MORE ON ALLEGED VATICAN PLOT AGAINST ABRAHAM LINCOLN
In response to an item in CN 9.74 regarding the possibility
of a 19th-century alliance between the Pope and European
monarchs, CN reader Michael Hoffman II writes:
Catholic theology denies the Divine Right of Kings for both
Catholic and Protestant monarchs. The most distinguished
Catholic political writer in this field (who may have
influenced the American Founders), was the 17th century
Jesuit scholar, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, who debated the
"Divine Right" proponent, the Protestant King James I of
England. (Luther also upheld the doctrine).
The Catholic Church had always put limits on monarchs.
James and later Louis XIV of France, identified themselves
with God and the state. Bellarmine, at the pope's behest,
contested this (cf. John Clement Rager, "The Political
Philosophy of St. Robert Bellarmine"). In France the
papacy condemned Divine Right as the heresy of Gallicanism.
Of course in the secular realm to this day there are
Catholic reactionaries and royalists who are even willing
to side with the Protestant crown than countenance the
American Revolution. In America however, the Church was
dominated by the Republican Irish who with their bad
experience under the British monarchy embraced the American
system of Republican government wholeheartedly.
Pius IX was very concerned about the Union's use of Irish
Catholics as cannon fodder in the war and issued a letter
to be read in all the churches in Ireland resisting Union
Hoffman does not seem to deny the personification of the Divine
Right concept within the Church itself, just the possibility of
an alliance between the Church and European monarchs. After all,
the Catholic Church is quite blunt about it: the Pope is
(supposedly) God's representative on earth.
But in spite of Hoffman's erudition, as apparent in the excerpt
quoted above, why wouldn't the Catholic Church and European
monarchs have found some common ground? Politics make strange
bedfellows, and a secret agreement between European monarchs and
the Pope is not too far-fetched.
In Burke McCarty's book on the Lincoln assassination (*Suppressed
Truth About the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln*, see CN 9.74),
mention is made of a Rev. Charles Chiniquy, a defrocked Catholic
priest who authored a book called *Fifty Years in the Church of
Rome*. A CN reader was nice enough to send the following,
indicating that Chiniquy's book is still in print:
I am writing to inform you about a book written by a
contemporary of Abraham Lincoln, which appears to confirm
what Burke McCarty is saying. The book is:
"50 Years in the Church of Rome"
by Charles Chiniquy
by Jack T. Chick
P.O. Box 662
Chino, Calif. 91710
In Burke McCarty's book, the ex-Rev. Chiniquy, who knew Lincoln,
quotes the great president as having stated as follows:
The common people hear and see the big noisy wheels of the
southern Confederacy cars, and they call him Jeff Davis,
Lee, Thompson, Beauregard, Semmes, or others. They
honestly think that they are the motive power, the first
cause of our troubles, but it is a mistake, the true motive
power is secreted behind the thick walls of the Vatican --
the colleges and schools of the Jesuits; the convents of
the Nuns, the confessional boxes of Rome.
And again, said by Chiniquy to be a statement having been made by
Father Chiniquy, I want your views about a thing which is
exceedingly puzzling to me and you are the only one to whom
I would like to speak on the subject. A great number of
Democratic newspapers have been sent me lately, evidently
written by Roman Catholics, publishing that I was born a
Roman Catholic and baptized by a priest. They called me a
renegade and apostate on account of that, and they heaped
upon my head mountains of abuse. Now, no priest of Rome
has ever laid his hand on my head. But the persistency of
the Romish press to present this falsehood to their readers
as gospel truth, must have a meaning. Please tell me, as
briefly as possible, what you think about it.
This, Chiniquy answered, was done solely to incite and justify
the act of assassination in the minds of any Catholic fanatics.
It was, says Chiniquy, equivalent to a command.
Skeptics will rightly point out that as a defrocked Catholic
priest, Chiniquy's claims are dubious. Yet that coin has two
sides: as a defrocked priest, Chiniquy would have been free to
speak his mind.