« PreviousContinue »
and have powers to send for persons, papers, and records : that five be a quorum : that they have leave to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, and that they have power to report, from time to time, the minutes of the evidence taken before them." P. 3.
This motion was 'supported by Mr. Ryder, and those who were considered hostile to the Catholic Enancipation, and op. posed by Nir. Cauning, and those who were desirons of passing the measure without enquiry. The motion was lost by 237 against 189. How far this determination to resist enquiry, how far this buried and precipitate legislation is the signal either of policy or wisdom, it is not within our present purpose to enquire. How far it would have answered the end proposed in conciliating the country, the lish Catholics themselves have unequivocally declared ; who while this very measure was expected to pass triumphantly through the House, were prepared to meet it in ternis not of gratitude, but of execration."
As the honourable Baronet is at this very time on the point of renewing his motion, this speech before us deserves our most earnest attention. It deserves our attention, as it comes from a man, who is now, perhaps, the only member of the British Parliament, who is thoroughly acquainted with all the bearings of this important question, and with all its nunierous and intricate details. He has always brought to its discussion a fund of deep and accurate information, wliich forms a striking contrast with the frothy and unsubstantial verbiage of ignorant politicians, or declamatory sciolists. Talis cum sit utinam noster esset. The only man who could contend with him upon these important points, is now no more; but the name of Duigenan will be ever cherished with gratitude by every good Protestant, as an upright, intrepid, and most learned deferider of their best interests. Since the death of this excellent man, the worthy Baronet is now in possession of the field. He has long been intimately versed in The doctrines, the discipline, and the history of the Romish Church; he has now been practically acquainted with its temper and its disposition. For the respect to which he is justly entitled at their hands, he has met with obloquy; for eulogy, abuse; and for gratitude, the most virulent and personal hostility. This is not the treatment he would have met from the Church of England, or lier ministers; they, though disagreeing with him in his ulterior views, are ever willing to treat his learning with respect, his consistency with esteem, and to view every effort which he may make to throw light upon the subject before us, with the candour which it deserves.
To the most matured and patient enquiry upon this moment. ous question, we cannot have the slightest objection: on the
contrary contrary we would court the investigation, and abide by the result. With the following sentence, therefore, in the speech before us we fully agree.
“ If I fail this night in my object, I shall nevertheless think is. my duty to revive the motion, in the same terms, in the ensuing session, in the conviction that such an inquiry is essential to give effect to the memorable resolution of the last parliament. Its object is not the object of a party; and the advocate and opposer of the claims of the Catholics may equally give their support to the motion,- each in the persuasion that his own opinion will be sustained by the results of the enquiry. On whichever side the weight of evidence lies, it should be our object to develop it. To secure the proceedings of the committee from any embarrassing results, by a conflict of opinions, its duties should be limited (as indeed it would necessarily be, unless further authorized by the House) to the report of facts and evidence submitted to them ; namely, the authenticated documents in support of the distinct heads of inquiry which are enumerated in the motion, and which, I conceive, must be admitted to bear an interesting and important relation to the ultimate object of our deliberations” P. 50.
Leaving for a moment our high stand of constitutional principle, and descending into the present question we find ample grounds for enquiry. When Bp. Milner avows, that " thirty bishops with their clergy, and a numerous laity, are ready to mount the scaf. fold, and submit to the axe or halter, rather than submit to the securities proposed for enactment," it is surely incumbent upon us to inquire what these securities are. They simply consist in such an exercise of restrictive power on the part of the crown, in the regulation of rescripts einanating from the see of Rome, and in the nomination or approval of the hierarchy, as is admitted even in countries wholly Catholic..
« The most irrefragable documents might be produced in a committee to evince the frequent and successful resistance to such encroachments, both in ancient and modern times, on the part even of those states which are supposed to have been most blindly devoted to the see of Rome. The spirit of the Gallican Church has been pre-eminent--but Spain and Portugal,-Naples and Austria, Savoy, Venice and Tuscany--in a word, every Catholic state, even on the other side of the Alps, with an exception to the Roman territory itself, have afforded distinguished proofs of this spirit of independence in the proceedings of their governments, not only by maintaining the freedom of their nominations to the prelacy, but have, also, under various appellations, whe.. ther of the placet, the regium exequatur, or some analogous term, asserted the right of the sovereign to the inspection and licensing of all rescripts emanating from the see of Rome (those of the penitentiary only, under certain guards excepted) before they M m 2
were allowed to have circulation or validity within their respective states. Surely, Sir, the well attested documents in support of such instructive facts are of no light estimation, but of practical utility, as salutary precedents; and it will be difficult to assign a satisfactory reason why they should not be recorded in the report of a committee, as an incontrovertible answer to those misguided zealots who denounce all measures of state regulation as incon. sistent with the integrity of the Roman Catholic religion.” P. 10.
By the unwearied efforts of the honourable baronet, a mass of information has been collected, the result of which we cannot give in a better manner than in his own words.
