Nor is there any good to be gained by saying that the Church will perhaps some day make concessions which will avert the necessity of ruptures, such as that which I felt forced upon me, and that it will then be seen that I have renounced the kingdom of God for a trumpery cause. I am perfectly well aware how far the Church can go in the way of concession, and I know what are the points upon which it is useless to ask her for any. The Catholic Church will never abandon a jot or tittle of her scholastic and orthodox system; she can no more do so than the Comte de Chambord can cease to be legitimist. I have no doubt that there will be schisms, more, perhaps, than ever before, but the true Catholic will be inflexible in the declaration: “If I must abandon my past, I shall abandon the whole; for I believe in everything upon the principle of infallibility, and this principle is as much affected by one small concession as by ten thousand large ones.” For the Catholic Church to admit that Daniel was an apocryphal person of the time of the Maccabaei, would be to admit that she had made a mistake; if she was mistaken in that, she may have been mistaken in others, and she is no longer divinely inspired.
I do not, therefore, in any way regret having been brought into contact, for my religious education, with sincere teachers, who would have scrupulously avoided letting me labour under any illusion as to what a Catholic is required to admit. The Catholicism which was taught me is not the insipid compromise, suitable only for laymen, which has led to so many misunderstandings in the present day. My Catholicism was that of Scripture, of the councils, and of the theologians. This Catholicism I loved, and I still respect it; having found it inadmissible, I separated myself from it. This is a straightforward course, but what is not straightforward is to pretend ignorance of the engagement contracted, and to become the apologist of things concerning which one is ignorant. I have never lent myself to a falsehood of this description, and I have looked upon it as disrespectful to the faith to practise deceit with it. It is no fault of mine if my masters taught me logic, and by their uncompromising arguments made my mind as trenchant as a blade of steel. I took what was taught me—scholasticism, syllogistic rules, theology, and Hebrew—in earnest; I was an apt student; I am not to be numbered with the lost for that.