Free England

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Free England
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FREE ENGLAND The application of the Law of Association to the religions orders in France has resulted in the FREE ENGLAND, departure and dispersion of whole communities. The effect, of course, is international. An influx of French religious into Spain threatened to assume such proportions that the Spanish Chambers took action to prevent it. In reply to an interpellation at a recent sitting of the Cortes Sen or Sagasta declared that such was the object of the new Spanish law. Statistics show that this object has been achieved. Of the seven-hundred French religious who crossed the Spanish border with the purpose of, letting up their houses in Spain, only fifty-two have remained in that country. In striking contrast to this intolerance of the Catholic countries, such as France and Spain are supposed to be towards the religious orders, is the fact that exiled from Catholic France they have met with gracious hospitality in Protestant England. In a recent interview the Holy Father expressed his satisfaction, adverted to this fact and laid stress upon the gratitude that the congregations should cherish for the hospitality so graciously extended them. He also spoke of the melancholy spectacle which has made sad the declining years of his pontificate—religious liberty scourged in countries where the Latin Catholic tradition still obtains and countries so long estranged from Rome displaying reverence and untempered tolerance for things: Catholic. Frank Hugh O’Donnell, discussing in The Tablet the French law of associations, deplores the evident callousness of the people. He says: Not the least painful feature of the French situation is the part which local option plays in the campaign against the religious orders. Not only has the National Parliament declared against them, in spite of their magnificent record of French patriotism, but the municipalities and local boards vie with each other in soliciting the exile and confiscation of congregations which should have been treasured as local benefactors and well-wishers. One of the provisions of the associations law is, in fact a clause requiring the consultation of local municipalities upon the retention or expropriation of the local convents; and it is dismaying to note new the local expression of opinion pronounces in favor of persecution and confiscation with a sort of monotonous regularity. The municipality of Lalle, in the extreme north, speaks with the same voice of hostility and hate as the department council of the Bouches- in-Rhone in the extreme south.