Project Canterbury

Bishop Kinsman's Salve Mater
An Address given before the Catholic Club, New York City,
April 27, 1920


Salve Mater. By Frederick Joseph Kinsman.
New York, London, etc., Longmans, Green & Co., 1920.


This paper is published at the request of the New York Catholic Club, before which it was originally read. It is published in the form delivered. I should have been glad to have added a few notes with reference to certain details in Bishop Kinsman's book, but have not been able to command the time necessary.

I wish, however, to emphasize my general estimate of the book. Its value is wholly autobiographical and psychological. Its argument amounts simply to this, that, given the temperament and previous course of its beloved author, his "going over" was very natural--practically inevitable, but its significance for the validity of the Anglican claim is nothing. That claim rests upon deeper foundations than Bishop Kinsman imagines.

FOLLOWING the example of several Anglican predecessors in submitting to the Papal See, Bishop Kinsman gives us in this book an apologia in autobiographical form. This form is the most plausible and persuasive that he could have adopted. It engages sympathy with the writer's mental struggle; and because of the naturalness of his successive frames of mind, it gives to what is really a pathological sequence of subjective changes a semblance of logical progress. It also drives somewhat out of sight the impersonal standpoint from which alone the merits of the arguments involved can be correctly estimated. That Bishop Kinsman passed through a serious struggle; that his final decision was sincerely made; that his book is skilfully written and brings into relief undeniable facts of troublesome nature; and that it is calculated to intensify the complaint of those who are afflicted with that troublesome disease known as the Roman fever; is evident. But the arguments which he deduces from the facts referred to derive their plausibility from their autobiographical connections, from a defective standpoint, and from disregard of certain determinative data.

A volume would be needed to discuss the numerous details of his argument, and I shall confine myself to certain determinative elements and aspects of it:--in particular several erroneous assumptions, the real causes of his change of mind, the proper way of regarding the Anglican claim, and the safeguards which fortify it in spite of appearances to the contrary.


(a) The Bishop assumes that custom is the best interpreter of the law--a proposition which is so far true that the general method of obedience to it is usually accepted as determining its meaning, until contrary evidence is forthcoming. Bishop Kinsman wrongly applies it, however, to patent laxity and disobedience; and he argues that when this is somewhat widespread and unrepressed, the prescriptions involved are no longer in force. That widespread laxity is a source of danger, and that if a law is universally flouted for a long time it may cease to be worth considering, is undoubtedly true. But history gives many instances of considerable and long-continued laxity, recognized to be such, followed by recovered sense of duty and reformation. The Anglican Communion has had several such recoveries--each constituting also a Catholic movement.

(b) A second assumption, somewhat akin to the above, is the notion that a bishop must feel that he has visible backing and support in standing for the Catholic faith and order, and that if this is wanting, the official mind of the Church, even though admittedly set forth in its formularies and prescriptions, does not alone justify him in claiming to represent a Catholic Church. He reveals a dim consciousness that his assumption ill accords with the story of St. Athanasius; and his remarks ad rem show unreadiness to distinguish between the time-serving of ecclesiastics and the mind of the Church. No promise has been given that the gates of hell shall not prevail against weak-kneed bishops and majorities. The Church's mind is not worn on its sleeve for the benefit of captious bishops; but it is none the less discovered progressively, and in the end sufficiently, by those who loyally receive and practically apply so much of ecclesiastical teaching as at each stage they have come to apprehend. He had no right to stipulate the amount of visible support from the Church which he should enjoy in maintaining what he acknowledges to be its officially declared mind--a mind which he also admits is usually taken in the Catholic sense by our bishops.

He falls into patent inconsistency when he disparages clear Catholic teaching by individuals as without authority because rising above official definitions, and then proceeds to accept the representative value of Protestant individualism in spite of its falling below these same official definitions. In this connection he utterly ignores the higher Catholic implications of this Church's Catholic claim and of its acceptance of the mind of the universal Church. In view of such acceptance, we have no right to limit the official Anglican mind to the explicit expressions of post-reformation documents. The Articles are not a Creed, but an emergency eirenicon which leaves the previously existing faith and order of the Anglican Communion unaltered. Neither this nor any other Catholic Church ever attempts to define exhaustively its Catholic principles; and their continued obligation is not conditioned by their specific expression in times of reformation and readjustment. They abide so long as the Catholic system abides, and are postulated in every transitional movement.

