From the top of the apostolic seat-Pope Leo XIII-1890

Pope Leo XIII-1890

From the height of the Apostolic seat, where divine Providence has placed Us to watch over the salvation of all peoples, Our gaze often rests on Italy, in whose bosom God, by an act of singular predilection, has placed the seat. of his Vicar, and from whom, moreover, many and very sensitive bitternesses come to us at the present time.

Personal offenses, not the privations and sacrifices imposed on us by the current condition of things, do not oppress Us, not the insults and ridicule, which a busty press has full power to launch against Us every day. If it were only Our person, if it were not the ruin to which we see Italy under threat in its faith, we would silently take the offenses, happy to repeat what one of our most illustrious predecessors said about himself: ” If the slavery of my land did not increase day by day, I would remain mute, glad of my contempt and scorn “.

But in addition to the independence and dignity of the Holy See, it is a question of the same religion and the health of a whole nation, and of this nation, which from the earliest times opened its bosom to the Catholic faith and jealously preserves it at all times. It seems incredible, but it is also true: we have come to the point of having to fear the loss of faith for our Italy. Several times we have given the alarm to warn of the danger: but we do not believe that we have done enough for this. In the face of the continued and ever more fierce assaults, we hear the voice of duty more powerful that spurs Us to speak again to you, Venerable Brothers, to your clergy and to the Italian people. As the enemy does not cease, so it is not convenient to remain silent or inert either to us or to you,

We will not say new things, because the facts, as they happened, do not change; and of them we have had to speak other times, according to which the right came. But here we intend to recapitulate them in a certain way and group them as in a single framework, in order to derive the ensuing consequences by common practice. These are indisputable facts, which took place in the great light of day; not isolated, but connected to each other in form which in their series clearly reveal a system, of which they are the implementation and development. The system is not new: but the audacity, the persistence, the speed with which it is now being implemented is new. It is the plan of sects, which is now taking place in Italy, especially in the part that touches the Church and the Catholic religion; with the final and notorious aim of reducing it, if possible, to nothing. Now it is superfluous to process the sects that are called Masonic: the judgment has already been made; the ends, the means, the doctrines, the action, everything is known with indisputable certainty. Invaded by the spirit of Satan, of which they are instrument, they burn, like their inspirer, with a deadly and implacable hatred against Jesus Christ and his work; and they do all their power to tear it down or jam it. This war in the present is being fought more than anywhere else in Italy, where the Catholic religion has deepened its roots, and especially in Rome, where it is the center of Catholic unity and the See of the universal Pastor and Master of the Church. of a deadly and implacable hatred against Jesus Christ and his work; and they do all their power to tear it down or jam it. This war in the present is being fought more than anywhere else in Italy, where the Catholic religion has deepened its roots, and especially in Rome, where it is the center of Catholic unity and the See of the universal Pastor and Master of the Church. of a deadly and implacable hatred against Jesus Christ and his work; and they do all their power to tear it down or jam it. This war in the present is being fought more than anywhere else in Italy, where the Catholic religion has deepened its roots, and especially in Rome, where it is the center of Catholic unity and the See of the universal Pastor and Master of the Church.

It is useful to resume the various phases of this war from the very beginning. The civil principality of the Popes began with a political overthrow: but its fall into the secret intentions of the true leaders, openly then declared, had to serve to destroy or at least keep in servitude the supreme spiritual power of the Roman Pontiffs. And so that no doubt would remain about the true purpose to which it was aimed, the suppression of religious orders immediately came, which greatly reduced the number of evangelical workers for the sacred ministry and for religious assistance, as well as for the propagation of the faith among the infidels.

Later, the obligation of military service was also extended to clerics, with the necessary consequence of serious and multiple obstacles placed in the way of the recruitment and proper training of even the secular clergy. They got their hands on the ecclesiastical patrimony, partly confiscating it absolutely, and partly charging it with the most enormous burdens, in order to impoverish the clergy and the Church, and deprive it of the means it needs here below to live and promote institutions and works in aid of the his divine apostolate. The sectarians themselves have openly declared it. “To diminish the influence of the clergy and clerical associations, only one effective means is to be employed: to strip them of all their possessions and reduce them to complete poverty”. On the other hand, the action of the State is entirely aimed at erasing the religious and Christian imprint from the nation: from the laws and from everything that is official life every inspiration and every religious idea is by system disbanded, when it is not directly opposed: public manifestations of Catholic faith and piety are either prohibited, or under vain pretexts in a thousand ways hindered. The family has deprived itself of its basis and its religious constitution by proclaiming what they call civil marriage, and with the education that is wanted to the whole secular, from the first elements to the higher education of the universities; so that the new generations, insofar as it depends on the state, are as though obliged to grow up without any idea of ​​religion, completely starving of the first and essential notions of their duties towards God. This is putting the ax at the root, nor would he be able to imagine himself as a more universal and more effective means of removing society, the family and individuals from the influence of the Church and faith. “To undermine clericalism (ie Catholicism) by all means in its foundations and in its very sources of life, that is, in the school and in the family”, is the authentic declaration of Masonic writers.

It will be said that this does not happen only in Italy, but that it is a system of government, to which the States generally conform. We reply that this does not destroy, but rather confirms what we say about the intentions and action of Freemasonry in Italy. Yes, that system is adopted and put into use wherever Freemasonry exercises its impious and nefarious action; and since this is widespread, so that anti-Christian system is also widely applied. But its application becomes more rapid and general and goes more to extremes in those countries, whose governments are more under the action of the sect and better promote its interests. And unfortunately in the number of these countries there is now the new Italy. It is not from today that it has come under the impious and evil influence of the sects: but for some time these, Having become absolutely dominant and overpowering, they tyrannize it according to their talent. Here the address of public affairs, as far as religion is concerned, is entirely in conformity with the aspirations of the sects; which, to implement them, find in the depositories of the public power declared supporters and docile tools. Laws adverse to the Church and offensive measures for it are first proposed, decreed, resolved in the bosom of sectarian meetings; and it is enough for any thing to have such an appearance, albeit distant, of making a disgrace or damage to the Church, to see it incontinently favored and promoted. Among the most recent events we will remember the approval of the new penal code; in which what was most pertinently wanted, despite all the reasons to the contrary, were the articles against the clergy, which constitute for him a law of exception, and go so far as to consider as criminal some acts which are for him sacrosanct duties of ministry. The law on pious works, by which all the patrimony of charity, accumulated by the piety and religion of the ancestors in the shadow and under the protection of the Church, was subtracted from any action and interference of it; that law had already been promoted for several years in sect meetings, precisely because it was to inflict a new offense on the Church, diminish its social influence, and suddenly suppress a large number of bequests for the purpose of worship. To this was added the eminently sectarian work, that is, the erection of the monument to the notorious apostate of Nola, promoted, desired, implemented with the help and favor of the rulers of Freemasonry, that through the mouths of the most authoritative interpreters of sectarian thought did not blush to confess its purpose and to declare its meaning: the purpose was to shame the Papacy; the meaning is that we now want to replace the Catholic faith with the most absolute freedom of examination, criticism, thought and conscience: and we know well what this language means in the mouth of the sectarians. The most explicit declarations made publicly by those at the head of the government came to put the seal, declarations that sound just like this: the real and real struggle, which the government has the merit of having understood, is the struggle between faith and the Church. on the one hand, free examination and reason on the other. May the Church also try to react, to chain reason and freedom of thought again and to win. As for the government, in this struggle,

