Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

by monks, nuns, friars, pious laymen, and priests, who are enjoined it by their bishops. From one town, of about 10,000 inhabitants, is collected about 1501. a-year; from another, much larger, about 8401. These sums are regularly forwarded to a committee in Dublin, embracing the principal ecclesiastics in the country: they correspond with a committee in Lyons, and the committee at Lyons with the central committee in Rome; and a letter a few months back was addressed to them by the Pope, thanking them for their efficient exertions, and entreating the continuance of them. Another object is to disseminate books, especially the missionary tracts of the Jesuits : a third, to procure masses and indulgences for the members: a fourth--perhaps the most important of all-to carry out an established principle of Jesuitism, and enroll a very large number within the outward pale of the society; holding them in solution, as it were, by some slight, and to common eyes imperceptible, link of affinity, and yet in a state ready to be precipitated into the inner body, and to cooperate with its movements, whenever this is required. The government of this body, there is reason to believe, is entirely under the hands of the Jesuits, and Dr. Kenny, here again, is the principal manager. Here, again, though rules are published for Irish eyes, the secret rules of the committee, which are those of the committee in Lyons, are not allowed to transpire ; and the secret link of Jesuitism is to be found in the promise of 200 days' indulgence each time that a member repeats "St. Francis Xavier pray for us, and in the solemn celebration of the feast of the same St. Francis, with high mass and other ceremonies, to commemorate the establishment of the society, and to stimulate its exertions.

The • Sodality of the Heart,' as has been abundantly proved, is another form of Jesuitism, established with the same object of attaching, unconsciously, to that Society, by some secret symbol, numbers who would never be drawn directly into its arms; and the zeal with which it is propagated through the houses of the Christian Brothers, and other monasteries, and even into schools, must satisfy any inquirer that it has a meaning and a purpose far deeper than meets the eye.

Here, then, if these facts are true-without alluding to the known connexion of the Jesuits with other monastic bodies in Ireland, both male and female-are distinct proofs of a secret, extensive, mysterious action of Jesuitism upon the Roman Catholic population of Ireland-operating at the present day, as it has operated from its first establishment, with a craft and artifice which almost baffles detection and eludes opposition. And—once more to return to those secret conspiracies for outrage, which 2 N 2

offer One fact, indeed, has recently come to our knowledge, of a parish-master of Ribbonism, who had no apparent means of support, being in the receipt of 301. a year from this fund.

offer such a perplexing problem to the observer of Irish affairs. Let it be remembered that, like Jesuitism, they have for their object the extirpation of the Protestant Church; like Jesuitism, they connect their religion with a democratical fanaticism; like Jesuitism, they involve in their trammels immense numbers, who are bound by a power which they cannot see, but dare not disobey like Jesuitism, they are held together by the abject surrender of the will to the commands of an invisible superior; like Jesuitism, they have secret signs, which no member will resist, and a variety of names to disguise the real membership with it; like Jesuitism, they terrify traitors to the cause, and punish them by outrage and assassination; like Jesuitism, they cease to regard as crime whatever contributes to the interest of the body; like Jesuitism, they

mploy all kinds of temporal weapons to secure temporal ends, under the pretence of a spiritual obligation; like Jesuitism, they have continued under various disguises, but exhibiting the same features, for years.—Sir Richard Musgrave's account of Defenderism, in his History of the Rebellion, is the same in all essential points as that of Ribbonism at this day.-Like Jesuitism, they are in the habit of raising large sums by subscriptions of a halfpenny and a penny a week, for which there is no obvious* necessity; as, when murders are to be perpetrated, the usual remuneration to the unhappy man who is summoned to perpetrate it is scarcely more than a supper-or, as Mr. Rowan states, fifteen shillings.f And, like Jesuitism, they stand in a most peculiar relation to the Romish priesthood, in which no other body ever stood before. Let this be remembered, and let the history of Jesuitism be studied, and we ask, is it irrational fanaticism to suggest that the Government, when inquiring into the precise nature and origin of the agrarian outrages of Ireland, should bethink themselves that there is in Ireland such a thing as Jesuitism? And that although it does not appear on the face of registers, it may act not the less powerfully from the mystery in which it is hidden ?

We must now, however, turn to another part of this painful subject,—the nature of that second branch of the organised force wielded by Popery in Ireland, which is reposed in the hands of the Parochial Priests, and in which a decided change, not without its significance and connexion with the preceding remarks, has taken place since the beginning of this century.

Our readers must forgive us if we are tedious; but the subject is too large to be treated briefly, even in a sketch.

f Report on Crime.

It is evident that Popery, being Christian, though a perversion of Catholic Christianity, and under the appearance of rigid inflexibility, leaving much of its practice to be modified by individual character, may assume not only a decent, and quiet, but even spiritual form, when the turbulent, avaricious, and ambitious spirit, by which it is too often possessed, is lulled for a time by circumstances. It does assume this form in the many great, and good, and holy men, who have lived within the Romish Communion, and especially in the parochial clergy of Roman Catholic countries, as, for instance, at some periods, in France ; and, as was stated before, there is reason to believe that towards the end of the last century this was, to a certain degree, the case in Ireland. Priests appear to have been men of education, gentlemanly habits and associations, loyal, orderly, and benevolent. Few obstacles were offered to attendance on Protestant schools; servants were permitted to attend family prayers; acts of courtesy and kindness, and even more, were exchanged between themselves and the clergy of the Church. The Protestants subscribed largely, in fact almost built for them their chapels; and the landlords and tenants appear not to have been hostilely separated, notwithstanding the mischievous system which prevailed of middlemen. There seems to have been even some disposition to modify the Papal part of the system, and to introduce something of the Gallican Liberties--the first step towards the cure of Popery. An illustration of this may be found in the history of the veto. · In 1791,' says Mr. Wyse,* the English Roman Catholics, anxious for immediate admission into the pale of the constitution, attempted to establish a church à la Utrecht, independent of the Roman see, but preserving the old dogmas; and adopted as their designation the significant name of Protestant Catholic Dissenters. These opinions were embodied in an oath, which they offered to take in lieu of the oath of supremacy.' Sir John Cox Hippisley seized these suggestions and matured them into the project of a veto; the plan was adopted by Mr. Pitt; and in 1799 the Romish bishops of Ireland were induced to acquiesce in it. They agreed that a provision from government for the clergy ought to be thankfully accepted;' and the proposal that the crown might be allowed such an interference with the appointment of bishops as might enable it to be satisfied with the loyalty of the person appointed,' they allowed was just, and ought to be agreed to.'t In 1808, Lord Fingal, according to Mr. Wyse, “the sole delegate of the [Roman] Catholics of Ireland,' and Dr. Milner, 'the accredited agent of the Irish (Roman) Catholic bishops, gave substantially (at least) their assent to the proposition of vesting a * Page 166. + Resolution of Roman Catholic Prelates, 1790.

negative

[ocr errors]

negative on the nomination of [Roman] Catholic bishops in the crown.' The whole ‘history of this proceeding,' says Mr. Wyse, is still involved in much obscurity.'' But one thing is certain, that some influence, of what kind no one pretends to explain, compelled Dr. Milner to retract his concession, roused a popular movement in Ireland to condemn the proposal, induced all but three of the bishops, originally subscribers to the resolutions of 1799, to meet in September, 1808, and condemn them formally -(whether,' says Mr. Wyse, “they directed or followed the people is not quite clear,' nor does it matter)—and induced them again, in 1810, to pass six formal resolutions—the direct contradictories of those which had been subscribed in 1799.

This sudden alteration of sentiment is in itself remarkable, and it might be interesting to inquire if any of the parties who were employed in rousing the popular feeling against the veto-(the well-known Dr. England for instance in Cork)—were connected either directly or indirectly with any secret influence from another quarter. It is equally remarkable, but less inexplicable, if we turn to some other changes, which had during that time taken place in the Irish priesthood. Maynooth,' says Mr. Wyse, began to be felt :*_-Maynooth, the curse of Ireland and when will Englishmen learn that nothing but a curse can spring from an abandonment of principle? This college, which is allowed on all hands to be the seat and fountain-head of the mischief, was founded, in 1795, under an Act for the better Education of Persons professing the Papist or Roman Catholic Religion.' Its real object was to take the Romish priests out of the hands of foreign influence. Its profession was to give them a better education, as if it were possible for any religion, least of all for Popery, to allow of, so-called, heretical interference with the education of its priesthood.

At its commencement, we learn from the evidence of the Rev. John Cousins, one of the first pupils, that it was conducted on Gallican principles; but the Jesuits, through the first Principal, Dr. Hussey,t Dr. Troy, Father Betagh, Dr. Murray, and Mr. Kenny, soon procured access to it; and that it then by degrees passed entirely into their hands, or under their influence, can no

* Vol. i. p. 203.

+ The Digest will supply some information on the subject of Dr. Hussey. See especially p. 313, vol. i. Father Betagh seems to have been the principal reviver of Jesuitism in Ireland, by the school which he opened in Dublin, Mr. Kemny, we believe, who had been found by him in a coachmaker's employment, was educated there and afterwards sent abroad. Mr. Betagh is also supposed to have been intrusted with the funds of the Jesuits, from which Clongowes was purchased'; and it has been also asserted, with what truth we do not venture to say, that he had no little influence in the elevation of Dr. Murray.

longer

*

longer be doubted. Any one the least conversant with the nature of an Ecclesiastical establishment must know that the directing power of it will ultimately be traced to the great schools from which the clergy are supplied; and no one can know anything of Jesuitism, and suppose that such a place as Maynooth would long escape from their intrigues. By what steps this change was effected—who Dr. Hussey was, who Mr. Kenny was-what connexion exists between Maynooth and Clongowes—and what kind of books are and have been studied at Maynooth-will be well worth inquiry from the legislature. The inquiry which has been instituted before this was perfectly nugatory ;-and the regular visitation of the college is, as might naturally be supposed, a farce. But just after the foundation of Maynooth and the consequent formation of a nucleus for an ecclesiastical movement, distinct from the parochial clergy, a very singular change comes over the Romish bishops. Dr. O'Connor* himself, the same learned Roman Catholic clergyman to whom we have so often been indebted, traces it again and again to the private consistory of Maynooth.' The first indication of it is a singular expression in the Resolutions of 1799—when, as Dr. O'Connor states,t the Irish government made a private proposal to the trustees of Maynooth for an independent provision for the Romish priests. One of the proposals which the bishops suggested in return was, that in the vacancy of a see, the clergy of the diocese should -not elect according to the canonical authorised practice, but recommend a candidate to the prelates of the ecclesiastical province, who elect him or any other they may think worthy. These resolutions were kept a profound secret ;' and it seems probable that the hope of obtaining some such advantage was the inducement which operated with the bishops to recommend the veto. By these few words the power of nominating bishops was to be transferred into the hands of the then bishops; and the first step was taken to placing the whole parochial system under the hands of the purely Popish and Jesuit body, and eradicating the Gallican spirit, which was found to be so unfavourable for the purposes of agitation About the same time we find the Irish bishops coming forward against the Gallican clergy in the midst of their greatest trials and noblest conduct, and supporting the concordatum of Pius VII. with Buonaparte. In 1804 a public avowal is made in Lord Redesdale's correspondence with Lord Fingal, that the recommendation of successors to Catholic bishoprics in Ireland, is in the bishops of the province. In 1808, Sept. 14, the Romish bishops resolve, that it is inexpedient to make any alteration in this practice. In 1809, a proposal is made through Dr. Moylan * Columbanus, passim.

† P. 5. 190.

to

« ZurückWeiter »