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3-151 (Raw)

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addressee,family author,male,Bede, John,un
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Official Correspondence
Clark, 1975
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Pastoral Admonition of the Most Illustrious and Most Rev. Archbishop of Sydney and Metropolitan, and the Most Rev. Robert William, Bishop of Hobart Town and the Most Rev. James Allipius Bishop of Melbourne, to the Very Rev, and Rev. Clergy subject to their jurisdiction.
MOST BELOVED BRETHREN IN CHRIST. - The salvation of the Australian Province, whose guardianship we have received from the Holy Apostolic See, compels us to be watchful that insolent and most foul liberty, which does not hesitate to commit to public print what each one may think concerning faith, discipline, authority, and ecclesiastical individuals, may not become more pernicious in proportion to its daily extension. For men of little wisdom invade the citadel of Zion, and corrupt the fountains of wholesome knowledge, for the destruction of the Christian community. They have become execrable in their undertakings; and, sitting in ambush, secretly draw forth their weapons from their quiver, with which, in the dark, they strike the upright and just. What is there however holy, who is there however unspotted his life, from whom they have refrained from using their insolent thoughts, and in opposing whom they have not sharpened their tongues like a sword. Following in the footsteps of Luther and other authors of heresy, they profess the greatest veneration towards the Church, and still raise their voices and write in various ways concerning abuses and shortcomings; they hold Bishops in honour, and condemn Episcopal rule. [719] Moreover, what exceeds their comprehension, they dare, after their own fashions to criticise in the public papers. The faith of the simple is scoffed at; they are desirous to penetrate every mystery concerning the government of the church, and bandy questions upon most important affairs rashly, and to the great scandal of the faithful. The errors of the Synod of Pistoja, already condemned by the Holy See, are renewed; they strike again in the face of our Lord Jesus in the persons of his ministers. These roaring lions, in their audaciousness, usurp every thing to themselves; every thing must be examined; every thing must be weighed by minds, perhaps, but lightly imbued with Catholic truth and discipline; and nothing at all reserved for episcopal authority and loving obedience of the faithful and confiding soul.
Wherefore, most beloved brethren, we, whom the Holy Ghost has appointed to rule the church of God, cannot, in so great a corruption and blindness, do otherwise than arouse, as far as in us lies, the spirit of your devotion (inasmuch as you are co-operators in our pastoral solicitude) to unite with us, as far as you can, for the same end. You having been made dispensers of the mysteries of God, be careful that the sheep entrusted to your care, and redeemed with the blood of Christ, be kept at a distance from such poisoned pasturage as just alluded to. If it is necessary to depart from the company of wicked men because their speech spreads like a cancer, what devastation may not this public journal effect, which insolently (though without any lawful title to do so) recommends itself as the defender of Catholic faith and discipline; which circulates amongst us, is found at our homes, and penetrates even those private dwellings where, under another name, it would not obtain admittance.
Wherefore it is your duty to use every care that the souls that perish be not required at the hands of their pastors. To you it belongs to stand as a barrier that no other foundation be laid than that which now exists. Let the foxes who destroy the vineyard of the Lord be exposed in public with all prudence. Let each one be advised not to allow himself to be cajoled by the names of certain individuals - not to be imposed upon by the arrogance and cunning of men for the circulation of error; in one word, let him condemn everything, whether it be books or public journals, in which there may be anything that may offend the pious reader, or that may be contrary to faith, religion, discipline, or brotherly love amongst the clergy as a body, or between them and their flocks - in fine, whatever is opposed to good morals and savours not of Christian probity.
But, if anything should be necessary on our part to avert this calamity, we should ever be ready to lend our assistance, even to making use of the Apostolic keys (which may God avert). [720]
In the meanwhile we will not fail, in all humility of heart, to implore for you assistance from on high, to destroy the cunning of the insidious, and enable you to fully complete the duties of your ministry.
JOHN BEDE, A.B. Sydney.
JAMES ALLIPIUS, B. Melbourne. Melbourne, Feast of St. Barnabus,
A.D. 1858.