Exemplar of Christ the King
Thomas A. Droleskey
of God unfolds itself constantly in our lives. Events that occurred
years ago can be seen in light of the deepening of our understanding
of the Holy Faith over the course of time. A decision, for example,
to adopt a particular saint as one's patron for the reception of the
Sacrament of Confirmation might contain within itself a significance
that a young Catholic may only come to appreciate with the passage of
is the case with the saint who is honored today, Saint Henry, whom I
chose to be my patron for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation
at the hands of the late Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg in Saint Aloysius
Church in Great Neck, New York, on March 21, 1961. To be honest, I was attracted at first more
to the name than to the saint. My father's name was Albert Henry Martin
Droleskey. Taking the name Henry would make my full name, Thomas Albert
Henry Droleskey, a variation of his. I did read a little bit about the
saint, learning that he was a just ruler and an exemplar of Christ the
King. However, I did not know what it meant to be an exemplar of Christ
the King in political life, thinking that Henry was a Catholic who simply
lived a good life.
though, knew in the Providence of God that he had some work to do with
a boy who was growing up in a household where his parents talked about
politics almost all of the time and never (and I do mean never) talked
about the lives of the saints. Saint Henry had to pray very hard that
a boy growing up in a fairly secular home environment might come to
see in him, Saint Henry, the very embodiment of the spirit of Christendom
that was specifically rejected by the false, naturalistic, anti-Incarnational and semi-Pelagian spirit of Modernity, especially
in the modern state, including the United States of America. Indeed.
It took over twenty-six years after my Confirmation for me to begin
the process of reassessing my uncritical acceptance of the founding
principles of the United States as being perfectly compatible with the
Faith--or at least not hostile to the practice of the Faith in the midst
of a pluralistic society.
It was the writings
of Pope Leo XIII that led me back to examine the great saints of Christendom
who had served as civil rulers. I had already become familiarized with
Saint Louis IX, King of France, as a result of having read what is called the "Liturgy
of the Hours" in my Novus Ordo days in the early 1980s. However,
it was Pope Leo who led me through his encyclical letters to retrace
the origins of Christendom, forcing me to realize that saints like Louis
IX and today's saint, Henry, are the models for all civil rule for all
Henry and Louis and Casimir of Poland, among many others,
understood that they had to rule in place of Christ the King, seeking
to administer justice according to the Mind of the Divine Redeemer as
He deposited It in Holy Mother Church and to foster those conditions
that would make it more possible for their subjects to sanctify and
to thus save their souls in the kingdoms they governed. They also knew
that if they proposed to do things--or indeed had actually done things--contrary
to the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law that the Church, either
in the person of the Supreme Pontiff or the local bishop, could interpose
herself as a last resort, following the exhausting of her Indirect Power of preaching and teaching and exhortation, to prevent an action contrary to the good of souls from being taken before the fact or to
impose a penalty ex post facto.
in particular, was a ruler who was concerned principally about the salvation
of his own immortal soul, understanding that he could lose his soul
for all eternity if he was in any way unjust to his subjects or forgetful
about their temporal and their eternal welfare. He knew that
he could never do evil so that good might come out of it. There was
not a trace of Machiavellianism in this holy man, who desired at all
times only to do the will of God. Saint Henry, for example, knew that
that it was illicit and immoral for him to attempt to claim that he
had the power as a civil ruler to abrogate the law of God in order to
advance politically expedient ends. He knew that there was no compromise
with evil, no such thing as "the lesser of two evils." Truth
was truth. Right was right. The pursuit of personal holiness and a concomitant
indifference towards personal sin were incompatible in any human being--and
bound to result in conflict, chaos and disorder in a nation. Saint Henry
knew that the just ruler was a man of prayer, penance, mortification
and holy detachment from the things, people and places of this passing
world. He was a true light of Christ the King during the fifty-two years
(972-1024) of his exemplary, saintly life.
