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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Pius XII: exclusion of Christ from public life leads to a corrupting paganism

Pope Pius XII, on the eve of World War II, outlined the cause of the War: rejection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Since that War, the confusion, the error, the evil has only increased. The diabolical is only on the increase. 

St. Peter, shortly after Our Lord's Resurrection - after the most horrendous manifestation of the diabolical - proclaimed to a large crowd of Jews: "Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved". (Acts 4:12). Stirred by the first Pope's words, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Jews converted, leaving their darkness and confusion, accepting Christ and renouncing the "father of lies". 

In our day, there is a great need to accept and re-accept Christ. Let us now turn to the words of the saintly Pontiff, words that are more applicable today, then when they were written in 1939. 

The holy Pope wrote in Summi Pontificatus: 

The Holy Gospel narrates that when Jesus was crucified “there was darkness over the whole earth” (Matthew xxvii. 45); a terrifying symbol of what happened and what still happens spiritually wherever incredulity, blind and proud of itself, has succeeded in excluding Christ from modern life, especially from public life, and has undermined faith in God as well as faith in Christ. 

The consequence is that the moral values by which in other times public and private conduct was gauged have fallen into disuse; and the much vaunted civilization of society, which has made ever more rapid progress, withdrawing man, the family and the State from the beneficent and regenerating effects of the idea of God and the teaching of the Church, has caused to reappear, in regions in which for many centuries shone the splendors of Christian civilization, in a manner ever clearer, ever more distinct, ever more distressing, the signs of a corrupt and corrupting paganism: “There was darkness when they crucified Jesus” (Roman Breviary, Good Friday, Response Five).

...With the weakening of faith in God and in Jesus Christ, and the darkening in men’s minds of the light of moral principles, there disappeared the indispensable foundation of the stability and quiet of that internal and external, private and public order, which alone can support and safeguard the prosperity of States.

...In Our days, on the contrary, dissensions come not only from the surge of rebellious passion, but also from a deep spiritual crisis which has overthrown the sound principles of private and public morality.


Everyday For Life Canada said...

Great post. Once we remove Christ from public life, we no longer have a common denominator of values to bring and "add" civilization together. The Nazis' rise to power was made possible by making faith illegal. And we all know what happened, not just in Germany but in Russia and in so many other dark and Godless places. We push Christ to the margins of society at our own temporal and eternal peril.

john haggerty said...

You are to be congratulated for quoting from Summi Pontificatus.
Please try to make it known to young Catholics in Canada; educate them on the pontificate of Pius XII, and its significance for the changes that would come through Vatican II during the succeeding pontificate of John XXIII.
Set up your own Catholic history classes, studying in particular Pope Pius X and Pope Pius XII. Print off their encyclicals so that the young are not ignorant about what happened in their Church.

The prescience of Pope Pius XII's great encyclical makes it particularly relevant for our own day when Christianity is no longer welcomed in the public forum, and when Justin Trudeau can shamelessly parade his opposition to the Church's sound moral teaching on abortion and homosexual marriage.

The biography of Pius XII has been overshadowed by the 'Hitler's Pope' accusation; it was made by John Cornwell, a careful enough writer; but Martin Gilbert, the Holocaust historian has given us a much wider perspective on the moral character and ethical judgments of Eugenio Pacelli, who was elected as Pope Pius XII on 1 March 1939 on the third ballot.
His immediate concern on being elected was to avert the war that everybody feared. He was by training a diplomat.
If he had any failing it was in thinking Hitler could be reasoned with, but then the British Prime Minister, Joseph Chamberlain, and many other appeasers made that mistake.
We should remember that the generation that had lived through the Great War were ready to believe they could 'manage' Hitler, so long as the spectre of another war and the carnage of 1914-18 could be prevented from happening again.
Hitler's lies, cunning and lightning strategy turned all hopes to dust.

If Pacelli, prior to his election as pope, was under no illusion about the evil character of Hitler and Hitler's National Socialist Party in Germany, the Nazis had no truck with Pacelli.
This is a point Martin Gilbert makes.
So outspoken had Pacelli been about the malign nature of the Third Reich, that Hitler's regime lobbied against Pacelli, the Church figure they most feared and hated.

The rest of the story is too complex to summarize, but it is true that Pope Pius XII never excommunicated Hitler - an error of judgment that he took to the grave.
This has led many uninformed people to describe Hitler as a Catholic.
Hitler was born a Catholic, certainly. But he ceased to practise his faith from an early age.
In truth Hitler despised Christianity; he can best be understood (some think) as a product of the dark side of the Enlightenment.

It is significant that Pius XII saw Cardinal Guiseppe Siri as his likely successor.
Siri was doctrinally sound and an opponent of the shallow modernism to which Angelo Roncalli (John XXIII) inclined.
Roncalli dabbled in the occult ideas of Rudolph Steiner and he flirted with Grand Orient Freemasonry.

My generation welcomed Vatican II and many of the clergy and laity invested their hopes in it.
We saw it as the 'little springtime for the Church'.
We were wrong.
Watch YouTube. 'Mother Angelika - the Hidden Agenda: Liberalism in the Church.' No wonder she is angry, but then American Catholicism went badly wrong for many reasons.

The destruction of the Mass and the liturgy did not reach its climax until 1969 under the pontificate of Giovanni Montini (Paul VI).

Pope John XXII who inaugurated Vatican II should never be blamed for opening dialogue with Protestants or for calling them 'our separated brethren'.
And he must be applauded for removing any last accusation that the Jews were collectively responsible for the death of Jesus; an accusation that had grown under Martin Luther's toxic anti-Semitism, and had then been exploited by Hitler's Final Solution ... the death camps in which millions of Jewish people were starved, beaten and gassed.

But Cardinal Siri's words on Vatican II still return to haunt us.
'If the Church had not been divine,' he said, 'Vatican II would have buried it.'

john haggerty said...

In my comment I referred to the British Prime Minister during the Munich Crisis as Joseph Chamberlain when I should have written Neville Chamberlain.
Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) was a British statesman remembered for his close involvement in colonial politics; beginning as a Liberal with progressive ideas he ended by supporting the Boer War and splitting the Liberals and Tories.
When Britain stood alone against Hitler we had only our Commonwealth partners; Canada's support was tremendous; many brave Canadian servicemen died in the forests of Ardennes in Belgium in 1944, when the fighting against German artillery was at its most savage.

Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940) is remembered for his 'peace in our time' speech in which he assured the British people that Hitler was a man whose word could be trusted. A colossal error of judgment.
He was succeeded as Prime Minister by Winston Churchill, a great war-time premier, who told the British people he had nothing to offer them but 'blood, sweat and tears' if we were going to defeat Hitler and his barbarous regime.
Neville Chamberlain's many earlier achievements, chiefly in social reform, have been forgotten; I doubt if there is a statue of him anywhere in England.

We should not forget that Pope Pius XII saved many Jewish people from the gas chambers, including children; but this is still a contentious issue, and there are informed writers who hold a different view of Pius XII; it has delayed the case for his sanctification.
One curious fact is that the office of the Devil's Advocate has been closed down; I have no idea why. Many lay Catholics question the wisdom of making Pope Paul VI a saint - see the vlod 'from the Catacombs' on YouTube.

Other popes young Catholics might want to study in depth are Pope Leo XIII and Pope Benedict XV. Pope Leo had a vision after saying Mass in which he heard a voice telling him that Satan could destroy the Church within 75 to 100 years.
Leo then set a prayer of intercession to the Archangel Michael to be recited by the faithful at the close of Mass; this prayer was removed by Pope John XXIII for no apparent reason.
Many Catholics now say this great prayer when reciting the Rosary or before going into a public debate with atheists.
We must pray daily for Pope Francis, his bishops, our priests, and our Catholic politicians including Justin Trudeau.
We pray that those who have gone astray on moral issues return to the truth, and that they will support Catholic teaching on faith and morals.
We pray for healing in the Church following the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests.
We pray for the rebuilding of Christian civilization as Michael Voris does.

O Glorious Archangel Saint Michael,
Prince of the Heavenly Host,
defend us in battle,
and in the struggle which is ours
against the principalities and Powers,
against the rulers of this world of darkness,
against spirits of evil in high places.

In the name of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen.