LIBER ACCUSATIONIS IN PAULUM SEXTUM
1. Your personal heresy : the MASDU
THIS philosophy, which constitutes your personal heresy, I first wrote about in February 1965, and repeatedly since then. I have described it as a MOVEMENT FOR THE SPIRITUAL ANIMATION OF WORLD DEMOCRACY, MASDU for short (Mouvement d’Animation Spirituelle de la Démocratie Universelle). It represents a politico-religious Utopia which you adopted, so it is said, under the influence of your family background but also, no doubt, of those philosophers whom you had admired and studied for a half-century. On being raised to the Sovereign Pontificate you could of course have repudiated them, but you preferred rather to impose them as far as possible upon the entire Church, in a way moreover that suggested that it was done in the name of your Ordinary Magisterium. It was easy enough to make these ideas spread, for the world as a whole was already widely imbued with them and it had been only the Church and her Sovereign Pontiffs who had offered them resistance. They are the same as the revolutionary Messianism of Lamennais, and the Christian Democracy of Sangnier, worked into a system by your friend Jacques Maritain to form an “ Integral Humanism ”.
This system can be broken down into three parts, to which there is to be added one important corollary:
1° - It is not simply the Church and Christendom which form the “ unit of Salvation ”, but mankind as a whole.
2° - The new Gospel of this community is the Declaration of the Rights of Man, with its trilogy of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
3° - The building of a World Democracy is the analogy here on earth of the Kingdom of Cod, and it is to be attained through the coming of Justice and Peace, in Truth and Love.
And the Corollary: that the function of Religion – by which is to be understood a union of all the existing religions – is to provide inspiration and Spiritual Animation for mankind thus regenerated.
1. MANKIND TAKES THE PLACE OF THE CHURCH
Your philosophy, Most Holy Father, takes no account of the distinction, or rather that irreconcilable opposition, the existence of which was affirmed authoritatively by your Predecessors, for instance by Leo XIII in Humanum Genus: “ The human race is split into two hostile camps, both of which are engaged in a constant battle, the one for truth and virtue, and the other for all that which is opposed to these. The one is the true Church of Jesus Christ... and the other is the Kingdom of Satan. ” (Encyclical dated April 20, 1884) You make it clear in Ecclesiam Suam that you will have nothing to do with what Rev. Congar refers to as the “ Catholic ghetto ”, nor of course with the idea of the Church having authority over secular society – the origin of what we know as “ Christendom ”. You acknowledge only an autonomous purely secular society, or “ the world ”, existing on a merely human level, independent of the Church and apart from it, and neither Christian nor Satanic. When you quote St. Paul to the Corinthians in that Encyclical you deliberately leave out these two passages: “ And what concord hath Christ with Belial... And what agreement bath the temple of God with idols ? ” (2 Cor 6.15-16) As you can hardly preach – in so many words – a truce with the forces of evil, you pretend that they do not exist. (Ecclesiam Suam, 62. The cited passages are omitted from the quotation of the relevant verses of 2 Cor) For you the matter seems already to be settled one way or the other – either Satan has already agreed to a truce or he is no longer a force to be reckoned with – or else he is non-existent !
ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS.
As far as you are concerned, all divisions, wars and rivalries are mere misunderstandings, misfortunes, “ still remaining ” among “ men of goodwill ” but which are on the way out. The world is gradually moving towards unity, men are discovering their common origin, aspirations and destiny. Good and evil is found in all, in similar proportions, but all are equally anxious for a total regeneration of humanity:
“ Man must go out to meet man, and the nations come close to each other as brothers and sisters, as the children of God. In such mutual friendship and understanding, in this sacred communion (sic) we must all join together in working for the common future of humanity... Such union cannot be built upon terror or upon the fear of mutual destruction, it must be based on a common love which embraces the whole world and has its roots in God who is love ”, is what you said in Bombay on December 2, 1964.
This is the first article of your new humanistic Credo: All men are brothers because they have God for their Father: “ Man devotes himself to his fellow-man, because he recognises him as his brother, as the son of one and the same Father. ” (Discourse to World Food and Agriculture Organisation, November 16, 1970) And again: “ This then is Our message for the year 1971. It echoes, this new voice born of the civilised conscience (?), the Declaration of the Rights of Man: ‘ All men are born free and equal in rights and dignity; they are endowed with reason and conscience and should conduct themselves towards each other as brothers ’. The philosophy of our civilisation has at last reached this summit. Let us not turn back. Let us not lose the treasure we have gained by this victory of reason. Let us strive rather to apply, with logic and courage, this formula which forms a landmark of human progress: ‘ Every man is my brother ’. This is essentially what we mean by peace. And it is something that applies to all. ” (Message for World Day of Peace, November 14, 1970)
This is a transposition into humanistic terms of the wonders of Grace, the Mysteries of Filial Adoption and the Communion of Saints. You have despoiled the Church of the gifts bestowed on her by Christ in order to adorn with them the whole “ civilised ” mankind of today.
ALL MEN ARE ESSENTIALLY GOOD.
Moreover, all men are good, and all share the desire for peace, justice and progress. As an “ expert in humanity ” (Discourse to the UN, October 4, 1965) you are prepared to stand bail for them; and assure us that nothing is impossible, for they are all essentially good at heart.
“ Yes indeed, peace is possible, because men are essentially good and look towards reason, order, and the common well-being; it is possible because it already exists within the heart of men of the new type, of the young, and of all who understand the forward march of civilisation... ” (Message for the first World Day of Peace, January 1, 1968) “ At the present time fraternity asserts itself; friendship is the basis of every modern human society... Democracy, which is so widely acclaimed by human societies today, must take on a wider, universal form, in order that the barriers that still stand in the way of an effective human brotherhood shall be broken down. ” (Christmas Message 1964) It is one of the axioms of your thinking that man is good, that all peoples are desirous of peace and that the democratic form of modern society allows them to impose this desire for peace upon their rulers who stand in its way. And so you sometimes indulge in wishful thinking:
“ You, the people, you have the right to make yourselves heard... You have a lawful and sacred right to insist that your leaders arrange things so that you do not have to suffer… We live under a system of democracy... That means that it is the people who command, that power is vested in numbers, in the people as a whole. If we are conscious of the social progress which this represents all over the world, then we must allow democracy to have its say: the people do not want war. The masses must insist that there shall not be any more wars in the world. ” (Discourse of January 1, 1970)
And so you take it for granted that all men possess those virtues which exist in Christian society in a supernatural manner thanks to the merits of Christ, acquired through the Sacraments and obedience to God’s commandments; and you see this UNIVERSAL DEMOCRACY as automatically bringing the progress of mankind in its wake. You speak as if there were no Demon reigning in the world, nor such a thing as Original Sin, or indeed actual sin and disorder to any significant extent ! You see nothing but goodness in the hearts and natures of all who are alive today.
YOUR ONE AND HOLY HOPE, THE UNITED NATIONS.
And so you place your hope, not in God’s own One and Holy Church, but in the United Nations, which you proclaim to be mankind’s supreme hope, the model, in the temporal sphere, of what the Church is in the spiritual ! Whereas your Predecessors had denounced as evil any such parody of that Unity which is founded upon Christ and sustained by the Holy Spirit, for you it constitutes a mystery and miracle in its own right. You are prepared to place your trust and hope in that Masonic Tower of Babel rather than in the Church. Did you not say at Manhattan, on October 4, 1965:
“ The peoples turn to the United Nations as their last hope for peace and concord. We make bold to bring here with Our own their tribute of honour and hope ”.
“ You exist and work to unite nations, to bring States into association. Let Us put it in the form that you exist to get people together with one another. You are... a bridge between peoples... We are tempted to say that your characteristic is to reflect in the temporal order what our Catholic Church is in the spiritual order – the sole organisation of its kind, and universal. Nothing higher on the natural plane can be imagined in the ideological edifice of humanity...
“ There is being established here a system of solidarity which receives the regular and unanimous support, for its supreme civilising objectives, of the whole family of peoples for the good of each and all.
“ This is the finest aspect of the United Nations Organisation, this is what gives it its most genuinely human guise; this is the ideal that mankind has dreamed of in its journey through history. We would venture to call it the world’s greatest hope, for it is the reflection of God’s design – a design transcendent and full of love – for the progress of human society on earth, a reflection in which We can see the gospel message, something from heaven come down to earth. ”
In your dreams, the UN – that noisy Tower of Babel, ineffective in any good cause, all too effective in evil ones – replaces the Church, indeed it takes a more important place. It becomes the realisation of God’s design, the fulfilment upon earth of the prophecies. But what contempt for the Church is implied in your reference to this organisation as the last chance of mankind: And also what contempt for Christ when He has been left entirely out of account in the construction of this vast edifice and all its subsidiaries – UNESCO, WFAO, and so on, all militantly anti-Christian. You are being led into error by your “ cult of man ”. You despoil God of His works and perversely adorn with them the ludicrous, venomous creations of Satan !
“ There is no need for Us to point out, ” wrote St. Pius X in his Letter on the Sillon, “ that the advent of World Democracy can have no relevance to the work of the Church in the world... the reform of civilisation is essentially a religious task, for true civilisation presupposes a moral foundation for it, and there can be no morally based civilisation without the true religion: this is a truth which can be demonstrated from the evidence of history. ”
To pretend that mankind is good and generous, fraternal and peace-loving, if it has no recourse to Christ, is a heresy. It is a blasphemy to say that the UN is the analogy, in the political sphere, of the Church, to refer to it as the earthly reflection of the authentic, universal, design of God. Not only is it a lie and an insult to Christ, but also an absurdity. If one can speak about a temporal extension of the Gospel, then this must refer to a civilisation based on Christianity, as is found in the Catholic nations, where Christ is the centre and the social order is indeed an extension of the Church, a work of Grace and Faith – and not to that hotbed of Masonry, the United Nations.
2. THE CHARTER OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN TAKES THE PLACE OF THE GOSPEL
For two thousand years, the Church, and the whole of Christendom, have drawn their strength from the Grace of God and the theological virtues, of which the moral virtues are but derivatives. Our Gospel teaches that without the love of God there can be no true love of our fellow-men, and without the Grace bestowed by Christ only through His Church, there can be no love of God. But where is this “ new humanity ”, for which you foresee such a glorious future, supposed to draw its strength ? According to Maritain, whose perverse reasoning you seem to follow entirely in this matter, the earthly city, the “ universal democracy ”, of his “ integral humanism ” is to be founded upon “ conscience ”, and take for its Law the Declaration of the Rights of Man. And so, like Maritain, you compromise your Faith for the benefit of your “ new humanism ”, and look upon the Rights of Man as being simply a translation into profane language of... the Message of the Gospel ! You become oblivious to the distinction between man’s natural moral conscience and that moral strength which comes only through divine Grace, and between human solidarity and Christian charity... So, once again, Christ and the Church are pushed into the background in favour of secularism and agnosticism. Can it really be the Pope who speaks thus ?
MAN’S CONSCIENCE AS THE SOURCE OF LIFE AND MORAL PERFECTION.
“ The structure you are raising cannot rest on purely material and worldly foundations; that would be to build a house on sand: it must be based on conscience... Never so much as today, in a period when human progress has been so rapid, has it been necessary to appeal to the moral conscience of mankind. ” (Discourse to the UN, October 4, 1965)
This “ civic conscience of the world ” (August 2, 1972) you elevate into a source of light and strength which are capable of guiding mankind and helping it to rise above its self-interest, passions and unruliness.
This theory of yours, which regards conscience as a sovereign moral force in its own right, on to which “ the religious sentiment ” is as it were grafted, is made plain, in a perfectly alarming manner, in one of your Wednesday allocutions:
“ In giving expression to his moral conscience, man frees himself from the temptations that assail him as a result of that hereditary blemish which affects his complex organism: original sin. As a result he finds again, at least the idea and desire of perfection. It is this moral conscience which allows him to rise above those temptations that are degrading for his dignity, which helps to rid him of fears that make him cowardly and stupid and which endows him with those sentiments that make a man honest and strong.
“ It was from this conscience that the great characters of the human drama drew their strength: the innocent, the heroes, the saints. Think of Antigone. Think of those numerous figures that command our admiration, in past history or the annals of the present day, on account of their firm and unshakeable moral conscience, and especially in those cases where religious sentiment gave this a vigour that can come from nothing else. Let us think of Thomas More (sic), St. Augustine, the two Sts. Theresa, and in general terms of those saints who have given us a history of their lives, such as Edith Stein, or of examples that we find in literature, such as a well-known passage in Aldechi, by Manzoni. ” (I had not heard that Edith Stein had been canonised ! And as regards Manzoni, most certainly not a saint !)
The rest of the text bears out the impression we have gained from this passage, of a philosophy that is naturalistic and subjectivist, in which religion serves merely to add to that force of conscience which already exists without it, a certain supplement of “ feeling ”, of the power of the “ heart ”. How does this tie up with the teaching that without the Grace of Christ our Redeemer we can do nothing ? What place has it for the Sacraments, and prayer ?
THE RIGHTS OF MAN - THE NEW GOSPEL.
What is it that expresses this conscience with such energy ? It is the Rights of Man ! “ The conscience of mankind is affirming itself ever more strongly. Men are rediscovering that inalienable aspect of themselves which is bringing them all together: the humanity of man. ”
“ The Charter of Human Rights: to demand for everyone – without distinction of age, sex or religion – respect for human dignity and the conditions necessary for its exercise, is that not to translate loud and clear the unanimous aspiration of hearts and the universal testimony of consciences ? ” (Address of Pope Paul to the UN)
This universal conscience gives rise to a whole new HUMANISTIC DECALOGUE, whose commandments, “ personalist ” if you like, are merely human and social, whose only God is Man. It is the moral system corresponding to the “ cult of man ” which you have embraced. Truth, justice, dignity, solidarity, equality, fraternity, etc. are all high sounding words which intoxicate the listener. But do you really believe that they are capable, present though you believe them to be in the conscience of all men, of overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil ?
No, Most Holy Father, if you forgive my saying so, mere words such as these have never yet given rise to the least act of virtue, the smallest act of self-abnegation or sacrifice, the least gleam of forgiveness of a wrong...
Listen to what St. Pius X had to say; he might have been speaking about you: “ According to him, man would not be truly man and worthy of that name, until the day when he had acquired a conscience that was enlightened, strong and independent, which would allow him to dispense with any other master and to obey none but itself, even while carrying the gravest responsibilities. Such are the phrases used to exalt human pride. ” (St. Pius X, Letter on the Sillon)
A PAGAN MORALITY.
