Vic Biorseth, http://www.Thinking-Catholic-Strategic-Center.com
This Thinking Catholic Strategic Center Slavery page is done separately here to be linked to from various other Cafeteria Catholic pages outlining official Catholic courses taught in the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program. This was done to avoid repetition, because so many different courses taught the exact same error. It was just about always used as a prime example by the teacher to show how official Church teaching on moral issues has changed over history.
The officially taught line that I took exception to just about always was on the order of "once, in the past, the Church officially condoned slavery, and now she condemns it." This is a false statement. It is intended to be used as "evidence" to support the far worse falsehood, officially taught in the course material, that the Church in the past, and still today, changes her mind on what she teaches on matters of faith and morals.
This falsehood was one of the most consistent official teachings of the archdiocese of Cincinnati, but it is not and has never been an official teaching of the larger Roman Catholic Church.
In all of recorded history, there is no such thing as a matter of faith and morals on which the Holy Roman Catholic Church has ever changed its teaching.
The following was summarized from email, letter, note and verbal debates with various Cincinnati-Athenaeum teachers. It's a more detailed response to questions/statements referring to the notion that the Roman Catholic Church once condoned slavery. Sometimes the professor's position would shift to be that slavery was so treated in Catholic circles, and then that the Church eventually officially condemned slavery as immoral. But these discussions were always off-line, and that softened position, or any change at all in position, was never offered to the entire class. The incorrect but official Cincinnati teaching to the entire class stood, uncorrected, in every case.
When speaking of universal teaching on faith and morals issues, “The Church” is understood by me to mean the Church hierarchy, always including the pope; in other words, if any bishop or group of bishops issued a Catholic (universal) teaching on faith or morals, then that bishop or group of bishops had to act in full communion with the pope. Otherwise, it could not be considered to be a teaching of “The Church.” Which means that any “Church Circles” that exclude the pope do not teach universally on Catholic faith and morals. For a detailed explanation of why this is true see the Papal Infallibility page.
A bishop or group of bishops teaches infallibly when and only when in full communion with the pope, and with all other bishops. The universal Catholic magisterium, i.e., the universal teaching authority and office the Holy Roman Catholic Church, does not exist in the absence of the advice and consent of the pope. The goal here is to address the changing (or unchanging) “Church” position on slavery, and therefore the logical place to look is papal teaching. What I found follows.
We must assume that challengers are speaking of UNJUST servitude, of the variety found in early America, as opposed to what historically has been called JUST servitude that existed before, during and after the time of Christ, which, to my knowledge, was never addressed by the Church.
Just servitude involved slaves/servants who came into their condition, most usually, due to having been defeated in war. As we will see below, the conditions of slavery were considerably different for slaves of Jews or Christians than they were for slaves of pagans. This POW form of slavery gradually died out on it’s own in Western culture over the centuries. Some time during the decline of the Roman Empire, victorious armies no longer marched home driving huge parades of slaves.
Non-Christians still dealt in slaves, but permanent or war slavery gradually died out in Christian nations. But there were other forms of so-called just servitude. A man could sell himself (or be sold) into a period of servitude to settle a just debt. A man could sell a misbehaving son into a period of servitude to avoid disgrace or dishonor of the family name, or, he could sell a more favored son into apprenticeship to a craftsman to learn a trade as an apprentice. All of these forms of contractual slavery had a period certain, and when it expired the slave was free; the usual period was seven years.
In later centuries a starving artist might sell himself to a master artist for a period of time, or work for free, just for the experience of working under a recognized master artist (or architect, or engineer, or physician, etc.) In early America many British and European immigrants sold themselves into voluntary servitude for a period of years in exchange for passage to America; they were called indentured servants. Often, in early America and elsewhere, youngsters would apprentice themselves via a period of bondage to a craftsman, who would feed, shelter and clothe them, and teach them, while using them as servants, with no pay. Not very nice, but that was the deal, and it was understood up front.
This, too, died out over time, yet vestiges of it live on today in the practice of internship, in which a student or would-be professional agrees to work for sub-standard pay, or even for no pay, in return for the opportunity to gain practical experience in a chosen discipline or profession. Also, from out of the ancient tradition of just servitude was born the profession of servants still extant in Europe and Britain. There are instances of whole servant families serving employer families for many generations of both families, in proud traditions handed down father to son, mother to daughter.
The most morally troublesome form of just servitude involves slavery due to having been conquered in war. Up until about the time of the decline of the Roman Empire, the two recognized options of what to do with a conquered people were either to kill them all, or to enslave them all, else they would soon be coming back at you and nothing would have been settled by the war. A less trusted option was to extract an oath of allegiance. (Charlemagne would later introduce the option of baptizing them all.)
Today, to the modern ear, just servitude doesn’t sound very just when it’s referring to slavery. It is reasonable to assume that, in those days, a POW might not see the justice in being held in perpetual bondage as the spoils of war; but if the shoe were on the other foot and he had been on the victorious side, he would have either killed everybody or enslaved everybody, and he would have felt that he was acting in perfect justice.
This is not to condone this form of slavery, but merely to state that that is the way that it was, from before the time of our Lord, and that it was the expected, known and recognized social order of the day. Many people were servants merely because their great great grandparents lost a war or were conquered. Paul recognized it as a social institution, because that is exactly what it was. It gradually disappeared from Western culture, beginning early in the Middle Ages, with war slaves being assimilated into the larger cultures.
