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The "Catechism of the Council of Trent" was pub-
lished in 1566, by command of Pope Pius V.38 Al-
though termed a "Catechism," it is not written in the usual
form of question and answer, but is in fact a manual of
religious instruction chiefly, though not wholly intended
for the use of the priests. It is a work of considerable la-
bour and research, and is written in a terse and elegant
style. Of the four parts into which it is divided, the
first, third and fourth contain expositions of the Apos-
tles' Creed, the Decalogue, and the Lord's Prayer; the
second, is a treatise on the Sacraments. The doctrines
laid down in the decrees of the council are here elabo-
rately discussed and defended; much additional infor-
mation is supplied; and great skill is employed in endea-
vouring to make the obnoxious sentiments of the Roman
Catholic church appear to be consistent with reason and
scripture. The numerous quotations inserted in this
volume, have enabled the reader to judge how far the
authors have succeeded in their attempt.

As the catechism was designed for general circulation,
directions were given to have it translated into the lan-
guages of those countries into which it should be intro-
duced. Accordingly, it was early published in England.
A new translation has been recently issued by one of
the professors of Maynooth College. 39 In his preface,
the translator observes, that "Whilst he has endeavoured
to preserve the spirit, he has been unwilling to lose sight
of the letter: studious to avoid a servile exactness, he
has not felt himself at liberty to indulge the freedom of
paraphrase; anxious to transfuse into the copy the spirit
of the original, he has been no less anxious to render it
an express image of that original. The reader, perhaps,
will blame his severity; his fidelity, he trusts, may defy
reproof; and on it he rests his only claim to commen-

author. The title-page has "Opera vero ac studio doctissimi Jo-
annis Langi:" but the inquisitor has erased "doctissimi," most
learned, and written instead "Autoris damnati, opis permissum."
"The work of a condemned author permitted to be published." The
expunged passages in the work correspond exactly with the direc-
tions in the index of 1571.

38 Every information respecting the writers, &c. of the catechism
is contained in the "Introduction" prefixed to the Dublin edition.
39 "The Catechism of the Council of Trent, published by com-
mand of Pope Pius the Fifth. Translated into English by the Rev.
J. Donovan, professor, &c. Royal College, Maynooth, 1829,"

dation."4 After such professions, it would be naturally
expected, that whatever might be the defects of the
translation in regard to elegance, it would at any rate be
entitled to the praise of fidelity and accuracy. But the
evidence presently to be adduced, will prove that the
translator has wilfully misrepresented the meaning of the
original in order to beguile Protestant readers, by sup-
pressing or altering such passages as express the peculiar
tenets of popery in too open and undisguised a manner,
and thus exhibit it in its own colours, as an anti-scriptu-
ral system. This assertion will be justified by comparing
the work in question with another Roman Catholic trans-
lation, published in Dublin, "by permission." 41
of a great number of instances that might be adduced, a
few specimens only will be selected, for the sake of bre-
vity. It will be convenient to arrange them under three
divisions omissions, additions, mistranslations.


Dublin Edition, 1816.
"By the sacraments only, so
that the form of them be kept,
sins may be forgiven; but other-
wise there is no power of absolv-
ing from sin given to the church;
Whence it follows that the priests
as well as the sacraments are, as it
were, instruments to the forgive-
ness of sins, by which Christ our
Lord, who is the very author and
giver of salvation, works in us
forgiveness of sins, and righteous-
ness." p. 82.

"There is no greater punish-
ment to be feared from God for
any sin whatsoever, than if this
thing [the eucharist,] which is
full of all sanctity, or rather
which contains the author and
fountain of sanctity, be not holily
and religiously used by the faith-
ful." p. 163.

40 Page xvi.


Donovan's Edition, 1829.
"Sins can be forgiven only
through the sacraments, duly ad-
ministered. The church has re-
ceived no power otherwise to re-
mit sin." p. 110.

"For no crime is there reserv-
ed by God a more terrible ven-
geance than for the sacrilegious
abuse of this adorable sacrament,
which is replete with holiness it-
self." p. 206.

41 "The Catechism composed by the decree of the Council of
Trent, and published by command of Pope Pius the Fifth. A new
edition, faithfully translated into English, by permission." Dublin,

42 The passages omitted are printed in italics.

Dublin Edition, 1816.
"As that holy and learned man
Hilarius has written concerning
the truth of Christ's flesh and
blood," &c. p. 177.

"But there is another point
to be explained by the pastors,
whence it may plainly be known,
that the true body and blood of the
Lord is contained in the eucha-
rist." ibid.

"The pastors must explain
not only that the true body of
Christ, and whatsoever belongs
to the true nature of a body, as
bones and sinews, but also that
whole Christ is contained in this
sacrament." p. 181.

