« PreviousContinue »
Church, and the Papal supremacy; on the whole Catholic population of and no notice is taken of relics, this province, namely, the changes, images, and pictures, for these which the inhabitants of twelve have long since been laid aside in villayes in Silesia, with the co-opthe enlightened part of Germany. eration of their Clergy, have proTheir Churches have but one Al- posed to make in their (Catholic) tar, without any ornament form of worship. The Bishop of furniture, excepting a simple cru- Breslau has applied to Berlin on cifix. The address is dated from this subject. Privy Counsellor Falkenham, Nov. 20, 1826. Selmedding, a Catholic, who di
The following extract will throw rects the affairs of the Catholic some further light on this subject. Church in Berlin, is gone to SileIt is dated, Berlin, Feb. 24.-—An sia to inquire into the matter event which has lately occurred in on the spot. This, however, inSilesia has caused some sensation stead of setting the business at here. In several villages of the rest, only made the inhabitants of circle of Liegnitz, which is inlab- the villages in question, more firm ited partly by Catholics and partly in their adherence to the changes by Protestants, the latter, who they had made. They applied live on the best terms with the directly to the King, petitioning former, had given them Bibles to him to sanction the changes they read, which were soon in the proposed, which included the abo. hands of many Catholics. The sition of the celibacy of the Clergy Prince Bishop of Breslau, M. Von -permission to read the Bible Schimonsky, was no
the singing of German hymns, and formed of this, than he sent an the reading of the Mass in the ecclesiastical counsellor to the vil- German language. To this the lages, to induce the Catholics, by King replied" That as they did exhortations and threats, to give not belong to the ProtestantChurch, up the Bibles. He assembled the but were Catholics, he could not Catholic bailiffs, and called on do this, the best they could do them to assist him in the execution would be to apply to the Pope for of his Mission. The hailiffs re. his dispensation. Should this be fused, and declared that they were refused, then they might give him themselves among the number of notice of it, and should they be those who were guilty of reading then inclined with their religious the Bible, and threatened, as some views to join the Protestant persons affirm, that they would Church, he would support them all go over to the Protestant in their design." The Bishop of religion, if they were importuned Breslau, to whom they have apany further on the subject. The plied with a petition to the Pope, ecclesiastical counsellor, therefore, has been placed in rather a perreturned, re infecta, and made his plexing situation. However, he report to the Prince Bishop. has sent the petition to Rome, Hereupon the Bishop is stated to and the decision of his Holiness is have claimed the assistance of the now anxiously expected, though civil power, with which request it cannot be doubted that the peti. the chief President Von Merkel, tion will be positively refused, did not think it advisable to because considering the enlightcomply."
ened views that have spread among A Bremen Paper contains some the German Catholics, especially further proceedings of the Roman those who live among Protestants, Catholics of Silesia, which will be it may be confidently anticipated found curiously interesting :- that in a short time the Papal See
"Silesia, April 16.-We have al. would be assailed with similar ready spoken of the highly impor. petitions from half of Germany. tant event, which will sooner or The above twelve villages have a later have considerable influence population of 8,000, or 8,500 in. VOL. 1.
habitants, most of them in good been distinguished by their induscircumstances, and who liave long try and good morals.”
BRITISH SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE
PRINCIPLES OF THE REFORMATION.
We need scarcely report that a and districts :—and 3d, To turn meeting for the formation of the the attention of the British nation above society was held in London, toward that mass of ignorance at Freemason's Hall, on Monday which it nourishes in its own bo21st May. We are unwilling, how- som, by circulating religious inever, to omit all notice of so ex- struction among the Irish resident cellent an institution, and shall in London, upwards of 130,000 of therefore give the leading particu- whom, from the bogs of Connaught lars, together with the speeches of and Munster, were to be found in Capt. Gordon and Lord Farnham, one district, as well as in that county as having a more immediate con- which, if he could not call it an nection with the state of Ireland imperium in imperio, might be truly and the progress of the Reforma- designated as Ireland within Engtion. The meeting, it appears,
land. was very numerously attended, and After Lord Viscount Mandeville among others, by the following had taken the chair, Capt. Gordon, distinguished individuals, most of as provisional secretary, was called whom took some part in the busi- upon to state the claims of Ireland, ness of the day:-Viscount Man- and to explain the nature of the deville, Earl Winchelsea, Lord society about to be formed. We Carbery, Lord Farnham, Hon. shall now subjoin that part of his and Rt. Rev. Bishop of Litchfield statement which refers to the moral and Coventry, Bishop of Salisbury, condition of Ireland. Lord Barhan, Earl Roden, Hon. After expressing his incompeGreville Ryder, Hon. Jas. King, tence to the task which he had unHon. J. J. Smith, Hon. and Rev. dertaken, he said, that as he had Gerard Noel, Sir T. Baring, Bart., had the opportunity of witnessing Sir R. Inglis, Bart. ; with many year after year, scenes wlrich made Members of Parliament, and cler. him familiar with the moral condigymen of different persuasions. tion of Ireland, he would state
The object of this society is some facts, which would enable the stated by Capt. Gordon to be threc- meeting to judge whether there fold:- ist, To enable clergymen was not a sufficient ground-work and gentlemen, engaged in pro- already laid for their operations. moting the Reformation in Ireland, This, he said, had been justly to avail themselves of the co-opera- termed the age of experiment; tion of existing institutions to such by which, he supposed, it was an extent, as may be necessary meant, that we had reached a to meet the local demand for the period when men chose rather books and instruction which they to judge of facts, and to form dispense :-20, To take up principles from observation and ground yet unoccupied, viz., to
experience, than from the dogdefray the expense of publishing mas of philosophers. Now, an nseful books, and generally to as- experiinent had been made upon sist individuals and associations in the Irish people by the priests the diffusion of authentic informa- of the Roman Catholic religion; sion, suited to the wants of parishes and he was prepared to contend,
and to prove, from the testimony of kingdom of heaven. What he had the Catholics themselves, that that said was founded on the testimony experiment had altogether failed. of the most respectable and intel.
