Imatges de pàgina

time:~whereas, his Prince can only set | all concerned, yet of maintaining their assumed superiority. They acknowledged two forms of the same rule of right: one, the jus strictum : the other the jus remissum. The first is that strict right, on which they may lawfully and properly insist: the other is that abated right, which, they presume, it is at their choice to substitute: because any man may forego a part of his strict right at his pleasure. Hence they registered at Rome all Bulls in their entire form, and without any restriction;-but the copies they sent into France to receive the sanction of the civil power, were abridged in certain points, and accommodated to the taste of those who they knew would examine them, with a saving clause-Salvo jure Pontificis Romani. This is sufficient to prove that in France, the Prince though catholic, was alive to a sense of his own dignity and safety, with respect to the admission of any act emanating from foreign authority.

before such an one, the pains and peInalties of the life that now is; a life that every day draws nearer to its close, and diminishes the power of the Prince as it shortens the certainty of its continuance. By that disproportion which exists between time and eternity, is the incalculable difference of impulse between the injunctions of the Pope, and the enactments of the Prince.

Who then can blame sovereigns for insisting on being made acquainted with the commands enforced on their subjects, by order of the Pope, on pain of eternal damnation? Official duty and personal interest demand this; and no consideration of Papal power ought to im

pugn it.

This brings us to a very fair question,-What is the nature and extent of the interference of CATHOLIC SOVEREIGNS in matters relating to Pupal Authority within their dominions?

If we rightly recollect, his Majesty the King of France was "the most Christian King," and the eldest "Son of the Church." How far was the spiritual power of the Pope controlled by the political power of this King within his dominions?

It will perhaps, scarcely obtain credit with our readers, if we should tell them, that the decisions of the Council of Trent, have never, as such, been formally acknowledged by the Catholic Church of France-that, every Bull sent from Rome was closely examined by the civil government, before it was promulgated; and if in any such Bull the Pope had ventured to insert the words motu proprio, implying that he had exercised his own will solely in the matter, it was infallibly rejected without further perusal, or the smallest hope of revival. "We will not suffer the Popes to meddle with our affairs, unless at our request," says a French writer; "the Court of Rome shall erect no Tribunals within our realm." Hence many Bulls were dismissed at once hearing, or rather without being heard throughout. To meet this determination of France, the Romans, who' pique themselves on excelling all mankind in strokes of wit, invented a method of satisfying

In Spain, it must be acknowledged, that the most profound submission was always most sedulously demonstrated in the selection of extremely well chosen expressions: not a term denoting humility was left unemployed: not a mark of most unbounded reverence was omitted-why should it? for, in fact, and real operation, the Pope's Bulls were always with the deepest veneration, received--and submitted to examination, whether they contained any thing adverse to the laws and customs of the kingdom: if they did, the Spaniards had recourse to the mode they termed supplica, to represent to his Holiness the inconsistences they had remarked, although such had been overlooked by his paternal solicitude: they informed him that this had been decided por el Consejo o Audiencia Reales; after which the Bull was most reverentially placed in a strong chest, under three keys, for its greater honour, and more profound repose: no mortal ever heard another word about it. This they called plegar la Bulla and yet this country was catholic; and was governed by "the Most Catholic King" !!!

If such was the custom of Spain, we cannot suppose that in the present en


lightened age, the Pope's Bulls, or rescripts, or ordinances, or by what other name denoted, would be allowed, without an examination, at least as strict, as to essentials;to circumstantials, also, and to expediency. An instance of this occurred, not long ago; of which these Official Papers afford ample evidence.

It is well known, that during the imprisonment of Ferdinand of Spain, by the remorseless Napoleon, who had inveigled him into France, the Spanish

Cortes abolished that horrible Ecclesiastical tribunal, the Inquisition. But,

Church, and the tranquillity of the State, we owe the extinction of a flame which might have consumed the kingdom. But the circumstance of having desired from the Chapter of this Church, aud from some others with whom I had been in correslutions, and other documents, that we pondence, an authentic copy of their resomight take such steps as the justice of the government and the offended sovereignty of the nation called for, led to the discovery of a fact which greatly increased my sorrow, both on account of the character of its author, and the danger to which it exposed

the country.

