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comments of the New Free Press upon the subject, which, while show. ing a bigh appreciation of the fairness exhibited by the Government at Washington, exhibited also some inaccuracies of facts due, perhaps, in part to the telegraph.
The New Free Press, in a second article on the subject, remarks: “The Virginius affair has, in its further course, been exactly developed according to the protocol lately communicated by us, which has been signed by the American minister, Fish, and the Spanish ambassador, Don Polo de Bernabé. ** They have proceeded on both sides in the case, more by more, as promptly as in a game of chess. Now, according to the same protocol, there has been instituted a trial of the surviving prisoners. Spain at the same time has bound herself in the same protocol to examine on her part whether the action of the authorities at Santiago has been in strict accordance with the Spanish laws, or with her international duties of the two parties. As it is announced, the honesty of the American Congress, who declare their own state to be in the wrong, caused great satisfaction in Madrid and in the Havana. This can, perhaps, lead to a more iutimate friendship between the two reconciled republics; so much the more as Castelar, altogether a pure character, is just the statesman to make a wise and moderate use of his ncoral victory."
As far as I have had an opportunity of judging, the course of the United States in the matter thus far commands general approval. I have been congratulated on the wisdom, moderation, and success with wbich the affair has been managed under difficulties of peculiar deli. cacy. The further development and conclusion of the matter will, I think, be watched with attention by the European powers, as involving questions of common interest touching the reciprocal rights and duties of nations in cases of domestic insurrection where no belligerent status has been conceded to the insurgents.
Some differences of opinion have been expressed in regard to the opposite positions assumed at Madrid and Washington, and it is thought that the adjudication of these points by the American judiciary will go far to determine the international rule for the future. I have, &c.,
Mr. Jay to Mr. Fish.
Vienna, March 25, 1874. (Received April 20.) SIR: Some eighteen months since I advised you, by my No. 499, of December 9, 1872, of the ministerial crisis in Hungary, which was ended by the retirement of Count Lonyay and the appointment in his stead of Mr. de Szlavy. I alluded to the doubis then expressed in regard to the ability of the latter to meet the difficulties of his position, and during the last year those difficulties were immensely increased. Could the declining health of the venerable Francis Deak, who has been the head and soul of the national party, have been compensated for by presence of the Count Andrássy, whose character and tact had given him a singu. lar influence with the Hungarians, it is thought that the demoralization of the Deak party might probably have been arrested. But with Au. drássy in Vienna there seems to have been no one to replace him at
Pesth, and political dissensions, an increasing dissatisfaction with the government, grave charges of a blundering policy, and finally the finan. cial crash creating wide-spread distress, aggravated by the cholera and a bad harvest, followed by confusion and a parliamentary dead-lock, culminated in a crisis unusually prolonged and apparently hopeless. " No government, no party, no idea ; where is it to end ” was the despairing cry but a few days since of the “Lloyd of Pesth."
After an effort of some weeks, in which the Emperor, or to speak more correctly, the King of Hungary, and the Count Andrássy assisted, the crisis has been at least temporarily solved by the resignation of Mr. de Szlavy being at last accepted, and a new ministry, spoken of as a coalition ministry, has been appointed under the presidency of Mr. Bitto. Mr. Bitto formerly held the portfolio of justice in the cabinets of Count Andrássy and Count Lonyay.
His associates are, in finance, Mr. Ghyczy, formerly the leader of the moderate left; in commerce, Mr. Bartal, a prominent member of the Deak party ; in the interior, Count Szapary; public instruction, Mr. Trefort; justice, Mr. Pauler; national defense, Mr. Szende, with Count Joseph Zichy and Baron Wenckheim; and Mr. Pejacsevich as minist of Croatia.
Much of the antagonism existing among the leading statesmen of Hungary is referable to the compromise of 1867 between the two halves of the empire. One faction, if not a party, at that time, was totally opposed to the arrangement. Prominent men, like Ghyczy and Kolloman T-isza, not fundamentally opposed to the compromise, desired for Hungary better terms than they obtained, and would, if in power, endeavor to procure an extension of the rights of Hungary in that direction. As the existing compromise, made in 1867, was limited to ten years, these questions touching the interests of both Austria and Hungary are sufficiently near to arouse an interest equal to that attaching exclusively to those of Hungary's internal policy.
There are many who are inclined to believe that parliamentary gov. ernment in Hungary is a failure; but, plausible as may seem the reasons for such an opinion, there are others that forbid the basty adoption of a view derogatory to the Hungarian character, and little in accord with American sentiments. I have, &c.,
JOIN JAY. Postscriptum.–A telegram from Pesth says thatYesterday, 24th March, in the chamber of deputies, the new president of the cabinet, Mr. Bitto, explained the programme of the government, and declared that its priveipal task would be to remedy financial and economic difticulties by the simplification of the administrative machinery and the establishment of a balance between the receipts and expenditnre. He announced that the cabinet will set aside all inopportune questions and avoid all subjects of dissension; and terminated by asking for the support of all parties.
Mr. Jay to Mr. Fish.
AMERICAN LEGATION, Vienna, March 26, 1874. (Received April 18th.) SIR: The present movements in Austria for revising the relations between the church and state by the series of confessional laws presented
to the Reichsrath by Prince Auersperg, the president of the ministry, and Mr. Stremayer, the minister of worship, are the legitimate outgrowth of the independent policy inaugurated by the recent chancellor, Count
In one of my earlier dispatches, No. 23, of July 27, 1869, transmitting the diplomatic red-book for that year, I alluded to the correspondence of Count Beust with Count Trautmannsdorff, the Austrian ambassador at Rome.
His excellency had said: That the very existence of the state could only be preserved by the complete regeneration of constitutional liberties, and that to favor the free-living forces of the nation bad become in consequence the fundamental principle of the government.
There was also a distinct assurance that it would be idle for Rome to continue to regard Austria as a country predestined to serve its views, and that it must recognize Austria as on the same line with other modern constitutional nations, nor attempt to impose apon her pretensions which it no longer dreamed of imposing on Belgium or France.
It was, I think, on the 30th of July, 1870, three days after the date of that dispatch, that the Emperor gave notice to the Roman court that in consequence of the new dogma of infallibility, destroying the assumed equality between the sovereignty at Vienna and that at Rome, the concordat of 1855 was ipso facto annulled.
The new confessional laws now before the Reichsrath have resulted from that change, their object being to regulate the relations left unsettled, and described as chaotic, between the church and the state.
The government no longer recognizes an equality between the two bodies; but the government, asserting its sovereignty, has proceeded to detine what are the internal affairs of the church to be regulated by the church, and what the external ecclesiastical affairs to be regulated by the state.
The movement is naturally opposed from Rome. The sovereign pontiff, in an encyclical letter of the 7th March, addressed to the Austriau bishops, denounced the new laws as perniciously tending to subject the church to the will and power of the state. His Holiness declared that the laws, although appearing moderate when compared with the Prussian, were really inspired by the same spirit and had the same character. lle protested anew against the rupture of the concordat, and declared that the pretended alienation of the church by the dogma of infallibility was a fatal pretext. He invoked the aid of the bishops, and said that he had addressed a letter to the Emperor, praying him not to tolerate in his vast empire the dishonoring subjection of the church, nor to sanction unjust laws. The first of the confessional bills regulating the relations of the church aroused on the general debate a strong opposition, led by Count Hohenwart, formerly president of the Austrian ministry; and the speeches on the part of this minister showed wisdom and decision.
Herr Stremayer, the minister of public worship, declared that the bill was the product of a calm and unprejudiced consideration of the existing state of affairs, and not an attempt to oppress the Catholic church. He said:
The government cannot permit the abuse of religion for the purpose of intrignes fraught with danger to the state, or allow the servants of God to become the missionaries of an organized opposition to the laws of the country. It is not intended to wage war against the church, but to bring about order in her relations with the goverument, so that she may freely exercise her holy mission, and not encroach upon the inviolable rights of the state.
Prince Auersperg met the threat of Father Greuter, who made a solemn declaration" that " we in the Tyrol will never, never acknowledge such laws, come what may," with the remark that it was the sort of thing which the opposition were accustomed to say when projects were advanced that did not please them ; but that if it were intended to be inore than this, and they really proposed to disregard the laws, the government would be prepared vigorously to enforce obedience. This declaration called forth enthusiastic cheers, and the bill passed by 224 votes against 71-a majority unexpectedly large.
The bishops, responding to the appeal of the Pope, have assembled at Vienna. Among the number are the cardinal archbishops of Prague, Salzburg, and Lemberg, with the bishops of Gratz, Marburg, Brixen, and Gurk. They boldly maintain that the concordat is in full vigor, the Holy Father not having consented to its abolition.
The lower house of the Reichsrath have responded to this declaration by choosing a commission on the electoral laws, of whom 13 are liberals and 8 clericals.
In the house of lords the Bishops Wiery, Faverger, and Gassel defended the concordat in the spirit of the episcopal declaration on the subject, and were responded to by the Count Potocki, Count Falkenstein, Count Trautmannsdorff, and Count Rechberg.
The controversy has undoubtedly excited much feeling, and while the success of the ministry, after the general debate, has led to the remark that Austria bas definitively repudiated the principles of the syllabus, it would not be surprising if, in an empire so peculiarly Catholic and with the countenance of some members of the imperial family who are said to continue to exhibit for the ultramontanes an active sympathy akin to that attributed to the late empress mother, the Archduchess Sophia, some pause or even temporary re-action should be obtained by episcopal efforts.
In a pamphlet by the Prince Bishop of Seckan, Doctor Swerger, which is described as "inflammatory," there is a distinct denial of the right of the state to deal with ecclesiastical matters, except by consultation with the Holy See. It is announced that, if the proposed laws should be enacted, Catholics will be absolved from all obligations to obey them; and with a reference to Prussia, it is added that the duty of resistance is the more imperative in Austria, where Catholics cannot plead the excuse of being in minority. " Here we are in the majority.”
Whether the ministry have foreseen the full extent of the opposition they have met, and are still to meet, I do not know; but they have exhibited great caution in the preparation of the bills, and are thought to have shown thus far uncommon tact and skill in their presentation.
Herr von Streymayer, whom I remember to have heard charged with Ultramontane tendencies, said to me a few weeks since:
You will not find our confessional laws all that they onght to be, or all that we would like to make them; but you will, I think, see a gradual and steady advance; and that is the only way we can advance in Austria.
The last movement in the matter was one touching the Jesuit seminary at Innsbruck, where the Reichsrath has continued the amual stipend, to the satisfaction of the clerical party and the discontent of the liberal Viennese press. The tone of the last pronunciamiento of the bishops is perhaps more moderate, and it seems to be thought that there will be a diminished opposition on the part of the clericals to the completion of the confessional bills.
The tone of some of the liberal journals is decided, and their language not wanting in frankness. “ To day,” says the New Free Press, " there
is one, kindred in spirit to St. Thomas and Anselmus, of Canterbury, sitting in the chair of St. Peter. Pius IX will have the strife with the modern state as those men engaged in a contest with the awakened English constitution. And he hates the modern state from the bottom of his soul, because it preserves the blessings of civilization, liberty, and law against the assaults of the Roman priesthood.”
I append a translation of two articles on the subject, the one from the National Zeitung, of Berlin, the other from Le Monde, of Paris, opposing the " Journal des Débats.” I have, &c.,
(Inclosure 1 in No. 721.- Translation.)
The Pope and the Austrian church bills.
NATIONAL ZEITUNG, BERLIN, March 21. We strongly recommend all French and Italian censurers of our church laws not to lose sight of the Pope's letter to the Austrian bishops. In France and Italy people are food of ascribing the Prussian or German “persecution of the church” to protestant intolerance. In this the Pope, as he has so often done, comes to our aid. It will be known in France as well as in Italy, that there are but few protestants in Austria ; but the Pope now says:
"Compared with the new Prussian laws, those which are about to be discussed in Austria do indeed appear to be more moderate, but in truth they are of the same spirit and character, and prepare the same destruction for the Catholic Church in Austria."
While we thank the Holy Father for this testimony, we will gratefully transcribe another sentence of his, in which with his precious ingenuousness he repeats a doctrine which is now beginning to be regarded as really aud seriously the doctrine of the Church. The Pope says once again, tbat humanity at large is destined to be ruled in all things by Romish priests. His words are:
“As the wonderful power of the ecclesiastical kingdom is derived from Christ bimself, and is altogether distinct from and independent of the political power, this kingdom of God upon earth has the rule over the whole of human society, and is ruled by its owulaws anri rights, and by its own superiors who have to give an account, not to the heads of civic society, but to the chief shepherd, Jesus, by whom they have been appointed." This time the Pope repeats this doctrive with regard to the Austrian government, whose view is that it is for the state to define the boundary between the external and internal affairs of the Church, and to prescribe the domain upon which the Church is free. Of course the bills in question could not bave been introduced without the assent of the Emperor Francis Joseph. We therefore miss the usual candor of the Pope, when he describes the Emperor and bis house as adherents of the doctrines of the Vatican council. It is even too much to say that in early times the bonse of Hapsburg always actively supported the apostolic see in the struggle for the Catholic faith. But the rights which are now claimed by the Austrian government for the state were at most times asserted by the emperors of the house of Hapsbarg, and were only given up in the concordat of 1855.
In his letter to the Austrian bishops the Pope solemnly protests against the abolition of the coucordat, which suited him so well, and agreed so well with the fundamental doctrines of the Church, while, as he says, it provided as well for the safety of souls as for the weal of the state, and thus coincided with the principle that, bot only religion, but also the attairs of the state, are subject to the Pope. That the concordat was abolisbed" on the proposal of the representatives of the Empire" is again only half the truth. The imperial government itself was convinced of the necessity of that step as sou as the council was closed ; nay, as soon as it was opened. Now, the Pope urges the bibops--and this is the principal object of his letter of the 7th of March--to resist and disobey the new laws. The people, too, are briefly reminded tbat they ought rather to obey the doctrines of the Church than the powers of the state, when not acting in harmony with these doctrines; but the bishops are expressly exhorted to enter courageously upon a struggle worthy of their virtue, and not to fall short of their Prussian brethren in courage and determination.
This exciting emanation from the Vatican does not enter into a close examination of the contents or of the separate provisions of these bills. It is incredible how far the empty phraspology of this document goes. It says: “ The contemplated sqnandering of the pouds of the Church is so great that it is bardly distinguishable from open plundering.