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Roman Catholicism in Spain   By:

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First Page:

ROMAN CATHOLICISM IN SPAIN.

BY AN OLD RESIDENT.

EDINBURGH: JOHNSTONE & HUNTER. LONDON: R. GROOMBRIDGE & SONS.

M.DCCC.LV.

EDINBURGH: PRINTED BY JOHNSTONE AND HUNTER, HIGH STREET.

CONTENTS.

Page

INTRODUCTION—Variableness of outward practice of 7 Christianity—The like as to that of Mahometanism—Roman Catholicism most subject to that modification—Excesses of Roman Catholicism in Spain accounted for by Spanish history—The Goths and Moors of Africa—Their conversion to Christianity—The aborigines of America—Traditional coincidences with scriptural truth—National character of the religion of Spaniards—Religion of the affections—Santa Teresa—Amatory propensities in connection with religion—Knight errantry—Motto of Spanish nobility—The four primitive orders—Loyola—Religion the pretext for wars of Spain—Three distinct features of the national character of Spaniards, illustrated by Isabella the Catholic, Charles V., and Philip II.

CHAPTER I.

THE SPANISH CLERGY—Their primitive state—Their subsequent 31 organization— Barraganas —Immoral practices of the clergy—Their wealth, and its sources—Their territorial possessions—Their influence and incomes—Their opposition to the sciences—Their ultramontane principles—The “pass” of the Spanish sovereign necessary to the validity of the Pope’s bulls—Doctrine of the Jansenists favoured by the ministers of Charles III.—Port Royal and San Isidro—Parish priests—Sources of their income—Many of them good men, but deficient in scriptural knowledge and teaching—Their preaching—Abolition of tithes by the minister, Mendizabal—Effects of that measure—Poverty and present state of the clergy—Their degraded character and unpopularity—Their timidity in recent times of tumult—Ecclesiastical writers of the Peninsula—Power of the Inquisition curtailed by Charles III.

CHAPTER II.

MONACHISM—The superiority of the monastic over the secular 47 clergy—Reasons for it—Orders of Monks—The Carthusians—Their advancement in agriculture, and love of the fine arts—Their seclusion and mode of living—Only learned men admitted to their order—Their form of salutation—Curious adventure of a lady found in the cell of a Carthusian—The Hieronimites—The Mendicant orders—“Pious works”—The Questacion —Decline of Spain accounted for—Vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience—How vow of poverty eluded— La honesta —Vicar general of the Franciscan orders—His immense income—Religious orders have produced many great and good men—Cardinal Ximenez de Cisneros—His celebrated Bible—Corruption of monastic orders—Insubordination of friars to the bishops—The Jesuits—Deplorable reputation of their literature—Pascal, Escobar, Sanchez, and Mariana—Suppression of the Jesuits by Charles III.—Their subsequent expulsion by Espartero under Isabella II.—Nunneries, though spared on suppression of religious houses, utterly useless—The Pope’s attempt to perpetuate them by concordat —The lives of the nuns described—Their means of subsistence is now precarious—Convent de las Huelgas.

CHAPTER III.

CELIBACY AND MORALS—Illicit relations formed by the 73 clergy—Shameless avowal of their fruits—Ferocious character of love in the cloisters—Three flagrant cases—Murder of a young lady by her confessor, the Carmelite of San Lucar—His trial and sentence—Murder by a wife of her husband under the direction of her confessor, the Capuchine of Cuenca—His trial, imprisonment, and escape—Murder of a lady by the Agonizante of Madrid—His trial and execution—Scandalous occurrences in the Convent of the Basilios of Madrid—Forcible entry of the civil power—Murder of the abbot—Suppression of inquiry—Shameful profligacy of the Capuchines of Cascante and the nuns of a neighbouring convent—Mode of its discovery—Imprisonment of inmates of both convents—Removal of prisoners—Their mysterious escape—Exemplary performance of vows in some cases—Dangers of celibacy—Spanish women and their influence on society

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