Movements to A Dead End, Now and for All Eternity
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Those who believe in naturalism as the foundation of social order and as the agent for social "change" are constantly involved in "movements" to promote their beliefs. These "movements" became evangelical causes for their adherents, who lose all sight of perspective as they rush about in a mania about trying to "save" the nation and to give "hope for the future" by means of their various ideas and the candidates for elected office who promote them in their campaigns. Each of these movements is, however, a complete dead end, now and for all eternity. Things only change for the worse if efforts to "reform" society are founded in the same false, naturalistic, anti-Incarnational, semi-Pelagian, individualistic and religiously indifferentist concepts responsible for the modern civil state, including that of the United States of America.
Although some of the "movements" are very inter-related, sometimes feeding into and off of each other, each has its own distinctive "cause" and "flavor." Just a quick listing of a few of these movements will indicate the degree to which a world that rejects the true Faith must look anywhere and everywhere to find some explanation for why human problems exist and how it is that they can be resolved. We've had the Abolition Movement, the Greenback Movement, the Prohibition Movement, the Women's Suffrage Movement, the Granger Movement, Progressive (or Reform) Movement, the Populist Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the Antiwar (or Peace) Movement, the Environmental Movement, the Feminist Movement, the Environmental (or Green) Movement, the Libertarian Movement, the Conservative Movement, the Socialist Movement, the Liberal Movement, the Communist (or Workers') Movement, the Labor Movement, and on and on and on. And, yes, even the Right to Life Movement, in which I was directly involved for a long time, has suffered from a form of naturalism and interdenominationalism that has made much of its efforts to fight baby-killing under cover of law disjointed and characterized by disputes over principles, including endorsing "exceptions" to the inviolability of innocent human life as a matter of principle and minimizing, if not justifying, the evil of contraception, and tactics that have led to one dead end after another.
Each of these movements has had leaders, some of whom have been seen as virtual messiahs, veritable "beacons of hope" in the midst of the world. Consider the overblown, self-important rhetoric of just two past political leaders in the United States of America, men who believed that their ideas and their movements would produce the "better" world:
I would be presumptuous, indeed, to present myself against the distinguished gentlemen to whom you have listened if this were but a measuring of ability; but this is not a contest among persons. The humblest citizen in all the land when clad in the armor of a righteous cause is stronger than all the whole hosts of error that they can bring. I come to speak to you in defense of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty—the cause of humanity. When this debate is concluded, a motion will be made to lay upon the table the resolution offered in commendation of the administration and also the resolution in condemnation of the administration. I shall object to bringing this question down to a level of persons. The individual is but an atom; he is born, he acts, he dies; but principles are eternal; and this has been a contest of principle.
Never before in the history of this country has there been witnessed such a contest as that through which we have passed. Never before in the history of American politics has a great issue been fought out as this issue has been by the voters themselves.
On the 4th of March, 1895, a few Democrats, most of them members of Congress, issued an address to the Democrats of the nation asserting that the money question was the paramount issue of the hour; asserting also the right of a majority of the Democratic Party to control the position of the party on this paramount issue; concluding with the request that all believers in free coinage of silver in the Democratic Party should organize and take charge of and control the policy of the Democratic Party. Three months later, at Memphis, an organization was perfected, and the silver Democrats went forth openly and boldly and courageously proclaiming their belief and declaring that if successful they would crystallize in a platform the declaration which they had made; and then began the conflict with a zeal approaching the zeal which inspired the crusaders who followed Peter the Hermit. Our silver Democrats went forth from victory unto victory, until they are assembled now, not to discuss, not to debate, but to enter up the judgment rendered by the plain people of this country.
But in this contest, brother has been arrayed against brother, and father against son. The warmest ties of love and acquaintance and association have been disregarded. Old leaders have been cast aside when they refused to give expression to the sentiments of those whom they would lead, and new leaders have sprung up to give direction to this cause of freedom. Thus has the contest been waged, and we have assembled here under as binding and solemn instructions as were ever fastened upon the representatives of a people.
We do not come as individuals. Why, as individuals we might have been glad to compliment the gentleman from New York [Senator Hill], but we knew that the people for whom we speak would never be willing to put him in a position where he could thwart the will of the Democratic Party. I say it was not a question of persons; it was a question of principle; and it is not with gladness, my friends, that we find ourselves brought into conflict with those who are now arrayed on the other side. The gentleman who just preceded me [Governor Russell] spoke of the old state of Massachusetts. Let me assure him that not one person in all this convention entertains the least hostility to the people of the state of Massachusetts.
But we stand here representing people who are the equals before the law of the largest cities in the state of Massachusetts. When you come before us and tell us that we shall disturb your business interests, we reply that you have disturbed our business interests by your action. We say to you that you have made too limited in its application the definition of a businessman. The man who is employed for wages is as much a businessman as his employer. The attorney in a country town is as much a businessman as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis. The merchant at the crossroads store is as much a businessman as the merchant of New York. The farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day, begins in the spring and toils all summer, and by the application of brain and muscle to the natural resources of this country creates wealth, is as much a businessman as the man who goes upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain. The miners who go 1,000 feet into the earth or climb 2,000 feet upon the cliffs and bring forth from their hiding places the precious metals to be poured in the channels of trade are as much businessmen as the few financial magnates who in a backroom corner the money of the world.
We come to speak for this broader class of businessmen. Ah. my friends, we say not one word against those who live upon the Atlantic Coast; but those hardy pioneers who braved all the dangers of the wilderness, who have made the desert to blossom as the rose—those pioneers away out there, rearing their children near to nature’s heart, where they can mingle their voices with the voices of the birds—out there where they have erected schoolhouses for the education of their children and churches where they praise their Creator, and the cemeteries where sleep the ashes of their dead—are as deserving of the consideration of this party as any people in this country.
It is for these that we speak. We do not come as aggressors. Our war is not a war of conquest. We are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families, and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned. We have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded. We have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came.
We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!
The gentleman from Wisconsin has said he fears a Robespierre. My friend, in this land of the free you need fear no tyrant who will spring up from among the people. What we need is an Andrew Jackson to stand as Jackson stood, against the encroachments of aggregated wealth.
They tell us that this platform was made to catch votes. We reply to them that changing conditions make new issues; that the principles upon which rest Democracy are as everlasting as the hills; but that they must be applied to new conditions as they arise. Conditions have arisen and we are attempting to meet those conditions. They tell us that the income tax ought not to be brought in here; that is not a new idea. They criticize us for our criticism of the Supreme Court of the United States. My friends, we have made no criticism. We have simply called attention to what you know. If you want criticisms, read the dissenting opinions of the Court. That will give you criticisms.
They say we passed an unconstitutional law. I deny it. The income tax was not unconstitutional when it was passed. It was not unconstitutional when it went before the Supreme Court for the first time. It did not become unconstitutional until one judge changed his mind; and we cannot be expected to know when a judge will change his mind.
The income tax is a just law. It simply intends to put the burdens of government justly upon the backs of the people. I am in favor of an income tax. When I find a man who is not willing to pay his share of the burden of the government which protects him, I find a man who is unworthy to enjoy the blessings of a government like ours.. . .
We go forth confident that we shall win. Why? Because upon the paramount issue in this campaign there is not a spot of ground upon which the enemy will dare to challenge battle. Why, if they tell us that the gold standard is a good thing, we point to their platform and tell them that their platform pledges the party to get rid of a gold standard and substitute bimetallism. If the gold standard is a good thing, why try to get rid of it? If the gold standard, and I might call your attention to the fact that some of the very people who are in this convention today and who tell you that we ought to declare in favor of international bimetallism and thereby declare that the gold standard is wrong and that the principles of bimetallism are better—these very people four months ago were open and avowed advocates of the gold standard and telling us that we could not legislate two metals together even with all the world. . . .
You come to us and tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard; we reply that the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms, and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country. My friends, we declare that this nation is able to legislate for its own people on every question without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation on earth, and upon that issue we expect to carry every State in the Union. I shall not slander the inhabitants of the fair State of Massachusetts nor the inhabitants of the State of New York by saying that, when they are confronted with the proposition, they will declare that this nation is not able to attend to its own business. It is the issue of 1776 over again. Our ancestors, when but three millions in number, had the courage to declare their political independence on every other nation; shall we, their descendants, when we have grown to seventy millions, declare that we are less independent than our forefathers? No, my friends, that will never be the verdict of our people. Therefore, we care not upon what lines the battle is fought. If they say bimetallism is good, but that we cannot have it until other nations help us, we reply that, instead of having a gold standard because England has, we will restore bimetallism, and then let England have bimetallism because the United States has it
If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold. (William Jennings Bryan, "The Cross of Gold Speech," Democrat Party National Convention, Kansas City, Missouri, July 9, 1896, The "Cross of Gold" speech by William Jennings Bryan.)
I can conceive of a national destiny surpassing the glories of the present and the past -- a destiny which meets the responsibility of today and measures up to the possibilities of the future. Behold a republic, resting securely upon the foundation stones quarried by revolutionary patriots from the mountain of eternal truth -- a republic applying in practice and proclaiming to the world the self-evident propositions that all men are created equal; that they are endowed with inalienable rights; that governments are instituted among men to secure these rights, and that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Behold a republic in which civil and religion liberty stimulate all to earnest endeavor and in which the law restrains every hand uplifted for a neighbor's injury -- a republic in which every citizen is a sovereign, but in which no one cares to wear a crown. Behold a republic standing erect while empires all around are bowed beneath the weight of their own armaments -- a republic whose flag is loved while other flags are only feared. Behold a republic increasing in population, in wealth, in strength and in influence, solving the problems of civilization and hastening the coming of an universal brotherhood -- a republic which shakes thrones and dissolves aristocracies by its silent example and gives light and inspiration to those who sit in darkness. Behold a republic gradually but surely becoming the supreme moral factor in the world's progress and the accepted arbiter of the world's disputes -- a republic whose history, like the path of the just, "is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (William Jennings Bryan, Acceptance Speech, Democrat Party National Convention, Indianapolis, Indiana, July 9, 1900, William Jennings Bryan: The Paralyzing Influence of Imperialism.)
