Wednesday, December 01, 2010

11Nov1874, Gladstone Pamphlet on Catholocism

CHATSWORTH, Wednesday, November 11th, 1874.
Uncle William has sent F. a pamphlet just brought out on the Vatican decrees. It is a "Remonstrance," elicited by an outcry which has been raised by one sentence in his article on Ritualism. This is the sentence: "Rome has substituted for the proud boast of 'semper eadem' a policy of violence and change in faith; she has refurbished and paraded anew every rusty tool she was fondly thought to have disused;... no one can become her convert without renouncing his moral and mental freedom, and placing his civil loyalty at the mercy of another;... she has equally repudiated modern thought and ancient history." The Irish and other R.C.s are frantic over this. I can't imagine why. They have always been in the habit of giving hard knocks, and should take return ones philosophically. It almost looks as if they had been imagining Uncle W. a sneaking Romanist, and are now disappointed. This pamphlet defends and substantiates his accusations, and is a powerful and telling show-up of the new and intolerable position in which the Infallibility decree has placed R.C.s who accept it, with regard to their national allegiance. He gives them full credit for practical loyalty; but in face of the demand now made upon them to be absolutely governed by the personal will of the Pope, he calls upon them to declare their allegiance as English subjects. The whole pamphlet is in better and clearer style than anything of his I ever read, has some eloquent passages, and ends with all the fire and dignity of one of his great speech perorations. G. G. and I rode.

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