JMC : The State and the Church / by Ryan and Millar

15. Catholicism and Americanism{1}

by Most Rev. John Ireland, D.D.

MY religious faith is that of the Catholic Church -- Catholicism, integral and unalloyed -- Catholicism unswerving and soul swaying -- the Catholicism, if I am to put it into more positive and concrete form, taught by the supreme chieftain of the Catholic Church, the Bishop, the Pope of Rome.

My civil and political faith is that of the Republic of the United States of America -- Americanism purest and brightest; yielding in strength and loyalty to the Americanism of none other American; surpassed in spirit of obedience and sacrifice by that of none other citizen, none other soldier; sworn to uphold in peace and in war America's Star Spangled Banner.

Between my religious faith and my civil and political faith, between my creed and my country, it has been said, there is discord and contradiction, so that I must smother something of the one when I bid the other burst forth into ardent burning, that I must subtract something from my allegiance to the one when I bend my full energy to service to the other. Those who so speak misunderstand either my creed or my country; they belie either the one or the other. The accord of one with the other is the theme of the address I am privileged this evening to make.

No room is there for discord or contradiction. Church and State cover separate and distinct zones of thought and action: The Church busies itself with the spiritual, the State with the temporal. The Church and the State are built for different purposes, the Church for Heaven, the State for earth. The line of demarcation between the two jurisdictions was traced by the unerring finger of Him who is the master of both. The law of God is -- "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."

I rehearse a vital dogma of Catholic faith with regard to the mutual relations of Church and State -- the solemn teaching of a sovereign Pontiff, Leo XIII. The Pontiff writes: "God has divided the government of the human race between two principalities, the ecclesiastical and the civil; the one being set over the divine, the other over human things. Each is supreme in its own sphere; each has fixed limits, within which it moves. Each is circumscribed to its own orbit, within which it lives and works in its own native right." Things civil and political are subject, as reason and equity demand, to the civil authority, Jesus Christ Himself having commanded that the things of Caesar be given to Caesar, as the things of God are given to God. Language could not be plainer, more emphatic, more authoritative with regard to the rights of the civil power, its independence within its proper zone of action. The position of the Catholic Church, consequently of Catholics, toward the nation or State, is defined in clearest terms by the highest authority of the Church.

What is to be feared from the Catholic Church? To priest, to bishop, or to Pope, who -- I am willing to consider the hypothesis -- should attempt to rule in matters civil and political, to influence the citizen beyond the range of their own orbit of jurisdiction -- that of the things of God, the answer is quickly made: "Back to your own sphere of rights and duties -- back to the things of God!" Or, in like manner, should the State, or its officials, in law or in act, step beyond the frontier of temporal jurisdiction and dare lay hands upon the things spiritual and divine the answer is: "Beware, touch not the things which God has reserved to His duly appointed representatives in the spiritual order."

A recent proclamation from an anti-Catholic association in America reads: "We hold that no citizen is a true patriot who owes superior temporal allegiance to any power above that of his obedience to the principles of the Constitution of the United States." The shaft is directed against a supposed tenet of the Catholic Church; it pierces the vacant air; it is a missive of pitiable ignorance.

Is the issue that of the temporal sovereignty exercised for ages in a part of Italy by the Roman Pontiffs, still claimed by their successor as an international right? But in the States of the Church the Pontiff was king as well as Pontiff. To his own kingdom his temporal rule was strictly limited. Beyond the frontier of his own States he claimed no civil or political power; none was allowed him by the most Catholic of nations, by the most loyal of Catholic believers.

Is the issue that of happenings in ages when bishops and popes, the sole visible tenants of authority able to wrest tribes and peoples from chaos and anarchy, were compelled by social needs and popular appeals to sit as civil lawmakers and judges -- when the crozier and the tiara were the sole arms to stem the onslaught of imperial and regal despotism, and peoples in despair cried to them for mercy and help -- or in ages when Christendom was of one creed in faith and morals, and special gifts of power were made to the Papacy, willed by all as an international arbitrator and peacemaker -- when special opportunities for beneficent intermingling of the spiritual and the temporal in the life of nations were created for the Papacy, to which it was bound to give heed, under penalty of betraying the behests of charity and of justice, and turning back from the face of the earth the upwelling stream of culture and civilization?