You are deeply committed to this naturalistic philosophy; it appears that you believe in it ! Thus in Bombay, on December 2, 1964, when you speak about mankind’s expectations: “ Mankind is undergoing profound changes and searching for guiding principles and new forces which will show it the way in the world of the future. ” And what do you offer it ? Christ ? The Law of the Gospel ? The Grace of the Sacraments ? Not a bit of it, only this, which is surely a descent from the sublime to the ridiculous: “ We must come closer to one another, not merely through press and radio, by boat or by jet aircraft, but with our hearts, by mutual understanding, esteem and love. ” You remain on the human level, leaving religion out of your flights of fancy. The love of man from which you expect so much is based on the cult of man himself. You are a Mason, if a Christian one. But it is the Mason that speaks in you, and never the Christian.
You gave yourself away once, on September 1, 1963: “ We are living in the era which succeeded the French Revolution, an era that reflects all its disasters and its chaotic and confused ideas, but also its thrill and confidence... We became aware of something new: of living ideas ( !), of parallels between the great principles of the Revolution, which had after all, only adopted certain Christian ideas – fraternity, equality, progress, the desire to raise up the humble classes. To this extent, it was something Christian, but it had taken on also an anti-Christian, secular, anti-religious nature, which tended to pervert that share of the heritage of the Gospels which was calculated to increase man’s nobility and dignity. ” That day, the Church was seized by trembling and amazement. You must have realised it and said no more. But those phrases had given an insight into the way your mind works, had shown us that it is the principles of 1789 which form your gospel.
3. THE BUILDING OF WORLD DEMOCRACY REPLACES THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Do I have to tell you that the practice of the moral virtues is made possible for Christians by the action of Grace and in the light of the theological virtues, because they desire to “ be dead with Christ ” in order that they “ shall live also together with Christ ” (Rom 6.8) ? Or that there can be no improvement of the temporal order except – so all your Predecessors taught – insofar as Christians are prepared to “ seek first the Kingdom of God and His Justice ”, that is to say, that life of grace and holiness which will help them to attain the beatitude of Heaven ?
But once again you take over these shining attributes of the Kingdom of Heaven – its Peace, Rest, Sweetness, Joy, Glory, and perfect Happiness for all – and invest with them your own day dream of an earthly paradise, in the shape of a Brave New World to be built by men’s own efforts.
AND YOU SHALL CHANGE THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
“ There is something great and new being brought into existence which could change the face of the earth. ” (July 19, 1971) Without wishing to be too sarcastic, I can see here that personal Messianism which seems to lead you to believe that, when you pass by, a miraculous and definitive Salvation is set in motion by the call of your fervent humanism. When you visited the UN, you seemed to think that your Discourse would form the opening of a new era of peace. But the Good Tidings that you bring is one from which Christ has been left out, and which you promise for the immediate future, here below, as the result of efforts made by men on their own initiative under the distant but approving eye of some powerless, Unknown God.
Listen to yourself speaking as a prophet: “ Citizens of the World, when you wake at the dawn of this New Year 1970, reflect for an instant: whither leads the path of mankind ? We can cast a bird’s eye glance over it today, a prophetic glance. Mankind is on the march, moving towards a greater mastery of the universe... What purpose is served by this conquest ? It enables men to live better, more intensively. Mankind, subject to the limitations of time, seeks its fullness of life, and finds it... It is moving towards unity, towards justice, towards a state of balance and perfection which we call Peace...
“ Peace is the logical aim of the world today: it is the end towards which tends all progress; it is the final order towards which the great efforts of civilisation are directed... We proclaim Peace to be the chief fruit of man’s self-consciousness, of that capacity by virtue of which he desires to see the direction of his journey, both now and in the future. Peace, we proclaim once more, is in various different ways the end and aim of the normal and progressive development of society. ” And so on. (Message for the World Day of Peace)
Like the other false prophets, you mislead men and you betray your God. And if you really believe even a part of what you say, then your credulity must be very great. But it is your incredulity that is really terrifying, for all these your statements are contradicted by the Word of God Himself: the builders of the Tower of Babel cannot expect their labours to lead to peace or rest. It is Christ alone who gives us Peace, and He gives it not as the world gives it.
Once again, you would do well to listen to St. Pius X, in his Letter on the Sillon: “ No, my Venerable Brethren, we must be insistent in recalling, at a time of social and intellectual anarchy such as the present, when each man sets up as his own teacher and lawgiver, that we must not try to build the city except as God has built it, that society cannot be soundly built upon foundations other than those the Church has laid for it, and not unless it is she who directs the labour. It is no use saying we must create a new civilisation, or build the new city in the clouds; it has been built, it is already in existence, in the shape of Christian civilisation, of the Catholic City. It is this which must be constantly installed and restored upon these its foundations, which are both natural and divine, against the repeated onslaughts of an unhealthy utopianism based on revolt and impiety: Omnia instaurare in Christo. ”
FROM PEACE TO JUSTICE
At first, you speak of PEACE as though it were the fruit ripened by civilisation and by the United Nations. Your concern was restricted to the settling of various local conflicts which you regarded as sequels of the last World War. You were concerned to replace armed force with negotiation so that, with the establishment of peace and with the co-operation of all peoples, the world should reach a state of prosperity and happiness unknown before. Such an ideal was still very conservative.
