Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/362

This page needs to be proofread.


equals, concealed a very dangerous germ that might destroy the things that were being praised. While the Revolution had torn down thrones and altars for the sake of man, traditionalism was tearing down man for the sake of thrones and altars. On both sides something was being made an end in itself which must not be an end in itself if life is not to become vapid. If one simply terms every- thing human or everything Divine, the result will be equally non- sensical. Lamennais own sister said that he would become a devil if he did not become an angel; and the same thing might ultimately have been said of this school as a whole, if history had not intervened with its own rationalism. Lamennais, eternally in ferment, involved his misleading system of thought in the tragedy of his life. Joseph de Maistre's book, a basic Ultramontane text, aroused the weightiest doubts in Rome itself, where the heretical face was detected behind the veil. Pius MI liked it as little as did Louis XVIII in Paris. An anonymous theological writer pointed out the naturalistic foundation of this apotheosis of the Papacy the view that Catholicism is a creation of the totality of human reason and the incarnation des lots du monde dhtnsees, and that the roots of dogma and discipline lie only in the depths of human nature, or (as the phrase would have it) in the opinion univtrselle. The fact that Rome was cold even to a book written in its own behalf showed that the apostles of the Papal idea were keeping a sharp watch over dogmatic purity.

Pius VII did not go so far as to condemn the book. He was an eighty-year-old man, resting after the sore trials of his life; and he was glad to be able to end his days in Rome, and little desirous of stirring up new conflicts and embroglios. He had forgiven Na- poleon as an erring soul and now he continued to think kindly of the exiled monarch, whom he had recognized as a great man. He also made the Papal States a place of refuge for the Napoleonic family. In spite of everything he did owe it to Bonaparte that, with the help of a Concordat, France remained a Catholic land. Pope Pius died on August 20, 1823, and a few months later Consalvi followed him in death.

The three Popes who reigned during the next twenty years were cautiously conservative men whose eyes were fixed on the past. They were: Leo XII, Coraalvi's opponent and a favourite of the Zelanri;