When the capitulation was signed at two o'clock in the afternoon of the 29th, the small Pontifical army had ceased to exist, and the Piedmontese, now free to follow out their plans, could go to join the bands of Garibaldi, under the walls of Gaeta, and, together with him, complete "the extirpation of the Papal cancer," or, as one of their school, Pinelli, said, "Crush the sacerdotal vampire." But although right had been trampled down, it knew how to do battle and to die. "For the first time," observed a Protestant journal, the new Gazette of Prussia, "a general of the party of legality has dared to lead his troops against the enemy. For the first time the revolution has been met in the field of battle. The effort has not been successful. We know it. And as we repeatedly said beforehand, we had no hope that it would. But the defeat of Lamoriciere raises the mind by contrast. For a long time we had been accustomed to the triumphs of cowardice, treachery and corruption, of all which the victories of Garibaldi presented such a disgusting spectacle. We are assured that the Pontifical troops did their duty unto death. This is enough. It is easily understood how the adversaries of the revolution had become humble. For years they could only record the victories of their enemies. But if, at Castelfidardo, a few individuals were defeated, the principle of legality was at last asserted. Now, if men contend in battle for a principle its final triumph is assured."
It was to be expected that Pius the Ninth would avenge the memory of the brave men who had been branded by the name of Mercenaries, the greater number of whom served without pay. No wonder if he did justice on the pretended moral order which Piedmont said it had come to restore in the States of the Church. Not only did he honor their noble efforts, he also founded at his own cost, and for their benefit, the chaplaincy of Castelfidardo in the sanctuary of the Scala Santa. He ordered the funeral obsequies of General Pimodan to be celebrated with becoming magnificence, and composed himself an inscription for his tomb in the French Church of St. Louis. He wished to confer on Lamoriciere the title of Roman Count. But the defeated hero declined the honor, saying that he desired always to be called Leon de la Moriciere. Pius IX. then addressed him a few words, which recall the piety of early times: "I send you what, at least, you cannot refuse, the order of Christ, for whom you have combated, and who will, I trust, be your reward as well as mine."
In France the government showed its revolutionary leaning by forbidding a subscription which was undertaken for the purpose of presenting a sword of honor to Lamoriciere. It did even worse than this. It meanly persecuted the vanquished soldiers of the Holy See, as well as those who had hastened to fill their places. This was pure revenge. And now that the success of Piedmont was no longer doubtful, it could serve no other purpose than to establish the fact of the Emperor's complicity. Such of the soldiers of the Pope as were natives of France were deprived of their rights of citizenship. Thus were noble youths, the flower of France, on their return from Castelfidardo and Ancona, deprived of the electoral franchise, and stripped of their right to serve on juries and in the army. Some even were interdicted from inheriting property on the pretext that, as strangers, their signatures required to be legalized. These men were, nevertheless, the actual defenders of a sovereign whom the government pretended to defend officially. The revolutionary papers audaciously said that the same law was not applicable to such French subjects as joined the bands of Garibaldi, on the ground that these bands were neither a government nor a military corporation. This odd interpretation completely met the views of ministerial jurisprudence; and so was presented the extraordinary spectacle of a country outlawing such of her children as served the same cause as her army, and in nowise molesting those who supported the opposite side. All political allusions in the pulpit were now repressed with increased severity. The bishops, however, could not be intimidated. Besides, as they could not be displaced, they were not so easily reached. Mgr. Pie, the eminent Bishop of Poitiers, ascended the pulpit the Sunday after the battle. "My brethren," said he, "you all expected of me that I would speak to-day in my cathedral. It is according to the customs of the church to know how to honor her defenders, and to mourn for them when dead. And because, having taken upon myself a responsibility which I decline not, and having encouraged and blessed the departure of several of those youthful volunteers, I would be ashamed of myself if now, restrained by the fears arising from a pusillanimous prudence, I did not offer them the homage of my admiration together with that of my prayers. Your sympathies are already with my words. If they gave offence to any hearers, I would, indeed, be afflicted. But, by the grace of God, the country which we inhabit is called France, which warrants, or rather commands, that I should be candid." In the absence of that fame which victory confers, the vanquished were consoled by that immortality which eloquence bestows on those whom it celebrates. So long as the great art of oratory shall be appreciated in the countries of Fenelon and Bossuet, the funeral orations on Lamoriciere, by Bishops Pie and Dupanloup, together with the fine pages on the heroes of Castelfidardo, by Bishop Gerbet of Perpignan, Mgr. Plantier of Nismes, and other writers, will not cease to be read.
"They died in order to defend us," said, as if prophetically, Archbishop Manning, who succeeded Cardinal Wiseman in the new See of Westminster, already so illustrious; "the cause for which they fell is our cause. They are blind, indeed, who cannot see that what has been begun by the head will soon be undertaken against all the members; that the attacks will extend rapidly from the centre to the extremities; that revolutionary tyranny and the despotism of civil power will strive to establish everywhere, in detail, the domination which they are endeavoring to exercise over the will and the person of the Holy Father. We are at the commencement of a new era of penal laws against the liberty of the church. It is for us, therefore, that they have given their life. They died whilst the profane world loaded them with its curses, as died the martyrs in the Flavian amphitheatre, whilst the cry resounded, 'The Christians to the lions!' (Christianas ad leones), and in presence of thousands of spectators of the Imperial and Patrician families of Rome, and for the gratification of the multitude which thirsted for blood, and such blood as was most noble and innocent. Thus died He who is greater than the martyrs, assailed by the insults of the Pharisees and the jeers of the ignorant masses. It is, therefore, glorious to die for a cause which the world will not and cannot understand. If they had died to defend commercial establishments against the indigenous inhabitants of some distant country, or to repel the attacks of a neighbor, or to maintain the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, the world would have understood and honored them, as it did in regard to the combatants of Alma and Inkerman. But, to fall in battle for the independence of the Sovereign Pontificate, to sacrifice themselves for the liberty of Christian consciences, and that of the generations to come—this the world understands not, and for this we proclaim them great and glorious among departed heroes."
Four months later, Mgr. Pie was obliged to refute a new pamphlet, entitled, "France, Rome and Italy," and so endeavor to prevent new iniquities. He feared not to formulate the following terrible rebuke, which was denounced as seditious, but which history has already confirmed as a sentence:
"Pilate had it in his power to save Christ, and without Pilate He could not be put to death. The death-warrant could only come from him; nobis non licet interficere, said the Jews. Wash thy hands, O Pilate! declare thyself guiltless of the death of Christ. Our only answer every day will be, and the latest posterity will repeat the same: I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Father, who was conceived of the Holy Ghost, who was born of the Virgin Mary, who suffered death and passion under Pontius Pilate; Quipassus est sub Pontio Pilato."
It was no secret when these words were spoken, as it was to Lamoriciere and his brave army, that the government of the French Emperor encouraged and patronized the iniquitous aggressions of Piedmont, whilst it pretended, in the face of Europe, to support the Holy See.
(M77) "It was not Garibaldi and his volunteers," said the Revue des deux Mondes, "that General Lamoriciere had to fight; the odds in that case would not have been so unequal. But he had the regular army of Piedmont before him—an army six times more numerous than his own. Nor was it the attack merely of a revolutionary party which was now directed against the temporal power of the Papacy. It was a government incomparably more powerful than the Pope's, which decreed arbitrarily itself alone, and in the face of the other nations of the world, the suppression of this power, and which accomplished that suppression by the irresistible force of its arms, and under the eyes of our garrison in Rome." Whilst Austria, not from any want of sympathy with the Holy See, but from the dread her cautious ministry, who had penetrated the designs of France, entertained of a new French invasion, looked tamely on from the heights of her quadrilateral, the French Emperor secretly expressed his approval of the Piedmontese attack on the Papal States, and at the same time publicly withdrew his ambassador at Turin, as a protest in the face of mankind against this unprovoked and unjustifiable attack. England, which could not be supposed to have much sympathy with the Holy See, notwithstanding the declarations of her best statesmen in support of the temporal sovereignty, openly pronounced in favor of the Piedmontese aggression on the Pope, who, in trying times, had been her most faithful ally. But the days of the elder Bonaparte were forgotten, and too much could not be done to conciliate the new ally whom the English had found in the second Bonaparte. So their representative, Sir John Hudson, remained at Turin, and was the confidential adviser there of Count de Cavour, while Sir Henry Elliot continued to reside at Naples after that city had become the headquarters of Garibaldi. The great Northern Powers, Russia and Prussia, acted a more honorable part. Even before the fall of Ancona was known, they both withdrew their ambassadors from Turin. Von Schleinitz, the Prussian Prime Minister, protested energetically against the unwarrantable aggression of Piedmont. M. de Cavour, who understood the tendencies of the time, replied to Von Schleinitz, as if uttering a prophecy: "I regret that the Court of Berlin should judge so severely the conduct of the king and his government. I am conscious of acting in the interests of my sovereign and my country. I might reply successfully to what M. Von Schleinitz says. But, be that as it may, I console myself with the thought that, on the present occasion, I am setting an example which Prussia, within a short time probably, will be happy to follow."
The cannonade had scarcely ceased to be heard at Ancona, when the Holy Father raised his voice in a consistorial allocution of 28th September, which, although addressed to the cardinals, is intended for the whole civilized world. The allocution briefly enumerates the several acts of aggression successively committed by the Piedmontese. It then alludes to Cavour's audacious letter, which was intended as a justification beforehand of the violation of territory, and the fearful bloodshed which followed. It expresses the false accusations, the repeated calumnies and insults which were put forward as a pretext for the invasion. It also rebukes "the singular malignity with which the Piedmontese government dared to call the Pontifical soldiers mercenaries, when so many of them, both Italians and foreigners, were of noble lineage, bearing illustrious names, and had resolved to serve in our troops without pay, and for the sole love of our holy religion." The fact is established, to the disgrace of Piedmont, that the Papal government "could have had no intimation of the enemy's purpose. The general-in-chief commanding our forces could not have entertained the thought of having to contend with the soldiers of Piedmont." The meed of praise is awarded to the fallen warriors, together with the expression of unfeigned sorrow for their loss: "Whilst we must bestow merited praise on the general, his officers and his men, we can scarcely restrain our tears as we remember all those brave soldiers, those noble young men especially, who had been impelled by faith and their own generous hearts to fly to the defence of the temporal power of the Roman Church, and who have met with their death in this cruel and unjust invasion. We are deeply moved by the grief of their families; and would to God it were in our power, by any word of ours, to dry up the source of their tears!" If anything could be worse than the savage and murderous attack of Piedmont, it was the hypocritical pretence under which it was undertaken. The invaders came as "the restorers of moral order and as the preachers of tolerance and charity." The allocution concludes by denouncing this hypocrisy, together with the diplomatic principle of non-intervention, of which France and Piedmont set such brilliant examples.
(M78) The King of Sardinia having violently seized Umbria and the Marches of Ancona, must also have a mock plebiscitum, in order, no doubt, to make it appear that these provinces were spontaneously annexed to his kingdom. The fall of Gaeta and the conquest of Naples by Garibaldi encouraged the ambitious monarch in these unjustifiable annexations, and although generally condemned by the European press, he most audaciously issued a proclamation in reply to the Papal allocution. All these nefarious acts, together with the outrages everywhere perpetrated against all who remained loyal to the Holy See and faithful to the sacred laws of the church, induced the Holy Father to publish the now celebrated allocution of March 18th, 1861. This allocution is perhaps the greatest doctrinal utterance of the Pontificate of Pius IX. But it must be considered in connection with the syllabus, which will now shortly be noticed.
The Emperor Napoleon had, indeed, suspended public diplomatic relations with the court of Turin. This was intended merely as a blind, for he continued to negotiate secretly, through Prince Jerome Napoleon, concerning Rome, and what yet remained to the Pope of his states. He appeared to bind Piedmont to respect the sovereignty and independence of the Holy See, and had no objections that the Pope should raise an army designed only for defensive purposes. On such conditions the Emperor would acknowledge the new kingdom of Italy. In all this there was a want of sincerity. Count Cavour, Prince Napoleon and the Emperor, were perfectly agreed that the Holy Father was, in due course of time, to be given up to his enemies.
(M79) In order to prepare the world for this consummation of Franco-Sardinian policy, there appeared a new pamphlet, entitled La France, Rome et l'Italie. It was signed by M. de la Gueronniere, and published on the 7th day of March. It was suggested, if not actually written, by the Emperor himself. The allocution already alluded to, dealt by anticipation with the chief points of this publication. It was, however, directly replied to in a letter of the eminent Cardinal Antonelli, to the Papal Minister at Paris. The cardinal begins by stating that the chief object of the pamphlet was "to throw on the Holy Father and his government the responsibility of the condition to which Italy and the Pontifical States in particular were reduced." He then proceeds lucidly, logically, and not without eloquence, to attack all the positions assumed by the writer, and exposes the treachery, baseness and duplicity of the principal adversaries of the Holy See in its long struggle with revolutionary Piedmont, supported as it was by the Emperor Napoleon III. It will be recollected that it had been proposed, indeed it was one of the articles of the treaty of Zurich, that there should be a confederation of the States of Italy. The writer of the pamphlet audaciously accused the Pope of having rejected the plan of an Italian confederacy, just as if he and not the Emperor and his ally, the King of Piedmont, had violated the treaty which succeeded the battle of Solferino. "The official proposition of such a confederacy," the cardinal states, "and of its presidency came only after the preliminaries of Villafranca and the treaty of Zurich; and the Holy Father showed himself disposed to accept it as soon as its basis should be defined. The author, nevertheless, says that it was then too late. He does not, in saying so, seem to perceive that he seriously insults his own sovereign, as if he and the other Powers had proposed as the basis of a solemn treaty and the great means of conciliation, a thing which was at that moment neither possible nor opportune. Be that as it may, it was only then that the proposition was made by the person authorized to make it; and it is unjust to pretend that his Holiness had taken any action thereon before it was laid before him. Since, therefore, the plan fell through independently of his refusal, how can he, without a positive act of calumny, be accused of obstinacy on this point?"
The cardinal's letter is of great length. In one place he recapitulates the heads of accusation contained in the pamphlet. "Putting aside," says he, "the unfounded assertions, the matters foreign to the case, which helped to fill up the pamphlet, the obstinacy which it imputes to the Holy Father amounts to his having declined an abdication which his conscience condemned, to his having deferred some reforms that were promised till the revolted provinces had returned to their allegiance; to his having proposed to recruit an army for himself instead of accepting the troops offered to him; to his having preferred the voluntary offerings of the faithful to subsidies furnished by governments which are not all nor always equally disposed to be friendly. And these acts of firmness, of noble disinterestedness, which must appear most praiseworthy to the unprejudiced mind, which have appeared and do still appear worthy of the admiration of Protestants, seem, on the other hand, to the Catholic author of the pamphlet, to be so blameworthy that he could not find more bitter words of censure were he to write against those who are alone responsible for the sad disorders of the present time. But this is precisely what is of a nature to surprise us. The Imperial government of France had given advice to his Holiness; it had also given advice to the Piedmontese government. Now, if the Holy Father must be accused of not having followed such advice, the Piedmontese government does not seem to have been more docile. His Holiness did not deem it expedient to do some things desired by the French government. But Piedmont did a great many things which the French government had publicly declared it was opposed to. The Imperial government forbade the violation of the neutrality of the Papal States; and to this the Piedmontese government responded by occupying the Romagna. The Imperial government disapproved annexation; and the Piedmontese government only answered by accomplishing annexation. The Imperial government forbade, in threatening language, the invasion of the Marches and Umbria; and the Piedmontese government responded by pouring grape shot into the small Pontifical army, by bombarding Ancona from sea and land, and by refusing to observe any of the laws of war acknowledged by all civilized nations. The author of the pamphlet allows his pen the most cruel license against the Holy See, but has not one single word of blame for the Piedmontese government. Who can explain such an attitude? The explanation is a very natural one, and is given on the last page of the pamphlet, where the author tells us that the Emperor of the French cannot sacrifice Italy to the Court of Rome, nor give up the Papacy to the revolution; which means that the Court of Rome must be sacrificed to the exigencies of the peninsula, that the temporal dominion of the Holy See must be done away with, because it is in the way of the unification of Italy, and that this suppression is to prevent the Papacy or the spiritual power from falling beneath the blows of the revolution." It cannot fail to be remarked that in all the French Emperor's manifestos appears the pretext of protecting the Papacy from the revolution, whilst, but for his interference, it needed not such protection. Pius IX. was quite able to contend successfully against whatever revolutionary element there was in the Pontifical States. With the aid of his allies, he could also have repelled the attacks of Piedmont, if unsupported by the French. But against a Power so great that it could command the non-intervention of all other Powers, he was powerless. It may have afforded a momentary pleasure to the Carbonaro Prince, Napoleon III., to annihilate, for the sake of his way of promoting Italian unification, the time-honored sovereignty of the Pope. It afforded him no lasting benefit. Germany caught the idea, and becoming unified, hurled her legions against the common European enemy, who, in his day of sorest need, found not an ally, not so much as one powerful friend even in that Italy for which he had done and sacrificed so much.
