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always claimed “ to convince other people” but never allowed himself to be convinced occasionally by others.
“ This is evidently avowed in his much-quoted speech of April 16, 1869, in wbich he rejected the proposal to establish a responsibility of the Imperial Ministers, remarking that to do so would be to bind him hand and foot, and to put him into the leading strings of a Council. Prince Bismarck claims, in some measure, and not unreasonably, an absolute authority in his own sphere.
Having already not unfrequently felt cramped by the deference due to the highest person in the State, by the views of Foreign Cabinets, by public opinion and parliamentary representatives, he is little inclined to give much heed to the individual convictions of his official organs. Whoever will not resign his right of personal opinion to his all-powerful chief must fall: such is the inevitable destiny, which unfortunately awaits even the best abilities. According to the testimony of these publications Count Amim seems not to have escaped a like fate; but it is to be hoped that Germany will not be deprived for ever of the powers of this far-seeing statesman.
“Whoever values these documents, not only in an historical but also in a physiological point of view, must bear in mind not merely their contents, but also their dates, and above all the order of their publication.
“The documents first published by the Vienna Presse, especially Count Arnim's so-called Memorandum, justly excited universal attention in the political world. Admiration was felt for the statesman who even during the progress of the Council had set forth, in the most exact manner, what would and must follow if the German Episcopate should succumb through its conscientiousness and also its diffidence, and ignorance of the character of the enemy :' long vacations, expulsion of the
Jesuits, restricting of individual freedom in regard to monastic institutions, prohibitions as to the education of young clericals in Rome, &c., in short a so-called condition of sufferance of the Church, and all that not only in countries whose Sovereigns are Protestants.' This first published Memorandum bore date June 17, 1870, consequently the concluding period of the Council.
“This was followed about ten days later by the publication in the semi-official Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung of three despatches containing instructions from Prince Bismarck, which, according to their dates, reach much further back.
“ The first of these, dated May 26, 1869, contains a very judicious refusal of the proposal broached shortly before by Count Arnim of sending so-called 'orators' to the Council as representatives of the States. Against Count Arim's practical point of view Prince Bismarck advocated a purely theoretical one.
“ The decrees of the Council of Trent having no legal validity in Prussia, the latter was obliged to take no steps that would imply a recognition of the Vatican :—The par
ticipation of a State in a Council rests on grounds quite foreign to and no longer existing for us-on a relation between Church and State belonging to the past, which only had any meaning while the State regarded the Catholic as the only and universal Church.' As regards Prussia, both constitutionally and politically, there is but one view to be taken, which is : the entire freedom of the Church in ecclesiastical matters, and the decided rejection of any claims and transgression on its part in the political domain of the State. To send 'orators' would be lending a hand towards the blending of these two standpoints which the State could not allow. Bismarck's political intelligence is undoubtedly more clearly perceptible in this reasoning than that of the North German Ambassador at the Curia.
“ The second of these simultaneously-published despatches is dated January 5, 1870. Prince Bismarck was in the main faithful to his intention of taking no direct part in the Council; however, he instructed Count Arnim to keep within the ken of the bishops of the Opposition, to encourage them, and to give them a prospect of the support of the Government in case they should afterwards suffer persecution from Rome. The intentions of the Curia were very well known at the beginning of 1870; no one doubted any longer that the great aim in view was the proclamation of Infallibility; but the weakness of the Opposition had at the same time also been clearly demonstrated. When it had succeeded in defeating the proclamation by acclamation, it entertained the hope of being able to postpone and finally abandon altogether the portentous question, and therefore laid special stress on the inopportunity of the proclamation of Rome's desired dogma.
“The third of the three despatches published by the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, dated March 13, 1870, gives ample proof that the Governments of the North German Confederation regarded this weak effort with sympathy, but with the firm determination not to interfere openly. "The bishops must settle with their consciences how far they will or can go in this defence of their rights, the Governments can only go as far as the bishops go themselves. Should we wish to go further and undertake to guide them, or only even to invite them to take certain steps, we should find ourselves on ground on which the Curia would have the advantage of us. The Catholic Church of Germany is represented, as far as we are concerned, by its Episcopate, to which we are ready to give powerful protection as soon and for as long as they shall desire it. But actual action in Church matters we must leave to the Episcopate ; we can only act when the consequences are likely to affect the outer world. By a premature interference we should only confuse the consciences and make the position of the bishops more difficult. '
“Nothing indeed can be said against all these publicationsboth sides had their justification. As for ourselves, we confess readily, to having more sympathy for that which expresses Bismarck's instructions, but it ought to have resulted in a legislation realising in the highest degree the principle of individual religious freedom--a legislation which separates Church and State as far as seems permissible with respect to the real factors with which practical policy has to deal. According to this view, a series of liberating laws (abolition of compulsory baptism, introduction of civil marriages, emancipation of schools from hierarchical authority) should have taken precedence of all so-called ecclesiastical laws. But since the authorities of the State gave the preference to a concrete interference in the domain usurped by the Church to a settlement of principles, the more practical views of Count Arnim, which gradually identified themselves with those which Prince Hohenlohe elucidated in his celebrated circular despatch of the 9th April, 1869, obtained a greater and more important significance.
“Earlier than all other statesmen, earlier than most of the bishops not initiated in the plans of the Curia, earlier than the large mass of the Catholic people, had Prince Hohenlohe foreseen that the only dogmatic matter which it was desired in Rome should be decided by the Council, namely, the personal Infallibility of the Pope, was of a highly political character, and that its solution in the sense of the Curia would be decisive, ab initio, for all questions of a mixed character relating to the established Church.
“Prince Hohenlohe's proposition, therefore, was that the Governments should take precautionary measures in order not to be without remedy afterwards, and to come to an agreement as to a common and uniform course of action in this respect, in order to restrain the Curia from adopting extreme steps.
“Notwithstanding the publication of the last-mentioned despatches of Prince Bismarck, by which the inoffensive tendency of the Prussian Government is established in a gratifying manner, the sympathies which Count Arnim had awakened by his Memorandum published in the Vienna Presse remained unaltered. People felt that Prince Bismarck's theoretically perfectly justified principle of non-intervention had not, after all, had the desired effect; and it was admitted that Count Arnim had shown greater foresight in this respect than his chief. This reputation could not be allowed to attach to Count Arnim; for the purpose of crushing it, the semi-official press was at once set in motion to do service. About the middle of April the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung published an article which raised suspicion as to the genuineness of Count Arnim's famous Memorandum, which it stigmatized as apocryphal, bringing forward a despatch which was to prove that Count Arnim was by no means the far-seeing statesman he was supposed to be since the publication of that Memorandum ; and that especially he was not an admirer of Prince Hohenlohe and his adviser, Canon von Döllinger. The publication of this despatch had no political interest, but the tendency of the proceeding was obvious. This despatch-the last that was published by the semi-official prints--is, as regards its date, the oldest (14th May, 1869). It belongs to a time when also Count Arnim did not see things clear, and for the following reasons :
“He whose office it would have been to explain and support the views advanced by Prince Hohenlohe, the former Bavarian Ambassador in Rome, Dr. von Sigmund, counteracted, in the most direct manner, the views of his chief. Dr. von Sigmund, a man of great self-consciousness, but not corresponding