New Article: Posted March 17, 2017:
Democracy and the Spirit of the Antichrist
This article is Part II of a series titled Under Every Green Tree. Part I is to be found immediately below this present article.Other recent articles are linked towards the bottom of the menu on the left side of this page.
Under Every Green Tree
Democracy and the Spirit of Antichrist
“Never to have known Jesus Christ in any way is the greatest of misfortunes, but it involves no perversity or ingratitude. But, after having known, to reject or forget Him, is such a horrible and mad crime as to be scarcely credible.”
“Do away with the obstacles to the spirit of Christianity; revive and make it strong in the State, and the State will be recreated ….The security of the State demands that we should be brought back to Him from whom we ought never to have departed, to Him who is the way, the truth, and the life, not as individuals merely, but as human society through all its extent. Christ our Lord must be reinstated as the Ruler of human society. It belongs to Him, as do all its members. All the elements of the commonwealth; legal commands and prohibitions, popular institutions, schools, marriage, home-life, the workshop, and the palace, all must be made to come to that fountain and imbibe the life that comes from Him….About the “rights of man,” as they are called, the multitude has heard enough; it is time they should hear of the rights of God.”
Pope Leo XIII – Encyclical Tametsi (On Christ Our Redeemer), 1900)
The U.S. Constitution is founded upon two errors which have consistently worked to erode and destroy the faith of Catholics for over two centuries. In Part I of this series, I explored the first of these errors, which is to be found in the First Amendment (the first article of the Bill of Rights): “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” This fundamental rule of American jurisprudence is a direct denial of the Social Kingship of Christ – which entails that only the Catholic Church can build Christian civilization, and that all nations will only be blessed to the extent that they embrace this Kingship under the spiritual guidance of Christ’s Mystical Body, the Catholic Church. For a nation to declare neutrality towards this Kingship is to call down upon itself eventual total chaos and dissolution, which is precisely the fate that now hovers over our nation. For a Catholic to be involved (including voting) in any way in the political life of such a nation involves a kind of continual dialogue and compromise with much that is in direct and indirect denial of his faith, and therefore almost necessarily results in intellectual, moral, and spiritual prostitution.
As examined in Part I, the eroding effect of this error upon the intellect and will finally devolved upon a situation in which Catholics en masse voted last November either for a candidate who is militantly pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and anti-Catholic, on the one hand, or one who through his words and actions during the campaign defined himself as profoundly duplicitous in his pretensions of being Christian, and as a “man of lawlessness” beyond all moral prescriptions and decency.
There is, however, a second error, deeply imbedded in the American system of government, which has a history of deception and captivation of the Christian mind over the past 7 centuries which deserves close examination if we are ever to return as Catholics to an integral understanding of Christ’s Kingship over all individuals and nations. It consists, quite simply, in the formula that government is “of the People, by the People, and for the People”, and is rightly given the name “democracy”, which literally means “people rule” – from the Greek demos (the people), and kratia (rule). Many Americans have the erroneous notion that this phrase is to be found in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. It actually is to be found only in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. But the principle – government of the people and by the people – is certainly the foundation for the Declaration of Independence, and therefore also of the American Constitution: Thus, in the former:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.... That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government….” (Declaration of Independence, second paragraph).
There are of course always deficiencies and injustices in government, and the Declaration of Independence does indeed contain a list of grievances against England and her rule of the colonies. When I was a schoolboy, the main grievance of the colonists was always considered to be “taxation without representation”. I remember later in my adult life reading a news story during the Bicentennial Celebration in Boston in 1976 about a man, dressed as King George III, who jumped upon the stage and cried out, “How do you like taxation with representation?” The same story went on to point out that at the time of the Revolution the tax paid by the average American was one-half of 1%, while now it borders upon 50%. Accurate or not, this story points to the fact that there is always excuse for Revolution under democratic forms of government. We need also point out that the Declaration of Independence does indeed have at least one thing right. Governments are certainly instituted for the good of all its citizens, and among the equal rights of all its citizens is the right to life. Under its prescriptions, therefore, there is now a massive amount of justification, in the form of millions of murdered unborn children, for violent Revolution. This does not entail that you or I advocate such Revolution, but rather that the Declaration of Independence does so itself.
It will be the purpose of this article to prove that it is the fundamental principle of democracy – “the rule of the people” – which actually defines the principle of Revolution which has virtually destroyed Christian Civilization, that it has a long history reaching back into the latter Middle Ages, and that it is a heresy which is responsible not only for the decay of nations, but now also threatens the continuing existence of the Church, and the Papacy upon which it is founded.
I realize that this is a rather large undertaking. And since deception in regard to this subject runs so deep, I believe that a rather unusual approach is required in examining this subject.
It is very difficult for most Americans to believe that there is not something almost sacred about democracy. This, in turn, is intimately tied to a reverence not only for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but also for what is termed the “Founding Fathers”. There is something almost Biblical about this reverence – almost as though they were Patriarchs of some sort of New Revelation concerning human rights and freedom.
In order to penetrate through this miasma of false reverence, I therefore intend the following structure to this article: 1) To examine the specific errors of democracy in the light of Catholic doctrine and Papal teachings; 2) To penetrate through the myths concerning the Founding Fathers, including the Catholic “Fathers” of the American Church; 3) To then jump back approximately 700 years in order to examine the origin of and growth of this heresy; 4) Finally, to analyze our present crisis in the light of what we have learned.
Catholic Doctrine Concerning Democracy
There are numerous encyclicals issued by many Popes, especially since the time of the French Revolution, which condemn certain principles integral to democracy. But it is Pope St. Pius X’s encyclical to the French Bishops titled Notre Charge Apostolique (On the Sillon), and a number of encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII, which contain the most direct examination of the errors of democracy, and the Catholic doctrines which are denied by this form of government. These doctrines are all centered upon a true understanding of the source of authority in all civil societies. The reader should keep in mind that in speaking of the errors of “The Sillon”, Pope Pius X is equating these errors with a false democracy, especially as practiced and promoted by Catholics. The two quotations immediately below are from The Sillon:
“Admittedly, the Sillon holds that authority - which it first places in the people - descends from God, but in such a way: “as to return from below upward…. But besides its being abnormal for the delegation of power to ascend, since it is in its nature to descend, Leo XIII refuted in advance this attempt to reconcile Catholic Doctrine with the error of philosophism. For, he continues: ‘It is necessary to remark here that those who preside over the government of public affairs may indeed, in certain cases, be chosen by the will and judgment of the multitude without repugnance or opposition to Catholic doctrine. But whilst this choice marks out the ruler, it does not confer upon him the authority to govern; it does not delegate the power, it designates the person who will be invested with it.’ For the rest, if the people remain the holders of power, what becomes of authority? A shadow, a myth; there is no more law properly so-called, no more obedience.”
“We do not have to demonstrate here that the advent of universal Democracy is of no concern to the action of the Church in the world.”
Perhaps the most powerful condemnations of the principles of democracy are to be found in Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Immortale Dei (On the Christian Constitution of States). I think it worthwhile to offer several passages from this marvelous work:
“Sad it is to call to mind how the harmful and lamentable rage for innovation which rose to a climax in the sixteenth century, threw first of all into confusion the Christian religion, and next, by natural sequence, invaded the precincts of philosophy, whence it spread amongst all classes of society. From this source, as from a fountain-head, burst forth all those later tenets of unbridled license which, in the midst of the terrible upheavals of the last century, were wildly conceived and boldly proclaimed as the principles and foundation of that new conception of law which was not merely previously unknown, but was at variance on many points with not only the Christian, but even the natural law.
“Amongst these principles the main one lays down that as all men are alike by race and nature, so in like manner all are equal in the control of their life; that each one is so far his own master as to be in no sense under the rule of any other individual; that each is free to think on every subject just as he may choose, and to do whatever he may like to do; that no man has any right to rule over other men. In a society grounded upon such maxims all government is nothing more nor less than the will of the people, and the people, being under the power of itself alone, is alone its own ruler. It does choose, nevertheless, some to whose charge it may commit itself, but in such wise that it makes over to them not the right so much as the business of governing, to be exercised, however, in its name.
“The authority of God is passed over in silence, just as if there were no God; or as if He cared nothing for human society; or as if men, whether in their individual capacity or bound together in social relations, owed nothing to God; or as if there could be a government of which the whole origin and power and authority did not reside in God Himself. Thus, as is evident, a State becomes nothing but a multitude which is its own master and ruler. And since the people is declared to contain within itself the spring-head of all rights and of all power, it follows that the State does not consider itself bound by any kind of duty toward God. Moreover, it believes that it is not obliged to make public profession of any religion; or to inquire which of the very many religions is the only one true; or to prefer one religion to all the rest; or to show to any form of religion special favor; but, on the contrary, is bound to grant equal rights to every creed, so that public order may not be disturbed by any particular form of religious belief.
“And it is a part of this theory that all questions that concern religion are to be referred to private judgment; that every one is to be free to follow whatever religion he prefers, or none at all if he disapprove of all. From this the following consequences logically flow: that the judgment of each one's conscience is independent of all law; that the most unrestrained opinions may be openly expressed as to the practice or omission of divine worship; and that every one has unbounded license to think whatever he chooses and to publish abroad whatever he thinks.”
“Now, natural reason itself proves convincingly that such concepts of the government of a State are wholly at variance with the truth. Nature itself bears witness that all power, of every kind, has its origin from God, who is its chief and most august source.
“The sovereignty of the people, however, and this without any reference to God, is held to reside in the multitude; which is doubtless a doctrine exceedingly well calculated to flatter and to inflame many passions, but which lacks all reasonable proof, and all power of insuring public safety and preserving order. Indeed, from the prevalence of this teaching, things have come to such a pass that many hold as an axiom of civil jurisprudence that seditions may be rightfully fostered. For the opinion prevails that princes are nothing more than delegates chosen to carry out the will of the people; whence it necessarily follows that all things are as changeable as the will of the people, so that risk of public disturbance is ever hanging over our heads.”
I don’t think that we need to elaborate beyond the very evident conclusion that after approximately 225 years of the fruits of democracy in this country, “the risk of public disturbance is ever hanging over our heads.”
We conclude this section therefore with a statement of the two central principles of democracy which are in direct contradiction to Catholic doctrine:
1) Nations (and individuals) have no absolute obligation to embrace the one true religion of Jesus Christ, which is to be found only in the Catholic Church. Religion should in fact be separated from the State, and have no authority over public affairs. This is the heresy commonly called Indifferentism.
2) Political sovereignty and power rests in the people (expressed usually through the Vote). When any of these powers are delegated to be exercised by others , (through, for example, an electoral process), the ultimate power and authority continues to rest in the people, and therefore submission to such authorities can be refused and withdrawn by them.
These principles constitute a direct denial of the Kingship of Christ. They are blasphemy against the universal Sovereignty of God over all of His Creation. It should not therefore seem an exaggeration to see democracy as the spirit of Antichrist incarnated in the political life of nations. Nor should it be surprising to us that Secret Societies long ago perceived that it was the vote, and especially the guilt associated with not voting, which would function as a primary means for lowering minds and hearts into this spirit. I believe that never in the history of this nation has this seduction produced more fruit than in this past election.
Having established clearly the direct opposition of the fundamental principles of democracy to Catholic doctrine, it yet remains to penetrate through a myth which still might hold minds and hearts in darkness in regard to the evils of democracy. This myth is centered upon the beginnings of this nation, and the views of what are called the “Founding Fathers”. It has been common opinion in this country to consider men such as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Hamilton, etc. as virtually on par with Biblical prophets, just as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence are venerated as virtual modern extensions of Biblical Revelation.
Let us begin with some generalities. In twelve out of thirteen of the original colonies the practice of the Catholic faith was outlawed. When the British government passed a law in Canada called the Quebec Act which granted religions freedom to Catholics, it was publicly denounced by John Adams, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Samuel Adams, and Alexander Hamilton. On 21 October 1774, the Continental Congress addressed an open letter to the British people admonishing them for passing this law which tolerated a religion which "has deluged your island in blood, and dispersed impiety, bigotry, persecution, murder and rebellion through every part of the world."
Some of the "Fathers" stand out not only as anti-Catholic, but also as universally anti-Christian. We must remember that most of them, being products of the Enlightenment, were Deists. They might have nominally believed in a creator God, but they emphatically did not believe in His direct concern or intervention in human affairs. This means, of course, that they vehemently rejected the Incarnation and the Divinity of Christ. Thomas Jefferson gives profound witness to this rejection in his book called The Jefferson Bible. In this work, he had the audacity to edit the entirety of the Gospels, eliminating all reference to Christ's Divinity, and also expurgating all of His miracles, including His Resurrection. Jefferson, despite recent revelations regarding his moral integrity, has been almost universally venerated as a man of great wisdom and moral integrity. I would ask the reader to obtain a copy of this book, examine its contents, and then question the integrity of a man who would do this to any other man's work, not to mention that this is the Work of God. Many of the Deists, including Jefferson, claimed to honour Christ as a great moral teacher, while at the same time rejecting all claims to His Divinity. Jefferson detested St. Paul and viewed him as the major villain in what he considered as the idolatrous divinization of the man, Jesus.
One of Thomas Jefferson's friends and correspondents was Thomas Paine, who is famous for having written the pamphlet Common Sense, which was a powerful piece of propaganda intended to sway public opinion in favour of the American Revolution. Many people do not know that there was at the time a deep division in the colonies over this issue, and that possibly even the majority in the beginning considered this course of action to be highly immoral and treasonous. Paine’s pamphlet, however, worked very effectively to neutralize this opposition, to the extent that virtually all historians today admit that the Revolution would not have occurred without its having been written and widely diffused. Few people also know that Thomas Paine also wrote a book titled The Age of Reason, the expressed purpose of which was to prove that Christianity was false and the Bible deeply self-contradictory. The following passage is taken from Book Two of this work:
"But the belief in a God is so weakened by being mixed with the strange fables of the Christian creed, and with the wild adventures related in the Bible, and the obscurity and obscene nonsense of the testament, that the mind of man is bewildered as in a fog ....
"Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying, to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid, or produces only atheists and fanatics. As an engine of power it serves the purpose of despotism and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests; but so far as respects the good of man in general, it leads to nothing here or hereafter."
It would, of course, be unfair to say that all of the founding fathers were as vehemently or fanatically anti-Christian as were Jefferson and Paine. It would be quite accurate to conclude, howev¬er, that the vast majority were not Christian, and were vehemently anti-Catholic. In other words, those who claim that the solution to the present problems of our country is a return to the Christian roots of our founding fathers and the Constitution are somewhat like the man who shoots himself in the foot, and then does it again because it hurt the first time, and he now wants to do it right. He needs desperately to realize that there was no right in the thing from the beginning. In the case under consideration, he needs to admit that this was not a Christian country to begin with, and we are not in need of re-establishment but of primary evangelization.
Nor do we find integrity in regard to Catholic doctrine concerning the Kingship of Christ when we turn to those who might be viewed as the “Fathers” of American Catholicism.
Every bishop in this country, since the Constitution’s ratification, should have known that from that moment onward this nation would be in an accelerating state of falling away from God; and that this in turn would produce that inevitable decay in the spirituality and psychology of its citizenry which would finally descend to those barbarities which seem to be the end point of all such historical degenerations of nations – the destruction of the family, sexual license, homosexuality, and the sacrifice of one’s own children. The corollary of this understanding, of course, is that such a state of social emergency should have produced a militancy in our bishops, all priests, and the laity which fervently pursued the conversion of every soul in this country to Christ and to His Catholic Church.
In fact, just the opposite happened.
From their very first presence in this country (we speak here of the 13 colonies, and exclude the Catholic population of Spanish origin from this generalization), Catholics largely saw no conflict between their faith and the dominant culture. Lord Baltimore proclaimed religious freedom for the original Catholic settlement of Maryland. Charles Carroll signed the Declaration of Independence, and cast the vote that separated Maryland from England. Daniel Carroll helped draw up the Constitution, called it "the best form of Government that has ever been offered to the world", and was responsible for its adoption by the state of Maryland. John Carroll, ordained a Catholic priest and later the first bishop of the United States, was sent as an agent of the American Revolutionaries to try to convince Canada and Catholic Quebec to support the American Revolution (which support was refused by Bishop Briand of Quebec), despite the fact that there was such strong anti-Catholic sentiment in this country that the Continental Congress officially and vehemently protested to England against the passage of the Quebec Act, by which England granted religions freedom to Catholics in Canada.
Archbishop (later Cardinal) Gibbons (who has been called the “Prince of Democracy”) stated in his Pastoral Letter accompanying the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) that “there is no antagonism between the laws, institutions and spirit of the Catholic Church, and the laws, institutions, and spirit of this country”; and further, “that our country’s heroes were the instruments of the God of Nations in establishing this home of freedom,” and that it is illogical to think that “there is aught in the free spirit of our American institutions incompatible with perfect docility to the Church of Christ.”
Cardinal Gibbon’s close friend and contemporary, Bishop John Ireland of St. Paul, was even more rapturous in his unqualified endorsement of the American view of freedom:
“God gives the power; but the people choose those that hold it, and mark out the conditions under which they do hold it. This is supreme democracy: it is the dogma of Catholicism. In America the government is the Republic – the government of the people, by the people, for the people. With you, fellow Catholics, with you fellow Americans, I salute the Republic: I thank God that the people of America are capable of possessing a government of this form. The Republic – it is the fullest recognition of human dignity and human rights, the fullest grant of personal freedom, that due respect for the rights of others and the welfare of the social organism may allow. Alter it to empire or monarchy! Never, so long as our lips may praise it, or our hands wield arms in its defense (address delivered in Milwaukee, Aug 11, 1913).”
