20 December 2014

2014/5, YEAR OF THE SYLLABUS: more guidance from Dr Jalland

Surely, even if the British Post Office does not do so, the Vatican Post Office will issue stamps commemorative of the Sesquicentenary of the Syllabus Errorum?

I wish to quote just once more from the distinguished Anglican scholar Dr Trevor Jalland in order to ease us a little forward in our study of that admirable document the Syllabus of Errors of B Pius IX, the sesquicentenary of which we joyfully celebrate this year of 2014/5 (see earlier post). The Anglican Tradition (now of course to be found safely incarnate and incardinate within the Roman Unity in the Ordinariates) can often be relied upon to give you a more balanced and nuanced judgement than ... er ... Well, anyway, here goes Jalland, again:
"The syllabus naturally evoked a great deal of interest, though in Catholic circles it was not unmixed with some measure of alarm. For the latter the form of the document was no doubt in some degree itself responsible. Dupanloup, who may be taken as representative of its more moderate critics, published a pamphlet on the encyclical as a whole, in which he called attention to the need of interpreting the language of the several views condemned in the light of their proper context ... the distinction made by Dupanloup in the course of his exposition between thesis and hypothesis, between the ideal and the actual, was later formally endorsed by Pius IX's successor Leo XIII. And even if it is true that Dupanloup was less concerned to say what the encyclical was than what it was not, it is at least noteworthy that Pius himself commended his work."

Jalland had begun his Bampton Lectures with Monsignor Felix Dupanloup, bishop of Orleans. "On the morning of Monday, July 18, 1870, as the early glow of dawn was slowly spreading across the sky of north Italy, an express train which had left Rome at half-past seven o'clock on the previous evening was clanking on its way across the plains of Lombardy". Yes; rather a novelistic style. I doubt whether any previous academic delivering the prestigious Bampton Lectures had  ever similarly begun. " ... Dupanloup ... felt in the pocket of his douillette and drew out his Breviary. His companion, Monsignor Louis Haynald, archbishop of the the metropolitan see of Kalocsa in Hungary ... who was occupying the opposite corner of the compartment, leaned forward ..." Yes, of course you want to know what happened next. You have every right to. This is Gripping Stuff. The lectures were published, in 1944, as The Church and the Papacy a historical study. I recommend it [Wikipaedia "Bampton Lectures" PDF under 1942, so I am told].

Dupanloup and Haynald were leaving the First Vatican Council early, before its final vote had taken place. They were among the leaders of the unsuccessful ('inopportunist') minority which had opposed the formal definition of Papal Infallibility and Primacy. As we edge forward in finessing our approach to the Syllabus, you need to know this; you need to have it clear in your mind that Dupanloup was not an Ultramontane; not someone who lived safely trapped in the pocket of Pio Nono's douillette. Certainly not another Manning or Ward.

By the way, do you know whom Dupanloup had wanted to take with him to the Council as his personal peritus? Have a guess .... .... .... yes! Yes! You will go far! You have sound instincts! An Englishman called Newman! Just imagine what Mr Archdeacon emeritus Manning would have had to say about that! How he would have pursed his thin lips every time he noticed Newman and Dupanloup and David Moriarty* with their heads together murmuring behind a pillar in S Peter's, or laughing in a trattoria! Ah, the might-have-beens of History! Clio, what a tease thou art!

After Christmass, we shall return, DV, to the admirable Dupanloup and his 'take' on the Syllabus. And then move on to Blessed John Henry. And conclude with some speculations about the light the writings of Dupanloup and Newman throw on the topical question of the appropriate nuancing, exegesis, and taxonomia of papal utterances in our own time. I bet you can't wait.

*A close friend of Newman's, Bishop of Kerry; another 'inopportunist', apparently one of only two Council Fathers who never quite found the time to get round to subscribing formally the decrees with regard to the Infallibility and Primacy of the Roman Pontiff. The exquisite (mini-Salisbury) Cathedral (with Close) which he helped to finish in Killarney ... with spectacularly Constabular views of it across the water meadows ... was grossly and disgracefully vandalised in the 1970s by a charismatic, up-to-date and progressive young bishop called Eamon Casey. Its architect was Pugin and J J McCarthy, a Kerryman, had done the interiors. I have myself spoken to venerable ladies who described the endless procession of builders' skips carting off the smashed marble and masonry and plaster, a memory still raw in their minds in the 1990s. And when a Kerrywoman has a raw memory ...


Joshua said...

I once read a delightful book about Victorians in Purgatory; according to it, Manning must sit in an armchair in a drawing room, gazing upon a portrait of Newman - for one thousand years.

Stephen said...

Didn't Pius IX more or less forcibly expel those bishops who might have not voted in the affirmative for Pastor Aeternus?

Fr John Hunwicke said...

I don't think so. I have heard that that some of those who were tardy about adhering to the decrees mysteriously found that their Quinquennial faculties seemed a bit late coming through.

√Čamonn said...

PDF available for download here as well:


Jacobi said...

"I bet you can't wait"

Dead right you are!

Don Camillo SSC said...

Dear Father, I wish you would not make sneering remarks about the saintly Cardinal Manning, at whose funeral procession the streets of London were lined by the poor he had championed, and who on his deathbed gave to his successor Bishop Vaughan the prayer-book that had belonged to his dear wife, saying, "All the good I may have done, all the good I may have been, I owe to her."