Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [1st May]—
That this House do resolve itself into a Committee, for the purpose of considering the Acts for the Endowment of the College of Maynooth, with a view to the withdrawal of any Endowment out of the Consolidated Fund, due regard being had to vested rights or interests.
And which Amendment was to leave out from the word "considering," to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "all grants or endowments for ecclesiastical purposes, whether charged on the Consolidated Fund or annually voted by Parliament, with a view to their withdrawal, due regard being had to vested rights or interests," instead thereof.
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ Debate resumed.
§ MR. MAGUIRE
* Sir, before I venture to deal with the important question now before you, I make this preliminary observation—namely, that the Catholic Members of this House are not answerable for the protracted discussion which has dragged its slow length along, to the obstruction of pressing public business; on the contrary, it is their wish that the House should be saved the annoyance of having brought before it topics of an angry or irritating nature; and no later than a day or two since, an hon. Member called on the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner) to withdraw his Motion from the paper—with which request he refused to comply. Thus the discussion was forced on the Catholic Members, who could not for a moment shrink from the responsibility which was thereby imposed upon them; and though my hon. Friends and myself are not unanxious to come to a division on the Motion of the hon. Gentleman, we feel it to be our duty to insist on the fullest discussion of the question which it involves—a question which itself involves not merely the interests of the Catholic people of Ireland, but the interests of the empire at large. Then, Sir, the importance of the grave question raised by the Motion of the hon. Member imposes on me the necessity of entering fully into the subject, for the purpose of showing that all the charges and accusations against Maynooth and the teaching and 239 doctrines of the Catholic Church, are not only without any foundation whatever, but are the very opposite of the fact and the truth. In the first place, I think it right to state a few of those charges and accusations, in order to see what Catholics have to meet and refute. I shall commence with certain allegations contained in the latest petitions presented to this House in support of the Motion now before it, and printed and circulated amongst its Members. The first is the petition of the Provincial Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; and it says that the endowment "is wrong in principle, and, while opposed to sound policy, stands in direct opposition to the revealed will of God, and is fitted, through the public support of Antichrist, to bring down on the land the Divine judgments." This is signed "William Cæsar, Moderator." A second is from the Synod of the "United Original Seceders," met at Glasgow on the 3rd of last month. It states that Popery "prevents its adherents from yielding true obedience in civil matters to a Protestant Sovereign, and therefore is utterly unworthy of the support of a Protestant nation;" and these "United Original Seceders," further state that they are convinced "that the training of an idolatrous and superstitious priesthood at the national expense is contrary to the coronation oath, hostile to the doctrines and principles of the Reformation, and must render the nation obnoxious to the righteous judgment of Almighty God, threatened in Holy Scripture not only against the anti-christian system in general, but also against all who aid and abet its interests." Another states that the endowment has proved an "utter failure;" another is opposed, and fairly opposed, to all endowments by the State, and therefore to the endowment of Maynooth; and another, while opposed to all endowments, is especially opposed to Maynooth, "inasmuch as the Roman Catholic religion with which that college is connected, is hostile to religious liberty, and intolerant of the opinions and practices of all persons who differ from it." This complaint of Catholic intolerance is rather amusing when coming from those "moderators." I must not forget to mention that in more than one the real object peeps I out—to restore the penal laws against Catholics, and, if possible, drive Catholic Members from this House. One of the petitions quoted states that petitioners 240 "opposed, and do still oppose the Relief Bill of 1829, by which Roman Catholics were admitted, to places of power and trust in this Protestant kingdom." Then there was the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, who laid down the astounding proposition, that the endowment of Maynooth was a grievous "national sin," and that its continuance was a braving of the judgment of God. And then came the hon. and learned Member for Hertford (Mr. T. Chambers), who indulged in a long string of accusations, and, amongst them, this very grave one—that "the teaching of Maynooth touched our social existence, by tampering with contracts, oaths, and with allegiance." Now, Sir, my answer to all these allegations is this—prove that these charges are true, prove that Maynooth is the seat and centre of evil, that from it flows a perennial stream of sedition and corruption—prove all this, and I, as one Roman Catholic, declare that I will go much further than the hon. Member for North Warwickshire, and assert that not only should the State not support such an institution, but that it should scatter its professors, and raze the walls of the College to its foundations. Prove, I say, that the accusation of the hon. and learned Member for Hertford is founded in fact and truth, and I at once repeat the cry of "Down with Maynooth!" The House will soon have an opportunity of judging whether these charges are not the vilest and the foulest calumnies, uttered by some perhaps with sincerity, but by many with a perfect conviction of their falsehood. Before I proceed to vindicate Catholic teaching from those terrible accusations, let me refer for a moment to a pamphlet sent to me this morning, perhaps by its author, the Rev. Dr. Tighe Gregory, chaplain to his Excellency the Earl of Carlisle, and rector and vicar of Kilmore. I do so for the purpose of reading one extract quoted by Dr. Gregory from the speech of a clerical fanatic in 1845, when Sir Robert Peel brought in his memorable Bill for placing the College of Maynooth on its present footing, and of showing how the same spirit of unchristian intolerance, the same insane hatred of Catholics, prevailed then as now. Dr. Gregory introduces the extract with these significant lines—The other speaker, after expatiating on the 'love which is the fulfilling of the law,' thus illustrates his Christian conception of it:—'Some- 241 times we have a Tory Government: they give away situations to parties of opposite persuasions and politics. I have none of that sort of principle. I will never give a situation to a Roman Catholic as long as I live; it is contrary to principle—we want to destroy Romanism as best we can. The gentleman who preceded me said, that Romanism is the religion of nature; he will not be annoyed with me for saying that it is not true; it is the masterpiece of Satan, invented in Hell; it is the grand craft of the Devil, and by virtue of it the archfiend keeps Roman Catholics in his power, and under the dominion of his chains.May Heaven help us poor Catholics! for we must be in a sad plight. This, of course, is Christian toleration and Gospel charity, in which Catholics are so horridly deficient. There are hon. Members in the House who oppose the endowment of Maynooth on fair grounds, because such endowment is opposed to the voluntary principle, of which they are the sincere and conscientious advocates: and no one more readily admits their candour, fairness, and honesty, than I do; but I venture to say I will put a case before my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Hadfield), as must satisfy him that, under existing circumstances, it is utterly impossible that the Catholic people of Ireland could add the support of this college to their other burdens. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire, and those who agree with him, assert that the endowment of this college is a national sin, sufficient to call down on the land the judgment of God. Well, by whom was this college founded? It was founded in 1795, by a Protestant Parliament, and in the reign of an ultra Protestant king. The Bill was passed in the Irish Parliament, an exclusively Protestant Parliament, without a division, or even a dissentient voice, and with the concurrence of the Protestant bishops then sitting in that Parliament. The Marquess of Camden laid the foundation stone of the building; and, when addressing the Parliament at the close of the Session, he said—"a wise foundation has been laid for educating at home the Roman Catholic clergy." Now I venture to say that that Protestant Parliament and that Protestant king had as just a sense of their duty to man and God, as the hon. Member and those who indulge in expressions bordering on the blasphemous, and were quite as competent to know what was a national sin, as that hon. Gentleman and other tolerant and Christian revilers of their Catholic fellow-subjects. From that day to this, no great party—no statesman—no 242 man pretending to the name and character of a statesman—no one whose ability and whose wisdom placed him as a man of mark, full in the public eye—no one who commanded the reverence or the confidence of the country—had ever advised or counselled the withdrawal of that grant; on the contrary, the best and wisest statesmen defended it on the highest grounds of State policy and equal justice. What was the spirit in which the subject was approached by Sir Robert Peel in 1845, when he proposed the increased grant? That lamented and gifted statesman, at once the wisest, the ablest, and the boldest of his contemporaries, thus spoke for his Cabinet—After mature deliberation, we are firmly convinced that this measure which I now propose, is nothing more than a liberal construction of those obligations, which, in point of honour and faith, are imposed on the legislature of this kingdom.From what some persons say, as to the alleged ingratitude of the Catholic clergy, we should be led to suppose that there had been a solemn compact entered into between the Government and them, that, in consideration of this increased grant, they were from thenceforward to be dumb. Hear what Sir Robert Peel then said—This measure is, I trust, conceived in a liberal and confiding spirit. We have not introduced it without consulting with the leading ecclesiastical authorities in the Roman Catholic Church. It has not been a subject of stipulation or contract with them.Sir Robert Peel regarded his measure as one of sound policy, conceived in a liberal spirit; but there were those who, though not Catholics, regarded it in the light of a restitution of property to the Catholic Church. There are many rash enough to deny that the revenues once possessed by the Catholic Church of Ireland were torn from her, and applied to Protestant purposes. But let Lord Sandon (the present Lord Harrowby) be heard on this point, concerning which, in the very teeth of the broadest and clearest historical fact, there is such deliberate disbelief:—When England reformed herself, purified her own faith, and separated from the Church of Rome, she carried with her, as she had a right to do, the endowments of the national religion; for the people—the great majority of them—stood in these convictions, and the church property rightfully went along with them. But was that the case with Ireland? Did the people of that country share in the general movement towards a Reformation; and was the church property transferred by reason of it? Was not the contrary notoriously the case? Was not the church property 243 transferred from Roman Catholic to Protestant hands, merely by the will of England, merely because England, not because Ireland, had become Protestant? He could not forget those circumstances; the appropriation of all the church endowments of Ireland, while you left the people still Roman Catholics, and made no provision for the priests to whom you left them—and looking at these things, he could not, for his part, look at this question as one of simple and common endowment—he could not not but look at it in the light of a restitution.And the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord J. Russell) who spoke in the course of the debate, was compelled to admit that "a grant of this kind may well be termed, as the noble Lord (Lord Sandon) described it, rather in the nature of a restitution than an original grant." Not only was the property of the church torn from her, but the very colleges which Catholics created in foreign countries for the education which was penal at home, were destroyed, and the claims of the Catholics for indemnity denied by the British Government at the time of the peace, when that Government insisted on obtaining indemnity for all other property of British subjects. Therefore, I assert that Roman Catholics have not only a right to this grant, but to a greal deal more. The right of Roman Catholics to this, or to any assistance whatever from the State, is not denied by the Statesman, or by any one pretending to that character; no, it was only that miserable class of persons who derived a dishonourable existence and a shameful notoriety, by fostering a base agitation, and by pandering to the darkest prejudices of the human mind, to the worst passions of the human heart—it was only those misguided members who were themselves deceived, as well as those who were impelled into the lobby by the brutal clamour of an ignorant constituency—that demanded the destruction of Maynooth. Various modes of attack have been adopted from time to time against Maynooth, sometimes bold and open, at other times cowardly and indirect. But one of the latest was the demand for inquiry into the teaching of that college. "Give us inquiry, and we are satisfied to abide the result," was said by the assailants of this institution. Well, they have had inquiry, and having got what they required, as a matter of course, and as was expected, they are not satisfied. The inquiry was a sham; the report is an absurdity; the evidence was got up; the whole thing is frivolous, ridiculous, and dishonest—why?—because a copy of the evidence was sent to the Pope three or 244 four months after it was printed, and when it was impossible to be tampered with or altered. I tell you, Sir, why this report, this evidence, is not to be relied upon, not to be trusted—because it disproves every one of the foul and infamous charges brought against this Catholic institution. If, indeed, the evidence and the report justified those charges—if Maynooth were proved to be the hotbed of sedition, immorality, treachery, and pollution—then what a cry of joy would be raised ! what laudations of the witnesses and the commissioners ! how solemnly every word contained in those two Blue-books would be appealed to ! and how any Catholic Member of the House would be cried down who dared to hint a doubt, or lay a profane finger on these documents, sacred then as the Ark of the Covenant ! But because the result of the inquiry is favourable, and not damnatory, therefore the whole inquiry is unworthy of credit. In this spirit it is viewed by the "Protestants of Kingston upon Hull, of various denominations," who say, "they cannot regard the Report, so far as it is favourable to Maynooth, as worthy of being accepted by your honourable House." These candid people are willing to believe all that is unfavourable, and to discredit all that tells against their absurd and fanatical prejudices—and so is it with too many hon. Members in this House. Now so far from the inquiry being a sham or a mockery, it was one of the most searching and rigorous that, could be instituted or conceived; nay, it was pushed to an extent that went beyond all reasonable limits, inasmuch as witnesses were called upon to reply to the most improbable supposititious cases. There were forty witnesses examined, five of whom were active Members of societies most hostile to the Catholic Church; there was also, besides oral evidence obtained by the most searching examination, written evidence in answer to written propositions; and it was upon the entire of this evidence that the Commissioners, men of the highest mark, position, character, and ability, based their Report—the Report sneered at and discredited, because it did not justify the ravings of the constant revilers of the Catholic faith and a Catholic people. One of the gravest charges against the teaching of Maynooth, indeed the teaching of the Catholic Church was that it did not inculcate the duty of allegiance to the Sovereign, and of obedience to the civil powers. Now, if I have any charge to make against that teaching, 245 it is this—that it has rather a tendency to make the subject a slave to the civil power than the contrary, and that it inculcates an obedience too implicit, and almost blind. I have here by me one of the voluminous Blue-books containing the Report of the Commissioners, and a portion of the evidence on which that Report is based, and I shall presently quote a few passages from that Blue-book; but I hold in my hand another Blue-book, a very small one indeed, yet sufficient not only to exhibit what Catholic teaching is on this most important point, but to disprove the assertions which have been ignorantly or falsely made, and wickedly and maliciously circulated, against Roman Catholics. This little Blue-book is Butler's Catechism, compiled by a Catholic Bishop, approved by the four Catholic Archbishops of Ireland, and sold to the enormous number of 100,000 copies annually. This Catechism was taught to every Roman Catholic priest in his youth whether he were born in a lowly station, or were the child of affluent parents; it was again taught and explained to him in Maynooth; and when he left Maynooth for the scene of his missionary labours, it was taught by him in every school and chapel, in busy town or remote rural parish, to every child who attended school or chapel—it is, in fact, the same Catechism which every Catholic' Member of this House has learned at his mother's knees. Turning over the pages of this catechism I find in it evidence as to Catholic teaching that forms the most triumphant vindication against the foul aspersions so recklessly and persistently flung at Roman Catholics. Perhaps I may be permitted to make the open confession of the fact, that it is a very long time since I looked into this little volume, though like all Catholic children, I was thoroughly grounded in it at a very early age—and I may mention that my attention was called to it by an answer given by one of the witnesses, one of the Professors of the College of Maynooth. I do pray the attention of Protestant gentlemen to the following questions and answers, as I feel convinced that many good and kindly men have been basely imposed upon by those who live by slander and misrepresentation:—Q. What are the duties of subjects to the temporal powers?—A. To be subject to them, and to honour and obey them, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake; for so is the will of God. 1 Pet.; Rom. xiii.Q. Does the Scripture require any other duty 246 of subjects?—A. Yes; to pray for Kings, and for all who are in high station, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life. 1 Tim. ii.Q,. Is it sinful to resist or combine against the established authorities, or to speak with contempt or disrespect of those who rule over us?—A. Yes: St. Paul says, Let every soul be subject to the higher powers; he that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. Rom. xiii.Let it be observed that chapter and verse are here given to the Catholic child by the Catholic teacher—by his Church—and from what?—from the sacred Scriptures, which, as we are told, that Church dreads and abhors, and which it seeks to hide from the eyes of its followers. Well, I ask, is that the doctrine which Paley lays down, which Blackstone insists upon, which was acted upon in the Revolution of 1688, or which would find favour with the admirers and eulogists of that revolution? Dr. Furlong says, in reference to the duty of allegiance which we owe the Sovereign—We take it, in fact, as a first principle of morality—it is an axiom with us in the same way as the duty we owe to our parents; and therefore we do not repeat the inculcation of it so frequently, because that would almost imply a doubt of its manifest obligation.And Dr. Lee says, that before the students take the oath of allegiance, which they are all bound to do, they are lectured as to its nature and obligation. Oh! but it is said, "Has not the Pope the power of absolving you from your allegiance, of dispensing with the obligation of your oath; and, therefore, of what avail is this teaching?" Let us inquire into this alleged power of the Pope. Now, I may say for myself, and I would freely say the same for the Catholic Gentlemen who hear me, that I hold—that they hold—that neither the Pope, the College of Cardinals, nor the whole Church sitting in solemn council, has the power of freeing us from the duty of allegiance, or dispensing with the obligations of a lawful oath. Moreover, the very assumption is an absurdity, and an insult to the Holy See. Take the evidence of Dr. Moriarty, now Coadjutor Bishop of Kerry, on this most important point. He says, in answer to questions put to him—That a Catholic would deem the case impossible, for he could not suppose the Pope capable of such an absurdity. If you suppose the decree given in the present circumstances of the country, it would be of no force, as being manifestly founded in error; but I again protest against 247 the supposition as disrespectful to the Holy See.I must again answer by protesting against the supposition. Such are not the circumstances which to a Catholic mind would justify rebellion. If the case occurred, I would simply conclude that the Pope had gone mad.Then comes this comprehensive question, and conclusive answer—Are there no circumstances under which the Pope could release a citizen from his oath of allegiance?—Dr. Moriarty: Most emphatically I say none.Let me here ask, is this distinguished Prelate to be believed, or not?—does he speak truly, or bear false witness? Is it possible that he could venture to degrade himself, not only in the eyes of his own people, but of the Catholic world, by stating other than what is the doctrine, the teaching, the belief of his Church? And yet this evidence is not to be relied on, because it vindicates Maynooth from the foul calumny of its unscrupulous assailants. The evidence of the Rev. Mr. Jennings is equally emphatic; and being pressed with suppositions equally fanciful and absurd on this subject, he says he would regard such a sentence coming from the Pope as utterly null and void, and continues, "but I also believe that the supposition of his Holiness issuing such a sentence is a most fanciful and extreme case of casuistry." It may be said these are Catholic witnesses; but Protestant witnesses say the same thing. Dr. Butler, who was a Catholic priest, but is now a Protestant clergyman, and who was educated in the Roman College of St. Thomas of Aquin—indeed in more than one Catholic seminary—being asked, were the duties of allegiance generally, without reference to any particular Sovereigns, enforced in the lecture? replies—They were always enforced upon me without any distinction, whether the Sovereign was a Protestant or a Roman Catholic. I never had any distinction made me by my professor.Did you ever understand that, by reason of a Sovereign being a heretic, he was not entitled to the allegiance of his subjects?—I heard that, but I did not believe it. It is not the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. That was not the doctrine taught, nor is it the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church.I venture to say I have conclusively refuted one of the gravest charges made against Catholic doctrine and teaching; but there is one which I regard as still more grave and more important, which it 248 is my duty, as a Roman Catholic, to deal with—namely, that Catholics were not bound to keep faith with heretics, and therefore were not bound by their contracts with heretics. This is a weighty accusation indeed; for while a laxity of opinion with respect to the duties of allegiance may be regarded with a certain amount of indulgence by some, there was no man who would not be justified in looking with dread and abhorrence upon those members of the same community whom no oath could bind, by whom no contract was held sacred, and yet with whom a social necessity compelled Protestants to have daily intercourse and dealings. Again I say, prove this against Maynooth, against Catholics, and you ought to raze the walls of the one, and tear from the others whatever liberties they enjoy. I again take up Butler's Catechism, that which the future trader, the future merchant, the future professional man, learns in his boyhood—Q. Is it ever lawful to swear?—A. It is; when God's honour, our own, or our neighbour's good, or necessary defence, require it.Q. What do you mean by an unjust oath?—A. An oath injurious to God, to ourselves, or to our neighbours.Q. Is a person obliged to keep an unjust oath?—A. No; he sinned in taking it, and would sin also in keeping it.Q. Is a person obliged to keep a lawful oath?— A. Yes; and it would be perjury to break it.Q. What is perjury?—A. To break a lawful oath, or take a false one.Q. Is perjury a great sin?—A. It is a most grievous sin.With respect to oaths and contracts between Roman Catholics and others, Dr. O'Hanlon says—The doctrine taught by me is, that an oath pledged to, or a contract made with, a heretic by a Roman Catholic, is of equal validity and of equal obligation with an oath pledged to, or a contract made with, a Roman Catholic in the same matter.Dr. Murray says—The doctrine always held and taught by me is, that an oath pledged to, or a contract made with, a heretic or any other person, whether baptised or unbaptised, is of equal validity and equal obligation, with an oath pledged to, or a contract made with, a Roman Catholic in the same matter. Moreover, I hold this not as a private opinion, not as a doctrine that appears to me more probable, but which others are free to reject. I hold it as absolutely certain, the opposite of which no theologian is at liberty to maintain.Rev. George Crolly says—I teach that each of them is of equal validity, and of equal obligation, with an oath pledged to, 249 or a contract made with, a Roman Catholic in the same matter, and under similar circumstances. The obligation of a contract made with, or of an oath pledged to any person, is no more changed or modified by his religious belief, than by the colour of his skin, or the stature of his body.And Dr. Moriarty, the bishop of Kerry, says—The Pope has no power to change the dictates of natural justice. He cannot release any one from the obligation of a valid contract with injury to a third party. The civil authority may, for reasons of public policy, rescind, even with prejudice to a third party, a valid contract—but the Pope cannot.And now as to the intolerance of Roman Catholics. It may be again necessary to turn to the Catechism taught to the Catholic child of every grade, class, and condition. Will Protestant gentlemen take the following authoritative exposition of Catholic doctrine, in preference to those gross and calumnious misrepresentations put forth by their bigoted or venal assailant? I cannot omit a single line of this small chapter—Q. To how many commandments may the ten commandments be reduced?—A. To these two principal commandments, which are the two great precepts of charity: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thyself: This do, and thou shalt live. Luke x.; Mark xii.Q. And who is my neighbour? Luke x. 29.—A. Mankind of every description, and without any exception of persons, even those who injure us, or differ from us in religion.Q. How am I to love my neighbour as myself?—A. As you would, says Christ, that men should do to you, do you also to them in like manner. Luke vi. 31.Q. What particular duties are required of me by that rule?—A. Never to injure your neighbour by word or deed, in his person, property, or character; to wish well to him, and to pray for him, and always to assist him, as far as you are able, in his spiritual and corporal necessities.Q. Am I also obliged to love my enemies?—A. Most certainly; Love your enemies, says Christ, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you. Luke vi.; Matt, vi.I ask, where is there a more broad, comprehensive creed of love and charity than this? This is the doctrine inculcated by the Divine author of Christianity, the Redeemer of mankind—it is the creed preached in His gospel—that gospel which the Catholic Church is falsely accused of not opening to her faithful. A word now as to the alleged prohibition of the Bible by the Catholic priesthood. It was stated, indeed, by one of the Protestant witnesses—I believe the rev. Mr. Burke—that there 250 were only four copies of the Bible in Maynooth; but the rev. Mr. Brasbie, another seceder from the Catholic Church, but who had been educated at Maynooth, gives this evidence—Rev. D. L. Brasbie.—Had you a Testament or a Bible given to you when you entered the College?Rev. Mr. Brasbie.