Ignaz von Döllinger

Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger (28 February 1799 – 14 January 1890), also Doellinger in English, was a German theologian, Catholic priest and church historian who rejected the dogma of papal infallibility. His criticism of the papacy antagonized ultramontanes; but his reverence for tradition annoyed the liberals.

He is considered an important contributor to the doctrine, growth and development of the Old Catholic Church, though he himself never joined that denomination.

Ignaz von Döllinger
Ignaz v. Döllinger crop
Ignaz von Döllinger, ca. 1860.
BornFebruary 28, 1799
DiedJanuary 14, 1890 (aged 90)
Alma materUniversity of Würzburg
ReligionRoman Catholic
Ordained5 April 1822

Early life

Born at Bamberg, Bavaria, Döllinger came from an intellectual family, his grandfather and father having both been eminent physicians and professors of medical science; his mother's family were equally accomplished. Young Döllinger was first educated in the gymnasium at Würzburg, where he acquired a knowledge of Italian. A Benedictine monk taught him English privately. He began to study natural philosophy at the University of Würzburg, where his father now held a professorship. In 1817 he began the study of mental philosophy and philology, and in 1818 turned to the study of theology, which he believed to lie beneath every other science. He also learned Spanish at the university.[1] He particularly devoted himself to an independent study of ecclesiastical history, a subject very indifferently taught in Roman Catholic Germany at that time. In 1820 he became acquainted with Victor Aimé Huber (1800–1869), who influenced him greatly.


After studying at the ecclesiastical seminary in Bamberg, on April 5, 1822 he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of Bamberg,[2] and in November, was appointed chaplain at Markscheinfeldt in Middle Franconia. In 1823 he became professor of ecclesiastical history and canon law in the lyceum at Aschaffenburg. He then took his doctoral degree, and in 1826 became professor of theology at the University of Munich, where he spent the rest of his life. About this time he brought upon himself the criticism of Heinrich Heine, who was then editor of a Munich paper. The unsparing satirist described the professor's face as the "gloomiest" in the whole procession of ecclesiastics which took place on Good Friday.[3]

In 1836 Döllinger made his first visit to England, and met a number of leading English intellectuals, including John Henry Newman and William Gladstone, with whom he maintained lifelong contact. For many years, a number of young Englishmen boarded with him in Munich and received direction in their studies; among them Lord Acton. Acton had been denied entry to the University of Cambridge because he was a Catholic, and subsequently went to Munich where he studied at the University. and resided Döllinger's house. They became lifelong friends. Döllinger inspired in him a deep love of historical research and a profound conception of its functions as a critical instrument in the study of sociopolitical liberty.[4]

In 1837 he was made member extraordinary of the Royal Bavarian Academy of Sciences, in 1843 a regular member, and from 1860 was secretary of its historical section.

In 1845, Döllinger was made representative of his university in the second chamber of the Bavarian legislature. In 1839 the king had given him a canonry in the royal chapel (Hofkollegiatstift) of St. Cajetan at Munich; and on 1 Jan 1847, he was made mitred provost or head of that body of canons. However, that same year he was dismissed from his chair, in punishment of his protest as representative of the university on the Bavarian Landtag, to which he had been appointed in 1844, against the dismissal of several university professors.[1] In 1849 he was invited to occupy the chair of ecclesiastical history. In 1848, when nearly every throne in Europe was shaken by the spread of revolutionary sentiments, he was elected delegate to the national German assembly at Frankfurt.[3] He spoke boldly in favour of freedom for the Church to manage her affairs without the interference of the state.

In 1857 Döllinger and Acton traveled to Rome, where they were both disenchanted with the direction of the papacy under Pius IX.[5] Döllinger was also troubled that the Pope was the head of state of the Papal States. In some speeches at Munich in 1861 he outspokenly declared his view that the maintenance of the Roman Catholic Church did not depend on the temporal sovereignty of the pope. His book on The Church and the Churches (Munich, 1861) dealt to a certain extent with the same question.

