Brethren Archive
The Year 1870

Bishop Strossmayer's Speech in the Vatican Council of 1870

DG said ...
W. Kelly. (B.T. Vol. 9, p. 160.)
To Correspondents:
Bishop Strossmayer on the Speech.

It seems right to say that Bishop Strossmayer wrote not long ago to the Francais, repudiating the speech at the Vatican Council against papal infallibility attributed to him in many home as well as foreign publications. He declares that he never uttered anything derogatory to the Roman see. If one did not know the casuistry of worldly religion, this might seem decisive against the thought of such a speech from him; but it is likely that, if delivered at all, it may have been so highly seasoned by others as to afford an occasion of denying its genuineness when the dogma was passed, and the heat of opposition gone. It is hard to suppose that Bishop Strossmayer said nothing like it in the face of the general rumour.

W. Kelly. (B.T. Vol. 9, p. 160.)
Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 : 21:54
Tom said ...
The Brethren seemed remarkably keen on this; I'm sure Morrish published it before Loizeaux also did, and BTP republished it in recent times, and so it can be bought new today still!
Friday, Apr 27, 2018 : 00:48
Timothy Stunt said ...
The first copy of the speech that I read (in the 1950s) was published in the form of a leaflet by 'Echoes of Service, Bath'. So the open brethren liked it too! Timothy Stunt
Friday, Apr 27, 2018 : 03:17
Samuel said ...
Interesting that WK doesn't vouch for the speech being genuine, and seems to have some reserve of mind that might have been a literary reconstruction --along the lines of Mark Antony's funeral oration in "Julius Caesar" -- plausibly true to the story, but not necessarily the ipsissima verba. See -- Where AJD Farrer gives a useful overview of the history of the Vatican 1 council. Even more in depth is "How the pope became infallible" by August Hasler 1981, my favourite is the sumptuously depicted narrative of that wonderful Methodist scholar from Kells Co. Antrim, Rev William Arthur, in "The Pope, the Kings and the People" : 2 large volumes of the most fascinating material, with a real sketch-writer's eye for quirky detail.
Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 : 07:18
Timothy Stunt said ...

It's worth noting that although the Catholic Encyclopedia mentions the counterfeit speech, said to have been forged by a former Augustinian Mexican, Dr José Agustin Escudero, it also recognises that in 1870, Strossmeyer was an opponent of Papal infallibility and did make a speech to that effect at the Vatican Council. He was also associated, for a while, with the German opponent of infallibility Ignaz Döllinger who had earlier been excommunicated by the RC church. In the end however, Strossmeyer yielded and submitted to Papal authority for the last 30 years of his life. In Croatia he didn't have the royal backing that Döllinger had in Bavaria and Luther had had in Saxony 350 years earlier. Timothy Stunt

Sunday, Apr 29, 2018 : 02:31

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