Narod Polski -- September 28, 1910Facts about Everything and Everybody
Under that title, Dziennik Chicagoski published a few articles as an answer to Dziennik Narodowy and Kurver Polski, concerning church affairs in America. The author of those articles is trying to create distrust among readers in respect to the church and irreverence towards the clergy, but the trick did not work and the statements concerning expenditures for building churches and schools appear to be a humbug.
Here is the answer of Dziennik Chicagoski to those articles: "A certain Mr. P. H. appraised recently the wealth of Polish churches, parish houses, schools, convents, and all that belongs to Polish parishes in America, at a figure of 190 million dollars. He also calculated annual expenses of priests, bishops, the Pope, missions, sisters and other church servants, at a figure of 40 million dollars. The foregoing figures are nothing but gnashing of the teeth and malicious accusation of Polish community that 2it spends so much money for the upkeep of the Roman-Catholic Church, Catholic schools, bishops, the Pope, and nuns.
While the writer has exaggerated the number of Poles in America to four million, and represented that every person from a small child to a grown up - socialist, drunkard or tramp, who never attended church nor is willing to support it - has been taxed for the benefit of the church, nevertheless we have in those statistics a beautiful example of our people's profound faith.
Let us suppose that those statements contain only half the truth, that the value of Polish parishes in America is 95 million dollars and the annual expenses 20 million dollars. Even then it is a great sum contributed by our people for such great ideal as the church, the school, religious education and missions. Even then it shows only a highly idealistic community which, understanding the purpose of life, has realized as if by instinct that the church and school are like two roots invigorating its spirit with their healthy sap and upholding its national existence.3
We thank God that he gave us such strong faith in the days of trials and tribulations. It guarantees our salvation and at the same time it is that beneficent star which, on the sea of adversity and oppression, fills us with hopes of a better future; removes despair and encourages us to struggle with our fate. Carried across the ocean in the hearts of the poor, it soothes through many years their sufferings and longings; it ennobles their customs, unites them, and becomes the foundation of their wealth and development.
Under the auspices of the Roman-Catholic Church grew our colonies and our settlements, and millions of immigrants found peace and consolation within its stone walls. There we found where to look for true happiness and how to live, in order to have the respect of those among whom we live.
The Catholic Church, we could say, rocked the Polish immigration to 4America on its knees, as it did Poland years ago. It led the Polish immigration in America to a higher place than anyone has dreamed about. No wonder that our people have such trust in the Roman-Catholic Church, that our people trusted Roman-Catholic bishops with their churches, schools and other properties. The Church was our mother and comforter during our great misfortune and abandonment, therefore our people trusted the Church as they would a godmother delivering all accumulated spiritual wealth, being assured that the end of the world would come sooner than any Catholic bishop would sell our church, school, parish house or anything connected with the glory of God.
In vain complains the anonymous Mr. R. H. for the past several weeks over "lost" Polish church property, in vain he describes that property from many angles and through a magnifying glass, for we placed that property at the same feet that our first Christians placed theirs -- at the feet of the Apostles, bishops of the Roman-Catholic Church.5
We offered it to the same faith for which our early Christians laid their lives, their freedom, their fortune; we have done what other Catholic nations have done through the centuries.
We know that church property, even eucharistic vestments and other articles of devotion, had been robbed by the liberal French government, they were robbed by the Turks, heretics, schismatics and all kinds of Godless men. We never heard of any Catholic bishop doing it. If the bishops ever sold church articles, it must have been during famines, wars or other great calamities, when suffering was great and money was needed for the food. Such are the annals of history.
Finally, if it were better for our immigration to manage our Polish church property differently, our bishops would have instructed us in that matter. So would our great Polish men, like H. Sienkiewicz, B. Prus, and others, who wrote letters to the Prussian king protesting 6the mistreatment of the Poles and causing the whole world to shout an anathema to the Prussian government for trying to dispossess Poles.
If those noble men could see the articles of Mr. K. H., they would shudder and ask themselves whether a Pole wrote those articles not saying anything about being a Catholic but just an honest Pole. Is it possible that such articles could be published in a paper edited by a man whose brother is a priest? Is it possible that that priest if only one half Catholic would not deny his brother publicly if his influence had no effect on his brother and his editing of the paper? Is it possible that our people across the seas are fed on such humbug and insinuation?
We came to the conclusion that such work could only be accomplished by a degenerated soul, a soul hungry for bread and incapable to earn it in any other way than by abominable and repulsive lies, spreading ideas contrary to the harmonious unity of the Catholic Church.7
No advice could help how far we should go and where we should stop, it would not help to cover the hatred towards the Roman-Catholic Church by historical facts. From the mouth of the whole Catholic Poland would fall unanimous judgment.
He asks for the Polish bishops, but he hates them with his whole soul, praying to Satan to harm them. He asks for the rights of the Polish people, but he leads them to anarchy. He states that he does not lead the people into heresy and schism, but he leads them down into the same abyss.
This is how Mr. K. H.'s (sic) articles would be judged by the wise men of our country if they could overcome the reluctance for reading it only partially.
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