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Supra, pp. 320, &c. It has been objected to the explanation I have given from Fessler and others of the nature and range of the Popes infallibility as now a dogma of the Church, that it was a lame and impotent conclusion of the Council, if so much effort was employed, as is involved in the convocation and sitting of an Ecumenical Council, in order to do so little. True, if it were called to do what it did and no more; but that such was its aim is a mere assumption. In the first place it can hardly be doubted that there were those in the Council who were desirous of a stronger definition; and the definition actually made, as being moderate, is so far the victory of those many bishops who considered any definition on the subject inopportune. And it was no slight fruit of their proceedings in the {376} Council, if a definition was to be, to have effected a moderate definition. But the true answer to the objection is that which is given by Bishop Ullathorne. The question of the Popes infallibility was not one of the objects professed in convening the Council; and the Council is not yet ended.

He says in his Expostulation Unravelled, The Expostulation goes on to suggest that the Council was convened mainly with a view of defining the infallibility, and that the definition itself was brought about, chiefly for political objects, through the action of the Pontiff and a dominant party. A falser notion could not be entertained. I have the official catalogue before me of the Schemata prepared by the theologians for discussion in the Council. In them the infallibility is not even mentioned; for the greater part of them regard ecclesiastical discipline. P. 48, he adds, Calamitous events suspended the Council.

Supr., p. 326, note. I have referred to Bishop Fesslers statement that only the last sentences of Bonifaces Unam Sanctam are infallible. To this Mr. Gladstone replies, p. 45, that the word Porro, introducing the final words to which the anathema is affixed, extends that anathema to the body of the Bull, which precedes the Porro. But he does not seem to have observed that there are two distinct heresies condemned in the Bull, and that the Porro is the connecting link between these two condemnations, that is, between the penultima and final sentences. The Pope first says, Nisi duo, sicut Manichæus, fingat esse principia, {377} quod falsum et hæreticum judicamus ... porro, subesse Romano Pontifici, omni humanæ creaturæ declaramus, definimus, et pronunciamus omnino esse de necessitate salutis. That the Latin is deficient in classical terseness and perspicuity we may freely grant.

Supra, p. 327, I say, We call infallibility in the case of the Apostles, inspiration; in the case of the-church, assistentia.

On this Mr. Gladstone says, On such a statement I have two remarks to make; first, we have this assurance on the strength only of his own private judgment, p. 102. How can he say so when, p. 328, I quote Father Perrone, saying, Never have Catholics taught that the gift of infallibility is given by God to the Church after the manner of inspiration!

Mr. Gladstone proceeds, Secondly, that, if bidden by the self-assertion of the Pope, he will be required by his principles to retract it, and to assert, if occasion should arise, the contrary. I can only say to so hypothetical an argument what is laid down by Fessler and the Swiss bishops, that the Pope cannot, by virtue of his infallibility, reverse what has always been held; and that the inspiration of the church, in the sense in which the Apostles were inspired, is contrary to our received teaching. If Protestants are to speculate about our future, they should be impartial enough to recollect, that if, on the one hand, we believe that a Pope can add to our articles of faith, so, on the other, we hold also that a heretical Pope, ipso facto, ceases to be Pope by reason of his heresy, as I have said (supr., p. 359). {378}

Mr. Gladstone thus ends: Thirdly, that he lives under a system of development, through which somebodys private opinion of today may become matter of faith for all the tomorrows of the future. I think he should give some proof of this; let us have one instance in which somebodys private opinion has become de fide. Instead of this, he goes on to assert (interrogatively) that Popes, e.g. Clement XI. and Gregory II., and the present Pope, have claimed the inspiration of the Apostles, and that Germans, Italians, French, have ascribed such a gift to him;—of course he means theologians, not mere courtiers, or sycophants, for the Pope cannot help having such, till human nature is changed. If Mr. Gladstone is merely haranguing as an Orator, I do not for an instant quarrel with him or attempt to encounter him; but if he is a controversialist, we have a right to look for arguments, not mere assertions.

THE END.








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