(M80) It now only remained for young Italy, revolutionized as it was, to assume and wear its blushing honors. Piedmont having seized Umbria and the Marches of Ancona, and having also, through her agent Garibaldi, taken possession of Sicily and Naples, was mistress not only of the greater portion of the Pontifical States, but also of almost all Italy at the same time. It became such greatness to have a parliament. Accordingly, the first Italian parliament assembled at Turin in February, 1861; and on the 14th of March, Victor Emmanuel was proclaimed King of Italy. It was not, however, till the 24th of June that the French Emperor found it convenient to recognize this extended sovereignty. In doing so, no doubt, he was consistent with himself, although quite at variance with the professions of him who had so lately withdrawn his ambassador from the Court of Turin.
(M81) Count de Cavour lived not to enjoy this recognition. He died on the 6th of June. This minister was a politician to the end; and he had no wish ever to be anything else. He was anxious, however, at the close, to have the merit of reconciliation with the church which he had so cruelly persecuted, both in the ancient State of Sardinia and in the newly-annexed territories of the "Kingdom of Italy." Finding that his latter end was approaching, he desired the presence of Friar Giacomo, Rector of the Madonna degli Angeli. This Friar, with whom, as is related, the Count had had a previous understanding, faithfully came. M. de Cavour remained alone with him for half an hour; and when the priest was gone he called Farini, and said to him: "My niece has had Fra Giacomo to come to me; I must prepare for the dread passage to eternity; I have made my confession and received absolution. I wish all to know, and the good people of Turin particularly, that I die like a good Christian. I am at peace with myself. I have never wronged any one." It is a trite saying that the ruling passion of a man's life asserts its power at the hour of death; and the last recorded words of Count de Cavour would seem to show that to the end he was more bent on politics than prayer. As Friar Giacomo was reciting solemnly by his bedside the prayers for the departing soul, "Frate! Frate!" he exclaimed, whilst he pressed the Friar's hand, "libera chiesa in libera stato!" (a free church in a free state). Admirable, no doubt. But how was the great idea to be realized, since the church could only be free when her ministers were dictated to, imprisoned, banished, and otherwise tormented? And what freedom for the state, unless it were free to tyrannize over and persecute the church? Judging Cavour and his party by their acts rather than their fine speeches, such was their idea of a free church in a free state. If it be true that, as men live so they die, it is not true that Count de Cavour died like a good Christian. None will be inclined to dispute with him the comfort which he claimed of being at peace with himself. But they who are aware of the violence, the spoliation, the rapine, bloodshed, and unspeakable suffering, in all which he was, at least, an accomplice, if not the direct cause, throughout the States of the Italian Grand Dukes, the Pontifical territories and the kingdom of Naples, will not easily acknowledge that he spoke truth when he said that "he had never wronged anyone." But let us now be silent. There is One, and only One, who judgeth.
(M82) Considering the assistance so recently afforded to Turkey by the Christian Powers, her Christian subjects were surely entitled to her protection, But gratitude, it would appear, is not one of the virtues of Islamism. In June, 1860, the Pachas disarmed and delivered up to their deadly enemies the Christian Maronites of Lebanon and Damascus. Over a hundred villages inhabited by these people were completely destroyed. Neither the aged nor the young that fell into the hands of the enemy were spared; and, worse than all, seven thousand young women were carried captive into the desert. In these melancholy circumstances, Napoleon III. acted honorably and independently. He sent an armed expedition to chastise the guilty, and that in defiance of all opposition on the part of his allies, the English, who, from national jealousy, resisted a French protectorate in the East, and so assumed the disgraceful role of patronizing hordes of assassins. Incomprehensible conduct! since, a few years later, the same people were so moved by Turkish atrocities in Bulgaria that no British government could have dared to raise an arm in defence of the crumbling Empire of the Sultan. Pius IX. was deeply moved by the sufferings of his fellow-Christians. In a letter of 29th July, to the Patriarch of Antioch and the Bishops of his Patriarchate, he expressed his sorrow and indignation at the fearful crimes that were committed. "It is particularly afflicting," said he, as he condemned certain speeches that were delivered in the British Parliament in favor of the guilty parties, "that more sympathy is accorded, and even more assistance extended, in our age to the fomenters of troubles and revolutions than to their victims." He commended France, that had remembered in the circumstances her Catholic traditions, and intimated that he would encourage with all his power the liberal offerings of the Christians of the West in support of their brethren of Syria. He himself, although he was deprived of his accustomed revenue, together with the greater portion of his states, contrived to bestow considerable assistance.
(M83) A little later in the same year, the Holy Father met with unlooked-for consolation in the conversion of the Bulgarian nation. On the 20th December, bishops, priests, and a great many lay persons of that country, abjured the Photian schism, and addressed to Rome a solemn act of union in the name of the majority of their fellow-countrymen. Pius IX. replied on the 29th of January, 1861. He was pleased himself to consecrate in the Sistine chapel their new archbishop, Sokolski. The latter, as he renewed the profession of faith, which had been already formulated in writing at Constantinople, said to the Holy Father: "It is your work that, although dead, we are come to life, and that, being lost, we are found again." Pius IX. referred all the glory to God. "Such works," he said, "are wholly divine. To Thee praise, benediction, everlasting thanks! O, Jesus Christ! source of mercy and of all consolation!" The Bulgarians were unfortunately situated. Jealousies of race prevailed among them, and did much to shake religious principle. Add to this that the schismatical Patriarch of Constantinople agreed to grant ecclesiastical autonomy, as it might be called, to Bulgaria. This was a deadly blow to the noble impulse which led them towards the centre of Christian unity. At first they were three millions of Catholics. The number speedily diminished to some tens of thousands. Archbishop Sokolski suddenly disappeared. It is not known whether he abandoned his post or was carried away by force. The latter supposition is, as yet, the more probable. He is thought to have been recognized, several times, in a Russian monastery, whither he is supposed to have been taken by surprise, and obliged to remain against his will. Pius IX., understanding how necessary it was that the new flock should have a resident pastor, appointed a provisional successor to Sokolski, with the title of Administrator of the United Bulgarians, and labored assiduously to found for him churches and schools. Three schismatical Greek bishops, who had sought protection at Rome from the violent proceedings of their patriarch, did not persevere any more than the majority of the Bulgarians. A fourth, however, Melethios, Archbishop of Drama, happily remained steadfast, together with the Protestant bishop of Malta, another Protestant bishop, who was an American of the United States, and several prelates of the Greek schism, Armenians, Chaldeans or Copts. All these, about this time, placed themselves under the crook of the Supreme Pastor.
(M84) Shortly before the death of Count de Cavour, the Emperor Napoleon was pleased to define the new limits of the papal domain. In doing so, he left the recently alienated provinces to Piedmont, and and confined the Pontiff to a comparatively small territory around the city of Rome. He could not have sanctioned more decidedly or more publicly the unjustifiable spoliation of the Sardinian king. Such a proceeding cannot but appear inconsistent to such as are aware only of his apparent quarrel with this monarch, and the withdrawal of his ambassador from Turin. To those, on the contrary, who have knowledge of, and consider his secret conference with, the Piedmontese Envoys at Chambery, and the violent attack on the Papal States, which, notwithstanding the public and official protest of the French government through their consul at Ancona, immediately followed, it will appear that Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, was only acting up to his policy and character. Soon after this new distribution of territory, the "Kingdom of Italy" was officially recognized by the government of the French Emperor; and this recognition paved the way for that of the other Powers, by most of whom, after some time, it was reluctantly given.
(M85) Cavour was dead. But Sardinian ambition died not with him. Baron Ricasoli, who succeeded him as Prime Minister, encouraged by the support of France, which was no longer disguised, actually wrote, in the name of his king, both to the Pope and Cardinal Antonelli, urging them to give up the sovereignty of Rome. This was done, not, of course, from any ambitious motive, but with a view to carrying out their great designs, such as the regeneration of society, and, above all, their conception of a "free church in a free state." The minister concludes magniloquently: "It is in your power, Holy Father, to renew, once more, the face of the earth. You can raise the Apostolic See to a height unknown for ages. If you wish to be greater than earthly sovereigns, cast away from you the wretched kingship which brings you down to their level. Italy will bestow upon you a firm seat, entire liberty, and new greatness. She reveres in you the Pontiff; but she will not stop in her progress for the Prince. She intends to remain Catholic; but she purposes to be a free and independent nation. If you will only hearken to the prayers of that daughter whom you love so dearly, you will gain over souls more power than you can lose as a prince, and from the Vatican, as you lift your hand to bless Rome and the world, you will behold the nations, restored to their rights, bow down before you, their defender and protector." The new minister, less wary than his predecessor, immediately set about realizing his grand idea. With what success will soon be seen.
(M86) The Piedmontese conquests had not been made without cost. Enormous sums had been spent in corrupting the Neapolitan people. Large amounts were still scattered throughout the annexed provinces, in order to maintain their loyalty to the new power; and the press was liberally subsidized, both in Italy and abroad. For such heavy expenditure money must be had. Rem! quomodocunque modo rem! An expedient which occurs so readily to revolutions was had recourse to. The properties of the convents and the treasures of the churches were seized. Members of religious communities were expelled from their monasteries and reduced to mendicity. The laws of the church were trampled under foot, together with the rights of citizens. The Jesuits were banished and cruelly maltreated like so many felons. Religious corporations were suppressed, the faithful clergy were thrown into prison, and many dioceses and parishes deprived of their pastors. Pius IX. deplored these calamities in his Allocution of 30th November, 1861. In that of 18th March of the same year, he had replied to those who conjured him to be reconciled with modern civilization: "The Holy See," the Pontiff insisted, "is always consistent. It has never ceased to promote and sustain civilization. History bears witness to this fact. It shows most eloquently that, in every age, the Popes carried civilization into barbarous nations, and even to the remotest lands. But is that true civilization which enslaves the church, makes no account of treaties, and recognizes not the rights of weaker parties? It is quite certain that the church can never come to an understanding with such civilization. What is there in common, says the apostle, between Christ and Belial? As to making friendship with the usurpers of our provinces, before they have shown repentance, let no such thing be hoped for. To make such a proposition to us, is to ask this see, which has always been the rampart of justice and truth, to sanction the principle that a stolen object can be possessed in peace by the thief, and that injustice which succeeds is justified by success. We loudly declare, therefore, before God and men, that there is no reason why we should be reconciled with any one. Our only duty, in this connection, is to forgive our enemies, and to pray for them, in order that they may be converted. This we do in all sincerity. But when we are asked to do what is unjust, we cannot give our consent: Praestare non possumus."
A little later, January, 1862, Cardinal Antonelli replied in the name of Pius IX. to the Marquis de Lavallette, the French Ambassador at Rome, showing that it was by no means true to say that the Pope was at variance with Italy. "An Italian himself, and the chief Italian, he suffers when Italy suffers, and he beholds with pain the severe trials to which the Italian church is subjected. As to arranging with those who have robbed us, we never will do any such thing. All transaction on this ground is impossible. By whatever reservations it might be accompanied, with whatever ingenuity of language it might be disguised, we could not accept, without appearing to consecrate the wrong. The Sovereign Pontiff, before his exaltation, as well as the cardinals before their nomination, bind themselves by oath to cede no portion of the territory of the church. The Holy Father, therefore, will not make any concession of this kind. Neither a Conclave, nor a new Pontiff, nor his successors in any age, would be entitled to make such concession."
The revolutionists, however, could help themselves. It would not be difficult to imagine the people of Italy, a few generations hence, if, indeed, the kingdom of Italy be destined to last so long, looking back to their founders with that same kind of pride which animated the great Romans when they thought of Romulus and Remus, and the band of brigands who helped them to found the city.
(M87) About this time the French parliamentary chambers began to enjoy, to a certain extent, liberty of speech. They could now discuss an address to the sovereign, and give full publicity to their debates. Inquiry could now be made to some purpose, whether the Italian policy of Napoleon III. was sanctioned by France, whether that aberration were national which impelled to the violation of all right and law, in order to unify Italy, and pave the way, at the same time, for the unification of Germany. The revolutionary left of the French parliament, as a matter of course, favored the Emperor's revolutionary foreign policy. But the liberty of debate showed that there was a powerful minority opposed to them, and this minority enjoyed the sanction of the greatest statesmen of the age. In the Senate, notwithstanding the absence of every member of the Legitimist party, as well as that of Messrs. de Montalembert and de Fallou, whom a coalition of the despotism of the day with radicalism had caused to lose their seats, a tolerable number of the most devoted partisans of the empire showed a boldness of language, together with well-defined statesmanlike views, to which the Imperial regime was not accustomed. Several of the ablest orators concurred in presenting an amendment to the address to the throne in favor of the Pope's temporal sovereignty. It was, of course, opposed by the government, but was supported, nevertheless, by sixty votes to seventy-nine. In the legislative assembly, notwithstanding all the ability displayed by the representatives of the government, the Emperor's Italian policy could obtain the support of only 161 votes, whilst it was condemned by the powerful minority of ninety-one. The radical leaders of the majority now thought the time opportune for demanding the recall of the French troops from Rome. The government went dead against it, and invited the deputies to join with it in condemning the inordinate and persistent ambition of the revolution. This the assembly did by a solid vote of the whole house to five. Of this precious quintet, Jules Favre and Emile Olivier, the leaders of the government, were two.
Such national demonstrations in favor of the sovereignty which he had done his best to crush were very irritating to the Emperor Napoleon; and although he endeavored to appear wholly absorbed by his life of Caesar, he could not avoid showing by his acts how profoundly he was disturbed by being thwarted. Everywhere throughout France the Catholics were made to suffer. The clergy were persecuted as far as the laws of the country would allow, and the Imperial anger went so far as to wreak its vengeance on the poor by suppressing that benevolent and non-political institution, the Association of St. Vincent de Paul. Needless to say that, at the same time, the Catholic press was held in fetters. There was no relaxation in its favor till the year 1867, when the law extending the liberty of the press became available to Catholic as well as all other writers. The Emperor even sacrificed the best supporters of the Imperial system on account of their dislike to his anti-Roman policy. Not only from such men did warnings come, but also from eminent statesmen of former regimes, such as Messrs. Sauzet, de Broglie, Vitet, and even M. Guizot, who was a Protestant, together with Messrs. Thiers, Cousin and Dufaure, who were only nominal Catholics. "Madame," said M. Thiers, one day, to the Empress, with more truth than politesse, "history lays down the law that quiconque mange du Pape en creve."(6)
So many and such decided manifestations of public opinion were not without their effects. No less a personage than Garibaldi, relying, as he thought he could do, on Piedmontese support, now undertook to realize to the full the revolutionary programme—the Kingdom of Italy, with Rome for its capital. The King of Piedmont, whilst he publicly disowned the filibuster, as he had affected to disown him in Sicily, held an army in reserve for his support. He expected himself to be officially condemned, whilst in reality, as usual, privately sustained.
(M88) In the meantime, however, the policy of his Imperial patron was considerably modified; and orders were despatched to his Sardinian Majesty, which he could neither take as a blind nor dare to disregard. So the Piedmontese army, which was intended to aid the filibusters in the sack of Rome, was obliged to fight them. It came up with the bands of Garibaldi, at a place called Aspromonte, on the 29th of August, 1862. The irregular force was defeated, its leader wounded in the heel and taken prisoner. Garibaldi being so renowned a warrior—Achilles was nothing to him—was immediately released. Napoleon had spoken sincerely at last. If he had always done so there would have been less disorder, less violation of all right and less bloodshed, in bringing together the provinces and states of Italy. If it had been his policy to concur with the Pope and the party of true reform, instead of patronizing a filibustering prince, he might have lived to see a less objectionable and more lasting unification of Italy than that which he so powerfully aided in achieving.
The intriguing Cabinet of Turin took great credit to itself for having so vigorously acted, although against its will, in preventing Garibaldi from seizing Rome. As a reward for this signal service, it boldly proposed to go there itself. But the time had not yet come. The fall of Rome was destined to occur simultaneously with another event, in which the Emperor Napoleon was directly and personally interested. To do him justice, he was from this time anxious that matters should be settled advantageously to the Holy See, but without prejudice to the revolution. The idea was chimerical. But that is no reason for supposing that it was not sincerely entertained.