Into past ages I do not now hold the field glass of scrutiny, although, were I to do so, I were readily able to decry glorious work done by the Papacy, and to the wondering eye of a modern world show it to have been ever the guardian of personal and social rights, ever the foster mother of popular liberty and popular justice, ever the resplendent mirror of Him of whom it was written: "He passed by, doing good." My contention is, when and where, as in America, a new social order has arisen, within which the State or the nation wills to live of its native life and rights, the Church, freed from burdens imposed upon it by social phases of other times and other places, willingly betakes itself to the folds of its own mantle, to the circle of its own spiritual orbit, saying with its founder and master: "To Caesar the things that are Caesar's, to God the things that are God's."

And now, in America, some do say, that the Pope of Rome is ambitious of temporal rule over America, of planting here the "Yellow and White" instead of the Star Spangled Banner; that priests and bishops are active agents of his yearnings; that Catholics dream of the day when his command in civil and political matters will sway the White House and Capitol; that for this intent associations are nightly befitting themselves by sanguinary oath and secret drillings, to murder their fellow-citizens and in the name of a foreign potentate take forcible possession of the land of the brave and the home of the free! I allude to such wild elucubrations of diseased brains only to ask, in unanswered wonderment, how such follies can be thought out and acted upon, even by a handful of men, in the twentieth century, in America? But, of course, the insane are ever with us, and all the insane are not put into safe keeping.

The partition of jurisdiction into the spiritual and the temporal is a principle of Catholicism; no less is it a principle of Americanism. Catholicism and Americanism are in complete agreement.

The Constitution of the United States reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." It was a great forward leap on the part of the new nation towards personal liberty and the consecration of the rights of conscience. Not so had it heretofore been on the soil of America. Save in Maryland while reigned there the spirit of the Catholic Lord Baltimore, and in Pennsylvania under the sweet-tempered rule of William Penn, religious freedom was barred by law in the Colonies, Protestant creeds warring one with the other, all warring with the Catholic. But it was decreed that the new flag must be unsullied by religious persecution, the new nation must be, on every score, the daughter of freedom, the guardian angel of personal rights in each and every American.

The proclamation of the Constitution was as the Milanese edict of Emperor Constantine. Before the time of Constantine all things, even the things of God, were Caesar's. The State made and unmade divinities; it was itself a divinity, its highest representative, the Emperor, claimed place among the Olympians, and incense was burned before his statue as before that of a god. The personal conscience was allowed no recognition. The subject must worship as Caesar ordered. It was servitude most absolute. But at last the conqueror of the Milvian bridge spoke; liberty triumped in the triumph of the Labarum. "We have determined, with sound and upright purpose," said Constantine, "that liberty is to be denied to no one . . . that to each one freedom is to be given to devote his mind to that religion which he may think adapted to himself." Conscience was made free in the Roman Empire by the Milanese edict; it was made free in America by the Federal Constitution. In the one and in the other, it is the injunction of the Master: "To Caesar the things that are Caesar's; to God the things that are God's." By the terms of the Federal Constitution as by the teachings of the Catholic Church, no room is given in America for discord between Catholicism and Americanism, between my Catholic faith and my civic and political allegiance.

America is a Republic; the spirit, the form of government is democracy -- the government of the people, by the people, for the people. Is there not here, it is asked, at least a touch of conflict between my religious faith and my civic and political faith? I tread upon easy ground, so plain are the teachings of the Catholic Church in favor of the rights of the people in matters of civic and political government. I again quote from the encyclical letters of Leo XIII. Tne Pontiff writes: "There is no power but from God. The right of command, however, is not in itself linked to any one form of government. One or the other form the commonwealth may rightfully give to itself, provided such be really promotive of the common welfare . . . No reason is there why the Church should prefer one form of government to another, provided the form that is chosen be just in itself and favorable to the common good. Therefore, the rules of justice being duly observed, the people are free to adopt that form of government which befits their temper, or best accords with their traditions and customs." America declared itself a Republic; its government is organized democracy. In America, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, the republic is the sole legitimate government; to the republic Catholics are in conscience obliged to yield sincere and unswerving obedience.

