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France and Spain, that the author pays most attention. It is this portion of the Pope's history which has been supposed to be peculiarly damning, and it is on this portion that Baron Hübner was specially enabled to throw light. The popular impression about the Pope's Franco-Spanish policy has been that he was, at the same time, most selfish and most suicidal, most crafty and most absurd. He wished to destroy heresy by a general coalition of the Catholic Powers; he wished to destroy the Catholic Powers by submitting them entirely to himself; and he wished to destroy himself by thus constituting himself, not the Common Father, but the common tyrant of all. To attain these ends, he used all manner of means unscrupulously. He hoarded up money to fit out armies and fleets. He insti. gated Philip to sail against England. He tried to instigate
. Venice to sail against Turkey. One day he favoured the League, and the next he advised Henry the Third to murder the Guises. Now he planned with Philip the dismemberment of France, and presently he abandoned Philip when he feared that the plan would fail. At first he called down on Henry of Navarre the curses of heaven; he shortly after gave him his secret support; and, had he lived long enough, would have probably commissioned him to cross the Pyrenees and ruin Spain. Baron Hübner, of course, had heard all these accusations. He had, however, too slight a turn for controversy, perhaps too high a sense of a historian's dignity, to honour them with formal notice. But he gives them their answer. And the answer is taken, not from hearsay or from partizans of the Pope, but from the extant correspondence of the Pope's enemies, who would hardly tell a lie in his favour, and of the foreign ambassadors, whose very existence in office depended on their narrating events to their Courts with the most perfect precision. And what is the answer ? It not only exculpates the Pope, but forces the admission that (Vol. ii. p. 372) “Sixtus the Fifth saved France from incalculable miseries, and has deserved well of the Church and of humanity.” Were it only for this one portion of it, the book of Baron Hübner would be of the highest value. The case is made out so perfectly, the grand old Pontiff comes out so triumphantly, that the question may be considered as put to rest for ever. We must be very brief; but we shall try to give, in the author's own words when we find it possible, the Baron's conclusions regarding the Franco-Spanish policy of Sixtus the Fifth. They will be found explained and defended in the chapter with which the Baron's book concludes.
In presence of the events of which France was the theatre, Sixtus aimed at two things: the preservation of the Catholic
VOL. XIX.—NO. XXXVII. [New Series.]
religion, which was seriously compromised, and the maintenance of France in the rank of the first power of Europe. He was convinced that if the new creed should be enthroned in France it was all over for some time, nay perhaps for generations, with the Catholic religion in Europe. He was equally convinced that even though France remained Catholic, still if she lost her position as a leading power, the Catholic Church in Europe, even "the centre and focus of the faith,” Rome itself, would lose its independence, and the Catholic religion, thus mortally struck, must then have slowly but inevitably perished. Here then are the conclusions at which those had arrived who were interested in the maintenance of the Catholic religion, and naturally no one was more interested iu it than the Head of the Church. Religion and France must both be saved ; if this cannot be done, then France must be sacrificed to save religion.
Now the future of France was hardly more important for the Pope himself than it was for Philip of Spain. The vast kingdom to which Philip had succeeded was made up of many disconnected and dissatisfied provinces. In the centre of the great European movement—so hostile to Spanish interestslay the Spanish tributaries of Flanders, Franche Comté, Milanese, and the kingdom of Naples. To hold these in proper subjection the road to them from the Iberian Peninsula should lie open, and that road lay through France. In India and America were Spanish provinces of immense wealth and importance, but separated from Spain by many leagues of sea. To maintain a power over her European provinces, and not to lose, sooner or later, her transatlantic possessions, two things were necessary for Spain, the possession of France, and the dominion of the seas. No one understood this better than Philip himself. “I must have the power," he said, “which God has given me; to possess that power I must have France and the sea." And hence, all through the negotiations with Sixtus, Philip insisted on the dismemberment, which meant the destruction, of France. Sixtus wanted to save the Church, Philip wanted to save Spain. Both the Church and Spain were to be saved through the medium of France. But the Church was to be saved through France Catholic and independent; Spain was to be saved by making France, Catholic if you will, but a Catholic province under the dominion of Philip II.
The policy just ascribed to Sixtus was the policy which throughout the struggle he constantly and consistently pursued. His changes of conduct were all simple necessities of his pursuing that policy. When he was made Pope, France was really divided into only two camps, the Calvinists and Catholics. It was the policy of the Pope to prevent the success of the former, and hence does Sixtus issue his 'privatory' bull against the King of Navarre. But after awhile he clearly perceived that the Catholic camp was really divided into two irreconcilable factions, and that over either of these, or over both of them, the King of Navarre would be sure to triumph. Then came the murder of the Guises, to widen still more the breach in the Catholic party. And, lastly, came the murder of the king and the abandonment of the League by many of its firmest adherents, apparently insuring the success of Navarre. But the success of Navarre meant the Calvinizing of France. To save France from being Calvinist, Navarre must be beaten, and there was no one to beat him but Philip of Spain. Accordingly the Pope proposed at Madrid, that he and Philip should in concert attack the King of Navarre. That exposed France to dismemberment, but, in the eyes of Sixtus, national dismemberment is better than national apostasy. Philip, who had long resolved to have France, with or without papal permission, jumped at the offer. To give France one chance more, Sixtus determined that in the projected war he should have the whip-hand of Philip. The papal troops were to be in a majority, and the commander of the entire army was to be the nominee of the Pope's.
