Imágenes de páginas

without Precedent Says Sigibert Chron. ad An. 1074.) and, as many thought out of an indiscreetZeal contrary « to the Opinion of the holy Farhers. But Hildebrand was a pot obcy'd in this in England for above a hundred Years after. For out åncient Records say (Hift

. Petroburg. An. 1127. apud Spelman) all these co Decrees avait'd nothing. For the Priests by the King's c Consent had still their Wives as formerly. pag. 176. “

L. Sc , it is not at all material, whether Pope Hildebrand was or was not the first that imposed Vows of a single Life upon the Clergy. For such a Vow could only inforce the Obligation they were already under by the ancient Canons of the Church, which had never been repeald, and so it obliged them to noching, but what they were obliged to be. fore. Just as if a Vow to keep the Fast of Lene were now imposed upon Roman Catholicks; no Man could legally infer from it, that it was therefore a new Thing, or a Duty they were not strictly obliged to comply with independently of such a Vow. All theres fore we can gather from that Fact and the other related by Spelman ( if it be litterally true,


may be question'd) all, I say, we can gather from it is, that in the with and 12th Century great irregularities were practised by many of the inferiour Clergy, who kept their Concubines, and call'd them Wives, but were no more so , chan Kare Boren was the lawful Wife of Martin Luther. And to shew they were regarded by the Church no otherwise than as Concubines , besides many other Synodal Decrees a. gainst them in other Places, there was a general Sy. nod held at London by the Pope's Legate in the very Year mencion’d by Spelman, in which several Canons were made for the Reformation and Celibacy of the Clergy, says Mr Echard in his History of England, L. 2. C. 1. pag. 174. But che fame Author adds, that they

Il. Part.


were not much regarded (as the very Laws of God are but little regarded by Libertines) till fome for Years after An. 1129. the King desirous to fetele rbe Colibacy of the Clergy in a Synod callid on Purpose ; through the Weaknes of the Archbishop (as Mathew Paris expresjes it ) obtain'd Power 10 have the sole Execution of this Law himself; but instead of Restraining the pretended Abuse, he punish'd them in their Purses, and receiving Sums from a great many of them be permitted them to enjoy their Wives as formerly.

Now this Relation of Mt Echard gives a very difa ferent turn to the whole Matter from that of Spela man. For what he calls the King's Consent, is here fairly represented as a bate Connivance, into which the King was brided by large Sums of Money : and the severe Laws made by the two Synods , Mr E. chard speaks of , against those of the Clergy who kept Concubines tho they callid them Wives Proof, that the Bishops assembled in those Synods regarded it as a sinful Abuse, which stood highly in Need of a Reformation : and in Effe& they who practised it were always branded with the infamous Name of Concubinarians, which is but a softer Word for what we call in plain English, Whoremasters.

» G. My Lord, Gregory the Great said, that it was » lawful for such of the Clergy, as could not contain, to s marry. (Resp. ad Interrog. 2m. Aug. Cant. ) and » Pius II. said the fame , ihat shey may be allow'd to » marry. Platina. pag. 176. L. Sr, I must here accuse

foul Dealing in both these Quotations. As to Pope Gregory, you have falfified him by Stifling that Part of his Words, which fully explain his meaning. They are these. If there be any of the Clergy, WHO ARE NOT IN HOLY ORDERS, and cannot contain, they oughe 16 marry. Now there are grear Numbers in our Clergy, who are neither Priests, Deacons, nor Subdeacons, but only in leffer Orders; who therefore are free to return to the World and marry. And so St Gregory's Words instead of Allowing the Marriage either of Priests, Deacons, or Subdeacons, who are all in boly Orders, imply a Prohibition of it according to this Maxim, exceprio confirmat legem : because it would be męer Trifling to limit a Law, that is not in Force,

you of very

As to the Words of Pius II. (for which you quote Platina in his Life) they seem to import no less, than that Pope Pius being consulted as Head of the Church, whether Priests that could not contain might marry , had answer'd ex Cathedra , that they might: whereas I can find no such Thing. 'Tis true, Plarina at the End of that Pope's Life entertains his Reader with many pleasant Sayings used by him in common Conversation, amongst which this is one, That shere was great Reason for the prohibiting of Priests to marry ,

but greater for allowing it again. pag. 401, printed London, An. 1688. Now if the same Pope in a pleasant Mood had said, that there was great Reasan

for Prohibiting the Plurality of Wives, but greater for Allowing it again, it would have been full as good an Argument for Poligamy, as his other Saying is for the Marriage of Priests.

