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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
August 19, 1911     Arkansas Catholic
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August 19, 1911
 

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I THE SOUTHERN GUARDIAN ol. I. ,-2/;..- i0000;OME PRACTICAL TRUTHS ABOUT THE THE MOST LEARNED MAN IN ENGLAND Little Rock, Arkansas, Aug. 19, 1911 Number 22. q REAL' POWER OF THE DAILY PRESS Sensational Modern Papers Wield Great Influence With- out Due Regard for Truth. Something of Days Before the Press An old adage declares that he who proves too ranch proves nothing, and a modern Amerncan hunaorist who (lied all too soon for tile good of hon- est laughter says that "it is better not to know so much than to know so much that ain't so." One of the first lessons that is impressed upon the mind of a young logiean is that he must start out with sound premises. li the major premise is granted one can prove anything. A recent editorial in a daily paper begins by assuming some rather start- ling premises, it declares that "the press must enlighten, lead, critieise inspire all other institutions." The press is such a recen institu- tion, and the world is so very old that one cannot help wondering how countless generations managed to pass their lives without its inspiration, en- lightenment and all the rest. History tells of the work of the Church for fifteen hundred years be- fore there was a press, a church that seen. to have succeeded in leading men to riglite6usness and in setting bounds to the license of nations. The universities of medieval Europe have left on record their lamors, not alto- gether in barren fields, in the cause of the higher learning and even of the higher criticsism of which modern ears hear so much. Peter the Hermit and St. Louis and Godfrey dee Bouil- lon jnanaged to organize and carry on the crusades without the "inspira- tion" of a daily paper. Charlemange is a name that means something in history, and tradition declaresit may be a slanderthat be could not even read. Galileo led a fairly useful life, honored by P, ope and laymen, despite his comfortable "iinprisonment." Dante as a poet was really almost as great as Longfellow) Longfellow, who had all New England, Harvard Col- /ege and the Boston papers. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bernard and Pierre Abelard mean in the domain of phil- osophy quite as much as Bishop Berkely and Emerson. (One likes to be modest). Our hest modern scholars grow lyr- ical with delight as they pore over the great folios and manuscripts and vellum-bound volumes that fill so many cases in the great libraries of Europe, works, strange to say, that were composed by men who would not recognize a morning journal if they came face to face with it in hroad daylight. Is not the assumption a lit- tle wild, even for present-day condi- tions, with'enough morning papers in circulation to carpet the globe? Not a few men are doing their, share, of the world's work, and doing it with some degree of success, would surely be suprpised if asked to admit that their "inspiration" and "enlightenment" come from the daily press. Plus X., in the Vatican; the Archbishop of Canterbery, in London; the Greek Pa- triarch, in St. Petersburg; the Presby- terian Elders and the Methodist Bish- ops in America, rulers and statesmen and scientists and scholars the world over would repudiate the assumption. An entire paragraph seems to miss the mark of sober truth. "It (a free press)is the window through which the fresh air of free dora reaches the stifling amaosphere and cleanses it of errdr, dusty dogma, vermin, selfishness, oppression. Open it wide and progress becomes alive, alert, quick-moving and sure. Draw a shade here, close a shtatter there, clog the aperture with dim hangings of superstition, drape it in the rich brocade of elf-interest and you have bigotry, injustice, ignorance, woe, ser- vility." One must pause to take a Iong breath after that, and to adjust the every-day mind to the multiple and varied visions its calls forth. "Dim hangings of superstition"possibly a curtain made of black rabbits' feet; and "vermin"(Could it mean rats? And how are the newspapers to be applied for their extermination?) "Dusty dogma"isn't the metaphor getting just a little mixed? The dic- tionary defines a dogma as "that which is held as an opinion a tenet; a doctrine. A formally stated and au- thoritative tenet. No one who has lived for the past three weeks in Kan- to be told what dust is. The of metaphor might permit a (lusty mind, even a dusty mental proees;, but a dusty d6gma has no meaningone might as well talk of a red vacuum or a round temper. As for dogma--without the dust--no hu- man being, except an idiot, can live without dogma, as the Honorable Ar- thur Balfour has pointed out, andto assert the eontrary is then and there to formulate adogma, As for "cleans- ing the atmosphere of error," one would like to believe that, but, alas for the faetsl In the world today, the world of the daily papers--morning papers, evening papers and extra pa- pers, .evening papers and extra edi- tions from noon to midnightare nmltitudes holding the most diverse aud opposing opinions. There are )eople who believe in God and people who do not; people who believe in the immortality of the soul and people who believe that the man who drinks a glass of beer commits a sin against humanity and th moral law, and there are those .who--well, who hold very different opinions on the subject of beer. The daily paper is not unknown among Mohammedans,. Buddhists, Brahnfins, Parsees; hut if they are right then Christians are wrong, and if all of them are right, then a school- boy can square a circle and black is white. The mi:;sion of the press is a very noble and a very real one--. We can- They are wise. who are taught wis- dom by the events of daily life. It. requires more aMlity and cour- age to think rightly than to act well. They know that deeds, not words, at- test and vindicete worth. We cannot imagine the civiliza- tion of teh day without it. The level-headed man who quickly un- tangles assertion from proof, the real and primal function of a news- paper heing to give the news and to give it without a fear or favor within the bounds prescribed by so- cial and ethical standards. It must )lay the game. No person or power or institution is'free from the bounds of law. Even the duelist must fight according to the code. The soldier the diplomat, the business man, the financier may seek success only ac- cording to certain established rules they must play the game if they are not to be ostracised from the haunts of dece tnnten. The newspaper is no exception to the rule]. It, tot), must play the game. Too often is does not, and yellow journalism has arisen in consequence to be the scourge of cul- ture and morality. What is meant by an "unfettered press?" It is safe to say that Brin- sley Sheridan ;'flinging his challenge in the face of British misrule'.' meant 'by the term something very different for the idea of the "yellow editor." The ideal paper would not be fettered 'either by political or personal inter- ests, but has the ideal paper ever ex- sited? An editor will write glowingly against the liquor traffic on one page and puhlish advertisements of patent medicines, composed of the vilest cheap alcohol, on another, One paper will fight against free wool because it is the organ of the wool trust; another is against a reduced tariff on sugar be- cause it represents a sugar trust. The first will inveigh against the cruelty of depriving the poor man of sugar; the second grows eloquent over his need of a woolen overcoat, tI is not unknown for an editor who heralds the virtues of a successful presidential candidate to be sent abroad to repre- sent his country and to breathe the stifling air of courts. To the victor belong the spoils, is the practice if not the theory of politicians generally' and of the newspapers that i'epresent them. A partisan press is perhaps a necessity so long as there must be ! parties, but it need not be offensively! partisan. One of the greatest evils of the time, admitted by all thinking people, is the degeneration of the press in its legitimate sphere as a newsgatherer to a mere sensation-monger. All feel- ings of decency, propriety, justice and truth are cast aside and trampled upon in the vicious aim to be sensational, and sensati)nalism is again a means to the ultim te endmoney. The first object would'seem to be the paing of big dividends'. GOV. WOODROW WILSON ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH Probable President of the United States Pays High Tribute to Mother Church. Hon. Woodrow \\;Vilson, Governor of New Jersey, who is looked upon as a future possible President of the United States, recently made a trans- continental tmr of the couutry, lec- turing in behalf of the Democratic ,arty. Mr. Wilson's idea of a genu- ine democracy may be gained from the following utterance, which he re- cently made in regard to the Catholic Church : "No society is renewed from the top," said Mr. \\;Vilson; "every society as renewed from the bottom. I can give yo)l an illustration concerning that that has always interested me profoundly. The only reason why government did not stiffer dry rot in the Middle Ages, uuller the aristo- cratic systems which governed them, was that the men' who were the effi- cmnt instruments of government most of the officials of the govern- mentwere drawn from the Church, from that great Church body which was then the only Church, that body which we now distinguish frem other Church bodies as the Roman Catholic Church. "The Roman Catholic Church then, as now, was a great democracy. There was no peasant so huntble thdt he might not become a