From the biography of Gabriel Garcia Moreno, a good and if quite concise summary of the Church’s numerous condemnations of secular liberalism/post-enlightenment political philosophies since the late 1700s. Yes there has been some modification to the plain rejection of virtually all forms of liberal government in the intervening years, but many of these statements constitute part of the ordinary Magisterium and cannot be dismissed out of hand. Fr. Augustine Berthe, CSsR gives a good overview below. One particular area of focus is the false liberal doctrine of “religious liberty,” or official state indifference to religion, which most frequently manifests as state endorsement of atheism. Also note that “Revolution” below is a catch-all term for the “enlightenment”-derived liberalism of the modern Western-inspired democratic state, which elevates ostensible rights of the individual over the rights of God:
……The premiere authority in the world, the Church, has unfailingly exercised all her power to oppose the Revolution’s encroachments. Each successive pontiff has anathematized this great heresy, which is no less antisocial than anti-Christian. Pius VI, in 1791, castigated “the spurious rights of man, the notion of absolute liberty, the right to profess any religious opinion whatsoever, the power to think, write, and even publish as one wishes in religious matters.” Pius VII reproached Napoleon for breaking the union of Church and State by submitting the Church to the slavery of the Organic Articles. In 1814, at the dawn of the Restoration, he expressed his disapproval of a draft constitution which, instead of recognizing the Church’s exclusive rights to the protection of the law, recognized the authority of conscience, promising support and protection for the ministers of the so-called cults, i.e., putting the Immaculate Spouse of Christ on the same level as the heretical sects and the infidel unbelievers. As Leo XII exclaimed: “Princes and powers are established by God to defend the Faith, protect the Church, and assure, by all suitable means, submission to the Apostolic Constitutions.” In a memorable encyclical, Gregory XVI solemnly condemns indifferentism in religious matters and is not afraid to use the term delirium for “this false and pernicious maxim that everyone’s freedom of conscience and absolute freedom of opinion should be permitted and guaranteed” (Mirari Vos, 1832 – an encyclical every Catholic should read and re-read).
Finally, in our own day, Pius IX and Leo XIII pursued the liberal error in its remotest ramifications. The Syllabus blasted this accursed naturalism that claims to govern human society while treating religion as if it no longer existed – or at least making no difference between the true religion and false religions. [Which was actually the fundamental basis of “enlightenment” thought from Locke to Hobbes to Rousseau – in order for society to “advance,” state endorsement of the Church had to be relegated to the ash heap and a new religion of “tolerance” – really indifference – taught in its place. It took centuries – religious observance is a most difficult to eradicate once deeply established, thank God – but what we see in the post-religious, collapsing West is exactly the end result of a militantly agnostic/atheistic form of government. And this form of government has been, historically, inseparable from liberal “democratic,” “will of the people” forms of government. More on that later] “Today, as in centuries past,” we read in this famous document, “it is expedient to declare the Catholic religion to be the religion of the state, to the exclusion of the other cults. Granting civil liberty to all cults and giving each of them the power to exhibit their ideas and opinions in public is something that corrupts morals, perverts the mind and propagates the scourge of indifferentism. Furthermore, the Roman Pontiffs cannot, and should not reconcile himself with or come to terms with progress, liberalism, and modern civilization” (final articles of the Syllabus), that is, with the principles of the Revolution. Resuming the decisions of his predecessors (Immortale Dei, 1883)…….Leo XIII exhibits their harmony and causes them to shine forth in his magisterial encyclical On the Christian Constitution of States, where, with one voice, philosophy, canon law, and history preach the necessity – if we are to avert dreadful catastrophes – of re-establishing the union between the priesthood and the empire, a union that created Europe. [Unfortunately, many Catholics, especially then but also now, felt Leo XIII made a fatal mistake in seeking rapprochement with the militantly anti-Church French state, directing those who still fought for monarchy to submit to the liberal state. He did this hoping for some kind of gesture in kind, but this great act of faith was taken as a sign of weakness and only led to further persecution, and the final confiscation of all Church lands, buildings, etc., which continues to this day.]
