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Pausen tegen revolutie

Ontleend aan Edward Feser: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2020/06/the-popes-against-revolution.html


Laatste wijziging: 1 juli 2020

De Kerk verwerpt anarchisme en sociale revolutie

  • 28-12-1878: Paus Leo XIII Paus Leo XIII - Encycliek
    Quod Apostolici Muneris
    Over het socialisme (28 december 1878)
  • 18-01-1901: Paus Leo XIII Paus Leo XIII - Encycliek
    Graves de Communi Re
    Over de christelijke democratie (18 januari 1901)
  • 29-06-1881: Paus Leo XIII Paus Leo XIII - Encycliek
    Diuturnum illud
    Over de oorsprong van de burgerlijke macht (29 juni 1881)

Imperfectie in sociale instellingen rechtvaardigt geen opruiing

  • 28-12-1878: Paus Leo XIII Paus Leo XIII - Encycliek
    Quod Apostolici Muneris
    Over het socialisme (28 december 1878)
  • 29-06-1881: Paus Leo XIII Paus Leo XIII - Encycliek
    Diuturnum illud
    Over de oorsprong van de burgerlijke macht (29 juni 1881)

Rellen en wanorde zijn kwaadaardig en moeten door de staat worden onderdrukt

Het is slecht om klasse en rassen tegen elkaar op te zetten

 

 

The Church has consistently condemned doctrinaire laissez-faire forms of capitalism and insisted on just wages, moderate state intervention in the economy, and the grave duty of the rich to assist the poor.  Everyone knows these things because they are frequently talked about, and rightly so.  But the Church has also consistently and vigorously opposed socialism in all its forms and all left-wing revolutionary movements, for reasons grounded in natural law and Christian moral theology.  This is less frequently talked about, but especially important today, when much of what is being done or called for in the name of justice is in fact gravely immoral. 
Here are some relevant statements from popes of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, organized by topic.  I have selected them from this time period because the material conditions of the poor were worse then than they are today, and yet the popes still condemned extremist revolutionary measures in the strongest terms.  What was true then is a fortiori true now.  To churchmen who are wondering how to respond to the current crisis: Here are your models, and here are your principles.
 
The Church condemns anarchism and socialist revolution
 
[A] deadly plague… is creeping into the very fibres of human society and leading it on to the verge of destruction… We speak of that sect of men who, under various and almost barbarous names, are called socialists, communists, or nihilists, and who, spread over all the world, and bound together by the closest ties in a wicked confederacy, no longer seek the shelter of secret meetings, but, openly and boldly marching forth in the light of day, strive to bring to a head what they have long been planning – the overthrow of all civil society whatsoever. (Leo XIII, Quod Apostolici Muneris 1)
 
[T]he most disastrous national upheavals are threatening us from the growing power of the socialistic movement.  They have insidiously worked their way into the very heart of the community, and in the darkness of their secret gatherings, and in the open light of day, in their writings and their harangues, they are urging the masses onward to sedition; they fling aside religious discipline; they scorn duties; they clamor only for rights; they are working incessantly on the multitudes of the needy which daily grow greater, and which, because of their poverty are easily deluded and led into error... 
 
There remains one thing upon which We desire to insist very strongly… [for] all those who are devoting themselves to the cause of the people… That is to inculcate in the minds of the people, in a brotherly way and whenever the opportunity presents itself, the following principles; viz.: to keep aloof on all occasions from seditious acts and seditious men; to hold inviolate the rights of others; to show a proper respect to superiors. (Leo XIII, Graves de Communi Re 21, 25)
 
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…
 
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.  (Leo XIII, Diuturnum Illud 25, 27)
 
Imperfection in social institutions does not justify sedition
 
And if at any time it happen that the power of the State is rashly and tyrannically wielded by princes, the teaching of the Catholic church does not allow an insurrection on private authority against them, lest public order be only the more disturbed, and lest society take greater hurt therefrom. (Leo XIII, Quod Apostolici Muneris 7)
 
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,” 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 Saviour.”  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…
 
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.  (Leo XIII, Diuturnum Illud 18-19)
 
Riots and disorder are evil and must be suppressed by the state
 
Among these duties the following concern the poor and the workers: … not in any way to injure the property or to harm the person of employers; in protecting their own interests, to refrain from violence and never to engage in rioting; not to associate with vicious men who craftily hold out exaggerated hopes and make huge promises, a course usually ending in vain regrets and in the destruction of wealth…
 
Nevertheless, not a few individuals are found who, imbued with evil ideas and eager for revolution, use every means to stir up disorder and incite to violence.  The authority of the State, therefore, should intervene and, by putting restraint upon such disturbers, protect the morals of workers from their corrupting arts and lawful owners from the danger of spoliation. (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 30, 55)
 
By means of false promises a people is deceived and provoked to hatred, rivalry and rebellion, especially when the hereditary faith, the only relief in this earthly exile, is successfully torn from its heart.  Disturbances, riots and revolts are organized and fomented in continuing series, which prepare for the ruin of the economy and cause irreparable harm to the common good. (Pius XII, Anni Sacri 4)
 
It is evil to pit classes and races against one another
 
It is a capital evil with respect to the question We are discussing to take for granted that the one class of society is of itself hostile to the other, as if nature had set rich and poor against each other to fight fiercely in implacable war.  This is so abhorrent to reason and truth that the exact opposite is true; for just as in the human body the different members harmonize with one another, whence arises that disposition of parts and proportion in the human figure rightly called symmetry, so likewise nature has commanded in the case of the State that the two classes mentioned should agree harmoniously and should properly form equally balanced counterparts to each other.  Each needs the other completely…
 
At the realization of these things the proud spirit of the rich is easily brought down, and the downcast heart of the afflicted is lifted up; the former are moved toward kindness, the latter toward reasonableness in their demands.  Thus the distance between the classes which pride seeks is reduced, and it will easily be brought to pass that the two classes, with hands clasped in friendship, will be united in heart.
 
Yet, if they obey Christian teachings, not merely friendship but brotherly love also will bind them to each other.  They will feel and understand that all men indeed have been created by God, their common Father.  (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 28, 37-38)
 
The Christian law of charity… embraces all men, irrespective of ranks, as members of one and the same family, children of the same most beneficent Father, redeemed by the same Saviour, and called to the same eternal heritage.  (Leo XIII, Graves de Communi Re 8)
 
[B]eing as it were compacted and fitly joined together in one body, we should love one another, with a love like that which one member bears to another in the same body…
 
But in reality never was there less brotherly activity amongst men than at the present moment.  Race hatred has reached its climax; peoples are more divided by jealousies than by frontiers; within one and the same nation, within the same city there rages the burning envy of class against class…
 
When the twofold principle of cohesion of the whole body of society has been weakened, that is to say, the union of the members with one another by mutual charity and their union with their head by their dutiful recognition of authority, is it to be wondered at, Venerable Brethren, that human society should be seen to be divided as it were into two hostile armies bitterly and ceaselessly at strife?...  And so the poor who strive against the rich as though they had taken part of the goods of others, not merely act contrary to justice and charity, but also act irrationally, particularly as they themselves by honest industry can improve their fortunes if they choose.  It is not necessary to enumerate the many consequences, not less disastrous for the individual than for the community, which follow from this class hatred.  We all see and deplore the frequency of strikes, which suddenly interrupt the course of city and of national life in their most necessary functions, we see hostile gatherings and tumultous crowds, and it not unfrequently happens that weapons are used and human blood is spilled. (Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 7, 12)
 
The unity of human society cannot be founded on an opposition of classes. (Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno 88)
 
Race must not become an idol
 
Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community – however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things – whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.  (Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge 7)
 
Socialism and communism are intrinsically evil
 
In addition to injustice, it is only too evident what an upset and disturbance there would be in all classes [under socialism], and to how intolerable and hateful a slavery citizens would be subjected.  The door would be thrown open to envy, to mutual invective, and to discord; the sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his talents or his industry; and that ideal equality about which they entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the levelling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation. Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal.  The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 15)
 
Social Democracy… with due consideration to the greater or less intemperance of its utterance, is carried to such an excess by many as to maintain that there is really nothing existing above the natural order of things, and that the acquirement and enjoyment of corporal and external goods constitute man's happiness.  It aims at putting all government in the hands of the masses, reducing all ranks to the same level, abolishing all distinction of class, and finally introducing community of goods.  Hence, the right to own private property is to be abrogated, and whatever property a man possesses, or whatever means of livelihood he has, is to be common to all…
 
It is clear, therefore, that there in nothing in common between Social and Christian Democracy.  They differ from each other as much as the sect of socialism differs from the profession of Christianity. (Leo XIII, Graves de Communi Re 5-6)
 
Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth…
 
If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity.  Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist. (Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno 117, 120)
 
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.  (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 58)
 
The Church has condemned the various forms of Marxist Socialism; and she condemns them again today, because it is her permanent right and duty to safeguard men from fallacious arguments and subversive influence that jeopardize their eternal salvation. (Pius XII, Evangelii Praecones 52)
 
Regulated capitalism is not intrinsically unjust
 
The Encyclical of Our Predecessor of happy memory had in view chiefly that economic system, wherein, generally, some provide capital while others provide labor for a joint economic activity…
 
With all his energy Leo XIII sought to adjust this economic system according to the norms of right order; hence, it is evident that this system is not to be condemned in itself.  And surely it is not of its own nature vicious…
 
Those who are engaged in producing goods, therefore, are not forbidden to increase their fortune in a just and lawful manner; for it is only fair that he who renders service to the community and makes it richer should also, through the increased wealth of the community, be made richer himself according to his position. (Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno 100, 136)
 
The nuclear family must be defended against socialism
 
Inasmuch as the domestic household is antecedent, as well in idea as in fact, to the gathering of men into a community, the family must necessarily have rights and duties which are prior to those of the community, and founded more immediately in nature…
 
The contention, then, that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the family and the household is a great and pernicious error… Paternal authority can be neither abolished nor absorbed by the State; for it has the same source as human life itself… The socialists, therefore, in setting aside the parent and setting up a State supervision, act against natural justice, and destroy the structure of the home.  (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 13-14)
 
The foundation of this society rests first of all in the indissoluble union of man and wife according to the necessity of natural law, and is completed in the mutual rights and duties of parents and children...  You know also that the doctrines of socialism strive almost completely to dissolve this union; since, that stability which is imparted to it by religious wedlock being lost, it follows that the power of the father over his own children, and the duties of the children toward their parents, must be greatly weakened.  (Leo XIII, Quod Apostolici Muneris 8)
 
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. (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 11)
 
Stable families and sexual restraint are a necessary precondition of social order
 
Truly, it is hardly possible to describe how great are the evils that flow from divorce.  Matrimonial contracts are by it made variable; mutual kindness is weakened; deplorable inducements to unfaithfulness are supplied; harm is done to the education and training of children; occasion is afforded for the breaking up of homes; the seeds of dissension are sown among families; the dignity of womanhood is lessened and brought low, and women run the risk of being deserted after having ministered to the pleasures of men.  Since, then, nothing has such power to lay waste families and destroy the mainstay of kingdoms as the corruption of morals, it is easily seen that divorces are in the highest degree hostile to the prosperity of families and States, springing as they do from the depraved morals of the people, and, as experience shows us, opening out a way to every kind of evil-doing in public and in private life. (Leo XIII, Arcanum 29)
 
Those who have the care of the State and of the public good cannot neglect the needs of married people and their families, without bringing great harm upon the State and on the common welfare…
 
But not only in regard to temporal goods, Venerable Brethren, is it the concern of the public authority to make proper provision for matrimony and the family, but also in other things which concern the good of souls.  Just laws must be made for the protection of chastity, for reciprocal conjugal aid, and for similar purposes, and these must be faithfully enforced, because, as history testifies, the prosperity of the State and the temporal happiness of its citizens cannot remain safe and sound where the foundation on which they are established, which is the moral order, is weakened and where the very fountainhead from which the State draws its life, namely, wedlock and the family, is obstructed by the vices of its citizens.  (Pius XI, Casti Connubii 121-123)
 
Police protection and punishment of criminals are necessary for social order
 
A peaceful and ordered social life, whether within a national community or in the society of nations, is only possible if the juridical norms which regulate the living and working together of the members of the society are observed.  But there are always to be found people who will not keep to these norms and who violate the law.  Against them society must protect itself.  Hence derives penal law, which punishes the transgression and, by inflicting punishment, leads the transgressor back to the observance of the law violated…
 
If what We have just said holds good in normal times, its urgency is particularly evident in time of war or of violent political disturbances, when civil strife breaks out within a state.  The offender in political matters upsets the order of social life just as much as the offender in common law: to neither must be allowed assurance of impunity in his crime.  (Pius XII, “Address to the Sixth International Congress of Penal Law”)
 
The punishment is the reaction, required by law and justice, to the crime: they are like a blow and a counter-blow.  The order violated by the criminal act demands the restoration and re-establishment of the equilibrium which has been disturbed…
 
Sacred Scripture (Romans xiii , 2–4) teaches that human authority, within its own limits, is, when there is question of inflicting punishment, nothing else than the minister of divine justice.  “For he is God’s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.”  (Pius XII, “Discourse to the Catholic Jurists of Italy”)
 
Destruction of cultural artifacts is a common tactic of communists
 
Where Communism has been able to assert its power… 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…
 
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. (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 19-20)
 
Disguising their true goals is a common tactic of socialists
 
Although the socialists, stealing the very Gospel itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary, have been accustomed to distort it so as to suit their own purposes, nevertheless so great is the difference between their depraved teachings and the most pure doctrine of Christ that none greater could exist. (Leo XIII, Quod Apostlici Muneris 5)
 
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... [W]ithout 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… See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived!  (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 57-58)
 
The Church honors Columbus, despite his flaws
 
For [Columbus’s] exploit is in itself the highest and grandest which any age has ever seen accomplished by man; and he who achieved it, for the greatness of his mind and heart, can be compared to but few in the history of humanity.  By his toil another world emerged from the unsearched bosom of the ocean: … greatest of all, by the acquisition of those blessings of which Jesus Christ is the author, they have been recalled from destruction to eternal life…
 
We consider that this immortal achievement should be recalled by Us with memorial words.  For Columbus is ours… it is indubitable that the Catholic faith was the strongest motive for the inception and prosecution of the design; so that for this reason also the whole human race owes not a little to the Church…
 
We say not that he was unmoved by perfectly honourable aspirations after knowledge, and deserving well of human society; nor did he despise glory, which is a most engrossing ideal to great souls; nor did he altogether scorn a hope of advantages to himself; but to him far before all these human considerations was the consideration of his ancient faith... This view and aim is known to have possessed his mind above all; namely, to open a way for the Gospel over new lands and seas…
 
It is fitting that we should confess and celebrate in an especial manner the will and designs of the Eternal Wisdom, under whose guidance the discoverer of the New World placed himself with a devotion so touching.
 
In order, therefore, that the commemoration of Columbus may be worthily observed, religion must give her assistance to the secular ceremonies.  And as at the time of the first news of the discovery public thanksgiving was offered by the command of the Sovereign Pontiff to Almighty God, so now we have resolved to act in like manner in celebrating the anniversary of this auspicious event.  (Leo XIII, Quarto Abeunte Saeculo 1-3, 7-8)
 
No completely secular solution of social problems is possible
 
Human society in its civil aspects was renewed fundamentally by Christian institutions… Wherefore, if human society is to be healed, only a return to Christian life and institutions will heal it.  In the case of decaying societies it is most correctly prescribed that, if they wish to be regenerated, they must be recalled to their origins.  For the perfection of all associations is this, namely, to work for and to attain the purpose for which they were formed, so that all social actions should be inspired by the same principle which brought the society itself into being.  Wherefore, turning away from the original purpose is corruption, while going back to this discovery is recovery…
 
The Church…  provided aid for the wretched poor.  For, as the common parent of rich and poor, with charity everywhere stimulated to the highest degree, she founded religious societies and numerous other useful bodies, so that, with the aid which these furnished, there was scarcely any form of human misery that went uncared for.
 
And yet many today go so far as to condemn the Church as the ancient pagans once did, for such outstanding charity, and would substitute in lieu thereof a system of benevolence established by the laws of the State.  But no human devices can ever be found to supplant Christian charity, which gives itself entirely for the benefit of others…
 
Since religion alone, as We said in the beginning, can remove the evil, root and branch, let all reflect upon this: First and foremost Christian morals must be reestablished, without which even the weapons of prudence, which are considered especially effective, will be of no avail, to secure well-being. (Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum 41, 44-45, 82)
 
Christianity, not revolution, is the true liberator of peoples
 
Being greatly moved by the deplorable condition of the Indians in Lower America, our illustrious predecessor Benedict XIV pleaded their cause, as you are aware, in most weighty words… [T]he worst of these indignities – that is to say, slavery, properly so called – was, by the goodness of the merciful God, abolished; and to this public abolition of slavery in Brazil and in other regions the excellent men who governed those Republics were greatly moved and encouraged by the maternal care and insistence of the Church. (St. Pius X, Lacrimabili Statu 1)
 
Let not these priests be misled, in the maze of current opinions, by the miracles of a false democracy.  Let them not borrow from the rhetoric of the worst enemies of the Church and of the people, the high-flown phrases, full of promises; which are as high-sounding as unattainable… Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists. (St. Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique 44)
 
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.  (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 36)
 

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