The title, Our Established Church, given by Putnam to a bitterly anti-Catholic article in its number for last July, is too malicious for pleasantry and too untrue for wit. The writer knows perfectly well that we have in this State of New York no established church, and that, of all the so-called churches, the Catholic Church is the furthest removed from being the state church. In no city, town, or county of the State are Catholics the majority of the population; and even in this city, where their proportion to the whole population is the largest, they probably constitute not much, if any, over one third of the whole. Public opinion throughout the State, though less hostile than it was a few years ago, is still bitterly anti-Catholic. In this city, the numbers and influence of naturalized, as distinguished from natural born citizens, is, no doubt, very great; but these naturalized citizens are by no means all Catholics, and a large number of those who may have been baptized Catholics are wholly uninfluenced by their Catholicity in their public, and, we fear, to a great extent, even in their private life. It is simply ridiculous, even by way of irony, to speak of our church as the established church, or as exerting a controlling influence in the State or city. |
Moreover, no church can be the established church, here or elsewhere, unless it concedes the supremacy of the state, and consents to be its slave. This the Catholic Church can never do. The relations of church and state in Catholic countries have for many centuries been regulated by concordats; but in this country, since the adoption of the Federal constitution, the civil authority has recognized its own incompetency in spirituals, and, as before it, the equal rights of all religions not contra bonos mores, as also its obligation to protect the adherents of each in the free and full enjoyment of their entire religious liberty. The state guarantees, thus, all the freedom and protection the church has ever secured elsewhere by concordats. She much prefers freedom to slavery, and her full liberty, though shared with hostile sects, to the gilded bondage of a state church. She neither is the established church, nor can she consent to become so; for a state church means a church governed by the laity, and subordinated to secular interests, as we see in the case of the Anglican establishment. Her steady refusal to become a state establishment is the key to those fearful struggles in the middle ages between the church and the empire; and the secret of the success of the Protestant Reformation is to be found in its ready submission to the secular prince, or its practical assertion of the supremacy of the civil power and the subordination of the spiritual.
There is always great difficulty in discussing such questions as the writer in Putnam raises with our Protestant fellow-citizens; for we and they start from opposite principles and aim at different ends. We, as Catholics, assert the entire freedom and independence of the spiritual order; but they, consciously or unconsciously, assume that the state is supreme, and that the spiritual should be under the surveillance and control of the secular. We understand by religious liberty the freedom and independence of the church as an organic body; they understand by it the freedom of the laity from all authority claimed and exercised by the pope and clergy as ministers of God or stewards of his kingdom on earth. If each Protestant sect claims, in its own case, exemption from secular control, every one insists that the Catholic Church shall be subject to Caesar, and all unite to deprive her of her spiritual freedom and independence. Hence, they and we view things from opposite poles. They regard them from the point of view of the Gentiles, with whom religion was a civil function, and the state supreme alike in spirituals and temporals; we, from the point of view of the Gospel, or the New Law, which asserts the divine sovereignty, and requires us to obey God rather than men. They would secularize the church and education, abolish the priesthood, explain away the sacraments, and reduce the worship of God to the exercise of preaching, praying, and singing, which can be perfumed by laymen, or even women, as well as by consecrated priests. What they call their religion is a perpetual protest against what we call religion, or the Christian religion as we understand, hold, and practise it. It is especially a protest against the priesthood, priestly functions and authority.
Hence the difficulty of a mutual understanding between them and us. What they want is not what we want. We are willing to let them have their own way for themselves, but they are not willing that we should have our own way for ourselves; and they try all manner of means in their power to force us to follow their way and to fashion ourselves after their model. They do not concede that we have, and are not willing that we should have, equal rights with themselves in the state. If the state treats us as citizens standing on a footing of equality with them, they are indignant, and allege that it treats us as a privileged class, and to their great wrong. If it does not subordinate us to them, they pretend that it makes ours the established church, and places them in the attitude of dissenters from the state religion. They are not satisfied with equality; they can see no equality where they are not the masters. They cannot endure that Mordecai should be allowed to sit in the king's gate. This is the real sense of Putnam's article, and the meaning of the clamor of the sectarian and a large portion of the secular press, against the State and city of New York, for their alleged liberality to the church.
