Further Considerations on Behalf of Reunion
By Viscount Halifax
With Appendices, including a full account
of the visit to Paris in 1896 for Conferences on Reunion.
Milwaukee: Morehouse, 1923.
Visit to Paris, 1896.
I arrived in Paris Thursday evening, February 27th. The Abbé Portal met me at the station, and took me straight to S. Lazare, 95 Rue de Sevres, the headquarters and central house of the Lazarist Community. Immediately on arriving I was presented to the Superior, and, after some dinner in the refectory, had a long conversation with the Abbé, who expressed himself as more than satisfied with the success so far attained by the Revue Anglo Romaine, of the great effect which Father Puller's articles in the Revue were producing, and of the sympathetic and general interest which the cause of reunion was exciting among both clergy and laity in France and elsewhere.
The house began to stir about four a.m., the first Mass being said before five. I went down to the chapel at seven. It is a very large building in the Classical style, consisting of a nave divided from two aisles by a long row of marble columns. There are galleries over the aisles, accessible from the first floor, which look down into the church through half-arches rising straight from the cornice; a very long and wide choir, capable of holding three or four hundred persons, and separated by an iron railing and gates from a space at the west end of the church reserved for the public. On either side of this space there are two chapels, one dedicated to the Passion, the other more particularly to the Agony of our Lord in the Garden. Behind, and somewhat above the high altar, is the shrine in which is preserved the body of S. Vincent of Paul. The chapel was quite full at seven o'clock. The community and all the young men were in surplices, the effect very much that of Christ Church, Keble College, or Trinity College, Cambridge. Nearly every one communicated, the young men coming up in two rows and kneeling in front of the altar by threes.
It was a very moving and touching sight, as there must have been at least 150 or 200 who made their communions.
There was coffee in the refectory at eight, and at a quarter past nine I received a visit from Mgr. d'Hulst, the head of the Catholic Institute, and who is one of the only two ecclesiastics who are members of the Chamber of Deputies. He was Confessor to the Comte de Paris, is very intimate with all the Orleans family, and one of the most leading and important ecclesiastics in Paris. Mgr. d'Hulst talked much as to the prospect of reunion-of the difficulties that beset the question, and of the hopes that might be entertained in regard to it. He then alluded to the discussion now going on as to the validity of English Orders, in reference to which he adverted to the opposition which the possibility of such recognition seemed to excite amongst members of the Roman Communion in England, of which he seemed to have had evidence. He asked why it was, and asked whether it was partly due to the fear entertained by some of them that any recognition of Anglican Orders by Rome would interfere with individual conversions, such conversions seeming to them, as indeed Cardinal Vaughan had apparently stated more than once to be his own opinion, to be the only way in which reunion was likely to be brought about, and the only practical solution of the divisions of Christendom. I replied that I thought, no doubt insensibly to themselves, their attitude was influenced by such considerations, and that I believed it was also a source of irritation to them that the question should have been taken up as it has by the French clergy, but that even from their own point of view I thought there was another side to the question; that I believed in many cases a recognition of the validity of our Orders, and therefore of the reality of our Sacraments, was likely to have the very opposite effect to that which they supposed, and that though no doubt the recognition of our Orders might operate in some cases as the English Roman Catholics apprehended, in others I had reason to know, from facts within my own experience, it was likely to have just the opposite effect; that, however, apart from all this, to look to individual conversions as the only means of bringing England back to Catholic unity was tantamount to saying such a restoration to unity was hopeless; that individual conversions were, after all, few and far between, unappreciable, and perfectly insignificant in number in reference to the great mass of the population; that no one in their senses could doubt that England as a whole, if it was to be won back at all, could only be won back through the Church of England; and that, in my opinion, Cardinal Vaughan, if such was his own point of view, ought to desire nothing so much as any action which might influence the Church of England as a whole, and therefore should encourage efforts such as the present, which, in fact, were directed to that end. I added that, for myself, great as the difficulties were from a human point of view, I believed they were not such as were insurmountable; that, as Dr. Pusey and others had often pointed out, there were no irreconcilable differences between the Decrees of the Council of Trent and the Formularies of the English Church, and that, even as to the Vatican Council, it seemed every day becoming more clear that the effect of the Decree as to Papal Infallibility had been exaggerated on both sides; and that, though no doubt after all explanations had been given grave difficulties would still remain, there was at least such a possibility of explanation, and so much to be done in this direction, that at least a hope of a possible peace without sacrifice of principle made itself felt, and, if so, carried with it the duty of working for reunion by all means in our power.
Mgr. d'Hulst promised to call again in the afternoon, and was followed by Dr. Ferrand, one of the leading physicians in Paris, and President of the Academy of S. Luke, a society of doctors, scientific men, and others, having for its special object the pursuit of medical and scientific study in subordination to Christian doctrine and practice. Dr. Ferrand is one of the contributors to the Revue Anglo Romaine. He expressed the greatest interest in the subject of reunion, begging that I would, if possible, spend one evening at his house in order that I might meet some of those with whom he was connected, and give them all the information I could on the subject. Dr. Ferrand had scarcely gone before M. Lorin arrived. M. Lorin is intimate with Cardinal Rampolla, and with some of the American bishops, Cardinal Gibbons, etc. He is also much mixed up in all ecclesiastical and social affairs in France, and is one of those who is supposed to have contributed to the attitude recently taken by Leo XIII in regard to French politics. He also was full of the subject of reunion, and only anxious to do all he could to further it. He spoke at some length upon the necessity of not exaggerating anything, as exaggeration always led to disappointment; but at the same time he insisted upon the importance of people in France being convinced that there was a real desire in England for reunion, that it was not merely the desire of some eccentric Englishman, that in England there were always people ready to take up and propagate any idea that struck them; and that if anything was to be done abroad it was essential to convince people interested in the subject that it was not merely the voice of some one person of that sort, e.g. of Lord Halifax "clamantis in deserto." This, I gathered, was what had been asserted in some quarters by persons, some of whom, at least so I inferred from what he and others said, would not be sorry to see a stop put to the Revue, and in some cases were endeavouring to prevent those whom they could influence from either writing in it or reading it.
Later in the morning we called on the Due de Broglie, who expressed his interest in the cause of reunion, talked of Cardinal Manning's life, and promised to come to the informal meeting organized by the Abbé in the afternoon. Dinner was at twelve, and very much resembled the dinner in the hall of Keble College-six long tables the length of the refectory, with three tables crossways at the top of the hall, one for the Superior General, at which he dined in company with two poor men, the second for any guests, and the third for certain members of the community, completed the arrangements. The waiting was all done by the lay brothers, silence being observed at all the meals.
After dinner we called on M. Levé, the editor of the Monde, a newspaper which has taken a special and most intelligent interest in everything connected with the subject of reunion; and at five we returned to be ready for the meeting above alluded to. The first to arrive were the Due de Broglie and the Comte de Richemont, the latter of whom had been much interested and a little startled by the comments in the Spectator on Mr. Gore's recent sermon at Cambridge-he was also acquainted, if I understood him aright, with Mr. Wilfrid Ward, Baron von Hugel, and others. These were followed by two Dominicans representing the Superior from the Convent in the Rue du Bac, who had been prevented from coming himself, the Père Ragey, a Marist, and the author of a small book on the state of religion in England, several members of the religious body which owns the very influential and widely-spread paper La Croix; the Père Tournebise, a Jesuit who writes in the Etudes Religieuses, Mgr. d'Hulst, and many of the Professors of the Catholic Institute, including the Abbé Klein and the Abbé Boudinhon, whose articles on English Orders are well known; M. Olle Laprune, extracts from whose interesting work on religious matters and persons in France have recently been published in the Revue Anglo Romaine; M. Fonsegrieve, the author of the letters "D'un Curé de Campagne" and " D'un Cure de Canton," so much recommended by the Bishop of Lincoln; M. Violet and other members of the Institut de France; the editors of all the leading ecclesiastical papers-the Univers, the Verité, the Monde, the Quinzaine; M. Laverdan, of the Correspondant; M. Arthur Loth, the Abbé Batiffol, M. Lorin; some of the clergy of S. Sulpice, etc.; in short, representatives of the leading ecclesiastical thought in Paris-(the Abbé Loisy was prevented coming by indisposition). It was not an easy matter to speak in French without any preparation before such an audience, but as the Abbé said, "Quand on se trouve dans l'eau il faut nager," and I did my best. Mgr. d'Hulst began the conversation by saying they had come for an interchange of ideas and for information, and also to express their sense of all that was being done in England on behalf of the great cause of the reunion of Christendom which they had all so much at heart. He then alluded to the conversation we had had in the morning, and asked if I would repeat what I had said to him as to the apparent irritation and annoyance evinced by certain of the English Roman Catholics at the action of the Abbé Portal and others. I began by saying that the last time I had seen Cardinal Newman I had discussed the question of the possibility of reunion with him, and that he had then said that I should probably find more sympathy among the French clergy than elsewhere, and had advised me to interest them in the subject, that I had perceived how true his words were, and that I desired to avail myself of the present occasion, not only to thank such clergy as might be present, but also to thank the representatives of the French Press, and that without any distinction of party, for the sympathetic interest they had taken in the subject. That, in regard to the annoyance felt in England, indicated by some of the correspondence in the Tablet, I believed it was chiefly due, first, to the feeling that foreign ecclesiastics were not likely to be as well informed on such subjects as Englishmen, and secondly, to the fear that what was being done might have the effect of stopping individual conversions. That, in regard to the first of these apprehensions, it might be answered that it was not without its advantages to have the subject considered by those who, from their situation, were outside all those personal considerations which almost necessarily complicated its consideration in England; and that, as to the second, though no doubt any recognition of the validity of English Orders might hinder conversions in certain cases, in my own opinion, and in that of many persons much better informed than myself, it was more than doubtful whether in others, and in a much larger number, it might not have just the contrary effect. Well informed members of the Church of England were quite prepared to recognize their shortcomings, and were quite aware how far the Anglican Communion, as a whole, fell short in practice even of the standard held up by the Book of Common Prayer, but the one thing they never could and never would do, was to cast a doubt upon the reality of the Sacraments they had received-their Communions, their Absolutions, etc., since to do so would be to deny the whole spiritual experience of a lifetime. A word of caution was, however, necessary here. Members of the Church of England had no right to find fault with members of the Roman Communion for wishing to encourage individual conversions. It was, indeed, the necessary consequence of their position, but, on the other hand, it was not a wish in which it was possible for loyal members of the Church of England to share, believing, as they did, that God had given them a work to do where they were.
