doctrine of Catholic theology on the duty incumbent on Catholics of cleaving to the " Catholic mind," of entering into the sentiment of the universal Mother Church, is of the most plain and emphatic kind. The earliest Fathers of the Church, those who, from their nearness to the Apostolic times, are looked on as almost Apostles, lay the greatest stress on it. S.Clement of Rome,* S. Ignatius, f the martyr bishop of Antioch, S. Polycarp,J and Hegisippus, a little later on, unite in asserting that Christ our Lord gave orders to His Apostles to ordain bishops to be their successors in the ministry through a series that should never die out; that union with the bishops, who are to be followed as Christ Himself, is necessary for the avoiding of heresy and the preserving of the true doctrine; and that this is the means by which the tradition received from the beginning is to be held to the end. S. Ignatius of Antioch especially, whose epistles are monumental and of greatest authority in the Church, is solicitous, above all else, about the harmony of consent and of union between flocks and their bishops, as the great means of preserving the one sound doctrine of faith and of remaining true to the divinely-instituted power which governs the Church. His words are so telling, and so much to our present purpose, that we deem it well worth while quoting a few of them:—"I have warned you first of all," he says, "to be unanimous in the mind of God; for Jesus Christ, our inseparable life, is the mind of the Father, as the bishops, who are constituted as such all over the earth, are in the mind of Jesus Christ; whence it behoveth you to be unanimously of the mind and opinions of your bishops. For whomsoever the father of the household seudeth to govern his family, we should receive as him who sendeth him." The bishops, taken individually, are not infallible; they issue no ex cathedra definitions; but they are the links which bind the more remote members to their head; they are authentic teachers in the Church, authentic witnesses of the Church's teaching and belief,
* Clem. Rom. Ep. I. ad Cor. n. 42. +Ad Eph. n. 3-6. +Ep. n. 13.
authentic exponents of her mind; therefore, even in doubtful matters, the presumption is always in their favour; therefore, it behoveth their flocks, it is the duty of their flocks, to be of their mind, that so they may be of the mind of the great Mother Church.

As, then, the congregations of Cardinals, who, under the immediate control and close supervision of the sovereign Pontiff, superintend the teaching of the entire Church, and issue doctrinal decisions with the stamp of the sacred, though not absolutely infallible, authority with which they are invested, are exponents of the Church's mind and witnesses to her tradition, exponents of, and witnesses to, the untarnished Roman tradition in particular, no less, but even more closely, than bishops; and as the faithful are bound to be of the mind of the latter, because of their relations to the Church and to them, so, surely, and a fortiori, are they bound to be of the mind of the former, which they cannot be unless they receive their decisions with religious, mental assent and with docility of will. The ecclesiastical preaching, the rule of understanding, the rule of apostolic truth, and corresponding to them, the conscience of faith, the Catholic understanding, the ecclesiastical mind and feeling, the faith written in the heart, the unwritten wisdom (p. 96)—all this, forcibly taught and expounded by the Church through her fathers and doctors, means all we say, or, if it does not mean that, it is devoid of meaning altogether.

III. Furthermore the sacred authority of a Pontifical congregation which issues congregational decrees is a motive amply sufficient to exact intellectual submission of a religious character; and, consequently, because it is so sufficient a motive, this submission is due to its pronouncements. This third argument follows naturally from those already advanced. The authority of which we treat is, with the sole exception of that which is absolutely infallible, the greatest on earth as regards the matters which come under its supervision and are compassed in its wide-extended sphere; and if, in these matters and within that sphere, it is unable to make those under it enter into its views by mental subjection, and has no right to exact such subjection, assuredly there is no superiority, no eminence in any profession, that can claim weight on the convictions of the inferior and ignorant. "Since the peculiar source of argument and the peculiar and principal reason for which assent is given in theological doctrine is not the intrinsic perception of the truth, but the authority which proposes it, the sacred authority of universal doctrinal provision is, in virtue of its office, a most sufficient motive for which a pious will can and should command the mind to surrender itself to it by a religious or theological consent" (p. 131). This ever living authority not only is a witness of the Church's tradition, of her teaching in all times back to the earliest ages, but is, moreover, invested in a body of men eminent for their abilities and learning, who make it the business of their lives to study and fathom the doctrines which have been handed down to them, and which they have to preserve undefined at the fountainhead, under the living shadow of the hoary rock. It would be more than absurd to say that any Catholic could reasonably and without breach of duty oppose his private judgment or opinion to the judgment of such a body, and should not submit with heart, and soul, and mind to its official utterances. These utterances are not infallibly true, no doubt, though the strong presumption is that they really are true, but they are always infallibly safe; whereas the judgment of the individual cannot pretend to either infallible truth or infallible safety. Which, then, should preponderate? We repeat that this sacred authority is an amply sufficient motive to claim assent, not hypocritical, but genuine and intellectual, from its subjects; and, therefore, this assent on their part is due to its authoritative decisions.

A fresh proof of a general sort, and one that would admit of considerable development, is furnished by the fact that it may happen, and does happen, that doubt may exist in the mind of Catholics, even of the highly educated, as to whether some particular document coming forth from the Holy See is or is not ex cathedra. In the case of such uncertainty no Catholic could venture to think that he is free to accept or not accept, to submit to or not submit to, the doctrine embodied in the declaration of which the authority is questioned. The only safe course would evidently be to subject the intellect as well as the will to all which is taught in this way. Whence it follows that mental subordination should be given to doctrinal pronouncements the absolute infallibility of which is not quite certain. The nature of the assent itself will, of course, be in accordance with the motive for which it is offered.

We now proceed from these general proofs to those which are supplied by particular documents issued by the Holy See. We shall see how the Holy See has over and over again exacted intellectual subjection to declarations sent forth from it which were not ex cathedra; and as it would be simply preposterous to suppose that the Holy See has been repeatedly officially doing and claiming what it could not do and had no right to claim—absurd to think that it has been repeatedly going beyond the limits of its power; the one logical and natural conclusion to be drawn from the pronouncements which we are going to consider is, that the assent so often claimed was rightfully claimed and is always due.

I. We shall first call attention to the reply sent by the sacred Roman Congregation of the Inquisition to the question whether seven propositions of Professor Ubaghs relative to ontologism could or could not be safely taught. The demand was an tuto tradi possent? After taking the votes of the consultors, and after maturely weighing each of the propositions, the most eminent members of that congregation returned an answer in the negative, which bears date the 18th September, 1861. "Surely no theologian would say that this declaration of the Sacred Congregation was an ex cathedra definition" (p. 137); nor could any theologian maintain that by this decision silence, and nothing more, was enjoined; for by that decision the doctrine of the seven propositions was declared unsafe. Evidently, then, it would have been but mockery to ask this doctrinal pronouncement, and but mockery for the Sacred Congregation to give it, if it did not carry with it the obligation on the part of Catholics of believing that the teaching in question really was what it was thus declared to be. Wherefore, says our most eminent author, by this reply— "The Sacred Congregation has judged that the doctrine here laid down cannot be safely taught,"—any Catholic theologian will look on the simply and strictly theological question as solved, and will deem all arguments brought forward in opposition as done away with; although assuredly he can find in this response no answer to the philosophical question, why and for what intrinsic reason is the teaching unsafe? The Sacred Congregation meant that the propositions should be believed to be unsafe; as is clear from another document that speaks of a doctrine which should be heartily condemned and rejected, and which, it is said, was plainly like that of the seven propositions. We conclude our argument from this reply; it was not an excathedra definition, still it called for interior submission to what it officially affirmed.

