Valuing Affronts to Christ the King
by Thomas A. Droleskey
There are times when Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's Modernist New Theology is expressed in a language of obfuscation and ambiguity that it takes careful analysis, such as that which has been provided by Mr. James Larson, to cut through the fog that is created whenever the official philosophy of the Catholic Church, Scholasticism, is rejected in favor of the paradoxes and contradictions inherent in the work of Henri du Lubac or Hans Urs von Balthasar or Yves Congar or Karl Rahner or of Ratzinger himself. Thus it is that I am careful when offering my own commentaries on this language of obfuscation and ambiguity, being used at present by Ratzinger/Benedict in his "general audience" addresses on the Epistles of Saint Paul the Apostle, to make them available to competent reviewers before posting, which is why an article written a week ago remains in abeyance at the present time.
There are other times, however, when Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is very clear in his rejection articles contained in the Deposit of Faith and that bind everyone on the face of this earth. He was most clear, for example, when he rejected what he called disparagingly"the ecumenism of the return" when address representatives from Protestantism and Orthodoxy in Cologne, Germany, on Friday, August 19, 2005. He has been most clear in his propagation of a notion of dogmatic truth that has been condemned repeatedly by the authority of the Catholic Church. He has been most clear in his support of religious liberty, and he, Ratzinger/Benedict, has been most vocal in his rejection of the confessionally Catholic state and his unapologetic, unbent embrace of the Judeo-Masonic building-block known as the "separation of Church and State," thereby directly and categorically denying the rights of the Social Reign of Christ the King.
Ratzinger/Benedict made a statement just yesterday, Monday, December 15, 2008, in support of a thesis that was called "absolutely false" by Pope Saint Pius X in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906, as he delivered an address at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See:
ROME, DEC. 15, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Church-state separation is one of the signs of the progress of humanity, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this Saturday when he visited the Italian embassy to the Holy See.
The Church "not only recognizes and respects the distinction and autonomy" of the state vis-à-vis the Church, but also "takes joy in this as one of the great advances of humanity," he said.
This separation is "a fundamental condition for [the Church's] very liberty and the fulfillment of its universal mission of salvation among all peoples," the Holy Father added. "This brief visit is conducive to reaffirming that the Church is very aware that the distinction between what is of Caesar and what is of God belongs to the fundamental structure of Christianity."
At the same time, he added, the Church "feels that it is her duty, following the dictates of social doctrine, developed from what is in conformity with the nature of every human being, to awaken moral and spiritual forces in society, contributing to open up wills to the authentic demands of the good."
The Pontiff continued: "Reclaiming the value that ethical principles have, not only in private life but rather fundamentally for public life, the Church contributes to guaranteeing and promoting the dignity of the person and the common good of society.
"In this sense, the desired cooperation between Church and state is truly fulfilled." (Church-State Separation a Sign of Progress.)
This is both apostasy of the highest order as well as a misrepresentation of the teaching of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church has always maintained that the ecclesiastical and civil realms are autonomous in their respective functions. Such a doctrine is not "new" and it does not represent "one of the great advances of humanity." The Catholic Church has always rendered unto Caesar, that is the civil realm, that which belongs to Caesar. She has also demanded, however, that Caesar give unto God what is His due, starting with a confessional recognition of the Catholic Faith as the true religion and a due submission to her duly constituted and legitimate pontiffs and bishops in all that pertains to the good of souls.
As early as 494 A.D., Pope Gelasius made the proper distinctions between the ecclesiastical and civil realms that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI claims have come to the fore in "recent" times.
Pope Gelasius had indeed spoken of the "two powers" that govern man, indicating that those who hold ecclesiastical office should not hold civil office. Pope Gelasius did not teach, however, that a State must not favor the Catholic Faith, a little fact overlooked by apologists of the conciliar embrace of the separation of Church and State. Indeed, Pope Gelasius wrote Emperor Anastasius in the year 494 A.D. to remind him of the superiority of the spiritual over the temporal, keeping in mind that even in the exercise of purely temporal power the Last End of man must be kept in mind:
There are two powers, august Emperor, by which this world is chiefly ruled, namely, the sacred authority of the priests and the royal power. Of these that of the priests is the more weighty, since they have to render an account for even the kings of men in the divine judgment. You are also aware, dear son, that while you are permitted honorably to rule over human kind, yet in things divine you bow your head humbly before the leaders of the clergy and await from their hands the means of your salvation. In the reception and proper disposition of the heavenly mysteries you recognize that you should be subordinate rather than superior to the religious order, and that in these matters you depend on their judgment rather than wish to force them to follow your will.
