Copyright
Theodore E[manuel] Schmauk.

The year of our Lord, 1904; a survey of the world online

. (page 4 of 11)
Online LibraryTheodore E[manuel] SchmaukThe year of our Lord, 1904; a survey of the world → online text (page 4 of 11)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


decreeing religious power and freedom of creed and worship
throughout the dominions. This decree put an end to flog-
ging and to Siberian exile, and subsequent decrees removed
many of the most objectionable restrictions imposed upon his
subjects. It was he also who organized the Hague Peace Con-
ference in the face of the opposition of his counsellors. Nicholas
is in many respects a noble ruler. He contents himself with
the military rank of colonel, which he bore before he became
the Czar. He is conscientious, deeply religious, and entirely
free from the vices that contaminate royalty. He is wrapped
up in his wife and children, and contrary to the popular belief
takes an active part in the guidance of domestic and foreign
affairs. He is opposed to the intervention of outside powers
in his conflict with Japan. In order not to give any pretext
for interference, he has kept over eighty ships shut up in the
Black Sea and is debarred from their use. Although three
ministers and other dignitaries have been murdered and many
unsuccessful attempts at assassinations have been made, no
attack has, as yet, been made upon the life of Nicholas since
his accession to the crown. This could not be said of either
of his predecessors.

He has exonerated the Finns of blame for the assassina-
tion of their tyrannical governor. On the recent occasion of
the birth of his heir to the throne, he issued a manifesto which,
the other day (December 14th), when the assassins of Plehve



33

were on trial, cut down their term of imprisonment materially.
Sasoneff's sentence was penal servitude for life, and the Czar's
manifesto reduced it to fourteen years.

But there is another side to the picture. It seems to be
almost beyond doubt that the Czar is arbitrary, perhaps filled
with the spirit of vanity, or, perhaps it might be better to say,
self-exaltation. As the peacemaker of mankind and the torch
bearer of civilization among the Asiatic races, he has taken a
high view of his mission here upon earth, but, at the same time,
under the influence of officials who have known how to flatter
him, the impoverishment of his subjects, the continuation of a
course of tyranny, the undermining of legal forms, and the
plunging of his nation into a great war, are parts of his respon-
sibility. His point of view may be seen from the fact that in
the rescript appointing the successor to Obolensky, the tyran-
nical governor of Finland, the Czar eulogizes and commends
him for his work of the russification of Finland, hopes that it
will be continued, and believes that the only chance for the
welfare of the Finns is in its ultimate success!

The most recent information (December 22) pictures the
Czar as greatly out of humor at the Zemstov members for
asking for constitutional government. He has practically told
them to go home and mind their own business. Nevertheless
the Moscow town council on December 15 advocated popular
control of the government, only to be officially rebuked by the
governor of Moscow, and to be asked by Mirsky why it dis-
cusses questions outside of its province. Meantime many of
the members of the Zemstov are joining the "league of con-
stitutional democracy" which in turn is in touch with the revo-
lutionaries. Yet captain Clado, the Russian advocate at Paris,
represents the Czar as desiring to give Russia a constitution.
The situation is tense.

NICHOLAS exercises rule over one hundred and thirty
millions of persons. But it must also be remembered
that he claims spiritual jurisdiction as the head of the
millions more in the orthodox Greek Catholic church. In this
respect, he resembles Pope Pius the Tenth, who on the 9th



34

• >f last August celebrated the first anniversary of the beginning
of his reign, and whose ecclesiastical sway extends over two
hundred millions of persons. Both the Czar and Pope are
now in the midst of a grave crisis. We turn from the affairs
that surround the head of the Greek church to those en-
compassing the Roman Pontiff.



THE year 1004 in Roman Catholic circles will ever be fa-
mous For the determined effort of the Pope to reform the
often very flippant music of the Roman Church, and, in
most elaborate manner, to introduce the old Gregorian Church
music, to the entire exclusion of every other mode. As the
subject is a large one, and very instructive, we shall not attempt
to deal with it in this survey, but hope at some future time to
present an article on the subject.

A few weeks ago, on the 8th of December, we believe, it
was fifty years since the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception,
declaring the Virgin birth of Alary the Mother of Jesus, was
promulgated by the Pope. One would not suppose, with the
advance of modern ideas, that a dogma of this kind would be
recognized with enthusiasm throughout the world, but the fact
is that, beginning with the Sunday preceding the date, immense
throngs, in some instances, the whole Roman population of a
city, attended the churches. In Philadelphia, for instance, it
is estimated that more than 60,000 crowded into the Cathedral
on the last Sunday afternoon, for performing the devotions of
the Jubilee, which included three visits to the Cathedral, where
piayers had to be offered for Pope Pius X.

Another instance of loyalty to the Pope, striking because
of its mediaeval character, was the penance imposed by him
upon Prince Frederick of Schonberg-Waldenburg and his di-
vorced wife, the Princess Alice of Bourbon. These two fash-
ionable devotees of Paris and French watering places humbly
started oi'i, last September, to Rome on a pilgrimage, which
was a condition to the reconciliation between the two brought
about by the efforts of his Holiness. They traveled in simple



35

garb, the prince shod with sandals, and stopped at very insig-
nificant hotels on the road. Even during wet weather they
went on their journey, as it must be made without a break.
The princess took with her only three books, the Holy Bible,
the "Narrative of Jane Shore," who atoned for her sins by
walking through the streets of London, garbed in a winding
sheet and holding a lighted taper in her hand; and a guide
book with a map of the country. It is intimated thai these
ijuiet hours on the road to Rome were regarded by the princess
as the calmest and most peaceful in her otherwise stormy mar-
ried life. If the Pope were aide to impose similar penances
upon the divorced persons in America, hotel and inn keepers
throughout the land might rise up to call him blessed ; and the
country itself might be saved from great impending harm.

On the nth of last March Pius the X issued an encyclical
on the occasion of the anniversary of Gregory the Great. Af-
ter eulogizing Gregory he compares the present conditions of
the church with the church of those days. "Making a survey
from the height of the Vatican, we find that we have as much
or more to fear than Gregory the Great. Tempests threaten
on every hand, the well arranged houses of our enemies
threaten us on every side. We are deserted, and without the
human instrumentalities to fight the enemy or to repel the
storm." It is modern science particularly that threaten :
"Every supernatural dispensation is denied, and on that ac-
count the possibility of the miracle. Even the proofs that set
forth the existence of a God are contested. From this rlenial
of the supernatural the postulate of a false historic criticism
arises. The dogmas of faith are simply erased from the pages
of history without any further historical examination." Sine
science has adopted this false method, there is no law anymore
to prevent critics from destroying everything that does not suit
them in Holy Scriptures, or that contradicts the theses they de-
sire to prove. If a supernatural dispensation is defender], the
sources of ecclesiastical history are built up on an entirely
different foundation, and the writers of these sources are made
to say what the critics desire, and not what the writers intend."
Hence the Pope asks his bishops to emphasize the supernatural



36

alike before peasant and learned man. Following the example
of Gregory, the education and choice of the clergy and of
bishops is to become a matter of particular care.



THE poor Pope has gotten into difficulties with the French
Republic which are more serious in character, and per-
haps in result, than any that have occurred to the Papal
See since the day of the liberation of Italy, and of the success-
ful establishment of relationship with the German empire.

Although the French Republic has recently become more
and more antagonistic to the Roman clergy and the established
Church, yet the actual rupture which occurred between the
Third Republic and the Vatican is the result of a specific act
that took place four years ago. On January 26, 1900, Pope
Leo XIII saw fit to "invite" Bishop Geay of Levalle to resign
bis office immediately. This Papal "invitation" was not is-
sued in any spirit of sweet gentleness and peace characteristic
of a Vicar of Christ upon earth, but was given, it was plainly
said, "in order that more extreme steps might not be neces-
sary."

The resignation had been demanded because of certain
facts "reported and unhappily proved beyond dispute, demon-
strating it to be impossible for the Bishop to continue to exer-
cise his functions with proper authority and efficacy."

On February the 2d, the Bishop, after one week's reflec-
tion, replied, unequivocally resigning his office. But a little
later he withdrew the resignation, and made it conditional upon
his being translated to another diocese. The Vatican would
not agree to this condition because the circumstances which
rendered Monsignor Geay to be Bishop of Levalle rendered
him equally unfit for another diocese.

