The True and the False Infallibility of the Popes
TRUE AND THE FALSE
Infallibility of the Popes.
A CONTROVERSIAL REPLY TO DR. SCHULTE.
Dr. JOSEPH FESSLER,
Late Bishop of St. Fatten, in Austria, and Secretary-General of the Vatican Council.
A Work honoured by a Brief of Approbation from His Holiness Pope Pius IX.
Translated from the Third Edition
BY PERMISSION OF THE EDITORS OF THE LATE BISHOP FESSLER'S WORKS.
THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY,
No. 9 Warren Street.
Extract from a Brief addressed to Bishop Fessler by his Holiness Pope
April 27, 1871.
'… Peropportunum autem et utilissimum existimavimus retudisse te audaciam Professoris Schulte incitantis sæculares Potestates adversus dogma Pontificiæ infallibilitatis ab œcumenicâ Vaticanâ Synodo definitæ. Non omnes enim, inter laicos præsertim, rei indolem perspectam habent; et Veritas luculenter exposita multas abigere solet ab honestorum mentibus obliquas opiniones, sæpe cum lacte haustas, aliosque confirmare in rectâ sententiâ et adversus insidias munire. Quamobrem si hujusmodi commenta refellere pergas, optime certe merebis de sanctissimâ religione nostrâ et Christiano populo, quem, uti bonus Pastor, a venenatis pascuis abduces. Pergratum Nos tibi profitemur animum, cum ob volumen oblatum, tum ob amantissimas litteras tuas; tibique amplam apprecamur obsequii devotionisque tuæ mercedem. …'
'… We esteem it a very opportune and useful thing to have beaten back the audacity of , inciting as he does the secular powers against the dogma of Papal Infallibility, as defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. For it is a matter the true meaning of which, not all men, and especially not all laymen, have a thoroughly clear understanding of, and the truth, when lucidly set forth, is wont to expel from properly constituted minds opinions which men perhaps have drunk in with their mother's milk, to confirm others in a right mind, and fortify them against insidious attacks. Wherefore, if you continue to refute figments of this kind, you will deserve well of our most holy religion, and of all Christian people, in that, like a good pastor, you withdraw them from poisoned pastures We make known to you, then, the great pleasure you have given Us, both by reason of the book which you have presented to Us, as well as by reason of your most affectionate letters; and We pray that you may receive a rich reward for your deference to Our authority and devotion towards Ourselves. …'
(Signed by the Pope's own hand.)
Note.—The fact of the Brief and its signature is derived from M. Anton. Erdinger, director of the Episcopal Seminary at St. Polten, author of the Life of Bishop Fessler, who sent a copy of it to M. Cosquin of the Français. to whom I am indebted for these important notices. The Pope's Brief is not given entire, as the remainder of it has reference solely to local diocesan affairs.