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THIS edition of a most important contribution to Catholic literature is presented to American readers by special arrangement with the publishers of the English edition, and is printed from duplicates of the English stereotype plates. The American edition has been carefully revised and corrected, and additions adapted to our own country have been made. Among other things, the present condition of the religious orders and societies in the United States is concisely described under the respective heads, and proper notice is taken of such peculiarities in discipline and ritual as prevail here. A second Appendix has been added, giving brief accounts of some of the leading religious communities, especially those flourishing in the United States, omitted from the main body of the work. No pains, in fact, have been spared to make the American edition of the CATHOLIC DICTIONARY accurate and complete in all respects.

NEW YORK, February, 1884.


THE WORK here submitted to the public is intended to meet a practical want which has long been felt among English-speaking Catholics—the want, namely, of a single trustworthy source of information on points of Catholic doctrine, ritual, and discipline. All existing English works of a similar character—such as Hook’s “Church Dictionary,” Blunt’s “Dictionary of Theology,” Blunt’s “Dictionary of Sects,” &c.—were compiled by Protestants, and it is scarcely possible to turn over ten pages in one of them without meeting with some more or less open attack upon Catholicism. To this censure the “Dictionary of Christian Antiquities,” conducted by Dr. Smith and Professor Cheetham, is not open; but the large scale of that work, and the fact of its stopping short at the age of Charlemagne, are sufficient of themselves to prevent it from meeting the need above indicated.

Their Eminences the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and Cardinal Newman have been pleased to express their approbation of the undertaking. Cardinal MANNING wrote: “I am very glad to hear that it is proposed to publish a ‘Dictionary of Catholic Theology and History.’ It will supply a great want in our English literature. Such works exist in French and German, but we have nothing worthy of the name.” Cardinal NEWMAN, after saying that such a work had been long “a desideratum in our literature,” added: “Our doctrines, rites, and history have been at the mercy of Protestant manuals, which, however ably written, and even when fair in intention, are not such as a Catholic can approve or recommend. So much have I felt the need that once, many years ago, I began such a work myself, though I was soon obliged to give over for want of leisure.”

The Rev. W. E. ADDIS, of Lower Sydenham, and THOMAS ARNOLD, Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland, have written nearly the whole work. They are indebted, however, to American contributors for a certain number of articles; to the Very Rev. Father BRIDGETT, of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, for the article “Redemptorists”; and to the Rev. S. H. SOLE, Missionary Rector of Chipping Norton, for the article “Plain Chant.” As a rule, the articles on dogma, ritual, the ancient Church, and the Oriental rites, are by Mr. ADDIS; those on mediæval and modern history, the religious orders, and canon law, by Mr. ARNOLD. Theological subjects have been regarded chiefly from an historical and critical point of view, and questions of School theology avoided as far as possible. In almost every case the quotations of Scripture are made from the original texts, and not from the Latin Vulgate.

In conclusion, the Authors offer their best thanks to many kind friends who have helped and encouraged them in their labour. Their gratitude is due in a very special degree to the Rev. Father KEOGH, of the London Oratory. The office of Censor which he undertook was in itself a tedious one, but besides this, and on points which did not concern him in his official capacity, he furnished the writers with many valuable suggestions and corrections. At the same time it is right to add that the “Nihil obstat” appended by him certifies indeed that the limits of Catholic orthodoxy have been observed, but by no means implies the Censor’s personal agreement or sympathy with many of the opinions expressed.

November 3, 1883.


ABBESS, from Abbatissa. The superior of a community of nuns, in those orders in which convents of monks are governed by abbots. The dignity of an abbess cannot be traced back so far as that of abbot; it appears to have been first regularly instituted about 591, in the time of Pope Gregory the Great. Regulations touching their election, powers, and rights were gradually framed, and incorporated in the canon law. The electors must, as a general rule, be professed nuns. The age at which a nun can be elected abbess has been variously determined at different times; finally the Council of Trent fixed it at not less than forty years, of which eight should have been passed in the same monastery. The voting is secret; generally a simple majority of votes is sufficient for a valid election, but in the convents depending on Monte Cassino a majority of two-thirds is required. In the case of a doubtful election, the ordinary intervenes, and selects the nun whom he may think most suitable for the office. The benediction of an abbess, a rite generally but not always necessary, may be performed by the bishop on any day of the week. When elected, the abbess has a right to the ring and staff, as in the case of abbots, and to have the abbatial cross borne before her. In certain orders where there were usually double monasteries, one for monks the other for nuns, as in the Brigittines and the order of Fontevrault, the monks were bound to obey the abbess of the related nunnery. An abbess, moreover, could, and often did, possess and exercise large ecclesiastical patronage, subject to the approval of the ordinary. These powers are included within that capacity of ruling and possessing property which every truly civilised state has recognised in woman no less than in man; but when the power of the keys, or even any exercise of authority bordering on that power, is in question, the abbess is no more than any other woman. Thus she cannot, without the bishop’s sanction, choose confessors either for herself or for her nuns; nor can she dispense a nun from the obligations of the rule of her own authority, nor suspend nor dismiss her.

ABBEY. A monastery governed by an abbot. [See ABBOT.]

ABBOT. The “father” or superior of a community of men living under vows and according to a particular rule. The transference of the idea of fatherhood to the relation between the head of a congregation or a religious community and his subjects is so natural that already in the apostolic times we find St. Paul reminding the Corinthians that they had not many fathers in Christ (“for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you,” &c.), notwithstanding the apparent prohibition in the gospel of St. Matthew. But it was customary to call bishops by the Greek word for father; hence the corresponding designation for the head of a community of monks was taken, to avoid confusion, from the Chaldaic form (abba, abbas) of the word which means “father” in the Semitic languages. In a paper of extraordinary research, but more learned than lucid, contributed by the late Mr. Haddan to the “Dictionary of Christian Antiquities,” at least a dozen transitory uses of the word Abbot, in ancient times alone, are enumerated. But these are of little or no importance. The true Abbot, being a natural outgrowth of the Christian doctrine and spirit, comes into sight in the third century, and still fulfils—though under a variety of designations—his original function in the nineteenth. The name imports the rule of others, but as the essential foundation for such rule it implies the mastery of self. The monk was before the abbot. Eusebius has no mention of monks as such in his “Ecclesiastical History;” but when he tells us of persons, male or female, living austere lives and aiming at perfection, when he notes that Narcissus, bishop of Jerusalem at the end of the second century, retired into the desert on account of difficulties arising in his diocese, and lived there for many years as a solitary contemplative, we see already the germs of the monastic life. St. Antony (250–355) is usually regarded as the patriarch of the monks. But if we hear much in his later years of the numbers and the reverent devotion of his disciples, we know that for twenty years after his first quitting the world he lived in nearly absolute solitude, conversing with God and taming his own spirit. The clamours of persons desiring to see him and ask counsel of him forced him at last from his cell; and he, who in conflict with his own lower nature or with evil spirits had attained an unwonted spiritual strength and a vast breadth of spiritual experience, consented now to take upon him the direction of a number of men of weaker will and less regulated mind. If he was to do them any good, they must place themselves in his hands, and do exactly what he bade them. That mastery of the passions, and subjugation of the natural man under the yoke of reason, which he, aided by the Holy Spirit, had worked out for himself, they, following his directions, must win through him. Hence we find the principle of unquestioning obedience—what Gibbon calls the “slavish” spirit of the monks—laid down from the first. St. Pœmen, a famous Egyptian abbot of the fourth century, said to his disciples, “Never seek to do your own will, but rather rejoice to overcome it, and humble yourselves by doing the will of others.” And, “Nothing gives so much pleasure to the enemy as when a person will not discover his temptations to his superior or director.” Induced partly, no doubt, by the confusions and oppressions of the empire, but chiefly by the haunting thirst to know the secret of the perfect life, and solve the riddle of existence, great numbers of men towards the end of the fourth century sought the deserts that hem in the valley of Egypt, and were formed into monastic communities under abbots. Great captains of the spiritual life arose, such as Pachomius, Hilarion, Pambo, and Macarius. Speaking of the effect produced by Antony in Egypt even in his lifetime, St. Athanasius says: “Among the mountains there were monasteries as if tabernacles filled with divine choirs, singing, studying, fasting, praying, exulting in the hope of things to come, and working for almsdeeds, having love and harmony one towards another.” For full information on these “fathers of the desert,” the reader should consult the celebrated work of the Jesuit Rosweide, “Vitæ Patrum.”

The status of these early abbots, as of the monks whom they governed, was a lay status. In the great monastic colonies of Palestine and Egypt, each containing several hundreds of monks, there would be but one or two priests, admitted in order to the celebration of the divine worship. But the proportion of ordained monks gradually increased, the bishops being generally glad to confer orders upon men, most of whom were of proved virtue. For abbots ordination before long became the rule: yet even in the ninth century we read of abbots who were only deacons, and a Council of Poitiers in 1078 is still obliged to make a canon enjoining upon all abbots, on pain of deprivation, the reception of priests’ orders. The original lay character here referred to must of course not be confounded with the status of those profane intruders described by Beda in his letter to Egbert, archbishop of York, who were rich laymen pretending to found monasteries for the sake of obtaining the exemption from civil burdens which monastic lands enjoyed, and could only be called pseudo-abbots.

The election of an abbot originally rested with the monks, according to the rule “Fratres eligant sibi abbatem.” We meet, indeed, with many cases of episcopal intervention in elections, but the right of the monks is solemnly recognised in the body of the canon law. In the West, as the endowments of monasteries increased, temporal princes and lords usurped the right of appointing abbots in the larger monasteries, no less than of nominating bishops to the sees; the mediæval history of Europe is full of stories of disputes thence arising. [See INVESTITURE.] At the Council of Worms in 1122 Pope Calixtus obtained from the emperor the renunciation of the claim to invest with ring and crosier the persons nominated to ecclesiastical dignities. The first article of Magna Charta (1215) provides that the English Church shall be free: by which, among other things, the right of monks to choose their own abbots was understood to be conceded. Practically, the patronage of the larger English abbeys for two centuries before the Reformation was divided by a kind of amicable arrangement between the Pope and the king.

St. Benedict (480–543), the patriarch of Western monachism, allows in his rule (which from its greater elasticity superseded other rules which were for a time in competition with it; see RULE of St. Benedict, of St. Columbanus, &c.) a large discretion to the abbots of his convents, who were to modify many things in accordance with the exigences of climate and national customs. Such modifications led of course in time to relaxation, the reaction against which led to reforms. A curious report of the discussion between the monks of Molesme and their abbot Robert (1075), who wished to restore among them the full observance of the rule of St. Benedict, may be read in the eighth book of Ordericus Vitalis. Not prevailing, St. Robert, with twelve companions, left Molesme and founded Citeaux, under a reformed observance. [CISTERCIAN ORDER.]

The privileges of abbots grew to be very extensive. They obtained many episcopal rights, among others that of conferring minor orders on their monks. A practice which had arisen, by which abbots exempt from episcopal jurisdiction [EXEMPTION] claimed to confer minor orders even on seculars, was condemned by the Council of Trent. The use of mitre, crosier and ring was accorded to the abbots of great monasteries; these mitred abbots were named abbates infulati. In England mitred abbots had seats in Parliament: twenty-eight, with two Augustinian priors, are said to have sat in the Parliament immediately preceding the dissolution of monasteries. On the curious exemption, noticed by Beda, in virtue of which the abbots of Iona exercised a quasi-episcopal jurisdiction in the west of Scotland and the Hebrides, see IONA.

The name of abbé, abate, has come to be assumed by a class of unbeneficed secular clerks in France and Italy, apparently in the following manner. The practice by which laymen held abbeys in commendam—commenced in troubled times in order that powerful protectors might be found for the monks, and might have inducements to exercise that protection—grew by degrees into a scandalous abuse. Young men of noble families were nominated to abbeys, and could enjoy their revenues, long before they could take priests’ orders; they were not bound to residence; and under Louis XIV. and Louis XV., many of these abbés commendataires never saw the abbeys of which they were the titular rulers. The possibility of winning such prizes drew many cadets of noble families, who had only just taken the tonsure, to Versailles; those who had succeeded in obtaining nominations still fluttered about the Court, not being bound to residence; and the name Abbé, which was really, though abusively, applicable to these, came to be applied in social parlance to the aspirants also, whom no external signs distinguished from the real abbés. By a further extension, the name came to be applied as a title of courtesy to unbeneficed clerks generally; just as in England the title “esquire,” which is properly applicable only to persons entitled to bear arms, is extended by the courtesy of society to anyone who, as far as outward marks go, seems entitled to take the same social rank.

Benedictine abbeys, following the general Oriental rule, have always been independent of each other in government; but an honorary superiority was accorded in the middle ages to the abbot of the mother house at Monte Cassino; he was styled abbas abbatum. In other orders various names have replaced that of “abbot;” the head of a Franciscan friary is a “guardianus,” that of a Dominican convent a “prior,” that of a Jesuit house a “rector.” There is a prior also in Benedictine convents [PRIOR], but his normal position is that of lieutenant to the abbot; sometimes, however, he is almost practically independent as the head of a priory, a cell founded by monks migrating from some abbey.

The duties of an abbot in early times may be learned from Rosweide; somewhat later, and in the West, they were defined with great clearness and wisdom in the rule of St Benedict. A deeply interesting sketch of the manner of life of an English abbot in the seventh century is preserved for us in Beda’s “Lives of the Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow.” Even more trying was his work in the twelfth century, as we know from the narration by Jocelyn de Brakelonde of the government of the abbot Samson at Bury St. Edmunds; with which may be read the striking, and on the whole appreciative, commentary of Mr. Carlyle.

The name corresponding to Abbot in the Greek Church is Archimandrita, or Hegumenos.

ABBREVIATORS. The name given to a class of notaries or secretaries employed in the papal chancery. They are first met with about the beginning of the fourteenth century; were abolished in the fifteenth, but afterwards restored. They are generally prelates, and the office is considered one of great dignity and importance. It is not incompatible with Church preferment. The name arose from this, that the abbreviator made a short minute of the decision on a petition, or reply to a letter, given by the Pope, and afterwards expanded the minute into official form. (Ferraris.)

ABJURATION OF HERESY. This is required in the canon law as a preliminary to baptism, or, when there is no question of that (as in the case of converts from the Eastern Church), before the convert makes his confession of faith. There are decrees of several councils to this effect: thus the Council of Laodicea (about 364) ordains that Novatian and Photinian heretics, “whether they be baptised persons or catechumens, shall not be received before they have anathematised all heresies, especially that in which they were held.” A celebrated instance of abjuration is that of Clovis (496), to whom St. Remy said before baptising him, “Meekly bow down thy head, Sicambrian; adore what thou hast burnt, and burn what thou hast adored.” An early German council requires the Saxon converts to renounce belief in “Thor and Woden and Saxon Odin” before being received into the Church.

Ferraris sums up the canonical requirements in the matter of abjuration as follows:—that it should be done without delay; that it should be voluntary; that it should be done with whatever degree of publicity the bishop of the place might think necessary; and that the abjuring person should make condign satisfaction in the form of penance.

The modern discipline insists mainly on the positive part, the profession of the true faith. Thus in the Ritual of Strasburg (1742) the abjuration required is merely general: “Is it your firm purpose to renounce in heart and mind all the errors which it [the Catholic religion] condemns?” In English-speaking countries the abjuration is, so to speak, taken for granted in ordinary cases, since converts are not admitted into the Church except after suitable instruction, and the Creed of Pope Pius IV., which everyone desiring to become a Catholic must read and accept, expressly denounces most of those errors which infect the religious atmosphere of this country.

ABLUTION. A name given, in the rubrics of the Mass, to the water and wine, with which the priest who celebrates Mass washes his thumb and index-finger after communion. When he has consumed the precious blood, the priest purifies the chalice [see PURIFICATION]: he then, saying in a low voice a short prayer prescribed by the Church, holds his thumb and index-finger, which have touched the Blessed Sacrament and may have some particle of it adhering to them, over the chalice, while the server pours wine and water upon them. He then drinks the ablution and dries his lips and the chalice with the mundatory. This ceremony witnesses to the reverence with which the Church regards the body and blood of Christ, and to her anxiety that none of that heavenly food should be lost. It is impossible to say when this rite was introduced, but we are told of the pious Emperor Henry II., who lived at the beginning of the eleventh century, that he used when hearing mass to beg for the ablution and to receive it with great devotion. This ablution is mentioned by St. Thomas and Durandus. The former, however, gives no reason to suppose that it was consumed by the priest, and the latter expressly says that the ablution used formerly to be poured into a clean place. (Benedict XIV. “De Missa,” III. xxi. C.)


ABRAXAS, Ἀβράξας or Ἀβρασάξ. A magical word used by the Basilidians, a Gnostic sect. They believed in the existence of 365 heavens, over which Abraxas presided, the numeral value of the Greek letters which composed the word being 365. Many gems still exist with this word inscribed on them. An account of them and of the immense literature to which they have given occasion, will be found in Kraus’ “Archæological Dictionary,” under Abraxas.

ABSOLUTION. Classical authors use the Latin word absolutio (literally, unbinding or unloosing) to signify acquittal from a criminal charge, and ecclesiastical writers have adopted the term, employing it to denote a setting free from crime or penalty. But, as crime and its penalties are regarded even by the Church from very different points of view, “absolution” in its ecclesiastical use bears several senses, which it is important to distinguish from each other.

I. Absolution from Sin is a remission of sin which the priest, by authority received from Christ, makes in the Sacrament of Penance. It is not a mere announcement of the gospel, or a bare declaration that God will pardon the sins of those who repent, but as the Council of Trent defines (sess. XIV. can. 9), it is a judicial act by which a priest as judge passes sentence on the penitent.

With regard to absolution thus understood, it is to be observed, first, that it can be given by none but priests, since to them alone has Christ committed the necessary power; and, secondly, that since absolution is a judicial sentence, the priest must have authority or jurisdiction over the person absolved. The need of jurisdiction, in order that the absolution may be valid, is an article of faith defined at Trent (sess. xiv. cap. 7), and it follows from the very nature of absolution as defined above, since the reason of things requires that a judge should not pass sentence except on one who is placed under him, as the subject of his court. This jurisdiction may be ordinary—i.e. it may flow from the office which the confessor holds; or delegated—i.e. it may be given to the confessor by one who has ordinary jurisdiction with power to confer it on others, as his delegates. Thus a bishop has ordinary jurisdiction over seculars, and religious who are not exempt, in his diocese, and within its limits he can delegate jurisdiction to priests secular or regular. Again, the prelates of religious orders exempt from the authority of the bishop have jurisdiction more or less ample within their own order, and they can absolve, or delegate power to absolve, the members of the order who are subject to them; nor is it possible, ordinarily speaking, for the bishop, or a priest who has his powers from the bishop only, to absolve such religious. Moreover, a bishop or a prelate of a religious order, in conferring power to absolve his subjects, may reserve the absolution of certain sins to himself. [See RESERVES.] The Church, however, supplies all priests with power to absolve persons in danger of death, at least if they cannot obtain a priest with the usual “faculties” or powers to absolve.

Thirdly, absolution must be given in words which express the efficacy of absolution, viz., forgiveness of sin. The Roman Ritual prescribes the form “I absolve thee from thy sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Beyond all doubt, the form “I absolve thee from thy sins” would suffice for the validity of the sacrament. But would a precatory form avail—such for example as, “May Jesus Christ absolve thee from thy sins”? The affirmative has been maintained by the celebrated critic Morinus, while Tourneley and many others have followed his opinion. It is certain that a form of absolution purely precatory does not suffice for the validity of the Sacrament of Penance. In the institution of this sacrament our Lord did not say to His Apostles, “Whose sins you shall ask to be absolved, shall be absolved,” but he instituted as the form of the sacrament, “Whose sins ye shall forgive, they are forgiven them.” These words show that the minister of the Sacrament of Penance does not pray for the absolution of the penitent, but pronounces the absolution, as a judicial sentence, as one having judicial authority. In favor of this opinion we have the authority of the Councils of Florence and Trent, both of which defined the form of the Sacrament of Penance to be, “I absolve thee from thy sins,” adding that the prayers preceding or following these words are not of the essence of the form. It would seem from this that these councils defined the indicative form as essential for the validity of the sacrament. In addition to this, it might be said that as the Sacrament of Penance has the nature of a court, the minister ought to pronounce his sentence as a judge; but if the purely precatory form is used, his sentence does not wear this character.

The absolution as used in the Greek Church being precatory only in the sound of the words and indicative in sense, was probably valid. But, since the decision of Clement VIII. in his brief of 1595 to the Eastern Church, the precatory form is no longer lawful. He required the Greeks to follow the decision of the Council of Florence to which we have alluded, and employ the indicative and purely judicial form.

Lastly, the form of absolution must be uttered by the priest himself in the presence of the person absolved. This follows as a necessary consequence from the nature of the form of absolution sanctioned by the perpetual tradition of the Church; for the very words, “I absolve thee,” imply the presence of the penitent. [See PENANCE, SACRAMENT OF.]

II. Absolution from censures merely removes penalties imposed by the Church, and reconciles the offender with her. [See CENSURES.] It may be given either in the confessional or apart altogether from the Sacrament of Penance, in the external forum—i.e. in the courts of the church. It may proceed from any cleric, even from one who has received the tonsure only, without ordination, provided he is invested with the requisite jurisdiction. This jurisdiction resides, in the case of censures imposed by an individual authority through a special sentence, in the ecclesiastic who inflicted the censure, in his superior, in his successors, and in those to whom competent authority has delegated power of absolution. For example, if a bishop has placed a subject of his under censure, absolution may be obtained (1) from the bishop himself, (2) from a succeeding bishop, (3) from the metropolitan, in certain cases where an appeal can be made to him, or if he is visiting the diocese of his suffragan ex officio, (4) from any cleric deputed by one of the above. With regard to censures attached to certain crimes by the general law of the Church, unless they are specially reserved to the Pope or the bishop, any confessor can absolve from them; and this is generally considered to hold good also of censures inflicted by the general (as opposed to a particular) sentence of a superior. Again, it is not necessary that the person absolved from censure should be present, or contrite, or even that he should be living. As the effects of censures may continue, so they may be removed after death. Excommunication, for instance, deprives the excommunicated person of Christian burial. It may happen that he desired but was unable to obtain remission of the penalty during life, and in this case he may be absolved after his soul has left the body, and so receive Catholic burial and a share in the prayers of the Church.

III. Absolution for the dead (pro defunctis). A short form, imploring eternal rest and so indirectly remission of the penalties of sin, said after a funeral Mass over the body of the dead person, before it is removed from the church.

IV. Absolutions in the Breviary. Certain short prayers said before the lessons in matins and before the chapter at the end of prime. Some of these prayers express or imply petition for forgiveness of sin, and this circumstance probably explains the origin of the name Absolution which has been given to such prayers or blessings.

ABSTINENCE, in its restricted and special sense, denotes the depriving ourselves of certain kinds of food and drink in a rational way and for the good of the soul. On a fasting-day, the Church requires us to limit the quantity, as well as the kind, of our food; on an abstinence-day, the limit imposed affects only the nature of the food we take. The definition given excludes three possible misconceptions of the Church’s law on this point. First, the Church does not forbid certain kinds of food on the ground that they are impure, either in themselves or if taken on particular days. On the contrary, she holds with St. Paul that “every creature of God is good,” and has repeatedly condemned the Gnostic and Manichean error, which counted flesh and wine evil. Next, the abstinence required is a reasonable one, and is not, therefore, exacted from those whom it would injure in health or incapacitate for their ordinary duties. Thirdly, Catholic abstinence is a means, not an end. Abstinence, says St. Thomas, pertains to the kingdom of God only so far “as it proceeds from faith and love of God.”

But how does abstinence from flesh-meat promote the soul’s health? The answer is, that it enables us to subdue our flesh and so to imitate St. Paul’s example, who “chastised his body and brought it into subjection.” The perpetual tradidition of the Church is clear beyond possibility of mistake on this matter, and from the earliest times, the Christians at certain seasons denied themselves flesh and wine, or even restricted themselves to bread and water. Moreover, by abstaining from flesh, we give up what is, on the whole, the most pleasant as well as the most nourishing food, and so make satisfaction for the temporal punishment, due to sin even when its guilt has been forgiven. [See also FASTING and SATISFACTION.]

The abstinence (as distinct from fasting) days in the U. S. are all Fridays, except that on which Christmas may fall, the Sundays in Lent, except when the obligation of abstinence is dispensed, and all Saturdays, though these are exempted by a papal dispensation renewed every twenty years. But Saturdays in. Lent, in Ember week, and vigils falling on Saturday, are not exempted.

It may be of some interest, in conclusion, to trace the history in the Church of abstinence as distinct from fasting. Abstinence-days were observed from ancient times by the monks. Thus Cassian tells us that in the monasteries of Egypt, great care was taken that no one should fast between Easter and Pentecost, but he adds that the “quality of food” was unchanged. In other words, the religious fasted all the year, except on Sundays and the days between Easter and Pentecost. These they observed as days of abstinence. Again, it is certain that the faithful generally did not, and, indeed, could not, fast on Sundays in Lent, for the early Church strongly discouraged fasting on that day; but it is also certain that they did abstain on the Sundays in Lent. For, during the whole of that season, says St. Basil, “no animal has to suffer death, no blood flows.” We learn incidentally from Theophanes and Nicephorus, that no meat was exposed during Lent in the markets of Constantinople. The Sundays, then, in Lent were kept in the ancient Church as days of abstinence. With regard to the abstinence-days of weekly occurrence, Thomassin shows that Wednesday and Friday have been from ancient times observed in the East, not only as abstinence, but as fasting-days. Clement VIII., in 1595, in laying down rules for Catholic Greeks under Latin bishops, excuses them from some of the Latin fasts, on the ground that, unlike the Latins, they fasted every Wednesday and Friday. Thomassin illustrates the custom of the West, by quoting a number of statutes, &c., prescribing sometimes abstinence from flesh, sometimes fasting and abstinence, on Friday. His earliest authority is Nicolas I. (858–867), and he concludes, “even after the year 1400, the Saturday abstinence was rather voluntary than of obligation among the laity; but the Friday abstinence had long since passed into a law. I say abstinence, for, in spite of efforts made, the fast was never well established.” (See Thomassin, “Traité des Jeûnes,” from which the foregoing historical sketch is taken.)

ABYSSINIAN or ETHIOPIAN CHURCH. Tradition relates that the officer of Candace, Queen of Ethiopia, whom Philip the Deacon met and converted near Gaza, on his return home spread the Christian faith among the peoples dwelling on the Upper Nile. But if this were so, the seed then planted must have withered away, for in the middle of the fourth century—when the narrative of Rufinus in his “Ecclesiastical History,” casts a strong light for us on Abyssinian affairs—the zeal of Athanasius appears to have raised up a church in an absolutely heathen land. Frumentius of Tyre, the apostle of Abyssinia, first visited the country, when a mere youth, in 316; his uncle, with whom he travelled, was murdered by the natives: he was himself brought up as a slave in the court of Axum; but his virtue and intelligence led to his being enfranchised; and in his person Christianity, to which he had strictly adhered, appeared attractive. Repairing to St. Athanasius, then recently raised to the patriarchal chair of Alexandria, Frumentius was consecrated by him the first bishop of his adopted country. When he returned, the king and his people willingly received baptism. He chose Axum for his see; and this place remains to this day the official centre of Abyssinian Christianity. As the work of conversion proceeded, this see became the residence of a Metropolitan (abuna, father), having under him seven suffragans. The name and rank of “Abuna” are still retained, but the seven suffragans have disappeared.

The bright promise of this commencement was soon overclouded. An effort, indeed, of Constantius to introduce Arianism failed; but when, in the fifth century, Alexandria, along with the majority of the Eastern churches, rejected the decrees of Chalcedon, and the patriarchate became Monophysite, the Abyssinians followed in the wake of their mother church, and they have never unanimously, or for long together, shaken off the heresy down to this day. In the sixth century the country was the object of a religious rivalry between Justinian and the Empress Theodora, the former wishing to attach it to the Roman Church, the latter to preserve it for her Monophysite friends at Alexandria. The empress, aided by the popular sympathies, prevailed; and the Abyssinian church, cut off from true Catholic communion, and severed from the chair of Peter, became in the course of ages the strange, unprogressive, semi-pagan institution which modern travellers have described. Thus, although never persecuted for the faith like the Irish and the Poles, the Abyssinians allowed its lustre to be tarnished and its moral fruits to pine and wither, through casting off that vitalising communion with the Holy See which has kept alive the Irish and Polish nationalities in the face of secular persecution.

In the seventeenth century, Abyssinia having been almost an unknown land to Europe for a thousand years, it was entered by Portuguese Jesuits, whose preaching was attended for a time by marked success. Two emperors in succession became Catholics; a Jesuit was nominated patriarch of Œthiopia, and an outward reconciliation with Rome was effected. But the masses of the people remained uninfluenced, and their hearts still yearned towards Egypt; the patriarch Mendez is said to have acted imprudently in attempting to abolish the rite of circumcision; the second Catholic emperor died, and his son expelled the Jesuits, and restored the connection with Alexandria. After a long interval of exclusion, Catholic missionaries have again entered Abyssinia in our days, and flourishing congregations have been formed in the northern and north-eastern districts, near Massowah. In 1875, Monsignor Touvier, stationed at Keren, was Vicar Apostolic of the whole country. About that time missioners were sent into Amhara, the most important province, with the best results. “The sending of missioners into Amhara,” wrote M. Duflos, in June 1875, “so often criticised, is now justified by the immense results which it produced.”

The Abuna, or head of the Abyssinian church, is always an Egyptian monk, nominated by the patriarch of Egypt. The cross is held in honour by the Abyssinians, but the use of the crucifix is unknown. They tolerate paintings in their churches, but no sculptured figures. Their priests can marry once only, as in the Greek church. There is considerable devotion to the Blessed Virgin, but, along with this and other Christian characteristics, various superstitious beliefs and practices are rife among them, to the great detriment of their morals and intellectual advancement.


ACCLAMATION. The elevation to an ecclesiastical dignity by the unanimous voice of the electors, without voting. This is one of the three modes in which a Pope may be elected, and the election is said to be per inspirationem, because “all the Cardinals, with a sudden and harmonious consent, as though breathed on by the Divine Spirit, proclaim some person Pontiff with one voice, without any previous canvassing or negotiation, whence fraud or insidious suggestion could be surmised.” (Vecchiotti, “Inst. Can.” ii. 10.)

ACCOMMODATED SENSE. If we quote Scripture to prove a point of doctrine, we must of course try to ascertain the precise meaning of the sacred writer, and then argue from the proper sense of his words. We may, however, take the words of Scripture and make an application of them which was not originally intended. In other words we may accommodate the sense to the needs of our own discourse or the subject we wish to illustrate. Thus when Baronius said of his unaided labour in compiling his ecclesiastical Annals, “I have trodden the wine-press alone,” he used the words of Isaias in an accommodated sense. This practice is innocent in itself, as is shown by the example of our Lord (Matt. 4:4), and of St. Paul (Acts 25:25–28), and is frequently adopted by the Church in the Missal and Breviary.

ACEPHALI. In the year 482 the Greek emperor Zeno issued his “Henoticon,” in order to reunite the Monophysites with the Church. The heretical leaders—e.g. Peter Mongus, Patriarch of Alexandria—were ready to accept the emperor’s terms, but many of the heretics were more obstinate, and so were nicknamed “headless” (ἀκέφαλοι).

ACŒMETI (sleepless). A name given to Eastern monks who maintained perpetual prayer, day and night. Each monastery was divided into three or more choirs, which relieved each other. This institute is said to have been introduced by Abbot Alexander, in a monastery on the Euphrates, at the beginning of the fifth century; but their most famous house was that of Studium, in Constantinople. It was founded and endowed by the Roman Studius, from whom it took its name. In 533 the Acœmeti attacked a formula used by other monks—”One of the Trinity Suffered in the flesh”—and tried to procure its condemnation by the Holy See. In this they failed; they themselves fell into Nestorianism, and the formula was approved by Pope John II., and under anathema by the Fifth General Council.

ACOLYTE, from ἀκολουθέω, to follow; and here, to follow as a server or ministrant: a name given to the highest of the four minor orders. It is the duty of the acolyte to supply wine and water and to carry the lights at the Mass; and the bishop ordains him for these functions by putting the cruets and a candle into his hand, accompanying the action with words indicating the nature of the office conferred. The order of Acolyte is mentioned along with the others by Pope Cornelius in the middle of the third century. Their ordination is mentioned in an ancient collection of canons commonly, though wrongly, attributed to the Fourth Council of Carthage. The functions of acolytes are now freely performed by laymen, though the order is still always received by those who aspire to the priesthood.

ACTION. (1.) A word used for the Canon of the Mass. Thus infra actienem, in the rubrics of the Missal, means “within the Canon.” Probably, the literal sense of “action” in this case is office or ministry.

(2.) The treatment of a particular subject in the session of a council. (Kraus, “Archæol. Dict.”)

ACTS OF THE MARTYRS. “Acta” is technically used in Latin (1) for the proceedings in a court of justice, and (2) for the official record of such proceedings, including the preliminaries of the trial, the actions and speeches of the contending parties, the sentence of the judge; which last, when it had been committed to the Acta, was proclaimed aloud by the public crier. “Acta martyrum,” then, in its strict and original sense, meant the official and registered account of a martyr’s trial and sentence. Naturally enough, the early Christians were anxious to possess these accurate narratives of the witness which their brethren made to the truth of the Christian religion. In some cases, as appears from the Acta of St. Tarachus in Ruinart, they were able by means of a bribe to get a copy of the official document. This, however, could not always be done, and the want was supplied sometimes by accounts of his trial written by the martyr himself and supplemented with the history of his “passion” or suffering from the hands of those who had witnessed it; sometimes by accounts which proceeded entirely from friends of the martyr; sometimes, lastly (as in the Roman Church), notaries were appointed for the special purpose of setting down the incidents of the martyrdom in documents meant for public use in the Church. Thus the expression “Acta martyrum” came to be used in a more extended sense for any account of a martyr’s confession and death.

A vast number of original acts perished in the year 303, when Diocletian by an imperial edict required Christians to deliver up to the magistrates their sacred books and books in ecclesiastical use. After the persecution of Diocletian was over, Eusebius of Cæsarea made two collections of the Acts of Martyrs. One of them, entitled τῶν ἀρχαιῶν μαρτυρίων συναγωγή, a general Collection of the Acts of Martyrs, has perished; the other, “On the Martyrs of Palestine,” still survives as an appendix to the eighth book of his Church History. In the ninth century the Church of Constantinople possessed a great collection of the Acts of the Martyrs in twelve volumes, and this probably formed the basis of the legends of saints and martyrs compiled by Simeon Metaphrastes (about 900). In the West, the most famous collection of the Lives of saints and martyrs was the “Legenda Aurea” of Jacobus de Voragine (died 1298).

It is scarcely necessary to say that the value of the extant Acts of the Martyrs varies very much. Some, like the Acts of the Martyrdoms of St. Ignatius and of St. Polycarp, rank among the purest sources of ecclesiastical history. In other cases the original Acts have been interpolated in such a manner that it is hard to distinguish the basis of historical fact from the structure of legend and fable which has been raised upon it. The Acts of St. Cæcilia furnish a striking instance of Acts which exhibit this mixed character. Other Acta again, like many of those compiled by Metaphrastes, possess little or no historical value. After the Renaissance, criticism set itself to distinguish what was ancient from that which was comparatively modern in the current Acts of the Martyrs, and in 1689 the learned Ruinart, a Benedictine of the congregation of St. Maur, published in a folio volume the “Acta sincera martyrum” (“Pure Acts of the Martyrs”), a work which can scarcely be surpassed in honest and accurate scholarship. In 1748, Stephen Assemanni, a Maronite, issued his “Acta SS. martyrum orientalium et occidentalium,” in two volumes folio. It includes the history of the martyrdoms east and west of the Tigris. [See also BOLLANDISTS.]

ADAM, the first man. The Hebrew word, which probably means earth-born is used for man in general and also, as a proper name, for the first man. It is in the latter of these two senses that the word is taken here. Adam was formed from “the slime of the earth” by God, who “breathed into his face the breath of life and made him to his own image and likeness.” From him all mankind are descended. So far all is clear. But there are great differences, with regard to the state in which Adam was created, between the teaching of Catholic and Protestant theologians, and, unless the doctrine of the Church with reference to the state of Adam in Paradise is clearly apprehended, it is impossible to understand many other parts of the Church’s dogmatic system. We must begin by distinguishing between the gifts bestowed on him in the order of nature and in that of grace.

In the order of nature, Adam received from God human nature, including its constituent principles and all which flows from them or is due to them. Thus, as a man, he possessed reason and free will; he could know God as the Author of the world, if he chose to make a right use of his reason, and love Him with his will as the giver of natural good. God might have left man thus, without conferring any higher gift, for it would not have been unjust to create man for a state of “pure nature.” So created, he would have been subject to disease, suffering and death, to ignorance and to the rebellion of the appetites. He would have been destitute of grace, and could never have hoped for the happiness of heaven. But, at the same time, he would have had the ordinary help of God’s providence to assist him in avoiding sin and doing his duty; and if faithful to the natural law, he would have had his reward, in knowing God eternally, so far as He can be known by reason, and in union with Him by love.

Such a state was possible. But as a matter of fact, God poured into the soul of Adam, while he was in Paradise, a boon which transcends all nature—that of sanctifying grace. He was able to believe in God as He is known by the light of faith, to hope that he would see Him after this life face to face, and to love Him with supernatural charity. Further, this fullness of the gifts of grace affected his natural powers. As grace subjected his soul to God, so the body in its turn was subject to the soul. The body could neither suffer nor die; the lower appetite could not rebel against the reason. He had, moreover, that full knowledge of things human and divine which beseemed him, as the head of the human race.

The Scriptural account of the fall is in striking harmony with the Catholic doctrine on original justice. Our temptations come very often from within; in Adam and Eve, because their appetites were in perfect subjection, such temptation was impossible. The Serpent tempted Eve, and Eve Adam, to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that they might “become as gods.” By the rebellion, Adam lost that sanctifying grace which made him the friend of God. He also forfeited that “integrity of nature,” as theologians call it, which flowed from original justice, and thus his body passed under the yoke of suffering and death; the flesh became a constant incentive to sin. He still preserved reason and free will, was still capable of natural virtue and even of corresponding to the grace of repentance; but just as the effects of the grace in which he had been constituted at first overflowed on his natural faculties, so now the fall from grace darkened his intellect and weakened his will.

Adam was the representative of the human race. If he had persevered in obedience, his descendants would have inherited from him, along with human nature, original justice and the virtues annexed to it. As it is, men come into the world destitute of grace, and so unable to attain the end for which they were created; while their very nature is wounded and impaired through the fall of their first parent. It is heresy, however, to hold, with Calvin and the other Reformers, that even fallen man is wholly evil. It is grace, not nature, which he has lost, and in his degradation he still keeps reason and free will; he is still capable of natural good. [See CONCUPISCENCE and ORIGINAL SIN.]

ADAMITES. (1.) An obscure Gnostic sect, said to have been founded by Prodicus, son of Carpocrates, in the second century. They are alleged to have met together without clothes and abandoned themselves to horrible immorality.

(2.) A fanatical sect of the middle ages. Their leader, who called himself Adam, was a Frenchman whose real name was Picard (he may perhaps have come from Picardy). From France they spread through Holland and Germany, but had their chief settlement in Bohemia, where they flourished at the time of the Hussite troubles. They were annihilated with frightful severity by Ziska in 1421. They recommended their followers to go naked, and gave unrestrained licence to sensuality.

ADOPTION. The Roman law held, that by adoption a civil or legal kindred was established between the parties, which in many respects had the same effects as natural kindred. To this as a general principle the canon law adhered. But since, in proportion to the degree in which the adoptive was assimilated to the real relationship, impediments to marriage were multiplied, it became necessary in the interest of Christian society to restrict the effects of adoption within reasonable limits. So intricate a subject cannot be fully treated here, but the outlines of the compromise which the canonists ultimately acquiesced in may be briefly stated.

The Roman law made void a marriage between, 1. the adoptive father and his adopted daughter; 2. the adopted children and the natural children of the same parent; 3. the adoptive father and the adopted son and the widows of these two respectively. In the first two cases the impediment to marriage was legal consanguinity; in the third, legal affinity. The canon law has affirmed the impediment in the first and in the third case. A Catholic may not marry his adopted daughter, nor the widow of his adoptive father. In the second case the impediment only exists so long as the adopted child and the child by blood, or either of them, remain in the father’s power; that power being withdrawn, by death or otherwise, the impediment ceases (See the chapter in Vecchiotti, “Inst. Can.” v. 13, De cognatione civili seu legali.)

Adoption has never been recognised as a legal institution in England or Scotland. In the United States it is admitted, with more or less of restriction according to the ideas of jurisprudence prevailing in different States. In Massachusetts, by the law of 1876, adoption is an impediment to marriage between the adopter and the adopted, but to no other unions. The Code Napoléon allows adoption, but under rigorous conditions. (See Whitmore’s “Law of Adoption in the U.S.”)

ADOPTIONISM. A heresy which arose in Spain and is closely allied to Nestorianism. Towards the end of the eighth century, Felix, bishop of Urgel, and Elipandus, bishop of Toledo, held the opinion that Christ as man is only the adopted son of God. They supported this error by passages quoted from the Fathers and by the expression “homo adoptivus” which occurs in the Mosarabic Missal. Pope Hadrian, in a letter to the Bishops of Spain, condemned this error as Nestorian, and a like sentence was passed against it in three synods convoked by Charlemagne, at Ratisbonne in 792, at Francfort in 794, and at Aix-la-Chapelle in 799. Alcuin, Paulinus of Aquileia and Agobard wrote against the error. Both Felix and Elipandus died in heresy, but, owing to the zeal of Leidrad of Lyons and Benedict of Aniane, who made repeated visits to Spain, the followers of the heresiarchs were converted and the error died out.

The Catholic Doctors in their controversy with the Adoptionists rightly urged that adoption implies that the person adopted was, previous to his adoption, alien to the person who adopts him. Now, even as man, Christ, far from being alien to God, was the natural son of God. His sacred Humanity was united from the first moment of its existence to the Person of God the Word. When we say “this man,” we indicate not only the possession of human nature: the words signify a person. Hence “the man Christ” or “Christ in his human nature” is equivalent to God the Son subsisting in human nature; and He cannot have been adopted, for the simple reason that He was son by nature. So St. Paul speaks of Him even in his humanity as the proper Son of God. God, he says, did not spare his own son (τοῦ ἰδίου υἱοῦ) “but gave him up for us all;” where the reference clearly is to Christ as man.

The Adoptionist heresy “halts between two opinions”—viz. Catholic doctrine and Nestorianism. If in Christ there had been two persons, one human and one divine, then there might also have been two sons, one by adoption, one by nature. (See Petavius, “De Incarnat.” i. 22, and vii. 1 seq.; and for the opinion of Scotus, who seems to have used the form “Christ as man is the adopted Son of God,” but in an orthodox sense, see Billuart, “De Incarnat.” Diss. xxi.)


ADULTERY. The Catholic Church holds that the bond of marriage is not and ought not to be dissolved by the adultery of either party; see the decree of the Council of Trent (Sess. xxiv., Can. 7.) It remains to consider in what way the act affects, though it cannot break, the nuptial tie. The canon law allows of divorce from bed and board (a toro et cohabitatione), whether permanent or temporary, for various causes. Of these causes adultery is one of the chief. The right to this species of divorce, or, as it is called in England, judicial separation, accrues to either party in consequence of the adultery of the other, provided that the guilt be certain and notorious, whether in fact or in law. It was formerly held that this right, though it undoubtedly belonged to the husband after the misconduct of his wife, ought not to be similarly extended to a wife on account of the adultery of the husband. This opinion is not now held, and it is agreed that the adultery of either party is a sufficient cause entitling the innocent person to claim a judicial separation for life.

Several questions, however, arise. Is the husband whose wife has committed adultery bound to separate himself from her, or does he merely enter into a right which he may either exercise or not as he likes? Arguments of great weight have been adduced by canonists on either side of this question. But there is no doubt that the wife, in the parallel case, is not so bound, and that for reasons such as these: (1.) that her husband’s guilt implies no acquiescence on her part, which could hardly be the case were the wife the offender; (2.) that the honour of the family and the legitimacy of the children are not stained or imperilled in the one case as they are in the other; (3.) that her insisting on being separated from him is not likely to lead to the husband’s reformation, but rather the contrary.

Another question arises as to the legal effect of the commission of adultery by the innocent party after the sentence of divorce (judicial separation) has been pronounced. On this point, opinions are greatly divided, some holding that the divorce is a res judicata, which no subsequent misconduct on the part of the spouse innocent at the date of the sentence can affect; others maintaining that the sentence itself saddles the party relieved with an implied condition “quamdiu bene se gesserit,” and that if that condition is violated, the spouse against whom the judgment was given may justly claim the restitution of conjugal rights.

Various impediments to divorce on account of adultery are allowed by the canon law, of which the chief are, the proof of adultery against the spouse seeking a divorce, and condonation.—Vecchiotti, v. 14, § 123.

In the United States the effect in the civil law of adultery as related to divorce is regulated in the various States by statute. In some of the more conservative States the English common law, as modified by Protestantism, distinguishes between adultery of the wife and adultery of the husband. In the former the husband can demand a divorce a vinculo; in the latter the wife is entitled to a divorce a mensa et thoro only. [See MARRIAGE.]

ADVENT, SEASON OF. The period, of between three and four weeks from Advent Sunday (which is always the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew) to Christmas eve, is named by the Church the season of Advent. During it she desires that her children should practice fasting, works of penance, meditation, and prayer, in order to prepare themselves for celebrating worthily the coming (adventum) of the Son of God in the flesh, to promote his spiritual advent within their own souls, and to school themselves to look forward with hope and joy to his second advent, when he shall come again to judge mankind.

It is impossible to fix the precise time when the season of Advent began to be observed. A canon of a Council at Saragossa, in 380, forbade the faithful to absent themselves from the Church services during the three weeks from December 17th to the Epiphany; this is perhaps the earliest trace on record of the observance of Advent. The singing of the “greater antiphons” at Vespers is commenced, according to the Roman ritual, on the very day specified by the Council of Saragossa; this can hardly be a mere coincidence. In the fifth century Advent seems to have been assimilated to Lent, and kept as a time of fasting and abstinence for forty days, or even longer—i.e. from Martinmas (Nov. 11) to Christmas eve. In the Sacramentary of Gregory the Great there are Masses for five Sundays in Advent; but about the ninth century these were reduced to four, and so they have ever since remained. “We may therefore consider the present discipline of the observance of Advent as having lasted a thousand years, at least as far as the Church of Rome is concerned.”

With regard to fasting and abstinence during Advent, the practice has always greatly varied, and still varies, in different parts of the Church. Strictness has been observed, after which came a period of relaxation, followed by a return to strictness. At the present time, the Wednesdays and Fridays in Advent are observed as fast days by English and Irish Catholics; but in France and other Continental countries the ancient discipline has long ago died out, except among religious communities.

There is a marvellous beauty in the offices and rites of the Church during this season. The lessons, generally taken from the prophecies of Isaias, remind us how the desire and expectation, not of Israel only, but of all nations, carried forward the thoughts of mankind, before the time of Jesus Christ, to a Redeemer one day to be revealed; they also strike the note of preparation, watchfulness, compunction, hope. In the Gospels we hear of the terrors of the last judgment, that second advent which those who despise the first will not escape; of the witness borne by John the Precursor, and of the “mighty works” by which the Saviour’s life supplied a solid foundation and justification for that witness. At Vespers, the seven greater antiphons, or anthems—beginning on December 17th, the first of the seven greater Ferias preceding Christmas eve—are a noteworthy feature of the liturgical year. They are called the O’s of Advent, on account of the manner in which they commence; they are all addressed to Christ; and they are double—that is, they are sung entire both before and after the Magnificat. Of the first, O Sapientia, quœ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, &c., a trace still remains in the words O Sapientia printed in the calendar of the Anglican Prayer Book opposite December 16—words which probably not one person in ten thousand using the Prayer Book understands. The purple hue of penance is the only colour used in the services of Advent, except on the feasts of saints. In many other points Advent resembles Lent: during its continuance, in Masses de Tempore, the Gloria in excelsis is suppressed, the organ is silent, the deacon sings Benedicamus Domino at the end of Mass instead of Ite, Missa est, and marriages are not solemnised. On the other hand, the Alleluia, the word of gladness, is only once or twice interrupted during Advent, and the organ finds its voice on the third Sunday; the Church, by these vestiges of joy, signifying that the assured expectation of a Redeemer whose birth she will soon celebrate fills her heart, and chequers the gloom of her mourning with these gleams of brightness. (Fleury, “Hist. Eccles.” xvii, 57; Guéranger’s “Liturgical Year.”)



ADVOCATUS ECCLESIÆ. Ferraris distinguishes four classes of advocati ecclesiarum, but the most important class, and that with which alone we shall concern ourselves here, was that of advocateprotectors, princes or barons, or other powerful laymen, who, for a consideration, undertook to protect the property of a church or monastery, as well as the lives of the inmates. In the turbulent period between the ninth and the thirteenth centuries this practice was largely resorted to. The advocatus sometimes received a kind of rent, either in money or in kind, but more generally he was put in possession of Church lands, which he might use for his own benefit on condition of protecting the rest. “But these advocates became too often themselves the spoilers, and oppressed the helpless ecclesiastics for whose defence they had been engaged.” The Lateran Council, in 1215, had to decree (chap. 45) “that patrons or advocates, or vidames, should not in future encroach on the property entrusted to them; if they presume to do otherwise, let them be restrained by all the severity of the canon law.” As law and order became stronger in Europe, the practice of employing advocati naturally fell into disuse. (Ferraris.)


AETIUS and AETIANS. Aetius was a native of Antioch, born in the first half of the fourth century. He was a good example of the “Græculus esuriens” satirised by Juvenal; after having been successively a slave, a charcoal-burner, a tinker, and a quack doctor, he applied himself to the profession of philosophy, and finally to that of theology. He became a pupil of Leontius, who, on being made patriarch of Antioch in 350, ordained Aetius deacon. The Arian sentiments to which he could not help giving expression, led to his expulsion from Antioch; he sought refuge at Alexandria, where he learnt from a sophist the Aristotelian logic, and contrived to ingratiate himself with George the Arian patriarch. Aided by a zealous disciple, Eunomius, who joined him at this time, he denied not only the doctrine of Nice, which the great Athanasius was engaged in defending, but also that of the Homoiousians that the Son was like to the Father. The laxity and recklessness of his language were such that the people called him “the atheist.” In 358, hearing that Eudoxus, an inveterate and audacious Arian, was installed at Antioch, Aetius went thither, and soon became a person of some importance. But Eudoxus could not prevail upon the bishops of the neighbouring sees to consent to his reinstating Aetius in the diaconate. Basil of Ancyra complained to the Emperor Constantine of the licence which was allowed to heresy at Antioch; and the Emperor in alarm ordered Eudoxus and Aetius to come to Constantinople. The authorship of an exposition of faith in which the unlikeness of the Son to the Father was maintained was brought home to Aetius, and the Emperor banished him to Phrygia (360). His place of exile was changed to Mopsuestia, and afterwards to an unhealthy town in Pisidia. Here he is said to have maintained his heresy yet more openly, and published in support of it a syllabus of forty-seven articles, which St. Epiphanius has preserved and refuted. The date of his death is not recorded. (Fleury, “Hist. Eccles” xii.–xiv.)

AFFINITY, in the proper sense of the word, is the connection which arises from cohabitation between each one of the two parties cohabiting, and the blood-relations of the other. It is regarded as an impediment to marriage in the Jewish, Roman, and canon law.

In the Jewish law a man is forbidden, by reason of affinity, to marry his stepmother, step-daughter, and step-granddaughter, his mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, the widow of his father’s brother (the Vulgate adds the widow of his mother’s brother), the widow of his brother, if he has left children.

In the Roman law marriage was forbidden between a man and his mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, step-mother, step-daughter, the wife of his deceased brother, the sister of his deceased wife. It also forbade a step-father to marry the widow of his step-son, and a step-mother to marry the surviving husband of her step-daughter.

The canon law, starting from the principle that man and woman who have intercourse with each other become one flesh, considered the marriage of one party with the relations of the other as equivalent to a marriage with his or her own relation. Affinity was computed by degrees just as consanguinity was, according to the legal maxim “the degree of a person’s consanguinity with one of a married pair, is the degree of his affinity to the other.” Thus gradually marriage was forbidden to the seventh degree of affinity. Further, although the relations of one married person could espouse the relations of the other, on the principle that “affinity does not produce affinity,” still the impediment of affinity was extended to the children a woman had by her second marriage and the relations of her first husband. Moreover, two other kinds of affinity were introduced, viz. of the second and third class (secundi et tertii generis), so that marriage was unlawful between a man married to a widow and those who had affinity to his wife’s former partner, or, again, who had affinity to those who were in affinity to the former partner. Finally, all these degrees of affinity were contracted by unlawful intercourse as well as by marriage.

In 1215 the fiftieth canon of the Fourth Lateran Council abolished the impediment from affinity of the second and third class, as well as that from affinity between the children a woman had in second marriage and the relations of her first husband, and limited the impediment of affinity in the strict sense to the first four degrees. Lastly, the Council of Trent confined the impediment of affinity from unlawful intercourse to the first two degrees, and so the law of the Church continues to the present day. Thus, affinity arising from previous marriage, to the fourth degree, and from unlawful intercourse, to the second degree, (both inclusive) makes marriage null and void, and, if it supervenes after marriage, deprives the guilty party of his or her marriage rights. However, with one possible exception, viz. that between a man and the woman whose mother or daughter he has married, or, vice versa, between a woman and a man to whose father or son she has been married, affinity impedes marriage only by ecclesiastical, not by natural law, so that the Pope can grant a dispensation.

Besides the various classes of affinity properly so called, there are further two species of quasi-affinity, known as legal and spiritual-affinity. With regard to the former, the Church has adopted the determination of the Roman law, according to which marriage cannot be contracted between an adopted son and the widow of his adoptive father, or between the adoptive father and the widow of the adopted son. [See ADOPTION.] According to the canon law, spiritual affinity nullified marriage between the widow or widower of the God-parent in baptism and the person baptised or confirmed, and between the widow or widower of the God-parent and either parent of the person confirmed or baptised. Since, however, the Council of Trent, in reforming the older law on spiritual relationship, (cognatio spiritualis) makes no mention of spiritual affinity, it is generally supposed, that the latter is no longer to be recognised as an impediment to marriage.

AFRICAN CHURCH AND COUNCILS. Among the witnesses of the Pentecostal miracle were Jews, not from Egypt only, but also from “the parts of Libya about Cyrene,” and by some of these Christianity must have been extended in North Africa at a very early period. Eusebius tells us that St. Mark went into Egypt, and founded the Church of Alexandria, of which he was the first patriarch. The first see founded further west is believed to have been Carthage, which, at the time when we first hear of it, through Tertullian, one of its presbyters, writing about 200, was already the centre of a flourishing Afro-Roman Christian province, in which the majority of the inhabitants were Christians. Monachism sprang up in Egypt [ABBOT, ST. ANTONY] in the third century, and the heresy of Arius appeared at Alexandria near the beginning of the fourth. A flood of light is thrown upon the condition of the African Church in the fifth century by the writings of its greatest son, St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, whose vast and disciplined genius has never ceased to instruct and delight the Catholics of every later age. When St. Augustine died (430), his episcopal city was being besieged by the Vandals from Spain, who soon after made themselves masters of the whole of Roman Africa. They were Arians, and cruelly persecuted the orthodox Church, which in the time of St. Augustine could count its four hundred sees. The Donatist schism, which seduced great numbers into a state of alienation from Catholic communion, had already arisen about the beginning of the fifth century. [ARIANISM, DONATISTS.] Belisarius in the sixth century defeated the Vandals and recovered Africa for the Emperor Justinian; but Christianity had not had time to recover from the blows which war and heresy had inflicted, before the swords of the Arabs, fanatical propagators of the religion of Mohammed, hewed down, from the Nile to the Pillars of Hercules, all authority but their own. Under their baneful sway, which in the early ages of Islam was wielded with great political skill, Christianity became all but extinct in North Africa. Only in our own day, through the conquest of Algeria by the French, the Cross has driven back the Crescent on the Barbary coast; and the intrepid Lavigerie, Archbishop of Algiers, seems likely to reillume a ray of the ancient glory of the African Church.

The present state of Christianity in Africa may be briefly described as follows: (1) In Egypt, to which is annexed Arabia, there are two vicariates, one for the Latins, the other of the Coptic rite. Following the Mediterranean coast, we find (2) a vicariate at Tunis, and (3) an archbishop’s see at Algiers, with two suffragan sees, Constantina and Oran. 4. Ceuta, a Spanish possession opposite Gibraltar, gives part of his title to the Bishop of Cadiz. 5. In the islands on the west coast of Africa are four bishoprics: the Canaries, under Seville; Madeira, St. Thomas, and the Cape de Verd Islands, under Lisbon. 6. The vicariate of Senegambia. 7. All the coast from Sierra Leone to the Niger, including the vicariate of Benin, has been lately committed by the Holy See to the charge of the Society of African Missions at Lyons. 8. The see of Angola (Portuguese). 9. A large thinly-peopled district, between the Portuguese possessions and the Orange River, has been recently erected into a vicariate under the title of Cimbebasia. 10. At the Cape are two vicariates, the Eastern and the Western. 11. The vicariate of Natal. 12. The see of Port Louis, Mauritius, is immediately dependent on the Holy See. 13. The vicariate of Madagascar. 14. The flourishing missions at Zanzibar are, we believe, under a prefect apostolic. 15. The vicariate of the Gallas. 16. The Abyssinian Christians [ABYSSINIAN CHURCH] are under the jurisdiction of the Latin vicar apostolic of Egypt. 17. The vicariate of Central Africa with its seat at El Obeid in Cordofan.

Thus is Africa ringed round with Catholic missions, so that, if France should ever have a Christian government, or Portuguese governors go out animated by the fervour of the Albuquerques of former days, a great and sudden spread of Christianity among the descendants of Ham is far from improbable. On the other hand it has to be admitted that the Moravians, the Presbyterians, the Independents, the Anglicans, and other sects, have shown much activity in indoctrinating the native tribes (especially of South Africa and Madagascar) in their respective systems, and met with considerable success.

AFRICAN COUNCILS. These were for the most part held at Carthage. In the first four centuries the African Church, full of activity and fervour, and represented by men of the highest intellectual eminence, among whom we need but name St. Cyprian and St. Augustine, bore its part to the full in those memorable conciliar discussions which settled the form of doctrine and discipline that Christianity was to bear in the world. The chief subjects discussed at the African councils which preceded the Vandal invasion were, the re-baptism of heretics returning to the Church, the Donatist controversy, the heresy of Pelagius, and the adjustment of questions of discipline either internal or between Africa and Rome. Fleury enumerates seventeen Councils of Carthage, the last of which, held in 535, busied itself with repairing the havoc which the ravages of the Arian heretics had made. We read of an African Council, the last of the entire series, held in 646, which condemned the Ecthesis of Heraclius. In the following year the Caliph Othman despatched the expedition which, with others that followed it, brought utter ruin on the Roman and Christian civilisation of Africa.

AGAPE (from ἀγάπη, love). A name given in Jude 12 to the brotherly feasts of the early Christians, which are described at length in 1 Cor. 11. They were instituted in part on the analogy of the common meals usual among the Greeks (συσσίτια) to which each contributed his share; but this common meal was elevated by the spirit of Christian charity and designed to commemorate the last supper which Christ held with His disciples, as well as to serve for the relief of the poor. Thus it received a liturgical character, so that the Apostle calls it “the supper of the Lord.” It was also closely connected with the sacred mysteries, and, more probably, preceded them. However, this custom of taking other food before the communion soon died out, although in St. Augustine’s time the custom still survived of permitting communion once a year—viz. on Holy Thursday—to those who had just partaken of the agape.

The Agape thus separated from the Eucharist survived for many centuries in the Church, although it was evident even in St. Paul’s day how liable it was to abuse, and the complaints of St. Augustine prove that he was familiar with similar scandals. The Synod of Gangra, about the middle of the fourth century, anathematises those who despise the Agape, although Van Espen is of opinion that in this place the Agape means no more than a common meal charitably supplied to the poor. Be that as it may, the Agapai still continued to be celebrated in the Church. The Council of Laodicea in the latter part of the fourth century, forbade “eating in the house of God,” but the Synod in Trullo, centuries after, had to repeat the prohibition, which was placed by Gratian in the corpus juris.

AGE, CANONICAL. The Church, like the State, fixes certain ages at which her subjects become capable of incurring special obligations, enjoying special privileges, of entering on special states of life, or of holding office and dignity. The following is a summary of the principal determinations regarding age, so far as they affect (1) the ordinary life of a Christian, (2) the ecclesiastical and religious state. It must be observed that the canonical age is reckoned from the day of birth, not from that of baptism.

1. With regard to ordinary Christians.—The age of reason is generally supposed to begin about the seventh year, though of course it may come earlier in some cases, later in others. At that time a child becomes capable of mortal sin, and so of receiving the sacraments of penance and extreme unction, which are the remedies for post-baptismal sin. The Holy Eucharist and Confirmation, according to the discipline of the West, are usually given some time after the use of reason has been attained, when the child has received some instruction in Christian doctrine, and is able to understand the nature of these sacraments. Further, at seven years of age, a child becomes subject to the law of the Church (e.g. with regard to abstinence, Sunday Mass, &c.), and can contract an engagement of marriage. [See ESPOUSAL.]

The age of puberty begins in the case of males at fourteen, in that of females at twelve. Marriage contracted by persons under these ages is null and void (nisi malitia suppleat œtatem). Till the age of puberty is reached, no one can be required to take an oath.

At twenty-one, the obligation of fasting begins; it ceases, according to the common opinion, at sixty.

2. With regard to religious and ecclesiastics.—At seven, a person may be tonsured. No special age is named in the canon law for the reception of minor orders. A sub deacon must have completed his twenty-first, a deacon his twenty-second, a priest his twenty-fourth, and a bishop his thirtieth year. A cleric cannot hold a simple benefice before entering on his fourteenth year; an ecclesiastical dignity—e.g. a canonry in a cathedral church—till he has completed his twenty-second year; a benefice with cure of souls attached to it, before he has begun his twenty-fifth year; a diocese, till he has completed his thirtieth year.

A religious cannot make his profession till he is at least sixteen years old, and has passed a year in the noviciate. He must be thirty years of age before he can hold a prelacy which involves quasiepiscopal jurisdiction. A girl must be over twelve years of age before she assumes the religious habit. A woman under forty cannot be chosen religious superior of a convent, unless it is impossible to find in the order a religious of the age required, and otherwise suitable. In this case, a religious thirty years old may be chosen with the consent of the bishop or other superior. (See Council of Trent, Sess. xxiii. xxiv. xxv. Ferraris, “Bibliotheca Prompta.”)

AGNOETÆ. A sect of Monophysites founded by the Alexandrian deacon Themistius, and hence also called Themistians. Themistius, although, being a Monophysite, he held only one nature of the Incarnate Word, maintained that this nature was subject to ignorance. Timothy, Patriarch of Alexandria, and his successor Theodosius (537–539) opposed this assertion, which led logically to the confession of two natures, or to the open denial of Christ’s divinity. Thereupon, the Agnoetæ formed themselves into a special sect which lasted till the eighth century. (See Petavius, “De Incarnat.” I. xvi. 11. Hefele, “Conciliengeschichte,” ii. 574.)

AGNUS DEI. (1) A prayer in the Mass, which occurs shortly before the communion—”Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, &c., give us peace.” It has been used since the time of Pope Sergius in the seventh century. Originally (according to some, till the time of John XXII), each petition ended with “have mercy on us”; and this custom still continues in the Lateran basilica (Gavant.). (2) The figure of a lamb stamped on the wax which remains from the Paschal candles, and solemnly blessed by the Pope on the Thursday after Easter, in the first and seventh years of his Pontificate. Amalarius, writing early in the ninth century, mentions the fact that in his time the Agnus Dei’s were made of wax and oil by the Archdeacon of Rome, blessed by the Pope, and distributed to the people on the octave of Easter. A bull of Gregory XIII. forbids persons to paint or gild any Agnus Dei blessed by the Pope, under pain of excommunication.

ALB. A vestment of white linen, reaching from head to foot and with sleeves, which the priest puts on before saying Mass, with the prayer—”Make me white, O Lord, and cleanse me,” &c. It sprang from the under-garment (the tunica, or ποδήρης) of the Romans and Greeks, which was usually white, although alba does not occur as a technical term for the white tunic till nearly the end of the third century. The Greek under-garment had sleeves, and it was this which the Christians adopted for ecclesiastical use. The alb was adopted for Church use from early times. Eusebius speaks of bishops clothed in the holy ποδήρης. A canon attributed to the Fourth Council of Carthage, 398, and which certainly belongs to that period, orders deacons to use the alb “only at the time of the oblation or of reading.” In 589, the Council of Narbonne forbade deacons, subdeacons, or lectores to put off the alb before the end of Mass. At the same time, long after this date the alb continued to be worn, at least by clerics, in daily life. Thus, in 889, a Bishop of Soisson forbids an ecclesiastic to use at Mass the same alb which he is accustomed to wear at home.

The shape of the alb has remained much as it was, for it is a mistake to suppose that it ever was a tight-fitting garment. As a rule, too, it was always made of linen, whence it is often called linea, but it was sometimes made of silk, and adorned with gold and with figures. It was also in ancient times ornamented with stripes of purple or gold. Another ancient ornament of the alb consisted in the paratura, which was in use from the eleventh to the sixteenth century. This paratura (from parare, to adorn: French, parure) was a square piece of coloured embroidery from half a foot to one foot in length, sewed on at four places in the alb.

The mystical meaning of this vestment is plainly indicated by the prayer given above. (Hefele, “Beiträge,” &c.)

ALBIGENSES. These heretics were so named from the town of Alby in Languedoc, where a Council was held in 1176 which condemned their doctrines. They owed their Manichæan tenets to the Paulician sect, which, originally formed in Armenia in the eighth century, was exiled to Bulgaria, and, becoming very powerful there, gradually extended its numbers and influence up the valley of the Danube, and passed out of Swabia into the south-east of France. Their teachers assumed a great simplicity of manners, dress, and mode of life; they inveighed against the vices and worldliness of the clergy; and there was sufficient truth in these censures to dispose their hearers to believe what they advanced and reject what they decried. They taught the well-known doctrine of the Manichæans, that there are two opposing creative principles, one good, the other evil; the invisible world proceeding from the former, the body and all material things from the latter. They also rejected the Old Testament, said that infant baptism was useless, and denied marriage to the “perfect,” as they called their more austere members. The condemnation of their tenets by the Council of Alby produced little or no effect; they still multiplied and spread; and Raymond VI., Count of Toulouse, protected them. Innocent III. sent Peter of Castelnau to Languedoc, as his legate, to oppose the spread of the mischief. In 1206 Diego, the holy Bishop of Osma in Spain, attended by Dominic his sub-prior, engaged in a mission in the south of France, the result of which was to bring back great numbers to the Catholic faith. The legate having been murdered in 1208 by a servant of the Count of Toulouse, Innocent proclaimed a crusade or holy war, with indulgences, against the Albigensian heretics, and requested Philip II., the King of France, to put himself at its head. The king refused, but permitted any of his vassals to join it who chose. An army was collected, composed largely of desperadoes, mercenary soldiers, and adventurers of every description, whose sole object was plunder. Raymond, in great fear, not only promised all that was demanded of him, but assumed the Cross himself against his protégés. The war opened in 1209 with the siege of Beziers and the massacre of its inhabitants. Simon de Montfort, the father of the famous Earl of Leicester, was made Count of the territories conquered. The war lasted many years and became political; in its progress great atrocities were committed, Languedoc was laid desolate, and the Provençal civilisation destroyed. Peace was made in 1227, and the tribunal of the Inquisition established soon after. St. Dominic, who preached zealously in Languedoc while the war was proceeding, and founded his celebrated Order in 1215, is thought by some to have been the first Inquisitor; but this seems to be a mistake. (Gibbon, liv.; Fleury, lxxii.).

ALEXANDRIA (Church of). The foundation of this Church by Mark the Evangelist, the ἑρμηνευτὴς Πέτρου, as he is called by Papias, has been already noticed [AFRICAN CHURCH]. The names of eighteen bishops of Alexandria between St. Mark and St. Athanasius are on record, but little is known about most of them. Demetrius, who died in 234, is known as having been the great Origen’s bishop, who first favoured and afterwards persecuted that extraordinary man. The eighteenth in succession to St. Mark was Alexander, one of the fathers who sat at Nicæa. Under him arose the Arian controversy [ARIANS, ARIUS]. Athanasius (see that article) succeeded Alexander in 326, and after battling with Arianism for more than forty years, passed the close of his stormy life in peace, dying in 373. Even in the fourth century, a large proportion of the people of Alexandria were idolators, as is shown by the story of George the intrusive Arian bishop, murdered in a popular rising because he was believed to have insulted some of the heathen rites. In the fifth and sixth centuries Monophysite bishops had possession from time to time of the see of Alexandria, which now began to be called a patriarchate [PATRIARCHATE]. The people of Egypt became generally attached, with the greater part of their clergy, to the doctrine of one nature in Christ, and rejected the decrees of Chalcedon. But these decrees, after a long period of more or less direct opposition, were espoused by the Byzantine emperors, and imposed by force on all the countries under their rule. Hence it happened that the Coptic Monophysites, when Amrou, the lieutenant of Omar, invaded Egypt in 638, were in the position of an oppressed sect, and they eagerly joined their forces to those of the Arabs in order to drive out the Greek officials and the orthodox creed. From that time the patriarchate of Alexandria has been Monophysite, and severed from Catholic communion. Alexandria having again become a place of considerable trade, there is now a fair sprinkling of Catholics in the population, for whom Gregory XVI. created a Vicariate. On the present Patriarch of Alexandria of the Latin rite, see PATRIARCH.

ALEXANDRIA (School of). Founded by Alexander the Great about A.D. 330, Alexandria rapidly grew in population and wealth, and numbered, towards the Christian era, more than six hundred thousand inhabitants. Under the Ptolemies Greek literature flourished there with extraordinary brilliancy in every department of thought. The Jews, who settled there in great numbers, struck by the fecundity of the Greek mind, strove to turn it from its errors, and convert it to the belief in the unity of the Godhead. The Hebrew Scriptures were under this impulse translated into Greek [SEPTUAGINT VERSION], and a school of eminent writers arose, among whom the most distinguished were Philo and Josephus. In a place so full of learning and intellectual strife, Christianity could only hold its ground, after being once planted, by entering seriously into the philosophical debate, and justifying, by arguments which the learned would appreciate, the wisdom of God in the revelation through Christ. Hence arose the Christian school of Alexandria, the great lights of which—Pantænus, Origen, and Clement—lived in the third century. Among the numerous works of Origen the most celebrated are his commentaries on Scripture (he was the founder of Biblical criticism), the “Principia” and the books “Contra Celsum.” Clement is known chiefly as the author of the “Pedagogus” and the “Stromata.” The latter (the name means “hangings,” “tapestries”) is a multifarious treatise, in which he professes to fashion a web of Christian philosophy, discussing the conduct and the sentiments which should belong to a Christian in all the more important relations and emergencies of life. The rise of Arianism, and the conflicts to which it led, checked the prosperity of the School of Alexandria. St. Athanasius writes rather as a worker than as a thinker, and after him no great name occurs till that of Cyril of Alexandria, who, though not inactive as a writer, employed his stern will and vigorous intellect chiefly in repressing all dissent from the creed of Ephesus (430).


ALLELUIA. From two Hebrew words united by a hyphen, meaning “praise Jah,” or “praise the Lord.” It occurs frequently in the last fifty psalms, but nowhere else in the Old Testament, except Tobias, c. 13. In the Apocalypse, St. John mentions that he heard the angels singing it in heaven. The early Christians kept the word in its original Hebrew form, and we know from St. Jerome that children were taught to pronounce it as soon as they could speak, while it was sung during his time by the Christian country-people in Palestine, as they drove the plough.

According to Sozomen, the Roman Church did not use it in her public services, except on Easter Sunday. At present, it constantly occurs in the Roman Mass and office; indeed, it is always used in the Mass between the Epistle and Gospel except at certain times when the Church omits it altogether, as a sign of mourning. It is thus omitted from Septuagesima to Holy Saturday; in ferial Masses during Advent; on the feast of the Holy Innocents, unless it falls on a Sunday; and on all vigils which are fasting-days, if the Mass of the vigil be said. It is, however, used in the Mass on the vigil of Easter (Holy Saturday) and of Pentecost, because the Masses were anciently said at night, and belonged to the solemnity of the respective feasts. (Benedict XIV. “De Miss.” ii. 5.)

ALL SAINTS. As early as the fourth century, the Greeks kept on the first Sunday after Pentecost the feast of all martyrs and saints, and we still possess a sermon of St. Chrysostom delivered on that day. In the West, the feast was introduced by Pope Boniface the Fourth after he had dedicated, as the Church of the Blessed Virgin and the Martyrs, the Pantheon, which had been made over to him by the Emperor Phocas. The feast of the dedication was kept on the thirteenth of May. About 731 Gregory III. consecrated a chapel in St. Peter’s Church in honour of all the saints, from which time All Saints’ Day has been kept in Rome, as now, on the first of November. From about the middle of the ninth century, the feast came into general observance throughout the West. It ranks as a double of the first class with an octave.

ALL SOULS DAY. A solemn commemoration of, and prayer for, all the souls in Purgatory, which the Church makes on the second of November. The Mass said on that day is always the Mass of the dead, priests and others who are under obligation of reciting the breviary are required to say the matins and lauds from the office of the dead in addition to the office which is said on that day according to the ordinary course, and the vespers of the dead are said on the first of November, immediately after the vespers of All Saints. This solemnity owes its origin to the Abbot Odilo of Clugny, who instituted it for all the monasteries of his congregation, in the year 998. Some authors think there are traces at least of a local celebration of this day before Odilo’s time. With the Greeks Saturday was a day of special prayer for the dead, particularly the Saturday before Lent and that which preceded Pentecost. (Thomassin, “Traité” des Festes,” liv. ii. ch. 21.)

ALMS (from ἐλεημοσύνη), originally a work of mercy, spiritual or temporal, and then used to denote material gifts bestowed on the poor.

Almsgiving is frequently and urgently enjoined in the Old Testament. So highly did the Jews think of this duty, that in Chaldee almsgiving is expressed by a word which signifies justice or righteousness, and in the LXX the word ἐλεημοσύνη or “almsgiving” is often used to translate the Hebrew for justice or righteousness. In the New Testament Christ makes almsdeeds in those who are able to perform them an absolute condition of salvation. St. Paul exhorts the faithful to lay by every week something for the needs of the poor; and the numerous religious orders which devote themselves chiefly or in part to the care of the poor, prove that the spirit of Christ and His Apostles still animates the Church.

All are of course strictly bound to relieve the poor, when they are in extreme necessity—i.e. when they are in proximate danger of death, or grievous sickness through want. Besides this, St. Liguori teaches, that persons are bound out of that part of their income which remains over when they have made suitable provision for themselves and their families, to relieve the ordinary necessities of the poor. The sum which a rich man is strictly bound to give in charity must vary in varying circumstances, and can never be fixed exactly, but, apart from strict obligation, the blessings promised to generous almsgiving for the love of God, will always prove a strong incentive with the Christian soul. Ecclesiastics are bound to spend all the revenues of their benefices, except what is required for their own maintenance, in pious uses. The poor of the place, if they are in serious need, must be considered first, and if the cure of souls is attached to the benefice, the cleric who holds it is bound to seek out the poor in his district. (St. Liguor. “Theol.” lib. iii. 31, seq., lib. iv. 497.)

ALMONER (eleemosynarius). An ecclesiastic at the court of a king or prince, or in a noble mansion, having the charge of the distribution of alms. From the fourteenth century the office of Grand Almoner in France rose into even greater importance, because this officer had the charge of the king’s ecclesiastical patronage. The Revolution swept it away; under the Second Empire it re-appeared; but it probably has not survived Sedan. One of the Anglican bishops has the title of Lord High Almoner, and dispenses the sovereign’s alms. Army chaplains are called almoners in France; the aumonier de la flotte is a functionary of considerable importance, on whose nomination chaplains are appointed to ships, and also to hospitals.

ALOGI. A name given by Epiphanius to heretics who denied the doctrine of the Word (Λόγος) and rejected St. John’s writings (i.e. the Apocalypse as well as the Gospel) on the ground that they did not agree with the rest of Scripture. Epiphanius speaks of Theodotus of Byzantium as an offshoot of this sect. This man, known as Theodotus the tanner, held that Jesus was a mere man, born, however, miraculously of a virgin; that Christ was united to him at his baptism, descending on him as a dove and conferring supernatural powers. Artemon taught the same doctrine. The heretics claimed to have the early Roman Church on their side, alleging that it had been corrupted by Zephyrinus, an assertion, as a contemporary writer quoted by Eusebius observes, abundantly confuted by the writings of the first Christians, and the hymns in which “from the beginning.” Christ had been called God. Theodotus was excommunicated by Pope Victor at the end of the second century. Theodotus the money-changer, taught similar doctrine, with the addition of certain Gnostic extravagances. He made Christ an æon who had descended on Jesus, Melchisedec an æon superior to Christ.

Eusebius, with other ancient authorities, speaks of Paul of Samosata as renewing the error of Artemon. Paul, bishop of Antioch, was notorious for his avarice, love of worldly pomp and irregular life. He conceived of the Word and Holy Ghost as mere attributes of God, not divine Persons. Jesus was a mere man, born of a virgin and enlightened in an extraordinary degree by the Word or Wisdom of God. After twice deceiving the bishops assembled in council at Antioch by false statements and false promises, he was deposed at a third Antiochene council in 269. [See ANTIOCH, COUNCILS OF.]

Similarly Beryllus, bishop of Bostra in Arabia, denied the pre-existence and divinity of Jesus Christ. The bishops who met in council against him called in Origen to their help, and the latter succeeded in bringing back Beryllus to the truth.

ALTAR. The Hebrew word מִזְבֵח which is usually translated “altar,” means literally “a place for sacrifice;” and in the New Testament its equivalent is θυσιαστήριον. The sacred writers avoid the common Greek word for altar, βωμός, “a raised place,” adopting the unclassical word θυσιαστήριον, because by doing so they avoided the heathen associations connected with the common Greek term, besides expressing much more distinctly the purpose of sacrifice for which an altar is built. Whether the Christian altar is mentioned by name in the Bible is doubtful. There is some ground for supposing that it is referred to in Matt. 5:23, and in Hebrews 13:10. It has been argued that when our Lord imposes a precept of forgiveness before the gift is presented at the altar, he did not mean to give the Jews a new law with regard to their sacrifices, which were soon to pass away, but to establish the indissoluble connection between the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Church and brotherly love. Similarly, it is urged that when the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews asserts “we have an altar, of which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle,” he is setting altar against altar, and declaring the impossibility of partaking in the Jewish sacrificial feastings and joining at the same time in the sacrificial banquet of the new law. It is certainly difficult to understand the “altar” as the altar of the cross, which is never once called an altar in the New Testament, and though, of course, an altar it indisputably is, still nobody ate of the sacrifice offered on it. At the same time, these interpretations are by no means held by all Catholic commentators.

However it may stand with the name, the existence of the thing is implied in the New Testament doctrine of sacrifice [see MASS], and the name occurs in the very earliest Christian writers. “There is one flesh,” says St. Ignatius the disciple of St. John, “one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one chalice for union with his blood, one altar (θυσιαστήριον), as one bishop.” So Tertullian describes Christians as standing at “the altar of God;” and the same word “altar” is used in the Apostolic Constitutions and in the ancient liturgies. These testimonies are in no way weakened by passages in Minucius Felix and Arnobius, who in their controversies with Pagans deny the existence of Christian altars. Obviously, they deny that altars such as the Pagan ones were in use among Christians; just as one of these authors allows that there were no temples among Christians, though churches are distinctly recognised in the edicts of the Diocletian era, and are known to have existed at a still earlier date.

In early times the altar was more usually of wood; and an altar of this kind is still preserved in the church of St. John Lateran at Rome, on which St. Peter is said to have celebrated Mass. But the tombs of martyrs in the Catacombs and elsewhere were also used for the Holy Sacrifice, the slab of marble which covered the sepulchre serving as the altar-table; and for almost fourteen centuries, that part of the altar on which the Eucharist is consecrated has always been of stone or marble. After the time of Constantine, when sumptuous churches were erected, careful arrangements were made for the position of the altar. It did not lean as it often does now against, the sanctuary wall, but stood out with a space round it, so that the bishop when celebrating Mass looked towards the people. Thus the altar looked in the same direction as the portals of the church, and often both were turned towards the east. This ancient arrangement is still exemplified by the “Papal” altars in the Roman basilicas, but particularly in St. Peter’s, where the Pope still says Mass on the great Festivals, looking at one and the same time to the people, to the portals of the church, and to the east. The altars in the Catacombs were still employed, but even new altars were sanctified by relics, a custom to which so much importance was attributed that St. Ambrose would not consecrate an altar till he found relics to place in it. Then, as now, the altar was covered with linen cloths, which, as appears from a rubric in the Sacramentary of St. Gelasius, were first blessed and consecrated. It was surmounted by a canopy, supported by columns between which veils or curtains were often hung, and on great festivals it was adorned with the sacred vessels placed upon it in rows, and with flowers. The cross was placed over the canopy, or else rested immediately on the altar itself. The language and the actions of the early Christians alike bespeak the reverence in which the altar was held. It was called “the holy,” “the divine table,” “the altar of Christ,” “the table of the Lord.” The faithful bowed towards it as they entered the church; it was known as the ἄσυλος τράπεζα, or “table of asylum,” from which not even criminals could be forced away. Finally, before the altar was used, it was solemnly consecrated by the bishop with the chrism. The date at which this custom was introduced cannot be accurately determined; but the Council of Agde, or Agatha, in Southern Gaul, held in the year 506, speaks of this custom as familiar to everybody.

The rubrics prefixed to the Roman Missal contain the present law of the Church with regard to the altar. It must consist of stone, or at least must contain an altar-stone large enough to hold the Host and the greater part of the chalice; and this altar, or the altar-stone, must have been consecrated by a bishop, or by an abbot who has received the requisite faculties from the Holy See. [See CONSECRATION OF ALTARS.] The altar is to be covered with three cloths, also blessed by the bishop, or by a priest with special faculties. One of these cloths should reach to the ground, the other two are to be shorter, or else one cloth doubled may replace the two shorter ones. If possible, there is to be a “pallium,” or frontal, on the altar, varying in colour according to the feast or season. A crucifix is to be set on the altar, between two candlesticks: the Missal placed on a cushion, at the right-hand side looking towards the altar: under the crucifix there ought to be an altar-card, with certain prayers which the priest cannot read from the Missal without inconvenience.

With regard to the number of altars in a church, Gavantus says that originally, even in the West, one church contained only one altar. On this altar, however, the same author continues, several Masses were said on the same day, in proof of which he appeals to the Sacramentary of Leo. He adds that even in the fourth century the church of Milan contained several altars, as appears from a letter of St. Ambrose, and he quotes other examples from the French Church in the sixth century.

ALTAR-BREADS are round wafers made of fine wheaten flour, specially prepared for consecration in the Mass. The altar-breads according to the Latin use (followed also by the Maronites and Armenians) must be unleavened. They are usually stamped with a figure of Christ crucified, or with the I H S. They are of two sizes: one larger, which the priest himself consecrates and receives, or else reserves for the Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament; the other smaller, consecrated for the communion of the faithful.

The practice of stamping altar-breads with the cross or I H S seems to be ancient, and is widely diffused. Merati mentions the fact that the cross is stamped on the altar-breads used by Greek, Syrian, and Alexandrian (Coptic?) Christians.

ALTAR-CLOTHS. The rubrics of the Missal require three fair cloths to be placed on the altar, or two cloths of which one is doubled. They must be blessed by the bishop, or by a priest with special faculties. In the fourth century St. Optatus speaks of the linen cloth placed on the altar as usual in his time, and Pope Silvesteris said to have made it a law that the altar-cloth should be of linen. Mention, however, is made by Paulus Silentiarius of purple altar-cloths, and, in fact, both the material and the number of these cloths seem to have varied in early times. (See Rock, “Hierurgia,” p. 503; Kraus, “Archræol. Dict.”—Altartücher.)


AMBO (Gr. ἀναβαίνειν, to ascend). A raised platform in the nave of early Christian churches, surrounded by a low wall; steps led up to it from the east and west sides. The place on it where the Gospel was read was higher than that used for reading the Epistle. All church notices were read from it; here edicts and excommunications were given out; hither came heretics to make their recantation; here the Scriptures were read, and sermons preached. It was gradually superseded by the modern pulpit. A good example of the “ambo” may be seen in the church of San Clemente at Rome. (Ferraris.)


AMBROSIAN LITURGY. An ancient Liturgy still used in the church of Milan instead of the Roman Mass, from which it differs in many striking points. We read in Walafrid Strabo, an author of the ninth century, that St. Ambrose regulated the Mass and Office of his church at Milan, but some parts of this rite are older than St. Ambrose, while, on the other hand, the Ambrosian Missal contains great additions which date from St. Gregory the Great. According to the Ambrosian rite, there is no Mass for the Fridays in Lent; and the offering of bread and wine by the people for the sacrifice is still retained in solemn Masses. The Ambrosian rite was confirmed by Pope Alexander VI., in 1497, and is still retained. (Ceillier, “Auteurs Sacrés,” tom. xiii. c. 1.)

AMEN. A Hebrew word signifying “truly,” “certainly.” It is preserved in its original form by the New Testament writers, and by the Church in her Liturgy. According to Benedict XIV., it indicates assent to a truth, or it is the expression of a desire, and equivalent to γένοιτο, “so be it.”

“Amen” signifies assent when used at the end of the Creeds. In the ancient Church the communicants used it as an expression of their faith in the Blessed Sacrament. Thus we read in the Apostolic Constitutions—”Let the bishop five the oblation, saying, ‘The Body of Christ,’ and let the recipient say, ‘Amen.’ “ St. Ambrose explains the “Amen” used thus in communicating as meaning “it is true.”

At the end of prayers “Amen” signifies our desire of obtaining what we ask. Thus it is said by the server, after the collects in the Mass, as a sign that the faithful unite their petitions to those of the priest. In Justin’s time, the people themselves answered “Amen” as the priest finished the prayers and thanksgivings in the Mass, and was about to distribute the Holy Communion.

AMICE (Amictus. Called also “humerale,” “superhumerale,” “anaboladium,” from ἀναβάλλειν, and, in a corrupt form, “anabolagium”). A piece of fine linen, oblong in shape, which the priest who is to say Mass rests for a moment on his head and then spreads on his shoulders, reciting the prayer—”Place on my head, O Lord, the helmet of salvation,” &c.

For many centuries priests celebrated with bare neck, as may be seen from many figures in the Roman Catacombs, and from the Mosaic at San Vitale in Ravenna. The amice, however, is frequently mentioned after the opening of the ninth century. Originally, as Innocent III. expressly testifies, it covered the head as well as the neck; and to this day Capuchin and Dominican friars wear the amice over their heads till they reach the altar. It also was not at first concealed by the alb, as is now the case, and it was often made of silk and ornamented with figures. At present it is made of linen, and only adorned with a cross, which the priest kisses before putting on the amice.

Mediæval writers have given very many and very different symbolical meanings to this vestment. The prayer already quoted from the Roman Missal speaks of it as figuring the “helmet of salvation.” and a similar prayer occurs in most of the ancient Latin Missals.


ANAGOGICAL (literally, “leading, up”). A name given to things typical of Christ in the Old, or to the actions of Christ in the New, Testament, so far as they signify the eternal glory which awaits the elect. The anagogical is a subdivision of the spiritual or mystical sense. (See St. Thomas, S. i. I, 10.)

ANAPHORA. Greek word for Offertory, in the Mass.

ANATHEMA. A thing devoted or given over to evil, so that “anathema sit” means, “let him be accursed.” St. Paul at the end of 1 Corinthians pronounces this anathema on all who do not love our blessed Saviour. The Church has used the phrase “anathema sit” from the earliest times with reference to those whom she excludes from her communion either because of moral offences or because they persist in heresy. Thus one of the earliest councils—that of Elvira, held in 306—decrees in its fifty-second canon that those who placed libellous writings in the church should be anathematised; and the First General Council anathematised those who held the Arian heresy. General councils since then have usually given solemnity to their decrees on articles of faith by appending an Anathema.

Neither St. Paul nor the Church of God ever wished a soul to be damned. In pronouncing anathema against wilful heretics, the Church does but declare that they are excluded from her communion, and that they must, if they continue obstinate, perish eternally.

ANGEL. The word (ἄγγελος. a translation of מַלִאָךְ) means messenger, and is applied in a wide sense to priests, prophets, or to the Messias as sent by God. Specially, however, it is used as the name of spiritual beings, created by God but superior in nature to man. The existence of such superhuman intelligences was conjectured even by heathens such as Plato; and although the Sadducees believed “neither in angel or spirit,” angels are mentioned so frequently in the Old and New Testament that it would be idle to allege Scriptural proofs on the matter. When they were created, Scripture does not distinctly tell us. “The most ancient Fathers,” says Petavius, “especially the Greeks and such Latins as are used to follow the Greeks,” held that the angels were created “before the heavens and all material things.” The contrary opinion, that the heavens were first created and the angels in the heavens, is that of St. Thomas, and has been commonly held since his time among the Latins. The Fourth Lateran Council declares that God created angels and material beings “at the same time from the beginning.” But the council had no intention of deciding this question, which still remains open, as has been pointed out by St. Thomas himself, by Vasquez, Petavius and others.

With regard to the nature of angels, many early Fathers believed that they were corporeal. This opinion is not difficult to account for when we consider such a history as that of the marriages between the “sons of God” and “the daughters of men,” given in the sixth chapter of Genesis. At the Seventh General Council, the Patriarch Tarasius argued that angels might be painted, because they were “circumscribed (ἐπειδὴ περίγραπτοί εἰσιν) and had appeared to many in the form of men;” nor did the council censure his words, limiting itself to a simple decision that it was lawful to represent angels in pictures. However, our Lord’s words imply, that angels are incapable of marriage, and so exclude the interpretation which regards the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 as a synonym for angels. Many of the Fathers deny that angels have bodies; so do all modern theologians. The Fourth Lateran Council separates angelic from corporeal natures, and Petavius rightly characterises the contrary opinion as “proximate to heresy.” At the same time, angels are capable of assuming bodies; to which they are for the time intimately united; which they move and which they use to represent either their own invisible nature or the attributes of God. Passages of Scripture, which imply this, will readily occur to the reader.

The angels, then, are purely spiritual intelligences and, for that very reason, superior to man, who is composed of body and soul. They are immortal, since death consists in the separation of soul and body, nor could they be destroyed, except by the omnipotence of God. Their knowledge, unlike that of man, which is slowly acquired by means of the senses, depends upon images received from God along with the nature he has given them. They do not reason, as we do, for the keenness of their intellect enables them to see by intuition the conclusions which are involved in principles. Their intelligence is in perpetual exercise, and although the future, the thoughts of the human soul, and above all the mysteries of grace, are hidden from them, except so far as God is pleased to reveal them, still they can know and understand many things which are hidden from us. They can move from place to place with a swiftness impossible to man. Finally, they are endowed with free-will and are able to communicate with each other.

To a nature so noble God added sanctifying grace. They received power to know God as revealed by faith, to hope in Him, to love Him, and afterwards, if they were worthy, see Him face to face. But, during the time of their probation, Lucifer and many other angels fell. It is hard to determine the precise nature of their sin, but we may quote Petavius, who places it in “a desire of absolute dominion over created things, and in hatred of subjection.” The rebel angels were at once deprived of all supernatural gifts and thrust into hell without hope of pardon; the angels who had persevered were at once rewarded with everlasting bliss. The very greatness and perfection of angelic nature, says St. Gregory the Great, made their sin unpardonable.

Holy writ represents the number of the good angels as exceedingly great. They are, according to the common teaching of theologians, divided into three hierarchies, each of which includes three orders. The first triplet consists of Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones; the second of Dominations, Principalities, Powers; the third of Virtues, Archangels, Angels. This enumeration occurs for the first time in Pseudo-Dionysius, from whom it was adopted by St. Gregory the Great, and so became current in the Church. But it is founded on the mention of seraphim and cherubim in Isaias and Ezechiel; of angels and of archangels throughout Scripture; and of the other orders in St. Paul s Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians. The meaning of St. Paul is much disputed. But we may remark that very early writers divide the angels into orders, and count thrones, dominations, &c. among them, though it is well to remember that the existence of these particular classes of angels is no article of faith.

As to the employment of the angels, we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews that they are “all ministering spirits.” They serve God continually in heaven, and they also defend countries, cities, churches, &c., besides offering to God the prayers of the faithful, particularly, according to the Fathers and ancient liturgies, those which ascend to heaven during the Mass. Further, each man has an angel who watches over him, defends him from evil, helps him in prayer, suggests good thoughts, and at last, if he is saved, presents his soul to God.

The Church, on her part, shows to the angels that veneration or inferior honour which is their due, and, knowing from Christ’s words that they are acquainted with things which pass on earth, she begs their prayers and their kind offices. It is true that St. Paul condemns the θρησκεία, or religion of angels, in writing to the Colossians, but every scholar is aware that he is warning them against the Gnostic error which regarded angels as the creators of the world; and with equal reason, the same passage might be alleged as in condemnation of humility. It is true also that, when St. John in the Apocalypse bowed down before an angel, the latter said, “See thou do it not, for I also am thy fellow-servant.… Adore God.” But if Protestants think the veneration of angels idolatrous, or at least unlawful, they ought not to suppose the holy Apostle so ignorant as to offer it—not to speak of his shortly after repeating the crime. Rather, surely, the angel refused the homage out of respect to the honour which human nature has received from the Incarnation and to the apostolic dignity; just as a bishop might out of humility decline the homage of one whom, although inferior to himself in ecclesiastical rank, he venerated for his great virtue. The Catholic may answer those who accuse the Church of idolatry for her cultus of angels, as St. Augustine and St. Cyril answered long ago, that we adore God alone with latria or supreme adoration, and that to Him alone we offer the sacrifice of the Mass.


ANGELS, FEAST OF. Since the fifth century churches were dedicated, both in the East and West, to the holy angels. In the West, there was a famous apparition of St. Michael on Mount Garganus, an event which Baronius places in the year 493, and this apparition gave occasion to the feast of St. Michael which the Roman Church keeps on September 29, and which is mentioned in the martyrologies of Jerome, Bede, and others, as the Dedication of St. Michael. There was another apparition of the same archangel in France during 706. “It is this apparition,” says Thomassin, “on Mount Michael, or In Periculo Maris, which was once so celebrated in France, and of which the commemoration is still observed in some dioceses.”

In the East, the constitution of Manuel Commenus mentions a feast of the apparition of St. Michael on September 6, and of the angels in general on November 8.

The feast of Angel Guardians was instituted under Paul V., at the request of Ferdinand of Austria, afterwards emperor. (Thomassin, “Traité des Festes.”)


ANGELICALS. An order of nuns, following the rule of St. Augustine, founded by Luigia di Torelli, Countess of Guastalla, about 1530. She had been married twice, but being left a second time a widow when only twenty-five years of age, she resolved to devote the rest of her life and her large fortune to the divine service.

She founded her first convent at Milan. Her religious took the name of Angelicals in order to remind themselves whenever they uttered it of the purity of the angels. Every nun adopts the name of “Angelica,” prefixing it to that of a patron saint and her family name—e.g. “Angelica Maria Anna di Gonzaga.” Their constitutions were drawn up by St. Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan.

ANGELUS. By this name is denoted the Catholic practice of honouring God at morning, noon, and evening, by reciting three Hail Mary’s, together with sentences and a collect, to express the Christian’s rejoicing trust in the mystery of the Incarnation. The first sentence begins “Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ;” whence the name of the devotion. A bell, called the Angelus bell, rings at the several hours. The evening Angelus was introduced by Pope John XXII. in the fourteenth century; that at noon, according to Mabillon, arose in France, and received Papal sanction at the beginning of the sixteenth century.

ANGLICAN CHURCH. The introduction of Christianity and Catholicity into England is treated in the article CONVERSION OF NATIONS—BRITONS—ANGLO-SAXONS.

The separation of England from the communion of the Catholic Church, and the establishment of a national institution, retaining the old titles of the sees, the Church lands, the tithes, and portions of the old ecclesiastical discipline, were transactions not easily or suddenly effected. They may be regarded as spread over a period of thirty-two years, from 1531, when Henry VIII. first claimed the title of Supreme Head of the Church, to 1563, when the adoption of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion by the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury, at the very time when a general council was sitting at Trent, consummated the schism, and launched the Anglican Church on an independent course.

In 1530 the bishops, with Archbishop Warham at their head, were in full communion with Rome; clergy and laity alike acknowledged that when a religious question arose the ultimate appeal lay to the chair of Peter; and the Christianity of an Englishman was the same as that of a Frenchman or a Spaniard. But there was a body of sectaries scattered through the country, the Lollards, fanatically attached to subversive ideas, assisted by the numerous abuses which great wealth had brought into the Church, and promising a “pure Gospel” to their followers, like the Cathari of the middle ages. As the Vandals found allies in the Donatists, so any enemy who might attack Catholicism in England was sure of the enthusiastic support of the Lollards. Wolsey died in 1530; and Thomas Cromwell then gave the king the famous advice to follow the example of Gustavus Vasa—who had carried through a religious revolution in Sweden—and by a breach with Rome bring the clergy into a condition of unconditional submission to himself. Two objects which he ardently desired might thus, Henry saw, be compassed—one, a divorce from his wife; the other, the replenishment of his treasury from the wealth of the Church.

The first step was taken in 1531, when the Attorney-General filed a bill against the whole body of the clergy as having been the “fautors and abettors “of Wolsey in breaking the Act of Premunire. [See PREMUNIRE, ACT OF.] The Convocation voted a large grant of money to the king, imagining that nothing more was required of them; but Henry refused to receive it unless words were inserted in the preamble to the grant, importing that he was the “protector and only supreme head of the Church and clergy of England.” The consternation of the clergy was great; they debated the matter, and finally consented to go to the utmost verge of lawful compromise. They recognised the king as the “chief protector, the only and supreme lord, and, as far as the law of Christ will allow, the supreme head,” of the English Church and clergy. The saving clause preserved the concession from being heretical, but it was evidently perilous; for the king might, and in fact did, employ the remaining words for his own purposes, and omit the saving clause.

Archbishop Warham died in 1532, and by the appointment of Cranmer as his successor, Henry secured a pliant instrument in the prosecution of his designs against the Church. The Pope consented to the appointment and expedited the usual bulls; under the authority of these Cranmer was consecrated, and took in public the oath of canonical obedience to the Pope, having previously made a private protest before witnesses that his oath should not prejudice the “rights of the king,” nor his own co-operation with him in “reforming” the Church of England. Events now moved rapidly. Cranmer declared the king divorced from Catherine (1533), and Acts of Parliament were passed (1534) abolishing all appeals to Rome, making the “King in Chancery” the final court of appeal in ecclesiastical causes, and recognising him as the supreme head of the English Church. By a clause in the Act of Supremacy a new oath was imposed on the bishops, by which they were required to recognise, without any saving clause, the supremacy of the king, and to abjure that of the Pope. All the influence of the new primate was employed in getting the bishops to take this oath; still it remains matter for amazement that they were found so pliable as all, with one exception, to do so. That exception was Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, who for the crime of refusing to the king his title of supreme head of the Church, was thrown into prison and after a time beheaded (1535). A few days afterwards Sir Thomas More suffered death for the same offence.

The English Church was now in a state of schism, being separated from the see of Peter, through union with which it had been for nine hundred years in communion with the Church universal. But no other change was made, and by the statute of the Six Articles (1539) Henry strove to repress the rising tide of heterodox innovation. In the next reign, that of Edward VI., the Protestant party obtained the reins of power. First one Prayer Book (1549), and then another (1552)—the second diverging considerably more from Catholic doctrine than the first—were substituted for the missal and breviary. In these changes, Cranmer and his associates, several of whom were foreigners, were unceasingly active. The bishops generally—such is usually the lot of time-servers—found that if they were expected to give up Rome in the last reign, they had to give up a great deal more in this, even fundamental doctrines of the Catholic faith. Several, as Gardiner, Tonstall, Day, Heath, and Veysey, resisted, with more or less of consistency, the novelties which the primate and council were continually foisting upon them, and were deprived of their sees. The majority, it is to be feared, acquiesced in all the iniquities and follies of the reign, even in that monstrous injunction of the council (1552) requiring them to remove the altars from all parish churches in their dioceses. A formulary of faith, in forty-two articles, was drawn up by Cranmer and Ridley, but too short a time before the death of Edward to allow of its being either embodied in a statute or assented to by Convocation.

In the reign of Mary, all the religious changes that had been made under Edward VI, were, so far as possible, undone, and the old state of things restored. Cardinal Pole was made archbishop of Canterbury, the authority of Rome was recognised, and the nation reconciled to the Holy See. Everyone knows with how great severity Mary’s government proceeded against the Protestants, Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer and many others being burnt, and hundreds forced to flee for their lives into foreign countries.

At the accession of Elizabeth the bishops, and the higher clergy generally, were staunch Catholics. But it was Elizabeth’s evident interest as the daughter of Ann Boleyn—whose marriage with her father two popes had declared to be null and void—to renounce the authority of Rome and throw herself into the arms of the Protestant party. Counsellers and ministers of great ability and determination were soon by her side, ready to confirm her in this course, and to point out the best means for effecting it. Pole was dead; Heath, archbishop of York, held the seals as chancellor; they were immediately taken from him, and given to Nicholas Bacon, a Protestant. Elizabeth made it known at once that she did not believe in transubstantiation, by forbidding the Bishop of Carlisle to elevate the host when saying Mass before her in her private chapel. Seeing this, Archbishop Heath, upon whom the office fell, as Canterbury was vacant, refused to take a part in her coronation; Oglethorp, of Carlisle, alone among the bishops, was found sufficiently complying. Parliament met early in 1559, and in the course of the session two important Acts, those of Supremacy and Uniformity, were passed. In the first the queen was styled, not “supreme head” of the Church, but “supreme governor, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes as temporal.” Practically, these words had the effect of severing England from the Holy See, and throwing her into schism, just as effectually as the earlier form. By the Act of Uniformity, the second Prayer Book of Edward VI. was restored, and its use made compulsory, some slight alterations being introduced, the object of which was to make acquiescence less difficult for those who leaned to the Catholic doctrine.

The English laity, as represented by Parliament, had now adopted the Protestant religion; it remained to see what the bishops and clergy would do. The bishops, all but one, stood firm. Only Kitchen, of Llandaff, could be induced to take the oath imposed by the new Act of Supremacy. Had the inferior clergy shown a similar spirit, it is possible that the plans of the Court would have failed; for it was notorious that the elections had been grossly tampered with by the agents of the Government, and that the general feeling in the country was far less favourable to Protestantism than the easy passing of the Act of Uniformity appeared to indicate. But although a large number, perhaps about half, of the cathedral clergy, archdeacons, and heads of colleges at the universities, followed the lead of the bishops, and refused the oath, yet the other half, driven on by interest, fear, or conviction, to unsay those pledges of fidelity to Rome which they had solemnly given, with the mouth if not with the heart, in the reign of Mary, consented to abjure the Pope, and adopt the Erastian principle that the sovereign of a country should have the supreme control of its religion. This being so, the Government feared not to eject the recusants at once, for they knew that among the men of university training whose Protestant sentiments had made them exiles under Mary, they would find numbers more or less qualified in point of character and learning to take the vacant posts, and eager to obey the Government in all things.

But it was necessary to find a working head for the new Church, and after some time Matthew Parker was pitched upon, and consecrated archbishop of Canterbury, at Lambeth, according to the ordinal of Edward VI., in December 1559. [ANGLICAN ORDERS.] Parker had been a Catholic priest, and the head of a college at Cambridge; nevertheless, in violation of his canonical obligations, he had married a wife; and the irregularity thus incurred obliged him to remain in hiding during the reign of Mary. All the bishops who refused the oath were deposed. Three of their number (the bishops of St. Asaph, Chester, and Worcester) escaped to the Continent; the first-named, Thomas Goldwell, took part in the later sittings of the Council of Trent. Men were soon found to accept the temporalities of the vacant sees, with all the conditions attached to them by the State. Thus Grindal was made Bishop of London; Cox, of Ely; Cheney (who, Camden tells us, had been a warm friend and admirer of Luther), of Gloucester; and Jewell, of Salisbury. With equal ease the vacancies in the ranks of the higher clergy and the authorities at the universities were filled up.

To consummate the severance of the new Church from Catholic Christendom, it was still necessary to provide it with a distinct symbol. This was done in the Convocation of 1563, which unanimously adopted, on Parker’s suggestion, the revised Articles of Edward VI. From forty-two they were reduced to thirty-nine, but the omitted articles referred to points of minor importance. Substantially the Creed then adopted, and ever since adhered to by the Anglican Church, represents the opinions of Cranmer and Peter Martyr. A useful note in Lingard’s History of England (vol. vi., note GG) analyses the divergences of the religious system put forth in the Thirty-nine Articles from Catholic belief. In few words it may be stated that, while the Articles adhere to the ancient doctrine on the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Redemption of man, they broach novel views on justification (the Lutheran tenet of justification “by faith only” being distinctly adopted), on Purgatory (which they deny), and on the Sacraments (which they reduce from seven to two). They also declare that general councils may not be summoned except by the commandment and will of princes (Article 21); that they may err even on matters of faith (ibid.); that all the patriarchates, both East and West, have erred in matters of faith (Article 19); that the English sovereign (though he or she must not meddle with “the ministering of God’s word or of the sacraments”) has supreme authority over all ecclesiastical persons and in all Church causes within his or her dominions (Article 37); and that the Pope has no jurisdiction in England (ibid.)

The necessity of finding a firm support in the government against the Catholic party, which was still strong down to the accession of James I., seems to have driven the Anglican leaders into the excessive Erastianism exhibited by the Thirty-nine Articles. This, while it gave them strength on the side of the government, alienated from them large numbers of the more conscientious and consistent Protestants; and more than any other single cause has contributed to that progressive attenuation of the national Church by secessions, which at the present day has left her with little more than half the English people within her pale. For an account of the procedure of the Holy See with reference to Elizabeth, see DEPOSITION, BULL OF.

ANGLICAN ORDERS. The validity of Anglican orders is a subject of controversy or not, according to the view taken of the nature and effects of ordination. The late Archbishop Whately (see his treatise on the “Kingdom of Christ,” passim) held (1) that the Church of Christ consisted of many separate communions having nothing necessarily in common but the profession of belief in Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of mankind; (2) that Christ’s kingdom was “not of this world,” i.e. not intended to be sustained by temporal coercion, as earthly kingdoms are; (3) that every Christian Church or sect, while repudiating all coercive means either for or against itself, had the right to organise itself and manage its internal affairs; (4) that a necessary part of such organisation was the appointment of office-bearers and ministers. Considered thus, Anglican orders are undoubtedly “valid;” for no one doubts that the Anglican Church has a separate corporate existence, and laws and a government of its own, nor that its clergy are regularly appointed in conformity to those laws. Nor would any one holding this view justly object to the ordination of Anglican clergymen, who have submitted to the Roman Church and desire to become priests; for he would admit that his view of ordination and that held in the Catholic Church were totally distinct things, so that to treat an Anglican cleryman as if he had not been previously ordained would merely imply a radical difference of conception as to the nature of ordination, and convey no slur on the rites or formalities by which his admission as an office-bearer in the Anglican Church had been prefaced.

But it is well known that there is a large and increasing section of Anglicans, who hold much the same theory as to the nature and effects of ordination that Catholics do—viz. that in virtue of authority derived in an unbroken chain from the Apostles [ORDER, HOLY] the bishop who ordains a priest confers on him the right and the duty of offering the sacrifice of the New Law by celebrating the Eucharist, and of absolving penitents from their sins. If Anglican ordination really conferred these powers, the consideration of the manner in which they have been used for the last three hundred years, and of the manner in which they are used now, would be one of the most painful and perplexing subjects of thought on which a Catholic could enter. At the same time, the Anglican party referred to have no choice but to claim for their ordinations nothing less than the potency above described, for they hold, as we do, that a priest in the Catholic Church is either all this, or he is—nothing. Hence an earnest and searching controversy has arisen of late years, with the view of sifting and testing the validity of those orders of which the consecration of Parker by Barlow in 1559 was the fountain head.

The subject is encumbered with innumerable details, and we have only space for a few important propositions in connection with it.

1. The Roman Church, though it has never pronounced a formal decision on the validity of Anglican orders, has in practice treated them as invalid, since Anglican clergymen have to go through all the usual stages before being admitted to the priesthood, as though they were simple laymen.

2. No record of the consecration of Barlow (who consecrated Parker) is in existence, and it is doubtful whether he was ever consecrated at all.

3. The ordinal used at Parker’s consecration—that of Edward VI.—shows a manifest intention of not making a Catholic bishop, as then and now understood, but of appointing a sort of overseer, who, deriving his power from the sovereign, should administer discipline, teach, and preach.

4. Similarly, the Anglican ordinal for making priests, at any rate down to the time of Charles II., bore on its face the intention, not to make sacrificing priests, but “a Gospel ministry.”

5. Even if their orders were valid, Anglicans would not any the more belong to the true Church. “Catholics believe their orders are valid, because they are members of the true Church, and Anglicans believe they belong to the true Church, because their orders are valid.’ (Canon Estcourt’s “Question of Anglican Ordinations discussed,” 1873; F. Hutton’s “The Anglican Ministry,” 1879, a luminous and able treatise.)

ANIMALS, LOWER, The doctrine of St. Thomas on the nature of the brutes, stands midway between the extreme doctrine, held in ancient and revived in modern times, that the brutes have rational souls, and the equally extreme doctrine of Descartes, that they are mere machines. St. Thomas admits that the brutes have souls, by which they live and feel, and know and desire the particular objects which are presented to them. They can store up past impressions in their memory; they can recall absent images by imagination. Further they cannot go. They are incapable of forming abstract ideas, and they have no free will. “In the works of brutes,” St. Thomas says, “we see certain instances of sagacity, inasmuch as the brutes have a natural inclination to proceed with the most perfect order, and, indeed, their actions are ordered with supreme skill.” He explains that this skill comes from God, the supreme artificer, and he continues, “On this account certain animals are called prudent and sagacious, although they themselves have no reason or free will, as is clear from the fact, that all animals of one species go to work in the same way.”

From this it follows, as will be plain to anyone who has learned the elements of the Thomist philosophy, that all the operations of the brute soul are performed through the bodily organs. The imagination and the memory are sensitive powers, no less than sight and hearing: it is only the intellect and the will which deal with immaterial ideas, and which act without material organs; and intellect and will are wanting in brutes. From the operations of the soul in brutes St. Thomas infers its nature, in accordance with the philosophic maxim “essence and operation correspond to each other.” As their souls operate through matter, so they spring from matter and perish with it. They are not created by God, but are derived with their bodies from their parents by natural generation. Without matter, they are utterly incapable of operation, and therefore of existence, for nothing can exist unless it acts in some way or other. Hence, their soul is extinguished with the dissolution of the body.

These philosophical principles determine the morality which regulates the conduct of man to the brutes. As the lower animals have no duties, since they are destitute of free will, without which the performance of duty is impossible, so they have no rights, for right and duty are correlative terms. The brutes are made for man, who has the same right over them which he has over plants or stones. He may, according to the express permission of God, given to Noe, kill them for his food, and if it is lawful to destroy them for food, and this without strict necessity, it must also be lawful to put them to death, or to inflict pain on them, for any good or reasonable end, such as the promotion of man’s knowledge, health, &c., or even for the purposes of recreation. But a limitation must be introduced here. It is never lawful for a man to take pleasure directly in the pain given to brutes, because, in doing so, man degrades and brutalises his own nature. Hence the touching rules in the Old Testament which prescribe mercy on man’s part to the beasts. Moreover, we are bound for our own sakes not to inflict long and keen suffering on the brutes, except some considerable good results. If we accustom ourselves to see animals tortured, we are apt to become callous even to human sufferings, and we do wrong in exposing ourselves to such a danger, unless on the weighty grounds of a higher benevolence. “A man,” says Billuart, “who puts brutes to death in a cruel manner, and delights in their torments, sins venially, by abusing his power as master and lord. For by such cruelty a man accustoms himself to be cruel to his fellow-men; whence we read in Prov. 12. ‘the just man knoweth [i.e. considers and regards] the souls of his beasts, but the heart of the wicked is cruel.’ “

ANNATES (Annatæ) or FIRST FRUITS. According to the definition of Ferraris, “Annates are a certain portion of the revenues of vacant benefices which ought, according to the canons and special agreements, to be paid to the Roman Pontiff and the Curia.” The portion due in the case of inferior benefices seems to have been, before the Council of Constance, one half of the gross revenues of the first year, and in the case of bishoprics and abbeys, a sum regulated according to “the ancient taxation.” At that council a decree was passed after much discussion, of which the general effect was to allow to the Roman Pontiff the first year’s income of all dignities and benefices in his gift. The Council of Basle complained of the burden of the “annates,” yet when it was a question of maintaining the anti-pope Felix, whom they had set up, they imposed a still heavier burden, in the shape of “first fruits,” on the nations adhering to them.

The annates were finally transferred from the Pope to the King by a statute passed in 1534. They are still payable to the sovereign in the case of Anglican bishoprics and Crown livings.

Owing to the revolutions which within the last ninety years have so completely altered the face of Europe, annates form, at the present day, a scarcely appreciable portion of the revenues of the Holy See. Their place is supplied more or less imperfectly by the voluntary contributions usually called “Peter’s Pence” [see that article].

Zahlwein remarks:—”Annates (1) are paid for the support of the Pope, the Cardinals, and other officials. (2) They are applied to defray the expenses of the legates and apostolic nuncios, whom the Popes find it necessary to send to various nations and the Courts of princes. (3) By means of these annates, aid is extended to bishops who have been expelled from their sees, and to princes unjustly dislodged from their thrones.” It was probably by means of this fund that the Popes were enabled to extend a generous hospitality for many years to the son and grandson of our James II.

ANNIVERSARY. An “anniversary” is defined as “that which is done for a deceased person on the expiration of a year from the day of death,” and is especially understood of the celebration of Mass for the benefit of his soul. When a testator directs that such an anniversary shall be celebrated, without specifying whether once or oftener, the canon law interprets his intention as being that the foundation shall be in perpetuum. If the anniversary falls on a greater double, the Mass of Requiem may be said; if on a double of the second class, it must be anticipated or postponed. (Ferraris, Anniversarium.)

ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN (Annuntiatio, εὐαγγελισμός, χαριτισμός). The word signifies “declaration,” or “announcement”—i.e. of the fact that God the Son was to be born of Mary—but at the very moment in which the fact was announced, it actually took place; so that, in commemorating the “Annunciation,” we really commemorate the Incarnation of God the Word.

St. Luke tells us, that the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth, where he saluted Mary with the words, “Hail, full of grace.” The Evangelist speaks of Mary as “espoused” to Joseph, and Calmet, on this ground, thinks that she was still unmarried. But the great majority of Catholic writers believe that the word “espoused” must not be pressed; that Mary, when the angel came, was already St. Joseph’s wife, and was living in his house. St. Ambrose, in his commentary on Luke, lib. 2, remarks that the salutation, “Hail, full of grace,” was unknown before. “It was reserved for Mary alone. For rightly is she called full of grace, who alone obtained a grace merited by none, save only her, that she should be filled with the Author of Grace.” At first, Mary was disturbed by the salutation, and even when told that she was to be the Mother of our Lord, she replied, “How shall this be, since I know not man?” Catholic divines point out that she did not, like Zacharias, show want of faith. She accepted the fact, and only inquired about the manner of its accomplishment. According to the common explanation, she had made a vow of virginity, which she was anxious to keep, though, as St. Bernard says, she was willing to surrender it at God’s bidding. The angel told her the child was to be conceived by the operation of the Holy Ghost. Mary herself was to supply all which an ordinary mother supplies for the formation of her child’s body, so that Mary is truly the Mother of God. The rest was done by the operation of the Trinity, though it is attributed specially to the Holy Ghost, because it was a work of grace and love—grace and love being particularly appropriated to the Holy Ghost. This mystery was accomplished when the Blessed Virgin said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” Then God the Son was hypostatically united to human nature.

The Annunciation, as a feast, belongs both to Christ and to his Blessed Mother; but Suarez says, that, as the gift of Christ to man was not perfectly accomplished till the moment of his birth, therefore the feast of the Annunciation is to be regarded chiefly as a feast of Mary, that of Christmas as a feast of Christ. The feast of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25. Some authors—e.g. Thomassin and Tillemont—think that this date was chosen simply because it is nine months before Christmas; nine months being the usual period which elapses between conception and birth. Benedict XIV., on the other hand, contends that the 25th of March was known by ancient tradition to have been the actual day. Certainly, St. Augustine, in the fourth book of his work on the Trinity, cap. v., speaks of an ancient tradition to that effect, while the same day is marked for the Annunciation in the Greek Menologies and Menæa, in the Calendars and Martyrologies of the Copts, Syrians, Chaldeans, as well as in the Sacramentary of St. Gregory, and generally in the Missals, &c., of the West. It is true that a Council of Toledo, in the seventh century, ordered the feast to be kept on January 18, but the object of the council was, not to fix the true date, but to provide against the inconvenience of celebrating the Annunciation in Lent.

We do not find any certain and express mention of the feast in early writers, though Martene rightly infers from St. Augustine’s words, already alluded to, that the custom of celebrating it is very ancient. We find it mentioned by the Council in Trullo (692), in an ancient Martyrology falsely attributed to St. Jerome, and in homilies which pass under the name of Gregory Thaumaturgus, and which may belong to the beginning of the fifth century. The Bollandists even argue from the general diffusion of the feast, that it may have been of Apostolic institution.



ANTHONY, ST., ORDER OF. Properly speaking, there is no such Order, For although, as we have seen [ABBOT], Anthony was the patriarch of the monastic family, still he composed no rule; and if certain schismatic convents of Armenians and Copts boast that they possess such a rule, it is always found on examination that it is the rule of St. Basil, or some modification of it.

The Antonines, an order of monks to serve the sick, were founded by Gaston, a gentleman of Dauphiné, towards the end of the eleventh century, when the terrible and mysterious disease called St. Anthony’s fire was causing great mortality in the valley of the Rhone. In 1040 Jocelyn, a pilgrim, had brought relics of St. Anthony to the church of St. Didier la Mothe, near Vienne. Praying before these relics in 1095, Gaston, his son being then dangerously ill, vowed to give his goods to found a hospital if his soul got well. The son recovered, and eagerly joined his father in the fulfilment of his vow. They took the monastic habit, and established a hospital for the reception of persons ill of St. Anthony’s fire. The order flourished greatly. Benedict VIII. in 1297 ordained that the Antonines should live as canons-regular under the rule of St. Austin. The order subsisted till the Revolution, at which time there were sixty-six Antonines in France; of this number only three became assermentés; the rest preferred persecution, exile, and death.

ANTHROPOMORPHITES. An insignificant sect of the fourth century, called also Audians, after their founder Audius, a native of Mesopotamia. Grounding their heresy on many passages in Scripture, especially in the Old Testament, they maintained that God had a human shape. They died out before the end of the fifth century. When Cassian, towards the year 400, travelled among the monks of Egypt, he found that anthropomorphism, though with a complete absence of heretical intention or perversity, was rife among them; but whether they inherited the tenet from the Audians, or derived it from some other source, is uncertain.

ANTICHRIST. A word which, so far as the New Testament is concerned, only occurs in St. John’s Epistles. In itself it might mean—”like Christ,” or “instead of Christ,” as ἀντίθεος signifies Godlike, or ἀνθύπατος pro-consul, but the Antichrist of St. John is Christ’s adversary. “Ye have heard,” he says, “that Antichrist is coming, and now there have been many Antichrists.… This is the Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.” In the fourth chapter he makes the characteristic of Antichrist (τὸ τοῦ ἀντιχρίστου) consist in not confessing Jesus; and more fully in the seventh verse of the Second Epistle, he places the guilt of Antichrist in his denial that Christ has “come in the flesh.” Thus St. John identifies the Anti-christian spirit with the Docetic heresy, though he seems also to allude to a single person who is to come in the last days. St. Paul, in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians is more explicit. He does not, indeed, use the word “Antichrist,” but he speaks of a person whom he describes as the “man of sin,” “the son of perdition who opposeth and raiseth himself over all that is called God, or is an object of awe, so as to sit in the temple of God, exhibiting himself as God.” At present, there is a power which hinders his manifestation. The Thessalonians looked on the “day of the Lord” as already imminent. Not so, St. Paul replies; three things must happen first—an apostasy or defection must occur; the hindrance to the manifestation of Antichrist must be removed, and then Antichrist himself revealed. This “man of sin “is usually called “Antichrist,” and to this terminology we shall conform during the rest of the article.

As to this Antichrist, we must distinguish between what is certain and what is doubtful.

It is the constant belief of the whole Church, witnessed by Father after Father from Irenæus downwards, that before our Lord comes again, a great power will arise which will persecute the Church, and lead many into apostacy. All that is “lawless,” all that oppose “lawful authority” in Church or State, partake so far of his spirit, who is called, in the words of the Apostle, the “lawless one” by pre-eminence. But this must not lead us to treat Antichrist as a mere personification of evil, or to forget the universal belief of Fathers and theologians that he is a real and individual being who is to appear before the end of the world.

So much for what is certain. When we come to details, the Fathers, Bossuet says, “do but grope in the dark, a sure mark that tradition had left nothing decisive on the subject.” All, or nearly all, are agreed in considering that the “mystery of iniquity already worked” in Nero, that the power which hindered the appearance of Antichrist was the Roman Empire, and that he was to appear as the Messias of the Jews, and to possess himself of their temple. Further, from very early times, St. Paul’s “man of sin” was identified with one of the two Apocalyptic beasts, in Apoc. 13, and with the little horn, in Daniel 7, which roots out the other ten horns, or kings, speaks blasphemies and destroys the saints. A time was expected when the Roman power would be divided into ten kingdoms. Antichrist was to destroy three of these, to subdue the rest, till, after a reign of three and a half years, he, in turn, was destroyed by Christ. It was also commonly held that Antichrist was to be a Jew, of the tribe of Dan, because that tribe is described as a serpent by the dying Jacob, and is omitted from the list of tribes in the Apocalypse. Many other features in the picture might be given. Some regarded Antichrist as generated by Satan; others, as actually Satan incarnate. The Arian persecution in Africa, the domination of Islam, were looked upon as likely to usher in the reign of Antichrist. Among other curious beliefs we may mention that of some among the Béguines, who supposed that as Lucifer had come from the highest order of angels, so Antichrist would spring from the most perfect Order, viz. the Franciscan. In contrast with these aberrations of fancy, St. Augustine in the West, and St. John Damascene in the East, preserve a marked moderation of tone in discussing this subject.

At the Protestant Reformation, an entirely new view appeared on the field. Even heretics had not ventured to assert that St. Paul, in the “man of sin,” meant to describe the Pope. Wicliffe, indeed, had called the Pope “Antichrist,” while the name was applied to Pope Silvester by the Waldensians, to John XXII. by the Béguines; but the word was used in that vague sense in which everyone who does or teaches evil is an Antichrist. Indeed, till Luther’s time it was generally agreed that Antichrist was to be an individual, and this fact, which the plain sense of St. Paul’s words implies, is enough of itself to refute the absurd opinion that Antichrist means the line of Popes. All Protestant writers of respectable attainments have now rejected this monstrous interpretation. Yet it is well not to forget that it was once almost an article of Protestant faith, and it was actually made a charge against Archbishop Laud on his trial that he refused to recognise Antichrist in the Bishop of Rome.

(Chiefly taken from Döllinger’s “First Age of the Church,” Appendix I.)

ANTIDICOMARIANITES (literally “opponents of Mary”). A sect of heretics in Arabia, to whom St. Epiphanius directed an epistle and of whom he gives an account in his work on heresies. They held, that, after Christ’s birth, Mary had other children by St. Joseph. They are said to have derived this error from disciples of Apollinaris. The Collyridians, a sect of the same time and country, also mentioned by Epiphanius, went to the opposite extreme. Women of this sect offered cakes or rolls (κολλυρίδες) in Mary’s honour and afterwards partook of them. This superstition first arose in Thrace and Scythia. Against these heresies St. Epiphanius lays down the Catholic principle, that Mary is to be honoured, but God only to be adored. (See Fleury, xvii., 26. Hefele in Wetzer and Welte.)

ANTIOCH. The city in which the disciples of our Lord were first called Christians. It was the chief centre of the Gentile Church, and here the chief apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, and other apostolic men, such as St. Barnabas, laboured. Besides this, Antioch had a title to special pre-eminence in the fact that it was for a time the actual see of St. Peter, who founded the Church and held it, according to St. Jerome, for seven years. He was succeeded by St. Evodius and St. Ignatius. Moreover, the civil greatness of the city combined with its traditional glory, as St. Peter’s see, to give it a high rank among the Churches of the world. It is no wonder, then, that Antioch should have been regarded in early times as the third among the episcopal cities of the Catholic world. The difficulty rather lies in the fact that the third, instead of the second, place was assigned to it, and that it ranked after Alexandria, the see of St. Mark. This apparent anomaly may be explained by the civil superiority of Alexandria, and this is the solution actually given by Baronius; or, again, it may be said that St. Peter only fixed his see at Antioch for a time, whereas he placed his representative St. Mark as the permanent bishop of Alexandria.

However, the bishops of Antioch did not even maintain their rank as third among Christian bishops, though it was theirs by ancient privilege. At the Second and Fourth Councils, they permitted the bishop of Constantinople to assume the next place after the Roman bishop, so that Antioch became the fourth among the patriarchates. Shortly after the Fourth General Council, Antioch fell lower still. Anatolius, bishop of Constantinople in St. Leo’s time, ordained a patriarch of Antioch, and this infringement of the independence which belonged to Antioch as a patriarchate came to be regarded as a settled custom.

The patriarchate of Antioch embraced the following provinces: Phœnicia prima et secunda, Cilicia, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Osroene, Euphratesia, Syria secunda, Isauria and Palestine. It is doubtful whether Persia was subject to it. Antioch claimed jurisdiction over Cyprus, but the latter asserted its independence at the Council of Ephesus, and at a later date Anthimus, metropolitan of Cyprus, resisted Peter the Fuller, who claimed authority as patriarch of Antioch. Anthimus professed to have found the body of St. Barnabas in the island and so to have proved the apostolic foundation of his Church. The territory of Antioch was abridged further by the rise of the patriarchate of Jerusalem. At Chalcedon, Juvenal of Jerusalem secured the three Palestines as his own patriarchate. This he did by an agreement with Maximus of Antioch, which was ratified by the council and the Papal legates.

The bishop of Tyre held the first place among the metropolitans subject to Antioch; he was called πρωτόθρονος, and he had the right of consecrating the new patriarch, though in the middle of the fifth century, as we have seen, this privilege was usurped by Constantinople. The patriarch consecrated the metropolitans; they consecrated the bishops, though Pope Leo wished, that even bishops should not be consecrated without the patriarch’s approval.

Under the Emperors Zeno and Anastasius at the end of the fifth century, Monophysite patriarchs were placed at Antioch, and this Monophysite patriarchate lasts to the present day, though the patriarch’s residence was removed to Tagrit and later to Diarbekir. There was a Greek orthodox patriarch, who generally resided at Constantinople, but he too fell away in the general defection of the Greeks from Catholic unity. This schismatic patriarchate of the orthodox Greeks still continues. At the end of the eleventh century, the conquests of the crusaders led to the establishment of a Latin patriarchate.

At present, besides the Syro-Monophysite or Jacobite, and the Greek schismatic patriarch, there are—the Latin Catholic patriarch, who, at present, does not really govern any Church in the East; the Greek Melchite patriarch, for the united Greeks; the Syrian patriarch, for those of the Syrian rite who returned in the seventeenth century from Monophysite error to the Church; the Maronite patriarch, who has authority over all Maronite settlements. (From Le Quien, “Oriens Christianus,” tom. ii. De Patriarchatu Antiocheno; except the last paragraph, which is from Moroni, “Dizionario,” sub voce.)

Among the many councils assembled at Antioch, special importance belongs (1) to three councils held between 264 and 269 against Paul of Samosata. At the third council, in 269, Paul was deposed and his formula that the Son was of one substance (ὁμοούσιος) with the Father condemned, probably because Paul meant by it, that the Son pre-existed only as an attribute of the Father, not as a distinct Person, just as reason in man is a mere faculty, not a distinct person. The fathers of the council addressed an encyclical letter to Dionysius of Rome, Maximus of Alexandria, and to the other bishops. Dionysius died that same year, but his successor, Felix I., published a decisive statement of the Catholic faith against the errors of the heresiarch. Paul, however, maintained possession of the episcopal house; whereupon the orthodox applied to the emperor Aurelian, who decreed that the bishop’s house was to belong to him “with whom the Italian bishops and the Roman see were in communion.”

(2) To the Synod in encœniis, held in 341. It consisted of 97 bishops, met to consecrate the “Golden Church” begun by Constantine the Great, whence the name ἐν ἐγκαινίοις. The majority of the Fathers held the Catholic faith, and had no thought of betraying it; and hence their 25 canons relating to matters of discipline attained to great authority throughout the Church. But they were deceived by the Eusebian party [see ARIANS], renewed the sentence of deposition against Athanasius, and put forth four Creeds, which though they approach the Nicene confession, still fall short of it by omitting the decisive word “consubstantial.”

Apart from its influence as a patriarchate and as the meeting-place of councils, Antioch also wielded great powers over the Church as a school of theology and of scriptural exegesis. This school already existed in the fourth century, when Dorotheus and Lucian—who died, as a martyr, in 311—were its chief ornaments. The Antiochenes were learned and logical, the enemies of allegorical interpretation and of mysticism, but their love of reasoning and their common sense degenerated at times into a rationalistic tendency, so much so that Theodore of Mopsuestia has ever been regarded as the forerunner of Nestorius. But undoubtedly, Antioch rendered great services in the literal interpretation of Scripture. Unlike the Alexandrians, the great scholars of Antioch turned aside from allegorical interpretations, and were distinguished for their critical spirit and grammatical precision. Among their foremost commentators were—Diodore, bishop of Tarsus, (+ about 394), formerly priest at Antioch, whose writings, though vehemently denounced for their Nestorian tendency, and no longer extant, once enjoyed a vast reputation; John Chrysostom, the greatest of all literal expositors; Theodore of Mopsuestia (+ 429), like Diodorus, inclining to Nestorianism, but gifted with talents which can still be discovered even in the fragments and Latin translations of his commentaries which survive, and known among the Nestorians as “the commentator” par excellence; Theodoret (+ about 458), whose commentaries on St. Paul are “perhaps unsurpassed” for “appreciation, terseness of expression and good sense.”

ANTIPHON. The word signifies “alternate utterance.” St. Ignatius, one of the Apostolic Fathers, is believed to have first instituted the method of alternate chanting by two choirs, at Antioch. In the time of Constantine, according to Sozomen, the monks Flavian and Diodorus introduced it among the Greeks. In the Latin Church it was first employed by St. Ambrose at Milan in the fourth century, and soon became general. But in process of time the word came to have a more restricted sense; according to which it signifies a selection of words or verses prefixed to and following a psalm or psalms, to express in brief the mystery which the Church is contemplating in that part of her office.

In the Mass, the Introit (introduced by Pope Celestine I. in the fifth century), the Offertory, and the Communion, are regarded as Antiphons. But it is in the canonical hours that the use of the Antiphon receives its greatest extension. At Vespers, Matins, and Lauds, when the office is a double [DOUBLE], the Antiphons are doubled—that is, the whole Antiphon is said both before and after the psalm or canticle. On minor feasts, the Antiphons are not doubled; then the first words only are said before the psalm, and the whole at the end of it. Liturgical writers say that the Antiphon means charity; and that when it is not doubled, the meaning is that charity, begun in this life, is perfected in the life to come; when it is doubled, it is because on the greater feasts we desire to show a more ardent charity. Except the Alleluias, few Antiphons are sung in Paschal time, for the joy of the season inflames of itself, and without extraneous suggestion, the charity of the clergy. On most Sundays the Antiphons at Vespers are taken from both Testaments, but in Paschal time only from the New. On the greater Antiphons, see the article ADVENT.

The final Antiphons of the B. V. M. formed no part of the original Church office; they came into the breviary later. They are four in number, one for each season of the year. The first, “Alma Redemptoris,” sung from Advent to Candlemas, was written by Hermannus Contractus, who died in 1054. Chaucer’s beautiful use of this in the Prioresses Tale shows how popular a canticle it must have been with our forefathers. The second, “Ave Regina,” sung from Candlemas to Maundy Thursday, was written about the same time, but the author is unknown. The third, “Regina Cœli, lætare,” is used in Paschal time; and the fourth, “Salve Regina” (to which, as is well known, St. Bernard added the words “O clemens,” &c.), written either by Pedro of Compostella or Hermannus Contractus, is sung from Trinity to Advent.

ANTIPHONARY. The book in which the antiphons of the breviary, with the musical notes belonging to them, are contained.

APOCRISIARIUS (ἀποκρίνεσθαι, to answer.) Ecclesiastical, but chiefly Papal, emissaries to the Court of the Emperor were designated by this name from the fourth to the ninth century. So long as the civil power persecuted the Church, there was no place for such officials; but after the conversion of Constantine, the recognition by the Roman emperors of the divinity of Christianity and the claims of the hierarchy gave rise to numberless questions, within the borderland of the civil and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which it was important for the Popes to press on the notice of the emperors, and obtain definite answers upon, so that a practical adjustment might become possible. The Apocrisiarius, therefore, corresponded to the Nuncio or Legate a latere of later times, and was usually a deacon of the Roman Church. Gregory the Great resided in this character for three years at Constantinople in the reign of the Emperor Mauricius. After the middle of the eighth century we hear no more of such an emissary, because the adoption of the extravagances of the Iconoclasts by the imperial Court led to a breach with Rome. But when Charlemagne revived the Empire of the West, similar diplomatic relations arose between him and the Holy See, which again required the appointment of Apocrisiarii. It appears that under the first Frankish emperors the imperial arch-chaplain was at the same time Papal Apocrisiarius. Subsequently the name was given to officials of Court nomination, who held no commission from Rome; and in this way the title in its old sense came to be disused, and was replaced by Legatus, or Nuntius.

APOCRYPHA (from ἀπόκρυφος, hidden). It corresponds to the Jewish word ננז, which the Jews applied to books withdrawn from public use in the synagogue, on account of their unfitness for public reading. But the later Jews had also the notion that some books should be withdrawn from general circulation because of the mysterious truths they contained.

The early Fathers used “apocryphal” to denote the forged books of heretics, borrowing, perhaps, the name from the heretics themselves, who vaunted the “apocryphal” or “hidden” wisdom of these writings. Later—e.g. in the “Prologus galeatus” of Jerome—apocryphal is used in a milder sense to mark simply that a book is not in the recognised canon of Scripture; and Pope Gelasius, in a decree of 494, uses the term apocryphal in a very wide manner, (1) of heretical forgeries; (2) of books like the “Shepherd of Hermas,” revered by the ancients, but not a part of Scripture; (3) of works by early Christian writers (Arnobius, Cassian, &c.) who had erred on some points of doctrine. We need scarcely add that the Protestant custom of calling Wisdom, Machabees, &c., “Apocrypha,” is contrary to the faith and tradition of the Church. [See DEUTERO-CANONICAL.]

The name is now usually reserved by Catholics for books, laying claim to an origin which might entitle them to a place in the canon, or which have been supposed to be Scripture, but which have been finally rejected by the Church. In the Old Testament the most important apocryphal books are—3 and 4 Esdras, both of which are cited by early writers as Scripture, the latter being also used in the Missal and Breviary; 3 and 4 Machabees; the prayer of Manasses, which is found in Greek MSS. of the Old Testament, and is often printed, in a Latin version, in the appendix to the Vulgate; the book of Enoch (cf. Jude 14), which Tertullian regarded as authentic (it only exists at present in an Ethiopic version); a 151st Psalm attributed to David, which is found in Greek MSS., and in the Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions of the Psalms; eighteen psalms attributed to Solomon, written originally, according to some scholars, in Hebrew, according to others, in Greek.

There is a great mass of New Testament apocryphal literature. Some books, such as the “Epistle of Barnabas,” the two “Epistles of Clement,” the “Shepherd of Hermas,” may in a certain sense be called apocryphal, because, though not really belonging to Scripture, they were quoted as such by ancient writers, or were inserted in MSS. of the New Testament. Some other books mentioned by Eusebius—viz. the “Acts of Paul,” the “Apocalypse of Peter,” the “Teachings of the Apostles” (διδαχαὶ τῶν Ἀποστόλων), seem to have belonged to this better class of apocryphal literature. Besides these, Eusebius mentions apocryphal books in circulation among heretics—viz. the “Gospels” of Peter, Thomas, Matthias; the “Acts” of Andrew, John, and the rest of the Apostles. Fragments remain of the ancient Gospels “according to the Hebrews,” “of the Nazarenes,” “according to the Egyptians,” of the preaching and Apocalypse of Peter, &c., and have been repeatedly edited.

Later times were no less fruitful in apocryphal literature, and we still possess a great number of these later forgeries, entire and complete. They have been edited by Fabricius in the work already named; by Thilo, “Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti,” 1831, of which work only the first volume, containing the apocryphal Gospels, appeared; by Tischendorf (“Evangelia Apocrypha,” 1876, second edition enlarged; “Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha,” 1851; “Apocryphal Apocalypses,” 1866), and by other scholars. This is not the place to attempt an enumeration of these apocryphal books, but we may mention some which enjoyed a special popularity in the Church, and exercised a marked influence on Catholic literature. A number of apocryphal Gospels treat of the infancy and youth of our Lord, and of the history of his blessed Mother and foster-father. Among these the “Protevangelium of James” holds the first place. It describes the early history of Mary, our Lord’s birth at Bethlehem, and the history of the wise men from the East. This gospel was much used by the Greek Fathers; portions of it were read publicly in the Eastern Church, and it was translated into Arabic and Coptic. It was prohibited for a time among the Latins, but even in the West it was much used during the middle ages. Other Gospels, such as the Arabic “Evangelium Infantiæ Salvatoris,” contain legendary miracles of our Lord’s infancy. We have a second class of apocryphal Gospels, which treat of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. Of this class is the “Gospel of Nicodemus.” It is probably of very late origin, but it was a favourite book in the middle ages. The Greek text still exists, but it was also circulated, before the invention of printing, in Latin, Anglo-Saxon, German, and French. Closely connected with this Gospel are a number of documents which have sprung from very ancient but spurious “Acts of Pilate.” These ancient Acts, which were known to Justin and Tertullian, have perished, but they called forth several imitations which still survive. The one which is best known is a letter of Lentulus to the Roman senate describing the personal appearance of our Lord. It is a forgery of the middle ages.

Further, apocryphal literature is rich in “Acts of the Apostles,” and here, as in the apocryphal Gospels, we find early but spurious Acts, revised and enlarged, and so originating fresh forgeries. Thus the “Acts of Paul and Thecla,” in their existing form, are the recension of a very early work—forged as early at least as Tertullian’s time. The fullest of all these “Acts” is the “Historia Certaminis Apostolorum.” It can scarcely be older than the ninth century, but it is of considerable value, because the author has made diligent use of earlier Acts, some of which have perished.

Of apocryphal Epistles we have, among others, a letter of St. Paul to the Laodiceans (only existing in Latin), which, though rejected by Jerome, was accepted as canonical by many great Latin theologians of a later day, won a place in many copies of the Latin Bible, and for more than nine centuries “hovered about the doors of the sacred canon.” We may also mention a letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, and another of the Corinthians to St. Paul (both only in Armenian); letters supposed to have passed between St. Paul and Seneca (known to Jerome and Augustine); spurious letters of the Blessed Virgin, to St. Ignatius, to the inhabitants of Messina, &c., &c.

Lastly, we have apocryphal Apocalypses of Paul (called also ἀναβατικόν; see 2 Cor. 12:1.), Thomas, Stephen—nay, even of St. John himself.

APOLLINARIANISM. Apollinaris was the son of a grammarian, also called Apollinaris, who migrated from Alexandria to Laodicea, where the younger Apollinaris was born, and of which city he afterwards became bishop. He was distinguished, not only for his great literary knowledge and skill, but also for his austerity of life. He was a voluminous author. He wrote in defence of the Christian religion against Porphyry, and showed like zeal against the Arians, who in revenge inflicted a cruel wrong upon him. He was dear in his youth to St. Athanasius, and he was in friendly relations with SS. Epiphanius, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus. Hence, for a long time the Catholics were unwilling to believe that the errors attributed to him were really his. Athanasius wrote against his heresy without mentioning his name, and at the Alexandrian Council of 362, the Apollinarians seem either to have retracted their errors for the moment, or else to have deceived the Catholic bishops. But “towards 375 or 376,” says Fleury, “their errors manifested themselves so plainly as to make further toleration impossible. The Egyptian bishops exiled in Palestine for the faith opposed [Apollinaris] vigorously,” and St. Basil wrote against the heresiarch. Apollinaris was condemned in a Roman synod under Pope Damasus in 374. Two years later, the same Pope, in another Roman synod anathematised the heresy and deposed Apollinaris with his two disciples Timothy and Vitalis, Apollinarist bishops at Alexandria and Antioch. They were condemned again in the first canon of the Second General Council, and their assemblies were forbidden by Theodosius.

Apollinaris was not always consistent with himself, and it is not easy to distinguish his doctrine from later accretions, which it may have received through his followers. A full account of his doctrine so far as it can be ascertained will be found in Petavius, from whom we have taken the following summary:—

First, Apollinaris, like the Arians, denied that our Lord had a human intelligence. He admitted that Christ had a soul by which he lived and felt, but he said that the place of the intellect and spirit were supplied by the eternal Word. A human intelligence, he argued, would have been useless to our Lord, and inconsistent with his sinlessness, because a created intelligence must needs be peccable. Here Apollinaris virtually denied that Christ is perfect man, and destroyed all real belief in the Incarnation.

Next, he, or at least his followers, held that our Lord’s flesh was of one substance with his divinity, so that the divinity actually suffered and died. They denied that he took flesh from the Blessed Virgin, asserting that Christ brought his body with him from heaven, and that this body existed “before the ages.” On this point, the Apollinarians repeated an old Gnostic error, and were the forerunners of the Monophysites. They objected to the Catholic doctrine, according to which Christ is true man, because they thought it introduced a fourth person over and above the three Persons of the Trinity. As Apollinaris denied the humanity of Christ by depriving him of an intelligent soul, so he did in reality deny his divinity, for a Godhead which can die or suffer is no Godhead at all. (See Petav. loc. cit.; Fleury; Newman, “Tracts Theological and Ecclesiastical,” 257 seq.)

APOLOGIST. The word is used generally to denote writers who defend Christianity and the Church from attack. It is also applied in a special sense to those Christian writers of the first four centuries, who vindicated the faith and discipline of Christ from the torrent of obloquy to which they were exposed in Pagan society. Such were Justin Martyr, Minucius Felix, Tertullian, Theophilus, Clement of Alexandria, Lactantius, &c., besides others, such as Quadratus, Aristides, and Melito, whose works have not come down to us.

APOSTACY. It is of three kinds: that from the Christian faith; that from ecclesiastical obedience; and that from a religious profession, or from holy orders. An apostate from the faith is one who wholly abandons the faith of Christ, and joins himself to some other law, such as Judaism, Islam, Paganism, &c. It is a mistake, therefore, to brand as apostacy any kind of heresy or schism, however criminal or absurd, which still assumes to itself the Christian name. While the Turks were in the heyday of their power, and had great command over the Mediterranean, the captivity of Christians among them, and apostacy resulting from such captivity, were matters of everyday occurrence; hence a great number of decisions and opinions respecting the treatment of apostates, on their wishing to return to Christianity, may be found in the writings of canonists. The second kind of apostacy, that from ecclesiastical obedience, is when a Catholic wilfully and contumaciously sets at nought the authority of the Church. Such apostacy, if persisted in, becomes Schism [q.v.]. The third kind is that of those who abandon without permission the religious order in which they are professed, as when Luther abandoned his profession as an Augustinian, and married Catherine Bora. He is also an apostate who, after having received major orders, renounces his clerical profession, and returns to the dress and customs of the world, “an act which entails ecclesiastical infamy, and, if there is marriage, excommunication.” (Ferraris, Apostasia; Mack’s article in Wetzer and Welte.)

APOSTLE (from ἀπόστολος, one who is sent). The word is not much used in classical Greek except to denote “a naval expedition.” In the LXX it occurs only once, 3 Kings 14:6, where Ahias says to the wife of Jeroboam, “I am a hard messenger (ἀπόστολος) to thee.” It was, however, in common use among the later Jews, who applied it to the emissaries sent by the rulers of the race on any foreign mission. These “apostles” formed a council round the Jewish patriarch, and executed his orders abroad. Probably our Lord adopted the word from the current language of his time.

The name is given in the New Testament first of all to the twelve whom our Lord chose. “The names of the twelve apostles,” St. Matthew says, “are these: the first, Simon,” &c. But it is by no means restricted to them: Matthias and Paul were of course apostles, though not of the twelve; so was Barnabas. Moreover, St. Paul seems to call the seventy disciples apostles, and to bestow it also upon Andronicus and Junias. Certainly, in the writings of the Fathers and in the office of the Church the word is used of persons like Silas, Timothy, Luke, and others who were associated with Paul in his work. Finally, the word Apostle in the New Testament still retains its wide and original meaning of messenger.

It is plain, however, from Scripture and tradition, and from the very fact that the Church was an organised body, that the office of Apostle was something definite and distinct. It has been argued that an Apostle, in the strict sense, had to be taken from those who had seen our Lord, and that the office of the Apostolate was always accompanied with the power of working miracles. Neither of these points can be proved. No doubt, it was providentially arranged that the twelve should be able to give personal witness to the resurrection, and St. Paul himself appeals to his having seen our Lord as proof of his equality with the older Apostles. No doubt, God did confirm the teaching of the Apostles by giving extraordinary efficacy to their words, and setting his seal to it by miracles. But this is no proof that the essential character of the Apostolate depended either on the gift of miracles or on having seen our Lord. There are, however, three marks of the Apostolic office which necessarily belong to it, and which, taken together, separate it from all other ecclesiastical dignities. First, the Apostles were bishops, and so had the sacrament of order in all its fullness; they were able to consecrate and ordain, to confirm, &c. Next, either mediately, through the ministry of man, or immediately from God himself, they had received a commission to preach the Gospel throughout the world. They were to be witnesses to Christ “even to the end of the earth.” Thirdly, they received full and perfect power of binding and loosing, of founding Churches, of ordaining bishops and other ecclesiastics, throughout the world. This universal jurisdiction, however, they were obliged to exercise in union with St. Peter, who was the centre of unity and head of the Church, and in subordination to him. Further, this universal jurisdiction was peculiar to themselves; they could not—except in a certain modified sense, which will be explained presently—transmit it to their successors. It is Peter only, who had any individual successor in his primacy and his universal jurisdiction. Accordingly, if we are asked how far the Apostolic office continues in the Church, we may answer briefly as follows:—In episcopal order and in universal jurisdiction (i.e. in two out of the three notes of an Apostle) the bishops of Rome are the successors of St. Peter. Other bishops succeed the Apostles in order only, not in universal jurisdiction. But the episcopate conjointly have universal jurisdiction, and so together represent the Apostolic college. This jurisdiction they exercise in subordination to the Pope, as the Apostles exercised theirs in subjection to St. Peter. (See Petav. “De Hierarch.” 1, 5 and 6.)


APOSTLES, FEASTS OF. Before the fifth century the Roman calendar contained no festivals proper to any of the Apostles except that of SS. Peter and Paul, on June 29. Low Sunday—the Gospel of which recalls the grant of spiritual powers by the risen Christ to the assembled Apostles—was often called in antiquity “the Sunday of the Apostles”; it was one of the chief feasts in the Ethiopian calendar. In the Sacramentary of Pope Leo all the Apostles are commemorated on June 29; for in the Mass for that day there is a collect which runs, “Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui nos omnium apostolorum merita sub una tribuisti celebritate venerari.” Hence the “Festival of the Twelve Apostles,” (Σύναξις τῶν δώδεκα Ἀποστόλων) came to be, and is still, observed in the Greek Church on June 30. St. Jerome gives as a reason for having but one festival for the Apostles,” ut dies varii non videantur dividere quos una dignitas apostolica in cœlesti gloria fecit esse sublimes.” The feast of the “Division of the Apostles,” referring to their final dispersion from Jerusalem thirteen years after the Ascension, occurs in the Roman calendar on the fifteenth July. The feast of SS. Philip and James was fixed on the 1st of May, after the translation of their relics into the “Basilica omnium Apostolorum” at Rome in the sixth century; November 30th was fixed as the feast of St. Andrew by a bull of Boniface VIII. in 1295.

APOSTOLIC CANONS. A tradition (accepted because unexamined) long prevailed that these Canons were dictated by the Apostles themselves to St. Clement of Rome, who committed them to writing. Accurate research has dispelled this notion. Yet although all are agreed that they do not come to us with the weight of Apostolic sanction, their real value and the antiquity that should be assigned to them are still much disputed, and they have been, and still are, appealed to as an important witness in many modern controversies. Daillé the Calvinist, astounded at the important, or rather, essential, place which they assign to bishops in the Christian economy, strove to prove that they were a work of no earlier date than the fifth century. The Anglican divines Beveridge and Pearson, especially the former, having as they conceived a deep interest in proving the acceptance by the primitive Church of high views of episcopal power, examined with great learning and power the question of the origin of these Canons, and endeavoured to prove that they must have been compiled not later than the end of the second or beginning of the third century. The latest German researches (see Kraus’ “Real Encykl.”) tend to the conclusion that, as collections, that of the first fifty Canons (see below) cannot be dated earlier than the middle of the fourth, while the remainder must be assigned to the sixth century. Bunsen, in his work on “Hippolytus and his Age.” printed a translation of the Canons and also of several versions of the Constitutions, with a voluminous commentary, the intent of which is to show that these ancient documents “know of no sacrifice of the Mass, acknowledge no definition of the Catholic Church,” and, generally, are in “flagrant contradiction” with the later canon law. That one of the authors of that strange hybrid the “Evangelical Church of Prussia” could have persuaded himself that the spirit which breathes from the Canons resembles in any way that which dictated the ecclesiastical legislation of the Prussian Government, is surely a singular instance of self-deception! The temperate statement of Soglia seems to come much nearer the truth. From these Canons, he says, it may be clearly seen and proved, “that the ordinations of bishops, presbyters, and other clerics are no growth of a later discipline, that the dogma of the oblation and sacrifice of the Mass is not new, nor the distinction between clergy and laity, nor the power of a bishop over his clergy, nor excommunication, nor many other similar institutes, which have been assailed by heretics on the score of novelty.”

Alter briefly describing what the Canons are, we shall reproduce the judgment which competent theologians have formed of their contents.

The Apostolic Canons are usually found in MSS. appended to the last or eighth book of the Apostolical Constitutions. In some copies they are but fifty in number, in others eighty-five. The collection of fifty exists in a Latin form, having been translated by Dionysius Exiguus from the original Greek towards the end of the fifth century. These fifty were always regarded in the West as authoritative in a sense in which the remaining Canons were not; in the East no such distinction was made between them and the other thirty-five. From the analysis made by Drey (“Neue Untersuchungen,” &c.) it would appear that twenty-two out of the whole number substantially embody injunctions and rules contained in the extant apostolic epistles; ten are closely connected, both in time and import, with these; twenty date from the age of the great persecutions; and the remainder are assignable to the Nicene and post-Nicene periods. “With regard to their contents, “the greater number, 76 out of 85, relate to the clergy, their ordination, the conditions of consecration, their official ministrations, orthodoxy, morality, and subordination, also to their temporalities, and to the relation of the diocese to the province; so that it is clear that the regulation of the discipline affecting ecclesiastical persons was the main object of the collection.”

With regard to the authority that should be assigned to them, while on the one hand the Emperors Constantine, Theodosius, and Justinian, the Council of Ephesus, and especially St. John Damascene, who ranks them with the Canon of the New Testament, are all in their favour, the consensus of opinion against them, since the sixteenth century, when they were first critically examined, is very strong. It is urged that Eusebius and St. Jerome are silent, though if such a collection of Canons had come down from the Apostles, they must have known of them; also that in the controversy (third century) between Pope Victor and St. Cyprian, neither party appealed to them, though, had they been generally known, and believed to be genuine, they would at once have decided the point in dispute. Again, it is plain that many things mentioned in them—e.g. metropolitans, division of dioceses, distinction of Church from episcopal property, &c.—are of post-Apostolic age. Thirdly, they teach in many places a doctrine which it is impossible to ascribe to the Apostles, as when (No. 17) they forbid only that a man who has been twice married after his baptism should be admitted into the ranks of the clergy, whereas the letter of Innocent I. (404) to Victricius, bishop of Rouen, proves that a second marriage disqualified from ordination, even when the first had been contracted before baptism; or (No. 66) when they lay down an unwise rule on fasting; or (Nos. 46, 47) enjoin as to the re-baptism of heretics the contrary of that which Victor, following the true apostolic tradition, maintained in the dispute with Cyprian. Either therefore it must be said that the Church teaches a doctrine and discipline repugnant to what the Apostles taught—an assertion which would be impious—or it must be allowed that these Canons, in their entirety at least, cannot be ascribed to the Apostles.

That Bunsen should have thought that these Canons breathed a spirit alien from that of the Roman Church is extraordinary. In them we view the Catholic Church as one body, attaching great importance to unity, knowing its own mind, imposing a strict discipline on all its members lay and clerical, just as we see the Church in communion with Rome doing at this day. The thirty-fifth Canon, enjoining on bishops obedience to their metropolitans in the interest of that “unanimity” by which God is glorified, foreshadows—one might almost say, suggests—the language of the Leos and the Gregories concerning the chair of Peter, for what could prevent dissension among the metropolitans, unless they, too, had some one to look up to and obey?

APOSTOLIC FATHERS. A name given to Christian authors who wrote in the age succeeding that of the Apostles. Hefele’s edition of the Apostolic Fathers (4th ed. Tübingen, 1855) contains:—(1) An epistle, falsely ascribed to St. Barnabas. Hefele places it between 107–120. (2) Two letters (so-called) of Clement, Bishop of Rome. The former of the two (genuine), is assigned to the close of the first century. The second (spurious), is not a letter, but a homily of uncertain date. (3) The letters of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch. Seven letters in the shorter Greek recension are genuine; they belong to the early part of the second century. (4) A letter of Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, and disciple of St. John. (5) An anonymous epistle to Diognetus. Hefele and many others suppose, that the author lived shortly after the Apostles. (6) The “Shepherd of Hermas,” an apocalyptic book, dating probably from the middle of the second century. (7) An account of the martyrdom of St. Polycarp, given by the contemporary Church of Smyrna. (8) Early Acts of the Martyrdom of St. Ignatius. The great edition of Cotelerius, appeared at Paris, 1662. It does not give the epistle to Diognetus, and on the other hand contains the Pseudo-Clementine writings, with the Apostolic Canons and Constitutions, An elaborate account of the whole literature of the subject will be found in the new edition by Gebhardt, Harnack and Zahn (Leipsic, 1876, seq).

APOSTOLICAL CONSTITUTIONS (διατάξεις or διαταγαί). Eight books, devoted to the discussion of ecclesiastical affairs. They profess to contain the words of the Apostles written down by St. Clement of Rome. The first Greek printed text was edited by Turrianus, and published in 1563.

The spurious character of the book was soon evident to Catholic scholars, such as Baronius, Bellarmine, and Petavius, who were at one, at least on the main point, with Protestants like Daillé and Blondel. But it is more difficult to say when the foundation of the book was laid, and when it took its present form. Eusebius mentions the “so-called teachings of the Apostles” (τῶν ἀποστόλων αἱ λεγόμεναι διδαχαί), and similarly Athanasius speaks of the “teaching of the Apostles,” but it is doubtful whether they refer to some work of which the present “Constitutions” are a later recension. Epiphanius quotes the “Constitution of the Apostles” (διάταξις), but his quotations never exactly correspond to, while one of them differs widely from, our present text.

Pearson assigns the work, as it stands, to the middle of the fifth century. Lagarde, one of the leading modern authorities on the subject, says it is now the general opinion of the learned, that the book “grew up secretly” in the third century, and that the two last books, (7th and 8th) were added afterwards. There is an excellent edition by De Lagarde, 1862.

APOSTOLICI. A sect of Gnostics described by St. Epiphanius in his work on heresies; they called themselves by this name because they pretended to imitate the Apostles in absolutely renouncing the world. They held matter to be altogether corrupt and impure, and consequently rejected marriage, though they appear not to have been averse to irregular connections. They were at no time numerous, and were dying out when Epiphanius wrote. In the twelfth century a sect appeared in Rhineland, and also in France, which took the same name, and held to a great extent the same doctrines; but these Apostolics allowed of marriage. St. Bernard preached two sermons against them. They were always reviling the hierarchy, the corruption of which they declared to be so great as to have vitiated all the sacraments of the Church except that of Baptism. A similar sect, calling themselves “Apostolic Brethren,” appeared in North Italy towards the end of the thirteenth century; their leaders, Segarelli and Dulcino, both suffered at the stake. For an account of their wild fanatical tenets, see Milman’s “Latin Christianity,” vii. 360.

APOSTOLICUS. The word was applied to bishops generally in the ancient Church, rather, however, as an epithet than as a title. Then it was restricted to metropolitans or primates; thus Pope Siricius writes (about A.D. 390), “ut extra censcientiam sedis apostolicæ, id est, primatis, nemo audeat ordinare.” Even Alcuin, writing at the beginning of the ninth century, uses the word in this sense. Yet long before this the use of the term “sedes apostolica” κατʼ ἐξοχήν, for the see of Rome (comp. Beda’s “Hist. Eccl.” passim), had laid a foundation for the restriction of the term Apostolicus to the Roman pontiff. From the ninth century onwards we find it applied only to the Popes, and in course of time it came to be used of them as a title and official designation. The Council of Rheims (1049) recognised the right of the Pope to this title, “quod solus Romanæ sedis pontifex universalis ecclesiæ primas esset et Apostolicus,” and excommunicated an archbishop of Compostella for assuming to himself “culmen Apostolici nominis,” the eminence of the apostolic name. In the middle ages, Apostolicus (in Norman French apostoile) became the current name for the reigning Pope. (Kraus’ “Real Encykl.;” Smith and Cheetham.)

APPEAL. He who appeals has recourse to the justice of a superior judge from what he conceives to be the unjust sentence of an inferior judge.

Appeals may be either judicial or extra-judicial. A judicial appeal is from the sentence of a judge acting as a judge. An extra-judicial appeal is from the injurious action of any superior, whereby the appellant thinks his rights are infringed—e.g. in a case of disputed patronage, or abusive exercise of power. In these cases, as the extra-judicial appeal is not in the cause, but begins or lays the foundation for the cause, it is not, properly speaking, an appeal at all. But there is one kind of extra-judicial appeal which is really such; it is when the appeal is made from a judge who has not decided judicially—e.g. who has given sentence without hearing the arguments of counsel or the evidence of witnesses when these were required or allowed by the law. In this case the appeal is extrajudicial (for it is made against an arbitrary act, rather than a motived judgment), yet it is a true appeal, for it is made from a judge to a judge.

The object of appeals is the redress of injustice, whether knowingly or ignorantly committed. An appeal need not imply that the original sentence was unjust, for the production of new evidence in the superior court may change the aspect of a case, and cause a decision which was just on the assumption of one set of facts to be justly set aside on the discovery of further facts.

Appeal can be made from any judge recognising a superior; thus no appeal is possible, in secular matters, from the decision of the sovereign power, or the highest secular tribunal, in any country, for these, in such matters, recognise no superior. Again, there can be no appeal from the Pope; “for he, as the vicar of Christ, recognises no superior on earth, and it is of the essence of an appeal that it be made from a lower to a higher judge, by whom the sentence of the first may be corrected.” Those who appeal from the judgment of the Pope to a future general council, of whatever rank or condition they may be, are formally excommunicated in the bull “In Cœna Domini.” Nor can appeal be made from a general council legitimately convened and approved, “because it, being in union with the Roman Pontiff who approved it, represents the whole Church, from the sentence of which there can be no appeal.”

As a rule, appeals should proceed regularly, through all the intermediate jurisdictions, to the supreme tribunal; but canon law admits of many exceptions to this. “In the first place, all persons are at liberty to appeal to the Pope immediately, passing over all intermediate judges, in ecclesiastical and spiritual causes; and those subject to his temporal rule can do so in temporal causes also.” The reason is, that the Pope is “the ordinary judge of all Christians, having concurrent power with all ordinaries.” Many other cases are specified in the canon law, in which appellants are authorised to appeal to a higher court at once, passing over the intermediate jurisdictions.

At the same time there are numerous causes in which no appeal is permitted; these are summed up in the following lines, which are a sort of memoria technica:—

Sublimis judex, scelus, exsecutio, pactum,

Contemptus, et res minimæ, dilatio nulla,

Clausula quæ removet, res quæ notoria constat,

Et textus juris clarus, possessio, fatum.

There can be no appeal from a “sublimis judex,” such as the Pope, or the sovereign authority in a state. “Scelus:” that is, those convicted of criminal offences and who have confessed their guilt have no appeal. “Exsecutio:” that is, when the cause has become a “res judicata,” the execution of the sentence cannot be stayed by appeal; this seems to be a particular case of “fatum.” “Pactum:” if the parties have consented to a compromise during the progress of the suit, there can be no appeal. Contempt of court by a contumacious refusal to appear to the judge’s citation is another cause which deprives a litigant of the right to appeal; as is (in civil causes) the utterly insignificant nature of the point raised, according to the maxim, de minimis non curat lex. “Dilatio nulla:” that is, in things which do not admit of delay, there can be no appeal—at any rate, no such appeal as would have the effect of suspending the execution of the sentence; as in a case about opening a will, or issuing supplies of food to soldiers, and the like. “Clausula quæ removet;” that is, when the original suit was conducted by delegation from the supreme tribunal under the clause “appellatione remota,” the ordinary right of appeal is annulled. The next two cases explain themselves; by “possessio” is meant that brief enjoyment of the subject of litigation which does not prejudice in an appreciable degree the right of the other party; and by “fatum” those prescribed terms and dates which are otherwise named “fatalia,” and the exact observance of which is necessary in order that an appeal may proceed. For instance, unless an appeal against a sentence be lodged within ten days from its delivery, it cannot be made at all.

Finally, no appeal having suspensive effect lies from a sentence of excommunication, nor from legitimate disciplinary correction of a superior paternally administered without legal process. (Ferraris, Appellatio.)

APPELLANTS. This was the name given to the party among the French clergy, headed by the Cardinal de Noailles, archbishop of Paris, and four bishops, who appealed to a future general council against the constitution Unigenitus (1713), by which the Holy See had condemned a hundred and one propositions of a more or less Jansenistic character, extracted from the writings of the Père Quesnel. [JANSENISTS.]

APPROBATION. The formal judgment of a prelate, that a priest is fit to hear confessions. It does not involve jurisdiction—i.e. a bishop does not necessarily give a priest power to hear confessions in his diocese, because he pronounces him fit to do so, though in fact a bishop always or almost always gives a secular priest jurisdiction, at the time he approves him. This approbation by the bishop, or one who has quasi-episcopal jurisdiction, is needed for the validity of absolution given by a secular priest, unless the said priest has a parochial benefice. The bishop who approves must be the bishop of the place in which the confession is heard and this approbation may be limited as to time, place, and circumstances.

Regulars, in order to confess members of their own order, require the approval of their superiors; to confess seculars, that of the bishop of the diocese.

APSE (Greek, ἁψίς, a wheel or arch). Nothing is known of the shape of the Christian churches which were built before the time of Constantine. Assuming, therefore, that ecclesiastical architecture dates from the fourth century, the apse may be considered as one of its primitive features, for it already existed in many of the basilicas or halls of justice or commerce, which, when Christianity rose into the ascendant, were freely placed at the disposal of the bishops by the civil power. It was the semicircular termination of the basilica in which sat the judges; the same construction may often be seen in French courts of justice at this day. When utilised for Christian worship, its extreme end was occupied by the bishop’s chair; the seats of the clergy, following the semicircle, were on his right and left; the altar was in the middle of the apse, or just in front of it; and beyond the altar was the choir. In the Byzantine style, which arose in the East after Constantine had transferred the seat of empire to his new city on the Bosphorus, the apse was retained; a notable instance of this may be seen in the church of St. Sophia at Constantinople, built in the sixth century. It appears also in the old Byzantine churches at Ravenna, and also in several churches on the Rhine, of later date but in the same style. In France and England the Byzantine architecture received that splendid development which is called Norman; but the apse, in all large churches at least, still held its ground, though it occasionally took a triangular or a polygonal form. Norwich Cathedral is perhaps the finest example of the round apse that we have in England. The cathedral of Durham, of which the nave and choir were finished, much as we now see them, about the beginning of the twelfth century, had originally an apse, but on account of a failure in the masonry, this was taken down and the present magnificent chapel of the Nine Altars substituted in the thirteenth century. In the later styles which followed the Norman, the French builders as a rule retained the apse, while the English generally abandoned it for the rectangular form. (Oudin, “Manuel d’Archéologie.”)



ARCHBISHOP (Gr. ἀρχιεπίσκοπος). The word first occurs in the fourth century; St. Athanasius speaks of himself and also of Alexander, his predecessor in the see of Alexandria, under this name. In earlier times those bishops who had suffragan bishops depending on them, and exercised spiritual jurisdiction within a certain geographical area which was their province, were called metropolitans. As Christianity extended itself, the bishops of the more important cities under the metropolitans came themselves to have suffragan bishops under them, to whom they were metropolitans. It became necessary, therefore, to find some new title for the old metropolitans, and the terms primate, exarch [see those articles] and archbishop came into use. In the West the name “archbishop” was scarcely heard before the ninth century. For a time the words patriarch and archbishop appear to have been used interchangeably. At present the terms “archbishop” and “metropolitan” have the same meaning, except that the latter implies the existence of suffragans, whereas there may be archbishops without suffragans, as in the case of Glasgow.

In the middle ages the archbishops possessed an ample jurisdiction; they had the right of Summoning provincial councils; they could judge their suffragans as a tribunal of first instance, and hear on appeal causes referred to them from the episcopal courts within the province. The jurisdiction of a metropolitan over his suffragans in criminal causes was transferred by the Council of Trent (sess. xiii. De Ref. c. 8) to the Holy See; in civil causes it remains intact. Provincial councils, owing to the difficulties of the times, have been less frequent in recent times than formerly; but, by the Council of Trent (sess. xxiv. 2, De Ref.), metropolitans are bound to convene them every three years. An archbishop can receive appeals from his suffragans in marriage cases, and (with the authority of the provincial council) visit any suffragan’s diocese. The right also devolves upon him of appointing a vicar capitular on the decease of a suffragan bishop, if the chapter fail to appoint one within eight days. Two venerable insignia still mark his superior dignity—the pallium with which he is invested by the Holy See, and the double cross borne on his “stemma” over his arms. An archbishop has the right of carrying his cross throughout his province, except in the presence of the Pope, or a Cardinal Legate. Until the archbishop has received the pallium he can only style himself A. electus; and, although confirmed and consecrated, he cannot convoke a council, consecrate chrism, or exercise any other acts of higher jurisdiction and order.

Up to 1789 the Church in that part of the United States formerly subject to England continued to be administered by a vicar-apostolic of the London District, Father John Carroll being local superior; in 1789 Baltimore was erected into an episcopal see, Father Carroll becoming bishop. In 1793 New Orleans, then under Spanish rule, was erected into a see. In 1808 New York and Boston were established, and Baltimore became an archiepiscopal see. Philadelphia was made a see in 1809, Oregon City from the first (1846) took metropolitan rank. The dates of the establishment of the present metropolitan sees are as follows, the first date being that of the foundation of the see, and the second that of its elevation to the metropolitan rank: Baltimore, 1789–1808; New Orleans, 1793–1850; New York,. 1808–1850; Boston, 1808–1875; Philadelphia, 1809–1875; Cincinnati, 1822–1850; St. Louis, 1826–1847; Chicago, 1844–1880; Milwaukee, 1844–1875; Oregon City, 1846; Santa Fe, 1850–1875; Sail Francisco, 1853.

ARCHDEACON (Gr. ἀρχιδιάκονος), At a very early period it was the practice for a bishop to select one of the deacons of his church to assist him both in the divine worship and in the administration of the diocese. As was natural, his choice fell, not necessarily upon the senior deacon, but upon him in whose ability and firmness he could most confide. Thus we read of Eleutherus as the deacon of Pope Anicetus, in the second century; of St. Lawrence the deacon of Sextus II. in the third; and of St. Athanasius, who as the deacon of Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, attended him at the Council of Nicæa. The name “Archdeacon” first occurs in the writings of St. Optatus of Milevis (about 370). The importance of the office continually grew, and we learn from St. Jerome that in his time it was considered a degradation for an archdeacon to be ordained priest. It was the duty of the archdeacon, under the Bishop’s direction, to manage the Church property; provide for the support of the clergy, the poor, widows, orphans, pilgrims, and prisoners; to keep the list of the clergy, &c. An able archdeacon, as was to be expected, often succeeded to the see on the death of the bishop who had appointed him. At first there was but one archdeacon, but in the immense dioceses which the conversion of the Western nations caused to arise, the episcopal duties could not be effectually performed—so far as the temporal side of them was concerned—without the appointment of several archdeacons as the bishop’s delegates. That they should gradually be invested with the jurisdiction possessed by the bishop, and ultimately even receive independent powers, was a natural consequence of this state of things. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries their power rose to its height. About 1100 Remigius, upon transferring his episcopal throne from Dorchester to Lincoln, divided his vast diocese into seven archdeaconries, in each of which the archdeacon resided in the chief town of his province with quasi-episcopal state, and exercised a jurisdiction which was often formidable even to laymen. Armed with such high privileges, the archdeacons began to encroach on the authority of the bishops, and this led to their downfall. Long before this the Church had ordered that archdeacons on their appointment must receive priestly consecration; now a series of councils in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries occupied themselves with limiting their powers and bringing them back into a due subordination to the bishops; finally, the Council of Trent confirmed and extended these restrictions, taking from the archdeacons and giving back to the bishops that jurisdiction in matrimonial and criminal causes which had been the chief source of their influence. In the United States the office of archdeacon does not exist, and the functions usually performed by an archdeacon are attached to the office of bishop’s vicar-general, an office nearly corresponding to that of the archdeacon in the primitive church. [See VICAR-GENERAL.]

ARCHES, COURT OF. An ancient court, in which the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury is still exercised by a judge known as the Dean of Arches. It received its name from Bow Church in Cheapside (S. Maria de Arcubus), in which its sittings were wont to be held. (See Hook’s “Church Dictionary.”) By a clause in the Public Worship Act (1877) the office of Dean of Arches is merged in that of the judge appointed under that Act. There is an appeal from the sentence of this court to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which now represents the old Court of Delegates, and practically, as representing the Crown, upholds the doctrine of the royal supremacy by deciding without appeal all spiritual causes that may be brought before it.


ARCHIVES, ARCHIVIST (Greek ἀρχεῖα). The utility of the preservation of public records was fully understood by the ancients; the record office at Rome, which Virgil alludes to (“populi tabularia vidit”), was an enormous building. Episcopal archives have probably been kept from the very beginning of the Church. The archivist or Proto-scriniarius of Rome was an important personage; besides having charge of a large portion of the records, he was the head of all the secretaries and notaries of the Roman Court. A decree of the Congregation of the Council of Trent (1626) specifies what ought to be preserved in an episcopal archive—namely, the processes and proceedings in all causes tried in the bishop’s court; episcopal sentences, precepts, decrees, mandates, &c.; reports and registers of all kinds relating to ecclesiastical affairs within the diocese; and complete inventories of Church property, movable and immovable. (Ferraris, Archivium.)

ARCH-PRIEST (Gr. ἀρχιπρεσβύτερος). The chief of the presbyters, as the archdeacon was the chief of the deacons. The name dates from the fourth century. The arch-priest was usually the oldest of the priests attached to the cathedral; yet instances are not wanting of their being chosen by the bishops for special qualifications, without regard to seniority. The principal function of the arch-priest was, during the illness or absence of the bishop, to replace him in the Church offices. He occupied the place of the bishop in the ceremonies of public worship, as the archdeacon did in the administration of the diocese. As population increased, a rural arch-priest was placed in each of the larger towns, who was to the local clergy what the arch-priest of the cathedral was to the cathedral clergy. In course of time the latter came to be called the dean, the former rural deans. The privileges of arch-priests, like those of archdeacons, were often usurped by laymen in the ages after Charlemagne. Great divergences grew up in different countries, with regard to the duties, rank, and privileges assigned to them. In later times they appear to have been superseded to a great extent by vicars foran (q.v.).

Towards the end of the reign of Elizabeth, the Holy See, finding that the Catholic clergy in England were much in need of a recognised head, yet unwilling to send a bishop, lest the government should take it as an excuse for fresh cruelties against the Catholics generally, appointed George Blackwell superior of the English mission, with the title and authority of “Arch-priest.” A consultative body of twelve assistant priests was nominated at the same time. This was in 1598. After some years Blackwell took a course about the new oath of allegiance which displeased the Holy See, and he was superseded (1608) by Birk-head. Towards the end of the reign of James, and after Birkhead had been succeeded by a third arch-priest, Harrison, the violence of the persecution being now much abated, Gregory XV. decided that the time was come to send a bishop to England. The first vicar-apostolic was accordingly appointed, in 1623.


ARIUS AND ARIANISM. The heresy of Arius consisted in the denial of the Son’s consubstantiality with the Father, and so virtually of Christ’s true and eternal Godhead. In opposition to this error, the first Nicene Council defined that the Son is “only-begotten, born of the Father, i.e. of the Father’s substance;” that he is “not made,” as creatures are, but that he is “consubstantial” with the First Person of the Blessed Trinity. The council added a condemnation under anathema of certain Arian propositions, in which this heresy was summed up. To understand them, we must know something of the way in which Arianism arose and spread; and this, again, we cannot do, till we have acquainted ourselves with the teaching on the mystery of the Trinity which prevailed in the early Church. We shall take the points in order, reserving for the close of the article an account of Arianism in its later developments.

1. It might seem as if there could be little need of dwelling on the doctrine of the Trinity, as held by the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Every Christian is bound to know and believe the doctrine of the Trinity, and it cannot be supposed, that the early Fathers and Martyrs of the Church were ignorant of a fundamental doctrine of the faith. Scripture, too, sets the matter at rest. Our Lord proclaims the unity of his nature with that of the Father. “I and the Father are one.” “The Father is in me and I in the Father.” “The Word was with God,” St. John says, “and the Word was God.” Now, in one sense it is true, that Arius could find no support for his heresy in the Ante-Nicene age. Scripture declared and the Church taught from the beginning three propositions from which the whole of the Nicene definition follows by logical consequence: viz. first, that the Son is distinct from the Father; next, that the Son is God; and, thirdly, that there is but one God. All this is certain, but it is also true that the Ante-Nicene Fathers often used inaccurate language on this subject; that we do not find in them the full and developed doctrine of the Trinity, as the Nicene Council defined it; and that this explains to a certain extent the success of Arianism and the calamities it brought upon the Church. Nor need we wonder at these defects in the teaching of the early Fathers. They were not and could not be content with the simple enunciations of the propositions enumerated above: they endeavoured (and how could they do otherwise?) to reconcile the apparent contradictions which they involve, and to recommend them as reasonable to those outside the Church. And in this part of their work, they were not secure from error. One or two leading instances will be given of the errors into which many of them fell when, instead of merely delivering the tradition which they had received, they began to speculate and reason about it. A difficulty met them, the moment they began to consider the eternity of the Son. A son is generated, and generation postulates a beginning: how, then, could the Son be eternal? They did not cut the knot, as Arius did, by denying the eternity of the Son, because the Catholic faith saved them from such an error; but still many of them did introduce a theory inconsistent with the unchangeable simplicity of God. The Word, they admitted, was eternal, but many of them—all, indeed, except St. Irenaeus and the Fathers of the Alexandrian school—denied that he had always been Son. With us, the word is conceived first of all in the mind and then comes forth as articulate sound. So, they maintained, the Word had always been in the bosom of the Father (λόγος ἐνδιάθετος); afterwards he issued forth as the first-begotten of all creation (λόγος προφορικός), and by this procession or generation became the Son. They were led into similar error in considering the relation of the Word to creatures. Down to St. Augustine’s time, the Fathers generally attributed the divine apparitions in the Old Testament to God the Son, and this interpretation led some into erroneous ideas on the subordination of the Son to the Father. Thus Justin speaks of a “God under the maker of the the universe,” and argues that the “maker and Father of all” could not “have left the region above the sky and appeared in a little corner of the earth.” Tertullian speaks of a “son visible according to the measure of his derivation,” while language of the same import was used by Origen and Novatian. Another source of erroneous language arose in the third century. The Sabellians denied a real distinction between Father and Son, and in his anxiety to establish the distinction between these divine Persons, Dionysius of Alexandria, in the year 260, compared the relation of the Father and the Son to that between a vine-dresser and the vine, asserted that the Son was “made by God” (ποίημα τοῦ θεοῦ) that he was “foreign to the essence of the Father (ξένον κατʼ οὐσίαν), and “did not exist till he was made.” In the same year, another Dionysius, bishop of Rome, on account of charges brought by certain orthodox prelates against his namesake of Alexandria, summoned a synod at Rome, and issued a memorable document to the bishops of Egypt and Libya. “Had the Son,” the Pope argues, “been created, there would have been a time when he was not; but the Son always was.” Thereupon, the Alexandrian bishop, in two letters which he sent to Rome, explained away his former inaccurate language, showed that his adversaries had taken a one-sided view of his teaching, and distinctly confessed the Son’s eternity. This case is instructive in several ways. It shows that early Fathers, who used words which sound like Arianism, were very far from the Arian belief; and it is evidence of the vigilance with which the successor of St. Peter watched, as his supreme office required him to watch, over the deposit of the faith.

2. The orthodox doctrine had been maintained in Alexandria by subsequent bishops, when, about the year 318 or 320, Arius began to put forward a heresy which engaged all the energies of the Church for more than half a century. He is said to have been a Libyan by birth; he had twice joined the Meletian schism, but had been reconciled to the Church, and was exercising the office of a priest in Alexandria. The bishop Alexander, Socrates tells us, was discoursing to his clergy on the Trinity in Unity. Arius, who was distinguished for his learning and logical skill, contradicted the bishop, urged that the Son, because begotten, must have had “a beginning of existence;” that there was a time when he did not exist (ἦν ὅτε οὐκ ἦν); and that he was made, like other creatures, out of nothing (ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἔχει τὴν ὑπόστασιν). If we add to this that, according to Arius, the Son was liable to sin in his own nature, and that his intelligence was limited, we have a complete statement of the Arian doctrine. He not only held that the Father was separated from the Son by a priority of time—or rather like time, since time in the proper sense began with the Son—but he denied that the Son was from the Father’s substance. He did not merely reject the word ὁμοούσιος or consubstantial, as an orthodox synod at Antioch had done in 269, but also the other language in which early Fathers had expressed the same idea.

Arius won many to his side: in particular he was supported by the famous Eusebius of Nicomedia, who had great influence on Constantine. He had friends among the other bishops of Asia, and even among the bishops, priests, and nuns of the Alexandrian province. Meanwhile, he was condemned in two Alexandrian synods and obliged to leave the city. He took refuge first in Palestine, afterwards in Nicomedia; he gained the favour of Constantia, the emperor’s sister, and he disseminated his doctrine among the populace by means of the notorious book which he called θάλεια, or “entertainment,” and by songs adapted for sailors, millers, and travellers. At first Constantine looked on the whole affair as a strife of words, and sent Hosius of Cordova to Alexandria, that he might restore peace between Arius and his bishop. This attempt failed, and the First General Council met at Nicæa. It anathematised Arius, with all who affirmed “that there was a time when the Son of God was not; that he was made out of nothing; that he was of another substance or essence [than the Father]; that he was created, or alterable or changeable.” This symbol was adopted after many disputes, in which the deacon Athanasius, then only twenty-five years old, was the great champion of the faith. Arius and those who refused to anathematise him were banished.

However, when the cause of Arianism seemed desperate, it suddenly revived. Constantia pleaded this cause with her brother on her death-bed. Constantine asked Athanasius (bishop of Alexandria since 328) to restore Arius to Church communion. This great confessor firmly refused, and, though the Emperor did not insist, Athanasius was grievously calumniated and exiled to Treves. Other opponents of the heresy met with like treatment. Eustathius of Antioch and Marcellus of Ancyra were deposed. The Emperor called Arius to Constantinople, with the view of restoring him to the communion of the Church. It is right to add, that Arius had assured the Emperor on oath, that the doctrine for which he had been excommunicated was not really his. Before, however, he had attained his end, a sudden death struck him down as he walked through Constantinople escorted by his followers. He died in the year 336, the eightieth of his age.

Arius was dead, but his heresy still prospered. Constantius, who came to the throne in 337, recalled Athanasius next year to Alexandria. Soon, however, a charge of Sabellianism was brought against the saint; he fled for his life from his episcopal city, and took refuge in Rome, when Pope Julius in a synod solemnly acquitted him. But a council at Antioch confirmed his deposition, and drew up four confessions of faith, in which the word “consubstantial” was studiously omitted. Through favour of Constans, who ruled the West, a council met at Sardica in 343 or 344, declared their adherence to the Nicene Creed, and restored Athanasius, with Marcellus and others, to their sees. In spite of the fact that the Arian or Eusebian bishops held a counter-council at Philippopolis, the Sardican decrees enjoyed an almost œcumenical authority, and Constantius permitted the return of Athanasius to Alexandria. However, after the death of his brother Constans, Constantius renewed his persecution of the Catholics. At Arles and Milan synods condemned Athanasius, while Pope Liberius and other bishops who would not subscribe the condemnation were exiled. Again an intruder seized the episcopal throne of Alexandria, and Athanasius, in 356, sought an asylum with the Egyptian monks.

This temporary triumph of Arianism proved its ruin. The heretics presented an appearance of unity so long as they were engaged in a struggle for life or death with the orthodox. No sooner did they feel themselves secure than they began an internecine conflict with each other. The strict Arians, led by Aetius, a deacon, and a bishop Eunomius, taught that the Father and Son were unlike, and that the latter was made out of nothing. They were also known as Eunomians, Anomœans (from ἀνόμοιος, unlike), or Exucontians, because they said the Son sprang from nothing (ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων). Another party, known as Semiarians, a name they received about 358, when they held a famous synod at Ancyra, confessed that the Son was “like in substance to the Father (ὅμοιος κατʼ οὐσίαν). Basil of Ancyra, Eustathius of Sebaste, Macedonius, and Auxentius of Milan, were the most noted among them. A third party, led by Ursacius, Valens and Acacius (from whom they are sometimes called Acacians), rejected the phrase “like in substance or essence,” and contented themselves with the vague statement that the Son was “like” the Father. The Council of Ancyra, as we have seen, was Semiarian. The second Sirmian synod, in 357, condemned the Semiarian as well as the orthodox formula, while Semiarianism secured a fresh victory in the third council held at the same place. Pope Liberius, under fear of death, is believed by many to have subscribed this third Sirmian formula, while at the same time he anathematised those who denied that “the Son is in essence and in all things like to tie Father.” In 359 the Emperor did his utmost to establish Semiarianism, but his efforts were in vain. The Eastern bishops, 160 in number, met at Seleucia; 400 Western bishops at Rimini The latter stood firm at first to the faith defined at Nicæa, but they were overcome by threats and by bodily suffering. At last both the Eastern and Western council subscribed a formula, in which the word “essence” was rejected altogether as unscriptural, and the Son was defined to be “like the Father in all things.”

This defeat of the Semiarians by Arians inclined the former to accept the Nicene faith, and at a council held at Alexandria in 362 Athanasius, who had returned to his see on the accession of Julian the Apostate, received many of them into communion. The Acacians, on the other hand, allied themselves with the strict Arians. Arianism found a powerful supporter in the Emperor Valens (364–378), who expelled Athanasius from his see. This was his fifth exile. But the palmy days of the heresy were over. His people insisted on the recall of Athanasius to his see, in which he remained till his death, in 373. Ambrose in the West, and in the East the three Cappadocian Fathers, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa, fought the battle of the faith. The orthodox Emperor Theodosius secured the peace of the Church, and the Nicene decrees were enforced again by the General Council of Constantinople (381).

So much for the history of Arianism among the subjects of the Roman Empire. It had still a great part to play among the Barbarians. The West Goths received Christianity in the Arian form through their great missionary Ulfila (consecrated bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia in 341), and Valens allowed a part of their nation to settle in Thrace on the condition that they became Arians. Soon after, the East Goths in Italy, the Vandals in Africa, the Suevi in Spain, the Burgundians in Gaul, the Lombardians who emigrated to upper Italy, became Arians. The Vandal persecution of the Catholics, which rivalled that of Diocletian in severity, began under Genseric in 427 and lasted till 533, when the Byzantine general Belisarius conquered Africa. In Spain, which had fallen under the power of the West Goths, Hermenegild, son of the king, fell a sacrifice to the Arian fanaticism of his father, in 584. Hermenegild’s brother Reccared, who began to reign in 586, became a Catholic and established the faith in Spain, with the help of a great council which met at Toledo in 589. About a century earlier, Clovis, with 3000 of his Franks, had received Catholic baptism, and the triumph of the Frankish arms sealed the fate of Arianism.

ARLES, COUNCILS OF. (1) In 314, assembled chiefly to settle the Donatist disputes. This council represented the entire Western Church. The number of the bishops who met is uncertain, and the acts have perished. But we know that the Holy See was represented there by two priests and two deacons, and Constantine himself says he assembled “very many bishops from diverse and almost innumerable districts.” It appears from the letter of the council to Pope Silvester, that the Donatists were condemned, and Cæcilian, the orthodox bishop of Carthage, acquitted. A synod at Rome in the previous year had given the same decision. The council also decreed that Easter should be observed on the same day throughout the world, the day to be notified by the Pope (Can. 1); that baptism conferred with the proper form was valid even if given by heretics (Can. 8); that a bishop should be consecrated by three others (Can. 20); that a married priest or deacon who lived with his wife should be deposed (Can. 29) (see Hefele, “Concil.” p. 201 seq.). In 353 a council at Arles was terrified by the Emperor Constantius into a condemnation of St. Athanasius (Hefele, ib. p. 652.) Various other synods which met in the same place are mentioned by Hefele.


ASCENSION, FEAST OF. This feast had been kept from time immemorial in St. Augustine’s day, and he attributes its institution to the Apostles. We have a sermon among the works of St. Chrysostom preached on Ascension Day. St. Augustine calls it Quadragesima, because kept forty days after Easter; the Greek name Tessarocostes or Tetracostes was given for the same reason. Gregory of Tours mentions a procession which used to be held on this day, in memory of that which the Apostles made from Jerusalem to Bethany and the Mount of Olives. It was also the custom in ancient times to bless the bread and new fruits in the Mass of this day.

The practice of lighting the paschal candle in solemn Mass till the feast of the Ascension was established throughout the Franciscan Order by a decree dated 1263. In 1607 the Congregation of Rites ordered that the paschal candle should be lighted when Mass is sung and in Vespers, on Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, on Saturday in Low Week, and on Sundays till Ascension Day, when it is extinguished after the Gospel. The rite symbolises Christ’s departure from the Apostles. (Benedict XIV. “De Festis.”)

ASCENSION OF CHRIST. Our Lord ascended into heaven forty days after his resurrection, and therefore, according to the common reckoning, on a Thursday. The opinion of Chrysostom that the Ascension took place on a Saturday, is quite singular. He ascended by his own power—not, indeed, St. Thomas remarks, by the power proper to a natural body, but by the virtue proper to him as God and by that which belongs to a blessed spirit. Such an ascension, St. Thomas continues, “is not against the nature of a glorified body, the nature of which is entirely subject to the spirit.” Christ ascended from Mount Olivet in the presence of his disciples, whom he blessed as he parted from them. He took his seat at the right hand of God, the sitting posture symbolising his rest from toil and his judicial power; the “right hand” of God denoting, according to many of the Fathers, the equality of Jesus Christ God and man with God the Father; according to some other writers, signifying that as man he holds the next place to God in heaven. Angels, as has been generally inferred from the sacred narrative, attended him in his ascent, and the souls of the just, who had been detained in Limbo, entered heaven with him. Thus “ascending on high, he led captivity captive.”

Theologians give many reasons for our Lord’s ascension. The glory which he receives in heaven is due to the merits of his sacred humanity. For Christians, too, it was “expedient that he should go.” Faith is exercised by the fact that we can no longer see our Lord: His ascent into heaven is the pledge that we shall follow him if we are worthy. Above all, according to the constant teaching of the Fathers, Christ exercises his priestly office in heaven. Just as the high-priest on the day of Atonement offered sacrifice without on the brazen altar, and then with the blood of the sacrifice and with burning incense, entered the holy of holies, so the high-priest of the new law, having offered himself as a sacrifice on Mount Calvary, continually presents his merits and exhibits his sacred wounds before the Eternal Father. Whether he as man actually prays for us, is uncertain. Of course he does not pray as the saints do, for they are creatures, and ask of God what they cannot give by their own power. And the words “Christ, pray for us,” could not be lawfully used, on account of the scandal and confusion they would create. But it is quite possible that Christ, as Petavius expresses it, by “a voluntary condescension” still prays for us, as he did while on earth. (Benedict XIV. “De Festis.”)

ASCETÆ (Gr. ἀσκέω, ἀσκητής). The belief that through bodily “exercise,” and a strict discipline imposed on the senses, it was in the power of man to perfect his moral nature and rise to spiritual heights not otherwise attainable, had been common both among Jews and Pagans for some time before the coming of Christ. Philo’s account of the Essenes is well-known—a Jewish sect of mystical and ascetic tenets, much diffused in Palestine in the first century before Christ, with its initiations, grades, and secrets, living in villages because of the luxury and immorality of the towns, renouncing marriage, and following rules of strict temperance in regard to food, sleep, and whatever else nature craves. The Therapeutæ in Egypt were a similar sect. Their name—and that of the Essenes is said to have the same meaning—signifies healing, for they believed that their discipline healed the concretam labem of the soul’s impurity.

In the Pagan world similar doctrines were widely held by the Stoics. Both among them and the Essenes the doctrine of the two principles, the persuasion that matter was essentially evil, and that he was most perfect who was freest from the blasting touch of animal existence, coloured largely both their theories and their practice. The Christian Ascetes could not so deem of that fleshly nature of which Christ their divine Lord had deigned to be a partaker: to master the lower nature was their aim, not to eradicate it; desire and fear, joy and grief, they did not regard as in themselves evil, but as to be brought by discipline into a strict subordination to the true end of man, which is to know and love God, and do his will. The means which they employed were voluntary chastity, fasting, perseverance in prayer, voluntary poverty, and maceration of the flesh. In the Apostolical Constitutions (Kraus, p. 96) the Ascetæ are mentioned as an intermediate order of Christians between the clergy and the laity. As a general rule, they did not go out of the world, like anchorites and monks, but strove to live a perfect life in the world. Abuses after a time appeared, particularly in regard to the γυναῖκες συνείσακτοι, women who lived under the same roof with Ascetes for the benefit of their instruction and example.

Modern life, especially when permeated with Baconian ideas respecting the true task of man in the world, is pointedly unascetic. If we turn over a series of pictures of eminent modern men, there is one common feature which we cannot fail to notice, whether the subject of the picture be artist, or literary man, or man of action, and whatever intelligence, power, or benevolence may breathe from the face—namely, the absence of an expression of self-mastery. A similar series of portraits of men who lived in the middle ages, when law was weaker than at present, but the sense of the necessity of self-control stronger, reveals a type of countenance in which the calmness of self-conquest, gained by the Christian ἀσκησίς, is far more frequently visible than in later ages.

ASCETICAL THEOLOGY. A name given to the science which treats of virtue and perfection and the means by which they are to be attained. Whereas mystical theology deals with extraordinary states of prayer and union with God, ascetical writers treat of the ordinary Christian life. The number of ascetical writers has at all times been great in the Church, but during the last three centuries special attention has been given to the life of secular, as distinct from religious, persons. St. Francis of Sales and St. Alphonsus Liguori may be mentioned as modern saints whose ascetical works are most esteemed.

ASH WEDNESDAY. The first day, according to our present observance, of the forty days’ fast of Lent. But that it did not come within the quadragesimal period in primitive times we know from the testimony of Gregory the Great, who, in speaking of the fast, describes it as of thirty-six days’ duration—that is, as extending over six weeks, from the first Sunday in Lent to Easter Day, omitting Sundays. Thirty-six days are nearly a tenth part of the year, and thus, by observing the fast, Christians were thought to render a penitential tithe of their lives to God. Lent, therefore, at the end of the sixth century, began on the first Sunday, and we know from the Sacramentary of Gelasius that the practice was the same at the end of the fifth century. At what time Ash Wednesday and the three following days were added to the fast has not been precisely ascertained. It is true that in the Sacramentary of Pope Gregory there is a Mass for Ash Wednesday, under the heading “Feria IV., caput jejunii” (beginning of the fast); whence it might be inferred that Pope Gregory, in spite of the words cited above, had himself before his death sanctioned the alteration in question. But this would be an unsafe conclusion, for one of the best MSS. of the Sacramentary does not contain this heading. However this may be, a Capitulary of the Church of Toulon (714) and the liturgical work of Amaury (about 820) describe the Lenten usage as identical with our own. There can be no difficulty in understanding the motive of the change; for by the addition of the four days preceding the first Sunday, the number of fasting days before Easter (the Sundays being omitted) becomes exactly forty, and accords with the fasts recorded of Moses and Elias, and with that of our Saviour in the wilderness of Judea.

The office for Ash Wednesday opens with the solemn ceremony which has given the day its name. After an introit and four collects, in which pardon and mercy are implored for the penitent, the faithful approach and kneel at the altar rails, and the priest puts ashes upon the head of each, saying. “Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris” (Remember, man, that thou art dust, and shalt return to dust). The ashes are obtained by burning the palms of the previous year. The Lenten pastorals of Bishops, regulating the observance of the season, usually prescribe that the fast on Ash Wednesday shall be more rigorously kept than on any other day in Lent except the four last days of Holy Week.

The administration of the ashes was not originally made to all the faithful, but only to public penitents. These had to appear before the church door on the first day of Lent, in penitential garb and with bare feet. Their penances were there imposed upon them; then they were brought into the church before the bishop, who put ashes on their heads, saying, besides the words “Memento,” &c, “age pœnitentiam ut habeas vitam æternam,’ Repent (or, do penance), that thou mayst have eternal life. He then made them an address, after which he solemnly excluded them from the church. Out of humility and affection, friends of the penitents, though not in the same condition, used to join themselves to them, expressing in their outward guise a similar contrition, and offering their foreheads also to be sprinkled with ashes. The number of these persons gradually increased, until at length the administration of ashes was extended to the whole congregation, and the rite took its present form. (“Dict. of Antiq.” Smith and Cheetham; Kössing, in Wetzer and Welte.)

ASPERGES. A name given to the sprinkling of the altar, clergy, and people with holy water at the beginning of High Mass by the celebrant. The name is taken from the words, “Asperges me,” “Thou shalt wash me, O Lord, with hyssop,” &c., with which the priest begins the ceremony. During the Easter season the antiphon “Vidi aquam” is substituted. This custom of sprinkling the people with holy water is mentioned in the Canon of a synod quoted by Hincmar of Rheims, who lived at the beginning of the ninth century.


ASSUMPTION. After the death of her divine Son the Blessed Virgin lived under the care of St. John. It is not quite certain where she died. Tillemont conjectures from a passage in a letter of the Fathers assembled in the General Council of Ephesus that she was buried in that city, but the common tradition of the Church represents her as having died at Jerusalem, where her empty tomb was shown to pilgrims in the seventh century. In any case, it is certain that she really died, and that her exemption from sin original and actual did not prevent her paying this common debt of humanity. The very fact that she had received a passible nature rendered her liable to death. Except for the special gift of immortality which he received from God, Adam would have died in the course of nature, even if he had never sinned; and St. Augustine declares that our Blessed Saviour would have died by the natural decay of old age, if the Jews had not laid violent hands upon Him.

Still, although the Blessed Virgin tasted of death, her body was preserved from corruption and it was united to her soul in the kingdom of heaven. The Church signifies her belief in this fact by celebrating the feast of her Assumption on the fifteenth of August. There is no distinct assertion of the corporal assumption in the prayers of the feast, but it is plain that the Church encourages and approves this belief from the fact that she selects for the lessons during the octave a passage from St. John Damascene in which the history of this corporal assumption is given in detail. This pious belief is recommended by its intrinsic reasonableness, for surely it is natural to suppose that our Lord did not suffer that sacred body in which he himself had dwelt and from which he had formed his own sacred humanity to become a prey to corruption. It is confirmed by the testimonies of St. Andrew of Crete, of St. John Damascene, and of many ancient Martyrologies and Missals, cited by Butler in his note on this feast. It is, moreover, a striking fact that, notwithstanding the zeal of the early Church in collecting and venerating relics, no relics of the Blessed Virgin’s body have ever been exhibited. Much weight, too, must be given to the common sentiment of the faithful. “Admirable,” says Petavius, “is the admonition of Paulinus of Nola, an author of the greatest weight, who bids us adhere to the common voice of the faithful, since the spirit of God breathes upon them all.”

The corporal assumption is not an article of faith. Still Melchior Canus sums up the general teaching of theologians on this head when he says:—”The denial of the Blessed Virgin’s corporal assumption into heaven, though by no means contrary to the faith, is still so much opposed to the common agreement of the Church, that it would be a mark of insolent temerity.”

The feast, according to Butler, was celebrated before the sixth century in the East and West. The Greeks called it κοίμησις or μετάστασις; the Latins, dormitio, pausatio, transitus, assumptio.

ASTROLOGY. The doctrine of the Church on this matter is clearly laid down by St. Thomas. There is nothing contrary to the faith in holding that the stars affect the bodies of men, and so indirectly cause passions to which most men will give way. Taking this influence of the heavenly bodies for granted (and its existence or non-existence is a question of physical science, not of theology), an astrologer may make probable guesses at the truth. But he cannot predict with certainty our future actions, for it is of faith that the will in all cases remains free.

Astrology was forbidden to the early Christians. A law of the emperor Honorius condemned astrologers to banishment. The practice of astrology was condemned in 1586 by a bull of Sixtus V.

ASYLUM. A place to which a criminal, pursued by the ministers of justice, may escape, and where so long as he remains he cannot be arrested. Such asylums, the inviolable character of which was nearly always connected with some notion of the religious sanctity of the spot, were common among the nations of antiquity. Rome, says the legend, grew out of an asylum for malefactors of every description; and Moses (Deut. 19:2) appointed cities of refuge, whither men who had committed involuntary homicide might flee and be safe. The same privilege passed over to the Church, and was sedulously respected by the Christian emperors. Theodosius punished the violation of the protective sanctity of a church as a crime of lese-majesty. But the immunity from the consequences of crime arising from the extended assertion of the principle of sanctuary led to many abuses, and by the legislation of Justinian those guilty of certain specified crimes were to find no right of asylum in the churches.

For particulars as to the immunities long enjoyed by certain famous English sanctuaries—e.g. St. Cuthbert’s franchise, Beverley, and Westminster—see the article SANCTUARY.




ATTRITION, as distinct from contrition, is an imperfect sorrow for sin. Contrition is that sorrow for sin which has for its motive the love of God whom the sinner has offended. Attrition arises from a motive which is indeed supernatural—that is to say, apprehended by faith—but which still falls short of contrition. Such motives are—the fear of hell, the loss of heaven, the turpitude of sin. By this last, we understand the turpitude of sin as revealed by faith. We may also, for the sake of clearness, exclude from our definition that kind of sorrow which theologians call serviliter servilis—the sorrow which makes a man renounce sin because be is afraid of hell, while at the same time he would be ready to offend God if he could do so without incurring the penalty.

All Catholics are bound to hold that attrition, as explained above, is good and an effect of God’s grace. This is clear from the words of our Lord, “Fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell;” from the declaration of the Tridentine Council, that attrition which proceeds from considering “the baseness of sin or from the fear of hell and punishment, if it excludes the purpose of sinning and includes the hope of pardon, … is a true gift of God and an impulse of the Holy Spirit;” and from subsequent pronouncements of the Popes, particularly of Alexander VIII. The council put forward this Catholic truth against Luther, and succeeding Popes against the Jansensists.

Further, the Council of Trent teaches that attrition does not of itself avail to justify the sinner. Sin which separates the soul from God is only annulled by love which unites it to him.

But a question was long keenly debated among Catholic divines, viz. whether if a man comes with attrition to the sacrament of penance and receives absolution, this avails to restore him to God’s grace. The negative opinion was held by the French clergy in their assembly general of the year 1700, and prevailed in the universities of Paris and Louvain. On the other hand, the affirmative, according to which a sinner who receives absolution with attrition is justified through the grace which the sacrament confers, has always apparently been the commoner tenet in the schools. It rests on the strong argument that as perfect contrition justifies without the actual reception of the sacrament of penance, it is hard to see why this sacrament should have been instituted, if perfect contrition is needed to get any good from it. Alexander VII. in 1667 forbade the advocates of either opinion to pronounce any theological censure on their opponents. But at present the opinion that attrition with the sacrament of penance suffices is universally held. St. Liguori calls it “certain.”



AUGUSTINIAN CANONS. The pretensions to high antiquity made by this order, or on its behalf, have involved the history of its origin in much obscurity. Their commencement has been ascribed to some supposed resolution taken by the Apostles to renounce all private property and live in common. This being difficult of proof, the foundation of the order was at least confidently referred to St. Augustine of Hippo, whose rule, it was said, the regular canons had never ceased to follow. But it cannot be shown that St. Augustine ever composed a rule, properly so called. He did, indeed, write a treatise “De Moribus Clericorum,” and he also wrote a letter (No. 109) in which he laid down a rule of life for the religious women under his direction, not binding them to strict enclosure, but requiring them to renounce all individual property. But when and by whom the injunctions contained in this letter were adapted to communities of men, are points which have never been cleared up. Moreover, it has been urged, that if St. Augustine promulgated a rule and founded congregations which have had perpetual succession ever since, it seems impossible to explain how St. Benedict should have been universally regarded for centuries as the founder of Western monachism.

In one sense, indeed, the regular Canons of St. Austin may lay claim to an antiquity with which no other order can compete; for, as canons, they grow out of an institution and a way of life which reach nearly to the apostolic age. [CANON.] Considered, however, as a particular institution, the mode in which they arose has been thus explained. Discipline having become much relaxed among the canons of the various cathedrals in the Frankish empire, a council held at Aixla-Chapelle in 816 drew up a rule for their observance. But as this rule did not absolutely prohibit the acquisition or enjoyment of private property, abuses again crept in; and the Popes Nicholas II. and Alexander II., strenuously assisted by St. Peter Damian, held councils at Rome in 1059 and 1063, by the decrees of which the rule of Aix-la-Chapelle was amended, and in particular the canons were bound to a community life and to the renunciation of private property (Fleury, “Hist. Eccl.” lxi.). Even after these councils, the canons of many churches lived in much the same way as before; those, therefore, who obeyed the rule prescribed, by way of distinction from the recalcitrants, were called regular canons. The rule itself after a time was commonly described as the rule of St. Augustine, apparently because it was held to be in conformity with his 109th letter and the general spirit of his teaching. The adoption of this rule facilitated the formation of independent bodies of regular canons, neither connected with cathedrals nor with collegiate churches, as had hitherto been the case; accordingly, soon after the beginning of the twelfth century, we read of the foundation of societies of canons, following the rule of St. Austin, in several countries of Europe. In England these canons—who were regarded as monks, not as friars—were very popular and had many houses; they were called Black Canons. At the time of the Dissolution there were about 203 of the houses in England; two out of their number, Waltham and Cirencester, were presided over by mitred abbots. Newstead Abbey, the birthplace of the poet Byron, was originally an Augustinian house.

In Ireland this order was even more popular than in England, holding there, in fact, much the same prominent position that the Benedictines held amongst ourselves. D’Alton puts the number at 223 monasteries and 33 nunneries. The Augustinian priors of Christ Church and All Hallows, Dublin, and of the monasteries at Connell, Kells, Louth, Athassel, Killagh, Newtown, and Raphoe, had seats in the Irish parliament. (Hélyot, “Ordres Monastiques;” Dugdale’s “Monasticon.”)

AUGUSTINIAN HERMITS. The remarks made in the foregoing article on the Canons apply equally to the pretensions to an historical descent from St. Austin made by the Hermits who bear his name. In point of fact the order originated in a union of several existing congregations effected in 1265 under the direction of Pope Alexander IV. Their houses soon became very numerous, and the usual variations in regard to the strict observance of their rule, followed by reformations of greater or less fame, made their appearance. They were regarded as friars, not as monks, and were expressly aggregated to the other orders of friars by Pius V. in 1567. Their house at Wittenberg had the dubious honour of counting Martin Luther among its members. The Augustinian Hermits are said to have possessed in the sixteenth century three thousand convents with thirty thousand friars, besides three hundred nunneries following a similar rule. But during the French Revolution an immense number of their houses were dissolved; and at the present time scarcely a hundred are left.

In England, according to Tanner, there were about thirty-two houses of Augustinian Hermits at the Dissolution. The most celebrated was the friary at Oxford, which educated many distinguished men; here Erasmus lodged with his friend Prior Charnock when he visited Oxford. A grey crumbling gateway in New Inn Hall Lane alone is left to mark the spot. Capgrave, the well-known hagiographer, was an Augustinian Hermit. At the present time there is one house of Augustinian friars in England (at Hoxton, London, N.), none in Scotland, and twelve in Ireland—viz. Drogheda, in the province of Armagh; Dublin, Rathfarnham, Callan, New Ross, and Grantstown; Fethard, Cork, Limerick, Dungarvan, Ballyhaunis, and Galway. The house in London, as well as one in Rome, form part of the Irish province, which now numbers about 45 Fathers and 20 clerical students. The Calced friars of this order were first introduced into the United States in 1790, when some friars from the Irish province established a priory and church in Philadelphia. At Villanova, Pa., is situated the mother-house of the order in the United States, which also has houses in the dioceses of Albany, Boston, and Ogdensburg.

AUREOLE (from aureolus, golden, gilt, of golden colour). 1. In Christian art it is the gold colour surrounding the whole figure in sacred pictures, and representing the glory of the person represented. It is distinct from the nimbus, which only covers the head. The aureole (also called scutum, vesica, piscis, &c.) was usually reserved for pictures of the three divine Persons, of Christ, and of the Blessed Virgin along with the Holy Child. (Kraus, “Archæol. Dict.”)

2. In theology, it is defined as a certain accidental reward added to the essential bliss of heaven, because of the excellent victory which the person who receives it has attained during his warfare upon earth. It is given, according to St. Thomas, to virgins, martyrs, and to doctors and preachers. Virgins have triumphed with special glory over the flesh; martyrs, over the world, which persecuted them to death; preachers, over the devil, whom they have driven, not only from their own hearts, but also from those of others.

AUTOCEPHALI (αὐτοκέφαλοι). A name given by Greek canonists to metropolitans who were not subject to a patriarch. Such were the metropolitans of Cyprus, who contrived to free themselves from subjection to the Patriarch of Antioch; or, again, the archbishops of Bulgaria, who were independent of Constantinople.



AVE MARIA. This familiar prayer, called also the Angelical Salutation, consists of three parts—(1) the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel, Ave [Maria] gratia plena, Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus; (2) the words of Elizabeth to our Lady, et benedictus fructus ventris tui; (3) an addition made by the Church, Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora mortis nostræ. Parts 1 and 2 seem to have come into common use as a formula of devotion towards the end of the twelfth century; the use of them is enjoined by the Constitutions of Odo, bishop of Paris, in 1196. The third part gives a compact and appropriate expression to the feelings with which Christians regard the Blessed Virgin. The words nunc.… nostræ are said to have come from the Franciscans; the rest of the verse is believed to have first come into use in the middle of the fifteenth century. The whole Ave Maria as it now stands is ordered in the breviary of Pius V. (1568) to be used daily before each canonical hour and after Compline.

AZYMITES (ἀ priv. ζύμη). By this term the Greek Schismatics designate Christians of the Latin Church, because the latter use unleavened bread in the administration of the Eucharist. In the Western Church the point has never been regarded as of vital importance; the priest is only enjoined sub gravi to use unleavened bread; and the Council of Florence declared (1439) that after consecration the body of our Lord was really present (veraciter confici) whether the bread used were made with or without leaven. But the Greek ecclesiastics who assented to this article were ill received by their countrymen on their return to Constantinople (Gibbon, ch. lxvii.), and this point of using or not using leaven is still one of the marks of difference between East and West. The arguments either way are well summed up by Fritz (art. Azymites, Wetzer and Welte). The original propriety of using or not using leaven turns mainly on the question whether Maundy Thursday was within the period of the Azymes; on which see HOLY WEEK.


BACCANARISTS (or PACCANARISTS), or Regular Clerks of the Faith of Jesus. The object of this congregation, founded at the end of the last century by one Baccanari or Paccanari, a native of the Trentino, was to revive the suppressed Society of Jesus under another name. In 1798, having obtained ecclesiastical approval for his project, Baccanari with twelve companions took possession of a Country house near Spoleto, and commenced a monastery. They wore the Jesuit habit, and made the three simple vows, to which they added afterwards a fourth vow of unconditional obedience to the Pope. Many others joined them, and they had branches in France and even in Holland. But as the prospect of a speedy revival of the Society of Jesus grew brighter, members of Baccanari’s congregation began to desert him, some joining the Jesuit colleges which had never ceased to subsist in Russia, others repairing to the kingdom of Naples, where the Society was re-established in 1804. Finally, in 1814, the Jesuits being everywhere restored, the remaining Baccanarists applied for admission into the order, and the congregation of the Faith of Jesus came to an end.

BAIUS. A famous theologian of the University of Louvain, who anticipated the errors of Jansenius. His real name was Michael Bay. He was born at Melin in the Low Countries, in 1513. He studied at Louvain, where he taught philosophy and took his Doctor’s degree. In 1551 he became Professor of Scripture, and in 1563 he was sent to the Council of Trent by the King of Spain, returning in the following year to the university. He won great repute by his undoubted learning and by his blameless life, and honours were heaped upon him. In 1578 he was made chancellor of the university, and, at a later date, General Inquisitor for the Netherlands. He continued to teach till his death, in 1589.

However, his life was a stormy one. Baius deserted the scholastic method and did much to revive the study of the Fathers. No one, of course, could justly blame him for promoting patristic learning. But he marred the services which he might well have rendered to the Church, by exaggerating and misinterpreting the Augustinian doctrine on grace. His lectures excited opposition especially among the Franciscans, and several propositions taken from his oral teaching were delated to the Sorbonne and condemned there. In 1563 and 1564 he published various treatises on free will, original justice, justification, &c. Three years later, Pius V. condemned 76 propositions, representing on the whole the opinions of Baius, although some are not actually contained in his works. These propositions were condemned “in globo et respective,” as heretical, erroneous, suspicious, rash, scandalous and offensive to pious ears—i.e. each of the propositions merited one of these censures, but no particular censure was attached to any one proposition. The name of Baius was not mentioned in the bull, which was communicated privately to the theological faculty at Louvain without being promulgated. Various disputes arose on the authority and sense of this bull which need not detain us here. Gregory XIII. confirmed the bull of his predecessor, and again condemned the propositions. The famous Jesuit Toletus took the constitution of Gregory to Louvain, where it was read before the assembled university. Thereupon Baius acknowledged that many of the condemned propositions were to be found in his writings. “I condemn them,” he said, “according to the intention of the bull, and as the bull condemns them.” Toletus, it is reported, frequently declared that he had never met a more learned or more humble man.

The following are the chief heads of the erroneous system which Baius maintained. He regarded original justice, including the perfect subjection of the lower nature, as a part of human nature, not as a free gift of God to our first parents. Starting from this principle, he held further that eternal life would have been due to Adam, in the event of his perseverance, as a matter of rigorous justice, excluding grace and mercy altogether. Consequently, man, after the fall, was, till restored by grace, mutilated in nature and capable only of sin. Baius did not deny the freedom of the will in terms, but he did so in effect, for he made it consist in the mere absence of external restraint. Man chose to sin, but he could not choose anything else. The Benedictine Gerberon published the works of Baius with the documents relating to the controversy in a quarto volume at Cologne in 1696. (See Kuhn, “Dogmatik,” vol. iv. p. 319 seq.; and his article Baius in Wetzer and Welte. Linsenmann, “Michael Baius und die Grundlegung des Jansenismus,” Tübingen, 1867.)

BALDACCHINO. A canopy, such as is often suspended over the high-altar, usually hanging from the roof of the church, though sometimes, as at Rome, it rests on four pillars.

From the time when Constantine began to build sumptuous churches, the altar-table was overshadowed by a canopy made in the form of a cupola and surmounted by a cross. It was adorned with sculptures and rested on columns of precious material. This canopy was named ciborium, κιβώριον, from its resemblance to the bowl of a cup, and the Blessed Sacrament was placed in a vessel suspended by a cord from the interior of this canopy.

The name Baldacchino is said to have come into use in the middle ages and to be derived from Baaldak, the name by which Babylon was known during the time of the crusades. Baaldak or Babylon was celebrated for the manufacture of fine silken stuffs, and with these the canopy was frequently hung. (Rock, “Hierurgia,” p. 506 seq.)

Baldacchino is also used as the name of the canopy which is carried over the priest who bears the Blessed Sacrament in procession on Holy Thursday, Corpus Christi, &c. (Gavantus.)

BANNER. An ecclesiastical banner is one in which the stuff, whether of silk or linen, on which religious persons, objects, or mottos are depicted, is not nailed to the staff, as in the case of an ordinary flag, but to a transverse bar which is attached to the staff and with it forms the figure of a cross. Of this kind were the cavalry standards (vexilla) used in the Roman army. At the head of the staff, above the banner, and also in those signa militaria which were without a banner, was fixed some emblem possessing significance in the eyes of the soldiers, as an eagle, or a serpent, or a ball, or a bronze figure of Victory, or of Mars, or of the reigning emperor. Constantine, after his vision, and the victory which followed over Maxentius, ordered that the sacred standard (labarum) which had been shown to him should be adopted throughout the army, the eagle or other figure at the head of the staff being replaced by the sacred monogram  or , representing the first two letters of the Greek ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ. The Christian apologists—e.g. Minucius Felix and Tertullian—are fond of drawing attention to the resemblance which a Roman military standard bore to a cross. The adoption of the labarum would at once satisfy the large and ever increasing number of Christians in the imperial armies, and not displease the Pagan soldiers, because the traditional shape was not departed from.

As the soldier in battle looks to the colours of his regiment, and while they float aloft knows that the day may still be won, and is animated to do valiantly, so should Christians, as the Church by her sanction of banners reminds us, fix their gaze on that Cross of Christ which is the standard of their warfare, and be continually animated by the thought to fresh courage.

Banners are chiefly used in processions, but they are also hung round or near the altar, their prime significance being in all cases that they show forth the victory of Christ.

In the military orders [see that article] a practice was introduced for each knight at the time of his admission to hang up his banner in the church; hence the mouldering relics which may be seen in Henry VII.’s Chapel, Westminster, in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and other places. (“Dict, of Greek and Roman Antiq.,” Smith; Smith and Cheetham; Schmid in Wetzer and Welte.)

BANNS. The proclamation of intended marriage, in order that if anyone is aware of an impediment, he may state it to the ecclesiastical authorities, and so prevent the celebration of the wedding. Such proclamations were introduced first of all by the custom of particular places, but it was not till 1215 that they were imposed, at the Fourth Lateran Council, by a general law binding the whole Church. The Council of Trent orders the banns to be proclaimed by the parish priest of the persons who intend to marry, during Mass on three continuous festivals. At the same time, it permits the ordinary to dispense from the obligation of proclaiming the marriage, for a grave reason. According to theologians and the S. Congregation of the Council, the banns must be proclaimed in the parish church of the contracting parties, and in each parish church if they live in different parishes, at the principal Mass on three continuous Sundays or holidays of obligation—or at least on days when there is sure to be a concourse of people in the church. It is generally held that if the marriage does not take place within two months, or at most four, of the last publication, the banns must be proclaimed anew.

BAPTISM (from βαπτισμός, dipping, or immersion in water). A spiritual meaning was given to baptism by St. John the Baptist, who baptised or immersed his disciples in the Jordan, to signify the repentance and renewal by which the whole man was to be cleansed and purified. The Talmud of Babylon mentions a baptism of Jewish proselytes, but it is impossible to say when this rite arose. In any case, it is certain that when our Lord made baptism the rite of initiation into his Church, he employed a symbolism already familiar to the Jews. But Christ exalted the act to a dignity beyond the baptism of John, changing the “baptism of penance” into the sacrament of regeneration. The Gospels do not tell us when Christian baptism was instituted, and a great variety of opinions has prevailed upon this point among the Fathers and theologians of the Church. We may, however, safely assume that Christ instituted baptism before his Passion, for since baptism is, as we shall see further on, the gate of the sacraments, the Apostles could not have received Holy Communion at the Last Supper, unless they had been previously made Christians by baptism. Christ himself did not as a general rule baptise: still he did, according to an ancient tradition, baptise St. Peter, who conferred the sacrament on St. Andrew, St. Andrew on St. James and St. John, and they on the rest of the twelve. After Christ’s Passion and Resurrection, or at latest after Pentecost, the precept of receiving baptism became binding on all human beings.

After this sketch of the history of the institution and promulgation we may go on to consider the sacrament as it exists in the Church. We shall treat of the following points in order: viz. the essentials in the administration of the sacrament, its effects, its necessity, and the ceremonies with which it is given.

I. Under the first head questions occur as to the matter, the form, the minister, and the subject of baptism. (α) The matter is water, poured on the head of the candidate. The Scripture makes it clear enough that water is to be used, but it is not so plain at first sight that the sprinkling or pouring of water will suffice. In Apostolic times the body of the baptised person was immersed, for St. Paul looks on this immersion as typifying burial with Christ, and speaks of baptism as a bath. Immersion still prevails among the Copts and Nestorians, and for many ages baptism was so given among the Latins also, for even St. Thomas, in the thirteenth century, speaks of baptism by immersion as the common practice (communior usus) of his time. Still the rubric of the Roman Rituale, which states that baptism can be validly given by immersion, infusion, or aspersion, is fully justified by tradition. Persons on a sickbed, in danger of death, were baptised where they lay without immersion. This baptism was always considered sufficient, and in case of recovery they had only to get the ceremonies supplied and to be Confirmed. It is only necessary for the validity of the sacrament to pour the water once—for although a threefold infusion or immersion has been given from the earliest times, still here, too, we meet with exceptions, for Gregory the Great allowed the Spanish Church to continue its custom of baptising by one immersion.

(β) The form or words used in the sacrament are “I baptise thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” or words equivalent to these. Thus the Greek form “The servant of Christ N. is baptised in the name,” &c., is valid, as appears from the instruction of Eugenius IV. to the Armenians, and from subsequent decisions of the Holy See. A form similar to that of the Greeks is used by all the Orientals, except the Copts, Abyssinians, and Maronites, who approximate to the Latin form. Many great theologians suppose that the Apostles, for a time, in virtue of a special dispensation, baptised simply in the name of Christ; but this opinion seems to rest on a very questionable interpretation of passages in the New Testament.

(γ) The minister of baptism, says Eugenius IV., in the instruction quoted above, “is a priest to whom in virtue of his office it belongs to baptise.” The Roman Rituale prescribes that baptism should be given by the parish priest of the place, or by another priest appointed by him, or by the ordinary. A deacon is the extraordinary minister of solemn baptism. The Pontifical mentions baptising as one of his duties, a duty, however, which he can lawfully exercise only by delegation from the bishop or priest. But besides this, in case of necessity, any one, even a heretic or Jew, may baptise if he uses the proper matter and form, and intends to do what Christ ordained; and even if no such necessity exist, baptism so given, although unlawful, is still valid. That one who is not a priest may baptise is clear from the fact that Philip the deacon did so, as we learn from the Acts of the Apostles. Tertullian expressly says that baptism can be given “by all.” The 38th Canon of the Council of Elvira, in 306, assumes the same truth. There was, however, a difficulty in early times about baptism given outside of the Church—viz. by heretics. St. Cyprian and Firmilian denied, St. Stephen, the contemporary Pope, affirmed, its validity. The Pope appealed in favour of his view to Apostolic tradition. It is needless to say that the Pope’s teaching prevailed. The great Council of Arles in 314 decided for the validity of heretical baptism, and the Fourth Lateran Council defined it. The 18th Canon of the Council of Nicæa in no way contradicts this article of faith, for, though it orders the disciples of Paul of Samosata to be rebaptised, these heretics had in all probability corrupted the form of baptism.

(δ) The Recipient of Baptism.—All human beings, even infants and adults who have never had the use of reason, are capable of receiving this sacrament. Adults are bound by the precept of Christ to come and be baptised; parents and guardians are bound by the same precept to bring their children, or other persons in their charge, who have not come to the use of reason, and to have them baptised. In the middle ages and in modern times various sects have repudiated infant baptism. It is difficult to give strict proof from Scripture in favour of it, nor can it be denied that in the early ages persons often deferred their own baptism or that of their children, except in danger of death, from a dread of incurring the responsibilities of the Christian life. At the same time the Catholic doctrine that children are to be baptised, may be inferred from Scripture, and is abundantly justified by tradition. Thus we read of the Apostles baptising whole houses; and the very fact that our Lord promises his kingdom to children shows that he did not mean to exclude them from the sacrament of regeneration. The early Fathers supply the needed comment on Scripture. We have an explicit testimony for infant baptism in St. Irenæus. “Christ,” he writes, “came to save all—all, I say, who through him are born again to God, infants and little ones, and boys and young men, and the aged.” In a letter written by St. Cyprian and sixty-four bishops assembled in council, an answer is given to the question whether the baptism of children must be deferred, on the analogy of circumcision, till the eighth day. The bishops answer unanimously in the negative. If, the saint argues, adults are admitted to the font, how much more should those be baptised at once who have not sinned, except so far as by natural descent from Adam they have contracted in the moment of birth the infection of ancient death, who for this very reason come more easily to the remission of sins, because it is the sins of another, not their own, which are remitted to them.

II. The Effects of Baptism.—(α) It remits all sin, original and actual, “Be baptised,” St. Peter said, “everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.” “I believe in one baptism,” says the Nicene Creed, “for the remission of sins,”

(β) It remits all the penalties due for sin before God, whether temporal or eternal. A temporal punishment often remains due to sin, even after its guilt has been removed by absolution. Baptism, as the Church defines, leaves no such penalties, and the apostolic origin of this belief is proved by the practice of the early Church, which imposed no penance for the gravest crimes if committed before baptism. The rebellion of the flesh does of course remain after baptism, but this rebellion is not sin, unless the will fully consents to it. (γ) It bestows sanctifying grace and the infused virtues. A difficulty was felt even among Catholic divines with regard to the case of children. All admitted that children received the forgiveness of sins, but how could they have grace and the infused virtues imparted to them? How, for example, could a child receive faith in baptism, when it plainly remains unable to exercise faith till the age of reason? The answer is that the capacity is one thing, the actual exercise another. A man in sleep may have the capacity for or habit of faith, though he cannot exercise it till he wakes. Moreover, the very fact that baptism gives a title to the possession of heaven proves that it always confers grace, since it is the grace of God, not the mere absence of sin, which enables us to enter there. The Council of Vienne contented itself with pronouncing the opinion that grace is conferred in baptism “more probable.” Since then, the Council of Trent defined that all the sacraments of the new law confer grace on those who rightly receive them.

(δ) It imprints a “character” or indelible mark on the soul, whence it cannot be reiterated. [See under CHARACTER.] (ε) It makes the recipient a member of Christ and of the Church, and makes it possible for him to receive the other sacraments.

An infant is unable to put a bar in the way of sacramental grace, and therefore must receive the full effect of baptism rightly administered. With adults it is different. In them positive dispositions are called for. In order to receive baptism validly, an adult is only required to have the intention of doing so. If the intention be there, he receives the character and incurs the responsibilities of a Christian; but in order to obtain the grace of the sacrament, he must come with faith and with contrition perfect or imperfect—i.e. he must from a supernatural motive detest his sins, and resolve to begin a new life. Thus a person who comes without at least attrition for all his mortal sins, and the purpose of amendment, would receive neither grace nor forgiveness. If, however, he afterwards supplied the requisite dispositions, the grace of the sacrament would revive, and he would receive remission of original sin, and of all actual sins (including the temporal punishment annexed) which he had committed up to the date of his baptism.

III. The Necessity of Baptism.—The “passage” (from death to life), says the Council of Trent, “cannot be made since the promulgation of the Gospel except by the laver of regeneration, or by the desire of it, as it is written, ‘Unless a man be born of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ “ It is interesting to notice that Tertullian makes precisely the same application of this text against the heretics of his day. Accordingly, infants dying unbaptised are excluded from the kingdom of heaven, although, according to the opinion now universally held, they do not undergo suffering of any kind in the next world. [See LIMBO.] Protestant difficulties on this point arise from inadequate ideas on grace and the sovereignty of God. Heaven is a reward which is no way due to human nature, and God can withhold it, as he pleases, without injustice. In adults the baptism of desire or of blood may supply the place of baptism by water. Thus an act of the perfect love of God remits sin, original and actual, and confers sanctifying grace. Our Lord in St. John’s Gospel promises that he will love those who love him, a promise which would not be fulfilled if a man who loved God above all things and for his own sake, were still allowed to remain God’s enemy in consequence of unforgiven sin. The baptism of blood—i.e. martyrdom—not only forgives sin but remits the temporal penalties of sin also. St. Cyprian says of catechumens who died before being baptised with water, that they had in fact been baptised “with the most glorious and greatest baptism of blood,” and Tertullian witnesses to the belief of the early Church that the Holy Innocents were sanctified by their blood.

IV. Conditional Baptism is given when there is some doubt whether a person has been validly baptised. The form prescribed in the Roman Rituale is “If thou hast not been baptised, I baptise thee,” &c. and in England this form is used in the case of all persons who have received baptism from a Protestant minister, when they are reconciled to the Church. In early times the condition was not expressed in words. Fleury could not find any trace of the conditional form before the time of Alexander III., and St. Thomas alleges a decretal of this Pope for its use.

V. The Ceremonies of Baptism.—The following is a summary of the ceremonies prescribed by the Roman Rituale, with their signification as given in the Roman Catechism. The sacrament is to be administered, apart from cases of necessity, in the church or baptistery near the church. However, the children of kings and princes may be baptised in their private chapels. Baptismal water is in all cases to be used. The person baptised is to receive a baptismal name, and the Rituale recommends the parents to impose the name of a saint, that the child may profit by his example and patronage. The priest meets the child at the door of the Church; drives the devil from him; breathes thrice upon his face, to signify the new spiritual life which is to be breathed into his soul; puts salt into his mouth, as a sign that he is to be freed from the corruption of sin; signs him on the forehead and breast with the sign of the cross, and leads him into the temple of God. Then the priest solemnly exorcises the child; anoints his ears and nostrils with spittle—after our Lord’s example, who thus restored the blind man’s sight—and asks him in three separate interrogations whether he renounces Satan, all his works and all his pomps. He next anoints him with the oil of catechumens on the breast and between the shoulders. The ancient athletes were anointed before their contests in the arena, and in the same way the young Christian is prepared for the “good fight” which lies before him. The recipient then, through his sponsors, professes his faith by reciting the Creed, and the priest pours water three times on his head, in the form of a cross, at the same time pronouncing the words “I baptise thee,” &c. After baptism, chrism is put on the top of his head, to signify his union with Christ, the head of his Church; he receives a white garment, and a burning light in his hands, symbols of innocence and of the light of faith and charity.

These rites are recommended as well by their beautiful symbolism and the majestic words which accompany them as by their venerable antiquity. Tertullian mentions the triple renunciation made in baptism, the unction, the triple immersion. The Sacramentary of Gelasius (died 496) contains almost every ceremony of baptism to be found in the present Rituale. Two differences, however, must be noted. In the West solemn baptism was given as a rule only at Easter and Pentecost; in the East it was also given at the Epiphany. Again, the ceremonies now in use were intended primarily for adults, and instead of being given together were spread over three or four weeks. Thus in the Gelasian Sacramentary, the ceremonies of baptism begin on the third Sunday in Lent, although the baptism itself did not take place till Holy Saturday. (See Chardon, “Histoire des Sacrements.”)

BAPTISM OF SHIPS. Baptism, or, more correctly, blessing, of ships, a form in the Roman Rituale. Certain prayers are said, in which God is asked to bless the ship and those who travel in it, as he blessed the ark of Noe and helped Peter when he was sinking in the deep. This form is not found in the older “Ordines.” The practice of blessing ships seems to have become common during the time of the Crusades.

BAPTISMAL NAME. A name given in baptism, to signify that the baptised person has become a new creature in Christ. The Rituale forbids heathenish names, and advises, though it does not enjoin, the taking of a saint’s name.

The custom of taking a new name in baptism was not usual in the early Church—though we find instances of it from the third century onwards. Then, and long after, Christians bore not only the names of saints, but also those (1) of feasts—e.g. Epiphanius, Natalis (from Christmas), Paschasius, &c.; (2) of virtues—e.g. Faith, Innocent, Pius, &c.; (3) animals—e.g. Leo, Columba, Ursula, &c. (Hefele, “Beitrage,” 393.)

BAPTISMAL WATER. Water blessed in the font on Holy Saturday and the vigil of Pentecost, which must be used at least in solemn baptism. The priest signs the water with the cross, divides it with his hand, pouring it towards the north, south, east and west; breathes into it, and places in it the paschal candle, after which some of it is sprinkled on the people and some removed for private use. The priest then pours oil of catechumens and chrism into the water.

The origin of this custom of blessing the water is lost in immemorial antiquity. A form for blessing the water is found even in the Apostolic Constitutions, in ancient Western and in all the Oriental liturgies.

BAPTISTERY (called also in Greek φωτιστήριον, the place of illumination). That part of the church in which solemn baptism is administered. Anciently, when baptism was constantly given to adults and the rite of immersion prevailed, it was inconvenient to baptise in the church itself, and hence after the conversion of Constantine separate buildings for the administration of baptism were erected and attached to the cathedral church. Eusebius mentions a baptistery of this kind in the basilica at Tyre, and examples of such buildings still exist at Rome, Pisa, Pistoia, Modena, Padua, &c. It was only gradually that baptism was administered in any but cathedral churches. The ancient baptistery was sometimes round, sometimes it had four, eight, or twelve sides. Cyril of Jerusalem distinguishes the outer part of the baptistery (προαύλιος οἶκος), in which the catechumens renounced Satan, &c., from the inner portion (ἐσώτερος οἶκος), in which they were baptised.

The modern baptistery is merely a part of the church set apart for baptism. According to the Roman Rituale, it should be railed off, it should have a gate fastened by a lock, and be adorned, if possible, with a picture of Christ’s baptism by St. John. It is convenient that it should contain a chest with two compartments, one for the holy oils, the other for the salt, candle, &c., used in baptism. (See De Montault, “Construction des Eglises,” p. 105.)



BARNABITES. The proper designation of the religious of this order is that of “Regular Clerks of the Congregation of St. Paul;” they are popularly called Barnabites on account of a church of St. Barnabas at Milan which belonged to them in the sixteenth century. Their principal founder was the holy priest Antonio Maria Zaccaria (died 1539); with him were joined Bartolommeo Ferrari and Giacomo Antonio Morigena. The frequent wars by which the north of Italy had been devastated; the influx of Lutheran soldiers, whose example tended to propagate a spirit of contempt for the sacraments and the clergy: and the frequency of pestilential disorders caused by the famine and misery of the population, had produced about 1536 a state of things which powerfully appealed to the charity and pity of the true pastors of Jesus Christ. It occurred to Zaccaria that a better way of combating these evils could not be found than by organising a congregation of secular clergy, not going out of the world but living in it and working for it, and bound by a rule—that is, diligently attending to their own sanctification while preaching reformation to others,—”who should regenerate and revive the love of the divine worship and a truly Christian way of life by frequent preaching and the faithful administration of the Sacraments.” In 1533 the foundation of such a congregation, under a special rule approved by the Holy See, was sanctioned by Clement VII. The members pronounced their vows before the Archbishop of Milan, and chose Zaccaria for their superior. The order soon spread into France and Germany. In 1579 their constitutions were examined by St. Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, protector of the congregation, and being approved by him were finally confirmed. They called, and still call, their establishments colleges. They are governed by a General residing at Rome, elected for three years, and capable of re-election once. Besides the three usual vows they take a fourth, never to seek any office or ecclesiastical dignity, and to accept no post outside of their order without the permission of the Pope. The habit is merely the black soutane worn by secular priests in Lombardy at the time of their foundation. Their principal house is now at Rome; and they have about twenty colleges in all, one in Paris, and others in various parts of Italy and Austria. There is no house of these religious either in England or in Ireland. Among the eminent men of this order may be mentioned Sauli, called the Apostle of Corsica; Bascapé, the biographer of St. Charles Borromeo; and Gavanti, the well-known writer on rubrics and ceremonies. (Hélyot, “Ordres Monastiques.”)

BASILIANS. This order takes its name from the great St. Basil (died 379), bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadoeia. On his return to his own country after a long journey through Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia—made that he might collect the experience of monks and solitaries living under many different rules—Basil, still thirsting for the perfect life in which self should be subdued and union with Christ attained, withdrew into a desert region of Pontus, where his mother Emelia and his sister Macrina had already established monasteries, and laid the foundation of the great order which bears his name. To those who placed themselves under his direction he gave two rules, the Great and the Little—the former containing fifty-five, the latter three hundred and thirteen articles. This twofold rule became so famous and popular in the East as to supplant all others; and at this day it alone is recognised and followed by the monks of the Greek Church. The order never penetrated into France or England; but in southern Italy there were many Basilian convents in existence, even before the time of St. Benedict, who regarded both the rule and its author with great veneration, and appears to have had it before him when framing his own rule. In Russia, the first missionaries to which were Greek monks, the Basilian order received an immense development. Nearly all of them have, since the division of the ninth century, adhered to the Photian schism; there are, however, in Austrian Poland and Hungary several communities of Basilian monks which are in communion with Rome; the monks of these call themselves Ruthenians. In Spain there were several Basilian monasteries, reformed and unreformed, up to the date of the suppression in 1835. The habit of the Basilians is scarcely to be distinguished from that of the Benedictines. Nearly all the convents of Basilian nuns, founded by St. Macrina, like those of the monks, have embraced the Eastern schism. (Hélyot, “Ordres Monastiques.”)

BASILICA (βασιλική). This name began to be applied to Christian churches about the beginning of the fourth century. The earlier expressions were “house of prayer” (οἶκος προσευκτήριος), “oratory” (προσευκτήριον), and “Lord’s house” (κυριακόν, dominicum), besides the loosely-employed term “ecclesia.”

It has been commonly held that the ancient Roman basilicas (large halls, like the “Basilica Portia” built by Cato about 180 B.C., used for the purposes of justio or commerce) passed in considerable numbers into Christian hands, after the conversion of Constantine, and were used for Christian worship; that new churches were built after the model of these, and that the name “basilica” was naturally applied to buildings of either class. Closer investigation has furnished grounds for a somewhat different view. In a learned paper contributed by Prof. Kraus of Freiburg to the “R. Encykl. d. christl. Alterth.,” the following conclusions are given, as, in the opinion of the writer, solidly established by the evidence. (1) All that the Romans meant by “basilica” was a fine, stately, splendid building; no notion of what was kingly or princely connected itself in their minds with the term. (2) Christian congregations used buildings or rooms set apart for divine worship, from the first. (3) Before the time of Constantine, these were, at Rome, ordinary chambers in private houses, the triclinia, or other large rooms in the dwellings of the wealthy, and, specially, the private basilicas of Roman palaces. Such a basilica is mentioned in the Clementine “Recognitions” (a work which, apart from all question as to its genuineness, is certainly of a date not later than the third century) as having formed part of the mansion of Theophilus, a wealthy citizen of Antioch, even in the Apostolic age, and been used by the Christians as a church. (4) The form of these private basilicas probably bore a considerable resemblance to that of the pre-Augustan forensic basilicas, such as the Portian basilica already noticed; this point, however, is not at present determined with absolute certainty. (5) It is not probable that, apart from the chambers or halls and private basilicas above mentioned, the Christians of the pre-Nicene period possessed, at least in Rome, any churches properly so called within the city. (6) Besides the private basilicas, sepulchral buildings were used for Christian worship in the period referred to—exceptionally, and in times of persecution, those under ground (Catacombs); regularly, the “Memories” and Cells of Martyrs built above ground. Both parts of this proposition can be proved by abundant evidence. (7) The Christian basilica of the age of Constantine is not a simple adaptation or imitation of the forensic basilica of the preceding period. For the forensic basilica appears to have had no one determinate shape; sometimes it had an apse, sometimes not, and it was entered either from one end or from the side—whereas the Christian basilica, faithful to the form of the crypt, or “Memory,” of the earlier time, had always an apse, and was always entered from the end opposite the apse. At the same time, the forensic basilica, with its constant internal feature of a space divided by rows of columns into three aisles—a form very suitable to the needs of a large congregation—was certainly not overlooked by Christian architects. (8) The final conclusion is that the Christian basilica of the age of Constantine arose out of the combination of two factors—one the sepulchral “Cella,” terminating in one or three apses; the other, the great three-aisled hall, so familiar to Roman eyes, whether in the forensic or in the private basilicas.

The origin of the Christian basilica having been considered, it remains to show what were its parts, structural features, and arrangements for worship. As a general rule, it was built in an east and west direction, the altar or table being sometimes at one end, sometimes at the other. It was usually surrounded by an outer wall. Through a portico or colonnade, forming a vestibule, admission was obtained into a quadrangle (atrium), round which ran an arcade, separated by a low partition from the enclosed space (area), which was open to the air. In the middle of the “area” was the “cantharus,” or water-basin, where the faithful washed their faces and hands before entering the church. The right-hand arcade was for men; that on the left, for women; here penitents must remain during the service; those, however, whose offences were of a very heinous type were excluded even from these, and had to stand in the open area. On the opposite side of the atrium was an oblong hall, formed by rows of pillars, which was sometimes called the “narthex” or “ferula.” Passing through this, the worshipper entered the church by a door which was called the “Beautiful Gate.” He found himself in a nave (ναός) with two flanking aisles (from which it was separated by pillars), but without a transept; as he proceeded, he came upon the “ambo” [see that article]; beyond which were the “cancelli,” or rails, parting off the choir—which was for the clergy—from the rest of the church. At the end of all was the semicircular vaulted apse [see APSE], with the bishop’s chair in the centre, and seats for the clergy on either hand; just in front of the apse was the altar or table. During the divine worship, the men occupied the south, the women the north, aisle; the space between was left free.

At Rome thirteen churches still retain the name of “basilicas”—five larger, and eight smaller. Those of the former class are St. Peter’s, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, St. Paul Without the Walls, and St. Lawrence. Among the smaller basilicas, San Clemente (beneath which an older church was discovered a few years ago by the Irish Dominican, Father Mullooly), Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Santa Sabina, and San Sebastiano, are of great interest and beauty. (Kraus, “Real-Encyklopädie.” Platner, “Beschreibung der Stadt Rom,” 1829, vol. i. p. 417.)


BASLE, COUNCIL OF. The schism in the Papacy, healed with difficulty at the Council of Constance through the election of Martin V., produced in the fifteenth century a prevalent sentiment that the most effectual safeguard against the recurrence of so terrible an evil lay in the frequent assemblage of general councils. It was provided accordingly, by one of the decrees of Constance (1414–1418), that a general council should in future be held every five years. Martin V., in pursuance of the decree, convoked a council for 1423, to meet at Pavia; but various difficulties arose, and it was finally arranged that Basle should be the place of meeting, and the time, July 1431. Martin also named Cardinal Julian Cesarini papal legate and president of the assembly. But before the day of meeting the Pope died; and a doubt as to the intentions of his successor influenced many bishops, so that there was but a slender gathering at the formal opening of the council. Cesarini, however, who had himself been absent on the opening day, having been sent into Bohemia to endeavour to effect a reconciliation with the Hussites, sent out messengers and letters in all directions; and soon a great number of French and German bishops—most of whom sincerely desired to carry out a real reformation, both “in the head and the members” of the Church—was assembled at Basle. The new Pope, Eugenius IV., was deeply impressed with the importance of taking advantage of the humiliation of the Eastern Empire (which, owing to the encroachments of the Ottoman power, was now reduced to a small district round Constantinople) to open negotiations—earnestly desired by the Greeks themselves—for the healing of the Photian schism, and reunion of the East and West. The joint council which would be necessary for this purpose could not, the Pope saw, be held at Basle, because the Greeks would never consent to cross the Alps. Again, the Hussites in Bohemia having recently gained some important military successes, the Pope considered that bishops could not safely proceed to a city which seemed, in Italian eyes, to be within the reach of the dreaded Procopius. Other special objections were alleged in the bull, which transferred the council to Bologna. The bishops at Basle, headed by Cesarini—who wrote to the Pope, endeavouring to show that the particular reasons alleged for the transfer were founded on mistake, or had little weight—vehemently opposed the removal of the council, and continued their sittings. They came chiefly from France and Germany; Italy, England, and Spain, furnished each a very slender contingent. The number present, even at the most important sessions, does not appear to have exceeded fifty. According to the relative importance which good men might attach to the project of reunion with the Greeks or to the reform of ecclesiastical abuses, they might honestly prefer a city south or north of the Alps as the place of meeting for the council. The general opinion, however, seems to have been at this time in favour of Basle. The Pope himself, finding in 1432 that he could not bring over the Emperor Sigismund to his opinion, began to waver, and sent a legate, Christopher, Bishop of Cervia, to Basle with authority to negotiate with the council on the question. By February in the following year, he had come to the conclusion that it was expedient to yield still further; a bull appeared, explaining the reasons why the Pope had hitherto objected to Basle, and the considerations which now induced him to withdraw his opposition and send legates to the council. This he did; but his legates, who were to agree to the discussion only of certain subjects prescribed by the Pope, were ill received at the council. Several other decrees and bulls were issued on one side and on the other in this controversy; at last, in February 1434, a letter from the Pope was read at the council, with the terms of which they declared themselves satisfied, and they admitted the papal legates. But before long a breach occurred, which proved to be irreparable. At its twenty-first session (June 1435) the council adopted a decree for the reform of the Roman Chancery—abolishing first-fruits, cutting down fees, and regulating official charges and perquisites. The Pope might well complain that a measure so important had been adopted without previous consultation with him. He refused his sanction, and the council launched an angry decree against him. Meantime the Eastern emperor, John Palæologus, had been in negotiation both with the Pope and the council on the subject of the proposed reunion of East and West; one consequence of which, the Emperor fondly hoped, would be the effective armed intervention of Western Europe to roll back the tide of Ottoman invasion. A synod can seldom hold its own with a single ruler in such transactions; moreover, the envoys of the council were empowered to propose to the Emperor and the Greeks no place of meeting more acceptable than Avignon, to which Ferrara, offered by the Pope, would appear to them infinitely preferable. A division hereupon sprang up in the council itself, the minority—among whom was the excellent and able Nicholas of Cusa, a theologian from Coblentz—voting for the removal of the council to Italy, while the majority were in favour of Avignon. In October 1437, Eugenius published a bull in which he formally transferred the council from Basle to Ferrara; and although, at the first session held in the last-named city, in January 1438, the number in attendance was scanty, the Papal influence gradually asserted its ascendancy, and defections from the council at Basle began to be of frequent occurrence. In his famous work, written some years before, “Concordantia Catholica,” Nicholas of Cusa had said, “Where there is no true œcumenical council, the most certain synod is that in which the Pope is found;” and agreeably to this maxim, Nicholas himself now abandoned the cause of the council, and repaired to Ferrara. From the time of the publication of the bull of October 1437, the acts of the Council of Basle are considered as of no authority. Before that date, in the years between 1431 and 1436, their most meritorious and successful work was the pacification of the Hussites, whom they succeeded to a great extent in reconciling to the Church, by conceding the demand of the more moderate party—the Utraquists [see that article]—for communion under both species.

The recalcitrants at Basle, headed now by the Cardinal of Arles, exasperated by the desertions from their ranks and the growing influence of the Council of Ferrara, proceeded to extreme measures. They erected into a universal axiom that theory of the subjection of Popes to General Councils which, as enunciated by the Council of Constance, had been a particular proposition, referring only to one Pope and a special complex of circumstances. Next (May 1439), they pretended to depose Eugenius, in whose stead they chose Amadeus of Savoy. This anti-pope took the title of Felix V. But he was feebly supported, and, after playing his miserable part for five years, abdicated in April 1445. At the same time, the Council of Basle, which, after lingering on for several years in almost entire obscurity, had transferred its sittings to Lausanne, gave a last sign of life by recognising the pontificate of Nicholas V. Nothing more is heard of them afterwards.

BEATIFIC VISION. The sight of God face to face, which constitutes the essential bliss of angels and men. The Council of Florence defines that the “souls of those who after receiving baptism have incurred no stain of sin whatsoever, or who after incurring such stain have been purified, in the body or out of the body, … are at once received into heaven and clearly see God Himself as He is, in three Persons and one substance, some, however, more perfectly than others, according to the diversity of their merits.”

Many passages of Scripture speak of this vision as the reward of the just. “When he shall appear,” St. John says, “we shall be like to him, because we shall see him, as he is.” Similarly, St. Paul contrasts the seeing through a glass in an obscure manner with that vision “face to face” which is reserved for the life to come. Petavius adduces a multitude of Patristic testimonies on this point, and explains passages from other Fathers who seem to affirm the absolute impossibility of seeing God as he is. At the same time, he confesses frankly that some ancient Catholic writers spoke ambiguously and others erroneously with regard to the vision of God. They had a difficulty in supposing it possible even for the blessed to behold the divine essence.

It is with the eyes of the soul, not with the bodily eyes, that God is seen. This follows from the very fact that God is incorporeal. Nor can any created intellect in its own strength or by the force of its nature enjoy the beatific vision, for there is no proportion between the divine nature and any created intelligence. In order that the blessed may see Him, God infuses a supernatural quality which elevates and perfects the intellect and makes it capable of the beatific vision. Just as the natural eye, in order that it may see, requires first the presence of the object, and then light, in order that the image of the object may be received, so the intellect, in order to see God, requires not only the proximity of the divine essence, but also an interior disposition by which it is elevated to an act above its natural powers. The schoolmen fitly call this quality in the intellect of the blessed the “light of glory,” a term which occurs in the Fathers—e.g., in St. Augustine, though not in the same definite sense. The Council of Vienne adopted the expression in its condemnation of the error “that the soul does not need the light of glory, which elevates the soul so that it beholds God and enjoys him in bliss.” The word “light” is of course a mere metaphor, for the light of glory is immaterial. Nor is it anything outside the intellect, or again an object which the intellect perceives. It is in the intellect and enables it to see God.

By the ordinary law of God, this vision is not given in the flesh, since no man can see God’s face and live, although great authorities maintain that it has been bestowed in exceptional cases even during this life. St. Thomas, for instance, maintains that Moses and St. Paul enjoyed the beatific vision before their death, though the gift was not a permanent one, On the other hand, it was a question long discussed in the Church, whether the saints saw God face to face before the day of judgment. The Council of Florence, quoted above, closed the controversy, and this definition is the true development of Patristic teaching. From the first it was held that martyrdom, as the perfect purgation of the soul, admits to the immediate possession of glory, a tenet which logically involves the belief that heaven since Christ’s ascension has been opened to all who are fitted by perfect purity for the vision of God. St. Gregory places the difference between the saints of the Old and New Testament in this very point, that whereas the former had to wait for the vision of God till Christ’s descent into limbo, the latter, when “their earthly house of this habitation is dissolved,” have a “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” The words of the council, with which we began, explain what it is that the beatific vision implies. The saints and angels see God—i.e. His essence, His attributes, and the three Persons of the Trinity. Further, seeing God, they see creatures in Him, who is the supreme cause, in whom all things live and move and exist. The saints do not, indeed, know all that God can do, because even to the blessed he remains in a certain sense incomprehensible, and it is one thing to see an object before us, quite another to know that object in the utmost extent to which it can be known. Such perfect comprehension of the divine nature belongs to God himself, and cannot be communicated to any creature. But the saints see in God all the facts concerning creatures which it is suitable for them to know. They have, for example, a special knowledge of those who are placed under their patronage; they are aware when souls on earth implore their prayers; they are acquainted with the best means of helping their clients. The most plausible objection which is made to the invocation of the saints falls to the ground if this point, which St. Augustine sets forth with great fulness, is well understood. We ask the saints to pray for us, not because we believe them omniscient or omnipresent, but because, seeing God, they see in Him all that He wishes them to see.

Lastly, though all the blessed see God, they do so with different degrees of perfection. The vision of God is the reward of merit, and as God repays every man according to his works, as the crown promised in heaven is a crown of justice, therefore the vision of God cannot be given in precisely the same manner to all. This truth was denied by Jovinian in ancient, by Luther in modern, times, and the anathema of the Council of Trent—sess. vi. cap. 16, can. 32—is directed against the latter. (See Petavius, “De Deo,” lib. vii.)

BEATIFICATION. The act of declaring a person or persons deceased, whose virtues have been proved by sufficient testimony, and whose power with God has been demonstrated by miracles, to be among the number of the blessed.

To pay honour to the dead whom the general voice declares to have lived well is an instinct of human nature. Roman citizens brought the images of their distinguished ancestors into their villas; under the empire they recognised the far-reaching power and august majesty—sometimes the beneficence—of their rulers, by deifying them after death; in China, the worship of ancestors is to this day the most living portion of the popular religion; among ourselves, the forest of monuments in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s, though in many cases rather attesting the vanity of the living than the merits of the dead, proves the universality of the impulse. A modern writer of note has said that everything depends on how a people “does its Hero-worship.” The Church, divinely founded and divinely guided as she is, so far recognises this view that she encourages us to distinguish with singular honour certain of her children who have gone before us in the Christian warfare, bids us reserve this honour for those whose virtue reached the “heroic” level, and, that we may not be deceived, establishes a careful and deliberate process whereby to test the truth of facts and probe the moral significance of actions. Her judgments and her processes need not fear a comparison with those of public opinion. The State, which modern irreligion invites us to regard as a moral agency the fiat of which is not to be appealed against, has also modes of conferring honour, and does not wait for their death before it rewards its servants. It has peerages, baronetcies, orders, stars, money, and the like. If we examine on what grounds these distinctions are dispensed, we find that it is for rare intellectual ability—usually attended by the gift of expression—for the capacity of amassing money, for courage with direction, and for simple courage; a certain degree of patriotic devotion being supposed to be present in each case. In this way, and on these grounds, the modern State honours its heroes. To the Church, the more or less of ability possessed by those whom she recommends for our veneration is a matter of no concern. She is as willing to raise a St. Isidore, the gardener of Madrid, to the ranks of the Blessed, as an Augustine of Hippo or a Thomas Aquinas. The proof of eminent virtue is all that she demands, and as a conclusive and compendious test of the presence of this high order of virtue, she requires the authentication of miracles wrought by, or through the intercession of, the person whose virtues are under debate. Such are, in her estimate, the only sound bases of a popular cultus, and when these conditions have been complied with, such a cultus has been never known to be discredited.

The possession of virtue rising to the heroic level, and the illustration of that virtue by miracles, are matters of fact, which must of course be established by testimony. The witnesses, in most cases, can be no other than the countrymen and countrywomen of the reputed saint, for only they can have seen his life from so near at hand as to be competent to speak with certitude respecting it. In the early times, individual bishops, and afterwards metropolitans, acting upon this local testimony, and sifting it in the best way they could, declared the blessedness of certain persons, and proposed their memories for the veneration of the faithful. But it is notorious that local testimony is rarely free from bias, that national and provincial sympathies, or even antipathies, are apt to disturb the judgment, and that for this reason the universal Church could not safely endorse without inquiry even the unanimous judgment of his own countrymen on the virtues of a reputed saint. Earl Waltheof, put to death by William the Conqueror, was regarded by the English as a martyr, and miracles were said to be worked at his tomb; the same thing happened in the case of Simon de Montfort; but it may reasonably be doubted whether antipathy to the Norman and the foreigner was not a substantial factor in these reputations for sanctity. Considerations of this kind prevailed, many centuries ago, to cause the inquiry into reputed sanctity to be reserved to the central authority in the Church, the Holy See, and to recommend the wisdom and necessity of the decision that without the sanction of that see no religious cultus may lawfully be paid to the memory of any holy person, however eminent for virtue or notorious for miracles. As early as the fourth century, in the case of Vigilius, bishop of Trent, we find the authority of Rome invoked to recognise a martyr or confessor as such, and sanction his being honoured in the liturgy. The procedure to be observed was gradually regularised, defects remedied, and safeguards supplied; and in the tenth century we meet with the complete process of a canonisation, of which the object was St. Ulrich, bishop of Augsburg. Still, however, through the inordinate fondness with which those of a particular country or religious order regarded holy persons of their own blood or profession, instances of abusive cultus sometimes occurred; and accordingly we find Alexander III., in 1170, publishing a decree in which it is declared unlawful to honour any person publicly as a saint, however celebrated for miracles, without the consent of the Roman Church. Still more important is the bull of Urban VIII. (1634), in which the form of procedure in cases of canonisation is minutely prescribed, and various abuses condemned. In this bull, however, the Pope declared “that he did not wish to prejudice the case of those [servants of God] who were the objects of a cultus arising either out of the general consent of the Church, or a custom of which the memory of man ran not to the contrary, or the writings of the Fathers, or the long and intentional tolerance of the Apostolic See or the Ordinary.” (Ferraris, Cultus Sanctorum.)

It remains briefly to explain in what manner the duty, thus reserved to the Holy See, of testing the evidence offered in proof of sanctity is discharged. The celebrated treatise of Pope Benedict XIV. on Heroic Virtue (of which a translation was published some years ago by the English Oratorians) is the standard authority on the subject. There are three recognised degrees of sanctity—that of Venerable, that of Blessed, and that of Saint. On the first and third we shall speak more fully under the head of CANONISATION; it is with the title of Blessed, given on the completion of the process of Beatification, that we are at present concerned. At the present time, Beatification is nearly always a stage on the road to Canonisation; the same rigorous proof of eminent virtue and the working of miracles is demanded in one case as in the other. But whereas the cultus of a canonised Saint belongs to the universal Church, and churches and altars can be freely erected in his or her honour, and images, pictures, or statues of him or her displayed without special permission, in the case of one of the Blessed it is otherwise. The honour and veneration which are authorised in their regard are limited and partial; and because the cultus of one of them is permitted to one country, or city, or order, or branch of an order, it does not follow that it should be practised elsewhere; and the attempt to extend it without special permission is condemned. Nor is it lawful, without such permission, to display their pictures or images in churches, nor, under any circumstances, can Mass be said or the breviary recited in their honour.

Thirteen or fourteen different steps may be distinguished in the process of Beatification; the general object of all these slow and lengthy inquiries—extending always over many years, and sometimes from one century to another—being to unite the credibility and authenticity which can only be founded on the reports of witnesses locally and personally cognisant of the facts to the authority of a juridical investigation conducted by trained and impartial intellects. It must be remembered that the character and behaviour of the reputed saint are subjected to the severest possible strain; that the “fierce light which beats upon a throne” is nothing to that which so minute and protracted an inquiry turns upon the everyday life of the person submitted to it. “The person who is to be beatified must have practised in the heroic degree chiefly the three theological virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity, and the four cardinal virtues, Prudence, Justice, Courage and Temperance, with all that these suppose and involve; nor is it enough to show that these have been practised to this degree of perfection under certain circumstances: numerous acts, a permanent and habitual practice, principally of charity, are required; and, with regard to the cardinal virtues, the habit of that virtue which was the proper and distinguishing excellence of the person’s calling. Thus justice and temperance are required in statesmen and prelates; in Popes, zeal for the defence and propagation of the Catholic faith; in kings, loyal attachment to the Church and the Holy See; in married women, gentleness and devotion;” &c.

The first step of the process is a formal inquiry instituted by the bishop of the diocese as to the fact of the reputation of the person whose beatification is demanded for virtue and miraculous power. This being accomplished, either the same bishop or a Roman official inquires into the fact of non-cultus—that is, whether the bull of Urban VIII. (supposing the case not to be included among the exceptions therein specified) has been hitherto scrupulously complied with. Thirdly, the acts or minutes resulting from these two inquiries are sent to Rome, to the secretary of the Congregation of Rites. [ROMAN CONGREGATIONS.] Before this body the process is now opened, at the request of the postulators, or supporters of the beatification. The fifth step is the nomination of a promotor fidei (called in popular language the “devil’s advocate”), whose duty it is to point out any flaws or weak points in the evidence adduced, and raise all kinds of objections. Sixthly, the Congregation examines, if the person were an author, all the works, printed or in manuscript, which were ascertained to be of his composition, and draws up a formal report on them. If this be favourable, the seventh stage is reached, that of the introduction of the apostolic process; for Rome, so to speak, now makes the cause its own, and gives a commission to the Congregation of Rites to try it, investigating, not only the notoriety, but the reality and nature of the virtues and miracles ascribed to the beatificandus. This commission, without a special Papal dispensation, is never issued till at least ten years have passed since the first transmission of the acts to the Secretary of the Congregation. The next step is the appointment by the Congregation, under what are called litteræ remissionales, of a delegation of three bishops, or other high functionaries, to deal with the case systematically, and examine witnesses in respect of the reputed virtues and miracles. The acts of this delegation, which are often extremely voluminous, are, as the ninth stage, sent to the Congregation, by which they are examined, and arguments heard, pro and contra, from the postulators and the promoter fidei. If the result is favourable to the beatificandus, a second and still more searching inquiry into the real and inmost nature of all that has been deposed respecting him is committed to a new delegation; this is the tenth stage. The process, being returned to the Congregation, is finally considered by them, both as to its form and as to its substance; and the virtues and miracles are separately the subject of debate in three successive assemblies or congregations, at the last of which the Pope himself is present. After having sought to know the will of God by prayer, the Pope makes known his judgment to the secretary of the Congregation. A new general congregation is then held, at which it is considered whether the beatification may be proceeded with without further delay; if the decision be favourable, the Pope appoints a day for the ceremony, and orders a brief, setting forth the apostolic sentence, to be prepared. The final stage of this long process, the beatification itself, takes place in the Vatican church; it includes the public reading of the brief, the chanting of the Te Deum, the unveiling of the image or picture of the newly-beatified on the altar, the incensing of the image, the reading of the new collect, &c.

By an “equipollent beatification” is meant the Papal authorisation of the public cultus of a confessor or martyr, founded on the proof of one or more of the exceptional conditions stated in the bull of Urban VIII. [See CANONISATION.]

BEATITUDE, or bliss, is defined by St. Thomas as that perfect good which completely appeases and satisfies the appetite. God alone can constitute man’s perfect bliss, for man’s will seeks the fulness of all good, and this cannot be found except in God. Had man been left without grace, then he would have found his natural beatitude in knowing God most perfectly as the author of nature, and in adhering to him by natural love, sweetly and constantly. He would have attained this happiness, after passing successfully through his probation in this mortal life. As it is, man has been raised to a supernatural state, and his bliss consists in God, seen face to face in the heavenly country. [See BEATIFIC VISION.]

So far all the Catholic theologians are at one. All admit that God is man’s last end and that he attains this end through the beatific vision. But if we question theologians more closely and wish to know the precise manner in which the blessed reach perfect happiness, various answers are given, of which three may be repeated here. The Thomists, following apparently the clear teaching of their master, place the essential happiness of the blessed (beatitudo formalis) in the act of the intellect by which the saints see God as he is. They argue that while the will is an appetite which tends to its object and rests in it, it is by the intellect that an immaterial object actually becomes present to the soul. Thus while the will of the blessed rests in God, it is the intellect which actually apprehends, acquires and possesses Him. The delight which the will takes in good attained does not constitute the possession of this good, but presupposes it. The Thomists allege further that the intellect is the noblest of the faculties, and that the bliss of man must consist in the exercise of this power. Here, we may add, they make a legitimate application of Aristotle’s principles. “That which is proper to each by nature,” says this philosopher, “is best and sweetest for each; sweetest then for man is the intellectual life (ὁ κατὰ τὸν νοῦν βίος), since this (i.e. reason) chiefly constitutes man. Such a life, therefore, is most happy.” St. Basil, St. Cyril of Alexandria, and St. Augustine (consciously or unconsciously) made a similar application of the Aristotelian principle.

The second opinion is that of Scotus, which places beatitude in the act of the will by which it loves God with the love of friendship; a third, that of several Jesuit theologians, who make it consist in the exercise of intellect and will combined. It is scarcely necessary to say that the Thomists only place the essence or spring of beatitude in the vision of God by the intellect. Hence flow the full satisfaction of the will, the happy necessity of loving God, the knowledge which the saints have that their happiness is eternal. After the resurrection this bliss will overflow into the body, bestowing upon it the four gifts of impassibility, subtlety (by which it will be able to penetrate other bodies, as the risen Christ penetrated the closed doors), agility (which will make it capable of the swiftest motion), clarity (through which it will become luminous or transparent).

BÉGUINES and BEGHARDS. The Béguines of Flanders are an interesting and ancient foundation. An attempt, indeed, was made in the seventeenth century to trace their origin to St. Begga, the mother of Pepin of Herstal, who flourished about A.D. 700; but in the judgment of Hefele the attempt failed. That they can be traced back to the twelfth century, and are consequently older than either the Franciscans or Dominicans, is unquestionable. The scandals caused by the conduct of a dissolute Bishop of Liège, about 1180, aroused the zeal of a holy priest of the diocese, Lambert le Bèghe, who spent his fortune in founding an institution at Liège for widows and single women desirous to consecrate their lives to God, and opened it in 1184. The associates called themselves Béghines, corrupted to Béguines, after their founder, and the name of Béguinage was given to the abode, or rather group of abodes, in which they lived. For the Béguinage, resembling in this respect, the ancient laura, is not a convent, but a collection of small houses (each inhabited by one or two Béguines, who do their own housekeeping), surrounded by a wall, and with a chapel in the centre. The Béguines do not take perpetual vows, nor do they renounce private property; they can leave the association whenever they desire it, and reclaim the capital which they may have contributed to it. But each Béguine on admission to the habit makes a vow, in the presence of the curé who has the spiritual charge of the community, of obedience and chastity so long as she remains in the Béguinage. They employ themselves, according to the strength or capacity of the several members, in educational work (including large Sunday-schools for girls) and corporal works of mercy of various kinds, besides taking part in the divine office. Some of their communities in the fourteenth century fell into the error of the Fraticelli, or brethren of the free spirit, and incurred condemnation on that account from the Council of Vienne (1311). At the present day, they are still flourishing in Belgium, their original seat; there are Béguinages at Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Mechlin, and other places. In the great Béguinage at Ghent there were in 1857 six hundred professed Béguines, and two hundred locataires—that is, ladies living within the enclosure, paying a certain pension, and to some extent participating in the religious life of the sisters. There are Béguinages in Germany, and one was lately founded at Castel-naudary, in the south of France, by a zealous priest of Carcassonne, M. Soubiran-la-Louvière, which promised to be eminently successful and useful.

The Beghards had no special founder, but were associations of laymen living together in imitation of the Béguines. They first appear in the early part of the thirteenth century. Heresy and antinomianism made great ravages in their ranks in the following age, and the severities of which they were consequently the object caused the greater number to pass into the third orders of the Mendicant fraternities. They were finally suppressed by Innocent X. in 1650.

BELLS. Nothing certain is known as to the date of their introduction, which has been attributed sometimes to St. Paulinus of Nola, sometimes to Pope Sabinian. During the heathen persecution it was of course impossible to call the faithful by any signal which would have attracted public notice. After Constantine’s time, monastic communities used to signify the hour of prayer by blowing a trumpet, or by rapping with a hammer at the cells of the monks. Walafrid Strabo, in his celebrated book on the divine offices, written about the middle of the ninth century, speaks of the use of bells as not very ancient in his time, and as having been introduced from Italy. However, we learn from the history of St. Lupus of Sens that church bells were known in France more than two centuries before Strabo’s time. For long the Eastern Church employed instead of bells clappers, such as we still use on Good Friday, and bells were not known among the Orientals till the ninth century. Even then their use cannot have become universal among them, for Fleury mentions the ringing of church bells as one of the customs which the Maronites adopted from the Latins on their reunion with the Catholic Church in 1183. The classical words for bell are, κώδων and tintinnabulum. From the seventh century onwards, we find the names campana (from the Campanian metal of which they were often made), nola (from the town where their use is said to have been introduced), and cloccœ (French cloche). Originally church bells were comparatively small. Large ones of cast metal first appear in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; those of the greatest size in the fifteenth. In the tenth century the custom began of giving bells names.

Before the Church sets aside bells for sacred she blesses them with solemn ceremonies. The form prescribed in the Pontifical is headed “the blessing of a bell,” though it is popularly called “the baptism of a bell,” a title by which the office is mentioned as early as the eleventh century. The bishop washes the bell with blessed water, signs it with the oil of the sick outside, and with chrism inside, and lastly places under it the thurible with burning incense. He prays repeatedly that the sound of the bell may avail to summon the faithful, to excite their devotion, to drive away storms, and to terrify evil spirits. This power of course is due to the blessings and prayers of the Church, not to any efficacy superstitiously attributed to the bell itself. Thus consecrated, bells become spiritual things, and cannot be rung without the consent of the ecclesiastical authorities.

Hitherto, we have been treating of the large church-bell. Small bells are also used during Mass, and are rung by the server at the Sanctus and at the Elevation. The object of this rite is to excite the attention and devotion of the faithful, The practice of ringing the bell at the Elevation was introduced after the custom of elevating the Host [see ELEVATION] had become common in the Church. The Elevation-bell is mentioned by William of Paris. In the U. S. it is the custom to ring the bell also as the priest spreads his hands over the Host and chalice before the consecration, and at the Domine, non sum dignus, before the priest’s communion. This bell is not rung when Mass is said before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, nor again in the private chapel of the Apostolic palace if the Pope says or hears Mass.

BENEDICAMUS DOMINO, i.e. “Let us bless the Lord,” a form used in the Breviary at the end of each hour except Matins, and at the end of Mass instead of Ite Missa est on days when the Gloria in excelsis is not said. Various reasons are given for the use of Benedicamus Domino for the usual Ite Missa est. Cardinal Bona thinks that the Ite Missa est was omitted first of all during penitential seasons, such as Advent and Lent, because then the people did not immediately leave the church, but waited for the recitation of the hours, and that gradually the Benedicamus Domino came to be used in ferial Masses generally. In Masses for the dead, Requiescant in pace took the place of the Ite Missa est, perhaps because the people often had to remain for the funeral rites. (Benedict XIV. “De Miss.” 11, 24.)

BENEDICTINES. The patriarch of monks in the West, St. Benedict, having first established his order at Subiaco, removed it to Monte Cassino, on which Apollo was in those days still worshipped, in 529. The rule which he compiled for his monks was regarded as fraught with singular wisdom, and dictated by a marvellous insight into human nature, neither prescribing to all an asceticism only possible to a few, nor erring on the side of laxity. It regulated with great minuteness the mode of celebrating the divine office at the canonical hours; and, eschewing all idleness, ordered that the monks, when not employed in the divine praises, or in taking necessary food and rest, should engage themselves in useful works, either manual labour, or study, or copying books, or teaching. Every monastery was to have a library, and every monk was to possess a pen and tablets. The clothing, of which the prevailing colour was black, was to vary in material and warmth at the discretion of the abbots, according to the exigences of different climates and circumstances. The abstinence from meat enjoined by the rule (except in the case of the sick) is perpetual; but there is some doubt whether the prohibition was meant to extend to poultry and winged game, as well as the flesh of four-footed animals. A singular clause in the rule, and one which was fruitful in results, was that which ordered that all persons whatever, without distinction of age, rank, or calling, should be admissible to the order of St. Benedict. If parents offered a son to the service of God in a monastery, even if he were but a boy of five years old, the monks were to receive and take full charge of him. Thus our own Beda was given over when only seven years old to the monks of Wearmouth and Jarrow, and the good Orderic, the historian of Normandy, was committed by his father in his tenth year to the kind hands of the monks of St. Evroult, and saw his native land no more. Out of this practice of offering young boys to the monasteries a great system of monastic schools naturally arose.

St. Maur, a disciple of St. Benedict, founded the first Benedictine monastery in France, in his master’s lifetime, at Glanfeuil, near Angers. In Spain they were introduced about 633. We in England have special cause to be grateful to the Benedictine order, for it was by it that Christianity was first taught to our Saxon forefathers. The monastery on Monte Cassino was destroyed by the Lombards towards the end of the sixth century, but the monks took refuge at Rome, where Pope Gregory gave them St. Andrew’s Church. The Benedictine abbot of St. Andrew’s was the person chosen by the Pope to head the mission which he sent to the Court of Ethelbert, and he will be remembered through all time as St. Augustiu, the Apostle of England. Benedictine monks from England—St. Willibrord (699) and St. Boniface (750)—introduced Christianity in the Low Countries and the Rhineland. Volumes might be written on the manifold services which tie German Benedictines, going forth from the tomb of St. Boniface at Fulda, and settling themselves down as welcome guests at numberless points in the forests which then covered the Teutonic land, rendered to their half-savage countrymen, accustoming them by degrees to the restraints of religion and law, and training and cultivating both the land and the people. But all human institutions are liable to change, and even this famous order, chiefly through the intrusion of ambitious laymen into the office of abbot, witnessed before the end of the eighth century a great decline of monastic virtue. St. Benedict of Anian then appeared as a reformer and restorer. So, when the fierce Danish and Norman barbarians in the ninth and tenth centuries had destroyed many monasteries in France and England, and murdered great numbers of monks, while those who were spared lived with little regularity, the reformation of Cluny by St. Peter the Venerable, and that carried on by our own St. Dunstan in England, caused the old life, in its lovely peace and fruitfulness, to flourish again. It is said that, a calculation being made in the first half of the fourteenth century, it was found that up to that time twenty-four Popes, two hundred cardinals, seven thousand archbishops, fifteen thousand bishops, and a still greater number of saints, had been given to the Church by the Benedictine order.

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries many relaxations and corruptions crept into the Benedictine monasteries in various parts of Europe. In France the reaction against these led to the foundation of the reformed congregation of St. Vanne, in which the rigid observance of the rule was revived (1550); and out of this proceeded the yet more celebrated congregation of St. Maur (1618), to which a great number of French monasteries adhered. This congregation, by its colossal patristic and historical labours, directed by such men as Mabillon, Martène, Ruinart, Rivet, and D’Achéry, rendered incalculable services to the learned world. Two such works as the “France Littéraire” and the “Recueil des Historiens,” if they had accomplished nothing else, would entitle the congregation to the gratitude of all men of letters. At the Revolution the order was entirely suppressed in France. In the present century it has again taken root, and begun to bear fruit of the old kind; witness the new foundation at Solesmes, the residence of the pious and gifted Dom Guéranger; the community at Pierre-qui-Vire (founded by the Père Muard, who died in 1854); and the Benedictine nunneries of Pradines and Flavigny. In Spain and Germany also the order was suppressed during the revolutionary troubles; in the former country it has not yet been re-introduced; in Germany it has reappeared at Munich.

In England, at the dissolution, there were one hundred and eighty-six Benedictine abbeys, priories, and nunneries, the revenues of which appear in the “Valor Ecclesiasticus,” and about a hundred other cells and priories of less importance, besides those previously suppressed by Wolsey (twenty-nine, of which the majority were Benedictine) and the “alien” priories—that is, those which were cells of foreign abbeys. All these were suppressed, with what ruinous results to education, art, and learning, all the world knows. Dom Feckenham, the last abbot of Westminster, made a noble speech in the House of Lords against the change of religion in the first year of Elizabeth; it may be read in the Somers Tracts. Feckenham was thrown into prison and kept there for the rest of his life. One of his monks, Dom Sigebert Buckley, after forty years’ imprisonment, died at a great age in 1610; before dying he gave the habit to two English Benedictines who had been professed abroad, and was thus the link between the monks of old and those of modern times. For several generations the English Benedictines were obliged on account of persecution to have their houses abroad, whence they sent men to the English mission. Mr. Law’s “Calendar of English Martyrs” (1876) contains the names of nine or ten Benedictine missioners hanged, drawn, and quartered between 1558 and 1681. At the present time the Benedictines have ten or eleven houses in England.

The Benedictines of Monte Casino are now divided into nine “Congregations,” in each of which the several communities are affiliated under one president. The dress is all black, habit, belt, scapular, and hood.

The oldest foundation in the United States is St. Vincent’s Abbey, Latrobe, “Westmoreland County, Pa. It was established in 1846 as a priory by a colony of monks from Bavaria, and was erected into an abbey in 1855 by a Papal Brief, its founder, Abbot Wimmer, being, in 1866, confirmed abbot for life, and appointed president of the North American Cassinese Congregation, then established. Besides the many offshoots from St. Vincent’s, including two other abbeys, a colony of monks from Einsiedeln, in Switzerland, was, in 1854, established at St. Meinrad’s, Indiana; in 1870 St. Meinrad’s was erected into an abbey, which, with another abbey, an offshoot from it, and their dependencies, remain in the bond of the Swiss Congregation. In addition to these there is, in the Indian Territory, the Abbey of the Sacred Heart, which belongs to the French Congregation.

BENEDICTION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT. A rite which has now become very common in the Catholic Church. The priest takes the Host from the tabernacle, places it in the monstrance, and then puts the monstrance containing the Host on a throne above the tabernacle. The priest then incenses the Blessed Sacrament, while the choir (at least in England) usually sing the “O Salutaris Hostia.” Next the Te Deum, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, or some other canticle or antiphon, is sung, followed by the “Tantum Ergo,” during which the Blessed Sacrament is again incensed, and the prayer “Deus, qui nobis,” &c. is recited. Finally, the priest, mantled with the veil, makes the sign of the cross with the monstrance over the people. The Congregation of Rites orders this Benediction to be given in silence; probably to show that it is not the earthly, but the Eternal Priest who in this rite blesses and sanctifies his people. If a bishop gives Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, he makes the sign of the cross over the people three times.

The rite is comparatively modern. Processions and expositions of the Blessed Sacrament date from the early part of the fourteenth century, but at first, apparently, the Host was replaced in the tabernacle, without any benediction being given to the people. “The custom” [of benediction], says the learned Thiers, in a treatise on the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, published in 1673, “appears to me somewhat novel (assez nouvelle) for I have found no Ritual or Ceremonial older than about a hundred years which mentions it.” The same author tells us, that the custom of singing the “O Salutaris Hostia” at the Elevation in the Mass was introduced by Louis XII. of France, a little before his death, in 1515, at a time when he was harassed by various enemies. Thiers also mentions that the Carthusians still maintained the custom of replacing the Host, after exposition, without giving benediction.

BENEDICTIONALE. A collection of forms of blessing, compiled for the convenience of priests, from the Roman Ritual, Pontifical, Missal, &c. Such books may be lawfully published with the approbation of the ordinary, but they possess no authority in themselves. “These books only are to be employed, and these Benedictions only to be given which conform to the Roman Ritual.” (Decree of S. Congreg. of Rites, April 7, 1832.)

BENEFICE. An ecclesiastical benefice is a perpetual right, established by the Church in favour of an ecclesiastical person, of receiving the profits of Church property, on account of the discharge, by such person, of a spiritual office.

The term had its origin in a special use of the Latin word beneficium which arose in the dark ages, and was connected with the difference between allodial and feudal property. The allodial estate of a Teuton was his absolute, hereditary, freehold property, which royal favour had not given, and royal rapacity seldom dared to deprive him of. But a king could reward a faithful follower by the grant, usually for life, of lands belonging to the crown; and estates so granted were called beneficia, as being pure emanations of the king’s grace and favour, though it is true that military service was always an implied condition of the tenure. As the landed possessions of the Church increased, usurpations of them by unscrupulous laymen became frequent. The clergy found that, practically, they had no other defence against this species of rapine but by granting portions of Church property to lay lords, on condition of military service against those who might disturb them in the quiet possession of the rest. The tenure being much the same, Church lands thus came to be called beneficia; and this name was gradually transferred to the beneficial enjoyment of all Church property, after the lands above described had been, with the advent of more peaceful times, restored to ecclesiastical hands.

According to the canonists, six things are required in a benefice. First, that it should be established by episcopal authority. Secondly, that it should have some spiritual work annexed to it—thus the function of an organist, or a verger, being merely temporal, is incompatible with the possession of a benefice. Thirdly, that it should be conferred by an ecclesiastical person. (Lay patrons are not properly said to confer, but to present to, a benefice.) Fourthly, that it should be conferred on a clerk who has at least received the tonsure. Fifthly, that it should be for life. Sixthly, that whoever has the right of conferring it should not keep it for himself, but give it to another. Ferraris, Beneficium.

