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CATHOLIC BOARD.

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CATHOLIC BOARD. Dublin, May I.-The Earl of Fingall, in the Chair.âThe Board assembled in unusual iiurli- bers, all tilled with anxiety for the common cause of freedom.âThe Noble Earl took the Chair at three o'clock, and the business of this important sitting did not close until seven. After some pre- liryiiiiai,y I)tisiiie,,s Ili-. O'Connell I)i-occe(lefl, pur- suant to the Order of the Day, to move, that the late Delegates be directed to repair to London, without delay" An earnest discussion ensued, highly interesting and instructive. Ta- lent, temperance, penetration, and profound in- telligence, were eminently observable throughout. The discussion turned principally upon the me- rits and provisions of the Catholic Bill, prepared latety hy the Committee of the Commons House. Two Members had just seen a Draft of the Bill, and stated is contents to the Board.â ("Their statement has since been corroborated by tlie pub- lication of the Bill itself, as presented by Mr. Grattan on the 29th nl!.] We must premise, in justice to this grave and estimable Body, that the Ecclesiastical Provisions of this Bill, or propos- ed Securities, formed no part of their disenssion, directly Of indirectly-from this branch ofthe sub- jz;ct, every Member of the Beard scrupulously ab- stained-leaving it, where it may safely be can- fided, in the hands of the Catholic Hierarchy.â Unt, with respect to the Civil Enactments of the proposed Bill, or those which profess to grant to the Catholic Body a complete Emancipation, and to effect the declared purpose of Parliament, by a final adjustment, and by burying all religious jealousies in oblivion; this subject was treated with equal freedom and acuteness. I. It was observed, and with regret, that al- though the Catholics have lately petitioned the Legislature for Religious Freedom, upon the enlarged basis of justice afl(I universalliherty of conscience, praying relief equally for all other classes of Dissesters, as for themselves; yet the proposed Bill is narrowed in its principle., to the relief of the Catholics alone, which is the more to be regretted, because the Dissenters, by their uniform liberality, and recent aid afforded to the Catholic Petitions, had acquired weighty claims upon the gratitude and co-operation of the Catho- lic Body; and it was therefore desired to be un- derstood, now as heretofore, to be ilie wish of the Catholics, to have all other Dissenters com- prehended iu the like relief with themselves. 2. But, even though the Cramers of the Bill should (contrary to the wish of the Catholics) adopt the less comprehensive principle, yet the proposed Bill does not go the length of complete religious freedom, even for the Catholics them- selves. Now it has long been understood, that (whenever the necessary Ecclesiastical Securities should be devised) no difficnlty could remain in the way of the complete civil Emancipation of the Catholic Body. There was to be a final ad- juslmentlhat should leave no grievance unredres- sed, no ground for future petitions. The account of oppression was to be finally closed, by a sim- ple Repeal; so It has been all along expecfed, Ilot merely by the Catholics, but by the Protes- tants. !â¢]ven the loudest of the opponents objected to relief, not so much because exclusion ought to remain, as because security was not provided; so, too, ill the preamble, of the fJiil under dis- cussion. But. here is ample Security required, and yet ample Redress is not provided. These ,)u(,Iit to I)e (,o-exteiisive--tliey ai-c i)ot so. The Bill is only for a partial Repeal. True, it res- lores rijticll but it leaves much. This cannot be supposed to he the iateulion of the liberal alld enlightened Members of the .Committee but probably owing to the unskilftilness of some Lawyer, whom (hey have employed, probably not much acquainted with the law, or interests of Ireland. Amendment in this particular should be provided, and defects pointed out, if not now too late for interference- 3. The frame of the Bill appeared questiona- ble. It to lelieve the Catholics from certain specified Penal Statutes yet it does not in the accustomed technical form, repeal those Statutes by express name or recital, but by ge- neral wonls, whieh may hereafter receive a harsh interpretation. Of this Dr. Duigeuan's Court has afforded an instance 4. The language of the Bill, too, appeared inadequate to the intended objects. Of this ina- dequacy many instances were adduced, and ex- cited a general surprise amongst the Members. It was observed, that tlie Oa:h contained in the proposed Bill contains (in addition to the en- tire or the present Oaths) certain new phrases, which have not been sufficiently considered by the Catholics, or even offered or known by them. 6. That there is a blunder in more than one passage of the Bill, whe.re it adverts to a Decla- ration against Transubstantiation, and also to a Declaration against the Invocation of Saijits whereas, in fact, there is only ONE Declaration. 