Correspondence between his Excellency, President Davis, and his Holiness Pope Pius IX.
We publish the following correspondence between the President
of the Confederate States
and His Holiness Pope Plus
the Ninth, elicited by the published letter of the latter, dated in October, 1862,to the Catholic Archbishops
at New York and New Orleans, enjoining tirem to employ their prayers and influence for the restoration of peace:
Lost Venerable Chief of the Holy See and Sovereign
Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.
Executive Office, Richmond
, Sept, 21, 1863.
The letters which your Holiness addressed to the Venerable Chiefs
of the Catholic
clergy in New Orleans and New York, have been brought to my attention, and I have read with emotion the terms in which you are pleased to express the deep sorrow with which you regard the slaughter, ruin and devastation consequent on the war now waged by the U. S. Government against the States and people over which I have been chosen to preside, and in which you direct them, and the clergy under their authority, to exhort the people and the rulers to the exercise of mutual charity and the love of peace.
I am deeply sensible of the Christian
charity and sympathy with which your Holiness has twice appeared to the venerable clergy of your Church, urging them to use and apply all study and exertion for the restoration of peace and tranquility.
I therefore deem it my duty to offer to your Holiness, in my own name and in that of the people of the Confederate States
, the expression of our sincere and cordial appreciation of the Christian
charity and love by which your Holiness is actuated, and to assure you that this people, at whose hearthstones the enemy is now pressing with threats of dire oppression and merciless carnage, are now and ever have been earnestly desirous that this wicked war shall cease; that we have offered at the footstool of our Father who is in Heaven prayers inspired by the same feelings which animate your Holiness; that we desire no evil to our enemies, nor do we covet any of their possessions; but are only struggling to the end that they shall cease to devastate our land and inflict useless and cruel slaughter upon our people, and that we be permitted to live at peace with all mankind, under our own laws and institutions, which protect every man in the enjoyment not only of his temporal rights, but of the freedom of worshipping God according to his own faith.
1, therefore, pray your Holiness to accept from me and from the people of these Confederate States
, the assurance of our sincere thanks for your effort to aid the cause of peace, and of our earnest wishes that your life may be prolonged and that God may have you in His holy keeping.
[Translation from the Latin.]
To the Illustrious and Honorable Jefferson Davis
, President of the Confederate States of America, Richmond
Pius. P. P. IX.
Illustrious and Honorable Sir
We have lately received with all kindness, as was meet, the gentlemen seat by your Excellency
to present to us your letter dated on the 23d of last September.
We have received certainly no small pleasure in learning both from these gentlemen and from your letter the feelings of gratification, and of very warm appreciation with which you, Illustrious and Honorable Sir
were moved when you first had knowledge of our letters written in October of the preceding year to the Venerable Brethren
of New York, and John, Archbishop
of New Orleans, in which we again and again urged and exhorted those Venerable Brethren that be cause of their exemplary piety and episcopal zeal they should employ their most earnest efforts, in our name, also, in order that the fatal civil war which had arisen in the States should end, and that the people of America
might again enjoy mutual peace and concord, and love each other with mutual charity.
And it has been very gratifying to us to recognize, illustrations and Honorable Sir
., that you and your people are animated by the same desire for peace and tranquility which we had so earnestly inculcated in our aforesaid letters to the Venerable Brethren
On, that the other people also of the states and their rulers, considering seriously how cruel and how deplorable is this intestine war, would receive and embrace the counsels of peace and tranquility.
We, indeed, shall not cease with most fervent prayer to beseech God, the Best and Highest, and to implore Him to pour out the spirit of Christian love and peace upon all the people of America
, and to rescue them from the great calamities with which they are afflicted.
And we also pray the same most merciful Lord
that he will illumine.
with the light of His divine grace and unite you with ourselves in perfect charity.
Given at Rome
, at St. Peter
's, on the 3d December, 1863, in the eighteenth year of our Pontificate.
Prus P. P. IX.