William Jennings Bryan was thrice nominated (1896, 1900, 1908) as the presidential candidate of the Democrat Party. He was also nominated in 1896 as the presidential candidate of the Populist Party and was an outspoken promoter of the Prohibition Movement. Bryan, a Catholic-hating Protestant fundamentalist, believed in the overblown rhetoric that he spoke throughout his life. He believed in the income tax. He believed in "bimetallism" as opposed to the gold standard. He believed that he represented the "common man" and was their champion in public life. He was an Americanist who supported the Spanish-American War but then opposed the imperialism that resulted therefrom. Indeed, his 1900 acceptance address at the Democrat Party national nominating convention in Kansas City, Missouri, had some observations about the imperialistic policies of then President William McKinley, who had defeated him pretty handily in 1896, that serve as very interesting parallels to the situation concerning the unjust and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States of America under the administration of President George Walker Bush:
For a time Republican leaders were inclined to deny to opponents the right to criticize the Philippine policy of the administration, but upon investigation they found that both [Abraham] Lincoln and [Henry] Clay asserted and exercised the right to criticize a President during the progress of the Mexican war.
Instead of meeting the issue boldly and submitting a clear and positive plan for dealing with the Philippine question, the Republican convention adopted a platform the larger part of which was devoted to boasting and self-congratulation. . . .
Even now we are beginning to see the paralyzing influence if imperialism. Heretofore this Nation has been prompt to express its sympathy with those who were fighting for civil liberty. While our sphere of activity has been limited to the Western Hemisphere, our sympathies have not been bounded by the seas. We have felt it due to ourselves and to the world, as well as to those who were struggling for the right to govern themselves, to proclaim the interest which our people have, from the date of their own independence, felt in every contest between human rights and arbitrary power.
Three-quarters of a century ago, when our nation was small, the struggles of Greece aroused our people, and Webster and Clay gave eloquent expression to the universal desire for Grecian independence. In 1896 all parties manifested a lively interest in the success of the Cubans, but now when a war is in progress in South Africa, which must result in the extension of the monarchical idea, or in the triumph of a republic, the advocates of imperialism in this country dare not say a word in behalf of the Boers.
Sympathy for the Boers does not arise from any unfriendliness towards England; the American people are not unfriendly toward the people of any nation. This sympathy is due to the fact that, as stated in our platform, we believe in the principles of self-government and reject, as did our forefathers, the claims of monarchy. If this nation surrenders its belief in the universal application of the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence, it will lose the prestige and influence which it has enjoyed among the nations as an exponent of popular government.
Our opponents, conscious of the weakness of their cause, seek to confuse imperialism with expansion, and have even dared to claim Jefferson as a supporter of their policy. Jefferson spoke so freely and used language with such precision that no one can be ignorant of his views. On one occasion he declared: "If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest." And again he said: "Conquest is not in our principles; it is inconsistent with our government."
Dripping with Americanism's mythologies about the ability its naturalistic "ideals" to change the world for the "better"--and his own messianic zeal for the naturalistic concepts of civil and religious liberty, William Jennings Bryan's opposition to the occupation of The Philippines following the Spanish-American War compares favorably with at least one candidate who is seeking, although at a reduced pace as he recognizes the inevitability of the nomination of Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), the Republican Party presidential nomination at the present and his own opposition to both the invasion of the Iraq and the ongoing occupation that has cost so many lives, both American and Iraqi, and continues to drain the American national economy. Correct positions on some issues, however do not redeem the erroneous naturalistic principles underlying a particular person's worldview. William Jennings Bryan had a devoted following in his day. He did not change the world for the "better." He believed in a combination of false ideas from a variety of sources, including Protestantism and naturalism.
One sees Bryan's speeches references to this or that public official or that is that controversy. It is the same now as then, is it not? A well-organized society according to the Divine Plan that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted and blossomed, although never perfectly, never without the vagaries of fallen human nature manifesting themselves, in the Middle Ages in Europe and existed in various parts of Latin America following the arrival of the missionaries to the Americas and especially after Our Lady's apparition to the Servant of God Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill is not one in which people look to this or that politician or program to "save" the day. No.
As I have noted so many times before on this site, a well-organized society according to the principles of Catholic Social Teaching would be characterized by stable families, many of which would be blessed with many children, who would come to understand that, if they did not enter the religious life upon leaving home, it was their responsibility, not that of the civil state to care for their elderly parents when they became unable to support themselves.
A well-organized society according to the principles of Catholic Social Teaching would be characterized by a contentment with a sufficiency of means and not an all-effort to get as wealthy as one can as the ultimate and defining end of human existence. People would be living for the acquisition of the latest gadget or invention. They would be content to live in the spirit of the Holy Family. While the Catholic Church neither condemns those who have acquired wealth honestly, always stressing the social responsibilities that come with such accumulated wealth, or seeks to indemnify those who are poor because they spend their money foolishly, she asks her children to be detached from the things of this passing world in order to be faithful her Divine Bridegroom's very words on the Sermon on the Mount:
Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.
For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also. The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome. But if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in thee, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be! No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment?
Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith?
Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6: 19-33.)
Pope Leo XIII discussed the virtue of detachment and the social responsility imposed by the accumulation of a wealth in Rerum Novarum, May 15, 1891, and explained in Exeunte Iam Anno, December 25, 1888, that we are not to be engrossed in the materialism of the world, a materialism that holds such sway in the United States of America in large measure as a result of the vestigial influences of the evils of Calvinism:
Therefore, those whom fortune favors are warned that riches do not bring freedom from sorrow and are of no avail for eternal happiness, but rather are obstacles; that the rich should tremble at the threatenings of Jesus Christ -- threatenings so unwonted in the mouth of our Lord-- and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for all we possess. The chief and most excellent rule for the right use of money is one the heathen philosophers hinted at, but which the Church has traced out clearly, and has not only made known to men's minds, but has impressed upon their lives. It rests on the principle that it is one thing to have a right to the possession of money and another to have a right to use money as one ills. Private ownership, as we have seen, is the natural right of man, and to exercise that right, especially as members of society, is not only lawful, but absolutely necessary. "It is lawful," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "for a man to hold private property; and it is also necessary for the carrying on of human existence.'' But if the question be asked: How must one's possessions be used? -- the Church replies without hesitation in he words of the same holy Doctor: "Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. Whence the apostle saith, 'Command the rich of this world . . to offer with no stint, to apportion largely'." True, no one is commanded to distribute to others that which is required for his own needs and those of his household; nor even to give away what is reasonably required to keep up becomingly his condition in life, "for no one ought to live other than becomingly." But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one's standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. "Of that which remaineth, give alms." It is duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity -- a duty not enforced by human law. But the laws and judgments of men must yield place to the laws and judgments of Christ the true God, who in many ways urges on His followers the practice of almsgiving -- "It is more blessed to give than to receive"; and who will count a kindness done or refused to the poor as done or refused to Himself -- "As long as you did it to one of My least brethren you did it to Me." To sum up, then, what has been said: Whoever has received from the divine bounty a large share of temporal blessings, whether they be external and material, or gifts of the mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for the perfecting of his own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the steward of God's providence, for the benefit of others. "He that hath a talent," said St. Gregory the Great, "let him see that he hide it not; he that hath abundance, let him quicken himself to mercy and generosity; he that hath art and skill, let him do his best to share the use and the utility hereof with his neighbor."
As for those who possess not the gifts of fortune, they are taught by the Church that in God's sight poverty is no disgrace, and that there is nothing to be ashamed of in earning their bread by labor. This is enforced by what we see in Christ Himself, who, "whereas He was rich, for our sakes became poor''; and who, being the Son of God, and God Himself, chose to seem and to be considered the son of a carpenter -- nay, did not disdain to spend a great part of His life as a carpenter Himself. "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?" (Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, May 15, 1891.)
Now the whole essence of a Christian life is to reject the corruption of the world and to oppose constantly any indulgence in it; this is taught in the words and deeds, the laws and institutions, the life and death of Jesus Christ, "the author and finisher of faith." Hence, however strongly We are deterred by the evil disposition of nature and character, it is our duty to run to the "fight proposed to Us," fortified and armed with the same desire and the same arms as He who, "having joy set before him, endured the cross." Wherefore let men understand this specially, that it is most contrary to Christian duty to follow, in worldly fashion, pleasures of every kind, to be afraid of the hardships attending a virtuous life, and to deny nothing to self that soothes and delights the senses. "They that are Christ's, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences" -- so that it follows that they who are not accustomed to suffering, and who hold not ease and pleasure in contempt belong not to Christ. By the infinite goodness of God man lived again to the hope of an immortal life, from which he had been cut off, but he cannot attain to it if he strives not to walk in the very footsteps of Christ and conform his mind to Christ's by the meditation of Christ's example. Therefore this is not a counsel but a duty, and it is the duty, not of those only who desire a more perfect life, but clearly of every man "always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus." How otherwise could the natural law, commanding man to live virtuously, be kept? For by holy baptism the sin which we contracted at birth is destroyed, but the evil and tortuous roots of sin, which sin has engrafted, and by no means removed. This part of man which is without reason -- although it cannot beat those who fight manfully by Christ's grace -- nevertheless struggles with reason for supremacy, clouds the whole soul and tyrannically bends the will from virtue with such power that we cannot escape vice or do our duty except by a daily struggle. "This holy synod teaches that in the baptized there remains concupiscence or an inclination to evil, which, being left to be fought against, cannot hurt those who do not consent to it, and manfully fight against it by the grace of Jesus Christ; for he is not crowned who does not strive lawfully." There is in this struggle a degree of strength to which only a very perfect virtue, belonging to those who, by putting to flight evil passions, has gained so high a place as to seem almost to live a heavenly life on earth. Granted; grant that few attain such excellence; even the philosophy of the ancients taught that every man should restrain his evil desires, and still more and with greater care those who from daily contact with the world have the greater temptations -- unless it be foolishly thought that where the danger is greater watchfulness is less needed, or that they who are more grievously ill need fewer medicines. (Pope Leo XIII, Exeunte Iam Anno, December 25, 1888.)
