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Rome, May, 1877. Sacred College.
But notwithstanding The very natural interest felt by all the great term of years to which the life Englishmen in the issues of the great of the present Pontiff has already been war now raging on the banks of the Dan- prolonged, there is nothing improbable, ube should not lead them to overlook the when we take into account the marvelimportance of another conflict which is lous longevity by which many members now taking place on the banks of the of the Mastai Ferretti family have been Tiber. The organs of public opinion in marked, in the prospect of his living eight England have, for some time past, ap- or ten years more; whilst the conjectures peared too apt to concentrate their at- on the probable character of the next tention on certain eventualities more or Conclave, based on the known characters less distant in the general relations be- of the present Cardinals, may be rendered tween Church and State in Italy, to the utterly worthless by a variety of causes comparative disregard of present occur- --by the different attitude which the same rences of real moment. No doubt the individuals may unexpectedly assume change which may be effected in the con- when called upon to act in an independditions of the Papacy by the decease of ent character, by the different relations the present Pope and the personal char- in which the Sacred College may only a acter of his successor, is a matter of few years hence stand to the nation and much concern for the common interests to other European Governments, and by of Christendom; and it is equally a mat- the changes of political opinion which ter of curious speculation to forecast the the events of even a few years may bring probable tendencies of the next Conclave about in the policy of those Governments as foreshadowed in the habits and opin- themselves. The result of the next Conions of the present members of the clave is, perhaps, too hastily assumed to NEW SERIES.–VOL. XXVI., No. 2
be necessarily one that must greatly national mind; with advancing day they modify the present relations between the are now seen in something like their true Catholic Church and all civil powers. It outline and proportions. But it is still, may, indeed, elevate to the Papal chair and will long remain, an Italy in Tranan ambitious and aggressive priest who sition with which native statesmen have will seek to revive in his own personal to deal, and of which foreign statesmen career the memories of the Gregories must calculate the forces. If this be and the Innocents. It may, small as true of all important questions, it has a the chances now seem of such an event quite exceptional degree of truth in reftaking place, furnish a successor to Pius erence to all matters relating to the reIX. who shall attempt to give again to ligious condition of Italy. The transithe world the spectacle of a reforming tion is universal. Every day one has and liberal Papacy. But if we may judge occasion to witness some manifestation from the data at present in our possession, of it in the minds of the laity. Laymen it is more probable that when there shall. past middle age, or advanced in years, sink into the grave a Pope so far enfee- seem often to feel a positive difficulty in bled by age as to have become incapable realizing the fact that they are the same of any vigorous personal initiative, he men who thirty years ago in the Sardiwill be succeeded by another Pope as nian States, seventeen years ago in Lomlittle likely to disturb by the force of his bardy, Central Italy, and the kingdom personal character and the energy of his of the Two Sicilies, eleven years ago in individual action the calculations and the Venetian provinces, and not even the strategy of the real rulers of the
seven years ago in Rome and the patriChurch. It is far more important to mony of St. Peter, were liable at any keep steadily in mind that whether the moment to heavy penalties, to the choice occupant of St. Peter's chair be called between exile and imprisonment, if they Pius IX. or Pius X., a great war of ag- dared to express in public the opinions gression by the Roman Catholic Church which are now the recognized and offiagainst all civil Governments has already cial creed of the Italian State. Legally, been proclaimed, and is now actually as regards all outward acts, these men carried on, and that one of the first cam are free; but can it be matter of wonpaigns is at this very moment marked by der if the iron of a lifelong servitude varying fortunes in the capital of Italy. has eaten so deeply into their minds and What is now taking place in that coun- hearts that at every moment we recog. try, what especially is taking place in the nize the traces of a mental bondage ? city of Rome, has an importance for Nevertheless the transition from an antiother lands quite as great as any that national and despotic past to a patriotic, now attaches to the successes of Russian free, and independent future, is steadily or Turkish strategy. But its chief im- going on amongst the Italian laity. Its portance is of a delicate and subtle char- progress is most observable amongst the acter, and it is to be found mainly in the peasantry, and for that progress the ordelicate and subtle transformations of ganization and discipline of the army national thought and feeling which mark are mainly to be thanked. The Italian here a state of political affairs eminently officer has been the untiring and transitional in its character.
thoughtful teacher of the Italian soldier, “Italy in Transition" was the title of and in teaching the Italian soldier he a well-known and most instructive work has been the best educator of the Italian published seventeen years ago, and which people. From official data which will may be read with much profit at the shortly be published by the Ministry of present moment. The character of tran- War, but of which the more important sition which the author then sought to de results have already been made known pict in
the year when Garibaldi in- to me, it appears that, since the year vaded Naples, and Fanti and Cialdini 1859, when the old Sardinian army betore Umbria and the Marches from the gan to receive the conscripts from the Pope, was chiefly of a territorial and first of the new provinces successively political nature. The great social, moral, annexed, not less than a million and a and religious consequences of the Italian half of common soldiers have received Revolution were only dawning upon the in the Italian army the educational train
ing imparted to them by the younger by rejecting, the doctrines of the Romish officers. It would be difficult to esti- Church, and who in consequence join mate too highly the effect of this process the Waldensian or other anti-Papal Italon the national mind. Raw Sicilian and ian communions. Neapolitan youths, whose entire stock If the Italian peasant is in a transition of knowledge until the day of their join- state, and if this fact is chiefly promoted ing the army has consisted in their ac- by the experience of the peasant-soldier, quaintance with strange provincial cus- a change equally great is taking place in toms, or their traditionary belief in crass another class of the laity -- and their local superstitions, have found them- name is legion. I mean those who were selves four times a week, during two in direct contact with, and immediate hours each day for a period of three subjection to, the power of the Church, years, in mental contact with a class of wherever that power was indirectly domias highly educated and public-spirited nant, and, of course, far more where it men as Italy can boast of.
The mere was directly and wholly supreme-at the elementary work of teaching the young seat and centre of the Papacy, in Rome recruit to read and to write has been itself. ere the process of mental quite secondary to the contemporaneous emancipation is commonly ignored, and work of eradicating the prejudices with often stoutly denied, by the very perwhich his mind was overgrown. And sons who in their hearts rejoice at the this educational process has been mar. blessings it has conferred. The mental vellously aided by another, of all pro- is the necessary though gradual and cesses that best fitted to incarnate in noiseless result of the civil and political the young soldier's mind the idea of liberation. In that memorable Syllabus. Italian unity his successive transfer- of 1864, which formed the starting-point ence from Italian cities and provinces, of a new and aggressive epoch in the speaking various idioms, and marked by history of the Church of Rome, the very different customs, but all agreeing Papal State, as then governed by the in the recognition of that common coun- clerical oligarchy, is virtually represented try, which, had the illiterate peasant re- as the one true model for all civil sociemained in his village, would never have ties, as that which, whilst approaching the been to him more than a myth. The nearest to perfection, exhibits in its grand Neapolitan conscript who has been
has been outlines that relation between virtuous trained up in the faith of St. Januarius rulers and a happy people which all other finds, when quartered in Padua, that St. countries should reverently and zealously Januarius is there regarded as a very in- endeavor to reproduce. Far different significant saint when compared with St. has been the actual experience of the Anthony, and on his removal to his Bo- dwellers in this happy valley, for most of logna barrack, learns that neither St. whom escape was made almost as diffiJanuarius nor St. Anthony is held fit to cult as for the heroes of Johnson's tale ! be mentioned in the same breath with The spiritual control which the State St. Petronius. What deductions he may claims to exercise over all the forms of draw from the comparison will depend domestic and social life did not suggest partly on his natural intelligence, partly the idea of an easy yoke or a light buron the tone of conversation which he den. It was, in truth, a monstrous aggreholds with his superior officers, partly gate of tyrannies, covering the whole on the character of the works in the land with one enormous network of esperusal of which he exercises his new pionage, and rendered only tolerable by sense of intellectual power. One thing a mitigation tenfold worse than the evil is certain, the million and a half of itself, deadening of the human conItalian peasants who have passed, or science so complete and general that the are passing, through this course of train- worst features of the administration were ing, are a million and a half Italian not perceived in their full extent or felt minds in a most decided state of transi- in their real horror. The most popular1100, and one cannot feel surprised at of Roman satirists of the present century,. the undoubted fact that amongst this Belli, has condensed in one of his sonclass are found many individuals who nets the feelings with which the Papal. subject to a searching criticism, and end Government was regarded by every
Roman citizen not utterly destitute of in- uphold, on the character and strength of telligence and self-respect. He repre- the Papal tendencies in the population of sents the brow-beating and bullying prac- Rome. No doubt a large proportion of tised on all around him by one of the the higher clerical aristocracy hated and lowest menials of the Vatican; and how, still continue to hate a change by which by the simple announcement that he is they have been deprived at once of politsuch, his victims are cowed and scared ical power and the prospect of great pecuas effectually as the poor plebeians in niary gain. But the relatives of these very Macaulay's lay, when the client Marcus persons amongst the Roman laity, and, declares that he serves Appius Claudius. in not a few cases, even the higher cleriRome contains within its walls many cal dignitaries themselves, have become miracle-working relics, but neither in suddenly so much enriched by the aug. cloister nor basilica can it show a treas- mented value of all real property in Rome ure so truly associated with beneficent and its neighborhood, that their aversion effects as the least splinter of the can to the constitutional Government of Italy non-balls employed by General Cadorna is not without its tempering influences. on the 20th September, 1870, to batter Men do not hate violently, very violently, in the wall at the Porta Pia. Twenty revolutions which have had the immediyears of previous negotiations between ate effect of trebling their income. Then France and the Vatican, Sardinia and the attachment of the higher Roman nothe Vatican, and not unfrequently Eng- bility, and, indeed, of all classes sharing land and the Vatican, had not procured their feelings, to the Papacy, has in a the removal of one abuse, the introduc- great measure a merely personal chartion of one reform, in the dominions acter. It is not an attachment to the insubject to the Pope. General Cador- stitution but to the person of the reignna's cannon-balls brought with them ing Pontiff. It would indeed be strange representative institutions, trial by jury, if during a Pontificate that has now exequality before the law, free discussion tended over the long term of thirty-one on every subject affecting man's state years a Pope who at the commencement here or hereafter, the sweeping away of of his reign entered on a liberal path, who the system which had made the father a was compelled to leave that path rather spy on the son, the wife a spy on the hus- by the inexorable laws of his office than by band, the servant a spy on the master, his own inclinations, who has been sinthe confessor a spy on the penitent. gularly kind and affable to all with whom But the cannon-balls of General Ca he came in contact, who has been emidorna demolished in great part, if not nently free from that vice of nepotism by altogether, something more. They de- which so many of his predecessors were molished the long-established prestige stained, and who, whilst never availing of the so-called theocratic Government, himself of 'his countless opportunities to against which they were levelled. . One enrich himself or his family, has lavished must have lived in Rome before and countless benefits on those around him, after September, 1870, and had the op- and in many cases been the chief creaportunity of comparing the tone of scorn tor of their fortunes,-it would indeed ful incredulity with which the mere be strange if such a prince had not notion of an Italian occupation was fostered in the minds of the many rescouted in the higher clerical circles with cipients of his bounty and the many the mingled astonishment and terror that objects of his kindness, feelings of graticame over the same circles when the tude and goodwill. But those feelings, event actually occurred, to realize the I repeat, cluster solely around the person true character of that transition state into of the Pope. The individuals in whom which even the most devoted partisans they are strongest are day by day dying of the Papacy felt themselves gradually off. One after another the great Roman drawn. The mere force of circumstances princes personally attached to Pius IX. imparted with each successive day a less descend into the tomb. A Massimo has pro-Papal character to Roman society. been followed by an Orsini; an Orsini There exists a vast amount of misappre- has been followed by a Doria; not many hension in foreign countries, which it is weeks ago there occurred the death of the object of the Ultramontane organs to Prince Ruspoli; and the head of the