But before long, a new idea began to be mixed up with that of peace: that of JUSTICE. “ Persuaded that peace can be built only upon justice, we must all make ourselves the advocates of justice. For the world has great need of justice and Christ wishes us to hunger and thirst after justice. ” (Papal Discourse to the Council) But when Christ blesses those who hunger and thirst after justice, it is of a different sort of justice that He speaks – of one directed towards God, of holiness: social justice is but a secondary result of this. So here too, you have misrepresented the Gospel in order to make it into the message of your own new-style, revolutionary messianism.
Once it has engaged in this track of justice, your thinking changes quickly from a conservative approach to a revolutionary one. Instead of remaining concerned with the aim of peace and the unheard of prosperity which it is to bring, you make its coming conditional on the prior attainment of justice. This is the dialectic that inspires your Encyclical POPULORUM PROGRESSIO (March 26, 1967). Your interpretation (a Marxist one !) of the international situation shows a threatening prospect: either the well-to-do peoples will share their wealth with the disinherited or else the latter will resort to war. That, for you, is Justice – which you equate with Equality – with war as the only alternative !
From that time on you have persistently encouraged the greed of the peoples of the Third World by putting before them the concept of “ development ” as the prime and essential end of all their efforts, to be attained by exerting pressure upon the richer nations to share their wealth with them – or rather, to give back what they had stolen. When you adopted the catchword of “ Development, the new name for peace ”, on the occasion of the Day of Peace, you adopted a crypto-Communist programme. For it implies that the condition of the underprivileged peoples is subhuman, intolerable, and is bound to resolve itself through war unless the well-to-do peoples provide a quick solution.
You have followed the dialectics of class warfare in encouraging the poor to revolt against the rich, the under-developed peoples against the countries of the West – in Bogota especially but also in Manila and in Australia. But you have done it in a manner calculated to mislead the former category and reassure the latter, by recommending the solution proposed in the Gospel (but it was your Gospel you really had in mind) – that of Love, and by rejecting the concept of violence. You said, for instance, on August 21, 1968, at the very moment of your departure for Bogota:
“ In times past and in circumstances totally different from our own, the Church herself and even the Popes may have had recourse to the force of arms and to their temporal power. However good the reasons may have been, and however excellent their intentions – we have no wish today to pass any judgement on these – the times are past when it was right to resort to the sword and to force, even in the interests of justice and progress. We are confident that all good Catholics and all sound modern opinion shares these Our feelings. We are convinced – and this is what We shall say on the far side of the world – that the time has come for Christian love between all men. It is this love which must become operative, which must change the face of the earth – which must bring into the world justice, progress, fraternity, and peace."
But because such a Utopia ruled by love is totally unattainable in a world which has no regard for God, what you preach is turned into an a priori justification of violence, on the understanding that, provided nothing can be attained by “ love ” or non-violence, hatred and revolution can take over and be assured of your blessing.
You have taken the critical step by maintaining that the state of the masses and of entire peoples is subhuman and unendurable. No one needs to be told twice that they fall into those categories for whom you regard “ revolutionary uprising ” as justified – “ where there is manifest, long-standing tyranny which would do great damage to fundamental personal rights and dangerous harm to the common good of the country. ” (Populorum Progressio, No. 31) Because it is a foregone conclusion that your solution through “ love ” will not work, the Marxist assessment which you make of the situation amounts in practice to giving the green light to the alternative, which is that of violence.
WHILE THE IDEAL FADES, WAR RISES ABOVE THE HORIZON
Peace seems now to be for you, like the concept of Beatitude in Christian spirituality, or that of classless society in Marxist philosophy, an ideal that, as regards the here and now, must necessarily be unattainable. It is war which is close at hand – for the Christian soul, this is the fight against self, the struggle to exercise charity, and finally that of a holy death through which it can attain Heaven and meet Christ face to face. For the Marxist, it means Revolution. And for you, Most Holy Father, it is the “ struggle for man ”, which in your Discourses sounds like the heroism of Christian virtue but which, when translated into deeds, comes to resemble much more closely the struggle of revolutionary terrorism.
For what is your “ programme ” ? To “ reduce inequalities, fight discriminations, free man from various types of servitude and enable him to be the instrument of his own material betterment, of his moral progress and of his spiritual growth ”. (Populorum Progressio, No. 34) It is an aim befitting a world-wide philanthropism – something to be attained through “ love ”. In fact you often refer to it by the term that should be reserved for the mystery of our Redemption, as “ salvation ”. But translated into practical terms, it becomes a policy of wholesale socialism which can be realised only through force, so that you have made yourself the most effective propagandist for Communist revolution in the whole world.
St. Pius X would say of you, as he said of the Sillon: “ He beckons encouragingly to Socialism, while his eye is fixed on a chimera. ” (Letter on the Sillon, August 25, 1910) And is this what you understand by “ God’s design ” ? When it is in fact the very opposite, the most successful attempt ever made to turn people away from Heaven and make them into the slaves of the Lord of the Earth. (Referring to Antichrist – in a book by Mgr Benson) Your Encyclical Populorum Progressio, leaving out of account your idyllic call for love, could be the Mein Kampf of the Antichrist. And the more so, because the place which is allotted to religion in the construction of this world that is purely human, is to be shared out between “ the Churches ” without distinction.
