The origin of Maronism has been much obscured by the efforts of learned Maronites like Yusuf as-Simani (Assemanus), Vatican librarian under Clement XII., Faustus Nairon, Gabriel Sionita and Abraham Ecchellensis to clear its history from all taint of heresy.
The irritation displayed by Bismarck at the Francophil attitude of Italy towards the end of the Franco-German War gave place to a certain show of goodwill when the great chancellor found himself in his turn involved in a struggle against the Vatican and when the policy of Thiers began to strain Franco-Italian relations.
During 1870 and 1871 meetings were held by the Gustavus Adolphus Verein, and a great Protestant conference was called, at which resolutions were passed demanding the expulsion of the Jesuits and condemning the Vatican decrees.
Theologians might draw their fine-spun distinctions between realms where the pope was actually infallible' and realms where he was not; but Pius knew well that loyal Catholic common sense would brush their technicalities aside and hold that on any conceivable question the pope was fifty times more likely to be right than any one else (see Vatican Council and Infallibility) .
In Vatican circles dark hints began to be dropped of a possible rapprochement with Don Jaime, who had succeeded his father Don Carlos, on the 18th of July 1909, as the representative of Spanish legitimacy and Catholic orthodoxy.
This second point of view, as clearly expounded by Mgr Joseph Fessler (1813-1872), bishop of St P6lten, who was secretary to the Vatican Council, in his work Die whhre and die falsche Unfehl- .barheit der Papste (French trans.
Mr Taft managed the delicate task of conducting negotiations with the Vatican without arousing the hostility of either Catholics or Protestants.
These utterances are eminently characteristic. They show how far Bismarck was (even at the close of 1870) from comprehending the traditional policy of the papacy towards Germany and German interests, and how little he conceived it possible to employ the relations between the future empire and the Vatican as a point of departure for a successful and consistent ecclesiastical policy.
Distributed large sums in charity, and at his own charges placed costly astronomical instruments in the Vatican observatory, providing also accommodation and endowment for a staff of officials.
If in regard to France his policy appeared to lack suavity and circumspection, it must be remembered that the French republic was then engaged in active anti-Italian schemes and was working, both at the Vatican and in the sphere of colonial politics, to create a situation that should compel Italy to bow to French exigencies and to abandon the Triple Alliance.