Syllabus (Gr. συλλαβός, a collection), the title given to a list of 80 propositions condemned at various times as erroneous by Pope Pius IX., which was sent by his order to the Roman Catholic hierarchy, Dec. 8, 1864. Several previous popes had condemned at one and the same time a series of propositions or heads of doctrine held to be heterodox or dangerous. Such were the 5 propositions containing the principal tenets of the Waldenses, condemned in 1318 by John XXII.; 21 from Huss, Wyc-liffe, and Jerome of Prague, condemned by Martin V. in 1418; 6 on the sacraments, from the writings of Peter de Osma, proscribed in 1481 by Sixtus I,V.; 41 from the works of Luther and the early reformers, condemned in the bull Exsurge, Do?nine, by Leo X. in 1520; 76 from Baius, proscribed successively by Pius V., Gregory XIII., and Urban VIII.; 5 from the Augustinus of Jansenius, condemned by Innocent X. in 1653; 101 relating to Jansenism, condemned by Clement XI. in the bull Unigenitus in 1713; and 85 from the acts of the synod of Pistoja (1786-'7), condemned by Pius VI. in 1794. Pius IX. was moved to a similar act by a pastoral letter issued by Bishop Gerbet of Perpignan in July, 1860, censuring 85 propositions taken from various contemporary writers.
On reading this document, the pope commissioned some Roman theologians to draw up a list, with references, of the errors which he had denounced during the 18 preceding years, in his consisto-rial allocutions or in his official letters. This list was annexed to the bull Quanta cura, issued Dec. 8, 1864, and communicated to the hierarchy by Cardinal Antonelli. In the bull, coming soon after the convention of Sept. 15 between France and Italy, the suppression of religious orders, and the confiscation of church property in Italy, the pope recalled the censure pronounced in the consistorial allocutions of Nov. 9, 1854, and June 9, 1862, against certain capital errors of the day, regarded as "the sources of all others" detrimental to civil society and to the church, and " opposed to the natural law written on the heart and in the very reason of man." He then formally condemned as erroneous various current doctrines, which inculcate that the perfection of civil government and social progress imperiously require that religion shall be ignored in the constitution and administration of states, or that no distinction shall be made between true and false religion; that the best government is that which represses or punishes acts committed against the Catholic religion only when these disturb the public peace, and that the most unlimited freedom of uttering one's opinions on every subject in public or in private, by writing or in print, shall be deemed an inherent right of every citizen in every form of government; that the popular will, as expressed in public opinion or otherwise, is the supreme law, independent of all other, divine or human; and that in the political order accomplished facts, as such, have the force of right.
Next came errors relating to the constitution and rights of the family, especially such as aim at refusing religious bodies all control over or share in education; the denial to the church as founded by Christ of all proper authority or jurisdictional rights, distinct from or independent of the state; the denial of power in the church to bind the conscience by any laws of hers, save only in so far as these are promulgated by the state; the denial of any validity to spiritual penalties decreed against secret societies in states which tolerate their existence, or of force in excommunications pronounced against persons usurping property belonging to the church, to religious orders, or ecclesiastical corporations, etc. This bull and the syllabus are to be taken as one authoritative act, the 80 errors designated in the latter being grouped under ten different heads, including pantheism and its adjuncts naturalism and absolute rationalism, moderate rationalism, and religious indif-ferentism; 20 propositions adverse to the constitution and rights of the church, 17 on civil society and its relations to the church, 10 on Christian marriage, 2 on the temporal prince-ship of the pope, and 4 on modern liberalism in its bearings on religion. - The appearance of both these documents created much excitement in France, where Jules Baroche, the minister of public worship, issued on Jan. 1, 18G5, a circular letter to the French bishops forbidding the publication by them of the syllabus and of the doctrinal part of the bull.
The liberal French press and the government journals also attacked these wide condemnations as " an act subversive of social order," "a monstrous error in politics as well as in the intellectual and moral order," "an attempt to restore an absolute theocracy, to set up a tyranny over everybody and everything." The minister declared the doctrine of the pope to be " contrary to the principles on which the empire reposed," and the Journal des Debats translated and analyzed the propositions condemned. Bishop Dupanloup replied to the latter, pointing out over 70 mistranslations and misconceptions; while nearly all the French prelates, including Archbishop Darboy, replied to the former, denouncing the ministerial prohibition. The bishop of Belley and the cardinal-archbishop of Besancon read both documents from the pulpit, and were prosecuted by the government. Elsewhere, though the proceeding of Pius IX. was generally condemned by the secular press, the civil governments did not feel called upon to interfere with the bishops, for whose special guidance the syllabus had been drawn up.
In the beginning of 1871 Dr. Schulte, professor of canon and German law in the university of Prague, in a pamphlet entitled " The Power of the Roman Popes over Princes, Countries, Peoples, and Individuals," assumed that the syllabus with all its 80 propositions was an utterance ex cathedra, as defined by the council of the Vatican. This assumption, as well as the whole argument of Dr. Schulte, was assailed by Bishop Fessler of St. Polten in Lower Austria, who had been secretary of the council, in his " True and False Infallibility of the Popes " (Vienna, 1871; English translation, London and New York, 1875), for which he received a congratulatory letter from Pius IX. In the autumn of 1874 the doctrines condemned in the syllabus were brought prominently before the public by Mr. Gladstone's pamphlet, " The Vatican Decrees in their Bearing on Civil Allegiance." From the syllabus and the bull Quanta cura he selected 18 propositions bearing principally on the liberty of the press, of conscience, worship, and speech, on the essential rights of both church and state, and J their mutual subordination, on education, mar-| riage, the abolition of the pope's temporal ! power, tolerance, and the reconciliation of the papacy with modern liberalism.
The interpretation of the various propositions by Mr. Gladstone, and his conclusions therefrom, drew forth replies from Dr. Newman, Cardinal Manning, and other Roman Catholic writers, who accused him of mistranslating several propositions and misstating their sense. With regard to the doctrinal authority both of the bull Quanta cura and of the annexed syllabus, it is generally admitted by Roman Catholic theologians that the former has the character of an ex cathedra utterance, while the specific character of the latter is still a matter of dispute. All agree that the propositions condemned are erroneous, and that the condemnation should be accepted by all Catholics as final, while it is maintained by some that the syllabus has the same official and doctrinal value as the bull itself, and by others that the list of errors is only compiled for the convenience of bishops and theologians, each proposition bearing only that censure pronounced on it specially in the original document.