The story, as told in this summary way, is, in all reason, a sufficiently melancholy one. But it conveys an altogether inadequate idea of the devil's dance of fanaticism and political chicanery that for six months whirled iv a mad eddy around the Stoke Orphanage. Some of th^rttost noisy, active, and prominent agitators against the Brothers from the first were reputed or notorious members of a secret association of fanatics — the Orange Society, to wit — who, amidst the solemn absurdities of the ' first degree ' and the blasphemous and semi-intkr-nt tomfooleries of the * two and a half,' swear illegal oaths on bared and bended knees to do all that lies in their power to injure Catholics in their civil and social rights. These and their noisy and organised local following constitute what a respected daily contemporary styles * the Nelson clique ' and ' the rabid enemies *f the Orphanage.' The head and front of the offending of the Marist Brothers was their profession of the Catholic faith. From the very first it was evident that the campaign against the Brothers was to be conducted by this knot of intolerants on strictly sectarian lines and for purely sectarian ends. Through the medium of a number of newspapers they got a grip on the lobe of the public ear. And
for a time Nelson was the busy centre of a propaganda of rapid articles, letters, etc., which were streamed out to every part of the colonies, and many of which it was a disgrace for any man to write or for any respectable editor to publish.
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Rabid Enemies., New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXVIII, Issue 51, 20 December 1900
Rabid Enemies. New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXVIII, Issue 51, 20 December 1900
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