Separation of Church and State

Hasn’t the Church always condemned the Separation of Church and State? That doesn’t seem to be taught anymore.
Syllabus of Errors Pius IX
55. The Church ought to be separated from the .State, and the State from the Church-CONDEMNED
77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship-CONDEMNED

Vehemnter vos Pius X
3. That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man’s eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man’s supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. “Between them,” he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-“Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur.” He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them… As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. – “Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere… Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error.”[1]

papalencyclicals.net/Pius10/p10law.htm

No it is not taught, nor do I believe it was “always” taught.

I’m don’t believe that the Syllabus, at least in its entirety, is considered an infallible document however. It would seem highly unlikely that the Vatican’s political approach to the world at some given time would fall under any kind of faith and morals issue. And its approach has changed greatly during its history depending on what arrangements they needed to make with temporal governments to even survive.

If we’re going to find that separation of church and state is an issue, I guess we’re going to have to assume that the condemnation of democratic government stands also, as well as condemnation of worker organizations.

Actually, it is considered infallible by most theologians. But, if you want to make that argument for rejecting what it teaches, I guess you wouldn’t have a problem with a Traditionalists rejecting Vatican II on the same grounds. After all, no one claims Vatican II was infallible.

[quote=] It would seem highly unlikely that the Vatican’s political approach to the world at some given time would fall under any kind of faith and morals issue.
[/quote]

Then why was it condemned as an error? Separation of Church and State is a formally condemned error.

[quote=] And its approach has changed greatly during its history depending on what arrangements they needed to make with temporal governments to even survive.

If we’re going to find that separation of church and state is an issue, I guess we’re going to have to assume that the condemnation of democratic government stands also, as well as condemnation of worker organizations.
[/quote]

When has the Church ever condemned democratic forms of government, or workers organizations? As far as I know, the Church has always said the State is free to establish itself under any form of government it chooses (Leo XIII), and it has never spoke against workers organizations. In fact, Pope Leo XIII spoke highly of them.

It separation of Church and State was not an error, the Church would not have condemned it. Yet it did condemn it numerous times, and it gave its reasons for doing so - reasons that are very good. StMaria’s post gives those reasons, as did my post in the thread that was recently closed. If you notice, the magesterial quotes StMaria posted, and the magesterial quote I postes give the same exact reasons for condemning Church and State.

Now, here is the question: If I still continue to reject the separation of Church and state, am I wrong? If I still believe, as the Church has formally declared, that it is an error, am I wrong for doing so?

Or, did error suddenly become non error with the passing of time? Did that which has been condemned suddenly become good and praisworthy?

I would have to go back and research the Syllabus as I haven’t looked at it in some time. And while there are certainly parts of it that would be infallible teachings, as they were restatements of existing doctrine, not all parts of it were.

And Vatican II is the same. While it did not proclaim NEW doctrine, it restated existing doctrine throughout the documents. So no, I am not rejecting infallible parts of the Syllabus and the Church does not allow you to reject the doctrinal parts of Vatican II, though I know that you do.

I do not believe for a moment that the separation statement was or is considered infallible by the Church, though many traditionalists will consider it so. I also do not believe that Vatican II’s statement on it is considered infallible, and if it is not then you are certainly free to question it.

I think the reasoning behind the double standard the Church tried to maintain in that regard is highly suspect and totally unworkable as a practical matter anyway, and that Vatican II finally recognized that. It might have worked fine in Europe when all of Europe was Catholic, but it certainly won’t work in an Islamic country today, or in a pluralistic country like the U.S. or Canada. One is welcome to claim that an Islamic state is bound to teach Catholicism but we all realize that ain’t gonna happen. So if we don’t at least go for the concept that the state can’t force a religion on anyone then we have no ground to ask Islamic countries to stop persecuting Christians, much less any chance of doing missionary work there.

At any rate, the question was whether separation of Church and state was always taught. The answer to that, as far as I know, is “no”. Whatever good reasons might have existed at the time of Pius IX don’t necessarily apply now, and unless someone can show me a current Church document stating that the Syllabus is considered infallible I’ll consider my recollection of it not being so to be correct. The very fact that the Church says that it is a/the valid approach would confirm that they do not consider that statement from the Syllabus infallible.

