Ultramontanism

From Academic Kids

Ultramontanism literally alludes to a policy supporting those dwelling "beyond the mountains" (ultra montes), that is beyond the Alps—generally referring to the Pope in Rome. In particular, ultramontanism may consist in alleging the superiority of Papal authority over the authority of local temporal or spiritual hierarchies.

The actual origins of the term is relative and technical ecclesiastical language from the Middle Ages: when a non-Italian pope was elected he was said to be a papa ultramontano.

The word was revived after the Protestant Reformation. Among the northern European governments and peoples there gradually developed an tendency to regard the papacy as a foreign power, especially when the Pope interfered in temporal matters by favoring some ruler or country over another. This name of Ultramontain was applied in France to the supporters of the Roman doctrines and papal superiority, as opposed to the "Gallican liberties". The term was intended to be insulting, or at least to convey the implication of a failing in attachment to one's own country. From the 17th century, ultramontanism became closely associated with the Society of Jesus, stating the superiority of popes over councils and kings, even in temporal questions.

In the 18th century the word passed to Germany (Josephinism and Febronianism), where it acquired a much wider signification, being applicable to all the conflicts between Church and State, the supporters of the Church being called Ultramontanes. (It is in this sense that Paleoconservatives in the United States are sometimes referred to as being Ultramontanist.) The Vatican Council issued numerous written attacks upon Ultramontanism. In its sense of papal dominance over the Church the word is used in opposition to Cisalpinism.

The great triumph of Ultramontanism came at the First Vatican Council with the pronouncement of papal infallibility.

The word ultramontanism was revived in the context of the French Third Republic as a general insulting terms for policies advocating the involvement of the Roman Catholic Church in the policies of the French government, in opposition to la´citÚ.de:Ultramontanismus sv:Ultramontanism

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