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See, so that it is by no means permissible to adopt, approve, and sanction them.

“We complain of these laws, not because we fear the more bitter warfare against the Church which is imminent. The Church has seen other storms, from all of which it has come forth not only victorious, but more resplendent and stronger than ever. Its Divine strength renders it safe from the attacks of men. We know the bishops and the clergy of Italy; and we have no doubt as to how they will act if the alternative is presented of pleasing men or failing in their sacred duties. But what profoundly saddens us is, that the Church and the Papacy are fiercely assailed in Italy, while the vast majority of the Italian people entertain the deepest respect for the Supreme Pontificate and the Church, and show their fidelity to them by an admirable constancy; and while inexhaustible advantages are accruing to the country from the Church and the Pontificate, we are likewise saddened by the thought that, in accordance with the desires of the secret societies, all kinds of resources and efforts are employed to draw from the fold of the Church this people which has been brought up and reared in her maternal bosom. Nor is it a source of less grief to us that steps are designedly taken to envenom and prolong this conflict with the Church which we, for the sake of the Church, and through love of country, most earnestly desire, as we have often said, to see entirely removed in such a manner as justice and the rights of the Church require. To wish that the civil authority should be in perpetual conflict with the Church is a senseless desire, and one most pernicious to the public welfare. Therefore, since we can do no more, we again and again implore God to look down upon us propitiously and grant us better days, and especially to grant that the Italian people may always preserve the faith intact, together with their attachment to the Holy See, and may never hesitate to suffer and endure all things for their sake."

When the Chamber actually proceeded to consider these clauses of the Penal Code and the protests against it, the petitions of the bishops were rejected, but all agreed that Crispi, in his 174th article, had exceeded all bounds, and it was declared to be too arbitrary. It ran in these words : “The minister of a worship who, abusing the moral power derived from his ministry, excites to disregard the institutions or the laws of the state, or the acts of authority, or otherwise to transgress duties to the country, or those inherent in a public office, or prejudices legitimate patrimonial interests, or disturbs the peace of families, is punished with imprisonment from six months to three years, with a fine of 500 to 3000 lire ($100 to $600), and perpetual or temporary interdiction from the ecclesiastical benefice.”

On the other clauses few dared to show opposition, for fear of being stigmatized as clericals, yet one man, Ubaldino Peruzzi, had the courage to introduce this resolution : “ The Chamber invites the government to suppress all those clauses which make ministers of religion guilty in a manner different from other citizens in identical cases."

The final vote was taken on the oth of June, and the new Penal Code, omitting article 174, was passed by a vote of 245 to 67. It is, therefore, to go into effect July 1st, 1889, with such modifications as a commission appointed to consider 130 proposed amendments, may deem fit.

Before passing laws aimed at the Christian and Catholic religion, the Chamber should have adjourned from the stolen convent to the site of the temple of Liberty or Venus, to commemorate their revived paganism.

The Italian government has thus by a shameful law-a law in utter violation of every principle of a free state—compelled the Sovereign Pontiff to bring the whole question of the position of the Head of the Church before the governments of the world. His nuncios have by this time presented at almost every court in Europe this new evidence of the necessity for international action to place the Head of the Catholic Church in a perfectly free and independent position. The Italian government has nullified every pretext on which it sophistically based its interference with the Papal States, and has shown that it was actuated from the first, not by any desire to relieve the Pope from internal or foreign aggression, but actuated purely and simply by a deep and intense hatred of the Catholic religion, its institutions and teachings.

And how disgracefully it now comes before thinking men in free and enlightened nations! What greater proof of their utter unfitness to rule over a free people can be given than King Humbert and his ministers afford in these proposed penal laws ? Here we find them proposing a law punishing in a priest or bishop the exercise of freedom of speech even in a private circle, of the freedom of expressing opinions through the press on a vital public question. It is sought to make it a crime punishable by imprisonment for life for an Italian citizen to speak or write his sentiments, if the oil of ordination or consecration has touched his head, while in the merchant who lives on one side of him, or the artisan on the other, or even in the beggar who receives alms at his door, such expression is not a crime, not a misdemeanor, not an offence, but the legal exercise of an undisputed right. This makes the receiving of orders in the Catholic Church a criminal act depriving the citizen of his rights. And yet the Italian government proposes to go on this issue into the great court of the world's public opinion and solicit a verdict in its favor.

Fear has deprived it of reason. Bluster as it may, it is ever in dread of the Pontifical power which, it knows, must, in time, resume its rights in Italy. A wise and just policy would long since have made the Papacy an element of strength rather than of weakness.

Statesmen are fallible, and if Bismarck did not hesitate to go to Canossa and admit that his war on the Church was an error, the House of Savoy need not fear to do the same. Its true line of policy is not to dishonor the statute book by Crispi laws which will be a brand on Italy for centuries, but to retrace false steps, and by restoring the Pope's authority in Rome, make the Catholic Church and those true to it the hearty and zealous supporters of law and order against anarchy and communism.

THE ATTACK ON FREEDOM OF EDUCATION IN

MASSACHUSETTS.

