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“On the other hand, Catholicity, through its character full of coherence and union, appears eminently social. It excludes the Mosaic horror for strangers, under the old law necessary to the Jewish people, who were called the people of God; that wall of separation is now taken away, the divisions are abolished, Jew and Gentile become one in Jesus Christ, before God all men are equal, and all the law and the prophets are reduced to this one command, Diligite alterutrum; and thus the Apostle says that the whole law in hoc verbo instauratur, Diliges proximum tuum sicut te ipsum.* This law belongs to all times and to all places, to all climes and men. It is adapted to the wants of all ages and to all forms of government, is in accordance with the duties of every rank and condition of life. It purifies the affections, strengthens virtue, destroys vice. To it the moral world is indebted for its power, and the physical for the alleviation of its miseries. It contains mysteries for the wise, and parables for children. In its prayers for the dead it records the past, it governs the present by charity, and possesses itself of the future by hope. By the unity of its faith, it unites all intelligences in the profession of the same truths, and takes away even the possibility of divisions. Thus there is unity of intelligence, unity of will. Who will now hesitate to confess it catholic and universal ?
“ And yet those demagogues who strive to substitute Protestantism for Catholicity wish to deprive Italy of so great a possession. They would steal from her in these unhappy times the most precious of all goods, the unity which we have described, and make her instead the most pernicious of all gifts.
“God through his especial providence preserved our peninsula from the terrible scourge of Protestantism when in the sixteenth century its poisonous breath was borne over these smiling countries with such force. Nor were frivolous and superficial men wanting in those times, particularly among literary men, who allowed themselves to be carried away by the seductive prospect which the heresy of the frozen North offered. Still all their en. deavors were vain, and the thousand attempts which they made to surprise the good faith and the good sense of the Italian people were void and unsuccessful.
in the middle of the nine. teenth century, when all danger seems past, when Protestantism is in its greatest decline, and has lost credit with all persons of sense, and even the opinion of the world is giving it up, - when this poisonous tree has produced its last fruits of indifferentism, rationalism, pantheism, socialism, and communism, - when the public inclination is borne towards Catholic unity,- now is the epoch of the greatest danger for Italy. ...
“In order the better to lure the less wary, they offered them the
4 Rom. xiii. 9.
British greatness and prosperity as an effect of its schism and emancipation from Rome. And to this end an eloquent writer published many works of not a little magnitude, in which, as in a panorama, the approaching prosperity of Italy is pictured with the colors and the tints of Paganism. To the same end, under the shadow or mask of Jesuitism, the religious orders and the whole clergy, if not all Catholics of sincere piety, were brought into hatred. The way thus prepared and religious anarchy and faction ruling at Rome and throughout a large part of Italy, treatises against Catholicity and in favor of Protestantism were profusely scattered among the people, so that the Pope and the bishops of Tuscany had to raise their voices to admonish the faithful of the danger that hung over them. The faction becoming more furious, many Italian apostates who were joined with other preachers of different nations hurried to promote the work begun under these auspices, and assisted to plant in this classic land the so-called Reformation. These wicked persons, renewing the ever execrable scenes which took place in past times in establishing Protestantism on the ruins of the Church in Catholic countries, did not cease to provoke the people against the religious and virgins consecrated to God, furiously driving them from their peaceful asylums with tumultuous threats and demonstrations. They obliged the ministers of the altar to conceal themselves, and to assume the dress of laymen, in order that they might not be known as dedicated to the sanctuary and to the sacred ministry. Nor did they stop till they had gathered an immense mass of the rabble, despoiled churches, burnt or torn down the convents and religious houses, and put to the sword the priests who were firm in the execution of their duty. With such enormities and violences and cunning arts, in less than ten years the old religion would cease to be the ruling faith in the peninsula. But God, who loves Italy, saved her; he commanded the threatening waves, and they were still; yet still the deep and stormy waters cease not to roar and threaten." Vol. III. pp. 449, 450.
We have left ourselves no space to speak, as we had intended, of the second work named at the head of this article.
We may say, however, that it is an able and valuable work, and well worth the serious attention of the thoughtful student. Catholics are not opposed to the circulation of the Holy Scriptures in the vernacular tongues in faithful versions and a correct text, but they are opposed to the Protestant Bible Societies, because they are formed in a spirit of hostility to Catholicity, because they do not confine themselves simply to the circulation of the Scriptures, and because they circulate only mutilated copies and corrupt versions of the Word of God. Protestants are not honest in our regard. Because we oppose their editions and versions of the Bible, they represent us as opposed to the Bible itself, and because the Church prohibits the reading of them to the faithful, they allege that she prohibits to her children the reading of the Scriptures. This is bad logic and bad morality. At the very lowest, the Church has as much authority to say what is a true recension or a faithful version of the Scriptures as have the Protestant sects. We cannot allow these sects, after having denied infallibility to our Church on the ground that our Lord founded no infallible church, to assume it for themselves.
