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influence makes itself felt in our public education. The fevers of
ambition and of worldly wisdom bring on the

Vertigo — False Education —
which repeats and insists with the emphasis of an overheated brain
upon the false maxims of a purely humanistic or pagan education.
We deem of highest importance the knowledge, the sciences, the
arts, that make for industrial advance, that raise to national and
financial importance, that secure an external prosperity in which
the gaudy display of the master's wealth hides or overshadows
the misery of the silent poor, the slaves, through whose toil and
intelligence the magnificence which we admire has been made
possible. We have innumerable "schools" in every branch of
science, representing diverse and opposing theories ; homeopaths
and allopaths in all the professional walks of life ; and what to-day
is approved as the only right, to-morrow is condemned as the
surest wrong. Thence arise endless contention and discords
which divide men into hostile camps and leave their impress on
successive generations.

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With this knowledge and contentions of earthly degree
St James contrasts the science of the saints which elevates us to
nearness to God and thus enables us to see with His eye. " Who
is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you ? " he asks.
" Let him show, by good conversation, his work in the meekness
of wisdom." " If you have bitter zeal, and there be contentions in
your hearts, glory not and be not liars against the truth. For
this is not wisdom descending from above, but earthly, sensual,
devilish. For where envying and contention is, there is incon-
stancy, and every evil work. The wisdom that is from abave^ first
indeed is chaste, then peaceable y modesty easy to be persuaded, con-
senting to the goody full of mercy and good fruits , without judging,
without dissimulation. And the fruit of justice is sown in peace to
them that make peace." *

Fr6m the false maxims of the world, from the wisdom which
is " earthly, sensual, devilish," as the Apostle says, there arises
that inordinate eagerness for amassing riches, the social disease of

Carbuncles — Pride of Wealth.

Every age of national prosperity has demonstrated the cor-
rupting influence of individual wealth upon the life and growth of
organized society. St. James recognizes, indeed, the legitimate
inequality of the individual members of a commonwealth. Hence
he speaks at the very beginning of his Epistle of the relative
position of the " brother of low condition," who finds his compen-
sation in the " glory of his exaltation " as a co-heir of the Kingdom
of Christ ; whilst the rich are admonished to be humble (low),
because their riches will pass away " as the flower of the grass.
For the sun rose with a burning heat, and parched the grass, and
the flower thereof fell off, and the beauty of the shape thereof

But the rich who use their wealth, not to alleviate the lot of
the poor, for whom they are in reality stewards, but to indulge
their luxury — ^these the Apostle stigmatizes in awful words as a
brood destined to destruction. " Go to now, ye rich men, weep
and howl in your miseries which shall come upon you. Your
riches are corrupted, and your garments moth-eaten. Your gold

» Chap. 3 : 13-18.

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and silver is cankered ; and the rust of them shall be for a testi-
mony against you, and shall eat your flesh, like Are. You have
stored up to yourselves wrath against the last days. Behold the
hire of the laborers, who have reaped from your fields, which by
fraud has been kept back by you, crieth : and the cry of them
hath entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have
feasted upon earth, and in riotousness you have nourished your
hearts, in the day of slaughter."

Does not all this sound like the key-note of the complaints
made in these days by the laborer urged to revolt against his
employer, whence are produced in the social body

Paralysis — Labor Strikes

which weaken and hinder honest industrial efforts. They give a
pretext to the idler and the criminal to justify opposition to legiti-
mate order, and by spreading discontent among the masses, foster
anarchical tendencies which destroy the very life of the nation.

But whilst St James unequivocally condemns the oppression
of the poor by the rich, he will not lend his heaven-inspired voice
to encourage any resentful opposition by violence. He who was
called by His people the Just One, a fit arbiter to determine the right
of the poor to earn his bread, and the duty of the rich to help the
needy brother in the fulfilment of the divine precept " to work " that
he might earn a living — he thus speaks to the laborer, the neglected,
the oppressed of his race among the Gentiles : " Be patient, breth-
ren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman
waiteth for the precious fruit of earth ; patiently bearing till he
receive the early and later rain."

•* Be you therefore also patient, and strengthen your hearts ; for
the coming of the Lord is at hand. Grudge not, brethren, one
against the other, that you may not be judged. Behold, the
judge standeth at the door. Take, my brethren, for an example
of suffering evil, of labor and patience, the prophets, who spoke
in the name of the Lord."

" Behold, we account them blessed who have endured. You
have heard of the patience of Job, and you have seen the end of
the Lord, that the Lord is merciful and compassionate." *

* Cb«p, 5 : 7-12.

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And because discontent and opposition and idleness foster
profanity of speech, the Apostle immediately connects with this
thought of patient hopefulness the warning against the social
disease of

The Overcharged Liver — Profane Speech.

The bile of dissatisfaction creates a hypochondriac disposition
and there arise jaundiced and distorted views of things, which
excite the nerves; and these the tongue, which, ill-controlled
under such circumstances, utters blasphemy against the Lord
Hence, the Apostle once more returns to the warning given at
the beginning of his Epistle regarding caution in speech :

" My brethren, swear not ; neither by heaven, nor by earth,
nor by any other oath. But let your speech be, yea, yea ; no,
no; that you fall not under judgment"

Such are the lessons which the Epistle of St. James contains.
Does anybody, except the blindly-interested and irreligious, ques-
tion the wisdom of what we Catholics hold divinely-inspired phi-
losophy ? And if it be this, why do we not act on it, and insist upon
it, instead of discoursing and writing learned treatises about the
social problem, which the masses, who by their Christian docility
and forbearance could best solve the difficulty, do not understand.

Some time ago a priest from an Eastern State made a jour-
ney to the Indian territory. On a Thursday before the First
Friday of the month he found himself in a little log-house with
three partitions, where the priest who had charge of the local
mission dwelt The next day our visitor was astonished to see
the Indians (Cceur d'Alaines), between four and five hundred, all
gather at dawn to assist at Mass and to receive Holy Commun-
ion. Some of them had to come several days' journey, a distance
of same forty miles ; and this spectacle of devotion repeated itself,
every month. It is a simple priest, not of their own race,
who, in the spirit of meekness and humility, finds it possible to
control the wild nature of these natives, and to bring them under
obedience to the yoke of Christ. Nor are these Indians reluctant
followers of the discipline that bids them endure silently and in
hope of Paradise the injustices which they have from time to time
experienced at the hands of unscrupulous public agents, whose

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bigotry guided their policy toward these untrained wards of our
Government They came to the celebration of the First Friday,
decked in their best robes of honor, with the badge of the Sacred
Heart on their breasts, the chiefs proudly and joyfully leading
the way.

This Faith must be Preached.

And here the special duty of the priest to preach this doctrine
of faith approved by good works, which leads to happiness of the
individual and society, becomes apparent.

** How shall they believe Him of whom they have not heard ?
And how shall they hear without a preacher ? "* St James goes
into detail regarding the manner and particular topics which the
preacher is to keep before his hearers.

First of all the priest is to set aside all respect of persons when
he deals with his people from the altar. The Apostle warns the
exponent of " religion clean and undefiled before God " not to
have and proclaim "the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ of
glory with respect to persons. For if there shall come into
your assembly a man having a golden ring, in fine s^parel, and
there shall come in also a poor man in mean attire, and you have
respect to him that is clothed in the fine apparel, and shall say to
him : Sit thou here ; but say to the poor man : Stand thou here ;
do you not become judges of unjust thoughts? "

We are accustomed to " front pews," to the public advertise-
hient from the pulpit of the contributions by the rich, and to the
preferences and flatteries that give countenance to the pride of
the prosperous. This St. James condemns at the very outset of
his Epistle, and again and again in the course of his instructive
appeal. " Hearken, my dearest brethren. Hath not God chosen
the poor in this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom
which God hath promised to them who love him ? But you have
dishonored the poor man ! " •

What we need is to appreciate properly the wonderful virtue
that our religion offers us in the ministry of our churches. Every
morning, the Eucharistic Sacrament is there ofTered ; there we

* Rom. iHd,

• Chap. 3 : 5,

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can take away the burden of sin and discontent, and dispense
grace and consolation to the erring. There above all is the per-
petual home of the Blessed Sacrament, the Divine Healer of
every ill, the Physician who, through the ministry of His Church,
can cure all our diseases.

