Polemics Reclamation Project: Quanta Cura and the Syllabus of Errors
The Polemics Reclamation Project is a slow and steady attempt by Pulpit & Pen to reclaim various historic documents important to the theological field of polemics. Many times, these documents are only available on microfiche or in a foreign tongue and must be put into English or modern type. Other times, the documents are available in more obscure places of the Internet. We are trying to compile thousands of these documents before they are forgotten.
Reclaimed Document: Quanta Cura
Author: Pope Pius IX
Date Written: 1864
Subject: The Roman Catholic pontiff was declaring anathema on any nation that gave its people the freedom of religion. The Papal Encyclical condemned governments that enforced laws contrary to the Papacy, and it told Roman Catholics that they can resist any government that makes laws contrary to that of the Papacy.
Summary: The Quanta Cura has been used by Protestants since 1864 as a sound reason to reject Papists from holding public office; if they are good Romanists, they cannot be good Citizens of the country where they dwell. Although much of the anti-Catholic sentiment has passed away in the United States, there was a time when the country viewed a Roman Catholic as immediately disqualified from public office because their allegiance must be to the government of the Vatican rather than to the Constitution of the United States.
Synopsis: What Quanta Cura is best known for is its addendum entitled, “The Syllabus of Errors,” which opposed many of the ideas that freedom-loving nations hold dear. These include repudiations of religious freedom, the separation of church and state, and includes Pope Pius IX’s bold declaration that anything but a Roman Catholic government is invalid and to be ignored by the populace.
PDF of Quanta Cura Made Available Here.
PDF of Syllabus of Errors Made Available Here.
Condemning Current Errors
Pope BI. Pius IX – 1864
To Our Venerable Brethren, all Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops having favor and Communion of the Holy See.
Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.
With how great care and pastoral vigilance the Roman Pontiffs, our predecessors, fulfilling the duty and office committed to them by the Lord Christ Himself in the person of most Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, of feeding the lambs and the sheep, have never ceased sedulously to nourish the Lord’s whole flock with words of faith and with salutary doctrine, and to guard it from poisoned pastures, is thoroughly known to all, and especially to you, Venerable Brethren. And truly the same, Our Predecessors, asserters of justice, being especially anxious for the salvation of souls, had nothing ever more at heart than by their most wise Letters and Constitutions to unveil and condemn all those heresies and errors which, being adverse to our Divine Faith, to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, to purity of morals, and to the eternal salvation of men, have frequently excited violent tempests, and have miserably afflicted both Church and State. For which cause the same Our Predecessors, have, with Apostolic fortitude, constantly resisted the nefarious enterprises of wicked men, who, like raging waves of the sea foaming out their own confusion, and promising liberty whereas they are the slaves of corruption, have striven by their deceptive opinions and most pernicious writings to raze the foundations of the Catholic religion and of civil society, to remove from among men all virtue and justice, to deprave persons, and especially inexperienced youth, to lead it into the snares of error, and at length to tear it from the bosom of the Catholic Church.
- But now, as is well known to you, Venerable Brethren, already, scarcely had we been elevated to this Chair of Peter (by the hidden counsel of Divine Providence, certainly by no merit of our own), when, seeing with the greatest grief of Our soul a truly awful storm excited by so many evil opinions, and (seeing also) the most grievous calamities never sufficiently to be deplored which overspread the Christian people from so many errors, according to the duty of Our Apostolic Ministry, and following the illustrious example of Our Predecessors, We raised Our voice, and in many published Encyclical Letters and Allocutions delivered in Consistory, and other Apostolic Letters, we condemned the chief errors of this most unhappy age, and we excited your admirable episcopal vigilance, and we again and again admonished and exhorted all sons of the Catholic Church, to us most dear, that they should altogether abhor and flee from the contagion of so dire a pestilence. And especially in our first Encyclical Letter written to you on Nov. 9, 1846, and in two Allocutions delivered by us in Consistory, the one on Dec. 9, 1854, and the other on June 9, 1862, we condemned the monstrous portents of opinion which prevail especially in this age, bringing with them the greatest loss of souls and detriment of civil society itself; which are grievously opposed also, not only to the Catholic Church and her salutary doctrine and venerable rights, but also to the eternal natural law engraven by God in all men’s hearts, and to right reason; and from which almost all other errors have their origin.
