The Book of Revelation
Historical Supplement #2
Abraham Lincoln & Father Charles Chiniquay
Issue No. 185-B
This article reflects an author from the 1800’s, who wrote the book, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome. It seems important to us here in America to see how the papal policies of the bitter old Pope Pius IX affected American history, particularly our Civil War and the ultimate assassination of President Lincoln in 1865.
Father Charles Chiniquy was a Canadian Roman Catholic priest for 25 years. As a boy, his mother read the Bible to him, giving him an extraordinary love for the Scriptures. One day in 1818 their priest came and asked them if it was true that they were reading the Bible with their son. They acknowledged it was so. The priest reminded them that the Council of Trent had forbidden the common people to read the Bible in French. His father replied that he could read equally well in French, Greek, or Latin. Father Chiniquy gives the priest’s response on p. 4 of his book, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome,
“‘Mr. Chiniquy,’ rejoined the priest, ‘you have gone through a whole course of theology; you know the duties of a curate; you know it is my painful duty to come here, get the Bible from you and burn it’.”
His father showed him the door. The Bible remained. Yet Charles went into the priesthood, primarily out of a love for the Bible. He figured that if he was a priest, then he would be free to read and study the Word. Of course, he discovered that he was not free to accept the simple Word as written, but had to subject it to the re-interpretations of the Church hierarchy. This often put him at odds with the bishops, who considered him to be a trouble maker. He writes again on page 42,
“Every day the scholar is told that his reason was not given him that he might be guided by it, but only that he may know the hand of the man by whom he must be guided. And that hand is none other than the Pope’s.”
Charles Chiniquy took his vow as a sub-deacon in 1832, determined to subdue his reason and understanding of the plain Scripture. Little did he know that 25 years later he would be forced out of the Church by an unscrupulous and corrupt bishop. Father Chiniquy could not force himself to submit to the bishop’s schemes of robbing the Catholic people of their money.
Some of Father Chiniquy’s problems were the very oaths that he was required to take as a priest.
“…I felt as if a thunderbolt had fallen upon me when I pronounced the awful oath which is required from every priest: ‘I will never interpret the Holy Scriptures except according to the unanimous consent of the Holy Fathers’.” (p. 100)
He discovered that most of the priests had never even studied the writings of the Church Fathers. In fact, those books were on the forbidden-reading list. He asked,
“By that awful oath, will we not be absolutely bound to remain mute as dead men on every text on which the Holy Fathers have differed, under the evident penalty of becoming perjured?” (p. 101)
“Is it not a public and undeniable fact that the history of our Holy Church is almost nothing else than the history of the hard conflict, stern divisions, unflinching contradictions and oppositions of Holy Fathers to Holy Fathers?
“What do we find, in the six volumes of letters we have still from St. Jerome, if not the undeniable fact that he filled the Church with the noise of his harsh denunciations of the scriptural views of St. Augustine on many important points. You have read those letters? Well, have you not concluded that St. Jerome and St. Augustine agreed almost only on one thing, which was, to disagree on every subject they treated?” (p. 102)
“But the Pope has inexorably tied us to the unanimity. If my faith is not the faith of unanimity, I am for ever damned. I am out of the Church! (p. 104)
“What a frightful alternative is just before us! We must either perjure ourselves, by swearing to follow a unanimity which is a fable, in order to remain Roman Catholics, or we must plunge into the abyss of impiety and atheism by refusing to swear that we will adhere to a unanimity which never existed.” (p. 105)
In 1833 Father Chiniquy was made Vicar under Rev. Perras near Quebec. They became good friends. One day Rev. Perras said that the bishop had once told him with many tears that he knew of only four priests in his diocese who were not atheists or infidels. Father Perras comforted him in a very strange way (pp. 128, 129):
“At first I regretted having pressed the bishop to reveal such an unexpected ‘mystery of iniquity’…‘My Lord, what you have told me is surely the saddest thing that I ever heard; but allow me to tell you that your sorrows are out of the limits of your high intelligence and your profound science. If you read the history of our holy church, from the seventh to the fifteenth centuries, you will know that the spotless spouse of Christ has seen as dark days, if not darker, in Italy, France, Spain and Germany, as she does in Canada, and though the saints of those days deplored the errors and crimes of those dark ages, they have not killed themselves with their vain tears as you are doing.’