The Protest against the Majority Report of the Joint Special Committee of

the General Court of 1887 on the Employment and Schooling of Children and against any Legislative Interference with Private Schools : Being a digest of the remarks of the remonstrants at the hearings of the Legislative Committee on Education in March, 1888.

THI
WHIS paper is meant, first of all, to be a short account of a

serious attack on the liberties of Catholics in Massachusetts, which happily met with a most complete defeat. We do not write it to exult over fallen foes whose humiliation is so thorough as to call for pity, but because such scraps of history may be valuable as well as interesting hereafter. They should be recorded while still fresh, so that the accuracy of the statements cannot be disputed.

Before touching the central point a few remarks on the condition of the Church in Massachusetts are necessary. On the whole, Catholics have little to complain of and much to be thankful for. Churches and schools are multiplying. Catholics, to be sure, have to pay for public schools they do not use, but this has been suffered almost as a matter of course. It is unjust, but all taxes are intrinsically unpleasant, and the injustice passes as yet almost unnoticed. In many public institutions Catholics are still far from enjoying complete freedom of conscience, and proselytism of children by the

VOL. XIII.-35

agents of the State goes on to an extent that would be alarming did we not remember how much worse it has been. Even where we have not our rights we at least have a hearing, and the American sense of fair play is gradually giving strength to our side. In short, we have made wonderful progress.

That this progress should be unnoticed by the enemies of the Church is not to be expected, and they have chosen the school as the point of attack for two very obvious reasons: first, because they wish to turn the children from the Church, and secondly, because they believe that platitudes about the public school system, “the mainstay of the republic," etc., will make effective war cries.

There have been hints for some time that trouble was brewing; but how many or how powerful were the plotters was not at first clear. It is becoming evident that the movers are a small and utterly contemptible clique, who can boast of no real following.

One of the first attacks was made by the public lectures of the Rev. Justin Fulton, which fitly culminated in a filthy book. The details of neither the lectures nor the book are fit to dwell on, and but for the scandal they occasioned we should be glad of such an enemy. We believe that even the Boston Transcript did not glory in him as a leader; but to the shame of the press be it said that, to the best of our knowledge, only one Boston daily paper, the Advertiser, condemned his indecencies.

Whether the Republican party wanted a new issue, or whether the leaders were deluded by a few intriguers, we do not surely know, but at their convention in the autumn of 1887 they announced in their platform, without any apparent connection, that they had always maintained the public schools, and pledged themselves to keep them open to all children, “and free from all partisan and sectarian control.” The Republican candidate, being duly elected, said what was expected of him in his message. He thought that there was reason for alarm, caused by the withdrawal of many children from the public schools, and suggested remedies, the gist of which were that the public schools should be made so good that the children and parents would cry for them, that private schools should have none of the public money, that existing laws concerning them should be enforced, and new ones concocted if necessary

The point of this allusion to the laws concerning private schools is now to be explained. The legislature of 1887 appointed a joint special committee "to sit during the recess of the legislature, and to consider the expediency of additional legislation in respect to the employment of children under fourteen years of age, and in respect to the schooling of such employed children.”

The ostensible and, we are inclined to think, the real purpose of

appointing this committee was to see whether the existing laws were sufficient to protect the health of children employed in factories, and to secure for them the rudiments of an education.

These surely were objects which commend themselves to all just men of whatever faith, and no one would have guessed that this committee was to be used for the oppression of religion. The committee, having held several public hearings in Boston and elsewhere, finally reported two bills, one relating to the employment of children, which need not concern us, and one amending Chapter 47 of the Public Statutes, which relates to education. The law which for several years has been on the statute books provides that children attending private schools must attend only such as are approved by the school committees, and provides further that these committees shall approve only schools in which the instruction is in English, in which it equals in thoroughness that of the public schools, and in which the pupils make equal progress with those in the public schools. Unjust and arbitrary as this law is, it has thus far been harmless, being so absolutely a dead letter that but few knew of its existence.

The surprise of those interested was great, indeed, when this committee, who had been given no authority whatever to legislate concerning education in general, reported a bill to amend this law, of which the following are the chief features, given in as few words as possible: In the first place, within two weeks of the opening of a private school, having pupils between eight and fourteen, the name and location of the school are to be registered with the school committee, and once a month a list of the names, ages and addresses of the pupils of such ages is to be given to the committee, on such day and in such form as the committee may demand. The committee should not only visit every such school, and approve it or not within six weeks of the beginning of the year, but should visit it once a month, and should have power at any time to rescind the approval. This visitation is to be made by any member of the school committee, the superintendent of schools, and in cities by any authorized agent of the school committee, who shall have power to enter any room, and to examine any private school, as if it were a public school! One would imagine that the framers of this bill must have been taking hashish, and considered themselves three-tailed bashaws at the least, when they proposed these gentle methods of coercing American citizens. But on ne s'arrête pas en si beau chemin, and our modest legislators further proposed that after September ist, 1889, no private school should be approved unless all the teachers had certificates from the school committee. To conclude, in order that this should be no dead letter, there is to be a fine of from twenty to one hundred

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