The said Nuncio, trampling on the first

the abolition of an institution so tyran-principles of international law, overlooking hical and critel, was not agreeable to the boundaries of his public mission, and the Pope's Nuncio, then residing in abusing the veneration in which this pious Spain. That representative of his Ho-people hold the Legates of the Apostolic See, has endeavoured to promote, and acliness, therefore, issued private notices tually has promoted, under the cloak of Reto the Bishops and Chapters to forbear ligion, the disobedience of some very resfrom reading the documents announc-pectable Prelates and Ecclesiastical bodies ing this abolition to the people.-- to the decrees and orders of the Sovereign power. If the most Reverend Nuncio had only intended to act as a Legate of the Holy Father, and to avoid any expostulation, to which he might conceive himself exposed for his silence on the present subthrough the medium of the Secretary of ject, nothing obstructed his way to me State. I might overlook his avoiding this regular and official means of communication, when he remonstrated as he thought proper upon the matter, and should have which he chose to adopt, to inadvertency, attributed the informality of the conduct or rather to an excess of confidence. I

This was discovered; and produced a strong remonstrance on the part of Spain from the Cardinal de Bourbon, Archbishop of Toledo, at that time President of the Regency. It may be supposed that, as a catholic churchman, this ecclesiastic must have known the proper manner of treating the Catholic Nuncio.-Among other things, he says in his Manifes to

To the Prelates and Chapters of Spain, The Regency of the Kingdom. Upon taking into my hands the government of the Kingdom, I find myself under der the painful necessity of interfering with a subject, equally delicate from its publicity and transcendant nature, as from the character of the persons who were concerned in it. The Chapter of the Cathedral of Cadiz, with their Capitular Vicar, and the Ordinary and Military Vicars of this town, pretending the defence of religiou, and a fear of acting against their own consciences, opposed themselves to the publication, in the parish churches, of the decree and "nifesto of the Cortés, concerning the estabJishment of the Tribunals for the protection of the Faith, instead of the lately abolished INQUISITION; I therefore adopted the most energètic 'measures, in order that whilst those decrees were duly enacted, Spain might be preserved from the convulsions which threatened her at that moment. To those measures, equally tend "ing to maintain the dignity of the Holy


should have only paid attention to his arguments, and with the advice of the supreme Congress, taken such resolutions as the defence of the Holy Church and the temporal good of the State, demanded with one voice from me.

But the private letters, which under the same date as the note, were written by the most Reverend Archbishop of Nicea, and the fact of his having mentioned therein that he forwarded a remonstrance to the Government upon the subject, are circumma-stances which clearly prove, that whilst he betrayed the secrecy which he himself recommended, he aimed not merely to avoid the charge of negligence in the fulfilment of his office, but rather to raise in the pious clergy of Spain, and by their means in the people at large, a distrust of the temporal authorities which he thus strove to decry; and to check their influence over a class of the state, the members of which, by rea son of their conspicuous rank, ought to be


true samples of subordination and obedi- But if it be said, this incident ocSpain had no King on the throne, it curred during an interregnum, and while may be answered, that when its governwas complete, the Spanish sense of national honour was nothing less ir

He, on the one hand acknowledges in his note the authority of the Cortes, whilst on the other, by means of a secret correspondence, he sows disaffection and iusub-ment ordination amongst the Spanish clergy. In the character of a public Envoy heritable, or jealous. In what manner it was expressed, may be inferred from the following document; which, though immediately derived from "his Most Faithful Majesty, the King of Portugal," milar representations of "his Most Cais almost a verbatim transcript from sitholic Majesty, the King of Spain."

makes application to the Supreme Government claiming redress; whilst as an individual Prelate he spreads private letters tending to the discredit of that very Go


What might not the nation fear from this foreign Prelate, who, forgetting his dignity

and the character of his mission, transforms the Representative of the head of the Church into an agent of petty interests, very different from those of the primacy of order and jurisdiction which belongs to his Holiness; into a kindler of feuds, which could end in nothing but a civil war. The imagination can hardly encompass the mass of evils to which he has exposed our afflicted nation, by such an unheard of


What I could not wink at in a Spanish Bishop, I will not suffer in a foreign Prelate, who so ill requites the hospitality and generosity of the Spaniards.

The mere suspicion that briefs might contain some doctrines or decrees contrary to the privileges of the Crown, has been deemed sufficient reason to stop their circulation, until they are examined and approved by Government. Whenever any relaxation appeared to glide in on this point, Government has instantly applied a steady hand to stop its progress. Our history presents very awful examples of this kind, which might have been a warning to the most Reverend Nuncio.

