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Monsignor Henry E. Manning and Th e First Vatican Council

The role of Cardinal Manning in obtaining the definition of Papal Infallibility at the First Vatican Council

Sous la direction de

Monsieur Christopher


Mmoire de Master Langues, Littrature et Civilisation Etrangres Mention Mondes Anglophones

Universit Marc Bloch (Strasbourg II) UFR des Langues vivantes




TABLE OF CONTENTS............................................................... INTRODUCTION ........................................................................ PART ONE: BACKGROUND OF THE FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL .............................................................................. I) The political context at the opening of the Council: 16 II) The various trends and controversies prevalent within the Catholic Church at that time: 19 A) Liberalism: .............................................................................. B) Gallicanism: ............................................................................ C) Ultramontanism: .................................................................... D) The chief doctrinal error of the time: ................................ II) The reactions to the question of papal Infallibility in France, Germany and England: 24 A) The reactions in Germany: ..................................................... B) The reactions in France: ......................................................... C) The reactions in England: ...................................................... 1) The Catholics in England from the Reformation to the Eve of the First Vatican Council: ................................................. a) The Catholic revival in England after centuries of Protestantism and persecutions of the Catholic population: ............................................................................................. b) The contributing factors towards the Catholic revival in England: ................................................................................. 4

c) The law of emancipation: ........................................................ 2) The question of papal Infallibility: ......................................... IV. The convocation to the Council: 39 A) The first announcement and the reasons for its convocation: ........................................................................................... B. The letter sent to some of the Cardinals:................................ C) The letter sent to some of the bishops, and the subsequent answer of Msgr. Manning: ................................................. PART TWO: PROCEEDINGS AND ACTORS OF THE COUNCIL ....................................................................................... I. The rules of the Council and its opening: 46 A) The proceedings of the Council: ............................................. B) The opening of the Council: ................................................... II. The two parties at the First Vatican Council: 50 A) Minority and Majority: ........................................................... B) The main question: the opportunity of the definition: ............................................................................................... III. Msgr. Manning: 55 A) Presentation of Msgr. Manning: ...................................... B) His writings about the Holy Ghost and papal Infallibility prior to the Council: .......................................... C) The champion of Papal Infallibility: ...................................... IV. Pope Pius IX and the definition of papal Infallibility: 67 PART THREE: DEFINITION OF PAPAL INFALLIBILITY ..................................................................................... I. The pressure exercised by governments on the Council Fathers: 70 5

II. The postulates for and against the definition: 74 A) The project of postulates for the definition: .......................... B) The counter project against the definition: ........................... C) The decision of the Congregation of postulates: .................... III. Toward some progress: 80 A) Advancing the timing of the discussion: ................................ B) The famous speech of Msgr. Manning at the Council: .................................................................................................. C) The deliberations on the Constitution of the Church: ................................................................................................... IV. The solemn definition of papal Infallibility: 90 A) The ceremony of the definition and its vote: ......................... B) The text of the definition: ....................................................... C) The acceptance of the Decrees of the Council:....................... CONCLUSION ............................................................................. BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................................................... General studies and various writings: 112 Books about Catholicism in England: 113 Books about the First Vatican Council: 115 Books about Cardinal Manning: 116 Works by Cardinal H.E. Manning linked to Papal Infallibility: 117 Web Sources: 119 APPENDIX .................................................................................. Appendix I. Minority and Majority at the Council: the main actors: 120 Appendix II. Reasons why the definition is thought to be opportune and necessary: 123 6

Appendix III. Pastor Aeternus, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ: 128 Appendix IV. Act of Condemnation by the Council of Certain Pamphlets: 142

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen1. It is by these words that Pope2 Pius IX3 opened the First Vatican Council4 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception5 (December 8) in 1869. Cardinals,6
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen 2 A Pope is the Head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome. 3 Pius IX (1792-1878), became pope in 1848. He is mainly known for having defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and having condemned the modern religious errors in the Syllabus, in 1864 and having defined the dogma of papal Infallibility in 1870. 4 A council is a regular gathering of bishops and theologians who decide on questions of doctrine or ecclesiastical discipline. The council can be provincial, national or ecumenical according to where the bishops convoked to it come from: the province, from the country or the whole world. The First Vatican Council was an ecumenical council, the first to be held since the Council of Trent more than 400 years before. 5 The date chosen is not anodyne, because, on December 8, 1854, Pius had defined that the most Blessed Virgin Mary...was preserved free from all stain of original sin.... That is why, in honor of the Blessed Virgin, Pius IX decided to open the Council on the feast celebrating the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. 6 A cardinal is the second highest ecclesiastical office in the Roman

theologians and canonists from all the corners of Christendom were convoked to it.7 It became a worldwide event; the world press and especially the European press reported and conveyed daily the different opinions about the current or future decisions which were taken by the Council Fathers, as well as the controversies which they aroused. The bull8 Aeterni Patris issued on June 29, 1868 to summon the Council, was received with joy by the bulk of the Catholic masses. It did however provoke much discontent in various places, most notably in Germany, France and England. "In these countries, it was feared that the council would promulgate an exact determination of the primatial prerogatives of the papacy and the definition of papal Infallibility.9 Soon, voices rose up against the definition. The debate about it

Catholic Church, just below the Pope. The cardinals are appointed by him as a member of the Sacred College of Cardinals during a consistory. They alone can elect a cardinal to become the new Pope at the death of the previous Pope. 7 According the Catholic Encyclopedia, There were in the entire world approximately one thousand and fifty prelates entitled to take part in the Council, and of these no less than seven hundred and seventy-four appeared during the course of the proceedings. Kirch, K. Vatican Council. New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia. Abbreviation: Kirch, Vatican Council. 8 A bull is an apostolic letter with a leaden seal, written by the pope. 9 Kirch, Vatican Council.

became turbulent. We wish to analyze this heated and wide-ranging debate by examining the main protagonists and groups, who indeed influenced some of the prelates who took part in the First Vatican Council. Msgr. Manning's role at the First Vatican Council will be the subject of this present study. We shall particularly center our analysis upon the role he played in obtaining a definition of papal Infallibility. "That which we call Infallibility is nothing but this: the Church cannot err from the path of revealed truth."10 The reason why we shall focus only on that definition is that at the time, the debate was almost exclusively concentrated upon the question of papal Infallibility. The press did not closely examine the other decisions that were taken by the Council Fathers. Both, the partisans and opponents to the Council focused only on the definition. The opponents of the definition were mostly non-Catholics, but most surprisingly, Catholics also formed part of this opposition. However, it would be incorrect to conclude that everyone was a fierce opponent to the definition of papal Infallibility. The Holy Church found many great defenders all around Europe such as Bishops Dechamps of Mechlin and Senestry of Ratisbon. In England, the most famous and the most important


Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost, (London: Burns & Oates, Ltd., 1875), 301. Abbreviation: Manning, Internal Mission.


remains Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, Archbishop of Westminster. 11 Nowadays, this Council is known almost solely for the definition of the dogma of papal Infallibility. Millions of people Catholics included still violently attack this dogma. That is why the subject is still an appropriate topic at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It is very common to find, even among Catholics, people who do not consider the pope as infallible when he speaks in matters of faith and morals. The attacks against papal Infallibility are not a new phenomenon. On the contrary, they were as violent in the 19th century as they are today. The 19th century saw the beginning of a very strong de-Christianization theme. There was a wave of new ideas, new debates, and many people brought into question values, dogmas, and centuries old beliefs. Society as a whole was changing. It slowly, but surely, was turning from an exclusively religious society, into a largely de-Christianized society. Surprisingly, despite de-Christianization, a very strong Catholic revival occurred in England in the 19th century. It was unexpected in a country that had been Protestant since the Reformation in 1533. The Catholic revival had a tangible effect on Msgr. Manning. He

Henry Edward Manning was made a cardinal only in 1875 by Pope Pius IX, so during the Council he was only Archbishop of Westminster. However, as it is the name under which he is best known, I deliberately choose to call him Cardinal Manning or "Msgr. Manning" instead of Archbishop Manning.


converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1851 and soon began to become very active and zealous in attempting to revive the Catholic faith in England. He took part in the Vatican Council, and the definition of the dogma of papal Infallibility was largely due to his zeal. This is what this present study shall attempt to illustrate: the role of Msgr. Manning in the definition of papal Infallibility at the First Vatican Council. In order to truly appreciate and assess the role of an individual in such a huge process (i.e. the defining of such a wide-ranging definition), we must examine the attitudes and roles of his contemporaries and fellow citizens. By doing this we can draw conclusions about the difficulty of the task facing those who proposed a definition, and the attitudes of those both inside of and external to the decision-making process. By placing our examination in context, we can conclude about the extent of the role played by Msgr. Manning, the support that he garnered, the opposition he faced and in turn the degree of zealousness, which he espoused. The study of the role of Msgr. Manning will allow the reader to familiarize himself with and in turn to understand, in perspective, the spirit of the time and the different debates and concerns. The survey will attempt to be a mirror of the religious and intellectual state in the nineteenth century and more precisely in England, because that is where Msgr. Manning lived. The reactions to the Vatican Council in Germany and in France have been largely studied, but this is not 12

the case for England, despite the fact that it was one of the three countries where one could find the strongest discontent. Historians have been usually more interested in studying the Catholic revival in the 19th century in England rather than the reactions toward the Council. In addition, almost all the biographers of Msgr. Manning have focused on his social works or on his conversion rather than on the role he played at the First Vatican Council. This study shall lead to a better understanding about the important role the Council played in the history of the Holy Catholic Church and among Catholics. We refer to and have used many works written by contemporaries of the Vatican Council in order to inform our study. Such sources were close to the Council and therefore their information has not been distorted or altered through the passing of centuries. The original text, for example, of an opponent to the Council has a stronger force and realism than a text explaining decades later that there were some opponents. The intention is to examine the aforementioned issues by virtue of primary sources which refer to the subject. It is essential to analyze in the first part the background of the Council. That is to say successively, the political context at the opening of the Council, the various religious trends and controversies prevalent within the Catholic Church at the time, the reaction to the question of papal Infallibility in France, Germany and England at the announcement of the Council; and last, the


convocation to the Council and the reasons invoked to summon it. We shall devote in part two, a first chapter on the rules of the Council to help the reader to understand its functioning. The second chapter is central, because it describes the two parties present at the Council, who they were, and what were their motivations. After a presentation of Msgr. Manning, in the third chapter, we shall examine more closely his ideas concerning papal Infallibility. Finally, it would be impossible to speak about the Council without mentioning its major actor: Pope Pius IX. We shall refrain from giving his biography, but we shall center our study on his attitude toward the definition of papal Infallibility. In the last part, we shall consider the process of the definition of papal Infallibility. It will first be imperative to briefly examine the agitation outside the Council provoked by a possible definition. The pressures exercised by governments on the Council Fathers will be particularly revealing. Then, in the second and third fourth chapters, we shall examine the different steps leading to the definition. The fourth chapter will picture this famous day, July 18, 1870, when the dogma of Infallibility was solemnly defined. We hope to recreate the incredible journey of an Anglican ministry, converted to the Catholic faith, who, by a fantastic energy, an unfailing conviction and a tremendous love for the Holy Ghost and the papacy


became the major defender and partisan of the definition of papal Infallibility.


PART ONE: BACKGROUND OF THE FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL I) The political context at the opening of the Council:
The political context of the Council was one of violent upheaval and widespread wars. Various wars were simultaneously tearing apart different countries and shedding the blood of thousands of human beings. In 1864, Prussia and Denmark clashed. On May 1865, the American Civil War ended; in 1866, all of Europe was anxiously awaiting the result of the conflicts between Prussia, Austria and Italy; in 1868, a revolution raged in Spain, which caused Queen Isabella II to flee to France. In 1870, the Franco-Prussian war was to burst out. Consequently, the state of affairs was so grave that the Commission of Direction and most of the prelates were wondering if it was going to be possible to hold the Holy Council at all. An English hand described the condition of Europe at the time on 12 November 1866: The immediate consequence of the last war (between Prussia and Austria), and of the peace which followed it, was to break the old alliances, and to trouble 16

every European State. The invasion of Denmark gave the first shock to public morality, and the subsequent quarrel between Prussia and Austria annihilated the barriers of international law. From henceforth there no longer exists a principle of general policy in Europe, and ambition has no limit to the extension of its own power. Every mans hand is against his brother, and only the necessity of defense hinders the desire of attack. All nations are on the watch, and order is maintained because everybody is afraid of his neighbour. The Continental press shows us one-half of Europe in array against the other. The whole of Europe is arming. France does not disarm, but, on the contrary, increases its armies; Russia is raising three hundred thousand recruits; Prussia is reorganizing four new army corps; Austria is remodeling and reforming; everywhere the armaments are in training, and new systems of warfare are being elaborated. The art of slaying threatens to become the sole industry of Europe.12 In the United States, the Know-Nothing Party persecuted Catholics and immigrants during the mid-19th century. Their motto was Americans must rule America and they gained political prominence in many states. When in 1853, a representative of the pope came to the United States; he was mobbed by members of this party in Cincinnati. There followed a bitter persecution of

The Times, November 18, 1866, in Cardinal H. E. Manning, The True Story of the Vatican Council, (Fraser, Michigan: Real View Books, 1996), 39.


Catholics all over the country. Churches were destroyed. In Bangor, Maine, a Jesuit priest was tarred and feathered. There were riots at Louisville and St. Louis in which there was bloodshed, and everywhere, in spite of the fact that the Constitution of the United States guarantees religious liberty, everything possible was done to prevent Catholics from holding public office or even voting.13 It is, therefore, little wonder that Pope Pius IX and his counselors hesitated to confirm the day for the opening of the Council. Furthermore, the various governments showed themselves to be so anti-Catholic that it was feared that they would not allow the bishops to attend the Council in any event. As to the obstacles in the way of holding the Council, the first was a doubt as to the disposition of the civil powers to permit the bishops of their respective jurisdictions to attend. Fear was especially entertained on this point in respect to the government of France, Italy and Portugal. It was remembered that in 1862 the government of Italy hindered the Italian bishops from coming to Rome for the canonization of the martyrs of Japan.14 It is thus in this delicate political situation that the Council was summoned. The religious context was not
13 14

Fr. George Johnson, Story of the Church, 429. Cardinal H. E. Manning, The True Story of the Vatican Council, (Fraser, Michigan: Real View Books, 1996), 15-16. Abbreviation: Manning, True Story.


unproblematic either. Many trends and controversies were prevalent within the Catholic Church.

II) The various trends and controversies prevalent within the Catholic Church at that time:
A) Liberalism:
In order to fully understand the Vatican Council it is important to appreciate that many political leaders and prelates of the 19th century were impregnated with the Liberalism of that era. Anne Carroll defines Liberalism as a philosophy which rejects moral absolutes and authority. It is usually opposed to hereditary monarchy. It emphasizes that men should be free to do whatever they want in moral matters. It usually approves the elimination of opposition, by violence if necessary.15 According to Ann Carroll and many Catholics, Liberalism is fundamentally based upon the absolute independence of the individual, society and the State from God and His Church. The Catholic Church is founded on the absolute subjection of the individual and society to the revealed law of God. These two ideologies are irreconcilable. Many popes have repeatedly

Anne Carroll, Christ the King: Lord of History, (Manassas: Trinity Communications, 1986).


condemned Liberalism. Leo XIII describes the inherent evil of this philosophy: Man, by a necessity of his nature, is wholly subject to the most faithful and ever enduring power of God; and that, as a consequence, any liberty except that which consists in submission to God and in submission to His will is unintelligible. To deny the existence of this authority in God, or to refuse to submit to it, means to act, not as a free man, but as one who treasonably abuses his liberty; and in such a disposition of mind, the chief and deadly vice of Liberalism consists.16 In the meantime, Gallicanism was widespread in France and in several other countries.

B) Gallicanism:
The ideology of Gallicanism had assailed Papal Infallibility for more than 400 years prior to the Vatican Council. Gallicanism tended to restrict the authority of the Church regarding the State (Political Gallicanism) or the authority of the pope regarding the council, bishops, and clergy (Ecclesiastico-Theological Gallicanism).17 In short, it was a theory of the superiority of a national general council over the pope. Gallicanism, like Anglicanism was a form of religious nationalism.

Leo XIII, Libertas Humana (On the Nature of True Liberty), June 20, 1988, no. 36. 17 Pietro Parente, Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1951), 108.


