6 JANUARY 1912, Page 11

When Cardinal Cullen was asked in cross-examination whether such a

breach of ecclesiastical immunity was not, after all, a breach of ecclesiastical law he answered: "It is a breach of the law as it was, not a breach of the law as it is

now brought down by custom." "So this, so far as Ireland is concerned," Archbishop Walsh observes, "is what the Thunderbolt from Rome' and Rome's Latest Aggression' amount to." The Unionist Press, not unnaturally, finds this interpretation unconvincing, and maintains that the promised safeguards in the Home Rule Bill will be 'worthless without definite assurances from Rome that the decree does not and will never in any circumstances apply to Ireland. If the Papal decree really means nothing, it is certainly a very curious thing that a document, bound to excite grave mis- givings—hound to call for " interpretation " and explanation —should have been published on the eve of the introduction of the Home Rule measure.