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short of drunkenness is all but let alone, and tbere has not been any organised attack on one great root of the evilthe undue multiplication of licensed houses. New licences are constantly granted, and old ones unnecessarily renewed, with seldom a word of protest from those who ought to be most slive to the fact that, in this matter essentially, prevention is better than cure. An occasional sermon against drunkenness as leading to sin and crime, periodical expostulations from assemblages of bishops in synod at Maynooth, have been proved to be ineffective, and do not meet the obligations of the case.* Laymen in this matter can do nothing, compared with the effect of personal rebuke and warning from the lips of the priest. Finally, the same observation can be made with regard to those habits of tidiness, cleanliness, and neatness in person and surroundings which visitors find so much wanting in Irish homes.
It will be seen that the burden of our remarks is not a complaint of the undue influence of the clergy, but a regret that the immense power they have of doing good is not realised or acted on. We recognise to the full their virtuous life, their charity and derotion to the sick and poor, their pure and holy lives, the thoroughness of their work in their spiritual mission, to which must be attributed the high standard of morality and singular immunity from serious erine amongst the Irish people. As Cardinal Manning rmarked of his own clergy, they confine themselves too much to the Sacristy, leaving the great works of charity, benerulence, and social improrement to laymen and persons not of their own religion.
*As we write, the Lenten Pastoral Letters of the Catholic Bishops hare appeared, containing the customary denunciation of drunkenness the great crime of the Irish people . . . which presses like a nightmare upon us' according to one bishop; "the great evil, reiguous moral, and social, of our people, according to another. Similar language has been annually used in episcopal missives for the last quarter of a century; yet, as is now admitted, the evil is increasing. The fact is the bishops have not, as a rule, taken active practical steps to tight the evil, nor taken care that their clergy should so do; they hare not made appeals or suggestions to licensing authorities; they bare taken little or no trouble to promote changes in the law, and bare systematically orerlooked the evil of excessive drinking which falls short of drunkenness
* Cardinal Manning's Life,' by Purcell, vol. ii. p. 781 and p. 788. The Cardinal's remarks as to exaggerated officialiem might also have been written verbation of the Irish Catholic clergy. But for this,' he says, we should not have had the hatred and contempt of sacerdo
The truth seems to be that the early and traditional training of the priests in Ireland imbues them from the first with narrow and limited aims, outside their spiritual mission, which is the be-all and end-all of the present discipline and course of studies. They are not equipped and armed for the larger work of educational and social effort. No heed has been paid to the simple truth, propounded by Berkeley in his 'Querist,' Whether to comprehend the real interest of 'a people, and the means to procure it, doth not imply some 'fund of knowledge, historical, moral, and political, with a ' faculty of reason improved by learning?! Judged by the result, the Irish seminaries, headed by Maynooth, do not seem well fitted to develop these necessary qualities, the absence of which Cardinal Manning deplored in his own clergy. In an autobiographical note written in 1890 the Cardinal notes how much the priesthood in England was hampered in their power of doing good by not being colto e civile; and the best friends of the Irish clergy must admit that his observations are not less true in their regard.* The exceptions only prove the rule; and it will be generally found that where culture and refinement are at all conspicuous, their presence may be traced to student days passed in a college abroad, or a sympathetic spirit has chanced to absorb them from the civilising environment of some populous centre.
Whatever may be said as to the moral training at Maynooth (the success of which we fully admit), it cannot be said to have endowed its alumni, in general, with wide knowledge or love of literature, classical or modern, with studious tastes, well stored minds, precision of thought and language, or (excepting a narrow part of the field of politics) knowledge or interest in the movements of the time.
It is no libel to state that the library to be found in the great majority of priests' houses is limited to some Latin
found the only pros are not less the Irishy not beingad was
talism. I am sorry to say that even good priests sometimes swagger ; they think to magnify their office, but they belittle themselves. This has been the cause of endless trouble in workhouses and hospitals. Unfortunately even good priests are not always refined, and they resent any hindrance in the way of their sacred office, with want of self-control, which gains nothing, and often loses everything. The main contention is lost in a personal dispute. I have often said that our priests are always booted and spurred, like cavalry officers in time of war. But they will not fight worse for being chivalrous and courteous.'
* Cardinal Manning's ' Life,' by Purcell, vol. ii. p. 774.
works on theology, an ecclesiastical magazine or two, some volumes of sermons, or works on devotion and ritual, and the daily paper. Nor is there much in their daily surroundings likely to encourage studious habits or widen their interests. They have little social intercourse, except with their fellowpriests. The resident gentry are for the most part Protestant, and the clergy seldom, or never, are seen at their houses ; not so much because of religious differences, as that there is a tacit understanding that their several views, aims, and habits of life have little in common. This artificial and exclusive training of the clergy, and, we may add, a laudable and natural sense of the dignity of their office, tend to prevent equality of intimacy with the bulk of their parishioners, whilst, for the reasons we have given (amongst others), they are out of touch with persons of greater leisure and cultivation.
In fact the Catholic clergy are fast becoming, to a great degree, a class apart. In former times, common persecution and peril formed a strong bond uniting pastor and flock, and if that bond has relaxed, it is perhaps due to the feeling that the help and sympathy of the clergy are not so urgently needed.
It should also be borne in mind that the secular clergy are almost entirely drawn from the class of tenant-farmers and small tradesmen. Petty, in his · Political Anatomy of • Ireland,' written in 1672, observes that the priests are
chosen for the most part out of the old Irish gentry'; but nowadays, neither the survivors of that almost extinct class, nor the considerable body of well-to-do Catholics who have replaced that class, furnish any large number of clerical students, except to the religious orders, who take little part in missionary work. It is, therefore, not to be wondered at if a large body of those entering Maynooth, in the present backward state of secondary education in Ireland, are badly grounded in classics, science, and polite literature generally. The Jesuit order have practically the monopoly of the education of the upper and middle class Catholics in their efficient day-schools, and the well-known College at Clongowes Wood. It is remarkable that the secular clergy in Ireland have not founded or managed any school worthy to rank with Ushaw, in the county of Durham, which has had an honourable career of more than a century under the control of the English priesthood.
The fact is the training of the Irish clergy has not kept pace with the times, and with the general spread of lay
education. The working of the Intermediate Education Act 1878 may have deserved all the censures heaped upon it; but unquestionably the system has given an increased stimulus and an enlarged programme to the schools, besides enormously increasing the number of students who receive the elements of a liberal education.
In the meantime, the methods, standard, and programme of Maynooth remain much as they were a hundred years ago; the main difference being that now it has all but a monopoly of clerical education, and the professors are themselves Maynooth-trained. Whether as professor or missioner, the foreign-trained priest is almost an extinct species.* Such record and tradition as we possess seem to show that much was lost by the destruction of the Irish colleges in France, Italy and the Low Countries.
Mr. Lecky describes the type of priest, thus educated abroad, in the latter half of the eighteenth century, as bringing back a foreign culture and a foreign grace which • did much to embellish Irish life,' and quotes the account of them by a contemporary, as 'mild, amiable, cultivated, • learned, and polite, uniting the meek spirit of the Christian pastor to the winning gentleness of the polished man of the world.' †
There may not have been then that solid esprit de corps which now inspires Maynooth students, past and present, but at least competition had some play, and there was variety of type. Corporate spirit is of doubtful advantage when it does not stimulate to higher aims, and when, in the absence of criticism or rivalry, it proceeds from self-satisfaction.
Putting aside, as impracticable, a return to the plan of foreign seminaries, it remains to examine briefly the system of education at Maynooth (the most important Catholic
seminary in Christendom,' according to Cardinal Newman), and the result will, perhaps, give some explanation of the condition of things we have described. I
* According to the · Irish Catholic Directory' for 1900, of the Irish priests ordained in 1899, some 160 in number, five came from the Irish College at Rome, and two from the Irish College at Paris.
+ Lecky, · History,' vol. vii. p. 122.
# Maynooth (according to Dr. Healy) has educated over 6,000 priests since its foundation. Of the 156 priests ordained in 1899, 120 were Maynooth students, the remaining thirty-six having been trained at Carlow, Waterford, and Thurles Diocesan Colleges. Of the fifteen from Thurles, nine were destined for Missions abroad. “Irish Catholic Directory' for 1900.
It is not necessary for our purposes to examine in detail the origin and history of the College, upon which a mass of facts, dates, and documents will be found in Dr. Healy's • Centenary History.
It appears that the original proposal of the Catholic bishops was to have a college for each province; but this plan was not adopted by the Irish Government, perhaps because a single central institution would be more effectually supervised. The bishops had to take what was given them, and it was not to be expected that the Government would have regard to the decrees of the Council of Trent in the matter, directing seminaries to be established in each diocese, and allowing provincial seminaries, only where sufficient students could not be found in a single diocese. Local seminaries might not lend themselves so easily to State control; but, as we shall see, the drawbacks inherent to one central college were such that no Government supervision could effectually remove. The intention of the founders, acquiesced in by the bishops, that the instruction at the College should be open to both lay and clerical students, was not successfully carried out, and the lay college came to an end in 1817. From the first, the stateappointed trustees and visitors do not appear to have actively interfered in questions of discipline and management, and finally, in 1869, upon the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, Maynooth became independent both as to status and revenues; the previous annual charge of 26,0001. on the Consolidated Fund being exchanged for a capital sum of 370,0001. payable out of the Irish Church Fund.
The lay trustees, as well as the Government nominees, have disappeared from the Board of Management, and thus Maynooth has been, in all respects, stereotyped into a strictly ecclesiastical seminary. To produce men of stainless character and morals, of earnest faith, and skilled in the doctrine and rites of the Catholic Church, has been long the one great end of its discipline, teaching, and manner of life. Other ends of education, scholarship, culture, literary or scientific tastes, are not merely treated as subordinate; they are practically kept out of sight in the programme of instruction and course of studies. In 1895, when Dr. Healy wrote, the list of professors was as follows: four of theology; two of logic, metaphysics, and ethics; and one professor for each of the following subjects : Sacred Scripture and Hebrew, ecclesiastical history, mathematics and natural philosophy, rhetoric, modern languages,