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in his place.' Ormsby survived until 1751, but never sat in the House again.

Many Bills were brought in by the Patriot Party to provide for the vacating of seats on the acceptance of pensions and offices. By thus reducing the number of members subservient to the Government it was hoped to give freer play to independent political opinion. But these measures were defeated by successive Ministries, until 1793, when the passing of the Place Bill (33 Geo. III, c. 41) at last crowned the movement of the Patriots with success. The Bill was brought in by a private member, named Forbes, and the Government offered no opposition to it. It enacted that a member accepting any office under the Crown then in existence thereby vacated his seat, but was eligible for election, as in England. It also excluded from the House all persons holding offices, the duties of which were inconsistent with the obligations of a member of Parliament, all pensioners during pleasure or for a term of years, the husbands of women who held such pensions, and all persons appointed to offices under the Crown created after the passing of the Act. Moreover, four offices, called the Escheatorships of Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connaught, each with a salary of thirty shillings, were created to serve the purpose of enabling members to resign, by the nominal acceptance of a Government post.

Froude, in his English in Ireland, remarks that 'in parting with the power which had alone enabled the Viceroys to carry on the Government '-the appointment of members of Parliament to offices and pensions without rendering their seats vacant-Pitt, it is likely, had already determined that the days of an independent Irish Legislature were numbered.' As a matter of fact, the Place Bill had an effect undreamt of by its promoters. It unexpectedly helped Pitt, the Prime Minister, Cornwallis, the Lord Lieutenant, and Castlereagh, the Chief Secretary, in carrying the Union. During the momentous parliamentary struggle in the closing years of the eighteenth century, when the fate of the Irish Parliament was still shrouded in uncertainty, the Place Bill enabled the Government to thin out the ranks of their opponents by inducing those who were willing to be bribed, and yet pretended to have conscientious scruples against voting for the Union, to vacate their seats for nomination boroughs by the acceptance of offices or pensions, in order to make

way for Unionists. Thus, with the help of the Place Bill, the majority hostile to the Union, when it was first proposed, was transformed into a minority, and the Government avoided the risky expedient of trying to obtain a majority by dissolving Parliament and submitting the question of the Union to the whole electorate.

In a modern democratic kingdom the Sovereign is not constitutionally responsible. He reigns, but does not govern. The Ministry, which is responsible, governs. Under the old Irish Parliament the Viceroy and his Ministers both reigned and governed, and yet had no constitutional responsibility. They controlled the legislative power of the Parliament, and in the administration of the country they were, as the Executive, supreme. It is not true, then, to say that the old Irish Parliament was little more than a debating society-though, it must be added, a magnificent debating society, when one remembers the moving eloquence of Grattan, Curran, Plunket, and Bushe. The ease with which the British Ministry induced the Irish Parliament to vote its own extinction, by offers of titles and pelf, appears to be inexplicable to many commentators on the Union, both Irish and British. Everything considered, is it so very surprising after all?





REV. DEAR SIR,-Pesch (De Sac., par. 1, p. 397), in discussing the first and second intention of the priest, says: Rationabiliter agit sacerdos, qui praeter intentionem absolutam offerendi missam ad talem vel talem finem addit etiam conditionatam, quae valeat in casu quo missa vel secundum priorem intentionem applicari non possit, vel tantae efficaciae sit, ut, concessione prioris rei facta, aliqua praeterea efficacia supersit ad alium finem assequendum. Fieri quoque potest, ut Deus pro sua liberalitate non solum illam rem concedat, pro qua impetranda missa primo loco oblata est, sed etiam res, quae secundae intentioni respondeant.'

1°. Do you think it would be lawful for a priest to follow this opinion in practice, adding a personal intention of his own, even in stipend Masses, and even when he is reasonably sure that the subject of his first intention is capax?

2o. In that case, do you think that there is good ground for holding that the beneficiary of his second intention would participate, in some measure, in the ex opere operato fruit of the Mass?

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1°. We think it lawful-and advisable. connexion with 'impetration,' the second' intention may be absolute,' i.e., independent altogether of the effects secured by the subject of the 'first' intention. But, as regards the satisfactory' effects the intention in the case of stipend Masses' must be based on the double condition : 1°, that the primary subject be incapable of benefitting; 2°, that, in that hypothesis, the donor does not intend the effects for himself or for his friends. The presumption is always very strong against the fulfilment of the second condition.

2o. Yes-with the qualifications mentioned.


REV. DEAR SIR,-Your article on the Mass and the Eucharist in the new Code, in the February number (1918) of the I. E. RECORD-particularly on Mass Honoraria, p. 111-seems to open up very important questions for priests in England. Would you mind answering the following questions in the next issue of the I. E. RECORD:

Under the new Code of Canon Law will priests who have to dupli cate on Sundays and holydays of obligation, be allowed to receive an VOL. XIII-35

offering for the first Mass and fulfil any of the following obligations with the second Mass: (1) for a deceased benefactor of the Secular Clergy Fund; (2) for a deceased fellow-priest who is a member of the Pact, i.e., to fulfil a Pact obligation; (3) Missa pro populo?