These teachings were widely professed by the clergy of France and later spread to Flanders, Ireland and England. Some prelates at the Council followed the Gallican ideology and wished to make papal authority dependent upon the bishops and the approbation of national general councils.

C) Ultramontanism:
Many Italians who opposed Gallicanism and defended the primacy and Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff became known as Ultramontanists. It was a pejorative term given by the enemies of the Catholic Church or by those who wanted a certain degree of administrative independence from Rome. Ultramontanism [is] a term used to denote integral and active Catholicism, because it recognizes as its spiritual head the pope, who, for the greater part of Europe, is a dweller beyond the mountains (ultra montes), that is, beyond the Alps.18 Ultramontanism stressed the monarchial role of the pope, his universal jurisdiction, his primacy over the Catholic Church and his Infallibility in ex cathedr pronouncements.

D) The chief doctrinal error of t he time:


Charles Herbermann, Catholic Encyclopedia, (New York: The Encyclopedia Press, 1908), Vol. 15, 125.


However, according to Msgr. Manning and many Catholics, the principal doctrinal error of the time was the denying of papal Infallibility and the distance, and freedom many would take with the papal teachings. the Msgr. Manning described thus the conflict between the two groups: Each council was convened to extinguish the chief evil of the time. And I do not hesitate to affirm that the denial of the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff was the chief intellectual or doctrinal error as to faith, not to call it more than proximate to heresy, of our times. It was so because it struck at the validity of the pontifical acts of the last 300 years, weakened the effect of papal decisions of this period over the intellect and conscience of the faithful. It kept alive a dangerous controversy on the subject of Infallibility altogether, and exposed even the Infallibility of the Church itself to difficulties not easy to solve. As an apparently open or disputable point, close to the very root of faith, it exposed even the faith itself to the reach of doubts. Next, practically, it was mischievous beyond measure. The divisions and contentions of Gallicanism and Ultramontanism have been a scandal and a shame to us. Protestants and unbelievers have been kept from the truth by our intestine controversies, especially upon a point so high and so intimately connected with the whole doctrinal authority of the Church. Again, morally, the division and contention on this point, supposed to be open, has generated more alienation, bitterness and 22

animosity between Pastors and people, and what is worse, between Pastors and Pastors, than any other in our day.19 This can very well explain why the reactions to the question of papal Infallibility were so strong even before the Council was opened.


Cardinal Manning, The Vatican Council and its Definitions: Pastoral Letter to the Clergy, (London: Longmans, Green, And Co., 1870), 41-42. Abbreviation: Manning, Vatican Council and its Definitions.


II) The reactions to the question of papal Infallibility in France, Germany and England:
It is essential to understand the mentality of the bishops who attended the Vatican Council, in order to understand the Council itself. Fr. James MacCaffrey and Msgr. Hughes explain how the conflict over Infallibility raged, especially in Germany: The convocation of the Council, while pleasing to the vast body of Catholic clergy and people, roused the bitter enmity of the radical-liberal party throughout Europe. Even in Catholics circles very sharp controversies broke out, especially in France and in Germany.20


Fr. James MacCaffrey, History of the Church in the Nineteenth Century (1789-1908), (Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, Ltd., 1910), 443. Abbreviation: MacCaffrey, History of the Church.


A) The reactions in Germany:

Dr. Dllinger: Germany, the liberal historian and theologian Ignaz von 21 Dllinger led the controversy against papal Infallibility. In 1869, he wrote in conjunction with Johan Friedrich,22 the Letters of Janus in which they attacked the 23 Syllabus and the doctrine of papal Infallibility, and In


Johan Ignaz von Dllinger (1799-1890), was excommunicated for his heretical writings. He was one of the most ferocious adversaries of papal Infallibility. 22 Johann Friedrich (1836-1917) was a German theologian who, in 1869, went to the Vatican Council as secretary to Cardinal Hohenlohe, and took an active part in opposing the dogma of papal Infallibility, notably by supplying the opposition bishops with historical and theological material. He left Rome before the Council closed. 23 The Syllabus is the name of the series of propositions containing modern religious errors condemned by Pius IX on December 8, 1864.


claimed its incompatibility with modern thought. They also criticized Msgr. Manning. Dllinger wrote in the Allgemeine Zeitung and in the Neue Freie Presse several polemical and hateful articles against the Church and its organization.24 In one of these articles, he wrote of Msgr. Manning that he gave himself to the theory of Infallibility with the fervent zeal of a convert. Dllinger had not been sparing in his criticism of Rome, of the Papal States, of the Curia. He had been bitter in his contempt for Scholastic Theology. He had developed something very near hatred towards the Jesuits. As early as 1850 he had propounded his grandiose dream of a German national church, not schismatic, it is true, but hardly Catholic with its domineering self-sufficiency. He was a protagonist, too, for public opinion. As he became more and more infatuated with liberal ideas he simultaneously became the source of anxiety to many of his former friends. The world still admired his immense learning and his undoubted intellectual powers. However, not even Dllinger himself could have foretold where they would lead him. Only by reading history backwards does one get the full significance of his appeal for deference to public opinion at the Munich assembly of 1863. His exclusion from the deliberations preparatory to the Council was the final insult. He threw his great weight into a most

E. Michael, S. J. Ignaz v. Dllinger Eine Charakteristik. (Innsbruck: 1892), 37.


determined opposition.25 Dllinger became one of the most ardent opponents of papal Infallibility, not only to the definition of it, but also to the dogma itself. Also there were in Germany, a very small number of great scholars who defiantly held that the pope was not infallible, and who grew more and more antipapal with each year that passed.26 The bishops of Germany were in a peculiarly difficult position. Whether personally in favor of Infallibility or opposed to it, they could not fail to be alarmed at the dangerous tendency of the movement. Under the circumstances, it was thought best to hold a meeting of their own body at Fulda in September 1869. Sixteen bishops, one bishop-elect, attended the assembly Professor Hefele, who had been appointed to the See of Rottenburg, and the procurators of three absent bishops. They determined to send a private letter to the Pope, in which the arguments against the advisability of the definition, especially in so far as it would affect the Church in Germany, should be set forth. This document was signed by about two-thirds of those present. At the same time, they issued a pastoral letter to the Catholics of Germany, which was well calculated to allay the excitement and uneasiness that Dllinger and his friends

Raymond Corrigan, The Church and the Nineteenth Century, (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1938), 190-191. 26 Msgr. Philip Hughes, Church in Crisis: A History of the General Council, 325-1870, (New York: Hanover House, 1961), 350.


had so industriously instigated. [] The pastoral letter was read in all the Catholic churches of Germany, and made an excellent impression.27 In France, even if the effect was not as extreme as in Germany, it was still very virulent.

B) The reactions in France:

Msgr. Dupanloup In France, Msgr. Dupanloup,28 Bishop of Orleans, directed the debate. At the Council he was the leader of that Minority which, for political reasons stood, if not against papal Infallibility itself, at least against the timing of its definition. Msgr. Dupanloup welcomed with joy the papal Bull of indiction, in which no mention was made of Infallibility. He transmitted the papal Bull to his flock, in
27 28

MacCaffrey, History of the Church, 446-447. Felix Dupanloup (1802-1878), was a French prelate who was one of the leaders of liberal Catholicism.


a dignified pastoral letter. Nevertheless, when the Catholic sentiment, voiced by such organs as the Civilt Cattolica29 and the Univers30, began to petition for the definition, he appended to his pastoral letter certain observations which, by making known in advance the position he intended to take, involved him in a petty controversy with Louis Veuillot31.32 Seeing these reactions in Catholic countries, it is not surprising to observe such strong effects in England, a Protestant country used to hating the papacy and to rejecting its authority.


The newspaper Civilt Cattolica was founded on April 6, 1850, by Pius IX himself and confided by him to the conduct of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. 30 The journal the Univers was founded by Louis Veuillot. Pius IX declared himself in favor of that journal, which several bishops were attacking vigorously, while many others defended it. Tavernier, Eugene. Louis Veuillot. New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia. 31 Louis Veuillot (1813-1883) was a French Catholic journalist and writer. He founded the journal the Univers where he ardently defended the Catholic faith. He was a zealous defender of papal Infallibility. For more information, see Tavernier, Eugene. Louis Veuillot. New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia. 32 Sollier, J.F. Felix-Antoine-Philibert Dupanloup. New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia.


C) The reactions in England:

1) The Catholics in England from the Reformation to the Eve of the First Vatican Council: a) The Catholic revival in England after centuries of Protestantism and persecutions of the Catholic population: The role in and indeed reaction to the universal debate on papal Infallibility by Msgr. Manning must be analyzed within the national context at that time. Msgr. Manning had a widely recognized central role in the debate, but this role is infinitely more awe-inspiring given the aforementioned context by which he was surrounded. In the 19th century, a significant Catholic revival in England occurred. Despite centuries of Protestantism and discriminations against the Catholics in Britain, Catholicism blossomed. It is essential to underline the importance of the rehabilitation of Catholic hierarchy in 1850 by Pius IX. In fact, since the Schism of Henry VIII in 1534 and the founding of the Church of England, the country had been separated from the Holy See. England became Protestant following the Latin adage, cujus regio, ejus religio (whose rule, his religion). It means that a ruler has the right to determine the religion of his territory. His subjects have the alternative of moving to a section where their religion is supreme. The principle trampled on all rights of conscience. 30

The remaining Catholics endured many persecutions and discriminations in Britain. For example, in 1571, under the reign of Elizabeth, severe laws were enacted against Catholics, and in 1585, capital punishment was decreed for priests and for new converts. As Owen Chadwick33 underlines, the distrust toward Rome became an integral part of patriotism. What followed were vexations and laws to discourage anyone from being Catholic. In 1606, stricter penal laws were implemented against English Catholics. It caused many problems because the citizens were forced to swear allegiance to the King and repudiate pontifical authority. The Test Act of 1673 also excluded Catholics from public jobs. They were considered as enemies of the Crown. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 stated that Roman Catholics could not be King or Queen of England since "it hath been found by experience that it is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant Kingdom to be governed by a papist prince." The Sovereign was required to swear a coronation oath to maintain the Protestant religion. However, in 1778, Parliament voted the Catholic Relief Act that revoked part of the anti-Catholic legislation. It allowed Roman Catholics in Great Britain to own property, inherit land, join the army, and build chapels with no exterior signs. The government knew that Catholics did not represent a great danger because they were not numerous or organized and because the

Chadwick, Owen. The Reformation. London: Penguin, 1964.


repressive laws had deprived them of any power and by virtue of this any subsequent means of action. b) The contributing factors towards the Catholic revival in England: The French Revolution of 1789 had great influence upon the revival of Catholicism in Britain. Thousands of priests and nuns migrated to England, fleeing the French armies in France, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, etc. The English Government was very favorable towards the refugees. A comittee of support was created (the Committee for the Relief of the Suffering Clergy of France). John Wilmot presided over it and the committee counted amongst its members William Wilberforce, William Pitt and Edmund Burke. At the beginning of 1800, some five and a half thousand French priests were receiving help from the Relief Committee.34 It was thus evident that if the Government was helping the French Catholics it could not keep persecuting its own Catholics. Another consequence of the French Revolution was that English Catholic institutions as well as French religious congregations sought refuge in England. The reestablishment of some forty religious houses, schools and seminaries previously scattered throughout Europe would eventually prove to be an


Holmes Derek. More Roman than Rome. (London: Burnes & Oates, 1978), 134.


important factor in the transformation of the Catholic Church in England during the nineteenth century.35 Furthermore, the French Catholic clergy started to become very active, doing much social good and winning the gratitude of the popular classes. It was important because it was the first real contact English Catholics had made with the ideas of continental Catholicism since the Reformation. Their arrival brought with it a more daring Catholicism. Numerous priests were French teachers of rich young people and thus had a palpable influence. Sir Robert Peel, who had the law of emancipation of the Catholic enacted in 1829, had a French-Catholic teacher. c) The law of emancipation: It is only in 1829 that Catholics became full citizens of the United Kingdom. The agitation in Ireland was at the origin of the emancipation. OConnell up the Catholic Association in 1823 and campaigned for Catholic emancipation, and for the repeal of all anti-Catholic legislation enforced in Ireland. The Government had to choose between civil war and emancipation. That was the price to pay for security in Ireland and the peace in the British and Irish relations. In March 1829, the Law of Emancipation was enacted, removing many of the remaining substantial restrictions on Roman Catholics in the United Kingdom. Catholics obtained the right to vote, the right to sit in Parliament, and to occupy almost any public function. As

Ibid., 156.


early as 1833, a certain number of laymen promoted Catholicism and the renaissance of ecclesiastical life. In 1837, the Apostolic Vicars asked Pope Gregory XVI to establish a diocesan hierarchy and were at the origin of the restoration of the hierarchy, which happened in 1850. There were many converts to the Catholic Church after 1841. Converts were often more zealous for their new Church than others and they sometimes pushed their views to extremes. The effect of the Oxford converts on the Catholic Church was that the Church became more Roman and more Italian in its appearance, a change greatly encouraged by Msgr. Nicholas Patrick Wiseman, Archbishop of Westminster. The Oxford movement also contributed in a sense to the Catholic revival. Many of its members converted to Catholicism: Newman, Faber, and Ward were among the most famous converts. The massive Irish immigration also played a very important part in the Catholic revival. Ireland was hit by a potato blight in 1846 that brought about a terrible famine. An alternative to death and squalor was emigration36. That is why hundreds of thousands of Irish people migrated to England. The growth of the Catholic population in the 184550s and the quick evolution of the Catholic community imposed a reorganization of the ecclesiastic administration of the country. Unlike Ireland that preserved its Episcopal hierarchy, England, since the
Schneider, Delphine. Britain and the Great Irish Famine, License research paper, 35 pages, (Nancy: 2005), 10.


Reformation, had been under the regime of the countries of mission. Seeing the advances and the development of Catholicism in England, Pope Pius IX announced on September 29, 1850, that he restored the English Roman Catholic hierarchy under the Primacy of Msgr. Wiseman. One archdiocese and twelve auxiliary bishops replaced the eight apostolic vicars. At the death of Msgr. Wiseman, the Pope named Msgr. Manning as Archbishop of Westminster. 2) The question of papal Infallibility: In England, the question of papal Infallibility provoked an ongoing and fervent debate. The press conveyed the different opinions about the subject. As early as 1868, a series of pamphlets and newspapers began with the appearance of Le Page Renoufs pamphlet opposing papal Infallibility.37 He attacked Pope Honorius in his book Pope Honorius before the Tribunal of Reason and History to demonstrate that a pope can err and proffer heresies and thus cannot be declared infallible. A few extracts from the aforementioned book highlights how excited and passionate his reaction

Sir Peter Le Page Renouf (1822-1897), was an Egyptologist who under the influence of Dr Newman became a Roman Catholic. However, he opposed the promulgation of the dogma of Papal Infallibility in his book The Condemnation of Pope Honorius that was placed upon the index of prohibited books.


against Infallibility was: The arguments used by the first apologists of Pope Honorius cannot have been sincerely believed in by their authors.38 It is a simple untruth, to say that he was condemned for neglect.39 Nothing can be more grossly untrue than the assertion that Honorius was misled by Sergius.40 This very man the Abbot John, secretary to two Popes, to whose great virtue S. Maximus gave testimony, relayed a lying account of the controversy, being an interested and mendacious witness41 Stupid bigotry alone can urge a certain plea for Honorius42. It is a mockery to say, what all Ultramontanists say, that Honorius Letter to Sergius was not ex cathedr.43 It is impossible to speak without contempt of a certain assertion which has repeatedly been made by great writers44. Mr. Veuillot is a fiery, ignorant and unscrupulous convert.45 This pamphlet unsurprisingly, aroused animated discussions. It is impossible to quote all the newspapers and periodicals which declared themselves in favor or against it. Father Botalla, teacher of theology in Saint38

P. Le Page Renouf. The Condemnation of Pope Honorius, (London 1868), 7. 39 Ibid., 11. 40 Ibid.,14. 41 Ibid. 15-16. 42 Ibid.,,18. 43 Ibid., 21. 44 Ibid., 32. 45 Ibid., 39.


