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to the political institutions of the country, but that it is not and cannot, without losing its identity, be made the slave of the popular will, and alterable at its caprices. It is above the popular power, and does not derive from popular sovereignty. It asserts boldly in the face of the sovereign people, of statesmen, politicians, and demagogues, that God is God, and to worship the king or the people as God is foul idolatry. This is what gives offence and excites the Know-Nothing, or so-called American movement against us. We are members of an invincible and inflexible Catholic Church, teaching all nations and subject to none. We cannot, then, be flexible to all the variations and caprices of "progressive Democracy," and we have a criterion of duty not founded by the people,-a standard of right and wrong not alterable by the variations and changes of sects and parties. It is because we are Papists that we are opposed. If we would give up the Pope, or reduce his primacy to a mere primacy of order, the KnowNothings would have no serious objection to us, and would count us nearly as good Americans as the Mormons, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, or the Universalists. But the assertion of the Pope as visible head of our Church would excite no hostility against us, did they not see that, as long as we adhere to the Pope, we maintain the supremacy of the moral order, the freedom and independence of religion. They see that our religion cannot be subject either to the national government or the national sentiment; that it is above all secular control, and cannot be reduced to slavery. As their opposition to us is avowedly to us in our character of Papists, it should teach us that the Papacy is the grand support of religious liberty, and that its preservation is the only condition of maintaining the ascendency of the moral order in the government of the world, or of practically asserting the supremacy for all men and nations of the law of God. This should be enough to bind us to the Holy See, and to induce us in all cases and under all circumstances to rally around the successor of Peter.

The assertion of this doctrine may be offensive, and tend to increase, rather than abate, the hostility already raging so fiercely against us. But the truth is the truth, and it is strong enough to sustain us. We must assert religious liberty, we must assert the independence and

supremacy of the moral order. We must assert Catholicity against nationalism, if we would assert our religion at all, or anything above the materialism of the age. If ever there was a time when it was necessary to make this assertion, it surely is now, when materialism pervades everything, and popular idolatry supersedes the worship of God. Shall God have no voice in this land to speak out in clear and fearless tones for him? religious liberty not a single heroic defender amongst us? A persecution, a bitter persecution, no doubt, awaits us. We have long foreseen and predicted it; but Catholic truth is worth dying for. We are not disposed to court martyrdom, but if it comes, we hope we shall have the grace to meet it at least with resignation. Never yet did the Church flourish in a country till its soil was well watered with the blood of martyrs. The Christians conquered the Roman world not by slaying, but by being slain; and it is only in the same way that the cross will ever become triumphant in this country. Let the Know-Nothings burn our churches, desecrate our altars, mob or massacre our religious, deprive us of our political rights, reduce us to the condition of bondsmen, or shoot us down in the streets or in our houses; they will only hasten, by so doing, the day of our triumph and of their discomfiture.

We might as well be Protestants at once as to waive the Church as a spiritual kingdom or polity, and attempt to escape persecution by explaining away the Papacy into an inoffensive primacy. To do so were to betray the moral order, and to prove ourselves unworthy of the Catholic name. There is little merit in asserting the truth when nobody questions it, or in boldly defending what no one assails. The merit is in defending what is assailed, and in being always ready to assert, if need be with our lives, that precious truth which is the most strenuously denied. It is precisely where the enemy seeks to make a breach that we should take our stand. We are Americans indeed, but we are also Catholics; and as Catholics we are members of a. commonwealth broader than that of Massachusetts, than that of the American Union, than all the nations of the earth joined together, a spiritual commonwealth superior to all others, and to which is due our first and deepest love. Religion is the supreme law, and represents the highest and best. In this spiritual common

wealth we are all members of Christ's mystical body, and members one of another. Not one of those members can suffer without all the members suffering with it. In this order, this spiritual kingdom, we are not at liberty to think, debate, or vote by nations. We are Catholics, not nationalists. We are not to consult what a narrow and exclusive nationalism demands or would impose, but what is due to our brethren in all countries of the world and in all times, and especially what is due to our Lord who has redeemed us. Everywhere the Church, whose function it is to introduce and sustain the supremacy of the moral order in the government of the world, has to struggle against nationalism and royalism, or the tyranny of the temporal order, which would oppress and enslave her. Everywhere, then, it is necessary to assert and sustain for Catholics the authority of Peter in all its plenitude; for just in proportion as that authority is impaired in the convictions or the affections of the people, is impaired the power of the Church to maintain her independence, and to vindicate the supremacy of right. It is the good of Catholics, the interests of Catholicity everywhere, not merely in our own or any other particular nation, that we are to consult. We are in religion, in all that belongs to the moral or spiritual order, to consider all Catholics as constituting one people, and to know no diversity of race or distinction of nation; for true religion is one for all men, and truth and justice are the same in all ages and in all quarters of the globe. In religion we are and must be Catholics, as our very name asserts, not Americans, Englishmen, Irishmen, Frenchmen, or Dutchmen.