Saint Henry understood that he had the responsibility to help to foster those conditions within the jurisdictional boundaries of his civil rule (first Bavaria, then Germany, then the entirety of the Holy Roman Empire) that would make it more possible for his subjects to save their souls as Catholics. He knew that the best safeguard, although far from an infallible guarantor, of the common good domestically and of peace internationally was the right ordering of souls in cooperation with Sanctifying Grace. His support for ongoing missionary work of the Church in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the First Millennium and the beginning of the Second Millennium helped to bring about the conversion of the parents of yet another exemplar of the Social Reign of Christ the King, Saint Stephen of Hungary.
Dom Prosper Gueranger provided us with a wonderful narrative of my patron saint's life and work in behalf of Christ the King:
Henry of Germany, the second king, but the first emperor of that name, was the last crowned representative of that branch of the house of Saxony descended from Henry the Fowler, to which God, in the tenth century, entrusted the mission of restoring the work of Chandelling and Leo III. This noble stock was rendered more glorious in the fowlers of sanctity adorning its branches than in the deep and powerful roots its struck in the German soil by great and long-enduring institutions.
The Holy Spirit, who Charlemagne His gifts according as He will, was then calling to the loftiest destinies that land which, more than any other, had witnessed the energy of His divine action in the transformation of nations. Won to Christ by St. Boniface and the continuators of his work, the vast country which extends beyond the Rhine and the Danube had become the bulwark of the West, and for many years had been the scene of devastation and ruin. Far from attempting to subjugate her own rule the formidable tribes that inhabited it, pagan Rome, at the very zenith of her power, had had no higher ambition than to raise a wall separation between them and the Empire: Christian Rome, more truly mistress of the world, set up in their very midst the seat of the Holy Roman Empire re-established by her Pontiffs. The new Empire was to defend the rights of the common Mother, to protect Christendom from new inroads of barbarians, to win over to the Gospel or else to crush the successive hordes that would come down her frontiers--Hungarians, Slavs, Mongols, Tartars, and Ottomans. Happy had it been for Germany if she had always understood her true glory, if the fidelity of her princes to the Vicar of the Man-God had been equal to her people's faith.
God, on His part, had not closed His hand. To-day's feast shows us the crowning-point of the period of fruitful labour, when the Holy Ghost, having created Germany anew in the waters of the sacred font, would lead her up to the full development of a people's perfect age. The historian, who would know what Providence requires of nations, must study them at such a period of truly creative formation. Indeed, when God creates, whether in the order of nature or of the supernatural vocation of men and societies. He first deposits in His work the principle of that grade of life for which it is destined: it is a precious germ, the development of which unless, unless thwarted, must lead that being to attain its end; and the knowledge of which, could we observe it before any alteration has taken place, would clearly indicate the divine intention with regard to that being. Now, many times already, since the coming of the Holy Ghost the Sanctifier, we have shown that the principle of life for Christian nations is the holiness of their beginnings: a holiness as manifold as is the Wisdom of God, whose instrument these nations are to be, and as peculiar to each as are their several destinies. This holiness, beginning as it does for the most part from the throne, possesses a social character. The crimes also of princes will but too often bear this same mark, from the very fact of the princes being the representatives of their people before God. Then, too, we have seen how in the name of Mary, who through her divine Maternity is the channel of life to the whole world, a mission has been intrusted to women: the mission of bringing forth to God the families of nations (familiae gentium), which are to the objects of His tenderest love. Whereas the princes, the apparent founders of empires, stand with their mighty deeds in the foreground of history, it is she that, by her secret tears and prayers, give fruitfulness, a loftier aim, and stability to their undertakings.
The Holy Ghost leads many souls to imitate the Mother of God; like Clotilde, Radegond, and Bathildis, who gave the Franks to the Church in troublous times--three chosen souls--Matilda, Adelaide, and Cunigund--and added the aureole of sanctity to the imperial diadem of Germany. Over the chaos of the tenth century, whence Germany was to spring, they shone out like three bright stars, shedding their peaceful light over the Church and the world in that dark night and thus doing more to suppress anarchy than could even the swords of Otho. The eleventh century opened: Hildebrand had not yet arisen, and the angels of the sanctuary were weeping over many a desecrated altar, when the royal succession was brought to a beautiful close by a virginal union, as though, weary of producing heroes for the world, it would now bear fruit for heaven alone. Was such a step against the interests of Germany? No; it drew down the mercy of God upon the country, which, in the midst of universal corruption, could offer Him the perfume of such a holocaust.
