Monday, July 6, 2015

I appeal to the weekly caricatures, not of persons only and their doings, but of all that is held sacred in our doctrines and observances, of our rites and ceremonies, our saints and our relics, our sacred vestments and our rosaries. I appeal to the popular publication, which witty and amusing in its place, thought it well to leave its "sweetness" and its "fatness," to change make-believe for earnest, to become solemn and sour in its jests, and awkwardly to try its hand at divinity, because Catholics were the game. I appeal to the cowardly issue of a cowardly agitation, to the blows dealt in the streets of this very town upon the persons of the innocent, the tender, and the helpless [...] who, at various times, up to the day I am recording it, because they are Catholics, have been the  victims of these newspaper sarcasms, and these platform blasphemies. I appeal to the stones striking sharply upon the one, and the teeth knocked out of the mouths of the other [...] Such are some of the phenomena of a Religion which makes it its special boast to be the Prophet of Toleration.

-John Henry Newman, Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England (1851).

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