God is the source and the giver of all power; of themselves men have no authority over other men. The authority of the parent over the child is from God, who created nature and so created the family; the authority of the State is from God, who willed that men should live within the fostering embrace of a social organism. In this sense, but in none other, a government, whatever the form, rules by divine right. God gives the power, but the people choose those that hold it, and mark out the conditions under which they do hold it. This is supreme democracy; it is the dogma of Catholicism.

In America the government is the Republic -- the government of the people, by the people, for the people. With you, fellow Catholics with you, fellow Americans, I salute the Republic. I thank God that the people of America are capable of possessing a government of this form. The Republic -- it is the fullest recognition of human dignity and human rights, the fullest grant of personal freedom, that due respect for the rights of others and the welfare of the social organism may allow. Permit the barbarous onslaughts of lawlessness and anarchy to undermine its foundations or loosen the cement binding together its walls! Never, so long as life still throbs within our bosoms, alter it to empire or monarchy! Never, so long as our lips may praise it, or our hand's wield arms in its defence.

Would we alter, if we could, the Constitution in regard to its treatment of religion, the principles of Americanism in regard to religious freedom? I answer with an emphatic No. Common sense is ours. Common justice is ours; a regard to our own welfare and safety is also ours. The broad fact is that the American people are divided in matters of religious belief. To the American people, to the whole people, does the country belong. What else, then, could the framers of the Constitution have done, what else since their time could the legislators of the land have done, in equity towards all, in equity to the country as one nation, to its people as one people, but solemnly decree, as they did, as they continue to do, equal rights to all -- rights to all, privileges to none? Necessarily religious freedom is the basic life of America, the cement running through all its walls and battlements, the safeguard of its peace and prosperity. Violate religious freedom against Catholics: Our swords are at once unsheathed. Violate it in favor of Catholics, against non-Catholics: No less readily do they leap from the scabbard.

Does Catholicism in America suffer from religious freedom, allowed equally to Catholics and to non-Catholics? Compare the lot of Catholicism in America to that of Catholicism in so many trans-Atlantic lands, where the tenets of Pagan Caesarism, as to the supremacy of the State over the conscience of its subjects, do still prevail. There manacles bind hand and limb the bride of Christ: Here she walks, in queenly mien, free and unfettered, putting forth, without let or hindrance, the full exuberance of her native force and beauty, proving at every stepping that her life is all her own, since she lives it without outward help or prop; that her blossom and fruit are all her own, since they spring exclusively from her bosom, and of their own vigor defy triumphantly darkening clouds and battling tempests.

Had the Catholic Church not lived and thriven in freedom, truth were not its armor, grace from Heaven were not the comeliness of its countenance.

They know us little who accuse us of coveting civil and political power, that we may dim the splendor of the fairest flower in the garden of Americanism. Our combats, if combats there be, are never against the liberties of America, but in defense of them; never against Americanism, but against such of its sons whose souls never yet have thrilled in full response to its teachings and inspirations.