But another change took place. It soon became certain, not only that France would not resign her Catholicity, but that, if Henry of Navarre wished to be her king, he must be a Catholic. The Catholic spirit of the country showed itself with such force that the conversion of the future sovereign was no longer a useful means of success, but an actual condition of his accession to the throne. Even in his army the parts were changed. The Huguenots were in a minority, and were fast dwindling down to the rank of mere auxiliaries. All this the Pope was perpetually hearing, and with it came constant assurances that the king, possibly from conviction, possibly from expediency, was about to recant. There was just one way in which the Sixtus policy of saving both France and the Church might still be successful. That way Sixtus saw. He followed it. He got rid of his engagements with Spain, certain, as he now was, that France would issue from the crisis both Catholic in religion and independent as a nation. Was he wrong in so doing? We have stated the facts almost entirely in Baron Hübner's own words, and we leave the reader to form his own conclusion. But Baron Hübner's conclusion is expressed in the words quoted already—“Sixtus the Fifth saved France from incalculable miseries, and has deserved well of the Church and of humanity." And in the justness of that conclusion we fully concur.
We cannot conclude this article without making a remark which this book of Baron Hübner's has very pointedly suggested. We all believe that the more we hear of the truth the more the Church will profit by it. But that belief does not always haunt us when we think of the Church's rulers. We are shy of speaking about such men as Sixtus the Fifth and Alexander the Sixth. Yet the book which we have just been reading shows cause for glorying in the memory of the one, and hints a suspicion that if the history of the other were prom perly known, he too would come out triumphantly as, if not a splendid figure among Popes, certainly a splendid figure among Kings. The Baron's book does more than hint it. At p. 50 of the first volume, the Baron writes : -"Even Alexander the Sixth himself was looked upon by his contemporaries as a great Pope, unfortunate though his memory is to us. The history of his reign, which has still to be written, must have come down to us in a very altered form, or the moral sense of his generation must have been strangly perverted since Ariosto, in his poem published under Leo the Tenth, and while Lucrezia Borgia was still alive, could sing the praises of the latter without offending the public conscience.” The history of Alexander has indeed to be written. And when it shall have been written by a man with the honesty, ability, and opportunities of Baron Hübner, we dare prophesy a vindication of Roderick Borgia, not less splendid than our author's vindication of Felix Peretti.
Art. VIII.-CATHOLIC PRIMARY EDUCATION IN
Education to be Real must be Denominational. By FREDERICK CANON
OAKELEY, M.A. London : Burns, Oates, & Co. Three Letters to the “Tablet,” of May 4, May 18, and June 1, 1872. By
FREDERICK Canon OAKELEY.
YANON OAKELEY has published a criticism of the re
marks which we made in April, on the educational position of English Catholics under Mr. Forster's Act. It will be more satisfactory, if we begin by reprinting his three letters in extenso :
SIR,—The writer of the article on Education in the new number of the DUBLIN Review has done me some unintentional injustice, in supposing my late pamphlet to be directed primarily or principally against the Government system, as at present enforced in English Catholic schools under inspection. Thus, he speaks of agreeing in my principles but dissenting from my "application ” of those principles; and meets particular objections which I bring against the actual operation of the undenominational system, by a defence of what he believes to be the practical working of the new Act in Government-aided schools. I venture to think that he is here somewhat mistaken as to his facts, and I shall presently give my reasons for this impression. But even were I fully to admit them, my argument would remain intact ; since, whatever may be the case in our English schools under Government, it is certain that in the Irish National Schools, and in schools conducted on the principles of the League, and in the projected Board schools, the statements which I have made, for example as to indirect religious teaching and sectarian history, are strictly correct.
In fact, the main object of my pamphlet, as denoted by its title, and explained both in the preface and opening sentences of the pamphlet itself, is to defend the denominational or doginatic system of education against that which is now gaining ground in this and other countries; and to argue against what the writer of the article agrees with me in regarding as the false theory, not especially on Catholic or even religious grounds, but on such as are recognized even by our opponents. This is what I mean to sum up, in the words “education to be real must be denominational.” I deal, or at least intend to deal, throughout my pamphlet with the question in the abstract; although of course in doing so I am led to illustrate my principle by facts, or supposed facts, tending to show the practical operation of the false theory. Certainly in these exemplifications I include the effects or tendencies of that false theory, in the department in which they come most directly home to me as the manager of a Government-aided school. But I think that I have seldom if ever named the Government, except in conjunction with the School Board, and this for the very reason that I was anxious to divest my remarks of all appearance of especial hostility to the Government system as carried out in England; while in some cases, as, for example, where I speak of the Fenian proclivities of certain schoolmasters trained under the Irish National system, I plainly imply the breadth and extended scope of my argument. I entirely agree with my reviewer, in appreciating the remnants of denominationalism which are still preserved to us in this country; and I agree with him that the action of the Government upon our Catholic schools is as yet less injurious than it might have been expected to be, or may conceivably become: nor do I think that anything I have said in my pamphlet is inconsistent with this admission. Still I do see, even in the present Government regulations, the germ of probable, as well as the reality of actual mischief, and I think that the best mode of arresting the downward course of things is to expose the real, however modified, evils of the actual system, while at the same time doing full justice to the good which is preserved in it. Although, therefore, it is not necessary to my argument to deny what the reviewer has said respecting the advantages of the present Government system, I