Hugh Chisholm.

The Encyclopædia britannica; a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information (Volume v. 20) online

. (page 26 of 353)
Online LibraryHugh ChisholmThe Encyclopædia britannica; a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information (Volume v. 20) → online text (page 26 of 353)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


should be done till he had tried his personal influence. Old-
castle declared his readiness to submit to the king " all his fortune
in this world," but was firm in his religious behefs. When he
fled from Windsor to his own castle at Cowling, Henry at last
consented to a prosecution. Oldcastle refused to obey the
archbishop's repeated citations, and it was only under a royal
writ that he at last appeared before the ecclesiastical court on
the 23rd of September. In a confession of his [faith he declared
his behef in the sacraments and the necessity of penance and
true confession; but to put hope, faith or trust in images was
the great sin of idolatry. But he would not assent to the ortho-
dox doctrine of the sacrament as stated by the bishops, nor
admit the necessity of confession to a priest. So on the 25th of
September he was convicted as a heretic. Henry was still anxious
to find a way of escape for his old comrade, and granted a respite
of forty days. Before that time had expired Oldcastle escaped
from the Tower by the help of one William Fisher, a parchment-
maker of Smithfield (Riley, Memorials of London, 641). Old-
castle now put himself at the head of a wide-spread Lollard
conspiracy, which assumed a definitely poUtical character.
The design was to seize the king and his brothers during a
Twelfth-night mumming at Eltham, and perhaps, as was alleged,
to establish some sort of commonwealth. Henry, forewarned
of their intention, removed to London, and when the Lollards
assembled in force in St Giles's Fields on the loth of January
they were easily dispersed. Oldcastle himself escaped into
Herefordshire, and for nearly four years avoided capture.
Apparently he was privy to the Scrope and Cambridge plot in
July 1415, when he stirred some movement in the Welsh Marches.
On the failure of the scheme he went again into hiding. Oldcastle
was no doubt the instigator of the abortive Lollard plots of 1416,
and appears to have intrigued with the Scots. But at last his
hiding-place was discovered and in November 141 7 he was
captured by the Lord Charlton of Powis. Oldcastle who was
" sore wounded ere he would be taken," was brought to London
in a horse-Htter. On the 14th of December he was formally
condemned, on the record of his previous conviction, and that
same day was hung in St Giles's Fields, and burnt " gallows and
alL" It is not clear that he was burnt ahve.

Oldcastle died a martyr. He was no doubt a man of fine
quality, but circumstances made him a traitor, and it is impossible
altogether to condemn his execution. His unpopular opinions
and early friendship with Henry V. created a traditional scandal
which long continued. In the old play The Famous Victories
of Henry V., written before 1588, Oldcastle figures as the prince's
boon companion. When Shakespeare adapted that play in
Henry IV., Oldcastle still appeared; but when the play was
printed in 1598 Falstaff's name was substituted, in deference,
as it is said, to the then Lord Cobham. Though the fat knight
still remains " my old lad of the Castle," the stage character
has nothing to do with the Lollard leader.

Bibliography. — The record of Oldcastle's trial is printed in
Fasciculi Zizaniorum (Rolls series) and in W'ilkins's Concilia, iii.
351-357- The chief contemporary notices of his later career are
given in Gesta Henrici Quinti (Eng. Hist. Soc.) and in Walsingham's
Historia Anglicana. There have been many lives of Oldcastle,
mainly based on Tlie Actes and Monuments of John Foxe, who in his
turn followed the Briefe Chronycle of John Bale, first published
in 1544. For notes on Oldcastle's early career, consult J. H. Wylie,
History of England under Henry IV. For literary history sec the
Introductions to Richard James's Iter Lancastrense (Chctham Soc,
1845) and to Grosart's edition of the Poems of Richard James (1880).
See also W. Barske, Oldcastle- Fal staff in der englischen Literatur bis
zu Shakespeare (Palaestra, 1. Berlin, 1905). For a recent Life, see
W. T. Waugh in the English Historical Review, vol. xx. (C. L- K-i



