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Archbishop Hughes on the Catholic Press

Brownson's Quarterly Review January, 1857

JOURNALISM in its present sense is of modern origin, and dates, according to La Civilta Cattolica, only from the beginning of the French revolution in the last century. Before that world-event there were gazettes, newspapers, and even literary and scientific periodicals, but no journals established for the purpose of acting directly on society, and effecting by the formation and force of public opinion great political, social, moral, or religious ends. Catholic journalism, or journalism devoted to Catholic interests, is of a still more recent origin, and hardly dates from a period anterior to the fall of the first French empire; but the encouragement it has received from the Catholic prelates in most countries and even from the vicar of our Lord himself, permits us to regard it as a legitimate calling, in which every Catholic is as free to engage, under a proper sense of responsibility, as in any other secular business. Journalism did not, it is true, originate with Catholics, or in the interests of religion, but with the enemies of the church, for revolutionary purposes; yet since it is in itself indifferent, and may be used for good as well as for evil, there is, as far as we can see, no solid reason why the church should not avail herself of its capabilities for good, and suffer it to be used for the promotion of her interests, as she does the printing press itself, steamboats, railroads, lightning telegraphs, progress in legislation, or any other invention or improvement in the natural order.

Before the institution of journalism the church got along very well without it, and she could continue to get along very well were it suppressed. It enters not into her constitution, and is in no sense essential to her existence or to her efficient operation as the church of God. But it is one of the most striking characteristics of our age and especially of our country, and the chosen medium of acting on the public mind. The ablest, the most energetic and living writers of the day, instead of writing folios, or pamphlets as formerly, write leaders in the journals, or contribute articles to reviews and magazines. Journalism has undeniably become the most approved and the most efficient means through which modern thought is expressed, and the public mind is formed and directed. Every party, almost every fragment of a party has its public journal as the organ of its peculiar doctrines, opinions, purposes, hopes, or aspirations. It becomes necessary therefore for Catholics to have their journals, and to use them as a means of neutralizing the effects of the non-Catholic press, and of promoting what may be called the external interests of religion. It seems but right that they should do what they can to turn the weapon invented for their destruction against their enemies, and to convert what was designed for evil into good; and we know from the encouragement which the Holy Father has deigned to extend to us personally, and also from that so generously extended to us by the illustrious hierarchy of our country, that it is so. With the generous co-operation of the Catholic laity with their clergy, we see no reason why the Catholic press, in a very short time, should not become in the hands of Catholics even more efficient for good than it has hitherto been for evil in the hands of our enemies.

As yet, Catholic journalism is in its infancy, and is far from having developed all its capabilities. The Catholic public have not yet given it full play, and are as yet hardly prepared to regard it as an approved mode of promoting Catholic interests. They find it, in some measure, foreign to their habits as Catholics, and distrust it the moment that it goes beyond the province of the gazette or the mere newspaper, or aims at something more than the publication of interesting items of intelligence,or the refutation of some foul calumny on Catholic persons or Catholic institutions, and attempts to enter into the discussion of the great living questions of the day and to obtain for them a Catholic solution. They have not taken a sufficiently broad and elevated view of its real province, and are startled rather than edified by its rising to the level of its mission. They but imperfectly appreciate its liberty in matters of opinion, and are too ready to visit an error or what they suppose to be an error in matters of opinion with a severity due only to an error in matters of faith. The conductors of Catholic journalism are to a great extent uncertain as to the legitimate sphere of the Catholic journalist, and are sometimes weak and inefficient through a laudable fear of encroaching on the prerogatives of authority, and sometimes mischievous through their rash assumption of the province of the pastors and doctors of the church. But these defects and errors of both people and journalists are due to the infancy of Catholic journalism, and to the want of clear, distinct, and definite views of its legitimate sphere. They will be corrected with time, and disappear in proportion as Catholic journalism comes to be more fully and more universally recognized as a lawful calling, and its rights and duties are better understood and more clearly defined. For a long time to come, Catholic journalism is likely to be an approved institution for the defense and support of Catholic interests. It will always be outside of the church, below the church, and in the natural order; but still, as the representative of a just public opinion, it will come, like true civilization, to the defense and support of religion against her external enemies. It has and can have no spiritual authority; it is and can be no institution in the church, but is and may be an institution outside of the church, devoted to her interests, and capable of rendering her valuable external service, through its action in forming and directing public opinion.

Our own so-called Catholic press has, no doubt, the errors and imperfections incident to its youth, and the heterogeneous character of our Catholic population. As Catholics, in all that pertains to religion proper, they are homogeneous, and of one mind and one heart; but in all other respects they are about as diverse as it is possible to conceive them, and nothing is more natural, if nothing is more to be regretted, than that the diversity which obtains among them should have its representatives in the press. That this diversity has had its representatives, and that the utility of the press has been impaired thereby, and some injury done to Catholic interests, be conceded. The archbishop of New York, ever vigilant, becomes the faithful and zealous pastor, sees and deplores it, and with a view to remedying the evil, and preventing the press in future from fostering any divergent tendencies there may be among us, has written and published the highly interesting and important document now before us. His aim has evidently been to restore harmony where it has been disturbed, and to remind the press that Catholics should live and act in unity, and that it forgets its duty when it sows divisions among them. He is deeply impressed with the dangers that threaten our internal peace; he thinks these dangers, partly incidental to the diversity of our Catholic population, have been greatly increased by certain journals conducted by persons professing to be Catholics, but never recognized as Catholic by the proper authorities, and he has wished to disclaim them, and to warn the Catholic public against encouraging them. Thus he says:

  "The only ground on which the writer of this paper would feel himself authorized to present his views in relation to the Catholic press is a ground of zeal and interest for the universal harmony and union, not only in faith, but also in charity, of all the scattered members of the church of God, who are to be found spread over the surface of this now great empire, extending from the Southern boundaries of Canada to the northern limits of Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. These Catholics are not homogeneous in the order of natural birth, inasmuch as not all have been born in any one country; but they are homogeneous in the supernatural order, by which God has provided that they should be spiritually born into the one church, Which is not the church of any nation, but of all nations without distinction- holy, Catholic, apostolic.

