THE earnest, consistent Protestant could not but notice the silence maintained by the press of the country toward the pope’s recent bold, unequivocal condemnation of the American principle of separation of Church and State. The following, printed in the Catholic World for April, in an article by Walter Elliott, a priest of the “Paulist Fathers,” entitled the “Musings of a Missionary,” will present what papists regard as the reason for this silence:—
The press dare not openly attack the Church, and in large part has no desire to do so, and it is quite accessible to the publication of articles on the Catholic side.
The press of the country is a powerful factor for good or ill, and if it is true that the Roman Catholic Church has silenced its protest against Catholic encroachments, the final and complete triumph of the papacy in this country will be comparatively easy.
THE Catholic Mirror, of April 6, attempts another apology for the violence attempted by Catholics against ex-priest Slattery. The apology is a covert encouragement to violence as the reader will see. The Mirror says:—
Slattery came very near precipitating a riot in Memphis similar to that of which he was the cause in Savannah. How can the people be blamed for showing indignation against this man? It is not the doctrines of the Catholic Church that he attacks, but the character of the priests and nuns. Catholics know how pure and devoted their religious are, and the feeding of anger, when they are libelled by a wretch like Slattery become uncontrollable.
The Mirror asks “how can the people be blamed” for trying to kill ex-priest Slattery, and acknowledges that under the circumstances the “rage” of Catholics is “uncontrollable.” If this were the apology of natural, unconverted men who made no profession of Christianity, who did not pretend to follow the example of Him “who, when he was reviled, reviled not again,” we would not think very strange of it; but even then we would not expect to hear these sentiments uttered by a good citizen who always favors redressing his grievances by the orderly, legal methods provided by law rather than by the anarchistic methods of mob violence. Since Rome returns railing for railing how can she claim to be Christian? and since she admits that her children are “uncontrollable” when their religious teachers are spoken against, how can she lay claim to being the only force that can control the mobs of all the world in the approaching social upheaval! Let her control the “uncontrollable” within herself before posing as the only power that can control the anarchy outside the church.
TWO Baptist papers have taken their stand with the Examiner in defense of the religious liberty principle violated in the imprisonment of seventh-day observers in Tennessee. These two papers are the Watchman (Boston) and the Indiana Baptist (Indianapolis). The first named speaks thus:—
It looks as if the Seventh-day Adventists would be driven out of Tennessee. Although judges and lawyers condemn the statutes under which several of their people were arraigned, convictions have followed. A number of them, refusing to pay the cost of their prosecution, have been committed to prison. The facts of the case, it is truly alleged, go to illustrate the truth of the words of Thomas Jefferson, that, where a bad law is on the statute books, “a single bigot may set the machinery of the law in motion, and better men be his victims.”
The Indiana Baptist quotes the above and follows it with this paragraph:—
We have little respect for the “arguments” by which the seventh-day advocates so persistently urge their peculiar views, but we do heartily sympathize with them in the persecution to which they are subjected by bigots. Roger Williams should be on earth again to teach even some Baptists that “the civil magistrate has no authority to punish breaches of the first table of the Decalogue.” We are yet far from the recognition of the right of every man to perfect religious liberty.
What Baptist paper will be the next to take the side of Roger Williams? We are keeping a roll of honor and will promptly record the first consistent utterances of those papers heretofore silent or the published repentance of those who have spoken for the persecutors.