« ÖncekiDevam »
III. The efficient cause of Infallibility, 85; Witness of St.
V. The extension of the Infallible authority to the limits
Scientific History of the Catholic Rule of Faith.
Evidence of history, and the Infallibility of the Roman
REVEREND AND DEAR BRETHREN.
From the opening of the Council until the close of the Fourth Public Session, when leave was given to the Bishops to return for a time to their flocks, I thought it my duty to keep silent. It was not indeed easy to refrain from contradicting the manifold errors and falsehoods by which the Council has been assailed. But it seemed for many reasons to be a higher duty, to wait until the work in which we were engaged should be accomplished. That time is now happily come; and the obligation which would have hitherto forbidden the utterance of much that I might have desired to say, has been by supreme authority removed. To you, therefore, Reverend and dear Brethren,
, I at once proceed to make known in mere outline the chief events of this first period of the Council of the Vatican. I shall confine what I have to say to the three following heads:–First, to a narrative of certain facts external to the Council, but affecting the estimate of its character and acts; secondly, to an appreciation of the internal spirit and action of the Council; and thirdly, to a brief statement of the two dogmatic Constitutions published in its third and fourth Sessions..
First, as to the external history of the Council. As yet, no narrative, or official account of its proceedings, has been possible. The whole world, Catholic and Protestant, has been therefore compelled to depend chiefly upon newspapers. And as these powerfully preoccupy and prejudice the minds of men, I thought it my duty, during the eight months in which I was a close and constant witness of the procedure and acts of the Council, to keep pace with the histories and representations made by the press in Italy, Germany, France, and England. This, by the watchful care of others in England and in Rome, I was enabled to do. In answer to an inquiry from this country as to what was to be believed respecting the Council, I considered it my duty to reply: “Read carefully the correspondence from Rome published in England, believe the reverse, and you will not be far from the truth.” I am sorry to be compelled to say that this is, above all, true of our own journals. Whether the amusing blunders and persistent misrepresentations were to be charged to the account of ill will, or of want of common knowledge, it was often not easy to say. Two things, however, were obvious. The journals of Catholic countries, perverse and hostile as they might be, rarely if ever made themselves ridiculous. They wrote with