Thursday, January 06, 2011

Masonry is a Mortal Sin

One of my parishioners rides a mobility scooter to daily Mass on the front of it is a basket and on the basket is a large sign which declares it has been donated by Brighton Freemasons. Some Catholics foam at the mouth over the Masons, seeing every Lodge as the centre of diabolioc ritual, others remembering the Masonic French government of the early 20th which emptied France  of contemplative religious and imposed so many anti-Catholic laws, see them as spending their time trying to destroy the Church, well that might be the nature of continental masonry but I doubt very much whether that extends beyond the English Channel or even to the US.

The Catholic Church however does forbid Catholics to be Freemasons and says that those who are may not receive Holy Communion. Fr Z republishes the letter of the CDF stating this. Masonry in the English speaking world is reasonably benign, it is involved in charitable work, it is really a men's club. In England there was a time when the prohibition on joining the Masons was dropped and a great number Catholics joined Lodges, that was a mistake, hence the letter from the CDF stating nothing had changed. There seems to be some anecdotal evidence that priests had pressure put on them by bishops to downplay the Masonic issue and to give the sacraments to them.

In Engand the Masons had a rather tight grip on the judiciary, the police, local government, the armed forces, some trade unnions and a great number of businesses as well as the CofE. Catholics debarred themselves from promotion by not joining. The apparent relaxation in the 70s meant that Catholics could integrate with the institutions that held power and that those who had already joined the Masons could be welcomed back to the sacraments.

The major problem for the Catholic Church is not that 30+ degree Masons worship Beelzebub or that the Grand Orient seeks to assasinate the Pope, I somehow doubt they do, but simply that Masonry teaches that fraternity, universal brotherhood trumps every other card in the pack. The basic doctrine of Masonry is that whether we are a Jew, Christian or Muslim, we are all brothers, that these differences are unimportant. Utimately of course that means that the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as theWay to Salvation is undermined and unimportant, that being Catholic or CofE or Baptist or Methodist is immaterial, all are as good as one another. Masonry is ultimately about enshrining Enlightenment values which we see in the American and French Constitutions which are so antipathetic to the Catholic Faith: I mean values like "All men are created equal", which are now so much part of modern thinking.

Many "Traditional" Catholics in Europe see the documents of Vatican II and the Post-Concilliar Church as being infected by Masonry, for them secret handshakes are everywhere but it is not the direct influence of Free Masonry that has entered the Church but rather the values of the Enlightenment and Masonry that have touched our culture, we can't escape them.

Disinterest and the corruption scandals of the 80s and 90s have loosened the grip of Masonic Lodges on the police, judiciary and local government but who in practice is against such concepts as  liberty, equality, fraternity?

The truth is that we Catholics are, or at least we would want to qualify such sound bites, as in fact society does in practice. All men are not created equal, some have special needs others have unique abilities, some will cost society dearly, some will contribute greatly.

44 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

I think ALL men *are* created equal in that we are all children of God and are all sinners. I don't hold with 'caste.' Fake or otherwise. Needs and talents are one thing - they are different in each person to be sure - but that's not what the phrase means.

Michael Petek said...

The general reason why English Freemasonry is condemned is that it is a religion different from and alien to Christianity, in that it denies the fact of divine revelation.

Specific reasons for condemnation are the following.

(1) A man enters and is promoted within Freemasonry on swearing oaths not taken on the initiative of a public authority.

(2) The oaths impose an obligation of secrecy which binds "without evasion, equivocation or mental reservation of any kind", so that a Freemason is barred from disclosing Masonic secrets to public authorities even when, by law, he must answer.

(3) In swearing a Masonic oath, a man invokes penalties upon himself consisting in the forfeiture of his own honour and reputation and in his own gruesome murder.

Years ago the United Grand Lodge of England removed from the ritual the express invocation of the blood penalties in the oaths of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, though they remain in place in the higher degrees and in the Holy Royal Arch, as well as in the EA, FC and MM oaths in other Masonic jurisdictions recognised by the UGLE as regular.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Gosh, where have you been Karen?

I don't think I am equal to Christ or the Blessed Virgin. Nor do I think I am equal to anyone else, you and I are unique!

I am not sure what the phrase does mean but it springs from the Enlightenment thinking of those who framed the US constitution. How many were Free Masons?

I presume one of things it meant was that there was no Divine Right of Kings or other Divine Right under the US Constition.

Michael Petek said...

What is meant by "all men are created equal" is that everyone, whether male or female, is equal to all others, because all are equally persons and of the same human species.

That is why you cannot enslave anyone (treating him as a thing), neither can anyone have authority over another except as the minister of God or as a parent has authority over a child.

The reason I am not equal to Christ is that He is a Divine Person. Our Lady and I are equals in the order of nature, but not in the order of grace, nor in the order of rank, because she is a Queen Mother and I am a commoner.

shadowlands said...

