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of Louvain for an opinion upon its merits. And such an opinion was accordingly delivered by that body, although in such a very guarded and cautious form, that of two eminent authors who have undertaken to interpret it, one, Father Redmond Caron, (a learned Irish Franciscan, in the reign of Charles the Second,) calls it a gentle censure, the other, Mr. Butler, styles it an approbation. The former is however its more core rect designation. We subjoin one or two of the most striking passages in this opinion, bearing directly on the subject of the deposing power, and indicating the sentiments of the University of Louvain in regard to it; which sentiments have been very widely adopted by members of the same communion in general. Of the difficulty found by the divines of Louvain in the statements of the Protestation, they thus speak:-
condemning “They [i.e. the Protesters] appear to suppose that their opin, the pope has not at least an indirect power in temporals ;
, but not he- and that a prince cannot be deposed, or his subjects abretical ; solved of their oaths, by any power of the Church. Now
this is doubtless a false doctrine, yet not contrary to the faith.
“That it is not contrary to the faith is manifest from Cardinal Bellarmine, who only calls the doctrine of the deposing power an opinion common to all divines; and from Car nal Perron, who says that it is not proposed by the Pontiff as of divine faith, seeing he tolerates many of the French who maintain the contrary, &c."
> some consi
Then as to the particular individuals imme- and sug
gesting diately concerned in signing the Protestation, the Opinion speaks of their conduct with very derations of great mildness, and indeed with a degree of to palliate approbation, their meaning being, -according to theirande
pearance of the divines of Louvain :
for papal “not that the decree of the pontiff was to be treated
tions. with disrespect; but that by reason of the particular circumstances of time and place, circumstances better known to themselves than to the pontiff, they did not believe themselves so far bound by his sentence as to depart from their allegiance to their temporal prince. Thus our censure of the fact is still milder than that of the doctrine. For it may well happen that a case should occur, in which they might suppose, and not without reason, that they ought not to obey the sentence of the pope until they had fully informed his holiness of the posture of affairs. There might be urgent reasons for suspending for a season their obedience to the see apostolic ;it for instance they discovered, that by such a profession of civil duty the sovereign might be more easily appeased. For in order that princes may be deposed by the Church, it does not suffice that there resides in the pontiffthe naked right of deposal; it is requisite that this right be exercised prudently and with good effect. For if the power of the temporal prince be such that he cannot be deposed, or at best, not without much bloodshed and commotion of war, difficulties which probably these priests apprehended ;and if, on the other hand there be a great hope of obtaining peace for the Catholic religion, what other fruit would violence have, than that the faith should be expused to still greater hazards ? &c.”
This famous University was therefore of opin
of the doc
Substance ion that the sentences of the Church of Rome trine pro
are always valid against heretics, but that the mulgated in time and manner of their execution are to be revain judg- gulated by views of expediency, just as was indi
cated in the explanatory bull of Pope Gregory above noticed.
Now as to the sentiments of the Roman Caof Bp. Ber- tholic bishop Berrington above named, which no these trans- doubt have been, and are, shared in by a large
number of the most respectable persons belonging to his creed, they may be gathered at large from the account which he gives of the origin, progress, and final rejection, of the Oath of Allegiance in England, by the Romanists of that country, in his Introduction to the Memoirs of Gregorio Panzani, or more briefly from the specimens contained in the following extracts :
That a due
“Had the [R.] Catholics in a body,' says Bishop Berrendering of rington, “ upon the accession of James, waited on him civil obe- with the Protestation of Allegiance, as containing their dience to K. true and loyal sentiments, it is probable that we should would have have heard no more of recusancy or of penal prosecutions. annulled all His good will to the professors of that religion was, penal laws from the earliest impressions, deeply marked upon his against Roo manist re
but in the creed of the majority, at least of a macusants;
jority of their ministers, he knew there was a principle ad. mitted, that of the papal prerogative over the crowns of princes, which could ill accord with the exalted opinion he entertained of his royal dignity and independence. Both parliament and king, aware that some [R.] Catholics from conscientious scruples objected to the Oath of Supremacy, and still that there were many whose civil principles were sound and loyal, seriously desired to offer them a political test which should establish a just discrimination; that is, should show them who might be safely trusted. With this view the Oath of Allegiance was framed, to which, it was thought every Catholic would cheerfully submit, who did not believe the bishop of Rome to have power to depose kings and give away their dominions. The oath accordingly was taken by many [R.] Catholics, both laity and clergy; and a ray of returning happiness gleamed around them. But a cloud soon ga- a course thered on the seven hills, for it could not be that a test, impeded by the main object of which was an explicit rejection of the of the Court deposing power, should not raise vapours there. The of Rome. [R.] Catholics were thrown into the utmost confusion ; new dissensions arose; controversies were renewed, while the king, the government, and the nation, strengthened in their first prejudices, were now authorized to declare that men whose civil conduct was subject to the control of a foreign court could with no justice claim the common right of citizens. The laws of the preceding reign were ordered to be executed, and new ones additionally severe were enacted. With what face then can it be asserted that the Roman bishop or his court have constantly promoted the best interests of the English [R.] Catholics, when their religion itself was exposed to danger, and themselves and their posterity involved in much misery, that an ambitious prerogative might not be curtailed.”_
“The priests who took the oath of allegiance were Results of harassed by a papal decree, whereby they were de- the Romish prived of all their jurisdiction, and consigned to penury England at and ignominy. Of these, many surrendered themselves this crisis. into the hands of justice, to obtain a scanty maintenance, an act of direful necessity which the men of their own faith could represent as a sinful apostacy from religion.
of two of
Execution Others retracted, and among them two of the thirteen
who had signed the Protestation of Allegiance; but the the thirteen priests
bulls of Paul it seems had extinguished all consistency of above men- reason, and inspired them with a love of martyrdom. tioned. They died, because, when called upon by the legal au
thority of their country, they would not declare that the
Roman bishops had no right to depose princes."* Their sur- Some priests, fellow prisoners of the two who had viving com- been executed, addressed an affecting petition to the pope, panions address a
praying that he would explain in what particulars the touching pe- oath was unlawful. ** Immured,” say they, “in a duntition to the geon, surrounded by all that is pernicious and revolting, bishop of
bereft of the solace of friendly communion and the society Rome.
of all good men, we live in darkness. From this place, in which
thirteen of us had been confined for our rejection of the Oath, two of our number went forth last year to suffer as invincible martyrs, and exhibited a sight of sublime interest to God, to angels, and to men, By the blood of these martyrs, by our own toils and sufferings, by our chains and tortures, and all enduring patience, and if these things do not move you, by the bowels of the divine compassion, we implore you, turn a portion of your consideration to the afflictions of the English (R.] Catholics. There are some who fluctuate between you and Cæsar; in order therefore that the truth may be made manifest, we pray that your holiness would vouchsafe to point out those propositions in the oath of allegiance, which are
opposed to faith and salvation.” The vicar of Christ A Romish would not condescend to explain—" he could sit,”-it is bishop's
a papal bishop who thus vents his indignation—" he could comment on
sit undisturbed in the Vatican, hearing that men were tion,
imprisoned, and that blood was poured out, in support of a claim which had no better origin than the ambition of his predecessors, and the weak concessions of mortals ;
• Berrington, Memoirs of Panzani, Introduction, 68-78.