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The Catholic Relief Bill

The following report is taken from the Edinburgh Review of early March 1829; the Review reproduced reports from other newspapers.


From the Dublin Freeman's Journal

We have been less accurately informed of the instance to which we now invite the attention of our readers, than we are admitted to have been since the commencement of the present session, if the following being not substantially and, in some respects, verbally, and analysis of the forthcoming Emancipation Bill, and the Bill which is to be it sequel. The Bill will make all civil offices accessible to Roman Catholics, save and except those of the President of the Council, the Lords Chancellors of England and Ireland, the Lord Lieutenant, and the Commander-in-Chief. Roman Catholic members of Parliament will be on the same footing as those of the established Church, save that upon questions relating to the liturgy and doctrinal points on that church they shall not have power to debate or vote. This differs from the plan of Mr Wilmot Horton, inasmuch as that plan excludes all Roman Catholic interference, even in questions relating to the establishment, not only doctrinal but temporal and accidental. There will be an allowance for the Roman Catholic clergy, which it will be discretionary with the Government to give or withhold, as cases of supposed desert, or otherwise may occur. The acceptance of this stipend, or the rejection of it, will be optional with the clergy themselves. It will be, in fact, an allowance durante bene placito. No Roman Catholic priest of whose disaffection to the government of these countries satisfactory proof can be adduced, shall be permitted to discharge the functions of prelate or titular Bishop within any part of his Majesty's United Kingdom. We have reason to believe that it will be prohibitory upon the Catholic bishops to retain the episcopal title. Those who have read the pamphlet of Dr Philpotts will, no doubt, traced the authorship of this provision. When the bill, of which a few days must convince the public that the above is an abstract, shall have received the Royal assent, another bill, not to concurrent with it, will contain a case somewhat similar to that of the Grampound Disenfranchising Bill. This will be the effect, that whereas the Clare and other Irish elections demonstrate the gross abuse of the 40 shilling franchise, it is advisable that the lective qualification be fixed at £20.


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