The complaint in Putnam is, that the State and city of New York have granted aid to certain Catholic charitable institutions, such as hospitals, orphan asylums, reformatories or protectorates for Catholic boys, etc., out of all proportion to its grants of aid to similar Protestant institutions. Also, that the Legislature has authorized the city to appropriate a certain percentage of the fees received for liquor licenses to the support of private schools for the poor, some portion, even the larger portion, of which, it is assumed, will go to the support of Catholic parochial schools, and therefore, it is pretended, to the support of sectarian schools; for in the Protestant mind whatever is Catholic is sectarian. But is it true that the State or the city does proportionably less for non-Catholic charitable or education institutionsnot a few of which are well known to be formed for the very purpose of picking up, we might say kidnapping, Catholic poor children, and bringing them up on some form of Protestantism or infidelitythan it does for Catholic charitable institutions? Most certainly not. It does far less for Catholic than for non-Catholic institutions; and yet, because it does a little for institutions, though for the benefit of the whole community, under the control and management of Catholics, the State and city are calumniated, and we are insulted by its being pretended that our church is made the state church.
In this matter of State grants or city donations, the Protestant mind proceeds upon a sad fallacy. The division of Protestants among themselves count for nothing in a question between them and Catholics. Protestants overlook this fact, and while they call all grants and donations to Catholic institutions sectarian, they call none sectarian of all that made to Protestant institutions which are not under the control and management of some particular denomination of Protestants, as the Espicopalian, the Presbyterian, the Baptist, or the Methodist; but this is a grave error, and cannot fail to mislead the public. All grants and donations made to institutions, charitable or educational, not under the control and management of Catholics are made to non-Catholics; and, with the exception of those made to the Hebrews, to Protestant institutions. There are but two religions to be counted, Catholic and Protestant. The true rule is to count on one side whatever is given to institutions under Catholic control and management, and on the other is all that is given for similar purposes to all the institutions, whether public or private, not under Catholic control and management. The question, then, comes up, Have the State and city given proportionately greater amounts to Catholic charitable and other institutions than to Protestant institutions? If not, we have no more than our share, and the Protestant clamor is unjust and indefensible.
Of the policy of granting subsidies by State or city, to eleemosynary institutions, whether Catholic or Protestant we say nothing; for being, even now, at most not more than one fifth of the whole population of the State, we are in no sense answerable, as Catholics, for any policy the State may see proper to adopt. But, if it adopts the policy of granting subsidies, we demand for our institutions our proportion of the subsidies granted. Have we received more than our proportion? Nay, have we received anything like our proportion? We find from the official report made to the State Convention, that the total of grants made by the State to charitable and other institutions of the Deaf and Dumb, the New York institution for the Blind, the Society for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents of New York, State Agricultural College, State Normal School, the Western House of Refuge for Juvenile Delinquents, State Lunatic Asylum, the Asylum for the Insane,, academies, orphan asylums, etc., hospitals, etc., colleges, universities, etc., and miscellaneoushave amounted, for twenty-one years, ending with 1867, to $6,920,881.91. of this large amount, Catholics should have received for their institutions certainly not less than one million of dollars. Yet, all that we have been able to find that they have received out of this large sum is a little less than $276,000; that is, not over one fourth of what they were entitled to; yet Putnam's Magazine has the effrontery to pretend that our church is favored at the expense of Protestantism.
