Sunday, January 13, 2008

One World Religion

On The Bride and the Dragon I came across an excerpt from an extraordinary letter from Pope St. Pius X to the French Bishops. Written in 1910, it expressed the Pope's concerns over a Catholic workers' movement called the Le Sillon. Le Sillon was founded in the 1890's by Marc Sangnier, and was intended to combine Catholic teachings with socialism. The Holy Father's rebuke to Le Sillon is startling for it's unabashed reactionary sentiments as well as prophetic statements. Without mincing words, Pope St. Pius says:
Now then! Distrust of the Church, their Mother, is being instilled into the minds of Catholic youth; they are being taught that after nineteen centuries She has not yet been able to build up in this world a society on true foundations; She has not understood the social notions of authority, liberty, equality, fraternity and human dignity; they are told that the great Bishops and Kings, who have made France what it is and governed it so gloriously, have not been able to give their people true justice and true happiness because they did not possess the Sillonist Ideal!

The breath of the Revolution has passed this way, and We can conclude that, whilst the social doctrines of the Sillon are erroneous, its spirit is dangerous and its education disastrous.
St. Pius laments that such a movement will inevitably result in a new religion:
We fear that worse is to come: the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion (for Sillonism, so the leaders have said, is a religion) more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the "Kingdom of God". - "We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind."


Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions....

The Pope says to the priests:
Let them be convinced that the social question and social science did not arise only yesterday; that the Church and the State, at all times and in happy concert, have raised up fruitful organizations to this end; that the Church, which has never betrayed the happiness of the people by consenting to dubious alliances, does not have to free herself from the past; that all that is needed is to take up again, with the help of the true workers for a social restoration, the organisms which the Revolution shattered, and to adapt them, in the same Christian spirit that inspired them, to the new environment arising from the material development of today’s society. Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists.
The bold emphasis is mine. The 1910 Apostolic Mandate of Pope Pius X is nothing new, but sometimes, as the years go by, and events unfold, we see more than ever how the words of the saints and popes ring true. Share

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