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THE PAPAL POWER
The Catholic says:
“Protestant religious sheets inform us that Blaine is in Rome coquetting with the Pope. The secular press asserts that Gladstone is guilty of the same misdemeanor, but denies it in the next breath. They all agree that Salisbury is guilty of the most pronounced coquetry with the Papal Power. This is certainly a strong straw. It discloses the current of modern thought on a question which is undoubtedly wedging its way to the front of political questions in European circles. The dormant potency of the third ring in the Papal Tiara [third crown in the Pope’s hat] breeds unrest, and well founded fear, in the hearts of kings and Kaisers.
“The spirit of the world, and emperors and kings, have battled against temporal power, because they understand from history that the Papal Power is the strongest menace against lustful brutality, and violent oppression and tyranny. It has humbled kings, it has disgraced emperors, it has throttled tyranny, and it has earned the everlasting enmity of the world for its civilizing influence. The world bends to the powers that smote it in the past, and disfigured its fair face with rapine and pillage, and ravishings and blood waste, and fears the universal sovereign who cemented the discordant elements of paganism and barbarism into one grand, unitive civilization.
“The Papacy will regain its temporal sovereignty, because it is useful and convenient to the Church. It gives the head executive of the church a fuller liberty, and a fuller sway. The Pope can be no king’s subject long. It is not in keeping with the divine office to be so. It cramps him and narrows his influence for good. Europe has acknowledged this influence, and will be forced to bow to it in greater times of need than this. Social upheavals, and the red hand of anarchy, will yet crown Leo or his successor with the reality of power which the third circle symbolizes, and which was once recognized universally.”
— April, 1888 —