Let earth and heaven this day unite in celebrating the man who carried out to the full the designs of Eternal Wisdom at this period of history. In his single person he discovered all the heroism and sanctity of the illustrious race, whose chief glory it is to have been for a century a worthy preparation for so great a man. Great before men, who knew not whether to admire more this bravery or energetic activity which made him seem to be everywhere at once throughout his vast empire, he was ever successful, putting down internal revolts, chastising the insolence of the Greeks in southern Italy, assisting Hungary to rise from barbarism to Christianity, concluding with Robert the Pious a lasting peace between the Empire the eldest daughter of the Church [France]. But the virgin spouse of the virgin Cunigund was greater still before God who never had a more faithful lieutenant upon earth. God in His Christ was in Henry's eyes the only King; the interest of Christ and the Church, the only principle of his administration; the most perfect service of the Man-God, his highest ambition. He understood how the truest nobility was hidden in the cloister, where chosen souls, fleeing from the universal degradation, were averting the ruin and obtaining the salvation of the world. It was this thought that led him on the morrow of his imperial coronation, to confide to the famous Abbey of Cluny the golden globe representing the world, which he, as a soldier of the vicar of Christ, was commissioned to defend. It was with this desire of imitating those noble souls that he threw himself at the feet of the Abbot of St. Vannes at Verdun, begging admission into his community, and then, constrained by obedience, returned with a heavy heart to resume the burden of government. ( Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Volume XIII, Time After Pentecost: Book IV, pp. 103-106.)
You show me a leader like this, folks, and I will gladly end my boycott of the voting booth! Saint Henry the Emperor was one of the greatest exemplars of Christ the King in all of Holy Mother Church's history.
Gueranger, O.S.B.'s The Liturgical Year provided the account of Saint Henry's life as found in the Roman Breviary:
surnamed the Pious, Duke of Bavaria, became successively King of Germany
and Emperor of the Romans: but not satisfied with a mere temporal principality,
he strove to gain an immortal crown, by paying zealous service to the
eternal King. As emperor, he devoted himself earnestly to spreading
religion, and rebuilt with great magnificence the churches which had
been destroyed by the infidels, endowing them generously both with money
and lands. He built monasteries and other pious establishments, and
increased the income of others; the bishopric of Bamberg, which he had
founded out of his family possessions, he made tributary to St. Peter
and the Roman Pontiff. When Benedict VIII, who had crowned him emperor,
was obliged to seek safety in flight, Henry received him and restored
him to his see.
when he was suffering from a severe illness in the monastery of Monte
Cassino, St. Benedict cured him by a wonderful miracle. He endowed the
Roman Church with a most copious grant, undertook in her defence a war
against the Greeks, and gained possession of Apulia, which they had
held for some time. It was his custom to undertake nothing without prayer,
and at times he saw the angel of the Lord, or the holy martyrs, his
patrons, fighting for him at the head of his army. Aided thus by the
divine protection, he overcame barbarous nations more by prayer than
by arms. Hungary was still pagan; but Henry having given his sister
in marriage to its King Stephen, the latter was baptized, and thus the
whole nation was brought to the faith of Christ. He set the rare example
of preserving virginity in the married state, and at his death restored
his wife, St. Cunigund, a virgin to her family.
arranged everything relating to the glory or advantage of the empire
with the greatest prudence, and left scattered throughout Gaul, Italy,
and Germany, traces of his munificence towards religion. The sweet odour
of his heroic virtue spread far and wide, till he was more celebrated
for his holiness than for his imperial dignity. At length, his life's
work was accomplished, and he was called by our Lord to the rewards
of the heavenly kingdom, in the year of salvation 1024. His body was
buried i the church of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul at Bamberg.
God wished to glorify His servant, and many miracles were worked at
his tomb. These being afterwards proved and certified, Eugenius III
inscribed his name upon the catalogue of the saints. (The Roman Breviary as quoted in Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Volume XIII, Time After Pentecost: Book IV, pp. 106-108.)
prayer for the day to this great saint is also worth quoting in part:
thy throne in heaven, cast down a look of pity on the extensive domain
of the Holy Empire, which owed so much to thee, and which heresy has
for ever dismembered. Put to confusion those principles, unknown to
Germany in happier days, which would reconstruct, for the benefit of
earthly prosperity, the grandeurs of the past without the cement of
the ancient faith. Return, O emperor of glorious days! return and fight
for the Church; gather together the remains of Christendom upon the
traditional ground of the interests common to all Catholic nations:
then will the alliance, which thy able policy concluded, give to the
world a security, a peace, a prosperity, which it can never enjoy so
long as it remains on such a slippery footing, and exposed to the violence
of every hostile agency. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Volume XIII, Time After Pentecost: Book IV, p. 109.)
has much to teach Catholics who participate in civil governance today
about their responsibilities, particularly about their obligation to
pursue personal holiness and thus to be ready to suffer everything,
including electoral defeat, in order to plant seeds for the restoration
of the Social Reign of Christ the King. Saint Henry's exemplary conduct
in the service of Christ the King is not something meant only for the
history books. His saintly and prudent conduct as a Catholic and as
a civil leader is meant to inspire us today. For the graces made available
to him in the sacraments during his life a thousand years ago are no
less powerful today than they were then. Why do we consider it "unrealistic,"
therefore, to act and to speak as Catholics without regard to the exigencies
of short-term goals in the realm of civil governance and public policy?
has must to teach those Catholics who publish articles about civil governance without ever once referencing the definitive Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, acting as though they were Protestants by relying upon their private interpretations of Sacred Scripture. Some have gone so far as to develop an entire thesis about the Church and State as though Our Lord Himself had not spoken loudly and clearly through the examples of His great exemplars, such as Saint Edward the Confessor and Saint Stephen of Hungary and Saint Louis IX and Saint Henry, to name only a few, and as though He had not spoken infallibly through His true Vicars on the matter.
Thus, the occasion of the Feast of Saint Henry, which occurs this year on the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, is a good occasion to remind those Catholics who sneer and jeer at those of us who believe it is important to give people access to the infallible papal teaching on the necessity of the civil state's confessionally recognizing the Catholic Church as its official religion that Our Lord indeed has spoken very clearly about the relationship between Church and State, admitting, of course, that each has separate spheres of competency and that Holy Mother Church can reconcile herself to any legitimate form of civil governance as long as she is recognized as the true Church and as that civil government keeps in mind the eternal good of souls as its first priority. We do not have to "reinvent the wheel" concerning the proper relationship of Church and State We have the examples of the great saints. We have the teaching of the Catholic Church.
First, as is noted in
A Catechism of the Social Reign of Christ the King, each civil state has the obligation to accord the Catholic Church the favor and the protection of the laws. Numerous popes have pointed this out, including Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885:
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. (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
Pope Saint Pius X summarized the entirety of the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church on the civil state so succinctly in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906. I want to take each major passage from the much quoted third paragraph and to explain, if ever so briefly, what they mean:
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehemeter Nos, February 11, 1906.)
The Protestant and Judeo-Masonic notion that the civil state must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. This is a simple declarative statement. It is either true or it is false. Emanating from the pen of a true pope, who was merely reiterating the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church, we know it to be true. No one--not even someone who thinks, falsely, that he is a "pope" or those who write for prestigious journals--is free to dissent from this teaching. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II exalted the separation of Church and State. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI dd so repeatedly in his false pontificate. Jorge Mario Bergolgio/Francis has done this on an almost daily basis in the past four months, although it seems as though it has been much longer than that!
Those who embrace any concept of the separation of Church and State show themselves to have defected from the Catholic Faith as they reject the Church's constant teaching that is part of her Ordinary Magisterium and thus protected by the charism of infallibility. It may not be possible to realize the happy union of Church and State at any moment in history. It is still nevertheless important to hold fast to this teaching regardless as to whether it can be realized in the civil realm.
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 (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehemeter Nos, February 11, 1906.)
Man, whether acting individually or together with others in society, has the obligation to worship God. Indeed, the public worship of God is the chief duty of man. Every society in recorded history had some form of pietas, that is, of public, state-sponsored worship, prior to the Constitution of the United States of America and the French Revolution. Even pagan peoples and barbaric tribes had some form of social acts of "worship" that bound them together and was expressed publicly.
As Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has been made Incarnate in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate by the power of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, and has effected His Redemptive Act on the wood of the Holy Cross and instituted the Church that was formed out of the Blood and Water that flowed from His Wounded Side, each man and each state has the obligation to worship Him as He has revealed Himself exclusively through His true Church. God preserves the lives of individual men. He preserves the lives of nations. Both must acknowledge this publicly and worship Him through His one and only true Church. Generic references to "God" and "Faith" are forms of naturalism, be they Masonic or nationalistic (see Pope Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1937). The conciliar "popes," including, of course, Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis, have taught that that some kind of "inter-denominationalism" is good enough in the public sector. They have defected from the CatholicFaith. wrong. Pope Saint Pius X points this out in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; for there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact. The new Sillonists cannot pretend that they are merely working on “the ground of practical realities” where differences of belief do not matter. Their leader is so conscious of the influence which the convictions of the mind have upon the result of the action, that he invites them, whatever religion they may belong to, “to provide on the ground of practical realities, the proof of the excellence of their personal convictions.” And with good reason: indeed, all practical results reflect the nature of one’s religious convictions, just as the limbs of a man down to his finger-tips, owe their very shape to the principle of life that dwells in his body.
This being said, what must be thought of the promiscuity in which young Catholics will be caught up with heterodox and unbelieving folk in a work of this nature? Is it not a thousand-fold more dangerous for them than a neutral association? What are we to think of this appeal to all the heterodox, and to all the unbelievers, to prove the excellence of their convictions in the social sphere in a sort of apologetic contest? Has not this contest lasted for nineteen centuries in conditions less dangerous for the faith of Catholics? And was it not all to the credit of the Catholic Church? What are we to think of this respect for all errors, and of this strange invitation made by a Catholic to all the dissidents to strengthen their convictions through study so that they may have more and more abundant sources of fresh forces? What are we to think of an association in which all religions and even Free-Thought may express themselves openly and in complete freedom? For the Sillonists who, in public lectures and elsewhere, proudly proclaim their personal faith, certainly do not intend to silence others nor do they intend to prevent a Protestant from asserting his Protestantism, and the skeptic from affirming his skepticism. Finally, what are we to think of a Catholic who, on entering his study group, leaves his Catholicism outside the door so as not to alarm his comrades who, “dreaming of disinterested social action, are not inclined to make it serve the triumph of interests, coteries and even convictions whatever they may be”? Such is the profession of faith of the New Democratic Committee for Social Action which has taken over the main objective of the previous organization and which, they say, “breaking the double meaning which surround the Greater Sillon both in reactionary and anti-clerical circles”, is now open to all men “who respect moral and religious forces and who are convinced that no genuine social emancipation is possible without the leaven of generous idealism.”
Alas! yes, the double meaning has been broken: the social action of the Sillon is no longer Catholic. The Sillonist, as such, does not work for a coterie, and “the Church”, he says, “cannot in any sense benefit from the sympathies that his action may stimulate.” A strange situation, indeed! They fear lest the Church should profit for a selfish and interested end by the social action of the Sillon, as if everything that benefited the Church did not benefit the whole human race! A curious reversal of notions! The Church might benefit from social action! As if the greatest economists had not recognized and proved that it is social action alone which, if serious and fruitful, must benefit the Church! But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, "the reign of love and justice" with workers coming from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them - their religious and philosophical convictions, and so long as they share what unites them - a "generous idealism and moral forces drawn from whence they can" When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which are necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace - the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made man - when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.
We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the "Kingdom of God". - "We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind."
And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer. (Pope Saint Pius, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
Yes, it could be argued the Constitution of the United States of America is its own demigod, having idolaters who venerate its framers and judge the entirety of civil governance solely in accordance with their "wisdom" and "philosophy." A Jewish man said at an educational conference in Maryland in 1987 that he had just been to an "all-night vigil" to "adore" a parchment containing the first seven articles of the Constitution. "Original intent" has replaced the Ten Commandments, as entrusted to and taught by the Catholic Church, and Social Teaching of the Catholic Church as the means of establishing and maintaining social order. Alas, this is delusional. Men need to submit themselves to the Deposit of Faith that Our Lord has given only to the Catholic Church to know order in their own lives and in that of their nations. They need to have belief in, access to and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace in order to scale the heights of sanctity in their own individual lives and thus to contribute to the common temporal good, pursued in light of their own eternal good.
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. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
The separation of Church and State is a negation of the supernatural order in that it convinces people that there are areas of human existence that are not touched by Catholic teaching, that men are free to pursue the common temporal good without regarding First and Last Things, that it is not necessary for men to be confessionally Catholic at all times and in all places. The Catholic Church, however, teaches that the first obligation of the civil state is not the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only. This is, as Pope Saint Pius X explains, only the proximate object of political societies, not that Holy Mother Church is unconcerned about the common temporal good, which she seeks to encourage as best as she can. The first obligation of the civil state is to help to foster those conditions wherein its citizens can best sanctify and thus save their souls as members of the Catholic Church. Upon this rests the entire foundation of the civil state and its ability to advance the common temporal good in light of man's Last End.
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. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
God has instituted His own Divine Plan to effect man's return to Him through the Catholic Church. The civil state must, therefore, be in a harmonious agreement with the Catholic Church on all that pertains to souls. While a decision, for example, to build a particular highway or a bridge is left to the free decision of the civil state and is one in which the Church has no right to interfere, a Catholic is going to recognize that a decision to build a highway or a bridge must reflect an actual need and that it must be designed to be as beautiful as possible, reflecting the beauty of God and of the world He has created, and be as durable as possible, its building completed for the honor and glory of the Blessed Trinity. The things of God pertain even in Caesar's realm insofar as every decision we make must redounded to His greater honor and glory and be in accord with His Holy Truths.
Additionally, there are indeed many areas where the two powers have joint jurisdiction, if you will. The Catholic Church teaches what is contained in the Deposit of Faith. She alone is sole repository of the Divine positive law and the authentic explicator of the Natural Law. She, therefore, has the obligation to remonstrate with civil officials to subordinate civil law and public policy in accord with the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law.
To wit, the Catholic Church has the obligation to remind civil officials that they have no right to permit grave evils (such as any assault upon innocent human life, including abortion, whether by chemical or surgical means) to go unpunished. Indeed, the civil state has the obligation to seek to eradicate those conditions that breed sins, particularly blasphemies and heresies, and to impose a fitting punishment upon malefactors convicted after due process, leaving it to the prudence of the civil authorities to determine the punishment that fits the crime and that is, reasonably speaking, in accord with the nature and the circumstances of the act.
A civil legislature (or any other institution of civil governance), for example, has no authority to permit or to be "indifferent" about abortion, whether by surgical or chemical means. The only authority an institution of civil governance has over the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the Natural Law is to determine what sort of penalties will be imposed upon those who violate them. No institution of civil governance has any authority to consider grave violations of God's laws to be a "civil right" or to passively "permit" them by refusing to apprehend and punish those commit them. The removal of the agreement between Church and State will result in seeds of dispute in which it will become more difficult to see whether the truth lies, engendering great confusion, which is exactly what has happened during the anti-Incarnational, Judeo-Masonic era known as Modernity, of which Modernism as served in recent decades as most important and useful enabler and legitimizer.
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. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
This is correct. The true Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and to condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Truth is unchanging. It is immutable. One of the proofs of the apostasies of the conciliar "pontiffs," who have put Our Lord through a mystical Crucifixion and Burial, is their rejection of the Catholic Church's condemnation of the separation of Church and State and their embrace of this Protestant and Judeo-Masonic heresy that has wrought so much evil in the world.
The rest of paragraph three in Vehementer Nos contains passages from Pope Leo XIII's Immortale Dei that are quoted frequently in this site, especially Pope Leo's reminder that:
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. (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
This is the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church, exemplified so perfectly by Saint Henry, who lived in a Josephite manner with his wife, Saint
Cunigund (also styled as "Cunigund").
Indeed, those seeking to "reinvent the wheel" by ignoring the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church on the civil state as though it did not exist or as though it did not bind one's conscience had better consider these words of Pope Pius XI, contained in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:
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. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)
Additionally, no one can claim that encyclical letters do not bind one's consciences. They do. Pope Pius XII noted this most firmly in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950, which condemned the "new theology" that is so near and dear to the heart of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI:
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, April 12, 1950.)
This applies to Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis andto those apologists of the religiously indifferentist state in allegedly "traditional" Catholic circles who are nothing other than Modernists, Americanists, naturalists and fellow travels of Ratzinger's in an embrace of conciliarism's enabling of this most pernicious error of the separation of Church and State that has devastated so many souls and the nations in which they live. No amount of worldly success and respect and reaffirmation by like-minded dissenters from Catholic Social Teaching exempts from adhering to the necessity of working for this goal, enunciated by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique and lived by Saint Henry and Saint Cunigund, among so many others in the Middle Ages:
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, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
The restoration of the Catholic City is not on the agenda of the arch-Modernist, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who has said that the Second Vatican Council represented an "official reconciliation" with the principles of the "new era inaugurated in 1789," that is of the French Revolution, placing him in complete opposition to the patrimony of the Catholic Church, as expressed so eloquently by Pope Leo XIII in
Custodi Di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892:
Everyone should avoid familiarity or friendship with anyone suspected of belonging to masonry or to affiliated groups. Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God (Pope Leo XIII, Custodi Di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892.)
You are not going to see that quote in too many "prestigious journals" or in the allocutions of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. It is, however, the teaching of the Catholic Church that we must follow, not the apostasies of the counterfeit church or conciliarism or the non-existent "wisdom" of the philosophes of the Enlightenment and their contemporary enablers in allegedly Catholic circles.
We need to remind the scions of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the counterfeit church of conciliarism that rulers
such as Saint Henry forged the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ with
all of their might. They did not speak in the empty and Masonic phrases
("civilization of love," "human solidarity," "the
development of peoples") that pass through the lips of antipopes and
their curial cardinals and false bishops and are emblazoned in the print media as
well. Saint Henry teaches the leaders of the regime of novelty that
there can be no true development for men and their nations in this vale
of tears unless each man and each nation turns to the true Faith, establishing
it as the confessional foundation of both personal and national life,
rendering public honor and glory to Christ the King and to Mary our
I have come
to realize that I owe Saint Henry a great deal. He might have wondered
how long it would take an Americanist to see everything in the world
through the eyes of the true Faith and to re-direct his work in the
advancement of the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King
in the world and the restoration of Tradition within the Church. However,
I realize now that Saint Henry took quite seriously a little boy's choice
of his name, pulling that boy along despite his many, many sins and refusal to
see that the only antidote to the evils of secularism is Catholicism,
that there are no political solutions to our problems, that we must
be agents of Christ the King and be tenderly devoted to our loving Queen,
Our Most Blessed Mother.
One of the concrete ways we can promote the Social Reign of Christ the King right in our own homes is to promote the enthronement of each home, starting with our own, to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Benedict XV (as in "the fifteenth," not the now-retired false papal claimant named Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, thank you) approved home enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the Immaculate Heart of Mary component of the enthronement developed after Our Lady's Fatima apparitions) in a letter to the founder of this movement, Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, dated April 27, 1915:
We have read your letter with interest; also the documents that accompanied it. They give proof of the zealous and untiring labors with which you have devoted yourself, for many years, to the work of consecrating families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in this particular manner: by placing an image or painting of the Sacred Heart in the most prominent place in the home, as on a throne, as a sign that Our Lord reigns visibly in these families.
