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Correspondence belween the Most Reverend Dr. Troy, and the Reverend
Dr. OʻConor ; with Observations on the Claim of Unlimited Episcopal
Jurisdiction.-By the Rev. Dr.,O'Conor. ADVERTISEMENT.-The following Correspondence bas passed between
the Most Rev. Dr. Troy, and the Rev. Dr. OʻConor, who bas lately returned to this kingdom, for the purpose of collating, during the summer months, the MSS. of Ancient Irish History, transcribed by him from the Bodleian Library, with those deposited in Trinity College, Dublin.
Doclor Troy to Doclor O‘Conor. Rev. Dr. Charles O'Conor.- Rev. Sir; Since your late arrival in this City, you have had no faculties whatsoever from me. I now think it proper to warn you, that by the exercise public or private, of any sacerdotal function in this Archdiocese, you must necessarily incur the censures indicted by the Laws of the Catholic Church, on such Clergymen of her communion, as presume to officiate without the permission, or contrary to the express will of the OrdinaryI remain, Rev. Sir, Your very humble Servant, in Christ, 3, Cavendish Row, Rutland Square,
J. T.Troy. Dublin, 171h July, 1812.
The Rev. Dr. O'Conor presents his compliments to the Most Rev. Doctor Troy, he has received Dr. Troy's note, forbidding himn the exercise of any sacerdotal function in the A. Diocese of Dublin, either public or private; but assigning no cause for such an extraordinary proceeding. Doctor O'Conor is, in virtue of his ordination, entitled by Divine right to offer up the Holy Sacrifice, in any part of the world, to which business may lead him, until such time as immorality, heresy, or schism, is, in a fair public trial, canonically proved against him. This is one of the most sacred and venerable laws of the Catholic Church, to which all Bishops as well as Priests are bound to submit, and so, having the Catholic Church for his guide, and professing the most sincere respect for Episcopal jurisdiction canonically exercised, Doctor O'Conor will continue, with all due Canonical Subordination, as he has bitherto done, to offer up his prayers, modestly and discreetly, for the re-establishment of Canonical Discipline in Episcopal elections, by Dean and Chapter, for the restoration of the 2d order of the clergy to their right to sit and vote in Synods, for the Emancipation of Ireland from domestic as well as foreiga usurpations, and for the legal establishment of the Irish Church; and this be will do modestly, as hitherto, in a private oratory, without exercising any act of jurisdiction, as becomes a Catholic Clergyman, until such time as, by a Canonical Decree, he is declared out of the communion of the Church, to which he belongs, not by Dr. Troy's permission, but by baptism, by legitimate ordination, and by a laborious and faithful discharge of his duties to God and to his countrymen, of all persuasions, and he trusts also, and be it said with humility, by an exemplary life of 50 years. If Doctor T. bas no objection, Doctor O Conor will have his note, with this reply, inserted in to-morrow's Dublin Evening Post.
11, Nassau Street,
uth July, 1812. To this Note Doctor O‘Conor received no reply-and, as silence implies consent, he might have proceeded to immediate publication. Wishing however to leave nothing undone, that might tend to an amicable arrange ment with a person for whose character he entertains such respect as he does for Doctor Troy's, he gladly received the proposal of a common friend to wait on Doctor Troy with the following note.
