Download Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church Audiobook

Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church Audiobook, by John W. O’Malley Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: John W. O’Malley Narrator: Matthew McAuliffe Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2018 ISBN: 9781982557140
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The enduring influence of the Catholic Church has many sources―its spiritual and intellectual appeal, missionary achievements, wealth, diplomatic effectiveness, and stable hierarchy. But in the first half of the nineteenth century, the foundations upon which the church had rested for centuries were shaken. In the eyes of many thoughtful people, liberalism in the guise of liberty, equality, and fraternity was the quintessence of the evils that shook those foundations. At the Vatican Council of 1869–1870, the church made a dramatic effort to set things right by defining the doctrine of papal infallibility.

In Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church, John W. O’Malley draws us into the bitter controversies over papal infallibility that at one point seemed destined to rend the church in two. Archbishop Henry Manning was the principal driving force for the definition, and Lord Acton was his brilliant counterpart on the other side. But they shrink in significance alongside Pope Pius IX, whose zeal for the definition was so notable that it raised questions about the very legitimacy of the council. Entering the fray were politicians such as Gladstone and Bismarck. The growing tension in the council played out within the larger drama of the seizure of the Papal States by Italian forces and its seemingly inevitable consequence, the conquest of Rome itself.

Largely as a result of the council and its aftermath, the Catholic Church became more pope-centered than ever before. In the terminology of the period, it became ultramontane.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Provides an elegant historical narrative.”

    Times Higher Education (London)

  • “With Vatican I…O’Malley completes his masterclass in church history and ecclesiology of the last 500 years, telling us as much about the church now as then.”


  • “A fascinating and dispassionate glimpse into a pivotal and dramatic period of Catholic Church history.”

    Library Journal

  • “Possesses the lucidity, insight, and erudition we associate with one of the world’s leading historians of Catholicism.”

    John McGreevy, University of Notre Dame

  • A #1 bestseller in Christian canon law

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About the Author

John W. O’Malley is university professor at Georgetown University.

About the Narrator

Matthew McAuliffe is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.