“Taking the bishop by the hand, I led him to the library, and opened the pages of the history of the church, by Cardinals Baronius and Fleury, and I showed him the names of more than fifty Popes who had evidently been atheists and infidels. I read to him the lives of Borgia, Alexander VI, and a dozen others, who would surely and justly be hanged today by the executioner of Quebec, were they, in that city, committing one-half of the public crimes of adultery, murder, debauchery of every kind, which they committed in Rome, Avignon, Naples, etc., etc. I read to him some of the public and undeniable crimes of the successors of the apostles, and of the inferior clergy, and I easily and clearly proved to him that his priests, though infidels and atheists, were angels of piety, modesty, purity, and religion, when compared with a Borgia, who publicly lived as a married man with his own daughter, and had a child by her. He agreed with me that several of the Alexanders, the Johns, the Piuses, and the Leos were sunk much deeper in the abyss of every kind of iniquity than his priests.
“Five hours passed in so perusing the sad but irrefutable pages of the history of our holy church, wrought a marvelous and beneficial change in the mind of Monseigneur Plessis.
“My conclusion was, that if our holy church had been able to resist the deadly influence of such scandals during so many centuries in Europe, she would not be destroyed in Canada, even by the legion of atheists by whom she is served today.”
Father Chiniquy says that he listened to this story and could not help but recall Jesus’ words in Matt. 7:18-20,
18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.
The Plan to Rule America
On December 15, 1850 Father Chiniquy received a letter from the Bishop of Chicago inviting him to lead the way for Catholic immigrants to settle along the Mississippi River. The purpose was to dominate this fertile territory and ultimately bring greater Catholic influence in America. The Bishop’s letter is recorded on page 350 of Father’s Chiniquy’s book:
“You are aware that the lands of the State of Illinois and the whole valley of the Mississippi are among the richest and most fertile of the world. In a near future, those regions, which are now a comparative wilderness, will be the granary, not only of the United States, but of the whole world; and those who will possess them will not only possess the very heart and arteries of this young and already so great republic, but will become its rulers.
“It is our intention, without noise, to take possession of those vast and magnificent regions of the west in the name and for the benefit of our holy Church. Our plan to attain that object, is as sure as easy. There is, every year, an increasing tide of immigration from the Roman Catholic regions of Europe and Canada towards the United States. Unfortunately, till now, our emigrants have blindly scattered themselves among the Protestant populations, which too often absorb them and destroy their faith.
“Why should we not direct their steps to the same spot? Why should we not, for instance, induce them to come and take possession of these fertile states of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, etc. They can get those lands now, at a nominal price. If we succeed, as I hope we will, our holy Church will soon count her children by ten and twenty millions, and through their numbers, their wealth and unity, they will have such a weight in the balance of power that they will rule everything.
“The Protestants, always divided among themselves, will never form any strong party without the help of the united vote of our Catholic people; and that party alone, which will ask and get our help by yielding to our just demands, will rule the country. Then, in reality, though not in appearance, our holy Church will rule the United States, as she is called by our Saviour Himself to rule the whole world…
“But put yourself at the head of the emigrants from Canada, France and Belgium; prevent them from settling any longer among the Protestants, by inducing them to follow you to Illinois, and with them, you will soon see here a Roman Catholic people, whose number, wealth and influence will amaze the world… You will then lay the foundation of a Roman Catholic French people, whose piety, unity, wealth and number will soon renew and revive, on this continent, the past and fading glories of the Church of France.
“…I will ask the Pope to make you my coadjutor, and you will soon become my successor, for I already feel too weak and unhealthy to bear alone the burden of my too large diocese.
When Father Chiniquy arrived in Chicago, the Bishop confided in him that the previous Bishop had been murdered (poisoned) by the grand vicar. It seems that this grand vicar had fathered a child by one of the nuns of Loretto. As it threatened to cause a scandal, the Bishop had begun an investigation. The investigation was ended by his murder. Father Chiniquy writes on p. 357,
“Horrified by the long and minute details of that mystery of iniquity, I came very near returning to Canada, immediately, without going any further.”
Yet he felt that this very corruption was reason for him to stay and minister to the good Catholic people of Illinois. So he wrote a letter to be published in Catholic parts of Europe, asking for families to move to Illinois. About 500 families came within six months.
But then the Bishop of Illinois was moved to another location, and he was replaced by Bishop O’Regan. Before departing, he told Father Chiniquy (p. 394, 395),
“I cannot remain any longer Bishop of Illinois! No! I cannot any longer resume the responsibilities of such a high position, because it is beyond my power to fulfill my duties and do what the church requires of me. The conduct of the priests of this diocese is such that, should I follow the regulations of the canon, I would be forced to interdict all my priests with the exception of you and two or three others. They are all either notorious drunkards, or given to public or secret concubinage; several of them have children by their own nieces, and two by their own sisters. I do not think that ten of them believe in God. Religion is nothing to them but a well paying comedy. Where can I find a remedy to such a general evil? … Besides, how can I punish them, when I know that many of them are ready to poison me the very moment I raise a finger against them. I suppose that you do not ignore the fact that my poor predecessor was poisoned, by one of those priests who had seduced several nuns, when he was in the very act of investigating the matter.”