  "One of the greatest calamities that could fall on the Catholic people of the United States, would be, if allusions to variety of natural origin should ever be allowed to distract their minds from that unity of hope and mutual charity which results from the communion of saints.
  "For some time past it has been observable that this so-called Catholic press has exhibited, especially in the North, divergencies well calculated to excite attention, if not alarm. On the one side it has been assumed that the success of religion in this country depended on the continuous influx of emigrants, especially those of Irish origin, and that religion vanishes in proportion as the Celtic feeling dies out in this Country- that the national character of the American people and more particular]y as it affects the first and second generation of emigrants, is hostile to the Catholic religion- that the best method of perpetuating the faith in this country, so far as the Celtic race is concerned, is to keep up and perpetuate a species of lrishism in connection with the faith.

  "On the other hand. it has been assumed with equal confidence, but not on any better foundation, that our holy faith will labor under  great disadvantages, and can hardly be expected to make much impression on our countrymen, until it can be presented under more favorable auspices than those which surround foreigners. In short, that, if it were rightly understood, its principles are in close harmony with those of our constitution and laws- that it requires only a skilful architect to
tail the one into the other, and to show how the Catholic religion and the American constitution would really fit each other as a key fits a lock- that without any change in regard to faith and morals, the doctrines of the Catholic Church may be, so to speak, americanized- that is, represented in such a manner as to attract the attention and win the admiration of the American people. Now, in the opinion of the writer, the prevalence of either of these two systems would be disarming Us to the
cause of the church.

  "The church is not a foreigner on any continent or island of this globe. The church is of all nations, and for all nations, as much as the sunbeams of heaven, which are not repudiated as foreign under any sky. In fact, truth, no matter by whom represented, is at home in all climes; and this not simply in matters of religion, but in matters of history,
arts, and science."

  We are unable to conceive any thing more Catholic or more in accordance with Catholic interests than the purpose here expressed. We have ourselves, as our readers well know, written several articles with the same purpose, and we will not affect to conceal the gratification it affords us to find our archbishop adding the weight of his position and character, and the aid of his powerful pen to a cause which we have had so much at heart, and which is so intimately connected with the peace and prosperity of our Catholic community. We have labored earnestly to prevent the division of our Catholic population into classes according to their respective birthplace or national origin. The lesson we, in our humble way, have done our best to impress on our readers is, as the archbishop so happily expresses it, that "the church is not a foreigner on any continent or island of this globe. The church is of all nations, and for all nations, as much as the sunbeams of heaven, which are not repudiated as foreign under any sky." There are no national distinctions in the church, no distinction between Jews and gentiles, Greeks and barbarians, for God hath made of one blood all the nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth. This lesson we have repeated almost ad nauseam, so anxious have we been to impress it on the minds of our readers. The archbishop expresses our own views far better than we could ourselves express them in the following truly Catholic passage:

  "Now, in view of these facts, neither clergy nor laity can afford, as Catholics, to have any distinction drawn among them in our periodicals, as among natives and foreigners. In the Catholic Church there are no natives.  There is the nativity of baptism subsequent to the natural. There is the adoption by grace of every soul, whether entered into her communion during the period of infancy or in adult life. Are there foreigners in the church of God? It is one Lord, and one baptism."

  Thus we wrote, in perfect accordance with this, in our Review for last October:- "In religion we know no national distinctions, and if we ever allude to them, it is to rebuke the ill-judged and dangerous attempt to bring them into the church, or to make the church in this country the monopoly of any nationality. We censure no man for his nationality; we judge no man by his nationality ... Religion is catholic, not national." We had previously written: - “Catholicity asserts the unity of the race, the common origin and brotherhood of all men, and nothing is more repugnant to its spirit than to judge men by the race from which they have sprung, or the nation in which they were born. Never should we treat any race with contempt, or claim every virtue under heaven for our own. Away with these petty distinctions and miserable jealousies. What is it to the Catholic that the blood that flows in his brother's veins has flowed from Adam down through an Anglo-Saxon or a Celtic channel? Through whichever channel it has flowed, it is the same blood, and has flowed from the same source. All men are brothers, with one and the same Father, and one and the same Redeemer." If there is any one thing more than another that we have felt it our duty to do all in our power to repress, it has been precisely the disposition that we saw fostered in certain quarters to insist on national distinctions, and to renew here on this continent and among Catholics the old war of races, and it is no little consolation, amid the misapprehension to which we have been subject, and the abuse we have received, to find the illustrious archbishop of New York laboring expressly and avowedly, with earnestness and vigor to the same end.