Without digging out a box of old documents, which I don’t have much motivation to do here, I’ll bow out with that.

Peace,

If you notice “Syllabus of Errors Pius IX 55. The Church ought to be separated from the .State, and the State from the Church-CONDEMNED” was dated Sept. 27, 1852.

On 9/20/1870 the troops of the Kingdom of Italy entered in Rome through the walls near Porta Pia, thus ending, de facto, the temporal power of the Pope (Pius IX).

On 2/11/1929 the Concordat between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See called for the establishment of the State of Vatican City. It also established Catholicism to be the Italian State Religion.

On 3/25/1985 the new Concordat between the Italian Republic and the State of Vatican City defines (art.1 ) the independence and sovereignty of State and Church. At this point Catholicism is not the State Religion anymore.

This should give you an idea why the topic has not been touched with a ten foot pole in the last few years.:wink:

One quick explanation from a very exhaustive analysis of the Syllabus from Shawn McElhinney. matt1618.freeyellow.com/syllabus.html I can’t vouch for Mr. McElhinney’s credentials as I am not familiar with him outside of this document, but it does say essentially the same thing that I had heard previously, that it was specific to the time and situation.

In 1864, Pius IX had issued his Syllabus of Errors. Among the condemned propositions was that “the church should be separated from the state and the state from the church.” Archbishop Spalding of Baltimore issued a pastoral letter stating that the pope “evidently intended” his words “for the stand-point of European radicals and infidels,” who sought to undermine the Church. Far different, he argued, was the First Amendment that laid “down the sound and equitable principle that civil government, adhering strictly to its own appropriate sphere of political duty, pledged itself not to interfere with religious matters, which it rightly viewed as entirely without the bounds of its competency.” Spalding distributed his pastoral not only to the American hierarchy and government officials but also to Roman officials, from whom he requested a clarification. While he never received the clarification he desired, he also received no rebuke. [20]
Archbishop Spaulding received no rebuke from Rome for his interpretation of point fifty-five of the Syllabus where he pointed out that the target of the condemnation was “European radicals and infidels who sought to undermine the Church.” It therefore cannot be taken in and of itself as a condemnation of the sort of separation that a constitutional republic would make between church and state. (This is not a reference to the liberal exaggerated separation that has no foundation either in the U.S. Constitution itself or the writings of the Framers of the Constitution.) Of course those who claim that this proposition has been controverted now have the burden of proof placed heavily on their shoulders. The interpretation above is a reasonable one and it is clearly against the interpretation of this proposition often trumpeted about by those who do not bother acquiring a proper theological acumen before they attribute error to the divinely-guided magisterium of the Church.

The Syllabus was issued against the errors of liberalism. It was the dividing line that clearly distringuished the Catholics from the liberals. You should really do some research on the Syllabus, and how it was received by the faithful Catholics and the liberals. The liberals sought to undermine it in every way they could, while the faithful Catholic accepting it gladly.

There is a good book called “Liberalism is a sin”, which was written during the Pontificate of Pius IX (who published the Syllabus). The book was approved and highly praised by the Holy Office under Pius IX. In the book he describes how much the Liberals despised the Syllabus, and tried, through specious argument, to undermine it. The book is actually available to read online if you do a search.

Mr. McElhinney is simply doing what Liberals have done since the Syllabus was first released: Try to undermine it by using specious arguments. And it is no surprise that he was able to dig up some quotes from certain Liberal Bishops of the past who did not like the syllabus, since there were many of them.

The principals upon which the Syllabus is based are rock solid; and the reasons given by the Popes for rejecting the Separation of Church and State (which they refered to as a “pernicious error”) are irrefutable.

All you have to do is re-read the quotes I posted in the other thread, and the ones St. Maria posted in this thread to see the truth of what the Popes taught. Specifically pay attention to the reasons given by the Popes for rejecting the Separation of Church and State. These principals are universal. Thus, one cannot claim that they only apply to this or that country.

Remember, the “toleration” of false religions is an acceptable principle of the Church. In a pluralistic country such as American, the Church would certainly advocate the toleration of false forms of worship, but never their right to exist, or, much less, the State’s duty to allow them.

