The earliest Saxon laws were almost entirely ecclesiastical,1 their basis seeming to have been payment of titles to the Church and support of the pope through what was known as the "hearth penny" to St. Peter. Marriage was by no means allowed to escape general ecclesiastical control, its legitimacy being made to depend upon the sanction and services of a priest.2 This we learn from Reeves, whose authority is indisputable,3 therefore we discover that even long before marriage was constituted one of the sacraments, celibacy or the confessional established, the Church had perceived the great increase in its authority to be brought about by gaining control of the marriage ceremony and making its legitimacy depend upon the services of a priest. This was a material step
towards the subjugation of mankind; one whose die consequences have not yet received due consideration. When Rome became a Christian State, and the phallic cross triumphed over the gods and goddesses of old, the condition of woman under the civil law became more degraded. The change from ancient civilization to that renewed barbarism at an early age of the Christian era, which so many writers note without perceiving its cause, is to be found in the low conception of womanhood inculcated by the Church.
Ignorance, superstition, falsehood and forgery united in creating new codes of law, new customs of society, new habits of thought, which, having for centuries been imposed upon mankind by the united force of the Church and the State, still continue their impress upon modern life and law.
Among general canons we find that "No woman may approach the altar." "A woman may not baptize without extreme necessity." "Woman may not receive the Eucharist under a black veil." "Woman may not receive the Eucharist in morbo suo menstrule."
At the Synod or Council of Elvira,4 305 or 306, several restrictive canons were formulated against woman. Under Canon 81, she was forbidden to write in her own name to lay Christians, but only in the name of her husband. Women were not to receive letters of friendship from any one addressed only to themselves.
From the commencement of the fifth century, the Christian clergy acquired a powerful influence in Rome. Bishops and priests were the municipal magistrates of the Roman Empire, of which little now remained except its municipal government; thus the Church in
reality became Rome, and Rome the Church. It has been declared difficult to fix with precision the period at which ecclesiastics first began to claim exemption from civil jurisdiction. The Synod of Paris, 615, seems to have secured to the clergy the privilege of being brought before mixed tribunals in all cases which had theretofore belonged to the civil judge alone. Bishops acquired greater power from having an oversight over the whole administration of justice committed to them, while their spiritual judgments were rendered more effective by the addition of excommunication to civil punishments. The State, at first holding repression over the Church, added to its powers by relieving the clergy from all civil duties,5 thus tending to make of them a body exterior to the civil government. This division was farther increased through the emperors giving confirmation to the decisions pronounced by bishops in ecclesiastical affairs, and also when they were chosen umpires in civil suits; the tendency of this action was towards the creation of an ecclesiastical law with separate powers from the civil law. Another step towards the separation of civil from ecclesiastical law and the supremacy of the latter, was made when in cases of discipline the clergy were allowed to come under the authority and supervision of the Spiritual Courts.6
As soon as Christianity became the religion of the State, this power was still farther increased by the permission accorded ecclesiastics to accept gifts, inherit and hold property; the purity of clerical motives being thereby greatly lessened, as covetous and unscrupulous
persons were forthwith attracted to this profession. The law of tithes was introduced by Charlemagne, and his edicts largely increased clerical power. The compilation of a Code of Canon Law was begun as early as the ninth century,7 by which period the olden acknowledged rights of the clergy, those of superintending morals and interference on behalf of the unfortunate, had largely been lost sight of, or diverted from their proper course by a system of ecclesiastical tyranny which created an order of morals, whose sole design was that of building up priestly power.
The complete inferiority and subordination of the female sex was maintained both by civil and common law. It was a principle of common law that sons should be admitted to an inheritance before daughters.8 This distinction created by the Church in the interests of the class which was alone admitted to the priesthood, thus placing the possession of wealth in the hands of man, did much towards keeping woman in a subordinate condition. In accordance with natural law, the person not owning property is less interested in the welfare of the State than the one possessing it, a denial of the rights of ownership acting prejudicially upon the individual.
Ecclesiastical or Canon Law9 made its greatest encroachments at the period when Chivalry10 was at its height; the outward show of respect and honor to woman under chivalry keeping pace in its false pretence with the destruction of her legal rights. The general conception in regard to woman was so degraded at this period that a "Community of Women" was proposed, to whom all men should act in the relation of husbands.11 This plan was advocated by Jean de Meting, the "Poet of Chivalry," in his famous Roman de la Rose. Christine of Pisa, a woman of learning and remarkable force of character, the first strictly literary woman of western Europe, wrote a work in defense of her sex against the general libidinous character of the age.12 Her opposition to the debasing theories of the "Romance" marks the later period of woman's entrance into literature, and is an era from which dates the modern intellectual development of Europe.13 Efforts to utterly crush the moral rectitude
of women through the adoption of those base ideas of phallic origin, having been the systematic course of the Church, the State and society through many hundred years, it is a most notable proof of her innate disbelief in this teaching, that woman's first literary work of modern times was written in opposition to such a powerfully sustained theory as to her innate depravity. Christine asserted the common humanity of woman, entirely repudiating the sensual ideas of the times.
To the credit of mankind it must be recorded that the laity did not unresistingly yield to priestly power, but made many attempts to take their temporal concerns from under priestly control. But under the general paucity of education, and the abnegation of the will so sedulously inculcated by the Church as the supreme duty of the laity, its dread power brought to bear in the enforcement of its teaching by terrifying threats of excommunication and future eternal torment, the rights of even the male portion of the people were gradually lost. The control of the priesthood over all things of a temporal as well as of a spiritual nature, tended to make them a distinct body from the laity. In pursuance of its aims for universal dominion, the Church saw the necessity of assuming control of temporal affairs. Rights were divided into those pertaining to persons and things; the rights of persons belonged to the priesthood alone, but inasmuch as every man, whatever his condition, could become a priest, and no woman however learned or pious or high in station could be admitted to its ranks, the whole tendency of ecclesiastical law was to divide mankind into a holy or divine sex, and an unholy or impious one.14 Thus Canon Law still farther separated
those whose interests were the same, creating an antagonism in the minds of all men against all women, which bearing upon all business of ordinary life between men and women, fell with its greatest weight upon women. It corrupted the Common Law of England, and perverted the civil codes of other nations. Under Canon Law wives were deprived of the control of both person and property, while sisters were not allowed to inherit with brothers; property, according to old ecclesiastical language, going "to the worthiest of blood." Blackstone acknowledges that this distinction between brothers and sisters reflects shame upon England, and was no part of the old Roman law, under which the children of a family inherited equally without distinction of sex.15 It was as late as 1879 before the Canon Law in regard to the sole inheritance of sons was repealed in one of the Swiss Cantons. The influence of this law in creating selfishness was manifested by the opposition it met, brothers piteously asserting ruin to themselves by this act of justice to their sisters. Whenever the Canon Law is analyzed it is found destructive to the higher moral sentiments of humanity. A woman was prohibited the priesthood, and as the property of men entering orders became forfeited to the Church, the real intent of this law--that of obtaining control of property--which otherwise might have escaped the grasping hand of, the church, is easily discernible. From its first theory Of woman's inferiority to its last struggle for power at the present day, the influence and action of the Patriarchate is clearly seen. The touch of the Church upon family life, inheritance and education, increased the Power of the Patriarchate.