I'v eread Fr Z's post but I didn't really gleam about it being a mortal sin, until I read your post title. Put like that, there's no arguing about it really. One just doesn't join. Or if you are in it, get out of it.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Michael,
You are not equal to OL in nature, you are not capable of giving birth.
Even that "skill" is part of her nature.

Just another mad Catholic said...

Dear Father

So you would have as all bowing and scraping to our corrupt Royal Family, the heredetary peers who've done nothing for the social good, or perhaps our new betters the Bankers who have indirectly caused thousands of PEOPLE to lose their jobs.

Perhaps The Marquis St. Evrémonde had every right to run over Gaspard's little girl, perhaps he had every right to Rape Mdme Defarge's sister and kill her family.

I know you are a wonderful Priest Father but compared to this post Liberté, égalité, fraternité sound very attractive.

In the last 150 years we have had only one Pope from a manifestly poor background St Pius X, many of our cannonized saints came from the nobility and until V2 many Priests would write books telling poor people; many of whom only wanted to be sure of where their next meal was coming from that it was worldly to improve their social conditions and rise above their 'natural station in life'.

It is the primarally the fault of bad Catholics that Communism and the French Revolution were able to do the damage to the faith that they did.

Jack

Michael Petek said...

This is a rather odd twist Father!

What is the difference between me and a woman? I cannot conceive!

Men and women are not interchangeable in what concerns the transmission of life. They are strictly complementary.

Where two are strictly complementary to one another, it is impossible to speak of inequality between them, because there is no common standard by which inequality can be measured.

St Joseph was, during his marriage, superior to Mary beause he was her husband. The private-law relations between them under Jewish law also reflected inequality, though in a modern legal system they would not.

Michael Petek said...

The difference between the Royal Family and the bankers is that Her Majesty is the bearer of legitimate civil authority in the United Kingdom and is, as such, God's minister.

The bankers are not.

Augustine said...

I (for once) agree with Karen. I think any honest Christian anthropology recognises that human beings, of whatever country, colour or creed, bear the image of God. It may be muddied by sin or untruth, but mankind is inherently God-orientated. Therein lies the fundamental equality of the human race: we are all made by and for a God who loves us.

Victor said...

May I also point out that neither the Wojtyla family (officer) nor the Ratzinger family (policeman) were particularly "well off"? Also, the Roncally family were peasants, and with 12 children probably not the richest ones.

Just another mad Catholic said...

Michael petek

So by virtue of the fact that Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born into a particular family means that I have to bow and scrape to her? Although it is not my primary reason for emmigrating to the United States where the PEOPLE decide who will GOVERN them it is a very good reason.

I have no King but Christ and no Queen but Mary

Michael Petek said...

No, Just a Mad Catholic. By virtue of the fact that Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is identified by law as the Sovereign, it is necessary to give to her what belongs to Caesar.

That applies to you as a British citizen, unless you have exchanged that status for US citizenship.

shadowlands said...

J.A.M.C said:

'I have no King but Christ and no Queen but Mary'

St Thomas More wouldn't like to hear you say that! I hope he isn't one of your patron saints!

Fr Ray Blake said...

JAMC,
No I wouldn't but I think that "Equality" is something which Catholics should want to qualify.

The Rule of St Benedict warns Abbots not to treat all monks equally but all according to their needs.

Under the law we might be equal but "the law tends to cut the heads off those who stand tall and stretch painfully beyond measure those of diminuitive stature".

Catholics have a more complex notion of personhood.

shane said...

Monarchs in Britain are nothing more than figureheads. Both the American and French revolutions were based on the philosophical principles established by the Glorious Revolution anyway. Montesquieu and Voltaire became Freemasons in London, and wrote books lauding Britain and its constitution. (William of Orange was also a freemason)

shane said...

"The Rule of St Benedict warns Abbots not to treat all monks equally but all according to their needs."

Karl Marx said the same thing ;)

Michael Petek said...

Look at the example of ancient Israel. "We have no King but David" was not well taken by the people of the northern Kingdom (Ephraim) after the land was divided soon after Solomon's death.

Ephraim had its own local kings, who were anointed with balsam oil like ours, but the successors of David, though bereft of temporal power outside Judah, held a spiritual kingship over the whole land, which was imparted by the anointing with the shemen ha-mishchah - the holy anointing oil of myrrh, made by Moses and forbidden for any use save the anointing of the priests, the Tabernacle and its furnishing.

Only later was it used to anoint the sons of David. Only Solomon and Joash were anointed in person and thereby made holy, since the anointing was effective also for their sons for all generations ever after.

So in a sense, the Davidic King was locally the King of Kings.

Just another mad Catholic said...

Shadowlands

No I don't seek the intercession of St Thomas More on a regular basis.

Michael Petak

Although I am not yet an American citizen I hope to emmigrate in April, and begin the natrulization process ASAP.

All

The stance of (hopfully) the human element of Holy Mother Church for much of its history has been to cement the existing power structures by doing its best to prevent ANY social mobility.