The Syllabus as a document in my understanding is difficult to understand and may be misinterpreted if one is unfamiliar with the documentation that preceded the listing of the error in the syllabus.
I guess what is being said is that without the proper backgrounding one cannot understand what exactly is being condemned. May seem so simple that one thinks it means exactly what it says, but like scripture one sometimes has to refer back to the Church for more information.

Fellow named Brown wrote a book called Separation of Church and State a few years back. The historical record shows that there was never to be a “wall of total separation.” The State and Religion were to be separate, but they were expected to inform each other not be totally isolated from each other. That concept which is said to go back to one of Jefferson’s letters didn’t come into use until 1947 with a decision by, I believe, Hugo Black.

Why don’t we simply read the condemnations together in light of the clearer language (possibly just clearer translation) of Pius X’s Vehementer nos. It condemns the thesis that Church and State “must” be separate. That is obviously false. I didn’t see anywhere that it was absolutely inconceivable that conditions might arise in which it was infeasible to have them joined; all I saw was a condemnation of those who claim absolute necessity for separation.

The following reinforces the teaching that the separation of church and state is forbidden. It also emphasizes something very important. When the Church is separated from the State, the State becomes godless. Laws are them passed that are against Divine Law. This is why abortion, pornography and gay marriage now have legal protection. Governments have become godless. As Pope Leo points out, “. justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness”.
*LIBERTAS *
ON THE NATURE OF HUMAN LIBERTY
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII JUNE 20, 1888
18. There are others, somewhat more moderate though not more consistent, who affirm that the morality of individuals is to be guided by the divine law, but not themorality of the State, for that in public affairs the commands of God may be passed over, and may be entirely disregarded in the framing of laws. Hence follows the fatal theory of the need of separation between Church and State. But **the absurdity **of such a position is manifest

  1. This kind of liberty, if considered in relation to the State, clearly implies that there is no reason why the State should offer any homage to God, or should desire any public recognition of Him; that no one form of worship is to be preferred to another, but that all stand on an equal footing, no account being taken of the religion of the people, even if they profess the Catholic faith… Wherefore, civil society must acknowledge God as its Founder and Parent, and must obey and reverence His power and authority. justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness – namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engraven upon it.

NCJohn,

In post #7 I mentioned the book “Liberalism is a Sin”, which was approved and praised by the Holy Office under Pius IX. I am going to quote the small section that discusses the Liberal’s response to the Syllabus:

Liberalism is a Sin: CHAPTER 11
THE SOLEMN CONDEMNATION OF LIBERALISM BY THE SYLLABUS

"Liberalism has been condemned by the Pope in many and various documents. From these let us select a few epithets which stigmatize it with unsparing emphasis. They will bring out in striking relief the perfidious character of this cunning heresy. In his brief to Mgr. De Segur in regard to the latter’s well known work “Hommage Aux Catholiques Liberaux” the Pope calls it “a perfidious enemy”; in his allocution to the Bishop of Nevers, “the present real calamity”; in his letter to the Catholic circle of St. Ambrose of Milan, “a compact between injustice and iniquity”; in the same document he speaks of it as “more fatal and dangerous than a declared enemy”; in his letter to the Bishop of Quimper, “a hidden poison”; in the brief to the Belgians, “a crafty and insidious error”; in another brief to Mgr. Gaume, “a most pernicious pest”. All these documents from which we quote may be found in full in Mgr. Segur’s book “Hommage, etc.”

"But Liberalism is always strategically cunning. It rejected these very plain condemnations on the ground that they had all been made to private persons; that they were, therefore, of an entirely private character, by no means ex cathedra, and, of course, not binding. Heresy is always sophistically obstinate; it clings to the least pretext, seeks every excuse to escape condemnation. Barricading itself behind these technical defenses, Liberalism practically defied the authority of the Church. Its perfidy was shortlived. A solemn official public document of a general character and universally promulgated would sweep away the cobwebs with which Liberal Catholics had endeavored to bind the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff. The Church could not refuse a formal and decisive word to relieve the anxiety of her children. That word was spoken; it was the Syllabus of December 8, 1864.

"All faithful Catholics hailed it with an enthusiasm only equaled in intensity by the paroxysm of fury with which the Liberals received it. Liberal Catholics thought it more prudent to strike at it covertly by overwhelming it with artificial interpretations. The Liberals denounced it with unsparing bitterness; the Liberal Catholics whittled it away by all manner of emasculating explanations. It was a document fatal to both; they had reason to fear it, (61) the one execrating it, the other seeking with desperate subtlety to parry the blow, for the Syllabus is an official catalogue of the principal errors of the day in the form of concrete propositions placed under the formal ban of the Church. In it will be found, succinctly formulated, the various errors which are met with in the current literature of the times. The Syllabus crystallizes all these errors and stamps them with the seal of the explicit and formal condemnation of the Church. Here we have in detail all the Liberal dogmas. Although Liberalism may not be expressly named in any one of the propositions, most of its errors are there placed in pillory. From the condemnation of each of the Liberal errors results a condemnation of the whole system. Let us briefly enumerate them.

continue…

continuation

Liberalism is a Sin: "Condemnation of liberty of worship (propositions 15, 77, and 78); of the placet of governments (propositions 20 and 28); of the absolute supremacy of the State (proposition 38); of the secularization of public education (proposition 45, 40 and 48); of the absolute separation of Church and State (proposition 15); of the absolute right to legislate without regard to God (proposition 56); of the principle of nonintervention (proposition 62); of the right of insurrection (proposition 63); of civil (pg. 62) marriage (proposition 73 and others); of the liberty (license) of the press (proposition 79); of universal suffrage as the source of authority (proposition 60); of even the name of Liberalism (proposition 88).

"There have been books, pamphlets, and articles innumerable written on the proper interpretation of the propositions of the syllabus. But the most authoritative interpretation ought to be that of its radical enemies, not of course in the absurdities of their misunderstandings or perversions, like Mr. Gladstone’s unfortunate attempt to distort some of its propositions into a sanction of civil disloyalty, a position from which he has since withdrawn, we are glad to be able to say. But outside of such patent misconstructions we may rely upon the interpretation given by Liberals of all shades, especially in those points wherein we see them wince under its uncompromising phraseology. When Liberals regard it as their most detestable enemy, as the complete symbol of what they term Clericalism, Untramontanism and Reaction, we may rest assured that it has been well interpreted in that quarter. Satan, bad as he is, is not a fool, and sees clearly enough where the blow falls with most effect. Thus he has set the authority of his seal, which after god’s is most reliable, on this great work, (63) the seal of his inextinguishable hate. Here is an instance in which we can believe the father of lies. What he most abhors and defames possesses an unimpeachable guaranty of its truth." END

Since the Church has been invaded by the error of liberalism, it would be opportune to read the entire book.

As we should all realize by now, liberalism and conservatism are relative terms. They ar relative to the “center” of the day. But with each passing year the center moves to the left, in such a way that what used to be considered liberal, becomes mainstream, and then even “conservative” with the passing of time. The effect is that, overtime, we can become liberal without knowing it.

Reading the book Liberalism is a Sin, which was written over 100 years ago, when liberalism was relatively young, will help each of us to find out how much we have been affected by the liberalism around us.

The following is a link to the book, which is available online: liberalismisasin.com/

Ah yes, from the outside everything looks like liberalism. :rolleyes:

I’m not going to change your mind, and you’re not going to change the Church’s mind. As such there is no motivation for me to even dig out my stuff or waste any time on this.

Peace,

I’m not exactly sure why you bolded my “That is obviously false” because I was saying it was obviously false that Church must be separate from State. In other words, I absolutely agree it is absurd to claim that the state cannot under any means be wedded to the Church.

That being said, though, let’s not get the impression that the State must enforce the entire moral law. It is horrible that contraception is legal. But medieval Catholic states still had prostitution. Never were Church and State more intimately wed than at that point, but read Aquinas and you’ll find that some things shouldn’t be illegal if they cannot be enforced or will cause grave harm if enforced. Would it be ideal if every state were Catholic? Absolutely. Is that feasible in today’s world. No. If it is not feasible, it is permissible that they not be so.

Let me tell you why I strongly disagree with that statement.

Just as Arianism was the principle heresy of its time, and cause untold numbers of lost souls, so too is Liberalism the principle heresy of our time, and is doing untold damage.

Prudence would dictate that we “know our enemy”, and thus to be well versed in the principle errors of our time.

Liberalism, which is the error we have to deal with, is very crafty. It attacks, not just one doctrine, but virtually all of them at once, and it does so not through a direct attack, but usually by an indirect attack. It seeks to undermine the doctrines of our faith by using subtle and often very difficult to discern tactics. For example it will place all emphasis on an exception to the exclusion of the rule. So, for example, when discussing no salvation outside the Church, it will focus almost all attention on the possibilities of someone who is not a forma, member of the Church attaining salvation, through their union with the soul of the Church. By focusing attention only on the subjective “exception”, the rule (the dogma) is undermined and eventually completely denied.

There are other similar means used by liberalims to destroy the doctrines of both faith and morals.

If your interested, I wrote an article on this topic several years ago, in which I explain the tactics used, which, again, are very crafty. Here’s a link: seattlecatholic.com/article_20030523.html

You made the following comment: You said “from the outside everything looks like liberalism”. Actually, since we are not on the ouside, but rather engulfed in these errors, we often do not see liberalism for what it is. If you live in a fog for long enough, it begins to look normal. You have adjusted to the fog and don’t realize that it is not clear.

Likewise, it is much easier to see previous errors since we are separated from them. To us, the errors of Arianism, for example, may seem very clear, but that is only because we are not living in those days. Had we lived in those days, the dividing line between truth and error would not have been so precise.

In my opinion, Liberalism is more dangerous than Arianism. When you really pay attention to the subtle errors of liberalism (which I reveal in the article), you realize that it will take a very special grace to not be taken in by them. And in addition to a special grace, it takes effort on our part. If we have the means (and you and I both do), we should take the time to study the errors of liberalism so we are not taken in by them.

To do this, all we have to do is read the past encyclicals of the Popes that deal with these errors. If we are not willing to do that much for ourselves, we should not ecpect much extraordinary assistance from God - and in my opinion, extraordinary assistance from God (a special grace) is necessary in our day.

If you are willing, here are a few encyclicals to read:

1.) Mirari Vos, Pope Gregory XVI
2.) Our Apostolic Mandate, Pope Pius X (an absolute must read)
3.) Libertas, Pope Leo XIII
4.) Pascendi, Pope Pius X
5.) Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII

All of those encyclicals are available online. If you read them, you will begin to understand liberalism; you will be able to spot it more easily; and your thinking will become more clear. There are other encyclicals as well, but those are the ones to start with - and in the order I listed them.

I hope you take advantage of what the Church has given us.

*Vehemnter vos *Pius X
3. That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error

I believe that prior to Vatican II Spain was a Catholic state.Catholicism was protected in its constitution. After the Vatcian II document on Religious Liberty, Spain changed it’s constitution and gave all religions equal protection.SInce that time Spain has ineffect become a godless state.Pornography, abortion and gay marriage now have legal protection. This never would have happened if Spain would not have adopted Vatican II’s Religious Liberty.

And this is why I won’t bother wasting my time. You have set yourself up as the ultimate interpreter of what constitutes truth, and made yourself capable of judging my and other’s ability to comprehend truth.

Like the reformers, you have abandoned the boat and taken on your own authority, bolstered by others prone to do the same. You apparently have abandoned hope that the Holy Spirit does in fact guide the Church, keeping her from error that will lead others from their salvation. And now you believe that we should all jump ship with you and take your personal interpretation over that of the Church Christ himself called us to follow.

Without a shepherd the sheep lose their way. Could the Church be teaching some things that are less than perfect? I suppose it’s possible. But when I stand to give my account I’ll be able to say “You told me to follow the Shepherd and I did.” If the shepherd is wrong that won’t be my problem as long as I’ve done my best to inform my conscience and follow. Those who have chosen to not follow the shepherd however will have to say “I thought the shepherd was wrong.” And if in fact the shepherd was right, or maybe even if he was wrong, they will have to account for why they did not do as they were instructed.

