February 1, 1894
THERE is abroad a general disposition to apologize and make excuses for, and to flatter the papacy.
THIS is not to be wondered at on the part of what is called the secular press of the country, as that is practically controlled, directly or indirectly, by the papacy.
BUT it is a mystery how religious papers, professedly Protestant, can shut their eyes to the encroachments of the papacy, and labor to convince themselves and the public that the papacy is not what it used to be, but is enlightened, modernized, and even Americanized.
MYSTERY, though it be, however, it is an undeniable fact that the religious papers, professedly Protestant, which stand as the leading Protestant papers of the country, do labor diligently and constantly to convince themselves and the public that the papacy is not what it really is.
TRUE, they find it a difficult task which they have thus set themselves, in the face of the numerous bold movements which the papacy is making in her old-time and native spirit before all the people, but yet heroically do they stick to the task and seem determined to accomplish it not only in spite of the difficulties, but in spite of the papacy itself.
THERE is a considerable number of these papers, but the chiefest one, and engaged most earnestly in this difficult and mischievous business, is the Independent of this city. It has been thus engaged a good while, but as the papacy grows more bold and its native spirit becomes more openly apparent, the Independent seems the more determined to convince itself and others that all these things only mark the further progress of the papacy in enlightenment, and in its modernizing and Americanizing tendency.
FOR instance, last October, there was sent by the Catholic hierarchy an official and authoritative communication to the “editors of Catholic newspapers,” commanding them to “learn to be obedient and submissive to superiors;” that “neither they themselves nor those who assist them should attack ecclesiastics, and above all, bishops;” and that “above all, let the name of bishops be sacred among Catholic writers, for to them reverence is due because of their high office and dignity. Nor let them think themselves privileged to examine, critically, what divinely appointed pastors, in exercise of their power, have established,” etc. This the Independent printed, and then commented upon it, as follows:—
We should like to know upon what meat these our bishops feed that they have grown so great as to be above criticism by the press. Obedience and submission to superiors is right within the limits of administration, but opinion cannot be thus controlled nor the expression of it limited. A bishop has a right to govern his diocese, but he has no right to pretend that he never makes a mistake or cannot be criticised. We should like to know why a Catholic editor should not have the “privilege to examine critically what divinely appointed pastors have established”? Divinely appointed pastors can establish very unwise things. We are interested to know what those ecclesiastical penalties are by which editors are to be prevented from criticising a bishop’s method of administration. We suppose the most effective method will be for the bishop to pronounce his censure upon the journal and forbid his people to subscribe to it. That has been tried in Cincinnati with great success. But it is not the American way of doing things, and we do not believe it is the Christian way of doing things.
And yet, in the very same issue, October 26, 1893, and in the editorial columns, too, the Independent says this:—
Archbishop Ireland and Bishop McGolrick appeared last week in Chicago on the platform of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. The nearer we come together the better we will like each other.
Archbishop Ireland and Bishop McGolrick were, with the others, the authors of that communication of arrogance and superiority, addressed to editors of Catholic newspapers, which the Independent mildly criticises, and then, almost in the same breath, declares of these same men: “The nearer we come together the better we will like each other.” Yes, after swallowing such a dose of papal superiority as that, we should think you would. No doubt the more of it you can have the better you will like it all.
ABOUT the same time that the foregoing instance occurred, there occurred also another which is well worth mentioning. The committee of the Inquisition in Rome put upon the Index Expurgatorius certain books and writings—that is, it condemned and outlawed them so far as its power now goes. Among these condemned writings was a series of articles by a certain Catholic, which had been printed in three numbers of a leading magazine. When the notice of the condemnation of these writings was published, the Independent said of it:—
We now translate the directions given to the faithful in reference to these books:
Therefore, let no one of whatsoever rank or condition dare in future either to publish or to read or to keep these above-mentioned condemned and proscribed works; but let him deliver them over to the local bishops or to the inquisitors of heretical doctrine, under the penalties which have been prescribed in the index of Forbidden Books.
We understand, then, that any Catholic who has a copy of these numbers of The Nineteenth Century is under immediate obligation to mail them to the bishop of his diocese. He is not allowed to keep a perfect file of the volume for 1892 and 1893 under the penalties prescribed. Mr. St. George Mivart has, since the publication of this act, obediently signified his retraction of the opinions advanced in the articles but now condemned as unsound teaching. He has proved himself quite childlike. These articles have been printed in part in a good many Catholic papers, and we do not doubt that they are in the possession of many priests and laymen. We have some curiosity to know how far this injunction to send the interdicted writings to the bishop and no longer to read them has become a dead letter.
