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phlet published under the pseudon5an of Eusebio Cristiano, made
such vile accusations against Rosmini that Gregory XVI inter-
vened and imposed silence on all the parties in the discussion.
But great events were near at hand which were to bring out Ros-
mini in a new character — not as philosopher or founder of a
religious Order — but as a statesman of leading rank.


In 1843 a book appeared which voiced the aspirations of
millions of Italians. Its author, Gioberti, had formerly been one
of the royal chaplains at Turin, but having taken part in some
disturbance had been sent into exile where he had cast aside his
clerical profession and had thrown himself actively into politics.
The Primato (t Italia^ as his book was entitled, pointed out that
the woes of Italy were the result of the parcelling out of the
country among kinglets and princelings, and that the one hope of
redress lay in the federation of all the different states under the
presidency of the Pope. This, however, could not be accom-
plished as long as the Austrians ruled in Italy. They must be
expelled by force of arms. Hence all good Italians should rally
around the Pope as their head, and around the King of Sardinia
as their commander-in-chief. But Gregory XVI was out of all
sympathy with this movement, and indeed had been obliged to
call in the aid of Austria against his rebellious subjects. A few
of the Cardinals, however, such as Gizzi and Mastai, were known
to be on the popular side. Three years after the appearance of
the Primato^ Gregory died, and was succeeded by Mastai, who
assumed the ever memorable name of Pius IX. " I had foreseen
everything that could come to pass in Europe," wrote Metter-
nich, " and I had laid my plans accordingly. But the idea of a
liberal Pope never entered my mind. Now anything may
happen." And in truth wonderful changes soon did take place.

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Cardinal Gizzi was appointed Secretary of State ; a full pardon
was granted to all the political agitators sent into exile or im-
prisoned by Gregory XVI, while the representatives of the old
ideas were coldly received at the Quirinal. The new Pontiff
granted a liberal constitution and summoned a cabinet composed
almost entirely of laymen. Never was there so popular a Pope.

The long threatened war against Austria was begun by Sar-
dinia in March, 1848. This news was received with great enthu-
siasm in Rome. A vast multitude, cursing Austria and cheerii^
for Pius IX, thronged the Coliseum and swore by the blood of
the martyrs to drive out the barbarian from Italy. But the Pope
strictly forbade any attack on the Austrians. He was indeed in
a difficult dilemma. As an Italian he could not but ardently
desire the freedom of his country ; but he was also Head of the
Church, of which the invader was a devout son. Pius could not
be immindful of what the Holy See owed to Austria in 1799, and
again durii^ the imprisonment of Pius VII. The restoration of
the Temporal Power by the Cong^ress of Vienna and the preserva-
tion of the same from the attacks of the revolutionists had also
been in the main the work of the imperial court Ominous
rumors, too, reached him of threats of schism on the part of
bishops of Bohemia, Hungary, and Dalmatia, who complained
that the Chief Pastor was sacrificing a part of Christ's flock in
the interest of human politics. Meantime the Sardinians had
driven the Austrians out of Lombardy and had crossed the
Mincio. The Papal army, too, in spite of the Pope's injunction,
had crossed into the Venetian territory (April 21). The ministry
in Rome threatened to resign, unless war was immediately pro-
claimed. Pius begged for time, hoping that he would be able
to induce the Austrian Emperor to yield up peaceful possession
of his Italian territories. On May i the walls of the dty were
covered with a Papal proclamation. Yells of indignation burst
out from every quarter when it was seen that Pius definitely
refused to take part in the war. The ministers at once resigned.
Rome was full of revolution.

Though the death of Gregory XVI was keenly felt by Ros-
mini, he nevertheless hailed with delight the elevation of Pius
IX. Gregory had approved of the new order; Kus would take

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in hand those reforms in Church and State which Rosmini had
so much at heart. He now gave to the public two works which
had long lain hidden in his desk : Project of a Constitution, and
The Five Wounds of Holy Church. The first-named advocated a
limited monarchy, with the two houses of representatives, and
responsibility of ministers ; freedom of the Church, of the press,
of education, of public meeting, and of association was to be
guaranteed with proper safeguards. The different States of Italy
were to combine to form a confederation, with a congress (or diet)
permanently sitting in Rome with the Pope as protector. Thus
Rosmini's views were like those expressed by Gioberti in the
Primato d* Italia : both were strongly in favor of the monarchical
government as against the republican, and both in &vor of a
united Italy under the honorary presidency of the Pope.

