Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/172

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erudite and virtuous. Such concessions are marks of mental obtuseness or moral weakness, and ought never to be made.

Again, Cantù is censured for questioning the strictly historical character of hagiological narrations, and for assuming that many of the stories told of St. George, John of Neponuk, Hermenigilda, and other canonized persons, are mere legends; also for animadverting on some of the actions attributed to the saints as unworthy of holy men.

Cantù maintains that the Spanish, unlike the Roman Inquisition, was an institution not of the Church but of the state, and therefore feels himself more at liberty in describing and condemning its proceedings. Brunengo declares this view to be wholly untenable, and proves conclusively that the Inquisition in Spain was not a political but an ecclesiastical tribunal, created and conducted by the apostolical authority of the Pope in the interests of the Roman hierarchy.

Having settled this point, he asserts, in opposition to Cantù, that the Inquisition was an immense boon to Spain, and that whatever material loss may have been incurred by the expulsion of the Moors and other skillful and thrifty artisans was more than made good to the nation by the great treasure of religious unity which the Holy Office secured.

So, too, the right of the Pope to depose sovereigns and to absolve their subjects from allegiance rests upon the supreme and universal dominion conferred by Christ upon his vicar, and can not be changed by circumstances nor abrogated by human enactments. The same holds true of the temporal sovereignty of the Pope, which ungodly revolutions and sacrilegious usurpation may put temporarily in abeyance, but can never annul and permanently abolish.

Still more antagonistic to the enlightened spirit of the age is Brunengo's defense of the reality of witchcraft and diabolical possession as dogmas of the Catholic Church. He sharply rebukes Cantù for treating this belief as an "error," and adds: "There are one hundred and three papal bulls which served inquisitors as a rule of procedure in prosecutions for witchcraft, magic, and other sorceries. If the Popes, who published these edicts, had doubted even for a moment the truth and reality of the enormities ascribed to magic; if they had believed with Cantù or entertained the slightest suspicion that the belief in a direct intercourse of the devil with man is a mere fancy or illusion, they would have expressed themselves very differently in those bulls, and endeavored to explain to the faithful the vanity and inanity of all magic arts. But because they had no doubt of the reality of these things they used an entirely different language. Now, whom are we to believe—Cantù, who absolutely contests the actu-