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July 4, 2004

Catholicism and the State

by Thomas A. Droleskey

[This treatise was written in late-November of 2002. It was published in the printed pages of Christ or Chaos in early 2003. The Daily Catholic website published it sequentially in May of 2003. Slightly revised from its original publication, the treatise is being posted on this website on July 4 to provide some food for thought as most Catholic citizens of the United States celebrate uncritically the founding of this nation as being completely compatible with the true Faith, which it is not. Indeed, the United States of America was founded on a specific and categorical rejection of the Social Reign of Christ the King as it must be exercised by Holy Mother Church. As Pope Leo XIII noted Immortale Dei, the exclusion of the Church founded by God Himself from the business of making laws and from directing social life is a grave and fatal error. No matter the intentions of those who believed that they could form a nation without referencing Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen, good intentions can never redeem false premises. And the United States of America was founded on the false premises of religious indifferentism and man's ability to pursue and maintain "civic virtue" without having belief in, access to and cooperation with sanctifying grace. Our current problems are all the result of the false premises upon which all modern states, including the United States of America, were founded in the aftermath of the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Freemasonry.

[This piece is not light reading. It will be included as part of an anthology of my articles on this subject to be published after my G.I.R.M. Warfare, which is in the final stages of pre-publication preparation, is published next month. Without further ado, here is "Catholicism and the State."]

The modern state has become a sort of secular church replete with its own creedal beliefs and possessing an insatiably voracious appetite to exercise a near total control over its citizens, who are subjected to a level of slavery by means of confiscatory tax powers. However, the modern state is a corruption of the true nature of the state, which is not the same thing as a particular form of government that happens to constitute its civil authority, which must be founded on right principles in order for it to work properly in the pursuit of the common good here on Earth and to aid the true Church in the promotion of a cultural environment in which its citizens can best save their souls.

Apart from the great papal encyclical letters of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI, from which extensive excerpts will be included below, there are two very important works, both of them noted for their balanced consideration of the nature of the State and the areas in which Catholics can disagree legitimately, that are important to read. One is Father Denis Fahey’s The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World and Father E. Cahill’s The Framework of the Christian State. Both authors discuss that fact that man must live in the framework of three societies: the Church, the family, and the State. Both authors understand that all States must subordinate themselves to the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as exercised by his true Church. However, both authors also recognize that there is a wide degree of latitude in which Catholic scholars may argue concerning the specific organization and operation of the Christian State. The Church has eternal, universal principles to offer man concerning the true nature of the State. She does not, however have, any specific models for men to adopt, leaving this matter to the reasoned judgment of men who find themselves living in specific circumstances at specific times in specific places.

What is inarguable, though, is the fact that there must be an entity called the State. Consider Father E. Cahill’s summary of the matter at the beginning of Chapter XXIII in The Framework of the Christian State:

“We use the term State as meaning not merely the governing power, but the whole civic community organised with a view to the temporal good of its members.

“The State is in practice made up of three elements–its members, a certain territory, and the mutual rights and duties which unite the members into one whole. It is distinguished from other societies belonging to the temporal order by its greater extent and higher aims. It comprises, and within certain limits its central authority governs families, municipalities and townships, and all kinds of lesser institutions within it, such as professional and educational organisations, industrial and trading societies, social unions, and the literary and artistic associations.

“The object of the State is to secure and promote the temporal well-being or the common good of its members. We have already said that it is, like the Church, a perfect or supreme society in the sense that it is sovereign in its own sphere and does not depend in any way upon a superstate or any other higher power than God alone, although it has relations of inter-dependence with the Church and with other states. These relations are regulated by the divine law and the natural laws of Justice and Charity.”

Father Cahill lists three essential types of states, admitting, obviously, that few nations fall neatly into one category or the other. The three types he identifies are the Pagan State, the Liberal State, the Socialist State, and the Christian State. I would lump the Liberal and the Socialist State into one category: the Modern State. However, Father Cahill’s distinctions, made in the 1930s, are quite valid and prove to illustrate the fact that it is the post-Christian State that has corrupted the notion of the word “State” so much that it has become inexorably linked to systematic murder, theft, perversion, and all other manner of corruption.

Herewith are Father Cahill’s distinctions:

“The Pagan State. In the ancient Pagan State, the element of religion in public life, albeit the religion was a false one, and the dependence of the State upon the Deity were recognised. Indeed, the fundamental laws of the old Roman Republic were regarded as gifts or deposits from the gods. Hence they were divine, and no human authority could change them. Later on under the Roman Empire, while the same principle still remained in theory, it was in practice disregarded; for the Emperor’s authority was absolute and not limited even by the fundamental laws of the old Roman Constitution. Since it was clear, however, even to the ancient pagans that a human authority which recognises no limitations to its competence, not even those set by a natural or a divine law, cannot logically be reconciled with the recognition of a Supreme Being distinct from that authority, the ancient Romans met the difficulty by the crude expedient of deifying the Emperor who was regarded as the sole source of all law, and who, therefore, was honoured as a god. Another consequence of the supposed all-competence of the governing power was that the essential dignity and rights of human personality were totally disregarded. Again, in the Pagan State, the privileges and rights of citizenship were a monopoly of a small ruling caste, the rest of the people being regarded almost as chattels.”

We can see rather clearly that there are elements of the pagan state to be found in what I call the Modern State, especially here in the United States. Positivists view the United States Constitution, for example, as a source of law unto itself, rendering the plain meaning of the words contained therein so much child’s play for their endless deconstructionist exercises. The government, therefore, becomes equivalent to the State, and all its pronouncements must be obeyed without dissent as more and more of legitimate human liberty, as that term is defined properly according the patrimony of the Church (which is the explicator of the natural law), is eliminated by the brute force of the coercive power of the government. The citizen has thus become the slave of the unjust exercise of government power, which is used almost exclusively to keep the ruling class of professional politicians in power. Pronouncements of non-elected judges and bureaucrats must be obeyed as though they had been delivered by Delphic Oracles. Thus, there are many similarities between the pagan state and the modern state.

Father Cahill himself notes this in The Framework of the Christian State:

“The Pagan State gradually disappeared under the influence of Christianity. Most of its objectionable characteristics, however, have reappeared in modern times under the influence of materialistic, pantheistic and rationalistic philosophy. Thus the teachings of Hegel, according to which man is identified with the Deity, and civil society, the highest and most perfect manifestation of the divinity, leads to the deification of the State and the denial of essential personal rights, as well as the rights and authority of a divinely constituted Church independent of the State. Again, the principle that the ‘King can do no wrong’ implying, as it does that the existing civil law is the norm of morality and is always essentially valid and binding, even when it clashes with divine law or essential personal rights is founded on the same pagan ideal of the deification of the ruler.”

The deification of man, though having antecedent roots in the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Freemasonry during the so-called Enlightenment, was given expression par excellence in the French Revolution, the father, if you will, of all modern revolutions. Indeed, President Woodrow Wilson lionized the French Revolution in an attempt to explain why his administration would not intervene to help the Catholics who were being martyred by the Masonic revolutionaries in Mexico in 1915:

“I have no doubt but that the terrible things you mention have happened during the Mexican revolution. But terrible things happened also during the French Revolution, perhaps more terrible things than have happened in Mexico. Nevertheless, out of that French Revolution came the liberal ideas that have dominated in so many countries, including our own. I hope that out of the bloodletting in Mexico some such good yet may come.”

Father Cahill explained the Liberal State as follows:

“The Christian type of State prevailed over all Europe in medieval times, and down to the Protestant Revolt in the 16th century. As a result of the Revolt most of the governments of Europe gradually fell under the influence of Liberalism. Religion and everything supernatural were eliminated little by little from public life. The ‘Rights of Man’ were substituted for the rights of God. All social rights and duties were regarded as of purely human institution; and a materialistic individualism and egoism prevailed more and more in every section of the social organism.

“In the theory of the Liberal State, personal human rights are acknowledge, and indeed exaggerated, for they are regarded as paramount, the rights of God and the limitations set by the divine law being disregarded. In actual practice, however, all individual rights are merged in or made subservient to the power of the majority, by which the actual government of the State is set up. Hence the governing authority again becomes omni-competent, although the omni-competence is upheld in virtue of a title different from the title of a deified emperor or a civil body identified with the deity.

“Again, although in the Liberal theory of civil organisation, all the members of the social body have civic rights, these rights not being regarded as of divine institution may be over-ridden by a majority. Furthermore, seeing that the powerful frequently are able to secure in their own favour the decision of the majority, through the operation of finance and of the press, personal rights have in practice little more security in the Liberal State than under the old pagan regime. Thus arise the personal exploitation of the poor and the tyranny of the monied interest.”

Some Catholics have tried to accommodate the traditional teaching of the Church concerning the nature of the State with modernity. Father John Courtney Murray, for example, provided what was considered to be the intellectual “muscle” that was used to hijack that traditional teaching at the Second Vatican Council by the drafting and issuance of Dignitatis Humanae in 1965. This has generated a good deal of debate even in orthodox Catholic intellectual circles. Some Catholic scholars contend that there has been a legitimate “development of doctrine” regarding the State. Others, however, such as Michael Davies, have demonstrated that a legitimate development of doctrine cannot contradict the tradition of the Church, as the late John Henry Cardinal Newman pointed out himself. Dignitatis Humanae, which makes an accommodation with the modern state, is a dramatically different document than either Quas Primas, issued just forty years before by Pope Pius XI, and Immortale Dei, issued in 1885 by Pope Leo XIII. Even the scholars who are more sanguine to the conciliar and postconciliar theories than those of us who hold to the tradition of the Church expressed by Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI recognize, however, that there must be an entity called the State. The fact that the modern State, founded as it is in the rejection of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as exercised by his true Church, has given rise to such nightmares is no accident. It is the natural result of its false premises.

The Liberal State identified by Father Cahill gives rise of its nature to the Socialist State. The inevitable failure of Lockean liberalism to effect authentic social reform by the use of structures created by and with the consent of the majority led of its nature to socialism. Why fool around with piecemeal solutions when one can have secular salvation in one fell swoop?

Thus, Father Cahill’s definition of the Socialist State:

“The Socialist type of State, which has arisen in modern times, is akin to the Liberal State in its repudiation of Divine authority; and to the Pagan State in its claim to subordinate personal and family rights to the unlimited authority of the governing power. In this latter particular it goes further even than the Pagan States; for it denies to its members the natural right to acquire or hold the ownership or productive property, “which lies at the root of real liberty and individual responsibility
“Hence, in the Socialist State the omni-competence of the civil power is recognised in its most complete and tyrannical form. For the governing authority holding all the productive property, as well as the executive machinery under its control, can exercise an absolute despotism over the members who depend upon the government for the very necessaries of life. Moreover, in the Socialist State neither personal nor family rights, nor the rights of the Church, are recognised. Even the children belong to the State, which also claims the power to arrange the education and to regulate the work of each member, and to control everything connected with his spiritual as well as his material well-being.”

As I have demonstrated in a number of protracted articles in the past few years (especially “Of Marx and Lenin, “To Mine for True Riches,” “From Luther to Clinton to Gore,” “The Fruits of Evolutionism,” and “So Wrong for So Long”), both major political parties in the United States of America believe that we exist to enable them to rob us of our private property in order to make us utterly dependent upon them for what we could provide for ourselves if we would not held up by the coercive power they exercise as our agents in the government. We have a socialist government in fact if not in name, a government so concerned with political correctness and the exigencies of political expedience that it cannot even provide for the legitimate national security of its citizens, preferring to wage a needless war on a despot who poses no real threat to this nation while making our national borders a sieve through which passes hundreds of thousands of people intent on using the freedom found in this country to destroy her very existence.

A few years after Father Cahill wrote his book, Pope Pius XI issued a definitive examination of all forms of socialism, including Communism, in Divini Redemptoris, issued on the Feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 1937. It is a pithy summary of how liberalism always leads to some form of communism. He had dealt with the issue as early as his first encyclical letter, Ubi Arcano, issued in 1922:

“In view of this organized common effort towards peaceful living, Catholic doctrine vindicates to the State the dignity and authority of a vigilant defender of those divine and human rights on which the Sacred Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church insist so often. It is not true that all have equal rights in civil society. It is not true that there exists no lawful social hierarchy. Let it suffice to refer to the Encyclicals of Leo XIII, already cited, especially to that on State power, and to the other on the Christian Constitution of States. In these documents the Catholic will find the principles of reason and the Faith clearly explained and these principles will enable him to defend himself against the errors and perils of a communist conception of the State. The enslavement of man despoiled of his rights, the denial of the transcendent origin of the State and its authority, the horrible abuse of public power in the service of a collective terrorism, are the very contrary of all that corresponds with natural ethics and the will of the Creator, Who has mutually ordained them one to the other. Hence neither can be exempted from their correlative obligations, nor deny or diminish each other’s rights. The Creator Himself has regulated this mutual relationship in its fundamental lines, and it is by an unjust usurpation that communism arrogates to itself the right to enforce, in place of the divine law based on the immutable principles of truth and charity, a partisan political program which derives from the arbitrary human will and is replete with haste.”

Pope Pius XI discussed the matter again in the aforementioned Divini Redemptoris, issued just two years before his death.

“In teaching this enlightening doctrine, the Church has no other intention than to realize the glad tidings sung by the Angels above the cave of Bethlehem at the Redeemer’s birth: ‘Glory to God and peace to men of good will.’ True peace and true happiness, even here below as far as it is possible, in preparation for the happiness of heaven–but to men of good will. This doctrine is equally removed from all extremes of error. It maintains a constant equilibrium of truth and justice, which it vindicates in theory and applies and promotes in practice, bringing into harmony the rights and duties of all parties. Thus authority is reconciled with liberty, the dignity of the individual with that of the State, the human personality of the subject with the divine delegation of the superior; and in this way a balance is struck between the due dependence and well-ordered love of a man for himself, his family and country, and his love of other families and other peoples, founded on the love of God, the Father of all, their first principle and last end. The Church does not separate a proper regard for temporal welfare from the solicitude for the eternal. If she subordinates the former to the latter according to the words of her divine Founder, ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you,’ she is nevertheless so far from being unconcerned with human affairs, so far from hindering civil progress and material advancement, that she actually fosters and promotes them even in the most sensible and efficacious manner. Thus even in the sphere of socio-economics, although the Church has never proposed a definite technical system, since this is not her field, she has nevertheless clearly outlined the guiding principles which, while susceptible of varied concrete applications according to the diversified conditions of times and places and peoples, indicate the safe way of securing the happy progress of society.”

Pope John Paul II himself, not noted for the use of traditional papal bluntness in his critique of the modern State on the grounds of its antipathy to the Faith, nevertheless was scathing in his denunciation of the modern welfare State in Centesimus Annus in 1991:

“In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of state, the so-called ‘Welfare State.’ This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoke very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the ‘Social Assistance State.’ Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.

“By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending, In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them who act as neighbors to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need.”

Although a far cry from the overt Catholicity of his predecessors, Pope John Paul II’s words above illustrate the fact that even a man who is very much a philosophical liberal sees problems with the socialist state, especially as its is violative of the natural law principle of subsidiarity.

Father Cahill described briefly the Christian concept of the State, a concept that will be elaborated on at some length below.

“In marked contrast with non-Christian theories and avoiding the extremes of each, stands the Christian teaching on the origin, nature and purpose of civil society. Christians agree with Pagans, Liberals and Socialists in asserting that the immediate purpose of the State is to promote the temporal good and happiness of the people. But in Christian philosophy in contrast with most non-Christian schools man’s temporal good is taken to include his moral and intellectual interests as well as his material well-being; and is regarded as subordinate to the eternal happiness which is man’s ultimate end.

“Again, according to the Christian concept of the State, the members come before the State itself, which can never override man’s inalienable rights, nor limit any of their natural rights, except for a sufficient cause connected with the public good. For the State as a corporate body comes into being solely with a view to the good of the members, and has no interests or rights of its own which are not founded upon the rights and interests of the families and individuals that compose it. Hence all the activities and laws of the ruling authority must be directed solely to promote the public good of the citizens. In so far as they clash with that, they are unlawful and invalid. . . .

“Again, the State is not something apart from its members as the ancient pagans implied: nor is it a conventional society as the Liberals assert; neither is it the result of blind physical evolution, as the Socialists teach; but it is a union of families and individuals held together by reciprocal rights and duties. It is ordained by the natural law, which has determined its structures, its functions, and the extent and limitations of its powers. Its purpose is to supplement not to override, personal endeavor and the helps of family life.

“The State includes the whole organised nation with all the living forces that compose it. The central authority is only one element in it (albeit the most important one), and must not absorb the activities of other lesser forces or organisations, but should foster private initiative whether individual or collective, while directing it along lines conducive to the public good.

“Again, the State is subject to the same moral law as the individual person: and the government of the State in dealing with its own members as well as with other corporate bodies or individuals is bound by the laws of justice, charity and religion. The actual government or central authority in the State is usually also bound by positive laws–the fundamental laws of the constitution–which it cannot change without the clear consent of the people.

“Finally, the State cannot interfere with the legitimate action of the Church to which God has committed the duty of guiding and assisting men in the pursuit of their eternal happiness. The State might conceivably have been so constituted as to satisfy completely all that is required to supplement individual and domestic activities; and thus might have been the only type of a perfect and supreme society. But as a matter of fact, God has instituted the Church, another society equally perfect and supreme, and committed to it the care of man’s eternal interests, which are thus withdrawn from the control of the State.

“Hence, although it is the natural function of the State to promote men’s good and happiness, there are whole spheres of activity–religious, personal and domestic–reserved from its control, but even in these, the State is bound to afford protection and assistance where required.”

Most of the rest of this monograph will be spent elaborating on the nature of the Christian concept of the State, elucidated as it has been by the authoritative teaching of Holy Mother Church. Again, while debate takes place among orthodox Catholic scholars concerning the application of received teaching in concrete circumstances (and sometimes revolves around the abandonment of the patrimony of the past in the postconciliar era), no orthodox Catholic scholar contends that the State is unnatural to man and that human social life can be organized successfully without a State that at least minimally recognizes the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law, to say nothing of an absolute subordination to the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as exercised by Holy Mother Church.

Some commentators, however, have come to the conclusion that the state itself is bound to become tyrannical, prompting them to believe that anarchy is the only solution to protect the individual’s life, liberty, and property from the whims of professional, careerist politicians and power-hungry social-engineers in the bureaucracy, to say nothing of autocratic, positivist judges who use linguistic deconstructionism to justify statism (and every moral aberration imaginable). These commentators are wrong. They have come to a conclusion based on a false premise, namely, that the state itself is unjust and destined to become corrupt over the course of time. Their conclusions are logical if you accept the false premise. However, the falsity of the premise must be examined with care.

Many of these commentators have relied cited secular writers to come to their conclusions about the harmful nature of the State. A reliance on secular writers, however, is precisely what leads to the embrace of false premises, which results always and inevitably in bad consequences. A Catholic is supposed to understand that everything in the world is to be seen through the eyes of the true. Everything, including the nature and construct of the State and the civil government formed to exercise its authority in the temporal realm. There is no more cogent summary of the social teaching of the Catholic Church, which binds the consciences of all Catholics in all circumstances for all times, than that found in Father Denis Fahey’s Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World, which contains a brilliant summary of the encyclical letters of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI on the State.

A Catholic Understanding of the History of the State and Its Corruption

Father Fahey begins his book with an overview of how a Catholic is supposed to view and to study history:

“History is concerned with individual and contingent facts. In order to discern the supreme causes and laws of the events which historians narrate, we must stand out from, and place ourselves above these events. To do this with certainty one should, of course, be enlightened by Him Who holds all things in the hollow of His hand. Unaided human reason cannot even attempt to give an account of the supreme interests at stake in the world, for the world, as it is historically, these interests are supernatural.”

That is, unaided human reason cannot explain anything about the world as it does not take into account man’s supernatural origin and his eternal destiny. We are not living in the world of ancient Greece or ancient Rome, a time when philosophers had to grope their way to an understanding of things solely by human reason. The Incarnation has taken place. Our Lord has offered Himself up to the Father in Spirit and in Truth on the wood of the Holy Cross, thereby redeeming sinful mankind. He has established His true Church to be the means by which the fruits of that Redemptive Act are administered to the souls of individual men until the end of time and to be the repository in which is safeguarded the Deposit of Faith, which is essential for the right ordering of souls and of human societies. Anyone who overlooks or denies the importance of these truths to men as they live together in nations will fail to explain adequately why problems exist and how they can be ameliorated over the course of time.

Father Fahey went on to explain:

“Human reason strengthened by faith, that is, by the acceptance of the information God has given us about the world through His Son and through the Society founded by Him, can attempt to give this account, though with a lively consciousness of its limitations. It is only when we shall be in possession of the Beatific Vision that the full beauty of the Divine Plan which is being worked out in the world will be visible to us. Until then, we can only make an imperfect attempt at what be, not the philosophy, but the theology of history. The theologian who has the Catholic Faith is in touch with the full reality of the world, and can therefore undertake to show, however feebly and imperfectly, the interplay of the supreme realities of life.”

Father Fahey’s words resonate with truth. Only a believing Catholic can come to understand how the events of the world fit together, albeit imperfectly. A Catholic understands that man suffers from the vestigial after-effects of Original Sin, and that he needs sanctifying grace to enlighten the intellect and to strengthen the will in order to save his soul. Moreover, though, a Catholic understands that he has been baptized into a visible, hierarchical society, namely, the Mystical Body of Christ that is the Church, and that he has the obligation to learn what the God-Man has entrusted to her. A Catholic has to remember at all times that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became Man in Our Lady’s virginal and immaculate womb to place Himself under the authority of His own creatures in Nazareth. This was to teach us that we are to live under authority–in the family, in the Church, in the State–at all times and that we are to obey all legitimate authority, properly exercised, in all things that do not pertain to sin. Although Our Lord’s Hidden Years are not recorded for the most part in Sacred Scripture, His Hidden Years teach us the importance of recognizing that authority is from God and it is a wicked thing to seek to liberate one’s self from the very concept of authority in this vale of tears.

Father Fahey continues to explain the utter futility of the secularist and naturalistic ways of examining the world:

“The philosopher, as such, knows nothing about the reality of the divine life of Grace, which we lost by the Fall of our First Parents, and nothing of the Mystical Body of Christ through which we receive back that life. The philosophy of history, if it is to be true philosophy, that is, knowledge by supreme causes, must therefore be rather the theology of history. Yet how few, even among those who have the Catholic Faith, think of turning to the instructions and warnings issued by the representatives of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth, when they wish to ascertain the root causes of the present chaotic condition of the world!”

The fact that some Catholic commentators speak in glowing terms of the “insights” offered by secularists without making public advertence to those instructions and warnings, even though they say they had read the encyclical letters, makes Father Fahey’s prophetic wisdom more pertinent now than when it was offered seventy years ago. A fallacious view of the State both in theory and in practice is bound to arise if we ignore and/or reject the prophetic wisdom of Pope Leo XIII, contained in such encyclical letters as Humanum Genus, Immortale Dei, Sapientiae Christianae, Libertas Praestimissimus, Mirare Caritatis, and Testem Benevolentiae (an apostolical letter) to discover how the libertarians and anarchists and conservatives base their approach to government and the State on thoroughly false premises. Additionally, a reading of Pope Pius XI’s Ubi Arcano, Quas Primas, Divini Illius Magistri, Casti Connubii, and Divini Redemptoris to understand how the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as exercised by His true Church constitutes the only protection against the corruption of the State by a one-person tyrant or by the mobocracy of the modern democratic ethos. This is to say nothing of the insights found in Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno about the obligations of the State to base economic life on principles that reflect the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law, starting with the principle of subsidiarity. No secularist has one blessed thing to offer us to understand man and society.

Father Fahey went on to write:

“The supreme law, illustrated in the actual historical world, is that it is well or ill with it, simply and absolutely (simplicter), in proportion as it accepts or rejects God’s plan for the restoration of our Real Life, the Life of Grace, lost by original sin. The events of our age, as of every age, are in the last analysis, the results of man’s acceptance or rejection of the Divine Plan for ordered human life. They are, therefore, the consequences of the application to action of the ideas of what is order and what is disorder, which have been held by different minds. Accordingly, the appreciation of these events and of their consequences for the future must be based on what we Catholics know by faith about the order of the world, and we must turn, first all, to the documents in which the Vicar of Christ have outlined for us what is in accordance with the Divine Plan and what is opposed to it. The theology of history must therefore never lose sight of Papal pronouncements on the tendencies of an age or its spirit. Now, one such outstanding pronounce with regard to the political order of our day is the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX, and it is my intention to lay particular stress on it. The study is rendered more attractive by the fact that the enemies of the Catholic Church attack this Papal document continually. For example, the French Masonic review, L’Acacia (November 1930), published the Syllabus with an introduction, of which a portion runs as follows:

‘We have considered it well to publish again the text of the famous Syllabus, which has become almost impossible to find. As the Church does not wish the Syllabus to be subjected to the judgments and criticisms of the Catholics of the present day, she has systematically bought up and burned the copies in the vernacular which were being offered for sale.’

“These statements are needless to say, foul calumnies of the Catholic Church in the usual Masonic style. The Church is only too anxious that the Syllabus should be well known to Catholics. Pope Leo XIII, the successor of Pope Pius IX, alludes to it in the following terms: ‘. . . Pius IX branded publicly many false opinions which were gaining ground and afterwards ordered them to be considered in summary form, in order that, in this sea of error, Catholics might have a light that they might safely follow.’ (Encyclical Letter, Immortale Dei, 1885.)”

