قراءة كتاب The Catholic World, Vol. 02, October, 1865 to March, 1866 A Monthly Eclectic Magazine

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‏اللغة: English
The Catholic World, Vol. 02, October, 1865 to March, 1866
A Monthly Eclectic Magazine

The Catholic World, Vol. 02, October, 1865 to March, 1866 A Monthly Eclectic Magazine

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 5

honor of the present pontiff, Pius IX., these associations at first adopted the name of Piusvereine, thus paying a just tribute of respect to the Holy Father. For Pius IX., during his long pontificate of almost twenty years, has become the leading spirit of the age; we live in the age of Pius IX. It was he who brought into vogue modern ideas, and he was the first to do justice to the wants of the age. As the historian now speaks of the age of Gregory VII. and Innocent III., so will the future historian write of the age of Pius IX. The true sons of the nineteenth century are gathered to fight under the banners of the many Catholic associations which, founded for the purpose of putting to flight the threatening assaults of infidelity, have spread during the pontificate of Pius IX. over every portion of the globe. In Switzerland the original name of these societies is retained; in Germany, owing to their branching out into numerous similar associations, it has disappeared, and we now speak of a "general convention of the Catholic associations in Germany."

The first general convention took place toward the beginning of October, 1848, in the ancient electoral palace at Mayence. Hundreds of noble spirits from every quarter of Germany met here, as if by magic; the Spirit of God had convened them. Meeting for the first time, they felt at once that they were friends and brothers. There was no discord, no embarrassment, for on all hearts rested a deep consciousness of the unity, the power, and the charity of their common faith. Whoever was present at this first gathering of the Catholics of Germany, owned to himself that by no scene which he had previously witnessed had he been so profoundly impressed. Opposite the stand from which the speakers were to address the meeting sat Bishop Kaiser, of Mayence, whilst most prominent among the orators of the occasion appeared his destined successor, Baron Emmanuel von Ketteler, who was at that time pastor of the poor and insignificant parish of Hopsten. Writing of him, Beda Weber said: "His determined character is a fresh and living type of the German nation, of its universality, its history, and its Catholic spirit. In his heart he bears the great and brave German race with all its countless virtues, and hence springs the peculiar boldness of his words, asserting that the revolution is but a means to rear the edifice of the German Church, an edifice destined to be far statelier than the cathedral of Cologne. His form was tall and powerful, his features marked, expressing at once his fearlessness, his energy, and his Westphalian devotion to God and the Church, to the emperor and the nation. The words of Baron von Ketteler acted irresistibly on all present, for they were but the echo of their own sentiments." Such was the impression then produced by the man who is now looked upon by the Catholics of Germany as their standard-bearer.

The voice of Beda Weber too was heard on that occasion. Frankfort had not as yet become the scene of his {3} labors as pastor, for he was still professor at Meran. He was a member of the German parliament, then holding its sessions at Frankfort, and like many other Catholic fellow members had come to Mayence for the purpose of assisting at the first general reunion of the Catholic societies. His eloquence likewise called forth immense enthusiasm. Strong and energetic, sometimes pointed and unsparing, a vigorous son of the mountains, manly, noble, and respected, he came forth at a most opportune moment from the solitude of his mountains and his cell, in order to take part in the struggles of his age and become their historian. A master at painting characters, he has written unrivalled sketches of the German parliament and clergy. Equally successful as an orator, a poet, a historian, and a contributor to periodical literature, Beda Weber was distinguished no less by a childlike heart and a nice appreciation of the beautiful in nature and art, than by manly force and an untiring zeal for what is true and good. His deep and extensive learning has proved a useful weapon at all times. His writings were read throughout Germany, and to the rising generation Beda Weber has been an efficient instructor and director.

Döllinger of Munich was also present; he spoke for the twenty-three members of the German parliament, maintaining that the concessions granted to Catholics by that body would necessarily lead to the entire independence of the Church and the liberty of education. At a meeting of the Rhenish-Westphalian societies, held at Cologne in May, 1849, the learned provost delivered another speech, which was at that time considered one of the best, most timely, and most telling efforts of German eloquence. Döllinger's speech at the third general convention, which took place at Regensburg in October, 1849, was hailed as one of the few consoling signs of that gloomy period. It was a masterpiece of oratory, that brought conviction to all minds, and which will prove a lasting monument of German eloquence. The interest Döllinger displayed in these conventions should not be forgotten. He is entitled to our respect and gratitude for his aid in laying the foundations of the edifice; its completion he might well leave to others.

The other members of the parliament that spoke at Mayence were Osterrath, of Dantzic; von Bally, a Silesian; A. Reichensperger, of Cologne; Prof. Sepp, of Munich; and Prof. Knoodt, of Bonn. One of the most impressive speakers was Forster of Breslau, at that time canon of the Metropolitan church of Silesia, now prince-bishop of one of the seven principal sees in the world. Germany looks upon him as her best pulpit orator. Listen to the words of one who heard Forster at Mayence: "The chords of his soul are so delicate that every breath calls forth a sound, and as he must frequently encounter the storms of the world, we may readily pardon the deep melancholy which tinges his words. As he spoke, his heart was weighed down by the troubles of the times, and grief was pictured in his countenance, for he saw no prospect of reconciliation between the conflicting elements. He has no faith in a speedy settlement of the relations between Church and state, such a settlement as will allow freedom of action to the former. To him the revolution appears to be a divine judgment, punishing the clergy for their negligence, and chastising the laity for their crimes. His voice possesses a rich melody, which speaks in powerful accents to the heart. It sounds like the solemn chimes of a bell, waking every mind to the convictions which burst forth from the depth of his soul. He is an orator whose words seem like drops of honey, and whose faith and devotion call forth our love and our gratitude."

The best known of the Frankfort representatives were, Arndts, of Munich; Aulicke, of Berlin; Flir, of {4} Landeck; Kutzen, of Breslau; von Linde, of Darmstadt; Herman Müller, of Würtzburg; Stülz of St. Florian; Thinnes, of Eichstädt; and Vogel, of Dillingen.

The noble Baron Henry von Andlaw also assisted at the convention in Mayence. For sixteen years this chivalric and devoted defender of the Church has furthered by every means in his power the success of the Catholic conventions, and his name will often appear in these pages. Chevalier Francis Joseph von Buss, of Freiburg, was president of the meeting at Mayence. Buss is the founder of the Catholic associations in Germany; to him above all others was due the success of the convention at Mayence, and he it was who laid down the principles on which are based the Catholic societies throughout Germany, and which are the chief source of their efficacy. In 1848 Buss was in the flower of his age, fresh and vigorous in body and mind. All Germany was acquainted with his writings, his exertions, his sufferings, and his struggles. He was no novice on the battle-field, for he had passed through a fiery ordeal, and bore the marks of wounds inflicted both by his own passions and by the broken lances of his enemies. Naturally an agitator, and an