HIERARCHY RESTORED 361
parliamentary representatives was a most impressive sign that the Papal idea was gaining ground. Rome concluded concordats with governments of the old and the new world, carried out organizatoria] reforms in all domains of the Church, and erected new educational institutions in strict conformity with dogmatic and canonical decisions. The Jesuits took over the propaganda for Papal centralism, and in the Neo-scholastic movement set up a rival to modern philosophy in St. Thomas Aquinas' interpretation of the world. This combined the philosophical treasures of antiquity and of Christianity. In France and Germany (where in 1852 the Catholic Centre Party was formed) Catholic Societies and assemblies became religious factors of im- portance and therewith also political factors. Catholic journalism and literature, not always and everywhere in agreement with strictly Ultramontane points of view, revealed both a new mastery of expres- sion and a new spiritual energy.
Similar phenomena were noticeable in Italy, Germany, France and Spain. All these forces, which had been released by the Revolution and Romanticism, united in a counter-revolutionary movement which believed that the endangered principle of personal absolutism was defended and represented in contemporary life by the monarchical Head of the Church. Moreover the political and intellectual attack on the Roman throne had automatically elicited from this throne it- self a resisting strength which had its own peculiar source hidden from the onslaughts of the outside world. The steadfastness and resistance it manifested were based on the logic of a system and on an organic historical growth, the first origins of which had been rooted in a reality transcending history. Even if the Pope who in 1854 conferred the status of a dogma on the ancient doctrine of the Francis- can and Jesuit schools that Mary in the first moment of her con- ception had been kept free of all stain of original sin had really been as his enemies declared an unlearned, credulous Pope, who in true Southern style was caught in the meshes of a highly imaginative de- votionalism, the fact nevertheless remained that his declaration merely set forth a conclusion derived from ancient teaching that Mary is the Virgin Mother of the Divine Son. Pius had asked all the bishops of the world for a vote on the subject; but when he defined the dogma of his own accord and without a Council he was already in fact voicing