George F Dillon.

War of antichrist with the Church and Christian civilization : lectures delivered in Edinburgh in October 1884 online

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was ceaseless. It took care that in Rome and out of Rome,
in many Colleges and Convents, her Clergy should be
educated gratuitously. It gave large and well sustained
grants for education, the nature of which has been shown
by my own Archbishop, who was himself at one time
Professor of Hebrew at the Urban Colleoe, and had access to
authentic documents proving that point, which, as an
Irishman, so much interested him.*

His uncle. Cardinal Cullen, who besides lieing for
many years Rector of the Irish College in Rome, was also
for a period Rector of the Urban College of the Propaganda
has more than once evidenced the same. The Propaganda,
besides, found funds for the support as well as for the

^' At the end {page 73) will he found a brief statement ofi this matter.



education of the Clergy. And Ireland, I believe, is the
only country which, having Colleges of her own, both in
Rome and in other countries, obtained a right to a certain
number of students in the Urban College. Of this number,
at various seasons, were many of the most distinguished
ecclesiastics of the Irish Church. Cardinal Cullen was a
Propagandist, and so was the late Delegate Apostolic to
Canada, of whom the Irish Church and Rome herself had
such high hopes, Monsignor George Conroy, Bishop of
Ardagh and Clonmacnois,

In England, the history of its Church since the death
of Elizabeth, is inseparably bound up with the Propaganda.
The unwearied care which it bestowed upon that Church
rendered so desolate by the action of the rulers — not,
we must always remember, of the people— surrounding
Elizabeth and James, is worthy of all attention. It never
ceased that care from the appointment of the first single
Bishop till it saw the ordinary Hierarchy of the country
restored to something like its pristine glory. I need not
say, that with the same care it followed the children of
Ireland, who went forth to found the Churches of the
United States, of British Canada, of Australia, and the
other dependencies of Great Britain. Even at the present
moment the Church in those regions, is not only equal to
what she had been in the foremost Catholic States of Europe,
but the wonderful zeal, energy, and generosity of her
children, compensate for what Catholicity loses in older
States, through the action of the Infidel Revolution.

But besides the continued works of zeal which the Pro-
paganda has never ceased to foster since its foundation, there
is another work which it carries on just as ceaselessly. The
Church needs not only to be founded, but when founded in
any locality or nation, it has to be administered and cared for.


This forms no small portion of the labour of the Propaganda.
The zeal of its missionaries in many lands, the providential
increase of the faithful in others, the self-arising return in
response to the invitation and grace of God, in the cases
of individuals everywhere within the borders of its jurisdic-
tion, has rendered its work in our own days far beyond
what it was at the commencement, or for many years
afterwards. If we only consider the one duty of selecting
the Bishops for the various dioceses in these Islands, in
Canada, the United States, and Australia, we may form
some idea of this work. We know how frequently priests
and people are much exercised with ourselves regarding
these appointments. Conflicting interests get at Avork.
Public and private affairs are efl^ected. Interminable
correspondence arises, for grave issues are at stake. All
this work must be settled by the Propaganda before it is
presented for final solution to the Vicar of Christ, with
whom of course rests the ultimate responsibility. Now,
peoples of whose affairs we know absolutely nothing, have
interests as dear to them, to be solved in the same way by
the Propaganda. The Sees which concern them spread
from the rising to the setting of the Sun. Then come
questions affecting religious orders, in general and in detail.
Everywhere there are important interests to be settled or
conciliated ; for it is wonderful how pious people can see
the glory of God and the good of souls in directions so
very opposite one to the other ; and the more sincere and
holy the parties on either side are, the more sure are they
to be obstinate, for reasons of the most conscientious kind.
If the Propaganda was not there with the patience and
experience it possesses, and with the power of the Supreme
Pontiff" at its back, there would be no settlement for such
disputes as sometimes arise between the most sincere,



