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that a peregrinus was to be baptized by the parish priest of the place in which he was; the view, however, which personally we thought certain, was in full agreement with the new discipline.1

2°. Parish priests have also the exclusive right of carrying the Blessed Sacrament publicly to the sick in their own parish. This privilege is of little importance in this country, as this function is nearly always carried out privately. It may be well to remark here that, prior to the publication of the Code, to carry the Blessed Sacrament privately to the sick special faculties were necessary-our Bishops had them from the Formula Sexta. Now, whenever there is a just and reasonable cause, the general law itself gives the necessary permission (c. 847).

3°. The administration of the Blessed Eucharist, in the form of Viaticum, whether the function is gone through publicly or privately, and of Extreme Unction, is also reserved to parish priests. The reservations to which the general principle is subject have been already dealt with with in the I. E. RECORD, so that there is no need for us to again discuss them. 2

Formerly parish priests had some further privileges in connexion with the Blessed Eucharist. Until the publication of the Code the faithful were obliged to receive the Paschal Communion in their own parish and from their own pastor, or his delegate. In the new discipline they are merely advised to communicate in their own parish; but should they fulfil the obligation in an outside parish, they are obliged to inform their own pastor of the fact (c. 859, §3).

The admission of children to first Communion was formerly one of a parish priest's privileges. The decree Quam singulari, published in 1910, abolished this right, and vested it in the parents and confessor. The Code, however, has, to some extent, restored it. Whilst it is stated, as in the Quam singulari, that the judgment as to the dispositions of children rests with the confessor and with the parents, it is further added that it is the duty of the parish priest to exercise vigilance even by examination, if, in his prudence, he thinks it advisablelest children approach Communion before attaining the use of reason or without sufficient disposition, and also

1 Cf. I. E. RECORD, November, 1915, Fifth Series, vol. vi. pp. 529 sqq. 2 Vide I. E. RECORD, February, 1918, pp. 104 sqq.; April, 1918, pp. 286 sqq.

to take care that those who have attained the use of reason and are sufficiently disposed approach as soon as possible' (c. 854, § 5). From this regulation it seems to us that, whenever the parish priest intervenes, his judgment is final; though, as his office is one of general vigilance, his interference is not necessary in all cases.

4°. A parish priest's privileges regarding the publication of promotions to sacred orders, publication of the banns, assistance at marriage and the nuptial benediction, have been already dealt with, so that discussion of them here is unnecessary.

5°. The right of performing the exequial rites of his deceased subjects is also reserved to the parish priest, in accordance with Canon 1216. This canon states that the church to which a dead body is to be transferred for the funeral ceremonies is ordinarily that of the deceased's parish, unless he has legitimately chosen another church; if he has more than one parish, the church to be chosen is that of the parish in which he died. This, however, is not the place for a full discussion of this question.

6°. The blessing of houses in accordance with the liturgy, on Holy Saturday or any other day sanctioned by local custom, is another of a parish priest's exclusive rights.

7. Similarly, to the parish priest are reserved the right to bless the baptismal font on Holy Saturday, to lead the public procession outside the church, and to impart the solemn blessings there, unless there is question of a capitular church, and the chapter itself performs these functions.

The first section of Canon 463 declares that a parish priest has a right to those offerings assigned to him by approved custom or by legitimate taxation in accordance with Canon 1507. This latter canon states that the taxes to be paid for the various acts of voluntary jurisdiction, and on the occasion of the administration of the sacraments and sacramentals, are to be fixed for an entire province by a Provincial Council or an assembly of the Bishops of a province; but that the fixation has no force until it is approved by the Holy See. Although this regulation in regard to the fixation of taxes will involve considerable change for us here in Ireland, yet it is by no means new: the Congregation of the Council in 1896 issued a decree upon this subject, the terms of which resemble very closely those of Canon 1507.1 We suppose it was because Ireland

1 Cf. Ojetti, Synopsis, vol. iii. n. 3918.

was at that time subject to the Propaganda that the decree was never adopted in this country.

The offerings which have the sanction of custom differ in different parts of Ireland. For example, in some places they consist almost entirely of periodic collections, whilst in others funeral offerings hold the principal place. In regard to these latter the new legislation will, we think, involve no change. According to Canon 1234, in the index of funeral taxes to be drawn up by the Ordinary, due account is to be taken of legitimate local customs and of all personal and local circumstances.

A parish priest who exacts more than is sanctioned by custom or legitimate taxation is bound to restitution (c. 463, § 2). His title to these offerings is based upon his right to support. Now, custom or law determines how far this right extends; and, consequently, if he exceeds the prescribed limit in his demands he is without a title. When, however, offerings in excess of those fixed by law or custom are voluntarily given, there is no prohibition against accepting them.

Even though the parochial office is exercised by another, the offerings go to the parish priest, unless they exceed the fixed tax and it is certain that the donor wishes the excess to be disposed of differently (c. 463, § 3). Of course, local legislation may restrict the donor's capacity in this respect; as a matter of fact, the last Provincial Synod of Armagh, in its 28th Statute, has done so.1 It must be remembered whoever discharges the parochial office has a right to recompense from the parish priest, and in the case of curates the recompense frequently takes the form of a division of the offerings. Finally, the parish priests are warned of their obligation to minister gratuitously to those who are incapable of paying the fixed taxes (c. 463, § 4). There is a particular and very practical application of this regulation in Canon 1235, § 2, where it is stated that the funeral service and burial of the poor should be gratuitous and becoming, with the prescribed exequial rites in accordance with the liturgical laws and the diocesan statutes.

As we have already exceeded the limits assigned us, we must reserve the concluding portion of this subject for another article.


1'Nunquam liceat sacerdoti aliquam partem oblati quod occasione Baptismi, Matrimonii, aut funeris fideles solvunt suum facere, eo sub praetextu quod ratione doni personalis datur.'





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READERS of the I. E. RECORD are, I have little doubt, heartily tired of this controversy, and they will, therefore, be glad to hear that the present article is likely to be the last contribution to it. Dr. Cleary has done with' me, and with the best wish in the world to go on, I cannot do so without him. In truth, I do not regret the end, and I am only sorry that my opponent should seem to have taken his leave of me with more fervour than affection. I would have allowed him the last word had he confined himself to his now well-known points and to recommending his views on a form of hunger-strike which I regard as almost mythical; but I think it necessary to answer him when he wishes his readers to believe that, with one solitary exception, I have not merely failed to meet but I have failed even to touch any of his fundamental contentions. This is as nearly the exact contrary of the truth as could be conveyed in a single sentence. 'I do not seem,' he adds, 'to have realized their nature, for he finds it hard to believe that I would have deliberately shirked an answer to them.’ Seeing that he has elsewhere accused me of 'seeking to shirk,' of mangling,' and 'side-tracking' his arguments, and of resorting to disgusting expedients,' I do not take very seriously the scruples he expresses here. He does not specify my solitary success, nor does he assign any criterion for judging whether a given contention of his is fundamental or not. As to apprehending the nature and drift of what he has written, I can assure him that unless there is some hidden or mystic meaning in his words I quite understand them. I will now proceed to examine the ground

of his complaints and charges against me, as well as his arguments such as survive-in the fresh light cast on them by his last article.

I must beg to remind my readers that my rôle in this whole controversy is to defend an article I wrote for the August number of the I. E. RECORD. This article had one only thesis that the familiar form of hunger-strike was suicide, no better no worse. The thesis I supported by arguments, and I will consider the case against these in its place. But a great part of Dr. Cleary's polemic was directed at a certain harmless proposition that I assumed as a foundation. I assumed that suicide was wrong, and was always a mortal sin, but I carefully limited and defined suicide as the direct or intentional killing of oneself on private authority. This assumption I did not suspect would be questioned by any readers of the I. E. RECORD; but, nevertheless, I quoted the teaching in the most authoritative text that theology affords, and I gave also one of St. Thomas's proofs. To my surprise my critic's first article was as much an attack on St. Thomas's doctrine of the wickedness of suicide as on mine concerning the hungerstrike. I have never gone beyond St. Thomas on this first point, and have scarcely used words but his. Readers should bear in mind that there is nothing of mine in it, and that Dr. Cleary is in reality engaged in refuting St. Thomas Aquinas.

Two points have been attacked in both his articles: (a) the validity of the proof that suicide is immoral, (b) the natural or intrinsic immorality of suicide. But Dr. Cleary never disputed the simple truth of the fundamental proposition, and the simple truth of it is all that I assumed and all that is necessary to my case against the hungerstrike. Let my opponent, then, prove the sinfulness of suicide in his own way; let it be granted even that the sinfulness of suicide is not natural or intrinsic, but as plainly positive as is that of schism: as long as he does not dispute the truth that suicide is always a mortal sin he concedes all that I have ever asked for, or want, to make my case. Nor does he himself make any use of his contention to justify his views of hunger-striking, so that I am somewhat at a loss as to why he takes such pains to prove what he does not utilize in the sequel. It has been suggested to me that he would regard suicide as justifiable and even of obligation in certain circumstances, as a means

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