IF anything had been lacking to show the power of Rome in this State it would be supplied by the action of the late Constitutional Convention. This convention, which had a Republican majority, started in with a flourish of trumpets to so amend the constitution of the State as to forever prohibit appropriations to sectarian schools. To this end the educational article was adopted as follows:—
ARTICLE 2. Section 1. The legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a system of free common schools, wherein all the children of this State may be educated.
Section 2. The corporation created in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-four, under the name of the regents of the University of the State of New York, is hereby continued under the name of the University of the State of New York. It shall be governed and its corporate powers, which may be increased, modified or diminished by the legislature, shall be exercised by not less than nine regents.
Section. 3. The capital of the common school fund, the capital of the literature fund, and the capital of the United States deposit fund, shall be respectively preserved inviolate. The revenue of the said common school fund shall be applied to the support of common schools; the revenue of the sold literature fund shall be applied to the support of academies, and the sum of $25,000 of the revenues of the United States deposit fund shall each year be appropriated to and made part of the capital of the said common school fund.
Section 4. Neither the State nor any subdivision thereof shall use its property or credit or any public money, or authorize or permit either to be used, directly or indirectly or permit either to be used, directly or indirectly, in aid or maintenance, other than for examination or inspection of any school or institution of learning, wholly or in part under the control or direction of any religious denomination, or in which any denominational tenet or doctrine is taught.
This article alone would not have accomplished all that was to be desired, for it still leaves the door wide open for that colorless thing called “unsectarian religious instruction,” and which is unsatisfactory to man and displeasing to God; but it would have cut off all appropriations to distinctively sectarian institutions. This was not to be, however; the Roman Catholics rallied their forces and “influence,” and, invoking all the saints in the calendar and all the political “pull” in Tammany, succeeded in getting the following provision inserted in the section on charities:—
Nothing in this Constitution contained shall prevent the legislature from making such provision for the education and support of the blind, the deaf and dumb and juvenile delinquents as to it may seem proper, or prevent any county, city, town or village from providing for the care, support, maintenance and secular education of inmates of orphan asylums, homes for dependent children or correctional institutions, whether under public or private control. Payments by counties, cities, towns and villages to charitable, elecmosynary, correctional and reformatory institutions wholly or partly under private control for care, support and maintenance may be authorized, but shall not be required by the legislature. No such payments shall be made for any inmate of such institutions who is not received and detained therein pursuant to rules established by the State Board of Charities. Such rules shall be subject to the control of the legislature by general laws.
This leaves the sects an open door to the State treasury, and we may expect to see the usual shameless scramble of papists and “Protestants” for funds at each recurring session of the legislature. As usual, however, Rome will be in the van and will bear off the lion’s share; thanks to the weak-kneed “Protestantism” that truckles for votes and denies a principle for lucre.
BISHOP KEANE, Rector of the Catholic University at Washington, returned recently from Rome, and is, according to the World, of this city, authority for the statement that Mgr. Satolli is erelong to be clothed with supreme authority in Roman Catholic Church affairs in this country. Hitherto appeals have been made either to Mgr. Satolli or direct to the propaganda at Rome, at the option of the appellant; but when the contemplated change shall have been made, all cases must first go to the vice-pope at Washington, after which the pope in Rome can permit an appeal to himself, if he sees fit.
It is also stated that the pope will issue another important encyclical in November, which will deal with “the questions of political government,” and will contain a reiteration of the pope’s “views of democracy, not along in this country, but abroad.” The letter will be addressed specially “to the Catholics of the United States, and will recite anew the position of the church here.” Bishop Keane believes that “it will transcend in importance the encyclicals on the labor and parochial school questions.”
According to Bishop Keane, the pope finds in American political as well as religious affairs an unceasing source of interest. “The pope believes America is to be the bulwark of the Catholic Church of the future, and rejoices that the political evolutions of the Old World are on the lines of democracy followed in the United States.”
The pope is said to have asked all kinds of question relative to political matters in this country, and to have manifested a lively interest in all things American. He wished to know about the American Protective Association, and the use of troops in the recent labor troubles. He was much interested when told that the military took no sides but simply appeared as guardians of property.
Probably His Craftiness was weighing the chances of becoming arbitrator of the differences between labor and capital in this country.
Why does the pope believe “America is to be the bulwark of the Catholic Church of the future”? and why does he rejoice “that the political evolutions of the Old World are on the lines of democracy followed in the United States”? Simply because democracy is the people, and Leo believes that he can use the people better than he can the princes. That many of the people stand ready to be hoodwinked, seems evident; but while, as Lincoln said, it is possible to fool all the people part of the time and some of the people all the time, it is not possible to fool all the people all the time. The pope may, yea, will, largely realize his expectations in this country, but not all will be deceived by him, or by the system which he represents.