Bennos College, directly refuted it in a special book46. Renouf responded in the form of a second book47. Other refutations followed48. The emotions provoked amongst the Catholic congregation were both powerful and indeed significant. Another extract from the Dublin Review gives an idea of just how passionate the debate was: When we say that the views advocated by Mr. Renouf are most untrue and mischievous, he will accept this as the greatest compliment we can pay him; but we must further give our opinion, that his pamphlet is passionate, shallow and pretentious. Every reader will have been struck by its passion.49 It is surprising to note that people who were not even theologians pondered upon its theological questions and emphasized their own opinions on the subject. A certain number of Catholics, especially convert Catholics, followed the liberal movement and maintained friendly relations with the liberal theologians of

Botalla, Paul. Pope Honorius before the Tribunal of Reason and History. (London, 1869). 47 P. Le Page Renouf. Honorius Reconsidered with Reference to Recent Apologies. London 1869. 48 Dublin Review vol. XV. (1870, I.II), in Granderath, Thodore: Histoire du Concile du Vatican. 3 tomes in 6 volumes, (Brussels: Librairie Albert Dewitt, 1907), T. 3, 342. 49 Dublin Review. Vol. XI. 1868 II, in Granderath, Thodore: Histoire du Concile du Vatican. 3 tomes in 6 volumes. (Brussels: Librairie Albert Dewitt, 1907). T. 3a, 348.


Germany, particularly Dllinger. As Granderath50 highlights it, a proof of the activity of the Catholic liberal party and of its relations with Dllinger was the extraordinarily swift appearance of the English translation of the Letters of Janus. The press published countless articles in favor of and opposing it. The Dublin Review,51 talking about liberal Catholics, wrote at the opening of the Council: We have always maintained that there is an organized, though small, band of professing Catholics in England, who are as truly enemies to the Church as avowed Protestants can be and who are immeasurably more dangerous than avowed Protestants, from the very fact, that Catholics in general are not duly on their guard against them.52 Msgr. Manning was well aware of this and was a determined adversary of the liberal movement. When the quarrels on the doctrine of Infallibility began to blossom, he believed it to be his duty to devote a pastoral letter on


Granderath, Thodore: Histoire du Concile du Vatican. 3 tomes in 6 volumes. (Brussels: Librairie Albert Dewitt, 1907), T. 3a, 367. Abbreviation: Granderath. 51 The Dublin Review was founded by Michael Joseph Quin in 1836. It has ever since remained the leading Catholic periodical in the British Isles. Burton, Edwin. Michel Joseph Quin. New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia 52 Dublin Review XV (1870 I) 212, in Granderath, T. 3a, 392.


that sole question.53 In this letter, Msgr. Manning examined distinctly the pros and cons of the definition of Infallibility. He was particularly careful to follow the teachings on Infallibility through ecclesiastical tradition and to uncover Gallicanism.54

IV. The convocation to the Council:

A) The first announcement and the reasons for its convocation:
On December 6, 1864, Pope Pius IX secretly announced to a part of the Sacred College his intention to open a General Council to face the rise of new heresies. In fact, Atheism, Naturalism and Materialism had become intensively developed. False doctrines, born in those times, about the connection between the pope and the council reappeared to a large extent in Gallicanism,


Cardinal Henry Edward Manning. The Ecumenical Council and the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, (London: 1869), 132. Abbreviation: Manning, Ecumenical Council. 54 This term is used to designate a certain group of religious opinions which tended chiefly to a restraint of the pope's authority in the Church in favour of that of the bishops and the temporal ruler. A. Degert, Gallicanism. New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia


Febronianism55 and Josephism.5657 It may be said that the nineteenth century has no heresy, or rather that it has all heresies, because it is the century of unbelief."58 Furthermore, the spiritual needs of the faithful had increased since the end of the Middle Ages. In fact, the last Ecumenical council59 went back to the 16th century. Never in Church history, had the Holy Church waited so
This politico-ecclesiastical system was outlined by Johann Nikolaus von Hontheim, Auxiliary Bishop of Trier, under the pseudonym Justinus Febronius. He develops in this work a theory of ecclesiastical organization founded on a denial of the monarchical constitution of the Church. The ostensible purpose was to facilitate the reconciliation of the Protestant bodies with the Church by diminishing the power of the Holy See. Friedrich Lauchert, Febronianism. New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia. 56 Josephism is the name given to the political religious doctrine of the Emperor Joseph II. His doctrine tended to submit the internal affairs of the Church to the control of the temporal power. He wanted to place religion under his control. 57 Granderath, T. 1, 20. 58 Manning, True Story, 25. 59 It was the Ecumenical Council of Trent opened on December 13, 1545 and closed on December 4, 1563. Its main object was the definitive determination of the doctrines of the Church in answer to the heresies of the Protestants; a further object was the execution of a thorough reform of the inner life of the Church by removing the numerous abuses that had developed in it. J. P. Kirsch. The Council of Trent. New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia


long to convoke a council. The Catholic Church and the Catholic faith were under constant and sustained assault. The divinity itself of its origin, and even the existence of God, the spirituality and the immortality of the soul, basis of all religions, were denied or cast doubt on a little more every day. In the disciplinary field, lots of principles had fallen into disuse and in many points, the changes that happened since the last council, seemed to need a transformation.60 In our time, there exists no new or special heresy in matters of faith, but rather a universal perversion and confusion of first truths and principles which assail the foundations of truth and the preambles of all belief.61 "The intellect of man for three hundred years has broken loose from faith, and the heresy of the day is a heresy against the order of even natural truth; it is the assertion that reason is sufficient to itself."62 "The line of philosophy from Leibnitz, Wolff, Kant, to Schleiermacher, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, and Strauss, exhibits the same steady advance to the rejection of all that is above the level of reason or of nature."63 Another revealing action was the meeting of an anti-council entitled the concile des athes-matrialistes (council of the materialistic atheists) convened in Naples

60 61

Granderath, T. 1, 15. Manning, True Story, 124. 62 Ibid. 63 Ibid., 127.


on December 29, 1869 to fight the Council. This council even had its own journal: Giornale dei Atei.64 Pope Pius IX saw the world which was once all Catholic tossed and harassed by the revolt of its intellect against the revelation of God, and of its will against his law; by the revolt of civil society against the sovereignty of God; and by the anti-Christian spirit which is driving princes and governments towards anti-Christian revolutions. He to whom, in the words of St. John Chrysostom, the whole world was committed saw in the Council of the Vatican the only adequate remedy for the world-wide evils of the nineteenth century.65 Pope Pius IX believed that the Council was called to find an extraordinary remedy for the extraordinary evils of the Christian world.66 The majority favored the idea of a general council, but six out of forty-seven cardinals believed it was inopportune and a mere two cardinals strongly opposed the idea.

B. The letter sent to some of the Cardinals:

After his announcement to the part of the Sacred College, Pope Pius IX sent a letter to twenty-one cardinals
Yriarte, Charles, Autour du Concile, souvenirs et croquis dun artiste Rome, (Paris: J. Rothschild Editeur, 1887), 147. 65 Manning, True Story, 37. 66 Ibid. 31.


to gauge their opinion on the subject and to ask them which issues should be addressed at the Council. In their responses, only two cardinals mentioned papal Infallibility. In fact, we cannot deny, wrote Cardinal Asquini, that there is Infallibility.67 Cardinal Ugoli was delighted about the attachment of the people and of the episcopate to the Holy See; he sees in it the firm warranty of the unanimity of the Fathers and draw from it the hope that for the good of the Church, the Infallibility of the pope will eventually be the object of a definition. That being done, it will be possible to provide for all the coming difficulties without the need to convoke a new council. 68 The fact that only two out of twenty-one cardinals mentioned papal Infallibility is revealing. The other nineteen cardinals neither were against Infallibility, nor held it as false, but they found that the time and context were not opportune for a full and all encompassing definition. It also proves wrong the adversaries of the Church who claimed that the Council was summoned for the sole purpose of defining Infallibility.

C) The letter sent to some of the bishops, and the subsequent answer of Msgr. Manning:

67 68

Granderath, T. 1, 52. Ibid.


Having received the opinion of the main cardinals, Pope Pius IX sent letters on April 10, 1865, to thirty-six bishops throughout Christendom. The answers, wrote Msgr. Manning, were all returned to Rome by the month of August. Although the injunction contained in the letters regarded only the matters to be treated, yet the bishops, in their replies, could not refrain from expressing their joy that the Pope had decided to hold an Ecumenical Council. The letters exhibit a wonderful harmony of judgment.69 They exposed the errors (Pantheism, Rationalism, Naturalism, Socialism, Communism, indifference in matters of religion, Regalism, the license of conscience and of the press, civil marriage, spiritism, magnetism, the false theories on inspiration, on the authority of the Scripture and on interpretation, etc.) that were widespread in their countries and expressed the desire that the errors therein condemned should be condemned in the Council, to make the condemnation even more solemn. They also proposed to address the primacy, and the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff. However, out of thirty-six bishops, notes Msgr. Manning, a few only suggested the Infallibility of the head of the Church, though his primacy could not be treated without it [ ]. It shows that the one subject for which, we are told, the Council was assembled, was hardly so much as mentioned.70
69 70

Manning, True Story, 25. Ibid. 27.


Msgr. Manning replied to the Pope that he wished the Council to define solemnly the doctrine of the supernatural government of the Church by the Holy Ghost. He even gave the wording of the propositions to define.71 It is interesting that Msgr. Manning was among those thirty-six bishops chosen among hundreds of bishops to send their opinions on the convocation of the Council, as if he had been already mysteriously chosen to accomplish a major work at the Council.


Rapporto sulle riposte date da varii Vescoci alla lettera del 20 Aprile 1865 diretta ai medesimi dallemininentissimo Cardinale Prefetto della S. Congregazione del Concilio intorno alla idea di un futuro Concilio ecumenico, 21.


PART TWO: PROCEEDINGS AND ACTORS OF THE COUNCIL I. The rules of the Council and its opening:
A) The proceedings of the Council:
On 2 Dec. 1869, the Pope held a preliminary session in the Sistine Chapel, which was attended by about five hundred bishops. At this assembly the officials of the Council were announced and the conciliar procedure was made known. The Council received five presidents.72 The Constitution Multiplices Inter announcing the conciliar procedure contained ten paragraphs. According to this the sessions of the Council were to be of two kinds: private sessions for discussing the drafts and motions, under the presidency of a cardinal president, and public sessions, presided over by the pope himself for the

Cardinals von Reisach, Antonion de Luca, Giuseppe Bizarri, Luigi Bilio, and Annibale Capalti. Cardinal Filippo de Angelis became first President on 3 January 1870, after the death of Reisach on December 29.


promulgation of the decrees of the Council. The first drafts of decrees debated were to be the dogmatic and disciplinary ones laid before the assembly by the pope. Proposals offered by members of the Council were to be sent to a Congregation of Petitions; these petitions or postulates were to be examined by the committee and then recommended to the pope for admission or not. If the draft of a decree was found by the General Congregation to need amendments, it was sent with the proposed amendments to the respective subcommittee or deputatio, either to the one for dogmas or for discipline, or religious orders, or for Oriental Rites. Each of these four sub-committees or deputations was to consist of twenty-four persons selected from the members of the Council, and a cardinal president appointed by the Pope. The deputation examined the proposed amendments, altered the draft as seemed best, and presented to the general congregation a printed report on its work that was to be orally explained by a member of the deputation. This procedure was to continue until the draft met with the approval of the Majority. The voting in the congregation was by placet, placet juxta modum (with the corresponding amendments), and non placet. Secrecy was to be observed in regard to the proceedings of the Council. In the public sessions the voting could only be by placet or non placet.73

Kirch, Vatican Council.


B) The opening of the Council:

A beautiful passage written by Granderath gives an idea about how majestic and solemn this Council was. It illustrates the respect and the pomp that the hierarchy of the Holy Church granted to God and to sacred things. The Opening of the Council on December 8, 1869: Cardinal Constantino Patrizi celebrated Mass at 10:00 a.m.., a full hour after the start of the procession. Before the Last Gospel a sermon was preached by Archbishop Luigi Puecher Passavalli, OFM Cap, a curial official. After the Mass, each of the Fathers made his obedience to the Pope; cardinals kissing his hand, bishops of all ranks his knee, and abbots and religious superiors his foot. A series of prayers and litanies followed and Pope Pius gave a brief exhortation. The session should have been closed to the public, but the presence of a number of royal personages and ambassadors and the tribunes made this awkward, and so the hall was not cleared when Antonio Valenziani, Bishop of Fabriano and Matelica in the Papal States, read a formal decree declaring the Council to be opened. The fathers gave unanimous approval to this by voice vote. A second decree announced the next public session would be held on January 6. The Te Deum was then sung, and the meeting adjourned. It was approximately 4:00 p.m. The service had taken seven hours.74


Granderath, T. 2, p 20-23.


Rome, December 8, 1869 Solemn opening of the Ecumenical Council We shall refrain from entering into more detail about the preparation of the Council mainly because it has been perfectly done by Eugne Cecconi75 and

Cecconi, the Most Rev. Eugne. Histoire du Concile du Vatican. 8 volumes. (Paris: Librairie Victor Lecoffre, 1887). Detailed story of


Thodore Granderath.76 They wrote extremely complete reports on the course of the Council, gathering all the documents and archives of the Council. Both studies illustrate that the Council had been meticulously prepared. The Preparatory Commission had drawn up an exhaustive order of procedure for the debates of the Council. Five special committees each presided over by a cardinal and having together eightyeight consulters, prepared the plan (schemata) to be laid before the Council.77 The lists of the persons having the right to attend the Council, of the persons who should receive a letter announcing the Council had been written after long studies. All the general and minute details had been the object of careful and scrupulous organization, discussion and decisions of the Commission of Direction created for the preparation of the Council.

II. The two parties at the First Vatican Council:

A) Minority and Majority:
the Council. The author gives hundreds of details and texts on the Council. 76 Granderath. Essential work to study the Council. The authors studies at length the different reactions in the countries and provides numerous important documents. 77 Kirch, Vatican Council.


The debate on Infallibility, which had preceded the Council, obliged the bishops to deal with it at an early stage in proceedings. As soon as they were gathered in Rome, the Fathers allowed the divergence of their opinion on the matter to become evident. For some, considering the great controversies that this doctrine had been the object of, the matter of the definition had become urgent. The great Majority of the Fathers truly desired the definition, but fear prevented many from speaking of this sensitive issue, Some were worried about the fatal consequences predicted by the adversaries of the definition; others were afraid of the hostility of their government toward the Catholic religion. Others, on the contrary, deluded themselves by promises or threats or did not grasp the importance of the question.78 Within a short period two groups had emerged, those in favor of the definition of papal Infallibility and those who believed that it was not an opportune time to define it. Those in favor of the definition were referred to as the Majority or as the Party of the Infallibilists. Those opposing its definition were in turn labeled as the Minority. They comprised about one-fifth of the total number of the Fathers. As we have seen above, many prelates and laymen were very strongly opposed to the definition of papal Infallibility. France, Germany and England were among the fieriest countries. (See Appendix I for a more detailed

Granderath, T. 2, 172-73.


analysis by country of the members of the Minority and Majority). Newman, who did not attend the Council, adopted a position very similar to Dupanloups; he was especially very critical of the timing of the definition. He illustrates a certain mentality and position among the Church. He believed in papal Infallibility, but did not think it was expedient to define it in those troubled times. I certainly think this agitation of the Popes Infallibility most unfortunate and ill-advised, he wrote to ONeill Daunt, on June 27, 1870. I believe that even if the Holy Ghost protects the Fathers from all inexpedient acts, (which I do not see is anywhere promised) as well as guides them into all the truth, as He certainly does, there are truths which are inexpedient.79 On the other hand, the Party of Infallibilists believed that the definition was urgent for many reasons. See Appendix II for a detailed account of the reasons why the definition was thought opportune and necessary. The Infallibilists were thus quite active. Ratisbon, Carcassonne, Malines, Paderborn and I, tells Msgr. Manning, began to hold meetings in order to observe and thwart the French and German bishops who had formed an international comity.80
Newman to ONeill Daunt 27 June, in Dessain, C.S. and others (editors) The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, (New York:Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1961), XXV, 150 80 E.S. Purcell, Life of Cardinal Manning, II, 453. Abbreviation: Purcell, Life.


