Sayfadaki görseller

the poverty of the people in this time of distress may not be more heavy, but by no means desiring to restrain the munificence of the faithful towards their clergy on any occasion, but only looking to this that the clergy may not transgress these principles of the Divine law which we have stated above, we command that in collectầng their dues the following rules may be accurately observed.

We have not judged it necessary to appoint any certain rule for the dues of the rich. We hope that they, according to their piety, will contribute to the suitable support of their respective pastors in a manner corresponding with their own rank and more ample fortune.

Those who being employed in business, or in farming, enjoy a certain abundance of means, and are in good reputation and estimation among their neighbours, let them be bound to pay the dues which are marked below, (solvere teneantur ) on occasion of receiving the sacraments, or when any office of religion or piety is discharged for them by their pastor.

After the celebration of baptism, let 5s. be paid ;
After the solemnization of matrimony, 40s.
For licence to be married, 10s.

On occasion of mass for the dead, when the body is present, and when the office and mass are not sung, 10s.

But when the office and mass are sung, let 15s. be paid to the parish priest, and 10s. to each of the other priests, unless in those places where the custom of paying a less sum is in force. But if any priest, although he is present at the Divine office, does not celebrate mass in the same day in the house of the deceased, or in the place where the office is sung, let him receive 5s.

For private masses, let the payment he 2s. not less.

When the sacrament of extreme unction is given, let nothing be demanded by the priest, but if anything is voluntarily offered, it may be taken.

Where it is customary to make contributions after matrimony, we command that they be free and spontaneous, and we strictly order that nothing, under any pretext whatever, be received in the tribunal of penance.

As to those who with great labour and industry proeure a poorer subsistence for themselves and their families, let thein pay the dues which follow, namely.

After the administration of baptism, 2s. 6d.
After the solemnization of matrimony, 20s.
For licence to be married, 5s.
After mass for the dead when the body is present, 5s.

From those who appear to be altogether paupers, let nothing be exacted, but if they offer anything willingly it may be received,

Since it is the custom to collect dues at the stations of confessions, by which the life of the priests is chiefly maintained, and since this custom of getting money at the very time in which the minds of all present ought to be solely occupied with divine things, brings no small inconvenience, we earnestly exhort the clergy, that instead of this they substitute a custom which already obtains in some part of this province, and which we entirely approve and commend to our clergy. According to that custom, one or two men of integrity are chosen from each village of the country parishes, who after the feasts of Epiphany and our Lord's Ascension, each year collect from all who are able to pay those dues which it has been stomary to collect at stations, and give them to the priests; but wherever this laudable custom does not as yet prevail, we command that the, dues at the stations may be collected in the following manner,

After the celebration of mass, (and we strictly command that at the stations the mass be never omitted,) and when celebrating he shall have given thanks after the mass, according to custom, let the priest, or the person who acts for him, invite the bystanders to offer their accustomed dues upon the altar. But neither while the collections are being made, nor before nor after, let any individual be reproached or put to shame on account of the non-payment of dues, lest our holy religion, or its mysteries, or its ministers, be deprived of suitable reverence; lest the faithful, especially those who are poor among them, be compelled to blush, or lest they altogether desert from the sacrament of reconciliation, or approach without suitable dispositions to the body of the Lord.

So far we have proceeded in defining the sum of the dues which may be exacted (quæ exigi possunt), and we have appointed a rule to be equally observed by all (regulamque statuimus, ab omnibus æqualiter servandum,) but we do not hence place limits to the munificence or piety of those who of their own accord and without complaint wish to offer more.

The Clergy perceive that in this aforesaid schedule of dues we have not treated of some fortuitous emoluments, which although they may be uncertain, as to the sums, and as to the mode of collecting them, are nevertheless approved and established by ancient custom. About these we will that the same moderation and the same charity be altogether preserved. Finally, watching over the command of the Lord, “ freely ye have received, freely give ;” and taking care lest it should in any manner or occasion be violated, we forbid, under pain of suspension, that, in administering the sacraments or imparting any blessing, any of our priests exact his dues by the withholding of his ministration. Let him require that which is ratified by law and custom, not introduced by him, but lawfully approved. But let him take care in all things, lest he afflict with shame those who are labouring under poverty or oppressed with misery, by exacting money from them, lest the gospel seem to be sold to them, or Christ brought into reproach.

Nor will it be inopportune on this occasion to make mention of an ancient custom of collecting corn at the houses of the faithful; which custom took its rise in

those times when voluntary poverty brought no disgrace either to the ministry itself, or to those who supported themselves by begging from door to door. But that custom, in these times and in this country, where Catholics live mixed with those who are not Catholics, brings no small offence to many. We therefore earnestly desire that this custom may be changed into another more suitable to the manners of this kingdom. Meantime we exhort in the Lord all the clergy, as well the regulars as the secnlars, that they should procure such gains not by themselves, but by some honest and decent servant deputed by them to this work."


Here now we have the full table of law laid down, by Dr. Murray and his provincial bishops, for the voluntary support of the Romish priests. Here then can be no mistake-all is plain and clear. Now let us just observe three things.

First, the sources of their revenue.

Second, the fees fixed, to be derived, or probably derived from those sources.

Third, how far they are voluntary or compulsory.

First, then, as to the sources of revenue, we have
1. Baptisms.
2. Marriage fees.
3. Licenses for marriages.
4. Masses for the dead, sung.
5. Masses for the dead, not sung.
6. Private masses.
7. Collections after marriage from friends.
8. Dues at Stations.

9. Fortuitous emoluments of different sorts, not detailed, but established by custom.

10. Collecting corn from the people.





........ 0

We have here ten distinct sources of revenue explicitly laid down by the highest authority.

Let us now consider,

Secondly, the fees fixed to be derived from these sources: 1. Baptism-shopkeepers and farmers .... 0 5 0 Do. poor labourers.

0 2 6 2. Marriages-shopkeepers and farmers....... 2 0 0 3. Licenses for do..............

.... 0 10 0 Marriages for poor labourers..

1 0 0 Licenses for do............

.... 0 5 0 4. Masses for dead sung, to shopkeepers and farmers-parish priest..

.... 0 15 0 Every other priest........

.... 0 10 0 Any other priest present who does not offi

5 0 5. Masses, not sung... ..............

...... 0 10 0 Masses for dead-to poor labourers ......... 0 5 0 6. Private masses..................

.... 0 2 0 7. Collections after marriages—these must be voluntary according to the stations of the parties, they may vary from £1 to £100, or more.

8. Dues at stations—these Dr. Murray informs us are the chief support of the priests; they cannot be called voluntary, for custom makes them compulsory; they are contributed by every person who can give any thing, and vary from one shilling to five, as the Editor is informed, say the lowest average from the population of Ireland who attend stations and confessions.... 0 1 6

9. Fortuitous emoluments of these, at least one great source of revenue, is masses for delivering the souls from purgatory of those who are dead and buried, left either by will or given by relations of deceased, or, what is very common, given by the poor creatures themselves, for masses before they die, and to benefit their souls when they are gone,-of these it is impossible to calculate the amount.

« ÖncekiDevam »