Bishop O’Regan and Father Chiniquy could not help but clash at some point. When this day finally arrived, the Bishop had arranged for Father Chiniquy to be charged falsely with criminal activity. It was then that he obtained the services of a lawyer from Springfield named Abraham Lincoln. Because of the false witnesses raised against him, it looked as if Chiniquy would lose the case. Lincoln told him,
“The only way to be sure of a favourable verdict tomorrow is that God Almighty would take our part and show your innocence. Go to him and pray, for He alone can save you. Mr. Lincoln was exceedingly solemn when he addressed those words to me, and they went very deep into my soul.
“I have often been asked if Abraham Lincoln had any religion? But I never had any doubt about his profound confidence in God, since I heard those words falling from his lips in that hour of anxiety…” (p. 467)
“What an awful night I spent! I hope none of my readers will ever know by their own experience the agony of spirit I endured. I had no other expectation than to be for ever dishonoured, and sent to the penitentiary next morning! But God had not forsaken me….
“At three o’clock a.m. I heard three knocks at my door, and I quickly went to open it. ‘Who was there?’ Abraham Lincoln, with a face beaming with joy! I could hardly believe my eyes… On seeing me bathed with tears, he exclaimed, ‘Cheer up, Mr. Chiniquy, I have the perjured priests in my hands. Their diabolical plot is all known, and if they do not fly away before the dawn of day, they will surely be lynched. Bless the Lord, you are saved!” (p. 467)
The priests in Chicago had been so confident of success that they had informed the newspapers that they had won their case. Lincoln told Father Chiniquy the story:
“And the little Irish boys, to sell their papers, filled the streets with the cries: ‘Chiniquy will be hung! Chiniquy will be hung!’ The Roman Catholics were so glad to hear that, that ten thousand extra copies have been sold. Among those who bought those papers was a friend of yours, called Terrien, who went to his wife and told her that you were to be condemned, and when the woman heard that, she said, ‘It is too bad, for I know Mr. Chiniquy is not guilty.’
“ ‘How do you know that?’ said the husband. She answered, ‘I was there when the priest Lebel made the plot and promised to give his sister two eighties of good land if she would swear a false oath—and accuse him of a crime which that woman said he had not even thought of with her.’
“ ‘If it be so,’ said Terrien, ‘we cannot allow Mr. Chiniquy to be condemned. Come with me to Urbana.’
“ But that woman being quite unwell, said to her husband, ‘You know well I cannot go; but Miss Philomene Moffat was with me then. She knows every particular of that wicked plot as well as I do. She is well; go and take her to Urbana. There is no doubt that her testimony will prevent the condemnation of Mr. Chiniquy. Narcisse Terrien started immediately; and when you were praying God to come to your help, He was sending your deliverer at the full speed of the railroad cars. Miss Moffat has just given me the details of that diabolical plot.” (p. 468)
“But what was the priest Lebel doing in that very moment? … Not long after the arrival of the trains from Chicago, he came down from his room to see in the book where travelers register their names, if there were any new comers from Chicago, and what was his dismay when he saw the first name entered was ‘Philomene Moffat!’ (p. 469)
He found her just as she was coming away from telling Lincoln of the plot. He attempted to bribe her with a bundle of bank notes, but she refused. He then ran to his room and told his fellow conspirator, Mr. Spink, that all was lost.
“When the hour of opening the court came, there was an immense crowd, not only inside, but outside its walls. Mr. Spink, pale as a man condemned to death, rose before the Judge and said, ‘Please the court, allow me to withdraw my prosecution against Mr. Chiniquy. I am now persuaded that he is not guilty of the faults brought against him before this tribunal’.” (pp. 469, 470)
In view of the fact that there is so much intrigue and unchristian character in many of the popes, Jesuits, and priests in the Roman Church, we should point out that it was a Catholic woman who exposed the priestly plot against Father Chiniquy. And we should also make the point, while we are at it, that the revolutions in Europe against the papacy and the monarchs were successful only because Catholic individuals supported them. There have been Catholic reformers all through history, and most of them paid for their efforts with their lives. The only reason “The Reformation” succeeded in the 16th century was due to the printing press that allowed their messages to be spread quickly and inexpensively—even if those reformers were later killed.
Hence, we stress that the unchristian actions of popes or priests usually find no support from the average Roman Catholic. This is why the Church finds it so necessary to hide most of its actions even from Catholics. In the case of Narcisse Terrien and Philomene Moffit, the priests were too careless, and these conscientious women boldly took action against their own priests.
By the end of his trial in Urbana, Illinois, Father Chiniquy was ruined financially by this time, and expected to be charged about $2,000 for Lincoln’s services—not an unreasonable amount for such a lengthy trial. But Lincoln billed him for just fifty dollars for travel and hotel expenses.
“As Mr. Lincoln had finished writing the due-bill, he turned round to me and said, ‘Father Chiniquy, what are you crying for? Ought you not to be the most happy man alive? You have beaten your enemies and gained the most glorious victory, and you will come out of all your troubles in triumph.
“ ‘Dear Mr. Lincoln,’ I answered, ‘allow me to tell you that the joy I should naturally feel for such a victory is destroyed in my mind by the fear of what it may cost you. There were then in the crowd not less than ten or twelve Jesuits from Chicago and St. Louis, who came to hear my sentence of condemnation to the penitentiary. But it was on their heads that you have brought the thunders of heaven and earth! Nothing can be compared to the expression of their rage against you, when you not only wrenched me from their cruel hands, but you were making the walls of the court-house tremble under the awful and superhumanly eloquent denunciation of their infamy, diabolical malice, and total want of Christian and human principle, in the plot they had formed for my destruction. What troubles my soul just now and draws tears, is that it seems to me that I have read your sentence of death in their fiendish eyes. How many other noble victims have already fallen at their feet!
“He tried to divert my mind, at first, with a joke, ‘Sign this,’ said he, ‘it will be my warrant of death.’
“But after I had signed, he became more solemn, and said, ‘I know that Jesuits never forget nor forsake. But man must not care how and where he dies, provided he dies at the post of honour and duty,’ and he left me.” (p. 472)
Father Chiniquy was, of course, expelled from the priesthood. And Lincoln, well, you know his story.
The Civil War
Father Chiniquy was a Roman Catholic for 50 years, and was a Canadian French priest during the last 25 of those years. He was then sent by the Church to Illinois to lead a Catholic immigration movement from Europe to the Mississippi River valley. This was part of the Roman Church’s goal of dominating American politics in order to ultimately turn America from a Constitutional Republic to a papal-dominated monarchy.
This plan reached somewhat of a climax in what is called the Civil War, or the War Between the States. The issue of slavery had long been a thorn in the side of the American Republic, because the framers of the Constitution had to allow slavery in order that the southern states might ratify the Constitution. In 1820 the decision was made to allow states to join the union in pairs—one slave state and one non-slave state, in order to ensure the continuance of slavery.
After observing slaves being sold, Abraham Lincoln was thoroughly repulsed by the slave trade and vowed to “hit it hard some day.” When he was elected President in late 1860, the southern states seceded from the Union, and thus began the Civil War. As to the morality of the war, and who was right or wrong, we can only say that constitutionally speaking, the southern states were in their rights, because the Constitution did not forbid slavery. From a higher moral view, to which Lincoln appealed, he was in the right. Both sides claimed that the Bible permitted slavery—which it does. However, the issue is whether or not the Bible permits the type of slavery practiced not only in the southern states but throughout most of the world. The Bible clearly considers slavery to be a judgment of the law in cases where a man cannot pay restitution for what he has stolen. Also, a man may sell himself and family into slavery, if he chooses. But in every case, biblical slaves have rights. The masters do not have the right of life and death over them. In fact, if a master knocks out his slave’s tooth or destroys his eye, the slave was to be set free for the sake of his tooth or eye (Ex. 21:26, 27).
The southern states turned the issue into a case of “states rights,” which was only a partial truth. The issue was more accurately a case of whether the states had the right to enslave black people and to deny them any rights at all, including the right of life itself. Constitutionally speaking, they did have that right, of course. But the Constitution, good as it was, was still a man-made document and therefore faulty.
In that sense, I am not a strict “Constitutionalist.” I will personally always prefer the Bible over the American Constitution or any other man-made document. In fact, although I appreciate the amount of freedom allowed in our present form of government and affirm that it is one of the best possible systems among men, as a Christian, I prefer a monarchy with Jesus Christ as King and the Bible as the Code of Law. To this end I labor, not to promote the traditions of men (whether religious or secular), but to promote the Kingdom of God. But until that day comes—not by revolution, but by divine intervention—I remain content and appreciative of what this American Republic offers in the way of freedom. I have the freedom to espouse the Kingdom of God in competition with the many ideologies that others promote.