If this offends American nationalism, it is not our fault; for the moral and religious order is above and paramount to every nationality, and what we thus give to our religion never was and never can be due to any nationality whatever. If a Know-Nothing nationalism takes umbrage at this, and persecutes us for not being national in our religion, it may do so, we cannot help it. Our religion is older and broader than Americanism, and we know no peculiar American religion, unless it be Mormonism,—the only religion we know of that can boast an American origin. Catholicity is worth living for and worth dying for. If we are persecuted for asserting it, let it be so, and let us rejoice and be exceeding glad that we are counted worthy

to suffer for our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave his life for us. They who persecute us wrong us, and it is better to receive wrong than to do wrong. If we desert Peter, we lose all our support, and can expect no Divine protection; if we adhere firmly to him, with a loving heart, with filial affection and obedience, we know that we are in the way of our duty, and that nothing whatever can harm us; for the words of our Lord are true: "Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." All ecclesiastical history proves that the Divine protection never fails those who rally around the Vicar of Jesus Christ, while they who desert him, or depreciate the Papacy, and seek to deprive it of its prerogatives, are abandoned to the tender mercies of the enemies of God and his Church.

Neither here nor elsewhere is it possible to conciliate the opposition to Catholics. The pretence is here and everywhere that Catholics cannot be loyal subjects, because they are obedient to the Pope, who must when he commands be obeyed in preference to the state. It is of no avail for us to seek to refute this charge by loud professions of our loyalty, by abusing the Pope hypothetically, or by ransacking history to find instances of Catholics disobeying the Papal mandates. These instances our enemies are sharp-sighted enough to see are not Catholic precedents, and were in violation of Catholic principles. Our enemies do not doubt our loyalty to the state in so far as the state commands nothing contrary to the law of God as interpreted by our Church, that is, in all things temporal. They know that our religion itself commands us to be loyal thus far; but that is not enough for them. Our very offence is, that we do and must make a reservation in favor of spirituals, for they will have the state supreme in all things, and suffer no citizen to recognize in any order any law higher than that of the state, or any authority that does not emanate from the state or is not subject to it. We cannot as Catholics and friends of religious liberty, we cannot as men who understand the rights of the moral order, make the concessions they demand. We must deny the competency of the state in spirituals, and assert the freedom and independence of religion. We do not owe, and cannot honestly profess, our unqualified allegiance to the state, and till we can, we

cannot conciliate our enemies. We may think to do it by professing extreme Gallican views, but the history of the Church proves that Gallicanism, if we so explain it that it remains Catholic, contains the offensive reservation of the freedom and independence of the spiritual order. If we so explain it as to yield that reservation, we explain away our Catholicity itself. Conciliation is therefore impossible, and the opposition must remain and be faced till the state consents to retire within its own sphere, and is content to be supreme in its own order only. This lies in the nature of the case, and as the state will never do this, as it will always be encroaching on the rights of the spiritual order, the life of the Church in this world, as that of the individual Christian, must be an incessant warfare. Here she is and must be the Church Militant. She can throw off her armor, and find repose only as she becomes the Church Triumphant in heaven. The only Christian, the only wise or manly course for us, is to stand firm to our principles as Catholics, to be ready to confess Christ whenever called upon, to put our trust in God, and never to fear what an arm of flesh may do to us. God will sus

tain his Church. He will protect Peter, and reach forth his hand to save him, if apparently sinking in the waves of persecution; he will protect us too, if we bind ourselves to Peter by our filial love and unreserved obedience.

We believe there is to be a trial for Catholics in this country which there is no way of escaping; but we do not fear it. If God be for us, what is there for us to fear? In our patience, let us possess our souls. Persecution will try our faith, but it will bind us Catholics together in a more ardent charity. It will render us less worldly, make us more sober, more devoted to the things of God, and less to the things of sense. It will serve to obliterate the distinctions of race which now produce divisions and uncharitableness among us, and detach us from the debasing world of politics, which has held too prominent a place in our affections. The cold and tepid will be warmed into new life, and demagogues will cease to be rivals of the clergy in their influence over us. Under every point of view we shall gain by what is intended to ruin us, and when the storm of Know-Nothingism, or a despotic nationalism, passes over, which it may do much sooner than most of us expect, the Church will be more firmly established



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