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History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution by Rev. James MacCaffrey

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system as advocated by Copernicus was the only one scientifically
tenable. He came to Rome, where he was welcomed by the Pope and the
cardinals, and set up his telescope in the Vatican gardens (1611). At
first Galileo's views excited no great opposition, but owing to the
imprudent propaganda carried on by some of his own friends, notably by
the Carmelite, Foscarini, a violent controversy broke out in which the
scientific side of the theory was almost completely forgotten. Against
Galileo it was contended that his system contradicted the Scripture,
which spoke of the sun standing still in its course at the prayers of
Josue, and that it was, therefore, inadmissible. At the time in Italy
the ecclesiastical authorities were markedly conservative and hostile
to innovations, particularly as there was then a strong party in
Italy, of whom Paul Sarpi may be taken as a typical example, who were
liberal and Lutheran in their tendencies and sympathies. Had the
discussion been confined to learned circles no notice might have been
taken of it, but once an appeal was made to the masses of the people
it was almost inevitable that Galileo should have been denounced to
the Inquisition.

In the circumstances a decision favourable to Galileo could hardly
have been expected. The old Ptolemaic system was so closely bound up
with the philosophic and scientific teaching of the age that its
abandonment meant little less than a complete revolution in the world
of learning. As yet the vast body of those who were specially versed
in the subject treated the new theory with derision, while the
arguments put forward by Galileo in its defence were so weak and
inconclusive that most of them have been long since abandoned. The
hostile attitude, too, of the Lutheran divines could hardly fail to
exercise some influence on the Roman consultors. In 1615 Galileo
appeared before the Inquisition to defend his views, but without any
result. The heliocentric system was condemned as being opposed to
Scripture and therefore heretical, and Galileo was obliged to promise
never again to put it forward (1616). The work of Copernicus and those
of some other writers who advocated the Copernican system were
condemned /donec corrigantur/. The decision of the congregation was
wrong, but in the circumstances not unintelligible. Nor can it be
contended for a moment that from this mistake any solid argument can
be drawn against the infallibility of the Pope. Paul V. was
undoubtedly present at the session in which the condemnation was
agreed upon and approved of the verdict, but still the decision
remained only the decision of the congregation and not the binding
/ex-cathedra/ pronouncement of the Head of the Church. Indeed, it
appears from a letter of Cardinal Bellarmine that the congregation
regarded its teaching as only provisional, and that if it were proved
beyond doubt that the sun was stationary it would be necessary to
admit that the passages of Scripture urged against this view had been

Galileo left Rome with no intention of observing the promise he had
made. After the election of Urban VIII. who, as Cardinal Barberini,
had been his faithful friend and supporter, Galileo returned to Rome
(1624) in the hope of procuring a revision of the verdict; but though
he was received with all honour, and accorded an annual pension from
the papal treasury his request was refused. He returned to Florence,
where he published eight years later a new book on the subject,
couched in the form of a dialogue between supporters of the rival
systems, the Ptolemaic and the Copernican, in which Simplicissimus,
the defender of the old view, was not only routed but covered with
ridicule. Such a flagrant violation of his promise could not pass
unnoticed. He was summoned to appear once more before the Inquisition,
and arrived in Rome in February 1633. At first he denied that he had
written in favour of his views since 1616, then he pleaded guilty,
confessed that he was in error, and appealed to the court to deal
gently with an old and infirm man. He was found guilty, and was
condemned to recite the seven penitential psalms once a week for three
years, and to be imprisoned at the pleasure of the Inquisition. It is
not true to say that Galileo was shut up in the dungeons of the
Inquisition. He was detained only for a few days, and even during that
time he was lodged in the comfortable apartments of one of the higher
officials. Neither is it correct to state that he was tortured or
subjected to any bodily punishment. He was released almost immediately
on parole, and lived for a time at Rome in the palace of the Grand
Duke of Tuscany. Later on he retired to his villa at Arcetri, and
finally he was allowed to return to Florence. In 1642, fortified by
the last sacraments and comforted by the papal benediction, he passed
away. His body was laid to rest within the walls of the Church of
Santa Croce at Florence. Most of his misfortunes were due to his own
rashness and the imprudence of his friends and supporters. His
condemnation is the sole scientific blunder that can be laid to the
charge of the Roman Congregation. That his condemnation was not due to
any hatred of science or to any desire of the Roman ecclesiastics to
oppose the progress of knowledge is evident enough from the favours
and honours lavished upon his predecessors in the same field of
research, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, Peurbach, Muller (Regiomontanus),
and Copernicus.

(g) Progress of Theological Studies.

Hurter, /Nomenclator Literarius Theologiae Catholicae/, 3 auf.,
1903. Werner, /Geschichte der apologetischen und polemischen
Literatur der Christlichen Theologie/, 1865. Turmel, /Histoire de
la theologie positive/, etc., 1906. Slater, /A Short History of
Moral Theology/, 1909. Gigot, /General Introduction to the Sacred
Scriptures/, 1900. De Smedt, /Introductio Generalis ad Historiam
Ecclesiasticam/, 1876. Benigni, /Historiae Ecclesiasticae
Repertorium/, 1902. Collins, /The Study of Ecclesiastical
History/, 1903.

In the latter half of the fifteenth and the first quarter of the
sixteenth centuries theological studies had reached a very low ebb.
The great philosophico-theological movement of the thirteenth century
had spent its force, and it seemed highly probable that in the
struggle with Humanism theology would be obliged to abandon its
position of pre-eminence in favour of the classics. Yet as events
showed the results of Humanism were far from being so harmful to
theology as seemed likely at first. Zeal for the pagan authors of
antiquity helped to stir up zeal for the writings of the Fathers, new
editions of which were published in various centres; while at the same
time the value of the spirit of historical and literary criticism, so
highly prized by the devotees of Humanism, was recognised by
theologians, and availed of largely in defending the authority of the
documents that they cited. In the controversies with the Reformers,
who rejected entirely the authority and the methods of the
Scholastics, Catholic authors and controversialists were obliged to
fix their attention upon the Scriptures and on the historical side of
theology as evidenced in the doctrines and usages of the early
centuries. The revival, too, at this period of the older religious
orders, particularly the Benedictines and the Dominicans, and the
establishment of new bodies such as the Jesuits and the Oratorians
were in the highest degree providential. It gave to the Church the
services of trained and devoted scholars, who were free to devote all
their energies to the defence of Catholic interests. In the remarkable
theological movement of the sixteenth century Spain and Italy held the
leading place. The University of Salamanca contended with the
/Collegium Romanum/ for the supremacy once yielded freely to the
theological faculty of Paris. The founder of the new school of
theology, which had its seat in Salamanca but which exercised a very
considerable influence on the Jesuit teachers in Rome, Ingolstadt, and
Prague, was the Dominican, Francis of Vittoria (1480-1546). Realising
the necessities of the age better than most of his contemporaries he
put to an end the useless discussions and degenerate style of his
immediate predecessors, re-introduced the /Summa/ of St. Thomas,
insisted on supplementing it by a close study of the Scriptures and
the writings of the Fathers, and inaugurated a new style of
theological Latinity freed both from the barbarisms of the later
Scholastics and the pedantry of the classical enthusiasts.

Amongst the Catholic theologians of Germany who defended the Church
against the attacks of the Reformers may be mentioned /John Eck/
(1486-1543) connected for the greater part of his life with the
University of Ingolstadt, who in his publications proved himself the
leading champion on the Catholic side against Luther; /John Faber/
(1478-1541) the friend of Erasmus and the staunch though moderate
opponent of Luther and Zwingli, whose work, /Malleus Haereticorum/
(1524), secured for him the title of "the hammer of heretics"; /John
Cochlaeus/ (1479-1552) who published more than two hundred treatises
against the Reformers, nearly all of which suffered from the haste and
temper in which they were prepared; /John Gropper/ (1503-59) whose
early training as a lawyer led him at first to favour proposed
compromises hardly compatible with Catholic doctrine, but who laboured
earnestly to save Cologne for the Catholic Church; /John Nas/ (1534-
90) the Franciscan Bishop of Brixen, and the /Blessed Peter Canisius,
S.J./ (1521-97) who did more than any other man to save the entire
German nation from falling under the sway of Lutheranism, thereby
meriting the title of the second apostle of Germany.

/Tommaso de Vio/ (1469-1534), surnamed /Cajetan/[1] from his place of
birth, /Gaeta/, joined the Dominicans at an early age, taught at Padua
and Pavia, and was elected general of his order (1508). Seven years
later he was created cardinal and was entrusted with a mission to
Germany (1518), in the course of which he sought vainly to procure the
submission of Luther. During the closing years of his life he acted as
one of the principal advisers of Clement VII. By his example and his
advice he did much to revive theological studies amongst the
Dominicans and to recall them to the study of St. Thomas. As a
theologian and an exegetist he showed himself to be a man of great
ability and judgment sometimes slightly erratic and novel in his
theories, while from the point of view of style he was vastly superior
to most of his predecessors. His principal works are the Commentary on
St. Thomas (1507-22) and his explanations of nearly all the books of
the Old and New Testament. /Ambrosius Catharinus/[2] (1487-1553) was
born at Siena, graduated a doctor of canon and civil law at the age of
sixteen, pleaded as a lawyer in the consistorial court of Leo X.,
joined the Dominicans at an advanced age, took a prominent part in the
discussions at the earlier sessions of the Council of Trent, was
appointed bishop in 1546, and died in 1553 when, as it is said, he was
on the point of receiving the cardinal's hat. Catharinus was a keen
controversialist, but as a theologian he was brilliant rather than
solid. His strong leaning towards novelties brought him into conflict
with Cajetan and in fact with the whole Dominican Order, the most
cherished opinions of which he loved to attack. /Dominic Soto/ (1494-
1560) was a student of Alcala and Paris, joined the Dominicans in
1524, taught theology at Salamanca from 1532 till 1545, when he went
to the Council of Trent, where his services were invaluable especially
on the question of Grace and Justification, acted for a time as
confessor to Charles V., and returned finally to his chair at
Salamanca. He was the last of the great commentators on the
/Sentences/ of Peter Lombard. His principal works were /De Natura et
Gratia/, written for the information of the Fathers of Trent and /De
Justitia et Jure/ (1556). Another of the distinguished Spanish
Dominicans of this period was /Melchior Cano/ (1509-60), who had as
his professor at Salamanca Francis of Vittoria. He taught at Alcala
and Salamanca, accompanied Soto to the Council of Trent, was appointed
bishop but resigned almost immediately, and served for some time as
provincial of the Dominicans. His greatest work was the /De Locis
Theologicis/ (1563), in which as a kind of introduction to theology he
endeavoured to establish scientifically the foundations of theological
science. He discusses the ten /loci/ or sources which he enumerates,
namely, Scripture, Tradition, the Catholic Church, the Councils, the
Fathers, the Roman Church, the Scholastics, Reason, the authority of
philosophers, and the authority of historians. His style is simple,
concise, and elegant.

/Robert Bellarmine/[3] (1542-1621) was born in Tuscany, joined the
Society of Jesus (1560), studied at the /Collegium Romanum/ and at
Louvain, where he taught for some time, was recalled to Rome to assume
charge of the new chair of controversy in the /Collegium Romanum/,
took a prominent part in the preparation of the Clementine edition of
the Vulgate, in the /Congregatio de Auxiliis/, and in the trial of
Galileo, engaged in controversy with James I. of England in regard to
the Catholic Oath, was created cardinal (1599), and appointed
Archbishop of Capua (1602). Cardinal Bellarmine was a deeply religious
man, severe only with himself, an indefatigable student always anxious
to be just to his opponents, and specially gifted as a lecturer and
writer. His greatest work was undoubtedly the /Disputationes de
controversis Christianae fidei articulis/, in which he displayed a
most minute and accurate knowledge of the religious tenets of all the
sects of the Reformers. The book created such an enormous sensation in
Europe at the time that special lecturers were employed at some of the
Protestant universities to undertake its refutation. His commentary on
the Psalms, and the Catechism prepared by him at the request of
Clement VIII. also deserve special notice. The last complete edition
of his writings was published at Paris in 1870. /Francis Suarez/[4]
(1548-1617) was born at Granada, joined the Society of Jesus in
Salamanca (1564) and taught at Valladolid, Rome, Alcala, Salamanca,
and Coimbra. Like Bellarmine Suarez was a man of great personal piety,
well versed in the writings of the Fathers and in the literature of
the Reformers. His works are clear and well arranged but somewhat too
diffuse. The last edition (Vives) of his works was published at Paris
(1856-61). /John de Lugo/ (1583-1660) was born at Madrid, went to
Salamanca to study law, and there joined the Jesuits. He lectured
first at Valladolid, and later on at Rome where he attracted crowds of
students, and he was created cardinal in 1643. In his works he has
covered practically the entire field of dogmatic and moral theology.
The best known are perhaps /De Justitia et Jure/ and his treatises on
the Incarnation, the Sacraments, the Eucharist, and the Sacrifice of
the Mass. The last edition of his published works was issued at Paris
(1868-9). /Dionysius Petavius/[5] (Petau, 1583-1652) was born at
Orleans, studied arts and theology at Paris, entered the Society of
Jesus (1605), and taught theology at Paris for twenty-two years. He
was one of the best known and most respected scholars of his age.
Quite apart from his merits as a theologian, his works on chronology,
notably the /De doctrina temporum/ and the /Tabulae Chronologicae/
would have been sufficient to place him in the first rank of the
scholars of his period. In theology he is chiefly remarkable for the
introduction and application of the historical method in his
discussion of dogma, and hence he is referred to rightly as the
"Father of the History of Dogma." His principal theological work is
the /Dogmata Theologica/ (1644-50).

