That science must be left free to determine the aims of her investigation, to select and apply her own methods, and to publish the results of her researches without restraint, is a postulate which Ultramontanism either cannot understand or treats with indifference, for it regards as strange and incredible the fundamental law governing all scientific research - that there is for it no higher aim than the discovery of the truth.
It is evident, therefore, that the request for a definition of Ultramontanism cannot be answered with a concise formula, but that the varied character of its manifestations necessitates a more detailed examination of its peculiar objects.
It is indisputably legitimate to speak of Ultramontanism as a distinct policy, but it is very difficult to define its essential character.
In the fourth place, Ultramontanism is the embodiment of intolerance towards other creeds.
But even here Ultramontanism gained ground and derived inestimable assistance from the blunders of government after government - witness the conflict of the Prussian administration with Archbishop Droste-Vischering.
In Germany, again, the last few years have witnessed a growing aversion from Ultramontanism on the part of those Catholics who cannot reconcile its tenets with their patriotic sentiments,.
In Germany Ultramontanism had to contend with great difficulties; for here ecclesiastical affairs were not in so desperate a case that the most drastic remedies possessed the most powerful attraction; while, in addition, the clergy were too highly educated to be willing to renounce all scientific work.
The origin of modern Ultramontanism is preceded and conditioned by the collapse of Catholicism in the period of the French Revolution.
It may be admitted that, in many cases, the distinction between Ultramontanism and Catholicism cannot be clearly traced; and it is impossible to draw a sharp line of severance between the two, which could be absolutely valid under all circumstances and in relation to all questions.
For, by representing the prosecution of its party-political objects as a championship of the Catholic Church, Ultramontanism seeks to acquire the support of the official organs of that Church, and the good will of all circles interested in her welfare; while at the same time it strives to discredit any attempt at opposition by branding it as an assault on the orthodox faith.