Secularism-Archbishop Davide dei conti Riccardi-1893
I announce, dear Diocesans, the arrival of Lent. And since custom has it that in giving this announcement each Bishop carries out some important point of religion, I will start talking to you about Catholic priests. My purpose, however, is not to emphasize the dignity and excellence of the Priesthood, which you, my dearest children, recognize well, as all believers in the divinity of Jesus Christ and of the Church founded by him recognize it without exception. Nor will I speak of the most holy acts of the spiritual ministry, which are performed by priests in sacred temples. The subject of this Pastoral is quite another.
I intend to speak of priests in regard to their external offices towards society, demonstrating that the influence of the priest even outside the church is great, and is legitimate, and at the same time highly beneficial. Then I will make you feel that those who oppose the influence of the clergy and affirm, that priests must not enter into anything except the things of[p. 4 edit ] worship, they say and do this solely out of satanic hatred against our most holy religion, which they would like to have completely destroyed. Finally, I will point out the duties of every good Christian in this regard.
The influence of the priest
even outside the sacred ministry.
The priest’s influence in society is very great, not only for what he works in the exercise of the sacred ministry, but also outside it.
He influences first, and not a little, with his mere presence. The appearance of a priest in a house, in a conversation, in a place where there are several individuals together, produces such an effect on those present that everyone feels and that transpires well in their demeanor and in a certain reserve, which is immediately imposed also on those present. less correct than Catholics. Certain propositions, certain judgments, certain equivocal mottos that would perhaps be hazarded only among lay people, are no longer pronounced in the presence of the priest. Why this, I ask? – Because the priest represents something that others do not represent: he represents the religious idea, the religious principle, the religious faith. There is no need for him to express himself and speak. His presence speaks for him and is valid for a profession, which no polite man would want to offend.
And what happens in private gatherings, in cafes, in hotels, in convoys and similar places, also occurs in public meetings, in administrative offices, in assemblies and so on. In front of the priest the language is measured,[p. 5 edit ] certain keys no longer touch, certain ideas either do not manifest themselves or are tempered. Everyone understands that it is not worthwhile to hurt the natural susceptibility of those who wear the cassock. The priest therefore influences in some way even just by showing himself. Her dress has a singular eloquence, as would be the eloquence of a noble flag: and here is the flag of religion, the flag of the Church and of God.
Nor does this priest’s influence merely contain the speeches of others. It does even more. It affects the thoughts of those present, since in his person he remembers the Gospel of which he is the herald, the Church of which he is a minister, Jesus Christ who represents and therefore all the principles and duties of the Christian. Children and young people, adults and old people, men and women, people of all ages and all conditions, whether they want it or not, are affected by this influence. Which then becomes stronger in the country where the priest lives, where he is personally known and where he exercises his sacred office, and all the more the greater is his zeal, his virtue, his goodness. An active, charitable parish priest of holy customs preaches even if only by letting himself be seen by his own. All the good people of the country see him with pleasure, happy to meet him, to reverence him, and seeing him and greeting him they think of his words, of what he says in church, of his sermons, of his exhortations, and they feel a new and remarkable impression, an effective stimulus to Christian virtue and piety. Is it not so with you, my dearest children?
However, the priest exercises the greatest influence (and I always mean outside the church) with his examples, with his private and public life, and above all with his words and advice.
As much as this displeases the unbelievers, done [p. 6 edit ] the fact is that priests are regarded by the faithful as their safest advisers in all kinds of affairs, even the most disparate, and also for those in which religion has a point or little to do with it. This happens everywhere. It happens in large centers, where learned and experienced priests are more easily found, knowers of men and of the world, who inspire the utmost confidence in those who know them. People of every class, patricians and commoners, who have some doubts about the conduct to follow in domestic relations, in the start-up of children and in other serious situations, resort to some of these venerable ecclesiastics for advice and they conform with full confidence to their suggestions. not to fail. The same usually happens in small towns, where there are worthy and well-known priests: and also in countries where there are no priests other than the parish priest. As soon as the parish priest appears clothed with the qualities proper to his high office and enjoys the esteem, as most of us enjoy, he exercises a very notable influence over his population that extends far beyond the confessional and the church. Despite everything, the people still have confidence in the priest: they see in him the man of God, the man who has studied, who knows, who loves him, and who in his decisions is always inspired by love. of justice and truth, of the desire to maintain peace in families and to promote the true, moral and also economic good of the population entrusted to him. Therefore, whatever it is, interests, disputes, misfortunes of every form, he addresses him with an open and frank heart: and the good parish priest listens,[p. 7 edit ] conciliate, and the priest is blessed. And who really would the commoners go to seek advice from, especially in small villages, if their parish priest were missing?