In the light of these facts and these declarations, it becomes more evident than ever that the main idea, which, for what concerns religion, presides over the progress of public affairs in Italy, is the implementation of the Masonic program. You can see how much of it has already been implemented; we know how much still remains to be implemented; and it can be predicted with certainty that, as long as the destinies of Italy are in the hands of sectarian rulers or faithful to sects, their implementation will be pushed more or less rapidly, according to the circumstances, to the most complete development. Their action is now directed to achieve the following purposes, according to the votes and resolutions taken in their most authoritative assemblies, votes and resolutions all inspired by a hatred to death against the Church. Abolition in schools of any religious instruction, and founding of institutes, in which even the female youth is removed from any clerical influence, whatever it may be; since the State, which must be absolutely atheist, has the inalienable right and duty to form the hearts and minds of its citizens, and no school must be removed from its inspiration or from its vigilance. Strict application of all laws in force aimed at ensuring the absolute independence of civil society from clerical influences. Strict observance of the laws that suppress religious corporations and use of all means to make them effective. Arrangement of all the ecclesiastical patrimony, starting from the principle that the property of it belongs to the State, and the administration to the civil powers. Exclusion of any Catholic or clerical element from all public administrations, from pious works, from hospitals, schools, councils where the destinies of the country are prepared, academies, clubs, associations, committees, families; exclusion from everything, everywhere, forever. Instead, the Masonic influence must make itself felt in all circumstances of social life, and become the master and arbiter of everything. This will pave the way for the abolition of the Papacy; thus Italy will be free from its implacable and mortal enemy, and Rome, which in the past was the center of universal Theocracy, will in the future be the center of universal secularization, whence the Magna Carta of human freedom. They are so many authentic declarations, aspirations and resolutions of Freemasons or their assemblies. from the councils in which the destinies of the country are prepared, from the academies, from the clubs, from the associations, from the committees, from the families; exclusion from everything, everywhere, forever. Instead, the Masonic influence must make itself felt in all circumstances of social life, and become the master and arbiter of everything. This will pave the way for the abolition of the Papacy; thus Italy will be free from its implacable and mortal enemy, and Rome, which in the past was the center of universal Theocracy, will in the future be the center of universal secularization, whence the Magna Carta of human freedom. They are so many authentic declarations, aspirations and resolutions of Freemasons or their assemblies. from the councils in which the destinies of the country are prepared, from the academies, from the clubs, from the associations, from the committees, from the families; exclusion from everything, everywhere, forever. Instead, the Masonic influence must make itself felt in all circumstances of social life, and become the master and arbiter of everything. This will pave the way for the abolition of the Papacy; thus Italy will be free from its implacable and mortal enemy, and Rome, which in the past was the center of universal Theocracy, will in the future be the center of universal secularization, whence the Magna Carta of human freedom. They are so many authentic declarations, aspirations and resolutions of Freemasons or their assemblies. exclusion from everything, everywhere, forever. Instead, the Masonic influence must make itself felt in all circumstances of social life, and become the master and arbiter of everything. This will pave the way for the abolition of the Papacy; thus Italy will be free from its implacable and mortal enemy, and Rome, which in the past was the center of universal Theocracy, will be the center of universal secularization in the future, whence the Magna Carta of human freedom. They are so many authentic declarations, aspirations and resolutions of Freemasons or their assemblies. exclusion from everything, everywhere, forever. Instead, the Masonic influence must make itself felt in all circumstances of social life, and become the master and arbiter of everything. This will pave the way for the abolition of the Papacy; thus Italy will be free from its implacable and mortal enemy, and Rome, which in the past was the center of universal Theocracy, will in the future be the center of universal secularization, whence the Magna Carta of human freedom. They are so many authentic declarations, aspirations and resolutions of Freemasons or their assemblies. thus Italy will be free from its implacable and mortal enemy, and Rome, which in the past was the center of universal Theocracy, will in the future be the center of universal secularization, whence the Magna Carta of human freedom. They are so many authentic declarations, aspirations and resolutions of Freemasons or their assemblies. thus Italy will be free from its implacable and mortal enemy, and Rome, which in the past was the center of universal Theocracy, will in the future be the center of universal secularization, whence the Magna Carta of human freedom. They are so many authentic declarations, aspirations and resolutions of Freemasons or their assemblies.

Without exaggerating the point, this is the present state and the future that is foreseen for religion in Italy. Concealing its gravity would be a fatal mistake. To recognize it as it is, and to face it with evangelical prudence and fortitude, to deduce from it the duties it imposes on all Catholics, and especially on us, who as Pastors must watch over them and lead them to salvation, is to enter into the aims of Providence, and do a work of wisdom and pastoral zeal. As far as we are concerned, the Apostolic Office requires us to protest highly again against everything that has been done, done or attacked in Italy to the detriment of religion: defenders and guardians such as we are of the sacred rights of the Church and of the Pontificate, we openly reject and to the whole Catholic world we denounce the offenses that the Church and the Pontificate continually receive, especially in Rome, and which make the governance of catholicity more difficult for us, our condition more serious and unworthy. Moreover, we have firm in mind not to omit anything on our part, which may be useful in keeping the faith alive and vigorous among the Italian people, and in protecting it against enemy assaults. We therefore appeal, Venerable Brothers, also to your zeal and your love for souls so that, understanding the gravity of the danger they run, you warn about the remedies and put everything in place to prevent it. No means should be overlooked that is in our power: all the resources of the word, all the industries of action, all the immense treasure of aids and graces, which the Church places in our hands, are to be used for the formation of an educated clergy filled with the spirit of Jesus Christ;

