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THE CRAFTY TACTICS OF ROME." MORE LETTERS ON .THE CONTINUITY QUESTION. To the Editor of the BARRY DOCK NEWS." SIR,-Your correspondent who has chosen the singular nom de p-lume, "A Priest of the Undivided Church," is not a very formidable assailant of Catholicism, whether he be an Anglican clergy- man or a Baptist minister, or whatever form of Protestantism he may be attached to. All his unctious bombast about The crafty tactics of Rome will not suffice to blind your readers to the crafty tactics" of this gentleman himself. He tells us that" The history of the pre-reforma- tion English Church records continuous resistance to the encroachments of Rome." Now, this is a mere parrot-phrase derived from a continuity handbook of the English Church Defence Associa- tion and your readers will be able to gauge its historic value when they have read the following authoritative declaration of the ancient Catholic Church of England. It is an extract from a decree of the Synod of Exeter, which met in the year 1287 In case of doubt recourse should he had to the most holy Roman Church, which, by the grace of Almighty God. having the authority of apostolical tradition, is proved never to have erred from the right path and her decree must be awaited, lest anyone, by approving what she disapproves, in the judgment of Catholics be proved a heretic. It is not lawful either to teach or to hold other- wise than we see the Roman Church, the mother of all Churches, to follow and to hold." (Wilkins' Concilia, vol. ii., p. 155.) When my undivided friend has disposed of this point, I shall be happy to furnish him with con- vincing particulars of the relative state of morality in Catholic and Protestant countries, concerning which subject also he has yet a great deal to learn. -I am. &c., JOHN HOBSON MATTHEWS. Cardiff, 24th February, 1894. To the Editor of the BARRY DOCK NEWS." SIR.-The reply of A Priest of the Undivided Church to me re-calls tha adage-" Abuse is no argument." He speaks of my deliberately attack- ing his position, while he deliberately went out of his way, in a letter dealing with Dissent, to attack the Catholic Church. If Catholics do not reply to such attacks it is said they cannot. If they do they are called crafty, Jesuitical, &c." He makes a rash judgment in implying that I should not have replied to him unless I felt sure he would have no ehance of answering. I should have done so in any case. The copy in which his letter ap- peared was, I believe, the first I have ever seen of your paper. I am very surprised that he denies that St. Augustine founded English pre-reforma- tion Christianity, because the present Archbishop of Canterbury maintains that he (Dr Benson) is St. Augustine's successor. It does not witness to an Undivided Church when its chief bishop and one of its priests differ as to its founder in England. I wonder what is the opinion of its head, Her Majesty. I observe your correspondent takes good care not to refer to my quotation of the pre-re- formation bishop's oath, or the origin of the title Defender of the Faith," or the holy water stoups and altar stones I mentioned as remaining in pre-reformation churches, because all these are so many proofs that the Church of England is not the pre-reformation Catholic Church of England, but, as I stated and state, the foundation of Henry VIII. He ad- mits that king to have been bad, but charges it on the Catholic religion, in which he was educated. It is a remarkable fact, on the other side, that Henry's badness publicly developed itself in conflict with the Catholic Church when she informed him he could not be divorced from his lawful wife. As to Magna Charta, I know that one of its provisions was against the interference of the Crown in religious matters, so it hardly becomes a minister of a Church, whose head is the Sovereign, to quote it on his side. I can also quote the very respectful letter which Edward III. wrote to the Pope protesting against the number of foreigners appointed to positions in the Church in England, calling the Pope Our Most Holy Father in Christ and Lord. Pope by Divine Providence, Chief Bishop of the Holy Roman and Catholic Church, and saying how obedient England had always been to the Holy See. I suppose this is what the writer calls boldly refusing to obey the Pope. As to sameness of religion and the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility, what he quotes from Keenan's Catechism was perfectly correct when written. He falls into the usual error of Protestants they are not aware that the Catholic Church is a living teaching voice." As long as there is no definition of any special doctrine one can believe it or not, but. at times-generally when there has been much questioning about some particular doctrine-the Church exercises the right to teach all nations what our Lord gave her in a special manner, and after a most careful examination defines what is to be believed as dogma. The doctrines of the Immaculate Conception -and Papal Infallibility had always been most generally believed and acted on throughout the Church, but until their definition one was not obliged to believe them under pain of sin, and people could and did dispute them. The first example of this defining power is to be found in the fifteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, which describes the Council of Jerusalem, when, after much disputing," St. Peter arose and settled the question of the non-necessity of circumcision, and then a letter was written to the Gentile converts on the matter, in which are the words. It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us," and so, ever since, when there has been much disputing," the Church has exercised her defining right. The fact that Protestantism has no such living teaching authority to settle disputed doctrines is the cause of its splitting up into so many sects. I think the writer must have forgotten that the origin of the United States was partly owing to the Puritan Pilgrim Fathers who left England to avoid persecution, and the sufferings of John Bunyan, and the Quakers and Baptists in England when he asks what I refer to as Church of England persecution of dissenters. As to the fires of Smithfield, I do not defend them, but I would remind him that the Pope's legate, Cardinal Role, Archbishop of Canterbury, and all the other English Catholic bishops (excepting Gardiner and Bonner, who had both apostatized under Henry VIII., and returned to the Catholic Church under Mary) spent their time in preventing the persecution from spreading, and that the confessor of Philip of Spain preached publicly against it. I may add that the number of Catholics put to death by Queen Elizabeth was so great that the executions under Mary were nothing to it. As to the Spanish Inquisition, the Spaniards have always had the name of being a specially cruel people. The Inquisition in Spain was corrupted to a political engine of cruelty, and as such used by the Government. Your correspondent evidently does not know that in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella those Sovereigns had a correspondence with the Pope about it, in which they expressed their vexation that their subjects fled from the Spanish Inquisition to Rome to obtain the Pope's protection. As to the present apparent state of certain Catholic countries, I say scum always rises," and Good never makes any noise, and noise never means any good." It is those who find the restraints of the Catholic Church too much for them who are in evidence. Those who practice their religion are quiet and law-abiding, and one does not hear of them and their good works.- I am, Sir, yours faithfully, A. E. P. Ross. To the Editor of the "BARRY DOCK NEWS." SIR,-In your issue of February 16th there appeared a letter from A. E. P. Ross, in which he states that English pre-reformation Christianity came with St. Augustine from Rome, and that all English Archbishops and Bishops took the oath of allegiance to the Holy Apostolic Roman Church and our Lord (iv.) the Pope." I would remind A. E. P. Ross that St. Augustine found Christian Bishops when he arrived here. (Beda Hist. Eccles. 1, p. 25). Bingham says, Indeed it would appear that there were more bishops in England and Wales at the time of the Saxon invasion (i.e., 150 years before the arrival of Augustine) than there are at this day," (Antiq. ix., vi., p. 20). With reference to the Oath of Allegiance, I would respectfully point out that in the beginning there was no such oath or any other, nor any promise of fidelity or obedience made by the bishops to the Pope, but only a bare profession of the common faith, even such as he also made to them by his encyclical letters and afterwards, when promises began, they were only of canonical obedience in geneeral terms." (Father Walsh Defence of the Church of Rome. Sect. 25). The Oath taken at present by Bishops of the Roman Church was set forth by Clement VIII., A.D. 1592. Your correspondent tries to sneer at ''that wretched being," Henry VIlI., having lost his faith." It is well to remember that Henry VIII. never claimed to consecrate bishops or to administer the sacraments, but those monsters of iniquity, Popes John XII., John XXIII., and Alexander VI., did, and claimed to be the source of all spiritual and ecclesiastical authority. Of John XII. we read that he lived in open adultery with the matrons of Rome, that the Lateran Palace was turned into a school for prostitutes, and that his rape of virgins and widows had deterred the female pilgrims from visiting the tomb of S. Peter, lest, in the devout act, they should be violated by his successor." (Gibbon, chap. xlix., and Lintprand, lib. vi., c. 6.) For the character of John XXIII, I refer your readers to the French historian Dupin,who tells us this representative of our Lord was accused before the Council of Constance, A.D. 1415, of being lewd, dissolute, a liar, and addicted to every vice which could be named, that he had raised himself to the Pontificate by causing his predecessor to be poisoned, that he had com- mitted fornication with maids, adultery with wives, and incest with his brother's wife, and as to the faith of the Church, he had maintained that there is no future life, but that the soul dies with the body." (See Dupin, Cent. xv.) He was deposed by the Council. Of Alexander VI. we read "None of the eastern, none of the Roman emperors, however lewd and debauched, exceeded Alexander in lewd- ness and debauchery." (Burchard, Diary p. 77, also see Guicciard, Mosheim, and Roscoe Life of Leo X.) I venture to say A. E. P. Ross will not be able to find any Bishop of the Church of England of whom such a description can be honestly given as is to be found written of the three Popes I have mentioned. Apologising for the length of this letter,—I am, &c., 9, A.C.K.