I believe in toleration, because I have learned much from historical research about the effects of Rome’s policy of intoleration. I believe that all men ought to be free to make up their own minds and to choose which form of government they believe is best. If some are deceived into promoting oppressive forms of government, then we get what we deserve. I may not approve of it, but that is the way it is, and the rest of us must suffer for it until more people are enlightened by the Word of God.
Father Chiniquy had run afoul of the bishops in the past by asking too many questions. But it finally came down to an issue of submitting to the bishop unconditionally or not. He was asked to write a letter of submission to confirm his position, and he wrote (Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, p. 556),
“My lord Bishop Smith, Bishop of Dubuque and administrator of the diocese of Chicago:—We want to live and die in the holy Catholic, apostolic and Roman church, out of which there is no salvation, and to prove this to your lordship, we promise to obey the authority of the church according to the word and commandments of God as we find them expressed in the Gospel of Christ.”
They were happy with this until the Jesuits read his letter. They immediately perceived that Father Chiniquy had written precisely the opposite of what was expected of him. Instead of submitting to the Church unconditionally, he had submitted to church authority “according to the word and commandments of God as we find them expressed in the Gospel of Christ.” He was called back and questioned (pp. 564, 565):
“ ‘I hope, Mr. Chiniquy, that, as a good priest, you do not want to rebel against your bishop, and that you will give me the act of submission I ask from you. Take away these “Words of God,” “Gospel of Christ,” and “Bible” from your present document, and I will be satisfied.’
“But, my lord, with my people I have put these words because we want to obey only the bishops who follow the Word of God. We want to submit only to the church which respects and follows the Gospel of Christ.’
“In an irritated manner he quickly answered: ‘Take away from your act of submission those “Words of God,” and “Gospel of Christ,” and “Bible” or I will punish you as a rebel.’
“ ‘My lord,’ I replied, ‘those expressions are there to show us and to the whole world that the Word of God, the Gospel of Christ, and the Bible are the fundamental stones of our holy church. If we reject those precious stones, on what foundations will our church and our faith rest?’
“He answered angrily: ‘Mr. Chiniquy, I am your superior, I do not want to argue with you. You are my inferior; your business is to obey me. Give me at once an act of submission, in which you will simply say that you and your people will submit yourselves to my authority, and promise to do anything I will bid you.’
“I calmly answered: ‘What you ask me is not an act of submission, it is an act of adoration. I do absolutely refuse to give it.’
“ ‘If it be so, sir,’ he answered, ‘you can no longer be a Roman Catholic priest.’
“I raised my hands to heaven and cried with a loud voice, ‘May God Almighty be for ever blessed.’
“I took my hat and left to go to my hotel. When alone in my room, I locked the door and fell on my knees to consider, in the presence of God, what I had just done. There the awful, undeniable truth stared me in the face. My church could not be the church of Christ! That sad truth had not been revealed to me by any Protestant, nor any other enemy of the church. It was from her own lips I had got it! It had been told me by one of her most learned and devoted bishops! My church was the deadly, the irreconcilable enemy of the Word of God, as I had so often suspected! I was not allowed to remain a single day longer in that church without positively and publicly giving up the Gospel of Christ.”
Father Chiniquy was devastated, and turned to the only solace at his disposal—his beloved Bible. As he opened it, his eyes fell upon 1 Cor. 7:23, “Ye are bought with a price. Be not ye the servants of men.” This is what set him free and put his mind at ease, knowing that the long and tortured experience as a Roman priest had finally led to this great truth.
Father Chiniquy’s Testimony about the Causes of the Civil War and the Lincoln Assassination
These are excerpts taken from Fifty Years in the Church of Rome….
“Lord Acton, one of the Roman Catholic peers of England, reproaching her bloody and antisocial laws to his own church, wrote: ‘Pope Gregory VII decided it was no murder to kill excommunicated persons. This rule was incorporated in the canon law. During the revision of the code, which took place in the 16th century, and which produced a whole volume of corrections, the passage was allowed to stand. It appears in every reprint of the Corpus Juris. It has been for 700 years, and continues to be part of the ecclesiastical law. Far from being a dead letter, it obtained a new application in the days of the Inquisition; and one of the later Popes has declared that the murder of a Protestant is so good a deed that it atones, and more than atones, for the murder of a Catholic’…. (p. 488)
“Those laws, which are still the ruling laws of Rome, were the main cause of the last rebellion of the Southern States.
