A Priest on Bankruptcy.
At the Roman Catholic Church last evening (says the Timaru “ Telegraph ” of the Oth) The Rev. Father Chataigner preached on moral theology, making bankruptcy the special subject of his sermon. He asked the question whether a man under any circumstances was justified in filing a declaration of insolvency and becoming a bankrupt ; and answered it by saying he was. If u man’s affairs became so involved that he could not possibly meet his engagements with creditors, ho was justified in availing himself of the protection which the law afforded him. This, however, would not relieve him from liability according to the law of God. If ever he attained a position which would enable him to pay the debts which he had not then satisfied, he was bound by the law of God to pay the last farthing of them. When a gentleman by any misfortune became a bankrupt, he redoubled his exertions again until he obtained sufficient means to pay off his liabilities. He then felt that he had redeemed his honor ? that he could stand up in society once more ; find that he could take his place among his equals. He (the rev. preacher) was afraid that that spirit of honor was dying ojt now-a-days, and that most people sunk their honor in their purses. The law referring to bankruptcy had been made to protect honest men when they happened to meet with misfortunes, hut a great many dishonest men availed themselves of it, and it was very much abused. People resorted to a groat many dishonest tricks under its operation. Ho had heard of a man who bought a dray one day, sold it the next day, and pocketing the proceeds, went on the third day and filed a declaration of insolvency, without giving any account of the money he had thus received. Such a man could not be called anything else but a thief and a cheat. He knew very well when he bought the dray that lie was going bankrupt, and could have had no other intention in buying it than to cheat the owner out of it. This, however, had not happened in the parish of Timaru, nor in the next parish to it. Other men settle their property on their wives, daughters, or some friend, who kept it safely from them until they had gone through the Court, and then they began again. Such men were wise according to the world, hut the wisdom of the world was folly in the eyes of God. They were hound to pay the last farthing of their lawful debts ; and no earthly law could relieve" them of the liability. A man should not favor one creditor to the loss of his other creditors. For instance, if a person owed one man £2O, and another £lO, and had only £2O to pay them, he should not pay the £2O to whom it was due, but should divide it between his two creditors. This was a delicate subject he had to treat of, and it was with reluctance that he referred to it, hut he was bound to instruct them (the congregation) and he had to do it. Ho was glad, however, that there were few he-
longing to his own congregation to whom it could refer personally, and that made it easier for him to treat of it.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 10, 18 October 1879
A Priest on Bankruptcy. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 10, 18 October 1879
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