So much for the State subsidies. In passing to the city, we find its donations to charitable institutions, from 1847 to 1867 inclusive, amount to $1, 837,593.27; of which, Catholic institutions, including $45,000 for parochial schools, have received, as nearly as we can ascertain from the returns, a little over three hundred thousand dollars. Al the rest has gone to non-Catholic, and a large part to bitterly anti-Catholic associations and institutions. Of the aggregate grants and donations of the State and city of $8,754,759.18, Catholic institutions, as far as we have been able to discover from the official tables before us, received, prior to 1868, less than $600,000, not, by any means, a fourth of our proportion. Yet we are treated as the established church!
But we have not yet stated the whole case. We do not know how many millions are appropriated annually for the support of public schools through the State; but in this city the tax levy, this year, for the public schools, is, we are told, $3,000,000 or over. Catholics pay their proportion of this amount, and they are a third of the population of the city. The sum appropriated to the aid of private schools, we are told, is estimated at $200,000; and if every cent of it is applied in aid of our schools, as it will not be, it is far less thant he tax we pay for schools which we cannot use. The public schools are anti-Catholic in their tendency, and none the less sectarian because established and managed by the public authority of the State. The State is practically Protestant, and all its institutions are managed by Protestants. St. John's College, Fordham, or St. Francis Xavier's, in this city, is not more exclusively Catholic than Columbia or Union is exclusively Protestant. These latter are open to Catholics, but not more than the former are to Protestants. We count in grants and donations to Protestant institutions the whole amount raised by public tax, together with that appropriated from the school fund of the State for the support of the public schools. Thus we claim that Catholic charities and schools do not receive, in grants and donations, a tithe of what is honestly or justly their sharewhether estimated according to their numbers or according to the amount of public taxes, for sectarian charitable and educational purposes levied on them by the State and its municipalities. How false and absurd, then, to pretend that this State specially favors our religion, and treats us as privileged class! The writer in Putnam is obliged to draw largely on his sectarian imagination for facts to render his statements at all plausible. His pretended facts are in most cases no facts at all. We wish his estimate of the value of the real estate owned by the church were true; but he exaggerates hugely the amount, and then says it is held, for the most part, in fee-simple, by one or another of five ecclesiastics, which shows how ill-informed he is. We subjoin the brief but spirited contradiction, by the bishop of Rochester, of several of his misstatements.
"To the Editor of the Rochester Democrat:
"In your paper, of June 16, appears an article with the caption, 'Our Established Church.' The article is based on one with the same title in Putnam's Magazine for July. I do not wish to review the article in Putnam, but claim the privilege of correcting some of its misstatements.
"I am one of the 'five ecclesiastics' in the State of New York holding property worth millions. Yet, strange to say, there is not to my knowledge one foot of land in the wide world in my name. All the church societies in the diocese of Rochester not organized as corporate bodies under the laws of the State of New York, previous to my appointment as Bishop of Rochester, have organized or are completing their organization under those laws. So soon as these societies comply with the law of the State, Bishop Loughlin, of Brooklyn, will transfer to them, by quit-claim deeds, whatever property of theirs he inherited from the late Bishop Timon. Had I had ever so little desire to hold property in my name, I might have held in fee-simple the lots on which I am building the bishop's house; but I have placed the title in the name of 'St. Patrick's Church Society.'
"The other 'ecclesiastics' in the State of New York, who have not already transferred the property which they held in fee-simple, are engaged in making such transfer of the 'fifty millions' said to be held by them.
"The chief trouble, it seems to me, is in the fact that the Catholic Church is allowed to hold property in any shape or form. But the Catholic Church does hold property \, and she will continue to hold it to the end of the chapter, and 'What do you propose to do about it?'
"'The (Catholic) Nursery and Hospital on Fifty-first street and Lexington avenue,' is a Protestant institution.
"The new St. Patrick's Cathedral stand on ground purchased by Catholics about sixty years ago, and ever since in their possession. This fact spoils Parton's compliment to the Archbishop Hughes's foresight, and a nice bit of irony in Putnam's Magazine.