Right up until Vatican 2 Priests and theologens wrote books exorting the poor not to try and improve their social situation (apparently this was considered worldley) when often thesep peole simply wanted to be sure that there would BE a next meal; also these clergy having no children of their own forgot that money is needed to raise children - many children had to work from a young age thus getting little or no education = no chance of social mobility.

The clergy were essentially composed of surpluss sons from the ruling class and Religious orders were demarcated according to social class where if you came from a poor family you had to spend more time doing manual labour than the choir monks/nuns who by virtue of their education were 'destined' to spend more time in prayer and study, lay brothers/sisters also had no voting privillages in their orders/congregations and wore a different habbit - getting rid of these distinctions was one of the good things to come out of Vatican 2.

All of this corruption in the Church was a boon to communism with its 'pyramid of capitalism' with the caption beside the ecclesiastics reading we fool you - not that I agree with the caption but unless the human element of the Church concerns itself with helping people to help themselves then it will remain open to these charges.

To those who read this blog who agree with me and find themselves ostracised as a result I say this 'Illegitimis non carborundum est' - don't let the bastards grind you down.

Jack

Just another mad Catholic said...

Shadowlands

I do not seek the intercession of St Thomas More on anything approaching a regular basis

Michael petak

I hope to emmigrate to America in April and begin the natrulization process ASAP

All

One of the things I find troubling amongst Traditionally minded Catholics is a fantasy that 'we all had it better in the middle ages', let me disuade you of that notion.

In the Middle ages the human element of the Church did its best to prevent ANY social mobility.

The Clergy largely consisted of the surpluss sons of the nobility, Religious orders were demarcated by class - lay brothers/sisters by virtue of their lack of education were destined to spend more time doing manual labour whilst the choir monks/nuns by virtue of noble birth and education were 'destined' to spend more time in prayer/study.

Also as the clergy were drawn from the nobility so were the Popes (how on earth Guissepe Sarto/St Pius X became Pope is anyones guess) not auspicious for an Office whose first holder was an illiterate fisherman

(continued below)

Just another mad Catholic said...

(part 2)

Also from the Middle ages even to the beggining of the last century Clergy would write pamphlets telling the poor that it was sinful, worldly and prideful to want to improve thier lot in life (often times these people just wanted to know that there would BE a next meal and to know where it would come from) whilst expecting them to follow the Church's teaching on Marriage and procreation. If a couple was faithful then often the Children had to work from an early age which resulted in their education suffering = no chance of social mobility


It was these conditions that resulted in poor people supporting such disasters such as Communism that alledged that the clergy 'fooled them' so that the Rich could live off the labour of the poor.

RJ said...

I would have thought that the equality in question was that of equal dignity as human beings.

Historically, I believe it is incorrect to say that priests were by and large the surplus sons of the nobility - at least in the Catholic Church. This may be true of the Anglicans - at least one gets that impression from the novels of Jane Austen.

RJ said...

J.A.M.C
Re: social mobility: how do you account for the large number of Irish priests who gave such great service to the Church, here and worldwide? Were they noblemen?

gemoftheocean said...

Jack, Just so! You grasp exactly the distinction of being a citizen as opposed to a subject. You'll make a fine one.

and Shane: Please don't even begin to think the French and American Revolutions have anything in common with the character of people who advocated them. While on the surface some things may appear the same, Americans were never 'peasants.' From the beginnings American colonials always had a large measure of self-governance and order, and the average colonial fighting for independence was a God fearing man. Not some illiterate French peasant who'd become anti-clerical due to bourgeoise 'surplus sons of the wealthier classes' sniffing at their ordour or finally 'having enough' of the aristocracy and Jean-next-door-who-has-too much so lop off his head. American revolutionaries NEVER resented people of wealth, because they theyselves wanted to take the chance to build their own wealth. Such attitudes still persist to this day. They average American wouldn't dream of 'keying someone's car because having something nice and I don't.' You won't see 'youth' annually burning the cars of the wealthy just because they might be a 'have not.'

shadowlands said...

'To those who read this blog who agree with me and find themselves ostracised as a result I say this 'Illegitimis non carborundum est' - don't let the bastards grind you down. '

I feel ostracised by you, not this blog. I also find it insulting being called a bastard, especially by someone I believe, is/has been considering the priesthood? Perhaps you are off that idea now and starting a new political party, for traitors of the Crown?

God save the Queen!

Michael Petek said...

Just another Mad catholic, let me tell you a story or two.

The social encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII and his successors were definitely at odds with what many clergy said about social mobility.

For all that, my father grew up on the farm in pre-war Yugoslavia. He went to Ljubljana to learn his trade as a chef and made a living out of it for the rest of his life. I inherited the house he bought.

As for social mobility in the Middle Ages, Cardinal Wolsey was the son of a butcher whose education was paid for by the guild his father belonged to.

nickbris said...

Is it not the Church's answer to the Combination Act.

Deesis said...

