Jorge Mario Bergoglio Would Have Urged Catholics to "Dialogue" With Diocletian, part three

The secular religion that is political ideology started with the Liberalism of John Locke’s Second Treatise on Civil Government, which was, depending on what sources one accepts, an impetus to the overthrow of King James II of England in 1688 or an ex post facto justification for that overthrow in 1690.

As has been noted many times on this site, one of the proximate root causes of what can be called "liberalism" is the writing of John Locke, whose views were the direct result of the Protestant Revolution that began in England under King Henry VIII in 1534 and resulted in the proliferation of Protestant sects in a kingdom that had been Catholic for nearly a millennium. Readers of this site know that I care very much about root causes.

The Protestant Revolt engendered murder and mayhem in the German states after it was launched by the hideous, lecherous, drunken Augustinian monk named Father Martin Luther, O.S.A., on October 31, 1517, when he posted his "ninety-five theses" on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther himself was aghast to see the almost instantaneous moral degeneration of his "evangelicals" into violent mobs who pilfered and sacked formerly Catholic churches and lived riotously, oblivious to the fact that he was responsible for this degeneration by depriving those who followed his revolution against Christ the King of the Sacraments and of the true teaching that Our King has entrusted to His Catholic Church for Its eternal safekeeping and infallible explication.

In like manner, of course, the Protestant Revolt in England engendered murder and violence, much of which was state-sponsored as Henry Tudor was responsible between the years of 1534 and 1547 for ordering the executions of over 72,000 Catholics who remained faithful to the Catholic Church following the decree that Parliament has passed that declared him to be the "supreme head of the Church in England as far as the law of God allowed." As was the case in the German states as princes gave Luther protection so that they, the princes, could govern in a Machiavellian manner free of any interference from Rome or their local bishops, so was it the case in England that the Protestant Revolution provided the receipt for the unchecked tyranny of English monarchs.

Indeed, the kind of state-sponsored social engineering that has created the culture of entitlement in England and elsewhere in Europe has its antecedent roots in Henry's revolt against the Social Reign of Christ the King and His Catholic Church in the Sixteenth Century.

Henry had Parliament enact various laws to force the poor who had lived for a nominal annual fee on the monastery and convent lands (as they produced the food to sustain themselves, giving some to the monastery or convent) off of those lands, where their families had lived for generations, in order to redistribute the Church properties he had stolen to those who supported his break from Rome. Henry quite cleverly created a class of people who were dependent upon him for the property upon which they lived and the wealth they were able to derive therefrom, making them utterly supportive of his decision to declare himself Supreme Head of the Church in England. Those of the poorer classes who had been thrown off of the monastery and convent lands were either thrown into prison (for being poor, mind you) or forced to migrate to the cities, where many of them lost the true Faith and sold themselves into various vices just to survive. The effects of this exercise of state-sponsored engineering are reverberating in the world today, both politically and economically. Indeed, many of the conditions bred by the disparity in wealth created by Henry's land grab in the Sixteenth Century would fester and help to create the world of unbridled capitalism and slave wage that so impressed a German emigre in London by the name of Karl Marx. Unable to recognize the historical antecedents of the real injustices he saw during the Victorian Era, Marx set about devising his own manifestly unjust system, premised on atheism and anti-Theism, to rectify social injustice once and for all. In a very real way, Henry of Tudor led the way to Lenin of Russia.

The abuses of power by English monarchs led to all manner of social unrest in England, especially as those Anglicans who were followers of John Calvin sought to eradicate all remaining vestiges of Catholicism from Anglican "worship" and "doctrine" (removing Latin from certain aspects of the heretical Anglican liturgy, smashing statues, eliminating high altars in favor of tables, things that have been undertaken in the past forty years in many formerly Catholic churches that are now in the custody of the counterfeit church of conciliarism). This unrest produced the English Civil Wars of the 1640s and the establishment in 1649 of what was, for all intents and purposes, a Calvinist state under the control Oliver Cromwell that became a Cromwellian dictatorship between the years of 1653 to 1660 until the monarchy under the House of Stuart was restored in 1660. Oh yes, King Charles I lost his head, quite literally, in 1649 as the "Roundheads" of Oliver Cromwell came to power in 1649 following seven years of warfare between "parliamentarians" and "royalists." Revolutions always wind up eating their own. The English monarchy itself was eaten up by the overthrow of the Social Reign of the King of Kings by Henry VIII of the House of Tudor in 1534.

King James II, who had converted to Catholicism in France in 1668 while he was the Prince of York under his brother, King Charles II of the restored monarchy, acceded to the English throne in on June 6, 1685, following his brother's death, which occurred after Charles II himself had converted to the the Faith on his deathbed. Suspicious that the property that had been acquired and the wealth that had been amassed as a result of Henry VIII's social-engineering land grab of 150 years before would be placed in jeopardy, Protestant opponents of King James II eventually forced him to abdicate the throne in 1688, his rule having been declared as ended on December 11 of that year. The abdication of King James, whose second wife, Mary of Modena, had been assigned Blessed Father Claude de la Colombiere as her spiritual director when she was the Princess of York, is referred to by Protestant and secular historians as the "glorious revolution," so-called because it ushered in the penultimate result of the Protestant Revolution, the tyranny of the majority.

It was to justify the rise of majoritarianism that John Locke, a Presbyterian (Calvinist) minister, wrote his Second Treatise on Civil Government. Locke believed, essentially, that social problems could be ameliorated if a majority of reasonable men gathered together to discuss their situation. The discussion among these "reasonable men" would lead to an agreement, sanctioned by the approval of the majority amongst themselves, on the creation of structures which designed to improve the existing situation. If those structures did not ameliorate the problems or resulted in a worsening of social conditions then some subsequent majority of "reasonable men" would be able to tear up the "contract" that had bound them before, devising yet further structures designed to do what the previous structures could not accomplish. Locke did not specify how this majority of reasonable men would form, only that it would form, providing the foundation of the modern parliamentary system that premises the survival of various governments upon the whims of a majority at a given moment.

In other words, England's "problem" in 1688 was King James II. The solution? Parliament, in effect, declared that he had abdicated his throne rather than attempt to fight yet another English civil war to maintain himself in power as the man chosen by the parliamentarians to replace him, his own son-in-law William of Orange, who was married to his daughter Mary, landed with armed forces ready to undertake such a battle. The parliamentary "majority" had won the day over absolutism and a return to Catholicism.

Unfortunately for Locke, you see, social problems cannot be ameliorated merely by the creation of structures devised by "reasonable men" and sanctioned by the majority.

All problems in the world, both individual and social, have their remote causes in Original Sin and their proximate causes in the Actual Sins of men. There is no once-and-for-all method or structure by which, for example, "peace" will be provided in the world by the creation of international organizations or building up or the drafting of treaties.

There is no once-and-for-all method or structure by which, for example, "crime" will be lessened in a nation by the creation of various programs designed to address the "environmental" conditions that are said to breed it.

The only way in which social conditions can be ameliorated is by the daily reformation of individual lives in cooperation with the graces won for men by the shedding of the Most Precious Blood of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ upon the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces. And to the extent that social structures can be effective in addressing and ameliorating specific problems at specific times in specific places those who create and administer them must recognize their absolute dependence upon God's graces and that there is no secular, non-denominational or inter-denominational way to provide for social order. Social order and peace among nations depend entirely upon the subordination of the life of every person and the activities of every nation to the Social Reign of Christ the King as it is exercised by the Catholic Church. 

Locke’s construct of social reform sanctioned by a majority of supposedly “reasonable men” begat what became an ever-evolving series of “salvific” naturalistic ideologies, each replete with its own sets of competing interpreters, guardians, and evangelists.

Here is a partial listing and thumbnail sketch of many, although far all, of the major political ideologies that have been spanned in the past three hundred forty years: Some of the other consequences of naturalism include:

  1. "Positivism," the contention that something is true because it has been asserted as being true;
  2. "Materialism," the acquisition and retention of wealth and material goods as the ultimate end of human existence;
  3. "Utilitarianism," the belief that public policy must be founded on the principle of the "greatest good for the greatest number," meaning that "inconvenient" or "useless" human lives may be "engineered," either passively or aggressively, out of existence;
  4. "Pragmatism," the belief that social problems must be resolved on a "practical" basis without regard to a consideration of "root causes;"
  5. "Egalitarianism," the belief that there are no divinely-instituted distinctions among men in society, starting with a rejection of the authority vested in the hierarchy of the Church (which is also known as "anti-clericalism"); "
  6. Feminism," the assertion that there are no distinctions ordained by God between the sexes and that women have the "right" to do everything that men can do in society;
  7. "Evolutionism," the rejection of Special Creation of man by God and his subsequent the Fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden and replacing it with a belief that life evolved over billions of years, thus convincing man that truth itself evolves over time and that there are no fixed standards by which one can judge human behavior;
  8. "Majoritarianism," the belief, drawn, although in different ways, from John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that public policy is determined by will of the majority in society at any given time;
  9. "Liberalism," the political ideology that contends that it is possible for a majority of reasonable men to devise social structures to improve social conditions by the light of their own unaided reason;
  10. "Conservatism," an amalgamation of different philosophies that have one thing in common: a rejection of the necessity of men and their nations to subordinate themselves to the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church;
  11. "Libertarianism," the belief that the civil government has only a limited role to play in the restriction of the behavior of its citizens;
  12.  "Socialism," a term used to describe any number of specific politico-economic systems that reject, to one degree or another, the private ownership of property and places the control of the major means of production in the hands of the state while imposing confiscatory taxation in order to "redistribute" wealth according to the decisions made by the socialist elite;
  13. "Communism," the ultimate form of socialism that contends it is possible for all clash among men to cease once private property is confiscated and the wealth derived therefrom distributed equitably amongst the workers according to the principle of "from each according to his ability and to each according to his need;
  14. "Nationalism," the exaltation of the myths of one's nation above love of God as He has revealed Himself exclusively through the Catholic Church;
  15. "Statism," the exaltation of the state as being endowed with the properties of infallibility and invincibility its domestic and international policies;
  16. "Fascism," very much related to statism, seeks to orchestrate politics and the national economy and popular culture to the honor and glory of the state (private property might be permitted in a fascist state, only subject to state-imposed restrictions; corporate enterprises not controlled directly by the state must produce what the state demands and according to the price control established by the tate);
  17. "Secularism," which is simply another name for naturalism;
  18. Environmentalism, which is a pantheistic worship of the natural elements of the world as a cover to advance population control and massive social engineering;
  19. Globalism, which is a suppression of the sovereignty of nation-states in favor of multinational bureaucracies composed of unelected elites who believe that it is necessary to destroy “democracy” in order to “save” “democracy” and thus govern the world according to “scientific” principles. Globalism is nothing other than Communism by another word.

This review is intended to add some context to the world that face our true popes following the death of Pope Saint Pius X on August 20, 1914, which was less than a month after the onset of World War I on July 28, 1914.

World War I was caused by a number of factors, not the least being the aforementioned ideology of nationalism that had become a psychic disease of many formerly Catholic nations of Europe, especially England, France, and Italy, although to be sure, there the disease of nationalism was rife within the many parts of the still Catholic Austro-Hungarian Empire. World War I was a needless exercise in militarism on behalf of nationalism fought with the means of modern weaponry, especially aerial combat, and the use chemical nerve agents. The war was immoral and unjust, and it is said that Pope Saint Pius X’s health took a turn for the worse following the outbreak of war in once Catholic Europe.

Pope Saint Pius X’s successor, Pope Benedict XV, was no Giuseppe Melchior Sarto when it came to the governance of the Church and the suppression of Modernism, and unlike the pastor who hailed from the farm community of Riese, Italy, trained in diplomacy, which he sought to use throughout the course of World War I, especially by issuing a Peace Note in 1917 that was scoffed at by the militarist, war-mongering anti-Catholic bigot named Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who was President of the United States from March 4, 1913, to March 4, 1921.

Pope Benedict XV had to walk a delicate line during World War I as Catholics were fighting on both sides of the war and, to make matters more complex, there were Catholics in Poland, then under control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who desired their beloved homeland to be independent again, a sentiment that was shared by some, although far from all, Catholics in Bohemia and Slovakia. It was in light of these difficulties that Pope Benedict XV’s first encyclical letter, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914, sought to address general principles of Catholic truth, including a reminder about the binding nature of Catholic teaching in all the circumstances of life, which is why he emphasized the obligation of civil rulers to subordinate their actions to Holy Mother Church in all that pertained to the good of souls.

His Holiness started his encyclical letter by noting the irony that there was less brotherhood of men in the world in 1914 even though agents of naturalism spoke constantly about such brotherhood while ignoring the fact that Holy Mother Church is the source of the true unity of men throughout the world:

Far different from this is the behaviour of men today. Never perhaps was there more talking about the brotherhood of men than there is today; in fact, men do not hesitate to proclaim that striving after brotherhood is one of the greatest gifts of modern civilization, ignoring the teaching of the Gospel, and setting aside the work of Christ and of His Church. But in reality never was there less brotherly activity amongst men than at the present moment. Race hatred has reached its climax; peoples are more divided by jealousies than by frontiers; within one and the same nation, within the same city there rages the burning envy of class against class; and amongst individuals it is self-love which is the supreme law overruling everything.

8. You see, Venerable Brethren, how necessary it is to strive in every possible way that the charity of Jesus Christ should once more rule supreme amongst men. That will ever be our own aim; that will be the keynote of Our Pontificate. And We exhort you to make that also the end of your endeavours. Let us never cease from reechoing in the ears of men and setting forth in our acts, that saying of St. John: “Let us love one another” (I John iii. 23). Noble, indeed, and praiseworthy are the manifold philanthropic institutions of our day: but it is when they contribute to stimulate true love of God and of our neighbours in the hearts of men, that they are found to confer a lasting advantage; if they do not do so, they are of no real value, for “he that loveth not, abideth in death.” (I John iii. 14). (Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914.)

The passages above could be used to describe the hypocrisy of the “left” today, of course, and the passages immediately below struck at the heart of World War I’s cause: nationalism:

9. The second cause of the general unrest we declare to be the absence of respect for the authority of those who exercise ruling powers. Ever since the source of human powers has been sought apart from God the Creator and Ruler of the Universe, in the free will of men, the bonds of duty, which should exist between superior and inferior, have been so weakened as almost to have ceased to exist. The unrestrained striving after independence, together with over-weening pride, has little by little found its way everywhere; it has not even spared the home, although the natural origin of the ruling power in the family is as clear as the noonday sun; nay, more deplorable still, it has not stopped at the steps of the sanctuary. Hence come contempt for laws, insubordination of the masses, wanton criticism of orders issued, hence innumerable ways of undermining authority; hence, too, the terrible crimes of men who, claiming to be bound by no laws, do not hesitate to attack the property or the lives of their fellow men.

10. In presence of such perversity of thought and of action, subversive of the very constitution of human society, it would not be right for Us, to whom is divinely committed the teaching of the truth, to keep silence: and We remind the peoples of the earth of that doctrine, which no human opinions can change: “There is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God” (Rom. xiii 1). Whatever power then is exercised amongst men, whether that of the King or that of an inferior authority, it has its origin from God. Hence St. Paul lays down the obligation of obeying the commands of those in authority, not in any kind of way, but religiously, that is conscientiously-unless their commands are against the laws of God: “Wherefore be not subject of necessity, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake” (Rom. xiii. 5). In harmony with the words of St. Paul are the words of the Prince of the Apostles himself: “Be ye subject of every human creature for God’s sake: whether it be the King as excelling, or to governors as sent by him” (I Peter ii. 13-14). From which principle the Apostle of the Gentiles infers that he who contumaciously resists the legitimate exercise of human authority, resists God and is preparing for himself eternal punishment: “Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation” (Rom. xiii. 2). (Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914.)

The cure for naturalism, of course, is to be found in rejecting Modernity’s cries for the separation of Church and State in favor of a concord between rules and Holy Mother Church in all that pertains to the good of souls, upon which the right order with nations and peace among them depends:

11. Let the Princes and Rulers of peoples remember this truth, and let them consider whether it is a prudent and safe idea for governments or for states to separate themselves from the holy religion of Jesus Christ, from which their authority receives such strength and support. Let them consider again and again, whether it is a measure of political wisdom to seek to divorce the teaching of the Gospel and of the Church from the ruling of a country and from the public education of the young. Sad experience proves that human authority fails where religion is set aside. The fate of our first parent after the Fall is wont to come also upon nations. As in his case, no sooner had his will turned from God than his unchained passions rejected the sway of the will; so, too, when the rulers of nations despise divine authority, in their turn the people are wont to despise their human authority. There remains, of course, the expedient of using force to repress popular risings; but what is the result? Force can repress the body, but it cannot repress the souls of men.

12. When the twofold principle of cohesion of the whole body of society has been weakened, that is to say, the union of the members with one another by mutual charity and their union with their head by their dutiful recognition of authority, is it to be wondered at, Venerable Brethren, that human society should be seen to be divided as it were into two hostile armies bitterly and ceaselessly at strife? Drawn up against those who possess property, whether by inheritance or by industry, stand the proletariate and the workers, inflamed with hatred and envy, because, although they are by nature the same, they do not occupy the same position as the others. Once they have been imbued with the fallacies of the agitators, to whose behests they are most docile, who will ever make them see that it does not follow that because men are equal by their nature, they must all occupy an equal place in the community? And further, who will ever make them see that the position of each one is that which each by use of his natural gifts-unless prevented by force of circumstances-is able to make for himself? And so the poor who strive against the rich as though they had taken part of the goods of others, not merely act contrary to justice and charity, but also act irrationally, particularly as they themselves by honest industry can improve their fortunes if they choose. It is not necessary to enumerate the many consequences, not less disastrous for the individual than for the community, which follow from this class hatred. We all see and deplore the frequency of strikes, which suddenly interrupt the course of city and of national life in their most necessary functions, we see hostile gatherings and tumultous crowds, and it not unfrequently happens that weapons are used and human blood is spilled. (Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914.)

The themes addressed by Pope Benedict XV in the passages just above would be reiterated very emphatically and in a far more urgent manner by his own successor, Pope Pius XI, in his first encyclical letter, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922, which will be reviewed once again later in this commentary.

Pope Benedict XV’s Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum went on to condemn Socialism and all other forms of naturalism, including materialism and the godless education of children, as being nothing other than incitements to envy, class warfare within nations and armed hostilities among them:

13. It is not our intention here to repeat the arguments which clearly expose the errors of Socialism and of similar doctrines. Our predecessor, Leo XIII, most wisely did so in truly memorable Encyclicals; and you, Venerable Brethren, will take the greatest care that those grave precepts are never forgotten, but that whenever circumstances call for it, they should be clearly expounded and inculcated in Catholic associations and congresses, in sermons and in the Catholic press. But more especially-and We do not hesitate to repeat it-by the help of every argument, supplied by the Gospels or by the nature of man himself, or by the consideration of the interests of the individual and of the community, let us strive to exhort all men, that in virtue of the divine law of charity they should love one another with brotherly love. Brotherly love is not calculated to get rid of the differences of conditions and therefore of classes-a result which is just as impossible as that in the living body all the members should have the same functions and dignity-but it will bring it to pass that those who occupy higher positions will in some way bring themselves down to those in a lower position, and treat them not only justly, for it is only right that they should, but kindly and in a friendly and patient spirit, and the poor on their side will rejoice in their prosperity and rely confidently on their help-even as the younger son of a family relies on the help and protection of his elder brother.

14. But there is still, Venerable Brethren, a deeper root of the evils we have hitherto been deploring, and unless the efforts of good men concentrate on its extirpation, that tranquil stability and peacefulness of human relations we so much desire, can never be attained. The apostle himself tells us what it is: “The desire of money is the root of all evils” (I. Tim vi. 10). If any one considers the evils under which human society is at present labouring, they will all be seen to spring from this root.

15. Once the plastic minds of children have been moulded by godless schools, and the ideas of the inexperienced masses have been formed by a bad daily or periodical press, and when by means of all the other influences which direct public opinion, there has been instilled into the minds of men that most pernicious error that man must not hope for a state of eternal happiness; but that it is here, here below, that he is to be happy in the enjoyment of wealth and honour and pleasure: what wonder that those men whose very nature was made for happiness should with all the energy which impels them to seek that very good, break down whatever delays or impedes their obtaining it. And as these goods are not equally divided amongst men, and as it is the duty of authority in the State to prevent the freedom enjoyed by the individual from going beyond its due limits and invading what belongs to another, it comes to pass that public authority is hated, and the envy of the unfortunate is inflamed against the more fortunate. Thus the struggle of one class of citizen against another bursts forth, the one trying by every means to obtain and to take what they want to have, the other endeavouring to hold and to increase what they possess.

16. Christ our Lord, foreseeing the present state of things, definitely stated in his sublime Sermon on the Mount, what are the real “beatitudes” of man in the world; and thereby He may be said to have laid down the foundations of Christian philosophy. Even in the eyes of the adversaries of the faith they are full of incomparable wisdom, and form a most complete religious and moral system; and certainly all would admit that before Christ, Who is the Very Truth, no such teaching in those matters had ever been uttered with such weight and dignity, or with such a depth of love.

17. Now, the whole secret of this divine philosophy is, that what are called the goods of this mortal life have indeed the appearance of good, but not the reality; and, therefore, that it is not in the enjoyment of them that man can be happy. In the divine plan, so far are riches and glory and pleasure from bringing happiness to man that if he really wishes to be happy, he must rather for God’s sake renounce them all: “Blessed are ye poor . . . Blessed are ye that weep now; . . . Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you and when they shall separate you, and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil” (Luke vi. 20-22). That is to say, that it is through the sorrows and sufferings and miseries of this life, patiently borne with, as it is right that they should be, that we shall enter into possession of those true and imperishable goods which “God hath prepared for them that love Him” (I. Cor. ii. 9). This most important teaching of our Faith is overlooked by many, and by not a few it has been completely forgotten.

18. Hence it is necessary, Venerable Brethren, to revive it once more in the minds of all, for in no other way can individuals and nations attain to peace. Let us, then, bid those who are undergoing distress of whatever kind, not to cast their eyes down to the earth in which we are as pilgrims, but to raise them to Heaven to which we are going: “For we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come” (Heb. xiii. 14). In the midst of the adversities whereby God tests their perseverance in His service, let them often think of the reward that is prepared for them if victorious in the trial: “For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory” (II Cor. iv. 17). We must strive by every possible means to revive amongst men faith in the supernatural truths, and at the same time the esteem, the desire and the hope of eternal goods. Your chief endeavours, Venerable Brethren, that of the Clergy, and of all good Catholics, in their various societies, should be to promote God’s glory and the true welfare of mankind. In proportion to the growth of this faith amongst men will be the decrease of that feverish striving after the empty goods of the world, and little by little, as brotherly love increases, social unrest and strife will cease.

19. Let us now turn our thoughts from human society to the immediate affairs of the Church, for it is necessary that Our soul, stricken with the evils of the times, should seek consolation in one direction at least. Over and above those luminous proofs of the divine power and indefectibility enjoyed by the Church, We find a source of no small consolation in the remarkable fruits of the active foresight of our Predecessor, Pope Pius X, who shed upon the Apostolic Chair the lustre of a most holy life. For We see as a result of his efforts a revival of religious spirit in the clergy throughout the whole world; the piety of the Christian people revived; activity and discipline stimulated in Catholic associations; the foundation and increase of episcopal sees; provision made for the education of ecclesiastical students in harmony with the canonical requirements and in so far as necessary with the needs of the times; the saving of the teaching of sacred science from the dangers of rash innovations; musical art brought to minister worthily to the dignity of sacred functions; the Faith spread far and wide by new missions of heralds of the Gospel. (Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Aposotolorum, November 1, 1914.)

Pope Benedict XV issued a letter in April of 1917 to plea for peace among the warring nations. Although the principal purpose of the letter was to insert the title “Queen of Peace” in the Litany of Our Lady (the Litany of Loretto), he made it clear that the hostilities had to end:

On April 27, 1915, with the letter addressed to the rev. P. Crawley-Boevey, We extended to all those who consecrated their home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Indulgences two years earlier granted for this act of piety by Our Predecessor Pius X, of venerable and holy memory, to the families of the Republic Chilean. Then, vivid and serene, the hope that the Divine Redeemer, called to reign visibly in the domestic hearths, would spread the infinite treasures of meekness and humility of His most loving Heart and prepare all souls to welcome the paternal invitation to peace, which We proposed to address in His August Name to the belligerent peoples and their leaders on the first anniversary of the outbreak of the current terrible war. The ardor with which Christian families, and also the soldiers of the various fighting armies,

We then pointed out to the peoples the only way to settle - with honor and with the benefit of each of them - their disagreements and, by tracing the foundations on which the future structure of the States will have to lay, in order to be lasting, we averted them, in the name of God and humanity, to abandon the purposes of mutual destruction and come to a just and equitable agreement.

But Our breathless voice, invoking the cessation of the immense conflict, the suicide of civil Europe, that day and thereafter remained unheard! The dark tide of hatred spreading among the warring nations seemed to rise even more, and the war, overwhelming other countries in its frightful whirlwind, multiplied the ruins and the massacres.

Yet, Our trust did not fail! You know, Cardinal, that you have lived and lives with Us in the anxious expectation of the longed-for peace. In the inexpressible torment of Our soul and among the most bitter tears, which We shed on the atrocious pains accumulated on the fighting peoples by this horrible storm, We love to hope now not farther away the hoped-for day, in which all men, children of the same Heavenly Father, they will go back to considering themselves brothers. The sufferings of the peoples, which have become almost importable, have made the general desire for peace more acute and intense. May the Divine Redeemer do, in the infinite goodness of his Heart, that even in the minds of the rulers the advice of meekness prevails, and that, aware of their responsibility before God and before humanity,

To this end, may the prayer of the miserable human family ascend to Jesus, more frequent, humble and trusting, especially in the month dedicated to His Most Holy Heart, and you implore the cessation of the terrible scourge. Let each one purify himself more often in the salutary washing of the sacramental Confession, and to the most loving Heart of Jesus, joined to him in Holy Communion, offer him his petitions with affectionate insistence. And since all the graces, which the Author of all good deigns to share with the poor descendants of Adam, are, by the loving advice of his Divine Providence, dispensed through the hands of the Most Holy Virgin, We want the Great Mother of God in this terrible hour more than ever turn the question of your most afflicted children alive and confidently. Let us therefore give you, Mr. Cardinal, the task of making known to all the Bishops of the world Our ardent desire that they have recourse to the Heart of Jesus, throne of graces, and that this throne be resorted to through Mary. To what purpose We order that, starting from the first day of next June, the invocation "Regina pacis, ora pro nobis”, which we allowed the Ordinaries to add temporarily with the Decree of the Sacred Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs on 16 November 1915.

Rise, therefore, to Mary, who is Mother of mercy and omnipotent by grace, from every corner of the earth, in majestic times and in the smallest chapels, from the palaces and rich mansions of the great as from the poorest hovels, where lodges a 'faithful soul, from the fields and bloody seas, the pious, devout invocation and bring to her the anguished cry of mothers and wives, the groan of innocent children, the sigh of all well-blessed hearts: move your tender and most benign solicitude to obtain the longed-for peace from the troubled world and remember, for centuries to come, the efficacy of your intercession and the magnitude of the benefit shared by you.

With this trust in our hearts, We implore from God on all peoples, whom we embrace with equal affection, the most chosen graces and we impart the Apostolic Blessing to you, Lord Cardinal, and to all Our children. (Pope Benedict XV, Epistle to Pietro Cardinal Gasparri, May 5, 1917.)

What is noteworthy about this letter is that it was issued twenty-nine days after United States President Thomas Woodrow Wilson had secured a declaration of war against the German Empire on April 6, 1917, which just happened to be Good Friday that year. Wilson was, as has been noted on this site endless numbers of times, an egregious anti-Catholic, and he seethed with contempt when Pope Benedict XV had called for an end to hostilities less than a month after he had convinced the Congress of the United States of America to enter a war to “make the world safe for democracy” even though such was the farthest thing from the minds of those dying in the horrors of trench warfare on the battlefields of France and Belgium. Wilson wanted to construct a Judeo-Masonic New World Order in Europe to replace the residual influence of Holy Mother Church upon civil affairs in Europe, and the Church he hated could have no role to play in the reconstruction of a postwar world that was designed to eliminate the last remaining Catholic Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and with it the last semblance of the Holy Roman Empire. What is even worse is that many Americanist bishops, led by the arch-Americanist James Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore, Maryland, wanting to prove their “patriotic” bona fides to the Catholic-hating Wilson, urged the sons and grandsons of European immigrants to fight in a needless and immoral war that was being fought with Modernity’s nascent weapons of mass destruction. Americanism first, Holy Mother Church a distant second.

Nevertheless, however, Pope Benedict XV’s career in diplomacy taught him to believe that the formation of a league of nations would be of service to the cause of world peace once the war had ended. His successor, Pope Pius XI, though, was unsparing in his mockery of the league of nations, which he expressed as follows in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:

pe Pius XI wrote in Ubi Arcano Consilio about the “community of nations”:

39. We have already seen and come to the conclusion that the principal cause of the confusion, restlessness, and dangers which are so prominent a characteristic of false peace is the weakening of the binding force of law and lack of respect for authority, effects which logically follow upon denial of the truth that authority comes from God, the Creator and Universal Law-giver.

40. The only remedy for such state of affairs is the peace of Christ since the peace of Christ is the peace of God, which could not exist if it did not enjoin respect for law, order, and the rights of authority. In the Holy Scriptures We read: “My children, keep discipline in peace.” (Ecclesiasticus xli, 17) “Much peace have they that love the law, O Lord.” (Psalms cxviii, 165) “He that feareth the commandment, shall dwell in peace.” (Proverbs xiii, 13) Jesus Christ very expressly states: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” (Matt. xxii, 21) He even recognized that Pilate possessed authority from on High (John xiv, 11) as he acknowledged that the scribes and Pharisees who though unworthy sat in the chair of Moses (Matt. xxiii, 2) were not without a like authority. In Joseph and Mary, Jesus respected the natural authority of parents and was subject to them for the greater part of His life. (Luke ii, 51) He also taught, by the voice of His Apostle, the same important doctrine: “Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God.” (Romans xiii, 1; cf. also 1 Peter ii, 13, 18)

41. If we stop to reflect for a moment that these ideals and doctrines of Jesus Christ, for example, his teachings on the necessity and value of the spiritual life, on the dignity and sanctity of human life, on the duty of obedience, on the divine basis of human government, on the sacramental character of matrimony and by consequence the sanctity of family life — if we stop to reflect, let Us repeat, that these ideals and doctrines of Christ (which are in fact but a portion of the treasury of truth which He left to mankind) were confided by Him to His Church and to her alone for safekeeping, and that He has promised that His aid will never fail her at any time for she is the infallible teacher of His doctrines in every century and before all nations, there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace.

42. Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state. The Church alone can introduce into society and maintain therein the prestige of a true, sound spiritualism, the spiritualism of Christianity which both from the point of view of truth and of its practical value is quite superior to any exclusively philosophical theory. The Church is the teacher and an example of world good-will, for she is able to inculcate and develop in mankind the “true spirit of brotherly love” (St. Augustine, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae, i, 30) and by raising the public estimation of the value and dignity of the individual’s soul help thereby to lift us even unto God.

