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Coars as the word
Thus these be power of the
gogues to impose their upsi dixit upon their ignorant follow ers as the word of God, and to represent their enemies as: God's enemies. Thus these bishops in the above expose denominate those who oppose the power of the Pope, the enemies of Jesus Christ. Among people of common understand ing, this cant now excites only the smile of contempt. Wo have particularly noticed a prominent aet of Peter, because he is represented as the original head of the Catholic church,. and because it is from him that the Popes pretend to derive their authority, and to ground their conduct. upon his example. We shall now proceed to make a few comments upon this awful manifesto. These bishops state, “ that the present Pope, Pius the 7th, has been stripped of the domi. nions which had been held by his predecessors for more than a thousand years, to the immense benefit of the christian world.” If wars, if massacres and assassinations, if the dun.geons and racks of the inquisition, if tyranising over the consciences of men, if extorting from the mouth of labour its hard earnings, to pamper Popes, their bishops, priests: and nuns,* can be said to be beneficial to mankind, the bishops are correct in their declaration. But if these are real evils, their premises are false, and their attempts to impose them upon the world as truths, abominably wicked. “He was,” they say, “ forcibly dragged away from the chair of St. Peter, and the sacred ashes of the apostles.” As to the chair of Peter, if he left one, and the ashes of the apostles, if they have been preserved, which is doubtful, we presume that Buonaparte would have no objection to send them after the Pope, should he request it. But it is not the old chair of Peter, nor these ashes, that the Pope and his bishops are so anxious about. Their affections are placed upon power and dominion, earthly riches, which contribute to the gratification of sense, to entice the soul from the pursuit of spiritual
* “ To count their beads, to live in cloisters damp,
To feast and pray, and trim the midnight lamp."
graces; and, as Buonaparte justly observés, to disqualify them for the performance of their pastoral duties.*
As an incitement to prayer in the present case, the bish'ops tell us of what happened to the Prince of the Apostles, as they stile him, St. Peter, when under similar circumstances, with Pius the 7th. That, in consequence of the continual prayers of the church, an angel appeared to bim, and released him from prison. The book from which they extract this account, states, that when the angel and Peter arrived at the iron gate that leadeth into the city, it opened to them of his own accord. This is an extravagant story, and not confirmed by history; which is all we sball say about it. The circumstance however happened at a time when angels are said to have been more in the habit of interfering with the affairs of men, than at present; in fact, latterly it appears that they have left mankind to manage their own business in their own way, and, as it seems, much to their advantage. At any rate, we will venture to assert, that the prayers of all the Catholic priests in Christendom, from this time till doomsday, will not induce a single angel to volunteer his services to reinstate the Pope, in the possessions of his lands; and furthermore, that not one of these bishops expects it. Why then all this hypocrisy and cant? what purpose can it answer, but to excite the resentment of the papists of this country against a power with which the United States are in peace? This interference in the cause of the Pope, with which we have no concern, is extremely impertinent and reprehen
* “ The Friars say they possess nothing; whose then are the lands they hold? not their superior's, he vowed poverty as well as they. Whose then? To answer this, it was decreed they should say it was the Pope's. And why must the Friars be more perfect than the Pope himself?” TABLE TALK,
sible.* How ridiculous to require these poor priests to recite every Sunday, the 120th Psalm, (which speaks of sharp arrows of the mighty with coals of Juniper) as a spell to frighten Buonaparte from his purpose; when it is well known that he sees through the cheat, and despises the threat? Why should they be obliged continually to pray to God to increase the store of a man, whose salary now amounts to the enormous sum of 336,666 dollars per annum? Whilst there are so many drafts on the Almighty by prayer, ono would think it prudent for each individual to confine his petitions more to personal benefits. The Pope has no need of our prayers; his condition is infinitely superior to that of those who are here commanded to pray for him. If the Ca. tholic religion be the only way to salvation, and the exista ence of the Pope be necessary to its preservation, there can be no doubt but that the Supreme Being will have him in his holy keeping; and in his hands it is best to leave him..
We cannot conclude without again reminding these bi. shops of Christ's declaration, that his kingdom was not of this world; and furthermore, that he strictly enjoined upon his disciples, meekness, humility and resignation; and partieularly to submit to the ruling powers, denouncing the se. verest punishment to those who resist. In his time there were no Popes, Archbishops or Bishops; and although men then generally had but one name, by which they were known, without any pedantic addition; for a man at this time to make his signature with one name, and subjoin a pompous title, savours a little of pride and ostentation. For instance, we are now told of a John, Archbishop of Baltimore. We suppose this means John Carroll. And this John, not content to con
* “ Amsterdam admits of all religions but papists; and it is on this account the papists, zeherever they lite, have another king at Rome; all other religions are subject to the present state, and have no prince elsewhere.” SELDEN'S DISCOURSES,
'Ane himself to his own church, assumes the title of Archbishop of all Baltimore. What a pattern of christian mcekness and humility!
Vide alterem parteme
We shall now present our readers with the decree of Buonaparte, dispossessing the Pope of his temporal power, with his reasons for so doing, and leave them to judge of the propriety of the transaction. What may have been the subsequent conduct of the Pope, and how he has been disposed of in consequenee, we know not; for although he could preach patience and resignation to others, we presume he has proved rather restive under restraint himself.
ROME, June 10th, 1809. This morning, at 10 o'clock, has been published, in the principal places, at the sound of the artillery of fort Sault. Ange, a decree of his majesty the emperor and king, which unites the States of the Pope to the French empire. This happy change has taken place with the greatest tranquility, · and the inhabitants of Rome have manifested great joy and a lively acknowledgment of an event which puts an end to all the uncertainties of their political existence. This decree, dated from the imperial camp at Vienna, 17th May, 1809, is conceived as follows:
NAPOLEON, &c. Considering that when Charlemagne, emperor of the Freneh, and our august predecessor, presented the bishops of Rome with divers tracts of land (contreos,) they were grante ed to them as feudal tenure, to secure the repose of his subo jects, without Rome having ceased on that account to make a part of his empire:
Considering that sinee that period the union of the two powers, spiritual and temporal, having been, as it still is at this present day, the source of continual discords; that the Pope having but too often made use of the influence of the one, to support the pretensions of the other; and that in consequence of it, the spiritual affairs, which, by their nature are immutable, are confounded with the temporal, which change according to circumstances and the policy of the times:
Considering, lastly, that every thing we have proposed to conciliate the safety of our armies, the tranquility and vel, fave of our people, the dignity and iutegrity of our erupire with the temporal pretensions of the Popes, has been proposed in vain:
We have decreed, and do decree as follows:
Art. 1, The States of the Pope are re-united to the French empire.
2. "The city of Rome, the first christian see, and so cele'brated by recollections which she enforces on the mind, and the monuments she preserves, is declared an imperial and free city. Its government and administration shall be regulated by a special decree.
3. The monuments of Roman greatness shall be preserved and kept up at the expence of our treasury. .
4. The public debt is declared a debt of the empire. : 5. The present income of the Pope shall be extended ta two millions of francs, free from all charges and tenure. *
6. The properties and palace of the Pope shall be subjected to no impost, jurisdiction, or visit, and shall besides enjoy special immunities.
7. An extraordinary, consultum shall on the first of June next, take possession, in our name, of the States of the Pope, and make the necessary arrangements so that the constitutional government be in vigor on the first of January, 1810. (Signed)
NAPOLEON. * 336,666 Dollars.