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fication was in its necessity to maintain her own independence in spirituals, or the freedom of conscience. It was her right as representing the spiritual order, and would be her right still in a similarly constituted society, and the modern world is reaping in its advanced civilization the fruits of her having claimed and exercised it. The necessity for claiming and exercising that power

in a society constituted as is the American does not exist, because in our society the state frankly concedes all that she was in those ages struggling for. There was nothing which Gregory VII., Innocent III., Boniface VIII., and other great popes struggled for against the German emperors, the kings of France, Aragon, and England, and the Italian republics, that is not recognized here by our republic to be the right of the spiritual order. Here the old antagonism between church and state does not exist. There is here a certain antagonism, no doubt, between the church and the sects, but none between the church and the state or civil society. Here the church has so far as civil society is concerned, all that she has ever claimed, all that she has ever struggled for. Here she is perfectly free. She summons her prelates to meet in council when she pleases, and promulgates her decrees for the spiritual government of her children without leave asked or obtained. The placet of the civil power is not needed, is neither solicited nor accepted. She erects and fills' sees as she judges proper, founds and conducts schools, colleges, and seminaries in her own way, without let or hindrance ; she manages her own temporalities, not by virtue of a grant or concession of the state, but as her acknowledged right, held as the right of conscience, independently of the state. Here she has nothing to conquer from the state, for the civil law affords her the same protection for her property that it does to the citizen for his; and therefore all that she can seek in relation to the constitution of our civil society, is that it should remain unaltered.

True, the sects have before civil society the same freedom that she has, but the state protects her from any violence they might be disposed to offer her. They are not permitted to rob her of her churches, desecrate her altars, molest her worship, or interfere with her management of her own affairs. Their freedom in no respect whatever abridges hers, and whatever controversy she may have with them, it is entirely on questions with which civil society has nothing

to do, which are wholly within the spiritual order, and which could not be settled by physical force, if she had it at her command, and was disposed to use it. Lying in the spiritual order, they are independent of the state, and it has no right to interfere with them. There is nothing, then, in the freedom of the sects to interfere with the fullest liberty of the church, so long as the state recognizes and protects her freedom and independence as well as theirs. There is nothing, then, that the church can receive from civil society, that she has not in the United States, and gnarantied to her by the whole force of the civil constitution.

It is one of the mysteries of Providence that what the popes for ages struggled for and still struggle for in the Old World, and in all parts of the New World originally colonized by Catholic states, should for the first time in history be fully realized in a society founded by the most anti-papal people on earth, who held the church to be the Scarlet Lady of the Apocalypse. Surely, they builded better than they knew. But explain it as you will, such is the fact. The United States is the only country in the world where the church is really free. It would seem that both state and church had to emigrate to the New World to escape the antagonisms of the Old, and to find a field for the free and untrammelled development of each. It is idle to fear that the church will ever seek to disturb the order established here, for she supports no principle and has no interest that would lead her to do it. Individual Catholics, affected by the relations that have subsisted between church and state in the Old World, and not aware that the church has here all that she has ever struggled for against kings and princes, may think that the church lacks here some advantages which she ought to have, or may think it desirable to reproduce here the order of things which they have been accustomed to elsewhere, and which in fact the church has submitted to as the best she could get, but has never fully approved. These, however, are few, and are soon corrected by experience, soon convinced that the real solution of the questions which have so long and often so fearfully agitated the nations of Europe, has been providentially obtained by the American people. The church has no wish to alter the relation that exists with us between her and the state.

But there is a very important question for the American people to ask themselves. With the multiplicity of sects,

the growing indifference to religion, and the political atheism consciously or unconsciously fostered by a large portion of the secular press and but feebly resisted by the religious press, will they be able to preserve the freedom and independence of the spiritual order, or protect the equal rights on which our political institutions are founded? Instead of asking, as some do, are the presence and extension of the church dangerous to our institutions, should they not rather ask, is she not necessary to their safety? The higher question to be addressed to the sects undoubtedly, is, can men save their souls without the church? but in addressing politicians and patriots, it is not beneath the Catholic even to ask if the republic, the authority of the state, and the liberty of the citizen, both of which rest on the freedom and authority of conscience, can be saved or preserved without her? Are not the unity and catholicity which she asserts and represents, and which the sects break and discard, necessary to maintain the freedom and independence of the spiritual order against the constant tendency of the political order and material interests to invade and subject it?