II. We next come to a letter, bearing date the 2nd March, 1866, sent by Cardinal Patrizi, in the name of the Sacred Congregations of the Inquisition and of the Index, to his Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Mechlin. The letter refers to the teachings of the same Louvain Professor, and from it we translate this extract:—" The Cardinals have undertaken to examine other teachings contained in more recent editions of the same author's works; and they have clearly seen inculcated in these books teachings like some of the seven propositions which your Eminence will find on an enclosed leaf, and which the supreme Congregation of the Holy Office declared unsafe on the18th of September, 1861; and they have seen too that there are other opinions in the same books which-are put forward without sufficient caution. This is especially the case with regard to the opinion called Traducianism, and with regard to what is said on the principle of life in man, which should by all means be corrected. The most eminent Cardinals, therefore, have come to this decision: that in the books on philosophy already published by G. C. TJbaghs there are found teachings and opinions which cannot be taught without danger. His Holiness Pius IX. has approved and confirmed this decision by his Supreme Authority."

It has been objected that this letter, or the judgment contained in it, is an ex cathedra definition; and for our purpose it is necessary to establish beyond doubt that it is not such, before we construct our argument upon it. This congregational sentence, it is said, is an ex cathedra definition, because the Sovereign Pontiff confirmed it by his supreme authority, and because Cardinal Patrizi is found later on to say that by it the Louvain question was defined. We answer, that in order that any sentence should be an ex cathedra definition it should be issued by the Sovereign Pontiff himself, and in his own name, since, as has been already laid down, he cannot communicate his infallible authority to any dignitary under heaven; this sentence was issued by Cardinal Patrizi in the name of the Congregations of the Inquisition and of the Index, not by the Pope in his own name. The substance of the document is to be found in the words:—" The most eminent Cardinals, therefore, have come to this decision: that in the books on philosophy already published by Q. C. Ubaghs, there are found teachings and opinions which cannot be taught without danger." An ex cathedra definition is never couched in such terms, but is formulated in a widely different manner. If theologians say, as for instance Cardenas, and Lacroix, and Zaccaria, and Bouix do, that doctrinal decrees of the Sacred Congregations, when specially approved by the Pope, arc ex cathedra definitions, this doctrine, in order to be reconciled with that of the Vatican Council, must be understood in its only true sense to mean that, in such a case, such decrees should be so specially approved by the Pope, as to be made by him his own, in such sense that he himself would be the author of any decree so promulgated, and the Congregations' part in it would be nothing more than that of having been consulted. As to what is said, that the Pontiff confirmed the letter by his supreme authority, it must be borne in mind that his authority may be termed supreme cither in the intensity of its exercise, or in its substance—sive intensione exercitii sive in sua substantia,—as the distinction has it; in the former sense, not in the latter, does it imply infallibility, and it is evidently in the latter sense, not in the former, that it is here applied. But, it is urged, Cardinal Patrizi expressly said that the Louvain question was defined by this decree. Yes, to be sure, but he does not say by a definition ex Cathedra. The Cardinal evidently means that the question which had been for years under consideration was at length brought to a close and put an end to by the authority of universal doctrinal provision. The professors most concerned in the matter were perfectly right in believing and saying that this was no ex cathedra definition, although they were very wrong in asserting that it was a disciplinary decision, and not a doctrinal one.

Having shown that Cardinal Patrizi's official letter was not an ex cathedra definition, it remains for us to prove that intellectual submission was due to the substance of it. The doctrines and opinions of the professor are declared unsafe; and are therefore to be thought so, and not to be taught. It is true that some thought that by this utterance silence was enjoined, and nothing more, nothing about the doctrine itself. Soon, however, they were made see their great mistake; for, in August of the same year, Cardinal Patrizi wrote on the subject, in the Holy Father's name, to the Belgian bishops, these words, which are of the utmost weight, for our end :— "It is the duty of Catholics, and much more so of Ecclesiastics, to submit themselves fully, perfectly, and absolutely to the decrees of the Holy See, and to do away with all contentions which would be incompatible with the sincerity of their assent." These are almost the very words of our thesis, and, consequently, proceeding from such a source, prove and confirm it admirably. Furthermore, the professors in question were ordered to sign a formula then given, and "all did sign it with most praiseworthy obedience, in December of the same year." The formula, a very important and imperative one, was as follows:—" In compliance with your orders, I hasten to offer you this written testimony of my filial obedience, and I most humbly entreat you to lay it at the feet of our Most Holy Father, Pope Pius IX. / fully, perfectly, and absolutely submit myself to the decisions of the Apostolic See, issued the 2nd of March and 30th of August of this year, and / agree with them in my convictions. Therefore, / heartily condemn and reject any opposite doctrine." No one who looks carefully and candidly into the matter will come to regard these decisions as ex cathedra definitions; and, nevertheless, it is as clear as the light of day, that full, perfect, and absolute submission was due to them,—a submission of the intellect, no doubt, as the language implies, and as the terms "ex animo acquiesce,” and “ex corde reprobo," expressly state. The learned Louvain professors understood the decisions in their true sense, and, in a most praiseworthy manner, did their duty, by subjecting their strong intellects to them.

III. For our next argument in support of our theological principle, we shall refer to three documents, which are much of a similar nature. The Bishop of Strasburg, in accordance with the wishes of Gregory XVI., requested M. Bautain, of Strasburg seminary, to subscribe, and, by so doing, attest his assent, to certain propositions drawn up for him, and M. Bautain did so in 1840. The Sacred Congregation of the Index, with the approval of Pius IX., exacted a similar act of submission, by signature likewise, from the learned Bonnetty, in 1855. Neither of these formally undersigned documents is an ex cathedra utterance, or has ever been thought to be one; still,it is certain, and the full account of each case leaves no room for doubt on the matter, that intellectual submission, and not merely respectful silence, was claimed by, and was due to, both one and the other. It would be nothing short of revolting to Catholic feeling to suppose that Messrs. Bautain and Bonnetty, whilst signing their names as they were required, were not bound in conscience to submit their minds to the doctrine to which they subscribed. If they were not, the action of venerable authority in their regard would be nothing more than a glaring encouragement of intolerable hypocrisy, which it is too absurd even to imagine.

The third document which we here notice is a letter which Pius IX. addressed in June, 1857, to Cardinal Geissel, Archbishop of Cologne, concerning a decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Index, which proscribed the works of Antony Giinther. The decree referred to, like so many others, was not an ex cathedra definition, even though issued at the express command and with the confirmation of the Sovereign Pontiff. Still, the letter of Pius IX. asserts that the decree was quite sufficient to oblige all Catholics to believe, not only that the doctrine put forward in these works could not be defended and upheld, but that it could not be considered in itself as being at all a true and tenable doctrine. The language of Pius IX. expresses the very conclusion which we wish to draw, and renders further comment superfluous.

