George F Dillon.

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

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for them at the present moment. When the estates which
does this blessed work are sold for a song by Italian
Freemasons to other Italian Freemasons — Freemasons
alone are likely to buy them — and when half the proceeds
are pocketted by the men in power, and the other half
goes into " vinculated " Italian bonds, how will it fare with
the poor Churches of the Orientals, dependent for educated
Priests upon the grand charity of the Propaganda ? Surely
the ruthless horde of barbarians who have laid violent
hands upon the States of the Church must be devoid of all
shame, of all honour, of all manhood, when they descend to
such mean sacrilege. I think a man would prefer, if he
were a man, to command a troop of banditti than a
Ministry and a Parliament capable of staining themselves
with such mean, such cowardly, such heartless theft.

Now, if Melchites and Circassians, Copts and
Maronites, are thus pillaged by the spoliation of the
Propaganda, so to a far larger extent are the subjects of



62 SPOLIATION OF THE PROPAGANDA.

Her Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria. And how?
The funds of the Propaganda were given principally for
the benefit of her Catholic subjects in Ireland, in Great
Britain, in Canada, in Australia, in the vast extent of
India, in the West Indian Islands, in the Army, in the
Navy, in the great military stations, and wherever, in fact,
she has subjects.

In all this vast expanse of territory, the government
and care of the Catholic Church is carried on by the
Propagan(;;la. Not only are many of the clergy educated
for these countries in its Urban and other subservient
Colleges, but the whole education of the Clergy is looked
after, the Bishops and Archbishops are selected, the
Dioceses are regulated. Orphanages, Convents, Hospitals,
Schools, and Institutions of beneficence are created and
superintended by it. The whole work of the Catholic
Church, in one word, is done through its instrumentality
alone, in all the dominions of Her Britannic Majesty.

Now, if the existing funds of this institution are taken,
the Catholic subjects of Her Majesty must supply others,
and the action of the Italian Government in takincr these
funds, consequently, puts a heavy burden on the subjects
of Her Majesty, which they ought not to be asked to bear,
in order simply to put money into the Italian Treasury.

They ought not be asked to bear such a burden,
because they have a strict right in justice to the funds of
the Propaganda, which, even when they were not given by
British subjects or by other than Italian subjects or Princes,
were always absolutely given for the intention that the
Propaganda may be able to do the work, of which the
administration of the Catholic Church in the dominions of
Her Majesty forms an integral portion.

It is evident, then, that no matter who gave the funds



THE PRESENT STATE OF THE CASE. 63

of tlio Propaganda, they were given lawfully and justly
and according to the existing laws of Italy at the period,
for our benefit. We received that benefit uninterruptedly
for over two hundred years, and it is monstrous that we
should be now deprived of a long existing, acknoAvledgod
right, by the violation of a clear international obligation
on the part of the Italian Government.

Now to show that what I here state is perfectly just, a
striking exemplification was given by one matter connected
intimately with the spoliation I speak of. After the final
sentence was pronounced by an Italian Masonic Court, the
Italian Government proceeded, as a first step, to sell a
College dependent upon the Proj^aganda. It happened, hoAv-
ever, that this College did not belong to Copts or Maronites
who had no Government to assert their rights, or to Catholic
subjects of Her jNIajesty Avho might be told about " sul>
scrij^tions." It belonged to a people who, when abroad,
knoAV that they have a country ready to defend them
against whoever may choose to rob them, insult them, or
injure them. This College was possessed by the Catholics
of a country called the United States of America — a
country Avhich happens to be pretty well knoAvn to the
Italian Government. It is a Republic, supposed to be very
Protestant, for it sends missionaries, largely supplied with
Bibles and coppers for the "conversion" of poor people in
the slums of some large toAvns in Italy. The Italian
Masonic Government, who laugh at the anti-Catholic
fanaticism of the English and American nations, thought,
therefore, that it could deal with the Catholic subjects of
the United States just as it might with the Catholic
subjects of England. It considered that the bigotry of
the zealous Methodism of New York and Massachusets
would be only too glad to hear that tlie resources



