37. The Church is roman
1. As a disciple of Christ, the Phalangist is first and foremost attached to His Vicar on earth, the Sovereign Pontiff, the Bishop of Rome, which is “ the mother and mistress of all the Churches ”. It is there that is found the centre of unity, the summit of holiness, the repository of the apostolic traditions, and the measure and order of catholicity. It is there that is found the rule of faith, the supreme laws governing rites, and the sovereignty of law.
The papacy must be what Jesus Christ wished it to be and what the Holy Spirit has made it. It must be endowed with its own proper organs of universal government, the Curia, and with all that is necessary for its longstanding sovereignty and independence, namely : a city, its own citizenship, stable private resources, and its own defence. Hence the necessity of the Popes’ temporal power, which the Church’s enemies have continually presented to the world as something detestable to be curbed and practically suppressed.
2. The Phalangist, knowing the infirmity of all things human, needs to take his stand on the divine stability of this Rock ; amid the general fickleness of this world, he needs this sure and stable axis. On principle and by experience, he is Roman, ultramontane, papist, and infallibilist. Through the Pope he feels more securely attached to Peter – for the Pope is Peter’s true and unique successor – and more united to the Holy Spirit of Christ – for the Pope is His supreme Vicar.
Contrary to general opinion, he thinks that the pontifical function is simple, immutable, traditional and – unencumbered of all its recent superfluities – supremely efficacious. The papacy, with its three Powers, is so essential to the daily life of the Mystical Body that the Pope cannot neglect to exercise it without transgressing mortally and incurring the peril of damnation. The Sovereign Pontiff must teach. In other words he must proclaim the Catholic faith and transmit it to the faithful. Consequently he must guarantee the intangibility of the deposit of revelation entrusted to the Church by condemning and anathematising all heresy and error. He must sanctify the people of God by ensuring for them the communication of grace by all the means that Jesus Christ has entrusted to His Church. He must watch over the validity and dignity of the Church’s rites and sacraments, forbid modifications that corrupt their purity, and excommunicate the agents of novelty. He must govern the flock, both pastors and faithful, by preserving the hierarchical communion against all schism, and by administering justice, as pastor and immediate judge of all Christians, to remedy every act of division or oppression. Finally, as supreme head of the Holy Church, it is for him to proceed to the Church’s internal reform, if it proves to be necessary, by means of his sovereign prescriptions or the proclamation of a General Council, and to watch over the defence and protection of Christendom against all her enemies by deciding on and preaching the Crusade, by condemning unjust wars, and by excommunicating tyrants and felonious or apostate princes.
3. The Phalangist has nothing but contempt for “ Gallican nonsense ” (Charles Maurras) or for Josephite or collegialist nonsense, which are nothing but the incongruous claims of a former regalism, a recalcitrant parliamentarianism, and today of a secular, masonic democratism. One cannot remedy the shortcomings and disorders, true or alleged, of the Head by appealing to its members, who are constitutionally incapable of supplying what is lacking in the order and authority of Rome.
The Phalangist’s rule of service to the Pope is so grave and primordial that in case of doubt concerning the true Pope, concerning his legitimacy, his orthodoxy and his orthopraxy, he is open to either the path of blind obedience or legitimate opposition, both ways regarded as possible and equally honourable. Those who protest serve the papacy of all time and keep it exempt from reproach, whilst those who submit maintain the authority of the Pope of the day with a view to an infallible tomorrow.
4. However, it is not good that popes should fail in their duty over many years and several pontificates, nor that they should lose themselves in heretical opinions, schismatic novelties and scandalous conduct, allowing souls and Christendom to suffer, keeping their favours for all that is bad and their strictures for all that is good, without some voice being raised in the Church from among the cardinals, the bishops and the people of Rome.
Then the Phalange will remember its past mission in order to assume its new duties.