St. James, who foresees the evils against which he warns the
children of Christ by inspired words applicable to all limes and
countries, thus bids^ us seek the longed-for relief at the well-
spring of sacramental grace in the Church :

" Is any man sick among you ? Let him bring in the priests
of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with
oil in the name of the Lord." He addresses not only the sick in
body, but the heart-broken, the soul in sin, nay the whole dis-
ordered and sick society. That society needs penance, it needs
prayer, it needs the ministration of zealous priests who will rein-
force the maxims of the Gospel, and pour into our social wounds
the balm of sacramental regeneration. This ought to be our
endeavor. We who boast of any influence, whether upon the
individual or the masses, whether upon the dependents who serve
us, or upon the society that courts us, are guilty of squandering
God-given talents, unless we lead others to this fountain whence
living waters flow for the healing and refreshing of men in need
and suflfering. Delay makes each case more hopeless, because
the irritants are ever at work and the influence of truth and justice
is being slowly but steadily undermined. Or is it true that in this
beautiful land of ours there are not enough of thoughtful Catholics
enjoying social position, who feel that they can and should exer-
cise some influence for good upon those around them ? Is the
purpose of life to be thus misunderstood by those who are best able
to aid in God's work for the salvation of souls ? Charity is the
law and condition of life eternal. " My brethren, if any among
you err from the truth, and one convert him ; let him know that
he who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way,
shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of

V Chap. 5 : ao.

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Prior Generalis Ordinis Servorum B. M. V., Sacrae Congr^pi-
tioni Indulgentiis Sacrisque Reliquiis praepositae exponit, non
omnes convenire Indulgentiam Plenariam per rescriptum dusdem
S. C. die 27 Januarii 1888 concessum, a Christifidelibus toties
lucrandam, quoties ecclesias Ordinis Servorum Mariae etc, (sive
Fratrum,sive Monialium nee non Tertii Ordinis vel Confratemitatis
VII Dolorum B. M. V.) in festo septcm Dolorum B. M. V. visi-
tant, transferri posse ad aliam diem, si externa solemnitas trans-

Quare ad omne dubium de medio tollendum humiliter quaerit :
An in Decreto generali diei 9 Augusti 1852 de translatione fes-
torum relate ad indulgentias, comprehendatur etiam translatio
Plenariae Indulgentiae, de qua supra ?

S. Congregatio audito Consultorum voto, respondit : Affirma-

Datum Romae ex Secretaria dusdem. S. Cong, die 2 lulii

L t S. S. Card. Cretoni, f^aef.

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Sacra Congregatio Eminentissimorum ac Reverendissimorum
Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalium a SANCTISSIMO
tolica indict librarum pravae doctrinae, earumdemque proscripHoni,
ixpurgatiofd cu: pemUssioni in universa Christiana republica prae-
positarum et delegatarum, habita in Palatio Apostolico Vaticano die
ig Augusti igo2^ damnavit et damnat, proscripsit proscribitque,
atque in Indicem librarum prohibitorum referri mandavit et mandat
quae sequuniur opera:
Presbyter Lucensis. — L*antichita intomo all* elezione det sacri

Pastori. — Lucca, tip. del Serchio 1902.
ZiNO ZiNi. — II pentimento e la morale asceti. — Torino, fratelli
Bocca 1902.
Itaque nemo cuiuscumque gradus et conditionis praedicta opera
damnata atque proscripta, quocumque loco et quocumque idiomate,
out in posterum edere, aut edita legere velretinere audeat, subpoenis
in Indice librarum vetitorum indictis,

luLius Bois, Hermannus Schell, Aemilius Combe, Iosephus
MOller, Franc. Regis Planchet et Camillus Quievreux
decretis S. Congregationis, editis 21 Aug. 1896, 15 Dec. 1898
et 7 lun. 1901, quibus eorum quidam libri notati et in indicem
librorum prohibitorum inserti sunt, laudabiliter se subie-

PAPAE XIII per me infrascriptum Secretarium relatis, SANC-
TITAS SUA Decretum probavit, et promulgari praecepit. In
quorum fidem etc.

Datum Romae die /p Augusti igo2,

Andreas Card, Steinhuber, Praef,
L t S. Fr. Thomas Esser, Ord, Praed, a Sec,

Die 20 Augusti IQ02, Ego infrascriptus Mag, Cursorum testor
jupradictum Decretum affixum et publicatum fuisse in Urbe,

Vincentius Benaglia, Mag. Curs.