The splendid example of a scientific treatment of moral theology set
by St. Thomas produced very little effect during the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries, for the simple reason that the /Sentences/, and
not the /Summa/, was the text-book used generally in the schools.
Following along the lines marked out by Raymond of Penafort in his
/Summa de poenitentia et matrimonio/ (1235) a large number of /Summae/
or manuals for the use of confessors were published during the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the last of them being that of
Silvester Prierias, one of the earliest opponents of Luther. One of
the few writers of this period who undertook to give a scientific
explanation of moral principles is St. Antoninus (1389-1459), the
Dominican Archbishop of Florence, in his /Summa Theologica Moralis/.

The rejection of the /Sentences/ in favour of the /Summa/, and the
reform decrees of the Council of Trent gave a new impetus to the study
of moral theology during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Most
of the great writers of this period, Gregory of Valencia (1550-1603),
Vasquez (1549-1604), Lessius (1554-1623), Banez (1528-1604), Medina
(1527-81), Sanchez (1550-1610), Saurez, and De Logo devoted special
attention to the underlying principles of moral theology, and in some
cases to their practical application. The /De Poenitentia/ and the
/Responsa Moralia/ of De Lugo served as models of what might be called
mixed treatment, partly scientific and partly casuistical. The
/Theologia Moralis/ of the Jesuit writer, Paul Laymann (1574-1635),
the /Instructio Sacerdotum/ of Cardinal Toledo and the /Medulla
Theologiae Moralis/ of Hermann Busenbaum (1600-68), which went through
forty editions in his own lifetime, may be cited as examples of this

The controversy regarding Probabilism did not assume a serious aspect
till the rise and condemnation of Jansenism. During this period the
enemies of the Jesuits pointed to the approval given to Probabilism by
the Fathers of the Society as a proof of the laxity of view introduced
by Jesuit theologians. Whatever may be said of the system, one thing
is certain, namely, that the Jesuit theologians were not the first to
put it forward. It was followed in practice long before the
institution of the Society of Jesus, was enunciated clearly enough as
a theory by the Spanish Dominican Bartholomew Medina (1527-81) and was
adopted, at least in their solutions of particular cases, by most of
the great writers during the latter half of the sixteenth and the
first half of the seventeenth centuries.

Amongst the most notable writers on ascetical theology of this period
were St. Ignatius of Loyola, the author of the /Spiritual Exercises/,
St. Teresa (1515-82) the zealous reformer of the Carmelites, St. John
of God (1495-1550) the founder of the Brothers of St. John of God, the
Dominican Louis of Granada (1504-88), St. Francis de Sales (1567-
1622), the two Jesuit writers Alphonsus Rodriguez (1526-1616) and
Louis de Ponte (1554-1624), and Jean Jacques Olier (1608-57) the
founder of the Sulpicians.

Many causes combined to bring about a great revival in Scriptural
studies. The Humanist movement ensured that commentators would bring
to their task a ready knowledge of Greek and a critical appreciation
of the age and value of manuscripts. The study of Hebrew was taken up
enthusiastically by scholars like Reuchlin, and was rendered
comparatively easy by the grammars and dictionaries published by
Reuchlin, Santez, Pagnino, Pelikan, and Cardinal Bellarmine. The
contention of the early Reformers that the Bible was the sole source
of divine revelation, though never accepted by Catholic scholars,
necessitated a close study of the words and literal meaning of the
sacred text. In opposition to the private interpretation of the
Reformers Catholics contended that the teaching authority of the
Church and the interpretation of the Fathers were the only sure
guides. The distinction between deutero-canonical and proto-canonical
books was ended for Catholics by the decision of the Council of Trent
attributing to both equal authority. The question of the extent of
inspiration was left by the Council of Trent practically in the
position in which it stood when the Council of Florence defined that
God was the author of the sacred books. Many writers were inclined to
hold the view that the divine assistance extended to the style and the
words, while others rejected verbal inspiration. A few Catholic
scholars, for example Lessius and Hamel, seemed to maintain that a
book composed by human industry and without the assistance of the Holy
Ghost might be regarded as inspired if afterwards the Holy Ghost
testified that it contained no error. Since the Vatican Council such a
view is no longer tenable.

The activity in the field of Scriptural studies is witnessed to by the
edition of the Greek and Latin text of the New Testament prepared by
Erasmus, by the Complutensian Polyglot published under the direction
of Cardinal Ximenes (1514-17) to be followed by similar publications
at Antwerp (1569-72) and at Paris (1628-45), by the edition of the
Septuagint at the command of Sixtus V. and the edition of the Vulgate
under Clement VIII. Amongst the great Catholic commentators of the age
may be mentioned Cardinal Cajetan (+1534), the Dominican Santez
Pagnino (+1541), Cornelius Jansen (1576), the Jesuit, John Maldonatus
(+1583), whose commentary on the four Gospels is still unrivalled,
William Estius (+1613), professor at Douay, whose views on Grace were
not unaffected by the controversies then raging at Louvain, and
Cornelius a Lapide, S.J. (+1673), professor at Louvain and Rome, who
published an excellent commentary on the entire Scriptures.

Ecclesiastical History profited largely from the Humanist movement
which brought to light many new documents, and tended to awaken a
spirit of scholarly criticism. The contention put forward by the
Reformers, that primitive Christianity had been completely corrupted
by semi-Pagan novelties during the Middle Ages, made it imperative on
Catholic scholars to direct their attention to the practices and
teaching of the early centuries. New editions of the writings of the
Fathers were prepared by the Dominicans, Jesuits, and by the
Benedictines of St. Maur. The attempt made by the Magdeburg
Centuriators to justify Lutheranism at the bar of history called forth
the /Annales Ecclesiastici/ of Cardinal Baronius (1538-1607). These
Annals dealt with the history of the Church from the beginning till
the year 1198. The work was continued by the Oratorians Raynaldus and
Laderchi, by de Sponde, Bzovius and Augustine Theiner. The History of
the Popes was written by the Augustinian Panvinio (+1568) and by the
Dominican, Ciacconius (+1599). Hagiographical studies were pursued by
Surius (+1578) and by the Jesuit Heribert Rosweyde (1569-1629). It was
the latter who first conceived the plan of publishing the Lives of the
Saints in one series. He died without having done much except to
collect an immense mass of materials. The scheme was, however, taken
up by other members of the society, notably, John Van Bolland
(Bollandus, 1596-1665), Godfrey Henschen (1601-81) and Daniel von
Papenbroeck (Papebroch, 1628-1714). These were the first of the
Bollandists, and the first volume of the /Acta Sanctorum/ appeared in

[1] Quetif-Echard, /Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum/, ii. 14.

[2] Id., ii. 144-51.

[3] Couderc, /Robert Bellarmin/, 2 vols., 1893.

[4] Werner, /Franz Suarez und die Scholastik der letzten
jahrhunderte/, 1861.

[5] Chatellain, /Viz du Pere D. Petavius/, 1884.




The centralisation movement, that began in the fifteenth century, and
that tended to increase the power of the sovereign at the expense of
the lesser nobles and of the people, was strengthened and developed by
the religious revolt. The Protestant reformers appealed to the civil
rulers for assistance against the ecclesiastical authorities, and in
return for the aid given to them so generously they were willing to
concede to the king all power in civil and ecclesiastical matters.
Thenceforth the princes were to be so supreme in spirituals as well as
in temporals that their right to determine the religion of their
subjects was recognised as a first principle of government. During the
days of the Counter-Reformation, when religious enthusiasm was aroused
to its highest pitch, the Catholic sovereigns of Europe fought not so
much for the aggrandisement of their own power as for the unity of
their kingdoms and the defence of the religion of their fathers,
threatened as it was with complete overthrow.

But once the first fervour had passed away, and once it was recognised
that religious harmony could not be secured by the sword, Catholic
sovereigns began to understand that the Protestant theory of state
supremacy meant an increase of power to the crown, and might be
utilised to reduce the only partially independent institution in their
kingdoms to a state of slavery. Hence they increased their demands,
interfered more and more in ecclesiastical matters, set themselves to
diminish the jurisdiction of the Pope by means of the /Royal Placet/
and other such legal contrivances, and asserted for themselves as much
authority as could be reconciled with Catholic principles interpreted
in their most liberal sense. They urged the bishops to assert their
independence against the Holy See, and the bishops, forgetful of the
fact that freedom from Rome meant enslavement by the State,
co-operated willingly in carrying out the programme of their royal
masters. Men like Bossuet, carried away by the new theories of the
divine right of kings, aimed at reducing the power of Rome to a
shadow. They were more anxious to be considered national patriots than
good Catholics. They understood only when it was too late that in
their close union with the Holy See lay their only hope of resisting
state aggression, and that by weakening the authority of the Pope they
were weakening the one power that could defend their own rights and
the rights of the Church. Their whole policy tended to the realisation
of the system of national churches, and were it not for the divine
protection guaranteed by Christ to the society that He Himself had
founded, their policy might have been crowned with success.

The principle, too, of individual judgment introduced by the Reformers
was soon pushed to its logical conclusions. If by means of this
principle Luther and his disciples could reject certain doctrines and
practices that had been followed for centuries by the whole Catholic
Church, why could not others, imitating the example that had been
given to them, set aside many of the dogmas retained by Luther as
being only the inventions of men, and why could their successors not
go further still, and question the very foundation of Christianity
itself? The results of this unbridled liberty of thought made
themselves felt in religion, in philosophy, in politics, in
literature, and in art. Rationalism became fashionable in educated
circles, at the courts, and at the universities. Even Catholics who
still remained loyal to the Church were not uninfluenced by the spirit
of religious indifference. It seemed to them that many of the dogmas
and devotions of the Church were too old-fashioned, and required to be
modernised. The courts in many cases favoured the spread of these
anti-religious views because they meant the weakening of the power of
the Church. They joined with the apostles of rationalism in attacking
the Society of Jesus, because the rationalists realised that the
Jesuits were their strongest opponents, while the politicians believed
them to be the most strenuous supporters of the jurisdiction of Rome.
It was only when the storm of revolution was about to burst over
Europe that the civil rulers understood fully the dangerous tendency
of the movement which they had encouraged. They began to open their
eyes to the fact that war against Christianity meant war against
established authority, and that the unbridled liberty of thought and
speech which had been tolerated was likely to prove more dangerous to
the cause of monarchy than to the cause of religion.

(a) Gallicanism.

Richer, /De ecclesiastica et politica potestate/, 1611. Puyol,
/Edm. Richer, Etude sur la renovation du gallicanisme au XVIIe
siecle/, 2 vols., 1877. Lavisse, /Histoire de France/ (vii.),
1905. Bossuet, /Defensio declarationis cleri gallicani/ (ed.
1885). Gerin, /Recherches historiques sur l'assemblee de 1682/,
1878. De Maistre, /De L'Eglise gallicane/, 1821. Gerin, /Louis
XIV. et le Saint-Siege/, 1894. Mention, /Documents relatifs au
rapport du clerge avec la royaute de 1682 a 1705/, 1893. Picot,
/Memoires pour servir a l'histoire ecclesiastique pendan le XVIIIe
siecle/, 7 vols., 1853-57.

For centuries France had been the zealous defender of the Church and
of the Holy See. From the days of Clovis the French nation had never
wavered in its allegiance to the successors of Saint Peter, many of
whom had been obliged to seek refuge on the soil of France. In return
for this support given ungrudgingly in many a dangerous crisis,
several important privileges were conferred by the Popes on the French
rulers, in which privileges moderate supporters of Gallicanism were
inclined to seek the origin and best explanation of the so-called
Gallican Liberties. But the extreme Gallicans, realising that such a
defence could avail but little against the Pope, who could recall what
his predecessors had granted, maintained that the Gallican Liberties
were but the survival of the liberty possessed by individual churches
in the early centuries, that these liberties had been restricted
gradually by the Holy See, which succeeded in reducing the national
churches to servitude, and that the French Church alone had withstood
these assaults, and had maintained intact the discipline and
constitution of the apostolic age. The rulers of France, well aware
that every restriction upon the authority of the Church meant an
increase of the power of the Crown, gladly fostered this movement,
while the French bishops, unconscious of the fact that independence of
Rome meant servitude to the king, allowed themselves to be used as
tools in carrying out the programme of state absolutism.

