30 DECEMBER 1882, Page 3

The Standard has again asserted plainly that both Russia and

England have arranged to reopen diplomatic relations with the Vatican. The statement, as regards Russia, is premature, though M. de Giers has arrived at some modue vivendi ; and as regards England, has been officially denied. It is supposed that the main obstacle is Protestant prejudice, but we are not quite sure of that. If Mr. Gladstone appointed an Agent in Rome, and told the people that it was essential for business reasons, there is common-sense enough in the country to support him. We do not believe the new electors feel the old suspicions of Rome at all, or fear the Papacy in any way. But the Papal Court is said to insist hot only on being represented by an ecclesiastic, which is reasonable, but by one who would claim privileges, especially in precedence, not accorded to the British Agent. That is not quite reasonable, as the Papacy, if dealt with at all, as it should be, must be dealt with as an im- portant Ecclesiastical Power entitled to every respect, but not to any paramount position.