Relationships between the Church and the State… Who is the one loosing more?
Ibiza, July 10, 1854
My most esteemed friend: I received your last letter. It has given me joy and satisfaction to see it because it is a sweet reminder of our conversations. I do not think that the matters of the School go well because the palace did not communicate to me favourable news. What is there is, I doubt the Bishop, (keep this confidential because with this person we could not say anything bad) has justified himself; and since the Spanish clergy has been ceded and surrendered to the government, this discord, has become scandalous, it is a fact. They have seized the spiritual authority and since they have sanctioned this evil with their silence, they find it inconvenient to stir this burning question. And from here I will come out justly punished; this is for them the most glorious triumph.
See if you approve my opinion. I want to justify myself. I have the duty and right. I want to print out my defence. It is very short. It does not have more than 40 pages in a booklet form. I would like to have 100 copies of it for my defense and honour of the School, and from this, to send to certain prominent persons a copy, and the others I will keep. In this case, I will have it printed in France. If you could take charge of doing it confidentially, putting a fictitious name of a printing press of Lyon or of Paris, or without name of the printing press, I will be dispensed of sending them to France. Tell me if you have any difficulty.
I am apprehensive and in pain seeing the situation in Spain that had reached in matters of religion. While there is no notable change in them I do not wish to go back to the ministry because it would come out badly. Let us wait.
Greetings to Mrs. Marieta, to all of Concepcion College and to Doña Antonieta.
I have written to the Philosophers to the address that they gave me. I do not know if they received my letter.
Your affectionate servant.
WHAT WAS HAPPENING
It has been already three months since the School of Virtue is closed and Palau exiled in Ibiza. Hopes for arranging things favorably are getting thinner. The case of the School of Virtue was not going well, at all. The Government didn’t even want to listen about this anymore. Palau believed that the Bishop of Barcelona has surrender to the Government leaving the issue unsolved for his own commodity and safety. Feeling that there is nothing more to do, nor nothing more to lose, he has written the defense of the School and asked for advice on the possibility of printing.
In times of Fr. Palau, the Church didn’t enjoy freedom as we know it today. The Government was the one deciding about the assignments of the bishop and many other matters. Sometimes bishops were put down and Diocese had Administrators who were more favorable with politics. It makes me think about the relationship between the Church and the government. That sometimes we are getting involved in politics in bad way that compromises our living of the values of Gospel and our following of Jesus Christ. The marriage of the Church and the State, whatever political color this state may have, is never a good idea, because usually the Church is the one loosing. It s not only about loosing freedom to speak, to demand from the government concrete actions in favor of the people. It is also about being truly “catholis” (meaning: universal) and welcoming in one family those who may have different opinions. And the ones who suffer the most are the simple believers who may find themselves confused and put in the situations of having to choose between fidelity to the Church and fidelity to the one’s own conscience.