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and devout and influential. This has been in a degree
overcome. The movement in Austria of cutting loose
from Rome has recently helped the Old Catholic move-
ment. This Church has thrown off compulsory auric-
ular confession, invocation of saints, adoration of relics,
and pilgrimages. The movement has not taken on
large proportions, but it is neither dead nor dying.
The worship at Munich had scarcely anything offen-
sive to an Evangelical believer. The congregation
was evidently well-to-do, and it was a family Church.
These people knew why they were there, and they
were there to stay. Probably there is a much larger
future before the Old Catholic Church than before the
Jansenist Church in Holland. Doubtless, with wider
influence, it has equal endurance, and upon any critical
occasion may become an important factor in the re-
ligious world, especially if a pope should reign who
should revert to anything like the policy of Pius IX.

The attitude of Pius IX toward the modern society,
as shown in the Syllabus and the dogma of
Papal Infallibility, which was expected to Kuiturkampi.
make the opposition of the Syllabus effect-
ive against them, caused excitement at the Roman

448 History of the Christian Church.

Catholic courts. Austria rejected her Concordat with
the pope; the policy of Bavaria and Baden was de-
cidedly hostile ; it increased the rancor of the French
Republicans, who, against all probabilities, were soon
to control the destinies of France. Above all, Bis-
marck as Chancellor of the new German Empire, the
object of the undisguised hatred of the Curialists, felt
the time had come to strike a heavy counter-blow to
the Jesuit policy which triumphed at the Vatican
Council. That Bismarck struck a blow destructive
of the independence of the Church, and which would
make her an organ only of the State and of its policy,
can not be denied. That, in doing this, he coerced
the conscience is true, and that the passive resistance
of the Roman Catholics of Prussia was successful,
must be counted a gain. The series of measures by
which this was sought to be accomplished, and to
raise up a Roman Cathelic clergy as dependent upon
the State as formerly upon the pope, was known as
the Falk laws, from the Minister of Worship who in-
troduced them. Decisive measures were taken before
their introduction to limit the power of the Roman
Catholic hierarchy, and banish from German soil
those who were supposed to be working for the de-
struction of the new nation.

July 8, 1 87 1, the Roman Catholic division of the
Ministry of Worship w^as abolished. In December of
the same year clergymen were held responsible for
their pulpit utterances if they tended to disturb the
peace, and might be imprisoned for two years for a
breach of this law, which left a wide latitude to inter-
pretation. Soon after, a law passed which placed all
parish schools under State inspection. July 4, 1872,

The Papacy. 449

all Jesuits were expelled from Germany; the year
following their affiliated orders, the Redemptorists,
lyazarists, Priests of the Holy Ghost, and Society of
the Sacred Heart of Jesus, met the same fate. May
31, 1875, all religious orders in the empire, except
those devoted to the care of sick, etc., were dissolved.

In May, 1873, these laws were proposed and passed.
That of May i ith, provided that only a German could
exercise a spiritual or clerical office, and
one who had taken his course of study in a ^^^g"'
State university and then passed a State
examination. It was allowed, in the place of the uni-
versity course, to take a course in a theological semi-
nary, provided such institution was recognized by the

The law of May 1 2th provided that cases of Church
discipline should be decided in a State Court by State
officials. That of May 13th defined the use and lim-
its of ecclesiastical punishment and sought to prevent
the ecclesiastical punishment, from inflicting any civil
or social penalty. The law of May 14th provided, that
by making a declaration of his purpose before any
local judge, a person may sever his relations with any
Church. The law of May 4, 1 874, decreed banishment
to the refractory clergy after a fixed limit of time.
That of July 6, 1875, called the Law of Civil Rela-
tions, aiTected unfavorably, not only the Roman Cath-
olics, but the Evangelical Church. The law of May
20, 1874, declared the property of a vacant bishopric
should be taken in charge by a State administrator.
The year following, the laws were increased in sever-
ity by that of April 22, 1875; institution, exercises of
office, and salary were allowed to the clergy, only

450 History of the Christian Church.

where the bishop or the Episcopal administrator
pledged unconditional obedience to the law.

The law of May, 1875, by which the religious
orders, except those given to charity, were dissolved,
was a violation of the Prussian Constitution of 1850;
therefore, by the law of May 18, 1875, Articles 15, 16,
and 1 7 of that Constitution were declared void. This
made the Church wholly subject to the State. June
20, 1875, a law was passed for the State administration
of the property of vacant Roman Catholic Churches.
July 4, 1875, a law was passed designed to aid the Old
Catholics, but which only brought them into odium
as expecting profit from the persecuting policy of the
State. Of course, these measures awakened the great-
est hostility at Rome; but Bismarck reasoned that
this could hardly be increased.

Pius IX in a letter to the Emperor William I,
August 7, 1873, claimed authority over the German
Emperor because he had received Christian baptism.
This claim the emperor at once and decisively re-
jected. He said : " The Evangelical faith to which I,
as my ancestors and the majority of my subjects, be-
long, does not allow us to accept in relation to God
any other mediator than the Lord Jesus Christ."

The Papal Encyclical of February 5, 1875, declared
the Falk laws invalid ; and Pius IX later styled Bis-
marck a new Attila. No resistance from Rome, but
the passive resistance of the Roman Catholic popula-
tion and clergy led to the failure of the Falk laws.

Ledochowski, Archbishop of Posen, one of the four
German bishops who favored the new dogma, was
banished for resistance to the law in 1874, and his
fellow archbishop, Melchers, of Cologne, in 1876;

The Papacy. 451

while Martin, bishop of Paderborn, Brinkman of Mun-
ster, and Blum of Limburg, experienced the same fate
in 1875, 1876, and 1877. In 1880, of twelve Prussian
bishoprics, but three, Krmeland, Kulm, and Hildes-
heim, were occupied. There were fourteen hundred
parishes without pastors. This was the state of things
at the death of Pius IX. If he had lived ten years
longer, there is no reason to think there would have
been any change, though the difficulties of the situa-
tion increased each year.

On assuming his pontificate, Leo XIII wrote to the
German Emperor announcing his accession, and ex-
pressed a hope for better relations between ^^^^ ^y^^
them. In the same year Bismarck met and the
the papal nuncio at Munich, and began " ""^ ""^ '
negotiations for the realization of this wish.

After a seven years' rule, Dr. Falk resigned his
place as Minister of Worship in 1879. In 1880, Roman
Catholic pastors were allowed to return from banish-
ment. The law banishing them was repealed in 1890.
Then the vacant bishoprics were gradually filled:
Treves and Fulda in 1880, Paderborn and Osnabruck
in 1 88 1, Breslau in 1882, Munster and Limburg in
1883. In 1882, the Prussian embassy to the Vatican
was restored ; in May of the same year the State ex-
amination of the Roman Catholic clergy was abol-
ished. Four years later the Roman Catholic Episco-
pal seminaries were allowed to open. Eighteen mil-
lions of marks, or $4,500,000 of Roman Catholic money,
was paid back, and Roman Catholic theological stu-
dents were released from military dut3^ But the
Jesuits were most effectively banished for the thirty
years succeeding 1872.

452 History of the Christian Church,

The Falk laws failed; and, let us say it, they de-
served to fail. One cause of the failure, doubtless, was
the feeling that the party chiefly gratified
K^uiturkalnpl! ^^ ^^^°^ ^^^ ^^^ Anti-religiouists and the
Jews. This evident result has been her-
alded as an immense gain to the papacy and a sure
proof that Bismarck, after all, went to Canossa. There
are some deductions to be made from this view. The
one object of Bismarck was to preserve the new Ger-
man Empire from the fate of having its Roman Cath-
olic subjects, one-third of the population, made per-
manently disajQfected and a menace to German unity
by the hostility of the pope and the machinations of
the Jesuits. Bismarck was not alone in dreading this
result. Perhaps he was mistaken. Be that as it may,
the process by which these laws were repealed and the
Kulturkampf ended — that of compromise with the
Center, or Roman Catholic party, in the Reichstag —
has made them the most pronounced of all parties in
the support of German unity, of the house of Hohen-
zollern, and of loyalty to the new and larger Father-
land. Such a result, from a statesman's point of view,
is worth many risks and large costs. Few observers
of political events at the time would have predicted
that one result of the Kulturkampf would be the
general acknowledgment throughout Europe that
there is no more loyal section of the population of the
new German Empire than Roman Catholics. No
Italian cardinal is sanguine enough to reckon on a
severance of these relations.

Again, the heads of the Roman Catholic Church'
in Germany, Archbishops Melchers and Ledochowski,
died in banishment, the one after an exile of twenty,

The Papacy. 453

and the other of twenty-five years. No German prel-
ates are anxious for a renewal of the Kulturkampf.
Its eflfects upon religious life at the time were unques-
tionably bad ; but its issue in the acknowledgment of
the right of the Church to its independent existence
and the exercise of its functions, has had a healthful
effect upon the Evangelical Churches. Some evil
effects remain ; but we must admit that the new Ger-
man Empire, recognizing its legitimate limitations, as
well as the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, is
immensely stronger than at the beginning of the
famous strife. Its issue was the right one for all
Churches. Its lessons are obvious and none clearer
than that the observance of just limitations is the
strength both of the Church and the State, and that
there is no power stronger than passive resistance for
conscience' sake.

In the midst of this turmoil, after the longest pon-
tificate in history, Pius IX died, February, 1878. One
who marks the long line of costly andosten-

, . - J Death of

tatious monuments to his papal predecessors, p.^^ ,x.
and then goes to his tomb at San Lorenzo,
outside the walls of Rome, and reads that he directed
that it should cost but $200, will have a respect for
his modesty and piety, however ill he may think ot
his policy as directed by the Jesuits and Cardinal
Antonelli. He had little estimate of any Christianity
besides that found in the Roman Catholic Church.
In December, 1847, he declared it false that "he be-
lieved that one could be saved outside of the Roman
Catholic Church." " This [statement] is such a serious
injury to him, that he can not find words in which to
express his abhorrence of it."

454 History of the Christian Church.

Pius was ignorant and superstitious, weak and
obstinate in administration, and without consistent
policy except in the realization of Jesuit aims. Yet
he was so sincerely devout, and was so frank in his
speech, and so grave and gentle in his manner, that
this man who left the Church of Rome at swords'
points with almost all the world, and had caused her
greater loss than any pope since Clement VII, has
passed into tradition as a saint.

Vincenzo Gioachino Pecci, son of Count Ludovico
and Anna Pecci, was born at Carpineto, in the Papal
States, March 2, 1810. Early developing a
,8*0=1903. ^^^^^ ^^^ study, he was first sent to the
Jesuit college at Viterbo. Leaving there
at the age of fourteen, he spent the next seven years
under Jesuit teachers in the Collegium Romanum, the
great school of the order, graduating from thence in
1 83 1. After having exercised legatine functions in
some of the smaller sections of the Papal States, he
became Domestic Prelate, and in 1837, Referendary to
the Signatura. On December 23, 1837, he was or-
dained priest. In 1843 he v/as sent as nuncio to Bel-
gium, where he remained three years, and visited
Paris and London. He came to the Episcopate as
Bishop of Perugia, January 19, 1846, and was created
cardinal December 9, 1853. As cardinal, he did not
favor the belligerent course pursued by Pius IX. On
Pius's death he was chosen pope, February 18, 1878,
and took the title of Leo XIII.

In spite of the exaggerations of his admirers, Leo
XIII is neither in appearance nor disposition a saint.
He is a good man ; but in his rule of the Church he
is a thorough prince of the world. This very fact,

The Papacy. 455

his knowledge of the world and desire to live in peace
with Christian nations and governments, has made
his pontificate successful and his rule of
great value to the Christian world. No ^^l^xl
pope in two hundred years, except Pius VII,
at his election faced graver problems than Leo XIII.
His first care was to end the Kulturkampf in Ger-
many. Instead of regarding Bismarck as a second
Attila, he came to have for him a sincere respect,
especially after he had referred to Leo the dispute be-
tween Germany and Spain in regard to the Caroline
Islands in 1886. His great disillusion came with the
dismissal of Bismarck, and the realization that Wil-
liam II was as unbending in his religious convic-
tions, as firm in will, as himself, and not his inferior
in diplomacy.

