27 NOVEMBER 1886, Page 3

The correspondent of the Times at Rome urges that the

idea of opening diplomatic relations between England and the Vatican mast be given up, because it would displease the Government of Italy. That Government follows public opinion, and just now public opinion is growing much more anti- clerical, and would be displeased to see the Vatican gain in prestige through concessions made to it by a Protestant Power. All that seems to us a little vague, and we suppose the real dread is lest the Papacy should seek the good offices of England to plead its cause at the Italian Court. That would be an annoyance for the Italian Government, which wishes to con- ciliate London, but is unable to make even the smallest concessiens to the Vatican. This account of Italian feeling may be all wrong ; but if it is true, the Italians for once misconceive the situation. The British Government would not intervene in any internal question in Italy; and if it offered advice, it would be advice to the Pope to make up his quarrel with the secular Power upon a basis other than the impossible one of a surrender of Rome. The statement, how- ever, looks to us like a mere story circulated by adversaries of the Papacy, so bitter that even a recognition of its existence offends them mortally.