If the ministers of religion, recognizing the supremacy granted you from heaven in matters affecting the public order, obey your laws, lest otherwise they might obstruct the course of secular affairs by irrelevant considerations, with what readiness should you not yield them obedience to whom is assigned the dispensing of the sacred mysteries of religion. Accordingly, just as there is no slight danger m the case of the priests if they refrain from speaking when the service of the divinity requires, so there is no little risk for those who disdain - which God forbid -when they should obey. And if it is fitting that the hearts of the faithful should submit to all priests in general who properly administer divine affairs, how much the more is obedience due to the bishop of that see which the Most High ordained to be above all others, and which is consequently dutifully honored by the devotion of the whole Church. (Letter to Emperor Anastasius)
To assert that the "Church" is just now finding the "correct" relationship between herself and Caesar is patently absurd, if I may appropriate a phrase used by other writers from time to time.
The Catholic Church leaves it to the lights of individual men in their own circumstances at any point in history to devise specific forms of government by which to provide for the common temporal good in light of the pursuit of man's Last End. She only insists that those who govern recognize that Christ the King is Sovereign and that there are thus limits that exist in the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law that have been entrusted to her infallible teaching authority, and that these limits circumscribe their own exercise of civil power, which must simultaneously seek to give honor and glory to God as He has revealed Himself to us through His true Church and aid man in the pursuit of his Last End.
The separation of Church and State is not an "advance" for "humanity" but a denial of the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King that started in the Protestant Revolt and resulted in the rise of the absolute monarchs who were beyond the power of the authority of the Catholic Church to discipline for their misrule. This separation of Church and State became the building block of the religiously indifferentist civil state desired by the leaders of Judeo-Masonry to reduce Catholicism to nothing more than one out of many different religions and "ideas" that exist in the context of a pluralism that puts a premium on popular sovereignty, not the Sovereignty of Christ the King.
As has been noted endlessly on this site, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI his defections from the Catholic Faith by making advertence to his condemned notion of dogmatic truth. Anyone who has read his beliefs and has read how they have been condemned by the authority of the [First] Vatican Council and by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907, and in The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910, and by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950, is trying to clothe a naked emperor with dirty rags from Hell rather than to face the truth squarely and honestly that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's beliefs on the nature of truth defy logic even on the natural level as they spit upon the teaching of the Catholic Church. And anyone who can try to read the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas into the mind of a mind who hates Scholasticism is either grossly intellectually dishonest or steeped in delusions of his own making.
For Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI to be correct, the popes of the Catholic Church who denounced the separation of Church and State and insisted on the rights of Christ the King each had to be wrong, each had to be "conditioned" by the historical circumstances in which they wrote. To assert such a blasphemous view of the teaching of the Catholic Church is say that these popes taught as eternally true things that were thought to be true at the time but that were but the result of various subjective "distortions" that these popes did not realize at the time. Such a blasphemous view of the pronouncements of popes makes a mockery of the working of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, in the writings of the Supreme Pontiffs. And such a blasphemous view of Church teaching deals a fatal blow to the conciliarists themselves as their own "teachings" must be conditioned by the same subjective considerations, making them, the "current" "teachings," as transitory as those in the past are said to be.
We know that this is all absurdity and apostasy of the highest order. The Catholic Church has condemned the separation of Church and State consistently. Those who defect from this condemnation and endorse the lie of Martin Luther and of the lodges of Judeo-Masonry are enemies of the Catholic Church and show that they have fallen from the Catholic Faith as a result. It matters not what a putative conciliar "pontiff" attempts to "define" as "officially binding" upon Catholics attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. What causes a person to fall from the Catholic Faith is if they defect even privately from any of her teachings, as Pope Leo XIII made most eminently clear in Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896:
The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. "There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition" (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).
The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore :, drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. "No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic" (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88).
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's constant allocutions in behalf of the "separation of Church and State" are in direct opposition to the following pronouncements of true popes of the Catholic Church:
For how can We tolerate with equanimity that the Catholic religion, which France received in the first ages of the Church, which was confirmed in that very kingdom by the blood of so many most valiant martyrs, which by far the greatest part of the French race professes, and indeed bravely and constantly defended even among the most grave adversities and persecutions and dangers of recent years, and which, finally, that very dynasty to which the designated king belongs both professes and has defended with much zeal - that this Catholic, this most holy religion, We say, should not only not be declared to be the only one in the whole of France supported by the bulwark of the laws and by the authority of the Government, but should even, in the very restoration of the monarchy, be entirely passed over? But a much more grave, and indeed very bitter, sorrow increased in Our heart - a sorrow by which We confess that We were crushed, overwhelmed and torn in two - from the twenty-second article of the constitution in which We saw, not only that "liberty of religion and of conscience" (to use the same words found in the article) were permitted by the force of the constitution, but also that assistance and patronage were promised both to this liberty and also to the ministers of these different forms of "religion". There is certainly no need of many words, in addressing you, to make you fully recognize by how lethal a wound the Catholic religion in France is struck by this article. For when the liberty of all "religions" is indiscriminately asserted, by this very fact truth is confounded with error and the holy and immaculate Spouse of Christ, the Church, outside of which there can be no salvation, is set on a par with the sects of heretics and with Judaic perfidy itself. For when favour and patronage is promised even to the sects of heretics and their ministers, not only their persons, but also their very errors, are tolerated and fostered: a system of errors in which is contained that fatal and never sufficiently to be deplored HERESY which, as St. Augustine says (de Haeresibus, no.72), "asserts that all heretics proceed correctly and tell the truth: which is so absurd that it seems incredible to me." (Pope Pius VII, Post Tam Diuturnas, April 29, 1814.)
Nor can We predict happier times for religion and government from the plans of those who desire vehemently to separate the Church from the state, and to break the mutual concord between temporal authority and the priesthood. It is certain that that concord which always was favorable and beneficial for the sacred and the civil order is feared by the shameless lovers of liberty.
But for the other painful causes We are concerned about, you should recall that certain societies and assemblages seem to draw up a battle line together with the followers of every false religion and cult. They feign piety for religion; but they are driven by a passion for promoting novelties and sedition everywhere. They preach liberty of every sort; they stir up disturbances in sacred and civil affairs, and pluck authority to pieces. (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832.)
But, although we have not omitted often to proscribe and reprobate the chief errors of this kind, yet the cause of the Catholic Church, and the salvation of souls entrusted to us by God, and the welfare of human society itself, altogether demand that we again stir up your pastoral solicitude to exterminate other evil opinions, which spring forth from the said errors as from a fountain. Which false and perverse opinions are on that ground the more to be detested, because they chiefly tend to this, that that salutary influence be impeded and (even) removed, which the Catholic Church, according to the institution and command of her Divine Author, should freely exercise even to the end of the world -- not only over private individuals, but over nations, peoples, and their sovereign princes; and (tend also) to take away that mutual fellowship and concord of counsels between Church and State which has ever proved itself propitious and salutary, both for religious and civil interests.
For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it, dare to teach that "the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones." And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;" and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling." (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, December 8, 1964.)
55. The Church ought to be separated from the .State, and the State from the Church. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852. (Condemned Proposition in The Syllabus of Errors, 1864.)
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.
Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfillment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate. . . .
