Are Irish Catholics a Menace

”The Irish nationality,” continues Mr. Froude, “like the Jewish, is bound up with its religion, and stand or falls with it. Had the Irish who crossed the Atlantic merged, as they were expetced to do, in American society, they would have strengthened the old feeling of enmity to the mother country, [...] The Roman Catholic religion happily prevented a fusion which would have been so dangerous. If not incompatible with republican institutions it is uncongenial with them. The Irish race the other side of the Atlantic remains as separate from the Anglo-Saxon as it is at home, and, instead of the Americans being infected with the Irish ill will tward Great Britiain they have themselves as Irish problem of their own which is becoming seriously perplexing. It seems hard to say that a man is a worse citizen because he is earnest in his religious belief-because he adheres tenaciously to an old and respectable breed which insists on morality and the ten commandments. [...]

“We agree that the spiritual part of man ought to rule the material; the question is, where the spiritual part of man resides. The Protestant answers that it is in the individual conscience and reason; the Catholic says that it is in the Church, and that it speaks through bishops and priests. Thus, every true Catholic is bound to think and act as his priest tells him, and a republic of true Catholics becomes a theocracy administered by the clergy. It is only as long as they are a small minority that they can be loyal subjects under such a constitution as the American. As their numbers grow they will assert their principles more and more. Give them the power, and the constitution will be gone. A Catholic majority under spiritual direction, will forbid liberty of conscience. It will control education; it will put the press under surveillance; it will punish opposition with excommunication, and excommunication will be attended with civil disabilities. That it will try to do all this, as long as it accepts the ultramontane theory which at present passes current, is as certain as mathematics. It tried before, in the Dark Ages.

Source: Unknown, "Are Irish Catholics A Menace," Irish Canadian, December 17, 1879.

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