For four years the whole matter continued at a deadlock.
For, Pope Leo XIII, under the leadership of Cardinal Ram-
polla, had set it down as a fundamental part of his policy to
conciliate rather than oppose the French Republic ; and, how-
ever firm the external position taken by the Vatican, it would
not, under Rampolla, precipitate a crisis.



37

But now came a new and unexpected chapter in the history
of the Papacy. Leo the XIII died. Cardinal Rampolla did
not succeed Leo XIII as heir to the Papal throne. For Aus-
tria, in the interests of the Triple Alliance, and in order to pre-
vent the Rampolla policy of conciliation with France, had de-
termined to defeat the Cardinal's candidacy. Rampolla zvas
defeated and Austria won its great triumph in the election of
Pius X.

The significance of this triumph can hardly, even now, be
estimated. The Vatican no longer beholds its chief menace in
the Triple Alliance. The fundamental aim of its policy is no
longer to punish Germany and especially Austria, for having
entered into an alliance with Italy. Neither does it consider
it to its interest to sacrifice the inner claims of the Roman
Church for the sake of conciliating the anti-clerical Third Re-
public of France.

Instead of a good, broadminded-politician, like Rampolla,
France now has to deal with a good narrow-minded Roman
churchman. As the Paris Temps early predicted :

"The intellectual horizon of Pius X, will be,, we fear, that of a good
priest in the country or in a village, who reads his> Bible in the Vulgate —
preferably in the extracts supplied for him in his breviary. He has given
ub a melancholy proof of this in the condemnation of the, learned writings
of the Abbe Loisy."

The dictum of the Temps in this connection, by the way,
is an amazing thing. It declares : "Nothing is more dangerous
in a Pope than piety when it is not sufficiently assisted by a
large and independent learning." And most astonishing of
all is the following sentimental prophecy with which the Temps
concludes its estimate of Pius : "Everything proclaims the fact
that great Rome will serve as the mausoleum of mediaeval Ca-
tholicism, as it served as the mausoleum of the Roman Empire.
Every day, I fancy I hear amid the city's sad and solemn ruins
the voice which cried aloud over the waters of the Grecian arch-
ipelago, at the fall of paganism, 'Great Pan is dead!' "

Think of the exquisite classic symbolism that must thus
grate on Pius' narrow ears ! The Parisian idea of a good Pope
is that of "Great Pan"! And it mourns the ideal papacy as
dead.



38

And no wonder! For, when the tidings arrived that Pius
X was elected, France knew it might expect no more indul-
gent humoring on the part of the Vatican.

The Vatican makes the point that there was no political
motive in the summons to the Bishop, and that the resignation
was requested entirely on personal, ecclesiastical and moral
grounds. If we may legitimately infer that the authority
which the Concordat gives to the French government over
every ecclesiastical appointment is for the sake of the politi-
cal integrity of France, and not for the purpose of enabling a
civil government to meddle with questions of faith and morals.
The point made by the Vatican is strong. The case of the
Bishop of Levalle is not an isolated one. Perhaps as many
as eight bishops have been told by the Vatican to repair to
Rome, or resign, while the French government restrained them
from doing either. There are in truth some dozen bishops, it
is said, whose lives are not consistent with their faith. One of
these has been suspected of membership in a lodge of free-
masons,* while another is not sound on the doctrine of the
divinity of Christ, and it is intimated that other bishops need
investigation on grounds of concubinage and simony. Shall
then the Pope, if he has no other concern than the best in-