devoted, and best intentioned peoples in the world. For
what else but an authority that cannot be disputed could
settle issues between people obstinate for conscience
sake, and only too happy to endure jnartyrdom for con-
viction. Such people in our midst, who are not Catholics,
break up the little section of Protestantism to which
they l^elong into still smaller fragments, whenever they
happen to be much exercised by opposite religious views ;
and hence we see over one church door the " Free Kirk,"
and over another " Kirk of Scotland." Indeed a certain
good soul who became very solicitous for my own salvation
invited me in a passenger car to join the Church of Our
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, established in a subur]:)
of London, in the year of Grace 1884. ''Annual sub-
scription £1, to be paid quarterly in advance." As I
already belonged to a Church of that title established in
an uj^per room in Jerusalem in the year of Grace 33,
I declined the invitation. It was, I suppose, a miniature
" Free Kirk " which differed and broke off from some
other, there being no one to settle the difference. But all
differences in the Catholic Church are settled by an
authority from which there is no appeal, and that authority
is exercised for four-fifths of this world, materially sjieaking,
by the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda, with a
patience, skill, and knowledge which no words of mine
could adequately express.

And here you will permit me to quote what I wrote
on this subject upon another occasion on the Propa-
ganda : — ■

Over the minutest as well as the gravest concerns of the immense
expanse of its jurisdiction, the Propaganda has always watched with a
sleepless vigilance. Sustaining, with an instinct and a power that must
be surely largely infused by the Holy Ghost, the divine principle of


authority, it has never been blind to the slightest manifestation of its
abuse. The humblest missionary, the humblest cliild wronged anywhere
in the vast extent of its care, is cei'tain to receive from its ollicials a just
and a paternal hearing, and, if wronged, is certain of redress. There is
not, and there never was on this earth, a tribunal more just, more patient,
morekind to all committed to its keeping. Then, too, it watches over
the interest of souls with constant assiduity. The most difficult questions
are daily submitted to its judgment, and find invariably a solution which
cannot be given except where the Vicar of Christ reigns and rules.





From all that we have seen of the designs of Atheism on
last Monday evening, we cannot be surprised that such an
institution as the Propaganda should be one of the princi-
pal objects of its hatred. And so it has been ever since
Atheism, through the organization of Freemasonary, has
had any power to persecute. It was amongst the very first
of the institutions of Rome which the French revolutionists
attacked in the last century. Napoleon, too, so far as in
him lay, destroyed the whole of the work of the Sacred
Congregation de Propaganda Fide. He took possession
of the offices and buildings. He smashed the type formed
for spreading the Gospel through the whole earth. He
carried off to Paris the rarest and most valuable articles
found in the museum and library. He suppressed the
famous Urban College with a lie in his mouth, namely, that
it was useless ; and in his day, children from every nation
under the sun were seen in the city of the Popes no longer.
He suppressed and plundered the whole circle of great
Missionary Colleges, which the zeal of tbe Popes had
founded for the many nations needing light. He did
simply what mischief he could do, and when the return of
the Pope restored the work of the Sacred Congregation in
part, he, on his second coming, showed himself no less an
Antichrist against the spread, at least, of the Faith. The
students whom the first coming of the French had scattered,
returned soon after the restoration of the Pope, and
settled at Monte Citorio. But in 1809, Napoleon, having a
second time taken Rome, at once suppressed that second


College ; and to obliterate the inemoiy of the beiietieent
work of the Sacred Congregation, he destroyed the
materials of the very type destined to civilize the barbarous
nations of the world by literature as well as by the Gospel.

The tyrant's fall in 1814, however, not only liberated
the aged, suffering Vicar of Christ from the talons of the
heartless Freemasons, but also let the work of the Missions
of the Catholic Church take their ordinary course under
the renewed zeal and care of the Cardinals of tlie Propa-
ganda. In 1817, the students returned to their old
home ; and soon after, the various dependent National
Missionary Colleges re-opened under the zeal and fatherly
care of the Popes. Under the Pontificate of Gregory XVI:
the Institution had not only its Colleges, but all its mighty
energies at work, as if no revolution had passed over the
sacred city. It continued with unabated energy to spread
the Gospel as before, and daily to open out new fields of
missionary enterprise. But when the Freemasons again
got hold of Rome, all who know that the Freemasonry
of our day is as malignant as that of the time of
Napoleon, knew that the days of the Propaganda, so
far as Freemasonry could affect it, were numbered.

