January 25, 1894
WHAT is now the position and work of the Catholic Church in the United States?
THIS is a question worth careful inquiry, and watchful attention on the part of every one who would not be deceived by this “mistress of witchcrafts and mother of abominations.”
THE Government and people of the United States having been sold and delivered, by the National Reform American Sabbath Union combination into the hands of the papacy, it is well for the people to study and understand how the new claimant looks upon her new accession, and what she proposes to do with it.
WE have given in these columns the published purpose of Leo XIII., that “what the church has done in the past for other nations, she will now do for the United States;” and the command of Satolli from Leo to the Catholics of the United States to “bring your country into immediate contact with that great secret of blessedness—Christ and his church;” and also the hope of that church “to missionize the entire land in half a decade of years,” and that “the nets of St. Peter will drag this continent from ocean to ocean, till they are filled to breaking with the souls of men that shall be saved.”
SEEING her purposes so plainly stated, it is well to see what steps have been, and are being, taken to accomplish them. It cannot be expected of course that we should tell all of this in one number of the SENTINEL; not only because there is more than could be given at once, but because it is a constantly active and rapidly growing work. However, we pledge ourselves to watch the thing closely, and to point out as faithfully as is possible the developments of this everlasting “menace” to the political and religious liberties of mankind, which has been so firmly seated in the American saddle by the officious governmental tinkering of Bishop Coxe and others, and of the National Reform American Sabbath Union combination.
THERE were some developments at Cardinal Gibbons’ late jubilee, which are worthy of particular note; but which we have not seen mentioned in any paper, outside of the Catholic papers which published full reports of the proceedings. At that celebration Archbishop Ireland delivered a panegyric upon Cardinal Gibbons in which he linked Leo XIII., and the cardinal together as the links which are to bind together “the church and the age,” and himself gave the definition of his expression, “The church and the age,” thus: “Rome is the church; America is the age.” With this specific definition there will be no difficulty in seeing the archbishop’s meaning in the extracts which we shall present.
SPEAKING evidently of the cardinal the archbishop said:—
I indicate the opportunity for the great and singular churchman. His work is to bridge the deep valley separating the age, to clear off the clouds which prevent the one from seeing the realities of the other, to bring the church to the age and the age to the church.
With Rome as the church, and America as the age, it is clear that the archbishop’s speech is in the direct line of Satolli’s instructions from Leo to the Catholics of America to bring their “country into immediate contact with” “the church.”
THE archbishop continues:—
I preach the new, the most glorious crusade. Church and age! Unite them in mind and heart, in the name of humanity, in the name of God. Church and age! Bring them into close contact; they pulsate alike; the God of humanity works in one, the God of supernatural revelation works in the other—in both the self-same God.
And of course for all the purposes of this design, this “crusade,” and of those engaged in it the pope is this god who works in both “the church and the age.”
THIS is more clearly indicated in another place in the archbishop’s speech, as follows:—
Surely, much yet is to be done before the union of age and church is complete, but the work has begun and has progressed in a surprising degree. Let us pray that Leo may live yet many years, and that when death at last comes Leo’s spirit may yet dominate in the Vatican, and all will be well. Meanwhile, in America, let Catholics of America cluster around him, inhale his ideas and work with him, as Americans should work, in energy and earnestness. We are especially favored by him. He lives among us in an especial manner, having sent to us his chosen representative, who makes Leo known to us as no other could; whose words, whose acts, prove to us daily how truly Leo is the pontiff of the age. Monsignor Satolli, the church and the age! Rome is the church; America is the age! And Monsignor Satolli’s command to Catholics of America is: “Go forward, on the road of progress, bearing in one hand the book of Christian truth—Christ’s gospel—and in the other the Constitution of the United States.”
NEXT the archbishop turns personally to the cardinal and defines his place, thus:—
I have spoken of the providential pope of Rome. I speak now of the providential Archbishop of Baltimore. How oft, in past times, I have thanked God that in this latter quarter of the nineteenth century Cardinal Gibbons had been given to us as primate, as leader, Catholic of Catholics, American of Americans, a bishop of his age and to his country; he is to America what Leo is to all Christendom…. A particular mission is reserved to the American cardinal…. America is watched. The prelate who in America is the representative of the union of church and age is watched. His leadership guides the combatants the world over…. The ripplings of Cardinal Gibbons’ influence cross the threshold of the Vatican…. The historic incident of the Knights of Labor, whose condemnation Cardinal Gibbons averted by personal interview with Leo, was one of the preparations to the encyclical on the Condition of Labor.
The work of Cardinal Gibbons forms an epoch in the history of the church in America. He has made known, as no one before him did, the church to the people of America; he has demonstrated the fitness of the church for America, the natural alliance existing between the church and the freedom-giving institutions of America. Through his action the scales have fallen from the eyes of non-Catholics, prejudices have vanished. He, the great churchman is the great citizen. Church and country unite in him, and the magnetism of the union pervades the whole land, teaching laggard Catholics to love America, teaching well-disposed non-Catholics to trust the church.
NOR is this all theory, nor simply the grandiloquence of a set panegyric. For before that celebration was over there was furnished an object-lesson, which, whether it was pre-arranged or not, was seized upon and made to tell for all the occasion was worth, and in Rome’s hand it is worth a great deal. The next night after this speech was made, a great banquet was held in honor of the cardinal and the  occasino. At that banquet the Vice-president of the United States sat at the right hand of the cardinal. And in response to loud calls for a speech at the table, the archbishop made use of this situation to the following effect:—
I do not know whether or not you appreciate the full value of the union you see typified here to-night, the union of the Catholic Church and America, the fraternity between the church and the non-Catholics of the nation. The Vice-president of the United States comes here and takes his seat alongside the cardinal. This spirit of fraternity between Church and State, thus typified, is the result of the work of our American cardinal…. In this freest of democracies it was his providential mission to prove that the Catholic Church is at home…. Of this our cardinal is proof to all men, to all the world…. I wish for him many years of life for the sake of the church and the sake of the country—that he may go to work even more vigorously, bringing into closer contact the old church and the new democracy.
AT the same table the cardinal took occasion to make again the statement which he has taken particular pains to make as often as possible lately, that he “would be sorry to see the relations between Church and State any closer than they are at present,” and for fear that “the State might want to have something to say as to the doctrines we teach.” Yes, the relations between the State and the Catholic Church are always perfectly satisfactory so long as the State will support the church and enforce her dogmas—in other words so long as the church can use the State and run it in her own interests. But when the State presumes to take a hand in the affairs of the church—that is a thing the church is always very “sorry” to see. That this is the cardinal’s idea here, and not the American idea of the total separation of religion and the State, is made plain by other words in the same speech in which he gives the religious characteristics of governmental affairs in the United States as follows:—
Our common law is taken from the common law of England, which is thoroughly permeated with the spirit of Christianity. Where is the Christian Sabbath better observed than it is here? The proceedings of our national and State legislatures are opened with prayer; and still another evidence of our respect and regard for religion is the fact of our setting apart a day each year for special thanksgiving; the President of the United States and the governors of the States calling upon the people by proclamation to return thanks for the blessings they have enjoyed.
NOW all these statements concerning the close relations between “the church,” “Christianity,” “religion,” etc., and America, the United States, etc., are made and repeated upon every possible occasion for a definite and set purpose. The spirit of aggression and usurpation is the very life of Romanism. And all these are but the first soft, purring steps in the carrying forward and toward the final and complete accomplishment of the aims and orders of Leo, through Satolli, to bring this “country into immediate contact with that great source of blessedness,” the Catholic Church. These statements, which taken alone, and merely by themselves, might appear quite harmless, when taken in view of the definite orders of Leo, the presence of Satolli, and the very spirit of life of the papacy which is aggression and usurpation, then they every one have in them a world of meaning. These statements are made and often repeated for the purpose that they shall be hereafter used as the foundation upon which to build upon, position and decided movements in matters of interference in governmental affairs and use of governmental power. And then when these later movements shall have been made so openly that their evident purpose can be clearly seen by all, and any protest is raised, she will calmly point to these statements and claims so often made in the presence of all without any protest; and then shall will say that silence when these statements were so often and so openly made was consent that they were true, and those things being thus confessedly true and the later and open movements follow as the natural consequence. Upon this ground she will impudently claim as of divine and natural right, that which she has usurped form beginning to end, and will coolly observe to all who then resent it, that they ought to have let their voices be heard at the beginning; but that having by silence already and so long consented, now it is too late; possession has been acquired and it is too late for dispute.
THIS is precisely what this is done for, and this is the use that will be made of it in later situations. This is the working of this Romish spirit from the beginning of her existence. Concession in order to exaction; insinuation in order to domination; everything in order to absolute possession for purposes of unmitigated oppression—this is the history of Rome and Romanism from the beginning, and this is and will be, her disposition and her course in connection with the United States Government to-day and forward.
AND her position and power here as well as her opportunities, are seen and remarked even from beyond the borders of this country. Not long ago Mr. John P. Hopkins was elected mayor of Chicago. And a dispatch from Montreal to Chicago Dec. 22, 1893, runs as follows:—
MONTREAL, Canada, Dec. 22.—The French Canadian Catholic press of Montreal and Quebec is very enthusiastic over the election of John P. Hopkins, the Catholic Mayor of Chicago. Prominent French-Canadians in Chicago telegraphed Senator Tasse that 6,000 French-Canadians voted for him and assured his election. La Minerve adds that the election of a Catholic in Chicago is a great event.
The position of the mayor of Chicago, it says, is equivalent to that of many leaders of States, seeing that the city expends $38,000,000 annually, as much as the whole of Canada. Though the Late Mr. Harrison did much to give the Catholics their due share of patronage, much still remains to be done.
It would be a mistake to believe that the United States is a tolerant country enough for Catholics. They merely have the crumbs of patronage. This is quite evident when we remember that the ten millions of Catholics in the United States have not a single representative in the Cleveland Cabinet, though it owes its existence to them.
Note what a world of meaning is in the last words of this quotation—that the Cleveland Cabinet “owes its existence” to “the Catholics in the United States.” This is true. There is no doubt of that. But that and other things of equal importance being true, and this showing the use that is to be made of these things, adds emphasis to the point which we make on the statements which we have herein reproduced from Archbishop Ireland and the cardinal at the jubilee celebration. Yes, there is not the least doubt that the relations between the State and the Catholic Church in the United States are close enough to suit the cardinal and for all practical purposes—for the present. And in view of the things here presented we simply ask every American, “Will not the papacy in the United States bear watching both for the present and the future?—for the present preparatory for the future, and for the future in view of the present?”
A. T. J.