If it could be proved, that the ligent Roman Catholic priests, Roman Catholic system had failed who held as high a standing to produce those effects in Ireland in the body, and who exerted which a religion ought to preduce, as great an influence, as any in then it was time for those who felt Ireland. Their evidence served as desirous of benefiting that country a general description of the moral to introduce a better. Had the condition of the lower orders in ministers of that religion establish- that country. He would add one ed a bond of union amongst the observation from his own experipeople of their charge? had they ence. It could not be expected sealed the lips of the blasphemer? that the Roman Catholic priests kad they reformed the drunkard? wouid expose the examples of had they destroyed the murdering bigotry and superstition in their disposition of the assassin? had own congregations; and therefore, they shielded the cottage from the the incident he was about to relate fury of the inidnight murderer? had not received the sanction of had they given an impulse to the their authority. He believed that skill and industry of the people ? few were ignorant of what were had they afforded them religious called the great stations in Ireland instruction? He would leave the where the Catholics voluntarily Catholics themselves to answer submitted, on particular occasions. these questions, and refer to facts to certain grievous penances; but rather than opinions—facts, not what he had witnessed occurred at Testing upon his own authority, or one of the minor stations. He had that of any other Protestant, but been paying a visit to a friend in on that of the most intelligent and Connaught; and it happened that influential of the Roman Catholic at that time the festival at the well communion. He held in his hand of St. Lesser was to be celebrated. a pamphlet written by the Rev. He had expected that about five Dr. Doyle, which was addressed hundred or one thousand persons by that gentleman to the whole would have assembled; but his Catholic body, and designed to sirrprise was great when he found point out the necessity for increas- that there were not fewer than ed means of education. It described twenty thousand persons on the the moral condition of Ireland gen- spot, and that seventy or eighty erally, anil was written by one of tents were erected in order to supthe most intelligent and respectable ply them with provisions. The of her ministers. The writer sta- station boasted of a holy well, a ted, that very few indeed of the holy stone, and a holy tree. The Catholic peasantry could give any ceremony began with the sprinksatisfactory account of their faith; ling of water; after which the and if their conduct was examined, votaries crept three times round it would be found marked by theft, the well on their bare knees, which, drunkenness, debauchery, and nu- coming in contact with the sharp merous other vices. The Sabbath stony bottom left by the recession was generally neglected, or given of the water, were shockingly làup to the most low and degrading cerated. They next went to the occupations. Rioting, drunken
stone, where they performed siminess, singing, and dancing, formed lar devotions, From the stone they their engagements on the sacred came to the tree, which they inday. He (Captain Gordon) helier- voked also on their bare knces, ed'that nine-tenths of the Catho- and kissed repeatedly. The cerelics lived in the indulgence of those mony lasted three days; and as vices which, the apostle Paul had the number shifted three times said, would exclude men from the each day, he should suppose that during the whole period there to instruct the people--that, in were at least two hundred thou. spite of all our solicitude on their sand persons present. After that behalf, and in spite of our anxiety painful penance had ceased, they to strip the system of education of began drinking and rioting, and every appearance of proselytisın, every species of low debauchery they broke up the schools, and was perpetrated during the three did all they could to oblige the days.
