Fr. Vincent Maumus, O.P. – Liberalism and Catholicism (1911)

Fr. Vincent Maumus, O.P.

[Fr. Vincent Maumus was a Catholic priest and Dominican, supporter of Dreyfus, liberal in the tradition of Lacordaire and Henri Didon, critic of the modernism of Loisy et al., and republican who — according to the “intégriste” Catholic Charles Maignen — “bleat[ed] the principles of 1789.” It should also be noted that, due to his support of Dreyfus, Fr. Maumus was, as Pierre Pierrard puts it, “one of the bêtes noires of La Croix and above all of La Vérité.”]

[The Catholic ultramontanist newspaper L’Univers in 1911 accused Maumus of doctrinal liberalism. The following text is an excerpt from his response, published in La Démocratie, January 12, 1911.]

Finally, there is the liberalism of the Catholic who is submissive like anyone else to the Holy Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman, Church, and is convinced that the surest refuge of the liberty of the Church is political liberty. This liberalism is not crazy to the point of professing the doctrinal equality of the various cults who enjoy common liberty; the faith of these liberals suffers no harm, and they do not yield to any person the monopoly of complete orthodoxy. This was the liberalism of Dupanloup, of Lacordaire, of Montalembert, of Falloux, of Cochin… it was also Louis Veuillot’s, before the coup d’État of the 2nd of December. This liberalism is mine. Read l’Univers again, Monsieur, and you will find it. It is neither audacious, nor aggressive, is it simply faithful to the method of the apologists who have served the Church by their prudence, while the others compromised it by their recklessness.