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journalism. Briefly, this attitude may be said to be suggestive of three evil impulses or leanings: to make the worst, always the worst, of the Catholic Church; to preserve and ever augment religious schisms; to glorify disobedience, under the pretext of always protesting against the corrupt teachings of authorityfrom which you differ.
A reference to the more recent of the publications—books, pamphlets, essays, sermons—which have been written or edited by Anglicans, brings out the same melancholy truths. An Anglican's idea of the Holy See, when he ventures to express it in print, is always, that it is the negation of that individual enlightenment —which should make every man his own private Holy See. It is rather from his praise of private judgment than from his abuse of the Catholic fountain of dogmatic truth, that we see the attitude of his English Protestant mind. Manifestly a man cannot insist, at one and the same time, on his own right to judge Catholic authority, and his own duty to obey Catholic authority. The attitude of a so-called Churchman may be expressed, perhaps, in this way: “ Catholic authority is binding on the Christian conscience; Roman Catholics say that the Holy See is the final arbiter on faith and morals; and so it would be, if it always agreed with me; but unfortunately, I cannot educate it to such perfection. I see, of course, that authority to teach is the same thing with authority to know; and I see that authority to know must mean the guidance, infallibly, by the Holy Spirit. The Holy See has always set up this claim. But, as I can prove the Holy See to have been in error, not once only—but a dozen or a score of times—from the very fact that it has differed from me, there is an end of the papal claim, and I am reduced to the necessity of referring to my own infallible self. It is a very awkward predicament, I admit; the more so, because I have a hundred brother churchmenbishops, rectors, and curates—who also differ from me in dogmatic truth. But so long as I retain the privilege of being an AngloCatholic,—that is, of uniting the theory of obedience with the practice of opinionative self-teaching, I cannot surrender my liberty into the hands of the Holy See, which does not first consult me as to its decretals. I teach my parishioners (being a clergyman) the duty of obedience to the Church; that is, of obedience to my Church ---my Church, as interpreted by me. Yet this duty of obedience is theoretical, hypothetical, conditional, or relative, in all respects. The obedience is neither implicit nor explicit; it is only a sort of workable abstraction. I cannot command obedience from my flock, because they have as much right to command obedience from me; seeing that I, like them, interpret all Catholic doctrine in the sense most agreeable to my judgment. Even in that very
painful difficulty—my judgment of the Roman Church by the primitive Church, and therefore my judgment of both together, I am obliged to enshrine my own personal infallibility within the limits of my own judgment of that infallibility; an effort which it is obvious every one of my congregation could make as well as myself—or, as Martin Luther. I regret that I was not born a Holy See. But as I was not, the only thing which is left to me is to protest against the arrogance of an authority which might be infallible if it would only listen to me, but which is necessarily fallible as it does not do so."
Thus far we have sketched the tone of the Anglican mind, journalistic, clerical (though not lay) in judging the authority of the Holy See. Let us now glance at two other English phases: what may be called the Governmental and the Social. As to the first, we need only add this remark-for what was said at the beginning was almost enough—the English Government makes no mystery of the why of its diplomacy; desiring only to stand well with the Holy See, because the Holy See can direct the counsels of the Irish clergy. There is not one thought given to “conversion " in such diplomacy. If the Holy See were to adopt a course which should be unfavorable to Tory tactics, the "new relations" would be dropped, or would be turned into recriminations which would be unfilial on the part of the Government and of its press. This is all that need be said about the matter. The British Government has no more loyalty to the Holy See than has the Government of the Sultan or the Shah.
“Society" in England takes a different view. Society thinks of the Pope as an interesting figure, historic, mediæval, and even Christian. It usually speaks of him with the respect due to an antique, to a beautifully preserved specimen of a past type. It does not, in these days, grow angry with him. It rather likes his adherence to old ideas. We are so painfully modern or nineteenth-centuryish that it is delightful to retain one absolutely perfect symbol of what centuries of our ancestors used to esteem. Beyond such an archæological veneration, society does not trouble itself to wander. For, be it remembered that three-fourths of English society sits lightly to the reality of the Christian faith. The traditional sentiment of what Protestants account Christianity still hallows the natural sentiment of society; but this traditional sentiment is little more than a tender liking for a gospel of kindness or amiability. There is nothing supernatural in the sentiment, unless it be in the consciousness that what has reference to a future life must necessarily be in such sense supernatural. So that society is not prepared to consider the Holy See in its claim to infallibly teach divine truth, but only in its claim to represent a high ideal of authority, order and morality.
This estimate may be called the “man of the world's ” estimate. And society consists chiefly of men of the world. During the last forty years—especially the last ten years -society's talk has been chiefly flavored by speculation; not by speculation as to the more true or the less true, but as to the probability that nothing can be known about (religious) truth. The "attitude" of society towards religion is that of the student of occult mysteries, who, finding himself baffled on the threshold of his enquiries,-by the fact that he has to mount above the natural life,-prefers to “give it up” as transcendental, and not to be initiated into so much trouble. What Father MacLaughlin calls “indifferentism,” comes to the aid of society as a rescue from such intolerable research. A few years ago, when society accepted Christianity as the normal traditional creed of all Englishmen, it was natural, it was agreeable, to discuss different "forms” of it, and to advocate either this view or that view. In those days the Holy See was an object of intense interest, although of intense aversion, to most Englishmen; because the postulate of society being “Christianity is divine,” the right form of it was supremely important. Society has abandoned that postulate, and asks now, “Is any religion divine?” So that society's estimate of the Holy See has become an outside speculation,-for the men of the world who prefer to meander with modern thought;—not a judgment arrived at from the most interested of all motives, but a grouping of hypotheses for excuse's sake.