IV. We now come to consider the well-known Munich Brief, a document so telling and conclusive on our subject, that it was the only argument in support of this doctrine that Cardinal Franzelin thought it necessary to bring forward in the first edition of his work on "Tradition." In it we find the following passage:—" We give deserved praise to the men of this Congress, because, rejecting the false distinction between philosophy and the philosopher, of which we have spoken in another letter, they know and have declared that all Catholics in their works are bound in conscience to obey the dogmatical decrees of the Infallible Catholic Church. And whilst we thus praise them for professing a truth which necessarily arises from the obligation of Catholic faith, we wish to believe that they did not intend to limit that obligation, which is altogether binding on Catholic teachers and writers, within the sphere of those matters only which are proposed by the Church's infallible judgment, as dogmata of faith to be believed by all. And we are persuaded likewise that they did not mean to declare that the perfect adhesion towards revealed truths, which they have acknowledged as altogether necessary for achieving true progress in the sciences, and for refuting error, can be obtained, if faith and obedience be given only to the dogmata expressly defined by the Church. For, even if there were question of that subjection which is to be yielded by an act of divine faith, that should not be confined to matters defined by express decrees of (Ecumenical Councils, or of the Roman Pontiffs and of this Apostolic See, but should also be extended to all that is taught as divinely revealed by the ordinary magisterium of the whole Church spread throughout the world, and which, therefore, is held by the universal and common consent of theologians as belonging to the faith. But since there is question of that subjection whereby all Catholics are bound in conscience, who apply themselves to the speculative sciences, in order that by their writings they may produce fresh benefits for the Church; the men of this Congress should, therefore, acknowledge that it is not enough for educated Catholics to receive and venerate the forementioned dogmata, but that it is also necessary that they submit themselves both to the doctrinal decisions which are issued by the Pontifical congregations and to those points of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that, although the opinions opposed to these same points of doctrine cannot be called heretical, still they deserve some other theological censure."*

It has been asserted that in this Brief there is no question at all about any congregational decisions, except those which are strictly infallible, as being ex cathedra definitions; and although the language of the document on this point is very
* We may refer our readers to a comment on this part of the Munich Brief which appeared in our number for July, 1871, pp. 148-152. That comment issues substantially in the same conclusions with those maintained in the text.
clear indeed, and easily understood, still we must notice the statements which have been made to uphold the strange assertion. The Sovereign Pontiff, it has been said, speaks first of all of revealed dogmata, and when he mentions decisions emanating from Pontifical congregations, he means ex cathedra definitions, to which every Catholic is bound to tender absolute assent,—to the first class of truths under pain of incurring the censure of heresy, to the second class under pain of incurring some censure of a less formidable character. It has been alleged that this is still further shown from the fact that these judgments of Pontifical congregations are mentioned in connection with "those points of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that although the opinions opposed to these same points of doctrine cannot be called heretical, still they deserve some other theological censure "; and on these points it is acknowledged that Suarez and others declare the consenting Church to be infallible. Nay, it is even objected, that what we deem the one clear and natural sense of the letter of Pius IX. to the Archbishop of Munich cannot be the genuine one, because theologians teach that mental assent can be exacted only by an infallible definition; and Cardinal Gotti, in particular, it is said, denies our principle, since he teaches that although congregational decrees should be looked on as of importance, and exact external obedience; still, taken in themselves as issued by the Congregation, they do not furnish the theologian with a firm and reliable proof of the doctrine which they inculcate.

We shall speak of the teaching of theologians, and of Cardinal Gotti in particular, with reference to our subject, in due course; -and here we shall be satisfied with doing away with the other futile objections brought against the substance of the Brief.

We answer first of all, in a general manner, by asking at the outset with Cardinal Pranzelin, Who could ever believe that "decisions which are issued by Pontifical Congregations" should comprise none of those issued by the congregations themselves, and-Sra/y those that are issued by the Sovereign Pontiff, teaching «x cathedra? No doubt congregational decisions are often termed decisions of the Holy See, because it is from the Holy See that the congregations hold their jurisdiction and teaching authority, as its organs and members exercised for universal pastoral and doctrinal provision. No doubt, the decrees too are often called Pontifical, inasmuch as the Pope ratifies and confirms them by his supreme authority. But it is a thing unheardof, and it is altogether at variance with the style of the Curia, that an ex cathedra definition should be designated as a decision issued by a Pontifical congregation.

Not only is this statement stripped of any force by being out of keeping with the custom and language of the Curia; a full consideration and clear understanding of the Brief itself and of its tenour makes it quite untenable. The Brief lays down three distinct classes of decisions that come forth from the Holy See, as we have done, and specifies, as we have done, though not in quite the same language, the nature of the assent due to each respectively. First of all, we see pointed out "the dogmatical decrees of the Infallible Catholic Church," the truths " which are proposed by the Church's infallible judgment as dogmata of faith to be believed by all," "the dogmata expressly defined by the Church." To all such decrees as these "faith and obedience" are due, faith properly and immediately divine to revealed truths, defined as such, and faith mediately divine to other truths, not revealed, but connected with others that are revealed, which are likewise defined by the Church's infallible authority. The members of the Munich Congress acknowledged "that all Catholics are bound in conscience to obey the dogmatical decrees of the Infallible Catholic Church." The Sovereign Pontiff praises them for this declaration ; but supposes that they did not intend to limit the obligation of Catholics to the sphere of such decrees, and expressly asserts that it would not be enough. "For even if there were question of the subjection which is to be yielded by an act of divine faith, that should not be confined to matters defined by express decrees, .... but should be extended to all that is taught as divinely-revealed by the ordinary magisterium of the whole Church." But the present question is not about "the subjection which is to be yielded by an act of divine faith," whether immediately or mediately divine, to the pronountfements to which such an act is due. The real question at issue concerns " that subjection whereby all Catholics are bound in conscience, who apply themselves to the speculative sciences"; and Pius IX. answers the question admirably in this way:—" The men of this Congress should, therefore, acknowledge that it is not enough for educated Catholics to receive and venerate the forementioned dogmata, but that it is also necessary that they submit themselves both to the doctrinal decisions which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and to those points of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions." The " theological truths and conclusions" here spoken of are not truths and conclusions defined as such by the infallible authority, but truths and conclusions which are held as such "by the common and constant consent of Catholics," and which are "so certain, that although the opinions opposed to these points of doctrine cannot be called heretical, still they deservesome other theological censure." Religious assent, consequently, and inn assent of divine faith, is due to these truths and conclusions; and therefore, instead of inferring that the doctrinal decisions mentioned in connection with them are ex cathedra definitions, the logical and truth-seeking mind should naturally be led to a different inference.

