THE Idaho Daily Statesman, published at Boisé City, gives a glowing account of a recent reception tendered to Archbishop Gross of Portland, Oregon.
“On the stage,” says the Statesman, “were seated a number of prominent men, among whom being Senator Shoup, whose appearance was greeted with generous applause, Gov. McConnell, Mayor Sonna, T. J. Jones and others.”
“The distinguished guest of honor was escorted to his chair by Bishop Glorioux, and gracefully acknowledged the applause that followed.”
“T. J. Jones welcomed the archbishop, whom he characterized as one of the distinguished men of our country, and whom the State of Idaho felt proud to honor as her guest.”
“The applause that greeted the bishop as he came forward to respond lasted for some moments.”
“At the close of the archbishop’s address Governor McConnell welcomed the visitor in behalf of the State, and Mayor Sonna extended a welcome in behalf of the city.”
Such receptions are significant, for they are tendered not to an individual, but to that which the individual represents. Had Archbishop Gross been a Methodist, no such reception would have been thought of. Had he been a representative of any other church or system of religion other than Rome, neither the governor of the State, nor yet the mayor of the city, would have felt called upon to extend him an official welcome. It is as the representatives of a religio-political system that priests and prelates of Rome are thus welcomed by American officials supposed to act for the people only in civil, secular things. If governors and mayors as individuals see fit to toady to Rome, they have a perfect right to do so, but in such things they have no authority to speak for the whole people. That they usurp the function is ominously significant.