The American. (Omaha, Nebraska) 1891-1899, October 30, 1896, Image 1
AMERICAN A WEEKLY KEWSP "AMERICA FOR AMERICANS" We bold that-all men ere Americans who Swear Allegiance to the United States without a mental rwwmatioa. PRICK FIVKCKNTS OMAHA, NEBRASKA, FRIDAY. OCTOBER 30, !S9t5. Number 44 if Volume VI. 1) 'CI 1 THE R. A. Williams Describes Them in His Book "Mex ico and Its Religion," Which Was Published by Harper k Brother ef Sew York In 1855 Rome's Work Contrasted With That of the Quakers, Ha WW, Harper Brother. New York, pub IlaHi.d a boot by R. A. Wltaon, "ftled "Meilco and It KellKiou," from which we extract the following chapter: The monkish orders of Mexico have remained unchanged from the time of their first establishment We have seen that they have fallen off Im mensely In numbers, but have increased immensely In efficlency.by the termina tion of those internal controversies be tween the Spanish-born and Creoles, and by enfranchisement from state con trol. Not only are they now all native born, but the Meztlzos seem to be the predominant race in the priesthood. The priesthood is not now so inviting an employment as it was before the suppression of the Inquisition. Mir acles 'have ceased to be a profitable speculation, while the revenue once paldito the monks has been followed by Ill-suppressed contempt. The employ ment K)nce monopolized by the Span ' lards being now thrown open to general competition, there is less willingness to submit, to the despotism which ever reigns in religious houses than there was in the time of the vice-kings. Hard fare,cruel.r,treatrcent and public con tempt, have diminished the candidates for monastic orders, until the old pro verb, "He Ithat cannot do better, let him turn monk," is not unknown in Mexico. With the Increase of liberty, the number of nuns has diminished , as violence can no longer be used in get ting a girl into a convent. For all these reasons the number of the ro ligjs has rapidly diminished, while the wealth and efficiency of the church has increased. Having spoken of the bishops, the lords spiritual of Mexico, and the con trolling influence they exereHe over a feeble government, vre come'n?vt to the second class of spiritual masters of the country the I t ads of orders, the provincials and the heads of religious houses. These two classes of digni taries are usually elected for their known severity of discipline, either by the procurement of the bishop, or through fanaticism of the monks or nuns, who, having volurtarily made themselves convicts and prisoners for life, now undertake to add to their self afflicted mortification by choosing for their head a superior the most hateful of their number. The novice is taught that the greatest favoi with Heaven is to be obtained by implicit obedience under most trying circumstances, and the more cruel the despotism they un murmuringly submit to, the greater will be the accumulation of good works. But cursed to the lowest depths of pur gatory is that recluse who dares to murmur even In his inmost thoughts; and if he so far forgets his duty as to murmur ialoud, then all the powers of the church are broughtto crush his in subordination. We have thus followed spiritual des potism through its various stages, from the pope to the bishops, from the bishops to the provincials of religious orders, and then down to the superiors of a community of half a dozen monks or nuns, by whom immorality is par donable, but who regard disobedience or insubordination in the slightest par ticular "like the sin of witchcraft and idolatry." Such is the perfect organ ization of-the papacy in all its parts, which, acting as one great secret, po litical, social and religious association, labors continually to concentrate the riches of the nations at Rome as a com mon centre. There is a peculiar feature in the Catholic church'in Mexico unknown to other Catholic Jcountrles; it is the pre ponderance of the regular clergy (monks) oyer the secular clergy. This is owing to Cortez, who wrote to Em peror Charles V. to send him regulars, for the conversion of the Indians, in stead of seculars, assigning as a reason ' for this request "that the latter dis play extravagant luxury, leave great wealth to their natural children and give great scandal to the newly-converted Indians." Hence more than one half of the Mexican clergy are monks, and wear the cowl; for at the time of the census of 1793, as we have seen, there were in the city of Mexico 1646 monks, besides lay-brothers, against 650 secular priests, while in the fifteen convents for nuns there were 923 of these female monks. The reader has already become quite BRYAN'S PLATFORfl. LINCOLN, Neb., Nov. 1, 1894. Dear Sir: 1 am a candidate for the United States Senate; You will find on the back of this letter the platform upon which I stand, and you already