priest and no priest so obscure that be might not become the Pope of Christendom. "Every -cbancellery in Enrope, every court in Europe was ruled by these learned, trained and accom- plished men, the priesthood of that great and then dominant Church. "So what kept government alive in the Middle Ages was this constant rise of sap from the bottom, from the ranks, from the rank and file of the great body of the people through the open channels of the Romau Catholic )riesth ood." This great democratic Chnreh, with its holy, civilizing, uplifting influence, is the Church which Mr. Frederick Haskins is criticizing and deouncing in his letters on the "Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal." This is the Church which he says, by inference, has enveloped and kept Spain in the darkness of the Middel Aages. So much for the opinons of paid space- writers and petty serihblers seeking notoriety at the expense of truths and facts. The San Francisco Monitor suggests that Mr. Haskins had better "stay in Spain a while longer and keep his eyes open and his mouth shut before he attempts to 'write it up.'Morning Star. BISHOP KISSES MOTHER. Rt. Rev. Joseph P. Lynch, D. D., of Dallas, Texas, whose consecration took place recently in the Cathedral, is the first Boshop to he consecrated there. Seated in the first pew to tlae left of the altar, with other relatives of the newly-made Bishop, was Iris mother. Mrs. John. V. Lynch. A beautiful incident of the service was that when the Bishop, in the full vestments of his office, crowned with the miter and with the pastoral staff in hand, was being led down to the main aisle of the Cathedral to impart to the congregation his first episcopal blessing, he paused for a moment and affectionately kissed his mother upon the cheek. Tears sprang to the eyes, not only of her whose heart was filled with ride, hut also to those of many seat- ed near by who witnessed this demon- stration of love. 00aND WORDg :;,PPRECIAT-.D. Below we pfiblish a few words of encouragement from L. J. Kenny, S. T., of St. Louis. We appreciate his sentiment expressed to us personally, but still more do we appreciate what he has to say of the Catholic press. The little book he sent us is full of good thoughts and whdlesome read- rag: St. Louis University, Aug. 4, 1911. Dear Mr. Spalding: I congratulate The Southern Guar- dian on its new management, I am mailing you today for your- self a copy of "A Conspiracy and Its Agency." This model Catholic lay- man of St. Louis, Mr. P. Bakewell, has had this reprinted for private cir- culation. It all shows the need of a more earnest support of our Catholic press. The press is the Twentieth Century Cathedral. Wishing you every success, L. J. KENNY. S. T. SISTER MARY GERTRUDE CALLED TO HER REWARD Saintly Nun Died Sunday in St. Ber- nard's Hospital, Jonesboro. Burial in Calvary. Sister M. Gertrude, (). S. B., a member of Holy Angels' Convent, Jonesboro, Ark., died at St. Bernard's Hospital, that city, on Sunday morn- ing, August 6 after a short illness, at the age of 54. tier de:tth was the re- suh of chronic mahtria. The deceased entered the commu- nity in 1889. From the outset of her religious life she has ever been in- trnsted with positions of responsi- bility, the duties of which she always discharged with indefatigable zeal and in the fear of God. She was a hidden gem, an nnobtrnsive violet, diffusing its perfume by the wayside wherever dnty called her. Her loss is deeply monrned by the entire eom- nlnnity. Her remains were laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery, Jonesboro, Rev. H. P,. Fuerst, rector of St. Mary's, Paragould, an old friend and school- mate of the deceased Sister, cele- hrated the Requiena High Mass and Rev. F. Strobel, l)astor of St..Ronmu's congregation, pronounced the Abso- lution at the Convent chapel and the eemetery. May she whose heart delighted in singing the .praises of God soon be permitted to join the celestial choir. A GRACEFUL ACT. The Austin Statesman pays its re- spects to the House of Reprsenta- tires in this way: It was a graceful act by the House of Representatives to print in the Congressional Record, at the instance of Mr. Covington, of Maryland, the speech delivered by Cardinal Gibbons before the National Peace Congress in Baltimore last May. Advocates of peace throughout the world recall with gratitude the great contribution which this eminent American has made to the vigor of the movement that is reaching a climax in the sign- ing of arbitration treaties. At Easter, t896, when the shadows of the Vene- zulian difficulty .4till overhung the in- ternational horizon, he joined t, he oth- er. two English-speaking members of the sacred cullegeCardinals Logue of Ireland and Vaughn of England m an appeal that was almost prophet- ic in its language. With teir united voices they urged the "formation of a public opinion which shall demand the