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FOR THE USE OF THE CLERGY AND LAITY.
IN THREE PARTS.
THE FIRST ON THE NATURE OF INDULGENCES --
THE SECOND ON CONFRATERNITIES
PRAYERS TO WHICH INDULGENCES ARE ANNEXED.
ABRIDGED FROM A FRENCH WORK,
WRITTEN BY THE
RT. REV. DR. BOUVIER, BISHOP OF MANS.
Which has gone through Six Editions, the last of
which was Published in 1836.
BY A PARISH PRIEST.
· The following little compilation is presented to the public with a hope that it may be useful. It was from a conviction that such a book was wanted that I have devoted all the leisure moments I could spare from my Pastoral duties, for several years to the completion of the work. This conviction arose from the following reasons. . Ist. With regard to the clergy.
Most of the authors, who have written on Indulgences, treat the subject too briefly, or if they are diffuse upon one question, they omit others, altogether, so as to leave much to be wished for. Besides the subject of Indulgences is not always read in College, and when it is, all the practical questions are not discussed.
The work of Collet in 2 vols. 12mo. though the most copious, or diffuse does not contain all that would be desired; He says little of confraternities, and scarcely any thing of the different practices of devotion to which Indulgences are annexed. On essential questions he is too concise, and too diffuse on disputed questions.
As to the other two authors who treat this subject more in detail viz., Theodore de Spiritu Sancto, and Ferraris, there are very few copies of them in Ireland. It may therefore be presumed that the greater part of the clergy, being engaged in the laborious duties of the ministry, and having little time to read, would prefer a concise work containing clear and precise principles by which they could be safely guided in their replies to the various questions which may be put to them by the faithful, as occasion may require.
2nd. With regard to the faithful at large, and particularly the devout portion thereof.
There is great ignorance on the subject, which, this treatise is calculated to remove; and if every thing that is written on Indulgences in the English language were collected together and printed in one book, it would not contain all that is to be wished for, to satisfy the desires of the people. Besides most of the devout books which treat of Indulgences are more or less inaccurate and cannot be referred to, as sure guides for the faithful.
The devout often require explanations as to the value of Indulgences, as to the dispositions and conditions necessary to gain them, and as
to the Indulgences attached to the various practices of devotion which may be recommended to them. It is necessary to satisfy their inquiries which will be done by referring them to the following little treatise.
There are old works on confraternities which cannot be recommended to the people, containing as they do accounts of unauthenticated miracles, or Indulgences which have been long since revoked.
I shall conclude this explanation by quoting from the preface of Bouvier, who shews from what authorities he collected his work.
“Being convinced” says he “for a long time of the necessity of this work, I proposed to commence it at the time of the jubilee which would take place in 1826, if some other person had not anticipated me. I have procured with much trouble the materials which I wanted: I have often written to Rome; and in the journey which I have the consolation of making to Rome to visit the tombs of the Apostles, and to gain the Jubilee of the holy year, I have obtained explanations and important works relative to this subject.”
“I must admit I have not removed every difficulty; and my efforts cannot prevent such from occurring, if the question is examined