64 SPOLIATION OF THE PROPAGANDA.

of " Babylon " were being swallowed up by the Free-
masons of Italy. Accordingly the walls of Rome were
plastered with large placards announcing the sale of
the North American College. Now, if the Italians
had ever a vight to sell any property belonging to the
Propaganda, it was this College. It was a free gift
on the part of Pius IX., for which no consideration
whatever had been asked from the American Catholic
people or Bishops. It was given only a few years
previously, and had been before a Convent for reli-
gious. Moreover, the Pope never gave the fee-simple of
the premises to the American Catholics, That remained
vested absolutely in the Propaganda. The house was
therefore as much the property of the Sacred Congregation
as that which it received by legal transfer from Monsignor
John B.aptist Vives. In attempting its sale, the Italian
Government thought rightly that no more favourable point
could be seized upon by which to manifest their "right to
do wrong" to the property of the Propaganda. The
Catholics of America had given "no consideration." There
was no deed of transfer to them. That had been asked and
refused by the Pope. The buildings were only a few years
previously the property of the Papal Government, which
the Freemasons supplanted. It was a test case, indeed.
Let us see how it ended ?

The moment the Cardinal Archbishop of New York
heard that the College of his Catholic fellow-countrymen
was about being touched by the Italians, he despatched his
zealous and able Coadjutor at once to Washington with a
letter to, the Government of his country. That Govern-
ment, Protestant as it was, at once recognised that a right
lawfully acquired — though without consideration or sub-
scription, or deed of transfer — of • American Catholic



THE PRESENT STATE OF THE CASE. 65

citizens was about being violated. Did tliey talk about
''Italian laws" or " subscrij)tions," or "Italian internal
aftairs not concerning outsiders ?" Did they seek, subter-
fuge, evasion, or delay for the purpose of making necessary
inquiries ? Far from it. Instantly there flashed across
the Atlantic to the United States Embassy at the
Quirinal, instructions to tell the Italian Government that it
would touch the interests which American citizens had
acquired in Rome at its peril, and demanding instant
cessation of the sale of the North American College.
There was no further parley about the matter. The
jMinistry of King Humbert knew that Uncle Sam had
ironclads, and could make his arm felt upon Italian ports
and in Italian waters. And what was the consequence ?
Well ! Such American citizens as were then in Rome had
the satisfaction of knowing that they had a country. They
had the satisfaction of seeing, one hour after the ultimatum
of the United States Government was received, a number
of employes of the Italian Government running about the
streets with ladders and water buckets and carefully
rubbing away from the walls every vestige of the placards
which announced the sale of the Catholic North American
College of the Propaganda. The College remains, and
will continue to remain unmolested, for the Americans
have a Government not afraid of Italy.

In the face of this fact I assure you that we British
subjects then in Rome felt and looked very small indeed.
The Propaganda, we knew, belonged to us by rights as
sacred certainly, as the portion of it exclusively appertaining
to North America belonged to the United States. It was
handed over for our benefit by legal deeds of transfer. It
was ours. It had absolutely nothing to do with Italy.
It had everthing to do with us. It was always so con-

E



66 SPOLIATION OF THE PEOPAGANDA.

sidered by the Popes. Outside its own limits it has
positively no jurisdiction in Rome or in any part of Italy.
Its funds were contributed for us and to us, and to that
portion of the world — always outside Italy — committed to
its care. Its spoliation was clearly, even if none of our
money was in it, a violation of our most justly acquired
legitimate rights, unquestioned and in action for
generations.

We expected some effort would be made by our rulers
for us. We expected some representations, more gentle,
perhaps, than those made by the President of the proud
Union, but, as we thought, with some reason, not less
efficacious, would be made by our Government. We
confidently predicted that such would be the case. But we
were bitterly disapj^ointed. Our bishops in a body made
representations far more energetic and explicit than
Cardinal M'Closky or his Coadjutor made to Washington ;
but nothing came of them. The Catholics of the United
States had a country. We felt that we had a country but
in name, which for one reason or another treated us as
stepchildren or outcasts, or worse and more humiliating
still, was impotent to help us in our need.

Yet I believe that this policy of the Ministry would
not, if the case were fully understood, be endorsed by our
non-Catholic fellow-citizens. I am sure a very large pro-
portion of them would deem the complete inaction of the
Government, not wise, or sound policy — certainly not the
I)olicy of the British Lion that used to be, in cases of the
violation of the rights of British citizens, so potent once.
I am sure they will feel for and with us when they come
to understand that it is a question of unjustifiable inter-
ference w^ith rights lawfully acquired by British subjects in
a foreign nation which are interfered with by that nation.