"The Catholics in New York City, in 1817, opened an orphan asylum, which they maintained, without assistance from the city or State, until some time after the year 1840, when they received on a perpetual lease the block of ground between Fourth and Fifth avenues and Fifty-first and Fifty-second streets, at that time of very little value. On these lots they have erected two vast and magnificent buildings, in which they support over a thousand children, at an annual cost to them, and not to the city or State, of from $70,000 to $90,000.
"I make these corrections to show that the writer of the article in Putnam is far astray in his facts. There are many other objectionable statements in the article, but a magazine contribution without a little spice in it would be tame and unreadable. Thus, the allusion to the church trouble in Auburn, and the pretty play on the name of the church, would lose their point if the history of that affair were properly understood.
"Catholics do not claim to have rights above any one else, but they know they have equal rights with others. They have no notion of their church ever becoming the 'Established Church,' and they are just as certain that no other church shall ever assume to be the 'Established Church' in the United States. B. J. McQUAID "Bishop of Rochester."
This is conclusive as far as it goes. We do not know the money value of our churches, the sites and buildings of our schools, colleges, orphan asylums, hospitals, religious houses, and academies; but it is possible that in the five dioceses into which the State is ecclesiastically divided it may be half as much as the value of the real estate owned by Trinity Church in this city; but be it more or be it less, the property of the church has been bought and paid for, so far as paid for at all, with very slight exceptions, by the voluntary offerings of the faithful, and none of it has been obtained by the despoiling of Protestant owners. Very little of it is due to public grants, and the few lots leased us by the city at a nominal rent for term of years, though of great value now, were of little value when leased. Nor have these lots in any case been leased for sites of churches, but in all cases for purposes in which the city itself is no less deeply interested than the Catholics themselves. The grants to the reformatory for Catholic boys, though apparently large, are measures of economy on the part of the city; for we can manage reformatories and take care of our juvenile delinquents far more economically than the city or Protestant institutions can. The industrial school of the Sisters of Charity is a public benefit, and the city and the State would save money were all their hospitals and asylums placed under the charge of these good sisters, or of the kindred congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. Our hospitals, again, are as open to Protestants as to Catholics. It is never a Catholic practice to inquire what is a man's religion before rendering him assistance. Whoever heeds our help, whatever his religion, is our neighbor.
The city has made donations, as far as we are aware, only to such Catholic institutions as are established for really public objects, and which in their operations save the city from what would otherwise be either a public nuisance or a public charge. Take the case of Catholic orphan asylums. The orphans they receive and provide for would otherwise be a charge on the city treasury. Take the institute of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. It has for its object a noble charity, that of rescuing and reforming fallen women. These victims of vice and propagators of corruption, received and cared for by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, and generally restored to health, virtue, and usefulness, would, if not taken up by them, fall into the hands of the correctional police, and the city would have the expense of arresting, punishing, and providing for them in the house of correction, the penitentiary, or its hospitals, Catholic charity not only accomplishes a good object, confers a public benefit, but saves a heavy expense to the Commissioners of Public Charities and Correction. It is only such Catholic institutions as tend directly to promote a public good, and to lighten the public expense, that the city aids with its grants and donations. It aids in the same way, and to a far greater extent, similar Protestant institutions, such as the House of the Friendless, the House of Mercy, the Society for the Protection of Juvenile Delinquents, the Christian's Aid Society, the Madgalen Society, the Nursery and Children's Hospital, etc., for the most part institutions founded with an anti-Catholic intent.
The Magazine asserts, the "State paid out, in 1866, for benefactions under religious control, $129,025.49,.....of which the trifling sum of $127,174.14 went to the religious purposes" of the Catholic Church. We have not been able to find a particle of proof of this, and the mode of reckoning adopted by Putnam is so false, and its general inaccuracy is so great, that, in the absense of specific proof, we must presume it to be untrue, and made only for a sensational effect. The writer in Putnam seems to count as Catholic such institutions and associations as the ladies' Mission Society, The New York Madgalen Benevolent Society, Ladies' Union aid Society, Nursery and Children's Hospital, Ladies' Home Missionary Society, Five Points Gospel Union Mission, Five Points House of Industry, Young Men's Christian Association, and we know not how many more, all Protestant, and not a few of them designed, under pretext of charity, and by really rendering some physical relief to the poor and destitute, to detach the Catholic needy, and especially Catholic children, from the church, and yet all of them are beneficiaries of the State or city. No institution supported, even for proselyting purposes, by a union of two or more evangelical sects, is reckoned by Putnam as Protestant or sectarian. We hold them to be thoroughly Protestant, and rabidly sectarian.
The sensational writer in Putnam complains of the city for leasing to Catholics valuable real estate, at a nominal rent, for a long term of years. Only one such lease, that for the House of Industry for the Sisters of Charity, has been made in this city since 1847. The site of St. Patrick Cathedral, which he pretends is leased by the city, at a rent of one dollar a year, has been owned by Catholics for over sixty years, and was bought and paid for by them with their own money, as the venerable Bishop of Rochester asserts. The only other instance named, that of the Nursery and Children's Hospital, Fifty-first street and Lexington avenue, is a Protestant, not a Catholic institution. The writer should not take grants and donations made to Protestants as grants and donations made to Catholics. Between Catholics and Protestants there is a difference!
The writer's statement of the huge endowments the church will have, at the rate the city and State are endowing her, in 1918, we must leave to the consideration of the future Putnams. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. We will only say that the church has had, thus far, in this country, no endowment, and has no source of revenue but the unfailing charity of the faithful. The magnificent revenues of our churches, colleges, hospitals, asylums, etc., so dazzling to the writer in Putnam, are all in his eye. We have not a single endowed church, convent, college school, hospital, or asylum in the Union! We do great things with small means, and what to Protestants would seem to be no means at all, because He who is great is with us, and because we rely on charity, and charity never faileth.
We have sufficiently disposed of the property question, and vindicated the State and city from the charge of undue favoritism to our church. No charge can be more untrue or more unjust. A few words on the common school question, and we dismiss the article in Putnam, which has already detained us too long.
The writer in Putnam attempts to be so ironical and so witty, and so readily sacrifices sobriety and truth to point, that he must excuse us from following him step by step in his account of our relation to the common schools. We know well the common school system of this and other States. Wewe speak personallyreceived our early education in the public schools, were for five years a common school teacher, and for fifteen years had charge of the schools in the place of our residence, as school committee-man. We have not one world to say against them as schools for the children of those who are willing to secularize education. We make no war on the system for non-Catholics. If they wish the system for themselves, we offer them no opposition. Indeed, for those who hold the supremacy of the secular order, and believe that every department of life should be secularized, no better system can be devised. We oppose it not when intended for them, but only when intended for us and we are taxed to support it. We hold the spiritual order superior to the order superior to the secular, and wish our children to be education accordingly.
We hold that education, or the instruction and training of children and youth, is a function of the church, a function which she cannot discharge except in schools exclusively under her management and control. This education and training can be successfully given only in the Catholic family and the Catholic school. In this country, for reasons we need not stop to enumerate, the Catholic school is especially necessary. We do not, by any means, oppose what is called secular learning, and in no country where they have not been prevented by a hostile or anti-Catholic government, have Catholics failed to take the lead in all branches of secular learning and science. Al the great literary masterpieces of the world since the downfall of Pagan Rome, are the productions either of Catholics or of men who have received a Catholic training. Few as we are, and great as are the disadvantages under which we labor in this country, Catholics even here compare more than favorably, at this moment, in secular leaning and science, with non-Catholics. The religious training they receive from the church, the great catholic principles which she teaches them in the catechism and in all her services, tend to quicken and purify the mind, and to fit it to excel even in secular science and learning. The Catholic has the truth to start from, and why should he not surpass all others? No! we do not oppose, we favor secular learning and science; but we oppose separating secular training from religious training, and can never consent to the secularization of education. Here is where we and the present race of Protestants differ. It is because the common schools secularize, and are intended by their chief supporters to secularize, education and to make all life secular, that we oppose them, and refuse to send our children to them where we can possibly avoid it. Even if religious education is given elsewhere, in the family or in the Sunday-school, the evil is only partially neutralized. The separation of the secular from the religious tends to create a fearful dualism in both individual and social life, to place the spiritual and the secular in the relation of antagonism, each to the other, which renders impracticable that concord between the two orders so necessary to the harmonious development of the individual life and the promotion of the well-being and progress of society. We insist, therefore, on having our children and youth trained in schools under charge of the church, that in them the spiritual and the secular may be harmonized as necessary parts of one dialectic whole.