BENEFIT OF CLERGY. By this was originally meant the privilege enjoyed by persons in holy orders of claiming, if charged with any felony (unless it were high treason, or arson), to be tried in the bishop’s instead of the king’s court. The ancient usage was, says Blackstone, “for the bishop, or ordinary, to demand his clerks to be remitted out of the king’s courts as soon as they were indicted.” Henry II. endeavoured to do away with the exemption, and to subject clerks charged with felony to the jurisdiction of his own court; but the reaction in popular feeling which followed the murder of St. Thomas à Becket prevented the realisation of his intention. After much conflict between the secular and ecclesiastical courts, it was settled, in the time of Henry VI., that a clerk charged with felony should first be arraigned in the king’s court, after which he might either plead his benefit of clergy at once, declining the jurisdiction, or, after conviction, by way of arresting judgment. Originally, only persons who had the clerical dress and tonsure were entitled to the privilege; but a laxer test was gradually accepted, until it came to be a settled thing that every prisoner who could read should be allowed the benefit of clergy, even though neither ordained nor tonsured. It was found that too many laymen were thus let in, and by a statute of 1487 it was enacted that a layman might not claim the privilege more than once, and, when allowed it, he was to be burnt with a hot iron “on the brawn of the left thumb”—an effectual, if barbarous, mode of identification—so that he should not illegally claim it a second time.

After benefit of clergy had been claimed and allowed, the culprit was remitted to the bishop’s court, and there tried. An elaborate procedure was followed, of which the ordinary result is said to have been an acquittal. If, however, the temporal courts surrendered the accused to the ordinary absque purgatione facienda, he had to be imprisoned for life.

The later history of benefit of clergy turns upon a statute of 1576. The government of Elizabeth were resolved to take away all criminal jurisdiction from the bishops, but the principle of immunity to the educated classes as compared with the uneducated was inwoven by so long a usage into judicial practice, and was so convenient for the former, that it is easy to understand why it should not readily be relinquished. By the statute above mentioned, it was forbidden to surrender any prisoner to the ordinary; but when benefit of clergy had been allowed, and burning inflicted in the usual way, the prisoner was to undergo no further punishment—except that the judge might, at his discretion, order him to be kept in gaol for any period within a year. Acts were afterwards passed, allowing Peers, even though they could not read, to claim benefit of clergy, and extending the statute to female defendants, on their being burnt and imprisoned for less than a year. But “those men who could not read, if under the degree of peerage, were hanged.” It should be understood that not all felonies were within benefit of clergy. High treason and arson, as already mentioned, were always excluded from it; and other crimes, such as murder, burglary, unnatural crime, &c., were expressly withdrawn from it by different statutes.

As more and more criminals were found able to read, the state of the law was thought to tend too much to laxity. Acts of 1718 and 1720 provided that any person convicted who was entitled to benefit of clergy, with consequent burning and short imprisonment, might be, in substitution for such burning, &c, sentenced to transportation to America for seven years. Benefit of clergy was finally abolished in 1827. (Blackstone’s “Commentaries,” book iv.)

BERENGARIUS. A writer of the eleventh century, celebrated for having anticipated the Sacrameutarians of a later age in assailing the mystery of the Eucharist. He was born, probably at Tours, about A.D. 1000, and was about forty years of age when he was made Archdeacon of Angers. At this period of his life he gave vent to the crude and novel theory on the sacrament of the altar which an inquisitive intellect, joined to a vain and unstable character, suggested to him. His former friends, Adalbert of Liège, and Hugh, bishop of Langres, wrote to him letters of earnest remonstrance; but being at this time supported by the king of France, Bruno, bishop of Angers, and other persons of influence, he disregarded their admonitions. The French king, Henry I., seeing that a line of German popes was apparently firmly fixed in the chair of Peter, and apprehensive lest the papal influence should be used to further imperial designs against France, is said to have meditated the formation of a Gallican schism, and in pursuance of this design to have encouraged Berengarius to resist the authority of Rome. The treatise in which he set forth his peculiar teaching has been lately discovered and printed. In the judgment even of those who would be most inclined to take a favourable view, it is described as “hard, harsh, and obscure.” It is certain that he denied any real or objective change, any transubstantiation of the bread and wine; with Erigena he held that the presence of the body of Christ in the Sacrament was only real in so far as it was spiritually conceived, and rejected the opposite tenet of Paschasius Radbert. A letter of his to Lanfranc, then Prior of Bec, referring to these views, found its way to Rome; the matter was immediately taken up, and in a council held at Rome in 1050, the ancient faith of the Church was emphatically reasserted, and the tenets of Berengarius and Erigena condemned. Again, in the Synod of Vercelli (Sept. 1050), and shortly afterwards at Paris, Berengarius was condemned. For some time, so long as he was able to avoid attendance at any of these synods, he treated their decisions with contempt. But the King of France, who had now learned to form a truer estimate of the great character and apostolic aims of Leo IX., withdrew his support of Berengarius, who was consequently compelled to appear at a synod held at Tours in 1054, over which the legate Hildebrand (afterwards Gregory VII.) presided. Berengarius made and signed the recantation required of him, but not long afterwards he reasserted the condemned error. This happened several times over, Berengarius subscribing whatever orthodox formulary might be set before him, and then, in some fresh publication, giving an inadmissible turn to the subscription which he had made. The last of his retractations—from which he does not seem to have subsequently receded—was pronounced at the Council of Bordeaux, in 1080. Malmesbury declares that he changed his views before his death (in 1088), and lamented that he could not effect the like change in all who had espoused his opinions. The same writer—the passage has been often quoted—professes to give us his dying words. It should be mentioned that he died on the feast of the Epiphany. “To-day, being the day of his manifestation, my Lord Jesus Christ will appear to me, either, as I hope, to raise me to glory for my repentance, or, as I fear, to punish me for the heresy which I have been instrumental in spreading.”

It should be added that William of Malmesbury quotes a long passage from a Latin poem by Hildebert, bishop of Le Mans, a former pupil of Berengarius, in which he warmly eulogises the temperance, charity, and self-denial of his departed master, and that Malmesbury himself writes of him in the same strain, though, whether he is merely echoing the encomiums of Hildebert, or speaking from some independent source of information, there are no means of ascertaining.

BERRETTA. A square cap with three or sometimes four prominences or projecting corners rising from its crown. There is usually a tassel in the middle where the corners meet. It is worn by a priest as he approaches the altar to say Mass, by ecclesiastics in choir, &c. It is of two colours, black or red. The latter colour is used by cardinals, the former by all other clerics. A bishop’s berretta should be lined with green; in other respects it is like that of an ordinary priest. A four-cornered berretta belongs to Doctors of Divinity, though Benedict XIV. mentions that in his time Spanish ecclesiastics generally wore a berretta of this kind.

The word is derived from birrus, a mantle with a hood, and that again from πυῤῥός, flame-coloured. “At Rome,” says Benedict XIV., “and in most churches, the berretta was unknown as late as the ninth century. Its ecclesiastical use began when priests gave up the ancient custom of covering their heads with the amice till the actual beginning of the Mass.” (Benedict XIV. “De Miss.” i. 9.)

BETHLEHEMITES. Matthew Paris speaks of some “fraters Bethleemitæ” to whom a house was granted at Cambridge, on the way leading to Trumpington, in 1257; their habit, he says, was like that of the Friars Preachers, with the addition of a red and blue star on the breast. Of this foundation nothing further is known.

2. An order bearing the same name was founded by a noble Spanish gentleman of Teneriffe, Peter of Bétencourt, at Guatemala, in Central America, about the year 1660. He founded a hospital, convent, and school under the patronage of Our Lady of Bethlehem, with an order of monks to attend the sick and teach in the school. The Bethlehemites were rapidly propagated through every part of Spanish America. In 1687 Innocent XI. placed them under the rule of St. Augustine. They are said to possess some forty houses even now, the chief establishment being at Guatemala.

BIBLE (from βιβλίον, a letter or paper, and that from βίβλος, the inner bark of papyrus). A name given to the sacred books of the Jews and the Christians. In itself “Bible” might mean a book of whatever kind, just as its synonym “Scriptures” (γραφαί) means originally writings of any sort. Gradually the Jews who spoke Greek employed the word “Bible” as a convenient name for their sacred books. Thus the Greek translator of Ecclesiasticus, writing soon after 132 A.C., mentions the law and the prophets and the rest of the Bible (τὰ λοιπὰ τῶν βιβλίων); and a similar instance might be quoted from first Machabees. Our Lord his disciples received the Jewish collection of the sacred books with the same reverence as the Jews themselves, and gave it the title usual at the time—viz. “the Scriptures.” But after an interval there came a change. The Apostles and their disciples wrote books professing sacred authority. These writings appeared in the latter half of the first century, and were quoted within the Church with the same formulas—”it is written,” &c.—which had been used before to introduce citations from the law and the prophets. These books of Christian authorship were called, first of all, “the books” or “scriptures of the new covenant,” and from the beginning of the third century, the shorter expression “new covenant” came into vogue. In Chrysostom and succeeding writers we find “bible” (βιβλία) as the familiar term for the whole collection contained in either “covenant,” or, as we should now say, in the Old and New Testaments.

Under the article CANON the reader will find some account of the way in which and the authority by which the list of sacred books has been made, while the nature of their inspiration is also treated in a separate article. Here we take for granted that the Bible consists of a number of inspired books, contained in the Vulgate translation and enumerated by the Council of Trent; and we proceed to treat of its authority, its interpretation, and of its use among the faithful.

1. The Church holds that the sacred Scripture is the written word of God. The Council of Trent, “following the example of the orthodox Fathers, receives with piety and reverence all the books of the Old and New Testament, since one God is the author of each.” These words of the council, which are an almost verbal repetition of many early definitions, separate the Bible utterly from all other books. Of no human composition, however excellent, can it be said that God is its author. And the divine origin of Scripture implies its perfect truth. We know for certain, St. Irenæus argues, that the Scriptures are perfect, since they are spoken by the Word of God and by the Spirit. Some few Catholic theologians have, indeed, maintained that the Scriptures may err in minimis—i.e. in small matters of historical detail which in no way affect faith or morals. Nor in doing so do they contradict any express definition of Pope or council, though such an opinion has never obtained any currency in the Church. But of course the modern Protestant theories which reduce the historical accounts of the Bible to mere myths, or again which, while they allow that the Scripture contains the word of God, deny that it is the written word of God, are in sharp and obvious contradiction to the decrees of the Church.

2. The Church, then, affirms that all Scripture is the word of God, but at the same time it maintains that there is an unwritten word of God over and above Scripture. Just as Catholics are bound to defend the authority of the Bible against the new school of Protestants who have come to treat it as an ordinary book, so they are compelled to withstand that Protestant exaggeration, on the other side, according to which the word of God is contained in Scripture and in Scripture alone. The word of God (so the Council of Trent teaches) is contained both in the Bible and in Apostolical tradition, and it is the duty of a Christian to receive the one and the other with equal veneration and respect. The whole history and the whole structure of the New Testament witness to the truth and reasonableness of the Catholic view. If our Lord had meant his Church to be guided by a book and by a book alone, He would have taken care that Christians should be at once provided with sacred books. As a matter of fact He did nothing of the kind. He refers those who were to embrace his doctrine, not to a book, but to the living voice of his apostles and of his Church. “He who heareth you,” he said to the apostles, “heareth me.” For twenty years after our Lord’s ascension, not a single book of the New Testament was written, and all that time no Christian could appeal, as many Protestants do now, to the Bible and the Bible only, for the simple reason that the New Testament did not exist, and the faithful were evidently called upon to believe many truths for which no strict and cogent proofs could be brought from the pages of the Jewish Scriptures. Further, when the writings of the New Testament were issued, they appeared one by one, in order to meet special exigencies, nor is the least hint given that the Apostles or their disciples provided that their writings should contain the whole sum of Christian truth. St. Paul wrote to various churches in order to give them instruction on particular points, and in order to preserve them from moral or doctrinal errors to which they were exposed at the moment. Far from professing to communicate the whole circle of doctrine in a written form, he exhorts his converts in one of his earliest epistles, to “hold the traditions which” they “had learned, whether by word or by” his “epistle;” a few years later he praises the Corinthians for keeping the traditions (παραδόσεις) as he delivered them, and towards the close of his life, he warns St. Timothy to keep the “deposit” of the faith (παραθήκην) without a syllable to imply that this deposit had been committed to writing. So, with regard to the Gospel records, St. John expressly declares that they were from the necessity of the case an incomplete account of Christ’s life. The Christians who lived nearest to Apostolic times believed, as the Apostles themselves had done, that Scripture is a source, but by no means the only source, of Christian doctrine. Tertullian constantly appeals to the tradition of the Apostolic Churches, and lays down the principle on which all his arguments against heresy turn—viz., that the Apostles taught both by word and by letter. A little before Tertullian’s time, St. Irenæus actually put the imaginary case that the Apostles had left no Scripture at all. In this case, he says, we should still be able to follow the order of tradition, which [the Apostles] handed down to those into whose hands they committed the Churches.

3. There is a controversy no less vital between Catholics and Protestants as to the interpretation of Scripture. A popular Protestant theory makes it the right and the duty of each individual to interpret the Bible for himself and to frame his own religion accordingly; the Catholic, on the contrary, maintains that it belongs to the Church, and to the Church alone, to determine the true sense of the Scripture, and that we cannot interpret contrary to the Church’s decision, or to “the unanimous consent of the Fathers,” without making shipwreck of the faith. The Catholic is fully justified in believing with perfect confidence that the Church cannot teach any doctrine contrary to the Scripture, for our Lord has promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against his Church. On the other hand, Christ has made no promise of infallibility to those who expound Scripture by the light of private judgment. St. Peter tells us distinctly that some parts of the New Testament are hard to understand. Moreover, the experience of centuries has abundantly confirmed the Catholic and disproved the Protestant rule of interpretation. Unity is the test of truth. If each man received the Holy Ghost, enabling him to ascertain the sense of the Bible, then pious Protestants would be at one as to its meaning and the doctrines which it contains, whereas it is notorious that they have differed from the first on every point of doctrine. The principle of private judgment has been from the time it was first applied a principle of division and of confusion, and has led only to the multiplication of heresies and sects, agreed in nothing except in their common disagreement with the Church. Nor does the authority of the Church in any way interfere with the scientific exposition of Scripture. A Catholic commentator is in no way limited to a servile repetition of the interpretation already given by the Fathers. He is not, indeed, permitted to give to any passage in Scripture a meaning which is at variance with the faith, as attested by the decision of the Church or the unanimous consent of the Fathers. But he may differ as to the meaning of passages in Scripture, even from the greatest of the Fathers; he is not bound to consider that these passages necessarily bear the meaning given them by general councils in the preambles to their decrees; he may even advance interpretations entirely new and unknown before. When, for example, God is said to have hardened Pharao’s heart, a Catholic commentator cannot infer from this that the book of Exodus makes God the author of sin, but he may, if he sees cause, give an explanation of the words which differs from that of St. Augustine or St. Thomas, or, indeed, from that of all the Fathers and Doctors of the Church taken together.

4. We now come to the use of the Bible, and the Catholic principles on this head follow from what has been already said. It is not necessary for all Christians to read the Bible. Many nations, St. Irenæus tells us, were converted and received the faith without being able to read. Without knowledge of letters, without a Bible in their own tongue, they received from the Church teaching which was quite sufficient for the salvation of their souls. Indeed, if the study of the Bible had been an indispensable requisite, a great part of the human race would have been left without the means of grace till the invention of printing. More than this, parts of the Bible are evidently unsuited to the very young or to the ignorant, and hence Clement XI. condemned the proposition that “the reading of Scripture is for all.” These principles are fixed and invariable, but the discipline of the Church with regard to the reading of the Bible in the vulgar tongue has varied with varying circumstances. In early times, the Bible was read freely by the lay people, and the Fathers constantly encourage them to do so, although they also insist on the obscurity of the sacred text. No prohibitions were issued against the popular reading of the Bible. New dangers came in during the middle ages. When the heresy of the Albigenses arose there was a danger from corrupt translations, and also from the fact that the heretics tried to make the faithful judge the Church by their own interpretation of the Bible. To meet these evils, the Councils of Toulouse (1229) and Tarragona (1234) forbade the laity to read the vernacular translations of the Bible. Pius IV. required the bishops to refuse lay persons leave to read even Catholic versions of Scripture unless their confessors or parish priests judged that such reading was likely to prove beneficial. During this century, Leo XII., Pius VIII., and Pius IX. have warned Catholics against the Protestant Bible Societies, which distribute versions (mostly corrupt versions) of the Bible with the avowed purpose of perverting simple Catholics. It is only surprising that any rational being could have thought it possible for the Holy See to assume any other attitude towards such proceedings. It is right, however, to observe that the Church displays the greatest anxiety that her children should read the Scriptures, if they possess the necessary dispositions. “You judge exceedingly well,” says Pius VI., in his letter to Martini, the author of a translation of the Bible into Italian, “that the faithful should be excited to the reading of holy Scriptures: for these are the most abundant sources, which ought to be left open to everyone, to draw from them purity of morals and of doctrine. This you have seasonably effected.… by publishing the sacred Scriptures in the language of your country,.… especially when you show that you have added explanatory notes, which being extracted from the holy Fathers preclude every possible danger of abuse.”

BIBLIA PAUPERUM. The Bible of the poor. A representation in between forty and fifty pictures of events in the Old and New Testaments, with short explanations and Scriptural texts appended in Latin or German. The redemption by Christ is the central idea of the collection, so that the Old Testament subjects are chosen for their typical significance. The paintings were often copied from the MSS. and represented in sculpture, or on walls, glass, the antipendia of altars, &c. At Vienna there is an antipendium thus adorned which dates from the twelfth century. The Court library of the same city contains two copies of the “Biblia Pauperum,” both of the year 1430. They are block-books. Copies printed on movable types soon followed, but, owing to the popularity of the book, copies were soon worn out, and are now very rare.


BISHOP. I. Meaning of the Name and Divine Institution of the Office.—The word bishop is derived from the Greek ἐπίσκοπος, which latter occurs in writers of the earliest age in the general sense of “overseer,” and was specially applied in later Greek to the officers whom the Athenians sent to subject states. In the LXX ἐπίσκοπος is used for an officer or prefect of any kind. The Christians adopted the word as the title of an ecclesiastical dignitary who has received the highest of the sacred orders and is invested with authority to rule a diocese as its chief pastor.

A bishop, therefore, is superior to simple priests, and the Council of Trent defines that this superiority is of divine institution. “If anyone deny,” says the council, “that there is in the Church a hierarchy instituted by divine ordinance, which consists of bishops, presbyters, and ministers, let him be anathema;” and again, “if anyone affirm that bishops are not superior to presbyters, or that they have not the power of confirming and ordaining, or that the power which they have is common to presbyters also, let him be anathema.”

The Anglican Church, as is well known, did not, at least formally, cast off belief in the divine institution of episcopacy, and learned Anglican divines, among whom Pearson is the most celebrated, have strenuously vindicated the episcopal authority. With most of the Protestant bodies it has been otherwise. They do not pretend to have bishops, or if they have superintendents whom they call by that name, they attribute to them no authority except such as has been bestowed upon them by the Church. They deny, in other words, that the episcopate is of divine institution, and directly impugn the definitions of Trent on this subject. They admit, of course, that bishops (ἐπίσκοποι) are frequently mentioned in the New Testament, but they urge that in the Acts and the Epistles bishop and presbyter are two names for the same office. They suppose that originally there were three grades in the hierarchy—viz. the Apostles, whose office ended with their life-time, and who left no successors; the bishops or presbyters, corresponding to the ministers or clergymen of the present day; and deacons. They defend their position chiefly on the following grounds:—

We first find the word ἐπίσκοπος in the Acts of the Apostles, 20:28. “Take heed,” St. Paul says, to the clergy of Ephesus, “take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, in which the Holy Ghost made you bishops.” It is plain, however (so it is urged), that these “bishops” were mere presbyters, so that “bishop” and presbyter in New Testament language are synonymous, for St. Luke tells us at the beginning of the same chapter that the Apostle was addressing “the presbyters of the Church” whom he had summoned to Miletus. Towards the close of the Apostle’s life the Church was still without bishops in the modern sense, for St. Paul addressed an epistle to the faithful at Philippi “with the bishops and the deacons.” Here the plural number and the fact that no allusion is made to presbyters as distinct from the “bishops” are said to prove that in that age ἐπίσκοπος or “bishop” meant presbyter. Later still, St. Paul writes to Titus that he had left him in Crete to “appoint presbyters in every city,” and continues—”for the bishop must be irreproachable,” &c. Presbyterian writers also allege certain confirmatory evidence from antiquity—some words of St. Jerome (who, however, anxious as he was to exalt the priestly dignity, expressly mentions the power of conferring orders as marking the distinction between bishop and priest), and the supposed tradition of the Alexandrian Church. The reader who is curious on this latter point will find a full discussion of it in Pearson’s “Vindiciæ Ignatianæ.” But Presbyterian arguments from antiquity need not detain us here. Even on their own showing, Presbyterians can but produce one or two doubtful testimonies, and they have against them a cloud of witnesses dating from the sub-Apostolic age. One additional remark, however, must be made before we end our statement of the Presbyterian case. We have seen that there are plausible reasons for holding that the words presbyter and bishop are synonymous in the New Testament. It is right to add that Clement of Rome, writing towards the end of the first century, does not seem to recognise any distinction in meaning between the two words.

In spite of the objections just stated, the arguments for the divine institution of episcopacy are clear and cogent. We need not deny that the same persons were at first called indifferently bishops and presbyters. It is possible, as some ancient writers suppose, that at Philippi and other places, a number of persons received episcopal consecration; that they were occupied for a time in administering the sacraments and preaching at the place of their consecration, and ready, as convenience required, to be removed to such other Churches as the Apostles should empower them to govern with proper episcopal jurisdiction. Or again, we may suppose, with other great authorities, that the Apostles did not at once provide the newly-founded Churches with bishops, but left them for a season under clergy of the second order, who at that time were called indifferently “bishops” and presbyters. Whatever theory we adopt as to the early use of the word “bishop,” it is certain that there are clear traces of the episcopal office, as we now understand it, within the lifetime of the Apostles, and with the sanction of their authority.

For, first, St. James the Less was beyond reasonable doubt bishop of Jerusalem. Thus, in the year 44, when St. Peter was released from prison he desired information to be given to James and the brethren. At the Apostolic Council James delivers judgment (“wherefore I judge”). St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians describes Judaisers from Jerusalem as “certain who came from James,” thus naming the Church by its bishop; in Acts 21:18, St. Paul is said to have made a formal visit to St. James and to his presbyters. Moreover, in the middle of the second century all parties were agreed in regarding St. James as bishop of Jerusalem. This is clearly proved by Dr. Lightfoot, now bishop of Durham, who rightly describes St. James as “the precedent and pattern of the later episcopate.” We refer to Dr. Lightfoot for this admission, not only because of his great learning and high ability, but also because he is perhaps the very ablest writer who has ever written against the Apostolic origin of episcopacy.

Next, St. Paul gave Titus power to ordain presbyters; he gives St. Timothy directions for the way in which he is to receive accusations against presbyters. Clearly then both Timothy and Titus were ecclesiastical officers superior to the clergy of the second order.

Thirdly, the Angels of the Churches in the Apocalypse cannot possibly be angels in the ordinary sense, for some of them are charged with serious faults. Nor can the Angels be identified with the Churches, since both Angels and Churches are represented by distinct symbols. “The seven stars,” St. John says, “are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches.” What, then, were the Angels of the Churches? Each of them represents the Church of a city, and is responsible for the purity of its doctrine and its morals. They answer to the idea of diocesan bishops and to nothing else.

This inference from Scripture rises to demonstration if considered in connection with the earliest tradition. Polycarp, the disciple of St. John, writes as a bishop and distinguishes himself from his presbyters. The Ignatian epistles notoriously exalt the episcopal office as the centre of unity, and insist on the necessity laid both on presbyters and laymen of submission to the bishop. St. Ignatius wrote only a few years after St. John’s death, and his letters prove that episcopacy was established in his time, not only at Antioch, where he himself was bishop, but at each of the six Churches in Asia Minor to which he writes, nor does he hint that there was any Church with other than an episcopal organisation. True, the authenticity of these letters has been disputed, but this on most inadequate grounds. Indeed, many eminent German scholars, prejudiced as they are against the Ignatian teaching on episcopacy, have been compelled by the weight of evidence to admit the authenticity of these epistles. The Clementine homilies supply another important contribution to the evidence. Their witness is all the more valuable because they are deeply marked with heresy. Still the author of these homilies, differing as he does from Catholics on other points, agrees with them in affirming the Apostolic origin of the episcopal office. These homilies come from early times: they cannot be placed later than the end, and should perhaps be placed at the beginning, of the second century. Now, if we allow the Apostolic institution, this ancient evidence presents no difficulty. It does but confirm the conclusion we had already reached from an examination of the New Testament records. If, on the other hand, it is maintained that bishops in the modern sense began to be after the death of the Apostles, or at least without their sanction, it is impossible to understand how in so brief a space Churches all over the world exchanged presbyterian for episcopal government. Nor is this all. We must suppose that in a very short time—within a century at the most—all recollection of the original state of things had perished. St. Irenæus cannot even understand that the name of “bishop” had ever been given to mere presbyters. We say nothing of later Fathers, for in the Church of the fourth century it is admitted to have been a settled maxim that bishops only could ordain, and Epiphanius describes the doctrine of Aerius, the first presbyterian, as frantic.

II. Nature of the Episcopal Office.—We may now dismiss the controversial part of the subject, and proceed to explain the duties, rights and position of a bishop in the Church. A bishop is, according to the Council of Trent, the successor of the Apostles. He has received the sacrament of order in all its fulness. He can, like the Apostles, confirm; he can ordain priests and consecrate other bishops. The Pope himself, so far as order goes, is simply a bishop. Moreover, the bishop is the member of a hierarchy which is divinely constituted, and which collectively represents the college of the Apostles. The Holy Ghost has appointed bishops “to rule the Church of God,” and although the Pope can suppress sees or change their boundaries, he cannot do away, throughout the Church, with bishops governing their sees with ordinary jurisdiction, because this would involve a change in the divine constitution of the Church, which is inalterable. Again, even an individual bishop has certain duties to the whole Church. It is his duty to bear witness to the faith and tradition of his predecessors and of his flock, and he sits as a judge in general councils. Of course all these rights are held and duties exercised in union with and in submission to the see of Peter.

In his own diocese it is a bishop’s duty (a) to teach. He himself is required by the Council of Trent to preach the word of God, unless he be lawfully hindered, nor can anyone, secular or regular, preach in the diocese without his leave. He must watch over purity of doctrine, especially in all schools public and private, and appoint professors in the seminary and clerical colleges. No book treating on religion (de rebus sacris) can be published till it has been examined by the bishop’s orders and received his imprimatur.

(b) To guard the morals of his flock, and especially to maintain discipline among his clergy; to take measures for the due performance of divine worship; to see that the people are provided with the sacraments, &c. He himself (or another bishop, with his leave) must confirm, ordain priests, consecrate the holy oils, churches, altars, chalices, &c. He must also approve priests, and give them their faculties to hear confessions, to administer the other sacraments, &c., &c.

(c) To reside. (d) To make a visitation of all the churches in his diocese at least every two years.

In order that he may perform these duties, a bishop possesses certain rights:—

(α) He may make laws for his diocese: not, however, such as are contrary to the law of the Church.

(β) He decides in the first instance all ecclesiastical causes. (γ) He can inflict penalties, suspension, excommunication, and the like.

(δ) He may dispense from the observance of his own laws, and although, generally speaking, a bishop cannot dispense in laws made by those who have power superior to his own, still the general law of the Church enables him to dispense in certain cases of irregularity, in the proclamation of banns, in oaths (unless the dispensation tends to the injury of a third party), and in simple vows, except vows of chastity and vows to enter religion, or to make pilgrimages to Rome, the Holy Land, or St. James of Compostella, &c., &c. Some bishops have additional power to dispense by virtue of lawful custom or by delegation from the Pope.

(ε) Certain other rights of bishops are summed up under the general head of “administration.” A bishop may erect or suppress churches or benefices, provided he observes the canonical regulation respecting such matters. He collates to all benefices, parish churches, prebends in his diocese, except such as are reserved to the Pope. He assigns their duties to his clergy, and determines the persons among his subjects who are to be admitted to the ecclesiastical state or to higher orders. He watches over the management of temporal goods pertaining to the Church or to pious places. As Apostolic Delegate, he becomes in certain cases mentioned by the law the executor to carry out the intentions of those who have given or left money for pious uses.

III. Titles, Insignia, &c., of Bishops.—All priests saying Mass in the diocese pray for the bishop by name in the Canon. He is received by the priests and people at the door of the church when he comes on official visits. He receives certain titles of honour. In the first ages he was called Most Holy, Most Blessed, Lord (dominus), “Your Holiness” (sanctitas tua), &c., &c., some of which titles are now reserved to the Pope. Desiderius of Cators, about 650, calls himself servus servorum. At present a bishop is called “most illustrious and most reverend Lord;” the Pope addresses him as “venerable brother,” “your fraternity,” &c., while the bishop speaks of himself as “N., by the grace of God and of the Apostolic See, Bishop of N.” The insignia of his office are the pastoral staff (pedum, baculus), the ring, pectoral cross, episcopal throne, the mitre, pontifical vestments, gloves and sandals. In many countries the bishop has special rights and titles of honour accorded to him by the laws of the State.

IV. Election, &c., of Bishops.—Bishops were first of all chosen by the Apostles. St. Paul, for instance, left St. Titus at Crete, with authority to ordain priests, &c.

In the third century bishops were chosen, as Cyprian says, “by the vote of all the faithful and by the judgment of the bishops” of the province—i.e. the people chose a bishop, but the bishops of the province could put a veto on this choice: nay, the bishops could in extreme cases actually choose the bishop. The fourth canon of Nicæa recommends (προσήκει) that a bishop be appointed (καθίστασθαι) by the bishops of the province. If this is impossible, three bishops are to consecrate him with the consent of the rest. The confirmation of the whole matter (τὸ κῦρος τῶν γινομένων) is to rest with the metropolitan. Two interpretations of this canon were current in the Church. The Greek canonists, following the lead of the Seventh General Council, understood the Nicene canon as reserving the choice of a new bishop to the bishops of the province, and so annulling the old form of election by clergy and people. In the West, the canon was interpreted as merely requiring the presence of the bishops of the province at the consecration. Hence in the Latin Church popular election continued, at least in form, till the eleventh century. After that, the bishop was elected by the clergy of the cathedral church, the confirmation resting, as before, with the metropolitan. Gradually, from the eleventh century onwards, the right of confirmation passed from the metropolitan to the Pope. Later on, from the time of Clement V., the Popes reserved the whole appointment of bishops in certain cases, and at last in all cases, to themselves. This last state of things, however, did not continue. The Popes restored in some countries the right of electing bishops to the chapters, and the right is still continued in Germany (except Bavaria and part of Austria) and in Switzerland. In other countries the Pope has given to Catholic sovereigns the right of nominating to vacant bishoprics. Such rights have been conceded to the Kings of France, Portugal, Spain, Naples and Sicily, Sardinia, to the Emperor of Austria with certain exceptions, and by the Concordat of 1817 to the King of Bavaria. Even Protestant Governments in Germany are permitted to inspect a list of names proposed provisionally by the chapters and to exclude such names as are displeasing to them. In England the choice of bishops belongs simply and exclusively to the Pope. At the same time certain privileges have been granted in this respect to the English Church by Pius IX. A week after the see is vacant the canons are required to elect a vicar capitular. A month later, under the presidency of the metropolitan, or failing him of the senior bishop, they by their separate votes recommend three persons for the vacant see. Each of these persons must have obtained an absolute majority of the votes of the chapter. The names are given or sent in alphabetical order to the metropolitan. The bishops of the province (i.e. of England) examine the names, annex their judgment upon each of them, and transmit them to the Congregation of Propaganda. It need scarcely be said that this recommendation is wholly different from true and canonical election. The person thus elected, nominated or recommended must be thirty years of age, in holy orders, of Catholic parentage, of good fame, able to produce the public testimony of some university or academy to his learning. If the person elected accepts, he must within a fixed time ask for the Papal confirmation, by which the person elected is approved and made bishop of the see. This confirmation is given by the Pope in a consistory of Cardinals, and in virtue of it the bishop designate contracts spiritual marriage with his see and receives full jurisdiction within it. He cannot, of course, previous to his consecration, confirm, ordain, &c., but he can delegate power for the performance of these and other acts of episcopal order to another bishop.

It is evident from what has been said that the discipline of the Church with regard to the appointment of bishops has varied from age to age, and that the Holy See now exercises a more immediate control over the matter than was usual in the primitive or even the mediæval Church. From the first, however, the Pope possessed the full power of governing the whole Church. No one is, and no one ever could be, a Catholic bishop, unless either expressly or tacitly recognised as such by the Pope. Varying circumstances made it prudent for the Pope to exercise his control in a less or in a greater degree, but the principle of government has remained the same. The Pope, by the law of Christ, is the head of the Church. On the other hand, patriarchs and metropolitans are of ecclesiastical institution; they could therefore possess no inherent right to confirm bishops, and they suffered no wrong when the Pope withdrew it from them.

V. Consecration of Bishops.—The consecration of bishops used to be performed by the metropolitan and two other bishops. According to the present discipline, the consecration of bishops is reserved to the Pope, or to a bishop specially commissioned by him. The consecrator is assisted by two other bishops, for which latter the Pope sometimes permits mitred abbots, or even simple priests, to be substituted. The consecration should take place within three months of confirmation, and on a Sunday, or feast of an Apostle. The bishop-elect, who must already have been ordained priest, takes an oath before the bishop who is to consecrate him, that he will be faithful to the Holy See, that he will promote its authority, and that he will, at stated intervals prescribed by law, and different for different countries, visit the city of Rome, and give an account to the Pope of his whole pastoral office. Afterwards, the elect is consecrated bishop by imposition of hands, the tradition of staff and ring, the unction with the chrism, the imposition of the book of the Gospels on his shoulders, and other rites prescribed in the Pontifical. Thus the fullness of the priesthood is received, and the person consecrated acquires episcopal order in addition to episcopal jurisdiction, which he already held. [See also ORDER, SACRAMENT OF.]

VI. Translation, Resignation, Deposition of Bishops.—So sacred is the connection between a bishop and his see, that, as Innocent III. declares, the power to sever it belongs, “not so much by canonical legislation, as by divine institution, to the Roman Pontiff, and to him alone.” This follows from principles already stated. The Pope alone can make a bishop; and therefore the Pope alone can unmake him.

Translation from one see to another was absolutely forbidden by the Nicene Council (Can. 15), and by the Council of Antioch, which met in 341. This prohibition was, however, modified by the 14th of the Apostolic Canons, which permits translation if the reasons are very urgent and approved by the judgment of “many bishops.” At first, such translation was effected by provincial councils. In the ninth century, Hincmar of Rheims says a bishop might be translated “by the ordinance of a synod, or by the consent of the Apostolic See;” but by the law which has prevailed from the twelfth century the consent of the Pope is always required. The Pope’s leave is also required for resignation. Finally, the “grave causes” against bishops such as deserve deposition or privation can only be examined and terminated by the definitive sentence of the Pope. Less serious charges may be examined and decided in a provincial council.

BISHOPS, SUFFRAGAN (Lat. suffragari, to vote, to support). The term has two meanings, according to the twofold signification of the Latin verb from which it is derived. In the more common sense, it means an auxiliary bishop (suffraganeus) who is consecrated to assist another bishop, who from age, ill-health, or other valid reason, has become unequal to the administration of his diocese. But the suffragan, unlike the coadjutor, cannot exercise jurisdiction; he only performs those things which belong to the episcopal office and order. He may, however, be nominated by the bishop whom he assists as his vicar-general; in which case he has the right to exercise jurisdiction. In the other sense, those are suffragan bishops (suffragantes) who are members of a college having equal deliberative and decisive rights, under a metropolitan.


BISHOP IN PARTIBUS INFIDELIUM. A bishop consecrated to a see which formerly existed, but which has been, chiefly through the devastations of the followers of Mahomet, lost to Christendom. Such a bishop may also be described as a “Titular” bishop.

The creation of such titular bishops dates only from the pontificate of Leo X., but they existed de facto from the time when the first Christian see was widowed by the attacks of a foreign enemy or the action of a hostile government. Gregory the Great provided for several Illyrian bishops, whom an inroad of the Avars had driven from their sees, by appointing them to vacant sees in Italy, till they should be able to return home. The Moorish conquest of Spain widowed a great number of sees, the prelates of which fled to the parts still unconquered, chiefly settling at Oviedo, which thence had the name of “the City of Bishops.” But it was the progress of Mohammedan arms in the East, devastating numberless Churches in Asia Minor, Syria, and Africa, which, till then, had been flourishing bishoprics, that caused a great and sudden rise in the number of titular bishops, attached to no special sphere of duty, but wandering from place to place, some hoping one day to return, others seeking for suitable work wherever it might be offered. This state of things led to great abuses; for a bishop whose see was in partibus would often enter some remote portion of the diocese of a more fortunate brother further west, and there exercise in various ways, without the permission of the bishop of the diocese, his episcopal office. Clerks whom their own bishop would not have promoted to priests’ orders often received through the agency of these wandering bishops the ordination which they desired. This abuse was condemned by a decree of the Council of Trent, which expressly forbids these wandering bishops—”clero carentes et populo Christiano”—to promote candidates for ordination to any orders whatever, without the consent of the bishop of the diocese.

With the increasing complication of political affairs in Europe, circumstances could not but arise which should induce the Popes, while providing for Catholic populations more or less at the mercy of Protestant Governments pastors armed with full episcopal powers, to prefer investing them with the titles of ancient sees, now extinct, to asserting their claim to local titles and thus arousing the hostility or suspicion of unfriendly Governments. Considerations of this nature were the cause why Catholic affairs in our own country were committed to the administration of bishops in partibus, from the appointment of the first Vicar Apostolic (1623) to the creation of a new hierarchy in 1850. Besides the Vicars Apostolic in a non-Catholic country, the Vicars of Cardinal-bishops, auxiliary bishops in countries where it is usual to appoint them, and Papal Nuncios, usually have their sees in partibus infidelium.

Bishops in partibus can attend general councils. They are considered as truly wedded to the Churches of which they bear the titles, so that they cannot be appointed to other sees except upon the conditions common to all episcopal translations. They are not obliged, like other bishops, to make periodical visits ad limina apostolorum, because they have no dioceses to report of. They are to inform themselves, if possible, of the condition of titular dioceses. By a decree of the Propaganda, Feb. 28, 1882, the formula in partibus infidelium was abolished, and non-resident bishops are to be known as “titular” bishops of their sees.


BLASPHEMY (Gr. βλασφημία; etymol. uncertain). Originally, injurious and opprobrious words generally; afterwards it was restricted to language dishonouring to God—contumeliosa in Deum locutio—but yet so that the offence committed against those known to be God’s servants was held to be committed against God himself; as when Stephen was charged by the Pharisees with speaking “blasphemous words against Moses;” finally, and in modern use, the employment of such language against, or concerning, God only. In Matt. 12:31, we read that, while every other sin and blasphemy are pardonable, “the blasphemy of the Spirit” shall not be forgiven. Various explanations of this passage have been given by theologians. [See SIN, UNPARDONABLE.] There is a chapter on “Blasphemy” in the body of the Canon Law, which prescribes the penalties to be awarded to the various persons who may be guilty of it. In England the statute 10 William III. ch. 32, modified by 52 George III. ch. 160, contains the existing law in respect of blasphemy. The code of Wurtemberg punishes outrageous and offensive words or acts against the customs, rites, &c. of any recognised religion; but the pain inflicted on the feelings of men, not the dishonour to God, seems to be the motive of such legislation. Similarly the French code, while not punishing blasphemy, as such, restrains it indirectly by severe regulations repressive of anything like what we should consider “brawling” in church.

Protestant divines have often stigmatised the rapturous language in which Catholics indulge in praise of the Blessed Virgin as “blasphemous,” on the ground that God is indirectly dishonoured when his creature is thus exalted. But this seems to involve a misuse of the term “blasphemy,” which implies a conscious and intentional use of language which the speaker knows to be injurious to the Being of whom it is uttered. No excess of “profane swearing,” culpable as it may be, can amount to blasphemy, because the intentional contempt of God is not there. In the same way, to speak of Mary as “negotiating our peace,” not only is not “blasphemous,” but conveys an important truth; while to deny that her Son “negotiated our peace” in a higher sense would, of course, be blasphemous in the highest degree.

BLESSING, in its most general sense, a form of prayer begging the favour of God for the persons blessed. God is the source of all his blessing, but certain persons have special authority to bless in his name, so that this blessing is more than a mere prayer; it actually conveys God’s blessing to those who are fit to receive it. Thus in the old law God said of the sons of Aaron, “They shall invoke my name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them;” and Christ said to his disciples, “Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house: and, if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him.” Accordingly, the Church provides for the solemn blessing of her children by the hands of her ministers. Such blessings are given,

(1) By priests. “It is the part of a priest to bless,” the Pontifical says, in the office for their ordination. This blessing may be given privately, at discretion. It is given by a form tolerated in England to the penitent before confession; to those who have received communion out of Mass; on many other occasions, some of which are determined by custom, but above all at the end of all Masses except those for the dead. The priest raises his right hand and makes the sign of the cross once over the people. This custom of priests blessing at Mass is not very ancient. The older writers on ritual make no mention of it, and although it was known to the author of the “Micrologus,” a contemporary of Gregory VII., the custom does not seem to have been universally received even then. At one time priests used to make the sign of the cross three times over the people. Pius V, restricted them to a blessing with a single sign of the cross, except in solemn masses; Clement VIII. made the rule, which forbids a priest to bless with the triple sign of the cross, absolute.

(2) By bishops. A bishop immediately after his consecration is conducted round the church, blessing the people; and afterwards, returning to the altar, blesses them solemnly, making the triple sign of the cross. He uses the same rite of blessing whenever he says Mass. An abbot, according to the decrees of Alexander VII., can give the blessing with the triple sign of the cross only when he celebrates Mass pontifically. (See Benedict XIV. “De Miss.” ii. 24).

(3) By the Pope. The Pope blesses the people solemnly at Easter, on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, and also on other special occasions. To this Papal blessing (Benedictio Pontificia seu Apostolica) a plenary indulgence is attached, to be gained by the faithful on certain conditions. Bishops in virtue of a special indult sometimes receive the privilege of bestowing the Papal blessing at stated times. The bishop gives it after Mass, first causing the Apostolic letters, which confer the plenary indulgence, to be read. The power of bestowing it is also sometimes communicated to simple priests—e.g. to regulars, at the conclusion of a mission, &c.

Hitherto we have been occupied with blessings bestowed upon the faithful in general. But there are also blessings reserved for special persons or for special objects. Gavantus and other writers on ritual divide blessings of this kind into two classes—viz. into benedictiones invocativœ, or blessings which merely invoke the blessing of God upon persons or things; and benedictiones constitutivœ, or blessings which set apart a person or thing for the service of God. To the former class belongs the blessing of houses, fields, ships, candles, food, &c., &c.; to the latter the blessing of sacerdotal vestments, corporals, altar-cloths, &c. It is impossible to distinguish accurately between the use of the word consecration and blessing when it is used in the sense of benedictio constitutiva; but consecration denotes a more solemn form of blessing, so that we speak of blessing an abbot or a bell, but of consecrating a chalice or an altar. Of these blessings some (such as that of the Agnus Dei, and the rose sent to sovereigns) are reserved to the Pope; others (e.g. the blessing of a king or queen at their coronation, of bells, vestments, &c.) are proper to bishops; others (such as the blessing of houses, fields, medals, crosses, &c.) may be given by simple priests, though, of course, for many blessings special faculties are required.

With regard to the rite employed, the more ordinary blessings are given by the priest in surplice and stole, with prayer, accompanied by the sign of the cross and very often by the use of holy water. In other more solemn blessings other rites are added, such as exorcisms, incensation and anointing with the holy oils. The principles on which these special blessings rest are very simple. God made all things good, but although matter still remains good, it has been marred, and is constantly abused by the spirits of evil. Hence the Church, in the power and name of Christ, rescues persons and things from the power of the devil. Further, she prays that the things which she blesses may avail to the spiritual and bodily health of her children. It may be asked, how water, or medals, or candles, can possibly help us on the way to heaven. In themselves plainly they have no such power. But they tend to excite good dispositions in those who use them aright, not only because they remind us of holy things, but also because they have been blessed for our use by the prayers of the Church. There is surely no superstition in believing that if the Church prays that the sight or use of pious objects may excite good desires in her children, God will listen to these prayers and touch in a special way the hearts of those who use them aright.


BOHEMIAN BRETHREN. The gentleness with which the Council of Basle dealt with the Hussites, and the evident desire of the majority of the prelates to go to the verge of lawful concession in order to restore them to the unity of the Church, deprived the schism of much of its raison d’être. The moderate party (Calixtines) were disposed to be satisfied with the concession as to communion under both species, joined to a promise that clerical abuses should be reformed; while the violent section (Taborites), after a long succession of victories over their German foes, were signally defeated at Laban (1434), and after that found it necessary to abate their pretensions. Some years passed; a Taborite remnant which had found shelter at Lititz, on the frontiers of Moravia and Silesia, throve unmolested; its leaders plunged anew into the dreamy mysticism which has such charms for the Slavonian mind; they fraternised with some scattered Calixtine pastors, who were discontented with what they regarded as the undue pliability of the mass of their party, and the “Union of the Bohemian Brothers” (1457) was the result. Three of their leading men, Kunwald, Prelautsch, and Krenov, were ordained (1467) by a Vaudois bishop. Under the Bohemian prince George Podiebrad (died 1471) they were subjected to much persecution. Wladislav, his successor, left them undisturbed, and in his long reign they grew greatly in numbers and solidity; about 1500, they possessed two hundred churches in Bohemia and Moravia. When the Reformation came, the brethren, after vainly endeavouring to extract an approval of the “Apology” for their system which they had drawn up from the wary Erasmus, made overtures to Luther. These were well received; but the brethren were scandalised at the lack of discipline which prevailed among Luther’s followers, and for a long time there was a coolness; ultimately, however, something like a cordial understanding was established. The toleration which the brethren had long enjoyed was withdrawn, about the middle of the sixteenth century, by Ferdinand, brother to Charles V.; and many of them emigrated in consequence to Prussia and Poland. The Emperors Maximilian and Rodolph (1564–1612) were favourable to them; the latter gave them permission to found an Academy and a Consistory, to hold churches and found new ones on the estates of their adherents. With prosperity, says their historian, Comenius, came the relaxation of their peculiar discipline. They joined the general rising of the Bohemian Protestants against Ferdinand II., and after the battle of the White Hill (1620) were implicated in the consequences of their defeat. Many thousands of them abandoned their native soil; and of those who remained, hoping against hope that the old state of things would one day be restored, the greater number, at last renouncing that hope, quitted Bohemia in 1721 and found a refuge on the estate of Count Zinzendorf, in Lusatia. Under the name Herrn-huters or Moravians, the new organisation which these refugees, aided by their patron Zinzendorf (who to a mystical and imaginative turn united much quiet power and practical sagacity), succeeded in forming, has gained a worldwide notoriety. The Brethren who still lingered on in Bohemia adhered under Joseph II. (1780–1790) to the Helvetic Confession, because that Emperor would tolerate in his dominions no other Protestant doctrine but either that or the Confession of Augsburg. As a distinct sect the Bohemian Brethren no longer exist.

With regard to their doctrine and discipline, it is unnecessary to say that they neither admitted the authority of the chair of Peter, nor the unity of the visible Church. After the Reformation period they adopted Luther’s opinions on most other points, but would not follow him in embracing the tenet of consubstantiation: they would only allow of a mystical union of the body and blood of Christ with the elements, and denied anything like a real presence. Their organisation was the most remarkable thing about them. They divided themselves into three classes, the Beginners, the Proficients, and the Perfect (incipientes, proficientes, perfecti). From the ranks of the Perfect were chosen the ministers, who were also of three kinds, acolytes or deacons, pastors or priests, and bishops or presidents. They had four fast days of obligation in the year. In relation to sin, the laity (if their offences were of an open nature—for such only, in the absence of confession, could the system reach) were subjected to three degrees of discipline: warning, public reproof, and excommunication. (Ginzel’s article in Wetzer and Welte.)

BOLLANDISTS. A name given to the Jesuit editors of the great “Acta Sanctorum,” or Lives of the Saints. The first plan of the work came from the Flemish Jesuit Rosweid, who calculated the size of the whole work at eighteen volumes. He, however, died in 1629, without actually beginning the work. His papers were entrusted to another Jesuit, John Bolland (born in the Netherlands, 1596—died 1665), who settled at Antwerp and opened a correspondence with learned men over Europe, in order to procure the documents useful for his purpose. The plan grew in the hands of Bollandus, and in 1635 his brother Jesuit George Henschen (born 1600—died 1681) was appointed to help him. In 1643, two large folios appeared, containing the lives of the Saints who are commemorated in January; they were followed in 1658 by three more folios, containing the Saints for February. Two years later a new labourer was secured, the Jesuit Daniel Papebrock (born 1628—died 1714), and at the wish of Pope Alexander VII., Henschen and Papebrock travelled through France, Germany, and Italy, where they found many precious MSS. A little later Bolland died, but the number of those who laboured at the work was continually recruited from the society; indeed, even after the suppression of the Jesuits, the Bollandist Lives were still continued by ex-Jesuits, until in 1794 the French Revolutionary troops entered the Netherlands, and put an end for the time to this great undertaking. At that date the lives had reached the 53rd volume, which was printed at Tangerloo in the very year the French troops entered, and contained lives of the saints from the 12th to the 15th October. The papers of the Jesuit fathers were scattered, some perishing entirely, others being preserved in the Royal Library at Haag, and in the Burgundian Library at Brussels. Napoleon desired in vain to procure a continuation of the work. At last, in 1837, the Belgian Government entrusted the prosecution of the work to the Society of Jesus, and next year a prospectus was published, “De Prosecutione Operis Bollandiani.” The first volume of the new series was published about nine years later. A new edition in sixty-one vols. folio—viz. down to the last volume published—has been issued at Paris by Palmé 1863–1875.

BOLSENA, MASS OR MIRACLE OF. A portent which is said to have happened at Bolsena (the ancient Volsinium) in the reign of Urban IV. This Pope was still in doubt whether he should cause the feast of Corpus Christi to be kept throughout the Church. While he held his court at Orvieto in the year 1264, a priest in the neighbouring city of Bolsena spilt a drop of the Precious Blood from the chalice with which he was saying Mass, and tried to conceal the accident by covering the spot where the consecrated wine had fallen, with the corporal. Suddenly the corporal was covered with red spots in the shape of a host. This miracle led the Pope to delay the institution of the feast no longer. The corporal is still preserved at Orvieto, and the event is commemorated in a famous picture of Raphael’s in the Vatican. (See Hefele in Wetzer and Welte, and Benedict XIV. “De Festo,” De Festo Corporis Christi, where another account is also given, according to which the miracle happened to remove the priest’s doubts in transubstantiation.)

BONI HOMINES. Several monastic brotherhoods have borne this name. (1) The order founded in the eleventh century by St. Stephen Grandmont was once so called. A house of theirs at Vincennes having been transferred by Henry III. in 1584 to the Minims, a branch of the Franciscans, these (2) came to be called in France Bons hommes. (3) A Portuguese order of Canons, founded in the fifteenth century by John Vicenza, Bishop of Lamego, had the same appellation. After a time they had fourteen houses in Portugal, and we read of their sending missionaries to the Indies and to Ethiopia. (4) Matthew Paris describes the arrival in England in 1257 of some friars of an order previously unknown, whom he calls fratres saccati. Comparing this with a passage in Polydore Vergil referring to the same year, we find that these unknown religious professed the rule of St. Austin, and were called in England “Boni Homines.”

Roger de Hoveden, under the year 1176, gives an abstract of the proceedings of a council held at Lombers, near Toulouse, which examined and condemned some heretics calling themselves Boni Homines, whose tenets seem to have closely resembled those of the Cathari and Paulicians. [ALBIGENSES.]


BRASSES. Engraved sepulchral memorials on brass are so called, which began to a large extent to supersede stone tombs and effigies in the course of the thirteenth century. One great advantage of their use was that they could be let into the pavement: they took up no room in the church. Once introduced, the fashion spread rapidly; improvements and developments appeared; and during three centuries brasses may be said to have been in general use. The material employed was hard latten or sheet brass. The Reformation brought in a period of plunder and destruction, from which (especially the former, because of the intrinsic value of the metal) our brasses suffered enormously. Their number must have been very great, if it be true that four thousand are still preserved in various parts of England. They were once equally common in France, Germany, and Holland; in France, however, all that escaped the Huguenots were purloined by the revolutionists. There are fine brasses at Meissen and Freiberg in Saxony, at Werden and Paderborn in Westphalia, and at Bruges in Flanders. The greater number of those preserved in England are in the eastern counties; the churches of Ipswich, Norwich, Lynn, and Lincoln, are exceptionally rich in them. The chapel of Merton College, Oxford, once possessed a large number; but many have disappeared, and of those that remain some have been sadly mutilated. The earliest English brass now in existence is said to be that of Sir Roger de Trumpington, at Trumpington, near Cambridge; its date is 1289. That of Sir John d’Abernon, at Stoke d’Abernon in Surrey, (1327), is exceedingly fine; the effigy is the size of life. In Acton Burnell church there is a well-known one of a Lord Burnell, dating from the same century. In the fifteenth century this art, in respect both of design and of execution, reached its acme. In the cathedral of Constance there is a fine brass of English workmanship commemorating a bishop of Salisbury, Robert Hallam, who died during the council held at that city (1414–17). In the sixteenth century the figures become portraits. “The incised lines were filled up with some black resinous substance, and the armorial decorations and back-ground with mastic, or coarse enamel of various colours.” (Parker’s “Gloss, of Arch.”). The subject of English brasses is exhaustively treated in the work of Cotman.

BREVIARY. The word Breviary, or compendium, is of mediæval origin, and Fleury could find no example of its use before the year 1099. But the recitation of the Breviary is the continuation of a practice which was in use from the infancy of the Church, nay, which the Church herself received from the Synagogue. We may divide the history of the Breviary prayer into four periods: the first from the beginning of Church history down to Pope Damasus in the fourth century; the second extending to the reign of Gregory VII. in the eleventh; the third to that of Pius V. in the sixteenth; while the fourth period stretches from Pius V. to our own day. In these periods we propose to trace the history of the hours of prayer, the origin, the completion, and the final revisions of the Breviary. We shall treat in conclusion of its component parts, of the obligation of reciting it, and of the authority which belongs to its teaching.

I. The Hours of Prayer in the first Four Centuries.—Even in the Acts of the Apostles we find the third, sixth, and ninth hours specially mentioned. From Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, and others, we learn that the observance of these hours was general among Christians, and that mystic significations were attached to them. In the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions morning and evening prayer are mentioned in addition to the three hours already named, and all five hours are regarded as times of public prayer. To these five hours we must add the nocturnal prayers on the vigils of feasts. This last became more prominent when the times of persecution passed away, and the cœnobitical or monastic life grew and flourished. Cassian tells us that the monks divided the nocturnal office into three nocturns. Thus, counting the nocturnal office as one, we get six hours, corresponding to matins with lauds, prime, tierce, sext, none and vespers, in the present Breviary. We may mention here, for the sake of convenience, though the fact belongs to our second period, that St. Benedict, in the sixth century, added compline to the hours, and so completed the number seven, answering to the praises “seven times a day” of which the psalmist speaks. The service at these hours consisted of psalms, lections, and prayers. As early at least as the time of Athanasius, it was the custom in the East to have the alternate verses of the psalm intoned by different choirs, and this practice was introduced at Milan under St. Ambrose. The lections were usually from Scripture, but on the feasts of the Martyrs their Acts were also read. Much was left to free choice in the selection of the Scriptural lessons. The prayers were recited after each psalm, and the office concluded with the blessing of the celebrant.

II. Origin of the Breviary. Damasus to Gregory VII.—Great changes occurred during this second period. According to a tradition which is not well attested, but which is most likely correct in substance, St. Jerome, at the request of Pope Damasus, arranged the psalms for the different hours and put the lections together in books called Lectionaries, and these Lectionaries were provided with indices marking the beginning and end of the lections. Later on, in the middle ages, we find the word Breviary used for a collection of rubrics, pointing out the way in which the office was to be said on each day, and sometimes these rubrics were united with the office itself so as to form one book, which was called Plenarium, and answers to our present Breviary. Further, hymns were added to the office as early as the sixth century, although particular churches varied in this respect, and the Roman Church did not adopt them till our third period. At the same time lections were introduced from the writings of the Fathers, and these as well as the psalms and responsories were adapted to the different feasts. Lastly, the influence of the Roman Church introduced uniformity throughout the West. We find an English council in the year 748 passing a decree that the feasts should be kept “in all things pertaining to them … in celebration of Masses, in mode of singing, according to the written copy which we have from the Roman Church.” Charlemagne introduced the Roman office throughout most of his vast empire, and at last, in 1048, the Council of Burgos ordered its use in Spain.

III. The Completion of the Breviary. Gregory VII. to Pius V.—Hitherto we have traced the origin of the Breviary offices; we now find the word “Breviary” in its modern sense. “A certain shortening of the office,” says Meratus, “was made by Gregory VII., and the office so shortened was called Breviary.” Under Innocent III. the office was abbreviated still further. Next, changes were made in its arrangements by the Franciscan General Haymo, and Nicholas III. prescribed the use of the Breviary thus modified in the churches of Rome. Cardinal Quignon made additional and radical alterations. In his Breviary the psalms were recited every week; nearly the whole of the New Testament and a great part of the Old were read in the course of the year; the chapters, responsories, and versicles were excluded. The use of this Breviary was permitted from the time of Paul III. to that of Pius V.—viz, for about forty years.

IV. Final Revisions of the Breviary. Pius V. to the present day.—The Council of Trent, finding that the commission which it had appointed to revise the Breviary had not time to complete their work, left the matter in the Pope’s hands. Pius V., with the assistance of the Barnabite Fathers, effected the desired revision, and imposed the new Breviary on the whole Latin Church, permitting, however, churches to retain a special Breviary of their own, if they could allege a prescription of 200 years on its behalf. Additional improvements were effected by a commission under Clement VIII. Bellarmine and Baronius were members of it, and to them we owe great ameliorations in the lections of the second nocturn which contain the history of the Saints. The finishing touches were added by Urban VIII.; once more the lections were revised, and with the help of three learned Jesuits many barbarisms and false quantities were removed from the hymns. Since the time of this Pope the Breviary has remained unaltered, except that of course offices for saints canonised since that time, and for new feasts, have been added by the authority of different Popes. It is true that new Breviaries were constructed in France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; but the bishops who brought them into use had no power to do so lawfully, and these new Breviaries are now entirely or almost entirely abandoned. These modern Gallican Breviaries must not be confused with the ancient Gallican office, current in France before Charlemagne’s time.

V. The Arrangement of the Breviary.—The Breviary is divided into four parts: viz. a winter, spring, summer, and autumn quarter. Each part contains (α) the psalter—i.e. the psalms arranged for each day of the week. (β) The proper of the season—i.e. hymns, antiphons, chapters, and lessons, with responsories and versicles, for each day of the Church year, including the movable feasts, (γ) The proper of the saints—i.e. prayers, lessons, responsories, &c., for the immovable feasts. (δ) The common of the saints—i.e. psalms, with antiphons, lections, &c., for feasts of a particular class, e.g. of the Blessed Virgin, of a Martyr, &c. To this division the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, the office of the dead, the penitential and gradual psalms are added. (ε) A supplement containing offices which do not bind the whole Church, but are recited only in particular countries, &c. Besides this, a diocese, province or county, &c., or, again, an order or congregation, may have a special supplement with offices approved for use in that district. This second supplement forms no part of the Breviary. It is printed separately for the persons who are to use it, and then, usually, for the sake of convenience, bound into the Breviary. Every day the office is composed of matins and lauds, prime, &c., but the rules which determine the mode of their recitation are too elaborate to be given here.

VI. The Obligation of Reciting Office—At first all the faithful were accustomed to assist at the canonical hours. “The piety of the lay-people,” says Thomassin, “cooled: the clergy did not relax their primitive fervour.” From the sixth century downwards, many councils speak of this obligation on the part of clerics, but they do not so much enforce it as take for granted a law already enforced by the custom of the Church. The present discipline of the Church imposes the obligation (α) on all clerics, even if not in holy orders, who hold a benefice. By omitting their duty they forfeit the fruits of their benefice and must make restitution (so the Fifth Lateran Council, session ix.); (β) on all persons in holy Orders, i.e. on subdeacons, deacons, priests; (γ) on religious men and women, professed for the duties of the choir. In the two last cases Billuart considers that the obligation cannot be proved by any positive law, but is founded on custom which has the force of precept. All these persons are required under pain of mortal sin to recite the office at least in private.

VII. The Authority of Statements in the Breviary.—As the Church herself imposes the recitation of the Breviary, it cannot contain anything contrary to faith or morals; otherwise the Church herself would be leading her children into error. But no Catholic is obliged to believe historical statements merely because they are found in the Breviary, and as a matter of fact many of them have been questioned and denied by Catholic critics and historians.

The principal books on the Breviary are:—in the middle ages, Amalarius of Metz, who wrote four books “De Ecclesiastico Officio,” in the year 820; the author of a work called “Micrologus de Ecclesiasticis Observationibus,” written in the time of Gregory VII.; John Beleth, a Paris theologian, who wrote, about the middle of the twelfth century, “De Divinis Officiis;” the abbot Rupert, “De Divinis Officiis libri xii,” (died 1135) and Durandus, “Rationale Divinorum Officiorum” (about 1286). In modern times the principal authors are:—Grancolas, “Commentarius historicus in Romanum Breviarium;” Bona, “De Divina Psalmodia;” but above all Gavantus, who published “Commentaria in Rubricas Missalis et Breviarii,” in 1628, and Meratus, who edited the work of Gavantus with elaborate notes. (From Gavantus, with Merati’s notes, and from Probst, “Brevier und Breviergebet.”)


BRIDGITTINES. This order was founded about 1344 by St. Bridgit of Sweden, author of the “Revelations” so well known and so greatly esteemed by persons aspiring to perfection. Each monastery is double, for nuns and for monks; but the foundation of the nunneries, which were to contain on the average sixty inmates, was the principal object of the founder; the related houses of monks were to have thirteen inmates each, priests, besides four deacons. The constitutions of the order, which took the name of the Order of the Saviour, were said to have been communicated to St. Bridgit by divine revelation; the rule was that of St. Austin. The first monastery was built on the saint’s estate of Wastein, in the diocese of Lincopen. The order spread through all the northern countries of Europe, and was of notable service to the Church. The convent of Wastein, partly through the extraordinary constancy of the nuns, partly from their finding friends where they could have least expected them, survived the change of religion in Sweden for many years, and was only suppressed in 1595. In England there was one great and wealthy Bridgittine house, Sion Convent, near Brentford. This was one of the few monasteries restored by Queen Mary; but being again suppressed under Elizabeth, the nuns, that they might be free to observe their rule, took refuge at Lisbon. They have had a perpetual succession in Portugal down to our own day; and a few years ago some of them came to England and founded the Bridgittine convent of Sion House, Spetisbury, in Dorsetshire.

BRIEF. A Papal Brief is a letter issuing from the Court of Rome, written on fine parchment in modern characters, subscribed by the Pope’s Secretary of Briefs, dated “a die Nativitatis,” and sealed with the Pope’s signet-ring, the seal of the Fisherman. [See BULL].

BULGARIANS. This was another name for the Paulician heretics, owing to their long sojourn in Bulgaria. Constantine Copronymus, about A.D. 750, transplanted great numbers of Paulicians from the banks of the upper Euphrates to Constantinople and Thrace; whence their preachers passed into Bulgaria and obtained many followers. Another powerful colony of these sectaries was brought to the valleys of the Balkans in 970, by John Zimisces, with the view of detaching them from the Moslem alliance, and employing them as a barrier against the barbarians of Scythia. They occupied Philippopolis, and soon gained great influence in Bulgaria. About 1200 their Primate lived at or near that city, and governed by his vicars affiliated bodies in France and Italy. By three channels they obtained access to Western countries—the trade of Venice, the military service of the Byzantine emperors, and the pilgrim track to Jerusalem along the valley of the Danube. Mingled with the Cathari and other heretics, they were found in considerable numbers in the south of France at the time of the Albigensian Crusade. [ALBIGENSES.] (Gibbon, “Decline and Fall,” ch. liv.)

BULL. A Papal Bull is so named from the bulla (or round leaden seal, having on one side a representation of SS. Peter and Paul, and on the other the name of the reigning Pope), which is attached to the document (by a silken cord, if it be a “Bull of Grace,” and by one of hemp if a “Bull of Justice”) and gives authenticity to it. Bulls are engrossed on strong rough parchment in gothic characters, and begin “[Leo] Episcopus servus servorum Dei ad perpetuam rei memoriam.” A Bull is dated “a die Incarnationis,” and signed by the functionaries of the Papal Chancery. It is a document of a more formal and weighty character than a Brief, and many memorable Papal decisions and condemnations have been given in this form, such as the bull Unam Sanctam of Boniface VIII., the bull Unigenitus of Clement XI., &c., &c.

BULL IN CŒNA DOMINI. This was a Papal sentence of excommunication formerly published against heretics every Maundy Thursday. The latest form which it assumed was given to it by Urban VIII. in 1627. It excommunicates all heretics, mentioning the chief modern sects and heresiarchs by name, as well as those who aid and abet them, or read their works; all those who appeal from the Pope [APPEAL] to a future general council; pirates and wreckers; Christians who ally themselves with the Turks; those who maltreat Papal officials or falsify Papal bulls, and many others. By degrees a spirit of marked opposition to the publication of the bull in their dominions displayed itself on the part of many Catholic sovereigns; Pope Clement XIV. yielded to their wishes, and after 1773 the periodical publication of the bull was discontinued.

BULLARIUM. A collection of Papal bulls is so called. That of Cocquelines (Rom. 1737) containing the bulls of all the Popes from Leo the Great to Benedict XIII. is one of the most celebrated.


BURSE (BURSA, also PERA). A square case into which the priest puts the corporal which is to be used in Mass. It was introduced in the fourteenth century. It should be of the same colour as the vestments of the day. Usually it has a cross in the middle. The priest places it above the chalice, with the open side towards his own breast. When he reaches the altar, he extracts the corporal and places the burse on the Gospel side. Pius V. allowed the Spanish priests to carry the corporal outside the burse. (Benedict XIV. “De Miss.” i. 5.)

BY THE GRACE OF GOD AND FAVOUR OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE. Bishops and archbishops now use this formula (“Dei et Apostolicæ Sedis Gratia”) at the beginning of their pastorals and instructions. Something resembling it came in very early; thus St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, called himself the Servus apostolicœ sedis, and an archbishop of Cologne in the eleventh century took the appellation of Christi et Clavigeri ejus servus. But there was for a long time no uniformity; in Hoveden’s “Chronicle” may be read a brief of Geoffrey, Archbishop of York, in which there is no reference whatever to the Holy See, while not many pages further on is a series of decrees of Archbishop Hubert, each of which ends with the words “Salvo in omnibus sacrosanctæ Romanæ ecclesiæ honore et privilegio.” In some European countries, the sovereigns evincing a desire to appropriate for use in their own proclamations the phrase Dei Gratia, the bishops have used instead the formula divina gratia. In 1209, Otho IV., one of the candidates for the Imperial crown, adopted the style of “Roman Emperor by the grace of God and favour of the Holy Apostolic See.”


CÆREMONIALE EPISCOPORUM. A book containing the ceremonies to be observed by bishops and other ecclesiastics, in the performance of episcopal acts. An edition “emended and reformed” was published by authority of Clement VIII. In the bull, “Cum novissime,” the Pope strictly requires all whom it concerns to follow the prescriptions of this Cæremoniale, and several of the subsequent Popes have renewed and confirmed the same law. (“Manuale Decret. SS. Rit. Congr.” n. 94, seq.)

CÆREMONIARIUS. A name given to the ecclesiastic who superintends the ceremonies in solemn offices. In cathedral churches one such master of ceremonies should be chosen by the bishop, another, with the approval of the bishop, by the chapter. In episcopal functions he may wear a violet cassock and hold a ferule in his hand. The dignitaries even of the chapter are bound to obey him during the functions, for he is their director, not their servant. Besides the income which may belong to him as canon, &c., he has a right to the offerings made by clergy and people on Good Friday after the adoration of the cross. (“Manuale Decret. SS. Rit. Congr.”)

CÆSARIANS. The adherents of a pious German friar of the order of St. Francis, Cæsar of Spires, were so called. Cæsar was one of those who, when Elias of Cortona, the general of the order after St. Francis, attempted to introduce relaxations of the rule, resisted him; in consequence of which Elias, having deceived the Pope, threw Cæsar into prison. After having been in confinement more than two years, the poor friar, finding one day the door of his dungeon open, went out to warm himself in the sun’s rays. His gaoler, a rough unfeeling lay brother, coming in and thinking that Cæsar meditated escape, struck him on the head with a bludgeon with such violence that he died of the effects of the blow. This was in 1239. Under the generals Crescenzio and John of Parma, who in various ways incurred the disapproval of the stricter Franciscans, the party of Cæsar lingered on; but after the glorious St. Bonaventure became general (1256) and the rule and spirit of St. Francis were restored in their first purity, the name of Cæsarians was soon forgotten. (Fleury, “Hist. Eccl.” xxxi.)

CAGOTS. The name given to a race of Christian Pariahs who first came into notice in the south of France about the tenth century. The term has been thought to be derived from caas-Goth, dog of a Goth, as if they were a remnant of the Visigoths who occupied Aquitaine till they were expelled by the Franks; but this derivation is quite uncertain. The Cagots were not allowed to live in towns or villages, but in groups of dwellings set apart for them, called cagoteries. Like the Swiss cretins, they were looked down upon as an inferior race; yet this inferiority was not apparent: in physical development and intelligence they seem to have been on a par with their neighbours; their skin, however, was said to emit a peculiar odour, by which they could always be recognised. They were required to go into church by a separate door, to use a special bénitier, and to sit only on benches set apart for them. No trades but those of butcher and carpenter were open to them. They are said still to be numerous in the valleys of the western Pyrenees.

CALATRAVA, ORDER OF. One of the three great military orders of Spain; the other two were the knights of Santiago and those of Alcantara. The Templars in Spain had had immense estates conferred upon them, and corresponding services in the unremitting was against the Moors were expected from them. Calatrava, a town on the upper Gaudiana, on the borders of Andalusia and Castile, was a post of great military importance to the sovereigns of the latter country, whether for offensive or defensive purposes. In the twelfth century it was entrusted to the guardianship of the Templars; but these, finding the charge embarrassing, abandoned the place after eight years. Sancho III., King of Castile, desired to find a body of knights who would undertake its defence; and his wishes were soon fully met by the energy and ability of a Spanish Cistercian monk, Velasquez by name, who with the concurrence of his order founded, in 1158, a chivalrous institute, the knights of which were to live under a strict rule and devote themselves to the protection and extension of the Christian kingdom to which they belonged. A knight of Calatrava bound himself to perpetual chastity, and this obligation was only relaxed in the sixteenth century, when permission was granted to the knights to marry once. He was enjoined to have his sword ready to his hand while he slept and also while he prayed. Silence was prescribed at meals; the fare was plain, meat not being allowed more than thrice a week. The chaplains of the order were at first allowed to take the field in expeditions against the Moors; but this was afterwards forbidden. In 1197 Calatrava was taken by the Moslems, and the knights retired to Salvatierra, in the north of Spain, and took the name of that city till their former home was recovered. The order soon became very rich, and the extensive influence and patronage which its wealth placed in the hands of the grand-masters caused the office to be eagerly sought by ambitious men. Such violent quarrels and animosities arose from this cause (which was similarly operative in the case of the other military orders) that Ferdinand and Isabella in the fifteenth century wisely procured the Papal sanction to the annexation of the grand-mastership of all three orders to the crown of Castile. In the general suppression of the monastic orders which the present century has witnessed in Spain, the knights of Calatrava have lost all their property, but as a source of honorary distinction the order still survives. (Hélyot; Prescott’s “Ferdinand and Isabella.”)

CALENDAR, ECCLESIASTICAL. An arrangement, founded on the Julian-Gregorian determinations of the civil year, marking the days set apart for particular religious celebration.

The Diocletian persecution made havoc among Christian records and writings of every kind, and for this reason but few calendars of great antiquity have been preserved. One of the earliest, dated about 350, is little more than a list of holy days; it places Christmas Day on December 25, and the Feast of St. Peter’s Chair on February 22. In a calendar prefixed to the “Responsoriale” of Gregory the Great, there is no mention of the Circumcision, nor of Ash Wednesday, but in other respects it closely resembles the present Roman Calendar. The various scientific and historical questions involved in the determination of Easter attracted the earnest attention of the Church from an early period. The Venerable Beda wrote an elaborate work “De Computo;” he is also thought by many to have been the real author of the essay on the true calculation of Easter, given in the form of a letter of the Abbot Ceolfrid to Naiton, King of the Picts, which he has inserted in the fifth book of his “Ecclesiastical History.” A treatise “De Computo” is also among the works of Rabanus Maurus, the great Archbishop of Mayence, in the early part of the ninth century. It was ordered by the Council of Orleans (541) that bishops should every year announce the date of Easter on the festival of the Epiphany.

Since Easter varies every year, the liturgical arrangements of the Church, which depend on Easter, must vary in like manner; and the calendar, which notifies those arrangements, can only be good for the year to which it refers. From the first Sunday after Epiphany to Advent Sunday—that is, from about the middle of January to the end of November—there is not a single Sunday of which the ritual observance is not liable to variation from year to year, according to the varying date of Easter. The calendar which announces the actual course of the liturgy for every day of the year, may be called the liturgical calendar. It takes into account the relative importance of the celebrations which come into competition on the same day, in accordance with canon law and the decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, and shows which celebration is to prevail and be had in use. A glance at this calendar will show that many saints are transferred in it, as to the celebration of their festivals, and that Masses in their honour cannot be said on their own proper days; but a little further search will generally show that the festival has only been transferred a few days later—that is, to the first vacant day. Owing to the different dignity of feasts (see DOUBLE, SEMI-DOUBLE, FEASTS) their priority, and the extent to which they may be transferred, are often difficult matters to decide. In general outline this liturgical calendar is the same for the whole Church: the feasts of our Lord and of his Blessed Mother are observed by all Catholics on the same days; so also are the principal feasts of the Apostles, and of some of the more eminent martyrs and saints. But special circumstances, arising out of the history of each Christian nation, affect its liturgical calendar to a certain extent; St. Patrick’s day, which is a holiday of obligation in Ireland, is not so in England; and the octave assigned to the feast of St. Edward, king and confessor, in the province of Westminster, is not observed in Ireland. Many other modifications more or less important might be mentioned, in virtue of which not only each Christian nation, but every religious order, every ecclesiastical province, every diocese—one might almost say every city, at least in a Catholic land, for the “fête patronale” of Cambray is not that of Douay, and each causes a slight disturbance of the general ordo in its own favour—may be said to have a liturgical calendar of its own.

In the common ecclesiastical calendar prefixed to Catholic directories, the “Proprium de Tempore” (that is, the arrangement of feasts and offices, most of which depend on Easter, from Advent to Pentecost), is given in the liturgical directory, but the feasts of saints are assigned to their fixed days.

Still more general is that description of ecclesiastical calendar in which the “Proprium de Tempore” is omitted, and only the fixed festivals retained. This, if we exclude from it the festivals of our Lord and the Blessed Virgin, is little more than a calendar of saints’ days, and would tend to pass into a Martyrology. The “Acta Sanctorum” of the Bollandists may be regarded as a colossal calendar of saints, arranged according to the successive occurrence of their festivals in the civil year, and enriched with biographies and collateral information. A Greek Menology is something between a calendar and a Martyrology.

CALENDAR, JULIAN-GREGORIAN, THE. Julius Cæsar, in the year 708 of the city, caused the civil calendar, which had fallen into confusion, to be reformed by dividing the year into twelve months, each with the same number of days as at present, and providing that an additional day should be given to February in every fourth year, in order that the natural year, which was believed to be 365 days 6 minutes in length, might keep even pace with the legal year. But as the real excess of the time taken in the solar revolution over 365 days does not amount to six hours, but only to five hours and forty-nine minutes (nearly), it was an inevitable consequence of the disregard of this fact that the addition of nearly forty-four minutes too much every leap-year should again in course of time make the natural and civil years disagree. The accumulated error caused the difference of a day in about 134 years; thus the vernal equinox, which in the year of the Council of Nicæa (325) fell, as it ought to fall, on March 21, in 1582 occurred ten days earlier. But since Easter ought to be kept on the Sunday after the first full-moon following the vernal equinox, it is obvious that, with so serious a difference between the real equinox and the equinox of the Calendar, Easter might easily be kept a month too late; the Paschal full-moon might have occurred on some day between March 11 (the date of the real equinox) and March 21, but be disregarded in favour of the next full-moon, which fell after the equinox of the calendar. Gregory XIII., consulting with men of science, effectually remedied the evil, and provided against its recurrence. He ordered that the days between October 4 and October 15 in the current year (1582) should be suppressed, and that, beginning with 1700, three out of every four centesimal leap-years—1700, 1800, 1900, but not 2000—should be omitted, so that those years should have only 365, not 366 days. This change, having originated at Rome, was long resisted in Protestant countries. In England it was only adopted in 1751, by which time the accumulated error amounted to eleven days; these days were suppressed between September 2 and 14, 1752. In Russia the Julian Calendar is still adhered to, with the result that their computation of time is now twelve days in arrear of the rest of Europe.


CALVARIANS. On the steep commanding hill known as Mont Valérien, looking down upon the Bois de Boulogne and famous in connection with many remarkable incidents in the siege of Paris some years ago, a priest of the diocese of Auch established, about 1635, an institute to which he gave the name of Calvary. The name of the priest was Hubert Charpentier, and the object of the association of priests which he founded was to honour the Passion of Jesus Christ and labour for the promotion of Catholicism in Béarn, where the Protestants were then working with considerable success. It would appear that this institute of Calvarians disappeared during the Revolution.

A congregation of Calvarian nuns, founded at Poitiers in 1617 by the Père Joseph, a Capuchin and intimate friend of Cardinal Richelieu, aided by the highborn Antoinette d’Orléans, still flourishes in France.

There is also a congregation of Calvarian sisters, established by Virginia Braccelli at Genoa in 1619 for the purpose of supporting and educating destitute and homeless girls, which has received many favours from successive Popes.

CALVIN AND CALVINISM. Calvin was born in 1509 at Noyon in Picardy. His father (Chauvin), who was an episcopal fiscal-procurator, secured good education for his son in the noble family of Montmor. Young Calvin was provided with a benefice, though he never received more than the tonsure, and went to study theology at Paris. There, however, the influence of Olivetan and Farel won him over to the heresy of the Reformers; he gave up all idea of the priesthood, and went to study law at Bourges. The change which had begun at Paris was made complete. The Lutheran Wolmar persuaded him to give up the law and to devote himself entirely to theology. Later, when it was no longer safe for him to remain in France, he fled to Basle, went afterwards to Ferrara, and finally settled at Geneva in 1536, as professor of theology and preacher. However, in 1538, he was driven from the town, and remained for three years at Strasburg, where he married and formed intimate connexions with the German Reformers. In 1541 he was recalled to Geneva, and here he organised his Consistory, through which till his death, in 1564, he exercised an absolute power in temporal as well as in spiritual matters. Calvin brooked no contradiction. Castellio had to leave Geneva for attacking the doctrine of predestination, and the Spaniard Michael Servetus (Sarvede), who attacked the doctrine of the Trinity, was burnt alive, an auto-da-fè which was approved by Melanchthon and Bucer.

As to Calvin’s extraordinary talents, there can be no doubt. Both in Latin and French, his writings are a model of clear, concise nervous language; he had great stores of varied learning at his command; his commentaries on Scripture still hold a very high place in the esteem of Protestant scholars, and his subtlety and power of reasoning fitted him to become the great theologian of the Reformed sects. With a vast section of Protestants in Switzerland, Holland, England, Scotland, &c., his Institutes (Institutio Religionis Christianœ) possessed almost unlimited authority, and were esteemed as the greatest work which had appeared since the days of the Apostles. It is this book which contains the methodical exposition of his doctrinal system. It affords abundant proof, not only of Calvin’s exalted talents, but also of the gulf which separated him from the tradition of the Church. Its peculiar doctrines have long since lost their hold on Protestants of the better sort, and his system outrages the principles of natural as well as of revealed religion. It is important, however, to remember what the system was which so many found purer and more attractive than that of the Church.

According to Calvin, God ordains some to everlasting life, others to everlasting punishment. God does not choose the elect for any good he sees in them, or which he sees they will do; nor does he select some for eternal reprobation because of their evil deeds foreseen by him. Indeed, as the whole nature of fallen man, in Calvin’s view, is “utterly devoid of goodness; is a seed-bed of sin,” which “cannot but be odious and abominable to God;” as man has no freewill, and as God’s grace is absolutely irresistible; it follows that there can be no question of merits foreseen, on account of which God chooses the elect, or of demerits, because of which the reprobate are rejected. Calvin’s words are explicit on this point. “If,” he writes, “we cannot assign any reason for his [God’s] bestowing mercy on his people, but just that it pleases him, neither can he have any reason for reprobating others but his will.” Here of course Calvinist heresy is in sharp antagonism to Catholic doctrine, according to which God by his eternal decree condemns none, except for their sins foreseen by Him and of course freely committed.

As to the means by which the elect actually enter into a state of salvation Calvin was at one with the rest of the Reformers. He taught that justification is effected by faith and by faith alone. Calvin’s doctrine on the sacraments—of which he only recognised Baptism and the Eucharist—stands mid way between that of Luther and Zwingli. He considered the doctrine of the latter (which made the sacraments mere signs of Christian profession, tokens by which a man is known as such among his fellow-Christians) to be erroneous and even profane. He speaks of the sacraments as mystical signs instituted by God, who through them, not only reminds men of past benefits, but also renews these benefits, seals his promises, strengthens and increases the faith of the recipient by the operation of the Holy Ghost. Thus to Calvin the sacraments were not bare signs, but real channels of grace. But it was to the elect only that they conveyed this grace. To others they were bare and inoperative symbols.

The Calvinistic worship was much more bare and simple than the Lutheran, and the constitution of the Calvinistic sects was rigidly Presbyterian. But Calvin had higher notions of Church freedom and independence than Luther. He maintained that the Church was altogether independent of the State, and the government which he established at Geneva was theocratic in its character. The influence, however, of Calvin’s doctrine was not confined to sects with Presbyterian constitution. His Institutio represented the dominant theology in the Anglican Church down to the time of Laud.

CAMALDOLI. The austere order of Camaldoli was founded by St. Romuald in 1012 on a small plain among the Apennines bearing that name, about thirty miles east of Florence. He had previously been abbot of several Benedictine monasteries, the monks of which, unable to bear the rigorous penitential life which he wished them to practise, had all after a time expelled him. The foundation of 1012 has always been known as the Hermitage of Camaldoli. Romuald built separate cells for his disciples, most of whom had to repair to the chapel at the canonical hours, but there was a class among them called recluses who were exempted from this obligation. He gave a white habit to his hermits, whom he obliged to fast during two Lents in the year, and to abstain perpetually from meat; moreover, during the rest of the year they had to fast on bread and water on three days in the week. After some time a monastery was built at the foot of the mountains, at a place called Fontebuono, and peopled by monks under a prior; these, however, wore the same habit as the hermits, and were bound to the same rule of life. Alban Butler, who seems to have visited Camaldoli about the middle of the last century, thus writes of it. “The hermitage is two short miles distant from the monastery [Fontebuono]. It is a mountain quite overshaded by a dark wood of fir-trees. In it are seven clear springs of water. The very sight of this solitude in the midst of the forest helps to fill the mind with compunction, and a love of heavenly contemplation. On entering it we meet with a chapel of St. Antony for travellers to pray in before they advance any further. Next are the cells and lodgings for the porters. Somewhat further is the church, which is large, well built, and richly adorned. Over the door is a clock which strikes so loud that it may be heard all over the desert. On the left side of the church is the cell in which St. Romuald lived, when he first established these hermits.… The whole hermitage is now enclosed with a wall; none are allowed to go out of it; but they may walk in the woods and alleys within the inclosure at discretion. Everything is sent them from the monastery in the valley; their food is every day brought to each cell, and all are supplied with wood and necessaries, that they may have no dissipation or hindrance in their contemplation.… No rain or snow stops anyone from meeting in the church to assist at the divine office. They are obliged to strict silence in all public common places, and everywhere during their Lents, also on Sundays, holy days, Fridays, and other days of abstinence, and always from compline till prime the next day.”

The order became very wealthy, and many of its hermitages were after a time changed into monasteries. It was agreed that the general of the order, who was also ex-officio prior of Camaldoli, should be taken from among the hermits and the monks. Rudolph, the fourth general, drew up in 1102, the first written constitutions of the order, in which he slightly mitigated the severity of the original rule. In process of time the order was separated into five provinces or congregations: that of Camaldoli, or the Holy Hermitage; that of St. Michael at Murano, near Venice; that of the hermits of Monte Corona near Perugia, a reformation founded by Paul Giustiniani early in the sixteenth century; that of Turin; and that of France.

The Camaldolese, if the vandalism of the present Government of Italy has not yet destroyed their monasteries, have still a famous house near Rome, besides several in other parts of Italy. Pope Gregory XVI. belonged to this order. (Hélyot.)




CANDLES and LIGHTS. St. Luke, in Acts 20:7, mentions the “great number of lamps” which burnt in “the upper chamber,” while St. Paul “continued his speech until midnight.” The fact that Christian assemblies during the times of persecution were held before dawn made a similar employment of lights necessary, but we may well believe that the Christians, familiar as they were with the symbolical meaning of the candlestick in the tabernacle and temple, also attached a symbolical significance to the lights which they burned during the holy mysteries. This conjecture is confirmed by the fact that the Church of the fourth century still continued the religious use of lights when they were no longer needed to dispel the darkness. “Throughout the churches of the East,” says Jerome, writing against Vigilantius, “lights are kindled when the gospel is to be read, although the sun is shining: not, indeed, to drive away the darkness, but as a sign of spiritual joy.” So Paulinus of Nola speaks of “altars crowned with a forest of lights,” and similar language might be quoted from Prudentius. The use of lights at Mass is mentioned in all the Oriental liturgies.

With regard to the West, a very ancient African canon makes mention of the candle handed to the acolyte at his ordination; while the mediæval author of the “Micrologus” says: “According to the Roman order we never celebrate Mass without lights.… using them as a type of that light.… without which even in mid-day we grope as in the night.” Nor was the use of lights confined to Mass. St. Gregory Nazianzen speaks of the lights borne by the neophytes at baptism, “emblems,” he says, “of those lamps of faith with which radiant souls shall hasten forth to meet the bridegroom;” and our custom of carrying lights at funerals can be traced back to the fourth century.

The present custom of the Church requires that candles should be lighted on the altar from the beginning to the end of Mass, nor can lighted candles be dispensed with on any consideration. A parish priest, for instance, must not say Mass for his flock, even on a Sunday, unless candles can be procured. The candles must be of pure wax and of white colour, except in Masses for the dead, when the S. Cong. Rit. prescribes candles “de communi cera”—i.e. of yellow wax. Two, and not more than two, may be lighted at a priest’s low Mass, unless the Mass be said for the parish, or for a convent, or on one of the greater solemnities, when four candles may be used. Six candles are lighted at High Mass, seven at the Mass of a Bishop. Twelve candles at least should be lighted at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, or six if Benediction is given with the pyx. Candles must also be lighted when Communion is given, whether in the church or in private houses; and one lighted candle is required in the administration of Extreme Unction. (See Rock “Hierurgia,” On the Use of Lights.)

CANON (member of a chapter). The clergy of every large church in ancient times were termed canonici, as being entered on the list (for this is one of the meanings of κανών) of ecclesiastics serving the church. A more definite meaning was attached to the word in consequence of the labours of Chrodegang, Bishop of Metz, in the eighth century, to revive a stricter discipline among his clergy, and give scope for the exhibition among them of shining examples of virtuous living. He formed the clergy of his cathedral into a community, bound by a rule (κανών in the common sense), under which they lived in common, on the proceeds of an undivided property, and recited the divine office in choir with the same regularity as monks. Many other cathedrals and large churches, thence named collegiate, organised themselves in the same way. In the course of ages, the obligation of living in common was abandoned, and the common property was divided into portions or prebends [PREBEND], one for each canon; yet still the clergy of each cathedral formed a united body [see CHAPTER] which the Council of Trent calls an “ecclesiastical senate,” declaring that those who were called to fill places in it ought—inasmuch as cathedral dignities were originally instituted in order to preserve and increase discipline, supply society with examples of pious life, and assist the bishops—to be chosen with extreme care and circumspection. In some cathedrals the community life instituted by Chrodegang was retained, and other separate institutions similarly ordered arose; with reference to these see the articles AUSTIN CANONS, REGULAR CANONS. The secular canons, with whom we are at present concerned, having the administration of large properties, and holding in cathedrals, relatively to bishops, a position which might be one of willing subordination, yet might easily become one of antagonism, form the subject of numerous chapters of the canon law. A canonry is defined as a spiritual right—arising out of election or reception into the chapter—first, to a stall in choir and a voice in chapter; next, to a prebend or competent portion of the chapter revenues, on the earliest possible opportunity. Till the acquisition of a prebend, the holder of a canonry is a minor canon (canonicus minor); after it, a major or full canon. The Council of Trent (loc. cit.) ordered that no one should be appointed to a canonry with cure of souls attached, under twenty-four years of age. When there is no cure of souls, a person may receive a canonry in a collegiate church at as low an age as fourteen; in a cathedral where the prebends are distributed among canons with different orders, the recipient of a subdiaconal canonry must be twenty-one; of a diaconal, twenty-two; of a sacerdotal, twenty-four years of age. In a cathedral where the canonries are not distributed, he must be at least twenty-two. The Council ordered that all cathedral canons should possess a grade of orders not lower than the subdiaconate, and recommended that at least half of them should be in priest’s orders; it also obliged them to reside not less than nine months in the year. With regard to their duties, it says:—”Let all be bound to attend the divine offices in person and not by substitutes, and to assist and serve the bishop when celebrating Mass, or pontificating in any other manner, and to praise the name of God reverently, distinctly, and devoutly in hymns and canticles in the choir appointed for psalmody.”

CANON LAW. From the earliest times the determinations of the Church received the name of Canons, that is, rules directory in matters of faith and conduct. Thus we read of the Apostolic Canons, the Canons of the Council of Nice, or of Chalcedon, &c. A tendency afterwards appeared to restrict the term Canon to matters of discipline, and to give the name of dogma to decisions bearing on faith. But the Council of Trent confirmed the ancient use of the word, calling its determinations “canons,” whether they bore on points of belief or were directed to the reformation of discipline.

Canon Law is the assemblage of rules or laws relating to faith, morals, and discipline, prescribed or propounded to Christians by ecclesiastical authority. The words “or laws” are added to the definition, lest it be thought that these rules are only matters of publication and persuasion, and not binding laws, liable to be enforced by penalties. The definition shows that the object of canon law is “faith, morals, and discipline;” and nothing but these is its object. “To Christians”—that is, baptised persons are the subject of canon law; and that without reference to the question whether they are or are not obedient to the Church and within her pale. For theologians teach that the character imprinted by baptism on the soul is ineffaceable; and in virtue of this character the baptised are Christ’s soldiers, and subject of right to those whom he appointed to rule in his fold. The unbaptised (Turks, Pagans, &c.), speaking generally, are not the subjects of canon law. Yet it must not be supposed that the Church has no rights and no duties in regard to such persons; by the commission of Christ she has the right of visiting, teaching, and then baptising them (“euntes docete omnes gentes, baptizando,” &c.). “Propounded”—for some of these rules belong to the natural or to the divine law, and as such are not originally imposed by the Church, but proposed and explained by her. “By ecclesiastical authority”—hence canon law is distinguished from systems of law imposed by the civil authority of States, as being prescribed by the power with which Jesus Christ endowed the Church which He founded (“qui vos audit, me audit; pasce oves meas,” &c.).

