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Title: The Church In Politics—Americans Beware!
Author: Mangasarian, M. M. (Mangasar Mugurditch), 1859-1943
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Speak without being afraid that the wind will carry
  away your words and sow them in fresh soils.

          The Church in Politics--
                       Americans, Beware!

             A Lecture Delivered Before
             the Independent Religious
             Society, Orchestra Hall,
             Chicago, Sunday at 11 A. M.



           _The mass of the law-abiding and respectable
           citizens is virtually agnostic. Where its
           agnosticism is not reasoned out, it is
           habitual and unconcerned. The orderly,
           honest, duty-doing people who never think
           about religion one way or the other form by
           far the largest class in the community._

                           --_David Christy Murray._

  The Church in Politics--
                 Americans, Beware!

In his letter on religion in politics, President Roosevelt takes the
position, I believe, that we may look forward to the day when a
Catholic, for instance, may be nominated and elected to the presidency
of the United States of America. He also intimates that to refuse to
vote for a Catholic on account of his religion would be bigotry! The
Lutheran, Baptist and Presbyterian bodies have, if I am not mistaken,
officially protested against the president's pronouncement. These
Protestant churches declare that it is not fair to call them bigots for
objecting to a Catholic for president.

Speaking only in the capacity of a private citizen, it is my opinion
that, according to the Constitution, a Catholic is not eligible to be a
candidate for president. Neither is a sincere and consistent Christian
of any other denomination. Nor is a believing Jew. The Constitution
explicitly ignores the religious interests of the nation; it does not
even so much as mention the name of God. Had the document been created
by infidels it could not have been more indifferent to the subject of
church or religion. The Constitution is a downright secular instrument,
having as its end one, and only one, object--the rights of man. But the
supreme end of the church is God, not man; or man for God. There is
then, between the church and the Constitution, an irreconcilable
difference. It is because of this that the United Presbyterians, for
instance, who have a membership of about a million, refuse even to take
part in elections, much less to accept office under a government that
deliberately ignores the Christian religion, as well as every other
religion. I submit that the United Presbyterians are quite consistent,
and that they deserve the respect of all who hold that courage and
sincerity are better than ambiguity and inconsistency. A Christian,
therefore, can accept a nomination to the presidency, for instance, only
by either stultifying himself and belittling his church, or by
disregarding the Constitution, its spirit as well as its letter.

Nor would it be "bigotry" to contend that a Protestant or a Catholic
candidate, to whom God is first and country second, should under no
circumstances be voted into presidential power and influence. Even as it
would not be an act of intolerance to deny the presidency of this
country to a foreign-born citizen, it would not be intolerant to deny it
to Catholics, for example. They are simply not eligible. Both Protestant
and Catholic ought to say, when invited to the office, that they can not
conscientiously swear to maintain a Constitution which fails in its
duties to the Creator, and that if elected they will obey God rather
than the Constitution, for a Christian can not serve two masters,
neither can he be a Christian and not a Christian at the same time. I am
going to quote a page from the history of modern France, to show that
that is precisely what the Catholic, at least, does when he comes into
power--he obeys God, that is to say, the church, and forgets all about
the Constitution, that is to say, the rights of man.

France has been a turbulent country. Its political weather has been more
frequently stormy than fair. It makes one nervous, almost, to read the
history of France--it is so sensational. Its pages are lit up with the
lightning. It is a sad and shocking story of intrigues, plots,
conspiracies, treason, machination, finesse,--of manoeuvre and scandal,
of sudden strokes and startling surprises, which have alternately cooled
and heated the brain of the nation, and which have cultivated in the
people the unhealthy craving for excitement.

Let it be admitted that the temperament of the people, its irritability
or impetuosity, is in a measure responsible for this. But this in itself
is not enough to explain the terrible punishments and misfortunes which
have fallen upon that nation. You are all familiar with the remark of
one of her great statesmen, Gambetta: "The enemy, it is clericalism."

Another statesman, Paul Bert, said: "It is not our domestic discords;
it is not England; nor even the trained German legions, that constitute
the greatest menace to Frenchmen and the prosperity of France, still
bleeding from her wounds, _but the man in black_." Did these statesmen
speak the truth? We shall ask history to answer the question. This much,
however, we can say without consulting history, that today the French
republic and the Catholic church are at swords' points. After trying to
pull together, church and state have separated--are completely divorced,
and each suspects and fears the other. Let us try to explain the
strained relations between Rome and the French republic by a reference
to the events in France from the time of the second republic to the
Franco-Prussian war.

In 1848, after many attempts to maintain the monarchy, France returned
to the republican form of government. The Catholic church, always
powerful in the country, and having great interests at stake, to the
surprise of the nation, welcomed the republic with enthusiasm. The
Archbishop of Cambrai, the bishops of Gap, of Chalons, of Nancy, and the
Catholic periodicals, _l'Univers_, the _Moniteur_, etc., declared that
the republican form of government was of divine origin, and that there
were no other three words in all the world more sacred than the words
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." In all the churches high mass was
celebrated, and a _Te Deum_ chanted in honor of the new regime. "There
are no more devoted and sincere republicans in France than the
Catholics," wrote Veuillot in _l'Univers_, the organ of the church. In
asking you to keep this in mind, I also request you to note that the
Catholic church in America seems to be today just as devoted to the
American republic as the French Catholics professed to be to the
republic of 1848. But let us not forget that this same clergy, during
the reign of the first Napoleon, introduced the following questions and
answers into every church catechism in use throughout the land:

_Question:_ Why are we under obligations to our emperor?

_Answer:_ Because, in the first place, God, who creates empires and
distributes them according to his pleasure, in blessing our emperor,
both in peace and war, has set him over us as our sovereign, and has
made him the image of himself upon the earth. To honor and serve the
emperor is then to honor and serve God.

_Question:_ Are there not special reasons why we are most profoundly
indebted to Napoleon the First, our emperor?

_Answer:_ Yes. For in difficult circumstances, he is the man whom God
has raised up to re-establish the public worship of the holy religion of
our fathers, and to be our protector.... He has become the anointed of
the Lord by the consecration of the pope, the head of the Church

_Question:_ What shall be thought of those who fail in their respect to
our emperor?

_Answer:_ According to the Apostle Paul, those who resist the appointed
powers shall receive eternal damnation to their souls.[A]

    [A] _Catechisme a L'Usage de Tantes Les Eglises de L'Empire

Of course, when the first Napoleon fell, the Catholic church quickly
withdrew from circulation the catechism from which I have been quoting.
It was after considerable effort that I was able to secure a copy of the
work. The infallible church, then, was for Napoleon, heart and soul, as
long as he was in power. Without any conscientious scruples whatever,
the church hailed the tyrant, whose profession was wholesale murder for
his own glory--as the "image of God on earth!" In those days it meant
"damnation" not to accept Napoleon as the anointed of heaven. Such a
guide is the church!

But at last the church professed to be converted to liberty.

Now we are in a position to appreciate the sudden and complete change of
front on the part of the French clergy. From staunch imperialists they
had been converted, judging by their professions, to the principles of
the French revolution. An era of peace and brotherhood seemed to open
before that much troubled country. Priest and magistrate had both buried
the hatchet; church and school would now, after endless disputation,
co-operate in the work of education, and the vicar of Christ and the
president of the republic shall join hands in the service of the people.
The new republic promised all this. The skies were serene and clear, and
the church bells rang in honor of the era that had just dawned.

Having inaugurated the republic, the next business before the country
was the election of a president. The Catholic church, having disarmed
all suspicion and given tangible proofs of its conversion to
republicanism, succeeded in nominating its own candidate to the
presidency. This was Louis Napoleon, the nephew of the great Napoleon.
To elect its nominee, the church engaged in a most active campaign;
sermons were delivered in every church; a house to house canvass was
undertaken, and even the confessional was utilized to secure votes for
"the Star of France," as they called Napoleon.

On election day, each priest led his parishioners to the voting booth
and saw that the ballots were properly deposited. The result was that
Louis Napoleon was elected by 5,534,520 votes, out of a total of
7,426,252 votes cast. That is to say, he had a majority of nearly three

What made Louis Napoleon a favorite with the church? To answer that
question we shall have to step onto the stage and peep behind the
scenes. But to see what was transpiring behind the scenes in France we
shall have to go to Rome.