To give you an idea of what it now suffers I shall
quote from the Tahlet the exact state of the case : —

" The landed property of Propaganda, in value about eigHteen million
lire, has for a long time attracted the attention of the Italian Govern-
ment. As far back as 1873 a law was passed forbidding land to be held
in mortmain ; but it was not until Victok Emmanuel was dead that the
Giunta Liquiddtrice thought of applying it to Propaganda. Early in 1880
the Giunta resolved that the international character of the property of
Propaganda should protect it no longer, and accordingly offered the whole
of its lands for sale. Legal proceedings were then commenced, and have
been carried on with varying success from that time till now. Beaten in the
Court of Cassation, the Giunta appealed, with -well-founded confidence,


to the Supreme Court, and now it is finally decided that the Congrega-
tion is for ever incapable of holding real property in Italy. If this were
all, it might seem that we had been over hasty in describing as confisca-
tion what in reality is only a forced conversion. But confiscation is the
only word which rightly fits the appropriation to itself by the/Govern-
ment of more than half the property to be dealt with. If the lands were
merely sold, the gain to the Government would not be apparent, and
action would probably nevei- have been taken, though Propaganda might
well complain that Italian bonds were poor securities when taken in ex-
change for Italian farms. But it has been arranged that a tax of no less
than thirty per cent, shall be charged upon the whole amount of the pro-
perty doomed t6 conversion. Again, there is a transfer duty of four per
cent., and six per cent, for laud tax, making in all forty per cent.
Then, for the benefit of the Government Ecclesiastical Fund — what-
ever that may be — there is yet another duty, a progressive tax, be-
ginning at fifteen per cent, on 10,000 francs revenue, and going up to
forty per cent, on larger sums. The result of this scarcely-disguised
spoliation is to strike a blow at the Church, the full force of which can
hardly yet be measured."

The A2)pu)iti, already referred to, vainly striving to
obtain justice, thus speaks : —

" If the Government, therefore, does not wish to show clearly to all
that the pretended guarantees guarantee nothing, as is evident from other
sources, it must abstain from limiting in any fashion the free possession
of those means which are destined to the exercise of its great office. But
whatever its aggressions are, and whatever device it may adopt to oppress
the Holy See, it is well it should be known that the Apostolate among
the infidels is a natural and a divine right, and, at the same time, a bind-
ing duty of the Pontifi', for the exercise of which he needs absolutely to
have at hand the pecuniary means free from the supervision of the State.

" Tlie Appunti meet the argument that there is no injury done by the
forced conversion, as follows : ' But it may be urged that the freedom of
the ministry entrusted to the Propaganda incurs no loss by the sale of its
estate, seeing that it has the free disposal of the amount inscribed in the
Gra7i Lihro. Now, let us repeat it again, does not the payment of this
income depend entirely on the good will and the solvency of the Italian
Government ? If it were to fail, many large and necessary missionary
establishments would suffer ; and, what is more important, the very centre
from which emanates tiie action for diffusing the Gospel throughout the
world, would be so weakened as to be unable to supply its most ordinary


"The Aj}p unit then shows what the nature of the extraordinar}' expenses
of tlie Propaganda are: ' Besides tlie ordinary expenses, which are many and
very heavy, the Propaganda has continually to come to the aid of the ex-
traordinary' needs of the various missions. Taking only, for instance, the
decade from 1860 to 1870, a good two millions of capital were consumed
in extraordinary grants ; and if these had failed, besides other evils, the
Constantinople mission would have died out, for whose rescue it Was
necessary to expend over a million and a half. AVith these funds were
saved large numbers of Christians during the recent famines in China and
Tonquin ; and recently, after the sale, pendente lite, of Propaganda pro-
perty by the Royal Commissioners, if extraordinary resources had not
been obtained from abroad, no aid could have been given to the missions
in Egypt, Central Africa, the Christian communities of India, China, and
Oceania, tried by terrible disasters."

