The Catholic Movement and the Society of the Holy Cross.
By J. Embry, M.A.,
Vicar of St. Bartholomews, Dover.
London: The Faith Press, 1931.
"BEAR WITNESS ALSO AT ROME."
IT was always the tradition of S.S.C. that the spirit of isolated individualism in affairs ecclesiastical should be got rid of and that it should be supplanted by the more beneficial process of corporate spirit and action. It was aware that this would promote most surely the Catholic ethos. It was desired that all work in connection with the Movement should be done by its Members in a certain and definite sense as Brethren of S.S.C. Any special or important work achieved by an individual of the Society would thus be of concern to the whole body, while, in his particular achievement, the individual would be supported by the knowledge of its accord with him. It is with this tradition in mind that the important events which coincided with the three years of Fr. Chase's last tenures of office as Master of the Society (18951898) must be viewed.
A great deal of the story of these three years has been told already by the Rev. T. A. Lacey in A Roman Diary and Other Documents relating to the Papal Inquiry into English Ordinations MDCCCXCVI. and by Lord Halifax in Leo XIII. and Anglican Orders.
The action which led to the opinion of condemnation of Anglican Orders by the Pope in the Bull Apostolicae Curae, September, 1896, has often been attributed falsely to the desire on the part of a few within the Anglican Communion to obtain from Rome a formal recognition of their Orders. Whereas the origin of it, on the authority of Lord Halifax, lay in some conversations on ecclesiastical matters which he and the Abb³ Portal had together, a few years previous to 1894, in Madeira, when the latter desired very much to be able to give some information to his own people about the Church in England. The result was a pamphlet by the Abb³ dealing with English Orders, in which he concluded that as to form and matter the English Ordinal was sufficient, and that there was sufficient proof of the historical fact of the succession, but he maintained that, the Church having decreed certain forms, the English Church had no right to vary them. A communication from an English bishop had been asked for and the Bishop of Salisbury (J. Wordsworth) wrote a letter which was well received in France. The Abb³ paid a visit to England and saw a good deal, though only on the best side of Church matters, and had gone back desiring more than ever to do something for the English Church. Soon afterwards, he was received at Rome by the Pope and Cardinal Rampolla and suggested to the Pope, Leo XIII.who also was very desirous that something should be donethat a letter might be written to the English archbishops. It was supposed that their intention was changed through the influence of Mgr. Campbell of the Scotch College. On September 10th, 1894, Cardinal Vaughan delivered a speech at Preston, on "The Reunion of Christendom," in which he made an attack on the Anglican Church and declared that her connection with the State and her internal difficulties made it impossible for any question of reunion to be entertained seriously. He emphasised the statement that it was not the possession "of priestly orders, of an episcopate, of sacraments," that constituted the title to be the true church, but union with Rome. He admitted that, on the side of discipline, such matters as clerical celibacy, communion under both kinds and the language of the Liturgy were no hindrances. The speech was entirely Ultramontane in character and was an appeal for an uncompromising acceptance of the Papal Claims. The speech, as well as the Toledo correspondence mentioned in the last chapter, gave evidence of the irritation of many English Romanists at all that had been passing between the Abb³ Portal and the Pope. They pressed their views on the Pope. The latter directed the distinguished historian, Abb³ Duchesne, to look into the question of English Orders, and he and Mgr. Gasparri of Paris, who had been strongly against them, now formed a more favourable judgment. Many English Romanists were opposed to any step which might tend to check conversions to the Roman Church in England.
On February 14th, 1895, Lord Halifax delivered his famous Bristol Speech on Reunion. He spoke of the relations of Canterbury to Rome, of the dissolution of the unity, its causes and its responsibility, the course of events which followed in England. He outlined the negotiations for reunion in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the impetus given by the Oxford Movement to the same end. He stated clearly the Anglican position, deplored the controversial policy of the Roman Church in England, and welcomed the investigation which Leo XIII. proposed to make into the question of the validity of Anglican Orders, as a step towards other negotiations in the future. Lord Halifax made his Bristol Speech with the special intention of bringing the question forward in view of his intended visit to Rome, and sent it to all the English bishops asking their opinion, and on the whole these opinions were favourable, i.e. they expressed a desire to forward reunion.
Important as the matter was, S.S.C. in its corporate capacity had nothing to do with it. At the same time, it was impossible for the facts as they arose not to occupy a place in the Society's mind. Especially was this so, seeing that the question of reunion was embedded in the spirit of the Society itself, and also because it so happened that the literary work of two of its Brethren played an important part in the earlier stages of the question under consideration. The Rev. Edward Denny, who was Vicar of Kempley in Gloucestershire, had produced an excellent treatise, published in 1893, entitled Anglican Orders and Jurisdiction. When the Abb³ Portal had put the question of the English Church in motion and attention to it was widening, it became desirable that some accurate knowledge of the Anglican case should be placed within the reach of those who were interested. To provide the information, the Rev. T. A. Lacey, who possessed a special aptitude for the task, was invited to write a Latin presentment of the Anglican defence. This he consented to do and Mr. Denny's book was taken as the foundation of the work. In the early part of 1895 it was published by the Cambridge University Press, as De Hierarchia Anglicana, Dissertatio Apologetica, and the Bishop of Salisbury (J. Wordsworth) supplied it with a Preface. The book found its way into the ecclesiastical circles of Europe, including that of the Vatican itself, and received the just attention which its solidity and scholarship merited. It attained its purpose, created a new impression which was not unfriendly, and forced the question of Anglican Orders into a position the cognisance of which could not be avoided.
On April 14th, 1895, Leo XIII. issued "An Apostolic Letter to the English People." The manner of its promulgation and the respectful attention which it received, in spite of much regretful procedure, are now matters of history. So also are the subsequent events of the Pope's enquiry into the question of Anglican Ordinations, the unsparing efforts of the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church in England to persuade of their invalidity, the appointment of the Commission in 1896, the request of Mgr. Gasparri to be in communication with one of the authors of the De Hierarchia Anglicana which led to the visit of Fr. Puller and the Rev. T. A. Lacey to Rome, the Pope's Encyclical Satis Cognitum with the prejudicial presentment of it, and finally the coup de grace of September 13th, 1896, when the Bull Apostolicae Curae issued from Rome declaring English Orders to be null and void.
The attitude of S.S.C. to the question may now be reviewed. In the beginning of 1895 it became common knowledge, although limited in its extent, that some proceedings were taking place at Rome and that there was a strong probability that the question of Anglican Ordinations would be reconsidered. In the December number of Le Canoniste an article had appeared which indicated this, and in what showed a spirit of goodwill. It had, however, created a feeling of unrest amongst English Romanists, as evidenced by Cardinal Vaughan's utterances and some letters to the Guardian from Fr. Breen. One thing was clear: Leo XIII. was very anxious to promote reunion before he died. The attitude taken up by S.S.C. was neither a sanguine nor an enthusiastic one. It never expected, at this time, that there would be any definite pronouncement in the English favour, yet, while it realised that the validity of Anglican Orders depended in no wise on their recognition by the Holy See, it also realised that such recognition was desirable on the Roman side, as it was bound to have a great influence in promoting reunion. It was aware that the real question at issue was that of the Papal Supremacy. If the Pope were really the Caput ecclesiae, as the Roman Church held him to be, then there must be submission to him, Orders or no Orders. It was here the obstacle lay. Yet it did not despair that even this seemingly insurmountable obstacle, if there were a sufficient spirit of goodwill on both sides, could probably be removed by explanations, which need not imply a formal reversal of any previous decisions.
At the May Synod of 1895, Lord Halifax was present by invitation and the ordinary business was suspended in order that he might give an account of his visit to Rome, and of the circumstances which had led to it. This he did, and the Synod expressed its sincere thanks to him, as also its thankfulness for the fact of the informal negotiations for a better understanding with foreign ecclesiastics. It was urged that in speaking of Rome at this time, there should be a careful avoidance of all irritating and controversial phraseology, and that there was a need of recognising (what the Anglican Church had never denied) the true Primacy of the Roman Pontiff, while at the same time refusing to admit the extreme theories of Papal Supremacy. In the discussion which followed, many interesting facts were mentioned which manifested a desire for reunion even in most unexpected quarters. Some expressions used by the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol (C. J. Ellicott) were considered a matter for congratulation. Lord Halifax, in acknowledging the thanks of the Synod, said that while in Rome he had taken care to make it quite plain that his visit was in no way due to any doubts entertained in England as to our position.
It was to be expected that under the circumstances the Roman question would receive some attention, even though it did not do so in a predominating sense. Calmly secure in the conviction of the lawful jurisdiction and mission of the English Episcopate, and freed from the prejudice and fear which accompany the non-recognition of the Pope's rightful place in Christendom, S.S.C. was concerned not in rebutting so much the exaggerated position of the Papal Throne with its claim of Supreme Jurisdiction, as in fearing the strength and popularity of undenominationalism, the slowness of re-converting England to Catholicism, and the lack of right belief, or even of conception of the Divine Mission of the Church in this country.
At this particular time, however, when men of goodwill were trying to promote better understandings between Rome and England, a body of priests like S.S.C. could not do otherwise than have something to say. What was said, remembering the freedom of privilege which a private assembly could claim, was remarkably restrained, clear and moderate, while suggestive of the olive-branch. The Rev. T. A. Lacey said:
"He greatly preferred the word 'Intercommunion' to 'Reunion'; the latter was misleading. The Church really is many as well as one. Where she is one she is unbreakable; but her unity is not that of a point, but that of a body animated by one indwelling spirit; she is one and has many members. The Church's unity is the unity of the Episcopate. We may have in special cases the union of two Churches under one bishope.g., Gloucester and Bristol; or the union of several bishoprics in one Province under a metropolitan. Such unions are not jure divino, but only matters of ecclesiastical convenience.
The Ultramontane theory is that all Churches be united under the Holy Father, and that such union is jure divino. We ought to pray for the restitution of the bond of charityi.e., intercommunion, not union of churchesviz., in the East 'United Churches' are those which come under the direct authority of the Holy See. As to the Primacy of the Holy See, the Papacy is a great historical fact, not to be got rid of any more than the Reformation. We cannot return to the fifteenth century or to the fifth. We have to remember that all the great theologians of the West grew up under the shadow of the Papacy. The Papacy of the Middle Ages interfered but little with the local Churches. It represented a great appellate jurisdiction, The modern Ultramontane theory requires that all Churches accept the immediate government of the Pope. This close relation between the Papacy and the national Churches could not be maintained in the event of any such interruptions to the succession of Popes as arose from disputed elections, e.g., the great secession in the Middle Ages, though they made little difference to the Papal Supremacy as then understood. In the event of such an interruption, bishops would have to take their dioceses into their own hands. The authority of Rome need not be always and in all places exercised in the same waye.g., the United Churches of the East are managed in a different manner from those of the Latin Rite. This shows that internal government need not be interfered with. There is no occasion to raise objections against a pious opinion that the Primacy of the Holy See is jure divino."
Mr. Lacey was followed by the Rev. E. Denny, who spoke of:
"The importance of facing difficultiese.g., the dogmatic statements of the Vatican Decrees of 1870 on the nature of Papal Jurisdiction. Intercommunion must involve an acceptance of those Decrees in word. We cannot expect a repudiation of them; but the Council is said not to have been closed; it is always possible for it to be re-opened, and for an explanation to be given. One very important chapter, on the nature of Papal Jurisdiction and its relation to the jurisdictions of the several diocesan bishops, contains a phrase which appears to be capable of an interpretation in harmony with the view held by Gallican theologians."
These two extracts taken from the authentic Acta of S.S.C. represent all that passed within the Society, on the subject, at this particular time.