(M89) The venerable Pontiff derived some comfort from the resolve of the French nation, in which all parties, as has been seen, concurred, and the determination of its Imperial head to check the career of revolution, and leave Rome to its legitimate sovereign. But meanwhile more abundant consolations in the spiritual order were showered upon him. In the course of the great struggle in which there was now, at length, a pause, he was practically abandoned, even by the most friendly nations. It now fell to his lot to fulfil a high duty incident to the Pontifical office, and the nations, through their numerous representatives, flocked around him. No earthly prince was ever so sustained by the sympathies of mankind. The time had now arrived, all research and investigation having come to a close, when those heroes of the Christian faith who, in the year 1597, had suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Japanese, should be solemnly canonized. They were twenty-six in number. One of these was an American, and suffered at Nagasaki in the year just mentioned. Another process of canonization had also been concluded—that of the blessed Michael de Sanctis, a Trinitarian, and member of the order for the Redemption of Captives. Pius IX. had invited the bishops to attend the important ceremony. The Sardinian government, which took credit to itself for having established a "free church in a free state," forbade the Italian bishops to visit Rome on this occasion. No fewer than ninety bishops protested against this mockery of liberty, and declared that nothing but the strong hand of power could have prevented them from repairing to the holy city.
Notwithstanding the forced absence of so many bishops, there were at Rome three hundred and twenty-three cardinals, patriarchs, archbishops and bishops, more than four thousand priests, and one hundred thousand strangers of various nations and classes. Humble curates of the Alpine regions, who were too poor to undertake the journey, subscribed in order to send a few of their number in the name of the rest. Numerous ships which were, for the time, as floating convents, sailed from the ports of France, Spain and Italy, invoking Mary the Star of the Sea—Ave Maris Stella—whilst masses of people responded from the shore; the hearts of all were with them. There was high festival at Rome from Ascension Day to Whitsuntide. All thoughts of politics were dismissed; the grand religious celebration absorbing all attention. As often as Pius IX. appeared in public, he was honored with an ovation. On one occasion, in particular, there was a great demonstration by the clergy and the artillerymen of the French army, on the day before Pentecost Sunday. The Bishop of Tulle, Mgr. Berteaud, Mgr. Dupanloup of Orleans, and other bishops, addressed immense crowds, and produced religious emotion in which unbelievers could not help participating. It is not recorded that Pius IX. had preached in public since the beginning of his Pontificate. He now, on the 6th of June, delivered the word of God in the Sistine Chapel, speaking first in Latin and afterwards in French. His audience consisted of four thousand priests, as many as could be assembled within the spacious edifice. All were deeply moved, and only refrained through reverence from giving vent to their feelings. As soon as the Holy Father had announced the apostolic benediction, one of the priests happily intoned the liturgical prayer: "Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Pio." "Let us pray for our Pontiff Pius." All present, as if with one voice, responded: "The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies." One may have some idea how the Catholic mind was impressed, from the words of M. Louis Veuillot: "We traversed our beloved Rome with filial affection. And if the thought occurred to us that there existed a design to rob us of it, our feeling was one of anger rather than of fear. We passed from sanctuary to sanctuary, inquiring as to the places where Pius IX. would appear, in order to pay profoundest reverence to the Holy Pontiff. 'No, no,' exclaimed a bishop, as he came from the presence of the Holy Father, 'it is not true, it is not possible! Do not believe that there are Victor Emmanuels, Garibaldis, Ratazzis! Such a man cannot have enemies!' "
On Pentecost Sunday, June 8th, 1862, it was known that the Basilica of St. Peter would be open at five o'clock in the morning. All night the neighboring streets were crowded, and when the gates were thrown open that greatest of earth's temples was filled in a few minutes. The Pontifical troops were on guard inside. The foreign ambassadors, the royal family of Naples, and other distinguished persons filled the tribunes; and the French infantry was massed on St. Peter's place. The church was appropriately decorated with paintings representing scenes in the lives of the martyrs and illustrious confessors. The thousands of lights which shone around added splendor to the scene. At seven o'clock the great procession began to move. First came a troop of orphans, then appeared the students of the ecclesiastical seminaries. These were followed by religious communities and the secular clergy. Bishops came next, and archbishops, patriarchs and cardinals. Then appeared the Supreme Pastor, preceded by the banners of the saints that were to be canonized. All besides was now forgot, as the Holy Father was borne slowly along, seated on the sedia gestatoria, which was carried by twelve attendants in scarlet cloaks. The Tiara added dignity to the noble figure of the Pontiff. In his left hand, which was veiled with white silk, embroidered with gold, he held a lighted wax taper, while his right was left free to bless the people as he passed along. The correspondent of the London Times, who was a Protestant, says: "Looking over the sea of heads placed between me and the procession, I observed that all knelt before Pius IX., the meek and the good, for it is only justice so to speak of him. The chanters of the Vatican chanted in angelic tones: Tu es Petrus, and these tones, softened rather than weakened by distance, pervaded the whole edifice like spirits. At intervals, another group chanted: Ave Maris Stella, and thus the Pope was borne, through the thousands of Christians who had come from every country on which the sun shines, to the high altar behind the tomb of the apostles."
In the midst of so much pomp and glory, Pius IX. was humble and collected, referring all to Him of whom he was only the representative on earth. At the same time, his soul overflowed with happiness when he saw that there was still so much faith in Israel. The Sovereign Pontiff now took his seat upon the Papal throne, and having received the obedience of the cardinals and bishops, he was approached by the consistorial advocate, who thrice petitioned him to permit the names of the glorious martyrs and confessors to be inscribed on the diptychs of the saints, which the church recognizes and holds sacred. After the request had been made the third time, the Holy Father read in a clear and audible voice the decree of canonization. He then intoned the Te Deum, which was chanted by the immense congregation. The ceremonies concluded with a solemn High Mass, which was celebrated by the Pope himself, surrounded by the cardinals and bishops. The people spent the remainder of the day in pious rejoicing. They were gay and expansive, but calm and brotherly; thus exhibiting, without being conscious of it, a spectacle unknown to the inhabitants of other capitals.
(M90) The demonstrations which took place at Rome on the following day were not less important, and perhaps had greater significance, although not accompanied by so much pomp and ceremony. There was held in the Palace of the Vatican a semi-public consistory, at which all the bishops who were at Rome attended. The venerable Pontiff denounced, in his allocution to the attentive audience, those errors which are too ancient to have even the merit of originality, but which are the more dangerous that, at the present time more than ever, they are loudly preached and widely disseminated. He alluded in particular to that German criticism, which views our sacred books as nothing better than a system of mythology, and to that too well-known romance of a French writer, M. Renan, entitled: "The Life of Jesus." He condemned materialism, pantheism, naturalism, and all those more or less degrading systems which deny human liberty, proclaim a morality independent of the laws of God; which derive from material force and superior numbers all law and authority: and which in philosophy make reason their God, the state in politics, and passion in the daily conduct of life. The Holy Father then thanked the bishops who were present, regretting the absence of those of Portugal and Italy, the latter of whom were restrained by the Piedmontese government, and exhorted them all to continue to combat error, and to turn away the eyes and hands of the faithful from bad books and bad journals, and to promote, without ever wearying, the instruction of the clergy and the good education of youth. He concluded, in a voice which was impeded by his tears, and with his eyes raised to heaven, by joining with all present in beseeching the Father of mercies, through the merits of Jesus Christ, His only Son, to extend a helping hand to Christian and civil society, and to restore peace to the church.
