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believe, the first to style it “The Covenant between Church and Society.” Of course, these journals must have their say, and they, therefore, here and there make their reservations; but those reservations are made lest their expressions of admiration should lead their readers to infer they were about to surrender to the Pope. The London Tablet has published a number of extracts from the newspapers of the Continent to show in what esteem the Encyclical is held by those opposed to the Church. As is to be expected, the journals edited by those not of the faith make objection according to their peculiar opinions; but it would be an interesting work to show how, while they do this, the greater number would be found on the side of nearly if not every teaching of the Encyclical. The reason is obvious when we come to review briefly the document in detail.
In a style classic and easy to understand, even by those not used to theological treatment of religious or moral questions, our most Holy Father, Pope Leo XIII., comes to the aid of society, and lays down the Catholic doctrine of social life familiar to a Catholic ear, but having a strange sound to the world which habitually refuses a hearing to the Catholic side. The commanding position of the Sovereign Pontiff, however, compels attention, while his personal worth exacts homage even from the proudest men of culture. The effect, therefore, of this Encyclical is apt to be very farreaching, and it would be a panacea of social ill, were it not that too many of the class Holy Writ tells of, nolunt intelligere ut bene agant, do not wish to understand, because they do not want to do what is right.
The first point the Pope speaks of is civil society and authority. We feel it is a pity to curtail these extracts, but the limits of a short article do not permit anything else. In his preamble he says: “No more excellent a manner of establishing and governing a State has been found than that which of its own accord springs from the teaching of the Gospel.” How true! Christian charity is the true political economy. The laws of commerce, demand and supply, increase, population, poverty and wealth, would all be the more solid and less liable to error or variation were charity their basis; while the stability of the State founded on the Christian idea of authority would guarantee also the firmness of law of whatever nature.
Authority, the Pope tells us, is from God. Listen to his words: " It is in the very nature of man that he live in society, since he cannot obtain in solitude the necessary culture and ornament of life, and likewise perfection of mind and soul, it has been divinely provided that he should be born for the society and intercourse of men, as well domestic as civil, which alone can supply
the perfect sufficiency of life. Inasmuch, however, as no society can exist unless there be some one to preside over the rest, moving each one by an efficacious and like impulse to the common end, it results that authority by which the civil community of men is governed is necessary; which not otherwise than society itself comes from nature and, therefore, from God. From this it follows that public authority in itself is only from God. God alone is the most true and greatest Lord of all, to whom everything that is belongs, and whom all must serve, so that whoever have the right to command receive it from no, other source but from God, the sovereign Prince of all.” There is no authority save from God.” How wonderfully clear and logical all this is! What dignity it gives to human society and government! How it safeguards authority, and puts an obligation on every human being to obey the law! The whole of this part of the Encyclical is replete with wisdom, and condenses in a most cogent manner the sayings of the wisest and best men of Christianity. The Pope declares that no special form of government is essential, but that may be taken which fitly secures the common utility and welfare. This, be it understood, must be done with order and with no violation of right. The Pope is no partisan of revolution. He says that those exercising authority must act as the ministers of God, and with paternal charity; to act otherwise is to be a tyrant, for authority is for the common good, and not for the personal benefit of the ruler. On the other hand, those subject to authority must obey. These are his words: “To despise legitimate authority, in whatsoever person it be, is no more allowable than to resist the will of God;" which, if any resist, they go to ruin of their own choosing: “Whoso resists authority, resists the ordination of God; those who resist purchase to themselves damnation” (Romans xiii., v. 2). This official teaching of the Pope is a pledge to our country of the good which will come to it from the Catholic Church. We have the republican form of government, established in a proper orderly manner, and as Dr. J. Gilmary Shea has ably shown, by the cordial and unanimous coöperation of Catholics, from the soldiers of “ Congress' Own" to the distinguished signer of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, and his venerable relative, afterwards the first Archbishop of Baltimore. Every Catholic, the Pope declares, must obey that government. As a consequence the Catholic Church will be found to be the most effective bulwark of American freedom, and of individual rights. Nor need our good fellow-countrymen, bred up in the false ideas of their various creeds, in dread and dislike of Catholicity, fear encroachments on their rights of conscience; for further on the Sovereign Pontiff not only states that princes can tolerate in their
dominions, for just reasons, a difference of faith, but also asserts that the Church is wont to see that no one be compelled to believe against his will, quoting St. Augustine, when he says: “No one can believe except by an act of his will.” This act of the will we know is an elicited act, and cannot be forced; otherwise a man would will and not will at the same time the same thing, which is absurd. As for just reasons to tolerate difference of opinion on matters of faith, surely no juster reasons can exist than here among us, where those who differ with us do so in the best of good faith. They will always find us good neighbors and friends, and loyal to the words of the Holy Father which we have just cited. But while the Pope speaks thus with Christian charity, that same Christian charity makes him condemn in outspoken language, for which we are sincerely grateful to him, the doctrine that the choice of one's religion is a matter of indifference; that the various creeds are on an equal footing, and equally safe. He proclaims that only one is the true and safe one, that of the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church ; that all are bound to seek in it the means of salvation, and, therefore, to respect and cherish it.
Passing from the consideration of authority in the State and in the Church, and of the good that comes from their mutual good feeling and agreement, the Pope comes to the serious question of revolution as advocated by the secret societies of the present day, and condemns it as it has always been condemned by the Church. And here let us remark, that the secret organization of Masonry, the chief expounder and actor in the propagation of revolutionary ideas in Europe, is entirely out of place in this country and unpatriotic, a menace to our institutions if it were to succeed in spreading its doctrines among us. Americans do not need any dark-lantern work. Let the children of darkness go whence they came, to their place of birth in Europe; they are out of place here. We want education and light, the more the better, not the education which Freemasonry gives without God, but the truth which comes from God, whose light illumes it through the fostering care of His Church. The Head of that Church speaks in unmistakable terms of revolutionary principles. He quotes the documents on this subject given to the world by his predecessors, confirms them, and then sums up. “From these prescriptions of the Pontiffs the following are to be by all means understood: that the origin of public power is to be sought in God Himself, and not in the multitude or people; that the license of sedition (revolution) is repugnant to reason ; that it is wrong in men, and wrong in States, to give no place to the duties of religion, or to look on all religions in the same manner; that immoderate power to think and publish one's thoughts is not the right of any citizen, nor is it to be classed
among those things that merit favor and patronage. In like manner it must be understood that the Church is a society, not less than the State itself, perfect in kind and right.”
We have referred sufficiently to the first two points of this last passage. The remainder of this article will refer to what the Pope says about the Church in its relation to the State. Once grant that the Church as well as the State is from God; that the Church has her authority directly from God, given to the Apostles and their successors, so that those who hear them hear Him, that this authority is abiding in the Church now as on the Day of Pentecost, and no sane man can avoid seeing that both these societies, the State and the Church, are independent, the one of the other, each in its sphere; but that the State which is constituted for the material order must be second and subordinate to the Church in what relates to the spiritual condition of men, for which Christ constituted the Church. So evident is this that the “Reformers,” who found they had to depend on the Rulers of the States they were in, invented a hitherto strange doctrine, that religion belonged to the one who ruled the land, cujus regio illius religio. Professor Schaff, in a recent article in the North American Review, deservedly and unmercifully scores the slavish condescension of these men who pretended to preach liberty of opinion. They not only made man the slave of kingly power, but enslaved his soul too! And so while the iron heel of the European despotism was stamping out the true faith of Christ from the hearts of poor simple people, the minister stood by and applauded, and bade the people accept what the Prince said they must believe. Degradation of humanity! Was this the conduct of the Popes, and bishops, and priests, and martyrs of the early Christian centuries? No! They gave the people the example of dying for the faith, and bade them die for it. They followed the example of the Apostles, who said: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts v., 29). In this Encyclical the Pope lays down the law given by Christ: "Give unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's; but to God the things that are God's." There is no fear of the Church trying to usurp the rights of the State. History shows that the danger is just the other way. The calumny of her enemies has blackened the fair fame of Christ's spouse, who must always defend His interests, and bear the consequences, persecution and calumny. That many questions arise in which the two orders, the civil and religious, meet, comes necessarily from the fact that man has a soul, first subject to God, and then to the State. Those questions, as the Pope ably intimates, can be met by agreements which accurately determine the relations of each order, known as Concordats. Where these are observed, there is no danger of any clash. That such agreements will be needed in this country, where the Church enjoys
the fullest liberty, is not at all likely. It is far more likely that the State, in the possible troubles which may result from the too unrestricted importation of the refuse of Europe, and extension of the right of suffrage, may have to call on the Church to keep her simple people from the delusions of socialism abroad in the land, brought hither by those who learned such principles in the countries that have cast off the “yoke of Rome,” or turned a deaf ear to the counsels of the Church. It is such doctrines as these, atheistical literature eminently destructive of society, and such publications as Mr. Comstock so meritoriously wars against, which make Pope Leo XIII. condemn the unbridled liberty of the pen, and society should thank Him for what he has done.
WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR THE ORPHANS ?
ROM the earliest organization of Catholic churches in this
country, the orphans have been a constant charge, in whose behalf no elaborate appeal has ever been needed. The cause of the fatherless has pleaded eloquently for itself to the benevolence of our people, and no contributions are given so heartily and so ungrudgingly as those made for the preservation of the life and the faith of the little ones whom death has deprived of parents to watch over and guide them.
Beside the efforts made by the parochial clergy and the religious connected with schools to find homes for children reduced to the condition of orphans, efforts by which large numbers are taken into charitable families and cared for, provision is made by the Catholic community to erect and maintain orphan asylums where these helpless children can be received, kept and educated so as to fit them for obtaining a livelihood when they are placed out, and at the same time so grounded in the faith of their parents that perseverance may be anticipated.
Such asylums are found in all our large cities, and scattered through the country, generally at the cathedral cities. The whole number of inmates of the Catholic orphan asylums in the United States seems to be about twenty thousand, although complete returns are not given from all parts; the great cities of Albany, Brooklyn, New York, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and San Fran