by Thomas A. Droleskey
Americanism and conciliarism are cut from the same Modernist cloth. The Americanist heresy seeks to subordinate the eternal truths of the Catholic Faith to the false principles of the founding of the United States of America. Conciliarism is an enshrinement of those false principles. Both Americanism and conciliarism reject, for example, this simple, clear, unequivocal and absolute unambiguous reiteration of the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the necessity of the civil state's recognizing Catholicism as its official religion and according her the favor and the protection of the laws:
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error." (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI does not believe that the thesis of the separation of Church and State is absolutely false. He embraces it. So does every single Catholic defender of the American founding, which is premised upon the belief that it is not necessary for men to subordinate themselves, either individually or collectively in the institutions of civil governance, to the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law as they have been entrusted exclusively to the magisterial authority of the Catholic Church. The American founding is also premised upon the belief that it is possible for men to pursue what the founders called "civic virtue" without having belief in, access to or cooperation with Sanctifying Grace, a form of semi-Pelagianism, that men are more or less self-redemptive and do not need to the sanctifying offices of the Catholic Church to lead virtuous lives, no less to pursue the rocky road that leads to the narrow Gate of Life Himself, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He has revealed Himself to men exclusively through the Catholic Church.
Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence is not only a political document that sought to separate colonists in the thirteen English colonies up and down the Atlantic seaboard from the rule of the British crown. It is a statement of political philosophy expressing a manifest spirit of independence from Christ the King and His Catholic Church as it asserts the "rights of man.". All of the references to "God" are generic. Jefferson, a Deist who did not believe in a living God, knew full well that those colonists who supported the move for independence from the United Kingdom would project their own specific creedal beliefs into the generic terms that that he used for "God" in the Declaration (Nature's God, Supreme Judge of the Universe). Pope Pius XI warned us in Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1939, not to be impressed with generic invocations of "God" and "Faith:"
Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community -- however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things -- whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.
Beware, Venerable Brethren, of that growing abuse, in speech as in writing, of the name of God as though it were a meaningless label, to be affixed to any creation, more or less arbitrary, of human speculation. Use your influence on the Faithful, that they refuse to yield to this aberration. Our God is the Personal God, supernatural, omnipotent, infinitely perfect, one in the Trinity of Persons, tri-personal in the unity of divine essence, the Creator of all existence. Lord, King and ultimate Consummator of the history of the world, who will not, and cannot, tolerate a rival God by His side.
This God, this Sovereign Master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race. As God's sun shines on every human face so His law knows neither privilege nor exception. Rulers and subjects, crowned and uncrowned, rich and poor are equally subject to His word. From the fullness of the Creators' right there naturally arises the fullness of His right to be obeyed by individuals and communities, whoever they are. This obedience permeates all branches of activity in which moral values claim harmony with the law of God, and pervades all integration of the ever-changing laws of man into the immutable laws of God.
None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race, God, the Creator of the universe, King and Legislator of all nations before whose immensity they are "as a drop of a bucket" (Isaiah xI, 15).
The Bishops of the Church of Christ, "ordained in the things that appertain to God (Heb. v, 1) must watch that pernicious errors of this sort, and consequent practices more pernicious still, shall not gain a footing among their flock. It is part of their sacred obligations to do whatever is in their power to enforce respect for, and obedience to, the commandments of God, as these are the necessary foundation of all private life and public morality; to see that the rights of His Divine Majesty, His name and His word be not profaned; to put a stop to the blasphemies, which, in words and pictures, are multiplying like the sands of the desert; to encounter the obstinacy and provocations of those who deny, despise and hate God, by the never-failing reparatory prayers of the Faithful, hourly rising like incense to the All-Highest and staying His vengeance.
We thank you, Venerable Brethren, your priests and Faithful, who have persisted in their Christian duty and in the defense of God's rights in the teeth of an aggressive paganism. Our gratitude, warmer still and admiring, goes out to those who, in fulfillment of their duty, have been deemed worthy of sacrifice and suffering for the love of God.
No faith in God can for long survive pure and unalloyed without the support of faith in Christ. "No one knoweth who the Son is, but the Father: and who the Father is, but the Son and to whom the Son will reveal Him" (Luke x. 22). "Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent" (John xvii. 3). Nobody, therefore, can say: "I believe in God, and that is enough religion for me," for the Savior's words brook no evasion: "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also" (1 John ii. 23).
In Jesus Christ, Son of God made Man, there shone the plentitude of divine revelation. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets last of all, in these days hath spoken to us by His Son" (Heb. i. 1). The sacred books of the Old Testament are exclusively the word of God, and constitute a substantial part of his revelation; they are penetrated by a subdued light, harmonizing with the slow development of revelation, the dawn of the bright day of the redemption. As should be expected in historical and didactic books, they reflect in many particulars the imperfection, the weakness and sinfulness of man. But side by side with innumerable touches of greatness and nobleness, they also record the story of the chosen people, bearers of the Revelation and the Promise, repeatedly straying from God and turning to the world. Eyes not blinded by prejudice or passion will see in this prevarication, as reported by the Biblical history, the luminous splendor of the divine light revealing the saving plan which finally triumphs over every fault and sin. It is precisely in the twilight of this background that one perceives the striking perspective of the divine tutorship of salvation, as it warms, admonishes, strikes, raises and beautifies its elect. Nothing but ignorance and pride could blind one to the treasures hoarded in the Old Testament.
Whoever wishes to see banished from church and school the Biblical history and the wise doctrines of the Old Testament, blasphemes the name of God, blasphemes the Almighty's plan of salvation, and makes limited and narrow human thought the judge of God's designs over the history of the world: he denies his faith in the true Christ, such as He appeared in the flesh, the Christ who took His human nature from a people that was to crucify Him; and he understands nothing of that universal tragedy of the Son of God who to His torturer's sacrilege opposed the divine and priestly sacrifice of His redeeming death, and made the new alliance the goal of the old alliance, its realization and its crown.
The peak of the revelation as reached in the Gospel of Christ is final and permanent. It knows no retouches by human hand; it admits no substitutes or arbitrary alternatives such as certain leaders pretend to draw from the so-called myth of race and blood. Since Christ, the Lord's Anointed, finished the task of Redemption, and by breaking up the reign of sin deserved for us the grace of being the children God, since that day no other name under heaven has been given to men, whereby we must be saved (Acts iv. 12). No man, were every science, power and worldly strength incarnated in him, can lay any other foundation but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus (1 Cor. iii 11). Should any man dare, in sacrilegious disregard of the essential differences between God and His creature, between the God-man and the children of man, to place a mortal, were he the greatest of all times, by the side of, or over, or against, Christ, he would deserve to be called prophet of nothingness, to whom the terrifying words of Scripture would be applicable: "He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them" (Psalms ii. 3).
Excluding the words "Anno Domini" at the end of the original Constitution, where, exactly, is Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ mentioned anywhere in the Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution of the United States of America? Can men really organize themselves in civil society with an explicit, confessional reliance upon Him as He has revealed Himself through His true Church? Americanists believe this. So do conciliarists, who reject, completely and utterly, the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church, expressed so clearly by Pope Saint Pius X in Vehementer Nos, that the civil state must aid us in achieving the possession of Heaven for all eternity by fostering those conditions in society wherein we are better able to sanctify and to thus save our souls as members of the Catholic Church. The American founding, therefore, is built on a whole structure of sophisms that was bound to lead to the conditions we find ourselves in at the present moment. Those who want to "restore" "founding principles," whether their names are Ron Paul or Alan Keyes, do not realize that we are experiencing at present the very perfection of the inherent degeneracy of those founding principles, to reiterate what a priest in a conciliar Motu community explained so cogently in 2001.
Pope Leo XIII, writing in Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884, explained that men are not all equal in abilities and thus do not all have equal rights in civil society:
In like manner, no one doubts that all men are equal one to another, so far as regards their common origin and nature, or the last end which each one has to attain, or the rights and duties which are thence derived. But, as the abilities of all are not equal, as one differs from another in the powers of mind or body, and as there are very many dissimilarities of manner, disposition, and character, it is most repugnant to reason to endeavor to confine all within the same measure, and to extend complete equality to the institutions of civil life. Just as a perfect condition of the body results from the conjunction and composition of its various members, which, though differing in form and purpose, make, by their union and the distribution of each one to its proper place, a combination beautiful to behold, firm in strength, and necessary for use; so, in the commonwealth, there is an almost infinite dissimilarity of men, as parts of the whole. If they are to be all equal, and each is to follow his own will, the State will appear most deformed; but if, with a distinction of degrees of dignity, of pursuits and employments, all aptly conspire for the common good, they will present the image of a State both well constituted and conformable to nature.
As has been explained endlessly on this site (and in the printed pages of Christ or Chaos between 1996 and 2003), the Constitution of the United States of America admits of no authority higher than the words comprising its text. Although the words that comprise the text of the Constitution of the United States of America do indeed have plain meaning in many, although not all, instances, the lack of an ultimate arbiter to guide men as to the fact that human law must be subordinated at all times to the Deposit of Faith that Our Lord Himself has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church and must seek the eternal good of souls results in a veritable "free for all" that is bound, inevitably and inexorably, to lead to positivism (the assertion that something is so because it is asserted as being so) and deconstructionism (the emptying of words of their plain meaning, replacing the plain meaning of words with what an interpreter projects into them as meaning).
It is not "judicial activism" that is responsible for the "misinterpretation" of the words in the provisions of the Constitution of the United States of America but the flawed nature of the founding itself that is to blame. How can a written Constitution be any more hallowed or revered by men in future generations when the Bible itself can be rendered into meaninglessness as a result "private interpretation" rendered without any regard for the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, one of very cornerstones of the Protestant Revolt. Reject the Divine Plan that God Himself instituted to effect man's return to Him through the Catholic Church and you will wind up with chaos in the lives of individuals and chaos in the lives of nations. The "good intentions," if any, of those who believe in the anti-Incarnational lie of Modernity to premise social order on grounds other than those that seek the eternal good of souls and respecting the authority of the Catholic Church can never redeem the false premises upon which those intentions were based. Catholicism is the one and only basis of personal and social order.
Alas, as we know only too well, the devil convinced many, although far from all, of the first Catholics in the United States of America that their Faith was "safe" in the new republic, that it was "good enough" for Catholics to be permitted to have "freedom of worship" and to participate in civil discourse without experiencing the sort of bloody persecution and the suppression of the Faith that had taken place in England and Ireland, as well in other places in Europe, following the Protestant Revolt. A whole heresy was thus born as a consequence: the subordination of the Catholic Faith to the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic principles of the separation of Church and State, endorsed by none other than Martin Luther himself, and the principles of "religious liberty" enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America that have served as the foundation of conciliarism's view of Church-State relations. The Potomac does indeed flow into the Tiber.
The subordination of the Catholic Faith to the falsehoods of the American founding was so well-grounded by 1928 that the first Catholic to be nominated by a major political party for the office of President of the United States of America, Alfred E. Smith, the Governor of New York from 1919-1920 and again from 1923-1928, a Democrat who later broke with the Democrat Party over his gubernatorial successor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Smith, though an honest man concerned about "good government and devoted to the Faith in his own personal life, was clueless about the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church. He had dropped out of parochial school at the age of fourteen to support his family following the death of his father, never receiving any schooling thereafter, not that he would have learned about the Social Reign of Christ the King had he continued in his studies. He was imbued in the Americanist errors of separation of Church and State and of religious liberty from his earliest days, making him oblivious to the fact that a Protestant attorney in the City of New York by the name of Charles C. Marshall, who was very much opposed to Catholic Social Teaching, nevertheless had a better, firmer grasp on it than Smith, who had been so immersed in the Americanist ethos that he believed the words "Catholicism" and "Americanism" were synonymous with each other.