(c) A third erroneous assumption is that the meaning of the Anglican reformation and of its resulting working system is to be determined by the known principles and intentions of the human agents who brought it about and framed the subsequent ecclesiastical settlement. It is pointed out that the Anglican reformation was caused and directed by the tyranny of wicked statesmen and anti-Catholic leaders, rather than by Catholic-minded Churchmen. The Bishop infers that the Anglican settlement which completed the movement is not Catholic. The confessedly halting and ambiguous language of this settlement must therefore be taken in a Protestant sense. Some space will be needed for considering this assumption. That the Anglican reformation was brought about as he indicates, and that the resulting settlement was framed by men whose catholicity was seriously defective, cannot in my judgment be reasonably denied. None the less, Bishop Kinsman's assumption and inference are hopelessly wrong.

Even in purely human societies, such as civil governments, the meaning of legislative enactments is to be determined--not by the intentions of their framers, but--by what these framers succeed in having undeniably enacted and expressed. It often happens that a law which is notoriously intended to mean one thing is found by the courts to mean something else because of some turn of phrase, the possible bearing of which was overlooked by those who drafted the law. What legislative documents actually say, when that is constitutionally permissible, determines their meaning and force against all other considerations.

But a province of the Catholic Church is not merely a human society to the legislation of which these considerations apply. It is superhuman; and its mind is profounder and truer than that of its individual members, however learned and powerful they may be. And it is also static in fundamental regards, however adaptable it may be to momentary policies. It was such a Church to which the Anglican reformation came--a Church committed entirely to maintenance of the ancient Catholic faith and order, and under the promised guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are shut up to two alternatives. The reformation was either a genuine apostacy, or it was an event which the Holy Spirit overruled for His own purpose. To prove that it was an apostacy, we must show that vital elements of Catholic faith and order were repudiated. This cannot be done, unless submission to the Papal See is such an element.

The Thirty-Nine Articles were drafted by men of defective views, and were intended to be acceptable to Protestants. They have a Protestant flavor. It is the more remarkable, therefore, that in their most halting, tortuous, and anti-mediaeval phrases, they invariably fall short of actually repudiating Catholic doctrine. Their framers were quite capable of clear language, but a mysterious spirit of caution led them to be ambiguous whenever they were unequal to a full and clear affirmation of Catholic doctrine. * Similarly with regard to the Prayer Book. The older forms contained therein were softened down, and made less offensive to Protestants, but their ancient structural significance was nowhere nullified or repudiated. The Catholic working system was retained in its essentials, although its distinctively Catholic aspects were often spelt with a small "c." The outcome was that the Catholic faith and order was dressed up to some degree in Protestant garb, but was retained. There was no apostacy, but catholicity became exceedingly eirenic.

There is more to say. One of the most striking facts of post-reformation history of Anglicanism is that every revival of loyalty to the surviving Anglican working system has brought about a Catholic revival--e. g. the movement commencing with Hooker and blossoming in Andrewes and Laud, and the Tractarian movement. The pragmatic test, therefore, tends to show that, with all its limitations, the Anglican system is fundamentally Catholic, and capable of recalling Churchmen to an appreciation of their Catholic heritage after every seeming triumph of contrary developments.

Such being the case, we must take the other alternative. The ancient Catholic Church of England went through a dangerous experience in the sixteenth century, and alien minds obtained undue influence, but the Spirit did not depart. He overruled what happened, and contrary to human designs has made it subserve a purpose of His own.

Bishop Kinsman seems not at all to have reckoned with the promise of the Spirit's guidance as presumptively holding good for the Anglican provinces of the Catholic Church. He has not considered the possibility that what he regards as proofs of apostacy may be simply inevitable incidents of the particular mission which the Spirit was giving this Church to fulfil. I nowhere find in his book any serious facing of this Church's responsibility in the matter of leavening Protestantism, and of the conditions that are certain to be incurred in discharging such a responsibility. Leavening involves the closest interior contact, and therefore a clinging environment in need of conversion. It precludes the neatness and self-centered comfort of an "ideal Church," in which everybody has been converted to catholicity, and no laxity prevails.


We ought to distinguish between the ostensible reasons and the real causes of Bishop Kinsman's course. That he had conscious reasons for submitting to the Papal See, and that his acceptance of their sufficiency was sincere, is not to be denied. But before his adoption of them, causes had already come into operation which appear to afford the real explanation of his reasoning, and therefore of his action. These causes appear to have been two forms of disillusionment.