As for the Catholic people, it is first of all necessary that they be instructed on the true state of things in Italy in terms of religion, of the essentially religious nature that the struggle against the Pontiff has in Italy, and of the true purpose that is constantly being aimed, so see with the evidence of the facts in how many ways he is undermined in his religion, and be persuaded how much risk it entails being robbed and stripped of the inestimable treasure of faith. Having formed this persuasion in souls, and certain on the other hand that without faith it is impossible to please God and to be saved, they will understand that it is a question of ensuring the maximum, if not the only, interest that everyone here below has the duty to save first of all. , and at the cost of any sacrifice, under pain of his eternal unhappiness. They will also easily understand that, this being a time of fierce and manifest struggle, it would be cowardice to desert the camp and hide. Their duty is to remain in place, to show themselves openly to be true Catholics for beliefs and works in conformity with their faith, and this much to the honor of that and to the glory of the Supreme Duce, whose insignia they follow; as for not having the great misfortune of being disavowed in the final day and not recognized as his own by the Supreme Judge, who has declared that whoever is not with him is against him. Without ostentation and without shyness, let them give proof of that true courage that comes from the conscience of fulfilling a sacrosanct duty before God and men. With this frank profession of faith, Catholics must unite perfect docility and filial love for the Church, sincere obeisance to the Bishops, and an absolute devotion and obedience to the Roman Pontiff. In short, they will recognize how necessary it is to cease everything that is the work of the sects or that has favor and impulse from the sects, because it is certainly contaminated by the anti-Christian spirit that animates them: and instead give oneself with activity, courage and perseverance to Catholic works, associations and institutions. blessed by the Church, encouraged and supported by the Bishops and the Roman Pontiff. And since the main tool used by the enemies is the press, largely inspired and supported by them, it is advisable for Catholics to oppose the good to the bad press for the defense of truth, for the protection of religion, and in support of rights. of the church. And just as it is the duty of the Catholic press to expose the perfidious intentions of the sects, to help and support the action of the sacred Pastors, to defend and promote Catholic works, thus it is the duty of the faithful to support it effectively, either by denying or withdrawing any favor from the perverse press; both directly by contributing, each to the extent that he can, to make it live and prosper: in which we believe that so far not enough has been done in Italy. Lastly, the documents we have given to all Catholics, especially in the encyclical “Humanum genus” and in the other “Sapientiae christianae”, must be particularly applied and inculcated to the Catholics of Italy. That if in order to remain faithful to these duties they will have something to suffer or sacrifice, they are encouraged by thinking that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and that it is only conquered by violence; and that whoever loves himself and his things more than Jesus Christ, is not worthy of him. The example of so many invincible champions, who for the faith generously sacrificed everything in every age, the singular aids of grace that make the yoke of Jesus Christ sweet and light his weight, must be powerfully valid to restore their courage and to support them in the glorious combat.

Up to now we have considered only the religious side of the present condition of things in Italy, such as that which for us is most principal and eminently proper, due to the apostolic office that we support. But it is the merit of the work to consider also the social and political side, so that the Italians can see, which is not only the love of religion, but also the most sincere and noblest love of country that must move them to oppose the impious retching. seven o’clock. It is enough to observe, to be convinced of this, what future is being prepared for Italy, in the social and political order, by people who have the aim, and do not hide it, of warring relentlessly against Catholicism and the Papacy.

The evidence of the past is already very eloquent in itself. What Italy has become in this first period of its new life for public and private morality, for security, order and internal tranquility, for prosperity and national wealth, is better known for facts than what We could say in words. Those themselves who would have an interest in hiding it, forced by the truth, do not keep silent. We will only say that in the present conditions, for a sad but true necessity, things could not go otherwise: the Masonic sect, although it flaunts a spirit of beneficence and philanthropy, can only exercise a fatal influence: and indeed fatal because it fights and tries to destroy the religion of Christ, the true benefactor of humanity.

Everyone knows how much and for how many leaders religion has a healthy influence on society. It is indisputable that sound public and private morality is the honor and strength of the States. But it is equally indisputable that without religion there is neither public nor private good morality. From the family solidly constituted on its natural foundations, society takes life, growth and strength. Now, without religion and without morality, the domestic consortium has no stability, and family ties weaken and dissolve. The prosperity of peoples and nations comes from God and his blessings. If a people not only do not recognize it from him, but rise up against him, and tacitly tell him in the pride of his spirit that he does not need him, that is but a larva of prosperity destined to vanish, as soon as it pleases the Lord to confuse the superb audacity of his enemies. Religion is that which, penetrating into the depths of everyone’s conscience, makes him feel the strength of duty and pushes him to follow it. Religion is that which gives the Princes feelings of justice and love for their subjects, which makes the subjects faithful and sincerely devoted to them, which makes the legislators upright and good, the magistrates just and uncorrupted, the soldiers valiant to the point of heroism. , conscientious and diligent administrators. Religion is that which makes harmony and affection reign between spouses, love and reverence between parents and children; who inspires respect for the goods of others in the poor and the right use of their substances in the rich. From this fidelity to duties and from this respect for the rights of others comes order, tranquility, peace, which are so much part of the prosperity of a people and a state. With religion removed, all these immensely precious goods in a single religion would disappear from society.

For Italy, the loss would also be more significant. Its greatest glories and greatnesses, for which it had the primacy among the most cultured nations for a long time, are inseparable from religion; which either produced them, or inspired them, or certainly favored them, helped them and gave them increase. For the public deductibles its Municipalities speak; for military glories there are so many memorable deeds against declared enemies of the Christian name; for the sciences speak the Universities that founded, favored, privileged by the Church, they were the kindergarten and the theater; for the arts they speak of infinite monuments of all kinds, of which all of Italy is sown in profusion; many foundations of Christian charity, many kindergartens open to all sorts of destitution and accidents, and associations speak of works for the benefit of the poor, the dispossessed, and workers. and corporations that grew up under the auspices of religion. The virtue and strength of religion is immortal, because it comes from God: it has treasures of help, it has very effective remedies for the needs of all times, and of any age, to which it knows how to adapt them admirably. What he knew and was able to do in other times, he is capable of doing even now with an ever new and luxuriant virtue. To take religion away from Italy, therefore, is to dry up all at once the most fertile source of priceless treasures and help. he is capable of doing even now with an ever new and luxuriant virtue. Therefore, taking religion away from Italy is to dry up all at once the most fertile source of priceless treasures and help. he is capable of doing even now with an ever new and luxuriant virtue. To take religion away from Italy, therefore, is to dry up all at once the most fertile source of priceless treasures and help.

Moreover, one of the greatest and most formidable dangers facing the present society are the agitations of the socialists, who threaten to disrupt it from its foundations. Italy is not immune from so much danger; and although other nations are more infested than Italy by this spirit of subversion and disorder, it is no less true, however, that even in its districts that spirit is spreading widely and is growing stronger every day. And such is its real nature, such is the power of its organization, such is the audacity of its intentions, that it makes trades unite all conservative forces to arrest its progress, and successfully prevent its triumph. Of these forces, the first and most principal of all is that which religion and the Church can give: without it, the most severe laws will be vain or insufficient, the rigors of the courts, the same armed force. As already against the barbarian hordes material strength was not worth, but the virtue of the Christian religion, which penetrating into their souls, extinguished their ferocity, softened their customs, made them docile to the voice of truths and the law of the Gospel, so against the ‘the raging of unbridled multitudes there will be no effective shelter without the salutary virtue of religion; which by making the light of truth shine in the minds, and by pouring into the hearts the holy precepts of the morality of Jesus Christ, makes them hear the voice of conscience and duty, and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. the same armed force. As already against the barbarian hordes material strength was not worth, but the virtue of the Christian religion, which penetrating into their souls, extinguished their ferocity, softened their customs, made them docile to the voice of truths and the law of the Gospel, so against the ‘the raging of unbridled multitudes there will be no effective shelter without the salutary virtue of religion; which by making the light of truth shine in the minds, and by pouring into the hearts the holy precepts of the morality of Jesus Christ, makes them hear the voice of conscience and duty, and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. the same armed force. As already against the barbarian hordes material strength was not worth, but the virtue of the Christian religion, which penetrating into their souls, extinguished their ferocity, softened their customs, made them docile to the voice of truths and the law of the Gospel, so against the ‘the raging of unbridled multitudes there will be no effective shelter without the salutary virtue of religion; which by making the light of truth shine in the minds, and by pouring into the hearts the holy precepts of the morality of Jesus Christ, makes them hear the voice of conscience and duty, and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. As already against the barbarian hordes material strength was not worth, but the virtue of the Christian religion, which penetrating into their souls, extinguished their ferocity, softened their customs, made them docile to the voice of truths and the law of the Gospel, so against the ‘the raging of unbridled multitudes there will be no effective shelter without the salutary virtue of religion; which by making the light of truth shine in the minds, and by pouring into the hearts the holy precepts of the morality of Jesus Christ, makes them hear the voice of conscience and duty, and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. As already against the barbarian hordes material strength was not worth, but the virtue of the Christian religion, which penetrating into their souls, extinguished their ferocity, softened their customs, made them docile to the voice of truths and the law of the Gospel, so against the ‘the raging of unbridled multitudes there will be no effective shelter without the salutary virtue of religion; which by making the light of truth shine in the minds, and by pouring into the hearts the holy precepts of the morality of Jesus Christ, makes them hear the voice of conscience and duty, and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. that penetrating into their souls, he extinguished their ferocity, softened their customs, made them docile to the voice of truths and of the Gospel law, so against the anger of unbridled multitudes there will be no effective shelter without the salutary virtue of religion; which by making the light of truth shine in the minds, and by pouring into the hearts the holy precepts of the morality of Jesus Christ, makes them hear the voice of conscience and duty, and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. that penetrating into their souls, he extinguished their ferocity, softened their customs, made them docile to the voice of truths and the law of the Gospel, so against the anger of unbridled multitudes there will be no effective shelter without the salutary virtue of religion; which by making the light of truth shine in the minds, and by pouring into the hearts the holy precepts of the morality of Jesus Christ, makes them hear the voice of conscience and duty, and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. thus against the rage of the unbridled multitudes there will be no effective shelter without the salutary virtue of religion; which by making the light of truth shine in the minds, and by pouring into the hearts the holy precepts of the morality of Jesus Christ, makes them hear the voice of conscience and duty, and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. thus against the rage of the unbridled multitudes there will be no effective shelter without the salutary virtue of religion; which by making the light of truth shine in the minds, and by pouring into the hearts the holy precepts of the morality of Jesus Christ, makes them hear the voice of conscience and duty, and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day. and before the hand restrains the soul and dampens the impetus of passion. Therefore, to oppose religion is to deprive Italy of the most powerful auxiliary to fight an enemy that is becoming more formidable and threatening every day.

But that is not all. Just as in the social order the war waged against religion is very fatal and extremely deadly for Italy, so in the political order the enmity with the Holy See and the Roman Pontiff is a source of great damage for Italy. Here too the demonstration is no longer to be done; it is enough, upon completion of Our thought, to summarize its conclusions in short words. The war waged against the Pope means for Italy, inside, a profound division between official Italy and the majority of truly Catholic Italians, and every division is weakness; it means depriving it of the favor and the help of the most frankly conservative part; it means feeding in the bosom of the nation a religious conflict which never reached the public good, but rather always carries within itself the fatal seeds of evils and very serious punishments. Outside,

Here is the well-being and the greatness that awaits Italy who, having its fate in hand, does everything possible to overthrow the Catholic religion and the Papacy, according to the impious aspiration of the sects!

Let us assume instead that, once all solidarity and connivance with sects is broken, true freedom and the full exercise of its rights are left to religion and to the Church, as to the greatest social force. What happy change would not take place in the fate of Italy! The damages and dangers that we lamented above as the fruit of the war against religion and the Church, would cease when the struggle ceased: not only that, but the greatness and glories of which religion and the Church was always fruitful as well. From their divine virtue the reform of public and private customs would spontaneously spring up; family bonds would be strengthened; and in every order of citizens under the religious influence the feeling of duty and fidelity in fulfilling it would arouse more vividly. The social questions, which now keep souls so worried, would move towards the best and most complete solution, through the practical application of the precepts of charity and evangelical justice; public freedoms, prevented from degenerating into license, would only serve good and would be truly worthy of man; the sciences, for the truth of which the Church is the teacher, and the arts, for the powerful inspiration that religion derives from above and which has the secret of instilling in souls, would soon rise to new excellence. Having made peace with the Church, religious unity and civil harmony would be more cemented; the division between Catholics faithful to the Church and Italy would cease, thus acquiring a powerful element of order and conservation. Having rightly asked the questions of the Roman Pontiff, once its sovereign rights have been recognized, and placed in a condition of true and effective independence, Catholics from other parts of the world would no longer have reason to consider Italy as the enemy of their common who want, but yes out of a feeling of faith and dictates of duty, now unanimously raise their voice to vindicate the dignity and freedom of the Supreme Shepherd of their souls. Indeed, Italy would increase respect and consideration among other peoples from living in harmony with the Apostolic See; which, as she made Italians experience the benefits of her presence among them in a particular way, as well as with the treasures of faith that always spread from this center of blessing and health, he made that the great and respected Italian name spread among all peoples. Italy, reconciled with the Pontiff and faithful to his religion, would be set out to emulate its ancestral glories worthily, and from all that is true progress of our age it could only receive a new incentive to take advantage of its glorious path. And Rome, the Catholic city par excellence, foreordained by God at the center of the religion of Christ and the Seat of his Vicar, which was the cause of its stability and greatness through so many ages and so many events, placed under the peaceful and paternal scepter. of the Roman Pontiff, it would go back to being what Providence and the centuries did, not reduced to the condition of capital of a particular kingdom, nor divided between two different and sovereign powers, a dualism contrary to its history;

These, Venerable Brothers, are not vain illusions, but hopes based on the most solid and truthful foundation. The assertion that has been spreading for some time, being the Catholics and the Pontiff the enemies of Italy, and almost as many allies of the subversive parties, is nothing but gratuitous insult and shameless slander, artfully spread by the sects to palliate their guilty designs. and not to encounter a hitch in the hateful work of making Italy unstable. The truth that follows very clearly from what we have said so far, is that Catholics are the best friends of their country: and that they give proof of strong and true love not only for their ancestral religion, but also for their homeland by detaching themselves entirely from sects, opposing its spirit and works, making every effort so that Italy does not lose, but maintains vigorous faith; do not fight the Church, but be faithful to it as a daughter, do not oppose the Pontificate, but be reconciled with him. Do all your efforts, O Venerable Brothers, so that the light of truth makes its way among the multitudes, so that they will finally understand where their good and their true interest lies, and to persuade themselves that only by fidelity to religion , from peace with the Church and with the Roman Pontiff one can hope for a future worthy of its glorious past for Italy. To which we would like them to mind, we will not say the affiliates of the sects, who deliberately argue to establish the new structure of the Peninsula on the ruins of the Catholic religion, but the others who, without accepting such sinister intentions, help the the work of those who support its policy: and particularly the young, so easy to err by effect of inexperience and dominance of feeling. We would like everyone to be persuaded that the path we are following can only be fatal to Italy: and if we once again denounce the danger, nothing else moves us than awareness of duty and charity of country.

But to enlighten the minds and make our efforts effective, it is necessary above all to invoke the help of heaven. And therefore to our common action, Venerable Brothers, may prayer be united, and may it be a general, constant, fervent prayer, which does sweet violence to the heart of God, makes it propitious for this Italy of ours, so that it removes every disaster from it, the one in particular which would be the most terrible of all, the loss of faith. Let us place the most glorious Virgin Mary, the inviting Queen of the Rosary, as our mediator with God, who has so much power over the forces of hell and has often made Italy feel the effects of her maternal love. Let us also confidently have recourse to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul who this blessed land conquered by faith, sanctified with their labors, bathed in their blood.

Meanwhile, the Apostolic Blessing, which we impart to you, Venerable Brothers, to your clergy and to the Italian people, be a pledge of Our very special affection for the help we ask for.


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