Secretary of State,] to the Pope's Nuncio, From a Letter from Don Luis de Cunna, dated August 27, 1770.


that the Judges of the Crown will take
Your Excellency will keep in mind,
cellency may practise, or allow to be prac
tised contrary to the laws of his Majesty:
cognizance of every thing which your Ex-
of this kingdom.
--and to the laws, customs, and privileges

your Excellency, that you are not to visit I am particularly desired to acquaint thing appertaining thereunto in the first the Cathedrals, nor take cognizance of any instance, nor allow the judges and officers of the Legation to make any exorbitant charges, but merely those which are customary to be made in the Courts of Auditorship of this Metropolis; nor ought the fees in verdicts respecting matters of juswhich are legally established; thus avoidtice and grace, to be more than those ing all cause of complaint and scandal, which his Majesty is perfectly aware character, and to the orders you have re would be derogatory to your Excellency's


Then follows a decree in which the state is described as struck with horror at the consequences which might have ensued: expressing the disapprobation of government at his Excellency's conduct; and recommending him to be more orderly in future. The Nuncio's representations in behalf of the Inquisition are annexed. He says expressly, that "the abolition of the Inquisition may be extremely injurious to religion, while it ACTUALLY WOUNDS RIGHTS AND PRIMACY OF THE ROMAN PONTIFF !!!"

His Majesty also cannot but praise the has taken, of choosing for the Legation, wise resolution he knows your Excellency by which means the inferior Prelates will men of talents, experience, and integrity; not be hurt, or complain at their decisions being revoked, by ministers who do not possess these requisite qualifications. His Majesty also acquaints your Excellency (as one of those cases which most frequently happen) that the religious members are in ciature, in order to frustrate the correction the habit of appealing to the court of Nunof their superiors, and withdraw them


Such are the consequences of suffer-selves from that obedience which they owe ing the exercise of a foreign power in spirituals! What a perpetual source of distrust, animosities, and quarrel!

to them, demanding without any just cause, actions, exemptions, permissions, grants, licences, &c. from whence result (as

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long experience has dearly proved) the | Report was drawn up by six Theologians, greatest disorders, relaxations of their re- and four Commissioners of Jurisprugular institutes, disturbances in the com-dence; it was also confirmed at a gemunities, and scandal to the people abroad.neral meeting of the University. The Of all these circumstances, his Majesty informs your Excellency, that it should come to your knowledge, that it is his pleasure your Excellency do not decide or judge of any thing which may concern matters respecting the economical government of the regular communities of both sexes within their respective cloisters, nor mit any appeal from them in any degree whatever; and in conformity thereunto, his Majesty has already acquainted all the superior Prelates, in order that they might know it and fulfil it, as also enjoin it to all under their jurisdiction.

questions proposed to them were, 1st. Whether the Pope, Cardinals, or any other ecclesiastical authority, bold any civil, or political power over the supreme power of the King of Great Britain ?-2nd. Whether any ecclesiastical ad-power could absolve his subjects from their oath of fidelity?-3d. Whether any ecclesiastical authority can break the Agreements and Contracts made with persons who profess a religion different from the Catholic ---All were answered

Not only the eulightened spirit within the negative.

which his Holiness has edified the whole universe, by separating the most holy rights of Apostolic Supremacy from his supreme power, which God has made distinct, in order to establish thereupon the reciprocal union of the Altar and the Throne, and with it the perpetual peace of of the Church, and the public tranquillity of those Kings and States, who are devout Sons of so holy and revered a mother; but also the great confidence the King places in the well-known talents and worthy intentions of your Excellency, make his Ma-vidual writers who have held different jesty hope your Excellency will always opinions (sus opiniones, their opinions) act in such a manner, as to call forth his upon this point: but the Catholic Church praise; and that your Excellency may ex- has never received them as doctrine or arperience the most repeated effects of the ticles of faith, nor have those writers ever profound veneration and respect, which presumed to give them such authority. his Majesty entertains for his Holiness and the Apostolic faith, and of the great esteem in which he holds the person of your Excellency, not only for the dignity of your public character, but also for the distin guished qualities and recommendable virtues that so highly adorn your Excellency.


Polite, in the highest pitch of politeness!-but, transmitted, because his Majesty is perfectly aware, that it neither is, nor can be, the intention of his Holiness to alter or pervert the laws, laudable customs, and privileges of his kingdom, from the powers granted to the Apostolic Nuncios.'


We need seek no other evidence of the practical sentiments entertained by Catholic governments, in reference to Papal interference. The predominance of that power over temporal authorities is expressly disclaimed in a Report from the university of Salamanca, to Sir W. Beresford; dated July 20, 1812. This

The University was so immediately convinced of the justness of this opinion, that it required but little time to consider, and in fact, no one can prove that it is a principle of the Roman Catholic religion, or a dogma of the Romish Church, to give any political power to its Prelates over the temporal sovereignty, over the fidelity that is due to it from its subjects, or over the contracts or pacts made by Catholics with persons of a different religion.