43. Finally, the Church is able to set both public and private life on the road to righteousness by demanding that everything and all men become obedient to God “Who beholdeth the heart,” to His commands, to His laws, to His sanctions. If the teachings of the Church could only penetrate in some such manner as We have described the inner recesses of the consciences of mankind, be they rulers or be they subjects, all eventually would be so apprised of their personal and civic duties and their mutual responsibilities that in a short time “Christ would be all, and in all.” (Colossians iii, 11)

44. Since the Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ, she is able not only to bring about at the present hour a peace that is truly the peace of Christ, but can, better than any other agency which We know of, contribute greatly to the securing of the same peace for the future, to the making impossible of war in the future. For the Church teaches (she alone has been given by God the mandate and the right to teach with authority) that not only our acts as individuals but also as groups and as nations must conform to the eternal law of God. In fact, it is much more important that the acts of a nation follow God’s law, since on the nation rests a much greater responsibility for the consequences of its acts than on the individual.

45. When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another’s word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.

No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.

There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.

It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.

It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.

It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)

So much for the League of Nations!

It was in that same encyclical letter, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922, that Pope Pius XI described the true nature of modern political parties:

To these evils we must add the contests between political parties, many of which struggles do not originate in a real difference of opinion concerning the public good or in a laudable and disinterested search for what would best promote the common welfare, but in the desire for power and for the protection of some private interest which inevitably result in injury to the citizens as a wholeFrom this course there often arise robberies of what belongs rightly to the people, and even conspiracies against and attacks on the supreme authority of the state, as well as on its representatives. These political struggles also beget threats of popular action and, at times, eventuate in open rebellion and other disorders which are all the more deplorable and harmful since they come from a public to whom it has been given, in our modern democratic states, to participate in very large measure in public life and in the affairs of the government. Now, these different forms of government are not of themselves contrary to the principles of the Catholic Faith, which can easily be reconciled with any reasonable and just system of government. Such governments, however, are the most exposed to the danger of being overthrown by one faction or another. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)

Those in civil rule must exercise their authority for the cause of Christ the King and His true Church, a cause that is synonymous with the common temporal good of society, something that Silvio Cardinal Antoniano explained over five hundred forty years ago:

The more closely the temporal power of a nation aligns itself with the spiritual, and the more it fosters and promotes the latter, by so much the more it contributes to the conservation of the commonwealth. For it is the aim of the ecclesiastical authority by the use of spiritual means, to form good Christians in accordance with its own particular end and object; and in doing this it helps at the same time to form good citizens, and prepares them to meet their obligations as members of a civil society. This follows of necessity because in the City of God, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a good citizen and an upright man are absolutely one and the same thing. How grave therefore is the error of those who separate things so closely united, and who think that they can produce good citizens by ways and methods other than those which make for the formation of good Christians. For, let human prudence say what it likes and reason as it pleases, it is impossible to produce true temporal peace and tranquillity by things repugnant or opposed to the peace and happiness of eternity. (Silvio Cardinal Antoniano, as quoted by Pope Pius XI inDivini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929.)

Do you have any better ideas?

God the Holy Ghost saw fit to instruct us in Sacred Scripture, including in the passage from the Book of Proverbs:

[34] Justice exalteth a nation: but sin maketh nations miserable. (Proverbs 14: 34.)

Christ the King will not be mocked. He will suffer the sins of men so that they and their nations might be brought to repentance. He is not, however, indifferent to that which caused Him to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death on the wood of the Holy Cross, sin, and that wounds the Church Militant on earth and impedes the pursuit of the true common temporal good of men and their nations.

The former Achille Ratti, Pope Pius XI, was a great champion of Christ the King by means of his powerful encyclical letters. As was the case with Pope Leo XIII, however, some of his decisions in the practical order of relations with various states made the realization of the Social Reign of Christ the King less likely. However, Pope Pius XI was looking at a changed Europe after World War I but he did not abandon  the Social Reign of Christ the King in principle, quite to the contrary of the scandalous assertion made to this effect by Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger in Principles of Catholic Theology.

Unlike the conciliarists, though, Pope Pius XI never abandoned the immutable principles concerning the absolute duty of the civil state to recognize the true religion as he championed the cause of the Social Reign of Christ the King, taking as his very papal motto, "The Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.” He merely authorized his Secretary of State, Pietro Cardinal Gasparri, an Americanist, to assure the life of Holy Mother Church in the wake of the Treaty of Versailles and the creation of new "republics" in countries that either came back to life, such as Poland, or had been created from the various parts of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires. This was indeed very important and Cardinal Gasparri did it very well.

Mexico, however, was another matter.

War is always a regrettable last resort to be undertaken only after the exhausting of all peaceful remedies. The Cristeros in Mexico did not seek the conflict that began with the promulgation of the Calles Law in June of 1926.

Working with the Mexican bishops, the Vatican, led by Pope Pius XI and Cardinal Gasparri, specifically requested that the Calles Law be repealed and the offending provisions of the 1917 Mexican Constitution upon which it was based be repealed as well. Time and time again, however, the requests were denied, something that should have indicated to the Vatican that Calles was of bad will and desired to shut down the "superstition" of the Catholic religion once and for all. It was after all requests for a peaceful resolution were exhausted that the Mexican bishops announced on August 1, 1926, that Pope Pius XI had approved their decision to suspend all religious services in Mexico in order to avoid armed conflict.

 It was just two days later, August 3, 1926, that two hundred forty Mexican army troops stormed the church in in Sahuayo, Michoacan. Another army siege of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Guadalajara had taken place the day before. Although it would not be until after the Mexican Congress rejected the petition signed by over two million Catholics for the repeal of the Calles Law that the battles would rage in earnest in early 1927, those conflicts in August of 1926 made it clear to Pope Pius XI that Mexico was about to explode.

This is why His Holiness issued Iniquis Afflictisque on November 18, 1926. Pope Pius XI carefully explained the background to the conflict: 

8. In the first place, let us examine the law of 1917, known as the "Political Constitution" of the federated republic of Mexico. For our present purposes it is sufficient to point out that after declaring the separation of Church and State the Constitution refuses to recognize in the Church, as if she were an individual devoid of any civil status, all her existing rights and interdicts to her the acquisition of any rights whatsoever in the future. The civil authority is given the right to interfere in matters of divine worship and in the external discipline of the Church. Priests are put on the level of professional men and of laborers but with this important difference, that they must be not only Mexicans by birth and cannot exceed a certain number specified by law, but are at the same time deprived of all civil and political rights. They are thus placed in the same class with criminals and the insane. Moreover, priests not only must inform the civil authorities but also a commission of ten citizens whenever they take possession of a church or are transferred to another mission. The vows of religious, religious orders, and religious congregations are outlawed in Mexico. Public divine worship is forbidden unless it take place within the confines of a church and is carried on under the watchful eye of the Government. All church buildings have been declared the property of the state. Episcopal residences, diocesan offices, seminaries, religious houses, hospitals, and all charitable institutions have been taken away from the Church and handed over to the state. As a matter of fact, the Church can no longer own property of any kind. Everything that it possessed at the period when this law was passed has now become the property of the state. Every citizen, moreover, has the right to denounce before the law any person whom he thinks is holding in his own name property for the Church. All that is required in order to make such action legal is a mere presumption of guilt. Priests are not allowed by law to inherit property of any kind except it be from persons closely related to them by blood. With reference to marriage, the power of the Church is not recognized. Every marriage between Catholics is considered valid if contracted validly according to the prescriptions of the civil code.

9. Education has been declared free, but with these important restrictions: both priests and religious are forbidden to open or to conduct elementary schools. It is not permitted to teach children their religion even in a private school. Diplomas or degrees conferred by private schools under control of the Church possess no legal value and are not recognized by the state. Certainly, Venerable Brothers, the men who originated, approved, and gave their sanction to such a law either are totally ignorant of what rights pertain jure divino to the Church as a perfect society, established as the ordinary means of salvation for mankind by Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer and King, to which He gave the full liberty of fulfilling her mission on earth (such ignorance seems incredible today after twenty centuries of Christianity and especially in a Catholic nation and among men who have been baptized, unless in their pride and foolishness they believe themselves able to undermine and destroy the "House of the Lord which has been solidly constructed and strongly built on the living rock") or they have been motivated by an insane hatred to attempt anything within their power in order to harm the Church. How was it possible for the Archbishops and Bishops of Mexico to remain silent in the face of such odious laws?

10. Immediately after their publication the hierarchy of Mexico protested in kind but firm terms against these laws, protests which Our Immediate Predecessor ratified, which were approved as well by the whole hierarchies of other countries, as well as by a great majority of individual bishops from all over the world, and which finally were confirmed even by Us in a letter of consolation of the date of the second of February, 1926, which We addressed to the Bishops of Mexico. The Bishops hoped that those in charge of the Government, after the first outburst of hatred, would have appreciated the damage and danger which would accrue to the vast majority of the people from the enforcement of those articles of the Constitution restrictive of the liberty of the Church and that, therefore, out of a desire to preserve peace they would not insist on enforcing these articles to the letter, or would enforce them only up to a certain point, thus leaving open the possibility of a modus vivendi, at least for the time being.

11. In spite of the extreme patience exhibited in these circumstances by both the clergy and laity, an attitude which was the result of the Bishops' exhorting them to moderation in all things, every hope of a return to peace and tranquillity was dissipated, and this as a direct result of the law promulgated by the President of the Republic on the second of July, 1926, by virtue of which practically no liberty at all was left the Church. As a matter of fact, the Church was barely allowed to exist. The exercise of the sacred ministry was hedged about by the severest penalties as if it were a crime worthy of capital punishment. It is difficult, Venerable Brothers, to express in language how such perversion of civil authority grieves Us. For whosoever reveres, as all must, God the Creator and Our Beloved Redeemer, whosoever will obey the laws of Holy Mother Church, such a man, We repeat, such a man is looked on as a malefactor, as guilty of a crime; such a man is considered fit only to be deprived of all civil rights; such a man can be thrown into prison along with other criminals. With what justice can We apply to the authors of these enormities the words which Jesus Christ spoke to the leaders of the Jews: "This is your hour, and the power of darkness." (Luke xxii, 53)

12. The most recent law which has been promulgated as merely an interpretation of the Constitution is as a matter of fact much worse than the original law itself and makes the enforcement of the Constitution much more severe, if not almost intolerable. The President of the Republic and the members of his ministry have insisted with such ferocity on the enforcement of these laws that they do not permit the governors of the different states of the Confederation, the civil authorities, or the military commanders to mitigate in the least the rigors of the persecution of the Catholic Church. Insult, too, is added to persecution. Wicked men have tried to place the Church in a bad light before the people; some, for example, uttering the most brazen lies in public assemblies. But when a Catholic tries to answer them, he is prevented from speaking by catcalls and personal insults hurled at his head. Others use hostile newspapers in order to obscure the truth and to malign "Catholic Action."

13. If, at the beginning of the persecution, Catholics were able to make a defense of their religion in the public press by means of articles which made clear the truth and answered the lies and errors of their enemies, it is now no longer permitted these citizens, who love their country just as much as other citizens do, to raise their voices in protest. As a matter of fact, they are not even allowed to express their sorrow over the injuries done to the Faith of their fathers and to the liberty of divine worship. We, however, moved profoundly as We are by the consciousness of the duties imposed upon Us by our Apostolic office, will cry out to heaven, Venerable Brothers, so that the whole Catholic world may hear from the lips of the Common Father of all the story of the insane tyranny of the enemies of the Church, on the one hand, and on the other that of the heroic virtue and constancy of the bishops, priests, religious congregations, and laity to Mexico.

14. All foreign priests and religious men have been expelled from the country. Schools for the religious education of boys and girls have been closed, either because they are known publicly under a religious name or because they happen to possess a statue or some other religious object. Many seminaries likewise, schools, insane asylums, convents, institutions connected with churches have been closed. In practically all the states of the Republic the number of priests who may exercise the sacred ministry has been limited and fixed at the barest minimum. Even these latter are not allowed to exercise their sacred office unless they have beforehand registered with the civil authorities and have obtained permission from them so to function. In certain sections of the country restrictions have been placed on the ministry of priests which, if they were not so sad, would be laughable in the extreme. For example, certain regulations demand that priests must be of an age fixed by law, that they must be civilly married, and they are not allowed to baptize except with flowing water. In one of the states of the Confederation it has been decreed that only one bishop is permitted to live within the territory of said state, by reason of which law two other bishops were constrained to exile themselves from their dioceses. Moreover, because of circumstances imposed upon them by law, some bishops have had to leave their diocese, others have been forced to appear before the courts, several were arrested, and practically all the others live from day to day in imminent danger of being arrested.

15. Again, every Mexican citizen who is engaged in the education of children or of youth, or holds any public office whatsoever, has been ordered to make known publicly whether he accepts the policies of the President and approves of the war which is now being waged on the Catholic Church. The majority of these same individuals were forced, under threat of losing their positions, to take part, together with the army and laboring men, in a parade sponsored by the Regional Confederation of the Workingmen of Mexico, a socialist organization. This parade took place in Mexico City and in other towns of the Republic on the same day. It was followed by impious speeches to the populace. The whole procedure was organized to obtain, by means of these public outcries and the applause of those who took part in it, and by heaping all kinds of abuse on the Church, popular approval of the acts of the President.

16. But the cruel exercise of arbitrary power on the part of the enemies of the Church has not stopped at these acts. Both men and women who defended the rights of the Church and the cause of religion, either in speeches or by distributing leaflets and pamphlets, were hurried before the courts and sent to prison. Again, whole colleges of canons were rushed off to jail, the aged being carried there in their beds. Priests and laymen have been cruelly put to death in the very streets or in the public squares which front the churches. May God grant that the responsible authors of so many grave crimes return soon to their better selves and throw themselves in sorrow and with true contrition on the divine mercy; We are convinced that this is the noble revenge on their murderers which Our children who have been so unjustly put to death are now asking from God. (Pope Pius XI, Iniquis Afflictisque, November 18, 1926. The entirety of the encyclical will be appended below.)

Even though Vatican diplomacy failed the Cristeros and thus the cause of Cristo Rey and La Virgen de Guadalupe, Pope Pius XI cannot be faulted for being ill-informed about the extent of the persecution. He was very well informed of the facts of the situation in 1926. Indeed, it is said that he wept when learning of the results of the "agreement" that had resulted in the "cease" fire on June 21, 1929, learning that the Calles persecution had continued under his stooge Emilio Portes Gil even after most of the Cristeros had laid down their weapons.

Pietro Cardinal Gasparri just wanted there to be a "deal" so that the Sacraments could be offered once again to the Mexican people. Alas, that "deal" was based on the "word" of a professed atheist, a Freemason and a Socialist, Plutarco Elias Calles, who had shown himself to be a ruthless murderer of innocent human beings in his blind zeal to eradicate the "superstition" of Catholicism, which he called nothing other than a "political movement," off the face of Mexico once and for all.

Calles believed that the people would forget about the Faith once they did not have the Sacraments (go tell that to the Catholics in Japan who were without the sacraments for two hundred fifty years), seeming not to know anything about history as English Catholics hid priests, sometimes from their own closest friends so as not to betray the priest, in their own homes, after King Henry Tudor's Protestant Revolution began. And, quite indeed, many Mexican Catholics did exactly the same thing during the Cristeros War as they hid priests and kept to themselves in order to have the sacraments, just as faithful Catholics had done when refusing any association with the so-called "Constitutional Church" during the years of the French Revolution. Those steeped in a blind hatred for God and His Holy Church always think that they can wipe out that which is immortal: the Catholic Faith. 

The six years between the time that the agreements were signed and the Calles Law repealed were ones of continued persecution against the Catholic Church on part of Plutarco Elias Calles and his stooges, Emilio Portes Gil (1928-1930), Pascual Ortiz Rubio (1930-1932) and Abelardo Rodriguez (1932-1934). They were summarized as follows by Father Brian Van Bove, S.J.: 

The first things (sic) Calles did after peace had been made was to shoot down 500 Cristero leaders. The six years of the entente Cordiale between Calles and the Church have been the six bloodiest years in the history of Mexico.

Actually, Elizonde puts the figure at 400, but perhaps the exact number will never be known. Calles was responsible for the killing. Plutarco Elías Calles, President of Mexico from 1924 to 1928, was depicted in the "BCR" the way Nicolai Ceausescu was in the popular press of 1989. When Calles left office in 1928 he controlled the government from behind the scenes, and he dominated the life of the country until 1934 when his rival Lázaro Cárdenas won out. How did Calles control the whole country for so long? Very simple _ by owning the army. Cárdenas prevented him from making a final comeback in 1936. No one has ever been able to explain adequately Calles' extreme and irrational hatred for the Church. Perhaps it was a combination of greed and Jacobin ideology. In any case, Cárdenas also hated the Church, but his fanaticism was more pragmatic and times had changed by the mid-30s.

The "BCR" described the 1929 revenge upon the Catholic "freedom fighters" more fully by setting the figure at 500 leaders and 5,000 ordinary men who were shot, often in their homes in front of their families. Their property was then seized, leaving the survivors destitute. Elizonde clearly says that the obedience of the Mexican Catholics to the request of the Holy See was a disaster for the Church, and ended only in betrayal. The American Jesuit Wilfred Parsons, on the other hand, claims Archbishop Pascual Díaz, SJ, of Mexico City, disagreed with those of Elizonde's persuasion, and thought the decision to seek a military solution was mistaken in the first place (Father Brian Van Hove, S.J, Blood-Drenched Altars.)

Father Von Hove pointed out that Archbishop Diaz, who had given his "quasi-blessing" to the Cristeros although he forbade priests to take up arms, actually told Father John Burke of the National Catholic Welfare Conference during his exile in the United States of America that he did not want the conference to provide aid to the Cristeros, something that Archbishop Curley and Bishop Kelley believed was most mistaken. Archbishop Diaz's opposition to the rebellion, at least in principle, provided Father Burke, who had been given a carte blanche by Cardinal Gasparri through the papal delegate to negotiate terms of peace with Calles through the offices of American Ambassador Dwight Morrow, without anyone from the Cristeros being represented. An empty "peace" was the result, one that caused the Church in Mexico even more suffering after the church bells began to ring again in Our Lady's country ninety-three years ago.

Confronted with the facts of how Calles broke his worthless word, Pope Pius XI issued a mea culpa in Acerba Animi, September 29, 1932, explaining once again his support for the suffering Catholics of Mexico and his regret that the persecution had continued after the truce:

6. In the face of the firm and generous resistance of the oppressed, the Government now began to give indications in various ways that it would not be averse to coming to an agreement, if only to put an end to a condition of affairs which it could not turn to its own advantage. Whereupon, though taught by painful experiences to put scant trust in such promises, We felt obliged to ask Ourselves whether it was for the good of souls to prolong the suspension of public worship. That suspension had indeed been an effective protest against the arbitrary interference of the Government; nevertheless, its continuation might have seriously prejudiced civil and religious order. Of even greater weight was the consideration that this suspension, according to grave reports which We received from various and unexceptionable sources, was productive of serious harm to the faithful. As these were bereft of spiritual helps necessary for the Christian life, and not infrequently were obliged to omit their religious duties, they ran the risk of first remaining apart from and then of being entirely separated from the priesthood, and in consequence from the very sources of supernatural life. To this must be added the fact that the prolonged absence of almost all the Bishops from their dioceses could not fail to bring about a relaxation of ecclesiastical discipline, especially in times of such great tribulation for the Mexican Church, when clergy and people had particular need of the guidance of those "whom the Holy Ghost has placed to rule the Church of God."

7. When, therefore, in 1929 the Supreme Magistrate of Mexico publicly declared that the Government, by applying the laws in question, had no intention of destroying the "identity of the Church" or of ignoring the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, We thought it best, having no other intention but the good of souls, to profit by the occasion, which seemed to offer a possibility of having the rights of the Hierarchy duly recognized. Seeing, therefore, some hope of remedying greater evils, and judging that the principal motives that had induced the Episcopate to suspend public worship no longer existed, We asked Ourselves whether it were not advisable to order its resumption. In this there was certainly no intention of accepting the Mexican regulations of worship, nor of withdrawing Our protests against these regulations, much less of ceasing to combat them. It was merely a question of abandoning, in view of the Government's new declarations, one of the methods of resistance, before it could bring harm to the faithful, and of having recourse instead to others deemed more opportune.

8. Unfortunately, as all know, Our wishes and desires were not followed by the peace and favourable settlement for which We had hoped. On the contrary, to Bishops, priests, and faithful Catholics continued to be penalized and imprisoned, contrary to the spirit in which the modus vivendi had been established. To Our great distress We saw that not merely were all the Bishops not recalled from exile, but that others were expelled without even the semblance of legality. In several dioceses neither churches nor seminaries, Bishops' residences, nor other sacred edifices, were restored; notwithstanding explicit promises, priests and laymen who had steadfastly defended the faith were abandoned to the cruel vengeance of their adversaries. Furthermore, as soon as the suspension of public worship had been revoked, increased violence was noticed in the campaign of the press against the clergy, the Church, and God Himself; and it is well known that the Holy See had to condemn one of these publications, which in its sacrilegious immorality and acknowledged purpose of anti-religious and slanderous propaganda had exceeded all bounds.

9. Add to this that not only is religious instruction forbidden in the primary schools, but not infrequently attempts are made to induce those whose duty it is to educate the future generations, to become purveyors of irreligious and immoral teachings, thus obliging the parents to make heavy sacrifices in order to safeguard the innocence of their children. We bless with all Our heart these Christian parents and all the good teachers who help them, and We urge upon you, Venerable Brethren, upon the clergy secular and regular, and upon all the faithful, the necessity of giving their utmost attention to the question of education and the formation of the young, especially among the poorer classes, since they are more exposed to atheist, masonic, and communistic propaganda, persuading yourselves that your country will be such as you build it up in the children.

10. An effort has been made to strike the Church in a still more vital spot; namely, in the existence of the clergy and the Catholic hierarchy, by trying to eliminate it gradually from the Republic. Thus the Mexican Constitution, as We have several times deplored, while proclaiming liberty of thought and conscience, prescribes with the most evident contradiction that each State of the Federal Republic must determine the number of priests to whom the exercise of the sacred ministry is allowed, not only in public churches, but even within private dwellings. This enormity is further aggravated by the way in which the law is applied. The Constitution lays down that the number of priests must be determined, but ordains that this determination must correspond to the religious needs of the faithful and of the locality. It does not prescribe that the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy is to be ignored in this matter, and this point was explicitly recognized in the declarations of the modus vivendi. Now in the State of Michoacan one priest was assigned for every 33,000 of the faithful, in the State of Chiapas one for every 60,000, while in the State of Vera Cruz only one priest was assigned to exercise the sacred ministry for every 100,000 of the inhabitants. Everyone can see whether it is possible with such restrictions to administer the Sacraments to so many people, scattered for the most part over a vast territory. Indeed, the persecutors, as though sorry for having been too liberal and indulgent, have imposed further limitations. Some Governors closed seminaries, confiscated canonries, and determined the sacred buildings and the territory to which the ministry of the approved priest would be restricted.

11. The clearest manifestation of the will to destroy the Catholic Church itself is, however, the explicit declaration, published in some States, that the civil Authority, in granting the licence for priestly ministry, recognizes no Hierarchy; on the contrary, it positively excludes from the possibility of exercising the sacred ministry all of hierarchic rank namely, all Bishops and even those who have held the office of Apostolic Delegates.

12. We wished briefly to rehearse the salient points in the grievous condition of the Church in Mexico, so that all lovers of order and peace among nations, on seeing that such an unheard-of persecution differs but little, especially in certain States, from the one raging within the unhappy borders of Russia, may from this iniquitous similarity of purpose conceive fresh ardour to stem the torrent which is subverting all social order. At the same time it is Our intention to give a new proof to you, Venerable Brethren, and to all Our beloved sons of Mexico, of the paternal solicitude with which We follow you in your tribulation: the same solicitude that inspired the instructions which We gave you last January through Our Beloved Son the Cardinal Secretary of State, and which was communicated to you by Our Apostolic Delegate. In matters strictly connected with religion, it is undoubtedly Our duty and Our right to establish the reasons and norms that all who glory in the name of Catholics are under the obligation of obeying. In this connection We are anxious to recall to mind that when We issued these instructions We gave due consideration to all the reports and advices that came to Us either from the Hierarchy or the faithful. We say all, even those that appeared to counsel a return to a severer line of conduct, with the total suspension of public worship throughout the Republic, as in 1926. (Pope Pius XI, Acerba Animi, September 29, 1932.) 

The Calles Law was not reversed until 1935. The persecution continued up to that time.

President Lazaro Cardenas hated the Catholic Church just as much as Plutarco Elias Calles. However, he was a more clever and subtle politician than Calles, from whose shackles he desired to break once and for all.

There is an old maxim that goes something along the lines of: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Cardenas knew that the repeal of the Calles Law would make Catholics grateful to him, gratitude that became even greater in 1936 when he exiled Calles to the United States of America in the belief that the former president turned political "Godfather" pulling the strings of one president after another was about to overthrow him.

Far from being a friend of the Catholic Church, Lazaro Cardenas was permitting her persecution up to the time he repealed the Calles Law, something that Dr. Michael Kenny documented in No God Next Door when detailing the terrible consequences of the "arreglos:"

No peace resulted. Within a week President Portes Gil declared at a Masonic banquet that he would see to it that the Constitution and laws were entirely and strictly enforced; and that as a Mason and as President he had yielded nothing. This was in fact true of the substance of the compact; but now he had publicly repudiated in word the good will he had expressed in it; and he and his fellows began at once to repudiate in deeds the amnesty he had definitely pledged.

Within a month five hundred surrendered Cristeros were shot, or murdered in their homes, their property seized, and their persecuted families left destitute; and altogether five thousand Cristeros and hundreds of priests shared the same fate. This, with the expulsion of the Episcopate and clergy and all sisterhoods, leaving but some two hundred registered priests--most of them fingerprinted like criminals--for over fifteen million people, and the stamping of the Moscow brand of atheizing communism on every school and office in the land, are now blazoning to the world the cost of compromise with irresponsible tyranny; and therewith the lesson, that no compact of liberty is possible unless tyranny first be uprooted.

Bishop Diaz' statement that no compromise with Mexico's tyranny is possible and the only way to mend it is to end it, prove true in the very year of the one-sided concordat, which precluded the Church's legal personality and permitted the state to prescribe the number of her ministers.

As the Pope's encyclical [Acerba Animi] stated, it had nothing but its promise of "good will" to recommend it; and this good will was at once disavowed by Congress and the Party and the President who pledged it, and by the vigorous renewal of countess acts of varied and universal persecution.

The armistice was broken by the slaughter of every Cristero fighter or suspect that could be reached; and the assaults that followed on priests, sisters, churches, schools, and Christian people were worse and more numerous than McCullogh's "Red Mexico" records for the previous decade. The country became more and more reddened with murdered blood as the Calles procedure took on the fullness of Moscow Red. I have a list of hundreds of outrages on churches and clergy and people, without a single instance of punishment for the perpetrators. These are news items culled from the daily papers, with date and place; and though they are but a fraction of the atrocities recorded, they cover some fifty pages.

Churches and shrines seized, desecrated, burned, or bombed; priests assaulted even during church services, injured, murdered, or expelled; states limiting the number of priests to one for fifty thousand or one hundred thousand people, or totally excluding them as in Tabasco since 1925 and in fifteen states at this writing [1935]; the accompanying sacrileges and outrages on person and property with the ever-increasing prevalence of de-religionizing and demoralization teachings in the schools after the Canabal fashion in Tabasco, and the expulsion of the protesting Apostolic Delegate and nearly all the Episcopate, prove the pledge of "good will" was but a trick.

Removing all armed opposition, this treacherous treaty left the Calles forces free to accomplish unrestricted the determined communist purpose to tear out religion, root and branch, from the hearts and homes as well and the schools and temples of Mexico.

This purpose, authoritatively stated within a week of the good will compact and many times since, is well expressed in the letter of Convocation to the Masonic Anti-Clerical Convention at Guadalajara, July 20, 1933, at which the present President Cardenas presided: "God is a myth, religion is a fable; the clergy are bureaucrats of the theological farce"; and on this basis they would operate "for the Emancipation of Human Thought."

Their most perfect emancipator, then and now, was the recent dominating member of the cabinet, Garrido Canabal, whose naked exemplifications of emancipating minds form morality were extended to all schools by Secretary of Education Bassols, also recent cabinet minister, and are now constitutionally authorized.

Canabal had other emancipating methods which were also copied widely. Their officials, like themselves, practice with immunity in the immoralities the preach, and brothers are an official industry. Such sources swell in the millionaire wealth of ex-President Rodriguez in Lower California and of Canabal in Tabasco, and they up hold their agents in like emancipatory methods.

Canabal had 85 villagers of Paraiso hanged in a body because some of them had lynched a municipal agent who had ravished and mortally wounded a girl of fourteen; and he sent his Red Shirts to executed some hundred others who were fleeing to another state for Christian security.

It is significant that two hundred of his Red Shirts proceeded recently on a similar mission to Jalisco; but none of them returned. Countless such instances of incredible barbarity illustrate the emancipating or "defanaticizing" methods which followed the 1929 covenant, and to which the recent government had given its highest sanction by raising the chief Exemplifiers, Canabal, Rodolfo Calles and Bassols, to cabinet rank.

The Apostolic Delegate and Archbishop Diaz have recently reaffirmed the conditions and accompaniments of persecution are immeasurably worse than in 1926, which is also evidenced in the atrocities recorded in the Mexican dailies, though these are heavily hampered by government censorship. The murderous assaults on worshippers at Coyoacan and Tacuabya and Santa Catalina, and the seizure and imprisonment of priests in the Federal District happen to reach us because witnessed by foreign reporters at the capital. But the government has taken measures to prevent such mistakes in the future, and hundreds of infamies throughout the nation wrought by Canabal's now official Red Shirts and other federal agents have not been permitted to leak out. Many of these are connected with the atheizing and sex teaching educational program, which has resulted in the almost universal boycotting of the state schools.

Police and soldiers have been sent out to seek the children on the streets and in the homes and force them into empty classrooms. The consequent outrages on resisting mothers and weeping children are numerously documented under "Leva de Ninos" (seizure of children) in the Mexican dailies; also such items as the savage beatings of children at Naco, Sonora, who objected to atheistic teachings, and, bidden to repeat: "No hay Dios" (There is no God) cried out, "Hay, Dios, hay Dios." (Dr. Michael Kenny, No God Next Door: Red Rule in Mexico and Our Responsibility, William J. Hirten Company, Inc., New York, 1935, republished by CSG and Associates Publishers, pp. 143-147.)

Astute readers can see quite readily that that are some parallels between Red Mexico in 1935 and Red America in 2022.

Having learned a bitter lesson about the experience in Mexico, Pope Pius XI was unstinting in opposition to the anti-Catholic schemes of the so-called “republicans” (Communists) in Spain:

6. But, returning to the deplorable laws regarding religious confessions and Congregations, We learned with great sorrow that therein, at the beginning, it is openly declared that the State has no official religion, thus reaffirming that separation of State from Church which was, alas, decreed in the new Spanish Constitution. We shall not delay here to repeat that it is a serious error to affirm that this separation is licit and good in itself, especially in a nation almost totally Catholic. Separation, well considered, is only the baneful consequence-as We often have declared, especially in the Encyclical Quas Primas-of laicism, or rather the apostasy of society that today feigns to alienate itself from God and therefore from the Church.

