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ULTRAMONTANISM IS derived from ultra montes, which means “beyond the mountains.” It is a term used to designate traditional Catholicism that recognizes the pope as the ultimate authority and spiritual leader, and has traditionally advocated the doctrine of papal infallibility. The term reflects the fact that for most of the Catholic world, the pope is physically located on the other side of the Alps. Ultramontanism reflects the position of Roman Catholics who have historically privileged centralized papal authority over national leaders and local ecclesiastical structures. Historically, it was opposed by such nationalist movements as Gallicanism in France, which defended the special rights of the French monarch in the French Church, and ecclesiastical Gallicanism, which tried to claim an administrative independence from Rome for the French ...

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