well-wishers of Ireland to give up Was such an exhibition, he would the experiment of scriptural eduask, not a proof of the extent to cation. He did not censure the which the lower orders were sunk motives of the priests, without in a gross and debasing supersti- being able to produce sufficient tion? Was that superstition not grounds for doing so. as debasing as any which prevailed He had heard much of the disin Hindostan? In the one case, position of the Roman Catholic worship was paid to “stocks priesthood to promote education and stones;" in the other, imma- and peace throughout the country; ginary po was shadowed forth and had heard it echoed and rein various fantastic shapes, or the echoed from all their meetings, elements of nature were worship- that they had exerted themselves ped in their simple forms. Whence, in the most praiseworthy manner Then, came these superstitious no- for the education of the children; tions; and whence was derived the and the result of their exertions authority which rivetted them so was stated to be, that not less than deeply in the minds of the Roman 400,000 children were inmates of Catholics? They arose, in his the schools. Unfortunately for opinion, from the religious belief them, a document had made its of the people--from the influence appearance which gave a minute of the Roman Catholic system of analysis of the extent, to which, faith, and its practice by the ad- and the parties by whom, Irish ministrators of that system. He education had been promoted. He would not enlarge in the definition alluded to the Second Report of of what popery was, as it was seen the Irish Commissioners on Edu. in the meridian of Rome or Italy, cation. From that it appeared, or in any of the other Catholic that there were in Ireland 11,823 countries in Europe. He would schools, containing 568,964 schoconfine himself to the Irish bor- lars; and he asked to what proders, and there he saw enough of portion the Irish priests laid claim its sway to bear him out in the of that number} It was sworn conclusion to which he wished to before the magistrates-for be it arrive. Its negative effects were remembered that the statement to be seen in the endeavours of the was not founded on surmise or administrators of the system to bare assertion-that there were oppose the education of the peo- only 352 schools under the Roman ple; for, before this country shew. Catholic priests, which contained ed a disposition to afford them the 33,529 scholars; and thus, on the blessings of education, no priest aggregate, it would be seen, that discovered a wish to promote edu- there was only one school to every cation in Ireland. When the edu- seventh parish in Ireland, or, in çation of their flocks was under. other words, they only included taken by the Christian benevolence the thirty-third part of the total of this and the sister country, did population. It appeared, then, they concur in the plan, or express ihat after every means had been a desire to support a Society insti. exerted and every energy applied tuted for that purpose, although by the priests, they could only the principles were liberal and un- produce ihat unfavourable account exceptionable? No: it was proy
of their labours. Did it prove a ed that they resisted every attempt wish on their parts to educate the population? or, rather, did it not be far wrong in thinking that the prove that the Catholic clergy books circulated in Ireland erbo. bore an uncompromising hostility died the principles or enjoined the to education, where Scripture-read- precepts which that memorable ing formed an element of instruc- tribunal had inculcated. (Here tion? The very best of these Ca- the captain read parts of the books tholic schools were regulated by and catechisms of the Irish Catholic a society connected by a bull of the Church, composed by Bishops pope, called “The order of the
Buller and Rutley, and which Christian Brothers ;” and certainly being circulated under the autho* it was the best adapted in refer- rity of the hierarchy, every priest rence to the system which the inculcated on his congregation and priests were resolved to uphold. was bound to teach the doctrines In the Commissioners' report it there set down. In the first, the was stated, that the chief work Roman Catholic Church was de. taught to the youth was the cate- clared to be the only true Church, ehisin of Irish history, a composi- and that none could be saved out tion of the most intiammable des- of its pale. In the second, all cription, and whose tendency was congregations were styled faithful in the highest degree anti-social. who professed allegiance to the It was composed by a Roman pope and partook of the SacraCatholic bishop, and until the sys- ments appointed by the Church; tem was brought to light, avowedly and those who did not adhere to used in every school."
these points were desiguated infiHe had now to inquire what the dels, hereties, and excommunisystem had done for the existing cated persons. And in the third, generation, and for the adult part certain marks were described by of the country. In the first place which a Catholic displayed his it withheld from them the Word agreement in communion with the of God, or at any rate its peru. Bishop of Rome.] The captain sal was not sanctioned by it." [In said, he noticed those parts of the proof of this assertion the captain creed, in order to show how every referred to the evidence of a Mr. youthful mind who had passed the Dogan, we believe, a zealous and regular system of training, was conscientious Catholic, who la. taught to look upon his Protestant mented the prevailing neglect of companion--it might be his benethe interests of the people. He factor, his playmate, or his nearstated that many of the pea- est relative-as thrust beyond the santry could not distinguish the pale of salvation. These cate. difference between the Testament chisms were put into the hands of and any other works presented youth in the room of the Book of before them, unless they were Salvation-of that Book which told it by the Bible Society; and gave the first glowing impressions that in many parts they did not of every thing that could elevate know what the Testament was.] and ennoble the mind, of that
But the system did not stop Book whose pages communicated with the mere withholding of the doctrines of eternal truth. The the Scriptures : active attempts popular works were of the most were made to suppress them en- motley description. Some of them tirely—there was a bonded con- were styled, “The Seven Memspiracy against the book; and bers and Ministers of Rome;" when it was consigned to the fire Captain Grant and the Highwayor tossed into the river, Dr. Boyle man;" “The Feast of Love" was found lauding the bigotry “The Garden of Love;" “The which thirsted for its destruction. Devil and Dr. Faustus; and the
In this country many drew a “ Catechism of the Irish History," knowledge of popery from the &c. 'These books were allowed to Council of Trent; but they would be circulated freely among the peo