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Page 25, 4th March 1911

4th March 1911
Page 25
Page 25, 4th March 1911 — MOTU PROPRIO.

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Locations: Nottingham, London, Rome


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To OUR BELOVED CHILDREN, THE CATHOLICS OF ENGLAND: For some time past We have known that it has been to you a source of grievous scandal and of deepest sorrow that the priests, Herbert Ignatius Beale and Arthur William Howarth, of the clergy of the diocese of Nottingham, seeking the things that are their own, and not the things that are Jesus Christ's, and led away by their ambition, after several attempts to procure for themselves the rank of the episcopate from men who are not Catholics, have lately reached that pitch of audacity, in which having obtained the fulfilment of their wishes they have arrogantly informed Us of their episcopal consecration. Nor was this information left without authentic testimony, for the person NA, ho was the chief author of this sacrilegious misdeed--a certain pseudo-bishop named Arnold Harris Mathew—was not ashamed to confirm the fact in letters, full of self-assumption, which he has addressed to Us. This person, moreover, has thought fit to bestow upon himself the title of Anglo-Catholic Archbishop of London. Wherefore, turning Our mind and solicitude first of all to you, beloved sons, of whose sentiments of religion and devotion the signal proofs are constantly before Us, We earnestly admonish you in the Lord to guard yourselves against their pretensions and deceits. And next, that We may not be wanting in Our office, We, following the examples of Our predecessors, pronounce the aforesaid consecration to be unlawful and sacrilegious and wholly contrary to the commands of this Holy See and the sanction of the Sacred Canons.

Finally, by the authority of Almighty God, we excommunicate and anathematise the above-named Arnold Harris Mathew, Herbert Ignatius Beale, and Arthur William Howarth, and all others who to this wicked crime have given aid, counsel, or consent, and we solemnly declare and command that they are to be held as cut off from the communion of the Church, and as utterly schismatic, to be by all Catholics, and especially by you, avoided.

While we have recourse to this severe but altogether necessary remedy, We in like manner exhort you, beloved sons, that you fervently join your prayers to Ours, beseeching God that He may mercifully deign to lead back these unhappy wanderers to the fold of Christ and to the port of Salvation.

And that you by God's help may the more efficaciously obtain the same, We sincerely bestow on you the Apostolic Benediction.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, under the Ring of the Fisherman, on the isth day of February, 1911, in the eighth year of Our Pontificate.