estahlishntent of a permanent trt- bunal of arbitration as a rational sub- stitute for a resort to the bloody arb- itrament of war." The lnise along which they advised that such a tri- bunal should be organized were prac- tically the same as those subsequent- ly adopted by the conferences at The Hague. The president of the Balti- timore Peace Congress, Mr. Hamil- ton Holt, characterized this as one of the conspicuousaets which were fore- runners of the tribunal now inoper- ation. Cardinal Gibbons has been a witness of the havoc of war in the United States m i861-1865 and in Europe in 187o, and he has never ceased to exert all his far-reaching influence toward the hastening of the time "when nation shall not lift up sword against uation." CATHOLIC JOURNALS. "In the German Empire," says the Pilot, "there are 30o Catholic periodi- cals. In Austria there are 292 Cath- olic periodicals. Belgium has thirty- eight Catholic dailies, one of which, the Patriote, has a circulation of 18o, ooo. France has two great Catholic dailies, the Croix and the Unlvers. The Gaulois is monarchical in politics and generally Catholic in tone. In Italy the official Catholic daily is the Osservators Romano. ltaly has many Catholic weeklies and some influential Catholic dailies. It is noticeable that where the Catholic press is very wide- ly diffused Catholic sentiment is strong and influential. Thus Belgium leads in Catholic strength, as she does in the large circulation of her Catho- lic papers In Austria Catholic senti- ment was strong while the Catholic press was widely spread and vigorous, hut since the Catholic papers, in mul- tiplying, have not multlplitd their readers, Austria is beginning to feel the effects of influence from the other camp. With a good Catholic paper properly guided and wide!y read the dangers of evil influence are constant- ly lessened." IN LITERATURE AND STATESMANSHIP Brief, Though Scholarly, Biography of Viscount Morley, Written Expressly for The Southern Guardian By C. Decker Viscount Morley is one of the few great Englishmen now living, anti when he passes away it will leave a gap impossible to fill. His position is unique, for his ability and character have helped to m.'tke him a Statesman of the first order, and his intellectual gifts have placed him at the head of literature in a country where literary quality is deep and soldid. ]t has frequently heen remarked that the man of letters is a dreamer of dreams and a visionary out of touch with the beating heart of life and incapable of understandiug the practical questions 9f the day how- ever ranch he may l)e able to compre- hend those of the past. But /Iorley has revealed a grasp of practical pol- itics which is freely acknowledged, anti his great learning has been of practical use to him as well. In pass- ing one might point out that there have been other English politicians who were intellectual men; Glad- st(me, Balfour, Lord I'osebery, Bir- rell, these have all clone menmrable work in the House of Commons as well as under the study lamp. Viscount Morley is in his 73rd year, having been born in 1838. He took his degree at Oxford and then sought literary work in London. His pre- delictions dwelt much on French thinkers, such as Comte, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau,and their influence can distinctly be observed in his var- ious works. As editor of the serious and weigh- ty "Fortnightly Review", Morley will always be rememhered by the ability he showed and the new life he infused into its pages. For fifteeu years he held this intportant position until the fascination of politics drew him into the arena, and in 1886 he became chief Secretary for Ireland under the Gladstone administration. It is interesting to note Morley's view of this move from literature to mlities. le is "'not at all sure that such a journey conduces to the apt- ness of one's judgment on literary subjects." While the political life necessi- tates the glare of publicity, Morley has shmmed the eonnnonplaces of self advertisement, and rarely do the daily papers tell of his goings to and fro. In his early life he knew George Elliot, and that brusque Scotctnnan Carlyle. once spoke of him as "the Morley loon". A speech from Morley always reads well; it is serious and dignified, for long hours of "'voyaging through strange seas of thought" have added a cahnness and depth to his words, which is revealed by no other Eng- lish politician of the present day. Gladstone once remarked of Lord Acton, that he was the most learned man of his tiute, and the same words can be called upon to do the same duty towards Morley. He is said to know everything worth knowing, and a good deal too, of the type of mind which writes of things not worth knowing. And he has seen how the intellectual standards of today often lack depth and poise, how the pur- suit of knowledge has become luke warm anti half-heareted while