The Pragmatic Sanction of Louis IX., referred to by many writers as
the first indication of Gallicanism, is admitted by all scholars to be
a forgery. The exorbitant demands formulated by Philip the Fair during
his quarrel with Boniface VIII. are the first clear indication of the
Gallican theory that confronts the historian. The principles laid down
by the rulers of France during this quarrel were amplified
considerably in the writings of William of Occam, Jean of Jandun, and
Marsilius of Padua, and were reduced to definite form in the time of
the Great Western Schism. At that time, mainly owing to the influence
of Gerson, D'Ailly, and other French leaders, the doctrine of the
superiority of a General Council over the Pope was accepted, and
received official confirmation in the decrees of the fourth and fifth
sessions of the Council of Constance (1414-17), and in the Council of
Basle (1431-6). The decrees passed by the Synod of Bourges (1438) were
strongly anti-papal, and despite of the efforts of Nicholas V. and his
successors to procure their withdrawal most of them remained in force
till the Concordat of 1516. Partly owing to this Concordat, by which
the right of nomination to all bishoprics and abbacies in France was
secured to the Crown, and partly to the strong feeling aroused in
France during the conflict with Calvinism, little was heard of
Gallicanism during the sixteenth century. It was mainly, however, as a
result of the opposition of the French bishops that the decree of the
Council of Florence regarding papal supremacy was not renewed at the
Council of Trent, and it was in great measure due to the influence of
Gallican principles that the decrees of the Council of Trent were not
received in France for years.

Gallicanism was renewed in the beginning of the seventeenth century by
Edmund Richer (1559-1631), syndic of the Paris University and editor
of the works of Gerson. He was a man who held novel views about the
constitution both of Church and State, and who professed his sincere
admiration for Gerson's exposition of the relations that should exist
between a General Council and the Pope. In 1610 one of the Dominican
students undertook to defend publicly the supremacy and infallibility
of the Pope, whereupon a violent controversy broke out, but it was
settled for a time by the prudent intervention of Cardinal Du Perron.
The Parliament of Paris, however, undertook the defence of Richer and
of the work that he published in explanation of his theories. In this
book, /De Ecclesiastica et Politica Potestate/ (1611) he laid it down
that the Church was a limited not an absolute monarchy; that the whole
legislative power rested in the hands of the hierarchy, composed
according to him of both bishops and parish priests; that this
legislative power should be exercised in a General Council, which as
representing the entire hierarchy was the repository of infallibility,
and was not subject to the Pope; that the power of executing the
decrees of General Councils and of carrying on the administration of
the Church rested in the hands of the Pope, who could not act contrary
to the canons; that neither Pope nor hierarchy could undertake to
enforce ecclesiastical decrees by any other means except persuasion;
and that if force were required it could be exercised only by the head
of the State, who was the natural protector of the Church, and
responsible to God for the due observance of the canons.

This book was condemned by the provincial Synod of Sens, held under
the presidency of Cardinal Du Perron in 1612, by the provincial Synod
of Aix, by the Bishop of Paris, and by the Pope. The Parliament of
Paris, however, supported Richer, who lodged an appeal with the civil
authorities against the action of the bishops, and sought to secure
for his theories the support of the Sorbonne. Though forced by the
king to resign his office at the University he continued to defend his
views stubbornly till 1629, when for political rather than for
religious reasons he was called upon by Cardinal Richelieu to sign a
complete recantation. Shortly before his death in 1631 he declared in
the presence of several witnesses that this submission was made freely
and from conviction, but some papers written by him and discovered
after his death make it very difficult to believe that these
protestations were sincere.

The writings of Pithou, Richer, and Dupuy, and above all the rising
influence of the Jansenist party helped to spread the Gallican
teaching among the French clergy, and to make them more willing to
yield obedience to the king than to the Pope. The Abbot of St. Cyran
attacked the authority of the Holy See, but fortunately the extreme
nature of his views, and the need felt by both the priests and the
bishops of France for the intervention of the Holy See against the
Jansenists, served to restrain the anti-papal feeling, and to keep the
leading theological writers, like Duval, Du Perron, Ysambert and
Abelly, free from any Gallican bias. The accession of Louis XIV.
(1661) marked a new era in the history of the Gallican Liberties. He
was young, headstrong, anxious to extend the territories of France,
and determined to assert his own supreme authority at all costs. With
Louis XIV. firmly seated on the French throne, and with the Jansenist
party intriguing in the Parliament of Paris, which had shown itself
hostile to papal claims, it was not difficult to predict that the
relations with the Holy See were likely to become unfriendly. The Duke
of Crequi,[1] Louis XIV.'s ambassador at Rome, set himself
deliberately to bring about a complete rupture. Owing to an attack
made by some Corsicans of the papal guard on the French embassy, the
ambassador refused to accept any apology and left Rome, while Louis
XIV. dismissed the nuncio at Paris, occupied the papal territories of
Avignon and Venaissin, and despatched an army against the Papal
States. Alexander VII. was obliged to yield to force, and to accept
the very humiliating terms imposed upon him by the Peace of Pisa

The Jansenist party and the enemies of the Holy See took advantage of
the policy of Louis XIV. to push forward their designs. A violent
clamour was raised in 1661 against a thesis defended in the Jesuit
schools (/Thesis Claromontana/) in favour of papal infallibility, and
a still more violent clamour ensued when it was maintained in a public
defence at the Sorbonne (1663) that the Pope has supreme jurisdiction
over the Church, and that General Councils, though useful for the
suppression of heresy, are not necessary. The Jansenist party appealed
to the Parliament of Paris, which issued a prohibition against
teaching or defending the doctrine of papal infallibility, but the
majority of the doctors of the Sorbonne stood by their opinion, and
refused to register the decree of Parliament. The opponents of the
Sorbonne, hastening to avenge this first defeat, denounced the defence
of a somewhat similar thesis by a Cistercian student as a violation of
the prohibition. The syndic of the university was suspended from his
office for six months, and the university itself was threatened with
very serious reforms unless it consented to accept the Gallican
theories. As a result of the interference of intermediaries a
declaration satisfactory to the Parliament was issued by the doctors
of the faculty (1663). In this document they announced that it was not
the teaching of the university that the Pope had any authority over
the king in temporal matters, that he was superior to a General
Council, or that he was infallible in matters of faith without the
consent of a General Council. On the contrary, they asserted that it
was the teaching of the university that in temporal affairs the king
was subject only to God, that his subjects could not be dispensed from
their allegiance to him by any power on earth, and that the rights and
liberties of the Gallican Church must be respected. This decree was
signed by seventy-seven doctors, and was published by the Parliament
as the teaching of the entire theological faculty and as a guide that
should be followed in all theological schools. A violent agitation was
begun against all who attempted to uphold the rights of the Holy See
either in public disputations or in published works, an agitation that
was all the more inexplicable, owing to the fact that at this time
both the king and Parliament were endeavouring to persuade the
Jansenists to accept as infallible the decrees by which the Pope had
condemned their teaching.

Before this agitation had died away a new cause of dissension had come
to the front in the shape of the /Regalia/. By the term /Regalia/ was
meant the right of the King of France to hold the revenues of vacant
Sees and abbacies, and to appoint to benefices during the vacancy, and
until the oath of allegiance had been taken by the new bishops and had
been registered. Such a privilege was undoubtedly bad for religion,
and though it was tolerated for certain grave reasons by the second
General Council of Lyons (1274), a decree of excommunication was
levelled against anyone, prince or subject, cleric or layman, who
would endeavour to introduce it or to abet its introduction into those
places where it did not already exist. Many of the provinces of France
had not been subject to the /Regalia/ hitherto, but in defiance of the
law of the Church Louis XIV. issued a royal mandate (1673-75),
claiming for himself the /Regalia/ in all dioceses of France, and
commanding bishops who had not taken the oath of allegiance to take it
immediately and to have it registered.

The bishops of France submitted to this decree with two exceptions.
These were Pavillon, bishop of Alet, and Caulet, bishop of Pamiers,
both of whom though attached to the Jansenist party were determined to
maintain the rights of the Church. The king, regardless of their
protests, proceeded to appoint to benefices in their dioceses on the
ground that they had not registered their oath of allegiance. They
replied by issuing excommunication against all those who accepted such
appointments, and, when their censures were declared null and void by
their respective metropolitans, they appealed to the Holy See. During
the contest Pavillon of Alet died, and the whole brunt of the struggle
fell upon his companion. The latter was encouraged by the active
assistance of Innocent XI., who quashed the sentence of the
metropolitans, encouraged the bishop and chapter to resist, and
threatened the king with the censures of the Church unless he desisted
from his campaign (1678-79). The bishop himself died, but the chapter
showed its loyalty to his injunctions by appointing a vicar-capitular
in opposition to the vicar-capitular nominated by the king. A most
violent persecution was begun against the vicar-capitular and the
clergy who remained loyal to him. Both on account of the important
interests at stake and the courage displayed by the opponents of the
king the contest was followed with great interest not only in France
itself but throughout the Catholic world. While feeling was thus
running high another event happened in Paris that added fuel to the
flame. The Cistercian nuns at Charonne were entitled according to
their constitution to elect their own superioress, but de Harlay,
Archbishop of Paris, acting in conformity with the orders of Louis
XIV. endeavoured to force upon the community a superioress belonging
to an entirely different order. The nuns appealed to Innocent XI., who
annulled the appointment and insisted upon a free canonical election
(1680). The Parliament of Paris set side the papal sentence, and when
this interference was rejected by the Pope, the papal document was

In view of the difficulties that had arisen an extraordinary meeting
of the bishops of France was summoned. Fifty-two of them met in Paris
(March-May, 1681). The two leading men in favour of the king were
Francis de Harlay, Archbishop of Paris, and Le Tellier, Archbishop of
Rheims. Acting under the influence of these men the bishops agreed
that it was their duty to submit to the claims of the crown in regard
to the /Regalia/; they condemned the interference of the Pope in
favour of the Paris community of Cistercian nuns as well as his action
against the metropolitan of the Bishop of Pamiers; and they expressed
the opinion that a general assembly of the clergy of France should be
called to discuss the whole situation.

The General Assembly consisting of thirty-four bishops and thirty-
seven priests elected to represent the entire body of the French
clergy met at Paris (October 1681-July 1682). The most prominent men
of the Assembly were Francis de Harlay of Paris, Le Tellier of Rheims,
Colbert of Rouen, Choisseul of Tournay, and Bossuet, the recently
appointed Bishop of Meaux. The latter, whose reputation as a preacher
had already spread throughout France, delivered the opening address,
which was moderate in tone, and not unfriendly to the rights of the
Holy See though at the same time strongly pro-Gallican. Certain minor
rights claimed by the king having been abandoned, the bishops
gratefully accepted the /Regalia/, and despatched a letter to the Pope
urging him to yield to the royal demands for the sake of peace. But
the Pope, more concerned for the liberty of the French bishops than
they were themselves, reminded them sharply of their duty to the
Church, while at the same time he refused to follow their advice. In
their reply to the Pope the bishops took occasion to praise the spirit
of religious zeal shown by Louis XIV., who, according to them, was
forced reluctantly to take up the gauge of battle that had been thrown
at his feet by Rome. Meantime an attempt was made by the Assembly to
formulate definitely the Gallican liberties. These were:--

(1) That Saint Peter and his successors have received jurisdiction
only over spiritual things. Kings are not subject to them in temporal
matters, nor can the subjects of kings be released from their oath of
allegiance by the Pope.

(2) That the plenitude of power in spiritual things by the Holy See
does not contradict the decrees of the fourth and fifth sessions of
the Council of Constance, which decrees, having been passed by a
General Council and approved by the Pope, were observed by the
Gallican church.

(3) That the apostolic authority of the Roman Church must be exercised
in accordance with the canons inspired by the Holy Ghost, and with the
rules, constitutions, and customs of the Gallican Church.

(4) That though the Pope has the chief part in determining questions
of faith, and though his decrees have force in the entire Church and
in each particular church, yet his decisions are not irreformable, at
least until they are approved by the verdict of the entire Church.