The Rev. Dr. O'Conor to Hugh OʻConor, Esq. of Dominick Street. The Rev. Dr. OʻConor presents his compliments to Mr. Hugh O'Conor, returns him thanks for his kind offer to wait on Doctor Troy, and commissions him to state, in as strong terms as possible, that if in any of Doctor O‘Conor's publications any proposition can be shewn, in his own words, which is heretical, schismatical, or immoral, Doctor O'Connor will most gladly and publicly retract. 11, Nassau Street,
dugust 1. In consequence of this unequivocal notification Mr. O'Conor waited on. Doctor Troy ; but 'he absolutely refused to enter into any explanation, forther than to admit that his sole objection to Dr. OʻConor, is founded on kis Columbanus ;* that no immorality, no conduct in any other shape unbecoming a respectable Clergyman, can be alleged against him; and, in short, that Columbanus is his only crime.-Mr. O'Conor begged that he would point out the particular passages to which he objected--but this
• Dr. O'Conor is the author of Columbanus ad Hibernos; which work, lying nom before us in its several parts, has been thought of such consequence, that Dr. Poynter aul De Milner have both condescended to animadvert upon it. What those learned Doctors could not achieve by argument, Dr. Troy endeavours to accomplish by an act of power. Of Columbanus more hereafter. --For Dr. Poynter's “ Theological Examination," and Dr. Milner's Postscript-See Keating's Catalogue, annexed to the Romisk Ordo Recitandi, &c. 1812.
Vol. I. [Prot. Ado. Nov. 1812.] O
Doctor Troy declined, saying that he objected to the whole. These are facts"; if they can be contradicted, they, of course, will, and the heretical or schismatical passages will be shewn.
Observations on Dr. Troy's Letter.--Sec. 1. The Rev. Doctor O‘Conor is compelled, in self-defence, to throw himself upon the candour of his Countrymen. Far from obtruding with a spirit of pride, apostacy, or rebellion, he professes that respect for episcopal jurisdiction which distinguished the best of his ancestors in the most Catholic times, and he submits to their judgment the following observations, not from any spirit of pride or resentment, but because, in the question now before the public, the public is deeply concerned, the Catholic Priesthood is universally involved.
This is not a question pending between the most Rev. Doctor Troy, and the Rev. Doctor O‘Conor, but between the most Rev. Doctor Troy and all Catholic Ireland ; between the most Rev. Doctor Troy, and the whole Catholic Church. If Doctor Troy is Catholic in suspending from the celebration of the Mass a Clergyman who, he expressly deelares, is guilty of no immorality, and against whom he does not allege beresy or schism, then the Catholic Church would sanction injustice, which no other Church does; then the assertion of a noble Lord, that of all Christian Churches the Catholic is the worst, would be justified by its principles and by its practice; in arming Bisbops with spiritual jurisdietion, she would put into their hands a power of exerting worldly passions, and of making their ministry subservient to ambition and revenge.. . The power of suspension would thus be exerted, not for the purpose of correcting delinquency, but of putting down honesty and truth! the Catholic Religion would then no longer be a Religion of Apostolical candour and Christian sortitude, but a system of mean servility and fear, which would compel the honest to be silent or false, and enable the sycophant villain to triumph, with a sneer of malignity, over the indignant energies of virtue. The Inquisition, says the pious Fleury, destroyed Catholic morality in every country where it was established. Those who saw truth did not dare to utter it; those who doubled, did not dare to inquire or inform themselves better, Jest they should be suspected ; and the ingenuous candour of Christianity was eradicated from the mind.
To interpose, as far as his single voice can go, between the Church of Ireland and a degradation so pregnant with consequences so fatal, Dr. O'C. Ventures, with all humility, to appeal to Dr. Troy himself; to expostulate, to reason, to entreat ; and he solemnly declares that, in so reasoning and expostulating, he feels not one particle of spleen or malice to any man on the face of the globe.
To be continued) . . . .
To the Editor of the Protestant Advocate. 31R ; As an Old Protestant of the Church of England, I thank you for the interest you take in defence of its safety, and am not without some desire of the satisfaction which an endeavour to bear a part in so good a cause must yield, whether the observations I am about to offer be of sufficient moment to obtain a place in your Publication or not ; for I shall still, if they be not so, congratulate myself that it has more powerful aid, than I have now been able to give it.