- But, although we have not omitted often to proscribe and reprobate the chief errors of this kind, yet the cause of the Catholic Church, and the salvation of souls entrusted to us by God, and the welfare of human society itself, altogether demand that we again stir up your pastoral solicitude to exterminate other evil opinions, which spring forth from the said errors as from a fountain. Which false and perverse opinions are on that ground the more to be detested, because they chiefly tend to this, that that salutary influence be impeded and (even) removed, which the Catholic Church, according to the institution and command of her Divine Author, should freely exercise even to the end of the world — not only over private individuals, but over nations, peoples, and their sovereign princes; and (tend also) to take away that mutual fellowship and concord of counsels between Church and State which has ever proved itself propitious and salutary, both for religious and civil interests.1
For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of “naturalism,” as they call it, dare to teach that “the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones.” And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that “that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require.” From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an “insanity,”2 viz., that “liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way.” But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching “liberty of perdition;”3 and that “if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling.”4
- And, since where religion has been removed from civil society, and the doctrine and authority of divine revelation repudiated, the genuine notion itself of justice and human right is darkened and lost, and the place of true justice and legitimate right is supplied by material force, thence it appears why it is that some, utterly neglecting and disregarding the surest principles of sound reason, dare to proclaim that “the people’s will, manifested by what is called public opinion or in some other way, constitutes a supreme law, free from all divine and human control; and that in the political order accomplished facts, from the very circumstance that they are accomplished, have the force of right.” But who, does not see and clearly perceive that human society, when set loose from the bonds of religion and true justice, can have, in truth, no other end than the purpose of obtaining and amassing wealth, and that (society under such circumstances) follows no other law in its actions, except the unchastened desire of ministering to its own pleasure and interests? For this reason, men of the kind pursue with bitter hatred the Religious Orders, although these have deserved extremely well of Christendom, civilization and literature, and cry out that the same have no legitimate reason for being permitted to exist; and thus (these evil men) applaud the calumnies of heretics. For, as Pius VI, Our Predecessor, taught most wisely, “the abolition of regulars is injurious to that state in which the Evangelical counsels are openly professed; it is injurious to a method of life praised in the Church as agreeable to Apostolic doctrine; it is injurious to the illustrious founders, themselves, whom we venerate on our altars, who did not establish these societies but by God’s inspiration.”5 And (these wretches) also impiously declare that permission should be refused to citizens and to the Church, “whereby they may openly give alms for the sake of Christian charity”; and that the law should be abrogated “whereby on certain fixed days servile works are prohibited because of God’s worship;” and on the most deceptive pretext that the said permission and law are opposed to the principles of the best public economy. Moreover, not content with removing religion from public society, they wish to banish it also from private families. For, teaching and professing the most fatal error of “Communism and Socialism,” they assert that “domestic society or the family derives the whole principle of its existence from the civil law alone; and, consequently, that on civil law alone depend all rights of parents over their children, and especially that of providing for education.” By which impious opinions and machinations these most deceitful men chiefly aim at this result, viz., that the salutary teaching and influence of the Catholic Church may be entirely banished from the instruction and education of youth, and that the tender and flexible minds of young men may be infected and depraved by every most pernicious error and vice. For all who have endeavored to throw into confusion things both sacred and secular, and to subvert the right order of society, and to abolish all rights, human and divine, have always (as we above hinted) devoted all their nefarious schemes, devices and efforts, to deceiving and
depraving incautious youth and have placed all their hope in its corruption. For which reason they never cease by every wicked method to assail the clergy, both secular and regular, from whom (as the surest monuments of history conspicuously attest), so many great advantages have abundantly flowed to Christianity, civilization and literature, and to proclaim that “the clergy, as being hostile to the true and beneficial advance of science and civilization, should be removed from the whole charge and duty of instructing and educating youth.”
- Others meanwhile, reviving the wicked and so often condemned inventions of innovators, dare with signal impudence to subject to the will of the civil authority the supreme authority of the Church and of this Apostolic See given to her by Christ Himself, and to deny all those rights of the same Church and See which concern matters of the external order. For they are not ashamed of affirming “that the Church’s laws do not bind in conscience unless when they are promulgated by the civil power; that acts and decrees of the Roman Pontiffs, referring to religion and the Church, need the civil power’s sanction and approbation, or at least its consent; that the Apostolic Constitutions,6 whereby secret societies are condemned (whether an oath of secrecy be or be not required in such societies), and whereby their frequenters and favourers are smitten with anathema — have no force in those regions of the world wherein associations of the kind are tolerated by the civil government; that the excommunication pronounced by the Council of Trent and by Roman Pontiffs against those who assail and usurp the Church’s rights and possessions, rests on a confusion between the spiritual and temporal orders, and (is directed) to the pursuit of a purely secular good; that the Church can decree nothing which binds the conscience of the faithful in regard to their use of temporal things; that the Church has no right of restraining by temporal punishments those who violate her laws; that it is conformable to the principles of sacred theology and public law to assert and claim for the civil government a right of property in those goods which are possessed by the Church, by the Religious Orders, and by other pious establishments.” Nor do they blush openly and publicly to profess the maxim and principle of heretics from which arise so many perverse opinions and errors. For they repeat that the “ecclesiastical power is not by divine right distinct from, and independent of, the civil power, and that such distinction and independence cannot be preserved without the civil power’s essential rights being assailed and usurped by the Church.” Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that “without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church’s general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals.” But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church.
- Amidst, therefore, such great perversity of depraved opinions, we, well remembering our Apostolic Office, and very greatly solicitous for our most holy Religion, for sound doctrine and the salvation of souls which is entrusted to us by God, and (solicitous also) for the welfare of human society itself, have thought it right again to raise up our Apostolic voice. Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.
- And besides these things, you know very well, Venerable Brethren, that in these times the haters of truth and justice and most bitter enemies of our religion, deceiving the people and maliciously lying, disseminate sundry and other impious doctrines by means of pestilential books, pamphlets and newspapers dispersed over the whole world. Nor are you ignorant also, that in this our age some men are found who, moved and excited by the spirit of Satan, have reached to that degree of impiety as not to shrink from denying our Ruler and Lord Jesus Christ, and from impugning His Divinity with wicked pertinacity. Here, however, we cannot but extol you, venerable brethren, with great and deserved praise, for not having failed to raise with all zeal your episcopal voice against impiety so great.
- Therefore, in this our letter, we again most lovingly address you, who, having been called unto a part of our solicitude, are to us, among our grievous distresses, the greatest solace, joy and consolation, because of the admirable religion and piety wherein you excel, and because of that marvellous love, fidelity, and dutifulness, whereby bound as you are to us. and to this Apostolic See in most harmonious affection, you strive strenuously and sedulously to fulfill your most weighty episcopal ministry. For from your signal pastoral zeal we expect that, taking up the sword of the spirit which is the word of God, and strengthened by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, you will, with redoubled care, each day more anxiously provide that the faithful entrusted to your charge “abstain from noxious verbiage, which Jesus Christ does not cultivate because it is not His Father’s plantation.”7 Never cease also to inculcate on the said faithful that all true felicity flows abundantly upon man from our august religion and its doctrine and practice; and that happy is the people whose God is their Lord.8 Teach that “kingdoms rest on the foundation of the Catholic Faith;9 and that nothing is so deadly, so hastening to a fall, so exposed to all danger, (as that which exists) if, believing this alone to be sufficient for us that we receive free will at our birth, we seek nothing further from the Lord; that is, if forgetting our Creator we abjure his power that we may display our freedom.”10 And again do not fail to teach “that the royal power was given not only for the governance of the world, but most of all for the protection of the Church;”11 and that there is nothing which can be of greater advantage and glory to Princes and Kings than if, as another most wise and courageous Predecessor of ours, St. Felix, instructed the Emperor Zeno, they “permit the Catholic Church to practise her laws, and allow no one to oppose her liberty. For it is certain that this mode of conduct is beneficial to their interests, viz., that where there is question concerning the causes of God, they study, according to His appointment, to subject the royal will to Christ’s Priests, not to raise it above theirs.”12
- But if always, venerable brethren, now most of all amidst such great calamities both of the Church and of civil society, amidst so great a conspiracy against Catholic interests and this Apostolic See, and so great a mass of errors, it is altogether necessary to approach with confidence the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in timely aid. Wherefore, we have thought it well to excite the piety of all the faithful in order that, together with us and you, they may unceasingly pray and beseech the most merciful Father of light and pity with most fervent and humble prayers, and in the fullness of faith flee always to Our Lord Jesus Christ, who redeemed us to God in his blood, and earnestly and constantly supplicate His most sweet Heart, the victim of most burning love toward us, that He would draw all things to Himself by the bonds of His love, and that all men inflamed by His most holy love may walk worthily according to His heart, pleasing God in all things, bearing fruit in every good work. But since without doubt men’s prayers are more pleasing to God if they reach Him from minds free from all stain, therefore we have determined to open to Christ’s faithful, with Apostolic liberality, the Church’s heavenly treasures committed to our charge, in order that the said faithful, being more earnestly enkindled to true piety, and cleansed through the sacrament of Penance from the defilement of their sins, may with greater confidence pour forth their prayers to God, and obtain His mercy and grace.
- By these Letters, therefore, in virtue of our Apostolic authority, we concede to all and singular the faithful of the Catholic world, a Plenary Indulgence in the form of Jubilee, during the space of one month only for the whole coming year 1865, and not beyond; to be fixed by you, venerable brethren, and other legitimate Ordinaries of places, in the very same manner and form in which we granted it at the beginning of our supreme Pontificate by our Apostolic Letters in the form of a Brief, dated November 20, 1846, and addressed to all your episcopal Order, beginning, “Arcano Divinae Providentiae consilio,” and with all the same faculties which were given by us in those Letters. We will, however, that all things be observed which were prescribed in the aforesaid Letters, and those things be excepted which we there so declared. And we grant this, notwithstanding anything whatever to the contrary, even things which are worthy of individual mention and derogation. In order, however, that all doubt and difficulty be removed, we have commanded a copy of said Letters be sent you.
- “Let us implore,” Venerable Brethren, “God’s mercy from our inmost heart and with our whole mind; because He has Himself added, ‘I will not remove my mercy from them.’ Let us ask and we shall receive; and if there be delay and slowness in our receiving because we have gravely offended, let us knock, because to him that knocketh it shall be opened, if only the door be knocked by our prayers, groans and tears, in which we must persist and persevere, and if the prayer be unanimous . . . let each man pray to God, not for himself alone, but for all his brethren, as the Lord hath taught us to pray.”13 But in order that God may the more readily assent to the prayers and desires of ourselves, of you and of all the faithful, let us with all confidence employ as or advocate with Him the Immaculate and most holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, who has slain all heresies throughout the world, and who, the most loving Mother of us all, “is all sweet . . . and full of mercy . . . shows herself to all as easily entreated; shows herself to all as most merciful; pities the necessities of all with a most large affection;”14 and standing as a Queen at the right hand of her only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety, can obtain from Him whatever she will. Let us also seek the suffrages of the Most Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of Paul, his Fellow-Apostle, and of all the Saints in Heaven, who having now become God’s friends, have arrived at the heavenly kingdom, and being crowned bear their palms, and being secure of their own immortality are anxious for our salvation.
- Lastly, imploring from our great heart for You from God the abundance of all heavenly gifts, we most lovingly impart the Apostolic Benediction from our inmost heart, a pledge of our signal love towards you, to yourselves, venerable brethren, and to all the clerics and lay faithful committed to your care.
Given at Rome, from St. Peter’s, the 8th day of December, in the year 1864, the tenth from the Dogmatic Definition of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
In the nineteenth year of Our Pontificate.
- Gregory XVI, encyclical epistle “Mirari vos,” 15 August 1832.
- 2. Ibid.
- 3. St. Augustine, epistle 105 (166).
- 4. St. Leo, epistle 14 (133), sect. 2, edit. Ball.
- 5. Epistle to Cardinal De la Rochefoucault, 10 March 1791.
- 6. Clement XII, “In eminenti;” Benedict XIV, “Providas Romanorum;” Pius VII, “Ecclesiam;” Leo XII, “Quo graviora.”
- 7. St. Ignatius M. to the Philadelphians, 3.
- 8. Ps 143.
- 9. St. Celestine, epistle 22 to Synod. Ephes. apud Const., p. 1200.
- 10. St. Innocent. 1, epistle 29 ad Episc. conc. Carthag. apud Coust., p. 891.
- 11. St. Leo, epistle 156 (125).
- 12. Pius VII, encyclical epistle “Diu satis,” 15 May 1800.
- 13. St. Cyprian, epist. 11.
- 14. St. Bernard, Serm. “de duodecim praerogativis B. M. V. ex verbis Apocalyp.”
SYLLABUS OF ERRORS
Pope BI. Pius IX – 1864
- PANTHEISM, NATURALISM AND ABSOLUTE RATIONALISM
- There exists no Supreme, all-wise, all-provident Divine Being, distinct from the universe, and God is identical with the nature of things, and is, therefore, subject to changes. In effect, God is produced in man and in the world, and all things are God and have the very substance of God, and God is one and the same thing with the world, and, therefore, spirit with matter, necessity with liberty, good with evil, justice with injustice. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862.
- All action of God upon man and the world is to be denied. — Ibid.
- Human reason, without any reference whatsoever to God, is the sole arbiter of truth and falsehood, and of good and evil; it is law to itself, and suffices, by its natural force, to secure the welfare of men and of nations. — Ibid.
- All the truths of religion proceed from the innate strength of human reason; hence reason is the ultimate standard by which man can and ought to arrive at the knowledge of all truths of every kind. — Ibid. and Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9, 1846, etc.
- Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to a continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the advancement of human reason. — Ibid.
- The faith of Christ is in opposition to human reason and divine revelation not only is not useful, but is even hurtful to the perfection of man. — Ibid.
- The prophecies and miracles set forth and recorded in the Sacred Scriptures are the fiction of poets, and the mysteries of the Christian faith the result of philosophical investigations. In the books of the Old and the New Testament there are contained mythical inventions, and Jesus Christ is Himself a myth.
- MODERATE RATIONALISM
- As human reason is placed on a level with religion itself, so theological must be treated in the same manner as philosophical sciences. — Allocution “Singulari quadam,” Dec. 9, 1854.
- All the dogmas of the Christian religion are indiscriminately the object of natural science or philosophy, and human reason, enlightened solely in an historical way, is able, by its own natural strength and principles, to attain to the true science of even the most abstruse dogmas; provided only that such dogmas be proposed to reason itself as its object. — Letters to the Archbishop of Munich, “Gravissimas inter,” Dec. 11, 1862, and “Tuas libenter,” Dec. 21, 1863.
- As the philosopher is one thing, and philosophy another, so it is the right and duty of the philosopher to subject himself to the authority which he shall have proved to be true; but philosophy neither can nor ought to submit to any such authority. — Ibid., Dec. 11, 1862.
- The Church not only ought never to pass judgment on philosophy, but ought to tolerate the errors of philosophy, leaving it to correct itself. — Ibid., Dec. 21, 1863.
- The decrees of the Apostolic See and of the Roman congregations impede the true progress of science. — Ibid.
- The method and principles by which the old scholastic doctors cultivated theology are no longer suitable to the demands of our times and to the progress of the sciences. — Ibid.
- Philosophy is to be treated without taking any account of supernatural revelation. — Ibid.
III. INDIFFERENTISM, LATITUDINARIANISM
- Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862; Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.
- Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. — Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9, 1846.
- 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. — Encyclical “Quanto conficiamur,” Aug. 10, 1863, etc.
- Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. — Encyclical “Noscitis,” Dec. 8, 1849.
- SOCIALISM, COMMUNISM, SECRET SOCIETIES, BIBLICAL SOCIETIES, CLERICO-LIBERAL SOCIETIES
Pests of this kind are frequently reprobated in the severest terms in the Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9, 1846, Allocution “Quibus quantisque,” April 20, 1849, Encyclical “Noscitis et nobiscum,” Dec. 8, 1849, Allocution “Singulari quadam,” Dec. 9, 1854, Encyclical “Quanto conficiamur,” Aug. 10, 1863.
- ERRORS CONCERNING THE CHURCH AND HER RIGHTS
- The Church is not a true and perfect society, entirely free- nor is she endowed with proper and perpetual rights of her own, conferred upon her by her Divine Founder; but it appertains to the civil power to define what are the rights of the Church, and the limits within which she may exercise those rights. — Allocution “Singulari quadam,&quuot; Dec. 9, 1854, etc.
- The ecclesiastical power ought not to exercise its authority without the permission and assent of the civil government. — Allocution “Meminit unusquisque,” Sept. 30, 1861.
- The Church has not the power of defining dogmatically that the religion of the Catholic Church is the only true religion. — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.
- The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church. — Letter to the Archbishop of Munich, “Tuas libenter,” Dec. 21, 1863.
- Roman pontiffs and ecumenical councils have wandered outside the limits of their powers, have usurped the rights of princes, and have even erred in defining matters of faith and morals. — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.
- The Church has not the power of using force, nor has she any temporal power, direct or indirect. — Apostolic Letter “Ad Apostolicae,” Aug. 22, 1851.
- Besides the power inherent in the episcopate, other temporal power has been attributed to it by the civil authority granted either explicitly or tacitly, which on that account is revocable by the civil authority whenever it thinks fit. — Ibid.
- The Church has no innate and legitimate right of acquiring and possessing property. — Allocution “Nunquam fore,” Dec. 15, 1856; Encyclical “Incredibili,” Sept. 7, 1863.
- The sacred ministers of the Church and the Roman pontiff are to be absolutely excluded from every charge and dominion over temporal affairs. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862.
- It is not lawful for bishops to publish even letters Apostolic without the permission of Government. — Allocution “Nunquam fore,” Dec. 15, 1856.
- Favours granted by the Roman pontiff ought to be considered null, unless they have been sought for through the civil government. — Ibid.
- The immunity of the Church and of ecclesiastical persons derived its origin from civil law. — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.
- The ecclesiastical forum or tribunal for the temporal causes, whether civil or criminal, of clerics, ought by all means to be abolished, even without consulting and against the protest of the Holy See. — Allocution “Nunquam fore,” Dec. 15, 1856; Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.
- The personal immunity by which clerics are exonerated from military conscription and service in the army may be abolished without violation either of natural right or equity. Its abolition is called for by civil progress, especially in a society framed on the model of a liberal government. — Letter to the Bishop of Monreale “Singularis nobisque,” Sept. 29, 1864.
- It does not appertain exclusively to the power of ecclesiastical jurisdiction by right, proper and innate, to direct the teaching of theological questions. — Letter to the Archbishop of Munich, “Tuas libenter,” Dec. 21, 1863.
- The teaching of those who compare the Sovereign Pontiff to a prince, free and acting in the universal Church, is a doctrine which prevailed in the Middle Ages. — Apostolic Letter “Ad Apostolicae,” Aug. 22, 1851.
- There is nothing to prevent the decree of a general council, or the act of all peoples, from transferring the supreme pontificate from the bishop and city of Rome to another bishop and another city. — Ibid.
- The definition of a national council does not admit of any subsequent discussion, and the civil authority car assume this principle as the basis of its acts. — Ibid.
- National churches, withdrawn from the authority of the Roman pontiff and altogether separated, can be established. — Allocution “Multis gravibusque,” Dec. 17, 1860.
- The Roman pontiffs have, by their too arbitrary conduct, contributed to the division of the Church into Eastern and Western. — Apostolic Letter “Ad Apostolicae,” Aug. 22, 1851.
- ERRORS ABOUT CIVIL SOCIETY, CONSIDERED BOTH IN ITSELF AND IN ITS RELATION TO THE CHURCH
- The State, as being the origin and source of all rights, is endowed with a certain right not circumscribed by any limits. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862.
- The teaching of the Catholic Church is hostile to the well- being and interests of society. — Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9, 1846; Allocution “Quibus quantisque,” April 20, 1849.
- The civil government, even when in the hands of an infidel sovereign, has a right to an indirect negative power over religious affairs. It therefore possesses not only the right called that of “exsequatur,” but also that of appeal, called “appellatio ab abusu.” — Apostolic Letter “Ad Apostolicae,” Aug. 22, 1851
- In the case of conflicting laws enacted by the two powers, the civil law prevails. — Ibid.
- The secular Dower has authority to rescind, declare and render null, solemn conventions, commonly called concordats, entered into with the Apostolic See, regarding the use of rights appertaining to ecclesiastical immunity, without the consent of the Apostolic See, and even in spite of its protest. — Allocution “Multis gravibusque,” Dec. 17, 1860; Allocution “In consistoriali,” Nov. 1, 1850.
- The civil authority may interfere in matters relating to religion, morality and spiritual government: hence, it can pass judgment on the instructions issued for the guidance of consciences, conformably with their mission, by the pastors of the Church. Further, it has the right to make enactments regarding the administration of the divine sacraments, and the dispositions necessary for receiving them. — Allocutions “In consistoriali,” Nov. 1, 1850, and “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862.
- The entire government of public schools in which the youth- of a Christian state is educated, except (to a certain extent) in the case of episcopal seminaries, may and ought to appertain to the civil power, and belong to it so far that no other authority whatsoever shall be recognized as having any right to interfere in the discipline of the schools, the arrangement of the studies, the conferring of degrees, in the choice or approval of the teachers. — Allocutions “Quibus luctuosissimmis,” Sept. 5, 1851, and “In consistoriali,” Nov. 1, 1850.
- Moreover, even in ecclesiastical seminaries, the method of studies to be adopted is subject to the civil authority. — Allocution “Nunquam fore,” Dec. 15, 1856.
- The best theory of civil society requires that popular schools open to children of every class of the people, and, generally, all public institutes intended for instruction in letters and philosophical sciences and for carrying on the education of youth, should be freed from all ecclesiastical authority, control and interference, and should be fully subjected to the civil and political power at the pleasure of the rulers, and according to the standard of the prevalent opinions of the age. — Epistle to the Archbishop of Freiburg, “Cum non sine,” July 14, 1864.
- Catholics may approve of the system of educating youth unconnected with Catholic faith and the power of the Church, and which regards the knowledge of merely natural things, and only, or at least primarily, the ends of earthly social life. — Ibid.
- The civil power may prevent the prelates of the Church and the faithful from communicating freely and mutually with the Roman pontiff. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862.
- Lay authority possesses of itself the right of presenting bishops, and may require of them to undertake the administration of the diocese before they receive canonical institution, and the Letters Apostolic from the Holy See. — Allocution “Nunquam fore,” Dec. 15, 1856.
- And, further, the lay government has the right of deposing bishops from their pastoral functions, and is not bound to obey the Roman pontiff in those things which relate to the institution of bishoprics and the appointment of bishops. — Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852, Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.
- Government can, by its own right, alter the age prescribed by the Church for the religious profession of women and men; and may require of all religious orders to admit no person to take solemn vows without its permission. — Allocution “Nunquam fore,” Dec. 15, 1856.
- The laws enacted for the protection of religious orders and regarding their rights and duties ought to be abolished; nay, more, civil Government may lend its assistance to all who desire to renounce the obligation which they have undertaken of a religious life, and to break their vows. Government may also suppress the said religious orders, as likewise collegiate churches and simple benefices, even those of advowson and subject their property and revenues to the administration and pleasure of the civil power. — Allocutions “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852; “Probe memineritis,” Jan. 22, 1855; “Cum saepe,” July 26, 1855.
- Kings and princes are not only exempt from the jurisdiction of the Church, but are superior to the Church in deciding questions of jurisdiction. — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.
- The Church ought to be separated from the .State, and the State from the Church. — Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.
VII. ERRORS CONCERNING NATURAL AND CHRISTIAN ETHICS
- Moral laws do not stand in need of the divine sanction, and it is not at all necessary that human laws should be made conformable to the laws of nature and receive their power of binding from God. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862.
- The science of philosophical things and morals and also civil laws may and ought to keep aloof from divine and ecclesiastical authority. — Ibid.
- No other forces are to be recognized except those which reside in matter, and all the rectitude and excellence of morality ought to be placed in the accumulation and increase of riches by every possible means, and the gratification of pleasure. — Ibid.; Encyclical “Quanto conficiamur,” Aug. 10, 1863.
- Right consists in the material fact. All human duties are an empty word, and all human facts have the force of right. — Allocution “Maxima quidem,” June 9, 1862.
- Authority is nothing else but numbers and the sum total of material forces. — Ibid.
- The injustice of an act when successful inflicts no injury on the sanctity of right. — Allocution “Jamdudum cernimus,” March 18, 1861.
- The principle of non-intervention, as it is called, ought to be proclaimed and observed. — Allocution “Novos et ante,” Sept. 28, 1860.
- It is lawful to refuse obedience to legitimate princes, and even to rebel against them. — Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9, 1864; Allocution “Quibusque vestrum,” Oct. 4, 1847; “Noscitis et Nobiscum,” Dec. 8, 1849; Apostolic Letter “Cum Catholica.”
- The violation of any solemn oath, as well as any wicked and flagitious action repugnant to the eternal law, is not only not blamable but is altogether lawful and worthy of the highest praise when done through love of country. — Allocution “Quibus quantisque,” April 20, 1849.
VIII. ERRORS CONCERNING CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
- The doctrine that Christ has raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament cannot be at all tolerated. — Apostolic Letter “Ad Apostolicae,” Aug. 22, 1851.
- The Sacrament of Marriage is only a something accessory to the contract and separate from it, and the sacrament itself consists in the nuptial benediction alone. — Ibid.
- By the law of nature, the marriage tie is not indissoluble, and in many cases divorce properly so called may be decreed by the civil authority. — Ibid.; Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.
- The Church has not the power of establishing diriment impediments of marriage, but such a power belongs to the civil authority by which existing impediments are to be removed. — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.
- In the dark ages the Church began to establish diriment impediments, not by her own right, but by using a power borrowed from the State. — Apostolic Letter “Ad Apostolicae,” Aug. 22, 1851.
- The canons of the Council of Trent, which anathematize those who dare to deny to the Church the right of establishing diriment impediments, either are not dogmatic or must be understood as referring to such borrowed power. — Ibid.
- The form of solemnizing marriage prescribed by the Council of Trent, under pain of nullity, does not bind in cases where the civil law lays down another form, and declares that when this new form is used the marriage shall be valid.
- Boniface VIII was the first who declared that the vow of chastity taken at ordination renders marriage void. — Ibid.
- In force of a merely civil contract there may exist between Christians a real marriage, and it is false to say either that the marriage contract between Christians is always a sacrament, or that there is no contract if the sacrament be excluded. — Ibid.; Letter to the King of Sardinia, Sept. 9, 1852; Allocutions “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852, “Multis gravibusque,” Dec. 17, 1860.
- Matrimonial causes and espousals belong by their nature to civil tribunals. — Encyclical “Qui pluribus,” Nov. 9 1846; Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851, “Ad Apostolicae,” Aug. 22, 1851; Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.
- ERRORS REGARDING THE CIVIL POWER OF THE SOVEREIGN PONTIFF
- The children of the Christian and Catholic Church are divided amongst themselves about the compatibility of the temporal with the spiritual power. — “Ad Apostolicae,” Aug. 22, 1851.
- The abolition of the temporal power of which the Apostolic See is possessed would contribute in the greatest degree to the liberty and prosperity of the Church. — Allocutions “Quibus quantisque,” April 20, 1849, “Si semper antea,” May 20, 1850.
- ERRORS HAVING REFERENCE TO MODERN LIBERALISM
- 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. — Allocution “Nemo vestrum,” July 26, 1855.
- Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. — Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.
- Moreover, it is false that the civil liberty of every form of worship, and the full power, given to all, of overtly and publicly manifesting any opinions whatsoever and thoughts, conduce more easily to corrupt the morals and minds of the people, and to propagate the pest of indifferentism. — Allocution “Nunquam fore,” Dec. 15, 1856.
