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James Cardinal Gibbons
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James Card. Gibbons

Archbishop of Baltimore,
Excerpts from the 1907 introduction to
‘Defence of the Seven Sacraments’.

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"DEFENCE OF THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS by Henry VIII, King of England and 'Defender of the Faith', is a rare, royal, Catholic book.

"It is rare, inasmuch as it has probably been printed but twice in nearly 200 years. It is a royal book, by reason of its kingly author.

"It is Catholic, because no Catholic could write a more orthodox treatise on the subjects explained by King Henry VIII.

"He expounds such crucial dogmas as the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, indulgences, the mystery of the Real Presence and the Mass, the Sacrament of Confession, divorce, etc.

"And all this he has unfolded in as Catholic a manner as St. Thomas, or St. Francis de Sales, or St. Alphonsus Liguori could have done.

"I hope, therefore, that the work may be widely and carefully read, especially in this country, but indeed also in England, the land of its birth.”

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