The above remonstrance would be simply laughed at
by the party in power in Italy if it were not supported by
force from without. Indeed the only concern the Italian
Government showed was lest Catholics outside Italy
should insist on their clear rights to the possession of the
funds of the Projiaganda. The Infidel inner circle, of
which I spoke so much to you last Monday evening, have
long determined on the destruction of the Propaganda
ami all its missionary work. Antichrist has no greater
enemy. The destruction of the Temporal Power, the
disbanding of the religious orders, the whole system of
disentegration and persecution to which they determined
to subject the Church and the Vicar of Christ, would be
useless so long as the Propaganda remained at its work,
sustaining and propagating Christianity — and earnest,
fervent Christianitv, too— in the world.

Next, therefore, to the spoliation of the Holy
Father's temporal dominions and the spoliation and
suppression of the Religious Orders, there was nothing the
Freemasons in power now in Italy desired more than the
suppression of the Propaganda. But the necessity of


going somewhat moderately and cautiously to work, in
order the more efficaciously to succeed, has forced
the Italian Freemasons to proceed with the suppression
of the Propaganda in the circuitous, stealthy manner
sketched out at the commencement. They liaA-e
succeeded in causing the Executive of the Sacred
Congregation to go to law with them in the Masonic
Courts of Italy — " going to law with the devil and
the court held in hell." Somehow, an intermediate
sentence was given in favour of the Institution.
But how little the Freemasons in power valued this, was
manifested by the fact, that before the appeal made by
themselves against that sentence was decided, they actually
disposed of some of the real property of the Institution.
The whole thing appears tO me to have been no more than
the merest farce. They knew what the final result of the
law proceedhigs would l^e. All they required was that the
Church should acknowledge a local tribunal by contending
with them, instead of appealing at once to the world against
a flagrant act of injustice attempted against international
right. Governments then wishing to shelve a difficulty
with the Italian Ministry, could allege that it was an
internal Italian question, admitted to be so by the
aggrieved parties, who appealed to local tribunals, Vvith
which, of course, externs could not interfere.

So at least the question has been dealt with by our own
Government ; but most unjustly. If the Cardinals of the
Propaganda contended for the rights of the Institution
before the tribunals of Italy, that contention, no matter how
it may have eventuated, could not affect the parties in-
terested in the right. And who are the parties interested
in the funds of the Propaganda. Is it the Italian people ?
Decidedly not. There is not a people in the world who are


less interested in the funds and in the woi'k of the Propa-
ganda than the Itahan people. In fact, the founders and
the endowers of the Propaganda founded and endowed it,
on the condition implied by their acts, and expressed by
the very terms of the endoAvment, that their money should
be applied for the benefit of those who should not live in
Italy. The inheritors of these funds are foreigners to
Italy, and amongst these foreigners there are no people
more wronged by the action of the de facto Italian
Government, than the Catholic subjects of Her Brittanic




We shall see this by considering its foundation. Who,
then, first founded the Propaganda ? The man who
gave the ground upon which it stands, and the palace
in which its v/ork is carried on, was not an Italian. His
money did not come from Italy. He was a Spaniard, and
the representative at Rome of the Sovereign of the
Netherlands. He formed the foundation of the whole
institution, and all subsequent lands and moneys given to
it were to carry out his intentions. His money was taken,
and his intentions were solemnly guaranteed by the legiti-
mate Sovereign of Rome at the period. They have been
respected for two hundred and sixty years. I ask, can it
be right now for the Italian Government to take his
money, to sell his lands and houses, to put the proceeds of
his funds into its own vinculated, uncertain bonds, and in
the process steal the half of the proceeds. This seems to
me such a gross 2)erversion of international right, that I
believe if Spain was not dominated over by the same sect
of Freemasons as rule Italy, she Avould force the Italian
Ministry and King Humbert to disgorge the property left
by Monsignor John Baptist Vives for the Propagation of
the Catholic Faith.

The injustice of the forced sale of the houses, lands,
and rents left hj a Spaniard for the extension of the
Gospel, in trust to Italy, is only equalled by a like act of
injustice done in the case of an Irishman, and a Priest of
the City of Dublin, Father Michael Doyle, of the Church
of SS, Michael and John, Arran Quay. Believing that


his 2)oor country would be benefited by having a certain
number of its priests trained in the Urban CoUege, he
made an agreement with the authorities in Eome to give
them a sum of money amounting to no less than £5,000
sterling, for the perpetual education of Irish-born
missionary priests for Ireland. This was in the year
1825. His money was taken, and well invested by the
Cardinals of the Propaganda ; and since, several most
useful and distinguished Irish priests have been educated
on the proceeds. Here is surely, if ever there was, an
international arrangement lawfully and equitably con-
cluded. But what do the Italians do ? They take this
dead British subject's money and the increase Avhich
belongs to it. They sell out the property bought for it.
They put half the j^roceeds in their pocket, and the rest
they leave in " vinculated" Italian bonds, to be disowned
whenever the time comes to reduce or do away with
income from that source in Italy.

I am certain that Mr. Gladstone, whose just and
generous mind recoils from deceit of any kind, especially in
purely commercial matters, would never have said that the
Propaganda was an internal institution of Italy subject to
Italian laAvs, if he duly considered the nature of these two
cases of John Baptist Vives of Spain, and Father Michael
Doyle, of Arran Quay, in the good City of Dublin. I
believe he has not heard of them, for I remember Mr.
Gladstone to have made a remark in reply, I think,
to Mr. O'Donnell, that the general Italian character of
the Propaganda, as he called it, could not be effected
by a charitable "subscription." Now, surely no man
calls an ordinary commercial agreement a " subscription."
Father Doyle goes to the Cardinal Prefect of the Propa-
ganda and makes a bargain with him for the perpetual


education of a certain number of liis countrymen — by the
way he stipulated that some of them should be his relatives,
— and the Cardinal Prefect takes his money. The
Sovereign of Rome fiats the contract. That honest
Sovereign carries it out to the letter. But the Italians
come in who are not honest ; they steal one-half of Father
Doyle's money ; they put the other half in Italian " vin-
culations." The result is that Father Doyle's countrymen
and relations cannot be educated. They — British subjects
as they are — are simply robbed. And can it be believed
by the generation that thinks nothing of many millions
for the relief of a British subject in Khartoum, that when
our Government is asked to make a gentle remonstrance
to the Freemasons who have stolen Father Doyle's hard
earnings it answers : — ■" We really cannot interfere. The
Italians are our very good friends. And as to the money
of Father Doyle, why that was only a ' subscription I' "

The case of Father Doyle is far from being the only
case. To my knowledge, another ecclesiastic, now living,
gave £1,000 for the education of a student in the Urban
College. He meant most assuredly that his money should
be spent for the one purpose he intended. When it comes
out that £450 of his thousand has gone into the pocket of
King Humbert and Co., and that £550 has been "vin-
culated " prior to being SAvalloAved in the same way, will his
Government in England turn round and tell him, " Oh, you
only gave a subscription !" If Mr. Gladstone put his fortune
into United States Bonds for the benefit of his family, and
that the Government of the United States imt half that
fortune in its pocket and the rest into " vinculated " bonds
of the same value as the vinculated Church bonds of Italy,
how would our admirable Premier be pleased if told that
his contract was only a " subscription ^ " It is exactly such


" subscriptions " that the Freemasons of Italy have stolen
by manipulating the moneys of Britisli subjects. Is
En^^land afraid or powerless to demand redress ? If so,
Tempora mutantur et nos mutanmr in ill'is indeed !

And then, not only such money as that of Vives
and Father Doyle, but all the money the Propaganda
ever got was given for the lienefit of countries Avhich
were outside Italy. The magnificent gifts of Cardinal
Barberini, whose revenues, by the way, came from Church
sources outside, as well as inside of Italy, were given for
the benefit of the Eastern nations, whose various rites I
have already referred to. Have these poor people not a
right to the benefit of his legacy now, as well as at any
past period ? Does tlieix' weakness make the right
anything the less ? Twenty-three priests are educated

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Online LibraryGeorge F DillonWar of antichrist with the Church and Christian civilization : lectures delivered in Edinburgh in October 1884 → online text (page 22 of 26)