the race and chase after wealth has grown to he a turbid frenzyas .if it were the end of all ends compre- hending all ends. Thus mental fiber and sound appreciation have inevit- ably suffered; hence the cheap nove- list has found a kingdom to his hand, and the psuedo scientist and the minor poet and the job historian have had a greatness thrust upon them which they do not hesitate to acknowledge. Morley has never been a 15opular hero to the man in the street, be- cause a great mind ratber eludes the focus by which the popular hero is detected, and he has never sought the ways and roans to reach it. In truth there Is much in him which might make popular opinion neutral tinted, if not actively negative. The cold, analytical faculty, fashioned after such nmdels as Bentham and Mill, which reduces all things to the stiff formula of answering for their existence be- fore the stony bar of reason, has its limitations. It must pale into insig- nificant impotency before thase vast brooding mysteries of life to which we have no key or anchorage but Christianity. To Morley, Voltaire and his proph- ets Were heralds of a new dawn when France wou/d learn entanclpatlon from those o/d ideals that know no reason, and therefore should be cast out into the void of dead things, ln- teresting as are Morley's studies of the Freueh Revolution, they do not contain the last word of that red epoch. Later investigators hardly confirm his glowing estimate, nor do after events tend to show that he had the prophetic vision. There is a noble glow in Morley's moral ideas not often to be met in thinkers whose heterodoxy smiles condescendingly at orthodoxy. In his speeches and in his books there is at times a lofty and inspiring eloquence, "a sense of the splendid austerity of truth, cold, but exhilarating," states one of the leading London jouruals. Jn one of his essays he has told us of the veneration he felt for John Stuart Mill, and everyone can recall the re- gard and affection he felt for Glad- stone. Morley's spiritual estimates were almost at one with those of Mill and had little to do with Gladstone's views in the "hnpregnable Rock of Holy Scripture," yet the religious chasm between them was uo hin- dranee to their admirable friendship. Morley bas always shown a breadth and tolerance in place of the rather coarse and truculent narrowness of many agnostics. Indeed, he might be quoted as a model of a sane and gifted thinker, positive after his own faslfion, but allowing the same ati- tude of certitude to others without the astigumtism of the doctrinaire. It was to Morley that Asquith turn- ed to draw up the bills against the House of Lords, and the choice could ot have been wiser. For Morley is a scholar schooled hy the practical ex- perience of politics to guard him trom pressing enthusiasms to far on one side or the other The pohtcian may assert it was a sound choice which led Morley to de- sert literary fields, and the man of letters may declare that literature sus- tained a loss which it could ill afford. And both views are partially cor- rect. Morley's talents for adminis- tration found their severest test in the fiery trial of abstruse problems which confront the Indian questionwhere a restless democracy itches beneath the autocratic hand of the English governmentand who shall deny they were found wanting? And yet as one glances over some of the fine passages in Morley's works one wishes the pen had remained in his hand. "There is a certain music, we do not deny, in Macaulay, but it is the music of a man everlastingly playing for us rapid soloes on a silver trum- pet, never, the swelling diapasons of the organ and never the deep ecsta- cies of the four magic strings." Such a passage reveals the lofty charm, the penetration and ilumina- tion of thought often to be found in Morley's books. He has that elusive thing called style, wnich neither syntax or gram- mar can achieve by themselves, and in the evening of his days it is to be hoped that he will use it for the ben- etit of a country which would listen to him with appreciation and interest. To one so sage and sane, so alert and free from political cant as Morley it would be deplorable not to have the aid of his wise counsel and the ripe- ness of his experience which have been mellowed and deepened by the long and distinguished services he has renderd his country. C. DECKER. , = Dog Grieved for Dead Nun A circumstance attending the death of the late MotherMary Baptist. of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, who passed to her reward in Cleve- land, after many years of devoted service to the poor and the unfortu- nate, was the grief of the convent dog, a large St. Bernard. When the hody was laid out for burial, he threw himself at the foot of the bier and kept his eyes fixed continually on the face of his heloved mi.stres, re- fusing to leave the room until the body wa removed for burial.