B) The main question: the opportunity of the definition:

It is essential to emphasize, before the commencement of an inclusive analysis, that both camps did not deny papal Infallibility. Msgr. Manning highlighted this in his book The True Story of the Vatican Council: A grave injustice has been done to the bishops who opposed the definition. Their opposition was not to the doctrine, but to the defining of it, and not even absolutely to the defining of it, but to the defining of it at this time.[...] They were united in declaring that Peter spoke by Pius [...] Not five bishops in the Council could be justly thought to have opposed the truth of the doctrine.[...] The question whether the Infallibility of the head of the Church be a true doctrine or not was never discussed in the Council nor even proposed to it. The only question was whether it was expedient, prudent, seasonable, and timely, regard being had to the condition of the world, of the nations of Europe, of the Christian in separation from the Church to put this truth in the form of a definition.81 And we can add that there was not even one single person who denied it. Before the Council, that is absolutely sure, almost all the bishops believed in the

Manning, True Story, 99-100.


truth of this dogma. However, more than one, among the Majority of the members of the Minority, seems to have become hesitant in the course of the debates. Their efforts to discover some motives against the opportunity of the definition unconsciously brought them, without doubt, to grant to the objections against the doctrine an undeserved importance.82 "In the controversy on papal Infallibility, a few Council Fathers may have, in defending their opinion, exceeded the just limits, but in itself, neither the formation of parties at the Council, nor the efforts made by each party to tip the scales in favor of their opinion, were something forbidden or even unusual. The Majority had of course the right to propose the definition of a dogma, based on the Holy Writ and on the Tradition, and which besides, was being attacked and fought with the utmost ferocity. On the other hand, the Minority could believe that it was better not to discuss the question of papal Infallibility because the definition was not necessary and because in the actual state of affairs, it could be harmful."83 In order to understand better Cardinal Manning, a quick biography and a brief study of his ideas is necessary.

82 83

Granderath, T. 2, 334-335. Ibid.


III. Msgr. Manning:

A) Presentation of Msgr. Manning:

Cardinal Henry Edward Manning Henry Edward Manning was born at Copped Hall, Totteridge, Herts, England on July 15, 1807 and died on 14 January, 1892. He was ordained in 1832 to the Anglican ministry. In May 1833, he married Caroline Sargent. She died in 1837. In 1841, after some years of 55

simple parish work, a wider field was opened to him by his appointment to the office of Archdeacon of Chichester. However, he studied the writings of the early Fathers. In his case, the Truth that came home to him with special force, and dominated and molded his whole life and character, was the abiding presence of the Holy Ghost in the Church of God. His faith in Anglicanism had already been somewhat shaken by other doctrinal or historical difficulties. On Passion Sunday, 6 April 1851, he joined the Catholic Church. He was ordained a priest, only two months later, on June 14, 1851. He then founded in 1857 the Congregation of the Oblates of St. Charles. He was the superior of this new community of secular priests. In the same year, Pius IX appointed him, provost of the Westminster Metropolitan Chapter. During the eight years of his tenure of these two offices, the provost and superior accomplished a great amount of work for the diocese and for his own community, and the eloquence which had made him one of the foremost Anglican preachers of the time now helped to spread and strengthen the Catholic Faith in England.84 When Cardinal Wiseman, Archbishop of Westminster died on February 1865, the Pope himself decided to appoint Msgr. Manning. The new Archbishop was consecrated at St. Mary Moorfields, on June 8, 1865,

Kent, W. H. Henry Edward Manning. New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia.


by Bishop Ullathorne of Birmingham. Later in the year he traveled to Rome to receive the pallium. In 1875 he was summoned to Rome to receive the cardinalate and the title of Sts. Andrew and Gregory. He died on January 14, 1892. A striking proof of the hold he had on the hearts of the poor and the working people of London was given when thousands thronged to get a last glimpse of him as he lay in state in his house at Westminster, and to follow his funeral to Kensal Green Cemetery. After some years in that field of the dead, which he had described so well in his words on Wiseman, he was once more brought back to Westminster and given his last earthly resting place in the crypt of the cathedral.85




B) His writings about the Holy Ghost and papal Infallibility prior to the Council:
In parallel to his vast social work, Msgr. Manning wrote numerous books or pastoral letters to defend the Catholic faith or to reply to incorrect statements. He particularly explained, in several writings, the mission of the Holy Ghost in the Church. That detail is essential, because indeed, the role of the Holy Ghost is closely linked to papal Infallibility as Manning exposes it. He [The Holy Ghost] is present personally and substantially in the body of Christ, and both teaches and sanctifies, without intermission, with a perpetual divine voice and perpetual sanctifying powerthe living Church is every age in the sole divine channel of revelation of God, and infallible witness and teacher of the truths therein revealed.86 And this Office of enunciating and proposing the Faith is accomplished through the human lips of the pastors of the Church. The pastoral authority of the Episcopate, together with the priesthood and the other orders, constitute an organized body, divinely ordained to guard the deposit of the Faith. The voice of that body, not as many individuals, but as body, is the voice of the Holy

Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, (London, 1865), 59f. Abbreviation: Manning, Temporal Mission.


Ghost. The pastoral ministry as a body cannot err, because the Holy Spirit, who is indissolubly united to the mystical body, is eminently and above all united to the hierarchy and body of its pastors.87 It is manifest, however, that the union of the Holy Ghost with the Church is not conditional, but absolute, depending upon no finite will, but upon the Divine will alone, and therefore indissoluble to all eternity. [] It is constituted further by His union with the mystical body, which, as a body, is imperishable, though individuals in it may perish. There will never come a time when that body will cease to be united to it [] These Divine unions, namely, First, of the Head with the members; next, of the members with each other; and lastly, of the Holy Ghost with the body will be likewise eternal88 Msgr. Manning explained in his book, The Ecumenical Council and the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, the reason why he had such a love for and interest in the Holy Ghost. About the year 1841 or 1842, I published a Volume of Sermons. A simple soul asked me why I had so seldom spoken of the Holy Ghost. I went over the book and found the question to be well founded. From that day I have never passed a day without acts of reparation to the Holy Ghost and studied them. After five or six years I reached the last step to which reason alone could lead me, namely that the unanimous witness of the universal Church is the
87 88

Manning, Temporal Mission, 59f. Ibid.


maximum of historical evidence for the revelation of Christianity. But, historical evidence is only human, and human evidence is fallible after all. Then, and not before, I saw that the perpetual presence and office of the Holy Ghost, etc., raises the witness of the Church from a human to a Divine certainty. And to Him I submitted in the unity of the one Faith and Fold. Since then the Holy Ghost has been the chief thought and devotion of my whole soul.89 Msgr. Mannings theological views on papal Infallibility were simple and direct. In 1862, he told one of his correspondents, The Voice of the Church is the Voice of God, and I submit myself to it as I should have submitted to Jesus himself. To him, if the Church is infallible, Its ruler must be also infallible. If the Head on earth could err, how could he be the Vicar of the Divine Head, Who is the Truth? Msgr. Manning described papal Infallibility as the only true and perfect form of Infallibility of the Church, and therefore of all divine faith, unity, and obedience.90 As early as September 1865, Msgr. Manning received a letter from Cardinal Caterini asking him to send some suggestions for the forthcoming Council. Msgr. Manning replied to his request on November 15, 1865: [] It may be said that the heresies of our time
89 90

Manning, Ecumenical Council, 795. Manning to Bradley, 12 December 1862. AAW: see also Manning, H.E. Religio Viatoris. (London, 1888).


concern mainly the last paragraph of the creed, that is, the Holy Spirit and His temporal mission. All the heresies of the Pseudo-Reformation can be included under this heading: once the Infallibility of the Church the necessary corollary of the Holy Spirits presence in the Church has been rejected, then, all those divine things that hung on it perish; once the tree is cut the fruits and the leaves fall down. This is what has happened in England that the notion of the Church as a body perpetually endowed and supported with supernatural gifts by the action of the Holy Spirit has almost completely disappeared from the minds of the English people. Thus taking into consideration the circumstances of my country, it seems most opportune to me that the supreme authority [of the Council] should make some pronouncements about the temporal mission of the Holy Spirit and about his perpetual and infallible assistance. [] the present times, the exposition of the faith and t he ripeness of the matter itself, seems to demand urgently the promulgation by the supreme authority of the Infallibility of the Church and of the Supreme Pontiff speaking ex cathedr Petri91 The Definitions and Decrees of Pontiffs, speaking ex cathedr, or as the Head of the Church and to the

Letter from H.E. Manning to Cardinal Caterini, 15th November 1865. Mxlix, cols. 170D-171D, in Pereiro, James. Cardinal Manning: An Intellectual Biography. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998). Abbreviation: Pereiro.


whole Church, whether by Bull, or apostolic letters, or Encyclical, or Brief, to many or to one person, undoubtedly emanate from a divine assistance, and are infallible.92 The Dublin Review quoted Msgr. Manning: I desire to be in the most perfect conformity to the Dogma of Faith, to the Theology of the Schools in its approved and pious opinions, to the traditions, instincts and spirits of the Holy See. I desire to speak in its accents and to act upon its precedents. I desire always to derive my guidance and counsel immediately from Rome [] I desire to hold inviolate the doctrines and laws of the Church without compromise.93 These profound beliefs partially explain why Msgr. Manning manifested such a zeal in the defense of papal Infallibility and why he tirelessly worked for its definition.

C) The champion of Papal Infallibility:

On December 10, 1969, the First General Congregation for business was held and the names of those Council Fathers appointed by the Pope to the Congregation of Postulates or Propositions were given. Their task, according to the regulations of the Council, was to consider the bishops proposals on new topics to be
92 93

Manning, Temporal Mission, 81f. Dublin Review, CLXVI (Jan 1920), fifth day, 13-14.


introduced in the Council, and to report them, with their opinion, to the Pope, on whom the final decision rested.94 The Segretaria di Stato had notified Msgr. Manning of his appointment to the Congregation of the Postulates. Manning was also elected by the universal suffrage of the Council, on December 20, to the Commission of Faith, the most important commission. Bishop Senestry Among the Fathers of the Majority, two distinguished themselves, amid all, by their tireless zeal to provoke the definition: the Archbishop of Westminster, Msgr. Manning and Msgr. Senestry, Bishop of Ratisbon. As the result of the great resistance encountered by the project inside and outside the Council, a certain discouragement manifested itself sometimes within the ranks of the Majority. As these dispositions put into question the success of the work already accomplished, these two prelates revived their colleagues and did not allow themselves any rest until the day when their zeal of all started a new life.95

94 95

Pereiro, 273. Granderath, T. 2, 368.


Msgrs. Manning and Senestry made a vow to consecrate all their forces to the definition of Infallibility. On the eve of Saint Peters Day, states the English Prelate, I and the Bishop of Ratisbon were assisting at the throne of the Pope at the first Vespers of St. Peter; we then made the vow drawn up by P. Liberatore, an Italian Jesuit, to do all in our power to obtain the definition of papal Infallibility. We undertook to recite everyday certain prayers in Latin contained in a little book still in my possession. The formula of the vow with my signature is bound up in my copy of Petri Privilegium96 In Manning, the partisans of the Infallibility had found an outstanding champion. The art of persuasion that he got from nature,' said his biographer, 'and that he had developed by its practice, the diplomatic flexibility, the rapidity of conception were in his hands a wonderful help to avert the obstacles, defeat the opposition and win the others over to their party. At the Council and before, as he declared it several times, Mgr Manning had the firm conviction that God was on his side. His strong faith in the Infallibility of the Pope like a revelation of the Divine Will made the prelate, inside and outside the Council, one of the most determined fighters for the definition of the dogma.'"97 The members of the Minority knew what a powerful adversary they found in him and gave him the title of devil of the Council, (diabolus concilii)98
96 97

Manning, Ecumenical Council, 420. Granderath, T. 2, 370. 98 Purcell, Life, II, 418.


Granderath gives an insight of Manning as working day and night with a willingness that nothing could shake and an ardor that nothing could slacken in order to bring a happy issue. 99 Msgr. Manning had always been an enthusiastic supporter of Infallibility.100 He had preached on it, he had worked for it; he had predicted, using a tone and terms of absolute certitude, the definition of the dogma.101 He believed it was necessary because of the moral state of his times and because of the future conditions in which society could be. Canon Moufang, theologian to the Bishop of Mainz, relates to us a few passages of a conversation Msgr. Manning had in Rome during the Council about the opportunity: Msgr. Manning smiled at the opinion common to most of the German and Austro-Hungarian prelates. Is the definition opportune? What is most opportune, more essential, and more necessary than to strengthen the authority opposite the political and religious revolution, which day and night was working to destroy all political and religious authority? Tomorrow, we might have wars and revolutions that will shake the society to her basis. The social structure being undermined, the order and the government wished by God being attacked, what can we find more opportune than to concentrate in the pope all

Granderath, T. 2, 370. Ibid., 369. 101 Purcell, Life, II, 414.



the power of the Church? If the whole of Europe is in a state of war and revolution what would be the use of an Ecumenical Council? The triumphant enemies of the Church and of the civil society would not be foolish enough to allow the meeting of a Council. But they will not be able to close the mouth of the pope, unless they behead him. Then, like the first faithful, we would elect in the catacombs another martyr to defend Christian society.102


Purcell, Life, II, 416.


IV. Pope Pius IX and the definition of papal Infallibility:

Pope Pius IX shared without reservation the opinion of the prelates who wanted to see the Council define the doctrine of papal Infallibility. However, he did nothing to promote or interfere with this initiative and allowed the assembly complete freedom to decide whether or not to define the doctrine. An anecdote highlights well the line of conduct observed by the Holy Father. Cardinal Schwartzenberg was attempting, during an audience, to convince the Pope that the definition was inopportune and full of inherent dangers. Pope Pius IX interrupted his interlocutor and is said to have replied: I, John Mary Masta, I believe in the Infallibility of the Sovereign Pontiff. As Pope, I have nothing to ask to the Council. The Holy Ghost will enlighten the Fathers103


In Emil Friedberg, Sammlung der Aktenstcke zum ersten vatikanischen Konzil, (Tbingen, 1872), 188.


Pope Pius IX As an individual, he believed in papal Infallibility and shared the opinion of the Majority on the subject of the definition. Nevertheless, as Supreme Chief of the Church, he did not bring pressure to bear on the Council and left the assembly with the direction of the Holy Ghost. It is among the bishops that the initiative to submit to the Council the question of Infallibility was freely born. The Pope did not provide this step with any opportunity.104 Pope Pius IX and Msgr. Manning had an excellent relationship. I had access by private passage into the

Granderath, T. 2, 372.


Popes apartments, Manning would later recall, On one occasion, I remember the surprise shown by Cardinals and Ambassadors-they had not seen me go in- as I passed out into the Antechamber where they were awaiting an audience of his Holiness.105 A moving account of the last moments of Pope Pius IX illustrates the affection the Pope had for the Cardinal: Manning arrived at the Vatican on the morning of 7 February 1878 to be told that Pius IX was struggling for breath. I went in at once. On reaching the Antecamera I found many of the Cardinals already there. It was at once evident that the end was near. I went into his bedroom and found him somewhat raised in his bed, breathing with difficulty. He was motionless, and his face calm and grand. I bent down and kissed his hand. He said Addio, carissimo.106107

105 106

Purcell, Life, II, 547. Ibid., 549. 107 Robert Gray, Cardinal Manning, a Biography (New York, St. Martins Press, 1985), 260. Abbreviation: Gray, Manning a Biography.


PART THREE: DEFINITION OF PAPAL INFALLIBILITY I. The pressure exercised by governments on the Council Fathers:
Powerful figures throughout Europe feared the convocation of a General Council of the Church since it might condemn Communism, Liberalism, Rationalism, Religious Indifferentism, or other contemporary movements. Others feared that the Council would consolidate or increase the power of the pope. Lord Acton The historian Lord Acton108, who was Catholic, but very much a liberal Catholic, and who was in Rome during the Council, was so agitated when he discovered what was on the agenda, that he did all he could to persuade [English Prime Minister] William Gladstone to act in concert with the French government to cause the Council to be dissolved. The Chancellor of the Austrian Empire, Beust, who

See picture on the left.


was Protestant, was strongly in favor of the same action. Gladstone, for a time, was persuaded by Acton, and if the Paris government had agreed with London and Vienna it is difficult to see how the Council could have been continued, since it depended on the protection of French troops at Rome. But Napoleon III was persuaded by his Premier, Emile Ollivier, (who was also Protestant) that it would be wiser to let the Council run its course and to reserve political action until later, and then only to intervene in the eventuality that the Council passed decrees inconsistent with a Frenchmans loyalty to the principles of his government. It was thus that Ollivier saved the life of the Vatican Council.109 It is enlightening to study the exchange of letters or telegraphs between the different political leaders. A few quotations reveal the ferment of the time: Lord Odo Russell110 informed Clarendon: It is confidently expected by the French that the Opposition, led by Dupanloup, will triumphantly carry the fallibility of the Pope!111 The majority of the statecraft directed their efforts against the Definition. Russell telegraphed to the Foreign

E. Hales, The First Vatican Council, (Houston: University of Saint Thomas, 1962), 19-20. 110 Lord Odo Russell, was a British diplomat and ambassador. During the Council, he was the real, though unofficial representative of England at the Vatican. 111 In Shane Leslie, Henry Edward Manning, His Life And Labours, (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Limited, 1921), 217. Abbreviation: Leslie.


