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inspection of all the correspondence on faith and discipline trs Board essentially Protestant is this : They cannot, without vio. lating their consciences, make such a Board the arbiter of on. faith or our discipline. They cannot suffer matters of such highe importance to the eternal welfare of their flocks, to be impeded and interrupted by either the false zeal, the malevolent hatred, or the contemptuous caprice of the clerks of the Castle. They can not submit to those clerks the details of crime or of accusation, which must be referred to, for example, in an appeal by a clergyman suspended or silenced for alleged immorality. A single case of that kind, published at the instance of the Attorney-General, commanding the publication in the name of his Majesty, and published in the hostile newspapers of Dublin, would inflict perpetual ridicule and disgrace on the Catholic religion.

“I need not follow this subject farther. The object of the present bill is plainly to cover our religion with disgrace and obloquy; to control it at the caprice of its bitterest enemies ; to stop the course of its discipline ; to expose our clergy to contempt; and, in fine, to give active operation to all those concealed cauşes and motives which, in the constitution of human nature, must have the most powerful tendency to annihilate and extinguish our re.igion.

“I do therefore say, that the Catholic clergy cannot possibly submit to the proposed Board. Mr. Plunket may, it is true, make martyrs of them; but let him rest assured that he will not be able to make them traitors to their religion and to their God.

“ There remains much of this abominable bill still to be considered. There remain all its details of the new veto. before heard, or had any the slightest intimation, of a design to extend the veto to our deans. The merit of this extension is the exclusive property of Mr. Plunket. This out-Heroding of Herod belongs to Mr. Plunket. Let him have the sole and exclusive honour of it, especially as he has invented it in his capacity of our advocate.

“There also remain the various and complicated penalties and punishments introduced by this bill to be inflicted on clergy and laity for the free exercise of the Catholic religion. I must, I find, reserve the veto and the penalties for another letter.

“For the present, I close with an earnest entreaty to every sincere and honest Catholic to procure a copy of this bill, and to road it attentively. It is the more necessary for individuals to make themselves masters of tbe subjects, because in the present

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state of the press of Dublin, little aid and less support can be obtained. The Catholicity of Ireland is at stake, and no man can value his religion who does not at least make himself acquainted with this most important subject.

“I pledge myself not to close my next letter without demonstrating, if it be not already done, that the present bill is, beyond comparison, more strictly, literally, and emphatically a penal and persecuting bill than any or all the statutes passed in the darkest and most bigoted periods of the reigns of Queen Anne, or of the two first Georges. Its title should be : An act to “decatholicise' Ireland ; for that is certainly its object.

“Fellow-countrymen, I write to you in sorrow as well as the sincerity of my heart. I place great confidence in your good

I place great confidence in the sincerity of attachment to the faith of the uninterrupted Church of Christ : but my greatest and most firm reliance is upon that God, who protected our fathers amidst the flames of persecution, and may

in his mercy guard their children from the pestilence of pretendeu friendship.

I am, my beloved countrymen,
“ Your ever faithful and devoted Servant,




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“Yes; he would rather houseless roam,

Where freedom and his God may lead,
Than be the sleekest slave at home

That crouches to the conqueror's creed.'

“Limerick, 20th March, 1821 “FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN— I have endeavoured in my first letter to point out the mischiefs of Mr. Plunket's bill, so far as it relates to that object to which alone its title alludes—the ter course with Rome. I will now, in the name of God, proceed to show you all the abominations of the double veto which that will contains. This veto is the principal and leading purport of the bill, although it is studiously suppressed in the title.

“ The vetoistical matter is confiner to a part of the oath in


the first section, and to the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth sections.

“ I have already stated the parts of the oath which relate te the correspondence with Rome. There is, in addition to this passage : The priest must swear he will not concur in the af. pointment of any bishop, save of a person of unimpeachable loy. alty and peaceable conduct.

“I object to this oath, because it presupposes a necessity for guch swearing. It presupposes that which is a foul, and, thank God, an unfounded calumny-namely, that there have been Irish bishops of doubtful loyalty and of disorderly conduct. Besides this, swearing is quite thrown away. The priest gets no kind of credit for his swearing—the law proceeds with as much rigour as if the priesi had not been sworn.

“ The veto itself comes next. It comes in the blackest and most undisguised colours. Listen, Catholics of Ireland, to the simple and efficacions plan which Mr. Plunket has devised, in order to give the Secretary of the Castle the appointment of nur bishops and deans, and to convert our priests into sycophants, and expectants on the bounty of the Castle.

“ The sixteenth section enacts, ihat every person who shall hereafter be nominated to the office oj bishop or dean, in the Catholic Church in Ireland, shall, before his consecration or acting as such, give notice to the Secretary of the Lord Lieutenant, and that he shall not be consecrated or exercise any functions of bishop or deux if such Secretary of the Lord Lieutenant shall inform him in writing that he is considered by his majesty's government to be, for some reason of a civil nature, a person improper for such office !

