RT. REV. WILLIAM ROLLINSON WHITTINGHAM, D. D., LL. D.
RT. REV. GREGORY THURSTON BEDELL, D. D.
RT. REV. WILLIAM BACON STEVENS, D. D.
RET. MILO MAHAN, D. D.
REV. HENRY E. MONTGOMERY, D. D.
REV. WILLIAM CHAUNCY LANGDON.
(Who have associated with themselves, as representatives of the Laity, the following gentlemen:)
THE HON. WASHINGTON HUNT, LL. D.
MR. JAMES S. MACKIE.
MR. WILLIAM M. GOODRICH.
Some time since the Secretary of the Joint Committee on the Italian Reform Movement was instructed to publish so much of the correspondence of the Committee as was suitable to be laid, in this way, before the Church. The Committee felt that being charged not only to collect, but also to diffuse the information obtained by them, they ought no longer to withhold from their brethren interested in this movement the results, thus far, of their investigations.
In issuing the present informal report, it has been thought proper to prefix the two personal letters which prompted the application to the General Convention, and also the record of the action of the Convention itself. It has been thought proper also to include in their chronological place, the few formally official letters which have been addressed by the Committee to its correspondents and to one of its own members.
The interesting information here laid before the Church, it will be noticed, has principally been received through letters written with the freedom and informality of a personal correspondence. The Secretary feels, however, that the object of conveying a just and lifelike picture of the characteristics, vicissitudes and needs of the reform movement in the present religious crisis of the Italian kingdom, will be much better consulted by giving the letters themselves, as far as may be, in their original freedom and fullness, than by attempting to digest the information contained in them; and he trusts that this object will be accepted by the writers as a sufficient excuse for the liberty thus taken. In the letters of the Rev. [3/4] L. M. Hogg especially--to whom the Secretary has been chiefly indebted, and to whom he would here express his deep sense of obligation--will be found the observations, impressions and judgment of an English clergyman, whose thorough familiarity with the subject is the result of years of a wise and loving personal devotion to the cause of a healthy Italian reform.
In preparing the following letters for the press, the Secretary has necessarily omitted' many passages and portions not suitable for publicity; and he has, in other instances, either modified the language from the original or inserted an explanatory word or phrase. In all such cases, however, the words substituted or inserted have been included in brackets. It is to be regretted that the interest of some statements has thus been lessened by the suppression of names which the Secretary does not feel at liberty to use so publicly.
Of course, in thus publishing this correspondence, the Committee does not intend to be understood as expressing any judgment upon the views, suggestions, propositions and applications which are therein contained, beyond what has been implied by their acting upon them.
The Secretary would gladly have added to these letters translations of several articles from the two Italian organs of the reform party, which would have illustrated most valuably many of the statements of the former; but this could not be done without increasing too largely the length of this pamphlet, and involving also an undesirable delay. The following is, therefore, submitted to the clergy and laity of the Church as a fragmentary instalment, to be continued hereafter, whenever and with such fullness as the interest which is taken in the subject may justify.
Sept. 10, 1866.
PERSONAL LETTERS RECEIVED BEFORE THE APPOINTMENT OF THE COMMITTEE. I. From Cavaliere Don Luigi Prota. (Translation.)
Naples, Aug. 6, 1865.
VERY REVEREND SIR:
It is four years since we established here in Naples a Society with the title of Emancipatrice Cattolica, whose aim is the reform of the Catholic Church according to the canons and the discipline of the first ages of the Church. God has thus far blessed our work; and the religious movement initiated in Italy by us spreads from day to day, and acquires importance in the conscience of the Italians. Several English friends show the most sincere sympathy for our religious views, and comfort us with their aid; among whom we number the Rev. L. M. Hogg, by whom I have been prompted to address to you this [letter,] accompanied by a copy .of a memorandum, which we published in the journal of our Society, the Emancipatore Cattolico.
From this document you will be able to gather the points upon which we base our reform, and the needs which press upon our associated brethren.
If, therefore, our ideas find sympathy with you, we shall be rejoiced at your efficacious assistance in this work of regeneration; and the most merciful God, for whose cause we contend, will pour out upon you the fullness of His benedictions, which, in our vows, we ardently implore for you.
The peace of the Lord be with you.
Your most humble servant and brother in Christ
CAV. L. PROTA.
REV. WM. CHAUNCY LANGDON,
Md., U. S.
 II. From the Rev. L. M. Hogg.
SWITZERLAND, Aug. 28, 1865.
MY DEAR MR. LANGDON:
* * * * * I have only time for a hurried line * * * to ask if you and any of your good friends interested in Italy have noticed the programmes for Church reformation recently published by both Esaminatore and Emancipatore Cattolico; and if so, if you can in any way encourage and cheer the promoters of these ideas, by giving them some friendly notice of the interest felt by American churchmen in the movement. I know well that such tokens of sympathy and encouragement would greatly comfort both Cavaliere Prota, Naples, and Prof. Bianciardi, Florence. I recently suggested to Prota to send copies of the Naples Programme to you and Bishop Cleveland Coxe, with a few lines from himself. He tells me he has done so. If it were possible for your friends to render any little aid to the Società Emancipatrice, for the many poor priests who are suffering great distress from suspension, &c, I know such material aid would be most acceptable. Is there any hope, now that your home troubles are so far happily subsided and peace restored, that the Church may be able to turn its thoughts again to work in Italy? What a blessing it will be, if you can do any thing, to lend a helping hand to these struggling Italians. Do let us hear. * * * * * * * * * * * We fully expect that after next January, when the new civil marriage bill comes into force, a number of the parroci connected with the Società Emancipatrice will avail themselves of their new privilege, as citizens, and marry; and perhaps some try and stand their ground in their parishes.
I do feel, now that this Society and Esaminatore have definitively propounded bases of reformation to be aimed at, we should all, both you and we, throw in as much sympathy and aid as we can. Do consult with your able churchmen on the question. *****
 * * * I am writing in haste, but anxious to hear from you what hope of co-operation you may be able to hold out. Write as soon as you can, and give us all your news. * * * * *
Believe me yours very sincerely,
LEWIS M. HOGG.
P. S.--I post you a number of the Emancipatore Cattolico just received, with a reply of Prota's to some observations made on their programme by the Abbé Guettée. You will find a paragraph marked on the idea of Prota and his friends about an Ecumenical Council. So far as I know, this is the first time that Italian priests have spoken out so clearly and decidedly of the English and Greek Episcopate taking part in such a council, and indeed that they have ventured to take such wide and candid ground altogether. Though Prota, very naturally, has not yet shaken off his early ideas of the Pope's primacy, and the notion that St. Peter presided at the Council of Jerusalem, still it is striking to see how clearly he puts the Pope as simply "Primus inter pares" and how stoutly he protests against his usurpation and absorption into himself of all Episcopal powers and jurisdiction, to the destruction of the rights and powers of his brethren of the Episcopate. Surely it should interest American and Anglican Churchmen to see the representative of an Italian Priestly Association, which numbers nearly 1,000 priests and upwards of 800 laymen, thus boldly protesting against Papal pretension on the one hand, and on the other so frankly and fully admitting the essential Catholicity of the Greek and Anglican (and consequently the American) branches of the Church. I can't help feeling a strong desire that some one or more of your able Churchmen could kindly spare time and pains to encourage Prota and his friends, by writing them a few cheesing words, and encouraging some direct friendly communication between them and yourselves. I know how very keenly any such friendly manifestation of sympathy would be appreciated by Prota and his Society. [7/8] Do see if something can't be done in this way. How I wish you or some other good friend could again come to Italy on behalf of the American Church and work with us.
I think you may also like to see a recent letter from our vigorous friend, Don --------; also an extract from a letter just received from [an English clergyman writing from Naples.]
Good-bye again. Stir up your good friends as much and as speedily as you can.
Extracts from a literal translation of the letter of Don ------ accompanying the above.
TURIN, Aug. 7, 1866.
* * * * * * The Colporteur, last month, could not sell as many books as the month before, because the priests made us a tremendous persecution. At all events, in the month of July, the Colporteur sold 22 Bibles and 39 New Testaments; and I distributed 8 Bibles and 14 New Testaments, all to the soldiers, and particularly to the carbineers, from whom I did not ask any recompense, because the soldiers, more than any others, are courageous in defending me from the plots of the Popish priests. The day before yesterday, I took from Signore ------- * * * Bibles and Testaments, to sell them at Cuneo and other places in the neighborhood, where I carry myself to-morrow. I send you by the post newspapers by which you will know that I take every occasion to sustain the principles of the Christian truth, and to beat down the superstitions of the Popish Church. I do not descend myself more in describing to you certain particulars of my apostolic journeys, because the praises which, perhaps, would come upon me, clash against me--it being that the mission that I sustain, I am obliged to sustain it, because I am a priest, a Christian, and an Italian citizen, and in consequence I do not do other than my duty as a minister of Christ and a son of Italy. Only I beg all my brothers in Jesus Christ to supplicate for me from [8/9] Heaven the grace to be able to continue, until the end of my life, to spread on the earth the kingdom of Christ, procuring the greater knowledge of the pure Christian Gospel; and thus I will repeat, with St. Paul, "I have fought a good fight," etc., etc.
I trust that you, with your friends, will continue to lend a hand to the work of Italian Evangelization, upon all of whom I implore the celestial consolations.
I declare myself your affectionate brother in Jesus Christ,
Extract from the Letter of the Rev. Mr. --------.
NAPLES, Aug. 23d, 1865.
* * . * * * An Italian Prayer Book service * * is wanted above every thing; and it seems to me the opportunity is slipping away for exhibiting to the Italians (here especially) in the best possible way, the true mode and spirit of Church Reform. Scores and scores of Italians attend our English service every Sunday; some come regularly, using their Italian Prayer Books to the best of their ability. All much struck and much solemnized by the very outward decency of our forms. * * *
[The programmes of reform referred to in the above letters were not received until some months later. They are, however, here appended--the one as briefly extracted from an able editorial in L'Esaminatore; the other as embraced in the Memorandum referred to by Dr. Prota.
The following excellent translations are from the report of the Anglo-Continental Society for 1865, from which the information contained in them was obtained before the originals came to hand.]
From L'Esaminatore, Vol. II, No. 6, for June 12th, 1865.
Our fundamental idea is the restitution of their ancient [9/10] Catholic rights and duties to all orders of the faithful, whether ecclesiastics or laymen; Therefore,
1. The laity to elect their parish priests, and to administer the temporal affairs of the Church.
2. The clergy and laity to elect the bishops, saving the rights of the crown.
3. The bishops and metropolitans to have restored to them their old Diocesan and Provincial rights; their present servile dependence on the Pope, and all oaths of vassalage to Rome, being abolished.
4. The clergy to be free to marry, or to live in celibacy.
5. The Holy Scriptures to be freely circulated among the laity.
6. The Church services to be in the national tongue understood by the people.
7. Confession to be no longer obligatory, but voluntary. The communion in both kinds.
From L'Emancipatore Cattolico, of June 25th, 1865.
Memorandum of the Società Emancipatrice e di mutuo soccorso del Sacerdozio Italiano. Addressed to all the Catholics who sincerely desire a reformation in the Roman Papacy, and the return of the Catholic Church to its primitive state.
The Italian nation, in the midst of which the Roman Pontificate is seated, having awakened to the new life of free political institutions, and being in the act of establishing its national unity and its independence of the foreigner, feels at the same time the imperious necessity of reformation in its religion, without which the stability of its political resurrection and the consolidation of its civil liberties will always be questionable. All our great statesmen, philosophers and literary men, who, by the power of their genius, foresaw the events which are being providentially fulfilled in our days, have recognised the vital importance of our reformation in [10/11] religion, which is an integral portion of our national destinies, and will either fulfil them or ruin them.
Italian philosophy, from Mario Nizzolio to Rosmini, began, and has completed the revolution of thought; and theology, from Thomas Aquinas to Cardinal Cusano, and from him to Gioberti, has completed the revolution of Catholic sentiment. And, as in politics extravagant theories of divine right accelerated the overthrow of the crowns which, in Italy especially, adopted them, and by that means hastened the triumph of civil liberty; so too in religion, the theocracy represented in its narrow ambition, from Hildebrand to Pius IX., after the long and weary period of eight ages, has rendered a radical reformation in the ecclesiastical order of the Roman Church not only possible, but necessary, for the sake of saving among the Italians the deposit of the revealed faith from an entire shipwreck in the whirlpool of religious indifferentism, which follows immediately upon philosophical rationalism. It is true that at different times the power of the Pontifical tyranny extinguished the aspirations of the apostles of reformation with the fires of the stake; and every attempt at reform of religion was vain, while the lusts of an Alexander VI., the frivolity of a Leo X., and the cruelty of a Sixtus V., could triumph over the stern virtues of a Savonarola, an Arnold of Brescia, and a Paul Sarpi; yet the religious traditions of those men have ever been preserved with respect in the heart and soul of sincere Italian Catholics. Their blood and their ashes have budded forth with the fruit of a second life to Catholicism renewed and restored to its original purity.
It is to these philosophical and social causes, brothers, that the establishment and the existence of the national Società Emancipatrice e di mutuo soccorso del Sacerdozio Italiano are to be principally attributed. It has been founded for four years in one of the most populous centres of Italy--in Naples--and has courageously raised the banner of a Catholic emancipation of the priesthood and the laity, and has proclaimed, as the first necessity for bringing about a Catholic reformation, the abolition of the temporal power of the Popes.
 The idea and object, then, of the Society is the emancipation of the Catholic clergy and laity from the tyranny of the theocracy; the reformation of the Roman Catholic Church and Papacy in respect to jurisdiction and discipline; and, as the principal means of arriving at this end, the abolition of the temporal sovereignty of the Pontiff.
And in order to make the action of the Society more effective for attaining its religious end, it has associated the laity with the clergy, encouraging thus the clerical element, which has very much lost its moral power and influence over the popular mind by the discredit and extravagances of the class to which it belongs. To take away all doubt and misinterpretation of the true and real object of this our politico-religious association, we place before our readers the following first three articles of our fundamental programme:
1. The single and invariable aim of the association for the emancipation of the Italian priesthood shall be to influence the minds of the faithful by example and teaching, so as to inform them of the principles of the true Catholic faith and doctrine.
2. To declare to the multitude the rights of the chief Pontiff, and of the priesthood, and of the people, and also their correlative duties.
3. To promote, and to make people understand the necessity of, an Oecumenical Council for the reformation of the discipline of the Catholic Church, according to the requirements of the advanced civilization of Christian nations.
From these three articles, which express with the utmost clearness and precision the aim and the idea of the religious reformation at which we aim, every sincere Catholic may convince himself that the Society has now for four years not only initiated, but also promoted and sustained the religious movement in Italy for the return of the Catholic Church to its primitive state. And, in fact, the Emancipatore Cattolico, which is its organ in the press, during the four years of, its publication has to a great extent unfolded the fundamental programme of the Society. In its polemical articles it has [12/13] battled for Catholic reformation, without any beating about the bush or mystery. It has maintained the abolition of celibacy; it has called the attention of the Catholic laity to the recovery and exercise of their right in the election of Bishops and Parish Priests, and in the administration of ecclesiastical goods; it has supported the entire abolition of the monastic orders; it has proposed to the Government the institution of religious seminaries and a National Church; and has reminded the Pontiff many times that he is only Bishop of Rome and the first Bishop of the Church. But its labors, which are chiefly preparatory, have not been able fully to complete the exposition of our principles; the more, as it has had to strive against great obstacles, caused by the prejudices of the masses, by the uncertain attitude of the national government on the religious question, and by the almost entire deficiency of proper financial means to realize in any true sense mutual aid among our affiliated priests, who, because they are such, are driven to struggle with the most squalid misery and hunger.
To put more clearly and distinctly the points at which our Catholic reformation aims, we think it ought to be carried out on this basis:
1. The Pope to be Bishop of Rome and Primate of the Universal Church; an Oecumenical Council, presided over by the Pope, to be the supreme judge of questions of faith.
2. Restitution to Bishops, Archbishops and Metropolitans, of their rights of jurisdiction, as they possessed them up to the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh century.
3. Preservation of the ecclesiastical hierarchy entire, and the free exercise of the votes of the Clergy and the people in the election of Bishops, Parish Priests, and even the Pontiff.
4. Church Service in the national tongue, and free circulation of the Holy Bible.
5. Sacramental Confession free on the part of the penitent, and conducted according to the canons of the third and fourth centuries on the part of the Priest.
6. Restoration to the Priesthood of its consultative and deliberative voice in Diocesan and Provincial Synods.
 7. Abolition of compulsory celibacy.
8. Full and entire liberty of conscience.
On these principles the Società Emancipatrice Cattolica has been at work for the four years that it has been founded in preparing the Catholic sentiment of the Italians for religious reformation, and up to this time it has obtained the following results:
1. The foundation of twenty-four assistant Societies for the different provinces of Italy.
2. The adherence to its programme of 1823 members, viz.:--Priests, 971; Laymen, 852; besides 340 honorary members. Among the ecclesiastics are 102 Parish Priests and. 40 dignitaries. Among the laity, 3 ex-ministers of the kingdom of Italy, 36 Deputies to the National Parliament, and 11 Senators of the kingdom.
From the beginning of May to the present time we have increased by 400 members.
Brothers, if amidst the privations and obstacles of all kinds which we encounter at every step of our difficult path, we have obtained such results, simply by virtue of the cause of which we are the apostles, what might we not promise ourselves if all those who are interested in the honor and glory of the pure and undefiled religion of our fathers would extend to us a fraternal hand, and would co-operate with us in our object, and would divide with us our sacrifices and our hopes? Yes, dearest brothers, this is the most opportune moment to agree, together, and to work in a compact and concordant body without egotism, and without any interest but that of the moral regeneration of the Christian world.
The means which we think most efficacious for attaining so important an object, are the preaching of the Gospel, the encouragement of the right-minded religious press, mutual help of poor brethren among the clergy, who heroically resist the arbitrary and tyrannical extravagances of a degenerate Episcopate without betraying their Catholic faith.
Brother Catholics, the Catholic emancipation of the Italian priesthood has a great and providential mission to fulfil in the Christian world. Gather beneath its banner, help it [14/15] with your sympathies and with your aid, and have faith in its near and complete triumph, which is the triumph of truth and of Christ.
President of the Central Society.
From our residence in S. Domenico Maggiore,
at Naples, June 25th, 1865.
EXTRACTS FROM THE JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF CLERICAL AND LAY DEPUTIES. TENTH DAY'S PROCEEDINGS.
The following message was received from the House of Bishops:
Message No. 12.
The House of Bishops informs the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies that it has
Resolved, The House of Clerical and Lay Deputies therein concurring, that the Convention learns with great satisfaction, by information from various sources, that there is much encouragement to hope for a return of the Italian churches to the primitive purity of doctrine, discipline and worship, together with their revival in Christian liberty and zeal; that it heartily sympathizes with the earnest members of those churches, both of the Clergy and of the Laity, who are laboring to that effect; and that it humbly prays the great Head of the Church to crown the efforts, now making in that direction, with His blessing.
Attest, Geo. M. Randall,
Secretary of the Mouse of Clerical and Lay Deputies.
SIXTEENTH DAY'S PROCEEDINGS.
The Rev. Dr. Mahan, from the Special Committee on the Italian Reform Movement, presented the following report, with resolutions:
 The Special Committee to whom was referred Message No. 12, of the House of Bishops, with the Memorial of the Rev. William Chauncy Langdon, relative to the Italian Reform Movement, respectfully report:
That they have been much impressed with the evidence brought before them of a deep and earnest movement in Italy towards primitive purity of doctrine,, discipline and worship; that according to information received, this movement, at least in one important section, appears to be highly intelligent, sober and conservative; and for this and other reasons the Committee deem it important that our American branch of the Church Catholic should, in every proper way, watch its progress, and so far as it shall be found to accord with sound principles of reform, should show a lively sympathy with it, and be in readiness, if called on, to lend it her active help.
The Committee, therefore, recommend the following resolutions:
Resolved, That this house concur with the resolution contained in Message No. 12 of the House of Bishops.
Resolved, The House of Bishops concurring, that a joint-committee of ------ from each house be appointed to sit during the recess of the Convention, with power to open a correspondence with the Italian religious reformers, to collect and diffuse information relative to the movement, to receive and apply such aid as may be offered for the purpose, and to report to the next General Convention.
(Signed), M. Mahan.
On motion, the first resolution recommended by the committee was adopted.
On motion of Mr. Rand,
Resolved, The House of Bishops concurring, that a joint-committee of three from each house be appointed to sit during the recess of the Convention, with power to collect and diffuse information relative to the movement in Italy, [16/17] looking toward a reformation of the Church therein, and to report to the next General Convention.
Attest, Geo. M. Randall,
Secretary of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies.
PAPERS AND CORRESPONDENCE OF THE COMMITTEE. From the Rev. L. M. Hogg.
FLORENCE, Oct. 28, 1865.
My Dear L-----
Just returned here, and received your very welcome note. * * * *
Now one hurried line in re this important step you hope the Convention may take to manifest the sympathy of American Churchmen with Italians wishing for Church Reformation. May I venture respectfully to suggest that it seems to me that the first practical step should be to select and send out to Italy some good American Churchmen to work with us? I feel sure you will at once appreciate the importance of such a step. Some one who would command the confidence of the Church in America, and would devote himself to the patient acquisition of the language here, and would make himself thoroughly acquainted with the actual religious condition of the country, and would get into contact with priests and people, as opportunities offered, would find, I can answer for it, ample opportunities for good work. Ton know enough of what English Churchmen have thus far tried to do, to know how cordially we should welcome such valuable cooperation on your part; and nothing, I feel, could better conduce to the furtherance of our cause than that Italians disposed to promote a return to primitive Catholicism should see that the Reformed Episcopal Church of America, as well as England, is deeply interested in their aims and efforts. Why should not you return? Is there any hope of any one of your excellent Bishops coming out for a time? * * * * * *
 I write in great haste, for I venture to hope something may be done by your branch of the Church, even this winter.
Naples much needs an able and good representative of our work.
Yours very sincerely,
L. M. HOGG.
From the Rev. L. M. Hogg.
FLORENCE, Nov. 13, 1865.
MY DEAR L-----
I need not tell you of my sincere and very great thankfulness at the glad tidings you so kindly report, of the deep interest manifested by the Convention of the American Church in Italy, and the consequent formation of so very influential and powerful a Committee as you now tell me of. * * * * * *
But now I must return to your work. You will, I hope, have received my last letter respectfully suggesting that one of the first steps taken by your Committee should be to select and send out, as soon as may be, a good representative of the American Church, that he may thoroughly see and hear all that is to be known and done. I look on this as of the first importance. Let him be a man of faith and patience and forbearance, for he will need all these largely; not apt to be downhearted if many disappointments occur in the work. I often feel, and have had much experience to call out this feeling, that we are like persons trying to lay the foundation of a building that may last--though it may rise very slowly--and who must not be surprised at finding that we have to dig through much rubbish that has long accumulated on the rock; nor must we be surprised if often we find that our tools, after doing some little real work, break in our hands, and have to be replaced by fresh one3. I say this at the outset, so that you may not be over sanguine of rapid results. But I am quite sure that wise and loving and patient workers [18/19] from your and our Church will not fail, under God's blessing, to find results well worth their labor; materials for the building do exist, and will come to light more and more as the assurance of sympathy and help is made more clear to them. On this matter I hope you will not fail to read a series of interesting and able letters that are coming out, (and have been coming out since Oct. 11th, I think,) in the Guardian. [These letters have lately been collected and made the basis of a volume, entitled, "Letters from Florence on the Religious Reform Movements in Italy," pp. 208. Rivingtons: London, 1866.] The writer is a very able, clear-headed layman, Mr. Talmadge, who for several years has regularly acted as the Paris correspondent of the Guardian. * * * * Mr. Talmadge's letters will furnish your Committee with much accurate information in a thoroughly fair spirit, both towards others and our own line. He most heartily goes along with us; indeed I have never met any one who is more thoroughly sympathetic, and I am specially thankful that so able a layman should have come and taken such pains to investigate for himself all that he can learn here. I only regret his stay is too short to admit of his going south, or seeing some of the well disposed men in Lombardy.
* * * * * *
Mr. Talmadge has most fairly spoken of Esaminatore and Emancipatore Cattolico as "of most modest pretensions and limited publicity." * * * Then you may have noticed, not long ago, in Esaminatore, a proposal for a series of short popular publications on all the topics of Church Reformation broached in the programmes of Esaminatore and Emancipatore. Several reprints of good articles might thus be issued as a series of tracts, and be more widely diffused by colporteurs and booksellers.
* * * * * * *
Touching congregations for worship apart from Rome, my own idea all along has been that they should be the spontaneous growth of the Italian people, and never forced by us. [19/20] Though when they do arise as genuine spontaneous expressions of real religious; needs felt by Italians, who, simply because they are convinced of Rome's corruptions,, and long to return to primitive purity, are forthwith driven out of her communion--then, I feel, we ought to give them, the right hand of fellowship, and help them in their need. The practical question arises in this shape: Men are convinced Rome is in error; they express their convictions, and their desire for return to primitive Catholicism. Home drives them out--will not listen to their appeals--refuses them communion--refuses baptism to their children. What can they do? They ought not, surely, to live without means of grace, sacraments, and regular worship, where they themselves earnestly desire them, merely because Rome chooses to enforce what they (and we) have learned to hold as unscriptural and uncatholic terms of communion. Then they must worship apart from Rome--as a transitional stage--under protest, and with, a distinct understanding that they do so because there is no other opening for them, until a reformation, on a wider and national scale, can be attempted, when they will naturally again fall into regular ecclesiastical orderly arrangements. Meantime, some of them may be thankful to adopt, in some measure, our Liturgy, so far as suited to their needs; and we ought, as I feel, to sympathize with, and render them such brotherly help as is fairly in our power.
I have entered into this point now, because it is one of practical character, that we must be prepared to meet and deal with occasionally, if our efforts to promote a spread of sound Church Reformation principles are really successful. * * * * * The excellent Bishop of Gibraltar has, from the first, taken clear and decided ground on this subject, just what I have expressed above. Also I am thankful to find, by a letter just received, that the Bishop of Oxford has been writing to the Bishop of Gibraltar, strongly commending, as a fit case for the Reformation Fund, the case of Corrado, who, for some few months, has been ministering to such a congregation in Genoa, under the kind watchful eye of our excellent chaplain, [20/21] Mr. Strettell, so that, I hope, that question may be considered as fairly settled in the minds of almost all our good friends at home. * * * As you will observe, the Bishop of Gibraltar has kindly undertaken to superintend the administration of [the Italian Church Reformation] Fund, and has requested Mr. S---------, Mr. C-------, (Naples,) and myself, to act together in suggesting how it should be applied. The thing has only just begun to get under way, except as regards Messina, where it has been the channel of Mr. P--.-----'s large munificence from the first.
I fear I shall have wearied you, but I feel anxious respectfully to put, before your Committee the most urgent present needs for help that occur to me. May I further venture to suggest that, I feel sure, the Bishop of Gibraltar will be deeply interested in hearing direct all that your Committee has done and proposes to do?
******* Yours, most sincerely,
L. M. Hogg.
Extracts from a Letter from an American Clergyman, in Italy.
--------, Nov. 17th, 1865.
MY DEAR L-------
I am duly in receipt of your kind letters of Sept. 25th and Oct. 26th, the latter reaching me yesterday. It gratified me to learn that our late General Convention has taken such a decided interest in the Italian Reform Movement. That movement requires both sympathy and judicious guidance. The tendencies are all to extreme radicalism, and I feel sure that the presence of a discreet and sound Churchman from our country, who could visit the chief Italian cities and confer with priests disposed to reform, would be attended with the happiest results. A man is needed who is thoroughly posted in the Roman controversy--wise and prudent, gifted in conversation and argument, and who could throw himself heartily into the feelings and appreciate the difficulties of [21/22] those who are so dissatisfied with the present condition of the Roman Church. Proper sympathy and judicious guidance will, I have no doubt, do much to keep in the right path the multitudes who are now so restless and dissatisfied. * * * * * I shall be rejoiced if some one is sent out charged to help forward this great and good work. As I said before, the tendencies are all now in a radical direction, and great influence is brought to bear in the furtherance of ultra-Protestant reform. Any such reform will prove utterly worthless, and will prevent any thing like a conservation of Church unity and Catholic principles.
Very faithfully yours,
Extract from the Editorial columns of the Emancipatore Cattolico, Nov. 27th, 1865.
[The following article was in acknowledgment of the memorial which brought the subject of the Italian Reform Movement before the General Convention, and of the support which it received from sundry bishops and clergy; and was written before the action of the Convention itself was known in Naples. A reference to the character and purpose of that paper, together with a list at full length of the twenty bishops and other clergy who united in commending it to the attention of the Convention, appears in a note appended to the article.]
Our Society, whose fundamental programme expresses the most urgent and vital need of modern Catholicity, and, we may also say, of civil society--that is, the reform of Catholicism and the return of the Roman Church to the simplicity of its primitive institution, retaining the wonderful fabric of its hierarchical constitution--has found a strong sympathy in the American Catholic Church, which, preserving its own hierarchical and Episcopal orders, condemns solely the excesses and the arbitrary and tyrannical usurpations (? esorbitanze) of the Roman Court.
We, priests of the Catholic emancipation, who regard [22/23] Catholicism, not as the privilege of a caste, which, abusing the ignorance and credulity of the people, elevates itself to dictatorial power over the Christian conscience, and imposes upon it, as divine oracles, the visions of a mind intoxicated with selfishness and ambition, and the contradictory dictates of their interested passions; but as the religion of revealed Truth, and of justice, which is the patrimony of all the entire redeemed human race--cannot but congratulate ourselves, with our clerical and lay brethren of the new world, who manifest their fraternal sympathy for us. And rendering thanks to our heavenly Father that, although most unworthy, he so evidently bestows upon us the support of his Providence for the completion of our humble work, we desire nothing else than the greater glory and increase of his true Church, which has no other law than love; no other mission in the world than the spiritual well-being of men and their eternal happiness; no other ground of existence than the unity of the faith in Christ and the justification of souls by the free gifts of his grace. We render reasonable homage to revealed dogmas; we recognise the spiritual authority of the priesthood, and we endeavor to re-establish in the Christian world the equilibrium of the two great social powers, "rendering unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things which are God's." Our mission finds, through the corruption of men, obstacles interposed at every step, but with the heavenly help of divine grace, we have firm faith in subduing and overcoming them as we have subdued and overcome them these four years past. The sympathy of our American brethren, which emanates from a heart still undefiled by the theocratic corruptions of the Roman Court, and warm with that spirit of liberty which is the very spirit of God, is a pledge to us of hope and of new trust in the speedy triumph of the cause which we vindicate, which concerns all Christian humanity.
Yes, oh, dearly beloved brethren, may you be able to be an efficient help to us in the arduous struggle which we sustain. The laity and the clergy of the Italian Catholic emancipation are strong in moral strength, and its young life [23/24] develops itself rapidly with exuberance of energy and action; means only are wanting for rendering an actual fact that. mutual succor among its associated clergy and laity, which was the chief agent of the prodigious increase of primitive catholicity, when love instructed every Christian heart, and all the faithful regarded as their own the trials and sorrows of each other. It is the clergy of the Roman Court alone which is able to dispose of this means, because, in their hands are the immense riches of the Church, and they use them to the injury and the ruin of the interests of the faith to sustain the usurped rights of the temporal sovereignty of the successor of the fisherman, Peter--rights which are absolutely repugnant to the apostolic mission of the Christian priesthood. The priesthood of the emancipation alone is reduced to beg for bread like the first disciples of Christ.
Accept, then, oh, dearly beloved brethren of America, this free and loyal statement of our moral and material position towards the Court of Rome and our enemies; and, as the interpreter of the vows of all my associates, I invoke upon you the fulness of the celestial benedictions, and, grateful for your fraternal affection, I give you the kiss of brotherhood and of Christian love.
Letter from the Committee to the Rev. Lewis M. Hogg.
BALTIMORE AND HÂVRE DE GRACE, MD, U. S.,
December 2d and 5th, 1865.
REVEREND AND DEAR BROTHER:
It is with sincere pleasure that the undersigned address you in the fulfilment of a duly entrusted to them by a Committee of which they are respectively the Chairman and the Secretary. That duty is, in the language of the resolution which assigned it to them, "to communicate the action of the late General Convention relative to the Reform Movement in Italy and the organization of this Committee, to such persons as principally represent that movement."
 In deciding to whom, under this language, they 6hould address themselves, the undersigned have felt that they might safely select the Rev. Dr. Luigi Prota of Naples, and the venerable Count Ottavio Tasca of Seriate, as representing certain phases of that movement, and also as, perhaps, representing more prominently than any others the friends of reform respectively in the Southern and Northern portions of Italy. The Committee are, however, well aware that there are very many priests and other ecclesiastics, more especially in the city and neighborhood of Florence, whose views and purposes have a just claim upon and who receive our sympathy; but no one of whom occupies as yet so defined a position that we feel at liberty to single him out for such a communication as the present.
May we not, therefore, recognising in you, on the one hand, a priest of our common Anglican communion, and, on the other, one largely and justly possessed of the confidence of the class of whom we speak, take the liberty of addressing ourselves to you, with the respectful request that you would kindly avail yourself of such opportunities as may be afforded you, to make known to such Italian priests and others the scope of the action of our Church.
You are aware that the General Convention is the chief National Council of the American branch of the Anglo-Catholic Church; and also that it has lately held its triennial session in the City of Philadelphia during the month of October last. At this session the following resolution, originating in the House of Bishops, was passed by both houses, viz.:
Resolved, That this Convention learns with great satisfaction, by information from various sources, that there is much encouragement to hope for a return of the Italian churches to the primitive purity of doctrine, discipline and worship, together with their revival in Christian liberty and zeal; that it heartily sympathizes with the earnest members of those churches, both of the clergy and of the laity, who are laboring to that effect; and that it humbly prays the great Head of [25/26] the Church to crown the efforts now making in that direction with his blessing.
In order to give some practical expression to this resolution, the following action, originating in the lower house, was concurred in by the upper, viz.:
Resolved, That a Joint Committee of three from each house be appointed to sit during the recess of the Convention, with power to collect and diffuse information relative to the movement in Italy looking towards a reformation of the Church therein, and to report to the next General Convention.
Under this resolution, the Committee was constituted of the following members, viz.:
Rt. Rev. WILLIAM ROLLINSON WHITTINGHAM, D. D. LL. D.
Rt. Rev. GREGORY THURSTON BEDELL, D. D.
Rt. Rev. WILLIAM BACON STEVENS, D. D.
Rev. MILO MAHAN, D. D.
Rev. HENRY E. MONTGOMERY, D. D.
Rev. WILLIAM CHAUNCY LANGDON, A. M.
The Committee, therefore, exists as the expression of the lively interest which our Church takes in the aims and efforts of those Italian priests and others who are seeking to restore to Italy that pure faith, that primitive worship and that Apostolic discipline which once characterized the earlier ages of that Church to which, in the seventh century, our own Saxon forefathers were so greatly indebted.
The Committee sincerely trust and fervently pray with the Convention which they represent, "that the great Head of the Church will crown the efforts now making in that direction with his blessing;" and they will be truly rejoiced if, in the discharge of the duties entrusted to them, they may be able, in any degree, to co-operate with you in encouraging and aiding these faith-seeking Italians in their holy purpose of ascertaining and setting before their fellow-countrymen and fellow-churchmen that primitive model of the Church to [26/27] which they hope that their own may be again conformed, that thus may be kindled once more, upon the altars of their new nationality, those pure flames of Christian faith, of Christian hope and of Christian love which alone are truly acceptable to God, and which alone can secure the highest spiritual good of man.
May we not, therefore, take the liberty of asking you to communicate these facts and the sentiments with which the Committee is inspired to those Italians with whom you are in contact, and to whom the information may be acceptable; and if, moreover, there are any other than those above-named, to whom in your judgment it would be well that we should address this expression of our interest and sympathy, and who would care to receive it directly from us, we should deem ourselves indebted to you for the communication of their names.
We cannot close this letter, Reverend and dear Brother, without venturing to express the value which the Committee place upon your own wise and loving services to this cause, and the sense of the obligation which they feel to you for the correspondence to which they owe so large a part of their own knowledge of its condition and progress; and we trust, also, that you will ever regard us in the name of the Committee as well as in our own,
Faithfully and affectionately your brethren in Jesus Christ and in the Ministry of His Church,
WILLIAM ROLLINSON WHITTINGHAM,
Bishop of Maryland and Chairman of the Committee.
WM. CHAUNCY LANGDON,
Rev. LEWIS M. HOGG, Florence, Italy.
 Letter from the Committee to Count Ottavio Tasca.
BALTIMORE AND HAVRE DE GRÂCE, MARYLAND, U. S.,
December 2d and 5th, 1865.
Dear Sir and Brother in Christ Jesus:
It is with peculiar pleasure and the most sincere sympathy for the sacred cause to which you have devoted so much of your time, means and affections for the past few years, that the undersigned address you, in the fulfilment of a duty entrusted to them by a Committee, of which they are respectively the Chairman and Secretary. That duty is, in the language of the resolution which assigned it to them, "to communicate the action of the late General Convention, relative to the Reform Movement in Italy and the organization of this Committee, to such persons as principally represent that movement."
In so doing, perhaps it may not be amiss to state, that the General Convention above referred to, is the Chief National Council of the "Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States," being the American branch of the Anglo-Catholic Church. This council meets triennially, representing the entire Church from the Atlantic to the Pacific shores; and is composed of two houses, the one solely of Bishops, and the other of Clerical and Lay Deputies from the several dioceses of the Church.'
At the late session of this General Convention, held in the City of Philadelphia in October last, the following resolution, originating in the House of Bishops, was passed by both houses, viz.:
Resolved, &c, &c,
[This letter continues in the language of the foregoing to the end of the names of the Committee.]