When a little later there came an announcement that the Pope had nominated certain sympathetic ecclesiastics to look into the Anglican case, and that there were others working in the opposite direction, and it was further announced that Cardinal Gasquet had discovered in the Vatican Archives a Bull and Brief of Paul IV. dated 1555, which he cited as a reprobation of Anglican Orders, the Rev. T. A. Lacey took the matter up. The latter was aware that the discovery would render necessary some reconsideration of one part of the argument presented in De Hierarchia. In a paper which he read before the Society in September, 1895, he pointed out that the Bull laid down certain general principles for the guidance of Cardinal Pole, concerning those whom he was to receive as genuine bishops and priests, but that the terms employed were vague of interpretation. The purpose of the brief was to clear up any doubts that had arisen concerning the phraseology of the Bull. Mr. Lacey considered that the documents furnished evidence by implication that the Pope at least had tolerated the English rite. In this view, certainly as regarded the ordering of priests, he was upheld later by some of those who sat on the Papal Commission of investigation. The paper was afterwards circulated at the Norwich Church Congress of 1895, and later incorporated into the Supplementum de Hierarchia Anglicana, printed at Rome. The text of the paper appeared in A Roman Diary, pp. 171 176.
The Papal Encyclical Satis Cognitum appeared at the end of June, 1896. It was a treatise on the Unity of the Church and contained much concerning the Papacy which no churchly-minded person would refuse to accept, but the predominant feature and final conclusion was the assertion of the Pontiff's Supreme Authority jure divino and the absolute necessity of submitting to that authority.
A fortnight after an account of it had appeared in the Times newspaper, the Rev. G. Bayfield Roberts, at the July, 1896, Chapter of the Society, drew attention to the importance of denying that the Encyclical was a continuation of the Pope's letter to the English people of April, 1895. It had, he asserted, nothing to do with the question of Anglican Orders, and was, in fact, a reply to the letter of the Eastern bishops.
At the Chapter held a month later, Mr. Bayfield Roberts dealt more fully with the Encyclical itself. He stated that Cardinal Vaughan and the secular press taking their cue from him had represented the Encyclical as designed to dispel Anglican delusions and to lay down the essential terms of Reunionabsolute submission to the Papal Authority. In the "Authorised translation," issued by the "Catholic Truth Society," an interpolated page affirmed that the Encyclical was a "sequel to the Letter 'Ad Anglos.'" If this statement was authorised by the Pope, it was indeed a final death-blow; if not, it was a wicked attempt to misrepresent the design of the document and to paralyse all efforts to promote reunion. On the other hand, it was well known that Reunion had been the object of the Pope's desires for years; that he had given practical expression to those desires in East and West alike, and that for a long time he had been engaged on a treatise dealing with the unity of the Church. That such a treatise would be put forth was only what would be expected; and, the Vatican Decrees being what they were, it was impossible for any other line to be taken. That the Encyclical was addressed to the whole Roman Catholic Hierarchy, not "Ad Anglos," not to the Roman Catholic, nor to the Catholic, hierarchy in Englandthis was sufficient proof that it was not especially directed against the English Church. No doubt it included the English Church in its scope, but that was per accidens. It was, however, incredible that the Encyclical was designed to formulate a final definition of the terms upon which Reunion was alone possible. For not only were they acquainted with the statements made by the Pope to Lord Halifax and the Abb³ Portal, and with the announcement in the Revue Anglo-Romaine that the Encyclical was a reply to the Encyclical of the Easterns, and that the Gallicans would continue to labour on the lines of explanation and not of submission; but it was stated expressly in the Encyclical that the subject of the unity of the Church was treated of "for the general good."
Mr. Bayfield Roberts then outlined the substance of the Encyclical and analysed its salient features. He stated that its language was a giving up of the Ultramontane theoryoriginating with Innocent III.the principle that the Pope had plenary jurisdiction in the Church, whilst all bishops were merely his assistants for such portions of his duty as he pleased to entrust to them, and that what was recognised was that the bishops inherited the ordinary power of the Apostles, and that the Magisterium belonged to all the bishops, not to the Pope alone. It was not stated how Jurisdiction was conferred on the bishops. No doubt bishops in communion with Rome received their jurisdiction from the Pope, but, on the face of the Encyclical, it might fairly be argued that such method was merely the present discipline of the Roman Church, with the corollary that jurisdiction conferred by any other method at any time recognised by the Church would be illicit only, not invalid.
What was maintained was the Papal Monarchy"real and sovereign authority which the whole community is bound to obey "a "full power to feed, to rule, and to govern the universal Church." Bishops, in their respective dioceses, exercised "a power really their own," but this Magisterium they exercised under the guardianship and supreme authority of the Pope, viz., that "power of commanding, forbidding, and judging, which is properly called jurisdiction." Consequently, jurisdiction exercised apart from or against the Pope was invalid. It was also the office of the Pope to ratify or to reject the decrees of Councils. The Pope, jure divino, was "the principle and centre" of unity "in faith, in government and in communion." Inter-communion depended on communion with him. Deliberate secession from the Pope was schism, and there could be neither organic nor moral unity in schism. Mr. Roberts went on to show that no material concession, as affecting reunion, was made in the Encyclical. The claim of monarchical powers, jure divino, was an insurmountable difficulty. They stood where they stood before, in face of a difficulty of appalling dimensions, and one which at present bade fair to baffle the realisation of their hearts' desires. The solution lay in the far future, and it would only come in God's good time, and in His good way.
On September 13th, 1896, the Bull Apostolicae Curae was published, in which English Orders were pronounced to be "absolutely null and utterly void." It came as a disappointment to those who entertained hopes that there might be some change of attitude on the side of the Roman See towards the Orders of the English Church. The admission of their validity would have been, at least, a contribution to the cause of truth and free inquiry, and might have prepared the way to some better understanding in the future. It was a special blow to the theologians of France and England who had worked for such a laudable cause, and it left them more grieved than surprised. It was a conclusion which, in the words of the Guardian at the time, could only be left to the Roman Church, "to square with facts and doctrines of the ancient Catholic Church as best she could."
