THE following Letters arose out of a conversation held in London between the Rev. H. E. Manning, the Rev. F. Meyrick, and others. The Rev. F. Meyrick maintained that the teaching of S. Alfonso Liguori's Moral Theology was immoral in many respects, specifying in particular his doctrines of Theft and Equivocation. With regard to the first of these, he asserted that it would result from Liguori's teaching that the sin of a conscious thief would still be mortal or venial, according to the amount which he appropriated and the person fi'om whom he stole-in such sense, that a man standing between a nobleman and a commoner, and having the same disposition of mind towards each, would be guilty of a mortal or venial sin, according as he stretched out his right hand, or his left, and stole a certain sum (say 4s.) from one or the other; and he further argued that this introduction of the Quantitative Principle made the guilt of an act of Theft, so far, to depend upon something external, instead of upon the frame of mind of the agent. With respect to the last, he maintained that Liguori's theory of Equivocation was incompatible with Truthfulness. The Rev. H. E. Manning objected to both these positions, and the following morning left a volume of the Homo Apostolicus at the house at which the conversation had taken place, requesting the Rev. F. Meyrick to read certain chapters, and offering "to explain any difficulties that he might have, if he would write to him on the subject." In consequence of this request and proposal, the Rev. F. Meyrick wrote the first letter, which, it will be seen, refers to the points which had been under discussion. The correspondence took place, it is believed, without any kind of ill-feeling on either side, and is now published with the assent of both parties, as a contribution towards a subject which is deservedly beginning, more and more, to draw attention towards itself-the Moral Theology of the Church of Rome. This work also discusses the matter of mental reservation and what is permitted in this regard.
Rev H E Manning, Rev F Meyrick, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1490947779, ISBN 13: 9781490947778