Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

Apostolic, because, in the first place, it neither, in itself alone, nor by any other communion with which it is united, extends back to the time of the Apostles, and because, in the second place, it has no Apostolic succession, without which it is idle to pretend to Apostolicity. The Apostolic succession is not simply the succession of orders and doctrine, neither of which, by the way, has the Church of England, but also, and chiefly, the succession of the Apostolic authority. If any thing is certain, it is that our Lord established the Apostolate in His Church as well as the Episcopate, and that, if the Apostolate, as distinguished from the Episcopate, survives at all, it survives in the See of Peter, the Roman See, or, as we Catholics say, the Apostolic See. No other 'see can pretend to it, and in point of fact no other one does pretend to it. Whether it survives in that See or not, we do not at present inquire ; we only say that it survives there or nowhere, and no church not in communion with it can be Apostolic, or any thing more than Episcopal. But the Anglican Church has no communion with the Roman See, and, therefore, is certainly not Apostolic, and in fact it does not in reality profess to be Apostolic, at least in this country, for here, it calls itself the Protestant Episcopal Church. The attempt of the author to prove it Catholic and Apostolic, is as miserable a failure as his attempt to prove the Papacy a usurpation.

The author makes, as he proceeds, various historical statements, which prove him as indifferent a historian as he is a theologian or à jurist. He is in general not better versed in history than he is in patrology, and cites historians almost as inaccurately as he does the Fathers. We cannot take up and correct all his misstatements, for to do so would compel us to cite nearly his whole volume, and that is more than we dare inflict on our readers; we must however make one extract more, apropos of the Church of England.

“Between the visit of Austin, A. D. 603, and the Norman conquest, A. D. 1066, various councils of bishops were held in England, and repeated efforts made to establish the power of the pope, but there was not at any one of them a recognition of his authority, although he was permitted to introduce monks and monasteries. Both the British and Saxon churches renained independent until the invasion of the Duke of Normandy, when they were merged in

one, entirely independent of papal authority. Under the Norman kings the

pope of Rome resumed his efforts for supremacy iv Britain, and sent a legate to that country. William II. made Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury, and he acknowledged the authority of Pope Urban, and for this the whole body of bishops at Rockingham renounced their allegiance to Anselm, and after this he was not permitted to convene councils or fill up vacant divceses.*

“ Henry I. allowed no appeals to the pope without license from the king, and required the bishops to attend the councils of the nation. He maintained his ground against all opposition. Under the degenerate Stephen, papal encroachments were made, but his successor, Henry II., called a council at Clarendon, A. D. 1164, composed of arebbishops, bishops, abbots, lords, and barons, which enacted sixteen canons that gave a most effectual check to the influence of the pope for several centuries. These canons provided among other things that the clergy should be amenable to the secular power, should not leave the realm without the king's consent, and have no right to appeal to the pope; that the election of bishops should be invalid until confirmed by the king, and that no freeholder should be laid under interdict without the consent of the king or bis chief justice. These canons were condemned and revoked by Pope Alexander, but notwithstanding this, were confirmed by kings, lords, and clergy, at a council held at Northampton, A.D. 1176, in the presence of the pope's legate, were long enforced, and for centuries formed the bulwark of the Church of England. During the reign of Richard I., who died A.D. 1199, these canons were strictly observed, but under the pusillanimous John, renewed efforts were made by the pope to subject England to his sway, and that imbecile monarch swore fealty to him, and allowed Peter pence to be collected. His successor, Henry III., acquiesced in silence, but the opposition of the clergy was aroused, they complained to the king, and appealed from the pope to a general council for redress.t

· The three Edwards, who reigned from the death of Henry III., A. D. 1272 to 1377, held the reins with a firmer hand than the two weak kings who preceded them, and during their reigns the pretensions of the pope were successfully resisted. By a series of statutes the king was empowered to reverse sentences of excommunication, the donation of John to the pope declared invalid, the remittance of funds to Rome strictly prohibited, parties appealing to Rome declared traitors and outlaws, taxes were levied on the clergy, and when Boniface VIII., by his bull

, A. D. 1296, forbid the clergy to pay such taxes, and excommunicated those who laid them, the king, by a decree of outlawry, sanctioned by the lay peers, enforced submission. I

* See Lingard, the Catholic Historian, Hist. Eng. Vol. II. p. 23.

+ See Lingard, III., pp. 32-89.
See Lingard, Stowe, and Hopkins, P. C. p. 378.

" From the death of Edward III., A. D. 1377, until A.D. 1422, under Henry IV. and V., other restrictive statutes were passed, forbidding the sale of indulgences, and prohibiting aliens from holding benefices in England, except priors, who were required to find sureties for their compliance with the laws of the realm, for which see the statutes of England.”—pp. 75–77.

