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CARDINAL MORAN ON CATHEDRALS.

AT the annual meeting of St Mary's building fund in Sydney on Sunday, April 29, his Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop, as reported by the Freeman's Journal, spoke as follows : — From the days wben peace was restored to the Church after the first pereecu'ionp, every enlightened nation set its heart on the erection of some monument of faith. The heavens might be eaid to be a vast cathedral fashioned by the hand of God, and ihe attempt of the childreH of the Church wbb, as far as human genius and wealth would allow, to reflect the glory of the heavens. In the erection of the old shrines and minsters the inspiring motive was not one of family pride or individval vanity, but of love and gratitude. These cathedrals were built for Gcd and dedicated to God, and they had been handed on from age to age as memorials of sacrifice and devotion, and eg monuments of Christian faith End Christian generosity. In the Milan cathedral they had one of those giant monuments — a structure of the finest Carrara marble which, with its lofty arches, its massive pillars, its countless spires, its army of statues, and all its wealth of artistic adornment, taught the lesson as an abiding truttrto everyone looking upon it that these who erected it felt that nothing should be left undone in nuking the House of God worthy of the worship offered within its walls. la this monument of modern Italian piety there wsb a striking feature, and it was that in the remotest recesses, bidden from sight, the same skill, the same perfection of detail was displayed as in the most prominent portions of the edifice. When one of the artis's who hid aided in this triumph of faith and genius was interrogated, be said, " We have built not for the eye of the curious but for the eye of the Almighty." All the great medijeval cathedrals bore the impress of the faith of the men who designed •nd the men who built them. In England these Catholic structures had long since passed into alien hands, and in many instances with ■brine and altar stripped and despoiled, arches broken andpillais overthrown, one saw only the ruins of former grandeur. But the marks of Catholic art and Catbolic worship could not be effaced, and so long as a ctoce remained upon a stone, so long as even a trace or an outline of the original form remained the stoiy would be told, even in tha crumbling ruins, of the faith that inspired the builders and the worship for which the building was designed. There was one other feature in connection with these old cathedrals to which he would like to refer. It was remarkable that when the faithful henr'B set themselves to erect the first great monuments of faith Ibey cLose those centrts of piety consecrated by holy memori' s of perstcutton or of triumph, Thus, in Borne, the basilicas of St Peter and 8t Paul were erected on the hallowed spots where the martyrs gave the last great testimony of their faith Here, too, in Australia this spirit had manifested itself. It was a happy thought of the first illustrious Archbishop of this See, the ever-to-be-named - with-honour Archbishop Polding to have this Cathedral, this Mother Church of Australia, erected on the spot where the first faithfnl souls f this land used to assemble in prayer and where in dsys of gloom

■nd suffering the Sacraments of life were administered. It might be said the Church in this land was then in the catacombs, and when the edifice was erected on the historic spot to mark the place where the cross had been planted, each stone could be truly described as bearing on it the impress of sacrifice and suffering. To look to the firs' days of the Church in thus land wfi* to »pp the seeds of the faith sown amidßt tears among an afflicted but brave and resolute people. They were told the oak cradled in storms reaps a harvest from the hurrictne, that it strikes its roots deep into the earth, and with years githers such strength as to bid defiance to the fiercest tempest. Bo in the designs of Providence the privations and persecutions with which the infant Australian Chnrch was beset in a thousand waya had served only to give strength and vitality by which the Church had been able to pursue its course to the destiny marked out for it by God. Their Australian Church had been cradled amidst storms, but it had stood firm against every assault, and it would remain strong and erect when the pampered and favoured sects had passed away.

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CARDINAL MORAN ON CATHEDRALS. New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXI, Issue 3, 18 May 1894

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