Before we proceed to give a brief sketch of the history of canon law, to notice its parts, ascertain its sources, and describe its principal collections, a preliminary objection, striking at the root of its authority, and almost at its existence, must be examined. It is, that the consent of the civil power in any country is necessary to give validity to the determinations of the canon law in that country. This is the doctrine of the “placitum regium,” or “royal assent;” it implies, whatever may be the form of the government, that State authorisation is necessary before it can become the duty of a Christian to obey the ecclesiastical authority. On this Cardinal Soglia writes as follows:—”If we inquire into the origin of the ‘placitum,’ we shall find it in the terrible and prolonged schism which lasted from the election of Urban VI. to the Council of Constance. For Urban, lest the schism should give occasion to an improper use of Papal authority, granted to certain prelates that there should be no execution of any apostolic letters in their cities and dioceses, unless such letters were first shown to and approved by those prelates, or their officials. The rulers of European States also began carefully to examine all bulls and constitutions, in order that their subjects might not be deceived by pseudo-pontiffs. But these measures, it is evident, were of a precautionary and temporary character. However, when the cause ceased, the effect did not also cease; on the extinction of the schism, the Placitum did not disappear, but was retained by the civil power in many countries, and gradually extended. At first, says Oliva, the Placitum was applied to Papal rescripts of grace and justice given to individuals; afterwards it was extended to decrees of discipline, and in the end even to dogmatic bulls.” The Cardinal explains in what sense the celebrated canonist Van Espen, who was prone unduly to magnify the civil power, understood the application of the Placitum to dogmatic rescripts, and proceeds:—”It is evident that this theory” (of possible danger or inconvenience to the State if Papal bulls were published without restraint) “arose out of the suggestions of statesmen and politicians, who, as Zallwein says, out of a wish to flatter and please the princes whom they serve, and to enlarge their own and their masters’ jurisdiction, as well as out of the hatred of the ecclesiastical power by which they are often animated, invent all kinds of dangers, harms, and losses, by which they pretend the public welfare is threatened, and artfully bring these views under the notice of their masters.… ‘If,’ proceeds the same Zallwein, ‘the ecclesiastical sovereigns whom Christ hath set to rule over the Church of God, were to urge their “placitum” also, whenever political edicts are issued, which, as often happens, are prejudicial to the ecclesiastical state, hostile to ecclesiastical liberties, opposed to the jurisdiction of the Pontiff and bishops, and aggressive against the very holy of holies, what would the civil rulers say?’ Following up the argument, Govart says, ‘If a prince could not be said to have full power and jurisdiction in temporals, were his edicts to depend on the “placitum” of the Pope and bishops, and could their publication be hindered by others; so neither would the Pope have full power in spirituals, if his constitutions depended on the “placitum” of princes, and could be suppressed by them. Wherefore if, in the former case, whoever should maintain the affirmative might justly be said to impugn the authority of the prince, so and a fortiori in the second case must the supporter of such an opinion be said to undermine with sinister intention the Papal authority, or rather to destroy it altogether.’ The sum of the argument is, that ‘by the “placitum regium” the liberty of the ecclesiastical ‘magisterium’ and government divinely entrusted to the Church is seriously impaired, the independence of the divinely appointed primacy destroyed, and the mutual intercourse between the head and the members intercepted. Therefore, if the Church, to guard against still greater evils, endures and puts up with the “placitum,” she never consents to or approves of it.’ “

From the point of view of the interest of the laity, and the Christian people generally, it is obvious that the lovers of true liberty must disapprove of the “placitum.” It is impossible that the Church, or the Roman Pontiff as the mouth-piece of the Church, should issue any decree or have any interest inimical to the welfare of the general Christian population in any State. Any obstacles, therefore, which governments may interpose to the free publication and execution of ecclesiastical rescripts cannot arise from solicitude for the public welfare. Whence, then, do they arise, or have they arisen? Evidently from the arbitrary temper of kings, the jealousies of nobles, and the desire of bureaucrats to extend their power. These two latter classes, at least all but the noblest individuals among them, are usually predisposed to hamper the action of the Church and the clergy, lest their own social influence should be diminished relatively to that of the latter. This is no interest which deserves to engage popular sympathies, but rather the Contrary.

Historical.—Jurisdiction is implied in the terms of the commission of binding and loosing which Christ gave to the Apostles, and especially to Peter. While Christians were few and apostles and others who had “seen the Lord” were still alive, the apostolic authority could be exercised with little help from written documents or rigid rules. As these early conditions passed away, the necessity of a system of law, in order to ensure uniformity, equity, and perspicuity in the exercise of the Church’s jurisdiction, could not but become increasingly manifest. After the Apostles had passed away, having devolved upon the bishops all of their authority which was not limited to them in their apostolic character, each bishop became a centre of jurisdiction. In deciding any cases that might be brought before him, he had three things to guide him—Scripture, tradition, and the “holy canons,”—that is, the disciplinary rules which Church synods, beginning with the Council of Jerusalem, had established. Many of these primitive canons are still preserved for us in the collection known as the Apostolical Canons [see that article], although, taken as a whole, they are of no authority. Till Christianity conquered the imperial throne, questions of jurisdiction and law did not come into prominence; after Constantine the case was very different. The Council of Nice, besides its dogmatic utterances, framed a quantity of canons for the regulation of Church discipline, which, along with those of Sardica, were soon translated into Latin, and widely circulated in the West. An important step towards codification and uniformity of procedure was taken at the end of the fifth or early in the sixth century, when Dionysius Exiguus, under the direction of Popes Anastasius and Symmachus, made a large compilation of canons for the use of the Latin Church. In this he included fifty of the Apostolic canons, translated from the Greek, considering the rest to be of doubtful authority; the canons of Chalcedon, with those of which that council had made use; the canons of Sardica, and a large number promulgated by African councils; lastly, the decretal letters of the Popes from Siricins to Anastasius II. The next collection is that supposed to have been made by St. Isidore of Seville, early in the seventh century. About A.D. 850, a collection of canons and decretals appeared, seemingly at Mayence, which were ostensibly the compilation of Isidore of Seville. In an age of great ignorance, when criticism was neither in favour nor provided with means, it is not wonderful that this collection, which invested with the spurious authority of recorded decisions a system of things existing traditionally, indeed, but liable to constant opposition, passed speedily into general recognition and acceptance. Six centuries passed before it was discovered that these pseudo-Isidorian or False Decretals, as they are now called, were to a great extent a forgery. [FALSE DECRETALS.] Nevertheless, as Cardinal Soglia remarks, the collection contains in it nothing contrary to faith or sound morals; otherwise its long reception would have been impossible; nor does the discipline which it enjoins depend for its authority upon this collection, but either upon constitutions of earlier and later date, or upon custom, “quæ in rebus disciplinaribus multum valet.”

Many collections of canons were made and used in national churches between the date of Dionysius Exiguus and that of the author of the “Decretum.” In Africa there was the Codex Africanus (547) and the “Concordantia Canonum” of Bishop Cresconius (697); in Spain the chapters of Martin, bishop of Braga (572), besides the work by Isidore of Seville already mentioned; in France, a Codex Canonum, besides the capitularies of the Merovingian and Carlovingian kings. [CAPITULARY.] Passing over these, we come to the celebrated compilation by Gratian, a Benedictine monk (1151), which the compiler, whose main purpose was to reconcile the inconsistencies among canons of different age and authorship bearing on the same subject, entitled “Concordantia discordantium Canonum,” but which is generally known as the “Decretum of Gratian.” Having brought our historical sketch to the point where ecclesiastical law, no longer perplexed by the multiplicity of canons of various date and place and more or less limited application, begins to provide herself with a general code—a “corpus juris”—applicable to the whole Catholic world, we drop the historical method and turn to the remaining heads of the inquiry.

Canon law consists of precepts of different kinds. Hence it is divided into four parts—precepts of the natural law, positive divine precepts, directions left by the Apostles, and ecclesiastical constitutions. Upon each of these Cardinal Soglia discourses solidly and lucidly in the second chapter of his Prolegomena.

With regard to the sources whence these precepts flow, they might, strictly speaking, be reduced to three—God, who impresses the natural law upon the conscience, and reveals the truths which men are to believe; the Apostles; and the Supreme Pontiffs, either alone or in conjunction with the bishops in general councils. Canonists, however, find it more convenient to define the sources of canon law in the following manner: 1. Holy Scripture; 2. Ecclesiastical tradition; 3. The decrees of councils; 4. Papal constitutions and rescripts; 5. The writings of the Fathers; 6. The civil law. On this last head Soglia remarks that “many things relating to the external polity of the Church have been borrowed from the imperial enactments of Rome, and incorporated in the canon law.”

The Collections of canon law, considering it as a system in present force and obligation, commence with the “Decretum of Gratian” already mentioned. This great work is divided into three parts. The first part, in 101 “Distinctions,” treats of ecclesiastical law, its origin, principles, and authority, and then of the different ranks and duties of the clergy. The second part, in thirty-six “Causes,” treats of ecclesiastical courts, and their forms of procedure. The third part, usually called “De Consecratione,” treats of things and rites employed in the service of religion. From its first appearance the Decretum obtained a wide popularity, but it was soon discovered that it contained numerous errors, which were corrected under the directions of successive Popes down to Gregory XIII. Nor, although every subsequent generation has resorted to its pages, is the Decretum an authority to this day—that is, whatever canons or maxims of law are found in it possess only that degree of legality which they would possess if they existed separately; their being in the Decretum gives them no binding force. In the century after Gratian several supplementary collections of Decretals appeared. These, with many of his own, were collected by the orders of Gregory IX., who employed in the work the extraordinary learning and acumen of St. Raymond of Pennafort, into five books, known as the Decretals of Gregory IX. These are in the fullest sense authoritative, having been deliberately ratified and published by that Pope (1234). The Sext, or sixth book of the Decretals, was added by Boniface VIII. (1298). The Clementines are named after Clement V., who compiled them out of the canons of the Council of Vienne (1316) and some of his own constitutions. The Extravagantes of John XXII., who succeeded Clement V., and the Extravagantes Communes, containing the Decretals of twenty-five Popes ending with Sixtus IV. (1484), complete the list. Of these five collections—namely, the Decretals, the Sext, the Clementines, the Extravagants of John XXII., and the Extravagants Common—the “Corpus Juris Ecclesiastici” is made up.

To these a very important addition has to be made in “Jus novissimum”—modern law. Under this head are comprised the canons of general councils since that of Vienne, contained in great compilations such as those of Labbe and Harduin, and the Decretal Letters of Popes, published in the form of Bullaria, and coming down (in the case of the great Turin Bullarium of 1857) to the pontificate of Pius IX. The decisions of Roman congregations and of the tribunal of the Rota [ROTA] also form part of this modern law. The rules of the Roman Chancery, first formulated by John XXII. and now numbering seventy-two, are everywhere of authority, provided that they do not conflict with a contrary law, a clause in a Concordat, or a legitimate custom. Lastly, the Concordats, or treaties entered into by the Holy See with various countries for the regulation of ecclesiastical affairs constitute special systems of law for those countries. [CONCORDAT.]

In England, as in other European countries, the canon and civil law were studied together before the Reformation, and formed a code, applicable not only to spiritual suits but to the large class of mixed cases, which was enforced in the Church courts. Provincial constitutions were passed from time to time by different archbishops of Canterbury, but from their increasing number and the want of a methodical arrangement, many of them were gradually forgotten or neglected. A great service, therefore, was rendered to the English Church of his day by William Lyndewode, chaplain to Archbishop Chicheley and official of the Court of Arches, who collected and arranged (about 1425), under the title of “Provinciale,” the constitutions of fourteen archbishops of Canterbury, from Stephen Langton to Chicheley, classifying them according to their subjects in five books, in imitation of the Decretals of Gregory IX. To this collection the constitutions of the legates Otho (1237) and Othobon (1262) were subsequently appended. These English constitutions, and canon law generally (except so far as modified by the statutes and canons which consummated the Anglican schism, and raised the reigning sovereign—being an Anglican Protestant, 1702—to the headship of the national church), are still recognised as authoritative in Anglican ecclesiastical courts.

CANON OF THE MASS. That part of the Mass which begins after the “Sanctus” with the prayer “Te igitur,” and ends, according to some, just before the “Pater noster,” according to others, with the consumption of the sacred species. The name Canon is given to this part of the Mass because it contains the fixed rule according to which the Sacrifice of the New Testament is to be offered. Other names are given to it by early writers. Thus St. Gregory calls it “the prayer;” Vigilius, “the text of the canonical prayer;” Walafrid and others, “the action,” the last of these names being still used in the Missal, as well as the word Canon. The Canon consists, according to the Council of Trent, “of our Lord’s very words, and of prayers received from apostolical tradition or piously ordained by holy Pontiffs.” That the Canon of the Roman Mass comes in its substance from very ancient times is clearly shown, (1) by the fact that Pope Vigilius, in the sixth century, attributes it to the tradition of the Apostles; (2) because the words of consecration, with those which immediately precede them, do not exactly correspond to the Scriptural narrative, and seem to represent an independent apostolical tradition; (3) because the list of saints mentioned consists merely of Apostles and martyrs, a mark that the Canon is earlier than the fourth century, coming from an age before the cultus of confessors had been introduced in addition to the earlier cultus of martyrs.

The words “a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim,” were added by St. Leo the Great. Pope St. Gregory the Great added the words “and dispose our days in thy peace, and bid us be saved from eternal damnation, and to be numbered in the flock of thy elect.” Since Gregory’s time no change has been made in the Canon. (Benedict XIV. “De Miss.” 11, 12.)

CANON OF THE SCRIPTURE. The word canon (κανών) signifies a rod, and then specially a measuring-rule. It was used by a natural metaphor for a rule in ethics, art, &c., and by the Alexandrian writers it was applied to the standard or classical authors who furnished the model or rule of correct writing. In Gal. 6:16, 2 Cor. 10:13–16, the word bears the general sense (1) of a rule by which Christians should walk; (2) of a measure of attainments assigned or permitted to an individual.

As applied to Scripture, the original sense of the word is hard to determine. We first find the derivatives of Canon used with regard to the Bible. Thus Origen speaks of “canonical scriptures,” “canonised books.’ The actual word canon, according to Credner, first occurs after the middle of the fourth century. It may, as Credner thinks, have been given to the list of Scriptural books because they were a rule for the faith, or, again, as Dr. Westcott argues with great show of reason, it may mean that these books were “admitted by the rule” of the Church. In other words, the canon of Scripture may have an active or a passive sense.

The object of this article is to sketch the history of the canon or list of sacred books, among Jews and Christians, and then to explain Catholic as contrasted with heretical principles on this matter.

I. The Canon of the Old Testament.—For the sake of clearness we begin with the list of Old Testament books as given by the Council of Trent, “lest any doubt might arise concerning those that are approved of” as inspired Scripture. They are the following:—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Josue, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings (the first two being also known as 1 and 2 Samuel), 1 and 2 Paralipomenon (or Chronicles), 1 and 2 Esdras (the second being otherwise called Nehemias), Tobias, Judith, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Jeremias with Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, the twelve minor prophets, 1 and 2 Machabees. The books marked in italics are generally known among Catholic critics as deutero-canonical, not because their authority is at all inferior to that of the other Scriptures, but because their place in the canon was established after that of the other books. We shall call them henceforth, then, by this name. Their inspiration is denied by the Protestant churches, and the charge of having added apocryphal books to the Bible is often brought against the Church. Hence special attention must be paid to the history of their reception among Jews and Christians. We may now proceed to consider the history of the canon of the Old Testament.

(α) Among the Jews.

This part of the subject is wrapped in great obscurity. At present, indeed, the Jews accept only such books as actually exist in Hebrew and Chaldee, and are bound up in the modern Hebrew Bibles, to the exclusion of all the deutero-canonical books. It has often been asserted that this canon, as at present recognised by them, was fixed probably by Esdras, and in any case long before our Lord’s time; that it was recognised by Him and by his apostles, so that Catholics in maintaining the authority of the deutero-canonical books are guilty of innovation. We shall see that each one of these statements is contrary to fact.

The Jewish collection seems to have begun with the five books of Moses. They were placed “in the side of the ark of the covenant.” A collection of Solomon’s proverbs copied out by the men of Ezechias is mentioned in Proverbs 25:1. Daniel 9:1. mentions “the books” (not “books” as in the Douay translation) in which he observed the seventy years of (desolation prophesied by Jeremias. Daniel may refer here to some collection of prophetic writings already made; and Zacharias, 7:12, puts the “former prophets” in juxtaposition with the law. With regard to the popular opinion that Esdras collected the sacred books and closed the Jewish canon, it is to be observed that this supposed fact rests upon the authority of a chapter in the Mishna (viz. Pirke Avoth), and that the tradition is admitted by all modern scholars to contain fabulous details. It may contain this element of truth, that Esdras did collect the Scriptural books written up to his day, but as to closing the scriptural canon, nothing like historical proof can be adduced for it, and it is itself utterly improbable. “We do not even know,” writes a learned Protestant, “whether Esdras died before or after the last prophet. But how could he close the canon unless he knew for certain that the spirit of prophecy was extinct? Even if Malachias did die before Esdras, how did Esdras know that the Lord would never raise up another ἀνὴρ θεόπνευστος to his people?” In 2 Mach. 2:13, Nehemias is recorded to have founded a library “and gathered into it the [writings] about the kings and prophets and the [writings] of David and letters of kings concerning offerings.” The passage is most obscure, and in any case says nothing about the completion of the canon. In the later times, however, of the Jewish commonwealth, a distinct step in advance seems to have been made. We find the sacred books regarded as a whole with certain recognised divisions. In the prologue to the book of Ecclesiasticus mention is made of “the law, the prophets, and the rest of the books;” and a similar division into the law, prophets and psalms, appears in Luke 24:44.

A little later, we meet with what may fairly be taken as proof for the existence of a Hebrew canon. Josephus enumerates twenty-two books of the Hebrew canon: viz. five books of the law, thirteen books of the prophets, and four which contain hymns and moral precepts. We cannot be quite certain what the books are to which Josephus refers, but undoubtedly the list which he received is almost, and probably it is quite, the same as that contained in our present Hebrew Bibles and accepted by Protestants. Reusch suggests the following as the list of books intended:—five books of Moses, thirteen books of the prophets [viz.: (1) Josue, (2) Judges and Ruth, (3) Samuel, (4) Kings, (5) Chronicles, (6) Esdras and Nehemias, (7) Esther, (8) Job, (9) Isaias, (10) Jeremias with Lamentations, (11) Ezechiel, (12) Daniel, (13) the minor prophets], and, lastly, Psalms, Proverbs, Canticles, and Ecclesiastes. Melito (c. 179)) made inquiries about the books received in the Hebrew canon, and his list corresponds to that conjecturally attributed to Josephus, except that he omits Esther. In the next century, Origen, in enumerating the twenty-two books which the Hebrews hand down, mentions not only the Lamentations, but also the letter of the prophet under the one head Jeremias.

So far Jewish tradition seems to agree, at least very nearly, with the Protestant canon of the Old Testament; but it only seems. Up to this point we have given no more than the tradition of the Palestinian Jews. The Alexandrian Jews—or, as it would perhaps be more correct to say, the Hellenistic Jews—possessed Greek copies of the Scriptures known as the LXX, and these copies contained all the books of the Old Testament which Catholics acknowledge. Obviously it cannot have been without strong reason that such a book as that of Wisdom or Ecclesiasticus was put in the same volume with Job or Proverbs. Among the Jews of Alexandria, as Dr. Westcott, one of the highest Protestant authorities on the subject admits, translations were made of later books (1 Machab. Ecclus. Baruch, &c.), and new ones were written (Wisdom and 2 Mach.), and these “were reckoned in the sum of their religious literature and probably placed on an equal footing with the Hagiographa (i.e. Psalms, Proverbs, Job, &c.) in common esteem.” Nor is this all. As many Jews went beyond the Palestinian and Babylonish canon, so some great and orthodox Jewish teachers fell short of it. During the first century A.D. the canonicity of Canticles and Ecclesiastes was still disputed in the Jewish schools. The school of Schammai denied the canonicity of the latter, and in a Jewish council about the year 90 A.D. discussed freely the canonicity of each of these books, and finally decided it in the affirmative. If the Jews did at last decidedly reject the books which they did not find in their Hebrew Bible, but which were contained in the LXX, this may reasonably be attributed to the growing aversion which they felt to Greek literature in general and to the LXX in particular. In any case, the Christian Church never received the canon of Scripture from the Jews, because till long after the Jews had rejected Christ they had no fixed canon. Nor can any Protestant consistently accept the canon of the Old Testament on Jewish authority, unless he attributes infallibility to the bitterest enemies of the Christian name. The Palestinian canon, so far as it can be said to have existed in the time of Christ and his Apostles, did not receive any distinct approval from them. No doubt the deutero-canonical books (Wisdom, Machabees, &c.), are not expressly quoted as Scripture in the New Testament, though the New Testament does contain a good many allusions to them; but precisely the same may be said of several Old Testament books accepted by Protestants—e.g. of Judges, Ecclesiastes, Canticles. Moreover, out of, say, 350 quotations of the Old Testament in the New, about 300 are from the LXX, which contain the deutero-canonical books; so that Augustine speaks of the LXX as “approved by the Apostles.”

(β) In the Christian Church.

We have seen that when Christianity began to be, a definite canon of the Old Testament was not yet established among the Jews, and further that the New Testament does not furnish any list of Old Testament books received by Christ and his Apostles. It can, however, be proved from tradition, that the full list of Old Testament books (including Wisdom, Machabees, &c.) was authorised by the Apostles. The testimony of the Christian writers during the first three centuries is unanimous on this point. We can trace the reception of these books from the very time of the Apostles. Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and others quote them, and many early writers quote them as Scripture. To this unanimity among the Christians of the first three centuries there is one exception and only one. Julius Africanus, in a letter to Origen, refused to accept the history of Susanna as canonical. But this exception proves how strong was the tradition of the Church; for Julius Africanus objects to the history of Susanna merely on critical grounds, and Origen expressly receives it (although well aware that it was not to be found in the Hebrew text of Daniel) because it was held as canonical in the churches—”quia in ecclesiis tenetur.” Nothing, then, can be more complete than the Ante-Nicene tradition for the Catholic canon of the Old Testament. For the deutero-canonical books, we have the witness of Father after Father; we find them placed in every MS. of the LXX, translated in the old Latin version, and quoted in controversy against heretics.

Still, among the Fathers of the fourth century there was serious doubt concerning the authority of the deutero-canonical books. Jerome and Rufinus follow the canon of the Hebrew Bible, and declare that the deutero-canonical books are not “canonical,” but “ecclesiastical”—i.e. they were read in church, but did not possess full, dogmatic authority. St. Athanasius excludes Esther from the canon and all the deutero-canonical books except Baruch and the letter of Jeremias. With him agrees St. Cyril of Jerusalem, except that he does not exclude Esther. Gregory Nazianzen and Amphilochius exclude all the deutero-canonical books and also Esther, though the latter speaks doubtfully about Esther. On the other hand, St. Augustine gives a list of the canonical books which is precisely the same as that now accepted in the Church. A multitude of Fathers—Basil, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Leo, &c.—quote the deutero-canonical books just as they quote the other books of the Old Testament. Nay, so strong was the feeling within the Church in favour of the extended canon, that even Fathers who in theory rejected the deutero-canonical books, in practice quote them as Scripture. Thus the witness of the Church in the fourth century, though less strong than that of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, is still strong in favour of the deutero-canonical books. The Church as a whole received them, though individual Fathers of great name rejected them.

It was probably this divergence of opinion which had arisen which led to conciliar decisions; and here, too, we see the greater weight of authority and tradition enlisted on the side of the deutero-canonical books. There is no reason to believe that the Council of Nicæa made any list of canonical books, though St. Jerome says he had read that council “reckoned Judith” as part of Scripture. A little later, however, the Council of Laodicea (between 343 and 381) canon 60, rejected all the deutero-canonical books except Baruch. But in 393 all these books were accepted by the Council of Hippo, and again approved as canonical in a letter of Pope Innocent to Fxsuperius of Toulouse. From this time the reception of the deutero-canonical books became more and more established, though as yet there was no binding decision of the Church upon the point. Even late in the middle ages, the authority of Jerome, whose “Prologus Galeatus” was widely known, made even orthodox teachers speak doubtfully about the canonicity of Judith, &c. In 1442 the matter came before the General Council of Florence, which represented the East as well as the West, and in the decree of union for the Jacobites the full list of Old Testament books was approved. Finally, the Council of Trent (Sess. iv. Decret. de Canon. Scriptur.) gives the list of Old Testament books with which we began, defining under anathema that all of them, with all their parts, as contained in the Vulgate translation, were “sacred and canonical.”

A few words may now be added on the canon of the Old Testament outside the Church. The schismatical Greeks appear to have followed faithfully their ancient traditions and the teaching of Florence. The schismatical Council of Jerusalem, which met in 1672, gives a list of sacred books which agrees with that of Trent, and accepts the deutero-canonical books on the authority of tradition and the Church. With Protestants it has been otherwise. All Protestant sects, so far as we know, reject the canonical authority of the deutero-canonical books. Some, however, are more peremptory in their rejection than others. Lutherans and Anglicans treat these books with a certain special reverence, and as a matter of fact they have been retained in almost all Protestant translations of the Bible. On the other hand, the Scotch Presbyterians in their Confession of Faith place the deutero-canonical books on a level with any other human writings, and since 1825 there have been in Germany and elsewhere fierce discussions, whether or no the “Apocrypha” should still be bound up with the Bible (or as a Catholic would say, with the rest of the Bible). The question, however, is no longer so important to Protestants as it used to be. The denial of all supernatural inspiration has become common among their theologians, so that for this large and influential section of Protestants, discussion about the list of inspired books is altogether idle or can have at most only an historical value.

11. Canon of the New Testament.—Like the Old, the New Testament contains a certain number of deutero-canonical books, though the fact for long received comparatively very little attention in modern times, because the Protestant confessional standards, while they reject the deutero-canonical books of the Old Testament, inconsistently enough accept those of the new. The Council of Trent gives the following list of New Testament books (those which are deutero-canonical are printed in italics):—four Gospels, the Acts, the Epistles of St. Paul (viz. to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colossians, two to Timothy, to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews), first and second Epistle of St. Peter, first, second, and third Epistle of St. John, the Epistle of St. James, the Epistle of St. Jude, the Apocalypse of St. John.

With regard to all these books, except such as are deutero-canonical, there is no reason to believe that their authority was ever doubted in the Church, although the distinct reference to New Testament Scriptures becomes much marked and frequent in Christian writers only after the immediate disciples of the Apostles had passed away and the need of written records became more urgent. Still, from very early times we obtain testimonies to the existence of Scriptures besides those which the Christian inherited from the Jewish Church. Thus St. Peter classes St. Paul’s letters with “the rest of the Scriptures,” and the epistle which is ascribed to St. Barnabas, and which belongs to a very early period, makes a quotation from St. Matthew, with the formula “it is written.” About the middle of the second century Justin Martyr tells us that “Memoirs” written “by the Apostles and by those who followed them” were read in the religious assemblies of the Christians. The description which Justin gives of his “Memoirs” answers exactly to our four Gospels, and he mentions the Apocalypse by name. Shortly after Justin’s time (about 180), the famous Muratorian Canon offers the earliest formal list of New Testament books. This precious relic exists only in a mutilated form and in a text which is often so corrupt that it is difficult to divine its meaning. According to Dr. Westcott, the Muratorian Canon contained all the New Testament books at present received, except “the Epistle of James, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and 2 Peter, while it notices the partial reception of the [spurious] Apocalypse of Peter,” and his words express the general opinion of scholars except that many with very strong reasons add 1 Peter also to the list of omitted books. The Peshito or Syriac translation which, belongs to the third century, omits Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and the Apocalypse. Eusebius sums up the opinions which prevailed in the Ante-Nicene age as follows: he divides the books of the New Testament into such as are “acknowledged” (ὀμολογούμενα), viz. the four Gospels, Acts, &c., and those which were “disputed” (ἀντιλεγόμενα) embracing the deutero-canonical books. He himself was evidently accustomed to see the Epistle to the Hebrews treated as canonical, but, he says, “Some have denied its authority, asserting that it is disputed by the Roman Church as not being the Apostle’s work.” Finally it is clear from Eusebius that there were certain uninspired and unapostolic books which he himself pronounces spurious, but which were not yet clearly separated from those in the canon.

From the middle of the fourth century the canon of the New Testament gradually became more settled. True, the Syrian church still clung to the canon of the Peshito, but in the Church at large the whole of the New Testament was received. Two books, however, were still regarded with partial suspicion. In the East, the Council of Laodicea, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzen, definitely exclude or pass over in silence the Apocalypse of St. John; Amphilochius and Epiphanius mention the doubts entertained with regard to it. In the West, although the Council of Carthage in 397 and Pope Innocent ratified the full list of New Testament books, still even to a late period doubts existed in some parts of the Church as to the Epistle to the Hebrews. Even St. Isidore of Seville, writing early in the seventh century, says that most Latins were uncertain whether it was St. Paul’s, “because of the discrepancy in the style.”

All doubts as to the canonical books of the New Testament were finally set at rest for Catholics by the Councils of Florence and Trent. Protestants, on the contrary, on their revolt from the Church, were utterly unable to find any rational principle on which they could determine the list of New Testament books. Luther accepted or rejected New Testament books, according as he found or did not find the “Gospel” in them. He called the Epistle of St. James “a letter of straw,” which “attributes righteousness to works, dead against St. Paul.” It was reason enough, he said, for him not to think highly of the Apocalypse “that Christ therein is neither taught nor acknowledged, although this above all was an Apostle’s business”! He partly liked the Epistle to the Hebrews, because it enforced belief in the priesthood of Christ; partly disliked it, because of the doctrine contained in cap. 6 and 10. This breach with tradition on the Scriptures of the New Testament as well as on the doctrine was healed for a time among Protestants, and for a long time the entire canon of the New Testament was generally accepted amongst them, although the Westminster Confession of 1648 contains the only list of New Testament writings drawn up by any of the older Protestant authorities. Of modern Protestant critics little need be said. The remarks made above on their treatment of the Old fully apply to their treatment of the New Testament. This method is widely different from that of Luther, but it is not without reason that they claim to inherit his spirit.

III. The Principles on which the Canon of Scripture rests.—Catholics, believing in the infallible authority of the Church, have full security that the books of the Catholic Bible are all true and inspired Scripture. Before the Scripture was written, or, again, the canon of Scripture was fixed, the faithful were guided by the infallible teaching of their pastors, and from this same teaching they receive with perfect confidence the written word of God in all its books and in all its parts. There are two other principles put forward as sufficient to determine the canon of Scripture—both of them, as may be briefly shewn, utterly inadequate.

According to a theory once popular among Protestants, Scripture attests itself by a “self-evidencing light.” In other words, a pious person who peruses the Bible knows by the effect produced upon his conscience and feeling that the book he reads is the inspired word of God. This theory is abundantly refuted by the most obvious facts of history. The Fathers of the Church were not at one as to the canon, yet in charity we may believe that they read the books of the New Testament with pious feelings. Nay, the Reformers who are said to have restored “the gospel” were not at one with regard to the books which make up the New Testament. Besides, from the nature of the case, the moral good which we get or think we can get from a book cannot possibly assure us that it was all written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and contains nothing but the truth of God. Indeed, the bare statement of this theory suffices for its refutation.

Another theory, which we may call the literary, bases the authority of the Scriptural books and their title to a place in the canon, on a critical investigation of the internal and external evidence which can be produced in their behalf. This method is pursued by almost every learned Protestant at the present day—by extreme sceptics like Hilgenfeld and Keim, who examine tradition to undermine the authenticity of Scripture; and by sober and patient investigators like Dr. Westcott who is a devout believer in the authority of Scripture. But to base the canon on critical investigations, however accurate and thorough, involves a misconception of the object for which Scripture was given. Scripture is given to the whole Church: it is meant for the guidance of all the faithful, and all, either directly, by reading it themselves, or indirectly, by hearing portions of it read or expounded by their pastors, have the right to benefit by its salutary lessons. Indeed, the argument tells yet more strongly against Protestants. If, as they hold, Scripture is the sole rule of faith, and if learning and critical training are needed to ascertain what the Scripture is, then one of Two consequences necessarily follows. All, except an infinitesimal fraction of mankind must give up the attempt to secure a right rule of faith altogether, or else, instead of the infallibility of the Church, they must accept the infallibility of some particular school among learned men.

Protestants when they appeal to Scripture against the Church, forget that it is only from this very Church, and on her authority, that Scripture is received; and we may conclude with the words of a Protestant scholar who has done more than any other to illustrate the history of the canon. Protestants, he says, have built a new Church on the foundation of Scripture, first without understanding, then without the will to understand, that Scripture itself rests on nothing but tradition.

CANON PENITENTIARY. The Council of Trent ordered that in every cathedral church, if possible, a penitentiary, with a claim to hold the next vacant prebend, should be appointed by the bishop; he was to be forty years of age, and either a master of arts, or doctor, or a licentiate in theology or canon law.


CANON THEOLOGIAN. The Council of Trent directed that in all churches where a prebeudal provision was already made for lectures on Theology and Holy Scripture, the bishops should see that the foundation was not defeated of its purpose; and also that for the future, in all cathedral churches, or even collegiate churches, existing in large towns, and having a numerous body of clergy, a Canon Theologian with the above-mentioned duties should be appointed, and competently provided for out of the chapter funds.


CANONESS. Chapters of Canonesses are mentioned in the capitularies of Louis le Debonnaire, which allow them to possess property, both common and private, and only require that they should take the vows of chastity and obedience. In the following centuries these chapters, especially in France and Germany, became very numerous. They were distinguished from nunneries by the permission to the members to hold private property. The duties of the Canonesses were, to teach young girls, work at church embroidery, copy and illuminate service-books, &c. The right of holding property naturally introduced much laxity, and introduced into the order of Canonesses a class of wealthy and titled ladies, who were indisposed to submit to any severity of discipline. Hence a crisis arrived in the history of these chapters, similar to that which we have described with reference to Canons; and Regular Canonesses, bound by the vow of poverty and observing a strict rule of life, existed side by side with Secular Canonesses, to whom the chapter was little more than an agreeable retreat, enabling ladies who did not wish to marry, or had outlived their charms, to live in the society of persons of their own rank, much as they would have done in the world. At the Reformation, such being the character of these chapters, it caused no surprise that the members of several of them—ladies of princely or noble rank—followed the example of their male relatives and repudiated the Catholic faith. Some of these still exist: at Gandersheim, Herford, &c. Wilhelmina, sister of Frederick the Great, the “Abbess of Quedlinburg,” was the head of one of these Protestant chapters. If any of the Canonesses wish to marry, she must resign her canonry.

CANONISATION. As now understood and practised, Canonisation is the final process in the recognition and estimation of the virtues of a servant of God, preparatory to his (or her) being “elevated to the altars,” and commended to the perpetual veneration and invocation of Christians throughout the Catholic Church. In the article on “Beatification” all the previous steps in the process were described—those steps which have the result of declaring their object to be “blessed,” and entitled as such to a limited cultus, either in a particular country, or in a particular order, &c. Before proceeding to canonisation, it must be proved that at least two miracles have been wrought through the intercession of the “Blessed” person since the beatification. This proof is attended with the same formalities, and surrounded by the same rigorous conditions, as in the case of the miracles proved before beatification. After it has been established, the three congregations (of which the last is public and in the presence of the Pope), which were requisite before beatification, are again convened; and upon the direction of the Pope, after the last congregation, the promoter of the faith and the secretary of the Congregation of Rites agree to a form of decree, declaring that no doubt exists relative to the miracles in question, and that there is no reason why the canonisation should not be proceeded with. This then takes place, usually in St. Peter’s. After various ceremonies, the postulator of the cause (who is usually a person of high rank or distinction in the country or order to which the saint belonged) asks twice that the name of the servant of God whose cause he pleads may be enrolled in the catalogue of the Saints; the Pope replies each time that it is best to explore the will of God still further by prayer; litanies and the “Veni Creator” are chanted; at the third request the Pope declares and ordains, “in honour of the Holy Trinity, for the glory of the Catholic faith and the progress of the Christian religion, in virtue of the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of his own plenary and proper authority,” that the servant of God in question shall be inscribed on the register of the Saints (“Canon Sanctorum”), and that his (or her) memory shall be celebrated on a given day, in every part of the Church. A solemn Mass, in which the Pope himself, unless disqualified by illness or old age, officiates, is then celebrated, in honour of the new Saint.

The actual procedure will be more clearly understood if we describe and partly translate some Papal Bull of Canonisation; and, for this purpose, we will take the Bull of Alexander VII. concerning St. Francis de Sales, dated April 19, 1665. After a brief sketch of his life, a specification of seven miracles proved to the satisfaction of the Congregation of Rites, a reference to his beatification in 1661, and a mention of the princes and others (including Henrietta Maria, Queen of England) by whom the cause had been zealously promoted, the bull proceeds:—

“At length, deeming it to be just and due that we should give glory, praise, and honour on earth to those whom God honours in heaven, we, with the cardinals of the holy Roman Church, the patriarchs, archbishops and bishops, our beloved sons the prelates of the Roman curia, our officials and suite, the secular and regular clergy, and an immense multitude of people, have this day met together in the holy Vatican basilica; and after three petitions for the decree of canonisation, presented to us on the part of the Most Christian King by our beloved son, the illustrious Charles, Duke of Crequy, ambassador from the said king; after sacred hymns, litanies, and other prayers, duly imploring the grace of the Holy Spirit:—

“In honour of the most holy and undivided Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian religion, by the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and ourselves, after mature deliberation, and having many times implored the divine aid, by the counsel of our venerable brothers, the cardinals of the holy Roman Church, and of the patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops met together in the city, we have decided and defined the Blessed Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, to be a Saint, and have inscribed him on the catalogue of the Saints, as, by the tenor of these presents, we do decide, define, and inscribe him; appointing that his memory shall be cherished and honoured with pious devotion by the universal Church, as a holy confessor and bishop, on the 29th day of January in each year. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” A grant of indulgences on the usual conditions to those who shall visit the Saint’s tomb on his festival, follows; a plenary indulgence to all present at the canonisation is announced; and then the bull proceeds:—”We therefore bless God, who is wonderful in his saints, because we have received mercy in the midst of his temple, in that He hath granted to us in the Church a new patron and intercessor with his divine majesty, for the greater tranquillity of the same Church, the spread of the Catholic faith, and the enlightenment and conversion of heretics and all who wander from the path of salvation.” After clauses relating to the publication of the bull, and forbidding any infraction of it, the instrument ends with the date, and the signatures of the Pope and thirty-eight cardinals.

CANTATE SUNDAY. A name given to the fourth Sunday after Easter, from the introit of the Mass, which begins with the words “Sing to the Lord a new song.” The name “Cantate Sunday” often appears during the middle ages as well known, and was used to mark the date, even in ordinary life. The name is probably as old as the twelfth century.


CANTOR, also called “episcopus chori,” “chori regens,” was the official in a cathedral or collegiate church who instructed the choristers and younger clerics in music, and directed the singing of the office, &c. In many foundations, the office of cantor was raised to a dignity, in the canonical sense, and had a prebend of considerable value attached to it. A cantor thus provided for often appointed sub-cantors (succentores), who were selected from the choral-vicars, and entrusted with the teaching of the ecclesiastical chant, while the cantor himself exercised control over the choral-vicars and superintended the performance of the divine offices.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. It is certain from Scripture that the magistrate may lawfully put malefactors to death. Capital punishment was enacted for certain grievous crimes in the old law, and the Christian dispensation made no essential change in this respect, for St. Paul, in Rom. 13:4, expressly says that the magistrate “beareth not the sword in vain; for he is a minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” The unanimous opinion of theologians is in favour of the lawfulness of capital punishment; and if the Church has given no formal decision on the matter, this probably is only because the question has never till of late years assumed any great importance. Argentré however, in his “Collectio de Novis Erroribus,” i. 86, mentions an erroneous proposition of the Waldenses, denying the lawfulness of capital punishment. The theologians of that time, a number of whom are quoted by Argentré treated the proposition as heretical.

St. Thomas defends the lawfulness of capital punishment on the following principle. The State, he argues is like a body, composed of many members, and as a surgeon may cut off one corrupt limb to save the others, so the magistrate may lawfully put a malefactor to death and thus provide for the common good.

It is only the magistrate who can inflict the penalty of death, because as the justification of the penalty is the common good, it can be imposed by him alone to whom the care of the common good belongs—viz. by the magistrate.

A parent has the power to impose remedial chastisements, but not to kill. A private person may of course work for the common good, but if the good he would do involves the injury, above all if it involves the death, of another, he has no authority to decide that any member of the State is to be exterminated for the good of the whole.

As to outlaws, who may in certain cases be put to death by private persons, the sentence is really passed by the State, the individual who slays them being the mere executioner.

The magistrate derives this authority from God, and it is conveyed, not only by the positive law of God in Scripture, but also by the natural law written on the heart. The number of capital offences must be determined by the good of the community; so that laws are rightly more severe at one time or in one place than in another. The strange theory of Scot us that the positive law of God forbids homicide, and that therefore a magistrate can only put to death where God himself has dispensed him from the observance of the law—viz. for murder, adultery, blasphemy, &c. and the other cases provided for in the Pentateuch—is generally rejected. This opinion errs in taking for granted that the magistrate’s authority to slay is conveyed only through the positive law, and in assuming that the judicial precepts of the Jewish code are in force among Christians.

If a capital offence has been committed, the prince, even if certain of the prisoner’s guilt, must not condemn him without fair trial, although here an exception may be made if the guilt is notorious and great evils would ensue from delay of execution. Time must be allowed the prisoner to prepare for death and receive the sacraments, and this time must be given even if there is danger of his escaping. Finally, the canon law strictly forbids ecclesiastics, even if they hold temporal jurisdiction, to take any part in passing or executing sentence of death. (St. Thomas, 2 2ndæ, lxiv.; Billuart,” De Justit.” diss. x.; St. Liguori, “Theol. Moral.” lib. iv. tract. iv. cap. 1. dub. 2.)

CAPITAL SINS (in English called deadly sins), so named because they are the fountain-heads from which all other sins proceed. St. Thomas, following St. Gregory the Great, enumerates seven—viz. vainglory, envy, anger, avarice, sloth (which he calls tristitia, “sadness,” or distaste for labour in God’s service, but which is generally known as acedia), gluttony, lust. Other writers substitute pride for vainglory; others, again, like Cassian, count both pride and vainglory, and so make eight capital sins. St. Thomas divides them as follows. “Man,” he says, “is led to sin by seeking that which is good inordinately, or by an unreasonable aversion from that which is good, because of incidental evil which is joined, or thought to be joined, with it. Man seeks inordinately the goods of the soul (pride), or of the body (gluttony and lust), or, tastly, external goods (avarice). He has an unreasonable aversion to his own good, because of the labour needed to secure it (sloth), or to another’s good, because it seems to detract from his own (envy and anger).” (1 2ndæ, lxxxiv. 4.)

CAPITULARY. A set of capitula, or chapters, each of which was a special law, like the “chapters” in the annual volume of statutes passed by the British Parliament. The word has been extended to the ecclesiastical canons passed in provincial councils—e.g. to the chapters of Martin of Duma, passed at Braga in 572—but it is usually restricted to the legislation of the Frankish kings of the first and second dynasties.

These Capitularies have been published by Baluze, and more recently by Pertz; they have been carefully analysed by M. Guizot in his “Hist. de la Civilis. en France.”

I. The Capitularies of the Merovingian kings begin with Childebert (554). Compiled as they were so soon after the conversion of the Salian Franks to Christianity, it is needless to say that ecclesiastical influence is apparent in every part of them. Among the more prominent matters of which they treat, are the right of sanctuary, the observance of the Sunday, the right to grant lands to the Church, &c.

II. The Capitularies of Pepin le Bref, the father of Charlemagne, are five in number, but only one of them can be called in the fullest sense a work of legislation, as having been framed “in generali populi conventu.” They are much occupied with clerical discipline and the regulation of marriage.

III. The Capitularies of Charlemagne, sixty-five in number, contain 1,150 separate chapters. They range in date from 769 to 803. They are classified by M. Guizot, according to their subjects, into political (273), moral (87), penal (130), civil (110), religious (85), canonical (291), domestic (73), and miscellaneous or occasional (12). A large proportion of them can in no sense be called laws; so far from it that M. Guizot distinguishes them into documents of twelve different kinds. These twelve classes include new laws (properly so called), ancient laws revived, instructions to the missi Dominici, circulars to the bishops and counts conveying admonitions or inviting opinions, answers of the emperor to questions put to him, judicial decrees, memoranda, &c. &c. In fact, this unwieldy collection faithfully represents the imperial system itself, which was a sort of hodge-podge of paternal government, flexible administration, and rigid law; each of these three being so far pressed as the Emperor, under the circumstances of each case, judged to be expedient.

IV. The Capitularies of Louis le Debonnaire, twenty in number, were added to those of Charlemagne, and the whole collection, digested into seven books, published between 820 and 842, by Ansegisus, Abbot of Fontenelle, and Benedict of Mayence—the same to whom many writers ascribe the fabrication of the False Decretals. Charles the Bald added fifty-two, and the succeeding Carlovingian kings, down to Charles the Simple inclusive, some ten or eleven more. After Charles the Simple, the laws of France ceased to be called Capitularies.

CAPPA MAGNA. The barbarous word “cappa,” said to be derived from capere (quia capit totum hominem, “because it covers the whole person”), was originally used by ecclesiastical writers to denote the pluviale, or cope, as appears from Durandus and Honorius. The cappa magna is a long vestment, the hood of which is lined with silk or with fur, according to the season of the year at which it is to be worn. It is used by cardinals, bishops, and, in many churches, also by canons. It seems to have been at first the chair vestment of canons regular. (From Gavant. with Merati’s notes.)

CAPUCHINS. A reform of the Franciscan order instituted by Matteo di Bassi of Urbino, who, being an Observantine Franciscan at Monte Falco, and having convinced himself that the capuche or cowl worn by St. Francis was different in shape from that worn by the friars of his own time, adopted a long pointed cowl, according to what he conceived to be the original form. In 1526 he obtained the consent of Pope Clement VII. to the wearing of this habit by himself and his companions, with the further permission to live the life of hermits, and preach the gospel in every country, on condition that once in each year they should present themselves at the general chapter, wherever it might be held, of the Observantine friars. Matteo began hereupon to preach publicly in the March of Ancona; but the provincial of the Observantines, hearing of it, treated him as an apostate friar [APOSTACY] and threw him into prison. He was released through the interference of the Duchess of Camerino, the Pope’s niece; and he, with Two zealous followers, Louis and Raphael of Fossombrone, took refuge for a time with the Camaldules in their convent at Massaccio. They were also kindly treated by the Conventual branch of their order [FRANCISCANS, CONVENTUALS], and a bull was finally obtained from the Pope in 1528, authorising the union which Matteo and his companions had entered into with the Conventuals, sanctioning for them the hermit life, and allowing them to wear beards and to use the long-pointed capuche from which they have derived their name. After this the order grew with great rapidity, and it has produced down to the present time numbers of men eminent for every Christian virtue, great preachers, and accomplished scholars; yet, strange to say, the first projectors of the institute, unlike the great majority of founders of orders, did not persevere in the observance of its statutes. Matteo di Bassi, for whom independence of external control seems to have possessed an extraordinary attraction, finding that the Pope had forbidden Capuchins who did not remain in their monasteries and obey the vicar-general, to wear the pointed cowl, immediately cut off the half of his, and quitted the order. Louis of Fossombrone was expelled from it on account of the violence of his language, when, by the Papal confirmation of another friar as vicar-general in 1536, his ambitious desire to be continued in the office was frustrated.

The statutes of the order were drawn up in 1529. The government was placed in the hands of a vicar-general, for they were at first subject to the general of the Conventuals, and only obtained exemption from this obedience in 1617. Matins were to be said at midnight, and the other canonical hours at the times originally assigned to them; hours for mental prayer, for silence, and for taking the discipline, were prescribed. They were to have no revenues, but to live by begging; everything about their churches and convents was to be poor and mean; the very chalices were to be of pewter, and in the decorations of the altars, gold, silver, and silk were excluded. They might eat one kind of meat in refectory, and wine was allowed; but if any Capuchin wished to diet himself more rigorously he was not to be prevented. In their begging rounds the friars were not to ask either for meat, eggs, or cheese, though they might accept them if offered. one of the most illustrious names in this order is that of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, a zealous and powerful preacher, martyred by the Calvinists of the Grisons in 1622 (see Alban Butler, April 24).

The third vicar-general, Bernardino Ochino, attained an unhappy notoriety through having adopted Lutheran opinions and married a young girl from Lucca. This was at Geneva, where he established himself in 1542. Ochino afterwards went to England, while Edward VI. was on the throne, and after having travelled through many parts of Germany, and become known as a gifted preacher of the new opinions, he settled at Zurich. But, like the late Rev. Blanco White, who deserted the Church for Anglicanism, but could not step there, Ochino was compelled after a while by internal restlessness, against his own manifest interest, to seek to undermine the Lutheranism which he had embraced. In 1563 he printed a book called “Triginta Dialogi,” in which it is intimated that if a man has an unsuitable wife, and feels quite certain that the impulse which moves him is from God, he may without sin take to himself a second wife. The leaders of the Reformed party at Zurich, such as Bullinger and Wolf, were scandalised at this apparent vindication of polygamy, and Ochino was driven by his Protestant friends out of Switzerland and sought refuge in Poland. Even here he was not suffered to rest, and on the forced journey to Moravia, where he hoped to find shelter, after losing three out of his four children by the plague, he died at Schlackau before the end of 1564, but in such isolation and obscurity that no particulars of his death were ever ascertained.

At the time when Hélyot wrote, near the beginning of the last century, the order of Capuchins was divided into more than fifty provinces and three “custodies,” numbering sixteen hundred convents and twenty-five thousand friars, besides their missions in Brazil and various parts of Africa. The French Revolution—though there were a few who yielded—tempted with no other result than illustrating the serene and stable virtue of the great majority of the Capuchins. When Belgium was annexed to France in 1797, and soldiers were sent to turn out the friars at Louvain into the street, the guardian thus expelled cried out, “I protest in the sight of Heaven that it is only force which makes us go out of our house; that I and my brothers remain Capuchins; that we are suffering for religion, and are ready, if need be, to be martyrs in its cause.” A large number of their convents was suppressed during the revolutionary troubles; in France, however, they had revived again to a considerable extent, but the persecuting “Liberalism” of the Third Republic ejected them anew from their convents last year (1880). They are at present most numerous in Austria; in Switzerland also there are many, and altogether they are said still to number several thousands. There are at present seven Capuchin convents in England and Wales, and three in Ireland. (Hélyot; “Bernardino Ochino,” by Benrath, 1875; English, Irish, and American “Catholic Directories.”) Though less numerous in the United States than other Franciscans, the Capuchins have convents in the dioceses of Green Bay, Leavenworth, Milwaukee, and New York.

CARDINAL (cardo, a hinge). Like most arrangements which, though made by man, carry out the Divine purpose, correspond to the wants of human society, and are destined to live, grow and endure, the great institution of the Cardinalate sprang from small and almost unnoticed beginnings. The words cardinalis, cardinare, incardinare, are found in ante-Nicene ecclesiastical writers, and are used to designate the fixed permanent clergy of any church—those who were so built into it and necessary to its being that it might be said to revolve round them as a door round its hinge. They are thus distinguished from those bishops, or priests, or deacons, whose connection with a church was loose or temporary. In the Roman Church parish churches or Titles seem to have been first instituted in the time of Pope Marcellus (304), and the priests to whose charge they were permanently committed were styled cardinal priests. The deacons of the Roman Church, as of many other important Churches, were at first seven in number, in imitation of the original Apostolic institution. They were not at first assigned to particular districts; but as time went on, and various charitable institutions for the relief of the sick and poor, with chapels attached to them, arose here and there throughout the fourteen “regions” into which the city was divided under Augustus, each deacon came to have one or more regions, with the institutions locally contained in it, assigned to his care; and from the fixed character of their charge, they were called cardinal deacons. For a long time there was no such thing as a cardinal bishop, because the Roman Pontiff himself presided in the see in that capacity. But there were several bishoprics in the immediate neighbourhood of Rome—namely, Portus (at the mouth of the Tiber), Ostia (on the opposite side of the river), Præneste, Sabina, Tusculum, Albano, and St. Rufina—the bishops of which appear from very early times to have sat in synod with the Bishop of Rome: a relation which, with increasing exercise and deepening comprehension of the Papal prerogatives, was naturally developed by degrees into a closer connexion. History does not enable us to describe or date the stages of this change. In the eleventh century we find all the above-named sees (reduced now to six, for St. Rufina had been united to Portus) incorporated in the Roman Church, and their occupants holding their appointments directly and solely from the Pope. This is the picture which we derive from the writings of St. Peter Damian (d. 1071), who was himself Cardinal Bishop of Ostia. The council held at Rome in 1059, under Nicholas II., decreed that Popes should thenceforth be elected on the judgment of the six cardinal bishops, with the assent of the Roman clergy, the applause of the people, and the ratification of the Emperor. Of the Roman clergy, the cardinal priests and deacons were the most prominent and influential portion. Hence it is easy to understand, considering the instability of popular opinion, and the transitory character of human sovereignty, that the election of the Pope gradually came to be vested in the cardinals exclusively, who, in their grades of bishop, priest, and deacon, represented the ancient “presbyterium” of the Roman Church in the fullest and most satisfactory manner.

In the twelfth century the number of the cardinal bishops, as already stated, was six; that of the cardinal priests, twenty-eight; and about this time the number of the cardinal deacons was raised from seven to fourteen, one for each region, whence they were called “regionary” deacons. The dignity of their office grew, while its functions either dwindled or were otherwise discharged; and in process of time the cardinal deacons, still deriving their titles from the chapels formerly attached to the charitable institutions of which they had the charge (St. Hadrian, St. Theodore, &c.), ceased to have local duties, and, like the cardinals of higher rank, were drawn into the august circle of the immediate counsellors and assistants of the Roman Pontiffs. In the course of the twelfth century their number was further raised to eighteen, making a total of fifty-three cardinals; and this number remained fixed for a considerable time. Then a period of fluctuation ensued, during which the Sacred College was sometimes reduced to a mere handful of persons. The Council of Basle ordered that the number of cardinals should be fixed at twenty-four; but the decree was not ratified by the Pope, and no attention was paid to it. Leo X. raised the number to sixty-five. The final regulation, which prevails to this day, was contained in the Constitution Postquam vetus of Sixtus V., published in 1586. By this it was ordered that the number of cardinals should never exceed seventy, thus composed: six of episeopal rank, holding the old suburban sees before mentioned; fifty described as priests, holding a corresponding number of “Titles” or parishes in Rome; and fourteen described as deacons. By a Constitution of St. Pius V. (1567), all customs or privileges in virtue of which the name of Cardinal had been assumed by the clergy of any other church (e.g. by the canons of Compostella, Milan, &c.) were abrogated, and it was forbidden to apply it in future to any but the senators of the Roman Church.

The cardinals owe their appointment solely to the Pope. They have for many centuries been taken in part from all the great Christian nations of Europe, though the number of Italian cardinals has always preponderated. The appointment of a future cardinal is announced by the Pope in consistory, but the name is reserved in petto. At a subsequent consistory it is made public. The actual appointment, in the case of ecclesiastics residing in Rome, proceeds as follows: On a day named, the candidate goes to the Papal palace, and receives from the Pope the red biretta; afterwards, in a public consistory, at the close of an imposing ceremonial, the Pope places upon his head the famous red hat. In a second consistory he “closes his mouth” (os claudit)—that is, forbids him for the present to speak at meetings of cardinals; in a third, he “opens his mouth”—that is, he removes the former prohibition, giving him at the same time a ring, and assigning to him his “Title.” If the candidate is absent, being prevented by just cause from visiting Rome at that time, the red biretta is sent to him, and on receiving it he is bound to make oath that he will within a year visit the tombs of the Apostles.

The duties of cardinals are of Two kinds—those which devolve on them while the Pope is living, and those which they have to discharge when the Holy See is vacant. As to the first, it may be briefly said that they consist in taking an active part in the government of the universal Church; for although the Pope is in no way bound to defer to the opinions of the Sacred College, in practice he seldom, if ever, takes an important step without their counsel and concurrence. Such a school in the science and art of government in all its forms as the College of Cardinals exists nowhere else in the world. They are brought into immediate contact with the various peculiarities of national character, the prejudices and cherished aims of dynasties, the conservatism that with more or less intelligence supports, and the communism that with more or less wickedness undermines, the fabric of Christian society. In consistory, where the cardinals all meet in a kind of senate under the presidency of the Pope, and discuss affairs “exclusa omni forma judiciali,” the powers of statement and reply are cultivated; in the various Congregations [see CONGREGATION, ROMAN], they learn to manage in detail the vast and complicated concerns of a communion which with its one faith and, substantially, one ritual, is found congenial to every people and at home in every climate. Hence flow that largeness of temper, that breadth of view, that readiness to drop the accidental if only the essential be maintained, that conciliatory bearing, and that antique courtesy, by which the finest specimens of cardinal ambassadors have always been distinguished. History can show few nobler pictures than that of Cardinal Consalvi confronting the force and cunning of the First Napoleon in the zenith of his power, and compelling the draughting of the Concordat in the form that the Pope, not the First Consul, required.

All the cardinals now take precedence of bishops, archbishops, and even patriarchs. This was not so formerly; the change was gradually introduced. They have many other privileges, which canonists—who generally hold that the rank of cardinal, in its temporal aspect, is equivalent to that of a reigning prince—have elaborately defined in their treatises. On their seals they have their own arms, with the red hat as crest; they are styled Eminentissimi, and Reverendissimi.

At a vacancy of the Holy See, the duties of the cardinals become confined to protecting the Church and maintaining all things in their due order, till a Conclave can be assembled for the election of a new Pope. [CONCLAVE.]

There are three English cardinals at the present time—Henry Edward Manning, Archbishop of Westminster; Edward Howard, John Henry Newman.

The United States have had Two cardinals—one, Cardinal McCloskey, died October 10, 1885. The present cardinal is James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore.

The Sacred College numbers at present (1887) about sixty-five members.


CARDINAL PROTECTOR. A member of the Sacred College, belonging by birth to one of the more considerable Catholic nations, who has received the purple partly on that account. His local knowledge of his own people and their ways, through being “to the manner born,” qualify him to be a trusted referee when any questions affecting the interests of the nation to which he belongs, or of individuals of that nation, are brought forward at Rome, and the name of “Cardinal Protector” has hence naturally been assigned to him. A remarkable instance, illustrating the representative weight which such cardinals often enjoy in the Sacred College, was that of the French Cardinal Maury, described by Consalvi in his powerful narrative of the Conclave which preceded the election of Pius VII. There are also Cardinal Protectors of religious orders, of colleges, &c.

CARMELITES, ORDER OF. In the middle of the twelfth century a crusader named Berthold vowed at the commencement of a battle that if by the mercy of God his side was victorious, he would embrace the religious life. The victory was won, and Berthold became a monk in Calabria. Soon after, the prophet Elias is said to have appeared to him and revealed something to him in consequence of which Berthold left Italy, and repairing to Mount Carmel (1156)—that mountain, so conspicuous and so beautiful, which juts out into the sea to the south of Acre—took up his abode there. Everyone knows the connection of Carmel with some of the leading incidents of the prophet’s life (3 Kings, 18; 4 Kings, 4). A cavern near the summit was then shown as the habitation of Elias, and the ruins of a spacious monastery, the history of which is unknown, covered the ground. An eyewitness, John Phocas, who visited the holy places in 1185, thus writes:—”Some years ago a white-haired monk, who was also a priest, came from Calabria, and through a revelation from the prophet Elias, established himself in this place. He enclosed a small portion of the ruins of the monastery, and built a tower and a little church, assembling in it about ten brothers, who, with him, inhabit at present this holy place.” Berthold, therefore, may in one sense be considered as the founder of the Carmelite order, and its first general. On the other hand, it cannot be questioned that Berthold found hermits living on the mountain when he arrived there, attracted by the peculiar sanctity which the residence of the great prophet had conferred on the spot; these appear to have joined him, and to have accepted along with him and his immediate followers the rule which was framed for them in 1209 by Albert, patriarch of Jerusalem. These hermits may have had a long line of predecessors, nor is there any historical or moral impossibility in the assumption that holy men had lived on the mountain without interruption since the days of Elias, although positive evidence is wanting. This belief in the possible succession of a long line of saintly anchorites was gradually merged in the fixed persuasion that the very order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, such as it was in the thirteenth and following centuries, had existed there in unbroken continuity, keeping the three vows, and with hereditary succession, from the time of Elias. It was in this extreme form that the Carmelite view of the antiquity of their order was combated in the seventeenth century by the learned Papebroke, the Bollandist, who in the volumes of the “Acta Sanctorum” for March gave Lives of Berthold and Cyril, in which it was assumed that the former was the first, and the latter the third, general of the order. A violent controversy arose; several Carmelite writers published large treatises; other Jesuits came to the assistance of Papebroke; the Spanish Inquisition was induced to issue a decree censuring the published volumes of the “Acta Sanctorum;” and Rome, while refusing to adopt or ratify this censure, thought it expedient to impose silence on the disputants (1698).

The rule given to the order by the patriarch Albert was in sixteen articles. It forbade the possession of property; ordered that each hermit should live in a cell by himself; interdicted meat altogether; recommended manual labour and silence; and imposed a strict fast from the Exaltation of the Cross (Sept. 14) to Easter, Sundays being excepted.

The progress of the Mohammedan power in Palestine, after the illusory treaty entered into by the Emperor Frederic II. in 1229 with the Sultan Kameel, made it more and more difficult for Christians to live there in peace; and under their fifth general, Alan of Brittany, they abandoned Carmel and established themselves in Cyprus (1238) and other places. They beld their first chapter at Aylesford in Hampshire, in 1245, and elected our countryman, St. Simon Stock, to the generalship. Under him the order was greatly extended, and entered upon a flourishing period. To this Saint Our Lady is said to have shown the Scapular in a vision. [See SCAPULAR.] After passing into Europe they found it necessary to live in common, and no longer as hermits. This, with other mitigations of the primitive rule, was sanctioned by Innocent IV., who confirmed them in 1247 under the title of the order of friars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Their habit was originally striped, but ultimately the dress by which they are so well known, the brown habit with white cloak and scapular, was adopted. They were recognised as one of the mendicant orders; our ancestors knew them as “the White Friars.” Many distinguished men and eminent ecclesiastics have worn their habit. In our own country we can point to the vast and solid capacity of Thomas of Walden, confessor to Henry V., and one of the theologians at the Council of Constance, who in a work of profound learning and great eloquence, the “Doctrinale Fidei,” confuted the sophistries advanced by Wyclif against the faith and discipline of the Church.

The Papal schism led to much confusion and relaxation of discipline, a portion of the order siding with the Avignon Pope and electing a different general. England remained true to Urban VI. To put an end to the dissimilarity of practice which prevailed, Eugenius IV. issued a bull in 1431, in which permission was given to eat meat three times a week, with other indulgences. But these were not accepted in all the convents. Gradually the names of Observantines and Conventuals crept in, to distinguish the Carmelites who observed the rule as ratified by Innocent IV. from those who accepted the mitigations of Eugenius. Special congregations aiming at a strict observance of the rule arose in Italy and France; among these was the congregation of Mantua, founded by the unhappy Thomas Connecte, who is noticed by Addison in the “Spectator.” In England at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, the Carmelites were in a very flourishing condition, Impartial witnesses declare that in no country of Europe did the glory of their institute shine out with greater lustre than in England. They had fifty-two houses. In London the library of the White Friars was the best to be found in the city; the books bestowed on it by Thomas Walden alone were valued at two thousand gold pieces. All these were destroyed or dispersed at the dissolution.

The later glories of the order belong chiefly to Spain, and are due to the heroic virtue of a woman, St. Teresa. Carmelite nuns had been first instituted by John Soreth, general of the order in the fifteenth century. Relaxations of the rule had crept into their convents as into those of the friars. St. Teresa lived for many years in the convent of Avila, which was under the mitigated observance. Amidst great obstacles, and in the teeth of much persecution, she carried out her object of introducing a reform among the nuns by returning to the ancient rigour of the rule. She thus became the founder of the Discalced Carmelite nuns. Nor did her zeal stop here, but extended itself to a reformation of the friars, in which also, aided by the counsel of St. Peter of Alcantara, and the labours and sufferings of St. John of the Cross, who joined the new order, she was completely successful. At the time of her death, in 1582, she had assisted in the foundation of seventeen reformed convents for women and fifteen for men. These Discalced Carmelites, whose institute rapidly spread to all the Catholic countries of Europe, and to the Spanish colonies, were at first subject to the government of the unreformed order; but Clement VIII., in 1593, gave them a general of their own. Several other reforms have been introduced since that of St. Teresa in various countries, which we have not space here to notice. At present, in spite of the devastation wrought during the revolutionary epoch, and the spirit of unbelief which engenders and is encouraged by revolutions, a considerable number of Carmelite monasteries still exists. In France, though they were swept away at the first revolution, they had been reintroduced, and till lately possessed some sixty houses. But the iniquitous decree of March 29, 1880, lately issued by the Republican Government of France, has resulted in the violent seizure of all the houses of men, and in turning the friars adrift. In Spain, we believe, they are at present numerous. (Hélyot; “Bibliotheca Carmelitana”; Tanner; Dugdale.)

In the United States there are Calced Carmelite friars, who, though not many, have convents in the dioceses of Leavenworth, Newark, and Pittsburgh. The Discalced Nuns of St. Teresa’s reform were introduced into the United States in 1790, and besides their original foundation, at Baltimore, now have Two other convents—one in St. Louis, the other in New Orleans. In all three the rule is followed to the letter.

CARNIVAL (from caro, vale, the time when we are about to say farewell to flesh-meat; or ubi caro valet—in allusion to the indulgence of the flesh in the days which precede the fast), the three days before Lent, though the name sometimes includes the whole period between February 3, the feast of St. Blasius, and Ash-Wednesday. The Carnival in Catholic countries, and in Rome itself, is a special season for feasting, dancing, masquerading and mirth of all sorts. In itself this custom is innocent, although the Church from Septuagesima onwards assumes the garb of penance, and prepares her children, by the saddened tone of her office, for the Lenten season. But the pleasures of the Carnival easily degenerate into riot, and the Church therefore specially encourages pious exercises at this time. In 1556 the Jesuits at Macerati introduced the custom of exposing the Blessed Sacrament through the Carnival. This devotion spread through the Church, and Clement XIII., in 1765, granted a plenary indulgence on certain conditions to those who take part in it.

CARTHUSIANS, ORDER OF. The founder of this celebrated order was St. Bruno, in the eleventh century. A well-known story, once inserted in the Roman Breviary, ascribes his retirement from the world to the marvellous resuscitation of a noted Paris doctor, as his body was being carried to the grave. But there is no contemporary evidence to sustain the story, and it was, probably on this account, left out of the Breviary by Urban VIII. Bruno was a native of Cologne, and gave proof of more than common piety, recollection, and mortification even from his tender years. When he was grown up, he was at first entered among the clergy of St. Cunibert’s at Cologne, whence he passed to Rheims, a city then celebrated for its episcopal school. Bruno made here great progress in learning, and was appointed “scholasticus” (Fr. écolâtre); many of the leading men of the age were his pupils. He had much to suffer from the conduct of the unworthy Archbishop of Rheims, Manasses, suspended in 1077; and the resolution to quit the world seems to have arisen in him about this time, and grew in strength continually. Leaving Rheims, uncertain in what way God willed him to carry out his clearly-seen vocation, he repaired to St. Robert of Molesme, the founder of the Cistercian order, by whom he was referred to St. Hugh, Bishop of Grenoble. With six companions, Bruno presented himself to the bishop, and opened to him their desire to found an institute in which the glory of God and the good of man should be sought on a foundation of rigorous austerity and self-discipline. The good bishop was overjoyed at seeing them; in their request he saw the beginning of the fulfilment of a wonderful dream which he had had the night before. Soon afterwards he led them to the desert of the Chartreuse, an upland valley in the Alps to the north of Grenoble, more than 4,000 feet above the sea, and only to be reached by threading a gloomy and difficult ravine. High crags surround the valley on all sides; the soil is poor, the cold extreme—snow lies there most of the year—and the air is charged with fog. Bruno accepted this site with joy, and he and his companions immediately built an oratory there, and small separate cells, in imitation of the ancient Lauras of Palestine. This was in 1086, and the origin of the Carthusian order, which takes its name from Chartreuse, is dated from this foundation.

St. Bruno, when he had been only Two or three years at the Chartreuse, was summoned to Rome by an imperative mandate from Urban II., who had been his pupil. With grief he left his beloved companions, the most prudent and devoted of whom, Landwin, he appointed prior in his room, and, recommending the monastery to the protection of the Abbot of Chaise Dieu, departed for Italy. He was never able to return, but after founding convents at Squillace and La Torre in Calabria, died at the last-named place in 1101. The celebrated Abbot of Cluny, Peter the Venerable, writing about forty years after St. Bruno, describes in few words the manner of life which the saint instituted, and to which his monks—the only ancient order in the Church which has never been reformed and never needed reform—have always faithfully adhered. “Their dress,” he writes, “is meaner and poorer than that of other monks; so short and scanty, and so rough, that the very sight affrights one. They wear coarse hair-shirts next their skin; fast almost perpetually; eat only bran bread; never touch flesh, either sick or well; never buy fish, but eat it if given them as an alms; eat eggs and cheese on Sundays and Thursdays; on Tuesdays and Saturdays their fare is pulse or herbs boiled; on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays they take nothing but bread and water; and they have only one meal a day, except within the octaves of Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, Epiphany, and some other festivals. Their constant occupation is praying, reading, and manual labour, which consists chiefly in transcribing books. They say the lesser hours of the divine office in their cells at the time when the bell rings, but meet together at vespers and matins with wonderful recollection.” This manner of life they seem to have followed for some time without any written rule. Guigo, the fifth prior of the Chartreuse (1228) made a collection of their customs; and in later times several other compilations of their statutes were framed, of which a complete code was arranged in 1581, and approved of by Innocent XI. in 1688. The glorious difficulty of the very perfect life aimed at by the Carthusians is recognised by the Church, which “allows religious men of any of the mendicant orders to exchange their order for that of the Carthusians, as a state of greater austerity and perfection; but no one can pass from the Carthusians to any other order, as Fagnanus, the learned canonist, proves at large.” The name of Chartreuse was given to each of their monasteries; this was corrupted in England into Charterhouse. Among their original customs was that of taking a walk, which they called spatiament (from the Latin spatiari), within the bounds of their desert; and to this day the monk of the Grande Chartreuse takes his daily “spaciment.” The ordinary dress is entirely white; but outside the boundaries of his monastery the Carthusian wears a long black cloak and hood. In 1391 Boniface IX. formally renewed the exemption of the order from episcopal control; and in 1508 Julius II. ordained that their monasteries in every part of the world should obey the prior of the Grande Chartreuse and the chapter general of the order.

Among the distinguished men who have borne the Carthusian habit are St. Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, Cardinal d’Albergati, the learned and holy Denis Rickel, commonly called Denis the Carthusian, and Walter Hilton (1433), whose “Ladder of Perfection,” a work of mystical theology, was published by Abraham Woodhead in the seventeenth century.

The Chartreuses or Charterhouses in England at the time of the dissolution were nine in number. A large proportion of the monks and friars then in England, like the secular clergy, accepted, in words at any rate, the new doctrine of the royal supremacy; but the Carthusians stood firm. Even Mr. Froude, the thorough-going apologist of Tudor tyranny, acknowledges that the London Carthusians met death like heroes. Haughton, their prior, and several of the monks, were hanged in 1535; one, Maurice Chauncey, accepting the supremacy, was allowed to leave England, but bitterly repented his weakness, was reconciled to the Church, and wrote an interesting and touching narrative of the whole tragedy. The remaining eight monks of the London house perished of jail-fever, foul air, and starvation, after being imprisoned some months in Newgate. The Carthusians of Shene, in Surrey, fifteen in number, withdrew to Flanders on the death of Queen Mary, and abode in various places; at the time when Alban Butler wrote they were settled at Nieuport, and were, with the Brigittine nuns of Sion [BRIGITTINES], “the only Two English orders which were never dispersed.”

When Hélyot wrote, early in the eighteenth century, there were 172 Carthusian houses altogether, of which five were nunneries; about seventy-five out of the whole number were in France. These were all swept away at the Revolution. The Jacobin government tried to sell the Grande Chartreuse, but no one would bid for it, on account of the poverty of the soil. After the Restoration some of the monks returning from abroad were allowed to reoccupy it; amongst these was the general, Dom Moissonnier, who, like another Simeon, died in peace eleven days after his re-entry into the beloved solitude. For a long time the monks were very poor, having to pay rent for their own barren lands to the government; but since they invented the famous liqueur named after the monastery, the revenue from the sale of which is considerable, they have been fairly well off. In 1870 they numbered about forty, with twenty lay brothers, and sixty servants.

In England, a large Carthusian monastery has for some years been rising among the Sussex hills, near Steyning. (Hélyot; Alban Butler, Oct. 6; Tanner’s “Notitia.”)

CASSOCK (vestis talaris, toga subtanea, soutane). A close-fitting garment reaching to the heels (usque ad talos), which is the distinctive dress of clerics. The cassock of simple priests is black; that of bishops and other prelates, purple; that of cardinals, red; that of the Pope, white. Originally the cassock was the ordinary dress common to laymen; its use was continued by the clergy while lay people, after the immigration of the Northern nations, began to wear shorter clothes, and thus it became associated with the ecclesiastical state. The Council of Trent, De Reform, cap. 6, requires all clerics, if in sacred orders, or if they hold a benefice, to wear the clerical dress; although in Protestant countries clerics are excused from doing so in public, on account of the inconveniences likely to arise.

CASUISTRY. The science which deals with cases of conscience. [See MORAL THEOLOGY.]

CASUS. A name given to real or imaginary cases in canon law, moral theology, or ritual, collected together in order to illustrate difficult points in these branches of learning. Such a collection of cases to illustrate the “Decretum of Gratian” was made about 1200 by Benincasa Senensis; about 1245 Bernard of Bologna, afterwards Archdeacon of Compostella, made a similar collection to aid in the study of Gregory IX.’s Decretals. Since that time, collections of this kind without number, in all these three branches of learning, have appeared. At conferences of the clergy, “cases” of this kind are generally discussed.


CATACOMBS. A sketch of the present state of knowledge about the Roman catacombs, considering the high religious interest of the subject, may fairly be expected in a work like the present. We shall briefly describe their position, explain their origin, and trace their history; then, after describing the catacomb of San Callisto, as a model of the rest, we shall show, so far as our limits will allow, what a powerful light the monuments of the catacombs supply in illustration of the life, and in evidence of the faith, of Christians in the primitive ages.

The word “catacomb” had originally no such connotation as is now attached to it; the earliest form, catacumbæ (κατά, and κύμβη, a hollow)—probably suggested by the natural configuration of the ground—was the name given to the district round the tomb of Cæcilia Metella and the Circus Romuli on the Appian Way. All through the middle ages “ad catacumbas” meant the subterranean cemetery adjacent to the far-famed basilica of St. Sebastian, in the region above mentioned; afterwards, the signification of the term was gradually extended, and applied to all the ancient underground cemeteries near Rome, and even to similar cemeteries in other places, at Paris, for instance. The bodies of St. Peter and St. Paul were believed to have rested here nearly from the date of their martyrdom to the time of Pope Cornelius, who translated them to where they are now (Bed. “De Sex Æt. Mundi:” “corpora apostolorum de catacumbis levavit noctu”); it was therefore most natural, apart from the sacred associations which the memorials of other martyrs aroused, that for this reason alone pilgrims should eagerly visit this cemetery.

I. Some twenty-five Christian cemeteries are known, and have been more or less carefully examined; but there are many others, which, either from their having fallen into ruin or being blocked up with earth and rubbish, remain unexplored. Those that are known and accessible are found on every side of Rome, but they are clustered most thickly at the south-east corner of the city, near the Via Appia and the Via Ardeatina. The most noteworthy of all, the cemetery of San Callisto, is close to the Appian Way; near it are those of St. Prætextatus, St. Sebastian, and St. Soteris. Passing on round the city by the east and north, we find the cemetery of Santi Quattro, near the Via Appia Nova, that of St. Ciriaca on the road to Tivoli, the extremely interesting catacomb of St. Agnes on the Via Nomentana, and that of St. Alexander, farther out from Rome on the same road. Next comes the cemetery of St. Priscilla, on the Via Salaria. Continuing on, past the Villa Borghese, we come upon the valley of the Tiber, beyond which, on the right bank of the river, we find in succession the cemeteries of Calepodins and Generosa. Crossing again to the left bank, we come upon the cemetery of St. Lucina on the Via Ostiensis, that of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo (known also by the name of S. Domitilla) on the Via Ardeatina, and, finally, that of St. Balbina between the last-named road and the Appian Way.

II. The origin of the catacombs is now thoroughly understood. It was long believed that they were originally mere sand-pits, arenariœ, out of which sand was dug for building purposes, and to which the Christians resorted, partly for the sake of concealment, partly because the softness of the material lent itself to any sort of excavation. This was the view of Baronius and of scholars in general down to the present century, when the learned Jesuit, F. Marchi, took the subject in hand. He made personal researches in the catacomb of St. Agnes, and gradually the true origin and mode of construction of these cemeteries broke upon his mind. His more celebrated pupil, the Commendatore de’ Rossi, aided by his brothers, continued his explorations, and has given to the world a colossal work on the Roman Catacombs, which Dr. Northcote and Mr, Brownlow made the foundation of their interesting book, “Roma Sotterranea.” Padre Marchi drew attention to the fact that among the volcanic strata of the Roman Campagna, three deposits are especially noticeable—a hard building stone, called the tufa litoide; a soft stone, the tufa granolare; and a sandstone of scarcely any coherency called pozzolana. The sandpits, arenariœ, of course occur in beds of this pozzolana; and if they had been the origin of the catacombs, the latter would have been wholly or chiefly excavated in the same beds. But in point of fact the catacombs are almost entirely found in the tufa granolare, which exactly suited the purposes which the early Christians had in view. In the first place, they were obliged by the imperial laws to bury their dead outside the walls of the city. Secondly, they naturally would not place the cemeteries at a greater distance than they could help; and in fact all the catacombs above named, except that of St. Alexander, are within two miles and a half of the city walls. Thirdly, the tufa granolare, being softer than the tufa litoide, the necessary galleries, chambers, and loculi (receptacles for the dead) could more easily be worked in it, while, on the other hand, it was sufficiently coherent to allow of its being excavated freely without danger of the roof and sides of the excavations falling in or crumbling away. The pozzolana was softer, but from its crumbling nature narrow galleries could not be run in it, nor loculi hollowed out, without the employment of a great deal of masonry for the sake of security, as may be seen in the two or three instances of arenariœ turned into catacombs which do exist; thus greater expense and trouble would arise in the end from resorting to it than from excavating in the tufa granolare.

If it be asked why the Roman Christians did not bury their dead in open-air cemeteries, the answer is twofold. In the first place, the Church grew up amid persecution, and the Christians naturally strove to screen themselves and their doings from public observation as much as possible, in the burial of their dead as in other matters. The sepulchral inscriptions and decorations which they could safely affix to the graves of their beloved ones in the subterranean gloom of the catacombs, could not with common prudence have been employed on tombs exposed to public view. In the second place, the needs of prayer and the duty of public worship were in this manner reconciled with the duty of sepulture to an extent not otherwise, under their circumstances, attainable. The relatives might pray at the tomb of a departed kinsman; the faithful gather round the “memory” of a martyr; the Christian mysteries might be celebrated in subterranean chapels, and on altars hewn out of the rock, with a convenience, secrecy, and safety, which, if the ordinary mode of burial had been followed, could not have been secured. Nor was the practice a novelty when the Christians resorted to it. Even Pagan underground tombs existed, though the general custom of burning the dead, which prevailed under the emperors before Constantine, caused them to be of rare occurrence; but the Jewish cemeteries, used under the pressure of motives very similar to those which acted upon the Christians, had long been in operation, and are in part distinguishable to this day.

The modus operandi appears to have been as follows. In ground near the city, obtained by purchase or else the property of some rich Christian, an area, or cemetery “lot,” was marked out, varying in extent but commonly having not less than a frontage of a hundred and a depth of two hundred feet. At one corner of this area an excavation was made and a staircase constructed; then narrow galleries, usually little more than two feet in width, with roof flat or slightly arched, were carried round the whole space, leaving enough of the solid rock on either side to admit of oblong niches (loculi)—large enough to hold from one to three bodies, at varying distances, both vertically and laterally, according to the local strength of the material—being excavated in the walls. After burial, the loculus was hermetically sealed by a slab set in mortar, so that the proximity of the dead body might not affect the purity of the air in the catacomb. Besides these loculi in the walls, cubicula, or chambers, like our family vaults, were excavated in great numbers; these were entered by doors from the galleries, and had loculi in their walls like the galleries themselves. There were also arcosolia—when above the upper surface of a loculus containing the body of a martyr or confessor, the rock was excavated, so as to leave an arched vault above, and a flat surface beneath on which the Eucharist could be celebrated—and “table-tombs,” similar in all respects to the arcosolia except that the excavation was quadrangular instead of being arched. Openings were frequently made between two or more adjoining cubicula, so as to allow, while the Divine Mysteries were being celebrated at an arcosolium in one of them, of a considerable number of worshippers being present. When the walls of the circumambient galleries were filled with the dead, cross galleries were made, traversing the area at such distances from each other as the strength of the stone permitted, the walls of which were pierced with niches as before. But this additional space also became filled up, and then the fossors were set to work to burrow deeper in the rock, and a new series of galleries and chambers, forming a second underground story or piano, was constructed beneath the first. Two, three, and even four such additional stories have been found in a cemetery. Another way of obtaining more space was by lowering the floor of the galleries, and piercing with niches the new wall-surface thus supplied. It is obvious that expedients like these could only be adopted in dry and deeply-drained ground, and accordingly we always find that it is the hills near Rome in which the cemeteries were excavated—the valleys were useless for the purpose; hence, contrary to what was once believed, no system of general communication between the different catacombs ever existed. Such communication, however, was often effected, when two or more cemeteries lay contiguous to each other on the same hill, and all kinds of structural complications were the result; see the detailed account in “Roma Sotterranea” of the growth and gradual transformation of the cemetery of San Callisto.

III. With regard to the history of the catacombs, a few leading facts are all that can here be given. In the first two centuries, the use of the catacombs by the Christians was little interfered with; they filled up the area with dead, and decorated the underground chambers with painting and sculpture, much as their means and taste suggested. In the third century persecution became fierce, and the Christians were attacked in the catacombs. Staircases were then destroyed, passages blocked up, and new modes of ingress and egress devised, so as to defeat as much as possible the myrmidons of the law; and the changes thus made can in many cases be still recognised and understood. On the cessation of persecution, after A.D. 300, the catacombs, in which many martyrs had perished, became a place of pilgrimage; immense numbers of persons crowded into them; and different Popes—particularly St. Damasus, early in the fifth century—caused old staircases to be enlarged, and new ones to be made, and luminaria (openings for admitting light and air) to be broken through from the cubicula to the surface of the ground, in order to give more accommodation to the pious throng. These changes also can be recognised. Burial in the catacombs naturally did not long survive the concession of entire freedom and peace to the Church; but still they were looked upon as holy places consecrated by the blood of martyrs, and as such were visited by innumerable pilgrims. In the seventh and eighth centuries Lombard invaders desecrated, plundered, and in part destroyed the catacombs. This led to a period of translations, commencing in the eighth century and culminating with Pope Paschal (A.D. 817), by which all the relics of the Popes and principal martyrs and confessors which had hitherto lain in the catacombs were removed for greater safety to the churches of Rome. After that, the catacombs were abandoned,” and in great part closed; and not till the sixteenth century did the interest in them revive. The names of Onufrio Panvini, Bosio, and Boldetti are noted in connection with the renewed investigations of which they were the object; and since the appearance of the work of the Padre Marchi already mentioned, the interest awakened in all Christian countries by the remarkable discoveries announced has never for a moment waned.

IV. Having thus attempted to sketch the origin and trace the history of the catacombs, we proceed to describe what may now be seen in the most important portion of the best known among them all—the cemetery of San Callisto. Entering it from a vineyard near the Appian Way, the visitor descends a broad flight of steps, fashioned by Pope Damasus from the motive above mentioned, and finds himself in a kind of vestibule, on the stuccoed walls of which, honey-combed with loculi, are a quantity of rude inscriptions in Greek and Latin, some of which are thirteen and fourteen centuries old, scratched by the pilgrims who visited out of devotion the places where Popes and martyrs who had fought a good fight for Christ, and often their own kinsfolk and friends, lay in the peaceful gloom, awaiting the resurrection. By following a narrow gallery to the right, a chamber is reached which is called the Papal Crypt; for here beyond all doubt the bodies of many Popes of the third century, after Zephyrinus (203–217) had secured this cemetery for the use of the Christians and committed it to the care of his deacon Callistus, were laid, and here they remained till they were removed by Paschal to the Vatican crypts. This is proved by the recent discovery, in and near the Papal Crypt, of the slabs bearing the original inscriptions in memory of the Popes Eutychian, Anteros, Fabian, and Lucius. A passage leads out of the crypt into the cubiculum of St. Cæcilia, where, as De’ Rossi has almost demonstrated, the body of the saint, martyred in the first half of the third century, was originally deposited by Pope Urban, though it was afterwards removed by Paschal to her church in the Trastevere, where it now lies under the high-altar. In this cubiculum are paintings of St. Cæcilia and of Our Lord, the latter “according to the Byzantine type, with rays of glory behind it in the form of a Greek cross.” But these paintings are late—not earlier than the tenth century. Besides the Papal Crypt and the chamber of St. Cæcilia, there are in this part of the cemetery “several cubicula interesting for their paintings, chiefly referable to Baptism and the Eucharist, the fish being the principal emblem of the latter. In one of these crypts is a painting of four male figures with uplifted hands, each with his name, placed over an arcosolium; in another are representations of peacocks, the emblem of immortality; in a third, Moses striking the rock, and ascending to the mount; in a fourth, a grave-digger (fossor) surrounded with the implements of his trade; in a fifth, the Good Shepherd, with the miracle of the paralytic taking up his bed; in a sixth, a banquet of seven persons, supposed to be the seven disciples alluded to in the twenty-first chapter of St. John’s Gospel. These paintings, as well as the greater part of the catacomb, are referred to the last half of the third century.”

V. For a detailed answer, accompanied with proofs, to the question, what testimony the catacombs bear to the nature of the religious belief and life of the early Christians, the reader is referred to the pages of “Roma Sotterranea,” or to the larger work of De’ Rossi. He will there find sufficient evidence to convince him of the truth of two main propositions—(1) that the religion of those Christians was a sacramental religion; (2) that it was the reverse of puritanical: that is, that it disdained the use of no external helps which human art and skill could furnish, in the effort to symbolise and enforce spiritual truth. With reference to the first proposition, let him consider how the sacrament of Baptism is typically represented in the catacombs by paintings of Noe in the ark, the rock smitten and water gushing forth, a fisherman drawing fish out of the water accompanied by a man baptising, and the paralytic carrying his bed (“Roma Sotterranea,” p. 265); and also how the mystery of the Eucharist is still more frequently and strikingly portrayed by pictures in which baskets of bread are associated with fish, the fish being the well-known emblem of Our Lord. The second proposition is so abundantly proved by the remains of Christian art of very ancient date still to be seen in the catacombs, in spite of the havoc and ruin of fifteen centuries, that it would be a waste of words to attempt to establish it at length. Adopting the general forms and methods of the contemporary Pagan art, but carefully eliminating whatever in it was immoral or superstitious, we find the Christian artists employing Biblical or symbolical subjects as the principal figures in each composition, while filling in their pictures with decorative forms and objects—such as fabulous animals, scroll-work, foliage, fruit, flowers, and birds—imitated from or suggested by the pre-existing heathen art. A type for which they had a peculiar fondness was that of the Good Shepherd. The Blessed Virgin and Child, with a figure standing near supposed to be Isaias, is represented in an exceedingly beautiful but much injured painting on the vaulted roof of a loculus in the cemetery of St. Priscilla. De’ Rossi believes this painting “to belong almost to the apostolic age” (“Roma Sotterranea,” p. 258). Another favourite type of Our Lord was Orpheus, who by his sweet music drew all creatures to hear him. The vine painted with so much freedom and grace of handling on the roof of the entrance to the cemetery of Domitilla is also, in De’ Rossi’s opinion, work of the first century. (“Roma Sotterranea,” Northcote and Brownlow; Murray’s “Handbook of Rome.”)

CATAFALQUE. An erection like a bier placed during Masses of the dead, when the corpse itself is not there, in the centre of the church, or in some other suitable place, surrounded with burning lights and covered with black cloth. It is also called “feretrum,” “castrum doloris,” &c. (Merati’s “Novæ Observationes” on Gavantus,” Part ii. tit. 13.)

CATECHISM. A summary of Christian doctrine, usually in the form of question and answer, for the instruction of the Christian people. From the beginning of her history, the Church fulfilled the duty of instructing those who came to her for baptism. Catechetical schools were established, and catechetical instruction was carefully and methodically given. We can still form an accurate idea of the kind of instruction given in the early Church, for Cyril of Jerusalem has left sixteen books of catechetical discourses, explaining the Creed to the candidates for baptism, and five more in which he sets forth for the benefit of the newly-baptised, the nature of the three sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) which they had just received. St. Augustine wrote a treatise on catechising, at the request of Deo Gratias, a deacon and catechist at Carthage. When the world became Christian there was no longer the same necessity for instructing converts, but the children, and, indeed, the people generally, still needed catechetical instruction. Hence we find a council held at Paris in 829 deploring the neglect of catechetical instruction, while the English Council of Lambeth in 1281 requires parish-priests to instruct their people four times a year in the principal parts of Christian doctrine—viz. the articles of the Creed, commandments, sacraments, &c. The treatise of Gerson, “De Parvulis ad Christum trahendis,” gives some idea of catechetical instruction towards the close of the middle ages.

Catechetical instruction was one of the subjects which occupied the Council of Trent, and the Fathers arranged that a Catechism should be drawn up by a commission and be approved by the council. This plan fell through, and they put the whole matter in the Pope’s hands. Pius IV. entrusted the work to four theologians—viz. Calinius, Archbishop of Zara; Fuscararius (Foscarari), Bishop of Modena; Marinus, Archbishop of Lanciano; and Fureirius (Fureiro), a Portuguese. All of them except the first were Dominicans. Scholars were appointed to see to the purity of style. St. Charles Borromeo took a great part in assisting the undertaking. In 1564 the book was finished, whereupon it was examined by a new commission under Cardinal Sirletus. Towards the close of 1566 the Catechism appeared, under the title “Catechismus Romanus, ex Decreto Conciiii Tridentini, Pii V. Pont. Max. jussu editus. Romæ, in ædibus Populi Romani, apud Aldum Manutium.” The original edition contains no chapters and no answers. This Catechism possesses very high, though not absolute, authority, and has been regarded as a model of clearness, simplicity and purity of language, of method and of doctrinal precision. But it was not fitted for direct use in catechetical instruction, being intended for parish priests and others who have to catechise rather than for those who receive instruction. Catechisms, therefore, of various sizes have been prepared by bishops for their dioceses, or, as in England, the bishops in concert approve a Catechism for use in the whole country or province.

CATECHIST. A name originally given to those who instructed persons preparing for baptism. Catechists were in early times also called ναυτόλογοι, because they brought the sailors on board the ship of the Church.

CATECHUMENS. Those who were being instructed and prepared for baptism. We meet with the first mention of catechumens in Justin Martyr, in Tertullian, and in the Clementines. Tertullian distinguishes two classes of catechumens: viz. the “novitioli,” or beginners, and the “aquam adituri,” or those who were nearly ready for baptism and were admitted to the sermon and liturgy. In the Apostolic Constitutions, the catechumens are classified as (1) “audientes” or ἀκροώμενοι—i.e. “hearers” who attended the sermon; (2) “genuflectentes” or γονυκλίνοντες, who also assisted at the prayers which followed the sermon, and received the bishop’s blessing on bended knee; (3) the “competentes” or φωτιζόμενοι, who were allowed to hear the full statement of Christian mysteries, particularly the doctrine of the Eucharist. There was a famous catechetical school at Alexandria. Usually catechumens remained under instruction for two or three years, and often longer, but the time of probation was shortened when there was sufficient reason. (From Kraus, “Kirchengeschichte,” p. 86.)


