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Supr., p. 242. I here say that were I actually a soldier or sailor in her Majestys service in a just war, and should the Pope suddenly bid all Catholic soldiers and sailors to retire from her service, taking the advice, &c., … I should not obey him. Here I avail myself of a passage in Canon Nevilles recent pamphlet (A few Comments, &c., Pickering), in which he speaks with the authority belonging to a late theological Professor of Maynooth:—

In the impossible hypothesis of the Pope being engaged in a war with England, how would the allegiance of English Catholics be affected? ... how would it be, if they were soldiers or sailors? ... Some one will urge, the Pope may issue a mandate enforced by an annexed excommunication, forbidding all Catholics to engage in the war against him ... The supposed action of the Pope does not change the question materially ... The soldiers and sailors would not incur it, because {358} grave fears excuse from censure [excommunication], censures being directed against the contumacious, not against those who act through fear or coercion ... It is a trite principle, that mere ecclesiastical laws do not bind, when there would be a very grave inconvenience in their observance; and it denies as a rule to any human legislator (e.g., the Pope) the power of making laws or precepts, binding men to the performance of actions, which, from the danger and difficulty attendant on their fulfilment, are esteemed heroic, pp. 101, 2.








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