TRIDENTINE TACTICS 281
expounded without faith not only did not contradict this faith but even supported it. Jesus permitted Thomas to lay his finger in the Wound and to remain with the others who had believed without proof. And again, since they saw Rome's antagonists err in their struggle and search for truth, men rejoiced in the visible contemporaneousness and solidity of a religion the preservation of the very nature of which had led the Papacy to decline making a spiritual compromise with the apostate half of Europe. A quiet though not untroubled confidence animated Catholics after the rise of the new learning: those who dwelt in the camp of free inquiry, men addicted to an effort that was at bottom godless, would sometime, somewhere, utter the prayer of doubting Thomas and find the content of faith, which is objective truth, for which they were seeking. Rome did not permit the stable world of its teaching to be subordinated to the unending experi- ments of science; and thus it naturally also risked the danger of taking a wrong attitude towards questions having nothing to do with dogma.
After the dismemberment of Europe, Rome was forced to adopt a new tactic in defending what it possessed and in seeking to gain back what had been lost. State policy was separated from religion: yes, the process of secularization went so far that the ancient relationship was reversed, and religion was toyed with as a political instrument. The Roman principle of authority could not have more deeply violated consciences than did the Protestant principle of freedom, which in J 555 proclaimed that the sovereign had a right to determine the reli- gion of his subjects. A paradox had thus become a fact. The slogan of a man's innermost right to self-determination had brought about a situation in which what is holiest and most personal was subjected to that power which is most external the will or the whim of a human being.
Nevertheless this power was a verity with which Rome had to reckon. Since it was the duty of the Church to exist, it was likewise its duty to exist under the circumstances in which the debate now took place. The end for which the Church existed and worked de- pended upon political means, open negotiation and secret diplomacy, for its realization. It was only after an agreement with the temporal powers had been reached that missionaries could go out and preach.