Appendix I

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1914

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609-613

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'Appendix I', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 609-613. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89148 Date accessed: 25 October 2014.


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APPENDIX I

In the series Miscellanea di Atti Diversi, filza No. 125, at the Frari at Venice, there are some papers in English, bearing upon the Bishop of Chalcedon controversy. These are as follows:—
(1) Copy of a letter written to a Regular to a Friend beyond the Sea to inform the Pope and cardinals about the authority which the Bishop of Chalcedon claims in England. Signed D.D. (? Don Daniel, alias Mr. Preston), and dated the 24th August, 1627.
This is the same as a paper at the Public Record Office, S.P. Dom., Charles I, vol. lxxiv, No. 106. The Venetian copy contains in addition a summarising clause at the end and the suggestion that the pope should get the bishop to name the persons against whom he takes exception, so that they may answer for themselves, and that the one found guilty, whether accuser or accused, be punished; and that credit be not given to hearsay to the prejudice of the whole community. The use of general expressions argues that the bishop and his chief officials bear no great good will to monks and regulars in general. There is also a copy of this paper in the Westminster Archives, vol. xx, No. 118.
(2) Fragment of a letter addressed to the Bishop of Chalcedon, beginning: "There is come to our hands a letter of your lordship, dated Oct. 16, 1627."
This is the letter of the 10th Dec., 1628, vol. xcix, No. 12, among the S.P. Dom. It only goes down to page 8, line 11 of a pamphlet of 53 pages, and stops short in the middle of a sentence.
(3) Letter missive of the Bishop of Chalcedon of the 7th Feb., 1627, st. Ang., approving of the hearing of confessions by regular priests but only lite pendente.
Among S.P. Dom., Charles I, vol. xcii, No. 66, and printed by Dodd: Church History, vol. iii, page 138.
(4) A Brief Answer to the Chiefest Objections which some Regulars make against the demanding of the Bishop of Chalcedon his Approbation, sent back to the Party from whence it came, with a Brief Reply to satisfy him more fully concerning
this Controversy between the said Bishop and the Regulars.
This might be called a Reply to the Answers. The Answer was not intended chiefly against the common letter of the Regulars, written last December, but only against a particular letter of D.D., written last August, which he considers the bishop will never be able to answer solidly. Hopes he will not answer it in the shuffling, calumnious, fraudulent manner that this man has this letter of the Regulars. The answerer obscures difficulties, and by untruthful inventions weakens the strength of his own objections. No reply really needed, but writes that his correspondent may clearly see that the Regulars' cause is like pure gold, which the more it is opposed and examined the more clear and sincere it will still appear.
First objection is that the bishop's authority is granted him under the bare name of Faculty, meaning priestly power in the penitential court, since priests have been sent to help souls in non-Catholic countries.
This is not true; bishop's power granted under the name of every faculty granted to the Archpriest. The word faculty is not new, but ancient, and occurs frequently in the canons.
Reply: The objection not sincere; a verbal quibble. The regular misrepresented. Where Catholic tribunals for ecclesiastical suits are not permitted, faculty must mean priestly jurisdiction only for the soul, unless other words are added. The regular meant by canons the Corpus Juris Canonici and not the canons of later Councils. It is a paradox to contend that faculty is a clearer word than jurisdiction.
Answer: The Council of Trent uses the word faculties for power in the outward court and never for power in the penetential court.
Reply: The regulars understand the bishop to claim to be ordinary of all England and Scotland, with all power in the external court over the lay Catholics of both kingdoms which ordinaries possess in Catholic dioceses. The answerer may contend that all episcopal and priestly functions are to be reduced either to the internal or external court. Whatever he may say does not impugn assertion of the regulars that the Bishop of Chalcedon has no power to punish any lay Catholics in this kingdom. Argument of the Regular from the vague meaning of the word facultas. Untrué that the power of the bishop delegated to him in the same manner as to legates and nuncios, whose ordinary power is derived from the canons.
Reply to further objections in the answer derived from the procedure of the Council of Trent.
Answer: That the apostolic see under the name of faculties had granted the archpriest power in foro externo to correct priests.
Reply: This not true. The archpriest had not power to correct any lay Catholic, but only secular priests.
Answer: Evident from the pope's brief that he meant to give the bishop power in foro externo.
Reply: The argument tells more against the bishop than for him, because the faculties so granted were not absolute and complete, but only commodious and incomplete. Words of the brief imply that the Bishop of Chalcedon had not the office but only the ministry of a bishop.
Answer: Evident that the pope might without offence to God give English Catholics a bishop with power in foro externo.
Reply: True, but the pope only professed to help and relieve the Catholics.
Answer: The pope gave the bishop authority because he had great trust in his wisdom, integrity, fidelity, zeal and learning.
Reply: These qualities also make men fit spiritual pastors. The first archpriest was chosen for the like, but only had authority in the external court. What conceit will the pope have of the virtue, learning, and wisdom of this bishop when he understands what an uncharitable oath of obedience he exacts and how he claims authority over the Catholics in the external court, and to urge regulars who have been approved for England by the pope's authority to ask his approbation, and how he has raised this unnecessary contention, without showing authentically his commission, as he was bound to do before he could exercise any authority over them.
Answer: The faculties of archpriests far exceed those of ordinaries.
Reply: The objection answered before by the Regular, namely, that while the archpriest had some greater faculties than ordinaries they had not all the faculties which ordinaries have for the internal court of conscience. The words were added to give the bishop leave to confirm, consecrate holy oils, and exercise all other episcopal functions which are comfortable, but not penal. The archpriests had power to inflict some few punishments on the secular priests; but this concerns them only and not the regulars; but even the secular priests will not admit him to be really their ordinary.