Ten days later, the Rev. T. A. Lacey gave to S.S.C. an account of his visit to Rome. It proved to be of such an interesting and instructive nature, that it is here reproduced in full from the Acta of the Society. Mr. Lacey said that:
The publication of the Bull Apostolicae Curae very much altered the character of what he would have to say. On the one hand, there was much less need of caution in speaking; and on the other hand, all that he had to say would have a direct bearing on the Bull. He should be trifling with their time if he dwelt on matters of more general interest. He then described how he and Father Puller had been invited to Rome by Duchesne and Gasparri to give their much-needed information for this work on the Commission of Enquiry. Gasparri had even asked that they might be put on the Commission but this the Pope had naturally refused. They had, however, been allowed to see the memoirs presented by members of the Commission; but the archives of the Holy Office containing most of the documents referred to in the Enquiry were' inaccessible. The Commission had devoted almost all its time to the investigation of historical points the consecration of Barlow and of othersthe practice of the Church during the Marian reaction, and such like. In regard to most of these matters, the work had been very thoroughly done and the results seemed very satisfactory. Moyes and Gasquet had alleged forty cases in which Edwardine Orders were disallowed under Mary. The Commission, as Duchesne said, entirely destroyed thirty-eight and a half. The questions of the rite and of intention were very lightly dealt with. Mr. Scannell told them plainly that the Gordon case, decided by the Holy Office, was the great obstacle to recognition. That case had not been decided, as it was commonly supposed, on the Nag's Head story; the dossier of papers laid before the Commission showed that the rite had been carefully examined and the decision had been given on the ground of defective form. Duchesne went further and told them that Cardinal Mazzella, the President of the Commission, would not allow them to go behind this decision. It was a decision of the Holy Office; the Commissioners were merely consulters of the Holy Office, and were bound by its decisions. The Holy Father himself alone could re-open the question.
When the Commission of Enquiry had finished its sittings, Cardinal Rampolla asked them to remain for a time at Rome and to see several of the Cardinals. It was uncertain whether the Pope would send the question to the Holy Office or to a special Commission of Cardinals. In the former case there was little hope of any change in the existing practice; in the other case anything might be hoped for. A result of interviews with some of the Cardinals was the printing of a Supplementum to the book De Hierarchia Anglicana and of a brief account de Re Anglicana. This last had made a considerable impression and called forth a most malignant reply from Moyes and Gasquet.
They now knew that the question was sent to the Holy Office and they saw the result in the Bull just issued. There was one thing to be most thankful for. The Pope had given his reasons. They could be examined, and the Bull, having of course no extrinsic authority for us, was worth no more than its reasons were worth. The text of the Bull showed evidence of the most extraordinary blundering and carelessness.
In the first place, the authors of the Bull cannot even quote a previous Papal document correctly. There is a certain misquotation which is not merely made in passing, for a serious argument is based upon it, and this blunder is so curious, and throws so much light upon the nature of the investigation and the authorship of the Bull, that a detailed account of it may not be amiss.
In the general dispensation given by Cardinal Pole on the reconciliation of England, there is a certain sentence, very ungrammatical and very puzzling, about benefices and orders that had been obtained nulliter et de facto. In their book, De Hierarchia Anglicana, Mr. Denny and Mr. Lacey tried to make sense of the passage. Their explanation was vehemently and, we think, successfully assailed in the Tablet by Canon Moyes, who proposed an alternative interpretation. A few weeks afterwards, however, the Bull Praeclara Carissimi of Paul IV. was found in the Vatican and published in the Tablet. This Bull recites at length a great part of Pole's Dispensation, including the disputed passage, but with the addition of the word concernentia, which makes alike the grammar and the sense perfect. It was not benefices and orders which had been obtained nulliter et de facto, but certain dispensations and indults concerning benefices and orders. It was obvious at once that the word concernentia had slipped out of the copies of Pole's Dispensation and that both the proposed explanations were uncalled for. Mr. Lacey drew attention to this in his Supplementum to the De Hierarchia, printed in Rome last May.
Will it be believed that the present Bull, professing to quote the passage from the Bull of Paul IV., quotes it without this word concernentia? Such is the fact. The passage is quoted as it stands in the copies of Pole's Dispensation, and then an argument is drawn from it en the lines of Canon Moyes' explanation. Here are the words:
"Neither should the passage much to the point in the same Pontifical letter be overlooked, where, together with others needing dispensation, are enumerated those who had obtained as well Orders as benefices nulliter et de facto."
Then follows Canon Moyes' statement of what is meant by obtaining Orders nulliter. Now there is no such passage "in the same Pontifical letter," but apparently Canon Moyes' argument, drawn from a sheer misreading, was too precious to be abandoned. Verily this Bull is of the Irish breed.
A turn is given to a passage from the later Brief of Paul IV., which is almost comic. The Henrician bishops surviving under Mary were anxious lest some words in the former Bull should impugn the validity of their Ordination, as indeed they seemed to do on the surface. They had recourse to Rome and the Brief was sent expressly to allay their doubts and fears. In this Brief a passage occurs which Canon Moyes interpreted as invalidating the Orders of the Edwardine bishops. His view was hotly contested by Mr. Scannell and others on his own side. The new Bull adopts Canon Moyes' interpretation and gives a most wonderful reason for it:
"Unless this declaration had applied to the actual case in England, that is to say, to the Edwardine Ordinal, the Pope would certainly have done nothing by these last letters for the removal of doubt and the restoration of peace of conscience."
That is to say, the only way in which the Pope could assure the Henrician bishops of the validity of their own Orders was by declaring the Edwardian ordinations invalid. Does not this again betray more of the Irish than of the Roman style?
Again, in the Brief of Julius III. a distinction is made between men who had been "rightly and lawfully promoted" to sacred orders, and others who were "not promoted," but had got hold of some benefice. Of course, nothing was commoner in those days than for a layman to hold a benefice for a time, and nothing could be more obvious than the meaning of this passage. Yet the authors of the Bull say:
"It is clearly and definitely noted, as indeed was the case, that there were two classes of menthe first who had really received Sacred Orders . . . the second, those who were initiated according to the Edwardine Ordinal, who, on that account, could be promoted, since they had received an ordination which was null."
Now, nothing of the kind is "clearly and definitely noted" about this second class. They are merely said to be not promoted. This recalls nothing but the wonderful argumentation of Canon Moyes who, finding a man described in Mary's reign as never ordained or "no minister," calmly puts him down among those whose Orders were disallowed because conferred by the Edwardine form. Canon Moyes' logic is of the most refreshing type. Since to him "ordained by the Edwardine form" is equivalent to "not ordained at all," therefore also "not ordained at all" is equivalent to "ordained by the Edwardine form."