It is certain that there have been indi

The Romish Church acknowledges two Supreme Powers, but of different kinds, and in all things distinct. The political temporal and civil, and the spiritual; between which may reign great harmony, but no dependency. The civil can do nothing which respects articles of Faith; nor has the Spiritual any right to interfere in what is temporal.

The political power can decide nothing upon the essential points of Religion; it cannot determine upon an article of faith, nor administer the sacraments, nor determine any thing upon what belongs to the worship of the Divinity; nor has the spiritual any right over civil society, over the state, or over the chiefs in the civil or po


The christian princes preserve all their authority entire and full, without subjection to the church, in the same manner as the infidels; and similarly as individuals are masters of their own houses and privileges, without any dependence upon priests, so the monarch enjoys this power

entire, without the least diminution, and without acknowledging over it that of the priesthood. Jesus Christ neither exercised, or transmitted to the Apostles or their successors, any temporal power whatever; on the contrary, he subjected himself with the greatest submission to the established authorities, ordering to be given to Cæsar that which was Caesar's, paying tribute, and acknowledging the authority of Pilate himself. St. Peter and St. Paul taught, that all, of whatever class or condition, ought to be subject and obedient to the King, and to all other legal authorities, and to abstain from a desire to govern, and declaring that whoever resisted the legal authorities resisted the order of God; and Paul himself appealed to, and sought redress, at the tribunal of Cæsar.


In the first and most flourishing ages of the church, the most submissive subjects were the christians; and their priests and the Roman pontiffs have testified themselves, in a thousand manners, their respect for the Emperors in what was polititical so far were they from arrogating to themselves in that point any pre-eminence. Such are the principles of religion. Nor does the King of Great Britain stand on any other footing than all other kings: consequently it is most clear that no ecclesiastical prelate can assume any civil power in that illustrious kingdom, nor have any power to absolve or dispense subjects from their oath of allegiance. The maxims of our faith order obedience to superiors, though they do wrong; and it does not permit, that under any pretence of religion, any one should omit what is his duty to them. The great Apostle of the Gentiles, inculcated subjection to princes, and directed they should be prayed for, even though Pagans; and as it is not fit that any one should renounce that which he is not authorised for, the dispensation of an oath made to the king, by another authority, and of an order different and distinct, would be very extraordinary, as that the Prelates should exercise a power over the temporal, that was neither delegated to them from Christ, or known to the first ages.

When even the Emperors were christians, and some strayed from the faith, we do not see that the Popes or the Bishops dispensed (or broke) the oaths of allegiance which their subjects had made to them; nor did the famous Ambrosio, who had the firmness to excommunicate Theodocio the great, and to prevent his entering the church, attempt to absolve his subjects from the obedience they owed him; thus there is no foundation for the Ecclesiastics

of our times assuming powers relative to the subjects of Great Britain unknown to their predecessors.

Another division of these Official

Papers refers to the conduct of Catholic Ecclesiastics, when under Protestant protection. Those relating to Malta, contain several curious particulars. Sir Alexander Ball writes, May 7, 1807, on occasion of the death of the bishop, who was titular Archbishop of Rhodes,

islands to the order of St. John of JerusaAt the period of the grant of these lem by the Emperor Charles the Fifth, that sovereign established, that whenever the see might become vacant, three Ecclesiastics of their society were to be named by the grand master and council of the order, bishoprick by his (the emperor's) successor one of whom should be elected to the in the crown of the Two Sicilies; and the person so elected became ex-officio a diguitary, or grand cross of the order.

The revenues of the see are very con

siderable, amounting to nearly £5,800 currency of Malta, besides the two palaces attached to the dignity, forage for horses, and some other inferior advantages.

Of the above revenues, upwards of £2,000 arise from land and other property, situated in Malta; and the remainder is derived from the rents of certain lands in the Island of Sicily; which, it may be observed, are fully secured from alienation, by the circumstance of a Benedictine convent in Catania holding property of equal value in this island.

I should, therefore, with deference subt mit, whether it might not be advisable tha the annual revenue of the bishop be, in future, limited to £2,000; and that the overplus be applied, partly for the benefi tof the seminary for educating the clergy, partly in the amelioration of the condition of the parochial priests, whose stipends are in many instances, inadequate to their suport, and the remainder to be disposed of for other pious uses.

Such an arrangement, I have reason to believe, would prove highly satisfactory to; the clergy and to the people; and I am fully persuaded, that any candidate for the bishopric would be amply satisfied with the salary proposed, as fully adequate to the support of his diguity

Since the death of the late bishop of the diocese, I have discovered that several adherents of the order, and of the Frenchparty, were pensioned by that Prelate.

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