Church in the 19th Century - Album One

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Part 01- The Regalist and Naturalist Stranglehold - 1800-1848

Napoleonic and Restoration Europe was still not a world that the Catholic Church could enjoy. It was too regalist and too naturalist. Dr. John Rao discusses how secularist State interference in Church affairs continued even when the Revolution ended.

Part 02- Rising from the Ashes, 1800-1848 - Part I

Dr. John Rao discusses the various forces which contributed to a revival of Catholic self-confidence in the years 1800-1848. These involved a number of clerical-lay circles in Germany, France, and Italy in particular. All worked to rediscover the fullness of the Catholic "pilgrimage to God", the extended meaning of the Incarnation, and the richness of the concept of the Mystical Body of Christ. 

Part 03- Rising from the Ashes, 1800-1848 - Part II

Such early nineteenth century circles, which concerned themselves with theological, philosophical, spiritual/mystical, historical, catechetical, liturgical, literary, missionary, and political and social issues are discussed here by Dr. John Rao in detail, country by country.

Part 04- Dilemmas Arising from the Catholic Revival - Part I

The next four talks by Dr. John Rao discuss the various dilemmas and disagreements arising from this movement of Catholic rediscovery. They caused clashes not only with enemies of Catholicism, but also internally, among Catholics themselves. 

Part 05- Dilemmas Arising from the Catholic Revival - Part II

 One set of battles that was involved among the "revivalists" entailed quarrels with the governments of Europe: Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic, and Liberal. This, Dr. John Rao demonstrates, could lead to sanctions imposed by the Church's "friends" as well as her enemies.

Part 06- Dilemmas Arising from the Catholic Revival - Part III

Another problem emerged from the effort to strengthen the backbone of the Church authorities. When bishops of national Churches did not respond, supporters of the Ultramontanist movement calling for the tightening up of papal power looked more and more to Rome for help. And, as Dr. John Rao emphasizes, when men like Lamennais did not approve of Rome's response, they began to argue that the Church ought to be founded upon the guidance of "The People" at large.

Part 07- Dilemmas Arising from the Catholic Revival - Part IV

Dr. John Rao also emphasizes the Intellectual disputes which began to develop. Should the Church primarily revive a knowledge of Scholasticism or the Church Fathers? Speculative theology or positive theology? Should political parties be formed to fight secularists? What role would journalism play in a Catholic awakening? 

Part 08- Pius IX and Catholic Freedom

Dr. John Rao indicates that the entire struggle for Catholic freedom and a Catholic declaration of independence from the regalist-naturalist stranglehold was symbolized by the work of Pius IX. Pius IX, however, not only unleashed Catholic enthusiasm; he helped to bring on the Revolutions of 1848 which ultimately forced him to recognize that a deeper clarification of what the Catholic position really was needed. 

 Part 09- The Missions

Protestant competition, and revival of Catholic religious orders backed by the aid of clerical-lay circles in Europe and the Papacy increased missionary activity in the nineteenth century. Exploration in Africa also played its role, along with the warfare that opened China to western penetration in both positive and negative ways. Dr. John Rao discusses the missionary movement in detail, indicating also the unfortunate clashes of different Catholic missionary forces. 

Part 10 - Pius IX and Heightened Tensions - Part I

Pius IX himself saw the need for a deeper clarification of the Catholic position by 1848. The rest of his reign was spend dedicated to this work. Dr. John Rao, in two talks, shows the nature of the labor involved, the aid given to it by Catholic journals, and way in which it increased tensions with the regalist-naturalist world. 

Part 11 - Pius IX and Heightened Tensions - Part II

Pius IX now saw that liberal, democratic, and nationalist governments could be even more anti-Catholic than traditionally regalist ones. For all forms of governments engaged in anti-Catholic activities, the Pope's militancy was a call to "culture war" whose early battles Dr. John Rao outlines. 

Part 12 - The Eastern Question

Dealing with Eastern Orthodoxy differed for Rome depending upon the region involved. Dr. John Rao discusses these varying relationships in exploring everything from Papal-Tsarist to Papal-Ottoman affairs. He also treats of the problems with Eastern Orthodoxy emerging from its own increasing self-awareness and the growth of the Ultramontanist Movement.

Part 13 - Retrenchment - The Syllabus of Errors

In this lecture, Dr. John Rao examines the genesis, specifics, and significance of the Syllabus. Its defenders and opponents in the Catholic world, such as La Civilta Cattolica, are treated in detail. 

Part 14 - Retrenchment - Vatican One

Why call a Council? What issues were meant to be tackled at this Synod? What factions contended? How did papal infallibility come to be proclaimed? What role did traditionalist and liberal Catholics have in the outcome? What part did State and State threats play? Why did it end so suddenly? Dr. John Rao examines all such themes in this lecture. 

Part 15 - Retrenchment and the Anti-Catholic Assault - Part I

Culture Wars against a more militant Catholic Church were fought in many places treated by Dr. John Rao: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Holland, Italy, and France. Particularly explosive were issues involving education of youth and of the clergy.

Part 16 - Retrenchment and the Anti-Catholic Assault - Part II

Battles in the years from the 1850's through the 1880's were very bitter. Bishops and ordinary priests suffered imprisonment in many cases. Some religious orders left countries of their origin. Magnificent Catholic Action groups and political parties grew up to fight the struggles Dr. John Rao outlines. In some cases, they even won serious and long-lasting victories. In others, their loss was tragic. 

Part 17 - The Leonine Gamble - Part I

Dr. John Rao tackles Leo XIII's efforts to do two things simultaneously. One was to provide a more detailed, positive Catholic Social Theory opposed to the Enlightenment. A second was to see if any prudential negotiations with the present enemy could be fruitfully engaged.  

Part 18 - The Leonine Gamble - Part II

Engagement with the enemy involved many initiatives. These included exploration of the use of certain modern scholarly tools in biblical research and interpretations. They also involved efforts to protect the Church through good-willed negotiations with anti-Catholic governments like that of the Third Republic of France in the 1890's. Dr. John Rao explores the hopes and limitations of such gambles by Pope Leo XIII.



These talks were taken from: Phoenix in a Fiery World: Church in the 19th Century - 1999 VonHildebrand Institute

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