Cardinal Mattei, dean of the Sacred College, replied in the name of all the bishops. Three points chiefly, among others, were affirmed in his declaration. First of all, the supreme doctrinal authority and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. "You are in our regard the master of sound doctrine. You are the centre of unity. You are the foundation of the church itself, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. When you speak, we hear Peter. When you decree, we obey Jesus Christ. We admire you in the midst of so many trials and tempests, with a serene brow and unshaken mind, invincibly fulfilling your sacred ministry." Next, the temporal sovereignty of the Holy See. "We acknowledge that your temporal sovereignty is necessary, and that it was established in fulfilment of a manifest design of Divine Providence. We hesitate not to declare that this temporal sovereignty is required for the good of the church and the free government of souls. It was necessary that the Supreme Pontiff should be neither the subject nor even the guest of any prince. There was required in the centre of Europe a sacred bond, placed between the three continents of the ancient world, an august seat, whence arises in turns, for peoples and for princes, a great and powerful voice, the voice of justice and of truth, impartial and without preference, free from all arbitrary influence, and which can neither be repressed by fear nor circumvented by artifice. How could it have been that at this very moment the prelates of the church, arriving from all points of the universe, should have come here in order to represent all peoples, and confer in security on the gravest interests, if they had found any prince whomsoever ruling in this land who had suspicions of their princes, or who was suspected by them on account of his hostility? In such case their duties as citizens might have conflicted with their duties as bishops." Finally, the intimate union of the Catholic world with the Pope. "We condemn the errors which you have condemned. We reprove the sacrilegious acts, the violations of ecclesiastical immunity, and the other crimes committed against the chair of Peter. We give utterance to this protest, which we claim shall be inserted in the annals of the church, in all sincerity, in the name of our brethren who are absent, in the name of those who, detained at home by force, lament and are silent, in the name of those whom the state of their health or important affairs have prevented from joining us in this place. To our number we add the clergy and the faithful people who give you proof of their love and veneration by their assiduous prayers, as well as by the offering of Peter's pence. Would to God that all kings and powerful men in the world understood that the cause of the Pontiff is the cause of all states. Would to God that they came to an understanding in order to place in security the sacred cause of the Christian world and of social order."
Pius IX. made reply: "United as we are, venerable brethren, we cannot doubt that the God of peace and charity is with us. And if God be with us, who shall be against us? Praise, honor, glory to God! To you, peace, salvation and joy! Peace to your minds; salvation to the faithful committed to your care; joy to you and to them, in order that you may all rejoice, chaunting a new canticle in the House of God for evermore!"
The address which Cardinal Mattei read bore the signatures of all the bishops who were in Rome. The bishops of Italy hastened to express their concurrence, with one exception, Ariano, who had participated in the revolutionary movement, and who came to an unhappy death within the year. There came, in due course, numerous adhesions from all parts of the world, together with countless addresses from the clergy of the second order. The laity, on their part, received the bishops on their return home with triumphal honors. They came around them and escorted them to the pulpits of their cathedrals, in order to hear from their lips all that had taken place at Rome. The Bishop of Moulins, Mgr. de Droux Breze, admirably expressed in a few words the impressions of the venerable pilgrims: "Rome is a city of wonders; but the wonder of Rome is Pius IX."
The moral result of all these manifestations was incalculable. At a time when universal suffrage had come into vogue, it was impossible not to see in all this, from a merely wordly point of view, indirect, indeed, but strikingly universal suffrage. The vote of the whole Catholic world was shown, united with that of the Romans, in affirming the rights of the Catholic world over Rome, whilst appeared, at the same time, the determination of the Romans to retain their cherished autonomy, and to remain the capital of the Catholic world. The parliament of Turin was greatly agitated. There was indescribable confusion, so that discussion was impossible. They voted, in opposition to the Episcopal and Pontifical allocutions, an address to Victor Emmanuel, the character of which may be gathered from the following few words: "Sire, bishops, almost all strangers in Italy, have proclaimed the strange doctrine that Rome is the slave of the Catholic world. We reply to them by declaring that we are resolved, to maintain inviolable the right of the nation and that of the Italian metropolis, which is, at present, retained by force under a detested yoke." It was of a piece with many other assertions of the revolutionary party that the Romans detested the rule of the Holy Father. It was particularly audacious to make such an assertion in face of the enthusiastic demonstrations which had just been made in the city of the Popes. They had forbidden the presence of the Italian bishops at Rome, and nevertheless they dared to complain that almost all the bishops who gathered around the Sovereign Pontiff were strangers in Italy. But what did this avail them? Did not the Italian bishops decidedly express complete concurrence with their brethren?
It is still more surprising that the Emperor Napoleon took no warning from the words of the Turin parliament, and went so far as to conclude an agreement with them for the preservation to the Pope of the Holy City.
(M91) It is difficult to understand how a people numerically so weak as the inhabitants of that portion of the once great kingdom of Poland, which fell to the Russian Empire at the time of the unfortunate partition, could have undertaken a rebellion against so great a Power as Russia. But provocation, patriotism, the sense of nationality, together with the ardent love of liberty, set the laws of prudence at defiance. That provocation must have been of no ordinary kind which could excite, in Russian Poland, a third rebellion, which had no better prospect of success than the two former, which resulted so disastrously for the unhappy Poles. And, indeed, what could be worse or more calculated to cause insurrection than the cruelties, crimes and sacrilegious acts which the Russian government was guilty of throughout Poland in the years 1861 and 1862? The churches of that ill-fated country were seized and profaned, divine service interdicted, and the bishops arraigned before courts-martial and cast into prison. Such atrocities, instead of crushing, only increased the patriotism of the people. Russian policy, baffled as was to be expected, in its design of establishing tranquillity by such barbarous proceedings, had recourse to a rigid conscription intended to have the effect of forcing all the patriotic youth of the country into the ranks of the Russian army. This violent recruiting was first attempted at Warsaw, at dead of night, on the 15th of January, 1863. When the news of this violence spread throughout the country, all the young men capable of bearing arms fled to the steppes and forests, and, in eight days, all Poland was in rebellion for the third time, in order to break the yoke of the foreigner. A word from the great Powers, or any one of them, would have restored peace. But they all alike refused to speak this word. The British, after having encouraged the Poles to resistance in public speeches, were on the point of intervening in their behalf, when a hint from M. de Bismark suddenly cooled their zeal, and determined Lord John Russell to recall by telegraph threatening despatches which were already on their way to St. Petersburgh. It need scarcely be said that Prussia, which was an accomplice of Russia in the iniquitous partition, made common cause with Russia in the work of repression. Austria was at the time paralyzed, as Italy was threatening Venice. Italy simply expressed to Prince Gortschakoff, the Russian Chancellor, "its confidence that the Emperor Alexander would persevere in the reforms so unfortunately interrupted by the rebellion." Innocent Italians! They, of course, were not guilty of causing rebellion, which was now, in their estimation, so deplorable in Sicily, Naples, the Grand Duchies, &c. Napoleon remained, as was his wont, undecided. He would neither assist the Poles nor give them to understand that he would not assist them. A word from him would have shortened, by eighteen months, a hopeless struggle of two years, which ended by exhausting them.
There was one, however, who protested. Pius IX. denounced the oppressor as fearlessly as if he had been the least of the princes of the earth. He wrote to him, at first, in a tone of mild remonstrance, on the 22d of April, 1863. But finding that his representations were not heeded, he renewed them more pressingly. He did not confine himself to merely official acts. He sent Cardinal Reisach on a confidential mission to Vienna, and addressed a warm and feeling letter to the Emperor Francis Joseph, in order to induce him to take action energetically in common with France. He invited the whole Christian world to join with him in praying for the suffering nation which he nobly declared to be "the soldier of civilization and of faith." Such as were at Rome, at the time of these prayers, will never forget how enthusiastically the Roman people responded to the call of Pius IX. In praying for the defenders of a distant country, they seemed to pray, at the same time, for their own, which was now, more than ever, threatened. But the time of mercy had not yet come, and persecution was redoubled. Ecclesiastics were deported or put to death, simply for not having refused the aid of religion to the dying on the field of battle. Families and whole populations were doomed to choose between exile and apostacy. All the bishops, without exception, were driven from their dioceses, and some of them perished on the way to Siberia. Pius IX. could no longer contain his grief and indignation. On the 27th of April, 1864, in replying to the postulators in the cause of blessed Francis of the five wounds, he said: "The blood of the helpless and the innocent cries for vengeance to the throne of the Almighty against those by whom it is shed. Unhappy Poland! It was my desire not to speak before the approaching consistory. But I fear lest, by being silent any longer, I should draw down upon myself the punishment denounced by the prophets against those who tolerate iniquity. No, I would not that I were forced to cry out, one day, in presence of the Sovereign Judge: 'Woe to me because I have held my peace!' (Va mihi quia tacui.) I feel inspired at this moment to condemn a sovereign whose vast Empire reaches to the Pole. This potentate, who falsely calls himself the Catholic of the East, but who is only a schismatic cast forth from the bosom of the true church, persecutes and slays his Catholic subjects, and by his ferocious cruelty has driven them to insurrection. Under the pretext of suppressing this insurrection, he extirpates the Catholic religion. He deports whole populations to inhospitable climes, where they are deprived of all religious assistance, and replaces them by schismatical adventurers. He tears the pastors from their flocks, and drives them into exile, or condemns them to forced labors and other degrading punishments. Happy they who have been able to escape, and who now wander in strange lands! This potentate, all heterodox and schismatical as he is, arrogates to himself a power which the Vicar of Christ possesses not. He pretends to deprive a bishop whom we have rightfully instituted. Can he be ignorant that a Catholic bishop is always the same, whether in his see or in the catacombs, and that his character is ineffaceable? Let it not be said that in raising our voice against such misdeeds we encourage the European revolution. We can distinguish between the socialist revolution and the legitimate rights of a nation struggling for independence and its religion. In stigmatizing the persecutors of the Catholic religion, we fulfil a duty laid on us by our conscience. It behooves us to pray, with renewed earnestness, for that unfortunate country. In consequence, we impart our apostolic benediction to all who shall, this day, pray for Poland. Let us all pray for Poland!" It was as if the breath of God's anger were on the lips of the Holy Pontiff. Pius IX., remarks M. de St. Albin, swayed by his deep emotion, had risen from his throne, his voice was like thunder, and his arm appeared to threaten as if possessed of omnipotence.
