Episcopal Social Reformer Robert Dale Owen On Rome And The Papacy – “Bad As ‘King Bomba’s’ Government Was, It Wad Mild & Just Compared To The Ecclesiastical Disposition At Rome”
by ROBERT DALE OWEN
ROBERT DALE OWEN (1801-1877). Owen was an American social reformer, politician, and son of prominent Welsh social reformer Robert Owen. ALS. 4pgs. 5” x 8”. July 3, 1876. Lake George, NY. An autograph letter signed “Robert Dale Owen” addressed to Reverend Clement Moore Butler, an American author, professor, and Episcopal clergyman. The letter concerns Butler’s book Inner Rome: Political, Religious, and Social. Owen compares Butler’s observations on the Papacy to similar ones he heard from others. He also includes discussion of his own experiences in Naples and with Neapolitan Catholic traditions. “Permit me, since Lottie is writing to Mrs. Butler, to say, in a few words, how much I have been interested in reading your ‘Inner Rome’. I have had no opportunity of personally verifying yr statements, never having resided in Rome: but Major Cass, then our Minister to Rome, visited me while I was at Naples; & his statements more than confirmed your judgment in regard to the Papal Government. Ferdinand was then King of Naples, calling himself, in the heading of his own proclamations ‘Il nostro Re as soluto’. We compared notes; & I became convinced that, bad as King ‘Bomba’s’ government was, it was mild & just compared to the Ecclesiastical disposition at Rome. The Neapolitans, as perhaps you know, always resisted, to the death, the introduction of the Inquisition among them. Under the Spanish vice regal rule, two or more attempts to introduce it caused dangerous riots, & they had to give it up. Most devout Catholics the Neapolitans are; praying rather to the Virgin Mary than to God; but I have heard them singing in the streets a popular air, of which the burden was E uno e duo e tre E lo Papa non é Re. I hope to have the pleasure, some day, of making your personal acquaintance; & I should be as much pleased as Lottie if you & Mrs. Butler would favor us with a visit here. Faithfully yours, Robert Dale Owen”. It is in fine condition with mild toning on the last page and mailing folds. (Inventory #: 3695)
784 Morris Tpk., PMB #161
Short Hills, NJ 07078-2698
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