Trust in Christ the King, Not the Illusion of Secular Salvation
Thomas A. Droleskey
One of the chief goals of the devil is to convince Catholics that it is neither opportune nor “practical” to think and to speak frankly and without apology as Catholics at all times and in all places. The devil wants to mute our Catholic voices in the belief that we can find some non-denominational or inter-denominational way to ameliorate social problems that have their remote origins in Original Sin and their proximate origins in the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King by the Protestant Revolt and the rise of contemporary Freemasonry.
Some mainstream political commentators, including those of a “conservative” bent, analyze developments in politics without ever once mentioning the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, no less making overt references to the necessity of restoring Catholicism as the basis of both personal and social order. No, analyses are offered that wax on and on about the direction of this or that major political party, explaining why the policies of this or that presidential administration have gone astray. These commentators live in the surreal world created by the Modern State’s anti-Catholic foundation, believing that a political ideology or political philosophy must be adhered to as the basis of improving the temporal lot of men and their nations. Prognostications are offered about the direction of this or that policy, whether foreign or domestic, without once publicly acknowledging that the entirety of the welfare of this passing world has been entrusted by Our Lord to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What are these men and women ashamed of? Christ and His doctrine before men?
One of the supreme ironies in this regard is that many of the widely-read conservative commentators who never once make reference to the necessity of converting every man and every nation, including the United States of America, to the Catholic Faith, no less champion the cause of Our Lady’s Fatima Message, are among the first to decry corporate America’s war against the Holy Name of Our Lord, especially by the obliteration of all reference to Christmas in their advertising and in their stores. The disconnect between being outraged over the corporate world’s unrelenting war against Our Lord and against the true Church and the failure to invoke Our Lord as He has revealed Himself through the true Church in political discourse is truly astounding. How can it be that Our Lord has a place in the corporate world but not in the realm of electoral politics and the administration of public policy?
Sadly, even some fairly traditional Catholics are becoming so desensitized to some of the problems that we face in the world today as to think that such abject evils as abortion and the aggressive promotion of the homosexualist agenda are but mere “distractions” and that even non-Catholics who believe that these evils must be “tolerated” under cover of civil law can somehow make “contributions” to the betterment of society. Before this insanity gets out of hand, therefore, it is important to reiterate points here that I have made throughout the past fifteen years or so, especially in the formerly printed journal, Christ or Chaos (1996-2003), now online at www.christorchaos.com, and in Restoring Christ as the King of All Nations. (I should also note that I did write any number of articles in The Wanderer between 1992 and 2000 on the subject of the Social Reign of Christ the King and did address the topic, intimately connected with the restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass as normative in the life of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, in my lectures around the nation during that time).
First, the disorder that we face in the world today is the direct result of the anti-Incarnational errors of Modernity. The modern State, including the United States of America, is founded in the delusional belief that it is possible for men to pursue the common good without confessionally acknowledging the Catholic Church and her right to exercise the Social Reign of Christ the King to serve as an ultimate check upon the abuse of civil power that threatens the eternal welfare of souls.
That is, rejecting the glories of Christendom, wherein rulers understood that there were limits that existed in the Divine positive law and the natural law beyond which they could not legitimate exceed, the scions of the modern State believe that man is self-redemptive, that it is not necessary to have a belief in the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity as Man in His Blessed Mother’s virginal and immaculate womb as indispensable for order in the lives of individuals and their societies. Furthermore, the founders of Modernity and their contemporary apologists do not believe that the Deposit of Faith the God-Man has entrusted solely to the Catholic Church need guide every aspect of their lives, both individually and socially, and that it is not necessary for men to have belief in, access to and cooperation with sanctifying grace in order to be virtuous, no less grow in personal sanctity.
Second, an acceptance of the errors described above leads to social chaos over the course of time. Individual men fall into barbarism when they do not have the true Faith to guide them. Their nations plunge headlong into ruin when they reject the Social Reign of Christ the King and rely upon their own darkened intellects and weakened wills to construct the “better” world.
Although I quoted the passage from Pope Leo XIII’s Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus in a recent article, it is worth reproducing once again to elucidate the points made above:
“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.”
Re-read those last few sentences and apply them to our own circumstances:
“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.”
One does not have to look at the scenes of the carnage in France, which has been savaged in recent weeks by the adherents of what President George W. Bush calls “the religion of peace,” Mohammedanism, to see the truth of that last passage from Pope Leo’s Tametsi.
We only have to look at our own cities and towns and villages to see the daily carnage of over 4,000 preborn human beings by means of surgical abortion alone, no less the thousands more killed by chemical abortifacients, to understand what happens in a world where Christ is not recognized as King and Our Lady is not honored publicly as Queen. Yes, you see, it is precisely the overthrow of Catholicism that is responsible for all of our contemporary problems in the civil realm. And it is the embrace of the errors of Modernity by the Church in her human elements in the past forty years that has made it next-to-impossible, humanly speaking, for Catholics to see the world clearly through the true Faith and to thus oppose secularism and all of its multifaceted evils with Catholicism unalloyed. Catholics who think, for example that there is any political solution to our problems, no less a solution to be found in some non-Catholic third party that rejects the necessity of restoring the Social Reign of Christ the King as it must be exercised by the Catholic Church, have fallen into the same trap as Pope Benedict XVI, who has contended that the Church herself has to reconcile herself to the realities of the “irreversible” revolutionary principles that are the foundation of modern life.
One of the quintessential elements of the heresy of Americanism, a species of Modernism, is that people of divergent religious beliefs can live together in peace and pursue the common good by letting individuals champion their causes in the “marketplace” of ideas and appeal to the majority of citizens for support. This is a lie. Even those of us, myself included, who thought that we could be of service to the Catholicization of our country by running for public office on third parties more or less validated that lie by using a system that is founded in the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic ethos of religious indifferentism. Pope Leo XIII noted in Immortale Dei in 1885 that there is only one consequence of a social system founded on religious indifferentism: atheism:
“To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.”
Pope Leo XIII went on to state in Immortale Dei that a nation that excludes the true Church from its political and civic life is bound for extinction:
“To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from life, from laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals.”
We cannot continue to validate a system that is founded on false principles and leads inexorably to the further degradation of society. We cannot place our trust in partisan politics of any sort, whether it be the two major political parties in the United States or any third party to seek to restore an “order” that will only be known once some pope consecrates Russia to Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart with all of the world’s bishops.
Incredible things occur when we suspend the Faith even for a moment to realize some short-sighted goal.
For example, I was astounded to hear the thoroughly pro-abortion former Mayor of the City of New York, Rudolph William Giuliani, featured in a radio advertisement in support of a public official who has gained a reputation for being “pro-life.” I said to myself as I listened to Giuliani’s endorsement, “Would the pro-life candidate being endorsed by Giuliani have sought the endorsement, say, of David Duke? If not, why seek the endorsement of man who supports baby-killing in all circumstances without restriction? By what stretch of logic can a man who has sought Giuliani’s endorsement in his own campaign turn around and tell others that it would be immoral to support Giuliani if he runs for President of the United States in 2008.” Alas, this is all the fruit of what happens in a world where Christ is not recognized confessionally as King and Our Lady is not honored as Queen. (Oh, parenthetically, the candidate who sought the endorsement of Rudolph Giuliani, Nassau County, New York, District Attorney Denis Dillon, with whom I ran for lieutenant governor of New York on the Right to Life Party line in 1986, lost his bid to win a ninth term in office by a very narrow margin to a pro-abortion Catholic challenger. Seeking the help of one Catholic pro-abort to stave off the challenge of another Catholic pro-abort did not work, proving once again that one should not seek the help of any of the devil’s allies when battling others of the adversary’s friends.)
To realize the simple fact that the electoral realm is closed to us does not mean, however, that remain aloof in the midst of our problems. Not at all. We must be concerned about the fact that 4,000 babies are being killed every day. This is not a social “distraction.” We are living in the midst of an American holocaust. We cannot be blind to the fact that human beings for whom Our Lord shed His Most Precious Blood are being dismembered under cover of law, thereby being deprived of the bliss of the Beatific Vision for all eternity by having their lives snuffed out before their souls could be baptized. We cannot pretend that anyone who supports even one abortion under cover of law or who supports the funding of chemical abortifacients is any way qualified to hold any position of public trust, whether elected of appointed. We must denounce error and falsehood. And we must do what we can to discourage women considering the murder of their children to refrain from doing so, joining with our fellow traditional Catholics to pray the Rosary in front of abortuaries in reparation for the crimes committed there and to pray for the conversion of those who continue to perpetuate the American holocaust.
There are some, even in the traditional Catholic community, who think that such activity constitutes an “activism” that ignores the fact that abortion, as horrible as it is, is merely a symptom of the larger dogmatic crisis facing the Church. However, there will never be a time when the Church will be without dogmatic problems. There will always be men who attempt to distort or pervert the received teaching of the Church from within her highest offices. Just as we do not wait for all social evils to end before we conform civil law to the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law, so is it also the case that we do not wait until the fullness of the Faith is restored to the bosom of the Church in her human elements to perform the Spiritual Works of Mercy. We must instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinner, both of which are done by those who pray the Rosary in front of abortuaries and who write articles and letters-to-the-editor to explain the truths of God’s law. I can tell you from direct personal experience in the thirty years as a classroom teacher of political science between January of 1974 and July of 2003 that some people will listen to you when you speak the truth as Catholics. Some women will choose not to kill their babies. Some people will choose to cooperate with the graces sent to them by Our Lady to convert to the Catholic Faith.
Thus, in the midst of the problems that besiege us at present, we must not have recourse to the heresy of political activism as salvific or remedial. Similarly, we cannot take refuge in the heresy of semi-quietism, withdrawing from the problems that surround us in order to await the day upon which order will be restored following the Triumph of Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. There is work for us to do in the midst of the world in which we live at this point in time. And that work is very simple: to conform our lives fully to the Catholic Faith and to try to plant some seeds for the Catholicization of the world around us.
Pope Leo XIII put it this way in Sapientiae Christianae in 1890:
“The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent.
Amplifying that point, Pope Pius XI wrote in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio in 1922:
“Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state. The Church alone can introduce into society and maintain therein the prestige of a true, sound spiritualism, the spiritualism of Christianity which both from the point of view of truth and of its practical value is quite superior to any exclusively philosophical theory. The Church is the teacher and an example of world good-will, for she is able to inculcate and develop in mankind the ‘true spirit of brotherly love’ (St. Augustine, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae, i, 30) and by raising the public estimation of the value and dignity of the individual's soul help thereby to lift us even unto God.
“Finally, the Church is able to set both public and private life on the road to righteousness by demanding that everything and all men become obedient to God ‘Who beholdeth the heart,’ to His commands, to His laws, to His sanctions. If the teachings of the Church could only penetrate in some such manner as We have described the inner recesses of the consciences of mankind, be they rulers or be they subjects, all eventually would be so apprised of their personal and civic duties and their mutual responsibilities that in a short time ‘Christ would be all, and in all. . . .
“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 is no political party of the left or of the right, whether major or minor, that is going to ameliorate the problems that we face. We must think and speak as Catholics at all times, opposing the evils we face as Catholics, being careful to explain to our fellow Catholics that the errors of the conciliarist era proceed from and feed into the anti-Incarnational errors of Modernity. We must never fall into the Modernist trap that we are clever enough to devise “solutions” to problems that have their origin in fallen human nature and can only be remedied by each man’s cooperation with the graces won for us by the shedding of Our Lord’s Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Keeping faithful to Our Lady’s Fatima requests, may we never fall prey to the errors of the day, never believe that an expedient ignoring of Catholic doctrine can in any way improve the lot of men and their nations.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.
Saint Genevieve, pray for us.
Saint Louis IX, pray for us.
Saint Edward the Confessor, pray for us.
Saint Stephen of Hungary, pray for us.
Saint Henry, pray for us.
Saint Mennas, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.