At this time Cardinal Lavigiere (1825-1892), who
had been a strong monarchist, became convinced that
the divisions of the monarchical parties in France
were incurable, and that the Republic must be the
permanent government of that ancient ally and sup-
port of the papacy. The cardinal, who had made a
great name by his efforts to end the slave-trade in
Mohammedan Africa,* and by his administration of
Church affairs in Algiers, persuaded Leo XIII that
the true interest of the papacy lay in the support of
France and the Republic. From this time there was
a turn in the policy of Leo XIII. For twelve years
he had been a steadfast friend of Germany, and had
used his influence to build up the Center party. He
had been in cordial relations with Austria and Russia,
the other parties to the Dreibund ; his best endeavors
had been put forth, in vain, to enter into some ecclesi-

456 History of the Christian Church.

astical relations with the Russian and Greek Churches.
The Papal Sovereignty and Infallibility were insur-
mountable obstacles. Now Leo became a friend of
the French Republic, and no hostile legislation or
executive action has been able to cause him to swerve
from this friendship.

Having ended the Kulturkampf in Germany, Leo
XIII set himself to reconcile the papacy and the Roman

^^g Catholic Church with modern society and
Encyclical, the modern State. With this end in view,

'^ ^* he published his Encyclical, " Immortali
Deo," November i, 1885. In this he endeavors, with
true diplomatic astuteness, so to interpret the Syllabus
of 1864, that the papacy can have a modus vivejidi, a
way of living, in the modern world. A few extracts
will show better than many words how this is sought
to be accomplished.

One concession, when we remember the relation of
the papacy to European politics and to the political
reaction for the first seventy-five years of
Government. ^^^ century, and the persistent cry of the
alliance between the throne and the altar,
is most significant and illuminating as the recognition
of accomplished facts. That Leo XIII has known
how to do this has been the strong feature of his policy.
Henceforth neither the papacy nor the Church can be
quoted against republics or democracies. Leo says,
" But the right of ruling is not conjoined with any
special form of commonwealth, but may rightly assume
this or that form, provided that it really promotes
utility and the common good." Such words from
this source had not been heard before since the days
of Louis XIV. It is difficult to conceive a more com-

The Papacy. 457

plete political change than between this and the papal
policy from 1825 to 1875. But for Gettysburg and
Appomattox these words might not have been written.

Concerning religious toleration, the pope gives the
rule, and then the interpretation. A comparison of
these will show the key to the policy of
I.eo as a ruler of the Church. r'^Sion.

As to the rule he says: "It is a crime
for private individuals, and a crime for the State, to
make no account of the duties of religion, or to treat
different kinds of religion in the same way; that the
uncontrolled power of thinking and proclaiming one's
thoughts has no place among the rights of citizens,
and can not in any way be reckoned among those
things which are worthy of favor and defense."

Now as to the interpretation : " In truth, though
the Church judges that it is not lawful that the vari.
ous kinds of divine worship should have the same
right as the true religion, still it does not, therefore,
condemn those governors of States who, for the sake
of acquiring some great good, or preventing some
great ill, patiently bear with the manners and cus-
toms, so that each kind of religion has its place in
the State."

This is a toleration of toleration for the time be-
ing, through necessity, but, like the attitude toward
republics, is a recognition of accomplished facts.

The pope then endeavors to adjust the teachings
of the Syllabus to the advance of science. The con-
cession is small, but significant. He .says:
"Whatever may happen to extend the Research^
range of knowledge the Church will always
willingly and gladly accept; and she will, as is her

458 History of the Christian Church.

wont in the case of other studies, steadily encourage
and promote these also which are concerned with the
investigation of nature. If the mind finds anything
new in them, the Church offers no opposition; she
fights not against the search after more things for the
grace and convenience of life." Compare this with
Syllabus, pages 428, 429, Errors 22, 12, 13.

In touching upon the political action of Roman

Catholics, the pope gives the rule and the exception.

He says: "And further, to speak generally,

Political .^ -g JJgg(Jf^l and honorable for the atten-


tion of Catholic men to pass beyond this
narrower field, and to embrace every branch of public
administration. Generally, we say, because thus our
precepts reach unto all nations. But it may happen
in some particular place, for the most urgent and just
reasons, that it is by no means expedient to engage in
public affairs, or to take an active part in political

The exception is to justify the papal policy toward
the Kingdom of Italy, where the command is that
good Roman Catholics are neither to vote nor to be
voted for at the elections. This is sometimes violated
when it is thought it will bring the Italian govern-
ment into contempt, as once in the election of a groom
to be a deputy in the Italian Parliament from the city
of Rome.

In a succeeding Encyclical entitled "I

Online LibraryGeorge Herbert DryerHistory of the Christian church (Volume 5) → online text (page 31 of 50)