"Nothing Which They Can Understand"
Thomas A. Droleskey
Father Frederick Faber's passage, contained in his meditation on the Sixth Dolor of Our Lady in his The Foot of the Cross/The Dolors of Mary, concerning the hatred of heresy that should beat within the heart of a believing Catholic has been quoted on this site quite a lot, most recently in Another Fine Mess. A few sentences are worth repeating again, however, by way of demonstrating that there is indeed nothing we can say to "worldlings" who consider it utter madness to insist that Catholicism is the one and only foundation of personal and social order as we insist that no heresy, including Protestantism, is pleasing to God in the slightest or can serve anything other than the interests of chaos and disorder.
In the judgment of the world, and of worldly Christians, this hatred of heresy is exaggerated, bitter, contrary to moderation, indiscreet, unreasonable, aiming at too much, bigoted, intolerant, narrow, stupid, and immoral. What can we say to defend it? Nothing which they can understand. We had, therefore, better hold our peace. If we understand God, and He understands us, it is not so very hard to go through life suspected, misunderstood and unpopular. The mild self-opinionatedness of the gentle, undiscerning good will also take the world's view and condemn us; for there is a meek-loving positiveness about timid goodness which is far from God, and the instincts of whose charity is more toward those who are less for God, while its timidity is searing enough for harsh judgment. There are conversions where three-quarters of the heart stop outside the Church and only a quarter enters, and heresy can only be hated by an undivided heart. But if it is hard, it has to be borne. A man can hardly have the full use of his senses who is bent on proving to the world, God's enemy, that a thorough-going Catholic hatred of heresy is a right frame of mind. We might as well force a blind man to judge a question of color. Divine love inspheres in us a different circle of life, motive, and principle, which is not only not that of the world, but in direct enmity with it. From a worldly point of view, the craters in the moon are more explicable things than we Christians with our supernatural instinct.
Saint Paul the Apostle makes much the same point in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians:
For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him? So the things also that are of God no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God; that we may know the things that are given us from God. Which things also we speak, not in the learned words of human wisdom; but in the doctrine of the Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot understand, because it is spiritually examined. But the spiritual man judgeth all things; and he himself is judged of no man. (2 Cor. 2: 11-15)
The commentary for the phrase "sensual man" found in the Douay-Rheims Bible (Challoner Version) speaks quite clearly about the fact that those who are steeped in naturalism consider it madness that anyone would insist that there is a truth revealed by God Himself that binds all men at all times in all circumstances without any exception whatsoever:
14 "The sensual man"... The sensual man is either he who is taken up with sensual pleasures, with carnal and worldly affections; or he who measureth divine mysteries by natural reason, sense, and human wisdom only. Now such a man has little or no notion of the things of God. Whereas the spiritual man is he who, in the mysteries of religion, takes not human sense for his guide: but submits his judgment to the decisions of the church, which he is commanded to hear and obey. For Christ hath promised to remain to the end of the world with his church, and to direct her in all things by the Spirit of truth.
One of the things that seem to goad naturalists (as well as many "conservative" and "libertarian" Catholics) and to get them very angry is the insistence that the civil state has an obligation to recognize the true Faith and to pursue the common temporal good in light of man's Last End: the possession of the glory of the Beatific Vision of Father, Son and Holy Ghost in Heaven for all eternity.
Although the counterfeit church of conciliarism has embraced the falsehood of a "healthy secularity," the Catholic Church has taught from time immemorial that those who exercise authority in a civil government have an obligation to subordinate all things that pertain to the good of souls to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church for Its eternal safekeeping and infallible explication. Yes, I well understand that even most Catholics, no less thorough-going naturalists or agnostics or atheists, find this to be utter madness to the point of frothing at the mouth as though they are suffering from hydrophobia.
It is nevertheless the case that the Catholic Church has indeed condemned the separation of Church and State has she has insisted that she has the authority from her Invisible Head and Divine Bridegroom, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to interpose herself with civil officials in grave matters pertaining to the eternal good of souls after--and only after--the exhausting of her Indirect Power of teaching and preaching and exhortation Pope Leo XIII, writing in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885, made it abundantly clear that the civil state has an obligation to subordinate itself in all that pertains to the good of souls to the true religion:
As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him, since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For, men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, no less than individuals, owes gratitude to God who gave it being and maintains it and whose everbounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice-not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion -- it is a public crime to act as though there were no God. So, too, is it a sin for the State not to have care for religion as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, would hold in honor the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favor religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule. For one and all are we destined by our birth and adoption to enjoy, when this frail and fleeting life is ended, a supreme and final good in heaven, and to the attainment of this every endeavor should be directed. Since, then, upon this depends the full and perfect happiness of mankind, the securing of this end should be of all imaginable interests the most urgent. Hence, civil society, established for the common welfare, should not only safeguard the wellbeing of the community, but have also at heart the interests of its individual members, in such mode as not in any way to hinder, but in every manner to render as easy as may be, the possession of that highest and unchangeable good for which all should seek. Wherefore, for this purpose, care must especially be taken to preserve unharmed and unimpeded the religion whereof the practice is the link connecting man with God.
The confessionally Catholic civil state is not a "theocracy," as some naturalists untrained in the ways of Scholasticism contend now and again when they are confronted with the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the Social Reign of Christ the King. The Catholic Church has long taught that those who exercise authority in the civil state have their own sphere of competency and that they are not be holders of ecclesiastical office. The confessionally Catholic state that existed in the Middle Ages of Christendom recognized that there is a relationship between the ecclesiastical and civil authorities that has been established by God Himself. This means that those who govern understand that their pursuit of the common temporal good can in no way threaten the eternal good of the souls of their citizens and that the Church, as mentioned above, has the obligation to remonstrate (encourage, exhort, plead, threaten, if necessary) with civil leaders in grave matters that concern the honor and glory of God and the eternal good of the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Pope Leo XIII explained this relationship in Immortale Dei:
In very truth, Jesus Christ gave to His Apostles unrestrained authority in regard to things sacred, together with the genuine and most true power of making laws, as also with the twofold right of judging and of punishing, which flow from that power. "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth: going therefore teach all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." And in another place: "If he will not hear them, tell the Church." And again: "In readiness to revenge all disobedience." And once more: "That . . . I may not deal more severely according to the power which the Lord hath given me, unto edification and not unto destruction." Hence, it is the Church, and not the State, that is to be man's guide to heaven. It is to the Church that God has assigned the charge of seeing to, and legislating for, all that concerns religion; of teaching all nations; of spreading the Christian faith as widely as possible; in short, of administering freely and without hindrance, in accordance with her own judgment, all matters that fall within its competence.
Now, this authority, perfect in itself, and plainly meant to be unfettered, so long assailed by a philosophy that truckles to the State, the Church, has never ceased to claim for herself and openly to exercise. The Apostles themselves were the first to uphold it, when, being forbidden by the rulers of the synagogue to preach the Gospel, they courageously answered: "We must obey God rather than men." This same authority the holy Fathers of the Church were always careful to maintain by weighty arguments, according as occasion arose, and the Roman Pontiffs have never shrunk from defending it with unbending constancy. Nay, more, princes and all invested with power to rule have themselves approved it, in theory alike and in practice. It cannot be called in question that in the making of treaties, in the transaction of business matters, in the sending and receiving ambassadors, and in the interchange of other kinds of official dealings they have been wont to treat with the Church as with a supreme and legitimate power. And, assuredly, all ought to hold that it was not without a singular disposition of God's providence that this power of the Church was provided with a civil sovereignty as the surest safeguard of her independence.
The Almighty, therefore, has given the charge of the human race to two powers, the ecclesiastical and the civil, the one being set over divine, and the other over human, things. Each in its kind is supreme, each has fixed limits within which it is contained, limits which are defined by the nature and special object of the province of each, so that there is, we may say, an orbit traced out within which the action of each is brought into play by its own native right. But, inasmuch as each of these two powers has authority over the same subjects, and as it might come to pass that one and the same thing -- related differently, but still remaining one and the same thing -- might belong to the jurisdiction and determination of both, therefore God, who foresees all things, and who is the author of these two powers, has marked out the course of each in right correlation to the other. "For the powers that are, are ordained of God." Were this not so, deplorable contentions and conflicts would often arise, and, not infrequently, men, like travelers at the meeting of two roads, would hesitate in anxiety and doubt, not knowing what course to follow. Two powers would be commanding contrary things, and it would be a dereliction of duty to disobey either of the two.
But it would be most repugnant to them to think thus of the wisdom and goodness of God. Even in physical things, albeit of a lower order, the Almighty has so combined the forces and springs of nature with tempered action and wondrous harmony that no one of them clashes with any other, and all of them most fitly and aptly work together for the great purpose of the universe. There must, accordingly, exist between these two powers a certain orderly connection, which may be compared to the union of the soul and body in man. The nature and scope of that connection can be determined only, as We have laid down, by having regard to the nature of each power, and by taking account of the relative excellence and nobleness of their purpose. One of the two has for its proximate and chief object the well-being of this mortal life; the other, the everlasting joys of heaven. Whatever, therefore in things human is of a sacred character, whatever belongs either of its own nature or by reason of the end to which it is referred, to the salvation of souls, or to the worship of God, is subject to the power and judgment of the Church. Whatever is to be ranged under the civil and political order is rightly subject to the civil authority. Jesus Christ has Himself given command that what is Caesar's is to be rendered to Caesar, and that what belongs to God is to be rendered to God.
There are, nevertheless, occasions when another method of concord is available for the sake of peace and liberty: We mean when rulers of the State and the Roman Pontiff come to an understanding touching some special matter. At such times the Church gives signal proof of her motherly love by showing the greatest possible kindliness and indulgence.
Such, then, as We have briefly pointed out, is the Christian organization of civil society; not rashly or fancifully shaped out, but educed from the highest and truest principles, confirmed by natural reason itself.
In such organization of the State there is nothing that can be thought to infringe upon the dignity of rulers, and nothing unbecoming them; nay, so far from degrading the sovereign power in its due rights, it adds to it permanence and luster. Indeed, when more fully pondered, this mutual coordination has a perfection in which all other forms of government are lacking, and from which excellent results would flow, were the several component parts to keep their place and duly discharge the office and work appointed respectively for each. And, doubtless, in the constitution of the State such as We have described, divine and human things are equitably shared; the rights of citizens assured to them, and fenced round by divine, by natural, and by human law; the duties incumbent on each one being wisely marked out, and their fulfillment fittingly insured. In their uncertain and toilsome journey to the everlasting city all see that they have safe guides and helpers on their way, and are conscious that others have charge to protect their persons alike and their possessions, and to obtain or preserve for them everything essential for their present life. Furthermore, domestic society acquires that firmness and solidity so needful to it from the holiness of marriage, one and indissoluble, wherein the rights and duties of husband and wife are controlled with wise justice and equity; due honor is assured to the woman; the authority of the husband is conformed to the pattern afforded by the authority of God; the power of the father is tempered by a due regard for the dignity of the mother and her offspring; and the best possible provision is made for the guardianship, welfare, and education of the children.
In political affairs, and all matters civil, the laws aim at securing the common good, and are not framed according to the delusive caprices and opinions of the mass of the people, but by truth and by justice; the ruling powers are invested with a sacredness more than human, and are withheld from deviating from the path of duty, and from overstepping the bounds of rightful authority; and the obedience is not the servitude of man to man, but submission to the will of God, exercising His sovereignty through the medium of men. Now, this being recognized as undeniable, it is felt that the high office of rulers should be held in respect; that public authority should be constantly and faithfully obeyed; that no act of sedition should be committed; and that the civic order of the commonwealth should be maintained as sacred.
So, also, as to the duties of each one toward his fellow men, mutual forbearance, kindliness, generosity are placed in the ascendant; the man who is at once a citizen and a Christian is not drawn aside by conflicting obligations; and, lastly, the abundant benefits with which the Christian religion, of its very nature, endows even the mortal life of man are acquired for the community and civil society. And this to such an extent that it may be said in sober truth: "The condition of the commonwealth depends on the religion with which God is worshipped; and between one and the other there exists an intimate and abiding connection."
This is no "theocracy," as some poorly-informed naturalists contend at a hasty glance of an explication of the Social Reign of Christ the King. This is the proper relationship and coordination of the true Church and the civil state to assure, as far as is possible in this imperfect, passing, mortal vale of tears, that the common temporal good contributes to and in no way hinder's man's Last End. This Social Reign of Christ the King is not bound to any particular form of government. Holy Mother Church has taught that she can reconcile herself to any legitimate form of government as long as she is recognized as the true religion and that the eternal good of souls is kept in mind as public policy is pursued according to the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law.
This authority of the Catholic Church to exercise the Social Reign of Christ the King is meant to be used judiciously. It was, to be honest, used inconsistently on some occasions during the era of Christendom given the vagaries of fallen human nature. A fundamental respect for this authority, however, is what motivated some of the great rulers of Christendom to aspire to govern their subjects justly according to the Mind of the Divine Redeemer as He has discharged It exclusively in His Catholic Church.
To wit, Saint Edward the Confessor, Saint Henry the Emperor, Saint Stephen of Hungary, Saint Canute of Denmark, Saint Louis IX, King of France, and Saint Casimir of Poland are just some of the civil rulers who have been raised to the altars of Holy Mother Church as exemplars of the Social Reign of Christ the King, men who combined personal virtue with a sense of moderation of rule in the pursuit of justice in the temporal realm as they themselves took seriously the salvation of their own immortal souls. Saint Margaret of Scotland, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, Saint Clotilde of France, and Saint Hedwig of Silesia, the aunt of of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, were among the queens of Christendom who served the good of souls as their husbands reigned as sovereigns. These exemplars of the Social Reign of Christ the King sought to pursue justice in their realms and they sought to treat the poor as they would treat the One to Whom they subordinated their own kingships, Christ the King, Who lived in Holy Poverty throughout his life.
This era of Christendom was summarized very succinctly by Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei:
There was once a time when States were governed by the philosophy of the Gospel. Then it was that the power and divine virtue of Christian wisdom had diffused itself throughout the laws, institutions, and morals of the people, permeating all ranks and relations of civil society. Then, too, the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, established firmly in befitting dignity, flourished everywhere, by the favor of princes and the legitimate protection of magistrates; and Church and State were happily united in concord and friendly interchange of good offices. The State, constituted in this wise, bore fruits important beyond all expectation, whose remembrance is still, and always will be, in renown, witnessed to as they are by countless proofs which can never be blotted out or ever obscured by any craft of any enemies. Christian Europe has subdued barbarous nations, and changed them from a savage to a civilized condition, from superstition to true worship. It victoriously rolled back the tide of Mohammedan conquest; retained the headship of civilization; stood forth in the front rank as the leader and teacher of all, in every branch of national culture; bestowed on the world the gift of true and many-sided liberty; and most wisely founded very numerous institutions for the solace of human suffering. And if we inquire how it was able to bring about so altered a condition of things, the answer is -- beyond all question, in large measure, through religion, under whose auspices so many great undertakings were set on foot, through whose aid they were brought to completion.
Was this era of Christendom free from corruption or scandal or abuse of power? Of course not. Popes Pius XI and XII both noted that Christendom was far from an era of perfection:
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. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922):
The Holy Gospel narrates that when Jesus was crucified "there was darkness over the whole earth" (Matthew xxvii. 45); a terrifying symbol of what happened and what still happens spiritually wherever incredulity, blind and proud of itself, has succeeded in excluding Christ from modern life, especially from public life, and has undermined faith in God as well as faith in Christ. The consequence is that the moral values by which in other times public and private conduct was gauged have fallen into disuse; and the much vaunted civilization of society, which has made ever more rapid progress, withdrawing man, the family and the State from the beneficent and regenerating effects of the idea of God and the teaching of the Church, has caused to reappear, in regions in which for many centuries shone the splendors of Christian civilization, in a manner ever clearer, ever more distinct, ever more distressing, the signs of a corrupt and corrupting paganism: "There was darkness when they crucified Jesus" (Roman Breviary, Good Friday, Response Five).
Many perhaps, while abandoning the teaching of Christ, were not fully conscious of being led astray by a mirage of glittering phrases, which proclaimed such estrangement as an escape from the slavery in which they were before held; nor did they then foresee the bitter consequences of bartering the truth that sets free, for error which enslaves. They did not realize that, in renouncing the infinitely wise and paternal laws of God, and the unifying and elevating doctrines of Christ's love, they were resigning themselves to the whim of a poor, fickle human wisdom; they spoke of progress, when they were going back; of being raised, when they groveled; of arriving at man's estate, when they stooped to servility. They did not perceive the inability of all human effort to replace the law of Christ by anything equal to it; "they became vain in their thoughts" (Romans i. 21).
With the weakening of faith in God and in Jesus Christ, and the darkening in men's minds of the light of moral principles, there disappeared the indispensable foundation of the stability and quiet of that internal and external, private and public order, which alone can support and safeguard the prosperity of States.
It is true that even when Europe had a cohesion of brotherhood through identical ideals gathered from Christian preaching, she was not free from divisions, convulsions and wars which laid her waste; but perhaps they never felt the intense pessimism of today as to the possibility of settling them, for they had then an effective moral sense of the just and of the unjust, of the lawful and of the unlawful, which, by restraining outbreaks of passion, left the way open to an honorable settlement. In Our days, on the contrary, dissensions come not only from the surge of rebellious passion, but also from a deep spiritual crisis which has overthrown the sound principles of private and public morality. (Pope Pius XII, Summi Pontificatus, October 10, 1939.)
Pope Leo XIII, writing in Immortale Dei, explained that it was indeed the Protestant Revolt that started the plunge of the world into darkness as the Social Reign of Christ the King was overthrown:
A similar state of things would certainly have continued had the agreement of the two powers been lasting. More important results even might have been justly looked for, had obedience waited upon the authority, teaching, and counsels of the Church, and had this submission been specially marked by greater and more unswerving loyalty. For that should be regarded in the light of an ever-changeless law which Ivo of Chartres wrote to Pope Paschal II: "When kingdom and priesthood are at one, in complete accord, the world is well ruled, and the Church flourishes, and brings forth abundant fruit. But when they are at variance, not only smaller interests prosper not, but even things of greatest moment fall into deplorable decay."
But that harmful and deplorable passion for innovation which was aroused in the sixteenth century threw first of all into confusion the Christian religion, and next, by natural sequence, invaded the precincts of philosophy, whence it spread amongst all classes of society. From this source, as from a fountain-head, burst forth all those later tenets of unbridled license which, in the midst of the terrible upheavals of the last century, were wildly conceived and boldly proclaimed as the principles and foundation of that new conception of law which was not merely previously unknown, but was at variance on many points with not only the Christian, but even the natural law.
Father Denis Fahey, writing in The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World, elaborated on this essential point that is lost on naturalists and upon so many Catholics who have been influenced, whether or not they realize it, by effects of Protestantism and the naturalism that has flowed forth from Judeo-Masonry as Protestantism degenerated into thousands of warring sects over the centuries:
The tide of revolt which broke away from the Catholic Church had the immediate effect of increasing the power of princes and rulers in Protestant countries. The Anabaptists and the peasants in Germany protested in the name of ‘evangelical liberty,’ but they were crushed. We behold the uprise of national churches, each of which organizes its own particular form of religion, mixture of supernatural and natural elements, as a department of State. The orthodox Church in Russia was also a department of State and as such exposed to the same evils. National life was thus withdrawn from ordered subjection to the Divine Plan and the distinction laid down by our Divine Lord Himself, between the things that are God’s and the things that are Caesar’s, utterly abolished. Given the principle of private judgment or of individual relation with Christ, it was inevitable that the right of every individual to arrange his own form of religion should cause the pendulum to swing from a Caesarinism supreme in Church and State to other concrete expressions of ‘evangelical liberty.’ One current leads to the direction of indefinite multiplication of sects. Pushed to its ultimate conclusion, this would, this would give rise to as many churches as there are individuals, that is, there would not be any church at all. As this is too opposed to man’s social nature, small groups tend to coalesce. The second current tends to the creation of what may be termed broad or multitudinist churches. The exigencies of the national churches are attenuated until they are no longer a burden to anybody. The Church of England is an example of this. As decay in the belief of the Divinity of Jesus continues to increase, the tendency will be to model church organization according to the political theories in favour at the moment. The democratic form of society will be extolled and a ‘Reunion of Christendom,’ for example, will be aimed at, along the lines of the League of Nations. An increasing number of poor bewildered units will, of course, cease to bother about any ecclesiastical organization at all. . . . .
The first [political] result was an enormous increase in the power of the Temporal Rulers, in fact a rebirth of the pagan regime of Imperial Rome. The Spiritual Kingship of Christ, participated in by the Pope and the Bishops of the Catholic Church being no longer acknowledged, authority over spiritual affairs passed to Temporal Rulers. They were thus, in Protestant countries, supposed to share not only in His Temporal Kingship of Christ the King, but also in His spiritual Kingship. As there was no Infallible Guardian of order above the Temporal Rulers, the way was paved for the abuses of State Absolutism. The Protestant oligarchy who ruled England with undisputed sway, from Charles the Second’s time on, and who treated Ireland to the Penal Laws, may be cited, along with that cynical scoundrel, Frederick of Prussia, as typical examples of such rulers. Catholic monarchs, like Louis XIV of France and Joseph II of Austria, by their absolutist tendencies and pretensions to govern the Catholic Church show the influence of the neighboring Protestant countries. Gallicanism and Josephism are merely a revival of Roman paganism.. . .
The rejection by Luther of the visible Catholic Church opened the door, not only to the abuses of absolute rulers, supreme in Church and State, but soon led to an indifference to all ecclesiastical organizations. As faith in the supernatural life of grace and the supernatural order grew dim and waned, the way was made smooth for the acceptance of Freemasonry. The widespread loss of faith in the existence of the supernatural life and the growing ignorance of the meaning of the Redemption permitted the apostles of Illuminism and Masonry to propagate the idea that the true religion of Jesus Christ had never been understood or been corrupted by His disciples, especially by the Church of Rome, the fact being that only a few sages in secret societies down the centuries had kept alive the true teaching of Jesus Christ. According to this ‘authentic’ teaching our Saviour had established a new religion, but had simply restored the religion of the state of nature, the religion of the goodness of human nature when left to itself, freed from the bonds and shackles of society. Jesus Christ died a martyr for liberty, put to death by the rulers and priests. Masons and revolutionary secret societies alone are working for the true salvation of the world. By them shall original sin be done away with and the Garden of Eden restored. But the present organization of society must disappear, by the elimination of the tyranny of priests, the despotism of princes and the slavery resulting from national distinctions, from family life and from private property.”
Father Edward Cahill, writing in The Framework of a Christian State, emphasized these points in his own manner:
The assertion that Protestantism has introduced into Europe, or promoted, democratic freedom or real liberty of conscience is still more patently untrue. It is a fact, indeed, that at the beginning of the revolt Luther's professions were radically democratic. He promised to benefit the people at large by curtailing the power of both Church and State. But he and his followers ended up by supporting an irresponsible despotism such as Europe had not known since the days of the pagan Emperors of Rome.
Inspired by Luther's democratic professions and his denunciations of the "tyranny and oppression" of the rulers, the knights and the lesser nobility of many of the German States, and later on, the peasants rose in open revolt against the princes. When the revolution was crushed in blood (1525) the victorious princes, now without a rival and no longer kept in check by the moderating influence of the Catholic Church, used their augmented power to establish a despotism which they exceeded for their own personal advantage, in opposition to the interests of the people; while Luther, with unscrupulous inconsistency, now proclaimed the doctrine of the unlimited power of rulers.
Soon even the Church in the Protestant States fell completely under the control of the ruling princes, who were thus established as the absolute masters of both Church and State. The wealth of the Church, which hitherto had been the patrimony of the poor; its authority; all the ecclesiastical institutions, including hospitals, schools, homes of refuge, etc., passed into the hands of the kings, princes, and the town magistrates. At the Peace of Augsburg (1555), which ended the first phase of the revolution in Germany, the principle was formally adopted that the prince of each state was free to dictate the religion of each and all of his subjects." (Father Edward Cahill, S.J., The Framework of a Christian State, published in 1932 in Ireland and republished by Roman Catholic books, pp. 93-94.)
The overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt and cemented in place by the rise of Judeo-Masonry has resulted in the omnipotent civil state, an entity that has taken the place of the true Church as it defies the Commandments of God and pursues policies that are inimical to His greater honor and glory and thus to the temporal and eternal good of human beings, who have become but its mere creatures. There is no naturalistic, religiously indifferentist, nondenominational or interdenominational way in which this omnipotent civil state can be "tamed." It is only the restoration of the Catholic City, as Pope Saint Pius X noted in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910, that can serve as the foundation of a true social order:
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.
Those who are steeped in naturalism will not understand or accept these truths. And it is unfortunately, indeed, tragically, the case that those steeped in the errors of conciliarism have great difficulty accepting these truths as they attempt to "reconcile" the Catholic Church's condemnation of such concepts of separation of Church and State and religious liberty with the counterfeit church of conciliarism's embrace of them. The only way in which a Catholic can attempt to disparage the binding nature of the Church's Social Teaching is to claim that the encyclical letters of the true popes were conditioned by the historical circumstances in which they were written, making them "obsolete" today, which is, of course, the completely Modernist view that is taken by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI that was condemned by the [First] Vatican Council and by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominic Gregis, September 8, 1907, and by The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910.
Alas, Pope Pius XI, writing in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, explained that the Social Teaching of his immediate predecessors in the Throne of Saint Peter are forever binding as they were merely reiterations of the Church's perennial teaching contained in the Deposit of Faith Itself:
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.
It is necessary ever to keep in mind these teachings and pronouncements which We have made; it is no less necessary to reawaken that spirit of faith, of supernatural love, and of Christian discipline which alone can bring to these principles correct understanding, and can lead to their observance. This is particularly important in the case of youth, and especially those who aspire to the priesthood, so that in the almost universal confusion in which we live they at least, as the Apostle writes, will not be "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive." (Ephesians iv, 14)
No, there is nothing we can say to naturalists or to their dissenting Catholic friends and enablers that will convince them that the problems of Modernity have been caused, proximately speaking, by the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Judeo-Masonry. All we can do is cleave to the truths of the Holy Faith as the one and only foundation of personal and social order as we take to heart these telling words of Pope Leo XIII, contained in Custodi Di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892, about the dangers of making the kind of "reconciliation" with Modernity that has been made in the past fifty years by the Modernists in the counterfeit church of conciliarism:
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. (Pope Leo XIII, Custodi Di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892.)
We must pray fervently, especially during this penitential season of Advent, for the conversion of all men everywhere to the true Faith as we make reparation for our own many sins that have contributed to the problems we face in the Church and in the world at the present time. It matters not who will criticize us or seek to humiliate us for our fidelity to the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Himself was considered mad by the inhabitants of his own native place, Nazareth:
And he came to Nazareth, where he was brought up: and he went into the synagogue, according to his custom, on the sabbath day; and he rose up to read. And the book of Isaias the prophet was delivered unto him. And as he unfolded the book, he found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. Wherefore he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the contrite of heart, To preach deliverance to the captives, and sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of reward. And when he had folded the book, he restored it to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
And he began to say to them: This day is fulfilled this scripture in your ears. And all gave testimony to him: and they wondered at the words of grace that proceeded from his mouth, and they said: Is not this the son of Joseph? And he said to them: Doubtless you will say to me this similitude: Physician, heal thyself: as great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy own country. And he said: Amen I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country. In truth I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine throughout all the earth.
And to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman.And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger. And they rose up and thrust him out of the city; and they brought him to the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way. (Luke 4: 16-30.)
We must never be discouraged or disheartened because others, be they relatives or friends or total strangers, calumniate us for our defense of Christ the King. It has been this way since the Sanhedrin sought to intimidate the first Pope, Saint Peter, into silence about the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:
And calling in the apostles, after they had scourged them, they charged them that they should not speak at all in the name of Jesus; and they dismissed them.
And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. And every day they ceased not in the temple, and from house to house, to teach and preach Christ Jesus. (Acts 5: 40-42.)
We must, as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit, confident that Our Lady will use whatever merits we earn and give them to the Most Sacred Heart of her Divine Son for the honor and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity and for the good, temporal and eternal, of the souls of all men on the face of this earth. Nothing should matter to us other than being faithful as we seek to be ready at all times to die in states of Sanctifying Grace as members of the Catholic Church and to be known at that moment as a friend of Christ the King in life and at the hour of our deaths.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Bibiana, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?