Montreal Gazette, 22 October 1835, page 2
We were yesterday put in possession of the New York Protestant Vindicator of the 14th instant, and our attention was immediately directed to an article on the subject of Nunneries, which appears on its second page. We will not pollute our columns by copying the scandalous indecencies, the gross falsehoods, and the vulgar insinuations against the character and conduct of the nuns of this city, with which it seems, and we would not be induced to notice the abominable accusations of the writer, were it not, as Protestants, we feel it to be an imperative duty on our part, to add our testimony to that of the Herald and Courier of this morning, against the foul mispresentations of a bigoted and fanatical libeler.
From our infancy we have resided in this city, and we therefore may be supposed to know the characters of the Roman Catholic Clergy and the nuns, somewhat better than any itinerant preacher from the United States. Their constant and unremitted attention to the discharge of their parochial duties- their kind and affectionate attendance upon the sick, at all seasons, but more particularly during the severe visitations of pestilence, have excited general admiration and approval, from the believers in other creeds- their numerous acts of charity and benevolence are experienced by thousands whose wants and sufferings have been relieved from the funds at their disposal- their character for unblemished purity and morality has stood unimpeached, until a worthless and anonymous scribbler has dared to impugn their hitherto unsullied reputations.
To accuse priests and nuns of gross incontinence and of secret murder, to a large extent, as the Protestant Vindicator has done, is one of the most barefaced falsehoods that ever disgraced a public journal. It is superlatively ridiculous to suppose, that while these institutions are open daily to the visits of our citizens, and their inmates are seen at all hours attending to their religious avocations, such events should occur as have been described, and yet be unknown to the public until ushered into notice by a New York paper. The palpable errors with which the articles teems, as to the title and qualifications of some of the clergy, betray its origin, and point it out as the production of one who has raised up the creature of his imagination, with a view to injure the Roman Catholic religion, and to support his own illiberal views.
The Protestant form of religion requires no falsehood or detraction to support its influence- it will maintain its high position, without destroying the temples dedicated to the worship of God, by other denominations- its progress will not be aided by the blazing of converts, the persecution of helpless females, or slandering the inmates of religious institutions. To Protestants, we are firmly attached, but having always lived on friendly terms with Roman Catholics, we cheerfully give our firm and decided testimony, that they are in the article of the New York journalist most shamefully belied.
In conclusion, we would invite the Editor of the Protestant Vindicator to come forward with his evidence of secret murders having been committed within any of the convents of the city. He is morally bound to lend every aid to the punishment of the murderer, if there be one; religion must teach him, that the slayer of his fellow creature cannot be permitted to pollute this earth with his presence, and that “whose sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” We call upon him to aid in the cause of justice, if such an event has taken placed- we cite him to the proof, fully and circumstantially, of all his charges- we would invoke him by the cries for vengeance, from the numerous victims which he pretends have suffered, to denounce the guilty;- but if he hesitate to appear before our courts and communicate his authentic information, he must stand in the eyes of the world, as a base unprincipled villain and a foul calumniator.