THE Protestant Episcopal Church is planning to centralize its power in the United States by erecting a cathedral in Washington, D. C.
On this project the Catholic Review, of January 19, furnishes the following information:—
Our Episcopal friends are thinking of building a grand cathedral in Washington, D. C. Rev. Dr. Geo. W. Douglas, one of the trustees, says of it: “We know it’s a great scheme, but we feel the need for it in our national capital, and we are willing to put our shoulders to the wheel and try to make it a reality. The site given for it is near the centre of the city and not far from the Capitol. The former owners of the property have told me that it was the site first desired by the Roman Catholics for their university. The merits of a cathedral, as we look at it, are three in number. They are: (1) An association in labor and a division of labor. (2) Centralization. (3) Education. This is an age of centralization. The Romanists appreciate it and are ready for it. I respect them for it, for their strong organization, their power of devotion, their concentrative energy. And I do not believe that the American Church should propose to rely upon the old idea of parochialism in the face of the Romish Church, its perspicacity, its steadfast devotion and its energy. In the face of organized Romanism we ought to show that Protestantism can be organized.”
Upon this utterance of Dr. Douglas, “The Catholic Review, a Weekly Journal for Catholic Families, Commended by His Holiness, Leo XIII., the Archbishop of New York,” etc., makes this plaintive and significant comment:—
The Catholic Church does not desire to be placed unnecessarily and offensively in face of organized Protestantism at a time when the Kingdom of Christ in the Republic is in face of organized Cesarism, of organized anti-Christian secret society movements, of organized plans for the exile of God from the national life of the country by the complete secularization of all its institutions. If Protestantism does care for the Lord and does not desire to be used as an ally of Lucifer in the war of devilish forces against Christian principles, it will not take pains to organize itself in face of “the Romish Church,” but will direct it energies against radical atheistic tendencies and influences now operative in the nation. It can do much to antagonize and to hamper the Catholic Church in politico-religious affairs, but if it does so, it will play the part of Samson, and will find out, when too late, that it has irretrievably involved itself in the general ruin.
The Catholic Review here candidly acknowledges that the Catholic Church has schemes to work out in America, termed “politico-religious affairs,” which she entreats Protestants not to “antagonize” or “hamper.” This religio-political scheme is further explained to be an effort to prevent “the exile of God from the nation life of the country by the complete secularization of all its institutions.” What the Review means by the exile of God from the national life of the country is the exile of the hand of the Roman Catholic Church from the national treasury and the rescue of the public school and the nation itself from Romanish control.
The nation can bear much of this kind of “exile” and “secularization” both as regards Roman Catholic and popish-Protestant control, without playing the part of Samson. Protestantism will not, by consistently opposing Romanism in our Government, involve itself in the general ruin. It is when it attempts to control the Government in the interests of itself, and thereby unites itself to the State, that it pulls down the pillars of the national edifice and involves itself, Samson-like, in the general ruin.