The well-ordered world according to the truths of the Catholic Faith would not feature multinational corporations that seek to blur true national loyalties and distinctions, outsourcing jobs from one country to another where labor is cheaper as a means of make more profit on the backs of citizens of the country in which their headquarters is located. The principles of Catholic Social Teaching enunciated in Rerum Novarum and reiterated by Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno would govern labor-management relations and the whole realm of economics, which would be organized always with a view to keeping in mind man's Last End, that we have not here a lasting or a permanent city:
Let us go forth therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise always to God, that is to say, the fruit of lips confessing to his name (Heb. 13: 13-15)
There are Catholics, sad to say, including those who fashion themselves as "traditionalists" in a manner of speaking, who believe, quite pridefully and arrogantly, that they know better than Pope Leo XIII or Pope Saint Pius X or Pope Pius XI, rejecting the binding nature of Catholic Social Teaching concerning the proper relationship of Church and State and the governing moral principles of a just economic order. They have a "problem" with Catholic Social Teaching. These Catholics do not believe that the Catholic Church has any substantial authority in the realm of government or economics. Theirs is not a matter of an interpretation of the governing principles and how they are to be best applied in the concrete circumstances of economic realities that have sprung up and have been institutionalized as result of the Protestant Revolt and the engine of capitalistic profit that was fueled first by Calvinism and has been sustained by all of the various organized forces of naturalism. No, these Catholics reject the principles themselves, placing their trust in various secularists of the academic and political realms.
Pope Pius XII eviscerated the gratuitous, positivistic claim of libertarian "Catholics" that they are free to follow Ludwig von Mises or Murray Rothbard or other such theorists and to reject the necessity of the seeking the restoration of the confessionally Catholic civil state, rejecting also all papal critiques of various aspects of unbridled capitalism while accept papal condemnations of all forms of socialism, including communism in all of its various forms and permutations. There is no basis for anyone claiming to be a Catholic, at least a Catholic who claims to adhere to the everything contained in the Deposit of Faith, to ignore these telling words of Pope Pius XII:
Assuming false and unjust premises, they are not afraid to take a position which would confine within a narrow scope the supreme teaching authority of the Church, claiming that there are certain questions -- such as those which concern social and economic matters -- in which Catholics may ignore the teachings and the directives of this Apostolic See.
This opinion -- it seems entirely unnecessary to demonstrate its existence -- is utterly false and full of error because, as We declared a few years ago to a special meeting of Our Venerable Brethren in the episcopacy:
"The power of the Church is in no sense limited to so-called 'strictly religious matters'; but the whole matter of the natural law, its institution, interpretation and application, in so far as the moral aspect is concerned, are within its power.
"By God's appointment the observance of the natural law concerns the way by which man must strive toward his supernatural end. The Church shows the way and is the guide and guardian of men with respect to their supernatural end."
This truth had already been wisely explained by Our Predecessor St. Pius X in his Encyclical Letter Singulari quadam of September 24, 1912, in which he made this statement: "All actions of a Christian man so far as they are morally either good or bad -- that is, so far as they agree with or are contrary to the natural and divine law -- fall under the judgment and jurisdiction of the Church."
Pope Pius XII was condemning the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's (the rump "church" created by the Red Chinese government that was more or less recognized in a de facto manner by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's letter to Chinese Catholics last year) rejection of the authority of the Catholic Church in matters of social and economic matters. His condemnation applies just as much to anyone else, including libertarians, who reject the Social Reign of Christ the King and the authority of the Catholic Church to enunciate the moral principles that must guide governance and economics. No naturalist philosophy or program takes place of the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church that He Himself created upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, for its infallible explication and eternal safekeeping.
Alas, the Modern world is founded in a rejection of this simple truth. "Hope" is then to be placed in all manner of naturalists, whether they be of the "Enlightenment" or of the American founding or the French Revolution or Marxism-Leninism or any of the dozens of others of ideologies and "philosophies" claiming the ability to "improve" the world by means of naturalistic formulae, many of which are embraced by various false religions, including that of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, as worthy of at least some respect in the practicalities of the "real" world.
William Jennings Bryan, quoted above, was simply one of scores and scores of bombastic orators and other political "agents of change" who claimed at one point or another to be "speaking for the people," if not for the "Lord" Himself. The phenomenon that surrounds United States Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) and the belief that his "movement" is going to "change" the country and provide "hope" for the future is based on the same naturalistic illusions that have been harbored by the believers of all such "movements" in the past. All naturalistic political "movements" are paths to dead ends, now and for all eternity.
There was, for example, a contemporary of William Jennings Bryan who was On the opposite side of the political spectrum. This man, unlike Bryan, was a champion of American imperialism, a man who believed himself to be a "reformer" and "trust-buster" in his own right, Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt, who was born on the East Side of Manhattan but lived much of his life in his fabled Sagamore Hill in Cove, Neck, New York, near the oasis known as Oyster Bay, New York, was just as much an Americanist as Bryan, differing with the latter, however, in a number of areas. Protestantism gave rise to over 33,000 different sects. Naturalism has many mutations, producing much infighting among various sorts of naturalists, those of the false opposites of the naturalist "left" and the naturalist "right"--and those who consider themselves to be in the naturalist "center."
Theodore Roosevelt had an even more devoted following than William Jennings Bryan. Remember, most Americans do not know anything about the truth of human existence, that all human problems are caused by Original Sin and Actual Sins and that the only way to ameliorate the problems caused by fallen human nature is the daily cooperation with the graces won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that flow into our our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of all graces. This is why they rush after a William Jennings Bryan or a Theodore Roosevelt or a Robert LaFollette or a Strom Thurmond or a Henry Wallace or a George Wallace or a Barry Goldwater or a Ronald Reagan or a John Kennedy or a Bill Clinton or a Barack Obama or a Hillary Clinton or a Ron Paul, to name just a few. A nation founded on false, naturalistic, religiously indifferent, semi-Pelagian, anti-Incarnational principles produces all manner of naturalistic leaders who believe in a variety of contradictory naturalistic ideas, thus forming the basis of American politics. False opposites, men and women who really agree with each other on the basic foundational principles of Modernity, arise to spar about the "details" about how to "improve" a society founded on false premises. Nice work if you can get it, huh?
A little review of Theodore Roosevelt's brand of naturalism would serve to illustrate that his rhetoric was just as bombastic and full of messianic zeal as that of William Jennings Bryan.
Theodore Roosevelt, who was on the opposite side of the political spectrum as William Jennings Bryan, was a hero of the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish-American War and had ascended to the Presidency of the United States of America on September 14, 1901, twelve days after President William McKinley had been shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo, New York. Theodore Roosevelt as a believer in Social Darwinism, among other naturalist follies. Upset with the "conservative" polices of his fellow Freemason, William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt sought the Republican Party presidential nomination 1912 after having been out of office for a little over three years. Defeated at what he believed was a rigged convention in Chicago, Illinois, Theodore Roosevelt marched on to begin his "Bull Moose" or "Progressive" Party movement, giving a fiery speech in defense of his principles, believing that his cause was the righteous one.
Here are a few excerpts:
To you, men and women who have come here to this great city of this great State formally to launch a new party, a party of the people of the whole Union, the National Progressive Party, I extend my hearty greeting. You are taking a bold and a greatly needed step for the service of our beloved country. The old parties are husks, with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly what should be said on the vital issues of the day. This new movement is a movement of truth, sincerity, and wisdom, a movement which proposes to put at the service of all our people the collective power of the people, through their Governmental agencies, alike in the Nation and in the several States. We propose boldly to face the real and great questions of the day, and not skillfully to evade them as do the old parties. We propose to raise aloft a standard to which all honest men can repair, and under which all can fight, no matter what their past political differences, if they are content to face the future and no longer to dwell among the dead issues of the past. We propose to put forth a platform which shall not be a platform of the ordinary and insincere kind, but shall be a contract with the people; and, if the people accept this contract by putting us in power, we shall hold ourselves under honorable obligation to fulfill every promise it contains as loyally as if it were actually enforceable under the penalties of the law.
The prime need today is to face the fact that we are now in the midst of a great economic evolution. There is urgent necessity of applying both common sense and the highest ethical standard to this movement for better economic conditions among the mass of our people if we are to make it one of healthy evolution and not one of revolution. It is, from the standpoint of our country, wicked as well as foolish longer to refuse to face the real issues of the day. Only by so facing them can we go forward; and to do this we must break up the old party organizations and obliterate the old cleavage lines on the dead issues inherited from fifty years ago. Our fight is a fundamental fight against both of the old corrupt party machines, for both are under the dominion of the plunder league of the professional politicians who are controlled and sustained by the great beneficiaries of privilege and reaction. How close is the alliance between the two machines is shown by the attitude of that portion of those Northeastern newspapers, including the majority of the great dailies in all the Northeastern cities--Boston, Buffalo, Springfield, Hartford, Philadelphia, and, above all, New York--which are controlled by or representative of the interests which, in popular phrase, are conveniently grouped together as the Wall Street interests. The large majority of these papers supported Judge Parker for the Presidency in 1904; almost unanimously they supported Mr. Taft for the Republican nomination this year; the large majority are now supporting Professor Wilson for the election. Some of them still prefer Mr. Taft to Mr. Wilson, but all make either Mr. Taft or Mr. Wilson their first choice; and one of the ludicrous features of the campaign is that those papers supporting Professor Wilson show the most jealous partisanship for Mr. Taft whenever they think his interests are jeopardized by the Progressive movement-that, for instance, any Electors will obey the will of the majority of the Republican voters at the primaries, and vote for me instead of obeying the will of the Messrs. Barnes-Penrose-Guggenheim combination by voting for Mr. Taft. No better proof can be given than this of the fact that the fundamental concern of the privileged interests is to beat the new party. Some of them would rather beat it with Mr. Wilson; others would rather beat it with Mr. Taft; but the difference between Mr. Wilson and Mr. Taft they consider as trivial, as a mere matter of personal preference. Their real fight is for either, as against the Progressives. They represent the allied Reactionaries of the country, and they are against the new party because to their unerring vision it is evident that the real danger to privilege comes from the new party, and from the new party alone. The men who presided over the Baltimore and the Chicago Conventions, and the great bosses who controlled the two Conventions, Mr. Root and Mr. Parker, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Murphy, Mr. Penrose and Mr. Taggart, Mr. Guggenheim and Mr. Sullivan, differ from one another of course on certain points. But these are the differences which one corporation lawyer has with another corporation lawyer when acting for different corporations. They come together at once as against a common enemy when the dominion of both is threatened by the supremacy of the people of the United States, now aroused to the need of a National alignment on the vital economic issues of this generation.
Neither the Republican nor the Democratic platform contains the slightest promise of approaching the great problems of today either with understanding or good faith; and yet never was there greater need in this Nation than now of understanding, and of action taken in good faith, on the part of the men and the organizations shaping our governmental policy. Moreover, our needs are such that there should be coherent action among those responsible for the conduct of National affairs and those responsible for the conduct of State affairs; because our aim should be the same in both State and Nation; that is, to use the Government as an efficient agency for the practical betterment of social and economic conditions throughout this land. There are other important things to be done, but this is the most important thing. It is preposterous to leave a movement in the hands of men who have broken their promises as have the present heads of the Republican organization (not of the Republican voters, for they in no shape represent the rank and file of Republican voters). These men by their deeds give the lie to their words. There is no health in them, and they cannot be trusted. But the Democratic party is just as little to be trusted. The Underwood-Fitzgerald combination in the House of Representatives has shown that it cannot safely be trusted to maintain the interests of this country abroad or to represent the interests of the plain people at home. The control of the various State bosses in the State organizations has been strengthened by the action at Baltimore; and scant indeed would be the use of exchanging the whips of Messrs. Barnes, Penrose, and Guggenheim for the scorpions of Messrs. Murphy, Taggart, and Sullivan. Finally, the Democratic platform not only shows an utter failure to understand either present conditions or the means of making these conditions better, but also a reckless willingness to try to attract various sections of the electorate by making mutually incompatible promises which there is not the slightest intention of redeeming, and which, if redeemed, would result in sheer ruin. Far-seeing patriots should turn scornfully from men who seek power on a platform which with exquisite nicety combines silly inability to understand the National needs and dishonest insincerity in promising conflicting and impossible remedies.
If this country is really to go forward along the path of social and economic justice, there must be a new party of Nationwide and non-sectional principles, a party where the titular National chiefs and the real State leaders shall be in genuine accord, a party in whose counsels the people shall be supreme, a party that shall represent in the Nation and the several States alike the same cause, the cause of human rights and of governmental efficiency. At present both the old parties are controlled by professional politicians in the interests of the privileged classes, and apparently each has set up as its ideal of business and political development a government by financial despotism tempered by make-believe political assassination. Democrat and Republican alike, they represent government of the needy many by professional politicians in the interests of the rich few. This is class government, and class government of a peculiarly unwholesome kind.
It seems to me, therefore, that the time is ripe, and overripe, for a genuine Progressive movement, Nationwide and justice-loving, sprung from and responsible to the people themselves, and sundered by a great gulf from both of the old party organizations, while representing all that is best in the hopes, beliefs, and aspirations of the plain people who make up the immense majority of the rank and file of both the old parties.
The first essential in the Progressive programme is the right of the people to rule. But a few months ago our opponents were assuring us with insincere clamor that it was absurd for us to talk about desiring that the people should rule, because, as a matter of fact, the people actually do rule. Since that time the actions of the Chicago Convention, and to an only less degree of the Baltimore Convention, have shown in striking fashion how little the people do rule under our present conditions. We should provide by National law for Presidential primaries. We should provide for the election of United States Senators by popular vote. We should provide for a short ballot; nothing makes it harder for the people to control their public servants than to force them to vote for so many officials that they cannot really keep track of any one of them, so that each becomes indistinguishable in the crowd around him. There must be stringent and efficient corrupt practices acts, applying to the primaries as well as the elections; and there should be publicity of campaign contributions during the campaign. We should provide throughout this Union for giving the people in every State the real right to rule themselves, and really and not nominally to control their public servants and their agencies for doing the public business; all incident of this being giving the people the right themselves to do this public business if they find it impossible to get what they desire through the existing agencies. I do not attempt to dogmatize as to the machinery by which this end should be achieved. In each community it must be shaped so as to correspond not merely with the needs but with the customs and ways of thought of that community, and no community has a right to dictate to any other in this matter. But wherever representative government has in actual fact become non-representative there the people should secure to themselves the initiative, the referendum, and the recall, doing it in such fashion as to make it evident that they do not intend to use these instrumentalities wantonly or frequently, but to hold them ready for use in order to correct the misdeeds or failures of the public servants when it has become evident that these misdeeds and failures cannot be corrected in ordinary and normal fashion. The administrative officer should be given full power for otherwise he cannot do well the people's work; and the people should be given full power over him.
I do not mean that we shall abandon representative government; on the contrary, I mean that we shall devise methods by which our Government shall become really representative. To use such measures as the initiative, referendum, and recall indiscriminately and promiscuously on all kinds of occasions would undoubtedly cause disaster; but events have shown that at present our institutions are not representative--at any rate in many States, and sometimes in the Nation--and that we cannot wisely afford to let this condition of things remain longer uncorrected. We have permitted the growing up of a breed of politicians who, sometimes for improper political purposes, sometimes as a means of serving the great special interests of privilege which stand behind them, twist so-called representative institutions into a means of thwarting instead of expressing the deliberate and well thought-out judgment of the people as a whole. This cannot be permitted. We choose our representatives for two purposes. In the first place, we choose them with the desire that, as experts, they shall study certain matters with which we, the people as a whole, cannot be intimately acquainted, and that as regards these matters they shall formulate a policy for our betterment. Even as regards such a policy, and the actions taken thereunder, we ourselves should have the right ultimately to vote our disapproval of it, if we feel such disapproval. But, in the next place, our representatives are chosen to carry out certain policies as to which we have definitely made up our minds, and here we expect them to represent us by doing what we have decided ought to be done. All I desire to do by securing more direct control of the governmental agents and agencies of the people is to give the people the chance to make their representatives really represent them whenever the Government becomes mis-representative instead of representative.
I have not come to this way of thinking from closet study, or as a mere matter of theory; I have been forced to it by a long experience with the actual conditions of our political life. A few years ago, for instance, there was very little demand in this country for Presidential primaries. There would have been no demand now if the politicians had really endeavored to carry out the will of the people as regards nominations for President. But, largely under the influence of special privilege in the business world, there have arisen castes of politicians who not only do not represent the people, but who make their bread and butter by thwarting the wishes of the people. This is true of the bosses of both political parties in my own State of New York, and it is just as true of the bosses of one or the other political party in a great many States of the Union. The power of the people must be made supreme within the several party organizations.
Now, friends, this is my confession of faith. I have made it rather long because I wish you to know just what my deepest convictions are on the great questions of today, so that if you choose to make me your standard-bearer in the fight you shall make your choice understanding exactly how I feel--and if, after hearing me, you think you ought to choose some one else, I shall loyally abide by your choice. The convictions to which I have come have not been arrived at as the result of study in the closet or the library. but from the knowledge I have gained through hard experience during the many years in which, under many and varied conditions, I have striven and toiled with men. I believe in a larger use of the governmental power to help remedy industrial wrongs, because it has been borne in on me by actual experience that without the exercise of such power many of the wrongs will go unremedied. I believe in a larger opportunity for the people themselves directly to participate in government and to control their governmental agents, because long experience has taught me that without such control many of their agents will represent them badly. By actual experience in office I have found that, as a rule, I could secure the triumph of the causes in which I most believed, not from the politicians and the men who claim an exceptional right to speak in business and government, but by going over their heads and appealing directly to the people themselves. I am not under the slightest delusion as to any power that during my political career I have at any time possessed. Whatever of power I at any time had, I obtained from the people. I could exercise it only so long as, and to the extent that, the people not merely believed in me, but heartily backed me up. Whatever I did as President I was able to do only because I had the backing of the people. When on any point I did not have that backing, when on any point I differed from the people, it mattered not whether I was right or whether I was wrong, my power vanished. I tried my best to lead the people, to advise them, to tell them what I thought was right; if necessary, I never hesitated to tell them what I thought they ought to hear, even though I thought it would be unpleasant for them to hear it; but I recognized that my task was to try to lead them and not to drive them, to take them into my confidence, to try to show them that I was right, and then loyally and in good faith to accept their decision. I will do anything for the people except what my conscience tells me is wrong, and that I can do for no man and no set of men; I hold that a man cannot serve the people well unless he serves his conscience; but I hold also that where his conscience bids him refuse to do what the people desire, he should not try to continue in office against their will. Our Government system should be so shaped that the public servant, when he cannot conscientiously carry out the wishes of the people, shall at their desire leave his office and not misrepresent them in office; and I hold that the public servant can by so doing, better than in any other way, serve both them and his conscience.
