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- cautious minds have been enabled to approximate more or less to a consciousness of the true nature of the problem of Reform in the Italian Church.

Primitivism has fortunately been at once of slow and steady growth; but we may venture to say that it has now become a power which the Papacy already dreads, and which no farsighted Italian statesman would leave out of account in forecasting the coming issues between the Florentine Government and the Court of Rome, or the future relations of Church and State in Italy. We speak advisedly when we thus refer to the power of Primitivism rather than to the Primitive party; for, thus far, no line appears to have been formally drawn between the reforming clergy and their as yet unmoved brethren-no formal bond unites all those who are desirous of Church reform. Therefore it is scarcely correct to speak of them as a party; but rather to say that a large and steadily increasing number of the more intelligent priests and ecclesiastics more or less clearly realize the corrupt condition of their Church, more or less frankly admit the fact, and are more or less earnest in their effort to ascertain the true character of that primitive Catholicity to which they long, and, in some instances, even labor, to see their Church restored.

A fair exponent of the position and aims of this class, is L'Esaminatore. This periodical was established in Florence, in Jan. 1864, under the editorial charge of Prof. Stanislao Bianciardi, for the express purpose of being an organ for the honest examination and free discussion of just such questions as relate to the present unhappy condition, and the problem of reform, of the Italian Church. L'Esaminatore, during its first year, was issued in monthly numbers of twenty large magazine sized pages each; but since the beginning of the second year, its issues have been somewhat more frequent, and some Numbers have extended to as many as 24, 28 and 32 pages. To this journal some of the ablest theologians of North and Central Italy have contributed, occasionally over their own signatures, but sometimes in most cautious secrecy; and very many of the arguments and discussions of L'Esaminatore, could room be found for them on these pages, would

astonish our readers not only by their profound learning and dialectic ability, but with the clearness of their views of Ecclesiastical History and of divine truth.

Among those thus represented by L'Esaminatore, are to be found, of course, Priests and Ecclesiastics of every stage of advance, from those who are as yet only ready to admit the necessity of some reform, to those who are fully ready to accept the English and American branches of the Church as substantially faithful witnesses in modern times, to that Primitive Catholicity to which they wish to bring back their own. Of these we have already mentioned a few names; and some brief account of the services to this cause of Monsignori Tiboni and Liverani, of Filippo Perfetti and especially of the aged Count Ottavio Tasca, will be found in this Review for July, 1863, pages 249-257. We have not room to repeat what has already been stated; but we may add here the names also, among the laity, of Senator Siotto Pintor, Judge of the Supreme Court in Milan, Deputy Morelli of Bergamo, and Dr. Seraa-Gropelli of Turin, and, above all, that of Eusebio Reali of Sienna, all of whom have written boldly and ably in advocacy of Church Reform. To the latter of these, Reali-who was formerly a Canon of St. John Lateran at Rome,—we cannot help looking as to the future leader, at least in North Italy and among the ranks of the clergy, of this reform move

ment.

The pamphlets of these writers are circulating from hand to hand, and they are discussed among intelligent priests and the more truly devout of the laity, with ever increasing effect. Tiboni cautiously argues for the free circulation of the Bible, questions the infallibility of the Pope, comments on the position of the Gallican clergy in 1682, and sets in clear and strong contrast the Catholic Primacy of the Roman Bishop, and that arbitrary and tyrannical Supremacy which the Papacy has established. Liverani, from the advantages of his late position as Canon of Sta. Maria Maggiore, boldly discloses the disgusting moral corruption of the Roman See and Court. Perfetti, late Secretary to Cardinal Marini, eloquently points to the widening chasm between the Clergy and Society, and

pleads for such a purification of the Church as shall restore to its clergy the moral and religious influence which they ought to possess. Reali attacks the Monastic Orders, and especially the Jesuits, with a fearless decision altogether in advance of his times, insisting that these latter should be declared "an offence against civil society and punishable by the criminal law." And Count Tasca, the while, lovingly labors, by every means in his power, to set before his countrymen the example, the character, the history and the teachings of the Church of England, as those of a Church which, through God's grace and by means of a primitive and Catholic reform, has delivered her children from the evils under which Italy still groans.

Meanwhile, indeed long before the establishment of L'Esaminatore, a number of the reforming clergy and laity of Naples organized themselves into a Società Emancipatrice Cattolico, for the purpose of prosecuting their examination of these. questions, and of maturing such practical measures as might prepare the way for Church reform, and also for their own mutual protection in so doing. This Society has now for five years issued a modest four paged tri-weekly paper, entitled L'Emancipatore Cattolico under the charge of the President, the Rev. Cavaliere Don Luigi Prota: and for four years,(i. e. until last summer,) it may be said, like those of whom L'Esaminatore had been the informal organ, to have been feeling its way to the assumption of a definite position and policy.

