Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/386

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2 THE THRONE IN THE TIME OF STORMS

rights and bears the imprint of a divine seriousness; and he sought throughout his long reign to deprive humanity of reasons for being estranged from the Church. No one was to see in it a contemptible institution "which compelled men to remain barbarians and illiterates." The consequence was that his many encyclicals, which befriended the states and respected the national genius expressed in the particular governmental form of each, his political, social and cultural admoni- tions, and the measures he took as a magnaminous benefactor of science (for example the opening of the Vatican archives) , convinced Catho- lic and non-Catholic peoples alike that the Papacy was anxious to foster what was best in the efforts of mankind. The most difficult task which Leo had to perform was to straighten out the precariously tangled situation in which Germany had become involved under Pius IX, by reason of the fact that the newly formed Empire, its Protestant Em- peror and its Chancellor, looked upon confessional differences as ob- stacles to a unified intellectual devotion to the now united Fatherland. Domestic policy was under the aegis of individualistic liberalism, which in the interests of unbounded progress was possessed with the idea that its dogma of a dogmaless freedom was a spiritual panacea.

Thus matters remained until 1878 when Bismarck also radically changed his point of view. The Catholic population had likewise held that the exclusion of Austria from Germany weakened its own position, and now had to fear that a schism might result from the de- cisions reached by the Vatican Council. Accordingly it mustered all the strength acquired during the first half of the century for a stand against the animosity of the manifold anti-Catholic groups in the new Empire. Ecclesiastical questions aroused more passions in private and public life than did anything else. Even so the contemporaneous struggle over Weltanschauung between Protestant orthodoxy and a science which either repudiated or ignored Christian revelation de- monstrated that the opposition to Rome did not originate solely in a difference between German state policy and Catholic devotion to the Papacy. It is almost impossible to find an easy formula for what really enkindled this conflict. If one enumerates an hereditary furor ^eutonicus, Luther's hatred of Rome, Bismarck's "determination to give the strongest possible foundations to a unity won on the battle- field," the "vulgar fuss about Hegel" (Schopenhauer), and dreams


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