3 APRIL 1880, Page 3

The decrees concerning the unauthorised religious Orders in France have

been published. There are to be no banishments ;

• not even the foreign Jesuits are to be exiled. But all the societies of Jesuits in France are to be dissolved within three months' time, and all other unauthorised religious Orders are to submit their statutes for authorisation, which will be granted or not, and granted with or without modifications, at the discretion of the Government. The French journals assert that all the other unauthorised religious Orders will cast in their lot with the Jesuits, and decline to submit their statutes for authorisation, the consequence being, of course, that they, too, will be dissolved. Be that as it may, a very bitter religious controversy has been stirred up, by this unhappy resolve of M. Jules Ferry and the Chara- ber of Deputies to make the religious Orders feel the wrath of the Republic ; and as no one is to be exiled, all the elements .of bitterness will be retained and diffused in France. When a

• Republic takes to prohibiting voluntary organisations, it 'risks the very principle of a true republic, which is the protection of individual liberty of choice even in unwise forms, so long as those forms are not subversive of the morality of the State. The moral danger of France is that it may seek rather to oblige individuals to conform to the taste of the democracy, than to protect and consecrate personal liberty within the democracy.