Shifting Sands of Popular Sovereignty
Thomas A. Droleskey
One of the most pernicious influences of the Americanist ethos is the belief that political action is the principal means by which the course of nations is changed for the better. Gargantuan efforts are made to "gear up" for the "next election" immediately after the end of one election cycle. This is happening at present as very well-meaning people are plotting their strategies to keep Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton out of the White House, which she is, at it appears at this writing, going to win handily, and to "regain" control of both houses of the Congress of the United States of America for the Republican Party.
This mania overlooks the simple that that Republicans squandered their political capital as they held the Congressional majority between 1994 and 2006 (albeit with a brief Democrat interregnum in the Senate between July of 2001 and January of 2003) but squander it on profligate federal spending, much of it fueled by the desire of office-holders to curry favor with lobbyists, and to support an unjust, immoral war that has cost so needlessly the lives of Americans in military combat and cost taxpayers billions of dollars as various American corporations, most of whose executives donate mightily to the coffers of both major political parties, benefited from the moral and economic disaster of this unjust war. Moreover, the mania overlooks the fact that the Republican majority voted to endorse one evil after another even though some national "pro-life" organizations, eager to curry favor with the rich and powerful, deceived the average pro-life citizen into thinking that "progress" was being made when it was not.
Moreover, the mania of those who are working feverishly now to try to "win" in 2008 fail to understand the fact that no seemingly clever "strategy" is going to convince the lion's share of American voters, most of whom are relativists and positivists even though they are not aware of this, to agree, for example, that there are no any exceptions whatsoever to the inviolability of innocent human life in the womb or at any stage thereafter until the moment of death. The lion's share of American voters is not going to agree that the Federal government should refrain from funding domestic and international "family planning programs," which distribute pills and devices that kill preborn babies chemically. The lion's share of American voters is not going to accept the fact that parents are the principal educators of their children and that the civil state has no right founded in either the Divine positive law or the natural law to prescribe a curriculum that must be followed under penalty of law. The lion's share of American voters is not going to accept the fact that em byronic stem-cell research, including the cloning of embryonic stem-cells, is wrong and cannot be endorsed by the civil law.
The shifting sands of popular sovereignty in a republic that does not acknowledge the Social Reign of Christ the King as it must be exercised by the Catholic Chuch in matters pertaining to the good of souls provide no foundation for any sort of social or political stability at all. Even if a majority of the electorate was favorably disposed to the moral truths listed above, you see, a subsequent majority can wipe out the decisions made earlier and reverse them entirely, the essence of the concept of the "Social Contract" discussed by John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, among others. Nothing is stable. Nothing is predictable.
Father Denis Fahey explained in his The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World the essence of Rousseau's concept of the Social Contract:
Rousseau carries on the revolution against the order of the world begun by Luther. Luther’s revolt was that of our individuality and sense-life against the exigencies of the supernatural order instituted by God. It was an attempt to remain attached to Christ, while rejecting the order established by Christ for our return to God. Rousseau’s revolt was against the order of natural morality, by the exaltation of the primacy of our sense-life.
The little world of each one of us, our individuality, is a divine person, supremely free and sovereignly independent of all order, natural and supernatural. he state of Liberty or of sovereign independence is the primitive state of man, and the nature of man demands the restoration of that state of liberty. It is to satisfy this-called exigency that ‘Father of modern thought’ invented the famous myth of the Social Contract.
The Social Contract gives birth to a form of association in which each one, while forming a union with all the others, obeys only himself and remains as free as before. Each one is subject to the whole, but he is not subject to any man, there is no man above him. He is absorbed in the common Ego begotten in the pact, so that obeying the law, he obeys only himself. Each citizen votes in order, that by the addition of the number of votes, the general will, expressed by the vote of the majority, is, so to say, a manifestation of the ‘deity’ immanent in the multitude. The People are God (no wonder we have gotten used to writing the word with a capital letter). The law imposed by this ‘deity’ does not need to be just in order to exact obedience. In fact, the majority vote makes or creates right and justice. An adverse majority vote can not only overthrow the directions and commands of the Heads of the Mystical Body on earth, the Pope and the Bishops, but can even deprive the Ten Commandments of all binding force.
To the triumph of those ideals in the modern world, the Masonic denial of original sin and the Rousseauist dogma of the natural goodness of man have contributed not a little. The dogma of natural goodness signifies that man lived originally in a purely natural paradise of happiness and goodness and that, even in our present degraded state, all our instinctive movements are good. We do not need grace, for nature can do for what grace does. In addition, Rousseau holds that this state of happiness and goodness, of perfect justice and innocence, of exemption from servile work and suffering, is natural to man, that is, essentially demanded by our nature. Not only then is original sin nonexistent, not only do we not come into the world as fallen sons of the first Adam, bearing in us the wounds of our fallen nature, is radically anti-natural. Suffering and pain have been introduced by society, civilization and private property. Hence we must get rid of all these and set up a new form of society. We can bet back the state of the Garden of Eden by the efforts of our own nature, without the help of grace. For Rousseau, the introduction of the present form of society, and of private property constitute the real Fall. The setting up of a republic based on his principles will act as a sort of democratic grace which will restore in its entirety our lost heritage. In a world where the clear teaching of the faith of Christ about the supernatural order of the Life of Grace has become obscured, but were men are still vaguely conscious that human nature was once happy, Rousseau’s appeal acts like an urge of homesickness. We need not be astonished, then, apart from the question of Masonic-Revolutionary organization and propaganda, at the sort of delirious enthusiasm which takes possession of men at the thought of a renewal of society. Nor need we wonder that men work for the overthrow of existing government and existing order, in the belief that they are not legitimate forms of society. A State not constructed according to Rosseauist-Masonic principles is not a State ruled by laws. It is a monstrous tyranny, and must be overthrown in the name of "Progress" and of the "onward march of democracy.’ All these influences must be borne in mind as we behold, since 1789, the triumph in one country after another or Rousseauist-Masonic democracy.
To wit, then President William Jefferson Clinton undid on January 22, 1993, Executive Orders that had been issued by former Presidents Ronald Wilson Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush pertaining to pro-life initiatives, some of them admittedly flawed, with several strokes of a pen on the twentieth anniversary of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in the case of Roe v. Wade. Some of these initiatives were reversed by President George Walker Bush in 2001. Some were not.
One of the Executive Orders issued by Clinton in 1993 that still stands was the one that authorized the Food and Drug Administration of the United States Department of Health and Human Services to conduct research into marketing the human pesticide, RU-486, the French abortion pill, resulting in "trials" wherein some women, according to a 1995 news article in The New York Times, got pregnant deliberately so as to attempt to kill their babies by means of this pill. The Food and Drug Administration authorized marketing of RU-486 in September of 2000, prompting then Texas Governor George W. Bush to remark in his October 3, 2000, debate with then Vice President Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., that he would be powerless as president to reverse the decision, especially if it had been determined that the pill was "safe" for women. The pill is still on the market. Thus, not even the shifting sands of the disputed 2000 presidential election nor the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004 resulted in a reversal of Bill Clinton's Executive Order. Evil thus advanced and was institutionalized without a peep from the Republican majority in Congress between 1995 and 2000. It advanced with the endorsement of the "pro-life" presidential candidate in 2000 and without much of a serious challenge during the five years, nine months of his presidency.
Professional politicians are careful to stake out positions as candidates and to draft policies once in office that are ratified by focus-groups chosen by professional pollsters as a result of random sampling models that are said to represent the populace-at-large (or various targeted segments thereof when specific issues demand focus-groups that are drawn from constituencies concerned about a particular issue). George W. Bush and his Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove know that most "pro-life" voters fear the evil more than believe in the power of truth, enabling policies to be pursued that pro-life voters will oppose but can do nothing about lest they be accused of electing the so-called "greater of two evils." All of this is done so as to stake out a position that will be electorally appealing to "independent" voters, who actually decide elections, especially in Congressional districts and statewide elections where partisans of the two major political parties are evenly divided. Policies are not crafted with a view to advancing the common good, certainly not the common good undertaken with a view to advancing man's eternal good. Policies are crafted for the sake of electoral advantage, shifting only when the electorate is perceived to have shifted.
The only basis of a genuine "shift" in an electorate is one that is founded permanently in the solid ground of the Catholic Faith and of the state's confessional recognition of the Catholic Church's right to exercise the Social Reign of Christ the King when the good of souls demands it, not the sands of Protestantism and Judeo-Masonry and all of the other anti-Incarnational ideologies of Modernity. This is not going to happen after over two centuries of succeeding generations of Catholics in this country having been convinced by their shepherds that there is no need to convert the nation to Catholicism, that the founding documents are good enough to permit us to have a "role" in the shaping of policy while we are left unhindered to practice our Faith privately. Conciliarism has reinforced this quintessentially Americanist view of separation of Church and State, deluding believing, pro-life Catholics into thinking that it is indeed by finding some inter-denominational "common ground" in electoral politics that we are going to retard this or that social evil.
Catholics have thus felt free to defy Church teaching, which she has received from her Divine Bridegroom, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and to vote for anyone they please, including candidates who support any bit of evil, including just one "exception" to the inviolability of innocent human life, with complete impunity. After all, they are merely exercising their "rights" as Americans, as the conciliar archbishop of New York, Edward Cardinal Egan, noted in 2001 when explaining Governor George Pataki's support of baby-killing. This has brought to fruition the very Modernist view of the state that was critiqued--and condemned--by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907:
But it is not only within her own household that the Church must come to terms. Besides her relations with those within, she has others with those who are outside. The Church does not occupy the world all by herself; there are other societies in the world., with which she must necessarily have dealings and contact. The rights and duties of the Church towards civil societies must, therefore, be determined, and determined, of course, by her own nature, that, to wit, which the Modernists have already described to us. The rules to be applied in this matter are clearly those which have been laid down for science and faith, though in the latter case the question turned upon the object, while in the present case we have one of ends. In the same way, then, as faith and science are alien to each other by reason of the diversity of their objects, Church and State are strangers by reason of the diversity of their ends, that of the Church being spiritual while that of the State is temporal. Formerly it was possible to subordinate the temporal to the spiritual and to speak of some questions as mixed, conceding to the Church the position of queen and mistress in all such, because the Church was then regarded as having been instituted immediately by God as the author of the supernatural order. But this doctrine is today repudiated alike by philosophers and historians. The state must, therefore, be separated from the Church, and the Catholic from the citizen. Every Catholic, from the fact that he is also a citizen, has the right and the duty to work for the common good in the way he thinks best, without troubling himself about the authority of the Church, without paying any heed to its wishes, its counsels, its orders -- nay, even in spite of its rebukes. For the Church to trace out and prescribe for the citizen any line of action, on any pretext whatsoever, is to be guilty of an abuse of authority, against which one is bound to protest with all one's might. Venerable Brethren, the principles from which these doctrines spring have been solemnly condemned by Our predecessor, Pius VI, in his Apostolic Constitution Auctorem fidei.
A lot of Catholics who have been influenced, albeit unknowingly in most instances, by Americanism and conciliarism's embrace of it are so intent on pushing that boulder up the hill that they fail to recognize that simple demographic and electoral trends do not auger well for "electoral success" on the part of truly Catholic candidates, including those who oppose the false foundations of the Constitution and of the American economy and monetary system. What do I mean? Well, I am glad you asked.
Although it is certainly the case that George W. Bush won the popular vote (which, although not the means by which presidents are elected in this country, is a gauge of popular sentiment) in the State of Florida in 2000, thus giving him a majority of votes in the electoral college, he lost the national popular vote by 543,816 votes to then Vice President Albert Arnold Gore, Jr.. Ralph Nader won over 2.8 million votes, most of which would have gone to Gore. This means that the country was tilting in a decidely leftward direction in 2000, continuing the trend set in the 1992 and 1996 elections that gave us William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, who won the presidency without receiving a majority of popular vote but who won very a very clear plurality of that vote. Control of the United States Senate in the year 2000 was divided evenly, fifty Republicans and fifty Democrats.
This electoral landscape changed in 2004 only because of what happen--whatever happened--on September 11, 2001. Even the 2004 election, however, was. although a clear-cut victory, not a "landslide" for Bush, who won 3,012,171 more popular votes than Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry (or about 2.46% of the popular vote). The recently concluded midterm Congressional elections resulted in a shift back to the Democrats, largely because of the "pro-life" George W. Bush's reckless adventure in Iraq, which has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and destabilized that country while not enhancing the security of this country at all. Although the "large" states distort the number of popular votes received by Democrat Party candidates in the just concluded elections, it is nevertheless interesting that Democrat Party candidates for the United States Senate received 6,585, 716 more votes than Republican Party senatorial candidates, a margin of 53.71% to 42.62%. (All of this assumes that American elections are stacked with voter fraud committed by representatives of both parties, that is.) Does anyone think that the the products of our Judeo-Masonic state-run concentration camps, masquerading as "schools," or from most conciliar Catholic institutions are going to reverse these trends? Perhaps I can find a deed to a bridge, opened in 1883 and designed by John Augustus Roebling, that runs from Brooklyn to lower Manhattan to offer you for a very modest price.
Voters are not through punishing George W. Bush and the Republicans. The White House will be in the control of the Democrats come January 20, 2009, the line of succession going from Bush to Clinton to Bush to Clinton. The country is not with the cause of fundamental justice founded in Truth Incarnate. It will never be with the cause of Christ the King until the day the triumph of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart is made manifest, thus providing us with the truly solid ground of the Catholic States of America. The shifting sands of popular sovereignty force us, as I noted two days ago in The Folly of Playing by the Adversary's Rules, to play by the devil's rules on the devil's turf, convincing Catholics who believe in the totality of the Deposit of Faith that their clever "strategies" will work, electorally and governmentally and legally and constitutionally, to effect "change" for the better. It will not.
Pope Leo XIII provided a brief overview of the how the Catholic Church replaced the ever shifting ground of pre-Christian civil rule with the truths of the true Faith. Writing in Diuturnum Illud, June 29, 1881, Pope Leo noted:
But the Church has always so acted that the Christian form of civil government may not dwell in the minds of men, but that it may be exhibited also in the life and habits of nations. As long as there were at the helm of the States pagan emperors, who were prevented by superstition from rising to that form of imperial government which We have sketched, she studied how to instill into the minds of subjects, immediately on their embracing the Christian institutions, the teaching that they must be desirous of bringing their lives into conformity with them. Therefore, the pastors of souls, after the example of the Apostle Paul, were accustomed to teach the people with the utmost care and diligence "to be subject to princes and powers, to obey at a word," and to pray God for all men and particularly "for kings and all that are in a high station: for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior." And the Christians of old left the most striking proofs of this; for, when they were harassed in a very unjust and cruel way by pagan emperors, they nevertheless at no time omitted to conduct themselves obediently and submissively, so that, in fact, they seemed to vie with each other: those in cruelty, and these in obedience.
This great modesty, this fixed determination to obey, was so well known that it could not be obscured by the calumny and malice of enemies. On this account, those who were going to plead in public before the emperors for any persons bearing the Christian name proved by this argument especially that it was unjust to enact laws against the Christians because they were in the sight of all men exemplary in their bearing according to the laws. Athenagoras thus confidently addresses Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, his son: "You allow us, who commit no evil, yea, who demean ourselves the most piously and justly of all toward God and likewise toward your government, to be driven about, plundered and exiled." In like manner, Tertullian openly praises the Christians because they were the best and surest friends of all to the Empire: "The Christian is the enemy of no one, much less of the emperor, whom he knows to be appointed by God, and whom he must, therefore, of necessity love, reverence and honor, and wish to be preserved together with the whole Roman Empire." Nor did he hesitate to affirm that, within the limits of the Empire, the number of enemies was wont to diminish just in proportion as the number of Christians increased. There is also a remarkable testimony to the same point in the Epistle to Diognetus, which confirms the statement that the Christians at that period were not only in the habit of obeying the laws, but in every office they of their own accord did more, and more perfectly, than they were required to do by the laws. "Christians observe these things which have obtained the sanction of the law, and in the character of their lives they even go beyond the law."
The case, indeed, was different when they were ordered by the edicts of emperors and the threats of praetors to abandon the Christian faith or in any way fail in their duty. At these times, undoubtedly, they preferred to displease men rather than God. Yet, even under these circumstances, they were so far from doing anything seditious or despising the imperial majesty that they took it on themselves only to profess themselves Christians, and declare that they would not in any way alter their faith. But they had no thought of resistance, calmly and joyfully they went to the torture of the rack, in so much that the magnitude of the torments gave place to their magnitude of mind. During the same period the force of Christian principles was observed in like manner in the army. For it was a mark of a Christian soldier to combine the greatest fortitude with the greatest attention to military discipline, and to add to nobility of mind immovable fidelity towards his prince. But, if anything dishonorable was required of him, as, for instance, to break the laws of God, or to turn his sword against innocent disciples of Christ, then, indeed, he refused to execute the orders, yet in such wise that he would rather retire from the army and die for his religion than oppose the public authority by means of sedition and tumult.
But afterward, when Christian rulers were at the head of States, the Church insisted much more on testifying and preaching how much sanctity was inherent in the authority of rulers. Hence, when people thought of princedom, the image of a certain sacred majesty would present itself to their minds, by which they would be impelled to greater reverence and love of rulers. And on this account she wisely provides that kings should commence their reign with the celebration of solemn rites; which, in the Old Testament, was appointed by divine authority.
But from the time when the civil society of men, raised from the ruins of the Roman Empire, gave hope of its future Christian greatness, the Roman Pontiffs, by the institution of the Holy Empire, consecrated the political power in a wonderful manner. Greatly, indeed, was the authority of rulers ennobled; and it is not to be doubted that what was then instituted would always have been a very great gain, both to ecclesiastical and civil society, if princes and peoples had ever looked to the same object as the Church. And, indeed, tranquillity and a sufficient prosperity lasted so long as there was a friendly agreement between these two powers. If the people were turbulent, the Church was at once the mediator for peace. Recalling all to their duty, she subdued the more lawless passions partly by kindness and partly by authority. So, if, in ruling, princes erred in their government, she went to them and, putting before them the rights, needs, and lawful wants of their people, urged them to equity, mercy, and kindness. Whence it was often brought about that the dangers of civil wars and popular tumults were stayed.
On the other hand, the doctrines on political power invented by late writers have already produced great ills amongst men, and it is to be feared that they will cause the very greatest disasters to posterity. For an unwillingness to attribute the right of ruling to God, as its Author, is not less than a willingness to blot out the greatest splendor of political power and to destroy its force. And they who say that this power depends on the will of the people err in opinion first of all; then they place authority on too weak and unstable a foundation. For the popular passions, incited and goaded on by these opinions, will break out more insolently; and, with great harm to the common weal, descend headlong by an easy and smooth road to revolts and to open sedition. In truth, sudden uprisings and the boldest rebellions immediately followed in Germany the so-called Reformation, the authors and leaders of which, by their new doctrines, attacked at the very foundation religious and civil authority; and this with so fearful an outburst of civil war and with such slaughter that there was scarcely any place free from tumult and bloodshed. From this heresy there arose in the last century a false philosophy -- a new right as it is called, and a popular authority, together with an unbridled license which many regard as the only true liberty. Hence we have reached the limit of horrors, to wit, communism, socialism, nihilism, hideous deformities of the civil society of men and almost its ruin. And yet too many attempt to enlarge the scope of these evils, and under the pretext of helping the multitude, already have fanned no small flames of misery. The things we thus mention are neither unknown nor very remote from us.
This, indeed, is all the graver because rulers, in the midst of such threatening dangers, have no remedies sufficient to restore discipline and tranquillity. They supply themselves with the power of laws, and think to coerce, by the severity of their punishment, those who disturb their governments. They are right to a certain extent, but yet should seriously consider that no power of punishment can be so great that it alone can preserve the State. For fear, as St. Thomas admirably teaches, "is a weak foundation; for those who are subdued by fear would, should an occasion arise in which they might hope for immunity, rise more eagerly against their rulers, in proportion to the previous extent of their restraint through fear." And besides, "from too great fear many fall into despair; and despair drives men to attempt boldly to gain what they desire." That these things are so we see from experience. It is therefore necessary to seek a higher and more reliable reason for obedience, and to say explicitly that legal severity cannot be efficacious unless men are led on by duty, and moved by the salutary fear of God. But this is what religion can best ask of them, religion which by its power enters into the souls and bends the very wills of men causing them not only to render obedience to their rulers, but also to show their affection and good will, which is in every society of men the best guardian of safety.
For this reason the Roman Pontiffs are to be regarded as having greatly served the public good, for they have ever endeavored to break the turbulent and restless spirit of innovators, and have often warned men of the danger they are to civil society. In this respect we may worthily recall to mind the declaration of Clement VII to Ferdinand, King of Bohemia and Hungary: "In the cause of faith your own dignity and advantage and that of other rulers is included, since the faith cannot be shaken without your authority being brought down; which has been most clearly shown in several instances." In the same way the supreme forethought and courage of Our predecessors have been shown, especially of Clement XI, Benedict XIV, and Leo XII, who, when in their day the evil of vicious doctrine was more widely spreading and the boldness of the sects was becoming greater, endeavored by their authority to close the door against them. And We Ourselves have several times declared what great dangers are impending, and have pointed out the best ways of warding them off. To princes and other rulers of the State we have offered the protection of religion, and we have exhorted the people to make abundant use of the great benefits which the Church supplies. Our present object is to make rulers understand that this protection, which is stronger than any, is again offered to them; and We earnestly exhort them in our Lord to defend religion, and to consult the interest of their Lord to defend religion, and to consult the interest of their States by giving that liberty to the Church which cannot be taken away without injury and ruin to the commonwealth.
The Church of Christ, indeed, cannot be an object of suspicion to rulers, nor of hatred to the people; for it urges rulers to follow justice, and in nothing to decline from their duty; while at the same time it strengthens and in many ways supports their authority. All things that are of a civil nature the Church acknowledges and declares to be under the power and authority of the ruler; and in things whereof for different reasons the decision belongs both to the sacred and to the civil power, the Church wishes that there should be harmony between the two so that injurious contests may be avoided. As to what regards the people, the Church has been established for the salvation of all men and has ever loved them as a mother. For it is the Church which by the exercise of her charity has given gentleness to the minds of men, kindness to their manners, and justice to their laws. Never opposed to honest liberty, the Church has always detested a tyrant's rule. This custom which the Church has ever had of deserving well of mankind is notably expressed by St. Augustine when he says that "the Church teaches kings to study the welfare of their people, and people to submit to their kings, showing what is due to all: and that to all is due charity and to no one injustice."
It is only the Catholic Faith that can provide stability to men in their individual lives and to nations. Pope Leo noted this in a passage from Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900, that most of you know by now that I am quite fond of quoting:
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.
So great is this struggle of the passions and so serious the dangers involved, that we must either anticipate ultimate ruin or seek for an efficient remedy. It is of course both right and necessary to punish malefactors, to educate the masses, and by legislation to prevent crime in every possible way: but all this is by no means sufficient. The salvation of the nations must be looked for higher. A power greater than human must be called in to teach men's hearts, awaken in them the sense of duty, and make them better. This is the power which once before saved the world from destruction when groaning under much more terrible evils. Once remove all impediments and allow the Christian spirit to revive and grow strong in a nation, and that nation will be healed. The strife between the classes and the masses will die away; mutual rights will be respected. If Christ be listened to, both rich and poor will do their duty. The former will realise that they must observe justice and charity, the latter self-restraint and moderation, if both are to be saved. Domestic life will be firmly established ( by the salutary fear of God as the Lawgiver. In the same way the precepts of the natural law, which dictates respect for lawful authority and obedience to the laws, will exercise their influence over the people. Seditions and conspiracies will cease. Wherever Christianity rules over all without let or hindrance there the order established by Divine Providence is preserved, and both security and prosperity are the happy result. The common welfare, then, urgently demands a return to Him from whom we should never have gone astray; to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,-and this on the part not only of individuals but of society as a whole. We must restore Christ to this His own rightful possession. All elements of the national life must be made to drink in the Life which proceedeth from Him- legislation, political institutions, education, marriage and family life, capital and labour. Everyone must see that the very growth of civilisation which is so ardently desired depends greatly upon this, since it is fed and grows not so much by material wealth and prosperity, as by the spiritual qualities of morality and virtue.
Naming one of the principal culprits of the shifting sands of the anti-Incarnational state of Modernity, Pope Leo XIII assessed in Humanum Genus, the doctrines of Masonry concerning the state and civil society:
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.
Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves. According to this, therefore, all things belong to the free people; power is held by the command or permission of the people, so that, when the popular will changes, rulers may lawfully be deposed and the source of all rights and civil duties is either in the multitude or in the governing authority when this is constituted according to the latest doctrines. It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place.
That these doctrines are equally acceptable to the Freemasons, and that they would wish to constitute States according to this example and model, is too well known to require proof. For some time past they have openly endeavored to bring this about with all their strength and resources; and in this they prepare the way for not a few bolder men who are hurrying on even to worse things, in their endeavor to obtain equality and community of all goods by the destruction of every distinction of rank and property.
What, therefore, sect of the Freemasons is, and what course it pursues, appears sufficiently from the summary We have briefly given. Their chief dogmas are so greatly and manifestly at variance with reason that nothing can be more perverse. To wish to destroy the religion and the Church which God Himself has established, and whose perpetuity He insures by His protection, and to bring back after a lapse of eighteen centuries the manners and customs of the pagans, is signal folly and audacious impiety. Neither is it less horrible nor more tolerable that they should repudiate the benefits which Jesus Christ so mercifully obtained, not only for individuals, but also for the family and for civil society, benefits which, even according to the judgment and testimony of enemies of Christianity, are very great. In this insane and wicked endeavor we may almost see the implacable hatred and spirit of revenge with which Satan himself is inflamed against Jesus Christ. -- So also the studious endeavor of the Freemasons to destroy the chief foundations of justice and honesty, and to co-operate with those who would wish, as if they were mere animals, to do what they please, tends only to the ignominious and disgraceful ruin of the human race.
The evil, too, is increased by the dangers which threaten both domestic and civil society. As We have elsewhere shown, in marriage, according to the belief of almost every nation, there is something sacred and religious; and the law of God has determined that marriages shall not be dissolved. If they are deprived of their sacred character, and made dissoluble, trouble and confusion in the family will be the result, the wife being deprived of her dignity and the children left without protection as to their interests and well being. -- To have in public matters no care for religion, and in the arrangement and administration of civil affairs to have no more regard for God than if He did not exist, is a rashness unknown to the very pagans; for in their heart and soul the notion of a divinity and the need of public religion were so firmly fixed that they would have thought it easier to have city without foundation than a city without God. Human society, indeed for which by nature we are formed, has been constituted by God the Author of nature; and from Him, as from their principle and source, flow in all their strength and permanence the countless benefits with which society abounds. As we are each of us admonished by the very voice of nature to worship God in piety and holiness, as the Giver unto us of life and of all that is good therein, so also and for the same reason, nations and States are bound to worship Him; and therefore it is clear that those who would absolve society from all religious duty act not only unjustly but also with ignorance and folly.
As men are by the will of God born for civil union and society, and as the power to rule is so necessary a bond of society that, if it be taken away, society must at once be broken up, it follows that from Him who is the Author of society has come also the authority to rule; so that whosoever rules, he is the minister of God. Wherefore, as the end and nature of human society so requires, it is right to obey the just commands of lawful authority, as it is right to obey God who ruleth all things; and it is most untrue that the people have it in their power to cast aside their obedience whensoever they please.
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.
Now, from the disturbing errors which We have described the greatest dangers to States are to be feared. For, the fear of God and reverence for divine laws being taken away, the authority of rulers despised, sedition permitted and approved, and the popular passions urged on to lawlessness, with no restraint save that of punishment, a change and overthrow of all things will necessarily follow. Yea, this change and overthrow is deliberately planned and put forward by many associations of communists and socialists; and to their undertakings the sect of Freemasons is not hostile, but greatly favors their designs, and holds in common with them their chief opinions. And if these men do not at once and everywhere endeavor to carry out their extreme views, it is not to be attributed to their teaching and their will, but to the virtue of that divine religion which cannot be destroyed; and also because the sounder part of men, refusing to be enslaved to secret societies, vigorously resist their insane attempts.