“ Conceiving, Sir, that the production of such evidence, in support of these facts, might eventually be of useful resort, especially in such a Committee as is the object of the present motion, I requested of the noble viscount to be supplied with his official introduction to each of our ministers accredited to foreign courts, which might countenance my efforts to procure the verification of such information as I had obtained by less accredited means, and also to supply me with such further documents as could be obtained on the same subject. The noble viscount readily favoured my request, and the result has been the acquisition of many valuable documents, and information of unquestionable authority, extending to the civil and ecclesiastical polity of every state in Europe, in reference to the See of Rome, and in confirmation of the principles I have uniformly maintained to be of in. dispensable obligation in legislating upon the subject before us. The valuable and extensive information afforded by Sir Charles Stuart, his Majesty's envoy, and a constituent member of the regency of Portugal, I am bound upon this occasion to acknowledge, as, in itself, it nearly comprehends the extent of what was desirable to be ascertained, and supplies the proofs that every Catholic state in Europe has acted upon those principles, and promulgated, at various periods, such ordinances as might be usefully consulted, in framing securities against the encroachments of a foreign jurisdiction. The same mass of information supplies the proofs also, that where, as I have before noticed, the sovereigns themselves, from bigotry or pusillanimity, have shewn but too ready a propensity to bend to the yoke of the Roman Pontiff, a spirited resistance has been manifested by their people, and even by the immediate organs of their governments-such as the French parliaments - ever ready to support the national independence: such also has been the spirit pretty generally shewn by the states of the German empire. But Austria, and Spain, and Portugal, and Naples, the states of Venice, of Florence, of Savoy and Piedmont--in a word, as I have often noticed, every Catholic state has given proofs that they have known how to repel the encroachments of the See of Rome, by interposing such barriers as We now seek to accompany the grant of further concession to the claims of the petitioners. I am the more anxious, Sir, to substantiate these facts by evidence, as the cry of the day on the part of the Catholics, especially in another part of the united kingdom, and who seem to be but bad supporters of the real interests of the Catholic body is concession without restriction simple repeal' as they term it-unqualified acquiescence in their demands; and a learned prelate of the Roman communion whom I have often had occasion to name, Bishop Milner, who but a few years ago was so forward to arraign such unprecedented pretensions, seems now to be equally forward to support them. It is not necessary to retrace the aberrations of this learned prelate from the course which he for a time so laudably pursued, -—it is sufficient to repel such pretensions by demonstrating that, at no period, is there any precedent that can be truly considered as authority, of collation or institution being given to prelates of the Roman communion, in the unqualified terms that such Catholics would prescribe :-that there is no example of an intercourse being maintained between the See of Rome and the subjects of any state, whether in communion with Rome or otherwise, where the government of that state-I mean to be understood where there exists any dominant church establishment-does not maintain its right of control over such an intercourse, by the licence and inspection of rescripts at its pleasure :-the exception of the forum internum, or penitentiary, is to be construed as a concession from the crown, not as an ab. stract right to be maintained independently of the state.” P.41.
We have seen the violence with which even the proposal of these measures in Ireland has been accompanied ; measures which are taken by the government of almost every other Roman Catholic government in Europe, and especially by our own in respect to our Roman Catholic colonies, Canada, St. Domingo, Malta, and Quebec. That this spirit is daily increasing in our sister kingdom, we can prove from documents, to which no Catholic can advance the slightest objection ; we mean from the Catholic Orthodox Journal of April, 1816.
We shall first extract the letter of Dr. Murray, one of the Catholic Archbishops, addressed to the Editor, and shall then give the Editor's comments upon it. This prelate had pronounced on the Good Friday of the p:esent year, a sermon, which had been so much misrepresented, that he considered himself bound to give to the public a fair statement of the objectionable passage. . .
“ SIR,As considerable mis-statements have gone abroad, rela. tive to a passage of my Sermon on last Friday, to which allusion was made in your publication of that day, I beg you will have the kindness, with a view to obviate any further misconception on this head, to give insertion to the passage, such as it was really deli, vered.-Having arrived at that part of our Divine Redeemer's passion, where he is represented as bound to a pillar, I said :-" To this bound and sulering vict m, I would now implore the attention of those misguided Catholics, who seem willing to impose new and dis raceful bands, not indeed on his sacred person, but on his mystical body, that is, his Church, which was ever more dearer to bim than even his life. Does not St. Paul assure us, (Eph. c. ii. 26, 27, 28. v.) that for this mystical body he delivered himself up
-- that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not hauing spol or wrinkle — but that it should be holy and without blemish And could we suppose, that it would be more painful to him to submit his sacred hands to the ignominious cords, than to fee this Church bound and fettered by restrictions, which would render it less capable of fulfilling the object for which it was forined - the object for which he poured out his most precious life? I know that our mistaken brethren would not consent to yield up any point, which they deem essential--and that they look not beyond what they consider safe and honourable conciliation. But, unhappily, it is now too well known, that the conciliation which is expected is such, as would imply the degradation and enslavement of the sacred ministry And what virtuous Catholic would consent to purchase the chance of temporal advantages, at the price of such a real spiritual calamity? -Oh! if the stroke must coole, let it come from those who have so long sought the extinction of our religion -- but, in the name of God, let no Ca. tholic press forward to share in the inglorious work---Let no one among us be found to say of his Church, as the treacherous disciple said of its divine founder: What will you give me, and I will deliver (it) unto you? Matt. xxvi. 15.
" I remain, Sir, your obedient humble servant, April 15, 1816. . “ DANIEL MURRAY.” P. 136. We shall now present the comments of the Editor.
• The publication of this bćautiful and sublime passage by the most Rev. Preacher, and the striking comparison drawn between the conduct of the traitorous Apostle, and the treacherous attempts of our modern Judases, felled the conciliating-arrangementmen to the ground, from which they never can rise, unless repentant, without being covered with infamy and disgrace. Following up the solemn decisioits, so oiten made in synod, of their abhorrence of the Veto, several of the venerable liierarchy have announced their determination to sign and support the petition for Ur? Qualified emancipation, while the arrangement petitioners have not been able to obtain, according to public report, the signature of a single clergyman in Ireland. Would to 'God I could say the same of the petition which has been privately handed about in this metropolis, for the purpose of obtaining names. It is certainly gratifying to know that not one of the venerable Vicars Apostolic has put his name to the instrument, and I hope that those few cler. gymen who have been so insprudent as to give a kind of sanction