(a) His first disillusionment grew out of discovery that the failure of Anglicans, including the clergy as well as the laity, to think and act in harmony with their Catholic heritage is much more widespread than he had realized. Rightly interpreting Anglican formularies in their Catholic meaning, and having close relations with many who interpreted them in the same way, he had taken a highly optimistic view of the Anglican situation. Anglican complacency enveloped him, and he says it might never have been upset if he had not become the Bishop of Delaware. As bishop, however, he was forced into intimate and disquieting contact with the elements of protestantism and liberalism within the Church. He was taken by surprise and since his long-cherished ideas precluded the existence of such anomalies within a Catholic Church, he was completely unsettled. He had to face the problem of what he had believed to be a Catholic Church containing a large number of Protestant-minded members and tolerating many anti-Catholic vagaries. But instead of studying this problem from its upper side, that of the God-given mission of the Anglican Communion above alluded to, he viewed it from the under side, interpreting the Church and its claim, by the unsuppressed vagaries and negations of its members. Like the late Cardinal Newman, he confused the Church with its personal agents, and estimated the value of its sacraments and Catholic working system by the measure of their shortcomings.

(b) The Bishop's second disillusionment came from his discovery that the Roman Church is not so black as it is apt to be painted by complacent Anglicans, and as he had thought it to be. And the subjective factor of his belated investigation in this direction--that is his loss of confidence in the Anglican Communion--gave to his discovery a significance which it does not have to those who have not depended upon evil thoughts about Rome for justification of their Anglican allegiance. The result was inevitable, and he straightway began to discover reasons for submitting to the Papal See. These would not have seemed valid, if he had not been under very grave stress. Disillusioned as to the supposed supports of Anglicanism upon which he had depended, he was too surprised and confused to adjust his mind to larger and sounder perspectives.

He looked at Anglican evils with the microscope of a pessimist, and at the different kind of evils in the Roman Church through an inverted field-glass, with an optimism that would have been more just if it had been exercised equally in both directions.

His revised estimates of Roman conditions, obviously incorrect as they are in certain important regards, are nearer the truth than his previous ones. But when advanced as arguments, for submitting to the Papal See, they are non-relevant and valueless--not so much because in his reaction he has minimized what he previously exaggerated, but because the question of transfer of allegiance from this to the Roman Church is not to be determined by the greater freedom from evils of one Church in comparison with the other, but by different considerations altogether.

The fact that a man has become an Anglican in a normal way affords presumptive evidence that God has placed him where he is. This means that he is not justified in repudiating the Anglican Communion without clear evidence that God has given him reasons for doing so. Another Catholic body may seem to him to be superior in important ways; but, until the Church in which God has placed him can be shown to have become incurably apostate, ceasing to afford the means of salvation, and being no longer a true part of Christ's Catholic Church, it is his duty to remain at his God-given post. By thus remaining he may become an agent of the Spirit in helping to bring about Catholic recovery. At all events, the forlorn hope, if he so regards it, is his to maintain. On the other hand, by abandoning his post--by deserting the mess of trench fighting for what he conceives to be the comfort and safety of a drill-camp, he is guilty of insubordination--not less so because he fails to realize the fact.

The evidence that the Spirit has not forsaken the Anglican Communion, and that it retains and officially prescribes the fundamentals of Catholic faith and order is abundant; and this evidence is not nullified by its toleration of Protestant and liberal vagaries, so long as a Catholic working system continues in fact and by official prescription to be afforded to the faithful.

But what about the papal claim to the unconditional obedience of all Christians? The answer is that for Anglicans this claim needs to be established by sufficient evidence. If it were thus established, we should have to infer that in rejecting papal jurisdiction the Anglican Church was guilty of apostacy from the Catholic Order, and is not entitled to our allegiance. A similar inference would have to be made as to Orthodox Eastern Churches.

Bishop Kinsman's argument for the validity of papal claims is skilful; but has the fatal defect of being non-relevant. Assuming for argument's sake that he has established the fact of divine sanction for some kind of papal primacy, this primacy is only such as St. Peter possessed in the apostolic Church; and it does not at all measure up to the present claims of the Papal See. In particular, it may be resisted and for the time being renounced, if it is erected into a despotism which destroys the Catholic liberty of reform.