know of the position taken by me in Congress upon public questions. If you desire my election, put an " X" after my name on the ballot and then vote for members of the legislature who favor my election. Until we can secure the election of Senators by a direct vote of the people, you can only secure your choice for Senator by sending men to the legislature who will vote as you desire. Yours truly, W. J. BRYAN. Printed on the back of this letter was the Democratic platform, which contained this plank: We believe in the right of every individual to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and we condemn as un-American and contrary to the spirit of our institutions, any attempt to apply a religious test to the citizen or to the official. We appeal to all Democrats who have been led into political hostility c tn ambers of any church to remember the principles of religious liberty promulgates . .. -h: ias Jefferson, and defended by the party which he organized. U J. Smyth, the Bomanist and attorney for the Jesuits, was on the committee that drafted that platform on which Mr Bryan said lie would stand. Smyth also read it to the convention, and the rest of the red-necked Irish who were in the convention yelled themselves hoarse in approval of the "anti-A. I. A. plank." Mr. Bryan's paper inter sperses iU report of a reading of that part of the platform with cheers," "applause," and " cheers " at the end. C. J. Smvth, according to Mr. Bryan's qwu par, then introduced the following resolution: "We fully indorse the course' of Hon. W. J. Bryan in Congress.' .. ' ' 1 ' TfJK POPE 13 VEXED At Ireland for Approving of the Republican Party. ie Sending Special Infractions U Martimlli fur His 1'vlltkal ftaldance. i familiar with the Franciscan and their vows of poverty and self-mortification, ar.d tbeir skill at playing for gold ounces. They have pretty weu maintained that reputation since the time of Friar Thomas Gage. But there are some honorable exceptions to this rule, though few and far between. We have already noticed how they were favored by Cortez, and the result has been that they are the richest fra ternity in the republic. Thce holy men of the Angelic Order of St. Francis have lately discovered a new source of wealth In renting their large central court to a Frenchman, who occupies it with the best garden of plants In Mex ico: and as the convent occupies nearly a whole tquare int. the central part of the city, they have pierced the convent walk and rented out shops upon the business streets, while the soldiers of Santa Anna occupy the vacact cloisters of the convent. lathis "happy family," with all the immense wealth of the establishment, the donados, and those monks who are so Jpoor as to have no friends, find but a miserable subsist ence. Of the Dominicans I have already spoken in connection .with the Inquisi tion. In their yard Is the flag-stone which was used bylthemln offering hu man sacrifice before the revolution. There it is kept as a relic and symbol of the power once enjoyed by the church. There is yet a lingering hope that there may be restored to these brethren the power of roasting alive human beings. In speaking of depravity of morals, it is hard to say which of the fraternities has reached the lowest level, though common'consent concedes the palm to the Dominicans. The name of the'lCarmelites carries us back to the time of the Crusades, but they are better known in Mexico as the proprietors of the Desterto, which Thomas Gage so touchingly describes. Their habitual practice of self-denial and mortification, in appearance, while rioting on the luxuries thatdevoees lavished upon them, has not been for gotten. These holy brothers had a hand in the Inquisition as well as the Dominicans. They were a set of scamps set to watch the purity of other men's lives, while they themselves lived a life of habitual profligacy. The ruins of their old convent, the Deswrlo, is still one of the most attractive spots about the city. k the traveler wan ders among its ruined walls, he will find in the subterraneous cells ring bolts fastened in the walls, where pour prisoners for their faith endured some thing more than self-mortification. The monks of Santiago, San Augus tin and the Capuchins, have all fine convents, and are rlcn; but the monks of Saint James are the most Inveterate beggars. The monks of San Fernando er joy an enviable reputation compared with the spotted sheep I have just been consider ing. They are late comers, and have not learned all the ways of wickedness of the older orders. Next come the "Brethren of the Profession," of whom it is pleasant to speak, after fcftying so many hard things of their neighbors. They etacd so high as men of character and learning, that I am tempted to tell their story on hearsay, for want of bet ter authority. They were once Jesuits, but when the royal cebula of Carlos III. came for their expulsion, these fathers had sustained so gcod a character for charity and usefulness that they were allowed to return, on condition of renouncing the name and peculiarities of that order. I am Inclined to believe this strange story to be substantially true, for clearly they are of the Jesuits, and yet they are not Jesuits. The repu tation which they enjoyed in 1767 they still retain, and not only command the respect of all classes of society in Mex ico, but their chapel is the fashionable church of the city, where genteel peo ple resort to say their prayers. "The Brethren of the Holy Places of Jerusalem"--the Hleronomite monks, are not numerous, and are known in the market as lenders of money, with the Interest of which they support themselves and "the poor saints of Jerusalem;" that is, a portion of those lazy, greasy, fighting Latin monks at Jerusalem, that have been one of the cauBes of the present war in Europe. "The Hospitalers of Saint John' (fWnos) are better known for their ex ploits in the time of the Crusades than for anything they have done in Mexico. It would be a thrice-told tale to re peat the story of the Jesuits; the world knows that too well already. The de tails of their proceedings In Mexico till the time of their expulsion have been too often written by their enemies. Their great prosperity and their great wpallh made them the envy of the other orders, as corrupt and depraved as themselves, but not so dangerous, because they had reached that point at which depravity cesses to contaminate. Dirty, greasy monks could not endure an order that wore the garb of gentle men, and wore in favor with the aris tocracy, while they themselves were despised. This envy was all powerful with them, and led, for a time, to the laying aside of theirown private bicker ings, and uniting In the crusade against the common enemy, the Jesuits, and acting in harmony with the political power, The church has always made much of the nuns. It has ever been the cus tom of the priesthood to endeavor to throw a veil of romance over the very unromantic way of life followed by fe males who have shut themselves up for life In a place hardly equal to a second class state prison. Woman has an im portant plane which God has assigned her in the world; but wben she separ ates herself from the family circle and elbows her way to the rostrum where, with a semi-masculine attire and with a voice not intended for oratory, she harangues a tittering crowd upon the rights of women to perform the duties of men, or goes to the opposite extreme and shuts herself up within high stone walls to avoid the society of the other sex, she equally sins against her own nature, and not only brings misery upon herself, but inflicts upon society the evils of a pernicious example, and furnishes a theme for all kinds of scandal. Proud families who have portionless daughters; relatives who desire to get rid of heirs to coveted estates; convents In want of funds or endowments, or a pretty victim for the public entertain ment on taking the veil; friends who have unmarrigeable women on their hands, and romantic young misses, am bltious of playing the queen for a day at the cost of being a prisoner for life, have all contributed to populate the fifteen nunneries of the city of Mexico. In the flourishing times of the Inquisi tion, this business of Inveighing choice victims Into convents was more profit' ble, for then murmurings could be crushed into silenoa, and parent dreade d to oppose the wretched pimps of superstition who came to Inveigle their daughters Into convents The (Junker prison of Philadelphia is a paradise compared with such a place as this. If the reader has ever placed Ms eye at the keeper's eye-hole In that prison, he must have seen In many a cell a cheerful face, and tho ap- pearanea of as much comfort as is com patible wl h an imprisoned condition; for ministering angels have been thero mothers in Israel, who have torn themselves from their domestic duties for a little to minister consolation to the very criminals in prisons; and now that the pripon door has separated the poor wretch forever from society, whose laws have been outraged, she, by her kindness and teaching, has led the convict to look to Heaven with a hope of forgiveness, and dally to pray for those he has injured, while he reads In the Holy Book which she gave him, that a repenting thief accompanied the Son of God to Paradise. Let us turn from such an unpoetica 1 scene as this, which that cheerful prison presents, to the convent of Santa Teresa, the most celebrated of all the ten or fifteen nunneries now in opera tion about the city of Mexico. In a cold, damp, comfortless cell, kneeling upon the pavement, we may see a dell cate woman mechanically repeating her daily Imposed penance of Latin prayers, before the image of a favorite saint and a basin of holy water. This self-regulating, automaton praying ma chine, a she counts off the number of allotted prayers by the number of beads upon her rosary, beats into her bosom the sharp edge of an iron cross that rests within her shirt of sacking cloth, until, nature and her task exhausted, she throws herself down upon a wooden bed, so ingeniously arranged as to make sleep Impossible. This poor victim of self-inflicted dally torture, half crazed from Insufficient food, and sleep, and clothing, has endured all this misery to accumulate a stock of good works for the use of less meritorious sinners, be tides the amount necessary to carry herself to Heaven; for penance, and not repentance, is this poor pagan's password for salvation. The old Quakeress is not a fashiona ble saint, for she never dreamed of this CBtiau4 Flftk p Although the church is not in poll tics, according to the claim i of the leaders and promlnont priests, the fol lowing telegrams announce that the pope Is vexed because one of his arch bishops ban expressed views not In ac cord and harmony with the majority, and bis dispatching to this country special instructions for the guidanoe of the Catholic clergy, and naturally, by inference, to be dictated to the lay members in the present political cam paign. The following is the text of the telegrams as they appeared in the New York dally papers: Honk, Oct. 19. The popo has pri vately expressed his disapproval of the aotlon of Archbishop Ireland la a let ter which he is sending to Cardinal Gibbons. As Is usual with the Vatican, there is no official pronouncement In the mat ter, but the views of his holiness will reach the ears of the person tor whom they are Intended. It is learned at the Vatican that the pope is sending special instructions to Archbishop Martlnelll, the newly ap pointed apoxtollo delegate to the United States, in regard to the attitude of the Catholic clergy of America In the present political campaign. . , , Washington, Oct. 19. "No spocla Instructions have boon received from the pope or Archbishop Martlnelll re garding the attitude of the clergy In the present campaign," said Dr. Uooker, the delegate's secretary, to day. "The report Is based upon an article in the London last woek. I do not eay that such Instruction have not been prepared, and they may boon tho way here tow In the malls. If so, they would probably reach the lega tion about the lint of this month, too late to have any effect In this cam paign. I do think that Rome is particularly bothered about lh atti tude of the clergy in this respect. If It' had bean, Instructions would have been sent earlier. I do not see that the clergy are taking any particularly active interest In political matters. Archbishop Ireland has expret-Hed his views, hut only a a private citlzon of Minnesota, and not In any official ca pacity. They fire simply worth r much as tho oplnloau of any other man, who knows as much ab ut the subject, no more and no leas. I do not say that tho pope bolleves as I do about tho clergy taking part In American poll- tcs, for his views havo not been re ceived here up to datei, Could Not be Conquered. It will bo remembered that up to datj every detachment of troops leav ing Spain to light the Cubans has been "blessed" by the papal hierarchy even Weyler's body-guard receiving that very doubtful benefit. As in all his toric cases, the blessing has proved to be a curse. Says a dispatch to the New York Herald: Madrid, September 3. An open-air mans was celebrated on the promenade at San Sebastian to day, In tho pres ence of the soldiers about to depart for Cuba and the Philippine Islands to re inforce the Spanish troops there. The mass was attended by the royal family, the king wearing the uniform of a cadet of the infantry school. Toe Bishop of Vitoria preached to the troops, to whom he 6aid that the Spanish flag, surmounted by the cross, could not be conquered. Speaking on behalf of the king, the bishop expressed his majesty's regret that he was unable to lead his gallant soldiers to victory. Later the papal benediction was be stowed upon the soldiers, who kneeled to receive the blessing of his holiness. Premier Canovas, in the course of an interview had with him to-day, de clared that the troubles in the Philip pine Islands and Porto Rico were the results of the efforts of Cuban filibuster ing agents to harass the Spanish gov ernment. Spain, the premier said, would deal Inexorably with the con spirator should disturbances occur in Porto Rico. Sickness Among Children Is prevalent at all seasons of the year, but can be avoided largely when they are properly eared for. Infant Utoith is the title of a valuable pamphlet ac cessible to all who will send address to the N. Y. Ctmdonaed MDt Co., N. Y Cltyl '