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Titio, sacerdoti approbate ad audiendas Confessiones, non raro
contigit confessiones excipere regularium variorum Ordinum.
Quare, quo prudentiore agat ratione, ab hoc sacro Tribunali
enixe postulat solutionem dubiorum quae statim proponuntur hie

I. Caius, sacerdos regularis, sub vesperum accessit ad Titium,
facturus exomologesim. Interrog^tus de recq)ta a Superiore
facultate, respondit Superiorem domo abesse nee eodem reversu-
rum die, nullum autem alium in Conventu adesse praesentem
sacerdotem. Potuit-ne, in hac dom^stid Confessarii inofMa, a
Titio valide et lidte absolvi ?

II. Inter facultates quas S. Poenitentiaria pro foro intemo cum
confessariis communicare solet leg^tur, N. VIII, &cultas " absol-
vendi religiosos cuiuscumque Ordinis, dummodo apud te legiti-
mam habuerint licentiam peragendi Confessionem sacramentalem
. . . etiam a casibus et censuris in sua religione reservads.''
Valet-ne ilia facultas ad casus quolibet modo reservatos ? Soliti
enim sunt in relig^onibus casus reservari alii Superiori immediato,
alii Provindali, alii Generali. Istas tamen observare distinctiones
G>nfessario extraneo valde fuerit diilidle. Suadet igitur expedi-
tus iacultatis usus ut omnes comprehendat casus religionis pro-
prios. Prudens ceterum Confessarius non omittet ea imperare
quibus Ordinis bono vel iuri satis sit cautum.

III. Utrum Confessario regulari praefata facultate uti licet,
cum Confessionem excipit religiosi eiusdem Ordinis ad quern per.
tinet ipse, ita ut in reservata proprii Ordinis polleat iurisdictione
non formaliter a Superiore accepta, an contra coercetur usus ad
religiosos extraneos ?

IV. Utrum Superior qui Confessionem permittit, addita condi-
tione, V. gr. " Dummodo pro reservatis serves Ordinis consuetu-
dinem'' impedire valeat praefatae facultatis usum; an contra,
semel concessa confitendi licentia, electus confessarius habeat vi
facultatis Poenitentiariae potestatem in reservata a voluntate Su-
perioris plane independentem ?

V. Num dicta n. IV. omnino transferenda sunt in religiosum

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itinerantem, qui ad adeundum Confessarium extraneum expressa
Superioris facultate non habuit opus ?

Sacra Poenitentiaria, mature perpensis expositis, ad proposita
dubia respondet: ad i""""' Si Superior domus aliique confessarii
tamdiu absint saltern per unum diem ut grave sit religioso poeni-
tenti toto eo tempore carere absolutione sacramentali, is lidte et
valide absolvitur ab extraneo confessario idoneo h. e. approbato.

— Ad II"** Affirmative — ad III"** Dummodo Confessarius
regularis approbatus sit ad recipiendam Confessionem religiosi
proprii ordinis affirmative ad primam partem, negative ad secun-
dam. Ad IV™^ Negative ad primam partem, affirmative ad
secundam. — Ad V"^ Si Confessarius extraneus habeat a S. Sede
facultatem absolvendi religiosos a casibus reservatis in eorum
Ordine, affirmative, secus, negative.

Datum Romae, in Sacra Poenitentiaria, die 14 Maii 1902.

B. PoMPiu, 5. P. Dataritis,
J. Palica, 5. P. Subst.

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The Ecclesiastical Review proposes to answer in this department questioos
of general (not merelj local or personal) interest to the Clergy. Questions soitable
for publication, when addressed to the editor, receive attention in doe torn, bat in no
case do we pledge oarseWes to reply to all queries, either in print or by letter.


The Roman Decrees for the month are :

I. — S. Congregation of Indulgences confirms former decree
permitting transfer of Indulgences with the translation of feasts.

II. — S. Congregation of the Index censures two Italian
works dealing with theological subjects. Announces the formal
submission of the authors Schell, Combe, Joseph Miiller, Planchet
and Quicvreux, whose works were censured in former decrees.

III. — S. PoENiTENTiARiA answers some doubts regarding the
rights of confessors to absolve in cases of religious.


There has been a considerable amount of questioning recently
as to the exact limit or extent in the exercise of the faculties which
a Vicar-General enjoys in his diocese, independently of the con-
cession or delegation by the Ordinary.

A correspondent recently inquires :

<<Ex decreto S. C. S. Officii 24 Nov. 1897 &cultates habituates
Episcoporum factae sunt reales, et conceduntur secundum formam
decreti 20 Feb. 1888, sc. Dispensationes committimtur Ordinario, sub
qua appellatione veniunt inter alios Vicarii in spiritualibus Generales.''

