« ZurückWeiter »
and struck the name of Malagola from the list of candidates for the degree of Bachelor.
Of the uniformity of our doctrine upon this head, the celebrated Declaration of the French Clergy, published in 1682, will be an eternal monument; the first article of it is as follows; and it well expresses the genuine sentiments of the Faculty :
* To Saint Peter and to his successors, the Vicars of Christ, " and to the Church :-Power was delegated by God in concerns “ of a spiritual nature and belonging to eternal salvation; but " not in civil or temporal concerns, as appears by the expressions " of our Lord:-My kingdom is not of this world: and again, " Give, therefore unto Cæsar those things which are Cesar's, and ç those which are God's, to God. On the same ground stands the
saying of the Apostle :- Let every soul be subjected to the higbet • Powers, for there is no power but from God, for those which are " ordained from God:-whoever, therefore, resists power resists the " ordination of God. Kings and princes, therefore, are not in “ temporals subjected by the ordination of God to any ecclesiasti“ cal power, either directly or indirectly; neither by the authority " of the Keys of the Church can they be deposed or freed from “their faith, obedience, or oath of allegiance: that this opinion
was necessary to public peace, equally useful to the Church and
State, and agreeable to tradition and the example of the Fathers; " and should, therefore, upon every account be adhered to."
Ever since the year 1682 it has been the will of the Sacred Fa. culty of Paris, that this doctrine should, in the very words of the Declaration, be taught in her schools : and it is a law and uninterrupted usage of the Faculty, that,-All the Bachelors, before they take their Degree of Licentiates, should maintain it in their Public Theses.
Thus, in the course of time, has this doctrine become so completely established with the Divines of Paris, that whenever their opinion has been asked on private concerns, they have never answered otherwise than conformably to it.
In 1680, Sixty Doctors of the Sacred Faculty declared it to be their opinion, that, The English oath of allegiance, which mentions the independent sovereignty of the Kings of England in temporal concerns, might be taken by English Catholics with a safe conscience.
Such also was the opinion of Sixty of our Body, who, in 1775, held, that, - The English Catholics might, with a safe conscience,
swear,—That the Pope had not by Divine Ordination any kind of temporal right in any kingdom; particularly naming Ireland.”
Thus have we declared our opinion on the first Question: an opinion not merely probable, but certain; not variable and une steady, but constant and perpetual; not suggested by others, but the fruit of our own study; not dictated to us by law, but antecedent to law itself.
Our Faculty devotes herself the more religiously to the defence of this doctrine, because she finds it perfectly consonant to the Word of God and the Tradition of the Fathers.
For there is not in the Scripture any mention of any right granted by Christ to Ecclesiastical persons, or to the Roman Pontiff, who is their head, to interfere in temporal concerns, to dethrone sovereigns or to place others in their stead. On the contrary, Christ incessantly inculcates, that, notwithstanding the promulgas tion of the Gospel, kingdoins remained in the same state in which they were constituted by the rights of nations and people; that the civil power remained distinct in her own order, her own duu' ties, and her own actions, untouched, and in full possession of her former rights; that the empire of Cæsar should ever be safe from his empire; and that earthly kingdoms would never.be in any danger from the laws of his kingdom. To this refer the former passages cited above by the French Clergy. John xviii. 33. Matt. xxii. Rom. xiii.
Conscious of the Divine Authority of their office, and that they should have the assistance of Heaven in the discharge of it, the Apostles never taught those to whom they committed the care of the Churches, that the Civil Power was in matters of a temporal nature obnoxious to it, either directly or indirectly.
And certainly those with whom the Apostolic tradition was first deposited, were far from claiming any power in civil or temporal concerns. Every person is apprized of the fainous passages in Tertullian's Letters to Scrapula, and in his Apology:" We vene
rate the Emperor,” says he, " as the person next to God; and “ in what he derives from God, inferior only to God; the empe
rors know, that to God alone they are subject; to God alone
they are second: after God, they are first in order.” This was the language of the Christians in times when the numbers of them were so great, that the same writer observes they filled the towns, the islands, the corporations, and even the armies of the Em. perors.
Osius, who presides at the Council of Nice, writes thus to the Emperor Constantius :-" To thee, God has committed the Ein“ pire; to us, he has intrusted his Church; and as those, who “ with evil eyes, look at your empire, contradict the Divine Oro “ dination, so it is with respect to us; for it is written,- What iş
6 Cæsar's, give to Cæsar: what is God's, give to God. It is tin. “ lawful for us to hold an earthly empire." &c.
St. Augustin in his 115th Treatise on the Gospel of Saint John, cried out without hesitation,-“ Hear, O, ye empire of the “ World ! I interfere not with your sovereignty in this world; my
kingdom is not of this world.“ Pope Gelasius writes thus to the Emperor Anastasius,-“ The
government of the world acts on two things; the Sacred Au"thority of the Bishops, and the Power of the Kings. Each is “ chief, each supreme; nor do the duties of the one interfere with “ the duties of the other, so far as to the order of public disci* pline belongs :-the Bishops of the Church recognizing the. ď sovereignty conferred upon you by the Authority of God, “ obey you,” &c,
We shall adduce no further proofs, lest our answer should swell to an immense size. That learned work of Bossuet, Defensia Cleri Gallicani, throughout the whole of the second part, contains many striking proofs, that this doctrine is an Apostolic tra, dition.
Answer to the Second Query. “ Neither the Pope, nor the Cardinals, nor any body of men,
nor any person of the Church of Rome, can, by virtue of the “ Keys, absolve or free the subjects of the King of England from their aath of allegiance,”
This and the first Quære are so intimately connected, that the Answer to the first immediately and naturally applies to the second,
For,-What greater authority over a Sovereign can be cone ceived, than the right of absolving and freeing subjects from their oath of allegiance? How well it might be said that the kingdom of Christ was of this world, if the right of deciding on the taking away of kingdoms were annexed to it, and could be conferred by it upon the ministers of the Church!
It were needless to repeat here what we said at some length upon the first 'Query, or to copy the passages we cited before from the declaration of the Gallican Church, and her censures of Santarellus and Malagola; it is, however, observable, that the third of the Articles of the year 1663, particularly regards this Query :-" The doctrine of the Faculty is, That the obligation “ of allegiance and obedience which the subjects of the King of “ France owe their Sovereign, is of such a nature that it cannot " by any pretence be dispensed with."
The words of the English oath of allegiance should be attend. ed to. “ The Pope has not, by himself or by any authority,
granted to the Church, or the See of Rome, or by any other means, or with any other person, any authority to depose tbe King, or to free any of his subjects from the oath of allegiance or their ubedience.'
The Answer of the Doctors to the Catholics of Ireland in 1775, upon the Third Query, is, “ The doctrine of the right of the “ Popes to depose princes excommunicated, is heretical mate. “ rialiter (as it is termed by the Schools); that is, contrary to the very word of God."
Answer to the Third Query. • There is no tenet in the Catholic Faith by which Catholics
are justified in not keeping faith with Heretics, or those who s difier from them in matters of religion.”
The tenet, That it is lawful to break faith with Heretics, is so repugnant to cominon honesty and the opinions of the Catholics, that there is nothing of which those who have defended the Catho- lic Faith against Protestants have complained more heavily, than the malice and calumny of their adversaries in imputing this tenet to them.
We have already mentioned the Answer of the Sixty Doctors of Paris, consulted by the Irish Catholics in 1775 to a similar query ;--we adopt it in all its parts: and with respect to the prin'ciple of the tenet which the English Catholics fear, lest by reason of some preconceived opinions it should be imputed to them, As it is rejected by Christians of every communion, and is repugnant to the fundamental principles both of natural and revealed religion, we cannot think it incumbent on us to enter upon the subject; and we think it requires no discussion.
Thus, then, the Sacred Faculty considers it to be certain, That no power, in civil or temporal matters, was given by Christ to St. Peter, or his successors, or the Church of Rome, or annesed to her power, in things spiritual or relating to eternal salvation, that subjects cannot be absolved from their oath of allegiance to their temporal Sovereign ; that nothing can excuse them in breaking faith with Heretics; that this is the doctrine of the Catholic Church, and that it is founded on Scripture and tradition.
Given at Paris, in the General Assembly of the Sorbonne,
held on Thursday, the 11th Day before the Calends of March, 1789,
Decanus Sacræ Facultatis Parisiensis. De mandato Venerandi D. Decani ac Magistrorum Sacræ Facultatis Parisiensis, IIARDY, Scriba.
The Judgment of the University, of. Alcala, concerning
Three Questions proposed to it by his Catholic Majesty, and their most beloved Soverign Charles the Fourth.
1st. Has the Roman Pontiff, or the Cardinals of the Holy Roman : Church, or any Council, or any individual of the Catholic
Church, by virtue of their communion with that Church, any civil authority, civil power, jurisdiction, or pre-eminence in
the Kingdom of Great Britain ? 2d. Can the Roman Pontiff, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman
Church, any Council or individual of the Catholic Church, absolve the subjects of his Britannic Majesty from their oath
of allegiance, or dispense with its obligations ? 3d. Among the Articles of the Catholic Faith is there any which
teaches, That Catholics are not bound to keep faith with Heretics, or with persons of any other description, who differ from them in matters of religion?
Answer to the First Question.
It is the opinion of the University, that none of the persons mentioned in the proposed Question, either individually or collectively, or in any Council assembled, whether laymen or prelates, have any right to civil authority by virtue of their communion with the Catholic Church; and that therefore the civil authority, civil power, jurisdiction, and pre-eminence which many Catholics possess, is not derived to them from the circumstance of their being Catholics, but from the very same sources as to many others who are not Catholics, viz. from inheritance, election, the consent of the people, and other titles of that nature. For the right of governing kingdoms in civil concerns, as well as of possession, were instituted before the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ our Lord, the Author of that divine law by which it is governed; and he expressly declared that he left those rights untouched ; saying to Pilate, “ My kingdom is not of this world – but now my kingdom is not from bence.” (John xviii. 36.). The sense of wbich words has been aptly explained and illustrated by the great Saint Augustin (Trac. 115, in Joan. n. 2.):-“Listen,” says he, “ye Jews and Gentiles ; hear " this, ye circumcised and uncircumcised; hear it all ye nations " of the earth: I interfere not with your dominion in this world. “ Be not you seized with that groundless fear with which Herod 4. trembled when the birth of Christ was announced in Jerusa“ lem.” The same are the ideas of the Apostle Paul, conveyed in these words, in his Epistle to the Romans :- .“ Let every soul “ be subject to the higher powers.” On which St. John Chrya