CATHEDRA: EX CATHEDRA. Cathedra, in the ecclesiastical sense, means (1) the chair in which the bishop sits. It was placed in early times behind the altar, which did not stand, as it usually does now, against the wall, but was surrounded by the choir. The wooden chair which St. Peter is said to have used, is still preserved in the Vatican basilica. Eusebius relates that the chair of St. James still existed in Jerusalem down to the time of Constantine. The chair of St. Mark at Jerusalem was regarded with such religious awe that Peter of Alexandria, archbishop and martyr, did not dare to sit upon it, though it was used by his successors. (Thomassin, “Traité des Festes.”)

(2) Cathedra was used by a natural extension of meaning for the authority of the bishop who occupied it, so that the feast of the Cathedra or chair commemorated the day on which the bishop entered on his office. Thus we have three sermons of St. Leo on the “natalis cathedræ suæ”—i.e. his elevation to the pontificate. In the Sacramentary of St. Gregory we find a Mass for “the Chair of St. Peter,” on the 24th of February. According to John Belith, a liturgical writer of the middle ages, this feast was intended to celebrate St. Peter’s episcopate both at Antioch and Rome. A feast of St. Peter’s chair is mentioned in a sermon attributed to St. Augustine, and in a canon of the Second Council of Tours, which met in 567. In the course of the middle ages, the feast in February was associated with St. Peter’s chair at Antioch. Paul IV., in a Bull of the year 1558. complains that although the feast of St. Peter’s chair at Rome was celebrated in France and Spain, it was forgotten in Rome itself, although the feast of his chair at Antioch was kept in Rome. Accordingly Paul IV. ordered that the feast of St. Peter’s chair at Rome should be observed on January 18. The feast of St. Peter’s chair at Antioch is kept on February 22. (Thomassin, ib.)

(3) Cathedra is taken as a symbol of authoritative doctrinal teaching. Our Lord said that the scribes and Pharisees sat “super cathedram Moysis”—i.e. on the chair of Moses. Here plainly it is not a material chair, of which Christ speaks, but the “chair,” as Jerome says, is a metaphor for the doctrine of the law. This metaphor became familiar in Christian literature. Thus Jerome speaks of the “chair of Peter and the faith praised by apostolic mouth.” Later theologians use “ex cathedra” in a still more special sense, and employ it to mark those definitions in faith and morals which the Pope, as teacher of all Christians, imposes on their belief. The phrase is comparatively modern, and Billuart adduces no instance of its use before 1305. It is often alleged that the theologians explain the words “ex cathedra” in many different ways, but a clear and authoritative account of the meaning is given by the Vatican Council, which declares that the Pope is infallible “when he speaks ‘ex cathedra’—i.e. when, exercising his office as the pastor and teacher of all Christians, he, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, defines a doctrine concerning faith and morals, to be held by the whole Church.” (From Ballerini, “De Primatu,” and the Bull “Pastor æternus,” cap. iv.)

CATHEDRAL (καθέδρα, the raised seat of the bishop). The cathedral church in every diocese is that church in which the bishop has his chair or seat; whence see, the English form of siège. It is sometimes called simply Domus, “the house” (Duomo, Ital.; Dom, Ger.); for, as “palace” sufficiently indicates the residence of a king, “so the Lord’s house, which is the cathedral church, the palace of the king of kings, and the ordinary seat of the supreme pastor of a city and diocese, is sufficiently denoted by the single word Domus.” (Ferraris, in Ecclesia.) A cathedral was in early times called the Matrix Ecclesia, but that name is now given to any church which has other churches subject to it.

The establishment of a cathedral church, the conversion of a collegiate church into a cathedral, and the union of two or more cathedrals under the same bishop, are all measures which cannot be legally taken, without the approbation of the Pope. The temporal power has often performed these and the like acts by way of usurpation, as when the revolutionary government of France reduced the number of French dioceses from more than a hundred and thirty to sixty; but a regular and lawful state of things in such a case can only be restored by the State’s entering into a convention with the Holy See, which is always ready, without abandoning principle, to conform its action to the emergent necessities of the times. Thus, in the case just mentioned, by the Concordat with Napoleon in 1802, Rome sanctioned the permanent suppression of many old sees, in consequence of which the French episcopate now numbers eighty-four bishops instead of the larger number existing before the Revolution. Analogous changes are provided for in the Anglican communion by the theory of the Royal Supremacy, though this theory has been slightly modified by the progress of political development since the Reformation. The sovereign is still supreme in theory “in all causes and over all persons, ecclesiastical as well as civil,” within the Anglican communion; but the supremacy cannot be exercised in any important matter without the consent of the majority of the House of Commons, expressed through a responsible ministry. An Act of Parliament, embodying as it does the united will and action of sovereign and Parliament, solves all difficulties. Thus in 1833 ten Protestant sees in Ireland were suppressed at a stroke, and within the last few years several suffragan sees, at Nottingham and elsewhere, have been erected—always by Act of Parliament. In every such case, whatever legality the Act may have is solely due to the action of the temporal power; ecclesiastical authority has nothing to do with it.

The Council of Trent forbids the holding of more than one cathedral church, or the holding of a cathedral along with a parish church by the same bishop. It enjoins that ordinations shall, so far as possible, be publicly celebrated in cathedral churches, and in the presence of the canons.


CATHEDRATICUM. This payment, as originally regulated by the Second Council of Braga (572), was a visitation fee due from every parish church in his diocese to the bishop on the occasion of his annual visit to it. The amount was two shillings (solidi) in gold. In process of time coins of greater value were tendered—thus in the kingdom of Naples the cathedraticum was considered to be two ducats—and when such had become the established custom a return to the smaller money was not allowed. Wherever there is a beneficed clergy this fee is still legally due to the bishop, nor can any period of actual immunity from the burden, however prolonged, confer a claim to future exemption. But since the Council of Trent it has been customary to pay it in synod, not during the visitation; whence it is also called “Synodaticum.” The churches and monasteries of the regular clergy are exempt from the payment of the Cathedraticum, though it must be paid on account of all secular benefices which are in the possession of monasteries. (Ferraris; Fleury, “Hist. Eccl.” xxxiv.)

CATHOLIC (“general” or universal). The word occurs in profane authors—e.g. in Polybius—but among Christians it received a special or technical sense, and was applied to the true Church, spread throughout the world, in order to distinguish it from heretical sects. Thus one of the very earliest Christian writers, Ignatius of Antioch, says, “Where Christ is, there is the Catholic Church; where the bishop is, there must the people be also.” Thus “Catholic” became the recognised name of the Church. As “heresy,” Clement of Alexandria tells us, denotes separation (since heresy signifies individual choice), so the words “Catholic Church” imply unity subsisting among many members. Again, St. Augustine, in his epistle against the Donatists, tells them that the question at issue is “Where is the Church?” He appeals to the traditional name “Catholic Church,” which is given to one body and to one body only; he proves that the name has been given rightly, as is shown by the very fact that the Catholic Church, unlike the Donatist sect, is diffused throughout the world; and he concludes that as the Church is one, as this one Church is the Catholic Church, as the Catholic Church is the body of Christ, therefore that he who is without its pale cannot “obtain Christian salvation.”

The name “Catholic” was also applied from very early times to individual members of the Church. This use occurs e.g. in Cyprian, and the saying of Pacian (Ep. 1 ad Sempron.) is familiar to everybody: “Christian is my name; Catholic is my surname.” Lastly, the word “Catholic” is used of the faith which the Church of God holds. We meet with the phrase “Catholic faith” in Prudentius, and frequently of course in later writers. (For CATHOLIC CHURCH see CHURCH.)

“Catholic” is also used in various subsidiary senses, viz.:

(1) Of letters addressed to the faithful in general, whether by the Apostles, who wrote “Catholic epistles” as distinct from epistles to the Galatians, &c., or by later bishops. (See Euseb. iv. 23.)

(2) In Greek, of cathedral churches as distinct from parish churches; of the chief church as distinct from oratories; and, in the later Byzantine period, of parish as distinct from monastic chapels.

(3) Catholicus, originally a civil title used during Constantine’s time in Africa and given apparently to the “procurator fisci,” was bestowed on the Bishop of Seleucia, as representing the Patriarch of Antioch, and also on the chief ecclesiastic among the Persian Nestorians. The title was also current among Armenians and Ethiopians. It is said to have denoted a primate with several metropolitans under him, but himself subject to a patriarch. [See CATHOLICUS.]

(4) “Catholic thrones” was a title given to the four patriarchal sees.

(5) “Catholic King” was a title given to Pepin (767), and other kings of France (Froissart says it was borne by Philip of Valois), who were afterwards called “Most Christian.” “Catholic King” became in modern times the usual title of the Spanish sovereigns. The title “Catholic” was conferred by Alexander VI. on Ferdinand and Isabella. (Kraus, “Real Encyclopädie;” and for the title “Catholic King” see also Fleury, cxvii. 11.)

CATHOLICUS. Certain Oriental patriarchs in Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Persia have anciently borne and perhaps still bear this name. It must have been intended to signify the wide sweep of the jurisdiction which the bearer of this dignity enjoyed over the provinces and dioceses under his rule. Yet the catholici were never placed on a level with the patriarchs of the five great sees, Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople. On the erection of the Armenian church, through the labours of Gregory the Illuminated, early in the fourth century, its episcopal head was named “Catholicos.” As time went on we find him indifferently styled the Catholic of Persia or of the Armenians. There was also a Catholic of Seleucia on the Tigris. Both these, after the general revolt of the Oriental churches against the Council of Chalcedon, lost the orthodox faith; one was Monophysite, the other Nestorian. The Nestorian Catholic of Seleucia had many archbishops and bishops under his jurisdiction, whose dioceses are said to have reached even beyond the Ganges. Both were originally subject to the Patriarch of Antioch; but the Catholicus of Seleucia, pleading the remoteness of his see, obtained the consent of the Patriarch to his ordination of archbishops by his own sole authority; and the concession of this right was almost equivalent to the erection of a new patriarchate. Thus we find the Arabic canons of Nice directing that the Patriarch of Seleucia shall have the sixth place in councils, after the five patriarchs above mentioned, and that the seventh should be assigned, with the title of Catholicos, to the patriarch of the Ethiopians. Persecution seems to have driven the Armenian Catholic out of Persia; in the fifteenth century we find him established at Sis in Cilicia, but almost isolated there, and knowing little of what went on in the real Armenia. This state of things led to the assumption of patriarchal power by the abbot of Fchmiadzin, near Mount Ararat, and by his successors down to the present day. Latterly the Armenian uniate church, which is in communion with the Holy See, has been prospering and advancing; the late patriarch of this church, Mgr. Hassoun, who resided at Constantinople, has been recently made a Cardinal: the Kupelianist schism has been extinguished; and there is a fair prospect of the return of the whole Armenian nation to Catholic unity.

Anastasius the Sinaite, writing in the seventh century, speaks of a Catholicus of the Nestorians, who was obeyed by a great number of bishops and metropolitans. (Thomassin, “Vetus et Nova Ecclesiæ Disciplina.”)

CELEBRANT. The priest who actually offers Mass, as distinct from others who assist him in doing so. Celebration of Mass is equivalent to offering Mass. But “celebrant” is also used by good liturgical writers—e.g. by Gavantus—for the chief officiant at other solemn offices, such as vespers.

CELESTINIAN HERMITS. A branch of the Franciscans, authorised by St. Celestine V. in 1294, and named after him. The object of their institution was to practise the rule of St. Francis with greater exactitude. They suffered much persecution, and soon after the death of their first superior, Liberatus, ceased to exist as a separate body.

CELESTINIANS. This order was founded about 1254 by the holy hermit Peter of Morone, and took the above name after the elevation of their founder to the supreme pontificate, with the title of Celestine V., in 1294. Its rule was austere; the religious had to rise at 2 A.M. to say matins; abstained perpetually from meat unless in case of illness, and fasted every day from the Exaltation of the Cross to Easter, and twice a week for the rest of the year. They increased rapidly, and spread into France and Germany, but do not appear to have ever established themselves in England. Most of their priories in Germany were in those provinces which the movement begun by Luther most affected, and they consequently perished. In the early part of the eighteenth century there were ninety-six priories in the Italian, and twenty-one in the French province; the chief or mother house being the convent of the Holy Ghost at Morone, near Sulmona, the only abbey in the order. The French Celestinians, whose principal house was at Paris, were included among the fifteen hundred convents which, upon various grounds more or less specious, were suppressed by the commission of 1766 presided over by the contemptible Lomenie de Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse. The order has not since been revived in France. Of the once numerous Italian priories very few now exist.

CELIBACY of the clergy. The law of the Western Church forbids persons living in the married state to be ordained, and persons in holy orders to marry. A careful distinction must be made between the principles on which the law of celibacy is based and the changes which have taken place in the application of the principle.

The principles which have induced the Church to impose celibacy on her clergy are (α) that they may serve God with less restraint, and with undivided heart (see 1 Cor. 7:32); and (β) that, being called to the altar, they may embrace the life of continence, which is holier than that of marriage. That continence is a more holy state than that of marriage is distinctly affirmed in the words of our blessed Lord (“There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that can receive it, let him receive it”). It is taught by St. Paul (“He that giveth his virgin in marriage doeth well, and he that giveth her not, doeth better”) and by St. John (Apoc. 14:4). Christian antiquity speaks with one voice on this matter, and the Council of Trent, sess. xxiv. De Matr. can. 10, anathematises those who deny that “it is more blessed to remain in virginity or in celibacy than to be joined in marriage.” Thus all Catholics are bound to hold that celibacy is the preferable state, and that it is specially desirable for the clergy. It does not, however, follow from this that the Church is absolutely bound to impose a law of celibacy on her ministers, nor has she, as a matter of fact, always done so.

There does not seem to have been any Apostolic legislation on the matter, except that it was required of a bishop that he should have been only once married. In early times, however, we find a law of celibacy, though it is one which differs from the present Western law, in full force. Paphnutius, who at the Council of Nicæa resisted an attempt to impose a continent life on the clergy, still admits that, according to ancient tradition, a cleric must not marry after ordination. This statement is confirmed by the Apostolic Constitutions, vi. 17, which forbid bishops, priests, and deacons to marry, while the 27th (al. 25th) Apostolic Canon contains the same prohibition. one of the earliest councils, that of Neocæsarea (between 314–325), threatens a priest who married after ordination with degradation to the lay state. Even a deacon could marry in one case only—viz. if at his ordination he had stipulated for liberty to do so, as is laid down by the Council of Ancyra, in 314. Thus it was the recognised practice of the ancient Church to prohibit the marriage of those already priests, and this discipline is still maintained in the East.

A change was made in the West by the 33rd Canon of Elvira (in 305 or 306). It required bishops, priests, and all who served the altar (“positis in ministerio”) to live, even if already married, in continence. The Council of Nicæa refused to impose this law on the whole Church, but it prevailed in the West. It was laid down by a synod of Carthage in 390, by Innocent I. 20 years later; while Jerome (against Jovinian) declares that a priest, who has “always to offer sacrifice for the people, must always pray, and therefore always abstain from marriage.” Leo and Gregory the Great, and the Eighth Council of Toledo in 653, renewed the prohibitions against the marriage of sub-deacons.

So the law stood when Hildebrand, afterwards Gregory VII., began to exercise a decisive influence in the Church. Leo IX., Nicolas II., Alexander II., and Hildebrand himself when he came to be Pope, issued stringent decrees against priests living in concubinage. They were forbidden to say Mass or even to serve at the altar; they were to be punished with deposition, and the faithful were warned not to hear their Mass. So far Gregory only fought against the corruption of the times, and it is mere ignorance to represent him as having instituted the lrw of celibacy. But about this time a change did occur in the canon law. A series of synods from the beginning of the twelfth century declared the marriage of persons in holy orders to be not only unlawful but invalid. With regard to persons in minor orders, they were allowed for many centuries to serve in the Church while living as married men. From the twelfth century, it was laid down that if they married they lost the privileges of the clerical state. However, Boniface VIII., in 1300, permitted them to act as clerics, if they had been only once married and then to a virgin, provided they had the permission of the bishop and wore the clerical habit. This law of Pope Boniface was renewed by the Council of Trent, sess. xxiii. cap. 6, De Reform. The same Council, can. 9. sess. xxiv., again pronounced the marriage of clerks in holy orders null and void. At present, in the West, a married man can receive holy orders only if his wife fully consents and herself makes a vow of chastity. If the husband is to be consecrated bishop, the wife must enter a religious order.

We may now turn to the East, and sketch the changes which the law of celibacy has undergone among the Greeks. In the time of the Church-historian Socrates (about 450), the same law of clerical celibacy which obtained among the Latins was observed in Thessaly, Macedonia, and Achaia. Further, the case of Synesius in 410 proves that it was unusual for bishops to live as married men, for he had, on accepting his election as bishop, to make a stipulation that he should be allowed to live with his wife The synod in Trullo (692) requires bishops, if married, to separate from their wives, and forbids all clerics to marry after the subdiaconate. However, a law of Leo the Wise (886–911) permitted subdeacons, deacons, and priests, who had married after receiving their respective orders, not indeed to exercise sacred functions, but still to remain in the ranks of the clergy and exercise such offices (e.g. matters of administration) as were consistent with the marriage which they had concluded.

The practical consequences of these enactments are (1) that Greek candidates for the priesthood usually leave the seminaries before being ordained deacons, and return, having concluded marriage, commonly with daughters of clergymen; (2) that secular priests live as married men, but cannot, on the death of their wife, marry again; (3) that bishops are usually chosen from the monks. (From Hefele, “Beiträge zur Kirchengeschichte, Archäologie und Liturgik.”)

CELL. (I) A colony or offshoot from some large monastery. Cells were first heard of in the Benedictine order, and were usually planted on estates that had been granted to the mother house. They were also called “provostships,” “obediences,” or “priories.” They were originally ruled by provosts or deans, removable at the discretion of the abbot of the mother house. Some cells were of sufficient importance to be called abbeys; but their abbots could only be elected with the consent and subject to the confirmation of the abbot of the mother house. The inmates of the cell were bound to render yearly a stated portion of their revenues to the house on which they depended, and to present themselves there in person on particular days. Instances of important cells in England were, Tynemouth Priory, depending on St. Alban’s; Leighton Buzzard, on Woburn, (Cistercian); and Bermondsey, a cell of the Cluniac abbey of La Charité, in France. This last is also an instance of an “alien priory,” of which there were great numbers in England at the dissolution. (Ferraris, Monasterium.)

(2) The separate chamber or hut of any monk, friar, or hermit, is popularly termed his “cell,” as in Milton’s lines—

And may at length my weary age

Find out the peaceful hermitage,

The hairy gown, and mossy cell.

(3) In primitive times the name “cella” was given to a small memorial chapel, erected over the tomb of some friend or relative in a sepulchral area, in which “agapæ” and commemorative celebrations were held on the anniversary of death.

CEMETERY (κοιμητήριον, sleeping-place). In this article only burial grounds or churchyards “sub dio,” or in the open air, will be noticed; for subterranean burial-places see CATACOMBS.

Even during the ages of persecution open air cemeteries were in use at Rome, as has been shown by De’ Rossi, as well as in the provinces. Thus the cemetery named after Callistus, who was placed in charge of it by Pope Zephyrinus, was partly above and partly below ground; that at Vienne on the Rhone entirely above ground. After Constantine, subterranean interment was of course abandoned. The old Roman law, as old as the Twelve Tables, which forbade intramural sepulture, was gradually disregarded; after 619 it became common to bury at Rome within the walls; and it is only in modern times that the sounder practice of antiquity has been everywhere restored.

A cemetery or churchyard, in order to be fit to receive the bodies of Christians, must first be consecrated and set apart by the bishop for that purpose. The rite may be seen in the Pontificale. From its tenor it is evident that it contemplates the burial of none but Christians within the space to be consecrated; indiscriminate burial is therefore an abuse. The admission to ecclesiastical burial in a cemetery so consecrated is regarded as a species of communion. Hence it has ever been held that the burial of excommunicated persons, and others with whom in their life we could not communicate, in a Catholic cemetery, is unlawful. If such an interment has been violently effected, Innocent III. ordered that the remains of the excommunicated person so buried among those of the faithful should, if they could be distinguished, be exhumed; if not, that the cemetery should be reconciled by the aspersion of holy water solemnly blessed, as at the dedication of a church. In a recent instance in Canada, where the civil power, acting up on the sentence of a lay tribunal, forcibly effected the burial of an excommunicated person in the Catholic cemetery, the Bishop of Montreal, Mgr. Bourget, laid the portion of the cemetery so desecrated under an interdict.

Cemeteries enjoyed the same right and degree of asylum, in the case of criminals fleeing to them for shelter, as the churches to which they were attached.

The Council of Lyons (1244) ordered that all trading, marketing, adjudication, trial of criminals, and secular business of every kind, in churchyards no less than in churches, should be put an end to. (Ferraris, Cœmeterium.)

CENSURE may be defined as a spiritual penalty, imposed for the correction and amendment of offenders, by which a baptised person, who has committed a crime and is contumacious, is deprived by ecclesiastical authority of the use of certain spiritual advantages. Thus a censure presupposes not only guilt but obstinacy; its immediate effect is the deprivation of spiritual goods; it only affects those who by baptism have become subjects of the Church. It may be true, as Fleury says, that under Gregory VII. censures were multiplied in a manner unknown to the early Church, and this may have been necessitated by the increasing wickedness of the times. But it is certain that the use of censures dates from the very infancy of the Church.

Censures are divided, according to the nature and extent of the pains they inflict, into excommunications, suspensions, and interdicts [see under those articles]. “Censuræ latæ sententiæ” are incurred on the violation of the law, ipso facto; “Censuræ sententiæ ferendæ,” only on the sentence of the ecclesiastical judge. They may be passed ab homine—i.e. they may be issued by a mandate respecting some single action or business; or, again, a jure—i.e. a permanent law may be passed, binding under censure. In the former case, unless already incurred, they expire with the death of the legislator; in the latter, they continue still in force. Some censures are reserved, others not reserved—i.e. the superior may reserve the power of absolution from censures to himself, or he may commit it to the ordinary ministers [see ABSOLUTION].

That the Church has the power of inflicting censures appears from the words of Christ—”He that will not hear the Church, let him be unto thee as a heathen and a publican”—as well as from the constant practice of the Church herself Censures can be imposed according to the ordinary law, by ecclesiastics possessing jurisdiction in the external courts (“forum externum” as distinct from the internal court or tribunal of confession). Thus censures may be imposed by the Pope or a general council for the whole Church; by an archbishop for his own diocese, also in the dioceses of his suffragans during a visitation, or with respect to cases brought to his tribunal by appeal from one of his suffragans; by bishops and vicar-generals in their own dioceses; by cardinals in the churches from which they take their titles; by legates in the territory of their legation; by provincial councils in the province; by chapters in the vacancy of a see till the election of a vicar-capitular, on whom the power then devolves; by generals, provincials, local superiors of regulars, according to the statutes of their order. Thus parish priests as such have no power of this kind. Still such authority may be delegated to all ecclesiastics: not however, to women—e.g. to abbesses.

Persons who have not reached the age of puberty are not included among the persons whom the censure strikes; nor again are sovereigns, unless the censure be inflicted by the Pope. Cardinals are not subjected even to Papal censures, unless they are specially mentioned as so subject. (From Gury, “Theolog. Moral.”)

CEREMONY (SACRED), in its widest sense, denotes any external act used in the worship of God. Some ceremonies are essential—such, for example, as concern the matter and form of the sacraments; others are accidental—e.g. the sacraments can be given validly, or the worship of God could be carried on, without them. Of accidental ceremonies, some descend from the apostolic age, others have been added in the course of time by the Church. That the Church has power to institute or to change such ceremonies is plain from the practice in all ages, and is defined by the Council of Trent. The Council further declares that the approved rites of the Church, in the solemn administration of the sacraments, cannot be despised, or changed by individual caprice, without sin.

Scripture and reason combine to show the wisdom of the Church’s doctrine on this head. Scripture—for God ordained ceremonies in the old law, and Christ made outward ceremonies essential to the administration of Baptism and the Eucharist. Reason—because it is natural for man, who is composed of body and soul, to express his interior devotion by exterior acts; because man is impressed by teaching which is conveyed in the form of symbol, and which appeals to his eyes as well as to his ears; because, lastly, as both body and soul come from God, we are bound to use both in his service.

The position, however, and importance of ceremonies in the Christian is very different from that which they held in the Jewish Church. In the latter a multitude of ceremonies were binding by divine law; in the Christian worship, on the other hand, only a very few ceremonies have been instituted by Christ; the rest are alterable at the will of the Church. Another reason gave ceremonies a much more important place in the Jewish than they have in the Christian Church. The Jews, St. Thomas says, were looking forward in faith and hope, not only to heavenly joys, but also to the means by which these joys could be obtained. Heaven and the means of getting there were both future to them, and both were symbolised by their ceremonies. With us the means of salvation are secured by acts already past (e.g. Christ’s passion), or by acts actually performed in our midst (e.g. the sacraments). Our ceremonies symbolise grace already won for us, and regard the future only so far as they typify heaven. The blessed in heaven have nothing more to hope for; therefore with them there are no figures or symbols (“nihil figurale”), “but only thanksgiving and the voice of praise, and so it is said concerning the city of the blessed: I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty is its temple and the Lamb.”

CERINTHIANS. Cerinthus was a native of Alexandria, but taught his heresy in proconsular Asia. He was a contemporary of St. John, who on one occasion left the public baths at Ephesus, because Cerinthus was there, the Apostle fearing to be in the same place with an “enemy of the truth.” Irenæus says St. John wrote his Gospel to confute him. Cerinthus was (1) a Judaiser. He seems to have held a gross doctrine on the Millennium, to have enforced the rite of circumcision and the observance of sabbaths. Moreover, it is related that the Cerinthians, like the Ebionites, accepted only St. Matthew’s Gospel.

(2) He was also a Gnostic, so that he forms the link between the Judaising and Gnostic sects. He attributed the creation of the world and the giving of the Jewish law to an angel or angels far removed from and ignorant of the supreme Being. The reader will observe that Cerinthus made his creative angel ignorant of, but not antagonistic to, the supreme God; so that he was not obliged to break entirely with Judaism, as the later Gnostics did. (From Lightfoot on Colossians: “Essay on the Colossian Heresy.”)

CESSATIO A DIVINIS. A prohibition which obliges the clergy to abstain from celebrating divine offices or giving Church-burial, in some specified place. It is distinct from an interdict, because (1) an interdict may affect only certain persons: cessatio a divinis is always local—i.e. it forbids anyone to celebrate the divine offices in a particular place; (2) an interdict is a censure, and therefore inflicted to correct offenders: not so cessatio a divinis, which may be ordered as an expression of the Church’s sorrow, to repair some injury done to the divine honour, &c.; (3) during an interdict offices may be celebrated with closed doors, and publicly on certain feasts: neither is permissible during cessatio a divinis.

Cessatio a divinis is in some cases prescribed, as a matter of course, by the general law of the Church—e.g. when a church is desecrated; but it may also be imposed by all who have power to inflict censures. (Gury, “Theolog. Moral.”) Fleury gives several instances of cessatio a divinis from the history of the French church in the sixth century.

CHALCEDON, GENERAL COUNCIL OF. The fourth general council, which, in 451, condemned the errors of Eutyches and affirmed two natures in Christ.

The opposition to Nestorius who said there were two persons in Christ, led many, particularly among the monks, into the opposite extreme of maintaining that there was one nature, as there was one person only, in our Lord. Among those who fell into this error, which was closely connected with Apollinarianism, a conspicuous place belonged to Eutyches, an old monk who had been for thirty years Archimandrite of a monastery near Constantinople which numbered not less than 300 religious. In 448 Eusebius of Dorylæmn accused Eutyches of heresy in a synod at Constantinople. Eutyches expressed his belief as follows; “I confess that our Lord was of two natures before the union, but after the union [i.e. the union of the two natures in the Incarnation] I confess one nature.” The synod, over which Flavian, bishop of Constantinople, presided, maintained two natures in Christ “after the union” [i.e. Incarnation], and Eutyches was condemned and deposed. His error cut at the very roots of true belief in the Incarnation. He maintained that in Christ the human was absorbed in the divine nature, so that Christ’s body was not of one substance with ours—was not, indeed, the “body of a man.” Carried to its logical consequences, the Eutychian heresy involved a denial of Christ’s humanity and even of his divinity, for Christ would have had one mixed nature, partly human, partly divine, and in reality neither divine nor human.

After the synod, Eutyches appealed to Leo, professing his desire that the matter had been laid before Leo sooner, and his readiness to accept the Pope’s judgment. He also wrote to Chrysologus of Ravenna, who referred him to the chair of Peter; and it is probable, though not quite certain, that he also addressed himself to Dioscorus and other bishops. Pope Leo, after examining the acts, approved the sentence passed in the synod at Constantinople. Dioscorus, on the other hand, who was really of one mind with Eutyches, managed through his influence with the Empress Eudocia, to secure the convocation of a general synod at Ephesus. Thereupon Leo, who received on May 13, 449, an invitation to take part in the council, despatched three legates to represent him there, and gave into their hands several letters, among which was his famous “dogmatic epistle” to Flavian. In it the Pope teaches with all possible fullness and clearness the existence of two distinct natures in the incarnate God. “He who, remaining in the form of a God, made man, also in the form of a servant was made man. For each nature without defect preserves its proper characteristics (proprietatem suam), and as the form [i.e. nature] of a servant does not take away the form of God, so the form of God does not diminish the form of a servant.… Each form in union with the other does what is proper to it: the Word, that is to say, operating that which is proper to the Word, and the flesh performing that which is proper to the flesh.… The one [i.e. the divine nature] shines forth in miracles, the other [i.e. the human nature] succumbs to injuries. And as the Word does not fall away from equality with the Father’s glory, so the flesh does not leave the nature of our race. For one and the same, a point often to be repeated, is truly son of God, and truly son of man.… To hunger, to thirst, to be weary, and to sleep, is evidently proper to man. But to satisfy five thousand men with five loaves, and to give the woman of Samaria living water.… is without doubt divine.… It does not belong to the same nature to say, I and the Father are one, and again, the Father is greater than I.” In August of the same year the bishops began to assemble at Ephesus in the council which for its evil repute has earned the name of Latrocinium or Robber-synod. The council met on the 8th of the month and consisted apparently of about 130 bishops, though one ancient account raises the number to 300. Dioscorus presided, while two Papal legates, besides Domnus of Antioch, Juvenal of Jerusalem, Flavian of Constantinople, were present. Flavian and Eusebius were condemned as heretics and deposed, as it was pretended, by the unanimous vote of the council, but the coarse and fanatical Dioscorus would allow no notes of the proceedings to be made except by his own creatures, and he was afterwards accused of having falsified the Acts. He called in soldiers and monks armed with cudgels, cruelly maltreated Flavian and cast him into prison, and forced the other Fathers by outrage and starvation to sign a blank paper, on which he afterwards wrote the condemnation of Flavian, who died shortly afterwards of the ill-usage he had received. Leo, with the whole West, rejected this council, while the churches of Syria, Asia Minor, Pontus, would hear nothing of it. It was, however, confirmed by the Emperor Theodosius II., and for the time it was impossible to convoke another synod.

Better times came with the accession of Marcian and Pulcheria to the throne. Marcian at once annulled the decreees of the Latrocinium, and in concert with Valentinian III., the Western emperor, and with the approval of Pope Leo and of Anatolius, the new bishop of Constantinople, who had now subscribed Leo’s letter to Flavian, convoked a new Council, which was to meet at Nicæa. Afterwards, however, Chalcedon was chosen as the place of meeting, because of its proximity to Constantinople, which made it possible for Marcian to attend the council and at the same time to look after civil affairs in the capital of his empire. The council opened on October 8, 451, and closed on November 1 of the same year. The Fathers held their sessions in the church of St. Euphemia, which stood near the Bosphorus on a gentle eminence just opposite Constantinople. The number of assembled bishops was about 600. The external order of the council was in the hands of an imperial commission, consisting of civil officers; but the Papal legates “manifested an unmistakeable superiority over the other voters, as representing, according to their own explicit statement, the head of the whole Church, and as holding fast to the conviction that every resolution of the synod to which they did not agree was null and void.” This claim was fully recognised by the council, as will presently appear.

In the first session, Dioscorus was declared guilty of murder and of other moral offences, particularly of violence and outrage upon the Fathers who met at Ephesus. In the second, the epistle of Leo to Flavian was unanimously approved. The Fathers exclaimed, “That is the faith of the Fathers: that is the faith of the Apostles. So we all believe. Peter has spoken through Leo. That was also Cyril’s faith, and that is the faith of the Fathers.” In the third session Dioscorus was deposed. In the fourth the letter of Leo to Flavian was approved by a formal vote. In the fifth session, the dogmatic formula of Chalcedon which had been drawn up by a commission, was adopted by the council.

In this formula the council defined that there was “one and the same Christ the Son, Lord, only-begotten, in two natures, without confusion, without change [this is directed against Eutyches] without division, without separation [this against Nestorius, who divided Christ into two persons]; the difference of the natures being in no wise destroyed on account of the union, but rather the property (ἰδιότητος) of each nature being preserved and meeting (συντρεχούσης) in one Person and Hypostasis.” At the close of the council the Fathers wrote to Pope Leo, who “had presided over all the assembled [bishops] as the head over the members,” begging him “by his assent also to honour their decision” (τίμησον καὶ ταῖς σαῖς ψήφοις τὴν κρίσιν). The Emperor also asked the Pope to confirm the decrees of the council. Accordingly, on March 21, 453, Leo addressed a circular to the bishops who had attended the council confirming their definition of the faith.

The confirmation of the council would have been obtained much sooner and much more easily, if the dogmatic controversy had been the only matter of discussion. But it was not so. At the end of the fourteenth session, the Papal legates withdrew, and in their next meeting the Fathers of the Council passed thirty canons, relating to Church government, clerical and monastic discipline, &c., of which the 28th is the most important. The church of Constantinople, though not of Apostolic foundation, naturally acquired great influence from its position as an imperial city, and as early as 381 the Second General Council assigned it “the pre-eminence of honour” after the Church of Rome, on the ground that Constantinople itself was New Rome. This canon, however, was ignored by Rome. At Chalcedon, Anatolius of Constantinople saw that the time was unusually favourable for asserting the doubtful privilege of his see and for extending it. He had not much to fear from the jealousy or conservatism of the great patriarchates or exarchates in the East. The sees of Alexandria and Ephesus were vacant, Maximus of Antioch was his creature, Juvenal of Jerusalem was in his debt for helping him to obtain jurisdiction over the three Palestinian provinces. In these circumstances, the 28th canon of Chalcedon was agreed to with little difficulty. The former part of this canon merely reaffirms the decree of the second general synod to which the canon of Chalcedon expressly refers. The Fathers, the bishops of Chalcedon say, had rightly assigned [patriarchal] privileges to the elder Rome, because of its imperial dignity, and had from similar motives assigned the second rank to New Rome—i.e. Constantinople. The latter part of the 28th canon goes much further. It sanctions the practice which had prevailed since Chrysostom’s time—viz. that the Bishop of Constantinople should be supreme, not only over the district (διοίκησις) of Thrace, but also over Pontus and Asia, which had been formerly independent. The metropolitans of these districts were to receive consecration from Constantinople.

Leo absolutely refused to confirm this canon, and Anatolius acknowledged that “the whole force and confirmation of that which had been done was reserved to the authority of [his] beatitude”—i.e. to the authority of his Holiness the Bishop of Rome. In like manner the council itself and the Emperor Marcian had expressly allowed that the canon was invalid without the approbation of the Apostolic See. Indeed, for a considerable time the Greeks themselves did not appeal to the canon in question, and their canonists omitted it in their collections, Justinian, however, confirmed the high rank of Constantinople, and this very canon of Chalcedon was confirmed at the great Eastern synod in Trullo, although Rome still abstained from sanctioning it. But after a Latin Empire had been established in the East, and a Latin Patriarchate at Constantinople, the Fourth Lateran Synod under Innocent III., in the year 1215, ordained that the Patriarch of Constantinople was to hold rank immediately after the Pope, and therefore above the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch. (From Hefele, “Concil.” vol. ii.)

CHALDEAN CHRISTIANS, RITE, &c. A name given both in the East and West to Nestorians when reunited to the Church, the name Syrian being reserved for those who have returned to the Church from the Jacobite or Monophysite sect.

Through the influence of Ibas, bishop of Edessa, and of the school in that city, Nestorianism spread through Mesopotamia, Assyria, Persia, and countries further east. The Nestorians had an organised hierarchy under their patriarch of Seleucia—Ctesiphon—but at the Council of Florence, when the Greek schism was healed for the moment, many Nestorian Christians also were reconciled. Timothy, archbishop of the Nestorians in Cyprus, abjured his errors, and was by a bull of Eugenius IV. (1445) received into communion with the Church, and the Pope forbade anyone to “call the Chaldeans Nestorians.” Another section of Nestorians became Catholic under Julius III. (1552), when Siud, patriarch at Mosul, accepted confirmation in his office from the Pope. This union was continued by the patriarch Elias, in whose time, after negotiations extending over six years, a synod was held at Amed, in 1616. In this synod the patriarch, five a archbishops and one bishop subscribed a profession of Catholic faith and were reunited to the Roman Church. Meanwhile, on more occasions than one, Chaldeans relapsed into heresy and schism. But another reunion took place under Pope Innocent X., which Pope placed over all Chaldean Christians a patriarch, Joseph I., who took up his abode at Amed, usually known as Diarbekir. Since then the Catholic Chaldeans have always had their own patriarch and their liturgy in the Chaldee language.

CHALICE (calix, ποτήριον). The cup used in Mass, for the wine which is to be consecrated. The rubrics of the Missal require that it should be of gold or silver, or at least have a silver cup gilt inside. It must be consecrated by the bishop with chrism, according to a form prescribed in the Pontifical. It may not be touched except by persons in holy orders.

We know nothing about the chalice which our Lord used in the first Mass. Venerable Bede relates that in the seventh century they exhibited at Jerusalem a great silver cup, with two handles, which our Saviour himself had used in celebrating the Eucharist, but antiquity knows nothing of this chalice, and it has no better claim to be regarded as genuine than the chalice of agate which is still shown at Valencia and claims also to be that used by Christ. Probably, the first chalices used by Christian priests were made of glass. It seems likely at least, though the inference cannot be called certain, from Tertullian’s words, that in his time glass chalices were commonly used in church, and undoubtedly such chalices were still common during the fifth century, as appears from the testimonies of St. Jerome and Cyprianus Gallus, the biographer of St. Cæsarius of Arles. Gregory of Tours mentions a crystal chalice of remarkable beauty, which belonged to the church of Milan.

However, even before persecution had ceased, the Church began, from natural reverence for Christ’s blood, to employ more costly vessels. The Roman Book of the Pontiffs says of Pope Urban I. (226) that “he made all the holy vessels of silver.” So, too, we read in the acts of St. Laurence’s martyrdom, that he was charged by the heathen with having sold the altar-vessels of gold and silver, and with having given the proceeds to the poor; while St. Augustine mentions two golden and six silver chalices, which were exhumed from the crypt of the church at Cirta. Of course, such precious chalices became more common when the Church grew rich and powerful. Thus St. Chrysostom describes a chalice “of gold and adorned with jewels.” In 857 the Emperor Michael III. sent Pope Nicolas I., among other presents, a golden chalice, surrounded by precious stones, and with jacinths suspended on gold threads round the cup. A precious silver chalice adorned with figures belonged to the church at Jerusalem, and was presented in 869 to Ignatius of Constantinople. But it is needless to multiply instances on this head.

Still for a long time chalices of horn, base metal, &c., were still used, and Binterim says that a copper chalice in which Ludger, the Apostle of Münster, in the eighth century, said Mass, is still preserved at Werden, where he founded an abbey. But very soon afterwards chalices of glass, horn, base metal, &c., were prohibited by a series of councils in England, Germany, Spain, and France, although chalices of ivory, and of precious stone (e.g. of onyx) were still permitted. Gratian adopted in the Corpus Juris a canon which he attributes to a Council of Rheims, otherwise unknown. The words of the canon are, “let the chalice of the Lord and the paten be at least of silver, if not of gold. But if anyone be too poor, let him in any case have a chalice of tin. Let not the chalice be made of copper or brass, because from the action of the wine it produces rust, which occasions sickness. But let none presume to sing Mass with a chalice of wood or glass.” (Hefele, “Beiträge,” ii. p. 322 seq.)

The practice of consecrating chalices is very ancient. A form for this purpose is contained in the Gregorian Sacramentary, as well as in the most ancient “Ordines Romani.” and such consecration is usual among the Greeks and Copts. In the Latin Church, the bishop anoints the inside of the chalice with chrism, using at the same time appropriate prayers. The consecration is lost if the chalice be broken or notably injured, or if the inside is regilt. A decree prohibiting all except those in sacred orders to touch the paten or chalice is attributed to an early Pope, St. Sixtus, by the author of the “Liber Pontificalis.” But Merati, who quotes this statement, admits that a Roman Ordo regards it as lawful for acolytes to do so. However, a Council of Braga, held in 563, confines the right of touching the sacred vessels to those who at least are subdeacons.

Besides the chalice from which the priest took the Precious Blood, the ancients also used “baptismal chalices,” from which the newly-baptised received communion under the species of wine, and “ministerial chalices” (“calices ministeriales,” “scyphi”), in which the Precious Blood was given to the people. This “ministerial” chalice was partly filled with common wine, and into this wine the celebrant poured a small quantity of the Precious Blood from the “calix offertorius”—i.e. the chalice with which he said Mass. (Benedict XIV. “De Miss.” i. cap. 4.)

CHALICE-VEIL. The veil with which the chalice is covered, called also “peplum” and “sudarium.” It used to be of linen, but must now be of silk, as the rubric requires. The Greeks use three veils, one of which covers the paten, another the chalice, a third both paten and chalice. They call the third veil ἀήρ, because it encompasses the oblations. Cardinal Bona says this Greek custom began in the church of Jerusalem, and thence spread through the East. (Benedict XIV. “De Miss.” i. cap. 5.)

Benedict XIV. considers the antiquity of the chalice-veil to be proved by one of the Apostolic Canons—viz. 72 (al. 73), which forbids the application of the church vessels or veils (ὀθόνην) to profane uses. Hefele thinks this canon may belong to the latter half of the third century. But there does not seem to be any reason for alleging that the veil meant is the chalice-veil. Gavantus says that the chalice-veil is mentioned in the liturgy of St. Chrysostom (which, however, has been altered since the saint’s time); that silken chalice-veils were given to Pope Hormisdas (514–523), and that Amalarius mentions the Roman custom of bringing the chalice to the altar wrapped in a veil.

CHANCEL. The part of a church between the altar and the nave, so named from the rails (cancelli) which separated it from the nave. The word was in use before the Reformation, and the Anglicans still retain it. Among English Catholics it is now little used, the portion of the church near the altar, separated by rails from the nave, being designated the “sanctuary.” In cathedrals and conventual churches, where space is required to accommodate the canons or the religious, a portion of the church between the sanctuary and the nave is taken for the purpose; it is not however called the “chancel,” but the “choir,” Fr. chœur. [See CHOIR.]

CHANCELLOR, EPISCOPAL (cancellarius, from cancelli, a lattice, railings). The place, surrounded by railings or lattice work, where the legal instruments which decisions in an imperial or royal court made necessary were prepared, was called “cancellaria.” The word “cancellarius” is first used in the sense of a secretary or notary by Cassiodorus—that is, in the middle of the sixth century. The jurisdiction of the bishop was in primitive times exercised by his archdeacon [ARCHDEACON]; but in proportion as the powers of the archdeacons were enlarged, a tendency manifested itself to make their jurisdiction independent of episcopal control, until at last an appeal actually lay from the archdeacon to the bishop. Such a state of things would inevitably make the bishop’s own official, his “chancellor”—the person, whether a clerk or a layman, who had the charge of the judicial records of the diocese—a personage of greater importance. We find, accordingly, that in the three centuries preceding the Reformation, while the power of the archdeacon had everywhere declined, or was declining, the influence and importance of the bishop’s chancellor were always on the ascendant. We find St. Edmund Rich, archbishop of Canterbury, in the thirteenth century, carrying on an important and delicate negotiation with the monks of Christchurch chiefly through Richard, his chancellor, afterwards celebrated in the Church as St. Richard, bishop of Chichester. (See Gervase of Canterbury.) Canon Law contains many regulations respecting the fees of office which chancellors are entitled to demand.

CHANCERY, EPISCOPAL. See the article on Episcopal Chancellors. From the chancery of a bishop proceed all those documents, deeds, certificates, licences, dispensations, &c., which are necessary to the publication, recognition, and execution of the acts which he performs in the exercise of the fivefold jurisdiction attributed to him by the canon law, in which are included the powers of ordering, judging, correcting, dispensing, and administering. To these may be added the power of delegating or deputing. (Soglia, “De Potestate Jurisdictionis.”)



CHANTRY (Lat. capellania, Fr. chapellenie). The ancient name in England—

(1) of a chapel, aisle, or part of an aisle, in a church, set apart for the offering of the Holy Sacrifice for the benefit of the soul of a particular person, generally the founder, or for some other pious purpose;

(2) of the institution and endowment of such a service: as when Chaucer praises his “Persone” for not leaving his parish,

“To seeken him a chaunterie for soules.”

All chantries were dissolved by the Acts of 1545 and 1547. They were then found to be more than a thousand in number.

Chantries in the second of the above senses are divided by the canonists into three classes. (1) Mercenary, as when a testator leaves property to a layman with the charge of causing Masses to be said for his soul. (2) Collative, when property is left with an express injunction that out of the revenue arising from it daily Mass, or a certain number of Masses in the year, should be celebrated; as to these chantries, the collation of the priests to serve them properly belongs to the bishop. (3) Chantries in private patronage. These only differ from the second class in that the nomination to them rests with the private patron; but the institution must still come from the bishop. (Ferraris, Capellania).

CHAPLAIN (capellanus, from capella, chapel). The word capella, the derivation of which is doubtful, appears to have first come into use in Gaul, and to have been applied to the buildings, smaller than churches, which kings or bishops erected in their own palaces, that they might more conveniently and frequently attend divine worship. The priest appointed to the charge of such a chapel was called the “capellanus” or chaplain. As the number of such chapels increased, the chaplains became a numerous body, and were placed under an arch-chaplain, who was also called the Grand Almoner. Charlemagne selected bishops for this office of Grand Almoner.

There are chaplains of many kinds, as the following enumeration shows:—

(1) Army chaplains. Various indults, privileges, and faculties have been granted to Catholic sovereigns by the Holy See in relation to priests stationed in barracks, or serving with an army in the field. In modern times the sovereigns have usually endeavoured to place army chaplains under the sole control of a royal or imperial chaplain-major. This has been resisted by the Church, and it is decided that such chaplains, in the absence of an apostolic brief otherwise providing, must be approved by the ordinary of the place. Thus a marriage contracted before an army chaplain, in the absence of such brief as aforesaid, is held to be null if celebrated without the licence of the bishop.

There are now two priests holding commissions as chaplains in the U. S. army, but there is no Catholic chaplain in the U. S. navy.

2. Auxiliary chaplains. Appointed by parish priests as their coadjutors, and removable by them, but not without just cause. (See Ferraris, Capellanus, § 41.)

3. Cathedral chaplains. After the common life of canons ceased, and each drew his portion or prebend from the common fund, it became usual for them to reside at a distance from the cathedral or collegiate church to which they belonged, and to pay chaplains to perform their duties in choir for them. This practice was checked by the Council of Trent. [See CANON].

4. Chaplains of chantries (capellaniæ). [See CHANTRY.] A large proportion of the chantries which once existed were founded, not that Mass might be said for souls, but in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or of some saint, or some particular mystery. The chaplains serving these were and are carefully regulated by the canon law, so that the course of episcopal and parochial discipline might not be troubled by their presence in a diocese.

5. Chaplains of confraternities. [See CONFRATERNITY.] Such chaplains cannot have processions without the express licence of the bishop. They are not to be removed without cause by the bishop against the wish of the brotherhood.

6. Court chaplains. How these originated under the early Frankish kings has been already explained. Charlemagne gave to his episcopal arch-chaplain precedence over all the archbishops and bishops of his empire. The chaplains of the imperial and royal courts had great power for centuries. By a Papal brief dated in 1857 the Holy See restored the office of arch-chaplain or Grand Almoner in France; but with the collapse of the Second Empire the brief became inoperative. At the Courts of Catholic sovereigns in Germany the chaplains of an imperial or royal chapel now constitute a body of canons, and the chapel of the palace is regarded as a collegiate church.

7. Domestic chaplains. Priests appointed to say Mass in the chapels attached to private houses, but there are no such chaplains in this country.

8. Episcopal chaplains. In early times the bishops had their private oratories, and as their dwellings grew to be palaces their first care was to provide them with suitable chapels, the clergy attached to which became episcopal chaplains. In large and wealthy dioceses these became numerous, and were then placed under an episcopal arch-chaplain. At the present day, when the Church has in most countries of Europe been reduced to the greatest poverty, the chaplains of bishops usually act as their secretaries, or as masters of the ceremonies when they celebrate High Mass.

9. Chaplains of nunneries. These are of course very numerous, and to be found in every part of the Catholic world. Canon law requires that they shall be of mature age, and in other ways enacts a minute discipline for their guidance.

10. Pontifical chaplains, attached to the Pope’s chapel. They are of three classes: honorary, ceremonial, and secretarial.

11. Chaplains of public institutions: e.g. workhouses, prisons, hospitals, and lunatic asylums. In all such appointments the chaplain is, as a rule, nominated by the civil authority, with the approval of the bishop of the diocese.

CHAPTER, CATHEDRAL. [For the derivation, see CHAPTER, CONVENTUAL). The ancient name for the clergy of a cathedral church was Presbyterium; the term “chapter” was borrowed from the assemblies of regulars. The history of chapters has been already partly traced in the article CANON. With the increase of the corporate property of chapters, the extended patronage arising from that increase, and the sense of dignity which the possession of that patronage engendered, a strong tendency developed itself in the course of the middle ages towards the independent existence of chapters, both cathedral and collegiate, and their exemption from episcopal control. There was a danger lost the canons of his cathedral, instead of forming the trusted council of the bishop, and assisting him in the administration of the diocese, as in primitive times, should be transformed into a body of dignified and wealthy ecclesiastics, burdened by very light duties, admission amongst whom would be desired by the upper classes for their sons, from motives much short of the purest. This happened to a great extent, and as a natural consequence collisions between bishops and chapters came to be of frequent occurrence. The Council of Trent applied itself to remedy this state of things, and partially restored the authority of the bishops over the chapters. A general right of visitation and correction was asserted for them. A bishop was authorised to convene the chapter for any affairs which did not solely concern the interests of the canons and their dependents; this power, however, was not to extend to his vicar-general. At meetings so convened the bishop was to preside, and due rank and honour were to be accorded him. On the other hand, many things important for the welfare of the diocese could at no time be settled by the bishop without the consent or advice of his chapter; and in this respect the Council made no change. Thus the consent of the chapter is required in the administration or alienation of the see-property, or in any case in which diminution of the authority and privileges of the cathedral is threatened; their advice must be had by the bishop before ordaining or instituting clerks, before proclaiming public processions, convening synods, &c, &c. In England, in consequence of the Elizabethan schism, the reforming influence of the Council of Trent could not assert itself; and hence, though the chapters were left, no attempt was made to bring back their action and authority into that harmony with those of the bishops which primitive piety required. Thus the present singular state of things gradually arose. The dean and chapter of an Anglican cathedral have their own separate property, the bishop of the same cathedral has his, and neither side interferes with the other. The chapter, say of Worcester Cathedral, has complete power over the church itself, with the exceptions presently to be mentioned; but there its connection with the diocese ceases. It has no more to do with its government by the bishop than the chapter of Munich has. At a vacancy of the see, indeed, the chapter meets to go through the mockery of electing a new bishop; but, as everyone knows, in the congé d’élire sent down to them from London, the name of the Crown nominee is specified, and the chapter is not at liberty to reject it. On the other hand, the bishop has a legal right to a chair or throne in the cathedral, and to hold confirmations in it, and here his power ends. He has no authority to summon meetings of the chapter for any purpose whatever, nor to control the dean or the canons in any way, except so far as, in their merely clerical capacity, they may become amenable to his jurisdiction. The result is that an Anglican chapter has entirely lost the primitive character of the “senatus episcopi,” and is generally regarded as a convenient institution by which a Government can pension and reward its principal clerical supporters. In the Catholic Church, amidst the unnumbered ills that have come upon it in every country of Europe, it is consoling to reflect that this particular evil at least, so rife in the middle ages, has in our day almost disappeared; everywhere harmony and co-operation reign between the bishops and the cathedral chapters.

In England every Catholic diocese has its chapter, presided over by a provost, and usually numbering ten canons. In Ireland ten of the twenty-eight dioceses have chapters, presided over by deans, and usually containing five or six dignitaries of the diocese, besides the Canon Theologian and Canon Penitentiary prescribed by the Council of Trent. In the United States there are no chapters.

CHAPTER, CONVENTUAL (capitulum, a chapter). It was and is the common practice of monks to assemble every morning to hear a chapter of the rule read, and for other purposes. Both the meeting itself and the place of meeting gradually obtained the name of Capitulum or chapter from this practice. The assembly of the monks of one monastery being thus designated “the chapter,” it is easy to understand that assemblies of all the monks in any province, or of the whole order, came to be called “provincial” or “general” chapters. A general chapter, in the case of most of the orders, is held once in three years.

CHAPTER-HOUSE. The place of meeting of the canons of a cathedral, or the religious of a monastery. Till the thirteenth century it was generally rectangular; after that time the polygonal or round form came in, as at Salisbury, Lincoln, and York. Chapter-houses were sometimes richly adorned; at Westminster Abbey, for instance, a band of fresco, the painting of which has considerable merit, ran round the interior of the building; the remains of this, lately opened to public view, are of great interest. A large round chapter-house, with seats for sixty—the number of the monks—extremely plain in its architecture, but effective from the symmetry and boldness of its forms, was lately erected by the Cistercians at their house of Mount St. Bernard’s in Leicestershire.


CHARACTER (χαρακτήρ). A stamp on coins, seals, &c., and in its theological sense, a spiritual mark indelibly impressed on the soul, by baptism, confirmation, and holy order, which sacraments cannot be reiterated without sacrilege. That these sacraments do really impress a character is taught by the Council of Florence, in the “decree of union,” and is solemnly affirmed by the Council of Trent (Sess. vii. can. 9, De Sacram. in Gen.) as an article of faith. The Fathers of Trent content themselves with defining character as a “spiritual and indelible mark,” on account of which the three sacraments which confer it cannot be reiterated. But St. Thomas, who is followed by other theologians, points out that character marks the recipient in some special way for the worship of God and also conveys certain powers. Thus baptism stamps a man indelibly as a Christian and enables him to receive the other sacraments: confirmation makes him a good soldier of Christ, and conveys particular powers of confessing the faith: by holy order he becomes a minister of Christ, and is empowered to perform certain sacred functions.

The truth of the Church’s doctrine on this matter is shown by the fact that it has always been accounted sacrilege to reiterate the three sacraments of baptism, confirmation and order. There must, therefore, be something in these sacraments which separates them from the other four, which may be lawfully received over and over again. Nor can it be said with any show of reason that the modern doctrine of character is an invention of the middle ages, first set forth by Innocent III. From the earliest times, Christian writers—e.g. Clement of Alexandria—speak of baptism as “the seal of the Lord” (σφραγῖδα τοῦ κυρίου). So confirmation was known as the “seal,” and it is still conferred in the Greek rite with the words the “seal of the Holy Ghost.” What can this language mean, if considered in connection with the fact that baptism, confirmation and order were never reiterated, except this, that these sacraments set a seal on the soul which could never be blotted out, by sin or even by apostacy? St. Augustine gives clear witness to the tradition of the Church on character, and as the sense of his statements has been disputed, we will quote a brief summary of his teaching from the most eminent of Protestant Church historians. Augustine, says Neander, “in connection with baptism often uses the comparison with the mark (‘character militaris’) which was impressed upon soldiers, as a token of imperial service, and which remained indelibly fixed even on those who were untrue to their service, though in that case it only witnessed against them.” This is simply the Tridentine doctrine of sacramental character.


CHARITY, WORKS OF CHRISTIAN. Our Lord himself declared “by this shall men know that ye are my disciples, because ye love one another,” and the heathen felt that a new spiritual power was in their midst when they beheld the manifestations of Christian love. The fact that the Christian religion taught its disciples to pray for all men, to love all, and to sacrifice themselves for all, is a most solid and a most touching proof that the Christian religion is divine. With scarcely an exception, every work and institute of mercy existing in the world is of Christian origin, direct or indirect. The same kind of proof may be brought to show that the Catholic religion is the one true form of Christianity. No doubt, many Protestants have been conspicuous for philanthropy, and, as Protestants have preserved much of the Catholic belief, we need not be surprised to find this belief producing its natural fruit in works of mercy. It is true, however, on the other hand, that the Catholic Church has laboured for the souls and bodies of men to an extent unknown in other systems, and Protestants offer an unconscious testimony to the superiority of the Catholic religion by imitating many of its institutes for the relief of the poor and suffering. Much information on this head will be found in the articles on religious orders founded for works of this kind. Here, we can only give a brief account of the different directions in which Catholic charity has shown itself. We shall speak first of spiritual, then of corporal, mercy.

(A.) We find religious orders erected with the special view of succouring the fallen, or saving those who are exposed to danger of sin. Such was the double order of Fontevraud, erected for male and female penitents, towards the close of the eleventh century, by Robert of Arbrisselles, who was endowed with wonderful power for the conversion of sinners. The order spread over France, Spain, and England. A century later, the famous preacher Fulk of Neuilly and Raymund de Palmariis also laboured for fallen women. Other orders with this object have been founded in modern times. The orders established for the instruction of the poor in Christian doctrine by means of missions, &c., and for the teaching of youth, both of the higher and lower classes, are past reckoning. The missions to the heathen are a creation of the Catholic Church. They were adopted by Protestants long after the rise of the new belief, and, like Sunday-schools, missions to people already Christian, sisterhoods, &c., are borrowed from the old religion.

(B.) The care of the Church for the bodies of the poor shines forth, not only in the lives of saints, but in the Church’s ordinary law. By ancient regulation, a fourth part of the Church revenues was devoted to the poor: if extreme distress prevailed, even the sacred vessels were sold for the support of the needy. In many monasteries hundreds of poor people were fed every day; while in most churches funds for the poor, called “mensæ pauperum,” “mensæ S. Spiritus,” were established. Further, the Church showed her care for the suffering and the indigent by the foundation of houses in which they were received and tended. Public institutions of this sort were scarcely possible during the period of heathen persecution; but whenever the peace of the Church was secured, the bishops began to have houses erected for the reception of strangers (Xenodochia), of the sick (Nosocomia), of the poor (Ptochotrophia), of orphans and foundlings (Orphanotrophia and Brephotrophia), and of old people (Gerontocomia). About the middle of the fourth century, we hear of a hospital for the sick at Sebaste in Armenia; while the hospital erected through the zeal of Basil the Great was of a size so vast that it was often compared to a town. In the different sections of the building unfortunate people of every kind were received—the poor, exiles, lepers, &c. Half a century earlier, St. Chrysostom spent all the spare revenues of his church in restoring old hospitals and erecting new ones. In the West, Paulinus founded a house for the poor, for the sick, and for widows. It is to be observed that in Western as well as Eastern Europe the first institutions of this kind were erected by bishops. Not that the laity were remiss in promoting works of charity. Fabiola, the friend of St. Jerome, the Emperor Justinian, the Empress Eudoxia, and a multitude besides, were all distinguished as the founders of hospitals; still, the bishops led the way.

The earliest hospitals in the middle ages appear to have been founded by monks from Ireland, or from Irish monasteries elsewhere. The good work was greatly promoted by Alcuin, who seems to have influenced Charlemagne, in this direction, and to have encouraged the bishops to found hospitals in their dioceses. Two years after Charlemagne’s death, a Council of Aix la Chapelle issued statutes on this matter which deserve special notice. The bishops were required, after the example of the Fathers, to provide a house for the poor, and to support it from the Church funds. The canons were to resign a tenth part of their income in its favour. It was to be near the church, and under the care of a cleric, and in penitential seasons the canons were to wash the feet of the poor.

Whether these hospitals were endowed by clerics or lay people, they were placed under the jurisdiction of the Church, a point settled in the East, e.g., by the ordinances of Justinian, and in the West by Charlemagne and the decrees of councils and Popes. Even if a prince founded a hospital, still it was not as a secular ruler but as a Christian that he did so; it was not state policy, but the living spirit of Christianity which had called hospitals into being: it was not State revenues, but gifts bestowed, sometimes by ecclesiastics, sometimes by secular rulers, sometimes by private individuals, but always for the love of God, which maintained them after their foundation. The Council of Trent, again, enforces the obligation which lay upon bishops of watching over benevolent institutions. And the Church did her work well. “With such intelligence,” says Von Raumer, “was the inner management [of such institutions] conducted as in truth to excite astonishment and admiration.” True, even in the middle ages lay administrators did occasionally, to the great injury of the suffering poor, usurp the control of hospitals. But it was the Reformation which began to sever on principle the bond which connected works of benevolence with the power of the Church, till modern statecraft completely snapped the link and substituted natural for Christian benevolence. No Catholic can approve of a change which is opposed to the whole tradition of the Church and to every Catholic instinct. Nor do results recommend the so-called emancipation of benevolence from the Church. The feeling of brotherhood between rich and poor has been changed to a great extent into positive enmity, and the State itself has suffered in consequence from the spread of Socialism. The poor accept State aid without gratitude, because it is very often given without real charity. Every experienced person knows the horror with which they regard the workhouse, and, on the other hand, the readiness with which indigent Catholics enter a house of refuge cared for by religious—such, for example, as the Little Sisters of the Poor or the Sisters of Nazareth.

This leads us to speak of another characteristic feature in Catholic charity. It was not only, or even chiefly, that the Church founded houses for the relief of the poor and suffering; she infused into her children a spirit which made them count it an honour to tend their suffering brethren, and, if need be, to sacrifice life itself in their behalf. From early times, bishops, like St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen, found time to tend the sick and minister to them with their own hands. Persons of the highest rank, such as Placilla, wife of Theodosius the Great, performed the most menial services for them. In the middle ages, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, from the time of her widowhood—i.e. from her twenty-first year—went daily to the hospital, gave the patients food and medicine, bound up their wounds and applied remedies to ulcers, from the very sight of which others shrank in horror. Everybody knows the love St. Francis had for the poor, and his tender care of the suffering, particularly of lepers. Whole orders were founded for this personal attendance on helpless sufferers, and the poor learned to love those who were born to wealth, when they saw the richest and the noblest among them making themselves the servants of the poor; they learned to bear their own poverty patiently, when they saw the rich counting it an honour to be poor for Christ’s sake. Among such orders we may name the Canons Regular of St. Antony of Vienne, founded by a French nobleman, Gaston, towards the end of the eleventh century, for the succour of persons afflicted with “St. Antony’s fire,” a horrible disease, then raging in Western Europe; the Jesuats, a confraternity formed by B. John Colombino, which occupied itself in the preparation of medicines, &c., for the sick; the “Clerks Regular, Ministers of the Sick,” also called “the Fathers of a Good Death,” established at the end of the sixteenth century by St. Camillus of Lellis; the “Sisters of Charity,” founded by St. Vincent of Paul; and other orders founded for the same ends and animated by the same heroic zeal, the name of which is legion.

The Catholic Church has also alleviated the hardships of prison life. The lot of prisoners was changed wherever Christianity became the religion of the State. The sexes were separated; care was taken that they should never lack the consolations of religion; greater liberty and better food was allowed to them on Sundays; the bishop had to visit the prisons every week, and to see that there were no abuses in the administration of discipline. In the middle ages, the Church exercised her tempering and restraining influence on the roughness and barbarity of the times. During that period, the constant wars subjected many innocent persons to imprisonment; and, accordingly, it was common for pious persons to devote large sums of money to the redemption of captives. Help was given in other ways, but all the works of mercy to captives were surpassed by the Trinitarian Order—an institute devoted to the redemption of captives from slavery under the Saracens. The rule of the Order of the Trinity was approved by Innocent III., in 1198; in 1223, a similar order, “for the redemption of captives,” was established in Spain. In the seventeenth century, St. Vincent of Paul laboured for the galley-slaves, and changed places which had been like hell on earth into abodes of penance, resignation and peace. The Sisters of Notre Dame de la Charité, of St. Joseph, &c., have undertaken the superintendence of female prisoners, and till lately almost every prison for women in France and Belgium was under the care of nuns. Statesmen themselves have admitted that by religious, and religious only, could prisons be successfully managed.

We pass over, for want of space, the orders devoted to the care of the insane, the blind, deaf and dumb, &c., and will only touch in conclusion on one other work of Catholic charity. In early times and in the middle ages it was often difficult to borrow money except at usurious rates. To meet this evil, the Franciscan Father Barnabas of Terni, under Pius II. (1458–64), erected the first Monte di Pietà, at Perugia, in the States of the Church. The rich contributed capital, from charitable motives, and this was lent to the poor, on security indeed, but at a very low rate of interest. Soon almost every city in Italy had its Monte di Pietà. Several Popes, the Fifth Lateran Council, and the Council of Trent, confirmed these institutions, which in past times produced incalculable good.

No doubt many of these orders and institutes of charity fell away from their first zeal, and were abused for selfish ends. But holy souls have never been wanting to reform what was amiss, and to come with fresh help to the relief of their brethren. The words of the Psalm have been constantly fulfilled by Christ in his Church: “He will judge the poor of his people, and save the children of the poor.” (From Hefele, “Beiträge zur Kirchengeschichte, Archäologie,” &c.)

CHARTOPHYLAX (more often spelt Carthophylax). The name signifies “keeper of the records” merely, and such was the original function of the ecclesiastics who held the office in the Eastern Church, answering to that of bibliothecarius among the Latins; but in course of time other duties, carrying with them a corresponding increase of charge, influence, and dignity, were imposed on the chartophylax. Yet it appears from the canons of Nice that in the fourth century the chartophylax of a cathedral was inferior in rank to the archdeacon, and was bound to obey him. But at Constantinople, the power and pre-eminence of the chartophylax, as a kind of secretary or grand chamberlain to the Patriarch, attained after a time to a great height. An exact appreciation of his office, and of the dignities attaching to it, as they stood in the ninth century, is given by a contemporary writer—Anastasius the bibliothecarian. The post of chartophylax in other cathedral churches in the East appears to have been assimilated more or less to that of the church of Constantinople; and hence this official, representing the bishop and exercising his jurisdiction, held in the Eastern nearly the same position as the archdeacon in the Western Church. Even at this day the Uniate Greeks of the Austrian Empire retain the office; with them, “the carthophylax directs the business of the episcopal chancery, and is one of the members of the metropolitan or cathedral chapter, along with the archpriest or chief provost, the archdeacon or lector, the primicerius or precentor, the ecclesiarch or church-warden, and the scholaster or master of ceremonies.” (See the rest of the article by Hausle, in Wetzer and Welte.)


CHASUBLE (Lat. casula, pœnula, planeta; and in Greek, φελόνιον or φελώνιον, from φαινόλης, or φελόνης, identical with pœnula). The chief garment of a priest celebrating Mass. It is worn outside the other vestments. Among the Greeks, it still retains its ancient form of a large round mantle. Among the Latins, its size has been curtailed, but it still covers the priest on both sides, and descends nearly to the knees. In France, Ireland, the U. S., and often in England, a cross is marked on the back: in Italy, this cross is usually in front. In the West, all who celebrate Mass wear the same chasuble, but among the Greeks, the chasuble of a bishop is ornamented with a number of crosses (φαινόλιον πολυσταύριον), while an archbishop wears a different vestment altogether, viz. the σάκκος, which is supposed to resemble the coat of Christ during his Passion. In Russia, even bishops, since the time of Peter the Great, have worn the σάκκος.

The chasuble is derived from a dress once commonly worn in daily life. Classical writers often mention the “pænula,” or large outer garment which the Romans wore on journeys or in military service. “Casula,” from which our word chasuble is obtained, does not occur in pure Latinity. It was, however, used in later ages, as an equivalent for the “pænula,” or mantle. We first meet with the word in the will of Cæsarius of Arles (about 540), and in the biography of his contemporary Fulgentius of Ruspe. In both instances, “casua” denotes a garment used in common life. Isidore of Seville (about 630) uses the word in the same sense, and explains it as a diminutive of “casa,” because, like a little house, it covered the whole body. The same author tells us that “planeta” comes from the Greek πλαναω, “to wander,” because its ample folds seemed to wander over the body. It is plain, from the examples given by Ducange, that “planeta,” like “casula” and “pænula,” denoted a dress worn by laymen as well as clerics.

It is in the former half of the sixth century that we find the first traces of the chasuble as an ecclesiastical vestment. In the famous mosaic at San Vitale, in Ravenna, the archbishop, Maximus, is represented wearing a vestment which is clearly the chasuble, and over which the pallium is suspended. The chasuble has the same shape which prevailed till the eleventh century. The Fourth Council of Toledo, in 633, makes express mention of the “planeta,” as a priestly vestment. Germanus, Archbishop of Constantinople, about 715, uses the word φελώνιον in the same technical sense; while at the beginning of the ninth century, Amalarius of Metz speaks of the “casula” as the “general garment of sacred leaders” (“generale indumentum sacrorum ducum”). Almost at the same time, Rabanus Maurus gives the derivation of “casula” quoted above from Isidore of Seville, and goes on to say that it is “the last of all the vestments, which covers and preserves all the rest.” Later authors of the middle age copy their predecessors; and even Innocent III. adds nothing of his own save certain mystical meanings implied in the use of the vestment.

To sum up, the chasuble was first of all an ordinary dress; from the sixth century at latest it was adapted to the use of the Church, till gradually it became an ecclesiastical dress pure and simple. But did it at once become distinctive of the priesthood? The question admits of no certain answer. The eighth “Ordo Romanus” distinctly prescribes that acolytes, in their ordination, should receive the “planeta” or chasuble. Amalarius, in like manner, declares that the chasuble belongs to all clerics. On the other hand, almost all ancient writers who refer to the Church use of the chasuble regard it as the distinctive dress of priests. Cardinal Bona mentions this difficulty without venturing to explain it. Hefele suggests that as the Greek φελόνιον signifies (1) a chasuble in the modern sense, (2) a kind of collar, reaching from the neck to the elbows, which is worn by lectors or readers, so the Latin word “planeta” may have been also employed as the name of two distinct vestments. But even if this explanation is correct, the fact remains that even now the deacon and subdeacon in High Mass during Advent and Lent wear chasubles folded in front, laying them aside while they sing the Gospel and Epistle. This custom is mentioned by Hugo of St. Victor (d. 1140).

The form of the chasuble has undergone great alterations. The ancient chasuble, which enveloped the whole body, was found very inconvenient, and hence, in the twelfth century, it was curtailed at the sides, so as to leave the arms free. Of this kind is a chasuble said to have been used by St. Bernard. In shape, it resembles what is now known as the Gothic chasuble although the ornaments upon it are not Gothic, but Romanesque. At a later date, the chasuble was still further curtailed, till in the Rococo period all resemblance to the original type disappeared. However, even in Italy, attempts were made to recall the ancient shape, at least to a certain extent. Thus St. Charles Borromeo, in a provincial council, ordered that the chasubles should be about four and a half feet wide, and should reach nearly to the heels.

Various symbolical significations have been given to the chasuble. The earliest writers make it a figure of charity, which, as Rabanus Maarus says, “is eminent above all the other virtues.” This is the most popular explanation of the symbolism; but we also find it regarded by an ancient writer as typical of good works; ancient Sacramentaries and Missals consider it as the figure of sacerdotal justice, or of humility, charity and peace, which are to cover and adorn the priest on every side; while the prayer in the Roman Missal connects the chasuble with the yoke of Christ. (Hefele, “Beiträge zur Kirchengeschichte, Archäologie und Liturgik,” p. 195 seq.)

CHERUBIM. Superhuman beings, often mentioned in Scripture. They guarded the entrance to Paradise after the fall; the images of two cherubim overshadowed the ark; God is represented in the Psalms as sitting or throned upon the cherubim; Ezekiel saw them in vision, with wings, with human hands, full of eyes and with four faces, viz. those of a man, lion, ox, and eagle. The Fathers generally are agreed in regarding them as angels; for the opinion of Theodore of Mopsuestia, who denied this, seems to be quite singular in Christian antiquity. They form the second among the nine orders of angels. What the meaning of the word is, it is difficult even to conjecture. Most of the Fathers explain the word as meaning knowledge, or the fullness of knowledge; but, as Petavius justly remarks, this derivation finds no support either in Hebrew or Chaldee. Many conjectural derivations have been suggested by modern scholars. In a cuneiform inscription copied by M. Lenormant, “Kirubu” is a synonym of the Steer-god, whose winged image filled the place of guardian at the entrance of the Assyrian palaces. With this word the Hebrew cherub may be connected, and the etymology may belong to some non-Semitic language.


CHIVALRY (Lat. caballus, a horse). The system of ideas prevalent among the mounted men-at-arms (Fr. chevalier. It. cavaliero, Span. cabaliero, Ger. Ritter, Eng. knight) of the middle ages, and which still influences their descendants and European society in general, to a greater or less degree, is known by this name.

The Equites, the equestrian order, of ancient Rome summon before the mind no corresponding associations. The three patrician tribes constituted, indeed, the “horsemen” in the organisation of Servius Tullius, and had the first place both in arms and in politics. But before the end of the Republic commercialism invaded the equestrian order, and when we speak of a “Roman knight,” or eques, the name suggests a selfish capitalist, wringing, taxes out of oppressed provincials, and living in vulgar luxury at Rome; it is as far as possible from calling up any of the ideas which we associate with the term “chivalry.”

After the disruption of the empire of Charlemagne, the importance of horse-soldiers in war continually increased. For this there were various reasons: among others the improvements made in armour, which required that the weight of the panoply should be borne by the horse he rode, so that the warrior might preserve freedom and celerity of movement. But the chief reason was the condition of European society, under which, in the absence of strong central authority in the various countries, power was sown broadcast over thousands of principalities, counties, and fiefs. The holders of these had no other way of deciding which should rule the other, or believed they had none, but by going to war. Horses and armour, like breech-loading rifles at the present day, gave an advantage to those using them over foot-soldiers; whoever, therefore, could afford it went into battle on horseback. The “miles Crassi” was a sturdy footman, armed with the pilum, the ensis, and the scutum; the “miles” of the eleventh century was a horseman cased in as much armour as he could bear the weight of, and attended by lightly-armed followers on foot. The principles of courage and fidelity may have been transmitted to the knights of the eleventh century from their Teutonic or Iberian ancestors; in these respects a Hermann or a Viriathus left little to be desired. But if ferocity and rapacity were to be indulged without check, if cruelty and injustice, availing themselves of the weakness of law, were to be, without protest, the accompaniment and the fruit of the warrior’s toils, no amelioration of the general lot could be hoped for, though extraordinary villany might be repressed by extraordinary chastisement, until the expiration of the long period required to weld a loose feudal aristocracy into an orderly law-governed State. Religion here stepped in, and endeavoured to consecrate and transform that rough struggle for superiority which was everywhere going on. The cavalier was not to desist from war; that was an impossible requirement, and he was generally fit for not much else; but he was to draw the sword for just causes only, to succour the oppressed, resist attack and encroachment, and support his liege lord according to his oath. He was to be immovable in his faith, obedient to the holy Church, full of respect for her ministers, and devoutly submissive to the Vicar of Christ, the Roman Pontiff. For the honour and service of the ever blessed Mother of God, whose faithful vassal he was to be, women were to find in him an honourable, fearless, and virtuous protector. A high standard of self-respect could not but accompany the consecration to these lofty ends. The word of the knight once given, whether to friend or foe, must be irrevocable; he must be no truce-breaker or snatcher of mean advantages; his honour must be without stain. Courtesy and humanity were to mark his bearing and his acts. In a word, the Christian soldier was to have all those perfections of character and all those graces d’état which the revelation of the Gospel and the institution of the Sacraments have rendered possible; he would then be a perfect mirror of chivalry. This was the ideal; but when we ask in what degree was it ever realised, we are forced to admit that human passion and perversity have played their part, and made chivalry by no means an unmixed blessing to the world. The reverence for woman, grounded on a just devotion to the Mother of God, was turned into an idolatry; human love (such was the baser teaching) was to fill the soul of the true knight and to predominate over all other thoughts; nay, the very forms and words of the divine office were blasphemously parodied in the service of this vicious development. Again, the self-respect of the true knight was depraved into a pride of class, which looked down on the labouring non-fighting multitude as base roturiers and plebeians, the shedding of whose blood was a very trifling matter; his sense of honour often became an absurd punctiliousness, tyrannising over the free speech and action of other men. Human rights and human equality were thus ignored; but this was not the doctrine of chivalry—it was the corruption of that doctrine. The true, noble, knightly spirit and its counterfeit went on side by side, energising, founding, and destroying, for centuries. The Popes, beginning with Urban II. and ending with Pius V., preached, blessed, and aided the holy wars, by which, in the cause of justice, the places made sacred by our Lord’s sojourn and sufferings were to be taken out of the hands of persecuting infidels, or Christian lands to be delivered from Moslem thraldom. Numerous orders of chivalry were instituted—the Templars, the Knights Hospitallers, or of St. John of Jerusalem, the Knights of the Sword, the Teutonic Knights, those of Calatrava, Alcantara, and many more—the labours of which, speaking generally, were an honour to human nature and a benefit to mankind. The spirit of chivalry was refined and exalted by the invention of fruitful conceptions, such as that of the Saint Graal, by which the whole tone of romance literature was elevated. On the other hand, in the fourteenth century, while the form and ceremonial of chivalry were greatly developed, its essence—the contention for justice—was shamefully forgotten. King Edward III. instituted the Order of the Garter, but waged unjust wars with France, causing incredible misery; his son, the Black Prince, waited on the French king, his prisoner, at table, but ordered the indiscriminate massacre of the people of Limoges.

Burke wrote, beholding the first shameful excesses of the French Jacobins, “The age of chivalry is past;” but the age of chivalry will never be wholly past, while faith survives and wrongs remain to be redressed. Wherever, and so far as, the true Catholic faith, and the imitation of Christ and his saints, inspire a population, a class, or an individual, there, and in that proportion, the spirit of chivalry, dormant and entranced as it seems now, will revive. That spirit is, as we have said, essentially, the readiness to contend for justice. For the present it remains passive in every part of Europe, stupefied, as it were, by the audacity of the so-called Liberals, who, having got into their hands the organisations of government in most of the States, are carrying their hostility to divine faith, the Church, and the Pope into practice with a vigour and a malice which Christians find a difficulty in conceiving. But it will awake, and when it does it will not ask whether universal suffrage has decided this way or that, but whether it is just that this or that change should be made or unmade. Parliamentary government assisted a tyrant in England to deprive the people of their religion, and enacted that none who did not communicate with heresy should serve their country. Parliamentary government in France has recently sanctioned the perpetration of measures of violence against the religious orders, so flagrant in their iniquity, that the infidels of other countries were almost scandalised. The temper of true chivalry, when its awakening comes, will perhaps work changes which the verdict of the ballot-box would neither initiate nor ratify, yet which may be ultimately found to be beneficial and curative to European society.

It need scarcely be said that an order of chivalry which has abandoned the Catholic faith, and repudiated obedience to the chair of Peter, has forfeited its title. An order like the Garter, in which the official chief of the religion of the false prophet is one of the “knights,” has evidently nothing of chivalry about it but the name. (See Kenelm Digby’s “Broad Stone of Honour” and “Mores Catholici.”)

CHOIR (chorus). From the “band” of singers at the divine worship, who were placed between the clergy in the apse and the people in the body of the church, the space between the sanctuary and the nave came to be called the choir. In the course of time, the superior clergy of a cathedral or collegiate church found it necessary to migrate from the confined space of the apse or sanctuary, which they occupied in primitive times, and to establish themselves in seats, called stalls, on either side of the choir. These stalls were often ornamented in the most exquisite manner.

The recitation of the breviary for each day takes place “in choir” in cathedrals, collegiate churches, and the great majority of convents.

CHORAL VICARS. These were anciently clerics to whom the precentor (i.e. the canon who had the charge of the music), in a cathedral or collegiate church, committed the immediate superintendence of the choir. In the re-constituted chapters of France and Germany choral vicars are directly appointed to perform this duty, in concert with the canons, and receive salaries accordingly.

CHORAULES (χοραύλης, lit., a flute-player in an orchestra). In the Eastern Church the name appears to have been transferred to the choir-boys of a cathedral generally.

CHOREPISCOPUS (Gr. χωρεπίσκοπος, lit. a country superintendent or bishop). Nothing is heard of such persons in the first three centuries. The first mention of them is in the canons of the councils of Ancyra and Neocæsarea (314), and they probably arose in Asia Minor. A chorepiscopus was appointed and ordained by the bishop of the diocese, to whom he was answerable for the right discharge of his duties. A certain district was assigned to him to administer; he was to attend to the wants of the poor and the maintenance of all Christian institutions, and he had the power of conferring minor orders, even to the sub-diaconate inclusive. It has been argued—especially by the Protestant writers Hammond, Beveridge, and others—that they were true bishops, although of inferior dignity and power to the recognised bishops of sees. The fact that fifteen “country-bishops” subscribed the Nicene canons seems to lend support to such a view. But the better opinion is that, notwithstanding the name, they were neither true bishops nor an order of clergy interposed between bishops and priests, but simply priests, invested with a jurisdiction smaller than the episcopal, but larger than the sacerdotal. Many notices of them scattered up and down in ecclesiastical history, and the consenting tradition of the Fathers, adjust themselves to this view of their office, and not to the former. Thus a canon of Neocæsarea likens them to the seventy-two disciples sent out by Christ; but these were always associated with the priesthood, not with the episcopate. The Nicene canon which authorises a bishop to treat one who had been deposed from the see for heresy, but who desired to return to the Church, as a chorepiscopus, and give him employment and rank as such, is itself a proof that they were not bishops; for the council would not have empowered a single bishop to reinstate to his former place a deposed member of the order. Yet it might seem as if they formed something like an intermediate clerical order, for a canon of Chalcedon says, Si quis ordinaverit per pecunias episcopum, aut chorepiscopum, aut presbyterum, aut diaconum (“if anyone shall have ordained for money a bishop, or a chorepiscopus, or a priest, or a deacon”). It is certain, however, that in no age of the Church have the grades of holy (or superior) order been reckoned as more than three—bishop, priest, and deacon. A chorepiscopus, therefore, must have been either a bishop or a priest; but we have shown that he was not a true bishop; he was therefore a priest, but one who received on his appointment a spiritual jurisdiction higher than any priest could pretend to. The Council of Laodicea calls them περιόδευται, or “circuit officers,” which shows that they were then expected to make visitation tours in their districts. St. Basil had no fewer than fifty chorepiscopi under him, governing districts of his extensive Cappadocian see, like the archdeacons whom Remigius appointed in the different counties when he organised his great see of Lincoln.

In the Western Church we hear nothing of chorepiscopi before the Council of Riez, in the fifth century. But after 500 the notices of them become numerous, and under Charlemagne, according to Thomassin, their numbers and power were such as to be formidable even to the bishops themselves. In the later Carlovingian times unworthy persons were often foisted into the sees through lay interference, for the sake of the wealth with which they were endowed, and such bishops were glad to devolve as much of their functions as they could divest themselves of on chorepiscopi, engaged at a low rate of remuneration, and live in sloth and luxury at Court. This abuse called forth the zeal of the Roman Pontiffs, and by a series of Papal briefs and conciliar decrees, from Leo III. to the end of the ninth century, restraining the authority of the chorepiscopi, annulling many of their acts, and ordering that no more should be appointed, the endeavour was persistently made to compel the bishops to perform their own duties and not attempt to delegate them. Nothing more is heard of this class of clergy after the middle of the eleventh century. (Thomassin; Soglia; Smith and Cheetham.)

CHORISTER. A singer in a choir, whether cathedral, collegiate, or parochial. The name is usually applied to boys rather than men.

The regular singers (κανονικοὶ ψάλται) of a church received in early times a kind of ordination, without imposition of hands, which could be conferred by a presbyter. The form of words prescribed by the Fourth Council of Carthage was, “See that thou believe in thy heart what thou singest with thy mouth, and approve in thy works what thou believest with thy heart.” (Smith and Cheetham, article Cantor.)

CHRISM. Olive oil mixed with balm, blessed by the bishop and used by the Church in confirmation as well as in baptism, ordination, consecration of altar-stones, chalices, churches, and in the blessing of baptismal water. The oil, according to the Roman Catechism, signifies the fullness of grace, since oil is diffusion; the balm mixed with it, incorruption and the “good odour of Christ.”

In itself the word chrism (χρῖσμα) need not mean more than “anything smeared on;” but even in classical writers it denotes especially a scented unguent, while the common oil was called ἔλαιον. It was this simple, unperfumed oil which was used in the earliest times for sacred purposes, but from the sixth century oil mixed with balm began to be employed. This balm (βάλσαμος, in the classics ὀποβάλσαμον) is a kind of perfumed resin, produced by a tree which grows in Judæa and Arabia. This Eastern balm was always used in the West till the sixteenth century, when Paul III. and Pius IV. permitted the use of a better kind of balm, brought by the Spaniards from the West Indies. The Orientals did not content themselves with simply mixing balm. Thus the Greeks mingle forty different spices, and the Maronites, before they were reunited to the Catholic Church, prepared their chrism from oil, saffron, cinnamon, essence of roses, white incense, &c.

The consecration of the oils during the Mass goes back to the earliest times. Cyprian mentions it in Ep. 70, addressed to Januarius; and St. Basil attributes the origin of this blessing to apostolic tradition. It of course included chrism in the strict sense, when that came into use. In the West this blessing was always reserved to bishops; in the East, as may be seen from Goar’s “Euchologium,” it was only given by the patriarchs. At first the oils used to be blessed on any day at Mass, but in a letter of Pope Leo to the emperor of the same name, in the Synod of Toledo (490), and in all the older Sacramentaries and ritual-books, Maunday Thursday is fixed for this blessing. It was only in France that the custom survived of blessing the oils on any day, till uniformity with the use of other churches was introduced by the Council of Meaux, in 845. The function took place in the second of the three Masses which used to be said on Maunday Thursday; whence the name “Missa Chrismatis.” The blessing of the chrism was called “Benedictio chrismatis principalis.” All the clergy of the diocese used to assist, till, in the eighth century, the custom altered and only those who lived near the cathedral came, while the others had the holy oils sent to them. The chrism used to be kept in a vessel like a paten with a depression in the middle. A “patena chrismalis” of this kind is mentioned by Anastasius, in his Life of St. Silvester. (Kraus, “Real-Encyclopädie.”)

CHRIST, “Anointed” (Gr. χριστός, from χρίω), a translation of the Hebrew word מָשִׁיחַ, as is expressly stated in John 1:42: “We have found the Messias, which is interpreted Christ.” In the Old Testament the word is used of the high priest, who was anointed for his office (e.g. in Levit. 4:3); of kings, who were also anointed—e.g. 1 Reg. 24:7, where David calls Saul “the anointed of the Lord:” in the second Psalm, “against the Lord, and against his anointed” (where χριστὸς is the word in the LXX); with which we may compare other places, such as Dan. 9:25, Hab. 3:13, Ps. 131:17. The Hebrew word designates the king who was to come, the promised Messias. In the doctrinal language of post-biblical Judaism, this expected deliverer is called almost with the significance of a proper name, מָשִׁיחַ, of which “Messias” is only another form, and “Christ,” as we have seen, a translation. Hence, when our Lord came, “the Christ” (ὁ Χριστὸς) was his official title, while “Jesus” was his ordinary name. When the word occurs in the Gospels, it constantly implies a reference to the Messiah as portrayed by the prophets.

The history of Christ’s life belongs to a Biblical rather than a theological dictionary; it is only the teaching of the Church on his Person and office which concerns us here. We may divide the subject into two halves, treating under (A) of what Christ is; under (B) of his work.

(A) Natures and Person of Christ.—Jesus Christ, according to the words of a Catechism familiar to Catholics, is “God the Son made man for us.” He has therefore two natures: that of God, and that of man. As God, according to the Nicene Creed, He was born of his Father, before all worlds: He is God from God—i.e. He, being true and perfect God, proceeds from God the Father, who is also true and perfect God—He is light from light; begotten, not made, as creatures. He exists from all eternity. He is almighty, omniscient, incapable of error or of sin. At the moment of his Incarnation, He further became true man, without, however, in any way ceasing to be God. This truth is vigorously expressed by St. Leo in his dogmatic epistle to Flavian, which was accepted by the Fathers of the Fourth Œcumenical Council. “The Son of God,” Leo says, “enters the abasement of this world (hœc mundi infima), descending from his heavenly seat, and [yet] not receding from his Father’s glory; begotten according to a new order and by a new birth. By a new order: because being invisible in his own nature (in suis) He became visible in ours; being incomprehensible, He willed to be comprehended; remaining before time, He began to be from a (certain) time.” Moreover, he had a true body, as the Church taught from early times against the Docetæ; a true human soul, so that as man He could fear, sorrow, reason, &c., as the Church taught against the heretic Apollinaris; a human will, as distinct from his divine will, as was defined in the Sixth General Council against the Monothelites. Thus, in the words of the Fourth General Council, “Christ Jesus [the] only begotten Son, is to be acknowledged in two natures, without confusion, without change … since the difference of the natures is by no means annulled on account of the union, but rather the property of each nature preserved.” Lastly, those Two natures are united (so the Council of Ephesus defined) in one Person. Our body and soul are united in one person, so—though, of course, the analogy is imperfect—the divine and human natures were united in one Divine Person, who acted and suffered in either nature. To believe otherwise, is to assert, with the Nestorians, that there are two Sons and two Christs.

Such are the chief definitions of the Church on the Natures and Person of Christ; but it is necessary to point out some important corollaries from these first principles of the faith. The following seem to be the most important.

(1) Christ, having a human soul, had true human knowledge, as distinct from that which belonged to Him as God. His human soul did not, and could not, know God with that perfect and infinite comprehension with which God comprehends Himself. The contrary proposition, held by Augustine of Rome, was condemned by Nicholas V. Christ acquired knowledge in the same way as other men—i.e. experimentally; for, as we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, He “learned obedience from the things which he suffered.” It is important, however, not to misunderstand Catholic doctrine on this head. Even in Christ as man, there was no ignorance which had to be removed by instruction or experience. On the contrary, as Christ’s soul was hypostatically united to the Word, as He was the head from which grace and glory was to flow into the members, it was fitting that He should, from the first moment of his earthly existence, see God face to face with his human soul, as the blessed do in heaven. This beatific knowledge was always present, even when the inferior part of his soul was in agony on the cross. Again, St. Thomas argues that as the soul of Christ is the most perfect of all created things, therefore “no perfection found in creatures is to be denied to it;” and he goes on to say that, besides the knowledge of God seen in his essence, and of all things seen in God, besides the experimental knowledge common to all men, the soul of Christ had a knowledge infused or poured into it, by which He knew most fully all the mysteries of grace, and every object to which human cognition extends or can extend.

(2) Christ was absolutely sinless and incapable of sin, because his actions were the actions of God, who is holiness itself; so that in Him sin was a physical impossibility. Moreover, in Him there could be no involuntary rebellion of the flesh or lower appetites, no temptation from within, because in Him human nature was united to the Word, and it was the office of the Word to rule the human nature united to it and to hold it in absolute subjection. He could, indeed, as the statements of the Gospels prove, wonder and fear and suffer mental distress, but in Him these feelings were in perfect subjection to reason.

(3) Christ had the fullness of all grace—i.e. over and above the grace of the hypostatic union grace was infused into his soul so that it was most perfectly sanctified, according to the prophecy of Isaias, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me.”

(4) Christ did not only take a real human body, but he took one subject to those defects which followed from the common sin of mankind, except so far as these defects were repugnant to the end of the Incarnation. The reason of his taking these defects (the capability of hunger, thirst, and the like), and no others, was that Christ became subject to infirmity, with the precise object of satisfying for the sins of human nature. Therefore he took upon Him in his own body the weaknesses caused by Adam’s sin. He did not, however, assume bodily defects so far as they are incentives to sin or impediments to virtue, since this would have been inconsistent with his office as redeemer. The interesting question on the personal appearance of Christ will be treated in a separate article [CHRIST, PERSONAL APPEARANCE AND REPRESENTATIONS OF].

(5) Inasmuch as divine and human nature, although remaining each of them distinct in its own properties, were united in the Person of the Word, it follows that human attributes may be predicated of or ascribed to God the Son; and, on the other hand, that divine attributes may be predicated of the man Christ Jesus. Thus, although it was his human nature which Christ took from Mary, and although she is not the mother of the Godhead, still the Council of Ephesus defined that the Blessed Virgin is really and truly the Mother of God. So, again, we may truly say, God suffered, God died, or the man Jesus Christ is the eternal God, by whom all things were made. [See COMMUNICATIO IDIOMATUM.] Moreover, as Cardinal Franzelin writes in his treatise on the Incarnation, “the sacred Humanity, or human nature with all its component parts, inasmuch as it is the nature of the Word,” is the object of supreme adoration, though, of course, we adore the flesh not because it is flesh but because it is united to the Word. He continues, “This is clearly and plainly taught in the definitions of councils and in the discussions of the Fathers.” Thus the Fifth General Council anathematises those who “affirm that Christ is adored in Two natures, in such sense that Two adorations are introduced, one proper to God the Word, and one proper to the man [Christ] … and do not adore with one single adoration God the Word incarnate with his own flesh, as the Church of God has received from the beginning.” Cardinal Franzelin also quotes words of St. Athanasius against the Apollinarists, “It [i.e. the body of Christ] is worshipped with due and divine adoration, for the Word, to whom the body belongs, is God;” and of St. John Damascene (“Fid. Orthodox.” iii. 8), “Nor do we deny that the flesh [of Christ] is to be adored; nor again do we give supreme worship to a creature; for neither do we adore it as mere flesh, but as united to the Godhead.” It will be observed that these principles formulated in the early Church contain within them a full justification of the adoration which the Church gives at this day to the Wounds, Blood, Heart, &c., of Christ. If we may, because of the hypostatic union, adore the flesh of Christ, which is a part of his Humanity, then undoubtedly we may for the same reason adore his Heart, which is a part of his sacred flesh.

(B) The Work and Office of Christ.—(1) Christ came chiefly, as the Fathers declare, to take away sin. This great truth is constantly asserted in Scripture. “The discipline of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed.” “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” “God sending his own son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, even of sin, condemned sin in the flesh;” and thus in the Nicene Creed we confess that God was made man “for us men and for our salvation.” This point is treated more fully in the article on the Sacrifice and Satisfaction of Christ. Here, it is enough to say that, although God might have forgiven sin without any satisfaction at all, still it was his will that a perfect satisfaction should be made, and be made by man. Accordingly, God the Son was incarnate. He was a natural mediator between God and man, since in Him the divine and human natures were united. As man, He was able to suffer and die; because He was God, his satisfaction possessed an infinite value, more than sufficient to compensate for the infinite dishonour done to God’s majesty by sin. He of his free will offered Himself to endure the penalties incurred by men who were his brethren. He could not of course, in the strict and proper sense, make our sins his own, nor was Christ as man punished. But He allowed wicked men to work their will upon Him, and as the new Adam or head of the human race, took on Himself the obligation of satisfying for the offences of mankind. It was this free will with which He suffered that gave their meritorious character to the pains which He underwent. By his passion he merited every grace which has descended or ever will descend on man, for even under the old law all grace and pardon was bestowed for the merits of Christ foreseen. By the merits of his passion He on the day of his ascension opened Heaven “to all who believe.” There He presents his five wounds and pleads the efficacy of the work He accomplished on Calvary; while on earth He continues and applies his sacrifice in the holy Mass, thus remaining a priest for ever.

(2) Christ came to teach, so fulfilling the prophetic as well as the priestly office. “Behold,” God says in Isaias, “I have given him for a witness to the people, for a leader and a master to the Gentiles.” He Himself declared that He came “to bear witness to the truth.” He revealed the nature of the Triune God, and, first to his apostles, then through them and their successors to the world, He explained the mysteries of the kingdom of God, and the way to heaven. He gave perfect instruction in morals, particularly in the sermon on the mount, in which He speaks with authority, as the giver of the new law. Lastly, He taught, as no mere man could, by example, exhibiting Himself as the model of every virtue.

(3) Christ is the Head of the Church, militant in this world, suffering in Purgatory, and triumphant in heaven, and this headship belongs to Christ as man, for St. Paul in Ephes. 1, after mentioning the fact that God raised Christ from the dead, adds that He made “Him head over all the church.” This proves that the headship belongs to Christ as man, for it was in his human nature that Christ was raised from the dead. Christ is head, not only because He is supereminent in dignity as compared with the members of his mystical body, but also because grace and glory flow from him to the members of his Church in earth and Purgatory and in heaven. Even Catholics living in mortal sin are members of Christ, connected with Christ their head by the gift of faith; and the proposition of Quesnel, that “he who does not lead a life worthy of a son of God and of a member of Christ ceases to have God within him for his father and Christ for his head,” was condemned by Pope Clement XI. Moreover, Christ is head of his Church because it receives its constitution and its doctrine from Him.

(4) Christ, as man, holds a kingly as well as a priestly, power. The Prophets foretold Him as king, and the “anointed king” is a recognised name of the Messias in Jewish writers. He exercises this regal power, not only over his Church, but also over all men, so far as his law binds them all. As God, of course Christ is supreme over all, both in temporal and spiritual matters. But it cannot be affirmed, at least for certain, that He, as man, possessed temporal dominion. “As man,” Petavius says, “I consider that He was by no means a temporal, but only a spiritual king; especially so long as he lived a man among men. For He did not answer falsely to Pilate the governor, when he inquired concerning his kingdom: ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ “ Whence Augustine “thus explains the place in the second Psalm where Christ says that He, after his resurrection, was constituted king: ‘But I am constituted king by him over Sion his holy mountain:’ viz. by pointing out that that Sion and that mountain are not of this world. ‘For what is his kingdom, except those who believe in Him?’ See, too, the same Father in his 12th Book against Faustus, cap. 42, where he explains more fully the kingdom of Christ from the prophecy of the Patriarch Jacob, and demonstrates that it does not belong to this world—that it is not temporal but spiritual.”

(5) Closely connected with Christ’s regal dignity is his office of Judge. This also belongs to Christ as man. “He has been appointed by God,” in the words of St. Peter, “judge of the living and the dead.” He is eminently fitted for this office by his perfect justice and integrity, his knowledge of man’s heart, and his mercy.

Other titles of Christ, such as Advocate, Shepherd, &c., have been virtually explained already. Others will be discussed in other articles. (From St. Thomas, P. iii.; Billuart, Cardinal Franzelin, but above all, Petavius, in their treatises “De Incarnatione.”)

CHRIST, PERSONAL APPEARANCE AND REPRESENTATIONS OF. Two views on Christ’s personal appearance have prevailed in the Church. During the first three centuries, when Christians were persecuted and oppressed, it was generally held that our Lord assumed a bodily form without comeliness or beauty. Thus Justin, “Dial. c. Tryph.,” speaks of Christ as ἄτιμος καὶ ἀειδής, “without honour and unsightly:” a view which he repeats six or seven times at least, and which is also asserted by Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen (against Celsus). This view was based on the prophecy of Isaias: “Despised and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with infirmity; and his look was, as it were, hidden and despised; whereupon we esteemed him not.” This conception of Christ’s personal appearance, joined with the danger of scandal to converts from heathenism, may account for the fact that the ante-Nicene Church was not accustomed to make a religious use of pictures and statues representing Christ in his natural form. Christians preferred to pourtray Him under symbolical forms—e.g. that of the Good Shepherd—or to honour Him by honouring his cross. Indeed, we find the first certain instances of statues, or natural representations of Christ, among heathen and heretics. Thus Lampridius, in his Life of the heathen emperor Alexander Severus (222–235), c. 29, tells us that the latter placed in his Lararium, or chapel for the protecting gods of the house, figures of Apollonius, Abraham, Orpheus, and Christ; while Irenæus (i. 25) relates of the Carpocratians, an early Gnostic sect, that they had paintings and other representations of Christ, and asserted that Pilate had caused Christ’s portrait to be taken during his lifetime. The respect which the Carpocratians paid to these images was evidently quite unchristian, for they offered a similar veneration to likenesses of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, and others.

A second and widely-different view of Christ’s outward appearance began to gain ground after the triumph of the Church under Constantine. Chrysostom and Jerome regard Christ as the ideal of human beauty; and the advocates of this theory also supported it by an appeal to the Old Testament, and quoted the verse of the Psalm, “Thou art beautiful above the sons of men.” This naturally became the most popular view, and it is the only one that could be adopted in the religious use of art. At the same time, we may observe that this belief of Chrysostom and Jerome has not been accepted without reserve by all later theologians. Billuart, for example, denies that our Lord’s body while still passible, exhibited any extraordinary beauty; and St. Thomas was of the same opinion.

Whatever we may think on this matter, in any case the divergence of opinion with regard to it in the early Church seems to create a strong presumption against the authenticity of any likeness of Christ attributed to persons who had seen Him. Indeed, St. Augustine (“De Trin.” viii. 4) allows that there was no sure tradition in the Church on the bodily appearance of Christ. This presumption is confirmed by an investigation of the portraits of Christ for which an early origin is claimed.

The earliest witness to the existence of these ancient likenesses is Eusebius. In his “Church History,” vii. 18, he tells us that he had seen a statue of Christ erected at Cæsarea Philippi by the woman who was healed of an issue of blood. There was a figure also of the woman herself kneeling at Christ’s feet. In the fragments of the Arian historian Philostorgius we find this same statue of Christ mentioned, with an additional remark well worthy of notice. Philostorgius says that at first it was not known to whom or by whom the statue had been erected, till, on clearing the inscription, it was found that it had been raised by the woman with an issue of blood, to Christ. Very likely the statue was erected to Hadrian, or some other heathen emperor, and the female figure kneeling at his feet may have symbolised a suppliant province; while the inscription may have run—”To the Saviour of the World” (σωτῆρι τοῦ κόσμου), a title which his flatterers would readily give to the emperor, and which may have misled the Christians who read it at a later time.

Another tradition attributes portraits of our Lord to St. Luke. This tradition is never mentioned by early writers. Theodorus Lector (518) mentions a portrait of the Blessed Virgin painted by St. Luke, but he does not speak of his having painted our Lord’s likeness. Portraits of our Lord from the hand of St. Luke are first mentioned by Simeon Metaphrastes, the “Menologium” of the Emperor Basil (980), and Nicephorus Callisti—manifestly authorities of too late a date to inspire much confidence in a statement which is unlikely on the face of it. Accounts which make St. Luke a sculptor (a statue of Christ said to have been executed by St. Luke is preserved at Sirolo; one “by Nicodemus,” at Lucca) are of still later origin.

There is another class of likenesses, the so-called εἰκόνες ἀχειροποίηται, images not made with hands, of which the most famous are the portrait sent to Abgarus and the “Veronica” likeness.

As to the former, Eusebius, at the beginning of his History (i. 13), mentions a correspondence between our Lord and Abgarus, king of Edessa. Moses of Chorene, an Armenian historian of the fifth century, adds that Christ sent Abgarus a portrait of Himself, wonderfully impressed on a cloth. This likeness is said to have been removed to Constantinople, and thence to the church of St. Silvester, at Rome, where it is still shown. It belongs to the Byzantine type of art, and represents our Saviour with a lofty brow, clear eyes, long, straight nose, and reddish beard. Genoa also claims to possess this miraculous picture.

Veronica is said to have been one of the women who accompanied our Lord on his way to Calvary. She gave Him her veil that He might wipe away the perspiration from his face, and when our Lord had done so, the impress of his countenance was found upon the cloth. It is alleged that this likeness was brought to Rome about the year 700, and it belongs at this day to the relics of St. Peter’s church at Rome, where it is only shown to persons of princely rank, who, however, must first be made titular canons of St. Peter’s. Mabillon and the Bollandist Papebroch suppose that the Veronica came, by mere error, to be regarded as the name of a person, the word really being a barbarous compound of vera and icon (εἰκών), and meaning “true image.” As a matter of fact, mediæval writers give the name Veronica to the image itself and not to a woman. Thus Matthew of Paris (ad ann. 1216) speaks of “the representation of our Lord’s face, which is called Veronica.” A recent archæologist, William Grimm, derives the word from Βερονίκη, the name, according to John Malala, a Byzantine historian of the sixth century, which belonged to the woman with the issue of blood.

In this utter absence of any authentic likeness of Christ or account of his appearance, different types of face were assigned to our Lord in different countries. Photius (Ep. 64) testifies that this was the case in his day; and a recent traveller and Biblical scholar, Dr. Scholz, found a number of different types prevailing in different Eastern nations. Thus the Copts, Syrians, Armenians, &c., each give a special type of face to pictures of our Lord. At the same time great influence was exercised (1) by a description to be found in St. John Damascene (ed. Le Quien, t. i. p. 631), and which is as follows: “Christ was of imposing stature, with eyebrows nearly meeting, beautiful eyes, crisp hair, somewhat stooping, in the bloom of youth, with black beard and yellow complexion, like his mother;” (2) by a forged letter of “Publius Lentulus,” a friend of Pilate, addressed to the Roman Senate, which contains the following description: “He is a man of slender figure, dignified, of a venerable countenance, which inspires love and fear in those who see him. His hair is curled and crisp, dark and glossy, falling over his shoulders and parted in the middle, after the fashion of the Nazarenes (? Nazarites). The brow is very clear, the face without wrinkle or spot, pleasing by its moderately red colour. Nose and mouth are faultless; the beard strong and reddish, like the colour of the hair, not long, but parted; the eyes of indistinct colour and clear.” We cannot determine the date of the forgery, but in its present form it became well known about St. Anselm’s time. A third description of Christ’s form is found in Nicephorus Callisti. It belongs to the fourteenth century.

The famous work of Jablonski, “De Origine Imaginum Christi Domini,” is a standard authority on this subject. A treatise on the Abgarus likeness appeared in 1847, by Samuelian, an Armenian Mechitarist monk at Vienna. The subject has also been treated by Glückselig, “Christusarchäologie,” 1863. (Hefele, “Beiträge zur Archäologie,” &c.)

CHRISTIANS (Χριστιανοί). A name first given at Antioch to the followers of Christ about the year 43, as we learn from Acts 11:26. The name can scarcely have arisen from the disciples themselves, for it seems at first to have been used contemptuously—at least this seems a fair inference from Acts 26:28, 1 Pet. 4:14–16 (the only other places of the New Testament where the word occurs), as well as from Tacitus, “Annal.” xv. 44. Still less could it have come from the Jews, who would never have admitted that the adherents of a sect which they hated and despised could rightly claim so honourable a title as “disciples of the Messias.” On the contrary, they called Christ’s disciples “Nazarenes,” “Galileans.” Probably, the heathen at Antioch mistook “Christus” for a proper name, and called the disciples “Christiani,” just as they called those who adhered to Pompey’s party “Pompeiani.” It was at Antioch that the first church of converts from heathenism was formed, and no doubt it then became plain to the heathen that the doctrine of the disciples was distinct from Judaism, and this led to the imposition of a special name. Besides the form “Christiani,” we also find that of “Chrestiani,” many heathen, in their ignorance of the Messianic doctrine, deriving Christ’s name from χρηστός, “good,” instead of from χρίω, “to anoint.”

In later times the word has been used (1) for those who imitate the life as well as hold the faith of Christ; (2) for Catholics; (3) for baptised persons who believe in Christ; (4) for all baptised persons.

CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE: FATHERS AND CONFRATERNITY OF THE. Ignorance of their religion being seen to be one of the chief causes of the terrible instability which caused whole populations in the sixteenth century, confounded by the harangues of Protestant preachers which they knew not how to answer, to lapse into heresy, earnest efforts were made by many good men to procure that the teaching of the true doctrine of Christ should be more general and systematic. To this end a number of priests and laymen, with Marco Cusani, a gentleman of Milan, for their head, formed themselves into a society, about 1560, for the purpose of teaching the catechism to children on Sundays, and to the ignorant generally, in the country districts, on Church holidays. Cusani came to Rome in the year above named, and found there many supporters and associates, among whom were Cæsar Baronius, and Francis Maria Tarugi, two of the most prominent among the companions of St. Philip Neri. The Popes strongly encouraged the pious enterprise, which was exactly in accordance with the spirit which the Council of Trent laboured to revive in every part of the Catholic world. The priests belonging to the institute were the “Fathers”—the laymen the “Confraternity”—of the Christian Doctrine; but the whole society was often spoken of by the name of confraternity. St. Pius V., by a bull in 1571, ordered that such associations should be established by parish priests generally, accorded special indulgences to their members, and gave to the Fathers the church of St. Agatha. This being found too small for them, Clement VIII., in 1596, granted them the fine church of St. Martin dei Monti. This Pope also directed Cardinal Bellarmine to compose a short catechism for use in the schools of the confraternity. In process of time the name of provost was given to the chief among the Fathers, and that of president to the head of the confraternity. Four definitors, two chosen by the clerical, Two by the lay members, decided any difficult or disputed question that might arise. Although they wore the dress, slightly modified, of the secular clergy, and were not bound to any office in common, the Holy See did not view any light treatment of their obligations with indifference, and Urban VIII. (1627) ordered that members leaving the community should incur the penalties of apostasy as if they were monks. [APOSTASY.] Paul V. raised them to the rank of an archconfraternity. In later times the Fathers, taking the name of Congregation, appear to have been entirely separated from the archconfraternity. From the continuation of Hélyot by Badiche, it would appear that the head of this congregation is at present styled vicar-general. (Hélyot, “Ordres Monastiques.”)

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS. The proper title is “Brothers of the Christian Schools.” This admirable institution was founded by the Venerable Abbé de la Salle, the process of whose canonisation was begun at Rome some years ago and finished in 1883. Born in 1651 at Reims, where his father was a distinguished advocate and king’s counsel, Jean Baptiste devoted his remarkable powers of mind and will at an early age to the divine service, and, having been ordained was nominated Canon of Reims. The education of the poor, to promote which schools, called “little schools,” had begun to be organised in the thirteenth century, after the legal establishment of the University of Paris, was checked by the Hundred Years’ War which raged in France at short intervals from the middle of the fourteenth to the middle of the fifteenth century. In 1570 a society of teachers was established under the title of “the master-writers” (maîtres écrivains) at Paris, whence it spread to other cities. Their aim was to teach writing and arithmetic, and a little Latin, so that their pupils might be qualified to assist the clergy in the church offices. They received many privileges, which they construed into a monopoly of teaching. About the year 1680, many good and earnest persons, both among the clergy and the laity, were engaged in promoting the Christian education of the people. Prominent among these was a M. Nyel of Rouen, who selected teachers and trained them, and then sent them to the cities or great seigneuries which offered to provide buildings and salaries. The Abbé de la Salle, who was an intimate friend of M. Nyel, had his attention thus drawn to the subject, the importance of which soon engrossed his thoughts. In his capacious mind the spirit of system was united to a sound common-sense, quick perception of character, and the tenderest charity. He took charge of several of M. Nyel’s teachers, and engaged others; but finding that many of these young men were anxious about their future, and dreading to embark in a calling which the death of their leader might deprive of stability and social favour, he resolved to renounce his church preferment, and also his private fortune, that he might be able to say to them that he, even as they, had no help or trust save in God. He accordingly resigned his canonry, and distributed his patrimony to the poor. This was in 1684; in the same year he drew up the first rules for his teachers, and selected the name which they should bear; the origin of the brotherhood therefore dates from this time. The teaching in all his schools was to be gratuitous for the day scholars, but boarders and day-boarders were also received. The venerable founder himself often taught in his schools, and, with his sure eye for organisation, reformed the instruction in many large schools (e.g. in that connected with St. Sulpice at Paris) the inefficiency of which had baffled the efforts of their managers. De la Salle insisted that Latin should be be no longer an obligatory subject in schools for the children of the poor, but that the basis of their teaching, after the Catechism, should be their own language; let them first learn to read and write French correctly, and then, if they had time and means, they might take up Latin. On this account the Venerable de la Salle is often regarded—and, it would seem, with justice—as the originator of primary schools and primary instruction, which, till his time, had been confounded with secondary. It is true that St. Joseph Calasanctius had founded at Rome long before (1597) his admirable institution of the Scuole Pie, or Pious Schools, in which instruction was given gratuitously; but the line was not clearly drawn in these, as regards the subjects taught, between what constitutes primary and what constitutes secondary instruction. Latin was not excluded, and the teachers were encouraged to aspire to the priesthood; hence the Pious Schools passed by degrees into the rank of secondary establishments. On the other hand, the rule of the Venerable de la Salle required that the Brothers who bound themselves by vow to devote their lives to teaching in the schools, and wore the religious habit, should be and remain laymen, equally with the professors and assistant teachers who were employed under them. And this has continued to be the practice of the congregation ever since. For the training of the Brothers the founder instituted a noviciate; for that of the professors, &c., a normal school. Founded at Reims in 1685, this appears to have been the first training school for primary teachers in Europe. It was, and still is, a part of the rule, that the Brothers should work in pairs. They take the three religious vows, after having attained to at least twenty-three years. Their habit gives them an ecclesiastical appearance; it consists of a long black cassock, with a cloak over it fastened by iron clasps, a falling collar, and a hat with wide brims.

The founder lived to see the fruit of his labours in the establishment of his schools in many of the principal towns of France. He died in 1719, leaving his congregation so firmly planted that all the convulsions by which French society has since been torn have not been able to extirpate it. It has moreover spread to many countries beyond the limits of France, and has been imitated by other teaching associations.

From a table which had very kindly been furnished by the Vice-Principal of St. Joseph’s College, England, it appears that at the end of 1880 the Brothers had under their charge 2,048 schools, attended by 325,558 scholars, of whom 286,004 were receiving gratuitous instruction. Out of this general total France and her colonies contributed 261,000 scholars; Belgium, nearly 19,000; the U. S., Canada, and Spanish America, 36,000; and England, upwards of 2,000. Nearly 12,000 Brothers, 5,000 Professors, and 2,500 Novices were employed in the schools.

It should have been mentioned that a Bull of approbation in favour of the Christian Brothers was granted by Benedict XIII. in 1725, elevating them into a religious congregation.

It is interesting to note that, in 1699, long before Sunday schools were thought of in England, the Venerable de la Salle established one (école dominicale) at St. Sulpice, which was to be open from noon to three o’clock, and give secular instruction. Similar schools, open on festivals, were established by St. Charles Borromeo at Milan, about 1580; see his Life by Bascape, vii. 42.

(“Vie du Vénérable J. B. de la Salle,” Rouen, 1874.)

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS, OF IRELAND. A religious congregation founded in 1802 in the city of Waterford by Edmond Ignatius Rice, of Callan, in the county Kilkenny. Mr. Rice had resided in Waterford since 1780, and thus had an opportunity of witnessing the demoralising effect of the penal laws, which proscribed Catholic education. He used to relate with what pain he saw crowds of poor children wandering through the streets and lanes of the city, in idleness, and its usual attendant, vice; and how, meeting a number of them one day at a village near the town, he drew them round him, and by questioning them ascertained the fact of their neglected condition, and in particular their deplorable ignorance of the first elements of religion. It was on this occasion that he conceived the idea of devoting his life and ample property to the cause of the education of the poor.

He adopted the rules and general system of the institute founded by the Venerable de la Salle, conceiving that he could find no better model. His first school was opened at Mount Sion in the city of Waterford, on May 1, 1804, and was eminently successful; so much so, that in a short time the altered habits and demeanour of the children in the streets became a common topic of remark. The bishop of Waterford was a warm admirer and supporter of Mr. Rice, and he was soon invited by other bishops to open similar schools in their dioceses. In the course of a few years houses of the institute were established in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and other centres of population; and the result appeared so satisfactory that the bishops, in 1818, memorialised the Holy See to approve the congregation, and grant it a constitution, Rome took two years to consider the question, and on September 5, 1820, the Apostolic Brief of Pius VII. (Ad Pastoralis) granted the prayer of the memorial and confirmed the institute. The members bind themselves by the usual religious vows, and are subject to a Superior-General, who has three Assistants to aid him in the government of the body. Houses of the order are now found in almost every town in Ireland, and in several of the British colonies. The Brothers at present number about 600, and their pupils 40,000. Their system of teaching has met with the warm approval of successive Royal Commissions, appointed to inquire into the state of education in Ireland. (See “Testimonies in favour of the Christian Brothers and their Schools,” Dublin, 1877.) The Brothers, after the establishment of the Irish system of national education in 1832, placed their schools for a time in connection with the Board, and accepted the grant; but finding that the rules of the Board as to the absolute division of secular from religious teaching were gradually leading them into concessions alien from the spirit of their founder and the Church, they withdrew from all connection with Government, and have since carried on their schools independently. Nor have they seen any cause to repent of having thus thrown themselves boldly on the generous Catholic sympathies of the Irish people. (From information supplied by Brother J. A. Grace, of Belvidere House, Drumcondra.)


CHRISTMAS DAY. The 25th of December, on which the Church celebrates Christ’s birth. Whether or not the birth of our Lord really occurred on this day, ancient authorities are not agreed. Clement of Alexandria mentions the opinion of some who placed it on the 20th of April, and of others, who thought it took place on the 20th of May, while St. Epiphanius and Cassian state that in Egypt Christ was believed to have been born on the 6th of January. For a long time the Greeks had no special feast corresponding to Christmas Day, and merely commemorated our Lord’s birth on the Epiphany. St. Chrysostom in a Christmas sermon, delivered at Antioch in the year 386, says, “it is not ten years since this day [Christmas Day on December 25] was clearly known to us, but it has been familiar from the beginning to those who dwell in the West.” “The Romans, who have celebrated it for a long time, and from ancient tradition, have transmitted the knowledge of it to us.” St. Augustine gives similar testimony as to the custom of the Latin Church. We may therefore conclude, that in the fourth century Christmas Day had been celebrated from time immemorial in the West, and about Chrysostom’s day it began to be observed in the East; and it seems to have spread rapidly there, as appears from the writings of the two Gregories (of Nazianzum and of Nyssa).

Two or three points in the celebration of the Christmas festival, as at present practised, deserve special notice. It is well known that in ancient times the greater feasts were preceded by vigils, which the faithful kept in the church, spending the night in fasting and prayer. For grave reasons, the Church abolished this custom, among the faithful generally, and restricted the observance of vigils in the proper sense to the religious orders, who say the night office, while to the lay people a vigil is merely an ordinary fasting-day. But when other vigils were abolished, that of Christmas was still preserved, and to this day, according to ancient custom, the people meet in the church to assist at the singing of the divine office, and at the sacrifice of the Mass, which is offered after midnight.

Next, on Christmas Day, against the rule which prevails on every other day in the year, priests are allowed to celebrate three Masses. In ancient times, however, the custom of allowing a single priest to celebrate more than one Mass was not limited to Christmas Day. Two Masses used to be said on January 1—one Mass of the octave of the Nativity, another of the Blessed Virgin. Three Masses were said on Holy Thursday—one for the reconciliation of penitents, another for the consecration of the holy chrism. a third to commemorate the solemnity of the day. Two Masses were said on the Ascension—one of the vigil, and another of the feast. A Roman Ordo mentions the custom of saying three Masses on the feast of St. John Baptist, while it appears from Prudentius that the Popes used to celebrate two Masses on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul—one in the Vatican basilica, another in the church of St. Paul. To return to Christmas Day: the Roman Ordines prove that the Popes used on that feast to say three Masses—the first in the Liberian basilica; the second in the church of St. Anastasia, whose memory is celebrated on the same day, December 25; the third in the Vatican church. In other places, particularly in France, the same priest used to say two Masses on Christmas Day. When the Roman Ordo was received in France by the command of Charlemagne, the Roman custom of saying three Masses was introduced in France also, the privilege being given first of all to bishops only, and then to priests also. To sum up: throughout the Church, or at least in a great part of it, there were two Masses—one for the vigil of Christmas, another for the feast itself. At Rome there were three, because the feast of St. Anastasia fell on the same day; and the Roman custom spread throughout the West. Those three Masses, however, were always said, not together, but at considerable intervals—viz. at midnight, dawn, and in the day time—a custom still observed in cathedral and collegiate churches. A mystical explanation of the three Masses is given, and they are supposed to figure the three births of our Lord—viz. of His Father before all ages, of the Blessed Virgin, and in the hearts of the faithful.

An old chronicler (Albertus Argentinensis) relates that during the Christmas Mass celebrated “at cock-crow,” Charlemagne stood with drawn sword and read the gospel, “A decree went forth from Cæsar Augustus.” Martene mentions the ancient custom, according to which the emperor, or, failing him, any sovereign who was present in the Papal chapel on Christmas night, used to read the fifth lesson in the office, with his sword in his hand. “At present,” says Benedict XIV., “on Christmas night the Pope blesses a ducal cap and sword, which he either gives to some prince who is there, or else sends it as a present. (Benedict XIV., “De Festis.”)

CHURCH BOOKS OR REGISTERS. The Roman Ritual in the English edition enumerates the following books or registers to be kept by every parish priest (a name which here no doubt is meant to include priests in charge of a mission)—viz. the register of baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths (“libri baptizatorum, confirmatorum, matrimoniorum, defunctorum”).

The origin of the baptismal register is very ancient. The catechumens were accustomed some time before baptism, and usually in the fourth week of Lent, to give their names to the bishop, that he might enter them in a list known as the “book of life,” or “roll of catechumens” (“catalogus catechumenorum”). The Council of Trent (sess. xxiv. De Reform. Matrim. c. 2) orders parish priests to write down in a book the names of the god-parents at baptism.

The “book of the dead” may be connected in origin with the diptychs of the ancient Church, in which the names of benefactors, &c., were enrolled, in order that they might be prayed for specially in the commemoration of the dead; but it is not till the end of the sixteenth century that we find the names of the dead registered in the present manner. The keeping of a register of marriages was introduced (or rather made of universal obligation) by the Council of Trent, sess. xxiv. De Reform. Matrim. c. 1, in these words: “Let the parish priest have a book, in which he is to enter the names of the persons married and of the witnesses, the day on which the marriage was contracted, and the place at which it was celebrated, which book he is to keep carefully under his charge.” The register of persons confirmed, like that of deaths, was prescribed by various provincial councils.

CHURCH HISTORY. It is the object of the following article to give some account of the chief histories of the Church. We confine ourselves, with regard to Church histories written in modern times, to such as have come from Catholics, and we shall speak only of histories which deal with the fortunes of the whole Catholic Church, as distinct from the particular branches of it which have flourished in this or that nation. What we have to say is taken in substance from a learned essay by Bishop Hefele in the German “Catholic Cyclopædia.” Following his guidance we divide the literature of the subject into three epochs. The first period (A) comprises the ancient Church historians down to the time of Charlemagne, crowned Roman Emperor in 800. During this period the Greeks and Romans were the chief representatives of civilisation and Catholic Christianity. The second period (B), from Charlemagne to the rise of the Protestant religion, embraces the whole of the middle ages, during which the German and Romance nations were united in one Church and under one head, viz. the Pope. The third period (C) extends from the sixteenth century to the present day. Under the first period we shall begin with the Greek and then pass on to the Latin historians.

(A) The first Church historian of whom any memorial has been preserved, was Hegesippus, a Jewish convert, who lived about the middle of the second century. He wrote a work in five books called ὑπομνήματα or Memoirs. Great use of it was made by Eusebius, to whom we are indebted for the eight fragments which remain; the work itself is lost. These fragments have been edited and illustrated with learned notes by the great Protestant scholar, Dr. Routh, in his “Reliquiæ Sacræ.” Hegesippus also drew up a catalogue of the Roman bishops down to Anicetus, and this may have been a separate work. (1) The real Father of Church history is Eusebius, who was bishop of Cæsarea in the earlier half of the fourth century. His “Ecclesiastical History” in ten books begins with Christ and ends with the victory of Constantine over Licinius, in 324. He used a number of old documents, which have perished long since, such as writings of early Fathers, letters, and particularly documents taken from the archives of the empire and placed at his disposal by Constantine. This history was translated into Latin by Rufinus. In spite of the roughness of his style, the credulity which made him accept unhistorical matter (e.g. the correspondence between Christ and Abgarus), and the fact that his narrative is often incomplete, the documents which Eusebius used, and which have perished since, give a value altogether singular to his “Church History.” His Life of Constantine in four books also contains, although it is written in the tone of a panegyric, information of the first importance. The “Chronicle” of Eusebius belongs rather to profane than to ecclesiastical history, and is besides more useful for the history of the Old than of the New Testament. The first book seems to have contained a brief sketch of the history of the world, from the establishment of the first of the great empires down to his own day. The second book (χρονικὸς κανών) contained chronological and synchronistic tables from the time of Abraham to that of Constantine. It was founded on a similar work of Julius Africanus (third century). The Greek original perished in the ninth century, and we were left with nothing except fragments and a Latin reproduction of the second book by Jerome, who allowed himself to add and to alter freely. However, an early Armenian version of the entire Chronicle (with, however, some gaps) was printed at Venice towards the end of last century, and edited by the Mechitarist monk Aucher, with a Latin version and with the Greek fragments (Venice, 1818). (2) Socrates, a lawyer, or, as he calls himself, σχολαστικὸς, at Constantinople, wrote a history of the Church from 305 to 439—i.e. to his own time. His history is in seven books, and deserves high praise for the diligent use of the sources (particularly of the works of St. Athanasius), for the exactness of the chronological data, for the agreeable style, and, on the whole, for impartiality. He was clearly a Catholic, although inclined to regard the rigorist views of Novatian with favour, and although, as Photius remarks, he was “not over-accurate” in his account of dogmatic matters. (3) Sozomen, like Socrates, a lawyer at Constantinople, but originally from Palestine, wrote in nine books the history of the Church from 324 to 423. He does not seem to have known the work of Socrates, to which his own is in most respects decidedly inferior. (4) Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus in Syria, and perhaps the most learned theologian of his age, wrote, about 450, the history of the Church from 320 to 428. It is the briefest but the best continuation of Eusebius. Its chief fault lies in the almost entire omission of dates. (5) Theodore Lector lived at the beginning of the sixth century, and was attached as lector to the church of Constantinople. He wrote a history made up of extracts from the works of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, and this book still exists in MS. He also continued the history of Socrates down to 527, but of this original history only fragments remain. (6) The last Greek Church-historian of this period is Evagrius, a Syrian, born at Epiphania about 536. He was a lawyer, high in office at Antioch. He wrote in six books the history of the Church from the Council of Ephesus in 431 to 594, so that his work is of special importance for the Nestorian and Monophysite controversies. He is learned, orthodox, and writes in a cultivated style, but is credulous and fond of marvels.

The Greek text of Eusebius (Church History), Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Evagrius, with fragments of Theodorus Lector, was edited for the first time by Robert Stephens, Paris, 1544. An edition incomparably superior was issued under the care of Henri de Valois (Valesius), a lawyer, who was entrusted with this work by the French bishops. He corrected the text by collation of MSS., and enriched his editions by notes and dissertations of profound learning, which can never lose their value. The work appeared at Paris, 1659–73, in three folios—the first containing the works of Eusebius relating to Church history except the Chronicle; the second, Socrates and Sozomen; the third, Theodoret, Evagrius, and the fragments of Theodorus Lector and of the Arian historian, Philostorgius, who in the interest of his party wrote a Church history in twelve books, from the rise of Arianism to the year 423. A new and convenient edition of the ancient Church historians was edited by Reading and published at Cambridge, 1720. Since then Eusebius has been edited by several critics, among whom we may mention Stroth (Halae ad Salam., 1779), Heinichen, Burton (Oxford, 1838, an edition of inferior merit). Heinichen’s last edition (Lipsiæ, 1868) contains a good text and valuable notes, excursus, &c., taken from many sources.

In this first period the Latins did much less than the Greeks for Church history. Rufinus, about 400, made a free translation of Eusebius, compressing the work of the latter into nine books and adding two of his own, which gave the history of the Church from 318 to 395. Rufinus is an inaccurate and sometimes a partial writer. The best edition is by Cacciari (Romæ, 1740). Sulpitius Severus, a contemporary of Rufinus, wrote a “Sacred History” (“Historia Sacra,” also “Chronica Sacra”) from the beginning of the world to 400. The style is justly celebrated, but the work is too meagre to be of much value, though it gives some details on the history of the Priscillianists. The best editions are by Hieron. de Prato, (Veronæ, 1741), and by the Oratorian Gallandius in vol. viii. of his “Bibliotheca Patrum.” Orosius, a Spanish priest, at the request of St. Augustine, wrote his “seven Books of Histories against the Pagans,” which is really a profane history, written, however, in the Christian interest, with the special intention of showing that the calamities of the empire were not caused by the triumph of the Christian religion. Lastly, Cassiodorus, after he had retired from his high civil offices and had become superior of the monastery he founded, abbreviated and harmonised the histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret. This “Historia Tripartita,” as it was called, consisted of twelve books, and was, with the works of Rufinus, the great authority during the middle ages on the history of the early Church.

(B) In the second period, the relative merits of Greeks and Latins with regard to Church history, were reversed. Among the former, literature of this kind almost died out; among the latter it began to flourish vigorously when the storm of the barbarian invasion was past. Indeed, between 600 and 1,500, the East boasts only one famous Church historian, viz.: Nicephorus Callisti, a clergyman at Constantinople about the middle of the fourteenth century. He wrote the history of the Church down to 610—in which year the Emperor Phocas died—using very diligently the authors (many of them lost to us) in the library of St. Sophia, but without the critical spirit or the power to distinguish history from legend. His work has been edited by the Jesuit Frontou le Duc (Paris, 1630).

As we have already said, the richness of historical literature in the West offers a striking contrast to the poverty of the East in this respect. However, the most valuable historical literature of the middle ages does not fall under review here. It is composed of annals and chronicles without number, and also of the histories, civil and ecclesiastical, of particular races and nations. To the latter class belong a history of the Franks by St. Gregory of Tours († 595); the “Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation” (gentis Anglorum) by Venerable Bede († 735); of the Lombards by Paulus Diaconus († 799); of the Scandinavian North by Adam of Bremen (canon of Bremen from 1067); of Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Westphalia, by Kranz, a canon of Hamburg († 1517). To these we may add a history of the church of Rheims by Flodoard († 966). Of general histories, the following are extant:—(1.) Ten books of Church history, by Haymo, from 840 bishop of Halberstadt. This work, mostly compiled from Rufinus, gives the Church history of the first four centuries. (2.) About the same time lived Anastasius, librarian of the Roman Church, and appointed by Nicholas I. abbot of a monastery on the further side of the Tiber. He wrote an “Historia Ecclesiastica seu Chronographia Tripartita,” which is translated and compiled from three Byzantine historians, and goes as far as the ninth century. Commonly, too, the famous “Liber Pontificalis,” also called “De Vitis Romanorum Pontificum,” is ascribed to him. But the learned authors of the “Origines de l’église de Rome” (Paris, 1826), followed by Hefele, have proved that the book is much older, and that Anastasius cannot have written more than the lives of some of the last Popes in the series. The latest edition of this book is by Blanchinus and Vignolius. (3.) About 1142, Ordericus Vitalis, an Englishman and Abbot of St. Evroul, in Normandy, wrote thirteen books of ecclesiastical history from the time of Christ to the twelfth century. (4.) Some 150 years later, the Dominican Bartholomew of Lucca wrote a Church history in twenty-four books from Christ till 1312. (5.) The great Church history of the middle ages came from Antoninus, Archbishop of Florence in the fifteenth century. He relates the history of the world, secular and profane, from the beginning to 1459. Here we see the first dawn of historical criticism. Laurentius Valla and Nicolas of Cusa had already pointed out the spurious character of the so-called “Donation of Constantine,” and of other documents accepted in the middle ages, and the new epoch of historical literature was soon to begin.

(C) Many causes conspired at the time of the Reformation to awaken a new interest in Church history, and to introduce a new method of studying it. The fall of the Eastern empire brought Greek literature and a knowledge of the Greek language to Western Europe, so that it became possible to consult the sources. The invention of printing made these sources widely accessible, while the fact that the Protestants represented their religion as a revival of primitive Christianity impelled Catholics to study with exactness the history of the early Church. In the middle of the sixteenth century, the famous work of the Magdeburg Centuriators began to be written and published. It was a history of the Church, written in an intensely Lutheran spirit, divided into centuries, of which the first five were prepared at Magdeburg, whence the name, though the whole work was printed at Basle in 1599 in thirteen folios. The director of the work was Matthias Flacius, who had a number of learned men working under him, collecting materials, &c., while the Protestant princes supported him with money. To meet the impression the “Centuries” were likely to make, Cæsar Baronius, afterwards Cardinal, began his “Ecclesiastical Annals,” a work of stupendous learning, and a treasure house of valuable documents, so that at this day, as Hefele says, Protestants use it a hundred times for once that they have recourse to the forgotten “Magdeburg Centuries.” The first edition, ending with 1198, was published at Rome in twelve folios (1588–1607). It was continued by the Polish Dominican Bzovius, in eight folios, reaching to 1564 (Rome, 1672); by Spondanus, Bishop of Pamiers, in two folios (Paris, 1640), reaching to 1640. The best continuation, rich in documents, is by the Oratorian Raynaldus, in nine folios (Rome, 1646–1677). Laderchius, also an Oratorian, added three folios (Rome, 1728–37) which however only contain the history of seven years. The two Pagi, uncle and nephew, both Franciscans, gave to the world learned and valuable notes on Baronius, entitled “Critica Historico-Chronologica in Universos Annales, etc., Baronii” (Antw. 1705). They were published complete by the younger Pagi after his uncle’s death. Mansi’s edition of Baronius is the most esteemed; it contains, besides the text of Baronius, the notes of the Pagi and the continuation of Raynaldus, in thirty-eight folios (Lucca, (1738–59). This costly edition is unhappily disfigured by errors in printing. Recently, a continuation by the Oratorian Theiner in three folios coming down to 1583 has been printed at Rome and Paris (1856, seq.), while the whole work has been reprinted at Bar-le-Duc (1864, seq.)

The great work of Petavius on the history of dogma, the admirable editions of the Fathers by the Benedictines of St. Maur, and many other works of a critical nature, prepared the way for the labours of the French Church historians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The greatest names in this golden age of ecclesiastical learning are, (1) Natalis Alexander. His great work in thirty octavo volumes, containing the history of the Jewish Church, and of the Christian to the end of the sixteenth century (Paris 1676, seq.), was placed, because of its Gallican views, on the Index by Innocent XI. An edition by Roncaglia, with the entire text of Alexander, but with the addition of notes correcting his Gallican utterances, appeared at Lucca in 1734. There have been many subsequent editions. (2) Fleury, sous-précepteur of the French princes, and Prior of Argenteuil, wrote the history of the Church down to 1414, in twenty quarto volumes. Unlike Baronius and Natalis, who wrote in Latin, Fleury wrote in French. The strength of Natalis Alexander lay in learned and minute discussion; Fleury contents himself with giving the results of criticism, and tells the history of the Church in a manner attractive to the educated public, and in language clear, dignified, and simple. Nothing can be more charming than the skill with which he introduces extracts from ancient authorities, or the exquisite tact with which he catches the spirit and portrays the manners of the early Christians. In spite of his Gallicanism, Fleury has been commended in the highest terms by Cardinal Newman and Hefele. Indeed, no competent judge would question his extraordinary merits, and to this day his work is unsurpassed. Fleury found several continuators, of whom Faber, a bitter and exaggerated Gallican, is the best known, but none of them were in any way worthy to compare with him. (3) Le Nain Tillemont, perhaps the most learned and accurate of all Church historians. He was a priest entirely devoted to prayer and study, connected with the solitaries of Port Royal, though not himself a Jansenist. His famous “Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire ecclésiastique” give materials for the history of the Church, mostly in biographical form, down to the year 513, in sixteen quarto volumes (Paris, 1693). The history is given almost entirely in the words of the ancient documents, but these extracts from ancient authorities are united with an art which gives to the whole the smoothness and finish of a mosaic. Tillemont’s accuracy would of itself entitle him to rank as an historical genius. It never fails him, notwithstanding the vast amount of details with which he deals. The notes at the end of each volume are models of critical acumen. The readers of Gibbon are aware how highly he valued Tillemont, and how greatly he is indebted to him. The French Church historians soon after this date show a marked falling off. They are many of them agreeable writers, but without depth of learning. Among them we may name Choisy (“Histoire de l’Eglise,” Paris, 1706–23), the Jansenist Racine, Ducreux, Berault Bercastel, a popular writer whose history, published at the close of the last century, has been re-edited and continued down to our own time by Heurion (Paris, 1841). A history on a large scale has been written by the Abbé Rohrbacher, “Histoire Universelle de l’Eglise” (Paris 1842–48).

The Italians, since Baronius, have done much less for the history of the Church than the French. The best Italian Church histories are those of Cardinal Orsi, whose “Storia Eccl.” (Rome, 1748) gives the history of the Church in the first six centuries; and of Saccarelli (“Historia Ecclesiastica,” down to 1185). The work of Graveson, a Frenchman settled in Italy, is now almost forgotten. Berti’s compendium has little worth. Works of moderate compass have been written by Delsignore (“Institutiones Historicæ,” Romæ, 1837), and by Palma (“Prælectiones Hist. Eccles.” Romæ, 1838).

Much labour has been devoted to Church history in Germany, but the most complete and popular of German Church histories is the Protestant work of Neander. For a long time German Catholics did little or nothing for this study, till a new era was opened by Stolberg. The first fifteen volumes, containing the “History of the Religion of Jesus Christ” from the creation to A.D. 430, were published at Vienna and Hamburg in 1806, seq. This work with its continuation by Kerz and Brischar is very voluminous. A popular history going down to 1153, was written by Katerkamp (Münster, 1819–34), and a useful compendium by Hortig in 1826. Döllinger, about ten years later, published a compendium which carries the history of the Church down to the sixteenth century. He also began a Church history on a larger scale, bur unhappily only two volumes of this excellent and learned work appeared. The first volume ends with Constantine; the second gives the external history of the Church down to 680. An English version by Dr. Cox is taken partly from the compendium, partly from the larger history, but the translation is far from accurate. Möhler’s lectures on Church history were edited and published long after his death in an imperfect form. The compendium of Alzog (eighth edition, 1867) is a most useful work; it has been translated into English. A Church history of great learning, but heavy in style, has recently appeared from the pen of Cardinal Hergenröther. The manual of Kraus (Treves, 1871–75) is indispensable to the student. In its own special line it has no rival. A Church history in the proper sense it can scarcely be called. It is rather an analysis of the facts, with a list of the original sources, and of the whole literature down to modern times, relating to each part of the subject, while synchronistic tables are given in an appendix. It is difficult to say too much in praise of this book. An immense amount of matter is compressed into less than 1,000 pages; the arrangement is a marvel of simplicity and system, and the completeness of the information on books of reference is no less admirable. It need hardly be said that Bishop Hefele’s History of the Councils (in seven volumes), of which a second edition is now in progress, is the best book on the subject and of European reputation.

In English we have no Catholic Church History worth mentioning, though of course particular portions of the subject have been treated of with great success by Dodd, Challoner, Butler, Lingard, Oliver, Tierney, Rock, Northcote, and above all by Cardinal Newman.

CHURCH OF CHRIST: CATHOLIC CHURCH. The Roman Catechism, in expounding the ninth article of the Creed, urges priests to explain the nature and authority of the Catholic Church to their flocks with special frequency and earnestness, because of the supreme importance which belongs to the point of Christian doctrine. All heresy involves a rejection of the Church’s authority; and, on the other hand, it is impossible to accept the true doctrine concerning the Church, and at the same time to be a heretic. Hence, in all ages, and against all forms of error, the Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Church have appealed to her teaching as the infallible rule of faith. If such an appeal was necessary at every time, there is a more than ordinary need at the present day for insisting upon this article of the Creed, “I believe in the holy Catholic Church.” It is misunderstood by Protestants more utterly than by most at least of their predecessors in separation, and the true sense of the ninth article in the Apostles’ Creed is the hinge on which all our controversy with Protestants turns. We propose to consider (A) the Church of Christ as described in the New Testament; (B) this Church as it existed in the ages which came immediately after that of the Apostles; (C) to show that the present Catholic Roman Church is the Church founded by Christ and attested by Scripture and tradition; that she, and she alone, is the heir to the promises of Christ and the ark of salvation; (D) having discussed the general characteristics, we shall conclude with a more detailed account of its component parts and constitution.

(A) The Church as set forth in the New Testament.—It is well known that the Protestant Reformers made the Bible, and the Bible only, the rule of faith. With them the Bible came first, the Church came second, and occupied a very subordinate position. The individual, enlightened by the Holy Ghost, read the Bible and received the true faith from its pages. A number of these individuals, gathered together, formed a church. This idea of the Church, it may be safely said, is still held by the great mass of Protestants, though it has lost ground, no doubt, among the learned. Now, the first thing which ought to strike an intelligent reader of the New Testament is, that there is an importance attached to the Church which, from the Protestant point of view, is exaggerated and out of all due proportion, while, on the contrary, no adequate provision is made for furnishing mankind with the one and only means of attaining the truth—viz. the Bible. There is no means of evading this plain and evident fact. Christ never once told his disciples to write books, or promised them his help in doing so. Books indeed were written, describing the life of our Lord, and the Apostles wrote various epistles, as occasion served; but, so far as we can learn from the pages of the New Testament, the Apostles did not leave any list of inspired writings, and, except in one solitary instance, they never once even allude to the fact that there were any inspired writings at all, except those of the old law. Surely, this is very strange, on the Protestant theory. It cannot be affirmed that these writings bore the marks of inspiration on the surface, for the Fathers of the Church (till the Church decided) were not agreed about the number and titles of the Biblical books; and those who do not care much for the Fathers may be reminded that the Reformers themselves were at variance with one another on the same question. But this becomes stranger still, on the Protestant theory, when we find that, while our Lord and his Apostles preserve a silence which is scarcely broken, on the New Testament, they speak frequently and in most exalted terms of the Church. We find Christ telling his disciples to hear the Church. St. Paul speaks of the Church of God; of the Church which Christ has purchased with his blood, of the Church which is the pillar and ground of the truth, of the Church as “the house of God.” This is very intelligible to Catholics, who hold that the Church has infallible authority in all controversies of faith, so that, given the authority of the Church, the inspiration of Scripture would be accepted, and the decision of questions as to the books which composed it would follow as a matter of course; on the Protestant hypothesis, the phenomenon is inexplicable.

Great importance, then, was given by the Apostles to some Church or other. Let us see what they understood by this Church.

The Church which they recognised was, first of all, a visible body. No other kind of Church would have answered to the intention of Christ in founding it. His disciples were to be like “a city that is set on a mountain” (Matt. 5:14), “a candle put on a candlestick” (ib. 15). Christ’s Church was not to consist merely in the invisible union of pious believers in Him. Far from this, in a series of parables our Lord warns his followers that the kingdom of heaven—i.e. the Church which He was to establish (since none but the good can enter heaven in the literal sense)—was to consist of good and bad. He compares his Church to a field in which good grain and weeds grow together till the day of judgment; to a net which takes good and bad fish; to a wedding-feast where all the guests are not clothed in the wedding-garment of charity; to virgins, some of whom are wise, some foolish. The same characteristic of the Church follows by a necessary consequence from the duties of mankind with regard to her, which will be presently explained. There would be no meaning in the admonition to “hear the Church,” if she were invisible. We could not accept her as our infallible guide, as the unfailing oracle of truth, if she consisted only of pious people, who are known and can be known, as such, to God alone. It is true that there is an invisible Church, or, rather, that the visible Church has an invisible side. The Church is invisible so far as she has an invisible Head, Jesus Christ; so far as she is united by prayer and union under the same Head, Christ, to the souls in Purgatory, and to the “Church of the first-born who are written in Heaven.” It is true also that the Church to a great extent works invisibly. She is compared, not only to a spreading tree in which the birds of the air lodge, but also to the hidden leaven, the working of which is concealed from the eye of the observer. The Church gives visible sacraments, but God alone can distinguish with absolute certainty the souls on which the invisible grace of the sacraments produces its due effect. So much every Catholic will gladly allow. But it is one thing to make this admission, quite another, and a very different thing, to contend, with Luther, that God first of all enlightens the individual on the nature of the gospel, and that the individual so enlightened, and already a member of the invisible Church, pronounces the body or bodies in which this true gospel is taught to be the true visible Church. According to Catholics, the recognition of and submission to the visible Church is the ordained means of sharing in the invisible treasures of grace. The visible Church precedes the invisible. The Lutheran reverses this order, and thereby separates himself from the teaching, not only of the Catholic Church, but also of the New Testament. The Lutheran doctrine moreover contradicts, the Catholic is in perfect harmony with, the whole purpose of the Incarnation. The Son of God did not content Himself with working invisibly on the hearts. He assumed a visible body, went about teaching and doing good, and at the same time added to his words and works the invisible agency of His divine Spirit. Therefore he left visible representatives, who were to be known and seen by all, and at the same time took care that this outward Church should be quickened by the invisible presence of the Holy Ghost, which rules and quickens the Church, as the soul rules and quickens the body.

The Church, then, of the New Testament was a visible body, and it was further invested with authority. A visible body differs from a mere mob or accidental gathering of individual units, because the former has, while the latter has not, a regularly appointed government. We have seen already that the Church was to be clothed with power, from the fact that all men were to hear her. This power was to be wielded by the officers and rulers of the Church. Our Lord chose and trained his Apostles. As He was leaving the earth, he declared, “All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore teach all nations.” How great the power was which had been given to our Lord and which He committed to the twelve appears from his own words to them, “Whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven;” and again, “Whose sins ye shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose you shall retain, they are retained.”

The consideration of the Church as a visible body naturally leads us to speak of her unity. We can see that our Lord meant to found one Church, because He compares his Church to a house, the keys of which He put into Peter’s hands; and again, He likens his Church, in pointed and emphatic words, to one single flock under one single shepherd. The Church, then, is one, because she is a single body constituted under one invisible Head, Jesus Christ, and also under one earthly head, our Lord’s representative upon earth—viz. St. Peter. Christ did not permit his followers to form themselves into voluntary and independent societies, united by individual inclinations, or for purposes of convenience. He built his house upon a rock, and He gave St. Peter power to open and to shut the doors—i.e. to admit some to membership and to exclude others, according to the statutes which Christ Himself had framed. St. Paul develops the idea of this unity, and shows exactly in what it consisted, in the maxim, “One body and one Spirit … one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” In other words, the unity of the Church is assured by the unity of God Himself, who founded one Church and continues to rule it by his earthly representatives. This unity manifests itself in a double way. First, it implies unity of faith—”one faith.” Among the members of merely human institutions opinions must needs vary. Not so with the members of the Church, who are united in the one invariable truth, proclaimed by the incarnate God. Accordingly, St. Paul beseeches his converts to persevere in this unity of belief, in which they had been established by the grace of God. “I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment.” Far from tolerating various ways of thinking; far from allowing scope for private judgment on articles of faith, or admitting that men were free to indulge in great latitude of belief, provided that they were sincere and attentive to the natural precepts of morality, St. Paul exclaims, “If any one preach to you a gospel besides that which you have received, let him be accursed.” The word “heresy,” which is used at first without any bad meaning in the sense of “party” or “school,” occurs in the later writings as a term of reproach, used to mark those who chose for themselves instead of submitting to the faith of the Church, as if that fact alone were sufficient to brand those who presumed to exercise this choice. We are not left to guess how the Apostles judged of such a course. “A man that is a heretic,” St. Paul writes, “after the first and second admonition, avoid: knowing that he that is such an one is subverted and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.” St. Peter describes heretical parties or schools as “sects of perdition,” and St. John, with all his gentleness, is no less stringent. “If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house or say to him, God save you.” Next, the unity of the Church, as St. Paul conceives it, implies that the faithful are not only one because they hold the same faith, but also because they participate in the same sacraments—”one baptism.” In baptism all are born again; they become children of the same Father in heaven, and for that very reason are united as brethren to each other. “As many of you as have been baptised in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Moreover, St. Paul only names baptism as one of the sacraments by which the unity of the Church is secured, and in which this unity displays itself, for he attributes the same unifying influence, and that in a higher degree, to the Eucharist. “The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord? For we being many are one bread, one body, all who partake of one bread.”

The unity of the Church, then, depends on the unity of her organisation, her common faith and teaching, the discipline to which all are subject, the life of prayer and of sacramental grace to which all her members are called. But this sacramental life makes the Church holy, just as it makes her one. There is, indeed, a marked difference in our Lord’s teaching on the sanctity as contrasted with his statements on the unity of the Church. As has been already proved, Christ warns us that all the members of his Church would not be holy, while He never gives the slightest hint that this Church could by any possibility be split into opposing sects. But in spite of sins and defects in her members, the Church was to be in a true and real sense holy. She deserves to be so called because in Christ her Head she possesses the source of all sanctity; because by true doctrine on morals, as well as on faith, she teaches the way to heaven; while by prayer and the sacraments she puts into men’s hands the weapons of this spiritual warfare, by which they can overcome evil and fight the good fight of faith. Christ “loved the Church and delivered himself up for it, that he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life.” He loves the Church as husbands ought to love their wives; so that the marriage bond is a type of the union between Christ and his mystical body. Moreover, in spite of scandals, which were by no means lacking in Apostolic times and were often of the grossest character, the sanctity of the Church shone forth in the lives of her children. St. Paul appeals in all humility to his own work, to his self-denial, his arduous toils, his charity and gift of sympathy, to the fruitfulness of his Apostolic teaching. For the first time Jews and heathen saw men give up their goods and hold all things in common; they beheld not only men who were pure and faithful to their wives, but also others who embraced a perfection unknown even to the great saints of the old law—men who embraced the celibate life, making themselves, in Christ’s words, “eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” St. Paul specially commends the unmarried state, and that not simply “on account of the present necessity,” but further, on general grounds, because “he that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, that he may please God. But he that has a wife is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided.” Thus, while the heathen rulers were actually trying to force their subjects into marriage, in order to deliver them from the evils of profligacy, the members of the Christian commonwealth exhibited to the world a new order of things, in which, on the one hand, the holy marriage tie became indissoluble, and was rendered holier still by a great sacrament, while, on the other, many pressed on to a higher state and even on earth led an angelic life. On this supernatural sanctity of the Church, flowing from union with Christ, developing itself in charity, zeal, benevolence, virginity, and a thousand other ways, Christ promised to set his seal by miracles. “These signs shall follow them that believe. In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick and they shall recover.” This sanctity of the Church, begun and really energising upon earth, was to be perfected in heaven. At the day of judgment, the wheat was to be separated from the weeds, the good fish from the bad. Then the prophet’s words were to be fulfilled: “Arise, arise, put on thy strength, O Sion; put on the garments of thy glory, O Jerusalem, the city of the holy one: for henceforth the uncircumcised and unclean shall no more pass through thee.” The marriage of the Lamb, of which St. John speaks in the Apocalypse, will be solemnised, and the bride of Christ will take her proper place in his glory.

The Catholic and Apostolic character of the Church in the New Testament need not detain us long; we have only to point out that these marks are included in the picture already drawn. The Jewish Church was national and therefore particular. The Church of Christ received a commission to teach all nations; the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile was broken down; the Church was to be Catholic or universal. To this Catholic Church the Apostles gave laws. When questions and disputes arose as to the obligation of the Jewish law, the Apostles with the “ancients” gave a decisive judgment, accompanying it with the words, “It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us.” On the foundation of prophets and apostles “the Church was built,” Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone.” The influence of the Apostles was felt in every part of the Church, because all doctrine and all authority to teach descended from them. It was to the Apostles Christ had entrusted the commission of teaching and baptising all nations. They in turn ordained others and gave them power to hand on like authority to “faithful men” who were to represent Christ in future generations. “For this cause,” St. Paul writes to Titus, “I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldst ordain presbyters in every city, as I also appointed thee.” Thus, the orders and mission of the whole Church were to be apostolic, and the teaching or doctrine of the Church was to be apostolic also. What St. Paul said to the Thessalonians, he said virtually to all Christians with whom he was connected, directly or indirectly. “Stand firm: and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.” One word more is needed before we quit this part of our subject. It is sometimes objected that, after all, the Roman Catholic Church is not really Catholic, because it does not, in matter of fact, include within its pale all mankind, or even all who profess themselves Christians. The fact is indisputable, but no inference against the Roman Catholic Church can be deduced from it. The Church of the Apostles was not Catholic in this sense. It was Catholic, not because it embraced all mankind, but because it claimed universal jurisdiction; because it asserted its right to control the hearts and consciences of all the children of Adam; because it claimed to speak in the name of him who had received the nations for his inheritance. No obduracy on the part of the heathen, no apostasy on the part of Christians, could alter the character of the Catholic Apostolic Church. Let sects increase ever so much, and spread and flourish in human estimation, still the Church remained, the bride of Christ and the sole heir to his promises. To each new sect the Church could say, “Prior veni: I was here before you: I, not you, have received the commission to teach and rule the nations.”

Another gift was necessary, without which the Church’s unity could not have continued, and even if it could have been maintained, would have been an evil rather than a blessing. There is no real advantage in an iron constraint which forces men to repeat the same formulas and acquiesce in the same decisions; there is no advantage in unity, unless it be unity in the truth. Accordingly, our Lord made his Church infallible. Against her He promised that “the gates of hell”—i.e. the powers of evil and of error issuing forth from the gates of the infernal city—would never prevail. He was the truth itself, the uncreated Wisdom, and to Him his disciples could boldly go, because He “had the words of eternal life.” But they were not to be worse off when his visible presence left them. “Behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” The Holy Ghost was to teach them “all things.” Hence St. Paul speaks, in a passage already quoted, of “the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth.” No error could ever darken the Church: no persecution could ever destroy her. Those who revolted from her were self-condemned; and those who listened to her could never be led astray by doubt or misbelief. What the Scriptures were, what the Scriptures meant—all was to be settled for them by the Church. They were favoured with a full perception of the truth and with an abundance of grace impossible under the Jewish dispensation. Just as our Lord impressed his hearers by the very fact that He spoke as one having authority and not as the Scribes, so the Church, by her lofty prerogatives as the bride of Christ and organ of the Holy Ghost, was to win the hearts of men to love and reverence. “Thy teacher shall not flee away from thee any more, and thine eyes shall see thy teacher. And thine ears shall hear the word of one admonishing thee behind thy back. This is the way, walk ye in it: and go not aside neither to the right hand nor to the left.”

(B) The Church of the first Ages after the Apostles.—We have been trying to show that the Church of the New Testament was One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, the indefectible and infallible organ of the truth, from which, and not from their private study of Biblical records, all nations were to learn the truth. Did any change occur in the rule of faith when the Apostles were no longer upon earth? When the Apostles were gone, did the Protestant religion begin to be, so that Christians went for their faith, not to the Church, but to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments? Now, on the face of it, it is unlikely that our Lord ordained an elaborate system which was to continue for a brief space and then give place to one radically different. But this improbability rises to sheer impossibility, when we reflect that our Lord, far from preparing his disciples for such a change, distinctly promised that He was to be with his Church “all days;” that the gates of hell were not to prevail against it; and so clearly implied that the Apostles were to have successors, endowed with the same powers and with the same infallibility. If we turn from the New Testament to the writings of the first Christians, we find everything in exact correspondence with the Catholic theory of the Church. When St. John, the last of the Apostles, died, there is no trace of any revolution which occurred in the system of Christian government. We find the bishops ruling just as the Apostles had done, and making the same claims to speak in the name of Christ. St. Ignatius, the disciple of St. John, proclaims the Church’s unity, and the necessity of union with and submission to her. “Do nothing,” he writes, “without the bishop … Jesus Christ is one … Therefore, let all of you meet together, as in one temple, as at one altar, as in one Jesus Christ.” We are to receive one Eucharist, for there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, one altar, one chalice, as there is one bishop. Our Lord breathed “incorruption into his Church.” In his epistles the term “Catholic Church” appears for the first time in Christian literature, and it embodies the same idea which he expresses elsewhere, when he tells the Ephesians to be “united in the mind of God;” and goes on to say that the bishops established throughout the world (κατὰ τὰ πέρατα) “are in the mind of Jesus Christ.” In this Church he recognised a visible head, the Church which “presides (προκάθηται) in the region of the Romans.”

St. Ignatius is the only disciple of the Apostles who speaks ex professo on doctrinal matters in documents which still survive. St. Irenæus belongs to the second stage of the Church’s history. He was the faithful disciple of St. Polycarp, who was, like St. Ignatius, the disciple of St. John. St. Irenæus wrote, not later than 190, a treatise “against heresies,” the earliest dogmatic treatise which has been preserved to us. He stood face to face with developed systems of heresy, and this forced him to state at length and with precision the Catholic rule of faith. This rule in his estimation certainly was not the “Bible and the Bible only.” “We must not,” he says, “seek from others the truths which it is easy to obtain from the Church, since into her, as into a rich treasury, the Apostles poured, as into a full stream, all which pertains to the truth; so that all who will may drink at her hands the water of life. She is the gate of life; as for all the rest, they are thieves and robbers.” He even puts to himself the imaginary case that “the Apostles had left no Scriptures,” an hypothesis which on the Protestant theory would have made true Christianity impossible. Irenæus judged differently. “Suppose,” he says, “the Apostles had left us no Scriptures, should we not follow the order of tradition which they handed down to those into whose hands they entrusted the churches?” “The true knowledge is the teaching of the Apostles and the ancient constitution of the Church over the whole world (τὸ ἀρχαῖον τῆς ἐκκλησίας σύστημα κατὰ παντὸς τοῦ κόσμου). This Church, “planted even to the ends of the world by the Apostles and their disciples, inherits [their] faith.” He regards the character of the Church’s tradition, as in itself the witness to its truth. Each heretic in turn “wished to set up for a teacher, and seceded from the sect in which he found himself at first.… No man could tell the number of those who, each on a different plan, separated from the truth.” “But the Church, dwelling, so to speak, in one house, as with one soul and one heart, constantly teaches, preaches, delivers this [Apostolical tradition] as with one mouth. There are diverse languages in the world, but still the force of tradition is one and the same.” In Germany, in Gaul, and Spain, in the East, and in Africa, the Church holds the same faith. God Himself has bestowed the faith upon her, and with it the “Holy Spirit, the pledge of incorruption and confirmation of our faith.… Where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church and all grace; and the Spirit is truth.” Hence to be outside of the Church is the same thing as to be outside of the truth. The quotations given abundantly prove that Irenæus believed the Church to be one, Catholic, infallible in her teaching, and the source of sanctity. He is no less explicit in laying down her Apostolic character. Indeed, he makes this last the foundation of all the Church’s prerogatives. “We must obey those who have the succession from the Apostles.” It is from those “who have this succession from the Apostles, soundness of doctrine, conversation without reproach, speech pure and incorruptible, that we must learn the truth.” “They are the men who expound the Scriptures for us without danger” of error. And, if we ask how we are to know that the bishops have retained sound doctrine and the true tradition, the answer is that “with the succession of the episcopate they have received a sure gift of truth (charisma veritatis) according to the good will of the Father.” We cannot put the belief of St. Irenæus better than in the words of a learned Protestant far removed from any sympathy with it. “Irenæus makes the preservation of sound doctrine and the presence of the Holy Ghost dependent upon the bishops who in legitimate succession represent the Apostles, and … this manifestly because he wants at any price to have a security for the unity of the visible Church.” St. Irenæus finds the centre of this unity in the Roman Church, “with which, because of its more powerful principality, every Church must agree—that is, the faithful everywhere—in which the tradition of the Apostles has ever been preserved by those on every side.” But the interpretation of these words belongs to the article on the Pope.

Other testimonies may be added from the same period. Clement of Alexandria tells us that “the true Church is one, the Church which is really ancient.” It is one, he says, because God is one, though men try to split it up into many heresies. He speaks of heresies “which abandon the Church which is from the beginning,” and avers that “he who falls into heresy, goes through a desert without water.” Tertullian holds similar language in controversy with heretics. Over and over again he appeals to the Apostolic foundation of the Catholic Church. “We communicate with the Apostolic Church, because there is no difference of doctrine between us; this is an evidence of truth”—i.e. a proof that what we teach is true. The Apostles knew all truth, and taught it to the churches. He proves the truth of Catholic doctrine from the fact that the Church is preserved from error by the Holy Ghost, whose office it is so to preserve her; from the very fact that all Catholics hold the same doctrine, arguing that if the churches had fallen into error, they would not all have fallen into the same error, since “that which is found one [and the same] among many, is not an error, but a tradition.” Finally, to return to Tertullian’s teaching on the Apostolicity of the Church, with which we began, he urges that Catholics can, heretics cannot, claim communion with any Church of Apostolic origin.

We have said enough perhaps on this division of the subject; but from Tertullian we may fitly pass to him who used to call Tertullian his master, the great St. Cyprian. He defines the Church as “the laity united to their bishop (sacerdoti) and pastor.” The Church is one and undivided, “being bound in one by the adhesion of bishops in mutual communion.” The saying which is regarded as expressing the very essence of Popish bigotry, and which has ever been specially offensive to Protestants, viz. “no salvation outside the Church” (“extra ecclesiam nulla salus”) is found word for word in Cyprian. Heresy is a stain which even blood shed for the truth of Christ cannot wash away.

(C) The Catholic Roman Church, the Church of the New Testament and of the Fathers.—The real difficulty in the controversy with all who are not Catholics is to prove that the four notes of the Church given in the Constantinopolitan Creed, “one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,” are the true marks by which the Church of Christ may be distinguished from the sects. When that is done, the question between Catholics and their opponents is almost at an end, for a Protestant body can scarcely pretend with seriousness to be the “one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.” In fact, no single Protestant body, so far as we are aware, professes to be the one Church. But neither can it be maintained that Protestant bodies taken together, or Protestants and Catholics together, or Anglicans, Greeks and Roman Catholics together, form the one Church. These different bodies are not one in doctrine; they hold no visible communion with each other; much less are they ruled by one visible government; they cannot, therefore, form one visible body. Just as little can any of the bodies which are severed from the unity of the faith, claim the title of Catholic. No Protestant sect asserts its right to universal dominion; such sects are essentially national or local in their character, and exhibit a certain amount of toleration to each other. The Scotch Presbyterian Church is not aggressive in England: the English Episcopalian Church makes no attempt to exercise jurisdiction over the French or Italian nations. No Protestant body dares to say, “I am the Catholic Church; out of my pale there is no salvation; all men must hear me and submit to me: if they refuse, it is at their peril.” Even the Greek schismatical Church does not seriously attempt to convert the French or even the English to its special form of Christianity. Similarly it might be shown that no separated body can rightly call itself holy or Apostolic; but we need not enter at length on the treatment of these points, because we shall have to point out presently that the Catholic Roman Church is in exclusive possession of these marks, which serve with the other two to distinguish the true Church. Suffice it to say that no single Protestant body, no schismatical body of any kind, can by any possibility have received its mission from the Apostles. At some time or other, each separated itself from the unity of the Church and started a new and independent life, so that its present doctrine and its present independent state cannot have come down to it in unbroken succession from the Apostles of Christ. Indeed, no Protestant Church professed to have received its doctrine in unbroken succession from the Apostles. The Anglican body, for example, declares expressly that Christianity was grossly corrupted; that this corruption affected the English church among others, and that she at the time of the Reformation reverted to the simplicity of primitive doctrine. The mark of sanctity was conspicuously absent in the founders of the Greek schism and of the Protestant churches. Nor can any body which is not Catholic possess the means of holiness. Even if the true sacraments are given, they are given and taken against Christ’s will, for the simple reason that they are given outside of the Church which He founded and by those who hold no commission to administer them. They are therefore given and received sacrilegiously and cannot profit the recipient, unless he is excused by invincible ignorance.

The Catholic Roman Church, on the other hand, claims with good right to be “one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic.” She is one because all her members are united under one visible head, the Bishop of Rome, who is the centre of unity, and who has received supreme power to rule and govern the Church of God. He does so along with the bishops whom the Holy Ghost has appointed also “to rule the Church of God,” an office which they exercise in union with, and in subordination to, the successor of St. Peter. The Church, then, if we look at its constitution, is one, as truly as, indeed far more truly than, any nation can be one. Some years ago a great deal was said about the unity of Germany, which was eagerly desired by many. Germans had many points in common: they all spoke the same language; the same blood flowed in their veins; they were proud of the same literature; they were bound together by many ennobling recollections, and, in some measure, by common aspirations. But the German States were not one, because they were not under one government. After a military struggle, the unity of the empire was, at least to a great extent, secured, because the great majority of Germans were placed under one single rule. This unity Christ provided for his Church by placing it under Peter and his successors, But, whereas earthly governments cease to be, and nations may be severed and divided, Christ took care that the government of his Church should never fail—that it should continue to the end of time, one and indivisible. He made Peter the rock, and promised that the gates of hell shall never prevail against the Church built upon it. That this unity of government is possessed by the Catholic Roman Church at this day, is an unquestioned and unquestionable fact. No less clear is the Church’s unity in faith. All Roman Catholics believe the Church in communion with the Pope to be infallible in faith and morals. The freest discussion is permitted on matters of opinion—even of theological opinion. But all the faithful, by the very fact that they are Catholics, admit that they are bound to hear the voice of the Church, and when the Pope solemnly issues a definition of faith, when the pastors united teach a truth as of faith, then all controversy is at an end. The Protestant principle of private judgment is, from the very necessity of the case, a principle of division. A belief in the gift of infallibility which our Saviour has bestowed on his Church is in its own nature a principle of unity. This unity of government and belief is perfected by unity of worship. The Catholic Church all over the world offers to God the one worship really worthy of Him—viz. the sacrifice of the Mass. Everywhere she administers the same sacraments with the same essential rites.

The Catholic Roman Church is also holy. She gives the true sacraments, and it is in the unity of the Church, and there only, that these sacraments are means of grace. Because of her infallibility she teaches, and is sure to teach, a holy doctrine, thereby differing from the Protestant Reformers, who taught that man is justified by mere faith without good works; that man’s will is not free; that God has predestined some to eternal ruin without any fault of theirs. It may be safely said that if a Protestant is virtuous, it is not because, but in spite of, the heresy taught by those who founded the Protestant religion, while a bad Catholic is bad because he does not practise the faith which he holds. Further, the holiness of the Church is seen in the sanctity of Christ and his Apostles who founded her; in the constancy of the martyrs who sealed her faith with their blood; in the lives of the great saints, who have adorned her in all ages; in the lofty perfection to which her priests and religious are called. The Reformers ought to have been—considering the exalted mission which they professed to have received direct from heaven—men of manifest and heroic sanctity. Let the reader study the character of Luther as portrayed by learned Protestants, such as Hallam or Sir William Hamilton in his Essays: let him then peruse the defence of Luther against his Protestant assailants, by Archdeacon Hare; and he will see how far Luther fell short of the ordinary moral standard, let alone heroic sanctity. Is it credible that God used such a man as the great instrument for re-introducing the gospel into Europe? Then let the reader turn to the lives of the great Catholic saints—St. Ignatius, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Francis Xavier, and many others—whom God raised up at the very time when so many were deserting the Church of Christ and stigmatising her as apostate and corrupt. Or, again, let anyone impartially consider the state to which a priest is called, and compare it with that of a Protestant clergyman. The former is forbidden the enjoyment of domestic life, that he may give himself entirely to the service of God and his brethren. Day by day he must recite the Divine Office; practically he is obliged to offer frequently the holy sacrifice, so that he has the most powerful motive for keeping his conscience pure. The life of a priest is utterly unlike that of other men. A Protestant minister, on the other hand, scarcely differs, so far as his state goes, from the laymen around him, and if, as is often the case, he is a man of exemplary zeal and self-denial, it is not his Church which makes him so. Lastly, the Catholic Church at all times produces eminent servants of God, who, according to Christ’s promise, perform works of wonder, like his own. So confident is the Catholic Church that she possesses a succession of saints whose sanctity is evidenced by miracles, that she actually possesses a regular tribunal for the investigation of their heroic virtues and the miracles which attested it. It is certain that no heretical sect, no church except the Catholic Roman Church, would venture, in the broad light of civilisation, to set up such a court.

The Church is continually aggressive, and she will acknowledge no rival. Wherever it is possible she sends her missionaries and plants churches. She claims universal jurisdiction. The common sense of mankind acknowledges her Catholic character. Various sects claim the name of Catholic, but they never succeed in persuading others to acknowledge this claim, and they scarcely seem to believe in it themselves. They are known as the Church of a particular country, as the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, &c.; by the name of some heretical founder, Calvinists, Lutherans, &c.; never as Catholics. Even separatists who have maintained the priesthood and the Catholic rites are not known to the world generally as Catholics but as Jansenists, “Old Catholics,” &c. The argument of St. Augustine holds as good now as in his own day. He says he was kept in the Church by the “very name of Catholic which not without cause among so many heresies that Church alone has obtained; so that, although all heretics wish to be called Catholic, no heretic, if a stranger asks the way to the Catholic Church, dares to point out his own basilica or house.” The Church in no way remits her claim to be Catholic when she also speaks of herself as Roman. It is the distinctive mark of Catholics to be in communion with the Roman see. And this use of Roman as equivalent to Catholic is not of recent date. “The Catholics,” Cardinal Newman writes, “during this period [viz. that of the Arian Goths] were denoted by the additional title of Romans. Of this there are many proofs in the histories of St. Gregory of Tours, Victor of Vite, and the Spanish councils.” … After giving one accidental reason for which the Catholics at that time were called Romans, Cardinal Newman proceeds: “The word certainly contains also an allusion to the faith and communion of the Roman See. In this sense the Emperor Theodosius, in his letter to Acacius of Beroea, contrasts it with Nestorianism, which was within the empire as well as Catholicism; during the controversy raised by that heresy, he exhorts him and others to show themselves ‘approved priests of the Roman religion.’ “ Later on similar passages are adduced from the Emperor Gratian and St. Jerome.

The Roman Church is Apostolic, because her doctrine is the faith once revealed to the Apostles, which faith she guards and explains, without adding to it or taking from it; because the orders of her clergy come by unbroken succession from the Apostles; because she is in communion with Rome, the Apostolic see by pre-eminence, for the Roman bishop is the successor of St. Peter, to whom Christ entrusted his flock, to whom He gave the keys of his house, so that communion with Rome makes the Church’s mission—that is, her authority to teach—apostolic. Other sees of Apostolic foundation have fallen away into heresy; and in the Catholic Roman Church the See of Peter remains the unfailing centre of unity. Sects may preserve the Apostolic succession of bishops, and so may have true orders; but no sect can have Apostolic mission and so be Apostolic, because all mission is lost the moment that a separation from the Roman See is effected.

(D) The Constitution of the Church.—We may now dismiss controversy, and attempt a concise account of the militant Church and the belief of Catholics regarding it. It may be defined as “the society of the faithful who are baptised and united by the profession of the same faith, participation in the same sacraments and the same worship, to each other, and who are under one head in heaven, viz. Christ, one head on earth, viz. the Pope, his Vicar.” Thus the Church consists of those who “are baptised,” because baptism makes us members of the Church; who are united in faith, sacraments and worship, because since the Church is intended to put men in possession of heaven, her members must be united in the means necessary for the attainment of this end—viz. faith, sacraments, and worship; her members are all under one head, otherwise the Church would not be one body; lastly, the Church, being a visible body, must have a visible head and centre of unity.

The Church then, though it consists of good and bad members, does not include heretics, schismatics, or (at least in the strict and full sense of membership) persons severed from her unity by the greater excommunication. This Church is divided into the ecclesia docens (i.e. the body of the pastors who teach the faith) and the ecclesia credens (i.e. the faithful who are taught the faith and who accept it). The teaching or ruling body of the Church is composed, (1) of the Pope, who is the vicar of Christ and successor of Peter; who is the centre of unity, so that none who are not in communion with him are Catholics at all; and who possesses immediate and ordinary jurisdiction over all the faithful—i.e. not only over all the laity, but over all other pastors, whatever their dignity may be. (2) Of the bishops, who rule separate portions of Christ’s flock which have been committed to their charge, with ordinary jurisdiction and in virtue of divine appointment, but still in union with and in subordination to the Pope. (3) Of the inferior clergy, who are subordinate to the bishops and represent them, but who are not necessary to the Church in the same sense as that in which the bishops are, since bishops, governing their flocks with ordinary jurisdiction belong to the divine and inalterable constitution of the Church; not so vicars-general, parish-priests, &c. The Pope, indeed, may remove bishops, may alter the boundaries of dioceses, suppress them or unite them; a country may lose its hierarchy and become subject to Vicars Apostolic, who are mere delegates of the Pope. But there always has been and there always will be an episcopate, presiding over dioceses and ruling them, in subjection, of course, to the Pope, but still with ordinary jurisdiction.

The ecclesia credens, or body of the faithful, is infallible in its belief concerning faith in morals: i.e. in theological language, the Church has a passive infallibility; but, as the faithful are bound to learn the faith from their pastors, it follows that the Church has an active as well as a passive infallibility: i.e. the faithful cannot err in what they believe, because the same Holy Spirit which enables them to believe what their pastors teach provides that these pastors shall teach the truth with unerring voice. The pastors of the Church may exercise this divine gift in several ways. The Pope, in his supreme office of universal teacher, may define a doctrine on faith and morals, to be held by the whole Church; in which case, according to the decision of the Vatican Council, he is infallible. Again, the Pope may convoke a particular synod and in union with it define a doctrine of faith, which he afterwards promulgates to the whole Church. Once more, the Pope may convoke a general council, and confirm its decisions on matters of faith. Lastly, the Church dispersed may exercise her infallibility: i.e. the Pope and the bishops throughout the world, in the ordinary performance of their duty, and without formally concerting together, may teach certain truths to the body of the Church as of divine faith. In all these cases, Catholics without exception maintain, and are bound to maintain, that the teaching given is infallible.

It only remains to determine the subject-matter to which this infallibility extends. Clearly, neither Pope nor Church can put forth new dogmas for acceptance. The faith has been “once delivered to the saints.” The Vatican Council lays down this point with great lucidity. “The Holy Ghost was not promised to the successors of Peter in order that, through his revelation, they might manifest new doctrine, but in order that through his assistance [the successors of Peter] might religiously guard, and faithfully expound, the revelation handed down by the Apostles, or the deposit of the faith.” The Church, then, has no inspiration: she cannot receive fresh revelations, to be imposed on the belief of the faithful. Her office is confined to expounding the original revelation, to the condemnation of new error and the drawing out of ancient truth, which may not, as yet, have been perfectly understood by the faithful. Hence when the Church defines an article of faith—such, for example, as the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin—there is a double obligation of belief. First, we are bound to confess that the doctrine is true and to be accepted without doubt; next, that this doctrine was revealed to the Apostles and preserved in the deposit of faith, as contained in Scripture and tradition. It need scarcely be said that this belief in the permanent and inalterable character of revealed truth is perfectly consistent with the theory of development as maintained by Cardinal Newman and other eminent Catholic divines. It is one thing to hold that the deposit of faith was given in its fullness to the Apostles; quite another to assert that every article of this faith has been apprehended fully and clearly by the faithful generally in all parts of the Church. On certain great and central truths—e.g. the Divinity of Christ; his presence in the Eucharist; the forgiveness of sin through baptism and penance; the unity and infallibility of the Church—the faith of Catholics has been clear from the first. On other questions a certain obscurity prevailed, and the Catholic dogmas were developed by the slow action of time and controversy. Consequences had to be drawn from principles, and only by degrees did it appear how much these principles involved. Individual Fathers might fall into exaggeration or commit themselves to incomplete and one-sided statements. They might fix their attention on the truths which it was their business at the moment to defend against the heresy of the day, and fall into inaccurate language, which could be used—unjustly, indeed, but not without a show of plausibility—by heretics who fell into error at the opposite extreme from the errors which these Fathers opposed. It may be freely admitted, then, that the definitions of councils have gone beyond the teaching of individual Fathers, but then this is precisely because these Fathers had fallen short to some extent of the original teaching of the Apostles. In the course of years heresy was met by new and adequate expression of truth, delivered from the first; but, after all, the stream of doctrine rose no higher than its source.

Thus the Church’s infallibility in defining articles of faith is limited to the definition of truths already contained in Scripture and Tradition. But within this province her word, and her word alone, is decisive. To her, and not to private individuals, it belongs authoritatively to interpret Scriptures. She has determined the books of which Scripture is made up; it is hers to judge of their meaning. So, too, she is the guardian of tradition and no one can appeal either to Scripture or to history against her definition without making shipwreck of the faith and forfeiting the name of Catholic by the very act. Individuals may of course devote themselves to the study of Scriptural exegesis, and of history, and the Church in all ages has encouraged these studies and commended those who have pursued them. Moreover, few studies, if pursued in a really scientific and impartial spirit, tend more to strengthen belief in the Church’s claim. But to say that a private person may on the strength of his investigations set at defiance the Church’s definition is tantamount to a denial of the Church’s infallibility.

We have just said that the Church’s infallibility in articles of faith does not extend beyond the truths contained in the original revelation. But almost all theologians are agreed that the Church is endowed with a further infallibility, on matters which are so closely connected with revealed truth that, unless the Church were infallible in pronouncing upon them, her infallibility, in defining the faith itself, would come to nothing, or at least fail to effect the ends for which it was bestowed upon her. Thus the Church is infallible in deciding that a book contains heretical doctrine: in affirming, for example, that false and heretical propositions are to be found in the work of Jansenius on grace. Otherwise the Church’s condemnation of false doctrine would be almost useless, since the faithful would be free to maintain that the Church had misunderstood the meaning of the supposed heretic, and thus they might continue to feed on poisonous pastures. So again, the Church is infallible in the canonisation of saints: i.e. in deciding that a particular individual practised virtue in an heroic degree and now reigns with Christ in heaven; else she would be proposing false models to her children, and encouraging a veneration completely misplaced: to do which would amount to nothing less than forfeiting, or at least obscuring, her note of sanctity. Similar cases in which the Church’s infallibility extends beyond the deposit of faith might be mentioned. But it must be remembered that the Church is not infallible in such facts as are merely personal and historical. She may err in her judgment on the guilt or innocence of individuals who come before her tribunal; documents may be accepted as genuine in her councils which are really spurious; historical errors may exist in the offices of the Breviary, approved as it is by the judgment of the Pope and the Church. Error on such matters is possible, because they form no part of the faith, nor does error in regard to them detract from the perfection with which the Church guards that faith.

(For the Church of the New Testament, see the admirable account in Döllinger’s “First Age of the Church.” Möhler’s Symbolism (“Symbolik”) contains a masterly exposition of the differences between Catholics and Protestants on the subject of the Church. Cardinal Newman’s “Development of Christian Doctrine” abounds with valuable matter on this subject.)

CHURCH: PLACE OF CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY. Churches may, in one sense, be said to be as old as Christianity itself, for places of Christian meeting are frequently mentioned in the New Testament—e.g. in 1 Cor. 11:22, 14:34. At first no doubt private houses were used for this purpose, and thus St. Paul, Coloss. 4:15, writes, “Salute the brethren who are at Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the Church that is in his house.” The same expression is used of Prisca and Aquila, both at Rome, in Rom. 16:5; and at Ephesus, 1 Cor. 16:19; and also of Philemon, either at Colossæ or Laodicea (Philemon, 2). This state of things continued after the Apostolic age, though it is impossible to determine exactly when the gatherings in the houses of private Christians gave way to assemblies held in buildings erected for the purpose. Justin gives a famous description of the celebration of the Eucharist among Christians of his time, but he does not make any mention of churches in the later sense. Some light is thrown on the early Christian assemblies by the words quoted by De Rossi, “collegium quod est in domo Sergiæ Paulinæ” (“the club which is in the house of Sergia Paulina”); for the Christians were first recognised by the Roman government as “Collegia” or burial clubs, and protected by this legal toleration they no doubt held their first assemblies for public worship. However, at the beginning of the third century, we find clear proof that churches properly so called began to be erected. Thus Ælius Lampridius in his Life of Alexander Severus (222–235) relates that this Emperor confirmed the Christians in possession of a place of worship. St. Gregory the wonder-worker is said by his namesake of Nyssa, to have built several churches; and when the persecution of Diocletian broke out, the sight of Christian churches was familiar to all, The edict of that Emperor, usually assigned to the year 302, ordered their destruction. As soon as this last persecution was over, and the peace of the Church secured by Constantine, Christians began to erect churches on a magnificent scale, and thus seized the first opportunity of manifesting that outward respect to God and his house which is characteristic of Catholics. Eusebius has left an elaborate description of the church built at Tyre between 313 and 322. He tells us of its great wall of enclosure, which has left its traces to this day; of its portico opening into the atrium, in the centre of which there was a fountain for the purification of the worshippers as they entered; of the great doors, the nave, the aisles with galleries above them; of the “thrones” for the clergy, and of “the most holy altar” surrounded with railings of exquisite work. In short, the Church exhibited the pomp of Catholic worship as soon as it was possible to do so.

The changes of style in church building at different epochs do not concern us here; but it is worth while to note the arrangements of the earliest Christian churches.

According to the rule laid down in the Apostolic Constitutions, the Church was to have the sanctuary at the east end, the reason being that by this means the Christians in church were enabled to pray as they were used to pray in private, i.e. facing the east. However, this rule was by no means universally observed. The church at Tyre, of which we have already spoken, had the entrance at the east and the sanctuary of course at the west; and ancient churches in Rome (e.g. St. John Lateran) are preserved in this manner. The fact is that, as we shall presently see, it was impossible, according to the position which the bishop occupied, that both he and his flock should pray facing in the same direction. If the rule in the Apostolic Constitutions was followed, the people faced east, the bishop west; if the church was placed like that built at Tyre, or like those said to have been erected by Constantine at Rome, then the people had to face westwards, but the celebrant looked towards the east. The form of the church described in the Apostolic Constitutions was an oblong, terminating at the inner end in a semicircular projection, called concha or apse. In this apse the altar was placed; behind the altar the bishop’s throne was placed; the priests occupied seats which formed a semicircle, the bishop’s seat being in the midst, and the bishop and the priests being so placed as to look towards the people. Origen calls this place in which the seats of the bishops and priests were set round the altar, presbyterium. It corresponds to what we now call the sanctuary, a name which was not introduced till the middle ages. Of the deacons, some stood in the presbyterium, others were stationed in the body of the church to keep order among the people. In the church of St. Agnes in the Roman Catacombs, we can still discover this ancient arrangement of the presbyterium. At each side of the apse—i.e. at the north and south corners, if the apse looked east—there were παστοφόρια or cells for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and for keeping the sacred vessels.

The laity were placed in the nave, a name which has arisen from the comparison of the Church to a ship, which we meet with even in the Apostolic Constitutions. “In the middle stood the reader on a raised place.” Since the bishop also is said to have sat in the middle, although his throne really stood at the east end, we are justified in supposing that the reader’s pulpit was between the north and south sides of the nave—in other words, at the east of the nave, and so, close to the presbyterium. St. Cyprian describes the conspicuous position of the reader, as he stood on the pulpit (pulpitum) in the sight of the congregation.

Nearest to the presbyterium, places were reserved for the virgins, widows and aged women. The next part of the nave was parted off into two spaces, each with separate doors: one of these portions was for men, the doors being guarded by ostiarii; the other for women, the doors being placed in charge of deaconesses. We learn from the direct testimony of Origen that the last place, i.e. the most remote from the altar—was given to the catechumens. No doubt, however, the catechumens were placed nearer to the altar than the penitents, though it is difficult to determine the position occupied by the different classes of penitents. Tertullian speaks of criminals, who were driven not only from the threshold, but from any place under the roof of the church; and Cyprian says of penitents, ‘Let them come to the threshold of the church, but by no means pass over it.” We may perhaps conclude that the more advanced class of penitents (the “hearers”) were placed in the porch (νάρθηξ), while persons under excommunication were put outside of the church altogether. The buildings attached from ancient times to the church, such as the sacristy, baptistery, &c., are described in separate articles.

As has been already said, we are considering the church from the theological or ecclesiastical, not from the architectural point of view, so that we say nothing of the different styles which have prevailed in the East and West. Accordingly, having described the arrangements of a Christian church in primitive ages, we may now pass on to speak of the modern regulations on the subject of church-building. We shall follow as our guide a recent writer on this subject, Msgr. de Montault, in his “Traité pratique de la Construction des Eglises.”

A church is a building intended for the general use of the faithful, and is for this reason distinct from a chapel, which is intended for the convenience of some family, college, &c.; or from an oratory, which is essentially domestic or private. The principal churches are called basilicas, and these again are subdivided into greater and patriarchal, and into minor basilicas. The chief church of a diocese is called a cathedral, and a cathedral may be patriarchal, primatial, metropolitan, according to the dignity of the prelate who holds it. An abbatial church is the seat of an abbot; if served by a chapter, a church is called collegiate. The title parish-church explains itself. The greater Basilicas are called “most holy,” while “most illustrious” and “illustrious” (perinsigne and insigne) are names of honour given respectively to lesser basilicas and collegiate churches, by favour of the Holy See.