Primacy is necessarily conditioned in validity of exercise by the living power of the society concerned to overrule arbitrary and unwarranted tyranny. Only a despotism claims otherwise, and an autocratic Roman Curia is the caricature of such a primacy as can rationally be thought to have divine appointment. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries found the Papal See obstinately unresponsive to the desperate need of, and widespread demand for, reformation. The schism which resulted was deplorable, but inevitable. Under present conditions the question is this: Can we accept a papal primacy without also accepting humanly devised and uncatholic additions thereto? Our practice bears witness that we do not believe we can. Some day, God speed that day, a different situation will emerge. Then we may be able to accept a papal primacy that will not be subversive of Catholic liberty. That is, if God's will can be shown to point that way--a question which I have no space and no call to discuss.


The most important part of Bishop Kinsman's book is his attack on the Anglican claim, which is made with remarkable skill. And the evidence which he presents of widespread unfaithfulness to Catholic principles among Anglicans, both clerical and lay, are strong; although they are given in terms that place our disorders in an utterly misleading perspective and suggest false conclusions as to their bearing on the Anglican claim to catholicity.

It has to be acknowledged that we are confronted by the phenomenon of a Church claiming to be Catholic while permitting itself to be the stamping-ground of a great variety of anti-Catholic propagandists. The statement sometimes made that this is a Catholic Church with a Protestant people, is indeed too sweeping; for whenever the issue between Catholic and Protestant comes clearly before the Church, a conservative ground-swell emerges and determines the result; and the Catholic cause is always saved thereby from overthrow. Much laxity of discipline is in evidence, and defective conceptions are often more vocal than Catholic ones. But each crisis leaves a Catholic working system in full prescriptive possession; and no prospect of subversive changes in this working system is in sight. The proposed Congregational Concordat I believe to be inconsistent with certain Catholic principles; and its adoption would be unfortunate. But it would leave unchanged within the Church the prescriptions which characterize our working system, and which constitute the official and living voice of this Church.

We should contemplate the conditions which upset Bishop Kinsman's complacency in a larger and truer perspective than his. And in doing this we need incidentally to repudiate, as entirely inconsistent with history, the assumption that there can be an ideal Church militant--one that does not to some degree--often for long periods of time-- tolerate serious errors of doctrine and life. One Catholic Church is especially given to tolerating this class of evils and that Church another class. But both do tolerate many evils. Indeed, catholicity and toleration go together. An intolerant Church quickly becomes a diminishing puritan sect. The Church is not an assembly of the perfectly enlightened and righteous, but of those who are being treated in God's sacramental hospital because of their mental and moral diseases. Minds as well as wills are being treated, and to require entire orthodoxy as the antecedent of toleration is to disregard a vital part of the Church's God-given function.

But surely, it will be said, the Church must have some recognized discipline, if she is to make progress in curing her patients; and if she exercises none, she will soon cease to stand for Catholic faith and order. Yes, indeed; and the relative measures and lines of discipline and toleration have need to be controlled in such wise as to preserve the Catholic standpoint and working system of the Church. Furthermore, every loyal Churchman is bound to do his part in fortifying the Church against evils that threaten to subvert her nature and functions. This is beyond dispute among us.

The problem is, have we any sure standard by which to determine how and when toleration of anti-Catholic teaching and practice becomes sanction of what is tolerated and abandonment of the Catholic faith and order? To solve this problem rightly we must avoid a very glaring error in Bishop Kinsman's description of Anglican toleration. He bundles together positions tolerated but not sanctioned, with positions sanctioned but not enforced by effective discipline, and describes both alike as tolerated. Toleration applies only to deviations from what is prescribed. Things prescribed are not put in the category of things tolerated by contrary attitudes of individual bishops and their consequent failure to enforce them. This must be insisted upon. To give a most important example: Priests and even bishops are found to deny that the Eucharist is in any proper sense sacrificial. But when they celebrate the Eucharist, they are constrained to employ a liturgy the whole structure of which is both implicitly and explicitly sacrificial. Their erroneous preaching is tolerated. But when they use sacrificial language in celebrating, they use prescribed language, and this is not tolerated, but as being prescribed is the living voice of the Church--the voice which alone continues permanently to be heard by the faithful. Whatever is prescribed is sanctioned, and the provable implications of the Church's prescribed working system, and of its explicit acceptance of the Catholic faith in general, must be regarded as sanctioned. To describe these things as tolerated is an absurd misrepresentation. On the other hand, teachings and practices which are inconsistent with what the Church prescribes to be believed, said or done, but which are not suppressed by disciplinary action, are tolerated; and the fact that they are tolerated demonstrates the fact that they are contrary to the living mind and voice of the Church. Moreover, things tolerated cannot become things sanctioned by pretentious propagandas, but only by real reversal of the pertinent elements of the prescriptions (and working system of the Church. And a Church which possesses and prescribes the Catholic faith and order cannot cease to be Catholic except in one of two ways, either by official abandonment of this faith and order, or by such a degree and continuance of laxity as is equivalent thereto.

