The Evils behind Modern Ecumenism
On Fostering True Religious Unity
On Christ the King - (Pope Pius XI) - A solution to false Ecumenism
What Catholics are to think of Today's false ecumenism? - By Bishop George Hay
False Ecumenism and Catholic Teaching
The Church's Constant Teaching on dealings with Non Catholics
and Catholics Worship the Same God?
Do Muslims and Catholics Worship the Same God?
No Salvation out side the Church
What did the Popes and Saints say about the doctrine: No salvation Outside the Church?
The Post Conciliar Church & The Universal Apostacy
Liberalism is a Sin
ON "FOSTERING TRUE RELIGIOUS UNITY"
POPE PIUS XI
TO HIS VENERABLE BRETHREN
GIVES GREETING AND APOSTOLIC BENEDICTION
Never perhaps in the past have the minds of men been so engrossed as they are today with the desire to strengthen and extend for the common good of man kind that tie of brotherhood--the result of our common origin and nature--which binds us all so closely together. The world does not yet fully enjoy the fruits of peace; on the contrary, dissensions old and new in various lands still issue in rebellions and conflict. Such disputes, affecting the tranquil prosperity of nations, can never be settled without the combined and active goodwill of those who are responsible for their government, and hence it is easy to understand--especially now that the unity of mankind is no longer called into question--the widespread desire that all nations, in view of this universal kinship, should daily find closer union with one another.
It is with a similar motive that efforts are being made by some, in connection with the New Law promulgated by Christ our Lord. Assured that there exist few men who are entirely devoid of the religious sense, they seem to ground on this belief a hope that all nations, while differing indeed in religious matters, may yet without great difficulty be brought to fraternal agreement on certain points of doctrine which will form a common basis of the spiritual life. With this object congresses, meetings, and addresses are arranged, attended by a large concourse of hearers, where all without distinction, unbelievers of every kind as well as Christians, even those who unhappily have rejected Christ and denied His divine nature or mission, are invited to join in the discussion. Now, such efforts can meet with no kind of approval among Catholics. They presuppose the erroneous view that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, inasmuch as all give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Those who hold such a view are not only in error; they distort the true idea of religion, and thus reject it, falling gradually into naturalism and atheism. To favor this opinion, therefore, and to encourage such undertakings is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God.
Nevertheless, when there is a question of fostering unity among Christians, it is easy for many to be misled by the apparent excellence of the object to be achieved. Is it not right, they ask, is it not the obvious duty of all who invoke the name of Christ to refrain from mutual reproaches and at last to be united in charity? Dare anyone say that he loves Christ, and yet not strive with all his might to accomplish the desire of Him who asked His Father that His disciples might be "one" (John xvii. 21)? Did not Christ will that mutual charity should be the distinguishing characteristic of His disciples? "By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one .for another" (John xiii. 35). If only all Christians were "one," it is contended. then they might do so much more to drive out the pest of irreligion which with its insidious and far-reaching advance is threatening to sap the strength of the Gospel. These and similar arguments, with amplifications, are constantly on the lips of the "pan-Christians" who, so far from being a few isolated individuals, have formed an entire class and grouped themselves into societies of extensive membership, usually under the direction of non-Catholics, who also disagree in matters of faith. The energy with which this scheme is being promoted has won for it many adherents, and even many Catholics are attracted by it, since it holds out the hope of a union apparently consonant with the wishes of Holy Mother Church, whose chief desire it is to recall her erring children and to bring them back to her bosom. In reality, however, these fair and alluring words cloak a most grave error, subversive of the foundations of the Catholic faith.
Conscious, therefore, of Our Apostolic office, which warns Us not to allow the flock of Christ to be led astray by harmful fallacies, We invoke your zeal, Venerable Brethren, to avert this evil. We feel confident that each of you, by written and spoken word, will explain clearly to the people the principles and arguments that We are about to set forth, so that Catholics may know what view and what course of action they should adopt regarding schemes for the promiscuous union into one body of all who call themselves Christians.
God, the Creator of all things, made us that we might know Him and serve Him; to our service, therefore, He has a full right. He might indeed have been contented to prescribe for man's government the natural law alone, that is, the law which in creation He has written upon man's heart, and have regulated the progress of that law by His ordinary Providence. He willed, however, to make positive laws which we should obey, and progressively, from the beginnings of the human race until the coming and preaching of Jesus Christ, He Himself taught mankind the duties which a rational creature owes to His Creator. "God, Who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days hath spoken to us by His Son" (Heb. i. 1, seq.). Evidently, therefore, no religion can be true save that which rests upon the revelation of God, a revelation begun from the very first, continued under the Old Law, and brought to completion by Jesus Christ Himself under the New. Now, if God has spoken--and it is historically certain that He has in fact spoken--then it is clearly man's duty implicitly to believe His revelation and to obey His commands. That we might rightly do both, for the glory of God and for our own salvation, the only-begotten Son of God founded His Church on earth. None, we think, of those who claim to be Christians will deny that a Church, and one sole Church, was founded by Christ.
On the further question, however, as to what in the intention of its Founder was to be the precise nature of that Church, there is not the same agreement. Many of them, for example, deny that the Church of Christ was intended to be visible and manifest, at any rate in the sense that it was to be visibly the one body of the faithful, agreeing in one and the same doctrine under one teaching and governing authority. They conceive the visible Church as nothing more than a federation of the various Christian communities, even though these may hold different and mutually exclusive doctrines. The truth is that Christ founded His Church as a perfect society, of its nature external and perceptible to the senses, which in the future should carry on the work of the salvation of mankind under one head, with a living teaching authority, administering the sacraments which are the sources of heavenly grace (John iii. 5, vi 48-59, xx. 22 seq.; cf. Matt. xviii. 18, etc.). Wherefore He compared His Church to a kingdom (Matt. xiii), to a house (cf. Matt. xvi. 18), to a sheepfold (John x. 16), and to a flock (John xxi. 15-1 7). The Church thus wondrously instituted could not cease to exist with the death of its Founder and of the Apostles, the pioneers of its propagation; for its mission was to lead all men to salvation, without distinction of time or place: "Going therefore, teach ye all nations" (Matt. xxviii. 19). Nor could the Church ever lack the effective strength necessary for the continued accomplishment of its task, since Christ Himself is perpetually present with it, according to His promise: "Behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" (Matt. xxviii. 20). Hence not only does the Church still exist today and continue always to exist, but it must ever be exactly the same as it was in the days of the Apostles. Otherwise we must say--which God forbid--that Christ has failed in His purpose, or that He erred when He asserted of His Church that the gates of hell should never prevail against it (Matt. xvi. l8).
And here it will be opportune to expound and to reject a certain false opinion which lies at the root of this question and of that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring about the union of Christian Churches. Those who favor this view constantly quote the words of Christ, "That they may be one ... And there shall be one fold and one shepherd" (John xvii. 21, x. 16), in the sense that Christ thereby merely expressed a desire or a prayer which as yet has not been granted. For they hold that the unity of faith and government which is a note of the one true Church of Christ has up to the present time hardly ever existed, and does not exist today. They consider that this unity is indeed to be desired and may even, by cooperation and good will, be actually attained, but that meanwhile it must be regarded as a mere ideal. The Church, they say, is of its nature divided into sections, composed of several churches or distinct communities which still remain separate, and although holding in common some articles of doctrine, nevertheless differ concerning the remainder; that all these enjoy the same rights; and that the Church remained one and undivided at the most only from the Apostolic age until the first Ecumenical Councils. Hence, they say, controversies and long-standing differences, which today still keep asunder the members of the Christian family, must be entirely set aside, and from the residue of doctrines a common form of faith drawn up and proposed for belief, in the profession of which all may not only know but also feel themselves to be brethren. If the various Churches or communities were united in some kind of universal federation, they would then be in a position to oppose resolutely and successfully the progress of irreligion.
Such, Venerable Brethren, is the common contention. There are indeed some who recognize and affirm that Protestantism has with inconsiderate zeal rejected certain articles of faith and external ceremonies which are in fact useful and attractive, and which the Roman Church still retains. But they immediately go on to say that the Roman Church, too, has erred, and corrupted the primitive religion by adding to it and proposing for belief doctrines not only alien to the Gospel but contrary to its spirit. Chief among these they count that of the primacy of jurisdiction granted to Peter and to his successors in the See of Rome. There are actually some, though few, who grant to the Roman Pontiff a primacy of honor and even a certain power or jurisdiction; this, however, they consider to arise not from the divine law but merely from the consent of the faithful. Others, again, even go so far as to desire the Pontiff himself to preside over their mixed assemblies. For the rest, while you may hear many non-Catholics loudly preaching brotherly communion in Jesus Christ, yet not one will you find to whom it even occurs with devout submission to obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ in his capacity of teacher or ruler. Meanwhile they assert their readiness to treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, as equals with an equal. But even if they could so treat, there seems little doubt that they would do so only on condition that no pact into which they might enter should compel them to retract those opinions which still keep them outside the one fold of Christ.
This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See can by no means take part in these assemblies. nor is it in any way lawful for Catholics to give to such enterprises their encouragement or support. If they did so, they would be giving countenance to a false Christianity quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall we commit the iniquity of suffering the truth, the truth revealed by God, to be made a subject for compromise? For it is indeed a question of defending revealed truth. Jesus Christ sent His Apostles into the whole world to declare the faith of the Gospel to every nation, and, to save them from error, He willed that the Holy Ghost should first teach them all truth. Has this doctrine, then, disappeared, or at any time been obscured, in the Church of which God Himself is the ruler and guardian? Our Redeemer plainly said that His Gospel was intended not only for the apostolic age but for all time. Can the object of faith, then, have become in the process of time so dim and uncertain that today we must tolerate contradictory opinions? If this were so, then we should have to admit that the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, the perpetual indwelling of the same Spirit in the Church, nay, the very preaching of Jesus Christ, have centuries ago lost their efficacy and value. To affirm this would be blasphemy. The only-begotten Son of God not only bade His representatives to teach all nations; He also obliged all men to give credence to whatever was taught them by "witnesses preordained by God" (Acts x. 41). Moreover, He enforced His command with this sanction: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark xvi. 16). These two commands, the one to teach, the other to believe for salvation, must be obeyed. But they cannot even be understood unless the Church proposes an inviolate and clear teaching, and in proposing it is immune from all danger of error. It is also false to say that. although the deposit of truth does indeed exist, yet it is to be found only with such laborious effort and after such lengthy study and discussion, that a man's life is hardly long enough for its discovery and attainment. This would be equivalent to saying that the most merciful God spoke through the prophets and through His only-begotten Son merely in order that some few men, and those advanced in years, might learn what He had revealed, and not in order to inculcate a doctrine of faith and morals by which man should be guided throughout the whole of his life. These pan- Christians who strive for the union of the Churches would appear to pursue the noblest of ideals in promoting charity among all Christians. But how should charity tend to the detriment of faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems in his Gospel to have revealed the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress upon the memory of his disciples the new commandment "to love one another," nevertheless strictly forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt form of Christ's teaching: "If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house, nor say to him, God speed you" (2 John 10). Therefore, since the foundation of charity is faith pure and inviolate, it is chiefly by the bond of one faith that the disciples of Christ are to be united. A federation of Christians, then, is inconceivable in which each member retains his own opinions and private judgment in matters of faith, even though they differ from the opinions of all the rest. How can men with opposite convictions belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful: those who accept sacred Tradition as a source of revelation and those who reject it; those who recognize as divinely constituted the hierarchy of bishops, priests, and ministers in the Church, and those who regard it as gradually introduced to suit the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that wonderful conversion of the bread and wine, transubstantiation, and those who assert that the body of Christ is there only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognize both sacrament and sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial of the Lord's supper; those who think it right and useful to pray to the Saints reigning with Christ, especially to Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who refuse such veneration as derogatory to the honor due Jesus Christ, "the one mediator of God and men" (cf. I Tim. ii.5)?
How so great a variety of opinions can clear the way for the unity of the Church, We know not. That unity can arise only from one teaching authority, one law of belief, and one faith of Christians. But we do know that from such a state of affairs it is but an easy step to the neglect of religion or "indifferentism," and to the error of the modernists, who hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, that it changes according to the varying necessities of time and place and the varying tendencies of the mind; that it is not contained in an immutable tradition, but can be altered to suit the needs of human life.
Furthermore, it is never lawful to employ in connection with articles of faith the distinction invented by some between "fundamental" and "non-fundamental" articles, the former to be accepted by all, the latter being left to the free acceptance of the faithful. The supernatural virtue of faith has as its formal motive the authority of God revealing. and this allows of no such distinction. All true followers of Christ, therefore, will believe the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the august Trinity, the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff in the sense defined by the Ecumenical Vatican Council with the same faith as they believe the Incarnation of our Lord. That these truths have been solemnly sanctioned and defined by the Church at various times, some of them even quite recently, makes no difference to their certainty, nor to our obligation of believing them. Has not God revealed them all?
The teaching authority of the Church in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that the revealed doctrines might remain for ever intact and might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men. This authority is indeed daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him; but it has the further office of defining some truth with solemn decree whenever it is opportune, and whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or again to impress the minds of the faithful with a clearer and more detailed explanation of the articles of sacred doctrine. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no fresh invention is introduced, nothing new is ever added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained within the deposit of Revelation divinely committed to the Church; but truths which to some perhaps may still seem obscure are rendered clear, or a truth which some may have called into question is declared to be of faith.
Thus, Venerable Brethren. it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics. There is but one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it; for from that one true Church they have in the past fallen away. The one Church of Christ is visible to all, and will remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. The mystical Spouse of Christ has never in the course of centuries been contaminated, nor in the future can she ever be, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot become false to her Spouse; she is inviolate and pure. She knows but one dwelling and chastely and modestly she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber" (De Cath. Ecclesiae unitate. 6). The same holy martyr marveled that anyone could believe that "this unity of the Church built upon a divine foundation, knit together by heavenly sacraments, could ever be rent asunder by the conflict of wills" (ibid.). For since the mystical body of Christ, like His physical body, is one (I Cor. xii.12), compactly and fitly joined together (Eph. iv. 15), it were foolish to say that the mystical body is composed of disjointed and scattered members. Whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member thereof, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.
Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize, and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors. Did not the ancestors of those who are now entangled in the errors of Photius and of the Reformers obey the Bishop of Rome, the chief shepherd of souls? Their children, alas! have left the home of their fathers; but that house did not therefore fall to the ground and perish for ever, for it was supported by God. Let them. then, return to their Father, who, forgetting the insults in the past heaped upon the Apostolic See, will accord them a most loving welcome. If, as they constantly say, they long to be united with Us and Ours, why do they not hasten to enter the Church, "the mother and mistress of all Christ's faithful."? (Conc. Lateran. iv. c. 5). Let them heed the words of Lactantius: "The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of faith, this the temple of God; if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned, and these will be lost forever unless their interests be carefully and assiduously kept in mind" (Divin. Inst. lv. 30, 11-12).
Let our separated children. therefore, draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul, Princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their blood; to the See which is "the root and womb whence issues the Church of God" (Cypr. Ep. 48 ad Cornelium, 3); and let them come, not with any intention or hope that "the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (l Tim. iii. 15), will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but to submit themselves to its teaching and government. Would that the happy lot, denied to so many of Our Predecessors, might at last be Ours, to embrace with fatherly affection those children whose unhappy separation from Us We now deplore. Would that God our Saviour, "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (Tim. ii. 4), might hear our humble prayer and vouchsafe to recall to the unity of the Church all that are gone astray. To this all-important end We implore, and We desire that others should implore, the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of divine grace, Help of Christians, victorious over all heresies, that she may entreat for Us the speedy coming of that longed-for day, when all men shall hear the voice of her divine Son, and shall be "careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. iv. 3).
You, Venerable Brethren, know how dear to Our heart is this desire, and We wish that Our children also should know, not only those belonging to the Catholic fold, but also those separated from Us. If these will humbly beg light from heaven. there is no doubt but that they will recognize the one true Church of Jesus Christ, and entering therein, will at last be united with Us in perfect charity. In the hope of this fulfillment, and as a pledge of Our fatherly goodwill, We impart most lovingly to you, Venerable Brethren, and to your clergy and people, the Apostolic Benediction.
Given at S. Peter's, Rome, on the 6th day of January, the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ in the year 1928, the sixth of Our Pontificate.
Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Pius XI , on the Feast of Christ the King
December 11, 1925
To Our Venerable Brethren the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See.
Venerable Brethren, Greeting and the Apostolic Benediction.
IN THE FIRST ENCYCLICAL LETTER which We addressed at the beginning of Our Pontificate to the Bishops of the universal Church, We referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord. We were led in the meantime to indulge the hope of a brighter future at the sight of a more widespread and keener interest evinced in Christ and his Church, the one Source of Salvation, a sign that men who had formerly spurned the rule of our Redeemer and had exiled themselves from his kingdom were preparing, and even hastening, to return to the duty of obedience.
2. The many notable and memorable events which have occurred during this Holy Year have given great honor and glory to Our Lord and King, the Founder of the Church.
3. At the Missionary Exhibition men have been deeply impressed in seeing the increasing zeal of the Church for the spread of the kingdom of her Spouse to the most far distant regions of the earth. They have seen how many countries have been won to the Catholic name through the unremitting labor and self-sacrifice of missionaries, and the vastness of the regions which have yet to be subjected to the sweet and saving yoke of our King. All those who in the course of the Holy Year have thronged to this city under the leadership of their Bishops or priests had but one aim--namely, to expiate their sins--and at the tombs of the Apostles and in Our Presence to promise loyalty to the rule of Christ.
4. A still further light of glory was shed upon his kingdom, when after due proof of their heroic virtue, We raised to the honors of the altar six confessors and virgins. It was a great joy, a great consolation, that filled Our heart when in the majestic basilica of St. Peter Our decree was acclaimed by an immense multitude with the hymn of thanksgiving, Tu Rex gloriae Christe. We saw men and nations cut off from God, stirring up strife and discord and hurrying along the road to ruin and death, while the Church of God carries on her work of providing food for the spiritual life of men, nurturing and fostering generation after generation of men and women dedicated to Christ, faithful and subject to him in his earthly kingdom, called by him to eternal bliss in the kingdom of heaven.
5. Moreover, since this jubilee Year marks the sixteenth centenary of the Council of Nicaea, We commanded that event to be celebrated, and We have done so in the Vatican basilica. There is a special reason for this in that the Nicene Synod defined and proposed for Catholic belief the dogma of the Consubstantiality of the Onlybegotten with the Father, and added to the Creed the words "of whose kingdom there shall be no end," thereby affirming the kingly dignity of Christ.
6. Since this Holy Year therefore has provided more than one opportunity to enhance the glory of the kingdom of Christ, we deem it in keeping with our Apostolic office to accede to the desire of many of the Cardinals, Bishops, and faithful, made known to Us both individually and collectively, by closing this Holy Year with the insertion into the Sacred Liturgy of a special feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This matter is so dear to Our heart, Venerable Brethren, that I would wish to address to you a few words concerning it. It will be for you later to explain in a manner suited to the understanding of the faithful what We are about to say concerning the Kingship of Christ, so that the annual feast which We shall decree may be attended with much fruit and produce beneficial results in the future.
7. It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of "King," because of the high degree of perfection whereby he excels all creatures. So he is said to reign "in the hearts of men," both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is very truth, and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors. He is King of hearts, too, by reason of his "charity which exceedeth all knowledge." And his mercy and kindness which draw all men to him, for never has it been known, nor will it ever be, that man be loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ. But if we ponder this matter more deeply, we cannot but see that the title and the power of King belongs to Christ as man in the strict and proper sense too. For it is only as man that he may be said to have received from the Father "power and glory and a kingdom," since the Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with him, and therefore has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion over all things created.
8. Do we not read throughout the Scriptures that Christ is the King? He it is that shall come out of Jacob to rule, who has been set by the Father as king over Sion, his holy mount, and shall have the Gentiles for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession. In the nuptial hymn, where the future King of Israel is hailed as a most rich and powerful monarch, we read: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of thy kingdom is a scepter of righteousness." There are many similar passages, but there is one in which Christ is even more clearly indicated. Here it is foretold that his kingdom will have no limits, and will be enriched with justice and peace: "in his days shall justice spring up, and abundance of peace...And he shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth."
9. The testimony of the Prophets is even more abundant. That of Isaias is well known: "For a child is born to us and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God the mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace. He shall sit upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever." With Isaias the other Prophets are in agreement. So Jeremias foretells the "just seed" that shall rest from the house of David--the Son of David that shall reign as king, "and shall be wise, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth." So, too, Daniel, who announces the kingdom that the God of heaven shall found, "that shall never be destroyed, and shall stand for ever." And again he says: "I beheld, therefore, in the vision of the night, and, lo! one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven. And he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him. And he gave him power and glory and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve him. His power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed." The prophecy of Zachary concerning the merciful King "riding upon an ass and upon a colt the foal of an ass" entering Jerusalem as "the just and savior," amid the acclamations of the multitude, was recognized as fulfilled by the holy evangelists themselves.
10. This same doctrine of the Kingship of Christ which we have found in the Old Testament is even more clearly taught and confirmed in the New. The Archangel, announcing to the Virgin that she should bear a Son, says that "the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
11. Moreover, Christ himself speaks of his own kingly authority: in his last discourse, speaking of the rewards and punishments that will be the eternal lot of the just and the damned; in his reply to the Roman magistrate, who asked him publicly whether he were a king or not; after his resurrection, when giving to his Apostles the mission of teaching and baptizing all nations, he took the opportunity to call himself king, confirming the title publicly, and solemnly proclaimed that all power was given him in heaven and on earth. These words can only be taken to indicate the greatness of his power, the infinite extent of his kingdom. What wonder, then, that he whom St. John calls the "prince of the kings of the earth" appears in the Apostle's vision of the future as he who "hath on his garment and on his thigh written 'King of kings and Lord of lords!'." It is Christ whom the Father "hath appointed heir of all things"; "for he must reign until at the end of the world he hath put all his enemies under the feet of God and the Father."
12. It was surely right, then, in view of the common teaching of the sacred books, that the Catholic Church, which is the kingdom of Christ on earth, destined to be spread among all men and all nations, should with every token of veneration salute her Author and Founder in her annual liturgy as King and Lord, and as King of Kings. And, in fact, she used these titles, giving expression with wonderful variety of language to one and the same concept, both in ancient psalmody and in the Sacramentaries. She uses them daily now in the prayers publicly offered to God, and in offering the Immaculate Victim. The perfect harmony of the Eastern liturgies with our own in this continual praise of Christ the King shows once more the truth of the axiom: Legem credendi lex statuit supplicandi. The rule of faith is indicated by the law of our worship.
13. The foundation of this power and dignity of Our Lord is rightly indicated by Cyril of Alexandria. "Christ," he says, "has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature." His kingship is founded upon the ineffable hypostatic union. From this it follows not only that Christ is to be adored by angels and men, but that to him as man angels and men are subject, and must recognize his empire; by reason of the hypostatic union Christ has power over all creatures. But a thought that must give us even greater joy and consolation is this that Christ is our King by acquired, as well as by natural right, for he is our Redeemer. Would that they who forget what they have cost their Savior might recall the words: "You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled." We are no longer our own property, for Christ has purchased us "with a great price"; our very bodies are the "members of Christ."
14. Let Us explain briefly the nature and meaning of this lordship of Christ. It consists, We need scarcely say, in a threefold power which is essential to lordship. This is sufficiently clear from the scriptural testimony already adduced concerning the universal dominion of our Redeemer, and moreover it is a dogma of faith that Jesus Christ was given to man, not only as our Redeemer, but also as a law-giver, to whom obedience is due. Not only do the gospels tell us that he made laws, but they present him to us in the act of making them. Those who keep them show their love for their Divine Master, and he promises that they shall remain in his love. He claimed judicial power as received from his Father, when the Jews accused him of breaking the Sabbath by the miraculous cure of a sick man. "For neither doth the Father judge any man; but hath given all judgment to the Son." In this power is included the right of rewarding and punishing all men living, for this right is inseparable from that of judging. Executive power, too, belongs to Christ, for all must obey his commands; none may escape them, nor the sanctions he has imposed.
15. This kingdom is spiritual and is concerned with spiritual things. That this is so the above quotations from Scripture amply prove, and Christ by his own action confirms it. On many occasions, when the Jews and even the Apostles wrongly supposed that the Messiah would restore the liberties and the kingdom of Israel, he repelled and denied such a suggestion. When the populace thronged around him in admiration and would have acclaimed him King, he shrank from the honor and sought safety in flight. Before the Roman magistrate he declared that his kingdom was not of this world. The gospels present this kingdom as one which men prepare to enter by penance, and cannot actually enter except by faith and by baptism, which, though an external rite, signifies and produces an interior regeneration. This kingdom is opposed to none other than to that of Satan and to the power of darkness. It demands of its subjects a spirit of detachment from riches and earthly things, and a spirit of gentleness. They must hunger and thirst after justice, and more than this, they must deny themselves and carry the cross.
16. Christ as our Redeemer purchased the Church at the price of his own blood; as priest he offered himself, and continues to offer himself as a victim for our sins. Is it not evident, then, that his kingly dignity partakes in a manner of both these offices?
17. It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power. Nevertheless, during his life on earth he refrained from the exercise of such authority, and although he himself disdained to possess or to care for earthly goods, he did not, nor does he today, interfere with those who possess them. Non eripit mortalia qui regna dat caelestia.
18. Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ." Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved." He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. "For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?" If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation."
19. When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience. It is for this reason that St. Paul, while bidding wives revere Christ in their husbands, and slaves respect Christ in their masters, warns them to give obedience to them not as men, but as the vicegerents of Christ; for it is not meet that men redeemed by Christ should serve their fellow-men. "You are bought with a price; be not made the bond-slaves of men." If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, and they will make laws and administer them, having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be a stable peace and tranquillity, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent. Men will see in their king or in their rulers men like themselves, perhaps unworthy or open to criticism, but they will not on that account refuse obedience if they see reflected in them the authority of Christ God and Man. Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished.
20. If the kingdom of Christ, then, receives, as it should, all nations under its way, there seems no reason why we should despair of seeing that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth--he who came to reconcile all things, who came not to be ministered unto but to minister, who, though Lord of all, gave himself to us as a model of humility, and with his principal law united the precept of charity; who said also: "My yoke is sweet and my burden light." Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ! "Then at length," to use the words addressed by our predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years ago to the bishops of the Universal Church, "then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."
21. That these blessings may be abundant and lasting in Christian society, it is necessary that the kingship of our Savior should be as widely as possible recognized and understood, and to the end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honor of the Kingship of Christ. For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any official pronouncement of the teaching of the Church. Such pronouncements usually reach only a few and the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year--in fact, forever. The Church's teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man's nature. Man is composed of body and soul, and he needs these external festivities so that the sacred rites, in all their beauty and variety, may stimulate him to drink more deeply of the fountain of God's teaching, that he may make it a part of himself, and use it with profit for his spiritual life.
22. History, in fact, tells us that in the course of ages these festivals have been instituted one after another according as the needs or the advantage of the people of Christ seemed to demand: as when they needed strength to face a common danger, when they were attacked by insidious heresies, when they needed to be urged to the pious consideration of some mystery of faith or of some divine blessing. Thus in the earliest days of the Christian era, when the people of Christ were suffering cruel persecution, the cult of the martyrs was begun in order, says St. Augustine, "that the feasts of the martyrs might incite men to martyrdom." The liturgical honors paid to confessors, virgins and widows produced wonderful results in an increased zest for virtue, necessary even in times of peace. But more fruitful still were the feasts instituted in honor of the Blessed Virgin. As a result of these men grew not only in their devotion to the Mother of God as an ever-present advocate, but also in their love of her as a mother bequeathed to them by their Redeemer. Not least among the blessings which have resulted from the public and legitimate honor paid to the Blessed Virgin and the saints is the perfect and perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy. We may well admire in this the admirable wisdom of the Providence of God, who, ever bringing good out of evil, has from time to time suffered the faith and piety of men to grow weak, and allowed Catholic truth to be attacked by false doctrines, but always with the result that truth has afterwards shone out with greater splendor, and that men's faith, aroused from its lethargy, has shown itself more vigorous than before.
23. The festivals that have been introduced into the liturgy in more recent years have had a similar origin, and have been attended with similar results. When reverence and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament had grown cold, the feast of Corpus Christi was instituted, so that by means of solemn processions and prayer of eight days' duration, men might be brought once more to render public homage to Christ. So, too, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was instituted at a time when men were oppressed by the sad and gloomy severity of Jansenism, which had made their hearts grow cold, and shut them out from the love of God and the hope of salvation.
24. If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society. We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God's religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences. We lamented these in the Encyclical Ubi arcano; we lament them today: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace; that insatiable greed which is so often hidden under a pretense of public spirit and patriotism, and gives rise to so many private quarrels; a blind and immoderate selfishness, making men seek nothing but their own comfort and advantage, and measure everything by these; no peace in the home, because men have forgotten or neglect their duty; the unity and stability of the family undermined; society in a word, shaken to its foundations and on the way to ruin. We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would
be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.
25. Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them. While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights.
26. The way has been happily and providentially prepared for the celebration of this feast ever since the end of the last century. It is well known that this cult has been the subject of learned disquisitions in many books published in every part of the world, written in many different languages. The kingship and empire of Christ have been recognized in the pious custom, practiced by many families, of dedicating themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; not only families have performed this act of dedication, but nations, too, and kingdoms. In fact, the whole of the human race was at the instance of Pope Leo XIII, in the Holy Year 1900, consecrated to the Divine Heart. It should be remarked also that much has been done for the recognition of Christ's authority over society by the frequent Eucharistic Congresses which are held in our age. These give an opportunity to the people of each diocese, district or nation, and to the whole world of coming together to venerate and adore Christ the King hidden under the Sacramental species. Thus by sermons preached at meetings and in churches, by public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed and by solemn processions, men unite in paying homage to Christ, whom God has given them for their King. It is by a divine inspiration that the people of Christ bring forth Jesus from his silent hiding-place in the church, and carry him in triumph through the streets of the city, so that he whom men refused to receive when he came unto his own, may now receive in full his kingly rights.
27. For the fulfillment of the plan of which We have spoken, the Holy Year, which is now speeding to its close, offers the best possible opportunity. For during this year the God of mercy has raised the minds and hearts of the faithful to the consideration of heavenly blessings which are above all understanding, has either restored them once more to his grace, or inciting them anew to strive for higher gifts, has set their feet more firmly in the path of righteousness. Whether, therefore, We consider the many prayers that have been addressed to Us, or look to the events of the Jubilee Year, just past, We have every reason to think that the desired moment has at length arrived for enjoining that Christ be venerated by a special feast as King of all mankind. In this year, as We said at the beginning of this Letter, the Divine King, truly wonderful in all his works, has been gloriously magnified, for another company of his soldiers has been added to the list of saints. In this year men have looked upon strange things and strange labors, from which they have understood and admired the victories won by missionaries in the work of spreading his kingdom. In this year, by solemnly celebrating the centenary of the Council of Nicaea. We have commemorated the definition of the divinity of the word Incarnate, the foundation of Christ's empire over all men.
28. Therefore by Our Apostolic Authority We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October--the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day. This year, however, We desire that it be observed on the thirty-first day of the month on which day We Ourselves shall celebrate pontifically in honor of the kingship of Christ, and shall command that the same dedication be performed in Our presence. It seems to Us that We cannot in a more fitting manner close this Holy Year, nor better signify Our gratitude and that of the whole of the Catholic world to Christ the immortal King of ages, for the blessings showered upon Us, upon the Church, and upon the Catholic world during this holy period.
29. It is not necessary, Venerable Brethren, that We should explain to you at any length why We have decreed that this feast of the Kingship of Christ should be observed in addition to those other feasts in which his kingly dignity is already signified and celebrated. It will suffice to remark that although in all the feasts of our Lord the material object of worship is Christ, nevertheless their formal object is something quite distinct from his royal title and dignity. We have commanded its observance on a Sunday in order that not only the clergy may perform their duty by saying Mass and reciting the Office, but that the laity too, free from their daily tasks, may in a spirit of holy joy give ample testimony of their obedience and subjection to Christ. The last Sunday of October seemed the most convenient of all for this purpose, because it is at the end of the liturgical year, and thus the feast of the Kingship of Christ sets the crowning glory upon the mysteries of the life of Christ already commemorated during the year, and, before celebrating the triumph of all the Saints, we proclaim and extol the glory of him who triumphs in all the Saints and in all the Elect. Make it your duty and your task, Venerable Brethren, to see that sermons are preached to the people in every parish to teach them the meaning and the importance of this feast, that they may so order their lives as to be worthy of faithful and obedient subjects of the Divine King.
30. We would now, Venerable Brethren, in closing this letter, briefly enumerate the blessings which We hope and pray may accrue to the Church, to society, and to each one of the faithful, as a result of the public veneration of the Kingship of Christ.
31. When we pay honor to the princely dignity of Christ, men will doubtless be reminded that the Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state; and that in fulfilling the task committed to her by God of teaching, ruling, and guiding to eternal bliss those who belong to the kingdom of Christ, she cannot be subject to any external power. The State is bound to extend similar freedom to the orders and communities of religious of either sex, who give most valuable help to the Bishops of the Church by laboring for the extension and the establishment of the kingdom of Christ. By their sacred vows they fight against the threefold concupiscence of the world; by making profession of a more perfect life they render the holiness which her divine Founder willed should be a mark and characteristic of his Church more striking and more conspicuous in the eyes of all.
32. Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.
33. The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God. If all these truths are presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful incentive to perfection. It is Our fervent desire, Venerable Brethren, that those who are without the fold may seek after and accept the sweet yoke of Christ, and that we, who by the mercy of God are of the household of the faith, may bear that yoke, not as a burden but with joy, with love, with devotion; that having lived our lives in accordance with the laws of God's kingdom, we may receive full measure of good fruit, and counted by Christ good and faithful servants, we may be rendered partakers of eternal bliss and glory with him in his heavenly kingdom.
34. Let this letter, Venerable Brethren, be a token to you of Our fatherly love as the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ draws near; and receive the Apostolic Benediction as a pledge of divine blessings, which with loving heart, We impart to you, Venerable Brethren, to your clergy, and to your people.
Given at St. Peter's Rome, on the eleventh day of the month of December, in the Holy Year 1925, the fourth of Our Pontificate.
1. Eph. iii, 9.
2. Dan. vii, 13-14.
3. Num. xxiv, 19.
4. Ps. ii.
5. Ps. xliv.
6. Ps. Ixxi.
7. Isa. ix, 6-7.
8. Jer. xxiii, 5.
9. Dan. ii, 44.
10. Dan. vii, 13-14.
11. Zach. ix, 9.
12. Luc. i, 32-33.
13. Matt. xxv, 31-40.
14. Joan. xviii, 37.
15. Matt. xxviii, 18.
16. Apoc. 1, 5.
17. Apoc. xix, 16.
18. Heb. 1, 2.
19. Cf. 1 Cor. xv, 25.
20. In huc. x.
21. I Pet. i, 18-19.
22. 1 Cor. vi, 20.
23. I Cor. vi, 15.
24. Conc. Trid. Sess. Vl, can. 21.
25. Joan. xiv, 15; xv, 10.
26. Joan. v, 22.
27. Hymn for the Epiphany.
28. Enc. Annum Sacrum, May 25, 1899.
29. Acts iv, 12.
30. S. Aug. Ep. ad Macedonium, c. iii.
31. Enc. Ubi Arcano.
32. I Cor.vii,23.
33. Enc. Annum Sanctum, May 25, 1899.
34. Sermo 47 de Sanctis.
35. Rom. vi, 13.
GENERAL LAWS OF
GOD, FORBIDDING ALL COMMUNICATION
IN RELIGION WITH THOSE OF A FALSE RELIGION
By Bishop George Hay (1729-1811)
Q. What are those laws which prohibit this in general?
A. They are principally these following:
(1) The first is grounded upon the light in which all false religions are considered in the Holy Scripture; for there we are assured that they arise from false teachers, who are called seducers of the people, ravenous wolves, false prophets, who speak perverse things: that they are anti-Christs, and enemies of the cross of Christ; that, departing from the true faith of Christ, they give heed to the spirits of error; that their doctrines are the doctrines of devils, speaking lies; that their ways are pernicious, their heresies damnable, and the like. In consequence of which, this general command of avoiding all communication with them in religion is given by the apostle: "Bear not the yoke together with unbelievers; for what participation hath justice with injustice? or what fellowship hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbelievers? or what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God." (2 Cor. 6:14)
Now it is the true religion of Jesus Christ, the true doctrine of His gospel, which is justice and light; all false doctrines are injustice and darkness; it is by our holy faith that we belong to Christ, and are temples of the living God; all false religions flow from the father of lies, and make those who embrace them unbelievers; therefore all participation, all fellowship, all communication with false religions, is here expressly forbidden by the Word of God. We have seen above 2 that we are obliged to love the persons of those who are engaged in false religions, to wish them well, and to do them good; but here we are expressly forbidden all communication in their religion — that is, in their false tenets, and worship. Hence the learned and pious English divines who published at Rheims their translation of the New Testament, in their note upon this passage, say: "Generally, here is forbidden conversation and dealing with unbelievers in prayers, or meetings at their schismatical service, or other divine office whatsoever; which the apostle here uttereth in more particular terms, that Christian people may take the better heed of it."
(2) The next general command to avoid all religious communication with those who are heretics, or have a false religion, is this, — "A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, AVOID; knowing that he that is such a one is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment." (Tit. 3:10)
Here we see another general command to avoid all such — that is, to flee from them, to have no communication with them. But in what are we commanded to flee from them? Not as to their persons, or the necessary communications of society; for then, as the same holy apostle says upon a similar occasion, "You must needs go out of the world."  Cor. 5:10) Not as to the offices of Christian charity; for these we are commanded by Christ himself, in the person of the good Samaritan, to give to all mankind, whatever their religion be: therefore, in the most restricted and limited sense which the words can bear, the thing in which we are commanded to avoid them is in all matters of religion; in that in which they themselves are subverted and sin; in things relating to God and His service. In these they err, in these they are subverted, in these they are condemned; therefore in these we must avoid them.
Hence the pious translators of the Rheims New Testament, in their note on this text, say, "Heretics, therefore, must not wonder if we warn all Catholics, by the words of the apostle in this place, to take heed of them, and to shun their preachings, books, and conventicles."
(3) A third general command on this subject is manifestly included in this zealous injunction of the apostle: "We charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received from us." (2 Thes. 3:6)
In this passage, all the different sects of false religions are particularly pointed out; for, however they may differ in other respects they generally agree in this, of rejecting apostolical traditions handed down to us by the Church of Christ; all such the apostle here charges us, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to avoid — to withdraw ourselves from them. Now it is evident that the most limited sense in which this command, so warmly laid on us by the apostle, can be taken, is to withdraw ourselves from them in everything relating to religion, — from their sacraments, prayers, preachings, religious meetings, and the like. It is in these things that they "do not walk according to the tradition received from the apostles". In these things, then, we are here commanded, in the name of Christ Himself, "to withdraw ourselves from them".
Seeing, therefore, that the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of this holy apostle, has so often, and in such strong terms, forbidden all manner of fellowship in religion with those who are out of His holy Church, let us not be deceived by the specious but vain sophistry of cunning men, who lie in wait to deceive; let us not offend our God, by transgressing these His express commands, by joining in the prayers or going to the meetings of such as are separated from His holy Church, lest He should withdraw His holy grace from US, and as we expose ourselves to the danger, leave us to perish in it.
Let us hear and follow the advice and command of the same holy apostle: "As therefore ye have received Jesus Christ the Lord, walk ye in Him; rooted and built up in Him, and confirmed in the faith; as also ye have learned, abounding in Him in thanksgiving. Beware lest any man impose upon you by philosophy and vain deceit according to the tradition of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ." (Col. 2:6) Wherefore, to all those arguments which may be brought from human, worldly, or interested motives, to induce us to join in or to partake of any religious duty with those of a false religion, though in appearance only, we ought to oppose this one, — "God has expressly forbidden it, therefore no human power can make it lawful."
PARTICULAR LAWS OF GOD FORBIDDING ALL COMMUNICATION
WITH FALSE RELIGIONS, AND ASSIGNING REASONS FOR IT
Q. What are the particular laws on this subject?
A. In the three general commands above mentioned, God Almighty speaks, by the mouth of His holy apostle, as Lord and Master, and lays His orders upon us absolutely. In what follows, He unites the merciful Savior to the Sovereign; and whilst He no less strictly commands us to avoid all religious communication with those who are separated from His holy Faith and Church, He at the same time condescends to engage our obedience, by showing us the strongest reasons for it.
(1) "Beware of false prophets", says our blessed Master, "who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves". (Mat. 7:5) Here Jesus Christ commands His followers to "beware of false prophets" — that is, to flee from them, to be on their guard against them; and He adds this powerful motive, "Lest ye be seduced and ruined by them"; for, whatever appearance of godliness they may put on, though they come to you in the clothing of sheep, yet within they are ravenous wolves, and seek only to slay and to destroy.
To the same purpose He says in another place, "Take heed that no man seduce you; for many will come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and they will seduce many." (Mat. 24:4) "And many false prophets shall arise and seduce many." (ver. 2) Here He foretells the cunning of false teachers, and the danger of being seduced by them, and commands us to take care of ourselves, that such be not our fate.
But how shall we escape from them? He afterwards tells us how: do not believe them, have nothing to do with them, have no communication, with them. "Then", He says, "if any man shall say, to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, do not believe him. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive even the elect. Behold. I have told it you beforehand. If therefore, they shall say to you, Behold he is in the desert, go ye not out; behold he is in the closet, believe it not." (Mat. 24:23)
Can there be a more powerful reason to enforce the observance of His command, or a stronger motive to induce His followers to have no religious communication with such false teachers? Many will be certainly seduced by them; and so will you, if you expose yourself to the danger.
(2) St. Peter, considering the great mercy bestowed upon us by the grace of our vocation to the true faith of Christ, says, that it is our duty to "declare the praises and virtues of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His admirable light". (1 Pet. 2:9) St. Paul also exhorts us to "give thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light, who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His beloved Son." (Col. 1:12) Where it is manifest that as the true Faith of Jesus Christ is the only light that conducts to salvation, and that it is only in His Kingdom — that is, in His Church — where that heavenly light is to be found, so all false religions are darkness; and that to be separated from the Kingdom of Christ is to be in darkness as to the great affair of eternity. And indeed what greater or more miserable darkness can a soul be in than to be led away by seducing spirits, and "departing from the faith of Christ, give heed to the doctrine of devils". (1 Tim. 4:1) St. Paul, deploring the state of such souls, says that they "have their understandings darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance: that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts". (Eph. 4:18)
On this account the same holy apostle exhorts us in the most pressing manner to take care not to be seduced from the light of our holy Faith by the vain words and seducing speeches of false teachers, by which we would certainly incur the anger of God; and, to prevent so great a misery, He not only exhorts us to walk as children of the light in the practice of all holy virtues, but expressly commands us to avoid all communication in religion with those who walk in the darkness of error. "Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief; be ye not, therefore, partakers with them. For ye were theretofore darkness; but now light in the Lord; walk ye as the children of the light,
. . . and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness". (Eph. 5:6)
Here, then, we have an express command, not only not to partake with the unfruitful works of darkness — that is, not to join in any false religion, or partake of its rites or sacraments — but also, not to have any fellowship with its professors, not to be present at their meetings or sermons, or any other of their religious offices, lest we be deceived by them, and incur the anger of the Almighty, provoke Him to withdraw His assistance from us, and leave us to ourselves, in punishment of our disobedience.
(3) St. Paul, full of zeal for the good of souls, and solicitous to preserve us from all danger of losing our holy Faith, the groundwork of our salvation, renews the same command in his Epistle to the Romans, by way of entreaty, beseeching us to avoid all such communication with those of a false religion. He also shows us by what sign we should discover them, and points out the source of our danger from them: "Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who cause dissensions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and to avoid them; for they that are such serve not Our Lord Christ, but their own belly, and by pleasing speeches and good words seduce the hearts of the innocent". (Rom. 16:17)
See here whom we are to avoid — "those that cause dissensions contrary to the ancient doctrine"; all those who, hating, left the true Faith and doctrine which they had learned, and which has been handed down to us from the beginning by the Church of Christ, follow strange doctrines, and make divisions and dissensions in the Christian world. And why are we to avoid them? Because they are not servants of Christ, but slaves to their own belly, whose hearts are placed upon the enjoyments of this world, and who, by "pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent" — that is, do not bring good reasons or solid arguments to seduce people to their evil ways, so as to convince the understanding, for that is impossible; but practice upon their hearts and passions, relaxing the laws of the gospel, granting liberties to the inclinations of flesh and blood, laying aside the sacred rules of mortification of the passions and of self-denial, promising worldly wealth, and ease, and honors, and, by pleasing speeches of this kind, seducing the heart, and engaging people to their ways.
