HC Deb 03 March 1885 vol 294 cc1893-5

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, "Who is responsible for the discourtesy shown to His Eminence the late Cardinal M'Cabe, by the officials of Dublin Castle, in placing his name on the list of guests at the State entertainments after those of persons of inferior dignity, and will he state, in view of the visit of the Prince of Wales, whether dignitaries of the Disestablished Protestant religion take predecence in Ireland over Cardinals and Archbishops of the Catholic Church; and, whether any reparation was offered to the late Cardinal, or will be conveyed to the present Vicar Capitular of Dublin by His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers that Question, I should like to submit whether it is not a Question which should not be addressed to His Excellency, and not made the subject of explanation in this House?


No discourtesy whatever was intended to the late Cardinal M'Cabe, whose name appeared in a newspaper list which was not made out in the order of precedence. No new order of precedence has been issued since the disestablishment of the Irish Church; but it is intended shortly to issue an order on the subject, and it will answer the Question of the hon. Member.


Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is not the fact that the present Protestant Archbishop of Dublin is a new dignitary, and is not entitled to the precedence which he would have been entitled to before the Church Act? Archbishop Plunket is a new dignitary, and entitled to no precedence over the Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin.


I have not said anything to imply either that he has or has not. No doubt, the accession of the present Archbishop has altered the situation.


The Chief Secretary's answer implies that the discourtesy originated with some member of the Press. I have to ask him, was not the list published in the Dublin Freeman's Journal exactly as supplied by the Castle officials?


I did not imply for a moment that any mistake which was made was a mistake originating with any member of the Press. The names were not given, and did not profess to be given, in the order of precedence.


I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman, before the present holder of the Protestant See of Dublin can be restored to the original status in Ireland, will not a portion of the Irish Church Act have to be repealed?


Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the present Archbishop of Dublin is not a Peer of Parliament?


I cannot answer Questions without Notice affecting the new arrangement of precedence. I have already stated that a new list is about to be issued.


I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that a certain Secretary of State, Lord Chesterfield, writing to his son on this point, told him that Cardinals were Princes of the Church, had the rank of Princes, and should be recognized as such; and, whether Mr. Disraeli, when Leader of this House, speaking on the same subject, recognized the status of the Cardinals of the Church?

[No reply.]