||' THE GHITECH AMD SLAYERY.
Ill some remarks lately made on the emancipation of the serfs in Bus- si^, we observed that the Church and slavery could never get along well together. The ISTew York Freeman's Journal condemns our remarks, Ciuotes St. Paul and Church Coun¬ cils, and says that v^e are ignorant of ecclesiastical history. The wri¬ ter in^rthe Freeman also observes that he does not wish for a controversy with us. As the Freeman., on this occasion, is mild and uses no very offensive language, we reply to his comments at some length.
We assure our cotemporary that we, too, have no desire to enter into a controyersy'. It would be useless now, because the subject of slavery is dead. The first cannon fired at Surnter sounded its knell. It would be much easier to take Eichmond or open the Mississippi, than restore slavery in the United States. The thing is gone forever.
But our cotemporary suggests that we are not acquainted with ecclesi¬ astical history and that slavery and the Church have got along well to¬ gether, and quotes St. Paul and cer¬ tain Councils. Our cotemporary has a right to entertain any opinion he pleases about our ignorance. His opinion is his own. But without acrimony we can write on this sub¬ ject of slavery. It must be discussed; there is no help for it—and whilst we accord to those who are its advo¬ cates all liberty of speech, we hope that some license will be extended to us when we give our reasons on the other side. It is not in a fac¬ tious spirit or a fanatical spirit that we write, but under the strong con¬ viction that a great change is at hand in the political welfare of the country, and that it is of some con¬ sequence to Catholics to decide wise¬ ly what part to take. This cannot be done by crying out "ignorance," "abolition," but by friendly discus¬ sion. Whether we like it or not, slavery is extinguished in the United States, and all that we have to do is to decide how we shall accommodate ourselves "to coming events."
We have said and we now repeat it, that slavery and the Catholic Church could never get along well together. The Church never tries to correct evils by revolutionary means. When she has not the leg¬ islative power in her hands she is patient, long-suffering, gentle. What she could not suppress she tolerated.