A DISINGENUOUS PROFESSOR.
(Foom the Melbourne Advocate.)
The ignorance of Catholic doctrine and practices which Protestants commonly display is amazing to Catholics. And it is all the more surprising because authorised sources of information as to the teaching of the Church are readily available. As ignorance, under these circumstances, cannot be accounted invincible, it is not inexcusable to attribute it to a deliberate and persistent unwillingness to either see or acknowledge the truth. In favour of that explanation there is the fact that misrepresentations of Catholic teaching and practices are not confined to the illiterate outside the pale of the Church, the educated among our separated brethren being the greatest offenders in this matter. The misrepresentations usually originate with them ; from the work of the Protestant historian, the sermon of the Protestant divine, the romance of the Protestant novelist, or the article of the Protestant journalise, the falsehoods trickle downward through the several classes of society till they reach the slums, or the Orange Lodge, hideously distorted. Even a learned Professor who has the misfortune to be among the separatists may fall into the errors to which we refer. Mr. Pearson, the Minister of Education, on the 26th ultimo felt constrained to deny a deputation from the Wesleyan Conference a request they made in favour of Scriptural teaching in the State schools, and that copies of the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments should be hung up in prominent places in the schoolrooms. The questions raised in the discussion at the interview, and subsequently in the Press, suggest to us a train of observations that might not be uninteresting, but should necessarily be polemical, and for the latter reason we shall content ourselves with pointing out a few of the more obvious errors into which Professor Pearson and his commentators in the Press have fallen. In the Argus he is reported to have said : — " Take the Lord's Prayer, for instance ; there were three different versions. The Douay Bible version rendered the words, ' Give us this day our daily bread,' as ' Give us tbis day our super-substantial bread.' He presumed that was meant to imply the doctrine of trans-substan-tiation, and, if so, it would be manifestly uafair to ask the 30,000 Catholic children to accept a version whicti gave the other words." He is reported to the same effect in the Age ; but the Telegraph has made something very much more imposing out of his remarks, for they are thus given :—: — " For instance, in the Douay Bible it says ' Give us this day our spiritual consubstantiation bread.' That translation, he presumed, was meant to imply the doctrine of transubstantiation." It is hardly necessary to say that in the Douay version there is no such text as this. The phrase " super-substantial bread "' is that we attribute to Professor Pearson, and these words aie used in the Gospel of St. Matthew. So far the Minister cannot be charged with misrepresentation. And yet his objection was disingenuous, for in the Gospel of St. Luke the words used are " Give us this day our daily bread," and this is the form in which the petition is found in the authorised Catholic version of the Lord's i raycr. In fact, between the Catholic and Protestant versions of it thero are only two slight verbal differences, which can have no effect whatever on the meaning. These are a which for a who and a tliat for a who in the Protestant version. Ou other grounds, of a far more serious character than these variations ccmstituto, the Catholic Church objects to her children attending schools m which there is religious instruction not directed and controlled by herself. The differences between the Catholic and Protestant versions ot the Commandments are more serious and altogether irreconcilable, though not for the absurd reasons assigned in some quaiteio. I'lofi^bor Pearson's action in refusing the request of the depuutiou uieota with our decided approval, but we cannot say this of the reaaona he put forward in justification of it. Unavoidably these must be ascribed either to ignorance or to the Protestant habit of misrepresentation.
Permanent link to this item
A DISINGENUOUS PROFESSOR., New Zealand Tablet, Volume XVIII, Issue 21, 17 September 1886
A DISINGENUOUS PROFESSOR. New Zealand Tablet, Volume XVIII, Issue 21, 17 September 1886
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.