10 AUGUST 1872, Page 3

Mr. O'Keeffe, parish priest of Callan, Kilkenny, was suspended by

his Bishop—it is said for having appealed to the Law Courts— and on appeal to Cardinal Cullen as Legate the suspension was confirmed. The National Educational Commissioners of Ireland, considering that he managed five pariah schools as priest, and had temporarily ceased to be a priest, superseded him in that management. The congregation strongly supported Mr. O'Keeffe- whose offence seems to have been a purely disciplinary one—and Mr. O'Keeffe himself has brought an action against Cardinal Cullen for illegal suspension. Mr. Bouverie, therefore, on Monday moved a vote of censure on the Educational Commissioners for rash and precipitate action, which made the civil power an agent of eccle- siastical tyranny. The Marquis of Hartiugton, in reply, stated that the Board, which in this particular case was Protestant, had always acted, when dismissing a clerical manager, on the theory that they were to be in accord with the Bishops, but thought that they ought to have waited the decision of the Court of Law. The way to try a question of that sort is to apply the same principles to some other body. Suppose a Minister of the Free Church of Scotland is appointed manager of a school in Argyllshire ex officio, but, bringing an action about his ministry— a proceeding strictly forbidden, in theory at least, by the Free Church—is dismissed by the Assembly. Would he be superseded as manager or not? Of course he would, though equally of course, the Scotch Board would wait the result of any legal proceedings, which the Irish Board ought to have done, but did not do, because it never dreamed a priest would 'be so brave. The real feeling of the House in such matters is that an Assembly would do justice, but that a Cardinal will not, which may be perfectly true, without in the smallest degree affecting the question whether a priest unjustly suspended has, during suspension, lost his office of priest or not. Suppose Mr. Ayrton dismisses Dr. Hooker. There would be a violent presumption of injustice ; but still Dr. Hooker, till restored, would not be consulted as Director of Kew.