The archbishop speaks of two divergent tendencies, of two opposing systems, and seems to imply that there is springing up amongst us an American Catholic party opposed to Catholics of foreign birth. Whether such be or be not the fact he is a better judge than we, and it is a matter that we shall not allow ourselves to discuss. We only wish to have it distinctly understood that, if there is any such party, we have no connection with it, have never been and shall never be its organ. We are American by birth, education, connection, habit, and sentiment, and intend to remain so; but we should deprecate the formation of a party hostile to foreign-born Catholics, as much as the archbishop does the formation of a party hostile to American-born Catholics. Undoubtedly, as an American convert we have our mind and heart principally set on the conversion of our non-Catholic countrymen, and are in the habit of looking upon Catholic questions and proceedings in their bearing on these countrymen of ours, whom we so ardently desire to see converted; but never with feelings of hostility or indifference to our Catholic brethren of foreign birth We have heard individuals, some of native, some of foreign birth, contend that the church will never take root here and prosper as she might till we have an indigenous clergy, but we have never entered into the discussion of that question. As we understand it, the uniform policy of the church has been, in all ages and countries, to provide for each country, at the earliest practicable moment, a native clergy, and such, we are assured, is the policy, as far as practicable under the circumstances, pursued by our own venerable hierarchy. It has never entered into our head or our heart, we own, to question the wisdom of that policy, or to arraign the church at the bar of public opinion for having uniformly pursued it; but we have never suffered ourselves to draw or suggest comparisons between American-born and foreign-born clergymen, and we have never forgotten that a large proportion of our laity are foreign-born, and that for them an American born and educated clergy would not be a native clergy. We refer here to what we wrote on this whole question of nativism and foreignism in the article on the Blakes and Flanagans.  And in our Review for October last, we said :- "We are as much opposed to the introduction of Know-nothingism into the church, as we are to its introduction into the state." It is but simple justice to us to regard such expressions which abound in all our articles touching the subject, as qualifying what might otherwise seem to favor exclusive Americanism. They should be taken as indicative of our real sentiments, and if the same weight had been attached to them by our readers, which we ourselves attached to them when writing, nobody would ever have dreamed of ranking us with a party, even supposing such a party to exist, that seeks the exclusion of foreign-born clergymen or foreign-born laymen; and we are sure that it is owing to their having been overlooked, or being regarded as insignificant, although designed expressly to save us from being misunderstood, that we have been so widely and so strangely misapprehended. Let those who have interpreted our articles as unfriendly to foreigners, or as unduly American, re-read them, and regard their qualifications which are always inserted, and suppose that we really mean by them what we say, and they will be as much surprised as we have been by their misapprehension of our sentiments.

We speak not for others; but, speaking for ourselves, we assure the archbishop that we have never contended that the principles of our religion may, by a skilful architect, be dovetailed into our civil and political principles, or that the doctrines of the Catholic Church can or should be Americanized. The system he speaks of and justly reprobates, has always been entirely foreign to our habits of thought. As an American and a convert, and therefore thinking we might understand non-Catholic Americans better than persons who have not been born and brought up in this country, we have, presumptuously perhaps, ventured, we own, to throw out, from time to time, various suggestions as to the best manner of presenting the arguments for Catholic truth to the non-Catholic American mind. We have not hesitated to suggest, nay, to maintain, that the method usually adopted by our popular works of controversy, is not the one best adapted to make the most favorable impression. We have contended that the arguments for the church, not her doctrines, may be presented, and even ought to be presented, in a manner better fitted to affect favorably the mind of our non-Catholic countrymen. We have, also, ventured to express our conviction, that various things, not of faith, nor of universal discipline,- things usually regulated, in other countries, by concordats between the ecclesiastical and civil authorities,- may be, and need to be modified here, if we wish to secure to the church, in her temporalities, the full benefit of our civil laws. We have gone no further. We have never been in the habit of contending that the church should be conformed to the secular order, and it has, as our readers well know, been made a grave charge against us, and we have been half menaced,-in jest, we presume, with excommunication for it, that we assert too absolutely the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal.
We have never represented the principles of Catholicity as peculiarly adapted to those of our civil and political institutions, but we have labored to prove that there is no necessary mutual repugnance between them; and therefore have concluded, on the one hand, that we may be good Catholics and loyal Americans, and on the other, that we may be loyal Americans and good Catholics. We have done even this, not for the purpose of assigning a reason why men should be either Catholics or republicans, but to refute the popular objection, that the church is incompatible with our political and civil institutions.

Undoubtedly, we have contended and still believe that there opens in this country a glorious field for the spread of Catholicity, and for the church to exert her full influence on civilization. But we have never dreamed of a neo-Catholicism, or even of a new development of Catholicity; yet we have hoped and believed, and still hope and believe, that there will be effected here, under the influence of Catholicity, a new development of civilization, or a higher and truer civilization, which we never confound with Christianity, than the world has hitherto enjoyed, because we believe the church has here a fairer field for the exercise of her social and civilizing influences than she has ever hitherto found. In this we do not seem to differ at all from the archbishop, who himself says: -

"But in the annals of church history, there has never been a country which, in its civil and social relations, has exhibited so fair an opportunity for developing the practical harmonies of Catholic faith, and of Catholic charity, as the United States."

We have believed and believe that this opportunity will not be neglected, and have done what we could to urge our Catholic brethren to avail themselves of it, and thus realize on this continent, not a new and better religion, but a new and higher civilization for the world.

The archbishop does us the honor of commenting on some opinions which we are supposed to entertain, and which he appears to regard as too hopeful in respect of our countrymen. Alluding to us he says, "Whilst he, in his zeal, is sanguine of hope, that the predispositions of his countrymen, whom he knows well, are especially adapted to the reception of the Catholic religion, we fear that the reality will not correspond to the anticipation." Yet he cannot mean this as a reproach, for he asserts, "it is a relief and a consolation to believe that one who knows his country and his countrymen so well as Dr. Brownson, should cherish such hopeful anticipations of the future, in regard to the church of God." We presume he will agree with us that, as a general rule, hope is a  better counselor than fear, and that it is better to err by being too hopeful than by being too desponding. We are not aware of having represented the predispositions of the American people as specially favorable to the reception of Catholicity; we have always represented the great body of them as hostile or at least as indifferent to our religion; but we have believed them disposed to have some sort of religion and not likely to be much longer contented with their Protestantism. The progress of the American mind, we believe, will force them before long to choose between Catholicity and no religion, and brought to that point, they will prefer the Catholic religion to none at all. We have represented our countrymen as greatly in need of the Catholic religion, even under a political and social point of view, to cherish their patriotism and to preserve the republican liberty they so ardently love, and we have believed that, if once converted, they would carry into their Catholic life those natural virtues of boldness, energy, enterprise, and perseverance for which they are now so remarkable, because our religion does not destroy the natural, but elevates, purifies, and directs it. The archbishop is not the man to reproach us for this.

