« PreviousContinue »
query they answer by declaring: neither the pope, nor the cardinals, nor any body of men, nor any other person of the church of Rome, hath any civil authority, civil power, civil jurisdiction, or civil pre-eminence whatsoever, in any king. -dom; and, consequently, none in the kingdom of England, by reason or virtue of any authority, power, jurisdiction, or pre-eminence by divine institution inherent in, or granted, or by any other means belonging to the pope, or the church of Rome. This doctrine the Sacred Faculty of Divinity of Paris has always held, and upon every occasion maintained, and upon every occasion has rigidly proscribed the contrary doctrines from her schools.
Answer to the second query.—Neither the pope, nor the cardinals, nor any body of men, nor any person of the church of Rome, can, by virtue of the keys, absolve or release the subjects of the King of England from their oath of allegiance.
This and the first query are so intimately connected, that the answer of the first immediately and naturally applies to the second, &c.
Answer to the third query.—There is no tenet in the Catholic church, by which Catholics are justified in not keeping faith with Heretics, or those who differ from them in matters of religion. The tenet, that it is lawful to break faith with Heretics, is so repugnant to common honesty, and the opi. nions of Catholics, that there is nothing of which those who have defended the Catholic faith against Protestants, have complained more heavily, than the malice and calumny of their adversaries in imputing this tenet to them, &c.
Given at Paris in the General Assembly of the Sorbonne, held on Thursday the 11th day before the calends of March 1789. Signed in due form.
University of Douay.—To the first and second queries the Sacred Faculty answers—That no power whatsoever,-in civil or temporal concerns, was given by the Almighty, cither lo the pope, the cardinals, or the church herself, and, conse. quently, that kings and sovereigns are not, in temporal concerns, subject, by the ordination of God, to any ecclesiastical power whatsoever; neither can their subjects, by any authority granted to the Pope or the Church, from above, be freed from their obedience, or absolved from their oath of allegiance.
This is the doctrine which the doctors and professors of divinity hold and teach in our schools, and this all the candi. dates for degrees in divinity maintain in their public theses,&c
To the third question the Sacred Faculty answers—That there is no principle of the Catholic faith, by which Catholics are justified in not keeping faith with Heretics, who differ from them in religious opinions. On the contrary, it is the unanimous doctrine of Catholics, that the respect due to the name of God, so called to witness, requires that the oath be inviolably kept, to whomsoever it is pledged, whether Catholic, Heretic, or Infidel, &c.
Signed and sealed in due form, January 5, 1789.
University of Louvain—The Faculty of Divinity at Lou. vain, having been requested to give her opinion upon the questions above stated, does it with readiness—but struck with astonishment, that such questions should, at the end of this eighteenth century, be proposed to any learned body, by inhabitants of a kingdom that glories in the talents and dis. cernment of its natives. The Faculty being assembled for the above purpose, it is agreed with the unanimous assent of all voices to answer the first and second queries absolutely in the negative.
The Faculty does not think it incumbent upon her in this place to enter upon the proofs of her opinion, or to shew how it is supported by passages in the Holy Scriptures, or the writings of antiquity. That has already been done by Bossuet, De Marca, the two Barclays, Goldastus, the Pithxuses, Ar. gentre Widrington, and his Majesty King James the First, in his Dissertation against Bellarmine and Du Perron, and by many others, &c.
The Faculty then proceeds to declare, that the sovereign power of the state is in no wise (not even indirectly as it is termed) subject to, or dependant upon any other power, though it be a spiritual power, or even though it be instituted for eternal salvation, &c.
That no man, nor any assembly of men, however eminent in dignity and power, not even the whole body of the Catho. lie church, though assembled in general council, can, upon any ground or pretence whatsoever, weaken the bond of union between the sovereign and the people; still less can they absolve or free the subjects from their oath of allegiance.
Proceeding to the third question, the said Faculty of Divi. aity (in perfect wonder that such a question should be pro. posed to her) most positively and unequivocally answers— That there is not, and there never has been, among the Ca. tholics, or in the doctrines of the church of Rome, any law or principle which makes it lawful for Catholics to break their faith with Heretics, or others of a different persuasion from themselves in matters of religion, either in public or private concerns.
