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58. 87
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The following is a faithful Translation of the Que

ries submitted to the Faculties of Divinity in the Catholic Universities of Paris, Louvain, Doway, Salamanca, Alcala, and Valladolid, in 1789, on the Subject of those Tenets imputed to Catholics, of keeping no Faith with those who differ from them in Religious Tenets; and of the Power of the Pope to absolve them from their Allegiance to Protestant Princes; with the Answers of the said Faculties respectively thereto.

1st. HAS the Pope, or Cardinals, or any body of men, or any individual of the Church of Rome, any civil authority, power, jurisdiction, or pre-eminence whatsoever, within the realm of England?

2d. Can the Pope, or Cardinals, or any body of men, or any individual of the Church of Rome, absolve or dispense with his Majesty's subjects from their oath of allegiance, upon any pretext whatsoever?

3d. Is there any principle in the tenets of the Catholic Faith by which Catholics are justified in not keeping faith with Heretics, or other persons differing from them in religious opinions in any transactions, either of a public or private nature?

The Faculty of Divinity at Louvain having been requested to give her opinion upon the questions above stated, does it with readiness; but struck with astonishment that such questions should at the end of this 18th century be proposed to any learned body by inhabitants of a kingdom that glories in the talents and discernment of its natives.

The Faculty being assembled for the above purpose,-It as agreed, with the unanimous assent of all voices, to answer the first and second queries in the negative.

The Faculty does not think it incumbent upon her, in this place, to enter upon the proofs of her opinion, or to shew how it is supported by passages in the Holy Scriptures, or the writings of antiquity: that has already been done by Bossuet, De Marca,



the two Barclays, Goldastus, the Pithæuses, Argentre, Widrington, and his' Majesty King James the First, in his Dissertation against Bellarmine and Du Perron; and by many others. The writers of the present times who have treated of the independence of the civil power, have proved the above positions with abundance of learning. The Faculty esteems the following propositions to be beyond controversy.

1st. That God is the Author of the Sovereign Power of the State, in civil matters.

2d. That the Sovereign Power of the State is, in civil matters, subordinate to God alone.

3d. It follows, that the Sovereign Power of the State is in nowise (not even indirectly, as it is termed) subject to or dependent upon any other power, though it be a spiritual power, or even though it be instituted for eternal salvation.

4th. It also follows, that no power whatsoever, even a spiritual power, or a power instituted for eternal salvation, not even a Cardinal, or a Pope, or the whole body of the Church, though assembled in general council, can deprive the Sovereign Power of the State of its temporal rights, possessions, government, jurisdiction, or pre-eminence; nor subject it to any restraints or modifications.

5th. It also follows, that no man, nor any assembly of men, however eminent in dignity and power, not even the whole body of the Catholic Church, though assembled in general council, can, upon any ground or pretence whatsoever, weaken the Bond of Union between the Sovereign and the People; still less can they absolve or free the subjects from their oath of allegiance.

6th. Therefore, as in the kingdom of England, the Sovereign Power of the State stands upon the same foundation, and its nature is well known. The Faculty of Divinity at Louvain has no doubt to apply what has been before, in its utmost extent, to the kingdom and the Sovereign Power of the kingdom of England.

Such is the doctrine which the Faculty of Divinity has imbibed from the Holy Scriptures, the Writings of the Antients, and the Records of the Primitive Church :-a doctrine she will maintain with her last breath; and, by the help of God, will imprint it on the minds of all her scholars.

She is not ignorant that, in the middle ages, some things were done not reconcileable with the doctrine here laid down, and that the contrary doctrine was favourably heard by the Court of Rome, and even found its way into the councils of Kings, with some re


striction, however, as appears from the saying of St. Lewis upon the proceedings of the Council of Lyons.

But to Bellarmine, the champion of these proceedings, we must answer in his own way: -These things have been done: for their justice let the doers of them be answerable. (Vol I. of his Works of General Controversy, III. B. 11. Ch. 29.)

