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The address Cardinal Gibbons delivered the other day before the Catholic Club of Baltimore on the life and character of the first American Bishop afforded tbe Cardinal an opportunity of showing Lhat the Catholic Church has not lost the impress stamped on her by toe patriotic priest who has earned the title of " the Patriarch of the American Church." An American of Americans, Archbißhop Carroll could not fail to thoroughly sympathise with hia country in her efforts to throw off the English yoke under which she was groaning. The declaration of Independence appealed alike to his judgment and to his sympathies. In tbe fight for National existence that preceded and followed that declaration he was an ardent patriot who did what lay in hia power to help Washington in the momentous struggle that was to shape the destiny not only of this country but to a great exten t that of the civilised world.

Tbe Continental Congress, recognising his patriotism, invited him by a special invitation to join bis cousin, Charles Car Toll, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Franklin, and Samuel Chase in a mission to Canada which had for its object the securing of the Canadians as allies of the Americans ia their fight against England. This action of tha Continental Oongrens shows in what estimation the future Archbishop of Baltimore was held by his countrymen. It proveß that his sympathies were enlisted entirely on the Bide of the Revolution.

He did not stand alone among Catholics in his devotion to the American cause. It is an historical fact that whilst other religious denominations, the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians for example, were denounced by the patriots for their Toryism, Catholics remained loyal to the American cause. We have the testimony of Washington himself that that loyalty never wavered in the darkest hour of the Bevolution. With such a record as this during the time the young Republic was struggling to establish itself it was only natural tbat the Catholic Church in America should be in fill sympathy with the spirit of the American Government.

It was fitting that Archbishop Carroll, represtnting as he did in the fullest meaeure Catholic loyalty to America* institutions, should have been selected by the Holy See to preside over the Catholic Church in America. On assuming his duties as Bishop of Baltimore he found the Church in such full accoid with American institutions that he experienced no difficulty in adapting tbe discipline of the Church to the requirements of the new Government.

Cardinal Gibbons in speaking of this very happily says :— "Archbishop Carroll combined in his person the twofold character of a devoted Christian priest and an ardent patriot. He was a man of marvellous foresight, of deep penetration, consummate wisdom, and sterling piety. He was intimately acquainted with the genius of our political constitution and was therefore eminently fitted for the delicate task of adapting the discipline of the Church to the requirements of our civil Government. The truths of religion, like God Himself, are eternal and immutable, but the discipline of the Church is changeable — just as man himself is always tbe same in his essential characteristics, while bis dress varies according to the custom and fashion of the time."

lhat the present distinguished successor of Archbishop Carroll ia quick to appreciate the good that the first Bishop of Baltimore did by pursuing the policy here described is due to the fact that he himself is a thoroughgoing American whose influence has beeu felt in perpetuating and invigorating the patriotic spirit that was evinced by our Catholic brothers during the Revolution. Like his illustrious predecessor, Cardinal Gibbons has shown in a thousand and one ways that devotion to American institutions is not inconsistent with the loyalty we owe our mother the C nurch. — Irish World.

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Bibliographic details

CARDINAL GIBBONS ON ARCHBISHOP CARROLL., New Zealand Tablet, Volume XVII, Issue 51, 11 April 1890

Word Count

CARDINAL GIBBONS ON ARCHBISHOP CARROLL. New Zealand Tablet, Volume XVII, Issue 51, 11 April 1890

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