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subject. Two nights of debate his conviction that it became law served them to discuss the prin- against the wishes of a numeciple of the measure, on the second rical majority of the people of this reading, but the reputation of the country, and thought the strong House was well sustained on that and unanimous sentiment on which occasion by several lucid and im- the promoters of the present Bill pressive speeches. The Marquis of justified its introduction might be Lansdowne,commencing the discus- regarded with rejoicing, as a noble sion on the 21st of July, recapitu- manifestation of Protestant spirit; lated the well-known circumstances yet he contended-fortifying his which had led to the introduction opinions with some historical inof the Bill into the other House, stances—that the demands of a observing that the Bill being very mere numerical majority were not short and simple it was not neces- sufficient to justify any direct or sary for him to enter at large upon violent interference with religious the general character of its enact- freedom. In the measure ments, or the ground on which its under consideration he feared that preamble had been framed. No- the Government attempted to acthing could be further from his complish objects beyond their conintention than to enter into any trol. Did they intend to deny to doctrinal discussions, or to recom- their Roman Catholic fellow-submend any proceedings calculated jects the advantage of bishops reto interfere with the perfect reli- gularly consecrated ? If so, it gious freedom justly belonging to amounted to a refusal of toleration. every British subject; on the con- To perfect toleration he held that trary, the Bill had no other object the Roman Catholics were fully than to assert and enforce the entitled, though he demanded for hitherto undisputed right of the them no greater privileges than Crown to prohibit the use of titles were enjoyed by every class of conferred by foreign potentates, Dissenters throughout this realm. and to resist the slightest approach Upon the history of the Bill he to the exercise of territorial juris- thought it right to make a few obdiction. Having referred to Lalor's servations, it appearing to him most case, to the Roman Catholic Relief extraordinary and mysterious that Act, as well as to many of the ar- the Ministers should have introguments already put forth in the duced a measure containing some Lower House by the supporters of strong provisions, should then subthe measure, he declared that in mit to have those enactments struck urging those considerations he was out, and subsequently should allow influenced by no fear that the Pro- them to be restored with additions testant religion in this country of still greater stringency. In passhad been endangered, yet it was ing from that line of argument he not the less necessary to announce quoted several authorities to show what were the prerogatives of the that the change recently introduced Crown in this matter, and to re- amongst the Roman Catholics of cognise the necessity of their full England had long been desired maintenance.
by them, and appeared in their The Earl of Aberdeen, in re- judgment to be necessary to the ferring to the Roman Catholic government of their Church.
As Relief Act of 1829, expressed to the late proceedings of the Roman Catholic prelates in this continued to be anything but a country being a violation of the dead letter, there never again existing laws, he denied that posi- would be peace in Ireland; and on tion altogether, and argued that such grounds he concluded by the appointment of vicars-apostolic moving that the Bill be read a sewas fully as illegal as that of bi-cond time that day three months. shops, if either could be so con- Lord Beaumont pointed out to sidered. The Bill was a measure the House that all those acts of which he regarded with alarm, Rome bearing the names of bulls seeing that its enactments would and rescripts were deemed by Roinvalidate every act done by Roman man authorities to be of a spiritual Catholic bishops in this country; nature, but he denied that they and though it might be carried, all ought to be so considered, and he attached very little weight to he doubted whether the language the arguments by which it was in which they were couched could supported, and nothing in his opi- be endured by any independent nion could have less justification community, for he regarded such than the appeal made to the loyalty language in many cases as nothing of Englishmen, under a pretence less than an infraction of the law that by the proceedings of Rome of nations. In reply to the statethe integrity of the British Crown ment that the Pope had sacrificed was assailed. In going through some portion of his authority in the details of the measure he substituting a regular hierarchy pointed attention to the clause re- for vicars-apostolic, he showed from lating to the Protestant bishops in the appointment of the Most Rev. Scotland, saying that the footing Dr. Cullen that the Pope had ason which they were established sumed an arbitrary power in Irewas exactly that on which he de- land, which he was prepared also sired to see the Roman Catholic to exercise in England, by the prelates plaeed. With reference absolute appointment of all the to the complaints made against Roman Catholic prelates. These the arrogance of the Pope, they recent proceedings of the Court amounted to a complaint against of Rome were evidently intended his existence, but there evidently for the purpose of drawing over was no intention on the part of the to ultramontane opinions all the Pope to offer the least offence to educated and free-minded Roman the Crown of England. Although Catholics who in this country had those considerations, as objections declared their adhesion to liberal to the measure, well deserved at- institutions. The further