About the time we are now speaking of, the papal states in Italy were up
in arms against the pope, who at this time still enjoyed his temporal
power. He was still both priest and king. He had his own soldiers, his
own generals, his cannons, guns and powder. He went to war; collected
taxes, administered the courts, and possessed all the prerogatives of a
secular sovereign. He was, of course, besides all this, also the vicar
of Christ on earth. Unfortunately, like any other sovereign of those
days, the pope oppressed his subjects, and it was to put an end to their
grievances that the Italian states revolted, and made an attempt to
establish a republic in Rome. No doubt our own example in this country,
as well as that of the French, encouraged the Italians in their efforts
to free themselves from oppression. The republican movement spread
rapidly--like the rushing waters of a reservoir that had at last broken
loose. The whole peninsula was athrill with new aspirations. The
Italians remembered the days of their pagan ancestors and took heart.
The charmed and charming words, "Liberty! Constitution!" were upon every
lip. Soon the heavens would beam with the radiant star of Garibaldi. The
movement was so irresistible that the pope, Pius IX, was compelled to
make terms with the leaders. It was agreed that, henceforth, the
country, instead of being governed exclusively by the clergy, as
heretofore, should be governed by two chambers, the members to one of
which should be appointed by the pope; the members to the other should
be elected by the people. The two chambers, however, as was to be
expected, could not get along together. The priests were not used to
obeying, they were used to commanding. They obeyed only God. Moreover,
the secular members undertook to interfere in church matters, which the
priests would not tolerate, although they themselves never refrained
from interfering in secular matters. The deliberations became anarchic
in parliament. The priests declared they represented God and could never
be in the wrong. Whoever they may have meant by the word "God," he was
invariably on the side of the priests. This, the other members declared,
was not fair, as it tied up their hands and made them as helpless as the
delegates to a Russian _Douma_ are today. Things went from bad to worse;
murders became daily occurrences. The pope, fearing assassination, fled
from Rome. His departure was hailed with joy. Rome unfurled the
republican flag from the dome of St. Peter's. The pope was a fugitive.
Rome was free.

To crush this republican movement and restore the runaway pope to his
throne, the church needed an agent. The agent must be strong enough to
strangle the Italian republic and to recover for the pope his temporal
power. Spain was too decrepit to be summoned to the task. Austria had
already too much of Italy in her grip; the only nation that could
disinterestedly fight for the pope would be France.

Observe now the double role which the church was playing: In France she
was an ardent republican, in Italy she anathematized the republic as a
blasphemy against God. In France she was ringing bells in honor of the
rights of man, in Rome she was firing shot and shell into the Italian
republicans. In France the republic was of divine origin, in Italy, it
was the work of the devil. Let us state it frankly, the church was a
republican in France, not from love but from policy. History will
confirm our statement.

But we have not yet answered why Louis Napoleon was such a favorite with
the church. On the eve of the elections in France, Napoleon, who was one
of the candidates for the presidency, sent a letter to the _nuncio_ of
the pope in Paris, in which he expressed his personal opinion, an
opinion which at the time looked quite harmless, that, for the peace of
Italy and the prestige of the Catholic world, the temporal power of the
pope should be maintained. Few people were reflective enough to suspect
that there was in those words a pledge on the part of the candidate to
employ, if elected to the presidency, the resources of France in the
service of Rome.

Naturally enough, not long after his election, the church called upon
Napoleon to fulfill his promise. But to make a promise is very much
easier than to fulfill it. How was the president going to persuade the
French to make war upon a sister republic? It was clearly to the
interest of the French to have the republican form of government spread.
But it was to the interest of the church to overthrow the Italian
republic and restore the pope to the vatican. The French must,
therefore, prefer the interest of the pope to the interest of their own
country. Americans beware!

On the 30th of March, 1849, Louis Napoleon succeeded in getting a
favorable vote from the assembly upon the following proposition: "If for
the maintenance of the integrity of the Kingdom of Piedmont, and for the
preservation of the interests and honor of France, the executive power
shall deem it necessary for the enforcement of its negotiations to
occupy temporarily any given point in Italy, the national assembly shall
lend him its cordial and effective support."[B] A short time after,
Napoleon dispatched to Rome a force under the command of Oudinat, with
secret instructions to reseat the pope on his apostolic as well as
temporal throne. On the 30th of April the French republican army opened
fire on the Italian republicans defending Rome. The French were
repulsed. When the news of the disaster to the French forces reached
Paris it threw the country into a state of delirium. Scarcely anybody
not in the conspiracy had suspected that the innocent looking measure
presented to the assembly by the president of the republic really
authorized the declaration of war against Italy; and no one so much as
imagined that "a given point in Italy" meant Rome, or that "the
interests and the honor of France" required the restoration of the
principle of absolutism in Italy. But it was too late; the assembly had
been caught in a trap. The disgrace and the defeat were matters of fact
which could not be undone.

    [B] _L'Eglise et La France._ O. Jouvin, page 22.

A moment ago I called attention to the double role of the church. I now
ask you to see how the church was trying to drag the French nation into
the same insincerity and duplicity. Think of a nation which had created
the Revolution, which had overthrown the monarchy, and had inscribed
upon its banner "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"--think of such a nation
going to war against one of its neighbors for following its example! The
creators of liberty were urged to become its assassins. Into this
ludicrous, absurd, nay, infamous role, was the French republic dragged
by Napoleon and the power that had made him president of the republic.
Americans beware!

