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dress. When they arrive in Rome, they do not A. D. 1622. employ themselves in learning, but pass their days in scheming amongst each other, how they may obtain bulls of presentation to livings and preferments at home; and as soon as they succeed in obtaining a title to a benefice, they run back to Ireland, commence a lawsuit for possession, in virtue of the briefs obtained at Rome, and having finally succeeded, after a scandalous litigation, instead of attending their dioceses, they travel into Spain, France, and Germany, on pretence of persecution at home; and their whole study consists in soliciting pensions from those foreign courts, to enable them forsooth to live abroad on a footing of grandeur suitable to the episcopal dignity which they have obtained by sycophancy, intriguing, and adulation. This is extremely prejudicial to our country, and disgraceful to us in foreign parts, as well as disgusting to our own [R] Catholic nobility at home; because those bishops are appointed without any regard to the elections or recommendations of our gentry or clergy, but against the express desire of both.* And yet, high-minded as may appear the Lombard
himself, &c., expressions of this writer, what after all was he
of foreign • Petri Lombardi “ Commentarius de Regno Hibernia," p. 296. Lovan. 1632. This production was dedicated to Pope Clement VIII. For more of Lombard, see Appendix No. xxvi. inf.
A. D. 1622. himself, and what were his fellows, but tools
and agents, educated, employed, and maintained by foreign powers, and under their influence, to serve their own political ends and purposes, to the detriment and ruin of Ireland and her Church. Peter Lombard, for instance, nominally archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland, lived and died an absentee from the country with which he claimed such a connection, and employed by the bishop of Rome as one of his officials. David Carney, titular archbishop of Cashel at the same period, was maintained by his majesty the king of Spain with 1000 crowns yearly. Eugene, or Owen M.Mahon, cotemporary titular prelate of Dublin, “was bred in Salamanca by his majesty's appointment;" and Florence O’Melconry, or Conroy, who then assumed, by
See the Brief Relation of Ireland (in the MS. E. 3, 8 Lib. T.C.D.) attributed to Philip O'Sullevan, and supposed to bave been presented by him to the king of Spain, about A.D. 1618. In this tract the author enumerating and classifying the different races then to be met with in Ireland, and giving lists of the most eminent individuals belonging to each, makes the following mention of this titular archbishop Kearney :
“ No where can we find place among the above names for Don David Carney, (titular) archbishop of Cashel, nor for Archer, of the society [of Jesuits), for the archbishop being intertayned by his majesty, with allowance of 1000 crowns yearly, and descending by right line from the ancient Irish, notwithstanding having somewhat of the English blood, and not being a divine but a canonist, and guided by the fathers of the society, his kinsmen is of an Englished condition." fo. 51 bis.
After Owen MacMahon, &c., we read, fo. 50, ib., “Don Florence Conrio, (titular) archbishop of Tuam, in Ireland, intertayned by his majesty in the states of Flanders." See also App. Lxvi. inf.
like authority, the title of the archdiocese of A. D. 1622. Tuam, was, like Lombard, an absentee, maintained by the king of Spain in the states of Flanders ; being unable, as O'Sullevan says, to live safely in Ireland, by reason of the English. Why so, it does not appear; as the titular prelates of Dublin and Cashel, who were nearer to the centre of government, were not hindered, as we have seen, by its influence, from the exercise of their officious labours.
You may possibly, good reader, have thought a remarkait strange and unaccountable, how such “low, in Lomvile, clownish, ignorant, hypocritical, barbarous, bard's des: disgusting, and scheming fellows,” as Lombard the titular mentions, could have possessed so much in- prelates vofluence at Rome, and in other foreign courts, as to succeed in securing bulls entitling them to livings, bishoprics, and other preferments in Ireland, with pensions from those foreign powers: especially when there must have been on the other hand the influence of such superior minds as those of Lombard, and the “ Catholic nobility," of whom he speaks, to resist and oppose their applications. But you will observe, that as we read of Carney, the titular of Cashel, that he had "somewhat of the English blood in him;" so Lombard's name is of itself sufficient to indicate that his race was not purely of the regular old Irish stock. And his complaints may there
A. D. 1622. fore be regarded as in part a kind of continuation
of those feuds, which, in the earlier days of papal and English sway over this country, had so often manifested themselves between the ecclesiastics of the rival races. The “vile and clownish fellows," (O'Melrian and O'Melconry?) were evidently of the old Irish blood, preserved in its purity, in “the most barbarous parts” of the island. The Spanish and Roman policy of Lombard's day was to conciliate those once despised unfortunates, and therefore their applications, however • disgusting" and ridiculous, to the pope or his domestic chaplain, were not to be repulsed : while, at the same time, the jealousy of the opposite faction was to be allayed by a due and cordial attention to the merits of those belonging to it, who were found after all the best and most effective, as well as the most trustworthy servants of the Roman court, in its plans for the
organizing of a Romish party in this country. The abuse The matters complained of by Lombard were of foreign not entirely new, or of very recent origin, when influence complained he wrote. Forty years before, another eminent of by Rd.
Romanist, Richard Stanihurst, uncle to Archbishop Ussher, had expressed himself in terms precisely similar, only somewhat more at large. It is needlsss to insert his description here in full, but one sentence at least is so curious, that it would be improper to omit it:-“ And these
work at this
wearisome petitions to the pope,” says Stani- A. D. 1622. hurst,“ are now-a-days becoming so common, that at present it is actually growing into a proverbial habit with the people of Rome, whenever they meet with any Irish beggar, to accost him with this facetious little question :•Well, good Sir, have you come to look for a bishopric.
Having glanced thus rapidly over the most Close of the striking features of our Church history, from period of our the age of St. Patrick to the days of the British history. Reformation, it is not our intention here to continue the subject down to any more modern times. To treat of the matter to the consummation of that unhappy schism, which has now for centuries disturbed the peace of this land, was all that was intended in the present work : and so much has been thus far, imperfectly no doubt, yet, it is hoped, not uselessly, accomplished. For we have now seen how, under the auspices of the titular prelates, Lombard, O'Carney, M‘Mahon, and Conroy, and in accordance with the plan promulgated in the Drogheda conference of 1614, the first formal organization of the new Roman community, with its new episcopacy, priesthood, and officials, its new political association, rent, and other
• Ric. Stanihurst de Rebus in Hib. gestis, page 8. Antwerp, 1584. † P. 894. seqq. sup.