Thanking you in anticipation.


Under the old law, the opinion was quite probable that a priest might fulfil an obligation in justice when he said a 'second' Mass, provided he did not receive, in connexion with that 'second' Mass, a honorarium (the usual case) or a quasi-honorarium (e.g., in the case of a Missa pro populo). The new law would seem to be somewhat more strict inasmuch as it prohibits a priest from discharging, on one and the same day, a honorarium-obligation and any other obligation arising from justice. Apart from special concession, then, our correspondent's third query must be answered in the negative-the practice is condemned by both laws. In the first case, we think, the obligation need not be one in justice at all; if so, neither law affects it. The second case is more doubtful: it strongly suggests a contract or quasi-contract. But again, that need not be so: the obligation may very well be regarded as one arising from a simple promise or from the laws or rules governing the association. Anyhow, the obligation has got to be proved; and, till we hear to the opposite, we are justified (we think) in standing by the reply given by the Congregation of the Council on the 14th September, 1878.1


REV. DEAR SIR,-On reading your article, 'Penance in the New Code,' I see that you do not agree with the interpretation of Canon 886 given by the commentator on Father Marc. I beg to submit some of the reasons that perhaps influenced the commentator in his interpretation of said canon, and I shall be very much obliged if you let me know what you think of them. I imagine the commentator would reason thus: The confessor cannot at his own discretion defer absolution in the case of a relapsing sinner who is duly disposed. But, though, as 'judge,' he may think a penitent sufficiently contrite and disposed to receive absolution, he may, as 'physician,' pronounce him insufficiently disposed for immediate absolution; and, consequently, if there be no strong reason to the opposite, he may (and sometimes ought to) defer absolution for a short time, even against the penitent's own wishes, in order that the latter be preserved from relapse.

Now, the reasons why this statement does not contradict Canon 886 may be expressed in this way :

(1) Without distorting the meaning of the canon, you may tacitly add the words, 'Si confessarius (ut judex aut ut medicus) dubitare nequeat de poenitentis dispositionibus....' But the confessor may sometimes ut medicus doubt about the penitent's being so disposed now as to draw from absolution all the benefit he can and should draw from it. (2) One may hardly suppose that the Holy See meant by the said

1 The query and reply are given by Lehmkuhl, Th. Mor., ii. 296 (note).

canon to go against the common opinion of all the theologians (Marc, Supp., p. 927). It practically never happens that the Holy See officially stands up against the common opinion held for centuries by the chief theologians on a matter of natural or divine law.

(3) The Code itself indicates that the confessor should act as 'physician': 'Meminerit sacerdos in audiendis confessionibus se judicis pariter et medici personam sustinere ac divinae justitiae simul et misericordiae ministrum a Deo constitutum esse ut honori divino et animarum saluti consulat' (Canon 888). Now, according to the common teaching of the theologians-confirmed by experience the best method by which the confessor ('as physician ') can provide for the honour of God and the salvation of souls,' is the postponement of absolution, even though the penitent himself is really contrite; because it prevents many offences against the honour of God' and many relapses detrimental to the salvation of souls.'

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(4) The true meaning of Canon 886 has to be gathered from the preceding decrees to which it refers. But many of these decrees are directed against the Jansenists and old rigorists, whose aim it was to renew the severity of the first centuries as regards the administration of the sacrament of Penance, by emphasizing the necessity of first testing the full and steadfast amendment of the sinner for a long space of time.

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(5) If by dispositions' (886) we mean only what affects the confessor as judge,' i.e., sufficient contrition and purpose of amendment, it would follow that absolution could never be postponed till a penitent discharges a grave obligation, e.g., to avoid a proximate occasion of sin, become reconciled to his enemies, make restitution, etc.—which is not only against the common opinion of all theologians, but also evidently most dangerous to good morals and the salvation of souls.

These are some of the reasons that probably influenced the commentator. As the matter is so important and practical, I should like very much to have your opinion.



The statement to which our correspondent takes exception was almost as mild as his own protest. Discussing the question of postponing absolution, we said, in connexion with Canon 886, that though the only commentator we have read on the subject maintains the opposite, we think that the canon as it stands, and according to any plain and unprejudiced interpretation, strikes a heavy blow against the policy, advocated by St. Alphonsus, of putting off a penitent whose dispositions are certain, whenever such a course is deemed by the confessor conducive to his spiritual welfare or to the more certain fulfilment of his obligations.' The editor's commentary on the canon had been: 'the meaning is [that the absolution is to be 'neither refused nor postponed '] if the confessor, both as judge and as physician, decides that the penitent is disposed (cf. Can. 888, § 1). For the confessor cannot, by way of test merely, or at his own discretion, defer absolution without the penitent's consent; but he can do so by way of remedy, viz., when, as

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1 Marc, Inst. Mor. Aph., ii. Supp. (in 1814-17).

2 vi. 462.

3 I. E. RECORD, January, 1918, p. 21.

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