(M92) Such apostolic courage commanded the admiration of the enemies of the Papacy. The deputy, Brofferio, said in the parliament of Turin, whilst his colleagues, revolutionists like himself, applauded: "An old man, exhausted, sickly, without resources, without an army, on the brink of the grave, curses a potentate who slaughters a people; I feel moved in my inmost soul; I imagine myself borne back to the days of Gregory VII.; I reverence and applaud."
(M93) M. Meyendorf, the charge d'affaires of Russia, having been admitted to a private audience on occasion of the Christmas festivities of 1866, Pius IX. naturally directed the conversation to the painful state of ecclesiastical affairs in Poland. The Russian minister denied everything, even the most notorious facts, and ended by casting all the blame on the Catholics, who, he affirmed, had openly transacted with the Polish insurrection, whilst the Protestants generally sided with the government. "Nor was this astonishing," he added, "considering that Catholicism and revolution are the same thing." Pius IX. could not tolerate this false assertion, which was so absurd that it could have no other object than to insult him and the whole body of the faithful of whom he was the Chief. "Depart," said he to the minister, as he dismissed him, "I cannot but believe that your Emperor is ignorant of the greater part of the injustice under which Poland suffers. I, therefore, honor and esteem your Emperor; but I cannot say as much of his representative who comes to insult me in my own house." Pius IX. vainly hoped that the Envoy would be disowned, and diplomatic relations between Rome and St. Petersburgh continued. When Alexander II. suppressed, by his own authority, in 1867, the Catholic diocese of Kaminieck, Pius IX. was obliged to have recourse to the newspaper press, in order to make known to the Catholics of that unfortunate country that he appointed the Bishop of Zitomir provisional administrator. "I have no other means of communicating with them," said he "I act like the captain of a vessel who encloses in a bottle his last words to his family, and confides them to the storm, hoping that the waves will deposit them on some shore where they will be gathered up."
(M94) Pius IX. showed himself as generous to princes as to peoples, acting always as the champion of justice in the cause of the former, as well as in supporting the undoubted rights of the latter. Francis II., of Naples, dethroned by his ambitious cousin, King Victor Emmanuel, was, as the Bonapartes had once been, an exile at Rome, and enjoyed the same princely hospitality which his predecessor, in 1848, had extended to the Holy Father in the Kingdom of Naples. Victor Emmanuel remonstrated against this kindness to a fallen enemy. But in vain! He was powerless. His ally and patron, however, the French Emperor, was not so easily resisted. This potentate gave it to be understood, although not in express terms, that the stay of the French troops at Rome was dependent on the departure of the exiled monarch. The Pope, alluding to the family of Napoleon I., whom Pius VII. had kindly received at Rome, replied, satirically, that the Roman Pontiffs had traditions of hospitality, as regarded their persecutors, and much more in favor of their benefactors. Napoleon was ashamed to persist; and Francis II. remained at Rome as long as Pius IX. was master there.
(M95) It was quite natural that Napoleon III. should entertain the idea that he was born to found empires. He had succeeded in establishing one on the ruins of a republic in the Old World. He now sought to build up Imperial power side by side with a republic in the New. Mexico was designed to be the seat of this empire; and, as that country greatly needed government of some kind, the time was deemed opportune for carrying into effect Napoleon's idea. The Imperial dignity was offered to the Archduke Maximilian of Austria; and this prince, relying on the support of France, consented to ascend the throne of the Montezumas. Before crossing the seas, Prince Maximilian came, together with his wife, the Princess Charlotte of Belgium, to Rome, in order to beg the prayers, the wise counsel and the apostolic benediction of the venerable Pontiff. So desired the new Emperor to inaugurate a reign which, it was hoped, would be great and prosperous. The Holy Father, at the solemn moment of communion, spoke to the Prince of Him by whom kings reign and the framers of laws decree just things. In the name of this King of kings, he recommended to him the Catholic nation of Mexico, reminding him, at the same time, that he was, under God, the constituted protector of the rights of the people as well as those of the church. The Emperor and his youthful spouse were moved to tears; and Maximilian, on leaving Rome, declared that he departed under the protection of God, and with the benediction of the Holy Pontiff. "I am confident, therefore," he added, "that I shall be able to fulfil my great mission to Mexico."
Unfortunately for him, however, liberalism, or, rather, ill-disguised socialism, was enthroned, for the moment, in what was destined to be, for a little while longer, the chief seat of European Power. It is not difficult to imagine whence counsel proceeded, and the inexperienced Emperor came to believe that Mexico might be governed as France was, whilst its ruler thwarted the will of the great majority of her people. He may not, indeed, have been free to reject the advice which swayed him. Be this as it may, he most unwisely cast himself into the arms of the party to whom monarchy and religion were alike hateful. He now framed a Concordat which, whilst it could not be acceptable to his new friends, was far from being such as the Pope could ratify. The revolutionary party had gained the new Emperor.
(M96) The Holy Father, ever anxious to promote the well-being of the church, sent a nuncio to Maximilian, in order to remind him of his promises, and induce him to abolish the laws that had been enacted for the purpose of oppressing the church, and completely to reorganize ecclesiastical affairs with the full concurrence of the Holy See. The letter borne by the nuncio required that the Catholic religion should continue to be the stay and glory of the Mexican nation; that the bishops should be entirely free in the exercise of their pastoral ministry; that the religious orders should be restored and organized according to the instructions and faculties imparted by the Sovereign Pontiff; that the patrimony of the church and the rights connected therewith should be guaranteed and protected; that none be allowed to disseminate false and subversive doctrines; that public as well as private education be directed and superintended by ecclesiastical authority; and, finally, that those fetters be broken which had hitherto for some time held the church dependent on the arbitrary will of the civil power. "If," continued the Holy Father, "the religious edifice be re-established, as we doubt not it will, on such foundations, your Majesty will satisfy one of the greatest wants and realize the most ardent aspirations of the religious people of Mexico; you will dispel our disquietude and that of the illustrious Mexican Episcopate; you will pave the way for the education of a learned and zealous clergy, as well as the moral reformation of the people. You will thus, also, consolidate your throne, and promote the prosperity and glory of your Imperial family." In all this the Emperor would have been sustained by the great majority of the Mexican people. And there was nothing impossible required of him. It is not shown anywhere that the restoration of church properties, which had been long alienated and had often changed proprietors, would have been exacted, any more than in England, when religion was restored under the reign of Mary. The policy indicated by Pius IX. would have won for Maximilian a host of friends and supporters. The line of conduct which he pursued was most unacceptable to the Catholic nation of Mexico, whilst it was not in the least calculated to satisfy the revolutionary party. Refusing to concede everything that the church required, he wished to retain for himself the ancient regal privileges of the Crown of Spain—the investiture of bishops, the regulating of ecclesiastical tariffs, the limitation of the number of monastic orders and religious associations, &c. So far the revolution was pleased. It was loud in its applause. With what sincerity events failed not to show. Pius IX. insisted on the Emperor's solemn pledges so recently given at Rome. Maximilian was deaf to the counsels, the complaints, the earnest prayers of the Holy Father. So it remained only for the Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Meglia, to take his departure from Vera Cruz (1st June, 1865). Meanwhile, Maximilian's chief support, the French Emperor, dreading the formidable hostility of the United States of America, which could not tolerate an empire on the borders of their great republic, was obliged to withdraw from Mexico the army which, from the first, was necessary to sustain the new empire. Napoleon, one would say, was pledged to Maximilian, having induced him to assume the Imperial Crown, and having also promised all necessary support. He could not, however, command success; and chivalry, even if it had still existed, would have availed but little, when power alone could win.