“ Honest and conscientious Catholics, who understand how matters are managed at the Castle, what say you to that? Mr. Canning's veto bill was nothing to it! But I anticipate.

“It is then provided that this notice, which is to disqualify any priest from being a bishop or dean in the Catholic Church, must be—what think you? Why, under the hand, and the seal too, of the Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant ! Wonderful mark of condescension !

“But lest this precious document should be lost or mislaid, and lest there should be any dificulty in prosecuting a conscientious Catholic bishop or dean, the seventeenth section provides that such certificate of disapprobation shall be enrolled in the High Court of Chancery, and that an attested copy of it shall no evidence against any Catholic clergyman upon any prosecution under this act !

« The eighteenth section follows up the persecution to its climar, and makes it an indictable offence to exercise any part, of the functions of a dean or bishop, without having on his nomination signified the same to the Castle, or after he has been disapproved of by the Secretary. Now, even on an idle accusation for such an offence, any Catholic priest may be dragged from his flock ; thrown into a jail for six or eigliü months, although guiltless; and if convicted by an Orange jury, he is to be liable to punishment. The extent of that punishment is not defined as yet. It may be hanging; it may be reduced to transportation; it may be only whipping; it cannot be less than fine and imprisonment. Punished, however, he must be. The punishment is already certain. The quantity alone is doubtful.

“Such, my beloved countrymen, is Mr. Plunket’s bill. It is an impudent veto. I will not call it less. It is an audacious attempt to place all the Catholic clergy in Ireland under the worst species of ministerial control, and also to leave them at the mercy of every malignant Orange informer. In the province of Ulster the Catholic clergy would be annihilated by this bill, and, as far as I am concerned, I would infinitely rather perish with disgrace on a scaffold than assent to such a law.

“ Heretofore the idea of a government appointment was coulfined to bishops. We owe it altogether to Mr. Plunket that the notion is extended to deans. The minuteness of his dislike to the Catholic Church has induced him to go beyond every fornier attempt; and he will soon be discontented if he cannot extend severity and punishment to the most humble orders of our clergy.

“You have now, my countrymen, the bill before you. It gives directly and in plain terms the installation of


deans and bishops to the Castle. The way in which the authority of the Castle is exercised is familiar to us all. It is parcelled out amongst the ministerial members for each county ; and as the revenue officers and stamp distributors are now nominated by those members, so in future, under this law, the Catholic deans and bishops, in each county, would become part of their patron nge and emolument. Those persons are familiarly known at the Castle and in the country by the appellation of county patrons.

“ What course should a priest, under that system, pursue ir. order to be made a dean or bishop ? He must consult the in: terest and court the patronage of the patron of his county-tiat is, of the chief supporter of the minister amongst the county members. At present, learning, piety, and zeal, are the ingre. dients which facilitate the promotion of a bishop in our Church, What will the 'county patron' care for the learning of a Catholic priest? Our county patrons are, in general, blessed be God ! men as destitute of learning as can well be imagined. They are in general, incapable of appreciating its value in any person They would hate and despise it in a Catholic priest. Learning would certainly be no recommendation to them.

“ The piety of a Catholic priest would serve him in still less stead with the county patron.

In the first place, all the present county patrons have sworn—have solemnly and repeatedly sworn -that the exercises of that piety are impious and idolatrous. In the next place, the piety of a Catholic priest may be highly offensive to the 'patron.' It may offend his minions or his friends, if the patron has any bigots amongst his friends-and what county patron has not ?—and how many of the patrons äre bigots themselves? In every such case the piety of a Catholic priest will make enemies for him, in the person and about the person of the country patron, and ensure his exclusion from all promotion in his church.

But if piety be dangerous to any candidate for promotion, zeal would be quite destructive of all hope. The zealous priest should oppose, in private and in public, as far as he can (without violating charity), the vices of the 'patron,' and of his friends. 'The zealous priest must oppose the great Education Swindle of Kildare-street, which is a favourite to so many bigots. The zealous priest must oppose every other fraudulent scheme of underhand proselytism. He must discountenance and exposa the 'patron' and his friends in their plans of making every man il kind of founder of a sect, by sending him to pick a religion for himself out of what we deem a corrupt version of so much of the Word of God as has been preserved in writing, to the utter exclusion of that part which has been preserved in our church by tradition. For each and every of these acts he is certain of being excluded from promotion in his church.

“ If he shall, in his zeal, disturb the inicijn of the mistress of the patron ;' is in his zeal he shall convert a sirgle Protestant, er bring back from error a single stray .Catholic ; if by his preaching, his prayers, his zealous exertions, he should extend the bounds of Catholicity-of that Catholicity which the patron has sworn to be impious and idolatrous-what possibility is there of his being a dean or a bishop, so long as that patron can exclude him ?

“ Thus, my countrymen, you see at once this obvious couse

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