We deem it then unquestionable that there is a marked distinction made in the Brief between the congregational decrees of which we speak, and utterances which are ex cathedra, bearing with them the formal sanction of infallible authority; and this being once laid down, it is matter of small difficulty to show how the Brief expressly teaches that intellectual assent is due to these doctrinal decisions. The Sovereign Pontiff teaches that perfect adhesion towards revealed truths cannot be obtained if faith and obedience be given only to the dogmata expressly defined by the Church. Faith and obedience are also due to all that is taught as divinely revealed by the ordinary magisterium of the whole Church; and, to ensure that perfect adhesion to revealed truths, Catholics are bound in conscience to submit themselves to the decisions of Pontifical Congregations, and to other undefined theological truths and conclusions. The end for which the submission is declared necessary, viz., to ensure perfect adhesion to revealed truths, proves that, if the necessary means are to be in keeping with, and in proportion, to the end, the submission to congregational decisions so requisite must be intellectual, since the perfect adhesion to revealed truths, since the act of divine faith, is an intellectual act. Furthermore, the same submission is said to be required for these decisions as for the theological truths and conclusions mentioned in connection with them; and since it is beyond doubt that mental submission should be tendered in the one case, it follows that the assent to be given in the other should be mental likewise. Our adversary says that the Brief does require intellectual subjection to the pronouncements of which it speaks; but as he takes them to be ex cathedra declarations, he should naturally claim for them an intellectual subjection which would involve an act of mediately divine faith, not merely the religious submission of mind which, as is openly stated, all Catholics are bound in conscience to offer to decrees of Sacred Congregations, which are not ex cathedra definitions.

These important documents, taken singly or taken collectively, seem to us to establish the doctrine embodied in our thesis in the most decisive manner. It remains for us to consider a third class of arguments drawn from the doctrine of theologians on our subject. To this task we shall apply ourselves in a future article, as space does not permit us to give in the present, as we expressly intended at the outset, the full treatment of this division of the subject, and of the portion which is to come after it. However we shall continue it with interest in the coming number. First, we shall show, as if by a negative proof, that the doctrine of some theologians, such as Suarez, Bellarmine, and Gotti, which has been said to be opposed to our teaching, is fully in harmony with it, and even something more. Then we shall adduce arguments of a really positive character, by showing how the doctrine of our thesis has been held by theologians in general, and especially by Zaccaria, Gregory XVI., and Benedict XIV., who may justly be regarded on the matter as organs of the entire Teaching Church.


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New post Re: Assent Due to Certain Papal Utterances - Dublin Review,
This is part II from The Dublin Review, 1878

(to read with italics and other original formatting: http://books.google.com/books?id=nf4IAQAAIAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false)
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ART. IX.—THE ASSENT DUE TO CERTAIN PAPAL UTTERANCES.

1. Cardinal Franzelin, De Divina Traditione et De Habitudine Rationis
Humance ad Divinam Fidem. KomEe, MDCCCLXXV.
2. Dmnenieo Berti, II Processo Originate di Galileo Galilei, pubblicato per
la Prima Volta. Eoma. 1875.
3. Revue dei Deux Mondes. Oetobre, 1876.
. Le P. Eugene Desjardins, Encore Galilee. Paris. 1877.

IN the July issue of this Review we laid down, as plainly and as clearly as the subject-matter allowed, the doctrine which we go on to defend in the present article, and, having then adduced arguments from a two-fold source to uphold our important thesis, we shall now, without further preface, resume the subject where we left off, by proceeding at once to the third class of proofs already marked out. "First, we shall show, as if by a negative proof, that the doctrine of some theologians, such as Suarez, Bellarmine, and Gotti, which has been said to be opposed to our teaching, is for the most part fully in harmony with it, and even something more. Then we shall adduce arguments of a really positive character, by showing how the doctrine of our thesis has been held by theologians in general, and especially by Zaccaria, Gregory XVI., and Benedict XIV., who may justly be regarded on the matter as organs of the entire teaching Church.''*

I. The teaching of Suarez has been brought forward as in direct opposition to what we maintain in the thesis under our consideration, and, as Suarez is a host in himself, it is of much importance indeed for us to see whether he stands on our side or is leagued with our adversary. On what grounds has it been alleged that Suarez is opposed to our doctrine on this head, and that, consequently, what he teaches is opposed to the interpretation of the substance of the Munich Brief, which we deem the only obvious, natural, and truthful one? Because he holds that the consent of Catholics in matters of doctrine is an infallible criterion of truth! Whence it has been argued'
* The DUBLIN REVIEW, July, 1878, p. 173.
that intellectual submission is, indeed, due " to those points of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions," for the plain and simple reason that such submission should be tendered to an infallible authority, which exists in the present case. In like manner it has been contended, if mental consent is to be given “ to the doctrinal decisions which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations," it is only when and because these decisions are decrees which emanate from that authority which rules supreme, and is unquestionably infallible. The bold conclusion is that this, nothing else and no more, was what Suarez meant and what Suarez taught.*

By referring to the great doctor's works, even to that portion of them which is adduced as unfriendly to our purpose,+ we can readily gather what was his meaning, and what his express teaching, nor do we find the least reason for dreading lest our cause may suffer from the research. Concerning the authority of the consent of Catholics in matters of doctrine, or, what is the same, concerning the Church's passive infallibility, her infallibility in believing, — Suarez teaches, first of all, that the Church cannot sin against faith, cannot fall away from the true faith, by heresy. He lays down, in the second place, that in those matters which the Church believes as being certainly of faith she cannot be led astray by any ignorance. Thirdly, what is altogether to our purpose, and fully answers our end,—that in those points of doctrine which the Church does not indeed believe as certainly of faith, but which, nevertheless, hold such a place in her convictions that any opposite opinion would be accounted deserving of some censure —that even in these the presumption is, and it must be held, that the Church is not wrong, although there is no real certainty that in these points she is infallible.t This is what the great theologian who is said to be against us says, and of his very words this is as faithful a translation as we can offer. "I say, in the third place, that although it is not certain that those things which the Church believes as pious and probable are true, still, if the entire Church consents in anything of this sort, it must be held that in this she does not err, not only that she commits no practical, but even that she commits no speculative, error. The reason of the first part of the assertion—
* Card. Franz., De. Div. Trad., p. 141.
+ Suarez, De Fide Disp. v., sect. 6, n. 8.
t It is plain on the very surface that Suarez is not speaking of cases in which the Supreme Pontiff has defined that certain tenets are erroneous or otherwise censurable.

why it is not certain that matters so believed as pious and probable are true—is because it is not agreed on as of certainty that the Church is ruled by the Holy Ghost in all these things, since they do not belong to the faith, and are not necessary for salvation. The reason of the second part of the assertion,— viz., why it must be held that even in these the Church does not err,—is because the entire Church, even when considered only as a human society, in which there are very many wise men, has the greatest authority that exists except the divine. If, therefore, the whole Church judges—by its belief—that anything is probable, it evidently is so, and in this way the danger of practical error is at once done away with, whilst it becomes most likely that it is even true in reality, especially as it is likely that the Holy Ghost gives particular aid and light to the doctors of the Church. If this is admitted with regard to truths of the natural order, as we have said,* how much more should it be believed with reference to the matter of which we now treat? But it must be borne in mind that there are degrees in these things, as can be gathered from what we have to say,+ for although some of them are not so certain that opinions contrary to them would be heretical, still they are sometimes very closely connected with principles of faith, and then opinions contrary to them are erroneous. Sometimes they are sustained by the great consent of the fathers, and then the opposite teaching is rash.