—Yes; every student on the establishment was furnished with one, and a commentary from the College. Every student in the establishment got a copy of Coyne's Bible, and of Menochius.The hon. Member also read a letter from Mr. Duffy, from which it appeared that he printed a Bible, of which the sale was 2,500 copies annually; a New Testament, of which he had sold 13,000 copies; and a pocket edition, of which he had sold 9,500 copies; and that three editions of the Bible were published in Belfast:—the letter also stated that the Catholic clergy were most anxious to encourage the circulation of the Bible; and that the reason why the Roman Catholic Bibles were not sold as cheaply as the Protestant, was that the former had to pay the paper duty which was remitted to the latter. Mr. Duffy also stated that six editions of Butler's General Catechism were printed in Dublin, of which 100,000 copies were sold annually. The hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire has admitted, what indeed it was out of his power to deny, that the Irish Catholic soldiers were brave and loyal; but he said it was in spite of their priests and their teachers—and he asserted that they would be only too happy to be freed from their tyranny. I assert, on the contrary, and can prove it too, that the Catholic soldier is loyal and obedient because of the teaching of his priest, and that, instead of being anxious to free himself from his tyrannous authority, he is bound to him by the strongest ties of love and reverence. I hold in my hand a copy of an address presented to the rev. Thomas Grimley, a Maynooth-reared priest, by a deputation of the colour sergeants of Dublin garrison, on the part of the Catholic non-commissioned officers and soldiers, together with a very splendid testimonial of their liberality and piety, and the reply of the rev. Gentleman; and I shall call the attention of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire to a single paragraph from the address and reply, just to show him, practically, what Catholic teaching to the Catholic soldier is, and what the Catholic soldier understands it to be. In the address, there is this passage— 251Reverend and dear Sir,—We beg to assure you that we shall ever bear in mind with the liveliest gratitude those instructions which, Sunday after Sunday, you have so earnestly inculcated on our hearts, the love of God above all things—the love of our neighbour as ourselves; good will and kindly feeling towards our fellow man of whatever country, or clime, or creed he may be—fidelity to the obligations which bind us to our Sovereign—obedience to our superiors, and an undying attachment to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.This is a sample of that pernicious teaching, the toleration, not to say the encouragement, of which is drawing down on this devoted land the heavy judgments of Almighty God. There is one point upon which I can only touch very lightly, and that is in reference to the teaching necessary for a Catholic priest for the confessional; although the opponents of Maynooth have not hesitated, for the basest object—to excite prejudice and inflame the minds of Members of this House—to put into circulation a vile and disgraceful document, which was sufficient to brand its concoctors with infamy. I turn to the evidence of Dr. Butler, once a Catholic priest, and now an assailant of the Catholic Church, and I find this answer to this question—in itself a practical refutation of a hundred calumnies—Do you think, from your knowledge of the Irish people, that many things which it may be necessary to teach with reference to ministerial duties in other countries, are not necessary to be taught in Ireland?"—"I think so, certainly; I am decidedly of that opinion. I think that the people of Ireland are as moral a people as may be found in any part of the world.Yes, but an hon. Gentleman behind me, the Member for Liverpool (Mr. Horsfall), whose sincerity I respect, and who, whatever the strength of his prejudice, deals with this question with the manner of a gentleman—he points to Catholic Ireland, and attributes the amount of serious crime to the teaching of Maynooth, or the prevalence of the Catholic religion. I deny the existence of heavier crime, or a greater amount of crime, in Ireland, as compared with England or Scotland. I believe that the moral condition of the peasantry of Ireland is not inferior, but the contrary, to that of the peasantry of any other portion of the United Kingdom. But no! I shall not say superior, for, while vindicating my own country and my own faith, God forbid that I should asperse the people or the religion of England or of Scotland. When gentlemen speak of crime in Ireland, they should consider the nature of that crime, 252 and the causes that led to its commission; they should regard the social condition of Ireland, the misery that oppressed its people, the terrible privations they suffered and endured, the fearful calamities they underwent; and when they did this, let them then say if the same causes were in operation in any other part of the United Kingdom, whether a far greater amount of crime would not be exhibited, and a far lower state of morality be found to exist, than was exhibited or did exist in Ireland under the pressure of her terrible sufferings? I call on hon. Gentlemen, then, when dealing with Ireland, rather to attribute whatever crime has been proved to exist to its manifest and patent cause, the social condition of that country, than to search for it, where it is not to be found, as I have proved, in the tenets of a Christian church, or the teaching of its ministers. The hon. Member for Hertford, amongst his other charges against Maynooth, asserts that it has failed in producing a "domestic priesthood." I am not quite clear as to his meaning. If he mean to say that the Catholic priesthood are not obedient to the laws of the country, and solicitous for the moral and intellectual progress of the people, I think that is easily disproved, if I have not already disproved it; and if he mean that the priests educated in Maynooth do not remain in the country, but go on foreign missions, he is utterly wrong, as I shall show. I turn to the Catholic Directory for 1853, and the evidence of Dr. Renehan, the President of the College of Maynooth; and what do I find?—that while but two archbishops and four bishops of the Irish hierarchy were not educated in Maynooth, there were two archbishops and twenty-one bishops educated in that college; and that 1,222, or more than half of the parochial clergy, received their education within its walls. I find that it furnishes for the Irish mission about sixty priests annually, and that the proportion of priests thus furnished by Maynooth is becoming every year larger than the number supplied by all the other colleges at home and abroad. Then as to their going abroad, to the United States and to the Colonies, or to missions out of Ireland, what is the real fact?—not more than one, in three or four years, of those who had completed their education in Maynooth leave Ireland to perform clerical functions in any other country; nor annually more than two or three of those who have received there any portion of 253 their education; and that out of all the priests officiating in England, Wales, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, there are but twenty-four who have been educated in Maynooth. Before I come to another assertion of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Hertford—namely, that the experiment for an increased grant has been fully tried, and has failed—I must say a word about the class-books, which, it is said, demonstrate beyond doubt the character of the teaching, and the nature of the doctrines taught. I could quote several passages from the oral and written testimony of the witnesses on this point, but I shall content myself with two extracts, one from the evidence of Dr. Crolly, and the other from the evidence of Dr. Russell, which, to my mind, place this matter beyond dispute. Dr. Crolly says—I do not form my opinions from the class-books, because I consider that when I lecture upon a subject, it is my duty to ascertain, not what a man teaches, but what is true and what is false. I lecture according to what I believe, without reference to the peculiar opinions of the class-book in question.Dr. Russell says—The public do not understand the degree of freedom which, in the schools of Catholic theology, we enjoy in relation to the works which we employ as our text-books. We do not consider ourselves bound to hold—except in those matters which are of faith, or closely connected therewith—the doctrine laid down in a text-book. On the contrary, in many cases, I have known the professor's lecture to consist in disproving the doctrine which is laid down in the text-book.It was said that the experiment of an increased grant had been fully tried, and had failed. I assert it has not been fully tried, and has had no fair opportunity of being fully tried, but that in so far as it has been tried it has been successful; and this I undertake to prove. In order to have the experiment fully tested, the plan contemplated in 1845 by Sir Robert Peel should be fully carried out, which it is far from having been, not owing to the fault of the college, but of the hon. Member for North Warwickshire and his friends, who prevailed on this House, against the judgment of every dispassionate man, to withdraw from it those resources necessary to complete the original design. It was said that the priest was worse educated in Maynooth now than before the increased grant. That is entity untrue; but this much is true, and its cause is a complete answer to those who oppose the endowment on the voluntary principle—that until a very short 254 time since the standard of entrance examination had been lowered, or not insisted upon; and this in consequence of the want of a proper system of preparatory training, which is owing to the imperfect state, rather the general want, of diocesan seminaries, the result of the impoverished condition of the country. The advocates of the voluntary principle ask us Roman Catholics to abandon the annual grant to Maynooth, and the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Warwickshire would tear it from the college; but supposing us willing to abandon the grant, we are not in a position to do so; for not only is the country not in a position to maintain this institution, but it is, and will be for some time, unequal to the support of those diocesan seminaries which are essential to the proper training of those who intend to enter it. Then Lord Ffrench, a high authority on all matters connected with Maynooth, suggests as a means of improving the system of preparatory training, that four provincial seminaries, or one national seminary, should be established, supported, says his Lordship, as Maynooth is, by a Parliamentary grant. The Most Rev. Dr. Dixon considers the