By Henry Edward, Manning. Cardinal Archbishop Of Westminster.
And do not think that this is a heresy of the imagination, verbal and unreal. No, it is here, floating round about in the air we breathe. It pervades multitudes who profess to believe in the Incarnation. The Jansenists, two centuries ago, set the example on the first rise of the devotion of the Sacred Heart. They accused those who adored it of separating the Sacred Humanity. For manifold errors they were condemned by the Bull Unigenitus, and exist no longer. Afterwards the Synod of Pistoia, following in their footsteps, accused those who adored the Sacred Heart of separating the human nature of Jesus from the divine. They, too, were condemned by the Bull Auctorem Fidei, for uttering on this head an opinion 'false, scandalous, and injurious' to those who adore the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They, too, have passed away. In these days we have heard the same things once more. Old errors come up again, and spread from mouth to mouth. They are at this moment busy and malicious. Not in the hearts of the great English people; I bear them witness. The last time I spoke to you on this subject was to give a benediction to those who went on a pilgrimage of devotion in honour of the Sacred Heart; and I bear honourable witness to the public opinion of England, that though there were many strange sounds and some uncouth and sharp sayings from the tongues and the pens of men, yet in the main the utterance of the English mind, as we read it daily, was full, perhaps, of a perplexed wonder, but also of a true reverence, partly out of respect for honest men fearless in confessing their faith, partly out of a manly reverence for a sacred subject, and, perhaps, too, out of a consciousness half-suppressed that they did not comprehend it as fully as they ought. I have seen nothing that has impressed me more with a belief of the religious character of the English people than the way in which, during those days, I may say weeks, this sacred subject was handled in daily discussion. For the most part it was treated with respect. Here and there, indeed, forked lightnings came through the clouds of mental darkness, and certain sounds of ignorance and of impiety. But they were not enough to qualify what I have said. What I add, therefore, I confine to a handful of individuals. They are few in number and of little power, but of a strange malice. It is indeed very strange, brethren, that there should be men who delight in evil, who exult over a heresy whensoever they hope they can find it. It is to them a revel if they can impute error or evil to what they call the Roman Church. A Catholic delights in the truth, and every particle of truth that he can find in any of those who are separated from the Church he' accepts with joy. He blesses God for it. He has so much the more in those who are separated from him. He is so much the more united to them, because they are more united to the truth. Not so those who are out both of truth and of charity. They will find evil if they can with joy, and impute it where it cannot be found. But the man that rejoices in the hope that any fellow Christian, to say nothing of any Christian teacher, should depart even a hair's-breadth from the truth, such a man is doing the works of one whom he would not acknowledge to be his father. His inspiration is not of God. Such malice is not the malice of mere nature. There remains but one other source of inspiration.