May 7, 1896
The Appeal of the Cardinals
TWO weeks ago we printed in these columns the appeal of Cardinals Gibbons, Vaughan, and Logue, for the establishment of an international court of arbitration. For a number of reasons this subject is worthy of more notice that it has yet received either from us or at the hands of the press generally.
The three cardinals named did not go so far as to say in so many words that the Papacy ought to be made the supreme arbiter of the world, but nobody can doubt that such was the purpose of their appeal. “Such a court existed for centuries,” say they, “when the nations of Christendom were united in one faith. And have we not seen nations appeal to that same court for its judgment in our own day?”
Only One of Many Similar Suggestions
This covert suggestion of Cardinals Gibbons, Vaughan, and Logue, is only one of many similar ones made within the last ten years. To avoid a way in 1885, which Germany dared not undertake because of France, Bismarck turned to the Pope as arbitrator; and Rome, seizing the fact, has ever since, in season and out of season, urged that “his holiness” be made the arbiter of the world. In its issue of Feb. 17, 1894, in an article on
“The Pope as International Arbitrator”
the Catholic Mirror said: “International arbitration is gaining ground more and more, and it promises to hasten the day when the sword shall be sheathed forever….
“During the century from 1793 to 1893 there have been fifty-eight international arbitrations…. From 1793 to 1848, a period of fifty-five years, there were nine arbitrations; there were fifteen from 1848 to 1870, a period of twenty-two years; there were fourteen from 1870 to 1880, and twenty from 1880 to 1893.
“The most interesting arbitration of the century was that in which the highest representative of moral force in the world was accepted in 1885 by the apologist of material force to mediate between Germany and Spain. Leo XIII. revived the roll of the popes in the Middle Ages.
“The obstacles to an international code are not insurmountable….
“An interesting quotation from the Spectator and English Review says: ‘Humanity is in search of an arbitrator whose impartiality is indisputable. In many respects the Pope is, by position, designed for this office. He occupies a rank which permits monarchs as well as republics to have recourse to him without sacrifice of dignity. As a consequence of his mission the Pope is not only impartial between all nations, but he is at such a degree of elevation that their differences are imperceptible to him. The difficulty about religion is becoming weaker every day…. The fact that the most haughty statesman of Europe [Prince Bismarck] recognizes in the face of the world that he can, without loss of dignity, submit his conduct in an international affair to the judgment of the Pope, is an extraordinary proof that the Pope still occupies an exceptional position in our skeptical modern world.’
“Why should not the exceptional position of the Pope be utilized by the nations of the world? He is the highest representative of moral force on earth; over 200,000,000 of Christians scattered throughout all nations stand at his back, with a moral power which no other human being can command.”
The Ambition of the Papacy
No one familiar with the situation and with the utterances upon this subject emanating from high sources in the Roman Catholic Church, can doubt that the ambition of the Papacy is to once more dominate the nations something as she dominated them when in 1076, Henry IV. of Germany, “the highest of secular potentates, stood for three days in the courtyard of the castle [of Canossa], clad in  the shirt of a penitent, and entreating to be admitted to the Pope’s presence.” 647
Complaisant minds may think there is not danger, but what are the facts? There exists at the present time a world-wide condition of affairs exceedingly favorable to the
Pretentions of the Roman Hierarchy
For years modern civilization has apparently been about to crumble, like the Roman Empire, under the weight of its own magnificence. Those conditions essential to stability have not been preserved, and the recognition of impending ruin has become well-nigh universal. Very naturally men are casting about to find some remedy; but so far the search has been in vain.
And abnormal state of affairs exists everywhere. The jealousy of nations has imposed upon them burdens too great to be borne indefinitely. Immense standing armies have depleted national treasuries to the verge of bankruptcy. Indeed, some of the nations have been unable to meet their obligations already; but the armies must be maintained at any cost, for ability to repel an invader is the price of national autonomy.
Upon the unnatural condition created by exorbitant taxation and the withdrawal of so many thousands of men from industrial pursuits, has been superinduced unparalleled commercial depression. Nations are perplexed, the people are restless and dissatisfied to a degree that threatens the very existence of civil society.
Rome Sees All This
and seeing it she is preparing to take every advantage afforded both by existing and by impending conditions. Rome has never been modest in her claims, but within the last decade she has become more bold than even her wont in asserting her powers and in pressing her claims as the saviour of society, the possessor of a panacea for all ills that afflict or threaten the body politic of the world.
Will the world be warned of the designs of the Papacy before it is too late? Of this system the Nun of Kenmare says:—
It has the power in many countries to trample on the courage of the weak, because it flatters and bribes the strong to act as its allies until the strong also become weak; and then they, too, learn what are the tender mercies of this professedly Christian church. 648
Rome Never Changes
In her spirit, in her disposition, in her essential nature and characteristics, Rome is the same to-day that she was two hundred or five hundred years before Christ.
Between Rome’s beginning and our day, between 753 B.C. and 1894 A.D., she has appeared in different outward forms, she has taken on different phases, such as the kingly, the republican, the imperial and the papal; but it has been Rome all the time—Rome in spirit, in nature, and in essential characteristics.
There is no world-power that occupies so large a place in the Bible as does Rome. Rome, from its rise in ancient time and in its pagan form, through all its career, its merging into the papal form, and down to our own day, is traced in all its workings, and is marked in its every essential feature, by the pen of inspiration. And it is Rome all the time and always the same—cunning, crafty, insinuating, arrogant, violent, persecuting and bloody—always actuated by the same spirit and pursuing steadily the same policy. So constant, so persistent, and so characteristic is this policy, that it is singled out in the Scripture and distinctly defined as “his policy.”
In the eighth chapter of Daniel there is a prophecy of the career of Media and Persia, of Grecia under Alexander, and then under Alexander’s successors, and of the power that should succeed these which by every evidence of Scripture and history, is demonstrated to be
None Other Than Rome
And in that place this power is thus described:—
And in the latter time of their [Alexander’s successors’] kingdom when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
Observe that it is distinctly declared that “through his policy also, he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand,” “and by peace shall destroy many.” To know what this “policy” is, is to know the character of Rome from beginning to end. To understand this “policy,” is to understand papal craft even to-day, for “Rome never changes.”
Roman Policy Described
Rollin, the historian, describes this Romish policy so fully and gives such a perfect analysis of it that we cannot do better than to quote his words:—
“The reader may perceive from the events above related, one of the principal characteristics of the Romans, which will soon determine the fate of all the States of Greece, and produce an almost general change in the universe; I mean a spirit of sovereignty and dominion. This characteristic does not display itself at first in its full extent; it reveals itself by degrees; and it is only by an insensible progress which at the same time is sufficiently rapid, that we see it carried at last to its greatest height.
“It must be confessed that this people, on some occasions, show a moderation and distinterestedness, which, from a superficial view, seems to exceed everything we meet with in history, and which we feel it incumbent on us to praise.
“Was there ever a more glorious day than that in which the Romans after crossing seas and exhausting their treasures, caused a herald to proclaim, in a general assembly, that the Roman people restored all the cities to their liberty, and desired to reap no other fruit by their victory than the noble pleasure of doing good to nations, the bare remembrance of whose ancient glories sufficed to endear them to the Romans? The description of that immortal day can hardly be read without tears and without being affected with a degree of enthusiasm, of esteem, and admiration.
Only Imaginary Freedom
“Had this deliverance of the Grecian States proceeded merely from a principle of generosity, void of all interested motives; had the whole tenor of the conduct of the Romans been of the same nature with such exalted sentiments, nothing could possibly have been more august, or more capable of doing honor to the nation. But if we penetrate ever so little beyond this glaring outside, we soon perceive that this specious moderation of the Romans was entirely founded on a profound policy; wise, indeed, and prudent, according to the ordinary rules of government, but at the same time very remote from that noble disinterestedness so highly extolled on the present occasion. It may be affirmed that the Grecians then abandoned themselves to a stupid joy fondly imagining that they were really free, because the Romans declared them so.
“Greece, in the times I am now speaking of, was divided between two powers; I mean the Grecian Republics and Macedonia; and they were always engaged in war; the former, to preserve the remains of their ancient liberty, and the latter, to complete their subjection. The Romans, perfectly well acquainted with this state of Greece, were sensible that there was no necessity of apprehending any difficulty from those little republics, which were growing weak through length of years, by intestine feuds, mutual jealousies, and the wars they had been forced to support against foreign powers. But Macedonia, which was possessed of well-disciplined troops, inured to all the toils of war, which had continually in view the glory of her former monarchs, which had formerly extended her conquests to the extremities of the globe, which still harbored an ardent, though chimerical desire, of attaining universal empire, which had a kind of natural alliance with the kings of Egypt and Syria, sprung from the same origin and united by the common interests of monarchy; Macedonia, I say, gave just alarm to the Romans, who, from the ruin of Carthage, had no obstacles left with regard to their ambitious designs but those powerful kingdoms that shared the rest of the world between them, and especially Macedonia, as it lay nearest to Italy.
A Specious Bait
“To balance, therefore, the power of Macedon, and to dispossess Philip of the aid he flattered himself he should receive from the Greeks, which, indeed, had they united all their forces with his, in order to oppose his common enemy, would perhaps have made him invincible with regard to the Romans, they declared loudly in favor of those republics, made it their glory to take them under their protection, and that with no other design, in outward appearance, than to defend them against their oppressors; and farther, to attach them by still stronger ties, they hung out to them the specious bait, as a reward for their fidelity. I mean liberty, of which all the republics in question were inexpressibly jealous, and which the Macedonian monarchs had perpetually disputed with them.
“The bait was artfully prepared and as eagerly swallowed by the generality of the Greeks, whose views penetrated no farther. But the most judicious and most clear-sighted among them discovered the danger that lay concealed beneath this charming bait, and accordingly, they exhorted the people from time to time, in their public assemblies, to beware of this cloud that was gathering in the West; and which, changing on a sudden into a dreadful tempest, would break like thunder over their heads, to their utter destruction.
A Tribunal From Which There Was No Appeal
“Nothing could be more gentle and equitable than the conduct of the Romans in the beginning. They acted with the utmost moderation towards such States and nations as  addressed them for protection; they succored them against their enemies, took the utmost pains in terminating their differences, and in suppressing all troubles which arose among them, and did not demand the least recompense for all these services done for their allies. By these means their authority gained strength daily and prepared the nations for entire subjection.
“Under the pretense of manifesting their good will, of entering into their interests and of reconciling them, they rendered themselves sovereign arbiters of those whom they had restored to liberty, and whom they now considered, in some measure, as their freedmen. They used to depute commissioners to them to inquire into their complaints, to weigh and examine the reasons on both sides, and to decide their quarrels; but when the articles were of such a nature that there was no possibility of reconciling them on the spot, they invited them to send their deputies to Rome. But afterwards they used to summon those who refused to be reconciled, obliged them to plead their cause before the Senate and even to appear in person there. From arbiters and mediators having become supreme judges, they soon assumed a magisterial tone, looked upon their decrees as irrevocable decisions; were greatly offended when the most implicit obedience was not paid to them, and gave the name of rebellion to a second resistance. Thus there arose, in the Roman Senate, a tribunal, which
Judged all Nations and Kings,
and from which there was no appeal. This tribunal, at the end of every war, determined the rewards and punishments due to all parties. They dispossessed the vanquished nations of part of their territories, to bestow them on their allies, from which they reaped a double advantage; for they thereby engaged in the interest of Rome such kings as were in no way formidable to them, and weakened others whose friendship the Romans could not expect, and whose arms they had reason to dread.
“We shall hear one of the chief magistrates in the republic of the Acheans inveigh strongly in a public assembly against this unjust usurpation, and ask by what title the Romans were empowered to assume so haughty an ascendant over them; whether their republic was not as free and independent as that of Rome; by what right the latter pretended to force the Acheans to account for their conduct, whether they would be pleased should the Acheans, in their turn, offically [sic.] pretend to inquire into their affairs, and whether there ought not to be an equality between them. All these reflections were very reasonable, just and unanswerable, and the Romans had no advantage in the question but force.
How the Romans Treated Kings
“They acted in the same manner, and their politics were the same with regard to their treatment of kings. They first won over to their interests such among them as were the weakest, and consequently, the less formidable; they gave them the titles of allies, whereby their persons were rendered, in some measure, sacred and inviolable, and to a degree safeguarded against other kings more powerful than themselves; they increased their revenues and enlarged their territories, to let them see what they might expect from their protection which had raised the kingdom of Pergamos to such a pitch of grandeur.
“After this the Romans invaded, upon different pretenses, those great potentates who divided Europe and Asia. And how haughtily did they treat them even before they had conquered. A powerful king, confined within a narrow circle by a private man of Rome, was obliged to make his answer before he quitted it; how imperious was this! But how did they treat vanquished kings? They commanded them to deliver up their children, and the heirs of their crowns, as hostages and pledges of their fidelity and good behavior; obliged them to lay down their arms; forbade them to declare war, or to conclude any alliance without first obtaining their leave; banished them to the other side of the mountains, and left them, in strictness of speech, only an empty title and a vain shadow of royalty, divested of its rights and advantages.
Enemies to Liberty Everywhere
“We have no room to doubt that providence had decreed to the Romans the sovereignty of the world, and the Scriptures had prophecied their future grandeur; but they were strangers to those divine oracles; and besides, the bare prediction of their conquests was no justification with regard to them. Although it be difficult to affirm, and still more so to prove, that this people had from their first rise, formed a plan, in order to conquer and subject all nations; it cannot be denied, if we examine their whole conduct attentively, that it will appear that they acted as if they had a foreknowledge of this, and that a kind of instinct determined them to conform to it in all things.
“But, be this as it may, we see, by the event, to what this so much boasted lenity and moderation of the Romans was confined. Enemies to the liberty for kings and monarchies, looking upon the whole universe as their prey, they grasped with insatiable ambition, the conquest of the whole world; they seized indiscriminately all provinces and kingdoms, and extended their empire over all nations; in a word, they prescribed no other limits to their vast projects than those which deserts and seas made it impossible to pass.” 649
This Statement True of the Papacy To-day
This statement of Rome’s policy and its workings is as true and as appropriate in the case of the Roman Church and the American Republic to-day, as it is in the case of the Roman State and the Grecian Republics in all time. It describes the policy of Leo XIII. and the ultimate purpose of the Papacy toward the Government and people of the United States; toward the workingmen; as the self-appointed intermediary between capital and labor; and the would-be arbiter of the world, to-day, as truly as it describes the policy of the Roman Senate and its ultimate purpose towards the governments and peoples of Grecia and the other nations of antiquity. Nor is
The Identity of This Policy
in Rome to-day, and in Rome of old, denied by the Papacy. In fact, it is asserted by the Papacy, and the continuance of this policy from ancient Rome is the acknowledged inspiration of modern Rome.
When Imperial Rome was falling to ruins under the violent inroads of the barbarians of the North, the spirit and policy of Rome not only survived but was deepened and perfected in papal Rome. And this spirit and policy were consciously and intentionally continued by the popes of the time and was consciously received and diligently cultivated by each succeeding pope.
It has been said of Leo II. that “all that survived of Rome, of her unbounded ambition, her inflexible perseverance, her dignity in defeat, her haughtiness of language, her belief in her own eternity, and in her indefeasible title to universal dominion, her respect for traditionary and written law, and of unchangeable customs, might seem concentrated in him alone.” At the very moment of his election he was absent in Gaul on a mission as mediator to reconcile a dispute between two of the principal men of the empire. He succeeded in his mission and was hailed as “The Angel of Peace,” and the “Deliverer of the Empire.” In a sermon, he showed what his ambition embraced. He portrayed the powers and glories of the former Rome as they were reproduced in Catholic Rome. The conquests and universal sway of heathen Rome were but the promise of the conquests and universal sway of Catholic Rome. Romulus and Remus were but the precursors of Peter and Paul. Rome of former days had by her armies conquered the earth and sea: now again, by the see of the holy blessed Peter as head of the world, Rome, through her divine religion, would dominate the earth. 650
Truly “Rome never changes.” This is “his policy,” craft and hypocrisy, hypocrisy and craft, always employed to feed an insatiable ambition for universal dominion. “Rome never changes.” In “policy,” in spirit, in working, in essential nature, Rome never has changed and enver can change. And it is high time that the people of this country and of the world understood the full significance of this boast of the Roman Catholic Church.