"All men are created equal". No doubt it is cultural dogma of Americans. But what does it mean?
When a person goes before a Court many things come into play. Has the person offended before? What was the reason for the offence? Even if a person is sane. Why because justice depends upon subjective and objective considerations. Take The differences in personality and physical attributes even DNA. We are all variations on a theme.
God loves us individually. He loves mankind generally. He does not love us the same...but individually and he loves the sinner but especially the holy. Where in all of this would the phrase "created equal" be in any way meaningful or even true? It would not be true.
Freemasonry and its teachings influences America even now.
Some of those who have commented really find it easy to dismiss the past with little fables that overlook modern fables which they are used to support.
American Patriotism is just not love of a beautiful land. It is the revenge of NonComformist Protestants shipped from England. People angry at the Crown for various reasons. Protestant materialism met 17th century rationalism to produce a justification to own slaves/ not pay taxes to offset the cost of Indian/French Wars. Anti Catholicism and rationalism have come together in the USA and Freemasonry is its club.
Now I would remind Americans that our ancestors do what you do. They lived in a world where there were social norms and "noblesse oblige". It was a Catholic world full of people like you and me. They were not Martians.
Abandon those American myths and accept Freemasonry is in its beliefs and ceremonies anti Christian. To be a Freemason is a mortal sin and a Catholic who is Freemason may not take Communion.

RJ said...

I don't see anything wrong with submission to legitimate authority, whether this is vested in the queen or in an elected official. (I seem to remember St Paul recommending it) It's not demeaning; rather it is an expression of maturity - a recognition of the need for someone to take care of the common good. Rebelliousness is for teenagers.

It does not affect the equality of dignity between the Queen/president and the subject/citizen.

Here's some references from the Catechism:
equal personal dignity of man and woman, 369, 2334
equality of dignity of God's children, 872, 1468, 1692, 1698, 1934

Just another mad Catholic said...

Shadowlands

I am not considering forming a new political party although I am in the process of writing a draft constitution for a Catholic Republic which someday may be taken up by an enterprising young man or women (its essentially a modified U.S constitution).

The only people I would refer to as 'bastards' are those who would deny a man his GOD given right to use the talents which God has given him to be faithful to his vocation in life, to provide for his family and if he so wishes to improve his social condition, also the idea of Taxation without representation is abhorrant.

Micheal Petek

Wow I'm supprised that Cardinal Wolsey actually made it, with all the patronage, corruption and sleaze of 16th Century England

Michael Petek said...

The Masonic concept of the equality of all men is a canard.

Women aren't allowed to join. Submission to the Grand Master and other officers of the Lodge is mandatory.

And you can hardly speak of equality within the hierarchy of degrees in which a Freemason may not disclose the secrets of his degree to non-Masons or to Masons not yet initiated into it.

Mitch said...

As an American I wish we had a monarchy of some sorts. It would be a truer form of governance then our sham plutocracy, which is all a democracy like ours can become when it reaches such a size that our congressional representatives have on average several hundred thousand constituents.

I would recommend this three part article on why a Catholic could/should be a monarchist.
Part 1: http://distributistreview.com/mag/2010/11/why-i-am-a-monarchist/
Part 2: http://distributistreview.com/mag/2010/12/a-real-catholic-monarchy/
Part 3: http://distributistreview.com/mag/2010/12/monarchy-and-the-american-constitution/

JAMC I feel as though you are falling for the trap of classical liberalism and its beast capitalism. So many conservative Catholics here in the US do. They choose Locke, Kant and Adam Smith over the perennial philosophies of our Christian Heritage stemming from Augustine, Aquinas, Chrysostom, etc.

Jonathan said...

Thank you Father for accurately passing on the Church's teaching about this subject. Your use of the term mortal sin reminds me to take my religión seriously. This is exactly the kind of practical teaching that helps people lead more christian lives: it leaves you with no doubt as to what you actually need to do. So much better than something along the lines of, "freemasonry is bad but if you cross your fingers behind your back at least you are starting to recognise that bloodcurdling oaths promising to murder your brothers might not respect their right to life."

Just another mad Catholic said...

Mitch

My economic views make many pure libertarians quake with fear.

I am a liberal: a liberal that would have all men freed from opression by those who have an vested interest in keeping them opressed, a liberal that would give everyman the opportunity to read Augastine and Aquinas, a liberal who holds human life to be sacred from conception until natural death, a liberal who doesnt think that daddy's occupation should determine your future.

I also hold that it is a moral obligation of the State to recognize, defend and promote the one True Faith and that it must legislate accordingly.

gemoftheocean said...

'American Patriotism is just not love of a beautiful land. It is the revenge of NonComformist Protestants shipped from England. People angry at the Crown for various reasons. Protestant materialism met 17th century rationalism to produce a justification to own slaves/ not pay taxes to offset the cost of Indian/French Wars. Anti Catholicism and rationalism have come together in the USA and Freemasonry is its club.'