purpose tention, yet he had always opposed, of those proceedings he fully beand should continue to do so, any lieved was to influence popular eduattempt to introduce a Popish cation, and, amongst other things, Nuncio into England. There were to destroy the greatest boon ever many persons who had just reason conferred on Ireland, the Queen's to complain of the Bill, but none Colleges. Finally, his cordial suphad greater cause than the Pope; port should be given to the Bill, for the declarations of Lord John regarding it as a great national Russell and other Ministers laid a protest, which the necessity of the trap from which he could scarcely case had rendered unavoidable. be expected to escape. If the Bill Tho Duke of Wellington had
always endeavoured to support the might exist as to the question of provisions of the great measure of usurpation, he was ready to admit 1829, but, when the recent proceed- that an insult had been offered, ings of the Court of Rome were not to the Crown or the people of brought under his notice, he felt at England, but to the Church. once that they could not be passed The Duke of Argyll reminded over without legislation. The Pope the House that they had two docuhad appointed an Archbishop of ments to deal with—the rescript Westminster,—had attempted to of the Pope, and the pastoral of exercise authority over the very Cardinal Wiseman; and if the spot in which the English Parlia- party to which Lord Aberdeen bement was assembled, -and under longed were in office, they could the sanction of this proceeding not, consistently with their avowed Cardinal Wiseman made an attack principles, do otherwise than direct upon the rights of the Dean and their legislation against the pastoChapter of Westminster. That ral, for they argued strenuously this was contrary to the true spirit that the rescript was expressed in of the laws of England no man the terms always used upon
such acquainted with them could doubt, occasions. In reply to the argufor throughout the whole of our ment against the Bill founded on statutes affecting religion we had the necessary consequences of tolecarefully abstained from disturbing ration, he pressed upon the House the great principles of the Re- the position, that because they formation. If in their legislation tolerated the faith of the Roman upon this subject they did what Catholic, they were not therefore was necessary for protecting the bound to permit everything that religious liberties of the people, the Court of Rome chose to call and no more, they might rely upon the requisite developments of its the cordial support of England ecclesiastical system; and with and of the better portion of Ire- regard to the Charitable Bequests land. He should therefore give Act, he had always held that there his vote without hesitation in was nothing in that statute which favour of the motion that the Bill at all precluded them from legisbe then read a second time. lating upon this subject in what
The Earl of Malmesbury sup- ever way the necessity of the case ported the Bill, but nothing would might seem to require; further, induce him to do so if he thought he would maintain that Parliament it could be fairly considered as an had done nothing to deprive itself interference with the religious free. of the right and power to control dom of any Roman Catholic. any part of the ecclesiastical sys
Viscount Canning feared that tem of Rome which in the least the Bill might jeopardize the great degree interfered with the freedom principle of religious freedom; or independence of this country. and when they founded legislation
The Earl of Airlie briefly supof that character upon a belief ported the Bill. that the Pope had been guilty, as The Bishop of St. David's said regarded this country, of an act of he should vote for the second readusurpation, the proof which they ing of the Bill; but he would not offered ought to be of the most pretend that he was completely perfect kind; but whatever doubt satisfied with it. It was one, and only one, of several modes which the notorious law of this realm, might have been adopted for bring- and that the after or enacting part ing about a particular end. A was expedient and just. Recapidiplomatic representation to the tulating in a condensed form the Pope to withdraw his rescript might events of the aggression, he conhave been tried. He was not very cluded, on all the grounds of prinsanguine as to its success; but he ciple and precedent, of public and regretted that some proceeding of national law and policy, that the act that kind had not been adopted. of the Pope was a violation of the He did not look to the other independence of this country and side of the Channel for a favour- our Sovereign, and therefore illegal able result as arising from this and void. He did not found that opimeasure. He saw so much danger nion on Lalor's case, for that case to that part of the empire, that he he did not like: under it, indeed, could hardly suppress his regret vicars-apostolic would be equally that a rigid exactness of theory, illegal with territorial bishops. so far as Ireland was concerned, He briefly stated his approval of had not given way to practical ex- those portions of the Bill which had pediency. The measure before not been introduced by the Governtheir Lordships might answer the ment, but had been forced upon purpose of a strong remonstrance, it, especially the informer's clause, and it might dispose the minds of which would stimulate a slumberthe parties to come to some rea- ing Attorney - General. Having sonable compromise on the subject. completed his legal review, he Meanwhile, it secured the inesti. went on to a justification of himmable advantage of keeping invio- self, as a member of the Adminislate and unimpaired that deposit tration which passed the Relief Act, of the law, the rights and privi- for his support of this Bill
. His leges of the Crown and the em- object in passing the Relief Act pire, which had been bequeathed was the extension of toleration. to us by our ancestors and com- Did he say toleration ? He meant mitted to our charge.