The Faculty declares the doctrine of the Catholics to be, that the divine and natural law, which makes it a duty to keep faith and promises, is the same; and is neither shaken nor diminished, if those with whom the engagement is made, hold erroneous opinions in matters of religion, fee.
Signed in due form on the 18th of November, 1788.
University of Aicala.—Tothe first question it is answered— That none of the persons mentioned in the proposed question, either individually, or collectively in council assembled, have any right in civil matters; but that all civil power, jurisdiction and pre-eminence, are derived from inheritance, election, the consent of the people, and other such titles of that nature.
To the second it is answered, in like manner—That none of the persons above-mentioned have a power to absolve the subjects of his Britannic Majesty from theiroaths of allegiance.
To the third question it is answered—That the doctrine which would exempt Catholics from the obligation of keeping faith with Heretics, or with any other persons who dissent from them in matters of religion, instead of being an article of Catholic faith, is entirely repugnant to its tenets.
Signed in the usual form, March 17th, 1789.
University of Salamanca.—To the first question it is an. Ewered—That neither pope, nor cardinals, nor any assembly or individual of the Catholic church, have, as such, any civil authority, power, jurisdiction or pre-eminence, in the king. dom of England.
To the second it is answered—That neither pope nor car. diuals, nor any assembly or individual of the Catholic church, can, as such, absolve the subjects of Great Britain from their oaths of allegiance, or dispense with its obligations.
To the third it is answered—That it is no article of Catholic faith, with Heretics, or with persons of any other description, who dissent from them in matters of religion.
Signed in the usual form, March 7th, 1789.
University of Valladolid.—To the first question it is an. swered—That neither pope, cardinals, or even a general council, have any civil authority, power, jurisdiction or pre. eminence, directly or indirectly, in the kingdom of Great Britain; or over any other kingdom or province in which they possess no temporal dominion.
To the second it is answered—That neither pope nor car. dinals, nor even a general council, can absolve the subjects of Great Britain from their oaths of allegiance, or dispense with their obligation.
To the third it is answered—That the obligation of keep, ing faith is grounded on the law of nature, which binds all men equally, without respect to their religious opinions; and with regard to Catholics, it is still more cogent, as it is con. firmed by the principles of their religion.
Signed in the usual form, February 17th, 1789.
The circulation of this invincible refutation of the pernicious tenets and pretensions imputed to the Roman Catholics, signed by the clergy and the laity, was productive of the most beneficial consequences. The fears of the timid Protestants were removed, and the opponents of the Catholics nearly silenced.
The attention of the general committee was then necessarily directed to the charge of being incompetent to declare the wishes of the Catholic body, uttered in and out of parliament. In the debate on their petition, which was rejected, on the 20th of February, Sir Boyle Roche asked, "Who were they, who affected to be the representatives of the Roman Catholics of Ireland? Were there amongst them any of the ancient nobility, or of the gentry of Ireland? No—not one. There was, indeed, Mr. Edward Byrne, a sugarbaker, a seller of wines and other commodities, and he was the first name, and put in front of the battle. There was another, John Keogh; and who was he? Why he was a retailer of poplins in Dame street. These men met over their porter to consider of commanding the government; they met at chop houses, at Derham's chop house in particular, where the former of them in his cups happened to dream that he was the Nabob of Ireland. As to the rest of them, they were so obscure, that he could neither recollect nor describe them. Were these the representatives of the Roman Catholic nobility and gentry? No. Was there one respectable name amongst them? No. These fellows represented themselves, and misrepresented the Roman Catholics of Ireland. Neither the Catholic nobility, the catholic gentry, nor the catholic clergy, had anything to do with it—and be considered it to be both an insolent and a degrading petition. As to the Belfast petition, they had moved heaven and earth, in order to foment disturbance in the country. At the same time that they were framing this petition in behalf of the Roman Catholics, they were holding a correspondence with the French National Assembly, while the Dublin petitioners were espousiug the cause of a renegado, and entertaining a French democrat, who had fled from his own country, to infect this with the poison of his