UNJUST servitude involved the non-war, non-justice – oriented, non-equitable deal, forcible taking or kidnapping of free people to be used or sold as slaves. It appears to be an invention of Islam. This form of slavery was unheard of in Western culture, until Western culture first began to be infected by it in the early 15th century. In the European-colonized Canary Islands, colonists acting under the auspices of Spain began a fraudulent evangelizing or “conversion” campaign that was in truth a means to gain access to the people so that they could be taken and sold as slaves. Baptism led them directly into slavery, adding sacrilege to underhanded trickery and immorality. As soon as the Church heard of it, she condemned it.
Pope Eugene IV, in his bull Sicut Dudum, January 13, 1435, sent to Bishop Ferdinand located at Rubicon on the island of Lazarote, demanded that the bull be posted publicly. Within 15 days of posting, anyone who owned any of these people and did not immediately act to restore them to their freedom, property and former status, was to be excommunicated. No fee was to be extracted, and the enslaved people were to be given total and perpetual freedom. All activity involving actions to lure, market, transport, capture, buy or sell human beings was forthwith subject to excommunication. The intention of the bull was to condemn the enslavement of the residents, and to demand correction of the injustice within 15 days; the enslavement itself was referred to as “illicit” and “evil.”
Note that this was 60 years before Columbus sailed, the Reformation had not yet occurred, and all of Western Culture was Roman Catholic.
And, then as now, there were here and there Bishops who did not necessarily listen to the Pope, and people who did not necessarily listen to Bishops. Subsequent bulls issued by Pius II and Sixtus IV penalizing Europeans who continued to enslave people in the Canary Islands illustrates the existence of a huge chasm between what the Church of Rome officially taught and what was practiced by Catholic Europeans operating in Africa and the New World. Sound familiar?
Some have tried to argue that the language of Sicut Dudum limiting itself to freeing slaves who were “baptized residents of the Canary Islands or those who are freely seeking Baptism” as meaning that any other form of slavery – of non-Christians, for instance – was condoned; but there was no other form of slavery there. Only the baptized and those seeking baptism among the residents had been and were being taken into slavery. And the words of the instruction stating that all of the residents of the Canary Islands taken captive were to be freed, under penalty of excommunication, prove that enslavement of any of these people, Christian or non-Christian, was forbidden under penalty of excommunication.
Pope Alexander the VI, probably the most scandalous of all popes, and the Pope of whom most Catholics are probably the least proud, to put it mildly, in several letters and bulls deliberately short-circuited the possible attempts of European sovereigns to “enslave” peoples by the wording of his “grants.” He is widely attributed with “dividing up the world” among European sovereigns during the great age of discovery, but those who level the charges seldom carefully read the actual words he wrote. He repeatedly and quite consistently inserted words such as “...who wish to be subject to you...” into sentences that granted lands to sovereigns who agreed thereby to act as agents to spread the Catholic faith in the new lands.
In other words, the subjects had to be willing subjects, or they were not to be subjects, of the sovereign. This is a clear recognition of the rights of men not yet even seen by anyone in Europe. An example from a June 1497 letter to King Emmanual of Portugal: “...we confirm for you and your successors dominion over said cities, camps, places, lands and dominions which, as was said before, have had occasion to wish to be subject to you, pay tribute to you and recognize you as their Sovereign.”
Explorers were going to plant a flag and claim the ground in the name of their sovereign regardless of what the Pope said, and many of them were going to enrich themselves, regardless of what their sovereigns said; however, to remain in grace, sovereigns tended to listen to the pope, and to remain in power, explorers tended to listen to sovereigns. Which, of course, did not always mean that all of the explorers always listened to their sovereigns, any more than all of the bishops always listened to the pope, any more than that all sovereigns were saints. The world is an imperfect place; if it were a perfect place and there were no sinners on Earth, there would be no need for the Church.
Pope Paul III, in Sublimis Deus, June 2, 1537, addressed to all Catholics in the world, condemns the enslavement and “brutish” treatment of the Indians of the Americas, and orders that they be restored to their property and full liberty. Just as in the Canary Islands, free people were being taken against their will and forced into slavery. In this bull all slavery is condemned; but it is not certain, to me, that voluntary servitude was included in this. (I don’t think it was the intention of the Holy Father that everyone everywhere was required to immediately fire all voluntary servants and turn them out into the streets.)
In a letter May 29, 1537 to the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, regarding support for an edict of Charles V of Spain and a Pastoral letter of the Cardinal, Paul III directs that anyone interfering with efforts to free Indians, or supporting the enslavement of them, be excommunicated latae sententiae, incurred ipso facto, a penalty to be absolved only by him or the Roman Pontiff then reigning. In those days excommunication was tantamount to final damnation. Sublimis Deus was addressed to the whole Church, Paul III invoked his Apostolic Authority in very strong terms, and he referred not only to the human dignity of the American Indians of the Southwest, but also that of “all other peoples.” As a universal teaching of the ordinary magisterium, this teaching is infallible, meaning also, irreformable.
It goes on. There was Gregory XIV, Cum Sicuty, April 18, 1591; Urban VIII, Commissum Nobis, April 22, 1639; Innocent XI, Response to the Congregation of the Holy Office, No. 230, March 20, 1686; Benedict XIV, Immensa Pastorum, December 20, 1741; Gregory XVI In Supremo, December 20, 1839; Pius IX. There were at least three Instructions of the Holy Office on Slavery issued from Rome: Instruction of the Holy Office, No. 230, March 20, 1686; Instruction of the Holy Office, No. 515, September 12, 1776, and Instruction of the Holy Office, No. 1293, June 20, 1866. And finally the works at the close of slavery, by Leo XIII: In Plurimis, May 5 1888, and Catholicae Ecclesiae, November 20, 1890. And it never changed. “The Church” has quite consistently opposed unjust and involuntary slavery.
