The great aggregate meeting in Dublin, of Roman Catholics from all parts of the United Kingdom, for the inauguration of the Catholic De- fence Association, was held on Tuesday ; and is declared by the sym- pathetic " own reporter" of the Morning Chronicle to have surpassed anything witnessed during the old Catholic agitation previous to 1829." The correspondent of the Times describes the preliminary aspect of Dub- lin, in substance as follows.
" Some hours before the time of meeting, the doors of the committee- rooms in Sackville Street were literally besieged by applicants for tickets; but all save a favoured few were sent away empty:handed, as the delivery had ceased the previous evening ; the managers having come to a resolution to preserve all the remaining available space for the accommodation of such English and Scotch visitors as might reach town by the morning packets. The authorities, civil and military, were early on the alert. The ordinary weekly garrison field-day was anticipated, and held on Monday instead of Tuesday ; so that the services of the troops might be available in the event of any urgency. All the regiments were confined to barracks, ready to be called out at a moment's notice. A full troop of the Seventh Hussars was stationed in the Lower Castle Yard; and indeed every needful precaution was taken to insure the preservation of the peace. Two divisions of police took possession, it may be said, of the Rotunda and the avenues leading to it, at a little after nine o'clock ; and early as the hour was, the crowd had already begun to assemble in consider- able force, the tide increasing until two hours later, when the whole length and breadth of Sackville Street was all but impassable, from the denseness of the multitude; the majority of whom, it was evident, had come fully prepared for an encounter with their antagonists, should the latter have persevered in their intention to follow the advice of Mr. Gregg and at- tend to disturb the proceedings in-doors. For such a crisis the lower order of the Roman Catholic party had fully matured their plan of hostile opera- tions. Indeed, the organization of the Romanist mob was perfected with a silent celerity, which would have reflected no mean credit on the genius of a martinet of the most approved stamp. From an early hour in the morning it was quite apparent that the day was to be observed as a strict holyday. Not a quay-porter was to be seen employed at his usual avocation ; but large bodies of them might be met in the neighbourhood of the Rotunda, armed with short sticks, for the event of their services being called into action. It was understood, too, that secret orders had been issued the evening previous by the mob-leaders to the men under their command to abstain from all intoxi- cating liquors; an order which seemed to have been strictly obeyed, for, as well as could be observed, there was not a drunken man in the vast crowds which kept watch and ward while the meeting was being held. At nine o'clock, this quasi Papal body-guard was reinforced by a strong detachment of the quarrymen from the works at Kingstown and Dalkey ; who, having struck work, arrived in town almost simultaneously with the Kingstown division of Police, the latter being ordered for special duty at the Rotunda." The Reverend Tresham Gregg had pledged himself to appear at the meet- lug and confront Primate Cullen on the platform of the Rotunda : safest he would be in the midst of some thousands of Protestants, whom accordingly he invited to be his body-guard ; but if not safely, then without regard to per- sonal consequences; if not in company, he would go alone; and if necessary he would die a martyr militant in the midst of the foe. But the authorities prudently foreclosed the avenues to such an event. At about eleven o'clock, Mr. Gregg, with Mr. H. Cooke and two other friends, drove up in a close carriage, claimed admission and were refused. Protesting that the meeting was a packed meeting of Papists, and not a meeting of Catholics, he re- entered his carriage and drove off. The mob recognized him, and pursued him for some distance, throwing stones and mud at his carriage ; but some Mounted Police covered his retreat, and, after a chase of a few streets, the vehicle distanced the pursuers. Some defiant placards, posted by Mr. Gregg in the window of the bookseller Mr. Dixon Hardy, called forth an active display of mob indignation : every window was smashed. A young man, a Protestant, is said to have drawn the anger of the crowd on himself by ag- gravating demonstrations : the Police had to interfere with energy for his protection -his life being at one time in danger. With these exceptions, the proceedings of the day were wholly unmarked by outrage. In the Rotunda, a platform was elevated at a considerable height for the speakers ; and on the front of this raised ground the Prelates were Marshalled in prominent arm-chairs, a gilded chair being reserved for the Roman Catholic Primate, Dr. Cullen. The Freeman's Journal thus enu- merates the Roman Catholic Prelates, English, Irish, Scottish, and foreign-
" His Grace the Archbishop of Cashel, the Lord Bishop of Clogher, the Lord Bishop of Birmingham, the Lord Bishop of Edinburgh, the Lord Bishop of Elphin, the Lord Bishop of Killaloe, the Lord Bishop of Clonfert, the Lord Bishop of Savannah, the Lord Bishop of Cloyne, the Lord Bishop of Hyderabad, the Lord Bishop of Saldes."
The Irish Roman Catholic aristocracy was represented by Lord Gormans- ton only, and that of England by Sir Piers Mostyn. The Earl of Arundel and Surrey was expected, but did not attend; and no letter of apology from him was produced. The following Irish Members were present—Mr. G. II. Moore, Mr. John Reynolds, Mr. William Keogh, Mr. A. O'Flaherty, Mr. 0. Higgins, Mr. Martin Joseph Blake, Mr. John Sadleir, Mr. Francis and Mr. Robert Keating. The attendance of Roman Catholic clergy was very large, some hundreds of their names appearing in the list published by the Freiman; but the muster of the Roman Catholic laity did not comprise so many distinguished names as had been expected. The preliminaries being adjusted, Lord Gormanston moved that "the Most Reverend Dr. Cullen, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland," be requested to take the chair. The voice of Lord Gormanston not being strong, Mr. Reynolds, M.P., in seconding the motion, shouted out the main point of it, that is to say, the title of " Archbishop of Ar- magh." Immense applause was elicited by this feat of defiance, and the motion was carried by acclamation.
Archbishop Cullen then read a long address ; opening with an asse- veration that in thus venturing forth from quiet and retirement, he sa- crificed his private feelings to his duty as a Catholic at a time of crisis and emergency.
Every pastor should be ready to sacrifice not only feeling but life for his flock. " In thus coming forward here today, I do not consider that I am in- truding into the domain of politics, or travelling beyond the sphere of eccle- siastical duty. The present does not appear to be in any way a political movement ; it is rather a great manifestation of Catholic feeling in favour of the liberty of our holy Church—a manifestation that has the strongest claim to be guided by the voice and sanctified by the prayers and blessings of the priests of the Most High." Catholics had been forced into the position they now occupied. The English Catholics had invaded no rights and made no aggression. In Scotland they had done absolutely nothing. What was the state of things in Ireland ? " This poor country had been visited as no country had ever been before, by famine and pestilence. Our tale of ruin had excited the commiseration of the remotest regions of the earth ; even the Hindoo, the Mahometan, and the disciple of Confuciust had shed a tear over our afflictions, and stretched a hand to our relief. It is ever to be regretted that one of those enlightened men to whom the destiny of this empire is committed should have selected such a moment to add to our misfortunes, and to aggravate the burdens under which we were groaning. It is not ne- cessary to refer to the Durham correspondence. (Groans and hisses.) It excited the dying embers of discord, and stirred up all that was base and filthy in the depths of bigotry and intolerance. Our religious practices were branded as mummeries of superstition ; it was declared that our Church en- slaves the intellect and confines the soul. Our sacred mysteries were cari- catured ; and the grossest insults were offered to the saints who reign in Heaven, and even to the most pure and exalted of all creatures, the Holy Mother of God."
Pains and penalties have been reenacted. For this last turn of events they should be thankful. "If we are threatened with the persecution of violence and force, an end is put to a more dangerous sort of persecu- tion—the persecution of false friends, whose smiles and trifling favours were scattered for the purpose of enslaving us and gradually de- priving us of our religion, or our religious rights; who, under the pretence of being perfectly liberal, would put truth and error, light and darkness, on the same footing, and who to propagate their principles more effectually would take into their own hands the whole education of the rising Cathohc generation of the country. It was in this way, not by violence or the sword, that Julian persecuted his Christian subjects—it was in this way that the Arian Emperor Constantius persecuted the Catholics of his time."
It remained for them to do their duty as Catholics, in cooperating to re- dress these grievances. A great field would be open for the operations of the Association. " Our poor are to be protected from a heartless prose- lytism ; the faith of the children of the soldier and the sailor is to be pre- served; the state of our workhouses to be examined ; a Catholic education is to be obtained for our people. In a Catholic country like this there is a great and perfectly organized system of Protestant instruction. Hundreds of thousands are expended in Promoting a purely Protestant education, whilst the sums given to Catholic schools (with one exception) are given only on the condition that the system of the schools which are filled with Catholic children shall be suited to the education of children of every sect who do not frequent such schools; and we are left without any Catholic uni- versity." One of the important duties of the society would be to have re- course to the press—" to send forth clear expositions of our wrongs, and a powerful defence of our just claims." "It must in a special manner make every effort to have the rights and interests of our religion properly re- presented in Parliament. I say of our religion, because if this were ef- fected, our temporal concerns would be better provided for at the same time; for men guided by Catholic truth and charity would understand their duties to the poor and every other class of people, and would act accordingly." " Were it necessary to seek it abroad, France at the pre- sent moment would supply us with the model of what zealous and re- ligious representatives of the people can effect, in the persons of those noble champions of true liberty and religion Count Montalembert and M. de Falloux ; whose services to their country and their creed have merited for them the applause of the whole world, who arc as profoundly versed in the history of the Church and the bearing of its laws and doctrines as they are piously attached to its practices and observances. But we need not seek examples for imitation in other countries. It is sufficient for us to recall to our minds the life and the mighty achievements of our own great O'Con- nell. (Enthusiastic cheering, which continued for several minutes.) His loss has been to us an irreparable calamity ; but let us hope, that while he is gone to the reward of his labours, and to enjoy the immortal crown that was due to his faith and his virtues, God will infuse a portion of his spirit into the hearts of others, and enable them to fight the battles of his faith, and to defend our religious rights.
The Archbishop finished with a prayer to God for wisdom ; to "the Most Holy Queen of Heaven" for good counsel ; and to "our great saints, St. Patrick, St. Malachy, and St. Lawrence O'Toole," for direction and a bene- ficial fructifying influence on the undertaking. Mr. Sadleir, M.P., Mr. Ouseley Higgins, M.P., and Mr. James Burke, were appointed Secretaries. Mr. Sadleir then read a letter of approval from Cardinal Wiseman.
"Although as yet its specific objects and its plan of organization have not been publishcsi, it is impossible not to feel that some such institution is ne- cessary." . . . . "I trust, therefore, that the Catholic Defence Association, by giving a clear and definite aim to Catholic exertion, will concentrate all its powers on legitimate subjects; that these will not be visionary, nor hope- less, but plainly, intelligible and justly attainable While, therefore, I shall sincerely sympathize with those who have undertaken the mere secular duties of a society so based and conducted, I shall be happy to co-
operate in any of its duties more immediately connected- with those of the ecclesiastical state." Letteraof apology from Lord Stourton and Kenmare, Lord Petre, and wo Roman Catholic Bishops, were also read. The first resolution of the meeting was moved by Dr. Slattery, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cashel. It affirmed the Ecclesiastical Titles Act to be "a violation of the compact contained in the Catholic Relief Act of 1829."
Sir Piers Mostyn supported the resolution. He had come over at the solicitation and on the invitation which the Com- mitteolad sent throughout the United Kingdom, to say that the Catholics of England joined with them in protesting against the enactment of penal mea- sures, against a retrograde policy, and, above all, against the conduct of the Whig Prime Minister. Dr. M'Hale, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, moved the second resolution—that the present Ministers have betrayed the cause of religi- ous freedom, and forfeited the confidence of the Catholics of the United Kingdom.
He expected no discrepancy of opinion on these points : though he was free to confess that there might be some who indulged in the private opinion that Ministers bad not betrayed the cause of civil and religious freedom— because they were never trusted ; and that they never forfeited the con- fidence of the Catholics of the United Kingdom, because they never de- served nor possessed it. (Much laughter.) For the rest, Dr. MIlale did not hold forth with such fervour or vigour as might have been expected. " A coincidence" was described generally. "It is a curious coincidence, that it is on the same great festival which celebrates the miraculous junction of the chains with which St. Peter was bound by Herod and Nero this penal mea- sure received the royal seal; reminding us, that as the apostle was released from their pressure, their successors too, if thrown into prison, will come forth from their bondage, leaving their fetters behind, and enabling some future pilgrims to Ireland to compare the rusty bolts of 1829 and 1851 with the penal relics of the Esquiline in Rome, and draw the conclusion of the impotence of senatorial despotism against the omnipotent power of our Lord and the Vicegerent to whom it was delegated."
The resolution was seconded by Mr. Keogh, M.P., in a speech which began with this declaration-
" As one of her Majesty's counsel, whether learned or not learned in the law, I now, holding the net of Parliament iu my hand, do unhesitatingly accord to dna most reverend prelate [the Chairman] the title of Lord Arch- bishop of Armagh?' Mr. Keogh then took up the congratulatory tone of the Chairman. "They might now almost congratulate themselves that a blinded and darkened Administration had done an act which has had the effect of presenting such a spectacle as the entire prelacy. of the United Kingdom joining hand in hand with the nobility and the laity in protesting against persecution. (Cheers.) Even on the occasion of the great assemblies called together in 1843 and 1844 by their late illustrious chieftain—(Loud cheers, and great waving of hats)—who did everything that lay in his power to ac- complish the destinies of his country, their prelacy did not feel called on to come forward. Let them send into Parliament forty representatives reason- ably determined to stand together as one man, and say to the Minister of the day that they required such and such measures for Ireland, and above all a repeal of that bill. If their representatives would make no terms with the Minister until he repealed that act of Parliament, or any other statute which interfered with the religious freedom of Roman Catholics, he would not again write a letter stating that the Roman Catholic religion was " cal- tulated to confine the intellect and enslave the soul."
Dr. Gillis, colleague of Dr. Carruthers, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Edinburgh, moved a resolution pledging the association to the use of every legitimate means within the constitution for the total repeal of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act.
_ Mr_ Moore, M.P., in seconding this resolution adopted a tone which the Chairman did not quite approve of—it seeming, in his view, to imply that the Pope has been at some time inimical to civil liberty. On the contrary, said Dr. Cullen, " wherever the Catholic Church pre- vailed, there true liberty followed ; wherever Catholicity has been superseded, there slavery followed. It was so in every country from the beginning of Christianity."
This correction elicited cheers : the Chairman sat down "hoping, after that protest from him, that the honourable Member would desist" ; and 4‘ hoping it would be believed that the Pope as well as the Bishops are the true friends of civil and religious liberty. ' Mr. Moore deferentially re- sumed ; but again trespassing, was again admonished. Referring to the instance of Belgium as one of religious grievance, he said— "So long, as BelMum writhed upon that bed of thorns, she was disunited, discontented, clamorous, and miserable, like Ireland ; she had her Catholic party, and her Orange party, like Ireland. At last Belgium rose in insur- rection, as I fear Ireland would if she could, and as I fear Ireland will some ,day present policy continues—" Archbishop Cullen interfered to say, he thought " the feeling of the meeting was not in favour of insurrection." One almost thinks it is -O'Connell himself as we read his further reservations- " Even if it was in their power, the Irish people were so attached to their Sovereign, that instead of violating their allegiance, they would do every- thing they could to protect. her on her throne. They were sincerely at- tached to their Sovereign, and they had been always so ; and they were ready to maintain that respect, even when persecuting laws were enacted against them. It. was in accordance with Catholic doctrine to uphold the cause of order. He was sure that was what Mr. Moore intended to say." Mr. Moore, in explanation, said, he had only to observe, that whatever were the words he used, or whatever he did express, he had made use of the very same words in the House of Commons without objection. (Cheers.) The Archbishop observed, that, speaking in the House of Commons, if any Member, while addressing it, made use of no expression contrary to the law, he was not likely to be called to order. But in a meeting of this nature, no such expression as Mr. Moore made use of. should be addressed to that meet- in", when it was against the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Mr. Moore coutinued—" My Lord, it is not for me to bandy opinions with your Grose: I will only say, therefbre, that Catholic Belgium did rise in in- surrection. Catholic Belgium succeeded—(Laud chars)—and religious li- berty was established." (Renewed cheers.) Dr. Ullathorne, Roman Catholic Bishop of Birmingham, moved, "That for the above object; we deem it necessary to establish a Catholic De- fence Association, and that the same be and is hereby established." Dr. Ullathorne recurred to the history of the putting forward of the apes- tolical letter, and the penning of Dr. 'Wiseman 's pastoral. With reference to the first he said, there did not reach England an authoritative copy of the apeatolisal letter, nor was it in the hands of. any English prelate, until a month after the letter of Lord John Russell appeared. The document wee never intended, to be brought officially forward ; bat it had been pro- mulgated to the world. By an accident, unexplained even at this moment, and which the authorities at Rome had failed to be able to trace, a copy of
the apmtolical letter was published in two French newspapers ; and conse- quently it was seized by the English papers, full six weeks before a single copy authoritatively reached England. With reference to the other point, lie reiterated former declarations, that Dr. Wiseman "contemplated only the congregations under his own jurisdiction."
But the Catholic Bishops have now been outlawed. There can be no doubt that the law cannot be acted on in Ireland, but in England they have the possibility that its weight will fall upon them : it is therefore their duty to examine it and consider their course. He would state the grounds of that course, lest they should be charged with being themselves violators of the laws which they are constituted to uphold. Dr. Ullathorne then cited Blackstone and other authorities on municipal law to show that " no hu- man laws should contradict the laws of nature and of revelation" ; and that if they do so, the citizen is bound to transgress them. Mr. Bowyer's treatise on the English Constitution was also quoted, to show that the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishops is one of those divine institutions which cannot be abrogated by municipal law. He urged, that it is heresy to main- tain that the temporal power is supreme in the spiritual affairs of the Church. It ia heresy to maintain that the-establishment of bishops-and the marking out of dioceses belongs to any other than the- successors of the Apostles; in whom is gathered together the whole plenitude of apostolical _power. It s heresy also to maintain that the Church, in her constitution and iu tha exer- cise of her spiritual power, can be made subject to the State, or can yield tp the dictates of the State: witness this the blood of all martyrs. (Cheers,) If, therefore, Catholic Bishops acquiesce in this enactment, they will be wing themselves to the great apostasy which caused the Reformation. (Cheers.) The Pope himself cannot do it without surrendering the power which was committed to him from St. Peter. Considering all these things, a Catholic bishop is bound to do something to show that he does not aq- quiesce in this enactment; he is bound to protest against it—he is bound to do more. In the words of Blackstone, he is bound not to obey it. (Cheers and waving of hats.) No doubt, we are bound to sustain all honour- able, just, and righteous laws, and to support the government of the country when we can conscientiously dO so ; but it is our duty to consider what our course should be with reference to this bill. He would tell them the course which he has marked out for himself. In the first place, it is not for it bishop of the Church of God, whose first characteristics should be charitY, meekness, and humility, to set pride in opposition to the pride of the State. It is his duty in every, way he can to avoid collision with any enact- ment, however penal or atrocious. But where his duty warns him to obey the Divine law, he must do so. He cannot possibly withhold the signature of his office—which is inseparable from his person, and is indicative of his title, though not in the legal sense of the word—from certain. document; without himself becoming a recreant to the Church of God and an apostate to his high office. (Cheers.) Therefore, where he cannot otherwise fulfil his duty, he will append the whole designation of his office, where it is needful it should be done. (Cheers.) Then as to the consequeneesof so noting, he has come to the conclusion, after mature deliberation, that he cannot have recourse to the purse which is confided to hint for the support of the clergy and the promotion of religion, for the payment of fines inflicted by this isenal enact- ment. He is prepared at once to go to gaol. (Tremendous cheering, and waving of hats,handkerchieft, &e) But should his spiritual children feel the want of their .pastor, it would be no acquiescence in the penal act, but a strong protest against it, for them to raise a fund—by a penny subscription, suppose—for the purpose of delivering him out of gaol (Cheers.) He thought the inhabitants of Birmingham would be ready to enter into such a protest if needful, and that the government world tire of proseentine before his people tired of delivering him out of gaol. (Meces.)'-
Mr. John Reynolds seconded the resolution With a speech in trill style--
" That little, fimatie, and insolent Lord John Russell—(ifieses)—not tided with introducing the bill, rummaged history—all the lying velum+ that were compiled by alllying hittoriaus that ever defiled their pens in lying against the religion of the people—and delivered them in the shape of a speech in the House of Commons to five hundred of his supporters, who) swallowed it as political gospeL" They would not be satisfied with the peal of the act, but they will repeal the Whigs from office. They intend tia appeal to every county and borough in Ireland. His experience of fin years in the House taught him, although there were a few honest men amongst them, that if the system prevailed which had prevailed for half k century, it would be better that the honest men of Ireland had no power tO return representatives. They would ask the honest men of Youghal, if they would disgrace themselves by sending in that political slave Chisholm An- steY ; 'and the people of Drogheda, whether they would disgrace themselves by reelecting a political slave like Sir William Somerville. (Hisses.) They would ask similaY'queations with reference to Mr. Fitzstephen Ffrench, and Mr. Clements, and the Member for Leitrim. (Hisses.) There were not twenty true representatives among the hundred-and-fire; and if that be the case, how could they make a better battle than they had made. After pay- ing the expenses Of the Catholic Defence Association half the surplus would be devoted to the Lord Primate and his brother Bishops, to be disposed of by them for the purpose of education; and the balance they would hand over to honest men coming forward for the representation of honest constil tuencies, to pay a portion of the legal expenses of their election. A resolution nominating a Committee was moved by the Roman Ca- tholic Bishop of Clonfert, and seconded by Mr. Bianconi. 31r. Vincent Scully, M.P., moved the preparation of an address to the Catholics of thp United Kingdom-' and was seconded by Mr. John Rawson. of Lancashire, —who considered the meeting entitled to the assistance of the Dissenting body of England. Mr. Sergeant Shee and Mr. Maguire proposed and carried a vote of thanks to the Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of Aberdeen, Lord Monteagle, Sir James. Graham, Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Sidney Herbert; Mr. Rbundell Palmer, and other distinguished Protestant& in Parliament, - who sustained the cause of religious liberty.
Dr. Cullen now quitted the chair, and a vote of thanks was voted to him. Three cheers each were given for each Prelate of the Irish &mai Catholic Church; Mr. Reynolds reading the names aloud with the pro- hibited titles; and with that parting mark of exultation and "defiance to the Government" the meeting quietly dispersed.
The supporters of Mr. John Reynolds feasted him at a banquet in the Theatre Royal on Wednesday evening: Mr. Sadleir, M.P., occupied the chair. In his speech of thanks after the toast of the evening, Mr. Rey- nolds stated, that if Lord John Russell means to prosecute the Irish Bishops, he must double the Irish garrison. Nay, if he would incarcerate the Bishop of Tuam, or any other of their Bishops, he would: have to walk over the dead bodies of the people.
If there was not a man living to give the advice, he openly declared, that if the sacred persons of the. Bishops were to be-followed by an informer, he would not only advise the people to resist him, but at all risks he would take a part in the contest. It was just as well that they should know what was to happen. Now, he hoped no Protestant friends would• blame him for that declaration. He would despise them if they dicInot rally round their Bishop
as they had clone; and in doing so, they were obeying the la* Of God and disobeying the law of daimons.