Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

of the faithful, to their bishops and to the Roman Pontiff. They must above all take care not to anticipate the judgments of the Holy See in this important matter. (Instruction as cited.) XVII. Christian Democratic writers must, like all other Catholic writers, submit to the previous examination of the ordinary all writings which concern religion, Christian morals and natural ethics, by virtue of the Constitution "Officiorum et munerum" (Art. 41). By the same Constitution ecclesiastics must obtain the previous consent of the ordinary for publication of writings of a merely technical character. (Instruction.) XVIII. They must, moreover, make every effort and every sacrifice to ensure that charity and harmony may reign among them. When causes of disagreement arise, they should, instead of printing anything on the matter in the papers, refer it to the ecclesiastical authority, which will then act with justice. And when taken to task by the ecclesiastical authority, let them obey promptly without evasion or public complaints -- the right to appeal to a higher authority being understood when the case requires it; and it should be made in the right way. (Instruction.) XIX. Finally, let Catholic writers take care, when defending the cause of the proletariat and the poor, not to use language calculated to inspire aversion among the people of the upper classes of society. Let them refrain from speaking of redress and justice when the matter comes within the domain of charity only, as has been explained above. Let them remember that Jesus Christ endeavored to unite all men in the bond of mutual love, which is the perfection of justice, and which carries with it the obligation of working for the welfare of one another. (Instruction.) The foregoing fundamental rules we . . . renew . . . in all their parts, and we ordain that they be transmitted to all Catholic committees, societies and unions of every kind. All these societies are to keep them exposed in their rooms and to have them read frequently at their meetings. We ordain, moreover, that Catholic papers publish them in their entirety and make declaration of their observance of them -- and, in fact, observe them religiously; failing to do this they are to be gravely admonished, and if they do not then amend, let them be interdicted by ecclesiastical authority.

Source: The American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. XXIX ( 1904), pp. 234-239. Latin text in Acta Sanctae Sedis ( Rome, 1903- 1904). XXXVI, 339-345.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

M. P. Fogarty, Christian Democracy in Western Europe, 1820-1953 (Notre Dame, 1957).

F. A. Forbes, Life of Pius X ( London, 1918).

C. Ledré, The life of Pie X ( Paris, 1952).

-302-

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