"Now after this" (the subject
is 'inward penance' or 'penance
as a virtue') "there follows, as
the companion thereof, grief and
sorrow, which is a disturbance
and affliction, and by many is
called a passion, joined with the
detestation of sin. Therefore ac-
cording to many of the holy fa-
thers, the definition of this kind
of penance is declared in the
grief of the soul." p. 206.


Virginity is rather highly
commended and persuaded to
every one, and that by sacred
scripture." p. 275.

"Acceptable also to God, and
his saints which are in heaven."
p. 335.

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"The pastor will also explain to
the faithful, that in this sacrament
are contained not only the true
body of Christ, and all the consti-
tuents of a true body, but also
Christ whole and entire." p. 226.

"It is accompanied with a sin-
cere sorrow, which is an agita-
tion and affection of the mind,
and is called by many a passion,
and if accompanied with detesta-
tion, is, as it were, the companion
of sin; it must, however," &c.
p. 254.

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"Yet it is not to be denied,
but that they [heretics and schis-
matics] are in the power of the
church, as those who may be
judged by her, [punished,] and
condemned with an anathema."
p. 71.

4 3

"It is not, however, to be de-
nied that they are still subject to
the jurisdiction of the church, in-
asmuch as they are liable to have
judgment passed on their opinions
to be visited with spiritual punish-
ment, and denounced with ana-
thema," p. 96.44

43 The words added are printed in italics.

44 Ut qui ab eâ in judicium vocentur, puniantur, et anathemate
damnentur." It will be seen that both the editions are faulty here:

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Dublin Edition, 1816.
Although Christ at his last
supper instituted and delivered
to the apostles this most profound
sacrament in the species of bread
and wine, yet it does not follow
from hence that this was made
by our Lord and Saviour to be a
law." &c. p. 197.

"This [the form of absolution]
the priest may pronounce no less
truly, concerning that man also,
who, by virtue of a most ardent
contrition (yet so as that he has
the wish of confession,) has ob-
tained from God the pardon of
his sins." p. 211.

Donovan's Edition, 1829.
"It does not follow of necessi
ty," &c. p. 244.

"This form is not less true
when pronounced by the priest
over him, who, by means of per-
fect contrition, has already ob-
tained the pardon of his sins.
Perfect contrition, it is true, re-
conciles the sinner to God, but his
justification is not to be ascribed
to perfect contrition, independent-
ly of the desire which it includes
of receiving the sacrament of pe-
nance." p. 259.

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the Dublin edition entirely omits the word " punished" while the
professor interpolates the word "spiritual," to make us believe that
the power of the "secular arm" is not intended!

Dublin Edition, 1816.

"We ought, indeed, at all times
to pay the duties of honour to our
parents: but especially when
they are dangerously sick, for
then we must endeavour that no-
thing be omitted which belongs
either to the confession of sins, or
to the other sacraments which are
to be received by christians when
death approaches." p. 336.

"Fortified-with the defence
of religion." ibid.

"But of them who obeyed not
the priests, it is written," &c. p.

Donovan's Edition, 1829.
greatest evils, and the heaviest
calamities to the church of God."
p. 324. 45

"We should then pay particu
lar attention to what regards their
eternal salvation, taking especial
care that they duly receive the last
sacraments." p. 390.

"Fortified by the sacraments
of the church." ibid.

"But of those who resist the
spiritual authority of the priest, it
is written: He that will be
proud, and refuse to obey the
commandment of the priest who
ministereth at that time to the
Lord thy God, by the decree of
the judge that man shall die.'
(Deut. xvii. 12.)" p. 394.

Many more passages might have been adduced.
These, however, will suffice to convince the reader that
Roman Catholic translations ought to be carefully
watched.4 46

45 The object of the compilers of the Catechism was to show that
great evils and calamities have arisen from neglect of the obligations
of marriage; but the professor has so constructed his translation,
that marriage itself is represented as the source of those evils and

46 At page 82, an entire paragraph is omitted. In another place,
enumerating the incentives to irregular desire, the authors mention
"obscene books," which are as much to be avoided (they say) as
indecent images. They add (referring to the decree on the use of
images,) "let the pastor chiefly take care that those things be studi-
ously observed, which have been piously and religiously decreed by
the holy council of Trent, concerning those points." Dublin edition,
p. 356. Professor Donovan has virtually suppressed this passage,
by placing it as a note at the bottom of the page in the original Latin!
The reason is obvious; he was unwilling to have it believed that the
images adored by Roman Catholics are ever disgraced by any thing
approaching to indecency. But why was the admonition given?

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