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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Note H

Note H.

The following is an extract from an allocution delivered by the late Pope Gregory XVI. on the affairs of Spain, in 1841:—

"We complain that the property of the Church has been invaded, as if this property were subject to national authority, and as if the immaculate spouse of Christ had not the right of receiving and possessing earthly property, and as if our predecessors were to be treated as usurpers for having held this property under Pagan princes themselves; and so legitimate was their right considered, page 41 that when one or other of the Pagan emperors took possession of it, their successors hastened to sell it as property illegally detained. We complain of the decrees and other acts of the Government violating the immunities of the Church, and of ecclesiastical persons established by the command of God and of the holy canons; of the decrees which, with unheard of boldness, attack the power the Church has received from her Divine Founder, and which she has preserved in all its force and integrity, in spite of the opposition of secular rulers." . . . . . "We therefore condemn, by our apostolical authority, and in virtue of the protection which we owe to all the churches, all the aforesaid acts, all that the Government of Madrid has done or attempted to do, by itself or its subalterns, against the Church: declaring by our authority all these acts to he null and void, either in the past or the future, and of no effect in the consequence which may result from them. We implore and conjure, in the name of our Lord, those among the authors of these resolutions who still glory in the names of sons of the Church, at length to open their eyes to behold the wounds they have inflicted on their tender mother, and to reflect on the censures and spiritual punishments they incur, ipso facto, and which the apostolical constitution and the decrees of the Œcumenical Councils pronounce against those who attack the rights of the Church: let them take pity on their own souls, bound in invisible chains."