After this quotation it must indeed seem rather astonishing that Suarez should have been put forward as teaching something at variance with what we defend; for surely there is nothing here that is out of keeping with our thesis, nothing that is not completely in harmony with it, and a good deal too which seems to be a strong defence and confirmation of it. For it is clear as light of day from these words of the illustrious theologian that he never taught that the only authority to which intellectual assent is due is an infallible authority. He expressly teaches that this assent is at times due to an authority which is not infallible when he says that "although it is not certain that those things which the Church believes as pious and probable are true, still, if the entire Church consents in anything of this sort, it must be held—tenendum est—that in this she does not err; not only that she commits no practical, but even that she commits no speculative, error." The Church's belief on the matters referred to is not an infallible criterion of their truth, and yet it must be held that the Church does not
* Suarez, "De Gratia," c, 2. n. 17.
t Id., ibid., Disp. xix. § 52.

make any mistake in believing them; that, in consequence, it is practically safe to believe them, or assent to them; that the presumption is that they really are true, and that not to believe them or assent to them would be censurable. The reason of the obligation of giving mental submission in such cases is found further on. "The entire Church, even when considered only as a human society in which there are very many wise men, has the greatest authority that exists except the divine/' and, moreover, "it is likely that the Holy Ghost gives particular aid and light to the doctors of the Church," who, of course, exercise a mighty influence on the Church taught and on her belief. The language of Suarez corresponds most faithfully with our fundamental distinction between the infallible truth and the infallible security or safety of a doctrine, and with what we deem the only sure means of avoiding practical and speculative mistakes. What he declares to be the greatest authority on earth except the infallible, except the divine, reaches its culminating point in the Roman congregations, which are the exponents, the adequate and, humanly speaking, most trustworthy exponents, of the mind and convictions of the entire believing Church. Among the matters referred to by Suarez as having no infallible authority to guarantee their truth, which still, he says, must be maintained, should be found, no doubt, "those points of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions so certain that, although the opinions opposed to these same points of doctrine cannot be called heretical, still they deserve some other theological censure." This latter passage is found in the Munich Brief, as we have seen, in closest connection with "the doctrinal decisions which are issued by Pontifical congregations," and for both classes of truths so connected a similar assent is exacted. It is thus that Suarez turns out to be a defender of our thesis instead of an adversary. He, no doubt, must not have thought the disciple above the master; and if, according to him, intellectual religious assent is due to the authority of the Church taught, even in matters on which its belief is not infallible, much more must it be due to the authority of the Church teaching, even in those instances under our consideration in which it is not necessarily infallible.

Another great authority cited as hostile to us is that of Cardinal Bellarmine; and surely, from what we know of his teaching, of his history, and especially of the prominent part which he took in the remarkable case of Galileo, his is the very last name that we would expect to see quoted as that of a theologian differing in opinion from us on the present subject. The following is the passage from the writings of the renowned Cardinal, which has been brought against us as an objection :—" In the third place, we are bound, under pain of anathema, to believe the Church in all things, as is evident from Matthew xviii.:—' And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.' All the councils, moreover, declare anathema against those who do not assent to the Church's decrees. But it would be an iniquitous thing to be bound under so heavy a penalty to assent to things that would be uncertain and might sometimes be false."* From this quotation it has been very forcibly contended, that if Cardinal Bellarmine held that it would be an iniquitous thing to be bound under so heavy a penalty, as that of anathema, to assent to things that would be uncertain, and might sometimes be false, he must hold, in consequence, that it would be an iniquitous thing to exact assent to the utterances to which we say it is due, and his doctrine must be diametrically opposed to ours.

We answer, as Cardinal Franzelin does with a just indignation (p. 143), that the words objected contain nothing at all objectionable to our thesis; that what they do contain is a strong proof of the necessity of an infallible authority in the Church, which we and all Catholics acknowledge; that, therefore, the teaching embodied in them stands parallel to, and in perfect conformity with, that now put forward by us, and by no means against or out of keeping with it.

In the chapter of his Treatise on the Church Militant from which the above quotation has been taken, Cardinal Bellarmine treats the question of the Church's Infallibility, asks himself, can the Church err, and replies. The heading of the chapter is a thesis—Ecclesiam non posse errare—that the Church cannot err. He then lays down the restrictions set by Calvin to this proposition. After that he says, "Our opinion is that it is absolutely impossible for the Church to err, either in things which are absolutely necessary, or in others which she proposes to us to be believed or to be performed by us, no matter whether they are or are not expressly contained in the Scriptures. And when we say that the Church cannot err, we understand this boon of all the faithful and of all the bishops, so that the sense of the proposition that the Church cannot err is, that what all the faithful hold as of faith must needs be true and of faith, and, likewise, that what all the bishops teach as belonging to the faith must needs be true and of faith." Here we have the meaning of the proposition explained in very intelligible terms, and after this explanation the author goes
* Bellarmine, " Pe Ecclesia Militante," cap. X
VOL. xxxi. No. LXII. [New Series."]

on to prove, first, how the entire Church taught must be infallible in its belief, and secondly, how the entire Church teaching must be infallible in what it does teach. Dealing with the first part of the thesis he gives as a first proof of it that, according to St. Paul (1 Tim. iii.), the Church is the pillar and the ground of truth. As its second proof he brings forward the fact that the Church is ruled and governed by Christ as her Head and Spouse, and by the Holy Ghost as her very life and soul; finally, as a third proof, we find him give the argument of the words we have quoted, as cited against us:—"In the third place, we are bound," &c. The context throws a good deal of light, as much as can be longed for, on Bellarmine's teaching, and on the meaning of his words. No doubt what all the faithful believe as of faith must necessarily be true, and of faith. The Church of God cannot believe a lie. No doubt what all the bishops teach as of faith must necessarily be true and of faith. The Church of God cannot teach falsehood for the truth. And if he that does not hear the Church is to be looked on as a heathen and publican, and if the Church smites with anathema, cuts off as a withered branch from her living trunk anyone who refuses to submit to her decrees, it follows that the Church possesses an infallible authority, and does exercise it, since it would unquestionably be an iniquitous thing to be bound under so dreadful a penalty to what would be uncertain, and might be false. But what else follows? Does it follow, from what Bellarmine here says, that it would be an iniquitous thing to be bound too under pain of some less heavy censure to offer a religious intellectual submission to the doctrinal decisions of the Roman congregations? Or does it follow, that the highest authority on earth short of the infallible has no right to require, from those who are subject to it, subjection of mind and of will to its dictates? Or does it follow, that Catholics can lawfully refuse this subjection— not that of divine faith, but the mental subjection of which we speak—on the plea that the authority requiring it is not absolutely infallible, and that, because this is so, the matters of teaching, for which it is called for, are uncertain, and may be false? It is one thing to believe a truth by divine faith, as God's revelation and the Church's teaching, and to be obliged to believe it in this way under pain of anathema; quite another religiously to submit one's own private judgment and views to an authority of the very greatest weight, and to be bound to do so under pain of greater or less censure, according to circumstances. If infallibility is required in the first case, as undoubtedly it is, it does not at all follow that it should be required in the second: there is no parity. Had our adversary but seen and understood this, he would have seen and understood that Cardinal Bellarmine's doctrine is also ours. By means of a little more research, he would have been able to find out, over and above this, not only that the doctrine of Bellarmine is ours, not only that the doctrine of all theologians in general is ours, but that ours is the doctrine of all Catholics, as Cardinal Bellarmine himself expressly says, in these other words of his which have, indeed, a telling application here:—''All Catholics agree on two other points, not, indeed, with heretics, but only among themselves. The first of these points is, that the Roman Pontiff with a general council cannot err in issuing decrees of faith or general precepts of morality. The second is, that when the Pontiff, either alone or with his particular council, lays down anything on a doubtful matter, he should be listened to with obedience by all the faithful, whether it is or is not possible for him to be wrong." * The mind of Bellarmine on the real subject before us is clearly shown forth here. If no language of his can fairly be shown to be in the slightest degree at variance or inconsistent with what we have laid down, it must certainly be admitted that this last statement is our thesis and its proof:—the authority of the Church in doubtful matters, even when it is not strictly infallible, must be "listened to with obedience," must be obeyed by all the faithful—on this all Catholics are agreed.

A third "mighty name" declared to be hostile to us is that of Cardinal Gotti. We cannot for a moment admit that this distinguished theologian holds consistently any doctrine inconsistent with our own. But since we cannot maintain that his language is free from serious ambiguity, we will abstain from citing him in our favour.
Finally, we have to cope with an objection, a twofold objection, of a general character, which, although pushed forward with much boldness, is not on that account the more formidable. If things are as we would have them be, it is declared, the theological argument by which theologians prove the Roman Pontiff's infallibility necessarily falls to the ground, and the heresy of Gallicanism again raises up its smitten head. If, moreover,—it is further objected,—the distinctions laid down by us are to be admitted, they are well calculated to render the Supreme Pontiff's infallible authority of no avail, practically and in the concrete, and they favour the denial of the infallibility of a decison put forth in any particular decree; since, it is asked, how can we know whether
* Bellarmine, De Rom. Pont., lib, iv. cap. ii.
the Pope delivered his doctrinal judgment as the infallible teacher of the Church, or as a mere fallible ruler?
As regards the theological argument in proof of Papal infallibility, we hold that, far from suffering from the doctrine expounded by us, far from falling to the ground before it, it gains by it, presupposes it, and rests on it in a great measure. The argument in question is thus given by Suarez: "It is a Catholic truth that the Sovereign Pontiff, defining ex cathedra, is an unerring rule of faith when he authentically proposes anything to the universal Church, to be believed by her as of Divine faith. This can be proved principally from the testimonies just quoted (Matthew xvi.; 20, xxi.). For Christ gave Peter and his successors power to rule the Church most of all in doctrine, and in a singular manner, through the juridical power of interpreting and laying down truths to be believed, and of imposing the obligation of believing them. Therefore, this power necessarily carries with it infallibility, and the assistance of the Holy Ghost, that it may not err. This is proved, because it is necessary for the Church's infallibility in believing. For if the Pontiff, teaching in that way, could deceive her, she too could be deceived; nay, would be forced into error, because she would be bound to believe." How can this argument suffer from the distinction made by us between ex cathedra definitions and other decisions, and from what we maintain of the assent due to each class of pronouncements respectively? Does it not rather gain by our statement, presuppose it, and in great measure rest on it? In the words of Suarez, the Pope is an unerring rule of faith, when defining ex cathedra, when authentically proposing anything to the entire Church to be believed as of Divine faith, and when imposing the obligation of so believing it. The understanding of this must necessarily gain from the understanding of the fact that some Papal utterances are ex cathedra definitions, and that others are not; and that to the former Divine faith is due, to the latter religious intellectual submission. Our statement, furthermore, is evidently presupposed in the proof advanced, and is such a stay to it, that, as it is, it could not stand without its support. If, however, the theological argument in question is, even in substance, much different from that which we have given, we cannot indeed account for its consistency with other theological principles held by Suarez and by us. If it is required in principle that every authoritative act that exacts not reverential silence, or merely external obedience, but internal assent of any kind, even not of faith, must of necessity be infallible, we reject the principle, and deny that there does exist any such theological argument,—any such argument that has any foundation to rest on, either in revealed truth or in the general teaching of Catholic theologians.

If the doctrine of Papal infallibility does not lose, but gain, by the doctrine which we defend, the heresy of Gallipanism cannot gain, and must lose by it, and must keep down its smitten head before it. The Gallican system taught that the subject of infallibility, the infallible authority in the Church of God, is not the Roman Pontiff, but the universal Church, whether scattered all over the world or represented in her oecumenical Councils, even without her Head. It taught that, in consequence, assent of Divine faith was not due to the ex cathedra definitions of the Roman Pontiffs. Any of its upholders would admit as due to them nothing more than a religious assent, or even a respectful silence; whilst all Gallicans were unanimous in denying that religious assent or anything beyond their respectful silence was due to such papal utterances as were not ex cathedra, and, in particular, to the doctrinal decrees of the Roman congregations. If this was the heresy of Gallicanism, our system is its very opposite, its deadly enemy.

A few words now on the danger pointed out, that the distinctions laid down by us are well calculated to render the Pontiff's infallible authority of no avail, practically and in the concrete. The enemies of the Holy See, those who most vehemently attacked the infallibility of the Pope, whether in the abstract or in the concrete, were precisely those who denied the truth of what we maintain, and who rejected the distinctions which we have laid down. The so-called old Catholics, whom Cardinal Franzelin very justly calls New Protestants, are of this number. One of their leading organs, Frederic Schulte, in order to sustain heresy and attack the dogma of infallibility, thought it well, and even necessary, to direct all his energy towards showing the futility of the distinction between the ex cathedra definitions and other public documents and declarations of the Sovereign Pontiffs. Rejecting this distinction, he concludes that, after the Vatican council, Catholics must hold as infallible definitions all Papal utterances issued by the Pope, no matter how, in virtue of his pastoral office. Qui nimis probat nihil probat. This therefore clearly shows whether it is the teaching of our thesis or its opposite that is the better calculated to render the Pontiff's infallible authority of no avail, practically and in the concrete. The Catholic dogma stands on its own merits, broad-based on unshaken truth; those who embrace and defend it do not go too far, avoid extremes, and sin neither by excess nor by defect. We acknowledge,—a fact which we have already noted down as furnishing a proof of our thesis,—"that doubt may exist in the mind of many Catholics as to whether some particular document coming forth from the Holy See is or is not ex cathedra. In the case of such uncertainty, no Catholic could venture to think that he is free to accept or not accept, to submit or not submit to, the doctrine embodied in the declaration of which the authority is questioned. The only safe course would evidently be to subject the intellect as well as the will to all that is taught in this way. Whence it follows, that mental subordination should be given to doctrinal pronouncements, the absolute infallibility of which is not quite certain. The nature of the assent itself will, of course, be in accordance with the motive for which it is offered.* Thus the clearly-defined distinctions, which mark in broad outline the degree and kind of certitude, the possibility of uncertainty and its actual existence in some particular instances, and the unmistakable infallibility, do not destroy, combat, or even weaken, but do mutually uphold, defend, and strengthen, each other.

II. Having endeavoured thus far to wield in our own defense the arms that had been raised against us; having shown, and, we flatter ourselves, not unsatisfactorily, that the theologians said to be arrayed against us stand on our side as able supporters; and having proved, more than was necessary, that the truths said to be difficulties in our way are rather proofs in our favour than what they were represented to be; it only remains for us, in order to complete the present division of our subject, to show how the doctrine of our thesis has been held by theologians in general, whom we find represented by some reliable and thoroughly representative witnesses whose evidence should decide the verdict. The details into which we have already entered, on evidence of no dissimilar tendency, allow us, if they do not oblige us, to deal more summarily with this part.

Zaccaria, who was Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Roman College, and is justly regarded as a theologian of great weight, inculcates the very doctrine of our thesis, and, in so doing, quotes a Brief addressed by Alexander III., in 1660, to the Rector of the University of Louvain,—which Brief is, on this point, the same in substance as the Munich Brief, on which we have laid so much stress. He says, among other things, "Let the authors of books submit themselves to the prohibitions of Rome with true docility and submission of mind, condemning what Rome condemns, and acknowledging that these prohibitions, according to their different qualities, have
* DUBLIN REVIEW, July, 1878, p. 164,
for author, or at least for first fountain-head, the Supreme Pontiff, whose authority, even when he does not exercise it in all its intensity, and does not direct it in the most solemn manner to the teaching of the universal Church, should prevail over the judgment of all private doctors and teachers."* If the authority of the Pope, when exercised only in this way, should prevail over the judgment of all private doctors and teachers, it follows that these latter should submit their judgments to his decisions, even to those which are not directed in the most solemn manner to the instruction of the entire Church. In another place Zaccaria says, "I am persuaded that it belongs to the providence of God not to permit that Rome, even outside the case in which the Pope speaks ex cathedra, should condemn as an error a doctrine which in reality is not false. The justice of the prohibition is not to be examined, but is always to be supposed, unless it should be, what it never shall be, evidently extra Dei preceptum; and, if the presumption is that the prohibition is just, what remains to be done but to obey?"+ Here we find a good reason given for the obligation stated in the words quoted before. It belongs to the providence of God not to permit that Rome, a Roman congregation, should condemn truth as an error. The case considered by Zaccaria is evidently our own, for he speaks of congregational decrees, and of those in particular that prohibit certain books, and proscribe the doctrine contained in them. The justice of the prohibition must never be questioned, but must always be supposed, and so with the justice of every declaration of similar authority. The presumption is in its favour, and as this is so, the subjects are bound to obey; not to examine or teach, but to submit their own judgments.
Pope Gregory XVI. is another very influential authority in support of the doctrine of our thesis, which he taught both before and after his elevation to the chair of St. Peter. In his learned and well-known work on the "Triumph of the Holy See " he shows at length the wiles of the enemies of the Church's teaching, who by design and with fixed purpose recognize no degrees in her sacred authority, confound the doctrinal pronouncements of the Holy See with one another, and place them all on the same level. He himself lays down, as fundamental the distinction between declarations that are and declarations that are not ex cathedra. Linked with this distinction based on it, he has another which is somewhat peculiar, yet intelligible and perfectly true in his sense, viz. that between
* Zaccaria, "Storia delle Proibizioni de' Libri," 1. ii., c. 3.
+ Zaccaria, "Storia delle Proibizioni de' Libri," Appendix, § 2, n. 3.

the Pope defining solemnly and the Pope as a private doctor. The peculiarity is in this, that he terms the Pope a private doctor, not in his unofficial writing and judgments only, as is usually understood, but always, even in doctrinal decisions officially issued, when he does not teach ex cathedra, in all the fulness of his power. He says: "As all that is resolved on in the council even regarding faith, without the express intention of defining, does not constitute a dogmatic decision; so, without that express intention on the part of the fathers, the Church defining cannot be said to be represented by them in these resolutions. The same application can easily be made to the Pope. But when the Pope, after being consulted, answers and gives judgment, he shall, consequently, have the intention of giving judgment. Yes, no doubt, but when he does not exercise all the fulness of his authority, his intention is to deliver his decision as a theologian and private doctor. . . . Thus it is proved that the Pope can speak as head of the Church and as a private doctor."* What Gregory XVI. means by the Pope speaking as head of the Church is the Pope solemnly defining a doctrine to be accepted and believed by the entire Church of which he is the head. His meaning in this, as well as in the sense he gives to "private doctor," is peculiar, as the Pope is generally understood to say and do much as head of the Church besides defining ex cathedra. Having made the meaning of his distinction evident, he teaches that to contradict the Pope, even as a private doctor, would be a rashness that could not be tolerated, and that consequently obedience, mental submission, is due to him, even when he does not speak as an absolutely infallible teacher. We have already remarked how, when Maurus Capellari had been raised to the sovereign Pontificate and had taken the name of Gregory XVI., he instructed the Bishop of Strasburg to require that M. Bautain, a professor of Strasburg seminary, should subscribe to certain propositions which were drawn up for him. By this act of his Gregory XVI. taught the truth of the theory which we defend, and insisted on its practical application, as his Brief of the 20th of December, 1834, undeniably shows.

The process of Galileo gave occasion to a theologian of much repute, Caramuel Lobkowitz, to treat in detail of the principles involved in it, and we gladly avail ourselves of his authority as an additional testimony in favour of our theological principle. From what he has written on the subject
* Maurus Capellari, " II Trionfo," &c., c. 24, n. 4, 5.
we translate the following extract, which will bear advantageous comment:—"As to how the declarations of the Cardinals are certain, and not doubtful, I distinguish between practical authority and speculative authority. And although I grant that only the Pope speaking ex cathedra has the power of forming articles of faith, to be held as true, and to be believed; still I acknowledge that the most eminent lords, whom our Holy Father has associated to himself in the practical government of the Church, have the power of making practical decrees, which control the speaking, teaching, and preaching, the direction and general conduct of the Church's children. I say that they are invested with a twofold authority that of interdicting, and that of condemning. When a book or opinion is interdicted, its teaching is not declared to be improbable, but neither is it declared to be probable; only, order is given that such teaching remain in such a degree of probability as it previously enjoyed, and that, for the sake of the public good or of private, it be not taught or defended. When any opinion is condemned by their eminences the Cardinals it is practically condemned. A proposition so condemned does not begin to be a heresy, but it loses all extrinsic authority, and is rendered practically improbable. But what if it is condemned as heretical? In this case a proposition that was not previously heretical will not become so in virtue of this condemnation; but a proposition that previously was heretical will by this condemnation be declared to be heretical, and this with so much certitude that it is unlikely that it is not heretical. In this case, and in others of the same kind, the inquisitors have authority to prohibit, to command, and to exact abjuration, and the subjects are bound in conscience to obey and sincerely to abjure; so that, in consequence their acts both internal and external, are in these cases subject to that tribunal."* The distinction here made between the practical authority and the speculative is in complete accordance with, and answers to, what we have said of a doctrine's infallible truth and infallible safety, what must be thought of it from a speculative point of view, what from a practical. This explanation, then, of how the cardinals' decrees are certain and not doubtful, coincides with ours. The decrees which they have power to make for the practical government of the Church are practical decrees, and, because of the existence of authority in their authors, and because of the nature of the decrees themselves, all Catholic subjects are bound in conscience to obey what is dictated, and sincerely to
* Bouix, De Papa, torn, ii., pp. 461-2.
reject what is condemned, by them. A sacred congregation is a tribunal, a judgment-seat, whose sentences hold sway over the internal and intellectual, as well as over the outward bodily, acts of those for whom they are intended. In the same sense, and relatively to the same question, the learned Gassendi said, that because a decision had been delivered by men whose authority was so great in the Church as was the cardinals', he did not blush to hold his intellect captive, not that he looked on what they taught as an article of faith, for they themselves did not say that, nor was it promulgated by them to the whole Church, and received by it as such; but because their judgment should be accounted a presumption which cannot but be of the greatest moment among the faithful.

We have reserved for the last mention the name of Benedict XIV., of whom Cardinal Franzelin says, that his authority on this matter, though only that of a private theologian, is the very greatest that could be invoked. He thus teaches that infallibility in the authority laying down a doctrine is by no means necessary, as a condition, for imposing the obligation of internal religious assent. It is the Sovereign Pontiff who beatifies the servants of God and who canonizes them. In the beatification his judgment is not infallible; in the canonization it is. Still, so speaks Benedict XIV., whoever would assert that the Supreme Pontiff did actually err in this or that particular beatification, and that, as a natural consequence, the person declared blessed by him is not really so, and should not be made the object of veneration on the part of the faithful according to the Pontifical concession,—whoever would assert this would undoubtedly incur the theological censure of rashness or some more serious and severe one.* The two statements here made by Benedict XIV. make up and embody the principle in which we are so much concerned, and to this name, which is more than legion in the world of mind and thought, and especially in the realm of theological science, we shall add no other.

Why indeed should we go on citing names, one after another, and quoting distinct passages from the greatest authors, if that is true which Cardinal Franzelin tells us he believes to be so, that this is the common teaching of theologians after Benedict XIV.? (p. 146). The one beautiful testimony of Cardinal Bellarmine, so grand in its simple truth, would seem to be and to contain all we could desire. All Catholics are of one accord in believing that the Roman Pontiff should be listened to with obedience when, alone or with his particular council, he settles on anything in doubtful matters, no matter whether, in the case, it is or is not possible for him to err. This doctrine of obedience, of intellectual submission, requires the authority of no theologian or of any host of theologians to defend it and prove its truth. Its influence permeates the whole framework of the Church; it rules her outward action, is the living bond of her social life; and it holds uncontrolled sway over her interior unseen actions, over the mighty tide of supernatural life that ebbs and flows within her vast ocean-like soul. In the interior tribunal, before which the Christian soul places itself in voluntary submission, there is found a sacred authority, and, in virtue of it, the faithful not only can submit, but often, in doubtful matters, are bound to surrender their own views and conform their practical judgments to the authority of the ministers of God, who are entrusted with the spiritual direction of their souls. The evangelical counsel of obedience is a clear proof that intellectual subjection and obedience can be given to the command of a fallible superior, that infallibility is no requisite condition for this. Suarez and St. Alphonsus say that a subject doubting whether the command of a legitimate superior is or is not lawful is bound to lay the doubt aside, and can and ought to obey. Saints Bernard and Bonaventure and Ignatius, and all ascetical theologians, say with one voice, that whatever command is given by a man who holds the place of God, unless it is certain that it is displeasing to God, should be received as if it were God's command. This is the doctrine of the saints and doctors of the Church, and this is the belief of her children; and this doctrine and this belief, in a religious matter, falls nothing short of the weight of the common consent of men on the ordinary moral truths; it throws the light of evidence over the truth of the theological principle which we have laid down, and of which we believe we have given more than sufficient proof.
* Benedict XIV., "De Canonizatione," i. 42.

As the doctrine of theologians had been objected to us, we deemed it well to investigate that doctrine in no narrowly circumscribed sphere, and to unfold the result of our investigations. If the names of Suarez and of Bellarmine and of Gotti,—all renowned and venerable names,—were thrown against us as those of adversaries, we deemed it well, if not a duty, to show that these "men of renown" are our doctrinal friends and defenders. As theologians in general were vaguely said to be at variance with our strong principle, in which they were much concerned, we thought it well to call on some representative organs of the great theological school, to speak the mind of those among whom they were leaders, of those whom they taught or who taught with them. As this portion of our subject, in which we bring the positive teaching of theologians to bear on our thesis, grew before us and widened out in importance as well as in extent when we entered on it, we have dwelt on it much longer than we intended, and with a satisfaction beyond what we anticipated. With it, on account of the detail and the considerable length, we shall close the present article, with the hope and intention of showing later on the bearing of what we have said on historical questions such as that of Galileo, and of comparing or contrasting our principles with those put forth in publications on such questions by the friends and foes of truth and principle.

The thoughtful reader will no doubt gather from what we have said, or be reminded by it, that the Church of God, the Catholic Church, is indeed very intolerant in her teaching. The inference is most just; she really is so; but this noble intolerance of hers is the only sure preservative of intellectual and moral life,—is the only bulwark and safeguard of human society,—is the only hope of salvation for the erring world. Donoso Cortes says, that the Church alone has the right to affirm and deny, and that there is no right outside her to affirm what she denies or to deny what she affirms because she alone cannot err. He says too :—"The day when society, forgetting her doctrinal decisions, has asked the press and the tribune, newspapers and assemblies, what is truth and what is error, on that day error and truth are confounded in all intellects, society enters on the regions of shadows, and falls under the empire of fictions."* We conclude with these other words of the same enlightened author, whose grand Catholic genius we cannot but admire:—"The doctrinal intolerance of the Church has saved the world from chaos. Her doctrinal intolerance has placed beyond question political, domestic, social, and religious truths,—primitive and holy truths, which are not subject to discussion, because they are the foundation of all discussions; truths which cannot be called into doubt for a moment without the understanding on that moment oscillating, lost between truth and error, and the clear mirror of human reason becoming soiled and obscured. . . . Doubt perpetually comes from doubt, and scpeticism from scepticism, as truth from faith, and science from truth." -+
*'"Essays," p. 42.
+ Id. Ibid.


Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:10 pm
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