HC Deb 12 July 1877 vol 235 cc1174-5

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether, in view of the Resolution come to on the 6th instant by the Upper House of Convocation, in which, after hearing the written declaration of the general meeting of the Holy Cross Society, the House of Convocation resolved "that they held the Society of the Holy Cross responsible for the preparation and dissemination of the book called 'The Priest in Absolution,'" and that the Society in their declaration had neither repudiated nor effectually withdrawn from circulation the aforesaid work, and that the House expressed its strong condemnation of any doctrine or practice of confession which can be thought to render such a book as "'The Priest in Absolution' necessary or expedient," and that the Primate in his opening address is reported to have said that it "was a conspiracy in our body against the doctrine, the discipline, and practice of our Reformed Church," the Government are prepared to take such legal steps as may be necessary to ascertain the names of any clergymen of the Church of England who may be members of the Society of the Holy Cross, and to take further steps either of assisting the archbishops and bishops, or otherwise, so as effectually to prevent such clergymen from continuing to minister within the pale of the Church against the doctrines, discipline, and practice of which they are declared by the Primate to be in conspiracy; and, whether, in the event of the Law being at present insufficient to attain that end, they will be prepared to introduce a measure calculated effectually to put a stop to such practices next Session?


Sir, the only answer that I am able to give to the Question of my hon. Friend is that the Government have received no official communication on this subject, and that they do not feel them- selves to be in a position to initiate any proceeding with regard to it.


I beg to give Notice that unless proceedings are taken by the constituted authorities either of the other House of Parliament or of this House, I shall, at an early period next Session, bring this matter before the House in the manner in which I shall be best advised to do.