Template:Morerefs The liberal catholicism has its roots in christian humanism, whose main figure was Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, and, in the Spanish sphere, the intellectual group united around the University of Alcalá de Henares, founded by cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros.
In 18th century, Age of Enlightenment influenced in various catholic circles of France, Belgium, Germany and Netherlands, constituting different doctrines (gallicanism, molinism y josephism, among others) that exalted individualism and rationalization of religious conceptions and expressions, (free will, austere moral, refusal to baroque practices) and the modification of the religious oraganization, supporting the attempts of creation of national churches. In the 18th century this movement received the name of Illustrated Catholicism.
In 1817, Hughes Felicité Robert de Lamennais published the first volume of Essai sur l'indifference en matière de religion, and affected Europe like a spell. Lamennais denounced religious indifference by the state and proclaimed ecclesiastical authority, founded on the absolute Christian revelation, but supported by the universal tradition of all nations, to be the sole hope of regenerating the European communities.
In the 19th century, the liberal catholicism had its main exponent in Charles Montalembert (1810-1870). Former disciple of Lamennais, he wanted to counteract the influence of intransigent intellectuals of opinion organisms. Montalembert answered by reviving a review which had for some time ceased publication, the Correspondent (1855), in which he set himself to fight both against the party of Pope Pius IX and the Syllabus, and the more or less free-thinking Liberals of the Revue des deux mondes. Under his direction he had up to 3000 susbcriptors, due the help of his allies: Falloux, Foisset, Alberto de Broglie, Agustín Cochin, Lacordaire and Federico Le Play, among others..