Ladies and Gentlemen, we have recently discovered that the Roman Church has established a religious colony here on Mars!
The missionaries of the Vatican have managed to convert Prince Strohom, ruler of the minor city of Akbat, to the Roman faith. Further, Strohom has changed the name of his city to Nova Roma, and has requested that Pope Pius IX to send a bishop to oversee the establishment of their Church on Mars. The prince has already begun construction of a magnificent new cathedral, the first on the Red Planet for the Roman faith, in anticipation of the fulfillment of his request. Prince Strohom has even begun building a seminary, to train Martians to enter the priesthood.
Along with the bishop and additional priests will come a small contingent of Papal troops, including Regular infantry, Zouaves, and perhaps even a battery of modern guns. It is expected that the Pontifical military contingent will be transported from Earth by the Austrian ethership Ezerzhog Karl von Osterreich. This military mission seems excessive to this reporter, in the view of a lack of outright opponents of the changes in Akbat.
Viceroy for the Martian Crown Colony, Sir Gerald Blythingham, 1st Earl Mons Olympus, had this to say:
"Her Majesty's Government welcomes the Church of Rome's efforts to bring the benefits of European civilization and the light of Christianity to the indigenous peoples of Mars. However, we are troubled by their perceived need to further militarize the planet. Surely, the British Army and Aeronaval Forces could have provided for the safety and security of the missionaries in and around Akbat - er, Nova Roma, that is to say."
Fear not for the safety of Albertport, good friends, as the forces to be brought from the Papal States are small indeed, amounting to no more than a few companies of infantry. In addition, the city of Akbat - Nova Roma, that is - lies on the far side of the Imperial German Martian Protectorate of Marstaadt and the Empire of Galfor.
[Editor's Note: Both the author of this post and the other contributor to this journal are of the Catholic faith. Do not misconstrue the common vernacular terms for the Catholic Church used in the late 1800s in the United Kingdom as any sort of disrespect for the Church, or the Holy Father.]