HASTENED by the cataclysm which has fallen upon the European
world, the death of the Pope has come as a shock to those whose
thoughts have been absorbed by the news from the area of war.
Nevertheless, the health of his Holiness has been of so delicate a
nature that it is not surprising to learn that the knowledge of the
infamy perpetrated by the war lords of the Continent produced such
mental depression that the venerable Pontiff was unable to resist
the attack which such a condition made upon an enfeebled frame.
Thus it was that in the early hours of yesterday morning Pius X.
passed to his rest. Whatever judgment may be passed upon the policy
of his reign, the personality of Pius X. has strongly appealed to
the many Catholics who do not admit the Papal claim to universal
jurisdiction, and his example of devotion and simplicity, no less
than of paternal affection for all committed to his care, has been
edifying to the whole world. His death at the present time is a
loss to Europe, and insuperable difficulties present themselves in
assembling in conclave the cardinals of the central European
countries. It would be a misfortune if the election rested with the
Italian members of the Sacred College, uninfluenced by the
representatives of the Church in France, Germany, and Austria.