Freedom, You Say?
by Thomas A. Droleskey
The myth of American "freedom" continues this Fourth of July, the 230th anniversary of the promulgation of the Declaration of Independence, as the government created by the Constitution of the United States of America in 1787 (and went into effect fully with the inauguration of the first president on March 4, 1789) violates more and more of our legitimate freedoms in order to expand its own power over us. William Jefferson Clinton could only dream of the sort of expansion of power of the President and the Executive Branch of the Federal government that has been accomplished by his successor, George Walker Bush.
Leaders of the "opposition" political party, the Democrat Party, have said hardly a word as phone calls and banking records have been mined by "Big Brother" in the name of "national security," always the refuge of tyrants seeking to expand their own power and to intimidate those would dare to oppose such "necessary" measures, which are always permanent, as unpatriotic scoundrels who do not "love" their country and who actually want to help the enemies of "freedom" and "national security." Most Democrats have been mute, largely because they believe in such expansion of the power of Federal government and rue the fact that they do not exercise control over the Executive Branch at present. Indeed, former President Clinton publicly moaned about the fact that he was not at the helm of power following the September 11, 2001, incidents around the nation, which his successor used as the pretext to expand his own powers and to invade Iraq, which had nothing to do with what happened on September 11, eighteen months later. And most of those Democrats who might be opposed to the curbing of legitimate freedoms that are part of the Natural Law have been muted by the same enslavement to focus group market research and polling that made the Republican Congress the lapdog for Bill Clinton following the shutdown of the Federal government in late-1995.
Pope Pius XI, writing in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922, had this to say about the apparent differences between political parties:
To these evils we must add the contests between political parties, many of which struggles do not originate in a real difference of opinion concerning the public good or in a laudable and disinterested search for what would best promote the common welfare, but in the desire for power and for the protection of some private interest which inevitably result in injury to the citizens as a whole. From this course there often arise robberies of what belongs rightly to the people, and even conspiracies against and attacks on the supreme authority of the state, as well as on its representatives. These political struggles also beget threats of popular action and, at times, eventuate in open rebellion and other disorders which are all the more deplorable and harmful since they come from a public to whom it has been given, in our modern democratic states, to participate in very large measure in public life and in the affairs of government. Now, these different forms of government are not of themselves contrary to the principles of the Catholic Faith, which can easily be reconciled with any reasonable and just system of government. Such governments, however, are the most exposed to the danger of being overthrown by one faction or another.
As is well-known--and as will be reiterated in this commentary, the Constitution of the United States of America is defenseless against assaults on the plain meaning of the words contained within it as it admits of no higher authority, namely, the true Church that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, to provide a brake, after exhausting her Indirect Power of teaching and preaching and exhortation, upon actions injurious to the good of souls. A government founded on the fallacious belief that men can be virtuous on own power without having belief in, access to, and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace is bound to fail over time. Fallen men need to submit themselves at all times and in all things to the Deposit of Faith that Our Lord has entrusted solely to the Catholic Church as men cannot know the fullness of truth without such a submission. And fallen men need to cooperate with the graces administered to them by the working of the Holy Ghost in the sacraments administered by the Catholic Church so as to see the fullness of Divine truth clearly and to make the effort, however difficult, to cooperate with the graces received therein to act in accordance with the fullness of Divine truth at all times.
The Catholic Church teaches, as Pope Pius XI noted in the passage above, that she can adapt herself to any given form of government. Men are free to create the institutional arrangements that they believe will best advance the common good and at the same time serve as no hindrance and actually advance the eternal good of themselves and their fellow citizens. The Church has insisted, at least until conciliarism, that the civil state simply recognize the Catholic Church as the true Church created by God and to favor her with the protection of the laws, recognizing her Divinely-instituted authority to serve as an ultimate check on the abuse of civil power if the good of souls demands her intervention. True, as Pope Leo XIII pointed out in Libertas, the Church can and does make accommodations to the practical realities facing Catholics in a given land at a given time. The Church must, though, continue to promote the restoration of concord between Church and State in order to wipe away the pestilence of the Masonic notion of the separation of Church and State that has infected the minds of so many Catholics over the course of this country's history.
