In order to avoid this danger it was therefore necessary to refuse all compromise, and, by perpetual reiteration of a claim incompatible with Italian territorial unity, to prove to the church at large that the pope and the curia were more Catholic than Italian.
Their interest on the formal side is retrospective, but it is possible to find even in the persistent reiteration of medieval sentiment and methods, a fresh feeling for nature, and a lyrical quality of later timbre.
And though the Stoic doctrine of determinism did not, when applied to moral problems, advance much beyond the reiteration of arguments derived from the universal validity of the principles of causality, nor the Epicurean counter-assertion of freedom avoid the error of regarding chance as a real cause and universal contingency as an explanation of the universe, it was nevertheless a real step forward to perceive the existence of the problem.
His encyclical issued at Easter 1902, and described by himself as a kind of will, was mainly a reiteration of earlier condemnations of the Reformation, and of modern philosophical systems, which for their atheism and materialism he makes responsible for all existing moral and political disorders.
This inevitably led on to the reiteration of confession after repeated lapses, and Chrysostom (bishop of Constantinople, 398-407) was attacked for allowing such a departure from ancient rule.
He would have stood higher as an author had he written less, or had he indulged less in that practice of reiteration into which he was constantly betrayed by his anxiety to impress his ideas upon others.