Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/452

This page needs to be proofread.


MISSOURI


400


MISSOURI


real estate as may be prescribed by liiw for church edifices, parsonages, and cemeteries.

Suiifliiy Observance. — Tlie law provides that the Sabl'>ath shall not be broken by the performance of any lalxjur, other than works of necessity, on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, and the master is held to .iccounf for compelling or permitting his servants or apprentices to labour on that day. But any member of a religious society which observes any otlier d.iy thnn Sunday as the Sabbath, is not bound to ol)S(>rve Sunday as such. Horse-racing, cock-fighting, and playing games, as well as hunting game, are forbidden on Siuiday. The selling of any wares or merchandise, the opening of any lir|uor saloon, and the sale of fermented or distilleci liquors are forbidilen on Sunday.

Admiiiisterhig of Onlhs. — Ever>' public offici.ol is required to take an oath to perform the dvities of his office and to support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Missouri, and all witnesses in everj- court, are required to give their testimony "under oath"; however, any person who declares that he has conscientious scruples against taking any oath or swearing in any form, is permittccl to make his solemn decLiration or affirmation concluding with the words "under the pain and penalty of perjury". Where it appears that the person to be sworn has any particul.ar mode of swearing in addition to or in con- nexion with the usual form of administering oaths, which to him is a more solemn and binding obligation, the court or officer administering the oath is required to adopt the form most binding on the conscience of the person to be sworn. .\ny person believing in any other than the Christian religion, is sworn according to the prescribed ceremonies of his o^\^l religion, if there be any such (sec. !SS4() to 884.5 R. S. 1899).

Use of Prnyer in Lri/islnturc. — There is no statutory provision for a chaplain for either branch of the legis- lature, but the rules of these bodies provide for a chap- lain for each, who is paitl out of a contingency fund. The chaplain is elected l)y the legislative body for each session. No Catholic priest has ever been elected to this position.

Seal of Confession. Section 4659 R. S. 1899 pro- vides that a minister of the Gospel or a priest of any denomination shall be incompetent to testify concern- ing the confession made to him in his professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by the rules or practice of such denomination.

Matters Affecting Religious Work. — Incorpo- ration of Churches. — No religious corporation can be established in this state except such as may be created under the general law for the purpose only of holding the title of such real estate as may be necessary for churches, schools, parsonages, and cemeteries. There is no constitutional or statutorj- recognition, as in some states, of any churchman in his official capacity. The property of a diocese, for example, is vested in the individual and not in the bishop as such.

Exemption from Taxes and Public Duties. — The con- stitution of the state exempts from taxation church property to the extent of one acre in incorporated cities or towns, or within one mile from such cities or towns. Church property to the extent of five acres more than one mile from incorporated cities or towns is exempt from taxation. These exemptions are sub- ject to the provision that such property is used exclu- sively for religious worship, for schools, or for purposes purely charitable.

The law also provides that no clergjonan shall be compelled to serve on any jury. Ministers of the Gos- pel may select such books as are necessary for the practice of their profession, and the same are exempt from attachment under execution. It is not lawful for any city or municipality to exact a tax or licence fee from any minister of the Gospel for authorizing him to follow his calling.


Marriage and Divorce. — Marriages are forbidden and void between first cousins, or persons more nearly related than first cousins, such as uncles and nieces, etc. Any judge of a court of record or justice of the peace, or any ordained or licensed preacher of the Gospel, who is a citizen of the United States, may per- form a marriage ceremony. A licence of marriage is required, and no licence \\'ill be issued to a male under the age of twenty-one or to a female under eighteen without the consent of the father of the minor or, if the fat her cannot act, of the mother or guardian. The law rc'(|uircs that the person performing the marriage ceremony sh:ill return a certificate of the service to the st.atc authorities. The causes for divorce are enumer- ated in the statute, and, liesides the usual clause, it is provided that a divorce may be granted when it is proved that the offending person "has been guilty of conduct that makes the condition of the complaining party intolerable". This clause makes it possible to secure a divorce on any grovmds that the judge con- siders sufficient, and is thought to be the source of some abuse. Residence of one year in the state is re- quired Iiefore a petition for divorce may be filed. There is no statutory prohibition against divorced persons marrying at any time after a decree of divorce has been granted.

C.\THOLic Education. — Every parish of any con- siderable size in the state maintains a parochial school. There are 228 parochial schools in the state with 38,098 children in attendance. Each diocese has its own school-board, and a uniform system of text-books is used throughout the diocese. There are eight col- leges and academies for boys with 1872 students in attendance, and 38 academies and institutions of higher education for girls with 4480 pupils in attend- ance. The St. Louis University, conducted by the Jesuit Fathers, is one of the leading educational insti- tutions of the country. It conducts a school of divin- ity, a school of philosophy and science, a school of medicine, a school of dentistry, an institute of law, and an undergraduate and academic department. There is a total of 950 lay students in attendance. No parochial or private schools receive any assistance or support from the state, and all citizens are required to contribute to the support of the public schools regard- less of whether their children attend a private or a public institution.

Charitable Institutions. — There are in the state 10 orphan asylums with 1248 inmates; 25 hospitals; 2 deaf-mute institutions with 60 inmates; 3 homes for aged persons; 1 industrial and reform school; 1 found- ling asylum, and 1 newsboys' home — all under Catho- lic auspices. The state does not contribute anything to the Catholic orphanages, but the foundling asylum in St. liOuis receives some remuneration for keeping waifs who are found by the police and intrusted to that institution.

There is a State Board of Charities and Corrections, of which the governor is a member ex officio. This board has general supervision over the charitable institutions conducted by the state. There is a state hospital at Fulton, at St. Joseph, at Nevada, and at Farmington. There is a state Confederate Soldiers^ Home at Higginsville, and a State Federal Soldiers' Home at St. James. A school for the deaf is main- tained at Fulton, a school for the blind at St. Louis, and a colonv for the feeble-minded and epileptic at Marshall. The Missouri State Sanitarium for the treatment of tuberculosis is located at Mt. Vernon on the crest of the Ozarks.

Sale of Liquor. — Intoxicating liquors may be sold only by licensed saloon-keepers. In cities of two thou- sand or more inhabitants the application for licence must be accompanied by a petition asking that the licence be granted. This petition must be signed by a majority of the tax-paying citizens owning property on the block or square in which the saloon is to be