In conclusion, we may say, that, while we perfectly agree with Father Perrone as to the madness of the attempt to Protestantize Italy, we cannot deny that there are many political and social grievances in the peninsula that demand redress. These are the relics of old feudal customs and usages, which, however good and laudable in themselves, or however useful they may have been in their day, or would be now, if the old feudal society subsisted in its integrity and full vigor, are no longer in harmony with modern society, and are offensive and burdensome to the people. If the Catholic party associate Catholicity with the retention of these usages, and make it a part of religious duty to support the secular princes who have reestablished them after they had been abolished by the Code Napoleon, there assuredly will be a powerful disaffected party in Italy, who will seek to introduce what they regard as ameliorations by hostility to religion. We are obliged to take men as we find them, and Catholics should always take care to show that their religion has no solidarity with any political or social abuses, and to go before all others in correcting them. Till this is done, the attempts to Protestantize Italy from without will always find more or less support within. Yet we would say to our Italian Liberals, that, if the project for opening a ship-canal across the Isthmus of Suez, uniting the Mediterranean and Red Seas, were once carried into effect, they would find that Italy would soon regain her former primacy among the nations, and prove to the world that Protestantism has had nothing to do with creating the commercial and industrial superiority, and alleged temporal prosperity, of Great Britain and the United States.
The construction or restoration of that canal would turn the scale anew in favor of Catholic Europe, and therefore we may expect Great Britain and our own country to
ART. VI. — 1. “Our Houses are our Castles”: a Review
of the Proceedings of the Nunnery Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature; and especially their Conduct and that of their Associates on Occasion of the Visit to
olic School in Roxbury, March 26, 1855; with an Appendix containing several Documents relating to
the Subject. By CHARLES HALE. Boston. 1855. 2. Report of the Joint Special Committee appointed to In
vestigate the Conduct of the Committee on the Pelition of E. P. Carpenter and others, and the Charges and Impulations against the Committee contained in the Boston
Daily Advertiser. 3. Report of the Special Committee appointed to investigate
the Conduct of Joseph Hiss, Member of the House, and
one of the Committee on Nunneries. 4. Report of the Joint Special Committee on the Petition
of E. P. Carpenter and others, Sylvanus Adams and others, John A. Coddington and others, Curtis Morse and others, and Wm. H. Hayden and others, in Relation to
Nunneries, fc. 5. Report of the Committee to whom was referred the Re
port of a former Committee appointed to investigate the Conduct of Mr. Hiss.
We feel some little repugnance to allude to the general character and conduct of our Legislature during the late session. It was such a Legislature as Massachusetts never had before, and, there is little doubt, such as she will never have again. Massachusetts has many faults, and a portion of her people are affected by various disgraceful fanaticisms; but it would be gross injustice to suppose her fittingly represented by her present government. She has had the misfortune to fall into the hands of a faction, and the majority of her sons have no sympathy, it is our firm belief, with the insane proceedings of
VOL. III. NO. III.
her present General Court. Thousands at the late election voted with the Know-Nothing party who were deceived as to its real character and purposes, and who now are heartily ashamed of having deserted their old party friends; and we entertain not a doubt that the Commonwealth at the next election will fully redeem her character, and prove to the world that, however she may have been betrayed into a passing folly for a moment, she is still sound at the heart, and attached to the Union and to republican institutions.
The Know-Nothing party, most appropriately named, calls itself the American Party, and professes to be truly American. Now we are among those who believe that there is a real American character, and not unworthy of the love and respect of every American citizen; but we confess that we cannot see one single American characteristic in this new party. The American has undoubtedly his faults, many and great, but he is open, straightforward and manly. What he does, he would do openly and aboveboard. He has a natural dislike to secret cabals and midnight conspiracies, and a generous love of fair and honorable dealing. In the way of trade or dicker he will undoubtedly make as good a bargain as he can; he may be bold and rash in his speculations, but even in the way of business the genuine American is as honest and as high-minded, as fair and as honorable, as the citizen of any other country on the globe. Nothing is more repugnant to his innate character than a political party that covers itself with secrecy, and operates in the dark. Secret organizations are not native to him, and are borrowed from abroad. This very American party so called owes its very conception, its plan, its organization, and its rules, to foreign nations, and does but copy the Orange Lodges of Ireland and the Carbonari of Italy. It is un-American, and opposed to the great principles of general suffrage and eligibility which lie at the foundation of our American system. It is at war with the free and manly exercise of that dearest right of freedom, the elective franchise, for it subjects it to the decision of irresponsible chiefs, unknown to the Constitution and disowned by our laws.
The Free Soil and Anti-Catholic character of this party is of foreign, not American origin, and is borrowed from