21 SEPTEMBER 1895, Page 1

A rather foolish story has been circulated this week of

a possible transaction between the Papacy and the Italian Government. Rome and a port are to be given to the Pope, in consideration of £200,000,000 to be raised by the Catholic world. Italy would then be solvent, though divided. As the Italians will not dismember Italy, and as the Catholic world would not subscribe a tenth of the sum, the suggestion is wild ; and if it be true that most of the money is to consist of the con- fiscated monastic estates, which are already sold, it is almost farcical. We comprehend the Roman Catholic contention that the Pope, in order to exercise his spiritual authority in free- dom, ought to be a Sovereign with sole authority over the great establishments necessary to the Pontificate ; but those privi- leges may be secured in another territory, say Monaco, which would do as well as Rome. Rome the Papacy cannot have until Italy is conquered. It is said that the Vatican hopes in the end to see a majority of clerical voters in Italy ; but it is leaning on a broken reed. Italian clericals will give the Pope anything except Rome. They cannot be more convinced Catholics than the House of Savoy, who for the sake of Italy and dominion, keep Rome, and bear to be partially excom- municate.