To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the making of laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error (Pope Leo XII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
There are others, somewhat more moderate though not more consistent, who affirm that the morality of individuals is to be guided by the divine law, but not the morality of the State, for that in public affairs the commands of God may be passed over, and may be entirely disregarded in the framing of laws. Hence follows the fatal theory of the need of separation between Church and State. But the absurdity of such a position is manifest. Nature herself proclaims the necessity of the State providing means and opportunities whereby the community may be enabled to live properly, that is to say, according to the laws of God. For, since God is the source of all goodness and justice, it is absolutely ridiculous that the State should pay no attention to these laws or render them abortive by contrary enactments. Besides, those who are in authority owe it to the commonwealth not only to provide for its external well-being and the conveniences of life, but still more to consult the welfare of men's souls in the wisdom of their legislation. But, for the increase of such benefits, nothing more suitable can be conceived than the laws which have God for their author; and, therefore, they who in their government of the State take no account of these laws abuse political power by causing it to deviate from its proper end and from what nature itself prescribes. And, what is still more important, and what We have more than once pointed out, although the civil authority has not the same proximate end as the spiritual, nor proceeds on the same lines, nevertheless in the exercise of their separate powers they must occasionally meet. For their subjects are the same, and not infrequently they deal with the same objects, though in different ways. Whenever this occurs, since a state of conflict is absurd and manifestly repugnant to the most wise ordinance of God, there must necessarily exist some order or mode of procedure to remove the occasions of difference and contention, and to secure harmony in all things. This harmony has been not inaptly compared to that which exists between the body and the soul for the well-being of both one and the other, the separation of which brings irremediable harm to the body, since it extinguishes its very life (Pope Leo XIII, Libertas, June 20, 1888.)
From this it may clearly be seen what consequences are to be expected from that false pride which, rejecting our Saviour's Kingship, places man at the summit of all things and declares that human nature must rule supreme. And yet, this supreme rule can neither be attained nor even defined. The rule of Jesus Christ derives its form and its power from Divine Love: a holy and orderly charity is both its foundation and its crown. Its necessary consequences are the strict fulfilment of duty, respect of mutual rights, the estimation of the things of heaven above those of earth, the preference of the love of God to all things. But this supremacy of man, which openly rejects Christ, or at least ignores Him, is entirely founded upon selfishness, knowing neither charity nor selfdevotion. Man may indeed be king, through Jesus Christ: but only on condition that he first of all obey God, and diligently seek his rule of life in God's law. By the law of Christ we mean not only the natural precepts of morality and the Ancient Law, all of which Jesus Christ has perfected and crowned by His declaration, explanation and sanction; but also the rest of His doctrine and His own peculiar institutions. Of these the chief is His Church. Indeed whatsoever things Christ has instituted are most fully contained in His Church. Moreover, He willed to perpetuate the office assigned to Him by His Father by means of the ministry of the Church so gloriously founded by Himself. On the one hand He confided to her all the means of men's salvation, on the other He most solemnly commanded men to be subject to her and to obey her diligently, and to follow her even as Himself: "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me" (Luke x, 16). Wherefore the law of Christ must be sought in the Church. Christ is man's "Way"; the Church also is his "Way"-Christ of Himself and by His very nature, the Church by His commission and the communication of His power. Hence all who would find salvation apart from the Church, are led astray and strive in vain.
As with individuals, so with nations. These, too, must necessarily tend to ruin if they go astray from "The Way." The Son of God, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind, is King and Lord of the earth, and holds supreme dominion over men, both individually and collectively. "And He gave Him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve Him" (Daniel vii., 14). "I am appointed King by Him . . . I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession" (Psalm ii., 6, 8). Therefore the law of Christ ought to prevail in human society and be the guide and teacher of public as well as of private life. Since this is so by divine decree, and no man may with impunity contravene it, it is an evil thing for the common weal wherever Christianity does not hold the place that belongs to it. When Jesus Christ is absent, human reason fails, being bereft of its chief protection and light, and the very end is lost sight of, for which, under God's providence, human society has been built up. This end is the obtaining by the members of society of natural good through the aid of civil unity, though always in harmony with the perfect and eternal good which is above nature. But when men's minds are clouded, both rulers and ruled go astray, for they have no safe line to follow nor end to aim at. (Pope Leo XIII, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900.)
Just as Christianity cannot penetrate into the soul without making it better, so it cannot enter into public life without establishing order. With the idea of a God Who governs all, Who is infinitely wise, good, and just, the idea of duty seizes upon the consciences of men. It assuages sorrow, it calms hatred, it engenders heroes. If it has transformed pagan society--and that transformation was a veritable resurrection--for barbarism disappeared in proportion as Christianity extended its sway, so, after the terrible shocks which unbelief has given to the world in our days, it will be able to put that world again on the true road, and bring back to order the states and peoples of modern times. But the return of Christianity will not be efficacious and complete if it does not restore the world to a sincere love of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the Catholic Church Christianity is Incarnate. It identifies itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and which has for Its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Savior, the daughter and the heiress of His Redemption. It has preached the Gospel, and has defended it at the price of its blood, and strong in the Divine assistance and of that immortality which has been promised it, it makes no terms with error but remains faithful to the commands which It has received, to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time, and to protect it in its inviolable integrity. Legitimate dispenser of the teachings of the Gospel It does not reveal itself only as the consoler and Redeemer of souls, but It is still more the internal source of justice and charity, and the propagator as well as the guardian of true liberty, and of that equality which alone is possible here below. In applying the doctrine of its Divine Founder, It maintains a wise equilibrium and marks the true limits between the rights and privileges of society. The equality which it proclaims does not destroy the distinction between the different social classes It keeps them intact, as nature itself demands, in order to oppose the anarchy of reason emancipated from Faith, and abandoned to its own devices. The liberty which it gives in no wise conflicts with the rights of truth, because those rights are superior to the demands of liberty. Not does it infringe upon the rights of justice, because those rights are superior to the claims of mere numbers or power. Nor does it assail the rights of God because they are superior to the rights of humanity. (Pope Leo XIII, A Review of His Pontificate, March 19, 1902.)
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error." (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
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 [according to the Modernists] 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 (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.)
But, on the contrary, by ignoring the laws governing human nature and by breaking the bounds within which they operate, the human person is lead, not toward progress, but towards death. This, nevertheless, is what they want to do with human society; they dream of changing its natural and traditional foundations; they dream of a Future City built on different principles, and they dare to proclaim these more fruitful and more beneficial than the principles upon which the present Christian City rests.
No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker - the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. omnia instaurare in Christo. (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
Let the Princes and Rulers of peoples remember this truth, and let them consider whether it is a prudent and safe idea for governments or for states to separate themselves from the holy religion of Jesus Christ, from which their authority receives such strength and support. Let them consider again and again, whether it is a measure of political wisdom to seek to divorce the teaching of the Gospel and of the Church from the ruling of a country and from the public education of the young. Sad experience proves that human authority fails where religion is set aside. The fate of our first parent after the Fall is wont to come also upon nations. As in his case, no sooner had his will turned from God than his unchained passions rejected the sway of the will; so, too, when the rulers of nations despise divine authority, in their turn the people are wont to despise their human authority. There remains, of course, the expedient of using force to repress popular risings; but what is the result? Force can repress the body, but it cannot repress the souls of men. (Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914.)
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.)
Every true and lasting reform has ultimately sprung from the sanctity of men who were driven by the love of God and of men. Generous, ready to stand to attention to any call from God, yet confident in themselves because confident in their vocation, they grew to the size of beacons and reformers. On the other hand, any reformatory zeal, which instead of springing from personal purity, flashes out of passion, has produced unrest instead of light, destruction instead of construction, and more than once set up evils worse than those it was out to remedy. No doubt "the Spirit breatheth where he will" (John iii. 8): "of stones He is able to raise men to prepare the way to his designs" (Matt. iii. 9). He chooses the instruments of His will according to His own plans, not those of men. But the Founder of the Church, who breathed her into existence at Pentecost, cannot disown the foundations as He laid them. Whoever is moved by the spirit of God, spontaneously adopts both outwardly and inwardly, the true attitude toward the Church, this sacred fruit from the tree of the cross, this gift from the Spirit of God, bestowed on Pentecost day to an erratic world.
In your country [Germany under the Third Reich], Venerable Brethren, voices are swelling into a chorus urging people to leave the Church, and among the leaders there is more than one whose official position is intended to create the impression that this infidelity to Christ the King constitutes a signal and meritorious act of loyalty to the modern State. Secret and open measures of intimidation, the threat of economic and civic disabilities, bear on the loyalty of certain classes of Catholic functionaries, a pressure which violates every human right and dignity. Our wholehearted paternal sympathy goes out to those who must pay so dearly for their loyalty to Christ and the Church; but directly the highest interests are at stake, with the alternative of spiritual loss, there is but one alternative left, that of heroism. If the oppressor offers one the Judas bargain of apostasy he can only, at the cost of every worldly sacrifice, answer with Our Lord: "Begone, Satan! For it is written: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Matt. iv. 10). And turning to the Church, he shall say: "Thou, my mother since my infancy, the solace of my life and advocate at my death, may my tongue cleave to my palate if, yielding to worldly promises or threats, I betray the vows of my baptism." As to those who imagine that they can reconcile exterior infidelity to one and the same Church, let them hear Our Lord's warning: -- "He that shall deny me before men shall be denied before the angels of God" (Luke xii. 9).(Pope Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1937.)
