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ritorial franchises the independence of the Sovereign Pontiff," and now endeavors to make it a crime in a bishop or priest to advocate the fulfilment of the pledge of Victor Emmanuel. Crispi goes even further. By another section (174) he seeks to punish by six years' imprisonment, forfeiture of all future salary, and a fine of from $60 to $1200, any expression, even in private, of a wish to see any such restoration to the Holy Father carried out.

Had any agreement been made between the Pope and the Italian government, severe punishment on all who attempted to overthrow it and create hostility might justly be inflicted; but neither Pius IX. nor Leo XIII. has ever for a moment recognized the usurpation of his city; nor has Italy, nor any government in Europe, least of all no congress of the great powers, ever approved by its consent the action of the late Victor Emmanuel. His occupation of Rome and the Papal States is not sustained by the public law of Europe. In this position of affairs, to make the discussion of the question a crime to be punished by rigorous imprisonment for life, is one of the most monstrous proposals ever made.

The European press has been outspoken in its condemnation of this draconian code ; and the amazement at the blindness of Crispi is equal to the indignant censure of his proposed tyranny. Even if he retracts now, or fails to carry his proposed revision on these points through the Italian parliament, it is a fact of history, not to be denied or explained away, that King Humbert's government, in 1888, did actually propose to punish Catholic bishops and priests by fine, forfeiture, and imprisonment, even for life, for discussing a European question.

Of course, the law was not introduced without protest. The episcopate of the two Sicilies addressed to the senators and deputies a letter signed by the archbishops of Naples and Capri, both cardinals, by twenty-three other archbishops, seventy-two bishops, by the abbots of Monte Cassino, Cava, and Monte Vergine, and by several vicars capitular, in all one hundred and two, a protest against the proposed enactments. They declare it exceedingly strange that a state professing to be free should endeavor to suppress a question of public policy by prohibiting any discussion of it, especially when the opinions entertained by the people at large are by no means unanimous. With apostolic firmness these bishops maintain their right to call their clergy to account for any expression of opinion, in word or writing, which may need correction. They maintained, too, their right as spiritual shepherds to guide the flock committed to their care, and freely to communicate to them the words of the Sovereign Pontiff, and themselves address them from time to time such words of counsel and warning as the conscientious discharge of their duties require. They. pledged themselves, in conclusion, never to forget that their mission is to lead to God the souls of all, no matter of what social grade. Similar protests came from bishops in other parts of Italy, and the question has become a burning one.

The remonstrances of the Catholic episcopate certainly required the calm action of the legislature. They would receive it in the Congress of the United States, the Parliament of England, the Reichstag of Germany, or the Cortes of Spain. How has it been received by the pretendedly liberal government of Italy? Signor Crispi, in the Riforma, at once came out to defend his proposed action. He treated the protests with the greatest insolence, and, as though the senators and deputies were mere tools in his hands, regarded the question as already settled. He actually made the right of petition a crime. He declared that any protest by the archbishops and bishops of Italy " was a very useless action on their part, and, moreover, an offence which, if the said laws were already promulgated, as they are sure to be before many weeks pass by, would expose them to the unpleasant necessity of regretting their presumption in prison.”

He thus actually announced that the law, if passed, will be so construed that a bishop or priest signing a petition to the legislature shall be imprisoned for life. And yet the great cry which deluded many well-meaning men in early days was, “A free Church in a free State.” The difficulty will be to find either free Church or free State in Italy.

Crispi has, without any excuse or provocation, brought the Roman question to an issue, and made it a question to be discussed by the whole world. There has been no agitation on the part of the Italian bishops or their clergy, though the question is always there, a menace to the throne of Humbert and the state created by his father. When the Italian Parliament meets the Chambers do not represent a nation. They are merely the caucus of a party, and at any moment the Catholic party may arise, elect its delegates who will enter those halls, and the party caucus will end, the two parties will there be face to face, and every step, every act be questioned, criticized and debated. It is the consciousness of that great absent power which has given the Italian Parliament its peculiar character. You see no parties there, for the great party is absent.

There can be no question that Crispi has been hurried into his present rash and unstatesmanlike course by the worst elements in Italy, the ultra infidel and socialistic class, the real enemies of all civil government in Italy, whom the government must ultimately fight, and can subdue only by the aid of the conservative Catholic population guided by its clergy.

The jubilee of Pope Leo XIII. was a terrible lesson to the government and the communists. They have not learned wisdom from it. That event drew forth greetings, allegiance, respect, marks of devotion from the Catholics of the whole world, and from civil governments, Catholic, Protestant, and even from those beyond the Christian pale. It was an occasion divested of all political bearings. The Queen of England, the President of the United States, could and did join in the general felicitation. Italy could not but feel an impulse that was quickening the pulse of Christendom. From one end of the country to the other came the spontaneous felicitations of millions. The syndic of Rome congratulated the Holy Father; Florence sent a magnificent cross and an address signed by sixty thousand inhabitants of the city and neighborhood. The alian government stood sullenly aloof, isolated by its own act from the whole civilized world. It vented a petty spite in seizing medals struck to commemorate the occasion, and by removing the syndic of Rome. But it had the clear, distinct evidence that millions in the country were in sympathy with the Sovereign Pontiff, held his person in reverent attachment, and were devoted to the Holy See, the Chair of Peter. These millions were certainly not the ignorant, the immoral, the revolutionary part of the population. They are a conservative, moral, solid element in the land, to which any wise government would look for its support and its permanent existence.

