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PAPERS RELATING TO THE CHURCH IN
FROM THE PORTFOLIOS OF THE IRISH COLLEGE AT ROME.
Collected by the Archivist of the Society.
FATHER MATHEW TO DR. KIRBY.
CORK, September 15th, 1842. REVD DEAR MR. KIRBY :—To what I have stated in my last letter I have very little to add. Should you find any difficulty in obtaining the grant of a Plenary Indulgence for my Teetotallers from his Holiness, I do not urge you to persevere in the supplication. I should not have looked for such a favour, were it not for your kind information that his Lordship, the Bishop of Boston and others were soliciting the same spiritual grant. A letter from his Holiness expressive of his satisfaction at the glory given to God, the exaltation of our Holy Religion, and immense happiness to millions of beings by this great moral movement, would be exceedingly useful; his Holiness at the same time exhorting all Bishops and Prelates to encourage and assist me in this glorious work.
The necessity for this interference of the Most Holy Father is very pressing from the fact that many Bishops are privately opposed to the spread of Temperance, partly to gratify their priests who do not wish to see the people triumphing over a passion by which they themselves are enslaved, and partly from other motives. Though London is a sink of drunkenness, the Vicar Apostolic, the Right Revd Dr. Griffiths, would
not condescend to invite me to that city. It is calculated that there are 100,000 drunkards in London, and of this number 30,000 are Roman Catholics, who are reduced by this horrid vice to the lowest state of misery and sinfulness. Thousands of these wretched beings die yearly in a state of intoxication. Yet with all these horrors staring him in the face, the Bishop of London will not avail himself of the merciful interposition of the Most High, so visibly manifested in the miraculous progress of the Total Abstinence Society. Obtain this letter of recommendation for me from his Holiness, and the spotless Banner of Temperance will soon, with the Divine assistance, wave over the length and breadth of the land.
* Grateful for your unvarying kindness I am with high respect, Very Revd dear Sir, Your affectionate friend,
FATHER MATHEW TO DR. KIRBY.
CORK, September 28th, 1842. V. REVD DEAR MR. KIRBY :-You must consider me a very troublesome and expensive correspondent. The latter evil I can remedy, and you are to blame your own kindness and condescension for the former.
If the Most Holy Father would condescend to forward to me a letter containing his Apostolic benediction, and an encouragement to persevere in the sacred mission of Temperance, and an exhortation to the Bishops, Vicars Apostolic and pastors of Ireland, England and Scotland to invite me into their dioceses, districts and parishes, all opposition would cease, the foul demon of drunkenness would forever disappear, and the pure and spotless banner of Temperance would wave over the length and breadth of the land. If his Holiness was