Puslapio vaizdai

position, common sense demands that conditions be homogeneous throughout the country.

A second difficulty is found in the Law of Separation itself. Pius X refused to accept it, on the ground that some dispositions, particularly regarding the Associations Cultuelles, went counter to the divinely given constitution, rights, and duties of the Catholic Church, the charge of safeguarding which was laid on him as Pope. While, on the one side, Benedict XV of course realizes and takes up that charge and responsibility as fully as his predecessor, on the other side, the French Government has pledged its word that the Separation Law shall not be touched. An easy way out of the difficulty lies in ignoring it not saying anything about the matter at all. If it cannot be ignored, a way around the difficulty is indicated by the record of the actual putting into practice of those dispositions of the law since 1906. It is argued that, inasmuch as the supreme courts before which cases have been brought have invariably interpreted them in a way so favorable to the Church that their tenor is shown to be innocuous, they do not in fact carry the meaning on which Pius X's refusal to accept the law was based.

A third difficulty is found in the realm of world-politics- the Near East, the privileged position given to France there by Turkey, the privileges granted, as accessory to that position, by the Holy See, and the changes in the situation brought about by the great war. Summed up, the situation was that, under the old Capitulations, France held from Turkey the protectorate over all Catholics in the Near East, with a few exceptions; and in consideration of that, the Holy See instructed Catholics in general, both individuals and religious communities, to apply to her for protection. It also


gave to the representative of France certain privileges, mainly liturgical a special place, and special honors, for instance, at important religious functions.

But with the passing of the old Turkish Empire the Capitulations no longer exist. The privileges granted by the Holy See were, as Cardinal Gasparri has authoritatively said, accessory to the principle in relation to the Capitulations: inevitably they cease to exist, in consequence. The old order has, in fact, gone by the board. In the Protocol to the Sèvres Treaty, drawn up at the meeting of the Council of the Powers at San Remo in May, 1920, it is definitely stated that the old protectorate and privileges have lapsed; and the signature of France is attached to that Protocol, together with those of the other great powers.

France holds the mandate for Syria, Great Britain that for Palestine; but French feeling is loath to surrender the old privileges in the Holy Land. It realizes the political advantage that the favored position of France there and in the Near East generally gave to her; and everything spoken and written recently in France on the subject of the resumption of diplomatic relations with the Holy See has shown how the wish for reconciliation with Rome is motived by the hope of regaining, through the religious agency, the privileged political position of the old days. No attempt indeed has been made to disguise the fact that it is political advantage, particularly in the Near East, that is sought. On its side the Holy See has all goodwill, in consideration of what France has done for the Catholic religion in the Near East during past centuries; but the fact remains, and has been stated clearly in Cardinal Gasparri's celebrated letter to M. Denys Cochin, of June 26, 1917, that, when the old Turkish régime and the Capitulations ceased

to exist, the religious privileges granted to France by virtue of them came to an end as well.

Evidently, then, there are points on which France and the Holy See have to reach an understanding. But the restoration of diplomatic relations, the reconciliation, is a fact. The importance of the event is self-evident. The old policy, which Waldeck-Rousseau started, and Combes and Briand carried to lengths far beyond the original intention, was summarized, when completed by the Separation Law, in Viviani's famous phrase, 'We have put out the lights of heaven.' Waldeck-Rousseau dissociated himself from the acts of his successors; Combes has died at the very moment the great change is being carried out; it is no other than Briand who is carrying it out, while Viviani attends the Funeral Mass of Cardinal Gibbons. Au fond, it may be nothing more than the inevitable victory of common sense over a phase of political fanaticism; but in itself it is a striking event. And, further, it carries beyond the limits just indicated by France and the Holy See. For, firstly, it has had immediate repercussion here in Italy; and, secondly, it has raised the diplomatic edifice of Rome, the world-position of the Papacy, to such a height that the world cannot help noticing it. The Holy See

to change the metaphor seems to be riding on a great wave resulting from the storm of world-war; and the world may wonder where, how far, and in what direction, it may steer itself or may be carried.


On the part of Italy there is, of course, not the slightest objection to the restoration of diplomatic relations between France and the Holy See. When the British Empire determined to send Sir Henry Howard as representa

tive to the Vatican at the end of 1914, Sir Edward Grey took the prudent step of sounding in advance the Italian Government, and was assured that no objection would be made, or was felt. The step was diplomatically cautious and courteous, but was unnecessary. Numerous powers had representatives at the Vatican; the Italian Law of Guaranties explicitly recognizes that the Pope may receive accredited representatives from foreign powers, and it gives them all the prerogatives and immunities due by international law to such envoys. If an objection was inconceivable when England was making a new departure, breaking a centuriesold tradition, it is more inconceivable now, when France returns after an interval of only seventeen years.

But, even though any objection is out of the question, the arrival of France at the Vatican has made Italians think. In actual fact, during and since the war, numbers of states have been establishing or reëstablishing relations with the Holy See, without any particular notice being taken here. It required the striking nature of the return of France to wake public opinion up to the fact that Italy is practically the only great European country unrepresented at the Vatican. And in newspapers and magazines there has been a flood of comment on that fact, ever since M. Briand decided to send M. Jonnart to the Vatican as Ambassador of France. 'Everyone sees the diplomatic advantage of being represented at the Vatican; we are the only great nation out of it; we lose thereby; a remedy should be found.' On that there is practical unanimity, but the question then arises, 'How?'

The actual position, as between Italy and the Holy See, is to-day what it was in 1870, after the Italian troops entered Rome, or, to be more accurate, in 1871, after the passing of the Law


of Guaranties.' Officially, the protest of Pius IX has been repeated by each -Leo XIII, Pius X, and the present Pope. Benedict XV has been as explicit as his predecessors. In his first Encyclical, of November 1, 1914, he said: "Too long has the Church been curtailed of its necessary freedom of action, ever since the Head of the Church, the Supreme Pontiff, began to lack that defense of his freedom which the providence of God had raised up during the course of centuries. . . . While We pray for the speedy return of peace to the world, We also pray that an end be put to the abnormal state in which the Head of the Church is placed a state which in many ways is an impediment to the common tranquillity. Our Predecessors have protested not from self-interest, but from a sense of sacred duty-against this state of things; those protests We renew, and for the same reason, to protect the rights and dignity of the Apostolic See.'

Every thinking man recognizes the necessity for the Vatican to uphold that official attitude. If it did not do so, it would lose its base base of action, if there is anything doing; base on which to continue standing, if not. But much water has passed under Tiber bridges since 1871. There is no need to recapitulate here all that has happened during the past fifty years. From the clear-cut cliffs on either side of the dividing river, rocks have been falling into the stream and forming steppingstones, while the flow of prejudice and bitter feeling has slackened. Through pressure of the World War, of late the line of stones has become almost continuous. Has the moment come to cement them into a bridge? It would seem that there are many thoughtful Italians who think it has; and on the

1 See the author's paper on 'The Temporal Power,' in the Atlantic for June, 1919. VOL. 128-NO. 3


side of the Holy See, there have been many signs of good-will-tempered naturally by what one may now call caution, in place of the strict reserve of former days.

One such sign appeared just twelve months ago, in the Pope's Encyclical Letter on Reconciliation among the Nations and the Restoration of Christian Peace, of which one passage ran: "This concord between civilized nations is maintained and fostered by the modern custom of visits and meetings, at which the Heads of States and Princes are accustomed to treat of matters of special importance. So then, considering the changed circumstances of the times and the dangerous trend of events, and in order to encourage this concord, We should not be unwilling to relax in some measure the severity of the conditions justly laid down by Our Predecessors, when the civil power of the Apostolic See was overthrown, against the official visits of the Heads of Catholic States to Rome.'

That is a very remarkable concession. In its literal form it is conditional, for the Holy See must envisage the bare possibility of a head of a Catholic state

who may not himself be a Catholic or the Parliament of such a state, making some move, either in ignorance or by premeditation, not in consonance with the spirit of the present times and of the above concession, but rather in the spirit of the times now past. The Holy See must be free to safeguard its sovereign dignity in view of untoward eventualities. But in substance the veto against the visits to 'the Usurper' in Rome of the heads of Catholic states is lifted. It was on account of this veto that the Austrian sovereign could never return the Italian sovereign's official visit; and, in fact, no Catholic head of a state with the accidental exception, on one occasion, of the Prince of Monaco, and, of course, the notorious

case of President Loubet, whose visit was largely responsible for the breaking off of relations between France and the Holy See has been to Rome since 1870.

But here, too, the words of concession are followed up immediately by the saving clause of principle: 'But at the same time we formally declare that this concession, which seems counseled or, rather, demanded by the grave circumstances in which to-day society is placed, must not be interpreted as a tacit renunciation of its sacrosanct rights by the Apostolic See, as if it acquiesced in the unlawful situation in which it is now placed. Rather do We seize this opportunity to renew for the same reasons the protests which Our Predecessors have several times made, not in the least moved thereto by human interests, but in fulfillment of the sacred duty of their charge to defend the rights and dignity of this Apostolic See; once again demanding, and with. even greater insistence now that peace is made among the nations, that "for the Head of the Church too an end may be put to that abnormal condition which in so many ways does such serious harm to tranquillity among the peoples."'

We have, then, the attitude of the Holy See outlined with sufficient clearness: in principle it is exactly where it was; in practice it has shown signs of real good-will. But, if anything is to be done, it awaits a move from the other side. In that, it is logical. If the Holy See were to speak out in the ordinary language of the world one may imagine it expressing itself thus: 'You took away my independence when you took away the Temporal Power by which it had been guaranteed for a thousand years. Sovereign freedom and independence I must have. Your Law of Guaranties does not give it to me: be cause the text does not contain it; because such law is unilateral, and a

sovereign cannot have regulations imposed on him by anyone or he loses his sovereignty; and because the law, made by one Parliament, could be revoked at any moment by another. It is ephemeral. Even if it gave independence, it could not guarantee it. But if you offer me independence, actual and apparent to the world, and based on a guaranty as effective as the Temporal Power of the old days, I will consider the offer, and, if satisfied, will ratify the new arrangement in a bilateral contract as between two sovereigns.'

Is it possible for Italy to make a move? The government of the day could not make concrete proposals unless it had practical assurance that they would be acceptable in substance to both interested parties - the Holy See on the one side, and Italian public opinion, represented by Parliament, on the other. The government should find no difficulty in getting the information necessary. As regards the Holy See, it is notorious that there has always been an unofficial channel of communication between Italy and the Vatican. There are almost daily happenings, some of little, some of great importance, on which mutual knowledge and understanding is necessary. The Italian railway authorities way authorities to take a very small matter make special arrangements for the journeys of cardinals to and from Rome; when several Princes of the Church are traveling at the same moment, to a Conclave for instance, a special train is put at their disposal. During a Conclave the most elaborate precautions are taken to prevent any inconvenience to single cardinals while they are in Rome, and to ensure the entire freedom of the Sacred College while it is in solemn session in the Vatican, at the moment when the name of the new Pope is announced from the balcony of St. Peter's, and during the ensuing functions. At great feasts

in St. Peter's, the Cardinal Archpriest has an escort of Italian carabinieri in his own basilica, which technically does not belong to the Holy See.

When any excitement among the people here is threatened, the government keeps the Vatican informed of the precautions taken against disturbance of public order in its neighborhood. There are a hundred points on which exchange of information between the two bodies is convenient. During the war communications of a practically official nature passed; as, for instance, during the negotiations for exchange of Italian and Austrian prisoners, a benevolent initiative, in great measure due to and organized by the Holy See, but cut short at the last moment by the prejudice of one Italian minister. In that case, communication between the Foreign Office and the Secretariat of State was, if not official, actually direct.

The Italian government should find no difficulty in learning, privately but authoritatively, the views of the Holy See, if it has concrete proposals to suggest. On the other side, the Chamber of Deputies is divided up into clearly defined parties, and a prime minister can estimate to a nicety, after private conversation with the party leaders, whether or no he can count on their support on any given question. Every prime minister, too, has his own ways of bargaining for such support if he wants it. Public opinion is largely influenced by the press. In the present case the bulk of it would surely be favorable; and if the question were put before the Italian people in the obvious way that presents itself, after the very explicit example set by France of renewing relations with Rome solely in the country's political interest, the proposal might go through all other circumstances being favorable on a wave of patriotic enthusiasm, in addition to religious satisfaction of the great mass of the

people. The patriotic note would drown what little sectarian clamor might arise.

Recent Italian premiers have been well disposed to the Holy See; one of them, Signor Nitti, is notoriously desirous of seeing his name go down in history as the statesman who settled the Roman Question; and as he is equally notoriously anxious to return to the place now occupied by Signor Bonomi, it is quite possible that the latter might have no objection to doing the thing himself, while he has the opportunity.


As to the lines on which agreement could be reached, presuming, as is probable, that preliminary soundings show the possibility of approach, we have, speaking generally, a new willingness to consider the question on the part of Italy, and undoubted signs of good-will on the part of the Holy See. From that it is not a difficult advance to reach, on the part of Italy, the recognition that the existing Law of Guaranties does not give and guarantee fully and patently the necessary liberty and independence of the Pope; and, on the part of the Holy See, an attitude of relaxation of severity, in consideration of the changed spirit of the times, to which the Pope himself has so often alluded, and which, while it may go some way to meet Italian susceptibilities, may be sufficiently explicit and far-reaching to satisfy such claims of the Holy See as are fundamentally and absolutely vital because founded on the divinely given constitution of the Church.

Would it be possible to draw up an agreement, presumably in the form of a Concordat, Concordat, a bilateral understanding, that is, between two sovereign powers, by which Italy would get the political advantage of direct diplomatic representation and communication, which is so evidently desired and

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