Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

in the approaching advent of an era of restoration and universal prosperity. I believe simply in the coming of democracy. . . . Like all revolutions, this one will produce good and evil. The evil will be easy and popular, the good difficult and disputed. The eternal enemies of good will reappear in the corrupted propensities of human nature, with new obstacles emerging from the nature of modern circumstances. The virtues with which God has endowed his creature and those with which the Redeemer Jesus has endowed his Church will also reappear. The battle will be at least as violent as with former enemies of the spirit and the Church in eras of barbarism, feudalism, and absolute monarchy. But it will be at least as meritorious, fruitful, and glorious. To wage it, God furnishes us with new arms and new means of action, and in the great modern innovations -- in publicity, equality, political liberty, the emancipation of the democratic masses, and the ease and wonderful rapidity of communications -- they can already be seen. From this may emerge an era of complete liberty, unprecedented in her annals, for her that we have the good fortune to call our mother.

Source: [Charles Forbes] de Montalembert, L'Église libre dans l'état libre ( Paris, 1863), pp. 10-12, 14-15, 18-19, 21-25, 68-69, 71-78, 80-82, 84, 86, 89-92, 94-102, 132- 139, 142-144, 152-156.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

A. Dansette, Religious History of Modern France ( Freiburg, Germany, 1961), I, 295-308.

E. Lecanuet, Montalembert ( Paris, 1909).

C. S. Phillips, The Church in France, 1848-1907 ( London, 1936), pp. 110-120.

G. Weill, Histoire du catholicisme liberal en France ( Paris, 1909), pp. 159-168.


66
Syllabus of Errors (Extracts) December 8, 1864

A commission of theologians had been given the task of preparing a condemnation of modern errors in 1854, but the famous syllabus did not appear until 1864 when it was attached to the encyclical Quanta Cura. Montalembert's Malines appearance and the Franco-Italian September Convention threatening the papacy's temporal power may have hastened publication. The errors had previously been identified in earlier papal pronouncements, but the syllabus attracted attention because it was interpreted as generalizing some condemnations that had previously been associated with particular events. From the time of its announcement, Catholic writers gave various interpretations to the syllabus, often cautioning that its correct meaning could not be found apart from the other papal pronouncements cited in the text (omitted below). By liberals everywhere it was regarded as a declaration of war, and in France its publication was officially prohibited.

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