Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
CORRESPONDENCE WITH DE BUCK -- THE THIRD EIRENICON
--THE VATICAN COUNCIL--DISAPPOINTED HOPES.
WHILE Pusey was engaged on his second Letter to Newman, other events happened in connexion with Roman Catholics on the continent, the exact value of which it was very difficult then, as it is now, to estimate: still they undoubtedly coincided opportunely with Pusey' s sanguine desire that the claims of the English Church should obtain a hearing at the Vatican Council.
It will be remembered that the Archbishop of Paris, and the Bishop of Orleans, had both suggested that definite proposals should be made on behalf of Anglicans to the Council. The Bishop of Brechin was as active as Pusey in the matter; and there was also a small body of laymen of influence and ability, who felt that the summoning of the Council was an occasion which laid on the Church of England a certain moral obligation of doing something towards union, whatever might be the probabilities of success. These laymen and the Bishop of Brechin both entered into correspondence with Victor De Buck, a Jesuit priest who had written a favourable review of the 'Eirenicon' in. the Etudes religieues, historiques et lttéraires of March, 1866.
De Buck, it appears, had lost an opportunity of an inter–view with the Bishop of Brechin from a bashful timidity lest he should be meddling with matters which were more suitable for his superiors. On mentioning this to Mgr. Dupanloup, he received a sharp rebuke, and was told that no effort was to be spared in trying to get Anglicans to the Council, that it was a moment for risking not a little, and that God would prosper his efforts; if he was still timid, he should suggest to the Bishop of Brechin a visit to Orleans. Thus exhorted, De Buck seized the opportunity of acknow–ledging a present of Bishop Forbes' 'Explanation of the Thirty-nine Articles' to write a most urgent letter begging the Bishop to attend the Council. Three Bishops, he wrote, who would there play important parts had said in his hear–ing that the English Bishops ought to receive all honour. A Scotch Bishop would be treated as was Macanus of Thessalonica at the Council of Trent: he would only have to profess the creed of Pius IV, and all disciplinary difficulties could be easily arranged afterwards. His presence with Dr. Pusey as his 'theologian' would fill with joy the hearts of the Bishops. If he could not do this, the Bishop of' Orleans would receive him, as he had received Pusey, and would give him every help. If neither plan were convenient, a scheme for Reunion at least should be submitted, clearly stating difficulties. With these practical suggestions there were intermingled many compliments and lavish promises as regards the facility of Reunion, and warnings against the sin of wilful schism. To another friend in England the same writer sent a sketch of what he thought Rome would allow: conditional re-ordination, Communion in both kinds, the English Prayer book with a few doctrinal modifications might be conceded; married clergy might retain their wives, and either a state–ment might be accepted setting forth the minimum~ of allowable belief about the cultus of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or extreme developments might be condemned. Pusey' s comments on these suggestions show how fully he appre–ciated the practical difficulties of a plan for Reunion.
E. B. P. TO REV. H. P. LIDDON.
[Chale, March 24, 1869.]
I have already seen a full and confidential letter of M. Buck. He is kind, earnest, truthful. But, like most R. C.s, he looks upon individuals only and what may facilitate their reunion with the Church. He would let down individuals as easily as he could. But he cannot throw himself into our position, with whom the past is of more moment than the future. Conditional reordination would suffice for us indi–vidually; but we should, at the same time, be throwing (as we are satisfied) an unmerited and perplexing slur on all our past priestly acts, and on all of all besides in our Communion. It would be an admission on our part that everything was doubtful. I would far sooner, in Oxenham' s position, act as Oxenham, retain my own belief in my Orders, and do what I could as one of the clerus, though inhibited all priestly acts. I had rather be a monk.
This, then, is an excessive difficulty. We are satisfied about our Orders; we are exercising our priestly offices; we are satisfied that we are in the Catholic Church: we have nothing to gain. But we wish the broken intercommunion to be, if possible, healthfully restored. Yet what a condition at the outset--to have to act as if we had been no priests, or as if very possibly we had been no priests, while con–secrating and absolving and teaching our people that we had the power from Christ to consecrate and absolve. It would make every–thing like a troubled dream.
Their side is, I suppose, that they wish for certain, not doubtful, ordinations; and if we are to officiate among their people they have a special interest in them. Anyhow, a Council claiming to be general should not acknowledge as certain what is doubtful (if it were so).
My opinion is to wait till Haddan' s book is out, and see what they make of it. M. Buck says that ten of their theologians would probably agree in holding our Orders to be null or doubtful, but on ten different grounds. My answer was, 'Then they would be nine to one against every specific objection.' He instanced one, 'a better theologian than' himself, whose only objection would be Barlow. Then he ought to acknowledge our Orders wholly, since Barlow' s consecration has been shown to be nihil ad rem.
My own idea, ever since my visit to France, has been to formulize propositions and see whether any real authorities would accept them. But I explained that we did not put forth such propositions as terms on which we should individually join Rome--but that we wanted to be able to tell our people what they would be required to believe as matter of faith. It would be as a pou sto.
