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education, and to the management and superintendence of * pious associations of men and women. Considering the peculiar offences of which he had been guilty, therefore, they are just the appointments which it was most indecent to entrust to him. What wonder if such an official—we quote our contemporary again-made use of the facilities which his religious character gave him ;' if he established a Pia Unione of both sexes at Naples, of which one of the fruits was the scduction of à young female member?
We naturally ask, after such facts have been stated, what could have occasioned such appointments; what could have justified them in any way to the minds of those who made them ;. what excuse there could have been ; whether it was possible that the misdemeanours of the promoted ecclesiastic had not reached their ears, so that they promoted him in ignorance of his real character? We look for such circumstances of palliation, but look in vain. Viterbo is about forty miles from Rome. A sentence, therefore, passed in an ecclesiastical court at Viterbo, could hardly have not reached Rome; and besides, the affair, we are told, was ‘hushed up' at the latter place: it was therefore known to begin with. The appointment then of Achilli to the professorship in the College of Minerva, was made in the full knowledge of what his character was, and what offences he had recently committed. Again, Capua is something more than a hundred miles on the other side of Rome to Viterbo; so that Viterbo and Capua are about as distant from each other as London and Exeter. It is true, indeed, there were neither then, nor are now, railroads which connect this trio of cities together; nor probably were the coaches between them first rate. Nor probably did the post convey letters from the most northern to the most southern of these cities in the course of the night. Still Viterbo (Rome, we need not say) and Capua are considerable towns. There are regular roads, and there is a regular system of travelling from one to the other. There is also a post which conveys letters—we will hazard the assertion-in three or four days from one to the other of these towns. It would then, we presume, be known at Viterbo that Achilli was preaching the Lent course of sermons at Capua. Now we are told that, at Viterbo, Achilli had a wide scandalous reputation, and also that he was formally condemned in the episcopal court there. When the appointment then of Achilli to the Lent preachership at Capua was made public, was there no one at Viterbo to inform the Cardinal Archbishop of the condition in which his nominee stood as to character? If the secret ecclesiastical tribunal could not speak, of confide even to a princely ecclesiastic its formal record, was
there no one in the whole of Viterbo to write a letter by post to the Archbishop of Capua, to tell what the real fact was. Where were all the pious priests, professors, students of Viterbo, that they could witness the scandal of such a delinquent assuming the spiritual mien, and pretending to awaken consciences, and terrify lethargic sinners, -and do and say nothing? What a mockery of every thing sacred to be seen with unconcern—the affecting appeal, the rousing warning, the eye raised to heaven, the hand waved in energy and emotion, the voice rolling in thunder or softened to a whisper, to express judgment or mercy, the loud summary call to the profligate, the profane, the sensual, to give up their dream of pleasure and turn to God,—the text, urged with apostolic vehemence, 'Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead
-all this exhibition proceeding from a hardened offender, who had just come out of an ecclesiastical court. We cannot suppose, then, that Capua remained in ignorance of Achilli's character. The same observations may be applied to the appointinent to the Priory of the Monastery at Naples. Naples is about fiveand-twenty miles from Capua—an addition, but not a formidable one to the line of posts which connect Viterbo with the scenes of Achilli's promotion. Intelligence of the appointment at Naples then would, we presume, reach Viterbo ; intelligence of the offences at Viterbo would reach Naples.
There is one explanation, indeed, of such an employment of patronage, which deserves notice for its originality, though it cannot be said to satisfy the demands of a rigorous inquirer, or solve the difficulties of an intelligent one. The writer of the article in our contemporary, to which we have referred, accounts for these promotions on the idea that they were conferred with the intention of “reclaiming the offender. “This good man,' is his remark, alluding to M. Brochetti, the Provincial of the Dominicans, 'wishing to reclaim, if possible, Achilli, and to show how he believed him to be sincerely penitent, took him with him on his tour of visitation. He was unhappily,' our con
.' • temporary adds, a few pages after, ‘appointed prior of a convent in Naples, always in the hope of reclaiminy him. These important and honourable posts then, that of conducting, with the Provincial of his Order, a visitation tour, and that of the Headship of a religious house, were conferred upon him with the view of correcting his vices and softening his heart. For the same reason, we presume, he was also appointed to the Professorship of the college of Minerva at Rome, and to the office of Lent preacher in Capua. Now we cannot hope to vie with our Romanist contemporary in the knowledge of the true principles of penance, and therefore we may easily be mistaken on such a subject : still we must confess that this is the first time we ever heard that the proper method of reclaiming a criminal, was to give him a comfortable and lucrative post in which to repose after his misdemeanour. To us, who are not in the secret on this subject, such a consequence looks much more like a reward than a punishment. Nor should we advise that such a judicial plan should be divulged; for it would certainly lead to the increase of crime even more than absolute impunity. The common supposition has always been that evil actions deserve shame and privation. But here, the criminal, instead of meeting shame and privation, is promoted to a succession of offices which gratify his ambition and comfortably replenish his purse. He is even specially singled out for the task of reforming others, and promoting and enforcing that spiritual discipline of which he has been himself the most signal infringer. Is this the way to soften the heart and correct the morals of an offender, or is it the way to harden and dullen him ; to make him suppose that the religious society to which he belongs does not care much for what he has done, and that his offences have been, after all, only the natural results of his calling, with its peculiar restriction and consequent temptations, and were a sort of matter of course ?
It may be said, however,—though the defence would not go to show that such a treatment of crime was justifiable, but only to show that some atonement was ultimately made for it, allowing it to be scandalous—it may be said that Achilli was at last brought to trial, and received from the tribunal of the Inquisition at Rome the punishment due to his offences. We say the tribunal of the Inquisition at Rome, for we cannot suppose that the sentence of the episcopal court of Viterbo, earlier in his career, will be adduced. That sentence was plainly ineffective, and was ridden over. It was not allowed the virtue of a judicial sentence, and therefore we shall not count it. But to this defence, partial as it may be, we have some exceptions to make.
In the first place, then, we must remark, that this trial did not take place, this sentence was not pronounced till the criminal's course of guilt and profligacy had reached its tenth year. This is at any rate tardy justice: the year 1831 marked Achilli a criminal; the year 1841 records the sentence of the Inquisition upon him. In the interval between these two dates he pursues his immoral career unchecked, nor unchecked only, but honoured and promoted. For ten years he has the run of the Church's field, he has all the facilities that responsible station can put into his hands for effecting his bad purposes, and he takes ample advantage of them.
But, in the next place, safely as we might concede the small merit of so dilatory a justice to the Roman Church, an attentive survey of the facts of the case forbids us to suppose that even such justice was the consequence of any intrinsic and hearty disgust at immorality, and sympathy with the wrongs of an injured flock. It appears rather to have been a concession, so far as it took place upon the moral ground at all—to a long and wide accumulation of scandal, which could not any longer be resisted. There is a certain growth of crime which, under the worst and laxest judicial systems, must be noticed, and the most cowed and callous public opinion will point out at last an offender with a decision that cannot safely be despised. Some scandal appears to have accompanied Achilli's career from the first. A witness informs us that his reputation was bad at Viterbo. This sense of scandal indeed cannot have been a very potent and indignant one, otherwise it would have compelled an earlier notice of, and obedience to it, than a sentence in the year 1811. But even a weak sense of scandal grows into a strong one if the provocation to it accumulates; and by the end of ten years Achilli seems to have become sufficiently notorious to make it almost unsafe to leave him any longer untouched. He was noticed in the reports of the police as a person who was corrupting the public morals. Indeed, even the residuum of merit, whatever it may be, which the Roman courts may claim, after the deductions we have made, does not appear wholly to belong to them, but to be shared, and that in the greater proportion, by the police. Strange as it may appear, under a system which grudges the State any control whatever over members of the priestly order, even if guilty of civil crimes, and would make all justice in their case ecclesiastical; the secular police seem to have been the prime movers in the matter of bringing Achilli to justice. In the first proceeding against him at Viterbo, the police come forward, though not as prime movers,—for it does not appear which party moved first, the ecclesiastical or the civil, -still, as movers, and authoritative ones. The head of the police in that city put him into his official report-a report from which the writer of the article in our contemporary professes to have 'derived his information’ respecting Achilli's conduct in that place. But the conclusive proceedings against him, at the tribunal of the Inquisition, are preceded by a very definite and strong act of the police. “The Neapolitan authorities,' we quote from the same article an official despatch, with the sight of which the writer had been favoured, 'having satisfied themselves ' with the truth of the charge' (we need not mention what sort of charge], 'took measures for the removal of the delinquent 'friar. This was effected on the 8th of September, 1810. But
' instead of proceeding to the convent assigned to him, he went 'to a relation's house, whence he returned stealthily to Naples, * only to be expelled thence a second time, on the 21st of ' February, 1841. Be it remembered,' adds our contemporary, 'that it is not the Inquisition that here speaks, nor is it any ' ecclesiastical, nor is it any Roman tribunal. It is the police of another kingdom.' The Neapolitan police, then, heard the charge which the indignant father brought against the delinquent friar; the Neapolitan police punished the delinquent. But where were the ecclesiastical authorities all this time? where was the episcopal court? The history of our Achilli's sojourn at Naples,' says our contemporary, 'was that of a man
hiding himself from the observation of the police.' But why should he hide himself from the observation of the police especially? why did this discreet, if not commendable fear, not extend also to the ecclesiastics of Naples ? Were the interests
? of morality less dear to the Church than to the State? Are police officers the natural correctors of priests ? Such appears, however, to have been their position at Naples. It is when a priest has been long under the eye of the police, has been inscribed as a black sheep in their reports, and has actually been expelled from the city, that the Roman ecclesiastical court at last takes him to task. The act of the police dates in the February, and the act of the Roman ecclesiastical court dates in the June of 18.11.
But a further reduction must be made. It does not appear that even now the moral ground was at all the principal one on which the Ecclesiastical Court stepped forward in Achilli's case. The Court of the Inquisition has been popularly regarded in this country as a tribunal taking cognizance of doctrinal offences only. It appears from the evidence of a Roman Catholic Bishop, Dr. Grant, that it takes cognizance of moral offences also, and the document which was produced in evidence at the late trial before the Queen's Bench, under the signature of the Notary of that Court, certainly makes mention of moral offences. Still we can hardly be wrong in supposing that the Court of the Inquisi. tion is a Court designed for the preservation and guardianship of doctrine principally, and taking cognizance mainly of doctrinal offences. Now the Court which condemned Achilli was the Court of the Inquisition. It is difficult upon the mere fact of the selection of such a court to try him, to avoid the conjecture that some questions of doctrine mixed with those of morals in Achilli's case, and that the former had at least some share in exciting ecclesiastical justice to a sense of its duty.
But we are not left to conjectural inference here. It is confessed by our contemporary that Achilli was arraigned on the