This led to a remark from the Abbé Portal, which seemed to meet with general approval, that, after all, so far as the recognition of the validity of English Orders was concerned, it was a question, not of expediency, but of right and justice, and if they were valid, that validity ought to be recognized whatever the consequences. I then went on to say that, great as the difficulties were in the way of peace, difficulties which from a human point of view might seem almost insurmountable, I still believed peace was^ possible without compromise of principle on either side if both sides really desired it, and were prepared to allow a wider latitude as to everything which was not strictly de fide-about such things, of course, there could be no compromise, though there might be large explanations. That Cardinal Newman in Tract 90, Dr. Pusey, Bishop Forbes of Brechin, and other English theologians of acknowledged authority, had always maintained that it was possible to reconcile our authoritative formularies with the Decrees of the Council of Trent, and that even in regard to the position claimed for the Pope by the Vatican Council, which presented the greatest difficulty, it seemed as if it was coming to be recognized that the effect of the Decree had been largely exaggerated on both sides, and that it might perhaps be shown that the infallibility claimed for the Pope was in reality nothing else than the infallibility of the Church. In any case enough had been said on the subject to show that there was a possibility of explanation, and, if so, the duty of attempting it. That, in view of the ignorances and prejudices which beset the question on both sides, I thought there was everything to be gained by discussion and personal conference; that nothing dissipated prejudices and misunderstanding so much as a meeting face to face; and that, in conclusion, I begged those present to believe that in bringing forward the question of Orders there had been no desire, by a favourable decision, if such could be obtained, to strengthen the position of the Church of England as against Rome; that, entertaining, as we did ourselves, no doubt as to their validity, that could not be our object; but that the question had been brought forward solely because it afforded more than any other the most convenient and easy ground upon which to inaugurate a discussion which had the reunion of Christendom for its final object. That our one and only desire was to promote the peace and reunion of Christendom; and in regard to the conditions upon which such peace could be secured, to follow our Lord's will, and not our own.
This led to much conversation, all of a most friendly and encouraging nature. Among other things, it was asked what were the points in the Decrees of the Council of Trent which would occasion the greatest difficulty, and with which it would be hardest to reconcile the English formularies? I replied that I thought the real difficulties did not lie so much with anything in the formularies themselves as in the opinions outside the formularies which prevailed amongst us, and in the very serious divisions which, it could not be denied, existed within the Church of England. Something was then said as to the present position of the question touching the validity of English Orders, and 1 was asked whether, supposing a case was made out for a change in what had been the practice of the Roman Church for the last 300 years, which in itself would be a fact of capital importance, and it could be shown that there was no reason to doubt, from a historical and scientific point of view, the validity of the Orders conferred by the English Church, I thought it probable that the English clergy would consent to any conditional and supplementary ordination in order to remove any sort of theological doubt which might still be urged? Either then, or by Mgr. Gasparri later, it was pointed out that this was the universal practice of the Roman Church in regard to her own members, and that though the imposition of hands and prayer indicative of the intention to confer Holy Orders was generally accepted as the necessary form and matter of the Sacrament of Order, still, if by any mistake or inadvertence any ordinand omitted to touch the Chalice or Paten, which exhypothesi was not necessary for a valid ordination, the possible defect was remedied by supplying what might be wanted conditionally. I replied, speaking, however, only for myself, that I thought, if all other difficulties had been removed, and it was made absolutely clear that by no possible implication they could be held to be casting any sort of doubt upon their own position, it would be the duty, not only of the English clergy, but of all in an analogous position, for the sake of peace and charity, and for so great a good as the reunion of Christendom, to consent to any step which involved merely a personal humiliation, so long as it did not compromise a truth and a position they were bound to defend. This was welcomed with applause.
Mgr. d'Hulst next asked whether the reunion I hoped for was based on the recognition of the Pope as Patriarch of the West, or as the Primate of the whole of Christendom, jure ecclesiastico; or whether it was a union based on the recognition of the Pope as Primate of Christendom by virtue of our Lord's appointment, and so that the only question would be as to the extent of the powers involved in such primacy? I replied that, speaking again for myself, I had no hesitation in saying that I looked for the reunion of Christendom on the basis of a recognition of the primacy of the Holy See, by virtue of our Lord's appointment, and so ex jure divino; that the whole question lay in what such primacy involved, and that here came in the importance of a careful discussion of the auctoritas claimed for the Pope, and what were the limits which could be assigned to it. It was no doubt true that Dr. Pusey, who had seen several of the French bishops in order to interest them in the cause of reunion before the Vatican Council, had, after the Council, ceased from any further efforts in that direction, feeling them, at all events for the moment, to be hopeless; but that even here time seemed to be showing that the effect of the Vatican Decree had been exaggerated on both sides, and that, if it could be demonstrated that Papal infallibility, as had been stated to be the case, was, in fact, merely the infallibility of the Church, no action of the Pope, apart from the Church as represented by the episcopate, being contemplated by the Decree, then it would certainly appear that a basis for explanation existed which might make peace possible; that the Church of England had never denied the primacy of the Holy See, and that, to come to particulars, I believed there would be a general desire in England to admit any claims made on its behalf which could justify themselves by an appeal to history, and the general traditions and practice of the whole Church. That, in order to appreciate the true character of what took place in England in the sixteenth century, it was necessary to take into account the consequences of the Great Schism in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the line taken at the Councils of Constance and Basil; that the position taken up in England did not materially differ from that involved in the Pragmatic Sanction in France, or even very much from what was implied later on in the Declaration of Bossuet, and of the French clergy in the seventeenth century; that the denial of the jurisdiction of the Court of Rome, which was the question before the English Convocations in 1534, did not necessarily involve a denial of the authority of the Apostolic See; that later the course of events had complicated matters on both sides. On the side of England, changes in the doctrine and ritual of the Church, mainly through foreign influences, had prejudiced the position of the English Church in the eyes of those who wished to adhere to the old order of things. While, on the side of Rome, a policy which might have justified itself in the days of Gregory VII or of Innocent III, when the interference of the Spiritual Power by temporal means was acquiesced in by every one, could only, in the condition of things engendered by the Renaissance, have the effect of still further alienating the country, against a Power which it found invoking the assistance of foreign nationalities such as that of Spain, against itself. Such a policy could only be justified by success. It had failed, and it was therefore condemned. That I did not allude to these things in order to justify all that had been done by those responsible for the changes in England, but in order to show, in view of the great need of reform admitted on all sides, of the fact that it was largely owing to the action of the Popes that reform had not been carried out till it was too late, that the consequences of the schism could not, in justice, be made to fall only on one side-namely, our own-but that, on the contrary, all should be ready to accept their share of the consequences, and all should endeavour to remedy evils for which all were responsible. That if we had much to gain by reunion with the Roman Church, we in England were accustomed to think the Roman Church had something to gain also from the readmission of the Teutonic and Anglo-Saxon element within her fold. Some one, after this, raised the subject of the marriage of the clergy, but it was at once put on one side as a mere question of discipline; while in regard to prayers for the dead, which were also mentioned, I said at once there could be no sort of difficulty.