Now for a few historical statements. The author wishes to show that certain words in a Brief of Julius III. must have referred to the English Ordinal. We believe he is right; but what ground does he allege? "By this expression those only could be meant who had been consecrated according to the Edwardine rite, since beside it and the Catholic form there was then no other in England." Now, the men who penned this sentence had had laid before them a document, printed in Pocock's Burnet, by which Edward VI. permitted John a Lasco and his German congregation to appoint their own ministers and to use their own proper and peculiar rite. In face of this they assert that no rite was used in England save the old rite of the Latin Pontifical and the new rite of the English Ordinal.
Again, the Pope is made to assert that down to the year 1662 the only words used in the imperative formula for ordaining bishops and priests alike were "Receive the Holy Ghost." Yet the authors of the Bull are supposed to have critically examined the Ordinal of 1550 1662, in which this formula is extended by significative words differing for the two orders. Once more we cull the following gem:
"In the whole Ordinal not only is there no clear mention of the Sacrifice, of Consecration, of the Sacerdotium, and of the power of Consecrating and offering Sacrifice, etc."
We read this sentence over twice before noticing that one word had been left untranslated. Then we asked why this was so. At once we realised that if the translator had rendered the word sacerdotium, he would have committed the Pope to the astounding assertion that in the whole of the English Ordinal there is no clear mention of the priesthood. He naturally shrunk from such an exposure. One passes lightly over the word sacerdotium until one asks how the sacerdotium could have been mentioned in the Ordinal otherwise than by the use of the words priest and priesthood which occur there abundantly. There is no verbal quibble. If there is anything certain about the English language it is that priest is the English for sacerdos, and that sacerdos is the Latin for priest. No etymological juggling can undo this. Priest may be etymologically derived from presbyter, but it does not mean presbyter. If proof is required, it is found in the translation of the Bible, where priest is always used as the rendering of sacerdos, and is never once used as the rendering of presbyter. The latter word is always rendered elder. Is a proof of the converse required? It is found in the contemporary Latin translation of the Prayer Book, where the word sacerdos occurs seventeen times, the word presbyter only five times in all, and only twice as a rendering of priest. Priest, then, means sacerdos, and priesthood means sacerdotium, and, needless to say, the Ordinal is full of these words. These facts were before the Pope's Commission of Inquiry, and yet the Bull says that in the whole of the Ordinal there is no clear mention of the sacerdotium. Well may such an assertion be veiled by a trick of translation. These are a few only of the flaws that we have found in a very brief study of the Bull. What confidence will anvone have in the results of an investigation thus conducted? The pity of it is that the Reunion of Christendom is made, not indeed impossible, but harder of attainment than before.
The general feeling within the Society at the appearance of the Bull of Leo XIII., which was shared equally by many outside it, was a sense of disappointment that the Primate of Christendom had failed to seize the opportunity afforded him to take a new line and undo the mistaken policy of his predecessors towards the Church in England. It was felt that years must elapse before any of the schemes, so filled with hope, tending to the Reunion of Christendom could be carried out. There was disappointment, too, in the thought that the sacrilege of the reiteration of the Sacrament of Orders, in the case of those who unhappily seceded from the Church, would still be continued. The members of S.S.C. knew that the Papal decision did not affect the English position in the least, and that it could only lead them to profess, with patience, their inalienable loyalty to that part of the Church in which, by God's Providence, they were called to minister. There was, however, a latent fear that some priests outside, and lay people more so, might be upset and unhinged by the decision. It was felt that the difficulties of promulgating Catholic Truth and practice were certainly not lessened, and that once more priests had to be reminded that the triumph of the Cross could only be gained through suffering and disappointment.
When labours for peace provoke a readiness to battle, the opposed have to see what weapons of defence shall be given them. In S.S.C., the Rev. A. G. Stallard turned back to the Encyclical Satis Cognitum and drew attention to some mistakes in Patristic quotation which it contained. While many of the sixty passages quoted aroused no controversy and it was immaterial whether they were correct or not, he was able to demonstrate that the careful consideration of some passages from St. Irenaeus and St. Cyprian, with reference to their context, rendered a different interpretation from that given in the Encyclical. In a quotation from St. Irenaeus, some important words completing the sentence were omitted. He contended that they were not merely mistakes the correction of which withdrew a certain amount of support from the assertions put forth in the Encyclical, but they were passages that showed that exactly the opposite was the belief of the writers to that which they were quoted to illustrate.
In course of time, with the great blessing the episode effected of making many think more deeply and examine more closely, Satis Cognitum formed the basis of a work, the compilation of which was undertaken by a valued member of the Society, who was an expert in this particular controversy. In 1912, the Rev. E. Denny produced as the result of his prolonged studies his book Papalism, of which it was said by no mean authority that it was "one of the most comprehensive and thorough replies that have ever been made among us to the papal claims."
The Rev. E. G. Wood, who had been in close correspondence with Mr. Lacey during the latter's presence in Rome, and whose keen interest in the proceedings had been shown by the items of information and of verification which he forwarded him, was one of the foremost to criticise the Pope's decision and its reasons. He did so in a statement which he sent to S.S.C. His unique knowledge of the subject, no less than his intrepid and unchangeable convictions, enabled him to give the stimulating utterance that the occasion needed. He expressed himself thus:
"I need hardly say that, so far as I am myself concerned, the Bull is absolutely without any significance save from one point of view, and that is, that one cannot but grieve that by it the august Primate of Christendom has been placed in so very false a positionone, retreat from which, though no doubt perfectly possible, is yet certainly difficult. Retreat from the position taken up by a Bull which is disciplinary is possible, as distinguished from retreat from a position created by a dogmatic Bull, more especially if the latter had been published with those circumstances of form and solemnity essential to an utterance ex cathedra. The recent Bull is, of course, only disciplinary. It is the more grievous that the Pope should have been placed in this false position, when we consider how it has been created for him by those in this country who have been the consistent opponents of that reunion policy which is so near to his heart. The real source and inspiration of the Bull are apparent when we mark the unusual character of the document, and note how for once the Premier See has spoken with the tones of sectarianism and with the language and arguments of a narrow and a petty controversialism. The matter and the manner, save in the introduction and the conclusion, are as unlike as can be the style and manner of the Roman Curiae. The hands are the hands of Esau, but the voice is Jacob's voice. That note of the sectarian spirit is precisely that which so distinguishes the members of the Anglo-Roman body from Continental Catholics, not only in their relations to ourselves but in their religious tone generally. It is indeed a jarring note in the utterances of those who call themselves Catholics. For myself, then, I can only feel a languid and academic kind of interest in this Bull.
"But my own mental attitude towards the Bull does not by any means prevent my recognising most sympathetically the fact that there are those who have much anxiety in consequence of its publication, and who are not only greatly disappointed (as I confess I am not), but who are disturbed and perhaps tempted to doubt whether they ought to continue in the ministry of the Word and Sacraments. For such doubts and difficulties one ought to entertain a most real respect and a true sympathy. I hope one's sympathy would be none the less true and deep because to oneself the whole matter seems to be so perfectly clear and plain. On the contrary, I think that that fact ought to make one sympathise more fully. Such anxieties and doubts, touching as they do the most solemn actions of our priestly office, and therefore of our lives, because we can never forget that we are priests, are of course where and when they are felt so sharp, indeed, it may be said without exaggeration, so exceedingly painful, that they ought to be dealt with in the spirit of tenderness and gentleness. If, then, I say that to me there is absolutely not the slightest ground for such anxiety and doubt, I trust it will not be thought that I would in the smallest degree make light of the perplexity or doubtfulness which any mind may be experiencing."
Mr. Wood proceeded that as far as he was able to gather, the chief grounds on which doubts rested in the minds of those affected, seemed to be that they considered the Bull was a solemn decision that must carry a degree of authority with it, because it emanated from the Primate of Christendom and was the expression of expert opinion. That its conclusions were the result of new information and of long-past decisions. Even if the opinion were not conclusive against validity, yet it made it doubtful whether it was right to continue the exercise of a ministry in the face of such an expression of opinion emanating from such a source. That it was possible also that on such grounds as those formulated in the Bull the Easterns might reject us.
Mr. Wood then dealt with each of these "grounds of doubt" and pointed out that although there was a solemnity in a certain sense about a Bull, that did not take away the right, as regards its contents, to enquire "concerning its genesis." This Bull was the result of intrigue and had much to its discredit. The methods employed took away the value from the conclusion. In the matter of its claim, he reminded them that we had rejected other Bulls; why should we accept this? The refusal to accept the claims of the Supremacy rendered it unnecessary to feel troubled about Bulls. It could not be said that the Bull was the expression of expert opinion. There were but two of the Consulters who could properly be called experts,Duchesne and Gasparri. The former was entirely in our favour, the latter's opinions were quite contrary to the arguments and reasons of the Bull. Another, who though not strictly an expert, was a considerable theologian, and his published opinions were quite opposed to the arguments of the Bull, based on the Bull and Brief of Paul IV. The only new information was the Bull and Brief of Paul IV., which, far from assisting our opponents, assisted us very much. Past decisions of the Roman Curia were of no authority to us. They left the controversy where it was. They did not touch questions of fact, but of principle. "Roma locuta est, causa finita est" might be accepted by those who acknowledged the Papal Supremacy, but it could not be accepted by us. We bowed not to a part of the Church, but to the whole Church. The attitude taken by the Bull towards us could be reduced to two points. (1.) The compilers of the English Ordinal were protes-tants and did not believe in the priesthood. (2.) They did not acknowledge the Pope. The first statement had to be taken with many grains of salt and many modifications and limitations. Both were as old as the controversy itself. In another way, the Bull was a new departure, because it practically abandoned the historical part of the controversy, and so far there was less reason than ever for our paying any attention to the long-standing rejection by the Curia of our Orders. So far from the decree affecting us adversely in the eyes of the Easterns, it seemed to Mr. Wood that nothing was more likely to help us and lead to further rapprochement on the part of the East. The thirty-four years that have elapsed since the issue of the Bull have witnessed conclusively the fulfilment of this. In conclusion, Mr. Wood said three things:
"I feel very strongly that it is the Roman Pontifical rather than the English Ordinal that needs defence. The unsatisfactory character of the former, from a scientific and historical point of view, is not sufficiently known. It is quite time that the war was carried into the camp of our opponents.
"If the arguments of the Bull were valid, it would be impossible to admit that there were Holy Orders anywhere throughout Christendom 'which is absurd.' Hence we are compelled to reject the Bull and its reasoning. On the contrary, if there be valid Orders anywhere they are certainly to be found in the English Church. If I had to choose between the Roman Pontifical and the English Ordinal I should certainly choose the latter as undoubtedly the more satisfactory of the two.
"So far as the exercise of Orders is concerned, there can be no doubt that if we deny Papal Supremacy we must hold that the ordinations by Anglo-Roman bishops are null and void. They confer the character, but not exercitio ordinis, which is something different from jurisdiction as conferred in foro externo. It is not we who ought to surcease from the exercise of our Orders, it is those who, schismatically ordained in England, have by virtue of the Antiochene Canon no exercitio ordinis. This is another way in which the war may be carried in the opposite camp."
The outlines given of the mind of the Society during the time of this controversy and of the events which preceded it, may not unfittingly furnish a key to the attitude taken up by S.S.C. towards the Roman Church. It has been consistently that of the best Anglican tradition and of the Oxford Movement, yet, at the same time, it has not been content to repose in mere theory, but has tried, and with some success, to give life to the tradition. Often, however, accused by opponents and loose thinkers that its sole aim was "to Romanise," the Society has been at many times grievously misunderstood.
The late Mr. Aubrey Moore, in his lectures at Oxford on the Reformation, summed up the aim of the English Reformation before it became adulterated with foreign protestantism, in the uncompromising phrase,"Roman Catholicism, minus the Pope," or to give it a softer paraphrase,There is a Catholicism, which as its name implies, is common to the whole Church, and there is the Western presentment of it, with the claim to Papal Supremacy superadded; and there is the same common Catholicism with the Western presentment of it, but with the Papal Supremacy deducted therefrom.
