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TURKEY AND EGYPT.—Differences between the Sultan and the Viceroy of Egypt, The Viceroy's Defence of his Conduct-Opening of the Suez Canal.

ROME. The Ecumenical Council of the Vatican was opened on the 8th of December. The procession, consisting of about 800 ecclesiastics, including six Prince-Archbishops, forty-nine Cardinals, eleven Patriarchs, six hundred and eighty Archbishops and Bishops, twentyeight Abbots, and twenty-nine Generals of Religious Orders, formed in the Vatican, and descended into St. Peter's, where the Pope gave them his benediction, and received the homage of the Council.

A few days before the Pope issued a Bull, providing that in case of his own death during the sitting of the Council, that Body should not interfere in the election of his successor. The chief interest felt in the meeting of this (Ecumenical Council was occasioned by a general belief that it was intended to erect into an article of faith the dogma of Papal Infallibility. This is what the Curia at Rome and the Ultramontane party ardently desire, but there is a large and increasing body of Roman Catholics who see all the danger, not to

say the absurdity, of such a step, and whose opposition to it will be rigorous and uncompromising. It is said that the French Emperor caused an intimation to be conveyed to his Holiness that the promulgation of such a doctrine would be inexpedient and inopportune, and this hint from such a quarter is not likely to be disregarded'. There appeared in the course of the autumn in Germany a very remarkable book called, “ The Pope and the Council,” by Janus, to which different writers, all Roman Catholics, anonymously contributed, and which is one of the most damaging attacks upon the Papacy which has been published since the time of Luther. "It exposes, in a masterly manner with abundance of quotation and historic proof, the frauds, and falsehoods, and forgeries, by which the fabric of the supremacy of the Pope has been built up, and shows that, unknown in the early centuries of the Church, it owes its origin to documents deliberately forged, such as the Isidorian Decrees, the Decretal of Gratian, and the apocryphal documents of Thomas Aquinas. We need hardly say that the book was placed by the Holy See in its index of prohibited works, which will merely have the effect of increasing its popularity and sale.

Before the end of the year the Pope issued a Bull which is known by the name of Lata Sententia, and the object of which was to define the cases in which anathema and excommunication are incurred, for offences against the Holy See and the Catholic faith. We can only afford space to quote some of these.

| The Spanish Government informed the Pope, in a despatch dated Madrid, Nov. 19, and addressed to its Chargé d'affaires in Rome, that " It would not be prudent of the Holy Pontiff to try to augment an authority alınost omnipotent of itself, nor would it be likely that a Council, by recognizing the infallibility of the Pope, should for ever close the door to all future gatherings of the Church, neither is it natural, on the other side, for already absolute Powers to seek the augmentation of their force in the vote of deliberative Assemblies.”

“1. All apostates from the Christian faith, and all and severally heretics, whatever be their name, and to whatever sect they may belong, and those who believe in them, those who receive them, favour them, or defend them.

“2. All and severally those who knowingly read without the authority of the Holy See the books of the same apostates and heretics, supporting the heresy, as the books of any author whatever prohibited by name by letters apostolic, and those who retain the same books, print and defend them in any way whatever.

“ 3. Schismatics, and those who obstinately withdraw or recede from obedience to the Roman Pontiff at that time living.

“4. All and severally, of whatever status, dignity, or condition, who appeal from the ordinances or mandates of the Roman Pontiffs pro tempore existing to a future Universal Council, as also those by whose aid, counsel, and favour the appeal shall have been made.

“5. All those who slay, wound, strike, arrest, imprison, retain, and hostilely persecute the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, the Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, and Legates of the Apostolic See and Nuncios, or who drive them from their dioceses, territories, lands, or dominions, as also those who command such things, or ratify them, or assist, counsel, or favour such persons.

“6. Those who directly or indirectly impede the action of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, whether of the interior or exterior forum, and who, therefore, recur to the secular forum, and procure, or publish, or aid them by counsel or favour.

"7. Those who compel, either directly or indirectly, lay judges to bring before their tribunals ecclesiastical persons, contrary to the Canons, as also those who make laws or decrees contrary to the liberty or rights of the Church. ....