OLD CATHOLICS



67



OLD CATHOLICS (Ger. Altkatholiken) , the designation assumed
by those members of the Roman Catholic Church who refused
to accept the decrees of the Vatican Council of 1870 defining
the dogma of papal infaUibility (see Vatican Council and
Infallibility) and ultimately set up a separate ecclesiastical
organization on the episcopal model. The Old Catholic move-
ment, at the outset at least, differed fundamentally from the
Protestant Reformation of the i6th century in that it aimed
not at any drastic changes in doctrine but at the restoration
of the ancient Catholic system, founded on the diocesan episco-
pate, which under the influence of the ultramontane movement
of the 19th century had been finally displaced by the rigidly
centralized system of the papal monarchy. In this rcsjject it
represented a tendency of old standing within the Church and
one which, in the i8th century, had all but gained the upper
hand (see Febronianism and Gallicanism) . Protestantism
takes for its standard the Bible and the supposed doctrines
and institutions of the apostolic age. Old Catholicism sets up
the authority of the undivided Church, and accepts the decrees
of the first seven general councils — down to the second council
of Nicaea (787), a principle which has necessarily involved a
certain amount of doctrinal divergence both from the standards
of Rome and those of the Protestant Churches.

The proceedings of the Vatican council and their outcome
had at first threatened to lead to a serious schism in the Church.
The minority against the decrees included many of the most
distinguished prelates and theologians of the Roman com-
munion, and the methods by which their opposition had been
overcome seemed to make it difficult for them to submit. The
pressure put upon them was, however, immense, and the reasons
for submission may well have seemed overwhelming; in the
end, after more or less delay, all the recalcitrant bishops gave
in their adhesion to the decrees.

The " sacrificio dell' intelletto," as it was termed — the sub-
ordination of individual opinion to the general authority of
the Church — was the maxim adopted by one and all. Seventeen
of the German bishops almost immediately receded from the
position they had taken up at Rome and assented to the dogma,
publishing at the same time a pastoral letter in which they sought
to justify their change of sentiment on the ground of expediency
in relation to the interests of the Church (Michelis, Der neue
Fuldaer Hirtenbricf, 1870). Their example was followed by all
the other bishops of Germany. Darboy, archbishop of Paris,
and Dupanloup, bishop of Orleans, in France adopted a like
course, and took with them the entire body of the French clergy.
Each bishop demanded in turn the same submission from the
clergy of his diocese, the alternative being suspension from
pastoral functions, to be foOowed by deprivation of office. It
may be urged as some extenuation of this general abandonment
of a great principle, that those who had refused to subscribe
to the dogma received but languid support, and in some cases
direct discouragement, from their respective governments.
The submission of the illustrious Karl Joseph von Hefele was
generally attributed to the influence exerted by the courL of
Wiirttemberg.

The universities, being less directly under the control of
the Church, were prepared to show a bolder front. Dr J. F.
von Schulte, professor at Prague, was one of the first to publish
a formal protest. A meeting of Catholic professors and dis-
tinguished scholars convened at Nuremberg (August 1870)
recorded a like dissent, and resolved on the adoption of measures
for bringing about the assembling of a really free council north
of the Alps. The Appel aux Evcqucs Catholiques of M. Hyacinthe
Loyson (better known as " Pere Hyacinthe" ), after referring
to the overthrow of " the two despotisms," " the empire of the
Napoleons and the temporal power of the popes," appealed
to the Catholic bishops throughout the world to put an end
to the schism by declaring whether the recent decrees were or
were not binding on the faith of the Church. This appeal, on
its appearance in La Lihertd, early in 1871, was suppressed by
the order of the king of Italy. On the 28th of March DoUinger,
in a letter of some length, set forth the reasons which com-



pelled him also to withhold his submission alike as " a Christian,
a theologian, an historical student and a citizen." The publica-
tion of this letter was shortly followed by a sentence of ex-
communication pronounced against DoUinger and Professor
Johannes Friedrich {q.v.), and read to the different congrega-
tions from the pulpits of Munich. The professors of the univer-
sity, on the other hand, had shortly before evinced their resolu-
tion of affording DoUinger all the moral support in their power
by an address (April 3, 1871) in which they denounced the
Vatican decrees with unsparing severity, declaring that, at the
very time when the German people had " won for themselves
the post of honour on the battlefield among the nations of
the earth," the German bishops had stooped to the dishonouring
task of " forcing consciences in the service of an unchristian
tyranny, of reducing many pious and upright men to distress
and want, and of persecuting those who had but stood steadfast
in their aUegiance to the ancient faith" (Friedberg, Akknstiicke
z. ersien V aticanischen Condi, p. 187). An address to the king,
drawn up a few days later, received the signatures of 12,000
Catholics. The refusal of the rites of the Church to one of the
signatories, Dr Zenger, when on his deathbed, elicited strong
expressions of disapproval;' and when, shortly after, it became
necessary to fill up by election six vacancies in the council of
the university, the feeling of the electors was indicated by the
return of candidates distinguished by their dissent from the
new decrees. In the following September the demand for
another and a free council was responded to by the assembling
of a congress at Munich. It was composed of nearly 500 dele-
gates, convened from almost all parts of the world; but the
Teutonic element was now as manifestly predominant as the
Latin element had been at Rome. The proceedings were pre-
sided over by Professor von Schulte, and lasted three days.
Among those who took a prominent part in the deliberations
were Landammann Keller, VVindscheid, DoUinger, Reinkens,
Maassen (professor of canon law at Vienna), F'riedrich and
Huber. The arrangements finally agreed upon were mainly
provisional; but one of the resolutions plainly declared that
it was desirable if possible to effect a reunion with the Oriental
Greek and Russian Churches, and also to arrive at an " under-
standing " with the Protestant and Episcopal communions.

In the following year lectures were delivered at Munich by
various supporters of the new movement, and the learning and
eloquence of Reinkens were displayed with marked effect. In
France the adhesion of the abbe Michaud to the cause attracted
considerable interest, not only from his reputation as a preacher,
but also from the notable step in advance made by his declara-
tion that, inasmuch as the adoption of the standpoint of the
Tridentine canons would render reunion with the Lutheran
and the Reformed Churches impossible, the wisest course would
be to insist on nothing more with respect to doctrinal belief
than was embodied in the canons of the first seven oecumenical
councils. In the same year the Old Catholics, as they now
began to be termed, entered into relations with the historical
little Jansenist Church of Utrecht. DoUinger, in delivering his
inaugural address as rector of the university of Munich, expressed
his conviction that theology had received a fresh impulse and
that the religious history of Europe was entering upon a new
phase.

Other circumstances contributed to invest Old Catholicism
with additional importance. It was evident that the relations
between the Roman Curia and the Prussian government were
becoming extremely strained. In February 1S72 appeared
the first measures of the Falk ministry, having for their object
the control of the influence of the clergy in the schools, and in
May the pope refused to accept Cardinal Hohenlohe, who during
the council had opposed the definition of the dogma, as Prussian
minister at the Vatican. In the same year two humble parish
priests, Renftle of Mering in Bavaria and Tangermann of Unkel
in the Rhineland, set an example of independence by refusing

' The rites were administered and the burial service conducted
by Friedrich, who had refused to acknowledge his excom-
munication.



68



OLD CATHOLICS



to accept the decrees. The former, driven from his parish
church, was followed by the majority of his congregation, who,
in spite of every discouragement, continued faithful to him;
and for years after, as successive members were removed by
death, the crosses over their graves recorded that they had died
" true to their ancient belief." Tangermann, the poet, expelled
in like manner from his parish by the archbishop of Cologne,
before long found himself the minister of a much larger congre-
gation in the episcopal city itself. These examples exercised
no Httle influence, and congregations of Old Catholics were
shortly after formed at numerous towns and villages in Bavaria,
Baden, Prussia, German Switzerland, and even in Austria.
At Warnsdorf in Bohemia a congregation was collected which
still represents one of the most important centres of the move-
ment. In September the second congress was held at Cologne.
It was attended by some 500 delegates or visitors from all parts
of Europe, and the English Church was represented by the
bishops of Ely and Lincoln and other distinguished members.
At this congress Friedrich boldly declared that the movement
was directed " against the whole papal system, a system of
errors during a thousand years, which had only reached its
climax in the doctrine of infallibility."

The movement thus entered a new phase, the congress
occupying itself mainly with the formation of a more definite
organization and with the question'of reunion with other Churches.
The immediate effect was a fateful divergence of opinion; for
many who sympathized with the opposition to the extreme
papal claims shrank from the creation of a fresh schism. Prince
Chlodwig Hohenlohe, who as prime minister of Bavaria had
attempted to unite the governments against the definition of
the dogma, refused to have anything to do with proceedings
which could only end in the creation of a fresh sect, and would
make the prospect of the reform of the Church from within
hopeless; more] important still, Dollinger refused to take part
in setting up a separate organization, and though he afterwards
so far modified his opinion as to help the Old Catholic community
with sympathy and advice, he never formally joined it.