The charge is made, if not anti-American, the Catholic Church is un-American -- it, is in America an alien institution. More definitely the charge is this: The Catholic Church does not bear the stamp, "Made in America." It is un-American to go across the Atlantic or the Pacific for aught that America uses or needs, even for its religion. Now the head of the Catholic Church is the Bishop of Rome, a foreigner; its general councils, composed of men of all nations are foreigners in the majority; Europeans, Asiatics, Africans, legislate in faith and morals for America. Why not a Pope strictly American? Why not councils, as those of other religious bodies, exclusively made up of Americans -- capable, as only Americans may be supposed to be, of interpreting the American mind and guiding the American aspiration? The late Bishop Doane of Albany once wrote: "It is hard to find any other word (than that of 'alien') which describes the whole communion of a Church which owes its highest allegiance to a single head, who is a foreigner across the sea." A few weeks ago, in the Yale Review, the secretary-general of the university while treating of what he is willing to call the helpful influence of the Catholic Church over recently arrived immigrants, complains: "But it the Catholic Church links them the immigrants with their past rather than with that of the United States. It has been outside the main currents of the Anglo-Saxon progress. Its emphasis is neither on freedom nor on democracy; so unless it proves untrue to its own ideal it will not satisfy the American people." To Bishop Doane, Catholicism is "an alien" in America, objectionable to Americans, because its sovereign Pontiff is not an American, living in America. Anson Phelps is sure that Catholicism, to satisfy Americans, should have been woven in a loom-room even of Anglo-Americanism. In the June number of the Atlantic Monthly, a writer reads his article with this caption: "Reasonable Hopes of American Religion," and actually delineates a creed suitable in his judgment to the people of America. Faith and morals made in America on a design strictly American! Great and good as is America, it must not arrogate to itself the realm of the Almighty God, that of faith and morals. Shall we call the Almighty God a foreigner? Yet He is not exclusively the God of America. Shall we call the Saviour of Calvary a foreigner? Yet He was neither a native nor a naturalized American, and His message was: "Teach all nations" -- instead of teach only America! And now shall we call the Bishop of Rome a foreigner, "an alien," because he stands before the world the universal teacher, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, teacher of all nations, teacher of the whole human family?

Argue that the Almighty God is not the supreme author and norm of an eternal righteousness, that Jesus Christ is not the proven revealer of the thoughts and the love of the Almighty God, that the Bishop of Rome is not the historic successor of Christ's apostolate -- then, counsel, perhaps, an American-made Church for Americans, an American-made code of faith and morals. But religion is not a product of the mind of the individual man, or of the environment within which he lives; it is not a sheer human growth, changeable as the seasons of the year, fitful and capricious as the likes and dislikes of man and of peoples.

Religion is the mind and the will of God, existing as God exists, objectively outside of men and of peoples, superior to all in men, exacting from man the obedience due by the creature to the creator. The question is never -- what is it that suits a man, or a people, but what is it that God has imposed upon men by the eternal laws of His supreme righteousness, or by the teachings of His historic revelations? What Americans require is, not an American-made, but a God-made religion. And so, at the bar of American common sense itself, the proposals of the writer of the Atlantic Monthly must only be -- as he himself despairingly inclines to term them -- "dreams that are the shadows of hopes, hopes that are the shadows of dreams."

The Catholic Church is extra-American, supra-national, begotten for all nations, not for America alone; its supreme Pontiff is extra-American, supra-national -- a foreigner on no spot of earth's surface, everywhere at home, as the spiritual father of all tribes and of all peoples who seek divine truth from a universal God and a universal Saviour.

And this, the beauty; this, the grandeur of the Catholic Church, that it is Catholic, as the eternal God is Catholic, as the salvation given by Jesus Christ is Catholic. Narrowness, provincialism in religion, in faith and morals, on the first face of things, is a perversion of God's eternal law, and of the revelation given to men 1,900 years ago. The days of tribal religions are past; they must not be revived in America.

Another charge of un-Americanism -- the attitude of the Catholics toward State schools. My answer is quickly at hand. The State takes to itself the task of instructing the children of its people in branches of secular knowledge; in order that this be done the more efficiently and the more generally, the State pays from the public treasury the financial cost of the schools opened under its patronage. Do Catholics make objection to the task or to the financial expenditures it entails?