I fear that the whole letter is framed upon something temporary. The object is to merge as many as may be in the Roman Church, without making any change. Thus, actual married clergy would be allowed to officiate, retaining their wives; but there would be no relaxation as to celibacy: those who now have the Cup would be allowed it still, but it would only be to those individuals. In the next generation things would be as before.
There is no provision as to continuance, e. g. as to the appointment of Bishops; but if our uniates were to be placed under Archbishop Manning all would soon be as before. They would have sunk in the lake and the waters would have dosed over them.
I fear that the condemnation of 'certain extreme developmenta' would not touch what we need. They could not condemn such state–ments as those which I have mentioned either in the 'Eirenicon 'or any of the other books. For they are over and over again in S. Liguori, and to say truth some are in S. Bernard. But we do not want to have things condemned, only to be free of [them].
I did nothing about the propositions, which I thought we might submit--because (1) of this ultra-Protestant storm which lay upon us, (2) because the Bishop of B. threw such cold water upon it. He harps always on that string 'we represent no one,' or 'a handful.' I say we represent a large number, but we cannot tell whom we represent until we have definite propositions formulized by us, accepted by them.
I have asked him again whether we should formulize statements.
Bishop Forbes too consulted Pusey with regard to his answer to De Buck, and Pusey advised him not to go to Rome in person, but to send propositions which would bring out a discussion and a formal reply: 'I suppose,' he adds, 'that Dc Buck tacitly calculates on the effect which the sight of so many Bishops assembled from different parts of the world would have upon some two or three, and that they would give way.' Bishop Forbes therefore' assured his Jesuit correspondent that he entirely under–estimated the difficulties of Reunion, and that formal propositions should be submitted through Mgr. Dupanloup. In replying on April 14, 1869, De Buck assured him of 'ce fait immense, qu' un des 'motifs' determinants de convoquer le concile a été d' essayer d' opérer une réconciliation avec l' Eglise haute d' Angleterre,' and further that Mgr. Dupanloup, beyond all others, influenced the Pope: during the negotiations previous to the summoning of the Council. In his next letter he announces that Mgr. Dupanloup is rapidly becoming blind.
M. DE BUCK TO THE BISHOP OF BRECHIN.
April 27, 1869.
..Dieu nous conserve ce grand évêque! Vous ne sauriez croire combien il est preoccué des Anglais et des Orientaux. Avant sa maladie, il avait enlace toute l' Allemagne dans une correspondance qui avait pour but de promouvoir la grande ceuvre de la reconciliation. Quand je l' ai vu, il était prêt It tous les sacrifices qui ne fussent pas une trahison de l' Eglise catholique.
In the same letter the writer represents that moderate principles are in the ascendent at Rome, that there is no longer any chance of the definition of Infallibility, and on all practical questions 'nulle part on n' est plus modéré qu' à Rome.'
Pusey was not a little afraid that Bishop Forbes would be misled by the fair-seeming representations of these plausible letters. He urges the Bishop to confine his replies strictly to the one point of 'explanations before negotiation about union' : if the Church of Rome would make authoritative explanations, then there would be a definite object to work for. It would be enough for this Council to lay the foundation of union by way of explanation: English people would not look at things until they had definite points before them. The Bishop acted on Pusey' s advice, while at the same time he felt bound to thank De Buck for the gentle and attractive tone of his letters, which contrasted so strangely with the 'torrents of scorn and sarcasm' that were poured on the High Church party by the English converts to Rome.
On May 15, 1869, De Buck announced that the General of his Order had just summoned him to Rome, and offered while there to do anything in his power for Pusey or the Bishop. But the original plan of accepting Mgr. Dupan–loup' s offer seemed best, and it was decided that propositions should be sent to him containing a negative and a positive statement. 'The negative will contain what we do not believe on each subject, and the positive will say what we do hold as Catholic Christians . in communion with the Church of England.' On both sides the strictest secrecy was to be observed: Dupanloup alone knew of the matter from Dc Buck, and the Bishop and Pusey kept their own counsel.