At last, upon the 12th of June, 1865, in Vol. II. No. 6, L'Esaminatore put forth definite propositions and submitted a definite programme of Reform. In an able Article, which we should be glad to reproduce entire, that Journal depicts the growing evils of the actual state of Religion in Italy, producing both separation from and infidelity within the Church; and argues that a thorough Religious Reform of the Church. can alone arrest their spread and save the State itself from moral ruin. It urges, therefore, the formation of a general National Association, comprising clergy and laity alike, which should have such a reform for its object; and referred to the approaching execution of the Franco-Italian Convention of

Sept, 15th, bringing with it, as is generally believed, the downfall of the Temporal Power of the Papacy; as affording a divinely prepared opportunity for accomplishing this. The scheme of Reform proposed in this connection, and which is declared to be based upon "the three rules, sound Reason, the written Word of God and the Doctrines and Practice of the First Ages of the Church," is as follows:

"Our fundamental idea is the restitution of their ancient Catholic rights and duties to all Orders of the faithful, whether ecclesiastics or laymen. Therefore :

1. The laity to elect their Parish Priests, and to administer the temporal affairs of the Church.

2. The Clergy and laity to elect the Bishops, saving the rights of the Crown.

3. The Bishops and Metropolitans to have restored to them their old Diocesan and Provincial rights; their present servile dependence on the Pope and all oaths of vassalage to Rome, being abolished.

4. The Clergy to be free to marry or to live in celibacy.

5. The Holy Scriptures to be freely circulated among the laity. 6. The Church Services to be in the national tongue understood by the people.

The

7. Confession to be no longer obligatory, but voluntary. Communion in both kinds."

On the 25th of the same month-June, 1865,-Dr. Prota, in the name of the Societa Emancipatrice, published a "Memorandum" whose importance would justify its insertion in exténso, but from which we have space only for the following

extracts:

"Brother Catholics :

The Italian Nation, in the midst of which the Roman Pontificate is seated, having awakened to the new life of free political institutions and being in the act of establishing its national unity and its independence of the foreigner, feels at the same time the imperious necessity of reformation in its religion, without which the stability of its political resurrection and the consolidation of its civil liberties will always be questionable. All our great statesmen, philosophers and literary men who, by the power of their genius, foresaw the events which are being providentially fulfilled in our days, have recognized the vital importance of our reformation in religion, which is an integral portion of our national destinies, and will either fulfil them or ruin them.

Italian philosophy, from Mario Nizzolio to Rosmini, began and has completed the revolution of thought; and theology, from Thomas Aquinas to Cardinal Cusano, and from him to Gioberti, has completed

the revolution of Catholic sentiment. And, as in politics, extravagant theories of Divine right accelerated the overthrow of the crowns which, in Italy especially, adopted them, and by that means hastened the triumph of civil liberty; so too in religion, the theocracy represented in its narrow ambition, from Hildebrand to Pius IX., after the long and weary period of eight ages, has rendered a radical reformation in the ecclesiastical order of the Roman Church not only possible, but necessary, for the sake of saving, among the Italians, the deposit of the revealed faith from an entire shipwreck in the whirlpool of religious indifferentism, which follows immediately upon philosophical rationalism.

To put more clearly and distinctly the points at which our Catholic reformation aims, we think it ought to be carried out on this basis:

1. The Pope to be Bishop of Rome and Primate of the Universal Church;-an Ecumenical Council, presided over by the Pope, to be the supreme judge of questions of faith.

2. Restitution to Bishops, Archbishops and Metropolitans of their rights of jurisdiction as they possessed them up to the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh century.

3. Preservation of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy entire, and the free exercise of the votes of the Clergy and the people in the election of Bishops, Parish Priests, and even the Pontiff.

4. Church Service in the national tongue, and free circulation of the Holy Bible.

5. Sacramental Confession free on the part of the penitent, and conducted according to the Canons of the third and fourth centuries, on the part of the Priest.

6. Restoration to the Priesthood of its consultative and deliberative voice in Diocesan and Provincial Synods.

7. Abolition of compulsory Celibacy.

8. Full and entire freedom of conscience.

On these principles the Società Emancipatrice Cattolico has been at work for the four years that it has been founded, in preparing the Catholic sentiment of the Italians for religious reformation; and up to this time it has obtained the following results:

1. The foundation of twenty-four assistant Societies for the different provinces of Italy.

2. The adherence to its programme of 1823 members, viz.: Priests 971; Laymen 352; besides 340 honorary members. Among the ecclesiastics are 102 Parish Priests and 40 dignitaries. Among the laity, 3 ex-Ministers of the Kingdom of Italy, 36 Deputies to the National Parliament and 11 Senators of the Kingdom.

From the beginning of May to the present time we have increased by 400 members.

The means which we think most efficacious for attaining so important an object are, the preaching of the Gospel, the encouragement of the right-minded religious press, and mutual help of poor brethren 22

VOL. XVIII.

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