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Mgr. Korosec was chosen as the representative of the eight million Yugo-Slavs at their conference with Serbia and with the Entente in the autumn of 1918. He was then appointed Vice-President of the first ministry of the new State. Yugo-Slav gratitude was not confined to the Bishop. Many priests were appointed on the local governments in the work of organization for the purpose of establishing public liberties.
The voice of the Yugo-Slav episcopacy was also raised in solemn meeting in Zagreb in November, 1918, in recognition of the new State, and expressed its desire to live in the best relations of Christian_charity' with the orthodox and other denominations. Immediately, also, the Bishops wrote to Rome about the urgency of agrarian reform, and expressed their readiness to give up, with suitable compensation, a portion of the Church lands, for which they asked the consent of the Holy See. Then, for the united peoples, from end to end of Yugo-Slavia, the Bishops desired the right of speaking to God in the old Slav liturgy, and uniting thus their prayers as a kind of treaty of union, not only with God, but with the old Slav past, of which this liturgy was the survival, and with the immense crowd of all their Slav brethren, even those separated from them. 'The steps of the altar,' says M. Goyau, where they wished to begin again to pray in Slav, thus became a kind of observatory whence a broad view was obtained of the entire destinies of the Slav race in presence of the very God whom they implored.'
It was in vain then that Austria, through Baron Hussarek, the minister of public instruction, had during the war, in an authentically Josephist style, defined the duty imposed on the members of the episcopate of conducting themselves as real Austrian Bishops. Mgr. Endrici, PrinceBishop of Trent, suspected of sharing the Italian patriotism of his dioceses, was specially favoured by these Government remonstrances which ended in his arrest.
For a Bishop [they wrote to him from Vienna] to confine himself to his ecclesiastical functions and to a mere existence that allows of the development of a programme of extreme nationality without opposing to this programme with the greatest firmness the Austrian point of view, this could be considered only as an attitude incompatible with the exalted position of a prince of the Austrian Church.
Mgr. Endrici repudiated this Germanic phraseology and the demand made of him. He spurned the honours and
titles offered to him by Vienna in exchange for his mitre. Under the last stampedes from Vienna the Italian Church of Austria as well as the Czecho-Slovak and the YugoSlav Church, disappeared like shifting sand; she would not allow a State to be her master which was no longer master of itself. In Transylvania, on the very eve of their political emancipation, Count Tisza was able by clever manœuvres to win over the Roumanians of the Orthodox Church and to place a Magyarizing prelate at their head, but the Roumanians of the Catholic Church adopted an attitude against which Magyarism could not prevail.
Prelates [says M. Goyau] like Korosec, Jeglic, and Endrici were leaders of men. They knew how to do and to suffer, knew how to unite the Church in the reawakenings of national hope as manifested by their dioceses, and the triumph of which Europe was soon to witness. Side by side with these peoples who evolved a youth and a joyous freshness of life the old Church set itself as a teacher and a companion of their awakening. She had never ceased to be with them, to be of them. Three-quarters of a century before Leo XIII, she had made a Pope of the Bishop of Imola, who wrote to his diocesans: 'Democratic government is not at variance with the Gospel, and requires, on the contrary, those sublime virtues that are learned only in the school of Jesus Christ: be ye good Christians and you will be excellent democrats.
V-ROME AS THE GATES OF THE EAST
Henceforth all deceits are done away with. The Church is no longer tied to the corpse of Austria. Free and sovereign Poland has no longer to fear that in her country the other Slavs who practise the Slav rite should be, on that account, brutally separated from the Roman fold. Between the Polish, Lithuanian and Ruthenian clergy tyranny caused hatreds to be stirred up which their common attachment to Rome was not always sufficient to assuage. And when, in 1894, Leo XIII invited the Polish Bishops to consider and treat the Ruthenians united to Rome brothers having only one heart and one soul,' he knew at the same time what were the disrupting forces that held in check these wise counsels. But freedom, henceforth, can and must bring along with it the harmony of mutual love. Nowhere, perhaps, more than in Poland is the human soul more submissive to this influence.
Profiting by the recent liberations, Rome aspires to make itself known in the European East. Benedict XV, on the 1st May, 1917, created a special Congregation for the Oriental Churches. The Motu proprio in which he
announced this creation guaranteed to the different Churches of the Slav world, not less than to those of Hellenism, a consideration more and more respectful of the integrity of their rites and their lawful traditions.
Besides [says M. Goyau], we can hope that the Latins will not be again represented to the Christians of the East as objects of suspicion, for the present act will show with abundant clearness that the Church of Jesus Christ, because it is neither Latin, nor Greek, nor Slav, but Catholic, makes no distinction between her children, and that all, be they Greeks, Latins, Slavs, or members of other national groups, occupy the same place in regard to the Apostolic See.
Some months afterwards, at the wish of the Pope, a Pontifical institute was established in Rome for the purpose of instructing western priests, who would afterwards be brought into contact with them, on many questions relating to Oriental Christians. Under Leo XIII an important paper had been established in Rome for the study of these questions. It was called Bessarione, in memory of Cardinal Bessarion, who, in the fifteenth century, bridged over in several ways the distance between Rome and the Orient. Under Cardinal Marini many experts in history, theology and liturgy collaborated together, and their skill and subtlety gave to the Church's ambitions a direction and a thrust. Benedict XV organized side by side with this periodical a teaching institute, and appealing even to dissentient Christians, he invited them to the new institute to become acquainted with Roman teaching. 'They will thus be able,' he wrote on the 15th October, 1917, 'to search truth closely whilst laying aside all preconceived ideas. We wish, in fact, that the teaching of Catholic doctrine and that of the Orthodox doctrine be openly conducted, so that each and everyone, master of his own judgment, may be able to see from the evidence from what source both proceed.'
There is no longer in Russia any spiritual bureaucracy to forbid clerics there to come, out of curiosity even, to this original institute; and the separated priests of the Christian Balkans who would yield, if only by its scientific attraction, to the same desire for information, would be no longer accused to-day of betraying their country for Austria. From the East towards Rome, and from Rome towards the East, the roads are open. The spiritual police have disappeared, and the spirit of universal paternity which inspired Leo XIII in his glorious letter Praeclara, to princes and peoples,' is beginning to hover over all.
VI ROME AND THE NEW INTERNATIONALISMS
Thus Rome, without any impatience, but without procrastination, watches anxiously, actively, the religious echoes of human revolutions. It seems that, for the moment, these revolutions offer her no other field of activity. She is kept aside in the present reconstructions of the world. Although in the Middle Ages she was the mother of the rights of nations, yet the young League of Nations seems disposed to ignore her.
In these different States [says M. Goyau] which are about to unite together, the Holy See counts millions of faithful; her moral authority, freely accepted by them, could one day determine these millions of consciences to become, in their different countries, auxiliaries of good will for the decisions or for the aspirations that baffle the League of Nations. International councils, where a little justice is sought to be evolved, would find the co-operation of the Holy See an element of prestige which would prove efficacious. Former precedents could be appealed to of which long ago she was the instigator; the Truce of God, the Peace of God, pontificial measures of arbitration or mediation, the architectural scaffolding of that Christianity that Auguste Comte regarded as the 'political masterpiece of human wisdom.' The partial successes that these Pontiffs achieved would be for the young League of Nations a lesson of confidence and even of daring. But why should she not expect from the Popes other lessons besides those from beyond the grave? Why should their voice receive a hearing only when it raises itself up from the depths of the past?
The idea of an international legislation on labour has been consecrated by the Peace Conference. More than a quarter of a century ago Leo XIII, in a letter to the Swiss, Gaspard Decurtins, demanded this entente. His voice, although he was absent himself, was heard at the Hague in favour of the International Association for the Protection of Workers. To let the Holy See have a voice in international affairs, sociologists, like M. Millerand, and representatives of the working world, like M. Keufer, were less put about than were the diplomatists.
The Papacy [says M. Goyau], though denied admittance through the timidity of the chancelleries, nevertheless entered in, without forcing any doors, on its work of human mercy. It was brought back there through the very urgency of these social questions that the diplomatists of 1919 must in the end consider as factors of history.
Speaking of the temporal sovereignty of the Pope, M. Goyau finally says:-
It could be solved in several ways, either by guaranteeing internationally the liberty of the Pope or by drawing up a deed by
international procedure embodying the will of Italy to guarantee this liberty. On the day when Italian diplomacy, with the initial wish of the Holy See, would thus consider some suitable solution, the transalpine statesmen would doubtless rejoice at having done an artistic work, at having affirmed once more that certain voluntary restrictions of sovereignty sometimes mean a great relief. The need of maintaining in Rome a disturbed situation, a need that Bismarck cunningly knew how to exploit, had, forty years ago, paved the way of Italy towards the Triple Alliance, which since the first days of the great war appeared to her to be at variance with her spirit, her Latin brotherhood, her worship of right, the call of her blood. It would be for her a political good fortune to be able one day to state through the League of Nations that the Pope would enjoy in Rome all that would be necessary for his liberty. It would thus take the edge off what still remains thorny in the pontifical question; and the feeling that a splendid work had been accomplished would immediately inspire a magnanimous desire to invite the Pope and Christianity to the foundation of a Pax Romana. This glorious title was blessed when it expressed the harmony that ancient Rome caused to reign among the nations obedient to her; the third Rome would offer to the world another vision of harmony in calling it to co-operate with her in realizing the spectacle of a free Pope under the aegis of free nations.
M. V. RONAN.