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"Tear away the mask from Freemasonry, Pope Leo XIII


MARCH 19, 1937

To   the   Patriarchs,   Primates,   Archbishops,
Bishops,   and  other  Ordinaries  in  Peace  and
Communion with the Apostolic See.

Venerable   Brethren,   Health   and    Apostolic
Benediction.  The promise of a Redeemer brightens
the first page of the history of mankind, and the
confident  hope  aroused by this promise softened
the keen regret for a  paradise  which  had  been
lost. It was this hope that accompanied the human
race on its weary journey, until in the  fullness
of  time  the expected Savior came to begin a new
universal     civilization,     the     Christian
civilization,  far superior even to that which up
to this time had  been  laboriously  achieved  by
certain more privileged nations.

2.  Nevertheless,  the  struggle between good and
evil remained in the world as a sad legacy of the
original  fall.  Nor has the ancient tempter ever
ceased to deceive mankind with false promises. It
is  on this account that one convulsion following
upon  another  has  marked  the  passage  of  the
centuries,  down  to  the  revolution  of our own
days. This modern revolution, it may be said, has
actually  broken out or threatens everywhere, and
it exceeds in amplitude and violence anything yet
experienced   in   the   preceding   persecutions
launched against the Church. Entire peoples  find
themselves  in  danger  of  falling  back  into a
barbarism worse than  that  which  oppressed  the
greater  part  of  the world at the coming of the

3.  This  all  too  imminent  danger,   Venerable
Brethren,   as  you  have  already  surmised,  is
bolshevistic and atheistic Communism, which  aims
at  upsetting the social order and at undermining
the very foundations of Christian civilization .

4. In the face of such  a  threat,  the  Catholic
Church could not and does not remain silent. This
Apostolic See, above all, has not refrained  from
raising  its  voice, for it knows that its proper
and social mission is to  defend  truth,  justice
and  all  those  eternal  values  which Communism
ignores or attacks.  Ever  since  the  days  when
groups  of  "intellectuals"  were  formed  in  an
arrogant attempt to free  civilization  from  the
bonds  of morality and religion, Our Predecessors
overtly and explicitly drew the attention of  the
world     to     the    consequences    of    the
dechristianization   of   human   society.   With
reference    to    Communism,    Our    Venerable
Predecessor, Pius IX, of holy memory, as early as
1846  pronounced  a solemn condemnation, which he
confirmed in the words of the  Syllabus  directed
against  "that  infamous  doctrine  of  so-called
Communism which is  absolutely  contrary  to  the
natural  law  itself,  and  if once adopted would
utterly  destroy   the   rights,   property   and
possessions   of   all   men,  and  even  society
itself."[1]   Later   on,    another    of    Our
predecessors,  the  immortal  Leo  XIII,  in  his
Encyclical  Quod  Apostolici   Muneris,   defined
Communism  as  "the fatal plague which insinuates
itself into the very marrow of human society only
to bring about its ruin."[2] With clear intuition
he  pointed  out  that  the  atheistic  movements
existing  among the masses of the Machine Age had
their origin in that school of  philosophy  which
for  centuries had sought to divorce science from
the life of the Faith and of the Church.

5. During Our Pontificate We too have  frequently
and  with urgent insistence denounced the current
trend to  atheism  which  is  alarmingly  on  the
increase.   In   1924   when  Our  relief-mission
returned  from  the  Soviet  Union  We  condemned
Communism  in  a  special  Allocution[3] which We
addressed to the whole world. In our  Encyclicals
Miserentissimus     Redemptor,[4]    Quadragesimo
Anno,[5] Caritate  Christi,[6]  Acerba  Animi,[7]
Dilectissima Nobis,[8] We raised a solemn protest
against the persecutions unleashed in Russia,  in
Mexico  and  now in Spain. Our two Allocutions of
last year, the  first  on  the  occasion  of  the
opening   of  the  International  Catholic  Press
Exposition, and the second during Our audience to
the  Spanish  refugees, along with Our message of
last Christmas, have  evoked  a  world-wide  echo
which  is  not  yet  spent.  In  fact,  the  most
persistent enemies of the Church, who from Moscow
are  directing  the  struggle  against  Christian
civilization, themselves bear witness,  by  their
unceasing  attacks  in word and act, that even to
this hour the Papacy has continued faithfully  to
protect  the sanctuary of the Christian religion,
and that it has called public  attention  to  the
perils  of  Communism  more  frequently  and more
effectively than any other  public  authority  on

6. To Our great satisfaction, Venerable Brethren,
you have, by means of individual and  even  joint
pastoral   Letters,  accurately  transmitted  and
explained to the Faithful these admonitions.  Yet
despite  Our  frequent  and  paternal warning the
peril only grows greater from day to day  because
of  the  pressure  exerted  by  clever agitators.
Therefore We believe it to be Our duty  to  raise
Our  voice  once  more,  in  a  still more solemn
missive, in accord with  the  tradition  of  this
Apostolic  See,  the  Teacher  of  Truth,  and in
accord with the  desire  of  the  whole  Catholic
world,  which  makes  the  appearance  of  such a
document but natural. We trust that the  echo  of
Our   voice  will  reach  every  mind  free  from
prejudice and every heart sincerely  desirous  of
the  good  of  mankind.  We  wish  this  the more
because  Our  words  are  now   receiving   sorry
confirmation  from  the  spectacle  of the bitter
fruits of subversive ideas, which We foresaw  and
foretold,  and  which  are  in  fact  multiplying
fearfully in the countries already  stricken,  or
threatening every other country of the world.

7.  Hence  We wish to expose once more in a brief
synthesis the principles of  atheistic  Communism
as  they are manifested chiefly in bolshevism. We
wish also to indicate its method of action and to
contrast  with  its  false  principles  the clear
doctrine of the Church,  in  order  to  inculcate
anew  and  with  greater  insistence the means by
which  the  Christian  civilization,   the   true
civitas  humana,  can  be  saved from the satanic
scourge,  and  not  merely  saved,   but   better
developed for the well-being of human society.

8. The Communism of today, more emphatically than
similar movements in the past, conceals in itself
a   false   messianic  idea.  A  pseudo-ideal  of
justice, of  equality  and  fraternity  in  labor
impregnates  all its doctrine and activity with a
deceptive mysticism, which communicates a zealous
and   contagious  enthusiasm  to  the  multitudes
entrapped   by   delusive   promises.   This   is
especially true in an age like ours, when unusual
misery has resulted from the unequal distribution
of  the goods of this world. This pseudo-ideal is
even  boastfully   advanced   as   if   it   were
responsible for a certain economic progress. As a
matter of fact, when  such  progress  is  at  all
real, its true causes are quite different, as for
instance the intensification of industrialism  in
countries  which were formerly almost without it,
the exploitation of  immense  natural  resources,
and  the use of the most brutal methods to insure
the  achievement  of  gigantic  projects  with  a
minimum of expense.

9.  The  doctrine  of  modern Communism, which is
often  concealed   under   the   most   seductive
trappings,   is   in   substance   based  on  the
principles   of   dialectical   and    historical
materialism  previously  advocated  by  Marx,  of
which the  theoricians  of  bolshevism  claim  to
possess    the   only   genuine   interpretation.
According to this doctrine there is in the  world
only  one  reality,  matter,  the blind forces of
which evolve into plant,  animal  and  man.  Even
human  society  is  nothing  but a phenomenon and
form of matter, evolving in the same  way.  By  a
law   of   inexorable  necessity  and  through  a
perpetual  conflict  of  forces,   matter   moves
towards   the  final  synthesis  of  a  classless
society. In such a doctrine, as is evident, there
is  no  room  for  the  idea  of God; there is no
difference between  matter  and  spirit,  between
soul  and  body; there is neither survival of the
soul after death nor any hope in a  future  life.
Insisting  on  the  dialectical  aspect  of their
materialism,  the  Communists  claim   that   the
conflict  which  carries  the  world  towards its
final synthesis can be accelerated by man.  Hence
they  endeavor  to  sharpen the antagonisms which
arise between the  various  classes  of  society.
Thus  the  class  struggle  with  its  consequent
violent hate and destruction takes on the aspects
of a crusade for the progress of humanity. On the
other hand, all other forces whatever, as long as
they  resist  such  systematic  violence, must be
annihilated as hostile to the human race.

10.  Communism,  moreover,  strips  man  of   his
liberty,   robs  human  personality  of  all  its
dignity, and removes  all  the  moral  restraints
that  check the eruptions of blind impulse. There
is no recognition of any right of the  individual
in  his relations to the collectivity; no natural
right is accorded to human personality, which  is
a  mere  cog-wheel  in  the  Communist system. In
man's relations with other individuals,  besides,
Communists   hold   the   principle  of  absolute
equality,    rejecting    all    hierarchy    and
divinely-constituted   authority,  including  the
authority of parents. What men call authority and
subordination  is  derived  from the community as
its first and only font. Nor  is  the  individual
granted  any  property rights over material goods
or the means of production, for inasmuch as these
are   the   source   of   further  wealth,  their
possession would give one man power over another.
Precisely  on  this  score,  all forms of private
property must be eradicated, for they are at  the
origin of all economic enslavement .

11.   Refusing   to  human  life  any  sacred  or
spiritual character, such  a  doctrine  logically
makes   of  marriage  and  the  family  a  purely
artificial and civil institution, the outcome  of
a  specific  economic  system.  There  exists  no
matrimonial bond of a juridico-moral nature  that
is  not  subject to the whim of the individual or
of the collectivity.  Naturally,  therefore,  the
notion   of   an   indissoluble  marriage-tie  is
scouted. Communism is particularly  characterized
by  the rejection of any link that binds woman to
the family and the home, and her emancipation  is
proclaimed as a basic principle. She is withdrawn
from the family and the care of her children,  to
be thrust instead into public life and collective
production under the same conditions as man.  The
care  of home and children then devolves upon the
collectivity. Finally, the right of education  is
denied  to  parents,  for  it is conceived as the
exclusive prerogative of the community, in  whose
name  and  by  whose  mandate  alone  parents may
exercise this right.

12. What  would  be  the  condition  of  a  human
society  based  on  such materialistic tenets? It
would be a collectivity with no  other  hierarchy
than  that  of the economic system. It would have
only one  mission:  the  production  of  material
things  by means of collective labor, so that the
goods  of  this  world  might  be  enjoyed  in  a
paradise  where each would "give according to his
powers"  and  would  "receive  according  to  his
needs."  Communism recognizes in the collectivity
the right, or rather,  unlimited  discretion,  to
draft   individuals   for   the   labor   of  the
collectivity with no regard  for  their  personal
welfare;   so   that   even   violence  could  be
legitimately    exercised    to    dragoon    the
recalcitrant   against   their   wills.   In  the
Communistic commonwealth morality and  law  would
be  nothing  but  a  derivation  of  the existing
economic order,  purely  earthly  in  origin  and
unstable  in character. In a word. the Communists
claim  to  inaugurate  a  new  era  and   a   new
civilization   which   is  the  result  of  blind
evolutionary  forces  culminating  in   ahumanity
without God.

13.  When  all  men  have  finally  acquired  the
collectivist mentality in this Utopia of a really
classless  society, the political State, which is
now  conceived  by  Communists  merely   as   the
instrument  by which the proletariat is oppressed
by the capitalists, will have lost all reason for
its  existence  and  will "wither away." However,
until that happy consummation  is  realized,  the
State   and  the  powers  of  the  State  furnish
Communism with  the  most  efficacious  and  most
extensive means for the achievement of its goal.

14.  Such,  Venerable Brethren, is the new gospel
which bolshevistic and atheistic Communism offers
the  world as the glad tidings of deliverance and
salvation! It is a  system  full  of  errors  and
sophisms.  It is in opposition both to reason and
to Divine  Revelation.  It  subverts  the  social
order,  because  it  means the destruction of its
foundations; because it ignores the  true  origin
and  purpose  of the State; because it denies the
rights, dignity and liberty of human personality.

15. How is it possible that such a  system,  long
since  rejected  scientifically  and  now  proved
erroneous by experience, how is it, We ask,  that
such  a  system  could  spread  so rapidly in all
parts of the world? The explanation lies  in  the
fact  that  too  few  have been able to grasp the
nature of Communism. The majority instead succumb
to  its  deception,  skillfully  concealed by the
most  extravagant  promises.  By  pretending   to
desire  only  the  betterment of the condition of
the working classes, by urging the removal of the
very  real  abuses chargeable to the liberalistic
economic order, and by demanding a more equitable
distribution  of  this  world's goods (objectives
entirely   and   undoubtedly   legitimate),   the
Communist   takes   advantage   of   the  present
world-wide  economic  crisis  to  draw  into  the
sphere  of  his  influence even those sections of
the populace which on principle reject all  forms
of  materialism and terrorism. And as every error
contains its element of truth, the partial truths
to  which We have referred are astutely presented
according to the needs  of  time  and  place,  to
conceal,  when  convenient, the repulsive crudity
and inhumanity 540 of Communistic principles  and
tactics.  Thus the Communist ideal wins over many
of the better minded members  of  the  community.
These in turn become the apostles of the movement
among the younger intelligentsia  who  are  still
too immature to recognize the intrinsic errors of
the system. The preachers of Communism  are  also
proficient  in  exploiting racial antagonisms and
political divisions and  oppositions.  They  take
advantage    of    the    lack   of   orientation
characteristic  of  modern  agnostic  science  in
order to burrow into the universities, where they
bolster up the principles of their doctrine  with
pseudo-scientific arguments.

16.  If  we would explain the blind acceptance of
Communism by so many  thousands  of  workmen,  we
must  remember  that  the  way  had  been already
prepared  for  it  by  the  religious  and  moral
destitution  in  which wage-earners had been left
by liberal economics. Even on  Sundays  and  holy
days,  labor-shifts  were given no time to attend
to  their  essential  religious  duties.  No  one
thought  of  building  churches within convenient
distance of factories, nor  of  facilitating  the
work  of the priest. On the contrary, laicism was
actively  and  persistently  promoted,  with  the
result  that we are now reaping the fruits of the
errors so often denounced by Our Predecessors and
by  Ourselves.  It  can  surprise no one that the
Communistic fallacy  should  be  spreading  in  a
world already to a large extent de-Christianized.

17.  There  is  another explanation for the rapid
diffusion of the Communistic  ideas  now  seeping
into  every nation, great and small, advanced and
backward, so that no corner of the earth is  free
from  them.  This explanation is to be found in a
propaganda so truly diabolical that the world has
perhaps  never  witnessed  its like before. It is
directed from one common center. It  is  shrewdly
adapted  to  the  varying  conditions  of diverse
peoples. It has at its disposal  great  financial
resources,  gigantic organizations, international
congresses, and  countless  trained  workers.  It
makes  use  of  pamphlets and reviews, of cinema,
theater  and   radio,   of   schools   and   even
universities. Little by little it penetrates into
all classes of the people and  even  reaches  the
better-minded  groups  of the community, with the
result that few are aware  of  the  poison  which
increasingly pervades their minds and hearts.

18.  A  third powerful factor in the diffusion of
Communism is the conspiracy  of  silence  on  the
part of a large section of the non-Catholic press
of the world. We say conspiracy,  because  it  is
impossible  otherwise  to  explain  how  a  press
usually so eager to exploit even the little daily
incidents  of life has been able to remain silent
for so long  about  the  horrors  perpetrated  in
Russia,  in  Mexico  and  even in a great part of
Spain; and that  it  should  have  relatively  so
little  to say concerning a world organization as
vast as Russian Communism. This silence is due in
part  to  shortsighted  political  policy, and is
favored by various occult forces which for a long
time  have  been working for the overthrow of the
Christian Social Order.

19.  Meanwhile  the   sorry   effects   of   this
propaganda  are  before our eyes. Where Communism
has been able to assert its power -- and here  We
are thinking with special affection of the people
of Russia and Mexico -- it has striven  by  every
possible means, as its champions openly boast, to
destroy Christian civilization and the  Christian
religion  by  banishing every remembrance of them
from the hearts of men, especially of the  young.
Bishops  and  priests  were  exiled, condemned to
forced labor, shot and done to death  in  inhuman
fashion;  laymen  suspected  of  defending  their
religion were vexed, persecuted, dragged  off  to
trial and thrown into prison.

20.  Even  where the scourge of Communism has not
yet had time enough to exercise to the  full  its
logical effects, as witness Our beloved Spain, it
has, alas,  found  compensation  in  the  fiercer
violence  of  its  attack.  Not only this or that
church or isolated monastery was sacked,  but  as
far  as possible every church and every monastery
was destroyed. Every  vestige  of  the  Christian
religion  was  eradicated, even though intimately
linked with  the  rarest  monuments  of  art  and
science.  The  fury of Communism has not confined
itself  to  the   indiscriminate   slaughter   of
Bishops, of thousands of priests and religious of
both sexes; it searches out above all  those  who
have  been devoting their lives to the welfare of
the  working  classes  and  the  poor.  But   the
majority  of  its victims have been laymen of all
conditions and classes. Even up  to  the  present
moment, masses of them are slain almost daily for
no other offense than the fact that they are good
Christians  or  at  least  opposed  to  atheistic
Communism. And this fearful destruction has  been
carried  out with a hatred and a savage barbarity
one would not have believed possible in our  age.
No man of good sense, nor any statesman conscious
of his responsibility can fail to shudder at  the
thought that what is happening today in Spain may
perhaps be repeated tomorrow in  other  civilized

21.  Nor can it be said that these atrocities are
a transitory phenomenon, the usual  accompaniment
of  all  great revolutions, the isolated excesses
common to every war. No,  they  are  the  natural
fruit   of   a   system  which  lacks  all  inner
restraint. Some restraint is  necessary  for  man
considered either as an individual or in society.
Even the barbaric peoples had this inner check in
the  natural  law  written by God in the heart of
every man. And where this natural law was held in
higher esteem, ancient nations rose to a grandeur
that still fascinates -- more than it  should  --
certain  superficial  students  of human history.
But tear the very idea of God from the hearts  of
men,  and  they  are  necessarily  urged by their
passions to the most atrocious barbarity.

22. This, unfortunately, is what we  now  behold.
For the first time in history we are witnessing a
struggle, cold-blooded in purpose and mapped  out
to the least detail, between man and "all that is
called  God."[9]  Communism  is  by  its   nature
anti-religious.  It  considers  religion  as "the
opiate of the people" because the  principles  of
religion  which  speak of a life beyond the grave
dissuade the proletariat  from  the  dream  of  a
Soviet paradise which is of this world.

23.  But  the law of nature and its Author cannot
be flouted with impunity. Communism has not  been
able,  and  will  not  be  able,  to  achieve its
objectives even in the merely economic sphere. It
is true that in Russia it has been a contributing
factor in rousing  men  and  materials  from  the
inertia  of  centuries,  and  in obtaining by all
manner of  means,  often  without  scruple,  some
measure of material success. Nevertheless We know
from reliable and even very recent testimony that
not  even  there,  in spite of slavery imposed on
millions  of  men,  has  Communism  reached   its
promised  goal.  After  all,  even  the sphere of
economics needs some morality, some  moral  sense
of  responsibility,  which can find no place in a
system so thoroughly materialistic as  Communism.
Terrorism is the only possible substitute, and it
is terrorism that reigns today in  Russia,  where
former  comrades  in revolution are exterminating
each other. Terrorism, having failed despite  all
to stem the tide of moral corruption, cannot even
prevent the dissolution of society itself.

24. In making these observations it is no part of
Our  intention to condemn en masse the peoples of
the Soviet Union. For them We cherish the warmest
paternal  affection. We are well aware that not a
few of them groan beneath  the  yoke  imposed  on
them  by men who in very large part are strangers
to  the  real  interests  of  the   country.   We
recognize  that  many  others  were  deceived  by
fallacious hopes. We blame only the system,  with
its  authors  and  abettors who considered Russia
the best-prepared field for experimenting with  a
plan  elaborated  decades ago, and who from there
continue to spread it from one end of  the  world
to the other.

25.  We  have exposed the errors and the violent,
deceptive tactics of bolshevistic  and  atheistic
Communism. It is now time, Venerable Brethren, to
contrast  with  it  the  true   notion,   already
familiar  to  you, of the civitas humana or human
society,  as  taught  by  reason  and  Revelation
through   the   mouth  of  the  Church,  Magistra

26. Above all  other  reality  there  exists  one
supreme Being: God, the omnipotent Creator of all
things, the all-wise and just Judge of  all  men.
This   supreme  reality,  God,  is  the  absolute
condemnation  of  the  impudent   falsehoods   of
Communism.  In  truth,  it  is  not  because  men
believe in God that He exists; rather because  He
exists do all men whose eyes are not deliberately
closed to the truth believe in Him  and  pray  to

27.  In the Encyclical on Christian Education[10]
We explained the fundamental doctrine  concerning
man  as it may be gathered from reason and Faith.
Man has a spiritual and immortal soul.  He  is  a
person,  marvelously  endowed by his Creator with
gifts of body and mind. He is a true "microcosm,"
as  the ancients said, a world in miniature, with
a value far surpassing that of the vast inanimate
cosmos.  God  alone is his last end, in this life
and the next. By sanctifying grace he  is  raised
to  the dignity of a son of God, and incorporated
into the Kingdom of God in the Mystical  Body  of
Christ. In consequence he has been endowed by God
with many and varied prerogatives: the  right  to
life, to bodily integrity, to the necessary means
of  existence;  the  right  to  tend  toward  his
ultimate  goal  in the path marked out for him by
God; the right of association and  the  right  to
possess and use property.

28.  Just  as  matrimony  and  the  right  to its
natural use are of divine origin, so likewise are
the  constitution and fundamental prerogatives of
the family fixed and determined by  the  Creator.
In  the  Encyclical on Christian Marriage[11] and
in  Our  other  Encyclical  on  Education,  cited
above,   we   have   treated   these   topics  at
considerable length.

29. But God has likewise destined man  for  civil
society  according  to  the  dictates of his very
nature. In the plan of the Creator, society is  a
natural means which man can and must use to reach
his destined end. Society is for man and not vice
versa.  This  must not be understood in the sense
of liberalistic individualism, which subordinates
society to the selfish use of the individual; but
only in the sense that by  means  of  an  organic
union  with  society  and by mutual collaboration
the attainment of  earthly  happiness  is  placed
within  the  reach of all. In a further sense, it
is society which affords  the  opportunities  for
the  development of all the individual and social
gifts bestowed on  human  nature.  These  natural
gifts  have  a  value  surpassing  the  immediate
interests of the  moment,  for  in  society  they
reflect the divine perfection, which would not be
true  were  man  to  live  alone.  But  on  final
analysis,  even  in this latter function, society
is made for  man,  that  he  may  recognize  this
reflection  of  God's perfection, and refer it in
praise and adoration to the  Creator.  Only  man,
the  human person, and not society in any form is
endowed with reason and a morally free will.

30.   Man   cannot   be   exempted    from    his
divinely-imposed    obligations    toward   civil
society, and  the  representatives  of  authority
have  the  right  to  coerce  him when he refuses
without reason to do his duty.  Society,  on  the
other hand, cannot defraud man of his God-granted
rights, the  most  important  of  which  We  have
indicated  above.  Nor can society systematically
void these rights by making their use impossible.
It  is  therefore  according  to  the dictates of
reason that ultimately all material things should
be  ordained to man as a person, that through his
mediation they may find their way to the Creator.
In  this  wise  we  can  apply  to man, the human
person, the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles,
who  writes  to  the Corinthians on the Christian
economy of salvation: "All things are yours,  and
you are Christ's, and Christ is God's."[12] While
Communism  impoverishes  human   personality   by
inverting  the  terms  of  the relation of man to
society,  to  what  lofty  heights  is  man   not
elevated   by  reason  and  Revelation!  31.  The
directive     principles      concerning      the
social-economic  order have been expounded in the
social Encyclical of Leo XIII on the question  of
labor.[13]    Our    own    Encyclical   on   the
Reconstruction of the  Social  Order[14]  adapted
these   principles   to   present   needs.  Then,
insisting anew on the  age-old  doctrine  of  the
Church   concerning  the  individual  and  social
character  of  private  property,  We   explained
clearly  the  right  and  dignity  of  labor, the
relations of mutual aid and  collaboration  which
should  exist  between  those who possess capital
and those who work,  the  salary  due  in  strict
justice  to  the  worker  for himself and for his

32. In this same Encyclical of Ours We have shown
that  the means of saving the world of today from
the lamentable ruin into which a moral liberalism
has  plunged  us,  are neither the class-struggle
nor terror, nor yet the autocratic abuse of State
power,  but rather the infusion of social justice
and the sentiment  of  Christian  love  into  the
social-economic  order.  We  have indicated how a
sound prosperity is to be restored  according  to
the  true principles of a sane corporative system
which respects the proper hierarchic structure of
society;  and  how  all  the  occupational groups
should be fused into a harmonious unity  inspired
by  the  principle  of  the  common good. And the
genuine and chief function of  public  and  civil
authority  consists  precisely in the efficacious
furthering of this harmony  and  coordination  of
all social forces.

33.  In  view  of  this  organized  common effort
towards  peaceful   living,   Catholic   doctrine
vindicates to the State the dignity and authority
of a vigilant and  provident  defender  of  those
divine  and  human  rights  on  which  the Sacred
Scriptures and the Fathers of the  Church  insist
so  often.  It  is  not  true that all have equal
rights in civil society.  It  is  not  true  that
there  exists  no lawful social hierarchy. Let it
suffice to refer to the Encyclicals of  Leo  XIII
already   cited,  especially  to  that  on  State
powers,[15] and to the  other  on  the  Christian
Constitution  of  States.[16]  In these documents
the Catholic will find the principles  of  reason
and   the  Faith  clearly  explained,  and  these
principles will  enable  him  to  defend  himself
against  the  errors  and perils of a Communistic
conception of the State. The enslavement  of  man
despoiled  of  his  rights,  the  denial  of  the
transcendental  origin  of  the  State  and   its
authority,  the horrible abuse of public power in
the service of a  collectivistic  terrorism,  are
the  very  contrary  of all that corresponds with
natural ethics and the will of the Creator.  Both
man  and  civil  society derive their origin from
the Creator, Who has mutually ordained  them  one
to  the other. Hence neither can be exempted from
their  correlative  obligations,  nor   deny   or
diminish each other's rights. The Creator Himself
has regulated this  mutual  relationship  in  its
fundamental   lines,  and  it  is  by  an  unjust
usurpation that Communism arrogates to itself the
right  to  enforce,  in  place  of the divine law
based on the immutable principles  of  truth  and
charity,   a  partisan  political  program  which
derives from the  arbitrary  human  will  and  is
replete with hate.

34.  In  teaching  this enlightening doctrine the
Church has no other intention than to realize the
glad tidings sung by the Angels above the cave of
Bethlehem at the Redeemer's birth: "Glory to  God
.  .  .  and  . . . peace to men . . .,"[17] true
peace and true happiness, even here below as  far
as  is possible, in preparation for the happiness
of heaven --  but  to  men  of  good  will.  This
doctrine  is equally removed from all extremes of
error and all exaggerations of parties or systems
which  stem  from  error. It maintains a constant
equilibrium  of  truth  and  justice,  which   it
vindicates  in theory and applies and promotes in
practice, bringing into harmony  the  rights  and
duties   of   all   parties.  Thus  authority  is
reconciled  with  liberty,  the  dignity  of  the
individual  with  that  of  the  State, the human
personality  of  the  subject  with  the   divine
delegation  of  the  superior;  and in this way a
balance is struck between the due dependence  and
well-ordered  love  of  a  man  for  himself, his
family  and  country,  and  his  love  of   other
families  and  other peoples, founded on the love
of God, the Father of all, their first  principle
and  last  end.  The  Church  does not separate a
proper   regard   for   temporal   welfare   from
solicitude  for  the eternal. If she subordinates
the former to the latter according to  the  words
of her divine Founder, "Seek ye first the Kingdom
of God and His  justice,  and  all  these  things
shall be added unto you,"[18] she is nevertheless
so far from being unconcerned with human affairs,
so far from hindering civil progress and material
advancement,  that  she  actually   fosters   and
promotes   them   in   the   most   sensible  and
efficacious manner. Thus even in  the  sphere  of
social-economics,  although  the Church has never
proposed a definite technical system, since  this
is  not  her  field, she has nevertheless clearly
outlined  the  guiding  principles  which,  while
susceptible   of   varied  concrete  applications
according to the diversified conditions of  times
and  places and peoples, indicate the safe way of
securing the happy progress of society.

35.  The  wisdom  and  supreme  utility  of  this
doctrine   are   admitted   by   all  who  really
understand  it.  With  good  reason   outstanding
statesmen  have  asserted  that, after a study of
various social systems, they have  found  nothing
sounder  than  the  principles  expounded  in the
Encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo  Anno.
In non-Catholic, even in non-Christian countries,
men recognize the great value to society  of  the
social  doctrine  of the Church. Thus, scarcely a
month ago, an eminent political figure of the Far
East, a non-Christian, did not hesitate to affirm
publicly that the Church, with  her  doctrine  of
peace  and  Christian brotherhood, is rendering a
signal contribution  to  the  difficult  task  of
establishing  and  maintaining  peace  among  the
nations.   Finally,   We   know   from   reliable
information   that  flows  into  this  Center  of
Christendom from all parts of the world, that the
Communists themselves, where they are not utterly
depraved, recognize the superiority of the social
doctrine  of  the  Church, when once explained to
them, over the doctrines  of  their  leaders  and
their teachers. Only those blinded by passion and
hatred close their eyes to the light of truth and
obstinately struggle against it.

36.  But the enemies of the Church, though forced
to acknowledge the wisdom of her doctrine, accuse
her  of  having  failed to act in conformity with
her principles, and from  this  conclude  to  the
necessity  of  seeking other solutions. The utter
falseness and injustice  of  this  accusation  is
shown  by  the  whole history of Christianity. To
refer only to a  single  typical  trait,  it  was
Christianity  that  first  affirmed  the real and
universal brotherhood of all men of whatever race
and  condition. This doctrine she proclaimed by a
method, and with  an  amplitude  and  conviction,
unknown  to  preceding centuries; and with it she
potently contributed to the abolition of slavery.
Not bloody revolution, but the inner force of her
teaching made the proud Roman matron see  in  her
slave a sister in Christ. It is Christianity that
adores the Son of God, made Man for love of  man,
and  become not only the "Son of a Carpenter" but
Himself a "Carpenter."[19]  It  was  Christianity
that  raised  manual  labor  to its true dignity,
whereas it hadhitherto been so despised that even
the  moderate  Cicero  did not hesitate to sum up
the general opinion of his time in words of which
any  modern  sociologist  would  be ashamed: "All
artisans are engaged in sordid trades, for  there
can be nothing ennobling about a workshop."[20]

37.  Faithful to these principles, the Church has
given  new  life  to  human  society.  Under  her
influence     arose     prodigious     charitable
organizations,  great  guilds  of  artisans   and
workingmen of every type. These guilds, ridiculed
as "medieval"  by  the  liberalism  of  the  last
century, are today claiming the admiration of our
contemporaries  in   many   countries   who   are
endeavoring  to  revive them in some modern form.
And when other  systems  hindered  her  work  and
raised obstacles to the salutary influence of the
Church, she was never done warning them of  their
error.  We  need  but  recall  with what constant
firmness and energy Our  Predecessor,  Leo  XIII,
vindicated   for  the  workingman  the  right  to
organize, which the dominant  liberalism  of  the
more  powerful  States  relentlessly  denied him.
Even today the authority of this Church  doctrine
is  greater  than  it seems; for the influence of
ideas in the realm of facts, though invisible and
not  easily  measured,  is  surely of predominant

38. It may be said in all truth that the  Church,
like  Christ,  goes  through  the centuries doing
good  to  all.  There  would  be  today   neither
Socialism  nor  Communism  if  the  rulers of the
nations  had  not  scorned  the   teachings   and
maternal  warnings of the Church. On the bases of
liberalism and laicism they wished to build other
social  edifices  which, powerful and imposing as
they seemed at first, all too soon  revealed  the
weakness  of  their  foundations,  and  today are
crumbling one after another before our  eyes,  as
everything  must  crumble that is not grounded on
the one corner stone which is Christ Jesus.

39. This, Venerable Brethren, is the doctrine  of
the  Church,  which alone in the social as in all
other fields can  offer  real  light  and  assure
salvation  in  the  face of Communistic ideology.
But this doctrine must be consistently reduced to
practice  in  every-day  life,  according  to the
admonition of St.  .James  the  Apostle:  "Be  ye
doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving
your own selves."[21] The most urgent need of the
present day is therefore the energetic and timely
application of remedies  which  will  effectively
ward  off  the  catastrophe that daily grows more
threatening. We cherish the firm  hope  that  the
fanaticism  with  which the sons of darkness work
day  and  night  at   their   materialistic   and
atheistic propaganda will at least serve the holy
purpose of stimulating the sons  of  light  to  a
like  and  even greater zeal for the honor of the
Divine Majesty.

40. What then must be done, what remedies must be
employed   to   defend   Christ   and   Christian
civilization from this  pernicious  enemy?  As  a
father in the midst of his family, We should like
to speak quite intimately of those  duties  which
the  great struggle of our day imposes on all the
children of the Church; and We would address  Our
paternal  admonition  even to those sons who have
strayed far from her.

41. As in all the stormy periods of  the  history
of  the Church, the fundamental remedy today lies
in a sincere renewal of private and  public  life
according  to the principles of the Gospel by all
those who belong to the Fold of Christ, that they
may be in truth the salt of the earth to preserve
human society from total corruption.

42. With heart deeply grateful to the  Father  of
Light,  from  Whom  descends "every best gift and
every perfect gift,"[22]  We  see  on  all  sides
consoling signs of this spiritual renewal. We see
it not only in so many  singularly  chosen  souls
who in these last years have been elevated to the
sublime heights  of  sanctity,  and  in  so  many
others  who with generous hearts are making their
way towards the same luminous goal, but  also  in
the  new  flowering of a deep and practical piety
in all classes of society even the most cultured,
as  We  pointed out in Our recent Motu Proprio In
multis  solaciis  of  October  28  last,  on  the
occasion  of the reorganization of the Pontifical
Academy of Sciences.[23]

43. Nevertheless We cannot  deny  that  there  is
still  much  to  be  done in the way of spiritual
renovation. Even in Catholic countries there  are
still too many who are Catholics hardly more than
in name. There are too many who fulfill  more  or
less faithfully the more essential obligations of
the religion they boast of professing,  but  have
no  desire  of  knowing  it  better, of deepening
their  inward  conviction,  and  still  less   of
bringing  into conformity with the external gloss
the inner  splendor  of  a  right  and  unsullied
conscience,  that recognizes and performs all its
duties under the eye of God. We know how much Our
Divine Savior detested this empty pharisaic show,
He Who wished that all should  adore  the  Father
"in  spirit  and  in truth."[24] The Catholic who
does not live really and sincerely  according  to
the Faith he professes will not long be master of
himself in these days when the  winds  of  strife
and  persecution  blow  so  fiercely, but will be
swept away defenseless in this new  deluge  which
threatens   the   world.And  thus,  while  he  is
preparing  his  own  ruin,  he  is  exposing   to
ridicule the very name of Christian.

44.  And  here  We  wish,  Venerable Brethren, to
insist more particularly on two teachings of  Our
Lord  which have a special bearing on the present
condition of  the  human  race:  detachment  from
earthly   goods   and  the  precept  of  charity.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit" were  the  first
words  that  fell  from  the  lips  of the Divine
Master in  His  sermon  on  the  mount.[25]  This
lesson  is more than ever necessary in these days
of  materialism  athirst  for   the   goods   and
pleasures  of this earth. All Christians, rich or
poor,  must  keep  their  eye  fixed  on  heaven,
remembering  that  "we  have  not  here a lasting
city, but we seek one that is to  come."[26]  The
rich  should  not place their happiness in things
of earth nor spend  their  best  efforts  in  the
acquisition    of   them.   Rather,   considering
themselves only  as  stewards  of  their  earthly
goods,  let  them  be mindful of the account they
must render of them to their Lord and Master, and
value  them  as  precious  means that God has put
into their hands for doing  good;  let  them  not
fail,  besides,  to distribute of their abundance
to  the  poor,  according  to   the   evangelical
precept.[27] Otherwise there shall be verified of
them and their riches the harsh  condemnation  of
St.  James  the Apostle: "Go to now, ye rich men;
weep and howl in your miseries which  shall  come
upon  you.  Your  riches  are corrupted, and your
garments are moth-eaten; your gold and silver  is
cankered;  and  the  rust  of them shall be for a
testimony against you and shall  eat  your  flesh
like fire. You have stored up to yourselves wrath
against the last days. . ."[28]

45. But  the  poor  too,  in  their  turn,  while
engaged,  according  to  the  laws of charity and
justice, in acquiring the necessities of life and
also  in bettering their condition, should always
remain "poor in spirit,"[29] and  hold  spiritual
goods  in higher esteem than earthly property and
pleasures. Let them remember that the world  will
never be able to rid itself of misery, sorrow and
tribulation, which are the portion even of  those
who seem most prosperous. Patience, therefore, is
the need of all, that  Christian  patience  which
comforts  the  heart with the divine assurance of
eternal  happiness.   "Be   patient,   therefore,
brethren,"  we repeat with St. .lames, "until the
coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth
for  the  precious  fruit of the earth, patiently
bearing until he receive the early and the  later
rain.   Be   you   therefore   also  patient  and
strengthen your hearts, for  the  coming  of  the
Lord is at hand."[30] Only thus will be fulfilled
the consoling promise of the Lord:  "Blessed  are
the poor!" These words are no vain consolation, a
promise as empty as those of the Communists. They
are  the words of life, pregnant with a sovereign
reality. They are fully verified here  on  earth,
as  well  as in eternity. Indeed, how many of the
poor, in anticipation of the  Kingdom  of  Heaven
already  proclaimed  their own: "for yours is the
Kingdom of Heaven,"[31] find  in  these  words  a
happiness  which  so  many of the wealthy, uneasy
with their riches and ever  thirsting  for  more,
look for in vain!

46. Still more important as a remedy for the evil
we are considering, or  certainly  more  directly
calculated to cure it, is the precept of charity.
We have in mind that Christian charity,  "patient
and  kind,"[32]  which  avoids  all  semblance of
demeaning paternalism, and all ostentation;  that
charity   which   from   the  very  beginning  of
Christianity won to Christ  the  poorest  of  the
poor,  the  slaves.  And  We  are grateful to all
those members of  charitable  associations,  from
the  conferences  of  St.  Vincent de Paul to the
recent  great  relief  organizations,  which  are
perseveringly   practicing   the   spiritual  and
corporal works of mercy. The more the working men
and  the  poor  realize  what  the spirit of love
animated by the virtue of  Christ  is  doing  for
them,  the  more  readily  will  they abandon the
false persuasion that Christianity has  lost  its
efficacy  and  that the Church stands on the side
of the exploiters of their labor.

47. But when on the one hand We see thousands  of
the  needy,  victims  of  real misery for various
reasons beyond their control, and on the other so
many  round  about  them  who  spend huge sums of
money on useless things and frivolous  amusement,
We  cannot  fail  to  remark with sorrow not only
that justice is poorly  observed,  but  that  the
precept  of  charity  also  is  not  sufficiently
appreciated, is not a vital thing in daily  life.
We  desire  therefore,  Venerable  Brethren, that
this  divine  precept,  this  precious  mark   of
identification   left   by  Christ  to  His  true
disciples, be ever more fully  explained  by  pen
and  word of mouth; this precept which teaches us
to see in those who suffer  Christ  Himself,  and
would  have  us  love  our brothers as Our Divine
Savior  has  loved  us,  that  is,  even  at  the
sacrifice  of  ourselves, and, if need be, of our
very life. Let all then  frequently  meditate  on
those  words  of the final sentence, so consoling
yet so terrifying, which the Supreme  Judge  will
pronounce on the day of the Last Judgment: "Come,
ye blessed of my Father . . . for  I  was  hungry
and  you  gave  me  to eat; I was thirsty and you
gave me to drink . . . Amen, I  say  to  you,  as
long  as  you  did  it  to  one of these my least
brethren you did it to me."[33] And the  reverse:
"Depart  from  me,  you  cursed, into everlasting
fire . . . for I was hungry and you gave  me  not
to  eat;  I  was  thirsty  and you gave me not to
drink . . . Amen, I say to you, as  long  as  you
did it not to one of these least. neither did you
do it to me."[34]

48. To be sure of eternal life, therefore, and to
be  able  to  help  the  poor  effectively, it is
imperative to return to a more  moderate  way  of
life,  to  renounce the joys, often sinful, which
the world today holds out in such  abundance;  to
forget  self for love of the neighbor. There is a
divine regenerating force in this  "new  precept"
(as  Christ  called it) of Christian charity.[35]
Its faithful observance will pour into the  heart
an  inner  peace  which  the world knows not, and
will  finally  cure  the   ills   which   oppress

49. But charity will never be true charity unless
it  takes  justice  into  constant  account.  The
Apostle teaches that "he that loveth his neighbor
hath fulfilled the law" and he gives the  reason:
"For,  Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt
not kill, Thou shalt not steal . . . and if there
be any other commandment, it is comprised in this
word:   Thou   shalt   love   thy   neighbor   as
thyself."[36] According to the Apostle, then, all
the commandments, including those  which  are  of
strict  justice, as those which forbid us to kill
or to steal, may be reduced to the single precept
of  true  charity.  From  this  it follows that a
"charity" which deprives the  workingman  of  the
salary to which he has a strict title in justice,
is not charity at all, but only  its  empty  name
and  hollow  semblance. The wage-earner is not to
receive as alms what is his due in  justice.  And
let  no  one  attempt  with  trifling  charitable
donations to exempt himself from the great duties
imposed  by  justice.  Both  justice  and charity
often dictate obligations touching  on  the  same
subject-matter,  but under different aspects; and
the very dignity  of  the  workingman  makes  him
justly  and  acutely  sensitive  to the duties of
others in his regard. 50. Therefore We turn again
in  a special way to you, Christian employers and
industrialists,  whose  problem   is   often   so
difficult  for  the  reason  that you are saddled
with the heavy heritage  of  an  unjust  economic
regime  whose  ruinous  influence  has  been felt
through many generations. We bid you  be  mindful
of  your responsibility. It is unfortunately true
that the manner of  acting  in  certain  Catholic
circles  has  done much to shake the faith of the
working-classes in the religion of Jesus  Christ.
These  groups  have  refused  to  understand that
Christian  charity  demands  the  recognition  of
certain  rights  due to the workingman, which the
Church has explicitly acknowledged. What is to be
thought of the action of those Catholic employers
who in one  place  succeeded  in  preventing  the
reading  of  Our  Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno in
their  local  churches?  Or  of  those   Catholic
industrialists  who  even  to this day have shown
themselves hostile to a labor  movement  that  We
Ourselves  recommended? Is it not deplorable that
the right of private  property  defended  by  the
Church should so often have been used as a weapon
to defraud the workingman of his just salary  and
his social rights?

51.  In  reality,  besides  commutative  justice,
there is also social justice  with  its  own  set
obligations,  from  which  neither  employers nor
workingmen can escape. Now  it  is  of  the  very
essence  of  social  justice  to  demand for each
individual all that is necessary for  the  common
good.  But  just  as in the living organism it is
impossible to provide for the good of  the  whole
unless  each  single  part  and  each  individual
member is given what it needs for the exercise of
its proper functions, so it is impossible to care
for the social organism and the good  of  society
as  a  unit  unless  each  single  part  and each
individual  member  --  that  is  to  say,   each
individual  man  in  the  dignity  of  his  human
personality --  is  supplied  with  all  that  is
necessary   for   the   exercise  of  his  social
functions. If social justice  be  satisfied,  the
result  will  be  an intense activity in economic
life as a  whole,  pursued  in  tranquillity  and
order.  This activity will be proof of the health
of the social body, just as  the  health  of  the
human  body  is  recognized  in  the  undisturbed
regularity and perfect efficiency  of  the  whole

52.  But  social  justice  cannot be said to have
been satisfied as long as workingmen are denied a
salary  that  will  enable  them to secure proper
sustenance for themselves and for their families;
as  long  as  they  are denied the opportunity of
acquiring a modest fortune and  forestalling  the
plague  of  universal  pauperism; as long as they
cannot make suitable provision through public  or
private  insurance  for  old  age, for periods of
illness and unemployment. In a  word,  to  repeat
what has been said in Our Encyclical Quadragesimo
Anno: "Then only will  the  economic  and  social
order be soundly established and attain its ends,
when it offers, to all and  to  each,  all  those
goods  which  the wealth and resources of nature,
technical science and the corporate  organization
of social affairs can give. These goods should be
sufficient  to   supply   all   necessities   and
reasonable  comforts,  and  to uplift men to that
higher standard of life  which,  provided  it  be
used  with  prudence, is not only not a hindrance
but is of singular help to virtue."[37]

53. It happens all too frequently, however, under
the  salary system, that individual employers are
helpless to ensure justice unless, with a view to
its  practice,  they  organize  institutions  the
object  of  which  is  to   prevent   competition
incompatible with fair treatment for the workers.
Where this is true, it is the duty of contractors
and   employers   to  support  and  promote  such
necessary  organizations  as  normal  instruments
enabling  them  to  fulfill  their obligations of
justice. But the laborers too must be mindful  of
their  duty  to  love  and deal fairly with their
employers, and persuade themselves that there  is
no   better   means  of  safeguarding  their  own

54.  If,  therefore,  We   consider   the   whole
structure  of  economic  life, as We have already
pointed out in Our Encyclical Quadragesimo  Anno,
the reign of mutual collaboration between justice
and charity in social-economic relations can only
be  achieved  by a body of professional and inter
professional  organizations,  built  on   solidly
Christian   foundations,   working   together  to
effect, under forms adapted to  different  places
and  circumstances,  what  has  been  called  the
Corporation .

55. To give to this  social  activity  a  greater
efficacy,  it  is  necessary  to  promote a wider
study of social problems  in  the  light  of  the
doctrine of the Church and under the aegis of her
constituted authority. If the manner of acting of
some  Catholics  in the social-economic field has
left much to be  desired,  this  has  often  come
about  because  they  have not known and pondered
sufficiently  the  teachings  of  the   Sovereign
Pontiffs  on these questions. Therefore, it is of
the utmost importance to foster in all classes of
society  an intensive program of social education
adapted to the varying  degrees  of  intellectual
culture.  It  is  necessary  with  all  care  and
diligence  to   procure   the   widest   possible
diffusion  of  the  teachings of the Church, even
among the working-classes. The minds of men  must
be  illuminated  with  the sure light of Catholic
teaching, and their wills must be drawn to follow
and  apply  it as the norm of right living in the
conscientious  fulfillment  of   their   manifold
social   duties.   Thus   they   will  opposethat
incoherence and discontinuity in  Christian  life
which  We have many times lamented. For there are
some  who,  while  exteriorly  faithful  to   the
practice  of  their religion, yet in the field of
labor and industry, in the professions, trade and
business,  permit  a deplorable cleavage in their
conscience,  and  live  a  life  too  little   in
conformity  with  the clear principles of justice
and Christian charity. Such lives are  a  scandal
to  the  weak,  and to the malicious a pretext to
discredit the Church.

56. In this renewal the Catholic Press can play a
prominent part. Its foremost duty is to foster in
various   attractive   ways   an   ever    better
understanding of social doctrine. It should, too,
supply accurate and complete information  on  the
activity of the enemy and the means of resistance
which have been found most effective  in  various
quarters.  It should offer useful suggestions and
warn against the  insidious  deceits  with  which
Communists  endeavor,  all  too  successfully, to
attract even men of good faith.

57. On this point We have already insisted in Our
Allocution  of  May  12th  of  last  year, but We
believe it to  be  a  duty  of  special  urgency,
Venerable  Brethren, to call your attention to it
once again. In  the  beginning  Communism  showed
itself for what it was in all its perversity; but
very soon it realized that it was thus alienating
the people. It has therefore changed its tactics,
and strives to entice the multitudes by  trickery
of  various forms, hiding its real designs behind
ideas that in themselves are good and attractive.
Thus,  aware  of  the universal desire for peace,
the leaders of Communism pretend to be  the  most
zealous   promoters   and  propagandists  in  the
movement for world amity. Yet at  the  same  time
they  stir up a class-warfare which causes rivers
of blood  to  flow,  and,  realizing  that  their
system  offers  no  internal  guarantee of peace,
they have recourse to unlimited armaments.  Under
various  names  which  do  not suggest Communism,
they establish organizations and periodicals with
the  sole  purpose  of  carrying their ideas into
quarters   otherwise   inaccessible.   They   try
perfidiously   to   worm   their  way  even  into
professedly Catholic and religious organizations.
Again,   without  receding  an  inch  from  their
subversive principles, they invite  Catholics  to
collaborate  with  them in the realm of so-called
humanitarianism and charity; and  at  times  even
make  proposals  that are in perfect harmony with
the Christian spirit  and  the  doctrine  of  the
Church.  Elsewhere  they carry their hypocrisy so
far as to encourage the belief that Communism, in
countries   where  faith  and  culture  are  more
strongly entrenched, will assume another and much
milder  form.  It  will  not  interfere  with the
practice of religion. It will respect liberty  of
conscience.  There  are  some  even  who refer to
certain changes recently introduced  into  soviet
legislation as a proof that Communism is about to
abandon its program of war against God.

58. See  to  it,  Venerable  Brethren,  that  the
Faithful  do not allow themselves to be deceived!
Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one  who
would save Christian civilization may collaborate
with it in any undertaking whatsoever. Those  who
permit  themselves  to  be  deceived into lending
their aid towards the  triumph  of  Communism  in
their  own  country,  will  be  the first to fall
victims of  their  error.  And  the  greater  the
antiquity   and   grandeur   of   the   Christian
civilization  in  the  regions  where   Communism
successfully penetrates, so much more devastating
will be the hatred displayed by the godless.

59. But  "unless  the  Lord  keep  the  city,  he
watcheth in vain that keepeth it."[38] And so, as
a  final  and   most   efficacious   remedy,   We
recommend,   Venerable  Brethren,  that  in  your
dioceses you use  the  most  practical  means  to
foster  and intensify the spirit of prayer joined
with Christian penance. When the  Apostles  asked
the  Savior why they had been unable to drive the
evil spirit from a demoniac, Our  Lord  answered:
"This  kind  is  not  cast  out but by prayer and
fasting."[39]  So,  too,  the  evil  which  today
torments  humanity  can  be  conquered  only by a
world-wide crusade of prayer and penance. We  ask
especially  the  Contemplative  Orders,  men  and
women, to redouble their prayers  and  sacrifices
to  obtain  from  heaven  efficacious aid for the
Church in the present struggle. Let them  implore
also  the powerful intercession of the Immaculate
Virgin  who,  having  crushed  the  head  of  the
serpent  of old, remains the sure protectress and
invincible "Help of Christians."

60. To apply the remedies thus briefly  indicated
to the task of saving the world as We have traced
it above, Jesus  Christ,  our  Divine  King,  has
chosen  priests  as  the first-line ministers and
messengers of His gospel.  Theirs  is  the  duty,
assigned to them by a special vocation, under the
direction  of  their  Bishops   and   in   filial
obedience  to  the  Vicar  of Christ on earth, of
keeping alight in the world the torch  of  Faith,
and  of  filling  the hearts of the Faithful with
that  supernatural  trust  which  has  aided  the
Church  to fight and win so many other battles in
the name of Christ: "This is  the  victory  which
overcometh the world, our Faith."[40]

61. To priests in a special way We recommend anew
the oft-repeated counsel of Our Predecessor,  Leo
XIII,  to  go  to  the  workingman.  We make this
advice Our own, and faithful to the teachings  of
Jesus Christ and His Church, We thus complete it:
"Go to the workingman,  especially  where  he  is
poor;  and  in general, go to the poor." The poor
are obviously more exposed  than  others  to  the
wiles of agitators who, taking advantage of their
extreme need, kindle their hearts to envy of  the
rich and urge them to seize by force what fortune
seems to have denied them unjustly. If the priest
will not go to the workingman and to the poor, to
warn them or to disabuse them  of  prejudice  and
false  theory,  they will become an easy prey for
the apostles of Communism .

62. Indisputably  much  has  been  done  in  this
direction,  especially  after  the publication of
the Encyclicals Rerum  Novarum  and  Quadragesimo
Anno. We are happy to voice Our paternal approval
of the zealous pastoral activity manifested by so
many  Bishops  and  priests  who  have  with  due
prudence and caution been planning  and  applying
new  methods of apostolate more adapted to modern
needs.  But  for  the  solution  of  our  present
problem,  all  this  effort  is still inadequate.
When our country is  in  danger,  everything  not
strictly   necessary,   everything   not  bearing
directly on the urgent matter of unified defense,
takes  second  place.  So  we must act in today's
crisis.   Every   other    enterprise,    however
attractive  and  helpful,  must  yield before the
vital need of protecting the very  foundation  of
the  Faith and of Christian civilization. Let our
parish  priest,  therefore,  while  providing  of
course  for  the  normal  needs  of the Faithful,
dedicate the better part of their  endeavors  and
their zeal to winning back the laboring masses to
Christ and to His Church. Let them work to infuse
the  Christian  spirit  into quarters where it is
least  at  home.  The  willing  response  of  the
masses,   and   results   far   exceeding   their
expectations, will not fail to  reward  them  for
their  strenuous pioneer labor. This has been and
continues to be our experience  in  Rome  and  in
other  capitals, where zealous parish communities
are being formed as new churches are built in the
suburban  districts,  and real miracles are being
worked  in  the  conversion   of   people   whose
hostility  to religion has been due solely to the
fact that they did not know it.

63. But the most efficacious means of  apostolate
among the poor and lowly is the priest's example,
the practice  of  all  those  sacerdotal  virtues
which  We  have  described  in  Our Encyclical Ad
Catholici  Sacerdotii.[41]  Especially   needful,
however, for the present situation is the shining
example of a  life  which  is  humble,  poor  and
disinterested,  in  imitation  of a Divine Master
Who  could  say  to   the   world   with   divine
simplicity:  "The  foxes have holes and the birds
of the air nests, but the Son  of  Man  hath  not
where  to  lay  His  head."[42]  A  priest who is
really poor and disinterested in the Gospel sense
may  work  among  his  flock  marvels recalling a
Saint  Vincent  de  Paul,  a  Cure  of   Ars,   a
Cottolengo, a Don Bosco and so many others; while
an avaricious and  selfish  priest,  as  We  have
noted  in  the  above  mentioned Encyclical, even
though he should not plunge  with  Judas  to  the
abyss  of  treason, will never be more than empty
"sounding   brass"    and    useless    "tinkling
cymbal."[43]  Too  often,  indeed,  he  will be a
hindrance rather than an instrument of  grace  in
the  midst  of  his  people. Furthermore, where a
secular priest or religious  is  obliged  by  his
office  to  administer temporal property, let him
remember  that  he  is  not   only   to   observe
scrupulously   all   that   charity  and  justice
prescribe, but that he has a  special  obligation
to  conduct  himself in very truth as a father of
the poor.

64. After this appeal to the  clergy,  We  extend
Our paternal invitation to Our beloved sons among
the laity who are doing battle in  the  ranks  of
Catholic  Action. On another occasion[44] We have
called this movement so  dear  to  Our  heart  "a
particularly providential assistance" in the work
of  the  Church  during  these  troublous  times.
Catholic  Action is in effect a social apostolate
also, inasmuch as its object  is  to  spread  the
Kingdom   of   Jesus   Christ   not   only  among
individuals, but also in families and in society.
It  must, therefore, make it a chief aim to train
its members with special care and to prepare them
to  fight  the  battles of the Lord. This task of
formation, now more urgent and indispensable than
ever,  which must always precede direct action in
the  field,   will   assuredly   be   served   by
study-circles,  conferences,  lecture-courses and
the various other activities  undertaken  with  a
view  to  making  known the Christian solution of
the social problem.

65. The militant leaders of Catholic Action  thus
properly  prepared  and  armed, will be the first
and immediate apostles of their  fellow  workmen.
They  will  be an invaluable aid to the priest in
carrying the torch of  truth,  and  in  relieving
grave  spiritual  and material suffering, in many
sectors where inveterate anti-clerical  prejudice
or deplorable religious indifference has proved a
constant obstacle to  the  pastoral  activity  of
God's   ministers.   In   this   way   they  will
collaborate, under the  direction  of  especially
qualified  priests, in that work of spiritual aid
to the laboring classes on which We set  so  much
store, because it is the means best calculated to
save these, Our beloved children, from the snares
of Communism.

66.  In  addition  to  this individual apostolate
which, however useful and efficacious, often goes
unheralded,   Catholic   Action   must   organize
propaganda  on  a  large  scale  to   disseminate
knowledge of the fundamental principles on which,
according  to   the   Pontifical   documents,   a
Christian .Social Order must build.

67.  Ranged  with  Catholic Action are the groups
which We have been happy to  call  its  auxiliary
forces.  With  paternal affection We exhort these
valuable   organizations   also    tO    dedicate
themselves  to the great mission of which We have
been treating, a cause which today transcends all
others in vital importance.

68.   We   are   thinking   likewise   of   those
associations of  workmen,  farmers,  technicians,
doctors,  employers,  students and others of like
character, groups of men and women  who  live  in
the  same  cultural atmosphere and share the same
way  of  life.   Precisely   these   groups   and
organizations  are  destined  to  introduce  into
society that order which We have envisaged in Our
Encyclical  Ouadragesimo Anno, and thus to spread
in the vast and various  fields  of  culture  and
labor the recognition of the Kingdom of Christ.

69.  Even  where  the  State,  because of changed
social and economic conditions, has felt  obliged
to   intervene  directly  in  order  to  aid  and
regulate   such    organizations    by    special
legislative   enactments,  supposing  always  the
necessary  respect  for   liberty   and   private
initiative,  Catholic  Action  may  not  urge the
circumstance as  an  excuse  for  abandoning  the
field.  Its  members  should contribute prudently
and intelligently to the study of the problems of
the  hour in the light of Catholic doctrine. They
should loyally and generously participate in  the
formation  of  the  new institutions, bringing to
them the Christian  spirit  which  is  the  basic
principle  of order wherever men work together in
fraternal harmony.

70. Here We should like to address a particularly
affectionate  word  to  Our  Catholic workingmen,
young and old. They have been given, perhaps as a
reward  for  their often heroic fidelity in these
trying days, a  noble  and  an  arduous  mission.
Under  the guidance of their Bishops and priests,
they are to bring back to the Church and  to  God
those immense multitudes of their brother-workmen
who, because they were not understood or  treated
with  the respect to which they were entitled, in
bitterness  have  strayed  far  from   God.   Let
Catholic  workingmen  show  these their wandering
brethren by word and example that the Church is a
tender  Mother to all those who labor and suffer,
and that she has never  failed,  and  never  will
fail,  in  her sacred maternal duty of protecting
her children. If  this  mission,  which  must  be
fulfilled  in  mines,  in  factories,  in  shops,
wherever they may be laboring,  should  at  times
require   great   sacrifices,  Our  workmen  will
remember that the Savior of the world  has  given
them  an  example  not  only  oftoil  but of self

71. To all Our children, finally, of every social
rank and every nation, to every religious and lay
organization in the Church, We make  another  and
more  urgent  appeal  for  union.  Many times Our
paternal  heart  has   been   saddened   by   the
divergencies  --  often  idle  in  their  causes,
always tragic  in  their  consequences  --  which
array  in  opposing  camps  the  sons of the same
Mother Church. Thus it is that the radicals,  who
are  not  so  very  numerous,  profiting  by this
discord are able to make it more acute,  and  end
by  pitting  Catholics  one against the other. In
view of the events of the past  few  months,  Our
warning  must  seem  superfluous.  We  repeat  it
nevertheless once more, for those  who  have  not
understood,   or   perhaps   do   not  desire  to
understand.  Those  who  make   a   practice   of
spreading  dissension  among  Catholics  assume a
terrible  responsibility  before  God   and   the

72.  But  in  this battle joined by the powers of
darkness against the very idea of Divinity, it is
Our  fond  hope  that,  besides  the  host  which
glories in the name of Christ, all those  --  and
they   comprise   the  overwhelming  majority  of
mankind -- who still believe in God and  pay  Him
homage  may  take  a  decisive part. We therefore
renew the invitation extended to them five  years
ago  in Our Encyclical Caritate Christi, invoking
their loyal and hearty collaboration "in order to
ward  off  from  mankind  the  great  danger that
threatens all alike." Since,  as  We  then  said,
"belief  in  God  is the unshakable foundation of
all social order and  of  all  responsibility  on
earth,  it follows that all those who do not want
anarchy and terrorism  ought  to  take  energetic
steps  to  prevent  the  enemies of religion from
attaining  the  goal  they   have   so   brazenly
proclaimed to the world."[45]

73.  Such is the positive task, embracing at once
theory and practice, which the Church  undertakes
in  virtue  of  the  mission,  confided to her by
Christ, of constructing a Christian society, and,
in  our  own times, of resisting unto victory the
attacks of Communism.  It  is  the  duty  of  the
Christian   State  to  concur  actively  in  this
spiritual enterprise of the  Church,  aiding  her
with  the  means  at  its command, which although
they be external devices,  have  nonetheless  for
their prime object the good of souls.

74.  This  means  that  all  diligence  should be
exercised  by  States  to  prevent  within  their
territories  the  ravages of an anti-God campaign
which shakes society to its very foundations. For
there  can  be  no  authority on earth unless the
authority of the Divine Majesty be recognized; no
oath  will bind which is not sworn in the Name of
the Living God. We repeat what We have said  with
frequent  insistence  in  the past, especially in
Our Encyclical Caritate  Christi:  "How  can  any
contract  be  maintained,  and what value can any
treaty  have,  in  which   every   guarantee   of
conscience  is lacking? And how can there be talk
of guarantees of conscience when all faith in God
and all fear of God have vanished? Take away this
basis, and with it all moral law falls, and there
is  no  remedy  left  to  stop  the  gradual  but
inevitable destruction of peoples, families,  the
State, civilization itself."[46]

75.  It  must likewise be the special care of the
State to create those material conditions of life
without  which  an  orderly society cannot exist.
The State must take every  measure  necessary  to
supply  employment, particularly for the heads of
families and for the young. To achieve  this  end
demanded  by  the  pressing  needs  of the common
welfare, the wealthy classes must be  induced  to
assume  those burdens without which human society
cannot  be  saved  nor  they  themselves   remain
secure. However, measures taken by the State with
this end in view ought to be  of  such  a  nature
that  they  will really affect those who actually
possess  more  than  their   share   of   capital
resources, and who continue to accumulate them to
the grievous detriment of others.

76.   The   State   itself,   mindful   of    its
responsibility  before God and society, should be
a  model  of  prudence  and   sobriety   in   the
administration  of  the  commonwealth. Today more
than ever the acute  world  crisis  demands  that
those  who  dispose of immense funds, built up on
the sweat and toil of millions,  keep  constantly
and   singly  in  mind  the  common  good.  State
functionaries and all employees  are  obliged  in
conscience to perform their duties faithfully and
unselfishly, imitating the brilliant  example  of
distinguished men of the past and of our own day,
who with unremitting labor sacrificed  their  all
for  the  good of their country. In international
trade-relations  let  all  means  be   sedulously
employed  for  the  removal  of  those artificial
barriers to economic life which are  the  effects
of  distrust  and  hatred. All must remember that
the peoples of the earth form but one  family  in

77.  At  the  same  time the State must allow the
Church full liberty to  fulfill  her  divine  and
spiritual  mission, and this in itself will be an
effectual contribution to the rescue  of  nations
from  the  dread  torment  of  the  present hour.
Everywhere today there is an  anxious  appeal  to
moral  and  spiritual forces; and rightly so, for
the  evil  we  must  combat  is  at  its   origin
primarily  an  evil  of the spiritual order. From
this polluted source the monstrous emanations  of
the  communistic  system flow with satanic logic.
Now,   the   Catholic   Church   is   undoubtedly
preeminent  among  the moral and religious forces
of today. Therefore the  very  good  of  humanity
demands  that  her  work  be  allowed  to proceed

78. Those who act otherwise, and at the same time
fondly  pretend  to  attain  their objective with
purely political or economic means,  are  in  the
grip  of  a  dangerous  error.  When  religion is
banished from the school, from education and from
public   life,   when   the   representatives  of
Christianity and its sacred rites are held up  to
ridicule,   are   we  not  really  fostering  the
materialism  which  is  the   fertile   soil   of
Communism.? Neither force, however well organized
it be, nor earthly ideals however lofty or noble,
can  control  a  movement  whose roots lie in the
excessive esteem for the goods of this world.

79. We trust that those rulers  of  nations,  who
are   at   all   aware   of  the  extreme  danger
threatening every people today, may be  more  and
more  convinced  of  their  supreme  duty  not to
hinder the  Church  in  the  fulfillment  of  her
mission. This is the more imperative since, while
this mission  has  in  view  man's  happiness  in
heaven,  it  cannot but promote his true felicity
in time.

80. We cannot  conclude  this  Encyclical  Letter
without  addressing  some  words  to those of Our
children who are more or less  tainted  with  the
Communist  plague.  We  earnestly  exhort them to
hear the voice of their loving  Father.  We  pray
the  Lord to enlighten them that they may abandon
the slippery path which will precipitate one  and
all  to  ruin  and  catastrophe,  and  that  they
recognize that Jesus Christ, Our Lord,  is  their
only  Savior:  "For  there is no other name under
heaven  given  to  man,  whereby   we   must   be

81. To hasten the advent of that "peace of Christ
in the kingdom of Christ"[48] so ardently desired
by  all, We place the vast campaign of the Church
against world Communism under the standard of St.
Joseph,  her  mighty Protector. He belongs to the
working-class, and he bore the burdens of poverty
for himself and the Holy Family, whose tender and
vigilant head he was. To him  was  entrusted  the
Divine  Child  when  Herod  loosed  his assassins
against Him. In a life of faithful performance of
everyday duties, he left an example for all those
who must gain their bread by the  toil  of  their
hands.  He  won  for  himself  the  title of "The
Just," serving thus as a  living  model  of  that
Christian  justice  which  should reign in social

82. With eyes lifted on high, our Faith sees  the
new  heavens  and  the new earth described by Our
first  Predecessor,  St.  Peter.[49]  While   the
promises of the false prophets of this earth melt
away in blood and tears,  the  great  apocalyptic
prophecy of the Redeemer shines forth in heavenly
splendor: "Behold, I make all things new."[50]

Venerable Brethren, nothing remains but to  raise
Our  paternal  hands  to call down upon you, upon
your clergy and people, upon the  whole  Catholic
family, the Apostolic Benediction. Given at Rome,
at St. Peter's,  on  the  feast  of  St.  Joseph,
patron  of  the  universal Church, on the 19th of
March, 1937, the 16th year of our Pontificate.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


 1. Encycl.  Qui Pluribus, Nov. 9, 1864 (Acta Pii
  IX, Vol 1, p. 13). Cf. Syllabus, IV, (A.S.S.,
  vol. III, p. 170).

 2. Encycl. Quod Apostolici Muneris, Dec. 28,
    1928 (Acta Leonis XII, Vol. 1, p. 46).

 3. Dec. 18, 1924: A.A.S., Vol. XVI (1924), pp.

 4. May 8, 1928: A.A.S., Vol. XX (1928), pp.

 5. May 15, 1931: A.A.S., Vol. XXIII (1931), pp.

 6. May 3, 1932: A.A.S., Vol. XXIV (1932), pp.

 7. Sept. 29, 1932: A.A.S., Vol. XXIV (1932),
    pp. 321-332.

 8. June 3, 1933: A.A.S., Vol. XXV (1933), pp.

 9. Cf. Thessalonians, II, 4.

 10. Encycl. Divini Illius Magistri, Dec. 31,
     1929 (A.A.S., Vol. XXII, 1930 pp. 47-86).

 11. Encycl. Casti Connubii, Dec. 31, 1930
     (A.A.S., Vol. XX- II, 1930, pp. 539-592).

 12. I Corinthians, III, 23.

 13. Encycl. Rerum Novarum, May 15, 1891 (Acta
     Leonis Xlll Vol. IV, pp. 177-209).

 14. Encycl. Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931
     (A.A.S., Vol. XXIII, 1931, pp. 177-228).

 15. Encycl. Diuturnum Illud, June 20, 1881
     (Acta Leonis Xlll, Vol. l, . 210-22).

 16. Encycl. Immortale Dei, Nov. 1, 1885 (Acta
     Leonis Xlll, Vol. II, pp. 146-168).

 17. St. Luke, 11, 14.

 18. St. Matthew, Vl, 33.

 19. Cf. St. Matthew, Xlll, 55: St. Mark,
     Vl, 3.

 20. Cicero, De Officiis, Bk. 1, c. 42.

 21. St. James, 1, 22.

 22. St. James, 1, 17.

 23. A.A.S., vol. XXVIII (1936); pp. 421424.

 24. St. John, IV, 23.

 25. St. Matthew, V, 3.

 26. Hebrews, Xlll, 14.

 27. St. Luke, Xl, 41.

 28. St. James, V, 1-3.

 29. St. Matthew, V, 3.

 30. St. James, V, 7, 8.

 31. St. Luke, Vl, 20.

 32. I Corinthians, Xlll, 4.

 33. St. Matthew, XXV, 34-40.

 34. St. Matthew, XXV, 41-45.

 35. St. John, Xlll, 34.

 36. Romans, Xlll, 8, 9.

 37. Encycl. Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931
     (A.A.S., Vol. XXIII, 1931, p. 202).

 38. Psalms, CXXVI, 1.

 39. St. Matthew, XVII, 20

 40. I Epist. St. John, V, 4.

 41 Dec. 20, 1935, A.A.S., vol. XXVIII (1936),
    pp. 5-53.

 42. St. Matthew, Vlll, 20.

 43. I Corinthians, Xlll, 1.

 44. May 12, 1936.

 45. Encycl. Caritate Christi, May 3, 1932
     (A.A.S., vol. XXIV, p. 184).

 46. Encycl. Caritate Christi, May 3, 1932
     (A.A.S., vol. XX-IV, 1932, p. 190).

 47. Acts, IV, 12.

 48. Encycl. Ubi Arcano, Dec. 23, 1922 (A.A.S.,
     Vol. XIV, 1922,p.691).

 49. II Epist. St. Peter, III, 13; cf. Isaias,
     LXV, 17 and LXVI, 22; Apoc., XXI, 1.

 50. Apoc. XXI, 5.

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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"Join me in battle, little children, against the black beast, Masonry..." Mother Mary [source: Father Gobbi, Evolution & Freemasonry]
"Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye make to worship them; and I will carry you away beyond Babylon."
Acts 7:43 KJV
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.." (II Corinthians 6:18 KJV)


Joan of Arc on the Bohemians

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