Page:Once a Week, Series 1, Volume II Dec 1859 to June 1860.pdf/134

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February 4, 1860.]
121
THE EUROPEAN DIFFICULTY.

men, all is lost if the Romagna is lost. Another section abstains from censure, but desires our Government to protect the interests of the Pope by diplomacy. A third takes the general English view: that the essence of the papal power is in its spirituality; and that if it is to revive, it must be as High Priest, and not as king on earth.

The frantic party demands war: and it is believed that Cardinal Wiseman has promised an Irish brigade, while Dr. McHale engages for a million of gallant soldiers. The law of the land gives a short answer to that. There will no more be an Irish brigade putting down the Pope’s own subjects on his behalf, than there will be an English brigade, under Garibaldi’s command, on the other side. Such idle talk does not contribute to the dignity of the Holy See.

alt = Portrait engraving of Pope Pius IX

If, then, the Pope and his advisers continue to struggle against the change of the time, and the fixed purpose of the people whom they have alienated, we may look upon them as a set of doomed men—doomed to more than the suffering of martyrs, because they have not the justification of martyrs:—doomed to suppose their Church overthrown, because they mistake the lands about its base for the rock on which it is founded:— doomed perhaps to retire into monastic life, as many disappointed statesmen have done before them. The Pope himself declares that to ask him to give up the Romagna is a breach of all laws, divine and human. Such words are prophetic of the catastrophe. I. S.


Note.—The group on p. 120 is from a private photograph recently taken at Rome, and is probably unique in this country. The central figure is the Pope; nearest, on His Holiness’ left, stands Monsignor Pacca; in a kneeling posture is Monsignor G. Talbot, Chamberlain and Secretary to the Pope, formerly Vicar of Evercreech, Somerset. On his right in succession stand Monsignor Borromeo, the Papal Major Domo (answering to our Lord Chamberlain); Prince Hohenlohe, Archbishop of Edessa in partibus; and Monsignor Stella, the Pope’s Confessor; the kneeling figure nearest to the Pope on the same side is Monsignor de Mérode, now an ecclesiastic and Grand Echanson, formerly an officer who served with distinction with the French Army in Algeria. Let us study this group intently, and see what manner of men these are, whose political domain is slipping away from beneath them.