One will see that Charles Marshall's letter to Smith, which appeared in the Atlantic Monthly magazine in April of 1927, contained an absolutely marvelous understanding of Catholic Social Teaching. Marshall rejected that teaching. He exalted the rights of the civil state over the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, Marshall had studied the social encyclical letters and knew their content better than Smith, who had not studied them at all, and better than contemporary Americanist Catholics and the conciliarists who believe that the teaching contained therein has become "obsolete." Here is Charles Marshall's open letter to then Governor of the State of New York, Alfred Emmanuel Smith, Jr., who had unsuccessfully sought the Democrat Party presidential nomination in 1924 and appeared to be the front-runner for the party's 1928 presidential nomination
The American people take pride in viewing the progress of an American citizen from the humble estate in which his life began toward the highest office within the gift of the nation. It is for this reason that your candidacy for the Presidential nomination has stirred the enthusiasm of a great body of your fellow citizens. They know and rejoice in the hardship and the struggle of which have fashioned you as a leader of men. They know your fidelity to the morality you have advocated in public and private life and to the religion you have revered; your great record of public trusts successfully and honestly discharged; your spirit of fair play, and justice even to your political opponents. Partisanship bids fair to quail before the challenge of your personality, and men who vote habitually against your party are pondering your candidacy with sincere respect; and yet—through all this tribute there is a note of doubt, a sinister accent of interrogation, not as to intentional rectitude and moral purpose, but as to certain conceptions which your fellow citizens attribute to you as a loyal and conscientious Roman Catholic, which in their minds are irreconcilable with that Constitution which as President you must support and defend, and with the principles of civil and religious liberty on which American institutions are based.
To this consideration no word of yours, or on your behalf, has yet been addressed. Its discussion in the interests of the public weal is obviously necessary, and yet a strange reticence avoids it, often with the unjust and withering attribution of bigotry or prejudice as the unworthy motive of its introduction. Undoubtedly a large part of the public would gladly avoid a subject the discussion of which is so unhappily associated with rancor and malevolence, and yet to avoid the subject is to neglect the profoundest interests in our national welfare.
American life has developed into a variety of religious beliefs and ethical systems, religious and nonreligious, whose claims press more and more upon public attention. None of these presents a more definite philosophy or makes a more positive demand upon the attention and reason of mankind than your venerable Church, which recently at Chicago, in the greatest religious demonstration that the world has ever seen, declared her presence and her power in American life. Is not the time ripe and the occasion opportune for a declaration, if it can be made, that shall clear away all doubt as to the reconcilability of her status and her claims with American constitutional principles? With such a statement the only question as to your proud eligibility to the Presidential office would disappear, and the doubts of your fellow citizens not of the Roman Catholic Church would be instantly resolved in your favor.
The conceptions to which we refer are not superficial. They are of the very life and being of that Church, determining its status and its relation to the State, and to the great masses of men whose convictions deny them the privilege of membership in that Church. Surely the more conscientious the Roman Catholic, and the more loyal to his Church, the more sincere and unqualified should be his acceptance of such conceptions.
These conceptions have been recognized before by Roman Catholics as a potential obstacle to their participation in public office, Pope Leo XIII himself declaring, in one of his encyclical letters, that “it may in some places be true that for most urgent and just reasons it is by no means expedient for (Roman) Catholics to engage in public affairs or to take an active part in politics.”
It is indeed true that a loyal and conscientious Roman Catholic could and would discharge his oath of office with absolute fidelity to his moral standards. As to that in general, and as to you in particular, your fellow citizens entertain no doubt. But those moral standards differ essentially from the moral standards of all men not Roman Catholics. They are derived from the basic political doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, asserted against repeated challenges for fifteen hundred years, that God has divided all power over men between the secular State and that Church. Thus Pope Leo XIII, in 1885, in his encyclical letter on The Christian Constitution of States, says: “The Almighty has appointed the charge of the human race between two powers, the ecclesiastical and the civil, the one being set over divine, and the other over human things.”
The deduction is inevitable that, as all power over human affairs, not given to the State by God, is given by God to the Roman Catholic Church, no other churches or religious or ethical societies have in theory any direct power from God and are without direct divine sanction, and therefore without natural right to function on the same basis as the Roman Catholic Church in the religious and moral affairs of the State. The result is that that Church, if true to her basic political doctrine, is hopelessly committed to that intolerance that has disfigured so much of her history. This is frankly admitted by Roman Catholic authorities.
Pope Pius IX in the famous Syllabus (1864) said: “To hold that national churches, withdrawn from the authority of the Roman Pontiff and altogether separated, can be established, is error.”
That great compendium of Roman Catholic teaching, the Catholic Encyclopedia, declares that the Roman Catholic Church “regards dogmatic intolerance, not alone as her incontestable right, but as her sacred duty.” It is obvious that such convictions leave nothing in theory of the religious and moral rights of those who are not Roman Catholics. And, indeed, that is Roman Catholic, teaching and the inevitable deduction from Roman Catholic claims, if we use the word “rights” strictly. Other churches, other religious societies, are tolerated in the State, not by right, but by favor.
Pope Leo XIII is explicit on this point: “The (Roman Catholic) Church, indeed, deems it unlawful to place the various forms of divine worship on the same footing as the true religion, but does not, on that account, condemn those rulers who, for the sake of securing some great good or of hindering some great evil, allow patiently custom or usage to be a kind of sanction for each kind of religion having its place in the State.”
That is, there is not a lawful equality of other religious with that of the Roman Catholic Church, but that Church will allow state authorities for politic reasons—that is, by favor, but not by right—to tolerate other religious societies. We would ask, sir, whether such favors can be accepted in place of rights by those owning the name of freemen?
Furthermore, the doctrine of the Two Powers, in effect and theory, inevitable makes the Roman Catholic Church at times sovereign and paramount over the State. It is true that in theory the doctrine assigns to the secular State jurisdiction over secular matters and to the Roman Catholic Church jurisdiction over matters of faith and morals, each jurisdiction being exclusive of the other within undisputed lines. But the universal experience of mankind has demonstrated, and reason teaches, that many questions must arise between the State and the Roman Catholic Church in respect to which it is impossible to determine to the satisfaction of both in which jurisdiction the matter at issue lies.
Here arises the irrepressible conflict. Shall the State or the Roman Catholic Church determine? The Constitution of the United States clearly ordains that the State shall determine the question. The Roman Catholic Church demands for itself the sole right to determine it, and holds that within the limits of that claim it is superior to and supreme over the State. The Catholic Encyclopedia clearly so declares: “In case of direct contradiction, making it impossible for both jurisdictions to be exercised, the jurisdiction of the Church prevails and that of the State is excluded.” And Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus asserted: “To say in the case of conflicting laws enacted by the Two Powers, the civil law prevails, is error.”
Extreme as such a conclusion may appear, it is inevitable in Roman Catholic philosophy. That Church by the very theory of her existence cannot yield, because what she claims as her right and her truth she claims is hers by the “direct act of God”; in her theory, God himself directly forbids. The State cannot yield because of a great mass of citizens who are not Roman Catholics. By its constitutional law and in the nature of things, practices of religion in its opinion inconsistent with its peace and safety are unlawful; the law of its being—the law of necessity—forbids. If we could all concede the “divine and exclusive” claims of the Roman Catholic Church, conflict would be eliminated; but, as it is, there is a wide consensus of opinion that those claims are false in fact and in flat conflict with the very being and order of the State.
In our constitutional order this consensus is bulwarked on the doctrine of the Supreme Court of the United States that our religious liberty and our constitutional guaranties thereof are subject to the supreme qualification that religious “practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State shall not be justified.” (Watson v. Jones 13 Wall. P. 579)
The Roman Catholic Church, of course, makes no claim, and never has made any claim, to jurisdiction over matters that in her opinion are solely secular and civil. She makes the claim obviously only when the matter in question is not, in her opinion, solely secular and civil. But as determination of jurisdiction, in a conflict with the State, rests solely in her sovereign discretion, no argument is needed to show that she may in theory and effect annihilate the rights of all who are not Roman Catholics, sweeping into the jurisdiction of a single religious society the most important interests of human well-being. The education of youth, the institution of marriage, the international relations of the State, and its domestic peace, as we shall proceed to show, are, in certain exigencies, wrested from the jurisdiction of the State, in which all citizens share, and confided to the jurisdiction of a single religious society in which all citizens cannot share, great numbers being excluded by the barriers of religious belief. Do you, sir, regard such claims as tolerable in a republic that calls itself free?
And, in addition to all this, the exclusive powers of the Roman Catholic Church are claimed by her to be vested in and exercised by a sovereignty that is not only created therefor by the special act of God, but is foreign and extraterritorial to these United States and to all secular states. This sovereignty, by the highest Roman Catholic authority, that of Pope Leo XIII, is not only superior in theory to the sovereignty of the secular State, but is substituted upon earth in place of the authority of God himself. . . .
It follows naturally on all this that there is a conflict between authoritative Roman Catholic claims on the one side and our constitutional law and principles on the other. Pope Leo XIII says: “It is not lawful for the State, any more than for the individual, either to disregard all religious duties or to hold in equal favor different kinds of religion.” But the Constitution of the United States declares otherwise: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Thus the Constitution declares the United States shall hold in equal favor different kinds of religion or no religion and the Pope declares it is not lawful to hold them in equal favor. Is there not here a quandary for that man who is at once a loyal churchman and a loyal citizen? . . .
Americans indulge themselves in the felicitation that they have achieved an ideal religious situation in the United States. But Pope Leo, in his encyclical letter on Catholicity in the United States, asserts: “It would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church.” The modern world reposes in the comfortable reflection that the severance of Church and State has ended a long and unhappy conflict, when the same Pope calls our attention to the error of supposing “that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced.”
Is our law, then, in papal theory, no law? Is it contrary to natural right? Is it in conflict with the will and fiat of Almighty God? Clearly the Supreme Court and Pope Leo are profoundly at variance. Is it not obvious that such a difference of opinion, concerning the fundamental rights between two sovereignties operating within the same territory, may, even with the best intentions and the most sensitive consciences, be fruitful of political offenses that are odious among men?
Citizens who waver in your support would ask whether, as a Roman Catholic, you accept as authoritative the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that in case of contradiction, making it impossible for the jurisdiction of that Church and the jurisdiction of the State to agree, the jurisdiction of the Church shall prevail; whether, as statesman, you accept the teaching of the Supreme Court of the United States that, in matters of religious practices which in the opinion of the State are inconsistent with its peace and safety, the jurisdiction of the State shall prevail; and, if you accept both teachings, how you will reconcile them.
At the present time no question assumes greater importance than the education of youth. The legislatures of Tennessee, of Oregon, and of Nebraska have of late laid impious hands upon it and the judiciary has sternly curbed them. From what has been said above, it is clear that the claims of the Roman Catholic Church touching this point, more than those of any other institution, may conflict with the authority of the State.
It is true that in the famous Oregon School cases the Supreme Court of the United States held a state law unconstitutional that forbade parents to educate their children at church schools of every denomination. But there was no assertion in the law that the church schools in question gave instruction inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State and there was no allegation of that tenor in the pleadings. On the record the church schools were void of offense. But, had that feature existed in the cases, it would necessarily have led to a reversal of the decision. There would have been a conflict between Church and State as to whether the instruction was inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State. The Roman Catholic Church, if true to her doctrine and dogma, would have had to assert exclusive jurisdiction over the determination of this point. Equally the State, in self-preservation, would have had to assert exclusive jurisdiction. The conflict would have been irreconcilable. What would have been the results and what the test of a sincere and conscientious Roman Catholic in executive office or on the bench?