Convinced they are, as the most zealous supporters of State schools, that no child, whether for its own, or for the sake of the State, should grow up without an adequate share of secular knowledge; and convinced no less are they that it is right and proper on the part of the State to disburse its funds in favor of universal secular instruction. What then our claim? One that we most licitly put forth on behalf of America itself -- that this secular instruction be given so that the religious creed of the least of the little ones be not made to suffer; that it be given so that the influences of religion -- influences, however much outside the direct grant of the civil power, still vitally necessary to the social life and security of the State itself, as they are to the spiritual life of the souls of its citizens -- be not contaminated or nullified. Not against State schools, as such, do I raise objection, but as to the methods in which they work -- methods that, whatever the theory, do in fact consecrate secularism as the religion of America, and daily are thither driving America with the floodtide of a Niagara. Somehow, secular knowledge should be imparted to the child so as not to imperil its faith in God and in Christ. Prove to me, I say, that this contention does not fully fit into the Constitution of the United States, that in making it I have not in mind the welfare, the salvation of America -- prove this before you denote me as un-American.

A pernicious mistake is made regarding our complaint of the methods by which State schools are conducted. It is, that Catholics are looking exclusively to themselves and to their financial interests. Not so at all: We look to ourselves; but even more so, we look to the people of America, to the Republic of America. We need not be much concerned for ourselves. We have our Catholic schools; to-morrow we shall have them in greater numbers, where our children receive secular knowledge without peril to faith and morals. Nor do we count the cost of maintaining those schools, in view of the priceless protection they give to faith and morals. But the vast population around us is limited to schools of secularism -- and in this way secularism is fast becoming the religion of America. Say what you will, to-day, in America, the evil is the decay of religion, and, in logical sequence, the decay of morals. In both instances the cause of the decay is the enforced secularism of the State schools. Others than Catholics, heedful observers and intelligent thinkers, admit the evil, admit the cause and give the alarm. I trust to the awakening common sense and patriotism of the American people to discover the remedy. Meanwhile in telling of the evil and of the cause, my right hand on my conscience, I rank myself among truest and most loyal Americans.

An axiom of Americanism is "equal rights for all," "fair play," "the square deal," as it has been termed. That, and naught else, is the demand of Catholics in America. Catholics demand their rights -- all the rights guaranteed to American citizenship by the letter and the spirit of the Constitution; and for the acquisition and the preservation of those rights they shrink from no means or methods allowed by the Constitution and the laws of the land. Were they to act otherwise, they were the unworthy sons of America. The rights of Catholics are the rights of the personal conscience of the Catholic citizen. It is not the Catholic Church in its official name that comes into issue; it is the American citizen, whose religious faith is the faith of the Catholic Church. Not to know one's rights is low mindedness, not to defend them is cowardice. The true American, differing from us in religion, would despise us if we laid down our arms before bigotry and injustice, and by so doing disgraced the shield of Americanism, ever vowed to justice and to valor.

Do we, however, demand special privileges not accorded to other citizens of America? No -- never -- no more than we would allow others special privileges not accorded to ourselves -- less even than we would allow such privileges to others. If the members of a Church, or a religious or a semi-religious organization of any kind, arises in America calling for special privileges, be the shame of un-Americanism their portion. Such a contention never will be the disgrace of Catholicism. The common Law of the land Catholics propose for themselves; it is what they propose for others.

Catholic fellow-citizens, claim your rights -- the rights given by the Constitution of the land, the American spirit of fair play, the laws of American citizenship. But in doing this be on your guard, lest even in slightest semblance you give offence to men too ready to take offence. Be sure before you act that reason and justice are with you. Act always in calmness, certain always that, upon proper presentation of your case, sooner or later America will deal rightly with you. Remember that your complaint is not against the American people, but against individuals, or small classes of men, who, whatever their nominal Americanism, are beyond its sweetest whisperings, below its rapturous elevation of thought and sentiment.

Of the American people this must be said -- I say it from my heart, in full knowledge -- a people more deeply penetrated with the sense of civic and political justice, more generous in concession of rights, where rights belong, more respectful of their every brother, their every fellow-citizen, is not in existence on the broad surface of the globe. This my tribute to the American people, the verdict my fifty years of private and public commingling compel me to pronounce.

Good citizenship is the need of America, the basis of its safety, the spring of its hopes. It is the imperious law of Catholicism. I say the law of Catholicism -- the law, consequently, of all who live in spirit, who obey its mandates. Those who bear the name of Catholic, but are faithless to the injunetions of their religion I disown. They are bad citizens despite their creed, which with all the forces innate in it makes for good citizenship. To the Catholic obedience to law is a religious obligation, binding in God's name, the conscience of the citizen.

"Let every soul be subject to higher powers; for there is no power but from God; and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore, he that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist purchase to themselves damnation."

I do not discuss the hypothesis of laws wrong in morals, clearly beyond the province of the civil power, violations of the rights of the personal conscience. Such laws were not ratified by the supreme master of righteousness. Personal conscience is the ultimate asylum of the soul, in presence of civil or of ecclesiastical authority. Both Americanism and Catholicism bow to the sway of personal conscience.

It is Americanism that the ballot box is the sanctuary of good citizenship -- opening its doors only to the weal and honor of the country. A sacrilege it is to step towards it with bribe in hand, fraud in mind, to reach towards it the offering of selfishness, or of injustice. None more careful of the unstained ballot box than the good Catholic, loyal to the Catholic faith; America is the sole issue -- before him -- its weal for honor. Aught else in mind or in heart, he is a traitor to his creed, as he is a traitor to his country.

The best men for the office, whatever the religious creed of the man. To put a Catholic into office, merely because he is a Catholic, though otherwise unworthy and incapable, is a crime against America, a sin against the Almighty God.

In choosing his candidate the Catholic voter is the freest of the free. It is a calumny that we deeply resent, to say that in civic and political matters Catholic voters are under the influence of the Church. Priests and bishops do not dictate the politics of Catholics; if they strove to do so their interference would be promptly repulsed. It is of public knowledge that the Catholic vote is distributed among the several political parties of the country. To speak of myself, privately and publicly as a citizen, I give my allegiance to a particular political party. Do I dare preach from my pulpit the tenets of that party to the discredit of another? Do I dare allow that, if heeded at all by others, my choice of a ballot should or could receive other attention than that due to its civic and political merit? As a matter of fact legions of Catholic voters in America believe me hopelessly wrong in politics. As a citizen I may regret that my political influence is not wider; as a Catholic I am glad of the independence of the citizenship of America.

There is in America no Catholic political party, nor should there be. As a matter of course, were a special issue raised in which rights of Catholics were menaced the conscience of Catholics were impelled to defend those rights on the ground of American fair play itself. That -- and nothing more.

Now and then I myself have made the complaint that in America, Catholics are not represented in the higher offices of the land proportionately to their numbers. My words were interpreted as if I had urged Catholics to take political control of State and Nation in the interest of the Catholic Church. Nothing is further from my mind. My sole contention is that, seemingly, Catholics are lacking in legitimate civic ambition, or in high civic qualifications, else their fellow-Americans would have been more willing to honor them. Is this position not squarely American -- equal rights to all, provided the merit be equal? I repeat the lesson to Catholics who now hear or may later hear my words. For your own sake, for the sake of America, upward be your march in social and political ambition, in ability to render service to the country, in moral worthiness, in intellectual culture; then trust yourselves to the social and political justice of your fellow-Americans. Some Catholics there are who complain that hostility to their religion keeps them in the dark vale, while too often the fact is that their own shortcomings forbid them to ascend to the sunlit hills.

Either they have not fitted themselves for high positions, or they have been without the legitimate ambition to honor themselves by giving to the country highest and best service. I have said, trust to the justice of fair play of your fellow-citizens. Should, however, the particular case arise where it is plain you are set aside solely because you are Catholics, then, in the name of Americanism, protest -- so loudly that never again will similar insult be offered to your American citizenship.

I have told of the American Catholic in time of peace. Shall I tell of him in time of war? Here I proffer no argument; I relate a historic occurrence. It was at Gettysburg, fifty years ago the second day of July, 1863. The command is hurried to the Irish Brigade to check the onrush of General Anderson's Confederates. The chaplain, the Rev. William Corby, leaps to the top of a large boulder: "The Catholic Church," he shouts, refuses Christian burial to the soldier who turns his back to the foe or deserts his flag," adding that he is ready to impart sacramental absolution to those who in their hearts make a sincere act of sorrow for sin. All are on their knees; General Hancock in his saddle, removes his hat; the absolution. is given; the charge is made; the Confederates flee backwards.