This couldn't be more wrong. Protestants weren't 'shipped' from England, for starters. Anyone, other than slaves came to America by their own free will. We ain't Aussies. And we did not merely come from protestant England, but all over Europe. [and later, other areas too] It doesn't take an English Freemason to influence a German peasant who has natural talent and aspirations to better his own life to own his own prosperous farm or manufacturing trade to seek a better life elsewhere rather than have to touch his cap and bow to some eurotrash princeling of the manor.
[And frankly, that is why Americans think their country is the best on earth - because deep in their hearts they know that somewhere else wasn't good enough for their ancestors who came over, otherwise they wouldn't have left in the first place.] You may end up rich, or poor or middle class - but you will not have to accept the dictum from some 'upper caste' person telling you 'your place.' Goodbye to all that.

The average American could give a crap for 'free masonry.' It would be seen as little more than excuse for a bunch of guys to get together and drink beer.

'All men are created equal' means 'BEFORE THE LAW' the same laws are to apply to all. That doesn't mean one doesn't take extenuating circumstances into account.

I find it humorous that so many EuroPEONS think that other people have a 'naturally higher standing' than they do. Why on earth, for instance, should a so-called 'peer of the realm' be able to be tried by a 'court of his peers' if he is a titled person, instead of by Joe Bloggs. Oh, right. 'Joe Bloggs' isn't GOOD enough...just another peasant.

I'm not defending free masonry, but any means, but the so called threat, is frankly, overstated. [And one has to be consciously be aware that something is a grave sin in order to commit one.]

shane said...

I was actually recently reading the Jesuit intellectual Conor O'Mahony's Argument Defending The Right Of The Kingdom Of Ireland, written in 1645. It is the first theoretical case for Irish independence. O'Mahony's candidate for king of Ireland was Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill but he also mentioned a republic as an alternative.

I think John Médaille's point(at the Distributist Review blog Mitch cites) about monarchy being some sort of bulwark of the people against obligarchy is simplistic. Italy's monarchy was so tarnished by its acquiescence to Mussolini that Italians voted to abolish it in a referendum in 1946. In Spain, King Alfonso's support for Primo de Rivera's dictatorship resulted in his own downfall. In Britain, Edward VIII was well known to have been strongly pro-Nazi and after his abdication was exiled by Churchill to the Bahamas for fear he would conspire with the Germans.

From a Catholic perspective republicanism is a perfectly legitimate constitutional order. As far back as 1801 Pius VII signed a concordat with Napoleon which mandated all priests to pray for the [then] Republic in the liturgy and for all bishops to swear an oath of allegiance to the state.

But as Pope Leo XIII pointed out, even under a legitimate form of government, it still happens that legislation repugnant to Catholic principles will be passed. Such was the case in ancien regime Europe too: eg. the Gallician Louis XIV and his attempts to effectively nationalize the Church for his own ends, Louis XV expelling the Jesuits and confiscating their property, Emperor Joseph II suppressing monasteries and selling off Church property, etc.

Give me Adenauer's West Germany, De Valera's Ireland or 1950s Christian Democrat Italy any day.

shane said...

Leo XIII, Au milieu des sollicitudes (16/02/1892); Encyclical on Church and State in France

14. Various political governments have succeeded one another in France during the last century, each having its own distinctive form: the Empire, the Monarchy, and the Republic. By giving one's self up to abstractions, one could at length conclude which is the best of these forms, considered in themselves; and in all truth it may be affirmed that each of them is good, provided it lead straight to its end - that is to say, to the common good for which social authority is constituted; and finally, it may be added that, from a relative point of view, such and such a form of government may be preferable because of being better adapted to the character and customs of such or such a nation. In this order of speculative ideas, Catholics, like all other citizens, are free to prefer one form of government to another precisely because no one of these social forms is, in itself, opposed to the principles of sound reason nor to the maxims of Christian doctrine. What amply justifies the wisdom of the Church is that in her relations with political powers she makes abstraction of the forms which differentiate them and treats with them concerning the great religious interests of nations, knowing that hers is the duty to undertake their tutelage above all other interests. Our preceding Encyclicals have already exposed these principles, but it was nevertheless necessary to recall them for the development of the subject which occupies us to-day.

[...]19. Consequently, when new governments representing this immutable power are constituted, their acceptance is not only permissible but even obligatory, being imposed by the need of the social good which has made and which upholds them. This is all the more imperative because an insurrection stirs up hatred among citizens, provokes civil war, and may throw a nation into chaos and anarchy, and this great duty of respect and dependence will endure as Tong as the exigencies of the common good shall demand it, since this good is, after God, the first sand last law in society.

20. Thus the wisdom of the Church explains itself in the maintenance of her relations with the numerous governments which have succeeded one another in France in less than a century, each change causing violent shocks. Such a line of conduct would be the surest and most salutary for all Frenchmen in their civil relations with the republic, which is the actual government of their nation. Far be it from them to encourage the political dissensions which divide them; all their efforts should be combined to preserve and elevate the moral greatness of their native land.

21. But a difficulty presents itself. "This Republic," it is said, "is animated by such anti Christian sentiments that honest men, Catholics particularly, could not conscientiously accept it." This, more than anything else, has given rise to dissensions, and in fact aggravated them.... These regrettable differences would have been avoided if the very considerable distinction between constituted power and legislation had been carefully kept in view. In so much does legislation differ from political power and its form, that under a system of government most excellent in form legislation could be detestable; while quite the opposite under a regime most imperfect in form, might be found excellent legislation. It were an easy task to prove this truth, history in hand, but what would be the use? All are convinced of it. And who, better than the Church, is in position to know it - she who has striven to maintain habitual relations with all political governments? Assuredly she, better than any other power, could tell the consolation or sorrow occasioned her by the laws of the various governments by which nations have been ruled from the Roman Empire down to the present.

shane said...

Leo XIII, Au milieu des sollicitudes (16/02/1892); Encyclical on Church and State in France

14. Various political governments have succeeded one another in France during the last century, each having its own distinctive form: the Empire, the Monarchy, and the Republic. By giving one's self up to abstractions, one could at length conclude which is the best of these forms, considered in themselves; and in all truth it may be affirmed that each of them is good, provided it lead straight to its end - that is to say, to the common good for which social authority is constituted; and finally, it may be added that, from a relative point of view, such and such a form of government may be preferable because of being better adapted to the character and customs of such or such a nation. In this order of speculative ideas, Catholics, like all other citizens, are free to prefer one form of government to another precisely because no one of these social forms is, in itself, opposed to the principles of sound reason nor to the maxims of Christian doctrine. What amply justifies the wisdom of the Church is that in her relations with political powers she makes abstraction of the forms which differentiate them and treats with them concerning the great religious interests of nations, knowing that hers is the duty to undertake their tutelage above all other interests. Our preceding Encyclicals have already exposed these principles, but it was nevertheless necessary to recall them for the development of the subject which occupies us to-day.

[...]19. Consequently, when new governments representing this immutable power are constituted, their acceptance is not only permissible but even obligatory, being imposed by the need of the social good which has made and which upholds them. This is all the more imperative because an insurrection stirs up hatred among citizens, provokes civil war, and may throw a nation into chaos and anarchy, and this great duty of respect and dependence will endure as Tong as the exigencies of the common good shall demand it, since this good is, after God, the first sand last law in society.

20. Thus the wisdom of the Church explains itself in the maintenance of her relations with the numerous governments which have succeeded one another in France in less than a century, each change causing violent shocks. Such a line of conduct would be the surest and most salutary for all Frenchmen in their civil relations with the republic, which is the actual government of their nation. Far be it from them to encourage the political dissensions which divide them; all their efforts should be combined to preserve and elevate the moral greatness of their native land.

21. But a difficulty presents itself. "This Republic," it is said, "is animated by such anti Christian sentiments that honest men, Catholics particularly, could not conscientiously accept it." This, more than anything else, has given rise to dissensions, and in fact aggravated them.... These regrettable differences would have been avoided if the very considerable distinction between constituted power and legislation had been carefully kept in view. In so much does legislation differ from political power and its form, that under a system of government most excellent in form legislation could be detestable; while quite the opposite under a regime most imperfect in form, might be found excellent legislation. It were an easy task to prove this truth, history in hand, but what would be the use? All are convinced of it. And who, better than the Church, is in position to know it - she who has striven to maintain habitual relations with all political governments? Assuredly she, better than any other power, could tell the consolation or sorrow occasioned her by the laws of the various governments by which nations have been ruled from the Roman Empire down to the present.

shane said...

Leo XIII, Au milieu des sollicitudes (16/02/1892); Encyclical on Church and State in France

14. Various political governments have succeeded one another in France during the last century, each having its own distinctive form: the Empire, the Monarchy, and the Republic. By giving one's self up to abstractions, one could at length conclude which is the best of these forms, considered in themselves; and in all truth it may be affirmed that each of them is good, provided it lead straight to its end - that is to say, to the common good for which social authority is constituted; and finally, it may be added that, from a relative point of view, such and such a form of government may be preferable because of being better adapted to the character and customs of such or such a nation. In this order of speculative ideas, Catholics, like all other citizens, are free to prefer one form of government to another precisely because no one of these social forms is, in itself, opposed to the principles of sound reason nor to the maxims of Christian doctrine. What amply justifies the wisdom of the Church is that in her relations with political powers she makes abstraction of the forms which differentiate them and treats with them concerning the great religious interests of nations, knowing that hers is the duty to undertake their tutelage above all other interests. Our preceding Encyclicals have already exposed these principles, but it was nevertheless necessary to recall them for the development of the subject which occupies us to-day.

[...]19. Consequently, when new governments representing this immutable power are constituted, their acceptance is not only permissible but even obligatory, being imposed by the need of the social good which has made and which upholds them. This is all the more imperative because an insurrection stirs up hatred among citizens, provokes civil war, and may throw a nation into chaos and anarchy, and this great duty of respect and dependence will endure as Tong as the exigencies of the common good shall demand it, since this good is, after God, the first sand last law in society.

20. Thus the wisdom of the Church explains itself in the maintenance of her relations with the numerous governments which have succeeded one another in France in less than a century, each change causing violent shocks. Such a line of conduct would be the surest and most salutary for all Frenchmen in their civil relations with the republic, which is the actual government of their nation. Far be it from them to encourage the political dissensions which divide them; all their efforts should be combined to preserve and elevate the moral greatness of their native land.

21. But a difficulty presents itself. "This Republic," it is said, "is animated by such anti Christian sentiments that honest men, Catholics particularly, could not conscientiously accept it." This, more than anything else, has given rise to dissensions, and in fact aggravated them.... These regrettable differences would have been avoided if the very considerable distinction between constituted power and legislation had been carefully kept in view. In so much does legislation differ from political power and its form, that under a system of government most excellent in form legislation could be detestable; while quite the opposite under a regime most imperfect in form, might be found excellent legislation. It were an easy task to prove this truth, history in hand, but what would be the use? All are convinced of it. And who, better than the Church, is in position to know it - she who has striven to maintain habitual relations with all political governments? Assuredly she, better than any other power, could tell the consolation or sorrow occasioned her by the laws of the various governments by which nations have been ruled from the Roman Empire down to the present.

shane said...

Leo XIII, Au milieu des sollicitudes (16/02/1892); Encyclical on Church and State in France

14. Various political governments have succeeded one another in France during the last century, each having its own distinctive form: the Empire, the Monarchy, and the Republic. By giving one's self up to abstractions, one could at length conclude which is the best of these forms, considered in themselves; and in all truth it may be affirmed that each of them is good, provided it lead straight to its end - that is to say, to the common good for which social authority is constituted; and finally, it may be added that, from a relative point of view, such and such a form of government may be preferable because of being better adapted to the character and customs of such or such a nation. In this order of speculative ideas, Catholics, like all other citizens, are free to prefer one form of government to another precisely because no one of these social forms is, in itself, opposed to the principles of sound reason nor to the maxims of Christian doctrine. What amply justifies the wisdom of the Church is that in her relations with political powers she makes abstraction of the forms which differentiate them and treats with them concerning the great religious interests of nations, knowing that hers is the duty to undertake their tutelage above all other interests. Our preceding Encyclicals have already exposed these principles, but it was nevertheless necessary to recall them for the development of the subject which occupies us to-day.

[...]19. Consequently, when new governments representing this immutable power are constituted, their acceptance is not only permissible but even obligatory, being imposed by the need of the social good which has made and which upholds them. This is all the more imperative because an insurrection stirs up hatred among citizens, provokes civil war, and may throw a nation into chaos and anarchy, and this great duty of respect and dependence will endure as Tong as the exigencies of the common good shall demand it, since this good is, after God, the first sand last law in society.

20. Thus the wisdom of the Church explains itself in the maintenance of her relations with the numerous governments which have succeeded one another in France in less than a century, each change causing violent shocks. Such a line of conduct would be the surest and most salutary for all Frenchmen in their civil relations with the republic, which is the actual government of their nation. Far be it from them to encourage the political dissensions which divide them; all their efforts should be combined to preserve and elevate the moral greatness of their native land.

21. But a difficulty presents itself. "This Republic," it is said, "is animated by such anti Christian sentiments that honest men, Catholics particularly, could not conscientiously accept it." This, more than anything else, has given rise to dissensions, and in fact aggravated them.... These regrettable differences would have been avoided if the very considerable distinction between constituted power and legislation had been carefully kept in view. In so much does legislation differ from political power and its form, that under a system of government most excellent in form legislation could be detestable; while quite the opposite under a regime most imperfect in form, might be found excellent legislation. It were an easy task to prove this truth, history in hand, but what would be the use? All are convinced of it. And who, better than the Church, is in position to know it - she who has striven to maintain habitual relations with all political governments? Assuredly she, better than any other power, could tell the consolation or sorrow occasioned her by the laws of the various governments by which nations have been ruled from the Roman Empire down to the present.

shane said...

Pius XI, Dilectissima nobis (03/06/1933); Encyclical on the oppression of the Church in the Spanish Republic

3. Nor can it be believed that Our words are inspired by sentiments of aversion to the new [republican] form of government or other purely political changes which recently have transpired in Spain. Universally known is the fact that the Catholic Church is never bound to one form of government more than to another, provided the Divine rights of God and of Christian consciences are safe. She does not find any difficulty in adapting herself to various civil institutions, be they monarchic or republican, aristocratic or democratic. Speaking only of recent facts, evident proof of this lies in the numerous Concordats and agreements concluded in later years, and in the diplomatic relations the Holy See has established with different States in which, following the Great War, monarchic governments were succeeded by republican forms. Nor have these new republics ever had to suffer in their institutions and just aspirations toward national grandeur and welfare through their friendly relations with the Holy See, or through their disposition, in a spirit of reciprocal confidence, to conclude conventions on subjects relating to Church and State, in conformity with changed conditions and times. Nay, We can with certainty affirm that from these trustful understandings with the Church the States themselves have derived remarkable advantages, since it is known no more effective dyké can be opposed to an inundation of social disorders than the Church, which is the greatest educator of the people and always knows how to unite, in fecund agreement, the principle of legitimate liberty with that of authority, the exigencies of justice with welfare and peace.

4. The Government of the new Republic could not be ignorant of all this. Nay, it knew well Our good disposition, and that of the Spanish Episcopate, to concur in maintaining order and social tranquillity. With Us was in harmony the immense multitude not only of the clergy both secular and regular, but likewise of the Catholic laity, or, rather, the great majority of the Spanish people, who, notwithstanding their personal opinions and provocations and vexations by adversaries of the Church, kept themselves aloof from acts of violence and reprisals, in tranquil subjection to the constituted [republican] power, without having to resort to disorder and much less to civil war.

Anonymous said...

Pius XI, Dilectissima nobis (03/06/1933); Encyclical on the oppression of the Church in the Spanish Republic

3. Nor can it be believed that Our words are inspired by sentiments of aversion to the new [republican] form of government or other purely political changes which recently have transpired in Spain. Universally known is the fact that the Catholic Church is never bound to one form of government more than to another, provided the Divine rights of God and of Christian consciences are safe. She does not find any difficulty in adapting herself to various civil institutions, be they monarchic or republican, aristocratic or democratic. Speaking only of recent facts, evident proof of this lies in the numerous Concordats and agreements concluded in later years, and in the diplomatic relations the Holy See has established with different States in which, following the Great War, monarchic governments were succeeded by republican forms. Nor have these new republics ever had to suffer in their institutions and just aspirations toward national grandeur and welfare through their friendly relations with the Holy See, or through their disposition, in a spirit of reciprocal confidence, to conclude conventions on subjects relating to Church and State, in conformity with changed conditions and times. Nay, We can with certainty affirm that from these trustful understandings with the Church the States themselves have derived remarkable advantages, since it is known no more effective dyké can be opposed to an inundation of social disorders than the Church, which is the greatest educator of the people and always knows how to unite, in fecund agreement, the principle of legitimate liberty with that of authority, the exigencies of justice with welfare and peace.

4. The Government of the new Republic could not be ignorant of all this. Nay, it knew well Our good disposition, and that of the Spanish Episcopate, to concur in maintaining order and social tranquillity. With Us was in harmony the immense multitude not only of the clergy both secular and regular, but likewise of the Catholic laity, or, rather, the great majority of the Spanish people, who, notwithstanding their personal opinions and provocations and vexations by adversaries of the Church, kept themselves aloof from acts of violence and reprisals, in tranquil subjection to the constituted [republican] power, without having to resort to disorder and much less to civil war.

shane said...

Pius XI, Dilectissima nobis (03/06/1933); Encyclical on the oppression of the Church in the Spanish Republic

3. Nor can it be believed that Our words are inspired by sentiments of aversion to the new [republican] form of government or other purely political changes which recently have transpired in Spain. Universally known is the fact that the Catholic Church is never bound to one form of government more than to another, provided the Divine rights of God and of Christian consciences are safe. She does not find any difficulty in adapting herself to various civil institutions, be they monarchic or republican, aristocratic or democratic. Speaking only of recent facts, evident proof of this lies in the numerous Concordats and agreements concluded in later years, and in the diplomatic relations the Holy See has established with different States in which, following the Great War, monarchic governments were succeeded by republican forms. Nor have these new republics ever had to suffer in their institutions and just aspirations toward national grandeur and welfare through their friendly relations with the Holy See, or through their disposition, in a spirit of reciprocal confidence, to conclude conventions on subjects relating to Church and State, in conformity with changed conditions and times. Nay, We can with certainty affirm that from these trustful understandings with the Church the States themselves have derived remarkable advantages, since it is known no more effective dyké can be opposed to an inundation of social disorders than the Church, which is the greatest educator of the people and always knows how to unite, in fecund agreement, the principle of legitimate liberty with that of authority, the exigencies of justice with welfare and peace.

4. The Government of the new Republic could not be ignorant of all this. Nay, it knew well Our good disposition, and that of the Spanish Episcopate, to concur in maintaining order and social tranquillity. With Us was in harmony the immense multitude not only of the clergy both secular and regular, but likewise of the Catholic laity, or, rather, the great majority of the Spanish people, who, notwithstanding their personal opinions and provocations and vexations by adversaries of the Church, kept themselves aloof from acts of violence and reprisals, in tranquil subjection to the constituted [republican] power, without having to resort to disorder and much less to civil war.

Fr Ray Blake said...

These comments are becoming rants

Comments are closed!!!