This, then, is the state of liberalism reproved by the popes as something that encroaches upon the rights of the Jesus Christ and His Church.
Popes since Leo XIII have argued – and I think it is a reasonable argument – that liberal forms of government are not necessarily, in and of themselves, antithetical to the Faith. The one great countervailing example to the constant hostility shown by liberal states to the Church had been, heretofore, the United States. England, also, in more recent times, but their history of vicious Church persecution made them not the most suitable example. Especially just prior to and during Vatican II, the United States was held up as the example of religious tolerance that did not result in persecution, where the Church could be free, on a more or less even playing field, to conduct her mission and battle against the various and pernicious sects and other religions. Historically, this may have been a fair argument.
Is that still true today? Fewer and fewer of those with eyes to see believe that to be the case. More and more see the US as, inevitably, following the same path towards not just indifference to religion, but outright hostility towards it (especially Christianity, the eternal enemy of the liberals) as the moral and political climate in this country continues to degenerate. It is my personal opinion, backed up by a fair amount of reading, that the ongoing degeneration of the US into an anti-Church state led by an immoral cabal of self-interested “elites” was an inevitable outcome of its enlightenment origins. The “American experiment” was probably the best of the enlightenment projects, it probably afforded the Church the most room for maneuver and the longest period of relative freedom, but, in the end, it seems to be slouching towards the same anti-Catholic hostility that has marked the “liberal” states of almost every other country, especially those of Europe. There are a few other notwithstanding examples, but the general trend is overpowering in its clarity.
The basic factor that must be remembered, as so well pointed out by all the Supreme Pontiffs listed above (and the listing of their denunciations is enormously incomplete), is that, fundamentally, there are irreducible elements of the liberal, endarkenment viewpoint (for it darkened the intellect of man and strove to make dim the Light of Christ) that range from disorder to outright incompatibility with the Catholic Faith. Liberalism can be implemented in many ways, some obviously much better, from the standpoint of faith, than others, but in all its manifestations from relative American conservatism to the most extreme rantings of the communist, it contains elements that are profoundly harmful to the organization of states, the good of the Church, and the salvation of souls. Furthermore, because liberalism has only ever operated for any length of time in any given state according to ideals and laws that result in grave harm to the Faith, it must been seen as uniquely unfit for the good of souls and the organization of states to that end.
Monarchy and other forms of government have their own failings and limitations, and exaltation of the power of the monarchy, a foul product of the Renaissance “rediscovery” of Roman absolutism, was a direct cause of the liberal reaction. But the difference many of these pontiffs saw, was that monarchy had been shown conclusively, through many pious examples, to be capable of operation in complete accord with the best ends of the State, Church, and individual souls in mind. This is an extremely difficult concept for American Catholics to grasp (and I do not expect this one post to convince you, certainly not entirely), because we have all been indoctrinated in the superiority of the American system of liberal government since birth. My suggestion would be to read a great deal – read the encyclicals above, read the Syllabus, read good books on the subject – and most of all, look around at this country, and try to discern whether what we are experiencing in this fall into exaltation of immorality and persecution of the Church, is truly just an accident, or if it is an inevitable product of the errors of the “enlightenment” cooked into, if you will, this nation at its founding.
I do not advocate for a present return to monarchy or any change in form of government for this nation. From a practical standpoint, I have a greater chance of being elected Pope than this nation has of seeing some fundamental shift in its form of government. I simply want to inform souls of the long belief of the Church on this most important subject for the sake of some distant future. We must examine all alternatives, look at every possible source of the ongoing collapse, if we are going to be able to pass onto future generations the tools they need to build a better world, should God permit such.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider on the SSPX: “no weighty reasons to deny…..canonical recognition” August 10, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, manhood, Papa, persecution, religious, scandals, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, unity, Virtue.