And when, in the History of those Ages, the Sacred Faculty of Divinity of Louvain finds the evils which have been produced from the circumstances alluded to, the infinite detriment they have been to the Church and Republic of Christianity, and the rivers of blood with which they have more than once coloured the fair face of Europe,-she wishes the torch of history extinct, that this disgrace of the Christian name might be buried in oblivion. She wishes it erased from the records of history, and would blot out the remembrance of it even with her own tears. But the doctrine of truth of the Apostles and the Church, delivered down by tradition from the fathers and holy Prelates, founded in the eternal nature and fitness of things, and established on the positions above mentioned, though in the times we speak of it was defaced and obscured by the filth, as it may be called, which was heaped upon it, yet it could not be obliterated; nothing could injureit; no arts could prescribe against it: hence, on the revival of letters, all its light and splendor were restored to it.

The Faculty of Divinity of Louvain holds - That the principles laid down by her upon the positions before stated, are not peculiar to herself; she believes, that at this day there is no society of learned inen, nor any one learned man in the whole Catholic world, who would not be ready to subscribe to them, as it is said, with both hands; and should any one, led away by preconceived opinions, withhold his assent from them, she must think him a man of no learning, unworthy of the name of a learned man, and unacquainted with the rich treasures of ancient literature.

Proceeding to the third question, the said Faculty of Divinity (in perfect wonder that such a question should be proposed to her) most positively and unequivocally answers, That there is not, and that there never has been, among the Catholics, or in the doctrines of the Church of Rome, any law or principle which makes it lawful for Catholics to break their faith with Heretics, or others of a different persuasion from themselves, in matters of religion, either in public or private concerns.

The Faculty declares the doctrine of the Catholics to be, That the divine and natural law which makes it a duty to keep faith and promises, is the same; and is neither shaken nori diminished if those with whom the engagement is made hold erroneous opinions in matters of religion.

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The said Faculty of Divines reads in the Books of Chronicles, that the wrath of God punished King Sedicias for breaking the alliance he had made with Nebuchadnezzar, an unbeliever, and In breach of that alliance deserting to the King of Egypt; and the heavy rebuke of God, by his propbet, for this breach of faith (Ezekiel xvii.); “ Shall he prosper, shall he be safe, that hath done these things, and shall he escape who hath broken his covenant ? As I live, saith the Lord, for the oath that he hath

despised, and the covenant that he hath broken, I will put

upon his head, and I will spread my net upon him, and he “ shall be taken in my spare, and I will bring him to Ba“ bylon," &c.

And the said Faculty of Divines also thinks, that it is unbecoming of them to heap up passages of the ancient writings, to prove what no Christian can doubt, and which not even the apostates from the Christian Faith ever laid to their charge.

They affirmed,” (this is the account which Pliny the Younger, in his famous Letter to Trajan, gives, from those who had sent informations to him of the Christian Religion) “ that the amount of the guilt or error of the Christians was, that they used, “ upon a stated day, to assemble before day-light, to sing praises " to Christ, as to the Deity, and that by their oath they did " not bind themselves to commit any crime; but they bound " themselves by it not to commit theft, robbery, nor adultery, not " to break their faith, not to withhold things deposited with “ them,” &c, This, in the year 104 of our æra. They were informed by the Church of God, it was among the principal points of Christian duty, viz. Not to break Faith, although they lived in the midst of persons of a different religion.

The said Faculty strongly protests against the imputation, that the Catholic Church has at any time held a contrary doctrine, This she asserts is a calumný, invented and endeavoured to be forced on the Catholics by the worst of men, 'who, knowing their charges against Catholics were destitute of truth, determined to make falsehood supply its place, and thereby render the Catholics odious to princes and nations,

It is not to-day for the first time, that the Faculty of Divinity at Louvain protests against this charge:-two centuries ago, when there was great diversity of opinion in religious matters among the inhabitants of the Provinces of Flanders, John Morlanus, an illustrious Member of the Faculty of Louvain (every page of whose writings Cardinal Baronius wished to be preserved) repelled the charge, in his short Treatise upon the Keeping of Faith with Heretiçs, printed at Cologne, by Godfrey Kempenson, in the year 1584,


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