THE Supreme Court of the nation, two of whose nine members are Roman Catholics, has, it is announced, decided that it is all right for the Government of the United States to give money to the Catholic Church. The announcement reads:—
“WAMSHINGTON, Dec. 4.—The United States Supreme Court in an opinion affirmed the right of the Government of the United States to appropriate money for an institution conducted by the Catholic Church.
“The case was that of Joseph Redfield, of the District of Columbia, against United States Treasurer Roberts and was brought to restrain the treasurer from paying the money appropriated to meet the terms of an agreement made by the commissioners of the district with the management of Providence Hospital in this city, because it is conducted by the Sisters of Charity of the Catholic Church.”
The importance of this decision can be appreciated only by keeping in mind certain facts:—
1. That the Government some years ago was induced to begin paying out public funds for the support  of Roman Catholic institutions, notably Catholic Indian schools, and paid out more and more each succeeding year until the yearly appropriations reached nearly a million dollars.
2. That the Protestant bodies, becoming alarmed at the Catholic inroads upon the public treasury, started a movement against it, and succeeded in getting Congress to reverse the Government’s attitude in this matter, upon the constitutional ground that such appropriations were contrary to the principles of republican government.
3. That Cardinal Gibbons, not for a long since, in behalf of the Catholic Church, asked Congress to reconsider the whole matter of sectarian appropriations, and has been hoping and working for this result with the forces at his command, ever since.
4. That a little over a year ago it was announced by the Baltimore Daily American that the Administration had decided, as a result of “numerous conferences with Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop Ireland” on the subject, that money would be advanced by the Government for the “temporary” support of Catholic worship in Cuba.
5. That by the acquisition of Porto Rico, the Philippines, and other Catholic lands an enormous field has been opened for a demand for Government funds to support Catholic institutions.
And now that the highest court in the nation has decided that such appropriation of public funds by the Government is all right, what is to hinder the appropriation of the national funds in response to any and all other demands for support that may be made by the Catholic Church, both at home and in the “colonies?” If there is no constitutional support for the principle of separation between church and state in this matter, how is that principle to stand? And that it has no constitutional support, is what this decision means.
And this being so, it marks another step—and an important one—added to those already taken for the formation of a national union of church and state.