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evening, or vice versa. In churches in which there are not evening devotions on Sundays, the sermon being preached at one of the Masses, the Catechetical Instruction is to be given at another—or in the case of a church in which there is but one Mass, the sermon and Catechetical Instruction may be on alternate Sundays, the order of the Diocesan Programme of Catechetical Instruction being in all cases observed.' 1

If, then, 'Anxious' means by a bit of a sermon' not merely a homily or sermon in the strict sense, but also a Catechetical Instruction and a short explanation of the Gospel, such as that referred to by the Maynooth Statutes, then he is quite correct in his impression that it is obligatory in all parochial Masses in this country.

There is no doubt whatever that the law on preaching is violated in parishes in which there is no sermon at any of the Masses for three or four Summer months. Sermons at confraternity meetings and evening devotions are not sufficient for its fulfilment. We disagree with our correspondent's view that Statute 299 of the Maynooth Synod does not reprobate the practice of omitting, in Summertime, a sermon at the parochial Mass on Sundays and holidays: in our opinion, it does. The sermon to which it refers is evidently the sermon which Statute 295 requires to be given at the principal Mass.



REV. DEAR SIR,-How do you reconcile Canon 1119: 'Matrimonium dissolvitur... ipso jure per solemnem professionem religiosam,' with Canon 542: 1° Invalide ad novitiatum admittuntur. . . Conjux durante matrimonio'? Is permission to be obtained from the Holy See for such a person to enter the novitiate, or does the old privilege of the bimestre remain ?

J. E.

It seems to us pretty clear how the reconciliation is to be effected. Canon 542, 1°, states, without any restriction whatever, that a married person, as long as the marriage bond lasts, cannot be validly admitted to the novitiate. Consequently, no exception can be made for nonconsummated marriages, even during the first two months after their contraction. It is evident, therefore, that the old privilege of the bimestre has been abolished. Should, however, a married person, whose marriage has not yet been consummated, obtain from the Holy See a dispensation to join an Order and afterwards take solemn vows, the marriage would be dissolved. In this way it is possible to give effect to Canon 1119, which merely states that a non-consummated marriage is dissolved by solemn religious profession.

1 Vide Appendix to Maynooth Statutes, p. 402.



REV. DEAR SIR,-Would you kindly give your views regarding the interpretation of Statute 397 (1) Maynooth Statutes. The statute runs : 'Omnibus sacerdotibus interdictum est quominus conventibus publicis intersint sine expresso Parochi consensu in cujus paroecia conventus habetur.' Do the conferences which are held in the different parliamentary constituencies for the purpose of selecting a representative for the division come, in your opinion, under the designation of 'conventus publici,' as mentioned in the statute?

I am old enough to remember the time this statute was first promulgated and the reasons that induced the Bishops to frame it. In the time of the Land League it was customary to hold monster public meetings in the different parishes. Some of the parish priests did not give them much countenance, while others were most enthusiastic. I remember that one of those meetings was held in a parish not far from where I was stationed as a young curate. The parish priest was fully convinced that the meeting would tend to disturb the good order of his parish and did not attend it. The meeting, however, was held. neighbouring parish priest who was an enthusiast in the cause led all his people in procession to the place of meeting, which was practically in front of the parish priest's house, made a flamboyant speech, was cheered and was carried on the shoulders of the mob.


To correct such a state of things the Bishops very properly framed the above statute. Now, when we come to consider the question of conferences, as they are constituted at present, the reasons that induced the Bishops to frame the statute do not seem to exist. The conference is summoned by the central executive for a certain day and in a certain place. The conference is composed of delegates from the different parishes. The parish priest of the place has just the same representation at the conference as his neighbouring priests. The good order of his parish is no way imperilled. He may absent himself from the deliberations, if he thinks right to do so, without incurring any odium for his action. He is in every respect on a par with his neighbouring priests, and it is altogether a mere accident that the meeting is held in his parish. In the face of all this, is it not strange that the parish priest of the place should have the power of excluding all the priests of the division if he should take it into his head to do so?


In our opinion, conferences such as those mentioned by our correspondent do not come within the scope of this statute of the Maynooth Synod. Priests, therefore, are free to attend them, without the permission of the local parish priest. In coming to this conclusion we have been guided mainly by the meaning of the expression conventus publicus,' or rather its English equivalent, 'public meeting.' In ordinary language a meeting is not called public unless people generally have the right of being present at it: a conference or convention, confined to delegates and others to whom rights of admission are granted, is never spoken of, or referred to, as a public meeting, even though the proceedings be afterwards published in the Press. Now, the most

fundamental of all rules for the interpretation of a law is that its words should be given their proper meaning; and, of course, it is a well-known fact that it is usage which determines the proper meaning.1

The reasons which brought about the law help to confirm this view. As our correspondent points out, the attendance of outside priests at conferences and conventions can scarcely interfere with the fruitfulness of the local pastor's ministry or impair the good order of his parish. J. KINANE.



REV. DEAR SIR,-Would you kindly answer in the I. E. RECORD, at your convenience, the following two queries:

1. What are the indulgences attached to the October devotions, and what are the conditions for gaining them?

2. May an ordinary clasp purse, such as is used for holding money be used as a 'bursa,' provided other conditions, as lining with silk, etc., are observed? I once saw one, and though I am aware of no regulation to the contrary, it struck me as objectionable to have the small pyxis and Blessed Sacrament contained in such an article. The purse was originally intended to hold money, and the purchaser got it lined with silk in order to comply with the rubric. If convenience only were looked to I must say such a bursa fulfils its purpose much better than the kind generally in use.

M. F.

1. The following is a summary 2 of the indulgences which may be gained and the conditions required. (a) An indulgence of seven years. and seven quarantines may be gained each day during the month on which a person recites five decades of the Rosary, whether publicly in a church, or privately. (b) A plenary indulgence may be gained on the feast of the Rosary or any day within the Octave, on the usual conditions of confession and Communion, visiting any church and praying there for the intentions of the Pope, provided one has recited, publicly or privately, five decades of the Rosary on the feast day and every day throughout the octave. (c) A plenary indulgence may also be gained on any day one wishes to select, on the conditions just mentioned, by reciting five decades of the Rosary at least on ten days of the month, after the octave of the feast of the Rosary. All these indulgences are applicable to the souls in purgatory. In addition an indulgence of seven

1 Canon 18: 'Leges ecclesiasticae intelligendae sunt secundum propriam verborum significationem, etc.'; D'Annibale, Summul. Th. Mor., vol. i. n. 1843: Verba autem ea significatione accipienda sunt, quae propria, et usu, seu vulgari, seu juria, recepta est,' etc.

2 S. C. Indul., 29 Aug., 1899. See I. E. RECORD, Dec., 1899, p. 559:

years and seven quarantines may be gained when, during the month of October, the prayer to St. Joseph is added to the public recitation of the Rosary.

2. The Constitution Inter omnigenas (when giving directions regarding the method of carrying the Blessed Sacrament secretly to the sick) merely says: in sacculo, seu bursa Pyxidem recondat, quam per funiculos collo appensam in sinu reponat.' The rubric,1 also, which deals with the case in which the journey is long, or has to be made on horseback, uses practically the same words-'bursa decenter ornata, et ad collum appensa.' It will be noticed, then, that nothing is definitely prescribed regarding the size, shape, or material of the 'bursa.' O'Kane 2 in commenting on this rubric, says that the 'bursa' is 'generally a kind of loose bag, of suitable size and shape. . . . A leathern case, lined with silk, may be used as the "bursa," and many prefer it to the loose bag, as being a better protection to the pyxis.'

We do not, therefore, see any serious objection to the use of the kind of 'bursa' described in the query. The fact that it was originally intended for another purpose makes no difference whatever. But it should be provided with strings by which it can be securely fastened round the neck of the priest when he carries the Blessed Sacrament to the sick. The suggestion that the pyxis with its covering might be put into a pocket made in the vest for this purpose, and used for no other,' was condemned by the Congregation of Rites.3


REV. DEAR SIR,-In an article some time back in the I. E. RECORD on privileged altars, the writer stated that in order to gain the indulgence it is necessary that the altar should be dedicated to some Mystery or Saint. I take it that this dedication is something apart from the dedication of the church where the altar is situated. What ceremony is prescribed for the occasion; where is it to be found; and by whom may it be performed?


In order that the indulgence may be gained it is necessary that the Mass be celebrated on a fixed altar. But the term 'fixed' is here used in a wide sense. A fixed altar, in the strict liturgical sense, consists of a table of stone joined to a stipes or support of the same material, and duly consecrated. The ceremony of consecration, as may be seen from the Pontifical, implies that the altar is dedicated to some saint or mystery, as title. Hence, if the privileged altar is a fixed one, in the strict liturgical sense, no difficulty can arise.

But, for the purpose of gaining the indulgence it is not at all necessary that the altar should be a 'fixed' one in this strict sense. Any permanent structure, in the shape of an altar, on which an altar stone is placed, is quite sufficient. Is it necessary, as a condition for gaining the 3 O'Kane, n. 807.

1 Tit. iv. cap. iv. 10.

2 N. 806.

indulgence, that such an altar should be dedicated to some saint or mystery?

The answer must be in the affirmative. This is clear from a reply of the Congregation of Indulgences given in the year 1843: 'privilegium, de quo supra, datum est altari determinato, et in honorem alicujus Sancti specialiter dicato.' A somewhat similar reply was given in the year 1902.

Generally speaking, the principal altar of the church is selected for the privilege. When this is so there can be no trouble about the titular. in the case of a church or oratory which has received the solemn blessing, The titular of the altar is the same as that of the church, and the dedication takes place during the ceremony of blessing the church: Ut hanc Ecclesiam, et Altare ad honorem tuum, et nomen Sancti tui N., purgare, et benedicere digneris,' etc. We have already seen that the titular is also definitely defined when the altar, whether the principal one or not, has been consecrated.

But let us suppose that an altar other than the principal one, and not consecrated, is designated for the privilege. The titular is not defined in this case by any special ceremony, such as is the case when a fixed altar is consecrated or when the church is being solemnly blessed. The altar, in the case made, is a fixed one only in the wide sense. There is no special ceremony in connexion with the erection of such an altar. The consecrated altar stone is simply placed upon it. What is to be said, then, of the saint or mystery to whom it is dedicated? Who is to select the titular?

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The Bishop, of course, may do so; but his intervention is not required. Even in selecting the titular of a church the name may be chosen ex privato etiam fundatorum vel aliorum, ad quos spectat, beneplacito.' 1 Much more is this the case in the selection of the titular of a particular altar. This is sufficiently done when the altar is erected in honour of, and named after, some saint or mystery, as is commonly the case. No particular ceremony is required at all; in fact, there is no ceremony for the purpose to be found in any of the liturgical books.

BENEDICTION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT-MAY OTHER PRAYERS be added after thE 'DEUS QUI NOBIS’? REV. DEAR SIR,-It has been the constant practice in this church, on the occasion of a Novena in preparation for a feast, to add the prayer of the feast to the prayer of the Blessed Sacrament, after the Tantum Ergo has been sung. I have lately been told that this practice is incorrect. Would you kindly give your opinion on this matter in an early issue of the I. E. RECORD.


The practice mentioned has been condemned on more than one occasion in recent years. We may quote the following answers of the Congregation of Rites:

Q. An in functione Benedictionis SSmi Sacramenti, praeter Orationem de eodem, alia cantari possit?

1 Ephem. Liturg., 1908, p. 151..

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