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"Tear away the mask from Freemasonry, Pope Leo XIII


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Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII

promulgated on June 29, 1881.

To  the  Patriarchs,  Primates,  Archbishops, and
Bishops  of  the  Catholic  world  in  Grace  and
Communion with the Apostolic See.

The  long-continued  and  most  bitter  war waged
against the divine authority of  the  Church  has
reached  the culmination to which it was tending,
the common danger, namely, of human society,  and
especially of the civil power on which the public
safety chiefly reposes. In  our  own  times  most
particularly this result is apparent. For popular
passions now  reject,  with  more  boldness  than
formerly,  every restraint of authority. So great
is the license on  all  sides,  so  frequent  are
seditions and tumults, that not only is obedience
often refused to those who  rule  states,  but  a
sufficiently  safe guarantee of security does not
seem to have been left to them.

2. For a long time, indeed, pains have been taken
to  render  rulers  the  object  of  contempt and
hatred to the multitude. The flames of envy  thus
excited  have  at  last burst forth, and attempts
have been  several  times  made,  at  very  short
intervals,  on  the  life  of  sovereign princes,
either by secret plots or by  open  attacks.  The
whole  of Europe was lately filled with horror at
the  horrible   murder   of   a   most   powerful
emperor.[1]  Whilst  the  minds  of men are still
filled with astonishment at the magnitude of  the
crime,  abandoned  men  do  not  fear publicly to
utter threats  and  intimidations  against  other
European princes.

3. These perils to commonwealth, which are before
Our eyes, fill Us with  grave  anxiety,  when  We
behold   the   security   of   rulers   and   the
tranquillity of empires, together with the safety
of  nations,  put  in  peril  almost from hour to
hour.  Nevertheless,  the  divine  power  of  the
Christian  religion  has given birth to excellent
principles of stability and order for the  State,
while at the same time it has penetrated into the
customs and institutions of States. And  of  this
power  not the least nor last fruit is a just and
wise proportion of mutual rights  and  duties  in
both princes and peoples. For in the precepts and
example of Christ our Lord there is  a  wonderful
force for restraining in their duty as much those
who obey as  those  who  rule;  and  for  keeping
between   them   that  agreement  which  is  most
according to nature, and that concord  of  wills,
so  to  speak,  from  which  arises  a  course of
administration  tranquil  and   free   from   all
disturbance.  Wherefore,  being,  by the favor of
God,  entrusted  with  the  government   of   the
Catholic    Church,   and   made   guardian   and
interpreter of the doctrines of Christ, We  judge
that  it  belongs  to Our jurisdiction, venerable
brethren, publicly to  set  forth  what  Catholic
truth demands of everyone in this sphere of duty;
thus making clear also by what way  and  by  what
means measures may be taken for the public safety
in so critical a state of affairs.

4.  Although  man,  when  excited  by  a  certain
arrogance  and  contumacy,  has  often striven to
cast aside the reins of authority, he  has  never
yet  been  able to arrive at the state of obeying
no one. In every  association  and  community  of
men,  necessity  itself  compels that some should
hold preeminence, lest  society,  deprived  of  a
prince  or  head by which it is ruled should come
to dissolution and be  prevented  from  attaining
the  end for which it was created and instituted.
But, if it was not possible that political  power
should be removed from the midst of states, it is
certain that men have used every art to take away
its  influence  and to lessen its majesty, as was
especially the case  in  the  sixteenth  century,
when a fatal novelty of opinions infatuated many.
Since that epoch,  not  only  has  the  multitude
striven after a liberty greater than is just, but
it  has  seen  fit  to  fashion  the  origin  and
construction  of  the  civil  society  of  men in
accordance with its own will.

5. Indeed, very many men of  more  recent  times,
walking in the footsteps of those who in a former
age   assumed   to   themselves   the   name   of
philosophers,[2]  say  that  all power comes from
the people; so that those who exercise it in  the
State do so not as their own, but as delegated to
them by the people, and that, by  this  rule,  it
can  be revoked by the will of the very people by
whom it was delegated. But from these,  Catholics
dissent,  who  affirm  that  the right to rule is
from  God,  as  from  a  natural  and   necessary

6.  It  is  of  importance, however, to remark in
this place that those who may be placed over  the
State  may in certain cases be chosen by the will
and decision of the multitude, without opposition
to  or impugning of the Catholic doctrine. And by
this choice, in truth, the ruler  is  designated,
but   the   rights  of  ruling  are  not  thereby
conferred. Nor is the authority delegated to him,
but  the  person by whom it is to be exercised is
determined upon.

7. There is no question here respecting forms  of
government, for there is no reason why the Church
should not approve of the chief power being  held
by  one man or by more, provided only it be just,
and  that  it  tend  to  the  common   advantage.
Wherefore,  so  long as justice be respected, the
people  are  not  hindered  from   choosing   for
themselves  that  form  of government which suits
best  either  their  own  disposition,   or   the
institutions and customs of their ancestors.[3]

8.  But,  as  regards political power, the Church
rightly teaches that it comes from  God,  for  it
finds   this  clearly  testified  in  the  sacred
Scriptures and in  the  monuments  of  antiquity;
besides, no other doctrine can be conceived which
is more agreeable to reason, or  more  in  accord
with the safety of both princes and peoples.

9. In truth, that the source of human power is in
God the books of the Old Testament in  very  many
places  clearly establish. "By me kings reign . .
. by me  princes  rule,  and  the  mighty  decree
justice."[4]  And in another place: "Give ear you
that rule the people . . . for power is given you
of  the  Lord  and strength by the Most High."[5]
The same  thing  is  contained  in  the  Book  of
Ecclesiasticus:  "Over every nation he hath set a
ruler."[6] These things, however, which they  had
learned   of  God,  men  were  little  by  little
untaught through heathen superstition, which even
as it has corrupted the true aspect and often the
very concept of things, so also it has  corrupted
the  natural  form and beauty of the chief power.
Afterwards, when the Christian  Gospel  shed  its
light,  vanity  yielded  to truth, and that noble
and divine principle whence all  authority  flows
began  to  shine  forth.  To  the Roman governor,
ostentatiously pretending that he had  the  power
of  releasing  and  of condemning, our Lord Jesus
Christ answered:  "Thou  shouldst  not  have  any
power  against  me unless it were given thee from
above."[7] And St. Augustine, in explaining  this
passage,  says: "Let us learn what He said, which
also He taught by His Apostle, that there  is  no
power but from God."[8] The faithful voice of the
Apostles, as an echo, repeats  the  doctrine  and
precepts of Jesus Christ. The teaching of Paul to
the Romans, when  subject  to  the  authority  of
heathen  princes,  is  lofty and full of gravity:
"There is not power but from God," from which, as
from  its  cause,  he draws this conclusion: "The
prince is the minister of God."[9]

10. The Fathers of the Church  have  taken  great
care to proclaim and propagate this very doctrine
in which they had been  instructed.  "We  do  not
attribute,"  says  St.  Augustine,  "the power of
giving government and empires to any but the true
God."[10] On the same passage St. John Chrysostom
says: "That there are  kingdoms,  and  that  some
rule,  while others are subject, and that none of
these things is  brought  about  by  accident  or
rashly  .  .  .  is,  I  say,  a  work  of divine
wisdom."[11] The same truth is testified  by  St.
Gregory the Great, saying: "We confess that power
is given from above to emperors  and  kings."[12]
Verily   the  holy  doctors  have  undertaken  to
illustrate also the same precepts by the  natural
light  of  reason  in  such  a way that they must
appear to be altogether right and true,  even  to
those who follow reason for their sole guide.

11. And, indeed, nature, or rather God who is the
Author of nature, wills that man should live in a
civil  society; and this is clearly shown both by
the faculty of language, the greatest  medium  of
intercourse,  and  by  numerous innate desires of
the mind, and  the  many  necessary  things,  and
things  of  great  importance, which men isolated
cannot procure, but which they can  procure  when
joined  and  associated  with  others. But now, a
society can neither exist  nor  be  conceived  in
which  there  is  no  one  to govern the wills of
individuals, in such a way  as  to  make,  as  it
were,  one  will  out  of many, and to impel them
rightly  and  orderly   to   the   common   good;
therefore, God has willed that in a civil society
there should be some to rule the  multitude.  And
this  also  is a powerful argument, that those by
whose authority the State is administered must be
able  so to compel the citizens to obedience that
it is clearly a sin in the latter  not  to  obey.
But no man has in himself or of himself the power
of  constraining  the  free  will  of  others  by
fetters  of  authority  of  this kind. This power
resides solely in God, the Creator and Legislator
of all things; and it is necessary that those who
exercise it should do it as  having  received  it
from  God.  "There is one lawgiver and judge, who
is able to destroy and deliver."[13] And this  is
clearly  seen  in  every kind of power. That that
which resides in priests comes  from  God  is  so
acknowledged  that  among  all  nations  they are
recognized as, and called, the ministers of  God.
In  like  manner,  the  authority  of  fathers of
families preserves a certain impressed image  and
form  of  the authority which is in God, "of whom
all paternity in heaven and earth is  named."[14]
But in this way different kinds of authority have
between  them  wonderful   resemblances,   since,
whatever  there  is  of government and authority,
its origin is  derived  from  one  and  the  same
Creator and Lord of the world, who is God.

12. Those who believe civil society to have risen
from the free consent of  men,  looking  for  the
origin of its authority from the same source, say
that each individual has given  up  something  of
his  right,[15] and that voluntarily every person
has put himself into the power of the one man  in
whose  person  the whole of those rights has been
centered. But it is a great  error  not  to  see,
what  is  manifest,  that  men, as they are not a
nomad race, have been created, without their  own
free will, for a natural community of life. It is
plain, moreover, that the pact which they  allege
is  openly a falsehood and a fiction, and that it
has no authority to  confer  on  political  power
such  great  force,  dignity, and firmness as the
safety of the State and the common  good  of  the
citizens  require.  Then only will the government
have all those ornaments and guarantees, when  it
is  understood  to emanate from God as its august
and most sacred source.

13. And it is impossible that any should be found
not  only  more  true  but even more advantageous
than this  opinion.  For  the  authority  of  the
rulers   of   a   State,   if  it  be  a  certain
communication of divine power, will by that  very
reason immediately acquire a dignity greater than
human --  not,  indeed,  that  impious  and  most
absurd   dignity  sometimes  desired  by  heathen
emperors when affecting divine honors, but a true
and  solid  one received by a certain divine gift
and benefaction. Whence it will behoove  citizens
to  submit  themselves  and  to  be  obedient  to
rulers, as to God, not so much  through  fear  of
punishment  as through respect for their majesty;
nor  for  the  sake  of  pleasing,  but   through
conscience,  as  doing  their  duty.  And by this
means  authority  will  remain  far  more  firmly
seated in its place. For the citizens, perceiving
the force of this duty  would  necessarily  avoid
dishonesty  and  contumacy,  because they must be
persuaded that they who  resist  State  authority
resist  the  divine  will;  that  they who refuse
honor to rulers refuse it to God Himself.

14. This doctrine the Apostle  Paul  particularly
inculcated  on  the Romans; to whom he wrote with
so great authority and weight on the reverence to
be  entertained toward the higher powers, that it
seems nothing could be prescribed more weightily:
"Let  every soul be subject to higher powers, for
there is no power but from God,  and  those  that
are,  are  ordained  of  God.  Therefore  he that
resisteth the power resisteth  the  ordinance  of
God,  and they that resist purchase to themselves
damnation  .  .  .  wherefore   be   subject   of
necessity,  not  only  for  wrath,  but  also for
conscience' sake."[16] And in agreement with this
is  the  celebrated  declaration  of  Peter,  the
Prince of the Apostles, on the same subject:  "Be
ye  subject,  therefore,  to every human creature
for God's sake; whether it  be  to  the  king  as
excelling,  or  to  governors, as sent by him for
the punishment of evildoers, and for  the  praise
of the good, for so is the will of God."[17]

15.  The  one  only reason which men have for not
obeying is when  anything  is  demanded  of  them
which  is  openly repugnant to the natural or the
divine law, for it is equally unlawful to command
to  do anything in which the law of nature or the
will of God is violated. If, therefore, it should
happen  to  any one to be compelled to prefer one
or the  other,  viz.,  to  disregard  either  the
commands  of God or those of rulers, he must obey
Jesus Christ, who commands us to "give to  Caesar
the  things  that  are  Caesar's,  and to God the
things  that  are  God's,"[18]  and  must   reply
courageously  after  the example of the Apostles:
"We ought to obey God rather than  men."[19]  And
yet  there  is  no reason why those who so behave
themselves  should   be   accused   of   refusing
obedience;  for, if the will of rulers is opposed
to the will and the laws of God, they  themselves
exceed  the bounds of their own power and pervert
justice; nor can their authority then  be  valid,
which, when there is no justice, is null.

16.  But in order that justice may be retained in
government it is of the highest  importance  that
those  who  rule  States  should  understand that
political power was not created for the advantage
of   any   private   individual;   and  that  the
administration of the State must be carried on to
the  profit  of  those who have been committed to
their care, not to the profit of those to whom it
has been committed. Let princes take example from
the Most High God, by whom authority is given  to
them; and, placing before themselves His model in
governing the  State,  let  them  rule  over  the
people with equity and faithfulness, and let them
add to  that  severity,  which  is  necessary,  a
paternal charity. On this account they are warned
in the oracles of  the  sacred  Scriptures,  that
they  will  have themselves some day to render an
account to the King of kings and Lord  of  lords;
if  they  shall  fail in their duty, that it will
not be possible for them in any way to escape the
severity of God: "The Most High will examine your
work and search out your thoughts: because  being
ministers  of  his  kingdom  you  have not judged
rightly. . . Horribly and speedily will he appear
to  you,  for a most severe judgment shall be for
them that bear rule. . . For God will not  accept
any man's person, neither will he stand in awe of
any man's greatness; for he made the  little  and
the great, and he hath equally care of all. But a
greater  punishment  is  ready   for   the   more

17.  And if these precepts protect the State, all
cause or desire for  seditions  is  removed;  the
honor  and  security  of  rulers,  the  quiet and
wellbeing  of  societies  will  be  secure.   The
dignity also of the citizen is best provided for;
for to them it has been permitted to retain  even
in obedience that greatness which conduces to the
excellence of man. For they understand  that,  in
the  judgment  of God, there is neither slave nor
free man; that there is one Lord of all, rich "to
all  that  call  upon  Him,"[21] but that they on
this account submit to  and  obey  their  rulers,
because these in a certain sort bring before them
the image of God, "whom to serve is to reign."

18. But the Church has always so acted  that  the
Christian  form of civil government may not dwell
in the minds of men, but that it may be exhibited
also  in  the life and habits of nations. As long
as there were at the helm  of  the  States  pagan
emperors, who were prevented by superstition from
rising to that form of imperial government  which
We have sketched, she studied how to instill into
the  minds  of  subjects,  immediately  on  their
embracing   the   Christian   institutions,   the
teaching that they must be desirous  of  bringing
their lives into conformity with them. Therefore,
the pastors of souls, after the  example  of  the
Apostle Paul, were accustomed to teach the people
with the utmost care and diligence "to be subject
to  princes  and  powers, to obey at a word,"[22]
and to pray God for all men and particularly "for
kings  and  all  that  are in a high station: for
this is good and acceptable in the sight  of  God
our  Savior."[23]  And the Christians of old left
the most striking proofs of this; for, when  they
were  harassed  in a very unjust and cruel way by
pagan emperors,  they  nevertheless  at  no  time
omitted  to  conduct  themselves  obediently  and
submissively, so that, in fact,  they  seemed  to
vie  with each other: those in cruelty, and these
in obedience.

19. This great modesty, this fixed  determination
to  obey,  was so well known that it could not be
obscured by the calumny and malice of enemies. On
this  account,  those  who were going to plead in
public  before  the  emperors  for  any   persons
bearing   the   Christian  name  proved  by  this
argument especially that it was unjust  to  enact
laws  against the Christians because they were in
the sight of all men exemplary in  their  bearing
according   to   the   laws.   Athenagoras   thus
confidently addresses Marcus  Aurelius  Antoninus
and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, his son: "You allow
us, who commit no evil, yea, who demean ourselves
the most piously and justly of all toward God and
likewise toward your  government,  to  be  driven
about, plundered and exiled."[24] In like manner,
Tertullian openly praises the Christians  because
they  were  the best and surest friends of all to
the Empire: "The Christian is  the  enemy  of  no
one,  much  less of the emperor, whom he knows to
be appointed by God, and whom he must, therefore,
of  necessity love, reverence and honor, and wish
to be preserved together  with  the  whole  Roman
Empire."[25]  Nor did he hesitate to affirm that,
within the limits of the Empire,  the  number  of
enemies  was  wont to diminish just in proportion
as the number of Christians increased.[26]  There
is  also a remarkable testimony to the same point
in the Epistle to Diognetus, which  confirms  the
statement that the Christians at that period were
not only in the habit of obeying the laws, but in
every  office  they of their own accord did more,
and more perfectly, than they were required to do
by  the  laws.  "Christians  observe these things
which have obtained the sanction of the law,  and
in  the  character  of  their  lives they even go
beyond the law."[27]

20. The case, indeed,  was  different  when  they
were  ordered  by  the edicts of emperors and the
threats of  praetors  to  abandon  the  Christian
faith  or in any way fail in their duty. At these
times, undoubtedly, they preferred  to  displease
men  rather  than  God.  Yet,  even  under  these
circumstances,  they  were  so  far  from   doing
anything  seditious  or  despising  the  imperial
majesty that they took it on themselves  only  to
profess  themselves  Christians, and declare that
they would not in any way alter their faith.  But
they  had  no  thought  of resistance, calmly and
joyfully they went to the torture of the rack, in
so  much  that the magnitude of the torments gave
place to their magnitude of mind. During the same
period  the  force  of  Christian  principles was
observed in like manner in the army. For it was a
mark  of  a  Christian  soldier  to  combine  the
greatest fortitude with the greatest attention to
military  discipline,  and  to add to nobility of
mind immovable fidelity towards his prince.  But,
if anything dishonorable was required of him, as,
for instance, to break the laws  of  God,  or  to
turn  his  sword  against  innocent  disciples of
Christ, then, indeed, he refused to  execute  the
orders,  yet  in  such  wise that he would rather
retire from the army and  die  for  his  religion
than  oppose  the  public  authority  by means of
sedition and tumult.

21. But afterward, when Christian rulers were  at
the head of States, the Church insisted much more
on testifying and preaching how much sanctity was
inherent  in the authority of rulers. Hence, when
people thought  of  princedom,  the  image  of  a
certain  sacred  majesty  would present itself to
their minds, by which they would be  impelled  to
greater reverence and love of rulers. And on this
account she wisely  provides  that  kings  should
commence  their  reign  with  the  celebration of
solemn rites; which, in the  Old  Testament,  was
appointed by divine authority.[28]

22.  But  from the time when the civil society of
men, raised from the ruins of the  Roman  Empire,
gave  hope of its future Christian greatness, the
Roman Pontiffs, by the institution  of  the  Holy
Empire,  consecrated  the  political  power  in a
wonderful  manner.  Greatly,  indeed,   was   the
authority of rulers ennobled; and it is not to be
doubted  that  what  was  then  instituted  would
always  have  been  a  very  great  gain, both to
ecclesiastical and civil society, if princes  and
peoples had ever looked to the same object as the
Church.   And,   indeed,   tranquillity   and   a
sufficient prosperity lasted so long as there was
a friendly agreement between these two powers. If
the people were turbulent, the Church was at once
the mediator for peace. Recalling  all  to  their
duty,  she  subdued  the  more  lawless  passions
partly by kindness and partly by  authority.  So,
if, in ruling, princes erred in their government,
she went to them and,  putting  before  them  the
rights,  needs, and lawful wants of their people,
urged them to equity, mercy, and kindness. Whence
it  was  often  brought about that the dangers of
civil wars and popular tumults were stayed.

23. On the other hand, the doctrines on political
power  invented  by  late  writers  have  already
produced great ills amongst men, and it is to  be
feared  that  they  will  cause the very greatest
disasters to posterity. For an  unwillingness  to
attribute  the  right  of  ruling  to God, as its
Author, is not less than a  willingness  to  blot
out  the greatest splendor of political power and
to destroy its force. And they who say that  this
power  depends  on  the will of the people err in
opinion first of all; then they  place  authority
on  too  weak  and unstable a foundation. For the
popular passions, incited and goaded on by  these
opinions,  will  break  out more insolently; and,
with great  harm  to  the  common  weal,  descend
headlong  by  an  easy and smooth road to revolts
and to open sedition. In truth, sudden  uprisings
and  the  boldest rebellions immediately followed
in Germany  the  so-called  Reformation,[29]  the
authors  and  leaders  of  which,  by  their  new
doctrines,  attacked  at  the   very   foundation
religious  and  civil authority; and this with so
fearful an outburst of civil war  and  with  such
slaughter  that there was scarcely any place free
from tumult and bloodshed. From this heresy there
arose in the last century a false philosophy -- a
new  right  as  it  is  called,  and  a   popular
authority,  together  with  an  unbridled license
which many regard as the only true liberty. Hence
we  have  reached  the  limit of horrors, to wit,
communism,    socialism,    nihilism,     hideous
deformities  of  the  civil  society  of  men and
almost its ruin. And  yet  too  many  attempt  to
enlarge  the  scope of these evils, and under the
pretext of helping the  multitude,  already  have
fanned  no  small flames of misery. The things we
thus mention are neither unknown nor very  remote
from us.

24.  This,  indeed,  is  all  the  graver because
rulers, in the midst of such threatening dangers,
have no remedies sufficient to restore discipline
and tranquillity. They supply themselves with the
power  of  laws,  and  think  to  coerce,  by the
severity of their punishment, those  who  disturb
their  governments.  They  are right to a certain
extent, but yet should seriously consider that no
power of punishment can be so great that it alone
can preserve the State. For fear, as  St.  Thomas
admirably  teaches,  "is  a  weak foundation; for
those who are subdued by fear  would,  should  an
occasion  arise  in  which  they  might  hope for
immunity, rise more eagerly against their rulers,
in  proportion  to  the  previous extent of their
restraint through fear." And besides,  "from  too
great  fear  many  fall into despair; and despair
drives men to attempt boldly to  gain  what  they
desire."[30] That these things are so we see from
experience. It is therefore necessary to  seek  a
higher  and  more  reliable reason for obedience,
and to say explicitly that legal severity  cannot
be efficacious unless men are led on by duty, and
moved by the salutary fear of God.  But  this  is
what  religion  can  best  ask  of them, religion
which by its power  enters  into  the  souls  and
bends the very wills of men causing them not only
to render obedience to their rulers, but also  to
show  their  affection and good will, which is in
every society of men the best guardian of safety.

25. For this reason the Roman Pontiffs are to  be
regarded  as  having  greatly  served  the public
good, for they have ever endeavored to break  the
turbulent  and restless spirit of innovators, and
have often warned men of the danger they  are  to
civil  society.  In  this respect we may worthily
recall to mind the declaration of Clement VII  to
Ferdinand,  King  of Bohemia and Hungary: "In the
cause of faith your own dignity and advantage and
that of other rulers is included, since the faith
cannot be shaken  without  your  authority  being
brought  down;  which has been most clearly shown
in  several  instances."  In  the  same  way  the
supreme    forethought   and   courage   of   Our
predecessors  have  been  shown,  especially   of
Clement  XI,  Benedict XIV, and Leo XII,[31] who,
when in their day the evil  of  vicious  doctrine
was more widely spreading and the boldness of the
sects was becoming greater, endeavored  by  their
authority  to close the door against them. And We
Ourselves have several times declared what  great
dangers  are  impending, and have pointed out the
best ways of warding them  off.  To  princes  and
other  rulers  of  the  State we have offered the
protection of religion, and we have exhorted  the
people to make abundant use of the great benefits
which the Church supplies. Our present object  is
to  make  rulers understand that this protection,
which is stronger than any, is again  offered  to
them; and We earnestly exhort them in our Lord to
defend religion, and to consult the  interest  of
their Lord to defend religion, and to consult the
interest of their States by giving  that  liberty
to  the Church which cannot be taken away without
injury and ruin to the commonwealth.

26. The Church of Christ, indeed,  cannot  be  an
object  of  suspicion to rulers, nor of hatred to
the  people;  for  it  urges  rulers  to   follow
justice,  and  in  nothing  to decline from their
duty; while at the same time it  strengthens  and
in many ways supports their authority. All things
that  are  of   a   civil   nature   the   Church
acknowledges  and  declares to be under the power
and authority of the ruler; and in things whereof
for  different  reasons the decision belongs both
to the sacred and to the civil power, the  Church
wishes  that  there should be harmony between the
two so that injurious contests may be avoided. As
to  what  regards the people, the Church has been
established for the salvation of all men and  has
ever loved them as a mother. For it is the Church
which by the exercise of her  charity  has  given
gentleness to the minds of men, kindness to their
manners, and justice to their laws. Never opposed
to honest liberty, the Church has always detested
a tyrant's rule. This custom which the Church has
ever  had of deserving well of mankind is notably
expressed by St. Augustine when he says that "the
Church  teaches  kings  to  study  the welfare of
their people,  and  people  to  submit  to  their
kings,  showing  what  is due to all: and that to
all is due charity and to no one injustice."[32]

27. For these reasons, venerable  brethren,  your
work  will  be  most  useful  and salutary if you
employ with us every industry  and  effort  which
God  has  given you in order to avert the dangers
and evils  of  human  society.  Strive  with  all
possible  care  to  make  men understand and show
forth in their lives  what  the  Catholic  Church
teaches  on government and the duty of obedience.
Let  the  people  be  frequently  urged  by  your
authority  and teaching to fly from the forbidden
sects, to abhor all conspiracy, to  have  nothing
to do with sedition, and let them understand that
they who for God's sake obey their rulers  render
a  reasonable  service  and a generous obedience.
And as it is God "who gives safety to kings,"[33]
and  grants  to the people "to rest in the beauty
of peace and in the tabernacles of confidence and
in wealthy repose,"[34] it is to Him that we must
pray, beseeching Him  to  incline  all  minds  to
uprightness and truth, to calm angry passions, to
restore the long-wished-for tranquillity  to  the

28.  That  we  may pray with greater hope, let us
take as our intercessors and  protectors  of  our
welfare the Virgin Mary, the great Mother of God,
the help of  Christians,  and  protector  of  the
human  race;  St.  Joseph,  her chaste spouse, in
whose patronage the whole Church greatly  trusts;
and  the Princes of the Apostles, Peter and Paul,
the guardians and  protectors  of  the  Christian

Given  at  St.  Peter's in Rome, the twenty-ninth
day  of  June,  1881,  the  third  year  of   Our


*  1.  An  allusion  to  Alexander  II  (1818-81)
Emperor of Russia a  liberally  minded  sovereign
and  a  great  social  reformer, who was murdered
March 13, 1881, by a group of nihilists,  in  St.

* 2. The name of Philosophers is usually given to
a group of eighteenth-  century  French  writers,
especially   Voltaire,  d'Alembert  and  Diderot.
Their   main   views   are   contained   in   the
"Encyclopedie" (1751-72).

* 3. See Introduction, p. 13-15.

* 4. Prov. 8:15-16.

* 5. Wisd. 6:3-4.

* 6. Ecclus. 7:14.

* 7. John 19:11.

* 8. Tract. 116 in Joan., n. 5 (PL 35, 1942).

* 9. Rom. 13:1-4.

* 10. "De civ., Dei," 5, 21 (PL 41, 167).

*  11.  In  "Epist. ad Rom.," Homil. 23, n. 1 (PG
60, 615). * 12. In "Epist. lib. II," epist. 61.

* 13. James 4:12.

* 14. Eph. 3:15.

* 15. An allusion  to  the  doctrine  of  "Social
contract,"  developed  by  Jean- Jacques Rousseau
(1712-78).  According  to  this   doctrine,   all
political power comes to rulers from the people .

* 16. Rom. 13:1-2, 5.

* 17. 1 Peter 2:13, 15.

* 18. Matt. 22:21.

* 19. Acts 5:29.

* 20. Wisd. 6:4-6, 8-9.

* 21. Rom. 10:12.

* 22. Tit. 3:1.

* 23. I Tim. 2:1-3.

*   24.  "Legatio  pro  christianis,"  1  (PG  6,
891B-894A). * 25. "Apolog.," 35.

* 26. "Apolog.," 37 (PL 1, 526A).

* 27. "Ad Diogn.," 10 ("A Diognete,"  ed.  H.  I.
Marrou, Paris, 1951, pp. 64- 65).

* 28. I Kings 9:16; 10:1; 16:13.

*  29.  Especially  the  Peasant  Revolt  and its
repression by the German princes. Luther  himself
then  had  to  stress the duty of the citizens to
obey the  civil  power  ("On  the  Civil  Power,"

* 30. "On the Governance of Rulers," 1, 10.

*   31.   Clement   XI  (1700-21);  Benedict  XIV
(1740-58); Leo XII (1823-29).

* 32. "De mor. eccl.," 1, 30, 53 (PL 32, 1236).

* 33. Ps. 152:11.

* 34. Isa. 37:18.

Freemasonry must die, or liberty must die." -- Charles G. Finney


"Those who sin are slaves, and slaves have no rights." -- Jesus Christ, John 8:34

"Qabalah is the heart of the Western Hermetic tradition; it is the foundation upon which the art of Western magic rests." -- Sandra and Chic Cicero, the authors of "The Essencial Golden Dawn: An Introduction to High Magic", page 96. Llewlellyn Publications "For by thy sorceries were all nations decieved." Rev. 18:23
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