Would that all men would judge of the tree by its fruit, and would acknowledge the seed and origin of the evils which press upon us, and of the dangers that are impending! We have to deal with a deceitful and crafty enemy, who, gratifying the ears of people and of princes, has ensnared them by smooth speeches and by adulation. Ingratiating themselves with rulers under a pretense of friendship, the Freemasons have endeavored to make them their allies and powerful helpers for the destruction of the Christian name; and that they might more strongly urge them on, they have, with determined calumny, accused the Church of invidiously contending with rulers in matters that affect their authority and sovereign power. Having, by these artifices, insured their own safety and audacity, they have begun to exercise great weight in the government of States: but nevertheless they are prepared to shake the foundations of empires, to harass the rulers of the State, to accuse, and to cast them out, as often as they appear to govern otherwise than they themselves could have wished. In like manner, they have by flattery deluded the people. Proclaiming with a loud voice liberty and public prosperity, and saying that it was owing to the Church and to sovereigns that the multitude were not drawn out of their unjust servitude and poverty, they have imposed upon the people, and, exciting them by a thirst for novelty, they have urged them to assail both the Church and the civil power. Nevertheless, the expectation of the benefits which was hoped for is greater than the reality; indeed, the common people, more oppressed than they were before, are deprived in their misery of that solace which, if things had been arranged in a Christian manner, they would have had with ease and in abundance. But, whoever strive against the order which Divine Providence has constituted pay usually the penalty of their pride, and meet with affliction and misery where they rashly hoped to find all things prosperous and in conformity with their desires.
The Church, if she directs men to render obedience chiefly and above all to God the sovereign Lord, is wrongly and falsely believed either to be envious of the civil power or to arrogate to herself something of the rights of sovereigns. On the contrary, she teaches that what is rightly due to the civil power must be rendered to it with a conviction and consciousness of duty. In teaching that from God Himself comes the right of ruling, she adds a great dignity to civil authority, and on small help towards obtaining the obedience and good will of the citizens. The friend of peace and sustainer of concord, she embraces all with maternal love, and, intent only upon giving help to mortal man, she teaches that to justice must be joined clemency, equity to authority, and moderation to lawgiving; that no one's right must be violated; that order and public tranquillity are to be maintained and that the poverty of those are in need is, as far as possible, to be relieved by public and private charity. "But for this reason," to use the words of St. Augustine, "men think, or would have it believed, that Christian teaching is not suited to the good of the State; for they wish the State to be founded not on solid virtue, but on the impunity of vice." Knowing these things, both princes and people would act with poitical wisdom, and according to the needs of general safety, if, instead of joining with Freemasons to destroy the Church, they joined with the Church in repelling their attacks.
Although Judeo-Masonry did not have to attack the Catholic Church frontally in the United States as it did in Europe and Latin America (with the full support of Masonic lodges throughout the United States almost immediately after the Constitution was implemented in 1789), given the fact that men like Archbishop John Carroll were very eager to accommodate themselves to the novelty of the state without the true God, its influence upon Catholics has been strong and persistent. This is evidenced by the simple fact that so few Catholics think as Catholics. They think as American politicians think. They think in terms of pragmatic electoral strategies, not in terms of planting the seeds for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen. Some think rather overtly in terms of conciliarism, reveling in what Joseph Ratzinger wrote in Principles of Catholic Theology is the conciliar church's "official reconciliation" with the principles of 1789, something specifically condemned by Pope Leo XIII in Custodi Di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892:
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
No, we must not be deceived into playing the devil's games on his terms on his home turf. We must resolve to turn off the television (and throw it out, please, once and for all) and the talk radio programs so as to be better able to detach ourselves from the artificial "rush" of this or that issue, of this or that moment, of this or that electoral campaign in order to see the world more clearly through the eyes of the true Faith. We must immerse our own families in the solid ground of the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church, fleeing from everything to do with conciliarism as we seek to scale the heights of personal sanctity as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, especially by living penitentially in order to help make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world, doing so with joy and true charity, which wills the eternal good of everyone, at all times. We provide the solid ground for the future of this nation only by living as the slaves of Mary Immaculate on the solid ground of the Catholic Faith as it has been handed down us by the Apostles without the slightest bit of compromise with the errors of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the conciliar church.
There will come a day when this country, the United States of America, will be Catholic. That day will come when the Catholic Church, having been restored to her authentic Tradition, is headed by a true pope who will fulfill Our Lady's Fatima Message and help to bring about the Triumph of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. We may not live to see that day. We can, however, plant a few seeds for that day, doing so with patience and love as we surrender ourselves to Jesus through Mary with each of our words and actions, undertaken so that all hearts will know the solid ground of the Catholic Faith in thoroughly Catholic countries and exclaim as one:
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady, Queen of All Saints, 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 John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.
Saint Andrew Avellino, pray for us.
Saints Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, 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 Jude, 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 Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Charles Borromeo, pray for us.
Saint Robert Bellarmine, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, 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.