Written by a Swiss author who was a Romanist himself, and published in 1981 shortly after his (not surprisingly?) untimely death, this book documents the Roman railroad job of 1870 that was the First Vatican Council that forced the historically novel dogma of “papal infallibility” upon the Roman Catholic Church. This new dogma was ramrodded through much initial Catholic resistance and in defiance of the historical and theological facts. Hasler gives a meticulous record of a shameful, totalitarian proceeding, and of the individuals involved.
Today, propagandists for Romanism are likely to hail the “democratic” nature of Vatican I. As usual here, the truth is diametrically opposite. There were myriad opponents of the papal infallibility dogma within Catholicism at all levels at the time, including very high ones: Cardinal opponents, Professorial opponents, Bishop opponents. And these were typically the most learned scholars, the most historically educated, within the Roman system. Hasler shows, however, that these people were threatened with loss of property, loss of prestige, loss of vocation, and God only knows what else. They were unrelentingly brow-beaten and intimidated by a megalomaniacal pope and, though it is only partially revealed in this work, by the puppetmaster Society of Jesus controlling the papacy itself. Every facet of the proceedings of the Council was tightly controlled and specifically designed to shut down debate, shut down opposition to the new dogma, and it worked.
This account is perhaps most interesting as a study of human nature–human foibles, I suppose; a study of the remarkable dexterity with which defeated, shamed, perplexed humans can rationalize away anything under the Sun in order to assuage their own consciences. For here we read that, once the virgin, papal infallibility dogma was bulldozed through and officially accepted as policy for the Roman church, then nearly every single one of its multitude of former ideological and theological Catholic adversaries suddenly genuflected and at least publicly accepted it, along with resorting to typically stunning, delusional mental gymnastics in their writings and speeches when trying to synthesize their former beliefs with the contradictory, new, official church policy. It appears to be a mass case of what the shrinks nowadays would call “cognitive dissonance.” This ubiquitous pattern of inconsistency of belief can still be appreciated today all up and down the vast, global pyramid of subscribers to this Mother of all pagan belief systems.
Obviously, as a Romanist himself, Hasler did not appreciate the overall truth about Romanism itself. Still, as a critic and assiduous researcher within the system, this record of events of Vatican I that he compiled is a most valuable resource for those few people today who are going to want to know the truth about the dogma of papal infallibility and the singular event in history which finally gave rise to it.
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