The Cinque Piaghe is to us a more interesting work. In
accordance with my promise, I am merely going to state its con-
tents without any attempt to discuss them. The first wound
of Holy Church, the wound in her left hand, is the want of
union between clergy and laity in public worship, arising chiefly
from the fact that the liturgy is carried on in a tongue which
is not understood by the people. Rosmini appeals to the &ct
of the popularity of vernacular devotions as a proof of the
failure of the liturgy. The wound in the right hand is the de-
fective education of the clergy, which he attributes mainly to
the want of able superiors and professors. Solo de' grandi uondtd
possono fonnare degli altri grandi uondni. None but great men
can make other men great ; whereas any priest, however inex-
perienced, is now thought good enough to be a seminary pro-
fessor. The wound in the side is the disunion among the bishops,
each of whom acts according to his own caprices, without con-
sulting or cooperating with his brethren. The wound in the right
foot is the nomination of bishops by the civil power, instead of
by the choice of the clergy and people, as in the olden days.
The fifth wound, that in the left foot, is the servitude of the
property of the Church. In conclusion Rosmini states that the
book was written as bs back as 1832, but that the time had then
not been favorable for publicadoa " But now (1846) the Invisible
Head of the Church has placed in the Chair of Peter a Pontiff

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who seems destined to renew our age and give to the Church a
fresh impulse towards a new course, as unforeseen as it is wonder-
ful and glorious. These pages, so long forgotten, have come
once more into the author's mind, and he no longer hesitates to
entrust them to the hands of those friends who in the past have
shared his sorrows, and in the present his brightest hopes." *

Again and again, Castracane, the Cardinal Secretary of State,
had begged Rosmini to come to Rome to help the Pope in his
sore distress, but as often Rosmini had replied that he would not
go, unless he received a distinct order from the Holy Father him-
self Meantime, the war had gone badly against the cause of
Italian freedom. The decisive battle of Custozza (July 26) had
made the Austrians once more masters of Venitia and Lombardy.
Charles Albert, utterly depressed by his disasters, saw no hope
but in a close alliance between Sardinia and the Holy See. For
this purpose he sent Rosmini as his envoy to Rome with an auto-
graph letter to Pius. The Pope received him (August 17) with
great cordiality, and said : " Now that you are here, we mean to
put you in prison, and not let you go away any more.*' This
meant that he was to be made Cardinal, as Pius told Castracane
a few days later. But Rosmini's position was an impossible one.
Charles Albert no longer had control over aflairs ; his radical
ministers had no intention of coming to terms with the Pope ; they
only wanted to make use of him. And on the other hand, the
moderate supporters of the Papal government had no confidence
in the cabinet of Turin. After some weeks of fruitless negotia-
tions, Rosmini resigned his office, but still remained in Rome. He
had by this time completely gained the confidence of Pius, who
gave him to understand that he intended to make him prime min-
ister and Cardinal. But a tragic event removed all these prospects.

Count Pellegrino Rossi had got together what seemed to be
a strong and popular government. His plan was to reorganize
the Papal States by themselves, and remove all causes of discon-
tent The very prospect of his success urged the extreme revo-
lutionists to action. Parliament was to meet on November 15th.
What happened must be described in Rosmini \s own words. He
speaks of himself in the third person.

***Poor Rosmini,^' said Giobcrti, ** talks of the Church's Five Wounds. 1
know at least ten."

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** Rosmini went with the Marchese Pareto, the Sardinian Ambas-
sador, to the opening of the Parliament when Rossi was to announce
the programme of the new government. Rosmini observed to Pareto,
*I do not like the look of the Chamber ; observe the profound anxiety
which pervades it. ' He had scarcely spoken when they heard the
shouts and groans of the mob outside at the bottom of the staircase lead-
ing up to the Chamber. In a few moments a whisper spread through -
oat the house, ' Rossi is assassinated ! ' The Chamber immediately
declared the meeting closed. . . . Rosmini went straight to the
Quirinal, where he urged the Pope, who had just received the news, to
send for General Zucchi with his troops from Bologna, to form a new
ministry immediately, and to make a most severe inquiry in order to
discover and arrest the assassin. . . . The next day (November
16), the troops fraternized with the mob. All marched at once to the
Quirinal Palace, demanding a new ministry ; and the plebs Romanay
who had the city in their power, shouted aloud the names of those
whom they wished for. Unfortunately, Rosmini 's name was one of
them, and they wanted him to be President of the Council and Minis-
ter of Public Instruction. . . The insurgents sent in their de-
mand to the Pope, who replied with great firmness that if they retired
peacefully he would satisfy their desires. This would not please them,
and the revolted soldiers began to fire on the Swiss Guard ; some
brought faggots, and attempted to bum the gate of the Palace. Some
iA the bullets entered the Pope's apartment, and one of them killed
Monsignor Palma, one of his secretaries. ... At last the Pope,
to prevent a massacre, yielded to the denumds of the mob, and named
the ministry they asked for.''

Rosmini naturally refused to accept office under such circum-
stances. When Pius made his escape from Rome (November 24),
Rosmini immediately followed him to Gaeta, and remained there
for two months. He still counselled the Holy Father to have
confidence in his subjects and to refuse all offers of armed inter-
ference by foreign powers. But Antonelli's influence was now
supreme, and Rosmini felt that his presence was no longer desired.
Accordingly he retired to Naples to superintend the publication
of his ascetical works. Early in June he returned to Gaeta, as
he had heard that an attempt was being made to condemn some
of his writings. Once more we must let him tell his own story in
the third person.

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"The Pope received him with his usual cordiality, but the first
words he said were ' Caro Abate, you find me no longer a constitu-
tionalist.' Rosmini, to whom the honor of the Pope was very dear,
replied : ' Your Holiness, it is a serious matter to change entirely the
road on which you have entered, and to split up your pontificate into
two parts. I am m3r8elf convinced that neither at present nor for a
long time will it be possible to restore the Constitution to vigor, but
it seems to me that if some hope of this is left to the people, it may
have a good effect. History teaches us that it is dangerous for princes
to take two opposite courses.' The Pope answered that his mind was
made up on this point ; that he had recommended the matter to God,
and that he would not now grant the Constitution any more, even if
they were to tear him to pieces. Rosmini touched on the difficulty
there would be in preserving the Temporal Sovereignty, if the States
of the Church were the only ones in which the system of absolute
government was maintained, in the midst of the other States which
were constitutional. The Pope replied that when a thing is intrinsic-
ally bad, we can on no account whatsoever do it, be the consequences
what they may ; and that the Constitution is irreconcilable with the
government of the Church. He then went on to prove that the
liberty of the press is a thing intrinsically evil, and also liberty of
association, etc. Rosmini did not assent to this, saying that by good
laws the evils of the liberty of the press might be restrained ; that
liberty to write had always existed prior to the last three hundred
years, from which time the censorship of the press began ; yet the
Church had always repressed and condemned bad books and false
doctrine, as well as bad actions, and placed hindrances in the way of
illicit and bad associations by means of preventive penalties."

This interview convinced Rosmini that his influence was at an
end. When he attempted to see the Pope again, all sorts of
obstacles were put in his way by Antonelli and the Neapolitan
government In a final audience Pius warned him of the accusa-
tions made against him and told him that his works were being
examined. Nothing now remained but to quit the Papal court
forever. A fresh blow was, however, in store for him. On the
feast of the Assumption, while he was the guest of Cardinal Tosti
at Albano, a letter was put into his hands informing him that the
Five Wounds and the Project of a Constitution had been placed
on the Index, That same day he wrote to the Master of the

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Sacred Palace : " With feelings of a most devoted and obedient
son of the Holy See, as by the grace of God I have always been
in my heart, and have also publicly professed, I declare that I
submit to the prohibition of the above named works, purely,
simply, and in every possible way." *