Meanwhile, the progress of the quarrel between the Prussian
government and the Curia had been highly favourable to the
movement. In May 1873 the celebrated Falk laws were enacted,
whereby the articles 15 and 18 of the Prussian constitution were
modified, so as to legalize a systematic state supervision over
the education of the clergy of aU denominations, and also over
the appointment and dismissal of all ministers of religion. The
measure, which was a direct response to the Vatican decrees,
inspired the Old Catholics with a not unreasonable expectation
that the moral support of the government would henceforth
be enlisted on their side. On the nth of August Professor J. H.
Reinkens of Breslau, having been duly elected bishop of the
new community,' was consecrated at Rotterdam by Bishop
Heykamp of Deventer, the archbishop of Utrecht, who was
to have performed the ceremony, having died a few days before.
In the meantime the extension of the movement in Switzerland
had been proceeding rapidly, and it was resolved to hold the
third congress at Constance. The proceedings occupied three
days (12th to 14th September), the subjects discussed being
chiefly the institution of a synod ^ as the legislative and executive
organ of the Church, and schemes of reunion with the Greek,
the African and the Protestant communions. On the 20th
of September the election of Bishop Reinkens was formally
recognized by the Prussian government, and on the 7th of
October he took the oath of allegiance to the king.

The following year (1874) was marked by the assembling
of the first_ synod and a conference at Bonn, and of a congress

' Reinkens was elected at Cologne in primitive Christian fashion
by clergy and people, the latter being representatives of Old Catholic
congregations.

* The diocesan synod, under the presidency of the bishop, consists
of the clergy of the diocese and one lay delegate for every 200
church members. It now meets twice a year and transacts the
business prepared for it by an executive committee of 4 clergy and
5 laymen. In Switzerland the organization is still more democratic;
the bishop does not preside over the synod and may be deposed by it.



at Freiburg-im-Breisgau. At the congress Bishop Reinkens spoke
in hopeful terms of the results of his observations during a
recent missionary tour throughout Germany. The conference,
held on the 14th, isth and i6th of September, had for its special
object the discussion of the early confessions as a basis of agree-
ment, though not necessarily of fusion, between the different
communions above-named. The meetings, which were presided
over by Dolhnger, successively took into consideration the
Filioque clause in the Nicene creed, the sacraments, the canon of
Scripture, the episcopal succession in the EngUsh Church, the
confessional, indulgences, prayers for the dead, and the eucharist
(see Dollinger). The synod (May 27-29) was the first of a
series, held yearly till 1879 and afterwards twice a year, in which
the doctrine and discipline of the new Church were gradually
formulated. The tendency was, naturally, to move further
and further away from the Roman model; and though the synod
expressly renounced any claim to formulate dogma, or any
intention of destroying the unity of the faith, the " Catholic
Catechism" adopted by it in 1874 contained several articles
fundamentally at variance with the teaching of Rome.' At the
first synod, too, it was decided to make confession and fasting
optional, while later synods pronounced in favour of using the
vernacular in public worship, allowing the marriage of priests, and
permitting them to administer the communion in both kinds
to members of the Anglican Church attending their services. J
Of these developments that aboUshing the compulsory celibacy \
of the clergy led to the most opposition; some opposed it as
inexpedient, others — notably the Jansenist clergy of Holland —
as wrong in itself, and when it was ultimately passed in 1878
some of the clergy, notably Tangermann and Reusch, withdrew
from the Old CathoUc movement. 1

Meanwhile the movement had made some progress in other,
countries — in Austria, in Italy and in Mexico; but everywhere!
it was hampered by the inevitable controversies, which either
broke up its organization or hindered its development. In.
Switzerland, where important conferences were successively
convened (at Solothurn in 1871, at Olten in 1872, 1873 and
1874), the unanimity of the " Christian Catholics," as they
preferred to call themselves, seemed at one time in danger of
being shipwrecked on the question of episcopacy. It was not
until September i8th, 1876, that the conflict of opinions was
so far composed as to allow of the consecration of Bishop Herzog
by Bishop Reinkens. The reforms introduced by M. Hyacinthe
Loyson in his church at Geneva received only a partial assent
from the general body. Among the more practical results of
his example is to be reckoned, however, the fact that in French
Switzerland nearly all the clergy, in German Switzerland about
one half, are married men.