"Indifferentism" is the kernel of the whole matter. Forty years ago, in English society, we could scarcely sit in any drawing-room without hearing somebody arguing about religion; the High Church and the Low Church contending for their superiority, or the different disciples of popular clergymen breaking lances. We were in danger of being “button-holed” by every stranger we met on some controversy about doctrine or ritual, while there was sure to be some fanatic in every roomful who would inform us that “the Pope was the man of sin.” In these days, when religion is referred to, it is ordinarily on some of the side issues of the natural sciences, or with allusions to Herbert Spencer's arid egotisms, or Professor Huxley's ex cathedra negations. It would be a question which it would be difficult to answer: which of the two frames of mind is the better, the earnestness of purely heretical contentions, or the indifferentism of the dry-bones called Modern Thought? Whatever the answer, the truth remains indubitable: that for the odium theologicum which used to revile the Holy See, we have now a benign and complaisant sufferance of its “mixed good"; for the
old fear of the Pope, we have respect for him; for the caricatures of his powers, we have speculation as to their benefit; for the execration of his tyranny, we have the admission of his moral influence; for the ridicule of his anachronism, we have the eulogy of his enlightenment. So far, English society has made advances. And we are speaking now only of English society, not of any of the schools or the scientists. The huge mass of more or less educated persons, gentlemen and ladies, who are “in society,"— no matter whether it be in high society, or in respectable society,is now imbued with a reasonable (natural) estimate of the authority and the beneficence of the Holy See. Religion, as has been said, is not in the question, save in the way of traditional Christian sentiment; yet there is a gain in the dying out of antagonism, though in the void which is created there may be a loss.
To come down to the humbler classes, the working classes : What do they think, say about Leo XIII.? So far as they think at all, their ideas are as lucid as are those of their superiors in education. Their conception of a Pope is that he is an amiable old gentleman, residing in the once-capital of the pagan world, and inheriting and teaching not a few of the superstitions which were common to the “Divine Emperors” of old. As “the Free Church of Scotland's Monthly Magazine " expressed it, in words which we quoted a few pages back, “ Popery is the new form of paganism which reigns in Rome.” If the educated Scotch Episcopalians can edit and can credit an absurdity of which children ought to be ashamed, we need not be surprised if the clouded fancies of the English masses entertain not dissimilar impressions. Yet there is this difference between the masses and the classes: that the former have no motives in being deluded, no motives of social ease or personal gain. They have no benefices to be given up, no circle of rich friends to be alienated, no conventional “cold-shoulder" to be braved, no fortune or position to be lost. So they simply cling to their traditions with the easiness of not caring to be disturbed, or with a perhaps unconscious willingness to be enlightened should the opportunity be offered by some friend. It is true that the working classes do not talk much of such matters, as the higher classes are in the habit of talking; indeed talking, save on personal or on business matters, is not a habit of the working man. “Conversation,” as society understands it, is necessarily not common among the masses; chit-chat, or personalities, or businessexchanges being the normal occupation of the tongue. But though they do not converse, they can understand; nor has the Catholic half the trouble in teaching them which he has in battering the fortresses of respectability. There is no throwing up lines of defence, in preparation for Catholic aggression on the part of the
simple, working poor. There is no intellectual pride, or very little of it. For such reasons the "conversion of England,” if it may be looked for, must begin rather with the humbler than with the richer classes. Speak to a working Englishman; explain to him the simple principle of pastoral unity, and he grasps it without difficulty, perhaps with pleasure; nor does he wish, ab initio, to resist you. His will is commonly childlike or sincere. He has no odium theologicum. It may be true that the "attitude” of the English masses is not filial, nor even intelligent, towards the Holy See; but this is solely because they know nothing about it; nothing save what such luminous authorities as the Free Church of Scotland Monthly Magazine" writers, or the editors of the English Record or Rock may be generously pleased to vouchsafe to them.
There is a “thinking " class in England which is not to be confused with "society,” nor with the clergy, nor with the Agnostics, nor with the men of the world. It is a large class, composed of men of all professions, and of every known intelligent avocation.
Men who think,” is their generic; “Men who differ," their specific. This large class combine "attitudes " which, to a Catholic, may seem incongruous, but which to hosts of unbelievers seem harmonious. They are sincerely Christian, rationalistic, and quasipagan. They would defend (their) Christianity against all comers; yet their mood is to argue everything in the abstract, as though a heresy were a hypothesis, not a falsehood. These men, most amiable, most cultured, take this sort of view of the Holy See: " It has an obvious advantage in point of unity; the only mistake is, that it proceeds on the assumption that to obey is to believe-in a religious sense. A man's belief should be the offspring of enquiry, not the handing over the intellect to governance, but the yielding of the will to conviction. After all, what is faith, intellectually ? Faith is the yielding of the will to the balance of probabilities; but that balance must be struck by the conscienceby our own conscience, not by another's. You Catholics say that the Holy See has been appointed the divine arbiter in faith and morals. If so, what you believe in is the Holy See; you do not believe, first, in truths themselves. This seems to me a shifting of responsibility. If faith be a duty, the exercise of that duty must be, not obedience, but sincerity. The intellect is responsible in faith, as the will is responsible in morals; but if you take away the exercise of the intellect, by substituting obedience for examination, you not only take away intellectual faith, but you make the exercise of the intellect to be sinful. In a plain, divine command, such as, 'Thou shalt do no murder,' I apprehend the simple duty of obedience. But when you advise me to accept all faith