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Papal condemnations of liberalism, vol. 2 November 13, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, Christendom, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Papa, sadness, secularism, self-serving, Society, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

I posted a summation of papal opposition to liberalism last week, and vol. 1 of direct papal condemnations of liberalism yesterday.  Today, I complete the post listing just some of the highlights of the constant denunciations of liberalism in general, and religious liberty in particular, that a dozen popes made between 1780 and 1950, roughly.  Today, some of the strongest denunciations.

First up, Quanta Cura, the seminal encyclical from Blessed Pope Pius IX, who saw his prime minister, the prime minister of the Papal States, brutally stabbed to death right in front of him by a crazed masonic revolutionary.  Blessed Pius IX was literally drenched in the man’s blood. Pius IX, who some think had flirted a bit with liberalism prior to his election as pope, then and always thereafter realized that there is something demonic at the core of leftist revolutionaries, something that desires to see the world burn:pius ix

It is perfectly well known to  you, Venerable Brethren, that today there  are not lacking men who apply to civil society the impious and absurd principle of naturalism, as they call it: they dare to teach “that the perfection of the governments and civil progress demand absolutely that human society be established and governed without taking any more account of religion, as if it did not exist, or at least without making any difference between the different religions, between the true religions and the false ones.” Furthermore, contrary to the teaching of Scripture, of the Church, and of the holy Fathers, they do not fear to affirm that “the best government is that in which there is not conceded to the authorities the duty of curbing the violators of the Catholic religion with the sanction of penalties, except when public tranquility demands it.” 

As a consequence of this absolutely false idea of social government, they do not hesitate to favor that erroneous of opinions, most fatal to the Catholic Church and to the salvation of souls, which Our Predecessor of happy memory, Gregory XVI, called a delirium, c7aec6cd1b9d1b8abc0c7fa953634dd9namely, “that the liberty of conscience and of forms of worship is a right proper to every man; that it must be proclaimed in every well established state, and that the citizens have a right to full freedom to manifest their opinions loudly and publicly, whatever these may be, by word, by printing, or otherwise, without the ecclesiastical or civil authority’s being able to limit it.” [From Mirari Vos, quoted yesterday in post linked above] Now, by supporting these foolhardy affirmations, they do not think, they do not consider that they are preaching “a freedom of perdition,” and that “if it is always permitted to human opinions to enter into the conflict, there will never be lacking men who will dare to resist the truth and to put their confidence in the verbiage of human wisdom, an extremely harmful vanity that Christian faith and wisdom must carefully avoid, in accordance with the teachings of Our Lord Himself.” [This quote taken from Pope St. Leo the Great, Letter 164, Denziger 1689-90]

Next up, quotes from Blessed Pius IX’s famous Syllabus of Errors, A Collection of Condemned Modern Errors, published at the same time as Quanta Cura.  The propositions proposed below were all condemned as heretical by Blessed Pope Pius IX:

19. The Church is not a true and perfect society, entirely free- nor is she endowed with proper and perpetual rights of her own, conferred upon her by her Divine Founder; but it appertains to the civil power to define what are the rights of the Church, and the limits within which she may exercise those rights.

77. In our time, it is no longer useful that the Catholic religion be considered as the only religion of the state, to the exclusion of all other cults. 

78. Therefore, it is with reason that, in some Catholic countries, the law has provided that the foreigners who go there enjoy the public exercise of their particular forms of worship there. 

79. It is false that the civil liberty of all the cults and the full power left to all to manifest openly and publicly all their thoughts and all their opinions, throws the peoples more easily into corruption of morals and of the mind, and propagates the pestilence of Indifferentism.

Really, the entirety of the Syllabus should be read, studied, and compared to the foundational ideas of this country’s government.  And leo_xiiinot just that, but the Church’s approach to the world and the many states, and how the Church views Herself in relation to civil government over the past 40-50 years.  It is exceedingly difficult for this Catholic to reconcile the Syllabus with the conciliar documents Dignitatis Humanae and Guadium Et Spes.  In point of fact, Cardinal Ratzinger called Guadium Et Spes a “counter-syllabus.” 

Finally, we have Leo XIII and Immortale Dei from 1885. This is an encyclical spelling out the guidelines for a proper approach to forming a constitutional state:

requiem-Mass-2.and from the moment when the people is supposed to be the source of all law and of all power, it follows that the state does not believe itself tied to any obligation towards God, does not officially profess any religion, and is not held to search out which one is the sole true one among them all, or to prefer one to the others, or to favor one in the main; but that it should grant them all equality under the law, from the moment when the discipline of the republic suffers no detriment from this. Therefore, everyone will be free to embrace the religion that he prefers, or not to follow any if none of them please him…..[and thus, the modern liberal state actually encourages indifferentism and even atheism.  Or really, inevitably atheism.]

———End Quotes———–

All of these denunciations are predicated on some critical key concepts that used to be foundational in the formation of all Catholics but which are now unknown but to a few.  These include the immutability of Truth, the uniqueness of Divine Revelation through Jesus Christ, the Church’s status as sole repository for that Truth and, by extension, Her role as the sole vehicle of salvation.  All of those concepts stand in total opposition to the approach to religion endorsed by John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and the other enlightenment deists who gave us the modern concept of “government by the people, for the people.”  John Locke, the principle architect of constitutional republicanism, made no bones about his view of religion – people could be as religious as they liked, so long as their first and highest duty/love/obedience was to the state.  Thus, the state became the new god.

That is the truth behind the whole lie of “religious liberty.”  The states that espouse “freedom of religion” really don’t – it’s an illusion. As we see playing out with the HHS contraception mandate, as we’ve seen with state coercion of the Church in a thousand areas (and this has gone on for decades, well back to the 19th century in this country), under “religious liberty,” the state ultimately dominates religion.  It becomes, in many ways, the substitute for religion.  And that was Locke’s intent all along.  He doesn’t spell it out, because that would have turned off his 17th century English audience, but this domination of the state of religion lurks behind everything he says on the subject.

Ultimately, the Church embracing “religious liberty” as a sort of level playing field on which to compete is a fool’s game.  It’s the surrender the liberal state most desires. That is why, since the Church has caved to varying degrees to its claims of special rights and spiritual suzerainty over all souls, the advance of secularism has been unstoppable. It was advancing, too, before the Council, but not nearly so fast, because the Church resolutely opposed the advance.  With the acceptance, at least practically if not doctrinally, of “religious liberty,” the Church has given up that opposition and secularism has rampaged as never seen before. Just as all these popes predicted it would.

I know much of this sounds radical. It was radical to me a year or two ago.  I know criticizing, let alone rejecting, what we have been taught to believe is the inalienable right of each individual seems strange, almost heretical.  But I pray for those who find these words, who were unaware of this constant papal opposition towards fundamental aspects of so many modern nation-states, that they not simply tune out or disregard it as obsolete.  What was confirmed by popes for 200 years (and really, always) cannot ever be dismissed, changed, or undone. This Truth still exists, it is still valid, it will always be valid.  Just think about what I’ve written, pray on it, study much more the writings of the 18th, 19th, and first half of the 20th century popes, and perhaps you’ll find, as I did, that what these popes said makes perfect sense, and explains to a very great extent the crisis in the Faith today.



1. Catholic Glasses - November 13, 2013

Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses and commented:
Very good Catholic Catechesis. I highly recommend reading all or part of this.

2. Catholic Glasses - November 13, 2013

Thanks for posting this! Grateful.

3. Michael - November 13, 2013

Don’t you know you’re not supposed to read pre-Vatican II encyclicals? 😉

It is due to the Council’s teachings on Religious Liberty, Collegial Equality, and Ecumenical Fraternity that the Society came into being.

Bravo for delving into the Church’s venerable teachings on these important matters.

4. Lorra - November 13, 2013

Are you saying that Quanta Cura contains infallible truths?

tantamergo - November 13, 2013

I am saying that the constant upholding of the same doctrine by numerous popes over a period of nearly 200 years rises to the level of infallibility. I am not a theologian, but that is my belief. Quanta Cura, as part of the Ordinary Magisterium, constitutes part of that infallibility. Since Quanta Cura says the same things that other popes and other documents have said, one could infer that it is part of the infallible Magisterium, if not necessarily infallible in every detail.

Just like Vatican II, where it confirms the prior Magisterium (as it does, in many places), is infallible. It is in the novelties where it departs from the Magisterium.

5. TG - November 13, 2013

I am in shock as I am watching on Mundabor’s blog a video of the tango being danced in front of the altar in 2008. This was under the pope’s watch. I think he may be watching it because it was right after Mass.

Lorra - November 13, 2013

TG, thanks for alerting me to that blog. I would leave a comment or two but I do not belong to any of those things. Just as well that I can’t comment.

6. Woody - November 14, 2013

I do not see it as radical but prophetic.

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