On the 29th of June the French forces made a second attack upon Rome,
putting the republicans to rout and restoring the pope to the vatican,
whence a short time before he had fled to a place of safety. The French
republic has now destroyed the Italian republic. The words, "Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity," shall no longer be heard in Rome. The republican
flag has been taken down from St. Peter's. The pope is king again.
Mazzini, Armellini, Saffi, Garibaldi and their colleagues, become
exiles. France refuses them an asylum. France, the country of the
Revolution, of the rights of man, of the republic with its glorious
motto, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"--refuses to shelter the Italian
republicans! It was to the interest of France to give these men the hand
of fellowship; it would have been to the honor and glory of France to
have opened her doors to these deliverers of an oppressed nation, but it
was not to the interest of the church, and the church comes first;
France must be sacrificed to Rome. Americans beware!

The Italian patriots crossed the channel and found in Protestant England
the asylum which the country that had introduced the republic into
modern Europe denied them.

It was then that our great friend, George Jacob Holyoake, opened his
heart and his home to the patriots of Italy. For many years and at
frequent intervals both Mazzini and Garibaldi were his guests, and he
helped to win for them the friendship of generous men who raised the
funds to continue the rebellion, which was ultimately crowned with

              Pioneers! O, Pioneers!

I can not think of these brave men and their work without recalling
Whitman's bugle call:

              Pioneers! O, Pioneers!
      Till with sound of trumpet,
Far, far off the daybreak call--hark, how loud and clear I hear it wind,
Swift! to the head of the army!--swift! spring to your places,
              Pioneers! O, Pioneers!

But let us proceed:

One day, somewhere about 1852, the people of France, when they rose in
the morning, found that their republic had disappeared. Not only was the
Italian republic no more, but the French republic had gone too. The same
power that had driven the republicans out of Rome had driven them out of
France. As if by a sponge, the free institutions of the country and the
constitution, were wiped out by one sweep of the hand. The first places
which, after this _coup d'etat_, Napoleon III visited, were the
churches. He walked up to the altar in each church which he visited on
his triumphal journey through France, and knelt down for prayer and
worship. How did the clergy receive him? What did they say to this
betrayer of the nation, this traitor, who had violated his solemn oath?
Let me reproduce the words of the oath which Napoleon took on the day of
his inauguration as president of the republic:

"In the presence of God and before the people of France, I solemnly
swear to remain faithful to the democratic republic, one and
indivisible, and to fulfill all the duties which the Constitution
imposes upon me."

What did the church say to this man who had trampled the Constitution of
the country under his feet, and had commanded French soldiers to fire
upon Italian republicans in the streets of Rome, and upon French
republicans in the streets of Paris? History has preserved the exact
words of bishops and cardinals addressed to Napoleon, the usurper: "You,
sire, have re-established the principle of authority, as indispensable
to the church as it is to the state." Again, "How can we worthily
express our gratitude to a sovereign who has done so much for religion!"
and the bishop of Grenoble proceeds to enumerate the services of
Napoleon to the church: The restoration of the Pantheon to the church,
which an impious government had converted to secular uses by dedicating
it to the atheist poets and philosophers of France; the creation of a
national fund for the saying of mass for the indigent poor; the
appointment of chaplains on all vessels flying the imperial flag; the
suggestion of a pension for aged priests; the granting of perfect
liberty of action to the ministers of the church, which liberty of
action the church will use to confirm the principle of authority and to
teach the nation submission to the government and its laws. "Behold,"
cries the bishop, after enumerating these benefits, "our reason for the
gratitude we feel." The Cardinal of Bourges, the bishops of Marseilles,
of Frejus, of Aix, of Bordeaux, of Poitiers, and, in fact, of every
important diocese in the country, in the same way praised Napoleon, the
emperor, and declared he was the special messenger of heaven, and the
saviour of Christianity, "whom God will never forsake, because in the
hour when God's vicar on earth was in trouble, he saved him from his

They called Napoleon a Constantine, a Charlemagne. And the same clergy
who, a few years ago, had pronounced the words, "Liberty, Equality,
Fraternity," as the holiest in all the world were now busy erasing them
from the public buildings and monuments of the country. If the republic
was after "God's own heart," if the rights of man were first proclaimed
from Calvary, as the clergy declared during the republic, why did they
make almost a saint of the man who restored oppression and absolutism in
France? Were they not sincere when they published in the papers that
there were not in all France more loyal republicans than the Catholics?
The interest of the church required the overthrow of the French
republic, as it did of the Italian, and the interest of the church is
first. Already in France people were displaying banners on which were
inscribed the words, "God save Rome and France." Rome first. Americans

On the 16th of October, Napoleon entered the palace of the Tuileries as
emperor. The cheers and cries of the populace, congregated in the
gardens and shouting "_Vive l'Empereur_," brought him out upon the
balcony. He stood between King Jerome upon his left, and the Archbishop
of Paris upon his right. On that same day Victor Hugo fled from Paris
for his life. The archbishop in the palace with Napoleon; Victor Hugo in
exile! My countrymen, beware!

Under the Napoleonic regime the schools rapidly passed into the hands of
the clergy. France had labored sincerely and made many sacrifices to
reform the schools and to oust the priest--the priest who had declared
that "the brains of young Frenchmen should be pinched, if necessary, to
make them obedient to the authority of the church." Michelet, the
glorious Michelet, was deposed from his chair in the College of France
and a clerical given his post. The same fate overtook Vacherot and
Renan. No professors in the Sorbonne, or in any institution, who did not
bow to the pope and his creature on the throne of France, were permitted
to teach. Secret orders and religious schools sprang up everywhere like
mushrooms over-night. The emissaries and the missionaries of the faith
became exceedingly busy in the acquisition of property. In a small town,
suddenly, as it were, a few beggarly monks and nuns make their
appearance; they have not where to lay their heads; the community has to
provide them with the necessaries of life. A short time after, this same
religious colony is in possession of the finest establishments in the
town, with long bank accounts to their credit. Wealth flows into their
coffers from rich widows and dying millionaires. Every faithful Catholic
leaves his estate to the parish priest, or to some religious order.
Property accumulates by leaps and jumps. What happens in one town
happens in every other; the country is overrun with the agents of a
foreign power. The church is making hay while the sun shines. As some of
the principles of free government were still in force, even with
Napoleon on the throne, these religious orders were asked to obey the
law and secure a permit before pursuing their vocation. They answered
that the church was above the state, and that they must obey God rather
than men. The emperor advised them, from policy, at least, to apply for
a license, which would certainly be given to them, but it is of no use.
"We are citizens of heaven," declared the monks and priests, "we do not
obey laws, we make them." What! Shall the bride of Christ wait upon the
secular powers for permission to serve God! Abomination! the church that
can elect a president and afterwards elevate him to the throne, can
afford to dispense with the laws as it did with the constitution. Under
the republic it was "Long live France," with the Catholics in power it
is "Long live Rome and France."

Encouraged by the flatteries of the church, Napoleon invited the pope to
Paris to place the crown upon his head, even as a former pope had
crowned his uncle, the first Napoleon, in the church of _Notre Dame_.
The pope was beside himself with joy. The opportunity had come for the
vicar of Christ to ask for greater concessions from France--yes, from
that infidel France, which had converted the Church of St. Genevieve
into a Pantheon for atheist poets and philosophers. He sent word to the
emperor that he would be glad to go to Paris to crown the faithful son
of the church, but--but, the other Catholic sovereigns would not like
it. It would make them jealous. Could not, therefore, Napoleon come to
Rome to be crowned in St. Peter's cathedral? But the emperor realized
that if he went to Rome, he would never be thought as big a man as the
first Napoleon, who not only brought the vicar of Christ to Paris, but
who also took the crown from his hands and placed it himself upon his
own head. He wrote an autograph letter, which he sent to the pope by a
clerical messenger of great influence, urging the pope to come to Paris.
Then the pope threw aside the mask and opened his heart to the emperor:
Yes, I will come; you have done much for the church, for our holy
religion, but I will not come until you have altogether purged the
country of every kind of heresy. How could the emperor expect the vicar
of Christ to set his foot upon a soil where Protestant and Jew enjoyed
equal freedom of worship with the Catholic--listen to that; how could
the pope visit a country that allowed freedom of thought and speech, and
of the press; that allowed civil marriages; that did not legally compel
everybody to go to mass on Sundays; that did not punish with pains and
penalties all those who departed from the Catholic faith? Let the
emperor exalt Catholicism over all the sects,--make it _the_ religion of
the state, abolish civil marriages, refuse freedom of assembly to
heretics; and then will the tiara of the pope lend its _eclat_ to the
crown of the emperor. And this is the church that shortly before had
pledged its word of honor to the principles of the republic--"Liberty,
Equality, Fraternity!" See what happens to the republic when the
Catholics are in power. "The lamb and the lion shall lie down together."
Yes? But what will happen to the lamb? The divine church and a merely
human Constitution can co-exist in the same country only on one
condition--the "divine" shall swallow up the human. This is what has
happened in Spain; this is what has happened in Italy; this is what
happened in France under the Catholic regime, and this is, in our
opinion, what will happen in America, should Rome ever come to be
installed at the White House in Washington! "Ah," you say, "the
Catholics will never do in America the things they have done in Europe."
No? Are there two kinds of Catholics? Is the Church of Rome divided? Is
there any reason why they should hesitate to sacrifice America, if need
be, to the "Glory of God," if they did not hesitate to sacrifice France?
At any rate, all one can do is to give warning and to point to the
lesson of history. More than that no one can do, at present, at least.

In this connection, I must make an explanation. I respect the right of
my neighbor to be a Catholic. I am ready to fight for the protection of
his liberties as I am for my own. It gives me real pleasure to admit
also that there are sincere, brave, noble and pure minded men and women
in all the churches. What I am trying to do is to prove, by citing
history, that a supernatural order and a merely human state can not pull
together. The attempt has always resulted disastrously. The church is
supernatural, the state is human. Either the one or the other must rule.
If the church submits to the state, it ceases to be divine, for how can
a divine institution be subject to a man-made state? It would be like
asking God to obey man. Besides, a state is made up of Jews,
unbelievers, heretics, Turks and pagans, as well as of Christians. How
can such a state make laws for Christians?

If, on the other hand, the state would be subject to the church, there
will only be the church. We will in that event have no further use for
freedom, for instance, as we would not know what to do with it, since we
can not use it to criticise or disagree with the church, or help to
build up a new church. When we have God for a teacher, or his vicar on
earth to rule us, what would liberty be good for? It follows then, that
the Catholic church can not consistently be subject to any secular
power, being a "divine" institution. This statement can not be
successfully controverted, and if so, we call the attention of the
president of the United States to it, as well as of all those who
believe that it is possible to have Rome in the White House and be a
republic at the same time.

Nor should people complain because I am so earnest about this matter. If
it is a virtue in the Catholics to labor night and day to convert this
country to their faith, as they say they are doing, why is it improper
in me to try to protect the free institutions of the country? I have
not said anything against Catholicism which Cardinal Gibbons has not
said against what he calls the infidels. In one of his recent letters he
declared that no agnostic or atheist should be given office in this
country. Why may a cardinal stand up for his church, and not I for the
secular state? If the framers of the Constitution desired only
Christians, or believers in a church of some kind as office holders,
they would not have left the name of the deity out of the nation's
charter. According to the Constitution, the only persons really eligible
to office are the infidels, or at any rate, those only who are willing
to place the interests of the country above even those of God or church.
Are Catholics willing to do that? We ask once more, are Catholics
willing to do that?

And we do not have to ask the future to answer that question. The past
has answered it in unmistakable fashion. What today is the difference
between Austria, for instance, and America? In Catholic or religious
Austria, the interest of the church is above the rights of man. It is
well for religion to be free, but it is not free in Austria; it is well
for thought and speech to be free, but they are not free in Austria.
Why? Because the interests of the church come first. In secular America,
religion is free, thought and speech are free. Why? The rights of man
come first in a secular state. The church has the power to make an
America out of Austria. But will she do it? Yet if she had the power to
make an Austria out of America would she hesitate to do it? Americans

But let us return to Napoleon III and Pius IX. Encouraged and emboldened
by his successes, and his increasing power over the emperor, as well as
by his command of the resources of France for his own throne, Pius IX
about this time promulgated the famous dogma of the infallibility of the
pope. Until then, the church, or ecclesiastical councils, shared
infallibility with the pope, but henceforth the pope alone shall be
infallible, and councils and conclaves would no longer be needed to
decide religious questions. Thus, to the principle of absolutism was
given a new endorsement. As soon as he became infallible, the pope
announced a new dogma--the immaculate conception of the virgin. The
church had never held that Mary herself, like her divine son, was born
of the Holy Ghost, but Pope Pius declared she was, and his word became
the belief of the church universal. About this time Mary began to appear
to shepherds and young girls in the fields, confirming the word of the
pope that she was born of the Holy Ghost.

At the commencement of 1854 there appeared a pamphlet by an abbot who
was not yet ready to accept the virgin birth of Mary. The writer charged
that a certain woman of Grenoble was personating the Virgin Mother of
God in these reputed appearances to shepherds and young people. Mlle. de
Lamerliere, the accused woman, sued the abbot for defamation of
character. To the profound regret of the church, the young lady lost her
suit. From that time, her name became "The Apparition!" The church gave
her a famous advocate, Berryer, to appeal the case; the abbot was
defended by Jules Favre. The higher court of Grenoble confirmed the
decision of the lower court, which under ordinary circumstances would
have put an end to the new dogma. But it did not. The church was in
politics and had therefore many ways of getting over a little
embarrassment like that.

But the church did more than promulgate new dogmas. About this time, in
Bologna, the little child of a Jew, Martara, suddenly disappeared from
home. Careful search by the distracted father proved that the priests
had carried him off to bring him up as a Roman Catholic. The
anti-clerical party poured forth hot shot at a church that would steal,
not only the goods, but also the children, whenever it had the power to
break into people's homes. Even the emperor pleaded with the pope for
the return of the child to its outraged parents. But it was all in vain.
The church, the Holy Catholic church, was in the saddle, and she would
ride the nation to please herself. The pope replied that as this was a
matter pertaining to the salvation of the child's soul it was a
spiritual question, and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of the state.
Shortly after another boy disappeared precisely in the same manner, and
was discovered in the Catholic seminary. The French ambassador pleaded
with the pope as before, but the church was a divine institution, and
the secular authorities were guilty of impertinence in attempting to
criticise her conduct or to give her advice. It was impossible to live
next door to such a power peaceably. In every Catholic country there
were two kingdoms, the one within the other; two sovereigns, the one the
rival of the other. And the result was, as we said it would be a moment
ago, the "divine" church swallowed up the secular state whenever it

In 1864 Pius IX issued his famous encyclical, in which he boldly
condemned the "pernicious" doctrine of the rights of man. For the
edification of Americans who hope some day to see a Catholic in the
White House at Washington, let us quote one or two passages from this
papal bull:

"We (the pope) can not pass over in silence the audacity of those who
teach that except in matters pertaining to the church, the decrees of
the Apostolic See are not binding upon the conscience." Which means that
the pope must be obeyed in secular as well as in religious matters.
Americans beware!

"There are also those who have the audacity to declare that the supreme
authority given by Jesus Christ to the Apostolic See is subject to the
secular authorities," which means that the pope is the real head of the
nation as well as of the church and that she will not obey any man-made

"_Our predecessor_ of blessed memory, Gregory XVI, described as a
madness[C] the doctrine of liberty of conscience and of worship," which
means that with the Catholic church in power there will be only one
church. Then the encyclical proceeds to enumerate the errors which all
Catholics condemn:

   [C] _De délire._

Error XVIII. To say that Protestantism is a branch of the true Christian
church, and that a Protestant could be as pleasing to God as a Catholic.

Error XXI. That the Catholic church has no right to call itself the only
true church.

Error XXIV. That the church has no right to resort to force.

Error XXVII. That the holy ministers of the church have no right to
interfere in matters temporal (this proves the charge that the Catholic
church is in politics).

Error XXXVI. That there can be state churches in any country other than
the Catholic church.

Error XLVII. That the schools should be independent of the authority of
the church.

Error LV. That the state ought to be separated from the church.[D]

    [D] _Encyclique Addresseé par N. S. P. Le Pope Pie IX._ For the
    sake of brevity we have not translated the above passages in
    their entirety, but their _meaning_ has not been sacrificed to

There is much in the passages quoted to make every lover of free
institutions to ponder over seriously and long.

But let us hasten to the concluding chapter of that period in history
reaching from 1848 to 1870, with which we have been dealing. The third
Napoleon began to realize that after all he was a mere figure-head in
the empire which he had created by violating his own oath and abrogating
the constitution. The real sovereign of the French was Pope Pius IX. In
other words, the relation between pope and emperor was that which the
bible suggests should exist between husband and wife. The pope was the
husband, the emperor was the wife, and, as commanded in the bible, a
wife must obey her husband. Napoleon more than once made attempts to
free himself from the ever-tightening grip of the pope, but only to find
that he was helpless. For instance he had written to the pope about
reforms in the papal states, urging the Holy Father to curb the abuses
of the clergy and to introduce modern methods in the government of his
territory. But he was compelled to apologize for presuming to give
advice to the vicar of Christ. On another occasion, the emperor was
foolish enough to suggest that Frenchmen must obey the laws of their own
country before those of a foreign power. Did he mean Rome, by "a foreign
power?" He was clearly made to understand that the Catholics in France
were first the subjects of the pope, and then the subjects of the
emperor. Despite these failures to free himself from the authority of
the church, the signs of insubordination on the part of the emperor
increased. Napoleon's principal weakness was vacillation. He never
finished an undertaking. His resolutions were like fire-rockets, they
fell to the ground as soon as they shot up in the air. Vacillation means
weakness. Napoleon after all was like clay in the hands of the pope. The
pope had made him, and the pope could unmake him.

To be just to the emperor, we must also make allowances for the
influence which the queen, Empress Eugenie, exerted over him. She was a
Spaniard, very worldly, and yet very pious. She was one of those women
to whom the priest was God in miniature.

Strange as it may seem, Napoleon's son, on the other hand, the prince
and presumptive heir to the throne, at whose birth the pope had sent
Eugenie the golden rose, was an avowed free thinker. Napoleon now sided
with his queen, and now with his son. He had no mind of his own. It was
in one of his independent moods that he decided to make a final effort
to shake off Rome from his shoulders. He entered into a secret
arrangement with Victor Emmanuel of Italy, who was then seeking to seize
Rome as the capital of United Italy, to help humiliate Pius IX. Napoleon
promised to let Garibaldi march upon Rome. From the moment that the
Catholics discovered this plot to rob the pope of the city of Rome,
Napoleon was doomed. The church not only showed its displeasure plainly,
but it made it also evident that it would not accept any apologies this
time. Napoleon's resolution sickened again. He became alarmed for his
throne. He saw the sword of Damocles hanging over his head by a single
hair. He hastened to explain, but the priests who had called him a
Constantine, and a Charlemagne, now called him a Nero, and a Pontius
Pilate. Like Judas, he had betrayed his master. It was in the vain hope
of once more swinging around the Catholic world to his support that the
emperor tapped the resources of his country to advance the Catholic
faith. Bent upon this errand he sent an expedition to Syria, another to
China, another to Mexico. Everywhere France must become the defender of
the Catholic church. It was not to the interest of France to waste its
substance in a sort of Catholic crusade, tramping from east to west, for
the glory of the church, but it was only by sacrificing France to the
vatican that Napoleon hoped to change the frown of the pope into a
smile. Finally it occurred to the emperor that a war with Germany, the
rising Protestant power of the north, would restore his popularity with
the church. He would humiliate Germany, overthrow the iron chancellor,
and convert Berlin into a Catholic capital.

Such a conquest would give Catholicism an immense prestige, and it would
make of Napoleon really another Charlemagne. The war was declared. It
was an act of sheer madness. The whole nation was going to be thrown
into the mouth of the cannon to please Rome and to regain her favor for
France. But it was survive or perish with Napoleon.

He did not have the shadow of a foundation for a quarrel with Germany.
That country was willing to withdraw the candidacy of a Hohenzollern for
the Spanish throne. But Napoleon demanded more. France had been injured,
he declared, and Germany must be punished for it. It must be stated that
Napoleon counted on the co-operation of the King of Italy in the attack
upon Germany. But when the war was declared Victor Emmanuel demanded
that before he can send an Italian army to the aid of the French,
Napoleon must recall his soldiers from Rome. The French were still
keeping an army in Rome to maintain the pope upon his throne. Victor
Emmanuel asked the French to vacate Rome. This Napoleon was willing
enough to do, but the Catholics in France threatened to "boycott" the
emperor if he left the pope to his fate. It was a critical situation.
The Italians would not budge unless the French soldiers were recalled
from Rome, and the French would not support the emperor if they were. In
the meantime, the victorious Germans were before the walls of Sedan.
Anon, the cannon's roar was heard in the streets of Paris. A wave of
blood, red and palpitating, was sweeping onward upon the fair land of
France. The nation was upon her knees, mangled, bleeding, torn, ruined.
The "faithful" were marching the streets with "God save Rome and
France." It was too late. The church in politics cost France the
slaughter of her armies, the criminal waste of her savings, the
destruction of her cities, the loss of two of her provinces--Alsace and
Lorraine--and imposed upon her a blood tax, the enormity of which was
appalling. Americans beware!

And if France did not go the way of Spain, it was because, when she
returned to the republican form of government once more, she put no
faith in the professions of loyalty to the republic by the priests, and
refused to consider their candidate to the presidency. By ousting the
church from politics in France, that unhappy country has recovered her
health, has entered the path of peace and progress, and is today one of
the freest and foremost nations of the world.

What can the church do for a people? Look at Spain.

What can a country do without the church? Look at regenerated France.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

  In general every effort has been made to replicate the original text as
  faithfully as possible, which may include some instances of no longer
  standard or incorrect spelling, grammar, hyphenation and punctuation.
  The use of accents on non-English words was irregular and mostly absent;
  this has not been altered. Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  The following changes were made to repair apparently typographical

  p. 4  "irritability or impetuousity" impetuousity changed to impetuosity
  p. 10 "The words, "Liberty, Equality," Fraternity,"" extra " removed
  p. 15 "Could not, therefore, Napoelon" Napoelon changed to Napoleon
  p. 16 "If the church submtis"  submtis changed to submits
  p. 19 "the true Christion church" Christion changed to Christian
  p. 20 "has not been sacrificed to brevity[.]" period inserted

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