$. 44•

Other Objections answer'd. G.

Y Lord, your great Canonist Panormitan

Says, there is as great Reasan to allow Priests of 10 marry now as ever there was to restrain it. Ler St u Bernard bear Witness in his Time what Reason u. there was for Allowing it, he says, There are many


» who cannot be hid for their Multitude, nor do seek 10 po be conceald for their impudence , who being restrain'd >> from the Nuptial Remedies , run into all Filebineß. » Bern. de conv. ad Cler. C. 29. And another says, » that few in those days were free from Fornication: » Glof. ad Gratian. Dift. 82. C.s. And Mathew Pa» ris tells, that the Pope thought it almost a Miracle ps that a.Candidate for a Bishoprick was said to be » a pure Virgin. Whence the Gloß ad Gratian : in » the Place just before quoted calls Fornication but a » venial Sin; and it is tolerated, if not allow'd. ibid. » Dist. 34. C.7. However it was reckon'd a less Sin » in a Priest than Marriage. For this Reason deadly » Sin is added to Fornication in our Litany. p.176. » 177.

L. Sr, as to Mathew Paris's Tale of what a certain Pope thought, and Grarian's Saying, that few were free from Fornication ; I wonder you can lay a Stress upon such erifling Stuff. But suppose the Thought of the one, and the Saying of the other deserved a les rious Regard, all that can be gather'd from them as likewise from the Words of Panormitan and St Bernard is, that in the Time they speak of, there was a great Looseness and Corruption amongst the Clergy. But do's it fuffice to make a Law unreasonable, because there are many Transgreffors against it ? If so, I fear the Decalogue will be thought unreasonable too, since Millions transgress daily against it's sacred Laws. I own however there are Inconveniences either in allowing or prohibiting the Marriage of Priests. But of two Evils the leffer is to be chosen. And when our Church is convinced, that it is a lesser Evil to allow them to marry , I doubc not but the will change her Discipline in this as stie has sometimes done in other Things.

But your Representing it to be the Doctrine of our Church, that Fornication is but a venial Sin, nay that it is tolerated, if not allow'd by us , is rank Cas lumny. For tho there were such a ridiculous Glofs upon Gratian a Writer of no Authority amongft us ( which however I cannot find , tho I have read over both the Diftin&tions you refer' me to) it will not çxcuse your flanderous Suggeftion, that it is the Doctrine of our Church. Nay I am sure you know this to be a Calumny as well as myself. Or if you pretend ignorance, pray examine our Catechisms, or Books of Instruction upon the 6th Commande. ment, and shew me one if you can that calls fornication a venial Sin, or says, it is tolerared, if not alLow'd.

As to what you add, that Fornication is reckon'd by our Church a lejs Sin in a Priest tkan Marriage, you urterly mistake the Question in supposing,

that our Priests may be truly and validly married, which we deny. For 'cis our Doctrine, that when a Priest

prca tends to marry, he only makes Marriage a Cloak to cover habitual Sacrilege and Adultery, which doubeless is more grievous, that a Sin casualy commitred with a single Person.

This is the express Doctrine of St Chryfoftom, who writes thus to one Theodore a faln Monk, that had married. Marriage ; ( says he) is a just and lawful Thing, I grant is ---- but now it is not a Thing in your Power. For being once join'd to your heavenly Spouse, to leave him, and fall into the Embraces of a Wife, is A. dultery. Give it a thousand Times if you please be Name of Marriage, I say it is as much Worse than Adultery, as God is better and greater than Womankind. ad Theod. lapsum.

G. But why was Celibacy enjoin'd to Priess ? a And why is Marriage a greater Sin than Fornica- '" tion? Because the firk is a Breach of the Command a

« AnteriorContinuar »