The star of the north. (Bloomsburg, Pa.) 1849-1866, February 08, 1855, Image 1

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S. W. Weaver Proprietor.]
It lubluhcd every Thursday Morning, by
11. *V. WHAVER,
OFF ICE— Upstairs, in theuew brick building
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scu.are belvw Market■
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sertion. A liberal discount will be made to
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Jununry 11, 1855.
"These impoflanl facts orce proved, there
i no difficulty in understanding how the
Popes could naturally cite, in support of their
sentences of excommutiica:ion and deposi
tion against Princes, the divine power of
binding and loosing, though not considering
it as the sole tide of that deposing power
which they claimed. It is, in lact, evident
that, at a time when constitutional law at- |
tached the penalty of disposition to excom
munication or heresy, the Pope's sentence
against such excommunicated or heretical
Prince was grounded both tn the divine
right and on the human law. It was found
ed on the divine right, not merely in so far
as it declared the I'rince heretical or excom
municated, but still more in so lar as it en
lightened the conscience of his subjects on
the extent and limits of the obligation aris
ing from the oaih ol allegiance which tlicy
had taken to him. It was founded on human
law, also, in so far as it declared the Prince
depnved of his rights, in punishment of his
remaining obstinately in heresy, or excom
munication. It is obvious, also, why the
Pope's sentence mentioned only the divine
power of binding and loosing; for it was o:i
that divine power that the sentence was re
ally grounded, considered in its principal,
direct and immediate object; for the depo
sition was effected by excommunication
its natural result, according to the constitu
tional law then in force."
While I have asserted, and with the little
time allowed me, referred you to the author
ities upon which my assertions rest, that the
Popes of the middle sge did not declare that
their interference with the temporal powers
of Kings and Emperors was au'hortzed by
their spiritual commissions, as Bishops of
Rome ; and that their antagonistic und sum
mary proceedings towards offending sover
eigns. with regard to their temporal powers
of the latter, were authorized by a constitu
tion formed by these sovereigns or their pre
decessors, 1 do not pretend to assert that the
power was always rightly used I do not
deny ambitious or vengeful motives to the
Popes. No'hing in my creed or theirs pre
sents such a conclusion, and nothing in their
conduct renders such a conclusion unreason
•bte. 1 only say that the spiritual power
her* is not in question, and there, and at that
time, *he power to depose—power humbly
conferred—was never called in question by
the deposed monarcbs.
They admitted the constitutional right and
power, though they may have called in
question the justice of the act. With the
justice of the proceeding I have nothing to
do here, though I may be allowed to say
that, however the Pope may have transgress
ed the roles of justice as between liitn a'-d
the deposed monarch, it is probable that, as
between the monarch and the people, there
was little occasion to suppose that any in
justice had been done to the Prince, or much
likelihood or hearing complaints Irom the
latter. The Pope has struggled sometimes
with sovereigns, but never with the sov
ereignty. He has exercised a power volun
tarily placed in his hands by kings, and in
voked by the people ; and he has dethroned
the monarch, but not analhemalhized the
subject. The Popes, iu the fulfilment of
what the consent of kings and the confidence
of the people have made a duly, have re
leased subjects from the oatb of allegiance
to the sovereign, but never have lliey releas
ed the sovereign from his coronation oath to
respect, guard and righily govern the people.
Because I have neither time nor apace for
such an inquiry, I do not pursue the subject
in detail. 1 have taken the strongest case ol
the exercise of the power of deposing mon
arch*—which is now called the power of
releasing subjects—and I have shown that
the Pope did not rely upon the general spir
itual power as head of the Christian church
for authority to depose the Emperoi, but
that he rested on, and was sustained by the
constitution which authorized the election
of an Emperor, and mad# orthodoxy one
condition of holding the orown. And it
would have been equally easy, generully
less difficult, to have shown that every in
atance of eoch exercise of power by the
Pope was authorized by the admitted con
stitution or acknowledged compact, provided
that (he offences of the prince had brought
him within.the operation ol the laws, which
all admitted to exist, and for the execution
of which all turned to the Pope.