THE COROLLARY: RELIGION AS THE SPIRITUAL ANIMATOR OF THE IDEAL WORLDLY CITY
But we have every reason to ask, Most Holy Father, whether such a system can have any place at all for religion ? For it is a dictum of humanism that Man is self-sufficient: the Tower of Babel is the very opposite of a cathedral, it is a place buzzing with human energy, human solidarity, human fraternity.
The very concept rules out any express appeal to God or acknowledgement of His Transcendence, any recognition of Revelation, or supernatural Redemption, of the Church as a specific entity, of her dogma or worship. If these are tolerated at all, it is only as forms of cultural activity. It was precisely because it had no place for God, or Christ, or for the Church, that such a system devised by men’s pride was anathematised by your Predecessors.
You, on the other hand, are reckless enough not only to accept these ideas but even to propagate them: “ Isolation is no longer permissible: the hour has come when there shall be a great solidarity among men and when there shall be set up a world-wide community of brotherhood. ” (Address in Sydney, December 3, 1970) And you give your approval to the total omission of religion or any discrimination on the grounds of religion, from such a community: “ The work of peace is not limited to any particular religious belief: it is the task and the duty of every human being regardless of his religious convictions. Men are brothers, God is their Father, and their Father desires them to live at peace with one another, as brothers should. ” (Address given to the religious bodies at the United Nations, October 4, 1965) So it is God who does not wish to be a source of dispute among men ! It is God who desires such total religious toleration, indifferentism, liberalism in society ! It is God Himself who desires men to be indifferent towards God !
“ It is a question... of building a world where every man, no matter what his race, religion (the emphasis is mine) or nationality, can live a fully human life... ” (Populorum Progressio, No. 47) And elsewhere (Letter to Cardinal Roy - See English CRC No. 17), discussing the various factors on account of which human beings “ are discriminated against ”, we hear them all mentioned together – “ racial origin, colour, sex or religion. ” It is the Pope who thus speaks of religion as though it were on a level with colour, sex, culture, whatever you please. Does it really mean nothing for you except as a source of discrimination, like the others ? Does it mean anything at all ?
A SPIRITUAL ANIMATION
While taking for granted that secular society does not acknowledge any religion and is not prepared to serve any God, you hope nevertheless that religion might somehow make itself acceptable by creeping in at a back door, as the servant of the World which has no use for it, convinced that it still has significant services to offer.
“ The Church cannot remain indifferent to the ideological, moral and spiritual animation of public life… Play your part with confidence therefore, yes with confidence, in those Institutions which represent the norms of our society, and which in our day and age are democratic institutions. ” (Discourse given on January 30, 1965) These words give a clue to your thinking, to those of us at least who are familiar with the ideas of Sangnier: that Democracy, in order to survive, must be closely linked with Christianity, and with those of Maritain, that a “ complete humanism ” must find its ideological basis in a secular transposition of the Gospel.
And so, whereas formerly it was queen, with all other human things subordinated to it, Religion in the New Democracy has no particular standing. Therefore it will play the part of servant and find that it still has a worthwhile task to accomplish, aiding man and humanity. For this it must take on an anonymous, secular guise. “ We feel ourselves responsible. We owe something to everybody. The Church in this world is not an end for itself; it is, rather, in the service of all peoples; it must render Christ present to all, individuals as well as nations. ” (Discourse given on September 14, 1965) What are we to understand by the “ presence of Christ ” ? His presence as a servant… “ To serve man, which means, every human being, whatever his condition, his wretchedness, his needs. The Church has, so to speak, proclaimed itself the servant of mankind. ” (Discourse given on December 7, 1965)
This service of mankind by the Church, though necessarily secular and playing only a background role, is still seen, in your earlier thinking, as remarkably conservative: “ While other philosophies would propose quite different bases for the building of the city of men – such as power, riches, science, contestation, self-interest, etc., the Church proclaims nothing but love. ” (Discourse given on September 14, 1965)
Forgive me if I quote in full the following passage, from your Discourse on Corpus Christi 1965, because it is one of very great significance:
“ You know that today the problem of the social character of human existence surpasses all others in importance, in view of the various ideologies, political and cultural systems for which men work and toil, about which they dream or under which they suffer, for their aim is to create the new earthly city, the new and ideal society. And we all know that, as the result of great efforts, those engaged in this vast construction have made some remarkable advances; worthy of our admiration and encouragement, most certainly, but we know also that at each step they find within themselves obstacles and perversities which lead to dissensions, struggles, and wars, precisely because they lack a transcendent principle capable of unifying this vast collection of individuals, because they lack a moral energy capable of giving to this collection a coherence that is both free and conscious of itself, both solid and happy, a coherence that becomes true men. The earthly city lacks a supplement of faith and love which it cannot find within itself nor by its own powers and which only the city of religion which exists in its midst, the Church, can bestow upon it, and this in no insignificant measure – without, however, offending in any way against the autonomy or the justifiably secular character of the earthly city, but merely through a silent osmosis example and spiritual virtue...
“ You, the citizens of this modern estate, you have here in front of you a typical example of the new, ideal way of life. Do not permit it to go without that inward animation which is able to render it truly unanimous, good, and happy, that animation which comes to it from the fountain which is the Catholic Faith lived in the communal celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy. ” (Documentations Catholiques 65, 1168-69)
I did not have to look far for an example of your spiritual adultery, of your betrayal of the charge entrusted to you by Christ. But I seem to have been the only one to remark upon it. Your Discourse is skilful, and if taken in one way, it could be true and exemplary: the Eucharist unifies, strengthens, and sanctifies the Church; the Church shines forth upon the earthly city the peace, the charity, the law of Jesus Christ and thereby repels the darkness and the powers of Satan... that is Christendom. But this is not what you are speaking about here. No, you put the city of men, the Kingdom of Satan, the marvels created by human pride, into the foremost place. That is your new, ideal City – a secular creation which you wish to fortify with the Christian leaven rather than cursing it as a house built in defiance of the Lord. But you reach the height of impiety when you approximate this Eucharistic fervour with your humanistic cult, when you appeal to this “ supplement of faith and love ” to come to the aid of your Tower of Babel. For the “ osmosis ” to which you appeal will work the other way, and the faith in Jesus Christ, the love of God, in the hearts of the faithful whom you lead astray, will soon turn into faith in man and love of the World !
You would have the Church make an adulterous use of those heavenly gifts bestowed upon her by her Lord, to be used for Him, and put them into the service of the enterprises invented by Man-who-would-make-himself-God. “ The religion of God made Man ” is called upon by you to enter into the service of “ the religion (for there is such a one) of man who makes himself god. ” But is that not a work of Antichrist ?
You remained hopeful of achieving a synthesis between the Catholic religion and the new idea of “ service ”, with all the “ updating ” of the former which this must necessarily involve. And it appears that your hope was not a vain one, for you were allowed to have your way, with almost everybody else falling into line. But few had any idea of where the changes were to lead which you sought to impose upon all in the name of Christ, when they heard you say, at Bethlehem on January 6, 1964: “ We must assure to the life of the Church a new manner of feeling, desiring, behaving. ”
Your way of expressing yourself had grown bolder by August 12, 1970: “ Religion must be renewed. All who are still today concerned about religion are convinced of this, regardless of whether or not they are members of a religion as it finds expression in a particular faith, a definite observance, a defined community. The question at issue is what meaning we are to give to the term ’renewal’. ” Such a statement leads one to think that you must have lost the Catholic Faith – any Christian Faith, indeed your very sense of religion. For you speak of “ religion ” as though it were a purely human phenomenon, endowed with a certain power of emotion, of moral energy, which can be put to good use in the service of mankind and its worldly advance. For you are certainly among those “ who are still today concerned about religion ”, but who no longer have any very clear idea why, or what it really means.
Hence the call to all the different religions to fraternise, to work together in the temporal task which has become a new reason for their existence: because this is common to all of them, dogmatic quarrels are a thing of the past, “ the wars of religion are over for good ”. (February 15, 1965) “ Fanaticism ” and “ proselytism ” also are dead, for we are no longer concerned about winning souls for the “ supreme things ” (Discourse of December 7, 1965), but only with putting them into the service of humanity. The different gods are to be forcibly reconciled by their priests who have decided all to work together in the interests of human success. For that is what Ecumenism means.
This confusion of the different religions, all considered as multiple and convergent expressions of the same “ spiritual values ” offered to “ men of good will ” for the “ salvation ” of all and every man upon earth, appears over and over again in the course of your journey to the Far East. You include even Buddhism among the religions. Was it not the main purpose of your journey to ripen “ the fruits of a closer understanding between the communities of different origin and different denomination in this part of the world, as an encouragement of solidarity for progress, justice and peace. ” (Address given at Teheran on November 26, 1970)
“ With no distinction of caste, OF FAITH, of colour, or of language ”, was what you said at Ceylon (December 4, 1970). And because in your eyes Love is enough to banish all distinctions, you carried this appeal, addressed indiscriminately to all the spiritual forces, to the length of including even Communist China, because towards that too, you feel nothing but Love.
I will remind you of only a single one of the discourses in which you speak about the coexistence and collaboration of the religions, and I will ask you only one question concerning it: as the Judge of the Faith, can you tell us whether the speaker is still a Catholic, or whether he has denied Christ and placed himself outside the Church. Here is the text; it relates to the conflict in the Middle East and your hopes of peace:
“ And We have a hope which may appear Utopian because it does not rest on any concrete basis, and may even itself represent a point of discord, but which We consider to be founded upon an argument that is solid and practical: the conflict involves three different ethnico-religious groups, all of which recognise a one and true God: the Hebrew people, the Islamic people and between them, and scattered throughout the entire world, the Christian people. These three expressions of an identical monotheism speak with the most authentic and ancient, and even the boldest and most confident, the most convinced voices. Can we not hope, therefore, that the name of the same God, instead of engendering irreconcilable opposition, may lead, rather, to mutual respect, understanding and peaceful coexistence ? Should the reference to the same God, the same Father WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO THEOLOGICAL DISCUSSIONS, not lead us rather one day to discover what is so evident, yet so difficult, that we are all sons of the same Father and that, therefore, we are all brothers ? ” (Address given at the Angelus on August 9, 1970)
Well, here is the reply: “ Strange indeed, and both sad and terrifying, are the audacity and rashness of spirit of men who call themselves Catholic and dream of founding society anew in such conditions and of establishing upon earth, independently of the Catholic Church, ‘ the reign of justice and of love ’, with the help of all who come, of whatever religion or none at all, with or without beliefs, provided only that they are prepared to forget that which divides them – their religious and philosophical beliefs, and to concentrate on what unites them – a generous idealism and certain moral forces ‘ of whatever origin ’. It is frightening... The result of such promiscuity of labour, the beneficiary of such cosmopolitan social action can only be a democracy which is neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish: a religion more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men thus finally become brothers and comrades in ‘ the reign of God ’. ‘ To work no longer for the Church, but for mankind ’... this is organised Apostasy. ” (St. Pius X, Letter on the Sillon)
The reply was given by St. Pius X. Whose word speaks louder in our souls – yours – or his ? Which of the two is the apostate ?
RELIGION, A FORCE FOR UTOPIANISM AND CONTESTATION
And finally, carrying things to absurdity, and changing your tune to correspond with current revolutionary fashion, you are today ascribing a totally different function to Christians in the world from the one you preached ten years ago. At that time, not yet conscious of any revolutionary stirring, you looked upon Satan as nothing worse than a peace loving builder of a middle-class democracy, and you assured him of the Church’s support in the creation of this United Nations phalanstery... But today you are determined to see good even in the “ basic Christian communities ”, revolutionary and anarchical as these are. Is it because Satan has advanced another step in his destructive efforts and you cannot resist playing into his hands ?
Your Letter to Cardinal Roy (Apostolic Letter, May 14, 1971) is your appeal to the Red Guards of the Cultural Revolution: “ The Church invites all Christians to take up a double task of inspiring and of innovating, in order to make structures evolve, so as to adapt them to the real needs of today. ” And among the various political ideologies which you survey, it is the Utopia which stands out in your mind as best conforming to the creative dynamism of the “ Spirit ”:
“ And if it refuses no overture, it (the Utopia) can also meet the Christian appeal. The Spirit of the Lord, which animates man renewed in Christ, causes a constant movement of those horizons which his intelligence would prefer to regard as fixed, and of the boundaries within which he would so gladly find security. There is a force within man which calls upon him to pass beyond the limits of every system and every ideology... ” It seems that the same “ Spirit ” which seven years before called upon the Christian Democrat citizen of Rome to play his part in developing the well-being, comfort and progress of his existing society, now calls upon his sons to play their part in the destruction of this abominable “ Western consumer society ”. You are at all events following the fashionable trend.
But is it not the final downfall of the adulterous woman to give herself in the end to all and sundry ?
THE DEATH OF ALL RELIGION
It is as a result of your obsessive preoccupation with the building of the Brave New World, with the most irresponsible, ill-defined, anarchical political Systems ever invented, that the Church has for the past ten years been undergoing an appalling disintegration. For you do not allow her to breathe, you force her, drugged into submission, into the shape of your own ideas. In your system, the Church’s dogmas, clear and constant, have become so many obstacles to universal understanding and hence they are said to hinder fraternity. The Sacraments, at first still acceptable as sources of spiritual strength that aid men in their temporal tasks, soon appear useless because the rest of mankind can do just as good a day’s work on the building site of the world as we can, without any recourse to them. The Commandments of God are at first twisted and distorted to make them fit into the system of the builders, and finally thrown aside altogether as intolerable burdens.
And finally, the whole Institution of the Church begins to crumble. Set apart from the rest of the world, distinct in her way of life, of thinking, of education, her defences are breached as a result of your instructions to become integrated into the world, into secular society, as a “ leaven in the dough ”, and she gives up her distinctive character. But one day, the idea of being a “ leaven ” itself becomes a sign of pride, and condemned as Pharisaic. On that day, the Christian will deny that he is any different from the rest and thereby, if unknowingly, complete his path of apostasy in your footsteps. Your “ complete humanism ” will have effectively smothered its enemy, Religion, and completed its metamorphosis into atheistic Humanism.
In August 1971 I placed side by side for comparison a collection of your discourses on the one hand and the Letter on the Sillon on the other (French CRC no. 47). In other words, the Catholic Religion on the one hand, and your political Utopianism on the other. This was my conclusion, with which few readers would be prepared to disagree: “ Pius X was canonised primarily for the purity of his teaching and his strength of soul in defending the Catholic Faith. He is and remains the great Doctor of the Faith in the 20th century... It follows that Paul VI will one day be anathematised primarily on account of his Utopian MASDU which had been condemned in advance (by his holy Predecessor). He is and remains the great Corrupter of the Faith in the 20th century ”.
We appeal to your Infallible Magisterium for a verdict on this statement.