Czolgosz Sees a Priest, but He Refuses to Repent
President McKinley’s Slayer Unwilling to Renounce
Anarchy and Return to Faith of His Early Years.
Auburn, N. Y., Oct. 22.—Leon F. Czolgosz,
the assassin of President McKinley, who is awaiting electrocution
in the prison here during the week commencing next Monday, this
afternoon received a visit from the Rev. T. Szadinski, a Polish
priest of the Roman Catholic Church.
Father Szadinski, who is pastor of
St. Stanislaus’ Church, Rochester, was in this city and was asked
to visit the prisoner. This afternoon he went to the prison and
remained there about an hour.
The interview between priest and prisoner
proved unsatisfactory to both. It took place in the condemned man’s
cell and the conversation was carried on in Polish. During the interview
Czolgosz said that he had been baptized in the Roman Catholic faith
in the Polish church in Detroit. He had abandoned the church early
in life and had lost all faith in its teachings. Father Szadinski
urged him to renounce his belief in anarchy and return to the faith
of his early years. Czolgosz declared his inability to do so, and
he was informed that unless he could the consolation of the church
would be denied him.
The priest urged the condemned man
to consider the matter carefully and told him that if at any time
he decided to reëmbrace the faith he would return from his home
in Rochester and stay with him until the end.
Father Szadinski, before taking his
departure, left with Czolgosz some Catholic literature printed in
Polish, and also some emblems of the church. Czolgosz assured Father
Szadinski that in case he determined to accept the offices of religion
he would send for him, but he did not hold out much hope that he
would renounce the doctrines of anarchy.
Warden Mead and Superintendent Collins,
at their conference in Albany yesterday, arranged all the details
and fixed upon those to be invited to witness the execution.
The law requires that invitations
be sent out three days before the date of execution, and the law
will be lived up to in the present instance.