Sadly, the French Masons were ahead of their time. The contemporary Church of the postconciliar era has consigned the Syllabus to the dustbin of history. This is the case in no small measure because of the infiltration of the highest ranks of Holy Mother Church by Masons. However, it remains the case that the teaching of the Church is what it is, even though contemporary revisionists and positivists from within her ranks seek to flush the past down the Orwellian memory hole. As Christopher Ferrara and Thomas Woods point out in The Great Facade, no pronouncement of the Church can be termed a “development of doctrine” if it indeed contradicts Tradition. That is why Catholics have the obligation to study the documents of the past, as an honest reading of them will reveal just how prophetic the popes of the past were concerning our own situation today.

Father Fahey states:

“Papal documents, treating of the Mystical Body in relation to Politics and Economics, as well as those which deal with the influence of the saints, the truly great men of the world, on their times, are of paramount importance for the study of the theology of history. The Syllabus and the various condemnations of Liberalism by the Sovereign Pontiffs aimed at fixing certain truths firmly in the minds of Catholics. The return to sane thinking about social organization demanded as a prerequisite the purification of thought and the elimination of error.”

Once again, therefore, it is essential to know the social teaching of the Catholic Church in order to understand why the modern State has become a church unto itself. It is the rejection of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ that has tainted the State, thereby causing the problems of the modern world exhibited by the secularist ethos in which modern state has degenerated so completely.

Father Fahey:

We can thus easily see that the entrance of Christianity into the world has meant two things. Primarily and principally, it has meant the constitution of a supernatural society, the Mystical Body of Christ, absolutely transcending every natural development of culture and civilization. Secondly, it has had for result that this supernatural society, the Catholic Church, began to exercise a profound influence on culture and civilization and modified in far-reaching fashion the existing temporal or natural social order.”

As Pope Leo XIII noted in Immortale Dei (and as Pope Pius XI noted in Divini Illius Magistri), it was the Church that civilized the pagan and barbaric peoples of Europe in the First Millennium. Gradually, over the course of time, civil rulers began to understand that they were as bound in their capacities as rulers by the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law as they were in their own individual lives privately. Moreover, these rulers understood that it was the right of the Catholic Church to interpose herself in instances where they had done things–or had proposed to do things–contrary to the those binding precepts and therefore injurious to the salvation of souls. What is injurious to the salvation of souls is injurious to the common good of states, as both popes point out in their respective encyclical letters noted above. This led to tension between Church and State at times, to be sure. However, it produced, albeit never perfectly, a period of time, Christendom, in human history when the tendencies toward absolutism were checked by the exercise of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ upon civil rulers. It is the overthrow of that Social Kingship, dating from the Renaissance and the Protestant Revolt, that has produced the horrors of the modern state, from which so many people rightly recoil without, however, knowing true history and the right principles of the State.

Father Fahey:

“The indirect power of the Church over temporal affairs, whenever the interests of the Divine Life of souls are involved, presupposes, of course, a clear distinction of nature between the ecclesiastical authority, charged with the care of divine things, and the civil authority, whose mission is concerned with purely temporal matters.”

In other words, Church and State are both from God. The State had to be subordinated to the Church in matters of faith and morals and in matters of fundamental justice as the Middle Ages progressed, just as the family itself had to be subordinated to the reality of the Mystical Body of Christ following the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles and Our Lady on Pentecost Sunday in the same Upper Room in Jerusalem where Our Lord had instituted the Holy Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. To assert that we can live without the State because of the abuses of its modern exemplars is as absurd as to claim that children can live without parents because of widespread instances of physical and emotional abuse of children by parents (which abuses are themselves the result of the rejection of the Deposit of Faith entrusted to the true Church and of the rejection of the necessity of sanctifying grace to see the world clearly and to act in conformity with what is true and just).

Father Fahey:

“In proportion as the Mystical Body of Christ was accepted by mankind, political and economic thought and action began to respect the jurisdiction and guidance of the Catholic Church, endowed, as she is, with the right of intervention in temporal affairs whenever necessary, because of her participation in the spiritual Kingship of Christ. Thus the natural or temporal common good of States came to be sought in a manner calculated to favour the development of true personality, in and through the Mystical Body of Christ, and social life came more and more fully under the influence of the supreme end of man, the vision of God in Three Divine Persons.

“Accordingly, Catholic Social Order, viewed as a whole, is not primarily the political and social organization of society. It is primarily the supernatural social organism of the Church, and then, secondarily, the temporal or natural social order resulting from the influence of Catholic doctrine on politics and economics and from the embodiment of that influence in social institutions. If instead of Catholic Social Order we use the wider but more convenient expression of Kingdom of God, we may say that the Kingdom of God on earth is in its essence the Church, but, in its integrity, comprises the Church and the temporal social order which the influence of the Church upon the world is every striving to bring into existence. Needless to say, while the general principles of social order remain always the same, social structures will present great differences at different epochs. No particular temporal social order will ever realize all that the Church is capable of giving to the world. The theology of history must include, then, primarily, the study of the foundation and development of the Church, and secondarily, the examination of the ebb and flow of the world’s acceptance of the Church’s supernatural mission.”

Social life must be developed with a view to man’s Last End. However, as the Church as taught consistently, she has no specific models of civil governance to offer man. Men are free to debate which particular form of government they consider best suited to their own purposes. What the Church does insist upon, however, is that whatever form of government is considered best suited for the purposes of a particular nature must recognize that there are limits that exist in the nature of things beyond which it may not go legitimately, and that the Church has the God-given right to intervene in case those limits are threatened or actually transgressed. There has never been a period of perfection since the Fall of Adam and Even from Grace in the Garden of Eden. The Middle Ages was not perfect, although certain epochs within it, particularly the Thirteen Century, came about as close as man can come to realizing a world where the temporal realm was properly subordinated to man’s Last End.

Father Fahey:

“Politics is the science which as for object the organization of the State in view of the complete common good of the citizens in the natural order, and the means that conduce to it. As the final end of man is, however, not merely natural, the State, charged with the temporal social order, must ever act so as not only not to hinder but also to favour the attaining of man’s supreme end, the Vision of God in Three Divine Persons. Political thought and political action, therefore, in an ordered State, will respect the jurisdiction and guidance of the Catholic Church, the divinely-instituted guardian of the moral order, remember that what is morally wrong cannot be politically good. Thus the natural or temporal common good of the State will be always aimed at, in the way best calculated to favour the development of true personality, in and through the Mystical Body of Christ. The civil power will then have a purer and higher notion of its proper end, acquired in the full light of Catholic truth, and political action, both in rulers and ruled, will come fully under the influence of supernatural life.”

Our Lord told us to render unto God what is God’s and to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. We do not need an endless army of Protestant exegetes to explain this passage to us. It is explained so cogently in the paragraph from Father Fahey quoted immediately above. A Catholic is supposed to understand that there are, as has been noted before, limits in the nature of things beyond which no one, either ruler or subject, may transgress legitimately. What belongs to God, therefore, is a strict observance of His Commandments and a strenuous effort to cooperate with sanctifying grace to grow in sanctity and to amend one’s life if he should fall from grace. The civil state has the obligation to do nothing to hinder what belongs to God, and it is a firm obligation to root out from every aspect of its cultural life those things that are injurious to man’s last end. This does not mean, however, that the things of God have no place in the realm of Caesar. Not at all.

As the paragraph from Father Fahey quoted immediately above illustrates, civil rulers must be mindful of their Particular Judgments as they administer their duties in the temporal realm. That is, they are called to be honest and just. While, as Pope Pius XI noted consistently, a government might have to provide assistance for a short while to those unable to support themselves, government must be as limited as possible, not using its coercive taxing powers to deprive citizens of their private property and to make them virtual slaves of career politicians. To this end, those who serve in civil government must administer justly fairly according to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law. They must perform all of their duties well for the honor and glory of God and for the sanctification of their own souls.

If, for example, a decision is made to build a road or a bridge, that decision must be based on actual need rather than a desire to cater to the interests of a campaign contributor. If a decision to build a road or a bridge is deemed necessary, then it is important to build the best road or bridge that can be built, one that will be safe to traverse and will not collapse in a matter of years. If the workers of ancient Rome could build highways and aqueducts for the honor and glory of Rome that lasted the test of centuries, then how much more is it important for Catholic officials in public life to make sure that all of what they do in government is just in the sight of the Blessed Trinity and therefore truly in the interests of the common good of all citizens. It is the specific rejection of this understanding, however, that leads men to be slothful, greedy and arrogant in their exercise of power, caring little if citizens are inconvenienced by their bad decisions (while they, the elected officials, feed at the public trough quite merrily). The only antidote to this is the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ.

After providing a review of economics as “the science which studies primarily the personal relations which constitute the family, the relations of husband and wife, parents and children, masters and servants, and then, secondarily, the relations of these persons to external goods (the right of property and the use and acquisition of wealth),” Father Fahey discusses just role of political action and legislation in economic matters:

“Political action and legislation, especially in economic matters, must ever seek to strengthen family life, and accordingly, must not only not admit divorce, but must always aim at benefitting the citizens through their families as much as possible. It will be difficult at the present epoch when so many efforts are made to loosen family ties and when riches are worshiped, to restore to the word economy its original meaning. Catholics, however, should not forget that when, following Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI, they are demanding a family wage or aiming at setting up guilds or corporations as auxiliaries of family life, their efforts are directed to the task of restoring the family to its true place in the centre of the economic order. It is worthy of note that the English Poor Laws, which began with Protestantism, introduced the separation of husband and wife in the poorhouses established under them. The Catholic organization of the preceding centuries had respected family life. The importance of the family as the nucleus of the State should be remembered in connection with such questions as that of State-provided meals for school children.”

The nature of contemporary life is founded on a rejection of the spirit of Christendom which prevailed in the Middle Ages. Everything has been corrupted as a result, including such words as the State and the economy. There are legitimate roles for the State in the support of the family, something that many conservatives and libertarians reject out-of-hand. A Catholic who accepts the totality of the Church’s social teaching fits neatly into no category associated with secular political philosophy.

Consider, for example, the wisdom of Pope Leo XIII, contained in Immortale Dei in 1885, concerning the nature of the State and the family in the Middle Ages, a wisdom that must be taken into account before one bases a rejection of the State on secularist “thinkers:”

“It is not difficult to determine what would be the form and character of the State were it governed according to the principles of Christian philosophy. Man’s natural instinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if he dwelling apart, provide himself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing his mental and moral faculties. Hence it is divinely ordained that he should lead his life–be it family, social, or civil–with his fellow-men, amongst whom alone his several wants can be adequately supplied. But as no society can hold together unless some one be over all, directing all to strive earnestly for the common good; every civilized community must have a ruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, and has, consequently, God for its author. Hence it follows that all public power must proceed from God. For God alone is the true and supreme Lord of the world. Everything, without exception, must be subject to Him, and must serve Him, so that whosoever holds the right to govern, holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the Sovereign Ruler of all. There is no power but from God.

“The right to rule is not necessarily, however, bound up with any special mode of government. It may take this or that form, provided only that it be of a nature to insure the general welfare. But whatever be the nature of the government, rulers must ever bear in mind that God is the paramount ruler of the world, and must set Him before themselves as their exemplar and law in the administration of the State. For, in things visible, God has fashioned secondary causes, in which His divine action can in some wise be discerned, leading up to the end to which the course of the world is ever tending. In like manner in civil society, God has always willed that there should be a ruling authority, and that they who are invested with it should reflect the divine power and providence in some measure over the human race.”

One cannot dismiss the necessity of a ruling authority without addressing himself directly to Pope Leo XII’s words here: “In like manner in civil society, God has always willed that there should be a ruling authority. . . .” This is not a mere opinion offered after a brainstorming session. This is the patrimony of Catholic social thought from which no Catholic may legitimately dissent. It is what exists in the nature of things. As has been mentioned earlier (and will be elaborated upon at great length later), the State in the Middle Ages was founded on a recognition of the authority of the true Church to interpose herself when civil rulers proposed to do things (or had actually done things) that were contrary to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law, hence creating conditions deleterious to the salvation of immortal souls, about which a State cannot be neutral.

A beautiful expression of this recognition can be found in a letter written to his son by Saint Louis IX, found in both the breviary of Tradition and the newer breviary:

“My dearest son, my first instruction is that you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength. Without this there is no salvation. Keep yourself, my son, from everything that you know displeases God, that is to say, from every mortal sin. You should permit yourself to be tormented by every kind of martyrdom before you would allow yourself to commit a mortal sin.”

That is, one entrusted with the rule over others has an obligation to be especially vigilant about the state of his immortal soul. Mortal sin kills the life of sanctifying grace in the soul, thereby darkening the intellect (which is thus more ready to deny the truth or be slower to accept it) and weakening the will, inclining the sinner more and more to a disordered love of self and to an indulgence in his uncontrolled appetites. A soul in a state of mortal sin is more apt to act contrary to truth and to do so arbitrarily, leading a life of contradiction and confusion that is ultimately reflected in his relations with others. As even Plato himself understood, disorder in the soul leads to disorder in society. Well, disorder in the soul is caused principally by unrepentant mortal sin. If one wants to know one of the chief reasons why the modern State has been corrupted, one should start by looking at the glorification of mortal sin in every aspect of our culture (which is found among those libertarians who believe that the State has no role to play in such issues as contraception or abortion or sodomy, that these are all matters of personal liberty).

Saint Louis went on to explain to his son that he must bear his crosses with patience and be ever grateful for the blessings he receives from God, making sure to avoid become conceited because of the privilege he will be given to serve as a ruler over his subjects. A ruler still must observe the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law, and the standard of his own Particular Judgment is actually higher than any of his subjects because he has been entrusted with the administration of objective justice founded in the splendor of Truth Incarnate.

The great leader of France concluded his letter by writing:

“Be devout and obedience to our mother the Church of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff as your spiritual father. Work to remove all sin from your land, particularly blasphemies and heresies.”

There is no more cogent summary of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ. Saint Louis was telling his son that he, although destined to be a king, was subordinate to the Church founded by Our Lord upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. All States, no matter the construct of their civil governments, must be so subordinate.

Importantly, Saint Louis admonished his son to “work to remove all sin from your land, particularly blasphemies and heresies.” The State has the obligation to work to remove those conditions that breed sin in the midst of its cultural life. Yes, sin there will always be. True. However, the State, which the Church teaches has the obligation to help foster those conditions in civil society in which citizens can better save their souls, must not tolerate grave evils (such as blasphemy or willful murder) under cover of law. Saint Thomas Aquinas understood that some evils may have to be tolerated in society. Graver evils, however, undermine the common good and put into jeopardy the pursuit of man’s last end, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Sapientiae Christianae in 1890.

Why, though, should the State seek to banish blasphemy and heresies, going so far as to punish blasphemers and heretics? It is quite simple. Those who can violate the Second Commandment in order to do violence against the Holy Name can just as easily do violence against their fellow-men. Those who put into question the received teaching of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man are worse criminals than those who commit physical crimes against persons and property. Why? Because those who can place into question the truths of Our Blessed Lord and Savior make it more possible for people to reject the necessity of the Faith in their own lives and that of their nations, giving rise to the very statist crimes that are of such justifiable concern to those in the libertarian and/or anarchist camps.

The nature of this sort of fatherly concern for things sacred and temporal that existed in the Middle Ages among many, although certainly not all, rulers was noted by Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei:

“They, therefore, who rule should rule with even-handed justice, not as masters, but rather as fathers, for the rule of God over man is most just, and is tempered always with a father’s kindness. Government should, moreover, be administered for the well-being of the citizens because they who govern others possess authority solely for the welfare of the State. Furthermore, the civil power must not be subservient to the advantage of any one individual or if some few persons, inasmuch as it was established for the common good of all. But if those who are in authority rule unjustly, if they govern overbearingly or arrogantly, and if their measures prove hurtful to the people, they must remember that the Almighty will one day bring them to account, the more strictly in proportion to the sacredness of their office and pre-eminence of their dignity. The mighty should be mightily tormented. Then truly will the majesty of the law meet with the dutiful and willing homage of the people, when they are convinced that their rulers hold authority from God, and feel that it is a matter of justice and duty to obey them, and to show them reverence and fealty, united to a love not unlike that which children show their parents. Let every soul be subject to higher powers. To despise legitimate authority, in whomsoever vested, is unlawful, as a rebellion against the divine will, and whoever resists that, rushes wilfully to destruction. He that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. To cast aside obedience, and by popular violence to incite to revolt, is therefore treason, not against man only, but against God.”

These are strong words. Yes, as both Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Robert Bellarmine noted in their respective works, there are grave circumstances in which it might be necessary for a well-organized collection of citizens to rebel against the unjust exercise of power by civil rulers. Such a rebellion must meet the conditions outlined in the Just War Theory. Of particular importance in a consideration as to whether the conditions justifying such a rebellion have been met is the principle of proportionality.

Nevertheless, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Immortale Dei, the Catholics of the Middle Ages understood full well that an unjust ruler would meet with an unhappy end if he did not repent of his injustice. Subjects, though, continued to pray for their rulers at all times, trusting in the power of the graces won for us by the shedding of Our Lord’s Most Precious Blood on Calvary to be applied to even the most hardened of sinners, including those vested with civil rule.

Indeed, it was the Faith itself that served as the check upon renegade rulers and curbed the tendency to absolutism in the State. Pope Leo XIII makes this clear in Immortale Dei (as does Father Fahey, whose work I shall refer to again shortly):

“As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound up to act to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, not less than individuals, owes gratitude to God, who gave it being and maintains it, and whose ever-bounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice–not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only true religion–it is a public crime to act as though there no God. So, too, is it a sin in the State not to have care for religion, as something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of the many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, should hold in honor the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favor religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule. For one and all are we destined by our birth and adoption to enjoy, when this frail and fleeting life is ended, a supreme and final good in heaven, and to the attainment of this every endeavor should be directed. Since, then, upon, this depends the full and perfect happiness of mankind, the securing of this end should be of all imaginable interests the most urgent. Hence, civil society, established for the common welfare, should not only safeguard the well-being of the community, but have also at heart the interests of its individual members, in such mode as not in any way to hinder, but in every manner to render as easy as may be, the possession of that highest and unchangeable good for which all should seek. Wherefore, for this purpose, care must especially be taken to preserve unharmed and unimpeded the religion whereof the practice is the link connecting man to God.”

Pope Leo is setting out a line of argument that proceeds quite logically, quite Thomistically (it was he, after all, who required the study of Saint Thomas in universities). The State becomes a monster if it does not take account of, rejects, ignores, or, worse yet, makes war against the true Church and the Deposit of Faith contained therein. As Pope Leo noted in Testem Benevolentiae in 1899–and as Pope Pius XI noted in Divini Illius Magistri in 1929, men need the guidance of the Church to know definitively what is true. However, they also need the sanctifying grace administered only by Holy Mother Church to pursue virtue and scale the heights of personal sanctity, the absolute preconditions for order in society (which will vary, obviously, according to the degree to which individuals cooperate with grace at any point in time). The Church is essential for the proper functioning of the State, which is why the modern State is so corrupt and tyrannical.

Pope Leo XIII went on in Immortale Dei to note:

“Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfillment of prophecies; miracles in great number; the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles; the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to propagate.”

He went on at a later point in the encyclical to note how the Church had civilized barbaric and pagan peoples, producing Christendom:

“There was time when States were governed by principles of Gospel teaching. Then it was that the power and divine virtue of Christian wisdom had diffused itself throughout the laws, institutions, and morals of the people; permeating all the ranks and relations of civil society. Then, too, the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, established firmly in befitting dignity, flourished everywhere, by the favor of princes and the legitimate protection of magistrates; and Church and State were happily united in concord and friendly interchange of good offices. The State, constituted in this wise, bore fruits important beyond all expectation, whose remembrance is still, and will always be, in renown, witnessed to as they are by countless proofs which can never be blotted out or even obscured by any craft of enemies.”

The State, which exhibited so many horrors prior to the Church, was Christianized, producing the effects listed below in the next passage from Immortale Dei. However, Pope Leo XIII was wrong on one point in this preceding paragraph. The enemies of Christ have been able to blot out and to distort the memory of the past. Sadly, many of those enemies are in the hierarchy of Holy Mother Church, making it more possible for the enemies outside of her ranks to use textbooks and public schools and the means of mass communication to create a “memory of the past” that is wholly false.

Among the effects of Christendom for the State, Pope Leo noted:

“Christian Europe has subdued barbarous nations, and changed them from a savage to a civilized condition, from superstition to true worship. It victoriously rolled back the tide of Mohammedan conquest; retained the headship of civilization; stood forth in the front rank as the leader and teacher of all, in every branch of national culture; bestowed on the world the gift of true and many-sided liberty; and most wisely founded very numerous institutions for the solace of human suffering. And if we inquire how it was able to bring about so altered a condition of things, the answer is–Beyond all question, in large measure, through religion; under whose auspices so many great undertakings were set on foot, through whose aid they were brought to completion.”

The Devil, of course, knows all of this, which is why he has sought to undermine the Church from within. Wiping out the memory of the past within the ranks of Holy Mother Church has made it possible for some within her ranks to align themselves with statists and collectivists and positivists and relativists in the name of a perverse, secularized sense of “social justice.” Indeed, this has resulted in many instances in the actual embrace by many Catholic religious orders of the very superstitious practices eradicated during the Middle Ages. A false sense of ecumenism has wound up aiding and abetting the Mohammedans, who are winning by procreation what they lost in battle in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The future state of the states of Europe is quite likely to be Mohammedan, and that will have been the result of the rejection of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ in Europe as a result of the rise of the Protestant Revolt and Freemasonry, expressions of which are rife with Catholicism at present (clearing the way for Catholics to embrace contraception and abortion, thus making the world safe for something dear and near to the hear of Mohammed himself: world governance by Mohammedans).

Pope Leo went the disasters that befell the world as a result of the rejection of the order of the Middle Ages:

“A similar state of things would certainly have continued had the agreement of the two powers been lasting. More important results even might have been justly looked for, had obedience waited upon the authority, teaching, and counsels of the Church, and had this submission been specially marked by greater and more unswerving loyalty. For that should be regarded in the light of an ever-changeless law which Ivo of Chartres wrote to Pope Paschal II: ‘When kingdom and priesthood are at one, in complete accord, the world is well ruled, and the Church flourishes, and brings forth abundant fruit. But when they are at variance, not only smaller interests prosper not, but even things of greatest moment fall into deplorable decay.’

“Sad it is to call to mind how the harmful and lamentable rage for innovation which rose to a climax in the sixteenth century, threw first of all into confusion the Christian religion, and next, by natural sequence, invaded the precincts of philosophy, whence it spread amongst all classes of society. From this source, as from a fountainhead, burst forth all those later tenets of unbridled license which, in the midst of the terrible upheavals of the last century, were wildly conceived and proclaimed as the principles of that new jurisprudence which was not merely previously unknown, but was at variance on many points with not only the Christian, but even with the natural law.”

In other words, as I will demonstrate quite fully with excerpts from Father Fahey, the Protestant Revolt made the rise of absolutism and, in turn, of the secular state, intent on becoming a substitute for the Church herself. Just look at the list of the principles that Pope Leo noted flowed forth from the Protestant Revolt once the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ had been overthrown:

“Amongst these principles the main one lays down that as all men are alike by race and nature, so in like manner all are equal in the control of their life; that each one is so far his own master as to be in no sense under the rule of any other individual; that each is free to think on every subject just as he may choose, and to do whatever he may like to do; that no man has any right to rule any other men. In a society grounded upon such maxims, all government is nothing more nor less than the will of the people, and the people, being under the power of itself alone, is alone its own ruler. It does choose nevertheless some to whose charge it may commit itself, but in such wise that it makes over to them not the right so much as the business of governing, to be exercised, however, in its name.

“The authority of God is passed over in silence, just as if there were no God; or as if He cared nothing for human society; or as if men, whether in their individual capacity or bound together in social relations, owed nothing to God; or as if there could a government of which the whole origin and power and authority did reside in God Himself. Thus, as is evident, a State becomes nothing but a multitude, which is its own master and ruler. And since the populace is declared to contain within itself the spring-head of all rights and of all power, it follows that the State does not consider itself bound by any kind of duty towards God. Moreover, it believes that it is not obliged to make public profession of any religion; or one true; or to prefer one religion to all the rest; or to show to any form of religion special favor; but, on the contrary, is bound to grant equal rights to every creed, so that public order may not be disturbed by any particular form of religious belief.”

This is the foundation of the modern State, including the United States of America, which was founded in the acceptance of religious indifferentism as a civic virtue that would, to cite James Madison, prevent a recurrence of the “religious wars” in Europe, wars, it should be pointed out, that occurred precisely because of the Protestant Revolt. Such a foundation, however, is destined to result in the triumph of the State as it acknowledges no divinely instituted authority over it to check its exercise of civil power, as I have noted in my many treatises on Americanism. A State founded on an acceptance of religious indifferentism as a civic virtue winds up unable to retard any sort of social decay. Indeed, it winds up embracing every sort of social decay as part of the lowest common denominator.

Pope Leo XIII noted this later in Immortale Dei:

“To hold therefore that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points, cannot all be equally probably, equally good, equally acceptable to God.”

Statements are either true or false of their nature. Pope Leo was simply applying the principle of non-contradiction to demonstrate the absurdity of religious indifferentism, and how harmful it was to the welfare of the State. This is one of the reasons the American Constitution was bound to degenerate over time. Its demise was not the result of Abraham Lincoln. Its demise was the result of the defective nature of its foundation, a veritable step-child of the Protestant Revolt and the “Enlightenment” (of which Freemasonry was an expression).

Father Fahey explained the consequences of the Protestant Revolt for the State in great detail in The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World:

The organization of the Europe of the thirteenth century furnishes us with one concrete realization of the Divine Plan. It is hardly necessary to add that there were then to be seen defects in the working of the Divine Plan., due to the character of fallen man, as well as to an imperfect mastery of physical nature. Yet, withal, the formal principle of ordered social organization in the world, the supremacy of the Mystical Body, was grasped and, in the main, accepted. The Lutheran revolt, prepared by the cult of pagan antiquity at the Renaissance, and by the favour enjoyed by the Nominalist philosophical theories, led to the rupture of that order.”

Although Christendom was not without its faults, it differed from modernity in three essential respects: first, there was, as has been noted, a recognition of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as exercised by Holy Mother Church. Second, the average person understood who he was in light of the Incarnation and the Redemption, being ever conscious to live in the shadow of the Cross. Third, as a result of the first two, the average person knew that the problems of the world were caused by Original and actual sins, and are thus ameliorated only by the daily conversion of souls in cooperate with the grace they received in the sacraments administered by Holy Mother Church. Martin Luther was to reject all of this, causing consequences he did not foresee but for which he is nevertheless responsible.

Father Fahey:

“The great cardinal principle of Protestantism is that every man attains salvation by entering into an immediate relation with Christ, with the aid of that interior faith by which he believes that, though his sins persist, they are no longer imputed to him, thanks to the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. All men are thus priests for themselves and carry out the work of their justification by treating directly and individually with God. The Life of Grace, being nothing else than the external favour of God, remains outside of us and we continue, in fact, in spite of Lutheran faith in Christ, corrupt and sinful. Each human being enters into an isolated relation with our Lord, and there is no transforming life all are called to share. Luther never understood the meaning of faith informed by sanctifying grace and charity. Accordingly, the one visible Church and the Mystical Body is done away with, as well as the priesthood and the sacrifice of the Mystical Body, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The only purpose of preaching and such ceremonies were retained by Protestants was to stir up the individual’s faith.”

As influential as Niccolo Machiavelli was becoming among many European leaders, his amorality could not have triumphed had it not been for the Protestant Revolt. Many princes of what were then the independent German kingdoms and of Scandinavia and the Low Countries embraced Lutheranism precisely because it enabled them to be free of the “yoke” of the Roman pontiffs. They could be free to rule as they wanted without having to fear a public reprimand from a national primate or from the Sovereign Pontiff himself. This is what would lead to the rise of absolutism and the modern totalitarian state, populated as it is by all manner of professional criminals known as careerist politicians.

The Lutheran Revolt against the visible, hierarchical church is nothing other than an exercise in religious anarchism. In essence, Luther was saying that a Christian does not need a visible authority to direct him in his path to Heaven, which is assured to begin with by his individual profession of faith in Jesus Christ as his personal savior. As the religious indifferentism engendered by the different sects that developed in the Protestant world within a century of 1517 had its own internal logic of decay, it would only be a matter of time that the religious anarchism of Luther would lead to a social anarchism that rejected entirely any concept of religion in popular culture and national life, no less admitting that there could be a true Faith to bind all peoples in all circumstances at all times until the end of the world. Lutheranism leads by its own warped illogic and internal contradictions to statism.

Father Fahey:

“Hence the True Church of Christ, according to the Protestant view, is noting else than the assembly of those who, on account of the confidence interiorly conceived of the remission of their sins, have the justice of God imputed to them by God and are accordingly predestined to eternal life. And this Church, known to God alone, is the unique Church of the promises of indefectibility, to which our Lord Jesus Christ promised His assistance to the consummation of the world. Since, however, true believers, instructed by the Holy Ghost, can manifest their faith exteriorly, can communicate their impressions and feelings to other and may employ the symbols of the Sacraments to stir up their faith, they give rise to a visible church which, nevertheless, is not the Church instituted by Christ. Membership of this Church is not necessary for salvation, and it may assume different forms according to different circumstances. The true invisible Church of Christ is always hidden, unseen in the multitude.

“Protestantism, therefore, substituted for the corporate organization of society, imbued with the spirit of the Mystical Body and reconciling the claims of personality and individuality in man, a merely isolated relation with our Divine Lord. This revolt of human individual against order on the supernatural level, this uprise of individualism, with its inevitable chaotic self-seeking, had dire consequences both in regard to ecclesiastical organization and in the realms of politics and economics. Let us take these in turn.”

The influence of Protestantism has been such that religious belief has become little more than a matter of opinion, and the best way in civil society to avoid divisiveness and intolerance by rejecting the relevance of denominationalism to order in that civil society. Sadly, many Catholics (especially professional conservatives, such as those who support reflexively President George W. Bush) embrace this same ethos, which is part of the legacy of how Bishop John Carroll and how many of his successors in the American hierarchy taught Catholic immigrants to fit into a Protestant world without being too professedly Catholic, especially in the realm of politics and economics. This disastrous approach resulted in Catholics permitting themselves to be catechized by the culture, which explains why so many Catholics even in 2002 support candidates for public office who promote the mystical destruction of Our Lord in the person of unborn children in their mothers’ wombs. It also explains the various permutations of statism abroad throughout the Western world.

“The tide of revolt which broke away from the Catholic Church had the immediate effect of increasing the power of princes and rulers in Protestant countries. The Anabaptists and the peasants in Germany protested in the name of ‘evangelical liberty,’ but they were crushed. We behold the uprise of national churches, each of which organizes its own particular form of religion, mixture of supernatural and natural elements, as a department of State. The orthodox Church in Russia was also a department of State and as such exposed to the same evils. National life was thus withdrawn from ordered subjection to the Divine Plan and the distinction laid down by our Divine Lord Himself, between the things that are God’s and the things that are Caesar’s, utterly abolished. Given the principle of private judgment or of individual relation with Christ, it was inevitable that the right of every individual to arrange his own form of religion should cause the pendulum to swing from a Caesarinism supreme in Church and State to other concrete expressions of ‘evangelical liberty.’ One current leads to the direction of indefinite multiplication of sects. Pushed to its ultimate conclusion, this would, this would give rise to as many churches as there are individuals, that is, there would not be any church at all. As this is too opposed to man’s social nature, small groups tend to coalesce. The second current tends to the creation of what may be termed broad or multitudinist churches. The exigencies of the national churches are attenuated until they are no longer a burden to anybody. The Church of England is an example of this. As decay in the belief of the Divinity of Jesus continues to increase, the tendency will be to model church organization according to the political theories in favour at the moment. The democratic form of society will be extolled and a ‘Reunion of Christendom,’ for example, will be aimed at, along the lines of the League of Nations. An increasing number of poor bewildered units will, of course, cease to bother about any ecclesiastical organization at all.”

The destruction of the order intended by Our Lord in His Mystical Body, the Church, not only gave rise to the triumph of statism over time. It also paved the way for Freemasonry, formed exactly two hundred years after Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenberg, to start the process of the deification of man, an essential ingredient of the man-centered State.

Father Fahey:

“One consequence of the doctrine of private judgment must here be expressed, as it is of special importance for the explanation of the spread of Masonry. This theory attuned men’s minds to the deification of man, which is, the doctrine underlying Masonic symbolism. . . . The autonomous man, who decides on his own authority what he will accept of the Gospel God Himself came to deliver to us, is already well on the way to self-deification.

“The first [political] result was an enormous increase in the power of the Temporal Rulers, in fact a rebirth of the pagan regime of Imperial Rome. The Spiritual Kingship of Christ, participated in by the Pope and the Bishops of the Catholic Church being no longer acknowledged, authority over spiritual affairs passed to Temporal Rulers. They were thus, in Protestant countries, supposed to share not only in His Temporal Kingship of Christ the King, but also in His spiritual Kingship. As there was no Infallible Guardian of order above the Temporal Rulers, the way was paved for the abuses of State Absolutism. The Protestant oligarchy who ruled England with undisputed sway, from Charles the Second’s time on, and who treated Ireland to the Penal Laws, may be cited, along with that cynical scoundrel, Frederick of Prussia, as typical examples of such rulers. Catholic monarchs, like Louis XIV of France and Joseph II of Austria, by their absolutist tendencies and pretensions to govern the Catholic Church show the influence of the neighboring Protestant countries. Gallicanism and Josephism are merely a revival of Roman paganism.”

Indeed. As I have noted on many occasions, it is likely that the conditions that bred the American Revolution might never have existed if King Henry VIII had not broken form Rome. The rise of absolutism in England is the result of the English Revolt, which is also, obviously, responsible for many of the economic problems in the world. The modern State–and its influence upon Catholics of the left and the right–is thus born, so corrupting the State that a lot of well-meaning people believe it is beyond repair.

Religious indifferentism was one of the chief consequences of the Protestant Revolt. If no one is the Pope, then everyone is the Pope. It is a short step from there to assert that religion itself is but a mere matter of opinion, and that it is actually best for a State to be neutral with respect to all matters pertaining to private belief. This is cited even by Catholic apologists for the Constitution of the United States as one of this country’s principal strengths. After all, these apologists contend, it is impossible to roll back the clock to the Middle Ages. This country was founded in the framework of religious and cultural pluralism. The Constitution provides an opportunity for all ideas to flourish in the marketplace of ideas, giving flesh to James Madison’s expectations in The Federalist (Numbers Ten and Fifty-one) that there would be no one “opinion” to unite men of disparate backgrounds. Thus, the Constitution is exalted for its ability to force competing opinions to debate with one another in the policy making process, providing the possibility, although not a guarantee, of preventing the tyranny of the majority. As the late Dr. Martin Diamond and Dr. Daniel Elazar noted in their careers, the complexity of the Constitution is designed to permit all “opinions” a chance to be heard in the policy-making process. No one is guaranteed to have their way in that process; he is only guaranteed a say in it.

However well-intentioned such an effort might be, it is premised upon the belief the Incarnation and the Redemptive Act of the God-Man on the wood of the Holy Cross can be ignored in the context of the foundation and operation of the State. Again, the Church has no models of governance to offer man. She has adapted herself to many different systems, although a democratic republic that is founded in the acceptance and promotion of religious indifferentism and cultural pluralism has proven itself to be deleterious to even the private beliefs of Catholics concerning the infallible nature of Revealed Truth. After all, if everything is negotiable in the public realm, then why can’t matters of “Church teaching” be open to discussion and debate. Dr. Joseph Varacalli, a professor of sociology at Nassau Community College and the co-founder of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, has discussed this in his book Bright Promise. It is possible for the Church to adapt herself to the exigencies of a democratic republic, but only if there is a frank recognition in a nation’s organic documents that the Church herself has the right to nullify laws that are contrary to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law.

Protestantism was the bridge between Machiavelli and the rises of Freemasonry, both of which play their parts in the diverse manifestations of the modern state. While there are profound differences between the American founding and the French Revolution (which exercised its own influence on the United States culturally and intellectually and politically in due course), both are expressions of the belief that denominational religion is injurious to the welfare of the State, a belief that leads inexorably to the triumph of the monster State.

Father Fahey discusses Masonry in The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World:

“The rejection by Luther of the visible Catholic Church opened the door, not only to the abuses of absolute rulers, supreme in Church and State, but soon led to an indifference to all ecclesiastical organizations. As faith in the supernatural life of grace and the supernatural order grew dim and waned, the way was made smooth for the acceptance of Freemasonry. The widespread loss of faith in the existence of the supernatural life and the growing ignorance of the meaning of the Redemption permitted the apostles of Illuminism and Masonry to propagate the idea that the true religion of Jesus Christ had never been understood or been corrupted by His disciples, especially by the Church of Rome, the fact being that only a few sages in secret societies down the centuries had kept alive the true teaching of Jesus Christ. According to this ‘authentic’ teaching our Saviour had established a new religion, but had simply restored the religion of the state of nature, the religion of the goodness of human nature when left to itself, freed from the bonds and shackles of society. Jesus Christ died a martyr for liberty, put to death by the rulers and priests. Masons and revolutionary secret societies alone are working for the true salvation of the world. By them shall original sin be done away with and the Garden of Eden restored. But the present organization of society must disappear, by the elimination of the tyranny of priests, the despotism of princes and the slavery resulting from national distinctions, from family life and from private property.”

There are commentators who dismiss references to Freemasonry, even though popes have written extensively about the fact that the Devil is their “god.” Thomas Jefferson was a Freemason. His references to “God” in the Declaration of Independence are all Masonic, all naturalistic. There is no reference to the God-Man, quite unlike the Magna Carta. He noted in one of his last letters that it was his fondest wish to rid this country of the “plague of monkish superstition.” The Texas Declaration of Independence, written by the Freemasons who founded the Republic of Texas in 1836, stated that Texas was to be a preserve from the “evils of the priesthood.” Freemasons controlled almost all of the state legislatures in the nineteenth century, and their influence is not be discounted today.

Indeed, state legislatures in the nineteenth century passed laws specifically aimed at Catholics. Public schools used the King James version of the Bible to inculcate a religiously indifferentist sense of Christianity that had to be used as the basis of “civic virtue.” The New York State Legislature was one of many that passed “Blaine Laws” in the nineteenth century that were attempts to make it difficult for the Catholic Church to run her schools. The North Dakota State Legislature, a veritable bastion of Masons, was one of the first at the end of the nineteenth century to attempt to liberalize existing divorce laws (as undermining the family is a key goal of Masonry as a means of replacing the family with the secular State). It was that same legislature in the 1940s that passed an anti-garb law that forbade Catholic priests and nuns from wearing their clerical attire and/or habits outside of their rectories or convents or church grounds (that law was based on the anti-garb laws passed by the Masonic revolutionaries in Mexico). The Oregon State Legislature attempted to compel all students to attend only public schools in the 1920s, an effort that was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States in Pierce v. Society of Sisters. Thus, those who contend that it was the Federal usurpation of states’ rights that originated with President Abraham Lincoln that undermined the good order of the Constitution have to ignore the fact that state legislatures were acting quite positivistically in the nineteenth century. This is but the natural result of the fact that both the state constitutions and the Federal Constitution do not recognize any authority above them. They are both defenseless from the assaults of those intent of using their language to justify any and every exercise of State power imaginable.

Furthermore, it should also be noted that there have been wonderfully documented books to demonstrate the influence of Freemasonry on the American judiciary. Paul Fisher’s Behind the Lodge Door is chief among them. It is no accident that the Warren Court (1953-1969) ruled as it did in one case after another as it was composed of a number of Freemasons appointed by Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman (including Hugo Black and William O. Douglas). Earl Warren, himself a Freemason, was appointed by President Dwight David Eisenhower, who admitted later that that appointment was his chief mistake. Oh, yes, Freemasonry has exerted quite an influence in this country, both in theory and in actual practice.

As Father Fahey noted:

“Masonry is, therefore, a naturalistic society, that is to say, a society which claims to make men good and true, independently of the Supernatural Life which comes to us from the Divinity of Christ through His sacred Humanity. In reality it is only through that Life that we can be really virtuous men and live fully ordered lives. Masonry thus, in fact and in deed, puts itself in the place of the visible Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. The attitude of indifference and superiority to national differences and distinctions affected by Masonry is a mere aping of the true supranationalism of the Catholic Church, so eminently respectful of the true concept of national traits and true glories. The pretended supranationalism of Masonry can only lead to the corruption of the true concept of nationalism and to the destruction of all that is enshrined for us in the words ‘native land.’ It has its logical issue in national enslavement under a world-republic.

“Masonry’s claim to make men good, while inculcating indifference to the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, is already implicitly the divinization of man, for it makes many natural resources superior to the Life which comes from Him to us. The inner esoteric significance of its symbolism, by which the minds of its adepts are moulded, is the unabashed proclamation of man’s divinity, tendering inevitably towards the deification of the generative powers of the human race; this is the hidden meaning of the two interlaced triangles which figure so prominently on Masonic buildings as the crowning insult offered by Satan to the Blessed Trinity.”

There is no path to true virtue other than by means of sanctifying grace. The American ethos, founded as it is in the framework of Protestantism and Freemasonry, emphasizes man’s own natural virtues and abilities, a form of semi-Pelagianism. Pope Leo XIII noted this in Testem Benevolentiae, issued on January 22, 1899:

“It is hard to understand how those who are imbued with Christian principles can place the natural ahead of the supernatural virtues, and attribute to them greater power and fecundity. Is nature, then, with grace added to it, weaker than when left to its own strength? And have the eminently holy men whom the Church reveres and pays homage to, shown themselves weak and incompetent in the natural order, because they have excelled in Christian virtue? Even if we admire the sometimes splendid acts of the natural virtues, how rare is the man who really possesses the habit of these natural virtues? Who is there who is not disturbed by passions, sometimes of a violent nature, for the persevering conquest of which man must needs have some divine help? If we scrutinize more closely the particular acts We have above referred to, we shall discover that sometimes they have more the appearance than the reality of virtue. But let us grant that these are real. If we do not wish to run in vain, if we do not wish to lose sight of the eternal blessedness to which God in His goodness has destined us, of what use are the natural virtues unless of the gift and strength of divine grace be added? Aptly does St. Augustine say: ‘Great power, and a rapid pace, but out of the course.’ For as the nature of man, because of our common misfortune, fell into vice and dishonor, yet by the assistance of grace is lifted up and borne onward with new honor and strength; so also the virtues which are exercised not by the unaided powers of nature, by the help of the same grace, are made productive of a supernatural beatitude and become solid and enduring.”

Some Catholic apologists of the American founding, such as the late Father John Courtney Murray, do not even mention the necessity of persevering in states of sanctifying grace as the absolute precondition for order in the soul and hence order in society. Others, such as those who accept the exaltation of the American Constitution by the late Dr. Russell Kirk in The Roots of American Order, simply ignore the matter altogether, believing that a secular, non-denominational republic provides believing Catholics an opportunity to participate actively in the market-place of ideas, none of which are proscribed by the First Amendment. Alas, when men believe that all ideas have equal possibilities of being true, you see, this leads to the triumph of the lowest common denominator, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Immortale Dei in 1885. One of the greatest victories of Freemasonry is for scholars to ignore their existence and their stated aims, providing its adherents with the cover to do in the light what they pledge to do behind the closed doors and barred windows of their lodges.

Two final passages from Father Fahey on Freemasonry will illustrate once more the influence the lodges have had on the modern state:

“By the grace of the Headship of the Mystical Body, our Lord Jesus Christ is both Priest and King of redeemed mankind and, as such, exercises a twofold influence upon us. Firstly, as a Priest, He communicates to us the supernatural life of grace by which we, while ever remaining distinct from God, can enter into the vision and love of the Blessed Trinity. We can thus become one with God, not, of course, in the order of substance or being, but in the order of operation, of the immaterial union of vision and love. The Divine Nature is the principle of the Divine Vision and Love, and by grace we are ‘made partakers of the Divine Nature.’ This pure Catholic doctrine is infinitely removed from Masonic pantheism. Secondly, as King, our Lord exercises an exterior influence on us by His government of us. As King, He guides and directs us socially and individually, in order to dispose all things for the reception of the Supernatural Life which He, as Priest, confers.

“Society had been organized in the thirteenth century and even down to the sixteenth, under the banner of Christ the King. Thus, in spite of deficiencies and imperfections, man’s divinization, through the Life that comes from the sacred Humanity of Jesus, was socially favoured. Modern society, under the influence of Satan, was to be organized on the opposite principle, namely, that human nature is of itself divine, that man is God, and, therefore, subject to nobody. Accordingly, when the favourable moment had arrived, the Masonic divnization of human nature found its expression in the Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789. The French Revolution ushered in the struggle for the complete organization of the world around the new divinity–Humanity. In God’s plan, the whole organization of a country is meant to aid the development of a country is meant to aid the development of the true personality of the citizens through the Mystical Body of Christ. Accordingly, the achievement of true liberty for a country means the removal of obstacles to the organized social acceptance of the Divine Plan. Every revolution since 1789 tends, on the contrary, to the rejection of that plan, and therefore to the enthronement of man in the place of God. The freedom at which the spirit of the revolution aims is that absolute independence which refuses submission to any and every order. It is the spirit breathed by the temptation of the serpent: ‘For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened; and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ Man decided then that he would himself lay down the order of good and evil in the place of God; then and now it is the same attitude.”

Indeed. The Protestant Revolt in England did occur. Freemasonry did arise (in England in 1717, followed ten years later in France by one Francois Arouet, also known as Voltaire). The United States of America was founded in the aftermath of the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Freemasonry. As Protestants do not admit of any authority higher than the believer himself for the interpretation of Scripture, the Bible itself is thus rendered subject to deconstructionism, which became a favorite sport of Protestant “scripture scholars” in the latter part of the nineteenth century. If the Bible itself can be subjected to individual interpretation that renders its words devoid of any objective content, then it stands to reason that all written words, including those contained in the constitutions of civil governments, can be emptied of their plain meaning and replaced with the predilections of relativists and positivists and social engineers. A constitution that does acknowledge the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ and the authority of His true Church is thus laid bare to be picked apart by successive generations of deconstructionists, defenseless to maintain its integrity over the course of time.

Furthermore, the Protestant Revolt influenced the American founding (as well as all modern states in the West) by its rejection of the necessity of sanctifying grace for the pursuit of virtue, no less for growth in personal holiness, the fundamental precondition for social order. A belief that man can pursue “civic virtue” without referencing the authority of the true Church nor acknowledging the necessity of sanctifying grace is false and degenerates naturally over the course of time. Pope Leo XIII put it this way in Immortale Dei:

“If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fulness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, be opposed to virtue and truth, may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor of the protection of law. A well-spent life is the only passport to Heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the power of making laws, from the training of youth, from domestic society, is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preservers in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action.”

Pope Leo XIII is either right or he is wrong. The principle of non-contradiction teaches that two mutually contradictory statements cannot be true simultaneously. An exclusion of the true Church from the public life of the State is a “grave and fatal error.” Some contend that it is “unscholarly” to argue from the authority of a papal encyclical letter. It is unclear, however, to this writer how it is unscholarly to explicate the eternal, universal truths summarized in various papal encyclical letters, which contain principles that bind all men in all circumstances for all eternity. The social encyclical letters of the Church are not written just for Catholic States. They are written to remind all Catholics that the only antidote to the poisons of the modern State are to be found in working for the restoration of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ. They contain the authoritative interpretation and application of principles found in the writings of the fathers and the doctors of the Church, including the Angelic Doctor. Just as the Church rejects private interpretation of Scripture, so, too, does she reject interpretations of the fathers and the doctors that do not take into account their consistent interpretation by the Successors of Saint Peter.

Men can argue about how to apply the principles summarized in the great encyclical letters on the State. Men are not free, however, to argue about the principles. Indeed, they are duty bound to accept them and to proclaim them without any degree of hesitation or doubt. This is not “misplaced zeal” for orthodoxy. This is the fulfillment of a Catholic’s obligations to try to Catholicize every corner of the world. Consider the words of Pope Leo XIII in Sapientiae Christianae. Starting by quoting Saint Thomas Aquinas, Pope Leo states:

As Saint Thomas maintains, ‘Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.’ To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when form all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God., and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions; and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians; and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians, are moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph. Have confidence, I have overcome the world. Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the guardian and the champion of the church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.”

Catholics need to speak as Catholics, especially in the midst of religious indifferentism and cultural pluralism. The Apostles proclaimed the truth of the Catholic Faith on Pentecost Sunday. They did so to the consternation of the Jews and the irritation of the Roman authorities. The first Catholics proclaimed the truths of the Faith to the barbaric and pagan peoples of Europe in the First Millennium. The Incarnation has occurred. The Redemption has been wrought on the wood of the Holy Cross. The Great Commission has been given to the all baptized Catholics by Our Lord to proclaim Him at all times to all peoples until the end of the world. We do not have to reinvent the wheel philosophically. We have the Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Spouse of Christ. We need to have the humility to understand that that Deposit of Faith, as explicated by Holy Mother Church, is binding on all consciences. And we have to articulate the Deposit of Faith as the basis of personal and social order. Again, Pope Leo XIII in Sapientiae Christianae:

“The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent.”

God in His essence is simplicity. We need not make complexity out of simplicity. And the simple truth we are called to understand from the Papal encyclical letters on the State is this: a State not founded on the Social Kingship of Our Lord as exercised by Holy Mother Church will degenerate into some form of tyranny. Plain, and quite simple. Alas, those who believe that all we need is the right interpretation, say, of the United States Constitution are generally the same people who believe that all we needs is the right interpretation of the Novus Ordo and all liturgical abuses will cease in short order. What these good people do not realize is that the defective nature of both is what leads ultimately to the multifaceted manifestation of their inherent flaws over the course of time. We need the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as the precondition of order in society. And we need the stability and permanence of the Traditional Latin Mass as the precondition for safeguarding the Deposit of Faith in unbloody re-presentation of the Son’s Sacrifice to the Father in Spirit and in Truth.

There are some who might protest that it is not possible to re-establish the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ. Some commentators have been known to roll their eyes when this concept is mentioned to them. However, it is no less possible today than it was during the First Millennium. The obstacles are many, to be sure. The only thing that will prevent such a restoration form being realized, however, is a lack of Faith on the part of ordinary Catholics in the graces won for us on Calvary to be used as instruments in the making of moral miracles here in the Church Militant on the face of this earth.

Pope Pius XI noted this well in Quas Primas in 1925:

“Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration [of the Feast of Christ the King] that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to minds the thought of the Last Judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will most severely avenged these insults; for His kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the Commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.”

Again, this is either true or false. The history of the world from the Incarnation to our present day shows that it is true. Furthermore, the history of the past 500 years shows the catastrophic consequences of its rejection for the right ordering of the State.

Pope Pius XI went on to note:

“The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives about the true Christian ideal. If to Christ Our Lord is given all power in Heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by His Precious Blood, are by a new right subjected to His dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from His Empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to Him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, ‘as instruments of justice unto God.’ If all these truths are presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful incentive to perfection.”

Not one of our faculties is exempt from the Empire of Christ, including the national life of States. All men are called to make a perfect assent of the will to the doctrines of Christ. Those doctrines are not matters of opinions, mere debating points subject to the arbitrary whim of individuals. They are binding on all human consciences. Their rejection was noted by Pope Pius XI in Ubi Arcano and Quas Primas.

“The Empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ Himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the State and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God’s religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were some nations who thought that they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and States against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences. We lamented these in the Encyclical Ubi Arcano; we lament them today: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace; that insatiable greed which is so often hidden under a pretense of public spirit and patriotism, and gives rise to so many private quarrels; a blind and immoderate selfishness, making men seek nothing but their own comfort and advantage, and measure everything by these; no peace in the home, because men have forgotten or neglect their duty; the unity and stability of the family undermined; society in a word, shaken to its foundations and on the way to ruin.”

This is quite a catalog of problems caused directly the rejection of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ. There is no other way to ameliorate those problems, most of which have worsened exponentially over the course of the past seventy-eight and one-half years since the issuance of Quas Primas, than by praying and working for the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ.

Why Not Libertarianism and/or Anarchy?

As noted at the beginning of this reflection, there are some who believe that libertarianism and/or anarchy are the solution to the problems caused by the monster State that has arisen in the wake of the various revolutions against Christ the King. These are loaded terms that signify different things to different people. Some of their adherents get indignant when a meaning they do not intend is used to describe the term they use to describe themselves. Alas, such is the confusion engendered when one attempts to resolve the problems of the world on naturalistic terms without referencing the Deposit of Faith expressed so well in the great social encyclical letters.

There are libertarians who reject all limitations on almost on human activity, admitting that the State may have the right only in the rarest of circumstances to restrict human behavior (murder, violent crime, crimes against property). These libertarians embrace contraception and abortion and sodomy and other forms of licentious behavior contrary to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments as being beyond the power of the State to curb. Some of these libertarians would even endorse suicide and euthanasia as matters of personal “choice” that the State has no right to restrict.

Other libertarians believe that the State does have the right to enforce the binding precepts of the natural law, although most of them do not understand that the Catholic Church has been appointed by God as the authoritative arbiter of the natural law and that no State can have legitimately an “interpretation” of the natural law contrary to that taught by Christ through His Church. They believe that a written document, such as the Articles of Confederation, can limit the powers given to a central government, safeguarding liberty in the states closest to the individual citizen. These libertarians believe that all government is of its nature a threat to individual liberty, and must therefore be kept as weak as possible in order to curb its appetite for power. Thus, even though state governments in a confederation are more powerful than the central government, strict limits are placed even upon their action so as to preserve the practice of human liberty within the bounds of the natural law and right reason.

There are many other permutations of libertarianism. As is the case with many political philosophies (such as conservatism), there are as many branches of thought found within them as there are Protestant sects that have multiplied since 1517. Different people follow different oracles, making the terms themselves so fluid as to defy accurate description. One adherent of a certain interpretation might claim that a critic of his philosophy is inventing a “straw man” to knock down, beating his breast rather righteously that his definition of, say, libertarianism, is different than the one critiqued.

Pope Leo XIII critiqued the libertarian approach in Libertas Praestantissimum, issued on June 20, 1888:

“Liberty, then, as We have said, belongs only to those who have the gift of reason or intelligence. Considered as to its nature, it is the faculty of choosing means fitted for the end proposed; for he is the master of his actions who can choose one thing out of many. Now, since everything chosen as a means is viewed as good or useful, and since good, as such, is the proper object of our desire, it follows that freedom of choice is a property of the will, or rather is identical with the will in so far as it has in its action the faculty of choice. But the will cannot proceed to act until it is enlightened by the knowledge possessed by the intellect. In other words, the good wished by the will is necessarily good in so far as it is known by the intellect; and this the more, because in all voluntary acts choice is subsequent to a judgment upon the truth of the good presented, declaring to which good preference should be given. No sensible man can doubt that judgment is an act of the reason, not of the will. The end, or object, both of the rational will and of the liberty is that good only which is in conformity to reason.

“Since, however, both these faculties are imperfect, it is possible, as is often seen, that the reason should propose something which is not really good, but which has the appearance of good, and that the will should choose accordingly. For, as the possibility of error, and actual error, are defects of the mind attest its imperfection, so the pursuit of what has a false of appearance of good, though a proof of our freedom, just as a disease is a proof of our vitality, implies defect in human liberty. The will also, simply because of its dependence on the reason, no sooner desires anything contrary thereto than it abuses the freedom of choice and corrupts its very essence. Thus it is that the infinitely perfect God, although supremely free, because of the supremacy of His intellect and of His essential goodness, nevertheless cannot choose evil; neither can the Angels and Saints, who enjoy the Beatific Vision. St. Augustine and others urged most admirably against the Pelagians that, if the possibility of deflection from good belonged to the essence or perfection of liberty, then God, Jesus Christ, and the Angels and Saints, who have not this power, would have no liberty at all, or would have less liberty than man has in state of pilgrimage and imperfect. This subject is discussed by the Angelic Doctor in his demonstration that the possibility of sinning is not freedom, but slavery. It will suffice to quote the commentary on the words of our Lord: ‘Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.’ ‘Everything,’ he says, ‘is that power which belongs to it naturally. When, therefore, it acts through a power outside itself, it does not act of itself, but through another, that is, a slave. But man is by nature rational. When, therefore, he acts according to reason, he acts of himself and according to his free will; and this is liberty. Whereas, when he sins, he acts in opposition to reason, is moved by another, and is the victim of foreign misapprehension. Therefore, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.’ Even the heathen philosophers clearly recognized this truth, especially they who held that the wise man alone is free; and by the term ‘wise man’ was meant, as is well known, the man trained to live in accordance with his nature, that is, in justice and virtue.”

Would all “libertarians” accept this discourse on human liberty? Well, some would, but certainly not all. Using the “reasonable man” test, the phrases libertarian and libertarianism are most associated with people who reject all external constraints on raw physical freedom. Certainly, as I noted a short while ago, not all who call themselves “libertarians” embrace this position. However, the construct put on the phrases by a reasonable man are eminently justifiable. Most libertarians reject constraints on physical freedom, which is why many of them believe that laws against the trafficking and use of hallucinogenic drugs are a violation of personal liberty.

“Ah,” some libertarians might object, “neither Saint Augustine nor Saint Thomas Aquinas believed that all moral evils had to be–or even could be–eradicated by the State. True enough. Human nature is irreparably wounded by the vestigial after-effects of Original Sin and by our own actual sins. Sin will be with us until the end of time. Granted. There are, however, gradations of evil. No evil can ever be promoted under cover of law, although some evils may have to be tolerated in society, as Pope Leo makes clear in Libertas, quoting extensively from Saint Thomas Aquinas. One of these evils, as Pope Leo noted, is the existence of false religions. As man cannot be coerced into the practice of a particular religious faith, the existence of false religions has to be tolerated. That is not the same thing, though, as saying that the State must place all religions as equal, nor does it mean that the true Church does not have the right to insist that the civil laws of the State be subordinated to her explication of the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law.

The admission that some evils have to be tolerated in society in far different, however, than saying that the law can licitly protect such evils or actually promote them as some sort of “civil right.” The trafficking in and use of hallucinogenic drugs are grave sins against the Fifth Commandment that place in jeopardy not only the welfare of the individual(s) involved but those who might be harmed by the erratic behavior produced by those drugs. There are no sins that are “private” in nature. All sins have a very social dimension to them. Indeed, even the most private of sins can cause a soul to be so disoriented in the direction of personal gratification that it could, if not confessed and absolved in the confessional, lead the sinner to become an active agent of hostility, disorder, and outright violence in his relations with others. Grave evils need to be curbed by the power of a State organized according to Catholic principles.

Alas, the use of labels that are defined in highly subjective ways by many different people is precisely the problem we are dealing with in our considerations. A Catholic is supposed to be neither conservative nor liberal. A Catholic is supposed to be a Catholic, a person who fits neatly into no secular categorization. Oh, a Catholic might be an Augustinian or a Thomist or a Dun-Scotist in his philosophical bent. All well and good. Those schools of thought are well-defined. Terms such as libertarianism are not well-defined, and, as demonstrated above, even the definitions that do exist do not apply to all of the possible permutations caused by its use. As far as I know there is no “pope” of libertarianism, so who is to say that one definition is the one and only definition of the term?

Pope Leo XIII went on in Libertas to explain that human liberty can be understood in its fullness and thus protected most completely only by the teaching and sanctifying offices of Holy Mother Church:

“These precepts of the truest and highest teaching, made known to us by the light of reason itself, the Church, instructed by the example and doctrine of her divine Author, has ever propagated and asserted; for she has made them the measure of her office and of her teaching to the Christian nations. As to morals, the laws of the Gospel not only immeasurably surpass the wisdom of the heathen, but are an invitation and an introduction to a state of holiness unknown to the ancients; and bringing man nearer to God, they make him at once the possessor of a more perfect liberty. Thus, the powerful influence of the Church has ever been manifested in the custody and protection of the civil and political liberty of the people. The enumeration of its merits in this respect does not belong to our present purpose. It is sufficient to recall the fact that slavery, that old reproach of the heathen nations, was mainly abolished by the beneficent efforts of the Church. The impartiality of the law and the true brotherhood of man were first asserted by Jesus Christ; and His apostles re-echoed His voice when they declared that in future there was to be neither Jew or Gentile, nor barbarian, nor Scythian, but all were brothers in Christ. So powerful, so conspicuous, in this respect is the influence of the Church that experience abundantly testifies how savage customs are longer possible in any land where she has once set her foot; but that gentleness speedily takes the place of cruelty, and the light of truth quickly dispels the darkness of barbarism. Nor has the Church been less lavish in the benefits she has conferred on civilized nations in every age, either by resisting the tyranny of the wicked, or by protecting the innocent and helpless from injury, or, finally, by using her influence in the support of any form of government which commended itself to the citizens at home, because of its justice, or was feared by their enemies without, because of its power.”

Once again, Pope Leo, as he did throughout the quarter-century of his pontificate, is pointing out simple truths of history, tracing out for us “modern men” that the path to retard the growing power of the State in his day (he saw all of the evils of our present day, including the monster, tyrant State) is to be found by knowing and then emulating the history of how the first Christendom was established. The task to “restore all things in Christ,” the phrase from Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians that was the motto of Pope Saint Pius X’s pontificate from 1903-1914, is not impossible. It is our day. Some will call us “restorationists” in an effort to disparage us. However, we are restorationists: we want to restore the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as exercised by Holy Mother Church as the only antidote to the abuses of the modern State.

As Pope Leo XIII noted in Tametsi in 1900:

“The case of governments is much the same as that of the individual; they must run into fatal issues, if they depart from the way. The Creator and Redeemer of human nature, the Son of God, is King and Lord of the world, and holds absolute sovereignty over men, both as individuals and as members of society. . . . Therefore, the law of Christ ought to hold sway in human society, and in communities so far as to be the teacher and guide of public no less than private life. This being divinely appointed and provided, no one may resist with impunity, and it fares ill with any commonwealth in which Christian institutions are not allowed their proper place. Let Jesus be excluded, and human reason is left without its greatest protection and illumination; the very notion is easily lost of the end for which God created human society, to wit,: that by help of their civil union the citizens should attain their natural good, but nevertheless in a way not to conflict with that highest and most perfect and enduring good which is above nature. Their minds busy with a hundred confused projects, rulers and subjects alike travel a devious road: bereft, as they are, of safe guidance and fixed principle.

“Just as it is pitiable and calamitous to wander out of the way, so it is to desert the truth. But the first absolute and essential truth is Christ, the Word of God, consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father, who with the Father is one. I am the Way and the Truth. Accordingly, if truth is sought, let human reason first of all obey Jesus Christ and rest secure in His authoritative teaching, because by Christ’s voice the truth itself speaks.”

