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ed and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction. Then you know what he adds:---Ye, therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things, beware least ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. 2d Peter, c. iii. v. 16, 17.
Hence the warning and decrees of our predecessor Innocent III. of happy memory, on the subject of lay societies and meetings of women, who had assembled themselves in the diocese of Metz for objects of piety and the study of the Holy Scriptures. Hence the prohibitions which subsequently appeared in France and Spain, during the sixteenth century, with respect to the vulgar Bible (relativement aux Bibles vulgaires.) It became necessary subsequently to take even greater precautions, when the pretended Reformers, Luther and Calvin, daring, by a multiplicity and incredible variety of errors, to attack the immutable doctrine of the Faith, omitted nothing in order to seduce the faithful by their false interpretations and translations into the vernacular tongues, which the then novel invention of printing contributed more rapidly to propagate and multiply. Whence it was generally laid down in the regulations dictated by the Fathers, adopted by the Council of Trent, and approved by our predecessor Pius VII., of happy memory, and which (regulations) are prefixed to the list of prohibited books, that the reading of the Holy Bible, translated into the vulgar tongue, should not be permitted except to those 10 whom it might be deemed necessary to confirm in the faith and piety. Subsequently, when heretics still persisted in their frauds, it becan e necessary for Benedict XIV. to superadd the injunction that no versions whatever should be suffered to be read but those which should be approved of by the Holy See, accompanied by note3 derived from the writings of the Holy Fathers, or other learned and Catholic authors. Notwithstanding this, some new sectarians of the school of Jansenius after the example of the Lutherans and the Calvinisis, feared not to blame these justifiable precautions of the Apostolical See, as if the reading of the Holy books had been at all times, and for all the faithful, useful, and so indispensable that no authority could assail it.
But we find this audacious assertion of the sect of Jarsenius withered by the inost rigorous censures in the solemn sentence which was pronounced against their doctrine, with the assent of the whole Catholic universe, by two sovereign pontiffs of modern times, Clement XI. in his uningenitus constitution of the year 1713, and Pius VI. in his constitution auclorem fidei, of the year 1794.
The partisans of the Bible societies little doubted in their pride but
that they could at least bring over the unfaithful to the profession of Christianity by means of the sacred books translated into the vernacular tongue; moreover they took care to disseminate them by innumerable copies, and to distribute them every where, even amongst those who wanted them not, at the hands of their missionaries, or rather, their emissaries. But the men who strove to propagate the Christian faith independently of the rules established by Jesus Christ himself, have only succeeded in increasing the difficulties of the Catholic priest, who clothed with the mission of the Holy See, goes amongst the unfaithful, and spares no fatigue in order to conquer new chil. dren for the Church, either by preaching the divine word or by administering the sacraments---always prepared, at all events, 10 shed his blood for the salvation of souls and the testimony of the faith. Amongst the sectarians of whom we are speaking, deceived in their hopes, and in despair at the immense sums which the publication of their Bibles cost them, without producing any fruit, some have been found, who, giving another direction to their manoeuvres, have betaken themselves to the corruption of minds, not only in Italy but even in our own capital. Indeed, many precise advices and documents teach us that a vast number of members of sects in New York, in America , at one of their meetings, held on the 4th of June, last year, have formed a new association which will take the name of the Christian League (Foederis Christiani,) a league composed of individuals of every nation, and which is to be further increased in numbers by other auxiliary societies, all having the same object---viz: to propagate amongst Italians, and especially Romans, "the principles of Christian liberty," or, rather, an insane indifference to all religion. These, indeed, confess that the Roman institutions, as well as Italian, had in by-gone tinies so much influence that nothing great was done in the world but had its origin in our august city. Not that they ascribe the fact to the Pontificial See, which was then founded by the disposition of God himself, but verily to some remains of the Roman power, subsequently usurped, as they say, by our predecessors who succeeded to that power.
They hope to obtain this result easily by favor of the Italiars scattered over the world. They flatter themselves that on returning in large numbers to their country, and bearing with them whether the exaltation of novelty, corruption of manners, or the excitement of want they would hardly hesitate to affiliate themselves to the League, and at least second it through venality. This society strains every nerve to introduce amongst them by means of individuals collected from all parts, corrupt and vulgar Bibles, and to scatter them secretly amongst the faithful. At the same time their intention is to disseminate worse books still, or tracts designed to withdraw from the minds of their readers all respect for the Church and the holy See. These books and tracts have been composed in Italian, or translated into Italian from other languages, with the aid of Italians themselves; and amongst these books should be particularly cited "The History of the Reformation,” by Merle d'Aubigne; and “Calendar of the Reformation in Italy” (“Fostes de la Reforme en Italie,'') by Jean Cric. As for the character of these works it is sufficient to know that, according to the records of the society of which we are speaking, the commission entrusted wlth the choice of books for publication cannot count upon more than one individual belonging to one and the same religious belief.
