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of the Irish student. [Here follow the signatures of twenty-nine Irish priests and forty-nine curates—the whole clergy of the diocese except eight.]
The ministry of Lord John Russell which succeeded Sir Robert Peel's in June, 1846, adopted with zeal and clung with tenacity to his Academical scheme. The same month an event of the utmost importance to the Catholic world—the death of a Pope—took place. Gregory XVI., raised to the Pontificate in February, 1831, was in his 66th year, and had nearly completed the 16th year of his reign. During his time, the Church of Ireland had risen from civil subjection to the Protestant state, to possess power in the empire, and reputation throughout Europe. He was familiar with its long struggles to reach that position, without sacrifice of principles, and he cherished an affection for the Island of Saints, enlightened and increased by the remembrance of what he had heard and known during his cardinalate. Pope Gregory expired on the 1st of June, and Cardinal Mastai-Feretti was elected his successor on the 16th, and enthroned on the 21st. On that day began a Pontificate which will be memorable throughout all climes and times, not only for great events, but for the greatest of modern events the definition of the dogma of the Im• maculate Conception. At its outset the world feigned to
lie down and lick the feet of the Pontiff, but all the while it was busy conspiring to undermine his throne and to overturn his authority. Hollow professions of attachment were poured forth by worldlings and progressionists, mistaking the zeal of a new and vigorous ruler for an homage paid to their theories. But soon came a change; a storm sprung up darkening the fair face of Italy, and saddening all hearts throughout Christendom; a storm in which Ireland saw her hereditary oppressor playing Prospero's part, not concealing his design of engulphing in the general wreck, the liberties and the prospects of the Irish Church.
The first Episcopal Synod, held in Ireland under the pontificate of Pious IX., and the first in which Dr. Maginn sat, assembled in the Presbytery, Marlborough-street, Dublin, on the 10th of November, '46, and adjourned on the 14th. It was the most important meeting in the variety and importance of the business transacted, which had been held for many years. All the Bishops were present but two. The decision of the Holy See on the Queen's Colleges had not then been received, so that no new step was taken in that matter. A petition to Parliament was unanimously agreed to, "for such changes in the Bequests Act as would render that statute—now so obnoxious—acceptable to the Prelates, Clergy and People of Ireland;" the repeal of the Mortmain clause was especially asked for. Such alterations in the Marriage Act of 1844, as would relieve the Catholic Clergy from penalties incurred by marrying a Protestant and Catho
lic, were the subject of another petition. A third was on behalf of the children of Catholic soldiers, and the soldiers themselves, asking that they might not be compelled, under the army orders of 1844, to attend Protest. ant schools or Protestant worship, or read the Protestant version of the Scriptures; that the Douay Bible should be given them instead, and liberty to attend at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, on Sundays and holidays of obligation. The Vicars Apostolic of England and Scotland subsequently signed this memorial, but though its prayer has since been frequently renewed, it has not yet been granted. An address to Pius IX., to be signed by all the clergy of Ireland, was also ordered, and committed to the hands of a committee in Dublin, but we find Dr. Maginn complaining in a letter to Dr. MacHale, the following Sep. tember, that these parties had “ altogether neglected” it, thereby causing the proposers, “to cut but a poor figure at Rome.” He was naturally impatient at this dis. heartening delay.
“It would have been much better had your Grace, who could have done these matters so well, not allowed a task of such high moment to pass into other hands, either incapable or unwilling to act, when your own ever ready resources could be largely drawn upon to meet this or any other emergency. I have had letters lately from Rome, stating that there is much surprise there at our silence, or rather at the silence of the Irish nation, including both clergy and people. The general expression of our gratitude for favors received at His Holiness' hands, the strong attestation of our sympathy in his present sufferings, the testimony of our marked indignation against the sacrilegious aggressors of his rights, are the very least gifts we could offer him, beset as he is
by enemies, foreign and domestic It would be well (I say it with all due deference) were your grace, without further waiting for the Dublin concoction, to come out with a form of address for Catholic Ireland. breathing your wonted fire and eloquence—with your very soul in every word, to be subscribed to by us all and sent off in all haste, to console him in his difficulties and to encourage him to present a bold front to the encroachments of the Austrian infidel. I think you may offer him, in the names of the Irish Catholic clergy and people, their hearts, their hands, their all. If to die for our country be a beautiful duty, it cannot be less delightful, were it necessary, to risk life and all to preserve the chair of Peter intact, and Rome, endeared to us by a thousand recollections, the anchorage of Christian hope, the sacred centre of Christian unity-inviolate. Whatever is to be done should be done speedily, and by none other will it be done if your grace omit to do it. We live in truly awful times, and charity must indeed be cold upon the earth when Catholic Christendom can stand with folded arms and look on tamely and unresistingly whilst the Redeemer of the world is outraged in the person of his Vicar, and attempts are being made by A hoary diplomatic Judas to strip the chair of the fisherman, of rights hallowed by centuries and consecrated by the dearest interests of piety and religion. The day was when a St. Bernard or a Peter the Hermit would, with words of fire, have convulsed Europe and gathered around the guilty heads of the ruthless invaders the accumulated vengeance of every follower of the cross, from the Danube to the Shannon.”
We shall see in the next chapter, how thorough he felt that veneration and love for Rome, which he thus endeavored to demonstrate on a national scale, and which he did so much during his short episcopate, to feed and foster in the hearts of his people.
PONTIFICATE CF PIUS IX.-ENGLISH INTRIGUES IN ITALY_LORD
MINTO'S MISSION-LORD SHREWSBURY'S VISIT TO ROME-LORD CLARENDON'S PROPOSITION TO ARCHBISHOP MURRAY-THE IRISH BISHOPS OPPOSED TO THE GOVERNMENT SCHEME OF ACADEMICAL EDUCATION, SEND TWO OF THEIR NUMBER TO ROME—THE AGENTS AND INFLUENCES EMPLOYED AGAINST THEM - SUCCESS OF THE MISSION OF DRS. MACHALE AND O'HIGGINS-DR. MAGINN'S PART IN IT-INSURRECTION IN ROME—THE POPE IN EXILE – ELOQUENT PASTORAL OF DR. MAGINN ON THAT EVENT-ITS RECEPTION AT ROME, AND BY TIE HOLY FATHER.
We have now to take a glance at the diplomacy of the Irish Church, as opposed to the Protestant state, and the part our subject was called upon to bear in it. :
The accession of Pius IX. to the Pontificate and the first political acts of his reign were received with loud acclamations by the British press and people. One of his first acts was an amnesty to political offenders, granted on the sole condition that they should not "abuse this act of sovereign clemency” by undertaking thereafter anything against the State. This amnesty seems to have been accepted by the majority if not all of those