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has it any civil effect. In its object and in its means, it stands in a very distinct order from the civil power of the state. This may be illustrated by one or two cases.
“A Catholic confesses to a priest that he has injured his neighbour in his property or good name. The priest admonishes him of the obligation of making restitution as far as he is able, to the extent of the injury done, if he wishes to be reconciled to God, and to be admitted to the sacraments. The man refuses to make restitution. In this case the priest can only urge him by advice and by command, to comply with this moral obligation; and if he persists in his refusal to do his duty, by refusing to admit him to the participation of the spiritual benefit of the sacraments. But the priest cannot employ any civil means, such as imprisonment, fine, &c. to compel him to make restitution to which he is bound by the law of nature, and by the positive law of God.
“ In the same manner, the pope cannot enforce in England the observance of a divine or ecclesiastical precept by any civil or temporal punishment, but only by ecclesiastical or spiritual means; such as depriving a Catholic clergyman of his spiritual powers, or others of the participation of the sacraments and of the communion of the church
“ In cases of impediments of matrimony, on which the laws of England are different from the laws of the Catholic church, the laws of the church have their
ch have their proper and distinct effect, and are not enforced by any civil means. Suppose then that two Catholics, first cousins, marry according to the forms of the law of England, their marriage is valid and good according to law, as the degree of first cousins is not a legal impediment; but their marriage is considered by the Catholic church as invalid and null, ab initio, in conscience and in the sight of God; because
the degree of first cousins is an impedimentum dirimens, totally annulling the matrimonial contract in the sight of God. In this case, the Catholic bishop or priest would inform the parties of the invalidity of their marriage, and of the conscientious obligation of their separating. If they refuse to separate, he cannot compel them by any civil means ; if they have children, he cannot declare them illegitimate, so as to make them incapable of succeeding to the titles and estates of the father, or of enjoying the temporal benefits of legitimate children. But if they refuse to separate, the priest can refuse to admit them to the sacraments of the Catholic church; and if they have children, these children will be ecclesiastically illegitimate, so as to be incapable of being admitted to holy orders. Hence it appears evidently, that the ecclesiastical and the civil powers are clearly distinct from each other in their means and effects. Whilst the Catholic is bound by the law of God to acknowledge that the king has temporal authority for the government of the state, he is equally bound by the law of Christ to acknowledge that the pope has ecclesiastical and spiritual authority for the government of the Catholic church, and of all the members of the Catholic church wherever they are. If any Catholic were to swear that the pope ought not to have any ecclesiastical authority in England, he would abjure the divine right of the pope to govern the members of the Catholic church; he would abjure the principle of the supremacy of the pope ; he would separate himself from the centre of Catholic unity and communion; he would, ipso facto, cease to be a Catholic.
(Signed) WILLIAM POYNTER, V. A. 4, Castle Street, Holborn, March 5th, 1821.
TESTIMONIES IN FAVOUR OF THE DOCTRINE OF TRANSUBSTANTIATION, AND OF THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS.
It is an article of Catholic belief, that in the most
holy sacrament of the Eucharist, there is truly and really contained the Body of Christ, which was delivered for us, and his blood, which was shed for the remission of sins; the substance of the bread and wine being, by the power of God, changed into the substance of his blessed body and blood, the species or appearances of bread and wine, by the will of the same God, remaining as they were. This change has been properly called Transubstantiation.
John vi. 51, 52. I am the living bread, which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever : and the bread, that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world.-54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59. Except you
eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.—He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.-For my flesh is meat indeed; and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in him. As the living father hath sent me, and I live by the father : so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever. Matt. xxvi. 26, 27, 28.-And while they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke, and gave it to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat : This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks : and gave it to them, saying : Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many for the re. mission of sins.—Mark xiv. 22, 23, 24. And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave it to them, and said : Take ye, This is my body. And having taken the chalice ; giving thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.-And he said to them: This is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many. -Luke xxii. 19, 20. And taking bread, he gave thanks, and broke, and gave it to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you: Do this for a commemoration of
In like manner, the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the New Testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.—1 Cor. x. 16. The chalice of benediction which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord ?-Ibid. xi. 23, 24, 25, 26. For I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered to you ; That the Lord Jesus, the same night in
which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke it, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you : this do for a commemoration of
In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the New Testament in my blood : this do ye, as often as you shall drink of it, for the commemoration of me.- For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink this chalice, you shall shero the death of the Lord until he come,
S. IGNATIUS,() G. C.
These Gnostic heretics“ abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not acknowledge the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ,(e)
(a) The capital letters L. C. are used to designate the Fathers of the Latin Church, and G. C. those of the Greek Church.
(6) St. Ignatius was bishop of Antioch, the second from St. Peter; and having governed that church about 40 years, suffered martyrdom at Rome, by the command of the emperor Trajan, in the beginning of the second century, leaving behind him seven epistles, addressed to different churches, and acknowledged to be genuine. He had been the disciple of St. John, and his letters breathe the whole spirit of that apostle.
(c) δια το μη ομολογειν την ευχαριστιαν σαρκα ειναι του σωτηρος ήμων Ιησου Χριστου.