In some places and times, some Protestants might have embraced slavery out of a knee-jerk reaction against the Church’s condemnation of it, rather than any major moral difference between them and us. But not here in America. As a predominantly Protestant nation, or pre-nation, America did about as well as she could. The early colonies tried, with the arrival of the very first Dutch slavers, to enact anti-slavery laws, only to have them immediately overturned by the King of England. It may thus be argued that unjust slavery was forced upon America, at least in the first instances.
The first non-voluntary African slaves brought to America came with the usual indenture or contract papers, and they were freed in the usual manner after seven years, and so America had “free persons of color” living free in the population from seven years after the arrival of the first slave ship. Later when slaves came without such papers, most people continued to free them after the customary period for may years, until in the 17th century when black slaves were bound by law to perpetual servitude, even unto their offspring. Which is when Quakers and others began freeing their own slaves, fired the coals of abolition, and the movement began in earnest.
Three excellent sources for this kind of material are The Popes and Slavery, by Fr. Joel S. Panzer, Holy Warriors, by James Brewer Stewart, and Ethnic America, by Thomas Sowell.
The Popes and Slavery is particularly valuable because it contains the full text, in Latin and English, of documents of the papal magisterium against slavery (Appendix B,) Instructions of the Holy Office on Slavery (Appendix C) and John Paul The Great's address to the Church of St. Charles Borromeo on the Island of Goree on Saturday, February 22, 1992 (Appendix D.) All of which, not coincidentally, agree in moral teaching. “The Church” has never condoned involuntary servitude.
A reading of Church documents, or of Scripture, by one who does not discriminate between just and unjust servitude will leave the reader with the impression that some “slaves” held by Christians existed in a relationship with their owners that was more or less blessed, or perhaps recognized would be a better word, by the Church. A correct impression. But, of course, there is and was a major difference between just and unjust servitude that must be considered if we are to objectively judge the official Church teaching about what we in the modern world all immediately recognize as slavery, and we must also recognize that the full definition of that word is not the same today as it always was.
For instance, the connotations of “slavery” as a social institution or as a state of life are virtually unrecognized in Western culture today. In Islam, yes; in Western culture, no. What the Church has quite consistently taught against was the involuntary and unjust enslavement of human beings. Today, and arguably from the first papal condemnation of slavery, the notion of slavery due to war or conquest would be included in the prohibition, since it would be an involuntary and unjust form of servitude, and also a form slavery that had not existed in (Catholic) Western culture since some time after the last wars with Islam.
In the non-Jewish, non-Christian world, owners literally held the power of life and death over the slaves they owned. But they lived by a different standard; it was not so among the Jews and the Christians. It is very important for the researcher today to recognize that the many places in Scripture that speak about the “stranger” or the “alien” who “lives among you” was, in almost all instances, a slave. The Hebrews, too, were once slaves, before the Lord brought them out of bondage, and He gave them rules by which to treat those held in bondage, lest they forget.
In reality, the Hebrew slave was more akin to a hireling or an employee, given time off, allowed to marry, given the Sabbath and feast days, invited to festivals and celebrations, a member of the larger community. If he were injured unjustly by his master, he was entitled to be freed as compensation for the injury. The Mosaic Law was merciful to the slave (Ex. 21; Lev. 25; Deut. 15, 21) and carefully secured his fair wage to the laborer (Deut. 24:15). In Jewish society the slave was not an object of contempt, because labor was not despised among the Jews as it was elsewhere.
These ideas and habits of life the Apostles brought into the new society which so rapidly grew up as the effect of their preaching. As this society included, from the first, faithful of all conditions -- rich and poor, slaves and freemen -- the Apostles were obliged to utter their beliefs as to the social inequalities which so profoundly divided the Roman world.
"For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:27-28; cf. I Cor. 11:13).
From this principle St. Paul draws no political conclusions. It was not his wish, as it was not in his power, to realize Christian equality either by force or by revolt. Such revolutions are not as effective when done suddenly and massively.
Christianity accepts society as it is, influencing it for its transformation through, and only through, individual souls, one soul at a time. What Christianity demands in the first place, both from masters and from slaves is, to live as brethren -- commanding with equity, without threatening, remembering that God is the master of all - obeying with fear, but without servile flattery, in simplicity and in humility, as they would obey Christ (cf. Eph. 6:9; Col. 3:22-4; 4:1). Even Christian slaves of non-Christians and non-Jews were encouraged to persevere in humility and submission to potentially cruel masters.
Yet, in multiple courses in the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program, the official "Catholic" teaching given to students by faculty, in the name of the Archbishop and by his authority, was that the Roman Catholic church once taught that slavery was acceptable, and later changed that teaching to make it unacceptable. This was and is a false teaching.
Whether the archbishop likes it or not, the fact of the matter is that core teachings on faith and morals given by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church have never changed, are not changing, and will not ever change, until He comes again.
These are statements that the discerning or thinking Catholic, thinking Protestant or thinking Jew can easily prove for himself with a little objective study and the proper application of good critical thinking to the subject.
Pray for the Archbishop of Cincinnati; pray for the teaching office of the Archbishop of Cincinnati; and pray for the Particular Church of Cincinnati.
Return to Web Site Log (BLOG) page
Return to HOME PAGE
Hover-Link Footnotes: For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links. (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" over a link.)
I avoid social media, having been burned by poor security in that arena. You may contact me through comments at the bottom of any webpage on this website, including this one. I am the only one who sees, approves and publishes these comments, or not. Regards, Vic
(Each published webpage, change or comment automatically sends the webpage to the top of the Thinking Catholic Blog Roll by date and time.)
Date: Tue Mar 02 15:42:12 2010
Location: United States
I LOVE your articles. Thanks you for writing them.
I have looked around and haven't been able to find any articles that you may have written that address torture. If you have written on this can you point me in the right direction so I can read them?
Date: Tue Mar 02 17:31:53 2010
From: Vic Biorseth
I have addressed torture, but only very lightly, and I can’t remember what page it was on. It may have been in some dialogue at the end of some page; I have not done an article just on the subject of torture.
Basically, as hard as it is to say in these days with some of the moral monsters we have to deal with, I have to come down, if weakly, on the side opposing torture as beneath the dignity of man, made in the image and likeness of God. Water-boarding, as I understand it, would qualify as torture.
Now that the issue has been made so public, any terrorist “victim” of water-boarding would know full well ahead of time the limitations imposed by our forces on the use of the technique, and so they could more easily withstand it without yielding any information anyway, so water-boarding may now be a near useless tool of interrogation.
I hope this helps; cannot take the time right now to hunt down my previous comments on the subject because I have another new page to work on, and not much free time.
Date: Sat Jul 16 23:02:42 2011
This is bunk. This country was founded on slavery and built up by slavery. The founders were all slave holders and slave traders. Even the constitution only counts slaves as 3/5 of a person. Why don’t you recognize the blatant racism of America?
Date: Sun Jul 17 07:35:13 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
You have it wrong; it was the anti-slavery faction among the founders who fought to get the three fifths clause, counting a slave as three fifths of a human, into the Constitution. What they started out with was to count the slave as a whole human being, for purposes of representation in Congress. The resistance to that came from the planters and other big slaveholders, mostly from the South, in the Party that would eventually become the Democrat Party. They wanted no slave counted, period. The opposition, who would become, under Lincoln, the Republican Party, wanted slaves recognized as voting citizens. Failing that, they wanted them to be at least recognized as human beings, a thing hard to deny, in order to increase the number of representatives in slave-holding localities. For even in the big slave areas, a Judao-Christian conscience would eventually impel white voters to eliminate slavery altogether. When the Southerners would not allow that, it became an argument regarding how much of a human they thought a slave might be, and it wound up at three fifths, the best the abolitionists could get, using a straight-forward logical argument. The slavers wound up deeply embarrassed at having to defend such a stupid logical and moral position. Here is the paragraph from Aricle I Section 3 to which you refer:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons [Modified by Amendment XIV]. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
The whole thing came to a head with Lincoln and the Civil War, and the 14th Amendment did away with the whole three fifths clause and granted slaves full citizenship.
Many of America’s founding fathers were outspoken abolitionists from the beginning; many signers of the Declaration and many participants in the first Constitutional Convention were famously champions of the abolition movement. Samuel Adams; John Adams (and his son John Quncy Adams, and his son, Charles Francis Adams Sr.;) Benjamin Franklin; Aaron Burr; Alexander Hamilton; John Jay; Benjamin Rush; George Mason; John Dickinson; Luther Martin; Henry Laurens.
Then, of course there were the “conflicted” abolitionists who continued to own slaves. Many came by their slaves through either marriage or inheritance; all who had plantations or farms or other businesses employing slaves were caught in the economic trap that would destroy their business and perhaps even leave them destitute if they freed their slaves, unless all slaves, including those of their business competitors, were freed simultaneously. That would be a very hard thing to get everyone to agree to do.
Slave owner George Washington wrote that his first wish to see executed a plan by which slavery could be abolished via legislation. He wrote “I can clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union.”
Slave owner Thomas Jefferson wrote that “There is nothing I would not sacrifice for a practicable plan of abolishing every vestige of this moral and political depravity.” And, he also wrote “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” He attempted to get abolition included into our Declaration of Independence, but it was narrowly defeated by vote and stricken from the document before publication. Here is the wording Jefferson tried to include in our Declaration of Independence:
"...he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. [determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold,] he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them, thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another..."
The argument was eventually settled by the Civil War. In all of world history, no other nation ever fought such a bloody war over such a noble cause.
Saturday, December 08,
Converted Page to SBI! Release 3.0 BB 2.0.
Date: Fri Feb 01 12:38:32 2013
Location: easton pa. u.s.a.
I thought the 3/5 clause was because they didnt want to give the South that many more votes to control and keep slavery,since the slaves would largely vote how thier masters told them?
Date: Fri Feb 01 12:38:32 2013
From: Vic Biorseth
No, it was the abolitionists who argued the number up from zero to 3/5. The slavers didn't want to count slaves at all; they presented the impossible to defend argument that slaves were not human. The 3/5 clause was the final political compromise between not counting them at all, and counting them as something worthy of counting.
If any man can be made to recognize the humanity of the slave, then, if he was raised up in a Jewish or a Christian religious tradition, he would eventually be forced by his faith to recognize the blatant immorality of forced slavery itself.
The slavers did not want to recognize the humanity of the slave; the abolitionists insisted upon the truth of it; the 3/5 clause was the best political compromise position that could be accomplished at that time and place, since both the slavers and the abolitionists wanted to form or "Constitute" the United States of America.
Date: Sat Apr 19 16:18:56 2014
From: Paul Peters
Location: The mystical body of Christ
There is absolutely No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church visit www.vaticancatholic.com You are not correct in saying america is based on Christian foundations. The principle of Separation of Church and State is definitely contained in the U.S. Constitution. It’s contained in the very place where the Constitution declares that the State shall have no official religion. A declaration that the State will have no official religion is equivalent to a declaration that the State will be separate from the Church. That should be obvious. But it’s proven by the following quote from Pope Pius XI:
Pope Pius XI, Dilectissima Nobis (#6), June 3, 1933: “But, returning to the deplorable laws regarding religious confessions and Congregations, We learned with great sorrow that therein, at the beginning, it is openly declared that the State has no official religion, thus reaffirming that separation of State from Church which was, alas, decreed in the new Spanish Constitution.”
Here we see that to recognize “no official religion” is the same thing as “reaffirming… separation of State from Church.” Thus, one doesn’t have to explicitly declare that the State will be separate from the Church to teach that heresy, but merely declare that the State doesn’t recognize Catholicism as the official religion.
Thus, the heresy of Separation of Church and State is contained in the following statement of the U.S. Constitution:
U.S. Constitution, First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Really, it should be obvious that “No official religion” means separation of Church and State. It shouldn’t even have to be proved by a quote from Pope Pius XI, as we did above. However, the myth that the Constitution did not teach the separation of Church and State is somewhat widespread. We think it’s widespread because some people have an unreasonable desire to exonerate the founding of the U.S. and the Constitution from heresies against the Catholic faith.
I should also emphasize, for those who might be new to this issue, that when I say that the Church and State should not be separate we do not mean that the same individuals should be in charge of ecclesiastical and secular affairs (i.e., a theocracy). No, what I mean by the union of State and Church is that the laws of the State must recognize Catholicism as the true religion. Catholicism should be the official religion of the State and the State’s laws should be in line with Catholic teaching.
The american constitution contains, at its core, principles which are hostile to the true faith and to a truly Christian society. Those false principles, which have been condemned by the true popes, include the separation of the state from the Church, and guarantees for all forms of religion and thus for all manner of evils.
Date: Sat Apr 19 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
I'm not really sure why you commented on this page rather than the Separation of Church and State page, but we can begin discussing it here if you wish.
First off, your statement,
"There is absolutely No Salvation Outside the Catholic Curch ..."
is only true if you strike the word "absolutely". There are possibilities - not certainties - of salvation spoken of by Popes and Bishops regarding, for instance:
All of which support the possibility of salvation for non-Catholics who obey the Natural Law and seek Truth in accordance with the light they are given.
Second, as explained in Separation of Church and State and elsewhere herein, there is no such thing in the Constitution. You are wrong in your personal interpretation of the Religion Clause of the First Amendment. It places two legal restrictions on Congress, who makes law, and it places absolutely no legal restrictions on anyone else, including the other two branches of government, the states and the citizens.
Saying that the government may not establish a national religion in law is certainly not a declaration that the state or the government must be separate from the Church, or from any particular religion. You are reading into it more than is there. The clause is very simple and direct.
Your reference to Pius XI's statement is referring to the Spanish Constitution; here, I am only prepared to speak of the American Constitution.
This country was originally colonized, then was Revolutionized, and then was Constituted by men who, from the beginning, were raised up in Christian households by Christian believers who lived by the Judao-Christian Ethos. If you study that ethos, what you will find is that, at the root of all of Protestantism stands Catholicism, and at the root of Catholicism stands Judaism. That ethos is the Commandment-based ethos of America.
That is the ethos that ended slavery, although it took a horrible civil war to do it. No other nation in all of history ever fought such a costly war with itself over a mere Christian moral issue.
Your statement that our American government should recognize Catholicism as the only true religion, while denying that would change us into a theocracy, is ludicrous. That description is, definitively, a theocracy. That is how we started out, as we said in American Legal Morality, which was as 13 distinct theocratic Colonies.
The earliest Colonists came here, primarily, to avoid the religious persecution they suffered in post-Reformation Europe and Britain, at the hands of theocratic governments. That's why each of them allowed religious practice of denominations other than the official religion of the Colony. They were sick of it.
You will have to point out for me the when, where and by whom the American Constitution or its Amendments have been declared heresies. I try to keep up on things, but I seem to have missed that one.
Your last paragraph is really interesting. I submit that, rather than hostile to the Church Christ founded, Constitutional America may be the best and brightest opportunity for free and open Catholic evangelism on earth. (Not under the current regime, which clearly opposes the Constitution.)
You refer to "true" Popes. Which ones might they be? Are all the others not "true" Popes?
Please note the language and tone of this monitored Website. This is not the place to stack up vulgar one-liners and crude rejoinders. While you may support, oppose or introduce any position or argument, submissions must meet our standards of logical rigor and civil discourse. We will not participate in merely trading insults, nor will we tolerate participants merely trading insults. Participants should not be thin-skinned or over sensitive to criticism, but should be prepared to defend their arguments when challenged. If you don’t really have a coherent argument or counter-argument of your own, sit down and don’t embarrass yourself. Nonsensical, immoral or merely insulting submissions will not be published here. If you have something serious to contribute to the conversation, back it up, keep it clean and keep it civil. We humbly apologize to all religious conservative thinkers for the need to even say these things.
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Welcome to my website.
Catholic American Thinker Free E-zine Subscription
What are you passionate about? Express it on-line.
Take a Video-Tour of how to create your own website, blog, online e-business, passive affiliate-ad business, etc., right here.
Video Testimonies of people pursuing their passion through SBI!
The Purpose of this grouping of links is to gather all site American political positions and arguments in one place.
Political Ideologies Pages
Laying out the contemporary American political factions and their positions, as compared to the Founding Principles in the Declaration, and the Constituting Principles in the Constitution. America is the first nation in world history designed to be without classes - no nobility, no royalty, no aristocracy - all men stand equal before the law.
American Politics. Examination of American Political Ideologies going into the 2012 Election and beyond.
The contemporary conservative American forum out-classes modern journalism. Wading through the bloggosphere pays off when one finds a really good conservative American forum, blog or website.
Fixed Pegs versus Variable Reality: Salvation versus Doom. Fixed Pegs versus Variable Reality describes the dichotomy between objective truth and human imaginings.
Returning to American Founding Principles offers a return to national salvation. American Founding Principles are reawakened by the mortal threat to the nation posed by Obamunism.
Return to American Constitutional Principles is the path to national salvation. American Constitutional Principles are reawakened by the mortal threat to the nation posed by Obamunism.
American Constitutional Doom: Our own political process is destroying us. American Constitutional Doom made inevitable by parasitic enemies within America.
The Democracy-Open Society problem: Does it spell doom for Democracy? The "Redirection" and the increasingly Open Society born of Democracy. Inevitable chaos?
Warning all bourgeoisie: Obama will destroy the middle class. Take fair warning all bourgeoisie, i.e., members of our vast middle class: the Marxists despise you and intend to conquer you once and for all.
In support of American Nationalism and American Patriotism. American Nationalism and American Patriotism have been demonized long enough.
Are our federal bureaucracies all malignant outgrowths of Marxism? Any extra-Constitutional government agency is likely to be a malignant outgrowth of Marxism.
Three fatal oversights of the top conservative cognizanti: Glenn, Rush and Sean. Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity are on the right track, but just nibbling around the edges of who the enemy is.
It’s Liberty versus Marxism and Islam, which cannot coexist with Liberty. Liberty versus Marxism and Islam: the epic contest of this historic era.
Can we outlaw Islam in the USA and still be a free thinking society? I say we can and should outlaw any ideology that seeks the elimination of Constitutional America.
Can we outlaw Marxism in the USA and still be a free thinking society? I say we can and should outlaw any ideology that seeks the elimination of Constitutional America.
Our argument supporting the Fair Tax as a sensible and practical Tax Revolution. Fair Tax presents the possibility of a real, popular, voter-supported, tax payer supported, grass-roots supported Revolution in America, and a radical change for the better.
Fasttrack Fairtax: Stop income tax until repeal of Amendment XVI. Fasttrack Fairtax: Legislate to not collect income tax and pass FairTax.
Atheizing America - we sit, seemingly mesmerized, merely watching it happen. Among all Leftist agendas, the atheizing America agenda is the one we seem to notice the least. Like deer in the headlights, we just stand there and watch.
Current American Political Landscape: Our Two Parties and their Positions. The Thinking Catholic looks at Issues and Parties for the Catholic American Thinker.
Against diversity for the sake of diversity. Why do Marxists always seek more? Our argument against diversity for the sake of diversity, which weakens and ultimately replaces ideology and ethos.
Opposing affirmative action / equal opportunity programs as racist. Affirmative action (racial preference) requires racial exclusion, which is, definitively, racism.
Are we really a racist culture, or are our blacks just a bunch of crybabies? If America has produced more black self-made millionaires than any or all other nations, then, how is it that America is seen to be a racist nation?
New "race and racism" thread begun by Stephen from VT. On race and racism: the ever changing definition and generic usage of the word "racism."
Athenaeum courses consistently taught that the early Church condoned slavery. This teaching is clearly false. Yet the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program, in multiple courses, officially taught that the Church "changed" its teaching on slavery.
Toward a definition of a distinct American People: American National Existence. What makes us a distinct American People? The way we look? Or is it someing inside us, that defines American national existence?
Argument against National Health Care, which is, in fact, Socialized Medicine. National Heath Care equals Socialized Medicine, pure and simple. Medical Practice is beyond the scope of government and not what our government is constituted to do.
It's The American Ideal and our Constitutional Government Vs the Global Village. This election, alone, is unlikely to completely undo America, as a nation; but it may work in that direction. It is of vital importance to you as an American.
Anti-American Politics, pure and simple, describe Democrat Party strategy. Anti-American Politics are practiced by all Leftists. Marxism, at any level, is antithetical to the very idea of America. To be Marxist is to be an anti-American.
Argument Against the Anti-American UN: Why do we support such an antagonist? The staunchly anti-American UN has a major goal involving world governance, and America is in the way of that effort.
My anti anti-American arguments are attacks on falsehoods, in support of truth. American Communists hide their true identity and disguise themselves as anti anti-Communists. Using their playbook, I hereby identify myself as an anti anti-American.
The anti intellectual sentiment: Where does it come from? Marxist Academia and the Anti-Intellectual Sentiment.
Boehner’s Folly: will it doom Constitutional America? House Leadership and Boehner’s Folly purposely fumbled and turned over the ball on the one yard line.
Boycott the airlines until they stop the groping and begin profiling. Boycott the airlines; if you can’t go on a company plane or drive, don’t go at all.
Catastrophic Spending: Change You Can Believe In. The most dangerous Change in all of Obamunism is Catastrophic Spending.
The Global Village concept seeks to replace National Sovereignty by default. Marxian "Global Village-ism" makes major inroads among outlaws, and among elitist intellectuals.
We argue against income minimums and caps, and for a free and private market. Income minimums and caps are Marxism’s “moral” bait to gain popular support for Socialism on the path to typical Marxist absolute dictatorship.
True, the world oil supply is limited; but, so are the stars in the universe. "The world oil supply is cruising toward depletion" is the Chicken-Little call from the Left. But it ain't necessarily so.
Marxists and Moslems: The Last Barbarians. The last barbarians not yet converted or conquered by Western civilization are Marxists and Moslems.
Our argument against fads, fashions, popular trends and herd instinct. If speaking against fads makes me square, un-cool or un-hip, then so be it. All fads are, in microcosm, expressions of rebellion against tradition.
If an American Redirection is underway; we all need to look at it. Reviewing some implications of the newly coined Science / Democracy Obversion theory underlying the new American Redirection.
Refuting Separation of Church and State as a Constitutional Principle. If Separation of Church and State cannot be found in our Constitution, what makes it a Constitutional Principle? Nothing. It is NOT a Constitutional Principle.
Of the four Republican candidates left standing, only Santorum gets it. Romney? No. Gingrich? No. Paul? No. Only Santorum gets it.
Definition of Capitalism: Economic Organization based on Private Property. Any true definition of Capitalism must state that it is purely an Economic system, not a Government system, and it works most efficiently and profitably under Representative Government.
God and Nature: on the Nature of Things, established by the Creator of Things. on man’s Perversion of the Nature of Things, even with the best of intentions.
Going whole-Hog on American Constitutional Restoration. It's all or nothing, now. If we don't go whole-hog on Constitutional Restoration, the USA is history.
Introducing Glenn Beck Progressivism, and the depth of the hidden movement. Glenn Beck Progressivism: the unseen and unrecognized advance of Marxism.
General Commentary Pages
Various unrelated topics that stirred thought and provoked writing (or quoting) at one time or another. The Everything Else Bucket.
Work at home jobs that have had me. A long, costly and unsuccessful run at work from home jobs that didn't work for us.
Truth versus Agenda addresses the simplest of problems greatly complexified. Truth versus Agenda examines the contest between reality and its opposition.
Vic has Iron Weights for sale; Mama says they have to go. Lots of iron weights for sale; all have to go at once, in one sale.
The challenge describes Capitalism as illusory and Marxism as solid. The mixture of religion just adds to the confusion of all good realists.
Indifferentism and Moral Relativism eats away at Catholic Culture. Catholicism stands against Indifferentism. Where do you stand?
My poor old truck is again starting to look like a poor old truck. After half-a-million miles, we're now approaching another decision time; another paint job, or a new truck.
Battle Line: Where the advancing secular army meets Judeo-Christian moral norms. The Secular Position (or Agenda) involves Proactive, Aggressive Anti-Theism, and not merely "neutral" Atheism.
A return to the American Ideal means a severe reduction in Government. To return to positive growth and progress means, necessarily, purging our nation from all Marxist-Socialist philosophical influence and a return to the American Ideal.
Why this hatred of Palin? What galls modern women of the Left about Sarah Palin? The blind hatred of Palin we’re seeing expressed is not merely because of hatred and intolerance of the pro-life religious moral standard.
A Palin Parker Ticket? My Dream Candidates for 2012. Why a Palin Parker ticket is better than any professional politician Republican ticket you can come up with for 2012.
Elitism Vs Palinism: Why the Left and the Elites Loath and Fear Sarah Palin. It isn’t just Marxism Vs Palinism; it’s also established intellectual elitism vs Palinism. The elite need someone to look down upon.
How is it that opposing amnesty for millions of illegal aliens is "arrogant"? If my pro-Catholic, pro-American, anti-alternative-ethos position is "arrogant," then, exactly what is the position of those who claim superiority or even equality with it?
Here we see Bush family class captured in a simple private citizen’s photo. George W. (and Mrs.) Bush quietly demonstrate Bush family class without hoopla or fanfare.
Marxists love crisis, and they love an oil spill crisis most of all. Marxists even create and drive crisis. Their favorite crisis of all must be the Oil Spill Crisis, which is even better than a Banking Crisis.
American Military Assault Weapons originally intended in the 2nd Amendment. To miss the point of the 2nd Amendment is to miss the point of the whole Constitution.
For God and Country – More Thoughts on America, and on National Existence. For God and Country: Comparisons of martyrdom and heroism, Sovereign Nationhood Vs. Internationalism, distinct people-hood Vs. the Global Village, and Godliness Vs. godlessness.
The Godless Left leads the young and naive to their utopian Hell. For an honest comparison of the effects on youth, we need to look to the history of the Godless Left versus the Religious Right.
The Rabbi Meir Kahane Open Letter to the World is a must read. No decent world history course is complete without the Rabbi Meir Kahane Open Letter to the World.
Aleksandr I.Solzhenitsyn warns the American Worker and American organized labor. Solzhenitsyn speaks to us as a worker from the “Worker’s Paradise” of Communism; words of warning for all who understand the meaning of the word Liberty.
World Revolution returns with a vengeance: the rebirth of Marxism. Marxist world revolution returns, and faces far less opposition than in 1848 or the period between the Great Wars.
Our argument against public despair, hopelessness and pessimism re the future. Despair is a mortal sin, the opposite of the virtue of hope; it is a sin unto the death of the soul, a repudiation and rejection of God’s grace.