*To illustrate the nature of some of these troubles more clearly, let us
give the following instance: On the 21st of February sixty-one Seminary
students left the Dijon Seminary under the pretext that they did not feel
prepared 10 receive the ordination which was to be given them by Bishop Le
Nordez. The director of the Seminary had requested the bishop to postpone
the ordination which was to take place at the end of February. The bishop
came in person and was listened to respectfully by the students, but after he
had gone was informed by the director that they were not yet convinced and
the ordination would have to be postponed. At this the bishop summoned
the young men to appear before him and said he was obliged to punish the
leaders. The students withdrew in silence but all of them left the Seminary.
Then the French Minister of War stepped in and ordered the Corps Com-
mander to send all the students who had broken their vow into the army.
This brought all the students back to the, Seminary on a double quick, and
the bishop now had to ask the Minister of War to recall the order which
would send them into the army. W T hen the Minister of War had assured
himself that all the students had returned, he recalled the order!. The
cause of the disturbance was said to have been that the bishop was a Free
Mason. The proof of this consisted in the fact that the bishop occasionally
visited the Rue. Cadet in Paris. Now there was a Masonic Temple in the
Rue Cadet. Moreover on the bishop's coat-of-arms there are the three
wheels of the arms of Bossuet. This looks very much like a Masonic em-
blem. Still further the bishop's name is Albert and the letter A looks like a
Masonic emblem. Worst of all the legend on the bishop'si coat-of-arms is:
Pro templo et patria stantes. This is taken to be an admission that the
bishop is for the Masonic Temple!"



39

terests of the church, allow himself to be turned aside from his
duty by considerations relatingto French secular interests? "My
duty," Pius has said, "is to give good bishops to France. Bet-
ter no bishops at all than inadequate bishops."

At the same time, it must be admitted, that by his persist-
ent threat of deposition of bishops who have been (prudently)
loyal to Gallic traditions and the republic, the Pope has been
able to make effective practical reply to the scandalous (i.e. in
Papal eyes) trip of President Loubet to Rome, to the expul-
sion of the unauthorized religious orders, to the suppression
of teaching by the religous orders, to the firm determination
of M. Combes himself to choose without interference, from
among the clergy of France, the bishops intended for Papal in-
vestiture.

No matter whether Premier or Pope be in the wrong, if
through this test case, the Concordat should be dissolved, it
will entirely alter the relation of the Church to the French Re-
public, and the Roman Church may be obliged to become
wholly dependent upon the voluntary contributions of the faith-
ful members of the Church for its support.

But there is a further development to record in this strik-
ing political drama. Since the extreme step was at last
taken, and diplomatic relations between Paris and the Vati-
can have been severed, the Bishop of Levalle, curiously
enough, obeyed the summons to Rome. He explains that now
since the position of the Republic has been established, he is
free to go to fhe Vatican! And the Pope is far from free to
deal with the Bishop on his merits! It will be very interesting
now to observe what effect the case will have upon the French
government. Should he be convicted of offences against
morals, the question will arise whether the French government
will insist on maintaining that the Church is incompetent to
enforce the moral law among its own priests without civil as-
sent.

No wonder the Pope, who must now act with a view to
political policy, and not to the personal character of the
Bishop, has declared that since this Bishop (so patriotic to
France, and so loyal to Rome!) has gone to Rome, the Pope



40

will grant the original condition laid down by the bishop in
his resignation, and will make him a bishop in good standing
over some other diocese. Either the "facts proved beyond
dispute" were, untrue, or else there is an ulterior reason suf-
ficiently strong to move the Pope to alter his original position.

All the bishops in France are interested in the vital ec-
clesiastical question here raised. The Bishop of Quimper and
Leon believes that while the complete separation of Church
and state will mean a loss to the Church in numbers, it will
become, a gain in faith, in spiritual strength and authority.
Though there will be no state subsidy to fall back on, the con-
tributions of the faithful will make up all deficiencies, and this
Bishop feels .confident that if the Concordat should be abro-
gated and what he terms "persecution" should become severe,
he would be much better able to provide for his clergy than
he can now. On the other hand the Bishop of Troves claim?
that the separation would be "ruinous" both for the Church of
France and for the country itsetf. For, he argues, even after
the separation, the state would not leave the Church alone,
but would continue to oppress and persecute it more than
ever. But the Bishop of Troves should console, himself with
the memories of what took place in Germany under Bismarck,
and how finally the Catholic Church grew more rapidly than
ever, and Bismarck was obliged to go to Canossa.

Since midsummer the. tone of the anticlerical press and
populace has become bitterly abusive. The Gaidois, the
stoutest champion of the Vatican in Paris, has declared :
"This time it will be a momentous struggle, a foundation
shock." Religious processions have been stoned, churches
and cathedrals have been entered and defaced and emblems
of faith have been publicly mocked.

