That this second element was bound to produce a radical change in the characteristic features of Catholicism in Western Europe, in its traditionalism, its orthodoxy, its ritualism, and its monasticism, is obvious. Traditionalism holds the same position after the change as it did before; but when any element in it has become inconvenient, it is dropped and its place taken by the papal will. “La tradition, c’est moi,” as Pius IX. is reported to have said. Further, “sound doctrine” is still a leading principle, but, as a matter of fact, it can be altered by the ecclesiastical policy of the Pope; subtle distinctions have given many a dogma a new meaning. New dogmas, too, are promulgated. In many respects doctrine has become more arbitrary, and a rigid formula in a matter of dogma may be set aside by a contrary injunction in a matter of ethics and in the confessional. The hard and fast lines of the past can be everywhere relaxed in favour of the needs of the present. The same holds good of ritualism, as also of monasticism. The extent to which the old monasticism has been altered, by no means always to its disadvantage alone, and has even in some important aspects been transformed into its flat opposite, I cannot here show. In its organisation this Church possesses a faculty of adapting itself to the course of history such as no other Church possesses; it always remains the same old Church, or seems to do so, and is always becoming a new one.
The third element determining the character of the spirit prevalent in the Church is opposed to that which we have just discussed, and yet has held its own side by side with the second: it goes by the names of Augustine and Augustinianism. In the fifth century, at the very time when the Church was setting itself to acquire the inheritance of the Roman Empire, it came into possession of a religious genius of extraordinary depth and power, accepted his ideas and feelings, and up to the present day has been unable to get rid of them. That the Church became at one and the same time Caesarian and Augustinian is the most important and marvellous fact in its history. What kind of a spirit, however, and what kind of a tendency, did it receive from Augustine?