As celibacy proved a lucrative method of bringing wealth into its coffers, so marriage was early made a source of revenue to the Church, Canon Law creating it a sacrament to be performed at the church door. Owing, however, to the innate sinfulness of marriage, this sacrament was not for many years allowed to take place within the sacred building dedicated to God, and deemed too holy to permit the entrance of a woman within its sacred walls at certain periods of her life. In order to secure full control of this relation marriage unblessed by a priest was declared to be concubinage, and carried with it deprivation of church privileges, which the ignorance of the people held to be of vital importance. In entering this relation the wife was compelled to relinquish her name, her property, the control of her person, her own sacred individuality, and to promise obedience to her husband in all things. Certain hours of the day to suit the convenience of priests were set aside as canonical, after which time no marriage could be celebrated.
Nor has this priestly control of marriage been confined to the Catholics alone. Similar laws were extant after the Reformation. In England 1603, Canon 62 instituted that under penalty of suspension people could not marry except between the hours of eight and twelve in the forenoon, nor was marriage then allowed in any private place but must be performed at the church door.16 The rapid growth of the Canon Law in England must be ascribed to avarice; the denial to wives of any right of property in the marital union being an example. At this period Canon Law
began to take cognizance of crimes, establishing an equivalent in money for every species of wrong doing. The Church not only remitted penalty for crimes already committed, but sold indulgences for the commission of new ones. Its touch soon extended to all relations of life. Marriages within the seventh degree were forbidden by the Church as incestuous,17 but to those able to pay for such indulgences a dispensation for such "incestuous" marriage was readily granted. No crime so great it could not be condoned for money. Thus through Canon Law was seen the anomaly of legal marriage between the laity pronounced concubinage, while the concubines of priests were termed "wives." As soon as the legality of marriage was made dependent upon priestly sanction the door of gross immorality was widely opened.18 All restrictions connected with this relation were made to fall with heaviest weight upon woman. Husbands were secured the right of separation for causes not freeing wives; even the adultery of the husband was not deemed sufficient cause unless he brought his mistress into the same house with his wife.19Church and State sustained each other. Conviction of the husband for a capital crime gave the wife no release from the marriage bond, yet in case of the husband's treason, his innocent wife and children were robbed of all share in the estate of the criminal husband and father and were reduced to beggary, his estate escheating to the State.
As under civil law so under ecclesiastical, the Church recognized but slight difference in the guilt of a contumacious husband and that of his pious wife and children." It was a principle of the Church that the innocent must suffer for the guilty, especially when the innocent were women and children powerless to aid themselves. At its every step Canon Law injured woman. The clergy assuming to be an order of spiritual beings, claimed immunity from civil law and allowed for themselves an "arrest of judgment" ultimately enlarged so as to include all male persons who could read and write. This arrest known as "benefit of clergy" was denied to all women, who were liable to sentence of death for the first crime of simple larceny, bigamy, etc.21 Men who by virtue of sex could become priests if able to read, were for the same crimes punished by simple branding in the hand, or a few months imprisonment, while a woman was drawn and burned alive. Did not history furnish much proof of this character it would be impossible to believe that such barbaric injustice was part of English law down to the end of the eighteenth century. Woman first rendered ineligible to the priesthood, was then punished for this ineligibility.
Blackstone recognizes as among the remarkable legal events of the kingdom, the great alteration in the laws through the separation of ecclesiastical courts from the civil. Matrimonial causes, or injuries respecting the rights of marriage are recognized by him as quite an undisturbed branch of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, from the Church having so early converted this
contract into a sacramental ordinance.22 During many centuries education was denied to woman in Christian countries for reasons connected with her ineligibility to the priesthood. The art of reading is by scholars believed to have been one of the ancient mysteries taught at Eleusis and other olden temples; learning, then, as at later periods, was in the hands of priests; therefore the fact of being able to read was synonymous with the right of entering the priesthood. This right appertained to women in many ancient nations even under the Patriarchate. Higgins shows that the word Liber from which our words liberty, freedom, are derived, is one and the same as liber, a book, and had close connection with the intellectual, literary, and priestly class. As under Christian doctrine the priesthood was denied to woman, so under the same rule learning was prohibited to her.23 To permit woman's education under Christianity would have been a virtual concession of her right to the
priesthood. In not allowing her "benefit of clergy" the priests were but consistent with themselves and their pretensions as to the superior holiness of the male sex. That a woman should be burned alive for a crime whose only punishment for a man was a few months imprisonment, was in unison with the whole teaching of the Christian Church regarding woman. Under Canon Law many of the shields theretofore thrown about women were removed. Punishment for crimes against them lessened, while crimes committed by them were more severely punished. Rape, which in early English history was termed felony, its penalty, death, was regarded in a less heinous light under clerical rule.
Under the political constitutions of the Saxons, bishops had seats in the national council and all laws were prefaced by a formal declaration of their consent. By their influence it became a general law that a woman could never take of an inheritance with a man, unless perhaps by the particular And ancient customs of some cities or towns; while daughters at a father's death could be left totally unprovided for. A law was enacted in the reign of Edward VI. that no son should be passed over in his father's will unless disinherited in plain terms and a just cause given. In case of daughters, sex was deemed "a just cause" for leaving them in poverty. The earlier laws of the Danish Knut, or Canute, show that the estate was then divided among all the children. Under Canon Law, the testimony of a woman was not received in a court of justice. She was depicted by the Church as the source of all evil, the mother of every ill.24 Legislation had
the apparent aim of freeing the clergy from all responsibility to the civil or moral law, and placing the weight of every sin or crime upon woman.
A council at Tivoli in the Soissainanes, A. D. 909, presided over by twelve bishops, promulgated a Canon requiring the oath of seven persons to convict a priest with having lived with a woman; if their oath failed of clearing him he was allowed to justify himself upon Ills sole oath. Under Canon Law a woman could not bring an accusation unless prosecuted for an injury done to herself. It is less than thirty years since this law was extant in Scotland; and as late as 1878, that through the influence of Signor Morelli the Italian Parliament repealed the old restriction existant in that country regarding woman's testimony. Under Canon Law a woman could not be witness in ecclesiastical or criminal suits, nor attest a will.25 To cast doubts upon a person's word is indicative of the most supreme contempt, importing discredit to the whole character. That a woman was not allowed to attest a will, nor become a witness in ecclesiastical suits, implied great degradation and is a very strong proof of the low esteem in which woman was held both by State and Church. That a priest could clear himself upon his own unsubstantiated oath is equally significative of the respect in which this office was held, as well as showing the degree in which all law was made to shield man and degrade woman. When we find the oath of seven Women required to nullify that of one layman, we need no stronger testimony as to woman's inequality before the law. Canonists laid down the law for all matters of a temporal nature whether civil or criminal. The buying and selling of lands; leasing, mortgaging,
contracts; the descent of inheritance; the prosecution, and punishment of murder; theft; detection of thieves; frauds; those and many other objects of temporal jurisdiction were provided for by Canon Law. it was intended that the clergy should come entirely under its action, governed as a distinct people from the laity. The principal efforts of the Canon Law towards which all its enactments tended, was the subordination of woman26 and the elevation of the hierarchy. To secure these two ends the church did not hesitate at forgery. For many hundred years a collection of Decretals, or what were claimed as decrees of the early popes, carried great authority, although later investigation has proven them forgeries.27 Civil as well as ecclesiastical laws were forged in the interest of the priesthood; a noted instance, was the once famous law of Constantine which endowed bishops with unlimited power, giving them jurisdiction in all kinds of causes. This law declared that whatever is determined by the judgment of bishops shall always be held as sacred and venerable, and that in all kinds of causes whether they are tried according to the pastoral or civil law that it is law to be forever observed by all.