How extensive is the influence of the curators of souls with us, is evident in the death of some of those venerable priests, who for thirty or forty years governed a parish. Everyone in the country is dismayed by the death of the Shepherd; the desolation is profound, universal. The ourParish priest, they all agree, was the man of God, the man of charity; he was the father of the village, he enjoyed the esteem and had earned the hearts and affection of all … And here each one narrate the most salient features of his life, how he helped them and advised them, how he took part in their joys and their pains … Oh! we will never have another like it again! … And all this they think and say not only for his zeal in fulfilling the church offices, but also for his interest in everything that refers to the good of the parishioners .
The influence of the priest therefore appears considerable and extended everywhere; it extends from the church to the outside, embracing private interests as well as public ones. It makes itself felt in families, schools, institutes, hospitals, associations, administrations and in all parts of civil life.
Now let’s see if this priest’s influence is legitimate.
The priest in civil and public affairs.
I say therefore that no sensible man, Catholic or non-Catholic, can deny that he is fully [p. 8 edit ] the influence of the clergy on the people and on public affairs legitimizes.
For Catholics this is quite evident. They recognize in the priest a supernatural character, which persists constantly in him. The priest is not a priest only in the temple; even outside the exercise of the sacred ministry, he always remains a priest. This quality, which joins his personal gifts of doctrine, ability, experience and virtue, undoubtedly increases his prestige in the eyes of the faithful and therefore also his authority and influence. Those who listen to the priest in church and in the confessional, listen to him with pleasure even outside, especially in points relating to some respect to morality and religion. All of this is natural and perfectly legitimate. Which Catholic could find fault with us?
Nor would it be valid to affirm that priests are not competent, that it is not convenient to meddle in civil and public affairs, that this is detrimental to their dignity. Slowly, my dear. There are also points in civil matters, in which priests are competent and understand better than anyone: as is the case with all points in which religion and morals are concerned. For example, in terms of schools, teaching and education, points of supreme importance for the youth to be raised in a Christian manner, priests are more competent than any other. In other matters, then, priests may very well understand this and be capable of judging on an equal footing and even more than the laity. Can’t a lawyer know about music too? And an engineer to understand letters? And an agriculture doctor? Thus a priest can possess a very varied set of knowledge, as is the case with many of them.
Here it is useful to observe that few of the laity are well informed about the nature and extent of the studies which await the clerics inside and outside our seminaries. There, aspirants to the priesthood for a period of years longer than is required to obtain any degree from the University, are applied to serious and multiple studies. It is not just a question of theology, which already embraces for itself a much wider field than those imagined, who have never leafed through a complete theological treatise. These are many other related sciences, which require serious application and which, when well learned, provide the priest with a copious and varied culture. Especially since we really study with us and the clerics are gathered there, not exposed to the distractions of free life, nor do they think of doing or strikes, or demonstrations, or revelry in no way To say that priests are ignorant costs nothing: in reality, however, priests usually know much more than the laity, in almost every branch of science. What is the science that does not count among its most illustrious and eminent scholars some members of the Clergy?
Priests, therefore, who have special competence in matters of religion and morality, can also have it in foreign matters, no less than any other class of citizens. The influence that they exercise in society must therefore be considered by every Catholic to be fully legitimate.
This is not meant to deny that certain public offices disregard priests. I admit. Thus it is not convenient for priests to become a soldier, a surgeon, or a merchant; and the same can be said of some other professions, which it is up to[p. 10 edit ] to the Church to determine. So too I concede that by the very tenor of their living, priests are less able to understand certain aspirations and to penetrate certain mysteries and certain interweaving of worldly living. The environment that the priests breathe is not the common one, although however the practice of the ministry is also a fruitful school for them, especially for the surest knowledge of the human heart. In any case, it is another way to admit that priests are not the most competent judges in everything and that there are occupations less suited to the ministers of God; it is quite another to argue that the priest must deal exclusively with matters pertaining to sacred worship, which no sensible Catholic will ever admit.