“ We declare that absolution from all the excommunications hitherto enumerated has been reserved and is specially reserved to the Roman Pontiff for the time being.

“We declare that those are subject to excommunication late sententia reserved to the Roman Pontiff :

1. Those who instruct or defend, whether in public or in private, the propositions condemned by the Apostolic See, under pain of excommunication latæ sententiæ ; also those who instruct or defend as lawful the practice of asking the penitent the name of an accomplice, which was condemned by Benedict XIV. in the Constitutions : Suprema, July 7, 1745; Ubi primum, June 2, 1746; Ad eradicandum, September 28, 1746.'

“2. Those who, at the instigation of the devil, lay violent hands on clerics or monks of either sex, except in such cases, and persons for whom by right or privilege it is permitted that the ten Bishops or others shall give absolution.

“ 3. Those who fight in duel, or simply challenge or accept it; and whoever aids or abets it in any manner whatever, as those, too, who deliberately assist or permit it, or as far as in them lies do not prevent it, whatever may be their dignity, be it royal or imperial.

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“4. Those who associate their names to the sect of Masons, or Carbonari, or to any other sects of this kind, who openly or clandestinely conspire against the Church and its legitimate power.

5. Those who order the violation of the immunity of an ecclesiastical asylum, or who, with audacious rashness, accomplish it.

“6. Those who violate the cloister of the Religious, of whatever kind, condition, or sex they may be, or enter their monasteries without lawful permission; as those, too, who introduce or admit them; also the Religious' who leave them, except in those cases and after those forms prescribed by S. Pius V. in the Constitution Decori. ....

8. Those guilty of real simony, in any benefice whatever, and their accomplices.

“10. Those guilty of simony to enter on religion.

“11. All those who, making a trade of indulgences or other spiritual graces, are subjected to the censure of excommunication by the Constitution of S. Pius V., Quam plenum, 2nd Jan., 1554.

“ 12. Those who collect alms for masses at a higher price, and derive profit from them by celebrating masses or distributing alms at a lower sum.

“14. The 'Religious' who presume to administer to clerics, and to the laity, except in case of necessity, the sacrament of extreme unction, or of the eucharist as viaticum, without the permission of the Curé.

“15. Those who without lawful permission extract relics from the sacred cemeteries, or from the catacombs of the city of Rome and its territory, and those who aid and abet them.

“We declare that they are subject to excommunications lata sententiæ reserved to bishops and ordinaries :

“1. Clerics in sacris or regulars of either sex, who after taking the vow of chastity have the presumption to contract marriage, as those, too, who have the presumption to contract marriage with the said persons.

. “ 2. Those who procure abortions effectu sequuto.

“ 3. Those who knowingly use false apostolic letters, or co-operate in the crime.

We declare that they are subject to excommunications lata sententiæ not reserved :

1. Those who order or compel the giving of ecclesiastical burial to notorious heretics or to persons excommunicated or interdicted by name.

“ 2. Those who offend or intimidate the inquisitors, denouncers, witnesses, and other ministers of the Holy Office; those who carry off or burn the writings of the same sacred tribunal, or give to any one of the aforesaid persons aid, counsel, or favour.

3. Those who alienate, or have the presumption to receive ecclesiastical property without the Apostolic pleasure.

“1. They incur the special interdict reserved to the Roman Pontiff—that is to say, universities, colleges, chapters of whatever name,

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who appeal from the orders and commands of the Pontiff for the time being to a future Universal Council.

“ 2. Those who knowingly celebrate or cause to be celebrated Divine offices in places interdicted by the Ordinary, or by the judge delegated, or of right; or who admit persons excommunicated by name to Divine offices, to the ecclesiastical sacraments, or to ecclesiastical burial, incur, ipso jure, that interdict from entering a church until at the pleasure of him whose sentence they have violated they have satisfied him sufficiently. In fine, we will and declare that all other individuals who have been decreed suspended or interdicted by the Holy Council of Trent shall be subjected to suspension or interdict. We will and declare that all censures shall remain firm and of force, whether of excommunication, suspension, or interdict, which, besides those enumerated above, have been inflicted by our Constitutions, by those of our predecessors, or by the sacred Canons, and which have been up to the present time in vigour, whether for the election of the Roman Pontiff or for the internal government of every order or regular institution, as also for every college, congregation, society, and pious place, of any name or kind whatever. ...

NORTH GERMANY AND PRUSSIA.

The North German Parliament was opened by the King of Prussia on the 4th of March. In his speech from the throne his Majesty said he rejoiced that the prospect of the maintenance of peace had not, since their last assembling, proved fallacious. His Majesty mentioned the improvements which would be effected by the Bills already passed, and those which were still under discussion. A Bill relative to the electoral law, framed in accordance with Article 20 of the Constitution of the North German Confederation, would be laid before Parliament, to secure a uniform system of electoral procedure throughout the entire Confederation, and also to secure the legal status of the Federal officials. The Budget of 1870 showed that an increase of the revenue was necessary. In the postal arrangements between the Confederation and foreign States progress had been made, and postal conventions with the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, and the Danubian Principalities will be laid before the Parliament. The organization of the Federal Consular system is approaching completion. A Consular convention with Italy is about to regulate the respective powers of the Consuls of both nations, in order to insure uniformity in the conduct of the Consular administration and the diplomatic representation abroad of North Germany. The necessary expenditure for this purpose will be brought forward in the Budget of 1870. The first duty of the diplomatic agents abroad will be to secure the maintenance

of peace between all nations who, like ourselves, know how to value its benefits. The fulfilment of this duty will be facilitated by the friendly terms at present existing between the North German

Confederation and all foreign Powers, and which were proved afresh by the peaceful solution of the difficulty which but lately threatened to disturb peace in the East. The negotiations and the result of the Paris Conference have proved the sincere endeavour of the European Powers to regard the blessings of peace as a valuable and common benefit, to be guarded by all as common property. Having seen the success of this course of action, a nation which has proved that it possesses both the will and the power to respect the independence of foreign States and to defend its own, is justified in trusting in the continuance of peace, to disturb which neither foreign Governments have the intention nor the enemies of order

the power.

The session closed on the 22nd of June, and the Royal speech then congratulated the Parliament on the completion of the first German war, both as a memorial of German activity and sagacity. It declared that the unanimous co-operation of the Federal Governments with the national representatives in the common labouring for Germany's welfare would, with God's help, strengthen, as heretofore, the general confidence with which Germany, in fortifying herself at home, reckoned upon the preservation of peace abroad. ,

. A new session of the Prussian Chambers was opened by the King on the 6th of October, when he delivered the following speech :“ Illustrious and Honoured Gentlemen of both Houses of the Diet, -In the coming session you will be called upon to take part in important labours for the well-being of the Monarchy and for the development of legislation. Notwithstanding the confidence in the maintenance of peace, as well as the generally propitious result of the harvest, affords a well-founded prospect for the restoration of the former legitimate increase of the revenues, the financial position of the State has not materially improved at present. You will observe from the complete statement of the Budget for the year 1868 which will be laid before you, that, in consequence of unavoidable circumstances, on the one hand, the revenue has not reached its estimated amount, and, on the other hand, the expenditure has exceeded the estimates, and that the latter could not completely be covered by the funds in hand. In the face of these results and of the position of this year's State Budget, the endeavour of my Government has been directed to decrease the burdens of Prussia, incurred in consequence of her Federal obligations, by an increase of the special revenues of the North German Confederation. This endeavour has not been followed by the desired success. It has, therefore, been impossible in the estimates for next year, which will shortly be laid before you, to balance the revenue and expenditure, although the latter have been restricted as far as possible, without affecting important interests of the country. My Government is, therefore, necessitated to resort to additional taxation in order completely to cover the required expenditure. The restoration and preservation of order in financial affairs is absolutely necessary for the successful development of all the State institutions, and this cannot be delayed.

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