The town is adorned with a marble monument commemorating the war of 1870-71, a handsome fountain, and a statue of the Old Catholic bishop Reinkens.
And when the excommunication of Dellinger and other anti-infallibilist divines (1871) led to the formation of an independent Old Catholic Church (see OLD Catholics) Bavaria, Switzerland and other countries gave it a warm welcome.
In 1872 he took part in the congress summoned by the Ultramontanes at Fulda, and by his judicious use of minimizing tactics he kept his diocese free from any participation in the Old Catholic schism.
Some of the Reformers, notably Melanchthon, expected to effect a reunion of Christendom by means of the Easterns, cherishing the same hopes as the modern Old Catholic divines and their English sympathizers.
This did not last long with him, however, for the second edition (1857) of his most important work, on the origin of the old Catholic Church (Die Entstehung der alt-kathol.
The three Dutch Old Catholic bishops declared themselves ready to consecrate a bishop, if it were desired.
The Old Catholic separation followed, but Acton did not personally join the seceders, and the authorities prudently refrained from forcing the hands of so competent and influential an English layman.
It has six Roman Catholic and four Evangelical churches (of which the Gothic Friedenskirche with a lofty spire, and the modern church of St Joseph, in the Romanesque style, are alone worth special mention); there are also a Mennonite and an Old Catholic church.
As the leaders in these meetings were men like Virchow and Bluntschli, who had been lifelong opponents of Catholicism in every form, the result was disastrous to the Liberal party among the Catholics, for a Liberal Catholic would appear as the ally of the bitterest enemies of the Church; whatever possibility of success the Old Catholic movement might have had was destroyed by the fact that it was supported by those who avowedly wished to destroy the influence of Catholicism.
In 1878, in consequence of the permission given to priests to marry, he ceased to identify himself with the Old Catholic movement, although he was not reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church.