It is my wish, at present, to clear up a difficulty which may have presented itself to many of your readers, concerning a maxim of the Church of Rome, which she has long held forth to view, and which has lately been insisted upon authoritatively, as a characteristic of that Church ;, I mean the maxim of semper eadem, that it is always the same. This assertion is the more remarkable because of the coptrast which it appears to form with a certain enlargement of benevolence and liberality attributed to the Roman Catholics by their friends of late, and still more so with any rational idea of identity as to the Doctrines of that Church, if their identity be supposed much older than the Council of Trent, and the Doctrines strictly speaking those of Religion only. Now as that Church has never, since it bas been an established church, been benevolent or liberal to any other not subject to her, and her religious doctrines have varied more from the original doctrines of Christianity than that of any other church called Christian; the application of the maxim must be either given up, or the Romish Church must be counted dubious as to its liberality; and as to its religious doctrines it is absolutely false. This difficulty suggests the idea, when the maxim is applied to the Religion of the Church of Rome, that the word Religion is, in this expression, one of those speciosa vocabula TETUM, wbich, presenting an idea less liable to opposition, conveys, in fact, to those who are entrusted with the mystery, a very different notion! and that for religion, in its obvious, its ordinary, meaning, the word policy should be substituted ;-unless the Religion and Policy of that Church be one and the same thing, which, indeed, they verily seem to be. In this sense, the truth of the maxim is almost self-evident. For what, Sir, has been the political system of that church from the very rise of its power to the present day? Despotic ambition ; a desire to subdue all pations, people, and languages to itself ; artful as to the means, and regardless of principle, except where the ostentation of it might afford a covering to the artifice; in its resentments, implacable ; in its exercise of dominion, tyrannical; and inflexible in its purpose to rule its friends and exterminale its opponents. In every one of these particulars the maxim
is applicable, and the entire history of that church will confrm its truth, from .age to age, ever since she has possessed temporal power. With what attention her policy has been pursued, may be learned from her own writers. In what school was Machiavel able to learn his system of unprincipled policy ? Was it not in Italy itself, and, in a great measure, from the practice of the Court of Rome? Or was, such policy ever carried to a greater extent of refinement than by its unce favorite sons the Jesuits ; favorites till they had so far improved upon their instructions as to be formidable to all Europe, and almost to overawe the Vatican itself? Let the nature of this policy, let the manner in which it acts, be considered. Has the Church of Rome failed, where she could advance her own interest, to promote disturbances, to foment divisions, or even to suggest and
befriend usurpations, or, where otherwise it could not prevail, to intimi. · date opponents by the powerful machinery of superstition? Has it even
left a Prince of its own communion in peace, whom it could reach, and could not govern? or observed the obligations of compact farther than convenience inclined, or necessity compelled it? What has been its uniform conduct towards Protestants but that of Persecution in its most virulent form, wherever it could persecute; and where it could not, whatever hostile policy would permit? History will answer these questions truly ; and, upon its evidence, it may safely be allowed and believed that, in its Policy, the Church of Rome is semper eadem; and that, when this maxim is asserted, it is always to the policy of that Church, and 10 this alone, that it is to be, or can truly be referred. The case then, being so, it may, with po small propriety in these times, be asked, are the Protestantz aware of this momentous truth? or do they require a repetition of the scenes of past times, painfully to convince them of it? Even whilst the ashes of the martyrs at Scullabogue * are scarcely cold, they listen with, it is to be hoped, astonishment, rather than complacence, to the praises of the loyalty and lenevolence of the Catholics ; but they should lis. ten to them with horror, and such jealousy, as the novelty and inconsistency of such ill-founded merits warrant. The Protestants bave granted the
* In 1798, “On the very day when the Popish rebel army attacked the King's troops at New Ross, they enclosed 186 Protestants, all old men, women, and children, in a thatched barn at Scullabogue, set fire to it at noon-day, and burned them all alive ; at the same time, they made upwards of sixty young able l'rotestant men, kneel in the front of the barn, and shot them dead during the conflagration : these were all peaceable farmers and their fainilies residing in the neighbou i hood of. Scullabogue.” Here is an example of the Benevolence and Liberality of Papists !See Dr. Duigenan's Nature and Erlent of the Demands of the Roman Catholics fully explained, p. 132.- Epit.