Nothing can be clearer to the American mind than that the plain political teaching of Pope Pius IX and of Pope Leo XIII, as set forth in their encyclical letters, is inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State within the meaning of those words as used by the Supreme Court of the United States in its great decision. That it is “not lawful for the State to hold in equal favor different kinds of religion”; that it is not universally lawful for the State and the Roman Catholic Church to be dissevered and divorced; that the various kinds of religion in theory have their place in the State, not by natural right, but by favor; that dogmatic intolerance is not alone the incontestable right of the Roman Catholic Church, but her sacred duty; that in the case of conflicting laws of the State and the Roman Catholic Church the law of that Church shall prevail, are propositions that would make up a strange textbook for the instruction of American youth.
We have no desire to impute to the Roman Catholic Church aught but high and sincere motives in the assertion of her claims as one of the Two Powers. Her members believe in those claims, and, so believing, it is their conscientious duty to stand for them. We are satisfied if they will but concede that those claims, unless modified and historically redressed, precipitate an inevitable conflict between the Roman Catholic Church and the American State irreconcilable with domestic peace. With two illustrations—and those relating to English Christianity—we have done.
In the sixteenth century the decree of Pope Pius V in terms deposed Elizabeth, Queen of England, from the English throne and absolved her subjects from their allegiance. The result is well known. Much that pertained to the venerable forms of religion in the preceding centuries became associated in the popular mind of England with treason—even the Mass itself when celebrated in the Roman form. Roman Catholics were oppressed in their rights and privileges. Roman Catholic priests were forbidden within the realm. The mills of God turned slowly, but they turned. The Roman Catholics of England endured the penalties of hostile legislation with heroic fortitude and resignation. Public opinion slowly changed and gradually Roman Catholic disabilities were removed, and in 1850, under Cardinal Wiseman, the Roman Catholic Hierarchy was restored in England, with no other condition than that its sees should not use the ancient titles that the Hierarchy of the Church of England had retained. Peace and amity reigned within the realm, irrespective of different religions, and domestic repose marked a happy epoch. But the toleration and magnanimity of England bore strange fruit. Scarcely was the Roman Hierarchy restored to its ancient privileges when the astounding Apostolic Letter of Pope Leo XIII appeared (1896), declaring to the world that the orders of the Church of England were void, her priests no priests, her bishops not bishops, and her sacraments so many empty forms.
But this was not all. Reaching hands back through three centuries, the Roman Pontiff drew from obscurity the case of John Felton, an English citizen who in 1570, contrary to the law of treason at that time on the statute book of England, posted on the walls of London the decree of Pope Pius V already referred to, deposing the English Queen. Felton was beatified in 1886 by the act of Pope Leo XIII.
The honors paid him were rendered three hundred years after his treasonable act. There lies their sinister import. They are no part of the medieval milieu; they belong to the modern world and must have judgment not by medieval but by modern standards. One would have supposed, in view of the critical situation in modern States in relation to the respect for authority of government and the obedience of citizens to the law, that the beautification might have been omitted. One would have supposed that the changes in political thought and theory through three hundred years would have dictated the wisdom of letting the dead past bury its dead, and the memory of blessed John Felton rest in peace with those abandoned political doctrines that inspired his heroic but unhappy deed.
Is the record of the Roman Catholic Church in England consistent, sir, in your opinion, with the peace and safety of the State?
Nothing will be of greater satisfaction to those of your fellow citizens who hesitate in their endorsement of your candidacy because of the religious issues involved than such a disclaimer by you of the convictions here imputed, or such an exposition by others of the questions here presented, as may justly turn public opinion in your favor.
Yours with great respect, Charles C. Marshall
Ignoring Charles Marshall's contempt for the heroism of John Felton in defending the rights of Christ the King and His Vicar on earth, Pope Saint Pius V, against the hideous Queen of England, Elizabeth I, who presided over the cruel execution and torture of so many faithful Catholics, including Blessed Edmund Campion, S.J., his letter to Governor Alfred E. Smith, Jr., demonstrates that he had "gotten it" insofar as Catholic Social Teaching is concerned: the Constitution of the United States of America is incompatible with the Faith. From a Catholic point of view, of course, a subordination of the Faith to the Constitution winds up producing a situation where ordinary Catholics view through Church and her teaching, which is nothing other than the teaching of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself, rather than viewing the world through the eyes of the true Faith.
Upon hearing of Charles Marshall's article, Governor Alfred E. Smith, Jr., is reported to have said, "What the [place of eternal damnation] is an encyclical." Smith turned to a Jewish judge friend of his, Joseph Proskauer, who suggested that Smith have a reply printed in his own time, although the actual work of the drafting of Smith's response, which ran in the May, 1927, issue of Atlantic Monthly, was done by a Father Francis Duffy, who was decorated by the governments of the United States of America and of France for his service as a military chaplain in World War I. Father Duffy, although certain a hero and a man who worked hard for the salvation of souls, was nevertheless an Americanist who believed that their private opinions on religious liberty and separation of Church and State were what mattered, not the teaching contained in encyclical letters that pertained, he believed, only to purely Catholic states and not as the idea to which all Catholics, no matter where they found themselves and under what conditions they lived, had to strive to plant the seeds to restore.
Indeed, Alfred E. Smith's response to Charles Marshall contained a most telling revelation about the extent to which Catholic Social Teaching on Church-State relations and religious liberty was not preached from the pulpit or taught in most Catholic schools:
By what right do you ask me to assume responsibility for any statement that may be made in any encyclical letter? I and all my children went to a parochial school. I never heard of any such stuff being taught or of anybody who claimed that it was.”
Here is the full text of Smith's ghost-written response, which received the approval of Patrick Cardinal Hayes, the Archbishop of New York, and met with the approval of at least one curial cardinal in the Vatican, demonstrating, of course, that those infected with Modernist ideas--or who so wanted to see American Catholics "succeed" that they were willing to suspend rationality in the process--were waiting for the "golden day" to arrive when Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors and the great encyclicals of Popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX, St. Pius X, and even of the then reigning pontiff, Pius XI, the great apostle of Christ the King, would be wiped away:
DEAR Sir: —
In your open letter to me in the April Atlantic Monthly you 'impute' to American Catholics views which, if held by them, would leave open to question the loyalty and devotion to this country and its Constitution of more than twenty million American Catholic citizens. I am grateful to you for defining this issue in the open and for your courteous expression of the satisfaction it will bring to my fellow citizens for me to give 'a disclaimer of the convictions' thus imputed. Without mental reservation I can and do make that disclaimer. These convictions are held neither by me nor by any other American Catholic, as far as I know. Before answering the argument of your letter, however, I must dispose of one of its implications. You put your questions to me in connection with my candidacy for the office of President of the United States. My attitude with respect to that candidacy was fully stated in my last inaugural address as Governor when, on January 1, 1927, I said: — 'I have no idea what the future has in store for me. Everyone else in the United States has some notion about it except myself. No man could stand before this intelligent gathering and say that he was not receptive to the greatest position the world has to give anyone. But I can say this, that I will do nothing to achieve it except to give to the people of the State the kind and character of service that will make me deserve it.'
I should be a poor American and a poor Catholic alike if I injected religious discussion into a political campaign. Therefore I would ask you to accept this answer from me not as a candidate for any public office but as an American citizen, honored with high elective office, meeting a challenge to his patriotism and his intellectual integrity. Moreover, I call your attention to the fact that I am only a layman. The Atlantic Monthly describes you as 'an experienced attorney' who 'has made himself an authority upon canon law.' I am neither a lawyer nor a theologian. What knowledge of law I have was gained in the course of my long experience in the Legislature and as Chief Executive of New York State. I had no such opportunity to study theology.
My first thought was to answer you with just the faith that is in me. But I knew instinctively that your conclusions could be logically proved false. It seemed right, therefore, to take counsel with someone schooled in the Church law, from whom I learned whatever is hereafter set forth in definite answer to the theological questions you raise. I selected one whose patriotism neither you nor any other man will question. He wears upon his breast the Distinguished Service Cross of our country, its Distinguished Service Medal, the Ribbon of the Legion of Honor, and the Croix de Guerre with Palm of the French Republic. He was the Catholic Chaplain of the almost wholly Catholic 165th Regiment in the World War, Father Francis P. Duffy, now in the military service of my own State.
Taking your letter as a whole and reducing it to commonplace English, you imply that there is conflict between religious loyalty to the Catholic faith and patriotic loyalty to the United States. Everything that has actually happened to me during my long public career leads me to know that no such thing as that is true. I have taken an oath of office in this State nineteen times. Each time I swore to defend and maintain the Constitution of the United States. All of. this represents a period of public service in elective office almost continuous since 1903. I have never known any conflict between my official duties and my religious belief. No such conflict could exist. Certainly the people of this State recognize no such conflict. They have testified to my devotion to public duty by electing me to the highest office within their active gift four times. You yourself do me the honor, in addressing me, to refer to 'your fidelity to the morality you have advocated in public and private life and to the religion you have revered; your great record of public trusts successfully and honestly discharged.' During the years I have discharged these trusts I have been a communicant of the Roman Catholic Church. If there were conflict, I, of all men, could not have escaped it, because I have not been a silent man, but a battler for social and political reform. These battles would in their very nature disclose this conflict if there were any.
I regard public education as one of the foremost functions of government and I have supported to the last degree the State Department of Education in every effort to promote our public school system. The largest single item of increased appropriations under my administration appears in the educational group for the support of common schools. Since 1919, when I first became Governor, this item has grown from $9,000,000 to $82,500,000. My aim—and I may say I have succeeded in achieving it—has been legislation for child welfare, the protection of working men, women, and children, the modernization of the State's institutions for the care of helpless or unfortunate wards, the preservation of freedom of speech and opinion against the attack of war-time hysteria, and the complete reorganization of the structure of the government of the State.
I did not struggle for these things for any single element, but in the interest of all of the eleven million people who make up the State. In all of this work I had the support of churches of all denominations. I probably know as many ecclesiastics of my Church as any other layman. During my long and active public career I never received from any of them anything except cooperation and encouragement in the full and complete discharge of my duty to the State. Moreover, I am unable to understand how anything that I was taught to believe as a Catholic could possibly be in conflict with what is good citizenship. The essence of my faith is built upon the Commandments of God. The law of the land is built upon the Commandments of God. There can be no conflict between them. Instead of quarreling among ourselves over dogmatic principles, it would be infinitely better if we joined together in inculcating obedience to these Commandments in the hearts and minds of the youth of the country as the surest and best road to happiness on this earth and to peace in the world to come. This is the common ideal of all religions. What we need is more religion for our young people, not less; and the way to get more religion is to stop the bickering among our sects which can only have for its effect the creation of doubt in the minds of our youth as to whether or not it is necessary to pay attention to religion at all.
Then I know your imputations are false when I recall the long list of other public servants of my faith who have loyally served the State. You as a lawyer will probably agree that the office of Chief Justice of the United States is second not even to that of the President in its influence on the national development and policy. That court by its interpretation of the Federal Constitution is a check not only upon the President himself but upon Congress as well. During one fourth of its history it has been presided over by two Catholics, Roger Brooke Taney and Edward Douglass White. No one has suggested that the official conduct of either of these men was affected by any unwarranted religious influence or that played with them any part other than it should play in the life of every God-fearing man.
And I know your imputations are false when I recall the tens of thousands of young Catholics who have risked and sacrificed their lives in defense of our country. These fundamentals of life could not be true unless your imputations were false.
But, wishing to meet you on your own ground, I address myself to your definite questions, against which I have thus far made only general statements. I must first call attention to the fact that you often divorce sentences from their context in such a way as to give them something other than their real meaning. I will specify. You refer to the Apostolic Letter of Pope Leo XIII as 'declaring to the world that the orders of the Church of England were void, her priests not priests,' and so forth. You say that this was the 'strange fruit' of the toleration of England to the Catholics. You imply that the Pope gratuitously issued an affront to the Anglican Church. In fact, this Apostolic Letter was an answer to a request made at the instance of priests of the Anglican Church for recognition by the Roman Catholic Church of the validity of their priestly orders. The request was based on the ground that they had been ordained in succession from the Roman Catholic priests who became the first priests of the Anglican Church. The Apostolic Letter was a mere adverse answer to this request, ruling that Anglican priests were not Roman Catholic priests, and was in no sense the gratuitous insult which you suggest it to be. It was not directed against England or citizens of that Empire.
