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The New Zealand Evangelist

Britain,—Diplomatic Relations with Rome

Britain,—Diplomatic Relations with Rome.

Great excitement has been caused among Protestants of all classes by the introduction of a bill into the Upper House of Parliament, by the Government, to sanction diplomatic relations with Rome, or the sending and receiving of accredited ambassadors between the British and Papal Courts; a thing that has not been done since the Reformation, except in some one or two instances. The object is not to promote trade or commerce; the civil power of the sovereign pontiff is nothing; but to get the Pope to exercise that peculiar influence which he possesses in assisting them to tranquilize Ireland. The American Government are also proposing a similar measure to aid them in controlling the Popish subjects of the States. Protestant feeling is being strongly manifested against this measure in Britain, as a sacrificing of principle to expediency, and seeking relief in a remedy that will in the end prove worse than the disease. Popery is the bane of Ireland, and how she is to be benefitted by more of that influence it is difficult to understand. English Roman Catholic noblemen have been forced to call the highest dignitaries of the Roman Catholic Church, in Ireland, before the bar of public opinion. The Earls of Arundel and Shrewsbury have written plain and pertinent letters to the Bishop of Clogher and the Archbishop of Tuam, on the conduct of the priests in denouncing men from the altar, in consequence of which their murder was deemed lawful if not meritorious, and the replies of the Archbishop have been haughty and insulting, and clearly show that popery is an enemy to the peace of Ireland. Moreover, if the Pope cannot govern his own Italian subjects, how will he lend efficient aid to the Government of Queen Victoria? or if he write rescripts and issue bulls, he must be remunerated by the upholding of popish influence else where. The recent events in Italy have changed the aspect of affairs so much that the Bill, by our latest accounts, was moving slowly through parliament.