Coming now to non-Catholics, I maintain that I am no less certain that the social influence of priests, however powerful and extensive, must also be considered natural and legitimate by them. We reason. Why do Catholic priests cease to be citizens? They observe the laws of the state, they fulfill common duties, they pay their taxes at paro more and better than the others. Why will they not enjoy the proper rights of every good citizen? Undressing them, wouldn’t that be arrogance and tyranny? Anyone who has lost faith may well be sorry that others retain it, and may well make vows so that there are no more priests in the world. In the meantime, however, the priests are there and apparently they will stay there for a while: he must therefore have patience. Or would you like to argue that it is a crime to believe in Jesus Christ? Come on! … We have not yet reached such extremes! Religious sentiment is too much alive in the people, of which we have clear daily proofs. – The big [p. 11 edit ] the majority of Italians sincerely profess the Catholic religion, are devoted to it and venerate its ministers. The unbelievers no, too much is understood. But if for them the priestly character means nothing, the man and the citizen always remain in the priest. And as such, the Catholic priest can, in the way of any other individual, avail himself of common rights and use his influence on society as he pleases.
This is perfectly legitimate in the eyes of any reasonable man.
Extremely beneficial social influence.
Now I add that the social influence of the priest returns to an outstanding universal advantage and must be considered extremely beneficial: and I feel it.
The influence of one man on others is then useful and precious when it aims at a lofty and noble goal and is exercised with a sincere and upright spirit, inspired by honest and strong convictions and just and holy principles. In short, it is necessary not to be guided by low and personal interests, not by the calculations of ambition and selfishness: but to have as a purpose the spread of truth and the triumph of justice and virtue.
Now the influence of the clergy on today’s society appears to be a good thing. Without asserting that all Catholic priests are saints, I think I can affirm, and frankly I affirm, that among the various classes of citizens, the class of ecclesiastics in the point of honesty and virtue does not yield to any other, while then all he surpasses them by spirit of charity and sacrifice. Reason wants [p. 12 edit ] therefore that priests are considered to be honest men, who work with conviction and sincerity. This is not admitted by the liberal claims, sold to the sects, who insist on accusing the clergy of acting for ulterior motives and purely temporal interests. They accuse the Pope of it! But no one is astonishing about this anymore. What the sectarian theories of morality are, everyone knows; and they also know how unfortunately they put them into practice! They speak, yes, with emphasis, of the people, of freedom, of progress, of patriotism, and of a hundred other beautiful things; but as soon as one looks into their facts and enterprises, one always finds something else. It should therefore not be surprising that by measuring every man on his own level, even in the most generous and beautiful actions, they always suppose something rotten, that rotten thing by which their heart overflows. They do not understand and do not admit that anyone by the pure love of good can be induced to live by sacrifice: they say utopias. It is therefore all the more natural that in speaking of priests and in judging their works, they start from the supposition that the clergy do everything for interest or for other no longer noble passions.
Now say you, O my children, whether in their supposition there was some appearance of truth?
That even priests may be tempted to avarice and that none of them may yield to this temptation, as to any other, no one denies, and, as it happens, nothing more regrettable. But that this happens in generality, a thousand times over.
Interested priests! – But first of all no one will dare to say that interest can nowadays entice anyone to enter the street of the Sanctuary. Beautiful resources presents to its Levites the Church now stripped of everything! And the salaries of the clergy with us are[p. 13 edit ] lavish in truth, to be tempting! You have no office, however modest, that is not better paid. But let’s consider the priests at work. If there are any well-off among them, except in very rare cases, he owes it to family income and certainly not to priestly profits. And what use do most of them make of their possessions? – Turin is not without reason called the city of charity. Charities abound there. Is there any, in whose foundation the clergy did not take part? Those pious works from which priests want to be disbanded are almost all their creation or inspiration. Interested priests! So how is it that in Turin and outside, in every town, in every parish, the poor more than at any other door, always knock on the houses of the priests? And Cottolengo was interested? Or are those who follow in his footsteps? Or was it the interest that inspired Don Bosco and that his numerous children now inspire?