(4) The same argument and command the apostle repeats in his epistle to his beloved disciple Timothy, where he gives a sad picture, indeed, of all false teachers, telling us that they put on an outward show of piety the better to deceive, "having an appearance, indeed, of godliness, but denying the power thereof;" then he immediately gives this command: "Now these avoid: for of this sort are they that creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, who are led away with divers desires"; and adds this sign by which they may be known, that, not having the true Faith of Christ, and being out of His holy Church — the only sure rule for knowing the truth — they are never settled, but are always altering and changing their opinions, "ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth"; because, as he adds, "they resist the truth, being corrupted in their mind, and reprobate concerning the Faith". (2 Tim. 3:5)
Here it is to be observed that, though the apostle says that silly weak people, and especially women, are most apt to be deceived by such false teachers, yet he gives the command of avoiding all communication with them in their evil ways, to all without exception, even to Timothy himself; for the epistle is directed particularly to him, and to him he says, as well as to all others, "Now these avoid", though he was a pastor of the church, and fully instructed by the apostle himself in all the truths of religion; because, besides the danger of seduction, which none can escape who voluntarily expose themselves to it, all such communication is evil in itself, and therefore to be avoided by all, and especially by pastors, whose example would be more prejudicial to others.
(5) Lastly, the beloved disciple St. John renews the same command in the strongest terms, and adds another reason, which regards all without exception, and especially those who are best instructed in their duty: "Look to yourselves", says he, "that ye lose not the things that ye have wrought, but that you may receive a full reward. Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, nor say to him, God speed you: for he that saith to him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked works". (2 John, ver. 8)
Here, then, it is manifest, that all fellowship with those who have not the doctrine of Jesus Christ, which is "a communication in their evil works" — that is, in their false tenets, or worship, or in any act of religion — is strictly forbidden, under pain of losing the "things we have wrought, the reward of our labors, the salvation of our souls". And if this holy apostle declares that the very saying God speed to such people is a communication with their wicked works, what would he have said of going to their places of worship, of hearing their sermons, joining in their prayers, or the like?
From this passage the learned translators of the Rheims New Testament, in their note, justly observe, "That, in matters of religion, in praying, hearing their sermons, presence at their service, partaking of their sacraments, and all other communicating with them in spiritual things, it is a great and damnable sin to deal with them." And if this be the case with all in general, how much more with those who are well instructed and better versed in their religion than others? For their doing any of these things must be a much greater crime than in ignorant people, because they know their duty better.
Q. These laws are very clear and strong; but has the Christian church always observed and enforced the observance of them?
A. The spirit of Christ, which dictated the Holy Scriptures, and the spirit which animates and guides the Church of Christ, and teaches her all truth, is the same; and therefore in all ages her conduct on this point has been uniformly the same as what the Holy Scripture teaches. She has constantly forbidden her children to hold any communication, in religious matters, with those who are separated from her communion; and this she has sometimes done under the most severe penalties. In the apostolical canons, which are of very ancient standing, and for the most part handed down from the apostolical age, it is thus decreed: "If any bishop, or priest, or deacon, shall join in prayers with heretics, let him be suspended from Communion". (Can. 44)
Also, "If any clergyman or laic shall go into the synagogue of the Jews, or the meetings of heretics, to join in prayer with them, let him be deposed, and deprived of communion". (Can. 63)
So also, in one of her most respected councils, held in the year 398, at which the great St. Augustine was present, she speaks thus: "None must either pray or sing psalms with heretics; and whosoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the Communion of the Church, whether clergyman or laic, let him be excommunicated". (Coun. Carth. iv. 72 and 73)
The same is her language in all ages; and in this she shows herself to be the true mother, who will not suffer her children to be divided. She knows her heavenly spouse has declared that "no man can serve two masters; we cannot serve God and Mammon;" and therefore she must either have them to be hers entirely, or she cannot acknowledge them as such. She knows His holy apostle has protested that there can be no "participation, no fellowship, no concord, no pact, no agreement between the faithful and the unbeliever;" and therefore she never can allow any of her faithful children to have any religious communication with those of a false religion and corrupted Faith.
1. The Sincere Christian pp. 474 -533, James Duffey and Son, Dublin
False Ecumenism and Catholic Teaching
"What part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? (2 Cor. 6:15)
Question: "Is it permitted for Catholics to be present at, or to take part in, conventions, gatherings, meetings, or societies of non-Catholics which aim to associate together under a single agreement everyone who, in any way, lays claim to the name Christian? In the negative... It is clear, therefore, why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics, There is only one wav in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering the return to the one true Church of Christ those who are separated from her. " (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos). The new-Church is a false church that claims to be Catholic. I ask- How could the Catholic Church that has condemned such actions since the time Christ, now all the sudden believe in universal salvation regardless of religion or creed? The traditional Catholic has the teachings of Jesus Christ, the councils, saints, popes, Bible, fathers and doctors of the Catholic Church on their side. The new post-Vatican II church indeed has nothing more than absolute chaos, loss of faith, loss of vocations and scandal since they turned their backs on Holy Mother Church. Below are only but a few of the clear cut teachings of Catholic Church.
The 1917 Code of Canon Law states: that: " It is not permitted at all for the faithful to assist in any active manner at or to have any part in the worship of non-Catholics." [Canon 1258]
"For if they have doctrines opposed to ours, it is not fitting to be mixed up with them for this cause alone... what do you say? 'There faith is the same; these men are orthodox?' why, then, are they not with us?" - St. John Chrysostom
"St. Antony the Abbot would not speak to a heretic, except to exhort him to the true faith; and he drove all heretics from his mountain, calling them venomous serpents." - St. Athanasius on the life of St. Antony the Hermit,
"It is therefore unlawful, and a profanation, and an act the punishment of which is death, to love to associate with unholy heretics, and to unite oneself to their communion" – St.. Cyril of Alexandri.
"You help the ungodly, and you are joined in friendship with those who hate the Lord; and therefore you did indeed deserve the wrath of the Lord - II Paralipomenon 19:2.
“Saint Peter and Paul have loathed heretics, and in their Epistles have warned us to avoid them” – St. Cyprian
St. Anthasius went as far as refusing the name of Christian to those who left the Church as he openly affirms "Those who go off to heretics, and all who leave the Church for heresy, abandon the name of Christ. Those who call these men "Christians" are in griev-ous error, since they neither understand Scripture at all nor the faith which it contains." - Discourse Against the Arians," Bk. I, ch.1, no. 1, PG 26:11
Do we see the same attitude today? Or do we see a Church approved prophecy being fulfilled: "Rome will lose the faith.. , " (Our Lady of La Sallette, Apparition approved by St. Pius X). .
"St. John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and .finding Cerinthus inside, rushed out (of the bathhouse without bathing, shouting: 'Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, for Cerinthas, the enemy of truth, is inside!' And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion asking: 'Do you know me?' 'I do know you', replied Polycarp, 'I know you to be the .first born of Satan!' Such was the horror which the Apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal , communication with any corrupters of the truth" - St. Irenaeus of Lyon, Against the Heresies, Book III.
In respect to their guilt whereby they are opposed to God, all sinners are to be hated, even one's father or mother or kindred, according to St. Luke 14:26. For it is our duty to hate in the sinner his being a sinner" - St. Thomas Aquinas, (STL 11-11, Q. 25 Art 6.).
"If any ecclesiastic or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or to the meeting-houses of the heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of communion If any Bishops or Priest or Deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from Communion" - III Council of Constantinople.
Pius XI in dealing with false ecumenical issues that was so vehement
in his own day had only the following to say "Certainly such movements as these
cannot gain the approval of Catholics. They are founded upon the false opinions
of those who say that, since all religions equally unfold and signify- though
not in the same way - the native, inborn feeling in us all through which we are
borne toward God and humbly recognize His rule, therefore, all religions are
more or less good and praiseworthy. The followers of this theory are not only
deceived and mistaken, but since they repudiate the true religion by attacking
it in its very essence, they move step by step toward naturalism and atheism.
Hence it clearly follows that anyone who gives assent to such theories and
undertakings utterly abandons divinely revealed religion. " (Mortalium
The Church can never lawfully grant to Catholics permission to participate formally in non-Catholic worship. In dealing those who claim they have been given ecclesiastical permission to participate in the ceremonial rites of non Catholics Fr. Michael Muller in his well known work, "God the Teacher of Man Kind" aptly answers the question by stating "Neither any priest nor bishop, nay, not even the Pope, can give you permission to violate any of the commandments." (God the teacher of Mankind, New York, 1881, Pg. 331)
"Cut off from the Church: One must neither pray nor sing psalms with those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, whether clergy or layman: let him be excommunicated" - Council of Carthage.
"No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics" - Council of Laodicea.
"I will not pray with you, nor shall you pray with me; neither will I say 'Amen' to your prayers, nor shall you to mine" - St. Margaret Clitherow
"These men are Protestants; they are heretics. Have nothing to do with them.! - St. Anthony Alary Claret, The Modern Apostles.
"It is not lawful to go to the Protestant Church" – St. John Rigby
"We decree that those who give credence to the teachings of heretics, as well as those who receive, defend, or patronize them, are excommunicated... If anyone refuses to avoid such accomplices after they have been ostracized by the Church, let them also be excommunicated" - IV Lateran Council
This is the voice of the Church. Let him who fears for his salvation hear the voice of the Church or be as the heathen, "If he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican" – Matt 18:17
"Make no mistake, my brethren, they shall suffer everlasting punishment who endeavor to corrupt the Church of Christ. Whosoever sets at nought His doctrine shall go into hell, and so shall everyone who listens to him" – St. Ignatisus of Antioch.
"Do not treat with a man without religion. Give no heed to them in any matter of council" - Ecclus. 37: 12
A Protestant once approached St. John Vianney saying, 'though we are not together on earth, we shall be together in heaven'. The saint looked into the man's eyes and said gently: "As the tree leans, so the tree falls. If we do not live together on earth, we shall not live together in heaven. Death makes no change in that". The Protestant upon hearing these gentle words of the saint considered them, renounced his error, and became a Catholic.
A heretic is led by his own judgment rather than the teaching of the Church, and is lost" "A man that is a heretic... is subverted and sins, being condemned by his own judgment" (Titus 3: 10). Every man must be taught. Christ told His Apostles, the ministers of His Church: "Go and teach all nations (Matt 28: 1 9). He that believeth not, shall be condemned" (St. Matt 16: 16).
"Since these wretched souls will have to be separated from God and Heaven for all eternity because their place will be in hell, already here on earth they have to be separated from the company of Christ our Lord and His servants and hand-maids. Predestinated souls, you who are of God, cut yourselves adrift from those who are damning themselves.!" - St. Louis De Monfort
Prayer of Pope Pius X: "Give thanks to God that He has made you a child of His Church which is always animated and governed by His Divine Spirit who was sent into the world on the day of Pentecost. Hear and follow the sovereign Pontiff, who teaches infallibly through the Holy Ghost and the Church, which is the pillar and ground of truth. Hold fast to her doctrines, maintain her cause, defend her rights. Live always as becomes a child of God and a member of the true Church of God, so that after this life, you may receive Heaven as your inheritance, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.! Amen"
The Church's Constant Teaching on our dealings with Non-Catholics
If he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as a heathen and a publican. St. Matthew 18:17
Since it is recognized that it is extremely rare to find men entirely devoid of the religious sense, some people entertain the hope that nations [...] in spite of their differing religious viewpoints, may be brought to unite as brothers in the profession of certain doctrines as a common foundation of the spiritual life. [...] Certainly efforts such as these cannot receive the approbation of Catholics, for they rest on that false opinion which holds any opinion whatever to be more-or-less praiseworthy and good. [...] Those who hold this opinion are not only in gross error, they even debase the concept of true religion and, little by little, lapse into Naturalism and Atheism. [...] He who refuses to have the Church for his Mother will not have God for his Father. When St. Augustine speaks of man's last end, he hastens to add this counsel to any one who wishes to reach that end: "Their attempt will be useless if they do not submit to the Catholic Church, and humbly obey her, for she alone has been divinely instituted to give light and strength to souls, without which they will necessarily stray from the right path." Would to God they had listened to the voice of Augustine in the past! And would to God that everyone might hear him today who rends the seamless robe of Christ. and casts himself miserably outside the path of salvation. Pope Pius XI
"She is a garden enclosed, My Sister, My Spouse, a garden enclosed: a fountain sealed up" (Canticles 4:12). These words of Holy Scripture are applied, according to the Fathers, to the Catholic Church, the immaculate spouse of Christ; they distinguish her from infidel or heretical sects, so that men will know whom to follow and whom to avoid in their search for eternal life. Pope Leo XIII
INTERFAITH UNIONS CONDEMNED
To know whom to avoid is a great means of saving our souls. [...] Thus, the Church forbids the faithful to communicate with those unbelievers who have forsaken the faith by corrupting it, such as heretics, or by renouncing it, such as apostates. St. Thomas Aquinas
Thou shalt not sow thy vinyard with different seeds, lest both the seed that thou hast sown and the fruit of the vinyard be sanctified together. Deuteronomy 22:9
And the good seed are the children of the kingdom; and the cockle are the children of the wicked one. St. Matthew 13:38
If you eat the words of God in the Church, and also eat them in the synagogue of the Jews, you transgress the commandment which says: "In one House shall it be eaten" (Exodus 12:46). Origen
Whence it sometimes happens through error that Christians mingle with the women of Jews and Mohammedans and, on the other hand, Jews and Mohammedans mingle with those of Christians. Therefore, in order that such ruinous commingling of this kind through error may not serve as a refuge for further excuse for excess, We decree that such people of both sexes, that is, Jews and Mohammedans, be distinguished in public by a difference in dress in every province of Christendom and at all times, since this was also enjoined on such people by Moses. IV Lateran Council
Is it permitted for Christians to be present at, or to take part in, conventions, gatherings, meetings, or societies of non-Catholics which aim to associate together under a single agreement everyone who, in any way, lays claim to the name of Christian? In the negative! [...] It is clear, therefore, why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics. There is only one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering the return to the one true Church of Christ for those who are separated from her. Pope Pius XI
Those who are members of the Church are not to be permitted to go into the cemeteries of any of the heretics for the purpose of prayer or veneration. If they do, they are to be excommunicated. Council of Laodicea
CHRISTIANS MUST BE AWARE OF PROTESTANTS AND THEIR FALSE BELIEFS
Wherefore, since outside the Catholic Church there is nothing perfect, nothing undefiled, the Apostle declaring that "all that is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23), we are in no way likened with those who are divided from the unity of the Body of Christ; we are joined in no communion. Pope St. Leo the Great
Do not work together with unbelievers, for what does justice have in common with injustice? II Corinthians 6:14
"The Lord will cut off their necks" (Psalm 128:4). Let their destiny be shared by all heretics who hate the Church of Christ. "Let them be like the grass on the housetops, which withers before it is plucked up" (Psalm 128:6). [...] For of all the holy ones who shall pass by, from the Apostles even until now, not one has blessed them in the name of the Lord. And he who has not received a blessing from the blessed Apostle Peter, or from the Apostles and their successors, and in this state has deceived people by his teachings, such a person incurs a curse because he has usurped a blessing - a curse by which he withers away before he is plucked up, that is, before he dies. While he seems to live in the body, he is already withered away in the spirit. From such men we, being separated, guarding most perfectly the Catholic faith, find life everlasting. Arnobius the Younger
There are some, you know, who are accustomed to go around with the Name on their lips while they indulge in certain practices at variance with It and an insult to God. You must shun these men as you would wild beasts: they are rabid dogs that bite in secret; you must beware of them! St. Ignatius of Antioch
Whoever is separated from the Church must be avoided and fled from; such a man is wrong-headed; he is a sinner and self-condemned. [...] But if some of the leaders of schism persist in their blind and obstinate foolishness, and if advice for their own good fails to bring them back to the way of salvation, let the rest of you [...] break away from their ensnaring falsehood. [...] One must withdraw from those who are engaged in sin; rather, one must fly from them, lest by joining in their evil course and thus taking the wrong road, one should [...] become involved in the same guilt oneself. St. Cyprian
ASSOCIATION WITH HERETICS IS DEADLY FOR THE SOUL
We have heard that many, saying they are Catholic, are living a life in common with Jews and pagans [...] in diverse errors, maintaining that they are not being harmed. [...] A great and deadly error! Pope Adrian I
I grieve for having been, if only for an hour, in communion with guilty men. St. Martin of Tours
It is an illusion to seek the company of sinners on the pretence of reforming them or of converting them; it is far more to be feared that they will spread their poison to us. St. Gregory Nazianzen
Do not converse with heretics even for the sake of defending the faith, for fear lest their words instil their poison in your mind. Bl. Isaias
For if they have doctrines opposed to ours, it is not fitting to be mixed up with them for this cause alone. [...] What do you say? "Their faith is the same; these men are orthodox"? Why, then, are they not with us? St. John Chysostom
It is therefore unlawful, and a profanation, and an act the punishment of which is death, to love to associate with unholy heretics, and to unite yourself to their communion. St. Cyril of Alexandria
But if you embrace the errors of these nations that dwell among you, and make marriages with them, and join friendships, know ye for a certainty that [...] they shall be a snare and a pit in your way, and a stumbling-block at your side, and stakes in your eyes, til the Lord your God take you away and destroy you. Josue 23:13
You help the ungodly, and you are joined in friendship with those who hate the Lord; and therefore you did indeed deserve the wrath of the Lord. II Paralipomenon 19:2
The accursed perversity of heretics [...] has so increased that now they exercise their wickedness not in secret, but manifest their error publicly, and win over the weak and simple-minded to their opinion. For this reason, We resolve to cast them, their defenders, and their receivers under anathema, and We forbid under anathema that any one presume to help heretics or to do business with heretics. III Lateran Council
NO SOCIAL LIFE WITH OBSTINATE HERETICS
Saints Peter and Paul, in their Epistles, have loathed heretics, and warned us to avoid them. St. Cyprian
St. Paul commands that a heretic be avoided after two warnings, that is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate. And this is what St. Jerome writes, adding that other sinners are excluded from the Church by excommunication, whereas heretics exile themselves on their own from the Body of Christ. St. Robert Bellarmine
Outside are dogs. Apocalypse 22:13
What fellowship does a holy man have with a dog? Ecclesiasticus 13:22
Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what concord does Christ have with Belial? Or what part do the faithful have with the unbeliever? [...] Wherefore, go out from among them and be ye separate, says the Lord. II Corinthians 6:14-17
Separate yourself from your enemies. Ecclesiasticus 6:13
I have always regarded the Church's enemies as my own. St. Jerome
Heresy is everywhere an enemy to Catholics. St. Gregory of Tours
If any man who is called a brother be a servant of idols, with such a man do not keep company, not so much as to eat. I Corinthians 5:11
I will not communicate with the choicest of them. [...] Depart from me, ye malignant ones! Psalm 140:4; 118:115
John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and finding Cerinthus inside, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, shouting: "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, for Cerinthuis, an enemy of truth is inside!" And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion who met him on one occasion asking: "Do you know me?" "I do know you," replied Polycarp: "I know you to be the first-born of Satan!" Such was the horror which the Apostles and their disciples had against even holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of truth. St. Irenaeus of Lyons
OUR OWN FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WE SHOULD AVOID IF THEY ARE OBSTINATELY
INVOLVED IN SERIOUS SIN OR HERESY
It is fitting, therefore, that you keep aloof from such persons. and neither in private nor in public speak to them. But flee from all abominable heresies and those who cause schism as the beginning of evils. For as many as are of Christ are also with the bishop, but as many as fall away from Christ embrace communion with the accursed, and shall be cut off along with them. [...] Brethren, do not be deceived. If any man follows him who separates from the truth, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God; and if any man does not stay away from the preacher of falsehood, he shall be condemned to hell. [...] If anyone walks according to a foreign doctrine, he is not of Christ nor a partaker of His passion. Have no fellowship with such a man, lest you perish along with him, even though he should be your father, your son, your brother, or a member of your family. St. Ignatius of Antioch
In respect to their guilt whereby they are opposed to God, all sinners are to be hated, even one's father or mother or kindred, according to Luke 14:26. For it is our duty to hate in the sinner his being a sinner. St. Thomas Aquinas
If any man hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters [...] he cannot be My disciple. St. Luke 14:26
If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house, nor say to him: "God speed you." For he who says to him "God speed you" communicates with his wicked works. II John 1:10-11
When our friends fall into very great wickedness, and become incurable, we ought no longer to show them friendliness. It is for this reason that both divine and human laws command such sinners to be put to death, because there is a greater likelihood of their harming others than of their mending their ways. St. Thomas Aquinas
THE DANGERS OF FRIENDSHIP WITH PROTESTANTS AND OTHERS OUTSIDE THE ONE TRUE FAITH
If you will not return to the good path from which you have departed, we shall treat you as a stranger, and we shall separate from you; for it behooves us not to have any communication with one who has abandoned his God to please men and to secure for himself the perishable things of this life, which will cause him to perish everlastingly. St. James Intercisus
If you are friendly with someone who happens to fall into the temptation of fornication, offer him your hand, if you can, to deliver him from it. But if he falls into heresy, and you cannot persuade him to turn from it, separate yourself quickly from him, in case, should you delay, you might also be dragged down with him into the pit. Ven. Matoes the Abbot
If any man shall be friendly to those with whom the Roman Pontiff is not in communion, he is in complicity with those who want to destroy the Church of God; and, although he may seem to be with us in body, he is against us in mind and spirit, and is a much more dangerous enemy than those who are outside and are our avowed foes. Pope St. Clement I
Therefore, be ye not partakers with the children of unbelief. [...] And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians 5:7,11
I have hated the unjust. Psalm 118:113
Let us hate those who are worthy of hatred. Let us withdraw from those from whom God withdraws. Let us say to God with all boldness concerning all heretics: "Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate Thee?" St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Have I not hated them, O Lord, who hated Thee? [...] I have hated them with a perfect hatred, and they have become enemies to me. Psalm 138:21-22
THE NATURE OF CHRISTIAN WARFARE
We are not faithful to God if we love His enemies. St. Thomas Aquinas
He who can never love Christ enough will never give up fighting against those who hate him. St. John Chysostom
The living God has charged me to declare unto you that He will punish those who will not avenge Him against His enemies. St. Bernard
Joined in friendship with those who hate the Lord, you truly deserve the wrath of God! II Paralipomenon 19:2
I pray God that some of us, as high as we seem to sit treading heretics under our feet like ants, that we live not to see the day we would gladly wish to be at league and composed with them, to let them have their churches quietly to themselves so that they would be content to let us have our quietly to ourselves. [...] Upon conditions that all heresies were suppressed, I would wish that all my books were burned up and all my labour utterly lost. St. Thomas More
So great is my aversion for the company of heretics, or of conversation with them, that I say we ought not even go near them. St. Antony the Abbot
St. Antony the Abbot would not speak to a heretic, except to exhort him to the true faith; and he drove all heretics from his mountain, calling them venomous serpents. St. Athanasius
I was to either convert hypocrites to the way of salvation, or reject them and refrain from associating with them. St. Boniface
I entreat you to shun, whenever possible, the society of those who profess false doctrines. St. John Eudes
All our safeguards are of little avail against the ills that threaten us. Suffice it that we have the joy of belonging to the family of God. Bl. Charles the Good
OUR TRUE BROTHERHOOD
Above the brotherhood of humanity and fatherland, there is a brotherhood infinitely more sacred and precious, the brotherhood which makes us one in Christ, namely: our kinship in the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ Himself. Pope Pius XI
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). The "peacemakers" are those who, keeping aloof from the scandal of dissention and discord, preserve the love of fraternal charity and the peace of the Church under the unity of the Catholic faith. [...] For there is nothing so necessary to the servants of God and so salutary to the Church as to keep charity and to love peace, without which, as the Apostle says to the Hebrews, no man can see God. St. Chromatius
Therefore, he, who would not continue as one with the brethren, having followed heretics, goes forth as an antichrist. St. Optatus of Milevis
One might properly and truly say that there is a Church of Evil-doers, that is, the assemblies of the heretics. [...] For this reason, the true faith has already delivered to you, by way of safe-guard, the Article: "And One Holy Catholic Church" in order that you may fly from their meetings, and for the rest of your entire life to remain steadfast in the Holy Catholic Church. St. Cyril of Jerusalem
And we charge you, brethren, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition which they have received from us. [...] And if any man does not obey our word by this Epistle,. note that man, and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. II Thessalonians 3:6,14
Therefore, if by the sin of Judas, all the Apostles were put in danger, let us by this warning be on our guard against the unbelieving and against the traitor. [...] And let us also drive such a person out of our little ship, so that [...] while the Lord keeps watch no storm of iniquity shall strike us. St. Ambrose
But because you would not stay away from that wicked excommunicated person, you yourself shall die! St. Cedd of London
PRAYER WITH NON-CATHOLICS FORBIDDEN
Are heretics and schismatics excommunicated? Yes; they have no part in the Communion of the Saints. Catechism of the Summa
If any ecclesiastic or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or to the meeting-houses of the heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of communion. If any bishop or priest or deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from communion. II Council of Constantinople
That Christians and ecclesiastics should pray for Christian unity under the direction of heretics and, what is worse, according to an intention which is radically impregnated and vitiated with heresy, is absolutely impossible to tolerate! Ven. Pope Pius XI
One must neither pray nor sing psalms with heretics, and whoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, whether clergy or layman: let him be excommunicated. Council of Carthage
No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics. Council of Laodicea
Since you are not of my religion, I ought not to join in prayer with you; but I will pray heartily for you: that God would enlighten you, bring you back to His Church, and dispose you for His mercy. Ven. Henry Walpole
I will not pray with you, nor shall you pray with me; neither will I say "Amen" to your prayers, nor shall you to mine! St. Margaret Clitherow
I refuse to pray with you, but I desire all Catholics to pray for me, and I mean Catholics of the Catholic Roman Church. Ven. George Haydock
We decree that those who give credence to the teachings of the heretics, as well as those who receive, defend or patronize them, are excommunicated. [...] If anyone refuses to avoid such accomplices after they have been ostracized by the Church, let them also be excommunicated. IV Lateran Council
FLY FROM PROTESTANT CHURCHES
It is not right that one who has been condemned and cast out by the Apostolic See of Rome for his wrong opinions should be named with any kind of honor until he be received by her, having returned to her by a pious confession and orthodox faith. St. Maximus of Constantinople
You have no right to receive a heretic into your communion. Pope St. Simplicius
Therefore, receive into communion those who teach and think as I do; but refuse those who are otherwise minded, and hold them as strangers to God and to the Catholic Church. St. Gregory Nazianzen
In the celebration of the sacred mysteries, there should not be recited the names of those who have been separated from communion with the Catholic Church. III Council of Constantinople
Put away the evil one from among yourselves. I Corinthians 5:13
Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot and die! St. Jerome
These men are Protestants; they are heretics! Have nothing to do with them! St. Anthony Mary Claret
I will live and die in the true Roman Catholic faith, which I and all antiquity have always professed; and I will by no means go to Protestant churches. Ven. Edmund Genings
It is not lawful to go to the Protestant church. St. John Rigby
Abhor schism, and adhere to the Catholic Church! St. Hippolytus of Rome
The Holy Roman Catholic Church condemns, disapproves, anathematizes, and declares to be separated from the Body of Christ, which is the Church, everyone who holds any contrary opinions. Council of Florence
NO PEACE WITH WORLDLINGS
It is a blessing when such men break away from the Church: it prevents them preying upon the doves and sheep of Christ with their savage and poisonous influence. It is impossible to join and combine the bitter with the sweet, darkness with light, rain with fair weather, war with peace; nor sterility with fertility, aridity with springs of water, or a storm with a calm. St. Cyprian
Make no mistake, my brethren, they shall suffer everlasting punishment who endeavor to corrupt the Church of Christ. Whosoever sets at naught His doctrine shall go into Hell, and so shall everyone who listens to him. [...] What communion does light have with darkness, or Christ with Belial? Or what portion does truth have with falsehood? Or unrighteousness with unrighteousness? Or true doctrine with that which is false? St. Ignatius of Antioch
There is no concord between the love of this world and the love of God; and he who will not separate himself from the children of this world shall not belong to the children of God. Pope St. Leo the Great
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. St. Matthew 10:37
I should not think of any relatives other than the saints in Heaven. St. Phileas of Thmuis
For if faith be injured, let honor due to parents be lost as stale and tottering; let even the law of tender love towards children and brothers be silenced! St. Cyril of Alexandria
I beseech you, brethren, to mark those who make dissentions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned and to avoid them. Romans 16:17
The Church says: "Cast out heresies and their children; for heretics shall not be heirs with Catholics!" Why can they not be heirs? [...] Have they not put on the Baptism of the Church? They do have Baptism [...] by the same word and Sacrament in which you were born. But they will not come to the same inheritance of eternal life unless they return to the Catholic Church. St. Augustine
ALL ADHERING TO HERESY SHOULD BE AVOIDED
A man who is a heretic, after the first and second admonition avoid: knowing that such a man is subverted and sins, being condemned by his own judgment. St. Titus 3:10-11
Turn your thoughts away from a non-Catholic, turn away your ears, so that you may have strength to grasp life everlasting through the one, true and holy Catholic Church. Our Lord warns all the faithful: they must not put any faith in heretics or schismatics. St. Augustine
Saint Antony's devotion to the faith was wonderful. He never held communion with the Meletian schismatics, knowing their wickedness and rebellion from the beginning; neither did he have friendly converse with the Manichees or any other heretics, except only to warn them to return to their duty, believing and teaching that their friendship and society was harmful and ruinous to the soul. Thus also he loathed the Arian heresy, and taught all men neither to go near them nor to partake in their bad faith. Once, when some of the Ariomanites came to him and he questioned them and found them to be misbelievers, he drove them from the hill, crying that their words were worse than the venom of serpents. St. Athanasius
Do not treat with a man without religion. [...] Give no heed to them in any matter of counsel. Ecclesiasticus 37:12,14
Indeed, why should I care for the opinions of a Pagan on matters which are among the chief mysteries of the Christian faith? St. Thomas More
Men who are holy are separated with their whole heart and by the eagerness of their faith from evil-doers; and they shall be completely separated from them in the future. St. Thomas Aquinas
Separation from the Elect necessarily implies the loss of eternal salvation, and therefore damnation, since there is no middle between them. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori
It is impossible for us to hold communion after their death with those who have not been in communion with us during their life. Pope Innocent III
NO HOLY EUCHARIST FOR PROTESTANTS
With all our strength, therefore, let us guard against receiving Communion from heretics and from giving Communion to them. "Do not give that which is holy to dogs," the Lord says, "nor cast your pearls before swine." St. John Chysostom
I would rather give up life itself first than to communicate the Blood of the Lord to those who are unworthy. St. John Chrysostom
We should anathematize heretics even after their death. II Council of Constantinople
What hath chaff to do with the wheat? saith the Lord. Jeremias 23:28
I cannot communicate with unclean heretics even by a single word! St. Paphnutius
Since these wretched souls will have to be separated from God and Heaven for all eternity because their place will be in Hell, already here on earth they have to be separated from the company of Christ Our Lord and His servants and hand-maids. Predestinate souls, you who are of God, cut yourselves adrift from those who are damning themselves! Saint Louis Marie de Montfort
Do everything you can to break away from such men; as you value your salvation, avoid those who associate with such harmful connections. [...] Their talk spreads like cancer, their conversation is as catching as an infection [...] their poisonous and pernicious propaganda is more deadly than persecution was. Persecution leaves the door open to penance and satisfaction; but those who do away with penance for sin shut the door against satisfaction altogether. And so it is that, through the presumption of certain people who beguile themselves with false promises of salvation, all true hope of salvation is destroyed. St. Cyprian
We have become cowardly, faint-hearted, and, so often, for some reason or other, we keep silence. We let ourselves be overcome by human respect, and cease to show ourselves as true followers of Our Lord before the world. [...] Why? Because we are cowards! Oh, how we need to renew our faith, to rekindle our hearts in the sublime principles of our holy religion! St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
WE MUST FIGHT FOR THE FAITH
Give thanks to God that He has made you a child of His Church which is always animated and governed by His Divine Spirit Who was sent into the world on the day of Pentecost. Hear and follow the Sovereign Pontiff who teaches infallibly through the Holy Ghost and the Church, which is the pillar and ground of truth. Hold fast to Her doctrines, maintain Her cause, defend Her rights. Live always as becomes a child of God and a member of the true Church of God, so that after this life you may receive Heaven as your inheritance. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost! Amen. Pope St. Pius X
Pius XI: Mortalium Animos
Leo XIII: Hortus Conclusus
Thomas Aquinas: On Matthew, 7:15; Summa Theologica ii-ii, q.10. article 10.
Deuteronomy: op. cit.
Matthew: op. cit.
Origen: On Exodus
Pius XI: op.cit.
Laodicea: canon two
Leo the Great: De Jejun. Pent.
Corinthians: op. cit.
Arnobius: Commentary on psalm 128
Ignatius: Epistle to the Ephesians
Cyprian: Unity of the Catholic Church nos. 17 and 23
Adrian I: Instituio Universalis
Martin: The Life of Martin, St. Supplicius severus.
Gregory: cf. Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers.
Isaias: Oration 4:6
John: On Leviticus 17:3
Josue op. cit.
Paralipomenon: op. cit.
III Lateran: Heresies to be Avoided, ch. 27
Cyprian: Epistle 75
Robert: On the Church Militant
Apocalypse: op. cit.
Ecclesiasticus: op. cit.
Corinthians: op. cit.
Ecclesiasticus: op. cit.
Corinthians: op. cit.
Psalm: op. cit.
Irenaeus: Against Heresies, Bk. 3, ch. 3:4 and 4:1
Ignatius: Epistle to Philadelphians
Thomas Aquinas: op. cit. ad 2
James: Victories of the Martyrs, St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori
Clement I: Epistle to the Corinthians
Ephesians: op. cit.
Psalm: op. cit.
Cyril: Catechetical Lectures
Psalm: op. cit.
Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica
John: The Great Commentary of Cornelius Lapide 3:44
Bernard: cf. Sermons
Paralipomenon: op. cit.
Thomas More: Apologye
Anthony: Divine Office, The Liturgical Year, Don Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., 3:308
Athanasius: St. Anthony the Hermit, St. Athanasius
Pius XI: Mortalium Animos
Chromatius: On the Gospel of Matthew, tract 7
Optatus: On the Schism of the Donatists 1:15
Cyril: Catechetical Lectures 18:25
Thessalonians: op. cit.
Ambrose: The Two Ships, 7, Sermon 37
Catechism: Catechism of the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Fr. Thos. Peques, O.P.
Corinthians: op. cit.
Jerome: On Galatians 5:9, cited in Summa Theologica II-II Q.11, art. 3
Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica II-II Q.11. art. 3
Thomas More: Debellacyon of Salem and Bizance
Clement XII: Christianae, quoted by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos
Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica II-II Q.11, art. 3, ad 3
Leo X: Exsurge Domine
Florence: Decree for the Jacobites
Cyprian: The Unity of the Catholic Church
Ignatius: Epistle to the Ephesians, ch. 15
Leo the Great: On the Beatitudes, Homily 95, ch.9
Matthew: op. cit.
Phileas: Victories of the Martyrs, St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, 115
Cyril: Romans: op. cit.
Augustine: Sermon 3
Titus op. cit.
Athanasius: Saint Anthony the Hermit, Saint Athanasius
Ecclesiasticus: op. cit.
Thomas More: Lucianas Opuscula
Thomas Aquinas: Catena Aurea
John Damascene: The Source of knowledge 3, 4:14
John Chysostom: Respect Due the Church and the Sacred Mysteries
Jeremias: op. cit.
Paphnutius: Cornelius Lapide
Louis Marie: Secret of the Rosary, 99
Cyprian: Unity of the Catholic Church
Do Catholics and Muslims worship the same God?
By Raymond Taouk
“The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in her" - Pope Gregory XVI 
The false notion that all religions who give homage to a deity of any sort somehow worship the true "God" but simply "under another form" is one that is presently being propagated in order lead the Church down the smooth path of apostasy in the name of ecumenism.
The Catholic position on this is precisely opposed to this proposition, which is set forth by the modernist element in the Catholic hierarchy today.
From a purely objective point of view, regardless of the doctrinal teaching professed by Mohammedans and Catholics, it is evident that Almighty God is the God over both. God exists. His existence is not dependent on the acknowledgement of mankind that He exists. Nor is God's existence dependent upon any religion. He is the Creator and the Providence of the Universe: the whole of creation, the entire cosmos, of all existing things, whether they be angels, human beings, animals or plants, animate or inanimate. He is also the Savior and the Judge of the living and the dead, having redeemed mankind and must judge Catholics and Mohammedans, believers and atheists. Their god is but another strange god. On every essential point concerning the true God and the nature of the true God, the Mohammedan belief radically and seriously conflicts with the established and revealed Dogma of the Catholic Church.
Again from a purely subjective thinking the Muslims might think and believe with a firm confidence that they are worshiping the true God, "Allah" yet the reality is quite the contrary as objectively speaking we can only affirm the contrary. This point is clear from Scripture "Whosoever does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God". - II St. Jn 1:9
The teaching and the beliefs of Catholicism and Mohammedanism are different and contrary. Their concept of, and their approach to God, diverge and conflict. Catholics indeed accept as dogmatic truth the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation and the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Moslems vehemently and vociferously deny the Blessed Trinity , the Incarnation , the Crucifixion of our Divine Lord and the Divinity of Christ . The Mohammedans have such a carnal notion of heaven that St. Alphonsus did not hesitate to declare "The Mohammedan Paradise, is only fit for beasts; for filthy sensual pleasure is all the believer has to expect there." 
The Catholic and Christian God is 'The Trinity,' and our Lord Jesus Christ, the second Person of that Trinity, is the Creator and One true and merciful God. Despite monotheistic appearances, we do not have the same God; we do not have the same mediator. How then can it be that " together with us they (The Moslems) adore the one, merciful God."  This is incredible!
The Catholic Teaching: "Without faith it is impossible to please God." - Heb. 11:6
Mohammedans are infidels for "broadly speaking, infidels are those who do not possess the true faith; while in the strict sense infidels are the un-baptized". They are divided into monotheists (Jews and Moslems), polytheists (Hindus, Buddhists, etc.), and atheists.
From a Catholic perspective the Islamic worship is another form of false worship given to a "strange god" for as we read in scripture "All the gods of the Nations are Idols" - I Para 16:26
It would be blasphemous to declare that these false religions are the working of God. On the Contrary ''all faithful disciples of Jesus Christ well know that the false religions are only instruments of the devil to deceive souls and place them beyond Salvation" - [8a]
Pope Pius X long ago put forward that the modernist if they take logically there doctrine, would have no grounds for denying the Muslims there "experience" of " god" as being just as valid as that of another "believer" and hence he states:
"Here it is well to note at once that, given this doctrine of experience united with that of symbolism, every religion, even that of paganism, must be held to be true. What is to prevent such experiences from being found in any religion? In fact, that they are so is maintained by not a few. On what grounds can Modernists deny the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam? [8b]
What a prophetic insight, Pope Pius X was so accurate that not even the Modernist came to deny what he stated, but only affirm the above with great audacity.
The Baltimore Catechism (No. 3) states as follows:
Q. 1148. How do we offer God false worship?
A. We offer God false worship by rejecting the religion He has instituted and following one pleasing to ourselves, with a form of worship He has never authorized, approved or sanctioned.
Islam clearly comes under the notion of false worship that (objectively speaking) is not render to God.
The psalmist tells us that "All the Gods of the Gentiles are Devils" (Psalm 96:5) and hence to whom do they render their worship? The Scriptures tell us clearly " They provoked him by strange gods, and stirred him up to anger, with their abominations. They sacrificed to devils and not to God: to gods whom they knew not: that were newly come up, whom their fathers worshipped not. " (Deut 32:16- 17 Cf. also Baruch 4:7)
They "sacrificed to devils and not to God" - regardless of whether or not they might have believed they were rendering homage to the True God, the reality is quite the contrary! It is an erroneous proposition to qualify a prayer addressed to the devil as authentic prayer.
Islam is a false Religion. A false religion is any non-Christian religion "in so far as it is not the religion that God revealed and wants to see practiced. Moreover, every non-Catholic Christian sect is false in so far as it neither accepts nor faithfully practices the entire content of Revelation." 
Christ tells us who the true worshipers shall be: "But the hour cometh and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth." (Jn. 4:23).
These words go directly against the terminology now used by the modernist hierarchy. They speak from a subjective position wishing to dogmatize and "opinion" which goes directly against the mind of the Church on this point.
This religious subjectivism, which she has always condemned under the names of indifferentism or latitudinarianism, and which "seeks to justify itself under the pretended claims of liberty, failing to recognize the rights of objective truth which are made manifest either by the lights of reason or by Revelation." 
This subjectivism only leads to that Religious indifferentism, which is "one of the most deleterious heresies" and which "places all religions on an equal footing," inevitably leads one to consider the truth of religious belief as merely a matter of utility for a well-regulated life.... "One ends by considering religion as an entirely individual thing which can be adapted to the dispositions of each one, letting everyone form his own personal religion, and by concluding that all the religions are good even though they contradict each other." 
The Church is not concerned with the subjective dispositions of men. This is for God to Judge. The Church is concerned with objective facts. Her judgments are objective. Pope St. Pius X, for this reason declared that "those who die as infidels are damned." [11a]
1907 “In answer to a question as to whether Confucius could have been saved,wrote:’It is not allowed to affirm that Confucius was saved. Christians, when interrogated, must answer that those who die as infidels are damned.’ ”
Revelation is a reality, a fact, a truth accredited by God by sure signs. This revelation of God can in no way be placed on the same footing as those erroneous beliefs of infidels. We may say that the Mohammedans worship a false god, the god of their own making, which a deviation from the right worship of the true God.
Further we might rightly ask with St. Paul, "How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed?" - Rom 10: 14
Although the modern terminology used might not seem to be "explicitly heretical" in nevertheless leads one down this path to apostasy. This vague terminology, which has been employed to put forward an erroneous notion of the faith so that we may be deceived along the path of syncretism. Yves Marsaudon, in his book Ecumenism as seen by a Traditional Freemason, commented favorably on the ecumenism that was nurtured at Vatican II. He said:
"Catholics and especially the conservatives must not forget that all roads lead to God. And they will have to accept that this courageous idea of free-thinking, which we can really call a revolution, pouring forth from our Masonic lodges has spread magnificently over the dome of Saint Peter’s." 
This is precisely path of deception to which the enemies of the Church hope to direct her. For this reason St. Pius X, who could see where this disorientation in precise terminology was leading, required every would-be Catholic priest to recite the following words at the feet of his Ordinary:
"I condemn and reject premises from which it follows that dogmas are either false or doubtful". 
The Council of Florence, clearly sets down the four notes of heresy as follows:
1) a pertinacious adherence to teachings expressly contradictory to that which has been defined by the Church;
2) an opinion opposed to a doctrine not explicitly defined by the Church nor clearly proposed dogmatically as an article of Faith;
3) a proposition that, although not directly contradictory to the Faith, nonetheless necessarily entails logical consequences against it; and
4) a speculation which reaches a certain degree of probability of being against the Faith.
The Modernist's in using these subjective terms to formulate their erroneous notions that "We together with the Muslims worship the same God" go directly against the above statements of the Council of Florence. This formulation works directly against the Churches dogma "Outside the Church there is No Salvation" .
Pope Leo XIII, affirms in his encyclical "Satis Cognitum": "Nothing is more dangerous than the heretics who, while conserving almost all the remainder of the Church's teaching intact, corrupt with a single word, like a drop of poison, the purity and the simplicity of the faith which we have received through tradition from God and through the Apostles."
Although it is true to say that the reason that those outside the Church are not saved is not purely because they worship a false 'god' nevertheless there is still a clear connection. When Christ states, "No one comes to the Father but through me" (Jn. 14:6), this precisely means, if you don't posses Christ, you can't posses the Father (God) for Christ is that door to the Father. Hence without Christ there is no salvation from God. The relation is evident. Again this is confirmed by St. Irenaeus who wrote, "Thus, without the Holy Spirit, we cannot see the Word of God; and without the Son no one can go to the Father." [15a]
The only authentic prayer is true prayer addressed to the true God. Pope Leo XIII declares without hesitation that "the fitting and devout worship of God, which is to be found chiefly in the divine sacrifice and in the dispensation of the sacraments, as well as salutary laws and discipline . . . The (Catholic) Church alone offers to the human race that religion" [15b]
Pope Pius XI declares the same saying that "In her (the Catholic Church) alone is Christ believed with a faith whole and entire, worshiped with sincere homage of adoration, and loved with the constant flame of ardent Charity" [15c]
What happened to the 1st Commandment?