But while he was at Rome in the summer of 1869 De Buck communicated all that had passed to Cardina Bilio, the Grand Penitentiary, and Secretary of the Inquisition, who was regarded as the leader of the Intransigenti in the Sacred College, and was looked upon by many as the future Pope. He conveyed to him his estimate of the situation in a lengthy historical statement which, although drawn up from memory, was fairly accurate, at least it could not be said seriously to misrepresent any of the opinions of 'Episcopus Z. et Oxonienses,' as the 'Unionistae' were called anonymously. He carried his account up to the time when he left Brussels, the end of May, 1869, and added that the 'doctores Oxonienses' were now busily engaged in preparing a statement of faith which was to be brought to Rome by the Bishop of Orleans. After apologizing for his 'officiosa opera' hitherto, he expressed a hope that the negotiations would in future be carried on by some weightier authority. He ventured to make three suggestions to the Cardinal--(1) that a small committee should be appointed at Rome of men full of learning and discretion, with Cardinal Bilio at its head. This committee, he said, must be ready to put the best construction on the statements submitted to them, must remember that Anglican and Roman theological terminology are not identical, must be capable of distinguishing dogma from unauthorized opinions, and above all must be able to bear with human infirmity-- 'quod hominum genus Romae frequentius est quam alibi.' All converts, except, perhaps, Lockhart and Newman, ought, he thought, to be rigidly excluded from this committee, whose work might well be limited to the opening of negotiations, under a promise of a patient hearing and every possible support at the Council . (2) Further, that all exasperating newspaper gossip an comment should be stopped on both sides, a truce which th( Archbishops of Westminster and Dublin and the Bishop 'Z.' and Dr. Pusey might well arrange. (3) Above all, that no handle should be given to any assertion that the Council was not oecumenical. Cannot the Anglican bishops, he asks, be invited as episcopi dubii, or at least as episcopi a multis habiti? This would, according to Bellarmine, be within the Papal powers. A note to this most interesting document says 'Oblatus hic commentarius Em. V. Ludovico Bilio Romae, medio mense Junio anni 1869, et per eum Concilii Vaticani praesidibus.'
The writer was most anxious to preserve secrecy, and headed the copies of this document with the words 'Confido omnino typis hoc scriptum non excusum in neque passim comminunicatum V. D. B.'
On his return to Brussels early in July, Dc Buck at once wrote to Bishop Forbes, and told him that, without divulging his name, he had discussed his letter with leading men at Rome and was astonished at the welcome with which the news was received. He suggested that each of the propositions sent to Rome should have three divisions instead of the two which Pusey had intended: on each point they should define (1) quid sit credendum, (2) quid credi non debeat, (3) quid credi non possit; and the propositions should be ready for the first meeting of the Council.
But persistent rumours of further definitions of doctrine by the Roman Council prevented the Bishop from sharing the hopes of his kindly and sanguine correspondent. He wrote to say that if the Council was to be pressed to define any political theory that may be contained in the Syllabus, or the corporal Assumption of the Virgin Mary, or the infallibility of the Pope, and so 'to stereotype such follies' --it would only make Reunion impossible. Dc Buck warmly denied the possibility of at least the two latter Definitions; he was certain that at Rome there was no wish for Infallibility, and not a word about the other subject was to be heard anywhere. It was, he said, all newspaper gossip. But the Bishop had other sources of information, on which he thought he could rely, and was sure that there was ground for his fears: above all he bitterly complained to Dc Buck of the cruel in–justice to Anglicans in the deliberate neglect of summoning them to the Council, and of their being classed with Socinians, &c., and not even put on a level with 'the withering heretical Communities of the East.' In replying on July 27, Dc Buck maintained that every one at Rome was astonished to hear that the Anglican Bishops did not consider the command to attend the Council as addressed to them; the Pope in no way wished to insult them.
Other individuals were solicited to appear at Rome by this eager Belgian priest. But Pusey felt certain that no English theologian ought to accept anything short of a formal invitation to attend the Council, in connexion with a-direct summons addressed to the Anglican Bishops. It was not, he felt, a moment for any concessions which would affect even indirectly the Catholicity of the English Church. Pusey addressed the following letter to one who had received an informal invitation from De Buck
E. B. P. TO REV. DR. LITTLEDALE.
Chale, Isle of Wight, July 17 .
I have received no, even the most informal, invitation to attend, nor should I accept an informal invitation. If they invited any, it should be the Bishops. Theologians go to accompany their Bishops. They have ignored our Bishops, and ask any of us whom they may ask informally, because they will deliberately to withhold all acknowledge–ment of the slightest basis upon which we can treat as a Church.
I have seen a good deal of De Buck' s correspondence, and there seemed to me to gleam through it a great desire of individual conversions, or of detaching us as a body, not the slightest, of organic reunion, not any indication that they would acknowledge our Orders. The utmost that they would concede would be conditional re-–ordination.
I have no doubt that the invitation to Rome is given in the hope that the imposing spectacle presented by the Council may bring about individual conversions of English Churchmen more or less learned or well known.
But what can we expect when they invited the great Greek Church simply to submit?
I expect nothing under the present Pope. Under a future Pope there may be great changes.
The difficulty of treating is this, that we have two entirely distinct objects; we, corporate reunion upon explanation of certain points where they have laid down a minimum and upon a large range beyond it; they, individual conversions or the absorption of us. Any negotiations must go off on the authority of the Pope, while Papal claims are what they are, as their conduct towards the Greek Church shows, unless we are prepared to accept Archbishop Manning' s teach–ing, and place ourselves under him. But explanations also seem to be made to satisfy individuals. 'We mean, you see,' they say, 'this and that: if you are satisfied with our explanations, accept Pope Pius' Creed.' And so Pope Pius' Creed is accepted, and the explanation is precipitated [?].