It is not true, that, from the time of St. Austin to the Norman Conquest, both the British and Saxon Churches were independent of Rome. The British prelates may have, during a part of that period, objected to the authority of the Anglo-Saxon Metropolitans, but they acknowledged the authority of the Papal See. The Anglo-Saxon Church was founded by missionaries sent by Pope St. Gregory the First, and was of all the national Churches in the world the most devoted to the Apostolic See, and in which the successor of Peter found the least resistance to his authority. It was precisely during this period that England was called by the Pope, Insula Sanctorum. The Papal legate was received, and in general his authority was recognized by the government. Even the outlines of the English Constitution were transmitted by Pope Adrian I. through his legate to England, and adopted on his presentation by the bishops, the prince, and the nobility; and it was precisely after the Danish invasions, and at the period of the Norman Conquest, that systematic resistance, on the part of the king and his courtiers, lay and cleric, to the Pope began. Almost the reverse of what Mr. Derby pretends in the case. To be satisfied of this one needs but read the letters of St. Gregory VII. to William the Conqueror.

“ Under the Norman kings the Pope of Rome resumed his efforts for supremacy in Britain, and sent a legate to that country.” Just as if he never sent a legate to that country before. The Pope resumed no efforts for supremacy in Britain, which the Church in England had always acknowledged. His efforts were to make the Norman kings respect what had been always the rights of the Church. The bishops did not renounce St. Anselm, because he acknowledged the Papal authority, for the question did not turn on the authority of the Pope ; but ostensibly because he acknowledged Urban II. to be the legitimnate Pope, in a case of disputed succession, before the Church in England had done so ; yet really because he had fallen under

the displeasure of that monster William Rufus. It was not the bishops that originated the difficulties that St. Anselm had to encounter, but the king who wished to enslave the Church, and secure to himself her revenues. Lingard, in the place cited by Mr. Derby, as was to be suspected, does not sustain the author's statement.

“Henry I. allowed no appeals to the Pope without license from the king.” What then ?

What then? Does Mr. Derby expect us to take the oppressive acts of a civil tyrant as ecclesiastical authority ? We know very well that the Norman kings undertook to destroy the Papal authority in the English church, and with but too much success. A movement was commenced against the Papacy by William the Conqueror, which on the part of the civil power was continued down to Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Elizabeth. As far as the kings and courtiers could render the Church in England independent of the Pope, they did it, and in doing it, were too often aided by unworthy bishops ; but kings, though they may oppress the Church, have no authority in the Church, and it is a little too bad to hold her responsible for the acts of which she is the victim. What should we think of a writer who should argue that the Catholic Hierarchy in Eugland now, at the head of which is his Eminence, Cardinal Wiseman, is independent of Rome, because the English government passed against it The Ecclesiastical Titles Act? Yet he would only argue as does our learned Jurist. The acts against Appeals to Ronje, the Clarendon Constitutions, the law of Præmunire, and all others which show that the sovereign wished to trammel the exercise of the Papal power in England, cited by Mr. Derby, prove, if you will, that the kings were anti-Papal, and oppressed the Church, but they do not prove that the Church did not recognize her dependence on the Papal See. They prove, so far as they prove any thing, that she did, and that the civil tyrants wished to break that dependence, and render her solely dependent on themselves, so as to be able to despoil her and tyrannize, more at their ease.

Mr. Derby is a degenerate Puritan, and forgets the principle on which his ancestors separated from the Anglican Establishment. They denied, in their stern way, the authority of the State in spirituals, and asserted, in principle, the Independence of the Church. They erred in doctrine, they erred as to the Constitution of the Church, but they would have been hung, drawn, and quartered, sooner than have admitted the civil power had any authority in the Church. Mr. Derby, as a true Anglican, knows no distinction between Church and State, and takes the action of the State in a given country as the exponent of the faith, and discipline of the Church in that country. The Roman emperors at one time favored Arianism, exiled Catholic bishops, and intruded Arians into their Sees, and hence he concludes that the Church then was Arian. In England, he finds on the part of the king and parliament, a long series of acts hostile to the spiritual supremacy of the Holy See, and hence concludes that the Church in England was independent of the Apostolic See, anti-Papal, and that the Papal authority, opposed by the civil power, was illegitimate, a usurpation. The civil power with him is always right, and the ecclesiastical always wrong ; kings are infallible and impeccable, but the Popes are always fallible and peccable. Kings are never ambitious or grasping when they war against the Popes ; Popes are always insolent, grasping, ambitious, tyrannical, when they oppose kings and defend the rights of religion. The man really does not seem to know that he talks like a simpleton or a madman. For our part we believe that God is King of kings, and Lord of lords, that the Pope is his vicegerent on earth, and that when Pope and Cæsar are in conflict, Cæsar is in the wrong. Religion is the supreme law, and its representative is to be obeyed in preference to Cæsar, who represents only the state. We give to Cæsar what belongs to him, but we do not make him the arbiter of our faith, or the keeper of our conscience. We acknowledge in him no spiritual competency.

The Jurist, no doubt, wishes us as well as others to regard him as an intelligent and fair-minded man, and we suppose he would feel insulted were we to call him a pettifogger; but, although he is only a fair sample of anti-popery writers, we can conceive nothing more unjust or unfair than his whole line of argument from beginning to end. Our readers know that we make it a point of honor and of conscience to represent the views and arguments of our opponents fairly, and to reply to them in the same manner. Many a man may find in our pages his objections to our

« AnkstesnisTęsti »