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other day from the Vicar-General of Neallyville, and he rather intimated that the new decree of the Consistorial Congregation is not too favorably looked on by our bishops themselves. What do you think?
Mgr. Eversley. There's nothing in it, Tim. In the first place, the original draft of the decree was sent to every bishop in the country to inform him as to what was proposed, and to get his views concerning modifications which he might · consider necessary; and a large majority of the prelates expressed themselves in favor of the change. In the second place, the advantages of the new plan are so patent that a man who has had experience of the disadvantages of the old style of proposing names of candidates for a vacant see can scarcely fail to acknowledge and approve them.
Fr. Hennessy. What particular disadvantages, apart from occasional long delays in making the appointment, were inherent in the old plan? Mgr. Eversley. Well, one of them was pointed out in a document issued by the Congregation of the Consistory about seven years ago. It strictly forbade the publication of the names of the candidates and enjoined the utmost secrecy concerning the deliberations of the clergy and the bishops in selecting the terna.
Fr. John. An excellent regulation, too. I remember when, a good many years ago, it became generally known that the late Father Timmons' name headed the terna for the diocese of Trocario, and then the appointment went to a priest
from another diocese altogether, poor Timmons felt pretty bad. He couldn't get it out of his head that some reflection had been cast upon either his ability or his character, or both. Fr. Dempsey. Yes; and another disadvantage of the old system was that the new bishop almost invariably felt himself somewhat handicapped by his knowing, as of course he did, who had voted for him, and who against. It made his position a little delicate in a number of circumstances, and occasionally restricted his full freedom of action. There'll be none of that inconvenience under the new system. Dean O'Reilly. On the face of it, don't you think, the new method should commend itself to all of us. If we have the elementary good sense to credit Rome with knowing its own business pretty nearly as well as we profess to know ours, the presumption is certainly in favor of the new decree. Loyalty to the Church demands our willing adhesion to her disciplinary rulings, and censorious criticism of this particular ruling is at least premature. Objectors may well wait until we see how the system works out in practice.
Mgr. Eversley. And even if it doesn't work so well as Rome hopes it will, provision is made in the decree itself for the trial of some other plan. Its final clause states that the decree shall be in force "ad nutum Sedis Apostolicae." In the meantime, I think we may all rest assured that our next bishop, no matter where he may come from, will justify Rome's wisdom in selecting
him. So far as I know, every prelate whose appointment in this country during the past quarter of a century came as a surprise, because he was chosen outside the terna, has invariably made good.
Fr. Lavers. All of which is doubtless very interesting; but I have a hunch that Fathers Brawley and Hennessy didn't come over here to-night to talk shop, or listen to it, either. I move, accordingly, that we change the subject. Fr. McGarrigle. I second the motion-and declare it carried. What's the last good thing you've heard in the line of stories, Father Jerry? Fr. Brawley. Stories! What stories, save chestnuts, do you suppose we get hold of out in the country? If you can stand a chestnut, however, the best one I have come across in a long while is Francis Murphy's introduction to an after-dinner speech in London at a St. Patrick's Day banquet. "I'm American," said he, "by residence, English by language, Irish by extraction, and half Scotch and half soda by choice." Fr. Lavers. That's all right, all right. Father Hennessy, what's your latest?
Fr. Hennessy. Like Father Brawley's, the one I've enjoyed best of late months is not new. I presume most of you have read it in Shane Leslie's "The End of a Chapter." "Tis about the challenge sent by the football captain of the Jesuit school, Beaumont, to the captain of Eton College. With characteristic superciliousness, the Eton man asked: "What is Beaumont?" The answer was really worth while: "Beau
mont is what Eton was a school for Catholic
Fr. Galligan. Good for Beaumont: that was a su-
Fr. Hogan. Not at all bad, and Quinn deserved what he got. That joke about the vow of poverty was blue-moldy when I was an altar-boy. I wonder, by the way, whether there is any other form of wit so generally popular, among intellectual people at least, as the clever rejoinder, the bright repartee. I confess I enjoy it most, especially if 'tis unsullied by any taint of malice.
Fr. Lavers. Give us a sample of the kind you prefer, Father Tim.
Fr. Hogan. Well, take Charles Lamb's reply to the
reproach of his superior in the India House, "You always come late to the office."-"Yes, but see how early I leave." Or Sydney Smith's answer to the doctor who recommended him to take a walk on an empty stomach. "On whose?" inquired Sydney. Or the riposte of the Austrian journalist to his enemy whom he met in a narrow passage and who accosted him with, "I'll not make way to let a fool pass."— "But I will," said the journalist, pressing himself against the wall.
Fr. McGarrigle. What's the matter with the suffragette's reply to a heckler in her audience who sneeringly asked, "What would you do, madam, if you were a gentleman?""I'm not sure," she replied; "what would you do if you were one?” Fr. Dempsey. That recalls Boyle O'Reilly's delightful reply to a member of the Papyrus Club. Boyle was making a humorous speech one evening, and in the course of it ventilated some extravagant opinions. "That's not right; that's Irish," interrupted a fellow-member.
"Tis better to be Irish than be right," coolly replied O'Reilly; and he proceeded to get off some more delicious fooling.
Fr. Hennessy. Just here is where the association of ideas comes in. The first connotation of "O'Reilly" in my mind is his poem on Wendell Phillips; and the thought of the great abolitionist brings to mind his rather crushing retort to a Methodist minister. Do you all remember it? No? Well, Phillips had been lecturing on abolition in a Western city one evening, and, the