Gettysburg is but one of a hundred instances my tongue could easily name. Somehow, Catholicism and Americanism commingle graciously their intertwinings when the honor of the Star-Spangled Banner is in peril.

As a religion Catholicism is in the arena, with the spiritual arms forged by its founder -- faith, hope, and charity. It is avowedly expansive and propagandist. What else, so long as the divine commission read: "Going, therefore, teach ye all nations.

Is America to be Catholic in religion? Fain would I have it so. I am not, however, so ignorant of history and of present conditions as to imagine that the goal is within near reach. But Catholicism in America, all consideration given to ebb and flow, is growing apace. I will not deem myself in error when I estimate the Catholic population of the United States to be 18,000,000, to which figure are to be added nearly ten other millions, if we number all whom to-day the flag owns or protects.

Need America fear the spread of the religious creed of Catholicism? In reality the question is none other than this: Need America fear the spread of the Gospel of Christ? If the Catholic Church wins in the battle with unbelief, or with the present varied forms of Christianity, it will only be because it demonstrates in itself the perpetuity of the Kingdom of Christ, to which solely it makes its appeal. Its doctrines, its life and action, must be those of Christ, else, as it should do, it vanishes from the scene. Argument in opposition to its claim as the religion of Christ, it calmly awaits. Of arguments it does not complain. It only asks that passion be absent from the contest, that calumny and misrepresentation be not made use of -- promising on its part that whatever on this score the tactics of offence other than those of truth and charity -- the methods of the Lord Himself. The work of expansion, as done by the Catholic Church, will be the work of peace and of love. No social discord can come from it -- no break in the harmony that should sweeten the ties binding together fellow-citizens and neighbors in the common service of a common country.

To the civil and political institutions of America no harm can come from the spread of Catholicism. Yea -- to those institutions Catholicism brings elements most vital to their life and growth -- those of a positive, authoritative religion. Never does materialism beget or sustain a well-ordered social organism; never does a vague uncertain Christian sentiment give to it strength and cohesiveness. The Catholic Church puts forth a clear and definite message; it speaks with authority. In its dogmas and enactments it is thoroughly social, laying supreme stress on the principles of law and order, so necessary to society, especially in a free democracy. It teaches that disobedience to law is a sin against God; that society is from God; that to undermine the foundations of society, to make null its purposes and mission, is to resist the ordinance of God. It teaches the sanctity and the indissolubility of marriage, setting its whole power in restraint of that terrible plague of divorce, so ruinous to-day of the family hearthstone, the fundamental unit of the whole social organism.

And it teaches, most firmly and most imperiously, those principles of moral righteousness, that repress passion and self-interest, the fatal foes of the social organism; and it teaches, also, as the final outcome of earth's strugglings, the inspiring doctrine of hope in another life which alone dispels the pessimism of despair, the ferocious thoughts and acts to which this pessimism must needs give birth. To-day -- blind they are who do not see the awful peril -- society is close to precipice and abyss. The cause is the decay of religion. Salvation for the social organism is in the name and the power of the ever living God, the potent agency to preach God and uphold His authority in the Catholic Church.

I repeat my profession of faith -- my religious faith, Catholicism; my civil and political faith, Americanism.

Some twenty years ago, on a memorable occasion, an illustrious prelate, at that time the official representative of Pope Leo XIII, said to the Catholics of America: "The Gospel of Christ in one hand, the Constitution of the United States in the other, go forth to work and to victory." Our signal of combat! It is the word of Francis Satolli: It is Catholicism and Americanism.

{1} Address delivered at Milwaukee, Wis., on Aug. 11, 1913, at the mass meeting incidental to the Twelfth Annual National Convention of the Federation of American Catholic Societies.

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