The famous Seldon known as the "Light of England," declares it to have been "a prodigious and monstrous jurisdiction" assumed by the priestly order, by means
of falsehood and forgery.28 The two classes of temporal affairs that Spiritual Courts especially endeavored to appropriate, were marriages, and wills, with everything bearing upon them. In these the greatest oppression fell upon women.29 Canon Law gradually acquired enormous power through the control it gained over wills, the guardianship of orphans, marriage, and divorce.30 As soon as ecclesiastical courts were divided from the temporal in England,31 a new set of principles and maxims began to prevail. This was one of the first effects of the Conquest, but in 1272, Robert Kilmandy, Dean of Canterbury, gave directions for the restoration and observation of the ancient and neglected laws of Ecclesiastical Courts; of these the Court of Arches was one of the most ancient. It is almost impossible to fix the date of ecclesiastical rule, unless indeed we go back to the very foundation of the church. As noted, the early Saxons were largely governed by their priests. In
615, at the Paris synod, the clergy were given authority in matters theretofore under civil power, while in England we find priestly power to have been great during the fourth and fifth centuries. Bracton sets the one hundred and fifty years between the middle of the twelfth and end of the thirteenth centuries as the period when this power took its greatest strides. At this time it touched upon wills, inheritance, bequests, the legitimacy of children, the marriage relation, and all family concerns, having broken over many securities of the common law. This period covers the establishment of celibacy with the trains of evils noted in the preceding chapter, when the marriage of priests was declared invalid, their wives branded as immoral persons, and stain of illegitimacy thrown upon their children. Despite the guarantees of the Runnymede Charter, and the religious rebellion of the Eighth Henry, despite the vigor of Elizabeth who bent both priest and prelate to her fiery will, the influence of this period moved down in line with the Reformation, and to the injury of woman, successfully incorporated its worst features into the common law; the new church, social and family life all partaking of this injustice. A great number of canons were enacted after the reformation. These, together with the foreign canons which had been adopted, were held as part of the law of England.32 The Episcopal church appropriated numerous canons extant at time of the reformation, several of these having been created for purpose of sustaining the church at a period when the temporal power threatened encroachment.
The archdeacon of Surrey prepared a voluminous work upon this subject known as the Jurus,33 proving that these canons, decrees, etc., when falling into disuse had been established by act of Parliament, as part of the law of England The preface of his work declared that it had been prepared purely for the service of the clergy, and in support of the rights and privileges of the Church. Thus we have direct proof of the adoption of papal decrees as part of the government of the Protestant Episcopal church,--the Anglican--and also as part of English law.
An act of Parliament at this age was regarded as synonymous with a law of God. The Bible and the English government were upon the same plane, each to be implicitly obeyed.34 Canon Law thus firmly established by act of Parliament, the union of Church and State complete, England lost much of that civil freedom whose origin can be traced to the wise legislation and love of freedom inhering in two British queens, Martia and Boadicea. Suffering from cruel wrong, the latter rose in revolt against the Romans. Riding among the squadrons of her army she thus addressed them:
It will not be the first time, Britons, that you have
been victorious under the conduct of your queen. I come not here as one of royal blood, to fight for empire or riches, but as one of the common people to avenge the loss of their liberty, the wrongs of myself and my children. If you Britons will but consider the motives of our war, you will resolve to conquer or die. Is it not much better to fall in the defense of liberty than to be exposed to the outrages of the Romans? Such at least is my resolution, you may it you please live and be slaves.
But many historians date the entire subordination of the common law to ecclesiasticism, to the reign of Stephen, who ascended to the throne 1135, the fourth of the Anglo-Norman kings. In order to keep the ranks of the church full, the bearing of children was enforced upon women as a religious duty. No condition of health or distaste for motherhood was admitted as exemption. Alike from the altar, the confessional, and at the marital ceremony,35 was this duty taught, nor has such instruction even under the light of physiology and new regard for personal rights, yet ceased.36 No less is the unresisting subjection of women in this relation indirectly or directly enforced by the Protestant and the Greek churches as the law of the Bible and God. 'Increase and multiply'37 has been the first commandment for woman, held as far more binding upon her than the "Ten Words" of Mount Sinai. Proof exists in abundance of a character impossible to present in this work.
Under the general absence of learning and the equally general reverence for whatever emanated from the church, minor ecclesiastics found it in their power
to promulgate doctrines to suit every new set of circumstances; thus many laws aside from regularly promulgated canons, came from time to time into force. When once applied they assumed all the power of custom and soon bore all the force of common law. The evils of ecclesiastical law were soon increased through the unsparing use of forgery and falsehood. Lea says:
In the remodeling of European Institutions, so necessary to the interests of Christianity and civilization, one of the most efficient agencies was the collection of Canons known as the False Decretals. Forgery was by no means a novel expedient to the church. From the earliest times orthodox and heretics had rivalled each other in the manufacture of whatever documents were necessary to substantiate their respective positions whether in faith or discipline. An examination of these Decretals tends to the conclusion that they were not the result of one effort or the work of one man Their constant repetitions and their frequent contradiction would seem to prove this, and to show that they were manufactured from to time to time to meet the exigencies of the moment or to gratify the feelings of the writers. Interpolated into codes of law, adopted and amplified in the canons of councils and the decretals of popes, they speedily became part of the civil and ecclesiastical policy of Europe, leaving traces on the constitutions which they afflicted for centuries * * The pretenses and privileges which they conferred on the hierarchy became the most dearly prized and frequently quoted portions of the Canon Law. In each struggle with the temporal authority, it was the arsenal from which were drawn the most effective weapons, and after each struggle the sacerdotal combatants had higher vantage ground for the ensuing conflict * * * theories of ecclesiastical superiority which left so profound an impress on the middle ages and which have in no slight degree molded our modern civilization.
Even Magna Charta strengthened Canon Law, confirming many liberties of the Church, and injuring women by prohibiting appeal to them unless for the death of their husbands. While the general tenor of the church was against marriage, an unmarried woman unless dedicating her life to the church was, regarded with more contempt than the married. To be under control of a husband was looked upon as the normal condition of women not living celibate lives. Consequently women were driven into marriage or monastic houses,38 and no reproach so great as the term "old maid." The influence of custom is nowhere more discernible than in Blackstone himself. The great commentator while fully admitting the blending of Canon with Common law, also acknowledging its most prejudicial effects to have fallen upon woman, yet attempts to prove that the liberties of the English people were not infringed through ecclesiasticism. He is so entirely permeated with the church doctrine of woman's created inferiority as not to be willing to acknowledge the infringement of her natural liberty through it, although at the same time he declares that "whosoever would fully understand the Canon Law must study Common Law in respect to woman." Such benumbing of the moral faculties through her doctrines is among the greatest wrongs perpetrated by the church upon mankind. Nor is it alone in regard to woman. During the Franco-Prussian war a writer declared the great and absolute need of the French people to be education; that of moral character there was absolutely none, either in the higher or lower classes. Even the sons of aristocratic families educated in Jesuit schools, being at most taught that
wrong can only be measured by a formal religious standard, and that every wrong can be wiped out by confession to the priest. French education, this writer declared to be that of two centuries ago, when might was looked upon as identical with justice. Nor can morality be taught while its basis in the church remains the same.
The priestly profession held the most brilliant promises of gratified ambition to every man that entered it. Not alone did he possess the keys of heaven and hell, but also those of temporal power. The laity were his Obedient servants upon which he could impose penance and from whose coffers wealth could be made to flow into his own. Through long continued false teaching the people believed their fate in both worlds more fully depended upon the priesthood than upon their own course in life, God having deputed a share of his power to every priest and monk, no matter how debased; and that when be spoke it was not himself, but God, through his lips, as asserted by the priesthood themselves. This impious assertion so capable as shown of being used for the most tyrannous purposes, came also into the Reformation, and is even heard from the lips of Protestant clergymen to-day.39 Denied recognition of a right to decide for themselves whether the priest spoke from God, or from his own ambitious and iniquitous Purposes, deprived of education as well as of free thought,--the latter a crime to be punished with death after the Most diabolical torture,--it is not a subject of surprise
that the majority of the christian world was a prey to the vilest superstition. The claim of infallibility, which may be unsuccessfully combated when urged by a single individual, became all-potent when advanced by a large powerfully organized and widely distributed class under guise of religion, into which the element of fear largely entered. No salvation outside of the church was a fundamental doctrine of that body. Hell was declared not to be peopled alone by the heathen, but by christian heretics, and the excommunicated who had died without obtaining forgiveness from the Church. These were depicted as in eternal torments of a more terrible character than even those whom birth had left ignorant of the plan of salvation. The strength of the church Jay in its control of the conscience and the will. Upon the State it fastened double bonds; first, by its control of each individual member; second, in its capacity of secular ruler. Long before the days of Torquemada and Ximenes, the Inquisition had practically been brought to every man's door. The imagination, that faculty that in its perfection constitutes the happiness of mankind, was made the implement of excessive mental torture. Common Law as it exists to-day is the outgrowth of Ecclesiastical or Canon Law touching upon all the relations of life but falling with heaviest weight upon woman, as Blackstone so frankly admits.40 From the X. to the XVI. centuries is the period when the features of the Canon Law most derogatory to woman became thoroughly incorporated into English common law, since which period the complete inferiority and subordination of woman has been as fully maintained by the State as by the Church.
Common Law in not alone English law, it is the basic law of the United States. Chancellor Kent said of it, "Common Law is part of the fundamental law of the United States." It has been recognized and adopted as one entire system by the constitutions of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. It has been assumed by courts of justice, or declared by statute, as the law of the land in every State, although its influence upon the criminal codes of England and the United States has but recently attracted the attention of legal minds. Wharton whose "Criminal Law" has been for years a standard work, did not examine this relation until its seventh edition. in the preface to this edition he gave a copious array of authors in English, German, Latin, in proof that the criminal codes of those two countries are permanently based upon Ecclesiastical Law.
An early council of Carthage thus ordained:
"Let not a woman however learned or holy presume to teach a man in a public assembly." To this Canon may be ascribed the obstacles thrown in the way of women even during the present century, who have come before the world as public teachers in the pulpit, at the bar, in medicine, or the more customary branches of instruction. Advancing civilization of the present century is still hampered by the laws of an imperfect church, enacted many hundred years since. The trial of Mistress Anne Hutchinson in New England, during the XVII. Century, was chiefly for the sin of having taught men.
All modern legislation can be referred to the church for its origin although most especially noticeable in reference to women legislated for as a class, distinct and separate from men. Under Church laws, the humble,
the ignorant, the helpless have been the most oppressed, because of their powerlessness, but upon no part of humanity has this oppression so heavily fallen as upon her whom the church has declared to be the author of all the misery of human life." The laws of bastardy and illegitimacy still extant in Christian countries which decree that a child born outside of marriage shall be known by its mother's name and she alone responsible for its support, and which do not allow it to inherit its putative father's property even when he acknowledges the child as his own, are of ecclesiastical origin. Enacted by the Church in its most powerful days, as protection to a celibate priesthood against all claim by mother or child, they are still a reminder of the Matriarchate when the sole right of the mother to the child was unquestioned. But under Church ruling this law that the child should follow the condition of the mother, herself but a slave, was the source of great injustice both to women and to thousands of innocent children. Under feudalism and during slavery the child of the feudal lord or powerful master by a serf woman, became at birth subject to all the restrictions of the mother while the father was freed from accountability of any nature. The Antonelli case referred to in the second chapter, in which the Countess Lambertini claimed heirship of Cardinal Antonelli's property as his daughter, was decided against her not upon denial of her paternity which was most fully proven, but because under church law
this daughter had no claim upon her priestly father. Under Canon Law she was no more to be regarded as his child than as the child of any other man. She was "fatherless." She was "A sacrilegious child" having violated sacred things by coming into existence. Her "holy" father under Canon Law was entirely irresponsible for her birth.42
The reformation proved itself in many ways as restrictive towards woman as catholicism. The commencement of modern law dates to the reign of Elizabeth,
who established the reformation upon a firm basis. The oppression of her reign exceeded all that had been experienced under Catholicism. No cottager in England was permitted to shelter his homeless mother or sister under penalty43 because, she was "masterless." The greatest amount of legislation both religious and secular under the Patriarchate has bad woman for its object, and this is especially noticeable in all countries where Christianity has been the dominant power, because she has not been regarded by the church as a component part of humanity, but as an offshoot whose rights and responsibility were entirely different from those of man. Although among the Anglo-Saxons the priesthood possessed great influence yet after the Norman Conquest ecclesiasticism gained much greater control in England, and Canon Law began to influence legislation, as has been shown, exercising its chief restrictive force upon woman. While under old Common Law,44 a husband was compelled to leave his wife one-third of his property and could leave her as much more as he pleased, by Canon Law be was prohibited from leaving her more than one-third and could leave her as much less as he pleased. Thus ecclesiasticism presumed to control a husband's affections and placing its slimy fingers upon common law, allowed the husband to leave his wife in absolute poverty, notwithstanding that her property upon marriage, and her services under marriage, belonged
exclusively to him. As early as the twelfth century, Glanville laid it down as a law of the British Kingdom that no one was compelled to leave another person any portion of his property, and that the part usually devised to wives was left them at the dictate of affection and not of law. Thus early did the Church in England override Common Law to the detriment of woman. While thus legislating in opposition to family rights, the church continually favored its own increase of its own property.45 The world has produced no system so thoroughly calculated to extend its own power and wealth, as this vast celibate organization which, under the guise of religion, appealed to man's superstition, and ruled his will under the assumption of divine authority, the family being its chief objective point of attack.
While under feudalism his lord was to receive the best gift at the villein's death, the church the second best, in time the demands of the church overpowered those of the lord, as well as those of the family. So rapacious did the church at last become in its demand for valuable gifts and its claim of one third of a man's property upon his decease, that the civil law ultimately interfered, not however in the interests of wives, but of creditors. Canon Law nearly everywhere prevailed, having its largest growth through the pious fiction of woman's created inferiority. Wherever it became the basis of legislation, the laws of succession and inheritance, and those in regard to children, constantly sacrificed the interests of wives and daughters to those of husbands and sons. Church legislation created
numerous and stringent enactments which rendered it impossible for woman to succeed to any considerable amount of property, forcing her to entire dependence upon man, either as a wife, or as a resident of a religious house; thus she entirely lost the freedom possessed by her in pagan Rome.46
While under Canon Law the dower of the wife was forfeited by attainder of the husband, yet the husband did not lose his right to the wife's property in case she was attainted of treason. Under Canon Law if for recognized just cause of the husband's cruelty the wife separated from him, she was returned upon his demand provided he gave security for treating her well.
Canon Law gave to the husband the power of compelling the wife's return if, for any cause, she left him. She was then at once in the position of an outlaw, branded as a runaway who had left her master's service, a wife who had left "bed and board" without consent,
and whom all persons were forbidden "to harbor" or shelter "under penalty of the law." The absconding wife was in the position of an excommunicate from the Catholic Church, or of a woman condemned as a witch. Any person befriending her was held accessory to the wife's theft of herself from her husband, and rendered liable to fine and other punishment for having helped to rob the husband (master) of his wife (slave). The present formula of advertising a wife, which so frequently disgraces the press, is due to this belief in wife-ownership.