question of how the condition of those schools is to be improved, a very difficult one, and hopes that, with the return of prosperity to the country, this matter may not be overlooked. Then Dr. M'Nally states that he has lately established a seminary in Monaghan, but that, from want of funds, the diocese is, as yet, deprived of the advantage of it. And I am personally aware of the fact, that Dr. Murphy, the Catholic Bishop of Cloyne, has, with his accustomed zeal in the cause of education, declared his intention of at once commencing such a seminary in his diocese; but he has first to procure funds to erect the buildings, and then to raise a much larger sum for its endowment. So that, from these simple facts, hon. Gentlemen will see how utterly impossible it is that Ireland, Catholic Ireland, can take upon herself the support of an institution such as Maynooth, whatever may be her admiration of the voluntary principle. Let me remind the House of the fact, which seems to be forgotten by many, that Ireland has been passing through a great social revolution, which has brought 15,000,000l., worth of property not alone to the hammer of the Court in Henrietta Street, but into the hands of a new race of proprietors; let me remind Protestant Gentlemen from Ire- 255 land that many an illustrious name has passed away for ever from the list of the Irish aristocracy—that many a lordly hall has been deserted—nay, that many a noble mansion, once the ancestral home of a princely race, has been converted into an auxiliary workhouse—and that, worse than all, more than two millions of a people to whom God had given that land as their inheritance, have been swept from its bosom, by famine, and plague, and exile. And is that a country, I ask, that is to be treated in the same way, and dealt with in the same spirit, as a great country like England, unrivalled in its commerce, unsurpassed in its manufacturing industry, triumphant in its wealth, its progress, and in its power? Is it a country in which the voluntary system can be carried out to that full and complete extent which will alone satisfy the hon. Member for Sheffield, and the conscientious advocates of that principle? Now, in order to show the House that, instead of withdrawing the grant, it ought to give an additional grant for the purpose of carrying into execution the design of Sir Robert Peel, and the plan of the Board of Works, I think it absolutely necessary to quote two passages from the evidence of the President and the Vice President, as to the real state of the buildings when the evidence was given. Dr. Renehan says—The old infirmary, chapel and examination hall, too small for their purposes before 1845, are utterly unable to accommodate the now largely augmented numbers; and the Commissioners of Public Works felt necessitated, by the insufficiency of funds at their disposal, to cancel the provision for a new chapel, aula maxima, and infirmary designed in the architect's plan for the new buildings. The infirmary, built for a boys' school in 1798, has seven rooms, averaging fourteen feet long by sixteen and a half feet wide, and eight and a half feet high; the whole space from which infirmary accommodation, particularly a sitting and dining room for convalescents, and sleeping rooms for bedridden and other patients, even in cases of fever or epidemic diseases, have to be provided. The old house is not only too small, and badly furnished, and uncomfortable; it is also now sinking fast into decay, ill-situated, exceedingly gloomy, dark, damp, and un whole some. The chapel is so inadequate for its purposes, that, though at present about 170 students are withdrawn from it to attend mass and prayers in another hall less than fifteen feet high, it is not sufficiently large for the remaining number of the students. The apartments for the junior students are not sufficiently numerous to afford in every case a separate room for each. The new library is not furnished to any extent, not even with a shelf, a seat, or any other requisite whatever; and of course remains for the present useless.256 The description given by Dr. Whitehead is still more gloomy—Some parts of the new buildings are so damp that they cannot be safely inhabited. Amongst these are the otherwise fine apartments of the Vice-President, through which the rain water has been flowing for the last two winters, so as to drip through the flooring on the hall beneath. The wood-work is in some places beginning to exhibit symptoms of decay; the plaster has repeatedly fallen from the walls, and is at present bulged and cracked to such a degree, that it must again become detached. In many of the students' rooms, the windows admit the air and wet almost as freely as the light; the doors are thin, flimsy, and badly put together; there are no window shutters, no fires, no means of drying up the damp when it enters; the moisture therefore settles on the students' beds and clothes to a grievous extent. I have seen articles of dress which were out of use only a few days, coloured with blue mould, and with a moist whitish fur. Unless something be done to staunch and dry these new buildings, there must be a fearful increase of cases of consumption, and of premature death in our community. Whilst I am writing these lines, there lies in the infirmary of the senior department of the College a student ill beyond the hope of recovery, whose malady originated in his being lodged, during the last academical year, in a damp room in the western wing of the new buildings. His case, I consider, a solemn warning that the dirge will be often heard iu our new cloister.In a few days after those words were written, that student was numbered with the dead. Who, after such statements as these, will venture to say that the experiment has been fully and fairly tried? Still, so far as it has had an opportunity of being tried, it has been successful. The students are no longer obliged, as they were, to make their beds, to sweep out their rooms, and to clean their shoes—menial offices which, however much they conduce to a spirit of mortification and humility, have yet a certain debasing effect on the mind and feelings. These offices are now performed by servants, and the effect of the change is distinctly perceptible in the manner, tone, and bearing of the students. The Commissioners say—This change has had an important share in producing the improvement which is generally stated to have taken place in their condition, dress, and bearing. The increase of funds, also, at their private disposal, arising as well from the additional number of free places, as from the annual stipend of 20l. to the senior students, has, without doubt, contributed to this result, especially by enabling them to form small, but useful, collections of books.The Commissioners thus sensibly refer to the still imperfect nature of the trial which has been afforded to the operation of the new system— 257In attempting, however, to estimate the results of the increased grant, two things are to be borne in mind—first, that a period scarcely exceeding the term of the college course has elapsed since the date of the grant, and that, consequently, so far as regards its effect on the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland, and through them on the population of the country, sufficient time has not elapsed to furnish materials for a correct judgment; and, again, that Ireland has passed through a period of extreme distress since the augmentation of the grant, and that its effects should be estimated by a comparison not merely with the actual previous condition of the college, but with its probable condition if no such assistance had been given.But the most important results of the inquiry are described in a very few words of the Report. First, as to the teaching in Divinity classes upon questions in which the interests of the State and general morality are concerned, the Commissioners say—We should, however, be doing injustice to the college if we failed to report, as the general result of the whole evidence before us, that we see no reason to believe that there has been any disloyalty in the teaching of the college, or any disposition to impair the obligation of an unreserved allegiance to Your Majesty.Second, as to the instructions for the Confessional—We are bound to say that we have no reason to believe, from the evidence of any party, that those studies have had, practically, an injurious effect upon the mind and character of the students.Third, as to the results of the discipline of the College—We have heard no imputation from any quarter against the moral character of the young men, and we have no reason to believe that their general character is other than irreproachable.And yet it is after such a complete and perfect vindication of the College of Maynooth that Parliament is called upon to with hold that assistance to which the people of Ireland have a clear and indisputable right. If the hon. Member will move that all endowments be done away with in Ireland, the Established Church, as well as the Regium Donum, and the grant of Maynooth, I shall be only too happy to second him, and I venture to say so will all the Catholic Members of this House. And should he succeed, that day would be a blissful one for Ireland; for the ministers of religion of all persuasions would then be animated by no feeling of jealousy or ill-will, but by a noble rivalry 258 and a holy emulation in the great work of elevating and improving their flocks. Let me now give the House a description of what the Maynooth priest really is. If there be any clergy in the world more eminently suited than all others to their vocation, and better adapted to the scene of their missionary labours, it is the clergy educated in Maynooth. I admit that they are not a dandified clergy, that they are not ambitious and pretentious scholars, such as delight to shine at literary or scientific conversazioni, though many of them are profound scholars, and most of them are sound thinkers, clear reasoners, and thoroughly grounded in that professional knowledge which belongs to their sacred calling. They are more than that—they are bold and courageous in the performance of their duties. See the Irish priest tested in the hour of national trial, when the plague-breath sweeps over the land, and men and women and children wither beneath its baleful influence—see him rushing into the midst of contagion, and drinking in the fœtid breath of his dying fellow-creature, while administering to him the last consolations of religion. Nay, regard him in the ordinary circumstances of his laborious mission. He is the curate of a country parish, not like a parish in the middle of a city, where the whole population is, as it were, within the reach and under the eye of the pastor, but one ten, twelve, or even fifteen miles in extent, as many rural parishes in Ireland are. He has been occupied all day in going from village to village, from hamlet to hamlet, from house to house, visiting, catechising, instructing; and he retires to bed, wearied, jaded, but still cheerful. It is possible that his heavy slumber may be undisturbed, and that he may rise in the morning invigorated for a renewal of his missionary labours; but it is quite as possible that he may be roused up by the frantic appeal of a distracted father, husband, wife, or child, on the part of a sick or dying relative. Does the priest hesitate for a moment to respond to that passionate appeal? Not he; he rises cheerfully from the comfort of his warm though humble couch, hurries on his clothes, and on horseback, but more probably on foot, proceeds to the scene of his duty, over bog and valley and mountain, in winter as in summer, whether in rain, and snow, and storm, any distance, and at any hour of the night. In fact, no soldier obeys with more alacrity the commands of his officer, than does the Catholic priest 259 the obligations of his duty and the dictates of his conscience. The Catholic priesthood of Ireland, instead of being, as they are falsely accused of being, the foes of learning and the enemies of human enlightenment, are par excellence the friends of education; their most anxious desire is to enlighten the minds and purify the hearts, and thus elevate the tone as well as the condition, of the poor. Let the mover of this Motion ask Lord Derby, the late or the present Premier, the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland, or any one possessing a knowledge of the country, who were the patrons of the national system of education, and the answer must be that it was the Catholic clergy. They were its patrons and supporters, and without their aid and assistance the whole system would collapse into ruin, no doubt to the grievous injury of the country. Its chief opponents were and are the Protestant clergy, whose motives I shall not say are otherwise than conscientious and creditable. I myself know many Catholic clergymen who have beggared themselves, who are involved in almost inextricable embarrassments, in consequence of their efforts to establish national schools, in some cases as many as four or five schools, in their parishes. To say, then, that those men were the friends of darkness and ignorance, is the foulest slander that bigotry has ever concocted. Catholic Gentlemen in this House have been specially exempted from the slanderous aspersions cast upon their priests and their religion; but, in the name of the Catholic Gentlemen here assembled, I fling back with contempt those hollow compliments which are paid us at the expense of our priesthood, and to the dishonour of our religion. I will tell the hon. Member for North Warwickshire what I saw in the pages of The Times of yesterday, and how it exemplifies on the one hand the valour, and loyalty, and sufferings of Irish Catholics, and on the other the hypocrisy and dishonesty of their traducers. In one portion there was a list, a long list, of the killed and wounded before Sebastopol from the 4th to the 10th of June. I read over that list of nearly three columns in length, and I venture to assert that more than half, certainly not less than half, were Irish Catholic soldiers—"idolaters" as they have been insolently termed, even in this House—who had been instructed in their youth from Catholic altars, and had learned from the Catholic priest, the May- 260 nooth priest, or from a Catholic mother, that catechism which, while it rendered them more moral, did not render them less brave and heroic. I ask the revilers of the Irish Catholic, did the Russians feel less keenly in the rush of battle the bayonet of the Irish "idolater" than the bayonet of the English Protestant or the Scotch Presbyterian?—and in the hour of the deadly assault, was the "idolater" Pelissier less heroic, less terrible to the enemy than the orthodox Raglan? But look to the other part of that Times, and behold the downfall of humbug, in the person of one who brought sorrow and desolation to many a home, who beggared the widow and the orphan, but who masked his hypocrisy and rottenness by a pious horror of popery, and a punctual attendance in Exeter Hall, whenever the iniquities of Maynooth were to be exposed, or a saintly chairman was required. What a splendid commentary on a barefaced imposture is the downfall of this modern St. Paul! It is a warning to the world not to trust ambitious lawyers or saintly bankers, when they make a stock-in-trade of no-popery. I oppose this Motion because it is based on falsehood, and that its acceptance would be a virtual admission that the charges against Maynooth are based in truth; I also oppose it because if we yield now we must yield again to-morrow. It is now Maynooth, it may be the next day the Emancipation Act, and the next the toleration of the Catholic religion, nay, even the existence of a Catholic people. We do not say that you may not succeed eventually in your present unworthy object, but we will resist you, from the very threshold, while we have voices to speak, or energies to counteract your efforts. You may imagine that if you succeed in taking this endowment from Maynooth, your triumph is therefore certain. There you are mistaken. The Catholics of Ireland have endured worse than the withdrawal of a grant to a college. There were times when the altar was overturned, and the priest was hunted, and the hoof of the troop-horse trampled in the blood of the slain—when the Catholic was driven out to the fastness of the mountain by sword and flame—and yet, in spite of all they have suffered, all that human malignity invented for their destruction, they are still a nation. Yes—withdraw this grant, insult and calumniate those who are rushing to the standard of their Sovereign; revile the faith of those gallant men who meet death in a thousand shapes in de- 261 fence of your flag, and in maintaining the honour of this empire—do so, and what will be the result?—one which you may not anticipate, but which must inevitably follow. Tear this grant from Maynooth, and the Regium Donum from the Dissenters, and from the day you do so, will a fierce and terrible agitation spring up in the country; the spirit of liberty will rise against an oppression which is now sullenly endured; and over the shattered walls of the Established Church of Ireland will wave in triumph the victorious banner of the voluntary principle.
§ CAPTAIN STUART
said, that the hon. and learned Gentleman had forgotten to tell the House that the measure as originally passed was but an enabling Act, and that the institution of Maynooth had been altogether diverted from its original purposes. He willingly admitted the loyalty and bravery of the Irish people, but that was not the question they were called upon to consider. The endowment of Maynooth was gradually increased since it was first established in 1796. They were referred to the Report of the Commissioners in order to ascertain the real facts of the case. Now in the first place he denied that the evidence was given in a fair way, or that the witnesses were examined fairly by the Commissioners, who were too ready to receive any answer they could get, and in most cases the defendants were themselves only examined in chief, and were not subjected to the slightest cross-examination. He wished to know how it was that the College of Maynooth, which had been founded for Ireland alone, was able to send out priests elsewhere and to act as a propaganda; for it was a propaganda, and nothing less. It supplied priests to our colonies, and had sent out bishops to India, to the West Indies, and to Australia. It was said that the Pope had no influence over the College of Maynooth; but he could not credit that statement when he found that books which were prohibited in Rome were immediately prohibited at Maynooth, although allowed at other Catholic seminaries, and that the Pope's behests were faithfully carried out in that institution. He could not admit that this grant of 30,000l. a year was required for the education of the people of Ireland. He had no desire to prevent the Irish from being educated in their own religion; but the fact was that at this moment the whole of the national schools of Ireland were in the hands of the priests 262 alone, while Protestants contributed to them with their purses. He thought that the Protestant Members of that House I were bound to use all their efforts to repeal a grant for the support of a religion which they conscientiously believed to be erroneous and wicked. They could not shut their eyes to the exertions made by the Roman Catholics to disseminate their re-legion in the United Kingdom. Why, it was even said that they had obtained permission of the Government to celebrate mass in Brixton prison. An attempt, too, had been made to deprive the Protestants in the Dublin workhouse of the use of their own religious books, on the ground that they were of a controversial character and might offend the feelings of the Roman Catholic inmates. Under all these circumstances—looking to the character of the Roman Catholic Church, and the power claimed and exercised by its supreme head, the Pope—he was of opinion that this grant should be put an end to at once and for ever. And he was certain that if that object were attained there would be much less sectarian bitterness felt by the Members of that House, and a greater spirit of charity manifested towards each other.
§ MR. STANHOPE
said, that the hon. and learned Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire) had complained of the want of a library and of an infirmary, and of the dilapidated state of the college generally. Now, he (Mr. Stanhope) did not think that that description of the institution was very encouraging to them to continue this grant, for some five years ago there were 30,000l. given for new buildings; and for some years Parliament gave the college about 1200l. per annum for the purpose of carrying on the repairs of the place, in addition of the grant of 30,000l. for the maintenance of the establishment. The Protestant Church was the national Church as far as Great Britain was concerned, although he admitted that the great majority of the inhabitants of Ireland did not coincide in her teaching nor follow her tenets. He thought that there were two ways in which the Government ought to treat religion in Ireland. The one was by simple toleration; the other was by grants of money towards the support of all religions. As to the first, he thought that every Church and every sect was entitled to complete toleration; and the State had no particular claims upon the clergy of any religion, except obedience to the laws. 263 But when a religion received assistance from the Crown, then he thought the State entered into a compact with that religion, and it was entitled to see that the money so given to it should be devoted entirely to religious purposes. The State was bound to repel any aggressive spirit, or any efforts made for the attainment of temporal power which was calculated to produce effects detrimental to the community at large. Upon that ground, as well as many others, he objected to the continuance of the grant to Maynooth. He could not shut his eyes to the fact of the powerful influence exercised by the Roman Catholic priests of Ireland at all elections, and that they were known to speak rather violently in their chapels upon political subjects. He would of course admit that at the time of a contested election the blood ran rather high, and that many persons then said and did what they would be sorry to do at any other time. He would likewise admit that in Ireland the blood might be a little hotter than here, and that some allowance should, therefore, be made on that score; but when the Roman Catholic priest interfered he actually made use of his religion as a menace and a threat in order to compel his flock to give their votes in a particular manner. The interference of the Roman Catholic priests at elections in Ireland, for many years past, was now matter of history, and on looking into the Report which had been presented by command of Her Majesty, and reading the evidence of Dr. O'Hanlon, the prefect of the Dunboyne institution, a gentleman who he (Mr. Stanhope) supposed was no longer young, and who had formerly been a divinity lecturer and teacher of religion at that institution, the House would see the opinion which that Gentleman entertained with regard to what was the duty of a priest in controlling or directing the political opinions of his flock. Dr. O'Hanlon said that when there was no ground for questioning the fitness of a candidate it was a spiritual duty of the priest to announce to his flock that they were strictly bound to vote for that candidate; and that as often as the priest was convinced and morally certain that the electors were bound to vote for this or that particular candidate, so often he was not only warranted, but bound, to interfere in the matter. He was further asked whether a priest would be warranted in withholding any sacrament of the Church from a man by reason of his preferring one can- 264 didate to another; and in reply to the question he said, that, absolutely speaking, the priest would be warranted in withholding any sacrament, because he was not only warranted, but bound, to withhold the sacraments from a man who was disposed to commit a mortal sin, and as a case might arise in which a man, by preferring one candidate to another, would be placed in that position, the priest was bound to do so. Subsequently he stated, that when the priest was morally certain that one candidate was superior to another he was not only permitted but enjoined to withhold the sacraments of his Church from a person who happened to vote in opposition to the superior candidate. Well, for the present period, in the middle of the nineteenth century, that was, it must be confessed, rather despotic language for a clergyman to hold in that free country. During the short space of time that he (Mr. Stanhope) had had the honour of a seat in that House, he had listened to a vast amount of eloquence and protestations upon the subject of purity of election and freedom of opinion. Only last year Parliament passed a Bill of pains and penalties, which treated the Members of the House of Commons as if they could not be trusted, and the object of the measure was to secure purity of election. For many years, too, the House had had to consider an annual Motion for the Vote by Ballot, with the same object in view. Yet at this; very moment they were not only permitting, but positively encouraging by an annual grant of public money, a system of religion in Ireland, the priests of which felt themselves warranted and bound to employ their sacerdotal power in forcing, their flocks to vote as they might think; proper to direct them. [An Hon. MEMBER: Why don't you adopt the ballot?] The ballot would be useless in such a case, whatever might be its effects in any other. In a Roman Catholic country it must be useless for this reason, that it would have to meet with a secret engine far more potent than itself—he meant the confessional. If, then, the House was honest in its desire to promote freedom of election, let it not encourage by an annual grant of public money a religion the priests of which employed their power in that way. For his part, he could not consent to go on any longer giving encouragement to a system which he believed to be based upon vicious principles, and injurious in practice to the institutions of 265 the country; and, in taking that course, he must disclaim altogether being actuated by any bigoted feelings against the Roman Catholic religion, or by any feelings of hostility to the Irish people. He bad no wish to question their loyalty—he was glad to see them fighting in the same cause as ourselves. He opposed the grant simply and solely because their religion was employed as an engine to obtain temporal power, and re-assert that supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church, which was once predominant in that country, and which would, if we were not true to ourselves, be so again.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
said, he felt that his task was, indeed, an easy one, as, after the admirable speeches which had been delivered by his right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General for Ireland, and his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dungarvan (Mr. Maguire) he was relieved of almost all the labour and much of the anxiety of addressing the House upon a question of such great interest and such grave importance. However much he must regret the discussion in that House of matters calculated to engender sectarian and personal feelings, he yet could not altogether consider such a discussion as an unmixed evil, giving, as it did, to Irish Roman Catholic Gentlemen an opportunity of repudiating doctrines most erroneously attributed to them, and of explaining, as far as social order and general morality were concerned, their views. He was not prepared to regard this question as a controversial one, but should rather refer to the circumstances under which the grant was introduced by the late Sir Robert Peel, and apply his attention to any particular circumstances which might have since arisen to warrant the repeal of a grant long and carefully considered by the Legislature. The case now presented to the House was not to be considered as holding a similar position to that brought forward on its first inception; they were now only, in his opinion, to regard whether such a state of facts had arisen as to warrant the withdrawal of the grant; and, applying himself to this state of things, he would, in the first place, submit it to be his opinion that he was no more called upon to enter into the controversial part of the question, whether as regarded great mysteries, or other salient points of belief, than would the many individuals, composing what in courtesy is denominated the united Churches of Eng- 266 land and Ireland, be required to reconcile their oftentimes conflicting notions upon the various dogmas contained in the Thirty-nine Articles. In his opinion, the question for the consideration of the House was contained in two propositions. First—Is the teaching disloyal and contrary to our constitution? Secondly—Is it in unison with, or calculated to be subversive of, the immutable laws of general ethical morality? [In reference to the first proposition the hon. Member went at some length into the evidence. He stated the book of "Delahogue" to be the class-book upon the subject, and quoted him as affirming that the Pope had neither directly nor indirectly any temporal power; he mentioned that by the evidence of one of the Professors (he thought Mr. Furlong) the duty of allegiance was stated to be an axiom in the sense of duty to parents; and in support of this position he read extracts from the evidence of Drs. Murray, O'Hanlon, Furlong, &c., as likewise from the evidence of the Rev. Mr. Butler, now a Protestant clergyman; and remarked that their evidence was strongly supported by as many of the students as were examined by the Commission.] The opinions of Cardinal Bellarmine, since adopted by Dr. Brownson in America, were totally ignored in Maynooth; and the Rev. Mr. Hackett, stated that there was only one student in Maynooth who read Brownson's work; and the Vice President had stated, in his evidence, that if he saw the book in a student's room he would take it away. But coming now to the second branch of the inquiry he wished to see whether the faith of Catholics is consistent with ordinary moral ties, and with the existence of social obligations. The Professor naturally to be first referred to upon such a subject is the Rev. Mr. Jennings, the Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, and he starts upon the great principle that liberty is the indispensable basis of morality, and that morality consists in the conformity or non-conformity of actions to the immutable law of God; and, answering a calumny too long propagated in reference to our ethical opinions, he states that no end could justify the employment of wicked means, giving as an illustration