This term, which is sometimes used in a broad, vaguely defined sense, refers here to a tendency and also to a movement that arose about the time of the papal condemnation of Modernism (1907). Intégrisme developed an organization, secret in many of its operations, in order to carry out pius x's recommendations for vigilance against doctrinal deviations. Both the mentality and the methods of the "integral Catholics" were themselves the objects of widespread criticism.
Leo XIII's encyclical aeterni patris (1879) gave a strong impulse to a Catholic scholarly revival, but conservatives began before long to express alarm at some of the results of this activity. At the International Congress of Catholic Scholars in Brussels (1894) Maurice d' Hulst, a rector of the Institut Catholique in Paris, warned of a tendency among some Catholics who feared that employment of new scientific methods might endanger their faith and who reacted by casting suspicions of heterodoxy on those who differed with their outlook, even in matters that did not involve faith. He urged that scholars not be denounced as long as they were sincerely pursuing scientific knowledge about questions on which the Church had not decided authoritatively. During the controversy in the French Catholic press over americanism at the close of the 19th century, Abbé Charles Maignen and other conservative theologians attacked men whom they believed to be minimizing Catholic teachings.
Development of Integralism. After the condemnation of Modernism, the integralism that had appeared on occasion as a tendency gained a permanent organization. In his encyclical Pascendi (1907), Pius X urged bishops to supervise closely seminary teaching and writings by priests and to establish in each diocese vigilance committees. In 1910 the pope imposed an oath against Modernism (see modernism, oath against). Vigilance was needed in this tense period, but the type of vigilance exercised by integralists was often excessive and indefensible. In their zeal to defend the faith in all its purity, the integralists caused unnecessarily bitter polemics among Catholics, injured the reputations of orthodox Catholic scholars, and hampered the progress of Catholic scholarship.
Among the best-known integralists was the Italian priest and publicist Umberto benigni, who in 1909 founded the sodalitium pianum, the principal organization engaged in anti-Modernist activities throughout Europe. The Sodalitium, or Sapinière, adopted the Modernist practices of using secrecy, pseudonyms, and codes. In France, which was the chief center of Modernism, the Sapinière was particularly strong. It numbered among its most eager workers priests who had led the opposition to Americanism, such as Maignen, Canon H. Delassus, and two former Jesuits, Bernard Gaudeau, who edited La Foi Catholique in Toulouse, and J. Fontaine, his collaborator. Other priests who cooperated with Benigni were Paul Boulin, who edited Vigie under the pseudonym Roger Duguet; Monsignors Jouin and Delmont, Jacques Rocafort; the Eudist Father Le Doré; the Capuchin Father Pie de Langogne; and the Assumptionist Fathers Salvien and Ricard. Active in Rome was the Capuchin Father Le Floch, who was superior of the French seminary in Rome and a consultor of several Roman congregations. He, as well as other French integralists, supported action franÇaise, which used these zealots for political purposes. Emmanuel Barbier, a skillful controversialist, was one of the more accomplished theologians in this group that numbered few outstanding theologians. After leaving the Jesuits, Barbier published two attacks on Leo XIII's policies in France that were placed on the Index in 1908. As an integralist he was one of the most active in denunciations. Cardinal billot was not an integralist, but he used his influence in Rome to help this group. Cardinal merry del val, the conservative secretary of state, was an acquaintance of Benigni. Pius X was aware of the existence of the Sodalitium but did not know the full extent of its operations or methods.
Because of the secrecy surrounding the Sodalitium, much remains unknown concerning its membership, aims, and methods. Great resentment was roused by its use of anonymous attacks on specific persons and by its common tactic of basing accusations on extracts from writings or talks, sometimes cited inaccurately or out of context to give them an unorthodox significance. Proponents of Catholic liberalism, social Catholicism, Christian democracy, and ecumenism were among those upon whom aspersions of heresy were cast. Accusations were disseminated through a European network of Catholic newspapers and periodicals to bring them to the attention of ecclesiastical authorities. Although these accusations did not always result in condemnations, they did envelop many distinguished scholars in an atmosphere of suspicion.
Among the objects of integralist attacks in France were Cardinal amette of Paris; Archbishop mignot, who had been deceived by loisy; Bishop Chapon of Nice; Bishop Dadolle of Dijon; and Bishop du Vauroux of Agen. baudrillart, goyau, De grandmaison, la grange, and sertillanges were among the most prominent scholars whose orthodoxy was attacked. Integralist pressures were believed responsible for the condemnation of Louis duchesne's Histoire ancienne de l'Église (3 v. 1906–10), which was placed on the Index (Jan. 22, 1912) after the appearance of its Italian translation. The resignations of Ferdinand Prat in 1907 from an enlarged Pontifical Biblical Commission and of Pierre batiffol in 1908 as rector of the Institut Catholique of Toulouse were credited also to integralist influences. The same forces assailed the Catholic leaders in social reform, Léon harmel and Albert de Mun, Semaines Sociales de France and similar associations, Catholic youth organizations, and the Jesuit periodicals Études and Action Populaire.
Outside of France, Cardinals Ferrari of Milan, mer cier of Mechelin, piffl of Vienna, and Von Rossum of the Roman Curia were denounced, as were many bishops. The Dominicans of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and some Jesuits connected with the periodicals La Civiltà Cattolica and Stimmen aus Maria Laach (later Stimmen der Zeit ) suffered bitter denunciations. In Germany much of the integralist animosity was aimed at the section of the center party that favored social reforms.
Reaction against Integralism. Protests against the integralists were made during Pius X's pontificate, notably by Cardinal Ferrari and Bishop Cazzani in Italy and by Stimmen aus Maria Laach and the Kölnische Volkszeitung in Germany. In 1914 De Grandmaison deplored in Études (138:5–25, 272–273, 494–497) the integralist custom of dismissing their critics as "enemies of God, hypocrites, and false brethren" and of attempting to discredit loyal Catholics by associating them with known Modernists. After Pius X's death, Mignot addressed to the papal secretary of state a memoir on the integralist campaign in which he warned against hidden powers that acted irresponsibly, clandestinely, calumniously, and without hierarchical supervision. Mignot deplored the resultant disaffection, discouragement, and even retirement from intellectual pursuits of Catholic scholars. Meanwhile Cardinal Merry del Val had caused Benigni's La Correspondance de Rome to be suppressed. Benedict XV's first encyclical, Ad beatissimi Apostolorum (Nov. 1,1914), pleaded for an end to dissensions among Catholics. It declared that in matters that the Church left open to discussion, moderation should reign and not unbased suspicions about the orthodoxy of opponents. The pope also pointed out that it was neither right nor fitting for Catholic writers to usurp the functions of the ecclesiastical magisterium. The pope further noted that the term "Catholic" does not require the qualification integral, but he did not mention the integralists specifically. The Sodalitium Pianum disbanded for a while after Pius X's death, but then it renewed its operations until in 1921 the Holy See suppressed it permanently.
Integralism was intellectually and tactically dangerous to the Church. It threatened to substitute routine for genuine tradition and to hamper the development of Catholic thought by refusing to disengage living traditions from attitudes or procedures dictated by the needs of the moment. With their connections in high ecclesiastical circles, the integralists attempted to safeguard Catholics by enclosing them in a ghetto inaccessible to the outside world, where a few would make all decisions and the mass of the faithful would do no more than comply with them.
Organized integralism disappeared, possibly not completely, with the dissolution of the Sodalitium, but the integralist mentality still exists.
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[g. j. o'brien]