WE understand that the superintendent of the House of Refuge in St. Louis has forbidden Catholic priests to perform their rites in that institution, although he admits the ministers of Protestant denominations. The superintendent attempts to justify his action on the ground that the Catholic mass is “idolatry? But on what authority does this public official pronounce this rite idolatry? Has the State of Missouri legally defined idolatry? If not, what business has this city official to permit the performance of certain religious rites as orthodox and prohibit others as idolatrous? Roman Catholic officials in Spain and South America have as much right to pronounce the worship of Protestants idolatry and prohibit it, as has a Protestant official in the United States to pronounce the Roman Catholic mass “idolatry,” and exclude its priests from public institutions.
It is such inconsistencies as these that hurt the cause of religious liberty and show that much of the agitation against papal domination is based on passion and prejudice, and not on principle. Our religious liberties are as much in danger from these “Protestants” as from the most aggressive Roman Catholics.