A Council would require a quid pro quo at all events. They might say, 'If a large body, some thousands, are ready to submit to the Church upon such and such explanations being formally given, we will enter into the question. But why should we give our time, if nothing is to come of it, except some possible future action of an external and often hostile body?'
Perhaps God will show us through events what is to be done. The primary difficulties are--(1) that we represent no definite body: we represent a large x which might in time and ultimately be gained, and the x might be Catholicized England; (2) as I said, their first condition of entering into intercourse with us would be that we should leave the English Church and join them if they should satisfy us: our object would be to get a pou sto, whence to act upon the English Church and people. But in any case I think that anything could be better done from England than at Rome.
In the meanwhile Pusey was pressing forward with two works which he hoped might in some way influence the Council. By August, 1869, the new edition of Cardinal De Turrecremata' s work on the Immaculate Conception was finished. Pusey had felt that the analysis which he had published in his first Letter to Newman did not bring out the power of the original. The work of transcription for the new edition was done by two Christ Church friends, and the book was edited throughout by the then recently-appointed Regius Professor of Modem History, Rev. William Stubbs. In September Pusey sent a copy of the book to Newman, who, in thanking him for it, expressed his opinion that 'all questions sink before' that of the Pope' s infallibility, and that the moderate party would find it hard to resist extreme measures. About the same time also he urged Pusey to visit Rome.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Sept. 16, 1869.
I suppose it has not entered into your mind to go to Rome yourself. There would be no way like that to know just what the Bishops of different countries thought. I think you would find them all of one mind as regards the position of the Church of England--but still you would know, as you now do not know. I am quite sure that every one would be rejoiced to see you and that you would receive kind–nesses on all hands.
Or is there any one else who could go instead of you? Two would be better than one.
I don' t think they would go out of their way except they were sure that by doing so they brought important people into the Church. They would want a quid pro quo.
Bp. Forbes would not do, because he is a Bishop, and it would be unpleasant to him--so at least I think.
I do really think one or two learned Anglicans would tend to soften the antagonism which exists in so many quarters.
But Pusey had made up his mind as to the probable result of such a visit, and would not be moved from his intention of stopping at home.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
[Sept. 17, 1869.]
I know what I should find at Rome--great individual kind–ness, of which I am unworthy, an exaggerated belief of my personal influence, great interest in the progress of truth, and conviction of the duty of individual submission.
I trust that I shall be, please God, of more use in finishing my 'Eirenicon,' Part III, which I am doing as much as I can in the language of Bossuet, though, to judge from the letter of P. Hyacinthe, or what one guesses to be the ground of his offence, Gallicanism (I do not mean on its political side) finds little favour now. Yet what has been may be. I suppose some of us will send propositions to the care of Dupanloup, which De Buck is very urgent to have done: but I suppose it will have no result, except, please God, for hereafter.
Some details of his arrangements about the proposed circulation of De Turrecremata' s work are given in another letter of the same time:--
E. B. P. TO REV. G. WILLIAMS
Ascot Hermitage, Bracknell, St. Matthew' s Day .
In view of the sale abroad I have fixed the price so low that if all the copies sold it would not pay its expenses. I fixed it at twelve shillings; Parker wished it to be sixty-five shillings.
It was a venture in view of this Council, and if it falls on me, I shall right again, in time, please God.
I fear that the R. C.s will not take any good notice of the book. I have sent it to the Archbishops of Paris and Cologne, the Bishops of Orleans and Mainz, and the Cardinal Archbishop of Bordeaux, six to American bishops, and one to Bp. Ullathorne.
By the beginning of November Pusey finished also his second Letter to Newman, which makes the third part of the 'Eirenicon,' and which was intended to be' a real Eirenicon.' It was published under the title 'Is Healthful Reunion im–possible?' It is a volume of 350 pages; and in the elaboration of his position Pusey shows that he had profited by the criticisms on his earlier books. He writes more clearly and systematically, and deals alike with the obvious objections which the Romans raised to any explanations and with the practical difficulties of Anglicans.
He points out that if Romans claim only absolute sub–mission, they are acting very differently from Eugenius IV at the Council of Florence, and that such a claim can only be substantiated by begging the whole question at issue.
Then he passes to consider and examine at great length the difficulties which are suggested to the minds of Anglicans when Reunion is mentioned.
'I suppose that the most common dread among us in case of union with Rome is, that we should be involved in a belief in Justification, which would In some way substitute or associate our own works for or with the Merits of Christ; in idolatry, not only in the cultus of the Blessed Virgin or of the Saints, but in that of images, or in the Adoration in the Holy Eucharist, as being, they suppose, an adoration of the Eucharistic symbols; or Eucharistic sacrifice, which should in some way interfere with and obscure the One meritorious Sacrifice on the Cross; or in a belief that sin might be remitted by Absolution, though unrepented or half-repented of, or, as some imagine, even future; or in a Purgatorial fire, the same or like that of hell, in which the departed suffer torments unutterable without any consolation; or in Indulgences, which should be a great interference with God' s judgments in the unseen world, taught for the sake of gain; or that human traditions should interfere with the supreme authority of God' s Word; or that we should be arbitrarily forbidden the use of Holy Scripture, or the gift of the Cup, or the use of prayers in a language which we understand; or people dread certain moral evils which they apprehend from a constrained celibacy of the Priesthood, or some interference with Christian liberty from an arbitrary, boundless authority of the Pope; or, perhaps, some interference with the due authority of a Christian Sovereign in matters temporal.'