Surely there never was a fight better worth making than the one in which we are engaged. It little matters what befalls any one of us who for the time being stand in the forefront of the battle. I hope we shall win, and I believe that if we can wake the people to what the fight really means we shall win. But, win or lose, we shall not falter. Whatever fate may at the moment overtake any of us, the movement itself will not stop. Our cause is based on the eternal principles of righteousness; and even though we who now lead may for the time fail, in the end the cause itself shall triumph. Six weeks ago, here in Chicago, I spoke to the honest representatives of a Convention which was not dominated by honest men; a Convention wherein sat, alas! a majority of men who, with sneering indifference to every principle of right, so acted as to bring to a shameful end a party which had been founded over half a century ago by men in whose souls burned the fire of lofty endeavor. Now to you men, who, in your turn, have come together to spend and be spent in the endless crusade against wrong, to you who face the future resolute and confident, to you who strive in a spirit of brotherhood for the betterment of our Nation, to you who gird yourselves for this great new fight in the never-ending warfare for the good of mankind, I say in closing what in that speech I said in closing: We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord. Theodore Roosevelt, A Confession of Faith, Chicago, Illinois, .Theodore Roosevelt's Speeches.)
This is naturalist insanity. This is madness. Utter madness. "A spirit of brotherhood for the betterment of our nation. . . .this great new fight in the never-ending warfare for the good of mankind"? "We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord"? Blasphemy. Madness. Insanity. What became of this madness, of this insanity? Nothing. Well, nothing "good," that is. Theodore Roosevelt, a proud and self-reliant Freemason, split the Republican vote and wound up electing another insane naturalist and statist named Thomas Woodrow Wilson, then Governor of New Jersey. His Progressive Party came to naught, although there would be two other incarnations of "third" parties by the same name (1924 and 1948).
And on and on and on this madness goes to this day, ladies and gentlemen, as all manner of secular saviours arise to generate enthusiasm and to collect financial donations for their causes to "restore" the country or to "change" the country or to bring "peace and prosperity" to the country and the world, to be be the standard-bearers of "civil liberty" or of "states' rights."
Take a good, hard look at that speech of Theodore Roosevelt. Look at the prideful Masonic spirit of self-reliance, of his belief in the ability of a new political party to change the world for the "better." Nonexistent in the naturalistic mind of Theodore Roosevelt is any consideration of the truth contained in these simple words of Pope Saint Pius as found in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
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.
Naturalism is designed by the devil to convince fallen man that he can, without submitting himself to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church for Its infallible explication and eternal safekeeping and without having belief in, access to and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace, change "things" for the "better." Some naturalists even invoke the name of "God," doing so generically. Some invoke the very Holy Name of Jesus Christ in various allocutions and speeches. No one, however, truly knows Who God is unless he accepts what He has revealed about Himself through the Catholic Church. No one knows Our Lord or His teaching truly unless he is a believing Catholic. No one can aspire to true change, that within his immortal soul, without the supernatural helps provided by the Catholic Church.
Naturalism, if course, of the essence of Judeo-Masonry, whose essential tenets were discussed and critiqued by Pope Leo XIII in Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884:
For, from what We have above most clearly shown, that which is their ultimate purpose forces itself into view -- namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere naturalism.
What We have said, and are about to say, must be understood of the sect of the Freemasons taken generically, and in so far as it comprises the associations kindred to it and confederated with it, but not of the individual members of them. There may be persons amongst these, and not a few who, although not free from the guilt of having entangled themselves in such associations, yet are neither themselves partners in their criminal acts nor aware of the ultimate object which they are endeavoring to attain. In the same way, some of the affiliated societies, perhaps, by no means approve of the extreme conclusions which they would, if consistent, embrace as necessarily following from their common principles, did not their very foulness strike them with horror. Some of these, again, are led by circumstances of times and places either to aim at smaller things than the others usually attempt or than they themselves would wish to attempt. They are not, however, for this reason, to be reckoned as alien to the masonic federation; for the masonic federation is to be judged not so much by the things which it has done, or brought to completion, as by the sum of its pronounced opinions.
This is all anathema to defenders of various naturalistic "philosophies" and ideologies, people who are "results-oriented," who do not think that foundational principles matter at all, that it is enough to "solve" problems and to serve "human needs" naturalistically without understanding root causes, if such things even exist, you understand, and without referring everything to the pursuit of man's Last End. This is of the essence of the naturalistic ideology known as Pragmatism, one of the many "belief systems" that guide naturalists in their never-ending quest to "improve" the world. The harm of naturalism must be examined at its roots, Pope Leo XIII was saying, roots that are antithetical and indeed hostile to the Holy Faith and thus to the eternal good of souls. It matters not how much "wealth" is accumulated or how many technological "advancements" have been accomplished by Modernity. What matters is the overthrow of right principles, not the ability of human beings to make money by manufacturing needless products overseas with cheap labor and convincing people by means of mass advertising methods that they "need" these products to be "happy" and/or to make their lives more "meaningful."
Pope Leo XIII went on in Humanum Genus to dissect the ethos of naturalism that defines everything about partisan politics in the United States of America and elsewhere in the Western world:
Now, the fundamental doctrine of the naturalists, which they sufficiently make known by their very name, is that human nature and human reason ought in all things to be mistress and guide. Laying this down, they care little for duties to God, or pervert them by erroneous and vague opinions. For they deny that anything has been taught by God; they allow no dogma of religion or truth which cannot be understood by the human intelligence, nor any teacher who ought to be believed by reason of his authority. And since it is the special and exclusive duty of the Catholic Church fully to set forth in words truths divinely received, to teach, besides other divine helps to salvation, the authority of its office, and to defend the same with perfect purity, it is against the Church that the rage and attack of the enemies are principally directed.
In those matters which regard religion let it be seen how the sect of the Freemasons acts, especially where it is more free to act without restraint, and then let any one judge whether in fact it does not wish to carry out the policy of the naturalists. By a long and persevering labor, they endeavor to bring about this result -- namely, that the teaching office and authority of the Church may become of no account in the civil State; and for this same reason they declare to the people and contend that Church and State ought to be altogether disunited. By this means they reject from the laws and from the commonwealth the wholesome influence of the Catholic religion; and they consequently imagine that States ought to be constituted without any regard for the laws and precepts of the Church.
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI believes that the Church and State ought to be altogether disunited, settling for the Americanist view that it is "good enough" for the Church to form her children and to have a "voice" with others, including unbelievers, in the pursuit of social justice, placing himself in perfect consonance with the naturalist view of the world. The belief in interdenominationalism as the foundation of social order was condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910. It leads to nothing other than a "inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism:"
Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them. Whilst He called to Himself in order to comfort them, those who toiled and suffered, it was not to preach to them the jealousy of a chimerical equality. Whilst He lifted up the lowly, it was not to instill in them the sentiment of a dignity independent from, and rebellious against, the duty of obedience. Whilst His heart overflowed with gentleness for the souls of good-will, He could also arm Himself with holy indignation against the profaners of the House of God, against the wretched men who scandalized the little ones, against the authorities who crush the people with the weight of heavy burdens without putting out a hand to lift them. He was as strong as he was gentle. He reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in heaven: the royal way of the Cross. These are teachings that it would be wrong to apply only to one's personal life in order to win eternal salvation; these are eminently social teachings, and they show in Our Lord Jesus Christ something quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism.
The Faith itself is meant to animate every aspect of social life, not this or that school of economics or politics or philosophy. No one who denies the simple truth that Catholicism is the one and only basis of personal and social order is ever going to be an agent of true change for the better in a society. Such change is only possible from the reform of individual lives, as Pope Saint Pius X noted in Notre Charge Apostolique:
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.
Care to disagree with Pope Saint Pius X?
Care to disagree with these further, irrefutable insights into the ethos of naturalism and Freemasonry as provided by Pope Leo XIII in Humanum Genus?
But the naturalists go much further; for, having, in the highest things, entered upon a wholly erroneous course, they are carried headlong to extremes, either by reason of the weakness of human nature, or because God inflicts upon them the just punishment of their pride. Hence it happens that they no longer consider as certain and permanent those things which are fully understood by the natural light of reason, such as certainly are -- the existence of God, the immaterial nature of the human soul, and its immortality. The sect of the Freemasons, by a similar course of error, is exposed to these same dangers; for, although in a general way they may profess the existence of God, they themselves are witnesses that they do not all maintain this truth with the full assent of the mind or with a firm conviction. Neither do they conceal that this question about God is the greatest source and cause of discords among them; in fact, it is certain that a considerable contention about this same subject has existed among them very lately. But, indeed, the sect allows great liberty to its votaries, so that to each side is given the right to defend its own opinion, either that there is a God, or that there is none; and those who obstinately contend that there is no God are as easily initiated as those who contend that God exists, though, like the pantheists, they have false notions concerning Him: all which is nothing else than taking away the reality, while retaining some absurd representation of the divine nature.
When this greatest fundamental truth has been overturned or weakened, it follows that those truths, also, which are known by the teaching of nature must begin to fall -- namely, that all things were made by the free will of God the Creator; that the world is governed by Providence; that souls do not die; that to this life of men upon the earth there will succeed another and an everlasting life.
When these truths are done away with, which are as the principles of nature and important for knowledge and for practical use, it is easy to see what will become of both public and private morality. We say nothing of those more heavenly virtues, which no one can exercise or even acquire without a special gift and grace of God; of which necessarily no trace can be found in those who reject as unknown the redemption of mankind, the grace of God, the sacraments, and the happiness to be obtained in heaven. We speak now of the duties which have their origin in natural probity. That God is the Creator of the world and its provident Ruler; that the eternal law commands the natural order to be maintained, and forbids that it be disturbed; that the last end of men is a destiny far above human things and beyond this sojourning upon the earth: these are the sources and these the principles of all justice and morality.
If these be taken away, as the naturalists and Freemasons desire, there will immediately be no knowledge as to what constitutes justice and injustice, or upon what principle morality is founded. And, in truth, the teaching of morality which alone finds favor with the sect of Freemasons, and in which they contend that youth should be instructed, is that which they call "civil," and "independent," and "free," namely, that which does not contain any religious belief. But, how insufficient such teaching is, how wanting in soundness, and how easily moved by every impulse of passion, is sufficiently proved by its sad fruits, which have already begun to appear. For, wherever, by removing Christian education, this teaching has begun more completely to rule, there goodness and integrity of morals have begun quickly to perish, monstrous and shameful opinions have grown up, and the audacity of evil deeds has risen to a high degree. All this is commonly complained of and deplored; and not a few of those who by no means wish to do so are compelled by abundant evidence to give not infrequently the same testimony.
Moreover, human nature was stained by original sin, and is therefore more disposed to vice than to virtue. For a virtuous life it is absolutely necessary to restrain the disorderly movements of the soul, and to make the passions obedient to reason. In this conflict human things must very often be despised, and the greatest labors and hardships must be undergone, in order that reason may always hold its sway. But the naturalists and Freemasons, having no faith in those things which we have learned by the revelation of God, deny that our first parents sinned, and consequently think that free will is not at all weakened and inclined to evil. On the contrary, exaggerating rather the power and the excellence of nature, and placing therein alone the principle and rule of justice, they cannot even imagine that there is any need at all of a constant struggle and a perfect steadfastness to overcome the violence and rule of our passions.
Wherefore we see that men are publicly tempted by the many allurements of pleasure; that there are journals and pamphlets with neither moderation nor shame; that stage-plays are remarkable for license; that designs for works of art are shamelessly sought in the laws of a so-called verism; that the contrivances of a soft and delicate life are most carefully devised; and that all the blandishments of pleasure are diligently sought out by which virtue may be lulled to sleep. Wickedly, also, but at the same time quite consistently, do those act who do away with the expectation of the joys of heaven, and bring down all happiness to the level of mortality, and, as it were, sink it in the earth. Of what We have said the following fact, astonishing not so much in itself as in its open expression, may serve as a confirmation. For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring.
What refers to domestic life in the teaching of the naturalists is almost all contained in the following declarations: that marriage belongs to the genus of commercial contracts, which can rightly be revoked by the will of those who made them, and that the civil rulers of the State have power over the matrimonial bond; that in the education of youth nothing is to be taught in the matter of religion as of certain and fixed opinion; and each one must be left at liberty to follow, when he comes of age, whatever he may prefer. To these things the Freemasons fully assent; and not only assent, but have long endeavored to make them into a law and institution. For in many countries, and those nominally Catholic, it is enacted that no marriages shall be considered lawful except those contracted by the civil rite; in other places the law permits divorce; and in others every effort is used to make it lawful as soon as may be. Thus, the time is quickly coming when marriages will be turned into another kind of contract -- that is into changeable and uncertain unions which fancy may join together, and which the same when changed may disunite.
With the greatest unanimity the sect of the Freemasons also endeavors to take to itself the education of youth. They think that they can easily mold to their opinions that soft and pliant age, and bend it whither they will; and that nothing can be more fitted than this to enable them to bring up the youth of the State after their own plan. Therefore, in the education and instruction of children they allow no share, either of teaching or of discipline, to the ministers of the Church; and in many places they have procured that the education of youth shall be exclusively in the hands of laymen, and that nothing which treats of the most important and most holy duties of men to God shall be introduced into the instructions on morals.
Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves. According to this, therefore, all things belong to the free people; power is held by the command or permission of the people, so that, when the popular will changes, rulers may lawfully be deposed and the source of all rights and civil duties is either in the multitude or in the governing authority when this is constituted according to the latest doctrines. It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place.
That these doctrines are equally acceptable to the Freemasons, and that they would wish to constitute States according to this example and model, is too well known to require proof. For some time past they have openly endeavored to bring this about with all their strength and resources; and in this they prepare the way for not a few bolder men who are hurrying on even to worse things, in their endeavor to obtain equality and community of all goods by the destruction of every distinction of rank and property.
What, therefore, sect of the Freemasons is, and what course it pursues, appears sufficiently from the summary We have briefly given. Their chief dogmas are so greatly and manifestly at variance with reason that nothing can be more perverse. To wish to destroy the religion and the Church which God Himself has established, and whose perpetuity He insures by His protection, and to bring back after a lapse of eighteen centuries the manners and customs of the pagans, is signal folly and audacious impiety. Neither is it less horrible nor more tolerable that they should repudiate the benefits which Jesus Christ so mercifully obtained, not only for individuals, but also for the family and for civil society, benefits which, even according to the judgment and testimony of enemies of Christianity, are very great. In this insane and wicked endeavor we may almost see the implacable hatred and spirit of revenge with which Satan himself is inflamed against Jesus Christ. -- So also the studious endeavor of the Freemasons to destroy the chief foundations of justice and honesty, and to co-operate with those who would wish, as if they were mere animals, to do what they please, tends only to the ignominious and disgraceful ruin of the human race.
The evil, too, is increased by the dangers which threaten both domestic and civil society. As We have elsewhere shown, in marriage, according to the belief of almost every nation, there is something sacred and religious; and the law of God has determined that marriages shall not be dissolved. If they are deprived of their sacred character, and made dissoluble, trouble and confusion in the family will be the result, the wife being deprived of her dignity and the children left without protection as to their interests and well being. -- To have in public matters no care for religion, and in the arrangement and administration of civil affairs to have no more regard for God than if He did not exist, is a rashness unknown to the very pagans; for in their heart and soul the notion of a divinity and the need of public religion were so firmly fixed that they would have thought it easier to have city without foundation than a city without God. Human society, indeed for which by nature we are formed, has been constituted by God the Author of nature; and from Him, as from their principle and source, flow in all their strength and permanence the countless benefits with which society abounds. As we are each of us admonished by the very voice of nature to worship God in piety and holiness, as the Giver unto us of life and of all that is good therein, so also and for the same reason, nations and States are bound to worship Him; and therefore it is clear that those who would absolve society from all religious duty act not only unjustly but also with ignorance and folly. . . .
Would that all men would judge of the tree by its fruit, and would acknowledge the seed and origin of the evils which press upon us, and of the dangers that are impending! We have to deal with a deceitful and crafty enemy, who, gratifying the ears of people and of princes, has ensnared them by smooth speeches and by adulation. Ingratiating themselves with rulers under a pretense of friendship, the Freemasons have endeavored to make them their allies and powerful helpers for the destruction of the Christian name; and that they might more strongly urge them on, they have, with determined calumny, accused the Church of invidiously contending with rulers in matters that affect their authority and sovereign power. Having, by these artifices, insured their own safety and audacity, they have begun to exercise great weight in the government of States: but nevertheless they are prepared to shake the foundations of empires, to harass the rulers of the State, to accuse, and to cast them out, as often as they appear to govern otherwise than they themselves could have wished. In like manner, they have by flattery deluded the people. Proclaiming with a loud voice liberty and public prosperity, and saying that it was owing to the Church and to sovereigns that the multitude were not drawn out of their unjust servitude and poverty, they have imposed upon the people, and, exciting them by a thirst for novelty, they have urged them to assail both the Church and the civil power. Nevertheless, the expectation of the benefits which was hoped for is greater than the reality; indeed, the common people, more oppressed than they were before, are deprived in their misery of that solace which, if things had been arranged in a Christian manner, they would have had with ease and in abundance. But, whoever strive against the order which Divine Providence has constituted pay usually the penalty of their pride, and meet with affliction and misery where they rashly hoped to find all things prosperous and in conformity with their desires.
Once again, consider this last passage from Pope Leo XIII's Humanum Genus:
Nevertheless, the expectation of the benefits which was hoped for is greater than the reality; indeed, the common people, more oppressed than they were before, are deprived in their misery of that solace which, if things had been arranged in a Christian manner, they would have had with ease and in abundance. But, whoever strive against the order which Divine Providence has constituted pay usually the penalty of their pride, and meet with affliction and misery where they rashly hoped to find all things prosperous and in conformity with their desires.
