Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
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Sunday, 12 July 2015

Ubi Arcano: Why Pius XI's "On the Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ" is the greatest modern encyclical


Arguably the greatest papal encyclical of modern times is Ubi Arcano written in 1922 by Pius XI. Firstly, the extraordinary work gathers up into one the great motto of Pius X: "to restore all things in Christ". We should note: not some, not this or that, but ALL things in Christ.. For to leave this or that to one side, is to reject Christ. It is to create a false Christ, an idol that does not exist. 

Secondly, the pope makes his own the teaching legacy of the genius, Leo XIII, the pope of the encyclicals (85 in total), who actually wrote them himself, and not by committee, or asking a churchman or two to compose something and then sign off after a few changes. Leo was a teacher of doctrine, a great lover of truth. 

To understand the mind of Pius XI, Catholics need to study the great encyclicals of Leo. Especially important are: Libertas, Immortale Dei, Diuturnum, Tametsi, Humanum Genus etc., as documents on the relationship between the Church and State, civil society and evils threatening same. 

Thirdly, the Ubi Arcano is deeply prophetic: every danger and evil the holy pope predicted has come to pass (the collapse of society, the spread of sexual license and perversion, growing totalitarianism and societal disintegration, the attack on marriage, the family, the spread of violence, the growing weakness of Catholics devotion to religion and so on): 

Because men have forsaken God and Jesus Christ, they have sunk to the depths of evil. They waste their energies and consume their time and efforts in vain sterile attempts to find a remedy for these ills, but without even being successful in saving what little remains from the existing ruin. It was a quite general desire that both our laws and our governments should exist without recognizing God or Jesus Christ, on the theory that all authority comes from men, not from God. Because of such an assumption, these theorists fell very short of being able to bestow upon law not only those sanctions which it must possess but also that secure basis for the supreme criterion of justice which even a pagan philosopher like Cicero saw clearly could not be derived except from the divine law. Authority itself lost its hold upon mankind, for it had lost that sound and unquestionable justification for its right to command on the one hand and to be obeyed on the other. Society, quite logically and inevitably, was shaken to its very depths and even threatened with destruction, since there was left to it no longer a stable foundation, everything having been reduced to a series of conflicts, to the domination of the majority, or to the supremacy of special interests.

The rejection of Our Lord Jesus Christ has very, very serious consequences for the Church and the world. The rejection of Our Lord by society, by the State, is blasphemy and is leading us to absolute spiritual and moral ruin. I will say again: religious liberty is blasphemy. It is the core belief of liberalism and by extension, ecumenism: it has been - so to speak - wrecking the Catholic Church for decades. Even during the time of Pius XI (though couched in more temperate language) religious liberty was held up by Catholics as a great ideal. The Church rejects this utterly. Pius XI in a future encyclical, Quas Primas, would firmly reiterated Catholic doctrine on the evils and terrible dangers of religious liberty. 

The Second Vatican Council in Dignitatis Humanae attempted a compromise between the doctrine of all pre-conciliar popes and the confusing thesis of John Courtney Murray. But one cannot have compromise over Christ. Subsequently, the Church began to revert to the traditional doctrine in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, referencing both Quas Primas and Leo XIII. Unfortunately, these passages are not known or ignored. The vast majority of Catholics, unbeknownst are infected to some degree with liberalism. It is a very dangerous ideology because it is so seductive; promoting a fantasy of everyone getting along: truth and error don't matter. 

To return to Ubi Arcano and the Pope's emphasis on true Peace: in the heart, the family, the city, the state: it can only come from the Peace of Christ. There is no other possibility. Religious liberty rejects this implicitly. By all being free to accept or reject Jesus Christ as God, what religious liberty is really saying is that it does not matter if He is or is not God, which is blasphemy. And blasphemy will not bring peace. To the contrary, it will bring dissension, rivalries, violence, and other evils. 

Again, legislation was passed which did not recognize that either God or Jesus Christ had any rights over marriage - an erroneous view which debased matrimony to the level of a mere civil contract, despite the fact that Jesus Himself had called it a "great sacrament" (Ephesians v, 32) and had made it the holy and sanctifying symbol of that indissoluble union which binds Him to His Church. The high ideals and pure sentiments with which the Church has always surrounded the idea of the family, the germ of all social life, these were lowered, were unappreciated, or became confused in the minds of many. As a consequence, the correct ideals of family government, and with them those of family peace, were destroyed; the stability and unity of the family itself were menaced and undermined, and, worst of all, the very sanctuary of the home was more and more frequently profaned by acts of sinful lust and soul-destroying egotism - all of which could not but result in poisoning and drying up the very sources of domestic and social life.

more to follow...

1 comment:

Lawrence and Susan Fox said...

Barona, do you know who introduced the idea that marriage is not a sacrament? Martin Luther. Once the Reformation stripped marriage of its sacramental status, the state had to step in and license it. Once the state licenses it, then the state can redefine it. Every time I turn around the sources of all the evils in our world seem to stem from the Protestant Reformation. Protestant Churches accepted contraception. We did not. Their acceptance paved the way for abortion. I'm sure most pro-life Protestants would be horrified if they understood this. But once you separate from the vine, the branches wither.

This was an excellent reminder. Thank yo for bringing it to our attention. God bless you. Susan Fox www.christsfaithfulwitness.com