Moreover, we are not aware that, since the first year after our conversion, we have expressed any very sanguine expectations as to the speedy conversion of our countrymen. We have, indeed, combatted the discouragement, almost despair, into which the Know-nothing movement, very unnecessarily, as it seems to us, drove some of our Catholic brethren, and have done what we could to stimulate hope and zeal for the conversion of our countrymen. Undoubtedly we have continued to hope not only in spite of all untoward appearances, but even in consequence of them. The Know-nothing movement has done more in two years to bring our religion before the American people and to force them to examine it, than all our journals could have done in twenty. Why should we not hope? Does not God want this country converted? Do not the church, the saints, and all good angels pray for its conversion? Is not God, is not all heaven, is not all that is good on earth on our side, not only to encourage us to hope, but to stimulate us to exertion? What need we for the conversion of the country, but that the Catholics in it should set about effecting its conversion with all the strength of Catholic faith, Catholic charity, and Catholic zeal? Undoubtedly it will not be converted if Catholics despair of its conversion, cease to make efforts for it, and instead of keeping alive their hope and quickening their zeal by fixing their eyes on every favorable symptom, and availing themselves of every favorable opening, they only express the hopelessness of the task, or suffer their minds to dwell only on the discouragements the enemy throws in our way, or the obstacles that are to be overcome. In a work of this sort hope tends to fulfill its own prophecy. Why shall we damp the zeal, chill the hopes, and unnerve, by our fears, the efforts of our friends? No doubt the conversion of this great country to the church is as difficult as it would be glorious; but what then? We are not obliged to do it, or to undertake it, in our own name or strength alone. When we engage with pure hearts, sincere zeal, and ardent hope in God's work,-and the conversion of non-Catholics is always God's work,-we have the right, in virtue of his goodness and his promises, to count on his working with us, and preventing our working from being in vain.

The archbishop may be thought to be less hopeful than we, but we think this would be unjust to him. We are not more hopeful than his own remarks on the Catholic press warrant us in being. He proves that the first generation have not been neglected, nor the second generation lost, as it has sometimes been alleged, and, furthermore, that under all the disadvantages under which our religion has thus far labored the church has been making progress in the country. We beg his permission to call the attention of our readers to the following extract from his well matured and eloquent pages :-

"In reference to this topic of the actual condition of the Catholic Church in this country, it is necessary to make just discriminations, before arriving at fixed conclusions. That the Catholic religion has lost not a few of the first generation, and still more of the second, is undeniable. But is this the only country in which such things happen? Are we not inundated with reports of apostasies in various parts of Ireland itself? We know the agencies by which these temporary apostasies are brought about. The progressive and awfully persuasive powers of starvation render even a false religion, which offers bread and bibles, less odious from day to day, to the wretched beings who have, at least, no alternative but a choice between death and falsehood.

"The loss to the faith in this country is of a somewhat analogous character. Among grown up and instructed Catholics, an instance of deliberate apostasy- that is, renouncing the Catholic faith, and professing some other nominal creed, is exceedingly rare. But in vast numbers of instances the parents of children, who had emigrated to this country, died before they were able to make any provision for their unhappy offspring. In other instances, they lived, or rather languished, under the trials incident to their condition, without having the ability to imbue the minds of their children with the principles of Christian doctrine. The consequence has been, that these children, taken charge of by the public, grew up entirely ignorant, and sometimes ashamed of the creed of their fathers. Under similar circumstances, similar results would occur in any country; and no one who is impartial, will for a moment pretend that results of this kind are necessarily an evidence of the withering influence which some of our editors supposed to be exercised on the growth of Catholicity, by the civil and public institutions of the United States. There is a sense in which the church may be said to have lost those children, but a truer form of expression would be to say that she had never gained them- inasmuch as the providence of God permitted that they never had an opportunity of knowing their religion. Consequently, in their case, there has been no such thing as a renunciation of the doctrines of Catholic faith, with which it was their misfortune never to have been acquainted.

"If, on the other hand, we turn our attention to what would be a much truer test of the progress of the Catholic religion, there are abundant evidences to show that it is not retrograding. If we can point to instances in every state, in every diocese. almost in every parish, so called, in which Protestants of the most cultivated minds, most unblemished personal characters, have borne their testimony, actuated necessarily by the grace of God, to the overwhelming evidences of the truth of the Catholic religion; if this testimony has not been in theory only, but reduced to practice by their renouncing doctrines in which they had been reared, and embracing those of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic communion, at the sacrifice of temporal interests, of long und cherished friendships, rising by that same grace of God superior to the tyranny of human respect; then who will say that our religion is not making progress in the United States, or that there is essentially any thing in its requirements incompatible with the genius and feelings of the American people? Compare these witnesses, who in mature life bear such testimony to the truth of the Catholic religion, which they embrace, with the alleged falling off of the unfortunate offspring of emigrants of others, who really never had an opportunity of knowing what that faith is, and who consequently never could, is a moral fact. Renounce it, and the impartial reader will be enabled to judge, so far as the power and honor of the Catholic religion are concerned, how the balance might be adjusted between loss and gain.

"Now it is certain, that the converts to the Catholic faith in the United States are very numerous; and in point of respectability, many if not all of them, entitled to rank in the first class of American citizens- natives of the soil.

"Should we not, in gratitude to God, but in deep humility at the same time, feel great satisfaction at this result? These persons give a species of worldly standing to our religion, which, however, its Divine Founder did not leave to be dependent on the great ones of the earth. Among professional men, officers of the army and of the navy, lawyers, physicians, jurists, geologists, merchants, etc., including a very considerable number of Protestant clergymen, the Catholic Church has welcomed to her fold, and taken to her bosom no small number of distinguished converts."

 To perceive the full force of this extract we must consider what we had to do and what we have done. Here we must be permitted to cite a passage from our article on The Blakes and Flanagans-
'Owing to the multitude of immigrants pouring in upon us before we had had time or means to prepare for their reception, to the poverty and we may say little education, of large numbers of them, to our want of churches, priests, and proper teachers, and the absolute necessity of providing for the administration of the sacraments to those ready to perish for the lack of them, we have not been able to do all for our children that we could wish, nor all that was necessary; but we cannot, whether native-born or foreign-born, be justly accused of having been indifferent to Catholic education; and an impartial judgment will honor us for what we have thus far done, rather than condemn us because we have not done more. That some of our children have been lost for the lack of proper looking after, we cannot deny; but all have not been lost, as is evident from the fact that the majority of us now living have been born in the country. In an old Catholic country, with permanent congregations, plenty of churches, a full supply of priests, and a completely organized hierarchy, there is all the machinery for education at hand, and it is easily placed in operation. But here all is new, and we have had every thing to create at once, in a moment, and with very inadequate means at our disposal. No suitable provision could be made for the young without the hierarchy, without priests, churches, and fixed congregations. Without these, where was to be our centre of operations, who were to be our teachers, and who were to furnish the means? We have thus far had, it would seem, enough to do to effect the ecclesiastical organization of the country, to gather congregations, erect churches, provide for the education of the clergy and to get ourselves into a position in which we could devote ourselves to looking after and educating the children .

‘We doubt if even our well-informed friends have duly considered what has been done by Catholics here since 1885, five years before the first bishop of the United States was consecrated.  At that time we numbered only about thirty thousand, now we count at least two millions and a half.  Then there were only four or five churches in the Union, now there are nineteen hundred and ten; then there was no bishop, now there are seven archbishops and thirty-five bishops; then there were only twenty-two or twenty-three priests, now there are seventeen hundred and sixty-one.  We had then 10 theological seminaries; we have now thirty-three, besides five preparatory seminaries.  We had no college; we have now twenty-six incorporated, and nine unincorporated colleges.  There was then no female academy, and now, we have one hundred and thirty-seven.  Now when it is considered that three fifths of these churches have been built, and these seminaries,  colleges and academies have been founded within the last sixteen years, it must be conceded that we have not been wholly idle, or sparing of our means.  When we take into the account that our colleges exceed in number those of any Protestant sect, and surpass, with three or four exceptions, in the beauty and extent of their edifices, any other in the country; that our churches number among them not a few of the largest, most splendid and costly in the Union; and add our convents, nunneries, female academies, hospitals, and orphan asylums, we are ourselves at a loss to determine whence have come the means to erect them.  The means must have come, in chief part, from those who within the last thirty years have come into the country, with little except their hands and industrious dispositions.  Some help has, indeed, come from abroad, but far less; all has been represented, and by no means as much as we have contributed to pious, charitable, and other objects in Ireland alone, to say nothing of any other foreign nation.  While engaged in building these churches, colleges, academies, hospitals, orphan asylums, etc., we could not be expected to provide equally for the education of all our children; especially the children of the very poor; and before we had erected them, had permanent congregations organized, a spiritual home for Catholic parents provided, the hierarchy established, and a supply of priests; without teachers obtained, we neither had nor could put to operation the necessary machinery for looking after and educating the mass of the poor, children whose parents were unable themselves, no matter from what excuse or causes, to give them a proper religious training.  Looking at the difficulties we have had to contend with, the much we have had to do, and the unsettled and moving character of a large portion of our population, our poverty, and our comparatively few priests and still fewer teachers, it would be unjust to blame us for the past, or to cast the shadow of reproach upon those who have thus far labored to provide for our Catholic wants.  We have done much, far more than could reasonably have been expected; and if we are still behind Lower Canada, which is substantially a Catholic province, we are, as to the vigor, energy, and prosperity of our Catholicity, behind no other population on this continent.

 Now in doing all this our clergy have had their time and energies so engrossed that they could not direct their attention or their efforts specifically to the great work of converting the country.  One would think they had as much as they could do in providing the material means so essential to the preservation and prosperity of religion.  Now if without the advantages we now possess, and while engaged in procuring these advantages, these material supports for the future, it is still true, as the archbishop maintains, that instances of deliberate apostasy with adults are exceedingly rare, and none of our children have been lost except those who, in consequence of the poverty or death of their parents or the inability of the clergy to reach them, were never gained to the church, or instructed in the Catholic faith; if there is no withering influence exercised by our civil and political institutions on the growth of Catholicity, and there is essentially nothing in the requirements of our religion incompatible with the genius and feelings of the American people; if the converts have been numerous, and the church has been able to gather into her fold converts from the most intelligent classes, and of the highest respectability, officers of the army and navy, lawyers, physicians, jurists, merchants, etc., including a considerable number of Protestant ministers, have we not every reason to indulge the most cheering hopes for the future?  If, as he asserts,the church,  under all the disadvantages of the past, has not only
held her own, but has continued to make progress in the country, what is to hinder her, now these disadvantages are in great measure removed, and we have gained a vantage ground of churches, seminaries, colleges, schools, religious houses, hospitals, asylums, and a clergy far nearer in number to our wants, from making a still greater and a more rapid progress hereafter; our losses will be fewer, and what is to hinder the conversions from being more? Evidently, it would be to misinterpret the archbishop, and to do him great injustice, to represent him as desponding, or to assume that he has not written with an express view to rebuking the complaints sometimes heard as to our alleged losses, and to establishing the fact that Catholicity is really advancing in the country. Certainly it has been his intention to encourage, not discourage, us in regard to the future of our religion in the United States. He is not, if he will permit us to say so, by any means as wanting in hopefulness as one or two of his expressions would seem at first sight to indicate. He is as hopeful as we have ever expressed ourselves, and if he thinks to the contrary, he must permit us to believe that it is because he has been led to believe that we have expressed ourselves in stronger terms than we really have. If the facts are as he himself presents them, we see nothing to prevent us from hoping that this country in time will become substantially a Catholic country.

The archbishop further alludes to us in this connection, and seems to assign us a position which we are not willing to hold, and which we have already disclaimed:-

"The learned editor of the Review, so far from being discouraged at the gloomy prospect pictured forth by one or two others in regard to the prospective decline of the Catholic religion from the period when Europeans, especially of Irish emigration, shall have ceased, or been sensibly diminished, is, on the other hand, buoyant in his anticipations of the progress which the church is destined to make, as soon as she will be more generally and more widely represented by natives of the soil and less so by foreigners, who indeed, in a worldly point of view, must appear under disadvantages."