- Now, ae this kind of secular power bad
ita origin in the consent of the sovereigns, at
a particular lime, and long after the apostolic
age, it follows that not only could it not have
parried with it the juts divino, which belongs
to the spiritual power of the Bishop ol Rome,
but that the proof of the existence of the real
spiritual power would have been weakened
bj attempts to prove the right of deposing
to be divine. At that time, then—at a time
when men were the moat willing to yield
aseent to such fpec'.ea of usurpation, as re
leased Kings from a bad Emperor, and re
lieved subjects from bad Kings—at that
lime the divine right was not claimed, and
the whole power of deposing rested upon
the consent, not merely of the Kings, but of
the deposed Princes themselves.
But it is charged that Roman Catholics
even now admit the right of the Pope to in
terfere between subjects and their allegiance
and between citizens and their duties to the
republic, in some other form, since the pow
er to depose Kings is no longer possible. I
I deny it. I have denied it for myself, plain
ly, clearly, specifically. But in this House,
it is said that, though I may be excepted
from the general censure of harboring the
seeds and means of treason to this govern
ment in my breast, and warming them into
germination by devotion, yet others are lia
ble to the charge, and especially the chutch,
the Roman Catholic church itself.
But the Roman Catholic church is repre
sented by her Bishops, and therefore I turn
to the statement of those having the means
of knowing, and tne right to make known
the doctrines of that church, and ask the at
tention of the committee to the following re
marks of the Right Rev. Dr. England:
' ' God never gave to St. Peter any lempfl-'
| ral power, and authority to depose kings,
any authority to interfere with political con
cerns. And any rights which his successors
might claim, for any of those purposes, must
bo derived from some other source. A Ro
man Catholic has no further connection with
the Pope than that he succeeds St. Peter
Peter had none of these rights—as a Roman
Catholic, I know nothing of them in the
Pope. He is equally a Pope with or with
out them."
In the early part of my remarks, I took
occasion to say what would be my coupe, if,
by any remarkable (but really impossible)
concurrence of circumstances, the army aud
navy oi the Pope should invade the country.
Hear now how the Bishop of Charleston
sustains my declaration :
'The American Constitution leaves its cit
izens in perfect freedom to have whom they
please to regulate their spiritual concerns.—
But if the Pope were to declare war against
America, and any Ilornan Catholic, under
the pretext ef spiritual obedience, was to re
fuse to oppose this temporal aggressor, he
would deserve to lie punished for his refu
sal, because he owes to this country to main
lain its rights; and spiritual power does not,
and cannot, destroy the claim which the
government ha upon him. Suppose a cler
gyman of England were convicted fur some
crime—for instance Dr. D >dd—and he was
ordered for execution : must the law be in
operative because the criminal is a clerg'y
man 7 Think you that no one could be
found in a Uoman Catholic country to sen
tence, or to execute a sentence, upon a cler
gyman who was a criminal ? All history tes
tifies to the contrary. So, 100, does all his
tory show that, upon the same principle,
Catholic kings and princes, and peers and
people, have disobeyed improper mandates
ol the See of Rome, and have levied and
carried on war against Popes, and still con
tinued membets of the ehurch."'
Mr. Chairman, I have thus shown that I
the church, in the middle ages, did not
claim fur the l'upe the authority to exercise
temporal power over other sovereigns, by
Divine right, even when ttie exercise of that
authority seemed to be so great a blessing
to the people that it would scarcely seem
wonderful if the people should have hailed
it as of Divine origin. And I have shown
that the best writers of the Catholic church,
ol later duys, and ol the present century, |
have, in like manner, denied that it was part
of a Catholic's belief that the Pope posses
ses any power to depose Kings, or release
subjects, or to violate faith with those who
' are or are not of the Catholic church. I now
offer other proof that the church sets up no
claim to such power. And before I do it,
I may be permitted to say that, in pursuit of
information with regard to the Catholic
church, it has been my chance to converse
with every rank and degree of her hierar
chy—Pope, Cardinal, Nuncio, Archbishop,
Bishop and Priest, and I never heard one of
them claim any such power, and never
heard one of them speak upon the subject
who did r.ol disavow any belief of its ex
The vexed question of governing Ireland, -
and of granting to the people of that king
dom a part of the lighta enjoyed by the sub
jects ol Great Britain, has often led the Brit
ish Parliament to inquire into the ohargee
made agaiiist Roman Catholics, with refer
ence to the asserted right of the Roman
Pontiff to interfere with the internal affaira
of other governmente.
Three propositions were prepared and sent
to the laculties of the principal Catholio uni
versities in France end Spain; those of the
university of Paris, of Douaz, of Louva'tn, of
Acala, of Calainanca, and of Valadolid. I
give the proposition and abstracts of the sev
eral answers.
Extracts from the declarations and teati
monies of six of the principal .universities
ol Europe, on the three following proposi
tions, submitted to them at the requsst of
Mr. Pitt, by the Catholics of Loadoo, iu
1. Has the Pope, or Cardinals, or any
body of men, or any individual of the Cburch
of Rome, any civil authority, power, juris
diction, or preeminence whatsoever, within
the realm of Englandl
| 2. Can the Pore or Cardinals, or any
, body of men, or any individual of the Church
! of Rome, absolve or dispense with his Maj
esty's subjects from their oath of allegiance,
any pretext whatsoever?
3. Is there any principle in the tenets of
the Catholic faith by which Catholics are
justified in not keeping faith with heretics,
or other persons differing from them in reli- ]
gious opinions, in any transaction, either of
a public or a private nature?
These propositions, honorable gefl'lenieti j
.will perceive, are skilfully drawn, and cover |
the whole ground of dispute; and the an-1
ewer of every University addressed, is spread i
at large before the world. Solemn delibera
tion was had upon the propositions, from so
respectable a source as Mr. Pitt, and all
concur in declaring, that no man nor any
body of tnen, of the Church of Rome, how
ever assembled, has power to interfere with
the affairs of other kingdoms. I give the
After an introduction, according to the
nsucl lorms, the sacred faculty of
of Paris, answer the first query bv declar
ing :
Neither the Pope, nor the Cardinals, nflr
any body of men, nor any other person ol j
the Church of Rome, hath any civil authori
ty, civil power, civil jurisdiction, or civil pre
eminence whatsoever in any kingdom, and,
consequently, none in the kingdom of Eng
land, by reason or virtue of any authority,
power, jurisdiction, or preeminence by Di
vine institutions inheient in, or grar.led, or j
by any other means belonging to the Pope J
or the Church of Rome. This doctrine the
sacred faculty of divinity of Paris has always |
l\e!d, and upon every occasion maintained,
and upon every occasion has rigidly pro
scribed the contrary doctrines from her i
Answer to the second quers the I
Pope, nor the Cardinal#, nor and body of I
men, nor any peraon of the Church of Rome, |
can, by virtue of the keys, absolve or release \
the subjects of the King of England "from j
their oath of allegiance.
This and the brst query are so intimately
connected, that the answer of the first |
diately and naturally applied to the second, I
Answer to the thinl query. —There ts no te- |
net in the Catholic church by which Catho- .
lies are justified in not keeping faith with'
Fierettcs or those who differ from them in |
matters of religion. The tenet that it is law-'
ful to break faith with heretics, is so repug
nant to common honesty and Itie opinions
of Catholics that there is nothing of which
those who have defended the Catholic faith
against Protestants have complained more j
heavily, than the malice and calumny of
their adversities in imputing this tenet to
them, be., &c. &c.
Given; at Parfs, in the general assembly of
the Sorbonro, held on Thursday, the elev
enth day before the calends of March 1789.
Signed in due form.
At a meeting of the faculty of Divinity of
the University of Douay, &c., be-
To the first and second queries the sacred
lacultv answers : That no power whatsoev
er, iu civil or temporal concerns, was given
by the Almighty, either to the Pope, the Car
dinals, or to the church herself, and, conse.
quently, that Kings and sovereigns are not,
in temporal concerns, subject, by the ordi
nation of God, to any ecclesiastical power
whatsoever, neither can their subjects, by
any authority granted to the Pope or the
Church, from above, be freed from their obe
dience, or absolved from their oath of alle
This is the doctrine which the Doctors and
Professors of Divinity hold and teach in onr
schools, and this all the candidates for de
grees in Divinity maintain in their public
theses, be.
To the third question, the sacred faculty
answers: That there is no principle of the
Catholic faith, by which Catholics are justi
fied in not keeping faith with heretics, who
differ from thent in religious opinions. On
the contrary, it is the unanimous doctrine of
Catholics, that the respect due to the name
of God so called to witness, requires that the
oath be inviolably kept,to whomsoever it is
pledged, whether catholic, heretic, or infi
dels, be., be.
Signed and sealed in due form.
The faculty of Divinity at Louvain, having
been requested to give her opinion upon the
questions above elated, does it with readi
ness—but struck with astonishment that
such questions should, at the end of this
eighteenth century, be proposed to any learn
ed body, by inhabitants of a kingdom that
glories in the talents and discernment of its
natives. The faculty being assembled for
the above purpose, it is agreed, with the
unanimous assent of all voices, to answer
the first and second queries absolutely In the
The faculty does not think it incumbent
upon her in this place to enter open the
proofs of her opinion, or to show how it is
supported by passages in the Holy Scriptures,
or (lie writings of antiquity. That has alrea
dy been done by Bossouet, De Marca, the
two Barclays, tioldastus, the Pllhacuses, Ar
gentre, Widringtoo, and hie Majesty, King
James the First, in his dissertation against
Bellarmine, and Du Perron, and by many
others, bo.
The faculty then proceeds to declare that
the sovereign power of the Slate is in no
wise, (not even indirectly, as it is termed,)
subject to, or dependent upon, any other
power, though it be a spiritual power, or
even though it be instituted foe eternal sal
vation, be.
Truth and Right M Couhtry.
That oo man, or any assembly oi men,
however eminent in dignity and power, not
even the whole body ol the Catholic church,
though assembled in general council, can,
upon any ground or pretence whatsoever,
weaken the bond of unton between the sov
ereign and the people; (till less can they
absolve or free the subjects from their oath'
of allegiance.
Proceeding to the third question, the said
faculty of Divinity (in perfect wonder that
such a question should be proposed to her,)
.most positively and unequivocally answers:
Thai there I* not, and there never has been,
among the Catholics, or if? 'he doctrine, of
'he Church of Rome any la'.V of principle j
which makes it lawful for Catholics to i
break their faith with heretics, or others of
a different persuasion from themselves, in
matters of religion, either in public or pri
vate concerns.
The faculty declares the doctrines of the
Catholics to be, that the divine and natural
law, which it a duly to keep faith and
promises, is the same, and is neither shaken
nor dimiui.-hed if those with whom the en
gagement is made, hold erroneous in mat
ters of religion', &c., 4w.
Signed in due form, on the 18lh of Novem
ber, 1789.
To the first question it is answered : That
none of the persons mentionsd in the propo
sed questi in, eilher individually or collec
tively, in counsel assembled, have any right
in civil matters ; but that all civil power, ju
risdiction, and pre-eminence, are derived
from Inheritance, election, the consent of tiie
people, and\'.her suoh titles of thai nature.
To the second, it is answered in like man
ner : That none of the persons above men
tioned have a power to absolve the subjects
of his Britannic Majesty from their oaths of
allegiance. ,
To the third question, it is answered:—
That the doctrine which would exempt Cath
olics from the obligation of keeping faith
with heretics, or with any other persons who
dissent from them in matters of religion, in
steaJ of being an article of Catholic faith, is
entirely repugnant to its tenets.
Signed in the usual form, M.irch 17, 1789.
To the first question, it is answered: That
neither Pope nor Cardinals, nor any assem
bly or individual of tho Catholic church,
have, us much, any civil authority, power,
jurisdiction, or pre-eminence in the kingdom
ol England.
To the second, it is answered: That neith
er Pope nor Cardinals, nor any assembly or
individual of the Catholic church, can, as
such, absolve (he subjects of Great Britain
from their oaths of allegiance, or dispense
with its obligations.
To the third, it is answered : That it is
no article of Catholic faith, not to keep faith
with heretics, or with persons of any other
description, who dissent from them in mat
ters of religion.
Signed in the usual form, March 7, 1789.
To llie first question, it is answered: That
neiilier Pope, Cardinals, or even a general
council, have any civil authority, power, ju
risdiction, or creeminence, directly or indi
! reclly, in the kingdom of Great Britain, or
over any other kingdom or province in which
they possess temporal dominion.
To the tecond, it is answered : That neith
er Pope nor Cardinals, nor evpn a / general
j council, can absolve the subjects of Great
Britain from their oaths of allegiance or dis
pense with their obligations.
I To the third, it is answered: That the
obligation of keeping faith is grounded on
' the law of nature, which binds all men eqnal
i ly, without respect to their religious opin
ions ; and with regard to Catholics it is still
more cogent as it is confirmed by the princi
ples of their religion.
Signed in the usual form, February 17, i
Can anything bo more explicit that the re-!
sponses of those Universities f Ought they
not to be satisfactory 1 I, perhaps, ought to
rest here Layman, Priest, Bishop, Cardinal, J
and facully of Divinity sustain my assertion,
give a negative response to every query that
involved an implication upon the patriotism
of Catholics, or an inadmissible claim to in
tervention in natural policy by the Catholic 1
So entirely satisfied was the Brilish Parlia
ment with these and similar responses, that
the different concessions made to Roman
Cathclics by that body are mainly d ue to such
And, let it be remembered, that (his was
in Great Britain, in a Brilish Parliament,
where the members were" of the established
church, and also that, without special per
mission, no man in that Empire had a right
to worship God according to the dictates ok
his own conscience, and none, not acknowl
edging in the monarch of England (man or
woman, King or Queen) both temporal and
spiritual sovereignty, could lioldau office un
der Government, or sit io the parliament of
the nation.
We, Mr. Chairman, are legislating for a
country where even toleration may f)e deem
ed intolerant, where perfect eqnality of rights
is the theory of the Government, and where,
until now, no or.e has ventured to manifest
a hostility lo author's creed, by denying to
him the right of national office, and of enjoy
ing all the rights which full and perfeel oiti
zenship coolers.
But the honorable gentleman from Mas
sachusetts seems to have provided himself
agaiast such proof as 1 have adduced. He
admits my fealty to the country, but denies
my adherence to the Roman Catholic Church.
He admits that France aud Spain hava dis
claimed the doctrine against which he speaks
and which he imputes to the Roman Catho
lic Churoh. France and Spain, the titles of
whose manarchs are most Christian end
most Catholic. The honorable gentleman
surely cannot be ignorant that such Univer
sities—great theological colleges as those, are
repositories of records of faith, and of the ar
guments and decisions concerning them.
But let us hear the honorable gentleman :
'Mr. BANKS. I plant myself npon the
ground that the Pontiff of Rome has never, in
any authoritative form, eo disavowed the
right of control the members of the Roman
Catholic Cliurch in aecular matters. 1 know
the universities of Fiance and Spain have
disclaimed .'! to him. So my Catholic friends
have discluimcd it lo nlfl. But they have
not the right to private opinion, much lees
the right to determine the faith of their church.
That is the right of Protestant. The Roman
Church has never disdained it.' •
I pass over the slur about judgment; it is
undeserved and might be retaliated. The
honorable gentleman then suspecting that
Laymen Priests, and Bishops, would declare
that the church had no such articles of faith
as he imputes, and being informed of the ex
istence of those responses of the French and
Spanish Universities, throws himself upon
the Pope. 'I plant myself,' says he, 'on the
ground that the Pontiff of Rome has
never, in any aulhoritive form, so disavow
ed the right to control the members of the
Roman Catholic Church in secular affairs.'
Very well. He plants himself on what he
calls a (act. Let us proceed Up frotn Lay.
man to Priest, from Priest to Bishop, from
Bishop to Archbishop, from Archbishop to
Universities. These are against the honora
ble gentlemen, and, accepting the invitation
or challenge of the gentleman from Massa
chusetts, let us plant ourselves upon the Pope
himself, the Pope and his conclave of Cardi
Mr. Chairman, the same circumstances
which induced that great statesman, Mr.
Pitt, to address the six Catholic Universities,
ledrthe Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ire
land to addrees the Pope himself on the sub
ject, and the answer was as clear and expli
cit as those ol the Universities. Solemn de
liberation was given in the congregation of
Cardinals, and the response was made in the
most lormal manner, as declaring the doc
trine of the Catholic Church on the subject
involved in the question. I copy from an
authentic report:
'The Roman Catholic Archbishops of Ire
land, at their mealing in Dublin, in 1791,
addressed a letter to the Pope, wherein they
described the misrepresentations that had
been recently published of theiroousecration
oath, and the great injury to. the Catholic body
arising from tbem. * # * # #
'After duo deliberation at Rome, the con
gregation of Cardinals appointed lo superin
tend llie ecclesiastical affairs of these king
doms, returned an answer (of which the fol
lowing is an extract) by the authority and
command of his holiness:
Most Illustrious and must Reverend Lords
and Brothers:
' We perceive from your lata letter, the !
great uneasiness you labor under since the !
publication ol a pamphlet entitled The pres. I
eni stute of the Church of Ireland, from which I
our detractors have taken to renew !
the old calutnr.y against the Catholic religion '
with increas-d acrimony; namely : that this )
religion is, hj no means, compatible with the I
safety of Kings and Republics ; because as they
say, the Roman Pontiff being the father and
master of all Catholics, and invested with such
great authority, that he can free the subject if
other kingdoms from their fidelity and oaths of
| allegiance to Kings and Princes ; ho has it in
his power, they contend, to cause disturb -
ance and injure the public tranquility of king
doms, with case. We wonder that you could
ha uneasy at these complaints, especially ,
after your most excellent brother and apos
tolical fellow laborer, the Archbishop of Cas- 1
fcel, and other strenuous defenders of the
I rights of the Holy See, had evidently refuted
ar.d explained away these slanderous re
proaches in their celebrated writings. In
this controversy, a most accurate discrimina
tion should be made between the genuine
rights of the Apostolical See, and those that |
are imputed to it by innovators of this age j
for the purpose of calumniating. The See of,
Rome never taught that faith is not to be kept •
withihe heterodot: that an oath to Kings separ
ated from the Catholic communion, can be vio- 1
la/ed : that it is lawful for llie Bishop of Rome to I
invade their temporal rights and dominions.
We, too consider an attempt or design against;
the life of Kings and Princes, even under the j
pretext of religion, as a horrid and detestable :
'At the very commencement of the yet in
fant Church, blessed Peter, Prince of the
Apostles, instructing the faithful, exhorted
them in these words : Be ye subject to every
human creature for God'e take, whether it be to
the Kings as excelling, or to governors as sent
by him fir the punishment of evil doers, and
for the praise of the good: for so is the will of
God, that by doing well you may silence the ig
norance offinlish men. The Catholio Church
being directed by these precepts, the most
renowned champions of the Christian name
replied to the Gentiles, when raging against
them, as enemies of the Empire, with furi
ous haired: we are constantly prayingfJTar
tulion in Apologet, chap. XXX ) that all the
Emperors may enjoy long life, quiet government,
a loyal household, a brave army, a faithful Sen
ate, an honest people, and geneial tranquility.
The Bishops of Rome successors of Peter,
have not ceased to inoulcate this doctrine,
especially to missionaries, lest any ill will
should be exalted (gainst the professors of
the Catholic faith in the minds of those who
are enemies of the Christian name. We pass
over the illustrious prools of this fact, proser
vod in the records of ancient Roman Pon
tiffs, of which yourselves are not ignorant.
We think proper, notwithstanding, to remind
you of the late admonition of the most wise
Pope Benedict XIV., who in his regulations
for the English missions, which are likewise
applicable to yon, speak thus: The Apostol
ic are to take dilligent care that the mission
aries behave on all occasions with integrity
and decorum, and thus become good models
to oihere; and particularly that they be al
ways ready to celeDrate the sacred offices,
to communicate proper inductions to the
people, and to comfort the sick with their
assistance; that they, by all means, avoid
public assemblies ot idle men and tav
erns.' * * *
The vicars themselces art particularly charg
ed to punish, in suck mannert as they (an but
severely, all those who do not speak oj the pub
lic government with respect.
"England herself car. witness the deep
rooted impressions such admonitions have
made on ihe'mimW of Catholics. It is well
known that, in the late war. which had ex
tended to the great part of Ameiica, when
most flourishing provinces, inhabited by
persons separated from the Catholic church,
had pronounced the government of the King
of Great Britain, the Province of Canada
alone, filled, as it is, almost with innumera
ble Catholics, although artfully tempted, and
not yet, forgetful of the French Government,
remained most faithful in its allegiance lo
England. Do you, most excellent prelates,
converse frequently on these principles; of
ten remind your sufTragrant prelates of litem;
when preaching lo your people, exhort
them, again and again to honor all men, to
love the brotherhood, to fear God, to honor the
"Those duties ol a Christian are to be
cherished in every Kingdom and State, but
particularly in your own, of Great Britain
and Ireland, where, from the benevolence
of a most, wise king, and other mos: excel
lent rulers of those Kingdoms, towards
Catholics, no cruel and grevious burden is
imposed, and Catholics themselves experi
ence a mild and gentle Government. If you
pursue this of conduct unanimously , it yop
act in the spirit ol charity ; if, while you di
rect the people to the Lord, you have noth
ing in view but the salvation of souls, ad
versaries will be ashamed (we repeat it) to
caluminate. and will freely acknowledge
that the Catholic faith is of heavenly descent,
□ad calculated not only to procure a blessed
life, but as St. Augustin observes,
in his one hundred and thirty eighth letter,
addressed to Marcellinus, to promoie the
most lasting peace of this earthly city, inas
much as n is the safest prop and shield of
Kingdom. Lit those who say (the words are
those of the holy doctor) that the doctrine of
Christ is hostile lo the Republic, produce an
army of soldiers as the doctrine of Christ his re•
quired ; let them furnish such mhabitants of
provinces, such husbands, such wives, such pa
rents, such children, such masters, such servants,
such Kings, such judges, finally, such payers
of debts and collectors of the revenue, as the doc
tline of Christ enjoins, and then they may dare
to assert that it is inimical lo the Republic—
rather not let them hesitate lo acknowledge that
it is, when practiced, of great advantage to the
Republic. The same holy doctor, and ait the
other fathers of the church, with one voice,
most clearly demonstrate, by ir.vinoable ar
gtimerils, that the whole of this salutary doe- |
trine cannot exist in the Catholic society,
which is spread and preserved all over the
world, by communion with the See of Rome,
as a sacred bond of union, divinely connect
ing boilt. From our very high esteem Ind
affection for you, we earnestly wish that the
great God may very long preserve you safe.
"As your lordship's most affectionate
'Rome, June 23d, 1791.
While on the disavowal of the Plfe, I
may as well make an addition to assist in
the testimony. The following document
was drawn up by the Roman Catholic com
mittee in Dublin, and published by tbem on
the 17;h of March, 1792, after it had been
submitted to the archbishops and bishops of
Ireland, and received their entire sanction
To give it greater weight, the same instru
ment was put into the form ot an oalh,
retaining, as far as possible, the very words.
It was them submitted to the Pope and Car
dinals, who solemnly declared that it was
consonant to, and expressive of, the Roman
Catholic dootrine ; and then it was taken by
the Catholio archbishops, bishops, priests,
and laity of Ireland.
'We the Catholics of Ireland, in deference
to the opinion of many respectable bodies
and individuals among our Protestant breth
ren, do hereby, in the face of our country, of
all Europe, and before God, make this, our
deliberate and solemn declaration.'
We adjure disavow, and condemn the
opinion, that Princes excommunicated by
the Pope and councilor by any ecclesiasti
cal authority whatsoever, may, therefore, be
deposed or murderer by their subjects, or
by any other persons. We hold such doc
trine in detestation, as wicked and impious;
and we declare that we do not believe that
either the Pope, with or without the general
council, or any prelate or priest, or any ecclesi
astical poicer whatever, can absolve the sub
jects ol this kingdom, or eny of them, from
their allegiance to his Majesty King George
111., who is, by puthority of Parliamont, the
lawful King of this realm
[Two Dollars per Aunun
'2. We. injure, condemn, and dele*! ••
unchristian aod impioui, the priuciple that
it ii lawful to murder, or destroy, or anywise
injure any person whatsoever, for or under
the pretense of being heretics j and we da.
Clara solumnly before God, that we believe
no aot in itself unjust, immotal, or wioked,
can never be justified or excused by or un
der the pretense or color that it waa done
either for the good of the church, or in obe
dience to uny ecclesiastical power whatso
'3 Wa further declare, that we hold it
as unchristian and impious principle, tbel
'no faith is to be kept with heretics.' This
doctrine we detest end reprobate, not only
as oontrary to our religion, but aa destruc
tive of morality, or society, and even of com
mon honesty ; and it is out firm belief, that
an oath made to any person not of tha Cath
olic religion, is equally binding as if it wars
made to any Cutholio whatsoever.