In 1863 he invited 100 theologians to meet at Mechelen and discuss the question which the liberals Lamennais and Lacordaire had raised in France, namely, the attitude that should be assumed by the Roman Catholic Church towards modern ideas. In his address, “On the Past and Future of Catholic Theology”, Döllinger advocated for greater academic freedom.[5]



On the other hand, Döllinger published a treatise in 1838 against mixed marriages, and in 1843 wrote strongly in favour of requiring Protestant soldiers to kneel at the consecration of the Host when compelled officially to be present at Mass. Moreover, in his works on The Reformation (3 vols. Regensburg, 1846–1848) and on Luther (1851, Eng, tr., 1853) he is very severe on the Protestant leaders, and he also accepts, in his earlier works, the Ultramontane view then current on the practical condition of the Church of England, a view he later changed. Meanwhile, he had been well received in England; and he afterwards travelled in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, acquainting himself with the condition and prospects of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1842 he entered into correspondence with the leaders of the Tractarian movement in England, and some interesting letters have been preserved which were exchanged between him and Edward Pusey, William Ewart Gladstone and James Hope-Scott. When the last-named joined the Church of Rome he was warmly congratulated by Döllinger on the step he had taken.

Franz von Lenbach - Porträt Ignaz von Döllinger (1878)
Portrait of Döllinger, by Franz von Lenbach, 1878.


"The Jewish people moved in a circle of religious ideas only part of which were expressed in its sacred literature," wrote Döllinger. "Far from being a dead letter in the hands of a people living in spiritual stagnation, [the Jews] were instinctually endowed with the power and the impulse to develop organically and steadily. Tradition, on the one hand, and the religious condition of the whole nation, its whole history, on the other hand, acted and re-acted vigorously upon each other."[6] This favorable reference to the vigorous 'spirit' of Judaism runs counter to more common critiques of the religion expressed by 19th century theologians and counter-enlightenment thinkers.[7]


It has been stated that in his earlier years Döllinger was a pronounced Ultramontane. This does not appear to have been altogether the case; for, very early in his professorial career at Munich, the Jesuits attacked his teaching of ecclesiastical history. The celebrated Adam Möhler pronounced in Döllinger's favour, after which they became friends. Döllinger also entered into relations with the well-known French Liberal Catholic Lamennais, whose views on the reconciliation of the Roman Catholic Church with the principles of modern society (liberalism) and the French Revolution had aroused much suspicion in Ultramontane, mainly Jesuit-dominated, circles. In 1832 Lammenais and his friends Lacordaire and Montalembert, visited Germany, obtaining considerable sympathy in their attempts to bring about a modification of the Roman Catholic attitude to modern problems and liberal political principles.[3]

Döllinger also seems to have regarded favourably the removal, by the Bavarian government, in 1841, of Professor Kaiser from his chair, because he had taught the infallibility of the pope.[3]

Papal authority

It has been said that Döllinger's change of attitude to the Papacy dated from the Italian war in 1859. It is more probable that, like Robert Grosseteste, he had been attached to the Papacy as the only centre of authority, and the only guarantee for public order in the Church, but that his experience of the actual working of the papal system (and especially a visit to Rome in 1857) had to a certain extent convinced him how his ideal diverged from the reality. Whatever his reasons, he ultimately became the leader of those who were energetically opposed to any addition to, or more stringent definition of, the powers which the Papacy.

The addresses delivered in the Catholic congress at Mechelen were a declaration in the direction of a Liberal solution of the problem of the relations of Church and State. Pius IX seemed to hesitate, but after four days' debate the assembly was ordered closed. On 8 December 1864 Pius IX issued the famous Syllabus Errorum, in which he declared war against liberalism and unbridled scientism. It was in connection with this question that Döllinger published his Past and Present of Catholic Theology (1863) and his Universities Past and Present (Munich, 1867).[8]

Vatican Council and the Munich conference

Portrait of Döllinger, by Franz von Lenbach, 1892.

It was about this time that some of the leading theologians of the Roman Catholic Church, wishing to define more clearly, the authority of the pope, advised Pius IX to declare Papal infallibity a dogma of the universal Church. There was not, however, a universal consensus on the subject; and some bishops, although not opposed, considered its promulgation to be inopportune. The headquarters of the opposition was Germany, and its leader was Döllinger. Among his supporters were his close friends Johann Friedrich and J. N. Huber, in Bavaria. In the rest of Germany, Döllinger was supported by professors in the Catholic faculty of theology at Bonn, including the canonist Johann Friedrich von Schulte, Franz Heinrich Reusch, Joseph Langen, Joseph Hubert Reinkens, and other distinguished scholars. In Switzerland, Professor Eduard Herzog and other learned men supported the movement.