“Yes! Without Romanism, the last awful civil war would have been impossible. Jeff Davis would never have dared to attack the North, had he not had assurance from the Pope, that the Jesuits, the bishops, the priests and the whole people of the Church of Rome, under the name and mask of Democracy, would help him.
“These diabolical and anti-social laws of Rome caused a Roman Catholic (Beauregard) to be the man chosen to fire the first gun at Fort Sumter, against the flag of Liberty, on the 12th of April, 1861. Those anti-christian and anti-social laws caused the Pope of Rome to be the only crowned prince in the whole world, so depraved as to publicly shake hands with Jeff Davis, and proclaim him President of a legitimate government.
“These are the laws which led the assassins of Abraham Lincoln to the house of a rabid Roman Catholic woman, Mary Surratt, which was not only the rendezvous of the priests of Washington, but the very dwelling-house of some of them….” (p. 489)
“In a word, Rome saw at once that the very existence of the United States was a formidable menace to her own life. Already she had seen the chains of two millions of her Irish slaves melted at the simple touch of the warm rays of liberty which had fallen from the stars and stripes banners. From the very beginning she perfidiously sowed the germs of division and hatred between the two great sections of this country, and she felt an unspeakable joy when she saw that she had succeeded in dividing its South from the North, on the burning question of slavery. She looked upon that division as her golden opportunity. To crush one party by the other, and reign over the bloody ruins of both, has invariably been her policy. She hopes that the hour of her supreme triumph over this continent was come.
“She ordered her elder son, the Emperor of France, to keep himself ready to help her to crush the North, by having an army in Mexico ready to support the South, and she bade all the Roman Catholic bishops, priests, and people to enroll themselves under the banner of the Democracy. And everybody knows how the Roman Catholic bishops and priests, almost to a man, obeyed that order. Only one bishop dared to disobey. Above everything, it was ordered to oppose the election of Lincoln at any cost…. The Democratic press, which was then, as it is still now , almost entirely under the control of the Roman Catholics, and the devoted tool of the Jesuits, deluged the country with the most fearful denunciations against him.” … (pp. 491, 492)
“At the end of August , having known from a Roman Catholic priest, whom, by the mercy of God, I had persuaded to leave the errors of Popery, that there was a plot among them to assassinate the President, I thought it was my duty to go and tell him what I knew, at the same time giving him a new assurance of gratitude for what he had done for me.
“Knowing that I was among those who were waiting in the antechamber, he sent immediately for me, and received me with greater cordiality and marks of kindness than I could expect.
“ ‘I am so glad to meet you again,’ he said: ‘you see that your friends, the Jesuits, have not yet killed me. But they would have surely done it when I passed through their most devoted city, Baltimore, had I not defeated their plans, by passing incognito a few hours before they expected me. We have the proof that the company which had been selected and organized to murder me was led by a rabid Roman Catholic, called Byrne; it was almost entirely composed of Roman Catholics; more than that, there were two disguised priests among them, to lead and encourage them. I am sorry to have so little time to see you; but I will not let you go before telling you that, a few days ago, I saw Mr. Morse, the learned inventor of electric telegraphy; he told me that when he was in Rome, not long ago, he found out the proofs of a most formidable conspiracy against this country and all its institutions. It is evident that it is to the intrigues and emissaries of the Pope that we owe, in great part, the horrible civil war which is threatening to cover the country with blood and ruins.
“I am sorry that Professor Morse had to leave Rome before he could know more about the secret plans of the Jesuits against the liberties and the very existence of this country. But do you know that I want you to take his place and continue that investigation? My plan is to attach you to my ambassador of France, as one of the secretaries. In that honourable position you would go from Paris to Rome, where you might find, through the directions of Mr. Morse, an opportunity of re-uniting the broken threads of his researches. ‘It takes a Greek to fight a Greek.’ As you have been twenty-five a priest of Rome, I do not know any man in the United States so well acquainted as you are with the tricks of the Jesuits, and on the devotedness of whom I could better rely…I am in need of Christian men in every department of the public service, but more in those high positions. What do you think of that?”
Father Chiniquy declined the job offer, because he had been called to preach the Word. Lincoln then mentioned how “a great number of Democratic papers” had been publishing the lie that he [Lincoln] had been born a Roman Catholic and had been baptized by a priest. He asked Father Chiniquy why they were doing this. Chiniquy replied:
“Let me tell you that I wept as a child when I read that story for the first time. For, not only my impression is that it is your sentence of death; but I have from the lips of a converted priest, that it is in order to excite the fanaticism of the Roman Catholic murderers, whom they hope to find sooner or later, to strike you down; they have invented that false story of your being born in the Church of Rome, and of your being baptized by a priest. They want, by that, to brand your face with the ignominious mark of apostasy. Do not forget that, in the Church of Rome, an apostate is an outcast, who has no place in society, and who has no right to live.
“The Jesuits want the Roman Catholics to believe that you are a monster, an open enemy of God and of His Church, that you are an excommunicated man. For every apostate is, ipso facto (by that very fact) excommunicated. I have brought to you the theology of one of the most learned and approved of the Jesuits of his time, Busembaum, who, with many others, say that the man who will kill you will do a good and holy work. More than that, here is a copy of a decree of Gregory VII, proclaiming that the killing of an apostate, or an heretic and an excommunicated man, as you are declared to be, is not murder; nay, that it is a good, a Christian action. That decree is incorporated in the canon law, which every priest must study, and which every good Catholic must follow.” … (p. 494, 495)
“When I had finished speaking, he took the volume of Busembaum from my hand, read the lines which I had marked with red ink, and I helped him to translate them into English. He then gave me back the book and said:
“ ‘I will repeat to you what I said at Urbana, when for the first time you told me your fears lest I would be assassinated by the Jesuits: Man must not care where and when he will die, provided he dies at the post of honour and duty. But I may add today that I have a presentiment that God will call me to Him through the hand of an assassin. Let His will, and not mine be done… If I were fighting against a Protestant South, as a nation, there would be no danger of assassination. The nations who read the Bible fight bravely on the battlefields, but they do not assassinate their enemies. The Pope and the Jesuits, with their infernal Inquisition, are the only organized powers in the world which have recourse to the dagger of the assassin to murder those whom they cannot convince with their arguments or conquer with the sword.
“ ‘Unfortunately, I feel more and more every day that it is not against the Americans of the South alone I am fighting, it is more against the Pope of Rome, his perfidious Jesuits and their blind and blood-thirsty slaves, than against the real American Protestants, that we have to defend ourselves. Here is the real danger of our position. So long as they will hope to conquer the North, they will spare me; but the day we will rout their armies (and that day will surely come, with the help of God), take their cities, and force them to submit, then, it is my impression that the Jesuits, who are the principle rulers of the South, will do what they have almost invariably done in the past. The dagger, or the pistol of one of their adepts, will do what the strong hands of the warriors could not achieve. This civil war seems to be nothing but a political affair to those who do not see, as I do, the secret springs of that terrible drama. But it is more a religious than a civil war. It is Rome who wants to rule and degrade the North, as she has ruled and degraded the South, from the very day of its discovery. There are only very few Southern leaders who are not more or less under the influence of the Jesuits, through their wives, family relations, and their friends. Several members of the family of Jeff Davis are under the influence of the Jesuits without suspecting it. To keep her ascendancy in the North, as she does in the South, Rome is doing here what she has done in Mexico, and in all the South American Republics; she is paralyzing, by a civil war, the arms of the soldiers of Liberty. She divides our nation, in order to weaken, subdue and rule it.
“ ‘Surely we have some brave and reliable Roman Catholic officers and soldiers in our armies, but they form an insignificant minority when compared with the Roman Catholic traitors against whom we have to guard ourselves day and night. The fact is, that the immense majority of Roman Catholic bishops, priests and laymen, are rebels in heart, when they cannot be in fact; with very few exceptions, they are publicly in favour of slavery. I understand now why the patriots of France, who determined to see the colours of Liberty floating over their great and beautiful country, were forced to hang or shoot almost all the priests and monks as the irreconcilable enemies of Liberty…. May God grant that the same terrible necessity be never felt in the United States! But there is a thing which is very certain; it is that if the American people could learn what I know of the fierce hatred of the generality of the priests of Rome against our institutions, our schools, our most sacred rights, and our so dearly bought liberties, they would drive them away, tomorrow, from among us, or they would shoot them as traitors. But I keep those sad secrets in my heart; you are the only one to whom I reveal them, for I know that you learned them before me.” (pp. 496, 497)
In a later visit with President Lincoln, on June 8, 1864, nine months before Lincoln was killed, Father Chiniquy records what Lincoln told him:
“ ‘I pity the priests, the bishops, and the monks of Rome in the United States, when the people realize that they are, in great part, responsible for the tears and the blood shed in this war; the later the more terrible will the retribution be. I conceal what I know, on that subject, from the knowledge of the nation; for if the people knew the whole truth, this war would turn into a religious war, and it would at once take a tenfold more savage and bloody character. It would become merciless as all religious wars are. It would become a war of extermination on both sides. The Protestants of both the North and the South would surely unite to exterminate the priests and the Jesuits, if they could hear what Professor Morse has said to me of the plots made in the very city of Rome to destroy this Republic, and if they could learn how the priests, the nuns, and the monks, which daily land on our shores, under the pretext of preaching their religion, instructing the people in their schools, taking care of the sick in the hospitals, are nothing else but the emissaries of the Pope, of Napoleon [Emperor Louis Napoleon of France] and the other despots of Europe, to undermine our institutions, alienate the hearts of our people from our constitution, and our laws, destroy our schools, and prepare a reign of anarchy here as they have done in Ireland, in Mexico, in Spain, and wherever there are any people who want to be free, etc’.”
Lincoln was assassinated on the night of April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. He then escaped and was finally said to have been killed in a barn. But actually, this was another man, not Booth himself. Booth’s granddaughter, Izola Forrester, researched the circumstances surrounding Booth himself after she discovered that she was his granddaughter. She says that her mother was born in 1868, three years after Booth was supposedly killed. Booth escaped and fled to the Far East, where he finally ceased his correspondence from India in 1878. Presumably, that is when he died. That is a story for another article. Meanwhile, getting back to Father Chiniquy’s account, he writes,
“Three or four hours before Lincoln was murdered in Washington, the 14th of April, 1865, that murder was not only known by some one, but it was circulated and talked of in the streets, and in the houses of the priestly and Romish town of St. Joseph, Minnesota. The fact is undeniable; the testimonies are unchallengeable; and there were no railroad nor any telegraph communications nearer than forty or eighty miles from the nearest station to St. Joseph.
“Naturally, every one asked: ‘How could such news spread? Where is the source of such a rumour?’ Mr. Linneman, who is a Roman Catholic, tells us that though he heard this from many in his store, and in the streets, he does not remember the name of a single one who told him that. And when we hear this from him, we understand why he did not dare to swear upon it, and shrank from the idea of perjuring himself. For every one feels that his memory cannot be so poor as that, when he remembers so well the names of the two strangers, Messrs. Conwell and Bennett, to whom he had announced the assassination of Lincoln, just seventeen years before.” (pp. 424, 525)
It is apparent from this testimony that the Roman Catholic Church was intimately involved in the assassination of President Lincoln—and Lincoln knew for seven years that they had targeted him for extermination according to the canon law of the Roman Church. This was finally accomplished through the secret Masonic-Catholic organization known as “The Order of the Golden Circle,” of which Booth was a member.
Let us also add that the things written in Father Chiniquy’s book reflect the condition of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1800’s. We must allow some changes as the Church has evolved in this past century, particularly since the 1960’s with the Vatican II Church Council. Pope John XXIII convened this council to institute some sweeping changes and to initiate a new outlook and new method of “evangelism” (i.e., how to bring the world under the dominion of the Roman Church). Until the 1950’s the Roman Church was still pursuing violent means to bring nations under papal dominion, particularly in South America and Spain.
Vatican II changed all that. Their goal is unchanged, but the methods to bring about that goal are now different. There is a saying that if you can’t beat them, join them. To some extent, that is what has happened. The Roman Church lifted its ban on reading the Bible, dropped Latin from the liturgy, and made the mass more “people friendly.” Folk masses were introduced, which appalled many priests, but appealed to many young people. The Catholic Church got a new image that began to draw Protestants back to its membership.
While I certainly welcome the changes, and have no doubt that individual Catholics themselves are much freer now than before, I wonder what might happen in the future if the Roman Church succeeds in their goal of world domination. Would we see the Church impose another Inquisition? Do these outward changes reflect the heart of the Roman hierarchy, or are they just a public relations ploy? The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. For some in the hierarchy of Cardinals, they really believe that these changes are for the good. But we know that there is also a strong faction of Cardinals that oppose these changes. We can only say that given enough time, human nature will always win over the majority. Human nature demands power and wealth and slaves. This is true whether we are talking about atheists, the Roman Church, or the Protestant denominations. Some merely take longer than others to be corrupted.
Regardless of what the religious hierarchies do or believe, though, let us not attribute their actions to the average follower of those religions. Although every Church member shares to some degree the responsibility of those they support, they are not the real enemy, nor should they be treated as such. There are many individual Catholics who have a genuine faith toward Jesus Christ, even as we may find the same in other denominations. Most of them know little or nothing about the history of their own Church and certainly would be appalled to learn the truth of Church history. It is our purpose here to equip our readers with this brief history in order that each person might have the tools by which to make their own decisions in life.
It is my goal to assist our readers in drawing their attention to the Kingdom of God, rather than to any kingdom of men, religious or otherwise.