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It is evident that the entrance of Protestant missions into our new possessions will be stoutly resisted; but we will go there, all the same, will plant our churches and schools everywhere, will do our utmost to furnish every Roman Catholic on earth with a copy of God's word, and will show them all the way out of the darkness of medieval superstition into the glorious light of the Gospel of the Son of God.
Cardinal Gibbons should ask the pope to summon an ecumenical council, that they may make haste to repeal some of the childish and unreasonable, unscriptural and unbelievable dogmas which have been promulgated within the nineteenth century. Let there be an honest effort to harmonize the doctrines of the Church with the Holy Scriptures, and its policy with the spirit of the age. Let the money-getting schemes of purgatory and indulgences be for evermore forbidden. They' justly aroused the wrath of Martin Luther and sent him to nail his immortal theses to the cathedral door; and his indignation at such ecclesiastical robbery carried on by the Church in the Master's name is part of the inheritance we have received from him. Do away with it all! Give the people the Bible ! No nation ever rose to greatness and prosperity such as the Protestant nations of the present confessedly enjoy that did not allow the free circulation of the holy book among the masses of the people.
Do these things and the great train, with one seventh part the population of the world aboard, will glide smoothly and safely and triumphantly down into the twentieth century. But if the Romish Church heeds not these counsels let it be assured there is danger ahead and that the Civita Catolica does not overestimate it.
ART. V.-THE PRINCE OF DIPLOMATS.
In the Easter number of The Outlook for last year was an interesting article by F. Marion Crawford on Pope Leo XIII. Mr. Crawford may hold a high place in the literary world as a writer of fiction, but truth is mightier than fiction. He propounds and seeks to answer the question, "What has been the effect upon the world in the fifth of a century of such a power (Leo XIII) acting continually at one point?” Mr. Crawford, a zealous Roman Catholic, seeks to prove that the result has been wonderfully beneficial to the peace of nations and to the permanent good of the human race. “Of few popes can it be said that their political influence throughout a long reign has been so steadily and universally beneficent;” “the man who has set an example of toleration to his age.” But to arrive at this conclusion Mr. Crawford has utterly ignored certain facts and has assumed that which many of us are not ready to admit, that the success of politico-ecclesiastical Romanism is a blessing to humanity. He asserts, contrary to the facts, that the qnestions which proved fatal to Pius IX have been prndently left to themselves. On the contrary, Leo XIII has constantly repeated the “non possumus" and the "non expedit” of Pius IX. We agree that the pope has apparently “done more to give the Roman Church strength and security than a dozen of his predecessors ;” that “his has been a political pontificate;” and that “it is as a diplomatist that Leo XIII will be remembered in history.”
Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci was born at Carpineto, March 2, 1810. His father was Count Ludovico Pecci, ex-colonel in the
army of Napoleon I. At eight years of age he was put into the Jesuit College at Viterbo.“ In the year 1821, at the high altar of the Church of St. Ignatius, he received for the first time that Jesus of whom later he was to be the vicar on earth.”—meaning that he took into his mouth the wafer of the Romish sacrament. In 1824 Pope Leo XII reopened the famons Jesuit College in Rome, and immediately young Gioacchino Pecci became one of the students. He was a very apt scholar, and in 1830 we find this record concerning him :
“ Inter theologice academicos V. Pecci strenue certavit.” At twenty-two he took his diploma with the degree of doctor. “The Jesuits, ever the faithful supporters of the Church, by their instruction and training had molded the mind of Gioacchino Pecci, and hence the sons of Loyola accompanied him to the altar where he celebrated his first mass in the church which is a monument to St. Ignatius. December 31, 1837, he received full orders as priest at the hands of the Jesuit cardinal, Carlo Odescalchi. He was enrolled among those to be prepared for a diplomatic career. In 1838 he was sent by Pope Gregory XVI as papal delegate to settle serious difficulties at Benevento. Having succeeded in this mission he was recalled to Rome, and then sent to Perugia to quell the disturbances there and to destroy the secret societies organized against the papacy. In the Consistory of June 27, 1843, he was made titular Archbishop of Damiata, and in the following spring sent as nuncio to Belgium. Here for three years he exercised himself in the art of diplomacy, and King Leopold decorated him with one of the highest titles of his kingdom. In July, 1846, he returned to Italy as Archbishop of Perugia, where he ruled the Church for thirty-two years. In the Con. sistory of 1853 Pius IX made him a cardinal. In 1877 he was called to Rome as “chamberlain of the Holy Church." Pius IX died February 7,1878, and on February 20 Cardinal Pecci was elected his successor, being sixty-eight years of
age. Gambetta, writing of the event to a friend, said: “ On a nommé le noveau Pape. C'est cet elegant et raffiné Cardinal Pecci, eveque de Perouse. Cet Italien, encor plus diplomate que pretre, est un opportuniste sacré.”