This may be thought to imply that we stand on the side of the second system he began by describing, and that we regard the foreign immigration as an obstacle rather than as a help to the conversion of our countrymen, or to the prosperity of our religion in the United States. If such be his intention, he does us great injustice, and we respectfully, but most earnestly protest against it. In regard to those two systems, our position is precisely that which he himself, as we understand him, occupies. Like him we reject them both. Certainly, we believe that the church has taken such deep root in our country that it could survive were immigration to cease, and certainly, also, we believe native born and bred Catholics have many advantages in dealing with their countrymen that foreigners ordinarily have not; but we have never doubted that foreign-born Catholics have other advantages which may overbalance these. Here is how we expressed ourselves on this very point in the article from which we last quoted.-

"We have, undoubtedly, reached a crisis in Catholic affairs in this country. Hitherto we have had foreign immigration, not only to provide for, but to rely upon, and the most thus far done has been done by foreign-born Catholics. Immigration is now rapidly diminishing, and seems likely to become in a few years too insignificant to mention. The future of Catholicity here, as the archbishop of New York has well remarked depends, under God, on the Catholics now in the country, the majority of whom are native-born Catholics. The responsibility now rests on us. We can no longer hope for accessions from abroad to make up for losses at home. In a short time, we shall be deprived of the wisdom, the experience, the sterling piety, zeal, and energy of those foreign-born Catholics to whom we owe our present commanding and prosperous condition. We are to be thrown back on ourselves, and left to our own resources, as native Americans. How we shall meet the crisis we know not. We contemplate it not without some misgivings. Yet, when we remember that the God of our fathers is our God, and that God is here as well as in old Europe we hope we shall not suffer the good work to languish in our hands. We trust the good God will not desert us, and we hope we shall do our best to prove ourselves not wholly unworthy of the trust committed to us. Yet we have a great work before us, and not easily shall we be able to prove at the end of seventy years a progress relatively as great as that made since 1785. We are saddened as well as gladdened at the prospect before us, and fear that the children will hardly make good the places of the fathers." Ante, pp. 38-9,

The archbishop cites, with disapprobation, the following paragraph from our article on the Mission of America:-

"When the end we have to consult it not simply to hold our own, but to advance, to make new conquests, or to take possession of new fields of enterprise, we must draw largely upon young men whose is the future. These Catholic young men, who now feel that they have no place and find no outlet for their activity, are the future, the men who are to take our places, and carry on the work committed to us. We must inspire them with faith in the future, and encourage them to live for it. Instead of snubbing them for their inexperience, mocking them for their greenness, quizzing them for their zeal, dampening their hopes, pouring cold water on their enthusiasm, brushing the
flair from their young hearts, or freezing up the wellsprings of their life, we must renew our own youth and freshness in theirs, encourage them with our confidence and sympathy, raise them up if they fall, soothe them when they fail, and cheer them on always to new and nobler efforts. 0, for the love of God and of man, do not discourage them, force them to be mute and inactive, or suffer them, in the name of Catholicity, to separate themselves in their affections from the country and her glorious mission. Let them feel and act as American citizens; let them feel that this country is their country, its institutions their institutions, its mission their mission, its glory their glory. Bear with them, tread lightly on their involuntary errors, forgive the ebullitions of a zeal not always according to knowledge, and they will not refuse to listen to the counsels of age and experience; they will take advice, and will amply repay us by making themselves felt in the country, by elevating the standard of intelligence, raising the tone of manly feeling and directing public and private activity to just and noble ends.*" 

Belonging as we do to the class of old men, we rather piqued ourselves on our generosity in this appeal in behalf of young men. The archbishop, as we understand him, does not object to the principle or doctrine of this appeal; he only objects to it as uncalled for, because there was no occasion for it, since the things it implicitly censures have and have had no existence. Then the worst is that we have made a needless appeal, and threw away our eloquence. This may mortify us, but it cannot be charged as a sin against faith, morals, or discipline. If, however, it has suspected in it a personal application he does us injustice, and if it has given him a moment's pain we deeply regret it, and ask his pardon. We fear he has given it an application never intended or dreamed of by us, for when we wrote this paragraph we had in our mind certain facts totally unconnected with the archbishop of New York. We are a layman, and do not regard it as within our province either to rebuke or to advise the authorities of the church in what is their own affair. We allow ourselves no liberty of the sort, and we would tolerate it in no journalist. We allow ourselves only those general remarks and appeals which we suppose any well-intentioned man, who has the interest of religion at heart, is free to make. It is possible that we less frequently have a sinister meaning in what we write than everyone supposes, for we not seldom find our own simple obvious meaning overlooked, and a meaning extracted from our language and assigned to us that we never dreamed of. We regard ourselves as an honest, straightforward writer, and to suspect us of another meaning in what we say, than the one we express, is to do us great injustice. The paragraph cited has no meaning, but the one obvious on its face. If that is uncatholic, or not within our province as a journalist to express, we beg the archbishop to regard it as withdrawn.

We have touched upon all the faults the archbishop can be supposed by our friends to have indicated in our career as a Catholic journalist, and they are in substance: 1st, Dr. Brownson takes too hopeful a view of the predispositions of his countrymen, and of the prospect of their conversion; 2d, he thinks that when the European immigration shall have ceased, or sensibly diminished, and the church is more widely represented by natives of the soil, the progress of Catholicity with his countrymen will be greater, and, 3d, he has made a solemn, almost an awful appeal for young men that was quite uncalled for. The first we have explained, so as to place us both very nearly in the same opinion, and the second we have shown is a misconception of our real position and sentiments. But supposing them all well founded, they allege nothing of a very serious character against us. Not one of them is a sin against faith, against morals, or against discipline. The most that can be said of them is, that they betray a slight error of judgment, and a rather sanguine temperament. Now, considering that we have conducted our Review as a Catholic periodical for twelve years, and have written for it two hundred and forty and more essays, some of them on the most difficult and delicate matters in the whole range of philosophy and Catholic theology, and considering also our extremely limited knowledge of Catholic theology, and of Catholic persons and things in the outset, the ill health, the depression of spirits, and the haste in which we have often been obliged to write, to say nothing of the distracting cares of a numerous family to provide for, educate, and settle in the world, we think we may well congratulate ourselves that the archbishop has found no graver faults to allege against us; and we cannot but believe, that had he read our Review with a severer disposition, he would not have let us off so easily. Certainly, we find far more in ourselves to blame and regret; and that, too, without recognizing the justice of any of the objections that have been raised against us, in relation to the question of nativism and foreignism which we have felt it necessary on several occasions to discuss.

But it is no little consolation to us to know, that whatever our faults, errors, or short-comings, the archbishop does not regard them as any serious drawback on the merits or utility of our Review; for if he did he would not have spoken so heartily in its praise, so heartily commended it to the Catholic public, or expressed so much regret at the prejudices that, in certain quarters, have been so unjustly excited against it. We shall be pardoned for citing his remarks in our favor:
"We regret exceedingly that many persons, at least so we have been told, are dissatisfied with some of the views put forward by Dr. Brownson. And we would regret it the more, if in reality he had given occasion for this dissatisfaction, by viewing the whole question from something like what might be called an original standpoint. At all events there is this to be said, that if we have Catholic writers at all, their heads and their hands, their thoughts and their pens, must be guided not by another, but by themselves, in their individual capacity, and under their individual responsibility. It may be added further, that the liberty of the press on all subjects is not to be questioned in a country like this. At the same time, there is a censorship in this as well as in other nations. The difference is, that in other countries the censorship of the press, through the medium of government agents, is exercised, in general, previously to, or simultaneously with the publication of an article - here it comes after. There, it is the judgment of an individual who acts under state authority- here, it is the censure of many individuals acting each one under the dictation of his own private judgment. Catholic editors, therefore, need not be surprised if, when they trespass too 1argely on the feelings of their subscribers, the circulation of their periodicals should be occasionally abridged.

"We should be exceedingly sorry if anything of this kind should occur in the case of Brownson's Review. It is known to himself, at least that several paragraphs in his writings have not been such as to merit our poor approbation. But we are told by astronomers that there are spots on the sun. And if he has written and published some things that might be offensive, he has written many others that are destined to perish never. When he and all of us shall have been consigned to the dust, writers amongst those who are to succeed us will go forth among the pages of his Catholic Review, 'prospecting, as they say in California, for the best diggings.' Nor will they be disappointed, if they have tact and talent for profound philosophical, literary and religious 'mining.' But they will not give him credit.

"But even should all other portions of his works pass away, there is one declaration of his that the writer quotes from memory, which is destined to be quoted throughout Christendom just as long as the declaration of Fenelon, on a certain occasion, when he condemned some of his own writings, because they were disapproved by the head of the Catholic Church. The circumstances and the persons differ from each other in several respects. Fenelon was an archbishop; Brownson is a layman. Fenelon condemned what he had written,--nothing that Brownson has written has been condemned; but the declaration to which we have referred, and which is imperishable, was the honorable and gratuitous proclamation from Brownson's own pen, when be embraced the Catholic faith- when he had already acquired a philosophical and literary reputation sufficient to make a proud man vain- he did not hesitate to give an example of humility that will be an edification to the Catholics of future ages as well as of the present, in stating that he 'had brought nothing into the Catholic Church except his sins.' Now there is no great eloquence in this language. It amounts to a mere truism, for whether it be the infant of three days, or the adult convert to the faith, it is all the same. Brownson brought much to the Catholic faith, but his humility would permit only the foregoing declaration to be put on record.

"We do not think, therefore, that the Catholics of New York and of
the United States can afford to see Brownson's Review languishing or dying out for want of support. Suppose there are passages in it which some of us may not have approved of, what of that? There is not even among these a single passage, from the perusal of which a judicious reader may not have gleaned knowledge and information. It has been useful, and we think it destined to become more and more useful, as its learned editor shall be more and more cheered in his labors by the hearty support of Catholic patronage."

  We copy the pamphlet edition before us, reprinted with corrections, from The Metropolitan. As it appeared in The Metropolitan, and has been copied into several journals, it gave us some pain, for we feared a few of its expressions might be misapprehended, but as it appears in the pamphlet, with the author's corrections, it gives us none, except the pain of being thought by our archbishop, who has known us so 1ong and so intimately, capable of allowing our national feelings to drive us into a movement in any degree hostile to Catholics not of American birth. In the Metropolitan edition, the archbishop is made to say, that it is known to ourselves at least, that our Review has contained "many articles" that have not met his approbation; in the pamphlet this is corrected: for "many articles," "several paragraphs" is substituted. The former would not be accurate; the latter is true in a general sense, although we cannot lay our finger on a single paragraph, with the exception of the one copied from our Review for last October, and say, this particular paragraph has been disapproved by the archbishop of New York. We know, in a general way, that our Review has contained paragraphs which have not met his approbation, especially on the subject of education; but we do not know what are the particular paragraphs, doctrines, propositions, or opinions, to which he objects.

We say this lest some persons should draw from his remarks, what we are sure he never intended, the conclusion, so unfavorable to us, that the archbishop has privately censured us for some articles or paragraphs in our Review. Such has never in a single instance been the fact. Nothing he has ever said or written to us has amounted to a censure. He has, as taking a deep interest in the prosperity of religion and in our own personal welfare, for which we can never be sufficiently thankful, from time to time, in conversation and by letter, offered us his paternal advice, and made such suggestions and observations to us as occurred to his zeal, his experience, his wisdom, and personal friendship. Differences of opinion there have from time to time existed between us, but none that we have not found him ready to tolerate or overlook. We are bound to say that we have always found him exceedingly delicate with regard to the liberty of the press, and disposed to maintain for Catholic journalists all the freedom they can have the hardihood to ask. We have always found him in relation to those questions in regard to which there might be differences of opinion between us, disposed to concede us full liberty to follow our own judgment; and it is but simple justice to him to say that as far as we have had any relations with him, he has freely, frankly, spontaneously, given us all the liberty as an editor and writer that we can, without forgetting our Catholicity, pretend to, and we are aware of no instance in which he has shown the slightest disposition to remind us of his episcopal authority.

In the pamphlet before us, he says distinctly, "If we are to have Catholic writers at all, their heads and their hands, their thoughts and their pens must be guided, not by another, but by themselves in their individual capacity, and under their individual responsibility." In a letter addressed to us, the 29th of last August, and from which we are at liberty to make some extracts, he says, speaking of our Review, "Since its publication in this city, it has been my wish that your pen should be unguided by any other head or hand than your own -under, of course, a deep sense, which I know you entertain, of the responsibility devolved on a Catholic layman who conducts so important a periodical as yours." Nothing can be more liberal or more just than the doctrine here asserted, that liberty and responsibility go together, that where one is responsible he must be free, and where free he must be responsible.

We write freely, from our own mind, not from any man's
dictation; but we are responsible for the use we make of our freedom. Whether we properly use, or whether we abuse our freedom, it is not for us, but for authority alone, to judge, and to its judgment, formally pronounced, we owe, and we trust shall always yield, unreserved submission. We are free within our legitimate sphere as a Catholic journalist, and authority cannot censure us, though the father may counsel us, unless we step beyond that sphere, and offend against faith, morals, or discipline. But whether we do or do not step beyond that sphere and so offend, belongs not to us but to authority to determine. If the bishop or archbishop who judges in the first instance does us wrong, our remedy is not in disobedience, resistance, or public discussion, but in appeal to Rome, to the highest tribunal of the church. The law that governs journalists is, we take it, the same law that governs Catholics in all lawful secular pursuits. The archbishop has always been even punctilious, in our case, to acknowledge our full Catholic freedom, and he has always treated us in this respect with the greatest possible delicacy. Thus in the letter just cited, alluding to an address by the editor, given at Fordham, on the occasion of the commencement of St. John's College last July, he says, "You are aware that I did not agree with you in some of the statements contained in your address, but that right of difference of opinion is what is mutually acknowledged wherever essential principles of faith and morals are not immediately involved." The differences there have been between the archbishop and ourselves, be they more or be they less, we have always regarded, and have understood him to regard, as coming within the sphere of free opinions, where he allowed us the same right to differ from him, that he claimed for himself to differ from us; and that these differences have not diminished his interest in us personally, or impaired his confidence in our Review, we are assured by the letter already spoken of, addressed to us without our solicitation, and it is with sincere gratitude to him that we quote his encouraging words: "You are aware, my dear Doctor, that as regards yourself, and the Review, no substantial change has come over my mind from the publication of its first number. My desire is that it should increase and prosper."

There has been, in consequence of a singular misapprehension of the position and tendencies of the Review in relation to Catholics of foreign birth, some clamor raised and some prejudice excited against it, but as far as our knowledge extends, the good feelings and wishes expressed by him are those entertained by all our archbishops and bishops without exception. Differences of opinion on some points not of faith, and in regard to the expedience or policy of broaching certain discussions have certainly existed, and very likely still exist; but no prelate in the Union has signified to us, directly or indirectly, any loss of confidence in us or in our Review. The illustrious bishop of Pittsburg, who has always been one of its best friends, and for whom we have the profoundest respect, requested us to withdraw his name from the cover of the Review, not because he disapproved of it, not because he wished the Review to be discontinued, but because the secular press persisted in holding the bishops who had kindly given us their names, by way of encouragement, responsible for all the opinions we advanced. This placed them in a false position, and was unjust, because while we enjoyed the freedom, they were made to share the responsibility. Unwilling to be the occasion of so gross an injustice to them, we, at our own accord omitted at the beginning of the last year their names from the Review, so that nothing we might write should compromise them, so that the freedom and responsibility should go together, and while we took the liberty of writing what we thought proper, we alone should be held responsible. We write, as all the world knows, what we please, and we think it no more than just that we should bear the responsibility.

We have, as will be seen, commented at length on the topics presented by the archbishop in so far as related to us personally or to our Review, and have made such remarks, disclaimers, and explanations as seemed to us alike due to him, to ourselves, and the Catholic public. We trust we have taken no improper liberty, and have said nothing that can be construed into an offence to anyone. We certainly have intended nothing of the sort. As far as we ourselves are concerned, his publication has been kindly meant, and demands our respectful and even our grateful consideration. We thank him for the interest he has taken in our welfare, and the earnest appeal he has made in our behalf. The Review has at times its trials, its struggles, its ups and its downs, but we do not think the Catholic public are as yet disposed to suffer it to fail for the want of support. The feeling against it in certain quarters is not so deep as might be supposed, and is at worst only temporary. There is in the Catholic community, in the laity as well as in the clergy, a deep sense of justice, and they will never fail to come to the aid of him who they see has been wronged. They have, what is more to our purpose, a deep and abiding love for every thing Catholic, and they will make almost any sacrifice to sustain a work that is sincerely Catholic and really useful to Catholic interests. As long as such is the case with our Review, they will sustain it, and we should regret to have them sustain it one moment longer. We look upon the crisis in our case as past. The opposition which has been somewhat severe, and has, no doubt, at times irritated us, for we are human, is not likely to increase. The discussions, which have occasioned it, have been gone through with, and are not likely to come up again. Other topics will engage our attention, and though we shall neither try nor expect to avoid all collision of opinion, for we , are and will be free spoken, we trust the current will run smoother for the future, and passion on all sides have time to subside, and mutual confidence have an opportunity to revive. With even renewed cheerfulness and hope we enter upon the fourteenth year of our Review, and send out the first number of its fourteenth volume, with the compliments of the season to all our friends, who we will not believe are not as numerous as ever.