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neighbor. What an eloquent and universal protest was the Jubilee celebration against the usurpation of the Papal territory by the house of Savoy !
That usurpation must end; that spot must out. It is the only dreary fact of importance that came before Leo's mind on the fiftieth anniversary of his priesthood. He would remedy the evil if he could. If conciliation or compromise were possible, he is the pontiff to make it. He is a true Italian, lover of his race and country, wishing well for her material, but above all for her spiritual prosperity. He knows that Italy can never advance with the chain of a great wrong tied to her limbs; that the ruin which overtook the house of Bonaparte for robbing the Pope will fall on the house of Savoy as the penalty for the perpetration of a similar crime. As Christ wept over Jerusalem, he weeps over Italy governed by apostates, administered by the heirs of depredators, and plundered by toll-gatherers. He knows that Providence sooner or later will avenge the wrongs done to the Church and the Papacy by the machinations of Mazzini, the cunning of Cavour, the piracy of Garibaldi and the spoliation of Victor Emmanuel. All is still dark, but Leo sees the bright lining of the cloud in the public opinion of the world expressed in the festivities of his Jubilee.
Yes, the usurpation must end! No crusade is necessary in this enlightened age save the crusade of public opinion. What the spear and the sword of the Crusaders were against wrong in an age that knew neither newspaper nor telegraph, are now the pen and the voice of truth and of sound policy. Even if the providence of God should not choose to undo the wrong as it has done before by the sword of the Catholic powers or of the heretic and of the unbeliever, public opinion will finally right it. The interests of
aly demand the restoration of the temporal power to the Pope ; and the interests of the Church imperatively require it. Italy will never be a great power until she settles this question amicably. The statesmen of Italy know this; the people of Italy feel it. There is growing discontent among them. The day of infidel rule is passing way. The dormant Catholics are awakening. The peasant of Calabria and the Lombard farmer; the mountaineers of the Volscian hills and the Apennines, the shepherds of the Campagna, begin to demand liberty for the Church and freedom for the Pope. The great masses of the Italian people are loyal to the Church. They know that the glory of their race is the Papacy and its temporal power. They have gained nothing by its destruction. On the contrary, their taxes have been doubled, their faith insulted, their religion mocked by office-holding upstarts who have come down like a horde of hungry wolves from the Alps to prey on the fertile plains of central and southern Italy. The full awakening of the Italian peasantry to the injustice of the Sardinian usurper will sound the death-knell of his tenure of the Papal territory.
But even if the honesty and self-interest of Italy should not be equal to the task of making restitution to the Pope of what has been stolen from him, the whole Catholic Church will continue to insist on it. The patrimony of St. Peter never belonged to Italy. It was held in trust for the whole Catholic Church by the supreme pontiffs. It was the guarantee of their spiritual independence. When for a time some of them unwisely left Rome to live in Avignon, misfortunes fell on the Church. The Popes of Avignon were suspected of being French satraps, and the Great Schism of the West has taught Christendom that the Pope must not be the subject of any earthly sovereign, but, as head of a universal religion not confined by national limits, must be his own absolute master even in temporal matters. A subject of the king of Sardina ruled by his laws, perhaps appointed by his intrigues, hampered by his officials, controlled by his power, might be suspected by the Catholics of other nations, and national suspicion is a powerful element in the breeding of schism and of heresy. We know, of course, that no matter to what condition the Papacy may be reduced, to the catacombs of Rome or to the jail of Fontainebleau, Divine Providence will always watch over and preserve it. But Divine Providence ordinarily works according to human methods and the freedom of the human will, and never sanctions the passive quietism of those who would remain inactive when the interests of religion are at stake. Good men must work to counteract what bad men do. In the bark of Peter every one must help to man the yards, set the sails, or take a hand at the oars when occasion demands it. The whole Church persists in demanding a restoration of the temporal sovereignty to the pontiff. Even Protestant rulers who have Catholic subjects demand it. The waves of Catholic and even of Protestant public opinion are beating on the walls of Piedmontese usurpation, and these must go down. That usurpation is to Italy a thorn in the side in time of peace, a bayonet in the rear in time of war. Not Italy, but the Catholic Church, owns the Papal territory. The institutions of Rome were founded by the Peter's pence of all nations. The generosity of Catholics outside of Italy built St. Peter's. The Quirinal is the property of the Catholic Church and not of the fox who has made it his lair. The fox must be driven out of Rome, which he has plundered and desecrated. The subjects of the Czar as well as the citizens of this free Republic demand it. The head of our Church, who has supreme spiritual jurisdiction in every land, whose office requires direct, immediate
and untrammeled action in matters of faith, of morals, of discipline, in the appointment of bishops, in the adjudication of internal disputes in the Church the whole world over, must be absolutely free and independent, not only de facto, but de jure also. No state guarantee of an Italian parliament suffices. The power that makes that guarantee to-day may destroy it to-morrow, and would be likely to do so under the impetus of an increasing radicalism. The guarantee at best is only an attempt to compound a felony. To steal the whole of the Pope's property and then to offer him a pittance in exchange for it, is a bribe offered to his independence, an insult to the dignity of his august character, a snare to entrap Catholic loyalty, a shallow attempt to induce the pontiff to condone the theft and forgive the injustice. The poet has said:
“Not forid prose nor honeyed lies of rhyme
Can blazon evil deeds or consecrate a crime."