A civil government that refuses to recognize the Catholic Church and stakes out a position that men can pursue the common good without reference to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law that have been entrusted solely to the Catholic Church for their safekeeping and explication will degenerate into barbarism over the course of time no matter the good intentions of those who believed in the delusional proposition that man can do anything good of a lasting nature absent Our Lord and His true Church. Consider, once again, these words from Pope Leo XIII's Immortale Dei, issued on November 1, 1885:
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 making 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.
No matter the "intentions" of those who framed the American Constitution, ladies and gentlemen, the belief that men can guide themselves, either individually or collectively in society, without a humble submission to the Deposit of Faith that Our Lord entrusted only to the Catholic Church and without a firm reliance upon Sanctifying Grace degenerates over the course of time. This degeneration does not occur overnight. A traditional priest who had gotten into some trouble as a college student in the 1990s at neoconservative Catholic college for daring to question the premises of the American founding put it this way after a lecture I gave on the subject in 2001: "The American Constitution is simply demonstrating the perfection of its inherent degeneracy." This priest, who would not like to be mentioned here, I am sure, is entirely correct. Good intentions do not redeem false ideas and premises. It is not possible to build social order and/or to provide for national security domestically or peace among nations internationally without relying upon the fullness of the patrimony of the Catholic Church, which is why conciliarism's "reconciliation" with the principles of the Modern State predisposes its apologists to view Christendom with disdain and to believe, whether wittingly or not, in the Protestant and Masonic vision of the ability of man to create order domestic and an enduring peace internationally without Our Lord and His Holy Church.
The only remedy for such state of affairs is the peace of Christ since the peace of Christ is the peace of God, which could not exist if it did not enjoin respect for law, order, and the rights of authority. In the Holy Scriptures We read: "My children, keep discipline in peace." (Ecclesiasticus xli, 17) "Much peace have they that love the law, O Lord." (Psalms cxviii, 165) "He that feareth the commandment, shall dwell in peace." (Proverbs xiii, 13) Jesus Christ very expressly states: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." (Matt. xxii, 21) He even recognized that Pilate possessed authority from on High (John xiv, 11) as he acknowledged that the scribes and Pharisees who though unworthy sat in the chair of Moses (Matt. xxiii, 2) were not without a like authority. In Joseph and Mary, Jesus respected the natural authority of parents and was subject to them for the greater part of His life. (Luke ii, 51) He also taught, by the voice of His Apostle, the same important doctrine: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God." (Romans xiii, 1; cf. also 1 Peter ii, 13, 18)
If we stop to reflect for a moment that these ideals and doctrines of Jesus Christ, for example, his teachings on the necessity and value of the spiritual life, on the dignity and sanctity of human life, on the duty of obedience, on the divine basis of human government, on the sacramental character of matrimony and by consequence the sanctity of family life -- if we stop to reflect, let Us repeat, that these ideals and doctrines of Christ (which are in fact but a portion of the treasury of truth which He left to mankind) were confided by Him to His Church and to her alone for safekeeping, and that He has promised that His aid will never fail her at any time for she is the infallible teacher of His doctrines in every century and before all nations, there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace.
Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state. The Church alone can introduce into society and maintain therein the prestige of a true, sound spiritualism, the spiritualism of Christianity which both from the point of view of truth and of its practical value is quite superior to any exclusively philosophical theory. The Church is the teacher and an example of world good-will, for she is able to inculcate and develop in mankind the "true spirit of brotherly love" (St. Augustine, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae, i, 30) and by raising the public estimation of the value and dignity of the individual's soul help thereby to lift us even unto God.
Finally, the Church is able to set both public and private life on the road to righteousness by demanding that everything and all men become obedient to God "Who beholdeth the heart," to His commands, to His laws, to His sanctions. If the teachings of the Church could only penetrate in some such manner as We have described the inner recesses of the consciences of mankind, be they rulers or be they subjects, all eventually would be so apprised of their personal and civic duties and their mutual responsibilities that in a short time "Christ would be all, and in all." (Colossians iii, 11)
Since the Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ, she is able not only to bring about at the present hour a peace that is truly the peace of Christ, but can, better than any other agency which We know of, contribute greatly to the securing of the same peace for the future, to the making impossible of war in the future. For the Church teaches (she alone has been given by God the mandate and the right to teach with authority) that not only our acts as individuals but also as groups and as nations must conform to the eternal law of God. In fact, it is much more important that the acts of a nation follow God's law, since on the nation rests a much greater responsibility for the consequences of its acts than on the individual.
