A PART of the scheme of Archbishop Ireland and the pope, as announced, is that “The wisdom of the Monroe Doctrine will be acknowledged; but the incidental responsibility of the United States thereunder will be defined and demonstrated.”
This statement is worth some examination. It was in direct antagonism to a scheme in the interests of the papacy, and at least of which the papacy was a willing party, that the Monroe Doctrine was announced. And now it is announced on the part of the papacy, and as a part of a scheme guided by the papacy, that “the wisdom of the Monroe Doctrine will be acknowledged.” Does the papacy really intend now to acknowledge the wisdom of that act which defeated a cherished plan to which she was a party? In other words: Does the papacy intend really to confess to the whole world that she was wrong—even once?
About 1820, a certain “Holy Alliance” was formed by the “powers” in Europe, to maintain and propagate the absolute monarchial government in Europe. And what holy alliance of European powers ever was, or ever could be, formed without the coöperation and benediction  of the papacy to give to it the character of “holiness”? as for instance, the “Holy Roman Empire.”
In 1823, this “Holy Alliance” was about to exert its power to bring all the South American colonies back in full subjection to Spain, and so to confirm and enlarge the dominion of Spain on this continent. And this of course would open the way for the planting or extension of the power of the other parties to the “Holy Alliance” on this continent also: also extending here their absolute monarchial governments: and with it all would be the extension of the power of the papacy which alone could give to the alliance the character of “holy.”
Information of this scheme was conveyed by England, which was not one of the allied powers, to the United States Government. Whereupon President Monroe, in his annual message of the year 1823, published the following sentences:—
“We owe it to candor and to the amicable relations existing between United States and the allied powers, to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.
“With the existing colonies or dependencies of any European power, we have not interfered, and shall not interfere; but with the governments which have declared the independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and just principles, acknowledged, we could not view an interposition for oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny by any European power, in any other light than as a manifestation of an unfriendly desposition toward the United States.”
He also declared in another place in the same message that “The American continent should no longer be subjects for any new European colonial settlement.” And it is said on authority that “Tese words of President Monroe were addressed especially to Spain and Portugal.”
That is the Monroe Doctrine, and such was the occasion that called it forth. And that Monroe Doctrine is the things, the “wisdom” of which the papacy now says “will be acknowledged.”
Yet this is to be done with a “but.” It is not to be a plain, open, and free acknowledgement. It is to be an acknowledgement with a string to it: “The wisdom of the Monroe Doctrine will be acknowledged; BUT the incidental responsibility of the United States thereunder will be defined and demonstrated.”
That is to say that the papacy will acknowledge the wisdom of the Monroe Doctrine, “but” she will interpret the doctrine of the United States. She and her proposed “congress of nations” will acknowledge the wisdom of the Monroe Doctrine, “but” she and her “congress of nations” will define” it, and also will “define and demonstrate the incidental responsibility of the United States under it” as thus defined and interpreted by herself an her “congress of nations.”
And thus it is that the papacy assumes and publicly announces the prerogative of supremacy over the United States, to interpret the most cherished doctrine, and to decide the most important affairs of this Government.
Again, we say, When the papacy takes this bold stand at the very beginning of complications between the United States and a European power, what will she not do when complications have deepened, when other European interests have become involved, and when in it all settlements must be made?
In this affair between the United States and Spain, there are more points of interest and solemn importance than the movements of the army and navies.
A. T. J.