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body who knows anything of the history of Ireland; every body who knows anything of the proceedings upon this question, or of the evidence given before a committee of this House, as well as before the House of Lords, must feel most sensibly how important is the provision contained in this oath. Are we not aware that that oath was admitted, at that period, as an additional security to the Protestant Church? that were a necessary clause and provision in the oath of 1793, why was it then omitted? Again, I say, will not the House be astonished to learn that, in the bill of 1825, the whole of this provision was omitted? Was the omission made advisedly and deliberately? Was it merely the effect of accident, or of indifference; or was it the result of deep-laid design? I think there is no manner of doubt, that this can be considered only as a deviation of Roman Catholic professions. If so, I ask where is the power or the wish, on their part, to give us the additional security which we are entitled to demand?
"Having called the attention of the House to this material omission, I shall pass over the other less important omissions. This was the oath. What additional security was it proposed to afford the Protestant Establishment in Church and State? Something was said with respect to the Roman Catholic bishops, and a certificate of loyalty; but this was after the election. Is there any human being who does not feel the
entire ridicule of such a proposition?-is there an individual, who acts upon the principle that security is essential or necessary, that can consider this offer as an adequate security to us Protestants against the justly dreaded dangers of foreign interference? To guard against the indignity, the perils of foreign interference, and foreign correspondence, what is the security offered? None whatever, except that the correspondence between Ireland and the Papal See, should undergo the supervision of the Roman Catholic bishops. These were the securities posed to be afforded us by the bill of 1825.
"Perhaps it will be said-I have no doubt that it will be urged-that we ask the Roman Catholics to do that which is totally inconsistent with their religion. It will be argued, that they cannot afford us the security we require, without undermining the principles of their religious faith that they cannot accede to the bill of 1813. If this be true, it is really a most extraordinary circumstance--a circumstance totally inexplicable to me. Is it not a most extraordinary fact, that in the year 1814, after the decision of this House had been declared upon the bill of 1813, the person who at that period exercised the authority of the See of Rome, upon being applied to on the subject—the first authority then existingthe individual, under whose jurisdiction and spiritual control the Roman Catholics of Ireland were at that moment placed,-that individual did,
in the most distinct and positive terms, publicly declare, that there was nothing objectionable in the veto, and that there was nothing in the bill of 1813 at all inconsistent with the principles and exercise of the Roman Catholic religion.
"But it was singularly contended by the Irish Roman Catholic bishops, when that opinion was communicated to them, that the Pope at that period was in his confinement, and they protested against the authority of the person I allude to, who acted in his place, for having, in this instance, they stated, very much overstepped all legitimate limits. To confute that argument, -to answer that objection,-I have only to call to the recollection of the House, that the same proposition was stated in detail by the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland to the Pope himself in the year 1815, and his Holiness confirmed the opinion given in the preceding year. The Pope had unequivocally declared, that there was nothing in that concession which he deemed inconsistent with the tenets and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Is there any body who has attended to the history of these proceedings --is there a man who is acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case, that can deny what I have stated? I have a letter addressed upon the subject by the Pope, amongst the papers now near me, and I could refer to it if what I have asserted were not a matter so notorious as to render any such reference idle and unnecessary.
"Let us advance one step further. What takes place in other countries relative to this point will afford the most valuable positive evidence upon the subject, and the strength of this testimony will be greatly increased by connecting it with what I have just stated, with respect to the concessions of the Pope, in 1815. Let us examine the situation of Roman Catholics on the continent of Europe, and having done so, recur to the condition of the Protestants there. Who appoints the Roman Catholic bishops of Silesia? Does the Pope? Does even a Roman Catholic sovereign appoint them? No; they are appointed solely and entirely by the King of Prussia. Why should not the Roman Catholic bishops of Ireland be equally appointed by their Protestant Sovereign? Oh! no: in Ireland this is deemed totally inconsistent with the principles of the Roman Catholic religion! In Russia, the only Roman Catholic bishop, possessing authority in the empire, is appointed by the sovereign. In addition to these important facts, I can state that, both in Russia and Prussia, the whole correspondence that passes between the Roman Catholics of those countries and the See of Rome, is under the supervision of Protestant authorities. Don't tell me then that such concessions are inconsistent with the spirit, the principles, or the practice of the Roman Catholic religion.
"Is there any thing in the immediate state of Europe, and in the situation in which we now
stand, as contrasted with that of 1810 or 1815, which would render the security that was necessary then, unnecessary now. I beg the attention of the House to this point. At the period of the peace and treaty of 1815, the Roman Catholic religion and influence of the Papal See were in a state of the most abject prostration. If there ever existed a period when we might have dispensed with securities from the Roman Catholics, it was at that peculiar juncture of affairs. But even at that period the advocates of the Roman Catholic religion thought the securities essential. How different is the present period! How much more pregnant is it with danger and with just causes of alarm! Since the year 1814 we have found the Roman Catholic religion and the Papal See struggling actively and incessantly for power throughout every part of Europe. In every
corner of Europe we find a state of excitement; and what is most extraordinary and marvellous is, that whilst the advocates of liberal principles and liberal feelings in this country are defending the claims and pretensions of the Roman Catholics, the advocates of liberal principles upon the continent, who see what is going on, are alarmed and suspicious, and apprehensive of our proceedings in their favour.
"Let us only advert to what has recently occurred in the south of France. I refer to the year 1814, when the spirit of Roman Catholic persecution burst forth against the Protestants.