We are in earnest when we say that we want to know whether this edict is a dead letter in the United States. We have had beautiful addresses in Chicago from Cardinal Gibbons and Bishop Keane and Archbishop Ireland and dozens of other distinguished and representative Catholics, telling us about the liberality of the pope and his sympathy with free institutions, his love for republics and the freedom of the American Catholic Church. WE BELIEVE IT ALL. And yet what are we to do with such an edict as that which we have just translated out of the original Latin? Citizens of the United States, American Catholics who love liberty, are forbidden by an excellent gentleman in Rome [the pope] either to read or to have in their houses three different numbers of The Nineteenth Century? This is not fiction, it is fact. A dozens or so of his advisers have passed upon those articles and they say that American Catholic citizens shall not read them. Now what liberty is there about that? Why is it not downright spiritual tyranny? How does it agree with the beautiful sentiments which we have heard?  Is it really expected that this edict will be obeyed? Will Bourke Cockran and will Dr. Bartsell immediately send to Archbishop Corrigan their copies of these three numbers of The Nineteenth Century, or of any of the Catholic papers in their possession which have reprinted the articles? We are confused. We are puzzled. We do not know how to work out a problem in which one of the factors is. Two equals three.—Independent, October 5, 1893.
But, dear Independent, how can you keep from being confused and puzzled with “a problem in which one of the factors is, Two equals three,” when you yourself create that factor in the problem by insisting, in the face of all mathematical evidence and principle, that two does equal three?
ANY one who will give to papal “figuring” the true value of the factors that enter into all her problems, will never be either confused or puzzled. To the extent of its power the papal Inquisition is now precisely what it always has been. The papacy itself is to-day precisely what it always has been. “This is not fiction, it is fact.” This announcement of the Inquisition demonstrates that. And if to-day the papacy had sufficient power in the United States over others than her own membership she would enforce this inquisitional decree upon all, “of whatsoever rank or condition,” whether they be Catholic or not. Of course, “we have had beautiful [?] addresses in Chicago” and many other places, “from Cardinal Gibbons and Bishop Keane and Archbishop Ireland and dozens of other distinguished and representative Catholics,” and from the Independent, and the Christian at Work, and the Evangelist, and other distinguished and representative “Protestant” papers, “telling us about the liberality of the pope and his sympathy with free institutions, his love for republics,” etc., etc., etc. But we do not believe a single word of it all. Every word of it all is only a papal lie.
“THE liberality of the pope”!!!! Yes, yes, and the “green cheese” of “the moon.” “His sympathy with free institutions”!!! is taffy for “broad-minded” “liberal-ideaed” “advanced” “Protestants.” “His love for republics”!! Oh, yes, now we have struck it. The pope loves republics. Especially does he love the American Republic. He has actually told us so himself. He has sent Satolli over here as his personal representative, not only to tell us so again and again, but to show to us how much the pope loves the American Republic. Yes, indeed, the pope loves this Republic. There is no doubt of that. The lion loves lambs, too. And even the spider loves flies. And Pope Leo XIII. says of America and its people: “I love them, and I love their country. I have great tenderness for those who live in that land, Protestants and all.”—Chicago Herald, September 5, 1893, p. 9.
AGAIN: A few weeks ago a Catholic circular, originating from Baltimore, was distributed, raising and agitating the question of the apportionment of the public school fund to the denominational schools in proportion to membership, and stating that this question would be brought before the Maryland legislature this present winter. About the same time a bill to the same purpose was framed by a Catholic, to be presented in the New York legislature, which is not in session. It was given out, as from Archbishop Corrigan, of this city, that the “Catholic authorities” were in no wise responsible for this New York bill. But, Dr. Michael Walsh, editor of the Catholic Herald, and sponsor of the bill, says that “the bill has been examined by the cardinals and clergy at Rome and is approved by them,” and that it has also been submitted to and practically approved by the leading clergy and the most prominent men in the Catholic Church in this country.” The Independent wrote to Cardinal Gibbons, asking him about the Baltimore circular, and whether he or Satolli had signed it. The cardinal answered that neither he nor Satolli had signed any such circular, and further that he was “certain that no such circular has any existence except in the imagination of people ever open to suspicion.” As the circular had been described in the daily papers and been published in Catholic papers, the Independent, thinking there might be some “misapprehension” on the part of the cardinal as to what its first letter meant, sent a second letter, enclosing a copy of the circular, to which the cardinal replied that it “did not emanate” from him and was not published with his “authorization,” but had appeared without his “knowledge and consent.”
Next, the Independent sent out a letter to the archbishops and bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States, asking (1) whether it is the policy of the Catholic Church to favor the division of the public school fund; and (2) whether they, personally, would countenance such division. In its issue of January 11, 1894, the Independent publishes the replies of thirty bishops and archbishops to these questions. Of these thirty replies only one says plainly that he is opposed to it; two are indefinite; six are clearly evasive; while all the other twenty-one are in favor of it—some with conditions and others rabidly and unconditionally. And one of these gives the words of Cardinal Gibbons that: “This [Catholic] education our children cannot have in the public schools, therefore we wish to have our own schools; and as we cannot, without the help of the State, we desire a share of the public school fund to enable us to have such schools.”
Now, from this whole record, it is as clear as day that this Baltimore circular and this New York bill, and the agitation raised by them, are all gotten up only as “feelers” by which to test the public pulse upon this question, which is fraught with the most vital consequences to the Government and people of the United States. As it seems they have found that the time is not yet ripe for its success, they will doubtless let the matter drop for a while to be sprung again as soon as possible, and so, little by little, work the thing along till they can make it win. And yet, as plain as all this is to anybody who will see, the Independent puts forth these words on the subject:—
We should divest ourselves as far as possible of the prejudice which believes that they are in the habit of masking their real intentions and moving in mysterious ways.
BUT why do we need to present any more, or even these, evidences that the papacy is to-day the same politic, deceitful, craft, “mistress of witchcrafts” and “mother of abominations” that she ever was? Why should we seek by these evidences to point out the willing blindness of such papers? When we have the plain and positive statement of Cardinal Gibbons, lately published broadcast in the daily papers, that the papacy is to-day precisely what it always was. Here are his words:—
You must remember that the Catholic Church is the oldest institution in this country. Here, as in the old world, with the passage of time, everything else has changed. Her organization, her principles, her doctrines, her rites, are precisely the same to-day as they were when Columbus first landed. The forms of government have altered, new nationalities with new customs and new ideas have come…. But the teachings, the procedure, the forms, the structure of the Catholic Church, are identically what they were when the first Catholic priest raised the cross on American soil.—Catholic Times, October 21, 1893.
Since Columbus first landed on American soil the Inquisition was carried on to its fullest extent in every one of its horrible methods. Since that date Martin Luther and all Protestants and Protestantism were absolutely condemned and outlawed in the world. Since that date multitudes of Protestants have been persecuted to death, thousands of them being burnt to death, thousands of them being burnt to death, by the “procedure” of the Catholic Church. All this terrible record of the papacy has been made since Columbus first landed on American soil. Cardinal Gibbons declares that she is in all things “precisely” and “identically” the same to-day that she was then. There is not the least doubt that this is the absolute truth. And by the same token all these “beautiful expressions” as to the liberality of the Catholic Church, and the love of the pope for Protestants, are sheer papal lies.
In view of this and the other evidences which we have now presented, which are open and apparent and known to all, what can possibly be the cause of this apparently willful willingness on the part of professed Protestants to make the papacy appear to be what it certainly is not, and what it says itself that it is not? The only conceivable explanation of it that we can find is, that these professed Protestants have so degenerated that they have become so entirely like the papacy in structure, in aim, and in spirit, that they themselves see that they and the papacy are precisely alike; and being therefore incapable of seeing or admitting that they are wrong, they decide at once that the papacy has changed, and become enlightened and modernized and Americanized. And the evidence upon which they convince themselves that this is certainly so is only that she is so exactly like themselves that there is no perceptible difference, and therefore it must be so and is so.
The Scripture showed long ago that in this country there would arise a living image of the papacy, and when things have come to pass, that the leading Protestant representatives cannot themselves find any material difference between themselves and the papacy, it is evident that the Scripture is fulfilled. Revelation 13:11-17.
A. T. J.