Has the Anglican Communion in either of these ways apostatized from the Catholic faith and order, so as to forfeit her Catholic status?

We must consider the situation not microscopically and from beneath, as Bishop Kinsman has done,, but in historical perspective and from above. The English Church was undeniably a true Catholic Church when the reformation came to her. Therefore her real mind was a Spirit-guided Catholic mind, and in the absence of demonstration to the contrary, her reformation had a Catholic meaning. It is true that many of her members came to a contrary mind; and, obtaining legislative power, they did their best to have her repudiate certain vital elements of Catholic faith and order. But they succeeded only in softening down some sharper Catholic tones of her offices and in having Articles adopted which were designed to please Protestants, but which in their most objectionable propositions invariably failed to commit the Church to repudiation of Catholic doctrine. The hidden but overruling Spirit of the Church converted every obnoxious negation into hopeless ambiguity, and made every affirmation to be either susceptible of Catholic interpretation or non-relevant to matters of necessary faith and practice.

The reformation settlement left the ancient English Church in possession of the ecumenical creeds, and of the Catholic ministry and sacramental working system--this last being impoverished in its external garb and made less explicit in its language concerning certain truths and practices. This surviving system is admitted by Bishop Kinsman to be theoretically and ostensibly Catholic; and he bears witness that such interpretation of it is customary among our bishops. Comparison of it with the working systems of the Protestant bodies around us shows that it very sharply differs from what is popularly meant today by the descriptive term "Protestant."

The question remains, has this Catholic system been either officially abandoned or in practical effect nullified? It certainly has not been officially abandoned. It is still prescribed, and is the only working system of this Church. More than this, as one travels about and visits parish churches, he finds that, whether he observes "high," "low" or "broad" Church parishes, serious departures from the prescriptions of this system are exceptional. In the bulk of our parishes Catholic services and sacraments are scrupulously performed in the prescribed manner, even where the ceremonial adjuncts are either very bald or fanciful.

This means that, amid all the noise and absurdities of propagandists of Protestant and liberal error, the official and Catholic voice of the Church continues to be proclaimed to the faithful at least on every Lord's Day. It is proclaimed persistently, and with the weight of ecclesiastical prescription, and goes on reiterating Catholic teaching, while the unauthorized contradictions of it vary and contradict each other from year to year. This does not look as if the Church's Catholic system were either abandoned or nullified. No doubt many fail to enter fully into its Catholic meaning, but the bulk of our people--of those who are seriously devout--are determined in religious attitude by what they accept of it, not by rejection of it. They are loyal to it, however imperfectly they realize its implications, and therefore their faces are really turned in the Catholic direction. Evangelicals are incipient Catholics, and to the degree at least of their loyal acceptance of the Prayer Book they are non-Protestant. In this connection, it is significant that whenever Prayer Book revision is on foot, a general demand is heard that no changes of doctrinal import shall be made. This does not look like nullification of the Church's working system.

You will observe that I am indicating the official, representative and persistent teaching function of the system which possesses the loyal approval of the bulk of our people. No doubt the enlightening and persuasive power of this teaching is reduced for many by their traditional prejudices; but that it is very real, and sufficiently effective to preserve the catholicity of the Church, is made apparent by two significant and recurrent phenomena. The first is the effect on individuals of careful and open-minded study of the Prayer Book. No doubt many who loyally accept this book are very defective in Catholic belief and practice. This is usually because they have not adequately studied it, but have taken for granted the partisan interpretation of it which happens to be traditional within their circle. And their close acquaintance with it is apt to be limited to the services of Morning and Evening Prayer. But whenever an individual Churchman undertakes seriously, and without controversial motive, to assimilate the whole Prayer Book, he is almost certain to become more or less of a Catholic Churchman. Cases of this kind have probably been noticed by a majority of my readers. I myself have seen some noteworthy examples. Moreover, such study is often the cause of dissenters being converted to the Church, in which case as a rule they become pronounced Catholics. My own grandfather affords an instance of the kind, and he was the first priest after Bishop Seabury's time to introduce a weekly Eucharist in this Church.

The other recurring phenomenon is this, that every time a revival of loyalty to the Prayer Book and of more adequate observance of its prescriptions occurs, a Catholic revival in the Church takes place, and the sacramental and sacerdotal aspects of catholicity are reasserted. Moreover, the Prayer Book always does obtain such revival of observance when the powers of negation and irreligion have been doing their worst. Careful study of the antecedent conditions and immediate causes of the Catholic movements of Andrewes and Laud, of the Nonjurors, and of the Tractarians will confirm what I am saying. The most reasonable inference to be made is that our Prayer Book system, in spite of its limitations, is not only Catholic, but is persuasively so. In practice it does make Catholic Churchmen and does preserve the Church's catholicity in times of danger. And each time that it brings about a Catholic revival it does so with more striking results. If therefore, as some fear, we are on the eve of another latitudinarian period, we have reason for confidence that our working system will ere long bring us out of it into a stronger Catholic revival than ever.


But what I have been saying does not disprove the fact that the Anglican Communion is the stamping-ground of much error and disorder. Our discipline is very tolerantly administered, often to the degree of unjustifiable and dangerous laxity. Erroneous propagandas are fearlessly pushed, and no effective restraint is available. Naturally enough the unreflecting listen to the loudest voices, and are deceived into thinking that the shouting represents the real mind of this Church.

That it does not is clear in view of the more abiding and determinative factors of Anglican history and of the existing religious life within the Church which I have been describing. Dangerous movements indeed repeatedly appear; but each one invariably loses its power within a few years, while the Catholic system which seems to be threatened lives on. Erroneous propagandas gain the public ear, and because they afford "news," receive the attention of the press; but the unadvertised routine pastoral work of the despised average parson persists; and, in spite of passing reactions, it becomes in the long run increasingly Catholic. Our General Convention is often the easy prey of clever orators and tacticians; but whenever it does anything very disturbing, its action is neutralized by the reception given thereto in the Church at large. The Canon on ritual of 1874, and Canon XIX of recent memory, illustrate this. In brief, each crisis scares a good many people; but the fact that it invariably scares so many is proof that anti-Catholic radicalism is more vocal than representative. Continual vigilance is called for; but what really great cause can be maintained without it?

The God-given Anglican mission is a Catholic propaganda among Protestants. Among them, I say, and therefore with mutual penetration of forces. We must realize this, if we would rightly understand the situation. In such a propaganda we have to bear with unpleasant things. We have to employ means of persuasion rather than of repressive discipline; and of these means the quiet working of our Catholic system is the most dependable, because supernatural and safeguarded by the hidden but effectual working of the Holy Spirit. The measure of our courage and success is determined by the strength of our faith in His working; and this in turn depends upon our devotional life, our Eucharistic life with God, and our full use of the sacramental privileges which this truly Catholic Church enables us to enjoy. The question which we should put to ourselves is not whether we can emerge from disorder, for no such emergence is possible except by fleeing from our posts at the battle-front. The question should be, is the working of the Spirit in His Church confined to the drill-camp, or is it to be reckoned with at the war-front also? Just because we stress catholicity we have to remember that He works everywhere in the Catholic Church, and nowhere with more wonderful resources than where the elements of danger are most threatening.

To summarize our safeguards:--(a) We are providentially placed in a Church which claims to be Catholic and is explicitly committed to maintenance of the Catholic faith and order, (b) It has the Catholic ministry, although many of its members do not fully realize the meaning and implications of their office, (c) It has what, Bishop Kinsman being witness, is ostensibly a Catholic working system--one that is not always as explicit as might be desired in asserting Catholic principles, but which, as I have been showing, has worked in the long run for the Catholicizing of its sincere adherents and for recovering the Church to increasingly Catholic revivals after each period of discouragement, (d) Our principles require us to regard such a system 'as supernatural, and to believe that it is kept alive and efficient under the dangerous conditions of our experience by the Holy Spirit Himself.

"We have to ask ourselves in hours of discouragement:--we belong to the Church militant or to the Church at rest? Are we ready to retain the posts of danger assigned to us, or not? Are we courageous fighters or cowards, pastors of souls that need our aid or mere lovers of orthodox peace, real Catholics or only fretful partisans? I trust our answers to these questions will be such as should come from those who have received the Holy Ghost for the office and work of priests in the Church of God.

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