Pope Leo XIII used his entire pontificate to present to the entire world the authoritative teaching of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was not proffering his “opinion.” He was teaching authoritatively in the name of the One whose vicar he was for twenty-five years, not quite correctly that “it fares ill with any commonwealth in which Christian institutions are not allowed their proper place.” That is, we do not have to reinvent the wheel philosophically. The answers to the problem of modernity is to turn to Christ the King and Mary our Queen. This is not pietism or fideism. This is what used to be called, and was defended so ably by Pope Pius XI, Catholic Action. As Pope Leo noted in a review of his pontificate just one year prior to his death, “Hence in proportion as society separates itself from the Church, which is an important element in its strength, by so much does it decline, or its woes are multiplied for the reason that they are separated whom God wished to bind together.”

Just as libertarianism, no matter how it is defined, provides no substitute for the social teaching of the true Church, a Catholic is not going to find any shelter in the promotion of anarchy, another term that is laden with as many different interpretations as it has exponents. Some people have expressed an affinity for anarchy.

A careful and dispassionate review of authentic history shows us that the era of modernity, which rejects, ultimately, even the Incarnation, no less the necessity of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as exercised by His true Church, is the problem. Anarchy is not the solution.

Consider, for example, Father E. Cahill’s discussion of the State found in his The Framework of a Christian State:

"Hence there are three types of human association that form a class apart, namely, the Church, the Family, and the State or Nation. The existence and scope of these, the essential principles of their structure, the fundamental rights and duties of the members are determined by God's law, and cannot be altered by human authority. Of these, the Church differs from the family and the nation in that the two latter are natural societies. Their immediate object has to do with man's temporal interests; and their existence and scope, as well as their fundamental structure, spring from the law of nature which was ordained by God in the very act of creating man. Hence the essential principles that govern their activities can be ascertained by the light of reason. The Church, on the other hand, is supernatural. Its object is to lead men to their supernatural destiny, which is direct union with God; and its foundation and constitution depend upon God's positive revelation to man.

"Again, the Church and the nation differ from all other types of human associations in that they are perfect societies. They--and only they--have within themselves all that is required for the complete and full realisation of the ends at which they aim. Neither can, within its own sphere, be validly subordinated to any human power outside itself; while every other human society, even the family, is more or less dependent upon them. It is on this account that the Church and the State are called Perfect societies, while all the others, even the Family, are Imperfect societies."

Father Cahill goes on to state the seminal nature of the work of Leo XIII and Pius XI:

"The great Encyclicals of Leo XIII, promulgated in the last quarter of the 19th century (1878-1901), contain a statement of the main principles of Catholic social philosophy and are generally accepted as the ground-work of Social Science. The teaching which they contain has been confirmed and in some particulars more fully developed in several Papal pronouncements of more recent date. The recent Encyclicals of our Present Holy Father Pius XI, especially those on Christian Education, on Marriage, and on the Social Order, are of the first importance in this connection.”

Admitting that Saint Augustine took a dimmer view of the State than did Saint Thomas Aquinas, it must be remembered, though, that the former lived before the State came under the sway of the Social Kingship of Christ, whereas the latter lived at the apex of that kingship, having seen the way in which Christendom had developed in the eight centuries separating himself from the great Bishop of Hippo. The State is not bound to become tyrannical or abusive. That it became so in the wake of the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Freemasonry, as described at length earlier in the passages cited from Father Fahey’s The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World, is what influenced some of the American founding fathers to embrace what is now called the “old republicanism” enshrined in the Articles of Confederation. Having thus failed to provide what they deemed was the necessary balance between liberty and order in that document, the Constitution was an attempt to provide a stronger central government that would be able to exercise only those powers given to it, the rest being reserved to the states.

As noted earlier, though, the effort to delimit a central government’s powers by means of Federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, limits on popular democracy (the electoral college, indirect election of senators, a non-elected judiciary) was bound to degenerate over time as the Constitution admits of no authority above it to defend it against misinterpretation and misapplication. Just as the Social Kingship was the brake, although never perfectly applied, on the possible misuse of temporal power by individual rulers in the Middle Ages, so could it have been such a brake in a democratic republic. A papal legate would have been deputed to cast a suspensory veto in those instances where efforts were being made to violate the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and natural law. James Madison makes clear in The Federalist, Number One, however, that the “new science of politics” found in the Constitution was a very specific rejection of the Middle Ages, and therein lies its fatal flaw. “To exclude the Church founded by God Himself, from the business of making laws. . .is a grave and fatal flaw.” Indeed.

Pope Leo XIII explained the importance of authority in civil society this way in Libertas:

“Moreover, the highest duty is to respect authority, and obediently to submit to just law; and by this the members of a community are effectually protected from the wrongdoing of evil men. Lawful power is from God, and ‘he that resisteth the power, restisteth the ordinance of God’; wherefore, obedience is greatly ennobled when subjected to an authority which is the most just and supreme of all. But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to God. Thus, an effectual barrier being opposed to tyranny, the State will not have all its own way, but the interests and the rights of all will be safeguarded–the rights of individuals, of domestic society and of all the members of the commonwealth; all being free to live according to law and right reason; and in this, as We have shown, true liberty really consists.”

A resistance to unjust laws is not anarchy. Individuals who resist unjust laws might be accused of anarchical tendencies, of being selective in their obedience to the ordinances of the State. However, the Church has taught consistently that it is a crime to obey an unjust law and, indeed, citizens must work to change unjust laws and practices, as I will demonstrate in passages from Pope Leo XIII’s Sapientiae Christianae. This does not mean, however, that the State is evil or bound to be unjust.

Consider the words of Pope Leo XIII in Sapientiae Christianae:

“Hallowed therefore in the minds of Christians is the very idea of public authority, in which they recognize some likeness and symbol as it were of the divine Majesty, even when it is exercised by one unworthy. A just and due reverence to the law abides in them, not from force and threats, but from a consciousness of duty; for God hath not given us the spirit of fear.

“But if the laws of the State are manifestly at variance with the divine law, containing enactments hurtful to the Church, or conveying injunctions adverse to the duties imposed by religion, or if they violate in the person of the supreme Pontiff the authority of Jesus Christ, then truly, to resist becomes a positive duty, to obey a crime; a crime, moreover, combined with misdemeanor against the State itself, inasmuch as every offense levelled against religion is also a sin against the State. Here anew it becomes evident how unjust is the reproach of sedition: for the obedience due to rulers and legislators is not refused; but there is a deviation from their will in those precepts only which they have no power to enjoin. Commands that are issued adversely to the honor of God, and hence are beyond the scope of justice, must be looked upon as anything rather than laws. You are fully aware, Venerable Brothers, that this is the very contention of the Apostle St. Paul, who in writing to Titus, after reminding Christians that they are to be subject to princes and powers, and to obey at a word, at once adds, And to be ready to every good work. Thereby he openly declares that if the laws of men contain injunctions contrary to the eternal law of God, it is right not to obey them. In like manner the prince of the apostles gave this courageous and sublime answer to those who would have deprived him of the liberty of preaching the Gospel: If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge ye, for we cannot but speak of the things which we have seen and heard.

“Wherefore, to love both countries, that of earth below and that of heaven above, yet in such mode that the love of our heavenly surpass the love of our earthly home, and that human laws be never set above the divine law, is the essential duty of Christians, and the fountain-head, so to say, from which all duties spring. The Redeemer of mankind of Himself has said: For this was I born, and for this I came into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth. In like manner, I am come to cast fire upon the earth, and what will I but that it be kindled? In the knowledge of this truth, which constitutes the highest perfection of the mind; in divine charity which, in like manner, completes the will, all Christian life and liberty abide. This noble patrimony of truth and charity entrusted by Jesus Christ to the Church, she defends and maintains ever with untiring endeavor and watchfulness.”

To resist unjust laws is a duty imposed by our baptismal obligations. It is a duty, though, that falls chiefly upon our shepherds, the bishops, most of whom in the United States long ago made their accommodation to the rise and triumph of the modern State. We fight evil directly. And we attempt to plant the seeds for the conversion of souls as the precondition of the conversion of the country, something that most of the bishops of this country have never been interested in accomplishing.

If the Catholic bishops of the United States corporately had not been as influenced by the Americanist ethos (the exaltation of all things pertaining to American constitutionalism and religious indifferentism and cultural pluralism), then they would not have been complicit in the rise of the American monster state. Having embraced the Democratic Party as the mechanism of upward social mobility in the nineteenth century, the bishops of the United States looked the other way as the anti-Catholic Woodrow Wilson did the bidding of the Masonic revolutionaries in Mexico, and they looked the other way as he imposed one statist policy after another, starting immediately after his inauguration in 1913, four years prior to our unjustified entry into what was then called the Great War. The bishops and their bureaucratic apparatchiks did the bidding of Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal, overlooking the patent violation of the natural law principle of subsidiarity that had been enunciated so clearly in 1931 by Pope Pius XI in Quadregesimo Anno. The bishops of the 1960s applauded the social engineering of the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson, and were largely silent in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade for fear that their beloved statists in the Democratic Party would suffer at the ballot boxes if opposition to abortion became a litmus test among rank and file Catholics. They ranted and raved at Ronald Reagan, who did not reduce the size of the Federal government as he promised to do, as though he was the quintessence of evil, later giving Bill Clinton a free pass on almost everything he wanted to do by means of the coercive power of the state. The American bishops bear a great responsibility for the rise of statism in this country precisely because of the accommodations made to the prevailing ethos of Americanism from the beginning of the republic, never taking seriously the admonitions of Pope Leo XIII and Pius XI to work for the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ.

You see, if the bishops of the United States understood the true principles of the State as contained in the authentic tradition of the Church (which, as Michael Davies demonstrates with devastating logic, was broken at the Second Vatican Council with Dignitatis Humanae), then they would have resisted statists and pro-aborts. They would have excommunicated pro-abortion Catholics in public life. They would have upheld the principle of subsidiarity and reaffirmed the rights of the family in all matters, especially as pertains the right of parents to discharge their duties as the principal educators of their children.

The Antidote to Statism: Consecrate Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and Proclaim the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ as Exercised Authoritatively by the Roman Catholic Church

Reality is what is, however. Our situation at present is perhaps part of the chastisement Our Lady spoke about at Fatima (which means that actually consecrating Russia to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart is essential). There is no quick fix to our problems. We need to have the patience of the Apostles themselves, who did not live to see the fruition of the seeds they planted to bring about the first Christendom. Barring a miraculous intervention by Our Lady, which is eminently possible, we will likely not see a new Christendom with our own eyes. However, we must ever be defenders of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ, no matter what that might cost us in terms of human respect in this vale of tears. It is only a State organized on right principles that can provide a civil governance that not only administers justice in fealty to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and natural law, but does so in light of assisting its citizens in the pursuit of their Last End.

As Pope Pius XI noted in Quas Primas:

“We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in the future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Saviour. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church grow bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from Him, and would valiantly defend His rights.

“Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anti-clericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them. While nations insult the beloved Name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim His kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm His rights.”

Sadly, the Church herself has ignored and rejected this clarion call, resulting, wittingly or unwittingly, in the triumph of the Masonic spirit of the new world order. Individual Catholics, however, are not prohibited from embracing these words and attempting to live up to the exhortation made by Pope Pius XI. Indeed, those who do so, if they base their efforts on a profound life of Eucharistic piety and total consecration to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, will find great peace in this life as a preparation for the joy of an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise if they persist until they dying breaths in states of sanctifying grace.

Indeed, the monster state of modernity is simply a manifestation of the Adversary’s desire to lead men into thinking that all is hopeless in this world, that it is not right for men to rely upon the authority of the tradition of the true Church to organize their own lives and thus the lives of States. We are fighting the forces of darkness, and the only way we can fight the forces of darkness successfully in our own lives and in our nations is if we first of all attempt to build up the Kingdom of God in our own souls, being earnest about frequent confession and the ever-important practice of as much time as we can spend before Our Eucharistic King on a daily basis. If we want to spend all eternity with God in Heaven, isn’t a good thing to make time to spend with Him here in His Real Presence?

As a son of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Blessed Miguel Augstin Pro, S.J., put himself at risk to recapture Mexico for the honor of Christ the King. Indeed, the last words out of his mouth as the bullets tore through his body were, “Viva Cristo Rey!” Imploring his intercession, we pray for the day when all Catholics will exclaim in joy, Viva Cristo Rey as the powerful invocation that can repel the Devil and his minions in the Church and thus in the world. Doing so with courage will help us immensely prior to the day that some pope actually consecrates Russia to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn and of the Americas, pray for us.

Saint Isaac Jogues and Companions, pray for us.

Blessed Junipero Serra, pray for us.

Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.


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