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it and over it is the divine or spiritual order. The pope, as representative by divine institution, of the spiritual order, that is, as vicar of Christ, is by that fact alone above and over the temporal prince who represents only the temporal or inferior order. The civil power is supreme in its own order, but its own order is 220t supreme; it is below the spiritual and subordinated to it. As the divine gives the law to the human, the spiritual to the temporal, so the pope gives, promulgates, or declares, and applies the law according to which the temporal prince must govern his states or rule his subjects. Yet it is the prince who holds and exercises the temporal power. The mistake of Bismarck is in holding, not that the state has no superior in its own order, but that its order has no superior, and is subordinated to no other. Hence he claims for the empire the right to subject to its authority entire society, civil as well as ecclesiastical, and all manner of persons whatsoever their state or dignity, and to punish as criminals those bishops and priests who choose to obey God rather than men. Spiritual persons are not amenable to civil judges; they pertain to a spiritual kingdom, and are justiciable only by the spiritual authority, and not till deprived of their spirituality can they be answerable to a civil tribunal. Civil laws which contravene the law of God, or of the divinely constituted spiritual society, are without force for the conscience, are no laws, but unjust, are violences, and not they who break them, but they who enact and enforce them, are the culprits.
This papal supremacy is as necessary to the support of the authority of temporal rulers as it is to the support of the ordinary authority and jurisdiction of bishops. The experience of the nations that have rejected it in whole, like Protestants and the schismatic Greeks, or in great part, as Gallicans, as we have already seen, proves it. The civil governments that assume the independence of the temporal order, and recognize for the prince no superior on earth, have no stability, and no order but despotism, which extinguishes all freedom and all activity. They are able to sustain themselves only by military force, pretty sure to fail them in every emergency; for soldiers are not mere automatons, but are men, with the thoughts, passions, prejudices, sympathies, hopes, and fears of men, and when bayonets think and feel the arıny can no longer be relied on. All governments are mined by secret societies and revolutionists. In no country is order or liberty assured; for in no country
do the ruling powers hold themselves amenable to the divine law which changes not, or the great body of the people feel themselves bound in conscience to respect and obey authority; for in none is there recognized any power but one's own private judgment to deterinine what is or is not legitimate authority, or to decide what is authority, and what is despotism. But on this point we have already said enough.
PAPAL INFALLIBILITY AND CIVIL
[From Brownson's Quarterly Review for January, 1875.)
It would appear from the newspapers that ex-Premier Gladstone, the leader of the English liberals, has published a pamphlet in which he attacks papal infallibility, as declared by the Council of the Vatican, on political grounds, and makes an adroit appeal to the anti-Catholic prejudice of the mass of the English people. We have not seen the pamphlet, which, at the time we are writing, has not reached this side of the Atlantic ; but, if it is correctly described in the
New York Herald, it is simply the revival, for political effect, of the old cry of “No Popery:
We are not surprised at this act of Mr. Gladstone. We have never shared the confidence of our Catholic brethren of Great Britain and Ireland in this greatly overrated statesman; and, as long ago as 1854, we classed him with the satanic, or radical and revolutionary leaders of the time. We based our judgment chiefly on his untruthful and revolutionary pamphlet on Naples. That pamphlet showed us his unscrupulousness and the bias of his mind. He is not, never was, and never will be a statesman; and we have, as a Catholic and as an American citizen, always preferred D'Israeli, who is a statesman, as we have always preferred the English Tories to the English and Scotch Whigs. In this we have not had the sympathy of Catholics either at home or abroad; and we have stood nearly alone, as we did in our own country, against the late emperor of the French, and the policy of Louis Veuillot, the oracle of European Catholics. It is rarely that we find a Catholic in our days that is
not a blunderer in politics, that is, in our judgment, which is by no means infallible. “You were right in your judgment of Napoleon III.," said an eminent American prelate to us one day in 1864; "and we bishops were wrong, and we were so because we relied on the judgment of the French bishops.” “But I did not rely on their judgments at all,” was our reply. Time, unhappily, has justified us, and proved that the church had no worse enemy than the Nephew of his Uncle. “The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light,” yet we know not that what, judging with our human wisdom, we call political blunders, really are blunders. Our Lord never intended his church should stand in human wisdom, human strength, or human virtue; and it is only when, húmanly speaking, the church is weakest, that she is strongest. Those blunders in human policy, as we esteem them, are doubtless permitted for wise and good purposes, and are sure in the end to redound to the glory of the church, by making it manifest to all the world that it is only the hand of God that upholds her, and preserves her in life and vigor.
Mr. Gladstone's pamphlet, according to the telegraphic summary of it published in the N. Y. Herald, asserts that the decrees of the Council of the Vatican have changed the relations of the church to civil governments, so that a man cannot be at once obedient to the pope and loyal to his prince or the state. This charge, it pretends, is warranted by the decree of the council defining that the pope, when teaching ex cathedra, or officially, the universal church, is, by divine assistance, infallible, or exempt from error in all matters pertaining to faith and morals. To this the archbishop of Westminster, a life-long friend of Mr. Gladstone, replies in the following letter, addressed to the editor of the N. Y. Herald, and published in the same number of that popular journal:
Nov. 10, 1874. To the Editor of the Herald:
DEAR SIR-I assisted in framing the Vatican decrees, which have not changed one jot or tittle the obligations and conditions of civil obedience that Catholics bear towards the civil power. Mr. Gladstone's pamphlet hangs upon a contrary assumption, and falls with it. In proof of this assertion I assert:
First-That the doctrine of the infallibility of the pope was a divine truth before the Vatican Council was held, and that it was set forth and explained in the second and third parts of the book called Petri Pricilegium.
Second—I gave suficient evidence of this assertion in this, that the Vatican Council announced no new dogma, but simply declared an old truth.
Third-- That the position of Catholics, in respect to civil allegiance since the council, is precisely what it was before.
Fourth—That the civil powers of the Christian world hitherto stood in peaceful relations with the infallible church, and this relation was often recognized and declared in the councils of the church before the Vatican Council, and, therefore, this is no new matter; and
Fifth-That the Vatican Council made no decrees in regard to the civil powers nor on civil allegiance, this subject being never even proposed.
Civil obedience rests on natural law. Revealed truth is the law of God. Society is founded in nature, and subjects are bound, in all things which are lawful, to obey their rulers. Society, when it is Christian, has higher obligations, and subjects are bound to obey their rulers for conscience' sake, because the powers that be are ordained of God. Of all this the Vatican decrees changed nothing because they touched nothing.
Mr. Gladstone's argument hangs upon an erroneous assertion. I can only suppose him to have been misled by a misplaced trust in Dr. Döllinger and his friends. On public and private grounds I lament this act of imprudence. But for my belief in Mr. Gladstone's sincerity I should say it was an act of injustice, and lament it as out of all harmony and proportion with the great statesman's life, and the first event to overcast a friendship of forty-five years. His public life hitherto has consolidated Christian and civil peace in the three kingdoms. This act, unless the providence of God and the good sense of Englishmen avert its evil consequences, may wreck more than the work of Mr. Gladstone's public career, and at the end of a long life tarnish a great name. I remain your faithful servant,
+ HENRY EDWARD,
Archbishop of Westminster No member of the Council of the Vatican took a more conspicuous part than did the illustrious archbishop of Westminster, and no man living is better able to this council did or did not do. When he says the decrees of the council changed nothing in the relations of the church and the state, he simply states a fact within his own knowledge, not an opinion, whether his own or another's. The schema touching those relations prepared by the theologians was not acted on by the council, which was suspended before it was reached, and consequently must be regarded as non-avenu. To pretend that the decree of the council, declaring it of faith that the pope by the divine assistance is infallible as doctor or teacher of the universal church, has in any respect changed the relation of the church to the civil powers, is absurd. The church has always been held to be infallible, and the pope has always been held to have plenary authority to speak and act for the infallible church in all her relations with the civil powers. Whether he is held to be himself infallible by divine assistance, or simply the official organ of the church, infallible by the same assistance, can in no respect affect those relations. The question of papal infallibility, decided by the council, is purely an internal question, and in no sense affects the relations of the civil or external powers with the church; for those relations, whether embodied in concordats or not, had alwaysbeen through the pope with a church claiming to be infallible in matters of faith and morals, or matters pertaining to faith and morals. The church, in the definition of papal infallibility, put forth no claim to any infallibility that she had not always asserted; and the definition, that the infallibility is lodged in the pope as well as in the ecclesia congregata and the ecclesia dispersa, could not make any difference in the relations of the church to the state, or in her authority over individuals, and could by no means abrogate or weaken the existing concordats between the two powers, for it neither increased nor diminished the infallibility she was always and everywhere understood to claim by virtue of the indwelling Holy Ghost. Mr. Gladstone has been misled by Dr. Döllinger.
So much might be said in answer to Dr. Döllinger, Bismarck, and ex-Premier Gladstone on the supposition that. the infallibility of the pope, as defined in the Vatican Council, had never been previously asserted. But such is very far from being the case. All the world knows that it had always been asserted by the whole church, and never denied except by some civil rulers, who have no authority in the church, and by their courtiers, lawyers, and courtly prelates, or such theologians who stood more in awe of the temporal prince than of the supreme pontiff. Gallicanism, as we have shown in discussing Döllingerism, was the doctrine of the sovereigns, at least when they wished to oppose the spiritual power, but never the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Of the nearly one thousand bishops assembled in the Council of the Vatican from all quarters of the globe, among whom were the profoundest theologians, the ripest scholars, and the most learned men in the world, not a single one denied or questioned the truth of the doctrine of papal