Early in 1869 the Letters of Janus (which were at once translated into English; 2nd ed. Das Papsttum, 1891) began to appear. They were written by Döllinger in conjunction with Huber and Friedrich. In these the Syllabus and its incompatibility with modern thought. They argued that the concept of papal infallibility was intellectually indefensible, although their interpretation differed from what was proposed.[5]

During the council, which convened on December 8, 1869, Augustin Theiner, the librarian at the Vatican, then in disgrace with the pope for his outspoken Liberalism, kept his German friends informed of the course of the discussions. The Letters of Quirinus, written by Döllinger and Huber concerning the proceedings appeared in the German newspapers, and an English translation was published by Charles Rivington. The proceedings of the Council were frequently stormy, and the opponents of the dogma of infallibility complained that they were interrupted, and that endeavours were made to put them down by clamour. The dogma was at length carried by an overwhelming majority, and the dissentient bishops, who – with the exception of two – had left the council before the final division, one by one submitted.[9]

Döllinger headed a protest by forty-four professors in the University of Munich, and gathered together a congress at Munich, which met in August 1870 and issued a declaration adverse to the Vatican decrees. In Bavaria, where Döllinger's influence was greatest, a strong determination to resist the resolutions of the council prevailed.

But the authority of the council was held by the archbishop of Munich to be paramount, and he called upon Döllinger to submit. Instead of submitting, Döllinger, on March 28, 1871, addressed a memorable letter to the archbishop, refusing to subscribe the decrees. They were, he said, opposed to scripture, to the traditions of the Church for the first 1000 years, to historical evidence, to the decrees of the general councils, and to the existing relations of the Roman Catholic Church to the state in every country in the world. "As a Christian, as a theologian, as an historian, and as a citizen," he added, "I cannot accept this doctrine."[9]


On April 18, 1871 Gregor von Scherr, Archbishop of Munich and Freising excommunicated Döllinger.

On February 29, 1871, Döllinger was elected rector-magnificus of the University of Munich by a vote of 54 to six. Several other universities conferred an honorary degree on him: Doctor of Civil Law, University of Oxford, 1871; Doctor of Laws, University of Edinburgh, 1872; Doctor of Law, University of Marburg; Doctor of Philosophy, University of Vienna.

The dissident Bavarian clergy invited Bishop Loos of the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands, which for more than 150 years had existed independent of the Papacy, to administer the sacrament of Confirmation in Bavaria. The offer was accepted, and the bishop was received with triumphal arches and other demonstrations of joy by a part of the Bavarian Catholics. The three Dutch Old Catholic bishops declared themselves ready to consecrate a "non-infallibilist" bishop for Bavaria, if it were desired. The question was discussed at a meeting of the opponents of the Vatican Council's doctrine, and it was resolved to elect a bishop and ask the Dutch Old-Order bishops to consecrate him. Döllinger, however, voted against the proposition, and withdrew from any further steps towards the promotion of this movement.

The Old Catholic Church

Döllinger's refusal lost Bavaria to the movement; and the number of Bavarian sympathizers was still further reduced when the seceders, in 1878, allowed their priests to marry, a decision which Döllinger, as was known, sincerely regretted. The Old Catholic Communion, however, was formally constituted, with Joseph Hubert Reinkens at its head as bishop, and it still continues to exist in Germany as a whole and, more marginally, in Bavaria.[9]

Lord Acton in a Group Portrait at Tegernsee
Döllinger, with Lord Acton and William Gladstone, 1879.

Döllinger's attitude to the new community was not very clearly defined. "I do not wish to join a schismatic society; I am isolated,". Döllinger's regularly insisted, his church remained the ancient Catholic Church, “the one holy catholic and apostolic church.”[5]

Reunion conferences

His addresses on the reunion of the churches, delivered at the Bonn Conference of 1872, show that he was by no means hostile towards the newly formed Old Catholic communion, in whose interests these conferences were held. In 1874 and again in 1875, he presided over the reunion conferences held at Bonn and attended by leading ecclesiastics from the British Isles and from the Oriental non-Roman churches, among whom were Bishop Christopher Wordsworth of Lincoln; Bishop Harold Browne of Ely; Lord Plunket, Archbishop of Dublin; Lycurgus, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Syros and Tenos; Canon Liddon; and the Russian Orthodox professor Ossmnine of St. Petersburg. At the latter of these two conferences, when Döllinger was 76 years of age, he delivered a series of addresses in German and English in which he discussed the state of theology on the continent, the reunion question and the religious condition of the various countries of Europe in which the Roman Catholic Church held sway. Not the least of his achievements on this occasion was the successful attempt, made with extraordinary tact, ability, knowledge and perseverance, to induce the Orientals, Anglicans and Old Catholics present to accept a formula of concord drawn from the writings of the leading theologians of the Greek Church on the long-vexed question of the procession of the Holy Spirit.[9]

Scholarship in retirement

This result having been attained, he passed the rest of his days in retirement, emerging sometimes from his retreat to give addresses on theological questions, and also writing, in conjunction with his friend Reusch, his last book, Geschichte der Moralstreitigkeiten in der römisch-katholischen Kirche seit dem sechszehnten Jahrhundert mit Beiträgen zur Geschichte und Charakteristik des Jesuitenordens (Nördlingen, 1889), in which he deals with the moral theology of Alphonsus Liguori. He died in Munich at the age of ninety-one. Even in articulo mortis he refused to receive the sacraments from the parish priest at the cost of submission, but the last offices were performed by his friend Professor Friedrich.[10] He is buried in the Alter Südfriedhof in Munich.