This Declaration (the Four Gallican Articles) was approved by the
king, who ordered that it should be observed by all teachers and
professors, and should be accepted by all candidates for theological
decrees. Although the Archbishop of Paris recommended warmly the
acceptance of the Gallican Articles the doctors of the Sorbonne
offered strong opposition to the new royal theology, so that it was
only after recourse had been had to the most violent expedients that
the consent of one hundred and sixty-two doctors could be obtained,
while the majority against the Gallican Articles was over five
hundred. The decision of the minority was published as the decision of
the faculty, and steps were taken at once to remove the opponents of
the articles, and to make the Sorbonne strongly Gallican in its
teaching. While protests against the articles poured in from different
universities and from many of the countries of Europe the Pope kept
silent; but when two priests, who took part in the Assembly of 1682,
were nominated for vacant bishoprics Innocent XI. refused to appoint
them until they should have expressed regret for their action. The
king would not permit them to do so, nor would he allow the others who
were nominated to accept their appointments from the Pope, and as a
result in 1688 thirty-five of the French Sees had been left without

In this same year another incident occurred that rendered the
relations between the Pope and Louis XIV. even more strained. The
right of asylum possessed by various ambassadors at the papal court
had become a very serious abuse. Formerly it was attached only to the
residence of the ambassador, but in the course of time it was extended
until it included the whole of the quarter in which the embassy was
situated, with the result that it became impossible for the guardians
of the peace to carry out their duties. For this reason the right of
asylum was suppressed by the Pope. All the other nations submitted to
such a reasonable restriction, but Louis XIV., anxious rather to
provoke than to avoid a quarrel, refused to abandon the privilege. He
sent as his ambassador to Rome (1687) the Marquis de Lavardin, who
entered Rome at the head of a force of five hundred armed men, and
whose conduct from first to last was so outrageous that Innocent XI.
was obliged to excommunicate him, and to lay the Church of Saint Louis
under interdict. Immediately Louis XIV. occupied Avignon and
Venaissin, assembled an army in Southern France to be despatched
against the Papal States, and ordered that an appeal to a future
General Council should be prepared for presentation. Twenty-six of the
bishops expressed their approval of this appeal, and so successful had
been the dragooning of the university that nearly all the faculties
adopted a similar attitude (1688).

For a time it seemed as if a schism involving the whole of the French
Church was unavoidable, since neither Pope nor king seemed willing to
give way. But Louis XIV. had no wish to become a second Henry VIII.
The threatening condition of affairs in Europe made it impossible for
him to despatch an army against Rome. At the same time the fear of
civil disturbance in France in case he rejected completely the
authority of the Pope, and the danger that such a step might involve
for French interests abroad kept him from taking the final plunge. He
recalled the obnoxious ambassador from Rome (1689), abandoned the
right of asylum as attached to the quarter of the French embassy
(1690), and restored Avignon and Venaissin to the Pope. Alexander
VIII. demanded the withdrawal of the royal edict of March 1683
enjoining the public acceptance of the Gallican Articles. He required
also a retraction from the clergy who had taken part in the Assembly,
and issued a Bull denouncing the extension of the rights of the
/Regalia/ and declaring the Gallican Articles null and void (1690).
Louis XIV., finding that the public opinion of the Catholic world was
against him, and that a reconciliation with the Papacy would be very
helpful to him in carrying out his political schemes, opened friendly
negotiations with Innocent XII. In the end an agreement was arrived
at, whereby the clerics who had taken part in the Assembly of 1682,
having expressed their regret to the Pope for their action, were
appointed to the bishoprics for which they had been nominated; while
the king informed the Pope (1693) that the decrees issued by him
insisting on the acceptance of the Gallican Articles, would not be

But in spite of this royal assurance, Gallicanism had still a strong
hold upon France. The younger men in the Sorbonne could be relied upon
to support the Articles, and the influence of writers like John de
Launoy (1603-1678) and of Dupin helped to spread Gallicanism among the
clergy and laymen of the rising generation. Throughout the whole
controversy Bossuet had shown himself too accommodating to the crown,
though at the same time he was not unfriendly to the claims of the
Holy See, nor inclined to favour such extreme measures as most of his
episcopal colleagues. Acting on the request of the king he prepared a
defence of the Gallican Articles, which was not published till long
after his death. During the eighteenth century, when the crown and the
Parliament of Paris interfered constantly in all religious questions,
the bishops and clergy of France had good reason to regret their
defence of the so-called Gallican Liberties. The Concordat concluded
by Napoleon with Pius VII. and the action taken by the Pope with the
approval of Napoleon for the carrying out of the Concordat dealt a
staggering blow to Gallicanism, despite the attempt made to revive it
by the Organic Articles. The great body of the bishops of the
nineteenth century had little sympathy with Gallican principles, which
disappeared entirely after the definition of Papal Infallibility at
the Vatican Council.

[1] De Mouy, /L'ambassade du duc de Crequi/, 2 vols., 1893.

(b) Febronianism and Josephism.

Febronius, /De statu ecclesiae deque legitima potestate Romani
Pontificis/, etc., 1762. Idem, /Commentarius in suam
retractationem/, etc., 1781. Kuentziger, /Febronius, et le
Febronianisme/, 1890. Werner, /Geschichte der Katholischen
Theologie in Deutschland/, 1866. /Codex iuris ecclessiastici
Josephini/, etc., 1788. Gendry, /Les debuts de Josephisme/ (/Revue
des Quest. hist./, 1894). /Receuil des actes concernant le voyage
du Pape Pie VI. a Vienne/, 1782. Stigloher, /Die errichtung der
papstlichen Nuntiatur und der Emser Kongress/, 1867. Munch,
/Geschichte des Emser Kongresses/, 1840. De Potter, /Vie de
Scipion de Ricci/, 1825.

The spirit of opposition to the Holy See soon spread from France to
the various states of the Holy Roman Empire. The violent onslaughts of
the Reformers and the imminent danger of heresy had driven the
Catholics of Germany to cling more closely to the Holy See, and had
helped to extinguish the anti-Roman feeling, that had been so strong
in the early years of the sixteenth century. But once the religious
wars had ended without a decisive victory for either party, and once
the theory of imperial neutrality had been sanctioned formally by the
Peace of Westphalia (1648), the Catholic rulers of Germany, not
excluding even the spiritual princes, showed more anxiety to increase
their own power than to safeguard the interests of their religion. The
example of the Protestant states, where the rulers were supreme in
religious as in temporal affairs, could not fail to encourage Catholic
sovereigns to assert for themselves greater authority over the Church
in their own territories, in utter disregard of the rights of the Pope
and of the constitution of the Church. Frequently during the reigns of
Leopold I. (1657-1705), of Joseph I. (1705-11), and of Charles VI.
(1711-40) the interference of the civil power in ecclesiastical
affairs had given just cause for complaint. But it was only during the
reign of Francis I. (1745-65), and more especially of Joseph II.
(1765-90), that the full results of the Jansenist, Gallican, and
Liberal Catholic teaching made themselves felt in the empire as a
whole, and in the various states of which the empire was composed.

The most learned exponent of Gallican views on the German side of the
Rhine was John Nicholas von Hontheim (1701-90), who was himself a
student of Van Espen (1646-1728), the well-known Gallican and
Jansenist professor of canon law in the University of Louvain. On the
return of von Hontheim to his native city of Trier he was entrusted
with various important offices by the Prince-bishop of Trier, by whose
advice he was appointed assistant-bishop of that See (1740). He was a
man of great ability, well versed especially in ecclesiastical and
local history, and a close student of the writings of the Gallicans
(Richer, Dupin, Thomassin, and Van Espen). At the time the hope of a
reunion between the Lutherans and the Catholics in Germany was not
abandoned completely. It seemed to von Hontheim that by lessening the
power of the Papacy, which was regarded by the Protestants as the
greatest obstacle to reconciliation, Gallicanism provided the basis
for a good reunion programme, that was likely to be acceptable to
moderate men of both parties in Germany. With the object therefore of
promoting the cause of reunion he set himself to compose his
remarkable book, /De Statu Ecclesiae et de Legitima Potestate Romani
Pontificis/, published in 1762 under the assumed name of Justinus

According to Febronius Christ entrusted the power of the keys not to
the Pope nor to the hierarchy, but to the whole body of the faithful,
who in turn handed over the duty of administration to the Pope and the
hierarchy. All bishops according to him were equal, and all were
independent of the government of their own dioceses, though at the
same time, for the purpose of preserving unity, a primacy of honour
should be accorded to the successor of Saint Peter. But this primacy
was not necessarily the special prerogative of the Roman See; it could
be separated from that Church and transferred to another diocese. In
the early ages of Christianity the Roman bishops never claimed the
power wielded by their successors in later times. These pretensions to
supreme jurisdiction were founded upon the false decretals of Isidore
and other forgeries, and constituted a corruption that should not be
tolerated any longer in the Church. In reality the Pope was only the
first among equals, empowered no doubt to carry on the administration
of the Church, but incapable of making laws or irreformable decrees on
faith or morals. He was subject to a General Council which alone
enjoyed the prerogative of infallibility. Febronius called upon the
Pope to abandon his untenable demands, and to be content with the
position held by his predecessors in the early centuries. If he
refused to do so spontaneously he should be forced to give up his
usurpations, and if necessary the bishops should call upon the civil
rulers to assist them in their struggle. As a means of restoring the
Papacy to its rightful position, Febronius recommended the convocation
of national synods and of a General Council, the proper instruction of
priests and people, the judicious use of the Royal /Placet/ on papal
announcements, the enforcement of the /Appelatio ab Abusu/ against
papal and episcopal aggression, and, as a last resort, the refusal of

The book was in such complete accord with the absolutist tendencies of
the age that it was received with applause by the civil rulers, and by
the court canonists, theologians, and lawyers, who saw in it the
realisation of their own dreams of a state Church subservient to the
civil ruler. The book was, however, condemned by Clement XIII. (1764),
who exhorted the German bishops to take vigorous measures against such
dangerous theories. Many of the bishops were indifferent; others of
them were favourable to von Hontheim's views; but the majority
suppressed the book in their dioceses. Several treatises were
published in reply to Febronius, the most notable of which were those
form the pen of Ballerini and Zaccaria. New editions of the work of
Febronius were called for, and translations of the whole or part of it
appeared in German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. It was
received with great favour in Austria, where the principles of
Febronius were adopted by most of the leading court canonists. At a
meeting held in Coblenz (1769) the three Prince-bishops of Mainz,
Trier, and Cologne presented a catalogue of complaints (/Gravamina/)
against the Roman Curia, many of which were extracted from or based
upon the work of Hontheim. After repeated appeals of the Pope to the
Prince-bishop of Trier to exercise his influence upon von Hontheim,
the latter consented to make a retractation in 1778, but his followers
alleged that the retractation having been secured by threats was
valueless. This contention was supported by a commentary published by
Hontheim in explanation of his retractation, in which he showed
clearly enough that he had not receded an inch from his original
position. Before his death in 1790 he expressed regret for the
doctrine he put forward, and died in full communion with the Church.

The teaching of Febronius, paving the way as it did for the supremacy
of the State in religious matters, was welcomed by the Emperor Joseph
II., by the Elector of Bavaria, as well as by the spiritual princes of
the Rhine provinces. In Austria, especially, violent measures were
taken to assert the royal supremacy. Joseph II. was influenced largely
by the Gallican and liberal tendencies of his early teachers and
advisers. He dreamed of making Austria a rich, powerful, and united
kingdom, and becoming himself its supreme and absolute ruler. During
the reign of his mother, Maria Theresa, he was kept in check, but
after her death in 1780, in conjunction with his prime minister,
Kaunitz, he began to inaugurate his schemes of ecclesiastical reform.
He insisted upon the Royal /Placet/ on all documents issued by the
Pope or by the bishops, forbade the bishops of his territories to hold
any direct communication with Rome or to ask for a renewal of their
faculties, which faculties he undertook to confer by his own
authority. He forbade all his subjects to seek or accept honours from
the Pope, insisted upon the bishops taking the oath of allegiance to
himself before their consecration, introduced a system of state-
controlled education, and suppressed a number of religious houses. In
order that the clergy might be instructed in the proper ecclesiastical
principles, he abolished the episcopal seminaries, and established
central seminaries at Vienna, Pest, Louvain, Freiburg, and Pavia for
the education of the clergy in his dominions. Clerical students from
Austria were forbidden to frequent the /Collegium Germanicum/ at Rome
lest they should be brought under the influence of ultramontane
teaching. Even the smallest details of ecclesiastical worship were
determined by royal decrees. In all these reforms Joseph II. was but
reducing to practice the teaching of Febronius.

By personal letters and by communications through his nuncio Pius VI.
sought to induce Joseph II. to abstain from such a policy of state
aggression; but, as all his representations were ineffective, he
determined to undertake a journey to Vienna, in the hope that his
presence might bring about a change in the policy of the Emperor, or
at least stir up the bishops to defend the interests of the Church
(1782). He arrived at Vienna, had frequent interviews with the Emperor
and with his minister Kaunitz, and was obliged to leave without any
other result, except that he had assured himself of the fact that,
whatever about the Emperor or the bishops, the majority of the people
of Austria were still loyal to the head of the Catholic Church. The
following year (1783) Joseph II. paid a return visit to Rome, when he
was induced by the representations of the Spanish ambassador to desist
from his plan of a complete severance of Austria from the Holy See.

Joseph II. had, however, proceeded too quickly and too violently in
his measures of reform. The people and the large body of the clergy
were opposed to him as were also the Cardinal-Archbishop of Vienna,
the bishops of Hungary, and the bishops of Belgium under the
leadership of Cardinal Frankenberg. The state of affairs in the
Austrian Netherlands became so threatening that the people rose in
revolt (1789), and Joseph II. found himself obliged to turn to the
Pope whom he had so maltreated and despised, in the hope that he might
induce the Belgian Catholics to return to their allegiance. He
promised to withdraw most of the reforms that he had introduced, but
his repentance came too late to save the Austrian rule in the
Netherlands. He died in 1790 with the full consciousness of the
failure of all his schemes.

While Joseph II. was reducing Febronianism to practice in the Austrian
territories, the Prince-bishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne hastened
to show their anxiety for the suppression of ultramontanism in the
Rhinelands. The list of grievances against Rome presented to the
Emperor in 1769 indicated clearly their attachment to Gallican
principles, and this feeling was not likely to be weakened by the
erection of an apostolic nunciature at Munich in 1785. This step was
taken by the Pope at the request of Carl Theodore, Elector of Bavaria,
a great part of whose territory was under the spiritual rule of the
prince-bishops. The prince-bishops of the west, together with the
Prince-bishop of Salzburg, all of whom were hostile already to the
papal nuncio, were greatly incensed by what they considered this new
derogation of their rights, and sent representatives to a congress
convoked to meet at Ems (1786). The result of the congress was the
celebrated document known as the /Punctuation of Ems/, in which they
declared that most of the prerogatives claimed by the Pope were
unknown in the early centuries, and were based entirely on the false
decretals. They insisted that there should be no longer appeals to
Rome, that papal ordinances should be binding in any diocese only
after they had been accepted by the bishop of the diocese, that the
oath of allegiance taken by all bishops before consecration should be
changed, that no quinquennial faculties should be sought as bishops
already had such faculties by virtue of their office, and that
religious orders should not be exempt from the authority of the
ordinaries, nor be placed under the jurisdiction of foreign superiors.
The /Punctuation of Ems/ reduced the primacy of the Pope to a mere
primacy of honour, and had it been acted upon, it must have led
inevitably to national schism.

The bishops forwarded a document to Joseph II., who, while approving
of it, refused to interfere. The Elector of Bavaria opposed the action
of the bishops as did also Pacca[1] (1756-1854), the papal nuncio at
Cologne. The latter issued a circular to the clergy warning them that
the dispensations granted by the prince-bishops without reference to
Rome were worthless. This circular gave great annoyance to the prince-
bishops, particularly as they found themselves deserted by most of
those on whose support they had relied. Even the Protestant ruler
Frederick II. of Prussia took the part of Rome against the
archbishops. In face of the unfriendly attitude of the bishops and
clergy nothing remained for the prince-bishops but to withdraw from an
untenable position. The Archbishop of Cologne for reasons of his own
made his submission, and asked for a renewal of his quinquennial
faculties (1787). The Archbishop of Trier made a similar application,
not indeed as Archbishop of Trier, but as Bishop of Augsburg. But
their submission was meant only to gain time. They sought to have the
matter brought before the Diet at Regensburg in 1788, but the action
of the Elector of Bavaria produced an unfavourable verdict. Having
failed in their design, they addressed a letter to the Pope asking him
to put an end to the disedifying quarrel by withdrawing the papal
nuncio from Cologne, and by sending a representative to the Diet to
arrange the terms of peace. The reply of Pius VI., covering as it did
the whole ground of the controversy, contained a masterly defence of
the papal rights and prerogatives (1789). The Archbishop of Trier
publicly withdrew his adhesion to the /Punctuation/, and advised his
Gallican colleagues to do likewise, but they refused, and in the
election agreement of 1790 and 1792 they sought to pledge the emperors
to support their policy. At last the Archbishops of Cologne and
Salzburg made their submission, but the Archbishop of Mainz clung
obstinately to his views, until the storm of the French Revolution
broke over his city and territory, and put an end to his rule as a
temporal prince.

In Tuscany where Leopold, brother of Joseph II., reigned (1765-90), a
determined attempt was made to introduce Febronian principles as
understood and applied in Austrian territory. Leopold was supported
strongly in this attempt by Scipio Ricci, who, though a Jansenist at
heart, had been appointed to the Bishopric of Pistoia at the request
of the Grand-Duke. The Bishop of Pistoia set himself deliberately to
introduce Jansenism and Gallicanism amongst his clergy. For this
purpose he established a seminary at Pistoia, and placed it in the
hands of teachers upon whom he could rely for the carrying out of his
designs. In 1786 the Grand-Duke called a meeting of the bishops of the
province, and explained to them in detail his programme of
ecclesiastical reforms. With the exception of the Bishop of Pistoia
and two others they refused to co-operate with him and his designs.
This plan having failed recourse was had to other measures. A synod
was summoned at Pistoia, which was presided over by Scipio Ricci, and
guided in its deliberations by Tamburini the well-known Gallican
professor of Pavia (1786). It was attended by over two hundred
priests, some of whom belonged to the diocese, while others were total
strangers. As might be expected the decrees of the synod were strongly
Gallican and Jansenist. To ensure their introduction into the province
of Tuscany a provincial synod of the bishops was called, but the
bishops expressed their strong disapproval, and the people attacked
the palace of the bishop. He was obliged to retire from his diocese,
though at the same time he remained the active adviser of Leopold
until the death of Joseph II. led to Leopold's election to the
imperial throne (1790), and put an end to the disturbances in Tuscany.
Pius VI. appointed a commission to study the decrees of Pistoia, and
in 1794 he issued the Bull, /Auctorem Fidei/, in which the principal
errors were condemned. The unfortunate bishop refused for years to
make his submission. It was only in 1805, on the return journey of
Pius VII. from the coronation of Napoleon at Paris, that he could be
induced to make his peace with the Church.[2]

[1] Pacca, /Memorie storiche della nunziatura di Colonia/.

[2] Scaduto, /Stato e chiesa sotto Leopoldo I., granduca di Toscana/,
1885. Venturi, /Il vescovo de Ricci e la Corte Romana/, 1885.

(c) Jansenism.

See bibliography, chap. vi. (c). Bartheleray, /Le cardinal de
Noailles/, 1888. Doublet, /Un prelat janseniste. F. de Caulet/,
1895. Ingold, /Rome et la France. La seconde phase du jansenisme/,
etc., 1901. Le Roy, /Un janseniste en exil. Correspondance de
Pasquier Quesnel/, 1900. Van Vlooten, /Esquisse historique sur
l'ancienne eglise catholique des Pays-Bas/, 1861. De Bellegarde,
/Coup d'oeil sur l'ancienne eglise catholique de Hollande/, etc.,

The Clementine Peace, obtained as it was by trickery and fraud, was
used by the Jansenists as a means of deceiving the public and of
winning new recruits. They contended that Clement IX., regardless of
the action of his predecessors, had accepted the Jansenist principle
of respectful silence. Several who had signed the formulary of
Alexander VII. withdrew their signatures, and amongst the bishops,
clergy, university graduates, and religious orders, particularly
amongst the Oratorians and Benedictines of St. Maur, the Jansenists
gained many adherents. Though outwardly peace reigned in France, yet
the Jansenist spirit made great headway, as was shown by the
opposition to several popular devotions and in the spread of rigorist
opinions and practices in regard to confession and communion. The
controversy on the Gallican Liberties complicated the issue very
considerably, and made it impossible for the Pope to exercise his
authority. Even bishops like Bossuet, who were strongly opposed to
Jansenism, were inclined to regard papal interference with suspicion,
while Louis XIV. was precluded from enforcing the decrees of the Pope
as his predecessors had enforced them. The Jansenist party became much
stronger, and only a slight incident was required to precipitate a new

This incident was supplied by the publication of the /Reflexions
Morales sur le Nouveau Testament/ by Pasquier Quesnel (1634-1719). The
writer had been an Oratorian, but having been expelled from that
society in 1684 he took refuge with Antoine Arnauld in Brussels. Upon
the death of the latter in 1694, he became the recognised head or
grand-prior of the Jansenist party. An earlier edition of this work
had been published, bearing the approbation of Vialart, Bishop of
Chalons, and though several additions had been made, this approbation
was printed on the new edition side by side with the approbation of
Louis Noailles, then Bishop of Chalons (1695). The following year
Noailles having become Archbishop of Paris felt called upon by his new
position to condemn a work closely akin in its ideas to those
expressed in the /Reflexions Morales/. He was accused of inconsistency
by the Jansenist party, one of whom published the /Probleme
ecclesiastique/, inquiring whether people were bound to follow the
opinions of Louis Noailles, Bishop of Chalons in 1695, or of Louis
Noailles, Archbishop of Paris in 1696? The controversy suddenly grew
embittered. When a new edition was required in 1699, Noailles
requested the judgment of Bossuet, who formulated certain changes that
in his opinion should be made.[1] In the end the edition was published
without the suggested changes and without the approbation of the

While the controversy was raging round Quesnel's book, another
incident occurred that tended to arouse all the old partisan feeling.
A confessor submitted to the judgment of the Sorbonne the celebrated
case of conscience. He asked whether a priest should absolve a
penitent, who rejected the teaching set forth in the five propositions
of Jansenius, but who maintained a respectful silence on the question
whether or not they were to be found in the book /Augustinus/. In July
1701 forty doctors of the Sorbonne gave an affirmative reply to this
question. The publication of this reply created such a storm in France
that Clement XI. felt it necessary to condemn the decision of the
Sorbonne (1703). The papal condemnation was supported by Louis XIV.,
as well as by the great body of the bishops. Two years later Clement
XI. issued the bull /Vineam Domini/,[2] confirming the constitutions
of his predecessors, Innocent X. and Alexander VII., and condemned
once more in an authoritative form the doctrine of respectful silence.
The document was accepted by the king, by the Assembly of the Clergy,
and by the majority of the bishops, though the attachment of some of
the latter to Gallican principles led them to insist on certain
conditions which the Pope could not accept. As the nuns of Port Royal
still refused to submit, their community was broken up, the sisters
being scattered through different convents in France (1709), and the
following year the convent buildings were completely destroyed.

Meanwhile the controversy regarding the /Reflexions Morales/ grew more
bitter. Several of the bishops condemned the book as containing much
in common with the writings of Jansenius and of his followers in
France. Acting upon the demand of some of the bishops Clement XI.
issued a brief condemning Quesnel's book (1708). The Jansenists
refused to accept the papal decision and the Parliament of Paris, then
dominated to a great extent by Jansenist influence, adopted a hostile
attitude. Cardinal Noailles, considering the verdict of the Pope as
more or less a personal insult to himself, hesitated as to what course
he should take, but at last he consented to accept the condemnation
provided the Pope issued a formal sentence. On the application of
Louis XIV. the Pope determined to put an end to all possibility of
doubt or misunderstanding by publishing the Bull, /Unigenitus/[3]
(1713) in which 101 propositions taken from Quesnel's book were
condemned. As is usual in such documents the propositions were
condemned /in globo/, some as rash, some as offensive to pious ears,
and some as heretical. The Bull, /Unigenitus/, was accepted
immediately by one hundred and twelve bishops of France, by the
majority of the clergy, by the Sorbonne, and by the king and
Parliament. The Jansenists refused to admit that it contained a final
verdict on the ground that, as it did not make clear which
propositions were heretical and which only rash or offensive, it was
only a disciplinary enactment and not a binding doctrinal decision.
Cardinal Noailles wavered for a time, but in the end he allied himself
with the fourteen bishops who refused to accept the Bull /Unigenitus/.
Louis XIV., though opposed strongly to the Jansenists, was unwilling
to allow the Pope to take serious action against the Archbishop of
Paris lest the liberties of the Gallican Church should be endangered,
while the Parliament of Paris sympathised openly with those who
refused to accept the papal decision.

The death of Louis XIV. (1714) and the accession of the Duke of
Orleans as regent led to a great reaction in favour of Jansenism.
Cardinal Noailles was honoured by a seat in the privy council, and
became the principal adviser of the regent in ecclesiastical affairs.
The Sorbonne withdrew its submission to the Bull /Unigenitus/ (1715),
and its example was followed by the Universities of Nantes and Rheims.
Many of the Jansenist chapters and priests rebelled against their
bishops, and were taken under the protection of the Parliament. The
Archbishop of Paris was encouraged by addresses from his chapter and
clergy to stand out firmly against the tyranny of Rome. More than once
the Pope remonstrated with the regent, who promised much but refused
to take decisive action. The Sorbonne was punished by the Pope by the
withdrawal of its power to confer theological decrees (1716), while
many of the bishops refused to allow their students to attend its
courses. As a last desperate expedient four of the bishops of France
appealed solemnly to a General Council against the Bull /Unigenitus/
(1717), and their example was followed by large numbers. The
/Appellants/ as they were called created such a disturbance in France
that they appeared to be much more numerous than they really were.
Less than twenty of the bishops and not more than three thousand
clerics, seven hundred of whom belonged to Paris, joined the party,
while more than one hundred bishops and one hundred thousand clerics
remained loyal to Rome. The fact, however, that Cardinal Noailles,
Archbishop of Paris, placed himself at the head of the /Appellants/
made the situation decidedly serious.

