Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 16, 1892Father Barzynski and Jacob Tamillo (Editorial)
For the reassurance of my friends and enemies, in the defence of the worthiness of priesthood, which I carry by the grace of God, though I am unworthy, and for the love of those whose minds have been trained in the environs of the home, who are not prepared to criticize sophism, such as the articles of Jacob Tamillo are filled with, I am obliged to comment on them.
On the first of January, a general mass meeting was held under the sponsorship and supervision of Polish parishional societies. This mass meeting, which was the first step in making a protest against the unjust actions of the Russian Tsar towards our unfortunate Poles abroad, was 2attended by two thousand five hundred persons.
Enemies, friendly or unfriendly, towards the Tsar, time will only tell, and Catholicism resolved during the time of this important deliberation to introduce complete opposition to the question of protest and cause confusion at the assembly.
For the execution of these plans, the instigators chose the renown malcontenter, J. Tamillo from St. Hedwig's parish. He was given certain instructions to perform at the mass meeting. But the poor fellow in the presence of 2500 people forgot about his philippic oration and only stared at the audience. And when, an opportunity offered itself, he asked for permission to speak. The chairman of this assembly, City Treasurer Peter Kiolbassa, granted him permission with the understanding that his talk 3will follow in the footsteps of the purpose for which this meeting was called. It never occurred to his mind that any Pole would plot treachery.
Alas, this is what happened. Mr. Tamillo, adhering to the plans, received permission to get on the speaker's stand. As soon as he made his appearance on the platform, he appealed to the audience for more time. He wanted at least half an hour, amidst silence, and without interruption, even if some in the audience did not like the speech. After the completion of the discussion, the audience would be free to criticize the speech.
This request was unusual, and it did break-up the continuity of the meeting. A little disorder followed, however. Silence was restored and Jacob Tamillo began his talk after this fashion:
"Brothers, I did not come here to speak to you at this time about the 4protest, but primarily about the constitution of May 3. This constitution favors no one. It gives everyone equal rights whether he is a Jew, Lutheran, Catholic, etc."
Poor Mr. Tamillo, apparently did not have enough time to familiarize himself with the text of the constitution of May 3.
Without further ado, Mr. J. Tamillo changed the subject quickly, and began with great emphasis and gesticulation, "who gave us God?--Moses gave us God!!!....When this statement was made before the 2500 people gradual mumbling began and rose to loud proportions. Constantly the audience repeated: Who gave us Moses?
The chairman, realizing that general disorder would be inevitable, requested the uninvited speaker to leave the stand, for his discussion was not 5only out of order, but an insult to such a solemn occasion, and a smear to its patriotic purpose.
Seeing and hearing the results of his few opening statements, J. Tamillo left the speaker's stand completely confounded. He sat down next to my chair, which was a few paces from the leaders of the assembly.
I scrutinized him carefully. He actually appeared like a lost and beaten animal. Quietly and politely I questioned him, "Mr. Tamillo, who gave us Moses, and before him, Adam and Abraham, etc.?" He did not know how to answer my questions, for he was dumbfounded.
All this, my dear readers, happened before 2500 people in broad daylight at the spacious Polish hall of St. Stanislaus Kostki's parish in Chicago, 6Illinois.
What is to be done after such an ignominious defeat, thought the unfortunate orator. Ha! What is to be done! I must return to my instructors to right my wrongs. I was tempted by them, and now my honor is at stake, and perhaps my earning.
In poverty many friends are not loyal and some of his allies replied to him like the Pharisees: "What is it to us, you look after yourself. You took upon yourself to do things which you could not accomplish. Your speech did not break up the mass meeting, but only kindled its fires the more.
Verily, after unmasking the treachery, the committee concluded its work. Resolutions were made, and the people en masse, left for the chapel to ask 7God for relief of the poor Poles that are being mercilessly murdered by the Tsar of Russia, and to thank Him for the success of the first mass meeting, for the victory of the initial step toward a world-wide protest.
There were some people in the rear of the hall of the mass meeting who demanded Jacob Tamillo continue his speech, but they could not be heard. In fact, they asked him what was wanted of them. It seems that some people are greater weaklings than they appear. These are the ones that require a censor.
Yet, there were other men of letters who favored the defeated man, and instructed him not to waste anymore time, but tell what was happening at the meeting, what you have done, and how your privilege of a speaker was taken away, etc.
"Ho, ho! We will get revenge for you! But you must undersign everything 8we print about this affair."
"Even if I have to do it twice, no matter under what conditions, if only I can get revenge. I must protect my reputation."
On January 9, there appeared long articles seething with revenge and prevarications. All were signed by Jacob Tamillo.
In order to enlighten the readers under what steps this attack was made, I will repeat the severe criticism of the initial article. The title was: "The Great Protest of Jacob Tamillo Against Father Vincent Barzynski." The opening paragraph read as follows:9
"My friends: you are protesting against the actions of the Tsar of Russia in Europe. Why do you not protest against a greater tsar and despot who resides at Ingraham Street, near the Northwestern railroad? You do not know him but I, Jacob Tamillo, do.
I have seen him, and conversed with him on the speaker's stand at the large Polish hall of St. Stanislaus Parish in the presence of 2,500 people gathered here on January 1. I have seen him between three and four o'clock in the afternoon when he had taken off his mask of Catholicism, and presented himself barren of the teachings of the Church.
I can truthfully say that I was sitting with the committee, including Father Barzynski, on the platform and have spoken to the people just as the platform and have spoken to the people just as the guest speakers that the most important factor confronting us is a mass protest against the Russian violences and, furthermore, it is our duty 10to take action."
It is true that J. Tamillo later in the course of the assembly arose and asked for permission to say a few words. I motioned to the chairman, and the request was granted. What ensued has already been told.
Then under what right did he have to say, "I have seen him when he had taken off his mask of Catholicism and presented himself barren of the teachings of the Church?"
Mr. Tamillo must realize that whoever makes public such statements indorsed with his signature, is responsible for what he says about that individual to the public. Then what is the gain and purpose of these articles? He should realize that by duping the public, he not only loses public prestige, but also the right to carry the banner of peace and harmony among our 11people.
Is it because Jacob Tamillo attended the gathering filled with the sayings of false prophets and when he made his attempt to present them to the audience he tore away the shroud of treachery? Is it because he failed to convince the people of his lies. Or did it please him to take off his masquerading costume of Catholicism and tear up the flag of patriotism before this crowd, which greeted him with jeers and laughter? And must I be the goat of such undeserved ridicule and revenge?
All this would be of no significance to me but the public is involved. Many cannot comprehend the portents of these articles. There are also those that could not understand why I should forgive and forget such insulting columns.
Because of this, I am asking Mr. Tamillo to explain the following questions:12
1. Did I wear anykind of a mask of Catholicism?
2. How did I take off this mask?
3. In what kind of barreness did he see me?
4. What and how are the 2500 people that were present at the mass meeting going to prove and side for me?
5. For what reason is Mr. Tamillo publicly attacking me in his articles?
Dated: January 15, 1892.
Father Vincent Barzynski.
III C, I B 4
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