Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/186

This page needs to be proofread.




education was introduced into Victoria in 18/2, some- anti-Catliolics li-agucxl togetlicr, and declared tliat tlie new system would "rend the Catliolio Church asunder". The opposite lias been the result. The very sufferings and disabilities associated with the maintenance of their own schools have united solidly the Catholic botly; while the absence of religion from the State schools ' ' rent asunder ' ' Protestantism in producing a generation of non-believers. No review of tlie Archdiocese of Melbourne would be complete without reference to the growth of Catholic literature, particularly during recent .years. To stem the tide of irrehgious reading, splendid efforts have been made in Melbourne to provide Catholic homes with Catholic Uterature. When the archbishop came to Melboui-ne (1SS7) there was oidy one Catholic paper, the "Advo- cate" in Victoria. Since then a montlily magazine, the "Austral Liglit," under his direction (1892), a penny weekty paper, the "Tribune" (1900), and the -Australian Catholic Truth Society (1904), have come into existence, and are doing great apostolic work in tlic diffusion of Catholic truth. The Catholics of the archdiocese are almost entirely Irish or of Irish origin. The priesthood was exclusively Irish till recent years, when vocations among the native born are rapidly on the increase. The religious, teaching in the schools or conducting the charitable institutions, were in the early days Irish, but are now largely Australian.


Districts, 57; Churches, 168; Secular Clergy, 113; Reg- ular Clergy, 38; Religious Brothers, 54; Nuns, 851; Su- perior Schools, for Boys, 8; for Girls, 28; number of pupils, 3443; Parochial Primary Schools, 107; number of pupils, 21,926; Total number of pupils in Parochial and High Schools, 25,369; Orphanages, 4; Industrial Schools, for Boys, 1, for Girls, 1; Reformatory School for Girls, 1; Magdalen Asylums for Penitent Women, 2; Home for Neglected Children, 1 ; Home for the Poor, 1; Home for Women and Girls out of employment, 1; Foundling Hospital, 1 ; Receiving Home in connexion witli Foundling Hospital, 1 ; Catholic population of the archdiocese according to Government census returns of 1901, 145,333.

Patrick Phelan.

Melchers, Paul, Cardinal, Archbishop of Cologne, b. 6 Jan., 1S13, at Miinster, Westphalia; d. 14 Dec, 1895, at Rome. He studied law at Bonn (1830-33), anil after a few years practice at Miinster, took up theology at Munich under Klee, Gorres, Windisch- mann and Dollinger. Ordained in 1841, he was as- signed to duty in the village of Haltren. In 1844 he became vice-rector of the diocesan seminary, rector (1851), canon of the cathedral (1852), vicar-general (1854). Pius IX appointed him Bishop of Osnabriick (1857) and .Archbishop of Cologne (1866). Here he laboured zealously and, moreover, inaugurated (1867) at Fulda, those annual reunions of the Cierman bish- ops which have since produced such excellent results. Though he had always accepted and taught the doc- trine of papal infallibility, he regarded its formal defi- nition as untimely, a conviction which he, with thir- teen other bishops, expressed in a letter to the pope, 4 Sept., 1869. At the same time, however, the bishops, in a pastoral letter which they signed without excep- tion, warned the faithful against reports unfavour- able to the future (Vatican) Council and exhorted them to await calmly its deeisions. In the Council itself Archbishop Melchers took a prominent part. At the session of 13 July, 1870, he voted negatively on the question of papal infallibility; but he refused to sign an address in which fifty-five other members of the minority notified the pope of their immediate de- parture and reiterated their non placet. He left Rome before the fourth solemn session, giving as his reason the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, and declaring his readiness to abide by the decisions of the

Council. On his return to Cologne he proclaimed in an eloquent address (24 July) the dogma defined 18 July. As a means of ensuring obedience to the Coun- cil, the bishops assembled by nim at Fulda, published (1 Sept.) a joint letter which produced a deep and salutary impression, and for which Pius IX expressed (20 Oct.) his gratitutle to Archbishop Melchers. To eliminate the opposition at Bonn, the archbishop (20 Sept. and 8 Oct.) called on Professors Dieringer, Reusch, Langeu and Knoodt to sign a declaration ac- cepting the Vatican decrees and pledging confonnity thereto in their teaching. Dieringer alone complied; the others were suspended and eventually (12 ftlarch, 1872) e.xcomniuiiicated.

The encroachments and repressive measures of the Kulturkampf (q. v.) were firmly resisted by Arch- bishop Melchers. In June, 1873, he excommunicated two priests who had joined the Old Catholics; for this and for other administrative acts he was fined and imprisoned six months (12 March — 9 Oct., 1874). On 2 Dec, 1S75, the president of the Rhine Province de- manded his resignation on pain of deposition; he re- fused, but leammg that preparations were being made to deport him to Ktistrin, he escaped (13 Dec) to Maestricht and took refuge with the Franciscans. From their monastery he administered his diocese during ten years. Knowing, however, the temper of the German government and fearing that his absence from his see would prove injurious to religion, he on different occasions informed Leo XIII of his willing- ness to resign for the general good. The pope at last reluctantly consented, but called him to Rome and created him cardinal (27 July, 1885). In 1892 dur- ing a serious illness, he was received into the Society of Jesus and lived as a Jesuit until his death three years later. He was laid to rest in the cathedral of Cologne amid obsequies that attested the people's ad- miration and love. St. Paul's church in the same city, completed in 1908, fittingly commemorates Melcher's heroic struggle for the liberty of the Church.

His principal publications are: " Erinnerungen an die Feier des 50 jahrigen Bischofsjubiliiums des h. Vaters Pius IX" (Cologne, 1876); " Eine Unterwei- sung iiber das Gebet" (Cologne, 1876); "Eine TTnter- weisung iiber das hcilige Messopfer" (Cologne, 1879); "Das Sendschreiben des heiligen Vaters Papst Leo XIII iiber den Socialismus" (Cologne, 1880); "Die katholisclie Lelire von der Kirche" (Cologne, 1881); •' Das eine Nothwentlige " (Cologne, 1882) ; " De cano- nica dicecesium visitatione" (Rome, 1892).

LuDWiGS, Kardinal Erzbishof Dr. Paulus Melchers und die St. Pauluskirche in K'ln (Cologne, 1909): Granderath- KiRCH, GewAicA/e des Vatikanischen Konzils I. 11. III. (Frei- burg, (1903-19061; Ghanderath, .4c(a et Decrela S. S. con- ciliorum recentiorum, torn. VII (Freiburg, 1890).


Melchiades. See Miltiades, Saint, Pope.

Melchisedech [Or. 'Me\x^a(S4K Heb. pii'-'af'D, " King of righteousness " (Gesenius)] was King of Salem (Gen. xiv, 18-20) who, on Abraham's return with the booty taken from the four kings, "bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God, blessed him", and received from him "the tithes of all" (v. 20). Josephus, with many others, identi- fies Salem with Jerusalem, and adds that Melchisedech "supplied Abram's army in a hospitable manner, and gave them provisions in abundance . . . and when Abram gave him the tenth part of his prey, he ac- cepted of the gift" (.\nt., I, x, 2). Cheyne says "it is a plausible conjecture that he is a purely fictitious per- sonage" (Ency. Bib., s. v.), which "plausible conject- ure" Kaufmann, however, rightly condemns (Jew. Ency., s. v.). The Rabbins identified Melchisedech with Sem, son of Noe, rather for polemic than historic reasons, since they wished to set themselves against what is said of him as a type of Christ ' ' without father, without mother, without genealogy" (Heb., vii, 3).