This is, of course, just a partial listing of the constant teaching (God cannot contradict Himself, ladies and gentlemen; the Catholic Church can never be spotted by any taint of error or contradiction) of the Catholic Church on the absolute necessity of the civil state recognizing her as the true religion and of the Social Reign of Christ the King that such a recognition makes possible. Sure, as has been noted on this site most repeatedly, Holy Mother Church must make concessions to the actual realities of a given situation where she is favored with the protection of the law, doing so without ever conceding the nonexistent validity of the separation of Church and State and without ever once relenting in teaching her children what the correct doctrine is and exhorting them to plant the seeds for the restoration of the Catholic City. Pope Leo XIII made this point clear in Longiqua Oceani, January 6, 1895:
Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed His Church, in virtue of which unless men or circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself; but she would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority. (Pope Leo XIII, Longiqua Oceani.)
A system of civil governance that fosters conditions that are inimical to man's last end is bound to degenerate over the course of time into a such a state of lawlessness that a "state religion" will be imposed by the brute force of the the civil state, namely, that of statism itself, the worship of the state and of its leaders as omniscient and omnipotent. The antidote to this is not found in any naturalistic philosophy, such as libertarianism or conservatism, but in Catholicism alone. There is no way--as in no way--to retard the evils caused by the separation of Church and State wrought by Protestantism and Judeo-Masonry and their actual, concrete expressions in the American and French Revolutions except by planting the seeds for the conversion of men and their nations to the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI believes in none of this. "His" way represents that of "progress." Past "popes" were imprisoned by the limits of the "paradigms" in which they found themselves, unable to "escape" from a mentality of living in what he, Ratzinger/Benedict, has called "the Catholic ghetto." Let me repeat so as to make myself understood very clearly: Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is an enemy of the Social Reign of Christ the King and thus of the good of the very civil states he believes have been "helped" by the separation of Church and State as social order is dependent upon the the state of the souls of individual human beings, who must strive at all times to cooperate with Sanctifying Grace to live in accord with the binding precepts found in Deposit of Faith.
Pope Pius XI, writing in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925, exhorted us to be soldiers in army of Christ the King:
Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ." Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved." He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. "For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?" If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation."
When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience. It is for this reason that St. Paul, while bidding wives revere Christ in their husbands, and slaves respect Christ in their masters, warns them to give obedience to them not as men, but as the vicegerents of Christ; for it is not meet that men redeemed by Christ should serve their fellow-men. "You are bought with a price; be not made the bond-slaves of men." If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, and they will make laws and administer them, having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be a stable peace and tranquillity, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent. Men will see in their king or in their rulers men like themselves, perhaps unworthy or open to criticism, but they will not on that account refuse obedience if they see reflected in them the authority of Christ God and Man. Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished.
If the kingdom of Christ, then, receives, as it should, all nations under its way, there seems no reason why we should despair of seeing that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth -- he who came to reconcile all things, who came not to be ministered unto but to minister, who, though Lord of all, gave himself to us as a model of humility, and with his principal law united the precept of charity; who said also: "My yoke is sweet and my burden light." Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ! "Then at length," to use the words addressed by our predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years ago to the bishops of the Universal Church, "then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father". . . .
If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society. We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God's religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences. We lamented these in the Encyclical Ubi arcano; we lament them today: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace; that insatiable greed which is so often hidden under a pretense of public spirit and patriotism, and gives rise to so many private quarrels; a blind and immoderate selfishness, making men seek nothing but their own comfort and advantage, and measure everything by these; no peace in the home, because men have forgotten or neglect their duty; the unity and stability of the family undermined; society in a word, shaken to its foundations and on the way to ruin. We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.
Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them. While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights.
