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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 17.djvu/632

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that many churches have sounded a note of alarm, their hands. The Holy Office did not condemn the

To cite conditions in the United StatesĀ : in the "appUed Christianity" of the associations. The edu-

National Congregational Council of 1917 the presi- cational and recreational features are to be com-

dent of the Chicago Seminary stated that the de- mended; but the Protestant rationalism and indif-

crease in the number of theological students had ferentism of the promoters exact a terrible toll in

progressed to such an extent that the church was return. That this is reallv the purpose of the Y.

facing the most serious crisis since the Civil War. M. C. A. and other similar societies, particularly

There has been a steady decline also in the enroll- in their European work appears from their own

ment of Episcopalian, Presbjrterian and Baptist words, according to the letter of the Holy Ufflce


for the demands of a growing church. The gen- society, indeed, makes profession of a sincere love eral result is that in 1920, according to a report for young people, as if it had no dearer aim than made for the Federal Council of Churches, there to give them facilities for oon)oral and mental de- were 40,000 Protestant pulpits without pastors; in velopment; but at the same time it destrosrs their the South alone there were s^d to be 3000 Bap- faith and declares that it proposes to purify it, tist, 1800 Methodist, 1000 Episcopalian, and 1000 and to impart a more perfect knowledge of life, Presbyterian churches without leaders. In 1921, 'above and apart from any religious system'." according to a writer in the "Independent" (20 In the Western hemisphere Protestant propa- August, 1921) 5000 Protestant pulpits became ganda has been pushed strongly in Latin America, vacant; 5000 more are expeoted to become vacant although much proselytism has also been attempted in 19^; yet there were only 1600 seminary gradu- among Catholic immigrants i^ the United States, ates in 1921, with prospects of even less in the year The opening of the Panama Canal, various Pan- following. Moreover, it is significant that the American meetings, the Panama Pacific exposition, writer just referred to (a Protestant) names as and the commercial prospects of trade with South the outstanding causes for the present Protestant American countries had for years turned attention crisis, and for what he terms the failing influence to Latin America. The sects which have in point of Protestantism in the last generation (1) bad of fact never met with any striking success in that theology (2) bad Christianity (3) bad Protestant- field, now turned their attention thither. In the ism. Edinburgh World Missionary Conference of 1910

United States Government statistics for minis- the delegates had practically been told, "Hands ters for the period 1890 to 1916 are as follows: off," when the question of South America was number of Protestant ministers in the United raised, the Anglican and German delegates par- States in 1890, 101^70; in 1906, 149,653; in 1916, ticularly decryinjg any attempt to proselyte among 171,509. The rate of gain from 1890 to 1906 was the Latin-American Catholics. The consensus of somewhat less than 3% per year; for the following opinion was that missionary efforts should be ex- ten years it was less than 1^%, or about one-half pended in non-Christian coimtjies. The American the former rate. ^ , , delegates, not satisfied with such an attitude, soon

In England and Wales conditions are quite simi- after their return conceived the idea of a union

lar: in 1909 there were 10,125 dissenting clergy- congress to consider the possibilities; methods, and

men, and 55,476 "local and lay preachers." In means, of a campaign "to win Latin America to

1915 there were 10^63 of the former and 54,449 of Christ" (sic). As a consequence the "Congress on

the latter, showing a net loss of 289 for the period. Christian Work in Latin America" was arranged

In 1901 there were 25,235 Anglican clergymen; in for, to consist of a union meeting of delegates from

1918 there were reported only 19^00 (with the various churches. The proposal was generally

possibility that there may have been a few more hailed with approval by the different sects. The

on the non-active list). It is true that the war Missionaiy Society of the Protestant Episcopal

had a serious effect in this period, but nevertheless Church voted to participate, contrary to instruc-

we should expect an increase over the figures of tions from the General Convention of the church,

seventeen years before, if the churches were in a Recognizing the true nature of the movement,

healthy condition. three bishops and several of the clergy (including

Contrasting with its rather moribund state from Dr. Manning, who was later made a bishop), re-

the point of view of theology, Protestantism has of signed in protest from the Board in 1915, one

late been making added efforts to penetrate the bishop declaring that the conference was a direct

Catholic countries of Europe and South America attack of one part of (Christendom on another, and

throu^ the medium of material resources. France, that in such an affront to Roman Catholics he

Belgium, Italy, Poland, and other countries, after would not take part. Meanwhile, after long dish

the war, have become the center of the proselyting cussion at the preliminary meetings, the following

efforts of the Protestants; and under the ^ise of invitation was sent to various Catholic leaders, in

"humanitarian aid" they have sought to inject the the full knowledge, of course, that no Catholic

virus of religious division among those peoples, would accept such a call from such a source: "All

Funds contributed to by American Catholics as communions or organizations which accept Jesus

well as Protestants have been used to further this Christ as Divine Saviour *and Lord, and tne Holy

propaganda, not directly always, but in many in- Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the

stances none the less effectively. In Italy and in Revealed Word of (jod, and whose purpose is to

Rome itself the proselyting activities were eape- make the will orf Christ prevail in Latin America,

cially evident until the Holy Father finally called are cordially invited to participate in the Panama

upon the Knights of Columbus and the Paulists of Congress, and will be heartily welcomed."

America to help counteract the propaganda. The The congress met in Panama 10-20 February,

Holy Office (5 November, 1920), issued a letter to igie, and later issued in three volumes the reports

the Bishops of the Church, warning them of the and discussions of the commissions and meetini^s.

activities of the Y. M. C. A. (q. v.) and similar or- The chief aim seemed to be to present to the Latin

ganizations, and indicating the dangers to the Cath- Americans a united front, a "catholic Protestant"

olic faith which lurked in accepting favors from church as it were, no longer divided. Accordingly