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CONSULS OF GOD

abide forever what Christ established in Peter. In his See there lives on also His power and authority. "Our apostolic office," Leo said, "is never in lack of Christ's eternal succour. He is the strength of the foundation above which the whole Church arises. All its offices are united with the one chair of Peter, even as the limbs of the body are united with the head."

This Pope was the first who proceeded to deduce clearly, impres- sively and fully from the doctrine of the Roman primacy the conclu- sion that, as the successor of Peter, the Pope is the highest shepherd and teacher of the Ecclesia universal**. He did not correlate new ideas or new rights with his position; he transformed the immanent law of the past (vetustatis norma, he terms it) into a broad and lofty con- ception of the Papacy which the Middle Ages were to take over but would not amend in any essential way. Leo was a born ruler who realized to the full the loftiness of his office, but he also took this to mean service to humanity. He loved the words auctoritas and po- testas, but no less dear to him were bttmanitas and consulere as char- acteristic of the leader Providence itself had set over Christianity. Re- mote as only a Roman can be from all the hidden confidences of mysticism, he warned against efforts to understand God in human terms or to think of him otherwise than as the Eternal One who is always everywhere in Himself a perfect wholeness. There is a vir- ginal shyness in the manner in which he counsels letting the mysteries of faith rest within themselves as being the inviolable seal put upon human dignity and moral order. He was no defender of supersti- tion. He upbraided church-goers who bowed before the spring sun according to Manichean custom as they came up the steps of St. Pe- ter's Church and entered the portico of the basilica. What are the stars more, he asks, than a reflection of the divine beauty? Similarly he censured the outlook of nominal Christians by saying that it was not enough to change deities and worship the Trinity in palaces and churches, if at the same time one took no heed of moral habits by which the real Christian first proves himself steadfast. But whenever the teaching of the Church was under question, Leo pointed out the orthodox view with clear vision and persistent strength. He forbade his Romans to associate with Egyptian merchants, who on the wharves along the Tiber peddled heresies of the Orient with their wares. He


LEO