AND ANTI-ROME 385
sign of confident reliance upon an objective truth; and k answers wavering moral feeling with a law which frees the single natural action from the peril of chaos imminent in it, and gives it its own significance in the order of the Whole, which it itself has not seen. Though on the surface it may appear to be otherwise, these are the three ways in which a conciliating, hope-bringing view of life can reach eminence sub specie teternitatis. Nevertheless Rome's dictatorship is also con- tingent upon the resistance of the anti-Roman world, even as form is contingent upon matter. In this relationship only can that law be fulfilled which is garbed in images and parables on many a page of the New Testament.
We have said Rome, and as we did so the part stood for the whole that whole for the sake of which alone the Papacy exists. Its justification, its task and the value of what it does throughout time must be measured by the being and meaning of that whole. To it as to the whole it crowns no other sign has been given under which It could be saved, save only that which stands above the dome of its greatest cathedral.
We began with Peter and we shall close with him. The entire history of the Papacy, of its weakness and its greatness, of its hours of denial and its hours of heroic love, repeat the life of him who in spite of human nature was called Kepha and was Kepha. There exists a legend concerning his death which not only conforms perfectly with the Bible story but also incorporates inexhaustible truth about the Papacy as it is and as it should be.
Peter fled from Rome when the persecution of Nero broke out. Fellow Christians had advised him to do so in order that his life might be spared for his sake and for their own. But as he went down the Appian Way, the Lord came toward him. Peter then asked Him, as he had once asked Him in Jerusalem before the Passion: "Master, whither goest Thou?" And the Lord answered, "To Rome in order to let Myself be crucified again." Then He vanished, but Peter understood, retraced his steps and suffered death on the cross.
Today there stands on that Appian Way the little Church of Domine Quo Vadis. How little a building it is compared with magnificent St. Peter's! The question which its name phrases, the Master Himself answered for His disciple by urging him to follow