We should consider our privilege to run the risk of whatever calumnies may come our way for being steadfast in behalf of the cause of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen, offering to the Most Sacred Heart of Our King all of our sufferings and humiliations for reminding everyone, including the apostates in the counterfeit church of conciliarism who believe are the latter-day apostles of the heresy of Americanism, that He must rule over men and nations, making this offering to Him through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother.
The little Baby Whose Nativity we will celebrate in but nine days from now came in anonymity and poverty in Bethlehem. Yet He was adored as the King of Kings, the King of every nation on the face of this earth, as Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., made clear in his book, The Light of the World:
The feast of the Epiphany is and should be a feast which is celebrated in honor of Christ the divine King. We pay our homage to Him by our prayers and by our celebration of the liturgy, which we share with the Church in heaven and on earth. We pay homage to Him by submitting our intelligence to faith, to His words, to His teachings, to His gospel, to His Church and its dogmas. And even if all others were to desert Him, yet we should remain true to Him and cry out with St. Peter, "Thou has the words of eternal life" (John 7:69). We honor Him by subjecting our wills to His ordinances and commands, to His sacraments, and to His Church. "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them; he it is that loveth Me" (John 14:21). "He that heareth you [the Church], heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me" (Luke 10:16). We pay homage to Him by subjecting ourselves to His operation in us. We honor Him by our resignation and subjection in afflictions and humiliations, by our inner purification and mortifications, and by the duties and obligations of our everyday life. We glorify Him by not attributing to ourselves, to our own good will, to our own efforts or strength, the good works which we perform. With the Apostle we humbly acknowledge, "For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish, according to His own good will" (Phil. 2:13). With grateful hearts we cry out, "Not to us, O lord, not to us; but to Thy name give glory" (Ps. 113:1) We honor Him by applying to our lives the admonition of the Epistle of today's Mass: by making our bodies and souls a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God. We glorify Him if we transform ourselves by His spirit and shape our lives according to the pattern He has given us, doing only that which is in accord with the will of God and is perfect and pleasing to Him, living in union with Holy Mother the Church.
Christ is King. That is the theme of the feast of Epiphany. "And we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). This glory Christ has won through His victory on the cross. For this reason neither the Church nor the members of the mystical body can achieve glory without a sacrifice and a cross. "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and so to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:26).
Therefore we bring our bodies and all that we posses sand present them as an offering on the altar. With Stephen we share the passion of Christ, and thus we go to attain our glory in the Offertory, in the Consecration, and in Holy Communion.
We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, on the altar. This we are to do not only at the time of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but at every hour of the day and in the ordinary affairs of everyday life. We must not be conformed to the manner of this world, but we must reform ourselves through the renewal of our spirit. We are thus to prove what is the good and the acceptable, the perfect will of God. We are to live in the consciousness that all of us together form one living organism, the body of Christ (in the community of the Church), and that we are members of one another and of Christ our Lord (Epistle). We live the life of the whole, the life of the community, the life of the mystical body of Christ. That is the Lord's command. "This is My commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12).
May Christ be King of my whole being, of my thoughts, my will, my affections and of my desires. May His will be done in all things. This is my ambition when I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Him today. I consecrate myself to Him, and through Him and in Him I consecrate myself to the Father. (Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., The Light of the World, B. Herder Book Company, St. Louis, Missouri, 1953, pp. 146-148.)
As the late
Louis-Edouard-François-Desiré Cardinal Pie explained succinctly in the Nineteenth Century:
"To say Jesus Christ is the God of individuals and of families, but not the God of peoples and of societies, is to say that He is not God. To say that Christianity is the law of individual man and is not the law of collective man, is to say that Christianity is not divine. To say that the Church is the judge of private morality, but has nothing to do with public and political morality, is to say that the Church is not divine." (Selected Writings of Cardinal Pie,
Catholic Action Resource Center.)
It was because of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's repeated embrace of the separation of Church and State in the first year of his "pontificate" in 2005 that I began to take seriously the simple truth that no one who defects from the Catholic Faith is a member of the Church and is thus excluded from holding ecclesiastical office legitimately. Such a person has fallen from the Faith by virtue of violating the Divine Positive Law just as surely as one who commits a Mortal Sin falls from a State of Grace. No "declaration" is need for the latter. No "declaration" is needed for the former. We can use the reason that God gave us to see that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has embraced a concept, separation of Church and State, that has been condemned by pope after pope. Those who want to make this complex or opaque are doing the cause of truth and the rights of Christ the King a grave disservice.
