5 MARCH 1881, Page 3

In a letter to Monday's Times, Cardinal Manning brings before

the English public the folly of the French Republican Government in requiring from all the Roman Catholic Mission- aries either five years' service in the Army, or the declaration that they will give ten years' service as parochial priests in. Franco or the Colonies. It is perfectly obvious that either of these conditions renders almost wholly impossible that devotion of a man's youth to the acquaintance of difficult Oriental languages which is the first duty of the missionary in the East, and there is no manner of doubt that the reason it is proposed not to exempt the missionary priest from compulsory Army service, is that the anti-Clerical party hate the Church, and hate more especially its missionary work. The Times supports the Cardinal's criticism in a very sensible article, but it is not so easy to see what the French Missionaries will gain by that. Franco is not only not moved by English opinion on subjects of this kind, but if moved at all, is moved the other way. The French Republicans wince at our rebukes of their intolerance, arid are more determined than over that they will badger their own pries, after their own fashion.