The place on which a church is to be built is to be designated by the bishop, as is expressly ordered both by the Pontifical and canon law. There must be an open space all round the church, but this prescription of the Pontifical does not forbid the placing of houses for the bishop or clergy at the side. There should be no window or door opening into a private house, unless permission to that effect has been obtained from Rome. There is no rule which requires the sanctuary to be placed at the east end, though Ferraris considers this arrangement more suitable. In the middle ages, pains were taken to place the sanctuary so that it looked towards the point at which the sun rose when the foundations were traced. During the last three centuries this orientation, as it is called, has been much neglected. Nor, again, need the church be of any particular style, since the Church has sanctioned by use all kinds of ecclesiastical architecture. Moreover, churches are built in all forms and shapes: that of a Latin cross, of a Greek cross (which is a cross with four equal branches), of a rectangle, circle, &c. The plans when completed must be submitted to the bishop and approved by him.

The laity are placed in the nave of the church. The separation of the sexes, which, as we have seen above, dates from the infancy of the Church, continued during the middle ages. It was the custom to place the women on the north, the men on the south side of the nave. This separation of men from women in church is now very generally neglected, but it is required by the Roman Ritual and the “Ceremonial of Bishops,” when it can be managed without inconvenience.

Catholics are of course bound to show respect to the church as the house of God. Men must uncover their heads, women, according to St. Paul’s rule, must have their heads covered. Ecclesiastical authority from time to time has intervened to suppress abuses contrary to this respect, and has severely interdicted unnecessary talking, the sale of pious objects, begging, &c., in the church. It is, however, to be observed that ecclesiastical authority permits certain reunions which are not of a strictly religious character to take place in church. Thus in 1669 the Sacred Congregation of Rites “declared that it was not contrary to the ecclesiastical rite, nay, that it was praiseworthy,” for the medical college of Salerno to “confer the Doctor’s degree in the church.”

With regard to the repair of churches, the expense must be met, according to Benedict XIV. and other canonists, (1) from the revenues of the church, if sufficient for the purpose; (2) by those who are obliged, whether by custom or particular statute, to do so; (3) by the parish priest if his professional income allows of it, the assistant clergy being also bound to contribute on the same condition; (4) by the patron; (5) failing all these, a tax must be imposed on the parishioners. For the rebuilding of churches, the Congregation of Rites sometimes permits the people of the place to work on holidays of obligation according to the discretion of the ordinary, provided that the work on these days is done gratuitously. In order to change the site of a church, very grave reasons are required, and often, particularly if a cathedral church is in question, leave must be obtained from Rome.

The particular parts of the church, choir, porch, &c., and the furniture, altars, images, &c., are treated of in separate articles. Of the early history of churches, a good account will be found in the recent work of Probst, “Kirchliche Disciplin in den drei ersten Jabrhunderten.”

CHURCH PROPERTY (bona ecclesiastica). The right of the Catholic Church, equally with any other corporation or moral person, to acquire and possess property, seems obvious to common sense; but since this right is often contested in theory and withheld in practice in our own day, it may be desirable to go into the matter in some detail: to examine the principle in human nature on which the temporal endowments of the Church are founded; to distinguish the various kinds of ecclesiastical property, and the purposes for which such property is required; then, after sketching the history of Church endowments in Europe, to give some account of the efforts which mediæval and modern legislation has made to arrest their increase and oust their possessors.

How the Church came to possess property any person who is a Catholic in more than name can discover by merely analysing the feelings which spontaneously arise in his own mind when he is invited, or has the opportunity, to make an offering for some religious object. In making it he feels that it is not he who lays the Church, but the Church that lays him, under an obligation; enabling him by such acts to unite himself to her glorious cause, assist her in fulfilling her divine mission, help to have the divine praises celebrated with greater frequency and splendour, minister to the poor and suffering, and participate in the merits of her missioners labouring amongst the heathen. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Such being the natural sentiments of everyone who knows what being a Catholic means, there is no reason to fear that temporal possessions will ever be wanting to the Church, although the spoliations which she has had to endure, and is still enduring, in every part of Europe, cannot but cause great local embarrassment and temporary arrest of her activity. Wherever there are Catholics deserving the name, there the Church will have property, whatever infidel legislation may contrive. The real danger is, lest the persevering efforts of the modern State to shut out religion from education should succeed in training up a generation of men and women to whom the genuine spirit of Catholicism would be unknown, and who would consequently starve the Church by their own illiberality, and observe her persecution by their rulers with complacency. On this subject some remarks will be found under EDUCATION and SCHOOLS.

Property is of two kinds, moveable and immoveable. The so-called Liberals of our day cannot deny that the Church must possess some amount of the former at least, if her functions are to be performed at all. Christ’s kingdom, though not “of this world,” is in this world; its ministers and subjects are human beings, its medium is social life, its local habitation is the world of sense; it therefore, while its end is heavenly, needs external and material resources. Money, if not exceeding the limits of “evangelical poverty,” and church requisites of all kinds, it is admitted even by her enemies that the Church must possess. But they draw a line between moveable and immoveable property—between money and land; pretending that it is the duty and interest of the State to debar her from the enjoyment of real property, lest, we suppose, she should become too powerful, or lest wealth should corrupt her ministers and divert them from their true vocation. This last plea, of course, is hypocritical. On the other side, we shall quote an admirable passage from Card. Soglia, in which he has shown for what purposes the Church requires property, and by what an indisputable right she acquires and enjoys it. “It is asked,” he says, “whence does the Church derive the right of acquiring and possessing real or landed property (bona stabilia et frugifera)? Is it from the civil law, or from some other system of law, human or divine? Unless I am much mistaken, a terse and solid answer to this question can be drawn from a consideration of the divine constitution of the Church. We know for certain, from sacred literature and tradition, that there is in the Church a supreme power of administering religion and society, peculiar to it, instituted by Christ, and entirely distinct from the civil power. It is also a certain and established truth that she possesses an inherent right to provide herself with all those apt and suitable means which may be necessary for the preservation of religion itself and of Christian society. But, in order to the worship of God and the salvation of souls in the Christian society, churches and altars must be built; sacred vessels, ornaments, and other things subsidiary to the Divine worship must be provided; the bishops, priests, and ministers who serve the Church and apply all their energies to the promotion of the eternal salvation of men, must be supported; clerks must be trained in letters and ecclesiastical discipline; the poor, the sick, widows and orphans must be taken care of; hospitality must be practised towards the faithful; captives must be redeemed, and many similar works carried on: all which things cannot be done without buildings, revenues, abundant resources, and large expenses. It follows that the Church possesses by her very constitution, and by the will of her divine Founder, the right of procuring, acquiring, and possessing property, whether personal or real, in order that she may have at hand what is necessary in order to defray the expenditure above mentioned; just as civil society has the right of demanding taxes and levying imposts, or even of possessing landed property, if public necessity and utility require it.” The Cardinal goes on to maintain that the Church has at all times exercised this right, even in the teeth of the prohibition of the civil power; and as a case in point, he cites her acquisition of property during the third century, when, as a “collegium illicitum,” she could not, according to the Roman jurisprudence, legally hold it. That the Church acted wrongly in making these acquisitions it would be absurd and impious to maintain; but the rightfulness of her action can be vindicated on no other principle than one which asserts her right to hold property to be jure divino, and independent of the consent of the civil power.

The historical aspect of the subject must now be briefly treated. It is the remark of St. Austin, that when our Lord, who could have provided for Himself and the Apostles in other ways, sanctioned the use of a bag or purse, in which the offerings of his followers were kept, and from which money was taken for the poor and the requirements of festivals, He desired to teach his Church that she had the right of possessing property. We learn from the Acts of the Apostles that they received, dating from the day of Pentecost, large sums of money which the new believers poured into their hands; that in those first days of fervour private property passed temporarily into abeyance, and the Apostles distributed to “every one according as he had need;” moreover, that when the “serving of tables” threatened to become so onerous as to divert the Apostles from their proper work, they appointed deacons to receive and administer under their direction the Church funds. It is also explicitly stated in the New Testament that the labourer is worthy of his hire;” that if the clergy sow to the laity spiritual things, it is no great matter if they reap their carnal things, and that “the Lord ordained that they who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel.” The principle of Church endowment and Church property is thus seen to have full, explicit and undeniable Scriptural warrant.

Space does not admit of our showing in detail the manner in which this principle was applied from age to age: how Church funds, from being in the beginning purely diocesan, came to be also capitular, parochial, and monastic; and how the admission of the feudal customs endowed—if we might not say, burdened—the Church, not only with broad lands, but with a vast temporal jurisdiction in the shape of lordships and principalities. It may be interesting, however, to note the position in which the question stood at the time when peace was restored to the Church by Constantine. In the imperial ordinances preserved by Eusebius, it is commanded that the sites of all their churches shall be restored to the Christians; and this is followed by the significant proviso that, “since the Christians are known to have had not only those places where they were accustomed to meet, but other places also, belonging not to individuals among them, but to the right of the whole body of Christians, you [the prætors, procurators, &c.] will also command all these, by virtue of the law before mentioned, without any hesitancy, to be restored to these same Christians: that is, to their body, and to each conventicle respectively.” In another ordinance, addressed to Anulius, the emperor intimates that this restitution is to be made in favour of “the Catholic Church of the Christians in the several cities or other places,” and that Anulius is to “make all haste to restore, as soon as possible, all that belongs to the churches, whether gardens or houses, or anything else.” We here see the civil power recognising the legality of those acquisitions which, as mentioned in a previous paragraph, had been made in contravention of the civil law.

The unrestricted right to enjoy property thus recognised in the Church opened the way to abuses, as was only natural; these abuses were restrained by edicts of the emperors Valentinian and Theodosius. An edict of Marcian († 457) removed many of these restrictions, and allowed all persons ample facilities for endowing the Church with any description of property, whether by will or disposition inter vivos. In the West, as each nation was converted, it voluntarily and joyfully enriched with lands and goods the Church which had brought to it the message of salvation. In the ninth and tenth centuries the incursion of Pagan Danes, Normans, and Hungarians, and the confusions thence arising, caused great havoc and waste of the Church’s patrimony; but the unity of the ecclesiastical organisation being preserved, and heresy kept at bay, the damage done was speedily repaired on the return of peace. From the eleventh century to the fifteenth extended that marvellous period of European development in which the Church, pouring out her treasures with a free hand, covered the face of the Continent and of our own island with a network of cathedrals, convents, colleges, and parish churches, the beauty and majesty of which later and colder ages admire but cannot emulate. The inroads made upon the Church’s fortune by the Reformation and modern revolutions can only be indicated in general terms. In England the Church was deprived of the cathedrals, parish churches, universities, hospitals, see-lands, glebes, hospitals, and a variety of other property, moveable and immoveable; all which were transferred to the new church founded by Elizabeth. With regard to the monasteries, their lands passed chiefly into the hands of private persons, their personal property to the Crown. In France, the enormous landed possessions of the Church were confiscated at the Revolution, and the Catholic religion for a time suppressed. By the Concordat which the First Consul concluded with the Holy See in 1802, the latter agreed to recognise the title of the holders of all Church lands alienated up to that time, and the French State on the other hand undertook to pay an annual grant from the public revenue for the support of the clergy. This grant amounts at the present time to about two millions sterling, a sum bearing but a small proportion to the rental of the property lost. In Spain, the tithe has been abolished in recent times, and the greater part of the lands belonging to the clergy, both secular and regular, sold. But the position was somewhat ameliorated by the Concordat of 1851, which, while providing a new “dotation” for the clergy by means of a special tax, leaves the Church free to administer the property still remaining to her, and to make fresh acquisitions. In Portugal the state of things is much the same as in Spain, but rather less favourable to the Church. In Italy, the tithe, or a portion of it, is still payable to the clergy; this is also the case in Austria and Bavaria. In Prussia the ancient patrimony of the Church was all lost during the wars of the French Revolution, and was replaced by an annual grant of very moderate dimensions. The practical effect of the May laws of 1877, which impose upon the bishops and clergy conditions which it is impossible for them to comply with and remain at the same time faithful to Christ and his Vicar, is to retrench this moderate endowment very seriously, and to leave several sees and hundreds of cures destitute of occupants. In Ireland, the Protestant Church, which it was the policy of the statesmen of Elizabeth to force upon the people, and to endow with the tithes and lands of the ancient Church, has recently (1869) been disestablished. No part of the recovered fund has been returned to the Catholics; but indirectly, from the appropriation of a considerable portion of it to the encouragement of intermediate schools, which are to a large extent Catholic, some advantage has accrued from disestablishment to the cause of religion.

Laws of mortmain, having for their object either to restrict or entirely prohibit the acquisition of landed property by the Church, have formed a prominent feature in secular legislation in most countries of Europe, from the thirteenth century down to the present day. But it will be convenient to treat of such legislation under a separate article [see MORTMAIN].

CHURCHING OF WOMEN AFTER CHILDBIRTH. A blessing which the priest gives to women after childbirth according to a form prescribed in the Roman Ritual. He sprinkles the woman, who kneels at the door of the church holding a lighted candle, with holy water, and having recited the 23rd Psalm, he puts the end of his stole into her hand, and leads her into the church, saying, “Come into the temple of God. Adore the Son of the blessed Virgin Mary, who has given thee fruitfulness in childbearing.” The woman then advances to the altar and kneels before it, while the priest, having said a prayer of thanksgiving, blesses her, and again sprinkles her with holy water in the form of a cross. The rubric in the Ritual reserves this rite for women who have borne children in wedlock. Women are under no strict obligation of presenting themselves to be churched, though it is the “pious and laudable custom,” as the Ritual says, that they should do so. Properly speaking, the churching of women is not counted among strictly parochial rights; still it ought to be performed by the parish priest, as appears from a decision of the S. Congregation of Rites, December 10, 1703.

This rite was suggested probably by the prescriptions of the old law in Levit. 12. In the Christian Church, the first mention of the rite is said to be found in the so-called Arabic canons of the Nicene Council. Among the Greeks, the blessing after childbirth is given on the fortieth day after the birth of the child, and the child must be brought with the mother to the church.


CIBORIUM. The use of the ciborium, or canopy over the altar, has been already described in the article BALDACCHINO. In English ciborium is the name commonly given to the pyx in which the Blessed Sacrament is kept. Pyx (also Vas) is the recognised name in our present liturgical books, and under that head the subject will be treated. The name “Ciborium minus” is first used for the receptacle of the Blessed Sacrament, in the middle ages. It is found in an Ordo Romanus printed in the “Bibliotheca Patr.” Lugdun. vol. xiii. 724. (Kraus, “Real-Encyclopädie.”)

CIRCUMCELLIONES. A name given to certain Donatist fanatics [see DONATISTS]. These heretics were naturally enraged and embittered when Constantine deprived them of their churches and banished the most distinguished among their bishops. Their fury increased when Constans renewed his father’s laws in their full severity; and hence crowds of Donatists, belonging to the lower classes, gathered together under the leadership of some cleric or layman, made open war on the Catholics, and brought immense suffering upon them. These Donatists called themselves Agonistici, “men eager for the fight;” their adversaries called them Circumcelliones, because they wandered “round the country huts,” (“circa cellas rusticas”) to do all the mischief they could. They exacted provisions by force, put out the eyes of Catholic clerics, possessed themselves of their churches, &c. &c. They themselves were actuated by a morbid craving for martyrdom; so much so that they not unfrequently inflicted death on themselves. This fanaticism lasted beyond the middle of the fourth century. Mention is made of it by Optatus, “De Schism. Donat.” ii. c. 18 seq. iii. c. 4, and by Augustine in his works against the Donatists. Besides Circumcelliones, we also find the forms Circelliones and Circuitores. (Kraus, “Real-Encyclopädie.”)

CIRCUMCISION, FEAST OF. The connection of circumcision with grace and the removal of original sin will be discussed in the article on the SACRAMENTS OF THE OLD LAW. Here it is enough to say that circumcision was the rite by which every male Jew entered into the covenant of God with Abraham, and became a partaker in its privileges and blessings; and that it was also instituted as a remedy for original sin. The law of circumcision was imposed on the Jews under the penalty of excision from the people of God. This law could not in any way bind our Lord. He was absolutely sinless, and therefore stood in no need of any remedy for original sin. He was the Son of God by nature, and therefore did not require adoption into the number of God’s children. Still, as St. Luke relates, our Saviour was circumcised eight days after his birth, according to the precept in Levit. 12:3, and then he received the holy name of Jesus. The rite no doubt was performed at home, probably in the cave at Bethlehem, and Benedict XIV. remarks that painters err in representing the scene as taking place in the Temple. Circumcision was sometimes performed by the father of the family: Abraham, for example, in Gen. 17:23, is said to have circumcised “Ismael his son and all that were born in his house;” sometimes by the mother, as appears from Exod. 4:25, and 1 Mach. 1:63; so that Christ may have received the rite either from his Blessed Mother or St. Joseph.

Various reasons are given by theologians and spiritual writers which made it fitting for our Lord to be circumcised. As it pleased God to send his Son, “made under the law, to redeem those who were under the law,” so it became Christ to submit to the yoke law by receiving circumcision, that he might free his brethren from subjection to that law. Moreover, he came “in the likeness of flesh of sin,” and therefore he allowed Himself from the first to be numbered in appearance with sinners, and thus to afford a perfect model of obedience and humility. Lastly, although in his circumcision Christ did not actually redeem us by the blood which He shed, still the drops which then flowed were a pledge of all the blood which was to follow, when He hung upon the cross. Thus, in the beautiful language of a mediæval writer, Peter of Blois, once Archdeacon of London, “He, who for thirty years was to work salvation in the midst of the earth, from his very cradle and from the breasts of his mother, began the business of our salvation, and tasted the first-fruits of his Passion.”

We find the first mention of the feast by its present name in Canon 17 of a council which met at Tours in 567. “In order,” so the canon runs, “to tread under foot the custom of the heathen, our fathers ordained that private litanies should be held (fieri) at the beginning of January (in Kalendis), psalms sung in the churches, and at the eighth hour on the first of the month (in ipsis Kalendis) the Mass of the Circumcision, pleasing to God, should be said.” It is clear from this canon that the feast was already ancient in the sixth century. In the “Codex Sacramentorum Ecclesiæ Romanæ,” which Benedict XIV. attributes to St. Leo and to his predecessors, and in a Roman Calendar not later than the middle of the ninth century, the feast is named the “Octave of our Lord,” and this name is used along with that of the Circumcision in the “Corpus Juris.” But it is evident from the prayers, gospel, &c. appointed for this “Octave of the Lord” that the Circumcision was commemorated on that day. In the Martyrology of Usuard, the feast is mentioned by its present name. In the Roman Martyrology the double title is used, “the Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Octave of his Nativity.”

In some ancient Missals we find two Masses appointed for January 1: a Mass of the Blessed Virgin, and another for the Circumcision of our Lord. Durandus, writing in the thirteenth century, speaks of this custom as still continuing in his time. Connected with it is a name given to the feast, or rather to the day, in an ancient Roman Calendar, viz. Natale S. Mariæ, “the feast of Holy Mary.” The origin both of the name and of the custom of saying the Mass de Beata Virgine are thus explained in the Micrologus: “Lately, when we celebrated our Lord’s Nativity, we could not give any special office to his Mother. Therefore not unsuitably do we venerate her more specially on the Octave of the Lord [i.e. on Jan. 1.]; lest she should seem to have no share in the solemnity of her Son, though we do not doubt that in that same solemnity she deserves the chief honour after our Lord.” A curious and interesting relic of this ancient usage still survives. The Mass of the Blessed Virgin, indeed, can no longer be said on that day, but there is, both in the Mass and Office of the Circumcision, a marked and repeated reference to the Blessed Virgin, which seems strange and almost inexplicable till we see how it arose.

The Circumcision used to be kept as a fast, though probably the fast was not prolonged beyond three in the afternoon. St. Augustine in his second sermon for Jan. 1, St. Peter Chrysologus, and other Fathers, inveigh against the heathen revelry on this day, connected as it was with the idolatrous worship of Janus and Strenia and with immoral excesses. This no doubt occasioned the institution of the fast. Certain Sacramentaries contain a Mass for Jan. 1 “ad prohibendum ab idolis.” (Benedict XIV. “De Festis.”)

CISTERCIANS. Of the ancient and illustrious order of Citeaux, the most flourishing and prolific of all the offshoots from the great Benedictine trunk, there are now but scanty traces remaining. The monastery at Citeaux itself has been turned into a Reformatory and Penitentiary, managed by secular priests, after the failure of a Socialist experiment made by the Fourierists to establish what in the jargon of the sect is called a phalanstère within those venerable walls. Sic transit gloria mundi!

St. Robert, the son of a gentleman of Champagne, devoted himself at an early age with all his heart to the service of God. He took the Benedictine habit, and studied carefully the rule of the great founder, from many things in which he found that the majority of the French monks deviated considerably. The chief points of difference seem to have regarded the use of trowsers and furred garments, eating meat, and using fat in cooking, none of which things were allowed by the rule, yet were generally practised in France. In several monasteries over which he presided St. Robert and the monks could not agree, on account of the strict observance of the rule which he desired to introduce. In 1075 he founded a monastery, consisting of a group of cells, in the forest of Molesme, near Chatillon. Here he and other fervent hermits lived many years; but his thoughts still ran on the necessity of closer conformity to the rule, and as most of his followers saw things differently, he at last quitted Molesme, and, followed by twenty zealous adherents, formed a new monastery in a desert there covered with forest and thickets, at a place called Cistercium (Citeaux), five leagues from Dijon. This was in 1098, which is regarded as the date of the foundation of the order. St. Robert was not to water the shoot which he had planted, for in the following year, the monks of Molesme having applied to Rome and represented the forlorn condition in which his departure had left them, the Pope directed St. Robert to appoint his successor at Citeaux, and return to his former charge. St. Robert obeyed, and for the rest of his life remained at Molesme, where he died in 1110. Alberic, his successor at Citeaux, drew up the first code of Cistercian statutes; it was he who changed the habit from brown to white; and in his time the order took the Blessed Virgin for their special patroness, and the first Cistercian nunnery was founded. Alberic dying, in 1109, was succeeded by Stephen Harding, an Englishman from the monastery of Sherborne, a man of great energy, wisdom, and virtue, who in his twenty-five years of office governed Citeaux with so much ability and success that he is usually regarded as the second founder of the order. Stephen, who is honoured among the saints on April 17, had been prior under Alberic. In his time, and in great part by his exertions, were founded the four famous monasteries of La Ferté, (1113) Pontigny (1114), Clairvaux (1115), and Morimond (1115), which maintained, after Citeaux, a kind of superiority in the order down to the time of its destruction. St. Stephen, in whom the instinct of government was strong, took care that all the new abbeys, wherever founded, should be subordinate to the mother house, and that the abbots should often confer together on common affairs; he is said to have first instituted “general chapters.” He wrote the account of Cistercian observances called the “Charte de Charité,” and caused the “Usages” and the “Exordium” of Citeaux to be compiled. The Usages, according to Alban Butler, “have always made the code of this order.” A touching story is told about the arrival of St. Bernard at Citeaux in 1113. The sturdy English abbot had given offence at the Burgundian Court by objecting to its too frequent visits to the monastery; the monks were left in extreme poverty; sickness laid many of them prostrate; no new subjects presented themselves; and it seemed as if the order, too austere for the weakness of human nature, must speedily perish. Stephen betook himself to prayer, and soon afterwards the youthful Bernard, with some thirty of his kinsmen and friends, presented himself at the gate of Citeaux and requested admission, the attraction of the place to these high-minded men having been that very austerity which appalled souls less firm. The accession of such a novice was in itself an invigoration of the order; and the abbot, who soon discovered his merit, sent Bernard two years later, at the head of a colony of twelve monks, to found a new monastery at Clairvaux. By the middle of the twelfth century there were five hundred abbeys of the filiation of Citeaux; soon after 1200 the number had increased to eighteen hundred. In England the order soon took deep root; the first abbey founded here seems to have been that of Furness in Lancashire, which the united exertions of Stephen of Blois and the abbot his namesake erected in 1127. Several military orders—e.g. those of Calatrava, Alcantara, and Avis—were subject to the jurisdiction of the abbot of Citeaux. For two hundred years, says Alban Butler, the order admitted no relaxation of its observances. The rule of St. Benedict was followed in all its rigour; there was little sleep to be had, much hard labour to be done; fasting was observed from Sept. 14 to Easter; meat, fish, eggs, and grease were never touched, and even milk but rarely. Their churches, instead of being profusely adorned with sculpture and painting according to the fashion of the times, were distinguished by a bare simplicity, as may be seen at Pontigny to this day.

In the fourteenth century the prevalence of wars in Europe caused many abbeys to be disturbed, plundered, and impoverished. Discipline suffered, for under such circumstances the rule could not possibly be observed. Long controversies arose in the order as to the lawfulness or the expediency of dispensing with the rule, especially as to eating meat. The Papal decrees called the Clementine (1265) and the Benedictine (1333), while changing several matters of jurisdiction, confirmed the observances, which certain abbots had even then begun to infringe. But the tendency to relaxation gradually became too strong to be resisted, and in 1475, a brief of Sixtus IV. authorised the general chapter and the abbot of Citeaux to permit to any monks who applied for it, the use of meat. The variety of practice which ensued was so embarrassing, that in 1485 the general chapter decreed that meat should be used in all the convents on three days in the week. Meanwhile a counter-current of austerity exhibited itself in many places, and a reformation, reviving the primitive Cistercian rigour, was introduced by Martin de Vargas in Spain (1430), and spread towards the end of the same century through the provinces of Tuscany and Lombardy. In later times there were three or four celebrated reforms of this order; on one of which—instituted at la Trappe by the Abbé de Rancé—see the article TRAPPISTS. The reformed congregation of Feuillans was founded in 1577 by Dom Jean de la Barrière; that at Sept Fonds, in the following century, by the abbot Eustache de Beaufort. The convents generally, including those of the English province, followed what was called the “common observance” according to the dispense of Sixtus V.

At the Dissolution there were upwards of a hundred Cistercian houses in England; the names are given below. Unlike the Friars, who planted themselves in all the large towns, the Cistercians, whose original aim was personal sanctification in solitude through prayer and penance, usually built their houses by preference in lonely valleys and sequestered nooks.

The French Revolution swept away their foundations in most countries of Europe, but several Cistercian convents still remain in Austria, Belgium, and Poland. In 1805 a colony of Cistercian monks arrived in the U. S. from Clairvaux. But they did not remain, and they established themselves at Tracadie in Nova Scotia. In 1848 another band came, this time from Ireland, and founded the Abbey of La Trappe, at Gethsemani, Ky. Still later New Melleray Abbey, near Dubuque, Iowa, was established, and both abbeys are now flourishing.

(Hélyot, “Ordres Monastiques;” Alban Butler, April 17 and 24; Wetzer and Welte, art. Citeaux; Tanner’s “Notitia.”)

CIVIL LAW. The law of Rome, beginning with the Twelve Tables, and ending with the Code and Pandects of Justinian, is so called. Immense powers of mind were employed during many centuries in harmonising, rationalising, and completely adapting to the wants of social life, the laws of Rome. On this see Savigny, Walter, Phillips, &c. After the inroad of the Lombards into Italy, the increase of anarchy and barbarism in every part of Europe caused the authority of the civil law to decline. The customs of the Franks, the Burgundians, the Angles, or the Visigoths, were of more account with the conquerors of Europe than all the wisdom of Ulpian or Papinian; and out of these customs the lex loci, or common law of each country, gradually arose. In the twelfth century, society being now in a more stable condition, the study of the civil law was revived at the University of Bologna, whence it spread to other countries. The rulers of the Church have observed no uniform attitude towards this study, because, as circumstances varied, so did the duty of the Church vary. St. Chrysostom, when he was converted to God, abandoned for ever, as he tells us, the study of the Roman law. Yet St. Gregory the Great often made use of the imperial laws himself, and advised the bishops of several countries, when these laws did not conflict with the canons, to promote their observance. After the twelfth century the civil and canon law [CANON LAW] were studied pari passu; the Roman Pontiff admitted that “the laws were a support to the canons;” and Honorius III., early in the thirteenth century, ordered that there should always be a school of both laws, “utriusque juris,” in the Roman Curia. On the other hand, the German and imperial legists, who were possessed by the idea of “the Holy Roman Empire” and all that the phrase involved, strove to give to the civil a universality equal to that of the canon law, and to make all national codes give way to it. As mankind, religiously, were gathered into one Church, so, civilly, according to these dreamers, they were or ought to be members of but one State, the Empire, the head of which delegated more or less of his power to the kings and princes of other lands. With such theories of the civilians the Church could have nothing to do; and there was some danger, if she should show unmixed favour and countenance to the study of the civil law, lest the Governments outside the Empire, which maintained their absolute independence, and did not mean to supersede their own codes by the Roman law, should take umbrage at her procedure, and curtail her liberty of action within their borders. Hence we meet with various Papal briefs and orders tending to discourage, or at least to place under restraint, the study of the civil law. Pope Innocent IV., in a letter addressed to the bishops of all European countries except Germany, deplored the extravagant addiction of the clergy to this study (“tota clericorum multitudo ad audiendas seculares leges concurrit”), and forbade the civil law to be publicly taught, unless by the desire of the local sovereign. Nevertheless, the intrinsic excellences of the Roman Law are so great that recourse to it could but be moderated; the Pontiffs neither could nor wished to supersede it by any other. In all countries it was introduced along with the canon law into Church courts; and the rule which the canonists still observe gradually arose—namely, that where the canons are silent or obscure, if the matter under adjudication be of a spiritual nature, reference shall be made to the writings of the Fathers; but if it be of a secular nature, to the civil law. In England a line of great lawyers, commencing with Glanvile in the twelfth century, and including the names of Britton, Bracton, and Littleton, laboured to refine and harmonise the common law; and no other code was recognised in the King’s courts. But in the Church courts the civil law, as already stated, was in use; and it was carefully studied, and degrees were given in it, at the two Universities. At the Reformation the study of the canon law was abandoned at Oxford; the law of the land did not even yet appear to have been rationalised sufficiently for the purposes of academical study; and hence to this day the only legal degrees conferred by Oxford are in civil law (Bachelor and Doctor), a branch of learning the importance of which in legal education is, indeed, now fully recognised amongst us, but of which the actual authority and practical application are, we suppose, more limited in England than in any other European country.





CLERGY, CLERICAL STATE, CLERIC, CLERK, &c. The clerical state is the rank or condition of those who are separated from the mass of the faithful, attached in a special manner to the divine service and made capable of administering the power of the Church.

The word is of course derived from the Greek κλῆρος, a lot, a word which frequently occurs in its literal sense in the LXX and New Testament. But how did the word lot come to denote “the clergy”? The answer to this question is very far from easy. St. Jerome’s beautiful explanation, that the clergy are so called because the Lord himself is the lot, i.e. the portion, of clerics, does not seem to be borne out by the history of the word. The Pontifical, it is true, evidently alludes to this mystical signification, and no one will deny that such an application may most fitly and naturally be made; but it is quite another thing to maintain that the name was first given among Christians for the reason assigned by Jerome. The following seems to us on the whole the way in which the term “clergy” gradually assumed a technical and restricted sense. The notion of lot easily led to the sense of office allotted. Thus St. Peter says of Judas, “he received the lot of this ministry” (τὸν κλῆρον τῆς διακονίας ταύτης) and Irenæus says of Pope Hyginus that he held “the ninth lot of episcopal succession from the Apostles” (ἔννατον κλῆρον); of Eleutherus that he obtained “the lot of the episcopate.” A little later than Irenæus—viz. in Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian—we meet with the word in its modern sense. The former relates of St. John, that he travelled from Ephesus through the surrounding country, “in some places to establish bishops, in others set up entire churches, in others to admit some one individual to the ranks of the clergy (κλήρῳ ἕνα γέ τινα κληρώσων) of those who were signified to him by the Spirit:” i.e. when a college of presbyters, &c., already existed, St. John admitted a fresh member. Tertullian speaks of those who are puffed up “adversus clerum”—i.e., as is clear from the context, “against the clergy.” Thus the word appears to have meant (1) a lot; (2) an office allotted; (3) as early at least as the close of the second century, those who held the office, or perhaps to whom the office was allotted—viz. the clergy. It may be objected that the technical use of the word is much earlier, and that we find an example in 1 Pet. 5:3, where we read in the advice given to the “ancients,” “neither as domineering over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart.” But “dominantes in cleris” (κατακυριεύοντες τῶν κλήρων) cannot have the meaning given to it in the Douay version. This is shewn both by the connection, and by the fact that the word is in the plural. Estius calls attention to each of these points and interprets the passage as a prohibition forbidding the “ancients” to domineer over the “lots,” or congregations placed under their care. The word “cleris” is parallel and equivalent to the “gregis” or “flock” which occurs in the latter half of the verse.

While, however, the name is wanting in the New Testament, the thing intended by the name is there. The very fact that the epistles of St. Paul mention bishops who “are to rule the Church of God,” and prelates whom the faithful are to “obey” and to whom they are to “be subject,” is proof conclusive that the distinction between clergy and laity was fully recognised by the Apostles. The Church did but act in accordance with the revelation entrusted to her, when she separated the clergy from the laity by outward marks, and gave certain privileges to the former. [For the privileges, decorum, &c., see CLERK.]

CLERICI VAGANTES. Ecclesiastical law has required from the earliest times that before admission to holy orders a cleric shall possess a title—that is, a benefice sufficient for his subsistence, or else a patrimony, belonging to him in his own right, and competent to support him. But this requirement was often waived in particular cases, especially when a bishop wished to send priests to a remote and unsettled part of his diocese, or to preach to the heathen in a neighbouring country. Such priests would, in the majority of cases, obtain settled cures in the districts whither they went; but those who did not succeed in doing so had no choice but to return home and put themselves at the disposal of their bishop. Thus a class of “roving” or unattached priests was gradually formed, the members of which as a general rule could be usefully employed in supplementing the regular diocesan work. But it was inevitable that abuses should arise out of such a state of things; and to put an end to these, the Council of Trent decreed that “no one should in future be ordained who was not attached to that church or pious institution for the needs or convenience of which he was selected, so that he might discharge his functions there, and not wander about having no fixed abode.” (Ferraris, Clericus, Ordo, Titulus.)

CLERK. In a general sense, and when we are considering who are entitled to enjoy clerical privileges, the name of cleric or clerk is applicable to the whole body of the secular clergy, including persons in minor orders (Council of Trent, sess. xxiii. c. 6, De Ref.); also to monks and nuns, to lay institutes following a religious rule, to hermits leading their life under authority, to the Knights of Malta, &c. In the stricter sense, and when penalties are under consideration, the name is only applicable to the inferior ranks of the secular clergy, and does not include bishops, canons, or any ecclesiastical dignitary.

In the middle ages “Clerk” was used loosely for “man of learning,” the latter class being almost wholly comprised within the former. Thus Henry I. of England was called Beauclerk, and Chaucer writes—

“Fraunceys Petrark, the laureat poete,

Highte this clerk;”

and Wyclif, or some other, says, “Lincolne [Robert Grossetête] and other clerkis proven,” where all that is meant is “learned men.”

Till recent times, secular rulers and legislators recognised the fundamental character of this distinction, as investing the Catholic clergy with certain immunities, and furnishing a sufficient ground for a separate system of ecclesiastical law, to which clerical things and persons should be subject. [See PRIVILEGE, IMMUNITY.] The tribunals in which this law was administered were the forum externum of the Church, and all clerics, high and low, enjoyed the privilegium fori—that is, the right of trial according to the canon law. The various national codes having, through the constant pressure of Christianity and the action of the canon law, become in most things rational and humane, modern statesmen tend to the doctrine that all subjects of the State should be treated alike—that the law should be the same for all, and civil burdens be borne by all indiscriminately. Yet, the failure to recognise a distinction of status which is real and fundamental, and rests on divine institution, can but lead, wherever found, to trouble, confusion, and the depravation of morals. If in every Catholic country having the conscription, the so-called Liberals succeeded in destroying the clerical immunity from military service, as they are now endeavouring to do in France, a great decrease would soon thin the ranks of the clergy, accompanied by unspeakable distress and damage to Christian souls. The Church in Europe has lost the tithe, the greater portion of her property, and much of the consideration which she formerly received from society; the mixed motives which once tended to fill the ranks of the clergy no longer operate; the labourers are few, and their fair hire is withheld from them. Under such circumstances, it would be the wisdom of the Governments to smooth the way for young men to enter the clerical state, and to lessen the hardships which surround them in that state. Yet we see modern society, in too many once Catholic States, taking the opposite course; and “Liberal” statesmen legislating against the clergy as if they were some destructive anti-social caste, instead of the necessary and divinely-appointed guides by whom human beings are prepared in time to face eternity. They may succeed in nipping in the bud many vocations, but they will not succeed in making men happier and better, nor in strengthening the bases of social order, which, when religion languishes, are inevitably imperilled.

According to the canon law, the dress of the cleric must be sober in form and colour. Trade and secular business are forbidden to him. He is required to use great caution in frequenting the company of the other sex, and must not be present at public balls or masquerades. In the Decretum there is a prohibition against the attendance of clerics at stage plays of every description. But in the course of ages a contrary custom has arisen, which causes this prohibition no longer to bind under mortal sin, unless enforced by some diocesan or provincial law. Gambling and games of hazard are forbidden to clerics, though some modification has been introduced in later times, and an approved canonist quoted by Ferraris says that “clerics who play seldom and moderately, for amusement’s sake, are altogether excused from sin if the diocesan law does not prohibit to them games of chance, and local custom sanctions it.” Clerics must not carry arms without just and necessary cause; hence shooting, unless for the sake of procuring food, would seem not to be allowed: but a moderate indulgence in hunting and fishing is not forbidden.

Till quite lately, the server at Mass used to be called the “clerk,” even though a layman, by English and Irish Catholics, because he did clerk’s work; just as the boys at Mass are called “acolytes,” though not really so, because they do acolytes’ work. (Ferraris, Clericus.)

CLINICAL BAPTISM. A name given in the early Church to baptism received on the bed of sickness, those who received it being called clinici or κλινικοί. The first notice which we have of baptism so conferred is contained in a letter of Pope Cornelius written about the middle of the third century to Fabius of Antioch. The subject is important from two distinct points of view, for it throws light both on the doctrine and the discipline of the early Church.

With regard to the former, the custom of conferring clinical baptism proves that baptism given, not by immersion, but by sprinkling the recipient, or by pouring water over him (by aspersion or perfusion), although unusual, was still considered valid. This validity is clearly laid down by Cyprian, in Ep. lxix., when he answers the question whether those who had not been “washed with the water of salvation, but had had it poured over them,” were “Christians in the strict sense” (legitimi Christiani). He replies that we need not be concerned because the baptised person in case of sickness has been sprinkled or had water poured over him (instead of being immersed), since in any case he receives the “grace of the Lord.”

However, the discipline of the Church made a difference between clinici and other Christians, and did not allow the former to be ordained, on the ground that they probably had received the sacrament rather from fear than from a higher motive. In the letter already mentioned Cornelius states that it was against the law for one who had received clinic baptism to enter the ranks of the clergy. The Council of Neocæsarea (can. 12), in the early part of the fourth century, renews this ancient prohibition, making, however, an exception in the case of clinici who signalised themselves by zeal, and for times when there was great want of clergy. This canon was received into the “Corpus Juris,” c. 1. Dist. 57.

CLOISTER. An enclosed space, usually square, surrounded by covered passages, which have continuous walls on the outer side, and rows of pillars on the inner side facing the square, in connection with monastic, cathedral, or collegiate buildings. In the British Isles they did not appear earlier than the 13th century. They doubtless first appeared in monasteries, furnishing monks with the means of exercise under cover in wet weather. The interior space was sometimes used for a cemetery, as at Salisbury. Schools are said to have been held in them, though they can scarcely, at any rate in northern climates, have been very suitable for the purpose. In no country in Europe have so many fine specimens of Gothic cloisters been preserved as in England. That at Gloucester is of remarkable beauty; the cathedrals of Durham, York, and Lincoln, and New College, Oxford, furnish fine examples.

CLUNY, CONGREGATION OF. This branch of the Benedictine order attained in the middle ages to a pitch of greatness and influence which entitle it to a separate article. It was founded by Berno, abbot of Gigny, in 912, with the assistance of William Duke of Aquitaine, who endowed the new monastery with his whole domains, forests, meadows, vineyards, &c., at Cluny, fifteen miles from Macon-sur-Saone. A succession of great and saintly abbots—Odo, Aymard, St. Mayeul, St. Odilo, and St. Hugh—procured for the Abbey of Cluny a world-wide reputation, great wealth and political influence, and a filiation of many hundred monasteries. The bond of dependence was strictly maintained in all the houses founded from or connected with Cluny; in nearly every instance they were governed by priors, not abbots. Urban II., the Pope who preached the first crusade, had been educated at Cluny under St. Hugh. The great Earl of Warenne, the friend and companion in arms of the Conqueror, founded the first Cluniac house in England, at Lewes, in 1077, dedicating the church in honour of St. Pancras. Under Peter the Venerable, the ninth abbot, the contemporary and friend of St. Bernard, Cluny reached its apogee. Peter drew up a reformed rule; two thousand convents recognised him as their superior; and in 1131 the Pope himself, Innocent II., came to Cluny and consecrated the new church, the master-piece of Gothic architecture and one of the wonders of the world. At the Revolution, the town of Cluny bought the church from the Republican Government, and pulled it down; nothing but thetwo towers and a few other fragments was left standing. Some time afterwards the people of Cluny invited Napoleon to visit their town; the emperor replied, “No, no, you are Vandals.”

There were thirty-five Cluniac houses in England at the time of the suppression; the list is given below. Only one was an abbey—Bermondsey; the rest were priories or cells. (Hefele’s art. in Wetzer and Welte; Tanner’s “Notitia.”)

COADJUTOR. one who helps a prelate, or a priest holding a benefice, in discharging the duties of his bishopric or benefice. Coadjutorship may be of two kinds: one temporary and revocable, allowed on account of sickness or other incapacity, and implying no right of succession; the other perpetual and irrevocable, and carrying with it the right to succeed the person coadjuted. In this latter sense it is expressly forbidden by the Council of Trent; nevertheless the Pope, for special causes, sometimes concedes it, the plenitude of his apostolic power enabling him legally to dispense with the law. If a coadjutor is required for a parish priest, it is for the bishop of the diocese to nominate one; if for a bishop, the nomination belongs to the Pope, any usage to the contrary notwithstanding. In the case of a priest, if the incapacity is temporary or curable, he must appoint a vicar or substitute, not a coadjutor. The various infirmities which justify coadjutorship—serious and incurable illness, leprosy, loss of speech, &c.—are specified in the canon law. In the case of a bishop, the terms “administrator” and “suffragan” mean much the same as coadjutor, the differences being, that the administrator’s function ceases when the bishop resumes charge of the diocese or dies, and a suffragan assists the bishop in things which relate to his ministry, but has no jurisdiction; while a coadjutor has jurisdiction, and his rights may, as we have seen, by special Papal permission, subsist after the death of the coadjuted. Various points affecting the precedence, dignity, and ceremonial attaching to a coadjutor bishop have been settled from time to time by the Congregation of Rites. (Ferraris, Coadjutor.)

COAT, THE HOLY (tunica inconsutilis, der heilige Rock, la sainte Robe). This celebrated relic is in the treasury of the cathedral of Treves, and a very ancient tradition asserts it to be identical with the seamless coat which our Saviour wore at the time of his Passion. The empress Helena, having come into possession of it in the Holy Land, is said to have given it to the city of Treves, where she resided for a considerable time. The earliest written testimony to this effect is found in the Gesta Trevirorum, a chronicle of the first half of the twelfth century, where Helena is said to have presented the relic to the church during the episcopate of Agritius (314–334). Several other notices of the Holy Coat are found in documents mounting up to, or nearly to, the twelfth century. But the most remarkable and interesting piece of evidence, in support of the authenticity of the relic, is an ancient ivory belonging to the cathedral (lost for some time but recovered in 1844), on which the Empress is figured, seated at the church door, and awaiting the arrival of a procession closed by a chariot in which are two ecclesiastics guarding a chest. Above the chariot is the face of Christ, by which some relation between our Lord and the contents of the chest seems to be indicated. This ivory was examined by the Archæological Society of Frankfort in 1846, with the result of fixing its date at the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth century.

We read of the translation of the relic from the choir to the high-altar of the cathedral in 1196. After an interval of more than three hundred years, it was exposed in 1512, and on several other occasions in the sixteenth century, for the veneration of the faithful. During the wars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was deposited for safety in the castle of Ehrenbreitstein, or at Augsburg. In 1810, with the permission of Napoleon, the bishop of Treves, Mgr. Mannay, brought the sacred relic back from Augsburg to his own city; and, in spite of the confusion of the times, a multitude of pilgrims numbering over two hundred thousand visited Treves to celebrate this joyful restoration. But the most striking and successful exposition was that of 1844, when eleven bishops and more than a million of the laity flocked to Treves from all sides during the period (from August 18 to October 6) for which the Holy Coat was exhibited Several miraculous cures were reported, and the joy and piety of the believing throng must have been a very moving sight. Certain unstable Catholics, with a secret leaning to rationalism, took offence at the proceedings, and wrote against the authenticity of the Holy Coat. Among these were Czerski, an ecclesiastic from Posen, and Ronge, a suspended priest of Breslau. A long controversy arose, in the course of which these men seceded from the Church and founded a sect which they called the “German Catholic Church.” The movement made a great noise at the time, but is now seldom heard of. The-well-known Catholic writer, Görres, published a pamphlet on the question, entitled “The Pilgrimage of Treves,” in 1845.

(This notice follows the article in Wetzer and Welte by J. Marx, the author of several works bearing on the history of the relic.)

CODEX CANONUM ECCL. AFRICANÆ. This collection of canons, 138 in number, consists substantially of the disciplinary decisions of the great African council which sat at Carthage between 419 and 422. Dionysius Exiguus (see CANON LAW) admitted the greater part of them into his first collection. The synod in Trullo (691) approved and adopted these canons, with those of many other councils, as suitable for use in the East. They were first published at Paris by Justeau in 1615; Mansi included them in his collection; they have been discussed by the brothers Ballerini, De Marca, and others.

CODEX CANONUM ECCL. UNIVERSÆ. Under this title the two Justeau (1610–1661) published the canons of which the Fathers of Chalcedon made chief use (namely, those of Nicæa, Ancyra, Neo-Cæsarea, Gangra, Antioch, Laodicea, Constantinople II., and Ephesus) on the implied assumption that they intended to, and did in fact, erect these canons, along with their own twenty-nine into a code receivable and binding throughout the Church. For such an assumption there was no foundation. The collection contains altogether 207 canons.

CŒNOBITE. St. Jerome distinguishes cœnobites from anachorites or hermits. He translates the former word by “in communi viventes.” The word is derived from κοινὸς βίος, common life. The place in which they lived was called cœnobium or κοινόβιον, and the superior, κοινοβιάρχης. Cœnobites were also named συνοδῖται which answers to the Latin conventuales. The word cœnobite is thus equivalent to our word “monk.” (Kraus, “Real-Encycl.”)


COLLATION TO A BENEFICE. This as we have seen [BISHOP, II.] is a right ordinarily belonging to bishops. It may be either free and voluntary (collatio libera), or restricted to the institution of a clerk presented by a third person (collatio necessaria, non libera). Collation by lay persons is null, except in a few cases where, by a special privilege granted by the Holy See, a king or an abbess confers a particular benefice as the procurator or vicar of the Pope.

The right of conferring the higher ecclesiastical dignities is now in the greater part of Europe regulated by Concordat between the Holy See and the respective Governments. In Austria the Emperor has the right of nominating to most canonries; occasionally this right is exercised by the municipality. In France the nomination as well as collation to all benefices is usually in the hands of the archbishops and bishops; but the appointments made are subject in the case of the curés cantonaux to the approbation of the Government; which on the other hand nominates to the almonerships of public establishments, subject to episcopal approval.

“The rulers of the Church,” says Soglia, “confer benefices by a triple right, plenary, ordinary, or delegated: the Pope by his plenary, the bishops by their ordinary, cardinals and others holding a Papal indult by their delegated right.” (Card. Soglia, “Instit. Juris Canonici,” iii. 2, 18.)


COLLECT (collecta) occurs in several senses in ecclesiastical writers. (1) It signifies “collection.” Thus St. Paul mentions the “collectæ quæ fiunt apud sanctos,” where the Greek has λογία. (2) For the assembly of the faithful. Thus we meet with “collectam agere,” “adesse ad collectam,” &c. (3) For the prayer said in the Mass after the Gloria and before the Epistle. The name so used (collectio or collecta) is found in the Mozarabic Missal and in the old Sacramentaries. Many of the collects now said in the Mass were composed by St. Gelasius or St. Gregory, though of course many are of a later date. The prayer or collect “Deus, cujus dextera beatum Petrum,” is attributed to Leo II., who is said to have written it while the Neapolitans were fighting at sea with the Saracens for the defence of the Church. The same Pontiff wrote the prayer “Deus, qui beato Petro collatis clavibus,” when, having founded the Leonine city, he put the bars on the gates. Innocent II. is the author of the collect “A cunctis.”

As to the number of the collects: originally only one was said. Ritual writers, such as Durandus, Beleth and Martene, lay it down that the number of collects must not exceed seven. According to the rubrics the number of collects said must always be unequal, the odd number, it is said, denoting unity. In the Roman Church the collect used to be followed by certain other prayers, for the Pope, Emperor, &c., which prayers were called “laudes.”

Almost all the collects are addressed to the Father, and end with the words “through our Lord Jesus Christ,” &c.; only a few and those of recent date are addressed to the Son; none to the Holy Ghost. “The Mass,” says Cardinal Bona, “represents the oblation by which Christ offered Himself to the Father, and therefore the prayers of the liturgy are directed to the Father Himself.” (Benedict XIV. “De Missa,” ii. 5.)

COLLEGE. Collegia, i.e. corporations or guilds of persons united in pursuit of a common object, were common in the Roman empire from its commencement. The Government took cognisance of, and controlled them. When Christianity appeared everywhere, the churches, regarded by jurists as collegia, were held to be unlawful (collegia illicita) and to belong to them was reckoned a misdemeanour. (Smith and Cheetham.)





COLLEGIATE CHURCH. After the practice had become general for the clergy of cathedral churches to live in common, under the rule formulated by the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle (816), and with the title of canons, the churches of many large towns, besides those which were the residences of bishops, adopted a similar organisation, and were called collegiate churches. [See CANON.] Thus Darlington, to which some of the canons whom the bishop William of St. Carilef (1080–1096) replaced by monks at Durham retired, became, with Papal sanction, a collegiate church with dean and prebendaries, and flourished as such till the Reformation. At that time (1547), a great number of collegiate churches in England were suppressed, and their revenues confiscated, with the exception of a small portion employed in founding schools, of which King Edward VI.’s school at Birmingham is an instance. Since the seventeenth century it has been invariably ruled that a collegiate church can only be erected with Papal sanction. Among the conditions for obtaining this sanction are—that the locality should be of sufficient importance; that there be a numerous and well-disposed population and a large body of clergy; that the endowment be sufficient; that the church, be of suitable size and dignity; and that all things necessary for the divine worship be provided in abundance. (Ferraris, Collegium.)

COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. (in Hebrew of Exodus 34:28, Deut. 4:13, 10:4, “the ten words,” of which “the Decalogue,” οἱ δέκα λόγοι, τὰ δέκα λόγια, τὰ δέκα ῥήματα, is a verbal translation) were given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. They were written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, which were placed in the Ark. Thus the commandments formed the centre and kernel of the Jewish religion. They were given more directly by God than any other part of the Jewish law, and they were placed in the most holy place, which none but the high-priest could enter, and he only once a year. The Roman Catechism (iii. 1, 1), quoting St. Augustine, points out that all the rest of the Mosaic law depends on the decalogue, while the ten commandments, in their turn, are based on two precepts—the love of God with the whole heart, and the love of our neighbour as ourselves.

Two questions about the commandments must be mentioned, the former of which concerns the binding force, the latter the division and arrangement, of the decalogue.

As to the former question, the Council of Trent defines, against antinomian heretics of ancient and modern times, that the ten commandments bind the consciences of all mankind, Christians included. “If anyone say that the ten commandments have nothing to do with Christians, let him be anathema.” “If anyone say that a man, though justified and ever so perfect, is not bound to observe the commandments of God and the Church, let him be anathema.” The reason on which this obligation rests is manifest. God did not give a new law to Moses; He only republished a law written originally on the conscience of man, and obscured by his sinful ignorance. The ten commandments, then, did not begin to bind when proclaimed to the people of Israel, and they have not ceased to do so now that Christ has done away with the Jewish law.

The second question turns on the division of the commandments, and here there are three principal views. It is well to remind the reader, first, that there are several differences in the exact words of the commandments as given in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, one of which is of special moment. In Exodus, the last prohibitions run, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house: thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his servant, nor his maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.” In Deuteronomy, the order is changed thus: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife; and thou shalt not desire” [a different word in Hebrew from that translated “covet,” though the Vulgate obliterates the distinction] “his field, or his servant, or his maid, his ox, or his ass, or anything that is thy neighbour’s.” We may now proceed to consider the different modes of division.

(1) Philo and Josephus, followed by Origen and other early Christians, by the Greek Church, and all Protestants except Lutherans, divide the commandments into two tables, containing each five precepts: viz. 1, on strange gods; 2, on image worship; 3, on taking God’s name in vain; 4, on the Sabbath; 5, on honouring parents: 6. on murder; 7, on adultery; 8, on stealing; 9, on false witness; 10, on covetousness.

(2) The Talmud, the Targum of Jonathan, and many rabbinical commentators, make the preface, “I am the Lord thy God,” &c., the first “word;” they regard the prohibition of strange gods and images as one single “word,” viz. the second; for the rest they agree with the division of Philo, &c.

(3) Augustine places in the first table three commandments, relating to God—viz. 1, on strange gods and images (so that he regards the prohibition of idols as a mere application of the principle, “Thou shalt not have strange gods before me”); 2, the name of God; 3, the Sabbath. In the second table he places seven precepts, relating to our neighbour—viz. commandment 4, on parents; 5, on murder; 6, on adultery; 7, on stealing; 8, on false witness; 9, on coveting our neighbour’s wife; 10, on coveting our neighbour’s goods. This division has prevailed in the Catholic Church, and has been retained by the Lutherans, except that they, following the order in Exodus, make commandment 9, on coveting our neighbour’s house; 10, on coveting his wife or goods: a division to which Augustine himself in some places gives support.

What has been already said shows that ignorance alone can charge Catholics with introducing a new mode of division in order to give less prominence to the prohibition of idol-worship. The division was current long before any strife on images had arisen in the Church.

Next, the Catholics, in this division of the first and second commandments, have the whole weight of rabbinical tradition on their side.

Thirdly, the modern Catholic division is the only one consistent with the Hebrew text, as usually found in MSS. and printed editions. The text is divided into ten sections, which correspond precisely with our Catholic division. These sections are admitted to be very ancient, older even than the Masoretic text, and the Protestant scholar Kennicott found them so marked in 460 out of 694 MSS. which he collated.

Lastly, the wording of the text both in Exodus and Deuteronomy strongly favours the Catholic division. The promises and threats, “I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous,” &c., are much more suitable on the theory that the prohibition of strange gods and idols forms one commandment, while in Deuteronomy, after the prohibition of coveting our neighbour’s wife, the change of the verb mentioned above seems to indicate the beginning of a new commandment; nor is there any difficulty in distinguishing carnal desire from coveting another man’s goods. (The facts as here given will be found in Kalisch, Knobel, and Keil in their commentaries on Exodus. The first is a very learned Jew, the second a Rationalist, the third an orthodox Protestant. All are opposed to the Catholic mode of division. Dillmann’s Commentary (1881) has also been consulted.)

COMMANDMENTS OF THE CHURCH. Parents, and other persons invested with lawful authority, have power to make rules for those placed under them, so that things lawful in themselves become unlawful by their prohibition. The Scripture teaches plainly that the Church has this power. We are to hear the Church (Matt. 18:17). The Holy Ghost has placed bishops to “rule the Church” (Acts 20:28). St. Paul commanded Christians to keep the “precepts of the Apostles and the ancients” (15:41).

The Roman Catechism makes no special enumeration of the commandments of the Church; but such an enumeration is generally found in popular Catechisms, which have followed in this respect the example set by the Catechism of Canisins. The English Catechism, like the French ones of Fleury, &c., counts six commandments of the Church. Many other Catechisms reduce them to five. In our English Catechism they are given as follows: 1, to keep certain days holy, with the obligation of resting from servile work; 2, to hear Mass on Sundays and holidays of obligation; 3, to keep the days of fasting and abstinence; 4, to confess once a year; 5, to communicate at Easter or thereabouts; 6, not to marry within forbidden degrees, or at forbidden times. The sixth commandment is omitted in many Catechisms; that of Bellarmine adds another—viz. to pay tithes.

COMMEMORATIONS OF FEASTS &c. As the Church celebrates many feasts, some moveable, some fixed, it may often happen that two of them fall on the same day; or again the Church may institute the feast of a saint, just canonised, on a day already occupied by the feast of another saint. Further, as semi-doubles and all feasts of higher rank have first and second vespers, the second vespers of one feast would often have to be said at the same time as the first vespers of another. As it would be difficult to say the Mass and office of two feasts on the same day, the Church, as a rule, celebrates the greater feast and merely commemorates the inferior one.

We must begin by distinguishing special from common commemorations, the former being subdivided into partial and complete commemorations.

Partial commemorations are made when the first vespers of one feast coincide with the second vespers of another. In that case, the vespers of the feast higher in rank are said, while the other feast is commemorated by the recital of the antiphon before the Magnificat, the versicles and the prayer.

Complete commemorations are made when two feasts fall on the same day. In that case, the collects of the lesser feast are added in the Mass of the day, and on certain occasions (e.g. if a Sunday or greater feria is commemorated) the Gospel from the Mass of the day commemorated is said at the end of Mass instead of the Gospel of St. John. Moreover, the antiphons for the Benedictus and Magnificat, with the versicles in the office omitted, are added in the lauds and vespers of the office which is said. Finally, the Gospel of a Sunday or greater feria, with the homily and the lections of a simple feast containing the life of the saint (provided such lessons are “proper” and not merely taken from the common) are substituted for the ninth lection in matins. Supposing that a simple feast and a Sunday or greater Feria have both to be commemorated, the ninth lection is taken from the latter in preference to the former. The life of the saint commemorated is also omitted if the matins of the office said does not end with the Te Deum.

The common commemorations consist of antiphons, versicles and prayers relating to the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, St. Peter and St. Paul, the Patron or title of the church, and peace; such commemorations are made on semi-doubles, simples, and ferias, at the end of lauds and vespers, except during Octaves, and except from the first Sunday of Advent till the octave of the Epiphany, and from Passion Sunday till Trinity Sunday. They are preceded on ferias by a commemoration of the Cross; while in Paschal time a special commemoration of the Cross is made, although the other commemorations are omitted.

Commemorations are made in the following order: a double is commemorated first, then a Sunday, then a semi-double, an octave, a greater feria, a simple; last of all come the common commemorations.

Many of the rules on this subject, some of which are very elaborate, have been left out here for want of space. They are fully discussed by Gavantus and Meratus. We may, however, mention the general principle, that the greater the solemnity of a day or season, the more it absorbs attention and therefore tends to exclude commemorations. (See Gavantus, with Meratus’ note, p. 11, sect. iii. cap. 11.)


COMMENDA. It is a Low Latin word, formed from the verb commendare, signifying the custody of a church or convent in the absence of a regular incumbent. A church, &c., so treated, was said to be held in commendam. This commendation had nothing abusive in its origin, which was perfectly natural: thus when a bishop of Fundi was driven from his see by the barbarians, Pope Gregory the Great nominated him to the vacant see of Terracina, at the same time commending Fundi to his care. A Council of Merida commended to the metropolitan the churches of certain bishops who had been ordered to retire from their sees and do penance, for absenting themselves from a provincial council. In process of time the Roman See claimed the right of allowing a bishop, or other dignitary, to hold other benefices in commendam with his own preferment. For this there might often be reasonable and sufficient cause; but the practice became much too common. Matthew Paris complains (a. 1246) of this permission to a well-beneficed ecclesiastic to retain his benefices in commendam with a bishopric to which he might be appointed, as an abuse of recent origin. The Council of Constance, in its last year (1417), strove to put an end to reservations, expectatives, and commendams, but only succeeded in obtaining from the new Pope (Martin V.) a promise that all these favours should be brought under more strict control. But political reasons (e.g. the anger or good will of an emperor or king, incurred by thwarting or gratifying his wishes respecting the cumulation of benefices on some favourite churchman) made, or seemed to make, the complete abolition of the practice impossible. Even the Council of Trent, honestly zealous as it was for reform, ventured no more than to express its confidence that “the Roman Pontiff in his piety and prudence would, so far as he saw the times could bear it, set over monasteries at present held in commendam [by seculars] monastic persons belonging to the respective orders, capable of representing and ruling the communities.”

Since the destruction of Church property which recent times have witnessed, the practice of commendation has greatly dwindled, if not wholly ceased, throughout Europe.

COMMENDATION OF THE SOUL. (Ordo commendationis animœ). A form of prayer for the dying contained in the Roman Ritual. The practice of bringing the priest to the bed of dying persons is coeval with the Church itself, and Amalarius tells us that several of the ancient Antiphonaries contained prayers for the dying. Parts at least of the present form are very ancient. The words “Subvenite,” &c., “Come to his help, all ye saints of God; meet him, all ye angels of God,” &c., occur in the Antiphonary of St. Gregory the Great; the beautiful address, “Go forth, O Christian soul,” &c., is found in a letter of St. Peter Damian, written to a friend of his who was near death.

COMMENDATORY LETTERS. (συστατικαὶ ἐπιστολαί, 2 Cor. 3:1). The Christians of Ephesus, when Apollo the newly converted Jew wished to pass into Achaia, wrote to their fellow-believers at Corinth, that they should receive him (Acts 18:17). While the general society of the empire was still heathen, the bond between believers was close, and the distinction between Christians and non-Christians had to be firmly and sharply drawn. Commendatory letters,—”letters of introduction” as we should now say—were required for everyone who travelled to a foreign country, if he wished to receive hospitality there, and to be admitted to communion. They were given by the bishop. For a long time after the conversion of Constantine the prevalence of Arianism and other heresies made it necessary still to adhere to the practice, lest those should be unawares admitted to communion whom St. John had warned Christians not so much as to bid God-speed to (2 John 1:10). It is the crowning argument of St. Austin against the Donatists, that “their letters would not be received in any churches but their own.” The Councils of Elvira, Chalcedon, and Arles framed regulations about these letters, on which so much importance came to be laid that no one, whether clerk or layman, was received in any city who came unprovided with them. They were also called canonicæ, and communicatoriœ. The ἐπιστολαὶ εἰρηνικαὶ recommended the bearer specially for alms. The ἀπολυτικαὶ (dimissoriœ), first mentioned in the Council in Trullo (691), referred to a permanent settlement of the bearer in the country visited, the συστατικαὶ to a temporary sojourn. (Smith and Cheetham, art. by Prof. Plumptre.)

COMMISSARY. An ecclesiastic who, by delegation from the bishop, exercises a portion of the episcopal jurisdiction in a particular part of the diocese, especially with reference to licences, institutions, the examination of witnesses, &c.


COMMON LIFE, CLERKS AND BROTHERS OF THE. A holy deacon of Deventer in the Netherlands, Gerhard Groot (†1384), was the founder of this remarkable institute. He had sat at the feet of Ruysbroek, one of the most eminent mystics of that age, and had been deeply impressed by the spectacle of love, peace, and joyful co-operation presented by the Augustinian brotherhood which he directed. Not long before, Ruysbroek had obtained a similar influence over the celebrated Tauler. Gerhard applied his fortune to the work of establishing and endowing a building to receive clerics, and also laymen, who, without taking perpetual vows, were desirous of leading an austere Christian life in common. Great preachers, besides Gerhard himself, came forth from this institute; among them was Thomas a Kempis, or of Kempen (†1471), supposed by many to be the author of the “Imitatio Christi.” In the schools of Deventer was also trained Nicholas of Cusa, afterwards Cardinal, the most learned theologian at the Council of Basle, author of “Concordantia Catholica” and many other works. Gerhard’s chief convent was at Windesheim; whence some of the canons were invited into France at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and established at Château Laudon. The order spread far and wide in the Netherlands, and was not unknown in Germany. Houses of nuns were aggregated to the institute, which is represented by celebrated monasteries in Belgium even at the present day. (Hélyot, vol. iv.; Möhler, “Kirchengesch.”)

COMMUNICATIO IDIOMATUM. (also communio idiomatum—and in the Greek Fathers ἀντίδοσις). The appropriation of divine attributes to Christ as man, and of human qualities to Christ as God, because one and the same Person is at once God and man. Thus we may say “God died,” “Mary is the Mother of God,” though it was as man that Christ died and had a mother; or again, “The man Christ Jesus is the Creator of the world.” This usage is consonant with Scripture, which speaks of the Lord of glory as being crucified; of the Son of God as being delivered for us, &c.; and with the definition of the Council of Ephesus, that Mary is the Mother of God. The reason on which the usage rests is that “the man Christ” implies, not only human nature, but also the divine Person united with it; “God,” when we think of God the Son incarnate, implies, not only the divine Person, but also the human nature, which he made proper (ἴδιον, hence ἰδίωμα) to himself. Observe, however, that we cannot say “the Divinity suffered,” “the Manhood is eternal,” &c. (See Petavius, “De Incarn.” iv. 15.)

COMMUNION. That the body, soul and divinity of Christ are given in the Communion, and that Christ is received whole and entire under either kind—i.e. under the form of bread alone, or wine alone—is an article of the Catholic faith, explained and proved under the article Eucharist. In this place we shall only treat of the rite according to which Communion is given. At every Mass the celebrant is bound to communicate, because his communion is necessary for the completion of the sacrifice. [See MASS.] In the Roman rite, the priest, after the words “Domine, non sum dignus,” bowing low, but still standing, receives the body of Christ, saying “Corpus Domini nostri,” &c., “May the body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul unto everlasting life.” Then, having collected any particles of the Blessed Sacrament which may remain on the corporal or paten, He puts them into the chalice and takes the precious blood with the words, “May the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ,” &c. Afterwards, if any of the people desire to communicate, the clerk says the Contiteor, the priest pronounces a form of absolution, holds the Blessed Sacrament before the people, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God,” &c., and finally gives them communion under the form of bread, using the words “May the body of our Lord Jesus Christ,” &c. The clergy, servers, &c., usually communicate on the altar-steps; the people at the altar-rails, on which a white cloth is placed for the communicants to hold up near the face and so to prevent any particle from falling to the ground. In some churches a small tray, carried by the clerk from one communicant to another, is substituted for the white cloth—(this is in reality a return to the more ancient custom: Benedict XIV. “De Miss.” iii. 22, 3). Communion is given to all who are sufficiently old to understand the nature of the Sacrament; and, although the communion of the people is in no way essential, either to the integrity or lawfulness of the sacrifice, still the Council of Trent (Sess. xxii. cap. 6) desires that the faithful should communicate at every Mass. Of course this desire implies as a condition that the faithful should be fervent enough to communicate often with advantage, Communion may be given on all days of the year, except Good Friday—(the ancient usage permitted the faithful to communicate even on Good Friday: Benedict XIV. “De Fest.” i. 339)—when it cannot be given except in dangerous sickness: and at any hour of the day: not, however, at night. Communion may be given out of Mass; when the priest administers it, wearing a surplice and white stole (a red stole is used in the Amhrosian rite), and with almost the same form of words which is used in giving Communion during Mass, except that he adds the antiphon “O sacred banquet, in which Christ is taken,” and concludes by blessing the people. This blessing is omitted if the priest gives Communion before Mass in black vestments.

We may now go on to trace the history of the administration of Communion. The essential points have remained unchanged from the time of the Apostles; still several striking changes have undoubtedly been made.

(1) The ordinary minister of the sacrament is the priest, nor can a mere deacon, according to the present discipline, give communion without grave necessity. In early times, leave to administer this sacrament was given to deacons much more freely. Justin (“Apol.” i. 65) speaks of them as distributing the consecrated bread and wine. A little later, Cyprian (“De Laps.” 25) and the Apostolic Constitutions (viii. 12) describe the celebrant as administering the body of Christ, while the deacons gave the chalice. The Council of Nicæa, canon 18, forbids deacons to give Communion to the priests—who, according to the wont of that time, joined with the bishop in celebrating Mass—or to receive Communion themselves before a bishop who might be assisting at the sacrifice. In times of persecution, the faithful took the Blessed Sacrament away with them, so that even women gave themselves Communion at home. Ordinarily, the deacons conveyed the Holy Communion to the sick, but sometimes even laymen did so. Pius V., in modern times, is said to have allowed Mary Queen of Scots to receive Communion from her own hands in prison. By the present law of the Church, the parish priest is bound to give his parishioners the opportunity of communicating, and no other priest can lawfully give Communion without his consent, except in case of necessity. In countries where there are no parishes, the leave of the priest in charge of the mission is required in order to give Communion.

(2) All baptised persons, who are in a state of grace, and fasting, and who are sufficiently instructed, may receive communion. In ancient times all who assisted at Mass were obliged to communicate, and it was only the highest class of penitents who did not come under this rule. However, in Chrysostom’s time the charity of Christians had already grown cold, and many heard Mass without communicating. Afterwards, the faithful were only required to communicate three times in the year; and finally the Fourth Lateran Council introduced the present rule of communicating once at least in the year, and that about Easter time. Further, it is to this day the custom in the East to communicate infants just after baptism, and this use, Fleury says, continued in the West till the opening of the ninth century, while even in the thirteenth Communion was given to children in danger of death. The Council of Trent (Sess. xxi. cap. 4, De Commun.) declares that children who have not come to the use of reason need not receive Communion. At present, children usually make their first Communion between ten and twelve years of age. Very often this first Communion is accompanied with the renewal of baptismal vows: the children hold lighted candles in their hands, and an address is made to them by their pastor, but none of these observances are prescribed by the Church.

(3) The church was the place of administration, although in sickness and, as we have seen, in times of persecution Communion was given in private houses. Usually, the priests and deacons communicated at the altar, the rest of the clergy in the choir, the laity outside the choir. But in the East the Emperor by ancient privilege, when he made his offering, approached and remained at the altar; while in some parts of Gaul the laity generally did the same.

(4) The time for Communion was usually early in the morning, and it was always, in virtue of an Apostolic tradition, received fasting. The one and only exception was the practice in the African Church of celebrating Mass and giving Communion on the evening of Maundy Thursday [see AGAPE]. Natural reverence forbade Christians to receive the body of Christ after common food.

(5) The ceremonies in the administration have varied considerably and still are very different in different rites. At the cry “Holy things to the holy,” Christians drew near with bent body but still standing, and received the Holy Sacrament in the hollow of the right hand, supporting it with the left.” When the administrant said, “The body, the blood of Christ,” the communicant answered “Amen.” The longer form, now employed, viz. “The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, preserve thy soul unto everlasting life,” came into use in the time of Gregory the Great, though even after this date the form of words was by no means uniform throughout the West. Under Pope Agapetus († 536) the custom began of placing the Blessed Sacrament in the mouth; a council of Rouen, assigned by Mansi to the middle of the seventh century, forbids it to be given in any other way. Benedict XIV. mentions the fact that the Popes in solemn Mass used to communicate sitting on their throne and facing the people. At present, the Pope, on these occasions, communicates standing at his throne profoundly inclined; but Benedict XIV. does not say when this change in the Papal rite was made.

(6) We now come to the most important of all changes in the discipline of the Church on this matter. Down to the middle ages, the faithful throughout the whole Church usually received the Eucharist under both kinds. That the celebrating priest should consecrate and receive under both kinds is of divine institution and therefore unalterable [see MASS]. But writers of the eleventh and following centuries notice the custom springing up in the Latin Church, of giving the Eucharist to all communicants except the celebrant under the form of bread alone, partly to counteract the heretical error that Christ is not received whole and entire under either kind, partly to prevent the spilling of the Precious Blood. St. Thomas († 1274) says that in his day Communion under one kind prevailed “in some churches.” The Council of Constance to meet the errors of Huss and Jerome of Prague made this custom of universal obligation in the West; this decree was renewed by the Council of Basle against the Taborites and Calistines, and by that of Trent against the Lutherans and Calvinists. Exceptions have been made by special privilege. Thus, Clement VI. gave the kings of France leave to communicate under both kinds. In solemn Mass celebrated by the Pope, the deacon and subdeacon receive the Precious Blood, and so even in the last century the deacon and subdeacon used to on Sundays and solemn feasts in the church of St. Denis near Paris, and in the church of Clugny.

We take for granted here that Christ is given whole and entire under either kind [see EUCHARIST]; but it is often alleged that in any case the Church has altered the custom of communicating under both kinds which was imposed by our Lord. To this we reply with the Council of Trent that there is no divine precept binding anyone, except the celebrant, to receive both species. Communion under one or both kinds is a matter of discipline, which the Church may alter as she sees fit This Catholic truth is indicated in Scripture and fully certified by tradition. It is indicated in Scripture, for our Lord says, on the one hand, “Unless ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye will not have life in you;” “He who eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life;” but also, on the other hand, “If anyone eat of this bread he shall live for ever;” “The bread, which I shall give, is my flesh for the life of the world,” “He who eateth this bread, will live for ever.” It is fully certified by tradition, because the Church, from the beginning, has permitted both modes of communicating. Children received Communion under the form of wine alone; the sick, and the faithful generally who communicated at home, under the form of bread alone. True, Popes Leo and Gelasius emphatically condemned persons who abstained from the chalice, but this because they did so on private authority and in consequence of the Manichean error, which made them look on wine as evil. Moreover, the present use of the Greek and Oriental Churches makes it as clear as day that they do not consider it a matter of necessity to give Communion under both kinds, though it is their usual practice to do so. Thus the Church has ever faithfully maintained the same principles on this matter; her discipline has, indeed, changed from time to time, but never in any essential particular; while, on the contrary, those who charge her with innovation are themselves convicted of introducing a new principle, directly opposed to the unanimous teaching of antiquity. (In the works of Bossuet, there is a short but masterly treatise on Communion under one kind. On the whole subject of Communion much interesting matter will be found in Benedict XIV. “De Missa”; Denzinger, “Ritus Orientalium”; Chardon, “Histoire des Sacrements,” &c.)

COMMUNION (liturgical term). The antiphon which the priest says after the ablutions, at the Epistle side of the alter. Formerly, it used to be sung, while the people communicated: hence the name. The “Communion” is mentioned in the Roman Ordines. Cardinal Thomasius quotes an example of a “Communion Psalm,” which was sung in alternate verses, till the Pontiff, the people having communicated, gave the choir a sign to end with the “Gloria Patri,” after which the antiphon was repeated.

COMMUNION OF SAINTS is mentioned in the ninth article of the Apostles’ Creed, where it is added, according to the Roman Catechism, as au explanation of the foregoing words, “I believe in the holy Catholic Church.” The communion of saints consists in the union which binds together the members of the Church on earth, and connects the Church on earth with the Church suffering in Purgatory and triumphant in heaven.

(1) The faithful on earth have communion with each other because they partake of the same sacraments, are under one head, and assist each other by their prayers and good works. Even the personal merits of a just man profit his brethren, because the greater his goodness, the greater the efficacy of his prayer for others, the more fitting it is that, as he does God’s will, so God should deign to do his by increasing the graces or converting the souls of those for whom he prays.

Catholic commentators understand St. Paul to refer to this communion in good works when he encourages the Corinthians to help their needy brethren at Jerusalem. “Let your abundance,” he says (2 Cor. 8:14), “supply their want, that their abundance also may be the filling up of your want”—i.e. that you may share in their spiritual, as they have shared in your temporal, riches. Again, God spares his people for the sake of the saints among them, just as He was ready to spare Sodom had ten just men been found in it; or forgave Job’s friends at the sacrifice and prayer of Job himself; or so often restrained his wrath against his people for his servant David’s sake. Of course also many graces are given primarily for the edification of the Church.

(2) We communicate with the souls in Purgatory by praying for them. [See PURGATORY.]

(3) With the blessed in Heaven by obtaining their prayers. [See INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS.]



CONCLAVE. (Lat. conclave; properly, a chamber that can be closed with one key). The term is applied both to the place where the Cardinals assemble for the election of a new Pope, and to the assembly itself. Several questions relating to the election of Popes—e.g. whether the Roman Pontiff can legally nominate his successor; who is or is not eligible; what would happen in the event of all the Cardinals dying before the election; &c.—are considered under POPE; in this article we shall treat exclusively of the mode of election, as finally settled by Gregory X. In the course of the dark ages the secular rulers of Rome made various attempts to interfere with the freedom of Papal elections. A statement even appears in the Decretum of Gratian (and was used in argument by James I. and Bishop Andrewes, when attempting to justify the subjection of the Anglican Church to the crown), to the effect that Pope Hadrian granted to Charlemagne the right of electing the Pope and regulating the Apostolic See. But this canon was shown by Bellarmin to be spurious; it was probably invented by Sigismond of Gemblours, a strong supporter of imperial pretensions, and, being found in his chronicle, imposed upon the unwary Gratian. Another canon also found in Gratian, which states that Leo VIII. granted a similar privilege to Otho I., soon after the commencement of the revived “Holy Roman Empire,” at once falls to the ground when it is remembered that Leo VIII., for the unanswerable reasons given by Baronius, is not to be accounted a true Pope. In 1059 an important decree was made by Nicholas II. in a council at Rome, assigning the election of future Popes to the Cardinal Bishops, with the consent of the other Cardinals and the clergy and people of Rome, saving also the honour due to Henry, King of the Romans, and to any of his successors on the imperial throne in whose favour the Holy See should make the same reservation. This partial recognition of a right to interfere in the election proved to be fertile in antipopes and vexations of every kind; and Alexander III., having experienced what trouble an arbitrary emperor could cause, in his long struggle with Frederic Barbarossa, resolved with a wise boldness to take away from the imperial line the locus standi in Papal elections which the canon of 1059 had allowed, and to vindicate her ancient freedom for the Church. In a General Council held at the Lateran in 1179, it was decreed that the election should thenceforth rest with the Cardinals alone, and that, in order to be canonical, it must be supported by the votes of two thirds of their number. In the following century, the Lateran decree was confirmed and developed at the Council of Lyons (1274) presided over by Gregory X.; and in all its substantial features the discipline then settled is still observed.

In the election of a Pope, it is obvious that there are certain conditions the exact fulfilment of which is of the utmost consequence. These are such as the following:—that all those qualified to vote, and only those, should take part in the election; that the election should not be unnecessarily delayed; that it should not be precipitated; that the electors should be in no fear for their personal safety, which would prevent the election from being free; lastly, that they should be subjected to no external persuasion tending to make them vote, or at least come under the suspicion of voting, from motives lower than those which ought to actuate them. All these conditions, the regulations for the conclave fixed in 1274 endeavour, so far as human forethought can ensure it, to cause to be observed. After the death of a Pope the Cardinals who are absent are immediately to be summoned to the conclave by one of the secretaries of the Sacred College; the election is to begin on the tenth day after the death. In whatever city the Pope dies, there the election must be held. Within the ten days the conclave must be constructed in the Papal palace, or in some other suitable edifice. The large halls of the palace are so divided by wooden partitions as to furnish a number of sets of small apartments (two for an ordinary Cardinal, three for one of princely rank), all opening upon a corridor. Here the Cardinals must remain until they have elected a Pope. On the tenth day a solemn Mass of the Holy Ghost is said in the Vatican church, and after it the Cardinals form a procession and proceed to the conclave, taking up their respective apartments as the lot has distributed them. For the rest of that day the conclave is open; crowds of persons flock in and circulate among the apartments and corridors; and the ambassadors and delegates of foreign States, besides their personal friends, visit the Cardinals for the last time. In the evening everyone is turned out except the Cardinals and those authorised to remain with them, and the conclave is closed. This is done under the superintendence of two guardians of the conclave—one a prelate previously appointed by the Sacred College, who is called the governor; the other a lay official, designated the marshal. Each Cardinal is allowed to have two members of his household in personal attendance upon him; these are called conclavists. A number of other attendants and minor officials—a carpenter, a mason, a sacrist, a monk or friar to hear confessions, two barbers, eight or ten porters and messengers, and several others—are in the common service of the whole body of Cardinals. All the entrances to the building but one are closed: that one is in the charge of officials who are partly prelates, partly officials of the municipality, whose business it is to see that no unauthorised person shall enter, and to exercise a surveillance over the food brought for the Cardinals, lest any written communication should be conveyed to them by this channel. After three days, the supply of food sent in is restricted; if five days more elapse without an election being made, the rule used to be that the Cardinals should from that time subsist on nothing but bread, wine, and water; but this rigour has been somewhat modified by later ordinances. Morning and evening, the Cardinals meet in the chapel, and a secret scrutiny by means of voting papers is usually instituted, in order to ascertain whether any candidate has the required majority of two thirds. A Cardinal coming from a distance can enter the conclave after the closure, but only if he claim the right of doing so within three days of his arrival in the city. Every actual Cardinal, even though he may lie under a sentence of excommunication, has the right to vote, unless he has not yet been admitted to deacon’s orders. Even in this case, the right of voting has sometimes been conferred by special Papal indult. There are three valid modes of election—by scrutiny, by compromise, and by what is called quasi-inspiration [see ACCLAMATION], Compromise is, when all the cardinals agree to entrust the election to a small committee of two or three members of the body. Scrutiny is the ordinary mode; and although, since the thirteenth century, elections have usually been made by this mode with reasonable despatch, yet in times of disturbance, the difficulty of obtaining a two-thirds majority has been known to protract the proceedings over a long period, as in the celebrated instance of the conclave of 1799, described in Consalvi’s Memoirs, which lasted six months, resulting in the election of Pius VII. (Ferraris, Papa; Zoepffel, “Die Papstwahlen,” Göttingen, 1871.)


CONCORDAT (Lat. concordata, things agreed upon). A treaty between the Holy See and a secular State touching the conservation and promotion of the interests of religion in that State.

It were to be wished that Christendom did not require concordats, for a treaty between two powers implies some felt divergency of sentiment and principle, which, having already resulted in opposition and contention more or less serious, dictates to the contracting parties the necessity of coming to an understanding as to the limits beyond which neither will give way to the other. Such divergency of sentiment only arises, speaking generally, when the secular State aims at excluding the Church from its rightful share of control over human affairs—an aim which familiar experience shows to be eminently pernicious and disastrous. When Ethelberts or St. Louises rule in temporals, we do not hear of concordats with the Holy See, for such rulers desire to see religion more, not less, in the ascendant among their subjects. Nevertheless, considering the actual condition of things in Europe and America, it is generally a subject of congratulation when the Pope concludes a fresh concordat; we know that, at any rate for a time, religion and its ministers will be treated with some justice and moderation in the treaty-making State; that if the Church has been robbed there in time past, some modicum of a yearly grant will now be given by way of restitution; and that the churches and convents will be made over to her—at any rate till the next revolution.

Among the more celebrated concordats of former times are the following:—

1. That of Worms in 1122, between Calixtus II. and the Emperor Henry V., by which the abusive right of appointing bishops and abbots “by ring and crosier,” long usurped by the emperors, was resigned, signed, and only the investiture by the sceptre, in token of the grant of their temporalities, retained. On the lines of this concordat the question of investiture was settled throughout Europe in such a way as to leave intact in theory the universal pastorate of the successors of Peter, however seriously it may have been here and there compromised in practice.

2. That of Frankfort or Vienna (1446–8), called the Concordat with the German Nation, by which the Popes Eugenius IV. and Nicholas V., employing Nicholas of Cusa [BASLE, COUNCIL] and Æneas Sylvius as negotiators, agreed with the emperor Frederic III. to divide in a particular manner the patronage of ecclesiastical dignities in Germany, and as to the payment of firstfruits and other matters.

3. That of 1515, between Leo X. and Francis I., by which the latter agreed to abolish the pragmatic sanction of Charles VII. (limiting appeals to Rome, and pretending to set a general council above the Pope), and the former resigned to the crown of France the nomination to vacant bishoprics and abbeys, with the proviso that the persons named should be acceptable to the Holy See.

In later times, the concordat of 1801, between Pius VII. and the first Napoleon, restoring to the French nation the public practice of the religion of their fathers, which the detestable wickedness of the revolutionists had prescribed since 1790, is a treaty of primary importance. Under its terms the Holy See agreed to a new demarcation of the boundaries of French dioceses, reducing their number from over 100 to about 80, and declared (art. 13) that neither the reigning Pope nor his successors would molest the purchasers or grantees in the peaceable possession of Church lands alienated up to that date. On the other hand the French Government agreed to the free and public exercise of the “Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman” religion in France; consented (art. 4, 5) to the canonical institution by the Pope, under the ancient discipline, of the bishops whom the Government should nominate; promised (art. 14) a suitable annual grant for the support of the French bishops and clergy; and undertook to facilitate (art. 15) fresh endowments on the part of any French Catholics desiring to make them. These were the principal articles of the concordat signed by the Papal envoys on behalf of the Holy See. The Government of Napoleon soon afterwards added to the concordat a number of clauses called “organic articles,” the tenor of which was of course highly Erastian, and by which it has been often maintained by the French and other publicists that the French clergy are bound. This, however, since the Holy See never ratified the “organic articles,” is not the case.

In an interesting supplementary article in vol. xxvi. of Wetzer and Welte’s Dictionary on Concordats, the text of several modern conventions of this kind (with Russia, 1847; with the republic of Costa Rica, 1852; with Austria, 1855) is given in full.

(Ferraris, Concordata; Soglia, i. 4, De jure novissimo; Möhler’s “Kirchengeschichte.”)

CONCUPISCENCE. Concupiscence according to St. Thomas, 1, 2, qu. 30 a.2, is the appetite which tends to the gratification of the senses (“bonum delectabile absens”). This tendency is in itself neither good nor evil, because the object may be either lawful or unlawful. The desire of eating and drinking in moderation is good: that of eating and drinking to excess is evil; but in the one case and in the other we have an instance of concupiscence. However, the word concupiscence is constantly used for that appetite which exists in fallen man and is an incentive to sin, because it seeks forbidden objects, or permissible objects in a forbidden way. St. Paul, in Rom. 8, speaks of it as “the flesh,” and again as the “law of sin, that is in my members.” Such concupiscence, in rebellion against reason and against the commandments of God, did not exist in Adam, till he had fallen from original justice. From him it has passed to all his descendants; it remains even in those who have been born again by baptism, so that the saints themselves have had to fight against this tendency in the sensual appetite to forbidden pleasures, without being able to eradicate it.

We now come to the difference on this matter between Catholic doctrine and the tenets of the Reformers. The latter taught that concupiscence, even if the will did not consent to harbour or encourage it, had the nature of sin. Catholic doctors on the other hand, following the principle of St. Thomas, that no action can be moral or immoral except so far as it depends on the free-will of the agent, deny that concupiscence which remains, in spite of the efforts made by the will to subdue it, is to be considered sin. It is plain that the Catholic doctrine is the only one consistent with belief in the moral freedom of man. It is, moreover, the only one consistent with experience and common sense; for who can believe that a man engaged in heroic struggle with the temptations of the flesh, is all the while offending God? The Council of Trent lays down the doctrine of the Church with great clearness, in the following words:—”This holy synod confesses that concupiscence or the fuel of sin (fomes peccati) remains in the baptised; but since it is left that they may strive against it, it cannot hurt those who give no consent, but resist manfully by the grace of Jesus Christ; nay, more, he who strives lawfully will be crowned. The holy synod declares that this concupiscence, which the Apostle sometimes calls sin (Rom. 6:12, 7:8), has never been understood by the Catholic Church to be so called because it is truly and properly sin in the regenerate, but because it is from sin and inclines to sin. But if any man hold a contrary opinion, let him be anathema.” Propositions of Baius renewed the error of the Reformers with a difference of terminology—e.g. Prop. lxxv.: “The evil motions of concupiscence have been prohibited for the state of fallen man [in the words], Thou shalt not covet. Whence, a man who feels them and does not consent, transgresses the precept, Thou shalt not covet; although the transgression is not reckoned as sin.”

CONCURSUS. An examination into the qualifications of candidates for ecclesiastical benefices with cure of souls. The Council of Trent ordered that a board of six examiners should be appointed every year in the diocesan synod; and that when any parish became vacant, within ten days, or such period as the bishop might appoint, candidates having been duly invited to attend, an examination should be held by any three selected by the bishop from the board above mentioned. A list of those found qualified having then been made by the examiners, it was competent for the person or persons to whom the patronage appertained to select from among these the candidate of their choice, and present him to the bishop for institution. (Art. by Permaneder in Wetzer and Welte.)

CONFERENCES OF THE CLERGY. In the ninth century when dioceses became much larger than they had been in early times, the diocesan synods were no longer sufficient for the maintenance of discipline, ecclesiastical spirit, &c., among the clergy. Accordingly in many parts of Europe—e.g. in France, Germany, Italy, and England—the clergy of each district were required to meet under the archpriest or dean, and these meetings were called “Calendars” (because held on the first of every month), also consistoria, synodi, sessiones. The clergy were summoned originally by the archpriest or archdeacon. They consulted on difficult cases of conscience and the like, but besides this they often investigated crimes which had occurred since last meeting, and announced the penalties attached to them by the Church. These Calendars seem to have fallen out of use about the thirteenth century. The last mention of them is said to be found in the Acts of a council held at London in 1237.

St. Charles Borromeo revived these assemblies of the clergy, or rather introduced conferences in the modern sense for the discussion of questions in morals, ritual, &c., with the object of providing that the clergy engaged in the cure of souls should have the knowledge necessary for their duties. The example of St. Charles was followed very soon by councils in France, Italy, the Low Countries, &c. Such conferences again fell into disuse at the end of the last century, but have been once more revived in many countries. All the dioceses of England are now divided into districts, each with its conference, which meets at stated intervals.

CONFESSION, SACRAMENTAL. To accuse ourselves of our sins to a priest who has received authority to give absolution. It is the pious custom of the faithful to accuse themselves of all post-baptismal sins, mortal or venial, so far as they can remember them, and the priest, if duly commissioned, has power to absolve from all. But there is an absolute obligation imposed, not only by the law of the Church, but also by divine institution, upon all Christians, of confessing all mortal sins committed after baptism, so far as the penitent is able to recall them by diligent examination of his conscience. So the Council of Trent has defined (sess. xiv. can. 7).

The proofs of this obligation from Scripture and tradition will be found below in the article on the SACRAMENT OF PENANCE. Here it suffices to say that sacramental confession must be

(1) Entire. It must include the different kinds of mortal sin committed and the number of sins under each class, so far as it can be ascertained. One mortal sin wilfully concealed vitiates the whole confession. If, however, mortal sins are omitted unintentionally and without fault, they are forgiven when absolution is pronounced; only, if they occur to the penitent’s recollection afterwards, he must mention them in his next confession. Further, various causes may excuse from this completeness of enumeration. Thus in shipwreck, before a battle, when the penitent is unable to speak, or can only say very little from physical weakness, a very general confession of sin may be enough for absolution; but the confession must be completed afterwards, if the opportunity offers itself.

(2) It must be vocal, though for a grave reason the penitent may make it by presenting a written paper, or by signs.

(3) It must be accompanied by supernatural sorrow and firm purpose of amendment.

(4) It should also be humble and sincere; as short as is consistent with integrity; in language which is plain and direct, but at the same time pure and modest.

The form of confession is as follows. The penitent, kneeling at the confessor’s feet, says, “Pray, Father, bless me, for I have sinned.” The priest gives the blessing prescribed in the Roman Ritual, “The Lord be in thy heart and on thy lips, that thou mayest truly and humbly confess thy sins, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” The penitent then recites the first part of the Confiteor, enumerates the sins of which he has been guilty since his last confession, and then adds, “For these and all my other sins which I cannot now remember I am heartily sorry; I purpose amendment for the future, and most humbly ask pardon of God, and penance and absolution of you, my spiritual Father.”

CONFESSION (THE TOMB OF A MARTYR). The word was used from early times as equivalent to μαρτύριον, the actual tomb in which a martyr was buried. If an altar was erected over the grave, then the name “confession” was given to the tomb, the altar and the cubiculum or subterranean chamber, in which they stood. In later times, a basilica was sometimes erected over the cubiculum or chamber beneath; the high-altar was placed over the altar on the tomb below, and so this high-altar also was called a “confession,” though it was not till the mi