« AnteriorContinuar »
14. It would be illiberal to impute to British Romanists the revival in Spain of the secret courts of the Inquisition, the reestablishment in France of the most offensive of its orders, and certain recent ordinances prescribing an uninterrupted series of masses for the dead. But it proves the unaltered and unalterable spirit of the religion, that not only has no remonstrance been urged against these practices, so unworthy of the nineteenth century, but that even in our country, the Inquisition has been publicly vindicated as an institution "designed for protection, and not for per"secutionm." Let the liberalist, with his accustomed facility, be satisfied, that Catholics do not, "as Catholics, believe that l* the Pope has any direct or indirect au"thority over the temporal concerns of "states, or the jurisdiction of princes"/' But is it unjust to suspect a temporizing and interested motive of this opinion, especially as the authority of many recorded acts0, whether of Popes, or of councils under the influence of Popes, is neither authoritatively nor universally disowned, as the power which tbey sanction has been frequently exercised, without exciting offence or challenging expostulation, and as the expedience of a mediatory power is even now maintained P, when the right of arbitration and control is denied?
m Gandolphy, vol. iv. note in p. 258-. n Berington, p. 178. Delahogue, p. 249.
15. It may vary the labour of exposing the errors and infirmities of the Church of Rome, to collect into one point of view the voluntary acknowledgments and suggestions, which one of the most liberal and accomplished and most lamented of her sons has recently published concerning the late and present State of Religion in Italy. In his classical Tour through that country he was justly offended by "little "petty observancesq;" by the inventions "of nuns and nun-like friars ... the toys "and play-things of that harmless racer;"
° Delahogue, p. 262, 263, for the acts of Popes; p. 268, 269, for the acts of Councils. P Eustace, vol. iv. p. 422. t Eustace, vol. i. p. 325. 'Vol. ii. p. 191. note.
by "the useless severity of one order ... "the childish processions of another8;" by the exhibition of "a pious farce of the "most absurd and ridiculous kindl;" and by acts " of mischievous superstition," that "ought to be suppressed by public au"thority"." He could distinguish between the pomp and circumstance of worship, and a ritual incumbered " with petty ob"servancesx ;" and he acknowledged that "there are in the religion of Italy some, "and indeed not a few, abuses.... the "multiplicity of ceremonies, and the in"troduction of theatrical exhibitions and "theatrical music into the Church, the ge"neral use and exaggeration of certain po"pular and undignified forms of devotion, *' and, in fine, the unnecessary number of "religious establishmentsy." He did not approve the occupation of many a conspicuous niche in the Vatican, " by a saint of "dubious origin, or obscure name, whose "existence may be questioned by many,
• Vol. iii. p. 399. 'Ibid. p. 395. u Ibid. p. 309. * Vol. iv. p. 265. 7 Ibid. p. 290.
"and is unknown to most, and whose vir"tues at the best had but a local and tem"porary, that is a very confined and very "transient influence," or "whose very "names exist only in a legendary tale2:" nor did he view with pleasure " a large col"lection of bones of different saints, toge"ther with numberless other articles of "equal importance*." In the history of the Popes, he could discern and acknowledge, not only the natural compliance of "a decrepit uncle" with "the suggestions "of an interested nephewb," or a pardonable "fondness for their families0," but acts also of "prelatical arrogance"1" and "insolent claims of universal dominione," which "reflect disgrace on the insolent "and domineering Pontiffs*," and their too frequent conduct, " as parties concern"ed with a view to national or to family "aggrandizements." He scrupled pot to "condemn the folly and perversity of her
• Vol. ii. p. 148. a Vol. Hi. p. 396. *> Vol. ii. p. 21. ? Vol. Hi. p. 234. d Ibid. p. 239. e Ibid. 'Vol. ii. p. 43. s Vol. Hi. p. 231.
"pastors," who "submitted to while away "their unprofitable days in voluntary exile, "alternately the instruments and the vic"tims of French intrigue and ambition11," struggling " with the restless and unbridled "passions excited by the guilt or the folly of "their absentee predecessors '." His piety was offended by the posture in which the Pope receives the sacred elementsk; by the ceremonies of his election; by the collection of the votes in the paten; and the enthronization on the altar, which,
"as not edifying to any offensive
"to most, and producing some evil
"and ho good, ought to be suppress"ed1." He could call also with a holy zeal for a reform of the ceremonial of the Church and Court of Rome, by pruning "off the excrescences of the barbarous "ages," and restoring "the simple forms "of antiquity"'." He maintained that "even in the spiritual concerns of the a"postolic see, the interests of religion may
h Vol. Hi. p. 230. < Ibid. p. 231. k Vol. ii. p. 170. 'Vol. iv. p. 397—399. m Ibid. p. 386. note.