"There were Catholics in countries other than France and
Holland that opposed the growth of the new interpretation of Papal authority. In England
and Ireland opposition to ultra-montanism was great. Vigorous attempts to
Romanize these countries were inaugurated and a clear distinction was made
between Catholics and Romanists. Catholics frankly
committed themselves to the rejection of Papal infallibility. In 1780 a committee of Roman
Catholics in England declared that of the total number of priests in England, estimated at
360, the whole body of clergy including their four Bishops, with the exception of 110
Jesuits, opposed ultra-montanism.
"William E. Gladstone in his book Vaticanism quotes
Bishop Baine, a Roman Catholic Bishop in England in 1822, as saying, Bellarmine and
some other theologians, chiefly Italians, have believed the Pope infallible when proposing
'ex cathedra' an article of faith. But in England and Ireland I do not believe that any
Catholic maintains the infallibility of the Pope. The Pastoral Address of the Irish
Bishops to the clergy and laity in 1826 declared that, It is not an article of the
Catholic Faith, neither are they thereby required to believe that the Pope is
infallible. An official Catechism of the English Roman Catholics is the famous
Keenan's Catechism in which, previous to the year 1870, the following question and answer
were contained. (Q) Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible?
(A) This is a Protestant invention: it is no article of the Catholic faith.
"The ultra-montanists hoped to eliminate this belief amongst
the Roman Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland by a process of Romanizing.
Cardinal Wiseman, the instrument under God to Romanize England, and Manning,
his successor, he could not go too far in conceptions designated ultramontaine
were especially selected by Rome, over the objections of the local clergy, for this
purpose. Thus by the oppression of independent thought and a rewriting of history,
imposed by Romanized Bishops upon a reluctant community, says a recent historian,
a process of 'changing' the thought of English and Irish Catholics was
attempted. These attempts were resisted by Catholics and were unsuccessful even to
the time of the Vatican Council in 1870, when several Irish and English Bishops openly
opposed the new theories of papal prerogatives.
"In Germany, too, under the celebrated theologian, Ignatius von
Dolinger, and on the continent everywhere, old Catholics were strong and
numerous enough to resist the encroachments of this terrifying novelty, little dreaming
that the proposition so much dreaded by Catholics everywhere would be considered seriously
enough to be proclaimed as an Article of Faith binding upon all the faithful.
"Up to the eve of the famous Vatican I Council, there was an
uninterrupted existence within the Roman Church of old Catholics struggling
always to maintain an unmutilated faith in the Catholic Church. But with the curtain
rising on the first Vatican Council, we enter the final phase of their struggles, a period
that is, from any point of view, the most critical in the history of the papacy. On the
18th of July 1870 the transition of Roman Catholicism into a new phase of Catholicism took
place, to leave only a remnant of the faithful clinging to what the Church had always,
everywhere believed -- the old Catholic Faith, unchanged, yet progressively