Whereas my wife * * * has left my bed and board without just cause or provocation, I hereby forbid all persons from harboring or trusting her on my account.
By old English law, in case the wife was in danger of perishing in a storm, it was allowable "to harbor" and shelter her. It is less than fifty years since the dockets of a court in New York city, the great metropolis of the United States, were sullied by the suit of a husband against parties who had received, "harbored" and sheltered his wife after she left him, the husband recovering $10,000 damages.
In losing control, upon marriage, of her person and her property, woman's condition became that of an infant. No act of hers was of legal value. If she made a bargain her husband could repudiate it and the person with whom she had contracted was held to have taken part in a fraud. The denial under Common Law of her right to make a contract grew out of the denial of her right of ownership. Not possessing control of her inheritance or of her future actions, she was consequently held unable to make a binding contract.47 Forbidden the right of acting for herself; deprived
of the ownership and control of her own property or earnings, woman had little opportunity to prove her business capacity. Since the time of Aristotle the control of property has been recognized as the basis of social and responsible conditions. The great school of German jurists48 teach that ownership increases both physical and moral capacity, and that as owner, actual, or possible, man is a more capable and worthy being than he would otherwise be.
Inasmuch as through both the ecclesiastical and civil laws of Christendom, woman was debarred from giving testimony in courts of law; sisters prohibited from sharing a patrimony with brothers; wives deprived of property rights both of inheritance and earnings, it is entirely justifiable to say that even the boasted Common Law, that pride of English speaking peoples, has greatly injured civilization through its destruction of woman's property rights. Canon or Church laws were enacted upon the principle of protection for men alone and upon these civil laws gradually became wholly based. Herbert Spencer49 has not failed to recognize this fact in England. No less in law than in religion is woman dealt with as a secondary being, for whom equal religious rights or equal civil rights are not designed. While under the Matriarchate justice and purity prevailed, and the inherent rights of man were preserved, we find an entirely contrary condition under the Patriarchate, that system enacting laws solely with intent to man's interest regardless alike of mother, sister, wife or daughter. The entire destruction under Canon and
civil law, of woman's property rights, has not alone lessened her responsibility, but has also diminished her self-respect. As in common with a child, or a slave, her business agreements were held as of no binding force, she ultimately came to regard herself as incapable of business transactions. In England until a very recent date, and in the United States until when in 1839, Mississippi first placed the control of her own property in a married woman's hands (to be followed in 1848, by Pennsylvania, New York, and about the same period by Rhode Island), it was in the husband's power in every part of christian Europe and America, to repudiate any bargain, sale or gift made by the wife as of no binding legal force, and this, even though she had brought the entire property into the marital firm.50 Therefore under Christian laws the person with whom the wife made a contract, or to whom she made a gift was held as a criminal, or participant in a fraud. The wife under Canon Law belonged to the husband, and as a sequence to not owning herself she could not own property, and in her condition of servitude could possess no control over either her present or her future actions. Such is Common Law warped and changed by Canon Law.51
Property is a delicate test of the condition of a nation. It is a remarkable fact in history that the rights of property have everywhere been recognized before
the rights of person. The American Revolution arose from an attack upon property rights and although the Declaration of Independence assumed the rights of person to be primal, this unique foundation for a system of government has not yet fully been admitted in practice, and woman is still denied its advantages and responsibilities. While the property owner unwittingly becomes a hostage for the security of the state itself, it needs governmental recognition of the rights of person, in order to create firm self-reliance and a feeling of strength and freedom. A proper self-respect cannot inhere in any person under governmental control of others. Unless the person so governed constantly maintains a system of rebellion in thought or deed, the soul gradually becomes debased, and the finest principles of human nature suffer a rapid process of disintegration; The integrity of elementary principles disappears, bad citizenship results, the general rights of humanity are ignored, selfish, personal, or family interests taking their place. Good citizenship requires individual personal responsibility in affairs of the state.
That property rather than person still receives recognition in governmental matters, owes its origin to the period when the rights of the common people in both property and person were ignored. The effort of the peasant was chiefly directed to securing property. To his clouded vision, the wealth of the lord created his power, and to a great extent such was the fact. Intuitively lie felt that property rights were the basis of the rights of persons. The Church possessed enormous wealth, as did all his oppressors, and the peasant could but see that control of rights of property was a dangerous assault upon their rights of
person. The foremost element of all slavery is the denial to the slave of right to the proceeds of his own labor. As soon as a colored slave in the United States, was permitted to hire his time, the door of freedom began to open for him. Thus when Canon Law so influenced Civil and Common Law that it forbade woman's inheritance and ownership of property, it placed its final touch upon her degradation; she virtually became a slave to her husband. Sir Henry Maine is outspoken in declaring that Christianity has thus deeply injured civilization, an injury from which he asserts there can be no recovery as long as society remains Christian. As a man of profound thought he does not fail to see that the prevailing religious sentiment created by the teachings of the church as to woman's created inferiority and subjection to man, was the cause of that destruction of her property rights. The priests of pagan Rome held juster view regarding woman than did the Christian Church. Before the establishment of Christianity they had conferred the rights of woman to property; daughters inherited equally with sons. To such extent was woman's rights of property carried that at one period, as has been heretofore stated, the greater part of the real-estate of the empire was in woman's possession.52 The slavish condition of woman greatly increased through denial of her rights of inheritance, was more fully established through denial to her of the fruits of her own labor in the
marriage relation. Under church law the wife was the husband's personal slave, all her time was absolutely his. Civil and ecclesiastical law held her as completely under his authority. Her property, her person, her time and services were all at the husband's disposal. Nor did the Reformation effect a change in this respect. Luther's ninety Theses nailed against the church door in Wittemberg, did not assert woman's natural or religious equality with man. It was a maxim of his that "no gown or garment worse became a woman than that she will be wise." The home under the reformation was governed by the laws in force before that period.
First. She was to be under obedience to the masculine head of the household.
Second. She was to be constantly employed for his benefit.
Third. Her society was strictly chosen for her by her master and responsible head.
Fourth. This masculine family head was regarded as a general father-confessor to whom she was held as responsible in word and deed.
Fifth. Neither genius nor talent could free women from such control without his consent.