Such are our views and wishes, and such our conscientious conviction of duty. Whether we are right or wrong, is no question for the state or civil authority to settle. The state has no competency in the matter. It is bound to respect and protect every citizen in the free and full enjoyment of the freedom of his conscience. We stand before the state on a footing of perfect equality with non-Catholics, and have the same right to have our Catholic conscience respected and protected, that they have to have their non-Catholic and secularized conscience respected and protected. We do not ask the state to impose our conscience on them, or to compel them to adopt and follow our views of education; but we deny its right to impose theirs on us, or even to carry out their views of education in any degree at our expense. The Catholic conscience binds the state itself so far, but only so far, as Catholics are concerned. Non-Catholics are the great majority of the population, at least five to our one, throughout the State, and they have the power, if they choose to exercise it, to control the State and to deny us our equal rights; but that does not alter the fact that we have equal rights, and that the State is bound to respect and cause them to be respected. The State no doubt is equally bound to respect and protect the equal rights on non-Catholics, but no more than it is bound to respect and protect ours.
On this question of education, we and non-Catholics no doubt stand at opposite poles. We cannot accept their views, and they will not accept ours. Between them and us there is no common ground on which we and they can meet and act in concert. They feel it keenly as we do. Now as the State owes equally respect and protection to both parties, and has no right to attempt to force either to conform to the views of the other, its only just and honest course is to abandon the policy of trying to bring both together in a system of common schools. Catholic and non-Catholic education cannot be carried on in common. In purely secular matters, Catholics and Protestants can act in common, as one people, one community; but in any question that involves the spiritual relations and duties of men, we and they are two communities, and cannot act in concert; and as both are equal before the State, it can compel neither to give way to the other. This may or may not be a disadvantage; but it is a fact, and must by all parties be accepted as such.
The solution of the problem would present no difficulty, were the non-Catholics as willing to recognize our rights as we are to recognize theirs. They support secular schools, and wish to compel us to send our children to them, because they hope thus to secularize the minds of our childrenenlighten them, they say; darken them, we sayand detach them from the church, or, at least, so emasculate their Catholicity that it will differ only in name from Protestantism. They regard common schools, in which secular learning is diverted from religious instruction and training, as a most cunningly devised engine for the destruction of the church; and therefore they insist on it with all the energy of their souls, and the strength of their hatred of Catholicity. It gives them the forming of the character of the children of Catholics, and thus in an indirect way makes the State an accomplice in their proselyting schemes. Here arises all the difficulty in the case. But, whether they are right or wrong in their calculations, the state has no more right to aid them against us, than it has to aid us against them. If it will, as it is bound to do, respect and protect the rights of conscience, or real religious liberty, the only solid basis of civil liberty, it must do as the continental governments of Europe do, and divide the public schools into two classes; the one for Catholics, and the other for non-Catholics; that is, adopt the system of denominational schools, or, rather as we would say, Catholic Schoolsunder the management and control of the churchfor Catholics, and secular schoolsunder its own management and controlfor the rest of the community. Let the system stand as it is for non-Catholics, by whatever name they may be called, and let the State appropriate to Catholics, for the support of schools approved by their church, their proportion of the school fund, and of the money raised by public tax for the support of public schools, simply reserving to itself the right, through the courts, to see that the sums received are honestly applied to the purposes for which they are appropriated. The State may, if it insists, fix the minimum of secular instruction to be given, and withhold all or a portion of the public moneys from all Catholic schools that do not come up to it.