When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.
There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.
It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.
It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.
It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace.
This is simply a statement of Catholic truth from which no one can dissent legitimately. None of us can know happiness or order in our own lives without Our Lord. Nations cannot pursue the common good (protecting the legitimate liberties of its citizens and providing for its own security from domestic insurrection and foreign invasion) without a frank confession of the true Faith and unless its leaders are concerned about fostering those conditions in civil society by which their citizens can save their souls as Catholics. Saint Henry, for example, understood this truth, which is why he promoted the ongoing missionary activity of the Church in Central Europe, knowing that the best means of providing peace for the Holy Roman Empire was to win coverts for Our Lord and His true Church.
Pope Pius XI, writing in Divini Illius Magistri, December 30, 1929, alluded to this simple Catholic fact:
While treating of education, it is not out of place to show here how an ecclesiastical writer, who flourished in more recent times, during the Renaissance, the holy and learned Cardinal Silvio Antoniano, to whom the cause of Christian education is greatly indebted, has set forth most clearly this well established point of Catholic doctrine. He had been a disciple of that wonderful educator of youth, St. Philip Neri; he was teacher and Latin secretary to St. Charles Borromeo, and it was at the latter's suggestion and under his inspiration that he wrote his splendid treatise on The Christian Education of Youth. In it he argues as follows:
"The more closely the temporal power of a nation aligns itself with the spiritual, and the more it fosters and promotes the latter, by so much the more it contributes to the conservation of the commonwealth. For it is the aim of the ecclesiastical authority by the use of spiritual means, to form good Christians in accordance with its own particular end and object; and in doing this it helps at the same time to form good citizens, and prepares them to meet their obligations as members of a civil society. This follows of necessity because in the City of God, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a good citizen and an upright man are absolutely one and the same thing. How grave therefore is the error of those who separate things so closely united, and who think that they can produce good citizens by ways and methods other than those which make for the formation of good Christians. For, let human prudence say what it likes and reason as it pleases, it is impossible to produce true temporal peace and tranquillity by things repugnant or opposed to the peace and happiness of eternity."
Pope Leo XIII had noted the same thing in Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900, twenty-nine years before Pope Pius XI issued Divini Illius Magistri:
God alone is Life. All other beings partake of life, but are not life. Christ, from all eternity and by His very nature, is "the Life," just as He is the Truth, because He is God of God. From Him, as from its most sacred source, all life pervades and ever will pervade creation. Whatever is, is by Him; whatever lives, lives by Him. For by the Word "all things were made; and without Him was made nothing that was made." This is true of the natural life; but, as We have sufficiently indicated above, we have a much higher and better life, won for us by Christ's mercy, that is to say, "the life of grace," whose happy consummation is "the life of glory," to which all our thoughts and actions ought to be directed. The whole object of Christian doctrine and morality is that "we being dead to sin, should live to justice" (I Peter ii., 24)-that is, to virtue and holiness. In this consists the moral life, with the certain hope of a happy eternity. This justice, in order to be advantageous to salvation, is nourished by Christian faith. "The just man liveth by faith" (Galatians iii., II). "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews xi., 6). Consequently Jesus Christ, the creator and preserver of faith, also preserves and nourishes our moral life. This He does chiefly by the ministry of His Church. To Her, in His wise and merciful counsel, He has entrusted certain agencies which engender the supernatural life, protect it, and revive it if it should fail. This generative and conservative power of the virtues that make for salvation is therefore lost, whenever morality is dissociated from divine faith. A system of morality based exclusively on human reason robs man of his highest dignity and lowers him from the supernatural to the merely natural life. Not but that man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. But though he should know them all and keep them inviolate through life-and even this is impossible without the aid of the grace of our Redeemer-still it is vain for anyone without faith to promise himself eternal salvation. "If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth" john xv., 6). "He that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark xvi., 16). We have but too much evidence of the value and result of a morality divorced from divine faith. How is it that, in spite of all the zeal for the welfare of the masses, nations are in such straits and even distress, and that the evil is daily on the increase? We are told that society is quite able to help itself; that it can flourish without the assistance of Christianity, and attain its end by its own unaided efforts. Public administrators prefer a purely secular system of government. All traces of the religion of our forefathers are daily disappearing from political life and administration. What blindness! Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society. Similarly, once the hope and expectation of eternal happiness is taken away, temporal goods will be greedily sought after. Every man will strive to secure the largest share for himself. Hence arise envy, jealousy, hatred. The consequences are conspiracy, anarchy, nihilism. There is neither peace abroad nor security at home. Public life is stained with crime.
Public life is stained with crime, is it not? This is the logical result of the belief that "natural morality," existing in the framework of religious indifferentism, is enough to produce virtuous men and good citizens. It is not. We need Sanctifying Grace. We need the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Public life is stained with crime as the defenders of true freedom, Catholics committed to the restoration of Christendom, are denounced as fanatics by the world and schismatics by the scions of conciliarism.
Public life is stained with crime as 4,400 babies are slaughtered by surgical means every day in this country, to say nothing of the thousands more killed by chemical means (abortifacient contraceptives) which have always had the personal and public endorsement of George W. Bush, which is why these weapons of mass destruction were among the first exemplars of American "freedom" to be introduced following our invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Public life is stained with crime as home schooling parents are harassed here in the United States and imprisoned in Belgium and Germany.
Public life is stained with crime as perversion of the precepts of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments are promoted under cover of law and every aspect of our popular culture with an aggressive ferocity not seen since the days of the Roman Empire in its decadence before its fall.
Public life is stained with crime as "popular entertainment" besieges us involuntarily with images and sounds that come from Hell in supermarkets and banks and post offices, to say nothing of those who subject themselves voluntarily to motion pictures or television or radio or so-called "music," critiqued so well by Michael Matt in his Gods of Atheism.
There is no secular, non-denominational or inter-denominational way to retard the crimes of career politicians who believe that we exist to enable them to pick our pockets so that they can further institutionalize their grip on government power and expand it without any limits.
There is no political or constitutional or legal way to resolve our social problems. The American Constitution has produced the problems we face at present precisely because it rejects the authority of the Catholic Church and refuses to recognize her as the true religion upon which right order in the lives of citizens and society depends.
To truly love one's country, you see, is to seek to Catholicize her in every aspect of her national life without any exception whatsoever. Pope Leo XIII pointed out in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890, that we must love God and the Church before we love our country:
Now, if the natural law enjoins us to love devotedly and to defend the country in which we had birth, and in which we were brought up, so that every good citizen hesitates not to face death for his native land, very much more is it the urgent duty of Christians to be ever quickened by like feelings toward the Church. For the Church is the holy City of the living God, born of God Himself, and by Him built up and established. Upon this earth, indeed, she accomplishes her pilgrimage, but by instructing and guiding men she summons them to eternal happiness. We are bound, then, to love dearly the country whence we have received the means of enjoyment this mortal life affords, but we have a much more urgent obligation to love, with ardent love, the Church to which we owe the life of the soul, a life that will endure forever. For fitting it is to prefer the good of the soul to the well-being of the body, inasmuch as duties toward God are of a far more hallowed character than those toward men.
Moreover, if we would judge aright, the supernatural love for the Church and the natural love of our own country proceed from the same eternal principle, since God Himself is their Author and originating Cause. Consequently, it follows that between the duties they respectively enjoin, neither can come into collision with the other. We can, certainly, and should love ourselves, bear ourselves kindly toward our fellow men, nourish affection for the State and the governing powers; but at the same time we can and must cherish toward the Church a feeling of filial piety, and love God with the deepest love of which we are capable. The order of precedence of these duties is, however, at times, either under stress of public calamities, or through the perverse will of men, inverted. For, instances occur where the State seems to require from men as subjects one thing, and religion, from men as Christians, quite another; and this in reality without any other ground, than that the rulers of the State either hold the sacred power of the Church of no account, or endeavor to subject it to their own will. Hence arises a conflict, and an occasion, through such conflict, of virtue being put to the proof. The two powers are confronted and urge their behests in a contrary sense; to obey both is wholly impossible. No man can serve two masters, for to please the one amounts to contemning the other.
As to which should be preferred no one ought to balance for an instant. It is a high crime indeed to withdraw allegiance from God in order to please men, an act of consummate wickedness to break the laws of Jesus Christ, in order to yield obedience to earthly rulers, or, under pretext of keeping the civil law, to ignore the rights of the Church; "we ought to obey God rather than men." This answer, which of old Peter and the other Apostles were used to give the civil authorities who enjoined unrighteous things, we must, in like circumstances, give always and without hesitation. No better citizen is there, whether in time of peace or war, than the Christian who is mindful of his duty; but such a one should be ready to suffer all things, even death itself, rather than abandon the cause of God or of the Church.
This is not a day of celebration. This is a day of reparation for the crimes that have flowed from the false beliefs that have produced civil states founded on the lies of religious indifferentism, cultural pluralism, and the "insanity," as Pope Gregory XVI called it, of "civil liberty." Catholic countries in Latin America were poisoned by these Protestant and Masonic lies soon after the fireworks were lit 230 years ago this day. This rot was imported into The Philippines and Cuba and Puerto Rico in the wake of American victory in the Spanish-American War. This rot continues to undermine the Faith in the lives of Catholics in our own country, predisposing them to view the Church through the eyes of the world rather than viewing the world through the eyes of the true Faith.
Indeed, the joys of "civil liberty" include the "right" to sport indecent, immodest "attire" at any time and in any place. We have to instruct our daughter to close her precious eyes so that they will not pollute her immortal soul with images of such behavior at the campground where we are staying at present in rural upstate New York. No one has a right to walk around half-naked. No one has the right to injure their own souls, no less those of innocent children. Ah, yes, welcome to the United States of America, where "civil liberty" pushes the envelope at all times to the extremes of barbarism that would have shamed the Goths.
Error has no rights. While individuals cannot be coerced to believe in the true Faith, they are not free to proselytize their errors in civil society or to flout openly these false beliefs by making a mockery of God's binding laws. Pope Leo XIII noted this in Libertas, 1888:
This kind of liberty, if considered in relation to the State, clearly implies that there is no reason why the State should offer any homage to God, or should desire any public recognition of Him; that no one form of worship is to be preferred to another, but that all stand on an equal footing, no account being taken of the religion of the people, even if they profess the Catholic faith. But, to justify this, it must needs be taken as true that the State has no duties toward God, or that such duties, if they exist, can be abandoned with impunity, both of which assertions are manifestly false. For it cannot be doubted but that, by the will of God, men are united in civil society; whether its component parts be considered; or its form, which implies authority; or the object of its existence; or the abundance of the vast services which it renders to man. God it is who has made man for society, and has placed him in the company of others like himself, so that what was wanting to his nature, and beyond his attainment if left to his own resources, he might obtain by association with others. Wherefore, civil society must acknowledge God as its Founder and Parent, and must obey and reverence His power and authority. justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness -- namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engraven upon it. This religion, therefore, the rulers of the State must preserve and protect, if they would provide -- as they should do -- with prudence and usefulness for the good of the community. For public authority exists for the welfare of those whom it governs; and, although its proximate end is to lead men to the prosperity found in this life, yet, in so doing, it ought not to diminish, but rather to increase, man's capability of attaining to the supreme good in which his everlasting happiness consists: which never can be attained if religion be disregarded.
No man is truly free unless he is liberated from the power of sin and eternal death as a result of his being incorporated by means of the Sacrament of Baptism into the Death and Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
No man is truly free unless is free of all stain of Mortal Sin.
No man is truly free unless is trying to make reparation for his sins, offering up those acts of reparation as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, so as to cooperate with Sanctifying Grace more fully to know an enlightenment of his intellect and a strengthening of his will.
No man is truly free, in other words, unless he is a Catholic who is trying to save his soul by living in the shadow of the Holy Cross and keeping Our Lady company at the foot of the Holy Cross in the Sacrifice of the Mass and before her Divine Son's Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
May we seek at all times the liberation that comes from the shedding of every single drop of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross, clinging ever close to Our Lady, beseeching her that some pope will finally fulfill her Fatima Message and thus liberate us from the errors of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church, which is founded in an acceptance of the errors of Modernity that have enslaved man to himself and his own blind pride.
Keep praying Rosaries, my friends, so that we will one day have a Catholic States of America, enthroned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, wherein all will proclaim with pride and with love:
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, 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 William the Abbot, pray for us.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, 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.