7. That the clause relating to the Elective Franchise is become now quite unnecessary for the Irish Catholics, and must have been penned without acquaintance with the Election Code of I reland. 8. That the exception of the offices of Chan- cellor of England, and Lord Lientanant of Ire- land (though but two in number,) appears to be founded upon a principle of exclusion, which the Catholic Body cannot, as good an 1 deserving ci- tizens, be expected even to recognize. 9. That the Enactment for admission into Cor- porations, keeps the Catholics, practically, still excluded as it leaves them at the mercy of present, and future Bve lawsj of Exclusion, as it omits the words, "Charter or by Law," as it employs only the vague and disputable term, "Member of a Corporation," instead of the legal narnesof the Corporate Officers as i £ pro- vides no redress in case of refusal to admit L' ree- ncn and, finally, as it, leaves the offices oi Di- rectors of the Bank of Ireland (for instance) still â dosed against Catholic wealth and probity. 10. That, by continuing the exclusion from the Universitie", and from even the Law Fellow- ships and offices therein, it deines to the Catho- lie all participation of the benefits of edu- to be enjoyed in those highly endowed establishments. 11. Thai ibis same clause, by its operation, disables Catholics from the higher offices in the Law-as those of Judges, Masters in Chancery &c. &c 12. It leaves the Catholic Peers of Ireland still incapable of voting at the Election of any Representative Peer of Ireland.â Another proof of unskilfulness in the framer of this Bit!; for the Commi Uee. coulJ no t have JcsigtlUÃy continued this disability. 14. It leaves the Catholics still a pray to all the pillage of Church Rates, Vestry Cesses, &c fife, so grievously felt by the farmers, cottiers, and peasantry of Irelandâ(Another important oniissioli 11) 15. It still subjects them to the long oaths, imposed by Dr. Duigenan's presentment in 1793 and no Catholic is to acquire, enjoy, or trans- mit, freehold property, be a guardian, &c. or scarcely exist in civil life, without publicly tak- ing and subscribing these Oathsâ(This hardship, it was observed, was most galling and personally- inconvenient, in many instances.) 16. Many other omissions, doubtful phrases, and imperfections, were largely commented upon. It appeared to he the general sense of this enlightejied Meeting, that (however upright the views, and estimable the characters of the Mem. bers of the Committee may be, and (his was ful- ly acknowledged) they had produced a Bill, which was, in i's principle, restricted; in its frame unnecessarily doubtful; and in its pro- visions inadequate to that full relief, which has been expected by the public, of all classes, and was apparently intended by the Parliament, and, probably, by the Committee itself. The Reso- lution moved by Mr. O'Connell having passed unanimously, that Gentleman next moved, That the additional Delegates should be Sir Edward Bellew, Major Bryan, and Messrs. Bagot and Scully." A ballot accordingly took place, when it appeared that Sir E. Bellew, Messrs. Bryan, Scully, O'Connell, and Bagot, were elected un- animously. The Earl of Fingall, herore leaving the Chair, expressed in warm terms his satisfac- tion at the instructive and highly beneficial dis- clIssion, which had that day taken place at the Board, and for which they must feel highly in- debted to the Members who had taken part in it. For his part, it had made upon his mind a deep, and, he trusted, a salutary impression.- To him, and other Delegates present, it was most seasonable, as they proposed to sail for Holyhead with the first fair wind. It should he his care and theirs, when in London, to make a proper use of the suggestions and observations which he had that day heard.âAdjourned. Monday May.1i.âThe Secretary, fill. Finn, at- tended, and produced a letter received from Mr. Hay, accompanying a compared copy of the Ca- tholic Bill. This important document excited general attention and interest. The Earl of Fill. gall was called to the Chair, the Bill was read distinctly. Many of the former observations were repeated and corroborated. It appeared to be the general wish and understanding of the Board that Messrs. Scully and O'Connell should pro- fessionally take the Bill into their consideration, and report their opinion upon it. However,no formal Resolution to this cffect. was proposed, on account of the Standing Order, which requires a week's notice of every motion. The Earl of Fin- gall took his leave of the Board.

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