Again, you quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia that my Church 'regards dogmatic intolerance, not alone as her incontestable right, but as her sacred duty.' And you say that these words show that Catholics are taught to be politically, socially, and intellectually intolerant of all other people. If you had read the whole of that article in the Catholic Encyclopedia, you would know that the real meaning of these words is that for Catholics alone the Church recognizes no deviation from complete acceptance of its dogma. These words are used in a chapter dealing with that subject only. The very same article in another chapter dealing with toleration toward non-Catholics contains these words: 'The intolerant man is avoided as much as possible by every high-minded person.... The man who is tolerant in every emergency is alone lovable. The phrase 'dogmatic intolerance' does not mean that Catholics are to be dogmatically intolerant of other people, but merely that inside the Catholic Church they are to be intolerant of any variance from the dogma of the Church.
Similar criticism can be made of many of your quotations. But, beyond this, by what right do you ask me to assume responsibility for every statement that may be made in any encyclical letter? As you will find in the Catholic Encyclopedia (Vol. V, p. 414), these encyclicals are not articles of our faith. The Syllabus of Pope Pius IX, which you quote on the possible conflict between Church and State, is declared by Cardinal Newman to have 'no dogmatic force.' You seem to think that Catholics must be all alike in mind and in heart, as though they had been poured into and taken out of the same mould. You have no more right to ask me to defend as part of my faith every statement coming from a prelate than I should have to ask you to accept as an article of your religious faith every statement of an Episcopal bishop, or of your political faith every statement of a President of the United States. So little are these matters of the essence of my faith that I, a devout Catholic since childhood, never heard of them until I read your letter. Nor can you quote from the canons of our faith a syllable that would make us less good citizens than non-Catholics. In fact and in truth, I have been taught the spirit of tolerance, and when you, Mr. Marshall, as a Protestant Episcopalian, join with me in saying the Lord's Prayer, we both pray, not to 'My Father,' but to 'Our Father.'
But I go further to demonstrate that the true construction of your quotations by the leaders of Catholic thought is diametrically the opposite of what you suggest it to be.
Your first proposition is that Catholics believe that other religions should, in the United States, be tolerated only as a matter of favor and that there should be an established church. You may find some dream of an ideal of a Catholic State, having no relation whatever to actuality, somewhere described. But, voicing the best Catholic thought on this subject, Dr. John A. Ryan, Professor of Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America, writes in The State and the Church of the encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, quoted by you:—
'In practice, however, the foregoing propositions have full application only to the completely Catholic State....The propositions of Pope Pius IX condemning the toleration of non-Catholic sects do not now, says Father Pohle, "apply even to Spain or the South American republics, to say nothing of countries possessing a greatly mixed population." He lays down the following general rule: "When several religions have firmly established themselves and taken root in the same territory, nothing else remains for the State than to exercise tolerance towards them all, or, as conditions exist to-day, to complete religious liberty for individual and religious bodies a principle of government."'
That is good Americanism and good Catholicism. And Father Pohle, one of the great writers of the Catholic Church, says further: — 'If religious freedom has been accepted and sworn to as a fundamental law in a constitution, the obligation to show this tolerance is binding in conscience.' The American prelates of our Church stoutly defend our constitutional declaration of equality of all religions before the law. Cardinal O'Connell has said:
'Thus to every American citizen has come the blessed inheritance of civil political, and religious liberty safeguarded by the American Constitution ... the right to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience.'
Archbishop Ireland has said: 'The Constitution of the United States reads: "Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." It was a great leap forward on the part of the new nation towards personal liberty and the consecration of the rights of conscience.'
Archbishop Dowling, referring to any conceivable union of Church and State, says: 'So many conditions for its accomplishment are lacking in every government of the world that the thesis may well be relegated to the limbo of defunct controversies.'
I think you have taken your thesis from this limbo of defunct controversies. Archbishop Ireland again said: 'Religious freedom is the basic life of America, the cement running through all its walls and battlements, the safeguard of its peace and prosperity. Violate religious freedom against Catholics, our swords are at once unsheathed. Violate it in favor of Catholics, against non-Catholics, no less readily do they leap from the scabbard.'
Cardinal Gibbons has said: 'American Catholics rejoice in our separation of Church and State, and I can conceive no combination of circumstances likely to arise which would make a union desirable to either Church or State.... For ourselves we thank God that we live in America, "in this happy country of ours," to quote Mr. Roosevelt, where "religion and liberty are natural allies."'
And referring particularly to your quotation from Pope Pius IX, Dr. Ryan, in The State and the Church, says: 'Pope Pius IX did not intend to declare that separation is always unadvisable, for he had more than once expressed his satisfaction with the arrangement obtaining in the United States.' With these great Catholics I stand squarely in support of the provisions of the Constitution which guarantee religious freedom and equality.
I come now to the speculation with which theorists have played for generations as to the respective functions of Church and State. You claim that the Roman Catholic Church holds that, if conflict arises, the Church must prevail over the State. You write as though there were some Catholic authority or tribunal to decide with respect to such conflict. Of course there is no such thing. As Dr. Ryan writes: 'The Catholic doctrine concedes, nay, maintains, that the State is coordinate with the Church and equally independent and supreme in its own distinct sphere.'
What is the Protestant position? The Articles of Religion of your Protestant Episcopal Church (XXXVII) declare: 'The Power of the Civil Magistrate extendeth to all men, as well Clergy as Laity, in all things temporal; but hath no authority in things purely spiritual.'
Your Church, just as mine, is voicing the injunction of our common Saviour to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.
What is this conflict about which you talk? It may exist in some lands which do not guarantee religious freedom. But in the wildest dreams of your imagination you cannot conjure up a possible conflict between religious principle and political duty in the United States, except on the unthinkable hypothesis, that some law were to be passed which violated the common morality of all God-fearing men. And if you can conjure up such a conflict, how would a Protestant resolve it? Obviously by the dictates of his conscience. That is exactly what a Catholic would do. There is no ecclesiastical tribunal which would have the slightest claim upon the obedience of Catholic communicants in the resolution of such a conflict. As Cardinal Gibbons said of the supposition that 'the Pope were to issue commands in purely civil matters':—
'He would be offending not only against civil society, but against God, and violating an authority as truly from God as his own. Any Catholic who clearly recognized this would not be bound to obey the Pope; or rather his conscience would bind him absolutely to disobey, because with Catholics conscience is the supreme law which under no circumstances can we ever lawfully disobey.' Archbishop Ireland said: 'To priest, to Bishop, or to Pope (I am willing to consider the hypothesis) who should attempt to rule in matters civil and political, to influence the citizen beyond the range of their own orbit of jurisdiction that are the things of God, the answer is quickly made: "Back to your own sphere of rights and duties, back to the things of God."'
Bishop England, referring to our Constitution, said: 'Let the Pope and the Cardinals and all the powers of the Catholic world united make the least encroachment on that Constitution, we will protect it with our lives. Summon a General Council—let that Council interfere in the mode of our electing but an assistant to a turnkey of a prison—we deny the right, we reject the usurpation.'
Our Supreme Court has marked out the spheres of influence of Church and State in a case from which you quote copiously, Watson v. Jones, 13 Wall. 729; but you refrain from quoting this statement: —
'The right to organize voluntary religious associations, to assist in the expression and dissemination of any religious doctrine, and to create tribunals for the decision of controverted questions of faith within the association and for the ecclesiastical government of all of the individual members, the congregation an officers within the general association, is, unquestioned.... It is of the essence of these religious unions and of their right to establish tribunals for the decision of questions arising among themselves that those decisions could be binding in all cases of ecclesiastical cognizance, subject only to such appeal as the organism itself provides for.'
That is the State's attitude toward the Church. Archbishop Ireland thus puts the Church's attitude toward the State:—
'To the Catholic obedience to law is a religious obligation, binding in God's name the conscience of the citizen ... Both Americanism and Catholicism bow to the sway of personal conscience."
Under our system of government the electorate entrusts to its officers of' every faith the solemn duty of action according to the dictates of conscience. I may fairly refer once more to my own record to support these truths. No man, cleric or lay, has ever directly or indirectly attempted to exercise Church influence on my administration of any office I have ever held, nor asked me to show special favor to Catholics or exercise discrimination against non-Catholics. It is a well-known fact that I have all of my appointments to public on the basis of merit and have never asked any man about his religious belief. In the first month of this year there gathered in the Capitol at the first Governor's cabinet that ever sat in this State. It was composed, under my appointment, of two Catholics, thirteen Protestants, and one Jew. The man closest to me in the administration of the government of the State of New York is he who bears the title of Assistant to the Governor. He had been connected with the Governor's office for thirty years, in subordinate capacities, until I promoted him to the position which makes him the sharer with me of my thought and hope and ambition in the administration of the State. He is a Protestant, a Republican, and a thirty-second-degree Mason. In my public life I have exemplified that separation of Church from State which is the faith of American Catholics today.
I next come to education. You admit that the Supreme Court guaranteed to Catholics the right to maintain their parochial schools; and you ask me whether they would have so ruled if it had been shown that children in parochial schools were taught that the State should show discrimination between religions, that Protestants should be recognized only as a matter of favor, that they should be intolerant to non-Catholics, and that the laws of the State could be flouted on the ground of the imaginary conflict. My summary answer is: I and all my children went to a parochial school. I never heard of any such stuff being taught or of anybody who claimed that it was. That any group of Catholics would teach it is unthinkable.
You next challenge the action of the Rota in annulling the Marlborough marriage. You suggest that the Rota by annulling the marriage (where the civil courts recognized it, but granted only a divorce) is interfering with the jurisdiction. That might be so if anybody claimed that the decree of the Rota had any effect under the laws of America, or any other nation of the world. But you must know that it has no such effect and that nobody claims it has. The decree merely defined the status of the parties as communicants of the Church. Your Church refuses to recognize the ecclesiastical validity of divorces granted by the civil tribunals. Your Church has its tribunals to administer its laws for the government of its members as communicants of your Church. But their decrees have no bearing upon the status of your members as citizens of the United States. There is no difference in that respect between your tribunals and the Rota.
Finally you come to Mexico. By inference from the brief of a distinguished lawyer you intimate that it is the purpose of organized Catholics to seek intervention by the United States. Now I never read Mr. Guthrie's brief. I do not have to read it to reply to you, because the Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Episcopate of the United States in unmistakable words disclaimed any such intention. I do not see how, with complete candor, you could write to me about Mexico without quoting the following from that Pastoral Letter: —
'What, therefore, we have written is no call on the faithful here or elsewhere to purely human action. It is no interposition of our influence either as Bishops or as citizens to reach those who possess political power anywhere on earth, and least of all in our own country, to the end that they should intervene with armed force in the internal affairs of Mexico for the protection of the Church. Our duty is done when, by telling the story, we sound a warning to Christian civilization, that its foundations are again being attacked and undermined. For the rest, God will bring His will to pass in His own good time and in His own good way.'
My personal attitude, wholly consistent with that of my Church, is that I believe in peace on earth, good will to men, and that no country has a right to interfere in the internal affairs of any other country. I recognize the right of no church to ask armed intervention by this country in the affairs of another merely for the defense of the rights of a church. But I do recognize the propriety of Church action to request the good offices of this country to help the oppressed of any land, as those good offices have been so often used for the protection of Protestant missionaries in the Orient and the persecuted Jews of eastern Europe.
I summarize my creed as an American Catholic. I believe in the worship of God according to the faith and practice of the Roman Catholic Church. I recognize no power in the institutions of my Church to interfere with the operations of the Constitution of the United States or the enforcement of the law of the land. I believe in absolute freedom of conscience for all men and in equality of all churches, all sects, and all beliefs before the law as a matter of right and not as a matter of favor. I believe in the absolute separation of Church and State and in the strict enforcement of the provisions of the Constitution that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. I believe that no tribunal of any church has any power to make any decree of any force in the law of the land, other than to establish the status of its own communicants within its own church. I believe in the support of the public school as one of the cornerstones of American liberty. I believe in the right of every parent to choose whether his child shall be educated in the public school or in a religious school supported by those of his own faith. I believe in the principled noninterference by this country in the internal affairs of other nations and that we should stand steadfastly against any such interference by whomsoever it may be urged. And I believe in the common brotherhood of man under the common fatherhood of God.
In this spirit I join with fellow Americans of all creeds in a fervent prayer that never again in this land will any public servant be challenged because of the faith in which he has tried to walk humbly with his God.
Very truly yours,
Alfred E. Smith
One can see in Alfred Smith's ghost-written letter elements of truth and elements of error, making it a quintessential testimony to the influence of Americanism as a cornerstone of Modernism's view of Church-State relations. The mere fact that conditions at one point in time are not favorable to a restoration of Christendom does not mean that Catholics surrender to the principles of Modernity as an irreversible fact of the modern world. What did the conditions look like for the conversion of the world when the Apostles left the Upper Room in Jerusalem on Pentecost Sunday following the descent of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, upon them and Our Lady in tongues of flame? The surrender of Americanist Catholics and of Modernists and their contemporary progeny, the conciliarists, to the exigencies of the "modern" world and the "needs" of "modern" man is marked by a thorough rejection of the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church concerning Church-State relations and an indignant contention that it would be wrong, if not extremely harmful, even to pray for the happy reunion of Church and State.
"I believe in the support of the public school as one of the cornerstones of American liberty"? The public school has no right to exist. The civil state has no right to impose a curriculum of study and to mandate that children follow it under the compulsion of the civil law. The public school was founded to advance the cause of the Americanist ideology, being particularly aggressive in the arrogation of the Natural Law right of parents to be the principal educators of their children and to inculcate Catholics in the ways of "egalitarianism" and "democracy" and "religious liberty:" One author, evidently not a Catholic, put the matter this way:
There were no government schools in any modern sense of that term until the 1840s, when Horace Mann’s Unitarians started them up in Massachusetts as what were then known as common schools. Mann had been to Prussia where he learned of a far different view of the relationship between central government and its citizens than our own tradition which sees the individual as special both morally and economically. Prussian schools considered children property of the state, and educated them accordingly. They were raised to be obedient to the state, their purpose being to advance the interests of the state.
Shortt also cites Robert Owen, one of the Anglo-American world’s first influential socialists, who developed a similar philosophy of education. Owen believed that children should be separated from their parents as early as possible and raised by the state. He believed people were exclusively the products of their social environments, and that if nurtured properly by the state, could be molded into whatever was desired. A key to the thinking that went into forming the official ideology of state-sponsored education was that human beings are innately good, not sinful, and that human nature could be perfected by the right kind of educational system. The ideology that eventually developed would hold that children could be molded into willing consumers of the products of big business and obedient servants of government. In short, the aims of state-sponsored schools were to transform thinking, highly individualistic and very literate citizens into an unthinking, collectivized mass. The slow but steady decline in literacy of all kinds was a by-product.
Why did nineteenth century Christians go along with this scheme? One of the central reasons was that most were Protestants who hoped common schools would slow the spread of Catholicism in the new world. What mattered most about Horace Mann was that he wasn’t sympathetic to Catholicism! It mattered less that he and his Unitarian colleagues were preaching that man could perfect himself through his own efforts, and that compulsory education was a means to this end. So Protestant Christians, including many clergy, supported government schools thinking they could control them.
Very slowly, Pandora’s Box opened. A creeping secularization began. A few theologians (R.L. Dabney is an example) warned of the emerging dangers of state-sponsored education. Dabney, who was no friend of Catholics, was surprisingly prescient. He warned that the danger was not Catholicism but secularism, and that if the common school movement continued unchecked, government schools would end up entirely secular institutions. Christianity – in whatever form – would eventually be driven from them. At the heart of the danger was the transference of responsibility for education from the home to the government, an inherently secular institution. (Steven Yates, A Book Review of Bruce Shortt's "The Harsh Truth About Government Schools," The Harsh Truth About Government Schools by Steven Yates.)
The gradual decline of American public schools into secularism was the only logical result that could occur, which Mr. Yates does not seem to understand and Al Smith would fail to recognize as a problem. That which is not founded in the true Faith is bound to decline over time. It was Protestantism's overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King that has been proximate cause for the descent of the world into madness in the past half of a millennium. The public school had been front and center of Judeo-Masonry's plan to attack the souls of children, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884:
What refers to domestic life in the teaching of the naturalists is almost all contained in the following declarations: that marriage belongs to the genus of commercial contracts, which can rightly be revoked by the will of those who made them, and that the civil rulers of the State have power over the matrimonial bond; that in the education of youth nothing is to be taught in the matter of religion as of certain and fixed opinion; and each one must be left at liberty to follow, when he comes of age, whatever he may prefer. To these things the Freemasons fully assent; and not only assent, but have long endeavored to make them into a law and institution. For in many countries, and those nominally Catholic, it is enacted that no marriages shall be considered lawful except those contracted by the civil rite; in other places the law permits divorce; and in others every effort is used to make it lawful as soon as may be. Thus, the time is quickly coming when marriages will be turned into another kind of contract -- that is into changeable and uncertain unions which fancy may join together, and which the same when changed may disunite.
With the greatest unanimity the sect of the Freemasons also endeavors to take to itself the education of youth. They think that they can easily mold to their opinions that soft and pliant age, and bend it whither they will; and that nothing can be more fitted than this to enable them to bring up the youth of the State after their own plan. Therefore, in the education and instruction of children they allow no share, either of teaching or of discipline, to the ministers of the Church; and in many places they have procured that the education of youth shall be exclusively in the hands of laymen, and that nothing which treats of the most important and most holy duties of men to God shall be introduced into the instructions on morals.
Pope Pius XI, writing two and one-half years after the Marshall-Smith colloquy in Atlantic Monthly, reiterated the Catholic Church's consistent opposition to the "lay school," explaining that a parent could only send his child to such a school as a matter of necessity and after having gotten his pastor's explicit permission to do so:
From this it follows that the so-called "neutral" or "lay" school, from which religion is excluded, is contrary to the fundamental principles of education. Such a school moreover cannot exist in practice; it is bound to become irreligious. There is no need to repeat what Our Predecessors have declared on this point, especially Pius IX and Leo Xlll, at times when laicism was beginning in a special manner to infest the public school. We renew and confirm their declarations, as well as the Sacred Canons in which the frequenting of non-Catholic schools, whether neutral or mixed, those namely which are open to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, is forbidden for Catholic children, and can be at most tolerated, on the approval of the Ordinary alone, under determined circumstances of place and time, and with special precautions. Neither can Catholics admit that other type of mixed school, (least of all the so-called "ecole unique," obligatory on all), in which the students are provided with separate religious instruction, but receive other lessons in common with non-Catholic pupils from non-Catholic teachers.
For the mere fact that a school gives some religious instruction (often extremely stinted), does not bring it into accord with the rights of the Church and of the Christian family, or make it a fit place for Catholic students. To be this, it is necessary that all the teaching and the whole organization of the school, and its teachers, syllabus and text-books in every branch, be regulated by the Christian spirit, under the direction and maternal supervision of the Church; so that Religion may be in very truth the foundation and crown of the youth's entire training; and this in every grade of school, not only the elementary, but the intermediate and the higher institutions of learning as well. To use the words of Leo Xlll:
It is necessary not only that religious instruction be given to the young at certain fixed times, but also that every other subject taught, be permeated with Christian piety. If this is wanting, if this sacred atmosphere does not pervade and warm the hearts of masters and scholars alike, little good can be expected from any kind of learning, and considerable harm will often be the consequence
And let no one say that in a nation where there are different religious beliefs, it is impossible to provide for public instruction otherwise than by neutral or mixed schools. In such a case it becomes the duty of the State, indeed it is the easier and more reasonable method of procedure, to leave free scope to the initiative of the Church and the family, while giving them such assistance as justice demands. That this can be done to the full satisfaction of families, and to the advantage of education and of public peace and tranquillity, is clear from the actual experience of some countries comprising different religious denominations. There the school legislation respects the rights of the family, and Catholics are free to follow their own system of teaching in schools that are entirely Catholic. Nor is distributive justice lost sight of, as is evidenced by the financial aid granted by the State to the several schools demanded by the families.
In other countries of mixed creeds, things are otherwise, and a heavy burden weighs upon Catholics, who under the guidance of their Bishops and with the indefatigable cooperation of the clergy, secular and regular, support Catholic schools for their children entirely at their own expense; to this they feel obliged in conscience, and with a generosity and constancy worthy of all praise, they are firmly determined to make adequate provision for what they openly profess as their motto: "Catholic education in Catholic schools for all the Catholic youth." If such education is not aided from public funds, as distributive justice requires, certainly it may not be opposed by any civil authority ready to recognize the rights of the family, and the irreducible claims of legitimate liberty. (Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929.)
While Catholics must obey just laws and respect the duly constituted authority of civil governments, working as best as they can within the framework in which they find themselves without exalting the nationalist, naturalist myths of that framework if it be opposed to the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, they can and must work to remind their fellow citizens that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ wants each person and each nation to come under His sway by means of a humble and docile submission to the authority of the true Church He founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. Alfred Smith and Father Francis Duffy did not understand this at all.
Alfred Smith's ghost-written letter to Charles C. Marshall of eighty years ago contains many errors, one of which involves the rejection of the teaching authority of encyclical letters. Father Duffy, Smith's ghost-writer, wanted to take refuge in the Catholic Encyclopedia, ignoring, however, these plain words that had been written by Pope Pius XI just three years, five months before his response to Charles Marshall was published in Atlantic Monthly:
Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.
There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism.
Yes, Governor Smith and Father Duffy, the social encyclical letters are quite binding, the Catholic Encyclopedia to the contrary notwithstanding. Pope Pius XII reiterated this matter long about Al Smith and Father Francis Duffy had died:
Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me"; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)
Father Duffy was a good and brave priest who cared deeply about the salvation of souls. Having been raised in an environment of Americanism, however, he sought to reconcile semi-Pelagian principles of self-redemption, which he did see as such, obviously, relying upon the hideous Americanists, John Ireland and James Gibbons to do so. Although Father Duffy contended in the open letter he ghostwrote for Al Smith that the necessity of a Catholic state applied only to purely Catholic states, entities that, for the most part, did not exist by that time because of the adversary's centuries-long revolt against Christendom begun in the Renaissance before makings its open assault during the Protestant Revolt and with the rise of Judeo-Masonry and all other related, naturalist, anti-Incarnational "philosophical" and "revolutionary" movements, Pope Leo XIII had indeed, as Charles Marshall noted, specifically addressed the situation of Chuch-State relations in the United States of America in Longiqua Oceani, January 6, 1895:
Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed His Church, in virtue of which unless men or circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself; but she would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority.
Pope Leo XIII was exhorting the Catholic bishops of the United States of America to work for the Catholicization of their country, something that most of them did not consider desirable or even necessary, thus setting the stage so very well for the rise of the likes of Angelo Roncalli and Giovanni Montini and Albino Luciani and Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger, each of whom believed in the very separation of Church and State endorsed by Alfred Smith and Father Francis Duffy that had been condemned as a "thesis absolutely false" by Pope Saint Pius X. Meaning no disrespect to the late, courageous Father Duffy, the principle of non-contradiction teaches us that either he was correct or that Pope Saint Pius X, who placed no qualifications or modifications on the use of the words "absolutely false," correct. Just as Richard Cardinal Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston from 1944 to 1970 who once boasted before he died that he had never made a convert in his entire life, served as the enabler of the career of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, so did Father Francis Duffy serve as enabler of the career of Governor Alfred E. Smith, Jr., and for the cause of the condemned Americanist heresy that helped to spawn some of the very underpinnings of conciliarism itself.
Father Duffy also set up some straw men in the letter he ghostwrote for Governor Al Smith. The Catholic Church has never preached an intolerance for persons. She has indeed preached an intolerance for error and for the nonexistent "rights" of error, understanding that God has revealed the totality of His Divine Revelation solely to the Catholic Church so that men can see themselves and the world clearly through the eyes of the one and only true Faith and thus be better able to cooperate with the graces for them by the shedding of every single drop of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and that flow into human souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces. Intolerance of error does not apply solely to the "internal" doctrine of the Catholic Church, as the ghostwritten Smith article contends. Oh, no, it applies at all times in all places, admitting that the practical reality of a given situation may require some degree of tolerance but only insofar as is necessary to avoid doing violence to individual conscience, never conceding anything at all to the "rights" of error, as both Pope Gregory XVI and Leo XIII made clear:
This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly "the bottomless pit" is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws -- in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.
Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth. Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again? (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832.)
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 probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.
So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only way 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 making of laws, from the education 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 preserves 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, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
Father Francis Duffy, writing for Governor Al Smith, ignored Mirari Vos just as the conciliarists of today ignore it completely as though it was never written or as if Gregory XVI, who approved of the cult of Saint Philomena, the great wonderworker who was taken off of the general calendar of the counterfeit church of conciliarism by Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII in 1961, was a veritable antipope. Doing so presaged conciliarism itself, as an article supportive of conciliarism's embrace of the errors contained in the Father Duffy letter ghostwritten for Al Smith published by America magazine indicates very clearly:
Poor Charles Marshall. He was completely routed by the combination of Al Smith and Father Duffy. But Charles Marshall actually had a point, a very good point. He kept insisting that the statements of Smith and Duffy about religious freedom reflected their own personal opinions, not the official teaching of the Catholic Church. And Marshall was correct about that. Smith and Duffy asserted that the teachings of the 19th-century popes on religious liberty were no longer operative (as a 20th-century presidential press secretary might put it), but they could not cite a single authoritative church document to prove their assertion. There was no such document, as Charles Marshall was well aware.
“Governor Smith, even plus the Reverend Father Duffy, is not the church,” Marshall maintained. Marshall received support from an old friend, Dr. Joseph G. H. Barry, who commented that “Al’s statements would probably have led him to the stake in the Middle Ages, whereas in the twentieth century they will perhaps lead him to the presidency.” Unknown to Marshall, and perhaps to Smith and Duffy as well, Cardinal Hayes sent a copy of Smith’s article to Cardinal John Bonzano in Rome. Bonzano, the former apostolic delegate to United States, called the article a capolavoro, a masterpiece, and added, “It was judged such by everyone here who knows conditions in America.”
It is not likely that the private comment of one curial cardinal would have cut much ice with Charles Marshall. But Marshall left open one slim possibility, one farfetched option that the Catholic Church might employ to convince him and other skeptics that the church was now committed to supporting religious freedom. That option, which seemed infinitely remote in 1927, was for the pope to reconvene the Vatican Council of 1869-70, and for the council to declare solemnly its acceptance of religious liberty. Marshall really did not expect that to happen.
But that infinitely remote possibility came to pass, in a slightly altered form, in 1959, when Pope John XXIII announced his intention of summoning an ecumenical council. It was not to be a resumption of Vatican I, but a brand new council, to be known as the Second Vatican Council. Among the most important documents that this council was to issue was the “Declaration on Religious Liberty” (1965). How Al Smith and Father Duffy would have welcomed it! How they would have loved to be able to quote it in 1927. How surprised Charles Marshall would have been to see it.
For the first time in its long history, in the “Declaration on Religious Liberty” the Catholic Church stated unambiguously that “the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion in such wise that in matters religious no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs.... The Council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed Word of God and through reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed. Thus it is to become a civil right (No. 2).”
Never before had the highest authorities of the Catholic Church expressed such unqualified approval of the rights of conscience of every individual. Prior to Vatican II the official teaching of the church was that error should not be accorded the same rights as truth. The “Declaration on Religious Liberty” stated: “[T]he right to religious freedom has its foundation, not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it” (No. 2). (Monsignor Thomas Shelley, "Vatican II and American Politics," America, October 13, 2003.)
Unfortunately for the Americanists and for the conciliarists, religious liberty has been condemned as a heresy by Pope Pius VII:
For We had hoped, affairs having so happily changed, not only that all impediments organized against the Catholic religion in France would be removed with the utmost speed (as We have unceasingly demanded), but also that, as the opportunity presented itself, provision would also be made for her splendour and ornament. We saw at once that a deep silence was preserved in the constitution concerning this, and that there was not even any mention made of Almighty God, by whom kings reign and princes command. You will find it easy, Venerable Brother, to convince yourself of how grave, how bitter and how painful this matter was to Us, to whom has been committed by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Our Lord, the whole of Christendom. For how can We tolerate with equanimity that the Catholic religion, which France received in the first ages of the Church, which was confirmed in that very kingdom by the blood of so many most valiant martyrs, which by far the greatest part of the French race professes, and indeed bravely and constantly defended even among the most grave adversities and persecutions and dangers of recent years, and which, finally, that very dynasty to which the designated king belongs both professes and has defended with much zeal - that this Catholic, this most holy religion, We say, should not only not be declared to be the only one in the whole of France supported by the bulwark of the laws and by the authority of the Government, but should even, in the very restoration of the monarchy, be entirely passed over? But a much more grave, and indeed very bitter, sorrow increased in Our heart - a sorrow by which We confess that We were crushed, overwhelmed and torn in two - from the twenty-second article of the constitution in which We saw, not only that "liberty of religion and of conscience" (to use the same words found in the article) were permitted by the force of the constitution, but also that assistance and patronage were promised both to this liberty and also to the ministers of these different forms of "religion". There is certainly no need of many words, in addressing you, to make you fully recognize by how lethal a wound the Catholic religion in France is struck by this article. For when the liberty of all "religions" is indiscriminately asserted, by this very fact truth is confounded with error and the holy and immaculate Spouse of Christ, the Church, outside of which there can be no salvation, is set on a par with the sects of heretics and with Judaic perfidy itself. For when favour and patronage is promised even to the sects of heretics and their ministers, not only their persons, but also their very errors, are tolerated and fostered: a system of errors in which is contained that fatal and never sufficiently to be deplored HERESY which, as St. Augustine says (de Haeresibus, no.72), "asserts that all heretics proceed correctly and tell the truth: which is so absurd that it seems incredible to me."
The Americanism of Governor Al Smith, which derived its intellectual muscle from Father Francis Duffy, helped to pave the way for then Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy's address to Greater Houston Ministerial Association in Houston, Texas, on September 12, 1960:
While the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that we have far more critical issues to face in the 1960 election; the spread of Communist influence, until it now festers 90 miles off the coast of Florida--the humiliating treatment of our President and Vice President by those who no longer respect our power--the hungry children I saw in West Virginia, the old people who cannot pay their doctor bills, the families forced to give up their farms--an America with too many slums, with too few schools, and too late to the moon and outer space.
These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not religious issues--for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers.
But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured--perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again--not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me--but what kind of America I believe in.
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish--where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source--where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials--and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.
For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew--or a Quaker--or a Unitarian--or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim- -but tomorrow it may be you--until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.
Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end--where all men and all churches are treated as equal--where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice--where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind--and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.
That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe--a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.
I would not look with favor upon a President working to subvert the first amendment's guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so--and neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test--even by indirection--for it. If they disagree with that safeguard they should be out openly working to repeal it.
I want a Chief Executive whose public acts are responsible to all groups and obligated to none--who can attend any ceremony, service or dinner his office may appropriately require of him--and whose fulfillment of his Presidential oath is not limited or conditioned by any religious oath, ritual or obligation.
This is the kind of America I believe in--and this is the kind I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we may have a "divided loyalty," that we did "not believe in liberty," or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened the "freedoms for which our forefathers died."
And in fact this is the kind of America for which our forefathers died--when they fled here to escape religious test oaths that denied office to members of less favored churches--when they fought for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom--and when they fought at the shrine I visited today, the Alamo. For side by side with Bowie and Crockett died McCafferty and Bailey and Carey--but no one knows whether they were Catholic or not. For there was no religious test at the Alamo.
I ask you tonight to follow in that tradition--to judge me on the basis of my record of 14 years in Congress--on my declared stands against an Ambassador to the Vatican, against unconstitutional aid to parochial schools, and against any boycott of the public schools (which I have attended myself)--instead of judging me on the basis of these pamphlets and publications we all have seen that carefully select quotations out of context from the statements of Catholic church leaders, usually in other countries, frequently in other centuries, and always omitting, of course, the statement of the American Bishops in 1948 which strongly endorsed church-state separation, and which more nearly reflects the views of almost every American Catholic.
I do not consider these other quotations binding upon my public acts--why should you? But let me say, with respect to other countries, that I am wholly opposed to the state being used by any religious group, Catholic or Protestant, to compel, prohibit, or persecute the free exercise of any other religion. And I hope that you and I condemn with equal fervor those nations which deny their Presidency to Protestants and those which deny it to Catholics. And rather than cite the misdeeds of those who differ, I would cite the record of the Catholic Church in such nations as Ireland and France--and the independence of such statesmen as Adenauer and De Gaulle.
But let me stress again that these are my views--for contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters--and the church does not speak for me.
Whatever issue may come before me as President--on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject--I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.
But if the time should ever come--and I do not concede any conflict to be even remotely possible--when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do the same.
But I do not intend to apologize for these views to my critics of either Catholic or Protestant faith--nor do I intend to disavow either my views or my church in order to win this election.
If I should lose on the real issues, I shall return to my seat in the Senate, satisfied that I had tried my best and was fairly judged. But if this election is decided on the basis that 40 million Americans lost their chance of being President on the day they were baptized, then it is the whole nation that will be the loser, in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, in the eyes of history, and in the eyes of our own people.
But if, on the other hand, I should win the election, then I shall devote every effort of mind and spirit to fulfilling the oath of the Presidency--practically identical, I might add, to the oath I have taken for 14 years in the Congress. For without reservation, I can "solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution . . . so help me God. Address of Senator John F. Kennedy to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
Even Father John Courtney Murray, S.J., a supporter of Kennedy's who would be one of the principal progenitors of the "Second" Vatican Council's Dignitatis Humanae (and the author of many of the interventions made by American cardinals and bishops in its behalf), found Kennedy's strict personal separation of religious belief from the making of public policy decisions to be too stringent. Murray favored the American concept of the separation of Church and State, believing, as the conciliarist Ratzinger does, that such a separation permits Catholics to influence public policy and the direction of debate on it in the "marketplace of ideas." Leaving aside the inconvenient little truth that God and His true Church are owed recognition by the civil state, as summarized so succinctly by Pope Saint Pius X in Vehementer Nos, Father John Courtney Murray could not see that Kennedy's "more stringent" view of "separationism" was but the logical consequence of a religiously indifferentist civil state, as prophesied by Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei.
Oh, before I continue, it should be noted that Senator Kennedy gave that address, which was written by Kennedy speech writer Theodore Sorensen, was delivered on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, which commemorates the victory King Jan Sobieski of Catholic Poland over the Mohammedan hordes at the Gates of Vienna, Austria, on September 13, 1683, as he, King Jan Sobieski, held the Rosary aloft and urged men to pray this great spiritual weapon that Our Lady gave to Saint Dominic to fight the Albigenses heresy.
One can see the great theological and intellectual "depth" demonstrated by a Catholic, Rudolph William Giuliani, who was born in the year Al Smith, died, 1944, after 231 years of Americanist drivel of over forty years of conciliarist accommodationism with the principles of 1787 and 1789:
I believe in God, I pray to God, pray to Jesus for guidance and for help,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I have very, very strong views on religion that come about from having wanted to be a priest when I was younger and having studied theology for four years in college, it’s an area that I know really, really well academically. I understand the history of religion. Man and women’s relationship to God is one of the strongest, if not the strongest motivating thing in human history.” Pat Robertson Endorses Giuliani for President (More on this theater of the absurd development tomorrow, folks.)
How's that for depth, now, folks? Giuliani knows theology "really, really well academically"? All right, all right. Stop laughing. How about "Thou shalt not kill," Rudy. How about adhering to the following clear reminder of Pope Leo XIII, contained in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:
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 leveled 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 due to 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 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 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 fountainhead, so to say, from which all other duties spring. The Redeemer of mankind of Himself has said: "For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth." In like manner: "I am come to cast fire upon 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.
But with what bitterness and in how many guises war has been waged against the Church it would be ill-timed now to urge. From the fact that it has been vouchsafed to human reason to snatch from nature, through the investigations of science, many of her treasured secrets and to apply them befittingly to the divers requirements of life, men have become possessed with so arrogant a sense of their own powers as already to consider themselves able to banish from social life the authority and empire of God. Led away by this delusion, they make over to human nature the dominion of which they think God has been despoiled; from nature, they maintain, we must seek the principle and rule of all truth; from nature, they aver, alone spring, and to it should be referred, all the duties that religious feeling prompts. Hence, they deny all revelation from on high, and all fealty due to the Christian teaching of morals as well as all obedience to the Church, and they go so far as to deny her power of making laws and exercising every other kind of right, even disallowing the Church any place among the civil institutions of the commonweal. These men aspire unjustly, and with their might strive, to gain control over public affairs and lay hands on the rudder of the State, in order that the legislation may the more easily be adapted to these principles, and the morals of the people influenced in accordance with them. Whence it comes to pass that in many countries Catholicism is either openly assailed or else secretly interfered with, full impunity being granted to the most pernicious doctrines, while the public profession of Christian truth is shackled oftentimes with manifold constraints.
Under such evil circumstances therefore, each one is bound in conscience to watch over himself, taking all means possible to preserve the faith inviolate in the depths of his soul, avoiding all risks, and arming himself on all occasions, especially against the various specious sophisms rife among non-believers. In order to safeguard this virtue of faith in its integrity, We declare it to be very profitable and consistent with the requirements of the time, that each one, according to the measure of his capacity and intelligence, should make a deep study of Christian doctrine, and imbue his mind with as perfect a knowledge as may be of those matters that are interwoven with religion and lie within the range of reason. And as it is necessary that faith should not only abide untarnished in the soul, but should grow with ever painstaking increase, the suppliant and humble entreaty of the apostles ought constantly to be addressed to God: "Increase our faith.''
But in this same matter, touching Christian faith, there are other duties whose exact and religious observance, necessary at all times in the interests of eternal salvation, become more especially so in these our days. Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. 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 from 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 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.
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.
This all goes to show that making one little bit of accommodation to error results in total corruption of truth. The men who founded the United States of America were happy to have the cooperation of willing Catholics while most, although not all, of them maintained that a free society and Catholicism could never coexist. They were correct about this. That is, the false concept of a society "free" from a submission to the Catholic Church cannot coexist with the Faith: it will either corrupt the faith of individual Catholics or it will be swallowed up by the prayers and good works of faithful Catholics seeking to plant the seeds for the conversion of individuals and of the whole nation to the Church's maternal bosom. One is not "free" if one is not under the mantle of the Catholic Church. One is a slave to one or another of a series of falsehoods if one is not yoked to the Most Sacred Heart of Christ the King through the Immaculate Heart of Mary our Queen. Justice and order, no less personal salvation, can never be built on falsehoods. One is not free as Our Lord means Him to be free, from the power of sin and eternal death, that is, unless he is a Catholic in a state of Sanctifying Grace.
Americanist Catholics have had to overlook the following empirical evidence of overt anti-Catholicism on the part of its founders as they praise these naturalist scoundrels and as they continue to extol American participation in unjust wars that planted Protestantism and Freemasonry in formerly Catholic lands from which these evils had been theretofore excluded.
The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. ( President John Adams: "A Defense of the [State] Constitutions of Government of the United States of America," 1787-1788)
Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion? (Letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 19, 1821)
I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! (Letter to Thomas Jefferson, quoted in 200 Years of Disbelief, by James Hauck)
Consider these remarks of James Madison, considered by many to be the "father" of the Constitution of the United States of America:
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect."—letter to William Bradford, Jr„ April I, 1774
". . . Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which pervades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest."—spoken at the Virginia convention on ratification of the Constitution, June 1778
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."—-A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785
How about just two more of many anti-Catholic comments from Thomas Jefferson? Oh, why not?
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. (Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December, 1813.)
May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them. (Letter to Roger Weigthman, June 24, 1826, ten days before Jefferson's death.)
Article 11 of the Treaty between the United States of America and Tripoli, June 10, 1797, reads as follows:
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
Although Catholics in the United States of America were able to sanctify and to save their souls in the years leading up to the "Second" Vatican Council, exhibiting wonderful devotion to the Faith in their own personal lives and participating in Corpus Christi and Rosary processions, there was a subtle cancer eating away at the life of the Faith. That cancer was--and remains--Americanism, now enshrined as of the cornerstones of conciliarism. It is no accident that most Catholics today have "attitudes" about matters of Faith and morals that are indistinguishable from the rest of the population. This is all the rotten fruit of a state that is religiously indifferentist and a pluralist culture that is steeped in all of the combined errors of naturalism, kept in its place by the organized forces of naturalism represented by Judeo-Masonry. Anyone who thinks that ecumenism, whether of the political or ecclesiastical variety, is going to retard one little bit of the evils we face today is at odds with Pope Saint Pius X, who wrote:
Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; for there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact. The new Sillonists cannot pretend that they are merely working on “the ground of practical realities” where differences of belief do not matter. Their leader is so conscious of the influence which the convictions of the mind have upon the result of the action, that he invites them, whatever religion they may belong to, “to provide on the ground of practical realities, the proof of the excellence of their personal convictions.” And with good reason: indeed, all practical results reflect the nature of one’s religious convictions, just as the limbs of a man down to his finger-tips, owe their very shape to the principle of life that dwells in his body.
This being said, what must be thought of the promiscuity in which young Catholics will be caught up with heterodox and unbelieving folk in a work of this nature? Is it not a thousand-fold more dangerous for them than a neutral association? What are we to think of this appeal to all the heterodox, and to all the unbelievers, to prove the excellence of their convictions in the social sphere in a sort of apologetic contest? Has not this contest lasted for nineteen centuries in conditions less dangerous for the faith of Catholics? And was it not all to the credit of the Catholic Church? What are we to think of this respect for all errors, and of this strange invitation made by a Catholic to all the dissidents to strengthen their convictions through study so that they may have more and more abundant sources of fresh forces? What are we to think of an association in which all religions and even Free-Thought may express themselves openly and in complete freedom? For the Sillonists who, in public lectures and elsewhere, proudly proclaim their personal faith, certainly do not intend to silence others nor do they intend to prevent a Protestant from asserting his Protestantism, and the skeptic from affirming his skepticism. Finally, what are we to think of a Catholic who, on entering his study group, leaves his Catholicism outside the door so as not to alarm his comrades who, “dreaming of disinterested social action, are not inclined to make it serve the triumph of interests, coteries and even convictions whatever they may be”? Such is the profession of faith of the New Democratic Committee for Social Action which has taken over the main objective of the previous organization and which, they say, “breaking the double meaning which surround the Greater Sillon both in reactionary and anti-clerical circles”, is now open to all men “who respect moral and religious forces and who are convinced that no genuine social emancipation is possible without the leaven of generous idealism.” (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
The great bulwark that kept the faithful on the straight and narrow path to personal sanctity during the pre-conciliar era was the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, which at least reminded Catholics of the fact that there is a God Who judges, a God Whom they had to receive in Holy Communion on their knees, a God Who expected them to go to Confession every week, a God Who was pleased with their outward acts of penance that were signs of an interior disposition to be ready to meet Him at the moment of their Particular Judgments at any time. The replacement of this bulwark with the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo Missae, which enshrines the spirit of Modernity in the name of the "inculturation" of the Gospel, in the lives of over ninety-nine percent of Catholics worldwide, including in the United States of America, took down the strongest single bastion protecting Catholics from plunging headlong into the spirit of the world around them. Is it any wonder that so many Catholics have no problem whatsoever with their brethren who support the taking of innocent preborn lives under cover of law, whether by surgical or chemical means, justifying their doing so by adverting to the "American way"?
Americanism and conciliarism are cut from the same Modernist cloth. We must pray Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary very fervently to protect ourselves from being influenced into believing that the Catholic social order is a "thing of the past" and that we must make our "accommodation" to the "principles" of 1787 and 1789. Pope Leo XIII, writing in Custodi Di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892, reminded Catholics in Italy that there can be no such accommodation. This is as true as it was then nearly 115 years ago:
Everyone should avoid familiarity or friendship with anyone suspected of belonging to masonry or to affiliated groups. Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God.
Poor Al Smith never heard this "kind of stuff" because it was not preached in the United States of America. Such "stuff" only elsewhere, maybe only Italy, as in the case of Custodi Di Quella Fede. He would not have had a thirty-second degree Freemason for an aide nor would ever have endorsed the gubernatorial candidacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.if Father Francis Duffy or some other bishop or priest in the United States was not so willing to consider the United States of America exempt from the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the nature of Church-State relations. Al Smith never was forced to consider the simple truth that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ means for all men everywhere to subordinate their own lives and those of their nations to Him through His true Church, understanding the the whole of social order depends upon the sanctification of individual men, as Pope Saint Pius X noted in Notre Charge Apostolique and as Pope Leo XIII had stated so clearly in Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900:
Those who go astray from the road wander far from the goal they aim at. Similarly, if the pure and true light of truth be rejected, men's minds must necessarily be darkened and their souls deceived by deplorably false ideas. What hope of salvation can they have who abandon the very principle and fountain of life? Christ alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John xiv., 6). If He be abandoned the three necessary conditions of salvation are removed.
It is surely unnecessary to prove, what experience constantly shows and what each individual feels in himself, even in the very midst of all temporal prosperity-that in God alone can the human will find absolute and perfect peace. God is the only end of man. All our life on earth is the truthful and exact image of a pilgrimage. Now Christ is the "Way," for we can never reach God, the supreme and ultimate good, by this toilsome and doubtful road of mortal life, except with Christ as our leader and guide. How so? Firstly and chiefly by His grace; but this would remain "void" in man if the precepts of His law were neglected. For, as was necessarily the case after Jesus Christ had won our salvation, He left behind Him His Law for the protection and welfare of the human race, under the guidance of which men, converted from evil life, might safely tend towards God. "Going, teach ye all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew xxviii., 19-20). "Keep my commandments" john xiv., 15). Hence it will be understood that in the Christian religion the first and most necessary condition is docility to the precepts of Jesus Christ, absolute loyalty of will towards Him as Lord and King. A serious duty, and one which oftentimes calls for strenuous labour, earnest endeavour, and perseverance! For although by Our Redeemer's grace human nature hath been regenerated, still there remains in each individual a certain debility and tendency to evil. Various natural appetites attract man on one side and the other; the allurements of the material world impel his soul to follow after what is pleasant rather than the law of Christ. Still we must strive our best and resist our natural inclinations with all our strength "unto the obedience of Christ." For unless they obey reason they become our masters, and carrying the whole man away from Christ, make him their slave. "Men of corrupt mind, who have made shipwreck of the faith, cannot help being slaves. . . They are slaves to a threefold concupiscence: of will, of pride, or of outward show" (St. Augustine, De Vera Religione, 37). In this contest every man must be prepared to undergo hard ships and troubles for Christ's sake. It is difficult to reject what so powerfully entices and delights. It is hard and painful to despise the supposed goods of the senses and of fortune for the will and precepts of Christ our Lord. But the Christian is absolutely obliged to be firm, and patient in suffering, if he wish to lead a Christian life. Have we forgotten of what Body and of what Head we are the members? "Having joy set before Him, He endured the Cross," and He bade us deny ourselves. The very dignity of human nature depends upon this disposition of mind. For, as even the ancient Pagan philosophy perceived, to be master of oneself and to make the lower part of the soul, obey the superior part, is so far from being a weakness of will that it is really a noble power, in consonance with right reason and most worthy of a man. Moreover, to bear and to suffer is the ordinary condition of man. Man can no more create for himself a life free from suffering and filled with all happiness that he can abrogate the decrees of his Divine Maker, who has willed that the consequences of original sin should be perpetual. It is reasonable, therefore, not to expect an end to troubles in this world, but rather to steel one's soul to bear troubles, by which we are taught to look forward with certainty to supreme happiness. Christ has not promised eternal bliss in heaven to riches, nor to a life of ease, to honours or to power, but to longsuffering and to tears, to the love of justice and to cleanness of heart.
From this it may clearly be seen what con sequences are to be expected from that false pride which, rejecting our Saviour's Kingship, places man at the summit of all things and declares that human nature must rule supreme. And yet, this supreme rule can neither be attained nor even defined. The rule of Jesus Christ derives its form and its power from Divine Love: a holy and orderly charity is both its foundation and its crown. Its necessary consequences are the strict fulfilment of duty, respect of mutual rights, the estimation of the things of heaven above those of earth, the preference of the love of God to all things. But this supremacy of man, which openly rejects Christ, or at least ignores Him, is entirely founded upon selfishness, knowing neither charity nor selfdevotion. Man may indeed be king, through Jesus Christ: but only on condition that he first of all obey God, and diligently seek his rule of life in God's law. By the law of Christ we mean not only the natural precepts of morality and the Ancient Law, all of which Jesus Christ has perfected and crowned by His declaration, explanation and sanction; but also the rest of His doctrine and His own peculiar institutions. Of these the chief is His Church. Indeed whatsoever things Christ has instituted are most fully contained in His Church. Moreover, He willed to perpetuate the office assigned to Him by His Father by means of the ministry of the Church so gloriously founded by Himself. On the one hand He confided to her all the means of men's salvation, on the other He most solemnly commanded men to be subject to her and to obey her diligently, and to follow her even as Himself: "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me" (Luke x, 16). Wherefore the law of Christ must be sought in the Church. Christ is man's "Way"; the Church also is his "Way"-Christ of Himself and by His very nature, the Church by His commission and the communication of His power. Hence all who would find salvation apart from the Church, are led astray and strive in vain.
As with individuals, so with nations. These, too, must necessarily tend to ruin if they go astray from "The Way." The Son of God, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind, is King and Lord of the earth, and holds supreme dominion over men, both individually and collectively. "And He gave Him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve Him" (Daniel vii., 14). "I am appointed King by Him . . . I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession" (Psalm ii., 6, 8). Therefore the law of Christ ought to prevail in human society and be the guide and teacher of public as well as of private life. Since this is so by divine decree, and no man may with impunity contravene it, it is an evil thing for the common weal wherever Christianity does not hold the place that belongs to it. When Jesus Christ is absent, human reason fails, being bereft of its chief protection and light, and the very end is lost sight of, for which, under God's providence, human society has been built up. This end is the obtaining by the members of society of natural good through the aid of civil unity, though always in harmony with the perfect and eternal good which is above nature. But when men's minds are clouded, both rulers and ruled go astray, for they have no safe line to follow nor end to aim at.
Just as it is the height of misfortune to go astray from the "Way," so is it to abandon the "Truth." Christ Himself is the first, absolute and essential "Truth," inasmuch as He is the Word of God, consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father, He and the Father being One. "I am the Way and the Truth." Wherefore if the Truth be sought by the human intellect, it must first of all submit it to Jesus Christ, and securely rest upon His teaching, since therein Truth itself speaketh. There are innumerable and extensive fields of thought, properly belonging to the human mind, in which it may have free scope for its investigations and speculations, and that not only agreeably to its nature, but even by a necessity of its nature. But what is unlawful and unnatural is that the human mind should refuse to be restricted within its proper limits, and, throwing aside its becoming modesty, should refuse to acknowledge Christ's teaching. This teaching, upon which our salvation depends, is almost entirely about God and the things of God. No human wisdom has invented it, but the Son of God hath received and drunk it in entirely from His Father: "The words which thou gavest me, I have given to them" john xvii., 8). Hence this teaching necessarily embraces many subjects which are not indeed contrary to reasonfor that would be an impossibility-but so exalted that we can no more attain them by our own reasoning than we can comprehend God as He is in Himself. If there be so many things hidden and veiled by nature, which no human ingenuity can explain, and yet which no man in his senses can doubt, it would be an abuse of liberty to refuse to accept those which are entirely above nature, because their essence cannot be discovered. To reject dogma is simply to deny Christianity. Our intellect must bow humbly and reverently "unto the obedience of Christ," so that it be held captive by His divinity and authority: "bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians x., 5). Such obedience Christ requires, and justly so. For He is God, and as such holds supreme dominion over man's intellect as well as over his will. By obeying Christ with his intellect man by no means acts in a servile manner, but in complete accordance with his reason and his natural dignity. For by his will he yields, not to the authority of any man, but to that of God, the author of his being, and the first principle to Whom he is subject by the very law of his nature. He does not suffer himself to be forced by the theories of any human teacher, but by the eternal and unchangeable truth. Hence he attains at one and the same time the natural good of the intellect and his own liberty. For the truth which proceeds from the teaching of Christ clearly demonstrates the real nature and value of every being; and man, being endowed with this knowledge, if he but obey the truth as perceived, will make all things subject to himself, not himself to them; his appetites to his reason, not his reason to his appetites. Thus the slavery of sin and falsehood will be shaken off, and the most perfect liberty attained: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" john viii., 32). It is, then, evident that those whose intellect rejects the yoke of Christ are obstinately striving against God. Having shaken off God's authority, they are by no means freer, for they will fall beneath some human sway. They are sure to choose someone whom they will listen to, obey, and follow as their guide. Moreover, they withdraw their intellect from the communication of divine truths, and thus limit it within a narrower circle of knowledge, so that they are less fitted to succeed in the pursuit even of natural science. For there are in nature very many things whose apprehension or explanation is greatly aided by the light of divine truth. Not unfrequently, too, God, in order to chastise their pride, does not permit men to see the truth, and thus they are punished in the things wherein they sin. This is why we often see men of great intellectual power and erudition making the grossest blunders even in natural science.
Want to know true liberty, both personal and civil, which the Catholic Church has always promoted, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Libertas, June 20, 1888? Pray and work for the restoration of Christendom, which starts with the building up of the Kingship of Christ in our own immortal souls. We must overcome obstacles to Christ's Kingship in our immortal souls, getting ourselves to the daily offering of the Mass of the ages in the catacombs where no concessions are made to conciliarism or to its false shepherds, spending time before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit, offering up all of our sufferings and sacrifices and penances and mortifications and humiliations to the Most Sacred Heart of Christ the King through the Immaculate Heart of Mary our Queen.
The devil hates the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen. Consider a secular newspaper account, contained in the Workers' Solidarity publication in Barcelona, Spain, of the jubilation that was felt in the murder of so many bishops and priests during the Spanish Revolution (1936-1939):
The Church must disappear forever. . . . The wretched little Catholic holes no loner exist. The torches of the people have pulverized them. In their place rises a free spirit that has nothing in common with the masochism which incubates in the naves of the cathedrals. But it is necessary to tear up the Church by the roots. For this we must take by force all its goods that rightly belong to the people. Religious orders must be dissolved. Bishops and cardinals must be shot. (Quoted in Warren H. Carroll, The Last Crusade, Christendom Press, 1996, p. 111.)
The government of the United States of America under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the darling of so many Catholic bishops and priests, did not help the Catholics who were being persecuted in Spain. The government of the United States of America under the administration of Thomas Woodrow Wilson actually aided the Masonic revolutionaries who were putting Catholics to death by the thousands. The America bishops? As testified to by Alfred Smith's ghostwritten letter itself, they urged non-intervention in behalf of saving the Catholics who were being martyred.
The American Revolution and the French Revolution and the Mexican Revolution and the Italian Risorgimento and the Kulturkampf of Otto von Bismarck and the Bolshevik Revolution and the Cuban Revolution and the Chinese Revolution and the Sandinista Revolution have all had one thing in common: a thorough rejection of Christ the King and His true Church as paramount in the lives of men and their societies. The differences are only in degrees and methods. The American Revolution has coopted Catholics subtly over course of time while the others used violence and/or state coercion to silence Catholics. No matter the differences in degrees and methods, the results are the same: a world where men believe that they can order themselves, both individually and socially, without even praying that Our Lord Himself reign over them and their nations.
Consecrated to Jesus through Mary, we remember these words that Our Lord Himself spoke to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque:
"I will reign in spite of all who oppose Me."
(quoted in: The Right Reverend Emile Bougaud. The Life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, reprinted by TAN Books and Publishers in 1990, p. 361.)
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us now and the hour of our deaths. Amen.
All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Luke the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Borromeo, pray for us.
Saints Vitalis and Agricola, pray for us.
Saint Hilarion, pray for us.
Saint John Cantius, pray for us.
Saint Peter of Alcantara, pray for us.
Saint Hedwig, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Francis Borgia, pray for us.
Saint Edward the Confessor, pray for us.
Saint John Leonard, pray for us.
Saint Dionysisus (Denis), Rusticus and Eleutherius, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Placidus and Companions, pray for us.
Saint Bruno, pray for us.
Saint Wenceslaus, pray for us.
Saint Jerome, pray for us.
Saint Remigius, pray for us.
Saint Clotilde, pray for us.
Saints Cosmas and Damian, pray for us.
Pope Saint Linus, pray for us.
Saint Peter Nolasco, pray for us.
Saint Raymond Pennafort, pray for us.
Saint Raymond Nonnatus, pray for us.
Saint Thecla, pray for us.
Saint Matthew, pray for us.
Saint Eustachius and Family, pray for us.
Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Cupertino, pray for us.
Saint Januarius, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saints Cornelius and Cyprian, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Saint Giles, pray for us.
Saint Stephen of Hungary, pray for us.
Saint Rose of Lima, pray for us.
Saint Nicomedes, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Calasanctius, pray for us.
Pope Saint Zephyrinus, pray for us.
Saint Louis IX, King of France, pray for us.
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, pray for us.
Saint Bartholomew, pray for us.
Saint Philip Benizi, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.
Saint John Eudes, pray for us.
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us, pray for us.
Saint Agapitus, pray for us.
Saint Helena, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Irenaeus, pray for us.
Saints Monica, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us.
Saint Antony of the Desert, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
Saint Peter Damian, pray for us.
Saint Turibius, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
Saint Basil the Great, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Saint Genevieve, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Rita of Cascia, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
Blessed Humbeline, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
Juan Diego, pray for us.
Father Maximilian Kolbe,M.I., pray for us.
Father Frederick Faber, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.