Answer: The appeal to the nuncio shows that the bishop was made a judge in prima instantia.
Reply: He was not made a judge over the lay Catholics, but only over the secular priests. Unlikely the pope, knowing the state of the Catholics in this kingdom, would force them to apply to a tribunal in foreign parts. It more likely implies that the bishop was sent to take the place of the archpriest.
Answer: The nuncio in France said it was never doubted in Rome but that the regulars ought to ask the bishop's approbation.
Reply: Incredible, unless he means the regulars who arrived after the bishop, the others being approved by the pope. Besides, divers regulars here had notice from their superiors at Rome that the bishop had nothing to do with them. Has heard from Rome that some leading cardinals, after being sufficiently informed of this controversy, said that the bishop's design to approve missioners did not please them, and it was quite impracticable. Has also heard that the cardinals consider his external contentious court a mere madness, and his pretended ecclesiastical hierarchy a thing in the air.
Answer: Argument not from the bare word faculties, but from the faculty granted to the archpriests.
Reply: As before, the brief only signifies such things as are commodious and comfortable.
Answer: III to call episcopal power in foro externo merely penal or odious.
Reply: Disingenuous; to compare episcopal power with statutes which are merely penal is to compare chalk with cheese.
Answer: Certain acts not really penal; analogy of surgeon.
Reply: Nothing to the purpose, only an attempt to disgrace the regular, who only said that penal power in foro externo may be used in some actions which are penal and odious to some persons. Even the actions cited may be penal to some persons.
Answer: Did Christ when he gave to Peter the power of the keys, or the Holy Ghost when He appointed bishops, or St. Paul when he commanded Titus to appoint priests, institute a merely penal and odious power ? Is the power of a king or a general merely penal, a shepherd or a pope ?
Reply: Once a great preacher made a sermon before King James, and after he had propounded his text he went wandering up and down with a rhetorical flourish to other matters not belonging to his text. When he had ended and came to do obeisance, as the custom is, the king said to him: In the name of God, man, was the plague in thy text that thou durst not come near it ? The same may be applied to this preacher. His chief objections are fictions forged out of his own brain, not made by the regulars he pretends to answer.
Answer: The power in foro externo is favourable to the bishop, and therefore to the English Catholics, and is rather to be extended than restrained.
Reply: Answer shows ignorance of canon law or something worse. The bishop's power not granted as a favour to himself, but as a favour to the English Catholics.
Answer: Episcopal authority in foro externo not prejudicial to any man; is instituted by Christ.
Reply: This merely to make the regular odious to Catholics. He never argued against episcopal authority per se. He only said it might be prejudicial under certain circumstances. The fault not in the authority, but in those who exercise it without warrant. The bishop knows if the majority of the leading English Catholics thought the authority he claimed was prejudicial to them or not. He is likely to know it more, and what dissensions it has already caused between the secular clergy, the laity and the religious orders which may lead to the further persecution of Catholics by the State. Canon law not binding in countries where not received; not so divine law. The external court is jure canonico, and differs from episcopal authority, which is jure divino.
Answer and reply on the question of the right of regulars to hear confession, with or without bishop's approbation.
The reply insists that the bishop is not an ordinary, and his contention would invalidate all absolutions given in England since the bull of Pius V by any priest before the bishop came. The regulars stand upon possession.
Answer: The Council of Trent insists on approbation.
Reply: The regulars have had their approbation from the pope. The Council of Trent not binding in countries where not received. Bishop admitted this in decree of clandestine marriage.
Answer: They might as well plead possession against all bishops hereafter, when God shall send Catholic times.
Reply: A strange inference, seeing the different state of regulars herefrom, the regulars in Catholic countries, and from the regulars who shall live here in Catholic times.
Answer: Regulars claim to be curates, with charge of souls, and therefore exempt from approbation, but they cannot produce any brief or bull giving them such charge.
Reply: All priests may hear confession and give absolution, on condition that they have a parochial benefice or be approved by the bishop. The regulars already approved by the chief bishop. They also have a parochial benefice so far as the principal part, the cure of souls, is concerned. They are rather apostolical than parochial curates. Resemble chartulary judges appointed by the emperors. It might equally be contended that the apostles were not curates.
Answer: In the time of the great plague and since some of the regulars denied that they had curam animarum. Decided by the canonists that friars have not; while regulars will not admit bishops to be ordinary, extraordinario modo, they will make themselves ordinaries, ordinario modo.
Reply: What some regulars said during the plague importeth nothing. Does the canonist mean that no regulars in England have cure of souls ? This cannot be absolute, or apply to those canonically made parish priests or bishops, or to those sent by the pope to convert kingdoms. They do not make themselves to be ordinaries, but extraordinary pastors to convert and help all souls. Consequently they are exempt from the examination and approbation of inferior bishops or ordinaries until the supreme bishop shall ordain the contrary.
Having sent this reply to the answer which he sent, hopes he will examine them both impartially, and then makes no doubt he will see the regulars' cause is just, and the more their adversaries seek to disgrace them by charging them with conduct ill beseeming Catholics, the more they will disgrace themselves and their cause with all indifferent and judicious Catholics.
Signed: Your loving friend,
D.S.
English.


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Appendix II