Rorate Caeli has an excerpt of an interview of Bishop Athanasius Schneider gave with a Spanish site on the status of the SSPX. +Schneider has been assigned a formal role by the Vatican in visiting two SSPX seminaries. Some highly relevant and interesting statements below, I add comments, emphasis from Rorate:
Mons. Schneider: The Holy See asked me to visit the two [seminaries] of the SSPX in order to conduct a discussion on a specific theological topic with a group of theologians of the SSPX and with His Excellency Bishop Fellay. For me this fact shows that for the Holy See the SSSPX is not a negligible ecclesiastical reality and that it has to be taken seriously. I am keeping a good impression of my visits. I could observe a sound theological, spiritual and human reality in the two [seminaries]. The “sentire cum ecclesia” of the SSPX is shown by the fact that I was received as an envoy of the Holy See with true respect and with cordiality. Furthermore, I was glad to see in both places in the entrance area a photo of Pope Francis, the reigning Pontiff. In the sacristies there were plates with the name of Pope Francis and the local diocesan bishop. I was moved to assist the traditional chant for the Pope (“Oremus pro pontifice nostro Francisco…”) during the solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.To my knowledge there are no weighty reasons in order to deny the clergy and faithful of the SSPX the official canonical recognition, meanwhile they should be accepted as they are. This was indeed Archbishop Lefebvre’s petition to the Holy See: “Accept us as we are”. [Interesting. There have always been prelates favorably disposed to the SSPX. Cardinal Stickler was one particularly notable example. There have been, and are, others. Their viewpoint, however, is not shared by many other bishops, some of which view the Society as more alien, and with more hostility, than the most extreme sect or foreign religion. My own personal viewpoint aligns, in a hopeful sense, with that of Bishop Schneider.]I think the issue of Vatican II should not be taken as the “conditio sine qua non”, since it was an assembly with primarily [or was it entirely?] pastoral aims and characteristics. A part of the conciliar statements reflects only its time and possesses a temporary value, as disciplinary and pastoral documents do. [Brilliant. And very important] When we look in a two millennia old perspective of the Church, we can state, that there is on both sides (Holy See and the SSPX) an over-evaluation and over-estimation of a pastoral reality in the Church, which is Vatican II. [Bishop Schneider is saying both the Vatican and SSPX have blown VII out of proportion. I both agree and disagree. I think eventually, the only way to “move beyond” VII is to basically ignore all its novel parts and get back to the traditional practice of the Faith. But those novel parts have been so damaging and have affected the understanding and practice of the Faith in such a severe, revolutionary way, that doing so will prove extremely difficult. That’s because for a sizable portion of those who claim the name Catholic, including the large majority of bishops and priests, VII created in their minds a “new church” very different from, and hostile towards, the “old” one. Yes this cohort is dying off very gradually, but not fast enough, and there are not nearly enough of those with a proper, or at least better, understanding of the reality of the Church to replace them/turn the tide. But incorporating the SSPX back into the regular life of the Church would help enormously to that end – while also being a high risk move.]
When the SSPX believes, worship and conducts a moral [life] as it was demanded and recognized by the Supreme Magisterium and was observed universally in the Church during a centuries long period [one might say “always”] and when the SSPX recognizes the legitimacy of the Pope and the diocesan bishops and prays for them publicly and recognizes also the validity of the sacraments according to the editio typica of the new liturgical books, this should suffice for a canonical recognition of the SSPX on behalf of the Holy See. Otherwise the often repeated pastoral and ecumenical openness in the Church of our days will manifestly lose its credibility and the history will one day reproach to the ecclesiastical authorities of our days that they have “laid on the brothers greater burden than required” (cf. Acts 15:28), which is contrary to the pastoral method of the Apostles.
Non sequitur funny, but so close to home I had to post August 10, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, foolishness, fun, General Catholic, non squitur, self-serving, silliness, Society, technology.
This is a brilliant cartoon. I had to edit some of it to black out some unfortunate language, but owning both a standard SKS with a ten round stripper-clip fed magazine, and an SKS-M paratrooper model with accepts AK-47 30 round magazines, I just had to include this:
OK, the fourth panel went a bit over the top. I do think the gun control movement largely trades in manipulation of emotions, rather than appeals to reason, but I recognize my own bias. The first three panels were just too awesome. My wife built a bunker for herself and the kids when I pull out the SKS-M, she knows she’s got to hide them from the satanic Nazi storming around with his unstoppable machine gun.
Meanwhile, LA just declared all magazines beyond 10 round capacity illegal. Of course, they were silent on what to do in situations like this (content warning due to atrocious Daily Mail sidebars). When four armed men break into your house in a home-invasion situation, 10 rounds will probably not be nearly enough. Some may ask how often do these kinds of attacks occur, but one time is more than enough to shatter someone’s world, or end their life. Nice that the robbers were driving extremely expensive luxury cars. There may be more to this particular story, but home invasions occur with grim frequency, particularly in this country.
A belated conversion for our dear leader? Yeah, right, it’s his (and the left’s) dogmatic situational ethics at work yet again. Some killing for the sale of human parts is bad, others just wonderful:
President Barack Obama told a group of young African leaders on Monday that harvesting organs from humans that are killed as part of an African ritual was “craziness” and a “cruel” tradition that needed to stop. He warned of dehumanizing marginal groups of humans and of the problems that arise when “you are not able to see someone else as a human being.” [Liberals frequently have deep problems with self-awareness and self-contradiction, but Blojamba has taken the narcissistic bubble to a whole new level]
In a wide-ranging question and answer session with members of the Young African Leaders Initiative [YALI], a woman from Kenya said “Persons with albinism in Africa are being killed and their body parts harvested for ritual purposes. My request to you is to raise this issue with heads of state of African countries to bring these atrocities to an end.” [how about the atrocity of abortion, which is available in many African states?]
Obama decried the practice and went on to encourage the young people to do everything in their power to fight on the behalf of vulnerable humans. [get this…….]
“Young people, you can lead the way and set a good example. But it requires some courage because the old thinking, people will push back at you and if you don’t have convictions and courage to be able stand up for what you think is right, then cruelty will perpetuate itself,” he said. [There is none so blind…….And talk about hubris. This man, who holds the most radically pro-abort views of any president in this nation’s history, had the unmitigated gall to say this!?!] He added, “If there’s one thing I want YALI leaders to come out with, it’s the notion of you are strong by taking care of the people who are vulnerable, by looking after the minority, looking after the disabled, looking after the vulnerable. You’re not strong by putting people down you’re strong by lifting them up. That’s the measure of a leader.” [Physician, heal thyself, you self-deluded narcissistic bully]
Obama also tied the practice of harvesting organs from albinos with racism and discrimination against gay people[oh, naturally] and urged consistency in how they view the sanctity of human life if they want to complain about human rights abuses.
I know, file this post under the water is wet category, but sometimes, it’s important to highlight the depths of delusion that are rampant on the socio-political left. This guy is their paragon, and yet he is utterly blind to his own mammoth hypocrisy.
A thought occurred to me in concluding this post. We see Obama try, inanely, to tie “discrimination against ‘gay people'” with African animist human sacrifice (have some of the animists present at the Assisi confabs taken part in this satanic practice?), while ignoring his feverish support for abortion. But we are told by the radical sodomite crowd that they are born that way. Let’s suppose that they are right (not that it would make the slightest difference with regard to the immorality of their acts), and that concrete, irrefutable proof a “gay gene” is discovered, and more than that, prenatal testing can discern the presence of this gene. And let us further surmise that, like the genocide against Down’s Syndrome babies, parents decide en masse to abort their “gay” babies.
What would the extreme pro-abort, pro-sodomy crowd do in that instance? I’m sure they’d amaze us with their double-think, decrying abortion over an inclination towards sexual perversion as a terrible evil while still encouraging, nay demanding, it in every other instance, including Down’s Syndrome, autism, and whatever else they feel makes a life “not worth living.” But it would probably be quite fun to watch them tie themselves into rhetorical knots with all the special pleading, and I might expect a huge increase in the price of wheat what with the billions of straw men that would have to be fabricated to advance their unsupportable position. Schadenfreude certainly is not a virtue, but sometimes its allure can prove darned near irresistible.