Saturday, 30 August 2014

CATHOLICISM IN GREAT BRITAIN.

(From the Boston Weekly Bee.)

Among other evidences of their passion for defeating themselves by dabbling in secular affairs, we find a pamphlet just published under Cardinal Wiseman's auspices, entitled : " A true account of the Hungarian Revolution, its purposes and pretences." The title-page further says, " By an American Democrat," "With   Preliminary Observations respecting the Liberals abroad and the Liberal party at home, especially intended for the perusal of Roman Catholics, by W. B. Maccabe." The brochure, a very bulky one, is quite worthy of an Irishman—for the preface is longer than the work ; and this shows that the "Hungarian Revolution" is only the show subject, the gist of the publication being an attack upon "Liberalism" generally. The "American Democrat" is a prosy writer of the Boston Pilot school, who has got a notion that the Hungarian effort for independences was merely the effort of the Magyars, or nobles, and not that of the Sclavonic people, a blunder which has been exposed often enough—the very fact of Kossuth, one of the people, leading, sufficing to show its absurdity. Maccabe assumes all the "democrat's" facts, and then attempts to show that the liberal party everywhere is an infidel party with no sympathy and hardly any connection with the veritable people. "When," he says, "cause and motive are laid bare, we hope to render Magyars and Liberals alike objects of contempt to all who love liberty, who hate tyranny, and who desire to promote the welfare, happiness, ease, and contentment of the poor."

So he advises the poor to uphold despotism, and condemns all the reformed governments of Europe. His model government is Austria. He shows, what a "paternal despotism" really is—how happy it makes a country—and what an error it is in Lombards, Poles, and Hungarians to quarrel with the compulsory happiness presented to them. The argument thus boldly outlined is full and minutely elaborated, and is illustrated by a prodigious number of references to facts and authorities, in past and present times —showing throughout great learning and great ingenuity. What the argument is worth is evident—and that is nothing. If it were good for anything, it ought to show that the States of the Church and back streets of Rome are earthly paradises. The fact is not so, and Mr. Maccabe only proves, therefore, that he makes the mistake of supposing that such men as Lord John Russell or Guizot are "Liberals." it does not carry the argument even far enough in his own way ; for while he jeers at Mazzini-ites and Red Republican Communists, he quotes Louis Blanc as to the condition of the civic poor, and never ventures on a denial that Mazzini and Ledru Rollin, certainly not Catholics; and suspected to be infidels, meant, in their revolutionary struggles, to establish Socialism—a system for the poor even more efficacious, it would appear, on paper, than the cathedral and monastery system loved by Mr. Maccabe. But the pamphlet will not be examined for its argument, but for its tendency ; and, so regarded, it is damnatory, in popular eyes, to the pretensions to prosperous progress suggested in the aggression." The pamphlet, if it have any meaning, is a pamphlet to uphold Metternichism and Haynanism,—to justify the prisons of Rome, and the cruelties at Naples ; and if this be the ultra-montanism which Dr. Wiseman has become a Cardinal to promote, it is clear he has made a mistake. The politics will sink the religion.

Empire 22 January 1852, 

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