a full participation of all the rights The Earl of Winchilsea, re- and privileges of the rest of Her garding the question from a high Majesty's subjects. But such toProtestant point of view, charac- leration would never satisfy the terized the Bill as a paltry Bill, Roman Catholic Church. The late below contempt, which endea- Pope, in a letter to the Bishops voured to vindicate in pounds, shil- of Belgium, declared “ liberty of lings, and pence the wounded ho- conscience” to be an “absurd and nour of our illustrious Queen. erroneous maxim—a wild notion,” He would vote neither for it nor which he “rejected with disdain.” against it.
Their principles were immutable. Lord Lyndhurst observed that Now, as much as 300 years ago, the House had not given much at- their aim was “ domination” tention to the details of the Bill. hesitating when it was politic, blinkHe therefore reviewed it at con- ing when it was necessary, advancsiderable length, with the view of ing when they might with safety. showing that the earlier or decla- The provisions of the Relief Act ratory part of it was grounded on had been totally disregarded in Ire
land; titles had been assumed, the were more dangerous. But against Jesuits recalled, and twenty mo- which party was this Bill directed ? nasteries of men established. The Practically it would militate against national election of a Roman Ca- the English party. Of course he tholic Primate had been overruled offered no apology for the want of by the Pope; a Synod established; common civility which characterand the Queen's Colleges, when ized the proceeding of the Pope; they could not be sapped and but under all the circumstances of perverted, had been condemned. the case-remembering especially Such were the evidences of the un- that the Court of Rome might changing designs of that Church. very naturally have reckoned on Here, then, Lord Lyndhurst said, the consent of our Governmenthe would make his stand. In ad. he did not think that the omission hering to the principle of the Bill, to communicate to our Governhe acted on the maxim principiis ment their intentions should be obsta, for while retracting nothing visited with such legislation as which he had conceded to tolera- this. It was convenient to call it a tion, not one step would he yield protest, but who ever heard of a to ascendancy or domination. protest which inflicted heavy penal
The Duke of Newcastle ex- ties? An eminent lawyer and an pressed his deep regret at hearing attached member of the Church à member of the Administration assured him that the measure, if which had passed the Roman Catho- carried out, would render invalid the lic Relief Act ground his support appointment of the Irish bishops of this Bill on the arguments
and the ordinations of priests, urged by Lord Lyndhurst. The and would unloose the marriages noble Duke combated the position which the priests had performed. that the Pope's act was an inva- Nor would the preamble deal with sion of the Queen's supremacy. Roman Catholics alone; if it reThe Queen could not appoint vived the old laws under which Romish bishops, and her preroga- Lalor was prosecuted, the Distive could not be infringed by the senters of this country, and that assumption of titles which were most respectable body the Wesnot the creatures of law. The leyans, might tremble at the force clause exempting the Scotch bi- and effect of this provision. shops showed that the office was Referring to the demonstrative spiritual.
argument of the Earl of AberMuch had been said about pro- deen, that there was nothing in tecting Roman Catholics from the the Act of 1848 to prevent our Pope: it was not the function of sending a Minister to Rome, though Parliament to interfere on behalf we received no Nuncio thence, he of parties who voluntarily submitted regretted that the language of the themselves to a spiritual power. original rescript had not been subIf Parliament so interfered, there sequently modified. But the lanwas an end to all religious freedom. guage of Dr. Wiseman was wholly The spread of ultramontane opi
without excuse. He thought it nions was indisputable, not merely would have been sufficient, as the here, where they were comparatively case stood, if the two Houses had harmless, but abroad, where they agreed to a joint address to the