  • The Eucharist in the First Three Centuries (Mainz, 1826)
  • A Church History (1836, Eng. trans. 1840)
  • Hippolytus and Callistus (1854, Eng. trans., 1876)
  • First Age of Christianity (1860)
  • Lectures on the Reunion of the Churches
  • The Vatican Decrees
  • Studies in European History (tr. M. Warre, 1890)
  • Miscellaneous Addresses (tr. M. Warre, 1894)[11]


  • Georg Denzler / Ernst Ludwig Grasmück (Eds.): Geschichtlichkeit und Glaube. Zum 100. Todestag Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllingers (1799–1890). Munich Erich Wewel Verlag, 1990, ISBN 978-3-87904-173-2
  • Stefan Leonhardt: "Zwei schlechthin unausgleichbare Auffassungen des Mittelpunktes der christliche Religion". Ignaz Döllingers Auseinandersetzung mit der Reformation, ihrer Lehre und deren Folgen in seiner ersten Schaffensperiode. Goettingen Edition Ruprecht, 2nd edition 2008, ISBN 978-3-7675-7096-2
  • Life by Johann Friedrich (3 vols. 1899–1901)
  • Obituary notice in The Times, January 11, 1890
  • L. von Kobell, Conversations of Dr Döllinger (tr. by K Gould, 1892)[11]


  1. ^ a b Baumgarten, Paul Maria. "Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 24 January 2019 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Evans, E.P. (1891). "Ignaz von Döllinger," The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. LXVIII, p. 553.
  3. ^ a b c d Lias 1911, p. 390.
  4. ^ Gronbacher, Gregory (2008). "Acton, Lord (1834–1902)". In Hamowy, Ronald (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE; Cato Institute. pp. 4–5. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n3. ISBN 978-1412965804. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024.
  5. ^ a b c d Howard, Thomas Albert. "A Question of Conscience", Commonweal, September 29, 2014
  6. ^ Heidenthum und Judentum, Vorhalle zur Geschichte des Christenthums, page 819 [editor's translation, for a similar but slightly more archaic translation, see the Jewish Publication Society of America's 1900 translation of the same passage as quoted in Moritz Lazarus's Foundations of Jewish Ethics]
  7. ^ Jeffrey S. Librett: Orientalism and the Figure of the Jew (Fordham University Press, 2014)
  8. ^ Lias 1911, pp. 390-391.
  9. ^ a b c d Lias 1911, p. 391.
  10. ^ Lias 1911, pp. 391-392.
  11. ^ a b Lias 1911, p. 392.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLias, John James (1911). "Döllinger, Johann Joseph Ignaz von" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 390–392.
  • Döllinger, Johann Joseph Ignaz von Heidenthum und Judentum, Vorhalle zur Geschichte des Christenthums, page 819 [editor's translation, for a similar but slightly more archaic translation, see the Jewish Publication Society of America's 1900 translation of the same passage as quoted in Moritz Lazarus's Foundations of Jewish Ethics]
  • Librett, Jeffrey S. Orientalism and the Figure of the Jew (Fordham University Press, 2014)

Further reading

  • Dalberg-Acton, John (1861). "Döllinger's 'History of Christianity'," The Rambler, Vol. IV, pp. 145–175.
  • Dalberg-Acton, John (1861). "Döllinger on the Temporal Power," The Rambler, Vol. VI, pp. 1–62.
  • Dalberg-Acton, John (1867). "Döllinger on Universities," The Chronicle, Vol. XIII, pp. 57–59.
  • Howard, Thomas Albert (2017). The Pope and the Professor: Pius IX, Ignaz von Dollinger, and the Quandary of the Modern Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Marshall, Arthur F. (1890). "Dr. Döllinger and the 'Old Catholics'," The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. XV, pp. 267–283.
  • Strauss, Gerald (1975). "Success and Failure in the German Reformation," Past & Present, No. 67, pp. 30–63.
  • Tonsor, S.J. (1959). "Ignaz von Döllinger: Lord Acton's Mentor," Anglican Theological Review, Vol. XLI, No. 2, pp. 211–215.
  • Tonsor, S.J. (1959). "Lord Acton on Döllinger's Historical Theology," Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. XX, pp. 329–352.

External links


Conciliarity is the adherence of various Christian communities to the authority of ecumenical councils and to synodal church governance. It is not to be confused with conciliarism, which is a particular historical movement within the Catholic Church. Different churches interpret conciliarity different ways.

Cum ex apostolatus officio

Cum ex apostolatus officio is the name of a papal bull issued by Pope Paul IV on 15 February 1559 as a codification or explicitation of the ancient Catholic law that only Catholics can be elected Popes, to the exclusion of non-Catholics, including former Catholics who have become public and manifest heretics.

The immediate provocation was Pope Paul's suspicion that Cardinal Giovanni Morone, who was popular and expected to succeed him, was secretly a Protestant. Pope Paul IV believed that it was necessary to prevent or negate Morone's possible election as his successor. He wanted to set it in Church law that no manifest heretic can lawfully hold the Office of St. Peter.

Development of doctrine

Development of doctrine is a term used by John Henry Newman and other theologians influenced by him to describe the way Catholic teaching has become more detailed and explicit over the centuries, while later statements of doctrine remain consistent with earlier statements.


Dollinger and Döllinger are surnames of German origin. They may refer to:

Günther Dollinger (born 1960), German physicist and professor

Ignaz Döllinger (1770–1841), German physician and university professor

Ignaz von Döllinger (1799–1890), German theologian

Isidore Dollinger (1903–2000), American politician

Marie Dollinger (1910–1994), German track and field athlete

Matthias Dollinger (born 1979), Austrian footballer

Philippe Dollinger (1904-1999), French historian

Richard A. Dollinger (born 1951), New York politician and judge

Werner Dollinger (1918–2008), German politician

Du Pape

On the Pope (Du Pape) is an 1819 book written by Savoyard philosopher Joseph de Maistre, which many consider to be his literary masterpiece.

Episcopal see

An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction.Phrases concerning actions occurring within or outside an episcopal see are indicative of the geographical significance of the term, making it synonymous with diocese.The word see is derived from Latin sedes, which in its original or proper sense denotes the seat or chair that, in the case of a bishop, is the earliest symbol of the bishop's authority. This symbolic chair is also known as the bishop's cathedra, and is placed in the diocese principal church, which for that reason is called the bishop's cathedral, from Latin ecclesia cathedralis, meaning the church of the cathedra. The word throne is also used, especially in the Eastern Orthodox Church, both for the seat and for the area of ecclesiastical jurisdiction.The term "see" is also used of the town where the cathedral or the bishop's residence is located.

Gregor von Scherr

Archbishop Gregor Leonhard Andreas von Scherr (22 June 1804 – 24 October 1877), OSB was Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1856 until 1877.

Johann Baptist Alzog

Johann Baptist Alzog (8 June 1808 – 1 March 1878) was a German theologian and Catholic church historian.

He was born at Ohlau, in Silesia. He studied at the universities of Breslau and Bonn and was ordained a priest at Cologne in 1834.In the following year he accepted the chairs of exegesis and church history at the seminary of Posen. He defended with ardour the Archbishop of that city, Martin von Dunin, during his persecution by the Prussian government, became vicar-capitular, professor and regens at Hildesheim in 1845, and in 1853 was appointed to the chair of church history at the University of Freiburg (Breisgau); at the same time he was appointed an ecclesiastical councillor (geistlicher Rat). He held that post until his death at Freiburg.

Together with Ignaz von Döllinger, Alzog was instrumental in convoking the famous Munich assembly of Catholic scholars in 1863. He also took part, with Bishop Hefele and Bishop Haseberg, in the preparatory work of the First Vatican Council and voted in favor of the doctrine of Papal infallibility but against the opportuneness of its promulgation.

Johann Friedrich (theologian)

Johann Friedrich (May 5, 1836 – August 19, 1917) was a German theologian. He was prominent as a leader of the Old Catholics.

Johann Nepomuk Oischinger

Johann Nepomuk Paul Oischinger (13 May 1817 – 11 December 1876) was a German Roman Catholic theologian and philosopher who was a native of Wittmannsberg, Bavaria.