Already Our Predecessor, Leo XIII, of blessed memory, consecrated the whole human race to the Divine Heart of Jesus, and his encyclical Annum Sacrum upon this subject is well known. Nevertheless, it seems that even after this general consecration, the devotion extending to individual families is not without benefit; on the contrary it is in perfect accordance with the former, and can only contribute greatly to the realization of the pious intentions of that Pontiff of blessed memory.
What concerns every single individual affects Us more deeply, indeed, than what is of general interest. Therefore, We rejoice that your efforts in this regard have brought such abundant fruit. We exhort you to continue zealously in the apostolate you have so successfully begun. At present nothing Is more timely.
The malicious efforts of the wicked are specially directed against the home, the family circle. Since the family contains the root, the elements of civil society, the enemies realize well that the hoped-for transformation or rather the hoped-for destruction of all human society cannot take place before the ruin of the family is accomplished. Every effort is being made to weaken the firmness and indissolubility of the marriage bond and to prevent our youth from coming under religious influence. Wickedness goes so far as to endanger the very propagation of the human race, and to defile the sanctity of matrimonial life by praising shameful practices for the gratification of lust which frustrate the rights of the laws of nature.
You do well, therefore, beloved son, to take in hand the welfare of society to awaken and spread above all things a Christian spirit in the home that the love of Jesus Christ may permeate the families, and His love reign there like a queen. By so doing you obey Jesus Christ Himself Who promised to pour out His blessings on those homes where a picture of His Sacred Heart is exposed and venerated.
It is a holy and salutary work to show our most loving Savior this honor and homage; yet, all is not accomplished thereby. Of equal importance it is to know Christ, to take to heart His doctrine. His life, His Passion, His glorification. To follow Him does not consist in being guided by passing religious sentiments which easily touch tender hearts and move to tears but leave vices unchecked. To follow Christ means to grasp Him with a lively and constant faith which at the same time influences heart and mind, and regulates our morals. Indeed, the very reason why Jesus is forgotten by so many, and so little loved by others, is that to some He is almost unknown and by others not known sufficiently.
Continue, then, beloved son, your labors and your apostolate, in order to enkindle the flames of love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Catholic families. Above all, let your efforts and labors tend to this ---- it is Our will ---- that to every home where you apply, this love may come as a result of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and of the truths and laws which He has given us.
In 1913, Our Predecessor, Pius X, of blessed memory, granted special privileges at the request of the bishops of Chile to the families of that country who had consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. To encourage this universal pious work, We desire all these privileges to be extended to the families of the whole Catholic world who perform this consecration.
As a pledge of Divine favors, and as a mark of Our paternal good will, We impart to you affectionately, beloved son, the Apostolic Blessing.
Given at St. Peter's, Rome, April 27, 1915---- Benedict XV, Pope.
To know the authentic Social Teaching of the Catholic Church and to promote home enthronement to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart are ways to defeat the devil's tools of naturalism (and its Americanist offshoot in the United States of America) in our own homes. We can replicate the spirit of Saint Henry in our homes if not our nations!
Saint Henry. Please continue to guide all those who have taken you for
their patron so that they may follow your example of holiness and your
zeal for converting men and nations to the Catholic Church, outside
of which there is no salvation. May we honor you by honoring Our Lady in her Most Holy Rosary, which was given to Saint Dominic about one hundred eighty-four years after your death to help fight the forces that seek yet to stamp out all vestiges of the glories of Christendom in the mind of men, no less to make sure that it never sees the light of day again. May we honor you and your saintly wife by making reparation for our sins to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit, helping to plant the seeds for the day when your saintly like will be the norm in all governments of the world once again.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 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 Henry the Emperor, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints