"I am God on the Earth"

    A FRIEND in Rome sends us the following, for the truth of which he can absolutely vouch:―'Those who have difficulty in believing the full extent of the papal claim may lay the following to heart. Easter-tide is a time when multitudes of Roman Catholic children make their first Communion.  This year many of them, through those priests who had prepared them for Communion, requested to be received in audience by Pius XI. The request was granted, and 30th April was fixed for the great event. One who was present describes the function as follows:―"We passed into the Vatican precincts at 11 o'clock amid a throng of priests, nuns, and boys and girls who had made their first Communion the week previous in the various churches of Rome. From  11 to 12.30 we were marched through several magnificent halls, and finally ordered in close files behind a cordon of the Swiss Guard in the Throne Room. At last all was in readiness, and preceded by members of the Noble Guard, flanked by Cardinals, and followed by a crowd of Bishops, the Pope arrived. All fell on their knees, and listened to the words which Pius XI addressed to them as he stood on the steps of the Throne. In a monotonous voice, and with an expression of great haughtiness, he spoke almost as follows:―'You have requested the honour, boys and girls, of being received in the Vatican on the occasion of making your First Communion, by me who am the Holy Father. This your request is a proof of the depth of your religious sentiments. You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on the earth, the Vicar of Christ, which means that I am God on the earth. You have desired to have my benediction: God Himself through me imparts it to you. You know those great churches, St John Lateran and St Peter's, which are in Rome, the Eternal City, the city that is ours. To-day you find yourselves in the Vatican, and you must ever remember this day as one of the most beautiful in your lives. I impart the benediction to you and to your families.' Having spoken thus, the Pope passed slowly down our ranks, imparting the benediction, while the priests who followed behind him kissed the hem of his purple robe. Finally, he left the Throne Room with the same ceremonial which had attended his entrance. The impression that remained with one was that of boundless pride and a sad ineptitude to find any thoughts worthy of such an occasion."' ― Rev. A. C. Gregg, B.D., (Reformed Presbyterian), Editor, THE BULWARK, A Monthly Journal on behalf of Reformation Principles, No. X, 72nd Year, 5th Series, October 1922, pgs 103, 104.