ONE of the significant signs of the times is the way non-Catholic American citizens tumble over each other in their efforts to get on their knees to the pope. The officers of the United States cruiser Detroit, which returned the Vatican relics exhibited at the World’s Fair, requested an audience with the pope which was granted Dec. 26. The spokesman imformed [sic.] the pope that no American citizen considered a visit to Rome complete without an audience with his holiness. The cabled report of the audience which appeared in the World of Dec. 27, quotes the following from the address of the pope:—
I feel a lively satisfaction to see the progress America makes steadily among civilized nations, which it outstrips, although younger. While I am happy to see your nation advance in numerous branches of civilization, I am particularly pleased to observe her religious progress. The Catholic Church flourishes there and I desire to see it still more flourishing.
Though I express a special paternal solicitude for American Catholics, I receive you with peculiar pleasure because you are Americans.
I hope to publish in a few weeks an encyclical to the episcopacy of the United States and Montreal, conveying the sentiments of my special affection for your country. Meantime I bless you all, and when you return to your Fatherland tell your families that the pope blesses them with the paternal affection which will accompany you in the midst of the fatigues of the long voyage you are about to undertake.
The report adds:—
Although there was only one Catholic among them all the cruiser’s officers received the papal benediction kneeling.
Shame on such truckling to the representative of that system that has murdered millions of men and women because they were loyal to an enlightened conscience. At one time this act of non-Catholics kneeling before Pope Leo XIII. would have misrepresented America, but not so now. They have fairly represented the fawning and truckling of American Protestantism and statesmanship to the arch-enemy of Protestantism and liberty.