It is no exaggeration to say, that a large company of controversialists (not confined to the "no Popery" species), when the Papacy had been in question, had not infrequently forgotten the main issue, and while they assayed to expose the Papal Claims, had attacked both the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith. It went without saying that S.S.C. had never kept company with such.
In this gigantic and far-reaching question of ecclesiastical polity S.S.C. never had had a policy of its own. It would have ill befitted a private Confraternity of Catholic priests, whose aim was the sanctification of the priestly life, to have one. It would have made them a controversial society and a private judgment society, instead of a spiritual and Catholic one. They had, however, a knowledge, a faith, a vision, a mind, they dreamed dreams and looked through stained glass of churchly pattern where many others looked through plain. They distinguished clearly between Western Catholicism on the one hand, and Papalism upon the other. They held to the former as a just heritage; they rejected the latter as an ultramontane development. There were visions of a restored intercommunion bequeathed by the Oxford leaders and in the spirit of Dr. Pusey, who held that "a conception of the possibility of Reunion was more than half-way" towards it. (Introduction to Essays on Reunion, p. xxix.) There were dreams too of possible explanations, at some future time, which would smooth away the seemingly jagged edges of the Vatican Decrees and of the Thirty-nine Articles. There was always the faith that in God's time, and in His own way, the divided parts must be brought back to communion with each other. The Society, therefore, could not paint the Catholicism it confessed in fading colours, or build it on an imperfect structure. With a firm belief in the Creed's confession of a Catholic Church, it accepted the truism that faith in the One Church made it impossible that two Provinces, or a larger collective number of Provinces, could define the Faith. It stood to reason that what was accepted, held and practised by the whole Church, and rested on the double source of Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition, must of necessity be accepted, held and practised by the English Provinces, if they were what they declared themselves to be, a part of the Catholic Church. That the Provinces of Canterbury and York were such a part, was the firm conviction of all true Catholics in England.
From the above conviction, certain things followed. The faith taught and the worship required must be in unison with the One Church. These Provinces being an integral part of Western Christendom, it followed that the presentation of the Faith must follow the Western method. There were many indications of this in the Prayer Book itself, such, for instance, to cull but a few, as the use of the Apostles' Creed, the scholastic sacramental language of the Church Catechism, the pericope of the altar lections and gospels, the general use of Western theological and liturgical terms, etc. To think with the Church in matters of faith was consequently to think with the West, and so, in "digging the pit for the Cross," it was the pattern of the Latin Cross, rather than that of the Greek, the Papal, or one of the other various forms of it that S.S.C. had in mind.
The same principle also was applied to modes of worship. It followed that it could not be wrong, especially if the local rite gave no explicit directions, to look to the living rite of Western Christendom as an authority for guidance in matters of ceremonial and devotion. We have become accustomed of late years to hear much, for divers reasons, of omissions in the Prayer Book and its need of "enrichment." S.S.C., always in advance of its age, had realised long before, that the Prayer Book was not a complete Directory of Public Worship and was never intended to be final. For making good many of the omissions, both of ceremonies and of prayers, there was ample precedent, even in the days of the strictest pressure for uniformity. Archbishop Grindal, when at York, had complained of "Popish customs then prevalent" and of the clergy following ceremonial that was not in Elizabeth's Prayer Book. The Baptismal rites, the pauses and intermissions in reading the services, the Candlemas Day ceremonies and other practices, were "as amongst the Papists." In 1685, a clergyman named Sparkes was prosecuted in the Court of King's Bench for using "other prayers in the Church and in other manner "than those provided in the Prayer Book. He was acquitted on the ground that he had used "other forms and prayers" not instead of those enjoined, but in addition to them. S.S.C. therefore was introducing no innovation when it turned its eyes elsewhere for guidance in those matters which the Prayer Book omitted, but nowhere prohibited. And where more fittingly could it turn its eyes than to the prevailing Western Rite?
In its own private "Officia," the Society had, from its foundation, both in structure and in tongue, followed Western Use, while for many years, at the Solemn Masses of its private Synods, it has done the same. By reason of long-established custom, the fact has got overlooked by many, that the Church Services need not be rendered in the vernacular at such times, while the Prayer Book enjoins that to be "learned in the Latin Tongue" is a necessary equipment for the Diaconate.
Grave misunderstanding has arisen in the past because so many have in matters relating to Catholic practice drunk from poisoned wells. When once the truth has been grasped that the Catholic Church is not a federation of several churches, but a Kingdom, one and indivisible, and that in this one Kingdom of the Church, its Provinces are not extraneous to each other, then it will be grasped that it is quite legitimate to borrow the rites, ceremonies and devotions of other Provinces, both for edification and for progress. This is but to bear witness to one mark of the unity of the Church of God. Catholics, therefore, are conscious that they are within their rights when they follow the customs of the greater number of the Provinces of the Western Church, especially when these do not clash with local Provincial laws or customs. There is, however, a further truth arising out of the unity of the Kingdom. There are customs binding on all the Provinces of the Kingdom, and if it should happen that one, or two, of the Provinces should act contrary to the whole, or raise, as it were, a rebellion against the authority of the whole, then the loyal Catholic must bow to the authority of the whole, rather than to the self-constituted authority of the two.
This loyalty to the Catholic Church, by rendering to her the greater obedience, frequently caused many members of S.S.C., as also others not of the Society, to be misunderstood. Two illustrations of the principle may be given. The Church commands the use of the Eucharistic Vestments, so, happily for these Provinces, does the " Ornaments' Rubric," but if this were not so the Catholic priest would still wear them, because the Catholic Church tells him he is to do so. Moreover, he goes to the Altar in a chasuble and not in a phelonion, not merely because of a certain "second year," but by reason of Western custom. In the same way, a Catholic parish priest, because the Prayer Book is silent equally with the old Sarum Missal and the present Roman one concerning Reservation, has no qualms about the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and its corollaries. As with the vestments, so also with these, he bends to the authority of the Catholic Church and the mode of Western Christendom in particular.