Without a doubt, we ecclesiastics, starting with the Archbishop, often turn to the Catholic scholarship, invoking their charity. But are we doing it for personal interest? Since this world is so made up that without money it is possible to do little or nothing good, we seek it. We look for them for churches to be built or restored. We look for them for the Catholic schools to be opened, for the pious institutes to be founded or maintained, for the good press and good books to spread. We look for some for the poor to be supported, for the sick to be treated, for the slaves to be redeemed, for the infidels to be converted and for all the Catholic works to be promoted. We ask everyone, often, indeed always, and with insistence, exposing ourselves to humiliations, refusals, even slanders, and bringing them to us in peace.[p. 14 edit ] To ask us the love of the poor, the derelict, of all the people, and also the love of the rich and wealthy, who have a strict duty to do charity and good works. We as ministers of God remind them of their highest duty, procuring with them frequent and precious opportunities to fulfill it in a holy way.
Some will say that we promote good, but in our own way; and we preach charity, but as we understand it. Beautiful! I answer. In whose way should we understand good and promote charity? In the way of Freemasons, unbelievers and atheists?
We understand good and charity in the true and just sense, which is only the Catholic sense.
Precisely for this reason I affirm that the influence of the clergy on populations, in whatever field it takes place, is extremely advantageous and beneficial. The action of good and zealous priests, as they are for the most part today, is inspired not by low motives, petty and personal interests, but by sincerity of high convictions, by completely superior principles, to purposes suggested by faith and religion. catholic. The interest of priests is the interest of God, the interest of souls redeemed by Jesus Christ, the interest of morality and justice, on which also the order in families, the prosperity of any institute and the good progress depend. of the entire company. Protecting and promoting these interests will always be the greatest benefit that can be procured for individuals and nations.
Why don’t you want the priest?
New system: secularism.
In the meantime, however, this influence of priests in human affairs, private and public, is today strongly opposed. The priests, it is shouted, have nothing to enter here, they do not have to enter there, they do not have to enter anything …! They stay in church. – Really? But why? Why should priests be excluded from social public life? Why priests? So to be logical, the same must be said of doctors, lawyers, engineers, artists, shopkeepers and those who carry out a special task and office. That if the lawyer, although a lawyer, while fulfilling the duties of his profession, can nevertheless take care of public affairs and exercise influence on the social trend, and if the other professionals can do this, why can’t the priest? Why this difference?
But the difference exists, and well marked, and a difference that explains everything.
The difference is in what I mentioned from the beginning. The priest represents religion, represents the Church, represents God. That’s why you don’t want it. You don’t want it because you don’t want religion, because you don’t want God.
The real reason why we work to exclude the priest from any interference in public affairs does not lie in the lack of competence or capacity. Not at all. It is in the ideas of the priest, it is in the principles he professes and which you study naturally[p. 16 edit ] to prevail. This is not wanted and if it has a cursed fear of it. Such was always the purpose of Freemasonry, which today insists on it with the utmost tenacity. The war on the priest is the war on the Catholic religion. And to get there, do you know how he did?
He invented his own system, which is called secularism : the word is very bad, but not as bad as what it expresses.
The secularism is the exclusion of the priest from any interference in things sacred. The priests, says the Masons, and preaches from the rooftops every day, the priests uffizino to church, as they seem; but they are confined there. Outside the sacred temples they have nothing more to see and do. Everything belongs to the laity, indeed everything must be secular, everything must be laicized. Religion has nothing to do with it. The schools must be secular, the institutes lay, morality lay, education lay, charity lay, public administrations lay, including hospitals; all secular.
Oh how many let themselves be deceived!
And how many unfortunately even among Catholics let themselves be deceived by the sophisms of the sectaries! And they seconded them and they seconded them! They are kindly persuaded that, given the sanctity of their divine ministry, he really disdains priests from meddling with any earthly thing, and that their office consists solely in preaching and singing Mass. They have not understood and some still do not understand that priests are not wanted precisely because religion is not wanted. The priest is thrown out because you want[p. 17 edit ] expelled God; the priest is driven out as the crucifix and the catechism and the friars and the nuns are disbanded, and in short, everything that smacks of religion, or, as they say in mockery, of sacristy.
I said from the beginning that the priest’s influence is great on everyone, that he influences with his presence, with his examples, with his words, with his advice. And it is very true. But, my dear, it is precisely for what you don’t want the priest: because you don’t want the influence of religion, you don’t want God.
He said that this influence is quite legitimate, since the priest can understand public matters as much as anyone else, and that therefore he has a right …. But what rights! God has no right to anything, he must not mix in the affairs of the world and so do priests who represent this God. – Yet among priests there are some very capable and very learned … Eh! Our adversaries are well convinced of this. Indeed, precisely for this reason they do not want them. Priests know too much, they see too clearly; with them it is not possible to color certain drawings …. – Priests out, we will command! – That’s why priests are expelled from everything.
I then added and proved that the influence of the clergy in the world is extremely beneficial and succeeds in the distinguished advantage of society as a whole, while priests operate out of conviction, for holy and noble purposes. Very true. But the trouble is that these holy and noble aims do not appeal to the sectarians at all: they want neither order, nor justice, nor morality, nor the true good of the people, just as they want neither religion nor God. everything to exclude him, to get rid of him and do without him.
The secularism aims precisely to this, the right of Freemasonry designs, who invented and advocates.
And unfortunately he managed to spread it almost everywhere, even among us. What happened? What happened was what necessarily had to happen. With religion removed, society can only gradually dissolve; the cement that unites and enlivens it is missing. Nor is it to say that religion can well subsist and flourish since there are churches, where priests have the freedom to preach and officiate. As for the freedom to preach, it is not true that they have it all. In any case, religion needs and has the right to manifest itself even outside the church and to prohibit it is injustice and tyranny.
It is necessary to be Christian everywhere
and at all times.
The great deception of many, including Catholics, is that they consider religion too superficially, reducing it to a complex of ceremonies, without penetrating its spirit and substance. Religion must influence the thoughts, the affections and the whole life of man, as well as the direction of society as a whole. The main acts of worship are performed in temples: but the fruits of religion are gathered outside. One cannot be a Christian only in the house of God: one must be Christian everywhere: the thought of God must accompany us everywhere and inspire our every action, so that nothing works in our country in contradiction to the Catholic faith. And not only the individual must be Christian, but also the family, and also society as such, in all its[p. 19 edit ] ramifications: that is to say, that the religious or Christian spirit must spread everywhere and its breath felt everywhere. Therefore, secularism, that is, the exclusion of the priest and the neglect of God and religion as it takes place beyond the temple, is diametrically opposed to the Catholic concept. Granted secularism in an absolute sense, religion would no longer have any value and importance for society, for governments, for municipalities and for all civil institutions. Society would no longer be Christian, but pagan, even worse, since the pagans also recognized some divinity, while in the system of secularism there would be no longer any reason to name God ever.
In fact, this is what Freemasonry wants and in large part already achieved it. God is as if he did not exist in social relations. The individual thinks as he wants. The State, however, like the Town Hall, like the Government, like the legislators, have nothing to care for neither about religion, nor about the Church, nor about God.
Now who does not see the absurdity of such a system? From it would come a continuous contradiction in man, who as a Christian should work and think in one way and as a citizen in another, no longer remembering baptism. Do you go to church? he is Christian. Are you going to the Town Hall? Are you going to Parliament? Does he sit in the chair? He must go there and be completely forgetting the faith he professes and speak, and sentence, and vote as if he were ignorant of the existence of God and the divinity of Jesus Christ. Can a Catholic settle into such a system? Yet today’s secularism claims this; from which it appears that while he aims to exclude the priest from social life, his real aim is to fight religion and to exclude God from the government of the world.
Having now explained what secularism is and what its purpose is, let’s see what the duties of Catholics are in this regard.
The duties of Catholics in our times.
To determine the duties of Catholics in our times, it is necessary to fix the eye on the state of today’s society. There are many sincerely Christian individuals and among us they constitute the great majority: and yet society is becoming less and less Christian. The public powers prove to be the less Catholic, the higher they are. Almost everywhere like that. Religion no longer inspires the government of peoples: and this system is transfused from the most eminent bodies to the other minor ones, which are influenced by it and which all together constitute the social organism. Individuals remain Christians; the society instead pagan. This state of affairs is reflected in the conditions in which Europe already found itself at the time of the persecutions, especially in the third century. Let’s take a look at it.
In order to spread the Gospel, Jesus Christ had begun to attract individuals to himself: and this was also the method used by the Apostles. The first faithful were indeed united among themselves in spirit and practice, and also formed special communities, which were headed by their Pastors; the world, however, continued to be pagan. To civilize it, it was necessary for the Christian breath to pass through the various bodies of society. This was achieved, but little by little, after a titanic and bloody struggle, which lasted three centuries, until the Baptism of Constantine the Great. When[p. 21 edit ] he took the reins of the Empire, the Christians had increased in number, there was something for everything; the breath of the Gospel had spread and penetrated widely into the hearts of individuals. However, society as such remained pagan, and Christianity was not recognized as a public cult. But the hour of triumph was now set. Paganism had to surrender and the dissonance between the faith of individuals and the religion of the Empire ceased. Christianity for the conversion of Constantine ascended the throne of the Caesars, and civil society proclaimed itself Christian. It certainly took some time for this renewing and holy spirit to penetrate legislation, politics and everything that forms the civil life of peoples. Such, however, was undoubtedly the process by which Europe became Christian.
Now what happened in the present society? For over a century, the Masonic sect has been working to overthrow Christianity, backwards imitating the work of the Catholic Church. The Gospel through the work of its auctioneers first penetrated individuals and then passed into social bodies. Well, Freemasonry first of all targeted the social bodies, not wrongly persuaded that when the public powers, laws, institutions and all that structure that forms the modern state, is subtracted from the spirit of the Gospel and of the Church, the Catholic faith it will soon be banned even by individuals and the whole world will become pagan again.
And the means to achieve this can be summed up in secularism .
Now it seems to me it is not difficult to fix the offices, which are incumbent on Catholics today to prevent the Masonic breath from flooding society and making it become pagan and barbaric again.
The secularism , which seeks public slaughter of religion, is atrocious war to the priest and wants excluded from everything.
Catholics therefore must want the opposite, aim for the opposite. They must propose not only to keep in public that little bit of Christianity that still exists, but to introduce again that more of the Catholic spirit, which you lack and was expelled. And for this to make special use of the priest. Not only to honor the priest in the sacred ministry, to listen to his sermons and to receive his blessings, but to claim to the clergy even outside the church their legitimate influence on society, an influence which, as we have seen, brings so great advantages to this, that it could not otherwise live let alone prosper.
I know well that the proponents of secularism feel revolted in hearing this, and to dissuade Catholics themselves from letting themselves be influenced by the Clergy they make use of the usual accusations, that priests want to interfere in things that are not theirs, because they are dominated, as well as from interest, even from ambition. The priests are intrusive, they say, and would like to command everyone, make the peoples slaves and so on …..
The pretended ambition of the priests.
On the pretended ambition of the priests to lord it, it is useful to hold back a moment, not to make the secularists change their opinion, which would be impossible; but to prevent Catholics from allowing themselves to be mystified by the cunning and sophistry of the sectaries.
The ambition, or rather the commitment and the desire of priests is, and should be, to do good; certainly with prudence, just the opportunity, with not only legal and honest, but delicate and perfectly correct: in that sense we aim to do good, and all possible good. The purpose is not to rule and command us, but that Jesus Christ may rule and rule over all. After all, let those who are responsible for it command: we are not jealous of them, only longing for them to administer Christianly and Christianly to govern. The influence of the clergy tends towards this and is to the benefit of individuals and society. The priesthood is far from prone to invading the field of others. Out of a duty of conscience, he recognizes the legitimate authorities and pays them sincere respect. Nor by fighting secularism do we mean that priests must enter into everything, they do everything. Not at all. Let’s say, however, that in addition to the strictly religious parts, there are others related to the same civil consortium, in which the priest has special competence, because in very close relationship with religion and morality, as what refers to private or public teaching, to the education of children and young people and to the exercise of Christian charity. There are also not a few points, which, although they reflect earthly interests, must not be dealt with and resolved without having regard to religion and morality, which Catholics never have to offend, indeed to protect and promote. In the rest, the clergy does not pretend to special interference, without however admitting that they have lesser rights than any ordinary citizen. Do not privilege; but not exclusions. That priests have to interfere in everything, command in everything, no: but that they must lock themselves up in church and never leave it, not take any part in civil and public life, not even.
By whom is the accusation ever brought?
