THE Catholic Review of February 3rd publishes the pope’s encyclical to America. The same issue contains an editorial, entitled, “The Real Meaning of the Union of Church and State;” and this editorial plainly contradicts the pope’s encyclical. To make manifest this contradiction, the conflicting statements are printed in parallel columns:—
FROM THE POPE’S ENCYCLICAL. The church among you, unopposed by the Constitution and Government of your nation, fettered by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance; yet, though all this is true, it would be
to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the church; or that it would be universally
expedient for State
and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced
. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed his church, in virtue of which, unless men or circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself. But she would bring forth more abundant fruits if,
to liberty, she enjoyed the
favor of the laws
patronage of public authority
FROM THE “CATHOLIC REVIEW.” The Catholic Church is able to stand alone and is, therefore, opposed to the union of Church and State. They [Protestants] see that the church is going ahead and making converts on all sides; that it appeals to the intelligent, the thoughtful, the conservative and truly religious inclined portion of the community. They see that it
asks no favors
—that it has a compact organization—that it stands out in bold contrast to the disintegrating, fragmentary, decaying members of Protestantism, and they are alarmed at it. It is not that they really fear a union between the Catholic Church and the State. They know there is no danger in that direction.
Catholics do not desire it
We are better without it
. We do not wish for any entangling alliances.
All we ask
We have here given an evidence of the way papists in America misrepresent the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church on the question of separation of Church and State. The pope has decided that the time has come to definitely denounce, as unlawful, the American theory of separation of Church and State. The Catholic Review, “A Weekly Journal … commended by His Holiness Leo XIII.,” published in New York City, thinks that the time has not come to throw off the mask, and therefore while publishing the pope’s demand for a union of the American Government with the Roman Catholic Church, in the same issue gives the lie to the pope and says Catholics do not want what the pope say they do want. While the pope declares that a union of Church and State is “desirable” in America, the Catholic Review says, “Catholics do not desire it;” while the pope asks “in addition to liberty,” “the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority,” the Review says,—“it [the church] asks no favors;” “all we ask is a free field and fair play.” The Review here attempts to quiet the fears which it knew the pope’s statement would arouse. And there are a great many professed Protestants in the United States who are just gullible enough to believe that the Review represents the true attitude of the Roman Catholic Church to American institutions, and that the pope is a heretic. And they will continue in their blindness until the Roman Catholic Church in America shall fully possess what the pope says is desirable, and what the Review will then openly indorse as desirable.
This is a part of that Janus-faced policy of Rome described by the prophet Daniel in the words, “And he shall destroy the mighty, and the people of the saints, according to his will, and craft shall be successful in his hand.” Daniel 8:24, 25 (Catholic version).