SATOLLI is cautiously feeling his way toward the establishment of diplomatic relations between Uncle Sam and Leo XIII. He thinks that the constitutional principle separating Church and State is no barrier. He says:—
It is well to reflect that the holy father enjoys always, in fact and by international right, the prerogatives of sovereignty. In the second place, the separation between the Church and the State (sanctioned by the Constitution), excluded the action of one power over another in civil matters in regard to the Church, and in religious matters in respect to the State, but does not exclude official relations between the one power and the other, unless by separation is meant the inevitable hostility or open wrong of the civil power towards the Church and its ministry. It is also to the point to consider that many nations (although they have in their constitutions the said principle of separation between State and Church), maintain, nevertheless, amicable reports and relations with the holy see, and I can also add that although the holy see has no diplomatic reports with the empires of China and Japan, it has certainly found no official obstacle in their diversity of religion.
But the condition of the Catholic Church in the United States in whose Constitution was inserted the article of separation of the State from any religious sect, cannot escape our consideration, I might almost say a sense of surprise; if up to date no official relations exist between the Government and the holy see, it is because the great majority of the population is anti-Catholic. In the meantime the church here is attaining possibly greater developments and liberty than in other States.
There was a time when diplomatic relations with the Vatican would have been impossible, but since the Supreme Court has declared that “this is a Christian nation,” it is logical that this “Christian nation,” should, like such “Christian nations” as Spain and Portugal, establish diplomatic relations with the “sovereign pontiff.”