It was on the evening of All Souls' Day, 1849, that Rosmini
once more reached his beloved Stresa. Fifteen months before he
had set out as the envoy of his country to the Head of his Church.
For a brief season it had seemed that all his brilliant hopes and
plans were about to be realized. Now he came back a beaten,
broken man. Everything had failed him. Charles Albert, his king,
had died in exile. Pius IX was also an exile, about, indeed, to be
restored, but by force of foreign arms. All prospect of a free, united
Catholic Italy was at an end. And Rosmini's designs for the wel-
fare of Holy Church had been condenmed and rejected. His
philosophical and theological writings had been ordered to be
submitted to a severe inquiry. The Cardinal's hat, which he had
valued only as a source of influence and as a seal of approval of
his labors, was now beyond his reach.* Only his Order remained
to him, and that he knew must suffer from his disgrace. His
faithful followers clung to him with even more affectionate vener-
ation than ever. Indeed, in the story of his life, nothing is so
touching as the power which he possessed of securing devoted
friends ; it is hard to understand how he had so many and such
bitter foes. It seemed that he had still many years of life before
him ; but his days were shortened by a disordered liver and an
aching heart. He knew that his writings had been denounced to
the Holy See and that three hundred propositions extracted from
them were being circulated as deserving of censure. Nevertheless,
he worked on incessantly at his books and conducted an enormous
correspondence. By the time of his death he had published thirty
octavo volumes, and had left in manuscript enough to fill sixty

^ At the same time Ventura's Sermon on the Vienna insurrection and Gioberti's
Gisuiia Modemo were condemned.

* His Cardinal's robes are still preserved at Stresa. His carriages were bought
by Wiseman.

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Others. His letters were as many as fifteen thousand. And it
must be borne in mind that these books (and his letters, too) dealt
with profound philosophical and theological questions which would
require much research and thought and most careful choice ot
language. Can we be surprised that with all his genius and in-
dustry he did not always succeed in fulfilling these conditions ?

All this time the examination of his works was being con-
ducted at Rome. At last, in 1854, the Congregation of the Index
issued its decree acquitting all the writings submitted to it {dimit-
tantur). This decision did not, of course, mean that nothing in any
of the books was worthy of censure ; it meant that none of them
deserved to be placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.

At last Rosmini could sing his Nunc dimittis; he was indeed,
far from having accomplished all that he had hoped for and
undertaken — but who is there who can say Consummatum estf
His system of philosophy, though not widely accepted, had passed
safely through a most severe ordeal ; his Order was in a most
flourishing condition, with members famed for learning and zeal.
He felt that the end could not be far off, but this only made him
hurry on all the more with his Ontologia, Early in the next year
(1855) his pain and weakness compelled him to abate something
of his labor. As the spring wore on, his illness became more and
more severe. On Whit Sunday he received the Holy Viaticum
with great devotion, after having recited the creed of Pius IV.
His last days were cheered by visits from his devoted friends —
Manzoni among the number — and by a tender message and bless-
ing from the Sovereign Pontiff. On July i, at two o'clock in the
morning, he passed away, being then fifty-eight years and three
months old.


Folkestone y England,

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The pfobtem is, with a material body and menta
offanizatioii insepaiably connected with it, to bridge
the ffiavc— A'iiliira/ L«im in the Sf^trttual fVbrU:
" Eternal Life,'* p. x6a.

Mind and Body.

