Sayfadaki görseller

thing possible to keep peace and concord; but at the same time to defend the truth and the faith with a constancy that fears not death, for the Lord is able to save those who trust in him." This same rule of conduct do we recommend to you, beloved brethren, who have been so often made the victims of persecution more brutal than those inflicted on the people of St. Ambrose. Avoid all secret societies, all illegal combinations, so severely condemned by the Church. Such associations afford, indeed, a fitting shelter to infidels and revolutionists wherein to hide from the light of day their foul conspiracies against religion and society; but they have never yet formed a true champion of justice or of liberty. Their efforts have ever been cursed with sterility. The sole result secret organizations have anywhere achieved has been the uprooting of the Faith, the degradation of the national spirit, and the establishment of a tyranny, dark, treacherous, and irresponsible, that presses on their unhappy members with a weight and a cruelty compared with which the evils they were ostensibly created to remove, might be accounted liberty itself. In them is specially verified the words of Holy Scripture : Justice exalteth a nation, but sin maketh a nation miserable.2 The history of our own beloved land is a proof that to no other form of resistance to wrong, save that which walks openly and honestly as in the day, belongs the inheritance of success. The providence of God does not allow injustice to become eternal on earth, but those only who have the Christian courage of being just in their struggle against injustice, shall, in the end, find their efforts crowned with a complete triumph. Such was the triumph that rewarded the peaceful resistance of St. Ambrose's Catholic people, and which the Saint thus celebrates : 3 "O Holy Spirit of God, how profound are Thy oracles! It was but this ! Epist. xx. 14. 2 Proverbs xiv. 34. 3 St. Ambrose Ep. xx. n. 20.

[ocr errors]

morning, my brethren, that in sore affliction we recited together the words of the Psalm: O God, the Gentiles have come into Thine inheritance! It was but this morning that we raised our voices in sorrow, all unmindful of Thy power; and behold! already Thy enemies are become Thy friends, and those whose assaults filled us with fear, have taken their place among the children of Thy inheritance. Those whom I accounted my enemies, are now in my defence; my sons, those whom I looked on as my adversaries. O my God! who but Thee, Lord Jesus, has wrought these wonders! Therefore, to Thee, O Christ, be thanksgiving; for it was no angel, but Thou Thyself, O Lord; Thou hast turned for me my mourning into joy: Thou hast cut my sack-cloth, and hast compassed me with gladness."2

This union of unflinching courage and Christian moderation, without which no one can worthily defend the cause of Justice, has never, perhaps, been more brilliantly conspicuous than in the life of our Holy Father Pope Pius IX. That life is bright with the glory which the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception, the canonization of so many saints, and the celebration of the Vatican Council, have caused to shine upon the Church; and it is clouded with the afflictions which have come upon her at the sight of her usurped and desecrated sanctuaries, her dispersed religious, her imprisoned clergy, and the murder done upon the souls of her little ones by an education framed but to corrupt. And as it is the expression of the Church's glory and of the Church's sorrow, so also does it represent with singular fidelity, the Church's courage in defending the rights of her Heavenly Spouse. In the face of a renegade world, our Holy Father fearlessly asserts her divine prerogatives; threats he meets with counsel; acts

2 Psalm xxix. 12.

of violence with patience; and usurpation with calm and persevering protest. While we imitate the example of firmness and patience he sets us, let us join him, dearly beloved, in his protests against the wrongs inflicted on the Church. Once again, therefore, we protest in the name of this Catholic nation against the usurpation of the States of the Church, by which the temporal Sovereignty of the Holy See was wrested from it, to the detriment of the Church's liberty and to the loss of the Catholic World. We protest against the violence which has compelled the Head of the Church to remain shut up in his palace for so many years, as a mark for the insults and the threats of his enemies. We protest against the expulsion of the religious communities, the confiscation of their property, and the seizure of so many churches, colleges, and hospitals. We protest especially against the infamous law by which, for the first time in the annals of Christian nations, ecclesiastics, ministers of the God of Peace, may be dragged from the sanctuary and condemned to serve as soldiers. And we resolve by our increased obedience and love to make some amends to the outraged majesty of the Holy Apostolic See !

In conclusion, dearly beloved brethren, we implore of you with the apostle: Let your conversation be worthy of the Gospel of Christ: that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, labouring together for the faith of the Gospel, and in nothing be ye terrified by the adversaries; which to them is a cause of perdition, but to you of salvation, and this from God. For unto you it is given for Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him. If there be, therefore, any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of charity, if any society of the spirit, if any bowels of commiseration; fulfil ye our joy, that you be of one mind, having the same charity, being of one accord, agreeing in

sentiment with fear and trembling work out your salvation; that you may be blameless and sincere children of God, without reproof in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation: among whom you shine as lights in the world.1

[ocr errors]

20th September, 1875.

1 Philipp. i. 27. 29; ii. 1-15. PAUL CARD. CULLEN,

Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland, Delegate Apostolic.

Archbishop of Tuam.

Archbishop of Armagh, Primate

of All Ireland.

[blocks in formation]

P.S.-Writing from this College, we should be ungrateful to an institution which has deserved well of successive generations of the Clergy and people of Ireland, were we to overlook an important and pious work which has just been undertaken by its Trustees-the erection of a Church adapted to its requirements, and worthy of the National College of the Irish Clergy. The plan for this College Church has been completed; the contract for its execution has been entered into; and Sunday, 10th October, the Feast of the Dedication of the Churches of Ireland, has, with much appropriateness, been fixed for laying the foundations. The work will, of necessity, be very costly, but it is one in which every Irish Catholic has an interest almost directly personal. We earnestly commend it to your pious generosity. We have authorized the President to communicate with the Clergy of our several dioceses with the view of organizing, in concert with each, and according to his convenience, parochial collections, in aid of the Building Fund. The time in each parish may be regulated by local circumstances; but March 17th, 1876, the Feast of St. Patrick, the Patron of the College and of the Church, is proposed as the most fitting occasion for the General Collection.

« ÖncekiDevam »