the statement of eminent Catholic theologians, that a lie would not be lawful, even had it for its object the salvation of all the souls at present or hereafter to be damned; and that the Pope, neither by Bull or otherwise, possessed the power to 267 abrogate the sanctity of an oath. But it is said that, so far from the Holy Scriptures being treated with deference, and acted upon as the great repository of Christian faith, a total disregard and aversion is entertained for them, and their existence is well nigh ignored at Maynooth. Let us see how the case stands. On referring to the evidence of the Rev. Mr. Gillic, the Professor of Scripture, he found that the junior students were compelled to attend lectures on the sacred volume twice a week. In this evidence the Rev. Mr. Neville concurs. The Rev. Mr. Murray recommends to his own class to follow what had been his own practice, namely, to read two or three chapters daily. The Rev. Mr. O'Hanlon, too, informs us that the Dunboyne students must have (prior to their entry into that establishment) read a course of Scripture, extending over three years. He likewise denied that this permission to search the sacred volume was only extended to the clergy, and that there existed any possible repugnance to allow the laity to read the Bible. He mentioned to the House that some weeks since there was a Friend of his staying in the same house with him, who had very lately returned from the Crimea. That officer (for he was in the army) bad brought home with him a copy of the Douay version of the Bible, which he (Mr. O'Brien) believed had been procured from a Catholic clergyman, either at Devno or at Scutari. In turning over the title page he observed, what no doubt may excite the wonder of some hon. Gentlemen, namely, a letter from Pope Pius VI. to the ecclesiastic who had translated the Bible, extending to him the Apostolic benediction, and thanking him in the warmest terms for having afforded to the Italian people by his translation an opportunity of having corrected the dangerous effects then about being produced by the circulation of works amongst them, which were calculated to destroy morality. He appealed to every Catholic Gentleman who heard him whether his earliest recollections were not of Scripture history; whether Noah and his Ark, David and Goliath, Joseph and his brethren, and, in the New Testament, the repentance of Magdalene, the widow's mite, and the story of the publican were not amongst the very earliest reminiscences they could retrace in their memories. "Yes," as has been well said, "we have a Bible to read and a Church to teach it." But with regard to the argument founded 268 on concientious objection he could not see how that could be sustained when he recollected that even now Malta, Gibraltar, the Mauritius, and, until the passing of the Clergy Reserves Bill, Canada, receive State endowment. He must confess that the more he listened to statements dogmatically put forward by hon. Members in reference to his creed, the more was he convinced of the truth of the apophthegms of Diderot—"That the more we know, the more we know our own ignorance." He was surprised to find persons, boasting of their believing in the right of private judgment, coming forward and opposing a grant of this character, purely designed for educational purposes; for his own part, he preferred taking as a definition of toleration one that he found in the Blue-book in his hand, from the pen of a most distinguished and pious bishop, the great Fenelon. What did he say, in writing to the son of the Pretender?—Above all things never force your subjects to change their religion. No human power can force the impenetrable entrenchments of the heart. Force can never persuade men—it can only make them hypocrites! When kings meddle with religion, instead of protecting it, they only reduce it to servitude. Grant civil toleration to all, not by approving of all as equally good, but by suffering with patience all that God suffers, and by endeavouring to reclaim men by sweet persuasion.Such were the opinions of a Catholic Bishop—opinions in which he, and, he might say, his brother Catholic Members, perfectly coincided. Now, in reference to the question of policy, and the unhappy occasion upon which the motion was brought forward, he thought that the Attorney General for Ireland had, by his speech, relieved him from any necessity of alluding to the subject, but he would merely mention the state of feeling, as mentioned by Gibbon, in his account of the siege of Constantinople by Mahomet the Second, as affording a parallel to the conduct of the supporters of this motion, engaged as we are in a most exciting war. "What occasion," say they, "have we for succour, for union, or Latins; far from us be the worship of the Azymites." And the first Minister of the empire (here the parallel as regards the hon. Member for North Warwickshire ceases) was heard to declare that "he had rather behold in Constantinople the turban of Mahomet than the Pope's tiara or a cardinal's hat." But regarding this question in a monetary point of view, they could at best, as has been well said in former debates, regard it 269 as a meagre restitution, looking to the quantity of Church property which has been confiscated. A distinguished Gentleman, formerly a Member of that House (Mr. Ward) estimated this miserable grant but as two per cent upon the former confiscation. He would not wait to answer the falsehoods which are daily circulated amongst the uninstructed classes throughout the country, both in reference to his belief and to the alleged conduct of the clergy of Maynooth, foiled as they had been in their attacks on the institution by the clear evidence presented to the country through the pages of the Blue-books. The parties interested in thus reviling his religion had spread the most unfounded statements in reference to their doctrines. Men who had never read any book of Liguori, of Loyola, of Bellarmine, or of Suarez, yet did not hesitate to attribute to them the most outrageous doctrines; and those holy men who exceeded, if possible, by still more holy ladies, whose ignorance, only equalled by their enthusiasm, led them to search in the fire of fanaticism for the light of the Gospel. For his own part, the senseless outcry at present raised in England against Catholicity generally, and Maynooth in particular, seemed to be well illustrated in the well-known lines in the "Rejected Addresses:"—Who makes the quartern loaf and Luddites rise?Who fills the butcher's cart with large blue flies?Who thought in flames St. James's Court to pinch?Who burnt the wardrobe of poor Lady Finch?But he had observed yesterday in a morning journal (The Morning Herald) an article which he would wish shortly to allude to, in which the writer would have his readers infer that social and industrial progress were inconsistent with the profession of the Catholic religion; and the great tide of emigration was created by a desire to escape misery and Catholicity, in order to fly to Protestantism and plenty. But on a moment's reflection how did the matter stand? Why, from Catholic France there was scarcely any emigration. From Belgium he might almost say the same. And in a book written by a very observant writer, and at the same time a staunch Presbyterian—he meant Mr. Laing—he found the following startling statement:—The population of Prussia, like that of Britain, is mixed—Protestant and Catholic—in the proportion of about five Catholics to eight Protestants. There are 8,604,708 Protestants, and 270 5,294,003 Catholics; the proportion of Catholics is larger than in the United Kingdom.In the provinces of the Rhine the people are Roman Catholics; and in manufactures, trade, capital, and industry, are very far in advance of any other portion or people of the Prussian do minions.There was one other topic to which he would allude before he closed his observations, and that was in reference to the imputation of their holding the doctrine of exclusive salvation. He (Mr. O'Brien) felt assured that hon. Members, on reading the evidence upon that subject, would admit that their doctrine in that respect was much more liberal than that of many Protestant sectaries. The Rev. Dr. Crolly, quoting in his support the opinions of many learned and pious doctors of the Church, divided heresy into formal and objective, and stated that, regarding this distinction, many Members of heretical societies were not guilty of the sin of heresy? He thought that, after such statements, no one would venture to affirm that they, the Catholics, were not infinitely less exclusive in their doctrines than those persons who, holding the extreme opinions of Calvin upon justification, ventured to assert that there were souls whom an All-benevolent Creator had created to be damned. Alluding to those Calvinistic opinions induced him to address himself more especially to the Scotch Members, who, forgetful of all that they owed to Liberal Catholic Members in their political and social struggles, were in that House, as elsewhere, the most determined opponents of Catholic rights; they, a people who prided themselves on their educational advantages, ought not to forget how far they were indebted to the Catholics in past times. It was but the day before that he took up a book, in which was contained a copy of the inaugural address delivered by a distinguished Member of that House (Mr. Macaulay), on being elected Lord Rector of Glasgow, in which, with a candour that did him honour, he alludes to the foundation of that University, by, as he well described him, "the greatest of the restorers of learning, Pope Nicholas V.;" a man "who gave his sanction to the plan of establishing a University at Glasgow, and bestowed on the new seat of learning all the privileges which belonged to the University of Bologna." What Nicholas the Fifth did for Glasgow, Wolsey did for Oxford, and the history of those islands, as well as of Europe, abounds in instances of the exertions 271 made by Catholics in the advancement of literature, and the promotion of science. He laughed at the idea of Catholicity being put down by measures of this character—every form of opinion instead of being suppressed rather gained elasticity from attack, and the more they were opposed the more were strengthened the religious convictions of men. That House might by withdrawing the grant, reduce the social status of the Irish priest; but whether well clothed or ill-clothed, highly educated or not, the Irish peasant would still anxiously claim, and as readily receive at his hands, kind solace in his social trials and the blessing of religious consolation in his spiritual necessities.
§ Debate further adjourned till To-morrow.
§ House adjourned at two minutes before six o'clock.