I am the Lord thy God...Thou shalt not have strange gods before me....Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them..." (Ex. 20:2-5).
If all religions worship the true God by simply claiming to be doing so, then one could not violate the 1st Commandment since all worship of any “god” would be tantamount to worshiping the true "God" according to the post the modernist element in the hierarchy, yet this would not only render the 1st Commandment obsolete but make it seem as though God had given us and absurd command. God does not command anything in vain.
The first commandment is not optional. A man cannot worship in any way that which he does not believe in, for the Law of Praying determines the law of believing, and vice-versa. If Mohammedans believe in a one-person deity, that is what they worship, and in no way can we logically argue that they worship with us the Holy Trinity.
We are not unfamiliar with the notion that claims that they implicitly worship the trinity, yet we cannot maintain this from an objective stand point for the simple reason that we can not hold that one worships implicitly what he explicitly rejects.
In our day and age it is often too easily forgotten that all non-Catholic worship is offensive to God and clearly violates the first commandment. This is because the "first commandment may be broken by giving to a creature the honor which belongs to God alone or by false worship." [16a] Even if offered in good faith, a false worship still remains a false worship: it is objectively an offensive to God.
The Church has always regarded the worship of Non Catholics as mere acts of superstitions since "there are four kinds of superstition, namely, illegitimate worship of the true God, idolatry, divination, and superstitious practices. The first consists in a false worship, though applied to the living God; for instance, if you worship Him (God) according to the Mosaic law, which is contrary to all the precepts of the Gospel; or if you adopt a new religion in opposition to the doctrine if the universal Church." [16b] Hence it is clear that "any public worship of the true God, outside the Catholic Church constitutes a superstitious worship of God as no other Church is authorized to give public worship to God. [16c]
Religion has an intellectual foundation, that is, it is based on knowledge. To be true religion its basis must be truth. The basis must be true both speculatively and practically. In other words, true religion must be based on a correct knowledge of God as existing and worthy of all honor, and of the manner and obligation of worshipping Him. On the other hand, religion is false if what is not God is considered to be God, and worshipped as God, or if there is error in the worship of the true God. Therefore, God is not truly worshipped when erroneous signs are used in His worship, as those of the Jews, or when superfluous ceremonies are employed, as by pagans and many heretics. [16d]
Although subjectively, it is the virtue of religion which prompts a man to render to God the worship and reverence that is His by right. [16e]
It is to be noted that an act based on a false religion cannot be really an act of virtue. For a virtue requires a morally good work. But in the cult (worship) of a false god, or in the false and superstitious worship of the true God, there can be no moral goodness, since such worship is opposed to right reason. [16f]
St. Pope Pius X, truly the Pope of our Age, could see where such absurd reason of the Modernists was leading the Church as he affirmed:
"... a great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, nor discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world the reign of legalized cunning and force, the oppression of the weak, and of those who toil and suffer." [17a]
True ecumenism with the Muslims
"Those who have learned theology well," says St. Basil, “will not allow even one iota of Catholic dogmas to be betrayed. They will, if necessary, willingly undergo any kind of death in their defense." [17b]
One of the greatest frauds presented to us by a great number of the current hierarchy is the false notion of ecumenism, which in reality is not ecumenism but simple "syncretism" going by the name of "ecumenism. True Ecumenism requires all those outside the Church to come to the Ark of Salvation so that they may not perish.
True ecumenism can be effectively defined as follows:
"The unity of Christians cannot otherwise be obtained than by securing the return of the separated to the one true Church of Christ from which they once unhappily withdrew. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, that stands forth before all and that by the will of its Founder will remain forever the same as when He Himself established it for the salvation of all mankind." 
This has been the constant teaching of the Church. Holy Mother Church has always taught that true unity cannot be effected, except by a unity in faith and government. 
Pope Pius IX condemned in his syllabus of errors the following false notions:
"Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true." (Proposition XV).
"Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation and arrive at eternal salvation." (Proposition XVI).
The real problem with this false ecumenism (which lead to indifferentism) is not only the fact that Catholics are being deceived but in the same process so are the infidels and non-believers and they sadly continue on the road to perdition without being told to recant their errors.
Catholics often forget that those faithful living on earth come under the title of "Church Militant". What is a Catholic who does not confess his faith or worse yet a Catholic who does not believe his faith?
St. Peter Canisius puts it this way: "Who is to be called a Christian? He who confesses the doctrine of Christ and His Church. Hence, he is truly a Christian thoroughly condemns and detests, the Jewish, Mohammedan, and the heretical cults and sects." 
What did St. Peter Mavimenus tell the Mohammedans? Did he say, "We worship the same God, all is well" No! He told them the truth, he put it this way to them "Whoever does not embrace the Catholic Christian religion will be damned, as was your false prophet Mohammed." 
Again we read that Blessed Nicholas Tavilich was just as stern as he openly states, "You Mohammedans are in a state of everlasting damnation. Your Koran is not God's law nor is it revealed by Him. Far from being a good thing, your law is utterly evil. It is founded neither in the Old Testament nor in the New. In it are lies, foolish things, buffooneries, contradictions, and much that leads not to virtue and goodness but to evil and to all manner of vice." 
St. Alphonsus attests to the fact how the Holy Monk St. Goerge of San Saba openly confessed to the Mohammedans: "But the holy monk (St. George of San Saba) having declared that Mahomet was a disciple of the devil, and that his followers were in a state of perdition, he also was condemned (to martyrdom) with his companions." 
The same we read in the testimony of the five disciples of St. Francis of Assisi, who when reproached by the followers of Koran for preaching against Mohammed, simply responded by saying "We have come to preach faith in Jesus Christ to you, that you will renounce Mohammad, that wicked slave of the devil, and obtain everlasting life like us" [23a]
Further we read in the life of St. John Vianney how he stated openly to a Protestant who believed that his worship rendered to God should do him just as well in his Protestant Sect as it would have in the Catholic faith, The Saint responded to him with the contrary advice saying "My friend, there are not two ways of serving Our Lord; there is only one good way, and it is to serve Him as He wishes to be served".
This is the truth we must speak in charity and honesty to these lost souls who without the grace and redemption of Christ can't be saved for By nature, men are "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3); by Him, we have been reconciled with the Father (Col. 1:20), and it is only by faith in Him that we can have the boldness to approach God with entire confidence (Eph. 3:12). To Him was given all power in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:18), and at His name every knee must bend, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (Phil. 2:10,11). No one goes to the Father save by Him (Jn. 14:6), and there is no other name under heaven given to man by which he must be saved (Acts 4:12). He is the Light that enlightens every man who comes into the world (Jn.1:9), and whoever does not follow Him wanders in darkness (Jn. 8:12). Who is not with Him is against Him (Mt. 13:30), and who does not honor Him also dishonors His Father who sent Him (as the Jews do) (Jn. 5:23).
Christ says, " Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No I tell you but division?" With the truth, division must come. This should not dishearten the man of God for "If God is for us, who is against us" - Rom 8:31
Salvation and Ignorance- “He that doth not believe is already judged." Jn, 3:18; Mk 16:16
Primarily it is important to we keep in mind that no one is save by ignorance, if anything we must boldly affirm the very opposite. Pope St. Pius X clearly affirms this saying: “We are forced to agree with those who hold that the chief cause of the present indifference and, as it were, infirmity of soul, and the serious evils that result from it, is to be found above all in ignorance of things divine. And so, Our Predecessor Benedict XIV had just cause to write: “We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect.” 
St. Thomas Aquanis States " But through unbelief man is separated most from God: because he has no true knowledge of God. Nor can anyone in any way know God who holds a false opinion of Him" 
Although the Church makes a distinction between voluntary infidels in which one knowingly rejects the faith and involuntary infidels in which the offender is ignorant of the true faith.
Those who are not guilty of the sin of infidelity, but commit other grievous sins, are all those un-baptized persons who never had an opportunity of knowing the true religion, or of becoming aware of the obligation of seeking and embracing it, but who do not live up to the dictates of their conscience. This class of infidels will be lost, not on account of their infidelity, which was no sin for them, but on account of other grievous sins, which they committed against their conscience. "For whosoever have sinned without the law," says Saint Paul, "shall perish without the law." 
In fact, the infidels who are not lost because of the sin of incredulity, that is, by the sin of not having believed in Christ about whom they never knew anything, are lost by their other sins, the remission of which cannot be given to anyone without the true faith. Those infidels who are not guilty of the sin of infidelity and are faithful in obeying the voice of their conscience, Saint Thomas Aquinas says: "If anyone was brought up in the wilderness or among brute beasts, and if he followed the law of nature to desire what is good, and to avoid what is wicked, we should certainly believe that God, by an inward inspiration, would reveal to him what he should believe, or would send someone to preach the Faith to him, as He sent Peter to Cornelius."
Further Fr. Michael Müller, C.SS.R in dealing with the issue states: "A Mohammedan is taught by his conscience that it would be a crime to believe in Jesus Christ, and not believe in Mahomet; will this impious conscience save him? The Scripture assures us that 'there is no other name given to men under heaven by which we can be saved,' but the name of Jesus only; and 'he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remaineth on him." 
This should not surprise us since "what can be more contrary to reason than to be an infidel and not care to be under the sentence of eternal damnation"  Yes it is wholly against reason to place our faith in the testimony of a deceiver and murder as Mohammed manifested himself to have been. For this reason St. Thomas says "those who place faith in his (Mohammed's) words believe foolishly" 
Without the faith they can't be saved. Our Lord Jesus Christ is not optional.
Attendance at Islamic and Non-Catholic Worship
The abomination, which the Church has had from the very beginning for association of Catholics in the worship of Non Catholics , is evident from the words of St. John "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house, or say to him Welcome" - II John 1:10
Suarez (one of the greatest amongst the Jesuits theologians) affirms that the reason the Apostle gives for this prohibition is verified in religious communication especially, because he, who unites himself with those outside the Church in religious worship, communicates in their wicked works. 
A Catholic who communicates formally in the worship of Non Catholics sins grievously against the virtue of Religion, as a false exercise of it.  For this reason "One is never allowed to cooperate formally in something which is intrinsically wrong objectively." 
St. Augustine, the great Champion of Catholic orthodoxy, reproves both actual and simulated communication in non-Catholic worship. In a letter to St. Jerome he states that one who observes the rites of Jews, or Gentiles, not only truly, but even fictitiously, has fallen into the abyss of the devil. 
The mind of the Church on this point was enshrined in old Code of Canon Law (1917), which stated that: " It is not permitted at all for the faithful to assist in any active manner at or to have any part in the worship of non-Catholics." 
All subsequent moral theology works have simply reiterated the same point. 
Pius XI in dealing with this issue that was so vehement in his own day had only the following to say "Certainly such movements as these cannot gain the approval of Catholics. They are founded upon the false opinions of those who say that, since all religions equally unfold and signify- though not in the same way - the native, inborn feeling in us all through which we are borne toward God and humbly recognize His rule, therefore, all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy. The followers of this theory are not only deceived and mistaken, but since they repudiate the true religion by attacking it in its very essence, they move step by step toward naturalism and atheism. Hence it clearly follows that anyone who gives assent to such theories and undertakings utterly abandons divinely revealed religion. " 
The Church can never lawfully grant to Catholics permission to participate formally in non-Catholic worship. In dealing those who claim they have been given ecclesiastical permission to participate in the ceremonial rites of non Catholics Fr. Michael Muller in his well known work, "God the Teacher of Man Kind" aptly answers the question by stating "Neither any priest nor bishop, nay, not even the Pope, can give you permission to violate any of the commandments." 
It has been rashly stated the Mohammedans and other infidels adore the same God "together with us"  yet not only is this undoubtibly offensive to Catholic doctrine (as we have shown above) but it shows forth an ignorance of Islamic notion of God and their absurd doctrines. Mohammedans don't pray to their god, together with us, they pray to their false god against us! The Quran is explicit on this point as it openly states: "The Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before, may Allah destroy them, how they have turned away." 
Ultimately we can do no better than assume to ourselves the advice of the Apostle of the Gentiles (St. Paul) himself "Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" - II Cor. 6: 14-18.
1Pope Gregory XVI - Summo Jugiter Studio, May 27, 1832
2. Sura iv. 171
3. Sura xxiii. 91
4. Sura iv, 157 and Sura v. 78.
5. St. Alphonsus de Liguori, History of Heresies, Vol. 1., ch. vii., art. 1.
6. Lumen Gentium, 16. Vatican Council II.,
7. - Roberti-Palazzini, Dizionario di teologia morale, p.813. Cf. Also A Compendium of St. Thomas's Theology, by Fr. E. O' Donnell, Vol. II, Dublin 1859, Pg. 21
8a.St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Philadelphians, VIII:2
8b. Pascendi, Sept. 8, 1907,
9. Roberti-Palazzini, Dizionario di teologia morale, p.813.
10. Dizionario de teologia morale, p.805.
11. Dizionario de teologia morale, p.805.
11a. The Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, Pope St. Pius X, 1907 “In answer to a question as to whether Confucius could have been saved, wrote: ' It is not allowed to affirm that Confucius was saved. Christians, when interrogated, must answer that those who die as infidels are damned.' - The reason for this is as we previously mention. The Church judges the Objective facts and not the subjective dispositions of Men!
12. Lefebvre; Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Fowler Wright Books Ltd., Herefordshire, England, 1986, p. 106.
13. Oath Against Modernism
14. This dogma has been
affirmed many times over by the Churches Magesterium. It has been affirmed by
Pope Innocent III (DS423), The IV Lateran Council (DS 430), Pope Boniface VIII
(DS 468), The Council of Florence (DS 714), Pius IX (DS1647), Pope Clement VI
(DS 5706), The Council of Trent (DS 861).
I will add for the sake of clarity that it can be
said that only in a purely material (or nominal) sense that we do "Worship the
same God as the Muslims". But formally speaking we in no way "worship the same
God" and to say other wise would be to go against the Church's constant teaching
on this point. This distinction is what distinguishes the Catholic from the
I will add for the sake of clarity that it can be said that only in a purely material (or nominal) sense that we do "Worship the same God as the Muslims". But formally speaking we in no way "worship the same God" and to say other wise would be to go against the Church's constant teaching on this point. This distinction is what distinguishes the Catholic from the heretic.
15a. THE FAITH OF CATHOLICS, The Introduction, by Frs. Joseph Berington and John Kirk, rev. Fr. James Waterworth, San Marino, CA: Victory Publications, 1985.
15b. Satis Cognitum, June 19, 1896
15c. Lux et Veritas, December 25, 1931.
16a. Fr. D. I. Lanslot, Catholic Theology, St. Louise, M O, 1911, Pg. 486.
16b. Fr. E. O'Donnell, A Compendium of St. Thomas's Theology, Dublin 1859, Volume II, Pg. 113, Cf. Summa Theologica, II-II, QQ. 92-96.
16c. Fr. John R. Bancroft, C.SS. R, Communication in Religious worship with non Catholics, Washington, 1943, pg. 48.
16d. Fr. John R. Bancroft, C.SS. R, Communication in Religious worship with non Catholics, Washington, 1943, pg. 14.
16e. Summa Theologica II-II, q. 81, Art. 1
16f. Suarez, Opera Omnia, Tom XIII, pg. 7
17a. Our Apostolic Mandate
17b. Apud. Theod., lib. 4, Hist. Eccl., c. xvii.
18. Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos
19. Pope Leo XIII, Praeclara Gratulationis., June 20, 1894
20. St. Canisius Catholic Cate-chism, Dillingen, 1560, Question no. 1
21. St. Peter Mavimenus, The Roman Martyrology for February 21
22. "National Catholic Register," 1974
23. St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Victories of the Martyrs, ch. LIII.
23a. Saint Francis of Assisi, A biography, by Omer Englebert, 1979, Pg. 178-9
24. St. John Mary Vianney . John Mary: SPIRIT OF THE CURE D'ARS, Bowden, 1864
25. Acerbo Nimis, April 15, 1905
26. Summa Theologica II - II q. 10, Art. 3
27. Romans 2:12. Cf. Also Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 11, Art. 1.
28. The Catholic Dogma, "Out of the Church there is positively no Salvation", BENZIGER BROTHERS, New York, 1888,
29. Fr. Michael Muller, Catholic Doctrine, preface, pg. 16
30. Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 1, Chapter 16, Art. 4.
31. Any documentation given in these regards are those which deal with only non Catholic worship in general, since there are volumes of condemnations both from antiquity and modern authorities on the communication of worship with heretics, who while retaining the name of Christian have departed from the faith of Christ. Since we are dealing with Non Catholics we limit ourselves to some of the authorities on this point.
32. Opera Omnia, Tom. XXIV, p. 708
33. Fr. John R. Bancroft, C.SS. R, Communication in Religious worship with non Catholics, Washington, 1943, pg. 48.
34. Fr. John R. Bancroft, C.SS. R, Communication in Religious worship with non Catholics, Washington, 1943, pg. 51
35. Epistola LXXXII, ad Hieronymum, Cap. II, n.18
36. Canon 1258
37. Moral Theology, A Complete Cource, by John A. Mchugh and Charles J. Callan, New York, 1929, Vol. I. n. 964, Pg. 376
38. Mortalium Animos
39. God the teacher of Mankind, New York, 1881, Pg. 331
40. Lumen Gentium, 16. Vatican Council II.
41. Quran, Book IX, par. 30, Cf. Sura 9:28, 5:17, 47:4, 5:62
No Salvation out side the Church
By ARCHBISHOP GEORGE HAY
IF EVER THERE WAS A TIME [the Eighteenth century] wherein the conduct of the Church was necessary, this present age seems in a particular manner to demand it. At present, the gates of hell seem to be quite set open, and infidelity of every kind stalks lawless on the earth; the sacred truths of religion are reviled and denied, the gospel adulterated by innumerable opposite and contradictory interpretations fixed upon it; its native simplicity disguised by loftiness of speech and the persuasive words of human wisdom, and a thousand condescensions and compliances are admitted and received, by which the inflexible purity of its maxims is enervated both in faith and practice, and the "narrow way that leads to life" converted, in the opinion of men, "to the broad road that leadeth to destruction." This observation is particularly true in regard to that latitudinarian principle so common nowadays, that man may be saved in any religion, provided he lives a good moral life, according to the light he has; for by this, the faith of Christ is evacuated, and the gospel rendered of no avail; a Jew, a Turk, a Heathen, a Deist, an Atheist, are all comprehended in this scheme, and if they live a good moral life, have as good a right to salvation as a [Catholic] Christian! To be a member of the Church of Christ is no longer necessary to salvation, whether we belong to it or not! What a wide field does this give to the passions of men! What liberty to all the whims of the human mind! It is, therefore, to the utmost consequence to examine upon what ground this principle stands; to see if it be sterling coin; to be satisfied whether we can trust our salvation to it or not. It is no doubt in the interests of Atheists and Deists to adopt this maxim, to extol it with the highest praises, to adorn it with the most specious veil of liberality of sentiment and charity; but a Christian who believes the gospel, will not so readily receive it; he knows the scripture contains the Truth of the Most High God, and that it is perfectly unsafe to trust our soul to any maxim, however specious it may appear, which is not grounded in their sacred oracles; and, therefore, before he adopt it, he will rigorously scrutinize it by what they teach.
It is the design of the following inquiry, or rather to show from the most precise declarations of the word of God, that the above freethinking maxim is diametrically opposite to all the lights of revelation. For there we learn, that the Son of God made man, and appeared among men on purpose to instruct them in the knowledge of those divine Truths, on which their salvation depends; and, therefore, that He absolutely requires true faith in Him, and in the sacred Truths which He revealed, as a necessary condition for salvation. There also he learns, that He instituted a holy Church upon earth, to be the depository of these truths, and that He absolutely requires of all to be united with that Church in order to be saved. The Church of Rome solemnly acknowledges and holds that without the true faith of Jesus Christ, and without being a member of His true Church, there is no salvation.
Direct Proofs from Scripture
(1) The prophet Isaiah, foretelling the glory of the Church of Christ, says, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that resisteth thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn," (Isaiah 3:17). "For the nation and the kingdom that will not serve thee, shall perish," (Isaiah 9:12). Here we see declared in express terms, that all those who oppose the Church of Christ, and refuse to submit to her authority, shall be condemned by her, and shall perish. Our Savior declares the same in still stronger terms, when He says to the pastors of His Church, in the persons of the Apostles, when He sent them to preach the gospel: "Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, going forth out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city." (Matt. 10:14).
(2) Our Savior, after ordering us to admonish our offending brother in private, or before a few witnesses, concludes thus: "If he will not hear them, tell the Church. And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to the as a heathen or a publican." (Matt. 18:17). The heathens are those who know not the True God, and who worship sticks and stones, and the very devils themselves, instead of God; the publicans [tax collectors] were a set of people among the Jews, remarkable for their crimes [mainly, of extortion and irreligion], and looked upon by all as abandoned by God, and given up to a reprobate sense, with these, then, all those who obstinately resist the voice of the Church, are classed and condemned by the Mouth of Jesus Christ Himself.
(3) Our Savior speaking of His Church under the figure of a flock, of which He Himself is the Good Shepherd, says: "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, that they shall hear My Voice, and there shall be one flock and One Shepherd." (John 10:16). He is here speaking of those who were not then joined in communion with His Apostles and other disciples, and he calls them, at that time, "His sheep;" but to show that there was no salvation for them in the state they were in, unless they were united to the fold, He says, "them also I must bring;" which shows, that according to the disposition of the Divine decrees, it was absolutely necessary, and that all who belong to Jesus Christ, all of whom He acknowledges for His sheep, should be brought to, and united in communion with, that one fold, which is His Church.
(4) In consequence of this, we are assured, that, when the Apostles began to publish the gospel, "the Lord daily added to the Church, such as should be saved." (Acts 2:47) which points out in the strongest manner, by what God actually did, that the being added to the Church is a condition absolutely required by Him, in order to be saved; and, if that were so then, it must be so now, and will be so to the end of the world; for the conditions of salvation, ordained at the beginning, and revealed by Jesus Christ, could never be altered by any other, and He never made any new revelation by which He altered them Himself.
(5) The Church is the Body of Christ, and all who belong to the Church are members of His Body, and as such are united with Jesus Christ, as the Head; but those who are out of the Church, are not members of His Body, and of course are not united with Jesus Christ, as the Head. Now, speaking of His Church and all her members, under the figure of a vine,with all its branches united to it, He says, "I am the Vine, ye the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth." (John 15:5). What Christ here says, under the figure of a vine, is equally true as to the members of the Body; for no member who is separated from the body can do anything, it has neither life nor sense, nor motion, but corrupts and rots; which expressly shows, that if we be not united to the Church of Christ, whether we consider this Church as a Body consisting of Head and members, or as a vine with all its branches, we are not united with Church, and on that account are on the road to perdition.
Proofs from the Necessity of the True Faith
(1) Jesus Christ, addressing Himself to His Eternal Father, says: "This is eternal life, that they may know Thee the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent," (John 17:3). Hence it necessarily follows, that all those who do not know Jesus Christ cannot have eternal life. Now, this knowledge of Jesus Christ, is not the bare knowledge that there was such a person, but believing Him to be what He is, the Eternal Son of God, made man for the salvation of mankind; and, therefore, He says again: "God so loved the world as to give his Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting." (John 3:16). Hence the believing in Jesus Christ, is one condition positively required by God, in order to gain salvation; so that without this belief there can be no salvation; for, as He Himself again declares: "He that believeth not, is already condemned; because he believeth not in the Name of the Only Begotten Son of God." (John 3:18), and "He that believeth not the Son, shall not see light; but the wrath of God abideth on him," (John 3:36). And the beloved disciple adds, "Many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not the Name of Christ in the Flesh; this is a seducer and an anti-Christ," (2 John 7). Where it is manifest, that those who do not know Jesus Christ, and consequently do not believe in Him; and also that those who do not know there was such a person, who heard of Him, but refuse to believe, and confess that He is the Son of God COME IN THE FLESH, cannot be saved; and therefore, that the knowing and believing in Jesus Christ, is appointed by Almighty God, as an absolute condition for salvation.
(2) But it is not enough to believe in the person of Jesus Christ; it is required to believe His doctrine, to believe His Words, to believe those divine Truths which He has revealed; and, indeed, how can we believe Him to be God, if we refuse to believe what He says? Hence, when He gave the pastors of His Church, in the person of His Apostles, their commission to preach the gospel He ordered them to teach the world "to observe," says He, "all those things whatsoever I have commanded you." (Mt. 28:20) And He immediately adds, "He that believeth not, shall be damned." (Mk 16:16) Where it is manifest that the belief of His doctrine, the observance, and consequently the belief of all those things which He commanded His Apostles to teach, is required as a necessary condition for salvation. Nay, He adds to another part, "Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me, and of My Words, in this sinful and adulterous generation, him also the Son of Man shall be ashamed of, when he shall come in the glory of His Father, with His holy angels." (Mk 8:38) Now, if the being ashamed of His Words shall bring on such a condemnation, what shall the denial of them do? It is evident, therefore, that the True Faith of Jesus Christ comprehends the belief of both His Person and of His Words, that is, of His doctrine, and that this True Faith is laid down by Almighty God as a necessary condition for salvation.
(3) As it is impossible that Jesus Christ should reveal contradictions, or say to one that a thing is true, and to another that it is false; hence it follows that the True Faith of Jesus Christ cannot contain contradictions; and, therefore, that it must be one and the same everywhere, and in no point contrary to itself; and this the scripture expressly affirms, saying, "One Lord, one Faith, one baptism," (Eph. 4:5). Now, St. Paul positively declares that "without Faith, it is impossible to please God." (Heb. 11:16) Consequently, this one True Faith of Jesus Christ is so absolutely required as a condition of salvation, that without it, let a man do what he wills, it is impossible to please God, or be saved.
(4) The Scripture declares that, when the Apostles published the Truths of the Gospel, "as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48); consequently, those who did not believe were not ordained to eternal life; whence it evidently follows, that Faith is a condition absolutely required by God or obtaining eternal life. For St. Paul affirms, "The sure foundation of God standeth firm, having this seal, the Lord knoweth who are His," (2 Tim. 2:19).; that is to say, God, from all eternity, most certainly knows who are His; who those are, who, by obeying His holy grace, will continue faithful till the end, and to be happy with Him Forever; and all such He ordains to eternal life. When, therefore, the scripture affirms, that as many as were ordained to eternal life believed, it evidently shows, that the belief of the Truth of the Gospel, or True Faith, is appointed by God as a necessary condition for salvation, as none are so ordained but those who believe.
(5) Our Blessed Savior, speaking of those who belong to Him says, "I know Mine, and Mine know Me ... My sheep hear My Voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give them eternal life, and they shall not perish forever" (Jn. 10:14, 10:28). Can any words express more clearly, that to know Jesus Christ, and to hear His Voice, and to follow Him, that is to believe and obey Him, are the distinguishing characters of His sheep, to whom He gives eternal life? Consequently, those who do not believe Him are none of His, and therefore will not be saved; as he expressly says to the Jews, "but ye do not believe because ye are not of My sheep," (Jn. 10:26).; which shows to a demonstration, that Faith in Jesus Christ is expressly appointed by Almighty God, as a condition of salvation; "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
(6) St. Paul, expressing that of the Psalmist, "Today if ye shall hear his voice," etc., says, "And to whom did He swear that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that were incredulous; and we see that they could not enter in, because of unbelief." (Heb. 3:18) On this account he exhorts thus: "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief to depart from the living God," (Heb. 3:12); and again, "There remaineth the day of rest for the people of God ... Let us hasten, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall into the same example of unbelief," (Heb. 4:9, 11). In all this passage, we see that the main scope of the Apostle is to show that unbelievers cannot go to heaven, and that this truth is confirmed by Almighty God even with a solemn oath.
(7) The Holy Scripture declares that unbelievers, instead of going to heaven, shall be condemned to hell fire, and classes all such in company with the words of criminals. Thus, the Almighty Himself declares to St. John the Apostle, "But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.," (Apoc. 21:8). If, therefore, Almighty God has sworn that unbelievers shall not enter into His rest, and if he declares that their portion shall be in hell, one must shut his eyes on purpose not to see that True belief, True Faith in Jesus Christ and His Words, namely, that Faith, WITHOUT WHICH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD, is absolutely required by Almighty God as a condition for salvation.
(8) The Word of God assures us, that, antecedently to Faith in Christ, all mankind are under sin, and that it is impossible to be justified from sin but by Faith in Jesus Christ, which is set forth by God as a means for obtaining justification. Thus, "we have charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin, as it is written: There is not any man just (Rom. 3:9). But the justice of God is by Faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that belief in Him; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned, and do need the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through Faith in His Blood." (Rom. 3:22). Also, "The Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by Faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." (Gal. 3:22).
(9) The Athanasian Creed begins: "Whosoever will be saved, before all things, it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly." Then after explaining the great mysteries of the Catholic Faith, concerning the Unity and Trinity of God, and the Incarnation and Death of Jesus Christ, it concludes with these words: "This is the Catholic Faith, which, except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved." This speaks plain indeed, and needs no application.
Now, seeing the True Faith, or the firm belief of those Truths which Jesus Christ revealed, is thus absolutely required as a condition for salvation, it follows as a necessary consequence, that, out of the True Church of Christ, there is no salvation, because this True Faith can only be found in the True Church of Christ; to her the sacred charge of the Truths of eternity was committed, the words of Jesus Christ were first put in her mouth, and an express covenant made by God, THAT THEY SHOULD NEVER DEPART FROM HER MOUTH. It is therefore from the pastors of the Church alone we can learn the True Faith, since they alone are authorized to preach it, and, hearing them, we hear Christ Himself. Hence, St. Paul says, "How shall they believe Him, of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent?" (Rom. 10:14). Now, the pastors of the Church were ordained and sent by Jesus Christ to "teach all nations, and to preach the gospel to every creature," consequently, it is only from them that the Truths of the Gospel can be learned.
Proofs Regarding Those Separated From the Church
In this section we are to consider what judgment the scriptures pronounce upon all those who are separated from the Church of Christ by teaching and believing doctrines contrary to hers; and, for the greater clearness, we shall first consider those who begin such separation, and teach false doctrine, and then those who follow such leaders. With regard to the former:
(1) Our Blessed Savior, foretelling the coming of false teachers, says, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves; by their fruits ye shall know them;" and then He tells us, going on with the similitude of a tree, what shall be the portion of such false prophets. "Every tree," says He, "that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down and cast into the fire." (Mt. 7:15,19). Such is the fate of false teachers, according to Jesus Christ. St. Paul describes them in the same light, and exhorts the pastors of the Church to watch against them, that they may prevent the seduction of the flock. "I know," says he, "that, after my departure, ravening wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock; and of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch." (Acts 20:29). Such is the idea the Word of God gives of all those who depart from the doctrine of the Church of Christ, and teach falsehood, that they are RAVENOUS WOLVES, SEDUCERS OF THE PEOPLE, WHO SPEAK PERVERSE THINGS, and whose end is HELL FIRE.
(2) St. Paul concluding his epistle to the Romans, cautions them against all such teachers in these words: "Now, I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who cause dissentions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and to avoid them: for they that are such serve not Christ our Lord, but their own belly, and by pleasing speeches, and good works, seduce the hearts of the innocent," (Rom. 16.17). Can such as these, who cause dissentions contrary to the old doctrine, and seduce the souls redeemed by the Blood of Jesus, who are not the servants of Christ, but His enemies, and are slaves to their own belly: can these, I say, be in the way of salvation? Alas! the same holy Apostle describes their fate in another text, saying, "That they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame." (Phil. 3:18)
(3) In St. Paul's absence, some false teachers had come in among the Galatians, and persuaded them, that it was NECESSARY for salvation to join circumcision with the Gospel; on this account, the Apostle writes his epistle to them to correct them from this error; and though it was but an error in one point, and in appearance of no great importance, yet, because it was false doctrine, see how the holy Apostle condemns it: "I wonder how you are so soon removed from him that called you to the grace of Christ, unto another gospel; which is not another; only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you, besides that which ye have received, let him be anathema." (Gal. 1:6). This shows with a witness, indeed, the great crime and dismal fate of false teachers, though but in only one point of false doctrine.
(4) St. Peter describes these unhappy men in the most dreadful colors. "There shall be among you," says he, "lying teachers, who shall bring sects of perdition, and denying the Lord who brought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction," (2 Pet. 2:1); And going on to describe them, he says, "Their judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their destruction slumbereth not," (verse 3); "the Lord knoweth how ... to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented; and especially them who ... despise governments, audacious, pleasing themselves, they fear not to bring in sects, blaspheming," (verse 9); "leaving the right way, they have gone astray," (verse 15); "these are wells without water, and clouds tossed with whirlwinds, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved," (verse 17). Good God! what a dreadful state to be in.
(5) St. Paul, speaking of such as are led away by what St. Peter calls DAMNABLE HERESIES, says, "A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid; knowing that he is such a one, is subverteth and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment," (Titus 3:10). Other offenders are judged, and cast out of the Church, by the sentence of the pastors of the same Church; but heretics more unhappy than they, run out of the Church of their own accord, and, by so doing, give judgment and sentence against their own souls.
(6) St. John brands all such false teachers who go out from the True Church of Christ with the horrid name of antichrists; "even so,' says he, "there are become many antichrists ... they went out from us, but they were not of us; remained with us; but that they may be manifest that they are not of us." (1 John 2:18); and to show that not only those ho deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, but also those who do not embrace His doctrine, fall under the same condemnation, he immediately adds, "Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son." (verse 9). What stronger terms could be used to show that all such as separate from the Church of Christ, and receive not His Sacred Doctrine, are out of the way of salvation?
Now, if all those who break off from the Church of Christ, and all those who teach false doctrine, contrary to the "faith once revealed to her, and which shall never depart out of her mouth," are condemned in such strong and severe terms by the Holy Ghost in His Holy Scriptures, what condition must those be in who follow such teachers, and hold such pernicious doctrine? Is there the smallest reason to suppose, that salvation can possibly be found among "ravenous wolves, seducers of the flock, speakers of perverse things?" Is it possible to be saved in "pernicious sects, damnable heresies, false doctrines, dissentions and offenses contrary to the doctrine received from the Apostles?" Can those be sure guides to heaven whom the word of God declares to be "enemies of the cross of Christ," and "antichrists, whose end is destruction," who fall under the anathema of the Apostle "to whom the mist of darkness is reserved?" But let us hear the scripture itself for the answer to these questions.
(1) St. Paul, in the black catalogue he gives of the works of the flesh reckons SECTS, or as the Protestant translation has it, HERESIES, and the rest of that hideous crew, he concludes in these words, "of which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God." (Gal. 5:20)
(2) Our Savior, foretelling the evils of the latter times, says, "and many false prophets shall arise, and shall seduce many ... but the that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved." (Mt. 24:11,13). Is it not evident from this, that those who are seduced by these false prophets shall not be saved? And that salvation will be the happy lot only of those who persevere in the Faith and love of Christ to the end?
(3) St. Peter, foretelling that "there shall be lying teachers who shall bring damnable heresies, and bring upon themselves swift destruction, " immediately adds, "and many shall follow their riotousness, through whom the way of Truth shall be evil spoken of." (2 Pet. 2:2). Now, to whom are these ways pernicious, but to those who follow them?
(4) The whole epistle of St. Jude contains a description of all those who follow these pernicious ways, and of their miserable fate, and says, "that they are raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion, wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved forever." (verse 13)
(5) St. Paul, giving an ample description of heretics, says, among other things, that they have "an appearance of godliness, but deny the power thereof ... ever learning and never attaining the knowledge of Truth ... that they are men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the Faith ... and that being evil men and seducers, they grow worse, erring and driving into error," (2 Tim. 3). What grounds can such as these have to expect salvation?
(6) But our Blessed Savior, in one short sentence, clearly shows the miserable fate of all those who follow these blind teachers, when He says, "they are blind leaders of the blind, and if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the pit," (Mt. 15:14), which evidently shows that the lot of both shall be the same, and that all the above dreadful condemnations of false teachers equally belong to such as follow them.
(7) We shall add one proof more with regard to Jews, Turks, Heathens, and Idolaters, and all who know not the True God, nor Jesus Christ His Son, and who do not obey His Gospel; of these the scripture says, "The Gentiles have stuck fast in the destruction which they prepared ... the wicked be turned into hell, and the nations that forget God," (Ps. 9:16,18). "The Lord shall reign to eternity, yea, forever and ever. Ye Gentiles (THE HEATHENS) shall perish from his land," (Ps. 10:16) But particularly what follows: "Jesus Christ shall be revealed from Heaven with the angels of His Power, in a flame of fire, yielding vengeance to them who know not God and who obey not the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction from the face of Our Lord, and from the glory of His Power," (2 Thess. 1:7). This is no less clear and precise than it is dreadful and terrible, and cuts off all evasion, as it declares in the most express terms, that all those who know not God, and who obey not the Gospel of Christ, shall be lost forever; which evidently shows that the knowledge and belief of God, and of Jesus Christ and obedience to His Gospel, are absolutely required by Him, as essential conditions for salvation.
The Popes and Saints On:
The Catholic Doctrine of No Salvation Outside the Church
By Raymond Taouk
This dogma has been affirmed many times over by the Churches Magesterium. It has been affirmed by Pope Innocent III (DS 423), The IV Lateran Council (DS 430), Pope Boniface VIII (DS 468), The Council of Florence (DS 714), Pius IX (DS 1647), Pope Clement VI (DS 5706), The Council of Trent (DS 861) etc.
We shall lists some of the Popes and Saints of the Church and what they taught on this Catholic Dogma:
Pope St. Clement I, A.D. 88-97: "Heretical teachers pervert Scripture and try to get into Heaven with a false key, for they have formed their human assemblies later than the Catholic Church. From this previously-existing and most true Church, it is very clear that these later heresies, and others which have come into being since then, are counterfeit and novel inventions." (Epistle to the Corinthians)
Saint Ignatius of Antioch: "Do not deceive
yourselves, he who adheres to the author of a schism will not possess the
kingdom of God." [Epistle to the Philadelphians, 3 (CH 158)].
Saint Cyprianus: "Whosoever is separated from the Church is united to an adulteress. He has cut himself off from the promises of the Church, and he who leaves the Church of Christ cannot arrive at the rewards of Christ (...) He who observes not this unity observes not the law of God, holds not the faith of the Father and the Son, clings not to life and salvation." [De Cath. Eccl. Unitate, n 6 (CH 555)].
Council of Nicea (first ecumenical council, A.D. 325): "Let the patriarch consider what things are done by the archbishops and bishops in their provinces; and if he shall find anything done by them otherwise than it should be, let him change it and order it, as seemeth to him fit; for he is the father of all, and they are his sons. And although the Archbishop be among the bishops as an elder brother, who hath the care of his brethren, and to whom they owe obedience because he is over them; yet the patriarch is to all those who are under his power, just as he who holds the seat of Rome is the head and prince of all patriarchs; inasmuch as he is first, as was Peter, to whom power is given over all Christian princes, and over all their peoples, as he who is the Vicar of Christ our Lord over all peoples and over the whole Christian Church, and whoever shall contradict this, is excommunicated by the synod." (Arabic Canons, Canon XXXIX)
The Synod of Laodicea, A.D. 343-381: "Canon XXXIV. No Christian shall forsake the martyrs of Christ, and turn to false martyrs, that is, to those of the heretics, or those who formerly were heretics; for they are aliens from God. Let those who go after them be anathema."
"Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXIV. Whosoever honours an heretical pseudo-martyr, let him be anathema."
Saint Augustine and the Council of Cirta (412 A.D.): "He who is separated from the body of the Catholic Church, however laudable his conduct may otherwise seem, will never enjoy eternal life, and the anger of God remains on him by reason of the crime of which he is guilty in living separated from Christ." [Epist. 141 (CH 158)].
Saint Gregory the Great: "The holy universal Church teaches that God cannot be truly adored except within its fold; she affirms that all those who are separated from her will not be saved." [Moral. in Job. XIV,5 (CH 158)].
Saint Jerome (died A.D. 420): "As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built. ...This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails. ...And as for heretics, I have never spared them; on the contrary, I have seen to it in every possible way that the Church's enemies are also my enemies." (Manual of Patrology and History of Theology)
Saint Augustine (died A.D. 430): "No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church." (Sermo ad Caesariensis Ecclesia plebem)
Saint John Chrysostom, Doctor, (died A.D. 407): "We know that salvation belongs to the Church alone, and that no one can partake of Christ nor be saved outside the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith." (De Capto Eutropia)
Saint Fulgentius (died A.D. 533): "Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only pagans, but also all Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Enchriridion Patristicum)
Pope Pelagius II (A.D. 578-590): "Consider the fact that whoever has not been in the peace and unity of the Church cannot have the Lord. Although given over to flames and fires, they burn, or, thrown to wild beasts, they lay down their lives, there will not be for them that crown of faith but the punishment of faithlessness. Such a one can be slain, he cannot be crowned. If slain outside the Church, he cannot attain the rewards of the Church." (Denzinger 246-247)
Pope Saint Gregory the Great (A.D. 590-604): "Now the holy Church universal proclaims that God cannot be truly worshipped saving within herself, asserting that all they that are without her shall never be saved." (Moralia)
Saint Bede the Venerable O.S.B., Doctor, (died A.D. 735): "He who will not willingly and humbly enter the gate of the Church will certainly be damned and enter the gate of hell whether he wants to or not." (Sermon 16) "Without this confession, without this faith, no one can enter the kingdom of God." (Sermon 16)
Saint Peter Mavimenus (died A.D. 743): "Whoever does not embrace the Catholic Christian religion will be damned, as was your false prophet Mohammed." (Roman Martyrology, February 20th) [Upon this profession of the faith, the infidel murdered him.]
Pope Sylvester II, A.D. 999-1003: "I profess that outside the Catholic Church, no one is saved." (Profession of Faith made as Archbishop of Rheims, June 991; Letters of Gerbert, NY: Columbia University Press.) [This is the man that introduced Arabic numerals (the ones we use) into the West.]
Pope Saint Leo IX, A.D. 1049-1054): [regarding the eastern so-called "Orthodox" schismatics]: "If you live not in the body which is Christ, you are none of His. Whose, then, are you? You have been cut off and will wither, and like the branch pruned from the vine, you will burn in the fire - an end which may God's goodness keep far from you."
Innocent III and the Fourth Ecumenical Council of the Lateran (1215 A.D.): "There is only one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one can be saved." [Cap. I; De fide cath.; DS 802 (CH 159)].
Saint Thomas Aquinas (died A.D. 1274): "There is no enterning into salvation outside the Church, just as in the time of the deluge there was none outside the ark, which denotes the Church." (Summa Theologiae)
Pope Eugene IV: "Whoever wishes to be saved needs, above everything else, to hold the Catholic faith. Unless each one preserves this faith whole and inviolate, he will perish in eternity without a doubt." - Exultate Deo," DZ 695
Pope Adrian II "The first requirement of salvation is to keep to the standard of the true faith." Actio I," DZ 171, n.1
Pope Gregory XVI - "He who is separated from the body of the Catholic Church, however praiseworthy his conduct may otherwise seem, will not be saved." "Perlatum Ad Nos," PTC:186; "Summo Jugiter," PTC:158
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum: “The Church...regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own...The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium...Whosoever is separated from the Church is united to an adultress. He has cut himself off from the promises of the Church, and he who leaves the Church of Christ cannot arrive at the rewards of Christ...He who observes not this unity observes not the law of God, holds not the faith of the Father and the Son, clings not to life and salvation.”
Pope Pius IV "I promise, vow, and swear that, with God's help, I shall most constantly hold and profess this true Catholic faith, outside which no one can be saved." : from the Bull "Injunctum Nobis," DZ:1000
Pope Pius VIII "Remember this firm dogma of our religion: that outside the true Catholic faith no one can be saved." - RECOLLECTIONS OF THE LAST FOUR POPES, Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman, London: 1858
Pope Pius IX "See to it that the faithful have fixed firmly in their minds this dogma of our most holy religion: the absolute necessity of the Catholic faith for attaining salvation." - Nostis et Nobiscum," December 8, 1849
Pope St. Pius X "Where is the road which leads us to Jesus Christ? It is the Church. It is our duty to recall to everyone, great and small, the absolute necessity we are under to have recourse to this Church in order to work out our eternal salvation." - "Supremi Apostolatus," PTC:654; "Jucunda Sane," PTC:668
Pope Pius XI "If any man does not enter the Church, or if any man departs from it, he is far from the hope of life and salvation." - Mortalium Animos," PTC:873
Pope Pius XII "No one can depart from the teaching of Catholic truth without loss of faith and salvation." - Pius XII: "Ad Apostolorum Principis," PTC:1536
Council of Trent - "Constantly hold and profess this true Catholic faith, without which no one can be saved. Tridentine Profession of Faith, DZ:1000
Vatican I "This true Catholic faith, outside which no one can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold, I do promise and swear that I will most constantly keep and confess whole and inviolate with the help of God until the last breath of my life, and that I will take great care that it be held, taught, and preached by my inferiors and by those who are placed under my charge." - Papal Oath
Saint Peter Canisius (died A.D. 1597): "Outside of this communion - as outside the ark on Noah - there is absolutely no salvation for mortals: not for Jews or pagans who never recieved the faith of the Church, nor for heretics who, having recieved it, corrupted it; neither for the excommunicated or those who for any other serious cause deserve to be put away and separated from the body of the Church like pernicious members...for the rule of Cyprian and Augustine is certain: he will not have God for his Father who would not have the Church for his mother." (Cathechismi Latini et Germanici)
Saint Robert Bellarmine (died A.D. 1621): "Outside the Church there is no salvation...therefore in the symbol [Apostles Creed] we join together the Church with the remission of sins: `I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins'...For this reason the Church is compared with the ark of Noah, because just as during the deluge, everyone perished who was not in the ark, so now those perish who are not in the Church." (De Sacramento Baptismi)
St. Francis of Assisi "And all of us humbly entreat and beseech everyone, all nations and all men in all the earth who are, and who shall be, that we may all of us persevere in the true faith: for otherwise no one can be saved."
St. Louis Marie de Montfort "There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Anyone who resists this truth perishes." -
St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori "We must believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true Church; hence, they who are out of our Church, or they who are separated from it, cannot be saved." :
"The same teaching is expressed in the professions of faith which have been proposed of by the Apostolic See; in the one which all the Latin Churches use (DS 1870); as also in the others, one which is received by the Greeks (cf. Gregory XIII: Prof. XXX; DS 1985. ), and the other by all other Eastern Catholics" [Benedict XIV: Const. Nuper ad Nos; DS 2540 Cf. Also Pope Gregory XVI: Encyclical Summo jugiter, May 27, 1832 to the Bishops of Bavaria (CH 159)].
The Post Conciliar Church & The Universal Apostasy
Our Lady at La Salette said on September 19, 1846, "Rome would lose the Faith and become the seat of the antichrist . . . The Church will be in eclipse."
Our Lord asks that when he comes back will he find any Faith at all? (Luke 18:8)
Pope Felix III said: "Not to oppose error, is to approve it, and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them."
Pope Leo I said: "He that sees another in error, and endeavors not to correct it. testifies himself to he in error."
Pope St. Pius V said: "All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics."
Pope St. Pius X said: "All the strength of Satan's reign is due to the easygoing weakness of Catholics."
St. Augustine said: "Medicinal rebuke must be applied to all who sin, lest they should either themselves perish, or be the ruin of others . . . Let no one, therefore, say that a man must not be rebuked when he deviates from the right way, or that his return and perseverance must only be asked from the Lord for him."
St. Catherine of Siena said: "We've had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence."
False Prophets are Loved by the World
"Woe to you when men shall bless you: for according to these things did their fathers to the False Prophets." (Luke 6:26)
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them." (Matthew 7:15,16)
"When they sin rebuke them in the presence of all, that the rest also may have fear." (1st Timothy 5:20)
"He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, both are abominable before God." (Proverbs 17:15)
Hold fast to Tradition
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle." (2 Thes 2:14) St. Vincent of Lerins said: "When a foulness invades the whole Church . . . We must return to the Church of the past." He also stated in 490 AD: "In the Catholic Church herself every care must be taken that we may hold fast to that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all. For this is truly and properly Catholic."
Forewarned by the Popes, Saints and Our Blessed Mother, Pope St. Pius X said in his first encyclical E Supremi Apostolatus on October 4, 1903: "Society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and a deep-rooted malady . . . apostasy from God." St. Pope Pius X went on to say, ". . . there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were, foretaste and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the 'Son of Perdition' (the Antichrist) of whom the Apostle speaks." (II Thess 2:3)
In his encyclical letter, Our Apostolic Mandate, on August 25, 1910, Pope St. Pius X already detected "a great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One World Church which will have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy . . . under the pretext of freedom and human dignity."
In the beginning of this century, Pope St. Pius X said in Pascendi that the danger from the adversaries of the Church were, "not from without but from within; hence the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church."
St. John Bosco said: "Your sons ask for the bread of Faith and no one gives it to them . . . Ungrateful Rome, effeminate Rome, arrogant Rome . . . Forgetting that the Sovereign Pontiffs and your true glory are on Golgotha . . . Woe to you; my law is an idle word for you."
Prophesy of St. Francis of Assisi: "There will be an uncanonically elected pope who will cause a great schism, there will be diverse thoughts preached which will cause many, even those in the different orders to doubt, yea, even agree with those heretics which will cause my Orders to divide, then there will be such universal dissensions and persecutions that if those days were not shortened, even the elect would be lost."
A Time Predicted by the Enemies of the
"In a hundred years time . . . bishops and priests will think they are marching behind the banner of the keys of Peter when in fact they will be following our flag . . . The reforms will have to be brought about in the name of obedience." (Alta Vendita/masonic document)
In the book, Ecumenism, written by a freemason in 1908, it says "the goal is no longer the destruction of the Church but rather to make use of it by infiltrating it."
On April 3, 1844, a leader of an Italian secret society called Nubius wrote a letter to another highly-placed mason. The letter spoke about the plan to infiltrate the Roman Catholic Church, and the attempt to insert a masonic pope, who would promote the religion of Freemasonry from the chair of Peter. "Now then, in order to ensure a pope in the required proportions, we must first of all prepare a generation worthy of the kingdom of which we dream . . . Let the clergy move forward under your banner (the masonic banner) always believing they are advancing under the banner of the apostolic Keys. Cast your net like Simon Bar Jonas; spread it to the bottom of sacristies, seminaries, and convents . . . You will have finished a revolution dressed in the Pope's triple crown and cape, carrying the cross and the flag, a revolution that will need only a small stimulus to set fire to the four corners of the earth."
Freemason Eliph Levi said in 1862: "A day will come when the pope, inspired by the Holy Spirit will declare that all the excommunications are lifted and all the anathemas are retracted, when all the Christians will be united within the Church, when the Jews and Moslems will be blessed and called back to her . . . she will permit all sects to approach her by degrees and will embrace all mankind in the communion of her love and prayers. Then, Protestants will no longer exist. Against what will they be able to protest? The sovereign pontiff will then be truly king of the religious world, and he will do whatever he wishes with all the nations of the earth."
The Communist Plan to Infiltrate the True
Mrs. Bella Dodd spent most of her life in the Communist Party of America and was Attorney General designate had the Party won the White House. After her defection, she revealed that one of her jobs as a Communist agent was to encourage young radicals (not always card-carrying Communists) to enter Catholic seminaries. She said that before she had left the Party in the U.S., she had encouraged almost 1,000 young radicals to infiltrate the seminaries and religious orders . . . and she was only one Communist.
Brother Joseph Natale, Founder of Most Holy Family Monastery, was present at one of Bella Dodd's lectures in the early 1950's. He relates: "I listened to that woman for four hours and she had my hair standing on end. Everything she said has been fulfilled to the letter. You would think she was the world's greatest prophet, but she was no prophet. She was merely exposing the step-by-step battle plan of Communist subversion of the Catholic Church. She explained that of all the world's religions, the Catholic Church was the only one feared by the Communists, for it was its only effective opponent." Bella Dodd converted to Catholicism at the end of her life. Speaking as an ex-Communist, she said: "In the 1930's, we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within." The idea was for these men to be ordained, and then climb the ladder of influence and authority as Monsignors and Bishops. Back then, she said: "Right now they are in the highest places in the Church." They are working to bring about change in order that the Catholic Church would not be effective against Communism. She also said that these changes would be so drastic that "you will not recognize the Catholic Church." (This was 10 to 12 years before Vatican II.)
Brother Joseph went on relating what Bella Dodd had said: "The whole idea was to destroy, not the institution of the Church, but rather the Faith of the people, and even use the institution of the Church, if possible, to destroy the Faith through the promotion of a pseudo-religion: something that resembled Catholicism but was not the real thing. Once the Faith was destroyed, she explained that there would be a guilt complex introduced into the Church . . . to label the 'Church of the past' as being oppressive, authoritarian, full of prejudices, arrogant in claiming to be the sole possessor of truth, and responsible for the divisions of religious bodies throughout the centuries. This would be necessary in order to shame Church leaders into an 'openness to the world', and to a more flexible attitude toward all religions and philosophies. The Communists would then exploit this openness in order to undermine the Church."
Rome Departs From Tradition; Rome Departs
From the Faith
Rome cannot ignore 2000 years of Roman Catholic teaching. Present day teaching must be in agreement with traditional teaching. St. Robert Bellarmine said: "Just as it is licit to resist a Pontiff who attacks the body, so it is licit to resist him who attack souls, or who disturbs the civil order, or, above all, him who tries to destroy the Church. It is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by impeding the execution of his will."
St. Cajetan said: "One must resist the Pope who openly destroys the Church."
St. Thomas Aquinas said: "Take note that if there were a danger to the Faith, subordinates would be bound to reprove their prelates, even publicly." The Dogmatic Councils of the Catholic Church speak about true obedience to the Pope, not blind obedience.
Blind Obedience to the Pope? Pope Innocent III said: "It is necessary to obey a Pope in all things as long as he does not go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the Church, he need not be followed."
The Papal Coronation Oath: the vow a pope
takes when he is elected:
· To change nothing of the received tradition, and nothing thereof, I have found before me guarded by God-pleasing predecessors, to encroach upon, to alter, or to permit any innovation therein;
· To the contrary: with glowing affection as her truly faithful student and successor, to safeguard reverently the passed on good, with my whole strength and utmost effort;
· To cleanse all that is in contradiction to the canonical order should such appear;
· To guard the Holy Canons and Decrees of our Popes as if they were the divine ordinances of Heaven, because I am conscious of Thee, whose place I take through the Grace of God, whose Vicarship I possess with Thy support, being subject to severest accounting before Thy Divine Tribunal over all that I shall confess.
· If I should undertake to act in anything of contrary sense, or should permit that it will be executed. Thou willst not be merciful to me on the dreadful Day of Divine Justice.
· Accordingly, without exclusion, we subject to severest excommunication anyone - be it ourselves or be it another - who would dare to undertake anything new in contradiction to this constituted evangelic Tradition, and the purity of the orthodox Faith and the Christian religion, or would seek to change anything by his opposing efforts, or would agree with those who undertake such a blasphemous venture."
John Paul II was the first "Pope" not to take this oath.
Padre Pio Rebukes John Paul II
Antonio Pandiscia is the official biographer of Padre Pio and he was the only man allowed to interview him more than once. He said: "The current Pope went to San Giovanni Rotondo for the first time in 1947 shortly after his ordination. A witness, who has since passed away, told me that Padre Pio was brusque with the young Polish priest on that occasion. I think he could not accept the fact that the young Wojtyla (John Paul II) had worked in the theater before becoming a priest."
Padre Pio once threw two bishops out of the confessional and told them to first make their peace with God before they came to confess. When he was approached about the matter by his superior, Padre Pio responded: "They may be bishops here on earth but the hierarchy in Heaven is not the same as that on earth." It is claimed that when someone asked Padre Pio about the 3rd Secret of Fatima he replied: "Beware of all bishops."
Pope Saint Pius X, the humble Giuseppe Sarto, when congratulated by his mother upon his appointment as Bishop of Mantua, he replied: "Mother, you do not realize what it means to be a bishop. I shall lose my soul if I neglect my duty."
With regard to Padre Pio himself, he was certainly faithful to the traditions of the Church and to the traditional liturgy. Father Pellegrino (lifelong friend of Padre Pio) testified how Padre Pio counseled all the Council Fathers who came to see him, to put an end to Vatican II, and how he suffered with even the slightest liturgical reform. Padre Pio only used the Traditional Missal.
The Last Letter to Paul VI
One of the last things that Padre Pio did was to write a letter to Paul VI in which he stated: "I offer you my prayers and daily sufferings as a small, but sincere contribution on the part of the least of your sons, I pray that God may lead you with His Grace to follow the straight and painful way in defense of eternal truth, which does not change with the passing of years." (Padre Pio's Letter to Paul VI). Padre Pio died 10 days later.
Obviously, Paul VI didn't listen to Padre Pio. Later, Paul VI said at his general audience July 2, 1969: "If the world changes, should not religion also change? It is for this very reason that the Church has, especially after the 2nd Vatican Council, undertaken so many reforms."
Changing Dogmas Because of Scientific
The First Vatican Council declared: "If anyone shall have said that it is possible that to the dogmas declared by the Church a meaning must sometimes be attributed according to the progress of science, different from that which the Church has understood and understands: Let him be anathema."
You're Bound To Seek the Truth
A Catholic is bound to find out what is true concerning the Catholic Faith. Even Canon 748 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law admits: "All persons are bound to seek the Truth in matters concerning God and God's Church."
What Must We Believe?
Vatican I states: "By Divine and Catholic Faith, all those things must be believed which are contained in the written word of God and in Tradition, and those which are proposed by the Church, either in a solemn pronouncement or in her ordinary and universal teaching power, to be believed as Divinely revealed."
· The Canons of the Dogmatic Councils
of the Church, approved by the Pope, must be believed.
· The ex cathedra statements must be believed.
· The ordinary teaching of the Popes must be followed.
If the Pope teaches something that is not in line with Traditional Catholic Teaching, then the Pope is speaking as a private theologian and not in his ordinary capacity. When the Pope says something that conflicts with a traditional Teaching of the Church, it is not the "Church Teaching", because the Church has already taught. The Pope is protected from teaching heresy through the words of Christ, therefore these popes for the last 40 years have lost their papacy through heresy, or never were elected , because they were a heretic prior to the papacy.
Some Recent Examples of ex cathedra
· Pope Pius XII's definition of the Assumption on Nov. 1, 1950.
· Venerable Pope Pius IX's definition of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1854.
Speaking With Infallibility
Of course, the Pope and the Bishops, when they reiterate or restate defined Catholic teaching, they are infallible. This is called active infallibility. The Faithful are also infallible when we reiterate or restate defined Catholic teaching. This is called passive infallibility.
A Devastated Church; Souls Hang In The
Let's take a quick look at what has happened to the Catholic Church since the 2nd Vatican Council.
Infant Baptisms dropped by over 360,000 in the US from 1960 to 1985 while the population continued to grow. The National Catholic Education Association said that from 1965 to 1978 Catholic schools lost more than 2 million students and closed over 3,600 schools. The Catholic abortion rate now runs 30% higher than it does for Protestant women. The number of nuns in the US from 1964 to 1992 declined by 82,000. The number of seminarians in the US has dropped from 48,000 in 1965 to 1,300 in 1988. The number of converts from 1960 to 1985 declined by almost 64,000. There were 338 annulments granted in 1968 and 59,030 in 1992. From 1952 to 1956 there were 39 annulments worldwide. In 1990 alone, there were 62,824 annulments. In the USA, nearly all (98%) who apply for a judicial ecclesiastical decree of annulment and finish the procedure, are awarded an annulment. An annulment is a declaration by Church authority which states that a marriage was never valid by reason of a known or hidden impediment.
We Must Rebuke Error
Let us review a few examples from the New Testament to prove that sometimes we must rebuke a superior or an authority in the Church. Remember, St. Peter denied Our Lord three times. In fact, in Matthew 16:18 Our Lord said: "Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." But five verses later, in Matthew 16:23, Jesus said to St. Peter: "Satan, get behind me, thou art a scandal unto me: because you regard not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men. In Galatians 2:14, St. Paul had to rebuke St. Peter because he "walked not uprightly unto the truth of the Gospel." Again we read St. Paul, "Withstood him to the face because he was to be blamed." (Gal. 2:11)
The following was condemned by Pope Alexander VII: "Although it is evidently established by you that Peter is a heretic, you are not bound to denounce him . . ." (Condemned)
John Paul II, Defender or Destroyer of
Many have asked, who is ultimately responsible for the destruction of the Church? Ultimately, the Pope is. The Pope cannot be followed if he contradicts or states the opposite of what the Church and previous Popes have condemned, of course if he goes into heresy, he no longer is Pope or even Catholic at this point. We must know our Faith well enough so that when we listen to, or read something we can make a simple judgment, "Is what he is saying Catholic or not?". If it is not Catholic, we cannot believe it and we must reject it. We will now examine many of the actions and statements of the Pope to see of they are Catholic.
Coming to America
During one of his trips to America, John Paul II said in Detroit (Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament): "The most important human rights are the right to life, liberty, and personal safety, the right to freedom of expression, and the right to religion."
Freedom of Expression/Religion Have Been
"Liberty of conscience and of worship . . . Should be proclaimed and asserted by law in every correctly established society . . ." (condemned by Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura).
Comparing Pope Leo XIII to John Paul II
Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical, Immortale Dei, on June 20, 1888: "It is quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, of writing or of worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature to man. For if nature had really granted them, it would be lawful to refuse obedience to God, and there would be no restraint on human liberty."
Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical,
On Human Liberty:
"Another liberty is widely advocated, namely liberty of conscience. If by this it is meant that everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not, it is sufficiently refuted by the argument already adduced."
Pope Leo XIII and John Paul II are exact opposites.
Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos: "We now come to another and most fruitful cause of the evils which at present afflict the Church, and which we so bitterly deplore; we mean indifferentism, or that fatal opinion everywhere diffused by the craft of the wicked, that men can by the profession of any faith obtain the eternal salvation of their souls, provided their life conforms to justice and probity. Put in a question so clear and evident it will undoubtedly be easy for us to pluck up from amid the people confided to your care so pernicious an error." ???
Pope Gregory XVI continues in
"From this poisoned source of indifferentism flows that false and absurd, or rather extravagant maxim that liberty of conscience should be established and guaranteed to each man - a most contagious error . . ."
In The Redeemer Of Man, JPII's first encyclical, John Paul II did not mention the word Catholic or Catholic Church once in a total of 58 pages.
He said in his encyclical, Mission of The Redeemer on p. 11: "Christ the Redeemer, fully reveals man to himself . . . the Redemption that took place on the Cross has definitely restored man to his dignity." Two pages later, he said: "The Redemption event brings salvation to all, for each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and with each one Christ has united himself forever through this mystery." ???
In his encyclical Redemptor Hominis, 113, 3 John Paul II said: "All men are united to Christ solely by virtue of the Incarnation." ???
L'Osservatore Romano - May 6, 1980, John Paul II said: "Christ obtained, once and for all, the salvation of man - of each man and of all men." John Paul II has promoted the heresy of universal salvation, or Universalism, the belief that all men will be saved.
John Paul II said in paragraph 1703 of his new Catechism that the human person. "from his conception . . . is destined for eternal beatitude," while the Church has always taught the exact opposite. With the exception of Adam, Eve, and the Blessed Virgin, all of us are born with Original Sin, and without the sacrament of Baptism and the true Catholic Faith we are all destined for eternal damnation.
Universal Salvation Condemned
Nearly 3 centuries after his death, Origen was condemned by the Fifth General Council (553 AD), (Council Of Constantinople II) because it was found that his writings contained a number of heretical doctrines, such as the pre-existence of souls and the final salvation of all men.
St. Thomas Aquinas defines heresy as "A species of unbelief belonging to those who profess the Christian Faith but corrupt its Dogmas." (Summa Th., II-II Q. 11. Art. 1)
St. Vincent of Lerins said: "All novelty in faith is a sure mark of heresy. St. Paul cried out aloud, again and again, to all men to all times, and to all places that, if anyone announces a new dogma, let him be anathematized! ???
The Pope and the Moslems
On December 11, 1984: John Paul II sent a representative to the laying of the foundation stone for the biggest mosque in Europe (Rome). In Rome, in September, 1989, John Paul II wrote to all the Moslems of the world saying that he addresses them "In the name of the same God that we adore." Article 2 of the Koran says: "He who believes in the Trinity is impure just like excrement and urine." In a letter to the Moslems on April 26, 1991, John Paul II addressed them as: "My beloved Moslem brothers and sisters." On May 31, 1980, John Paul II addressed the Moslems in Paris as brothers: "It is with great joy that I address my greeting to you, Moslems, our brothers in the faith in the one God."
St. Pope Pius V on March 5, 1571 in the Apostolic Constitution Salvatoris Domini referred to the Moslems as "enemies of the Catholic Faith."
JPII Supporting Human Dignity Across the
UNESCO, June 2, 1980, John Paul II said: "Oh man, oh woman, I love you with my whole heart, with my whole soul and with my whole mind, because you are great in your dignity as man or woman, great in your value and in your transcendence. And I love you as I love myself for my own dignity and worth." John Paul II loves man the way he is supposed to love Jesus Christ.
Pope St. Pius X said: "There is only one human dignity and that is Catholic dignity."
Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical letter Tametsi: "About the 'rights of man' as they are called, the people have heard enough: it is time we should hear about the rights of God."
Seoul, Korea, May 6, 1984, John Paul II: "The Catholic Church tries to enter into fraternal dialogue with all the great religions which have guided the human race in its history . . . Allow me to address a special greeting to the members of the Buddhist tradition now that they are preparing to celebrate the feast of the birth of Buddha. May their happiness be full and their joy complete."
Bangkok, Thailand, 1984, John Paul II at the royal palace said: "In coming here, I have the honor of returning the visit that your majesty made to my predecessor John XXIII in 1960. I am also anxious to meet his holiness, the supreme patriarch (Buddhist) in the temple."
The following question was addressed to Pope Pius XI: Whether it is permitted for Catholics to be present at, or to take part in conventions, gatherings, meetings, or societies of non-Catholics which aim to associate together under a single agreement all who in any way lay claim to the name of Christian? The decree from the Holy Office issued on July 8, 1927 responded in the negative!
More Heresy in the Land of St. Thomas the
New Delhi, India, 1986, John Paul II: "Collaboration between all religions is necessary for the good of mankind. Today, as Hindus, Buddhists, Jansenists, and Christians, we unite to proclaim the truth about man. Discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex, or ethnic origin are radically incompatible with human dignity."
Delhi, India, March, 1986: John Paul II went to the center of a marble platform on which Mahatma Gandhi was incinerated, where he took off his shoes, and placed a garland of flowers before this monument, and kneeled down and prayed. (Exodus 3:4-5 "And when the Lord saw that he went forward to see, he called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said: 'Moses, Moses.' And he answered: 'Here I am.' And He said: 'Come not nigh hither, put off the shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground.'")
JPII Promoting the New World Order
Delhi, India, 1986, John Paul II said: "Gandhi taught us that if all men and women, whatever the differences among them, embrace the truth, in the respect and dignity unique to every human being, a new world order, a civilization of love can be attained."
In Madras, India, on February 5, 1986, John Paul II had sacred ashes placed on his forehead. Three days earlier, on February 2nd, he had received on his forehead the Tilac or Tika, the red powdery paste of the Hindus, the sign of recognition of the adorers of Shiva. Shiva is one of Hindu's most important false deities.
John Paul II explains in his apostolic letter Tertio Millennia adveniente that "Christianity is the response to the aspiration rising from all religions: from Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam."
Assisi: Absolute Apostasy
On October 27, 1986, in Assisi, Italy, John Paul II prayed with 160 different religious leaders, including African animists, who are devil worshippers; thereby violating the First Commandment: "Thou shalt not have strange gods before me." This kind of active participation is certainly not to convert them, and is totally condemned by encyclicals such as Mortalium Animos, (On Fostering True Religious Liberty), Moral Theology, the Code of Canon Law and the Councils of the Roman Catholic Church. Also during this prayer meeting John Paul II allowed the Dalai Lama to put a Buddhist statue on top of the tabernacle in the Church of St. Francis. Commenting on the Assisi event, John Paul II said the 160 false religions "prayed with one voice to the Lord of history."
Pope Pius XI, speaking about inter-religious prayer dialogue in Mortalium Animos, stated the following: "They presuppose the erroneous view that all religions are more or less praiseworthy, in as much as all give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God." John Paul II speaking at the World Day of Prayer in Assisi said the following three times: "All religions are more or less good and praiseworthy, in as much as all give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God." John Paul II used the exact words which were condemned in Mortalium Animos.
Other "Assisi's" since 86 "Peace Without
Most people are completely unaware that there have been many Assisi-like meetings since 1986. John Paul II has sponsored pagan prayer meetings at Kyoto (1987), Rome (1988), Warsaw (1989), Bari (1990), and Malta (1991), as well numerous prayer meetings since 1991. For example, in 1994, John Paul II had the sixth Assembly of the World Conference on Religion and Peace Entitled: Religions for Peace. The conference gathered 900 religious leaders for interreligious dialogue. All of the different religious leaders listened, as John Paul II welcomed one and all, saying: "The Vatican is open to you. I hope you will all return soon." Not once did JPII correct his misguided friends and expose them to the Truth of the Catholic Church.
Psalms 95:5 says: "All the gods of the heathens are devils."
Pagan Rome under John Paul II disregards the scriptures and welcomes all false religions. The only people that Rome tries to condemn are Traditional Catholics.
JPII and Jubilee 2000
Los Angeles Times, Sunday, April 17, 1994: "Pope Wants Ecumenical Prayer Meeting At top of Mt. Sinai in Year 2000." As part of the Jubilee Year 2000 celebrations the Vatican plans to make "new martyrs out of many non-Catholics."
Syllabus of Errors
At this point, we should remind the reader what the Church really teaches about other religions. We will quote four errors condemned by Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus of Errors. No matter what our leaders are doing to contradict these teachings, they cannot change them, for they are part of the Deposit of Faith.
15) Every man is at liberty to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason he shall consider true. - Error
16) Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation and arrive at eternal salvation. - Error
17) We must have at least good hope concerning the eternal salvation of all those who in no way are in the true Church of Christ. - Error
18) Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. - Error
John Paul II Can't Stand the True Mass
In Vigesimus Quintus, Dec. 4, 1988, John Paul II commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Vatican II Document On The Liturgy, the Pope speaks of those who have, "attached themselves only and uniquely to the previous liturgical forms very deplorably held as the one authority of the integrity of the Faith."
So he is exclusively for the New Mass; what does that mean?
Topless Girls at John Paul II's "Papal
In Papua, New Guinea, on May 8, 1985, John Paul II allowed an 18 year- old American woman by the name of Susan Kenge (a student at Holly College there) to read one of the epistles during his Papal Mass . . . completely naked from the waist up! She read from a position just to the right of the "Holy Father" himself. John Paul II's excuse was that: "It's the custom of the country, it's the heat." It was neither! The girl was American - she read the Epistle in perfect English.
On another occasion . . . "Topless girls at Papal Mass . . . During the Papal Mass, bare-breasted young black women danced before the Vicar of Christ. The local organizers of the papal visit and or the liturgical committee must have approved or suggested this. Some people came up for communion slurping ice-cream cones."
John Paul II at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool, May 31. 1982 said: "The lack of unity among Christians is sinful."
Participation at Non-Catholic Services
Jone Moral Theology, Book II, Part 1, Chapter I, Article 4: Association with Non-Catholics, No. 124, #1: "It is forbidden to participate in assemblies, unions, lectures, and societies that aim at a federation of all Christians." And No. 125, 1a) states: "Active participation in non-Catholic services is entirely forbidden."
Pope Leo XIII said in 1896: "The Church has always regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own."
Canon 1258 #1 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law: "It is not permitted at all for the Faithful to assist in any active manner, or to have any part in the worship of non-Catholics."
You have no right to your own opinion
regarding matters of God and His Church
Council of Florence: "The Holy Roman Church condemns, disapproves, anathematizes, and declares to be separated from the Body of Christ, which is the Church, everyone, who holds any contrary opinions."
St. Augustine: "If anyone holds to a single heresy, he is not a Catholic."
JPII Speaks to His Jewish Brothers of
March 22, 1984, Vatican City, Allocution to the B'nai B'rith, (Jewish Freemasons) John Paul II said: ". . . the encounter between Catholics and Jews is not one between two ancient religions that each go their own way . . . It is a meeting between "brothers, . . ."
April 13, 1986, In the Synagogue in Rome, John Paul II said: "What unites us is the belief in the one and only God . . . You are our favorite brothers, one could say, our elder brothers ..."
The Third Council of Constantinople
"If any ecclesiastic or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or to the meeting house of the heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of communion. If any bishop or priest or deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from communion."
The Pope and the Jews
John Paul II's father took him, as a child, to Jewish Sabbath ceremonies. John Paul II said: "I remember, above all, the Wadowice elementary school where at least a fourth of the pupils in my class were Jewish. I can vividly remember the Jews who gathered every Saturday at the synagogue behind our school. Both religious groups, Catholics and Jews, were united, I presume, by the awareness that they prayed to the same God."
Even Inside the Vatican, a publication which supports JPII admits that "Wojtyla (JPII) is the first Pope in history to have such an intimate acquaintance with Judaism. In his 1994 interview-book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, the Pope alludes to the fact that at least a fourth of his school classmates were Jewish. With Wojtyla's election as Pope, Joseph Lichten enters the scene. Lichten, a Polish Jew and naturalized US citizen was the first representative of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Rome. He became a member of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism. Lichten commented: "It is of interest that Cardinal Wojtyla knew the Jews as a child. He studied with them from the time he was six years old, and his closest friend and former schoolmate, Jerzy Kluger, is a Jew. As a youth, the Pope visited almost daily the home of the Kluger family." Kluger also mentioned that when they played soccer, John Paul II would play goalie on the Jewish squad against the Catholics. The Popes of the Second Vatican Council have had very close relationships with Judaism. John XXIII said to a recently baptized Jewish boy: "By becoming a Catholic, you do not become less a Jew."
Pope Honorius I reigned from 625-638 AD. After his death, he was excommunicated and condemned. His remains were scattered to the winds. Pope Honorius I was condemned not because he taught heresy, but because he failed to stamp out heresy during his reign as Pope. John Paul II has done enough damage to be condemned ten thousand times over. When Pope Leo II confirmed the anathema borne by the 6th Ecumenical Council against Pope Honorius, he taught us that the crime consists in this: Honorius did not extinguish the fire of heresy at its beginning as was fitting for Apostolic Authority to do, but on the contrary he fomented it by his negligence."
The Pope and the Orthodox
In Rome, on Sunday, December 6, 1987, at 9:30 am., John Paul II welcomed the Patriarch of Constantinople in St. Peter's Basilica. After having donned liturgical vestments, they presided together at the Liturgy of the Word. The Patriarch gave the first homily after John Paul II had presented him to the people with these words: "With profound joy, I now exhort you to hear the words of chief Patriarch, His Holiness Dimitrios I, our well-beloved brother in Christ." John Paul II, in turn, gave his homily, followed by the recitation in Greek of the Credo of Nicea-Constantinople, the prayer of intercession and the kiss of peace. The patriarch then retired to the chapel . . . He then came back to the Altar of Confession at the end of Mass to bless the faithful."
The Vatican now says that the Orthodox are accepted as part of the Church and are not considered excommunicated. However, in reality, they are excommunicated.
The Orthodox deny the primacy and infallibility of the Pope. They accept only the first seven Councils of the Roman Catholic Church and reject the last thirteen. They deny that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son. They deny the doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception. They approve of divorce up to two times, when one of the parties is guilty of adultery.
Among the factors which brought about the Schism of the Orthodox was the demand that the Papacy and the Patriarch of Constantinople be placed on equal footing.
As you have already seen, John Paul II will refer to heads of both schismatic churches and pagan religions by the title "His Holiness". His admiration for false religions stems from the fact that he believes that all religions are true. Freemasons also proclaim that "there is no one truth." This is an apostate idea of religion which offends the Holy Trinity and contradicts the Gospel. John Paul II has the faith of a freemason, not of a Roman Catholic.
John Paul II also finds it "significant and encouraging that the question of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome has now become subject of study which is already under way or will be in the near future. It is likewise significant and encouraging that this question appears as an essential theme not only in the theological dialogues in which the Catholic Church is engaging with other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, but also more generally in the ecumenical movement as a whole."
The John Paul II and the Lutherans
On Nov. 17, 1980, John Paul II visited a Lutheran Church in Germany on the anniversary of Martin Luther's birth and praised the "profound religiousness and spiritual heritage" of Martin Luther. Then, on October 31, 1983 John Paul II praised "the deep religious feeling of Luther, who was driven with burning passion by the question of eternal salvation."
There was much talk that John Paul II might make Martin Luther a Saint! The heretic Martin Luther's birthday is December 11, 1483. It is celebrated by the Lutherans each year. John Paul II celebrated the heretic, Martin Luther's birthday in a Lutheran church. Then on June 6, 1989, John Paul II went a step further in his promotion of Martin Luther. Speaking about Martin Luther's excommunication, John Paul II said: "What we need today most of all is a joint new evaluation of many questions raised by Luther and his preaching." By saying this, was John Paul II suggesting that Martin Luther was right and the Church was wrong? Did Pope Leo X make a mistake when he excommunicated Luther in 1520? Just a few years ago John Paul II lifted the excommunication of Martin Luther and apologized for the mistake! Martin Luther's school of thought included such abominations as:
"Christ, who was so righteous must have been guilty of fornication before he died."
"Christ had to become that which we are, namely a sinner, a murderer, evildoer, etc."
"But it is not forbidden that a man should have more than one wife."
"Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly."
On the occasion of the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther's birth, the city of Eisenach, Germany had a special display in which Martin Luther and Karl Marx were placed side by side. This display carried a quote from Erich Honecker, Head of the Communist party of Germany, praising the "historical accomplishments of Luther."
The Vatican under JPII Adopts Lutheran
View of Justification!
July. 1998 - "Vatican City - Most of the 450-year old Catholic condemnations of Lutheran teaching about how people are saved no longer apply, the Vatican said. The joint declaration said Roman Catholics and Lutherans both agree that salvation is a totally free gift of God and cannot be earned by performing good works. Catholics and Lutherans affirm that where such consensus has been reached, the condemnations leveled at one another in the 16th century (Council of Trent) no longer apply to the respective partner today."
This joint declaration which claims that Catholics believe that men are justified by faith alone, and not by works, is a heresy which has been condemned since the Council of Trent. Anyone who believes in this heresy is not Catholic. John Paul II has given further approval to this declaration! As a result, John Paul II falls under the anathema of the Council of Trent.
Council of Trent - On Justification. "If anyone shall say that by faith alone the sinner is justified, so as to understand that nothing else is required to cooperate in the attainment of the grace of justification, and that it is in no way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will: let him be anathema."
The Recent New Church Popes & Vatican II
Cardinal Roncalli took the name John XXIII. There was an antipope who had the same name who reigned from 1410-1415. The previous John XXIII was deposed and shown to be an illegitimate successor of St. Peter. "One wonders why Angelo Roncalli chose to take the name of such a scandalous character." John XXIII in opening Vatican II said: "The prophets of doom always talk as though the present, in comparison to the past, is becoming worse and worse. But I see mankind as entering upon a new order, and perceive in this, a divine plan."
"In 1962, the year John XXIII opened Vatican II, he was named 'Man of the Year' by Time Magazine, the first religious leader since Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi in 1930 . . . John Paul II . . . was awarded the title in 1994."
Freemason Yves Marsaudon (Supreme Council of France, Scottish Rite) said: "The sense of universalism that is rampant in Rome these days is very close to our purpose for existence . . . with all our hearts we support the revolution of John XXIII."
John XXIII, who died during Vatican II, is listed as a saint in the Lutheran Church. His feast day is June 3.
Freemason Yves Marsaudon commenting on Paul VI said: "Born in our Masonic Lodges, freedom of expression has now spreading beautifully over the Dome of St. Peter's . . . This is the Revolution of Paul VI. It is clear that Paul VI, not content merely to follow the policy of his predecessor, does in fact intend to go much further." During Vatican II, Paul VI said on March 26, 1964: "In the college of bishops, the Pope is president of a community of love." Declaration on the Relation of the Church to non-Christian Religions, #3 (Nostra Aetate) Vatican II: "The Church has also high esteem for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the creator of heaven and earth, . . ." The Koran teaches that those who believe in the Blessed Trinity are dung. Paul VI said in Unam Sanctam: "Allah is, after all, the God we Christians worship."
On October 13, 1967, Paul VI visited Fatima, Portugal on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady. He did not say one Hail Mary there. He did not visit the shrine at the Cova da Iria. He refused to speak privately to Sr. Lucia who is the only surviving visionary of Fatima. Yet, he did have time to give an audience to non-Catholics.
Paul VI also had a habit of reading communist newspapers during breakfast.
A group of 400 pilgrims walked from Paris to Rome to ask Paul VI to grant them permission to have the Traditional Mass. Paul VI was too busy to see them. Later, it became known that he was entertaining the Belgian soccer team.
More on Vatican II
During Vatican II, exactly 66 non-Catholic ministers from other faiths attended the Council and were even allowed to vote on and help write the ecumenical decrees.
The Vatican II document On Religious Liberty states: No one ". . . is to be restrained from acting in accordance with his own beliefs, whether publicly or privately," for "the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person," and "is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed."
"Unitatis Redintegratio" Document
#8 (Vatican II)
"During ecumenical gatherings, it is allowable, indeed desirable, that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren."
True ecumenism may be defined as that bond of doctrine and government which unites all Catholics in every region, and diocese into one body. In action, true ecumenism seeks to bring all men to that unity (Catholic unity). Prior to Vatican II ecumenism referred to the apostolic endeavor to make the whole world Catholic.
Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, #41 (Vatican II): "The Church proclaims the rights of man." Vatican II document Lumen Gentium #16 took the position that atheists could attain salvation.
Addressing the UN
Before the close of Vatican II, Paul VI traveled to the UN on October 4, 1965. He told the UN: "The peoples of the earth turn to the United Nations as the last hope of concord and peace."
On December 7, 1965, Paul VI gave his Final Address, among other things, he said: "In the final analysis could we not say that this is a simple, new and solemn teaching, to love man in order to love God?". In Dialogues, Reflections on God and Man, Paul VI said: "Are you looking for God? You will find God in Man." This is the religion of the Antichrist - Man becoming God.
Following Vatican II, The Grand Orient Lodge (Freemasons) in France reported a "gigantic revolution in the Church" calling it "a prelude to victory."
Liberal Cardinal Suenens said: "Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church."
Did Vatican II represent the final success of the secret societies against the Church? An excommunicated priest named Fr. Roca had this to say at the end of the last century: "The liturgy, ceremonial, ritual, and regulations of the Roman Church will shortly undergo a transformation at an Ecumenical Council (Vatican II) . . . the Papacy will fall." Fr. Roca also said, "The new church (Vatican II church), might not be able to retain anything of Scholastic doctrine and the original form of the former Church, will nevertheless receive consecration and canon jurisdiction from Rome."
Divine Providence Condemns Vatican II in
Pope Pius II already condemned Vatican II 500 years before it happened. In 1458, his decree Execrabilis condemned anyone who would presume to call a Council to alter any Catholic dogmatic teaching. Vatican II was taught to be true and therefore taught to be infallible. Regardless of Paul VI's statement at his general audience on January 12, 1966, explained: "In view of the pastoral nature of the Council it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas, endowed with the note of infallibility." No Council has any infallibility unless its definitions are confirmed by the Pope and Paul the VI signed on all the documents of Vatican II. His statement was to confuse the faithful, and also it was a loop hole for him to avoid the condemnation of Pius II ???
John Paul II has said that his mission is to implement the belief and thinking of the 2nd Vatican Council. On May 30, 1986 John Paul II said: "For me having had the special grace of participating and actively playing a part in its progress - Vatican II has always been and still is, in a special way, a constant point of reference in all my pastoral work; whereby I have made a conscious effort to carry out its directives by faithfully and concretely applying them to each Church and all the Church."
JPII Thinks Atheism Should Be Studied!
What participation did Karol Wojtyla engage in during Vatican II? Msgr. Wojtyla (JPII) emphasized during a debate of the Second Vatican Council on Religious Liberty, September 22, 1965, that "A dialogue of believers and unbelievers can take place."
Only six days later, he gave a speech to the Council Fathers saying that "Atheism should be studied." The actual statement of Msgr. Wojtyla (JPII) was: Atheism should be studied . . . not as a negation of God, but more a state of human conscience . . ."
JPII Arming the UN
John Paul II said on May 8, 1995: The 50th anniversary of the United Nations, being celebrated this year, should be an occasion for consolidating the international community's commitment to the service of peace. For this to happen, the United Nations Organization will have to be granted the instruments which it needs in order to carry out its mission effectively."
JPII promoting the Masonic Credo
In a French airport, in 1980, John Paul II said: "We know the place that the ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity hold in your culture and in your history. Basically, these are Christian ideas."
When he was in Turkey, John Paul II said: "The faith in God that was professed by the spiritual descendants of Abraham, Christians, Moslems, and Jews . . . is an assured foundation for the dignity, fraternity and liberty of men."
JPII and the Worship of Man
In his General Audience on September 15, 1982, John Paul II said: "Jerusalem must become the city of man, in which the believers of the three great monotheistic religions - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam - live in full liberty and equality, as do the believers of other religious communities, in the recognized guarantee that this city is the sacred patrimony of all, and is destined for the adoration of the One God, of meditation and the work of fraternity."
John Paul II in Redemptor Hominis said: "For the Church, all ways lead to Man . . . Man is the primary route that the Church must travel; he is the primary and fundamental way."
Traditional Catholics Persecuted, Heretics
In the Vatican II Church, the only priests or bishops to be excommunicated are those who support Church tradition. Priests like Charles Curran and Edward Schillebeeckx, who have rejected one or more Dogmas of the Faith are not suspended as priests. These heretics can still say "Mass", preach homilies and publish books; yet, no modern "bishops", no matter how heretical, are ever excommunicated!
On many occasions John Paul II has exhorted the Catholic Church hierarchy and faithful to recognize and ask forgiveness for error its members have made in the past. This has included John Paul II apologizing for the Inquisition, the mistreatment of Galileo, the Crusades and many other actions of the Church.
JPII says that Homosexuals are in the
heart of the Church
John Paul II speaking about homosexuals said: "They are not outcasts, homosexuals like all people who suffer are in the heart of the Church."
Speaking about homosexuals, St. Bernardine of Siena said: "Someone who lived practicing the vice of sodomy will suffer more pains in hell than anyone else, because this is the worst sin that there is."
Homosexuality is one of the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. It has been condemned throughout the Old and New Testament.
JPII changing the Words of the Bible
John Paul II said: "Spouses be mutually subject to each other." The Bible says: "wives be subject to your husbands." JPII has also called for the "equality of spouses with regard to family rights.
JPII Calls the Reality of Damnation, "A
Interrogated on the existence of Hell during the course of an interview granted to the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori in 1994, John Paul II conceded that in the past, preaching on the Four Last Things has been of unquestionable benefit to souls. He concluded the discussion by saying that although the possibility of eternal damnation is affirmed without ambiguity in the Gospel, he wondered to what extent it really happened in the afterlife. Calling it "a great mystery." Pope Leo XIII said in Satis Cognitum: "He who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all Faith."
St. Louis DeMontfort said: "The heretics, all of whom are children of the devil and clearly bear the sign of God's reprobation, have a horror of the Hail Mary."
True Belief in Jesus Christ
St. Thomas said: "It is absurd for a heretic to say that he believes In Jesus Christ. To believe in a person is to give our full consent to his word and to all he teaches. True faith, therefore, is absolute belief in Jesus Christ and in all he taught. Hence, he who does not adhere to everything Jesus Christ has prescribed for our salvation does not have any more of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ than the pagans, Jews and Mohammedans."
JPII Supporting Feminism
Many people said John Paul II didn't approve of altar girls. The October 9, 1997, Wanderer reported: "At an audience at Castelgandolfo on Sept. 3rd, 1995, John Paul II said: 'Today I am appealing to the entire Church community to favor in every way women's participation in its internal life. In large part that participation would include simply implementing existing roles open to women, including the teaching of theology, approved forms of liturgical ministry, including service at the altar, pastoral and administrative Councils in various Church institutions, Curias, and Tribunals."
Jone Moral Theology, Chapter under the Rubrics Of The Mass, VI #2, states that "no woman or girl may serve Mass . . . In no case may the woman serve at the Altar; she may only answer prayers at a distance."
JPII Sees Hope in Rock N' Roll
"During his Tokyo visit in 1981, the pope was entertained by a rock quartet called the Dark Ducks. Very soon the Ducks realized that they had become a quintet. The pope had picked up a microphone and was singing with them." "Pope sees hope in rock 'n'roll - Chicago Tribune. Monsignor Domenico Siagalinini, a spokesman for the Eucharistic Congress said: 'The Pope's idea is to get closer to young people through pop music, which unfortunately for many years has been viewed with suspicion and indifference by the Church. The Church has to come to terms with the language of young people. We don't want to create a Catholic rock 'n' roll, but we do want to encourage a rock 'n' roll which expresses our values." The Pope invited Bob Dylan to perform at the closing Mass of Bologna's Eucharistic Congress, despite objection from Vatican critics, one of whom labeled Dylan a communist.
JPII at the Conclave of John Paul I
It has been said that "Wojtyla (JPII) always takes along some reading matter wherever he goes, and during those long periods of voting in the conclave he was calmly perusing a book of political theory by Karl Marx. When a fellow cardinal asked if he didn't feel it sacrilegious to read such an author in that sacred place, he answered with a good natured smile, "My conscience is clear."
Despite strict communist controls in Poland, John Paul II was able to attend every session of Vatican II. In fact, the communist government passed over electing five known communists to elect Karol Wojtyla (JPII) as Cardinal of Cracow, Poland. Even though John Paul II was a Catholic priest from a Communist country, he has never condemned Communism as such. Top communist officials come to visit him all the time. This could be one reason that he has refused to consecrate Russia, with all the Bishops, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This was the mandate that the Blessed Virgin laid down for world peace at Fatima.
John Paul II has met with thousands of world leaders over the last 25 years and hasn't converted one of them to Catholicism. Even if he did, the convert would not have embraced Catholicism, but the New Religion.
JPII, Promoting the One World Religion
The day following his election, John Paul II's speech ended: "Hopefully, thanks to a common effort, we might arrive finally at full communion with other Christians."
In Catechesi Tradendae on October 16, 1979, John Paul II said: "It is extremely important to give a correct and fair presentation of the other Churches and ecclesial communities, that the spirit of Christ does not refrain from using as means of salvation . . ."
St. Ambrose said: "Even heretics appear to possess Christ, for none of them denies the name of Christ. Still, anyone who does not confess everything that pertains to Christ does in fact deny Christ."
In his encyclical Ut Unum Sint in paragraph #47, John Paul II calls non-Catholics who have died for their protestant faiths "witnesses."
John Paul II on June 14, 1994, said in his address to the Consistory: "There are so many martyrs in the non-Catholic Churches, . . . too many to include in a contemporary perspective."
Speaking about non-Catholics, St. Cyprian said: "Those who were not willing to be at agreement in the Church of God, cannot remain with God; although given over to flames and fires, they burn, or thrown to wild beasts, they lay down their lives, there will not be (for them) that crown of faith, but the punishment of faithlessness, not a glorious result (of religious virtue), but the ruin of despair. Such a one can be slain, he cannot be crowned."
John Paul II on May 6, 1980: "Christ's mystical Body is not exclusively identified with the Catholic Church."
John Paul II's letter to the Bishops on "Communion" in 1992: "The one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church is present, in all its essential elements, in non-Catholic sects." In the same letter John Paul II said: "The Catholic Church is in communion with non-Catholic sects."
St. John Chrysostom said: "What excuse shall he have, what mercy can be hoped for, who corrupts the adorable and ineffable dogmas of our faith?"
JPII Meets Voodoo Chiefs and Prays with
In Cotonou, Africa, on February 4, 1993, chanting girls treated John Paul II to a "trance-inducing" voodoo dance at an unusual encounter between the leader of the world's Roman Catholics and Benin's (African city) top voodoo doctors.
John Paul II prayed with African Animists (devil worshippers) on August 8, 1985. John Paul II recalls the meeting: "The prayer meeting in the sanctuary at Lake Togo was particularly striking. There I prayed for the first time with animists." It has been stated that while in Togo he actually paid homage to the sacred snakes. Standing with a voodoo chief before a snake hut in the center of the town, John Paul II cast cucumber peelings on the ground in front of it's entrance. Moments later, a serpent slithered forth from it. The chief then turned to the Pope exclaiming that the reptile's appearance meant the snake god had favored his offering. (One Catholic writer pointed out correctly, "For John Paul II to actively take part in voodoo ceremonies, and at the same time pose as a Catholic and a Pope, is perilously near committing unforgivable sin."
St. Cyprian said: "Why bow to false gods? Why bow down your body before helpless images and molded clay? Why grovel in prostration like the serpent whom you worship? Why rush into the downfall of the devil, your companion? Worthily does God exert the lash of His stripes and scourges!"
JPII Listens to Paganism
On April 19, 1998, John Paul II concelebrated a "Mass." During his eucharistic prayer, 13 women from India offered incense and flowers in front of John Paul II. During his homily at this "mass" John Paul II said the following: "We would like to listen to what the spirit is saying to the Churches, so that they can proclaim Christ in the context of Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism and all those ways of thinking and living which were already rooted in Asia before the preaching of the Gospel arrived there."
St. Ignatius of Antioch said: "Some utterly worthless persons are in the habit of carrying around the name of Jesus Christ in wicked guile, while they continue to practice things unworthy of God and to hold opinions contrary to the doctrine of Christ, to their own destruction and to the destruction of those who give credit to them. These persons you must avoid as you would avoid wild animals."
JPII Calls Evolution More than a Theory!
John Paul II recently said: Evolution is "more than a theory." In The Boston Herald, p. 2, Friday, October 25, 1996: "In a message he sent to scientists who advise the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope proclaimed Charles Darwin's landmark ideas compatible with Christian faith and called them more than just a theory."
Pope Innocent IV said: "Those who have detected even by slight proof to have deviated from the doctrine of the Catholic religion ought to fall under the classification of heretic and under the sentences operating against heretics."
Undeniable, Overwhelming and Disturbing
John Paul II's "pontificate" has been the most fruitless, worthless, and destructive "pontificate" in history. The previous information proves that John Paul II is a blatant heretic and an enemy of the True Faith. Follow John Paul II and the Vatican II "reforms" at the risk of your eternal salvation.
Just in case you believe that Cardinal Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI), formerly the number two man in Rome and now claiming to be Pope, is any better, or that he's holding fast to tradition, keeping together the Church as Prefect for the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, look deeper into his writings as excerpted from his 1982 book, Principles of Catholic Theology:
· p. 141, "Luther's historical instinct is clearly proving itself right."
· p. 186, "The Resurrection cannot be a historical event in the same sense the Crucifixion is."
· p. 202, "The Catholic does not insist on the dissolution of the Protestant confession and the demolishing of their churches, but hopes rather that they will be strengthened in their confession and in their ecclesial reality."
· p. 335, "The impetus given by Teilhard de Chardin exerted wide influence. With daring vision it incorporated the historical movement of Christianity into the great cosmic process of evolution."
Who's in Schism?
The key question then becomes, can a Catholic fulfill his Sunday obligation by attending traditional chapels? Many people are being lied to, so that people will not attend the True Mass and find out about the True Faith. No, traditional chapels where the Real Mass is celebrated are not in schism.
A Model For Our Times
As many of you know, back in the 4th century of the Church, St. Athanasius was excommunicated by Pope Liberius. He signed an ambiguous semi-Arian formula and excommunicated St. Athanasius whose only crime was that he was trying to uphold the Traditional Faith in the face of an almost universal apostasy. St. Athanasius fulfilled his vocation as a Catholic Bishop to save souls and uphold the Traditional Faith. He even ordained priests in the dioceses of other Bishops.
The Church Supplies In the State of
The State of Necessity, as it is explained by jurists, is a state in which the necessary goods for natural or supernatural life are so threatened that one is morally compelled to break the law in order to save them. Canons 1323, 1324 says that you are allowed to break the law in a State of Necessity.
Subject to the Roman Pontiff
But what about Bull Unam Sanctum: "It is necessary for the salvation of every person to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." It is necessary for your salvation to be subject to the Pope, but only to the extent that the Pope is subject to God, because as St. Peter and the Apostles teach: "It is necessary to obey God rather than men." Also, remember that a man who teaches heresy is outside the Church and cannot be the Pope (or has lost his ability to be Pope).
St. Thomas Aquinas said: "Anyone should be subject of a lower power only in so far as it preserves the order established by a power higher than itself: but if it (the lower power) departs from the order of the higher power, then it is not right for anyone to be subjected to the lower power."
Pope Leo XIII said: "There is no reason why those who obey God rather than men should be accused of refusing obedience, for if the will of the rulers is opposed to the will and the Laws of God, these rules exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice; nor can their authority then be valid, when there is no justice."
To combat the forces of Satan, which are fueled by the Post Conciliar errors and false seers who claim to be from God, you must have a true devotion to Our Blessed Mother. Pray Her Rosary, wear Her Scapular, fulfill your state of life, stay in a state of grace, attend the True Mass and persevere in the True Faith. May Jesus Christ and His Most Holy Mother bless you and protect you in these last days.
 Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy, The Destruction
of the Christian Tradition, p. 74.
 Daniel Sonrise, Institute for Informed Conscience, P.O. Box 872, Capitola, CA. 95010, p. 72.
 Ibid, p. V
 Ibid, p. VI
 Ibid, p. 73
 Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy, The Destruction of the Christian Tradition, p. 247.
 Ibid., p. 257.
 Ibid., p. 153.
 The Raccolta, 1930, Benziger Bros., p. 314-315.
 From The Memoirs, St. John Bosco, Fr. Paul Trinchard, The Mass That Made Padre Pio (Maeta: P.O. Box 6012, Metairie, LA, 1997), p. 277.
 Rev. R. Gerald Culleton, The Reign of Antichrist, p. 130.
 Rama Coomaraswamy, The Destruction of the Christian Tradition, p. 84.
 Bishop Graber, St. Athanasius, pp. 64-65.
 NUBIUS, Secret Instructions on the Conquest of the Church, in Emmanuel Barbier, Les infiltrations masoniques dans l'Eglise, Paris/Brussels: Desclee de Brouwer, 1901, p. 5.
 Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy, The Destruction of the Christian Tradition, p. 133.
 Former Crying in the Wilderness Newsletter, #6
 St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, De Romano Pontifice, Book 11, Chapter 29.
 De Comparata Auctoritate Papae Et Concilii, Is Tradition Excommunicated?, (Angelus Press; 2918 Tracy Ave, Kansas City, Mo. 64109], p. 20.
 St. Thomas IIA-IIAE Q. 33a AD 2.
 Innocent III, De Consuetudine, quoted by Torquemada.
 Vatican II, Reform Council or Constitution of a New Church, by Anton Holzer, p. 343.
 Inside the Vatican, August/September 1996 (3050 Gap Knob Rd. New Hope, KY) p. 12.
 Fr. Anthony Cipolla, Thorns And Roses, Spring, 1997, pp. 1-8.
 Audio tape, Padre Pio, I Can Refuse No One, 1984.
 Patrick Henry Omlor, Questioning The Validity Of The Masses Using The New All-English Canon, (Athanasius Press, Reno, NV 89502), p. 87.
 Father Ricossa, Sacerdotium, Issue #15 (2899 East Big Beaver Rd, Troy, MI) p. 60.
 Fr. Paul Trinchard, Pray The Holy Mass (Maeta: P.O. Box 6012, Metairie, LA, 1997), p. 117.
 Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy, The Problems With The New Mass, (Rockford, IL, TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1990), p. 25.
 Denzinger, 1818.
 Declaration of the Theological Commission of March 6, 1964.
 Denzinger, 1792.
 Richard Jamison, "The Vacancy" (24222 Newhall Ave., Santa Clarita CA.)
 Liguorian, August 1990, p. 13.
 Most Asked Questions About The Society Of Saint Pius X (Angelus Press; 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City. MO), p. 4.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA 99207-9740), p. 93.
 Fr. Paul Trinchard, Sacraments Sacrileged (Maeta: P.O. Box 6012 Metairie, LA, 1997), p. 35.
 Denzinger 1105 / See Denzinger 1350 concerning the nature of a Papal Censure binding the faithful.
 The Pope in America, Louis Weber, Pres. Pub. International, Skokie, IL, p. 37.
 Solange Hertz, On the Contrary, (Veritas Press, Box 1704, Santa Monica, CA 90406), p. 83.
 Fr. Laux, Church History, (TAN Books P.O. Box 424, Rockford, IL), p. 69.
 Vincent: "Commonitoria" FOC p. 106-107ff.
 Patrick Pollock, A Conspiracy of Silence, (Catholic Traditions, P.O. BOX 285025, Boston, MA), p. 32.
 Angelus Magazine, October, 1997, 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City, MO)
 Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, p. 140.
 Sacerdotium, Issue #3 (2899 East Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI), p. 91.
 Fortes in Fide, (758 Lemay Ferry Rd., St. Louis, MO), p. 35.
 Fr. Louis Marie de Blignieres, John Paul II and Catholic Doctrine, p. 40.
 A speech to UNESCO, La. p. 87.
 Fr. Paul Trinchard, New Mass In Light Of The Old (Maeta: P.O. Box 6012, Metairie, LA, 1995), p. 162.
 Peter, Lovest Thou Me? (Angelus Press, 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City, MO), p. 147.
 Ibid, p. 146, La Croix of May 11, 1984.
 Denzinger, 2199.
 La Croix of Feb. 4, 1986.
 DC of March 16, 1986, p. 284-285, Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, p. 147.
 Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, p. 148.
 Ibid, p. 155, 156
 Solange Hertz, On the Contrary, (Veritas Press, Box 1704, Santa Monica, CA), p. 9.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church? (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA. 99207-9740), p. 268.
 Ibid, p. 269.
 Ut Unum Sint: 76, "Encyclical" of John Paul II: May 25, 1995
 Gerry Matatics, Something Rotten in Rome, 1995.
 Fr. Johannes Dormann, John Paul II's Theological Journey, Part II (Angelus Press, 2918 Tracy Ave. Kansas City, MO), p. 6.
 Inside the Vatican, December 1994 (3050 Gap Knob Rd., New Hope, KY), p. 14.
 Los Angeles Times, Sunday, April 17, 1994
 National Catholic Register, p. 6, June 21-27 1998
 Denzinger, 1715-1718.
 Are Today's Seminaries Catholic?, (Angelus Press; 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City, MO), p. 151.
 Ibid. p. 169.
 Human Life International, Special Report No. 131, p. 4, Thanksgiving, 1992, ISSN 0899-420X
 Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, p. 111.
 Rev. Heribert Jone, Moral Theology (The Neumann Press, Westminster, Maryland, 1962), p. 69.
 DC No. 1874, p. 510 (Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, p. 93)
 DC of May 4, 1986, p. 438 (Peter Lovest Thou Me?, p. 135)
 Sacerdotium, Issue #3 (2899 East Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI), p. 48.
 Denzinger, 712.
 Inside the Vatican, March/April, 1997 (3050 Gap Knob Rd., New Hope, KY), p. 47.
 Ibid. Nov. 1994 (3050 Gap Knob Rd., New Hope, KY), p. 44.
 Ibid. June/July 1995 (3050 Gap Knob Rd., New Hope, KY), p. 64.
 Columbia Magazine, The Pope's Childhood Friend (P.O. BOX 1670, New Hope, KY), p. 4.
 Sacerdotium, Issue #8 (2899 East Big Beaver Rd., Troy. MI), p. 76.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church? (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA. 99207-9740), p. 305.
 Fr. Paul Trinchard, New Mass In Light Of The Old (Maeta: P.O. Box 6012, Metairie, LA, 1995), p. 116.
 Peter Lovest Thou Me?, p. 124. DC of January 17, 1988, p. 85.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church? (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA. 99207-9740), p. 266.
 Atila Sinke Guimaraes, In the Murky Waters of Vatican II (Maeta: P.O. Box 6012, Metairie, LA, 1995), p. 211.
 Solange Hertz, On the Contrary, (Veritas Press; Box 1704, Santa Monica, CA 90406), p. 99.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church? (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA 99207-9740), p. 263.
 L'Osservatore Romano, November 14, 1983.
 Are Today's Seminaries Catholic?, (Angelus Press: 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City. MO), p. 139.
 L'Osservatore Romano, June 19, 1989, p. 8.
 The Angelus, 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City. MO, April, 1998
 Sacerdotium, Issue #1 (2899 East Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI), p. 108.
 Ibid. p. 109.
 National Geographic Magazine, October, 1983, p. 462.
 National Catholic Register, July 5-11, 1998, p. 6.
 Denzinger, 819.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church? (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA. 99207-9740), p. 23.
 Norman Richards, People of Destiny, Pope John XXIII, p. 70.
 The Council and the Future, 1966, C.J. Bucher Ltd., Lib. of Con. Card #66-2456467599.
 Solange Hertz, On the Contrary, (Veritas Press; Box 1704, Santa Monica, CA 90406), p. 155.
 Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy, The Destruction of the Christian Tradition, p. 84.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church? (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA. 99207-9740), p. 31.
 Patrick Pollock, A Conspiracy of Silence, (Catholic Traditions, P.O. Box 285025, Boston, MA), p. 7.
 The Council and the Future, 1966, C.J. Bucher Ltd., Lib. of Con. Card #66-2456467599, p. 7.
 Fr. James Wathen, Who Shall Ascend, (St. John the Baptist Priory, 3014 South Third St., Louisville, KY), p. 297.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church? (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA. 99207-9740), p. 104.
 Ibid. p. 105.
 Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy, The Problems With The New Mass, (Rockford, IL, TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., 1990), p. 22.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church? (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA. 99207-9740), p. 53.
 Solange Hertz, On the Contrary, (Veritas Press, Box 1704, Santa Monica, CA), p. 112, Decree On Religious Freedom, (Ch. I, Art. 2)
 Fr. Johannes Dormann, John Paul II's Theological Journey, Part II, (Angelus Press, 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City, MO), p. 53.
 The Council and the Future, 1966, C.J. Bucher Ltd., Lib. of Con. Card #66-2456467599, p. 231.
 Ibid. p. 295.
 Fr. Paul Trinchard, Faith, Hope and Charity (Maeta: P.O. Box 6012, Metairie, La, 1995), p. 57.
 Ontario Catholic News, Feb. 1990, p. 3.
 Patrick Pollock, A Conspiracy of Silence, (Catholic Traditions, P.O. Box 285025, Boston, MA), p. 122, v.2
 Most Asked Questions About The Society Of Saint Pius X (Angelus Press; 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City. MO), p. 34.
 Fr. Laux, Church History, (TAN Books, P.O. Box 424, Rockford, IL), p. 158.
 Most Asked Questions About The Society Of Saint Pius X (Angelus Press; 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City. MO), p. 37.
 From the Acts of the Holy See, 78, 1986, p. 1273: Speech of May 30, 1986; also quoted in The New Catechism Of The Catholic Church, p. 6.
 DC 1965, pp. 1798-9.
 DC 1965, p. 1888.
 Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, p. 41.
 L'Osservatore Romano, May 17, 1994, p. 2.
 DC June 15, 1980, p. 605.
 DC December 16, 1979, p. 105.
 Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, p. 199, 200; La Croix of September 17, 1982, p. 3.
 Fr. Paul Trinchard, Faith, Hope, and Charity (Maeta: P.O. Box 6012, Metairie, LA, 1995), p. 59.
 The Remnant, June 15, 1998 (2539 Morrison Ave., St. Paul, MN), p. 1.
 Houston Chronicle, September 11, 1987.
 Atila Sinke Guimaraes, In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, (Maeta: P.O. Box 6012, Metairie, LA, 1995), p. 364.
 Fr. Paul Trinchard, Understanding the Pope, 1997, audio.
 The Remnant, June 15, 1998, 2539 Morrison Ave., St. Paul, MN), p. 4.
 Solange Hertz, On the Contrary, (Veritas Press, Box 1704, Santa Monica, CA), p. 84.
 St. Louis DeMontfort, The Secret of the Rosary, (Montfort Pub., Bayshore, NY, 1995), p. 45.
 The Neumann Press, Westminster, Maryland, 1962), p. 386.
 Wilton Wynn, Keepers of the Keys, p. 64.
 People Magazine, Oct. 13, 1997
 Wilton Wynn, Keepers of the Keys, p. 39.
 Time, October 30, 1978, p. 97.
 What has Happened to the Catholic Church, (Mt. St. Michael Center; N. 8504 St. Michael Rd., Spokane, WA), p. 68.
 The Catholic, April, 1998 issue (313 South 17th St., Frederick, OK), p. 2.
 The Remnant, April 30, 1998, Vol. 31, #7, p. 9 (2539 Morrison Ave. St. Paul, MN)
 Denzinger, 247.
 L'Osservatore Romano, May 6, 1980.
 Letter to the Bishops on "Communion", 1992
 The Catholic, April 1998 issue (313 South 17th St., Frederick, OK), p. 2.
 John Weiskittel, Sacerdotium, Issue #8 (2899 East Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI), p. 28.
 Peter, Lovest Thou Me?, p. 154.
 John Weiskittel, Sacerdotium, Issue #8 (2899 East Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI), p. 63.
 Quoted in Select Writings of the Fathers.
 L'Osservatore Romano, April 22, 1998, p. 1, 2.
 Epistle to the Ephesians
 Solange Hertz, On the Contrary, (Veritas Press, Box 1704, Santa Monica, CA), p. 3.
 The Boston Herald, p. 2, Friday, October 25, 1996, by J.M. Lawerence
 The Registers of Innocent IV, Berger, Paris: 1881
 Is the Society of St. Pius X Schismatic?, (Angelus Press; 2918 Tracy Ave., Kansas City, MO)
 Eichmann-Morsdorf: Traite Du Droit Canonique; Cf. C. May, Notwehr, Widerstand, Notsand (Self-Defense, Resistance, Necessity), Vienne, Mediatrix-Verlag, 1984.
 Summa II-II, 104, 105.
Liberalism is a Sin
Englished And Adapted
The Spanish of Dr. Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany,
CONDE B. PALLEN, Ph.D., LL.D.
Few errors have so firmly entrenched themselves for so long a time as has the Error of Liberalism. Few sins have been so misunderstood as has been the Sin of Liberalism. In reprinting this timely book, first printed in English in 1899, we hope to enlighten Catholics as to the causes and effect of and remedies for Liberalism.
We dedicate this reprint to the Virgin Mother, Destroyer of all heresies.
San Diego Catholics for Better Libraries
P.O. Box 17034
San Diego, California 92117
Liberalism is a Sin
Englished And Adapted
The Spanish of Dr. Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany,
Conde' B. Pallen, Ph.D., LL.D.
St Louis, Mo. 1899
Published By B. Herder,
17 S. Broadway.
In 1886 there appeared in Spain a little work under the title El Liberalismo es Pecado: "Liberalism Is A Sin," by Don Felix Sarda y Salvany, a priest of Barcelona and editor of a journal called La Revista Popular. The book excited considerable commotion. It was vigorously assailed by the Liberals. A Spanish Bishop, of a Liberal turn, instigated an answer to Dr. Sarda's work by another Spanish priest. Both books were sent to Rome praying the Sacred Congregation of the Index to put Dr. Sarda's work under the ban. The following letter, under date January 10, 1887, from the Sacred Congregation itself, explains the result of its consideration of the two volumes:
Most Excellent Sir:
The Sacred Congregation of the Index has received the denunciation of the little work bearing the title "El Liberalismo es Pecade" by Don Fexix Sarda y Salvany, a priest of your diocese; the denunciation (pg. iii) was accompanied at the same time by another little work entitled "El Proceso del Integrismo," that is "a refutation of the errors contained in the little work El Liberalismo es Pecado." The author of the second work is D. de Pazos, a canon of the diocese of Vich.
Wherefore the Sacred Congregation has carefully examined both works, and decided as follows: In the first not only is nothing found contrary to sound doctrine, but its author, D. Felix Sarda merits great praise for his exposition and defense of the sound doctrine therein set forth with solidity, order and lucidity, and without personal offense to anyone.
The same judgement, however, cannot be passed on the other work by D. de Pazos, for in matter it needs corrections. Moreover his injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against the person of D. Sarda, than against the latter's supposed errors.
Therefore the Sacred Congregation has commanded D. de Pazos, admonished by his own Bishop, to withdraw his book, as far as he can, from circulation, and in future, if any discussion of the subject should arise, to abstain from all expressions personally injurious, according to the precept of true Christian charity; and this all the more (iv) since Our Holy Father Leo XIII., while he urgently recommends castigation of error, neither desires nor approves expressions personally injurious, especially when directed against those who are eminent for their doctrine and their piety.
In communicating to you this order of the Sacred
Congregation of the Index, that you may be able to make it known to the
illustrious priest of your diocese, D. Sarda, for his peace of mind, I pray God
to grant you all happiness and prosperity and subscribe myself with great
Your most obedient servant,
Fr. Jerome Scheri, O.P.
Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Index.
To the Most Rev. Jacobo Catala et Alboso, Bishop of Barcelona.
The following short chapters on Liberalism are mainly and substantially Dr. Sarda's book, put into English, and adapted to our American conditions. Their need and their use will be best understood and appreciated by their perusal. (v)
Note: Numbers in parenthesis throughout the text are the page numbers of the original reprint in 1963.
I What Begets Liberalism 9
II. What Liberalism Is 16
III. Liberalism A Sin 22
IV. The Gravity Of The Sin Of Liberalism 27
V. The Degrees Of Liberalism 31
VI. Catholic Liberalism Or Liberal Catholicism 36
VII. Intrinsic Causes Of Liberal Catholicism 40
VIII. Shadow And Penumbra 46
IX. Two Kinds Of Liberalism 50
X. Liberalism Of All Shades Condemned By The Church 53
XI. The Solemn Condemnation Of Liberalism By The Syllabus 60
XII. Like Liberalism But Not Liberalism, Liberalism but not Like It 64
XIII. The Name Liberalism 69
XIII. Liberalism And FreeThought 76
XIV. Can A Liberal Be In Good Faith 80 (vii)
XV. The Symptoms Of Liberalism 86
XVI. Christian Prudence And Liberalism 92
XVII. Liberalism And Literature 97
XVIII. Charity And Liberalism 103
XIX. Polemical Charity And Liberalism 107
XX. Personal Polemics And Liberalism 115
XXI. A Liberal Objection To Ultramontane Methods 119
XXII. The "Civilta Cattolica's" Charity To Liberals 123
XXIII. A Liberal Sophism And The Church's Diplomacy 128
XXIV. How Catholics Fall Into Liberalism 133
XXV. Permanent Causes of Liberalism 137
XXVI. How To Avoid Liberalism 141
XXVII. How To Distinguish Catholic From Liberal Works 146
XXVIII. Liberalism And Journalism 151
XXIX. Can Catholics And Liberals Ever Unite 155
XXX. An Illusion Of Liberal Catholics 160
XXXI. Liberalism And Authority In Particular Cases 164
XXXII. Liberalism As It Is In This Country 170 (viii)
What Begets Liberalism
Physical science tells us that floating through the atmosphere are innumerable disease germs seeking a suitable nidus to settle and propagate; that we are constantly breathing these germs into the lungs; if the system be depleted or weakened the dangerous microbe takes up its abode with us, and, propagating its own kind with astonishing rapidity, undermines and ravages our health. The only safeguard against the encroachments of this insidious enemy, which we cannot escape, is a vigorous and health body with adequate powers of resistance to repel the invader.
It is equally true that we are subject to like infectious attacks in the spiritual order. Swarming into the atmosphere of our spiritual lives are innumerable deadly germs ever ready to fasten upon the depleted and weakened soul, and, propagating its leprous (9) contagion through every faculty, destroy the spiritual life. Against the menace of this everthreatening danger, whose advances we cannot avoid in our present circumstances, the everhealthy soul alone can be prepared. To escape the contagion the power of resistance must be equal to the emergencies of the attack, and that power will be in proportion to our spiritual health. To be prepared is to be armed; but to be prepared is not sufficient; we must posses the interior strength to throw off the germ. There must be no condition in the soul to make a suitable nidus for an enemy so insidious and so efficacious as to need only the slightest point of contact whence to spread its deadly contagion.
It is not only through the avenues of disordered passions that this spiritual disease may gain an entrance; it may make its inroad through the intellect, and this under a disguise often calculated to deceive the unwary and incautious. The Trojans admitted the enemy into their walls under the impression that they were actually securing a valuable acquisition to their safety, and today their fatal experience has come down to us in the proverb: "Beware of the Greeks when they bring gifts." Intellectual torpidity, inexperience, ignorance, indifference, complaisance, or even virtues (10) such as benevolence, generosity, and pity may be the unsuspecting way open the foe, and lo! We are surprised to find him in possession of the citadel.
That we may know our danger we must appreciate the possible shapes in which it may come. Here is just the difficulty; the uniform of the enemy is so various, changeable, sometimes even of our own colors, that if we rely upon the outward semblance alone we shall be more often deceived than certain of his identity. But before laying down any test by which we may distinguish friend from foe in a warfare so subtly fought within the precincts of our own souls, let us first reconnoiter the respective positions of either camp, and to best do this, we will consider the origin and sources of the danger which surrounds us, for we may be asked: Where is this foe described as so intangible as scarcely to be apprehended by ordinary mortals? Or it may be urged: Is the danger as proximate, as frequent, and fearful as you allege? Whence is it anyhow? Point it out! If we know from what direction the enemy comes, we may better appreciate the peril.
As we are addressing ourselves to those who live amidst the peculiar circumstances of our American life, and as the spiritual and moral conditions which obtain in this (11) country, make up the moral and spiritual atmosphere in which we have our being, it is in the relation of our surroundings to ourselves as well as ourselves to our surroundings, that we shall find the answer to our question. Let us then consider these surrounds in a general way for the moment. First as to some patent facts. The population of this country is at present something over sixty three millions (1890 census). Of these ten millions are Catholics, and according to their claim, twenty millions Protestants, leaving a population of thirtythree millions or more who do not profess any form of Christianity at all. Amongst the twenty million Protestants every shade and variety of belief in the Christian dispensation finds easy lodgment, from the belief in the Incarnation and Consubstantiation to the rejection of the Divinity of Christ altogether in the vacuous creed of Unitarianism. In this scale of heresy the adjustments of creeds are loose and easy. Lack of any decisive authority renders any exact standard of belief impossible. A Protestant may freely range from one end of the scale to the other and still be considered orthodox according to Protestant estimates. A lose, indefinite belief in Christ, either as God redeeming the world (12) or even as a great ethical teacher, not God Himself though sent by God, suffices to place the Protestant within the compass of his own standard of orthodoxy. Any specific expression of dogma or of particular truths, bound up in the acceptance of by any one sect or denomination, can find no authoritative exaction, for the differences between the sects, in the last resort, become mere differences of private opinion, dependent upon nothing but the caprice or choice of the individual.
Outside of these various bodies of loosely professed Christians, stands a still larger mass of our population who are either absolutely indifferent to Christianity as a creed or positively reject it. In practice the distinction is of little moment whether they hold themselves merely indifferent or positively hostile. In other words we have here to reckon with a body, to all practical purposes, infidel. This mass comprises over half of our population, holding itself aloof from Christianity, and in some instances virulently antagonizing it. In distinctly religious opposition to this mass of infidelity and to Protestantism, Catholics find themselves sharply and radically opposed. Heresy and infidelity are irreconcilable with Catholicity. "Who is not with me is (13) against me are the words of Our Lord Himself, for denial of Catholic truth is the radical and common element of both heresy and infidelity. The difference between them is merely a matter of degree. One denies less, the other more. Protestantism with its sliding scale of creeds is simply an inclined plane into the abyss of positive unbelief. It is always virtual infidelity, its final outcome open infidelity, as the thirtythree millions of unbelievers in this country stand witness.
We live in the midst of this religious anarchy. Fiftythree millions of our population is antiCatholic. From this mass, heretical and infidel, exhales an atmosphere filled with germs poisonous and fatal to Catholic life, if permitted to take root in the Catholic heart. The mere force of gravitation, which the larger mass ever exercises upon the smaller, is a power which the most energetic vigor alone can resist. A deadly inertia under this dangerous influence is apt to creep over the souls of the incautious and is only to be overcome by the liveliest exercise of Catholic faith. To live amidst an heretical and infidel population without enervation requires a robust religious constitution. And to this danger we are daily exposed, ever coming into contact in a thousand ways, in almost every (14) relation of life, with anti Catholic thought and customs. But outside of this spiritual inertia, a danger rather passive than active in its influence, our nonCatholic surroundings beget a still greater menace.
It is natural that Protestantism and infidelity should find public expression. What our sixty million nonCatholic population think in these matters naturally seeks and finds open expression. They have their organs and their literature, where we find their current opinions publicly uttered. Their views upon religion, morality, politics, the constitution of society are perpetually marshaled before us. In the pulpit and the press they are reiterated day after day. In magazine and newspaper they constantly speak from every line. Our literature is permeated and saturated with nonCatholic dogmatism. On all sides do we find this opposing spirit. We cannot escape from it. It enfolds and embraces us. Its breath is perpetually in our faces. It enters in by eye and ear. It enswathes us in its offensive garments from birth to death. It now soothes and flatters; now hates and curses, now threatens and now praises. But it is most dangerous when it comes to us under the form of "liberality." It is especially powerful for seduction in this guise. It is under this aspect we wish (15) to consider it. For it is as Liberalism that Protestantism and Infidelity make their most devastating inroads upon the domain of the Faith.
Out of these unCatholic and antiCatholic conditions, thus predominating amongst us, springs this monster of our times, Liberalism.
What Liberalism Is.
Protestantism naturally begets toleration of error. Rejecting the principle of authority in religion, it has neither criterion nor definition of faith. On the principle that every individual or sect may interpret the deposit of revelation according to the dictates of private judgement, it gives birth to endless differences and contradictions. Impelled by the law of its own impotence, through lack of any decisive voice of authority in matters of faith, it is forced to recognize as valid and orthodox any belief that springs from the exercise of private judgement. Therefore does it finally arrive, by force of its own premises, at the conclusion that one creed is as good as another; it then seeks to (16) shelter its inconsistency under the false plea of liberty of conscience. Belief is not imposed by a legitimately and divinely constituted authority, but springs directly and freely from the unrestricted exercise of the individual's reason or caprice upon the subjectmatter of revelation. The individual or sect interprets as it pleases, rejecting or accepting what it chooses. This is popularly called liberty of conscience. Accepting this principle, Infidelity on the same plea rejects all revelation, and Protestantism, which handed over the premise, is powerless to protest against the conclusion; for it is clear that one, who under the plea of rational liberty has the right to repudiate any part of revelation that may displease him, can not logically quarrel with one, who on the same ground repudiates the whole. If one creed is as good as another on the plea of rational liberty, on the same plea no creed is as good as any. Taking the field with this fatal weapon of Rationalism, Infidelity has stormed and taken the very citadel of Protestantism helpless against the foe of its own making.
We find as a result amongst the people of this country (excepting Catholics of course) that authoritative and positive religion has met with utter disaster, and religious beliefs or unbelief's have come to be (17) mere matters of opinion, wherein there are always essential differences, each one free to make or unmake his own creed or no creed.
Such is the mainspring of the heresy constantly dinned into our ears, flooding our current literature and our press. It is against this that we have to be perpetually vigilant. The more so as it insidiously attacks us on the grounds of a false charity and in the name of a false liberty. Nor does it appeal only to us on the ground of religious toleration.
The principle ramifies in many directions, striking root into our domestic, civil, and political life, whose vigor and health depend upon the nourishing and sustaining power of religion. For religion is the bond which unites us to God, the source and end of all good, and Infidelity, whether virtual as in Protestantism or explicit as in Agnosticism, severs the bond which binds men to God, and seeks to build human society on foundations of man's absolute independence. Hence we find Liberalism laying down as the basis of its propaganda the following principles:
XXXIII. The absolute sovereignty of the individual in his entire independence of God and God's authority.
XXXIV. The absolute sovereignty of society in its entire independence of everything which does not proceed from itself. (18)
XXXV. Absolute civil sovereignty in the implied right of the people to make their own laws in entire independence and utter disregard of any other criterion than the popular will expressed at the polls and in parliamentary majorities.
XXXVI.Absolute freedom of thought in politics, morals, or in religion. The unrestrained liberty of the press. Such are the radical principles of Liberalism. In the assumption of the absolute sovereignty of the individual, that is, his entire independence of God, we find the common source of all the others. To express them all in one term in the order of ideas, they are RATIONALISM or the doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of human reason. Here human reason is made the measure and sum of truth. Hence we have individual, social and political Rationalism, the corrupt fountain head of liberal principles: absolute freedom of worship, the supremacy of the State, secular education repudiating any connection with religion, marriage sanctioned and legitimatized by the State alone, etc.; in one word, which synthesizes all, SECULARIZATION, which denies religion any active intervention in the concerns of public and of private life (19) whether it orate or assassinate; whether it call itself Liberty or Government or the State or Humanity or Reason, or what not, its fundamental characteristic is an uncompromising opposition to the Church.
Liberalism is a world complete in itself; it has its maxims, its fashions, its art, its literature, its diplomacy, its laws, its conspiracies, its ambuscades. It is the world of Lucifer, disguised in our times under the name of Liberalism, in radical opposition and in perpetual warfare against that society composed of the Children of God, the Church of Jesus Christ.
Liberalism a Sin.
Liberalism, whether in the doctrinal or practical order, is a sin. In the doctrinal order, it is heresy, and consequently a mortal sin against faith. In the practical order it is a sin against the commandments of God and of the Church, for it virtually transgresses all commandments. To be more precise: in the doctrinal order Liberalism strikes at the very foundations of faith; it is heresy radical and universal, because (22) within it are comprehended all heresies. In the practical order it is a radical and universal infraction of the divine law, since it sanctions and authorizes all infractions of that law.
Liberalism is a heresy in the doctrinal order, because heresy is the formal and obstinate denial of all Christian dogmas in general. It repudiates dogma altogether and substitutes opinion, whether that opinion be doctrinal or the negation of doctrine. Consequently it denies every doctrine in particular. If we were to examine in detail all the doctrines or dogmas which, within the range of Liberalism, have been denied, we would find every Christian dogma in one way or the other rejected, from the dogma of the Incarnation to that of Infallibility. None the less is Liberalism in itself dogmatic; and it is in the declaration of its own fundamental dogma, the absolute independence of the individual and the social reason, that it denies all Christian dogmas in general. Catholic dogma is the authoritative declaration of revealed truth, or a truth consequent upon revelation, by its infallibly constituted exponent. This logically implies the obedient acceptance of the dogma on the part of the individual and of society. Liberalism refuses to acknowledge this rational obedience and denies the authority. (23) It asserts the sovereignty of the individual and the social reason, and enthrones Rationalism in the seat of Authority. It knows no dogma except the dogma of selfassertion. Hence is it heresy fundamental and radical, the rebellion of the human intellect against God.
It follows, therefore, that Liberalism denies the absolute jurisdiction of Jesus Christ, who is God, over individuals and over society, and, by consequence, repudiates the jurisdiction which God has delegated to the visible head of the Church over each and all of the faithful, whatever their condition or rank in life. It moreover denies the necessity of divine revelation and obligation of every one to accept that revelation under pain of eternal perdition. It denies the formal motive for faith, viz., the authority of God revealing, and admits only as much of revealed doctrine as it chooses or comprehends within its own narrow capacity. It denies the infallible magistracy of the Church and of the Pope, and consequently all the doctrines defined and taught by this divine authority. In short it sets itself up as the measure and rule of faith, and so really shuts out revelation altogether. It denies everything which it itself does not proclaim. It negates everything which it itself does not 24) affirm. But not being able to affirm any truth beyond its own reach, it denies the possibility of any truth which it does not comprehend. The revelation of truth above human reason it, therefore, debars at the outset. The divinity of Jesus Christ is beyond its horoscope. The Church is outside its comprehension. The submission of human reason to the Word of Christ or its divinely constituted exponent is to it intolerable. It is, therefore, the radical and universal denial of all divine truth and Christian dogma, the primal type of all heresy, and the supreme rebellion against the authority of God and His Church. With Lucifer its maxim is: "I will not serve."
Such is the general negation uttered by Liberalism. From this radical denial of revealed truth in general, naturally follows the denial of particular dogmas in whole or in part, as circumstances present them in opposition to its rationalistic judgement. Thus, for instance, it denies the validity of faith by baptism, when it admits or supposes the equality of any or all religious cults; it denies the sanctity of marriage, when it sanctions socalled civil marriages; it denies the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, when it refuses to accept as laws his official commands and teachings, and (25) subjects them to the scrutiny of its own intellect, not to assure itself of their authenticity, as is legitimate, but to sit in defiant judgement upon their contents.
When we come to the practical order, Liberalism is radical immorality. Morality requires a standard and a guide to rational action; it postulates a hierarchy of ends, and, therefore, order, within whose series there is a subordination of means to the attainment of an ultimate purpose. It therefore requires a principle or fundamental rule of all action, by which the subject of moral acts, the rational creature, determines his course and guides himself to the attainment of his end. In the moral order the Eternal Reason alone can be that principle or fundamental rule of action, and this Eternal Reason is God. In the moral order the created reason, with power to determine its course, must guide itself by the light of the Uncreated Reason, who is the beginning and end of all things. The law, therefore, imposed by the Eternal Reason upon the creature, must be the principle or rule of morality. Hence obedience and submission in the moral order is an absolute requisite of morality. But Liberalism has proclaimed the absurd principle of the absolute sovereignty of human reason; it denies any reason beyond itself and asserts its (26) independence in the order of knowledge, and hence in the order of action or morality. Here we have morality without law, without order, freedom to do what one pleases, or what comes to the same thing, morality which is not morality, for morality implies the idea not only of direction, but also essentially demands that of restraint and limitation under the control of law. Liberalism in the order of action is license, recognizing no principle or rule beyond itself.
We may then say of Liberalism: in the order of ideas it is absolute error; in the order of facts it is absolute disorder. It is therefore, in both cases a very grievous and deadly sin, for sin is rebellion against God in thought or in deed, the enthronement of the creature in the place of the Creator.
The Gravity Of The Sin Of Liberalism.
Liberalism is a mortal sin. But Catholic theology teaches us that all sins are not equally grave, that there is even a distinction of degree in venial sins. There are also degrees in the category of mortal sin, (27) just as there are in the category of meritorious works. The gravity of sin is determined by the object at which it strikes. Blasphemy, for instance, which directly attacks God Himself, is a sin of much graver character than theft, which directly attacks man. With the exception of formal hate against God, which constitutes the deadliest of all sins and of which the creature is rarely culpable unless he be in Hell, the gravest of all sins are those against faith. The reason is evident. Faith is the foundation of the supernatural order, and sin is sin in so far as it attacks this supernatural order at this or the other point; hence that is the greatest sin which attacks this order at its very foundations. To destroy the foundations is to destroy the entire superstructure. To cut off the branch of a tree will not kill it; but to lay the ax to the trunk or the roots is fatal to its life. Henceforth it bears neither blossom nor fruit. St. Augustine, Cited by St. Thomas, characterizes sin against faith in these words: Hoc est peccatum quo tenentur cuncta peccata. "This the sin which comprehends all other sins."
The Angel of the Schools expresses himself with his usual clearness on this point: "The gravity of sin is determined by the interval which it places between man and (28) God; now sin against faith, divides man from God as far as possible, since it deprives him of the true knowledge of God; it therefore follows that sin against faith is the greatest of all sins."
When sin against faith is simply a culpable privation of the knowledge of God, it has not the same gravity as a direct and formal attack upon dogmas expressly defined by revelation. In this latter case sin against faith, so grave in itself, acquires that degree of gravity which constitutes heresy. It then contains all the malice of infidelity, and becomes an express protestation against the teachings of faith or an express adhesion to a teaching which is condemned as false and erroneous by the faith itself. Besides the deadly sin against faith itself, it is accompanied by hardness of heart, obstinacy, and the proud preference for one's own reason over the reason of God Himself.
Hence heretical doctrines, and works inspired by them, constitute the greatest of all sins with the exception of the formal hate against God, of which only the demons in hell and the damned are capable. Liberalism then, which is heresy, and all the works of Liberalism, which are heretical works, are the gravest sins known in the code of the Christian law. (29)
Liberalism is, therefore, a greater sin than blasphemy, theft, adultery, homicide, or any other violation of the law of God, save in such case as where one acts in good faith, in ignorance, or thoughtlessly.
It is true that modern naturalism does not so regard or understand the case. But the law of the Church in matters of morals and doctrine is unchangeable; it ordains today as it did yesterday, and heresy is always heresy no matter what the shape it takes. Appearances may be fair, and the devil may present himself as an Angel of light. The danger is the greater as the outward show is more seductive. Heresy has never been so insidious as under its present form of Liberalism. Its range is so wide that it touches upon every note in the scale, and finds an easy disguise in its protean facilities. But its most fatal shaft is in its plea for "liberty of mind." This in its own eyes is its cardinal virtue. "Intellectual freedom from dogmatism" is its boast, a boast in reality the mask of ignorance and pride. To meet such an enemy requires no ordinary courage guarded by a sleepless vigilance. When encountered it is obligatory upon the Catholic conscience to resist it with all the powers of the soul. Heresy and all its works are sins; Liberalism is the root of heresy, the tree of evil in whose branches (31) all the harpies of infidelity find ample shelter; it is today the evil of all evils.
The Degrees Of Liberalism.
As a system of doctrines Liberalism may be called a school; if we regard it as an organization of adepts for the purpose of spreading and propagating its doctrines, it may be called a sect; inasmuch as it is a group of men seeking the political enforcement of its doctrines, it may be called a party. But in whatever aspect we consider it, whether as a school or sect or party, it presents itself in various degrees or shades; yet none the less liberalism because variant; for with specific and logical unity there may be a multitudinous variety.
Now the unity of Liberalism is not positive but negative; it has no unity of its own; it is by virtue of its opposition to truth, which is essentially one, that Liberalism becomes accidentally one. As the visavis of truth it possesses the unity of opposition. The different degrees of its denial will constitute the degrees of its opposition, and so give us the varieties in (31) the negative unity of its denial. Denial is its unity in general, and this ranges through the entire realm of negation, the degree of denial being determined by the degree of truth denied. If men were absolutely logical and followed the premises which they lay down, to their ultimate conclusions, they would become angels or devils in working out the consequences according to the goodness or badness of their first principles. But men are not always logical; they often stop short of the consequences logically flowing from the premises preceding. We, therefore, as a rule, see the good only half good and the bad not altogether bad. Hence we find few outandout Liberals. Not many go the full length of their principles. They are nevertheless true Liberals, that is, veritable disciples, partisans or followers of Liberalism, ranging themselves under the banner either as a school, sect, or party.
There are Liberals who accept its principles, but reject the consequences, at least those most repugnant or extreme. For instance, there are men who believe that the Catholic Church is the great enemy of modern progress, the one great object in the way of the triumph of their principles. Why not then openly persecute the Church, and endeavor to wipe her from off the face of (32) the earth as Nero or a Domitian sought to do? No; they would not go to this extreme, although it is the practical consequence of their premise. Or again, if they shrink from the terrors of bloodshed and the horrors of assassination, why do they not close our Catholic Schools, the nurseries of the faith? To permit the existence of these schools is to allow the active and rapid propagation of the faith. If Catholicity be the evil they affirm it to be, would they not be perfectly logical in nipping it in the bud, that is, in the school room? But no, they would not go so far. Yet the suppression of the Catholic parochial school is the surest means to strangle the faith in our midst. Why should there be any compunction in rooting out the greatest evil, in their estimation, which afflicts our age, the one great dike against the flood of human "liberties", now rising almost to the level of the opposing barrier? It is because these Liberals are inconsequential; they shrink from the logic of conclusions.
Again, there are Liberals who accept such and such conclusions or their application, but scrupulously repudiate the principles whence they flow. They believe, for instance, in absolutely secularizing education, and yet reject the doctrine of atheism, which is the only soil congenial to its (33) growth. They applaud the result, while they repudiate the cause.
Some would apply Liberalism only to education; others only to the civil order, and others still, only to political life.
It is the most advanced alone who seek to apply it to everything and for every thing. The attenuations and mutilations of the liberal Credo are as many as the interests advanced or balked by its application. It is generally supposed that men think with their heads; but their intelligence often has less to do with it than their hearts, and not infrequently their stomachs determine their conclusions. Liberalism is thus often measured out by the dose according to the taste of the consumer, as liquors are to drinkers according to the appetite of each. This one, in comparison to his more advanced neighbor, who appears to him a brutal demagogue, is no Liberal at all, while his less advanced neighbor is, in his eyes, an outandout reactionary, rooted in a stagnant past. It is simply a question of degree, whose grades slide variously along the liberal scale, some nearer some farther from the abyss. From the Baptized or even surpliced Liberal, who boasts his breadth of mind in his easy toleration of error, to the avowed atheist who hurls his open defiance against God, the difference is only one of (34) degree. One simply stands on a higher rung of the same ladder than the other. Observe when pushed to the wall, how all alike claim the same denomination of liberal. They may even regard each other with aversion, but all invoke the same appellation as finally descriptive of each. Their common criterion is "liberality" and "independence of mind;" the degree of application will be measured by the individual disposition, the more or less in the matter depending upon the variety of elements in the makeup of the individual and his surroundings; selfinterest with one, temperament with another, education with a third impeding a too rapid gait on the road to absolute Liberalism; human respect may moderate another, serving as a balance weight to his rashness; family or school or business relations may clog the footsteps of a fourth. A thousand and one things may serve as a break to a too accelerated descent, not to mention that satanic prudence which counsels a conservative advance in order not to alarm the timid. This last fashion of procedure often serves as a mask to the most advanced Liberals, who hide their designs under the appearance of a frank demagoguery. Sometimes Liberalism stalks along in the careless trappings of an easygoing good nature, or a (35) simplicity of character which invites our affection and allays our suspicion. Its very candor in this guise is an aggression difficult to resist. It does not appear responsible and excites our compassion before it has awakened our aversion. We seem to forgive it before we accuse it. But all the greater is the danger when it appears least possible.
Such are the various fashions of Liberalism. Its disguises are many, its degrees various. Withal, however, it is the same evil, though motley be its trappings. Liberalism is one, while Liberals, like bad wine, differ in color and taste.
Catholic Liberalism Or Liberal Catholicism.
Peace in war is an incongruity. Foes in the midst of battle cannot well be friends. Where the pressure of conflicting forces is intensest there is little opportunity of reconciliation. Yet this absurdity and contradiction we find in the odious and repulsive attempt to unite Liberalism with Catholicism. The monstrosity resulting is what is known as the Liberal Catholic or the (36) Catholic Liberal. Strange as it may seem, Catholics with good intentions have paid tribute to this absurdity and indulged the vain hope of peace with the eternal enemy.
This fatal error has its source in the vain and exaggerated desire of reconciling and harmonizing in peace doctrines utterly incompatible and hostile by their very nature.
Liberalism is the dogmatic affirmation of the absolute independence of the individual and of the social reason. Catholicity is the dogma of the absolute subjection of the individual and of the social order to the revealed law of God. One doctrine is the exact antithesis of the other. They are opposites in direct conflict. How is it possible to reconcile them? Opposition here necessarily means conflict, and the two can no more harmonize than the square can be made one with the circle.
To the promoters of Catholic Liberalism the thing appears easy enough. "It is admirable," they say, "for the individual reason to be subject to the law of God if it so wishes, but we must distinguish between the public and the private reason, especially in an age like ours. The modern State does not recognize God or the Church. In the conflict of different religious creeds the public reason must stand neutral and impartial. Hence the necessary independence (37) of the public reason. The State as State can have no religion. Let the simple citizen if he wishes, submit to the revelation of Jesus Christ, but the statesman and the man in public life must comport himself as if no revelation existed." Now all this means civil or social atheism. It means that society is independent of God, its Author; that while individuals may recognize their dependence on the divine law, civil society should not; a distinction whose sophism is founded on an intolerable contradiction.
It is clear that if the individual reason is obliged to submit to the law of God, the public and the social reason cannot logically escape the same duty without falling into an extravagant dualism, by virtue of which men would be forced to submit to the law of two contrary and opposed consciences. Privately men would have to be Christian, publicly men would have to be free to be atheistic. Furthermore the road is open to an odious tyranny; for if the public conscience were independent of the Christian law and ignored it, there would be no public recognition of the obligation to protect the Church by the civil arm in the exercise of her rights. Nay, more; the civil power would readily become the means of persecution, the rulers hostile to the Church, condemning divine law, could actually, under (38) cover of authority, legislate against Christianity. Nor is this a fanciful picture, for France and Italy, legislating today on the basis of the sovereign independence of the social and public reason have enacted odious laws which hold the Church in those countries in distressful legal bondage. And the Holy Father himself is now a prisoner within the walls of the Vatican on account of the violent usurpation of his domains by an atheist government. But the results of the fatal distinction does not stop with the functions of legislation and administration subjecting the Church to social and civil persecution; in modern times it has gone further still and extends its baneful influence to the school room, propagating itself by placing the education of youth under its dominating influence. It forms the conscience of youth not according to the divine law which acknowledges the will of God, but upon a premeditated and careful ignorance of that law. It is as secular education that it seizes upon the future and breeds atheism in the hearts of the coming generations.
The Catholic Liberalist or the Liberal Catholic admitting the fatal distinction between the private and the public reason, thus throws open the gates to the enemies of the faith, and, posing as a man of (39) intellect with generous and liberal views, stultifies reason by his gross offense against the principle of contradiction. He is thus both a traitor and a fool. Seeking to please the enemies of the faith he has betrayed his trust, the faith itself; imagining he is upholding the rights of reason, he surrenders it in the most abject way to the spirit of denial, the spirit of untruth. He has not the courage to withstand the derision of his cunning foe. To be called intolerant, illiberal, narrow, Ultramontane, reactionist, is gall and wormwood to his little soul. Under this epithetical fire he gives way and surrenders his birthright of faith and reason for a mess of Liberal pottage.
Intrinsic Causes Of Liberal Catholicism.
Strange as may seem that anomaly called Liberal Catholicism, its reason is not far to seek. It takes its root in a false conception of the nature of the act of faith. The Liberal Catholic assumes as the formal motive of the act of faith, not the infallible authority of God revealing supernatural truth, but his own reason deigning to accept (40) as true what appears rational to him according to the appreciation and measure of his own individual judgement. He subjects God's authority to the scrutiny of his reason, and not his reason to God's authority. He accepts revelation not on account of the infallible revealer, but because of the "infallible" receiver. With him the individual judgement is the rule of faith. He believes in the independence of reason. It is true he accepts the magisterium of the Church, yet he does not accept it as the sole authorized expounder of divine truth. He reserves, as a coefficient factor in the determination of that truth, his own private judgement. The true sense of revealed doctrine is not always certain, and human reason has something to say in the matter, as for instance, the limits of the Church's infallibility may be determined by human science. Within lines thus prescribed the declarations of the Church are infallible, but these limits are not to be determined by herself. Science will do that for her. She is of course infallible, they say, but we will determine when and in what she shall speak infallibility. Such is the absurdity which the Liberal Catholic falls into by placing the formal motive of faith in human reason.
The Liberal Catholic calls himself a (41) Catholic because he firmly believes Catholicity to be the veritable revelation of the Son of God; he calls himself a Liberal Catholic because he believes that no one can impose upon him any belief which his individual judgement does not measure as perfectly rational. What is not rational he rejects. He is intellectually free to accept or reject. What appears good he assents to, but he is intellectually bound to no one. Thus unwittingly he falls an easy victim to the snare set by the Devil for the intellectually proud. He has substituted the naturalistic principle of free examination for the supernatural principle of faith. As a consequence he is really not Christian, but pagan. He has no real supernatural faith, but only a simple human conviction. In the acceptance of the principle that the individual reason is thus free to believe or not to believe, Liberal Catholics are deluded into the notion that incredulity is a virtue rather than a vice. They fail to see in it an infirmity of the understanding, a voluntary blindness of the heart, and a consequent weakness of will. On the other hand they look upon the skeptical attitude as a legitimate condition wherein intellectual freedom is preserved, the skeptic remaining master of himself to believe or deny. They have a horror of any coercive element in matters of (42) faith; any chastisement of error shocks their tender susceptibilities, and they detest any Catholic legislation in the direction of what they are pleased to call intolerance. The Syllabus of Pius IX is a nightmare to them, a most inopportune, dominating, harsh and peremptory document, calculated to offend the sensibilities of the Protestant and modern world; it need not be accepted as an infallible utterance, and if accepted, must be taken in a very modified sense. The Ultramontane interpretation is violent and extreme, and does much more harm than good by driving back the well disposed at such a show of illiberality.
Close upon this squeamishness in regard to the pronouncement of Catholic doctrine, follows an abhorrence to antagonize the convictions of others, no matter how directly opposed to revealed truth, for with Liberal Catholics the most erroneous are as sacred as the truest convictions, being equally founded upon the principle of intellectual liberty. Thus they erect into a dogma what is called the principle of toleration. The differences of belief are, after all, they complacently argue, due to differences of temperament, education, etc.; we will not exactly approve them, but we should at least condone them.
The first conception of faith being (43) naturalistic, in the development and application of that conception either to the individual or to society, the same naturalistic element evolves itself. Hence it follows that the Liberal Catholic's appreciation of the Church has no foundation in its supernatural character. The Church does not address herself to his sympathies as a supernatural society whose first and supernatural end is the glory of God and the salvation of souls. It is on her social and human side that he regards her with affection. It is as the great civilizing, and humanizing power which has lifted so many people from a state of barbarism, the guardian of the ancient arts and letters, the promoter of learning that she wins his applause and approbation. She is first, not because she is first in herself by divine right, but first in virtue of the approval of his own great intellect. Under this false conception apologies have been written in our times, and with strange inconsistency the Church is often lauded as the great promoter and preserver of civilization in the past, while her regressive tendencies are deplored in the present; as if an institution, which alone by divine constitution has the perennial force of progress, could ever weaken or fail in her mission of human regeneration. Under the glamour of an advance towards the (44) mirage of a false happiness in the desert of this life, our Liberal Catholics are proclaiming the shadow while rejecting the substance. True progress, which can only be through an advance to God, can never be effected save through that agency divinely appointed to lead us to God. This the Church of Jesus Christ alone can do, for she, under His institution, is as He Himself, the way, the truth, and the life.
Forgetting the divine and supernatural character of the Church, and she is nothing if not divine and supernatural, Liberal Catholics talk and write about her as a simple human development, accepting in the blindness of their false conception the naturalistic definition of faith. They thus eviscerate the Church, making her the mere husk of what she really is.
Piety itself does not escape the action of this pernicious naturalistic principle; it converts it into pietism that is to say, into a parody of true piety, as is painfully seen in the pious practices of so many people who seek in their devotions only the sentimental emotions of which they themselves are able to be the source. They are devout over themselves, worshipping their own little sentiments and offering incense to idols graven after their own image. This is simply spiritual sensualism, and nothing else. (45) Thus we see in our day in so many souls the degeneration of Christian asceticism, which is the purification of the heart by the repression of the appetites, and the falsification of Christian mysticism, which is neither emotion, nor interior consolation, nor any other Epicurean foible of human sentiment, but union with God through a supernatural love for Him and through absolute submission to His holy will.
Therefore is it that the Catholicity of a great number of people in our times is a Liberal Catholicity, or, rather, a false Catholicity. It is rally not Catholicity, but mere naturalism, a pure rationalism; it is in a word paganism disguised in Catholic forms and using Catholic language.
Shadow And Penumbra.
When we retrospect the field of history in the vast stretch of time from the beginning of Christianity to our own day, the various heresies that have from time to time appeared, seem clearly and distinctly marked off from the environment of the orthodox faith. We seem to be able to (46) draw a geometrical line around about their respective areas, sharply dividing the camp of truth from that of error, separating the light from the darkness. But in this we are deceived; it is an illusion caused by distance. The distinction appears so clear, so definite only because we stand on the eminence of the present, from whose vantage ground we see, in large outline, the massed movements of peoples in the vast panorama of the past. A closer study, placing us in intellectual contact with these epochs, enables us to observe that never, in any period of history, were the dividing lines between truth and error defined with such geometrical exactness; not that truth in reality was not clearly and distinctly formulated in the definitions of the Church, but because in its acceptation and its exterior profession by the generations interested in these definitions, more or less confusion and looseness characterized their manner of taking them.
Error in society is like a stain upon some precious tissue. It is easily distinguished, but it is very difficult to define its limits. These limits are as indefinite as the twilight which merges the departing day into the coming night or the dawn which blends the shadows of the spent darkness with the newborn light. So do the limits between (47) error and truth in the actual affairs of men mingle in shadowy confusion. Error is a somber night; its limits fringe away from it like a huge penumbra, which is sometimes taken for the shadow itself, faintly brightened by some reflections of the dying light, or rather by the luminary yet enveloped and obscured by the first shades of evening.
So all error clearly formulated in Christian society is, as it were, surrounded by an atmosphere of the same error, but less dense, more rarefied and tempered. Arianism had its SemiArianism, Pelagianism its SemiPelagianism, Lutheranism has its SemiLutheranism, which is nothing else than Catholic Liberalism. This is what the Syllabus terms modern Liberalism, that is, Liberalism without the boldness of its unvarnished first principles and stripped of the horrors of its last consequences; it is the Liberalism of those who are still unwilling not to appear to be Catholics or at least not to believe themselves Catholics. Liberalism is the baneful twilight of the truth beginning to be obscured in their intelligence, or heresy which has not yet taken complete possession.
On the other hand we should not fail to (48) note that there are those who are just emerging from the darkness of error into the twilight of truth. This class has not fully penetrated into the domain of truth. That they will ever enter the city of light depends upon their own sincerity and honesty. If they earnestly desire to know the truth in its fullness and seek it with sincere purpose, God's grace will not fail them. But they are in a dangerous position. On the border land between the realms of light and darkness the Devil is most active and ingenious in detaining those who seem about to escape his snares, and spares nothing to retain in his service a great number of people who would truly detest his infernal machinations if they only perceived them. His method in the instance of persons infected with Liberalism is to suffer them to place one foot within the domain of truth provided they keep the other inside the camp of error. In this way they stand the victim of the Devil's deceit and their own folly. In this way those whose consciences are not yet entirely hardened, escape the salutary horrors of remorse; so the pusillanimous and the vacillating, who comprise the greater number of Liberals, avoid compromising themselves by pronouncing themselves openly and squarely; so the shrewd, calculating according to the measure of (49) expediency how much time they will spend in each camp, manage to show themselves the friends and allies of both; so a man is enabled to administer an official and recognized palliative to his failings, his weaknesses, and his blunders. It is the obscurity that rises from the indefiniteness of clearly defined principles of truth and error in the Liberalist's mind that makes him the easy victim of Satan. His boasted strength is the very source of his weakness. It is because he has no real solid knowledge of the principles of truth and error that he is so easily deluded into the belief of his own intellectual superiority. He and pride, cunningly played upon by Satan, are invariably drawing him.
Two Kinds Of Liberalism.
Philosophy and theology teach that there are two kinds of atheism, doctrinal or speculative, and practical. The first consists in an open and direct denial of the existence of God; the second consists in acting and living without denying the existence of (50) God, but yet as if He did not really exist. Those who profess the first are called theoretical or doctrinal atheists; those who live according to the second, practical atheists: the latter are the more numerous.
It is the same with Liberalism and Liberals. There are theoretical and practical Liberals. The first are the dogmatizers of the sect philosophers, the professors, the controversialists, the journalists. They teach Liberalism in books, in discourses, in articles, by argument or by authority, in conformity with a rationalistic criterion in disguised or open opposition to the criterion of the divine and supernatural revelation of Jesus Christ.
Practical Liberalists are by far in the greater majority. Like a flock of sheep, with closed eyes, they follow their leaders. They know nothing in truth of principles and systems, and, did they perceive the perversity of their instructors, would perhaps detest them. But, deceived by a false cry or shibboleth, they troop docilely after their false guides. They are none the less the hands that act, while the theorists are the heads that direct. Without them, Liberalism would never pass beyond the narrow bounds of speculation. It is the practical Liberalists that give it life and exterior movement. They constitute the first (51) matter of Liberalism, disposed to take any form, ready for any folly or absurdity proposed by the leaders.
Amongst Catholic Liberals many of them go to Mass, even make novenas, and yet when they come in contact with the world lead the lives of practical Liberals. They make it a rule "to live up to the times," as they call it. The Church they believe to be somewhat outofdate, an old fogy; that she is held back by a certain set of reactionaries, Ultramontane; but they have hopes that she will in the course of time catch up with the modern spirit of progress, of which they are the van. The barnacles of medievalism still encumber the bark of Peter, but time, they believe, will remedy this. The straw of medieval philosophy and theology they hope before long to thrash out by the introduction of the modern spirit into her schools. Then will a new theology be developed more in conformity with the needs of the times, more in harmony with the modern spirit which makes such large demands upon our "intellectual liberty." So they believe (or imagine they believe) that all is well. Is their responsibility before God, therefore, lessened? Assuredly not. They sin directly in the light of faith. They are less excusable than those Liberals who have never been within the pale of the Church. In short they sin with their eyes open.
Amongst Liberals we must not forget to include those who manage to evade any direct exposition or expression of the Liberal theory, but who never the less obliquely sustain it in their daily practice by writing and orating after the Liberal method, but recommending Liberal books and men, measuring and appreciating everything according to the Liberal criterion, and manifesting on every occasion that offers, an intense hatred for anything that tends to discredit or weaken their beloved Liberalism. Such is the conduct of those prudent journalists, whom it is difficult to apprehend in the flagrant advocacy of any proposition concretely Liberal, but who nevertheless in what they say and in what they do not say, never cease to labor for the propagation of this cunning heresy. Of all Liberal reptiles, these are the most venomous.
Liberalism Of All Shades Condemned By The Church.
Liberalism of every degree and all forms has been formally condemned; so much so (53) that outside of the motives of its intrinsic malice, it stands under the formal ban of the Church, which is sufficient for all faithful Catholics. It would be impossible for an error so widespread and so radical to escape condemnation.
Upon its appearance in France at the time of the Revolution, the famous Declaration of the Rights of Man, which contains in germ all the follies of Liberalism, was condemned by Pius VI. Later the baneful doctrine infected all the countries of Europe. In Spain it first took the name of Liberalism, under which it has since been known everywhere.
Upon the occasion of the appearance of the first errors of De Lamenais, Gregory XVI., in his Encyclical Marari Vos explicitly condemned Liberalism, as it was then understood, taught, and practiced by the constitutional governments of Europe. Later on, when the full tide of the deplorable deluge had submerged all Europe, carrying all before it, God raised up to His Church Pius IX., who has justly passed into history as the Scourge of Liberalism. Liberal error under all its forms, shapes, and shades has been unmasked by this Pope. That his words might carry, as it were, more authority on this question, Providence has willed that these reiterated condemnations (54) of Liberalism should fall from the lips of a Pontiff who, at the beginning of his pontificate, was hailed by Liberalists as their own. But he left no refuge to which their error might have resort. The numerous Briefs and Allocutions of Pius IX have clearly shown to Christian peoples what this baneful heresy is, and The Syllabus has put on the final seal of condemnation. Let us see the principal contents of some of the Pontifical documents. Amongst all that we might place before our readers, we will cite only a few.
On the 18th of June, 1871, responding to a deputation of French Catholics Pius IX spoke thus:
"Atheism in legislation, indifference in matters of religion and the pernicious maxims which go under the name of LiberalCatholicism are the true causes of the destruction of the States; they have been the ruin of France. Believe me: the evil I denounce is more terrible than the Revolution, more terrible even than The Commune. I have always condemned Liberal Catholicism and I will condemn it again forty times over if it be necessary."
In a Brief, 6th of March, 1873, addressed to the Circle of St. Ambrose of Milan, the Sovereign Pontiff thus expresses himself:
"People are not wanting who pretend to (55) form an alliance between light and darkness, and to associate justice with iniquity in favor of those doctrines called LiberalCatholicism, which based on the most pernicious principles, show themselves favorable to the intrusion of secular power upon the domain of spirituals; they lead their partisans to esteem, or, at least, to tolerate iniquitous laws, as if it were not written that no one can serve two masters. Those who thus conduct themselves, are more dangerous and more baneful than declared enemies, not only because, without being warned of it, perhaps even without being conscious of it, they second the projects of wicked men, but also because, keeping within certain limits, they show themselves with some appearance of probity and sound doctrine. They thus deceive the indiscreet friends of conciliation and seduce honest people, who would otherwise have strenuously combated a declared error."
In the Brief of the 8th of May of the same year speaking to the Confederation of the Catholic Circle of Belgium, the same Holy Father said:
"What we praise above all in your religious enterprise is the absolute aversion which, as we are informed, you show towards the principles of LiberalCatholicism and your intrepid determination to root them (56) out as soon as possible. In truth you will extirpate the fatal root of discord and you will efficaciously contribute to unite and strengthen the minds of all in so combating this insidious error, much more dangerous than an open enemy because it hides itself under the specious veil of zeal and of charity, and in so endeavoring to protect the people in general from its contaminating influence. Surely you who adhere with such complete submission to all decisions of this Apostolic Seat and who know its frequent reprobations of Liberal principles, have no need of these warnings."
In the Brief to the La Croix, a Belgium journal, on the 24th of May, 1874, the Pope thus expresses himself:
"We cannot do less than to praise the design expressed in this letter, which we know your journal will satisfactorily fulfill, the design to publish, to spread, to comment on and inculcate in all minds all that the Holy See teaches against the perverse or at least false doctrines professed in so many quarters, and particularly against LiberalCatholicism, bitterly striving to conciliate light with darkness and truth with error."
On the 9th of June, 1873, Pius IX wrote to the president of the Council of the Catholic Association of Orleans, and without (57) mentioning its name, depicts pietistic and moderated Liberalism in the following terms:
"Although you have not, strictly speaking, to combat impiety, are you not perhaps menaced on this side by as great dangers as those of the group of friends deceived by that ambiguous doctrine, which, while rejecting the last consequence of error, obstinately retains the germs, and which, not willing to embrace the truth in its fullness, and not daring to abandon it entirely, exhausts itself in interpreting the traditions and teachings of the Church by running them through the mold of its own private opinions."
In an address to the Bishop of Quimper, and speaking in reference to the general assembly of the Catholic Association of that diocese, the Pope said:
"Assuredly these associations are not wanting in the obedience due to the Church, neither on account of the writings nor the actions of those who pursue them with invectives and abuse; but they might be pushed into the slippery path of error by the force of those opinions called Liberal; opinions accepted by many Catholics who are otherwise honest and pious, and who, even by the very influence which gives them their piety, are easily captivated and induced (58) to profess the most pernicious maxims. Inculcate, therefore, Venerable Brother, in the minds of this Catholic assembly that, when we have so often rebuked the sectaries of these Liberal opinions, we have not had in view the declared enemies of the Church, whom it would have been idle to denounce, but rather that those, of whom we are speaking, are such as secretly guard the virus of Liberal Principles which they have imbibed with their mother's milk. They boldly inoculate this virus into the people's minds, as if it were not impregnated with a manifest malice, and as if it were as harmless to religion as they think. They thus propagate the seed of those troubles which have held the world in revolution so long. Let them avoid these ambuscades. Let them endeavor to direct their blows against this perfidious enemy, and certainly they will merit much from their religion and their country."
With these utterances from the mouth of the Vicar of Jesus Christ our friends as well as our enemies must see that the Pope has said in divers briefs, and particularly in the last citation, in a general way all that can be said on this question, which we are studying in its details. (59)
The Solemn Condemnation Of Liberalism By The Syllabus.
Liberalism has been condemned by the Pope in many and various documents. From these let us select a few epithets which stigmatize it with unsparing emphasis. They will bring out in striking relief the perfidious character of this cunning heresy. In his brief to Mgr. De Segur in regard to the latter's well known work "Hommage Aux Catholiques Liberaux" the Pope calls it a perfidious enemy; in his allocution to the Bishop of Nevers, the present real calamity; in his letter to the Catholic circle of St. Ambrose of Milan, a compact between injustice and iniquity; in the same document he speaks of it as more fatal and dangerous than a declared enemy; in his letter to the Bishop of Quimper, a hidden poison; in the brief to the Belgians, a crafty and insidious error; in another brief to Mgr. Gaume, a most pernicious pest. All these documents from which we quote may be found in full in Mgr. Segur's book "Hommage, etc."
But Liberalism is always strategically cunning. It rejected these very plain condemnations (60) on the ground that they had all been made to private persons; that they were, therefore, of an entirely private character, by no means ex cathedra, and, of course, not binding. Heresy is always sophistically obstinate; it clings to the least pretext, seeks every excuse to escape condemnation. Barricading itself behind these technical defenses, Liberalism practically defied the authority of the Church. Its perfidy was shortlived. A solemn official public document of a general character and universally promulgated would sweep away the cobwebs with which Liberal Catholics had endeavored to bind the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff. The Church could not refuse a formal and decisive word to relieve the anxiety of her children. That word was spoken; it was the Syllabus of December 8, 1864.
All faithful Catholics hailed it with an enthusiasm only equaled in intensity by the paroxysm of fury with which the Liberals received it. Liberal Catholics thought it more prudent to strike at it covertly by overwhelming it with artificial interpretations. The Liberals denounced it with unsparing bitterness; the Liberal Catholics whittled it away by all manner of emasculating explanations. It was a document fatal to both; they had reason to fear it, (61) the one execrating it, the other seeking with desperate subtlety to parry the blow, for the Syllabus is an official catalogue of the principal errors of the day in the form of concrete propositions placed under the formal ban of the Church. In it will be found, succinctly formulated, the various errors which are met with in the current literature of the times. The Syllabus crystallizes all these errors and stamps them with the seal of the explicit and formal condemnation of the Church. Here we have in detail all the Liberal dogmas. Although Liberalism may not be expressly named in any one of the propositions, most of its errors are there placed in pillory. From the condemnation of each of the Liberal errors results a condemnation of the whole system. Let us briefly enumerate them.
Condemnation of liberty of worship (propositions 15, 77, and 78); of the placet of governments (propositions 20 and 28); of the absolute supremacy of the State (proposition 38); of the secularization of public education (proposition 45, 40 and 48); of the absolute separation of Church and State (proposition 15); of the absolute right to legislate without regard to God (proposition 56); of the principle of nonintervention (proposition 62); of the right of insurrection (proposition 63); of civil (pg. 62) marriage (proposition 73 and others); of the liberty (license) of the press (proposition 79); of universal suffrage as the source of authority (proposition 60); of even the name of Liberalism (proposition 88).
There have been books, pamphlets, and articles innumerable written on the proper interpretation of the propositions of the syllabus. But the most authoritative interpretation ought to be that of its radical enemies, not of course in the absurdities of their misunderstandings or perversions, like Mr. Gladstone's unfortunate attempt to distort some of its propositions into a sanction of civil disloyalty, a position from which he has since withdrawn, we are glad to be able to say. But outside of such patent misconstructions we may rely upon the interpretation given by Liberals of all shades, especially in those points wherein we see them wince under its uncompromising phraseology. When Liberals regard it as their most detestable enemy, as the complete symbol of what they term Clericalism, Untramontanism and Reaction, we may rest assured that it has been well interpreted in that quarter. Satan, bad as he is, is not a fool, and sees clearly enough where the blow falls with most effect. Thus he has set the authority of his seal, which after god's is most reliable, on this great work, (63) the seal of his inextinguishable hate. Here is an instance in which we can believe the father of lies. What he most abhors and defames possesses an unimpeachable guaranty of its truth.
Like Liberalism But Not Liberalism, Liberalism But Not Like It.
To effect a confusion of ideas is an old scheme of the Devil. Not to understand clearly and precisely is generally the source of intellectual error. In time of schism and heresy, to cloud and distort the proper sense of words is a fruitful artifice of Satan, and it is as easy to lay snares for the intellectually proud as for the innocent. Every heresy in the Church bears testimony to Satan's success in deceiving the human intellect by obscuring and perverting the meaning of words. Arianism was a battle of words and owed its longcontinued success to its verbal chicanery. Pelagianism and Jansenism showed the same characteristic, and today Liberalism is as cunning and obscure as any of its heretical predecessors. (64)
For some, Liberalism consists in certain political forms; for others, in a certain tolerant and generous spirit opposed to despotism and tyranny; for others again it means simply civil equality; for many it becomes a vague and uncertain sentiment which shapes itself into opposition to all arbitrary government. Although already defined it will not be amiss to define Liberalism again.
In the first place no political form of any kind whatsoever, whether democratic or popular, is of itself (ex se) Liberalism. Forms are mere forms and nothing more. Forms of government do not constitute their essence. Their forms are but their accidents. Their essence consists in the civil authority by virtue of which they govern, whether that authority be in form republican, democratic, aristocratic, monarchical; it may be an elective, hereditary, mixed or absolute monarch. These various forms of themselves have nothing to do with Liberalism. Any one of the may be perfectly and integrally Catholic. If they accept beyond their own sovereignty the sovereignty of God, if they confess that they derive their authority from Him, if they submit themselves to the inviolable rule of the Christian law; if they hold for indisputable in their parliaments all that is defined by this law; if they acknowledge as the (65) basis of public right the supreme morality of the Church and her absolute right in all things within her own competency, they are truly Catholic governments, whatever be their form; and the most exacting Ultramontanism cannot reproach them.
History offers the repeated example of republican powers which have been fervently Catholic. Such was the aristocratic republic of Venice, such the merchant republic of Genoa, such in our day are certain Swiss Cantons; as examples of mixed monarchies truly Catholic, that of Catalognia and Aragon, the most democratic and at the same time the most Catholic of the Middle Ages; the ancient monarchy of Castile up to the advent of the House of Austria; the elective monarchy of Poland up to the time of the iniquitous dismemberment of that most religious realm. To believe that monarchies are of themselves (ex se) more religious than republics is an ignorant prejudice. The most scandalous example of persecution against Catholicity in modern time, have been given by monarchies, for instance by Russia and by Prussia.
A Government, whatever be its form, is Catholic, if its constitution, its legislation and its politics, are based on Catholic principles; it is Liberal if it bases its constitution, its legislation and its politics on (66) rationalistic principles. It is not the act of legislation by the king in a monarchy, by the people in a republic or by both in a mixed form of government, which constitutes the essential nature of its legislation or of its constitution. What constitutes this is whether it does or does not carry with it the immutable seal of the Faith, and whether it be or be not conformable with what the Christian law imposes upon States as well as individuals. Just as amongst individuals, a king in his purple, a noble with his escutcheon or a workman in his overalls can be truly Catholic, so States can be Catholic, whatever be the place assigned them in the scale of governmental forms. In consequence the fact of being Liberal or antiliberal has nothing whatever to do with the horror which every one ought to entertain for despotism and tyranny, nor with the desire of civil equality between all citizens; much less with the spirit of toleration and of generosity, which, in their proper acceptation, are Christian virtues. And yet all this in the language of certain people and certain journals is called Liberalism. Here we have an instance of a thing which has the appearance of Liberalism and which in reality is not Liberalism at all.
On the other hand there exists a thing which is really Liberalism, and yet has not (67) the appearance of Liberalism. Let us suppose an absolute monarchy like that of Russia, or of Turkey, or better still one of the conservative governments of our times, the most conservative imaginable; let us suppose that the constitution and the legislation of this monarchy or of this government is based upon the principle of the absolute and free will of the king or upon the equally unrestricted will of the conservative majority, in place of being based on the principles of Catholic right, on the indestructibility of the Faith, or upon a rigorous regard of the rights of the Church; then this monarchy and this conservative government would be thoroughly Liberal and antiCatholic. Whether the freethinker be a monarch with his responsible ministry, or a responsible minister with his legislative corps, as far as consequences are concerned, it is absolutely the same thing. In both cases their political conduct is in the direction of freethought and therefore it is Liberal. Whether or not it be the policy of such a government to place restraints upon the freedom of the press; whether, no matter under what pretext, it grinds its
We see then what care must be used in treating questions of this kind. It is of great importance above all that the terms of the discussion be carefully defined and that equivocations be studiously avoided which would favor error more than the truth.
The Name Liberalism.
May a good Catholic take the term Liberalism in good part and may he regard it creditable to be a Liberal? What harm, it may be urged, is there in the usage of these terms as long as there is no actual acceptance of the Liberal creed. Why should not Catholics use the terms with a (69) good sense injected into them? Let us see if there be validity in this claim.
It is certain that the word Liberalism signifies in the present age something not entirely in accord with true Catholicity. It cannot be said that we describe the situation in exaggerated terms. It must be admitted that in the current acceptation of the word, Liberalism and Catholic Liberalism have been explicitly condemned by Pius IX. Leaving aside for the moment those who pretend to profess a certain Liberalism without wishing it to be known as such, there is no doubt that the Liberalist current in Europe and America is antiCatholic and rationalistic. Pass the world in review; what is meant by the Liberal party in Belgium, in France, in Germany, in Holland, in Austria, in Italy, in the South American Republics? Are they not anticlerical, antiCatholic? What is meant by their current language when they speak of the Liberal criterion: a Liberal atmosphere, Liberal thought, etc.? Look at the leaders of these parties both in Europe and America; do not ninetynine per cent of them understand by Liberalism the application of a pure and mild rationalism, at least to social science? Do they not regard as their sole and most potent enemy what they contemptuously term Clericalism, Ultramontanism, and (70) describe the Church as medieval, reactionary, the opponent of progress and the nurse of superstition? When then the term is so intimately associated with a Rationalism so radically opposed to the Church, how may Catholics use it with any hope of separating it from its current meaning?
In vain may some half dozen people imagine that they have given a different signification to a thing currently understood to bear the unmistakable stamp of antiCatholicity. Beyond all dispute, common usage, the arbiter and judge of language, persists in regarding Liberalism as the implacable foe of Catholicity. In spite then of a thousand distinctions, exceptions and subtleties you cannot fashion for yourself alone a Liberalism which has nothing contrary to the Faith in the opinion of most people, nor can you call yourself Liberal in any sense without being classed with all the other Liberals of that great family of Liberalism such as the world understands it. The journal that seeks to be Catholic and at the same time has the name or reputation of Liberal becomes in the general opinion an ally of those who, under the Liberal banner, combat the Church in front and rear. Vainly will the editor of such a journal explain himself; his excuses and his explanations grow wearisome. To profess (71) to be Catholic and yet subscribe himself Liberal is not the way to convince people of the sincerity of his profession. The editor of a journal purporting to be Catholic must be Catholic not only in the profession he makes, but in spirit and in truth. To assume to be Liberal and then to endeavor to appear Catholic is to belie his faith; and although in his own heart he may imagine that he is as Catholic as the Pope (as several Liberals vaunt themselves), there is not the least doubt that his influence on current ideas and the march of events is thrown in favor of the enemy; and, in spite of himself, he becomes a satellite forced to move in the general orbit described by Liberalism.
And all this comes of a foolish desire to be estimated Liberal. Insane illusion! The usage of the word Liberal makes the Catholic, who accepts it as his own, one with all that finds shelter in its ominous shadow. Rationalism is the toadstool that flourishes in its dark shades, and with Rationalism does such a journalist identify himself, thus placing himself in the ranks of the enemies of Jesus Christ!
Moreover there is little doubt that the readers of such journals are little prepared to distinguish the subtle limitations drawn by editors of this character between Liberalism (73) and Liberalism. Most readers know the word in its common usage and class all things Liberal in a lump. When they see an ostensibly Catholic journal practically making common cause with the Liberal creed by sanctioning its name, they are easily led into the dangerous belief that Liberalism has some affinity with their faith, and, this once engrafted in their minds, they become ready adepts of Rationalism. Let us illustrate. There is in our day a sect which calls itself "The Old Catholics." Suppose that we who are in the true sense of the word an old Catholic, for our Catholicity dates from Calvary and the cenacle of Jerusalem, which are proofs of its antiquity, suppose we should establish a journal with the equivalent title: Review of the Old Catholics Could it be said that this title is a lie? No; for we are old Catholics in the best sense of the words. But could it not be properly objected that this is a false sounding title, in as much as it is in our day the cunning device of a schismatical sect? Certainly it would give occasion to well informed Catholics to believe that we were a schismatic and to the schismatics, who style themselves oldCatholics, occasion to welcome us as a new comrade in their rebellion against the Church. Why thus scandalize the faithful? But we use the (73) word in a good sense so be it; but would it not be much better to altogether avoid the use of a term in so important a matter, which, under existing circumstances, is readily interpreted in a bad sense?
Now this is exactly the situation with those who consider the term Liberal, reprobated by the Pope, inoffensive. Why should they take particular pains to employ a term requiring confusing explanations, and which cannot but excite suspicion and cause scandal? Why rank themselves, for the sake of a term, with the enemy, and carry his device if, at bottom, they are Catholic? But it may be said that words are of little importance why quibble in this way of the meaning of a term? We protest; words are of paramount importance, especially in our own day, when intellectual confusion so obscures fundamental truths in the modern mind. Words represent ideas. That is their value and their use. Modern error largely owes its success to its use of terms of an ambiguous character, or, rather, by injecting a meaning into its words which hitherto carried a different signification. Agnosticism and Positivism have thus retained a Christian phraseology without the Christian meaning. They speak of God and sanctity and holiness and duty and freedom, but they have eviscerated the Christian (74) meaning. Still these terms pass current in the public mind with their former meaning, and so halfdisguise the fatalism and paganism of the agnostic and positivist schools. Socialism has adopted the terms liberty, equality, and fraternity, as its watchwords, where in reality they mean revolution, destruction, and despotism. Yet it deceives the simple by thus disguising its real intent.
So has it always been. All heresies have begun in verbal disputes and ended in sanguinary conflicts of ideas. St. Paul exhorts Timothy to be on his guard not only against false science (oppositiones falsi nominis scientie) but also against profane novelties of words (profanas vocum novitates). What would the great apostle of the nations say if, today, he saw Catholics decorating themselves with the title of Liberal, when that term stands in such violent and open antithesis to all that is Catholic? It is not merely a question of words, but of what words represent. It is a question of truth and salvation. No; you cannot be a Liberal Catholic; incompatibles cannot be reconciled. You cannot assume this reprobated name although you may be able by subtle sophisms to discover some secret way of reconciling it with your faith. Christian charity will not defend you, (75) although you may repeatedly invoke it and would make it synonymous with the toleration of error. The first condition of charity is not to violate the truth, and charity cannot be the snare to surprise faith into the support of error. While we may admit the sincerity of those who are not Catholic, their error must always be held up to reprobation. We may pity them in their darkness, but we can never abet their error by ignoring it or tolerating it. Beyond dispute no Catholic can be consistently called Liberal.
Most, however, to be feared is not he who openly boasts his Liberalism, but who eschews the name and, vehemently denying it, is yet steeped to the lips in it and continually speaks and acts under its inspiration. And if such a man be a Catholic by profession all the more dangerous is he to the faith of others, for he is the hidden enemy sowing tares amidst the wheat.
Liberalism And FreeThought.
In our day the Catholic world, with as much justice as reason, attributes impiety to the quality of freethought, whether in a person, a journal or an institution. Freethinker is an odious epithet which few are willing to accept, but which many justly bear in spite of their protestations. They chafe under the appellation of the word, but find no inconvenience in being all that it implies. Persons, societies, books, governments which reject, in matters of faith and morals, the only and exclusive criterion of the Catholic Church are Liberals. They acknowledge themselves to be Liberals, they feel honored to be so recognized, and never dream of scandalizing anybody except us terrible irreconcilables.
Now change the expression; instead of Liberals call them freethinkers they resent the epithet as a calumny and grow indignant at the insult, as they term it. But why this excruciating tenderness, this delicate sensitiveness over the variations of a simple term? Have you not, dear friends, banished from your conscience, your books, your journal and your society all recognition of the supreme authority of the Church? Have you not raised up as sole and fundamental criterion of your conduct and your thought your own untrammeled reason?
Very properly then do you say that you are Liberal and no one will dispute the title with you. But you should remember that (77) the very principle, which makes you Liberal, constitutes you freethinkers. Every Liberal, no matter of what degree or shade, is ipso facto a freethinker, and every freethinker, as odious as the title may seem according to social conventionalities, is only a logical Liberal. He is simply a Liberal following his premises to their conclusions. This doctrine is as precise and as exact as a mathematical proposition. It is based on the laws of the strictest logic. It is a simple syllogism, whose premise is Liberalism and whose conclusion freethought.
Let us illustrate. You are a Catholic more or less open to false allurements and as a punishment for your sins, you belong to a Liberal society, say, of a literary character. Consider a moment and ask yourself the following question: Would I continue to belong to this Athenaeum, if tomorrow it should proclaim itself publicly and boldly a society of free thought? What response would your conscience and your shame dictate? Would you not at once withdraw from its membership? As a Catholic you could take no part in its proceedings.
Again; you subscribe for a journal, read it without scruple, although it bears a Liberal title and speaks and reasons accordingly. Would you continue your subscription (78) if all of a sudden it should place upon its title page the following heading: Journal of Free Thought. Well, this moderate or violent Liberal journal has been for years nothing more nor less than a free thinker, and you have been imbibing its poison under the delusion of a word.
Ah! Of how many prejudices would we rid ourselves if we only reflected a little on the meaning of words! Every society, whether scientific, literary or philanthropic, constituted on Liberal lines, is freethinking. Every government Liberally organized is freethinking. To reject with disgust the name and not the substance is blindness. Any institution, no matter what be its character, established in complete independence of the magisterium of the Faith, is freethinking. Catholics cannot consistently belong to them. Membership there means rebellion against the Church.
