Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church

Belknap: Harvard Univ. May 2018. 320p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780674979987. $24.95. REL
Ultramontanism is the authority the Holy See has over other dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church, which vests the Pope with particular prerogatives, most notably the infallibility of the Pope's teaching office. O'Malley (theology, Georgetown Univ.; The Jesuits) details the events that led up to and include the Vatican I council which promulgated the doctrine. Although Pius IX—who convened the council—welcomed the result, O'Malley focuses on the uprising that began with those disillusioned with the social upheavals following the Enlightenment and French Revolution. O'Malley illuminates this bottom-up movement with illustrations from independent journals, such as Louis Veuillot's 19th-century French Roman Catholic newspaper L'Univers and the writings of ultramontane converts, such as Henry Edward Manning. The final two chapters deal with Vatican I itself and the aftermath of the First Vatican Council. O'Malley also provides a translation of dogmatic constitution Pastor Aeternus, which includes the chapter on papal infallibility.
VERDICT A fascinating and dispassionate glimpse into a pivotal and dramatic period of Catholic Church history.

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