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The Celtic Church in Ireland does not appear to have had a diocesan episcopacy until the eleventh century; nor did such method of episcopal jurisdiction obtain in Scotland until after the middle of the same century, for until the year 1057, as Collier tells us, "all the Scottish bishops had their jurisdiction as it were at large, and exercised their functions wherever they came." That so large a portion of the Church was able to maintain its integrity during many centuries without the jurisdictional limitations which for the most part were common elsewhere, seems to be fair evidence that the method of limiting the jurisdiction of a bishop to a given area, within which no other bishop may lawfully bear rule, is not essential.

The Syrian Maronites who submitted themselves to the see of Rome towards the close of the twelfth century, were not required to accept the rule of the Latin bishop of Antioch but were allowed to retain their own chief pastor, their vernacular liturgy, and many of their racial customs. The title of the Uniat Maronite mass-book at the present day is Missale Chaldaicum juxta Ecclesiae Nationis Maronitarum. A similar practice has been followed by Roman authorities in their dealings with most, if not all, of the Uniat churches; and with their accustomed practical wisdom the said authorities provide, as the canonist Bouix declares, that while normally there may not be more than one bishop exercising jurisdiction in the same city or diocese, an exception is allowed to bishops who, independently of each other, care for and govern people of diverse rites and languages who dwell in the same ecclesiastical territory. Theoretically it might be claimed that the separated and independent bodies dwelling in the midst of the ancient Orthodox patriarchates have no lawful status; yet practically and in fact, they have a perfectly reasonable and valid existence as ecclesiastical dioceses not of the territorial kind but of races and rites. An intensified form of such racial and ritual basis of ecclesiastical rule is to be found in the various bodies of Christians resident in Jerusalem and its vicinity.

Some of us, certainly not a few of our brethren in England, have been wont to use the words, "The Italian Mission," to

designate the Latin hierarchy and its flocks in England; thereby implying that their status is uncanonical and schismatical. But surely the conduct of the people who have consistently and continually resisted the religious changes of the sixteenth century in England has not been altogether unreasonable. It is to be remembered that among the people to whom clergy of the Latin rite minister in England, not a few are folk of foreign birth who were brought up in the Latin Communion. Must they, because they have made their home temporarily or permanently in England, be deprived of the ministrations of that part of the Church in which they were brought up and to which they rightly belong? Again, take the case of people of our own Communion who may sojourn on the Continent for a long time. Must they, because the Roman Church excludes them from sacramental ministrations, be deprived for the time of all pastoral care? To set up altars needlessly and to foment divisions, is certainly sinful; but where care is taken to avoid these grave errors place may rightly be found for the ministrations of their own clergy among Christians of any rite or race wherever they may dwell. The division of mankind into various races with diverse languages is of God's own ordering. The diversity of Christian rites or liturgical forms, according to the racial characteristics of the people for whose use they were intended, may also be regarded as providential, and as indicative of God's will concerning the manner in which, at least normally, the Christian people of the several races or nations should worship Him. This was true when there was no breach in the fellowship of Catholic Christians throughout the world; and much more must it be true now that intercommunion no longer exists. Under existing conditions it is plain that each Catholic Communion is under obligation to minister to its members as far as possible, wherever they may dwell; and that Catholic Christian people are under obligation to adhere to that Communion to which, by racial and liturgical associations, they properly belong.

Lastly, and of more immediate concern to us, is the fact that while the territorial system is nominally in force in this

country, the limitations of ecclesiastical jurisdiction are not territorial but racial and ritual. Roman bishops, despite the papal claim to universal jurisdiction, are here compelled to allow to the bishops of other Churches the freedom that they themselves have to govern and minister to people who are willing to accept their ministrations. The Orthodox Eastern Church, according to its own theory, is the only true Church in the world; but here it cannot exclude the bishops of any other religious body from the exercise of jurisdiction over their own people in the territory in which the Orthodox Eastern bishops have established themselves. So far as territory is concerned, there is but one restraint and that is common to all bishops, viz: that those who are of the same rite may not lawfully exercise jurisdiction beyond their own diocesan limits. Greek, Syrian, Latin, and Anglican bishops may, and sometimes do, here occupy the same territory, not necessarily as rivals but independently of each other, each looking after his own flock and not interfering with his episcopal brethren of other rites.