The condition of things which prevails in Europe to-day is very different from that which existed when Leo XIII was elected. The new position created for the papacy in 1870 has produced results which have not been fully appreciated. The energies which before were employed in the civil administration of the Papal States have since been directed to politics in different parts of the world. The disturbed state of society in the different countries has furnished the papacy with a most favorable occasion for the carrying out of its dark designs.
# F. Di Domenico, Vita e Pontificato di Leone XIII.
Consider the state of things when Pius IX died. The politics of Napoleon III, in the occupation of Rome, were not very pleasing to the popė king, who wanted to be protected but did not desire a master in his own honse. The conduct of the French ambassador, and of the generals in Rome, was very irritating to the Vatican, so that the cardinals were not sorry for the defeat of the French in 1870. The Vatican, however, did not foresee all the consequences of that German victory. With Austria the pope was only on fairly friendly relations, though that country was looked upon as the future hope of the papacy, and the emperor, Francis Joseph, as the one who would use all his influence to favor the reinstatement of the pope in his temporal domains. The Vatican cherished the hope that the powers would prevent the Italians from coming to Rome, and even after they had entered the city it was supposed that their stay would only be temporary. The spirit of resentment in Pius IX because of the indifference of foreign governments became very manifest. The nuncii at Paris and Vienna were both recalled, one because the government had changed to a republic, and the other because he had failed to persuade the emperor of Austria to support the rights of the papacy as against Italy. Pius IX spoke freely to all whom he met concerning what he thought of certain governments and their rulers. One day Cardinal Antonelli called the pope's attention to the complaints that were being received because of his language, but all to no effect. Antonelli was corrupt, but a most astute diplomat. Pius IX, on the contrary, had no patience with diplomacy, and he became more and more irritated against those who had tried to satisfy him with fine promises only. Cardinal Antonelli suddenly died, and the pope sought to change affairs by disregarding diplomatic courtesies with governments in which he no longer had any hope. The result was, diplomatic relations broken off with Russia, Prussia, and Switzerland; disaccord with England; and Rome only on speaking terms with Austria, Spain, and Belgium. Everywhere the Vatican was in trouble and confusion. The continued war between the papacy and the Italian government did not improve matters. Both parties tried to explain the situation to the different powers, bnt their explanations only emphasized the difficulties. As Mr. Crawford states, “Civilized Europe was anti-Catholic where it was Protestant, and antipapal where it was Catholic.” It was when things were in such a state that Pius IX suddenly died.
Consider now the reasons for the election of Cardinal Pecci -Leo XIII. It was an anxious time for the papacy. Should the new pope be a warrior, or should he be of a conciliatory character? The idea of electing a man who would immediately rush into battle did not seem wise to any, for it was feared that the Church would meet with greater difficulties than she had yet encountered. The non-Italian cardinals decided the question. The new pope must be one who would maintain the rights of the papacy, but not be a man of violent aggressive action. Some of the cardinals expressed fears about holding the conclave in Rome because of the supposed hostility of the Italian government. Crispi, then Secretary of State for the Interior, replied: “The Italian government knows its duty, and is able to guarantee absolute liberty to the conclave and protection to the individual cardinals. If, however, it shall be decided to hold the conclave out of Italy the government will not interfere, but if such a decision should be taken in hostility to Italy, then the government will be free to act as it may judge best.” The cardinals soon answered that the conclave would be held in Rome, and in the Vatican. On a third point also the cardinals agreed-that they would seek in the election not to prejudice or compromise the future. Hence they would elect a man sufficiently advanced in years to give the hope that he might not last long, so that if their experiment did not succeed, or the circumstances should soon require a change of policy, a new conclave would not be far away. How vain are all human previsions! If the cardinals who met in the conclave of 1878 had been able to foresee that Gioacchino Pecci would have lived more than about ten years it is very doubtful if he would have been elected. In conformity with the above-mentioned intentions they prepared the chessboard, and passed in review the men who were eligible. Governments, through their diplomats, and the press, took a hand in the interesting game. The several governments expressed themselves in the foHowing terms: