" From these texts it is clear that the Catholic Church condemns freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press."
From ...... CATHOLIC RESTORATION
Vol. v, No.1 First Quarter, 1995
THE CULT OF LIBERTY
For surely you know, Venerable Brothers, not a few are found who, applying the impious and absurd principles of naturalism, as they call it, to civil society, dare to teach that the "best plan for public society and civil progress absolutely requires that human society be established and governed with no regard to religion, as if it did not exist, or at least, without making distinction between the true and the false religions."
- Pope Pius IX
And also, contrary to the teaching of Sacred Scripture, of the Church, and of the most holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that the "best condition of society is the one in which there is no acknowledgment by the government of the duty of restraining, by established penalties, offenders of the Catholic religion, except insofar as the public peace demands."
- Pope Pius IX
And, from this wholly false idea of social organization they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, especially fatal to the Catholic Church and to the salvation of souls, called by Our predecessor of recent memory, Gregory XVI, insanity; namely that "liberty of conscience and of worship is the proper right of every man, and should be proclaimed and asserted by law in every correctly established society; that the right of all manner of liberty rests in the citizens, not to be restrained either by ecclesiastical or civil authority; and that by this right they can manifest openly and publicly and declare their own concepts, whatever they may be, by voice, by print, or in any other way."
- Pope Pius IX
From these texts it is clear that the Catholic Church condemns freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Yet these "freedoms" are held as sacrosanct in the American culture. In an effort not to appear un-American, the Catholic clergy in the United States for the most part neglected these condemnations, as well as the teaching of Sacred Scripture, of the Church, and of the holy Fathers which supports them.
One searches in vain to find in Catholic catechisms before Vatican II, even on the High School level, the Church's teaching on the duty of states to the Catholic religion. Rather most pre-Vatican II Catholic catechisms and history books are either totally silent on the subject, or actually extol the American system of indifference to all religions, and extol freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
Why was this so? Why were these teachings and condemnations purposely ignored by the Catholic clergy of this country, to the extent that students who came through twelve or sixteen years of Catholic schools knew nothing of them?
The answer is that the Catholics of the nineteenth and early twentieth century felt an urgent need to convince the Protestant establishment of this country that Catholics were good Americans, and had no problem in accepting American mentality and culture. Irish, German and Italian immigrants, most of them Catholics, were eager to secure for the Church peace and prosperity in a land peopled by those who, in large degree, had fled Europe in order to get away from Catholic influence.
And since the cult of freedom, the cherishing of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of conscience was paramount in the existing protestant-masonic culture of America, Catholics perceived it necessary to somehow marry their Catholicism to the cult of liberty. The result was the neglect, through nearly total silence, of very important moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It furthermore required a whitewashing, a pulling, and a stretching of historical facts and events of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in order to make them appear compatible with Catholic principles.
Archbishop Ireland, prominent at the turn of the century, was the embodiment of this whole mentality. He was so imbued with these ideas that he was capable of making these statements in a speech entitled "Catholicism and Americanism," given in Milwaukee in 1913:
Necessarily religious freedom is the basic life of America, the cement running through all its walls and battlements, the safeguard of its peace and prosperity. Violate religious freedom against Catholics: our swords are at once unsheathed. Violate it in favor of Catholics, against non- Catholics: no less readily do they leap from the scabbard.
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Editor - Father Donald Sanborn
2899 East Big Beaver Road, Suite 308
Troy, MI 48083-2400