After Pope Pius IX — Pio Nono — published a papal bull in 1850 re-establishing the Catholic hierarchy of bishops and archbishops in England, a great many British Protestants took saw this as an act of “Papal aggression.” Here this popular periodical reports on both various hostile responses to the bull and the association of High Church Anglican (or Anglo-Catholic) religious services with Roman Catholicism. In this case the anxieties produced by the reappearance of bishoprics and archbishoprics apparently rivaling Anglican ones produced great hostilities to the clergy and services at St. Barnabas, the first purpose-built High Anglican church. — George P. Landow

Mr. Bennett has published in the Morning Chronicle the whole of the correspondence that has recently passed between the Bishop of London and himself, and mimplies that the Bishop was in too great haste to send his part of the correspondence to the press. The Bishop's letter of December 9th only reached him at half-past twelve o'clock on December 11th, in an imperfect form; and at six o’clock of the same evening he received an intimation that the Bishop theught it necessary, for his own justification, to publish the correspondence in extenso. It occupies more than a page of the Morning Chronicle, and turns very much on the ceremonies observed in St. Barnabas’.

St. Barnabas Church, St. Barnabas Street, Pimlico, London SW1 is a Grade I listed building (NGR: TQ2841378446). (Its associated primary school is a Grade II listed building). Thomas Cundy, architect. Consecratated 1850. St. Barnabas is “the first purpose-built church to embody the principles of the Oxford Movement. Click on image to enlarge it and to obtain additional information.

An Address from the Parishioners of St. Paul's, Knightsbridge, to the Bishop of London, has been prepared, and is yet lying for signature, which expresses in strong terms their satisfaction and gratitude at the labours of Mr. Bennett. They say that, by bis exertions, a complete change has been effected in the neighbourhood, and many persons brought into the fold of Christ. They are indignant at the treatment Mr. Bennett has received in his church from strangers, and they declare that they are bewildered and amazed at the report, that, as the result of his successful labours, he is to be removed from its ministry over them on the ground that his teaching is unfaithful to the Church. They announce their unshaken confidence in him, and entreat the Bishop not to deprive them of his ministry. This address was prepared before the blow was struck; and the congregation will now probably follow Mr. Bennett.

Detail from a later article in the Illustrated London News

It appears (says the Advertiser) that not only will Mr. Bennett leave Knightsbridge, but that the Rev. Sir F. Ousely, the Rev. G. Nugee. the Rev. G. F DeGex, and the Rev. Mr. Fife all tendered their resignations immediately Mr. Bennett’s decision was announced. None of the reverend gentlemen intend going over to the Church of Rome and many of the most influential members of the congregation are desirous of setting on foot a fund for the establishment of a church in which they may indulge their own peculiarities in the performance of public worship, witheut governmental or episcopal interference, and which may be the foundation of a “Free Anglican Church.”

The Earl or Winchilsea has addressed a letter to that most “excellent journal” the Times, reminding his fellow-countrymen of the part he took, in 1829 [the Catholic Emancipation Act], in causing the voice of “No Surrender to Popery” to sweep throogh every valley, and to echo from hill to hill throughout the land. The noble Earl boasts: “I have lived to see the fulfilment of all my predictions as to the consequences and results of tliat measure of 1829. I have lived to see Home, as I then said she would prove to be, unchanged and unchangeable, and the concessions of political power then made to her, far from satisfying her, used but as a stepping-stone towards the undermining of all the valued institutions of our country.” The noble Earl also says. Had he been Minister when the Popish bull which couveyed it arrived, not one day would have elapsed ere a rignt trusty messenger had left England's shores with a short and decisive communication, to the effect, that, If the bull, claiming dominion within our Queen's realms, and placing both herself and her Protestant subjects out of the pale of Christianity, were not, within one hour after the letter was delivered, withdrawn, and an ample apology made for the insult, “I declare war against you, and there shall be no peace with Home till I have received due satisfaction at your hands.”

Surrey is to have its county meeting on Tuesday next at Epsom, at noon.

The Reply or the Bishop or Norwich to the clergy of his diocese is published at great length. He would treat the Pope's Bull with supreme contempt did it stand alone; but the conversions from our Church gave it importance, and he strongly advises his clergy, as the most important matter, to preserve the main distinction between their faith and the Romish, by bringing all their doctrines to the test of Scripture, while the Humanists bring even the Scriptures themselves to the test of human autherity.

A Grand Anti-Popish Processiom, demonstrative of the feeling existing against the Papal Aggression, took place at Eltham, Kent, on Wednesday. An immense figure of the Pope, in full pontificals, and of Cardinal Wiseman, were carried in vans, accompanied by between forty and fifty horsemen. After perambulating the country in the neighbourhood, they burnt the two effigies at Eltham, amidst discharges of rockets and other fireworks, while a band played the National Anthem.

Related material


“Postcript. The Papal Aggression.” Illustrated London News (7 December 1850): 451. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 15 December 2015. The text above to which paragraph has been added for ease of reading was created from the web version with ABBYY FineReader. — George P. Landow

Last modified 28 November 2017