Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

In beginning an article on this subject in the twentieth century one could hardly ask a more suitable and effective text than the recent election of the present Roman Pontiff, Pius X.

All persons who keep themselves informed as to the important news items of the world are aware that in various secular and so-called religious newspapers, usually reliable, it was stated over and over again, first and positively, that one of the sovereign powers of Europe had asserted its old time right of veto in the Papal election, and over and over again it was asserted just as positively that not one of said sovereign powers had asserted this right. Such is the infallibility of the press, secular and religious.

On general principles, and in view of the ancient and modern relationships existing between the sovereignties of Europe and the See of Rome, we believed from the first that such veto would be asserted, and that it was asserted, but when two ecclesiastical saints stand up before a sinner and attest separately Homousian and the other the Homoiousian way is the one and only exclusive way to heaven, the trembling culprit hardly knows which to believe and a merciful heaven may be expected to pardon him if in his perplexed state of mind, he takes to the woods. So it is with modern civilization when the immaculate,, infallible and omniscient newspapers disagree, and by and by, after a few more stupid oligarchs, like Pulitzer of the New York World, have endowed colleges with various millions for newspaper professorships, no God Almighty yet defined by any theology, and no Pope of Rome or elsewhere may presume to question the much more than almighty dollar-newspaper, spite of its palpable contradictions—to such a pass has the sublime morality of modern mediocrity and slush come in the tides of time, away above high water mark and the rivers of mud still issuing. But some Jew must best the so-called benevolence of the Scotchman, Carnegie, and in an intellectual line, of course. Unless the modern newspaper is college bred its inevitable methods of lying will be coarse and unfit to be read in the refined Christian families of the twentieth century.

[graphic]

The Catholic Columbian, published at Columbus, Ohio, is rather a stupid, but on the whole a fairly reliable newspaper—though we discover some very childish blunders in its pages now and then, as recently for instance, when its versatile but poorly informed correspondent stated that a certain southern New Yorker who has of late years been buying various junk newspapers had purchased and made a splendid success of The Philadelphia Times. He simply purchased it and buried it.

It was nominally merged in the Public Ledger; but it is dead as a rusty door nail. Thereby hangs many a tale that we could tell, but we are only correcting Mr. James Randall as he recently appeared in the Catholic Columbian, and this only to condition our statement that among Catholic newspapers we have found the Columbian one of the most reliable and the least stupid of the elect, and this again only to condition the following quotation. In its issue of October ioth, 1903, the Columbian published the following:

'There was a veto. In spite of some unauthorized denials, it is true that Cardinal Puzyna speaking on August 2 in the conclave, did declare that the Emperor of Austria was opposed to the election of Cardinal Rampolla. It is also true that right after that declaration the conclave gave to the Cardinal more votes than before. But at his entreaty a preponderating majority of votes was finally given to Cardinal Sarto."

This puts the matter in a nutshell, gives names and dates, and is as reliable as anything that we shall ever have on the subject. All through the contradictory jumble of pros and cons I have placed great reliance upon the published statements of his eminence Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, for whose modesty, sincerity and well-informed Christian mind and spirit I have profound esteem. His published statements were to the same general effect as the above quotation, but, of course, the newspapers that published his statements were in no sense reliable and tj, CHURCH AND STATE. 361

^^bj Ml t*lere remained a doubt as to the reliability of the state

trje have to take it for granted that on August 2nd, 1903, Perx>r aPa* Conclave, Cardinal Puzyna did declare that the Empolla °* Austria was opposed to the election of Cardinal Ram^e '"*Us exercising what for many centuries has been known as Po^er of veto, that is, the power claimed by the European sovStts and admitted for centuries by the Papal power, whereby ,e temporal or secular sovereign power interferes with, checks, forbids and controls the free exercise of the spiritual power in one of, if not the most important functions claimed and exercised by said Papal or spiritual power. It is of little or no moment to us here or to anybody anywhere whether or not the votes in the conclave immediately succeeding the assertion of the Austrian veto were more numerous than previously in favor of Cardinal Rampolla, nor have we, nor has the world the slightest interest in what is claimed and with more or less trumpet sounding eclat paraded as to the pleadings of Cardinal Rampolla to the effect that the Conclave would not continue to cast their votes for him. All that is personal matter, colored by personal motives in the transmission of the news, and neither we nor the world at large are particularly interested in the personal motives and actions of Cardinal Rampolla or any other Cardinal or* man. As a matter of fact, the candidate opposed by Francis Joseph was not chosen. That tells the story. Rampolla was down. A few earnest words if spoken in genuine humility under such circumstances, under such consciousness of being personally whipped by a secular sovereign, would not in the least affect the general character of Cardinal Rampolla or the general estimate rtie world has of him. Any whipped dog or man is always humble —except the pugilist, James Corbett—but some so-called gentlemen deem it beneath their dignity to be humble even when whipped of gods and men for their lyings, thievings and various folly—so certain cats die hard. All this is of no moment. Cardinal Rampolla had had his day, and still, would climb to higher and more absolute rule. But the gods and Francis Joseph of Austria, and for reasons best known to themselves, had objections and asserted their veto. So even the great Cardinal Woolsey of England, a far man than Rampolla, when caught in the inordinate vices of ecclesciastical power humbled himself and said to his faithful

[graphic]

secretary:

"The king has cured me, I humbly thank his grace; and from these shoulders, these ruined pillars, out of pity, taken a load would sink a navy, too much honor; O, 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden, too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven."

"There was the weight that pulled me down, O Cromwell, the king has gone beyond me, all my glories in that one woman I have lost forever: No sun shall ever usher forth mine honors, or gild again the noble troops that waited on my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Cromwell, I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now to be thy lord and master: Seek the king; that sun, I pray, may never set! I have told him what, and how true thou art: he will advance thee. Some little memory of me will stir him (I know his noble nature) not to let thy hopeful service perish too: Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear in all my miseries; but thou hast forced me, out of thy honest truth to play the woman. Let's dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell: And when I am forgotten as I shall be: and sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention of me more must be heard of—say I taught thee, say Woolscy—that once trod the ways of glory, and sounded all the depths and shoals of honor—found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in; A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it. •Viark but my fall, and that that ruined me.

"Love thyself last; cherish those hearts that hate thee; corruption wins not more than honesty. Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace, to silence envious tongues: Be just and fear not. Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's, thy God's, and truth's; then, if thou fall'st, O Cromwell, thou fall'st a blessed martyr. Serve the king: and,—Pr'ythee lead me in: There take an inventory of all I have, to the last penny: 'Tis the king's: my robe, and my integrity to heaven, is all I dare now call mine own. O Cromwell, Cromwell, had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal I serv'd my king, he would not in mine age, have left me naked to mine enemies."

But the infinite pity of it all is, that able men educated in all the supposed sacred wisdom of God, should under any stress of circumstances, become the blinded and ambitious slaves of the tinsel of the temporal power. I often would to God, the real Christ would come again and with a twentieth century brand new whip ^ CHURCH AND STA TE. 363

v^^\ .C°r^s drive the contemptible puppets known as ecclesi^ ^Hces from the sacred and holy of holies of his dear, dying 1 ^^Vil^ss, all-conquering, humble and immortal love. spjs ?* °t>t>osed utterly to the power of the veto. I hate and de0{ ,. e ioul growths of Imperial pretensions and the slavery out , it lias grown. I would turn the searchlight of God's

v * *r~utri in the faces of kings and dare them to touch or Q*^ or check in anyway, the silent, exalted march of the temV«, altar, the ark of God. Yet I am glad that Francis Joturned down Rampolla.

"you accept the devil's wages, you are the servants of hell. VsJYvosoever pays you, is your master. Precisely as the borrower is servant of the lender, so is the wing of the Church that is supported by the arm of the State, wounded, so that it cannot fly. It is a clipped, winged, lame and broken angel of heaven. As long as the Bismarcks, the Francis Josephs, furnish your bread and butter, they have a right to say where you shall live, what you shall teach, and to what extent you shall have any ruling power. I despise the entire modern attitude of the French government toward the religious orders. The conduct of the government is beneath contempt, but accept the pay of the government and your priests are the doomed and damned slaves of the g-overnment. It is the same principle as prevailed in the old Roman Empire, under Constantine, and on to Charlemagne, and in England to Henry VIII. In Germany, under Bismarck; in France, under the weak and despicable principles of Freemasonry. In Rome but yesterday as between Francis Joseph and Cardinal Rampolla—and Cardinal Sarto—now Pius X by the grace of God, ■whose perfect guidance may he ever have and the comfort of the r*«avenliest peace. Here endeth the first part of our drama, the first chapter of our story with its world texts on the theme of "Church and State." I love the dear, blunt old English phrasemind your own business. I am satisfied that Christ's word to the Church forever is, "What is that (the temporal power) to thee? Follow thou me." In a word, regard the sphere of the divine and human soul.

In our second chapter, perhaps, we had better take a bird's-eye view of the essential, underlying principles of power and authority, temporal and spiritual as used by princes and kings; by priests, prophets and ecclesiastics of all sorts time out of mind, and see

« AnteriorContinua »