In all such institutions Liberalism reigns and, in consequence, freethought. No Catholic can remain a Catholic and affiliate with them. We are Catholics all in all or not at all. We cannot dwell in an atmosphere where God is not. There is no true spiritual life where Jesus Christ is not, and He has given His promise to be with His Church forever. Who abides not in Him, lives in the outer darkness. (79)
How much do perverse Catholics serve the Devil by obstinately clinging to such associations and participating in their works! In the folly of their ignorance, which they assert against the wisdom of the Church, they harden their consciences to the practical guidance of the Holy See and blindly enlist in the service of an enemy whose cunning deludes them into the slavery of Hell under the disguise of freedom! They forget that the truth alone makes them free. To know and serve God is the only freedom, and Liberalism completely severs the bond which links man to God. With a just and rational horror does a good Catholic regard Liberalism. Ultramontanism will never cause you to loose your soul; Liberalism is a broad road to the infernal abyss.
Can A Liberal Be In Good Faith?
Is there such a thing in rerum natura as a Liberal in good faith? In our day it seems almost impossible to reconcile Liberalism with good faith, which is the only thing that can give it the shadow of excuse. It cannot, however, be denied that, absolutely speaking, there may exist under peculiar (80) circumstances an exceptional case, but this will indeed be unique.
In the history of heresy we frequently find some individuals even many who in spite of themselves, are dragged into the torrent of error for no other reason than their supreme ignorance. But it must be admitted that, if ever an error has been deprived of any excuse on this score, that error is Liberalism as it exists today. Most heresies, which have rent the bosom of the Church, have attempted to disguise their errors under an exterior of affected piety. Jansenism, perhaps the most subtle of all heresies, won over a great number of adherents by its cunning simulation of sanctity. Its morals were rigid to the extreme; its dogmas formidable; the exterior conduct of its promoters ascetic and apparently enlightened. It wore the visage of a saint, while at heart it reeked with the corruption of pride. The majority of ancient heresies turned upon every subtle points of doctrine, which only the skilled theologian could discern, and upon which the ignorant multitude could give no judgement save such as they received in confidence from their leaders. By a very natural consequence, when the hierarchy of a diocese fell into error, most of his subordinates, clerics and laity, full of confidence in their pastor, fell with (81) him. This was all the easier owing to the difficulty of communication with Rome in ancient times, when the infallible voice of the Universal Pastor could not readily reach the flock in parts remote from the Chair of Peter. The diffusion of many ancient heresies, which were mostly purely theological, was nearly always due to this cause. Hence we find St. Jerome crying out in the fourth century: Ingemuit universus orbis se esse Arianum: "The whole world groaned to find itself Arian." This also explains how in the midst of great schisms and great heresies, such as the Greek schisms and Anglican heresies, there may be numbers of souls in whom the roots of the true faith are not dead, although in its exterior profession this faith may appear deformed and vicious. Such was the case in England for many years after the rebellion of Henry VIII., and such in some instances is the case in our own times; for the ready acceptance of the true faith by many English converts, of recent years, bears ample witness to the vitality of the faith in souls so grossly betrayed into heresy by apostate guides three centuries ago. Such souls united to the mystical body of the Church by Baptism, to its soul by interior sanctifying grace, are able to gain eternal salvation with ourselves. (82)
Can the same be said of Liberalism? Liberalism first presented itself under a political mask; but since its debut, this mask has become so transparent that blind indeed must be he, who cannot divine the perversity of such a miserable travesty. The veil of hypocrisy and pietism which some of its panegyrists first threw around it has been stripped off. The halo in which it was first depicted has shown itself to be not the soft light of heaven but the lurid glare of hell. It has gathered under its banner all the dregs of society, wherever corruption was its precursor and promoter.
The new doctrines, which it preached and which it wished to substitute for ancient truth, had nothing abstract nor metaphysical; it rejected everything but brutal facts, which betrayed it as the offspring of Satan and the enemy of mankind. The terrors of the French Revolution were the evidence of its origin as sprung from the corruptions of a society that had abandoned God and battened on the bestial results of Voltarian skepticism. No wonder it avoided the abstract and the metaphysical to revel in the atrociousdeeds of a bloody revolution which proclaimed the absolute sovereignty of man against his Creator and the Church.
If such were the horrors of the birth of Liberalism what must be said of its odious (83) development in our own day, when its infernal principles bask in the full light of the world's approbation? Never has an error been more severely castigated by the condemnation of the Church, never more accurately have those condemnations been borne out by the testimony of experience and history. When Protestantism is fast loosing its power, sinking into the abyss out of sheer impotence, Liberalism, even more formidable and more dangerous, fills the ranks of the decaying heresy with enemies still more resourceful, implacable and obstinate. Protestantism is now a dead dog; Liberalism a living lion going about seeking whom he may devour. Its dreadful doctrine is permeating society to the core; it has become the modern political creed and threatens us with a second revolution to turn the world once again over to paganism. Are there any good Catholics who do not believe this? Let them but read the signs of the times, not with the eyes of the world, but by the light of the faith, which Jesus Christ gave to them. "I am the way, the truth and the life," said our Divine Lord, "who follows me shall not walk in darkness." Who follows the Church follows Him, for He Himself said to the Apostles and their successors, "Who hears you, hears me." (84)
What then is the attitude of the Church towards Liberalism? Is not its entire hierarchy considered hostile to Liberalism? Does not Liberalism itself bear witness to this? What does the word Clericalism, with which the Liberals have honored those most energetically opposed to their doctrine, prove, if not that they regard the Church as their most implacable adversary? How do they look upon the Pope, upon the bishops, priests, religious of all kinds, on pious people and practical Catholics? Clericals, clericals always, that is, antiLiberals. How then can we expect to find good faith on the part of a Liberal Catholic when orthodoxy is so distinctly and completely opposed to Liberalism? Those who are capable of comprehending the principles of the question can readily satisfy themselves on its merits by its intrinsic reasons; those who cannot so comprehend have an extrinsic authority more than sufficient to form an accurate judgement for them, such as it should be in every good Christian in matters touching the faith. Light is not wanting; those who will, can see well enough; but alas! Insubordination, illegitimate interests and the desire to take and make things easy are abundantly at hand to prejudice and to blind. The seduction of Liberalism is not of the kind that blinds by a false light, but (85) rather the seduction, which, in sullying the heart, obscures the understanding. We may therefore justly believe, except perhaps with very rare exception, that it requires a very vigorous effort of charity to admit in our day, in accordance with true moral principles, the excuse of good faith in a Catholic who entertains Liberal principles.
The Symptoms Of Liberalism.
What are the signs or symptoms by which we may distinguish what is and what is not Liberalism in a person, journal, book or institution? We are surrounded by Liberalism in all its shapes and varieties, and it behooves us to be on our guard against its subtle dangers. To lay down special rules by which we may detect it in its shadings and minutiae is neither practical nor necessary. But some general directions may be given. Their application must be left to each one's proper discretion.
To facilitate the matter we will divide Liberals, whether persons or writings, into three classes: 1. Extreme Liberals; 2. Moderate Liberals; 3. Quasi Liberals or those only tainted with Liberalism.
We will essay a description of each of these types. The study of their physiognomy will not be without interest and profit; for in the types we shall find a rule for our guidance in distinguishing Liberalism in its practical details. The Extreme Liberal is easily recognized; he does not attempt to deny or conceal his perversity. He is the declared enemy of the Pope, of priests, of everything ecclesiastical; a thing has only to be sacred to rouse his implacable wrath; priestcraft is his favorite shibboleth. He subscribes for all the most violent and incendiary journals, the more impious and blasphemous the better to his liking. He is ready to go to the furthermost conclusions of his baneful system. His premise of destruction once laid down, his conclusion of nihilism is a mere matter of logic. He would put into practical execution with pleasure and exultation if circumstances permitted. He is a revolutionist, socialist, anarchist. He glories in living a life devoid of all religion. He belongs to secret societies, died in their embrace, and is buried by their ritual. He has always defied religion and dies in his defiance.
The moderate Liberal is just as bad as his extreme confrere; but he takes good care not to appear so. Social conventionalities and (87) good manners are every thing to him; the rest is of little importance. Provided his iniquity is kidgloved, it finds ready extenuation in his own mind. The niceties of polite society preserved, his liberalism knows no bounds. He would not burn a convent that would appear too brutal; but the convent once burned he has no scruple in seizing upon the outraged property. The cheap impiety of a penny paper grates on his wellbred nerves; the vulgar blasphemy of Ingersoll he deprecates; but let the same impiety and the same blasphemy appear in the columns of a socalled reputable journal or be couched in the silken phraseology of a Huxley in the name of science, and he applauds the polished sin. It is with him a question of manner not matter. At the mere mention of the name of a nihilistic or socialistic club he is thrown into a cold sweat, for there, he declares, the masses are seduced into principles which lead to the destruction of the foundations of society; yet, according to him, there is no danger, no inconvenience in a free lyceum where the same principles are elegantly debated and sympathetically applauded; for who could dare to condemn the scientific discussion of social problems? The moderate Liberal does not detest the Pope; he may even express admiration for (88) his sagacity; he only blames certain pretensions of the Roman Curia and certain exaggerations of Ultramontanism, which do not fall in with the trend of modern thought. He may even like priests, above all those who are enlightened, that is, such as have caught the twang of modern progress; as for fanatics and reactionaries he simply avoids or pities them. He may even go to Church and, stranger still, sometimes approach the sacraments; but his maxim is, in the Church to live as the world lives, according to the times in which one is born and not obstinately swim against the stream. He dies with the priest on one side, his infidel literature on the other and imagines that his Creator will applaud his breadth of mind.
The Catholic simply tainted with Liberalism is generally a good man and sincerely pious; he exhales nevertheless an odor of Liberalism in everything he says, writes or takes up. Like Madam de Sevigne he can say, "I am not the rose, but standing by it, I have caught some of its perfume." This courageous man reasons, speaks, and acts as a Liberal without knowing it. His strong point is charity; he is charity itself. What horror fills his soul at the exaggerations of the Ultramontane press! To treat as a liar (89) the man who propagates false ideas, is, in the eyes of this singular theologian, to sin against the Holy Spirit.. To him the falsifier is simply misguided; it is not the poor fellow's fault; he has, simple soul, been misled. We ought neither to resist nor combat him; we must strive to attract him by soft words and pretty compliments. How the Devil must chuckle over the mushy charity held out as a bait to abet his own cause! To smother evil under an abundance of good is the tainted Catholic's favorite maxim, read one day by chance in Balmes, and the only thing he has ever retained of the great Spanish philosopher. From the Gospel he is careful to cite only those texts flavored with honey and milk. The terrible invectives of our Lord against Pharisaism astonish and confound him; they seem to be an excess of language on the part of our Divine Savior! He reserves these denunciatory texts to use against those provoking Ultramontanes, who every day compromise, by their exaggerated and harsh language, the cause of a religion all peace and love. Against them his Liberalism, ordinarily so sweet and gentle, grows bitter and violent. Against them his zeal flames up, his polemics grow sharp and his charity aggressive. In a celebrated discourse delivered apropos certain accusations (90) against Louis Veuillot, Pere Felix once cried out, "Gentlemen, let us love and respect even our friends." But no, our Catholic tainted with Liberalism will do nothing of the kind. He saves the treasures of his tolerance and his charity for the sworn enemies of the faith! What more natural? Does not the poor man want to attract them? On the other hand for the most heroic defenders of the faith he has only sarcasm and invective.
In short the tainted Catholic cannot comprehend that direct opposition, per diametrum, of which St. Ignatius speaks in his Spiritual Exercises. He does not know how to give a direct blow. He knows no other tactics than to attack on the flank, tactics which, in religion, may perhaps be convenient, but are never decisive. He wants to conquer, but on the condition of not wounding the enemy, of never disturbing his ease or his rest. The mere mention of war painfully agitates his nerves and rouses all his pacific dispositions. With the enemy in full assault, with the implacable hatred and cunning of falsehood almost sweeping over him he would withstand the hostile charge and stem the overwhelming tide with the paper barriers of an illusive peace.
In a word we may recognize the extreme (91) and the moderate Liberal by his bitter fruits; the tainted Catholic may be recognized by his distorted affection for Liberalism and its works.
The extreme Liberal roars his Liberalism, the moderate Liberal mouths it, the tainted Catholic whispers and sighs it. All are bad enough and serve the Devil well. Nevertheless the extreme Liberal overreaches himself by his violence, the fecundity of the tainted Catholic is partially sterilized by his hybrid nature, but the moderate is the real satanic type; his is the masked evil, which in our times is the chief cause of the ravages of Liberalism.
Christian Prudence And Liberalism.
Owing to their circumstances Catholics in this country live in the very midst of Liberalism; we are surrounded by and come in daily contact with extreme and moderate Liberals as well as Catholics tainted with its all pervading poison. So did Catholics in the fourth century live among Arians, those of the fifth among Pelagians, and those of the seventeenth (92) amongst Jansenists. It is impossible not to sustain some relations with the Liberals who surround us; we meet them everywhere, in our social dealings, in our business affairs, in our amusements and pleasures, even in Church and in the family. How then shall we comport ourselves in our unavoidable intercourse with those who are thus spiritually diseased? How may we avoid contagion or at least diminish the risk to a minimum?
To lay down a precise rule for every case is a difficulty beyond human capacity; but some general rules of guidance may be given; their application must be left to the prudence of those who are individually concerned according to their circumstances and special obligations.
It will be well first to distinguish, in a general way, three possible relations between a Catholic and Liberalism or rather between a Catholic and Liberals: 1. Necessary relations; 2. Useful relations; 3. Relations of pure affection or pleasure.
Necessary relations are imposed upon every one by his station in life and his particular position; they cannot be avoided. Such are the family relations, the relations of inferior and superior, etc. It is evident that a son who has the misfortune to have a Liberal father cannot on (93) this account abandon him, nor the wife the husband, the brother the sister, or the parent the child, except in the case where their Liberalism exacts from any of their respective inferiors acts essentially opposed to religion so as to conduce a formal apostasy.
But it will not suffice, on the part of a Catholic, for the taking of such a step that mere restraint is put upon his liberty in the performance of the precepts of the Church. For we must remember that the Church places no obligation in such matters on a person who could only perform them under grave inconvenience (sub gravi incommodo).
The Catholic unfortunate enough to be so placed must bear with Christian patience his painful situation and surround himself, as far as lies in his power with every precaution to avoid the contagion of bad example in word or deed. Prayer should be his chief recourse, prayer for himself and the victims of error. He should avoid as far as possible, all conversations on this topic, but when he finds that a controversy is thrust upon him, let him accept it in the full confidence of the truth and armed with effective weapons of defense and offense. A prudent spiritual director should be consulted in the selection of his arsenal. As an antidote to much association with Liberals, (94) let him frequent the company of other persons of science and authority who are in the constant possession of sound doctrine. Obedience to a superior in all that is not directly or indirectly against faith and morals is his bounded duty, but it is equally his duty to refuse obedience to anything directly or indirectly in opposition to the integrity of his faith. Courage he can draw only from supernatural sources; God who sees the struggle will not refuse all the assistance needed.
There are other relations which we have with Liberals, not absolutely, but morally indispensable, and without which social life, which consists in a mutual exchange of services, is impossible. Such are the relations of commerce, trade, labor, the professions, etc. But that strict subjection, which holds under the necessary relations of which we have just been speaking, does not exist here, and in consequence one can exercise more independence. The fundamental rule in these cases is not to enter into unnecessary intercourse; what the gearing of the social machine demands, and no more, is sufficient. If you are a merchant buy and sell with Liberals in accordance with the needs of your business; more than this avoid; if you are a domestic limit your intercourse to the necessities of your service; (95) if you are a laborer, to give and receiving what is due on either part. Guided by these rules one could live without injury to his faith amidst a population of Jews. At the same time, it should never be forgotten that any manifestation of weakness or compromise is never needed. Even Liberals cannot refuse respect to the man who stands firmly and unflinchingly on his convictions, and when the faith is in question, despicable in all men's eyes does he become who would sell his birthright for a mess of pottage.
Relations of pure friendship, pleasure or affection, which we enter into as mere matters of taste or inclination, should be eschewed and, if once contracted, ought to be voluntarily broken off. Such relations are certain danger to our faith. Our Lord says that he who loves danger shall perish in it. It is difficult to sever such connections? What if it is; we must burst the bonds that place us in peril. Reflect for a moment. If your Liberal companion, with whom you are constantly associating, were subject to some contagious disease, would you then court him? If your relations with him compromised your reputation, would you continue them? If he were to asperse your family would you cling to him still? Well, the honor of God and your own spiritual safety is at stake in this matter; (96) what human prudence would counsel you to do for your worldly interest and human honor, surely that much at least your spiritual interests require from you. There is but one condition upon which intimacy with a Liberal is justifiable at all, and that is, for the purpose of converting him; for this two dispositions are necessary: your Liberal friend's willingness and your capacity to lead him to the light. Even here danger is not lacking. One must be very sure of his ground before he attempts the task.
Above all have a horror of heresy, and Liberalism today is the most malignant of all heresies. Its face is set against religious faith absolutely. The first thing to do in an infected country is to isolate oneself, and if this is not possible take all sanitary precautions against the deadly germ. Spiritual health is always endangered whenever we come in contact with Liberalism, and infection is almost certain if we is in a mental haze a fog which hides from himts.
Liberalism And Literature.
Liberalism is a system, as Catholicism is, although in a contrary sense. It has its (97) arts, its science, its literature, its economics, its ethics, that is, it has an organism all its own, animated by its own spirit and distinguishable by its own physiognomy. The most powerful heresies, for instance, Arianism in ancient times and Jansenism in our own days, resented like peculiarities.
Not only are there Liberal journals but there exists a literature in all the shades and degrees of Liberalism; it is abundant and prolific. The present generation draws its main intellectual nourishment from it. Our modern literature is saturated with its sentiments, and for this reason should we take every precaution to guard against its infection, of which so many are the miserable victims. How is it to be avoided?
The rules of guidance in this case are analogous or almost identical with the rules which should govern a Catholic in his personal relations with Liberals, for books are after all but the representatives of their authors, conveying by the printed, instead of the spoken word, what men think, feel and say. Apply to books those rules of conduct which should regulate our intercourse with persons and we have a safeguard in reading the literature of the day. But in this instance the control of the relation is practically in our own power, for it depends entirely on ourselves whether we seek or (98) tolerate the reading of Liberal books. They are not apt to seek us out, and if they are thrust upon us, our consent to their perusal is practically all our own doing. We have none but ourselves to blame if they prove to be our own undoing.
There is one point, however, worthy of our close consideration. It should be a fundamental rule in a Catholic's intellectual life; it is this: Spare your praises of Liberal books, whatever be their scientific or literary merit, or at least praise with great reserve, never forgetting the reprobation rightly due to a book of Liberal spirit or tendency. This is an important point. It merits the strictest attention. Many Catholics, by far too naïve (even some engaged in Catholic journalism) are perpetually seeking to pose as impartial , and are perpetually daubing themselves with a veneer of flattery. They lustily beat the bassdrum and blow all the trumpets of their vocabulary in praise of no mater what work, literary or scientific, that comes from the Liberal camp. They are fearful of being considered narrow minded and partial if they don't give even the Devil his due. In the fulsomeness of their flattery they hope to show that it costs a Catholic nothing to recognize merit wherever it may be found; they imagine this to be a powerful means of attracting (99) the enemy. Alas! The folly of the weaklings; they play a losing game, it is they who are insensibly attracted, not the enemy. They simply fly at the bait held out by the cunning fisher, who satanically guides the destinies of Liberalism.
Let us illustrate. When Arnold's Light of Asia appeared not a few Catholics joined in the chorus of fulsome praise which greeted it. How charming, how beautiful, how tender, how pathetic, how humane; what lofty morality, what exquisite sentiment! Now what was the real purport of the book and what was its essence? To lift up Gautama, the founder of Budhism, at the expense of Jesus Christ, the Founder of Christianity! The intention was to show that Gautama was equally a divine teacher with as high an aspiration, as great a mission, as lofty a morality as our Divine Lord Himself. This was the object of the book; what was its essence? A falsification of history by weaving a series of poetical legends around a character, about whose actual life practically nothing is known; but not only this; the character was built upon the model of Our Lord, which the author had in his own mind as the precious heirloom of Christianity, and his Gautama, whom he intended to standout as at least the divine equal of the Founder of Christianity, (100) became in his hands in reality a mere echo of Christ, the image of Christ, made to rival the Word made flesh! Buddhism in the borrowed garments of Christianity was thus made to appeal to the ideals of Christian peoples, and gaining a footing in their admiration and affections, to usurp the throne in the Christian sanctuary. Here was a work of literary merit, although it has been greatly exaggerated in this respect, praised extravagantly by some Catholics, who in their excessive desire to appear impartial failed or refused to see in Edwin Arnold's Light of Asia a most vicious antiChristian book!
What difference does it make whether a book be excellent in a literary sense or not, if its effect be the loss of souls and not their salvation? What if the weapon in the hands of the assassin be bright or not, if it be fatal? Though spiritual assassination be brilliant it is none the less deadly. Heresy under a charming disguise is a thousand times more dangerous than heresy exposed to the harsh and arid garb of the scholastic syllogism, through which the death's skull grins in unadorned hideousness. Arianism had its poets to propagate its errors in popular verse. Lutheranism had its humanists amongst whom the elegant Erasmus shone as a brilliant writer. (101) Arnauld, Nicole, Pascal threw the glamour of their belles lettres over the serpentine doublings of Jansenism. Voltaire's wretched infidelity won its frightful popularity from the grace of his style and the flash of his wit. Shall we, against whom they aimed the keenest and deadliest shafts, contribute to their name and their renown! Shall we assist them in fascinating and corrupting youth! Shall we crown these contemners of our faith with the laurels of our praises, and laud them for the very qualities which alone make them dangerous! And for what purpose? That we may appear impartial? No; impartiality is not permissible when it is distorted to the offense of truth, whose rights are imprescriptible. A woman of bad life is infamous, be she ever so beautiful, and the more beautiful, the more dangerous. Shall we praise Liberal books out of gratitude? Follow the Liberals themselves in this, far more prudent than we; they do not recommend and praise our books whatever they be. They, with the instinct of evil, fully appreciate where the danger lies. They either seek to discredit us or pass us by in silence.
Si quis non amat Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum sit anathema, says St. Paul. Liberal literature is the written (102) hatred of our Lord and his Church. If its blasphemy were open, direct, no Catholic would tolerate it for an instant; is it any more tolerable because, like a courtesan, it seeks to disguise its sordid features by the artifice of paint and powder?
Charity And Liberalism.
Narrow! Intolerant! Uncompromising! These are the epithets of odium, hurled by Liberal votaries of all degrees at Ultramontanes. Are not Liberals our neighbors like other men? Do we not owe to them the same charity we apply to others? Are not your vigorous denunciations, it is urged against us, harsh and uncharitable, in the very teeth of the teaching of Christianity which is essentially a religion of love? Such is the accusation continually flung in our face. Let us see what its value is. Let us see all that the word charity signifies.
The catechism, that popular and most authoritative epitome of Catholic theology, gives us the most complete and succinct definition of charity; it is full of wisdom (103) and philosophy. Charity is a supernatural virtue which induces us to love God above all things and our neighbors as ourselves for the love of God. Thus after God, we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves, and this not in any way, but for the love of God and in obedience to His law. And now what is to love? Amare est velle bonum, replies the philosopher: "To love is to wish good to him whom we love." To whom does charity command us to wish good? To our neighbor, that is to say, not to this or that man only but to everyone. What is that good which true love wishes? First of all supernatural good; then goods of the natural order, which are not incompatible with it. All this is included in the phrase "for the love of God."
It follows, therefore, that we can love our neighbor, when displeasing him, when opposing him, when causing him some material injury and even, on certain occasions, when depriving him of life. All is reduced to this in short: Whether in the instance where we displease, oppose or humiliate him, it is or is not for his own good, or for the good of someone whose rights are superior to his, or simply for the greater service of God.
If it is shown, that in displeasing or offending our neighbor, we act for his (104) good, it is evident that we love him even when opposing or crossing him. The physician cauterizing his patient or cutting off his gangrened limb may none the less love him. When we correct the wicked by restraining or by punishing them none the less do we love them. This is charity and perfect charity. It is often necessary to displease or offend one person, not for his own good, but to deliver another from the evil he is inflicting. It is then an obligation of charity to repel the unjust violence of the aggressor; one may inflict as much injury on the aggressor as is necessary for the defense. Such would be the case should one see a highwayman attacking a traveler. In this instance, to kill, wound, or at least take such measures as to render the aggressor impotent, would be an act of true charity.
The good of all good is the divine good, just as God is for all men the neighbor of all neighbors. In consequence the love due to a man inasmuch as he is our neighbor ought always to be subordinated to that which is due to our common Lord. For His love and in His service we must not hesitate to offend men. The degree of our offense towards men can only be measured by the degree of our obligation (105) to him. Charity is primarily the love of God, secondarily the love of our neighbor for God's sake. To sacrifice the first is to abandon the latter. Therefore to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a true act of charity. Not to offend our neighbor for the love of God is a sin.
Modern Liberalism reverses this order. It imposes a false notion of charity; our neighbor first, and, if at all, God afterwards. By its reiterated and trite accusations of intolerance, it has succeeded in disconcerting even some staunch Catholics. But our rule is too plain and to concrete to admit of misconception. It is: Sovereign Catholic inflexibility is sovereign Catholic charity. This charity is practiced in relation to our neighbor when in his own interest, he is crossed, humiliated and chastised. it is practiced in relation to a third party, when he is defended from the unjust aggression of another, as when he is protected from the contagion of error by unmasking its authors and abettors and showing them in their true light as iniquitous and pervert, by holding them up to the contempt, horror and execration of all. It is practiced in relation to God when, for His glory and in His service, it becomes necessary to silence all human considerations, to trample under foot all human (106) respect, to sacrifice all human interests, and even life itself to attain this highest of all ends. All this is Catholic inflexibility and inflexible Catholicity in the practice of that pure love which constitutes sovereign charity. The saints are the types of this unswerving and sovereign fidelity to God, the heroes of charity and religion. Because in our times there are so few true inflexibles in the love of God, so also are there few uncompromisers in the order of charity. Liberal charity is condescending, affectionate, even tender in appearance, but at bottom it is an essential contempt for the true good of men, of the supreme interests of truth and of God. It is human selflove usurping the throne of he Most High and demanding that worship which belongs to God alone.
Polemical Charity And Liberalism.
Liberalism never gives battle on solid ground; it knows too well that in a discussion of principles it must meet with irretrievable defeat. It prefers tactics of recrimination, and under the sting of a just flagellation whiningly accuses Catholics of (107) lack of charity in their polemics. This is also the ground which certain Catholics, tainted with Liberalism, are in the habit of taking.
Let us see what is to be said on this score. We Catholics, on this point as on all others, have reason on our side, whilst Liberals have only its shadow. In the first place a Catholic can handle his Liberal adversary openly, if such he be in truth; no one can doubt this. If an author or a journalist makes open profession of Liberalism and does not conceal his Liberal predilections what injury can be done him in calling him a Liberal? Si palman res est, repetitio injuria non est: "to say what everybody knows is no injury." With much stronger reason to say of our neighbor what he every instant says of himself cannot justly offend. And yet how many Liberals, especially those of the easygoing and moderate type, regard the expressions "Liberal" and "friend of Liberals," which Catholic adversaries apply to them as offensive and uncharitable!
Granting that Liberalism is a bad thing, to call the public defenders and professors of Liberalism bad is no want of charity.
The law of justice, potent in all ages, can be applied in this case. The Catholics of today are no innovators in this respect. (108) We are simply holding to the constant practice of antiquity. The propagators and abettors of heresy have at all times been called heretics as well as its authors. As the Church has always considered heresy a very grave evil, so has she always called its adherents bad and pervert. Run over the list of ecclesiastical writers you will then see how the Apostles treated the first heretics, how the Fathers, and modern controversialists and the Church herself in her official language has pursued them. There is then no sin against charity in calling evil evil, its authors, abettors and disciples bad; all its acts, words and writings iniquitous, wicked, malicious. In short the wolf has done to the flock and shepherd.
If the propagation of good and the necessity of combating evil require the employment of terms somewhat harsh against error and its supporters, this usage is certainly not against charity. This is a corollary or consequence of the principle we have just demonstrated. We must render evil odious and detestable. We cannot attain this result without pointing out the dangers of evil, without showing how and why it is odious, detestable and contemptible. Christian oratory of all ages has (109) ever employed the most vigorous and emphatic rhetoric in the arsenal of human speech against impiety. In the writings of the great athletes of Christianity the usage of irony, imprecation, execration and of the most crushing epithets is continual. Hence the only law is the opportunity and the truth.
But there is another justification for such an usage. Popular propagation and apologetics cannot preserve elegant and constrained academic forms. In order to convince the people we must speak to their heart and their imagination which can only be touched by ardent, brilliant, and impassioned language. To be impassioned is not to be reprehensible, when our heat is the holy ardor of truth.
The supposed violence of modern Ultramontane journalism not only falls short of Liberal journalism, but is amply justified by every page of the works of our great Catholic polemicists of other epochs. This is easily verified. St. John the Baptist calls the Pharisees "race of vipers," Jesus Christ, our Divine Savior, hurls at them the epithets "hypocrites, whitened sepulchers, a perverse and adulterous generation" without thinking for this reason that He sullies the sanctity of His benevolent speech. St. Paul criticizes the schismatic Cretins (110) as "always liars, evil beasts, slothful bellies." The same apostle calls Elymas the magician "seducer, full of guile and deceit, child of the Devil, enemy of all justice."
If we open the Fathers we find the same vigorous castigation of heresy and heretics. St. Jerome arguing against Vigilantius casts in his face his former occupation of saloonkeeper: "From your infancy," he says to him, "you have learned other things than theology and betaken yourself to other pursuits. To verify at the same time the value of your money accounts and the value of Scriptural texts, to sample wines and grasp the meaning of the prophets and apostles are certainly not occupations which the same man can accomplish with credit." On another occasion attacking the same Vigilantius, who denied the excellence of virginity and of fasting, St. Jerome, with his usual sprightliness, asks him if he spoke thus "in order not to diminish the receipts of his saloon?" Heavens! What an outcry would be raised if one of our Ultramontane controversialists were to write against a Liberal critic or heretic of our own day in this fashion!
What shall we say of St. John Chrysostom? His famous invective against Eutropius is not comparable, in its personal (111) and aggressive character, to the cruel invectives of Cicero against Catiline and against Verres! The gentle St. Bernard did not honey his words when he attacked the enemies of the faith. Addressing Arnold of Brescia, the great Liberal agitator of his times, he calls him in all his letters "seducer, vase of injuries, scorpion, cruel wolf."
The pacific St. Thomas of Acquinas forgets the calm of his cold syllogisms when he hurls his violent apostrophe against William of St. Amour and his disciples: "Enemies of God," he cries out, "ministers of the Devil, members of AntiChrist, ignorami, perverts, reprobates!" Never did the illustrious Louis Veuillot speak so boldly. The seraphic St. Bonaventure, so full of sweetness, overwhelms his adversary Gerard with such epithets as "impudent, calumniator, spirit of malice, impious, shameless, ignorant, impostor, malefactor, perfidious, ingrate!" Did St. Francis de Sales, so delicately exquisite and tender, ever purr softly over the heretics of his age and country? He pardoned their injuries, heaped benefits on them even to the point of saving the lives of those who sought to take his, but with the enemies of the faith he preserved neither moderation nor consideration. Asked by a Catholic, who (112) desired to know if it were permissible to speak evil of a heretic who propagated false doctrines, he replied: "Yes, you can, on the condition that you adhere to the exact truth, to what you know of his bad conduct, presenting that which is doubtful as doubtful according to the degree of doubt which you may have in this regard." In his "Introduction to a Devout Life," that precious and popular work, he expresses himself again: "If the declared enemies of God and of the Church ought to be blamed and censured with all possible vigor, charity obliges us to cry wolf' when the wolf slips into the midst of the flock, and in every way and place we may meet him."
But enough. What the greatest Catholic polemists and saints have done is assuredly a fair example for even the humblest defenders of the faith. Modern Ultramontanism has never yet surpassed the vigor of their castigation of heresy and heretics. Charity forbids us to do unto another what we would not reasonably have them to do unto ourselves. Mark the adverb reasonably; it includes the entire substance of the question.
The essential difference between ourselves and the Liberals on this subject consists in this, that they look upon the (113) apostles of error as free citizens, simply exercising their full right to think as they please on matters of religion. We, on the contrary, see in them the declared enemies of the faith which we are obligated to defend. We do not see in their errors simply free opinions but culpable and formal heresies, as the law of God teaches us they are. By virtue of the assumed freedom of their own opinions the Liberals are bound not only to tolerate but even respect ours; for since freedom of opinion is in their eyes the most cardinal of virtues, no matter what the opinion be, they are bound to respect it as the expression of man's rational freedom. It is not what is thought, but the mere thinking that constitutes the standard of excellence with them. To acknowledge God or deny Him is equally rational by the standard of Liberalism, and Liberalism is grossly inconsistent with itself when it seeks to combat Catholic truths, in the holding of which there is as much exercise of rational freedom, in the Liberal sense, as in rejecting them. But our Catholic standpoint is absolute; there is but one truth, in which there is no room for opposition or contradiction. To deny that truth is unreasonable; it is to put falsehood on the level with truth. This is the folly and sin of Liberalism. To denounce this sin and (114) folly is a duty and a virtue. With reason therefore does a great Catholic historian say to the enemies of Catholicity: "You make yourselves infamous by your actions and I will endeavor to cover you with that infamy by my writings." In this same way the law of the Twelve Tables ordained to the virile generations of early Rome: Adversus hostem aeterna auctoritas esto, which may be rendered: "To the enemy no quarter."
Personal Polemics And Liberalism.
"It is all well enough to make war on abstract doctrines," some may say, "but in combating error, be it ever so evident, is it so proper to make an attack upon the persons of those who uphold it"? We reply that very often it is, and not only proper but at times even indispensable and meritorious before God and men.
The accusation of indulging in personalities is not spared to Catholic apologists, and when Liberals and those tainted with Liberalism have hurled it at our heads they imagine that we are overwhelmed by the charge. But they deceive themselves. (115) We are not so easily thrust in the back ground. We have reason and substantial reason on our side. In order to combat and discredit false ideas, we must inspire contempt and horror in the hearts of the multitude for those who seek to seduce and debauch them. A disease is inseparable from the persons of the diseased. The cholera threatening a country comes in the persons of the infected. If we wish to exclude it we must exclude them. Now ideas do not in any case go about in the abstract; they neither spread nor propagate from themselves. Left to themselves, if it be possible to imagine them apart from those who conceive them, they would never produce all the evil from which society suffers. It is only in the concrete that they are effective; when they are the personal product of those who conceive them. They are like the arrows and the balls which would hurt no one if they were not shot from the bow or the gun. It is the archer and the gunner to whom we should give our first attention; save for them the fire would not be murderous. Any other method of warfare might be Liberal, if you please, but it would ;not be commonsense.
The authors and propagators of heretical doctrines are soldiers with poisoned weapons in their hands. Their arms are the book, (116) the journal, the lecture, their personal influence. Is it sufficient to dodge their blows? Not at all; the first thing necessary is to demolish the combatant himself. When he is hors de combat, he can do no more mischief.
It is therefore perfectly proper not only to discredit any book, journal or discourse of the enemy, but it is also proper, in certain cases, to even discredit his person; for in warfare, beyond question, the principal element is the person engaged, as the gunner is the principal factor in an artillery fight and not the cannon, the powder and the bomb. It is thus lawful, in certain cases, to expose the infamy of a Liberal opponent, to bring his habits into contempt, and drag his name in the mire. Yes, this is permissible, permissible in prose, in verse, in caricature, in a serious vein or in badinage, by every means and ;method within reach. The only restriction is not to employ a lie in the service of justice. This never. Under no pretext may we sully the truth, even to the dotting of an i. As a French writer says: "Truth is the only charity allowed in history," and, we may add, in the defense of religion and society.
The Fathers of the Church support this thesis. The very title of their works clearly show that, in their contests with heresy, (117) their first blow was at the heresiarchs. The works of St. Augustine almost always bear the name of the author of the heresy against which they are written: Contra Fortunatum Manichoeum; Adversus Adamanctum; Contra Felicem; Contra Secundinum; Quis fuerit Petiamus; De gestis Pelagii; Quis fuerit Julianus, etc. Thus the greater part of the polemics of this great doctor was personal, aggressive, biographical, as well as doctrinal, a handtohand struggle with heretics as well as with heresy. What we here say of St. Augustine we can say of the other Fathers. Whence do the Liberals derive their power to impose upon us the new obligation of fighting error only in the abstract and of lavishing smiles and flattery upon them? We, the Ultramontanes, will fight our battles according to Christian tradition, and defend the faith as it has always been defended in the Church of God. When it strikes let the sword of the Catholic polemist wound, and when it wounds, wound mortally. This is the only real and efficacious means of waging war.
A Liberal Objection To Ultramontane Methods.
The Liberals tell us that our violent methods of warfare against them are not in conformity with the Pope's counsels to moderation and charity. Has he not exhorted Catholic writers to a love of peace and union; to avoid harsh, aggressive and personal polemics? How then can we Ultramontanes reconcile the Holy Father's wishes with our fierce methods? Let us consider the force of the Liberals' objection. To whom does the Holy Father address these repeated admonitions? Always to the Catholic press, to Catholic journalists, to those who are supposed to be worthy of the name. These counsels to moderation and charity, therefore, are always addressed to Catholics, discussing with other Catholics free questions, i.e., not involving established principles of faith and morality, and do not in any sense apply to Catholics waging a mortal combat with the declared enemies of the faith.
There is no doubt that the Pope here makes no allusion to the incessant battles between Catholics and Liberals, for the simple reason that Catholicity is truth and (119) Liberalism heresy, between which there can be no peace, but wear to the death. It is certain by consequence, therefore, that the Pope intends his counsels to apply to our family quarrels, unhappily much too frequent; and that by no means does he seek to forbid us from waging an unrelenting stiff with the eternal enemies of the Church, whose hands, filled with deadly weapons, are ever lifted against the faith and its defenders.
Therefore there can be no contradiction between the doctrine we expound and that of the Briefs and Allocutions of the Holy Father on the subject, provided that logically both apply to the same matter under the same respect, which holds perfectly in this instance. For how can we interpret the words of the Holy Father in any other way? It is a rule of sound exegesis that any passage in Holy Scripture should always be interpreted according to the letter, unless such meaning be in opposition to the context; we can only have recourse to a free or figurative interpretation, when this opposition is obvious. This rule applies also to the interpretation of pontifical documents. How can we suppose the Pope in contradiction with all Catholic tradition from Jesus Christ to our own times? Is it for a (120) moment admissible that the style and method of most of the celebrated Catholic polemists and apologists from St. Paul to St Francis de Sales should be condemned by a stroke of the pen? Clearly not; for if we were to understand the Pope's counsels to moderation and calm, in the sense in which the Liberal conclusion would construe them, we should have to answer evidently yes. Consequently we must conclude that the Holy Father's words are not addressed to Catholics battling with the enemies of Catholicity, but only to Catholics controverting on free questions amongst themselves.
Common sense itself shows this. Imagine a general in the midst of a raging battle issuing an order to his soldiers not to injure the enemy too severely! "Be careful! Don't hurt the enemy! Attention there! Don't aim at the heart!" What more be said! Pius IX has given us an an explanation of the proper meaning of his words. On a memorable occasion he calls the sectaries of the Commune demons, and worse than demons the sectaries of Liberalism. Who then need fear to thunderbolt such an enemy with epithets too harsh and severe? (121)
In vain do the Liberals cite the words of Leo XIII in the Encyclical Cum Multa, exhorting Catholics to avoid violence in the discussion of the sacred rights of the Church, and to rely rather upon the weight of reason to gain victory; for the words have reference to polemics between Catholics discussing the best means to preserve their common cause, and by no means apply as a rule to govern polemics with the sectaries of Liberalism. The intrinsic evidence of the encyclical proves this beyond cavil. The Pope concludes by exhorting all associations and individual Catholics to a still closer and more intimate union, and, after pointing out the inestimable advantages of such a union, he instances, as the means of preserving it, that moderation of language and charity of which we are speaking. The argument is plain: the Pope recommends moderation and charity to Catholic writers, as a means of preserving peace and mutual union. Clearly this peace and union is between Catholics and not between Catholics and their enemies. Therefore the moderation and charity recommended by the Pope to Catholic writers applies only to Catholic polemics between Catholics on free questions. Would it not be absurd to imagine that there could be any union between truth and error, therefore between (122) the advocates of truth on the one side and error on the other? Irreconcilable opposites never unite. One or the other must disappear.
The "Civilta Cattolica's" Charity To Liberals.
Charity in controversy with Liberals would be like taking a serpent to one's bosom. It would be as if one embraced some loathsome contagious disease with the foolish notion that to court it would secure immunity from its fearful ravages. Notwithstanding the plain common sense of the situation, and the memorable warning of our Lord that he who loves the fire shall perish in it, some foolish Catholics join with the Liberals in their cry for a magnanimous display of charity on our part when we wage war against them.
Lest our competence to judge in so important a matter be called in question we will cite as authority on this subject the foremost religious journal of the world, the Civilta Cattolica, founded by Pius IX himself and confided by him to the conduct of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. The Civilta, never suffering an instant of (123) repose to Italian Liberalism, has been often reproached for its want of charity towards the Liberals. Replying to these pharasaical homilies on the measure of charity due them, the Civilta published a delightfully humorous, and at the same time solidly philosophical article, some passages of which we here transcribe for the consolation of our Liberals and those tainted Catholics who make common cause with them in decrying Ultramontane methods:
"De Maistre said that the Church and the pope have never asked anything but truth and justice for their cause. On the other hand the Liberals, no doubt on account of the horror they naturally entertain for truth and above all for justice, are always demanding, charity.
"For more than a dozen years have we, on our part, been witness to this curious spectacle given us by Italian Liberals. They never cease imploring with tears in their eyes our charity. Their importunities have at last become insupportable; they have lost all sense of shame; supplicatingly, in press, in verse, in their brochures, in their journals, in public and private letters, anonymous and pseudonymous, directly or indirectly, they beg us for the love of God to show them some charity. They beseech us not to give them over to the (124) ridicule of their neighbors, not to expose to an inspection so detailed, so minute, their sublime writings: not to be so obstinate in subjecting their glorious exploits to such a strong searchlight; to close our eyes and our ears to their blunders, their solecisms, their lies, their calumnies, their obscurities; in a word to let them live in peace.
"The Liberals have imitated, by this edifying conversion to the love of mendicancy, another not less celebrated and not less edifying conversion, that of a rich miser to the virtue of almsgiving, was so touched by the sermon that on going out of the Church he exclaimed: "It would be impossible for any good Christian, who has heard this discourse, henceforth not to give from time to time something in charity." And so it is with our Liberals. After having shown (according to the measure of their means) by their acts and their writings that they have a love for charity equal to the Devil's for holy water, when they hear it spoken of, they suddenly remember that there exists in the world a thing called charity, which might on certain occasions (125) prove very profitable to them. So they show themselves distractedly enamored with it, and vociferously demand it from Pope, bishop, and clergy, religious, journalists, and everybody, even from the editors of the Civilta. It is curious to follow all the excellent reasons they offer in their own favor!
"To believe them, it is not in their own interest at all that they hold such language! Heavens, no! When they speak thus, it is entirely in the interest of our holy religion, which they cherish in their heart's core and which suffers so much from our very uncharitable manner of defending it! They even speak in the interest of the reactionaries themselves, and especially (who would believe it!) in the interest of the editors of the Civilta Cattolica!
"What obliges you to enter into these quarrels? They confidentially say to us. Have you not enough enemies already? Be tolerant and your adversaries will be so with you. What do you gain by following this wretched occupation like a dog spending his life barking at robbers? If in the end you are beaten, struckdown, to whom do you owe it, if not to yourselves and that indomitable animosity of yours, which is ever seeking the lash?
"What sage and disinterested reasoning, (126) whose only defect is that it singularly resembles that which the police officer urged upon Renzo Tramaglino, in the romance of The Betrothed, when he essayed to conduct him to prison by persuasion, fearing that if he used force the young man would offer resistance. * * * The only result of these exhortations was to confirm Renzo in his design to pursue a course just opposite to that which the officer advised.
"This design, to speak properly, we are strongly tempted also to form; for, in truth, we cannot persuade ourselves that the injury, great or small, which we cause religion, matters much or little to the Liberals, nor that they would give themselves so much trouble for our sakes. We are persuaded, on the contrary, that if the Liberals really believed that our manner of acting were hurtful to religion or ourselves, they would carefully refrain from adverting to it, but rather encourage us in it by their applause. We even conclude that the zeal which they show in our regard and their reiterated prayers to modify our style, are the surest signs that religion suffers nothing from our methods, and, moreover, that our writings have some readers, which is always some slight consolation to the writer. * * *
"But as many of them (the Liberals) continue (127) to beg, and as they have recently published a little book at Perugia entitled: What does the Catholic Party say? Which they devote entirely to a demand upon the Civilta Cattolica for charity, it will be useful, in beginning this fifteenth series of our Review, to confute once more the old objections with the old answers. It will be in fact a great charity, not such indeed as the Liberals beg of us, but one truly very meritorious; the charity of listening to them with patience for the hundredth time."
A Liberal Sophism And The Church's Diplomacy.
Liberals often urge as an objection to Ultramontane vigor the fact that the Church herself enters into amicable relations with Liberal governments and personages, or, what comes to the same thing, with Liberalism itself.
If the Church can take such a position, surely Ultramontanes, who are looked upon as the vanguard of the Church, may find an example in this, her policy, worthy of imitation?
We reply. We are to consider these (128) relations as official amities, and nothing more. They by no means suppose any particular affection for the persons who are their object, much less approbation of their actions, and infinitely less any adhesion to their doctrines or the approval of them.
In the first place we must remember that there are two ministrations in the Church of God; one which we may call apostolic, relative to the propagation of the faith and the salvation of souls; the other, which we may very properly term diplomatic, having for its subject human relations with the powers of the world.
The first is the most noble; properly speaking it is the principal and essential ministration. The second is inferior and subordinate to the first, of which it is only the auxiliary. In the first the Church is intolerant and uncompromising; in this she goes straight to her end, and breaks rather than bends: frangi non flecti. Witness in this respect the persecutions she has suffered. When it is a question of divine rights and divine duties, neither attenuation nor compromise is possible. In the second ministration the Church is condescending, benevolent and full of patience. She discusses, she solicits, she negotiates; she praises that she may soften the hard; she is silent sometimes that she may better (129) succeed, seems to retreat that she may better advance and soon attain a better vantage. In this order of relations her motto might be: flecti non frangi. When it is a question of mere human relations, she comports herself with a certain flexibility and admits the usage of special resources.
In this domain, everything that is not declared bad and prohibited by the law common to the ordinary relations of men is lawful and proper. More explicitly; the Church deems that she may properly make use of all the resources of an honest diplomacy.
Who would dare reproach her for accrediting ambassadors to bad and even infidel governments, and on the other hand in accepting ambassadors from them; for honoring their noble and distinguished families by her courtesies and enhancing their public festivities by the presence of her legates?
"But why," interrupt the Liberals, "should you manifest such detestation for Liberalism and so vehemently combat Liberal governments, when the Pope thus negotiates with them, recognizes them, and even confers distinctions on them?" We can best answer this foolish thrust by a comparison . You, we will suppose, are the father of a family. You have five or six daughters, whom you have brought up in the most scrupulous and rigorous virtue. Opposite to your house, or perhaps next door, we will imagine, dwell some neighbors of blemished reputations. You command your daughters, without cessation, under no circumstances to have aught to do with these people. They obey you strictly. But suppose now that some matter should arise relative to both you and your neighbor's interest in common, such as the paving of a street, the laying of a water main, etc. This obliges you to consult and advise with your neighbors as to this common interest. In your intercourse with them you treat them with the usual courtesies of society, and seek to conclude the business on hand in a harmonious way. Would your daughters, therefore, be justified in declaring that, as you, their father, had entered into certain relations with these neighbors and extended to them the usual courtesies of society, so should they be allowed to associate with them; as long as you their father had thus entered into relation with them, so they had a right to conclude that they were people of good morals?
The Church is the home of good people (or who ought to be and desire to be); but she is surrounded by governments more or (131) less perverted or even entirely perverted. She says to her children: "Detest the maxims of these governments; combat these maxims; their doctrine is error; their laws are iniquitous." At the same time, in questions, when her own and sometimes their interests are involved, she finds herself under the necessity of treating with the heads or the representatives of these governments, and in fact she does treat with them, accepts their compliments, and employs in their regard the formula of the polished diplomacy in usage in all countries, negotiates with them in relation to matters of common interest, seeking to make the best of the situation in the midst of such neighbors. In thus acting does she do anything wrong? By no means. Is it not ridiculous then for a Catholic, availing himself of this example, to hold it up as a sanction of doctrines, which the Church has never ceased to condemn, and as the approbation of a line of conduct, which she has ever combated?
Does the Church sanction the Koran, when she enters into negotiations, power to power, with the sectaries of the Koran? Does she approve of polygamy because she receives the presents and embassies of the Grand Turk? Well, it is in this way that the Church approves of Liberalism, when she (132) decorates its kings or its ministers, when she sends her benedictions, simple formulae of Christian courtesy which the Pope extends even to Protestants. It is a sophism to pretend that the Church authorizes by such acts what she has always condemned by other acts. Her diplomatic can never frustrate her apostolic ministration, and it is in this latter that we must seek the seeming contradictions of her diplomatic career.
How Catholics Fall Into Liberalism.
Various are the ways in which a faithful Christian is drawn into the error of Liberalism.
Very often corruption of heart is a consequence of errors of the intellect; but more frequently still errors of the intellect follow the corruption of the heart. The history of heresies very clearly shows this fact. Their beginnings nearly always present the same character, either wounded selflove, or a grievance to be avenged; either it is a woman that makes the heresiarch lose his head and soul, or a bag of gold for which he sells his conscience. (133)
Error nearly always has its origin, not in profound and laborious studies, but in the tripleheaded monster which St. John describes and calls: Concupisentia carnis, concupiscentia oculorum, superbia vitae; "Consupiscense of the flesh, concupiscence of the eyes, the pride of life." Here are the sources of all error, here are the roads to Liberalism. Let us dwell on them for a moment.
1. Men become Liberal on account of a natural desire of independence and an easy life.
Liberalism is necessarily sympathetic with the depraved nature of man, just as Catholicity is essentially opposed to it. Liberalism is emancipation from restraint, Catholicity the curb of the passions. Now, fallen man, by a very natural tendency loves a system which legitimatizes and sanctifies his pride of intellect and the license of passion. Hence, Tertulian says: "The soul, in its noble aspirations, is naturally Christian." Likewise may it be said that man, by the taint of his origin, is born naturally Liberal. Logically then, when he discovers that Liberalism offers a protection for his caprices and an excuse for his indulgences, does he declare himself a Liberal in due form.
2. By the desire of advancement in life. (134) Liberalism is today the dominating idea; it reigns everywhere and especially in the sphere of public life. It is therefore a sure recommendation to public favor.
On starting out in life the young man looks around upon the various paths that lead to fortune, to fame, to glory, and sees that an almost indispensable condition of reaching the desired goal is, at least in our times, to become Liberal. Not to be Liberal is to place in his way, at the outset, what appears to be an insurmountable obstacle. He must be heroic to resist the tempter, who shows him, as he did Jesus Christ in the desert, a splendid future, saying: Haec omnia tibi dabo si cadens adoraveris me: "All this will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me." Heroes are rare, and it is natural that most young men beginning their career should affiliate with Liberalism. It promises them the assistance of a powerful press, the recommendation of powerful protectors, the potent influence of secret societies, the patronage of distinguished men. The poor Ultramontane requires a thousand times more merit to make himself known and to acquire a name; and youth is ordinarily little scrupulous. Liberalism, moreover, is essentially favorable to that public life, which this age so ardently pursues. It (135) holds out as tempting baits public offices, commissions, fat positions, etc., which constitute the organism of the official machine. It seems an absolute condition for political preferment. To meet an ambitious young man who despises and detests the perfidious corrupter is a marvel of God's grace.
3. Avarice or the love of money. To get along in the world, to succeed in business is always a standing temptation of Liberalism. It meets the young man at every turn. Around him in a thousand ways does he feel the secret or open hostility of the enemies of his faith. In mercantile life or in the professions he is passed by, overlooked, ignored. Let him relax a little in his faith, join a forbidden secret society, and lo! The bolts and bars are drawn; he possesses the open sesame to success. Then the invidious discrimination against him melts in the fraternal embrace of the enemy, who rewards his perfidy by advancing him in a thousand ways. Such a temptation is difficult for the ambitious to withstand. Be Liberal, admit that there is no great difference between men's creeds, that at bottom they are really the same after all. Proclaim your breadth of mind by admitting that other religious beliefs are just as good for other people as your faith is for you; they are, as far as they know, (136) just as right as you are; it is largely a question of education and temperament what a man believes, and how quickly you are patted on the back as a "broadgauged" man, who has escaped the narrow limitations of his creed. You will be extensively patronized, for Liberalism is very generous to a convert. Falling down adore me and I will give you all these things, says Satan still to Jesus Christ in the desert.
Such are the ordinary causes of perversions to Liberalism; from these all others flow. Whoever has any experience of the world and the human heart can easily trace the others.
Permanent Causes Of Liberalism.
Liberalism is spread around us like a network. Its web is being constantly spun around about us, as spiders weave their meshes for insects. Where one is brushed away two are multiplied. What is the reason of this?
Philosophy teaches us that the same sources which produce, preserve and increase things. Per quae gignitur, per eadem et servatur et augetur. What then are the permanent causes of Liberalism?
1. Corruption of morals. The theater, literature, public and private morals are saturated with obscenity and impurity. The result is inevitable; a corrupt generation necessarily begets a revolutionary generation. Liberalism is the program of naturalism. Freethought begets freemorals or immorality. Restraint is thrown off, and a free rein given to the passions. Who thinks what he pleases will do what he pleases. Liberalism in the intellectual order is license in the moral order. Disorder in the intellect begets disorder in the heart, and vice versa. Thus does Liberalism propagate immorality, and immorality Liberalism.
2. Journalism. The influence exercised without ceasing by the numerous publications which Liberalism spreads broadcast is incalculable. In spite of themselves, by the ubiquity of the press, people are forced to live in a Liberal atmosphere. Commerce, the arts, literature, science, politics, domestic and foreign news, all reach us in some way through Liberal channels, and come clothed in a Liberal dress. Unless one is on his guard he finds himself thinking, speaking and acting as a Liberal. Such is the tainted character of the empoisoned air we breathe! Poor people, by very reason of their simple good faith, (138) more easily absorb the poison than anyone else; they absorb it in prose, in verse, in pictures, in public, in private, in the city, in the country, everywhere. Liberal doctrines ever pursue them, and like leeches fasten on them never to relax their hold. Its work is rendered much more harmful by the particular condition of the disciple, as we shall see in our third count:
3. General ignorance in matters of religion. In weaving its meshes around the people, Liberalism has applied itself to the task of cutting them off from all communication with that alone which is able to lay bare its imposture the Church. For the past hundred years Liberalism has striven to paralyze the action of the Church, to render her mute, and especially in the old world to leave her merely an official character, so as to sever her connections with the people. The Liberals themselves have avowed this to be their aim. To destroy the religious life, to place every hindrance possible in the way of Catholic teaching, to ridicule the clergy and to deprive them of their prestige. In Italy and France today see the thousand and one artificial arrangements thrown around her to hinder and hamper her actions, to render her opposition to the flood of Liberalism ineffectual. The Concordats, such as are observed (139) at the present time, are so many iron collars which Liberalism has placed around her neck to stifle her. Freemasonry in Europe and South America are constantly seeking to bind her hand and foot that she may be put at its satanic mercy. By open and secret means this organization has sought to undermine her discipline in every country where it has obtained a footing. Between her and the people it seeks to dig a deeper and deeper abyss of hate, prejudice, and calumny. Naturalism, the denial of the supernatural, it inculcates everywhere. To divorce the entire life of the people from her influence by the institution of civil marriage, civil burial, and divorce; to teach the insidious doctrine that society, as such, has no religious relations or obligations; that man as a social and civil being is absolutely independent of God and His Church, that religion is a mere private opinion to be entertained or not entertained as one pleases, such is the program, such is the effect, and such in turn is the cause of Liberalism. But the most pernicious, because the most successful and lasting, propagator of Liberalism is:
4. Secular education. To gain the child is to secure the man. To educate a generation apart from God and the Church is to feed the fires of Liberalism to repletion. (140) When religion is divorced from the school Liberalism becomes its paramour. Secularism is naturalism, the denial of the supernatural. When that denial is instilled into the soul of the child the soil of the supernatural becomes sterilized. Liberalism has realized the terrific power of education, and with satanic energy is now striving the world over for the possession of the child. With what success we have only to look around us to realize. In its effort to slay Christ it decrees the slaughter of the innocents. "Snatch the soul of the child from the breast of its mother the Church," says Liberalism, "and I will conquer the world." Here is the real battle ground between faith and infidelity. Who is victor here is victor everywhere.
How To Avoid Liberalism
How may Catholics, who are perpetually surrounded by the snares of Liberalism, guard themselves securely against its dangers?
1. By the organization of all good Catholics, be their number great or small. They should become known to each other, (141) meet each other, unite together, in every locality, every city, town or village, should have a nucleus of Catholic men of action. Such an organization will attract the undecided, give courage to the hesitating, counteract the influence of hostile or indifferent surroundings. If you number only a dozen men of spirit, no matter. Found societies, especially of young men. Put yourselves in correspondence with older societies in your neighborhood, or even at a distance. Link your associations together, association with association, as the Roman legions used to form the military tortoise by uniting shield with shield over their heads. Thus united, be your number ever so small, lift on high the banner of a sound, pure and uncompromising doctrine, without disguise, without attenuation, yielding not an inch to the enemy. Uncompromising courage is always noble, commands sympathy and wins over the chivalric. To see a man battered by the floods yet standing firm as a rock, upright, immovable, is an inspiring sight! Above all good example, good example always. What you preach do. You will soon see how easily you force people to respect you; when you have gained their admiration, their sympathy will soon follow. Proselytes will be forthcoming. If Catholics only understood what (142) a brilliant secular apostolate they could exercise by being open, straightforward, uncompromising practical Catholics in word and deed, Liberalism and heresy would die a quick death.
2. Good journals. Choose among good journals that which is best, the one best adapted to the needs and the intelligence of the people who surround you. Read it; but not content with that, give it to others to read; explain it, comment on it, let it be your basis of operations. Busy yourself in securing subscriptions for it. Encourage the reluctant to take it; make it easy for those, to whom it seems troublesome to send in their subscriptions. Place it in the hands of young people who are beginning their career. Impress on them the necessity of reading it, show them its merits and its value. They will begin by tasting the sauce and at last eat the fish. This is the way the advocates of Liberalism and impiety work for their journals; so then ought we work for ours. A good Catholic journal is a preemptory necessity in our day. Whatever be its defects or inconveniences, its advantages and its benefits will a thousand fold outweigh them. The Holy Father has said that "a Catholic paper is a perpetual mission in every parish." It is ever an antidote to the (143) false journalism that meets you on every side. In general do all in your power to further the circulation of Catholic literature, sermon or pastoral letter. The weapon of the crusader of our times is the printed word.
3. The Catholic school. Support the Catholic school with all your power in deed and in word, with your whole heart and your whole soul. The Catholic school has become in this age the only secure bridge of the faith from generation to generation. In our own country we have been compelled to establish our own schools unaided and alone. The prejudice and intolerance of Liberalism has refused us common justice. While we protest against the wrong and never cease demanding our clear and peremptory duty is to provide the best possible schools of our own, where our children may be educated in the full and only true sense of the word. Where Catholic schools are needed, build them, build them, build them. Never tire in this absolutely necessary work. Bend every energy to it. Archbishop Hughes said "not until I have built my school, shall one stone of my Cathedral be laid upon another." This great prelate fully realized what every Catholic should make his motto (144) today, "the foundation of the parishchurch is the schoolhouse." Be the support of the school a burden, be it built and perpetuated at a great sacrifice, its value is beyond estimation, the burden and the sacrifice are feather weights in comparison to the good that arises from the Catholic school. The spiritual life of a parish without a school is tepid, neither hot nor cold. Let the school be the best possible. Too much time or too much care cannot be given to it, for Catholic education amidst the deluge of Liberalism, which has overwhelmed the world, is the ark of salvation. Speak out fearlessly on this matter of education. Say squarely and frankly that irreligious education leads to the Devil. An irreligious school is the school of Satin. Danton, a celebrated French revolutionist, continually cried, "Boldness!" Let our constant cry be "Frankness! Frankness! Light! Light!" Nothing will more quickly put to flight the legions of hell, who seduce only under the shelter of darkness.
How To Distinguish Catholic From Liberal Works
neglect those precautions which prudence suggest does evil hates the light," said our Divine Lord. Iniquity works in obscurity. It is not difficult to discover an enemy, who comes to meet us in the broad daylight, not to recognize as Liberals those who frankly declare themselves to be such. But this sort of frankness is not ordinary to the Liberal sect. On the contrary it is usually very clever and cautious in concealing its real meaning in various disguises. We may add that often the eye that ought to discover the imposture is not the eye of a lynx. There should therefore, be some easy and popular criterion to distinguish, at every instant, the Catholic cry from the infernal birdcall of Liberalism.
It often happens that some project or enterprise is put on foot, some sort of a work is undertaken, whose bearings Catholics cannot promptly or easily apprehend. It may appear indifferent or even innocent enough, and yet it may have its roots in error, and be a mere artifice of the enemy flying our colors to allure us into an ambuscade. It may speak the language of charity, appealing to us from the tenderest (146) side, and ask us to associate ourselves with it in the name of a common humanity. "Sink all differences of creed and let us fraternize on the broader plane of brotherly love," is often its most insidious appeal. Such instances are arising every day of our lives. "Consult the Church," some may say, "its word is infallible and will dissipate all uncertainty." Very true, but the authority of the Church cannot be consulted at every moment and in every particular case. The Church has wisely laid down certain general principles for our guidance, but has left to the judgement and prudence of each of us the special application of these principles to the thousand and one concrete cases which we have to face every day. Now a case of this kind presents itself to be determined according to our own judgement and discretion. We are asked to give a contribution to such and such an undertaking, to join such and such a society, to take part in such and such an enterprise, to subscribe to such and such a journal, and all this may be for God or for the Devil, or what is worse, it may be evil cloaked in the garb of holy things. How shall we guide ourselves in such a labyrinth?
Here are two very practical rules, of ready service to a Catholic who is walking on slippery ground. (147)
1. Observe carefully what class of people are the projectors of the affair. Such is the first rule of prudence and common sense. It is based on that maxim of our Lord: A bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit. Liberalism is naturally bound to produce writings, works and deeds impregnated with the spirit of Liberalism, or at least tainted with it. Therefore must we carefully scrutinize the antecedents of the person or persons who organize or inaugurate the work in question. If they are such that you cannot have entire confidence in their doctrines, be on your guard against their enterprises. Do not disapprove immediately, for it is an axiom of theology that not all the works of infidels are sinful, and this axiom can be applied to the works of Liberals. But be careful not to take them immediately for good, mistrust them, submit them to examination, await their results.
2. Observe the kind of people who praise the work in question. This is even a surer rule than the preceding. There are in the world two perfectly distinct currents; the Catholic current and the Liberal current. The first is reflected for the most part by the Catholic press; the second is reflected by the Liberal press. Is a new book announced? Are the beginnings of a new (148) project published? See if the Liberal current approves, recommends and accounts them its own. If yes, the book and the project are judged: they belong to Liberalism. It is evident that Liberalism has inspired them, distinguishing immediately what is injurious or useful to it, for it is never such a fool as not to understand what is opposed to it or to be opposed to that which is favorable to it. The sects, religious or infidel, have an instinct, a particular intuition (olfactus mentis), as philosophers say, which reveals to them a priori what is good or what is bad for them. Repudiate then whatever Liberals praise or vaunt. It is evident that they have recognized by its nature or its origin, or as a means or as an end, something in the object so praised favorable to Liberalism. The clairvoyant instinct of the sect cannot deceive them. Certain scruples of Charity and their habit of thinking well of our neighbor sometimes blind good people to such an extent as to lead them to attribute good intentions, where unhappily they do not exist. This is not the case with falsifiers. They always send their shot right to the center, they never credit good intentions where there are none, or even where there are. They always beat the bassdrum in favor of all that (149) advances in any way their own nefarious propaganda. Discredit therefore what you see your known enemies proclaiming with hallelujahs. It seems to us that these two rules of common sense, which we can call rules of good Christian sense, suffice, if not to enable us to judge definitively every question, at least, to keep us from perpetually stumbling over the roughness of the uneven soil which we daily tread and where the combat is always taking place. The Catholic of the age should always bear in mind that the ground on which he walks is undermined in every direction by secret societies; that it is these who give the keynote to antiCatholic polemics; that unconsciously and very often these secret societies are served even by those who detest their infernal work. The actual strife is principally underground and against an invisible enemy, who rarely presents himself under his real device. He is to be scented rather than seen, to be divined by instinct rather than pointed out with the finger. A good scent and practical sense are more necessary here than subtle reasoning or labored theories. (150)
Liberalism And Journalism
The press has grown so omnipresent nowadays that there is no escape from it. It is therefore important to know exactly how to steer our course amidst the many perils that beset Catholics on this score. How then are we to distinguish between journals that merit or do not merit our confidence? Or rather, what kind of journals ought to inspire us with very little and what with no confidence? In the first place it is clear that such journals as boast of their liberalism have no claim to our confidence in matters that Liberalism touches on. These are precisely the enemies against whom we have constantly to be on guard, against whom we have to wage perpetual war. This point then is outside of our present consideration. All those who, in our times claim the title of Liberalism, in the specific sense in which we always use the term, become our declared enemies and the enemies of the Church of God.
But there is another class of journals less prompt to unmask and proclaim themselves, who love to live amidst ambiguities (151) in an undefined and indefinite region of compromise. They declare themselves Catholic and saver their detestation and abhorrence of Liberalism, at least if we credit their words. These journals are generally known as Liberal Catholic. This is the class which we should especially mistrust and not permit ourselves to be duped by its pretended piety. When we find journals Catholic in name and in profession strongly leaning to the side of compromise and seeking to placate the enemy by concessions, we may rest assured that they are being drawn down the Liberal current, which is always too strong for such weak swimmers. He who places himself in the vortex of a maelstrom is sure in the end to be engulfed in it. The logic of the situation brings the inevitable conclusion.
The Liberal current is easier to follow. It is largely made up of proselytes, and readily attracts the selflove of the weak. The Catholic current is apparently more difficult, it has fewer partisans and friends, and requires us to constantly row against the stream, to stem the tide of perverse ideas and corrupt passions. With the uncertain, the vacillating and the unwary the Liberal current easily prevails and sweeps them away in its fatal embrace. There is no room, therefore, for confidence in the (152) Liberal Catholic press, especially in cases where it is difficult to form a judgement. Moreover in such cases its policy of compromise and conciliation hamper it from forming any decisive or absolute judgement, for the simple reason that its judgement has nothing decisive or radical in it; on the contrary it is always overweighed with a preponderating inclination towards the expedient. Opportunism is the guiding star.
The truly Catholic press is altogether Catholic, that is to say, it defends Catholic doctrine in all its principles and applications, it opposes all false teaching known as such always and entirely, opposita per diametrum, as St. Ignatius says in that golden book of his exercises. It places itself on the frontier arrayed with unceasing vigilance against error, always face to face with the enemy. It never bivouacs with the hostile forces, as the compromising press loves to do. Its opposition is definite and determined, it is not simply opposed to certain undeniable maneuvers of the foe, letting others escape its vigilance, but watches, guards, and resists at every point. It presents an unbroken front to evil everywhere, for evil is evil in everything, even in the good, which, by chance, may accompany it.
Let us here make an observation to explain (153) this last phrase, which may appear startling to some, and at the same time explain a difficulty, entertained by not a few.
By journals, (we include doctrinally unsound journals under this head) sometimes contain something good. What are we to think of the good thus embedded with the bad in them? We must think that the good in them does not prevent them from being bad, if their doctrine or their character is intrinsically bad. In most cases this good is a mere artifice to recommend or at least disguise what in itself is essentially bad. Some accidentally good qualities do not take away the bad character of a bad man. An assassin and a thief are not good because they sometimes say a prayer or give alms to a beggar. They are bad in spite of their good works, because the general character of their acts is bad as well as their habitual tendencies, and if they sometimes do good, in order to cloak their malice, they are even worse than before.
On the other hand it sometimes happens that a good journal falls into such or such an error, or into an excess of passion in a good cause, and so says something which we cannot altogether approve. Must we for this reason call it bad? Not at all; and for a reverse reason, although analogous. With it the evil is only accidental; (154) the good constitutes its substance and is its ordinary condition. One or several sins do not make a man bad, above all if he repent of them and make amends. That alone is bad, which is bad with full knowledge, habitually and persistently. Catholic journalists are not angels, far from it; they are fragile men and sinners. To wish to condemn them for such or such a failing, for this or that excess, is to entertain a pharasaical of Jansenistic opinion of virtue, not in accord with sound morality!
To conclude: there are good and bad journals; among the latter are to be ranked those whose doctrine is ambiguous or illdefined. Those that are bad are not to be accounted good because they happen to slip into something good; and those that are good are not to be accounted bad on account of some accidental failings.
Good Catholics who judge and act loyally according to these principles, will rarely be deceived.
Can Catholics And Liberals Ever Unite?
A question very pertinent to our times and our surroundings is, should Catholics (155) combine with the more moderate Liberals for the common end of resisting the advance of the revolutionists or extreme Liberals? With some this is a golden dream, with others a perfidious snare by means of which they seek to paralyze our powers and divide us.
What should we think of these wouldbeunionists, we who wish, above all things, the wellbeing of our holy religion? In general we should think such unions are neither good nor commendable. Liberalism, let its form be as moderated, as wheedling as possible, is by its very essence in direct and radical opposition to Catholicity. Liberals are bornenemies of Catholics, and it is only accidentally that both can have interests truly common.
It is possible, however, in very rare cases that union on the part of Catholics with a Liberal group against the Radicals may prove useful under given conditions. Where such a union is really opportune, it must be established on the following basis:
1. The bond of union should never be neutrality or the conciliation of interests and principles essentially opposed, such as are the interests and principles of Catholics and Liberals. This neutrality or conciliation has been condemned by the Syllabus, (156) and is, consequently, a false basis. Such a union would be a betrayal, an abandonment of the Catholic camp by those who are bound to defend it. An instance would be to compromise Catholic education with Secularism by banishing religious instruction and influences from the school room. The basis of such conciliation is false, as it necessarily sacrifices Catholic interests and principles. It concedes to Secularism what is essential to the integrity of Catholic education, viz., the formation of the Catholic character in children, and admits the validity of the principle of neutrality. It can never be said, "Let us abstract from our differences of doctrine, etc." Such a loose abdication of principle can never obtain in the Catholic estimation. It would be the same as to say: "In spite of the radical and essential opposition of principles between us, we can after all agree in the practical application of these principles." This is simply an intolerable contradiction.
2. Much less could we accord to the Liberal group, with whom a temporary and accidental alliance is formed, the honor of enrolling ourselves under its banner. Let each party keep distinct its own proper device, or let the Liberals in question range themselves under our ensign, if they wish (157) to fight with us against a common enemy. We can never assume their emblem under any circumstances. In other words let them unite themselves to us; we can never unite ourselves to them. Accustomed as they are to a varying and motley ensign, it cannot be difficult for them to accept our colors. For us there can be but one flag, the one emblem of the one unvarying faith which we ever profess.
3. We must never consider this alliance constant and normal. It can never be any thing else than a fortuitous and transient condition, passing away the moment the immediate exigency of its existence ceases. There can be no constant and normal union except between homogeneous elements. For people of convictions radically opposed to harmonize for any length of time would require continual acts of heroic virtue on the part of both sides. Now heroism is no ordinary thing nor of daily exercise. Such radical incompatibility would simply be to expose the undertaking to lamentable failure, and to build upon contradictory opinions, whose only accord is accidental. For a transitory act of common defense or attack, such an attempt at a coalition of forces is permissible, and even praiseworthy and extremely useful, provided, however, that we never forget the (158) conditions or rules we have already laid down as governing the exceptional circumstances obtaining in a given case; these rules are an imprescriptible necessity. Outside of these conditions, not only should we hold that such union with any group for any enterprise whatever, would be unfavorable to Catholics, but actually detrimental. Instead of augmenting our forces, as would be the case in the union of homogeneous elements, it would paralyze and nullify the vigor of those, who would be able , if alone, to do something for the defense of the truth. Without doubt, as the proverb runs, "Unhappy the one who walks alone." But there is another proverb equally true which says: "Better seek solitude than bad company." It was St. Thomas, we believe, who said: Bona est unio sed potior est unitas: "Union is good, but unity is better." If we have to sacrifice true unity for the sake of an artificial and forced union not only is nothing gained, but much is lost.
Experience has always shown that the result of such unions, outside of the conditions just laid down, is barren. Their results always renders the strife even more bitter and rancorous. There is not a single example of such a coalition which served either to edify or consolidate. (159)
An Illusion Of Liberal Catholics
Amongst the illusions entertained by a certain class of Catholics, there is none more pitiable than the notion that the truth requires a great number of defenders and friends. To these people number seems a synonym for force. They imagine that to multiply heterogeneous quantities is to multiply power.
Now, true force, real power in the physical as in the moral order, consists in intensity rather than in extension. A greater volume of matter equally intense evidently produces a greater effect, not by reason of the increased volume, but by virtue of the augmented intensities contained in it. It is therefore a rule of sound mechanics to seek to increase the extension and number of forces, but always on the condition that the final result be a real augmentation of their intensities. To be content with an increase without consideration of the value of the increment is not only to accumulate fictitious force, but to expose the powers, with one does possess, to be paralyzed by the congestion of an unwieldy mass. The millions of Xeroxes constituted force of tremendous extension, but they were of no avail against the vigorous intensity of the Greek three hundred at Thermopylae.
Faith possesses a power of its own which it communicates to its friends and defenders. It is not they who give the truth power, but truth which charges them with its own vigor. This on the condition that they use that power in its defense.
If the defender, under the pretext of better defending the truth, begins to mutilate it, minimize it, to attenuate it, then he is no longer defending the truth. He is simply defending his own invention, a mere human creation more or less beautiful in appearance, but having no relation to truth, the daughter of Heaven.
Such is the delusion of which many of our brethren are the unconscious victims through a detestable contact with Liberalism.
They imagine, with blinded good faith, that they are defending and propagating Catholicity. But by dint of accommodating it to their own narrow views and feeble courage, in order to make it, they say, more acceptable to the enemy, whom they wish to overcome, they do not perceive that they are no longer defending Catholicity but a thing of their own manufacture which they naively call Catholicity, but which (161) they ought to call by another name. Poor victims of selfdeception, who at the beginning of the battle, in order to win over the enemy wet their own powder and blunt the edge and the point of their swords! They do not stop to reflect that an edgeless and pointless sword is no longer a weapon but a useless piece of old iron, and that wet powder cannot be fired.
Their journals, their books, their discourses, veneered with Catholicity but bereft of its spirit and its life, have no more value in the cause of the faith than the toy swords and pistols of the nursery.
To an army of this kind, be it ten times as numerous as the multitudinous hosts of Xeroxes, a single platoon of wellarmed soldiers, knowing what they are defending, against whom they are contending, and with what arms they fight, in order to defend the truth, is preferable a thousand times over. This is the kind of soldiers we need. This is the kind who have always and will yet do something more for the glory of His Name. They go into the deadly, imminent breach and never flinch. No compromising, no minimizing with them. They plant their banner on the topmost height and form a solid, invincible phalanx around it, that not all the legions of earth and hell combined can budge a (162) single inch. They make no alliance, no compromise with a foe, whose single aim, disguised or open, is the destruction of the truth. They know the enemy is by nature implacable, and his flag of truce but a cunning device of treachery.
Of this we will become more and more convinced, if we consider that an alliance of this kind with a false auxiliary is not only useless to the good Christian in the midst of the combat, but moreover it is most of the time an actual embarrassment to him and favorable to the enemy. Catholic associations hampered in their onward march by such an alliance, will find themselves so impeded that free action becomes impossible. They will end by having all their energies crushed under a deadly inertia. To bring an enemy into the camp is to betray the citadel. It was not until the Trojans admitted the fatal wooden horse within the city walls that Illium fell. This combination of the bad with the good cannot but end in evil results. It brings disorder, confusion, suspicion, uncertainty to distract and divide Catholics, and all this to the benefit of the enemy and our disaster.
Against such a course la Civilta Cattolica, in some remarkable articles, has emphatically declared. Without the proper (163) precaution, it says, "associations of this kind (Catholic) run the certain danger, not only of becoming a camp of scandalous discord, but also of wandering away from their true principles to their own ruin and the great injury of religion." And this same review, whose authority is of the greatest possible weight, in regard to the same subject says: "With a prudent understanding, Catholic associations ought chiefly to take care to exclude from amongst themselves, not only those who openly profess the principles of Liberalism, but also those who have deceived themselves into believing that a conciliation between Liberalism and Catholicism is possible, and who are known as Liberal Catholics."
Liberalism And Authority In Particular Cases
How is one to tell on his own authority who or what is
Liberal, without having recourse to a definitive decision of the teaching
Church? When a good Catholic accuses anyone of Liberalism or attacks and unmasks
Liberal sophisms, the accused (164) immediately seeks refuge in a challenge of
the accuser's authority: "And pray who are you, to charge me and my journal with
Liberalism? Who made you a Master in Israel to declare who is or who is not a
good Catholic? And is it from you that I must take out a patent of Catholicity?"
Such is the last resort of the tainted Catholic on finding himself pushed to the
wall. How then are we to answer this opposition? Is the theology of Liberal
Catholics sound upon this point? That we may accuse any person or writing of
Liberalism, is it necessary to have recourse to a special judgement of the
church upon this particular person or this particular writing? By no means. If
this Liberal paradox were true, it would furnish Liberals with a very
efficacious weapon with which to practically annul all the Church's
condemnations of Liberalism. The Church alone possesses supreme doctrinal
magistery in fact and in right, juris et facti; her sovereign authority is
personified in the Pope. To him alone belongs the right of pronouncing the
final, decisive and solemn sentence. But this does not exclude other judgments,
less authoritative but very weighty, which cannot be despised and even ought to
bind the Christian conscience. Of this kind are: (165) 1. Judgments of the
Bishops in their respective dioceses.
2. Judgments of pastors in their parishes.
3. Judgments of directors of consciences.
4. Judgments of theologians consulted by the lay faithful.
These judgments are of course not infallible, but they are entitled to great consideration and ought to be binding in proportion to the authority of those who give them, in the gradation we have mentioned. But it is not against judgments of this character that Liberals hurl the peremptory challenge we wish particularly to consider. There is another factor in this matter entitled to respect and that is:
5. The judgment of simple human reason duly enlightened.
Yes, human reason, to speak after the manner of theologians, has a theological place in matters of religion. Faith dominates reason, which ought to be subordinated to faith in everything. But it is altogether false to pretend that reason can do nothing, that it has no function at all in matters of faith; it is false to pretend that the inferior light, illuminated by God in the human understanding, cannot shine at all, because it does not shine as powerfully or as clearly as the superior light. Yes the faithful are permitted and even (166) commanded to give a reason for their faith, to draw out its consequences, to make applications of it, to deduce parallels and analogies from it. It is thus by use of their reason that the faithful are enabled to suspect and measure the orthodoxy of any new doctrine, presented to them, by comparing it with a doctrine already defined. If it be not in accord, they can combat it as bad and justly stigmatize as bad the book or journal which sustains it. They cannot of course define it ex cathedra, but they can lawfully hold it as perverse and declare it such, warn others against it, raise the cry of alarm and strike the first blow against it. The faithful layman can do all this, and has done it at all times with the applause of the Church. Nor in so doing does he make himself the pastor of the flock, nor even its humblest attendant; he simply serves it as a watchdog who gives the alarm. Oportet allatrare canes. "It behooves watchdogs to bark" very opportunely said a great Spanish Bishop in reference to such occasions.
Is not perchance the part played by human reason so understood by those zealous prelates, who on a thousand occasions exhort the faithful to refrain from the reading of bad journals and works without specially pointing them out? Thus do they (167) show their conviction that this natural criterion, illuminated by faith, is sufficient to enable the faithful to apply wellknown doctrines to such matters.
Does the Index itself give the title of every forbidden book? Do we not find under the rubric of General Rules of the Index certain principles according to which good Catholics should guide themselves in forming their judgement upon books not mentioned in the Index, but which each reader is expected to apply at his own discretion? Of what use would be the rule of faith and morals, if in every particular case the faithful cannot of themselves make the immediate application; if they were constantly obliged to consult the Pope or the diocesan pastor? Just as the general rule of morality is the law, in accordance with which each one squares his own conscience, dictamen practicum, in making particular applications of this general rule, subject to correction if erroneous; so the general rule of faith, which is the infallible authority of the Church, is and ought to be in consonance with every particular judgment formed in making concrete applications, subject of course to correction and retraction in the event of mistake in so applying it. It would be rendering the superior rule of faith useless, absurd and impossible to require (168) the supreme authority of the Church to make its special and immediate application in every case upon every occasion, which calls it forth. This would be a species of brutal and satanic Jansenism like that of the followers of the unhappy Bishop of Ypres, when they exacted, for the reception of the sacraments, such dispositions as would make it impossible for men to profit by that which was plainly intended and instituted for them by Jesus Christ Himself.
The legal rigorism invoked by the Liberalists, in matters pertaining to faith, is as absurd as the ascetic rigorism once preached at Port Royal; it would result even more disastrously. If you doubt this look around you. The greatest rigorists on this point are the most hardened sectaries of the Liberal school. But how explain this apparent contradiction? It is easily explained, if we only reflect that nothing could be more convenient for Liberalism than to put this legal muzzle upon the lips and the pens of their most determined adversaries. It would be in truth a great triumph for them, under the pretext that no one except the Pope and the Bishops could speak with the least authority, to this impose silence upon the lay champions of the faith, such as were DeMaistre, (169) Cortes, Veuillot, Ward, Lucas, McMaster, who once bore, and others, who now bear, the banner of the faith so boldly and unflinchingly against its most insidious foes. Liberalism would like to see such crusaders disarmed, and would prefer, above all, if they could succeed in getting the Church herself to do the disarming.
Liberalism As It Is In This Country
Liberalism, while essentially one and the same everywhere, presents various aspects in different countries. In its essence it is the denial of the supernatural in whole or in part, but that denial takes a local coloring from place or circumstances. The traditions, customs, prejudices, idiosyncrasies of a people reflect it at various angles. It is protean in its presentations throughout the world, and to the casual observer, who fails to probe below the appearances of things, it may not seem to manifest itself at all where it in reality exists in its subtlest and therefore most dangerous form. In America it would scarcely seem to exist at all, so ingrained is it in our social conditions, so natural is it to the prevailing modes of thought, so congenital is it with the dominant religious notions about us, so congenial a habitat to the Protestant sects. Indeed it is a very constituent of the pseudoreligious notions about us, so congenial a habitat to the Protestant sects. Indeed it is a very constituent of the pseudoreligious and pseudomoral atmosphere we daily breathe. We can hope to escape its taint only by copious and frequent draughts of orthodox doctrine, by the strictest intellectual vigilance, fortified by supernatural grace. Its aspect in this country is peculiar, and fraught with especial danger to the negligent either in faith or morals. Its chief manifestation in the United States is in the form of what is popularly called nonsectarianism. It is a current fallacy, laid down as a fundamental truth, that one religion is as good as another, that everyone has the right to believe what he pleases; that differences in creed are after all but differences in forms of expression; that everyone may select his own creed or sect according to his taste, or even altogether repudiate religious beliefs, and finally, that religion is a thing entirely apart from civic and social life. This of course is secularism in its various degrees, denial of the supernatural.
In practice this principle ingratiates itself into social and civic life directly or indirectly working out to the prejudice of (171) religion and morality. Civil marriage and divorce, mixed marriages and the consequent degeneration of family life, business standards, morality in general pitched on a low key, vicious literature, a materialistic journalism, catering to lax thinking and lax living, religion publicly mocked, scoffed, denied or held indifferently; all this coldly regarded as a matter of course, a necessary expediency condoned and applauded on the ground that it is the fruit of liberty. But the most virulent effect crops out in the prevailing educational theory. Here Liberalism manifests itself in its most direful and fullest effects, for it denies to religion the very sphere where it has the strongest right and the fullest reason to use its widest and most lasting influence, viz., in the mind of childhood. Secularism with the instinct of a foe, has here most positively and triumphantly asserted its claim and, under the disguise of strict impartiality and even patriotism, has banished religion from the school room.
That Catholics should not feel the effects of this relaxing atmosphere is scarcely to be expected. With the air so strongly impregnated with poison it would be difficult indeed to keep the blood healthy. In not a few instances they have fallen victims to the plague, and if not always out and out (172) corrupted they become not a little tainted. Hence we find amongst, if not a large, at least no small number an easy disposition to compromise or minimize their faith in points of doctrine or practice. The natural tendency in human nature to escape friction and avoid antagonism is unhappily in most instances a ready factor in the direction of concession.
To apologize, excuse, extenuate, soften, explain away this or that point of faith, practice or discipline easily follows from a habit of thought contracted from perpetual contact with Liberalists, with whom everything takes precedence of faith and supernaturalism. This especially where Liberalism eschews aggressive action and with a cunning, either satanic or worldly wise, bases its treacherous tolerance upon a supposed generosity of mind or breadth of view. When the supernatural is vaguely identified with the superstitious, faith with credulity, firmness with fanaticism, the uncompromising with the intolerant, consistency with narrowness, for such is the current attitude of secularism around us in these adjuncts it requires courage, fortitude and the consolation of the assured possession of truth to resist the insidious pressure of a false public opinion. Unless supernaturally fortified and enlightened, human (173) nature under this moral oppression soon gives way to "human respect."
Such are our Liberal surroundings in this country. We cannot escape them. But we are in duty bound to resist their fatal contagion with all the powers of our soul. If we hope to preserve our faith intact, to keep it pure and bright in our souls, to save ourselves from the malign influence of a deadly heresy, which is daily leading thousands to perdition, we must be guarded and vigilant in its presence. Amidst a host of swarming foes our armor should be without flaw from greave to helmet, our weapons welltempered, keen and burnished, not only to ward off the hostile blow, but ready to deal a telling stroke home wherever the enemy's weakness exposes him.
It is because we live in the midst of such perplexities, where the ways are devious, where snares are laid for every footstep to entrap us unawares, that we require to be on our guard in a twofold way; first, by means of a life of grace; second, by means of an enlightened reason, which may shine out over our path as a guide to ourselves and a beacon to others. In an especial manner is this a need in our country, where Liberalism pretends to be the champion and guardian of natural reason laying its snares to entrap the unwary and the ignorant. (174) Not in violence but in a treacherous friendliness on the part of Liberalism does the danger lie. A well instructed Catholic, who thoroughly comprehends the rational grounds of his faith and understands the character of Liberal tactics under our national conditions, can alone successfully cope with the enemy front to front. Ultramontanism is the only conquering legion in this sort of warfare. It is the vanguard of the army to surprise the enemy at his own ambuscade, to mine against his mine and expose him before he has burrowed under our own camp. Ultramontanism is Catholicity intact, armed capapie. It is Catholicity consistent in all its parts, the logical concatenation of Catholic principles to their fullest conclusions in doctrine and practice. Hence the fierce and unholy opposition with which it is constantly assailed. The foe well knows that to rout the vanguard is to demoralize the entire army. Hence their rage and fury against the invincible phalanx which always stands fully armed, sleeplessly vigilant and eternally uncompromising.
In this, above all other countries, do Catholics need to be watchful, constant and unshaken in their faith, for the disease of Liberalism is virulently endemic. Its assault is perpetual, its weapons invisible, (175) save to the enlightened eye of a resolute and undaunted faith. In Europe, at least on the continent, Liberalism is violent, aggressive, openly breathing its hatred and opposition. There the war is open, here it is concealed; there the battlefield is the public arena in civic and political life; here the contest is within the social, business and even domestic circle; there it is declared foe against declared foe, here it is friend against friend, even brother against brother and all the more dangerous in results because friendly, social or domestic relations endure without injury amidst the struggle; dangerous to the Catholic because these various ties are so many embarrassments to his free action, so many bonds of affection or interest to enchain him. Therefore must he be all vigilant, therefore should his courage be great, his attitude firm and his stand bold; for while his circumstances make him friendly to his foe, he must wage a deadly battle for his faith. His task is doubly difficult, he must conquer an enemy who appears his dearest friend.