Fifty Years in the Church of Rome


The life story of Charles Chiniquy, who was a priest in the Roman Catholic Church for 25 years.

"Charles Chiniquy (1809-1899) a Canadian Prysbyterian convert from Roman Catholicism, born at Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada of Roman Catholic parents, and studied at the college of Nicolet, Canada, professor of belles-lettres there after graduation until 1833. in 1833 ordained a Roman Catholic priest, and until 1846 was vicar and curate in the province of Quebec where he established the first temperance society, winning the title "Apostle of Temperence of Canada." In 1851 established an extensive Roman Catholic colony at Kankakee, Illinois. In 1858 left the church of Rome and joined the Canadian Presbyterian Church taking his congregation at Kankakee with him. Lectured in England and in Australia (1878-1882). Published a number of books and tracts on temperance and anti-Romanism, some of which became very popular and were translated into several languages." (From "The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church," page 90, Elgin S. Moyer, 1982, ©Moody Press, Chicago, IL)

Also available for online reading: "The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional" by Chiniquy

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 . . . The Bible and the Priest of Rome
Chapter 2 . . . My First School days at St. Thomas- The Monk and Celibacy
Chapter 3 . . . The Confession of Children
Chapter 4 . . . The Shepherd Whipped by His Sheep
Chapter 5 . . . The Priest, Purgatory, and the Poor Widow's Cow
Chapter 6 . . . Festivities in a Parsonage
Chapter 7 . . . Preparation for the First Communion- Initiation to Idolatry
Chapter 8 . . . The First Communion
Chapter 9 . . . Intellectual Education in the Roman Catholic College
Chapter 10 . . . Moral and Religious Instruction in the Roman Catholic Colleges
Chapter 11 . . . Protestant Children in the Convents and Nunneries of Rome
Chapter 12 . . . Rome and Education- Why does the Church of Rome hate the Common Schools of the United States, and want to destroy them?- Why does she object to the reading of the Bible in the Schools?
Chapter 13 . . . Theology of the Church of Rome: its Anti-Christian Character
Chapter 14 . . . The Vow of Celibacy
Chapter 15 . . . The Impurities of the Theology of Rome
Chapter 16 . . . The Priests of Rome and the Holy Fathers; or, how I Swore to give up the Word of God to follow the Word of Men
Chapter 17 . . . The Roman Catholic Priesthood, or Ancient and Modern Idolatry
Chapter 18 . . . Nine Consequences of the Dogma of Transubstantiation- The Old Paganism under a Christian Name
Chapter 19 . . . Vicarage, and Life at St. Charles, Rivierre Boyer
Chapter 20 . . . Papineau and the Patriots in 1833- The Burning of "Le Canadien" by the Curate of St. Charles
Chapter 21 . . . Grand Dinner of the Priests- The Maniac Sister of Rev. Mr. Perras
Chapter 22 . . . I am appointed Vicar of the Curate of Charlesbourgh- The Piety, Lives and Deaths of Fathers Bedard and Perras
Chapter 23 . . . The Cholera Morbus of 1834- Admirable Courage and Self-Denial of the Priests of Rome during the Epidemic
Chapter 24 . . . I am named a Vicar of St. Roch, Quebec City- The Rev. Mr. Tetu- Tertullian- General Cargo- The Seal Skins
Chapter 25 . . . Simony- Strange and Sacrilegious Traffic in the S0-called Body and Blood of Christ- Enormous Sums of Money made by the Sale of Masses- The Society of Three Masses abolished, and the Society of One Mass established
Chapter 26 . . . Continuation of the Trade in Masses
Chapter 27 . . . Quebec Marine Hospital- The First Time I carried the "Bon Dieu" (the wafer god) in my Vest Pocket- The Grand Oyster Soiree at Mr. Buteau's- The Rev. L. Parent and the "Bon Dieu" at the Oyster Soiree
Chapter 28 . . . Dr. Douglas- My first Lesson on Temperance- Study of Anatomy- Working of Alcohol in the Human Frame- The Murderess of Her Own Child- I for ever give up the use of Intoxicating Drinks
Chapter 29 . . . Conversions of Protestants to the Church of Rome- Rev. Anthony Parent, Superior of the Seminary of Quebec; His peculiar way of finding access to the Protestants and bringing them to the Catholic Church- How he spies the Protestants through the Confessional- I persuade Ninety-three Families to become Catholics
Chapter 30 . . . The Murders and Thefts in Quebec from 1835 to 1836- The Night Excursion with Two Thieves- The Restitution- The Dawn of Light
Chapter 31 . . . Chambers and his Accomplices Condemned to Death- Asked me to Prepare them for their Terrible Fate- A Week in their Dungeon- Their Sentence of Death changed into Deportation to Botany Bay- Their Departure of Exile- I meet one of them a Sincere Convert, very rich, in a high and honourable position in Australia, in 1878
Chapter 32 . . . The Miracles of Rome- Attack of Typhoid Fever- Apparition of St. Anne and St. Philomene- My Sudden Cure- The Curate of St. Anne du Nord, Mons. Ranvoize, almost a disguised Protestant
Chapter 33 . . . My Nomination as Curate of Beauport- Degradation and Ruin of that Place through Drunkenness- My Opposition to my Nomination useless- Preparation to Establish a Temperance Society- I write to Father Mathew for advice
Chapter 34 . . . The Hand of God in the Establishment of a Temperance Society in Beauport and Vicinity
Chapter 35 . . . Foundation of Temperance Societies in the Neighbouring Parishes- Providential Arrival of Monsignor De Forbin Janson, Bishop of Nancy- He Publicly Defends Me against the Bishop of Quebec and for ever Breaks the Opposition of the Clergy
Chapter 36 . . . The God of Rome Eaten by Rats
Chapter 37 . . . Visit of a Protestant Stranger- He Throws an Arrow into my Priestly Soul never to be taken out
Chapter 38 . . . Erection of the Column of Temperance- School Buildings- A noble and touching act of the People of Beauport
Chapter 39 . . . Sent to succeed Rev. Mr. Varin, Curate of Kamouraska- Stern Opposition of that Curate and the surrounding Priests and People- Hours of Desolation in Kamouraska- The Good Master allays the Tempest and bids the Waves be still
Chapter 40 . . . Organization of Temperance Societies in Kamouraska and surrounding Country- The Girl in the Garb of a Man in the Service of the Curates of Quebec and Eboulements- Frightened by the Scandals seen everywhere- Give up my Parish of Kamouraska to join the "Oblates of Mary Immaculate of Longueuil"
Chapter 41 . . . Perversion of Dr. Newman to the Church of Rome in the light of his own Explanations, Common Sense and the Word of God
Chapter 42 . . . Noviciate in the Monastery of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate of Longueuil- Some of the Thousand Acts of Folly and Idolatry which form the Life of a Monk- The Deplorable Fall of one of the Fathers- Fall of the Grand Vicar Quiblier- Sick in the Hotel Dieu of Montreal- Sister Urtubise: what she says of Maria Monk- The Two Missionaries to the Lumber Men- Fall and Punishment of a Father Oblate- What one of the best Father Oblates thinks of the Monks and the Monastery
Chapter 43 . . . I accept the hospitality of the Rev. Mr. Brassard of Longueuil- I give my Reasons for Leaving the Oblates to Bishop Bourget- He presents me with a splendid Crucifix blessed by his Holiness for me, and accepts my Services in the Cause of Temperance in the Diocese of Montreal
Chapter 44 . . . Preparations for the Last Conflict- Wise Counsel, Tears, and Distress of Father Mathew- Longueuil the First to Accept the Great Reform of Temperance- The whole District of Montreal, St. Hyacinthe and Three Rivers Conquered- The City of Montreal with the Sulpicians take the Pledge- Gold Medal- Officially named Apostle of Temperance in Canada- Gift of £500 from Parliament
Chapter 45 . . . My Sermon on the Virgin Mary- Compliments of Bishop Prince- Stormy Night- First Serious Doubts about the Church of Rome- Faithful Discussion with the Bishop- The Holy Fathers opposed to the Modern Worship of the Virgin- The Branches of the Vine
Chapter 46 . . . The Holy Fathers- New Mental Troubles at not finding the Doctines of my Church in their Writings- Purgatory and the Sucking Pig of the Poor Man of Varennes
Chapter 47 . . . Letter from the Rev. Bishop Vandeveld, of Chicago- Vast Project of the Bishop of the United States to take Possession of the Rich Valley of the Mississippi and the Prairies of the West to Rule that Great Republic- They want to put me at the Heart of the Work- My Lectures on Temperance at Detroit- Intemperance of the Bishops and Priests of that City
Chapter 48 . . . My Visit to Chicago in 1857- Bishop Vandeveld- His Predecessor Poisoned- Magnificent Prairies of the West- Return to Canada- Bad feelings of Bishop Bourget- I decline sending a Rich Woman to the Nunnery to enrich the Bishop- A Plot to destroy me
Chapter 49 . . . The Plot to destroy me- The Interdict- The Retreat at the Jesuit's College- The Lost Girl, employed by the Bishop, Retracts- The Bishop Confounded, sees his Injustice, makes Amends- Testimonial Letters- The Chalice- The Benediction before I leave Canada
Chapter 50 . . . Address presented me at Longueuil- I arrive at Chicago- I select the spot for my Colony- I build the first Chapel- Jealousy and Opposition of the Priests of Bourbounais and Chicago- Great Success of the Colony
Chapter 51 . . . Intrigues, Impostures, and Criminal Life of the Priests in Bourbounais- Indignation of the Bishop- The People ignominiously turn out the Criminal Priest from their Parish- Frightful Scandal- Faith in the Church of Rome seriously shaken