This is the great question for American patriots and statesinen, and I have written in vain, if this article does not at least suggest the answer.

Hitherto almost every: where Catholics have found themselves obliged to contend against the civil power to gain the freedom and independence of their church, and at the same time, in these later centuries, to sustain that power, even though hostile to liberty, in order to save society from dissolution. Here they have to do neither, for here church and state, liberty and authority, are in harmonious relation, and form really, as they should, but two distinct parts of one whole; distinct, I say, not separate parts. There is here a true union, not unity, of church and state-a union without which neither the liberty of the citizen nor the authority of the state has any solid basis or support. The duty of the Catholic on this question is, it seems to me, to do his best to preserve this union as it is, and to combat every influence or tendency hostile to it.

Donoso Cortés demonstrates most clearly that religion is the basis of society and politics, but he is apparently disposed to assert the unity of church and state, with European liberals, but differing from them by absorbing the state in the church, or by virtually suppressing it; while they would suppress

the church or absorb her in the state. My

endeavor in what I have written has been to preserve both. and to defend not the unity, but the union of church and state. This union, in my judgment, has never existed or been practicable in the Old World, and I do not believe it is even yet practicable there, and consequently, I regard whatever tends there to weaken the polítical influence of the church as unfavorable to civilization, and favorable only to political atheism, virtually asserted by every European state, unless Belgium be an exception. But here the union really exists, in the most perfect form that I am able to conceive it; and for the harmonious progress of real civilization, we only need the church, the real guardian of all rights that exist independently of civil society, to become sufficiently diffused or to embrace a sufficient number of the people in her communion, to preserve that union intact, from whatever quarter it may be assailed.

This, we are permitted to hope, will ere long be the case. The sects, seeing their freedom and independence require its maintenance, must in this respect make common cause with us; and hence the spiritual power is probably already nearly, if not quite strong enough to maintain it against any and every enemy that may arise. As to the controversy between the church and the sects, I do not expect that to end very soon; but truth is mighty and in the end will prevail. They will, no doubt, struggle to the last, but as the state cannot intervene in the dispute, and must maintain an open field for the combatants, I have no doubt that they will yield at last, because the church has the truth in its unity and integrity, and they have it only as disunited or broken in scattered fragments. Reason demands union and catholicity, and where reason is free, and assisted by grace, she must win the victory.

VOL. XII-10

THE BISHOPS OF ROME.*

[From the Catholic World for April, 1869.]

HARPER'S MAGAZINE, we are told, has a wide circulation, and some merit as a magazine of light literature; but it does not appear to have much aptitude for the scholarly discussion of serious questions, whatever the matter to which they relate, and it is guilty of great rashness in attempting to treat a subject of such grave and important relations to religion and civilization, society and the church, as the history of the bishops of Rome. The subject is not within its competence, and the historical value of its essay to those who know something of the history of the popes and of mediæval Europe is less than null.

Of course, Harper's Magazine throws no new light on any disputed passage in the history of the bishops of Rome, and brings out no fact not well known, or at least often repeated before; it does nothing more than compress within a brief magazine article the principal inventions, calumnies, and slanders vented for centuries against the Roman pon tiffs by personal or national antipathy, disappointed ambition, political and partisan animosity, and heretical and sectarian wrath and bitterness, so adroitly arranged and mixed with facts and probabilities as to gain easy credence with persons predisposed to believe them, and to produce on ignorant and prejudiced readers a totally false impression.

The magazine, judging from this article, has not a single qualification for studying and appreciating the history of the popes. It has no key to the meaning of the facts it encounters, and is utterly unable or indisposed to place itself at the point of view from which the truth is discernible. Its animus, at least in this article, is decidedly anti-Christian, and proves that it has no Christian conscience, no Christian sympathy, no faith in the supernatural, no reverence for our Lord and his apostles, and no respect even for the authority of the Holy Scriptures.

The magazine, under pretence of writing history, simply appeals to anti-Catholic prejudice, and repeats what Dr.

*Ilarper's Nero Monthly Magazine. The Bishops of Rome. New York: January, 1869.

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