FOR one who would establish on a philosophic basis the doc-
trine of the immortality of the soul, the real problem is,
as the late Professor Drummond states it, to bri<^ the grave.
Many are of the opinion that philosophy is unequal to the task.
Faith alone, they believe, can give man assurance of immortaUty.
The professor is much of the same way of thinking, only that be
would set up on a scientific foundation the belief in immortality
that comes in the first instance by Faith. In one of the most
fascinattng chapters of a fascinating book, he seeks to show that
the theory of Christianity on this point is quite scientific, and at
the same time quite independent " of all the usual ^)eculations
on Immortality. The theory is not," he avers, "that thought,
volition, or emotion as such are to survive the grave." * What
then, is the theory ? Starting with Mr. Herbert Spencer's defini-
tion of Ufe as a correspondence with environment,' he points out
that life must last so long as correspondence with environment
continues. Correspondence with environment is life; failure to
correspond with environment is death. Such failure, however, is
the inevitable doom of the life that now is. The environment is
changeable, often unsuitable ; the correspondence, imperfect. But
given a perfect correspondence, life would be perfect ; and given
an eternal environment, life would be eternal. Now, this is pre-
cisely what Faith gives us ; the assurance of a perfect corre-
spondence and an eternal environment. And this is Faith's one,
though essential, contribution to the scientific proof of the soul's
immortality. " This is Life Eternal," said Christ, " that they may
know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou
hast sent"*

This, in brief, is how Professor Drummond essays to set up

lyj., "Eternal Life," p. 164.

* '* The eontixMious adjustment of internal relations with external reUtioos.''

» Id,, p. 157.

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the doctrine of immortality on a scientific basis. What are we
to think of his essay? It is weH meant, without doubt, and
clever too, but unavailing. Why unavailing? Because he sets
out with a feulty definition of life. Of course, life includes cor-
respondence with environment, but the essence of life is not in
this correspondence. Correspondence is, from the nature of the
case, a relation, and life is not a relation, but a thing. Corre-
spondence with environment presupposes a something that cor-
responds, a subject of the correspondence, and this something,
this subject, in our case, is the soul, the subject of thought and
volition, the principle within each of us which thinks and wills.*
But if this principle be intrinsically and wholly bound up with
the material body (not " inseparably connected with it," as death
demonstrates daily by severing the connection), it needs must
perish utterly with the material body. What, then, is to keep up
the correspondence with the eternal environment ? Where is the
use of building a bridge over the g^ve, if there be no passenger
to cross it ? If that which thinks and wills in each one of us
were to perish at death with the body, plain it is that nothing oS.
man would be left to " know the only true God," or live the life
eternal. Were feith, indeed, preventive of physical death, once
correspondence with the eternal environment was opened on this
basis, it could be kept up forever, and this would be immortality
— ^for those who got and kept the feith. But death is

The Item law of every mortal lot,

and this is precisely what creates the problem. If there were no
such thing as death for the believer, there would be no such
thing as a g^rave to be bridged. It remains, then, that the theory
of Christianity postulates as a truth of the natural order, revealed
not by Faith only, but also by the light of unaided reason, that
thought and volition survive the grave.

I have said thought and volition advisedly. It is not claimed,
nor could the claim be made good if it were put forward, that
sensation, or imagination, or any form of organic life, physical or
psychical, can survive the grave. Physical death puts an end to

< << He asks . . . about that livrng intelligence by which I write, and argue,
and act" — Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sna^ p. xzii.

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all organic life. The soul, or ultimate source and root of vital
activity in man, carries on all the processes of organic life in and
through, or by means of, bodily organs. When, therefore, these
bodily organs decay and crumble, as they do at death, all the
processes of organic life are at an end.* Man can no more see
without an eye, or imagine without a brain,* than he can eat with-
out a mouth, or talk without a tongue, or send the blood to all
parts of his body without a heart. All the processes of organic
life depend intrinsically on organs, in such wise that, when the
organs are destroyed, it is physically impossible for these pro-
cesses to be carried on any longer, and life must cease. If, then,
there is in man no life, no form of vital energy, save such as is
necessarily bound up with bodily organs and dependent intrin-
sically upon them, no power, not even that of the Almighty, can
keep man from perishing utterly, perishing body and soul, when
the gfrave opens to receive him. For it is intrinsically impossible
that organic life should continue without organs, and that which
is intrinsically impossible is such even in respect to an agent that
has infinite power. If, on the other hand, there is in man a form
of vital energy that does not depend intrinsically on bodily organs,
a vital process or processes that can go on without organs, then

* Aristotle long ago caotioned men against imagining that the soul, or itsfiunlty,

Online LibraryCatholic University of AmericaAmerican ecclesiastical review, Volume 27 → online text (page 41 of 78)