HL Deb 06 December 1847 vol 95 cc674-5

presented a petition from the Master and Brethren of Sherburn Hospital, in the county of Durham, against the introduction and circulation in Ireland of the bull known as In Cœnâ Domini, the same being forbidden in many Roman Catholic countries of the Continent. The right rev. Prelate characterised the subject as one of extreme importance, and expressed a hope that its circulation might be suppressed.


said, beyond a doubt the right rev. Prelate, having had that petition entrusted to him, was perfectly justified in calling the attention of the House to it. He (Lord Beaumont) might explain, however, that ever since the adoption of the Reformed religion in England, some bull or document of that description had annually proceeded from the Propaganda of Rome. The Court of Rome annually denounced certain errors: they believed that this country, and that the Sovereign of this country, were in a state of error, and they therefore expressed their horror at the erroneous doctrines this country was supposed to have adopted; while they hoped that all good Catholics would pray for their conversion. That was the object of the bull: it was merely a form, which had been continued with the view of denouncing certain errors, just as their Lordships denounced the pretensions of the Pretender, and other errors. He certainly looked upon the form as an absurd and ridiculous one, and, like many other forms, he wished it was abolished. He believed, however, that all these proceedings resulted from the want of connexion between this country and the Court of Rome. We had our Ambassador at Constantinople, and our Minister at Persia. In every part of Europe and Asia we had the means of making known to the governing Powers the wishes and feelings of the English Government; but the bigotry of this country had refused to put itself into communication with a Power which it acknowledged just as much as it acknowledged the Duke of Tuscany or the Emperor of Austria. He hoped the time would come when those prejudices should be laid aside, and when this country should be fairly represented at the Papal Court; for he was sure every one was now convinced that, if fair representations were made to that Court of the state of things in this country, it would put an end to all existing anomalies; and the spirit of reform which was now manifesting itself in Italy, would extend beyond that country, and would improve the spirit of its foreign relations as well as of its internal administration. We then might expect to see it reform its tone and conduct towards members of religions differing from its own, and wipe out those many stains in its polity which did no good to the See of Rome, but which were fraught with mischief to many, inasmuch as they shocked the feelings of some, and misguided the ignorance of others.

Petition to lie on the table.

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