Naturalistic politics will always--as in each and every time--produce expectations greater than the reality. Furtive "hope" will be held out for the future, as each of the naturalistic candidates cited above (William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert LaFollette, Henry Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, H. Ross Perot, et. al.) promised when they ran various campaigns as "insurgents" who were fighting against the "establishment." They had--and some still still have--true believers who were never disillusioned by either the failure of their candidates to be elected or the failure of them to do what they promised do once in office. Social conditions are worse today than they ever been as people keep investing their time and energy and money into the promises of "hope" and "change" that are founded in false premises and must as a result fail each and every time. Indeed, actions founded in false premises must lead to a worsening of social conditions and to an ultimate increase in the coercive power of the state to limit the legitimate liberties of its citizens as various evils are promoted, both domestically and internationally, under cover of law.
Those, for example, who were--and might still well remain--enthusiastic over the presidential candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul not only overlook the various areas in which he espouses errors and endorses the "right" of either individuals or the institutions of civil governance to promote objective evils under cover of law (see:
God's Rights or States Rights?,
No Decisions to be Made, Only Commandments to be Obeyed,
Secular Saviors to the Naturalist Right, Secular Saviors to the Naturalist Left,
Hope Against Hope In But Mere Mortals and Their Dreams, and
Showing Libertarianism's True Biases.) Such enthusiasts for the Ron Paul "liberty movement" overlook the simple--and very naturalistic--fact that there will never be a groundswell of support for their candidate or his ideas.
From whence is such a groundswell supposed to spring?
From the graduates of America's public schools, where children are indoctrinated in all manner of statist and leftist and relativist and positivist brainwashing?
From the graduates of the educational institutions under the control of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, where children are indoctrinated, with a few exceptions here and there, to be sure, in all manner of statist and leftist and relativist and positivist brainwashing?
From the support of the conciliar "bishops" of the United States of America, many of whose dioceses are involved quite actively in the organizations of the penultimate statist and naturalist, the late Saul Alinsky? The "bishops" who support a brand of "Catholic" social teaching that cleaves to the left and favors lawbreakers who enter the country illegally and who, for the most part, give a free pass to "Catholics" who support the "right" of women to "choose" to kill their babies, whether by chemical or surgical means?
Twenty million dollars have been donated to build support, to get the "message" out. Americans aren't interested now. They will not be interested in the future. I know. I know. Diehards will be insulted. How many followers of H. Ross Perot thought in 1992 that the eighteen percent of the popular vote he received that year was merely the foreshadowing of "victory" in 1996? True believers usually never stop believing in their naturalistic ideas and their naturalistic candidates. The reality of history teaches lessons that are far different from the delusions of the "rush" and the "excitement" of any particular moment in time. Naturalism simply breeds more naturalism, no matter the names of the naturalists at any one point in time. More naturalism means more disaster, both morally and temporally, now and in the future.
Some Catholics of the libertarian bent, men who are obviously "liberated" from having to submit themselves to the plain truths spoken against the libertarian notion of civil liberty that have been condemned roundly and unequivocally by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832, and Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864, and Pope Leo XIII in Humanum Genus, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885, and Libertas, June 20, 1888, even have stooped so low as to justify Dr. Ron Paul's defiance of the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law concerning his clearly stated belief that the issue of abortion, which he says he opposes personally despite his having prescribed the birth control pill, which is an abortifacient even though he does not believe so himself, in his medical practice, is a matter of "states' rights" which must be decided by state legislatures in accordance with the "will" of the people in a particular state. Although I have dealt with this grave error before, I want to do yet again so as to emphasize the fact that naturalism produces all manner of confusion in the minds of men and causes those who say that they are Catholics to seek to subordinate the truths of the Catholic Faith to the interests of a particular philosophy, namely, libertarianism in this case, or candidate for public office.
No one, whether acting individually or collectively with others in the institutions of civil governance, has any "right" to act deliberately so as to take an innocent human life at any time from the first moment of fertilization to the moment of his last breath. Innocent human life is always and in all instances absolutely inviolable. There are no exceptions for any reason whatsoever. No one, whether acting individually or collectively with others in the institutions of civil governance, has any authority whatsoever to "permit" the direct, intentional killing of any innocent human being in any circumstance at any time for any reason. It is not the "will of the people" that matters in any of this. It is the immutable law of God. Period. I've got news for you shameless spin doctors out there in libertarian land: Ron Paul's views on "states' rights" and the "will of the people" do not trump God's laws.
Dr. Paul is not saying that he does not believe that it is not possible for a no-exceptions amendment to protect the inviolability of all innocent human life to pass the United States Congress and to be sent to the state legislatures (or state ratifying conventions) for ratification by three-fourths of their number (thirty-eight) as specified by Article V of the Constitution of the United States of America. Dr. Paul believes that the Federal government has no authority to act in the area of abortion, a belief that is his own personal view and is most arguable. As a political scientist who specializes in the area of the American founding and the Constitution, I can make a very strong case that the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments already provide full legal protection for the preborn human life and are the basis for Congressional personhood legislation.
As noted in God's Rights or States Rights?, there are a number of things prohibited to the state governments by the Constitution. To assert that it is not a fundamental duty of a national government to provide for the mandatory protection of all innocent preborn life without any exception whatsoever is to ignore the simple fact that a national government has the obligation to provide for the protection of each of its citizens if they are under attack. There are times when a national government must act to defend innocent human beings, whose lives are not expendable because they happen to conflict with the interpretation of a man-made doctrine known as "states' rights."
Granted, the conditions are not propitious at the present moment for the Congress of the United States to pass a Paramount Human Life Amendment by a two-thirds margin in both Houses of Congress and then sent to the states for ratification, which is why some say that the protection of preborn human life should be fought at the state level in state legislatures. That is NOT the argument that Dr. Paul is making, however, even some self-assured enemies of Catholic Social Teaching try to present it as such. Dr. Ron Paul believes that state legislatures have the RIGHT to PERMIT baby-killing if it is the WILL OF THE PEOPLE in a particular state. This position is immoral. This position is unjust. This position can never receive the support of a single, solitary Catholic. Those who are silent about this immoral and unjust position as they support Dr. Paul mislead their fellow Catholics by omission.
Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ sanctified the womb when He spent nine months within the tabernacle of His Most Blessed Mother's Virginal and Immaculate Womb. To attack an innocent human being in the womb is attack Our Lord mystically, Who said the following to Saint Paul when the latter was on the road to Damascus to persecute another band of Catholics after having presided over the stoning of Saint Stephen, the Protomartyr:
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Who said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad. (Acts 9: 4-5.)
Some of these libertarians have gone so far as to repeat the old chestnut that has been bandied about by pro-aborts in public life, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, that "women will always have abortions," thus implying that a change in the law is not going to change behavior. It's very nice of these self-assured enemies of Catholic Social Teaching to take the killing of the innocent preborn so very well. Laws decriminalizing surgical baby-killing between 1967 and 1973 before Roe v. Wade produced the demand for surgical abortion (with the path having been paved for surgical abortions by the acceptance of contraception and the Supreme Court of the United States of America's decisions in Griswold v. Connecticut, 1965). Law doesn't change behavior?
So what that women would still seek to kill their babies if civil law restored to them the full legal protection that is their absolute due without any exception? We don't wait to enact legislation against bank robbery until all people stop robbing banks, do we? Sure, bank robberies will always take place. Desperate people will always do desperate things to "solve" their problems. The civil law serves an educative function and a punitive function for those who have no regard for the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law. God does not wait for everyone to "agree" with His laws before He expects His rational creatures to comply with them. Those who make civil law, whose authority in this instance of the inviolability of innocent human life extends only to the realm of imposing particular penalties upon those involved in abortion and does not extend to any authority to "permit" direct,. intentional baby killing, do not wait for everyone to be "good" in order to pass legislation to enforce the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law.
Pope Leo XIII gave us our marching orders in this regard in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:
But, if the laws of the State are manifestly at variance with the divine law, containing enactments hurtful to the Church, or conveying injunctions adverse to the duties imposed by religion, or if they violate in the person of the supreme Pontiff the authority of Jesus Christ, then, truly, to resist becomes a positive duty, to obey, a crime; a crime, moreover, combined with misdemeanor against the State itself, inasmuch as every offense leveled against religion is also a sin against the State. Here anew it becomes evident how unjust is the reproach of sedition; for the obedience due to rulers and legislators is not refused, but there is a deviation from their will in those precepts only which they have no power to enjoin. Commands that are issued adversely to the honor due to God, and hence are beyond the scope of justice, must be looked upon as anything rather than laws. You are fully aware, venerable brothers, that this is the very contention of the Apostle St. Paul, who, in writing to Titus, after reminding Christians that they are "to be subject to princes and powers, and to obey at a word," at once adds: "And to be ready to every good work." Thereby he openly declares that, if laws of men contain injunctions contrary to the eternal law of God, it is right not to obey them. In like manner, the Prince of the Apostles gave this courageous and sublime answer to those who would have deprived him of the liberty of preaching the Gospel: "If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge ye, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
Wherefore, to love both countries, that of earth below and that of heaven above, yet in such mode that the love of our heavenly surpass the love of our earthly home, and that human laws be never set above the divine law, is the essential duty of Christians, and the fountainhead, so to say, from which all other duties spring. The Redeemer of mankind of Himself has said: "For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth." In like manner: "I am come to cast fire upon earth, and what will I but that it be kindled?'' In the knowledge of this truth, which constitutes the highest perfection of the mind; in divine charity which, in like manner, completes the will, all Christian life and liberty abide. This noble patrimony of truth and charity entrusted by Jesus Christ to the Church she defends and maintains ever with untiring endeavor and watchfulness.