This historical betrayal of our bishops, now stained with the blood of many millions of unborn children through the abortion holocaust, and the spiritual rape of those already born through sex-education and the destruction of orthodox catechetical instruction, is still with us. It has now come down to the pathetic point where we are now supposed to consider our hierarchy in this country as heroic for standing up for “religious freedom”, when it is in fact religious freedom and Indifferentism which got us into our present mess to begin with. And behind it all was the cowardice of Silence – the silence which feared proclaiming the rights of God and of His Church to a society immersed in democratic errors.
Finally, it must be said, that the Church certainly recognizes and demands that man can come to the fullness of truth only through the exercise of his free will, and it also possesses a corpus of teaching concerning a legitimate “toleration” of error, especially when the suppression of such error would cause more evil than it would prevent. But such toleration does not lessen the obligation of confronting error “in its face”, and working diligently for the conversion of souls to the freedom which is only to found in the fullness of Catholic truth. It is this Catholic heroism which men like the Carrolls, Cardinal Gibbons, and Archbishop Ireland surrendered to the Republic.
Democracy: The History of Revolution in Church and State
In his analysis of the false principles of democracy in Immortale Dei, Pope Leo XIII spoke of the harmful and lamentable rage for innovation which rose to a climax in the sixteenth century”. The Protestant Revolution was not just an accident or anomaly of history, but rather the clima of an historical process, the origins of which must be sought in the 13th and 14th centuries.
It is of course true that the basic principles of Revolution among mankind are as old as Original Sin, and it is also true that democratic forms of Government reach back to the Greeks (Athenian democracy in the 5th century B.C.). But it is equally true that democracy in relation to Christian civilization possesses it own unique history, and it is here we shall begin our analysis.
It has been my position (and that of many others, including Popes) that Christian civilization reached its highest attainment in the Thirteenth Century. I further believe that this was due especially to two very great graces – St. Francis and St. Thomas Aquinas – given by God, with the power to effect what could have been a new beginning (a kind of New Pentecost) in the Christian world. The gift of St. Francis was designed to effect a return to living the Beatitudes. The gift of St. Thomas provided an intellectual vision of virtually the entirety of Christian Revelation and philosophical understanding, which was designed to be an unprecedented light for the liberation of both individual souls and nations. Both were betrayed. I would recommend my article St. Francis of Assisi: They Pretended to Love You So That They Might Leave You, and The Restoration of the Supernatural According to the Teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, for further understanding these gifts and their rejection.
Much of what follows is indebted to Dr. Ludwig Von Pastor’s work The History of the Popes Since the Close of the Middle Ages. It spans a period of time from the beginning of the 14th Century (the Avignon Papacy) to Napoleon’s entrance into Rome in 1799, and comprises 16 volumes. It is a work immensely important for the understanding of the momentous historical events involving both Church and State during this period, especially considering the fact that Pope Leo XIII, for the first time, gave Von Pastor privileged access to the Secret Vatican Archives, and therefore many hitherto unavailable documents, for his labors.
Von Pastor chose well that point in time in which he was to begin his monumental work. It was at this juncture of time that the Church largely turned its back upon the purity of life and thought to be found in St. Francis and St. Thomas, and opened itself up to that massive influx of Greek and Roman culture through what is called the Renaissance. The Renaissance is usually considered to have its beginning in the 14th Century, but as Von Pastor notes the evil fruit which it produced in State and Church grew from seed planted in the rotting soil of the end of the 13th:
“The period was in many ways a most melancholy one. The prevailing immorality exceeded anything that had been witnessed since the tenth century. Upon a closer inquiry into the causes of this state of things, we shall find that the evil was in a great measure due to the altered conditions of civilized life. Commercial progress, facilities of intercourse, the general well-being and prosperity of all classes of society in Italy, France, Germany and the Low Countries, had greatly increased during the latter part of the thirteenth century. Habits of life changed rapidly, and became more luxurious and pleasure-seeking. The clergy of all degrees, with some honourable exceptions, went with the current.” (Vol. I, p. 97-98 – unless otherwise noted all future references will be from Volume I).
The Way of the Beatitudes (especially Lady Poverty) of St. Francis had been betrayed, and the “Flies” of Renaissance-inspired corruption found ample rot upon which to swarm. This was especially true of everything which touched upon matters relating to the flesh (including ,of course, art and literature), but it was also true in the intellectual realm. Most prominent among the latter was the Greek idea of the autonomy of individual man, and the belief in that sovereignty of the people which in the social realm is termed democrac, and in the spiritual realm ultimately produced such phenomena as Concilliarism and the Protestant Revolution.
It is extremely difficult for anyone living in the 21st Century to realize what a radical effect upon the depths of the Catholic soul was produced by any triumph of democratic principles, whether in the realm of the Church or the State. We can, of course, never speak of total unanimity in human affairs, even in the affairs of Catholics. But we may nevertheless say that there certainly was an integral Catholic spirit which, up until this historical point, had simply accepted as a matter of fact the words of St. Paul:
“Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation.” (Romans 13: 1-2).
And then there are the words of St. Peter:
“Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God’s sake: whether it be to the king as excelling; Or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of the good: For so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if for conscience towards God, a man endures sorrows, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if committing sin, and being buffeted for it, you endure? But if doing well you suffer patiently, this is thankworthy before God. For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, did not revile: when he suffered, he threatened not: but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly.” (1Pet 2:13-23).
The Church has always qualified such obedience as to make it applicable “in all things but sin”, and it has also recognized that such obedience might be coupled with respectful criticism, etc. But it has always condemned any notion that power and authority of government, whether of Church or State, lies in the people themselves.
It is precisely this latter principle which burst forth in the first half of the 14th Century in relation to both Church and State. It has been with us ever since. Sometimes it has come in the fullness of violent Revolution against both Church and State, as was the case with the French Revolution or the Spanish Civil War. At other times it might focus such violence mainly upon the Church, as in the Protestant Revolts in many countries. Or it might seem to be a revolution almost entirely in the political realm, as in the case of the American Revolution. And, finally, at other times it infiltrates its principles into the consciousness of millions of people through more deceptive and peaceful means, and executes its immense damage not outwardly through physical violence, but by means of ideas, philosophies, theological aberrations, and political ideologies and forms of government which profoundly undermine the sovereignty of God over individuals and nations, and over Church and State.
The Tract Defensor Pacis (The Defender of Peace), which laid the foundations of the modern idea that sovereignty resides in the people, was published in 1324. Its authors were both Professors at the University of Paris: Marsiglio da Padova (English: Marsilius of Padua), and Jean de Jandun. It is often exclusively attributed to Marsiglio.
It would not be appropriate here to enter into discussion of all the factors in Church and State during this period, which immediately provided this document with so powerful a fecundity in the minds and hearts of large segments of people. But two of these deserve special mention.
Defensor Pacis was published under the auspices and protection of Emperor Louis of Bavaria, who was then in a virtual state of war with a severely weakened and compromised Papacy residing in Avignon. He was also protector of that band of Franciscans called “minorities” who refused to submit to Pope John XXII’s condemnation of the doctrine of “the Absolute Poverty of Christ” proposed by St. Bonaventure, and who now produced a good deal of violent literature claiming the Pope to be an antichrist. Add to this a Papacy subject to the good will of the French Monarchy, and a Church living under the aura of corruption and opulence of the French Court, it took little effort to severely undermine whatever claims she made as to to her Divine origins and hierarchical structure.
Secondly, the views expressed in Marsiglio’s Tract were not without recent precedence. Also under the protection of the Emperor during this period was the English Franciscan Friar, William of Occam (also Ockham) who, according to Von Pastor, “was deeply imbued with the political ideas of the ancients”. Following is Von Pastor’s summary of his positions:
“…the Emperor has a right to depose the Pope should he fall into heresy. Both General Councils and Popes may err, Holy Scripture and the beliefs held by the Church at all times and in all places, can alone be taken as the unalterable rule of Faith and Morals. The Primacy and Hierarchical Institutions in general are not necessary or essential to the subsistence of the Church; and the forms of the ecclesiastical, as of the political, constitution ought to vary with the varying needs of the tim.” (p. 76).
But it is Marsiglio’s work which would provide the main source of fuel for these errors down through subsequent centuries. It also is full of violent invectives against John XXII, among them being “the great dragon and the old serpent”. The following summary of his positions is taken from Von Pastor:
“[Marsiglio] asserts the unconditional sovereignty of the people. The legislative power which is exercised through their elected representatives, belongs to them, also the appointment of the executive through their delegates. The ruler is merely the instrument of the legislature….If the ruler exceeds his authority, the people are justified in depriving him of his power, and deposing him.
“Still more radical, if possible, are the views regarding the doctrine and government of the Church put forth in this work. The sole foundation of faith and of the Church is Holy Scripture, which does not derive its authority from her, but, on the contrary confers on her that which she possesses. The only true interpretation of Scripture is, not that of the Church, but that of the most intelligent people, so that the University of Paris may very well be superior to the Court of Rome. Questions concerning faith are to be decided, not by the Pope, but by a General Council.
“This General Council is supreme over the whole Church, and is to be summoned by the State. It is to be composed not only of the clergy, but also of laymen elected by the people. As regards their office, all priests are equal; according to Divine right, no one of them is higher than another. The whole question of Church government is one of expediency, not of the faith necessary to salvation. The Primacy of the Pope is not founded on Scripture, nor on Divine right. His authority therefore can only, according to Marsiglio, be derived from a General Council and from the legislature of the State; and for the election of a Pope the authority of the Council requires confirmation from the State.” (p. 76-78).
One of the things that should impress us most in the above passages is the way in which the principle of the “sovereignty of the people” flows like molten lava between State and Church, equally dissolving all claims of Divinely established power as residing anywhere else other than in the people. It is, in other words, a myth to believe that such a view of authority and power can be confined to the State, while at the same time preserving a separation between the State and the Church which leaves the latter to possess a form of government which is in diametrical opposition to the former. Human hubris, of which the first is a product, simply will not long endure the existence of the latter. It was a case of incredible obtuseness on the part of American Catholics, and especially the educated hierarchy, to believe such a delusion could be long maintained.
It is equally important to understand that when we confront such proposals as the superiority of a General Council over the Pope, or as having the power to judge a Pope or declare him deposed, we are in reality dealing with the same democratic principle in regard to the affairs of the Church – in the words of Pope Pius X, “power ascending from below, rather than from above”. In other words, Concilliarism is simply another form of thinly-disguised democracy in application to the Divine Constitution of the Church.
So let us proceed with an examination of the effect of such democratic principles upon the Church during the 14th, and into the 15th Centuries.
As the Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) states, “The influence of the “Defensor pacis” was disastrous, and Marsilius may well be reckoned one of the fathers of the Reformation”. We know that Wycliffe was directly influenced by Him, and that 1n 1535 Thomas Cromwell had Defensor Pacis translated into English in order to offer proof and justification for Royal Supremacy over the Church. The following evaluation as to the historical importance of this work is offered by Harvard Professor (Emeritus) of Ecclesiastical Studies Ephraim Emerton in his Critical Study of Defensor Pacis:
Marsiglio's work penetrates every attempt at church reform made during the five generations between Wycliffe and Luther. It came to be one of the stock charges made against every leader of reform that he was repeating the heresies of Wycliffe and through him those of Marsiglio. Even though the reformer [Luther] himself made no allusion to his fourteenth century predecessor, and may, indeed, have been more or less unconscious of the debt he owed him, the sure instinct of the still dominant but now thoroughly frightened Church pointed unerringly to the essential continuity of ideas from Marsiglio onward.”
The Great Western Schism
The Avignon Papacy (including seven French Popes) endured from 1309 until 1377, at which time St. Catherine of Sienna finally managed to persuade Pope Gregory XI to return the Papacy to Rome. Gregory died the following March. On April 8, the Cardinals elected Cardinal Prignano (Italian), who took the name Pope Urban VI. As Von Pastor writes, “It cannot, indeed be denied that the election of Urban VI was canonically valid. The most distinguished lawyers of the day gave their deliberate decisions to this effect.” (p. 120).
Pope Urban was intent upon reform, and he proved to be quite extraordinarily harsh upon the Cardinals who elected him – a harshness which Catherine of Sienna frequently counseled him to temper. Finally, the Cardinals (with the exception of one Italian) could stand it no longer, and while in summer residence at Anagni held another (illegal) conclave and declared the election of Urban VI to be invalid. Thirteen days later (August 22), the eleven French Cardinals, and the Spanish Cardinal Pedro de Luna (who would later become Antipope Benedict XIII) – all of whom had originally elected Urban – now elected Cardinal Robert of Geneva Antipope. He took the name Clement VII. The three Italian Cardinals, who had originally voted for Urban, abstained from this vote, but later that day accepted his Papacy. The Great Western Schism had begun. The Papacy had been somewhat “normal” – without either being in exile in Avignon, or racked by Schism and Antipopes – for approximately one and one-half years.
The Great Western Schism would last 39 years. It divided not only the Church, but also nations. France, Scotland and Spain were allied with the series of Antipopes, while Italy, England, Flanders, Hungary, Poland, and most of Germany were allied with the succession of true Popes. It also divided Saints – Catherine of Sienna of course supported the true Pope, while St. Vincent Ferrer for years was allied with the Spaniard Pedro de Luna who became Antipope Benedict XIII. The false Council of Pisa in 1409 attempted to declare both successors (Pope Gregory XII and Antiope Benedict XIII) of these two lines of Papal claimants deposed, and then proceeded to elect a third – Antipope Alexander V (Alexander V died this same year, and the Cardinals immediately elected Antipope John XXIII as his successor). The schism was finally ended at the Council of Constance, when for the good of the Church, the true Pope Gregory XII, along with Antipope John XXIII, resigned (Pedro de Luna – Antipope Benedict XIII – never did resign, but largely lost his support, including that of St. Vincent Ferrer). Gregory also legitimized the Council, which then proceeded to elect a new Pope, Martin V. All of this history is examined in much greater detail in my article The Religion of Abandonment: Sedevacantism and the Heresy of Concilliarism.
All during this time, however, the heresy of Concilliarism (and worse) cultured and grew in the minds and hearts of Catholics. In 1381, a work was published by Heinrich von Langenstein titled Proposition of Peace for the Union and Reformation of the Church by a General Counci. Its proposals are summarized by Von Pastor:
“No especial weight is to be attached to our Lord’s institution of the Papacy. The Church would have had a right to appoint a Pope if He had not done so. If the Cardinals should have chosen a Pope who does not suit the Church, she had the right to revise the work of her agents, and even to deprive them of her commission. For the power to elect the Pope rests originally in the Episcopate, and reverts to it if the Cardinals cannot, or will not elect; or if they abuse their right of election. The criterion, by which all acts of Church and State are to be judged, is whether they do, or do not promote the general good. A prince who, instead of preserving the State, would ruin and betray it, is to be resisted as an enemy; the same course should be pursued in the Church. Necessity breaks the law; indeed, even renders its breach a duty….To apply these general notions to the present case, it is not of the essence of a General Council that it should be summoned by the Pope; in extraordinary cases this may be done by temporal princes. The authority of the Council stands higher than that of the Pope and the Sacred College, for of the Church alone is it said that the gates of hell should not prevail against her. These theories, by which Langenstein broke with the whole existing system, soon became widely diffused. Henceforward this most dangerous doctrine of the natural right of necessity was the instrument used in all efforts to put an end to the Schism.” (p. 183-185).
It is worth noting that it was precisely this principle – “necessity breaks the law” – *which provided the justification for Archbishop Lefebvre’s ordaining four bishops expressly against a Papal mandate not to do so.
During this period leading up to the Council of Constance, these sort of tracts proliferated. The celebrated Canonist Zabarella, who afterwards became a Cardinal, wrote a treatise which, according to Von Pastor brought to fullness the Concilliarist heresy. In regard to the Pope, Zabarella wrote, “Should he err, the Church must set him right; should he fall into heresy, or be an obstinate schismatic, or commit a notorious crime, the Council may depose him.” (p. 187).
Nor was this all ended with the Council of Constance, which ended the schism. The Council actually passed a Decree titled Frequens which bound Popes not only to the decisions of General Councils, but also to a kind of constant state of being subject to the vigilance and superior authority of these same Councils. Nine times it uses the word “bound” in reference to such Papal subjections to General Councils. It also declared that in any further instance in which there is a disputed Papacy, all claimants, including the legitimate Pope, are called to judgment by a General Council, are suspended from all administration of Church affairs, and that obedience is not to be given by the faithful to any such claimants until the question has been settled by the Council. This decree was not confirmed by the newly elected Martin V, and flatly contradicted in further documents by Martin and subsequent Popes.
It is enormously important to understand, however, that Concilliarism was not dead, but in fact formed the thinking of the majority of the Council Fathers of Constance. This was especially true of the French faction. Concilliarism would persist over the centuries and would coalesce in a conglomerate of heresies associated with what is called Gallicianism. It would then be this heresy which formed the opposition to the definitions of Papal Primacy and Infallibility at the First Vatican Council.
It would, of course, be possible to do an exhaustive study of these democratic principles, and their increasing corrosive effect upon Church and State, through the past five centuries. But I think that what has already been provided above in terms of historical analysis should be enough to convince any perceptive reader of the basic thrust and intensity of what has come down to us in the many-faceted forms which incarnate the basic errors of democratic thinking.
However, considering what is happening in regard to the Papacy of Pope Francis, and the increasing attempts to find justification for his being declared a heretic and deposed, I do believe one more stop along the historical timeline to be worthy of our consideration.
The writings of four theologians – Thomas Cajetan, Robert Bellarmine, Francisco Suarez, and John of St. Thomas – whose writings on this subject all occur within a one-hundred year period, from the beginning of the 16th to the first half of the 17th centuries – form the central locus of current efforts to justify Papal deposition.
In light of all that has been written above, it would therefore seem legitimate to question the influence of erroneous democratic principles upon these men’s thinking:
In De Clericis, Ch. VII, Bellarmine writes:
“In a commonwealth all men are born naturally free; consequently, the people themselves, immediately and directly, hold the political power so long as they have not transferred this power to some king or ruler.”
And, in De Laicis, Cap. VI, he teaches:
“Political power resides immediately in the whole multitude as in an organic unit. The divine law has not given this power to any particular man; therefore, it has given it to the multitude. There being no positive law to this effect, there is no more reason why, among equals, one should have a greater right to rule than another. Therefore, the power belongs to the whole multitude.” (both quotes are taken from “Democracy and Bellarmine,” John C. Rager, S.T.D.,1926).
An important feature of Suárez’s view is that political power does not just reside in the community initially. It always remains there. As he puts it, “after that power has been transferred to some individual person, even if it has been passed on to a number of people through various successions or elections, it is still always regarded as possessed immediately by the community.” (DL 3.4.8). Suárez is, of course, aware that the needed stability of political communities would be in question if communities could withdraw their transfer of power to the government at every whim. So even though in some sense the power always remains in the community, Suárez argues that the transferred power may not ordinarily be withdrawn (De legibus 3.4.6). Suárez recognizes exceptions, however. Should the government become tyrannical, the door may be opened to legitimate revolt and even tyrannicide (Defensio fidei catholicae 6.4 and De charitate 13.8). This is the doctrine that gained Suárez the ire of James I of England.
As I said early, the corrosive principles behind the principle of “Popular Sovereignty” flow easily between views of Church and State. We might justly conjecture that these men’s thinking in regard to Papal deposition are intimately connected to their thinking on secular authority, and are simply a diluted form of the poison which originally formed in the mind of such men as Marsiglio da Padova..
As to the positions of Thomas Cajetan and John of St. Thomas, I have examined their Concilliarist errors in my article A Tower of Babel: The Rush to Depose a Pope.
Our Lord asks his disciples an extraordinary question: “”But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?” (Luke 18: 8))
We tend, I think, to take this as a purely rhetorical question. We might reply, “Of course there will be faith. There will always be a Remnant – Scripture promises such.” And yet we are obliged to take Our Lord’s question seriously.
Our Lord’s question comes as the conclusion to a short parable concerning the widow who continually “wearies” an unjust judge in order to receive justice. It ends with the following: “And will not God revenge [a metaphor for God’s justice] his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard? I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them.”
It may at first seem quite extraordinary that the virtue of faith is here identified with the incessant crying of a widow for justice. We tend to think of faith solely in terms of an intellectual possession. We believe the Truths revealed by God, or we do not. The first constitutes us as being faithful, the second as reprobate.
But both Scripture and Church teaching reveal to us that there is a very real distinction to be made between a dead faith and a faith that is alive: “Faith without charity is dead”. (James 2:20).
We tend to think of this charity, without which faith is dead, exclusively in relation to our neighbor. St. John is clear in his teaching that we cannot claim love of God if we do not also love our brother. But St. John also teaches the reverse: “In this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God, and keep his commandments”. (1 John 5:2). In other words, we cannot possess charity towards our neighbor unless we are first established in the charity of God, which requires obedience to His Commandments.
The First Commandment of God is:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart.”
It is the “heart” which is the organ of human integrity because it is here where human intellect and will meet, where Truth becomes incarnate and faith becomes alive, and therefore where the duplicity, hypocrisy, and the lies of Satan are defeated.
Absolutely central to this love of God is that it be whole, which simply means that we seek first the establishment of the kingdom of God in all things, and not compromise, or be in any way duplicitous, in this work: “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).
It is the most fundamental characteristic of democracy to secrete a corrosive spirit of duplicity which dissolves this wholeness of the human heart, both on individual and collective levels. It does so because the firstborn child of democracy is pluralism. And pluralism, when it is the fundamental principle of a nation and its Constitution, entails that we are immersed in a culture which is quite literally a spiritual ocean of error. Every moment of our lives in this culture is therefore surrounded by a call, and even demand, to compromise in the pursuit of the work of God. First, it demands of us silence in relation to the hard Truths of Christ. Second, it demands of us a participation in the life of this culture which by its very nature is demanding of compromise itself, and therefore a duplicitous life as regards our relationship to God. Such is the act of voting, especially in any national election.
We must always realize that democracy, the first principle of which is the sovereignty (the power and authority) of the people, is always an attack upon the sovereignty of God over all his creation. And this is true whether its principles are proposed and implemented in the political realm, or in the spiritual. It is no wonder therefore that Secret Societies, in pursuit of their ultimate goal, which is the dethronement of God, rightly perceived the vote as the most effective means of injecting their poison into whole peoples. It is the spirit of Antichrist made palpable for the people.
The word vote has its origins in the Latin votum, which means an oath, a vow, or even a prayer (e.g. votive candle). It is meant to express the wholeness of not only the words which come out of our mouth, but also the integrity and depth of our desires. Any duplicity engaged in through the act of voting falsifies the word which comes forth from our heart, and in so doing changes our soul.
As I pointed out in the beginning of Part I, this process of decay is pre-eminently exemplified by the Pro-Life movement. We are silent on contraception, which almost certainly murders many more of God’s little ones than surgical abortion. We vote for a man who is for abortion in the cases of life of the mother, rape, and incest, and we call him “Pro-life, except in the cases of the life of the mother, rape, and incest”. We vote for a man who says he now accepts the legality of so-called gay-marriage, and we call him Pro-Life. We vote for a man who says he supports the work of Planned Parenthood with the exception of their doing surgical abortions, and we call him Pro-Life. We call those who are for the killing of unborn babies “Pro-Choice”, when in fact such a term is simply a euphemism for Pro-Abortion. After all, no one is for killing all babies – it is always a question of choice. If I were to say that I was personally not for killing black people, but for the right of everyone else to do so, I would not be called Pro-Choice, but rather someone who advocates the murdering of black people. And yet “Pro-Lifers” will engage in such duplicity in relation to the unborn, who they allegedly believe have equal dignity and right to life with all other human beings.
The Pro-Life issue is only one area in which Catholics have been chiseled down to mere stumps of Christians. Again, using the metaphor repeatedly used by the Prophet Jeremiah, under every green tree they have been prostituted. And now we find so-called traditional Catholics lying under the Tree of Trump.
The entire message of Fatima consists in turning our votum away from the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Trumps of this world and crying to Christ, through the Immaculate Mary, for deliverance. There can be no deliverance, but only chaos and destruction, if we do not return with great intensity to fulfilling Our Lady’s requests.
- James Larson
Under Every Green Tree:
Donald Trump and The Prostitution of Traditional Catholicism
“For on every high hill, and under every green tree thou didst prostitute thyself.” (Jer. 2:20)
It is an ever recurring tale, as old as original sin. Man, losing his trust in God, compromises and betrays the integrity of his own faith, and enters into alliances with fallen angels, persons, groups, powers, and nations who are ever so ready to receive his prostitutions. This was especially true of Israel to whom God spoke the words quoted in the above passage from Jeremiah. In the midst of their woes, instead of turning towards God and his promises, they sought political alliances with their pagan neighbors. In the very act of doing so, their minds were darkened and their wills became polluted with every conceivable sort of moral perversion which they absorbed through their spiritual and physical adulteries.
Very soon after my conversion to Catholicism, it became very apparent to me that this sort of spiritual prostitution was rampant – not only in those “liberals” who were at very obvious war with Catholic Truth and doctrine – but also among those who adamantly claimed to be orthodox Catholics. Oddly enough, it was through involvement in the Pro-Life movement that I soon learned the dynamics of this evil. A brief account of this experience will be valuable for illustrating this dynamic.
Thirty-one years ago we were living near Grand Rapids, Minnesota (at that time the population was slightly over 8,000). We discovered that Planned Parenthood was planning to open a clinic in town which, while not doing abortions (which were then available in three other Planned Parenthood clinics in the state), would of course be aggressively offering contraceptives and referral for abortions to their other clinics.
We began a petition drive which was eventually published in the Grand Rapids Herald Newspaper. It contained around 3,000 names (including 33 members of Catholic and Protestant clergy), all of whom signed on to the following stated position: “We the undersigned commit ourselves to the promotion of Prayer, and Increased Education of people concerning the evils of abortion, and CONTINUAL PICKETING OF ANY SUCH CLINICS DURING ALL OPERATING HOURS.”
We soon received a call from the President of Minnesota Citizens Concerned For Life (MCCL, the largest and most influential Pro-Life group in Minnesota) informing us that they wished to have a meeting with us (my wife and I, and another co-worker).
It turned out to be a sort of Kangaroo Court.
At this meeting we were informed by the President (and several other officials) that MCCL was deeply opposed to what we were doing – that Planned Parenthood was not going to be performing abortions in their clinic in Grand Rapids, but only contraception “counseling” and other health services, and that all we would be accomplishing by our picketing and other activities was free advertizing for Planned Parenthood.
When I objected that virtually all artificial contraception was abortive at least part of the time, and that almost certainly many times more babies were killed through contraception than through surgical abortion, and that this particular clinic would be referring many women for abortion to their other clinics, their response was that people had a very difficult time understanding or appreciating these complexities (babies killed by abortifacients were too small to be imaged – they could not use their baby-models), and that we must first get rid of legalized surgical abortion before going on to anything else. It was, and still is, MCCL’s position that the solution to the abortion problem lies almost totally in the political realm, and of course politicians cannot be expected to understand or act upon truths and realities which might be subtle or even invisible.
When I further proposed that RU486 (the so-called “Morning After” Pill) was soon to be approved, that it was the form of abortion for the future, and that our silence now in regard to the murder of those who are truly God’s smallest ones would then prove deadly in its consequences, I was told that Roe vs. Wade was going to be overturned within 5 years (which would have been 26 years ago), and that then we would have the political momentum to work on these other issues. After all, Ronald Reagan was President, he would be appointing truly Pro-Life Supreme Court Justices, and how could we possibly not be returning to some sort of sanity? The only solution to the abortion holocaust was political, and we must do nothing that would compromise our political chances.
We did not agree. I went home and made a large sign which stated in bold print: “The Pill Kills Unborn Babies”, which I always carried while picketing the Planned Parenthood Clinic.
President Reagan ended up appointing four Supreme Court Justices: Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy. Sandra Day O’Connor was pro-abortion, and it is the Catholic Anthony Kennedy who has so often provided the “swing vote” frustrating any Pro-Life efforts before the Supreme Court. So much for the Reagan legacy. So much, also, for an end to the Abortion Holocaust through a policy of political compromise. We now find ourselves in a parallel situation with the Presidency of Donald Trump, who has promised appointments to the Supreme Court who are Pro-Life, and who has now nominated a person (Neil Gorsuch) to this office who appears to be so.
Trump has been a great favorite among Catholic Traditionalists. It was in fact quite surprising during the election campaigning to see so many Trump stickers on the cars of those who attend the Latin Mass. Such a phenomenon could not be explained by the logic of “If you don’t vote for Trump, you are really casting a vote for Hillary Clinton, and therefore for unrestricted abortion” mentality. These same people would have never stooped to pasting a McCain or Bush sticker on their cars in similar opposition to Al Gore, John Kerry, or Bill Clinton, despite the fact that their positions on Pro-Life (exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother) were virtually identical to Trump’s stated position during the campaign . Trump also stated that he supported Planned Parenthood in everything except abortion, and also said that he would support and uphold the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage. So, obviously, something more was going on here when we consider the strange phenomenon of the enthusiasm of Catholic Traditionalists for Donald Trump. This “something” cannot be explained unless we first engage in an historical analysis examining the loss of true Catholic intelligence and will which has occurred over a much longer period of time. We will therefore return to examining the Trump phenomenon after this analysis.
We begin with a very simple, but all inclusive, principle which necessarily applies to every aspect of every Catholic’s involvement in social and political life. It is popularly known as “The Social Kingship of Jesus Christ”. While being the subject of many encyclicals of Popes such as Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII, it was possibly most aptly and succinctly stated by Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical to the French Bishops titled Notre Charge Apostolique, and was directed against the involvement of the clergy in a movement (called The Sillon) which promoted false democracy:
“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 set up 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". [To Restore all things in Christ].”
This teaching is a direct consequence of what should be the obvious truth that God has absolute right to Kingship over all nations, just as He does over every individual human being. It is incumbent upon all nations, and their rulers, to acknowledge this Kingship of Christ, and this entails submission to the intellectual and moral truths taught by the Roman Catholic Church whose infallible Magisterium is the visible expression of this Kingship. In the face of modern secularism and pluralism this may now seem a preposterous ideal. But what is in accord with God’s Will is neither impossible nor preposterous. It is an historical fact that this ideal was achieved to a large extent in what is called the High Middle Ages, and especially in the Thirteenth Century. Even more significant, we must know that the greater is the deviation from this ideal, the more is to be expected the intellectual and moral decay of nations and their descent into spiritual, intellectual, moral, and political chaos. This, of course, is precisely what we now see in virtually every country of the world. We therefore now have no hope except in a completely honest and integral pursuit of this ideal, and to trust that God will bless such a pursuit.
Opposed to this Catholic doctrine is what Popes have designated as the error of Indifferentism. In reference to individual persons, and their obligation before God, Pope Pius IX in his Syllabus Condemning the Principal Errors of Our Time, condemns the following propositions:
“Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.” (#15).
”Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation.”(#16).
“Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ.”(#17).
And since governments were instituted among men for their common good and happiness, and since the ultimate happiness of man must lie in that eternal happiness which is only accessible through obedience to God’s will, it necessarily ensues that in regard to nations the following propositions are also condemned:
“The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church” (#55).
“In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.” (#77).
All of this is aptly summarized in the following two passages from the encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII:
"Men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, not less than individuals, owes gratitude to God, who gave it being and maintains it, and whose ever-bounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God ... we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will .... " [Immortale dei - On the Christian Constitution of States].
"Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids the state to be godless: or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness - namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were ingraven upon it. " [Libertas Praestantissimum - On Human Liberty].
Diametrically opposed to these truths of the Catholic Faith is the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which contains the following statement:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….”
Any Catholic who would take an oath to defend this statement would be, at least materially, denying his faith. Every President takes such an oath (Article II, Section I), as does every Representative and Senator and Judge, both Federal and State (Article VI, Clause 3). In addition, every Judge is also bound under the following prescription of Article VI of the Constitution: “This Constitution…shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
In other words, the “Supreme Law” of this land is in direct contradiction to the Supreme Law of God. It is therefore not only men like Ted Kennedy or Joe Biden whose political live are in direct contradiction to their faith, but also people like Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, or any of our local congressmen, senators, or judges who at the same time claim to be Catholic. What is more, to try to excuse these men by surmising that they are unacquainted with this teaching concerning the Social Kingship of Christ is only to beg the question, and make their culpability seem even greater. One may simply ask why such men as these, who are required to study and pay attention to every nook and cranny of secular law, do not know this most elementary principle of Christ’s Kingship and of God’s law which human law is bound to reflect?
Nor is this self-contradiction something which comes into play only after such a person is elected, or nominated and confirmed. The day that a Catholic makes the decision to run for public office in this country, he commits himself to a life of lies. He knows that if he acknowledges a committed belief in Catholic truths concerning contraception, divorce and remarriage, freedom of speech and of the press, public education, usury, etc., he will be made a laughingstock and driven out of the political arena. His only recourses are silence, dissembling, lying, Jesuitical casuistry, or whatever is necessary to hide or lie about Catholic Truth. It would seem that in today’s political scene, the most frequent lie is that which is the most blasphemous towards God and destructive to the human soul– that his religious belief will have no determination upon his public life and political action. We can thank President John F. Kennedy for making this a staple of Catholic moral duplicity and schizophrenia for Catholic politicians.
What all of this points to is a darkness which has clouded the consciousness of Catholics in this country from the beginning, and which has now reached such a point that it is virtually impossible for Catholics to exercise political responsibilities in any way which significantly and integrally reflect the truths of Christ.
This brings us back to Donald Trump. Even more important, it brings us back to the Catholic voter who cast his vote for Trump.
Two days before the General Election, I placed the following at the top of the homepage on my website:
“If I voted for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, I would emerge from the polling booth feeling violated and corrupted in the deepest recesses of my Catholic being.
Democracy has come home to roost. I remember reading about two fundamental principles or methodologies of “illuminized” Freemasonry integral to its ultimate goal, which is the total destruction of the Catholic Church and Christian civilization. The first principle consists of unceasing efforts towards complete corruption of the moral sense of the populace. The second: the promotion of the universal right and obligation to vote. In this election, the marriage of these two principles is consummated. I believe that the collective act of voting for either of these two major candidates might constitute the single most spiritually corrupting event in the history of this country.”
It is completely unnecessary to go into details to justify the conclusion that a vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton was directly and immediately constituted as an alliance with horrendous evil. The Catholic who voted for her while knowing anything about her pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Catholic agenda committed a sin objectively mortal. Preliminary results indicated that this applies to 45% of the Catholic electorate.
It is my position, however, that a vote for Donald Trump, while not necessarily being objectively constituted as objective mortal sin, was deeply corrupting to the Catholic mind and heart (and of course non-Catholics also).
My own conclusion in this regard came quite early in the campaign for the Republican nomination. It only took two incidents for me to reach this conclusion.
In July of 2015 (one month after he had declared his candidacy) Donald Trump, at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa speaking in response to the question as to whether he had ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions, said the following:"I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don't think so," he said. "I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don't."
Further, he went on to say that while he hasn't asked God for forgiveness, he does participate in Holy Communion."When I drink my little wine -- which is about the only wine I drink -- and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed," he said. "I think in terms of ‘let’s go and let’s make it right.’”
To claim to be a Christian, while at the same time claiming that this does not necessitate asking God for forgiveness, speaks of a total falsification of Christianity. And to speak of “drinking my little wine” and “having my little cracker” as constituting in itself a form of asking for forgiveness and receiving cleansing (especially from any sin which is to be considered mortal) necessitates, to say the least, complete spiritual obtuseness. Donald Trump, in his spiritual life, is a man living a lie in the deepest recesses of his human identity. Therefore, just as I cannot believe that he is a Christian, so I cannot believe in any of his other stated policies or promises.
This conclusion was confirmed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on November 11, 2016 (3 days after the election). Donald Trump was asked if he had gone too far in his rhetoric during the campaign. His reply consisted of three words: “No, I won.” This statement comes from a man who during the campaign had labeled countless others with disgusting names, made obscene remarks and inferences about the anatomy of women, used the “F” word in public, mocked a handicapped journalist, and been accused by at least 12 women of unwanted sexual advances of one sort or another, and then threatened to sue them. This answer amounts to a perfect formulation of the principle that “the end justifies the means”, which can be seen as the first principle of all evil acts. Operating under such a principle, Donald Trump has defined himself not only as a man who does not need to ask God for forgiveness, but cannot.
Secondly, during a campaign rally in Sioux Center, Iowa on January 23, 2016, Donald Trump stated, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters," This speaks of a man who sees himself not only as possessing some sort of preternatural power above and over multitudes of people, but also of a man who considers that he is a law exclusively unto himself. It corresponds very closely with a Tweet he sent out the following month, which quoted Mussolini: “it’s better to live one day as a lion, than 100 years as a sheep.” [Our Lord, in contrast, seemed to have a strong preference for the latter]. All this, along with his “No, I won” justification of his immoral past behavior , entails that he has defined himself as a “man of lawlessness” in regard to all objective standards, both human and divine. The phrase “man of lawlessness” is in fact a title which Holy Scripture gives to the Antichrist. This of course does not necessitate that he is the Antichrist, but only one of his many precursors who abound in these days of general apostasy from Christ and his Church. It is incumbent upon all Catholics, if they are not to be deceived and seduced by the spirit of Antichrist, to discern these forces and personalities.
We now come to that point where we must try to discern what constitutes this spirit of seduction in its obvious strong appeal to traditional Catholics.
I believe the common denominator behind all of the appeal of Donald Trump to self-proclaimed traditional Catholics is anger. Donald Trump is punching in the face all the very same people and institutions that Traditional Catholics would like to punch in the face: the liberal establishment, entrenched political elites, crony capitalists, the liberal Media, and even (and maybe especially) the Pope. At the same time, of course, this anger is also nourished by a great many fears: militant Islam, out-of-control immigration, civil violence and disorder, economic instability and loss of jobs, militant abortion and homosexual activism, vastly increased control of government over our lives, etc.
We do a great injustice to Catholic truth if we believe that anger is not an integral and necessary part of human personality and Catholic life. Our Lord was obviously angry a number of times. According to the teaching of St. Thomas, anger can be integral to the practice of the virtue of fortitude, especially in that act of courage which is necessary for militant combat with injustice and evil. He quotes St. John Chrysostom: …”for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes un-checked”.
But it is equally true, however, that anger is only just to the extent to which it is subject to right reason. There is no other passion more subject to blindness in regard to reason, and therefore more easily used by the unscrupulous to further their own immoral or evil agendas. This is especially true in the political realm, and immeasurably so in regard to those who wish to promote political revolution. Playing upon, and exploiting, the anger of a populace is the quickest and most effective means by which multitudes of people can be deceived into first electing a tyrant, and then forced into complicity with his evil agenda and profound lack of moral principles.
Now, let us come back to what I said earlier – that the goals of illuminized Freemasonry are most effectively accomplished through two principles or methodologies: the corruption of morals and the vote.
Based on what I offered earlier (and there is much more), there is little question or doubt as to the immoral character of Donald Trump. Any serious Catholic, who possessed any power of spiritual discernment and followed his campaign, would have to be chin-deep in self-deception not to have detected this fact. It would therefore be one thing for such a person to proverbially “hold his nose” while voting for such a man simply because he was the only alternative to Hillary Clinton, and because he had actually made some statements which appealed to Christian values (including Pro-Life). In so doing, such a voter might be naïve and deceived, and might indeed be very wrong in underestimating the evil likely to ensue through Trump’s Presidency, but such a vote could be considered an honest error of judgment. But the same cannot be said for someone who voted for Trump with any significant degree of knowledge, enthusiasm, and support.
I know that it has become a very “liberal” thing to suggest parallels between Donald Trump and Hitler or Mussolini. But the fact is that it is often our enemies who detect our faults sooner than our friends. It was “conservative” Germans who flocked to Hitler’s delusions and deceptions, while it was often the “liberals” who saw through his vulgarity and brutality.
It is well known that what led to Hitler’s ascension to power was his ability to tap into the anger of the German people who, through the Treaty of Versailles and the aftermath of World War I, had been subject to severe reparations which produced economic chaos, cultural degradation, ineffectual leadership, and deep bitterness in the German people. It was Hitler’s promise to restore Germany’s greatness, and punish those who had brought her to such a state, which furnished him with the votes necessary for his ascension to political power.
But it not that well known that Hitler was a baptized and confirmed Catholic, and that in a 1928 campaign speech (between his release from prison in December,1924, and his appointment as Chancellor in January, 1933) Hitler stated, “We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity…in fact our movement is Christian,” After his appointment as Chancellor, and in his proclamation to the German Nation on Feb 1, 1933, Hitler stated, “The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.” During negotiations leading to the Concordant with the Vatican, he stated, “Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.” And, as late as 1941, Nazi General Gerhard Engel wrote in his diary that Hitler had stated, “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.” These are only a fraction of Hitler’s quotes which would have appealed to what were then “traditional” Catholics.
Hitler of course made many other statements which should have telegraphed to the conscience of any discerning person the holocaust that was to follow. But this simply illustrates my central point. Political man, especially when motivated by anger coupled with a particular agenda, readily dons blinders to what he does not wish to see, prostitutes himself to the half-truths or outright deceits of future despots, and rushes towards eventual complicity (through a kind of willful blindness) in horrendously evil acts. I would suggest the reader refer to the Wikipedia article on “Religious Views of Adolf Hitler” for extensive documentation in regard to this dynamic.
Because I did not vote for Donald Trump, I have been accused in effect of voting for Hillary Clinton. In order to uncover the calumny that lies beneath such an accusation, I offer the following scenario.
Let us imagine that Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the last election would have been Adolf Hitler. Would I have been accused of voting for Hillary if I did not vote for Adolf? Or rather, would I have been accused of voting for Adolf because I did not vote for Hillary? The fact is that, in Catholic conscience, I would not have voted for either. For the reasons I have detailed above, the same was true in regard to the choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I would, however, gladly stand accused of voting for God’s intervention as our only hope.
All of this comes down, as I said in my original statement, to the question of the vote as a satanically inspired tool to corrupt the integrity and spirituality of the Catholic voter (and of course everyone else). It has been my experience that there are many Catholics who are far more vehement in condemnation of someone who refused to vote than they would be if this same person admitted that they missed Sunday Mass without good reason. It has in fact been my conclusion for quite some time that many Catholics consider the U.S. Constitution, and along with it the duty to vote, to be something more “sacred” than following the prescriptions of the Gospel.
This, in turn, all comes to rest in a very un-Catholic, and in fact contra-Catholic, belief in what is most aptly called messianic democracy – the belief that democracy, and its placing of power and authority in the people is a natural right and the source of salvation for peoples and nations. I intend to explore this error, and its enormous destructiveness in both the political and spiritual realm, in Part II of this series. As a conclusion to this article, and as a kind of preface to this subject, I offer the following brief quote from Pope St. Pius X’s encyclical on The Sillon:
“We do not have to demonstrate here that the advent of universal Democracy is of no concern to the action of the Church in the world.”
- James Larson
Notice: A reader informed me that the link to my article Point of Departure was disabled, and I have remedied this problem. It can be found in the menu on the left side of this page at Part I, Article V. This article is very crucial for understanding Joseph Ratzinger’s denial of the Catholic doctrine concerning Original Sin, and all that this entails.I would also consider it crucial for understanding Pope Francis' agenda for a universal mercy which bypasses the necessity for conversion from mortal sin in order to be worthy of receiving the Sacraments
Pope Pius X called the doctrine of Original Sin the "point of departure" because it is the foundation all that is seen to be necessary for our salvation through the redemptive Incarnation, Sacrifice, and Resurrection of Christ.Most important, in relation to the present crisis in the Church, without the truth contained in the doctrine of Original Sin, there is no necessary distinction to be made between living in a state mortal sin, on the one hand, and living in sanctifying grace and charity on the other. There is therefore no firm justification for refusing Holy Communion to anyone. We tend to think that the agenda of persons like Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis for the readmission to Holy Communion of persons living in objective mortal sin to be a matter of self-contradiction. Strictly speaking, however, it is not self-contradiction because the first term of such a contradiction - Original Sin, and its traditional definition - is almost certainly no longer present in their faith.
I strongly recommend reading my series on Amoris Laetitia, which clearly demonstrates that at the root of Pope Francis' promotion of Holy Communion for civilly divorced and remarried persons is a denial of the Catholic concept of Charity, and therefore a denial of the concept of sanctifying grace and its necessity for receiving Holy Communion. They are to be found towards the bottom of the menu on the left side of this page: Parts XVIII-XXI. I also recommend my subsequent article, What really is at Stake: The Letter of Four Cardinals to Pope Francis Concerning Amoris Laetitia, which is to be found at Part XXIV. The Cardinals' letter, and their five Dubia do not penetrate to what constitutes the root heresy to be found in the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation.
War Against the Papacy
Now in print, and available from Cruachan Hill Press
This book contains additional material to the work on my website bearing the same title. Following is an excerpt from the new Preface:
There is no more justification for the SSPX position during the pontificate of Pope Francis than there was during the reign of any previous Pope. Unquestionably, however, many who are “bent” towards an SSPX mentality, or even towards sedevacantism, find more excuses under the pontificate of Francis for such a move than under that of John Paul II.
I think it profitable, therefore, to speculate as to what would be the position of Archbishop Lefebvre himself towards such a pontificate as that of Francis. In an address to seminarians in 1986, Archbishop Lefebvre offered the following
“Now I don't know if the time has come to say that the Pope is a heretic; I don't know if it is the time to say that. You know, for some time many people, the sedevacantists, have been saying "there is no more Pope," but I think that for me it was not yet the time to say that, because it was not sure, it was not evident, it was very difficult to say that the Pope is a heretic, the Pope is apostate. But I recognize that slowly, very slowly, by the deeds and acts of the Pope himself we begin to be very anxious…. What conclusion must we draw in a few months if we are confronted by these repeated acts of partaking in false worship? I don't know. I wonder. But I think the Pope can do nothing worse than call together a meeting of all religions, when we know there is only one true religion and all other religions belong to the devil. So perhaps after this famous meeting of Assisi, perhaps we must say that the Pope is a heretic, is apostate. Now I don't wish yet to say it formally and solemnly, but it seems at first sight that it is impossible for a Pope to be publicly and formally heretical. Our Lord has promised to be with him, to keep his faith, to keep him in the Faith - how can he at the same time be a public heretic and virtually apostatize? So it is possible we may be obliged to believe this pope is not pope.”
If Archbishop Lefebvre could propose such a thing during the pontificate of John Paul II (and even before Assisi), then it would not seem unreasonable to speculate that the pontificate of Pope Francis might very well have carried him over into sedevacantism. No one, of course, can be sure as to what his course of action might have been. But the interesting point for consideration is that each person who is an adherent of the SSPX’s position is now not only in the position of subjectively judging the Papacy (through defying Papal jurisdiction), but also finds himself necessarily forced into subjectivity in regard to what would be the position of the one man since the Council whom they most seek to emulate and follow – a subjectivity which has enormous consequences in terms of their own personal faith and their belief in regard to wherein the Catholic Church itself subsists.
Available from Cruachan Hill Press
Original General Introduction
”He who eats the Pope dies”
– German proverb
“A Voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great
mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would
not be comforted, because they are not.”
All of the following is written in a spirit of charity. It is also written in a spirit of deep caution, and even trepidation. I sent many of my writings to Pope Benedict XVI ( in September, 2007), along with a personal letter. In the spirit of obedience, I publicly state that at his simple request, or that of his successor Pope Francis, I would cease writing and prevent the further spread of my writings as much as morally possible.
I believe that the Papacy is wounded and suffering and that this suffering has profoundly affected the philosophical-theological orientation of recent Popes. While leaving intact the prerogatives established by Christ for all times upon Peter and his successors, this philosophical and theological disorientation has affected virtually everything else, to the detriment of the Church and the salvation of souls
The reader will note that a number of my articles are deeply critical of the writings and statements of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. I wish to state that I can make no final or absolute judgment about the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI. However,a fair number of my articles critical of his statements and writings were written after his ascension to the Papacy. They give evidence as to the continuity of his present thought with that of his past writings, but pretend to make no absolute judgment. I must add that I have seen no evidence on the part of Joseph Ratzinger of any renunciation of his previous thought and that, on the contrary, he has asserted the essential continuity of his thought up to, and even after, his elevation. As with any author, he would fall under the strong moral imperative to correct any serious errors in his past writings of which he became conscious. I am aware of no efforts on his part to do so.
I must also now add that in April of 2005, two weeks before the election of Benedict XVI, I sent my manuscript of The War Against Being and The Return to God" to then Cardinal Bergoglio in Argentina, along with a letter stating that I believed he might be elected Pope. I received no reply. There are now two articles (Part I, Articles 24, 26) which contain analysis of Pope Francis' thinking and actions.
I call the reader’s attention to the two quotes which I have placed at the beginning of this short introduction. The first encapsulates in a startling manner the sense of caution, and even fear, which any person in the Church should feel in undertaking criticism of a person who has become Pope. The presence of this fear is always necessary in order to generate and maintain that charity towards the Holy Father which is always integral to the Catholic Spirit, no matter what personal faults the personality and thought of a particular occupant of the Chair of Peter might present as an impediment to the natural expression of this charity.
The second quote simply represents the reality which is the present moment in the life of the Church. We are faced with a holocaust of the spiritual life and well-being of children which is directly attributable to the chaos in religious instruction, sacramental life, and morality which has been the inheritance of post-Vatican II life in the Church. And this chaos in all things Catholic is directly attributable to the philosophical-theological orientation of members of the Catholic hierarchy, especially to the Popes who have reigned during and since the Council.
In this situation the tension between one’s natural Catholic love and respect for the Pope and the knowledge of what recent Popes have perpetrated, or allowed to be perpetrated, upon innocent children becomes almost unbearable. Ultimately the question as to whether to criticize or not comes down to the question of being a man. In the Old Testament the Lord says that “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” he shall send Elias the prophet to “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers: lest I come, and strike the earth with anathema.” (Malachias 4: 6). Surely, if we are men, and are to retain our manhood, then our hearts must turn to the defense of our children.
I think it is only at this point – once our hearts have truly turned to militancy in defense of our children – that our eyes become opened to perceive the extent to which the Papacy itself is really suffering, that this suffering must be a visitation upon us by God in chastisement for our sins and infidelities, and that charity for all – for Christ, for the Pope, for our children and our own souls – demands the full revelation of certain truths which are, indeed, very painful for us to face. If we remain silent the darkness can only deepen, and our cowardice and emasculation only become more pronounced.
Finally, I wish to state that I do not support in any way either the sedevacantist position, or that of the SSPX or any individual or group that has defied the Pope in his discipline and government of the Church. I have written a small book on this subject which is now available as Part X on this website. I wish also to state that many of my articles have appeared in Christian Order Magazine, the website of which is www.christianorder.com.
On the Use or Publication of these Articles:
I desire the widest possible dissemination of the articles on this website, but wish it to be done with integrity, and in accord with the following stipulations.
First, I emphatically state that I accept both Benedict XVI and his successor Francis I as legitimate Popes, and that I am not a sedevacantist and also do not support any group, especially the SSPX, that has defied the Pope in his discipline and government of the Church.
Second, I do not permit any critical analysis of any article using a technique to insert comments within the body of the article itself. I believe that any well-written article is a whole greater than the sum of its individual parts, that continuity in reading it is necessary in order to be able to understand the whole force of the argument or position, and that therefore such a technique does unjust violence to the integrity of the work. An honest critical analysis therefore demands a separate article or treatment. This, of course, does not preclude the use of individual quotations, as long as they are taken in context.
I also wish to recommend that Article 1 of Part 1 be read first, as it contains an analysis of philosophical and theological principles necessary for the understanding of the rest.
Authored by: James Larson
Continue to Article 1