When private protests and remonstrances had failed Clement XI. issued
the Bull, /Pastoralis Officii/, by which he excommunicated the
/Appellants/ (1718). Undaunted by this verdict a new appeal in solemn
form was lodged by Cardinal Noailles, backed by his chapter and by a
large number of the Paris clergy. Negotiations were opened up with
Innocent XIII. and Benedict XIII. in the hope of inducing them to
withdraw the Bull /Unigenitus/, or at least to give it a milder
interpretation, but the Popes refused to change the decisions that had
been given by their predecessors. The Parliament of Paris espoused the
cause of the /Appellants/, and refused to allow the bishops to take
energetic action against them, until at last the king grew alarmed at
the danger that threatened France. The energetic action taken by the
provincial council of Embrun against some of the /Appellant/ bishops
(1727) received the approval of the court. In the following year
(1728) Cardinal Noailles was induced to make his submission, and in a
short time the Sorbonne doctors by a majority imitated his example.
Though these submissions were not without good results, yet they
served only to embitter still more the minds of a large body of the
Jansenist party, and to strengthen them in their opposition to the
Bull, /Unigenitus/.

The Jansenists having failed to secure the approval of Pope or king
for their heretical teaching appealed to the visible judgment of God.
The deacon, Francis of Paris,[4] who was one of the leaders of the
sect, and whose sanctity was vouched for, according to his friends, by
the fact that he had abstained from receiving Holy Communion for two
years, died in 1727, and was buried in the cemetery of Saint Medard.
Crowds flocked to pray at his tomb, and it was alleged that wonderful
cures were being wrought by his intercession. One of the earliest and
most striking of these miracles was investigated by the Archbishop of
Paris and was proved to be without foundation, but others still more
remarkable were broadcast by the party, with the result that hosts of
invalids were brought from all parts of France in the hope of
procuring recovery. Many, especially women, went into ecstasies and
violent convulsions round the tomb, and while in this state they
denounced the Pope, the bishops, and in a word all the adversaries of
Jansenism. Owing to the unseemly and at times indecent scenes that
took place the cemetery was closed by the civil authorities (1732),
but the /Convulsionnaires/, as they were called, claimed that similar
miracles were wrought in private houses, in which they assembled to
pray, and to which clay taken from the tomb of the Deacon of Paris had
been brought. The great body of the people ridiculed the extravagances
of the sect, and many of the moderate Jansenists condemned the
/Convulsionnaires/ in unsparing terms. Instead of doing Jansenism any
good these so-called miracles, utterly unworthy as they were of divine
wisdom and holiness, served only to injure its cause, and indeed to
injure the Christian religion generally, by placing a good weapon in
the hands of its rationalist adversaries.

But even though heaven had not declared in favour of the Jansenists
the Parliament of Paris determined to protect them. It defended
bishops who refused to accept the Bull /Unigenitus/ against the Pope,
tried to prevent the orthodox bishops from suspending appellant
priests, and forbade the exclusion of appellant laymen from the
sacraments. The Parliament of Paris condemned the action of the clergy
in refusing the last sacraments to the dying unless they could prove
they had made their confession to an approved priest. Though the privy
council annulled this condemnation Parliament stood by its decision,
and challenged the authority of the Archbishop of Paris by punishing
priests who refused the sacraments (1749-52). The bishops appealed to
the king to defend the liberty of the Church, but the Parliament
asserted its jurisdiction by depriving the Archbishop of Paris of his
temporalities and by endeavouring to have him cited before the civil
courts. Louis XIV. annulled the sentence of the Parliament, and
banished some of the more violent of its members from the capital
(1753). They were, however, soon recalled, and a royal mandate was
issued enforcing silence on both parties. For infringing this order de
Beaumont, Archbishop of Paris, was banished from his See, and several
other bishops and priests were summoned before the legal tribunals.

The Assembly of the Clergy in 1755 petitioned the king to give more
freedom to the Church, and to restore the exiled Archbishop of Paris
to his See. A commission was established to examine the whole question
of the refusal of the sacraments, and as the Commission could not
arrive at any decision, the case was submitted to Benedict XIV., who
decided that those who were public and notorious opponents of the
Bull, /Unigenitus/, should be treated as public sinners and should be
excluded from the sacraments (1756). The Parliament of Paris and some
of the provincial parliaments forbade the publication of the papal
decision, but a royal order was issued commanding the universal
acceptance of the Bull, /Unigenitus/, even though it might not be
regarded as an irreformable rule of faith. According to this mandate
the regulation for allowing or refusing the administrations of the
sacraments was a matter to be determined by the bishops, though any
person who considered himself aggrieved by their action might appeal
against the abuse of ecclesiastical power. This decree was registered
by the Parliament (1757), whereupon the Archbishop of Paris was
allowed to return. From that time Jansenism declined rapidly in
France, but the followers of the sect united with the Gallicans of the
Parliament to enslave the Church, and with the Rationalists to procure
the suppression of the Jesuits, whom they regarded as their most
powerful opponents.

Many of the Jansenists fled to Holland, where the Gallicans were only
too willing to welcome such rebels against Rome. The old Catholic
hierarchy in Holland had been overthrown, and the Pope was obliged to
appoint vicars apostolic to attend to the wants of the scattered
Catholic communities. One of these appointed in 1688 was an Oratorian,
and as such very partial to Quesnel and the Jansenists. Owing to his
public alliance with the sect he was suspended from office in 1702 and
deposed in 1704, but not before he had given Jansenism a great impetus
in Holland. About seventy parishes and about eighty priests refused to
recognise his successor, and went over to the Jansenist party. In 1723
a body of priests calling themselves the Chapter of Utrecht elected
Steenhoven as Archbishop of Utrecht, and a suspended bishop named
Varlet, belonging formerly to the Society for Foreign Missions,
consecrated him against the protests of the Pope. Supported by the
Calvinist government the new archbishop maintained himself at Utrecht
till his death, when he was succeeded by others holding similar views.
Later on the Bishoprics of Haarlem (1742) and of Deventer were
established as suffragan Sees to Utrecht. The Catholics of Holland
refused to recognise these bishoprics as did also the Pope, whose only
reply to their overtures was a sentence of excommunication and
interdict. The Jansenist body of Holland, numbering at present about
six thousand, have maintained their separate ecclesiastical
organisation until the present day. They resisted the establishment of
the hierarchy in Holland (1853), opposed the definition of Papal
Infallibility, and allied themselves definitely with the old Catholic
movement in Germany.

[1] Ingold, /Bossuet et la jansenisme/, 1904.

[2] Denzinger, 11th edition, n. 1350.

[3] Denzinger, op. cit., nos. 1351-1451.

[4] Matthieu, /Histoire des miracles et des convulsionnaires de St.
Medard/, 1864.

(d) Quietism.

Molinos, /Guida spirituale/, 1681. /Oeuvres spirituelles de Madame
Guyon/, 42 vols., 1713. Guerrier, /Madame Guyon/, 1881. Fenelon,
/Explication des maximes des Saints sur la vie interieure/, 1697.
Bossuet, /Sur les etats d'oraison/, 1696. Crousle, /Fenelon et
Bossuet/, 1896. Delmont, /Fenelon et Bossuet d'apres les derniers
travaux de la critique/, 1896.

Mysticism as implying the substantive union of the soul with God was
the distinguishing feature of the pantheistic religious creeds of
India, as it was also of some of the Greek philosophical systems. In
the Middle Ages, while many of the ablest exponents of Scholasticism
were also distinguished mystics, yet more than once Mysticism or the
theology of the heart, unrestrained by the guiding influence of the
theology of the intellect, fell into grievous errors akin to the
Pantheism of the Buddhists and the Stoics. Many of these Middle Age
mystics maintained that perfection consisted in the union of the soul
with God by quiet contemplation, so that those who reached that state
had no need of external aids to sanctity, such as good works, the
sacraments, or prayer; that they were under no obligation to obey any
law, ecclesiastical or divine, since their will was united to God's
will; and that they need make no effort to resist carnal thoughts or
desires, as these came from the devil and could not possibly stain the
soul. Such, however, was not the teaching of the great Spanish
authorities on mystical theology, Saint Teresa, Saint John of the
Cross, and Louis of Granada, whose works on spiritual perfection and
on the ways that lead to it have never been surpassed. But side by
side with this school of thought, another and less orthodox form of
mysticism manifested itself in Spain. Many of the sectaries, such as
the Alumbrados or Illuminati, carried away by pantheistic principles,
fell into error, and put forward under the guise of mystical theology
not a few of the extravagances that had been condemned by the Council
of Vienne (1311) and by the judgment of the universal Church.

Closely akin to the errors of this Spanish school was the doctrine
known as Quietism taught by Michael de Molinos (1640-96), a Spanish
priest, who having completed his studies at Valencia took up his
residence in Rome. He published a work entitled /Guida Spirituale/ in
1675, the ascetical principles of which attracted so much attention
that translations of the book appeared almost immediately in nearly
every country of Europe. The teaching of Molinos was denounced to the
Inquisition by the Jesuits and the Dominicans, and in 1687 Innocent
XI. issued the Bull /Coelestis Pastor/,[1] in which he condemned
sixty-eight propositions put forward by Molinos. The author having
been arrested was obliged to make a public recantation, and remained a
prisoner until his death (1696).

According to Molinos perfection consists in a state of self-
annihilation in which the soul remains entirely passive, absorbed
completely in the contemplation and love of God. By means of this
passivity or complete surrender of the human faculties to God the soul
of man is transformed, and is in a sense deified. While in this
condition there is no need to act or to desire to act, to think of
rewards or punishments, of defects or virtues, of sanctification,
penance, or good works, nor is there any necessity to resist carnal
thoughts or motions since these are the works of the devil. Such a
system, founded nominally on the pure love of God, and leading of
necessity to the overthrow of law, morality, and religious authority,
found great favour in Italy and Spain, where it required all the
energies and powers of the Inquisition to secure its suppression. It
was backed by the Oratorian, Petrucci, afterwards created a cardinal
(1686), whose books on the spiritual life were attacked by the Jesuit,
Paul Segneri, and condemned by the Inquisition.

Quietism found favour in France through the writings and teachings of
Francis Malaval of Marseilles and of the Barnabite Pere Lacombe. The
individual whose name is most closely identified with Quietism in
France is, however, Madame Jeanne de la Mothe Guyon, a young widow who
on the death of her husband gave herself up to the practice of prayer
and to the study of the principles of the spiritual life. Admitting as
she did the fundamental doctrine of the system of Molinos, namely,
that perfection consists in a state of self-abnegation in which the
soul is wrapped up completely in pure love of God, she rejected most
of the absurd and immoral conclusions that seemed to follow from it.
According to her, and more especially according to her principal
defender, Fenelon, pure love of God without any thought of self-
interest or of reward or punishment, constitutes the essence of the
spiritual life, and must be the principle and motive of all deliberate
and meritorious acts. This teaching constitutes what is known as Semi-
Quietism. Madame Guyon published several works and gave many
conferences in various cities of France. The close connexion between
her teaching and the mysticism of Molinos attracted the unfriendly
notice of the French authorities, particularly as Louis XIV. was a
strong opponent of Quietism. As a result Madame Guyon and her
spiritual director, Pere Lacombe, were arrested in Paris (1688), but
owing to the interference of Madame de Maintenon, Madame Guyon was

Fenelon, then a priest and tutor to the Duke of Burgundy, grandson of
Louis XIV. and prospective heir to the throne of France, was deeply
interested in the teaching of Madame Guyon whose acquaintance he had
made in Paris. Fenelon, while rejecting the false mysticism of de
Molinos, agreed with Madame Guyon in believing that the state of
perfection in this life is that in which all righteous acts proceed
from pure love without any hope of reward or fear of punishment, and
that all virtuous acts to be meritorious must proceed directly or
indirectly from charity. This teaching found a strenuous opponent in
Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux. A commission consisting of Bossuet, de
Noailles, then Bishop of Chalons, and Tronson, superior of the
Sulpicians, was appointed to examine the whole question (1695). A
little later Fenelon, who had just been promoted to the Archbishopric
of Cambrai, was added to the list. The conference met in the Sulpician
seminary at Issy, and as a result thirty-four articles were drawn up,
all of which were accepted by Madame Guyon and Pere Lacombe. The
former having returned to Paris was arrested, and forced to sign
another recantation of her theories and to promise that she would
never again attempt to spread them. From that time till her death in
1717 she took no further part in the discussions.

But the controversy regarding Semi-Quietism was to be carried on
between the two greatest churchmen and literary giants of their age,
namely, Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux, and Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambrai.
Bossuet, not content with the partial victory that he had secured at
the Issy conference, determined to expose the dangerous tendencies of
Madame Guyon's teaching by a short statement of the Catholic doctrine
on perfection and the spiritual life. This he did in his book
/Instructions sur les etats d'oraison/, which he submitted to Fenelon
in the hope of obtaining his approval. This Fenelon refused to give,
partly because he thought Madame Guyon had been punished severely
enough and should not be attacked once she had made her submission,
and partly also because he believed the views of Bossuet on charity
and self-interest were unsound. Before Bossuet's book could be
published Fenelon anticipated him in a work entitled /Explication des
maximes des Saints sur la vie interieure/, in which he defended many
of Madame Guyon's views. This book was submitted to the Archbishop of
Paris, to Tronson, and to some of the theologians of the Sorbonne,
from all of whom it received the highest commendations.

The Bishop of Meaux, annoyed at the action of Fenelon, denounced the
book to Louis XIV., who appointed a commission to examine it (1697).
Fenelon, fearing that a commission, one of the members of which was
his rival Bossuet, would not be likely to give an impartial judgment,
forwarded his book to Rome for judgment. While the Roman authorities
were at work a violent controversy was carried on between Fenelon and
Bossuet, which, however much it may have added to the literary
reputation of the combatants, was neither edifying nor instructive. On
the side of Bossuet especially it is clear that personalities played a
much greater part than zeal for orthodoxy. In Rome opinion was very
much divided about the orthodoxy of Fenelon's work. Louis XIV. left no
stone unturned to secure its condemnation. In the end Innocent XII.
condemned twenty propositions taken from the book (1699).[2] This
sentence was handed to Fenelon just as he was about to mount the
pulpit in his own cathedral on the Feast of the Annunciation. After
mastering its contents he preached on the submission that was due to
superiors, read the condemnation for the people, and announced to them
that he submitted completely to the decision of the Pope, and besought
his friends earnestly neither to read his book nor to defend the views
that it contained.

[1] Denzinger, op. cit., nos. 1221-88.

[2] In the Brief, /Cum alias/, Denzinger, op. cit., nos. 1327-49.



(a) Anti-Christian Philosophy of the Eighteenth Century.

Lecky, /History of the Rise and Influence of Rationalism in
Europe/, 1913. Windleband-Tufts, /A History of Philosophy/, 1898.
Uberweg-Morris, /History of Philosophy/, 2nd edition, 1876.
Turner, /History of Philosophy/, 1906. Binder, /Geschichte der
philosophie ... mit Rucksicht auf den Kirchlichen Zustande/, 1844-
45. Lanfrey, /L'Eglise et les philosophes au XVIIIe siecle/, 1879.
Faguet, /Etude sur le XVIIIe siecle/, 1890. Lange, /History of
Materialism/, 1877 (Tr. from German). Stephen, /History of English
Thought in the XVIIIth Century/, 1881. Taine, /Les origines de la
France contemporaine/ (vol. ii.), 1907.

In the Middle Ages the theory that human reason was to be placed above
faith found able exponents, and more than once men arose who
questioned some of the fundamental principles of Christianity, or who
went farther still by rejecting entirely the Christian revelation. But
such views were expounded in an age when the outlook of society was
markedly religious, and they exercised no perceptible influence on
contemporary thought. Between the fourteenth century and the
eighteenth, however, a great change had taken place in the world.
Dogmatic theology had lost its hold upon many educated men. The
Renaissance movement ushering in the first beginnings of literary and
historical criticism, the wonderful progress made in the natural
sciences, revolutionising as it did beliefs that had been regarded
hitherto as unquestionable, and the influence of the printing press
and of the universities, would in themselves have created a dangerous
crisis in the history of religious thought, and would have
necessitated a more careful study on the part of the theologians to
determine precisely the limits where dogma ended and opinion began.

But the most important factor in arousing active opposition to or
studied contempt of revealed religion was undoubtedly the religious
revolution of the sixteenth century, and more especially the dangerous
principles formulated by Luther and his companions to justify them in
their resistance to doctrines and practices that had been accepted for
centuries by the whole Christian world. They were driven to reject the
teaching authority of the visible Church, to maintain that Christ had
given to men a body of doctrines that might be interpreted by His
followers in future ages as they pleased, and to assert that
Christians should follow the dictates of individual judgment instead
of yielding a ready obedience to the decrees of Popes and Councils.
These were dangerous principles, the full consequence of which the
early Reformers did not perceive. If it was true, as they asserted,
that Christ had set up no visible authority to safeguard and to
expound His revelation, that for centuries Christianity had been
corrupted by additions that were only the inventions of men, it might
well be asked what guarantee could Luther or Calvin give that their
interpretation of Christ's doctrine was correct or binding upon their
followers, and what authority could they produce to warrant them in
placing any dogmatic restrictions upon the freedom of human thought?
The very principles put forward by the Reformers of the sixteenth
century to justify their rejection of certain doctrines were used by
later generations to prepare the way for still greater inroads upon
the contents of Christianity, and finally to justify an attitude of
doubt concerning the very foundations on which Christianity was based.
Empiricism, Sensualism, Materialism, and Scepticism in philosophy,
undermined dogmatic Christianity, and prepared the way for the
irreligious and indifferentist opinions, that found such general
favour among the educated and higher classes during the eighteenth

The movement, that owed so much of its widespread popularity on the
Continent to the influence of the French rationalistic school, had its
origin in England, where the frequent changes of religion during the
reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth, the quarrels
between the Puritans and the High Church party, and the spread of
revolutionary principles during the reign of Charles I., had
contributed not a little to unsettle the religious convictions of a
large section of the community. Many individuals, influenced by
pantheistic teaching, did not believe in the existence of a personal
God distinct from the world; others, while holding fast to the belief
in a personal supreme Being, rejected the Trinity and the Incarnation,
and a still larger section insisted on the subjection of Christian
revelation to the judgment of reason, and as a consequence on the
rejection of everything in Christianity that flavoured of the
supernatural. The works of these men were imported from the
Netherlands into France in spite of all restrictions that could be
imposed by the police authorities, and their views were popularised by
a brilliant band of /litterateurs/, until in a short time Deism and
Naturalism became quite fashionable in the higher circles of French

The principal writers of the English school were Lord Herbert of
Cherbury (1581-1648), whose works tended to call in question the
existence of a supernatural religion; John Hobbs (1588-1679) the
apostle of absolute rule, who saw in religion only a means of keeping
the people in subjection; John Locke (1632-1704), nominally a
Christian himself, whose philosophy of Empiricism and Sensualism
barred the way effectively against belief in a supernatural religion;
Charles Blount (1630-93), who like Flavius Philostratus sought to
discredit Christianity by setting up Apollonius of Tyana as a rival of
Christ; Collins, the patron of free-thinkers (1676-1729); John Toland
(1670-1722), who although originally a believer in Christian
revelation tended more and more towards Pantheism; and Tyndal (1656-
1733), who changed from Protestantism to Catholicism and finally from
Christianity to Rationalism. In England Deism and Naturalism secured a
strong foot-hold amongst the better classes, but the deeply religious
temperament of the English people and their strong conservatism saved
the nation from falling under the influence of such ideas.

In France the religious wars between the Catholics and Calvinists, the
controversies that were waged by the Jansenists and Gallicans, the
extravagances of the /Convulsionnaires/, the flagrant immorality of
the court during the rule of the Duke of Orleans and of Louis XV., and
the enslavement of the Church, leading as it did to a decline of zeal
and learning amongst the higher clergy, tended inevitably to foster
religious indifference amongst the masses. In the higher circles of
society Rationalism was looked upon as a sign of good breeding, while
those who held fast by their dogmatic beliefs were regarded as vulgar
and unprogressive. Leading society ladies such as Ninon de Lenclos
(1615-1706) gathered around them groups of learned admirers, who under
the guise of zeal for the triumph of literary and artistic ideals
sought to popularise everything that was obscene and irreligious.
Amongst some of the principal writers who contributed largely to the
success of the anti-Christian campaign in France might be mentioned
Peter Bayle (1647-1706), whose /Dictionnaire historique et critique/
became the leading source of information for those who were in search
of arguments against Christianity; John Baptist Rousseau (1671-1741),
whose life was in complete harmony with the filthiness to which he
gave expression in his works; Bernard le Boivier de Fontenelle (1657-
1757), who though never an open enemy of the Catholic Church
contributed not a little by his works to prepare the way for the men
of the Enclyclopaedia; Montesquieu (1689-1755), whose satirical books
on both Church and State were read with pleasure not only in France
but in nearly every country of Europe; D'Alembert (1717-83) and
Diderot (1713-84), the two men mainly responsible for the
/Encyclopedie/; Helvetius (1715-1771), and the Baron d'Holbach, who
sought to popularise the irreligious views then current among the
nobility by spreading the rationalist literature throughout the mass
of the poorer classes in Paris.

But the two writers whose works did most to undermine revealed
religion in France were Francois Marie Arouet, better known as
Voltaire (1694-1778), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). The
former of these was born at Paris, received his early education from
the Jesuits, and was introduced while still a youth to the salon of
Ninon de Lenclos, frequented at this time by the principal literary
opponents of religion and morality. His earliest excursions into
literature marked him out immediately as a dangerous adversary of the
Christian religion. He journeyed in England where he was in close
touch with the Deist school of thought, in Germany where he was a
welcome guest at the court of Frederick II. of Prussia, and settled
finally at Ferney in Switzerland close to the French frontiers.
Towards the end of his life (1778) he returned to Paris where he
received a popular ovation. Poets, philosophers, actresses, and
academicians vied with one another in doing honour to a man who had
vowed to crush /L'Infame/, as he termed Christianity, and whose
writings had done so much to accomplish that result in the land of his
birth. The reception given to Voltaire in Paris affords the most
striking proof of the religious and moral corruption of all classes in
France at this period. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born at Geneva and
reared as a Calvinist. Later on he embraced the Catholic religion,
from which he relapsed once more into Calvinism, if indeed in his
later years he was troubled by any dogmatic beliefs. His private life
was in perfect harmony with the moral tone of most of his works. He
had neither the wit nor the literary genius of Voltaire, but in many
respects his works, especially /Le Contrat Social/, exercised a
greater influence on the France of his own time and on Europe
generally since that time than any other writings of the eighteenth
century. His greatest works were /La Nouvelle Heloise/ (1759), a novel
depicting the most dangerous of human passions; /Emile/, a
philosophical romance dealing with educational ideas and tending
directly towards Deism, and /Le Contrat Social/, in which he
maintained that all power comes from the people, and may be recalled
if those to whom it has been entrusted abuse it. The /Confessions/
which tell the story of his shameless life were not published until
after his death.

To further their propaganda without at the same time attracting the
notice of the civil authorities the rationalist party had recourse to
various devices. Pamphlets and books were published, professedly
descriptive of manners and customs in foreign countries, but directed
in reality against civil and religious institutions in France. Typical
examples of this class of literature were the /Persian Letters/ of
Montesquieu, /A Description of the Island of Borneo/ by Fontanelle,
/The Life of Mohammed/ by Henri de Bouillon Villiers, and a /Letter on
the English/ from the pen of Voltaire. The greatest and most
successful work undertaken by them for popularising their ideas was
undoubtedly the /Encyclopedie/. The professed object of the work was
to give in a concise and handy form the latest and best results of
scholarship in every department of human knowledge, but the real aim
of the founders was to spread their poisonous views amongst the people
of France, and to win them from their allegiance to the Catholic
Church. In order to escape persecution from the government and to
conceal their real purposes many of the articles were written by
clerics and laymen whose orthodoxy was above suspicion, and many of
the articles referring to religion from the pen of the rationalistic
collaborateurs were respectful in tone, though a careful reader could
see that they did not represent the real views of the author.
Sometimes references were given to other articles of a very different
kind, where probably opposite views were established by apparently
sound arguments. The originator of the project was D'Alembert, who was
assisted by Diderot, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Condillac, Buffon, and
D'Holbach. The work was begun in 1750, and in spite of interruptions
and temporary suppressions it was brought to a successful conclusion
in 1772. The reviewers and the learned world hailed it with delight as
a veritable treasure-house of information. New and cheap editions of
it were brought out for the general public, and in a remarkably short
time the influence of the Encyclopaedists had reached the lowest strata
of French society. Many of those in authority in France favoured the
designs of the Encyclopaedists, and threw all kinds of obstacles in the
way of those who sought to uphold the teaching of the Church, but soon
they had reason to regret their approval of a campaign that led
directly to revolution.

(b) The Aufklarung Movement in Germany.

See bibliography (viii. a). Tholuck, /Abriss einer geschichte der
Umwalzung seit 1750 auf dem Gebiete der Theologie in Deutschland/,
1839. Staudlin, /Geschichte des Rationalismus und
Supranaturalismus/, 1826. Bruck, /Die rationalistischen
Bestrebungen im Kath. Deutschland/, 1867. Weiner, /Geschichte der
Kath. Theologie in Deutschland/, 1889. Wolfram, /Die Illuminantem
in Bayern und ihre Verfolgung/, 1898-1900.

In Germany the religious formularies, composed with the object of
securing even an appearance of unity or at least of preventing
religious chaos, were not powerful enough to resist the anti-Christian
Enlightenment that swept over Europe in the eighteenth century. At
best these formularies were only the works of men who rejected the
authority of the Church, and as works of men they could not be
regarded as irreformable. With the progress of knowledge and the
development of human society it was thought that they required
revision to bring them more into harmony with the results of science
and with the necessities of the age. The influence of the writings
imported from England and France, backed as it was by the approval and
example of Frederick II. of Prussia, could not fail to weaken dogmatic
Christianity among the Lutherans of Germany. The philosophic teaching
of Leibniz (1646-1710), who was himself a strong upholder of dogmatic
Christianity and zealous for a reunion of Christendom, had a great
effect on the whole religious thought of Germany during the eighteenth
century. In his great work, /Theodicee/, written against Bayle to
prove that there was no conflict between the kingdoms of nature and
grace, greater stress was laid upon the natural than on the
supernatural elements in Christianity. His disciples, advancing beyond
the limits laid down by the master, prepared the way for the rise of
theological rationalism.

One of the greatest of the disciples of Leibniz was Christian Wolf
(1679-1754), who was not himself an opponent of supernatural religion.
The whole trend of his arguments, however, went to show that human
reason was the sole judge of the truths of revelation, and that
whatever was not in harmony with the verdict of reason must be
eliminated. Many of his disciples like Remiarus, Mendelssohn, and
Garve developed the principles laid down by Wolf until the very
mention of dogma was scouted openly, and Theism itself was put forward
as only the most likely among many possible hypotheses. In the
revulsion against dogmatic beliefs the party of the Pietists founded
by Spener towards the end of the seventeenth century found much
support, while the Conscientiarians, who maintained that man's own
conscience was the sole rule of faith, and that so long as man acts in
accordance with the dictates of conscience he is leading the life of
the just, gained ground rapidly. Some of its principal leaders were
Matthew Knutzen and Christian Edlemann who rejected the authority of
the Bible. The spread of Rationalism was strengthened very much by the
appearance of the /Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek/, founded in 1764 by
Nicolai in Berlin, through the agency of which books hostile to
Christianity were scattered broadcast amongst a large circle of

These rationalistic principles, when applied to the Bible and the
interpretation of the Bible, helped to put an end to the very rigid
views regarding the inspiration of the sacred writings entertained by
the early Lutherans. Everything that was supernatural or miraculous
must be explained away. To do so without denying inspiration the
"Accommodation" theory, namely that Christ and His apostles
accommodated themselves to the mistaken views of their contemporaries,
was formulated by Semler (1725-1791). But more extreme men, as for
example, Lessing (1729-1781), who published the /Wolfenbuttler
Fragments/ written by Reimarus in which a violent onslaught was made
upon the Biblical miracles more especially on the Resurrection of
Christ, attacked directly the miracles of Christianity, and wrote
strongly in favour of religious indifference.

The rationalistic dogmatism of Wolf when brought face to face with the
objections of Hume did not satisfy Immanuel Kant (1720-1804), who in
his /Critique of Pure Reason/ (1781) denied that it was possible for
science or philosophy to reach a knowledge of the substance or essence
of things as distinguished from the phenomena, and that consequently
the arguments used generally to prove the existence of God were
worthless. In his own /Critique of Practical Reason/ (1788), however,
he endeavoured to build up what he had pulled down, by showing that
the moral law implanted in the heart of every human being necessarily
implied the existence of a supreme law-giver. For Kant religion was to
be identified with duty and not with dogmatic definitions. Such a line
of defence, attempting as it did to remove religion from the arena of
intellectual discussion, thereby evading most of the objections put
forward by the rationalistic school, was a dangerous one. It led
gradually to the rejection of external revelation, and to dogmatic
indifference. Such a theory in the hands of Herder and above all of
Schleiermacher (1768-1834) meant an end to Christian revelation as
generally understood. For Schleiermacher religion was nothing more
than the consciousness of dependence upon God. Given this sense of
dependence, variations in creeds were of no importance. Between the
religion of Luther and the religion of Schleiermacher there was an
immense difference, but nevertheless it was Luther who laid down the
principles that led to the disintegration of dogmatic Christianity,
and in doing what he did Schleiermacher was but proving himself the
worthy pupil of such a master.

The unrestrained liberty of thought, claimed by so many Protestant
reformers and theologians and ending as it did in the substitution of
a natural for a supernatural religion, could not fail to have an
influence in Catholic circles. Many Catholic scholars were close
students of the philosophical systems of Wolf and Kant in Germany, and
of the writings of the Encyclopaedists in France. They were convinced
that Scholasticism, however valuable it might have been in the
thirteenth century, was antiquated and out of harmony with modern
progress, that it should be dropped entirely from the curriculum of
studies, and with it should go many of the theological accretions to
which it had given rise. Catholicism, it was thought, if it were to
hold the field as a world-wide religion, must be remodelled so as to
bring it better into line with the conclusions of modern philosophy.
Less attention should be paid to dogma and to polemical discussions,
and more to the ethical and natural principles contained in the
Christian revelation.

The spread of Gallicanism and Febronianism and the adoption of these
views by leading rulers and politicians, thereby weakening the
authority of the Pope and of the bishops, helped to break down the
defences of Catholicity, and to make it more easy to propagate
rationalistic views especially amongst those who frequented the
universities. As a rule it was only the higher and middle classes that
were affected by the /Aufklarung/. Everywhere throughout Europe, in
France, in Spain, in Portugal, in Germany, and in Austria this
advanced liberalism made itself felt in the last half of the
eighteenth century, particularly after the suppression of the Jesuits
had removed the only body capable of resisting it successfully at the
time, and had secured for their opponents a much stronger hold in the
centres of education.

It was in Germany and Austria that the /Aufklarung/ movement attracted
the greatest attention. The Scholastic system of philosophy had been
abandoned in favour of the teaching of the Leibniz-Wolf school and of
Kant. The entire course of study for ecclesiastical students underwent
a complete reorganisation. Scholasticism, casuistry, and controversy
were eliminated. Their places were taken by Patrology, Church History,
Pastoral Theology, and Biblical Exegesis of the kind then in vogue in
Protestant schools.

The plan of studies drawn up by Abbot Rautenstrauch, rector of the
University of Vienna (1774), for the theological students of that
institution meant nothing less than a complete break with the whole
traditional system of clerical education. In itself it had much to
recommend it, but the principles that underlay its introduction, and
the class of men to whom its administration was entrusted, were enough
to render it suspicious. The director of studies in Austria, Baron von
Swieten, himself in close contact with the Jansenists and the
Encyclopaedists, favoured the introduction of the new plan into all the
Austrian universities and colleges, and took good care, besides, that
only men of liberal views were appointed to the chairs. In the hands
of professors like Jahn and Fischer, Scriptural Exegesis began to
partake more and more of the rationalism of the Protestant schools;
Church History as expounded by Dannenmayr, Royko, and Gmeiner, became
in great part an apology for Gallicanism; the Moral Theology taught by
Danzer and Reyberger was modelled largely on a purely rational system
of ethics, and the Canon Law current in the higher schools was in
complete harmony with the views of Febronius and Joseph II.

The Prince-bishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne spared no pains to
propagate these liberal views amongst those who were to be the future
priests in their territories. In the University of Mainz Isenbiehl's
views on Scripture brought him into conflict with the Church; Blau,
the professor of dogma, denied the infallibility of the Church and of
General Councils; while Dorsch, the professor of philosophy, was an
ardent disciple of Kant. A similar state of affairs prevailed at the
University of Trier, at Bonn which was established for the express
purpose of combatting the ultramontanism and conservatism of Cologne,
and to a more or less degree at Freiburg, Wurzburg, Ingolstadt, and
Munich. By means of the universities and by the publication of various
reviews these liberal theories were spread throughout Germany. An
attempt was made to reform the discipline and liturgy of the Church so
as to bring them into harmony with the new theology. Many advocated
the abolition of popular devotions, the substitution of German for the
Latin language in the missal and in the ritual, and the abolition of
clerical celibacy.

In Bavaria matters reached a crisis when Weishaupt, a professor of
canon law in Ingolstadt, founded a secret society known as the
/Illuminati/ for the overthrow of the Church and the civil authority,
to make way for a universal republic in which the only religion would
be the religion of humanity. His speculative views were borrowed
largely from the Encyclopaedists, and his plan of organisation from the
Freemasons. At first the society was confined to students, but with
the accession of the Freiherr von Knigge it was determined to widen
the sphere of its operations. Every effort was made to secure
recruits. The Freemasons gave it strong support, and Ferdinand of
Brunswick became one of its members. It had its statutes, ritual, and
decrees. Fortunately the members quarrelled, and were foolish enough
to carry their controversies into the public press. In this way the
Bavarian government became acquainted with the dangerous character of
the sect of the /Illuminati/, and a determined effort was made to
secure its suppression (1784-1785).

(c) Freemasonry.

Gould, /History of Freemasonry/, 3 vols., 1883-87. Findel,
/Geschichte der Freimaurer/, 3 auf., 1870 (Eng. Trans.). Claudio
Jannet, /Les precurseurs de la Franc-maconnerie au XVIe et au
XVIIe siecle/, 1887. Deschamps et Jannet, /Les societes secretes
et la societe/, 1882. Kloss, /Geschichte der Freimaurer in
England, Ireland und Schottland/, 1847. Hughan, /Origin of the
English Rite of Freemasonry/, 1884.

Whatever about the value of the fantastic legends invented to explain
the origin of Freemasonry it is certain that the first grand lodge was
formed in London on the Feast of St. John the Baptist (1717). That
before this date there were a few scattered lodges in England,
Scotland, and Ireland, and that these lodges were the sole remaining
relics of a peculiar trade guild, composed of masons and of some of
the higher classes as honorary members, there can be little doubt. The
society spread rapidly in England, Scotland, and amongst the
Protestant colony in Ireland. From Great Britain its principles were
diffused throughout the rest of Europe. Freemason lodges were
established in Paris (1725-1732), in Germany (1733), Portugal (1735),
Holland (1735), Switzerland (1740), Denmark (1745), Italy (1763), and
Sweden (1773). The Freemasons were bound together into a secret
society, the members of which were obliged by oath and by the threat
of severe penalties to obey orders and to maintain silence regarding
its affairs. The society had its ritual, its degrees of apprentice,
fellow, and master, and its passports and signs. The particular lodges
in each country were united under a national grand lodge, and though
the various attempts that have been made to bring about an
international organisation have failed, yet there can be little doubt
that Freemasons throughout the world maintain the closest relations,
and at least in general policy act usually as one man. Freemasonry was
patronised by members of the royal family in England, by Frederick II.
of Prussia, Francis I. of Austria, the Grand Duke Francis Stephen of
Tuscany, and by Philip Duke of Orleans, who accepted the office of
grand master in France. Its members were recruited principally from
the higher and middle classes, as the entrance fees and expenses made
it impossible for anybody except the comparatively wealthy to become
members. At the time when the society was formed it was the nobility
and middle classes who formed public opinion in most countries, and it
was thought that if these classes could be won over to support the
principles of Freemasonry, they in turn could influence the mass of
the people.

Freemasonry was established at a time when Deism and Naturalism were
rampant in England, and it secured a foothold in most of the
continental countries in an age noted for its hostility to
supernatural religion. In the first article of the /Old Charges/
(1723) it is laid down that, "A mason is obliged by his tenure to obey
the moral law, and if he really understands the art he will never be a
stupid atheist or an irreligious libertine." The precise meaning of
this injunction has been the subject of many controversies, but it is
clear from the continuation of the same article that the universal
religion on which all men are agreed, that is to say, a kind of
natural Christianity, was to be the religion of Freemasonry. The
society professed to be non-sectarian in its objects, but the whole
tendency of the rules and of the organisation in its practical working
has been to promote contempt for dogmatic orthodoxy and for religious
authority, and to foster a kind of modified Christianity from which
specifically Catholic doctrines have been eliminated.

In France and in Austria Freemasons and Rationalists worked hand in
hand for the overthrow of the established Church and for the spread of
atheistical views. The society professed also to forbid political
discussions, but here too the articles of the constitution are

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