THE PRESENT STATE OF THE CASE. (57

I am sure of this from the feehng which woiikl, I know,
possess myself, if, for instance, the Government of France,
or any other Government, induced any body of my Pro-
testant fellow-countrymen to acquire in France legitimate
interests for their religious necessities, and that upon the
coming into power in that same country of another form
of Government, monarchical or republican, such incoming-
government should have confiscated the rights so acquired
by my fellow-countrymen. If, for instance, the Wesleyans
of England established a training-school for health or other
reasons, say in the south of France. If they were per-
mitted to do so by the law^ful government of that country.
If the funds of that institution were recruited from
Wesleyans in England, in the United States and all the
world over. If the Wesleyans had the free use of that
sanatorium for a number of years, and depended upon it
for the training of their choice ministers, and for the
management of their aftairs. If their Moderator happened
to be a Frenchman, and needed such an institution for the
government of their body. If they could not dispense with
it without serious loss and money outlay ; and all this
because the new Government of France had decided that
such establishment should perish. If in pursuance of this
law such Government proceeded, as France did actually at
the Revolution, to confiscate all religious rights, and
amongst the rest the legitimately acquired rights of English
Wesleyans, I know that I would expect that the most
strenuous eff'orts of the rulers of England should never
cease until France was taught that while she might jilunder
the interests of Frenchmen as long as Frenchmen let
her, she should desist from such a course when the question
came of plundering the rights of English citizens lawfully
and Deacefully acquired. I am certain there is not a



68 SPOLIATION OF THE PROPAGANDA.

Catholic ill the land who would not feel aggrieved at
the injury thus inflicted on his unoffending fellow-citizens,
and who would not move with them until the wrong
insolently inflicted in defiance of international rights was
redressed.



MEASUllES TO MEET THE DIFFICULTY. 09

X.

MEASURES TO MEET THE DIFFICULTY.

Speaking of these, I am yet sanguine that our rulers
will open their eyes to see the grievance which Catholic
British subjects suffer in the spoliation of the Propaganda.
For my part I cannot altogether blame the Ministry. I
think we have not pressed the matter upon them
sufficiently, and they need, and, indeed, invite this kind of
pressure. I know, too, that they are much disinclined to
disoblige Italy, which the great Whig leader. Lord
Palmerston, formed, though, as we have seen last Monday
evening, for motives very much other than the real good
of England. Still English Statesmen have had proof
enough of what they may expect from " United Italy " since
its formation. And I am persuadedj notwithstanding-
seeming favourable symptoms regarding Eg}][3tian affairs,
that England is destined to experience still more of the
nature of Italian Masonic "gratitude." I think I know
the feelings of the party now ruling in Italy; It is perfectly
intolerant of English domination in the Mediterranean, and
would, if it could, give a blow to her rule in Malta, in
Cyprus, in Gibraltar, and in Egypt to-morrow. Masonic
Italy is best kept in order by wholesome fear, and had
Eno:land shown a bold front in favour of the riij^hts of
British subjects involved in the spoliation of the Propa-
ganda, she would have obtained, I firmly believe, much
more from the respect her conduct would inspire than she
will ever get from the love of Piedmont ese Freemasons.
There is also something in the blessing of God which
follows the doing of the right thing for the oppressed, and



70 SPOLIATION OF THE PROPAGANDA.

perhaps much more will be soon lost to the nation by the
want of this blessing in the conduct of Egyptian affairs than
ever could be gained by siding with the heartless violation
of British international rights by the Freemasons, now
working their unholy will upon the city and the property
of the Popes.

