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THE HANDWRITING ON THE WALL
The Catholic Mirror caustically remarks:
„When Protestantism began, it was to create a new era in the religion of the world. ‚Rome’ was to go down with all sorts of crashes, the ‚superstitious dogmas’ of the Middle Ages were laid aside forever, and a rational creed was to rule the future. Loud and fierce rang the triumphant war shouts of the champions of the new order of things. But soon—wonderful spectacle!—protests began to be entered against Protestantism. At first, feeble and lost in the blatant roars of the blind giants who were hurling things to pieces, they gradually grew louder, as the triumphant cries grew weaker. Time went on, bringing its silent revenges. ‚Rome,’ so far from being down had recovered her ground in Europe and extended her spiritual empire in other parts of the world. And, meanwhile, Protestantism was splitting into an infinite variety of sects, each powerful in respect of wealth, considering members, but powerless on account of the want of cohesion.
„So the matter stands now. Decidedly, something is the matter. Our beautiful concern is decaying. Protestantism is sick. So, call in all the wise doctors; let’s have consultations, conferences, evangelical alliances, and what not. But the end, friends, so far as we can see, is an abundant flow of gabber and endless waste of ink in all sorts of ‚symposiums’ (vide the North American Review), and nothing else. And, indeed, it needs no great insight to pronounce upon the disease’s issue, since even James Anthony Froude, its special champion in the past, writes: ‚Protestantism is dead.’ There is the epitaph in three words. It is dead as a moral force that counts in the world, and slowly the little disintegrated forms are withering around the spirit that gave them life, but now lies mute.”
— June, 1883 —