'4. We have been charged with holding,
as an article of our belief, that the Pope,
with or without a general cout.cil, or that
certain ecclesiastical powers, oan acquit or
absolve, us before God Irom nur oaths of al
legiance, o: even from the just oaths or con
tracts entered into between man and man.
'Now we utterly renounce, aojure, and
deny that we hold or maintain any sueh
belief, as being contrary to the peace and
happiness of society, inconsistent with
morality, and above all, repugnant to thl true
spirit of the Cuthilic religion.'
Here, then, is another clear, explicit disa
vowal on the part of the Pope and his Car
dinals of tho doctrine imputed to the church,
and another full and complete response to
tho challenge of the gentleman from Massa
Mr. Chairman,the Homr-n Catholic church
neither holds nor inculcates a doctrine of
power in its head to interfere in the affairs
of temporal Governments, to disturb the
monarch, or release the subject. It never
has taught that its proiessors were to be in
fluenced by its doctrines, to combine against
the Government, and Catholic citizens have
been us faithful to the Government under
which lltey lived na those of any other de
nomination of Christians. In this country,
Mr. Chuirman, where, by the nature of our
institutions, no creed is allowed to be mo
lested, and where by conititutional provis
ion, no advantage can be allowed the pro
fessors of a creed on account of that profes
sion, how ui just is it to the public, how
cruel to the confesrnrs of a creed, to create
and keep alive an excitement which involves
in obloquy a large class of citizen* invested
with every right that any American citizen
can claim, who are able, by their talents,
character attainments and patriotism, to do
honor to the citizenship which they are not
allowed io enjoy. 1 must not be told that
'all the rights of citizenship are open to
Catholics, when office is denied.' The man
who asserts that, is ignorant of tha first im
pulse of republicanism—ignorant, I venture
to say, of the strongest motives of his own
The right of suffrage is connected with
the right to office, and the Ireemen's privil
ege ol voiinj for the man whom he would
elect, would not be worth the exercise, if it
did not include the right of presenting him
self for voles for any office whose functions
aro not beyond his faculties.
From a class of citizens, air, in ibis coun
try, with any disability not imposed upon
others, and you create a dangerous parly in
the Common wealth. Inequality of political
condition can only be maintained in a Ke
public where them is inequality of mind
talents, and attainment. Allow to any class
in this country tha rights of education, the
attainment of wealth, the right of social
equality, of suffrage, ar.d it will not be long
before that class will demand the boon that
freemen seek, and denial will be unsafe.
• It is mean, it is cowardly, as well as false,
for any man, or set of men, to assert that
in combining to exclude all Catholic* from
office, they do no more than exarcise the
right not to vole for individuals, which is as
e'ear as the right to vote for them.
Sir if the opposition seen and felt abroad,
ami heard here, in this Hall, means any
thing more than a miserable, beggardly ap
peal to low prejudices, with a view of hold
ing office, it means that Catholics ought to
be excluded from all offices; and if they are
because they are Catholics, ineligible to
place, then, those who assert it are bound
to change :he Constitution, or openly vio
late its provisions. Will (hat be done?—
Will they have courage to do it? They
must do it to be consistent. They must for
bear to be honest—a much mora difficult
Will-that be done, and the question of the
constitutional rights settled? or shall the
Catholto Christian hear himself insulted, as
he has been more than once here, with the
offensive imputation which I have endeavor
ed to refute? Shall the heart of the Ameri
can Catholics be wounded with stale rumors
—tumors revived for party action—uncred
ited tales to their dishonor, or hypothetical
charges of concealed treason, which, while
it ventures upon no specification, disturb*
the public mind, awakens slumbering prej-
I udices. sharpens religious animosiliea, and
gives occasion for tbej mean, the ignorant,
and the vulgar ambitious to rise in power,
| by the combination of {their own class with
[ those who, failing in other combinationa,
hide their disgrace, and avenge their former
defeat by stwh association* as make minor
ities contemptiola in themselves, and ren
der majorities dangctous to the Republio.
, Mr. Chairman, or.e more word and I wilt