The Cromwellian period while exhibiting an increase of piety brought no amelioration to woman. The old Church doctrine of her having caused the expulsion of men from Paradise was still proclaimed from the pulpit, and warnings against her extreme sinfulness lost none of their invective strength from the lips of the new gospel. All kinds of learning and accomplishments for her fell under new reprobation and the old teaching as to her iniquities and the necessity for her to feel shame from the fact of her
existence took new force after the rise of Melancthon, Huss, and Luther.53 About this period it was said "she that knoweth how to compound a pudding is more desirable than she who skilfully compoundeth a poem."54 Men thought it no shame to devote themselves to the pleasure of the table. Epicures and gluttons abounded, but to women was forbidden a seat at the world's intellectual board; she who secured. learning did so at the peril of her social and religious position. Under no other system of religion has there been such absolute denial of woman's right to directly approach the divinity; under no other religious system has her debasement been greater.55
It cannot be asserted that the religious system teaching restrictive moral and civil laws regarding woman, is of the past. Its still great living influence is shown by the thousands of pilgrims who visited Italy during the Pope's jubilee and the presents of incalculable value that by tens of thousands poured into the papal treasury in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the entrance of Pope Leo XIII. into the priesthood. These were received from almost every
civilized nation, Christian, Mohammedan, Catholic, Protestant. Even the President of the United States, head of a form of government which recognizes religion as entirely disconnected with the State, so far catered to superstition, so far conceded the assumptions of this system, as to send an elegant copy of the Federal Constitution to the Pope, through Cardinal Gibbons.56 No stronger proof is required of the still powerful influence of that system based upon the degradation of woman, than the fact that the President of the United States, temporary head of a nation professedly based upon a recognition of equal civil, political and religious rights; the Queen of England head of the Anglican Church; the Sultan of Turkey representative of Mohammedanism; Sadogara, the celebrated Rabbi of Vienna, known as the "Pope of the Hebrews," were all found among the number of persons outside of Catholicism who by gifts recognized this occasion. It was but ten years previously that Pope Pius IX. celebrated his jubilee entrance into the Episcopal office with great pomp and ceremony, but the jubilee of Leo XIII. exceeded in splendor and popular interest anything of the kind ever before known as the history of the church. With
a religious clientelle Of 200,000,000 behind him, and the ten thousand magnificent testimonials as to the justice of his claim as vicar of Jesus Christ, the world cannot fail to be impressed by the danger to human liberty still connected with this powerful organization; an organization that in its control of human thought and human will has ever been of incalculable injury to mankind. Portions of the daily press saw the continuing danger, declaring that:
These facts are truly impressive indicating as they do the tremendous hold which the Roman ecclesiastical system has gained over the hearts and minds of men. Very striking, too, is the contrast between all this magnificence and pomp and manifest aspiration for temporal power on the part of one who claims to be the representative on earth of the "meek and lowly Jesus," and the poverty, unostentation and self-denial of the "Son of Man," who had not where to lay his head.
This jubilee is an event of great moment to the XIX. century, at once a warning and a proof of the life and strength of that scheme which has for its real end, not alone the spiritual but also the temporal subjugation of the entire human race. Since Italy under King Humbert secured its release from the temporal power, thus severing the last authoritative grasp of the pope upon temporal kingdoms, the attempt has been sedulously made to create a fictitious sympathy for the pope under claim of his imprisonment in the Vatican. Nor at the least supreme moment of his pride and glorification did the pope forget to call attention of the world to his temporal claims, by a refusal to receive the offered gifts of the king and queen who occupy the worldly throne he maintains to be especially his own.57
The doctrine of original sin and woman as the original sinner, transplanted from Judaism into Christianity by Paul in the statement that "Adam, first created, was not first in sin," was developed to its present evil proportions by the early Christian Fathers. To St. Augustine, whose youth was spent in company with the most degraded of womankind, is the world indebted for the full development of the doctrine of original sin. Taught as one of the most sacred mysteries of religion, which to doubt or to question was to hazard eternal damnation, it at once exerted a most powerful and repressing influence upon woman, fastening upon her a bondage which the civilization of the nineteenth century has not been able to cast off.
Reverence for the ancient in customs, habits of life, law, religion, is the strongest and most pernicious obstacle to advancing civilization. To this doctrine of woman's created inferiority58 and original sin we can trace those irregularities which for many centuries filled the Church with shame, for practices more obscene than the orgies of Babylon or Corinth, and which dragged Christendom to a darkness blacker than the night of heathendom in pagan countries--a darkness upon which the most searching efforts of historians cast scarcely one ray of light--a darkness so profound that from the seventh to the eleventh century no individual thought can be traced.
Rev. Charles Kingsley, a canon of the English Church declared that from the third to the fifteenth centuries, Christianity had been swamped by hysteria
in the practice of all those nameless orgies which made a by-word of Corinth during the first century. Every evil was traced to woman. A curious old black letter volume published in London, 1632, declares that "the reason why women have no control in Parliament, why they make no laws, consent to none, abrogate none, is their original sin."
1. Maine says the bodies of customary law which were built up over Europe were in all matters of first principles under ecclesiastical influence, but the particular application of a principle once accepted were extremely various.
2. The Council held at Winchester in time of Archbishop Le Franc contained a constitution that a marriage without the benediction of a priest should not be deemed a legitimate marriage. Ecclesiastical law as allowed in this country (Great Britain), from earliest times the presence of a priest was required to constitute a legal marriage. Reeves.--History of English Law.
3. Reeves History of English Law is a full and comprehensive history of the English law. Accurate and judicious as well as full. Lord Mansfield is said to have advised its author. In this work the student is presented with all that is necessary that he should know of the earliest law books. Bracton, Glanville and Fleta carefully collected and presented. Reeves History of English Law, says Chancellor Kent, contains the best account that we have of the progress of the law from the time of the Saxons to the reign of Elizabeth. Sherwood.--Professional Ethics.p. 114
4. Hefele's, Acts of Councils.p. 115
5. Church and priestly property is still untaxed in the United States. At an early day the clergy were not required to sit on juries nor permitted to cast a vote.
6. Giessier, Ecclesiastical History.p. 116
7. Doctrines in the Canon Law most favorable to the power of the clergy are founded in ignorance, or supported by fraud and forgery, of which a full account is found in Gerard. See Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscript., Tom 18, p. 46. Also Voltaire's essay upon general history.
8. "Whenever Canon Law has been the basis of legislation, we find the laws of succession sacrificing the interests of daughters and wives." "Du Cange, in his Glossary, voc Casia Christianitatis, has collected most of the causes with respect to which the clergy arrogated an exclusive jurisdiction, and Giannone, in the Civil History of Naples, lib. 19, sec. 3, has arranged these under proper heads scrutinizing the pretensions of the church."p. 117
9. "Canons were made from time to time to supply the defects of the common law of the church; so were statutes added to enforce both Common and Canon Law. The greater part of the statutes made before the Reformation, which concerns the church and clergy, are directly leveled against violence committed against the possession of persons by the minister or the king, and against the encroachments of the Temporal Courts upon the spiritual jurisdiction."
10. "Phantastic romanticists and calculating persons have endeavored to represent this period as the age of morality and sincere reverence for woman. * * * The 'Service of Love' preached by French, German, and Italian knights, was supposed to prove the high respect paid to the women of that day. On the contrary, this period succeeded in destroying the little respect for the female sex which existed at its commencement. The knights both in town and country were mostly coarse, licentious men. * * * The chronicles of the times swarm with tales of rape and violence on the part of nobles in the country, and still more in the towns where they were exclusive rulers up to the XIII. and XIV. centuries, while those subjected to this degraded treatment were powerless to obtain redress. In the towns the nobles sat on the magistrates bench, and in the country criminal jurisdiction was in the hands of the lord of the manor, squire or bishop."
11. The first article of the famous Code of Love was "Marriage is not a legitimate excuse against love."
12. This was Christine's first work. Her success was so great that she supported a family of six persons by her pen.
13. Wright. Womankind in Europe.p. 118
14. "The Fathers seem to have thought dissolution of marriage was not lawful on account of the adultery of the husband, but that it was not absolutely unlawful for a husband whose wife had committed adultery to re-marry."p. 119
15. The preference of males over females in succession was totally unknown to the laws of Rome. Brothers and sisters were entitled to equal parts of the inheritance. Blackstone.--Commentaries.p. 120
16. No marriage could take place after 12 M., which is even now the rule of the English Established Church. The decrees of the Plenary Council, Baltimore 1884, tend to the establishment of similar regulations in our own country.p. 121
17. The New Testaments of sixty years since, contained a list of relatives commencing with grandfather and grandmother, whom a man and woman might not marry.
18. The policy of the church was to persuade mankind that the cohabitation of a man and woman was in itself unholy, and that nothing but a religious bond or sacrament could render it inoffensive in the eyes of God. Pike.--History of Crime in England, I, 90.
19. This law held good in Protestant England until within the last decade.p. 122
20. The church visited its penalties upon the innocent as well as guilty; whet, any man remained under excommunication two months, his wife and children were interdicted and deprived of all doctrines of the church but baptism and repentance. Lea.--Studies in Church History.
21. In England, until the reign of William and Mary, women were refused the benefit of clergy.p. 123
22. In the hands of such able politicians it (marriage), soon became an engine of great importance to the papal scheme of an universal monarchy over Christendom. The innumerable canonical impediments that were invented and occasionally dispensed with by the Holy See, not only enriched the coffers of the church, but give it a vast ascendant over persons of all denominations, whose marriages were sanctioned or repudiated, their issue legitimated or bastardized * * * according to the humor or interest of the reigning pontiff.--Commentaries, 3, 92.
23. The word Liber, free, the solar Phre of Egypt, and Liber, a book, being as has been shown, closely connected, the bookish men of Bac, Boc, Bacchus, were comparatively free from the rule of the warrior class, both in civil and military point of view, and thence arises our benefit of clergy. If the benefit of clergy depends upon a statute, it had probably been obtained by the priests to put their privilege out of doubt. It has been a declaratory statute, although, perhaps, every man who was initiated could not read and write, yet I believe every man who could read and write was initiated, these arts being taught to the initiated only in very early times. It has been said that the privilege of clergy was granted to encourage learning. I believe it was used as a test, as a proof that a man was of, or immediately belonging to, the sacred tribe, and therefore exempt from the jurisdiction of the court in which he had been tried. If he were accused he said nothing; if found guilty he pleaded his orders and his reading. I have little doubt that the knowledge of reading and letters were a masonic secret for many generations, and that it formed part of the mysterious knowledge of Eleusis and other temples.--Anacalypsis, 2, 271-2.p. 124
24. Woman was represented as the door of hell, as the mother of all human ills. She should be ashamed of the very thought that she is a woman, she should live in continual penance on account of the curses she had brought upon the world. She should be ashamed of her dress, for it is the memorial of her fall. She should especially be ashamed of her beauty, for it is the most potent instrument of the demon. * * * Women were even forbidden by a provincial council, in the sixth century, on account of their impurity, to receive the eucharist in their naked hands. Their essentially subordinate position was continually maintained. Lecky.--Hist. European Morals.p. 125
25. No woman can witness a will in the state of Louisiana to-day.p. 126
26. Blackstone says whosoever wishes to form a correct idea of Canon Law can do so by examining it in regard to married women.--Commentaries.
27. Blondell, a learned Protestant who died in 1659, fully proved Isidore's Collection of the Decretal Epistles of the popes of the first three centuries, to be all forged and a shameless imposture, says Collier.p. 127
28. The famous law of Constantine, attached to the Theodosian Code, by virtue of which a prodigious and monstrous jurisdiction was formerly attributed to bishops, or to the hieratic order, though in reality that law was never a part of the aforesaid code, at the end of which it is found. Seldon.--Dissertation on Fleta, p. 101.
At time of Valentinian neither bishops nor the Consistories could, without the consent of the contracting lay parties, take cognizance of their causes. * * * Because, says that emperor, it is evident that bishops and priests have no court to determine the laws in, neither can they according to the imperial constitutions of Arcadius and Honorius, as is manifest from the Theodosian body, judge of any other matters than those relating to religion. Thus the aforesaid Emperor Valentinian. Neither do I think that the above sanction as extravagant, obtained a place at the end of the Theodosian Code, or was under the title of Episcopis, by any other manner posted into my manuscript, than by the frauds and deceits, constantly, under various pretenses, made use of by the hieratical orders, who endeavored to shape right or wrong, according to the custom of those ages, not to mention others, sovereign princes and republics of their authority and legal power, by this means under the cloak of religion, its constant pretext, most strenuously serving their own ends and ambition.--Ibid, 107.
29. See Reeves.--History of English Law.
30. Draper.--Conflict of Science and Religion.
31. Reeves.p. 128
32. Declaration of judges in the famous case of Evans and Ascuith. Vaughn said in a later case of the same kind, "If Canon Law be made part of the law of this land, then it is as much a law of the land and as well, and by the same authority as any other part of the law of the land."p. 129
33. Gibson was archdeacon of Surrey, Rector of Lambeth, and Chaplain of his Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (Primate of all England and Metropolitan) to whom the Jurus was dedicated. The work said: "The foreign is what we commonly call the body of Canon Law, consisting of the Canons of Councils, Decrees of Popes and the like, which obtained in England by virtue of their own authority (in like manner as they did in other parts of the Western Church), till the time of the Reformation, and from that time have continued upon the foot of consent, usage and custom. For which distinction we have no less warrant than an act of Parliament, made at the very time when those foreign laws were declared to be no longer binding by their own authority. * * * We have a plain declaration that foreign laws became part of the law of England by long use and consent. Gibson.--Codex Jurus Ecclesiasticum Anglican.
34. English Common Law Reports, Hill vs. Gould, Vaughn, p. 327, says: "Whatever is declared by an Act of Parliament to be against God's law must be so admitted by us, because it is so declared by an Act of Parliament."p. 130
35. Under Catholic form the bride promises to consecrate her body to the marital rite.
36. Chiniquy.--The Priest, the Woman and the Confessional.
37. "The clergy formerly, and to this very day, declare those women evil who desire to limit self-indulgence and procreation."p. 132
38. See Lecky.--Hist. European Morals.p. 133
39. In a sermon laudatory of the preachers office, delivered in the May Memorial Unitarian Church, in Syracuse, N. Y., Sunday, Nov. 27,1887, Rev. Mr Calthrop, the pastor, said: "Noble words are your chief weapons of offense and defense. But remember it is not you that speak when you utter them, but the Holy Ghost. From Retort of Sermon, published in the "Daily Standard", November 28th.p. 134
40. Whoever wishes to gain insight into that great institution, Common Law, can do so most efficiently by studying Canon Law in regard to married women, Commentaries.p. 136
41. Distinction of class appears most prominently in all the criminal laws for which the clergy are responsible. It was for the man of low estate, the slave, and for women, that the greatest atrocities were reserved. If the thief was a free woman she was to be thrown down a precipice or drowned (a precedent without doubt for dragging a witch through a pond), If the thief was a female slave, and had stolen from any but her own lord, eighty female slaves were to attend, each bearing a log of wood to pile the fire and burn the offender to death. Pike.--Hist. of Crime in England, 49-51.p. 137
42. A correspondent of "The London Times" writes from Rome that he has not beard a single doubt expressed as to the paternity of the Countess Lambertini, and the line adopted by the Antonelli heirs tacitly confirms it. They strenuously oppose the production of any of the evidence the plaintiff has offered. They object to the depositions of the witnesses being heard and tested, and they have declared their intention of impugning as forgeries the documentary proofs tendered. These documents consist of some letters written by Antonietta Marconi to the Archpriest Vendetta, and particularly one dated April 1, 1857, wherein, asking him to prepare a draught of a letter to the Cardinal she says that "Giacomo" does not send her money, although he knows that he has a daughter to support, and that Loretina is a cause, of great expense. "Write to him forcibly," she says, "or I shall do something disagreeable" The extent of the scandal in Rome does not consist so much in the fact of a Cardinal in Antonelli's position having had one or more children, as in the law-suit which has brought all the intimate details connected with the affair before the public. Antonelli was to all intents and purposes a layman, filling one of those civil departments of an ecclesiastical temporal Government to qualify for which it was indispensably requisite to assume the ecclesiastical habit. He accepted early in life those obligations without which no career would have been open to him, and, like many others, he regarded them as mere matters of form, for under the imperturbable mask of the ecclesiastical diplomat beat a heart filled with the warmest domestic affections and instincts, and how strong those feelings were in him was fully demonstrated in his will, and is clearly shown in every incident of the story now revealed.
Dame Gervasi has been subjected to a rigid cross-examination by the counsel of the brothers Antonelli. The proceedings were conducted with closed doors, but a Roman correspondent of "The Daily News" seems in some manner to have wormed out the essential facts. When the mysterious "foreign young lady" went to lodge at Dame Gervasi's, Cardinal Antonelli--so the gossip runs--paid several visits to his protégé. "I remember," says the Dame, "that when I went to open the door to them I held in my hand a bowl of beef tea, which I was taking to the patient. Dr. Lucchini was the first to enter, and I soon recognized the second visitor to be Cardinal Antonelli, who wore a long redingote and a tall hat. He took the bowl, which I held in my hand. 'This is for the patient,' he said inquiringly, but before I had time to reply he had swallowed part of its contents." Dame Gervasi then proceeded to relate how Dr. Lucchini left the Cardinal alone with the foreign young lady. The witness put her ear to the keyhole, and heard distinctly the sound of kisses alternating, with sobs between the two. His Eminence, to console the patient, told her he had taken every precaution against the matter becoming known, "Don't be afraid" he said, "nobody will be a bit the wiser. You will be able to marry. As for the baby, that's my affair. I will take care of her, and I swear to you that she will never know the name of her mother." Dame Gervasi gave the names of the persons who had come to her on behalf of the brothers Antonelli and these emissaries, she said, tried to make her disclose all she knew, and promised her large sums of money to bind her to silence as to the clandestine part played by Signora Marconi, and as to the Cardinal's relations with the "foreign young lady."--N. Y. Tribune, July 5, 1878.p. 138
43. See Reeves.--Early English Law.
44. Hollingshed's Chronicles.
The foundation of old common law seems traceable to Martia, the widow of Guilliame, left regent of her husband's kingdom, comprising a part of Britain. two hundred years prior to the christian era. This queen directed her attention to framing a system of laws which acquired for her the surname of "Proba," or "The just." They were evidently one of the three parts under which the common law is divided, although under canon law the entire property of the wife became that of the husband upon marriage.p. 139
45. In England, in 1538, or even earlier, it was calculated that besides the tithes, one-third of the kingdom was ecclesiastical property, and that these vast Possessions were devoted to the support of a body of men who found their whole serious occupation in destroying the virtue of women. Lea.--Sacerdotal Celibacy.p. 140
46. The pagan laws during the Empire had been continually repealing the old disabilities of women; and the legislative movement in their favor continued with unabated force from Constantine to Justinian, and appeared also in some of the early laws of the barbarians. But, in the whole feudal legislation, women were placed in a much lower legal position than in the pagan Empire. In addition to the personal restrictions which grew necessarily out of the Catholic Christian doctrines concerning divorce, and the subordination of the weaker sex, we find numerous and stringent enactments, which rendered it impossible for women to succeed to any considerable amount of property, and which almost reduced them to the alternative of marriage or a nunnery. The complete inferiority of the sex was continually maintained by law; and that generous public opinion which in Rome had frequently revolted against the injustice done to girls, in depriving them of the greater part of the inheritance of their fathers, totally disappeared. Wherever the canon law has been the basis of legislation, we find laws of succession sacrificing the interests of daughters and of wives, and a state of public opinion which has been formed and regulated by these laws; nor was any serious attempt made to abolish them till the close of the last century. The French Revolutionists, though rejecting the proposal of Sieyès and Condorcet to accord political emancipation to women, established at least an equal succession of sons and daughters, and thus initiated a great reformation of both law and opinion, which sooner or later must traverse the world. Lecky.--Hist. Morals, Vol. II, pp. 357-359.p. 141
47. Sheldon Amos.--Science of Law.p. 142
49. Our laws are based on the all-sufficiency of man's rights. Society exists for man only; for women merely as they are represented by some man; are in the mundt or keeping of some man.--Descriptive Sociology of England.p. 143
50. This slavish condition of the wife yet prevails in over one-half the states of the union.
51. The relations in respect to property which exist between husband and wife in England, is solely grounded on her not being assumed at common law to have sufficient command of her purse or of her future actions wherewith to procure the materials for making a contract. The legal presumption then is, that she did not intend to make one, and therefore the allegation that she did make a contract would simply on the face of it be a fraud. Amos.--Science of Law.
52. The jurisconsults had evidently at this time assumed the equality of the sexes as a principle to the code of equity. The situation of the Roman woman, whether married or single, became one of great personal and proprietary independence; but Christianity tended somewhat from the very first to narrow this remarkable liberty. The prevailing state of religious sentiment may explain why Modern jurisprudence has adopted those rules concerning the position of woman, which belong peculiarly to an imperfect civilization. No society which preserves any tincture of Christian institutions is likely to restore to married women the personal liberty conferred on them by middle Roman law. Canon law has deeply injured civilization.--Sir Henry Maine.p. 147
53. Under the Commonwealth, society assumed a new and stern aspect. Women were in disgrace; it was everywhere declared from the pulpit that woman caused man's expulsion from Paradise, and ought to be shunned by Christians as one of the greatest temptations of Satan. "Man," said they, "is conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity; it was his complacency to woman that caused his first debasement; let man not therefore glory in his shame; let him not worship the fountain of his corruption." Learning and accomplishments were alike discouraged, and women confined to a knowledge of cooking, family medicines and the unintelligible theological discussions of the day. Lydia Maria Child.--History of Woman.
54. Many women made their entrance into literature through the medium of a cook book, thus virtually apologizing for the use of a pen.
55. The slavish superstition under which church teaching still keeps the minds of men was no less shown by the thousands who visited the St. Anne relic in the United States. Nor are Protestants but little less under the same superstition, accepting the teaching of the church without investigation. An educated Protestant girl, upon her return from Europe, recently, gravely declared that during her absence she had seen the spear which pierced the Saviour's side.p. 148
56. The most interesting of all to Americans is the copy of the American Constitution that President Cleveland sent to the Vatican by Cardinal Gibbons. It is printed on vellum in richly illuminated English characters, and bound in white and red. It is enclosed in a case of purple plush with gold hinges, and bears this autographic inscription by President Cleveland:
"Presented to his Holiness Pope Leo XIII., as an expression of congratulation on the occasion of his sacerdotal jubilee, with the profound regard of Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, through the courtesy of his Eminence Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore."
WASHINGTON, D. C.
Upon the next page, beneath an American eagle printed in gold, is this inscription:
"The Constitution of the United States. Adopted Sept. 17, 1787."
The page bearing this inscription and all the fly leaves were of exquisite watered silk.p. 149
57. "Owing to the pope's refusal to accept the gifts of the king and queen of Italy on the occasion of his jubilee, all the members of the House of Savoy, including the Duke d'Aosta and the Princess Clotilde, have omitted to send offerings. p. 150 This is the fly in the jubilee ointment of Pope Leo XIII., and settles the question of concessions of temporal power. Nevertheless, the day is passed when the claim of 'imprisonment in the Vatican' will further avail the pope."p. 150
58. When Linneaus published his sexual system of plants, in the eighteenth century, he was ridiculed and shunned as one who had degraded nature.