VATICAN COUNCIL 367
drawn up at the beginning of the seventeenth century and which long since had generally been accepted as a practically certain truth, was doubted by practically none of those who attended the Council. But they were gravely concerned over the effects of a solemn declaration. Would this enkindle anew the violent indignation which had followed the Syllabus? If the exaggerated Ultramontane explanation of the sentences condemned in the Syllabus had already led to negation of the true nature of the Church and had impaired relations between her and State and civic life, what would one not have to expect from these devotees of a Papal absolutism if the teaching authority of the Pope were defined in a dogma possibly all too sharply alien to the spirit of the Council of Constance? Was not the warning given by Bishop Ketteler of Mainz justified: absolutismus corruptio populorum? Would one not have to expect the apostasy of hundreds of thousands, especially in Germany where Doellinger, a little while ago the Ajax of the Ultramontane party, was now acting with tremendous success as the advocates diaboli of the Papacy? Bishops in democratic coun- tries feared especially any stress on hostility to the state, such as had arisen in connection with the Syllabus, believing that there would follow a counter-attack by the State on the religious freedom of Catho- lics. Moreover, what would remain of the dignity and rights of the episcopal office? Even after the Council had convened, the Bishop of Liverpool said: "We have come here as bishops of the Church; shall we not return to our dioceses as satraps of a central autocrat?** A powerful minority of intellectually important men from Austria, Hungary, Germany, France, and the United States fought hard against the numerical superiority of the partisans of infallibility. Thus the Council itself and the unofficial discussions which accompanied it proceeded to the last amid violent conflicts of opinion, during which apostolic devotion to conscience did not lack utterance. But Rome was deaf this time to every objection advanced in the name of op portunism. During the last general discussion July 13, 1870, four hun- dred and fifty-one of the six hundred and one in attendance were on its side. On July 17, which was the eve of the fourth solemn session, fifty-six bishops of the minority party published a defense of their point of view. They, for the most part, took advantage of their right to a vacation and left the city.