A quote from the article, The Religion of Rome, by C.H. Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel:
“Well may the people of Italy rejoice over the fall of this incubus of the ages! If anyone would satisfy himself of what Popery is at its centre; what it does where it has had its fullest sway, let him make a little tour, as we have lately done, into the mountains in the vicinity of Rome, and see in a country extremely beautiful by nature, what is the condition of an extremely industrious population. In the rock towns of the Alban, Sabine, and Volscian hills, you find a swarming throng of men, women, and children, asses, pigs, and hens, all grovelling in inconceivable filth, squalor, and poverty. Filth in the streets, in the houses, everywhere; fleas, fever, and smallpox, and the densest ignorance darkening minds of singular natural cleverness. A people brilliant in intellect, totally uneducated, and steeped in the grossest superstition.
“These dens of dirt, disease, and, till lately, of brigandage, are the evidences of a thousand years of priestly government! They, and the country around them, are chiefly the property of the great princely and ducal families which sprang out of the papal nepotism of Rome, and have by successive popes, their founders, been loaded with the wealth of the nation. The pope-originated aristocratic families live in Rome, in their great palaces, amidst every luxury and splendour, surrounded by the finest works of art, and leave their tenants and dependents without any attention from them. Some steward or middleman screws the last soldo from them for rent; and when crops fail, as they did last year from drought, lifts not a finger to alleviate their misery.
“And the Papal Government, too—a government pretendedly based on the direct ordination of Him who went about doing good—what has it done for them? Nothing but debauch their minds with idle ceremonies and unscriptural dogmas, lying legends, priests, monks, and beggary! The whole land is a land of beggars, made so by inculcated notions of a spurious charity. Every countrywoman, many men, and every child, boy or girl, are literally beggars—beggars importunate, unappeasable, irrepressible! What a condition of mind for a naturally noble and capable people to be reduced to by—a religion!
“And is this the religion which so many of our educated countrymen and countrywomen, and still more signally the clergy, are so anxious to give us in exchange for the freedom and intelligence of Protestantism? What a stupid blunder, to say the least of it!” (bold mine for emphasis)
Its still going on until this very day! Not the poverty surrounding the Vatican, I hope, but the desire of the Protestant and Evangelical clergy to join hands with the Mystery Babylon Harlot. The only difference is that the intelligence of Protestantism is waning due to compromising with the paganism of the Roman Catholic Church and with the world…