16 MARCH 1878, Page 14



SIR,—Mr. Willis Nevins pleads with English Catholics for 268 clergymen of the Hungarian branch of their communion, who have embraced Panslavist views, and form, according to him, "a considerable minority" of the 703 Catholic Priests of Hungary. For a Protestant to intrude upon the Catholic body his views as to whether a Panslavist clergyman merits the reproach of being a bad Catholic" would be an impertinence. I limit myself, there- fore, to an endeavour to protect the "general reader," in whom Mr. Willis Nevins professes to take an interest, against the error of supposing that this insignificant fraction of 268 Panslavists represents a "considerable minority" of the numerous Catholic hierarchy of Hungary. There are, according to M. Rdclus, 7,910,000 Catholics in Hungary and Transylvania alone. If, therefore, Mr. Willis Nevins uses the word " Catholic " in its wider sense of in- cluding the United Greeks, each of his 703 clergymen has charge of 11,200 souls. But even if he excludes " Uniates," not one of these hard-worked ecclesiastics is responsible to his Bishop for less than 8,900 of the faithful, the Latin Catholics numbering some 6,300,000. Mr. Willis Nevins, incidentally, represents the Lutheran pastors of Hungary as numbering only 178. As those Separatists number .1,340,000, all told, each of their pastors must have 7,100 persons to look after, according to his statistics.

It is plain that Mr. Willis Nevins has been misled. Does he not mean that 268 out of 703 Catholic clergymen and 90 out of 168 Lutheran pastors among the Slowaks of North Hungary have, in recent years, gone over to the cause of Panslavism ? There was a paragraph to a somewhat similar effect in the Pall Mall Gazette some days ago. I fancy it related only to the Slowak clergy of a particular district, for as there are upwards of 1,200,000 Catholic Slowaks, their clergy must greatly exceed 703 in number. It may be interesting to remind you that the Spectator of March 10, 1849, bore witness to the enthusiasm of the Slavonic Slowaks for the national cause during the War of Independence against the House of Austria and their Jugo-Slav and Tchekke allies. Perhaps, however, Mr. Willis Nevins believes that the vast majority of Hungarians are Calvinists.—I am, Sir, &c.,