Neither priority of settlement, nor the language that is most commonly in use here, nor the distinctively English character of the laws of the land, nor any claim of purity in doctrine here suffices to make good any claim of exclusive ecclesiastical jurisdiction." Can any one say," asks Dr. Figgis," that the old territorial doctrine of the Church holds in the United States of America; and that an Italian, an Englishman, a Greek, and an Armenian Christian, who arrived with their families in New York, are bound as a matter of course to join the American Episcopal Church, and to bring up their children therein?" Whatever may still be the case elsewhere, in this country, anyhow, it is no longer the geographical area in which people dwell that determines their ecclesiastical obedience, but their racial and ritual associations and their own personal convictions.

To some extent similar conditions exist in various quarters in Europe and Asia where Christian people of different nations and diverse rites are congregating in ever increasing numbers.

The bare statement of such a state of affairs seems to point to confusion, disorder, and utter loss of ecclesiastical unity; yet such need not be the consequences. Our ideas of unity and order are more or less colored and shaped by the usual and normal conditions of ecclesiastical organization in past ages. Those conditions may seem to us to be ideal but we cannot reproduce them. Amendments and improvements in jurisdictional methods are possible, but the changes must look forward and not backward; essentials must be retained, but non-essentials however much they may be revered by reason of age-long or immemorial use may be cast aside.

In the ages when as yet there was no breach of fellowship between the several and various Churches of Catholic Christendom, bishops exercising jurisdiction were, as a rule, separated locally. Now, more and more frequently, they are found dwelling together, yet, alas, not as brethren. Nevertheless, may not this dwelling together be God's own providential means of bringing about a mutual recognition, on the part of the said bishops, of their brotherhood in Christ? May it not be that, more than anything else, more than all "Conferences on Faith and Order," conditions such as exist in this country and the congregating of people of many nations in great numbers here and there upon the face of the earth, will prove to be instrumental in bringing about intercommunion and practical fellowship among all who accept the fundamental principles of the Christian religion, and in breaking down efforts to lord it over God's heritage, and in fostering the unity and the peace which are according to God's will?

C. P. A. Burnett.

Let us serve God in the sunshine, while He makes the sun shine. We shall then serve Him all the better in the dark, when He sends the darkness. It is sure to come. Only let our light be God's light, and our darkness God's darkness, and we shall be safe at home when the great nightfall comes.

The Use and Abuse of Church History



'N his work on The Mystical Element in Religion Von Huegel says, in effect, that Christianity may be summed up as consisting of three factors:-(1) the institutional, or Church side of things; (2) the historical, or intellectual sphere; (3) the mystical sphere, in which the souls of men have direct access to the life and love of God.

If the study of the history of the Church in its manifold bearing upon religion, personal and corporate, be omitted from the study of Christianity, the institutional and historical factors cannot be adequately grasped. If only the mystical sphere is investigated, the result is liable to be in effect a vague, subjective religion, where the individual experience alone is emphasized and the life of Jesus Christ as extended and worked out in His mystical Body, the Church, is placed in a subordinate position or ignored altogether. There is great significance in the wording of the clause about the Church in one of the early baptismal creeds" Dost thou believe in salvation through the Holy Catholic Church?" And then by no means the majority of people have the mystical temper. Mystics, like poets, are born, not made. Mysticism is very much to the fore at the present time. Its three dangers have been stated as emotionalism, eclecticism and Christlessness. These can be counterbalanced and safeguarded by the study of the Church in its historical and developing life. The great mystics have been those who founded their union and life with God upon union and life within the Church, under the authority of Divine Revelation and in association with the Sacraments wherein He comes to men and abides with them.

The critical and controversial aspects of Christianity and its theology also absorb attention at the present moment, the former of scholars, the latter of the interested but unlearned. As has been emphasized in an earlier consideration of controversial history no positive good is likely to result.

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