I. Has the status of our Vicars-General been changed as regards
matrimonial dispensations by this decree of 1897 ? II. May they grant
all dispensations conceded in our FacultateSy '' Episcopo praesente seu
in remotis non agente ? ' '

The Vicars-General of the country, I am sure, would be grateful
for a commentary in the Review on this decree, as also would be

S. B. R.

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To which an eminent Canonist, who was asked his opinion in
the matter, replied :

Ad /. Certainly; because before the Decree of 1897 and that of
April 20, 1898 {Acta S, SediSj xxx, 703), the article VIII, Form. D,
and the corresponding part of the final Article of Form. E, referring
to the faculties granted to the Vicar-General, showed that these were
to be delegated, and that only with certain restrictions.

After said Decree of 1897 (and that of April 20, 1898) the Acui-
ties are directly given to the Vicar-General. This concession includes,
according to the Decree of the Holy Office, June 23, 1898 {Acta S,
Sedis xxxi, 120), also those Acuities which were granted antecedently
to said Decree and which are not yet exhausted. So at least this last
decree has been interpreted, although it is not quite clear.

Ad II, I rather incline toward the affirmative opinion, which
allows to the Vicar-General the right of exercising said Faculties also
when the Bishop is in residence ; for, according to the Decree of
April 20, 1898, " Facultates omnes concedendae sunt Ordinariis loco-
rum.'* Now there is no distinction made between Ordinary and
Ordinary, that is between Bishop and Vicar-General. Hence the
Vicar-General may exercise them by the same right as the Bishop.
In a subsequent Decree, December 14, 1898 {ActaS, Sedis y xxx, 384),
certain restrictions in the concession of Faculties are enjoined ; but
as the Decree treats of the question of subdelegatiouy it does not appear
to extend to the powers of the Vicar-General.

It is difficult, therefore, to imagine any reason why the Vicar-
General should abstain from the use of these faculties, even praesente

A Bishop might argue that, if this interpretation is to be accepted,
his own position has become more restricted since the new Decree
was made, for practically the entire Acuity rests with the Vicar-Gen-
eral. This may be, except in so far as the Bishop could — at least so
it seems to me^-exercise his power of reserving to himself the use of
certain Acuities, thus restricting the privileges of his Vicar-General.
This is the case with regard to Regulars, whose members receive
certain privileges directly from the General, yet in such wise that the
Superior may restrict them in whole or in part, according to his
judgment. Sic salvo meliori, J. P.

This appears a most reasonable view. However, we shall
have the subject exhaustively treated in the next issue of the

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Review, with such reference to authority as to leave no doubt as
to the exact limits of the Vicar's jurisdiction.


The question is exhaustively discussed in the article by Father
Casacca, Moderator of Studies in the Augustinian Order of this
country. The matter deserves to be carefully weighed by theo-
logians and pastors, who have to deal with such cases much more
frequently at the present day than was formerly the case. There
is, indeed, a grave difference of opinion among theological author-
ities as to the fact whether the total and absolute absence of the
ovaries constitutes such " impotentia " as is required for a diri-
ment impediment in the ecclesiastical sense. A writer in the
Nouvelle Revue Theologique, Vol. XX, page 83, and XXVI, page
287, interpreting the decree of the Holy Office, which says, " Im-
potentes non sunt feminae quae utroque ovario et utero carent
Impotentes sunt feminae quae utero et vagina carent," decides the
doubt in the negative. Lehmkuhl, Sabetti, and Konings seem to
be of the same opinion. Tanquerey, in his recently published
compendium of Moral Theology (Supplementum, II, 3) explains
the state of the question very lucidly, but leaves the solution as
a questio disputata.

We hope to hear from some of our theological authorities on
the subject, unless they consider Dr. Casacca's argument suffi-
ciently conclusive to determine the view to be taken, at least in
practice — which is the main point at issue. One important sug-
gestion, at the end of the article, should be remembered by con-
fessors generally, viz., that these questions can not^ as a rule, be
safely settled in the confessional. They should invariably be
referred to the Matrimonial Judge of the Diocesan Court, or to

Online LibraryCatholic University of AmericaAmerican ecclesiastical review, Volume 27 → online text (page 72 of 78)