Maximilian was now all alone, face to face with anarchy and the Mexican nation which he had slighted. Faction ruled in his place. The revolutionary party which he had favored proved untrue; and falling into the hands of his enemies, he was solemnly murdered by the ruling brigand of the day. The officers of Napoleon's army sincerely believed that no better fate could be anticipated; for they earnestly advised him to accompany them on their return to Europe. This he could have done without dishonor. The idea of a Mexican empire was Napoleon's, and he alone was answerable for its success. On the part of Maximilian it was more than chivalry to remain in Mexico when his guard was gone. But the idea of the youthful Prince in regard to honor appears to have been, like his policy, unsound. The policy may not have been, most probably was not, his. But the sentiment of honor was all his own. And although, in an age of chivalry even, it would have appeared exaggerated, it redounds to his credit. It is not surprising that a man animated by such noble sentiments should have died as became a hero and a Christian.
(M97) The potentate, on whom, as far as worldly power was concerned, depended the Pope's temporal sovereignty, was throwing himself every day more and more into the hands of the enemies of the church. His ministers, more audacious than himself, carried their blind hatred of "Clericalism" to such an extent as to sacrifice many of the best supporters of the empire. This was singularly apparent at the general election of 1863. M. de Persigny hesitated not to employ all the influence of the government against such Imperialists as had voted for or shown themselves favorable to the Pope's temporal power. He succeeded in causing such friends of Napoleon as De Caverville, Cochin and Lemercier to be replaced by the most bitter enemies of the Imperial regime. He also managed to exclude from parliament Messrs. de Montalembert, de Falloux and Keller. But Messrs. Plichou, Berryer and Thiers, notwithstanding his hostile efforts, were elected. This last-named statesman was himself a host, and his eloquent speeches in support of the temporal sovereignty made all the more impression that they were known to be dictated by far-seeing policy, rather than any leaning towards religion. They deeply impressed the parliament and the country; but availed not with Napoleon III., whom an unprincipled ministry were leading blindfolded to destruction. Meanwhile, the question of Rome entered on a new phase. The Cabinets of Turin and Paris concluded an agreement in regard to the Roman State on 15th September, 1864. The text of this notorious agreement was known to Europe, whilst its meaning remained a mystery. The ministry of Napoleon III. made it appear in France as a guarantee for the safety of the Pope. The Piedmontese government flattered the revolutionary element of Italy, by representing that it did not in the least change their programme, the keynote of which was "Rome the Capital." They were right. This proved to be the true solution of the mystery. The first article provided that the King of Piedmont should not attack, and he bound himself by oath not to attack, the remaining territory of the Holy Father, to prevent by force, if necessary, all aggression from any other quarter, and to pay the debts of the former States of the Church. By the second clause France became bound to withdraw her troops in two years. A protocol was added, by which Victor Emmanuel engaged to transfer his capital from Turin to Florence in six months. It was more than disrespectful to the Pope; it was of evil omen, of sinister import, that the sovereign whose state was concerned was not a party to the treaty—was not even consulted. The minds of all Catholics were greatly disquieted, and their anxiety was only increased by the Italian interpretation of the agreement. Pius IX., who understood well by what men and by what principles the Cabinet of the Tuileries was governed, made a remark which indicated more his fears for the great French nation than for the fragment which remained to him of his territory. He would have nothing to do with the pecuniary compensation that was offered to him. He could only say that "he pitied France." The crime of that country was that her government made any agreement at all with the monarch who had so unscrupulously violated the treaty of Zurich, and who was, besides, the chief hero of Gaeta, Naples, Castelfidardo and Ancona. One of the most eloquent of Bishop Dupanloup's publications, the one which, perhaps, has been the most generally read, exposes the hollowness of this arrangement, which is known in history as the September agreement.
(M98) The 8th of December, 1864, the tenth anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, was marked by the publication of the Encyclical, "quanta cura," and, together with it, the "Syllabus." This great doctrinal act was a crushing reply to the erroneous assertions of the time, as well as to the vain ideas of those politicians who boasted that, through their efforts, the spiritual office no less than the temporal sovereignty of the Pope was drawing to a close. The Encyclical letter is addressed to all bishops in communion with the Holy See, and through them to all the faithful throughout the world. It contains the teachings of Pius IX., and the Popes, his predecessors, in opposition to the errors of the present age—the mistaken ideas of natural religion; religious indifference which, falsely assuming the name of liberty of conscience and of worship, establishes the reign of physical force in the place of law and justice; communism and socialism; the subjection of the church to the state; and the independence of Christians in regard to the Holy See.
The "Syllabus" consists of eighty propositions, which are a summary of the false teachings of the enemies of the Catholic church, as found in the periodical press, as well as in their writings of a more permanent character. The first seven propositions briefly express the errors on pantheism, naturalism, and absolute rationalism. All who have any Christian belief, to whatever denomination they may adhere, must surely acknowledge the justice of denouncing philosophers of the school of Strauss, who insist that Christ is a myth, and His religion a system of mythology.
From the eighth to the fourteenth proposition inclusively, are pointed out and condemned the errors of modern rationalism. From the fourteenth to the eighteenth, indifferentism and latitudinarianism are exposed. Throughout the rest of the catalogue, secret societies and communism are condemned; erroneous views, as regards church and state, natural and Christian ethics, and Christian marriage are expressed and denounced. Finally, are pointed out the errors that have been uttered in regard to the temporal power of the Pope, together with such as have reference to modern liberalism.
These important documents, the Encyclical, "quanta cura," and the "Syllabus," are not so much the work of Pius IX. as of all the Popes of a century back, from the Council of Pistoia, Febronianism and Josephism. Whilst the "Syllabus" was yet in embryo, it was, with the exception of a few propositions which were not yet formulated, confidentially communicated to the bishops on occasion of the canonization of the Japanese martyrs. Each bishop was at that time invited to select two theologians in order to examine the propositions, and give their opinion in six months. The church, therefore, was not taken by surprise, when the "Syllabus" appeared, however much its publication may have struck with astonishment and alarm the party of revolution and unbelief. Catholics, at least, could not fail to be swayed by such a masterly exposition of Catholic theology on so many subjects, all intimately connected with human conduct in private life as well as in affairs of public import. And there were Catholics everywhere—among the rulers of the world and its leading statesmen, no less than in all classes and grades of society. Such now could have no excuse for favoring opinions which were so distinctly condemned by that authority which they all recognized as the highest upon earth. Nevertheless, whatever impression the clear teaching of the "Syllabus," in regard to the church and her rights, civil society, and both natural and Christian morality, was destined, in time, to produce, but little disposition was shown to be guided by it at the outset. There was all but a universal clamor that the church had pronounced a divorce between modern society and the spiritual order. Nor could it be otherwise, so long as the former held principles which were essentially incompatible with the latter. Neither could reconciliation be easily or speedily brought about. The principles which religion condemned were in the ascendant. The existing civil law of all European nations was founded on them. There was no government that had not adopted them and shown itself inclined to be entirely guided by them. The formal condemnation of the cherished ideas of the age was as a thunderbolt hurled against the social elements of the day. But why disturb their peace? They had no peace. They were already discordant. "Non esi pax impiis." Peace could not be born of unbelief. It could come only through the truth, even as health conquers disease by the most trying curative process. Napoleon III. was the first who openly resisted the "encroachments" of Rome, just as if they had constituted the only danger to his throne. By a decree dated 1st January, 1865, he forbade the publication of the Encyclical and the Syllabus, whilst he caused to be tried and condemned, as guilty of abuse, the Archbishop of Besancon and the Bishop of Moulins, because they had read the Encyclical in their pulpits. The other prelates of France so far submitted as to avoid printing the obnoxious documents, lest their printers should be uselessly compromised. Several bishops declared that the Encyclical was already sufficiently published in their dioceses by the voice of the press. They thus expressed the idea of the whole episcopate. Pius IX. highly commended their zeal. "We must go back," he said, "to the early ages of Christianity, in order to find an episcopal body that could show such courage."