All the oratory of Depretis, all the hypocrisy of Humbert will never make men forget that the taking of Rome by his father was a violation of the law of nations, an act contrary to natural justice, an outrage on the whole Christian Church. The Popes were trustees of the patrimony of St. Peter for the whole Church. Their temporal sovereignty was conferred on them for the benefit and in the interest of the whole Church. To deprive them of it is to be guilty of grand larceny from the whole of Christendom.
Perhaps no Catholics in the world are more intensely interested in this matter than we of the United States. We feel the necessity of having a Pope absolutely independent of secular princes, having an illustration in our own confederation of States. In order to have our central administration free from State interference, we have singled out a portion of territory to be the capital of the country. The city of Washington and the lands constituting the District of Columbia are the Rome and the St. Peter's patrimony of our republic. Now, that which a free people does here for the State, is what a free Church wishes to accomplish for the Papacy. The privileges and the exemptions of the District of Columbia do not weaken the inner or the outer force of our country. On the contrary, the independence of that District is one of the mainstays of our strength as a nation. There must be permanency in every society to insure peace and order. Continual and universal change disturbs the people and ruins commerce. We have felt that in a land where universal suffrage prevails, something should be done to proctect individuals and the minority from the injustice of a mutable majority. And thus by constitutional en
VOL. XIII. -4
actments, which mere majorities cannot change, and by separating our central from our State governments, we have established that stability which under regal regimes is assured by the principle of heredity. As in the order of physical nature there are centres, there are suns comparatively immovable, or at least having a motion different from the planets which revolve in order around them, so in well-ordered states and in the Church there must be a centre. Our states are like so many bishoprics in relation to the central government at Washington. Why cannot Italy imitate our example ? A dead uniformity is not congenial to her, nor warranted by her history. The mosaic of Palestrina is a better symbol of the unity which should characterize her than the stupid and offensive unity of a mud pie. There is fully as much difference between the Neapolitan of the south and the Piedmontese of the north, as between the representative Irishman and the London cockney. The history of Rome under the Popes is as different from that of Piedmont as the history of our own wonderful progress is from the story of the Indian tribes. Uniformity is not strength. Our system of checks and balances in the political order, our republic of separate yet connected States, our allowance for local feeling, interest and prejudice, which find legal vent in the autonomy of our State governments, have made us the strongest republic in the world. France, a centralized republic, proves by her internal dissensions and external weakness that the best safety-valve of revolution is local home rule. That is what the Papacy demands from Italy; that is what the whole Church insists that Italy shall concede. Leo may not see the sovereignty of his predecessors restored; the times may not yet be ripe for it. But when radicalism, which was the precursor of the Sardinian monarchy in its career of spoliation, shall turn back and attack the king and the throne as it has attacked the pontiff and the altar, even the grasping statesmen of Italy may begin to realize the necessity of justice. The Czar of Russia sees that the Papacy is a protector against Nihilism; the Emperor of Germany and his great chancellor see that it is a help against socialism; the conservative republicans of France behold in it the bulwark of the commonwealth against communism; Americans who a quarter of a century ago looked upon the Pope as a spook with which to scare children and Puritans, now consider him the champion of the rights of property and of the Constitution of the United States. Will not Italy learn a lesson? Or must the bomb of the anarchist burst in the Quirinal before its tenant learns that the safety of his dynasty and the prosperity of his country depend on the independence of the prisoner of the Vatican ?
Around that venerable captive of saintly life and eminent learn
ing the monarchs of the earth are gathered in homage; and the peoples on their knees revere his person and his office. The light of the Incarnate Word shines from his dome-like brow, built as it were specially to wear the pontifical tiara. We see his hand extended to bless all men, to bless society and home; and the smile of benignant charity that lights up his countenance illumines the world with its beneficent warmth. We, his American children, prostrate before him like the rest of mankind, implore his benediction. We are grateful to him. He loves our country. He loves its liberty and its institutions. His interest in us is special. He has given to our hierarchy saintly and scholarly bishops, and honored our Church with another Cardinal. His love for our priests is shown in the paternal legislation made to guard their rights and make them happy subjects. He wants our scholars to become as great as the best in Europe, and therefore he has given us a university. We love the Pope. We are loyal to the Pope. The American Church will not yield to any other in devotion to his person and his office, nor in earnestness of demand for his liberation and for the restoration of his temporal power. Our devotion proves that although oceans may divide continents, they cannot break the chain of faith or of discipline, nor quench the ardor of Catholic charity. Prostrate before him, we kiss his feet as those of the living Vicar of Jesus Christ. We lift up our voices to express the deep emotions of our hearts and to swell the universal chorus of “ Long live the Pope! Long live Leo the Great, the Good !" To the Pope and the Papacy we American Catholics are
“ Constant as the northern star, Of whose true-fixed and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament."