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With Special Reference to Recent Letrislation
in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.


JOUN LEE, M. A., D. D.,

With an Introduction







With Sincere Affection,

TO My Friend,

The Rev. Charles M. Stuart, D. D.


This volume contains a brief account of the
movement for religious liberty in the South Amer-
ican Republics of Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. The
movement had its inception in an address by the
Rev. Dr. John F. Thomson before the Methodist
Ministers' Meeting of Chicago, Illinois, on Monday,
April 2, 1894. At the close of the address a com-
mittee of three was appointed to make representa-
tions to the Roman Catholic authorities, and for six
years thereafter the agitiition was maintained under
the direction of this committee. On Monday, April
2, 1000, the ^linistors' fleeting, in discharging the
committee, adopted the following:

""WTiereas, Some six years ago the disabilities re-
specting civil marriage under which Protestants labor in
the various Republics of South America were set forth in
this Ministers' Meeting by Dr. John F. Thomson, for
many years a missionary in that countr>'; and

"Whereas, At his request a committee consisting of
the Rev. John Lee, the Rev. John O. Foster (whose placo
in the committee was afterward taken by the Rev. W. H.
Holmes), and the Rev. M. M. Parkhurst, was appointed
to bring the subject to the attention of the authorities
in those countries and in Rome; and

vi Preface.

"Whereas, The duties of said committee have been
most ably and persistently carried out, especially by the
chairman, the Rev. John Lee, resulting in a practical vic-
tory — no less than the securing of the recognition and
registering of Protestant marriages in the Republic of
Peru, where their legality had hitherto been most em-
phatically denied, and in bringing about many important
and radical modifications of the laws discriminating
against Protestants in the Republics of Ecuador and
Bolivia, preliminary to a complete recognition of their
civil and religious rights in those Republics; and

"Whereas, It must be deemed a matter of great sat-
isfaction that the attention of no less a personage than
that of the Pope of Rome has been elicited, who, through
his Secretary of State, has been constrained to reply to
the urgent representations of the chairman of the com-
mittee, and that the President of the United States, the
Secretary of State, cardinals, bishops, and other distin-
guished personages in Church and State have expressed
a deep interest in the work of the committee, as shown
by their correspondence with its chairman; therefore, be it

"Resolved, That this Ministers' Meeting express its
hearty approval of the work of the committee, and par-
ticularly commend the fidelity and ability of the chairman,
the Rev. John Lee, whose devotion to the cause of civil
liberty in South America and whose earnest and judicious
labor in its behalf have been crowned with such dis-
tinguished success."

As the work was but partially completed, the
author of this volume, who, as chairman of the com-
mittee, had been in charge of the correspondence,
deemed it advisable and necessary to continue on
his own responsibility the work until some definite
results had been obtained. In the prosecution of

Preface, vii

the work he received valuable assistance from the
liev. Drs. John F. Thomson, Charles W. Drees,
Thomas B. Wood, and Henry G. Jackson.

All who love religious liberty will rejoice that on
the 27th day of August, 1906, into all lands went the
glad news that in Bolivia liberty of religious worship
was an accomplished fact. In a letter received from
the Department of State, Tuesday morning, October
23, 1906, is inclosed a copy of the Bolivian law
amending the Constitution so as to permit ^^the pub-
lic exercise of any religious worship."

Religious persecution is thoroughly un-Christ-
like. It hurts the Church, the State, and the Na-
tion. The writer firmly believes that the highest
welfare of this Bepublic demands that every citizen
shall endeavor to stamp out every vestige of relig-
ious intolerance on the American continent. He
sincerely hopes that all who read this book may lay
to heart the truth expressed by Henry M. Stanley:
^^A State should not interfere in matters of con-
science, for be a man a Pagan or a Christian, Protes-
tant or Roman Catholic, Brahmin or Mussulman, his
religious beliefs, or ignorance of religion, should not
bias a government, or debar a citizen from the en-
joyment of his rights or privileges."

John Lee.

Chicago, October 23, 1906.


The reader taking this volume in hand may go
through its pages with the assurance that the author
thoroughly understands his subject. Xo man now
living imder the American flag understands it better.
And he is as full of a generous Christian spirit as
he is of loyalty to his country — two elements abso-
lutely necessary to a candid and complete discussion
of the subject hero presented.

First of all, in the study of Koman Catholicism
it is necessary to consider the question of civil gov-
ernment and at the outset to distinguish between
the theory of a State-Church and that of the Church-
State, that is the State as Church; for the State
under a correct Protestant theory is in a very im-
portant sense — the Church. It is at least the outer
court, in the center of which the Church finds shelter,
protection, and opportunity, and to which this pro-
tected Church must always be loyal. The State is
of God^s own founding. He established it His
gracious providence insures its continuance and de-
velopment. He constantly exercises sovereignty over
it, for God governs as King whether the State be
monarchical, aristocratic, or republican. God is
l^ing even in a republic; and God being the kind
of King He is, the republic is a form of government


2 Introduction.

most likely to develop individual intelligence and
loyalty of the highest type. And the Church within
the Church-Stat€, whether it be kingdom or republic,
does well to have its own organization separate and
apart from all political control — an independent So-
ciety within the State and unfalteringly loyal to the
State. In this case both are of God — ^both Church
and State. That the Church may be a wise coun-
selor and a good example to the l^ation, it is im-
portant that they be independent, for thus they be-
come truly interdependent and are able wisely to
influence each other. The Home is not dominated
by the State; but, being independent, may most
effectually contribute to the well-being of the State,
raise and train loyal citizens, developing a noble
type of manhood and womanhood, and thus insur-
ing the security and prosperity of the ^Nation. AVhat
the Home is to the State, the Church should be —
a school of character, an agency for the training of
intelligent, earnest, loyal citizens who are first of all
men and women and then citizens. Their religious
opinions and modes of worship are beyond the con-
trol of the State except as their products — the citi-
zens belonging to the Church, or Churches may im-
peril the State. In every such case the first, the
highest organized authority is the State — God's ap-
pointed and providential instrument for maintain-
ing order. And the so-called Church must surrender
to the Divinely ordained Church-State.

Introduction. 3

Another important factor, especially in American
National life, is the School, which is not so much
a character-making institution as it is a place of
discipline by which the student may learn how to
give attention, to remember, to reason, to develop in-
dividuality, and to express his opinions clearly and
definitely. The School is the place for getting the
tools, putting them and keeping them in good order
and using them with skill. Home and the Church
must do the rest The School brings coming citi-
zens into fellowship during their formative years,
encourages wholesome rivalry, testing personal qual-
ity and power, promoting facility and effective-
ness in expression and the spirit of neighborliness,
good-will, and mutual respect. Beyond the first
fundamentals of ethical teaching and the recogni-
tion of a Supreme Intelligence, it is not necessary'
that the School be eitlier formally religious or ec-
clesiastical in its emphasis. The Church that is worth
while and the Home that the Church has not robbed
of its legitimate power and authority are well able
to put all necessary stress on the things that make
for a reverent, conscientious, philanthropic, and loyal

These views concerning the Church-State and
the State-School bring us face to face with the most
serious of all modem religious and political prob-
lems — the true attitude of broad and loyal Ameri-

4 Introduction,

can citizens toward the Roman Catholic hierarchy —
whether such citizens are Protestant or Romanist.

It is not an easy matter for a genuine American,
one who believes in individual freedom and respon-
sibility and in the possibility of the immediate ap-
proach of the individual to God through Jesus
Christ — to believe at the same time in the Roman
Catholic system, which seems to us to place barriers
and custom-houses and toll gates between the soul
and the Savior he is in quest of.

The Protestant — the primitive Christian faith
— ^believes that the ^'I am with you always" of the
final commission of Christ is a pledge to the indi-
vidual believer, faith in which enables him to say,
''I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me;" and he
believes that the Lord's command — ''Enter into thy
closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to
thy Pather which is in secret, and thy Father which
seeth in secret shall reward thee openly" — ^he be-
lieves that this means just what it says and that,
without ecclesiastical intermediaries or intercessors,
the individual believer may through Christ "draw
nigh to God ; he believes that ' 'neither in this moun-
tain, nor yet at Jerusalem shall men worship the
Father," but God being a Spirit is everywhere pres-
ent and is approachable and accessible without any
priest but Jesus Christ the invisible and eternal
Priest, whose word is to be believed and whose

Introduction. 5

presence and love and power are always and every-
where available.

This spiritual faith, universal and at all times
efficacious, makes every believer a priest so far as
that office involves immediate access to God. Every
believer in Christ is a priest. And the Church is
a group of believers — a company of priests — all equal
in God's sight and all in fellowship with God through
the omnipresent Christ as through the atmosphere
we enjoy the light and warmth of the sun.

How marked the contrast between this rational,
Scriptural, spiritual, enlarging, inspiring conception
of God and His kingdom of gTace and the belittling
idea of accessibility to Him through human offi-
cials, clothed with superhuman powers and authority,
who believe in and insist upon the sanctity of places
and the intrinsic value of symbols and the bestow-
ment of Divine gifts at the whim and will of human
agents !

Xow, in order to do justice to a school of thought
or an organization of any kind one must study it
thoroughly. He must give himself to it; he must
take ample time to read, observe, converse, write,
subjecting written conclusions to criticism. He must
carefully revise and then wait for a time before the
final publication of his message to the world. In-
deed, one must become a specialist, giving more
time and thought to his theme, if it be possible, than
any other thinker has ever done. He must saturate

6 Int/roducUon,

himself with his subject. If the theme involves
historical data and a knowledge of social and
political conditions, he mnst if need be take long
journeys for personal observation and study critically
and with great thoroughness the observations of in-
telligent travelers through those countries, and thus
verify the statements and claims which to any de-
gree form the basis of his argument. He must as
far as possible occupy for a time the point of view
of the strongest advocates of the theory he is in-
vestigating and be willing to modify his own con-
clusions; and this personal investigation by reading
and conversation should be conducted under the gen-
eral influence of genuine sympathy and friendship
that all one can possibly know and feel may enter
as factors into the final conclusion he draws. He
must not decline the influence of the charming and
elegant priest, whose refined manners and magnetic
personality have peculiar power in modifying the
opponent's severer judgment. The author of this
volume has prepared himself through many years
by just such careful processes for the discharge of
his duty.

Between Eomanism and Protestantism there can
be no compromise. The late gifted and lamented
pastor of City Temple in London declared ^The only
attitude of a Protestant towards Romanism is that
of unmitigated, uncompromising, irreconcilable an-
tagonism." This conclusion has been arrived at by

Introduction. 7

scores of eminent men, profound scholars, and care-
ful investigators who have prepared themselves for
their researches after the manner already indicated.

The power of the Christian Church is not in
her past, however far-reaching that past may be.
The power of the Church is not even in the historic
Christ of Judea and Galilee. It is in the living,
present Christ who, after Ilis career in Palestine,
entered the spiritual realm and is now all that He
ever w^as to man — ''the same yesterday, and to-day,
and forever." The safety and glory of our earth as
a planet is in the sun — to-day. The true ecclesi-
astical succession is not a matter of finger-tips on
bowing heads, conveying Divine grace from one man
to another, believing it to have been originally be-
stowed by the Master on His apostles. It is not a
succession through dark tunnels by which the
authority of the Church is conveyed from the first
to the twentieth century. The power of the Church
is a present, living, radiant manifestation of Christ,
like the glory of the rainbow — the illimitable heavens
opened, the sun shining and the showers falling —
creating a succession as of the rainbow — one end on
Pentecost and the other resting in the living present
on hearts to-day accepting the Gospel of the glorious

Good in many ways, and wise in ways of worldly
wisdom, is the great Koman Society — vAxh. its pope
and priests and people, seeking an earthly kingdom

8 Introduction.

and selling for money the privileges of a heavenly
kingdom. But all that is good in it, all that can
save and serve Humanity, is to be found in the
great Protestant Brotherhood, where there are free-
dom, an open Bible, the inward witness, and the
joys of salvation in Christ,

Let us as American citizens and Christians guar-
antee to every Koman Catholic every right under
the Republic that we ourselves desire to enjoy and
at the same time let us do our best so to enlighten
our fellow-citizens every^vhere, that no American
may be compelled in America to live under a civi-
lization that has always prevailed wherever Roman
Catholicism has had supreme control.

The writer of these introductory words has traveled
extensively in Europe and both Xorth and South
America. He has observed with care the effects
of Roman rule, and with anxiety the apathy of Prot-
estants in our own land concerning the aggressions —
persistent, assiduous, and ingenious — of the Roman
Catholic hierarchy in both social and political life.
It is to be hoped that the wise treatment of the
subject by Dr. Lee may awaken American pastors
and people to a realization of the perils to which
the American Church and people are exposed by the
devices of the Roman Catholic System.


Indianapolis, Indiana, December 25, 1906.


ohaptke. , page.
Introduction, 1

I. The Ground of Complaint, - . - - 11

II. Fixing the Responsibility, - - - - - 26

III. Appeal to the Roman Hierarchy, - - - 36

IV. Further Investigation, - - - - - 47

V. Agitation— The Roman Catholic Press, - 56

VI. Agitation — The Secular and Protestant Relig-
ious Press, 73

VII. Agitation — Opinions of Public Leaders (Amer-
ican), 84

VIII. Agitation— Opinions of Public Leaders (For-
eign), 119

IX. Appeal to the Evangelical Alliance, - - 138

X. Appeal to the United States Government, - 143

XI. The Beginning of the End, - - - 152

XII. The Outcome, 165

XIII. Review and Summary, - - - - - - 201

2 9

10 Contents.



A. The Roman Hibrachy and Civil Libeety, - - 217

B. Cardinal Rampolla's Letter, - - - - 222

C. For Archbishop Keane's Information, - - - 224

D. Roman Catholic Missions Among Protestants

IN THE United States, - - - 227

E. Leo XIII and Religious Equality, - - - 230

F. The Patronato Law, 234

G. The Civil Marriage Law of Ecuador, - - - 241
H. The Papal Church and Persecution, - - 249
I. An Irenicon, - - 252

Index, - - - - - 255



On the second of April in the year of our Lord
eighteen hundred and ninety-four a movement was
initiated in Chicago, Illinois, U. S. A., looking to
the removal of disabilities under which Protestants
labored because of the laws at that time obtaining
in the South American Eepublics of Peru, Ecuador,
and Bolivia. The problem demanding solution was
twofold :

(1) To secure liberty of worship; and,

(2) To legalize marriages among the non-Eoman
Catholic populations of these Eepublics.

Let us examine these points in order.

I. A glance at the existing legislation affecting lib-

erty of worship.

The nature of the oppressive laws may be seen
from the citations subjoined, the character of which
is beyond dispute.

The Penal Code of Bolivia, which is practically
the rule of the other Eepublics, is positively start-


12 Religious Liberty in South America.

ling. The 195tli Article of Chapter III of the Sec-
tion of the Penal Code of Bolivia that treats of
^'Crimes against the Eeligion of the State/' says :

"Whoever conspires directly and in fact to establish
any other religion in Bolivia, or aims at having the Re-
public cease to profess the Catholic Apostolic Roman re^
ligion, is a traitor, and shall suffer the death penalty."

The Eev. Dr. John F. Thomson, ^vriting from
Buenos Aires, ^November 19, 1897, after giving cita-
tions from the Codes in Spanish, with translations
of these into English, observes :

"I give you the ipsissima verba in Spanish as I copied
them from the Code. I copied them from page 60 of the
edition published in La Paz, Bolivia, in 1831. The Code
is issued with the sanction of La Soberana Asamblea —
i. e., United Houses of Congress — whose President, Miguel
Maria De Aguirre, and Secretary, Andres Maria Tirrico,
affixed their signatures to that Sanction on the 15th day of
July, 1831; and in the same month and year, the Code was
promulgated by decree of the Executive. Signed by Presi-
dent of the Republic, Andres Santa-Cruz, and Minister of
Interior (or State), Mariano Enrique Calvo.

"The copy of the Code from which I made the extract
is the one found in the National Library in this city."

The following are ''the ipsissima verba in Span-
ish" of ''the extract" from the Code about the
"traitor," who "shall suffer the death penalty :"

"Todo el que conspire directamente y de hecho d
establecer otra Religion in Bolivia; 6 a que la Republica
deje de profesar la Religion Catolica-Apostolica-Romana es
traidor y sufrira la pena de muerte."

The Ground of Complaint. 13

The Article of the Constitution of each one of
these E,epublics concerning religion is certainly defi-

Article IV, of the Constitution of Peru.

"The Nation professes the Apostolic Roman Catholic
religion; the State protects it, and does not permit the
public exercise of any other."i

Article XIII, of the Constitution of Ecuador.

"The religion of the Republic is the Roman Catholic

Apostolic, and all others are excluded. The political

powers are bound to respect it, to cause it to be respected,

and to protect it in its liberty and all its other rights."2

Article II, of the Constitution of Bolivia,
"The State recognizes and maintains the Roman Catho-
lic Apostolic religion, and prohibits any other public wor-
ship, excepting in the Colonial territories, where there will
be toleration."3

Emile De Laveleye, the Belgian publicist, in an
article, ''The Civil Government and the Papacy,"
writes :

"In the Concordat with the Republic of Ecuador, in
1862, there is the following stipulation:

" 'The Roman Catholic and Apostolic religion is to
continue to be the religion of the Republic of Ecuador.
Consequently no other worship may be practiced nor any
other sect tolerated in the Republic'

1 " History of Peru," by Clements R. Markham, Chicago, Charles
H. Sergei and Company, 1892, page 515.

2 Bureau of the American Republics, Washington, U. S. A.
Ecuador. Bulletin No. 64, Revised to April 1, 1894, page 114.

3 Bureau of the American Republics, Washington, U. S. A.
Bolivia. Bulletin No. 55, Revised to July 1, 1893, page IIG.

14 Religious Liberty i?i South America.

"When freedom of worship was proclaimed in Mexico,
the Encyclical Letter of December 15, 1856, denounced it
to the world as an abominable act, destined to corrupt
men's minds and to root out the holy religion; ad popu-
lorum mores auimosque corrumpendos ac detestabilera
teterrinamque indifferentismi pestem propagandam."^

The Pope's denunciation of freedom of worship
''as an abominahle act" brought forth fruit in Latin
America. Take two instances in Peru.

(1) The Rev. Francis G. Penzotti, a Methodist
Episcopal minister, was arrested in April, 1889, in
the town of Arequipa at the instigation of the Poman
Catholic Bishop of Arequipa, who observed him sell-
ing a Xew Testament in the street, and kept in prison
until the civil authorities in Lima ordered his re-
lease. In Callao, on the following 25th of July,
the Rev. Mr. Penzotti was again arrested on the com-
plaint of a Roman Catholic priest. It was alleged
that in conducting religious sendees Mr. Penzotti
had violated the Constitution of Peru, but it was
proved that these serv'ices, at which the Scriptures
were read and expounded, were private and within
closed doors, and so, by the decision of the court, he
was adjudged to be innocent of the alleged offense.
What a picture of religious persecution is presented
in the following sentence from an editorial, "Re-
lease of ^fr. Penzotti," in the Xew York Bible So-
ciety Record:'^

4 77i« Forum, New York, April 1SS8, jMigo 132.
6 April 16, IWl, pages 62, &8.

The Ground of Com^lmnt 15

"Imprisoned for more than eight months, on an accu-
sation presented and urged by a Roman Catholic priest,
the Rev. Jose M. Castro; charged with the offense of vio-
lating the law in holding unauthorized religious services;
kept in a dungeon after he had once and again been ad-
judged guiltless by the tribunals before which his ad-
versary had summoned him; denied the privilege of bail;
shrinking with inexpressible loathing from the filth and
impurity of the cell in which he spent two hundred and
fifty nights with thirty or forty criminals; refusing to
listen to the whispered suggestion that proceedings might
be discontinued if he would agree to leave Peru; con-
strained to send his daughters out of the country, lest with-
out a father's protection they might become victims of a
foul conspiracy; and ever hopeful that his sufferings would
eventually lead to the promulgation of religious liberty in
Peru, — he is now vindicated and set free."

In a letter, written in prison, shortly before his
release, Mr. Penzotti said:^

"The Supreme Court took a recess until the middle of
March, but in pursuance of a cablegram from Washington
the Minister of the United States, with the assistance of
the Italian Minister, induced the authorities to convene
the Court for a special session in vacation in order to hear
the arguments in the case of the offense with which I am
charged. Two sessions were held and the Court has the
matter now under advisement. I do not write any more
about it, for the newspapers will give you more light than

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Online LibraryJiong LüReligious liberty in South America : with special reference to recent legislation in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. → online text (page 1 of 18)