Rome’s Influence

American Sentinel 3, 8 , pp. 59, 60 (1888)

IF anybody fails to see that the Papacy is now fast moving into the place of the greatest influence of any earthly organization, not only in Europe, but in this Nation as well, we can only wonder what he can be doing with his eyes. In Europe, to say nothing of Catholic countries, which, as a matter of course, are subject to the Pope, Germany is subject to the dictation of the Pope; England is glad to obtain his help in her political affairs; and even the autocrat of all the Russia is willing to make overtures to the Pope.

In our own country Rome’s influence is growing faster than any other one thing. Everybody knows that it was the word “Romanism” in an unfortunate alliteration that cost Blaine the presidency in 1884. The editor of the Converted Catholic says that more Senators and Representatives send their sons to the Jesuit College at Georgetown, than to all the other institutions of learning at Washington. This proves, either that a large number of Senators and Representatives are Catholics, or that Rome has more influence with Senators and Representatives than have all the other educational institutions in Washington put together.

L. Q. C. Lamar was lately Secretary of the Interior. He was charged with giving to Catholics more positions in his department than to other denominations. His reply was, that “if the Roman Catholics have been recognized to a greater extent than other denominations, it is only because they have asked more largely;” and explains this by saying that the Romish Church has at Washington “an energetic and tireless director, who is active to seize opportunities for extending missionary and educational work among the Indians.” The Government Superintendent of Indian Schools is a Catholic; and the Christian Union says that four-fifths of the Government Indian schools, under religious control, have been given to the Romish Church.

The Assistant Attorney-General of the Department of the Interior—Mr. Zach. Montgomery—is a Roman Catholic, with all the Roman Catholic enmity to the public schools, and hesitates not to use his official influence to show it. Not long since, in an address at Carroll Institute, he openly denounced the public-school system as godless, anti-parental, and destructive of happiness. And the Senate knew his enmity to the public schools when it confirmed him as Assistant Attorney-General.

We would not have a word to say against Catholics being given public and official positions in any department of Government, were it not that the allegiance of every Catholic is paid to the Pope before it is to the United States, and must be so paid, or else he ceases to be a good Catholic; every soul of them enters politics, or into official positions, as a Catholic; and the Pope has commanded all Catholics to do all in their power to cause the legislation of States to be shaped upon the model of the “true church.”

Next the secular press is captivated by the seductive influences of the Papacy. Not only is this true of that portion of the press which makes politics a trade, and which professedly follows, while it leads, public influence; it is equally true of the great magazines. In the Century for May, 1888, there was published a most flattering tribute to the Pope, with full-page portrait, under the title of “The Personality of Leo XIII.” And in the Forum for April, 1888, Rome forms the subject of two long articles—one, “Civil Government and Papacy,” the other, “Socialism and the Catholic Church.”

Next after the political world and the secular press, there is the “Protestant” religious world and its press. And in hardly anything does this take second place after the others, in this truckling flattery to the Papacy. The Evangelist, the Christian Union, the Christian at Work, the Independent, and other papers of lesser note, all pay flattering tribute to Rome. The Evangelist acknowledges Cardinal Gibbons as its “only Cardinal;” the Independent wishes the Pope “a long reign and Godspeed in his liberalizing policy;” the Christian at Work salutes him as “Holy Father,” and in the name of “the whole Christian world” glorifies him as “this venerable man whose loyalty to God and zeal for the welfare of humanity are as conspicuous as his freedom from many of the errors and bigotries of his predecessors, is remarkable;” and the Christian Union acknowledges him as “a temporal prince” and “Supreme Pontiff.” Nor are the “Protestant” doctors of divinity one whit behind these “Protestant” papers. Rev. Charles W. Shields, D. D., of Princeton College, writing of the reunion of Christendom, said of a certain position, that it would not do to take it, because—

“You would exclude the Roman Catholic Church, the mother of us all; the church of scholars and saints, of Augustine, and Aquinas, and Bernard, and Fenelon; the church of all races, ranks, and classes, which already gives signs of being American as well as Roman, and the only church fitted, by its hold upon the working masses, to grapple with that labor problem before which our Protestant Christianity stands baffled to-day.”—New York Evangelist, February 9, 1888.

Yes, the Catholic Church does give signs of becoming American as well as Roman, and the surest sign of this is the readiness with which Americans and professed Protestants surrender to her all their dearest interests of man in order to secure her influence.

Now to all these elements add the National Reform Association, which, under the name and form of Protestantism, proposes to unite all Protestant bodies in one, and then to trade them off bodily to Rome for her influence, for the sole purpose of securing to the church the control of the civil power, and the scheme is completely sketched, as it now stands.

At the present rate, how long will it be before Rome’s influence will be supreme everywhere? This question is worth thinking about.

A. T. J.

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