Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

faith and consensus of citizens does this mean that Church and state have acted there unlawfully? . . . .

Was not this the state of great European nations for centuries . . .? Are the fruits of division so sweet? Is not unity of religion in a country such a value that one may legitimately try to preserve it?

The state of society where religious law had pervaded civil law was long the normal and general state of Europe. It continues to a certain degree in the largest and freest countries of the world. Has not England her Sunday law . . .? Has she not her special days for fasts and public prayers? Does not the United States present the same spectacle? Has not President Lincoln continually called for prayers throughout the course of the war . . .?

* * *

But does this mean that, circumstances having altered and law coming to change also, Catholics would slight Church and God by sincerely accepting . . . their country's constitution and the civil liberty of religions which it authorizes? Or that we talk of liberty when weak, but intend to deny it to others when we are strong?

Of all the accusations . . . against us, this one has always seemed to me . . . the most offensive, because it attacks our very honesty and honor.

* * *

The [true] inquisitors are these tutors of the modern world, divided among themselves, but agreed on this one point -- Catholics must always be accused, slandered, and condemned. I smile when I hear it said that error is persecuted on earth. Rather, I see it triumphant while truth suffers violence everywhere. The pope confines himself to warnings, and he addresses only the faithful. But these men fulminate anathemas and presume to declare law to all humankind.

In the name of their Credo . . . they order revolution in Italy and exclusion and oppression in France, Belgium, Austria, and elsewhere. Christian or citizen -- they demand that we choose between these two prime goods of man, instead of embracing them both. They mean to tear us from our oaths or our faith. . . .

The Church is always the true mother who does not desire her children to be cut in twain. Inflexible on principles, indulgent toward men, she permits, nay, bids every man to remain loyally submissive to his obligations as citizen and to the lawful constitution of his country.

Source: [Felix A. P. Dupanloup], La convention du 15 septembre et l'encyclique du 8 décembre ( Paris, 1865), pp. 101-105, 122-123, 124-126, 130-135.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

R. Aubert, "Monseigneur Dupanloup et le Syllabus," Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique, Vol. LI ( 1956), pp. 79-142, 471-512, 837-915.

----, Le pontificat de Pie IX ( Paris, 1952), pp. 245-261.

E. E. Y. Hales, Pio Nono. A Study in European Politics and Religion in the Nineteenth Century ( London, 1954), pp. 255-273.

-171-

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