On this subject I had in London lately a long conver-
sation with a great and good Catholic Irish Statesman,
Mr. A. M. Sullivan. He was, of course, acquainted
with the fact of the spoliation of the Propaganda, but he
onl}^ knew in part the nature of the injustice. When I
laid that fully before him he suggested that I should
deliver such a lecture as I have given this evening upon it,
and he promised to take the chair at that lecture, and to
speak also himself upon the matter, as he of all living-
Irishmen could best do. He had, I must say, great faith
in the justice and spirit of fair play characteristic of Mr,
Gladstone, and he believed that if the great Premier were
properly approached by the Irish Parliamentary Party, he
would use his influence to have the injustice done to us by
the Italian Freemasons removed. He thought it, perhaps,
difficult to get back lands already sold, but he also thought
that the men in j^ower in Italy would surely yield to the
pressure of England and liberate the vinculated bonds,
thus at least saving us a portion of our property. Fie
thought the case of Father Michael Doyle, one which no
Government could refuse to recognise, while that of the
other donors to the same institution, whether Spanish or
of any other nation, was equally strong. I grieve that this
good man is gone from our midst Avhilst the injustice I
complain of, and which he would willingly have removed,
lives on ; but I feel myself bound to give utterance not
only to my own but to his sentiments, however feebly,



MEASURES TO xMEET THE DIFFICULTY. 71

regarding the merits of a case for redress, altbougli in
itself it is all-powerful.

Our duty is to seek this redress if only to save our
national honour. But come what may, I believe that all
who have heard what I have stated this evenincj will a^ree
that it is our duty to save at any cost an institution so
valuable and so necessary to us. By it, we reach and save
the Heathen. By it, we comfort the sadly oppressed
Oriental Catholic, still groaning under the oppression of
the Mahometan. By it, Ave carry on the vast machinery of
the Church of God in three-fourths of the entire world. As
Catholics, we can never permit Italian Freemasonry to
destroy it. We must sustain it ; and how can we ? Lately,
on hearing the news of its Spoliation, an Italian noble,
faithful to the traditions of his princely house, gave us an
example. He left it several thousand ^^ounds which the
Italian Freemasons tried to prevent the Propaganda
receiving, but failed. It is for us who benefit by the
Institution to follow so noble an example. It is a way
by which everyone blessed with worldly wealth may make
a most useful protest against the Spoliation, and at the
same time contribute to the continuation of the work of the
Sacred Congregation. It can find for twenty times the
wealth it had at any time, immense fields, yet unexplored
by the Christian Missionary. I do say that no one ought
permit a shilling to go where an Italian Freemason can
manage to steal it, but money for the Propaganda can be
left in trust to one's Bishop or Archbishop, as the case may
be, and, as the testator may direct, that money can be
applied either in a lump sum, or still better, as principal,
producing interest, for the purposes of the Propaganda. It
will then go surely and safely to its destination. I indicate
this as one way by which God's people mav help a work



72 SPOLIATION OF THE PROPAGANDA.

vSO worthy. There are many other ways which the gene-
rosity of the faithful will easily discover. But there is one
unfailing means which all, even the very poorest, can
employ to assist the great Institution in the day of its
need. That is by fervently praying to God, through the
intercession of His Blessed, Immaculate, Virgin Mother,
that the pride of the infidel may cease, and that the elect
of the Lord may be liberated ; that counsel, and love, and
strength may reign amongst the faithful of Christ ; and
that surrounding His Vicar in a spirit of filial unity,
they may show an unbroken, intelligent front to the foe,
and so sustain the grandest cause ever given by God to
man to support on earth — the cause of Christian Faith
and Civilization, now imperilled by the most deadly
enemies of the Cross that have ever appeared in this
world.



NOTE. 73



NOTE.

The following statement is taken from the second
edition of the Persecutions Suffered hy the Catholics of
Ireland Under the Rule of Cromwell and the Puritans, by
the Most Rev. Patrick Francis Moran, D.D., Archbishop
of Sydney. Dublin : 1884. Appendix ii., p. 464 : —

The many links that for ceatm'ies have united Ireland with the
Holy See are familiar to our Irish readers. Even during the persecu-
tion of Elizabeth we find our country engaging Eome's special care.
Pro-nuncios were despatched to her shores, to guard and defend the
interests of the Catholic faith ; her children, who rose in arms to
assert her rights, received from Rome not only words of encourage-
ment but funds to aid their cause; and when her clergy were persecuted
and imprisoned, the Holy Father not only stretched out to them an
assisting hand, but by repeated briefs solicited the mediation of foreign
princes, that the rigour of the persecution might be relaxed, and the
captives restored to liberty.*

During the period of which we treated in the preceding pages, at the
very commencement of the struggle of the Confederates, the saintly
Searampo was sent to encourage them, and guide them by his counsels.
Later still, we find the Nuncio Rinuccini sent on a like mission, besides
being the bearer of ample subsidies. At every stage of their momentous
proceedings, letters were sent from Rome to the French and Spanish
monarchs, as well as to the minor princes of Germany and Italy, exhorting
them to lend their aid to the Irish nation ; whilst other letters were
from time to time transmitted to the bishops and confederate leaders,
rejoicing with them in their triumph, condoling in their afilictions,
healing their dissensions, and exhorting them to union and constancy in
the cause of justice and religion.