The conversation lasted about two hours. The extremely sympathetic attitude and friendly feeling of all present was unmistakable, while what was even still more remarkable was the fact that so many persons, representing such very different opinions-as, for example, those of the Univers and Verité on one side, and the Correspondant on the other-should have all come together at so short and informal a notice, and been able to meet on the common ground of goodwill to the Church of England, and a desire to promote, by all means in their power, the reunion of Christendom.
On Saturday morning the Abbé Boudinhon, the Abbé Klein, and M. Tavernier, of the Univers, came to see me; and on Sunday, after Mass, which was sung at seven, I had another long and very interesting conversation With the Abbé Boudinhon and Mgr. Gasparri, the importance of whose articles on the Validity of English Orders and the Jurisdiction of the Holy See in reference to the episcopate, in the Revue Anglo Romaine, is generally admitted. It is difficult to vouch for the entire accuracy of the account of conversation written down from memory, but I believe the following to be substantially a correct summary of what passed. On the subject of the claims made on behalf of the Pope, I ventured to ask the Abbé Boudinhon whether, in the past, the discussion of those claims had not, for the most part at least, turned on the question of jurisdiction in the narrowest sense of the word-the jurisdiction, that is, of the Court of Rome. That it seemed to me that this was the case, to some extent, even in his articles, and that this jurisdiction, which in its most characteristic features originated with, and by, the false Decretals, was what the English Convocations of 1534 had before them, and that upon this the whole controversy of the English Church in the sixteenth century turned, as, indeed, did that of the Gallican Church in the seventeenth. The Gallicans found, rightly, no doubt, the first origin of this jurisdiction in the Sardican Canon of Appeals; therefore it was de jure ecclesiastico; but no one in England would deny (1) that long before the Council of Sardica the Popes were invested with a primacy of a very large kind, which was, indeed, the reason for the appeal to Rome first allowed at Sardica; and (2) that this primacy was something more than one of dignity or honour. It was, to use the widest possible term, a primacy of government which might be expressed by the Latin term regimen, yet we could not see that it involved any actual potestas. I should therefore venture to describe the Pope's primacy as one of auctoritas. Further, I thought that this auctoritas of Rome had never been properly analysed by historians or theologians in reference to existing controversies, for the reason that they had been universally occupied with the later idea of Papal jurisdiction. The noteworthy fact about it, however, was that its origin could not be traced to any act of the whole Church, which could be alleged as its source jure ecclesiastico. No doubt it might be referred to an ecclesiastical origin by force of custom, mos pro lege, but then the custom should be shown to have grown up gradually, or should be accounted for. In the absence of any such account of its origin, it might reasonably be referred to Divine appointment-to an instruction originally committed to the Church by our Lord Himself. The question would then arise, whether any indications of such teaching were to be found in the New Testament. No direct assertion of it is found, and not a little which might seem to militate against it; but, on the other hand, there is the special charge confided to S. Peter, which would certainly bear the interpretation of such a conception of auctoritas. This, again, may have been transmissible, and may have been transmitted to the bishop whom S. Peter (no doubt with the concurrence of S. Paul) constituted at Rome, and to his successors. This was a reasonable, probable, though far from certain, account of the origin of the Papal auctoritas which we find exerted in the earliest ages. Now, if the admission of this auctoritas would not in any way run counter to the divinely-given potestas of the episcopate, and if such admission would help to bring the English Church into line with the rest of the West, it seemed to me our duty to admit, at least as a probable opinion, still more as a basis for conference and discussion, its existence de jure divino, and, as far as possible, regulate our attitude in regard to the cause of reunion and the claims of the Roman Church accordingly. The question, then, which I would ask the Abbé Boudinhon was, How did such a statement of the case strike him, and was it one which could be put forward with any reasonable hope that it might supply a basis for peace?
The Abbé replied, if I understood him aright, that he thought such a statement of the case was perfectly admissible, and that the terms auctoritas and regimen could be accepted, provided the former was not too much qualified by, and put into opposition to, potestas; that history showed the Popes had, from the earliest times, and in reference to every sort of subject, always claimed authority to intervene wherever the good of the Church seemed to require it (a statement hardly differing from that in a recently published letter of Dean Church, in which he speaks of the time when "the Pope, and he only, could represent the Spiritual power with any reality, when every one assumed that the Pope was the rightful organ of the Church-that her power was gathered up in him"); but that no doubt the exercise of such authority, and its extent in practice, depended on circumstances, and had varied from time to time. Sometimes it would have been more, and sometimes less. In the same way the consequences of being in opposition to it would also vary with the circumstances of each case; that obviously, if our Lord had instituted a primacy and a visible centre of unity for His Church, Churches out of visible communion with the Head could not be said to be in a normal condition, that there would evidently be something illegitimate in their position. The visible Head and the members ought to be united; but that, on the other hand, assuming the validity of our Orders, to say that a Church like the Church of England, with its history, position, and in view of all the circumstances attaching to its particular case, was cut off from sacramental grace, and that the sacramental channels were dried up by reason of our separation from Rome, was a proposition which was absolutely false and contrary to all "saine théologie." He added he should be quite prepared to write in this sense in the Revue.
We next had some conversation on Papal Infallibility, taking as a text the comment of the Archbishop of S. Louis, who, speaking of Archbishop Manning's speech at the Vatican Council had said: "Nullum dubium de Ponteficis infallibilitate personal!, separata, et absoluta aut ipse (Archbishop Manning) habet, aut aliis ut habeant permittere velit. Earn doctrinam esse fidei asserit." On this the Abbé said that no doubt the infallibility asserted by the Council for the successor of S. Peter was "personalis " and "absoluta " in regard to the deposit of the Faith, as being real in itself, and not derived from others, but that it could not be said to be "separata" from the Church, and that, in fact, it would not be difficult to show that the Pope's infallibility was really nothing else than the infallibility of the Church itself. The Pope was bound, when proclaiming the belief of the Church in regard to any point touching faith or morals contained in the Deposit, to take all necessary means for ascertaining the faith of the Church, and though it could not be said that for this purpose one means could be insisted upon as more necessary than another, the infallibility claimed for the Pope was strictly limited to the deposit of faith confided to the Church, and that to attempt to establish any infallibility apart from the Church, or in separation from, and in opposition to, the witness of the episcopate as to what that faith was, was not within the meaning and scope of the Vatican Decree. Mgr. Gasparri seemed to endorse the same view, in reference to which an observation he himself made in regard to Fr. Puller's statements as to the meaning of the Thirty-first Article on the Sacrifice of the Mass is not without its bearing-namely, that it was not so much what might have been the original meaning of some of those responsible for the Article in the first instance which was of importance, as the interpretation put upon it by the Church of England at the present time.
In reference to the question of the validity of English Orders, Mgr. Gasparri said he had been asked by the Pope to send him some more copies of his treatise, adding that he had modified the conclusion in a sense more favourable to their absolute validity, in consequence of finding, amongst other things, that he had not allowed sufficient weight to the very wide conclusions of Cardinal de Lugo as to what was required to constitute a sufficient moral union between the imposition of hands and the consecratory prayer. He stated very clearly that, after reading everything on the subject, his conclusion was that there was absolutely no doubt as to the historical fact of Barlow's consecration, none as to the sufficiency of the intention, and that the only question which could be raised, was as to the sufficiency of the rite. In regard to this, he implied considerable astonishment at the line taken by much of the argument in the Tablet, which seemed to him entirely beside the question. The rite, he repeated again, presented the only difficulty. It was one, however, upon which he did not think fresh light was likely to be thrown, or in regard to which a conclusion different from the one asserted in his treatise was probable, and for this reason, that since no one could say exactly what were the essentials for valid Orders prescribed by our Lord, there would always be room for theological opinions on the subject. In all such cases, where it was possible to raise any kind of doubt, it was the practice of the Roman Church, in order to guard against any such cavil, to use some supplementary and conditional ceremony, and he supposed that such was likely to be the decision, if any decision was given at all, in the present case.
After dinner, which was at twelve, we went to S. Sulpice, where I was introduced to the Directors, and where I was afterwards asked to say a few words to them and the students. I did so, endeavouring to say something as to the position and principles of the English Church; of the work which had been done by the Oxford Movement; how wonderfully it had pleased God to bless the work of that movement, bringing back, through its influence, principles and practice which, though always a part of the Church's authoritative teaching, had been partially obscured and neglected; how much reason there was to believe that by the blessing of God the Church of England, as M. de Maistre has seemed to anticipate, might be destined to be an instrument for promoting the reunion of Christendom, and how earnestly I begged for their sympathy and prayers on behalf of endeavours which had for their sole object the fulfilment of our Lord's prayer that His followers might be one.
I was asked a few questions as to the growth of religious communities, etc., in England, and at the close of such remarks I was able to make, one of the Directors, who had been at the gathering on the Friday evening, said how much he had been struck by all that had passed on that occasion, and in particular by one thing he had understood me to say, namely, that to deny^ the reality of the Sacraments received in the English Church would be to deny the reality of all our spiritual experiences. Before I came away I was asked if I would address the students the next time I was in Paris on the whole subject of reunion.
Sunday evening, as, indeed, had been the case on Saturday, I saw some of the members of the community to which the Abbé Portal belongs. The community is one specially engaged in missionary work, and they, as well as others, insisted how greatly the spread of the Gospel was impeded by the rivalry and antagonisms which existed in the missionary field; and how much, in view of the almost universal diffusion and spread of the Anglo-Saxon race, its energy, its initiative, and the position it occupied in India, Africa, America, and Australasia, might be done for the cause of Christianity if we could but find some means of reconciling our unhappy divisions.
On Monday I again saw M. Lorin and others, when much was said as to the advantage of personal contact, and as to the best way in which conferences and discussions might be inaugurated between representative theologians and historians on both sides; and in the afternoon I called on M. Laverdan, the editor of the Correspondent, who begged the Abbé Portal to write an article on reunion in that journal, which is one of the most important magazines in France. In the evening I dined with Mgr. d'Hulst, who expressed himself as being very well pleased with all that had been said and done in regard to reunion, and did not altogether discourage the hope that he might himself take an early opportunity of coming over to England.
In the evening there was a small and informal gathering at Dr. Ferrand's, where, amongst others, were the President of the Cercle Catholique, several members of the Institute of France, M. de Marcien, etc., and at which I was again asked to repeat some of the things I had said on the Friday afternoon, and to give such other information as I could about the position and teaching of the English Church, what had been the origin of the Oxford Movement, and what reason there was to believe that any of those who were entitled to speak with authority on behalf of the Church of England, and any considerable number of its members, really cared about reunion.
I tried to explain how the first impulse to the Oxford Movement had been given by the determination to resist the aggressions of the State, and more especially by the suppression of some of the Irish bishoprics; how the Movement so inaugurated had gradually affected almost every department of Church life: had vindicated the Church's freedom against the intrusions of the civil power in spiritual matters; had restored its synods, revived its doctrine, recovered its ritual, given birth to innumerable works of charity, guilds, societies, and organizations of all sorts for the relief of distress; invigorated missionary efforts; erected new sees, at home and abroad; built and restored churches throughout the length and breadth of the country; founded hospitals; inspired vocations to the religious life, creating communities of men and women, which were spreading themselves not only in England, but in India, Africa, and America; how great a change all this had produced in the feeling of the ^country; how it had abated prejudices, dispelled misunderstandings, converted the Church of England into a real power in the land; and was preparing the way for that reunion of Christendom, the hope of which, despite the enormous difficulties which stood in the way of its realization, excited so strange and powerful an influence on all who realized what such reunion would effect for the cause of Christ's religion throughout the world. Some questions were asked, as on the previous occasion-amongst others, what was the practice of the Church of England as to Confession, to which I replied that I believed the only difference between the Roman Church and ourselves on the subject was that, while the Roman Church in certain cases said you must, the Church of England only said you ought.
The gathering ended by my being asked to give "a conference" on reunion to the members of the Catholic Club and their friends some time in the current year, which I promised to do.
On the Tuesday morning I had an interview for some considerable time with the Bishop of Arras, who had expressed a wish to see me, and who invited me to pay him a visit at Boulogne, where I should have an opportunity of speaking to his clergy on the subject. I was asked to meet the Bishop of La Rochelle on Wednesday, but this I was unable to do. Cardinal Langenieux, the Archbishop of Rheims, had also been good enough to say he should have been glad to see me at Rheims, but he was unfortunately obliged to leave home, in order to attend the funeral of Cardinal Maignan at Tours.
Before concluding this Memorandum, I should like to emphasize again how full of hope and encouragement for the cause of reunion the attitude and dispositions of all those I had the opportunity of seeing in Paris are. The Revue Anglo Romaine is being widely and carefully read just in the quarters where it will be most useful-it is in the hands of the bishops, it is taken in at all the seminaries; it is being circulated not only in France, but in Germany, Italy, America, etc.; it contains information which is very difficult to procure abroad; it is publishing in extenso the text of English formularies and authoritative documents-as, for example, portions of the Book of Common Prayer, the Articles, the Ordination Services, the English Kalendar, Archbishop Parker's Register, extracts from Bishop Forbes's Considerationes Modestae, etc. The articles which have already appeared in it by Father Puller on the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the real object of the Thirty-first Article are exciting some surprise and a very wide and general interest. They are accepted as perfectly satisfactory and orthodox, and when it is remembered that the thesis maintained in them is substantially the same as that asserted by the late Dr. Milligan in his book on our Lord's Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood, and in a very careful article on the same subject which appeared in the Tablet about eighteen months ago, it will be seen how great a step in one most important direction has been already taken towards the removal of misconceptions and for harmonizing apparent differences of doctrine.
What is really wanted now is something which should exhibit and give expression to as great a desire for union in England as that which is making itself so widely and intelligently felt in France-something which, without dissimulating the difficulties in the way of peace, and while insisting on the need of patience, prudence, and the necessity of not provoking fresh divisions at home, whilst seeking for reunion abroad, should at the same time witness to the deep and wide desire for union which certainly exists amongst members of the Church of England. There is a great need that English authorities should make it clear that we do recognize our present position to be abnormal, and contrary to what our Lord intended for His Church, and that we are honestly anxious and prepared to approach points of difference from other standpoints than our own. It cannot be our wisdom to play into the hands of all those who may desire, for various reasons, to discourage the movement, by standing aloof, saying union is impossible, and insisting upon all that makes it difficult. On the contrary, it should surely be our endeavour to go as far as we can in the opposite direction, to show that we are sincerely anxious to be true to the teaching of the undivided Church and our own Western tradition; not, indeed, even for the sake of union, to be indifferent to truth; or to be careless about throwing away advantages which seem to have been providentially given to us for reconciling the claims of reason and faith; not to be in such haste as to run the risk of not carrying the great mass of Church opinion with us; but, subject to these considerations, to make it clear how earnestly we also desire peace; how small all personal sacrifices would seem which should ensure it; and how ready we should be to enter into such personal conferences, undertaken by representatives of both sides, as might lead to the removal of misunderstandings, and at least to prepare the way for that eventual reunion which is so absolutely necessary for the welfare of the cause which all Christians have at heart. There can be no sort of doubt, after the letter from Cardinal Rampolla published in the Revue Anglo Romaine of February 1st, of the sentiments entertained by Leo XIII on this subject.
"It is impossible," the Cardinal writes, "to exaggerate the earnest desire entertained by the Pope to promote the peace and unity of the Christian family." "Certainly," the Cardinal adds, "the Pope would grudge no pains, no thought, no labour in such a cause. Nor can there be the slightest doubt as to the cordiality of the welcome which he would give to any proposals for a friendly exchange of ideas which might smooth and prepare the way for so happy a result."
Who, indeed, can doubt it, after the words of the Pope himself, pronounced so lately as the third of the present month: "Anxious to do all in our power to inaugurate still greater schemes for the reunion of those members of the Christian family who, whether in East or West, are unhappily separated from us, our whole heart and soul goes out towards them in a sacred vision of peace. It is Christ the Redeemer Himself, to whom are known the times and seasons propitious for such attempts, Who urges us forward. The love of Christ constrains us. It is He, the Good Shepherd, the Prince of the shepherds of His flock, whose example we so earnestly desire to follow by striving each day with increasing eagerness to promote the accomplishment of the prayer which was the last bequest of His love. Although it may not be granted to us to see the complete realization of our desires, we have the intimate conviction that at no distant period those desires will be realized, under the guidance of God over-ruling to that end all human affairs. For us it is no small thing to have been allowed to sow the seed of so blessed a peace. . . . And we pray from the bottom of our heart that it may please our heavenly Father of His infinite mercy to allow nothing to interfere with the work we have set ourselves to accomplish, or to mar the peaceful development of His own kingdom upon earth."
Will not the rulers of the English Church be inspired by such words, coming from one so close to the confines of another world, and, by claiming their share in the blessings promised to the peacemakers, allow Leo XIII, before his departure hence, to see some fruit of his earnest prayers and persevering efforts on behalf of the peace of the Church and the welfare of the kingdom of God upon earth?
March 7, 1896.
86 RUE BONAPARTE,
Feb. 25, 189S.
It is with the greatest pleasure that I have received your dissertation on the De Hierarchia Anglicana. The thesis that you defend seems to me incontestable. I had already pronounced myself in this sense in the Bulletin Critique; since then, having had occasion to study the subject more closely, and particularly to examine Estcourt's book thoroughly, I have only been confirmed in my first impression. [Canon Estcourt on English Orders.] The cavils of your opponents strangely resemble those made by the Donatists to defend themselves against the Catholics. I have had the opportunity of expressing my opinion in high quarters, and I have reason to think that the opinion I entertained has not met with disfavour. Without going into the details of your book, I must tell you that its chief novelty and its most obvious utility are due to it being in Latin. The Roman Court does not understand English. It is only informed as to your affairs by a small number of interpreters who, from all I know of them, are far from being of an open mind. In Latin you will be read; in English you would be interpreted.
I may tell you that my colleague, Mgr. Gasparri, has completely abandoned his opinion expressed in his treatise on Ordination. He had depended on Perrone, who has led him astray. He has since made himself acquainted with the documents and also with your proofs. [De Hierarchia Anglicana.] In consequence, he has made it known in a useful quarter that he shared your opinions, and has given the reasons for his change of mind.
May it please God, amid all these studies and controversies, to point out a path which will lead us to unity, or at least bring us as close to it as possible. Rest assured that on my side I will do all in my power to secure the due appreciation of your merits, a result which will be attained when you are better known.
Note.--In 1897, in view of the vehement opposition the discussion had excited, the Abbé Duchesne did not, I believe, insist on the opinion he had previously expressed.--Halifax.
Consider first, how our Lord, going into a certain town, a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house; and she had a sister called Mary, who sat also at the Lord's feet, and heard His word, etc. O how happy, my soul, were these holy sisters, who had it thus in their power to receive the Lord of glory into their house; to entertain Him there, to hear His word, and to converse familiarly with Him, and to minister to Him! O how happy should we have been if we had lived at that time, and could have been favoured in like manner! But stay, my soul, and see if this same Lord does not offer thee the like favours at present; and if it be not entirely thy own fault if thou art not a great Saint in consequence of them. For does He not still abide amongst us in the Blessed Sacrament? Does He not there come in person into our house? Does He not bring all His treasures of divine grace with Him, to enrich our souls? May we not by a spiritual communion invite Him to us whenever we please? May we not by a spirit of recollection and mental prayer entertain Him, and converse with Him as long as we please? Does He not often visit us with His graces? Does He not often stand at the door of the heart and knock? Have we not His heavenly Word with us? May we not minister to Him when we please, and serve Him in the person of the poor, which service He declares He looks upon as done to Himself? If so, what reason have we to regret our not having lived at the time of our Saviour, seeing He is always living with us?
It is admitted that there is a sacrifice in the Mass. This sacrifice is mystical or sacramental, since our Lord offers Himself under the species of bread and wine. This sacramental or mystical sacrifice is real, since our Lord is really present under the species of bread and wine, since we see the Body under the species of bread, the Blood under the species of wine. It being admitted that the wine is the Blood, and the bread the Body, we have the separation of both before us, not as on the Cross, where the separation was in rebus ipsis (i.e. the Body and the Blood), but mystically or sacramentally in signis ipsis (i.e. the bread and wine). This mystical sacrifice is as real as the Sacrifice of the Cross. There is His Body, there is His Blood; they are separated, yes, separated: the Body on one side, the Blood on the other; the word (of consecration) has been the sword, the sharp knife which has made this mystical separation. ... In order to impress on this Jesus Who can die no more, the character of the death which He really suffered, the word 'comes which puts the Body on one side, the Blood on the other, and each under different signs. Here, then, is this Jesus invested with the character of His Death, formerly our victim by the shedding of His Blood, and still to-day our victim in a new way, by the mystical separation of His Body and His Blood.
Extract from Sermon by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Newport, the late Bishop Hedley, delivered in May, 1908.
The sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, to all Christian minds, to all Christian thought, in every aspect of the Christian dispensation, historically, devotionally, practically, are full, complete, and superabundant. . . . His suffering completely atoned for man's offence against God, and purchased all necessary grace for every human being. He is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. For faithful and unbeliever, for the elect and the non-elect, His Blood has made satisfaction. For original sin, for actual sin, and for all the punishment due to sin, He has cancelled the account that was against us, nailing it to His Cross.
The following statement was given me by a friend of mine, Rev. Fr. Al. Janssens, Professor of Theology at Louvain.
The Rev. Fr. Woodlock's assertion that "the infallibility of the Pope and the Godhead of Christ rest exactly on the same authority" calls for some comment. Of course, since both doctrines are revealed, and both are taught by the Church, we can believe both on the authority of the Church, which is columna et firmamentum veritatis.
But Fr. Woodlock seems to overlook the fact that the Godhead of Christ can be believed and is really believed independently of the infallible authority of the Church. Many Protestants believe the Godhead of Christ without believing in the Church. Newman and Manning believed the one long before they believed in the other. The Irish bishops who said in their catechism "This (viz. the infallibility of the Pope) is a Protestant invention" apparently did not as yet believe the infallibility of the Pope.
The truth is that, normally speaking, faith in Christ is a praeambulum to the faith in Christ's Church. One can believe that Christ is God on the historical value of the Gospel and on the strength of the Gospel miracles, especially the Resurrection.
There is another difference. That Christ is God is a fundamental, indeed the fundamental dogma of the Christian Faith. It has always been explicitly held. There was no development in this doctrine, but only in its terminology. The terminology has become clearer when it was found necessary to adjust and harmonize different dogmas.
The infallibility of the Pope, on the other hand, has admitted of a true development, a real doctrinal progress. It has been held but implicitly in the first three centuries and has been doubted afterwards, even until the time of the Vatican Council.
In this sense it is not a fundamental doctrine of the Christian Faith, because fundamentals do not admit of real development. Quod non fuit ab initio doctum et universaliter oreditum non pertinet ad Christianae fidei fundamenta.
Letter from Capt. R. P. Clutton, R.N. (Retired), which appeared in "The Guardian," August 24, 1923.
Reunion and Rome.
SIR,--Knowing the interest which The Guardian has in the cause of reunion between Anglicans and the Church of Rome, as a Roman Catholic layman I offer my opinion on the subject, with which I have great sympathy. Rome cannot, and never can, make any concessions on matters of dogma, but on points of discipline and ritual I believe she would consider almost everything the Anglicans asked, such as a married clergy, use of the cup by the laity, use of the vernacular in the liturgy, etc. No one seems to have inquired what Rome's terms would be. Anglicans would probably be surprised at their liberality in everything except dogma.
Now as to Papal Infallibility. It looks formidable to non-Catholics, but in practice it is only acting as the Pope always has in deciding questions of doctrine--namely, by confirming or otherwise the decrees of General Councils, or, as in the case of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, by obtaining the written opinion of every Catholic bishop in communion with the Holy See. The Pope, let it be granted, would act like a sane man, and would never define a dogma on his personal opinion and off his own bat. He makes use of the hierarchy and his advisers to ascertain what has always been the belief of the Church on the point in question before defining it.
There are at the present time certain questions which require settling as far as Roman Catholics are concerned. These the Pope could settle himself, and his decisions would be accepted without question by all Roman Catholics. The Pope, however, is taking the opportunity of a vast majority of the Catholic bishops being present in Rome in 1925 to hold a General Council to consider these questions. This is how infallibility works in practice.
No doctrine of the Catholic Church is so misunderstood by non-Catholics as the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. As regards the status of the Anglican Church after reunion with Rome, can we not see an Anglican Patriarch of Canterbury in communion with the Holy See ruling his patriarchate as the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch did of old? The Pope's conditions for his communion would be uniformity in doctrine and possibly in more important questions of discipline, but in the every-day government of his patriarchate the patriarch would run his own show. The present Roman Catholics of England would be Catholics of the Latin rite, and our Anglican brethren Catholics of the Anglican rite, the two hierarchies would exist side by side as do Latins and Uniates in the East.
Lastly, Protestants see the Pope's government very centralized in countries like France, Spain, and Germany, and feel they would not like this interference of the Pope in every-day matters. I would reply to this, that the Pope is acting in his capacity of Patriarch of the Latin Church, and not as Pope. True, we cannot always say in which capacity he is acting, but to an Anglican Patriarchate the Pope would only act in his capacity of Pope. The Pope has, of course, jurisdiction over all Churches in communion with the Holy See, but we must assume that the Pope would have tact in his relations with those in his communion according to circumstances. The foregoing is only my personal opinion of what the Holy See could concede without betraying her trust.
RALPH P. CLUTTON, Captain R.N.