This, if the State, for public reasons, insists on universal education, is the best way of solving the difficulty, without violence to the equal rights of either Catholics or non-Catholics. The State would thus respect all consciences, and at the same time secure the education of all the children of the land, which is, no doubt, a public desideratum. Another way would be, to exempt Catholics from the tax levied for the support of the public schools, and give to the schools they maintain their proportion of the school fund held in trust by the State, and leave Catholics to establish and manage schools for their own children in their own way, under the supervision and control of the church. Either way of solving the difficulty would answer our purpose, and we venture to say that one or the other method of dealing with the public school question will ere long have to be adopted, whatever the opposition excited.
The American sense of justice already begins to revolt at the manifest wrong of taxing us to support schools from which our conscience will not permit us to derive any benefit. At present, we pay our quota to the support of the public schools, which we cannot with a good conscience use, and are obliged to support our own schools in addition. This is grossly unjust, and in direct violation of the equal rights guaranteed us by the constitution, and the religious liberty which is the loud boast of the country. The subsidies granted to some of our parochial schools in this city are an attempt, and an honorable attempt, to mitigate the injustice which is done us by the common school system. But the sums appropriated, as considerable as they may seem, are far below the sums collected from us, for the support of the public schools. The principle on which the common school system is founded is, that the wealth of the State should educate the children of the State. One third, at least, of the children of this city, are the children of Catholic parents, and belong to the Catholic Church. The sum appropriated for the public schools in this city, the present year, is, if we are correctly informed, something over three millions of dollars, and Catholics are entitled to one third of it, or to one million of dollars. They do not receive for their schools even a third of one millioneven according to the most exaggerated statements of Putnam's Magazine and the sectarian pressand nothing like the amount of the public school tax which they are compelled to pay; yet it is pretended that ours is the established church, and that Catholics are specially favored by the State and city! We ask no favors, but we demand justice, and that our equal rights with non-Catholic citizens be respected, and protected.
There are other points, in Putnam, that we should like to noticepoints which are intended, and not unfitted, to tell on the minds of ignorant anti-Catholic bigots and fanatics; but our space, as well as our patience, is exhausted. The writer is worthy of no confidence in any of his statements. He proves effectually that it is untrue that figures cannot lie; for under his manipulation they not only lie, but lie hugely. Even the anti-Catholic Nation has rebuked him for his levity, and he has even disgusted all fair-minded and moderate Protestants. He has quite overshot his mark. But be that as it may, we have confidence in the justice and right sense of the great body of our countrymen and fellow-citizens, and we do not believe, however much they dislike the church, that they will persevere in a course manifestly unjust to Catholics, and repugnant to the first principles of American liberty, after becoming once aware of its bad character.
As to the subsidies granted by the Legislature to Catholic charitable and educational institutions, they have been far less than are dueas the Hon. John E. Devlin justly remarked in the Convention, not ten per cent of the amount granted. And it has been no crime on our part to accept what has been offered us; for we have received and accepted them only for purposes of public utility and common humanity. Nor are we responsible for the action of the State Legislature; for it is composed chiefly of non-Catholics, and by a large majority elected by non-Catholics. Catholics are by no means the majority of electors in the State. We institute no inquiry into the motives that have influenced the members of the Legislature; we never assign bad or sinister motives, when good and proper motives are at hand. We presume the motive has been a sense of justice toward a large and growing class of the community, whose rights have for a long time been trampled on or disregarded. To condemn them, is not at all creditable to the rabid Protestant press, and, in our judgment, is very bad policy. However it may be with the Protestant leaders, the majority of the American people are sincerely and earnestly attached to the American doctrine of equal rights, and will no more consent to its manifest violation in the case of Catholics than of non-Catholics.