Each of these points Pusey discusses in detail and suggests some way of agreement where possible; but the greater part of the book is occupied with an examination in the light of history of the claim to Infallibility. In conclusion, he disclaimed any ulterior object except unity; he was in no way educating a party in the best form of anti-Roman arguments. As a matter of fact there was no party behind him; since Keble' s death he stood, he said, quite alone: his position had been altogether exaggerated.
'I wish, in this new " Eirenicon," to be understood as speaking in the name of no one but my single self. I have consulted no one. The one whom I ever consulted, with whom I was ever one, who was deeply interested in whatever might promote healthful Reunion, to whom, in his last days, the hope was a subject of joy, can now only pray for it, but, perhaps, does more for us there. I write, then, in the name of no party. But I do write in the full confidence that I express the feelings of thousands upon thousands of English' hearts, both here and in the United States, when I say that if, not individual but accredited, Roman authority could say, " Reunion would involve your professing your belief in this and that and that, but it would not involve your receiving such and such opinions, or practices or devotions or matters of discipline," I believe that the middle wall of partition which has existed so long in, as we believe, the one fold of Christendom would be effectually shattered. . . . We are children of common fathers, of those who, after having shone with the light of God within them upon earth, and set on a candlestick which shall never be hid,--the clear light of their inherited faith,--now shine like stars in the kingdom of their Father. Sons of the same fathers, we must in time come to understand each other' s language. I need not commit this to your deep personal love and large-hearted charity. To others in your Communion I would only say through you that neither in this nor in my former work have I thought to speak against anything which is " of faith" among you; one only desire I have had, if it were possible to such as me, to promote a solid, healthful, lasting peace. Evil days and trial-times seem to be coming upon the earth. Faith deepens, but unbelief too becomes more thorough. Yet what might not God do to check it, if those who own One Lord and one faith were again at one, and united Christendom should go forth bound in one by Love--the full flow of God' s Holy Spirit unhemmed by any of those breaks or jars or manglings--to win all to His Love Whom we all desire to love, to serve, to obey! To have removed one stumbling-block would be worth the labour of a life.'
As Pusey finished his work he wrote to Newman, ex–pressing his fears and asking how he should make use of the book to the best advantage. Bossuet' s opinions were, he thought, too moderate for modern Romans, and any dis–passionate consideration of Infallibility had become to many only a declaration of war. Still he begged Newman to suggest some names of English and American Bishops to whom he might send copies. Following Newman' s advice, the book was despatched, soon after the assembling of the Council, to several Bishops who were at Rome, as well as to Mgr. Dupanloup and De Buck. Pusey could not quite give up hope, even when the strength of the extreme Ultramontane party seemed to make hope impossible. Speaking of the low appreciation of Bossuet, which he was now convinced was current at Rome, he said to Newman just after the meeting of the Council: 'Had I known it, 'I should, I suppose--no, I don' t know what I suppose I should have done. Perhaps I should not have thought it hopeless.'
Before the Council assembled the Pope had sanctioned the decision of the Supreme Congregation that De Buck should be bidden to cease his correspondence with some 'heterodox Anglicans.' But it appears that the General of the Jesuits must have been rather slow in forwarding this decision to De Buck, for although the decree was passed on November 17, 1869, the correspondence still continued.
On December 2 Bishop Forbes assured De Buck that he had not forgotten his promise of sending in proposi–tions, but that the turn of events had shown that De Buck had wrongly interpreted the summons to the Council. He went on, however, to express his earnest hope that something might be done to keep the position open in view of better days. De Buck' s answer, dated December 13, complained of the Bishop' s tardiness, which impeded his own action. On every side he had been warned, he said, especially by the General of his own Order, and a Spaniard (his old theological tutor, now on the 'Commission conciliaire papale' ), 'de me tenir en dehors de tout ce qui aurait l' air d' être un parti.' The prominence of Manning at the Council, and his appointment on the Committee for receiving and considering all propositions of the assembled Bishops, was, he said, to be explained as a position of honour like that which was given to the Hellenists In the Acts of the Apostles, 'the last are the first.' He begged Bishop Forbes to come to Rome himself; Manning' s position was an earnest of the treatment that would be accorded to him if he decided 'a faire enfin le pas définitif.' He wrote again on December 20, delivering a message from Cardinal Bilio, to the effect that he would make every arrangement for their worthy reception at Rome by Cardinal de Lucca, the first President of the Council thus putting them into communication with the person best able to advance their interests, and avoiding the difficulty which they apprehended in an introduction by Archbishop Manning.
In reply to this invitation Bishop Forbes writes the following letter; which was evidently from Pusey as well as from himself:--
BISHOP (FORBES) OF BRECHIN TO DR. DE BUCK.
Christ Church [end of Dec., 1869].
VERY LEARNED AND DEAR SIR,
I was much gratified by the receipt of your letter conveying to me the results of your conversation with the eminent Cardinal who has exhibited such an intelligent interest in the position of the Reunionist party in the Church of England. For the first time I begin to conceive hope that something may be done in a matter so fraught with important results to the interests of Christianity.
At the risk of repeating what I have placed before you ere this, in order that His Eminence may not be deceived or disappointed, I shall endeavour to lay down our present position.
That powerful section of the High Church party in the English Church who look to the restoration of the corporate unity of Christendom as one great remedy of the advancing and all-devouring Rationalism of the nineteenth century stand in this relation to the body of which they are members:
(1) They are able to accept ex animo all the documents which they sign as terms of ministering in the Church, interpreting them in the Catholic sense and as illustrated by the references to the consent of the Early Fathers which these documents recognize.
(2) They deplore the existence of the schism which took place at the Reformation, though they are alive to the many incidental advantages that flowed from it, e. g. the freedom of the use of the Holy Scriptures and the destruction of many of the superstitions which defiled the Church and which called for reform long before the too long delayed Council of Trent. Better had it been for all that we had reformed along with the Council of Trent, and that both reforms had been made more thorough. Deploring, then, the existence of the schism, they yet accept their isolated position: they have inherited it, not made it, having regard to the fact that they are where the Providence of God has placed them, and where their circumstances are such that they would feel treasonable to God if they did not recognize that His Spirit was working.
(3) They firmly believe that not only is salvation to be had in Anglicanism, but that they have valid Sacraments, and that grace flows to them through those Sacraments. They believe that provi–dentially at the Reformation the forms used were sufficient to transmit the grace of the Episcopate--that therefore the Bishops confer a valid Ordination, the Bishops and Priests consecrate a valid Eucharist and convey ministerially the remission of sins to all true penitents. They believe that the English Church has had a special duty in the matter of Evidential Theology--that concerned with the proofs of natural and revealed religion--and they appeal with confidence to the general character for religion and morality of the English people, so truthful, so brave, so conscientious, as a proof that the English Church, far short as she has come of her ideal, has yet continued by God' s grace to operate for good. Above all, they point with thankfulness to the mighty religious revival of the last forty years, which has filled the country with new churches, restored the old in their pristine beauty, founded religious orders, restored auricular Confession, and introduced a higher standard of faith and practice both among Clergy and laity. In fact, making allowances for the [presence] of the tolerated Calvinism, that the situation is similar to that of the great schism, when Saints were arrayed on either side.
(?4 or 5) They have a conservative horror of what are called the extremes of Romanism. The excess of the cultus of our dear Lady and such exaggerated expressions as that of the Bishop of Geneva, that the Pope is an incarnation of God, fill their souls with dismay--the more so because not only are such expressions unchecked by authority, but there seems a gradual tendency to increasing exaggera–tion in these and similar respects. I would wish His Eminence to have this very strongly borne in upon his mind. I believe that in this is the real bar to what Dr. Pusey has happily termed healthful reunion.
(?5 or 6) Against all this discouragement must be put the fact that we acknowledge that the condition of Anglicanism in reference to the great Church of the West is unsatisfactory, and that the prospects of the Church of England, politically, are not encouraging. Soon she will be emancipated alike from the trammels and the support of the State, and then most important changes are likely to occur. Reconciliation on fair terms with the Latin Church would, of course, be best absolutely for her. The Calvinistic element would incorporate itself with the Dissenters, or unite itself to the mass of political Churchmen, while it is to be hoped that God may open the way to the Catholic party, without injury to its convictions, resting under the Chair of St. Peter. It is to this consummation that present efforts must be directed. We may not live to see it; but surely to lay the foundation of such a work as this must be well pleasing to our Gracious Saviour, Whose prayer for unity sounds forth from the Upper Chamber of Jerusalem through all time to the ends of the earth. 'Ut hi omnes unum sint, sicut tu Pater etc. Fiat voluntas Tua, Domine Iesu, Fili Mariae. Amen.'
At the same time Newman and Pusey exchanged the news which they had received from Rome. Newman told Pusey that he had heard that the power of Manning was dwindling, and that the popular estimate of the num–bers of the Ultramontane party was exaggerated. Pusey replied:--
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Jan. 28 .
It is very satisfactory to find the 500 who were said to have signed the petition for the declaration of Infallibility so reduced. But what was the Westminster Gazette about? Manning' s is a strange lot. With, I should have thought, but a very moderate share of learning, by throwing himself into the tide, to seem to be at the head of a move–ment which should revolutionize the Church. It is a mysterious lot, one which one should not like for one' s self.
The composition of the Congregation on Dogma has discouraged us. Those whom we should have had most confidence in, Mgr. Dupanloup and Darboy, omitted, and Manning in it. It is utterly hopeless to send any propositions to a Congregation in which Manning should be a leading member. I am told that he has been impressing the Council, or at least important Bishops, with the idea that hundreds of thousands of the English would join the Roman Communion if the Infallibility were declared. I hear that he has been pressing it on this ground, from Lord Acton and Dollinger, and from D. that the Nuncio at Munich (as I understood him) was impressed with his assertion. Both wrote to ask me what I thought. Of course I wrote to Lord A. first. Their letters were not private; but it is as well not to repeat names....
I have had a letter from De Buck also on the 'Is Healthful Re–union, &c.' , which I have answered. He also, like the Bishop who writes to you, regards it as 'an approximation,' which is, in kinder language, to say that it is unsatisfactory. Yet the part which I suppose is most unsatisfactory, viz, that asking for the same autonomia, in the ordinary course of the affairs of the Church as was enjoyed in St. Augustine' s time, was in conformity to what was said to me by a very eminent French ecclesiastic.
I am glad to see that your book, of which I had heard from Copeland, is almost finished. It must be a great relief to you, and will be a great gain to us all.
You had my book, I hope. I directed it to be sent, but more than one miscarried.
I had a very kind letter from the Abp. of St. Louis, to whom Lord Acton gave a copy of my book from me (though not committing himself), and saw a letter from the Archbishop of Halifax, which in fact he said I might see, in which he too looked on it as granting much, only he said I had before 'wriggled' out of concessions which I had made. I sent it to the, three English Bishops at Rome whom you named, and also to Father Hacker. But either my direction was insufficient or they are busy. I hear there is a kindly notice in, I think, Le Français, but I have not seen it. I did not send it to Manning, thinking it simply provocative, as so much is against the Infallibility.
But as the meetings of the Council went on, Pusey had really very little hope of any wise result. Writing to Liddon on January 13, 1870, he says: 'The Council looks as unlike any assembly guided by God the Holy Ghost as one could well imagine. All seems to be done by human policy or stayed by human fears. I fear some compromise which shall involve the principle [of Infalli–bility], leaving the actual affirmation until hereafter.'
Those who are familiar with the condition of Rome in 1870, and the despotic power that then prevailed in the Papal dominions, will not be astonished at the following correspondence. To Pusey it must have been a deep disappointment after the labour and the hopes of so many months.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
March 10, 1870.
You said that the moderate party would have enough to do to keep their own ground. So I suppose they wish to have nothing to do with us. I have just had the two copies of the 'Is Healthful Reunion Impossible?' which I sent to the Bishop of Orleans and your Bishop of Clifton returned to me from Rome with 'refuse' written upon them. I doubt whether the Bishop of Orleans reads English; but anyhow, he could have had it read for him by one of his theologians. The cover was so far torn that he could see what the book was, and my own respectful and affectionate inscription.
It seems an abrupt ending ,of great kindness, the more singular in a Frenchman.
Newman hoped that the fault lay with Pusey, although he had a suspicion that the books were returned by Roman authorities.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
March 11, 1870.
This I am sure of, that Dr. Clifford would be guilty of no incivility to you, any more than Mgr. Dupanloup.
One suspicion came on me, that the Roman police would not pass a book with your name; but I suppose some of your presentation copies have got to their destination…
I am writing to Rome, and I will inquire into the fact without introducing you.
Pusey explained that he could quite understand that the friends of Reunion at Rome thought the matter so hopeless that, without any intended discourtesy, they did not think it worth while to receive his books. The anathemas attached to the Schema de Fide, even in their amended form, showed that conciliation was the last thing in the minds of the majority of the Council.
Newman had to wait some time before he could get an answer from Rome to his inquiry.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
The Oratory, May 20, 1870.
I have just now received Dr. Moriarty' s (Bishop of Kerry' s) answer to the question I addressed to him immediately that I heard your news about the returned copies of your book. I suppose he has forgotten to give me his answer (as people do forget) in former letters.
You will see my suspicion is confirmed by his own. He says, 'Neither Dr. Clifford nor Mgr. Dupanloup received Dr. Pusey' s Letter. They think it was probably stopped in the Post Office. I lent my copy to Dupanloup, and marked for him the passages which he wanted. Of course I transcribe this in confidence.
What makes this more likely, is that the post-office or police actually hindered the Bishop of Mayence' s (Ketteler' s) pamphlet being brought into Rome.
I fear, from Dr. Moriarty' s letter, there is no chance of the Definition being avoided.
Pusey' s reply summarizes his later correspondence with De Buck.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Christ Church, May 21, 1870.
Kindest thanks for your letter. I have been meaning to write to you, at the first breathing time, to mention that I had a very kind letter from Bp. Clifford, telling me that neither he nor the Bp. of Orleans had refused my book, and asking me to send it to him at Clifton.
I do not indeed know that any of my books escaped the post-office authorities, except some which it was suggested to me to send to Lord Acton and one which I sent to the Jesuit College.
But it matters little. Kind as individual Bishops are, the party which takes the hard line seems to be in the ascendent. I have written twice to De Buck about the proposed condemnation of the 'branch theory,' as people call it, explaining to him that the only principle really involved in it was that there could be suspension of intercommunion without such schism as should separate either side from the Church of Christ. This any one must admit in. the case of Anti-Popes, St. Cyprian, the Churches of Asia Minor, St. Meletius: and Dc Buck himself admits it in the abstract. Again, I said that they allowed that invincible ignorance excused an individual. But, I said, whatever may have been the case as to Photius, to judge from all the Greeks who have come to visit us, they do labour under an invincible prejudice that the Filioque involves the heresy of two Apxai in the Godhead. They would, in such case, be under invincible ignorance as to the doctrine of the Filioque; and, as long as they believe it honestly to involve a heresy, they are of course bound not to believe it.
To my first letter, he said that the formula of the 'branch theory' would certainly be condemned, and suggested to me to submit, as he did as to something which he had held. To this I answered that it would be perfectly easy to me to withdraw any Eirenicon or Eirenica in which it was contained, but what good would that do? What we meant by it was that principle which they too would admit, and which was inseparable from our existence and our prayers and our use of the Creeds. For that we could not profess our belief in the Catholic Church, mentally excluding ourselves from it, or pray for its Bishops, excluding our own or any other orthodox Bishops, either in our weekly Prayers or those for the Ember weeks. This last letter only went last Sunday.
But the hard line seems to prevail. Manning seems to me to use his experience in our controversies to direct anathemas skilfully against us. I see that there is an anathema proposed against those who do not hold that St. Peter had jurisdiction over the other Apostles, who had equal fullness of inspiration with himself. What a multiplica–tion of minute anathemas! I can only turn away, sick at heart, and say, 'Though they curse, yet bless Thou.'
I am again at work on my Commentary on the Prophet Nahum, as perhaps I have said before.
God be with you.
Your most affectionate friend;
E. B. PUSEY.
I fear that these decisions will be a great strain on men' s faith. Anti-Christ must come, and everything which tries faith must prepare for his coming. Then those who believe must be driven together; whereas this Council seems to be framed to repel all whom it does not scare.
As every one knows, the extreme Ultramontanes suc–ceeded in carrying all before them at the Council, and all the hopes of conciliation were rendered absolutely futile, when the decree about Papal Infallibility was adopted on July 18, 1870. In all later issues of his third Eirenicon, Pusey altered the title from 'Is Healthful Reunion possible?' to a form which embodied his future attitude towards the Roman Question-- 'Healthful Reunion, as conceived possible before the Vatican Council.'
No correspondence passed between Newman and Pusey when Infallibility was first defined; but in reply to a congratulatory letter from Newman, on his seventy-first birthday, Pusey expressed his sense of the entire failure of these prolonged negotiations for the union of God' s Church.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
[Christ Church] Aug. 26, 1870.
I knew that your love would remember the 22nd, the entrance, probably, of my last decennium. Before the Council, I wondered whether I might not live to see the union of the Churches: you will have seen and mourned how that has already repelled minds. The last Eirenicon has sunk unnoticed to its grave; the first, as you know, was popular; both against my expectations.
I wonder whether the Council will do anything, on its reassembling, to express the conditions of the Infallibility which it has affirmed. To me some of the lesser cases seemed more irreconcileable with Infallibility than the great case of Honorius. As to Honorius, it seemed to me (as I said) either that Honorius erred as to faith, or that General Councils and Popes bore false witness against him. Still, answers were made. But the errors of Popes as to marriage Bellarmine himself does not defend.
However, I say this, because I am writing to you; I have done what I could, and now have done with controversy and Eirenica.
For the moment the principles of Ultramontanism had triumphed, and Pusey seemed to have laboured in vain. Yet it would be a shallow estimate which would consign the Eirenicon, with all the loving work which it enshrined, to a corner in the lumber-room of costly failures and exploded Utopias. The immediate project had failed, but the cause of Reunion was not lost: rather in the end it will be found to have gained. However long God may defer the wished-for end, the contemplation of these years of patient labour will still, as they have already done, kindle others to a like self-devotion. Their history exhibits a picture of no ordinary grandeur,--a noble soul daring to believe, amidst the din of jarring controversy, that God is able to fulfil His own ideal, spreading the contagion of his faith to others, and toiling on through calumny and misrepresentation in his efforts to bring low the mountains that bar the way of the Lord. In spite of all, Pusey knew that he was on the winning side, and continued to pray, as he had prayed for thirty years, in 'The Brotherhood of the Holy Trinity:--
'Vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, to grant to Thy faithful people, unity, peace, and true concord, both visible and invisible, through Jesus Christ our Lord.'