Office (March 1, 1870): Lord Acton is anxious the French Government should know that further loss of time will be fatal to the Bishops of the Opposition. Cardinal Manning retold the conversation particularly revealing. A leader of this conspiracy [against the Church] said the other day, the net is now drawn so close about the Church of Rome that if it escape this time I will believe it to be divine. If God grant him life, I have hope of his conversion.112 During the eight months of the Council, Rome was full of rumors as to the intentions of governments. It was believed that the French army would be withdrawn, and that the Italian Revolution would be let in. Letters came from France threatening the withdrawal of the French troops. When these tidings reached Pius the Ninth, he said to an English bishop, Do they think that the Vicar of Christ unworthy as he is, can be moved by such threats? Renewed attempts were made to introduce the government to join in a final and united pressure upon the Council.113 As soon as the original draft of the decree "De ecclesia" with its canons was published in the Allgemeine Zeitung, Count von Beust, Chancellor of Austria, sent a protest against it to Rome on 10 Feb., 1870, which said that the Austrian Government would forbid and punish

Manning, H.E. The Vatican Decrees in their Bearing on Civil Allegiance, (London: 1875), 175. 113 Manning, True Story, 147.


the publication of all decrees that were contrary to the laws of the State.114 Although Napoleon III stationed imperial troops in Rome to protect the Vatican Council from political or outside interference, the Catholic French foreign minister, Count Daru sent a threatening dispatch on 20 February to the French ambassador in Rome. He demanded the admission of an envoy to the Council, and notified the other Governments of his steps in Rome. Austria, Bavaria, England, Spain and Portugal declared their agreement with the memorandum. The President of the Prussian ministry, Bismarck, would not change his attitude of reserve, notwithstanding the urgency of von Arnim, the ambassador at Rome.115 By the middle of March, Pope Pius IX and many of the Council Fathers were terrified at the prospect of armed intervention by European powers that would effectively dissolve the Council. Toward the end of March, the political situation became so tense and strained that some of the Council Fathers suggested omitting treatment of papal Infallibility. Pius IX answered: "Full steam ahead-I have the Holy Virgin with me: I will go on.

114 115

Kirch, Vatican Council. Ibid.


Gladstone Msgr. Manning wrote directly to Gladstone, the English Prime Minister, on April 6, 1870, warning him against any intervention with the Council. For the sake of us all, for your own sake, for your future, for the peace of our country, do not allow yourself to be warped, or impelled into words or acts hostile to the Council.116117 It is thus, within this cauldron of wars, political turmoil, implicit and explicit threats, that the Holy Council was held.

II. The postulates for and against the definition:

A) The project of postulates for the definition:
As, since the beginning of the Council, the bishops opposed to the definition did not leave any doubt as to their resolve to do absolutely anything to prevent it, the

Manning to Gladstone, 6 April 1870, McClelland V.A. Cardinal Manning: His Life and His Public Influence 1865-92, (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), 69. 117 Gray, Manning a Biography, 233.


bishops who desired the definition believed that they had to take an overall step to obtain it. It seemed to them that it was vitally necessary to give courage to the shies. "They had the firm and unshakeable resolution to lead to the definition.118 The legitimate or constitutional course opens to the bishops who desired that the doctrine of the Infallibility should be introduced [in the Schema de Ecclesia, schema on faith, relating to the Church], was to present a petition to the Commission of Postulates or Propositions, asking that a chapter on the subject of Infallibility should be added to the schema. It was necessary therefore to frame such a petition and to obtain the signature of any members of the Council who desired the addition to be made.119 The partisans of the definition held a meeting at the villa Caserta, in which Msgr. Senestry was staying. Msgr. Manning was among them. As if he was called by God to be the postulator and the promoter of the cause, Msgr. Manning worked day and night with a will that nothing would shake and an ardor that nothing could slow, to obtain a happy issue on such a grave affair that upset the whole world.120 On December 23, 1869, they gathered again at the villa Caserta. Mgr Manning attended it with ten other

118 119

Granderath, T. 2, 172-73. Manning, True Story, 98. 120 Ibid., 173.


prelates.121 The prelates decided that the two projects of postulates on the definition of papal Infallibility and a brief refutation of the objections against the opportunity of the definition were to be printed and transmitted in order to be examined by the members of the meeting. On December 28, following extensive discussions, the final draft of the project was produced. The bishops added a letter of petition, which started to circulate with the project for the purpose of obtaining the signatures of the Council Fathers. The text of the project was relatively short: The undersigned Fathers, stated the text, humbly and earnestly beg the holy Ecumenical Council of the Vatican to define clearly, and in words that cannot be mistaken, that the authority of the Roman Pontiff is supreme, and therefore exempt from error, when, in matters of faith and moral, he declares and defines what is to be believed and held, and what is to be rejected and condemned by all the faithful122 The project was followed by a short statement of the motives that explained why the definition was opportune and necessary. (See Appendix II for the complete text of the address).


Here is the list of the ten prelates present with Msgr. Manning at the meeting: Mgrs. Dechamps, Stahl, Senestry, Leonrod, Martin, Heiss, Adames, de Preux, Marilley and Meurin. (Source: Granderath, T. 2, 174) 122 C.V. 924 a, in Granderath, T. 2, 179.


The address, whose four exemplars had been distributed rapidly, obtained four hundred and eighty signatures of bishops seeking the definition of papal Infallibility. Some bishops, who were absent, also forwarded letters to lobby for the definition.

B) The counter project against the definition:

"While these things were being done, the bishops who thought the discussion of the Infallibility would be, as they said, inopportune, were not inactive."123 They decided to write directly to Pope Pius IX to explain to him the reasons why they believed papal Infallibility should not be defined and the inherent dangers they felt a definition would inherently bring. One hundred and thirty six prelates 124signed five letters.125 The arguments developed in the letters to the Holy Father were that all the Catholics already knew. There can be no Council without a pope and that all obeyed wholeheartedly to the prescriptions of the pope. Furthermore as, the Catholics were being attacked by numerous adversaries, it was not prudent to add further distracting obligations.
123 124

Manning, True Story, 98. Granderath, T. 2, 187. 125 The five letters were written by 1 the bishops of France, 2 the bishops of Germany, 3 America, 4 High Italy, 5 Orient. (Source Granderath, T.2, 184-190).


Moreover, according to those against defining doctrine that the teachings of the successors of Saint Peter speaking ex cathedr remain unchanging, without the need for the approbation of the Churches, encounters difficulties with the writings of the saints, of the doctors, and Fathers of the Church, in history and even in Church history. This is why, in accordance with them, it is impossible to propose to the Christian people as revealed by God the dogma which is asked to be defined. Otherwise the enemies of the Church would find in the definition that is being asked, some new weapons to excite the hate of the religion in the best intentioned men. It could be a pretext for them to take away the remaining rights the Church had. They who held these opinions said: Let that suffice which has been already declared and has been believed by all namely, that the Church, whether congregated in Council or dispersed throughout the world of the Council of Florence, is always infallible, and the Supreme Pontiff, according to the words of the Council of Florence is the teacher of the whole Church and of all Christians. But as to the mysterious gifts of Infallibility, which by God is bestowed in a special manner on the Supreme Pontiff, it may be left at it is. The Church, as all Catholics believe, whether in an Ecumenical Council, or by the Pope alone, without a Council, guards and explains the truths of revelation. It is not expedient or opportune to make further declarations unless a proved necessity demand it, which necessity at 78

present does not appear to exist.126 The American bishops added also in their letter that the definition would make the Church appear as divided and therefore would move the heretics further away from the Church. It would also lead to never-ending discussions, which would hinder the apostolic activities and would risk rendering sterile for the Catholics the whole Vatican Council. It is important to understand the reasons they invoked because it clarifies what arguments Msgr. Manning and the partisans of the definition had to combat. The important role that the Infallibilists played counterbalances such a strong opposition.


Manning, True Story, 104.


C) The decision of the Congregation of postulates:

At the beginning of the month of February, the Congregation of postulates had the petitions against and in favor of the definition of Infallibility printed. All the Fathers who were part of the Council received a copy and had to study it to be ready to give their opinion at the session of February 9.127 Msgr. Manning made a speech explaining why the definition was so important. All, but Cardinal Rauscher from Vienna, agreed with him and were of the opinion that they had to ask the Pope to receive the petitions in favor of the definition. Therefore, the Congregation asked the Pope to accept the postulate on March 6 128 "On the 7th of March, an additional chapter was distributed to the Council, entitled 'Chapter to be added to the Decree on the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff: That the Roman Pontiff, in defining matters of faith and moral, cannot err.'"129 It was an initial victory and an integral first step towards the definition.

III. Toward some progress:

A) Advancing the timing of the
127 128

Granderath, T. 2, 190. Ibid., 197. 129 Manning, True Story, 121.


Seeing the political context, Msgr. Manning and several other bishops wanted to advance the discussion on papal Infallibility. Soon a great number of petitions were sent to the Sovereign Pontiff, to the CardinalPresidents and to the Congregation of the Postulates. It was asked that the schema on Infallibility be immediately discussed.130 In fact, as we have seen above, it had been accepted by the Congregation of the postulates to treat the subject of papal Infallibility. Nevertheless, it came in eleventh position in the order of discussion. This was of major importance, because if the Council, for political reasons had to be suspended, Infallibility would not be defined. Furthermore, the bishops had to go back to their respective diocese where many troubles had burst. It was thus urgent to address the definition of papal Infallibility. As the Minority was rapidly obliged to recognize its powerlessness, it endeavored by protracting the discussions of the Council at least to delay, or even to prevent, a decision as long as possible. Six Hungarian bishops of the Minority also sent a petition on March 14 to the first President Philip Cardinal De Angelis. They asked an appropriate amount of time for the preliminary examination of the question.131 One could wonder when the adversaries of the
130 131

Granderath, T.3a, 8. Ibid., 10.


definition would declare themselves ready to start the debates. The question of Infallibility is not a difficult question of theology. The theological studies, even elementary, done by each bishop were sufficient. [] Furthermore, since the opening of the Council the question of Infallibility predominated the Council. If since that time a bishop had not made his opinion one could not hope that he comes to a firm conviction. This is the reason why the postulate seems to have been written for the sole purpose, as several other practices of the Minority, to delay the discussion so much that it would not come to the order of the day.132 The Majority was not happy to see the discussion put back because they knew that the Bishop of Orleans, the Archbishop of Paris and the other bishops of the opposition had persuaded Cardinal Bilio [the President of the Deputation of the Faith] to prorogate the debates only to gain time and to render the definition impossible.133 The Cardinal-presidents were rather influenced by the Minority. Cardinal de Luca recommended great prudence, Cardinal Bilio showed more and more new hesitations, and Cardinal De Angelis thought it was necessary to wait for the report written by Cardinal Cardoni. Cardinals Calpalti and Bizzari alone were resolutely for the urgency of the definition. Cardinal Bilio was the one who decided in what order the different parts
132 133

Ibid., 12. Diarium : Quae de definitione Infallibilitatis acta sunt, n. 25, in Granderath, T.3a, 12.


of the schema were to be prepared and presented to the General Congregation. This is why the Minority pressured him to delay the debate and to treat other subjects before papal Infallibility. If the Majority did not continue the realization of its plan with an untiring perseverance, one would not have reached a discussion of Infallibility.134 A meeting was held during Holy Week (10-16 April) at the residence of Msgr. Manning to ponder on the redaction of the schema. Toward the end of the week, Msgr. Senestry of Ratisbon went again at Cardinal Bilio. He wanted to ask him to set up a session of the Deputation of the Faith for the Easter Monday or Tuesday in order to start the deliberations on the schema. What a change! The Cardinal was afraid, anxious, full of scruples, he hesitated, he feared and hardly dared to do one step!135 There was nothing to hope from Cardinal Bilio. Msgrs. Manning and Senestry, the two most ardent partisans of the definition deliberated on the measures to take.136 On Easter Monday (18 April), Msgr. Senestry tried to persuade Cardinal De Angelis to intervene, but talking with him, he soon realized that the presidents had been won over to the convictions of the Minority. Bishops Manning, Senestry and some other Bishops of the Majority asked for an audience to the Holy
134 135

Granderath, T.3a, 12. Ibid., 14-15. 136 Ibid., 16.


Father. They were received with kindness by Pius IX who told them he was going to take the necessary measures. 137 The Pope sent his orders to the presidents. However, as after several days, Cardinal Bilio had not yet submitted new propositions to the Deputation of the Faith, the Archbishop of Westminster, the Bishop of Ratisbon and the other Fathers of the party met at the Bishop of Carcassonne on April 22. They decided to address to the Pope a petition to hasten the proposition of the schema on Infallibility. In less than twenty-four hours, the petition was covered by hundred fifty signatures138 and as early as the evening of April 23, it was presented to the Holy Father. [] This request succeeded. 139 Cardinal Bilio announced that the Presidents decided to open the debates on the Constitution de Romano Pontifice. All the Fathers present, but two, approved. On that day, the debates were opened, soon followed by the deliberations in General Congregation. On 9 May a draft was distributed among the Fathers in printed form as the Constitutio prima de ecclesia, consisting of 4 chapters and 3 canons.

B) The famous speech of Msgr. Manning at the Council:

137 138

Ibid., 17. The petition which circulated in several editions collected much more signatures than the copy sent to the Council. 139 Granderath, T.3a, 17-18.


As a member of the Deputation de Fide, Manning helped to prepare the schema for debate by the General Congregation of bishops.140 The general debate took place in the period between May 13 and June 3, 1870. It lasted through fourteen sessions141 The opposition made a large use of their liberty, while the Infallibilists mildly 142 expostulated. The members of both parties made speeches to defend their opinion. Not less than a hundred speakers took part in the discussions, which were carried on from 6 June to 13 July, in 22 congregations. Most of the speeches were on the fourth chapter, which treated papal Infallibility.143 The Archbishop of Paris made a speech for the Opposition. He asked if the Infallibility would raise the African Churches from the dead, if it would convert Protestants or Schismatics.144 At this point, Msgr. Manning rose (on May 25, 1870) and asserted that the understanding of Infallibility had converted him, and that the Catholic progress in England was hindered by indecision. He translated extracts from the English press to show that Protestants regarded the Ultramontanists and not the Gallicans as the real Catholics. He asked the Council to do what the
140 141

Gray, Manning a Biography, 234. Manning, True Story, 137. 142 Leslie, 226. 143 Kirch, Vatican Council. 144 Leslie, 227.


Council of Trent had done, and ratify the Decree of Florence. The Definition would unite the Church in face of a crumbling Protestantism. He spoke [in Latin] for an hour and fifty minutes. It was the great effort of his life.145 "I had no knowledge of its length, which was 1 hour and 50 minutes. Before I got up, I was nervous: but once up, perfectly calm."146 His speech was a great success. Manning emphasized that he was the only convert at the Council; as such, he knew that the doctrine of Infallibility, far from scaring Protestants away from the Church, would be a powerful attraction for all who wished to escape from confusion and chaos. In any case, Infallibility was already a fact, accepted by all Catholics: To hold back from defining it would be a sign and source of weakness in the Catholic position.147148 The bishops never moved until he had finished. Ollivier records that some of the Opposition cried out, Would to God that he was on our side! Kenrick of St. Louis compared him to the Normans in Ireland, who became more Irish than the Irish themselves. A convert had become more Catholic than the Catholics. I recall as if it were but yesterday his memorable speech, which,
145 146

Leslie, 223. Manning, Ecumenical Council, 455. 147 Dom Cuthbert Butler, The Vatican Council, (New York: Longmans, Green & Co, 1930), II, 50. Abbreviation: Butler, Vatican Council. 148 Gray, Manning a Biography, 234.


though in a foreign tongue and the longest one made at the Council, held us spellbound by its beautiful diction,149 wrote Cardinal Gibbons after nearly fifty years.

C) The deliberations on the Constitution of the Church:

The general debate was ended by closure, applied on 3 June. It was now high summer, and several bishops were flagging in the Roman heat. Ten of their number had died in the first months of the Council, and that had been in winter.150 Now the English bishops began to suffer.151 Manning himself remained indefatigable.152153 During the month of June, the Fathers of the Council deliberated the four different chapters of the First Pastoral Constitution of the Church. There was little to be said about the introduction and the first three chapters. On June 9, the introduction, together with the first, second and third chapters, and the amendments proposed, was sent to the Commission of Faith.154


Gibbons, James, A Retrospect of 50 Years, (Baltimore, 1916), 134. 150 Butler, Vatican Council , I, 239. 151 Ibid., 69. 152 Ibid, II, 125. 153 Gray, Manning a Biography, 234. 154 Manning, True Story, 138.


On June 15 began the discussion of the fourth chapter-that is, on the Infallibility which occupied eleven sessions.155 Many amendments were suggested and some were accepted. Scarcely in any parliament have important matters ever been subjected to as much discussion as was the question of papal Infallibility in the Vatican Council in the course of two months all the reasons pro and con had been again and again discussed, and only what had been already often said could now be repeated. Consequently in the eighty-second general congregation held on 4 July, most of those who still had the right to speak, not only of the majority, but also of the minority, renounced the privilege, and the cardinal president was able, amid general applause, to close the debates.156 The imposition of the Definition became a certainty, and the only question was the exact formula. Msgr. Manning and Msgr. Ratisbon wanted a more extended Infallibility than Cardinal Bilio, even to such matters as canonizations and minor censures, Cardinal Bilio read the two formulas to the Commission, one worded by Msgr. Manning and Msgr. Franchi and the other one written by Msgr. Cullen. The latter was selected and sent to the Council. The session was closed on July 4, but by July 11 the Commission agreed upon Msgr. Cullens proposal with the addition of the famous words

155 156

Ibid. Kirch, Vatican Council.


cum ex cathedr loquitur157158 At the preparatory vote of 13 July the third and fourth chapters, on which ninety-six amendments had been proposed, were passed by a great Majority and the whole schema was then printed and distributed to the Council, and the final vote was taken.159 There were present 601 fathers of the Council. The Placets, or ayes were 451; the Non placets or noes, were 88; the Placets juxta modum, that is aye with modifications, were 62. Msgr. Manning was the only English Bishop voting Placet. These written amendments, to the number of 163, were sent as usual to the Commission. Many were adopted together with two amendments proposed by the Commission. The whole was then reprinted and distributed, put once more to the vote and passed.160 The number of times when the Constitution was closely examined and printed out truly shows the care the Fathers manifested to elaborate, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, a very precise and accurate definition of Papal Infallibility. Each single word was selected with attention and consideration by the Fathers. On account of the war which threatened to break out between Germany and France, a number of fathers of both opinions had returned home. Shortly before the
157 158

When he speaks ex cathedr, N.D.T. Leslie, 228. 159 Manning, True Story, 138. 160 Ibid, 138-139.


fourth public session, a large number of the bishops of the Minority left Rome with the permission of the directing officers of the Council. They did not oppose the dogma of papal Infallibility itself, but were against its definition as inopportune.161

IV. The solemn definition of papal Infallibility:

A) The ceremony of the definition and its vote:
On Monday July 18, 1870, (one day before the beginning of the Franco-Prussian war), the Definition was solemnly read. Cardinal Manning described the scene: It was held with all the usual solemnities, Pius the Ninth presiding in person. After the solemn Mass the Holy Scriptures were placed open upon the lectern on the high altar, the Veni Creator 162was sung as usual. The Bishop of Fabriano then read the Decree de Romano Pontifice from the ambo, and the under-secretary of the Council called on every father of the Council by name to vote. Each, as his name was called, took off his mitre, rose
161 162

Kirch, Vatican Council. The Veni Creator is a hymn in Latin to implore the assistance and guidance of the Holy Ghost.


from his seat, and voted No less than 535 bishops voted Placet. Only two bishops, Msgr. Aloisio Riccio of Cajazzo, Italy and Msgr. Edward Fitzerald of Little Rock, Arkansas voted nonPlacet. They wanted to render their subsequent obedience to the dogma even more striking, underlines Shane. Even if they did not agree on the Definition, they still submitted themselves to it because it was infallible. The Day was won and the Truth was safe as it was after the Council of Nicea,163 said Msgr. Manning. An amusing detail is retold. As the Pope was reading the definition, the thunder and lightning burst over the Vatican and Msgr. Manning humorously replied that the Pope promulgated the dogma like Moses on Mount Sinai.


Leslie, 233.


The Fathers at the First Vatican Council


B) The text of the definition:

Pastor Aeternus, the First Dogmatic Constitution of the Church of Christ declared the Pope infallible and his decrees irreformable of themselves and not in virtue of the Church, that is to say, not in virtue of the consent of the bishops and other prelates of the Church. When the Pope is speaking in matters of faith and morals, he is infallible. The pontiff cannot proffer heresies or errors. His teachings are free from errors and untainted by heresy. This is the promise Christ made to Saint Peter when He instituted him as the first Pope and Chief of His Church.


Saint Peter by Peter Paul Rubens Here is a part of the text of the definition of Infallibility: Pastor Aeternus, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ Chapter IV: On the Infallible Teaching Authority of the Roman Pontiff: For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, 94

they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable Fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox Doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of Our Lord and Savior to the Prince of His disciples: I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, and, when thou art converted, confirm thy brethren [60]. This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of Hell. But since in this very age when the salutary effectiveness of the apostolic office is most especially needed, not a few are to be found who disparage its authority, we judge it absolutely necessary to affirm solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God was pleased to attach to the supreme pastoral office. Therefore faithfully keeping to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, for the glory of God Our Savior, the exaltation of the Catholic 95

religion, and the salvation of Christian peoples, the Sacred Council approving, We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedr, that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that Infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals: and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church. Canon: But if anyone - which may God avert presumes to contradict this Our definition; let him be anathema.164 (See Appendix IV for the complete text of Pastor Aeternus). Granted that the premise that God established the Roman Catholic Church on earth as the voice of revelation that should endure to the end of the world, the doctrine of Infallibility is neither extreme nor illogical, but simply unavoidable. It would be certainly be perverse to postulate that the Almighty should have created this

The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, chapter 4. Jesuit Fathers of St Marys College, The Church Teaches: Documents of the Church in English Translation, (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Book & Publishers, Inc., 1973), 102.


mighty organization to proclaim his ordinances to mankind, and then allowed it to err in its fundamental principles. Infallibility, therefore, had been inherent in the Churchs claim from the moment of Christs declaration to St Peter, and recognized as such by generation after generation of Catholics.165 As Manning put it, If the Church were not infallible, obedience to it might be the worst of bondage.166 It transpires thus that Pius IX was right, he had the Holy Virgin with him, and the Fathers of the Council had just time to define solemnly papal Infallibility on July 18, 1870. Interestingly, the war between France and Prussia ignited the next day. Following the defeat of Napoleon III at Sedan on September 2, the Italian troops, led by King Victor Emmanuel II, annexed Rome on September 20, and made Pope Pius IX prisoner in the Vatican. He waited a month longer. He then issued on 20 October, 1870, the bull, Postquam Dei Munere, which prorogued the Council indefinitely. The Papal States had on that same day, ceased to exist after the Piedmontese decree had been issued, organizing the Patrimony of Peter as a Roman province. Pope Pius had only being assured of the free disposal over the Vatican, the Lateran and Castel Gandolfo.
165 166

Gray, Manning a Biography, 226. Cardinal H. E. Manning, Caesarism and Ultramontanism, (London: 1873), Miscellanies vol. 2, 135.


A circular letter issued by the Italian minister, Visconti Venosta, on 22 Oct., to assure the Council of the freedom of meeting, naturally met with no credence. A very remarkable letter was sent from London on the same day by Archbishop Spalding to Cardinal Barnabo, prefect of the Propaganda at Rome. In this letter he made the proposition, which met the approval of Cardinal Cullen, Archbishop Manning, and Archbishop Dechamps, to continue the Council in the Belgian city of Mechlin, and gave ten reasons why this city seemed suitable for such sessions. Unfortunately the general condition of affairs was such that a continuation of the Council even at the most suitable place could not be thought of.167 Giuseppe Garibaldis revolutionaries captured Palermo and Naples. Parliament declared Victor Emmanuel II King of Italy in 1871 and, nine years later, Rome became the capital of a united Italy.

C) The acceptance of the Decrees of the Council:

Once papal Infallibility had been defined, the press was eager to see if the members of the Minority who had opposed the definition up to the last moment were going to sign and accept the Decree on papal Infallibility. Would they recognize the decision of the Council, or, as the enemies of the Council desired would they persist in their opposition? As a matter of fact, not a

Kirch, Vatican Council.


single one of them was disloyal to his sacred duties. As long as the discussions lasted they expressed their views freely and without molestation, and sought to carry them into effect. After the decision, without exception, they came over to it, the two bishops who on 18 July had voted non placet advanced to the papal throne at the same session and acknowledged their acceptance of the truth thus defined. In the same way the distinguished Frenchmen and Englishmen who, outside of the Council, had expressed opinions antagonistic to the promulgation of Infallibility, e.g. Gratry, Newman, Montalembert, and finally, as it appears, Acton, also submitted after the decision had been made. 168 On the other hand, in Germany a number of Dllinger's supporters apostatized from the Church and formed the sect of the Old Catholics. Dllinger also apostatized and died excommunicated, refusing on his deathbed to recognize his errors and to receive the last rites. In Switzerland, the adversaries of the Council founded a sect called the Christian Catholics. In France a small group headed by Pre Hyacinthe (Charles Loyson) also seceded. The political results were numerous: Otto von Bismarck gave the definition as the reason for the Kulturkampf, and Austria used it as an excuse to abrogate its concordat with the Holy See. The French government denounced it in a memorandum, which was acceded to by



Britain, Spain, and Portugal. The anger of the states reflected the chief political effect of the enunciation of papal Infallibility: since the doctrine made Gallicanism and similar claims obsolete, governments could no longer use them to interfere in Church affairs.169 In England, Gladstone, who had a good "record of righteous opposition to anti-Catholic bigotry and intolerance"170 gave angry vent to his feelings in a powerful criticism of the declaration on Infallibility. The Vatican Decrees in their bearing on Civil Allegiance: A Political Expostulatio,171 in which he raised the old antiCatholic specter of the inability of English Catholics to be good English citizens. "Gladstone's pamphlet was one of the most celebrated criticisms of the claims of Rome made during the nineteenth century."172 Apart from these dissenters, the Catholics of the entire world, both clergy and laity, accepted the decision of the Council with great joy and willingness.


Vatican Council, First, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004). 170 Norman, E.R., Anti Catholicism in Victorian England, (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1968), 81. 171 Gladstone, William E, The Vatican Decrees in their Bearing on Civil Allegiance: A Political Expostulation, (London, 1874). 172 Norman, E.R. Anti Catholicism in Victorian England. (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1968), 212.


Emile Ollivier, Prime Minister of France in 1870, a French Protestant, wrote an excellent book about the Council. In it, Ollivier describes the fabulous activity of Cardinal Manning. His activity is prodigious; he is involved with everything; he speaks about everything and upon everything; he writes indefatigably, and he does not neglect the fashionable world in which he is so pampered and sought after.173 Friends and enemies alike recognized and respected Msgr. Mannings merits and central role in gaining the definition or Papal Infallibility: If any single man were able to ascribe to himself the honor of this victory, it would be the Archbishop of Westminster,174 wrote Nielson, the Scandinavian Protestant Bishop. He took a greater part than any Englishman before in a Church Council175 Having measured the importance of the role of Cardinal Manning at the Council, we find very puzzling the attitude of the biographers toward Cardinal Mannings role in the Council. In fact, apart from James
Ollivier, E, LEglise et lEtat au Concile du Vatican, (Paris, 1877), vol.2, 8. 174 Leslie, 233. 175 Ibid., 214.


Pereiro,176 very few highlight it. Some famous biographers, like Leslie Shane, devote a meager ten pages chapter to the subject. Some completely skip it and give more attention for example to the social role of Manning or to his influence in the political sphere. It is bewildering to be able to measure the importance of his role at the Vatican Council mostly in the contemporary stories and documents on the Council. It is mostly the reading of the huge and detailed works about the Vatican Council that Mannings role appears to be major. The least we can say about those sources is that they have the merit of being relatively impartial, because they had absolutely nothing to gain in putting Msgr. Manning in the center of the battle and showing his key role. Why have so few writers have been interested about that role? Why are most writers, who have done it, so apparently contradicting the contemporary works on the Council by giving importance to false accusations that have been largely proven wrong by the Fathers and witnesses of the Council and by dozens of historians and simply by common sense? For example, in his book Ppstliche Unfehlbarkeit bei Henry Edward Manning and John Henry Newman177, Adrian Lchinger, acknowledges the

Pereiro, James, Cardinal Manning: an Intellectual Biography, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998). 177 Adrian Lchinger, Ppstliche Unfehlbarkeit bei Henry Edward Manning and John Henry Newman. (Universittsverlag Freiburg


important role of Manning, but it is for him the occasion to attack the Council and to present Manning under the traits of a Machiavellian character who wanted to obtain with the manipulative Majority the definition by any means possible. One explanation could be that Lchinger, like many, skipped the major studies about the Council. Msgr. Mannings self-effacing attitude could also explain why Lchinger and some other writers have been mistaken. In fact, in his books about the Council, Manning had a very humble behavior and barely talked about his role. He referred to himself as part of the active Majority, but not as the prominent actor he had been. However, the only fact that Manning devoted over sixteen books, pastoral letters, hundreds of letters and other writings to papal Infallibility should make any serious writer suspicious. On the only subject of the Council, one can mention among his major works: The Ecumenical Council and the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. 1869; The Vatican Council and its Definitions. 1870. The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost, 1875; The Vatican Decrees and their Bearing on Civil Allegiance. London: 1875; The True Story of the Vatican Council, 1878; The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, 1880; Religio Viatoris. 1888. Manning devoted two lengthy pastoral letters to the propagation of the great cause, hundreds of pages dedicated to investigating and drawing out this absorbing

Schweitz. 2001), 90.


truth.178 That sole fact proves that at least, by his writings, Manning largely contributed to spread the teachings of the Council and thus played an essential role. The study of the newspaper published during the Council is also extremely revealing, it confirms that the Council was really one of the major events of the decade. It is extremely rare to find a single newspaper, which does not mention the Council or does not display articles about it. It occupied numerous headlines of the biggest newspapers. A journal was specially created in England for the Council: The Vatican, a weekly record of the Council, with special information, official documents, etc. The first issue was published on 10 December 1869 and the last in October 1870. It was printed by Henry Filmer. Here is an extract of the no. 1 explaining to the readers the purpose of the journal. "A few words will suffice to explain our purpose in establishing a new journal, of which the sole object is to provide a weekly record of all which can be lawfully known of the proceedings of the Vatican Council.... It will contain each week (1) A record of the Council, founded on the letters of our own correspondents, who have access to the surest sources of information; (2) All such official documents relating to the Council as may serve to illustrate its methods and progress; (3) Occasional reports and anecdotes current in Roman society.....(4) Such extracts from foreign journals as are likely to interest English readers; (5) Critical

Gray, Manning a Biography, 228.


notices of the reports and statements of adversaries, whose errors, voluntary or otherwise, it may be useful to correct, and whose arguments it may be expedient to examine" (To Our Readers 1:1, p.1) It first shows the immense importance of the Catholic Church and how, even in a Protestant country like England, whose Catholic population is a minority, people were interested in the debates, discussions and results of the Council. The petitions concerning Infallibility called forth once more outside the Council a large number of pamphlets and innumerable articles in the daily papers and periodicals. About this time the French Oratorian Gratry and Archbishop Dechamps of Mechlin opposed each other in controversial pamphlets. A letter published by Count Montalembert on 27 Feb. 1870, in which he spoke of an idol, which had been erected in the Vatican, attracted much attention. The most extreme opponent was Professor Dllinger of Bavaria. In his "Rmische Briefe vom Konzil", published in the Allgemeine Zeitung and issued in book form (Munich, 1870); under the pseudonym of "Quirinus", he used information sent him from Rome by his pupils, Johann Friedrich and Lord Acton. In these letters he did everything he could by distorting and casting doubts upon facts, by scorn and ridicule, to turn the public against the Council. This was especially so in an article of 19 Jan., 1870, in which he attacked so severely the address on 105

Infallibility, which had just become known, that even Bishop Ketteler of Mainz, an old pupil of Dllinger's and a member of the minority, protested publicly against it.179 Msgr. Manning also roused animosities at the Council. Many attacked him or could not stand the idea that a simple prelate from England could take the lead. What could French Gallicans and courtly Bonapartists do against the freelance from Westminster?180 Sitting close to the youngest Bishop in Council, Gibbons from South Carolina, Msgr. Manning bared his arm to him and remarked it was tanned by the blows of his adversaries.181 On the Punch cartoon on the left, one can read: His Eminence Cardinal Manning (Regarding a Fancy Portrait of what he might have been.) And in spite of all temptations, if you read his Protestations, he
179 180

Kirch, Vatican Council. Leslie, 219. 181 Ibid., 219.


remains an Englishman. (Vide an Englishmans Protest in the Nineteenth Century) Dozens of other cartoons mocking the Cardinal might be found in the press. The illustrators presented him almost always under the traits of a lean and ascetic prelate. Another general characteristic is that, in most newspapers, the presentations of the different participants were clearly unfair. Msgr. Manning humorously described the biased view of the English newspapers on the Council, its participants and on what was happening there. The Council was composed, at first, of 767 Fathers. [] Then, by a wonderful disposition of things, for the good, no doubt, of the human race, and above all of the Church itself, the Council was divided into a Majority and a Minority: and by an even more beneficent and admirable provision, it was so ordered that the theology, philosophy, science, culture, intellectual power, logical acumen, eloquence, candour, nobleness of mind, independence of spirit, courage, and elevation of character in the Council, were all to be found in the Minority. The Majority was naturally a Dead Sea of superstition, narrowness, shallowness, ignorance, prejudice; without theology, philosophy, science, or eloquence; gathered from old Catholic countries; bigoted, tyrannical, deaf to reason; with a herd of Curial 107

and Italian Prelates, and mere Vicars Apostolic.182 The newspapers were eager to develop false accusations and unjust rumors about the Council and pictured a Council where liberty was only given to the partisans of papal Infallibility. Having read the minutes of the Council, this seems particularly unfair and false. An analysis of those texts perfectly shows that the actors of the Minority had the right to speak and largely used their right to do so. It is also interesting to notice that Msgr. Dupanloup was employing, during the Council, dozens of secretaries to write about the subject and to attack, not papal Infallibility, but the opportunity of the definition itself. It shows that he had the liberty to talk and write as much as he pleased, as long as he did not break the promise of secrecy all the Fathers of the Council had to swear. These false accusations against the Council and its Fathers have been defeated by numerous prestigious writers. Msgr. Manning in its book The Vatican Council and Its Definitions uses very simple and clear arguments to reply to them. It has been loudly declared, that a tyrannical Majority deprived the Minority of liberty of discussion. Now it is hard to believe this allegation to be sincere, for many reasons. First, there was only one rule for both Majority and Minority. If either were deprived if liberty, both were; if

Manning, Vatican Council and its Definitions, 24.


both were, it might be unwise, it could not be unjust; but if both were not, then neither [] But secondly, the mode of conducting the discussions afforded the amplest liberty of debate. The subject matter was distributed in print to every Bishop, and a period of eight or ten days was given for any observations they might desire to make in writing. These observations were carefully examined by the deputation of twenty-four, and when found to be pertinent were admitted, either to modify or to reform the original schema. The text so amended was then proposed for the general discussion, on which every Bishop in the Council had a free right to speak, and the discussions lasted so long as any Bishop was pleased to inscribe his name.183 The Council Fathers also wrote, on the motion of the President, a letter adopted by an immense Majority to reply to the pamphlets in which, the liberty of the Vatican Council was denied, with a view to denying its authority. In that letter, they denounced the calumnies the Council was the object and refuted them. They especially condemned, two anonymous pamphlets, which calumniated the Council in a virulent manner. One, entitled Ce qui se passe au Concile, affirmed that there was no freedom of discussion at the council. The other, La dernire heure du Concile, reiterated all the allegation that the enemies of the council had aroused against it, and urged the bishops of the Minority to resist and

Ibid., 28-29.


bravely vote non placet in the public session. (See Appendix IV). It would be simplistic to deduce that governments and journalists were attacking the Council and papal infallibility out of basic nastiness or stupidity. Most of them thought they had good reasons to criticize what was happening at the Council. It is important to remember that a few years prior to the Council Pope Pius IX condemned in the Syllabus the most prominent views of the time. Namely freedom to publish for non-Catholics, false religious freedom, false Ecumenism, Communism, Socialism, Rationalism, Indifferentism etc., and especially errors about civil society, considered both in itself and in its relations to the Church. This partially explains why governments and many journalists who supported some of these views, were anxious to prevent and denounce the definition. If papal infallibility were to be defined, it would mean that the Syllabus and all the other encyclicals condemning modern errors (Qui Pluribus, Quanto Coficiamur, etc.) were infallible and irreformable. Apart from a few Catholic newspapers, such as The Univers, those whose positions were in favor of papal Infallibility were thus few. This can be particularly seen by the reaction to the announcement of the definition. When papal Infallibility was once defined on July 18, 1870, the hope that the joint influence of so many powers and diplomatists, could fail the Council, was broken. A sensible change of tone was then perceived. The 110

correspondents wrote of everything but of this unanimity. The newspapers became almost silent. The leading articles almost ceased. From that time, they exchanged the tone of confidence and triumph for a tone of irritation and of no little bitterness.184 A period of supercilious disdain followed, and then the correspondents of the English journals, one by one, left Rome. The game was over and the last hope of an intestine conflict in the Church was over185 The epilogue could conclude that if Msgr. Manning had not endured all those attacks, if the Minority, the governments and the press had not been so active, it would have been certainly easier, but as the saying goes, In a calm sea, every man is a pilot. It is through rough seas, storms and tempests that the successful and illustrious journey of an Anglican minister, converted to Catholicism took place. By a fantastic energy, an unfailing conviction and a tremendous love for the Holy Ghost and the papacy, he became the major defender and partisan of the definition of papal Infallibility.

184 185

Ibid, 19. Ibid.


BIBLIOGRAPHY General studies and various writings:

Botalla, Paul. Pope Honorius before the Tribunal of Reason and History. London, 1869. Carroll, Anne. Christ the King: Lord of History. Manassas: Trinity Communications, 1986. Chadwick, Owen. The Reformation. London: Penguin, 1964. Chadwick, Owen. The Victorian Church. New York Oxford University Press, 1966. Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. Corrigan, Raymond. The Church and the Nineteenth Century. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1938. Dessain, C.S. The Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman. New York:Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1961. Herbermann, Ph. D., LL.D. Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. Vols. 1-15. New York: The Encyclopedia Press, 1908. Hughes, Msgr. Philip. Church in Crisis: A History 112

of the General Council, 325-1870. New- York: Hanover House, 1961. Jesuit Fathers of St Marys College. The Church Teaches: Documents of the Church in English Translation. Rockford, Illinois: Tan Book & Publishers, Inc., 1973. Johnson, Fr. George; Hannan Jerome, Rev. and Dominica Sister M. The Story of the Church. Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books & Publishers, Inc., first published in 1935. Leo XIII. Libertas Humana (On the Nature of True Liberty). Vatican: Libreria Editrice Vatican, June 20, 1888. Le Page Renouf, P. The Condemnation of Pope Honorius. London: 1868 Le Page Renouf, P. Honorius Reconsidered with Reference to Recent Apologies. London: 1869. MacCaffrey, Fr. James. History of the Church in the Nineteenth Century (1789-1908). Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, Ltd., 1910. Michael, S. J. Ignaz v. Dllinger Eine Charakteristik. Innsbruck: 1892. Parente, Pietro. Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1951. Schneider, Delphine. Britain and the Great Irish Famine. License research paper, 35 pages. Nancy: 2005.

Books about Catholicism in


Dayras, Solange & DHaussy, Christiane. Le Catholicisme en Angleterre. Paris: Armand Colin, 1970. Derek Holmes, J. More Roman than Rome: English Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century. London: Burns & Oates, 1978. Gillow, Joseph. Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics. 5 vol. London: Burns and Oates, 1885. Guibert Jean. Le rveil du Catholicisme en Angleterre: confrences prches dans l'glise SaintSulpice 1901-1906. Paris: Ch. Poussielgue, 1907. Gwinn, Denis. A hundred years of Catholic Emancipation 1829-1929. London: Longmans, 1929 Leys, N.D.R. Catholics in England (1559-1829). London: Longmans, 1961. Mathew, David. Catholicism in England. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1955. Mathew, D. & others. Catholicisme anglais. Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1958. Norman, Edward. Anti Catholicism in Victorian England. N.Y: Barnes and Noble, 1968. Norman, Edward. Roman Catholicism in England from the Elizabethan Settlement to the Second Vatican Council. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985. Thureau-Dangin, Paul. La Renaissance Catholique en Angleterre au XIXe sicle. 3 volumes. Paris: Plon, 1908. 114

Schoenl, William. The Intellectual Crisis in English Catholicism: Liberal Catholics, Modernists, and the Vatican in the Late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1982.

Books about the First Vatican Council:

Butler, Dom Cuthbert. The Vatican Council. The Story Told from Inside in Bishop Ullathornes Letters. 2 volumes. New York: Longmans, Green & Co, 1930. Cecconi, the Most Rev. Eugne. Histoire du Concile du Vatican daprs les documents originaux. 8 volumes. Paris: Librairie Victor Lecoffre, 1887. Dejaifve, Georges. Pape et Evques au Premier Concile du Vatican. Brussels: Descle De Brouwer, 1961. Christophe, Paul. Le Concile Vatican I. Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 2000. Emil Friedberg. Sammlung der Aktenstcke zum ersten vatikanischen Konzil. Tbingen: 1872. Gibbons, James. A Retrospect of 50 Years. Baltimore, 1916. Gladstone, William E. The Vatican Decrees in their bearing on Civil Allegiance: A Political Expostulation. London: 1874. Granderath, Thodore. Histoire du Concile du Vatican, 3 tomes in 6 volumes. Brussels: Librairie Albert 115

Dewitt, 1907. Hales, E. The First Vatican Council. Houston: University of Saint Thomas, 1962. Hales, E. The Catholic Church in the Modern World. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1958 Manning, the Most Rev. Henry Edward. The True Story of the Vatican Council. 1st edition 1878 in The Nineteen Century. The edition used in this paper is: Fraser, Michigan: Real View Books, 1996. Manning, the Most Rev. Henry Edward. The Vatican Council and its Definitions: Pastoral Letter to the Clergy. London: Longmans, Green, And Co., 1870. Manning, the Most Rev. Henry Edward. The Vatican Decrees and their Bearing on Civil Allegiance. London: 1875. Mansi, J.D. Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collection. T. 49-53. Arnheim-Leipzig: 19231927. Ollivier, Emile. LEglise et lEtat au Concile du Vatican. Paris, 1877. Rondet, Henry. Vatican I. Paris: Lethielleux, 1962. Watkin, E. I. Roman Catholicism in England from the Reformation to 1950. London: Oxford University Press, 1957. Yriarte, Charles. Autour du Concile, souvenirs et croquis dun artiste Rome. Paris: J. Rothschild Editeur, 1887.

Books about Cardinal Manning:


Bodley, J.E.C. Cardinal Manning and Other Essays. London: Longmans, 1912. Robert Gray. Cardinal Manning, a Biography. New York: St. Martins Press, 1985. McClelland, Vincent Alan. Cardinal Manning: His Public Life and Influence 1865-1892. London: Oxford University Press, 1962. Leslie, S. Henry Edward Manning: His Life and Labors. London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 1921. Adrian Lchinger. Ppstliche Unfehlbarkeit bei Henry Edward Manning and John Henry Newman. Freiburg, Switzerland: Universittsverlag, 2001 Newsome, David. The Convert Cardinals: John Henry Newman and Henry Edward Manning. London: John Murray, 1993. Pereiro, James. Cardinal Manning: an Intellectual Biography. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998. Purcell, E.S. Life of Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster. 2 vols. London: Macmillian, 1896. Strachey, Lytton. Eminent Victorians: Cardinal Manning, Florence Nightingale, etc. London: Chatto & Windus, 1918.

Works by Cardinal H.E. Manning linked to Papal Infallibility:

The Rule of Faith. London, 1838. 117

Sermons. Tomes 1-4. London, 1844-1850. The Unity of the Church. London, 1845. The Grounds of Faith. London, 1852. The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, London, 1862. The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost or Reason and Revelation. London, 1865. Truth before Peace: A Sermon. Dublin, 1865. The Reunion of Christendom. A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy. London, 1866. The Centenary of Saint Peter and the General Council. London, 1867. The Ecumenical Council and the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. London, 1869. The Vatican Council and its Definitions: Pastoral Letter to the Clergy. London: Longmans, Green, And Co., 1870. Sermons on Ecclesiastical subjects. London, 1870. Petri Privilegium: Three Pastoral Letters to the Clergy of the Diocese. London, 1871. Caesarism and Ultramontanism. Miscellanies. London, 1873. The Internal Mission of the Holy Ghost. London: Burns & Oates, Ltd., 1875. The Vatican Decrees and their Bearing on Civil Allegiance. London: 1875. The True Story of the Vatican Council. 1st edition 1878 in The Nineteen Century. Edition used: Fraser, Michigan: Real View Books, 1996. 118

Religio Viatoris. London, 1888. There are numerous other books on different matters and hundreds of private letters written by Msgr. Manning, but this sole short bibliography shows the importance of the Holy Ghost and papal Infallibility for him. It is surprising and astounding to consider the great amount of books and Pastoral letters written in the meantime of a major social and Episcopalian role.

Web Sources:
New Advent. Catholic Encyclopedia Online. One of the biggest, most serious and most visited Catholic website in the world.


APPENDIX Appendix I. Minority and Majority at the Council: the main actors:
Most of the German and Austro-Hungarian members of the Council were against the definition, as well as nearly half of the American and about one-third of the French fathers. About 7 of the Italian bishops, 2 each of the English and Irish bishops, 3 bishops from British North America, and 1 Swiss bishop, Greith, belonged to the Minority. While only a few Armenian bishops opposed the definition, most of the Chaldean and Greek Melchites sided with the Minority. It had no opponents among the bishops from Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, and Central and South America. The most prominent members of the Minority from the United States were Archbishops Kenrick of St. Louis and Purcell of Cincinnati, and Bishop Vrot of St. Augustine; these were joined by Archbishop Connolly of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prominent members of the Majority were Archbishop Spalding of Baltimore, Bishops


Williams of Boston, Wood of Philadelphia, and Conroy of Albany. Conspicuous members of the Council from other countries were: France: among the Minority, Archbishops Darboy of Paris, Ginoulhiac of Lyons, Bishops Dupanloup of Orlans, and David of Saint-Brieuc; among the Majority, Archbishop Guibert of Tours, Bishops Pie of Poitiers, Freppel of Angers, Plantier of Nmes, Raess of Strasburg. Germany: Minority Bishops Hefele of Rottenburg, Ketteler of Mainz, Dinkel of Augsburg; Majority, Bishops Martin of Paderborn, Senestry of Ratisbon, Stahl of Wrzburg. Austria Hungary: Minority, Archbishops Cardinal Rauscher of Vienna, Cardinal Schwarzenberg of Prague, Haynald of Kalocsa, and Bishop Strossmayer of Diakovr; Majority, Bishops Gasser of Brixen, Fessler of Sankt Plten, Riccabona of Trent, Zwerger of Seckau. Italy: Minority, Archbishop Nazari di Calabiana of Milan, Bishops Moreno of Ivrea, Losanna of Biella; Majority, Valerga, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Bishops Gastaldi of Saluzzo, Gandolfi of Loreto. England: Minority, Bishop Clifford of Clifton; Majority, Archbishop Manning of Westminster. Ireland: Minority, Archbishop MacHale of Tuam; Majority, Archbishops Cullen of Dublin and Leahy of Cashel.


The East: Minority, Jussef, Greek-Melchite Patriarch of Antioch; Majority, Hassun, Patriarch of the Armenians. Switzerland: Minority, Bishop Greith of St-Gall; Majority, Bishop Mermillod of Geneva. Important champions of the definition from the countries which sent no members of the Minority were Archbishop Dechamps of Mechlin, Belgium, and Bishop Pay y Rico of Cuenca, Spain. 186


Kirch, Vatican Council.


Appendix II. Reasons why the definition is thought to be opportune and necessary:
The Sacred Scriptures plainly teach the primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Saint Peter, over the whole Church of Christ, and, therefore, also his primacy of supreme teaching authority. The universal and constant tradition of the Church, as seen both in facts and in the teachings of the Fathers, as well as in the manner of acting and speaking adopted by many Councils, some of which were ecumenical, teaches that the judgments of the Roman Pontiff in matters of faith and morals are irreformable. In the Second Council of Lyons, with the consent of both Greeks and Latins, a profession of faith was agreed upon, which declares: When controversies in matters of faith arise, they must be settled by the decision of the Roman Pontiff. Moreover, in the Ecumenical Synod of Florence, it was defined that the Roman Pontiff is Christs true Vicar, the head of the whole Church, and father and teacher of all Christians, and that to him, in blessed Peter, was given by Jesus Christ the plenitude of power to rule and govern the Universal Church. Sound reason, too, teaches that no one can remain in communion of faith with the Catholic Church who is not 123

of one mind with its head, since the Church cannot be separated from its head even in thought. Yet some have been found, and are even now to be found, who, boasting of the name of Catholic, and using that name to the ruin of those weak in faith, are bold enough to teach that sufficient submission is yielded to the authority of the Roman Pontiff if we receive his decrees in matters of faith and morals with an obsequious silence, as it is termed, without yielding internal assent, or, at most, with a provisional assent, until the approval or disapproval of the Church has been made known. Anyone can see that by this perverse doctrine the authority of the Roman Pontiff is overturned, all unity of faith dissolved, a wide field open to errors, and time afforded for spreading them far and wide. Wherefore the bishops, the guardians and protectors of Catholic truth, have endeavoured, especially now-a-days, to defend in their synodal decrees, and by theirs united testimony, the supreme authority of the Apostolic See. But the more clearly Catholic truth has been declared, the more vehemently has is been attacked both in books and in newspapers, for the purpose of exciting Catholics against sound doctrine, and preventing the Council of the Vatican from defining it. Though, then, hitherto many might have doubted the opportuneness of declaring this doctrine in the present Ecumenical Council, it would seem now to be absolutely necessary for it to have been defined. For 124

Catholic doctrine is now once more assailed by those same arguments which men, condemned by their own conscience, used against it in old times, arguments which, if carried to their ultimate consequences, would bring to the ground the very primacy of the Roman Pontiff and the Infallibility of the Church itself, and to which; also, is frequently added the most violent abuse of the Apostolic See. Nay, more; the most bitter attack assailants of Catholic doctrine, though calling themselves Catholics, is to assert that the Synod of Florence, which so clearly declares the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff, was not ecumenical. If then the Council of the Vatican, being thus challenged, were to be silent, and omit to give testimony to the Catholic doctrine on this point, then Catholics would, in fact, begin to doubt the true doctrine, and the lovers of novelty would triumph. They would, moreover abuse this silence on every occasion, and openly deny the obedience due to the judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See in matters of faith and morals, under pretext that the judgment of the Roman Pontiff is fallible on such points. Wherefore the public good of Christianity seems to require that the holy Council of the Vatican, professing once again, and explaining more fully, the Florentine decree, should define clearly, and in words that can admit of no doubt, that the authority of the Roman Pontiff is supreme, and therefore exempt from error, when in matters of faith and morals the pope decrees and ordains 125

what is to be believed and held by all the faithful of Christ, and what to be rejected and condemned by them. There are, indeed, some who think that this Catholic truth should not be defined, lest schismatics and heretics should be repelled yet further from the Church. But, above all other considerations, Catholics have a right to be taught by the Ecumenical Council what they are to believe in so weighty a matter, and one which has been of late so iniquitously attacked, lest this pernicious error should in the end infect simple minds and the masses of people unawares. Hence it was that the fathers of Lyon and of Trent deemed themselves bound to establish the doctrine of the truth, notwithstanding the offence that might be taken by schismatics and heretics. For if these seek the truth in sincerity, they will not be repelled, but, on the contrary, drawn towards us, when they see on what foundations the unity and strength of the Catholic Church chiefly repose. But should any leave the Church in consequence of the true doctrine being defined by the Ecumenical Council, these will be few in number, and such as have already suffered shipwreck in the faith; such are only seeking a pretext to abandon that Church by an overt act, which they plainly show they have deserted already in heart. These are they who have never shrunk from disturbing our Catholic people; and from the snares of such men the Council of the Vatican ought to protect the faithful children of the Church. For all true Catholics, taught and accustomed to render the fullest obedience both of thought and word to the Apostolic decrees of the 126

Roman Pontiff, will receive with joyful and devoted hearts the definition of the Council of the Vatican concerning his supreme and infallible authority.187


Manning, Vatican Council and its Definitions, 167-169.


Appendix III. Pastor Aeternus, First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ:
PUBLISHED IN THE FOURTH SESSION OF THE HOLY ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF THE VATICAN Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred Council, for an everlasting record. The Eternal Shepherd and Guardian of our souls [37], in order to render permanent the saving work of Redemption, determined to build a Church in which, as in the house of the living God, all the faithful should be linked by the bond of one faith and charity. Therefore, before He was glorified, He besought his Father, not for the apostles only, but also for those who were to believe in Him through their word, that they all might be one as the Son Himself and the Father are one [38]. So then, just as He sent apostles, whom He chose out of the world [39], even as He had been sent by the Father [40], in like manner it was His will that in Church there should be shepherds and teachers until the end of time. In order, then, that the Episcopal office should be one and undivided and that, by the union of the clergy, the whole multitude of believers should be held 128

together in the unity of faith and communion, He set blessed Peter over the rest of the apostles and instituted in him the permanent principle of both unities and their visible foundation. Upon the strength of this foundation was to be built the eternal temple, and the Church whose topmost part reaches heaven was to rise upon the firmness of this foundation [41]. And since the gates of Hell trying, if they can, to overthrow the Church, make their assault with a hatred that increases day by day against its divinely laid foundation, we judge it necessary, with the approbation of the Sacred Council, and for the protection, defense and growth of the Catholic flock, to propound the doctrine concerning the institution, permanence and nature of the sacred and Apostolic primacy, upon which the strength and coherence of the whole Church depends. This doctrine is to be believed and held by all the faithful in accordance with the ancient and unchanging faith of the whole Church. Furthermore, we shall proscribe and condemn the contrary errors, which are so harmful to the Lord's flock. CHAPTER I: On the Institution of the Apostolic Primacy in Blessed Peter: We teach and declare that, according to the gospel evidence, a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church of God was immediately and directly promised to the


blessed apostle Peter and conferred on him by Christ the lord. It was to Simon alone, to whom He had already said thou shalt be called Cephas [42], that the Lord, after his confession, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, spoke these words: Blessed are thou, Simon Bar-Jona. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee, that thou are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the Hell shall not prevail against it. I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven [43]. And it was to Peter alone that Jesus, after His resurrection, confided the jurisdiction of Supreme Pastor and ruler of His whole fold, saying: Feed my lambs; feed my sheep [44]. To this absolutely manifest teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, as it has always been understood by the Catholic Church, are clearly opposed the distorted opinions of those who misrepresent the form of government which Christ the Lord established in His Church and deny that Peter, in preference to the rest of the apostles, taken singly or collectively, was endowed by Christ with a true and proper primacy of jurisdiction. The same may be said of those who assert that this primacy was not conferred immediately and directly on 130

blessed Peter himself, but rather on the Church, and that it was through the Church that it was transmitted to him in his capacity as her minister. Therefore, if anyone says that blessed Peter the apostle was not appointed by Christ the lord as Prince of all the apostles and visible Head of the whole Church militant; or that it was a primacy of honor only and not one of true and proper jurisdiction that he directly and immediately received from our lord Jesus Christ himself: let him be anathema. CHAPTER II: On the permanence of the primacy of blessed Peter in the Roman Pontiffs: That which Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Shepherds and Great Shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the Church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the Church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time [45]. For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, Prince and Head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the Kingdom from Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever He lives and presides and exercises judgment in His successors the bishops of the Holy Roman See, which He founded and consecrated with His blood [46]. 131

Therefore whoever succeeds to the Chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the Church which he once received [47]. For this reason, it has always been necessary for every Church--that is to say the faithful throughout the world--to be in agreement with the Roman Church because of its more effective leadership. In consequence of being joined, as members to Head, with that see, from which the rights of sacred communion flow to all, they will grow together into the structure of a single body [48]. Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the Lord Himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema. CHAPTER III: On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff: And so, supported by the clear witness of holy scripture, and adhering to the manifest and explicit decrees both of our predecessors the Roman Pontiffs and of general Councils, we promulgate anew the definition of the ecumenical Council of Florence [49], which must be believed by all faithful Christians, namely that the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff hold a world-wide 132

primacy, and that the Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the Prince of the apostles, true Vicar of Christ, Head of the whole Church and Father and teacher of all christian people. To him, in blessed Peter, full power has been given by Our Lord Jesus Christ to tend, rule and govern the Universal Church. All this is to be found in the acts of the ecumenical Councils and the sacred canons. Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both Episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world. In this way, by unity with the Roman Pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith, the Church of Christ becomes one flock under one Supreme Shepherd [50]. This is the teaching of the Catholic Truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation. This power of the Supreme Pontiff by no means detracts from that ordinary and immediate power of 133

Episcopal jurisdiction, by which bishops, who have succeeded to the place of the apostles by appointment of the Holy Spirit, tend and govern individually the particular flocks which have been assigned to them. On the contrary, this power of theirs is asserted, supported and defended by the supreme and universal pastor; for St Gregory the Great says: "My honor is the honor of the whole Church. My honor is the steadfast strength of my brethren. Then do I receive true honor, when it is denied to none of those to whom honor is due." [51] Furthermore, it follows from that supreme power which the Roman Pontiff has in governing the whole Church that he has the right, in the performance of this office of his, to communicate freely with the pastors and flocks of the entire Church, so that they may be taught and guided by him in the way of salvation. And therefore we condemn and reject the opinions of those who hold that this communication of the Supreme Head with pastors and flocks may be lawfully obstructed; or that it should be dependent on the civil power, which leads them to maintain that what is determined by the Apostolic See or by its authority concerning the government of the Church, has no force or effect unless it is confirmed by the agreement of the civil authority. Since the Roman Pontiff, by the divine right of the Apostolic primacy, governs the whole Church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the Supreme judge of the faithful [52], and that in all cases which fall under 134

ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment [53]. The sentence of the Apostolic See (than which there is no higher authority) is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon [54]. And so they stray from the genuine path of truth who maintains that it is lawful to appeal from the judgments of the Roman Pontiffs to an ecumenical Council as if this were an authority superior to the Roman Pontiff. So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema. CHAPTER IV: On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff: That Apostolic primacy which the Roman Pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the Prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This Holy See has always maintained this, the constant custom of the Church demonstrates it, and the 135

ecumenical councils, particularly those in which East and West met in the union of faith and charity, have declared it. So the Fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church [55], cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honor. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the Apostolic See preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the Christian religion. [56] What is more, with the approval of the Second Council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession: "The Holy Roman Church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole Catholic Church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that She received this from the Lord Himself in blessed Peter, the Prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman Pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others She has the duty of defending the Truth of the Faith, so if any questions arise 136

concerning the Faith, it is by Her judgment that they must be settled." [57] Then there is the definition of the Council of Florence: "The Roman Pontiff is the true Vicar of Christ, the Head of the whole Church and the Father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole Church." [58] To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received. It was for this reason that the bishops of the whole world, sometimes individually, sometimes gathered in synods, according to the long established custom of the Churches and the pattern of ancient usage referred to this Apostolic See those dangers especially which arose in matters concerning the faith. This was to ensure that any damage suffered by the faith should be repaired in that place above all where the faith can know no failing [59]. The Roman Pontiffs, too, as the circumstances of the time or the state of affairs suggested, sometimes by summoning ecumenical councils or consulting the opinion of the Churches scattered throughout the world, sometimes by special synods, sometimes by taking advantage of other useful means afforded by divine providence, defined as doctrines to be held those things 137

which, by God's help, they knew to be in keeping with sacred scripture and the apostolic traditions. For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable Fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox Doctors, for they knew very well that this see of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of Our Lord and Savior to the Prince of His disciples: I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not, and, when thou art converted, confirm thy brethren [60]. This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of Hell. But since in this very age when the salutary effectiveness of the Apostolic Office is most especially needed, not a few are to be found who disparage its authority, we judge it absolutely necessary to affirm 138

solemnly the prerogative which the only-begotten Son of God was pleased to attach to the supreme pastoral office. Therefore faithfully keeping to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, for the glory of God Our Savior, the exaltation of the Catholic religion, and the salvation of Christian peoples, the Sacred Council approving, We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedr, that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that Infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals: and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church. Canon: But if anyone - which may God avert presumes to contradict this Our definition; let him be anathema. Given at Rome in Public Session solemnly held in the Vatican Basilica in the year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and seventy, on the eighteenth day of July, in the twenty-fifth year of our Pontificate. FOOTNOTES 139

37 1 Pt 2,25 38 Jn 17, 20-21 39 Jn 15, 19 40 Jn 20, 21 41 Leo 1, Serm. (Sermons), 4 (elsewhere 3), ch. 2 for the day of his birth (PL 54, 150). 42 Jn 1, 42. 43 Mt 16, 16 19 44 Jn 21, 15-17 45 See Mt 7, 25; Lk 6, 48 46 From the speech of Philip, the Roman legate, at the 3rd session of the Council of Ephesus (D no. 112). 47 Leo 1, Serm. (Sermons), 3 (elsewhere 2), ch. 3 (PL 54, 146). 48 Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. (Against Heresies) 1113 (PG 7, 849), Council of Aquilea (381), to be found among: Ambrose, Epistolae (Letters), 11 (PL 16, 946). 49 Council of Florence, session 6 (see above p. 528). 50 See Jn 10, 16. 51 Ep. ad Eulog. Alexandrin. (Letter to Eulogius of Alexandria), Vlll 29 (30) (MGH, Ep. 2, 31 28-30, PL 77, 933). 52 Pius VI, Letter Super soliditate dated 28 Nov. 1786. 53 From Michael Palaeologus's profession of faith which was read out at the Second Council of Lyons (D no. 466). 54 Nicholas 1, Ep. ad Michaelem imp. (Letter to 140

the emperor Michael) (PL 119, 954). 55 Mt 16, 18. 56 From Pope Hormisdas's formula of the year 517 (D no. 171), see above p. 157 n. 1. 57 From Michael Palaeologus's profession of faith which was read out at the Second Council of Lyons (D no. 466). 58 Council of Florence, session 6 (see above p. 528). S Bernard, Ep. (Letters) 190 (PL 182, 1053). 59 Bernard, Ep. (Letters) 190 (PL 182, 1053). 60 Lk 22, 32.


Appendix IV. Act of Condemnation by the Council of Certain Pamphlets:

Most Reverend Fathers, From the time that the Holy Vatican Synod opened by the help of God, a most bitter warfare instantly broke out against it; and in order to diminish its venerable authority with the faithful, and, if it could be, to destroy it altogether, many writers vied with each other in attacking it by contumelious detraction, and by the foulest calumnies; and that, not only among the heterodox and open enemies of the Cross of Christ, but also among those who give themselves out as sons of the Catholic Church; and what is most to be deplored, among even its sacred ministers. The infamous falsehoods which have been heaped together in this matter in public newspapers of every tongue, and in pamphlets without the authors name, published in all places and stealthily distributed, al men well known; so that we have no need to recount one by one. But among anonymous pamphlets of this kind there are two especially, written in French, and entitled, Ce qui se passe au Concile, and La dernire heure du Concile, which for the arts of calumny and license of detraction bear away the palm from all others. For in these not only is the dignity and full liberty of the Council assailed with 142

the basest falsehoods, and the rights of the Holy Father is attacked with the gravest insults. Wherefore we, being mindful of our office, lest our silence if longer maintained, should be perversely interpreted by men of evil will, are compelled to lift up our voice, and before you all, Most Reverend Fathers, to protest and to declare all such things as have been uttered in the aforesaid newspapers ad pamphlets to be altogether false and calumnious, whether in contempt of our Holy Father and of the Apostolic See, or the dishonor of this Holy Synod, and on the score of its asserted want of legitimate liberty. From the Hall of the Council, the 16th day of July, 1870. Philip, Card. De Angelis, President. Antoninus, Card. De Luca, President. Andreas, Card. Bizzari, President. Aloysius, Card. Bilio, President; Hannibal, Card. Capalti, President