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No. VI.Recapitulation of Facts.--The necessity and propriety of discussing hte political nature of the Roman Catholic System..
I HAVE set forth in a very brief and imperfect manner the evil, the great and increasing evil, that threatens our free institutions from foreign interference. Have I not shown that there is a real cause for alarm? Let me recapitulate the facts in the case, and see if any one of them can be denied; and if not, I submit it to the calm decision of every American, whether he can still sleep in fancied security, while incendiaries are at work; and whether he is ready quietyly to surrender his liberty, civil and religious, into the hands of foreign powers.
1. It is a fact, that in this age the subject of civil and religious liberty agitates in teh most intense manner the various European governments.
2. It is a fact, that the influence of American free institutions in subverting European despotic institutions is greater now than it has ever been, from the fact of the greater maturity, and long-tried character, of the American form of government.
3. It is a fact, that Popery is opposed in its very nature to Democratic Republicanism; and it is, therefore, as a political system, as well as religious, opposed to civil and religious liberty, and consequently to our form of government.
4. It is a fact, that this truth, respecting the intrinsic character of Popery, has lately been clearly and demonstratively proved in public lectures, by one of the Austrian Cabinet, a devoted Roman Catholic, and with the evident design (as subsequent events show) of exciting the Austrian government to a great enterprise in support of absolute power.
5. It is af act, that this Member of hte Austrian Cabinet, in his lectures, designated and proscribed this country by name, as the "great nursery of destructive principles; as the Revolutionary school for France and the rest of Europe," who contagious example of Democratic liberty had given, and would still give, trouble to the rest of the world, unless the evil were abated.
6. It is afact, that very shortly after the delivery of these lectures, a Society was organized in the Austrian capital, called the St. Leopold Foundation, for the purpose "of promoting the greater activity of Catholic Missions in America."
7. It is a fact, that this Society is under the patronage of the Emperor of Austria,--has its central direction at Vienna,--is under the supervision of Prince Metternich,--that it is an extensive combination, embodying the civil, as well as ecclesiastical officers, not only of the whole Austrian Empire, but of the neighbouring Despotic States,--that it is actively at work, collecting moneys, and sending agents to this country, to carry into effect its designs.
8. It is a fact, that the agents of these foreign despots, are, for the most part, Jesuits.
9. It is a fact, that the effects of this society are already apparent in the otherwise unaccountable increase of Roman Catholic cathedrals, churches, colleges, convents, nunneries, &c., in every part of the country; in the sudden increase of Catholic emigration; in the increase clanishness of the Roman Catholics, and the boldness with which their leaders are experimenting on the character of the American people.
10. It is a fact, that an unaccountable disposition to riotous conduct has manifested itself within a few years, when exciting topics are publicly discussed, wholly at variance with the former peaceful, deliberative character of our people.
11. It is a fact, that a species of police, unknown to our laws, has repeatedly been put in requisition to keep the peace among a certain class of foreigners, who are Roman Catholics, viz., Priest-police.
12. It is a fact, that Roman Catholic Priests have interfered to influence our elections.
13. It is a fact, that politicians on both sides have propitiated these priests, to obtain the votes of their people.
14. It is a fact, that numerous Societies of Roman Cahtolics, particualarly among the Irish foreigners, are organized in various parts of the country, under various names, and ostensibly for certain benevolent objects; that these societies are united together by correspondence, all which may be innocent and praiseworthy, but, viewed in connexion with the recent aspect of affairs, are at least suspicious.*
15. It is a fact, that an attempt has been made to organize a military corps of Irishmen in New York, to be called the O'Connel Guards; thus commencing a military organization of foreigners.
16. It is a fact, that the greater part of the foreigners in our population is composed of Roman Catholics.
Facts like these I have enumerated might be multiplied, but these are the most important, and quite sufficient of make every American settle the question with himself, whether there is, or is not, danger to the country from the present state of our Naturalization Laws. I have stated what I believe to be facts. If they are not facts, they will easily be disproved, and I most sincerely hope they will be disproved. If they are facts, and my inferences from them are wrong, I can be shown where I have erred, and an inference more rational, and more probable, involving less, or perhaps no, danger to the country, can be deduced from the, which deduction, when I see it, I will most cheerfully accept, as a full explanation of these most suspicious doings of Foreign Powers.
I have spoken in these numbers freely of a particular religious sect, the Roman Catholics, because from the nature of the case it was unavoidable; because the foreign political conspiracy is identified with that creed. With the religious tenets proper so called, of the Roman Catholic, I have not meddled. If foreign powers, hostile to the principles of this government, have combined to spread any religious creed, no matter of what denomination, that creed does by that very act become a subject of political interest to all citizens, and must and will be thoroughly scrutinized. We are compelled to examine it. We have no choice about it. If instead of combining to spread with the greatest activity the Catholic Religion throughout our country, the Monarchs of Europe had united to spread Presbyterianism, or Methodism, I presume, there are few who would not see at once the propriety and the necessity of looking most narrowly at the political bearings of the peculiar principles of these Sects, or of any other Protestant Sects; and member of any Protestant Sects too, would be the last to complain of the examination. I know not why the Roman Catholics in this land of scrutiny are to plead exclusive exemption from the same trial.
Our Notes and Table of Contents for
"Imminent Dangers to the Free Institutions of the United States
through Foreign Immigrations, and the Present State of the Naturalization Laws,
by Samuel Finley Breese Morse, 1835
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