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prelacy and the Castle. In 1794, an address of thanks was presented by them to his Majesty, on account of the recent relaxation of the popery laws; and, in the course of the same year, the college of Maynooth was founded, in consequence of a direct application from the same learned body. When the great measure of the Union was in contemplation, it is equally notorious, that the full measure of Catholic emancipation, and even something more, was held out to the leaders of that Body by the agents of government, both on this and on the other side of the water; and accordingly it appears, that, in 1798, a scheme was actually under consideration for a State provision for the whole body of the Catholic priesthood. At this period, a general meeting of the Catholic prelates was held in Dublin in January 1799; which was attended by the four metropolitans, and the six senior prelates of that church, who unanimously adopted certain resolutions, which were soon after communicated, both to their own flocks, and to the government of this country. Of these, the most remarkable was, that the proposal of allowing government such an interference in the appointment of their bishops as might enable it to be satisfied of the loyalty of the persons appointed, was just, and ought to be agreed to;' and that, to give this principle its full operation, the names of the candidates proposed should be transmitted to government; and that, if any objection was intimated within one month, the electors should again convene, and propose another candidate. '
These resolutions were put into the hands of his Majesty's ministers at the time; and, as they had never been disavowed or complained of by any member of the Catholic church, were of course understood, by all the parliamentary friends of emancipation, to contain the sentiments of that Body. The probability and propriety of such concessions, and indeed of a far more extensive system of mutual indulgence and conciliation, was expatiated upon in the debates which took place in 1805, and called out no expression of jealousy or disapprobation on the part of any of the Catholics. The subject was again brought forward in May 1808; and, previously to the discussion in Parliament, Dr Milner, who had been for many years the avowed agent of the Catholic prelates in this great question, suggested to Lord Grenville, Mr Ponsonby, and Mr Grattan, that some effect might be produced, by stating to Parliament, more in detail, the proposal to which his constituents had so long agreed, of giving his Majesty a negative or veto upon the appointment of the Catholic bishops; and not doubting in the least, from the tenor of his instructions, that he had full powers to that effect, he did accordingly furnish them with a specific proposal for that purpose, bearing, that in the event of the Catholic
Catholic petition being granted, the bishops were willing, before supplying any future vacancy in their own body, to transmit the name of the proposed successor to the government, and, in case of his being objected to, to transmit another and another name, till an individual should be found, to whom no objection was made. In terms of this suggestion, this proposition was distinctly stated in Parliament by the distinguished persons already mentioned; and is universally known to have produced an effect much greater than was anticipated by the most sanguine advocates of the cause. It is particularly important to attend to the dates of the proceedings that ensued.
The proposition was announced in Parliament on the 25th of May 1808; and instantly became the subject of discussion, both in Ireland and in this country; and yet, no murmurs were heard against it till after the middle of July; nor was any disavowal or intimation of dissatisfaction made by the prelates in whose names it had been made, till the 14th of September thereafter. On the contrary, the thanks of the Catholic Body were returned to the statesmen who had moved and supported their petition; and no hint was given of any dissatisfaction at that proposal, which certainly formed by far the most prominent and remarkable part of their statement. We have reason indeed to believe, that the prelates themselves were for some considerable time perfectly satisfied with the proposition; and, indeed, when it is considered that the whole ten leaders of their Body, who had originally suggested the measure in 1799, were still alive and in authority, it is much more easy to believe this, than to understand upon what ground they could afterwards intimate their dissent. The true history of the matter we believe to be as follows.
There has long been in Ireland a desperate and disaffected party, who, without much regard for the Catholic, or for any other religion, are bent upon the complete separation of that country from England; and would not, in general, scruple to take the assistance of a foreign power to effect that separation. To such persons, the existence of the Catholic disabilities, and of every thing else that was likely to breed hostility between the two countries, was an object of the utmost importance: nor could any thing be more fatal to their hopes, than the adoption of a truly wise, liberal, and indulgent policy, by the government of this country. Seeing, therefore, that this proposal of the veto had produced a great effect on the English public, and promised to remove most of the obstacles that lay in the way of this great measure of conciliation, they set themselves to consider whether that dreaded event might not be retarded by exciting jealousies and suspicions among certain descriptions of the Catholics themselves;
and in this unhallowed attempt there was something in the state of the Catholic body that unfortunately promised them but too much success.
The original managers of the Catholic cause were men of singular prudence and moderation of character-of high rank, and acknowledged abilities. The distinction they obtained by their judicious and well concerted endeavours, naturally excited the jealousy of some members of the body, who had not exactly the same qualifications; and the very success which had crowned their efforts, produced, in the more sanguine and impetuous spirits, a degree of impatience at those slow and regulated movements, to which, in reality, they had been principally indebted for their success. In the crowded meetings of the Dublin Catholics, accordingly, there had recently arisen a set of rash, turbulent, ambitious, or bigotted men, who evidently aimed at getting the management of this great cause, and in some measure the command of this great population, into their own hands; and employed, for the attainment of this object, the common arts that are resorted to by all who are more desirous of popularity, than scrupulous about the means of procuring it. They flattered and inflamed their auditors, by speaking in exaggerated terms of their wrongs, their numbers, and their power; and, mingling something like the language of intimidation with their arguments and remonstrances, affected a much warmer zeal for the rights of the Body, and a much more lofty determination to bring the cause to a speedy issue, than had suited the cautious policy of their more experienced leaders. The success of those arts was neither to be wondered at, nor, in common times, very much to be dreaded. The assembled multitudes in Dublin might applaud the vehement and bombastic harangues of a few ambitious counsellors and attornies; but the Catholic prelacy and aristocracy were likely to maintain a practical ascendancy in the management of their common cause. In this crisis, however, the question of the ve to was suddenly brought under public discussion; and the measure being furiously cried out against by those who trembled at the thoughts of a real conciliation, the cry was rashly taken up by the rash and sanguine, who spurned at the idea of compromise, and by the ambitious, who sought only for an opportunity to distinguish themselves. By their impetuosity and their clamours, they confounded some, and infected others; and appearing, by their noise and activity, to be far more numerous than they actually were, they finally succeeded in intimidating the prelates themselves into an acquiescence in their absurd opposition. That this was actually the course and progress of the business, appears from all that we have been able to collect of the conduct
of that reverend Body. After thanking their agent and their parliamentary advocates, without any hint of disapprobation, and even intimating individually, as has been rumoured, their persuasion, that what had been proposed in their name would meet with their unanimous sanction, they began, about the beginning of July, to take alarm at the clamours which had been excited by the agitators in Dublin and other populous places ;-and, after holding a partial assembly in that month, at which they are understood to have been divided in opinion, they postponed coming to any determination till they could take the sense of a general meeting in September. Before the day of that meeting, the ferment excited by designing or bigotted men, had attained a very formidable height; and the prelates, appalled at the idea of a schism in a church so critically situated, and clinging fondly to that popular influence which is the chief reward of their labours, were induced, on the 14th September, to adopt an unanimous resolution, setting forth, that it was inexpedient (not illegal, or contrary to their duty) to introduce any alteration in the canonical mode hitherto observed in the nomination of Irish bishops;' and to this determination they afterwards adhered, in a second set of resolutions, and an address to the Catholic body at large, which they circulated in February 1810.
Such are the facts relating to this projected veto on the part of the Crown; and there are only two questions that can be raised upon their statement, with reference to the great measure of emancipation. In the first place, it may be asked, whether the Catholics are justifiable in the opposition which they have made to it; and, 2dly, it may be asked, whether that opposition affords any reasonable ground for the legislature of this country refusing the prayer of their petitions. In our own opinion, both these questions ought to be answered in the negative. The demand of a veto on the part of government, was just and reasonable in itself; but there seems to be no sufficient reason for making it a condition of the justice that was due to the laity.
At the very first view, it must appear not a little unreasonable in the Catholics to reject absolutely even the negative interference of Government, in the nomination of their spiritual chieftains. The powers of bishops are very large in that communion, both over the bodies and the spirits of their congregations; and we are not aware of any other society or institution that thinks itself entitled to a regular organization, and to the institution of high offices, without being submitted in some degree to the controul of the supreme government, by which all of its members are protected. We are perfectly aware of the spiritual independenthat is asserted by the Catholics, and by many other sects of religionists;.
religionists; but the veto in question had not the most remote tendency to interfere with that supremacy and independence. The bishop, and the bishop alone, was to have spiritual power over his flock; and was to derive the whole of that power from the ordination of the supreme pontiff. All that the All that the government asked was, that it should have the means of preventing any disJoyal person from being made a bishop-of interposing its negative prior to ordination-and hindering a person, to whose elevation to a situation of great influence in society there were strong civil objections, from being elevated to such a situation. We do not think that the pretension was much worth insisting on; but we do think that it had a solid foundation in expediency and justice.
Neither is there the loaft appearance of its being at all inconfiftent with the principles or practice of the Catholic religion. On the contrary, Sir J. Hippifley has fhown, in the clearest manner, that fomething equivalent, or fomething a great deal fronger, has been adopted in almost all the Catholic communities in Eu rope. Where the government was Catholic alfo, there was lefs need, perhaps, for precaution or jealoufy on either fide;—and yet it is undeniable, that in Spain, in France, in Auftria, in Naples, in Venice and in Tufcany, laws were long ago paffed, declaring that no papal bull, edict, letter or decree, though relating only to fpirituals, fhould have execution within thefe feveral ftates, until backed and fanctioned by the Regium exsequatur of the civil government and by the old concordat between Leo X. and Francis I., as well as by the later concordat with Bonaparte, the direc nomination of the French bishops is vefted in the civil government, to the utter exclufion of the fpiritual power. In countries, again, where the government is not catholic, fome controul, either greater, or equivalent to the propofed veto, feems to be uniformly retained by the government over thefe epifcopal appointments. In Ruffia, for example, a Catholic bishopric was created, and the bishop named by the late Emprefs, in 1782, and fpiritual induction granted by the Pope without any befitation or remonftrance. In Pruffia, in like manner, the Roman Catholic bishops of Silefia have always been directly nominated by the Crown, ever fince the acquifition of that province, and their legitimacy recognifed at Rome with equal cordiality. In Canada, too, at this mo ment, the Proteftant King of Great Britain actually nominates both the bishop and coadjutor, without producing any fcandal or dif content in any part of the Catholic church. The ufage, in fhort, of the whole Chriftian world feemed to recognife the propriety of eftablishing fome fuch point of contact between the two great ftablishments, of Government and of Religion, in every cafe where