However, it should not be very strange that the accusation against the Clergy of wanting to impose themselves on the peoples and governments and dominate them, is moved to them ….. by whom? From those affiliated with Freemasonry, from that sect that invades, oppresses and corrupts everything today, whose admirable deeds are now known to the whole world! It did not seem, dearest ones, that it is the height of the impudence on the part of the Masons to hurl the accusation of bullies and invaders at the priests, when the cry of indignation and protest that rises everywhere against the tyranny exercised by the gloomy congregation is universal. all the social orders, which it aims at servile yoking to the triumphal, but glorious point its chariot? Why? But between the arrogance of the ugly and dark sect and the conduct of the clergy in any age, is there any comparison? If, as they say, the time passed when the priests were in charge,
Nor does anyone accuse the clergy of advocating their own rights too tenaciously. Because it is not just about rights. These can well be renounced in many cases. But if here rights are also at stake for us, it is all the more a question of duties, which our conscience does not allow us to avoid. Oh! It would be convenient for us to stick to the program proposed to us by the proponents of secularism! The priests work and sing in the church, and outside church no worries! Do you think, dear friends, that it would be to praise a Bishop, a Parish Priest, the Clergy in short, if we all adopted such a program? Were these perhaps the examples left to us by the Apostles and by the most illustrious Saints that the priesthood gave to the Church?
The zeal of the clergy.
For the clergy, zeal constitutes one of his most serious duties, and he fulfills this duty with fervent and constant action. Now a powerful means of action is undoubtedly provided by the churches: but if the clergy, while using this, neglect the others, they would fail in their obligations. All the more so in our times, in which what is done and obtained in church is contradicted and often destroyed by what the Masonic sect is doing outside, which in many places has already succeeded in alienating most Christians, mostly males, from attending to sacred functions, and it will be able, if a vigorous bank does not oppose this current, to take them away everywhere. What good would the churches then be? And I will wrongly ascribe priests to work in every effective way to make society Christian and to spread the life-giving breath of the Gospel in the social bodies, it is equivalent to accusing them of being faithful to their mission, that is, of being good priests, zealous ministers of God, observers of duty. On my own instead of being afraid, that we ecclesiastics at the court of God have to give reason for having undertaken too much for his glory and for the good of the brothers, I think we should rather fear that we should then perhaps recognize that we have shown ourselves too slothful and too soft.
Catholics, be on the lookout!
But let us return to the duties of Catholics on this point. He said it was their first obligation not only to revere the priest, but also to claim legitimate influence from him. Don’t be fooled by the sect! When someone comes out in those expressions: What do priests have to do with this? beware of applauding as anything. Whoever speaks like this, more than the priest, intends to strike at religion. Those such phrases …..: We respect the religious sentiment, but the Gospel is another thing and the opinion of the priests is another ….! – The doctrine of Jesus Christ is different and the Pope’s opinion is different! – We respect Catholics, but we want freedom of conscience ….! and others similar, are all specious and sectarian phrases. By freedom of conscience they mean precisely the oppression of Catholic consciences: always and above all they aim to isolate the clergy, to exclude it from everything and to ensure that no account is taken of religion in social systems. It is therefore up to Catholics to commit themselves firmly on every propitious occasion, so that the legitimate influence which belongs to him is maintained or restored to him.
Joining the Clergy.
Another obligation is to join the clergy in the holy work of the Christian restoration of society. In fighting secularism, God knows if he ever intended to take little account of the part of the Catholic laity in this work. Powerful and beneficial I said for many leaders the influence of the Clergy; but unfortunately today the sect is working to undermine it. However, if it was always necessary to associate the work of the laity with the action of the priests, even more so today.
And here spontaneously springs from my heart a very high applause to those brave champions of the Catholic cause, who without being priests, even in its defense work among us, in Turin, in Piedmont and throughout Italy, with admirable tenacity and harmony of purpose. . They in a time when the lack of character is universally deplorable, they show themselves superior to all human respect and through the Catholic Societies and through the Congresses and through the good press and in many other ways they become perennial propagators of sound doctrines and vigorous advocates of the rights of the Church and of the Pope. God grant that their number increases every day and that finally all those who sincerely profess the Catholic faith, are persuaded of the urgent need to gather in a powerful phalanx, in order to cope with the invasive Freemasonry .
The world is in the throes of immense and universal turmoil. Everyone is wondering where it will end up if you keep it up. The origin of all evils lies in the distancing of civil society from religion. Make sure you come back as soon as possible. Clergy and Catholic laity unite and take this poor society by the hand, lead it back into the arms of its loving mother, the Church, and society will be saved.