Following also from belief in the Catholic Church and its appointed constitution, S.S.C. has never wavered from the strictest allegiance to the English Hierarchy. It has always enunciated the firm conviction that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are the undoubted and unassailable representatives of the Catholic Church in England, and the unbroken possessors of its mission and jurisdiction. From such conviction, it has been bound to see that the attempt to establish a hierarchy in opposition to the lawful occupants of the ancient sees must be a schismatic one, and that the Roman Catholic bishops in England and the priests under them must be in the position of schismatics. The English bishops must be the representatives of the Catholic Church, or its opponents. There could be no middle course. S.S.C. has always held that Reunion would not come by avoiding this issue, and that a firm and unyielding loyalty to the Catholic Church, in Christ's lawful representatives, must be the only consistent attitude.
The question of the Papacy itself,the real Corpus delicti between the Roman and English Churches,the Society has never feared to face. If there were any doubt of it, the published works of Mr. Denny and the generally accepted utterances, particularly at that time (only to mention three names), of such priests as the Reverends T. A. Lacey, G. B. Roberts and E. G. Wood, would be sufficient to set it at rest. At the same time, the Society has always venerated and desired reunion with the great Patriarchate of Rome, because the English Provinces are a part of Western Christendom. It has held that the position of the Pope, his primacy and lawful claims should be acknowledged, and that this was the surer way to neutralise both ultramontane excess and Anglican defect. During its more than seventy years life, thus being contemporary and connected also with many of the endeavours made for a better understanding between the two Communions and also the setbacks,the Roman question has many times been discussed by S.S.C. An epitome of the mind of the Society regarding the Papacy may be given from two short statements made by the Rev. E. G. Wood, but subsequent in date to the period of this chapter. The one statement was made, at the July Chapter, 1903, when Leo XIII. lay dying. It was as follows :
"It seemed impossible that the present condition of the Holy Father should be left unnoticed in any assembly of Catholics. If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it. But in the case of the Holy Father it was more than this. His position was undoubtedly that of the Primatethe first, the Chief Bishopof Christendom. It is absolutely necessary that we should recognise that fact. To him pertains in an eminent and special degree that which belongs to every bishopthe duty of guarding the Faith and discipline of the Church. To deny that is to separate oneself from those very Councils and Fathers to whom we are accustomed to refer as witnesses against the later developments of what, for convenience, we call Ultramontanism, the theory of the Papal Sovereignty, the theory that all spiritual jurisdiction is derived from the Chair of Peter. If St. Augustine, in the case of Apiarius, refused to acknowledge the right of the Roman bishop to receive appeals, or to absolve those whom he and the African bishops had excommunicated, he yet addresses that bishop as one "whose watch-tower" is higher and more eminent than that of the rest. If the Fathers of Chalcedon recognise the Primacy of the Roman See as settled by the Fathers (meaning probably those of Nicaea), "because Rome is the Imperial City," they acclaim Leo while they submit the question of the orthodoxy of his "tome," and the teaching of his predecessor, Celestine, who had taken action as guardian of the Faith of the Church against Nestorius before Ephesus could act, to the test of comparison with the writings of Cyril.
"We must, in order effectually to refuse acceptance of modern Roman claims, acknowledge the pre-eminent position of Rome, in a special sense the Apostolic See. We must give to the Roman Pontiff the honour of a father, while we repudiate the authority of a prince and a monarch. We must claim a share, as it were, in the Holy Father equally with Continental Catholics; while we refuse to acknowledge that the authority of every bishop is derived from him. The election of a new occupant of the Holy See cannot therefore be a matter in which we take no interest. The character of the occupant of the Holy See must, as a matter of fact, influence very largely for good or evil the interests of Christendom. It seemed to him, therefore, that in the event of the death of His Holiness (whom may God preserve), it would be the duty of Catholic priests to say Mass for the repose of his soul and later on, on the first day of the Conclave, to say a Mass to implore the Divine Guidance in the matter of the election of his successor."
The second statement was occasioned by the secession to the Roman Communion of a few members of the Society, which at the time created some distress. It is set down here, only as an index to the mind of S.S.C. on this controversy, since dealing with the whole matter would be both superfluous and a going beyond the range of the present purpose. The Rev. E. G. Wood pointed out that all that could be said on the Roman Controversy had been said over and over again, but he proceeded:
"There are two arguments that, as far as I know, have not been fully dealt with. The first is that, in the nature of the case, the Petrine Privilege is not one that could by any possibility be transmitted: i.e. that even if St. Peter was Bishop of Rome, and had the supreme authority attributed to him, the latter could not be transmitted. Pius X. would still not be in a real sense the successor of St. Peter, but only his numerical successor, and cannot derive authority from him, any more than the President of a Republic derives his authority from his predecessor, or than a Diocesan Bishop derives his authority from the previous occupant of the See. A bishop is not the real, but only the numerical successor of the first occupant of the See. Assuming that St. Peter had a supreme universal jurisdiction, if that was to be perpetuated in the Church, the only way would have been that each person receiving it should do so directly from our Lord; but that could only have been if He had seen fit to institute an eighth Sacrament, by which the power could be conferred by an outward and visible sign. The transmission, or rather the perpetuation, is not on all fours with Apostolical Succession, which is altogether different.
"The second argument is that, on principles of Probabilism, secession is wrong, and that everyone should abide in that position in which he has been called, until it shall please God that an Oecumenical Council shall finally decide the whole matter. The question never will be solved by argument; it can only be settled by the authority of the whole Church."
"From Rome's other half," her theology, her liturgy and her devotion, S.S.C. has received much inspiration, and in the "feel for truth" has experienced the help of Western definiteness. This it is that has made the necessary defence against the Papal Claims such a painful thing, and given the sting to Roman aggressiveness. In 1835, Tract 71 for the Times complained that the Roman Controversy had "overtaken us, like a summer's cloud." Since that time, it has been with us, as an ever-present fact, none too pleasing and causing much waste of energy in showing "why we are not Roman Catholics." The appearance of the Bull Apostolicae Curae was considered by a thoughtful and learned Brother of S.S.C., who knew all its ins and outs, "as the most disastrous event since the sixteenth century." It made the Abb³ Portal sadly confess,"Alas! the truth dawns on me now. It is we on this side the water who are not yet prepared for Reunion."