Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/321

This page needs to be proofread.


other. Carried out to its logical conclusion, Jansenism tumbles from protests against the institutionalism of the Church into a dearth of re- gard for the Church as an institution. Criticizing exaggerated views of the values of reason and the will, it gives an answer which proclaims the bankruptcy of human existence. Pascal wrote his Pensees in the name of the universal human condition of moral nakedness; but though these fragments are immemorable and contain lasting truth, they are nevertheless only a fragment of the whole of religion. His Lettres Provinciates, the attack on the Jesuits which he forged and hammered in the name of all his friends, is no product of the virtues which he thought the Jesuits did not possess. It fails to recognize the eternal validity of principles which they had merely brought into ill repute through misuse and over-emphasis.

The Popes in part the same Popes who had found fault with Jesuit casuistry also attacked the Janscnistic maxims. In Port Royal it was not contended that the Pope had no right to condemn these maxims, but it was denied that the Janscnists had ever held the views which Rome attributed to them. When Alexander VII de- cided that error had really been taught, the Jansenists replied that here the teaching authority was manifestly encroaching on the territory of the qttasstio facti, the question as to whether the intention which had been read out of the condemned statements had really been con- tained in them. The Pope's decision aroused much ill-will among the Janscnists; and under Pope Clement X, Rome retreated. The objectionable statements were as always condemned, but the question as to what the real meaning of their author had been was left open. It almost seemed as if there was to be peace between Rome and Port Royal. Then there was issued an edition of the New Testament with commentaries by the Jansenist Quesnel; and this was endorsed by Cardinal Noailles, later on Archbishop of Paris. This edition rapidly became very popular. The Jesuits attacked it violently, some bishops forbade its use and Noailles got into difficulties over it with both Rome and Versailles. At the King's request, the book was ex- amined anew by the Vatican and was condemned, with the connivance of the Jesuits, by the bull Unigcnitus in 1713. The bitter quarrel over Quesnel and the bull lasted until the Archbishop made an uncondi- tional submission before he died in 1728.