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Posts Tagged ‘Secularism’

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In truth, sudden uprisings and the boldest rebellions immediately followed in Germany the so-called Reformation, the authors and leaders of which, by their new doctrines, attacked at the very foundation religious and civil authority; and this with so fearful an outburst of civil war and with such slaughter that there was scarcely any place free from tumult and bloodshed. From this heresy there arose in the last century a false philosophy — a new right as it is called, and a popular authority, together with an unbridled license which many regard as the only true liberty. Hence we have reached the limit of horrors, to wit, communism, socialism, nihilism, hideous deformities of the civil society of men and almost its ruin. And yet too many attempt to enlarge the scope of these evils, and under the pretext of helping the multitude, already have fanned no small flames of misery. Leo XIII: Origin of Civil Power

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Solzhenitsyn: Gulag 1953

Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counter-balanced by the young people’s right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil……However, in early democracies, as in American democracy at the time of its birth, all individual human rights were granted because man is God’s creature. That is, freedom was given to the individual conditionally, in the assumption of his constant religious responsibility. Such was the heritage of the preceding thousand years. Two hundred or even fifty years ago, it would have seemed quite impossible, in America, that an individual could be granted boundless freedom simply for the satisfaction of his instincts or whims. Subsequently, however, all such limitations were discarded everywhere in the West; a total liberation occurred from the moral heritage of Christian centuries with their great reserves of mercy and sacrifice. State systems were becoming increasingly and totally materialistic. The West ended up by truly enforcing human rights, sometimes even excessively, but man’s sense of responsibility to God and society grew dimmer and dimmer. Alexander Solzhenitsyn: Harvard 1978 (Must read; he hits the nail on the head)

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Safeguard the cause of the Church, to care for its affairs, and to repress the efforts of the nefarious enemies of men. These must be overcome by the united and persistent vigilance of the bishops. If at any time whatsoever, then surely now in this most sad age, it is the duty of bishops to battle most strenuously against the enemies of the faith. Hence the bishops, relying on divine aid, must raise their episcopal voice and must preach the gospel to all. They must announce, teach, explain, and impress upon both the wise and the foolish, the eternal truths of our divine faith along with its doctrines and precepts. The bishops are also bound to explain and to show to both the highest princes and the government the deplorable evils and damage which affect the people and the princes themselves. This is the result of the present-day contempt of religion and of the spirit of unbelief rising from the darkness under the fallacious appearance of social progress; this, of course, harms the Christian and the civil government. Everywhere it daily grows stronger; it perverts and corrupts the minds and souls of men. Bl. Pius IX: Maximae Quidem

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If we weigh carefully the causes of today’s crises and those that are ahead, we shall soon find that human plans, human resources, and human endeavors are futile and will fail when Almighty God – He who enlightens, commands, and forbids; He who is the source and guarantor of justice, the fountainhead of truth, the basis of all laws – is esteemed but little, denied His proper place, or even completely disregarded. If a house is not built on a solid and sure foundation, it tumbles down; if a mind is not enlightened by the divine light, it strays more or less from the whole truth; if citizens, peoples, and nations are not animated by brotherly love, strife is born, waxes strong, and reaches full growth. (Pius XII: Last Letter, found on Rorate Caeli)

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Also See: website of a committee that plans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death. More details will be added to the site as the date for the events gets closer. (Go to site)

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A recent conversation precipitated this post. It was about the Papal States, on why the Popes at the time fought so hard to keep temporal power (as if it was only about power). From their point of view at the time, to relinquish temporal control would have put the ministry of the Church itself in jeopardy, tinging it with Nationalism, Liberalism, and Republicanism. It was indeed a just concern: Josephism in Austria, Febronionism in Germany, Gallicanism in France. Pio Nono worried that they would eventually try to make the Papacy nothing more than chaplain for the House of Savoy, instead of the Vicar of Christ for all nations. His words below summed up his mindset:

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For if the Roman Pontiff were subject to the sway of another ruler, but no longer possessed civil power, neither his position nor the acts of the Apostolic ministry would be exempt from the authority of the other ruler. This ruler could be either a heretic or a persecutor of the Church or constantly at war with other rulers. (Pius IX: On the Pontifical States)

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