THAT Rome is opposed to the right of private judgment, is evident from this editorial note from the Catholic Times of Dec. 15:—
Not Protestantism, but indifferentism, is the chief obstacle to the conversion of Americans to the Catholic Church. The whole spirit of the country is in favor of looking upon religion as a personal opinion. You are at perfect liberty to change your religious opinions as you do your coat and hat…. The only church with a shadow of a claim to unity and universality is the Roman Catholic. We should impress upon our countrymen the logical position which the church holds, and show them that it is not based on bigotry or intolerance, but upon the essential nature of truth, which must be exclusive. If there is only one true religion, any creed or opinion contradictory of that must be false; and if we can find out the one true religion, we need not prolong our investigations into anything that calls itself a church.
Yet all signs point to a wider diffusion of the false idea of religion as a private and personal opinion, which it is every man’s birthright to choose, hold and reject at pleasure. This is the outcome of the spirit of free inquiry and private interpretation which was created and fostered by the Reformation. It is the glory of Protestantism, of which it has also been the bane.
There is no mistaking the spirit of this utterance. It is opposed to the right of private judgment is not to be exercised, it must be repressed, and that by force; there is no other way. And yet Rome poses as the champion of civil and religious liberty! But let it never be forgotten that in the terminology of the papacy, religious liberty is the right to “worship God according to the dictates of a right conscience;” and a “right conscience” is a conscience controlled by the Catholic Church.