- The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.- -Allocution “Jamdudum cernimus,” March 18, 1861.
The faith teaches us and human reason demonstrates that a double order of things exists, and that we must therefore distinguish between the two earthly powers, the one of natural origin which provides for secular affairs and the tranquillity of human society, the other of supernatural origin, which presides over the City of God, that is to say the Church of Christ, which has been divinely instituted for the sake of souls and of eternal salvation…. The duties of this twofold power are most wisely ordered in such a way that to God is given what is God’s (Matt. 22:21), and because of God to Caesar what is Caesar’s, who is great because he is smaller than heaven. Certainly the Church has never disobeyed this divine command, the Church which always and everywhere instructs the faithful to show the respect which they should inviolably have for the supreme authority and its secular rights….
. . . Venerable Brethren, you see clearly enough how sad and full of perils is the condition of Catholics in the regions of Europe which We have mentioned. Nor are things any better or circumstances calmer in America, where some regions are so hostile to Catholics that their governments seem to deny by their actions the Catholic faith they claim to profess. In fact, there, for the last few years, a ferocious war on the Church, its institutions and the rights of the Apostolic See has been raging…. Venerable Brothers, it is surprising that in our time such a great war is being waged against the Catholic Church. But anyone who knows the nature, desires and intentions of the sects, whether they be called masonic or bear another name, and compares them with the nature the systems and the vastness of the obstacles by which the Church has been assailed almost everywhere, cannot doubt that the present misfortune must mainly be imputed to the frauds and machinations of these sects. It is from them that the synagogue of Satan, which gathers its troops against the Church of Christ, takes its strength. In the past Our predecessors, vigilant even from the beginning in Israel, had already denounced them to the kings and the nations, and had condemned them time and time again, and even We have not failed in this duty. If those who would have been able to avert such a deadly scourge had only had more faith in the supreme Pastors of the Church! But this scourge, winding through sinuous caverns, . . . deceiving many with astute frauds, finally has arrived at the point where it comes forth impetuously from its hiding places and triumphs as a powerful master. Since the throng of its propagandists has grown enormously, these wicked groups think that they have already become masters of the world and that they have almost reached their pre-established goal. Having sometimes obtained what they desired, and that is power, in several countries, they boldly turn the help of powers and authorities which they have secured to trying to submit the Church of God to the most cruel servitude, to undermine the foundations on which it rests, to contaminate its splendid qualities; and, moreover, to strike it with frequent blows, to shake it, to overthrow it, and, if possible, to make it disappear completely from the earth. Things being thus, Venerable Brothers, make every effort to defend the faithful which are entrusted to you against the insidious contagion of these sects and to save from perdition those who unfortunately have inscribed themselves in such sects. Make known and attack those who, whether suffering from, or planning, deception, are not afraid to affirm that these shady congregations aim only at the profit of society, at progress and mutual benefit. Explain to them often and impress deeply on their souls the Papal constitutions on this subject and teach, them that the masonic associations are anathematized by them not only in Europe but also in America and wherever they may be in the whole world.
To the Archbishops and Bishops of Prussia concerning the situation of the Catholic Church faced with persecution by that Government….
But although they (the bishops resisting persecution) should be praised rather than pitied, the scorn of episcopal dignity, the violation of the liberty and the rights of the Church, the ill treatment which does not only oppress those dioceses, but also the others of the Kingdom of Prussia, demand that We, owing to the Apostolic office with which God has entrusted us in spite of Our insufficient merit, protest against laws which have produced such great evils and make one fear even greater ones; and as far as we are able to do so with the sacred authority of divine law, We vindicate for the Church the freedom which has been trodden underfoot with sacrilegious violence. That is why by this letter we intend to do Our duty by announcing openly to all those whom this matter concerns and to the whole Catholic world, that these laws are null and void because they are absolutely contrary to the divine constitution of the Church. In fact, with respect to matters which concern the holy ministry, Our Lord did not put the mighty of this century in charge, but Saint Peter, whom he entrusted not only with feeding his sheep, but also the goats; therefore no power in the world, however great it may be, can deprive of the pastoral office those whom the Holy Ghost has made Bishops in order to feed the Church of God.
A Call To Action
Too many churches in America are lacking in discernment. Do you find yourself wishing you could help? Do you have a love for Scripture? And a desire to write to edify the church?
I hear every day from people who want to make a difference but don't know how to get started. To answer this need, I created Writers Write: The 5-Day Challenge.
This mini-course will jumpstart your goals by showing you how to write in a way that will have people saying “I care about that.”
Right now Pulpit & Pen readers can get Writers Write: The 5-Day Challenge at a special 25% discount.
Get your writing in front of people who will actually read it. Don't miss out on this special deal. Click here to get started.
God Bless, Cody Libolt