I for one am not jumping ship based on your interpretation, which does not agree with the Church’s. Am I placidly living in a fog? It could be possible, but it won’t be for lack of trying. Of course there is also always the possibility that it isn’t me in the fog.

Maybe someone else will take your bait. No interest here.

Peace to you,

It took a while for me to understand what you were saying here, but I think I finally got it. You don’t like liberalism in Christianity because you’re afraid of people losing thier souls and going to hell. Your hatred of liberal philosophy is altruistic. That’s interesting, and refreshingly honest.

[quote="Pax et Caritas]You have adjusted to the fog and don’t realize that it is not clear.
[/quote]

Read what I wrote again. When I said “you” I was not talking about you personally. I was making a general statement. When I said “you” I was referring to all of us.

[quote=] Like the reformers, you have abandoned the boat and taken on your own authority, bolstered by others prone to do the same.
[/quote]

Why would you say I have abandoned the boat? I am not in any way out of the Church. The Church I actually belong to is an Indult Parish, which is in normal relations with Rome.

[quote=] You apparently have abandoned hope that the Holy Spirit does in fact guide the Church, keeping her from error that will lead others from their salvation. And now you believe that we should all jump ship with you and take your personal interpretation over that of the Church Christ himself called us to follow.
[/quote]

Interesting that you make that statement in response to my post in which I suggested that your read magisterial documents in order to not be taken in by the errors they condemned. You say I am advocating my personal interpretation, but I did not ask you to submit to my interepretation, but only to read the documents for yourself. You aren’t afraid to read past Papal Encyclicals, are you?

[quote=]Without a shepherd the sheep lose their way. Could the Church be teaching some things that are less than perfect? I suppose it’s possible. But when I stand to give my account I’ll be able to say “You told me to follow the Shepherd and I did.” If the shepherd is wrong that won’t be my problem as long as I’ve done my best to inform my conscience and follow.
[/quote]

But, have you really done you best? If you refuse to read, and study, the past encyclicals which condemn many errors that are around us, have you done your best? If you did not have the ability to access these document, and fell into the errors they condemn, you may be excused through invincible ignorance. But ignorance is only excusable if it is invincible. And if you have the interenet, you have the ability to access these documents. As such, if you are in error in any way, your ignorance is no longer invincible, since I have provided you with the documents to read.

Now, lest you misunderstand me, I am not saying you are in error. I don’t know. What I do know is that there is a lot of error around us, and we are much more able to spot it if we read the warnings given to us by our Popes, which shine the light of truth on them.

[quote=] I for one am not jumping ship based on your interpretation
[/quote]

I would never advocate that anyone “jump ship” since I believe in the dogma “outside the Church (ship) there is no salvation”. I am not in any way asking you to jump ship, only to read the encyclicals of the Popes which warn of certain errors - errors that are now surrounding us. I would think, if you are sincere, that you would want to read these documents.

[quote=]Am I placidly living in a fog? It could be possible, but it won’t be for lack of trying.
[/quote]

Again, you did not understand what I was saying. I was not saying that you personally were living in a fog. It was a general statement about the situation we all live in. Read the context again and you will see.

[quote=] Maybe someone else will take your bait. No interest here.
[/quote]

My bait? The bait I am advocating is that you read magisterial documents encyclical letters of our Popes, whose job it is to warn us of errors, which these documents did very well.

You are acting as though I am asking to to submit to something that I am saying, which is contrary to what the Church teaches. On the contrary, I am simply suggesting that you read what the Church teaches, in the form of these encyclicals.

Don’t you agree that it would be wise to listen to what Holy Mother Church has said about certain error that are all around us today?

Thank you. Yes, I do HATE liberalism, because, as you said, I believe it will result in the loss of souls - souls that were redeemed at a great price and are loved by God. I believe liberalism, and its sister modernism, is the heresy of our day, and is extremely dangerous. I believe it is responsible, in great part, for the crisis the Church is experience and, since I love the Church, I hate anything that attacks it, and will try, to the best of my ability, to fight it.

I also care about my fellow Catholics who may have been taken in by these errors, and hope to help them by directing them to the encyclical letters of the Popes, which shine the light of truth on these errors.

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