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The Conciliarist TraditionConstitutionalism in the Catholic Church 1300-1870$
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Francis Oakley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541249.001.0001

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De Maistre’s Denial: Febronius, De Maistre, Maret, and the Triumph of Ultramontanism

De Maistre’s Denial: Febronius, De Maistre, Maret, and the Triumph of Ultramontanism

(p.182) 5 De Maistre’s Denial: Febronius, De Maistre, Maret, and the Triumph of Ultramontanism
The Conciliarist Tradition

Francis Oakley (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the views of Johann Nikolaus von Hontheim (known by the pseudonym Justinus Febronius), Joseph de Maistre, and Henri Maret concerning ultramontanism and the limits within which papal power should properly operate. According to Febronius, an affirmation of regional autonomy, an emphasis on conciliar self-governance, and a concomitant de-emphasis on the exercise of centralized papal jurisdiction might, in the long run, facilitate the ecumenical goal of reuniting the whole of Christendom around a common religious allegiance. Joseph de Maistre's book was considered as the very charter of ultramontanism, his views constituting but one strand in the complex set of intersecting developments that were to eventuate in the triumph of a version of ultramontanism at the First Vatican Council. Maret argued that, notwithstanding the ‘legitimate subordination of bishops to pope’, scripture, tradition, and conciliar history alike preclude the attribution to the pontiff of any ‘pure, indivisible and absolute monarchy’.

Keywords:   Justinus Febronius, Joseph de Maistre, Henri Maret, ultramontanism, papal primacy, popes, Roman Catholic Church, episcopalism, church reform

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