This Committee, therefore, exists as the expression of the lively interest which our Church takes in the aims and efforts of yourself and those who, like you, are faithfully seeking to restore to Italy that pure faith, that primitive worship and [28/29] that Apostolic discipline which were the glory of the earlier ages of your venerable Church, the ages of her martyrs and confessors, and of those in which Augustine sat at the feet of her Ambrose and Gregory sent forth his mission to the Saxons of Britain. The Committee sincerely trust and fervently pray, with the Convention which they represent, "that the Great Head of the Church will crown the efforts now making in that direction with his blessing."
The Committee will be truly rejoiced if, in the discharge of the duties entrusted to them, they may be able in any degree to sustain and strengthen you and your co-laborers in your holy work; to aid you in setting before your fellow-countrymen and fellow-churchmen that primitive model of the Church to which you seek to restore your own--that thus may be kindled once more upon the altars of your new nationality those pure flames of Christian faith, of Christian hope and of Christian love which alone are truly acceptable to God, and which alone can secure the highest spiritual good of man.
May we ask you, dear and cherished brother, to communicate these facts and the sentiments with which we are inspired to such as sympathize with you in your hopes and prayers for the future of a Reformed Church in Italy, and in so doing, may we not ask that you will ever regard us, in the name of the Committee, as well as in our own,
Faithfully and affectionately your brethren in Jesus Christ,
WILLIAM ROLLINSON WHITTINGHAM,
Bishop of Maryland and Chairman of the Committee.
Wm. Chauncy Langdon,
To the Count Ottavio Tasca,
Seriate near Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy.
 Letter from the Committee to the Rev. Dr. Luigi Prota.
BALTIMORE AND HÂVRE DE GRACE, MARYLAND, U.S.,
December 2d and 5th, 1865.
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST JESUS:
It is with great pleasure and the most sincere sympathy for the holy cause in which you and your society are so warmly enlisted, that the undersigned address you in acknowledgment of your letter to the Rev. Mr. Langdon, of the date of August. 6th, and in fulfilment of a duty entrusted to them by a Committee, of which they are respectively the Chairman and the Secretary. That duty is, in the language of the resolution which assigned it to them, "to communicate the action of the General Convention," &c, &c.
[This letter continues in the language of that to Count Tasca, to the words "highest spiritual good of man."]
At the first meeting of this Committee your letter, above referred to, was laid before them; and the Committee desire us to respond fraternally to the spirit which prompted it. But it is greatly to be regretted that we have never received the number of L'Emancipatore Cattolico which you also' sent, and which would have made us better acquainted with the precise programme, according to which you seek the reformation of the Church of Italy. From the information which we have, however, derived through the Rev. Mr. Hogg, we have good hope that it would have been found substantially such as would enlist our prayers for its successful and mature development in the hearts and consciences, as well as in the daily lives of your fellow-countrymen.
May we not ask you, dear and reverend brother, to communicate these facts, and the sentiments with which we are inspired, to those who unite with you in the Società Emancipatrice, and who cherish the same hopes for the future of a Reformed Church of Italy; and, in so doing, may we not [30/31] also ask that you will ever regard us in the name of the Committee, as well as in our own,
Faithfully and affectionately your brethren in Jesus Christ,
WILLIAM ROLLINSON WHITTINGHAM,
Bishop of Maryland and Chairman of the Committee.
WM. CHAUNCY LANGDON,
To the Rev. CAVALIERE DON LUIGI PROTA,
At the Convent of San Domenico Maggiore,
Letter from the Rev. L. M. Hogg.
FLORENCE, Dec. 2, 1865.
MY DEAR L----
Many thanks for your welcome tidings of the 13th ult. Meantime you will, I hope, have received my last letter, telling of what I feel the first step of urgent importance, viz., the sending out of a worthy representative of the American Church, thoroughly to see with his own eyes and hear with his own ears all that is going on. This, you will readily believe, I now rejoice to find is the intention of your Committee.
I have just received a letter I enclose you from Prota, which will show you both the gratitude the recent kind sympathy manifested by the Convention, has called forth in the minds of Prota and his brethren of the Società Emancipatrice; and will also show how urgently just now they need help for their journal. It certainly would be a grievous pity that their organ should be suspended just at this juncture, when ecclesiastical questions of the gravest importance are coming on for discussion in Parliament, and so are likely to rouse interest in the country. * * * * You will have doubtless received the copies of Emancipatore containing Prota's grateful 'acknowledgment of the most cheering [31/32] tokens of sympathy from you all that have thus far been given to these men in their struggle.
Now, to reply to your queries.
I apprehend you will meet with no obstacles from Italian national or municipal authorities in the way of establishing an American clergyman and church in--------. You are aware that our good friend Dr.--------met with no obstacles during the winter he acted as chaplain here; and at present there is no sort of obstruction likely to be raised. I judge this from our own communion. (1.) In Milan, the King himself granted, in the kindest manner, a transept of a large disused church, for our English Church service, on the application of our people in Milan. (2.) In Turin, a site was secured, and steps were in progress for building an English church, which have been suspended only because of the transfer of our Legation to Florence, as the capital; and so there are but very few English left in Turin; and, at present, the building of a church is in abeyance. (3.) In Genoa, a site has been purchased, and preparations are commenced for an English church. (4.) In Naples, a beautiful English church has been built, and was consecrated last Spring by the Bishop of Gibraltar, on ground presented by Garibaldi, and confirmed by the Government afterwards. At the consecration, the Prefect of the Province and the "Eletto," or Alderman as we should say, of the Sezione or ward of the city, both intimated their wish to attend, and were, therefore, formally invited by our Consul, and took front places with the Italian version of our Prayer Book. Upwards of a hundred copies of the Italian version of the Prayer Book were carried off during the first three Sundays, considerable numbers of Italians attending; and last time I heard from our good chaplain, Mr. Maitland, he said, "The Italians continue to come to watch our service with interest." This two or three months ago. In Milan, a Sunday rarely passes without a few Italians dropping in and following the service with interest, Prayer Books being at hand for their use.
All these facts will form the best answer to your query. You can anticipate no objection to your clergyman and [32/33] Church that would not equally be applicable to ours; and we now practically find no obstacles.
Let me add, that I thoroughly appreciate the force of what you say as to the advantage that the American Church possesses for such work as you contemplate in Italy, from its being in no way officially connected with your State. It is more free to act. Its chaplains are not at all fettered by ties with the Foreign Office; and in the present temper of the Italian mind, when the royal speech on the opening of Parliament has distinctly called attention to the "Segregazione" of Church and State--(though apparently this does not, at present, imply all that we should mean by full separation of Church and State, but rather a milder expression, implying a restriction of the work of the two societies, each to its own proper sphere, and a cessation of mutual interference)--there can be no doubt that your branch of the Church does present, in practice, the nearest realization of the idea of "Libera Chesa nello Stato Libero."
Moreover, you have another advantage. You practically exhibit the restoration of the working of the lay element in the general administration of Church matters, in the management of property, in election of clergy, and jointly with, clergy, in election of bishops, as well as in diocesan and provincial and general synods. Now, as yon will have gathered from Ricasoli's proposal to Parliament last Spring, these questions, in principle, were largely adopted by Ricasoli and his brother Commissioners, who brought forward these proposals; (refer especially to No. 3 of Esaminatore, for this year, in which they were discussed; also refer to Nos. 1 and 2 of Esaminatore for this year;) and though these proposals were then put aside, there can be little doubt they are favorably entertained by some influential minds, and so may probably become again subjects of discussion.
In all these respects, therefore, the American Church undoubtedly has advantages for giving the Italians a practical example of a free Church in a free State, and of laymen taking their due share in its administration.
 Still, as a practical question, I must carefully explain that your Committee and your representative must not expect an extensive or rapid movement in this direction. It is as yet a day of small things. It is a sowing time emphatically. The first and most urgent need is to fan the feeble embers into a steady flame; to collect and draw together the scattered forces that are hidden through the country, and rally them round some nucleus for visible, united action. This is the want now. Read carefully the recent series of letters from Florence in the "Guardian." They are most valuable for accurate information, and will give your Committee the best idea of the actual condition of matters. * *
I only put this as what I think is very likely to be the impression produced on your representative's own mind, when he comes fully to investigate matters on the spot. But I need not assure you how thankfully we shall hail his coming, and gladly do all in our power to put him in the way of all information.
One more word only. Look at Nos. 13 and 14 of Esaminatore for letters of Prevosto Barabino, as a specimen of the manner in which priests, longing after Reformation, are at once bullied and oppressed. [The story of Prevosto Barabino will be found given in soma details, p. 61.] He has been suspended by his bishop, and writes in great distress to Bianciardi. I must send you a copy of his private letter just received. It just illustrates what the Guardian correspondent's letters have brought out, of the difficulties these men have to meet, and how we ought to sympathize and stand by them.
To-day I posted you an Almanac, as a sign of the temper of the times. The editor is an advocate, in employment of government, and so in a respectable position. Look at the introduction and summary at the end. It is popular here.
Yours, very sincerely,
L. M. HOGG.
 Letter from the Rev. L. M. Hogg.
MY DEAR L----
FLORENCE, Dec. 4th, 1865.
[Here is] a copy of the private letter sent to Prof. Bianciardi, [The editor of L'Esaminatore.] last week, by that poor priest, Prevosto Barabino, of whom I spoke in mine to you of Saturday. Look at his printed letters in Nos. 13 and 14 of Esaminatore. These, with this third, make a fair illustration of the difficulties under which many and many a conscientious priest, alive to the need of Reformation, labors, if he is bold enough to speak out his mind. I think you may do good by calling attention to this case in any reports of your Committee's proceedings that you may publish in Church periodicals, as it is really only one case out of numbers like it, as Prota and his friends can tell you; though it happens to be the first that L'Esaminatore has called forth so directly, and consequently it roused Bianciardi's sympathy strongly. We don't know what maybe the result, i.e., whether this good Prevosto will have to knock under entirely and retract his letters. I imagine the second letter published in Esaminatore, which he here calls " a species of retractation," will be deemed by his bishop and opposing brother clergy the reverse of retractation. We shall soon hear, no doubt. Meanwhile, such cases show the real and urgent need of our being ready to show sympathy, and hold out a helping hand to such men, when, on due inquiry, we are assured they are deserving.
I forgot to mention, in response to the idea you spoke of, of holding a service in Italian in the American Church, thought of, that our late good Bishop of Gibraltar, when making his last visitation in Italy, spoke decidedly to me of his own willingness to sanction Italian services with our Liturgy, in our Churches, on the ground of there being a mixed Anglo-Italian population, for whom such services would be beneficial. The bishop added that he himself should be glad to see the experiment tried; and also that the [35/36] preaching (a practical difficulty) might be effected, if we could secure good priests, willing to adopt our Reformation principles and Liturgy, and that he would license such men to officiate under our chaplains. The experiment has not been tried, and we have reason to believe our Foreign Office would not like it; but it is just a point on which your branch of the Church could act with perfect freedom.
In haste, yours very sincerely,
L. M. H.
Translation of Letter from Prevosto Bambino, above referred to.
I have no words sufficient to express to you what important consequences that poor letter of mine, which was published in your periodical, has brought upon me. I find myself, for eight days past, suspended a divinis by my bishop, who believed that he had found therein a thousand heresies deserving of the highest reprobation. The clergy, most furious, cried that they demanded satisfaction for having been accused by an ignorante, and with the most brutal fury they pant for my ruin. I know not, moreover, in what direction to turn; some cry, the heretic, some the schismatic, some the excommunicate; and consequently the bitter days which I am constrained to pass are beyond imagination.
But before printing this blessed letter with my name, why did you not think of the consequences which might result from it? You know well that an ecclesiastic is under the rod of a most cruel despotism; you should have used a little consideration and prudence.
But now, since the thing is done, I pray you to publish quickly this letter, which I have prepared a few days since, which is a species of retractation, to the end that my enemies, reading it, may be recalled to better feelings towards me, and hence cease to persecute me with a violence unparalleled.
Persuaded that your courtesy will be liberal to me of this [36/37] favor, I offer you, in anticipation, due thanks for it; in the meantime, as with due esteem and equal consideration, I declare myself,
Your devoted servant,
J. B. BARBARINO, Prevosto.
Letter from Cavaliere Don Luigi Prota. Società Nazionale Emancipatrice, etc., del Sacerdozio Italiano. Gabinetto della Presidenza.
Naples, Dec. 12th, 1865.
REV. AND DEAR SIR:
I have received two copies of your Memorial, addressed on behalf of our Society to the House of Convocation of North America. All our members have been much touched by the marks of sympathy you have given us, and the truth we defend. Your statements on the religious movement here are most accurate. Our principles are the only ones able to complete a religious reform in Italy, and to bring about the return to the primitive simplicity of the Catholic Church, and, at the same time, the total destruction of the monstrous edifice of the Church of Rome.
Unfortunately we want material means; we have moral power, but this cannot be developed without the material of which abounds the papal theocracy. For the last five years we have, by great sacrifice, published our Journal, L'Emancipatore Cattolico; but now perhaps we shall be compelled to suspend its publication for want of pecuniary means, owing especially to the great distress occasioned in these provinces by the cholera, which has deprived both our ecclesiastical and lay members of the resources with which they used to assist us. Under these circumstances, if the Christian love and zeal of our American brethren would help us with the oblations of their piety, the work of our moral regeneration would be effectually continued and widely extended. * *
I have sent to all the gentlemen, who approved your excellent Memorial, a copy of our journal, where we have expressed [37/38] our heartfelt thanks both to you and to them in the name of our Society.
Accept, in the meantime, my especial gratitude for your kindness; and wishing you and yours every prosperity, with brotherly affection,
I am, Rev. and Dear Sir, very sincerely yours,
Cav. L. PROTA.
Rev. W. C. LANGDON.
Letter from the Rev. L. M. Hogg.
Florence, Dec. 30th, 1865.
My Dear L--------
I was just sitting down to enclose you the annexed copies of a remarkable appeal, presented, a few days ago, to--------, [an English clergyman] in Naples, together with such part of his letter to me as concerns it, when your kind note and enclosures of the truly kind and valuable letters from your Committee to Count Tasca, Prota and myself, came to hand. Let me, therefore, first beg you to present my respectful and cordial thanks to Bishop Whittingham, and the rest of your, I may say, our brethren, of your Committee, for this kind and valued communication. The letters for Count Tasca and Dr. Prota I have at once posted. * * * I am sure both will be much gratified and cheered by this token of the sincere and earnest Christian sympathy felt and manifested for themselves and their Italian brethren disposed for Reformation, by the American Church. God grant that such sympathy may lead to growing intercourse and mutual loving confidence and communion between earnest men in the Church in both countries; and so, under the Divine blessing, help effectively towards re-union of all who have been unhappily so long divided. I always cherish the hope that as from Rome has unhappily gone forth, for ages, the principle of discord and division of the Church, so it may please God that from the new nationality of Italy may go forth a movement which shall help to heal the divisions caused by Rome's errors and exorbitant pretensions. [38/39] However that may be, one thing is clear and urgent, viz.: That we, of the Anglo-Catholic Communion, have now an opportunity, such as has never been offered since the 16th century, for reknitting links of brotherly Christian intercourse with many members of the Italian churches, and that much must depend upon our rising to this occasion, and doing all that in us lies, by spread of information, by such manifestations of sympathy as are afforded by the valuable letters of your Committee, and by material aid to the struggling Italian Reformers, to promote a really effective movement for restoration of pure and primitive Catholic faith and worship, the only basis on which can be built any reasonable hopes of future reconciliation and re-union of divided Christendom.
I earnestly hope and pray, therefore, that your respected Committee may soon be able to take further active steps in this work. The great point I would again venture very respectfully, but very earnestly, to press upon their notice, is the sending out of some able representative of the American Church, who may thoroughly inform himself on the spot, of all that is going on and, by personal intercourse, may cheer and counsel and aid these Italian Reformers. Material aid in money also is greatly needed for working, through the Press, and in other ways.
Indeed, I cannot give you a stronger proof of the openings that your representative would find for useful influence than the singular appeal I now enclose from Naples. It strikingly confirms what I have already put before you, viz., the urgent need * * of a really able representative of the Reformed Episcopal Church, to enlighten, inform, guide, cheer, and uphold these inquiring spirits. You will observe this appeal is wholly from Laymen; no reference occurs in it to Prota, or any priest, as mixed up with them. Thus it proves that these sentiments are animating a distinct stratum of society, and a stratum of incalculable influence in the future destinies of Italy. If we can once make a good impression on the young men of the Universities, &c, who can tell where such influence may spread?
* * * The statements of their own needs are [39/40] most striking, and, making allowance for the violent revulsion from Rome, and Roman practices and teachings, which not unnaturally animates many Italian laymen, there is very much that is hopeful and satisfactory. At all events, it certainly is a strong call on us of the Anglo-American Communion to do all that in us lies to aid them. I have good hope that we shall be enabled to send to Naples a good priest, Signore Anelli, a Roman, who has spent some time in America as well as in India, and has been doing good service in North Italy. I think he is capable of doing good service in this new field, but I also feel the immense importance of an able representative of your or our branch of the Church being at hand constantly there, to guide kindly and strengthen the work. Is it likely such a man will he found shortly by your Committee to devote himself to this work? I shall rejoice to hear there is such a prospect. I feel more and more deeply the urgent need of fellow laborers in this field. I cannot move about sufficiently to do any thing like what is wanted. * * * *
One point these memorialists speak of is certainly an exaggerated estimate. They speak of 20,000 students. There are really from 8 to 10,000--a grand field; but perhaps they include youths at preparatory schools, of whom many go on to the Universities in Naples. But making all allowance for enthusiastic and volcanic southern temperaments, and not expecting even, as--------does, "thousands" to come rapidly under our influence, it is still clear that there is soil open. If we will heartily do our best to sow good seed, and cultivate it, under God's blessing, we may well be hopeful of some good fruit in due time.
* * * * *
Yours, very sincerely,
L. M. Hogg.
 Extract from the above quoted Letter from. Rev. Mr. --------.
NAPLES, Dec. 21st, 1865.
MY DEAR H-------
I send you a document which at least will interest you. It was brought me the day before yesterday by two of the parties whose names are affixed, the one, as you will see, a Professor, and the other a respectable young man in business. The moment, almost, I received it, I took it off to C--------; we had a talk over it in the evening. I leave him to say his independent say on the subject; but I would remark to you, as I did to him, as he shook his head, and spoke of these Memorialists as not holding any " position," etc., that if the gentlemen of position, whether lay or clerical, will not or do not move in this great question, we must be content, and well content, to see men such as these coming forward. It seems to me that here is a direct appeal to the Church of England, coming from a most promising quarter. The young men in the colleges and schools in Naples, led by and sympathizing [with their instructors.] Is the cry of such for help to be stifled? * * * *
* * Is not this a fine opportunity for doing what I have so long been urging, viz., the sending of a priest, Italian or other, (thoroughly up, of course, in Italian,) to give these people our service? It would call out thousands in this place. Every Sunday Italians are present at our service, sometimes twelve or more, and stay out the whole service. * * * * * *
Translation of the Appeal from the Naples Universities.
TO THE COMMITTEE OF MISSIONS:
In Italy, and more particularly among the Neapolitans, a very large proportion of the younger men look with longing to see Rome and Venice united with the mother country, and they are ready to co-operate to such an end, by any possible sacrifice. Inasmuch as in Venice certain gigantic [41/42] movements are now in progress, it is impossible but that Government should be able to act with them. And neither in Rome shall cannon nor diplomacy win a way, until the time arrive when the hand of the priest shall hold the sword of conviction, which shall pierce the hearts of so many of the people who have lived in the shadow of superstition, which has been induced by ignorance. The true cannon, with which to confront priestcraft, is the Bible, the Bible only. The Neapolitan youth, and principally the better educated of them, feel deeply the religious want, and abhor the Papal tyranny, the which idolatrous faith kill men, by subverting their morals. The numerous orders of students, the thinking ones of the people, feel thus, because they have begun to learn from the Gospel that only God can send peace to the strained and abused conscience.
For this sovereign need the orders named desire to submit to this Committee the need of calling immediately a pastor, who shall direct the religious movement in this city, who shall make it plain by his teaching, that Christianity does not consist alone in the negation of Papacy, but affirmatively in the teaching of the Gospel, and therefore in faith in Jesus Christ.
The harvest promises largely; the disposition of the people is excellent; the minds of the people are open to the fact, that no good can be done without religion; that Romanism is a deaf oppression; that incredulity cannot last for ever; that it is impossible to live always sceptically.
Naples has need of both head and heart, so that it will be necessary to combine the two. Philosophy and Evangelical teaching are found in the Epistle to the Romans, which breathes a rational Christianity that science has not disturbed--the Gospel, which points the life of the Blessed Saviour's dear teaching to minds needing affectionate and vital instruction.
The Neapolitans do not affect with ardor religious controversy, but they desire to feel the voice of the heart, as well as [42/43] to strengthen the understanding; with us this same want of faith is amiable, (pardon the phrase,) because it is the incredulity of accident. They are docile, and desire to know the truth; telling them the truth they are easily satisfied, and in the end accept it with enthusiasm.
The same incredulity in Naples is not an insurmountable barrier, for it is the natural result of education; their hearts have become hardened from the knowledge of, and often from having suffered from the immorality of the priests. Thus to do well the work of Evangelization in Naples, it would be necessary to have people of the place as teachers, under the direction of an intelligent and liberal-minded pastor, who should be able to understand the nature of the ground to be worked, to ensure its cultivation, and ultimately to reclaim it from past abuse. There are in Naples people who are sincere Christians, working in the vineyard of the Lord, but they lack means to carry out their work, and they appeal to this Committee, with faith that their appeal shall have effect.
The minds and consciences of this sensitive people are aroused, and this is the time when they would be peculiarly alive to religions instruction. The Gospel would now make great progress, and the question is only of its accomplishment. The Holy Apostle St. Paul was Greek with Greek, Hebrew with Hebrew; and now, to-day it must be Italian with Italian; or it will be but another version of the erection of altars to the unknown God. The learned and generous English nation well knows how to hold faith with her religious missions, and they will not refuse to their Italian brethren their co-operation and assistance. It is this faith which encourages us to make this appeal. There is an excellent movement on foot, among certain persons who have cm-braced the Gospel; in many parts, in Foggia, in Calabria, and in the Abbruzzi, there is great need of pastors and teachers. But alas, for us this is rendered impracticable, because we are unfurnished with means, and we are not encouraged as yet by the advice and example of a pastor. You can see then how much we are in need of assistance from you, and from any others, who have at heart the good of [43/44] the souls of a vast number of our people. There are students, to the number of 20,000 or more, many of whom are from the provinces, and with such help as we ask, these could, upon their arrival in their own homes, immediately become teachers among the people of their own province. It would be necessary to make Naples the centre of operations, in the present want of schools of Theology and other Biblical studies, as well also as Ecclesiastical History. In the daily preaching there would be need to consider as well the requirements of the more cultivated classes, as well as the working men. We have great need of a religious paper, and of tracts written originally in Italian, or well translated from the English. We have already met with much sympathy and confidence; defended by a pastor and sustained by God, we may hope with certainty to see this lovely spot brought to the Lord, and regenerated by means of faith. A pastor would be sure of a warm welcome among us; he would be reverenced at once as our leader and captain in a work of truth. He would be loved, because our youth have good hearts, and their affection is easily gained. They love their teachers, they love their country, they love the truth; why then must we be left unaided? Certainly it would be a great sin. We have also some hope of obtaining some building that could be so changed as to make it suitable to Evangelical worship. It would be necessary to found a school for children, * * * where children of all classes should receive a proper education. For a Sunday School there would be need of a judicious organization. Eloquence comes by nature to the Neapolitans, and they very naturally feel the cruelty of having the holy teaching of the Bible doled out to them in limited quantities, when it is so replete with words of instruction and good for meditation. The Romish priests have been looked upon as excellent orators by the Neapolitans, but now the time is corning when comparisons must be drawn, and the result is inevitable.
Let us, then, recapitulate in a few words the principal points of this appeal, and leave the rest to the well known good sense of the English; and it only remains for us to urge [44/45] in our own name, and in the name, especially of those elected to the work--to solicit the Committee that they shall, as soon as practicable, send among us a pastor, intelligent and suitable to the times and to the needs of this country, so the weight shall be removed from our consciences, an impetus given to those whose hearts are in the work. We place this vital matter in the hands of the Committee, and await with anxiety the response.
Prof. di Diritto in Napoli, Vico S. Nicolo a Nilo. No. 16.
Prof. di Diritto.
GIOVANNI DE SANCTIS,
Prof. di Lettcre e Filosofia.
Presented by FRED'CO. CAMPANILE,
9 Largo Dogana.
Letter from Cavaliare Don Luigi Prota. Società Nazionale Emancipatrice, etc., del Sacerdozio Italiano. Presidenza Centrale.
Naples, 25th Jan., 1866.
REV. SIR AND BELOVED BROTHER:
Your letter, dated 2d of last December, which came to us, through the kindness of the Rev. L. M. Hogg, has been for us a new and solemn proof of the interest and brotherly kindness with which you view the humble efforts we have been making since 1860, in order to restore the degenerated present Church of our country to the ancient purity of its first institution.
We have read your letter at our general meeting of the 6th inst. All the members were deeply moved by your [45/46] noble and magnanimous manifestations of sympathy for our cause, and by the generous offer of your support, in order to secure its triumph. God has shown us his mercy by bringing about this important event for our society and for our country; we have full confidence in the concourse of his Divine Grace which, after so many centuries of darkness caused by the Roman Church declaring herself the only depository and mistress of the revealed doctrines, will at last rekindle in the minds and hearts of the Italian priesthood that vivid light of love and faith which alone is able to guide us to our blissful country, and to the knowledge of the Eternal Truth.
Our programme, of which we regret you have not received the copies sent you, is framed precisely on two bases. The one religious, the other political. "The Return of the Italian Catholic Church to its primitive simplicity and institution in doctrine and discipline, with the conservation of the Hierarchical and Episcopal order. To promote and support the complete unification of Italy, having Rome for its capital." In the theoretical and practical actuation of these principles consists all the works of the society. And hence we hope that this religious and national undertaking will be found worthy of the support and sympathy of the members of the venerable Episcopal American Church, in which, in a religious point of view, we find identity of principles and of doctrine, with slight exceptions, arising from our present position with regard to the Bishop of Rome, which exceptions will disappear altogether, when the Pope will no longer have any temporal power; when the masses of the people will be fully enlightened in their consciences in their Christian duties, and the heavy chains of fanaticism and superstition implanted in their minds and hearts by the secular and persevering work of the ambitious See of Rome, shall be broken.
In the meantime, with great pleasure, we hasten to express, in the name of all the brethren composing our last general meeting, to the most illustrious and Rev. Bishop Wm. Rollinson Whittingham, President of your Committee, as well as to you and all its members, the most heartfelt feelings [46/47] of our gratitude and obligations for the especial interest you take in us, and for the generous brotherly love you have conveyed to us through your dear and esteemed letter. We are sure your efficacious assistance to the cause for which we, surrounded by numerous obstacles and painful privations, have fought for the last five years, in order to obtain the triumph of the Gospel of Christ, will deserve the blessing of our Heavenly Father, the lasting gratitude of the sons of our rising nation, and of the true Church of Christ.
It is a source of great pleasure to inform you also, that as a special proof of our admiration and obligation for your particular solicitude for us, our general meeting by acclamation has elected you our "Honorary Commissary-General for North America;" and shortly the usual diploma of our society will be forwarded to your address. Accept, in the meantime, our brotherly love; and wishing you the fullness of all the Heavenly blessings,
We are, with veneration, your faithful and affectionate brethren in Jesus Christ,
Cav. L. Prota,
President of the Central Society.
Rev. Wm. Chauncy Langdon,
Commissary-General for N. America.
Letter from Count Ottavio Tasca. (Translation.)
From Villa of Seriate, near Bergamo,
Jan. 25th, 1866.
DEAR BROTHER IN JESUS CHRIST:
My good friend, the Rev. L. M. Hogg, has submitted to me the letter of the respected Committee of this last year's General Convention, signed by the Rt. Rev. William Rollinson Whittingham, Bishop of Maryland, in quality of member of the above Committee, and by yourself, [47/48] in quality of Secretary of the same. This letter does me great honor, and it would do me still greater if I believed myself worthy, and altogether meriting the praises which it conveys for the little I have done, and am doing, for the progress of our Catholic Episcopal Reform, after the model of the Church of England, of which your American Church is a branch. I should like well to answer you in English, but I so greatly lack exercise in the management of that language, that I prefer to use my own language, feeling certain that you, Rev. Sir, or some other member of the above mentioned Committee, will be acquainted with Italian, by which means, my letter being translated, can be presented to the entire Committee.
God, who of himself from the appearance of evil, brings forth good, permitted, that in the year 1848, from my patriotic aspirations of liberty and independence, I was, by the tyranny of Austria, banished from my native country and deprived of all my possessions, which were placed under a vigorous and arbitrary sequestration. During my long exile, I came to be admitted to the intimacy of many honorable English Protestant families, and, edified by their Christian lives, their habitual exercise of all the moral and evangelical virtues, I did not long delay the effectual renunciation of all the errors of Romanism, which I had long, in my heart, and consciously detested.
I commenced to study the Sacred Scriptures not only as a sacred history, in which way I had regarded them from the beginning, but as a book written under Divine inspiration, and as the words of the prophets, who infallibly foretold the future accomplishment of human redemption, bought with the price of the blood of the Son of Grid, who was made man, and offered as a propitiation for the sins of the whole world. I have studied to follow the precepts of the Gospel; not, indeed, that Gospel which Papal Rome, unnaturally distorting the truth, endeavors to sustain, by its ambition, its avarice, and by its theocratic power; but that which we believe to be from the Divine Legislator, and which, in all its primitive purity, was transmitted by the Apostles and [48/49] their immediate disciples, and the Rev. Fathers of the first four general Councils.
After a ten years' exile, borne, thanks be to God, with the dignity of a gentleman, and above all, with the resignation of a Christian, I have returned in safety to my native country, now made free and independent. I have brought with, me the fruit of my conversion--the intense desire, that is, to evangelize my country, struggling in the snares of superstition--under certain aspects, bordering on idolatry.
As a Christian, I found that a wise and moderate religious reform was indispensable to the well-being of the souls and morals of the people. But as a citizen, I saw that Italy, to be free, strong, and great also, in the future, needed, not alone to have broken the bonds of foreign government, but that it was no less necessary to break that shameful yoke, which, for many centuries, Papal power has imposed upon her. God deigned to bless my feeble powers by enabling me to labor, not withoxit fruit, in the progress of this holy reform, and such success, superior to my merits, makes me great recompense for the many discomforts and material losses which I had to suffer, and still suffer, from the persecutions of the Black party, which incloses in its breast all the bigots, Austrian sympathizers and papists, and at whose head figures and acts the Bishop of Bergamo, creature of the Austrians, and the most servile slave of every caprice of the Roman Curia, and the true type of intolerance, civil, political and religious.
He, and with him all the body of his pharasaic counsellors and partisans, detest me as a heretic and an apostate, and hate me as the head of the school of reform in Lombardy, and hence they make against me a war, blind, bitter and indefatigable. They think to degrade me by applying to me the above titles; but, instead, to my eyes and to those of right thinking men, they honor and exalt me.
Though I am not rich, for my ten years' exile brought upon me relatively immense losses, which were followed by the Jesuitical persecutions of my enemies, still I have spared no pains in circulating and distributing gratis to my poor neighbors, and [49/50] especially to the rural population, our good books, such as the Bible, New Testament and Prayer Books; also many tracts translated by me, expressly from the English, and printed at my own personal expense. I had also a good idea, which was crowned with happy success. I feared that with the youths, particularly, that long continued reading of the whole of the Prayer Book would prove wearisome; I caused to be printed, at my own expense, thousands and thousands of copies separately in small pamphlets, one by one, the various portions which compose that golden book, and distributed them to all, but in greater quantity among the youth.
When, months since, the cholera threatened this country, having been requested by our government to assume the gratuitous presidency of the Sanitary Commission of the province, I had printed 4,000 copies of the Litany, taken from the Book of Common Prayer, as that which seemed most proper in relation to the threatened scourge; and from time to time--as I, in my quality of President of the Commission, visited villages and towns, and more remote and isolated hamlets, where I effected hygienic amelioration--I took the benefit of my frequent and varied excursions to distribute everywhere, among the laborers and agriculturists, Bibles, New Testaments, and, in a greater number, the small books of the Litany; and every time that I renewed my official visits I had the consolation of convincing myself that my distributions, and the exhortations with which I accompanied them, had brought forth good fruit. The Litanies, in particular, were read with avidity and with true persuasion; and by a few of the liberal priests themselves, (too few, indeed,) they were declared more moving, efficacious, and better than those of the Roman Church. I am indeed truly happy in circulating all these separate portions of the Prayer Book, because with them I convince the people, more and more, (to our account deceived by ignorance, or by the perfidy of bad priests,) that Protestants are Christians, more sincere and upright than Roman Catholics.
Persevering always, in the midst of obstacles, which the Papal faction ever creates, and opposes to me in every step I [50/51] take, I, with my influence, such as it is, and my feeble means, have been able to contribute to the opening of more Evangelical churches and chapels in these provinces, and on various occasions, by my presence and by my words have, in a manner effected that the right and justice and the good sense of the people triumph over the artifices, the conspiracies and the brutal violence of the so-called Black party, our implacable enemies. At Bergamo, at Carraggio, at Troviglio, and lastly, also at Brescia, as also at Varese, the city and great towns of this province, I have succeeded, with the assistance of God, in calming them, and dispensing the tempestuous seditions organized by a vile excited mob against us, and against our Church; and it may be attributed to the motive suggested, that if the bad priests and all the Papal bigots execrate me, the good people, (I can say it in conscience, and without overstepping the bounds of modesty,) esteem, respect and love me. I am opposed to these sterile, and frequently deplorable discussions. I use every exertion to avoid them. The pure word of God is the only weapon I make use of; that above all others is apt to procure the victory in a good cause: though defective in knowledge, zeal and good-will are not wanting in me.
We have fatally against us one circumstance, with which we must struggle day and night, and which is, that the party inimical to us have enrolled under its banner all the rich bigots and speculators, who, without faith or religious convictions or conscience, tremble at the idea of reform of any kind, and combat bitterly to preserve their beloved statu quo; and consequently that party employs without embarrassment greater material means than our own. Many times money becomes a necessity, (and too palpably, also, in the progress of noble and sacred causes, money represents a power,) we reformers cannot here contend with arms equal to those of our adversaries. In the past we have had two Societies in England which have furnished us with some means: "The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge," and "The Anglo-Continental Society." But for want of funds, the first was, in spite of itself, [51/52] obliged to cease its contributions; and the second continues to think of us, it is true, and to think of us and assist us in a manner both noble and delicate. But its generosity is limited to the confines of its own resources, ample being the sphere of the needs of all Italy. I remember, dear sir, that of this want I had occasion, years since, to write .you, in my other letter which I had the honor to write; and it not only endures, but makes itself to-day only more apparent. Finally, to embitter the satisfaction, that notwithstanding the many ills occasioned me by the plots of my enemies, it has procured me the holy mission to which I have courageously consecrated myself, I have one most acute thorn, which for one year has transfixed my heart, and from which I do not find means to liberate myself. I will make to you the confidence, as a worthy representative of the respectable Committee, in order that you may communicate it for a good end. My story is rather long, but I pray you to have patience, because, though indirectly, it affects the honor of our cause.
You will remember that when the Padre Passaglia published his address to the Pope, praying that he should, for his greater glory, renounce the temporal power, (time lost, useless fatigue, what one of our proverbs calls "lavar la testa all'asino,"--the French, "laver la tête d'un mere,"--and the English, "to bray a fool in a mortar") on that occasion I say that many thousands of priests, in an impulse of an ephemeral passion of patriotism, sanctioned after him that address The Court of Rome, astounded by so sudden a demonstration, decreed the severest orders to all the Bishops of Italy, that, whether by good or evil, they should oblige those priests who had subscribed, to retract. Knowing, either historically or by some kind of experience, the vindictive and implacable spirit of the Court of Rome, nearly all of those priests made haste to sign their retraction, constrained, so to say, to pass under the yoke of Papal power and tyranny, in order not to condemn themselves to die of hunger. Seven of those priests, my acquaintances, four of the Diocese of Bergamo, and three of that of Brescia, liberal minded men, and rationally independent, resorted in this dilemma to my advice. Inasmuch [52/53] as they were among the most esteemed and influential of their confraternity, I begged them to resist vigorously both the threats and blandishments of their respective cures. Then both the Bishop of Bergamo, and he, no less intolerant, of Brescia, after the manner of the Jesuits, availed themselves of this opportunity. I thought that if those seven good priests, constrained by fear and threatened misery, should throw themselves at the feet of their tyrants, calling for pardon and retracting their acts, this humiliating deed would have been confusion for us, and a triumph for our adversaries, and bring with it, to them, great advantages. I prayed them to hold themselves immovable in their public professions of the same, promising them that I would find means to provide in future for their subsistence. I placed myself then at the head of a subscription to furnish them with the necessary maintenance. And I found several friends of mine, who, by my prayers, were induced to second me in this act of fraternal charity, obligating themselves also to a monthly contribution. In order to make use of the gratitude of these priests, I employed them in distributing our books among the population of the valley where they lived. But they being accused of this to their respective Bishops by the spies which these prelates scatter throughout the diocese, those seven unfortunates were excommunicated by the Jesuits, as sowers of heresies and propagators of Protestantism. The above subscriptions lasted for two years, but, with the beginning of 1865, a little on account of the enormous public and general disquiet, (disquiet necessary if we wished to preserve that dear liberty which we do not acquire and maintain, but by sacrifice of blood and gold,) a little on account of bad crops, and a little on account of other motives, more or less plausible, all my friends who contributed declared themselves no longer able to continue this subscription, and left me alone to sustain a load too heavy and disproportionate to my means. For some months I continued alone; afterwards, reduced in means, I laid my case before some English friends, who did not hesitate to furnish some opportune but momentary succor. Two of these poor [53/54] priests having visited me in the month of September last to thank me in the name of their unfortunate companions, for some assistance which my good friend, Rev. E--------, curate of-------- Sussex, (who, at my request, had for some time been with his family near my own,) had furnished them through me, I said to these priests that, not being able to continue longer to assist them, as in the past, but only in a small proportion, according to my individual means, I advised them to procure some occupation by which they might procure an honest livelihood. They answered me, that they willingly would have done so, but that they, educated in a Seminary, could not make themselves either builders or carpenters. They added, that if I would attempt to settle them as assistant masters in some rural school, that they would accept with true joy. I immediately wrote with this object to certain parish priests sufficiently liberal, my acquaintances, I may say friends, who replied to me, that in order to do honor to my recommendation they would accept each of them, one of the priests as assistant masters in the school of their respective village, a position which, if it did not give them a good living, would be sufficient at least to prevent their dying of hunger. Fatally, by an inconceivable negligence on the part of our Parliament, the primary schools are just now almost wholly in the hands of the priests, presided over by the parish priests, and, above them, by the Bishops. If the clergy in Italy were liberal, independent, and friendly to the actual Constitutional government, this, its interference, would be acceptable; but, declared enemy as it is, of our new and free institutions, such interference is an injurious anomaly, not to say monstrosity.
My two poor priests were hardly installed in their new and most modest position, when the two Bishops notified the two charitable parish priests (being informed by their most vigilant spies) that they must immediately dismiss those two intrusive excommunicants, threatening them, in case of not obeying them, immediately to suspend themselves a divinis, to expel them from their parishes, and finally to excommunicate them also. And the two poor parish priests were, [54/55] against their wishes, constrained to obey the barbarous injunction, and my two priests, depressed and discouraged, and more unhappy than before, were again plunged into that abyss of misery, from which they believed themselves to have emerged.
So our mitred despots, not able longer to burn their ex-communicants in the flames of an auto-da-fe, because the times forbid them, they condemn them, instead, to die of hunger, (to starve.) And such iniquity they commit by priestly power in a country free like ours!
The Bishop of Bergamo is so furious against me for various reasons, but principally for the protection which I accorded to those seven victims of his fury, that when our most excellent King Victor Emmanuel, who honors me with his especial benevolence, elevated mo to the rank of Commendatore of the Royal order of Mauriziano, the former had the impudence to write to the minister of worship that he was astonished, and almost bemoaned that Victor Emmanuel, so Catholic, should have conferred such honor on a heretic and an apostate, a fomentor of Protestantism.
The minister allowed him to complain, but did not reprove him for so great impertinence, as he should have done. It is nevertheless strange that, detested and persecuted as I am by bad priests, I receive from sovereigns, also Roman Catholics, by no means dubious proofs of esteem and sympathy, in many decorations which they have spontaneously conferred upon me; and if I do not ask them, neither am I by nature a flatterer. The priests (I speak always of the bad ones) arc annoyed and irritated by every new honorable distinction which is conferred upon me. I, for my part, confess to you, Rev. Sir, that although I may be superior to certain human weaknesses, still they are dear to me in this sense, because they become indirectly useful to the cause which I sustain and defend, especially when I preside at some popular meeting. More than all, at the assemblies and re-unions of the various operative societies, of which I am also honorary president, I always embrace these occasions to talk to the people of political and religious liberty, to unmask the subtle [55/56] and wicked arts of the Court of Rome, and to inculcate hatred and deprecation of superstition, and love and observance of Evangelical precepts; and the people listen to me with interest and conviction. The speech finished, I always make a distribution of Bibles, New Testaments, and Prayer Books, to as many as desire to have them. Now, by human calculation, upon the esteem which people accord to the external signs accompanying rank, dignities and honors, your Reverence may also believe that my decorations augment my counsels and my professions of faith. "If this gentleman who addresses us so fraternally," (in this manner reason the masses,) "has obtained such elevated distinctions, it is a sign that he is a good man, and one who does not wish to deceive us." So, I repeat, reason the masses. You, my dear sir, humble as a Christian, proud as a republican, may think these reflections of mine a little strange, but it is necessary to take the world where and how we find it. Here we are in Italy, and not in America; and you, Rev. Sir, and the honorable members of this Committee, will pardon me, if, in the subscription of this letter, after my name I shall place (for this single time) all my titles, in order that your respectable Committee may convince itself that the incarnate war, which the intolerance of priests wages on me, does not prevent the people from respecting me, and that I am distinguished and honored by those princes, whom they abhor in secret, because favorable to the liberals, and liberals also themselves.
But of such matters I have spoken too much, and I ask your pardon, because I have occupied time which perhaps you could have employed more usefully; but between brothers there should be no secret. Now, let us return to ourselves.
Two requests remain for me to make of you, and I ask them with all my heart. The first is, that you will be interpreter with the most Rev. Bishop of Maryland, and with all the members of this most respectable Committee, of my gratitude for the honor done me, by writing me a letter so kind and affectionate, and to express to them with how much joy I have cherished the sympathy and the interest which they entertain for the religious improvement and progress of my [56/57] country, and for the fraternal Christian alliance which they offer us, and which is a great comfort to us. For my part, I use constantly all my force to second their wishes, in favor of our salutary reform, in spite of the sacrifices of tranquillity and money, which my mission as reformer has cost mo, and still continues to cost.
The second prayer is, to recommend to the fraternal charity of the Committee, my poor priests, who, by the curial persecutions, are frozen in the most desolate misery, from which I cannot alone absolutely free them. Some of my honorable English friends, moved to pity by their deplorable state, in a meeting of Bishops, held at Norwich, have spoken in their favor, and obtained some aid, which was forwarded to me, and which enabled me to relieve, in part, the sufferings of these unfortunate creatures, whom I esteem highly, for their immovable firmness and constancy. I have thus been able to provide them with warm winter clothing, because, besides being exposed to suffer by hunger, they also suffer from the attacks of cold. You, dear Sir, and the most Rev. Bishop of Maryland, be pleased, I supplicate you both, to become the protectors of these unhappy victims, before the respectable members of this Committee, and before our other American brethren, to the end that they may be moved by the sufferings of my poor protegees, and, for their advantage, desire to imitate the charitable acts of their English brethren who belong to the same Church.
In the hope that this, my earnest prayer, may not remain unheard, I press your hand fraternally, and call myself with the most lively sympathy and the highest esteem,
Your Brother in Jesus Christ,
COUNT OTTAVIO TASCA,
Commander of the Royal Order of Mauriziano, of the Kingdom of Italy. Grand Cross of the Order of Ernestino, of S. A. R., the Duke of Saxony-Coburg-Gotha. Officer of the Imperial Order of the Legion of Honor of France. Commander of the Order of the Conception, of the Kingdom of [57/58] Portugal. Decorated with the Medal of St. Helena, and of the War of Italian Independence, etc., etc., etc. Proclaimed by the national voice, National Poet.
Letter from the Rev. L. M. Hogg.
Florence, Jan. 26th, 1866.
Mt Dear L-----
I should sooner have replied to your last kind letter, had I not had the pleasure, of making acquaintance with a good brother clergyman of yours, also of your own diocese, Mr. D------, who kindly undertook to write direct to Bishop-----, so that you will, doubtless, hear direct Mr. D-----'s reports. Now he is gone to Naples, where I have given him introductions to Prota and one or two others, so that he may gather all information on the spot; and I am sure he will greatly cheer up Prota and his friends. It has been a great pleasure to me to see Mr. D------; he is very sympathetic about the work, and has carried off some of your circulars appealing for funds. The others I have given to Mr. C------. Mr. D-----also has carried off a copy of the kind letter the Committee did me the honor to send me, in order to let Dr. L------ and your good clergymen in Rome know of the action taken by the Committee; also he will show the circulars amongst them, and is heartily disposed, if he can get some little done, to show Prota and his friends practical sympathy, in the shape of a little help for their journal. This will be a cheering commencement if Mr. D----- can succeed. One Mr. D------ and Mr. C------kindly came to us to meet Prof. Bianciardi, editor of Esaminatore, and we had an interesting talk. I need not assure you that Bianciardi is thankful to find sympathy from the American Church, and most grateful for it. * * * * * * Mr. C------gave us some interesting details of his own personal experience in Rome, which struck Bianciardi greatly.
* * * * * *
We are hoping in a few weeks to make a run to Naples, [58/59] and then I may gather you a little additional news. * * * * * If I can induce Dr.------ to run down to Naples also, depend on it I shall not fail to do so, as I feel most anxious to confer as fully as possible on this whole work with him, and as many of your good countrymen as I can get hold of. * * * * Dr. Leeds I hope we may soon see here on his return from the east. * * * You ask about articles worth noticing in Esaminatore and Emancipatore Cattolico. I would specially recommend to your notice a series of articles in Esaminatore, five of them on the present conditions of Roman Dogmatic Theology, as illustrated by the Bull of the Immaculate Conception. Specially, notice the concluding one, in No. 1, Esaminatore for this month, * * * * which is a bold summing up of conclusions, and, as you will see, boldly rejects both the Immaculate Conception and the Personal Infallibility of the Pope. This last rapidly growing quasi-dogma of the Ultramontane and Jesuit party, seems likely to prove one of the vital grounds of distinction between Church Reformers and Ultramontanes. * * * We owe this series of articles to------------, one of the most able and learned and respected Roman theologians now in Italy. * * *
* * Then in three recent numbers of Emancipatore Cattolico, notice Prota's bold reviews of "Dieci Lettere di Cinque Ecclesiastici ad un uomo di Stato." He will be cheered if you can notice these in America, as I am sure also, will ------ and ------ by notices of the articles above mentioned.
Prevosto Barabino's case has gone off well, and resulted in good. * * * * *
Did I tell you of my interview, at Christmas, with Baron ------and Count------and Bianciardi? * * * I fancy not; so at the risk of taxing your patience I now enclose you a copy of a letter written the other day to an English friend: this will tell you all about it. Also I enclose you a copy of a note received from Baron------. The correspondence to which it refers you will find in the Guardian of Dec. 20--a striking letter from an Italian, I don't know [59/60] who, but as his letter bears on points touched upon in our Conference, I sent it to---------, and it shows in his own words his feeling of the need of Reformation.
Ever yours most sincerely,
L. M. Hogg.
[The interest which attaches to the letter above referred to will excuse the liberty of making the following extracts.]
Florence. Jan. 24, 1866.
MY DEAR MR. ------
***** I feel thankful [the projectors of Esaminatore have] been enabled to try the experiment, and that now [they are] encouraged * * * to continue the paper another year, if all goes well. The second year has brought an increased amount of correspondence from very various parts of the country, showing increased interest on the part of both priests and laymen. Amongst the latter, I fancy I reported to you, in the Spring, Baron--------'s interest shown on the discussion in Parliament of the Project of Law for re-arrangement of the Church property, &c. Monsignore-------- has also kept up his interest in the paper most warmly, and has done his best to encourage its circulation amongst his brother clergy. * * * But he has also given direct and very valuable help by contributing occasional letters of encouragement, and most of all by a singularly able and learned and bold refutation of the Bull of the Immaculate Conception, giving this as an illustration of the fallen present conditions (as he holds) of modern Roman Theology. Incidentally he thus demolishes both the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the rapidly growing tendency of the Ultramontane and Jesuit party t>> make the Personal Infallibility of the Pope an article of almost necessary faith. * * * The concluding one, in January number [60/61] for this year, * * * is a bold [editorial] summing up of conclusions from the previous articles.
Now we are anxious to comply with the request of some of the readers, that this dissertation may be reprinted entire as a separate tract, and widely spread; and, as---- himself also added, "that it may justify us also in the eyes of non-Catholics." I hope we may get means to help for this purpose. It would thus form the first of a series of reprints of articles for popular circulation, as short tracts. This idea has been repeatedly urged on the Editor during last year, and if [he] can manage such a popular series, they might, I hope, prove useful, and reach many more readers than the paper at present reaches.
One recent case of Esaminatore helping to produce a little local stirring of attention has occurred on the Riviere, not far from Savona, at a place called Albissola Marina. [B. goes] on the plan of firing off copies occasionally at a number of priests, sometimes in one part, sometimes another. Thus [he tries] the ground. Some reject in amusing scorn; some quietly receive and continue to do until they reject or approve; and now and then one replies heartily and subscribes. So it was with the worthy Prevosto of this parish. He wrote a very hearty letter, was delighted with the first copy he got, and forthwith subscribed; and as he expressly said, "Make what use you please of this letter," and did not request his name to be concealed, and the letter said some capital things, though somewhat sharp, as to the general condition of the clergy and the need of reform, Bianciardi gladly turned it to account by printing it in the next number. This raised a storm about the place, and brought a regular nest of hornets about the writer's ears. His Bishop (of Savona) forthwith suspended him; but ho has been many years in his parish, and is unusually respected by his parishioners, who vigorously took his part, and some little uproar followed. The Bishop, probably not anticipating such popular demonstration in his favor, contented himself with a private explanation. The Prevosto held his ground [61/62] more firmly than many of his brethren would have dared to do, and said that, if too hardly pressed, he was prepared to carry on the war, and publicly make good all he had written. So it ended in his being let alone, the suspension withdrawn, and he writes to Bianciardi in high glee, subscribing this year.
I mention these cases, as they show you the kind of work promoted by the paper in its little way, for it is a very humble instrument; but has not been wholly without good effect we feel sure; and if means were forthcoming to extend similar work through the press, * * * much wider influence might readily be exercised.
I'm not without hopes that, during this year, something more may be done in this way. Our American brethren seem just now disposed to come into the field and give a helping hand, since the recent Triennial Convention of the American Cliurch discussed the question of the Reformation movement in Italy. Just now. also, Prota, the President of the Naples Liberal Priests' Association [is bringing] out some capital articles reviewing the excellent "Dieci Lettere," [published by Archdeacon Wordsworth and some other English writers two years ago.]
[In connection with the question of enlarging the sphere of the Esanimatore's influence, this letter continues:]
He [Bianciardi] feels the desirableness of this keenly, * * and at the close of last year, ho consulted with Count--------, Deputy from-------, who chanced to be the first Deputy who subscribed to the paper, * * * and has kept up his interest all along. They agreed to ask Baron--------if he would help, as he had again recently shown interest, and had sent B----- 200 francs as a token of good will, to help his work. Finding both these good men sympathetic, Bianciardi, of his own accord, asked if they would see me also. To which they kindly and readily agreed. As this interview was wholly unsought on my part, * * * I was glad to go when B-----brought me word that they wished me so to do, [62/63] at his request. So we had a little conference at Baron------'s house at Christmas, Baron--------, Count--------, Prof. Bianciardi and I. [The Baron] received us very kindly. Bianciardi told his story of Esaminatore.
I explained exactly what had led us to take an interest in the work. That, in rambling through Italy, I had been struck by finding wherever I went, priests and laymen entertaining ideas of Church Reformation more or less similar, more or less advanced instancing Monsignoro --------, as having clearly and succinctly specified almost all the points I had found floating in the minds of others, and now expressed in Esaminatore programme; that on reading for the first time, two years ago, Bianciardi's Preface to his Story of the Popes, I had found these same ideas brought out, as desirable to be realized in Italy, and that I then made acquaintance with B. &c, &c. ***** [Soon after the Esaminatore was started by Bianciardi] without knowing whether he should find response, except from the limited range of personal information, he commenced by trying the ground in different parts, mainly amongst--(1.) Members of Parliament. (2.) Priests, specially of liberal repute. (3.) Professors in the Universities, Public Lyceums and Gymnasiums, &c, and such other people as he had private reasons for trying. That the result, thus far, had in some ways exceeded Bianciardi's expectations, as it had brought to his knowledge a number of sympathizing readers and correspondents, priests and laymen, especially in north and south Italy. Central Italy is, apparently, less actively disposed; the Tuscans being a quieter race, less easily moved than their more vigorous northern or more excitable and volcanic southern neighbors. That the letters received had steadily increased, and showed a real undercurrent of feeling in favor of Reformation, though the priests were very shy of openly manifesting themselves. The subscriptions also, though small, had increased, and that altogether it was plain the ideas propounded did meet with growing response. That we, as English Churchmen, had no wish to proselyte Italians to our own system; but only desired to help those Italians who were themselves desirous [63/64] of and trying to promote a National Church Reformation which would, doubtless, be more or less analogous to our Reformed Episcopal Church. This was the pith of my explanation. [The Baron] cordially expressed his approval of the aim and his thorough concurrence with the specific points aimed at in the Esaminatore programme; but was downhearted at first as to the religious feelings of his countrymen, divided, as he said, between indifferentism and much unbelief, and ignorant fanaticism, credulity and superstition. He drew a graphic contrast also between the trials, sufferings, imprisonments and martyrdoms of his lay countrymen, incurred in their repeated struggles for political and national liberty and restoration, from 1821 to 1859; and the sad want of similar boldness and willingness to suffer on the part of the clergy in struggling for religious reformation. He said that * * * he had often tried to strike out a spark of enthusiasm on this subject from priests, but rarely found a response.
We then came to the practical question--was it worth while to continue to work? * * * * To this both [Baron --------] and [Count--------] decidedly said "Yes;" that the present is an important time fur sowing good seed. That no one can forecast what the next year may bring forth; that something must probably happen of importance after the French clear out from Rome, and that it is specially important to try and get good ideas of Reformation spread amongst the educated and upper classes, so that it was decidedly desirable to keep on this attempt and widen its reach as much as possible. I offered to withdraw, and leave the matter entirely in their hands as Italians. [The Baron] at once said, "No, by no means; this religious question is not merely Italian, it is cosmopolitan: we are all alike interested in it!" I said frankly, that the only interest we, as English churchmen, had in it, was that as we felt and saw that from Rome for ages had gone forth a principle of discord and division of the Church of Christ, so we now hoped and prayed that the day might come when, from united Italy, might go forth a movement for such a return to [64/65] primitive Catholic purity as should tend, under God's blessing, to reconcile and recruit Christendom. His face lighted up more than it had done as he said, "Courage, then!" and turning to Bianciardi, added, "We will gain this scope."
On coming away, he said that he felt we saw our way more clearly than he had at first expected.
I felt that it was a real step gained that such a man as ----- and also Count-------- should be willing to take the trouble of seeing an Englishman on such a subject, and not shrink from pulling with us. This seems a gain without in the least counting on it for more than it is worth.
Just after our little conference, I read in the Guardian of Dec. 20 a striking letter from an Italian touching on some points on which our conversation had turned; so I enclosed it to Baron--------as a confirmation, by a countryman, of some things then said. You may like to see his kind note in reply, as showing, in his own words, his sense of the need of reformation; so I enclose a copy.
Translation of the Note from Baron -------
------, Jan. 10, 1866.
The correspondence which you have kindly sent me to read, and which I herewith enclose to you, confirms the ancient and generally known evils which for many ages oppress the Roman Catholic Church without release; and make continually more manifest the highest urgency of a thorough reform, from whence Catholicism may remain purified from her deep wounds, and restored to be a social power, guide and compliment to the civil progress of the people.
A wise and truly charitable work it is, that of endeavoring, by the means of discussions and kindness, to recall the attention [65/66] of those who know and are able to reflect upon them, to the terrible consequences which result from the state in which the Church finds itself among us, on the development of human intelligence and of public education; and we ought to invoke the blessings of Providence, that minds may be illumined and hearts strengthened, and that they may hasten the fortunate day in which the great Reform may at least be said to be commenced.
I embrace this occasion to assure you of my profound respect.
Your most obedient,
Rev. L. M. Hogg.
Letter from the Lord Bishop of Gibraltar.
GIBRALTAR HOUSE, MALTA, Jan. 30, 1866.
RT. REV., REV. AND DEAR BRETHREN IN CHRIST:
I have just been reading your letter of Dec. 2d and 5th, to our excellent brother, Rev. L. M. Hogg, conveying a copy .of two resolutions, adopted at the recent General Convention of the American Branch of the Reformed Catholic Church. The one expressive of sympathy with those who in Italy are endeavoring to promote a Reformation on the principles of returning to the doctrines and discipline of the primitive Church; the other, for appointing a Committee to give practical effect to this resolution of sympathy.
My own duty, as the Bishop of Gibraltar and the various English congregations on the shores of the Mediterranean, connects me in many ways with the movement now going on both in Italy and Sicily. And I cannot but express the thankfulness and satisfaction which I feel in this proof of the truly Catholic spirit of which the American Church (distinguished for its missionary efforts) has ever been an example. It will, I trust, encourage and strengthen the hands of those [66/67] who are engaged in this movement; and having been a Scottish Bishop before I was translated to my present See, I must venture to express the special pleasure with which, at any time, I find myself acting in concurrence with brethren--and now with the General Convention--of the American branch of the Reformed Catholic Church.
You are aware that I have the privilege of numbering among my clergy the excellent and Rev. Dr. Hill of Athens; and I had the great satisfaction, some years ago, of preaching and administering the Holy Communion in the Chapel of the American Church at Paris.
May I beg leave to suggest the possibility of your stationing in Italy an American clergyman, who might co-operate with the good Mr. Hogg and others in this excellent work; and thus practically show, not only the unity between the different branches of the Reformed Catholic Church, but their common sympathy in what, I trust, will prove a true return of the Italian Churches to that primitive Christianity which the English, American and Scottish Branches regard as their model and example.
With the deepest sympathy in all that concerns the American Church; and asking your prayers, I am, in the common faith and hope,
Your affectionate brother,
W. J. GIBRALTAR.
THE RT. REV. BISHOP OF MARYLAND,
REV. W. C. LANGDON.
 Letter of the Committee to the Rt. Rev. Wm. Bacon Stevens, D.D.
BALTIMORE AND HAVRE DE GRÂCE, M.D.,
February 17, 1866.
TO THE RT. REV. WM. BACON STEVENS, D. D.,
Bishop of Pennsylvania.
RT. REV. AND DEAR SIR:
As one of the representatives of the House of Bishops upon the Joint Committee constituted by the late General Convention upon the subject of the Reform Movement in the Church of Italy, you are aware of the earnestness with which the desire has been expressed in the foreign correspondence of that Committee, that a Bishop of our branch of the Church might be able to visit Italy in their behalf.
This desire has been heartily reciprocated by the Committee itself, who felt it important that the House of Bishops, in which originated the expression of the Church's recognition and sympathy with this movement, should, in the person of one of its own members, be represented in its midst.
Though deeply regretting that the cause should have been found in the state of your health, the Committee are therefore glad to avail themselves of the fact of your expected presence in Europe, and to request and empower you to represent them, whether during your stay in Italy itself or in such intercourse as you may be privileged to have with those dignitaries or members of the United Church of England and Ireland, as have taken an active interest in the cause which has called this Committee into being.
Will you kindly express to his Lordship the Bishop of Gibraltar and to the English clergy resident or holding charges in Italy, the interest taken by this Committee and by the Church which it represents, in the present religious and ecclesiastical condition of Italy; and especially in the steps which he and they have so wisely taken and the influence which they have so happily exerted, for spreading the knowledge of pure Catholic truth, and of the primitive [68/69] witness of a Church of which our own is a branch, and for the support and encouragement of those Italian ecclesiastics and others who have personally espoused so holy and so Catholic a work.
Will you also, so far as you may meet with them, explain to these reformers themselves the feelings of Christian sympathy with which this Committee and the Church--and especially the House of Bishops--contemplates the inauguration of a work, whose professed aim is the restoration to the Church of Italy of that primitive purity of doctrine and apostolicity of discipline, which once gave it a deserved preeminence in the Church of Christ; a work in which this Committee does not desire to attempt any unauthorized interference, but which it will give them the sincerest satisfaction to be enabled to support and encourage with the manifestation of their fraternal and Christian sympathy.
So far, also, as it may be within your power, Rt. Rev. and dear Sir, the Committee will be greatly indebted to you for the communication of the valuable results of your own observations and deductions; and they trust that, in such way as may commend itself to your own judgment, and as opportunity may afford, your visit may prepare the way and lay the foundation for the usefulness of such resident representative, as the Committee may hereafter think it advisable to station in their name in Italy.
In requesting you to undertake this service in their behalf, the Committee would add the sincere and affectionate assurances of their sympathy with yourself personally in the state of your health, which renders this visit to Europe necessary; and unite in invoking for you and yours, fervently and devoutly, alike on land or sea, the guardian care of our Heavenly Father, the sustaining presence of our Divine Master and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. For the Committee:
WILLIAM ROLLINSON WHITTINGHAM,
WM. CHAUNCY LANGDON,
 Credentials of Bishop Stevens.
The Right Reverend William Bacon Stevens, D.D., Bishop of Pennsylvania, is a member of the Joint Committee constituted and appointed by the House of Bishops and the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, in General Convention assembled--in the City of Philadelphia, in the month of October, 1865--for the purpose of inquiring and reporting to the said Church concerning the movement in Italy looking towards a religions reformation of the Church therein; the said Committee consisting of the following members, to wit:
The Right Reverend William Rollinson Whittingham,
D. D., LL. D., Bishop of Maryland.
The Right Reverend Gregory Thurston Bedell, D. D., Assistant Bishop of Ohio.
The Right Reverend William Bacon Stevens, D. D., Bishop of Pennsylvania.
The Reverend Milo Mahan, D. D., Rector of St. Paul's Church, Baltimore.
The Reverend Henry E. Montgomery, D. D., Rector of the Church of the Incarnation, N. Y.
The Reverend Wm. Chauncy Langdon, A. M., Rector of St. John's Church, Havre de Grâce.
The Honorable Washington Hunt, LL. D.
Mr. James S. Mackie.
And the said Right Reverend William Bacon Stevens, D. D. now visits Italy as a member and delegate of said Joint Committee, requested and empowered by that body and in their name to inquire into the character and progress of the religious reform movement in that Kingdom, and to express to the ecclesiastics, and others taking part therein the sentiments of Christian sympathy with which the [70/71] Committee and the Church which it represents, regard the holy and Catholic cause in which they are engaged. For the Committee:
William Rollinson Whittingham, Bishop of Maryland and Chairman of the Joint Committee.
Wm. Chauncy Langdon,
Secretary of the Joint Committee.
Letter from the Rev. Dr. Leeds.
ROME, March 21, 1866.
My dear L-------
I have been now four or five weeks in Italy since my return from the East, and have lost no opportunity in my power of inquiring into the religious reform movement that is here in progress. I should have written to you at an earlier hour, had I anything to communicate that is not already familiar to you. As it is, I can only confirm your hopeful impressions by what I have heard from Mr. Hogg and others. I met with him immediately after my arrival in Florence. * * *
Mr. Hogg brought the editor of the Esaminatore to see me, and I called in return, but failed on both occasions of an interview with him. At Naples, we visited together Prof. Settembrini, Dr. Prota and others; Dr. Prota doing me the favor to pass an evening at my lodgings in company with five or six of his associates; and with Fra Gabrielli, on a later occasion, I had an appointment at Mr. H.'s, which brought me into genial contact with this remarkable man.
They all seem to be in earnest in attempting to make better the state of things around them. Prof. Settembrini, not properly a reformer, is intent upon the restoration of a united government throughout the land. He strikes his blows at the temporal power of the Pope, and thinks that with the fall of that, a reformation in the Church will follow of course.
 Of Dr. Prota's standing and aims I need not speak, as they are known to you well. He is impatient for decided action. He complains that for years he has lived with his friends in a world of ideas, using brain and pen only; and now he craves the opportunity for work. He wants a church-building (with schools in connection) in which a reformed liturgy in the Italian tongue can be used--a liturgy drawn from Roman sources--the present missal and the like, now familiar to the people, purified from errors and adapted to the wants of the living Church. He asks for schools in which the young can be instructed in scriptural and primitive doctrine. Pie desires also to give employment and the means of support to priests and monks, who, in renouncing the errors and superstitions of Rome, are thrown out, of course, of their cures and cells, or are put under a ban which threatens to starve them both in body and soul. I shall send with this a paper, subscribed by himself and his friends, which Sig. Anelli has had the kindness to accompany with an English translation. Something, doubtless, should be done in aid of these men. In what way, to what extent, I am not yet quite prepared to say. Their project is not wanting in features to recommend it; but it will have to be carried out with remarkable wisdom, or it may prove worse than a failure. To know exactly how far to go with these brethren, so as to keep up their spirit by sympathy and help, and yet not compromise, by missteps with them, the great end in view, is no easy thing. What is wanting, it seems to me, is a wise and friendly supervision--a guiding hand, a cheering word, an organ of communication between these seekers for light and those whom the providence of God has more highly blessed. The reformed communion should be brought into contact with these earnest minds, and they should feel her care. A representative on the spot, who could speak for her and dispense her aid; who could inform the Church at large of what is needed here, and who, acting himself under the sober direction of the wisest and best, could bring wholesome counsels as well as co-operating hands to bear upon their doings, would be of invaluable service. What the [72/73] Rev. Mr. Hogg is doing for England, some kindred spirit should do for our American Church.
I spent an evening in Naples with Fra Gabrielli, in which I learned from himself his personal history and something of the working of his charitable Fratellanza. [See Talmadge's "Letters from Florence," etc., p. 148.] His manly and decided tone made me think of Luther. Quite in advance, I am told, in his theological sentiments of most of his friends, thoroughly impressed with the need of a reformation, clearheaded, strong-minded, of remarkable gifts as a speaker, it would not be strange if he should be found one of the foremost leaders in Italy, upon the inauguration of any thing like a general and practicable scheme for the purification of the Church. I was delighted with him altogether; yet I felt for him a kind of sorrow. He is an eagle engaged. He feels constraint at every step. He cannot speak out as he would. His monastic hood is a muffler. The vigilance of his order over him is a manifest source of discomfort. If he were but freed from remaining shackles, his vigorous thought and hearty devotion finding a mouthpiece in his eloquent speech, his musical, flowing, pure Italian--(the beauty of which even I could perceive)--would make him a powerful moulder of popular sentiment.
* * * * * *
All these men of whom I have spoken, and the large and respectable body whom they represent, are looking to the English and American Churches as their model and guide. They desire to purify their own national Church; not to destroy it. They do not wish to import the Anglican Communion, or introduce into Italy its liturgy, worship, orders, government; but to conform the Roman to the same primitive pattern. And what they need--what Italians in general need from us--is a holding up of the torch towards the ancient landmarks, that they may see for themselves and retrace their steps--recover once more the apostolic simplicity of the early Latin Church, and reinstate themselves and their Branch of [73/74] the Vine in the dignity and purity of their Christian fathers, whom a Paul once guided, and whose Head was Christ.
There are many workers in Italy whom the religious condition of the people has drawn to its help. The Vaudois, Plymouth Brethren, Scotch Presbyterians and Wesleyans are actively engaged in preaching to the masses and withdrawing them from Rome to their respective folds. Their success, which I hear is very considerable, shows the accessibleness of the popular mind to the work of reform. * * * I should be sorry to see Italy distracted by sects, in the attempt to revive a purer faith. A great and solemn duty devolves on the Church, both in the American and English branches, at this critical hour. She should be up and doing. She can do much to regulate all reformatory measures. She can help the Italians to see that the existence and integrity of the Fold are not bound up with Rome as it is; and show them that the Church loses nothing in claims, by a restoration to primitive soundness. She can make manifest the Church in her normal condition, (and thus present a model to be copied, if possible, within the Roman communion,) while she realizes, at the same time, to timid but earnest seekers, all the privileges they crave, yet fear to lose, in losing the Papacy.
And still, the first danger which now threatens Italians is not on the Bide of unenlightened interest, but quite the contrary; it is from the side of religious indifference. The want of a general religious earnestness is one of the chief discouragements to Christian effort on their behalf. Infidelity and impiety are said to be fearfully prevalent among the higher classes. The present conflict of the government with the sovereign Pontiff is gradually weaning from Rome some of their leading minds; and there is danger, in wresting from the Pope his sceptre, of unsettling the belief of the people at large in all religion. It is foreseen by many, that a general licentiousness of life and sentiment is not unlikely to result from expected changes. Hence the effort to interest Victor Emmanuel's Cabinet and also his Parliament on the side of reform: for it is a notable fact, that, while these powers are [74/75] intent upon the overthrow of the temporal sway of the Pope, they wish, or are willing, to uphold his spiritual rule in all its length. They make no war on the papal usurpation in ecclesiastical matters; [This can scarcely be said of the present Ministry, (Sept., 1866,) which has come into power since the above was written, and which, occupies a more advanced position than that which preceded it.] only in things political and civil. But the two, it will be found, have a now connection; and when the government has succeeded (if succeed it does) in establishing a united and unbroken Italy, the protest and anathema of a Pope discrowned will gradually repel the people from his rule as Bishop. You know that several thousands of the priests in Italy are in favor of the Pope giving up his dominions. Should he consent to do so and reign only as Pontiff, he might exercise, perhaps, a more commanding sway than he ever has done. But his avowed decision to hold the Papal States or as much of them, at least, as remains in his hands, will probably precipitate a conflict with Italy which, not unlikely, will end as the struggle in England between Henry VIII. and the Roman See. * * * *
Let me give you, seriatim, the conclusions I have reached.
1st. That there is a marked and growing interest here in the work of Christian reform.
2d. That the success of the several methods and agents for bringing about this end furnishes no small encouragement to Christian labor and holds out the prospect of good results.
3d. That the present is a critical juncture; and that the policy pursued will determine, under God, the important question, whether a general reformation or only a partial is to be expected now. In other words, this policy will extend and diffuse the work of reform or it will confine its range to a very narrow field.
4th. That the Reformers, who anxiously look for guidance, are entitled to our warm and efficient aid, our counsel and support; and that some judicious and capable clergyman [75/76] should be employed among them to collect information, distribute funds and give advice, under the appointment and direction of our General Convention. * * * * *
Please present my most respectful regards to Bishop Whittingham, and believe me
Very cordially yours,
Memorial of the Society Emancipatrice to the Joint Committee. [Translation.]
MEMORIAL OF THE COUNCIL OF PRESIDENCY OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY FOR THE EMANCIPATION AND MUTUAL AID OF THE ITALIAN PRIESTHOOD.
To the Standing Committee of the General Council of the Anglo-American Episcopal Church:
VERY DEAR BRETHREN IN JESUS CHRIST:
Our Society, whose ultimate religious aim is to restore the venerable Italian Catholic Church to the purity and simplicity of its primitive apostolic institution in worship and in discipline, preserving entire the hierarchical order which is of divine institution and is composed of the Episcopate, the Presbyterate and the Diaconate,--our Society, we say, having now for five years defended, by means of its organ, L'Emancipatore Cattolico, these principles of Catholic reform in Italy, encountering with the sole succor of divine grace the heaviest sacrifices and the most cruel persecutions of the Roman Court and of its pharisaic satellites--believes that the time has now arrived when it ought to descend from the field of ideas and of principles into the territory of acts, advocating the reformed religion defended by it, by the practice of worship and by doctrinal teaching.
To attain this end, we believe that two means are efficacious and conducive of a sure result:
 First. The establishment, in Naples, of a Church identified with our Society; where all the members of the same should inaugurate the Liturgy in the national tongue, and hold religious service according to the canons and traditions of the Italian Catholic Church of the first five centuries of Christianity. This Church, in which the sacraments should also be administered, the marriage of our brother priests be solemnized--should, in order not to shock the popular susceptibility and to enlist the trust and sympathy of the masse3 of the faithful, be placed under the charge of an Italian Bishop, who shall exercise his spiritual jurisdiction over all the members of the Catholic emancipation, having his See in Naples. The said Church should be so constituted as to serve as a type and model for all others, which may hereafter be established in the Italian provinces.
The second means is the institution of at least four schools, two of which should be adapted to the gratuitous instruction of the sons of the people, one for the middle class and the other for the higher social classes; said schools should be entitled "Schools of the Catholic Emancipation of the Italian Priesthood" and they should be placed under the religious and scholastic direction of the members of our Society. Thus the principles of our religious reform would be ingrafted upon the rising generation by means of doctrinal instruction, and would be confirmed by the practice of the reformed worship of the Church of our Society. Since it would he very useless to the final result of our religious reform to secure mere education and instruction of the mind, without engaging the feelings and the heart by the actual practice of a worship restored to that sublime and noble simplicity of primitive Catholicity, which sanctified the Pagan world, and recalled to the observance of the austere precepts of Christian morality and to the self-denial of the cross, men educated by the material philosophy and pantheism of Grecian and Roman idolatry.
A grave difficulty, which may be able to arrest the realization of these our aspirations, is to find a Bishop among those now in Italy who would have the courage to place himself at the head of our Church. But this difficulty can [77/78] with facility be met, in rigorous accordance also with the teaching of the apostolical canons and with that of the first four General Councils, according to which the consecration of Bishops and their nomination was not an exclusive right and judgment of the Roman Pontiff, as the modern law of the Papal Court maintains, but was and is a divine right, and one common to all the venerable Episcopal order, which are able, without dependence other than upon God and their own conscience, to name and consecrate other Bishops for the whole Christian world and according to the spiritual needs of the faithful. And this right, denied to-day by the practice of the Court of Rome, is in principle recognised and admitted by her, when she recognises and admits the maxim of the great Bishop and martyr, St. Cyprian, who taught in a Catholic spirit that "Episcopatus unus est, cujus a singulis in solidum pars tenetur;" and that the authority of Peter was equal and in common with that of all the other Apostles to whom the Bishops have succeeded, "Hoc erat utique coeteri Aposioli, quod Petrus, pari consortio praediti honoris et potestatis."
Hence it is that our Society, recognising the Apostolic succession as well in the Orthodox Oriental as in the Anglo-American Episcopate, being itself essentially united to the Catholic unity constituted by unity of creed and of hierarchy--the Bishops of the above-named Churches would therefore be able, validly and legitimately, to ordain a new Italian Bishop, chosen from among the members of our Society itself, and thus placed in the government of our new Church.
The annual expense accruing for the worship and the instruction of the four schools above referred to, may be approximately estimated at three thousand English pounds or a little more, including the support of the Bishop and of twenty-four priests, who should attach themselves to the service of our Church and serve also as the canons of the said Bishop. Excluding from this sum that necessary for the purchase of one of the Churches of the suppressed monastic bodies, which perhaps would amount to the sum of 2,200 English pounds.
 Our Society would only be able to offer the personale to accomplish this work of Christian regeneration. It is not rich in other wealth than those of sacrifice and of the apostolate. In time, it would have assistance from its followers; but now, it can only hope for material help from all those who, united to us by the bonds of the faith and of a sincerely Christian love, are able to provide the resources needful to second this providential movement of the Catholic reform in Italy.
The President of the Society,
[L.S.] Cav. L. PROTA.
Rector of the Royal Church of Gesu Nuovo, and Vice-President of the said Society.
Vice-President of the said Society.
Sacerdote Antonino Capurro,
Commissary General, and Special Secretary of the President of the Society.
Abate Antonino Lamparelli,
Assessor of the Society.
Sacerdote Raffaelle Ruggiero,
Treasurer of the Society.
Letter from the Rev. L. M. Hogg.
Cernobbia Hotel, Lake of Como.
May 23d, 1866.
My dear L-----
It is not easy for me to tell you the true and great comfort it has been to me to make acquaintance--I trust I may say, friends--with the divers good American [79/80] Churchmen, all deeply interested in the Italian Church Reformation movement, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting in Italy during the last few months. Mr. D--------, Dr. Leeds, our old friend, Dr. L-----, such excellent laymen as Mr. S------ and Mr. J------, and (if I mention them last, it is only because, as you know, it is the order befitting them in ecclesiastical processions) your two admirable Bishops of Illinois and Pennsylvania; the last fitly bringing up the rear as the direct and honored representative of the Committee specially appointed by your General Convention to inquire and report upon this Italian work. There have also been several others, clergy and laymen, with whom my own personal intercourse has been but passing, but who have in like manner manifested much interest in this movement, and who will, I doubt not, interest their friends in it on their return home. But, to speak more especially of the good men I have named above, no one can have witnessed, as I have done, the cheering and beneficial effect of their intercourse with Italian Reformers, without feeling that the past winter has been one of the greatest encouragement to these men; the beginning, I trust, of more wide-spread sympathy and more effective help for them, and thus of more important progress than has hitherto been made in this good cause.
I most honestly feel that I am doing the very reverse of exaggeration, when I say that by far the most cheering and important step forward yet taken, has been the recent coming into Italy of Bishops Whitehouse and Stevens, together with our own excellent Bishop of Gibraltar, whose visit has so happily coincided with that of Bishop Stevens in the various great cities from Naples to Milan. The personal intercourse which these three Bishops and our other friends have been able to hold with Italian Reformers, has done far more than has ever been done before visibly to prove to them the sympathy and interest felt for them by their Anglican and American friends. You will readily believe this, when you remember that this has been the first occasion on which these Italians have seen with their own eyes living representatives of the Episcopate of the Anglo-American Church, and heard [80/81] with their own ears the cheering words of sympathy, and the wise counsels that have fallen from their lips, and have felt that hearty shake of the hand that tells of true Christian, warm-hearted, brotherly feeling for them in their struggles and aspirations for such a return to scriptural and primitive Catholic purity as they, as well as we, hope and pray may, in God's good time, draw nearer together, in outward unity, those who have, through Rome's pretensions and corruptions, been so long and sadly kept asunder.
I hope that ere this you may have heard from some of your countrymen what they have seen and heard; that Mr. D--------may have told you of the hearty hospitality shown himself and the ladies of his party by Sig. Prota and the leading members of the Società Emancipatrice, in the Convent of S. Domenico Maggiore, Naples. Such a party as was then gathered, to entertain the first American friends they had come into direct personal contact with, was in itself a striking outward and visible sign of the great inward change that has passed over their ideas and feelings respecting a reformed branch of the Church. I need not say how effectually you had opened the door by your previous communication of the cheering expression of warm interest and sympathy on the part of the General Convention. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of introducing Dr. Leeds to Prota, in his convent; having previously, in Florence, introduced him and Mr. D--------, with your good countryman, Mr. C-----, to Prof. Bianciardi. One evening, we had also a gathering of Prota and his friends in Dr. Leeds' rooms.
I quite feel that the ladies here have their full share in the good resulting from all this recent intercourse, for the actual sight of the domestic comfort of a married clergy and the whole tone of good clerical family life, is one of the things that most directly tells for good on our Italian friends. On this last occasion, Prota and his friends brought with them their proposed scheme for opening a large church in Naples, which, I trust, Dr. Leeds has ere this sent on to you, with a full report from himself.
 Just then, my wife and I ran on to Messina to look into Sig. Varnier's work.
* * * * * * *
In Messina, we had the unexpected pleasure of meeting Bishop Whitehouse and his cheery family. "We returned with them to Naples. On board, the Bishop kindly began inquiring from me about Italy. On arriving at Naples, he set vigorously to work to investigate for himself. I can testify that the Bishop spared himself neither time nor trouble to learn all he possibly could by personal intercourse with Prota and all his friends, as well as some others in different lines, anxious for sympathy and aid. One new Italian friend I was specially glad Bishop Whitehouse saw, Prof. Caroli, who, before our recent visit to Naples, has not personally known Prota. His work had led him to live at Maddalena, near Naples. Now, as you will see from Emancipatore Cattolico, he is regularly associated with Prota and his friends in working their journal.
I must not attempt to go into details of the divers conversations that Bishop Whitehouse kindly held with the several Italian Reformers in Naples. You would have been greatly interested could you have been with us on the last Sunday evening we spent there, when we had a gathering of five or six of the leading members of the Società Emancipatrice, with T------, also a Greek priest and Signor Anelli, now stationed as a regular agent of our Italian Church Reformation Fund. There were also three or four English clergy--all gathered under Bishop Whitehouse's presidency. Our Italian friends poured out their own ideas and aims frankly and fully; and received, most respectfully and gratefully, the Bishop's wise and prudent fatherly counsels and warm sympathy. They spoke of their need of help for their work through the press, as well as for their scheme of procuring a large church, centrally situated in Naples, under their own direct control, in order that they might set up a type of the Reformed Catholic worship they wish for in their own national tongue. They fully appreciated the necessity of previous careful [82/83] preparation of a Liturgy, which Bishop Whitehouse most wisely and earnestly pressed on them, as the preliminary sine qua non for any such undertaking. After a full and free and most friendly interchange of ideas, we all joined together in a few of the special collects for the season with the Prayer for Unity, and our Lord's Prayer, from the Italian version of our Liturgy. The Bishop gave the benediction in Italian, and all parted, feeling and saying, "It had been good for us to be there." One old priest, Canon--------, Rector of the Church of-------------, turned back just as all had left the room, and came to ask the Bishop's special prayers and blessing; his eyes filled with tears as ho spoke. I need not say the Bishop cordially replied in full sympathy.
We left Naples after this; but Bishop Whitehouse remained a few days longer and again saw and more fully discussed all points with these men, giving them further good counsels. Should they fail to find any of the Italian Bishops sympathize with and aid them, they are quite prepared to look to the Anglo-American Episcopate for help. Meantime they are most anxious to cultivate friendly relations, fully recognising, as you know, our orders, and hoping that, in case of need, they might obtain the Episcopate from your and our communion. This, however, of course, is not a point of immediate practical consequence.
We reached Rome on Thursday in Passion Week, when I had the pleasure of meeting Bishop Stevens. On Good Friday evening * * * Mr. D-------- kindly invited about a dozen of your brethren, clerical and lay, to meet Bishop Stevens, with an excellent English layman, Gen. H.------, and myself. Our host and Dr. Leeds kindly told all they had seen and heard: I added what Bishop Whitehouse had since done. (He also wrote to Bishop Stevens by me.) We all regretted the unavoidable absence of Bishop W., but he could not leave Naples just then. Bishop Stevens proposed that the Americans should meet their Anglican brethren in a joint experimental subsidy [to Società Emancipatrice] for six months, they and we each to contribute five hundred francs monthly, for the purpose [83/84] of enabling the society to extend more widely its gratuitous circulation. The Bishop put the matter clearly and forcibly before us and it was at once heartily agreed to. Your good countrymen present kindly contributed, in a few days, 1,000 francs towards the American quota. Bishop Stevens shortly afterwards carried this to Naples as the first instalment. There he met with two friends who added 250 francs, thus making 1,250 in all. I was enabled to offer help to a like amount from our Italian Church Reformation Fund, and thus the first practical step towards effective Anglo-American cooperation was happily taken. God grant this may be the little germ of a growing, wide-spread work between us in this field. I am sure all present heartily hoped and prayed for this.
Bishop Whitehouse arrived in Rome a few days afterwards, and one evening kindly gave a graphic account of the impressions he had gathered in Naples, to a small party of your and our own clergy gathered in Gen. H------'s rooms. All were greatly interested. * * * On this last occasion, Bishop Stevens was unfortunately too unwell to join us, as he had hoped. * * *
We came on to Florence. Meantime Bishop Stevens went to Naples, and there, happily, met our own excellent Bishop of Gibraltar. They, together with two good English laymen in Naples, (Messrs. B-------and C-------, members of the Italian Church Reformation Fund Committee,) had a full conference with Prota, T--------and Sig. Anelli. * * * I must leave Bishop Stevens to report to you all the additional details of his visit, and repeated conferences with these men, which, I trust, he may soon feel able to give you, though I deeply regret that his feeble health has hitherto prevented his writing.
Bishop Whitehouse we had again the pleasure of seeing en route through Florence. He, as well as all of us, greatly regretted that he could not stay in Florence to meet the Bishop of Gibraltar; but you know the cause which hurried him off northward, viz., to undertake a visitation and confirmation tour in Sweden and Russia, for our own Bishop of [84/85] London, seriously invalided. ***** Just before Bishop Whitehouse left Florence, Bishop Stevens arrived.
One evening I had the pleasure of introducing to them both, Professor Botta, and also Mr. Hemans, son of the sweet poetess of that name, whose recent return to our own communion after ten or twelve years in Rome, is a striking fact, as Mr. H. has returned to us from having become deeply convinced, through long and careful study of the Catacombs and other primitive Christian monuments in Rome, that the Church of Rome has widely and grievously departed from primitive faith. * * * * I never found------express so much interest in the religious movement as on this occasion of your two good Bishops coming into Italy. He is most anxious to see a large and effective association at work to aid his countrymen in their efforts for reformation.
On the arrival of the Bishop of Gibraltar, I had the pleasure of introducing him and Bishop Stevens to Professor Bianciardi, and afterwards to [a distinguished ecclesiastical dignitary.] Both times we met in Bishop Stevens' rooms; and had full and long conversations, in which first the lay professor, and afterwards the learned and able ecclesiastic, separately gave the Bishop their impressions of the actual religious condition of Italy and their ideas of the reformation needed. They singularly confirmed each other's statements as to facts, and they are very much of accord in their ideas. The latter approves of Bianciardi's work in Esaminatore, and is most anxious for the revival of lay co-operation in church matters without which he fears the well-disposed clergy can do little unsupported. In his official position, however, he feels it needful to keep quiet as regards much open avowal of his views.
Just now, Prior Brunone Bianchi's case is one of peculiar interest. He has been elected Mitred Prior of S. Lorenzo; this election is one of the instances in which traces are yet clearly kept up of the mingled voice of the Chapter and of the Laity. The Crown also exercises an important share. Canon Bianchi gained the joint suffrages of all; there remained only the investiture of the Archbishop of Florence. Personally, the [85/86] Archbishop spoke most kindly and in flattering terms to him; but Rome forbade the investiture of any ecclesiastic nominated by the crown, and so hitherto the investiture has been refused. The case has been referred to a council of state, as one of abuse of archiepiscopal authority. It is still subjudice.
Thus, for the present, I must conclude my story. I need hardly add that two features in the American Church, which are specially calculated to interest Italian Church Reformers at this day, are: (1.) That the American Church presents so fully the spectacle of "Libera Chiesa in Libero Stato." (2.) That it also presents the fullest example of the revival of lay cooperation in all matters affecting the welfare of the Church, as (e. g.) in election of clergy and of Bishops, as well as in diocesan and provincial synodal action. This renders personal intercourse with American Churchmen of peculiar interest now to Italian Church Reformers.
Now I must wind up with a practical conclusion--a request to which I venture to hope you will find a hearty response amongst }-our brethren interested in this work. (1.) I have told you above of the agreement entered into between our American and English friends for helping [the Società Emancipatrice,] as an experiment, for six months. Bishop Stevens most kindly undertook the responsibility of procuring the American quota, viz.: 3,250 francs. But you know his state of health, and I am sure you will agree with me, that it is not right or fair, that the onus of collecting this sum (of which 2,000 francs still remain to be raised) should rest on the Bishop's shoulders. He should be spared all possible trouble. Will you kindly take up this work for him, and raise the rest as soon as you can, and let it be remitted to our joint account for this purpose. * ' * * * * As the arrangement dated from the first of this month, you will see it is desirable it should be kept going by prompt aid.
But (2) I want to plead for a further help, to the extent of-------- for a similar joint work in aid of L'Esaminatore for this current year. I have explained the case fully to [86/87] Bishop Stevens and also to our good Bishop of Gibraltar. Both have kindly expressed their approval of my suggestion. Bishop Stevens has promised to forward my request to you. So I am hoping, to-morrow, to place this in his hands in Milan, where we hope to meet him again with the Bishop of Gibraltar, Count Tasca and our two good chaplains of Genoa and Milan, Messrs. Strettell and Williams. * * *
Just now it is specially desirable to add something [to the support of L'Esaminatore] in order that the gratuitous circulation of the paper may be resumed, which the editors have been reluctantly obliged to diminish of late, as Italian help has not been forthcoming to the extent they had been led to hope.
After hearing full details from Professor Bianciardi, and listening to some of the recent correspondence he has received, both the Bishops were fully convinced that we ought to keep this little candle burning as brightly as we can, and help to spread its light more widely. So I ventured to propose to Bishop Stevens this second practical step in Anglo-American joint work. He most kindly approved; so I now venture to ask your good help for both these purposes. You will readily understand that helping newspapers in this way is precisely a work that can be jointly carried on by us, without in the least degree fettering any other special works that either you or our friends at home may further wish to promote; whilst it is a pleasant commencement of that brotherly unity in action which, I am sure, under God's blessing, we may expect to tell powerfully for good on the minds of our Italian friends.
And now, I have but to add one personal observation, viz.: that, to my own very great satisfaction and comfort, all your American brethren who have recently visited Naples have separately but unanimously come to one conclusion, viz., that for the effective carrying on of such work as the American Church, may deem it desirable to undertake in order to promote Italian Church Reformation, it is most desirable that you, as the Agent of your Church, should be stationed in Naples, and that you should take up your residence there [87/88] as head-quarters, with the view of constantly being in intercourse with the leading members of the Società Emancipatrice and any other Italians disposed for Church Reformation; and that, from that centre, you should extend as widely as possible your acquaintance with those similarly disposed in other parts of Italy. I can assure you, you will find a hearty welcome from our own excellent British chaplain and other friends interested in this work in Naples. Also, I know that our excellent Diocesan, the Bishop of Gibraltar, will very gladly see yo\i representing the American Church in this field. All your brethren also seem perfectly agreed that you ought to devote yourself wholly and solely to the Italian work. * * * *
Since writing the above, I have read it over to Bishop Stevens for his approval. We have had an interesting time in Milan; full talks with Count Tasca, Messrs. Strettell and "Williams and the two Bishops. One most important result is the enclosed Memorandum, jointly drawn up by the two Bishops. This is (so far as I know) the first and only expression of Episcopal opinion on the question, formed on very careful investigation in Italy. I feel, therefore, that it is of the highest importance, and have no doubt it will greatly interest both your and our friends at home. The Bishops have drawn it up with the view of its being circulated through the divers Church journals and publications. You will kindly see to its effective publication on your side of the Atlantic. ***** Other copies I am sending to our English and Irish friends.
The Bishops both feel that this Memorandum fully embodies not only their own opinions, but also those of the English and American clergy who have been long resident in Italy, or who have recently visited it in order carefully to inquire into the Church Reformation movement: e. g., Bishop Stevens feels assured it fairly expresses the opinions of your good brethren whose names I have above mentioned; whilst our good Diocesan [the Bishop of Gibraltar] feels equally assured it embodies the views of our resident chaplains. * * * Messrs. Strettell and Williams expressed [88/89] their own hearty concurrence in it. I can answer for its fairly expressing what is felt by divers of our "unattached" clergy and laity who have been practically interested in this matter. So you may rely on it fairly, I feel, as giving you the general opinions current. On this account it will, I feel assured, be duly valued by your Committee.
Count Tasca gave us interesting accounts of the seven poor priests who have, for some time past, been dependent on his efforts to sustain them, since they were excommunicated for denying the Immaculate Conception. He pleads earnestly for any kind help your friends can send him for the support of these poor fellows. We were glad to find that Monsignore -------- aids in distributing to them whatever help Count Tasca receives from friends. * * * The Count has tried to get two of them posts as schoolmasters; but owing to the Bishop's denunciations, the doors have been closed against them. Count Tasca estimates one franc daily needed for each.
Then, he is just now on the qui vive about the threatened war. It is not jet absolutely certain, but looks imminent. If it does come, the Count has agreed (on the request of government) to resume the post he filled in 1859, of lion. Inspector General of Military Hospitals in Lombardy. You know, I think, what good service he then did, in spreading large numbers of Bibles, portions of Holy Scripture, with small selections of prayers from our Liturgy, amongst the sick and wounded. Now, he is anxious for help to enable him to reprint his little Soldiers' Prayer-Book. The Bishops, and we all, felt the work one well deserving of help, as an opportunity for sowing good seed by many waters. So you see there is no lack of scope for any help you can kindly procure. * * * The old Count gave us a graphic account of the starting off of a party of volunteers and conscripts, a few days ago, from his own commune, Seriate--nearly fifty--to each of whom who could read, he or his son gave New Testaments, or our Liturgy, or some little book; and he read them out a few words from Hedley's Vicar's Life, telling how his men never went so well in action as [89/90] when comforted with the thought of being reconciled with God.
I accidentally omitted to mention that both the Bishops were deeply interested in an interview with Prof. Gatti, who, during the last twelve months, has been doing excellent service as an agent for the Anglo-Continental Society, in personal intercourse with a considerable number of priests in Milan and Lombardy. He has distributed amongst them a good number of the very valuable "Dieci Lettere," which, you well know. He reports that amongst the clergy he has found many whose minds are already greatly disposed in favor of reformation. The idea of the necessity and desirableness of Church Reformation, he assures us, is thoroughly rooted; but the practical difficulties of taking steps to effect it, are an obstacle to many venturing openly to declare themselves.
I will shortly send you a copy of a letter just received from Parroco Mongini, whom I had much wished to be able to introduce to the Bishop; but he could not come to Milan. You will see he proposes that all such liberal priests should openly declare themselves and form committees" everywhere.
Forgive this long infliction, and believe me yours very sincerely,
LEWIS M. HOGG.
Joint Memorandum of the Bishops of Gibraltar and Pennsylvania. CHURCH REFORMATION IN ITALY.
It may be interesting to those who are concerned about the movement in Italy for promoting Church Reformation on scriptural and primitive principles, to know, that, during the present spring, two Bishops of the English and American branches of the Church (Bishop Trower of Gibraltar, and Bishop Stevens of Pennsylvania) have repeatedly met in the [90/91] chief Italian cities from Naples to Milan, and have taken much pains to form an accurate opinion upon the facts of this movement, as well as upon the opportunities offered to their fellow-churchmen for aiding it. These Bishops have found undoubted proofs that there is a large and increasing body, both of clergy and laity, who have become convinced of the errors and corruptions of the Church of Rome.
Many of these persons can no longer conscientiously share in the ordinances of religion as at present administered by the Roman Catholic Church. Moreover, on the open avowal of their conscientious scruples and their desire for reformation, they are ejected from Rome's communion.
These results are clearly traceable, in the first instance, to the long-standing and wide-spread discontent with the practical abuses of the Church in Italy. This discontent has been aggravated by the antagonism which the Papacy has assumed towards the Kingdom of Italy, and it has recently been heightened by the solemn and emphatic manner in which the Pope has identified himself entirely with the Jesuits as the authorized exponents of the views and aims of the Papacy.
Secondly, these results are traceable to the vigorous efforts which have been made during the last few years, by native Italians as well as other agencies, for the dissemination of the Holy Scriptures, and of other information tending to show them how far the Church of Rome has departed from the principles and practices of the primitive Catholic Church.
There are many congregations of separatists from the Church of Rome, who have connected themselves with the Vaudois or with other non-Episcopal bodies.
But, in addition to these, there is clear proof of a widespread, though often vague, yearning for a return to primitive Catholicism, on the part of many of the clergy and laity who desire to reform, not to destroy, the ancient historical Church of Italy.
Many are convinced of the evils resulting from the exaggerated pretensions of the Bishop of Rome, from the general [91/92] disuse of Bible-reading, from liturgical worship in a dead tongue, from enforced clerical celibacy and similar distinctive Roman practices; especially from the increase of Mariolatry, by which the mediatorial character of our Blessed Lord is so seriously obscured.
The two Bishops have had the satisfaction of holding several conferences with Italians thus disposed to Church Reformation. They have no doubt whatever that a desire exists for a liturgical worship in the vernacular tongue, free from the superstitions gradually introduced by the Church of Rome. This desire, the Bishops conceive, is a necessary and legitimate result of the information which has been conveyed and the convictions it has produced; they believe that the effect of discouraging it would be in every way disastrous.
When consulted by Italians, they have disclaimed all notion of reproducing in Italy a copy of the Anglican Liturgy, (as used either in England or America,) but they are satisfied, from much evidence that has reached them, that those Italians, whether priests or laymen, who are cast out of their original communion, too often find no opportunity of satisfying their religious needs in accordance with Church principles and Church order, and thus have no resource but to unite themselves to one or other of the various non-Episcopal bodies; or they lapse into a condition in which, practically, they have no opportunities of worship, and thus run grievous risk of drifting into infidelity.
The two Bishops believe that priests, who may be no longer able to submit to the unscriptural and uncatholic terms of communion which the Church of Rome imposes, are nevertheless bound, under these circumstances, to supply the means of grace to their countrymen situated like themselves. This duty, the Bishops conceive, flows from the original commission of such priests to minister God's Word and Sacraments.
Before parting, on the termination of a journey which, in the ordering of God's providence, has so unexpectedly enabled them jointly to make these inquiries and [92/93] observations, the two Bishops are anxious jointly to commend to the earnest attention of the members of their respective Branches of the Church the duty of assisting the following objects:
1. The dissemination of the Holy Scriptures, and such information as may tend to promote a sound and sober reformation of the Italian' Church on primitive Catholic bases.
2. Toward the support of such priests, of undoubted moral and religious character, as may, for conscience sake, suffer loss of their ecclesiastical preferment and consequently fall into distress.
3. Toward the maintenance of religious services conducted by such priests, as a temporary and provisional measure, during the transitional stage which must elapse before the reformation movement can be expected to become national.
They hold that an indispensable condition of rendering assistance to this last object should be careful investigation, on the spot, to ascertain that such religious services spring from a genuine and spontaneous desire on the part of the Italian clergy and laity, and that the sincerity of this desire should be attested by earnest native efforts to meet the needful expenses.
Milan, May, 1866.
Extracts from a Note from Bishop Stevens.
BELLAGIO, LAKE COMO, June 7, 1866.
MY DEAR MR. L--------:
With this you will receive a long communication from our excellent friend, Mr. Hogg, detailing what has been done in Italy since my arrival. My health has been so poor and any exertion so easily breaks me down, that I have not been able myself to write out any account of my interviews with Italians and others, or even to keep any notes of conversations with them.
 Several points of great interest have pressed upon my mind: 1st. The importance of our having an agent at Naples, who can act as a counsellor and guide to the inquiring Italians, and also in concert with the representatives of the "Anglo-Continental" and "Italian Church Reformation Fund" officials. * * * * * *
2d. It is of great moment to [aid in enlarging the circulation of] the Emancipatore Cattolico at Naples and the Esaminatore at Florence; * * * * and I have pledged three thousand five hundred francs towards them. One-third of that sum I have already paid. * * *
3d. Another point to be attended to is, the publication of tracts or brochures bearing on special points of the Romish controversy, and written in a kindly spirit. Of course the basis of all the work to be done in Italy must be the Word of God; and hence primary importance must be given to the diffusion of the Holy Scriptures, opportunities for which were never greater than now.
There are many other points that I would like to speak of, but cannot at present. I do earnestly hope that all who feel an interest in Italian affairs will be induced to come forward, and, by the contribution of a few dollars, lay foundation-stones perhaps on which great good may yet arise to the Church of the living God. * * * * * *
Believe me to be very truly yours,
Wm. Bacon Stevens.
Letter from the Rev. Cavaliere Don Luigi Prota.
[The following is transferred from the columns of the American Churchman, to whose editors it was addressed.]
Società Nazionale Etnancipatrice e di Mutuo Soccorso del Sacerdozio Italiano.
[We commend the following appeal most heartily to all Churchmen. It was received by us direct from the Reverend President, who, in a private note, asks us to request our [94/95] cotemporaries of the Church press to give it as wide a circulation as possible. We trust they will do so.
The appeal speaks for itself, and tells the aim and object of a Society which has been the main motive power in the so-called "Italian Movement," mentioned and discussed at our last General Convention. It deserves attention, and we sincerely trust will receive it from every earnest Churchman in the land.--Ed. Am. Churchman.]
NAPOLI, ITALY, July 8, 1866.
TO OUR BELOVED BRETHREN IN CHRIST:
We consider, with an elevating pleasure, that Americans and Italians, separated as they are by an immense extent of the ocean, are closely united in Christ Jesus, the head of His Universal Church, of whose body we are members. This union is, moreover, cemented, among other ties, by identical political aspirations, the two nations naturally striving to assimilate under one rule their respective parts. Moved by these thoughts and the consolation we derive from them, we now venture to address to you a few words. The certain proofs of your Christian love and sympathy, given us by several of your most illustrious bishops, clergymen and laymen, especially by the Right Reverend Bishops of Illinois and Pennsylvania, whose kindness, during their last visit to Naples, we shall never forget, encourage us to do so.
No doubt many of you are aware that, in 1860, an association of nine hundred and seventy-one priests, and one thousand one hundred and ninety-two laymen was formed here, with the object of reforming the Italian Church. This association--notwithstanding the bitter persecutions, the severe and long trials it has met with from Romanists, as well as from other denominations, because it is based on the Gospel of our Saviour--has prospered, and has found favor with the most intelligent portion of our nation. During the six years of its existence much has been done in order to awaken a spirit of inquiry among the people, and to eradicate errors, false principles, vice and to promote a spirit of Christian [95/96] love among all men. We shall allude simply to one of the results of our endeavors. Those who have seen Naples before 1865 will remember that there was not one street here without at least one image of a saint, with candles and other ornaments, before which were seen, at all hours, persons kneeling and praying. This act of idolatry was dear to the hearts of the Neapolitans, who, for many centuries, had been taught by their corrupted priests that those images would heal all their wounds, soothe all their sorrows, shut to them the doors of hell and open those of heaven. Our Society saw, from the beginning of its existence, the enormity of this crime, and labored so perseveringly that, at the end of four years, our municipal authorities ordered the removal of all these images from the streets of our town. As you readily perceive, to effect this among a population of above 500,000 souls, deeply superstitious, has been a great triumph of the Lord over the passions of men. Still we are far from our desired goal and to reach it there remains much to be done. Our English, American and Italian Christian friends concur in the opinion that we need churches to worship our Lord in spirit and in truth; that we need schools to train the young in the way they should go. May God assist us to secure both these blessings for His glory! But we regret much to say that, owing to our resources being absorbed by the support of our journal, and by the assistance to be given to poor, persecuted priests, we have not been able as yet to obtain one single church, although the opportunity for buying churches is just now most propitious, since many of those belonging to the suppressed convents are now sold at one-third of their real value. As to schools, the Rev. Dr. Poggi, a clergyman of the Church of England--who for many years has held the office of Head Master of New-Brighton College, near Liverpool, and has represented here the C. K. Society of London and the Anglo-Italian Continental Society, and is also a useful member of our Association--last November undertook, on his own responsibility, to establish a school for the upper classes, with the view not only to teach the usual branches of education, but also to teach, as far as practicable, the Gospel of Christ as taught [96/97] by the English and the American national Churches. He had every prospect of success when he commenced, but the cholera last December caused all his pupils to be dispersed, and, owing to the distress occasioned by the unsettled state of the country, has again suffered, and suffers greatly, and cannot without help carry on this most important undertaking, which is intended to unite to us the upper classes of Society. This institution, no doubt, in time will be self-supporting; but, for at least three years, in order to secure success, it requires the assistance of not less than one thousand and seven hundred , dollars per annum, in addition to the present returns, which are far from covering the necessary expenses. As an important and most essential means of reforming our Church, we warmly recommend it to your sympathy and love, and hope you will kindly stretch forth a brotherly hand, which, together with your prayers, will strengthen and encourage our Society to attain its blessed object.
Donations and subscriptions will be received by Messrs. Rogers Brothers, American Bankers, Naples, with the words, "For the Upper School." Wishing you every blessing, I am your brother in the Lord,
Cav. L. PROTA,
President of the Society.
To our American Christian Brethren.
Extract from the Address of the Rt. Rev. H. J. Whitehouse, D. D., to the late Diocesan Convention of Illinois. Dated from St. Petersburg, August 8th, 1866.
In Italy, where civil liberty has so wonderfully advanced, the reform movement in the Church is of deep interest, from the progress it has made as well as the difficulties and hazards which surround it. In various ways I have been in contact with the leading actors in this great work, especially while in Naples. In confidential intercourse I was able to testify our sympathy with all real efforts for the Reformation [97/98] of the National Church, and to venture words of counsel and encouragement. The Bishop of Pennsylvania has been engaged in the same work, and, as a member of the Committee of the General Convention, has rendered effective aid and accumulated information for the Church at home. The Bishop of Gibraltar and clergy of the Church of England--among whom, foremost in devotion and influence, is the Rev. Lewis M. Hogg--judiciously sympathize with the struggle, so that it cannot be doubted that we and they will be ready to do all that sister churches can properly do to guide and help the Church in Italy to cleanse herself from errors and corruption and return to the faith and practice of the early centuries.
It is not easy to overrate the importance of the experience and working of the Reformed Catholic Church in the United States in struggles like those in Italy against corruption and despotism, and in the changes which every branch of the Ancient and Reformed Church in Europe is destined to experience. Our freedom from all connection with the State; the support of religion by voluntary means; our ecclesiastical government, at once so conservative and yet infused with the full spirit and ardor of republicanism; the active authority of the laity; the simplicity and dignity of our ritual; our ancient creeds--the Apostles' and Nicene used with correlative authority; our ministry so unimpeachable in its apostolic succession; our judicious deference to primitive tradition; the election of pastors and bishops by the people; the careful training of our clergy; the strict ideal of ministerial character and the practical flexibility of pastoral labor; our contest for the historic and visible Church in the midst of all varieties of sect and opinion--these and other relations make our influence important and adaptive, and enable us to exercise it in Catholic love and freedom. All I have observed has made me believe our own branch of the Church to be the purest in Christendom; and vested, in God's providence, with power to do more than any other for the upholding of primitive Faith and Order and the restoration of a demonstrative Catholic Unity. May our blessed Lord, who has thus [98/99] endowed, fill us with His Spirit "to think and do always such things as are right."
Letter from the Rev. L. M. Hogg.
St. Moritz, Engadina, Switzerland,
August 15, 1866.
My dear Mr. L---------:
Many thanks for your recent kind welcome letters. The former I sent on at once to good Bishop Stevens, to Paris; as I knew how much he would be interested by all your details, and cheered by Bishop Coxe's kind sympathy and promise of help.
* * * * * * * *
T ----- has contributed some valuable articles [to L'Emancipatore Cattolico,] the last, perhaps the best of all, distinguishing Papal from Primitive Catholicism. I think you will find that article useful as an illustration of the ideas cherished by the priests and others of the primitive school in Italy. * * * Prota lays stress on helping poor priests--cases like those of Tasca's. I now enclose you a copy of a letter just received from another poor fellow, in Turin, of whom I have every reason to think well. Then, again, that large scheme that Prota and his friends laid before Dr. Leeds and Mr. D-----, and afterwards before the two excellent Bishops of Pennsylvania and Gibraltar, may fairly be cited as illustrating what these men aim at--setting up a model of reformed worship at Naples. Just now I received from Naples the first thing they have struck off, as a specimen of the service they contemplate. You will see it is, as nearly as can be, a simple adoption of our own. I confess I expected somewhat more originality: it is, however, the result of their own cogitations; for, so far as I know, no English or American friend has made any suggestion whatever to them about this specimen. * * * [99/100] Now, I think that the little Preface by Prota, with the telling text [1 Cor. xiv. 19] facing it, is just the thing to be brought out, * * as fairly showing the ideas of these men. Moreover, I think a special appeal may well be made to enable this or a further "Saggio" to be printed off in sufficient numbers for wide circulation, in order to enable Prota and his friends to gather the opinions and feelings of their brethren of the Society and others throughout Italy. I feel that a very desirable practical step would be to enable Prota and his Naples staff to send copies of this "Saggio" and of the further completed Communion Service to every member of the Società Emancipatrice, requesting their opinions on these proposed specimens, and asking them also to obtain opinions amongst their neighbors in divers parts of Italy. Thus, a test of feeling may be obtained of some value. At present, I believe only a few copies have been struck off for circulation amongst English and American friends and a few of their own, so as to get opinions and suggestions, if changes are deemed desirable. I find but few variations from our own service, and none that I think any of us are likely at all to demur to. The main change is in the absolution, and that not in any way objectionable. I had hoped they would have given a somewhat more original Italian air to their service, so long as it was really good and free from Romanist corruptions; but this is their own affair.
Shortly, I hope to send you extracts from the correspondence Prof. Bianciardi has received concerning Esaminatore. These extracts may stand you in good stead, as showing the current of sentiments afloat concerning Reformation amongst priests and others who often dare- not speak out publicly. * * * Here, again, in No. 9 of Esaminatore, and in the last number, (10,) look at some letters and extracts published by Bianciardi from divers correspondents. Then, in No. 10, refer to Cardinal d'Andrea's letter to Esaminatore prefacing his remarkable appeal to the Pope. You will notice his favorite idea of a new Ecumenical Council as the true solution of present difficulties. Well, in reality, we understand the Cardinal means by a true Ecumenical Council, not a merely Roman [100/101] one, but one comprising the Greeks and ourselves, and, indeed, all Christian communions that can be got together. Let it be but a vague aspiration, a dream, at present; still it is not unimportant as showing yearnings and tendencies that may one day develop into moro practical reality.
Again, such a little fact as Count Tasca's Soldiers' Prayer-Book, which seems to be well appreciated, and of which he is just now striking off a further supply, is of interest as an actual application of portions of our Prayer-Book, modified to Italian use, and thankfully accepted by those for whom this little book was compiled. Some Sisters of Charity and Priests have asked for supplies for hospitals under their charge.
Talking of newspapers, also, Mongini has urged me to get him help to establish a weekly paper in Turin of somewhat more popular character than Esaminatore or Emancipatore Cattolico, for circulation amongst the middle classes and others throughout North Italy, in order to spread Reformation ideas more widely amongst readers who may find Esaminatore somewhat above their range. Mongini begs earnestly for help for this purpose. As soon as I can, I will send you a copy of his letter. This field of newspaper work appears a very important one. * * *
L. M. HOGG.
Translation of the Letter referred to above.
Turin, August 4,1866.
A sad and distressing event not a little embitters my days at present. A clique of priests, for whom I have for a long time been a mark, have represented me to my superiors as a man of uncatholic and heterodox views; and this alone was sufficient to have me suspended a divinis, and to deprive me, in consequence, of the poor and only bit of bread which I obtain from the services of the altar. Thrown thus into a condition truly miserable--miserable to the letter--abandoned [101/102] by all, I know not to whom to turn better than to the charity and philanthropy of your Reverence, in this my present misfortune; that you, who make it your duty to distribute aid, may have compassion upon my condition and succor me. Pity me!
Assured that your Reverence will not be indifferent, and will know how to wipe away my tears, I thank you as warmly in advance; by and with due esteem and gratitude, I have the high honor to sign myself, &c, &c.
Letter from the Rev. Dr. Poggi.
NAPLES, August 16, 1866.
REV. AND DEAR SIR:
At the request of our worthy Cav. Prota, I venture to address you respecting a letter he has forwarded to the Rev. Thomas Smith, Chicago, begging of him to insert it in the Northwestern Church [the American Churchman.] The object of this letter is to ask the assistance and sympathy of our American brethren for the support of a school which is helping considerably our Church reform, being calculated to unite to it the upper classes; and, as you are one of our best friends, we would recommend it to you and place it under your patronage. We hope and pray you may soon be among us, when the school will be put under a Committee, you being the President of it. In the mean time, any help our American brethren would give towards the support of the school will be thankfully received. * * * * * *
With our heartfelt thanks for your kind interest for us, wishing you and yours every blessing, I am, reverend and dear sir, most sincerely yours,
D. I. Poggi, D.D.,
Agent for Anglo-Continental Association.
To the Rev. W. C. LANGDON.
 Preface to the "Saggio di Preghiere," above referred to. Translation. TO OUR BRETHREN OF THE CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION:
BRETHREN,--We offer to your examination this brief specimen of prayers and liturgical rites in our national tongue, as a beginning of that Catholic Reform at which we aim.
What is here contained is the result of our researches, as well as of those of our pious and learned brethren, among the monuments and historical traditions of Christian antiquity, and especially of the Italian Catholic Church from the first to the fifth century, as well in the Ancient Missal as in the Prayer-Book or Roman Breviary.
We have endeavored to avoid anything whatsoever that might present the appearance of novelty, which, according to the language of Holy Scripture, is always dangerous, and is the cause of discord and scandal in the Church of the Lord.
We have not taken inspiration in these our researches from other maxims and other doctrines than from that memorable sentence of the Apostle, which is the most sure and immutable criterion of pure catholic faith: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."
It is well, however, to remind you, dearly-beloved brethren, that we do not intend to give to our present specimen the weight of any arbitrary authority whatsoever; but we desire only that it be regarded by you as a first step to that reviving of fervor and sincere Christian piety on which is based the glorious future of the pure and immaculate religion of our fathers and of our great nation.
The peace and the grace of the Lord be with you.