Chapter 52 . . . Correspondence with the Bishop
Chapter 53 . . . The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
Chapter 54 . . . The Abominations of Auricular Confession
Chapter 55 . . . The Ecclesiastical Retreat- Conduct of the Priests- The Bishop forbids me to distribute the Bible
Chapter 56 . . . Public Acts of Simony- Thefts and Brigandage of Bishop O'Regan- General Cry of Indignation- I determine to Resist him to his Face- He employs Mr. Spink again to send me to Gaol, and he Fails- Drags me as a Prisoner to Urbana in the Spring of 1856, and Fails again- Abraham Lincoln defends me- My dear Bible becomes more than ever my Light and my Counsellor
Chapter 57 . . . Bishop O'Regan sells the Parsonage of the French Canadians of Chicago, pockets the Money, and turns them out when they ocme to complain- He determines to turn me out of my Colony and send me to Kahokia- He forgets it the next day and publishes that he has interdicted me- My People send a Deputation to the Bishop- His Answers- The Sham Excommunication by Three Drunken Priests
Chapter 58 . . . Address from my People, asking me to Remain- I am again dragged as a Prisoner by the Sheriff to Urbana- Abraham Lincoln's Anxiety about the issue of the Prosecution- My Distress- The Rescue- Miss Philomene Moffat sent by God to save me- Lebel's Confession and Distress- My Innocence acknowledged- Noble Words and Conduct of Abraham Lincoln- The Oath of Miss Philomene Moffat
Chapter 59 . . . A Moment of Interruption in the Thread of my "Fifty Years in the Church of Rome," to see how my said Previsions about my defender, Abraham Lincoln, were to be realized- Rome the implacable Enemy of the United States
Chapter 60 . . . The Fundamental Principles of the Constitution of the United States drawn from the Gospel of Christ- My First Visit to Abraham Lincoln to warn him of the Plots I knew against his Life- The Priests circulate the News that Lincoln was born in the Church of Rome- Letter of the Pope to Jeff Davis- My last Visit to the President- His admirable Reference to Moses- His willingness to die for his Nation's Sake
Chapter 61 . . . Abraham Lincoln a true Man of God, and a true Disciple of the Gospel- The Assassination by Booth- The Tool of the Priests- John Surratt's House- The Rendezvous and Dwelling Place of the Priests- John Surratt Secreted by the Priests after the Murder of Lincoln- The Assassination of Lincoln known and published in the Town Three Hours before its occurrence
Chapter 62 . . . Deputation of Two Priests sent by the People and the Bishops of Canada to persuade us to submit to the will of the Bishop- The Deputies acknowledge publicly that the Bishop is wrong and that we are right- For peace' sake I consent to withdraw from the Contest on certain conditions accepted by the Deputies- One of those Deputies turns false to his Promise, and betrays us, to be put at the head of my Colony- My last Interview with him and Mr. Brassard
Chapter 63 . . . Mr. Desaulnier is named Vicar-General of Chicago to crush us- Our People more united than ever to defend their Rights- Letters of the Bishops of Montreal against me, and my Answer- Mr. Brassard forced, against his conscience, to condemn us- My answer to Mr. Brassard- He writes to beg my Pardon
Chapter 64 . . . I write to the Pope Pius IX, and to Napoleon, Emperor of France, and send them the Legal and Public Documents proving the bad conduct of Bishop O'Regan- Grand-Vicar Dunn sent to tell me of my Victory at Rome, and the end of our Trouble- I go to Dubuque to offer my Submission to the Bishop- The Peace Sealed and publicly Proclaimed by Grand-Vicar Dunn the 28th March, 1858
Chapter 65 . . . Excellent Testimonial from my Bishop- My Retreat- Grand-Vicar Saurin and his Assistant, Rev. M. Granger- Grand-Vicar Dunn writes me about the new Storm prepared by the Jesuits- Vision- Christ offers Himself as a Gift- I am Forgiven, Rich, Happy, and Saved- Back to my People
Chapter 66 . . . The Solemn Responsibilities of my new Position- We give up the name of Roman Catholic to call ourselves Christian Catholics- Dismay of the Roman Catholic Bishops- My Lord Duggan, co-adjutor of St. Louis, hurries to Chicago- He comes to St. Anne to persuade the People to submit to his Authority- He is ignominiously turned out, and runs away in the midst of the Cries of the People
Chapter 67 . . . Bird's-eye View of the Principal Events from my Conversion to this day- My Narrow Escapes- The End of the Voyage through the Desert to the Promised Land

Originally published in 1886, London, by the Protestant Literature Depository. In the public domain. Obtained from "WhatSaithTheScripture.Com" who have graciously given anyone permission to publish and distribute their online files unless otherwise noted.

Back to