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For Examination. The Apparitions and

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From the earliest ages to the present time.

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A complete history of all the APPARITIONS, from the earliest ages down to those of recent days which, after the most careful examination and investigation, have received the IMPRIMATUR and endorsement of the CATHOLIC CHURCH. Should be in every Catholic Home & Library.

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“Of all the tributes to our Blessed Lady, none is more worthy than the publication of • The Apparitions and Shrines of Hea. ven's Bright Queen," in four handsome volumes, compiled by William J. Walsh, which has been issued by Catholic Publication Society, 150 Nassau St., N. Y. E work, as might be expected, displays great critical acumien, long extended study, and a fine literary discrimination. Complete, yet compact, ranging in its selections from the earliest recorded apparition and tribute, down to those of recent days, yet edited with such care and compiled with such skill that each is vivid in the memory of the reviewer."New York News, Jan. 8, 1905.

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view of the solemn and explicit manner in which the Catholic Church reprobates divorce, we can imagine very readily how great was the surprise of non-Catholics, as well as Catholics,

when Bishop Doane, of Albany, recently advanced the claim that the “Roman" Church sanctions divorce “in the freest possible manner,” and that her matrimonial discipline is “equivalent to the non-Roman or Protestant recognition of divorce from the bond.” * Surprise is, in fact, a poor word to describe the feeling caused by such a claim, especially in the minds of those who are in any measure acquainted with the doctrine and practice of the Church in regard to marriage.

In the absence of contradiction, Bishop Doane's statement of the position of the Church on the divorce question will have weight with some persons. He is a prelate grown old in the service of his church; he is Chancellor of the University of the State of New York; he has received honorary degrees from various institutions of learning on account of his presumed acquirements; he is a minister of God who may be rightly expected to treat the tenets and discipline of even the “ Roman." Church with justice as well as with charity, and who may be believed to be free from that unholy spirit which leads bigots to speak beyond their knowledge, and to substitute malevolence

*“Remarriage after Divorce; the Practice of the Roman Church contrasted with its Theory," in the April number of the North American Review. Copyright. 1905. The Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle

IN THE STATE OF New YORK.
VOL. LXXXI.-19

for science when they have to discuss another religion. What more lawful presumption than that this venerable, seemingly learned, probably unbigoted prelate of a respectable church will not discuss publicly a religious matter without being informed on it, and especially will not attribute to another Church a position which it never held, which it does not hold, and which it never will hold ?

This lawful presumption, however, is not conclusive in the present case. Like most presumptions it fails in presence of a contrary fact. And the fact here is that Bishop Doane, in endeavoring to tell the readers of the North American Review what the Catholic Church teaches and practices concerning re. marriage after divorce, has demonstrated his absolute incompetence to treat the subject of his article, has made public his ignorance of Catholic law and theology, and has been guilty of misrepresentation which is so gross and so reiterated that it takes on the nature of a crime.

It is, in truth, nothing short of criminal to misrepresent and falsify in this matter and in these circumstances. The Catholic Church condemns divorce and excommunicates those who seek it. Her children, on account of this stern disapproval, shrink from divorce. The influence exerted in consequence on our social life is highly beneficial, it is the best and most effectual that we know. No good in an would care to see this influence destroyed. Any one who rashly and unreasonably sets to work to subvert it is an enemy not only of the Catholic Church (such enmity would be easily pardoned by many), but of the State; for he weakens the barriers which stem the dangerous current of divorce, and he thereby menaces the wel. fare and permanency of our republic. He commits an act of immorality, the more heinous when it comes in the form of pernicious doctrine from one whose position, while it obliges him to a sacred adherence to truth, lends to his utterances on any subject a high authority and assures him, before he speaks, of a very considerable following.

Of this reprehensible offence, the Bishop must plead guilty, and guilty with aggravating circumstances. His achievement surpasses what our wildest fancy could have contemplated as possible. A careful reading of his argument discloses that he has consummated more error in a briefer space than any writer who has ever contributed an article on any subject to a respect

able periodical. His paper covers barely ten pages of the North American Review, and from these we must subtract over two pages of an introduction, which deals not at all with remarriage and divorce in the Catholic Church, but with the doings of the last General Episcopal Convention; we must also exclude from the Bishop's work a full page quoted from Father Thein's Dictionary, which does not support the Bishop's contention, but contradicts it; so that the pertinent matter covers less than seven pages of print. It would be regrettable enough if the Bishop had fallen into one or two serious errors, or even seven, one for every page; but he is by no means so comparatively innocent ; each page tells its story of misrepresentation, gross and reiterated, and in some passages sentence closely follows sentence, each staggering under its heavy burden of indefensible and inexcusable error.

A notable example of the Bishop's peculiar method is found in five sentences to which he directs our attention in particular, and on the truth of which he rests his claim that the Catholic Church has no right to be considered the special guardian of the institution of marriage. We quote these lines as they appeared in the North American Review :

According to the Roman Church, marriage being a sacrament, and no one being able to receive the grace of a sacrament unless he is a Catholic Christian, it follows that the marriages of persons who are not Roman Catholics are not sacramental, and have no sacramental grace or sanctity connected with them. They are simply legal contracts which the law creates and which the same law can dissolve. Some Roman theologians hold that if both parties are baptized, their marriage is Christian marriage, though they have no grace of the sacrament unless they are Roman Catholics ; but the modern Roman fashion is to rebaptize all converts to Romanism, aụd so to invalidate all baptism but Roman baptism. So that even when both parties to a marriage are baptized persons, unless they are both Roman Catholics, the marriage is merely a legal contract. Whatever difference there may be as to the theory, the practical fact is that Rome regards as dissoluble the marriages of all unbaptized persons, marriages between an unbaptized person and a baptized Christian who is not a Roman Catholic, marriages between a Roman Catholic and a non-Romanist, baptized or unbaptized, which has (?) been contracted without dispensation.

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