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not get rid of. The right Revd Lord had stated, and he gave
him credit for the assertion, that he was not influenced
in his conduct towards the Petitioner by any opinions which
he might entertain respecting the Catholic Question. But
they all knew enough of human nature to know that it
would be so felt by the Curates of the Diocese, and that the
effect would be to place in a state of dependence a respectable
body of men. If there were arrangements in the
Ecclesiastical Law which required to be investigated, it was
the more necessary for Parliament to adopt an inquiry,
since the passing of the recent Acts by which the power of
Bishops over their Curates had been increased, in order that
those powers might be abridged if unnecessary, or if necessary,
so regulated as justice might seem to demand. When
the Petition was laid on the Table, it was his intention to
move for a Committee to inquire into the allegations of
the Petition, and the state of the Ecclesiastical Law affecting
it, and to report thereupon to the House.

The Petition was then read by the Clerk, and the Noble
Lord made his motion accordingly.

The Bishop of Exeter said he should not enter into
the detailed part of the Noble Lord's speech, as he felt himself
only called upon to enter into the allegations of the
Petition as they referred personally to himself. It was unpleasant
to him to occupy their Lordships' attention as
he must do, but he trusted they would afford him that
indulgence which they were always pleased to bestow upon
any one who had never before addressed them. He admitted
the facts of his ordination, and the calling of the public
meeting, as the Petitioner had described, though he was
surprised to hear it stated, that he had refused to make
any inquiry into the case. The Reverend Gentleman had
been presented to two livings, which, by the way, he was only
to have occupied for seven years. He had applied to him
to sign his testimonials, and it was the invariable practice,
when a Clerk was appointed in a diocese, different
from that in which he had before officiated, to bring with
him testimonials signed by three Clergymen, and countersigned
by the Bishop of the Diocese in which he resided.
He (the Bishop of Exeter) had distinctly told the Petitioner,
when he applied to him, that he knew his opinions respecting
the Catholic question; that he believed them to
be sincere; and that he felt he had nothing to do with
his opinions upon that subject. At the same time he expressed
a hope that he might meet with the same indulgence
from him which he was most certainly
most willing to extend towards him. And here he could not avoid alluding to that part of the Noble Lord's speech,
in which he supposed that the line of conduct, which he
felt it was his duty to adopt would have the effect of preventing
the Clergy from exercising their own free will on
that particular subject. He had presided in the same Diocese
13 years, and he would appeal to the Clergy, as the best
answer to such a supposition, whether he had ever attempted
to controul them. He had distinctly disclaimed acting on
any such ground to the Revd. Gentleman himself, and he
disclaimed it again before their Lordships. He thought
he was not bound to assign and reason for the course he
had felt it his duty to adopt, because a discretionary
power was vested in him, which he had exercised to the
best of his judgement. It was true that he might err;
but if he did it was the fault of his head, and not his
heart. As to the Charge of having refused to investigate

Identifier: | JB/109/148/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 109.


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Andreas Louriottis


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