Oischinger studied theology and philosophy at the University of Munich, where he had as instructors Franz Xaver von Baader (1765-1841), Joseph Görres (1776-1848), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775-1854), Ignaz von Döllinger (1799-1890), Heinrich Klee (1800-1840), Johann Adam Möhler (1796-1838) and Franz Xaver Reithmayr (1809-1872). In 1841 he received his ordination in Regensburg, and shortly afterwards returned to Munich, where he worked as a private scholar and journalist for the remainder of his career.

His aim in theology was to create a new philosophical system and a scientific offering of Catholic doctrinal concepts, and with the new system he proposed the elimination of what he considered erroneous medieval scholastic features. A number of his writings were harsh criticisms of medieval scholastic theology, in particular the belief system of Thomas Aquinas. He was also the author of polemical writings aimed at contemporary movements that included Neo-Scholasticism and Güntherianism. A few of his numerous publications are as follows:

Grundriss zu einem neuen Systeme der Philosophie (Framework of a New System of Philosophy), 1843

Philosophie und Religion (1849)

Grundriss zum systeme der christlichen Philosophie (Framework for a System of Christian Philosophy), 1852

Die Einheitslehre der göttlichen Trinität (Doctrine of the Anthropomorphic Trinity), 1869

Liberal Catholicism

Liberal Catholicism was a current of thought within the Catholic Church. It was influential in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, especially in France. It is largely identified with French political theorists such as Felicité Robert de Lamennais, Henri Lacordaire, and Charles Forbes René de Montalembert influenced, in part, by a similar contemporaneous movement in Belgium.

Being predominantly political in nature, liberal Catholicism was distinct from the contemporary theological movement of modernism. It is also distinct from both the attitude of Catholics who are described as theologically "progressive" or "liberal".

Malcolm MacColl

Malcolm MacColl (27 March 1831 – 5 April 1907), British clergyman and publicist, was the son of a poor Scottish crofter or labourer in Glenfinnan who died when his son was still a boy. Despite this difficult beginning, MacColl's intellectual exertions enabled himself - and his younger brother Hugh (see below) - to succeed in obtaining an education of sorts. MacColl claimed Jacobite descent and seems to have espoused High Anglican theological beliefs from a very early age. His native language was Scots Gaelic.

MacColl won a place at Trinity College, Glenalmond, for the Scottish Episcopal ministry. He was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church in 1857. In May 1858 he approached William Ewart Gladstone in a letter warning him about measures against High Church bishops in the Scottish Episcopal Church, but also alluded to his own extremely precarious financial circumstances.**

MacColl tenaciously refused to let this correspondence die and eventually managed to meet Gladstone. From this slender beginning there developed a lifelong friendship and political alliance. Throughout the rest of MacColl's life, Gladstone secured preferment, most of it fairly modest, for his protégé. However MacColl never rose very high in the Anglican Church, mainly, no doubt, because of his refusal to compromise his Anglo-Catholic theological views. Gladstone's first piece of assistance was to facilitate the young MacColl's transfer from Scotland to London and the Church of England. MacColl was received as a priest of the Church of England in 1859, and then entered on a succession of curacies in the Church of England, in London and at Addington, Bucks. He also served between 1864 and 1867 as the Chaplain of the British Embassy in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Naples.

After his arrival in London, MacColl began to publish articles immediately, writing with increasing proficiency. His earliest writings were almost entirely on ecclesiastical and theological matters. In 1875, he published a blockbuster on disputes within his church entitled "Lawlessness, Sacerdotalism and Ritualism". It was an extremely skilful attack on the Protestant establishment in the Church of England and made his name.

Most of MacColl's writings centre on the question of the "Real Presence" of the Blessed Sacrament and the related issue of Apostolic succession of clergy. Despite limited knowledge of foreign languages, he also maintained contact with continental Roman Catholic dissidents after the First Vatican Council, such as the Croatian, Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer of Diakova, and Dr Ignaz von Döllinger in Munich, acting as a discreet intermediary between them and Gladstone.

Both Strossmayer and Dollinger were strongly interested in the "Eastern Question" and the ending of Turkish rule in the Balkans. This, as well as similar currents of opinion in the Liberal Party, may have been responsible for MacColl's own interest in combatting Turkish political power during the last three decades of his life. From 1876 onwards, MacColl was an active defender of the Christian inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire, writing a series of vitriolic attacks on Turkey and its friends in Britain in letters to newspapers, articles in reviews, and publishing several books. All of these productions were closely researched, usually relying on British "Blue Book" collections of consular despatches, though always written with an eye to making a case for the prosecution.

In August 1876, soon after the exposure of the killings of up to 15,000 Bulgarians the previous spring by Circassian irregulars in the Ottoman army, MacColl and Canon Liddon of St. Paul's travelled to Vienna and Serbia on a fact-finding tour. During a boatride on the River Sava, then the frontier between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire, the two clergymen claimed to have seen an impaled human corpse. Though their testimony could not be independently confirmed, and was challenged by the local British Consul who suggested that the object in question might have been only a bag of beans, MacColl and Liddon used this sighting as proof of the iniquity of Turkish rule in the Balkans. This fitted in with a theme in their sermons that those in Britain (such as Gladstone's arch-opponent Benjamin Disraeli) who did not actively oppose Turkish rule were themselves guilty of its sins.

In his private correspondent with Gladstone after the Bulgarian atrocities, MacColl urged the Liberal leader to denounce the Ottomans and is perhaps partly responsible for the powerful speeches Gladstone made on the issue in the last months of 1876 and early 1877.

MacColl published two major works during these years on the issue himself. "The Eastern Question: Its Facts and Fallacies" appeared in the spring of 1877 and ran through five editions. "Three Years of the Eastern Question" followed in the early autumn of 1878 immediately after the Congress of Berlin had ended.

After returning to power Gladstone rewarded MacColl with the living of St. Georges, Botolph Lane, in 1871, and with a canonry of Ripon in 1884. The latter posting aroused the active opposition of Queen Victoria who had not forgotten or forgiven MacColl's virulent campaign against the Ottoman Empire in 1876-78 after the 'Bulgarian Agitation'.

The living at Ripon was practically a sinecure. MacColl maintained a large house at Kirby Overblow, south of Harrogate, and continued to devote himself to political pamphleteering and newspaper correspondence, the result of extensive European travel, a wide acquaintance with the leading personages of the day, strong views on ecclesiastical subjects from a high-church standpoint, and particularly on the politics of the Eastern Question, the uprising in Crete, then still an Ottoman province, the cause of the Armenians and Islam.

In the first years of the twentieth century, MacColl was an active opponent of Muslim spokesmen such as Syed Ameer Ali and the Turkish writer Halil Halid and sometimes admonished them on doctrinal points of their religion, arguing for instance that the Sultan of Turkey was not the Caliph of all Muslims. He was on close terms with the King of Greece, George I, and leaders of the Armenian movement and during the Turkish-Greek War of April 1897, he visited Athens to confer with the King, conveying the monarch's private views both to Gladstone and also to the Conservative Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury.

In 1904 MacColl married Consuelo Albinia Crompton-Stansfield. He died in London on 5 April 1907. In his will, MacColl left his library to the Gladstone collection at Hawarden.

MacColl had a younger brother, Hugh MacColl. Early on in their friendship, he had tried to persuade Gladstone to pay for Hugh to be educated at Oxford. However this project was frustrated when Hugh refused to agree to become an Anglican priest as Gladstone insisted and so went without a university education. Despite this setback, Hugh MacColl nevertheless became one of the most significant figures in the history of symbolic logic before Gottlob Frege.

Matthias Joseph Scheeben

Matthias Joseph Scheeben (Meckenheim, Rhine Province, 1 March 1835 – Cologne, 21 July 1888) was a German Catholic theological writer and mystic.

Old Catholic Church

The term Old Catholic Church was used from the 1850s by groups which had separated from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with papal authority; some of these groups, especially in the Netherlands, had already existed long before the term. These churches are not in full communion with the Holy See. Member churches of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU) are in full communion with the Anglican Communion, and some are members of the World Council of Churches.The formation of the Old Catholic communion of Germans, Austrians and Swiss began in 1870 at a public meeting held in Nuremberg under the leadership of Ignaz von Döllinger, following the First Vatican Council. Four years later, episcopal succession was established with the consecration of an Old Catholic German bishop by a prelate of the Church of Utrecht. In line with the "Declaration of Utrecht" of 1889, adherents accept the first seven ecumenical councils and doctrine formulated before the East–West Schism of 1054, but reject communion with the pope and a number of other Catholic doctrines and practices. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes that since 1925, they have recognized Anglican ordinations, that they have had full communion with the Church of England since 1932 and have taken part in the ordination of Anglican bishops. According to the principle of Ex opere operato, ordinations out of communion with Rome are still valid, and for this reason the validity of orders of Old Catholic bishops has never been formally questioned by Rome, although not any female priests.The term "Old Catholic" was first used in 1853 to describe the members of the See of Utrecht who did not recognize any infallible papal authority. Later Catholics who disagreed with the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council (1870) were hereafter without a bishop and joined with Utrecht to form the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU). Today these Old Catholic churches are found chiefly in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria and Czechia. Union of Utrecht Old Catholic churches are not generally found outside of Western Europe.

Pascendi Dominici gregis

Pascendi Dominici gregis (English: Feeding the Lord's Flock) is a papal encyclical letter, subtitled "On the Doctrines of the Modernists", promulgated by Pope Pius X on 8 September 1907.

Patrizius Wittman

Patrizius Wittman (b. at Ellwangen, Württemberg, 4 January 1818; d. at Munich, 3 October 1883) was a Catholic journalist. He was the son of Johann Wittmann, a stonemason, and his wife Maria Anna Hirschle. His standing as a pupil in the Latin school of his native town gained him a free scholarship in the convictus attached to the Ehinger gymnasium, and eventually led to a similar scholarship in the Wilhelmsstift at Tübingen. Wishing to become a priest, he devoted his time at the university (1838–40) to theological and philosophical studies, gained three prizes, and passed a brilliant examination. His strictly orthodox Catholic views, however, soon brought him into conflict with the Liberal tendencies then prevailing and he was dismissed from the Wilhelmsstift [cf. Herbst, "Gottesgabe", I (Augsburg, 1840), 2]. Through Dr. Caspar Riffel, professor at Giessen, he obtained employment on the journal "Sion", published at Augsburg under the editorship of Dr. Ferdinand Herbst, pastor of the town church. Dr. Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger induced Wittmann to issue his "Die Herrlichkeit der Kirche in ihren Missionen seit der Glaubensspaltung" (2 vols., Augsburg, 1841), which was very well received. In 1841 he obtained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and settled at Augsburg, becoming editor-in-chief of the periodical "Sion", and increasing its circulation. His marriage with a rich widow, Caroline Munding, of Dinkelscherben, bound him more closely to the city of St. Ulrich and for over thirty years he laboured there with unflagging zeal for faith and learning, Church and people. His "Allgemeine Geschichte der katholischen Missionen" (1846 and 1850) was the first treatment of this subject in German; the second volume of the work treats mainly of the conversion of the Indian tribes in America.

Dr. Wittmann was also largely instrumental in the founding of a motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity and of a hospice and home for workmen under the direction of the Capuchins. He was noted speaker at conventions and other assemblies, and an active worker for churches and benevolent societies, and in many instances served as the guardian of widows and orphans. He was also a generous patron of young students. After the death of his wife in 1869, Wittmann lived for ten years with his only son, first at Munich, then at Bamberg, and returning, in 1883, with his son to Munich, died there of apoplexy. He was buried in the Catholic cemetery at Augsburg. In recognition of his services Pope Pius IX gave him the Order of St. Gregory. The general board of managers of the Bonifatiusverein established at Merseburg an annual commemoration in perpetuity for him and his descendants.

Pseudo-Council of Sinuessa

The pseudo-Council of Sinuessa was a purported gathering of bishops in 303 at Sinuessa, Italy, the purpose being a trial of Marcellinus on charges of apostasy. It is generally accepted that the gathering never took place and that the purported council documents were forged for political purposes in the 6th century during the schism between Pope Symmachus and Antipope Laurentius. The collection of forgeries, including the Council of Sinuessa, is collectively known as the Symmachian forgeries.

The Catholic Encyclopedia describes

The Latin phrase "quia prima sedes non judicatur a quoquam" means roughly "for the occupant of the highest see cannot be judged by anyone", and the anecdote was produced in later centuries as evidence for the doctrine of papal supremacy.

Ravenna Document

The Declaration of Ravenna is a Roman Catholic–Eastern Orthodox document issued on 13 October 2007, re-asserting that the bishop of Rome is indeed the Protos, although future discussions are to be held on the concrete ecclesiological exercise of papal primacy. The document was issued at the tenth plenary session of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church held from 8 to 14 October 2007 in Ravenna, Italy.The signing of the declaration highlighted the internal tensions between the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Moscow Patriarchate, on account of whether the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church had a right to be represented in Ravenna, which eventually led the Moscow delegation to walk out of the talks. It was an internal dispute within Orthodoxy, however, and had no relation to the issues actually addressed at Ravenna.

The Ratzinger Report

The Ratzinger Report (Italian: Rapporto Sulla Fede) is a 1985 book consisting of a series of interviews collected over several days given by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori. The book focuses on the state of the Roman Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council. The book is very critical of the "hermeneutic of rupture" associated with the liberal "spirit of Vatican II" within the Church. It has often been reread in the context of the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI in order to better understand the mind and the thinking of the former pontiff.

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