Mr. Keiley to Mr. Bayard.
My Dear Sir: Your letter, with inclosures, correspondence with Baron Fava, is just received. I shall at once countermand my order for berths on the Normandy for the 29th and await your further commands. My preparations for starting are complete, except the disposition of my effects, which I shall allow to proceed. I have resigned my office here and my successor has been chosen, so that I am quite free.
The “protestation” as to which his excellency Signor Mancini inquires was the following:
At the request of the bishop of this diocese a public meeting of Catholics was held in the church of his parish January 12, 1871. This was, of course, solely with reference to the occupation of Rome, and the consequent dethronement of the Pope as a civil sovereign, and, in common with the Catholics of America quite generally at that time, I regarded the deprivation of the civil power of the Pope as an unwarranted invasion, and so said. As to my remarks, they were delivered impromptu, and I have taken the pains to ascertain whether they were reported stenographically, and find they were not. After an interval of more than fourteen years I cannot, of course, say whether, or in what degree, they were correctly reported; doubtless they were substantially.
The resolutions were prepared by the bishop, and the scope of them is fully expressed in the first, which is as follows:
Resolved, That the Catholic clergy and laity of Richmond, confident that their course will he indorsed by the entire diocese, protest against the invasion and spoliation of the states of the church by King Victor Emmanuel as a crime against solemn treaties and against the independence of the head of the church on earth, which must always be imperiled while he is the subject of any temporal prince or government.
I was chairman of the committee, and accept, of course, full responsibility for them, whatever it may be, for while the progress of events, and the firm establishment of the Italian Kingdom, with the approval of the Italian people, has removed all such questions from the realm of discussion, at that time the whole world was discussing them, and I was on the side of those who thought the King of Italy in the wrong.
I do not affect to be indifferent to the settlement of this matter, of course. I have simply rooted myself up and could not reinstate myself here; but I am much more concerned at the annoyance it may have caused yourself and the President.
I presume nothing remains save to await the orderly conclusion of the matter, but I want it distinctly understood that I am absolutely at the disposal of yourself and Mr. Cleveland, who must permit no fear of mortifying me or harming my interests to stand in the way of any conclusion agreeable to yourselves.
Very respectfully, &c.,