Questions about "Our Apostolic Mandate On the "Sillon""


I am currently reading Our Apostolic Mandate On the “Sillon” by Pope St. Pius X and I have some questions, namely how does one take the principles in this encyclical and apply them to the current political situation. Paragraph 37 says that no political alliances are to be made outside of the Catholic Church. The problem is that there are not enough faithful, orthodox Catholics to assert any kind of political action. What should we do? Paragraph 19 says that democratic education is a farce. So does this mean that trying to create Catholic voting guides and such is also pointless? How should a Catholic view the government of the United States, with its liberal democratic institutions?:confused:

  1. Could you provide a link to the actual document.

  2. Was the pope making a pronouncement officially which the whole Church had to follow or was it something like Pope John Paul II’s reflection on capital punishment. Catholics can have legitimate differences of opinion here and possibly it was the same with what Pius X said in the document you mentioned. Without having read the document and not knowing the historical context in which it was written it is not possible to comment definitively but it is possible that what was written was only relevant for that time and not for today.

  3. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church to see if it can answer any of your questions. Check out the bishops’ website and see what they have to say about your questions.

Good luck


Here is a link to the encycical in question.

It was addressed to the French bishops at the time. As the site says, the Sillon was a French Catholic group that had been influenced by the liberalism of the French Revolution. Since the United States was founded on liberal democratic principles, how should Catholic participate in public life?


Hi Lucy,

Thank you for the link, it is always useful to read the document in question.

This document was written almost 100 years ago and was addressed to a particular group in response to a particular situation. I don’t think we can just apply what the Holy Father said exactly to the United States in 2007.

As for how the Catholic should participate in public life well I think we should pay our taxes, obey the laws which don’t go against the commandments or the teachings of the Church, we should vote in elections. We should witness our Christianity in our public life and speak out when things are done which are against the commandments or the teachings of the Church.

closed #5

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