Yet the Pope, moves on, and Premier Combes likewise.
Two bishops whom the Premier sought to shield behind the
concordat, have practically been ousted from their sees, one
of them going to Rome. Meanwhile the political relation-
ships came to a clash. The minister of Public worship forbade
the Pope to send communications and to give advice to pre-
lates over whom he has disciplinary powers. Then the



41

Vatican took one. step more and prepared to deprive France
of the honorable right to protect Roman Catholic interests in
the Orient. If the papal journals are correct, the Pope will
not flinch. He regards the Vatican's war with France, not as
a legal contest as to the interpretation of the Concordat, but
as the beginning of a moral uplift of the whole Roman Cath-
olic clergy. He is said to have the ideal of the great Hilde-
brand before him in his present vigorous attempt to reform
the worship and the morals of the Church. Italy might be as
promising a field for this work as France, since at present
a French bishop can not even go to Rome without the per-
mission of the Government which has named him, and which
requires of him an oath to serve the French government be-
fore all others.

Thus do we find once again the old, old story of the
struggle for balance of power between Church and state, to
be prominent in modern France, even as it still exists in some
form throughout the world, here in America for instance, and
likewise in Germany and Austria ; in the conflicting claims of
Church and state for the right of the control of the study time
and formative period in the life of the growing child.

The French Parliament reassembled about the middle of
last October and the policy announced by President Combes
included the abandonment of the French protectorate in the
Orient, the abrogation of the Concordat, the separation of
church and state. President Combes himself has asserted a
radical incompatibility, not merely of temper, but of princi-
ples, between church and state, that must lead to divorce. Yet
it is his desire to bring it about in a conciliatory manner :

"Whether we have to do with buildings devoted to worship, or with pen-
sions to be allotted to the present holders of posts under the Concordat,
there is no reasonable concession, no sacrifice in conformity with justice that
I, for my part, am not disposed to advise, in order that the separation of
church and state may inaugurate a new and lasting era of social peace, by
guaranteeing to religious communions real liberty under the undisputed sov-
ereignty of the state."

The latest news from France at this writing is a sensa-
tion, which has resulted in dealing a heavy blow to the Combes
ministry. It appears that the French government had in-
augurated a spy system intended to work for the exclusion of



42

"clerical" officers from the higher grades in the French Army.
This secret anti-Roman activity in army circles was exposed
in the Paris Figaro, and brought on a crisis. The ministry
escaped entire defeat only by two votes, and by the inter-
vention of a socialist leader in its behalf.

The movement for separation has been checked, but not
suppressed. Indeed a government commission has prepared
a draft-bill in the interests of the policy of separation and
President Combes, addressing- the commission and approving
the bill, has expressed himself most emphatically on funda-
mental principles, declaring that while there is no contradic-
tion in principle between monarchy and the church, since both
are inspired by authority and tradition, the contradiction be-
tween church and democracy is inevitable. He goes so far as
to declare that, "the fundamental principles of a democracy
are the negation of authority, of tradition, and of divine
right." He charges the Church with showing sympathy for
monarchies "in view of the retrograde character of this form
of government ; and she. has always manifested an invincible
aversion for the Republic, a government of free investigation,
which opposes reason to dogma, the sovereignty of the people
to the authority of tradition."

President Combes directly charges the church with not
having begun to stand on her own independent rights until
the state became a republic and he at least attempts to show
that the Roman Church, in view of its doctrinal position, can-
not tolerate any republican form of government, because the
Pope has political doctrines and revelations of an inspired
character, which must interfere with a government, which is
outside of the range of its influence. He charges that the
late papal Syllabus "declares war on civilization, on liberty, on
democracy, on all contemporary thought."

Here is a hint which the American people, and, par-
ticularly, American politicians and journals might do well to
ponder. While not sympathizing in full with the utterance of
Combes, we quote a paragraph of it in full for our readers,
as follows :



43

"The history of the, past will serve us as a lesson for the future. It
teaches us that any new Concordat will be violated as the old one was.


1 2 4 6 7 8 9 10 11

Online LibraryTheodore E[manuel] SchmaukThe year of our Lord, 1904; a survey of the world → online text (page 4 of 11)