IT is the policy of Rome to destroy what she cannot control. Especially is this true of any factor which effects the control of the masses. When the secret labor organizations came into being it was a question with her whether she should attempt to kill or control them. She decided to control. And in pursuance of this plan the Catholic priest, Dr. Buntsell, has been commissioned by the pope to promulgate papal principles within labor organizations, gather statistics and report to headquarters.
Other secret organizations have fared differently. The society of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and Sons of Temperance have been condemned, as the following letters from Rome and Washington indicate:—
Most Reverend and Illustrious Sir: Your excellency cannot fail to know that the archbishops set over the various ecclesiastical provinces of the Republic of the United States of America have, in more than one of their assemblies, taken counsel with respect to three societies which have grown up in the aforesaid Republic; namely, the Odd Fellows, the Sons of Temperance and the Knights of Pythias. And you must be also aware that the foresaid archbishops unanimously decided that the whole question as to these societies should be submitted to the judgment of the Apostolic See.
His holiness therefore committed this question to eminent and most reverend cardinals of the Holy Roman Church and to the inquisitors generally. These, then, in general congregation, had on Wednesday, June 20, 1894, confirming a decision previously made as to the aforementioned societies, decreed that all the ordinaries throughout the United States must in every way strive to keep the faithful from becoming members of any of the said societies and msut not fail to admonish their people to that effect, and that any thus admonished must be debarred from the sacraments should they fail to abandon or keep aloof from the same societies.
This decree his holiness fully confirmed and gave it complete effect. It is therefore communicated to your Excellency that through you it may be transmitted to all the archbishops, bishops and other ordinaries of the United States, and for the due custody of the souls of the faithful may be by these ordinaries carried into effect.
In the meantime I beseech Almighty God to bestow upon you all benefits and blessings.
R. CARDINAL MONACO.
Rome, Aug. 20, 1894.
To the Illustrious and Most Rev. Francis Stolli, Delegate Apostolic.
Washington, D. C., Dec. 4, 1894.
Your Eminence Illustrious and Most Reverend:
By letter transmitted to me on the 20th of November last, through Cardinal Rampolla, his holiness urges that the decree of the holy office, sent to me by Cardinal Monaco, and herewith delivered to you, shall be made public. The sovereign pontiff, therefore, wills that the decree in question shall be communicated by the archbishops to the respective suffragans and by them it may be promulgated.
With all reverence and affection, I remain. Your Eminence Illustrious and Most Reverend, your faithful servant in Christ.
FRANCIS (Archbishop) SATOLLI.
To His Eminence, Illustrious and Most Reverend James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore.
The AMERICAN SENTINEL is not the champion of secret societies, but points to this condemnation as one of the signs of the times.
The church of Rome condemns secret societies, while at the same time it is itself the most secret of all secret societies. The very same day that the press published the condemnation of those secret societies, it published an official announcement of a Roman Catholic synod for the diocese of Brooklyn, which contained this paragraph:—
The proceedings will open with a pontifical high mass, which will be celebrated by the bishop, and immediately afterward the synod will go into session. Members of the laity may attend the mass, but the proceedings of the synod will be secret.
This is a part of the grand policy of the church to control the mass. She proposes to get a “corner” on the whole secret society business and control it to accomplish her grand scheme for the supremacy of the world.