The end of the Kulturkampf in 1878, and the new alliance
between Bismarck and Pope Leo XIII. against revolutionary
Sociahsm, deprived the Old Catholics of the special favour
which had been shown them by the Prussian government; they
continued, however, to enjoy the legal status of Catholics, and
their communities retained the rights and the property secured
to them by the law of the 4th of July 1875. In Bavaria, on the
other hand, they were in March 1890, after the death of Dollinger,
definitely reduced to the status of a private reUgious sect,
with very narrow rights. When Bishop Reinkens died in
January 1896 his successor Theodor Weber, professor of theology
at Breslau, elected bishop on the 4th of March, was recognized
only by the governments of Prussia, Baden and Hesse. The
present position of the Old Catholic Church has disappointed
the expectation of its friends and of its enemies. It has neither
advanced rapidly, as the former had hoped, nor retrograded,
as the latter have frequently predicted it would do. In Germany
there are 90 congregations, served by 60 priests, and the number
of adherents is estimated at about 60,000. In Switzerland there
are 40 parishes (of which only one, that at Lucerne, is in the

I E.g. especially Question 164: " this (the Christian) community
is invisible," and Question 167, " one may belong to the invisible
Church {i.e. of those sharing in Christ's redemption) without belong-
ing to the visible Church."



OLD DEER— OLDENBARNEVELDT



69



Roman Catholic cantons), 60 clergy and about 50,000 adherents.
In Austria, though some accessions have been received since
the Los von Rom movement began in 1899, the Old Catholic
Church has not made much headway; it has some 15 churches
and about 15,000 adherents. In Holland the Old Catholic or
Jansenist Church has 3 bishops, about 30 congregations and over
8000 adherents. In France the movement headed by Loyson
did not go far. There is but one congregation, in Paris,
where it has built for itself a beautiful new church on
the Boulevard Blanqin. Its priest is George Volet, who was
ordained by Herzog, and it has just over 300 members. It
is under the supervision of the Old Catholic archbishops of
Utrecht. In Italy a branch of the Old Catholic communion
was established in 1881 by Count Enrico di Campcllo, a former
canon of St Peter's at Rome. A church was opened in Rome
by Monsignor Savarese and Count Campcllo, under the super-
vision of the bishop of Long Island in the United States, who
undertook the superintendence of the congregation in accordance
with the regulations laid down by the Lambeth conference.
But dissensions arose between the two men. The church in
Rome was closed; Savarese returned to the Roman Church;
and Campcllo commenced a reform work in the rural districts
of Umbria, under the episcopal guidance of the bishop of Salisbury.
This was in 1885. In 1900 Campcllo returned to Rome, and once
more opened a church there. In 1902 he retired from active
participation in the work, on account of age and bodily infirmity;
and his place at the head of it was taken by Professor Cicchitti
of Milan. Campello ultimately returned to the Roman com-
munion. There are half-a-dozen priests, who are either in
Roman or Old Catholic orders, and about twice as many con-
gregations. Old Catholicism has spread to America. The
Polish Romanists there, in 1899, complained of the rule of Irish
bishops; elected a bishop of their own, Herr Anton Kozlowski;
presented him to the Old Catholic bishops in Europe for consecra-
tion; and he presides over seven congregations in Chicago and
the neighbourhood. The Austrian and Italian churches possess
no bishops, and the Austrian government refuses to allow the
Old Catholic bishops of other countries to perform their functions
in Austria. Every Old Catholic congregation has its choral
union, its poor relief, and its mutual improvement society.
Theological faculties exist at Bonn and Bern, and at the former
a residential college for theological students was established
by Bishop Reinkens. Old Catholicism has eight newspapers —
two in Italy, two in Switzerland, and one each in Holland,
Germany, Austria and France. It has held reunion conferences
at Lucerne in 1892, at Rotterdam in 1894, and at Vienna in 1897.
At these, members of the various episcopal bodies have been
welcomed. It has also estabhshed a quarterly publication, the
Revue internationale de theologie, which has admitted articles
in French, German and Enghsh, contributed not merely by



Online LibraryHugh ChisholmThe Encyclopædia britannica; a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information (Volume v. 20) → online text (page 26 of 353)