Church of Rome

CHURCH OF ROME. This is properly that branch of the great Church Catholic over which the Bishop, or Pope, of Rome presides. It in no way belongs to the object of this work to trace the history of this Church from Apostolic times, nor yet to notice how by degrees it claimed and assumed the supremacy over other churches. But since we find amongst us certain congregations who worship according to the Roman use, and who look up to the Pope of Rome as their head, it will be well to see how Romanism was introduced into this land after the Reformation. As has been before noticed (see Church of England ), it was not until about forty years after the Papal usurpation had been suppressed in England that those who still remained Roman at heart fell away from the ancient Church of England, and constituted themselves into a distinct community or sect. This was in the year 1570. This schismatic community was first governed by the Jesuits. In 1623 a Bishop, called the Bishop of Chalcedon, was consecrated, and sent from Rome to rule the Roman sect in England. The Bishop of Chalcedon was banished in 1628, and then the adherents of the Papacy in England were left without any Bishops until the reign of James II. This King favoured the Romanists, and would gladly have re-introduced the Roman Catholic religion into the country. He filled many vacant Sees with members of the Church of Rome; but all he did in favour of Popery was more than reversed in the reign of his successor, William III., Prince of Orange. In 1829 a Bill, called the Roman Catholic Emancipation Bill, was passed, by which Roman Catholics were made eligible to sit in Parliament, and restored to other rights of English citizenship from which they had before been excluded. In the present reign (1850) Dr. Wiseman, and a few other Roman Catholic priests, led the Pope to trench upon the Royal prerogative by establishing a Romish Hierarchy in this country. Cardinal Wiseman was made Archbishop of Westminster; and twelve others, Bishops of territorial Sees. A Bill, however, was brought into Parliament by the Government to resist this Papal aggression, and forbidding the assumption of English territorial titles. This Act has been repealed.

We of the Reformed Church hold that many doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome are erroneous and unscriptural, the most important of which are the following:—The doctrine of Original Sin, and Justification, as defined by the Council of Trent; Propitiatory Sacrifice of the Mass; Transubstantiation; Communicating in one kind only; the Seven Sacraments; Purgatory; the Worship, Invocation, and Intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Saints, and Angels; Veneration of Relics; Worship of Images; Universal Supremacy of the Roman Church; the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin; and the Infallibility of the Pope. These two last were not imposed upon the Roman Church as articles of faith, necessary to be believed, until 1854 and 1870. With the exception of the last two, the above is a summary of the errors of Rome, drawn up by Dr. Barrow, and quoted by Bishop Harold Browne in his book on the 39 articles.

In England the Roman Church has two Cardinals, one of whom
(Cardinal Manning) is also Archbishop, 17 Bishops, 2,112 other
Clergy. The number of Roman Catholic Archbishops and Bishops now
holding office in the British Empire is 131.