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“This has been made certain by the words and actions of the Council itself and its official agencies. Let these be witness: NOT AGAINST ROME
1. The official announcement in the daily papers of Chicago, of the date and place of the meeting of the Council to be held in that city, Dec. 4-9, 1912, said: “‘United Protestantism is not to be construed as a demonstration against the Roman Catholic church.” “In view of what Rome is universally known to be; “In view of what Rome has repeatedly declared that she intends to do in and for and with and through this Nation; “In view of what Rome is actually doing in the United States, and as to the government and laws of the United States; “For the Federal Council speaking for “eighteen millions of people,’ in the most public manner, to state that it is not even ‘to be construed as a demonstration against the Roman Catholic church,” certainly to say the least, shows that it is profoundly sympathetic, if not positively friendly, toward that body, and surely could be nothing else than very wholesome and very full of comfort to her.”
“When the Council met in Chicago, the above preliminary statement was confirmed beyond all possibility of doubt or question in the fact that—
2. “In the very first business session and in dealing with the very first report, the Council deliberately struck out of the report and from the Council's proceedings the word Protestant. “The regular quadrennial report of the Executive Committee of the Council expressed the ‘earnest hope that the second Federal Council would make yet more clear— “‘The fact of the substantial unity of the Christian and Protestant churches of the Nation.’ “Immediately upon the consideration of the report, the word Protestant was challenged. “‘Why emphasize a word that is not a uniting but a dividing word? a word that recalls a most unhappy and trying experience,’ said one. “‘By using this word, you make it more difficult for many of your Christian brethren to work with you,' said another. “Discussion was presently cut off by a motion to re-submit the report for revision, eliminating the word Protestant which was done thus— “‘To express the fellowship and catholic unity of the Christian Church.”
“In December, 1908, at Philadelphia, Pa., in the first meeting of the Federated Council as such, “the right of private judgment' that was “emphasized,” and the ‘individuality’ that was ‘developed in a notable manner' by “the Protestant Reformation,’ was specifically abandoned as that which should ‘no longer blind the minds of believers to the need of combination and of mutuality in service.’
“The right of private judgment in religion, and the principle of individual responsibility to God, are two essentials of the Protestant Reformation. Without these there never would— there never could—have been any Reformation. But these are not only essentials of the Protestant Reformation. They are essentials of Christianity itself. “And yet in the keynote speech of the first meeting of the Federal Council that was ever held, the declaration was made and published as the standing word of the Council, that these essentials of the Reformation and of Christianity should “no longer blind the mind of believers.”
THE PART OF ROME
“The Federation of Catholic Societies was begun Sunday forenoon, August 20, 1916.
“Was with a ‘special,’ ‘extraordinary’ ‘pontifical’ ‘solemn high mass,’ at which His Eminence, Cardinal Farley officiated. “The scene within the famous cathedral was one which had never been equalled in this country since the institution of the church hundreds of years ago on this continent. “In fact, it was the most beautiful spectacle of its nature that could have been arranged. “The beautiful interior of the edifice was enhanced by the artistic arrangement of American flags, while great folds of yellow and white, the papal colors, were entwined; thus blending the National colors of the United States and those of the church in harmony. “The mass that was to have begun the convention was to have started at 11 o'clock, but the magnificent ecclesiastical procession that preceded the service was of more magnitude than had been anticipated.
“The procession, long drawn out, of all these ecclesiastics in their silken purples and scarlets, decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, flashing and shimmering in the sunshine, was duly awesome and impressive, of course, as designed.”
Accordingly, the laudation continues:
“The crowds in the vicinity of the Cathedral were enormous.”
THE CROWNING FEATURE
“The concluding feature of the procession was the one that attracted the greatest amount of attention and interest.”
And what could this feature be that so transcended all that
had gone before, as to attract “the greatest amount of attention and interest?”
Oh, wonderful to tell—
“It was the arrival of the venerable Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore.”
And equally wonderful—
“The dean of the Sacred College (the same Cardinal Gibbons) walked very slowly up the aisle.”
And still a wonderful part of this crowning “feature of the procession,” he not only “walked very slowly up the aisle,” but he did this great feature, “imparting his blessing to right and left as he proceeded.”
Now, must not that have been truly enough and worthy to be, a “feature” to “attract the greatest amount of attention and “interest” of such a crowd at such a time and in such a place?
And properly awed by the transcendently or perhaps transcendentally wonderful sight and fact of a little old man walking very slowly and making empty motions of imaginarv blessings,
“Every soul of that great congregation (of 'more than eight thousand') appeared more than interested, and it was a great tribute to the primate of the church in this country.”
The convention was expressly designed and worked to impress this nation with a sense of what the church of Rome is in this land.
“And Cardinal O’Connell's speech was the particularly set feature of that convention.
“The convention being specially set to magnify Rome in this Nation and this speech being the one towering feature in the convention, it follows that this speech can justly be held as the voice of the convention and therefore of Rome in the United States and to the United States.”
“In the speech there are four items that are made promi
“I. Rome’s ‘liberty.’ 2. The religious State. 3. Rome's ‘patriotism.’ 4. Rome's ‘admiration and love for America and American institutions.’”
“It must be said that it is Rome's ‘liberty' that is proposed in the cardinal's speech; and that is a very different thing from American liberty or liberty as it is in truth.
“First, he asks, ‘What is liberty?”