The only hope of the Italian government is in this party, and its support can be gained by placing the Sovereign Pontiff in a position of independence due his character, and virtually promised to the world by Victor Emmanuel. Instead of adopting that course, Crispi, to gratify the turbulent and dangerous element, prepares to persecute the Church, and, unable to strike the Sovereign Pontiff in person, proposes to strike him in his brethren in the episcopate, or the faithful clergy. He may arrest bishops for announcing an encyclical or allocution of the Pope to their clergy and people ; he may fill prisons with bishops and priests, but what will he gain? The sufferers under his tyrannical edicts will find sympathizers, even in his parliament, they will arouse supporters and adherents far and near. He cannot stop the voice of the civilized world. In every country and in every legislative hall the importance of the Roman question will be discussed, and the necessity of its solution will be made evident to all mankind. But the laws have not yet passed, in spite of Crispi's boast, and the debates at Monte Citorio (for the legislature sits not in a parliament house that it erected, but in a stolen convent) may lead wiser and cooler men to reject his mad scheme, leaving him to bear in his disappointment the obloquy of his malicious intent.

The Sovereign Pontiff could not, of course, remain silent when

he saw his long-suffering episcopate and clergy in Italy menaced with such a cruel and unrelenting persecution, brought on them by their attachment to his person. In an allocution addressed to the College of Cardinals on the first of June, he referred to the wonderful and spontaneous celebration of his jubilee, and of the marks of respect for the Chair of Peter evinced by delegations and rich presents from all parts of the world. “With the reception of these very honors so magnificently tendered to the Roman Pontiff, there seems to have been a fresh outburst of animosity on the part of those who hate the Church so implacably, and whose evil and hostile disposition during the whole of this time has shown itself more insolently than usual in threats accompanied by insults. And the same persons, finding themselves invested with greater power, now plot with greater confidence, and exciting difficulties everywhere, endeavor to bind the Church with more galling fetters than ever." He then described the laws proposed by Crispi, and continued: “There is no doubt, venerable brethren, as to the object of laws of this kind, especially if they are compared with others of a similar character, and more particularly as the designs of their authors have been sufficiently made known in other ways. They desire, in the first place, by inspiring terror of penalties, to deprive men of liberty in vindicating the rights of the Sovereign Pontificate. It is scarcely necessary to show how unjust it is that some should be permitted to attack at their will the most sacred rights connected and indissolubly bound up with the legitimate freedom of the Church, and that others should not be allowed to defend those rights with impunity. But since it is of great importance to all Catholics that these rights should be made secure, it cannot be doubted that throughout the whole world men will arise who will freely undertake the defence of the Holy See, if the Catholics of Italy, who ought to do so before all others, are prevented by law from taking action in the matter. Now it is well to remember that, as we have often stated, the condition necessary to the preservation of the liberty of the Roman Pontiffs is not prejudical to Italian interests; on the contrary, it most powerfully and most truly serves them, so that all who uphold that liberty should be regarded, not as enemies of their country, but as most excellent and faithful citizens. These laws of which we have spoken, under pretext of saving the commonwealth, really aim at the enslavement of the Church. But as it is the most sacred mission and duty of the Church to teach constantly and to preserve, even when men offer opposition, whatever Jesus Christ commanded her to teach and maintain, if in the laws and institutions of states there is anything at variance with the Christian precepts of faith and morals, the clergy cannot approve of it, or conceal their sentiments by remaining silent, for the example is set before them of the Apostles, who, on being commanded by the magistrates to cease to speak of Jesus Christ and His doctrines, manfully replied: 'If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, hear ye.' (Acts iv. 18.) What would have been the future of Christianity had the Church become subservient to the institutions of different nations, and obeyed the commands of magistrates without distinction, whether they were just or wicked? The ancient superstition would have remained under the protection of the laws, and there would have been no way in which the human race could have received the light of the gospel."

Crispi and his followers, like the supporters of the Falk laws in Prussia, endeavor to falsify the actual state of the case, and by sophistry throw the blame on the Church by representing the state as merely acting on the defensive and resisting aggression by the Church. This fallacy Pope Leo XIII. exposes: “It is utterly wrong to assert that the state finds it necessary to act against the Church in self-defence. How can this be the case? The Church is the mistress and the guardian of all justice, established to suffer, not to make, attacks. It is too absolutely contrary to truth and justice to subject the whole body of the clergy to such grave suspicion without just cause. Nor is any reason shown why new laws should be passed against them especially. At what time or in what place have the Italian clergy deserved censure for interfering with the public weal or tranquillity ?”

Considering the laws and their motive from the standpoint of the Church itself, His Holiness said : “But if we seek higher considerations, it appears how thoroughly the clauses of the law are opposed to the most sacred institutions of the Church. For, by the will of God the Church is a perfect society, and, with its own laws, has its own magistracies, duly distinct from each other in degrees of power, the head of all which is the Roman Pontiff, who has been placed over the Church by Divine authority, and is subject to the power and judgment of God alone. Inasmuch, therefore, as an attack is made on the institutions of the Church, the authors of the law are acting aggressively, not on the defensive. And this do they do by a special law with premeditated severity, and by regulations, not fixed or definite, but vague and most indeterminate, so that he who has to interpret them may do so as suits his own pleasure.

“For these reasons it is our duty to raise our apostolic voice, and to proclaim openly, as we now do, that these laws in question are contrary to the rights and power of the Church, are opposed to the freedom of the sacred ministry, and detract greatly from the dignity of the bishops, of all the clergy, and especially of the Holy

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