THE prestige and power of the papacy is rapidly growing in other countries as well as in the United States, and in those very countries too that have always been supposed to be particularly Protestant. Germany and Switzerland are the two countries in which the Reformation worked with the greatest power and took the strongest hold, and yet in a single number of the Catholic Standard, Dec. 23, 1894, we find three items which show that practically both of these countries are to-day Roman Catholic control once more. We reprint all three of them, for the situation which they present is worthy the sober consideration of all. Here is the first one:—
Once more the Center or Catholic party holds the balance of power in the German parliament, and most properly announces that in the coming struggle over the anti-Socialist bill they will use that power to a two-fold purpose. Unless the Falk laws are wholly repealed so as to allow the Jesuits to come back in full standing, they will defeat the measure in any form; and even if this just concession be granted to them, they will not support the bill in its present drag-net form, but will insist on its being amended so as to make it bear at least the semblance of fair play and regard for constitutional rights. Thus once more do Catholics stand out prominently as the champions of true liberty and equal rights for all.
Another one, the complement of this, is as follows:—
It would certainly be noteworthy were Prince Hohenlohe to be instrument in wiping out the last trace of the Bismarck Falk anti-Catholic laws in Germany. When they were enacted, and thus called into existence the powerful Center Party, he, though a practical Catholic, held aloof and failed to identify himself with the Catholic movement that has won such glorious fame. But now that he is chancellor, in succession to the real author of those laws, he finds himself in need of the Catholic vote in order to be able to enact the anti-Socialist bill into a law. Without it the measure is doomed to defeat, and accordingly there would be good reason for supposing the report to be well founded that the new chancellor has offered valuable inducements to the Catholics in return for their support. Time brings its revenges.
With a Catholic party in the German parliament, that is able to dictate legislation and force the acceptance of its will; and with a Catholic Chancellor of the empire who is one with it in spirit and ready to play into its hands politically, it is evident enough that the papacy once more has control of Germany.
As to Switzerland, the pointer if as follows:—
The country that, over twenty years ago, most closely followed the example of, and even sometimes surpassed, Germany in waging the famous “Culturkampf” war against the Catholic Church, was Switzerland; and the imitation seems to be kept up. Last month a Catholic, even though he be but a “Liberal” one, became chancellor of what Bismarck wanted to make the Protestant empire of the world; and last week a Catholic, and a staunch one, Dr. Zemp, of Lucerne, was elected president of the Swiss republic. This is truly a wondrous world. We may yet hear of Signor Crispi restoring the temporal power of the pope!
Yes, this is a wondrous world indeed. And in view of the situation as thus revealed, it is pertinent to ask whether the Reformation was indeed a mistake.
The papacy once had control of these countries. Was that control such a blessing that it is above all things to be desired again? If so, then assuredly her claim is justified—that the Reformation was so entirely an uncalled-for thing as not to deserve in any sense the title of “Reformation,” but, on the contrary, should be condemned as an unwarranted and mischievous innovation. But if, as is the fact, the control of these countries by the papacy before, was, as it always is in any country, a constant blight and a withering curse, it cannot possibly be anything else now; and therefore the Reformation was called for, and was in every sense a proper and righteous thing.
And the Reformation being a proper and a righteous thing when it delivered these countries from the domination of the papacy; and now these countries being once ore dominated by the papacy; it follows that the people of these countries are more imbued with the principles of the papacy than with the principles of the  Reformation. And in that case it is only the logical consequence that the papacy should dominate these countries; for whenever a people become imbued with the principles of the papacy, whatever their profession may be, it is then a mere question of time as to that people and their country being dominated by the papacy in fact. And of this truth the United States is no less a striking illustration, than are Germany and Switzerland.