It would be easy to give further instances of the solicitude of the
Holy See for its faithful children ; and to record the many letters of
exhortation and encouragement which were addressed to the citizens of
Dublin, and others, during their long struggles and sufi'erings in the



* Several of these invaluable documents may be seen in the Spicilegium Ossoriense,
vol. ii. x,



74 SPOLIATION OF THE PROPAGANDA.

cause of religion and theii* king ; but we reserve them for another occa-
sion, not wishing to extend this note to too great a length.

We shall merely state for the present that during the interval of
Cromwell's triumph, we find the assistance of the Holy See bountifullv
given to the banished clergy and people ; and immediately after the
restoration, letters were again addressed to all the Catholic powers,
praying them " to commission their respective ambassadors at the English
Court to defend and protect the interest of the poor Catholics of Ireland,
and especially of the priests who were imprisoned for the faith in many
parts of that kingdom.*

Thirty years later, when the sword of persecution was again unsheathed
against the Irish Catholics, the Pope was still their unflinching advocate.
Eemittances were j^early sent from Rome to the Court of St. Germain
for the relief of the Irish exiles, whilst additional aid was bountifully
supplied to the banished and persecuted members of the Hierarchy. In
the Vatican archives we find it registered that 72,000 francs were then
annually supplied by Eome for the support of the Irish secular clergy
and laity ; on the 15th of July, 1698, we find an additional remittance of
23,655 livresfor the religious who were banished from Ireland. Instruc-
tions were, moreover, sent to the Nuncios in the foreign Courts to give
every protection and aid to the Irish Catholics ; and even a jubilee was
proclaimed in Italy to solicit the prayers and alms of iJie faithful of that
country for our suffering people. In the month of January, 1699, we
meet with a list of 27,632 livres received from the Holy Father, and
distributed to various Irish ecclesiastics who had lately taken refuge in
France and Belgium. In the month of February there is another list of
11,832 livres similarly distributed; and in March, as we learn from a
letter of the Nuncio in Paris to Cardinal Spada (dated 9th March,
1699), 53,000 livres were sent by the Pope to St. Germain, and distri-
buted by King James to " the Irish ecclesiastics then sent into exile."
There is another list dated from St. Germain, 29th March, 1699, which
we give entire. Its details must be peculiarly interesting to our readers : —

" To Mr. Magennis, Superior to the College des Lombards . 1,200
To do. do. to be distributed amongst the Irish

Missioners 1,200

To Mr. Nolan, Superior of another Irish Community in Paris

for the support of the poor students in his community . 1,000

To Mr. O'Donnell for the Irish nuns in Ipres .... 1,000

» "Affinche vogliano incaricare i loro ambasciadori e ministri nella corte
d'lnghilterra di diffendere e proteggere gl'mteresei dei poveri Cattolici d'Irlanda, e
particolarmente dei sacerdoti carcerati per la fede in diverse parti del regno." — Acts
of Sac. Conff., 22 May, 16fi2.



NOTE. 75

To the almoner of the Queen for the use of the Community

of poor Irish girls at St. Germain 500

To Father Nash, an Irish Franciscan, for some members of

his Order 41

To various other religious 99

To the confessor of the Queen for a young ecclesiastical

student 150

To Mr. Burke, chaplain to the Queen, for an Irish Carmelite . 60

Set apart for four missioners coming from Ireland . . . 600

To a poor Irish officer who has a wife and six children . . 150

In all, six thousand scudi."

Again, on the 8th of June, 1699, the secretary of the king, writing
from St. Germain, acknowledges the receipt, from the Holy Father,
" of 37,500 livres to be distributed amongst his subjects, persecuted for
their faith."

AVhen, about the middle of the eighteenth century, the enemies of


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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 23 of 26)