Montreal Pilot, 11 June 1853, page 2
It was our painful duty yesterday to announce a few particulars of the lamentable events that occurred in this city on the occasion of Father Gavazzi’s lecture on Thursday evening. In doing so we confined ourselves almost entirely to the facts that had fallen under our observation; facts which need only be stated to convince every mind of the necessity of a searching investigation as to the causes that led to them. We regret to learn that rumor, instead of, as usual, exaggerating the importance and enormity of the evil, fell short of the reality. The loss of life, which at the time we penned our observations was we believed confined to two or three individuals, has swelled up to a much larger number, besides which many individuals have sustained serious injury, several of whom will be maimed for life. Altogether this is the most deplorable of the many unfortunate events connected with our civil dissensions which it has been our lot to record.
We have not hesitated to express our concern, that M. Gavazzi should have appeared amongst us. Lectures, such as he is in the habit of delivering, can only lead to inflame the passions, and excite religious rancour. We have already too many sources of dissension amongst us for us to wish this element added to our strife. But, whilst we thus decidedly reprobate religious controversies, conducted in the manner in which, those of Gavazzi are, we should be recreated to our principles, were we to hesitate to uphold the right of freedom of discussion, by every sect and persuasion alike; and to visit with our severest censure, any attempts at every infringement of that right, from whatever source it may emanate. We believe that the events of Thursday, where both parties have alike suffered, read a lesson to both—to the one, to respect the religious feelings or prejudices of his neighbor, and to the other to refrain from violently resenting every fancied affront or injury. It is our wish to draw the veil over further discussion; and we trust, that when the first feelings of resentment have died away, the harmony which has at most times- and of late- especially- existed amongst members of the various religious persuasions into which Canada is divided, may be again restored.