Must Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI believe in the confessionally Catholic State as a matter contained within the Catholic Faith from which no one may dissent legitimately. To use a catch-phrase popularized by a woman who should be at home raising her children, "You betcha!"
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) (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)
Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me"; and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)
Assuming false and unjust premises, they are not afraid to take a position which would confine within a narrow scope the supreme teaching authority of the Church, claiming that there are certain questions -- such as those which concern social and economic matters -- in which Catholics may ignore the teachings and the directives of this Apostolic See.
This opinion -- it seems entirely unnecessary to demonstrate its existence -- is utterly false and full of error because, as We declared a few years ago to a special meeting of Our Venerable Brethren in the episcopacy:
"The power of the Church is in no sense limited to so-called 'strictly religious matters'; but the whole matter of the natural law, its institution, interpretation and application, in so far as the moral aspect is concerned, are within its power.
"By God's appointment the observance of the natural law concerns the way by which man must strive toward his supernatural end. The Church shows the way and is the guide and guardian of men with respect to their supernatural end."
This truth had already been wisely explained by Our Predecessor St. Pius X in his Encyclical Letter Singulari quadam of September 24, 1912, in which he made this statement: "All actions of a Christian man so far as they are morally either good or bad -- that is, so far as they agree with or are contrary to the natural and divine law -- fall under the judgment and jurisdiction of the Church."
Moreover, even when those who arbitrarily set and defend these narrow limits profess a desire to obey the Roman Pontiff with regard to truths to be believed, and to observe what they call ecclesiastical directives, they proceed with such boldness that they refuse to obey the precise and definite prescriptions of the Holy See. They protest that these refer to political affairs because of a hidden meaning by the author, as if these prescriptions took their origin from some secret conspiracy against their own nation. (Pope Pius XII, Ad Apostolorum Principis, June 29, 1958.) The Binding Nature of Catholic Social Teaching
The [First] Vatican Council defined solemnly that we must adhere to the teaching that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entrusted to His Catholic Church in exactly the same manner as it has been understood and taught. No legitimate "development of doctrine" squarely contradicts anything taught by the Church in the past. This had never happened prior to 1958, and it cannot happen in the Catholic Church at any time as her true pontiffs are preserved from doing so:
'The doctrine of the faith which God has revealed has not been proposed to human intelligences to be perfected by them as if it were a philosophical system, but as a divine deposit entrusted to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence also that sense of the sacred dogmas is to be perpetually retained which our Holy Mother the Church has once declared, nor is this sense ever to be abandoned on plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth." Nor is the development of our knowledge, even concerning the faith, barred by this pronouncement; on the contrary, it is supported and maintained. For the same Council continues: "Let intelligence and science and wisdom, therefore, increase and progress abundantly and vigorously in individuals, and in the mass, in the believer and in the whole Church, throughout the ages and the centuries -- but only in its own kind, that is, according to the same dogma, the same sense, the same acceptation.
Although the apostasies of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI are saddening and a cause for us to pray Rosaries of reparation to appease the Sacred Heart of Jesus by the offerings we make to this font Divine Mercy through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Christmas joy is about to be here. A Saviour has been born for us. He has redeemed us on the wood of the Holy Cross by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood. He has given us a spotless Blessed Mother to help us to get home to Heaven and a spotless Holy Mother Church to preserve His teaching inviolate until His Second Coming in glory at the end of time on the Last Day to judge the Living and the Dead.
We only need to be about the business of remaining faithful to Christ the King and to Mary our Immaculate Queen as we cleave to true bishops and true priests in the catacombs who make no concessions at all to conciliarism or the nonexistent legitimacy of its "shepherds" who value affronts to Christ the King that have been devised by the devil and made manifest in the world as a result of the Protestant Revolt and the forces of Judeo-Masonry. May our zeal in promoting the Rights of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen help to make reparation for what we owe Our King for our sins as we renew every day our total consecration to Him through His Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart and pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint 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 Eusebius of Vercelli, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints