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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8

Correspondence. — Successful Delusion

page 280


Successful Delusion.

Sir.—A Catholic priest, far ahead of his co-religionists, writing to the Unitarian Herald, observes, "but the Catholic Church can at least produce what is either a miracle or a stupendous fact, it exists in spite of all its inherent weakness; after 1800 years it has succeeded; it alone succeeded."

Delusion, according to this writer, like wine, is all the better the older it is. The blood of St. Januarius, to the eternal disgrace of the Catholic Church, has been allowed to delude the Neapolitan lazzaroni every time Vesuvius begged to be heard, for centuries. Is the humbug more respectable or less disgraceful this century than the last? Besides, by making antiquity a merit, the writer shelves his own Church to the exaltation of Hinduism and Buddhism, and suppresses the Holy Scriptures in favour of the paranas and tantras that in point of antiquity run a respectable race with even Chinese antediluvianism.

The Catholic Church succeeded, and why? Because it entered into an unholy alliance with temporal princes to plunder and oppress all the peoples of the earth—to trample out opinion with the iron heel of oppression in blood and flame. It is by such means as these that she has prolonged a discreditable existence, to the disgust of heaven and earth alike.

The Catholic Church has succeeded, and how? It is true she boasts the enlightened patronage of Spain and Portugal, a few Hibernian palludians, and the painted whores and banditti of Italy; otherwise she is losing ground on every hand. Austria has torn up the Concordat and Hungary declines to allow the Pope to make himself ridiculous by the publication of the infallible dogma within her borders. A hundred bishops have protested against the servility of their episcopal brethren who consented to write down the Pope, after the fashion of Dogberry of old. The penultimate dogma asserted a conception without sin—the last, a conception without sense—the weakness that precedes death and dissolution. So may it be!