7. But if the pretension of excluding from public life God the Creator and Provident Ruler of that same society is impious and absurd for any people whatsoever, it is particularly repugnant to find this exclusion of God and Church from the life of the Spanish Nation, where the Church always and rightly has held the most important and most beneficially active part in legislation, in schools, and in all other private and public institutions. If such an attempt results in irreparable harm to the Christian conscience of the country, especially to its youth, whom they would educate without religion, and to families, profaned in the most sacred principles, no less harm befalls that same civil authority. When this loses the support that recommends it, nay sustains it, in the conscience of the people, namely the persuasion of its Divine origin, dependence and sanction, it loses at the same time its greatest power to obligate, and its highest title to be respected. That this inevitable damage follows a regime of separation is attested by not a few among the very nations that, after having introduced it in their regulations, very soon realized the necessity of remedying the error, either modifying, at least in their interpretation and application, the laws persecuting the Church, or endeavoring, in spite of separation, to come to a pacific plan of coexistence and cooperation with the Church.

8. The new Spanish legislators, indifferent to these lessons of history, wanted a form of separation hostile to the Faith professed by the great majority of citizens,-a separation so much more painful and unjust especially since it was advanced in the name of that liberty promised and assured to all without distinction. Thus they wished to subject the Church and her ministers to measures by which they sought to put her at the mercy of the civil power. In fact, while under the Constitution and successive laws all opinions, even the most erroneous, have wide fields in which to manifest themselves, the Catholic Religion alone, that of almost all of the citizens, see its teaching odiously watched, its schools and other institutions, so helpful for science and Spanish culture, restrained. (Pope Pius XI, Dilectissima Nobis, November 3, 1933.)

The first modern state to make no room for a state religion was, of course, the United States of America, and we are only witnessing the rotten fruit of what must happen over the course of time when men believe that they can be virtuous on their own powers without belief in, access to, and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace and that they can maintain social order without a due submission to Holy Mother Church in all that pertains to the good of souls.

However, what happened in Spain was particularly painful as the Faith was deeply implanted on its soil, which is why the adversary used the most violent means possible to uproot it from the hearts of Spanish Catholics, something that Pope Pius XI noted in great detail:

Very Exercise of Worship Limited

9. The very exercise of Catholic worship, in its most essential and traditional manifestations, is not exempt from limitations, since religious assistance in institutes is made dependent on the State, and religious processions are placed under the necessity of obtaining special authorization granted by the Government. Special clauses and restrictions apply even to administration of the Sacraments to the dying and funerals for the dead.

Even more manifest is the contradiction regarding property. The Constitution recognizes in all citizens the legitimate faculty of possession and, as is proper in all legislation of civilized countries, guarantees safeguards for the exercise of such important rights arising from nature itself. Nevertheless, even on this point, an exception was created to the detriment of the Catholic Church, depriving her, with open injustice, of all property. No regard is paid to the wishes of those making donations in wills; no account is taken of the spiritual and holy ends connected with such properties, and no respect is shown in any way to rights long ago acquired and founded on indisputable juridical titles. All buildings, episcopal residences, parish houses, seminaries and monasteries no longer are recognized as the free property of the Catholic Church, but are declared -with words that badly hide the nature of the usurpation of public and national property.

Unjust Taxation Noted

10. Moreover, while these buildings, the legitimate property of the various ecclesiastical bodies, are by law left only to the use of the Catholic Church and her ministers in accordance with their purpose of worship, they even go so far as to subject these same buildings to taxes for their use. Thus the Catholic Church is compelled to pay taxes on what was violently wrenched from her.

11. In this manner the civil power prepared the way to render even the precarious use of her property impossible to the Catholic Church. Since she is deprived of everything-deprived of every subsidy, and hindered in all her activities- how can she pay these taxes? Nor can one say that under the law the Catholic Church has the faculty to own at least some private property, because even the reduced right is almost nullified by a principle soon afterward enunciated, that those properties may only be held in the quantity necessary for religious services. In this way the Church is compelled to submit to examination by the civil power for the fulfillment of her divine mission, and the State has constituted itself judge of what is necessary for purely spiritual functions. Therefore, there is reason to fear such judgment as being in accordance with the laic intentions of the laws and their authors.

12. The usurpation does not stop at property. Chattles, also, are declared public property and are catalogued so that nothing may escape, even vestments, statues, pictures, vases, gems and similar objects expressly and permanently destined to Catholic worship, to its splendor and to necessities directly connected with such worship. While the Church is denied the right to dispose freely of what is hers by reason of having been legitimately purchased or donated by the pious faithful, to the State only is given to the power of disposing, for another purpose and without any limitation, of sacred objects-even those which with special consecration have been withdrawn from every profane use-removing every duty of the State to compensate the Church for such deplorable waste.

Not Even Churches Spared

13. Nor was all this sufficient to appease the anti-religious whims of the present legislators. Not even the churches were spared. Temples- splendors of art, rare monuments of glorious history and decorum which have been the pride of the nation throughout centuries-Houses of God and prayer over which the Catholic Church always had enjoyed the full right of ownership and which the Church by her magnificent title of particular merit had always preserved, embellished and adorned with loving care-even temples not a few of which were destroyed (and again We deplore it) by the impious mania of burning-were declared to property of the nation and placed under the control of the civil authorities who today rule the public destinies without any respect for the religious sentiments of the good people of Spain.

14. The condition created for the Catholic Church in Spain is, therefore, very sad. The clergy already were deprived, by an action totally foreign to the generous character of the chivalrous Spanish nation, of their incomes, thus violating a promise given in a concordatory pact and violating the strictest justice since the State, in fixing these allowances, had not done it through gratuitous concession but as indemnity for goods already taken from the Church.

Deplores Blow at Congregations

15. Even Religious Congregations are now stricken in an inhuman manner by these deplorable laws. The unjust suspicion was fomented that they might exercise political activity dangerous to the safety of the State, thus stimulating a passion hostile to them with every kind of denunciation and persecution to provide an open and easy way to arrive at more serious measures. They were subjected to many inquiries, registrations and inspections which constituted troublesome forms of fiscal oppression and finally, after they were deprived of the right of teaching and exercising any other activity from which they could obtain honest sustenance, they were placed under tributary laws, though it was well-known that, deprived of everything, they will not be able to pay taxes, which is another veiled manner of rendering their existence impossible.

Actually, with such legislation, not only the Religious but the whole Spanish people have been stricken, because there have been rendered impossible those great works of charity and of beneficence for the aid of the poor which always formed the magnificent glory of the Religious Congregations and the Catholic Spain.

16. Nevertheless, in the painful and straightened circumstances in which the secular and regular clergy find themselves in Spain, the thought comforts Us that the generous Spanish people, even in the present economic crisis, will worthily know how to repair such a pitiful situation, lessening the burden of real poverty which has overwhelmed their priests, so that, with renewed energy, they can provide for Divine Worship and pastoral ministry.

Offense to Divine Majesty

17. But if these grave injustices sadden Us, and with Us, you, Venerable Brothers, Beloved Sons, We feel even more strongly the offense committed against Divine Majesty. It was an expression of a soul deeply hostile to God and the Catholic Religion, to have disbanded the Religious Orders that had taken a vow of obedience to an authority different from the legitimate authority of the State. In this way means was ought to do away with the Society of Jesus-which can well glory in being one of the soundest auxiliaries of the Chair of Peter-with the hope, perhaps, of then being able with less difficulty to overthrow in the near future, the Christian Faith and morale in the heart of the Spanish Nation, which gave to the Church of God the grand and glorious figure of Ignatius Loyola.

18. In this manner they wished to strike fully, as We already have publicly declared, at the very Supreme Authority of the Catholic Church. They did not dare name explicitly the person of the Roman Pontiff, but, in fact, they have defined as extraneous to the Spanish Nation the authority of the Vicar of Christ, as if the authority of the Roman Pontiff, conferred by Jesus, Himself, could be called extraneous to any part of the world whatsoever; as if the recognition of the Divine Authority of Christ can minimize legitimate human authority; as if the spiritual and supernatural power could be in contrast with that of the State-a contrast that cannot exist except through the malice of those who desire and want it because they know that without the Shepherd little sheep would go astray and more easily become the prey of false shepherds.

19. If the offense inflicted on the authority of the Vicar of Christ deeply wounds Our paternal heart, never did We think for a moment it could even in the smallest way shake the traditional devotion of the Spanish people to the Chair of Peter. Rather, as has always been taught by experience and history, the more the enemies of the Church seek to alienate people from the Vicar of Christ, the more affectionately the latter, through the providential disposition of God, Who knows how to bring good out of evil, draw closer to him, proclaiming that from him alone is radiated that light which illuminates the way darkened by so many perturbations, and that from him alone, as from Christ, resounds the words of eternal life.

20. Nor were they satisfied when with the recent law they so much raged against the great and meritorious Society of Jesus; they wished to give another and very serious blow to all Religious Orders and Congregations by forbidding them to teach. Thus was accomplished a work of deplorable ingratitude and clear injustice. In fact, the liberty which is granted to all to exercise the right to teach is taken from one class of citizens guilty only of having embraced a life of renunciation and perfection. Did they perhaps wish to inflict upon the Religious, who have left and sacrificed everything to dedicate themselves only to teaching and the education of the young as an apostolic mission, the stigma of incapacity or inferiority in the teaching field? Nevertheless, experience has demonstrated with what care, with what competence, the Religious always have fulfilled their duty, with what magnificent results for the instruction of intellect as well as the education of heart they have crowned their patient labor. It is luminously proved by the number of persons, truly famous in all fields of human science and at the same time exemplary Catholics, who came forth from the schools of the Religious. It is shown by the great advances made in Spain by such schools, and by the record of students. Finally, it is confirmed by the confidence which they have enjoyed from parents, who, having received from God the right and duty of educating their own children, have also the sacrosanct liberty of choosing those who must efficaciously co-operate in their education.

Aim to Uproot Religion Seen

21. But this very serious act with regard to Religious Orders and Congregations was not enough. Indisputable rights of property also were oppressed. The free will of founders and benefactors was openly violated through the seizure of buildings with the object of creating lay schools that are Godless, although the generous donors had stipulated that strictly Catholic education should be imparted.

22. From all this, alas, appears too clearly the purpose they intend to achieve with such regulations, namely that of educating new generations in a spirit of religious indifference if not anticlericalism, tearing from the young souls the traditional Catholic sentiments so deeply rooted in the good people of Spain. Thus it is sought to make laic all teaching which hitherto was inspired by religion and Christian morality.

23. In the face of a law so injurious to ecclesiastical rights and liberties, rights that We must defend and preserve integrally, We believe that it is precisely the duty of Our Apostolic Ministry to reprove and condemn it. Therefore, We solemnly protest with all Our strength against the law itself, declaring that it cannot be invoked against the inalienable rights of the Church. And We wish here to reaffirm Our lively confidence that Our beloved children of Spain, understanding the injustice and harm of these provisions will bring to bear all legitimate means which, in view of the nature of the law and of its interpretation, rest in their power to induce these same legislators to reform these dispositions which are so contrary to the rights of every citizen and so hostile to the Church, substituting other laws reconcilable with Catholic conscience. (Pope Pius XI, Dilectissima Nobis, November 3, 1933.)

We know that Pope Pius XI’s words fell upon the deaf ears of men who were possessed of diabolically conceived falsehoods and that it was not until a Catholic general, Francisco Franco, rose to the defense of the Holy Faith and Catholic Spain, that the enemies of the Faith were vanquished until after his death on November 20, 1975. (Franco’s efforts to maintain the strength of Catholicism in Spain were undermined, especially after his death, by the ethos of conciliarism and the quisling “bishops” who believed in the spirit of the revolution and not the Social Reign of Christ the King.

While Pope Pius XI did authorize a Concordat with Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, he did so to guarantee the life of the Church in Germany. As Dr. Robert Royal pointed out in Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century, Pope Pius XI manfully expressed his regret about entering into the Concordat with the Third Reich when he issued Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1937:

Not a few voices were raised early, if to little effect. One of the most remarkable and stunningly heroic was that of the German Jesuit Rupert Mayer. Father Mayer was a living refutation of the Nazi claim that the "negative Christianity" of the churches, with its humility, sense of simpleness and ascetic practice, was incompatible with the virtues Nazis admired, such as courage and boldness. Mayer was early attracted to the religious life in his native Bavaria. In World War I, as a chaplain to the German army, he distinguished himself by his fearless movements on battlefronts to administer the sacraments to the dying and in using his own body to shield wounded men. he was wounded so severely during a battle in Romania that he lost his left leg. Hans Carossa, an eyewitness to that event, was stunned by Mayer's courage as he lay bleeding: "The man lying there in his own blood maintained, even in the most wretched condition, the air of uncommon superiority over himself. . . . When people like us died, something not quite settled, not quite finished always remained. But this man floated like a sonata by Bach, conjured out of the darkness in clearly drawn lines and in a state of complete release." Mayer was the first priest to receive the Iron Cross, first class, as well as other medals for valor.

It comes as no surprise then that, as National Socialism began its rise to power in Germany, Mayer was one of the few with both the perspicacity and the courage to confront it head on. He spent long hours every day in a demanding round of hearing confessions, counseling the many people who came to him, and collecting large sums for the relief of the poor. Realizing that the new situation called for new pastoral strategies, he set up masses on Sundays in train stations so that the many people who wanted to spend the day in the country could hear Mass before they departed. Tens of thousands did so. But in the same pastoral vein, he also made it a point to attend political meetings that might have an impact on the faith in Germany. He did so not as a political activist but as a legendary, battle-tested priest who felt responsibility to be a pastor over all dimensions of the life of his flock and had an enormous following. When twenty-one young people of the Catholic Association of Saint Joseph were massacred by marauding bands, for example, he took to the pulpit, counseling a firm response animated not be revenge, but by Christian love. One of his constant themes was: "If they feel our love, they will believe what we say."

That Christian charity, however, did not prevent him from taking a firm line against all those then in Germany--Communists and National Socialists most prominently--who were preaching a different gospel. At a Communist meeting in 1919, Mayer bumped into Hitler, who was then merely a political agitator. The priest rose up to refute various points of the Communists speakers. Hitler stood up next and remarked that the priest had criticized Communism from a religious point of view; he, Hitler, wanted to do so from a political standpoint. That one and only meeting convinced Mayer that Hitler was a remarkably capable speaker. In subsequent meetings of the Nazis, which Mayer attended to offer a religious commentary, he became convinced that Hitler was "a fanatic of the first order."

Understanding the various moral threats that Nazi views on nationalism, race and the Bible represented, he became a tireless public exponents of the view that a Catholic could not in good conscience be a Nazi. At a political rally in Burgerbrau to discuss that question, the pro-Nazi audience got so agitated before Mayer had some more than a few words that he had to be taken out of the room surrounded by bodyguards. His prominence brought him to the attention of the Nazis even before they took power. After they were asked to form a government, Gestapo agents came to his sermons and took notes. Mayer was not the kind of man to be intimidated; he spoke out without the least hesitation even though friends warned him that he was under surveillance.

Given his fame, however, the Nazis had to be careful not make a martyr of him, which would be sparked a popular reaction in Bavaria. The German bishops, like the German political classes, were unsure how to deal with National Socialism. Some such as Cardinal Adolf Bertram of Breslau, remembering the persecution in the nineteenth century during Bismarck's Kulturkampf (culture war) against the Church, acted cautiously. Other such as Bishop Konrad von Preysing of Berlin and Bishop Clemens von Gale, known as the "Lion of Munster," believed that the threat warranted direct confrontation. Mayer was firmly in the later camp, and his judgment was that the Vatican should not have signed the Concordat in 1933 at least until the Nazis stopped their brutalities against the Church.

Pope Pius XI's 1937 encyclical on the German situation, Mit brennender Sorge, expressed regret that the Church had done so as well. Pius explained that he had signed the pact "despite many and grave misgivings" because he thought it would protect the Church and that the Church and an obligation to reach agreement with anyone who did not refuse a peaceful hand. By 1937, Pius said, it was clear that the Nazi regime had engaged in "intrigues, which from the outset only aimed at a war of extermination." Nazi interpretations of terms that had plainly different meanings in any other context had effectively abrogated the accord. In addition, Pius pointed out the absurdity of the national religion propounded by the Nazis, their racial theories, and their "aggressive paganism." Natural law with its universal norms governed all people could not be abrogated by special claims about the German soul. Positive Christianity was a contradiction in terms. "Nothing but ignorance and pride could blind one to the treasures hoarded in the Old Testament." "There is but one alternative left," wrote the pope, "that of heroism."

Pius's words were prophetic. The Nazis banned publication of the encyclical, which nevertheless was circulated in clandestine fashion in parishes. A wave of arrests, trials, and persecutions followed. The Nazis also intensified also intensified a campaign against the Church that used seemingly legal channels to harass. Religious orders and other church institutions were often accused of having complicated the currency laws when they sent monies to related institutions abroad. This was an unheard of change at any other time and, despite the complexities of the law, clearly aimed at curtailing religious work. Huge fines sometimes ruined the religious institutions targeted. And deaths also resulted. Dominican priest Titus Horton died from lack of medical attention in prison after a trumped-up currency case. His cause for beatification was presented in 1984.

An even more insidious campaign involved accusing religious of immorality, either in the corruption of children or in adultery. In Germany at the time, as there is at all times, there was of course a small group of clergy who could be justly accused of these failings. But the Nazi ones--to such an extent that in the daily press it began to appear as if priestly life were nothing but the corruption of youth and sly seduction. The first charge was clearly intended to help get young people out of Church schools and youth organizations and into the secular schools and Hitlerjugend that were inculcating Nazi ideology. Domination of the next generation through strictly regulated education was one of Hitler's strategies for breaking the hold of the Church on the people at that time. (Robert Royal, The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century, Crossroad Publishing Company, New York, 2000, pp. 151-153.)

One can see that there were Catholics in Germany at the time who desire direct confrontation with the evils of the Third Reich. It was within the Providence of God that the Vicar of Christ, Pope Pius XI, chose a diplomatic course before issuing Mit Brennender Sorge, wherein he stated the following:

It is with deep anxiety and growing surprise that We have long been following the painful trials of the Church and the increasing vexations which afflict those who have remained loyal in heart and action in the midst of a people that once received from St. Boniface the bright message and the Gospel of Christ and God’s Kingdom.

2. And what the representatives of the venerable episcopate, who visited Us in Our sick room, had to tell Us, in truth and duty bound, has not modified Our feelings. To consoling and edifying information on the stand the Faithful are making for their Faith, they considered themselves bound, in spite of efforts to judge with moderation and in spite of their own patriotic love, to add reports of things hard and unpleasant. After hearing their account, We could, in grateful acknowledgment to God, exclaim with the Apostle of love: “I have no greater grace than this, to hear that my children walk in truth” (John iii. 4). But the frankness indifferent in Our Apostolic charge and the determination to place before the Christian world the truth in all its reality, prompt Us to add: “Our pastoral heart knows no deeper pain, no disappointment more bitter, than to learn that many are straying from the path of truth.”

3. When, in 1933, We consented, Venerable Brethren, to open negotiations for a concordat, which the Reich Government proposed on the basis of a scheme of several years’ standing; and when, to your unanimous satisfaction, We concluded the negotiations by a solemn treaty, We were prompted by the desire, as it behooved Us, to secure for Germany the freedom of the Church’s beneficent mission and the salvation of the souls in her care, as well as by the sincere wish to render the German people a service essential for its peaceful development and prosperity. Hence, despite many and grave misgivings, We then decided not to withhold Our consent for We wished to spare the Faithful of Germany, as far as it was humanly possible, the trials and difficulties they would have had to face, given the circumstances, had the negotiations fallen through. It was by acts that We wished to make it plain, Christ’s interests being Our sole object, that the pacific and maternal hand of the Church would be extended to anyone who did not actually refuse it.

4. If, then, the tree of peace, which we planted on German soil with the purest intention, has not brought forth the fruit, which in the interest of your people, We had fondly hoped, no one in the world who has eyes to see and ears to hear will be able to lay the blame on the Church and on her Head. The experiences of these last years have fixed responsibilities and laid bare intrigues, which from the outset only aimed at a war of extermination. In the furrows, where We tried to sow the seed of a sincere peace, other men — the “enemy” of Holy Scripture — oversowed the cockle of distrust, unrest, hatred, defamation, of a determined hostility overt or veiled, fed from many sources and wielding many tools, against Christ and His Church. They, and they alone with their accomplices, silent or vociferous, are today responsible, should the storm of religious war, instead of the rainbow of peace, blacken the German skies.

5. We have never ceased, Venerable Brethren, to represent to the responsible rulers of your country’s destiny, the consequences which would inevitably follow the protection and even the favor, extended to such a policy. We have done everything in Our power to defend the sacred pledge of the given word of honor against theories and practices, which it officially endorsed, would wreck every faith in treaties and make every signature worthless. Should the day ever come to place before the world the account of Our efforts, every honest mind will see on which side are to be found the promoters of peace, and on which side its disturbers. Whoever had left in his soul an atom of love for truth, and in his heart a shadow of a sense of justice, must admit that, in the course of these anxious and trying years following upon the conclusion of the concordat, every one of Our words, every one of Our acts, has been inspired by the binding law of treaties. At the same time, anyone must acknowledge, not without surprise and reprobation, how the other contracting party emasculated the terms of the treaty, distorted their meaning, and eventually considered its more or less official violation as a normal policy. The moderation We showed in spite of all this was not inspired by motives of worldly interest, still less by unwarranted weakness, but merely by Our anxiety not to draw out the wheat with the cockle; not to pronounce open judgment, before the public was ready to see its force; not to impeach other people’s honesty, before the evidence of events should have torn the mask off the systematic hostility leveled at the Church. Even now that a campaign against the confessional schools, which are guaranteed by the concordat, and the destruction of free election, where Catholics have a right to their children’s Catholic education, afford evidence, in a matter so essential to the life of the Church, of the extreme gravity of the situation and the anxiety of every Christian conscience; even now Our responsibility for Christian souls induces Us not to overlook the last possibilities, however slight, of a return to fidelity to treaties, and to any arrangement that may be acceptable to the episcopate. We shall continue without failing, to stand before the rulers of your people as the defender of violated rights, and in obedience to Our Conscience and Our pastoral mission, whether We be successful or not, to oppose the policy which seeks, by open or secret means, to strangle rights guaranteed by a treaty.

6. Different, however, Venerable Brethren, is the purpose of this letter. As you affectionately visited Us in Our illness, so also We turn to you, and through you, the German Catholics, who, like all suffering and afflicted children, are nearer to their Father’s heart. At a time when your faith, like gold, is being tested in the fire of tribulation and persecution, when your religious freedom is beset on all sides, when the lack of religious teaching and of normal defense is heavily weighing on you, you have every right to words of truth and spiritual comfort from him whose first predecessor heard these words from the Lord: “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not: and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren” (Luke xxii. 32). (Pope Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1937.)

Pope Pius XI’s admission of a misplaced trust was a supreme example of papal humility, and his rejoinder to the “salvific” mission of Nazism is a rebuke as well to all forms of naturalism, religious indifferentism, and nationalism, including the lie of American “exceptionalism”:

Take care, Venerable Brethren, that above all, faith in God, the first and irreplaceable foundation of all religion, be preserved in Germany pure and unstained. The believer in God is not he who utters the name in his speech, but he for whom this sacred word stands for a true and worthy concept of the Divinity. Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God. Whoever follows that so-called pre-Christian Germanic conception of substituting a dark and impersonal destiny for the personal God, denies thereby the Wisdom and Providence of God who "Reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wisdom viii. 1). Neither is he a believer in God.

Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community -- however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things -- whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.

Beware, Venerable Brethren, of that growing abuse, in speech as in writing, of the name of God as though it were a meaningless label, to be affixed to any creation, more or less arbitrary, of human speculation. Use your influence on the Faithful, that they refuse to yield to this aberration. Our God is the Personal God, supernatural, omnipotent, infinitely perfect, one in the Trinity of Persons, tri-personal in the unity of divine essence, the Creator of all existence. Lord, King and ultimate Consummator of the history of the world, who will not, and cannot, tolerate a rival God by His side.

10. This God, this Sovereign Master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race. As God’s sun shines on every human face so His law knows neither privilege nor exception. Rulers and subjects, crowned and uncrowned, rich and poor are equally subject to His word. From the fullness of the Creators’ right there naturally arises the fullness of His right to be obeyed by individuals and communities, whoever they are. This obedience permeates all branches of activity in which moral values claim harmony with the law of God, and pervades all integration of the ever-changing laws of man into the immutable laws of God.

11. None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race, God, the Creator of the universe, King and Legislator of all nations before whose immensity they are “as a drop of a bucket” (Isaiah xI, 15).

12. The Bishops of the Church of Christ, “ordained in the things that appertain to God (Heb. v, 1) must watch that pernicious errors of this sort, and consequent practices more pernicious still, shall not gain a footing among their flock. It is part of their sacred obligations to do whatever is in their power to enforce respect for, and obedience to, the commandments of God, as these are the necessary foundation of all private life and public morality; to see that the rights of His Divine Majesty, His name and His word be not profaned; to put a stop to the blasphemies, which, in words and pictures, are multiplying like the sands of the desert; to encounter the obstinacy and provocations of those who deny, despise and hate God, by the never-failing reparatory prayers of the Faithful, hourly rising like incense to the All-Highest and staying His vengeance.

13. We thank you, Venerable Brethren, your priests and Faithful, who have persisted in their Christian duty and in the defense of God’s rights in the teeth of an aggressive paganism. Our gratitude, warmer still and admiring, goes out to those who, in fulfillment of their duty, have been deemed worthy of sacrifice and suffering for the love of God.

14. No faith in God can for long survive pure and unalloyed without the support of faith in Christ. “No one knoweth who the Son is, but the Father: and who the Father is, but the Son and to whom the Son will reveal Him” (Luke x. 22). “Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent” (John xvii. 3). Nobody, therefore, can say: “I believe in God, and that is enough religion for me,” for the Savior’s words brook no evasion: “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also” (1 John ii. 23).

15. In Jesus Christ, Son of God made Man, there shone the plentitude of divine revelation. “God, who at sundry times and in divers 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). The sacred books of the Old Testament are exclusively the word of God, and constitute a substantial part of his revelation; they are penetrated by a subdued light, harmonizing with the slow development of revelation, the dawn of the bright day of the redemption. As should be expected in historical and didactic books, they reflect in many particulars the imperfection, the weakness and sinfulness of man. But side by side with innumerable touches of greatness and nobleness, they also record the story of the chosen people, bearers of the Revelation and the Promise, repeatedly straying from God and turning to the world. Eyes not blinded by prejudice or passion will see in this prevarication, as reported by the Biblical history, the luminous splendor of the divine light revealing the saving plan which finally triumphs over every fault and sin. It is precisely in the twilight of this background that one perceives the striking perspective of the divine tutorship of salvation, as it warms, admonishes, strikes, raises and beautifies its elect. Nothing but ignorance and pride could blind one to the treasures hoarded in the Old Testament.

16. Whoever wishes to see banished from church and school the Biblical history and the wise doctrines of the Old Testament, blasphemes the name of God, blasphemes the Almighty’s plan of salvation, and makes limited and narrow human thought the judge of God’s designs over the history of the world: he denies his faith in the true Christ, such as He appeared in the flesh, the Christ who took His human nature from a people that was to crucify Him; and he understands nothing of that universal tragedy of the Son of God who to His torturer’s sacrilege opposed the divine and priestly sacrifice of His redeeming death, and made the new alliance the goal of the old alliance, its realization and its crown.

17. The peak of the revelation as reached in the Gospel of Christ is final and permanent. It knows no retouches by human hand; it admits no substitutes or arbitrary alternatives such as certain leaders pretend to draw from the so-called myth of race and blood. Since Christ, the Lord’s Anointed, finished the task of Redemption, and by breaking up the reign of sin deserved for us the grace of being the children God, since that day no other name under heaven has been given to men, whereby we must be saved (Acts iv. 12). No man, were every science, power and worldly strength incarnated in him, can lay any other foundation but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus (1 Cor. iii 11). Should any man dare, in sacrilegious disregard of the essential differences between God and His creature, between the God-man and the children of man, to place a mortal, were he the greatest of all times, by the side of, or over, or against, Christ, he would deserve to be called prophet of nothingness, to whom the terrifying words of Scripture would be applicable: “He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them” (Psalms ii. 3). (Pope Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1937.) 

This is a stunning refutation of not only Nazism but of all political ideologies. Pope Pius XI dared to call Adolph Hitler a prophet of nothingness, and this applies to all “liberals,” “socialists,” “conservatives.” It applies equally to Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., and to the man he is persecuting fiercely and unreservedly, Donald John Trump.

I have said the following consistently in the past forty-five years dating back to the first years of my college teaching career: There is no salvation in politics. None. When are Catholics going to get that right?

Pope Pius XI went on to explain that the reform societies is premised upon the reform of the lives of men by means of Sanctifying Grace:

18. Faith in Christ cannot maintain itself pure and unalloyed without the support of faith in the Church, “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. iii. 15); for Christ Himself, God eternally blessed, raised this pillar of the Faith. His command to hear the Church (Matt. xviii. 15), to welcome in the words and commands of the Church His own words and His own commands (Luke x. 16), is addressed to all men, of all times and of all countries. The Church founded by the Redeemer is one, the same for all races and all nations. Beneath her dome, as beneath the vault of heaven, there is but one country for all nations and tongues; there is room for the development of every quality, advantage, task and vocation which God the Creator and Savior has allotted to individuals as well as to ethnical communities. The Church’s maternal heart is big enough to see in the God-appointed development of individual characteristics and gifts, more than a mere danger of divergency. She rejoices at the spiritual superiorities among individuals and nations. In their successes she sees with maternal joy and pride fruits of education and progress, which she can only bless and encourage, whenever she can conscientiously do so. But she also knows that to this freedom limits have been set by the majesty of the divine command, which founded that Church one and indivisible. Whoever tampers with that unity and that indivisibility wrenches from the Spouse of Christ one of the diadems with which God Himself crowned her; he subjects a divine structure, which stands on eternal foundations, to criticism and transformation by architects whom the Father of Heaven never authorized to interfere.

And today we again repeat with all the insistency We can command: it is not enough to be a member of the Church of Christ, one needs to be a living member, in spirit and in truth, i.e., living in the state of grace and in the presence of God, either in innocence or in sincere repentance. If the Apostle of the nations, the vase of election, chastised his body and brought it into subjection: lest perhaps, when he had preached to others, he himself should become a castaway (1 Cor. ix. 27), could anybody responsible for the extension of the Kingdom of God claim any other method but personal sanctification? Only thus can we show to the present generation, and to the critics of the Church that "the salt of the earth," the leaven of Christianity has not decayed, but is ready to give the men of today -- prisoners of doubt and error, victims of indifference, tired of their Faith and straying from God -- the spiritual renewal they so much need. A Christianity which keeps a grip on itself, refuses every compromise with the world, takes the commands of God and the Church seriously, preserves its love of God and of men in all its freshness, such a Christianity can be, and will be, a model and a guide to a world which is sick to death and clamors for directions, unless it be condemned to a catastrophe that would baffle the imagination.

20. Every true and lasting reform has ultimately sprung from the sanctity of men who were driven by the love of God and of men. Generous, ready to stand to attention to any call from God, yet confident in themselves because confident in their vocation, they grew to the size of beacons and reformers. On the other hand, any reformatory zeal, which instead of springing from personal purity, flashes out of passion, has produced unrest instead of light, destruction instead of construction, and more than once set up evils worse than those it was out to remedy. No doubt "the Spirit breatheth where he will" (John iii. 8): "of stones He is able to raise men to prepare the way to his designs" (Matt. iii. 9). He chooses the instruments of His will according to His own plans, not those of men. But the Founder of the Church, who breathed her into existence at Pentecost, cannot disown the foundations as He laid them. Whoever is moved by the spirit of God, spontaneously adopts both outwardly and inwardly, the true attitude toward the Church, this sacred fruit from the tree of the cross, this gift from the Spirit of God, bestowed on Pentecost day to an erratic world.  (Pope Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1937.)

Thus stands condemned the ridiculous notion of a generic “Christian Church” and the absurd contention that Protestantism is a form of “Christianity” when it is nothing other than a heresy that is offensive to God, incapable of sanctifying souls, teaches falsehoods as “Gospel truths” and is fatal to men and their societies. Protestantism leads directly to atheistic totalitarianism over time.

In condemning Nazism, Pope Pius XI also condemned the commonly expressed belief in this country that Americans are “great” on their own, that they can do anything they set their minds to doing. Such is the talk of Pelagianism, which, truth to be told, is the great-grandfather of all political ideology as it is the heresy that contends that men are, in essence, self-redemptive, that they can save themselves by their own unaided powers by stirring up graces within themselves to do what they desire to achieve.

Catholicism is the sole source of human sanctification and the legitimate teacher of men, and thus possesses the sole ability to provide the foundation for a social order that can be as just as possible in a world filled with fallen men, a point that Pope Pius XI reiterated in his encyclical letter commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the issuance of Rerum NovarumQuadregesimo Anno, May 15, 1931:

127. Yet, if we look into the matter more carefully and more thoroughly, we shall clearly perceive that, preceding this ardently desired social restoration, there must be a renewal of the Christian spirit, from which so many immersed in economic life have, far and wide, unhappily fallen away, lest all our efforts be wasted and our house be builded not on a rock but on shifting sand.[62]

128. And so, Venerable Brethren and Beloved Sons, having surveyed the present economic system, We have found it laboring under the gravest of evils. We have also summoned Communism and Socialism again to judgment and have found all their forms, even the most modified, to wander far from the precepts of the Gospel.

129. "Wherefore," to use the words of Our Predecessor, "if human society is to be healed, only a return to Christian life and institutions will heal it."[63] For this alone can provide effective remedy for that excessive care for passing things that is the origin of all vices; and this alone can draw away men's eyes, fascinated by and wholly fixed on the changing things of the world, and raise them toward Heaven. Who would deny that human society is in most urgent need of this cure now?

130. Minds of all, it is true, are affected almost solely by temporal upheavals, disasters, and calamities. But if we examine things critically with Christian eyes, as we should, what are all these compared with the loss of souls? Yet it is not rash by any means to say that the whole scheme of social and economic life is now such as to put in the way of vast numbers of mankind most serious obstacles which prevent them from caring for the one thing necessary; namely, their eternal salvation. (Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931.)

Most men today are more concerned about the acquisition or possible loss of wealth once attained than they are about their immortal souls as they have “excessive care passing things that” are “the origin of all vices.” Only the true Faitih can draw “men’s eyes, fascinated by and wholly fixated on the changing things of the world, and raise them toward Heaven.” Unfortunately, most men today, including many Catholics, do indeed deny that human society is in urgent need of the remedy that only Holy Mother Church can provide. Men who believe that they are descended from apes will come to act like them over the course of time. The ideology of biological evolutionism leads inexorably to the devolution of men and their societies into conditions of chaos, violence and the worst kind of self-seeking that the world has ever seen.

Pope Pius XI also explained in the degree of degradation to which men must fall once they are fixed on temporal goals to the exclusion of all supernatural considerations.

131. We, made Shepherd and Protector by the Prince of Shepherds, Who Redeemed them by His Blood, of a truly innumerable flock, cannot hold back Our tears when contemplating this greatest of their dangers. Nay rather, fully mindful of Our pastoral office and with paternal solicitude, We are continually meditating on how We can help them; and We have summoned to Our aid the untiring zeal of others who are concerned on grounds of justice or charity. For what will it profit men to become expert in more wisely using their wealth, even to gaining the whole world, if thereby they suffer the loss of their souls?[64] What will it profit to teach them sound principles of economic life if in unbridled and sordid greed they let themselves be swept away by their passion for property, so that "hearing the commandments of the Lord they do all things contrary."[65]

32. The root and font of this defection in economic and social life from the Christian law, and of the consequent apostasy of great numbers of workers from the Catholic faith, are the disordered passions of the soul, the sad result of original sin which has so destroyed the wonderful harmony of man's faculties that, easily led astray by his evil desires, he is strongly incited to prefer the passing goods of this world to the lasting goods of Heaven. Hence arises that unquenchable thirst for riches and temporal goods, which has at all times impelled men to break God's laws and trample upon the rights of their neighbors, but which, on account of the present system of economic life, is laying far more numerous snares for human frailty. Since the instability of economic life, and especially of its structure, exacts of those engaged in it most intense and unceasing effort, some have become so hardened to the stings of conscience as to hold that they are allowed, in any manner whatsoever, to increase their profits and use means, fair or foul, to protect their hard-won wealth against sudden changes of fortune. The easy gains that a market unrestricted by any law opens to everybody attracts large numbers to buying and selling goods, and they, their one aim being to make quick profits with the least expenditure of work, raise or lower prices by their uncontrolled business dealings so rapidly according to their own caprice and greed that they nullify the wisest forecasts of producers. The laws passed to promote corporate business, while dividing and limiting the risk of business, have given occasion to the most sordid license. For We observe that consciences are little affected by this reduced obligation of accountability; that furthermore, by hiding under the shelter of a joint name, the worst of injustices and frauds are penetrated; and that, too, directors of business companies, forgetful of their trust, betray the rights of those whose savings they have undertaken to administer. Lastly, We must not omit to mention those crafty men who, wholly unconcerned about any honest usefulness of their work, do not scruple to stimulate the baser human desires and, when they are aroused, use them for their own profit.  (Pope Pius XI, Quadregesimo Anno, May 15, 1931.)

The world us continues to fall deeper and deeper into the abyss because most men alive today are controlled by the forces of the world, the flesh and the devil, ignoring any thought of divinely-revealed truths and a single means by which their actions may be rendered meritorious in the sight of God and thus redound to their eternal salvation. Even most Catholics rush headlong to one side or the other of the false opposites of naturalism and refuse to consider the simple truth that to see the world as it truly as it is we must see it exclusively through the eyes of the Holy Faith. The only kind of “realism” is Catholic realism, Catholic truth. Everything else is but an illusion, a mirage. 

Pope Pius XI’s Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937, continued the fifty-nine year-old papal condemnation of socialism that began with Pope Leo XIII in 1878 and explained yet again that socialism and communism are but the products of failure of liberalism and laicism. Indeed, the social consequences of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King are vast, starting with the destruction of the family, which has been rent asunder by divorce and contraception and feminism and materialism and positivism and utilitarianism and the organized forces of naturalism. The atomistic individualism of Calvinist capitalism and Lockean liberalism thus produce the same sort of societies as that produced by all forms Socialism, including that wrought by Bolshevism:

Communism, moreover, strips man of his liberty, robs human personality of all its dignity, and removes all the moral restraints that check the eruptions of blind impulse. There is no recognition of any right of the individual in his relations to the collectivity; no natural right is accorded to human personality, which is a mere cog-wheel in the Communist system. In man's relations with other individuals, besides, Communists hold the principle of absolute equality, rejecting all hierarchy and divinely-constituted authority, including the authority of parents. What men call authority and subordination is derived from the community as its first and only font. Nor is the individual granted any property rights over material goods or the means of production, for inasmuch as these are the source of further wealth, their possession would give one man power over another. Precisely on this score, all forms of private property must be eradicated, for they are at the origin of all economic enslavement .

Refusing to human life any sacred or spiritual character, such a doctrine logically makes of marriage and the family a purely artificial and civil institution, the outcome of a specific economic system. There exists no matrimonial bond of a juridico-moral nature that is not subject to the whim of the individual or of the collectivity. Naturally, therefore, the notion of an indissoluble marriage-tie is scouted. Communism is particularly characterized by the rejection of any link that binds woman to the family and the home, and her emancipation is proclaimed as a basic principle. She is withdrawn from the family and the care of her children, to be thrust instead into public life and collective production under the same conditions as man. The care of home and children then devolves upon the collectivity. Finally, the right of education is denied to parents, for it is conceived as the exclusive prerogative of the community, in whose name and by whose mandate alone parents may exercise this right.

What would be the condition of a human society based on such materialistic tenets? It would be a collectivity with no other hierarchy than that of the economic system. It would have only one mission: the production of material things by means of collective labor, so that the goods of this world might be enjoyed in a paradise where each would "give according to his powers" and would "receive according to his needs." Communism recognizes in the collectivity the right, or rather, unlimited discretion, to draft individuals for the labor of the collectivity with no regard for their personal welfare; so that even violence could be legitimately exercised to dragoon the recalcitrant against their wills. In the Communistic commonwealth morality and law would be nothing but a derivation of the existing economic order, purely earthly in origin and unstable in character. In a word. the Communists claim to inaugurate a new era and a new civilization which is the result of blind evolutionary forces culminating in a humanity without God. (Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937.) 

A world devoid of God and of submission to His true Church is the only possible consequence of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ King. Naturalist liberals disagree with naturalist socialists, including communists, only about a few details. All forms of naturalism produce the godless world, which makes possible barbarism in "liberal" states and totalitarianism in "socialist" states. Indeed, the degree to which men fall into the naturalist trap will be the degree to which all states, liberal and socialist, get to increase their power over the lives of ordinary citizens in the name of "law and order" and "national security," you understand. The heresy of religious liberty makes it impossible for anyone to find any one overarching means by which social evils can be retarded, resulting in a new caste of dictators whose "infallible" pronouncements must be accepted without criticism or dissent. The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, for example, eviscerates the First Commandment by stating unequivocally that no religion, including the Catholic Faith, must be recognized by the civil state as indispensable for personal and social order, thus resulting in the triumph of the false religion of statism. A neat little trick of the devil, wouldn't you say?

Pope Pius XI alluded to some of these points in Divini Redemptoris:

But the enemies of the Church, though forced to acknowledge the wisdom of her doctrine, accuse her of having failed to act in conformity with her principles, and from this conclude to the necessity of seeking other solutions. The utter falseness and injustice of this accusation is shown by the whole history of Christianity. To refer only to a single typical trait, it was Christianity that first affirmed the real and universal brotherhood of all men of whatever race and condition. This doctrine she proclaimed by a method, and with an amplitude and conviction, unknown to preceding centuries; and with it she potently contributed to the abolition of slavery. Not bloody revolution, but the inner force of her teaching made the proud Roman matron see in her slave a sister in Christ. It is Christianity that adores the Son of God, made Man for love of man, and become not only the "Son of a Carpenter" but Himself a "Carpenter."[19] It was Christianity that raised manual labor to its true dignity, whereas it had hitherto been so despised that even the moderate Cicero did not hesitate to sum up the general opinion of his time in words of which any modern sociologist would be ashamed: "All artisans are engaged in sordid trades, for there can be nothing ennobling about a workshop."

Faithful to these principles, the Church has given new life to human society. Under her influence arose prodigious charitable organizations, great guilds of artisans and workingmen of every type. These guilds, ridiculed as "medieval" by the liberalism of the last century, are today claiming the admiration of our contemporaries in many countries who are endeavoring to revive them in some modern form. And when other systems hindered her work and raised obstacles to the salutary influence of the Church, she was never done warning them of their error. We need but recall with what constant firmness and energy Our Predecessor, Leo XIII, vindicated for the workingman the right to organize, which the dominant liberalism of the more powerful States relentlessly denied him. Even today the authority of this Church doctrine is greater than it seems; for the influence of ideas in the realm of facts, though invisible and not easily measured, is surely of predominant importance.

It may be said in all truth that the Church, like Christ, goes through the centuries doing good to all. There would be today neither Socialism nor Communism if the rulers of the nations had not scorned the teachings and maternal warnings of the Church. On the bases of liberalism and laicism they wished to build other social edifices which, powerful and imposing as they seemed at first, all too soon revealed the weakness of their foundations, and today are crumbling one after another before our eyes, as everything must crumble that is not grounded on the one corner stone which is Christ Jesus.

This, Venerable Brethren, is the doctrine of the Church, which alone in the social as in all other fields can offer real light and assure salvation in the face of Communistic ideology. But this doctrine must be consistently reduced to practice in every-day life, according to the admonition of St. James the Apostle: "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." The most urgent need of the present day is therefore the energetic and timely application of remedies which will effectively ward off the catastrophe that daily grows more threatening. We cherish the firm hope that the fanaticism with which the sons of darkness work day and night at their materialistic and atheistic propaganda will at least serve the holy purpose of stimulating the sons of light to a like and even greater zeal for the honor of the Divine Majesty. (Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937.)

There can be room for compromise: socialism is as antithetical to a just order on true Christian principles as are all forms of political ideology, including liberalism and conservatism.

Yet it is that the conciliar “popes,” starting with Angelo Roncalli/John XIII in Pacem in Terris, April 11, 1963, who, without precisely saying so, backed away from Pope Pius XI’s statement that no one could a sincere Catholic and a true socialist and from Pope Pius XI’s 1937 admonition against all association and cooperation with communism that was reiterated by the Holy Office under Pope Pius XII in 1949 (see Appendix A below):

159. It is, therefore, especially to the point to make a clear distinction between false philosophical teachings regarding the nature, origin, and destiny of the universe and of man, and movements which have a direct bearing either on economic and social questions, or cultural matters or on the organization of the state, even if these movements owe their origin and inspiration to these false tenets. While the teaching once it has been clearly set forth is no longer subject to change, the movements, precisely because they take place in the midst of changing conditions, are readily susceptible of change. Besides, who can deny that those movements, in so far as they conform to the dictates of right reason and are interpreters of the lawful aspirations of the human person, contain elements that are positive and deserving of approval?

160. For these reasons it can at times happen that meetings for the attainment of some practical results which previously seemed completely useless now are either actually useful or may be looked upon as profitable for the future. But to decide whether this moment has arrived, and also to lay down the ways and degrees in which work in common might be possible for the achievement of economic, social, cultural, and political ends which are honorable and useful: these are the problems which can only be solved with the virtue of prudence, which is the guiding light of the virtues that regulate the moral life, both individual and social. Therefore, as far as Catholics are concerned, this decision rests primarily with those who live and work in the specific sectors of human society in which those problems arise, always, however, in accordance with the principles of the natural law, with the social doctrine of the church, and with the directives of ecclesiastical authorities. For it must not be forgotten that the Church has the right and the duty not only to safeguard the principles of ethics and religion, but also to intervene authoritatively with Her children in the temporal sphere, when there is a question of judging the application of those principles to concrete cases.[67] (Angelo Roncalli/John XIII, Pacem in Terris, April 11, 1963.)

Roncalli/John XXIII’s handpicked successor, Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Montini/Paul VI, began the push in the direction of socialism and a “World Fund” in its infamous “encyclical” letter of March 25, 1967, Populorum Progressio, which is a magna carta, if you will, for Jorge the Red, and endorsed what he called the "preferential option for the poor" when addressing the CELAM conference on August 24, 1968, in Medellin, Colombia and when he issued Octagesima Adveniens, May 15, 1971:

23. Through the statement of the rights of man and the seeking for international agreements for the application of these rights, progress has been made towards inscribing these two aspirations in deeds and structures (16). Nevertheless various forms of discrimination continually reappear-ethnic cultural, religious, political and so on. In fact, human rights are still too often disregarded, if not scoffed at, or else they receive only formal recognition. In many cases legislation does not keep up with real situations. Legislation is necessary, but it is not sufficient for setting up true relationships of justice and equity. In teaching us charity, the Gospel instructs us in the preferential respect due to the poor and the special situation they have in society: the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others. If, beyond legal rules, there is really no deeper feeling of respect for and service to others, then even equality before the law can serve as an alibi for flagrant discrimination, continued exploitation and actual contempt. Without a renewed education in solidarity, an overemphasis of equality can give rise to an individualism in which each one claims his own rights without wishing to be answerable for the common good.

In this field, everyone sees the highly important contribution of the Christian spirit, which moreover answers man's yearning to be loved. "Love for man, the prime value of the earthly order" ensures the conditions for peace, both social peace and international peace, by affirming our universal brotherhood (17).  (Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini/Paul VI, Octagesima Adveniens, May 15, 1971.)

This was nothing other than an attempt to graft a Marxist diatribe onto the Gospel of the Divine Redeemer, Christ the King, and it had nothing to do with commemorating the eightieth anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, May 15, 1891.

Love for "man, the prime value of the earthly order," not love of Christ the King as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His true Church, the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.

"Love for man," of course is one of the chief tenets of Marxism, something that the late Dr. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn noted at his famous commencement address at Harvard University on June 8, 1978, just fifty-nine days before the earthly demise of Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria/Paul VI:

As humanism in its development became more and more materialistic, it made itself increasingly accessible to speculation and manipulation at first by socialism and then by communism. So that Karl Marx was able to say in 1844 that "communism is naturalized humanism.'     

This statement turned out not to be entirely senseless. One does see the same stones in the foundations of a despiritualized humanism and of any type of socialism: endless materialism; freedom from religion and religious responsibility, which under communist regimes reach the stage of anti-religious dictatorship; concentration on social structures with a seemingly scientific approach. (This is typical of the Enlightenment in the Eighteenth Century and of Marxism). Not by coincidence all of communism's meaningless pledges and oaths are about Man, with a capital M, and his earthly happiness. At first glance it seems an ugly parallel: common traits in the thinking and way of life of today's West and today's East? But such is the logic of materialistic development.   

The interrelationship is such, too, that the current of materialism which is most to the left always ends up by being stronger, more attractive and victorious, because it is more consistent. Humanism without its Christian heritage cannot resist such competition. We watch this process in the past centuries and especially in the past decades, on a world scale as the situation becomes increasingly dramatic. Liberalism was inevitably displaced by radicalism, radicalism had to surrender to socialism and socialism could never resist communism. The communist regime in the East could stand and grow due to the enthusiastic support from an enormous number of Western intellectuals who felt a kinship and refused to see communism's crimes. When they no longer could do so, they tried to justify them. In our Eastern countries, communism has suffered a complete ideological defeat; it is zero and less than zero. But Western intellectuals still look at it with interest and with empathy, and this is precisely what makes it so immensely difficult for the West to withstand the East. (Dr. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, A World Split Apart. June 8, 1978.)  

Solzhenitsyn, who is should be pointed out, was a Russian nationalist and thus had a bias against the Catholic Church and her teaching authority, especially as pertains to Papal Primacy and to her constant condemnation of contraception, which he, Solzhenitsyn supported in the name of “population control,” explained forty-one years that his condemnation of socialism did not mean that he could recommend the Western culture of consumerism and materialism as the model for his own country should Communism end there (as it supposedly did on December 25, 1992, as the flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was lowered and the tri-color flag of Russia was raised up a flagpole in its place):

But should someone ask me whether I would indicate the West such as it is today as a model to my country, frankly I would have to answer negatively. No, I could not recommend your society in its present state as an ideal for the transformation of ours. Through intense suffering our country has now achieved a spiritual development of such intensity that the Western system in its present state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive. Even those characteristics of your life which I have just mentioned are extremely saddening.

A fact which cannot be disputed is the weakening of human beings in the West while in the East they are becoming firmer and stronger -- 60 years for our people and 30 years for the people of Eastern Europe. During that time we have been through a spiritual training far in advance of Western experience. Life's complexity and mortal weight have produced stronger, deeper, and more interesting characters than those generally [produced] by standardized Western well-being.

Therefore, if our society were to be transformed into yours, it would mean an improvement in certain aspects, but also a change for the worse on some particularly significant scores. It is true, no doubt, that a society cannot remain in an abyss of lawlessness, as is the case in our country. But it is also demeaning for it to elect such mechanical legalistic smoothness as you have. After the suffering of many years of violence and oppression, the human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today's mass living habits, introduced by the revolting invasion of publicity, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.

There are meaningful warnings which history gives a threatened or perishing society. Such are, for instance, the decadence of art, or a lack of great statesmen. There are open and evident warnings, too. The center of your democracy and of your culture is left without electric power for a few hours only, and all of a sudden crowds of American citizens start looting and creating havoc. The smooth surface film must be very thin, then, the social system quite unstable and unhealthy.

But the fight for our planet, physical and spiritual, a fight of cosmic proportions, is not a vague matter of the future; it has already started. The forces of Evil have begun their offensive; you can feel their pressure, and yet your screens and publications are full of prescribed smiles and raised glasses. What is the joy about?  (Dr. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, A World Split Apart, June 8, 1978, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts .)

The Nobel Laureate gave this address nearly eleven months after riots had broken out in the Borough of Brooklyn in the City of New York, New York, when the inept utility company, Consolidated Edison, suffered an outage at a power plant in Astoria in the Borough of Queens on Wednesday, July 13, 1977. Solzhenitsyn was saying in his address, in effect, that Americans are in trouble if the only thing keeping the masses from rioting and looting is Consolidated Edison, known colloquially in New York and environs as “Con Ed.”

Neither liberalism or its variants nor socialism and its variants are the foundation of social order. Catholicism, though not a guarantor of order given the vagaries of fallen human nature, is alone the only means that can provide men and their nations with the foundation for a just social order.

The “squad” in the United States of America and their compatriots around the world, including the Argentine Apostate who is an occupant of the Casa Santa Marta, are but the product of a false conflict between different sides of the same anti-Incarnational, naturalistic and Pelagian coin, something that has been noted several times previously in this commentary and touched upon by Father Edward Leen, S.J., in The Holy Ghost:

A shudder of apprehension is traversing the world which still retains its loyalty to Jesus expressing Himself through the authority of His Church. That apprehension has not its sole cause the sight of the horrors that the world has witnessed in recent years in both hemispheres. Many Christians are beginning to feel that perhaps all may not be right with themselves. There is solid reason for this fear. The contemplation of the complete and reasoned abandonment of all hitherto accepted human values that has taken place in Russia and is taking place elsewhere, causes a good deal of anxious soul-searching. It is beginning to be dimly perceived that in social life, as it is lived, even in countries that have not as yet definitely broken with Christianity, there lie all the possibilities of what has become actual in Bolshevism. A considerable body of Christians, untrained in the Christian philosophy of life, are allowing themselves to absorb principles which undermine the constructions of Christian thought. They do not realise how much dangerous it is for Christianity to exist in an atmosphere of Naturalism than to be exposed to positive persecution. In the old days of the Roman Empire those who enrolled themselves under the standard of Christ saw, with logical clearness, that they had perforce to cut themselves adrift from the social life of the world in which they lived--from its tastes, practices and amusements. The line of demarcation between pagan and Christian life was sharp, clearly defined and obvious. Modern Christians have not been so favorably situated. As has been stated already, the framework of the Christian social organisation has as yet survived. This organisation is, to outward appearances, so solid and imposing that it is easy to be blind to the truth that the soul had gradually gone out of it. Under the shelter and utilising the resources of the organisation of life created by Christianity, customs, ways of conduct, habits of thought, have crept in, more completely perhaps, at variance with the spirit of Christianity than even the ways and manners of pagan Rome.

This infiltration of post-Christian paganism has been steady but slow, and at each stage is imperceptible. The Christian of to-day thinks that he is living in what is to all intents and purposes a Christian civilisation. Without misgivings he follows the current of social life around him. His amusements, his pleasures, his pursuits, his games, his books, his papers, his social and political ideas are of much the same kind as are those of the people with whom he mingles, and who may not have a vestige of a Christian principle left in their minds. He differs merely from them in that he holds to certain definite religious truths and clings to certain definite religious practices. But apart from this there is not any striking contrast in the outward conduct of life between Christian and non-Christian in what is called the civilised world. Catholics are amused by, and interested in, the very same things that appeal to those who have abandoned all belief in God. The result is a growing divorce between religion and life in the soul of the individual Christian. Little by little his faith ceases to be a determining effect on the bulk of his ideas, judgments and decisions that have relation to what he regards as his purely "secular" life. His physiognomy as a social being no longer bears trace of any formative effect of the beliefs he professes. And his faith rapidly becomes a thing of tradition and routine and not something which is looked to as a source of a life that is real. 

The Bolshevist Revolution has had one good effect. It has awakened the averagely good Christian to the danger runs in allowing himself to drift with the current of social life about him. It has revealed to him the precipice towards which he has was heading by shaping his worldly career after principles the context of which the revolution has mercilessly exposed and revealed to be at variance with real Christianity. The sincerely religious--and there are many such still--are beginning to realise that if they are to live as Christians they must react violently against the milieu in which they live. It is beginning to be felt that one cannot be a true Christian and live as the bulk of men in civilised society are living. It is clearly seen that "life" is not to be found along those ways by which the vast majority of men are hurrying to disillusionment and despair. Up to the time of the recent cataclysm the average unreflecting Christian dwelt in the comfortable illusion that he could fall in with the ways of the world about him here, and, by holding on to the practices of religion, arrange matters satisfactorily for the hereafter. That illusion is dispelled. It is coming home to the discerning Christian that their religion is not a mere provision for the future. There is a growing conviction that it is only through Christianity lived integrally that the evils of the present time can be remedied and disaster in the time to come averted. (Father Edward Leen, The Holy Ghost, published in 1953 by Sheed and Ward, pp. 6-9.)

Father Leen was overly optimistic about the ability of Catholics to reject the effects of Bolshevism, which have indeed made their way to our own shores (have you noticed?), as he could never have envisioned that Modernists would come up from the underground after the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, 1958, and effect a coup against the Catholic Church while representing themselves to be Catholics despite the fact that they had expelled themselves from the bosom of Holy Mother Church by their embrace, no less public promotion of, one heretical proposition after another, including an overt "reconciliation" with the principles of Marxism-Leninism. Father Leen did, of course, see very well the dangers in a world shaped by naturalism as it is very easy for Catholics to become so immersed in the world and its distractions and agitations as to lose the sensus Catholicus over the course of time. Thanks to the conciliar revolutionaries, of course, the genuine sensus Catholicus has been destroyed by the effects of the "reconcilation" between Modernism and Modernity.

The very basis of the “reconciliation between the conciliar revolutionaries and “the world” was condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in his encyclical letter condemning The Sillon, August 15, 1910, that prophesied socialism as the only end that could come from the principles that were admired by Father Angelo Roncalli at the time even after their condemnation and were later incorporated into Gaudium et Spes, December 7, 1965, and the “magisteria” of the postconciliar antipopes:

Alas! yes, the double meaning has been broken: the social action of the Sillon is no longer Catholic. The Sillonist, as such, does not work for a coterie, and “the Church”, he says, “cannot in any sense benefit from the sympathies that his action may stimulate.” A strange situation, indeed! They fear lest the Church should profit for a selfish and interested end by the social action of the Sillon, as if everything that benefited the Church did not benefit the whole human race! A curious reversal of notions! The Church might benefit from social action! As if the greatest economists had not recognized and proved that it is social action alone which, if serious and fruitful, must benefit the Church! But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, "the reign of love and justice" with workers coming from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them - their religious and philosophical convictions, and so long as they share what unites them - a "generous idealism and moral forces drawn from whence they can" When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which are necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace - the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made man - when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.  

We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the "Kingdom of God". - "We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind."  

And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither 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 (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer. (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.) 

Human dignity?

What about the sacred rights of the Social Reign of Christ the King?

The world has heard enough of the so-called "rights of man." Let it hear something of the rights of God. That the time is suitable is proved by the very general revival of religious feeling already referred to, and especially that devotion towards Our Saviour of which there are so many indications, and which, please God, we shall hand on to the New Century as a pledge of happier times to come. But as this consummation cannot be hoped for except by the aid of divine grace, let us strive in prayer, with united heart and voice, to incline Almighty God unto mercy, that He would not suffer those to perish whom He had redeemed by His Blood. May He look down in mercy upon this world, which has indeed sinned much, but which has also suffered much in expiation! And, embracing in His loving-kindness all races and classes of mankind, may He remember His own words: "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself" (John xii., 32).  (Pope Leo XIII, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900.) 

Most of the people who are alive today do indeed want to hear about the “rights of man,” and most of those others who profess some kind of generic or inchoate belief in God have no understanding that His own Divine Son made Incarnate in the Virginal and Immaculate Womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary must reign over men and their nations and that every religion other than Catholicism is false and is loathsome in His sight. Moreover, anyone who believes that there can be some “shortcut” to a respite from the conflicts that are taking place in the United States of America are badly mistaken as those conflicts are but the logical consequence of the needless divisions among men and nations engendered by the Protestant Revolution’s overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King and the subsequent rise of Judeo-Masonry and all of its naturalist errors, including liberalism and socialism.

Mit Brennender Sorge could have been the capstone of Pope Pius XI’s pontificate. However, quite unlike the conciliar “popes,” Pope Pius Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937, became the ultimate means to directly confront evils that his successor, Pope Pius XII, would continue to condemn until his own death on October 9, 1958.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio indemnifies all manner of evil-doers in public life because he is a naturalist of the “leftist” variety, and although this wretched apostate has no use for the Ten Commandments, aping Martin Luther’s own hatred of them, it can be said that the octogenarian heretic from Argentina has an Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt never speak ill of any Communist.”

We do no lose heart in the midst of the circumstances in which we live. God will never desert the cause of His Holy Church. Pope Leo XIII was very clear on this one point:

The Church, it is certain, at no time and in no particular is deserted by God; hence, there is no reason why she should be alarmed at the wickedness of men; but in the case of nations falling away from Christian virtue there is not a like ground of assurance, "for sin maketh nations miserable." If every bygone age has experienced the force of this truth, wherefore should not our own? There are, in truth, very many signs which proclaim that just punishments are already menacing, and the condition of modern States tends to confirm this belief, since we perceive many of them in sad plight from intestine disorders, and not one entirely exempt. But, should those leagued together in wickedness hurry onward in the road they have boldly chosen, should they increase in influence and power in proportion as they make headway in their evil purposes and crafty schemes, there will be ground to fear lest the very foundations nature has laid for States to rest upon be utterly destroyed. Nor can such misgivings be removed by any mere human effort, especially as a vast number of men, having rejected the Christian faith, are on that account justly incurring the penalty of their pride, since blinded by their passions they search in vain for truth, laying hold on the false for the true, and thinking themselves wise when they call "evil good, and good evil," and "put darkness in the place of light, and light in the place of darkness." It is therefore necessary that God come to the rescue, and that, mindful of His mercy, He turn an eye of compassion on human society.  (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.)

Men today, blinded and made miserable by their own sins, do indeed lay hold on the false for the true and consider themselves very wise when they call "evil good, and good evil" and "put darkness in the place of light, and light in the place of darkness.”

Total trust in the Mother of God and her Fatima Message as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits to console the good God and to make reparation for our own sins, each of which has worsened both the state of the world-at-large and the state of the Church Militant here on earth in this time of apostasy and betrayal.

This time of chastisement will pass. The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be made manifest.

True, we may not be alive to witness this triumph. We can, however, plant the seeds for it by our patient endurance of the crosses of the moment as we make whatever sacrifice necessary and endure whatever calumny, humiliation and hardship that is required in order to make no concessions to falsehoods, whether of Modernity or Modernism, of any kind at any time for any reason.

Let us lift high the Cross of Christ the King, He Who is the King of men and their nations even though most men do not realize this and even though most nations seek to suppress all mention of His Holy Name and mock any possibility that He is their King, the King Who will come in glory to judge the living and dead.

Vivat Christus Rex!

Viva Cristo Rey!

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.