Obviously, all of this would be totally moot in a world where Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is King and His Most Blessed Mother, Mary our Immaculate Queen. No one who served in civil government would even dare to consider to "permit" baby-killing, whether chemical or surgical, under cover of law. Such a public official would understand that he had an obligation, upon peril to his own immortal soul, to defend the integrity of the Deposit of Faith at all times and to seek, as Pope Saint Pius X noted in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906, to pursue the common temporal good in light of the pursuit of man's Last End. Such an official would understand that any civil law contrary to the good souls could be nullified by the authority, recognized in a concordat with the Holy See or in a nation's own constitution, of the Catholic Church as an absolute last resort following the exhausting of her Indirect Power of teaching, preaching and exhortation. There would be straining of gnats to figure out the meaning of the clauses of a constitution. Everything would be viewed through the eyes of the true Faith.
Sure, as Pope Pius XII noted in Summi Pontificatus, October 10, 1939, the Christendom of the Middle Ages was not without problems. It was not without defects, as Father Denis Fahey pointed out in The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World:
The organization of the Europe of the thirteenth century furnishes us with one concrete realization of the Divine Plan. It is hardly necessary to add that there were then to be seen defects in the working of the Divine Plan., due to the character of fallen man, as well as to an imperfect mastery of physical nature. Yet, withal, the formal principle of ordered social organization in the world, the supremacy of the Mystical Body, was grasped and, in the main, accepted. The Lutheran revolt, prepared by the cult of pagan antiquity at the Renaissance, and by the favour enjoyed by the Nominalist philosophical theories, led to the rupture of that order.
Nevertheless, we must strive in our own lives for sanctity, realizing that we will fall short and give bad example now and again, sometimes grievously so. We don't stop the pursuit of sanctity, do we (as I noted in Sinners Deal With Sinners four months ago now)? No, we persevere to amend our lives and try to scale the heights of sanctity when we fall short, learning from our lessons and praying to Our Lady that she, the Mediatrix of All Graces, will send us the graces to truly want to make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world. We show defects in our own lives. We don't stop living according to the Faith, do we? We don't look the other way when our children show that they are prone to make the same mistakes that we made in the past. We continue to strive for sanctity.
Similarly, as a nation--or any organized social unit--is a collection of individual human beings with distinctive souls made in the image and likeness of the Most Blessed Trinity, there will be defects in its operation as a result of the frailties of fallen human nature. This does not mean that we must not work for the restoration of the Catholic State, of the Social Reign of Christ the King. A nation founded on right principles and seeks to pursue temporal justice in light of man's Last End can undergo a true reformation if her citizens should fall from the straight path. That path of true reformation rests in the reformation of the souls of the citizens, as Pope Pius XI noted in Notre Charge Apostolique. Nations not founded in false principles decay without the possibility of reform as its naturalistic principles convince men that it is through the external reform of structures and programs, not the reform of individual lives in conformity with the Deposit of Faith that has been given to and taught infallibly by the Catholic Church, that is the basis of "change."
The naturalists of the past each some interesting things to say about this or that problem. William Jennings Bryan was right to oppose American imperialism. Theodore Roosevelt was right in his concept of "conservation" (as opposed to the radical environmentalism of today). Robert La Follette defended the right of opposing President Woodrow Wilson's decision to involve the United States of America in World War I, something that took tremendous courage and caused him to be stigmatized as disloyal and pro-German (sound familiar?). Even the pro-Soviet stooge named Henry Wallace had a few interesting things to say about the fascism extant in the American political system. Other naturalists have have momentary "successes" in a few policy areas once they got elected, only to have those "successes" wiped out by some future administration. There is one constant: the power of the state keeps growing and growing and growing. Only those who delude themselves into thinking that their particular "movement" is "different" and will thus have success where others have failed cannot see this simple reality.
You want limited government? Pray and work for the Social Reign of Christ the King.
You want functions returned to the states and their localities? Pray and work for the Social Reign of Christ the King, which champions the legitimate Natural Law Principle of subsidiarity.
You want to live in a truly free land of authentic liberty? Pray and work for the Social Reign of Christ the King, which alone provides men with true liberty, that which comes from the standard of the King's Most Holy Cross, the instrument upon which He set us free from the slavery of sin and eternal death.
You want to have a just foreign policy? Pray and work for the Social Reign of Christ the King, where it will be understood that authentic peace is that provided by the King by means of Sanctifying Grace in the soul and that war is undertaken as a regrettable last resort, not as a preemptive option to pursue nationalistic and/or ideological goals that have nothing to do with defending legitimate national security interests.
You want to defend our borders against illegal immigration? Pray and work for the Social Reign of Christ the King, where nations will be organized by Catholic principles and civil leaders would not hesitate to defend their nations' territorial integrity by the enforcement of just laws. A world where Christ reigned as King would be one where national economies will not be driven by the demigod of the "market" and multinational corporate greed, which reduces underdeveloped nations and their people into pawns of the elitists, who oppress them in their own countries as these leaders are bribed by the leaders of multinational corporations to do their bidding for them at the expense of genuine Catholic social justice within their midst.
Imagine what the twenty million dollars that were donated to support the candidacy of a libertarian who bases his whole worldview a support of the false, naturalistic principles of the American founding could have done to help the true bishops and the true priests in the Catholic catacombs during this era of apostasy and betrayal. Each of the chapels in the "enterprise" operates on shoestring budgets. There's a desperate need for a new elevator at Mount Saint Michael's in Spokane, Washington. Mater Dei Seminary in Omaha, Nebraska, and Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida, could use large doses of money to train future priests. Fully Catholic schools located in the catacombs where no concessions are made to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds could use a nice infusion of cash for improvements to their buildings. Each of the parishes could use such assistance. What did I write six months ago? Yes, I think that it was something along the lines of
Wasted Time and Money and Effort.
Am I condemning those who believed (and might still believe) that is "necessary" to vote for Dr. Ron Paul? No. As I have noted time and time again, people will believe what they want. They will act as they will. I do believe, however, that my analysis will stand up in fifty years, if God gives us that long, that is, and prove be most accurate.
What I am criticizing is the belief that the naturalistic American political system is capable of producing "change" for the better. I am also criticizing those who subordinate the Catholic Faith to any naturalistic end, those who have a "problem," shall we say, with Catholic Social Teaching. They have no leg to stand on whatsoever unless they take refuge in conciliarism's many accommodations to the false spirits of 1787 and 1789, which some no doubt do.
The truth is what it is, and Pope Pius XI condemned as social modernists anyone who rejected the Church's Social Teaching:
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.)
Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who is on record believing that some of the papal teaching of the Nineteenth Century has become "obsolete," is certainly in the company of Americanists and libertarians who reject the immutably binding nature of Catholic Social Teaching, summarized so well by Pope Saint Pius X in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906:
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error."
Pope Saint Pius X has given us our goal, explicating it clearly in Notre Charge Apostolique while at the same time eviscerating the dreams of naturalists and their allies in the realm of "interdenominationalism:"
This, nevertheless, is what they want to do with human society; they dream of changing its natural and traditional foundations; they dream of a Future City built on different principles, and they dare to proclaim these more fruitful and more beneficial than the principles upon which the present Christian City rests.
No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker - the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. omnia instaurare in Christo.
As always, course, we must fly to the patronage of Our Lady, she is who is our life, sweetness and our hope. We must recognize that the situation of the world in which we live at present is the consequence of humans sins, including our own. We should never kid ourselves about the effects of our own sins upon the state of the Church and hence upon the world. We caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death. We caused Seven Swords of Sorrow to be thrust through and through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother. We must help to undo the damage caused by our sins.
We must recognize that we have no cause for complaint as we make reparation for our sins and the whole world, that the world in which we live is suffering justly as a result infidelity to Christ the King and to Mary our Immaculate Queen, an infidelity in which we have shared in our own private lives more often than we would like to admit to ourselves (or perhaps have even admitted in the confessional). We must bear the crosses of the present moment in patience and in love for the Cross of the Divine Redeemer, beneath which stood Our Lady as she suffered a perfect martyrdom of love with Him, Love Who was made Incarnate in her Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of the God the Holy Ghost at the Annunciation.
Consider this telling passage from Father Frederick Faber's powerful and deeply mystical The Foot of the Cross:
So, by her dolors, He has hung about her a complete revelation of the mystery of suffering. He has illuminated in her that pregnant doctrine, that suffering is the only true conclusion to be drawn from love, where divine things are concerned. She had no sin of her own for which to suffer. She had no penalty to pay for the fall of Eve. She was not included in the law of sin. She was, in the order of heaven's purposes, foreseen before the decree permitting sin. She also had no world to redeem. All her dear blood, the sweet fountain and well head of the Precious Blood, could not have washed away one venial sin, nor saved the soul of one new-born babe who had no actual sin to expiate. She was simply immersed in an unspeakable sea of love, and therefore the deluge of sorrow passed over he soul, and into it, by right, just as the great turbulent rivers run down unquestioned into the sea. Her sufferings close the mouth of complaint forever. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, Rockford, Illinois in 1978, p. 35.)
We must lift high the Cross as we give the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus all of our the merit we might earn each day as a result of prayers and sufferings and sacrifices and humiliations and misunderstandings and mortifications and penances and almsgiving through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit. The only true "movement" is the movement of a soul away from sin and in the direction of Heaven, a "movement" that permits nations themselves to acknowledge Christ as King and to honor His Most Blessed Mother with public Rosary Processions conducted with the full support of the leaders of the civil government.
Saint Valentine, like Our Lady, the Queen of Martyrs, died as a martyr of love for Love Incarnate, Love Crucified and Resurrected. May we imitate his martyrdom each day as we keep Our Lady company at the foot of her Divine Son's Most Holy Cross in the daily offering of the Mass of the ages in the Catholic catacombs. The seeds that we plant might just help to bring about, God willing and Our Lady, interceding, the day on which all men in all nations will exclaim:
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.