The correspondence between President Davis
and the Chief
of the Catholic Church, published some time ago in these columns, cannot fall to be followed by moral effects of great importance and value to the Confederate
We are aware that the secular power of the Holy See
is small, but its spiritual and moral power is so great that the proudest potentates of the earth are solicitous to secure its power, as has been often enough manifested in the reign of Louis Napoleon
, at the head of the first military empire in the world.
The great majority of Christendom acknowledge the Pope
as their ecclesiastical head, and regard him as the successor of Peter, and the Representative
upon earth of the Divine head
of the Church
An appeal from such a source to the Christian world in behalf of peace and justice, cannot but array in our behalf the sympathy and friendly wishes of a large portion of Christendom, and diminish to a great extent the influence of our enemies in enlisting the Catholic
population of Europe
under the banners of this infernal invasion.
The pacific counsels of the Pope
may not dissuade the more ignorant and turbulent of his spiritual flock in Europe
from accepting the large Yankee bounties, but it will seriously curtail their number.
In another point of view, the friendly position of Pius IX.
may prove of great practical value.
The successor of Bishop Hughes
cannot be a man of the same political stamp as that belligerent prelate.
was compelled to put a hook in the nose of that Leviathan before his death, and the comparative quiescence into which he subsided in the last six months of his Episcopate was due to the serious ad monitions that he received from Rome
No tool of Seward
can hereafter stir up the foreign Catholics
of New York to a bloody war, nor refrain from using the influence of his office in favor of peace and good will among men.
If Pius IX had consulted the dictates of worldly policy he would have looked on the contest with the stolid indifference which other potentates of Europe
have displayed, or perhaps have even added fuel to the flames which Archbishop Hughes
The mass of the Catholic
population lies in the North
, whereas the South
is almost entirely Protestant.
Notwithstanding this fact, he, alone of European
potentates, has addressed the chief of the Confederate States
," reciprocated fully and cordially the courtesy and politeness which have marked the conversation of our own Executive to foreign powers, and quietly and firmly set at defiance the prejudice and displeasure which such a recognition might excite in the Northern
The Confederate people cannot but regard with profound respect and gratitude this truly Christian and manly conduct of the Head
of the Catholic Church, which is only the more conspicuous and brilliant from its contrast with the callous and inhuman indifference manifested by the other rulers of Europe
to this most bloody and barbarous war.
The letter of President Davis
to the Pope
is a master piece of composition, one of the very happiest efforts of a pen which "touches nothing that it does not adorn."