Scarcely were we made aware of these facts but we were profoundly grieved on reflecting upon the danger which threatened not only remote countries, but the very centre of unity itself; and we have been anxious to defend religion against the like manoeuvres. Although there be no reason to apprehend the destruction of St. Peter's See at any time, in which the Lord our God has placed the immova. ble foundation of his Church, yet we are bound to maintain its authority. The holy duties of our apostolic ministry remind us of the awful account which the Sovereign Prince of Shepherds will exact of us for the growing tares which an enemy's hand may have sown in the Lord's field during our sleep, and for the sheep which are entrusted to us, if any perish through our fault.
Moreover, venerable brothers, we recommend the utmost watchfulness over the insidious measures and attempts of the Christinn League, to those who, raised to the dignity of your order, are called to govern the Italian churches, or the countries' which Italians frequent most commonly, especially the frontiers and ports whence travellers enter Italy. As these are the poinis on which the sectarians have fixed to commence the realization of their projects, it is highly necessary that the bishops of those places should mutually assist each other zealously and faithfully, in order, with the aid of God, to discover and prevent their machinations.
Let us not doubt but your exertions, added to our own, will be seconded by the civil authorities, and especially by the most influential sovereigns of Italy, no less by reason of their favorable regard for the Catholic religion, than that they plainly perceive bow much it concerns them to frustrate these sectarian combinations. Indeed it is most evident from past experience, that there are no means more certain of rendering the people disobedient to their princes than rendering them indifferent to religion, under the mask of religious liberty. The members of the Christian League do not conceal this fact from themselves, although they declare that they are far from wishing to excite disorder; but they, notwithstanding, avow that, once liberty of interpretation obtained, and with it what they term liberty of conscience amongst Italians, these last will naturally soon acquire political liberty.
But, above all, venerable brothers, let is elevate our hands to heaven, and commit to God, with all humility and the fervor of which we are susceptible, our cause, the cause of the whole flock of Jesus Christ, and of his Church. Let us at the same time, recur to the intercession of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, as also to that of the other saints, especially 19 the blessed Virgin Mary, to whom it has been given to destroy all the heresies of the universe.
We conclude with giving you with our whole heart, and as pledge of our most ardent charity, the Apostolic blessing; to you all, our venerable brethren, and to the faithful, alike ecclesiastic and lay committed to your jurisdiction.
Given at Rome from the basilic of St. Peter, on the 8th of May, of the year 1844, and the fourteenth of our Pontificate.” (Signed)
GREGORY XVI., S. P.”
The following article appears in the Tablet. No man who has an American heart., could havc penned such sneers at the “sovereign people, "and this (country of liberty and equality" to be circulated
"AMERICAN RIOTS.---(Extract from a private letter.)---Mob law is, for the present, dormant; only, however, until roused by the next freak of anti-Irish and anti-Catholic vengeance seizing on the sover. eign people. The Bishop of Philadelphia and clergy (such as had fled) have gone back, and the Catholic churches not sacked and burnt are now open. But numerous arrests are being made daily among the unfortunate Irish, who were barely defending their lives and property; while of the “Native Americans” scarcely one, save a boy now and again, for appeararce, has been arrested. The forms of law will be gone through: the “Natives” will be acquitted, or nominally punished; but the ill-fated Irish Catholics will suffer the extreme penalties; for in this country of “liberty and equality" there is no justice for an Irish Catholic! unless, perhaps, when a trading politician: and then his Catholicity is little worth.”
We give at the present time part of a letter of Col. Stone to the author of the New York and Philadelphia mischief.
TO JOHN HUGHES,
WHO STYLES HIMSELF BISHOP OF NEW YORK.
Sir,—Your first letter was not addressed to me personally. Still, as under cover of a communication to our worthy Mayor, you endeavor to give prominence to my name in connection with certain difficulties and disagreeable associations in which you had lately become involved, I feel called upon, notwithstanding my continued illness, to make some reply. I had some thought of leaving you in the gladiator attitude in which you have voluntarily placed yourself, in your contest with Bennett -a contest in which you present the most singular spectacle, of a vanquished man ashamed of the antagonist whom he had himself assailed, and by whom he has evidently been defeated. In your second letter, which I did not see until most of what I now address to you was written, a fact, by the way, which will account for some things in this which would otherwise have been put in a somewhat different shape,) you address yourself to me personally ; although it is impossible to disguise the miserable ruse in which you seek to give respectability to a contest of which you are heartily ashamed, by placing at the head of your epistle the name of one individual, when your facts,