24 AUGUST 1850, Page 11


TIIE material Irish movement—towards serfdom—which we noticed last week, is in the way of being well followed up by a spiritual advance backwards. In the assembly of the Tenant League, the Presbyterian parsons, and their lay and clerical coadjutors solemnly anathematized. all who should dare to buy or sell land in free market This week, prelate and priest are convened in Na- tional Synod, "by virtue of special legatine powers to pronounce the judgment of Pio Nono upon the Irish sehooLaster and the British Government. From the decisions of this assembly, it is announced, there will be no appeal : "All its acts will be final, and imperatively binding upon every member of the Catholic Church in. Ireland, both priesthood and people, without exception of rank or station." But this is not the limit of its power. "All the world," says the Freeman's Journal, "knows, and the British Government well knows, that the united demand of the Irish Bishops dare not be refused.. They wield a power at this moment in Ireland, so deep- rooted, so wide-spread, and so intensely supreme in its just domi- nion over the public, that the very threat of calling it into action_ to agitate for the removal of the disabilities complained of' would make -England tremble to her veryfoundation." It is well to be' made aware of the strength of this giant; still more useful' to know how and where that strength is to be applied : and upon these points also we are not without information. The authority of the Synod is, like that of Jack Cade, to be directed,the first instance, against all "who write and read' and keep ac-

count." It will be the duty of the forthcoming National Connell, _ says Archbishop M'Hale, writing on the Feast of St. Anne, mo- ther of the blessed. Virgin, "to keep ourselves aloof, as well as to. withdraw the faithful committed to our charge from all connexion.

whatever with the Colleges twice condemned in the Ipostolical rescripts." The Colleges are the bete noir of Archbishop M'Hale „

but in their condemnation is included. (as we learn from the com- ment of the Freeman's Journal) the National system of Educa- tion: both, with the Bequests Act, and "other less glaring though more insidious attempts to trammel the freedom of the working of- the Irish Church, are to be examined. ane*." In this work, un- dertaken with the purpose of promoting "glory to God on high, and peace on earth to men of good-wilt," CM in orig.] the devout prelate confidently expects the aid.of the immaculate mother, who being the destroyer of all heresies will, he has no doubt, enable him to protect his fleck "from' the thieves and the robbers who now infest the land, coming to steal, and to kill and to destroy." The knaves use to write their names, and have no marks to them- selves, like honest plain-dealing men ;—away with them ! hang them, with pen-and inkhorn about their necks ! Erin go bragh- Ireland as it was in the days of the Druids ! So may "the spi- ritual rights of the hierarchy be peaceably asserted and exercised in all their integrity," and so may the faith and morals of the Irish youth be preserved from the imminent danger incident in the study', of "history logic, metaphysics, moral philosophy, geology, or anatomy." But in the mean time, let it not be forgotten that or- thodox progression in ignorance cannot be satisfactorily conducted apart from the superintendence of Roman Catholic Chaplains, to be appointed by the Roman Catholic Bishops, and paid suitable salaries from the public exchequer.

To what extent the actual proceedings of the Synod of Thurles will justify the expectations raised by Archbishop M'Hale and his organs, it is as yet out of our power to say. It may be that the fanfaronade of the prelate and the journalists is designed but as a feeler of the limits of public endurance; but such is the prostrate condition of the popular mind in Ireland, that it may, on the other hand, be the sure means of breaking down all opposition to the "intensely supreme" domination of the foreign ecclesiastics (for foreign they confess themselves to be) over the minds and bodies of the people. At all events, it is time to call.to mind the fact, that the term "Ireland" includes the idea of a population of a million and a half of souls who are not spiritual subjects of Pio Nono, but who are included by Archbishop M‘Hale in his cate- gories of emissaries of the old serpent--corrupters and seducers who have entered to invade the folds and wound the flocks—heretics whom the immaculate mother desires to destroy—weeds to be era- dicated from the vineyard. It may be wise to consider what would be the tenderness of the mercy that would be extended to all such were the spiritual rights of John of Tuam to be restored in their integrity and the power of the Church to be freed from its trammels: It may also be not inopportune to reflect upon the advan- tages that now accrue to the State from the large current outlay of public money in the endowment of the Romish Church in Ireland. The "suitable salaries" now paid to the Workhouse Chaplains make up of themselves a large item in the revenue of that "esta- blishment," which has also its Maynooth grant, its Queen's Col- leges' Deaneries, and its Gaol Chaplaincies, to eke out the oblations of the faithful. The slight intervention of the civil power in the distribution of these good things is the main point of "England's insulting and systematic encroachment upon the rights of the Irish hierarchy," against which the thunders of the Synod of Thurles and the irresistible power of the Bishops are to be directed. Quwre —might it not be an easy mode of solving the difficulty, to relieve the consciences of the hierarchy, and prevent the insulting en- croachment on their rights, by removing the corpus delieti ? No penny, no paternoster—no grant from the State, no insults to the Church in their distribution.