On Threats to America's National Existence. A look at the nature of our national existence, what makes us America, physical threats to that, and the possibility of just going out of existence.
On the ethics of language: English dictionary Vs. Political-Correctness taboos. Language evolves, yet morals are (or should be) fixed. This poses questions re the ethics of language.
Thinking Catholic direction: threats to America, Church, Ethos, even History. The Thinking Catholic Direction is multi-faceted, facing threats to American National Existence, Catholic Liturgy, our common Guiding Ethos - emphasis changes to meet the threat of the moment.
Catholics learn and practice Glossalalia, in the Life In The Spirit seminars. Life in the Spirit seminars, fueling the Catholic Charismatic renewal, bring tongue-speaking "Glossalalia", and being "Slain in the Spirit", to Catholicism.
The website is going on hold for at least the next five weeks. Business calls, and I must respond. Will be traveling, and not taking the laptop this time.
Current Website Status. Still too busy for individual responses to questions, comments & criticisms.
Our 2006 Ohio Voter Guide. The choices are quite clear, and the 2006 Ohio Voter Guide was easy to produce.
On carrying my Lord, Jesus Christ, in my pocket. As a Eucharistic Minister, I am on occasion carrying the Lord Jesus in my pocket. It's a wondrous thing.
A 2006 Christmas and Hanukkah wish. May the Holy Days we celebrate remind us all of who we are, and how we are different from other peoples.
Current Democratic Party platform reveals anti-Semitic streak among Liberals. In their voting, their speechifying, and in the slant of their controlled mainstream media reporting, the current Democratic Party Platform is made clear to all observers.
The "Left", and The DaVinci Code, The Passion, and Cartoons of Mohammed. You can tell a lot about a movement by its public words. The Passion? "Unreservedly Bad." The DaVinci Code? "Unreservedly Good." Anything to do with Islam? "No Comment."
Who's driving the Health Care bus? Health insurance companies "grading" doctors? Health insurance companies grading doctors: a legitimized conflict of interest. A preparatory step toward the nationalization of the health insurance industry?
On the forced use of medical boiler plate language rather than simple notes. The "little dictators" from insurance companies and government bureaucracies force MDs to use stilted, verbose, medical boiler plate language in their own documentation.
Home For Christmas 2008. Website Getting Active Again
Hydrogen power could be, and should be, the wave of our automotive future. Any move toward hydrogen power is a move toward a cleaner and more efficient fuel, and away from our dangerous dependency on oil.
Thoughts in remembrance of 09/11/2001, five years later. The changing shape of the war, the changing shape of the enemy.
The Jewish Shabbat. Description of Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath) from my Holy Land item supplier.
Kerry lies again, and then lies about his lies, in concert with the SLIMC. There he goes again! Kerry lies again and again about American servicemen and veterans; he just can't help himself.
Kerry's Lies: The Old, Vietnam-Era Anti-War Chickens are Comming Home to Roost. POW Lawsuit Could Force Kerry To Come Clean - by George "Bud" Day, Chairman, Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation.
What's going on with Mel Gibson? Is he really an anti-Semite? I am surprised that Mel Gibson is an alcolholic. But I am never surprised at any words that come out of the mouth of any drunk.
Still Worrying Over NuVo Consequences. The Holidays have gone by, several days have passed, and the SANE NuVo Initiative still stands pat.
The Dem's October Surprise involves another flip-flop of their public "standard". The clearly pro-sodomy Party that openly seeks the "Gay" vote goes Victorian for another pre-election October Surprise ploy.
Some Problems with NuVo: the so-called Null-Vote Initiative. A "philosophical" movement aimed at keeping religious conservatives from voting? Seriously? Let me state my problems with NuVo.
Come, let us sit and reason together. Jews and Christians of various stripe and spot can say to each other, 'Come, let us sit and reason together.' But we can't do that with the Moslems.
Regarding SANE works dropping NuVo: Nul Vote Initiative dies with a whimper. If you can't really present a good argument, sit down. On SANE Works dropping the NuVo Initiative: a program that works hard to SOUND pro-American while ACTING to oppose American National Existence.
Even experts grossly underestimate the Marxist zeal of the American Left. The sharp Left turn happened in the Hoover-FDR era, and the Marxism of the American Left has been deepening ever since.
Thinking American, in a nutshell: When one has lots to say, but time is limited. The older I get, the busier I get. Answering multiple questions as a thinking American, but in a hurry.
"We are an Easter People, and Hallelujah is our Song." (John Paul the Great) Our absolutely unique and singular Easter story, and the incredible force with which it struck human history.
Witnessing, grieving and weeping for our dieing culture. What might it take to call a whole people back from the brink of cultural death?
If we have an inherent right to something, then, who must supply it? Rights and Responsibilities exist in paired sets; a right does not exist in the absence of a related responsibility. If indeed we have a right to our job, then, someone must provide it. Who?
So how come we have all these homeless people if our system is so great? The strong "Utopian Idealist" firmly believes that absolute worldly perfection is actually possible. Therefore, there should never be any such thing as a hungry or homeless person.
Taking a look at Illegal Imigration and Tax Problem solutions. In our view, the minimum wage and income tax have outlived their usefulness, and only contribute to the illegal alien problem.
First journal / blog entries when the thinking catholic blog first opened up. Notes to readers about what I was doing.
On-going WebSite work and planned WebPages as of 09/07/2006. Adding items to book store.
Vic's busted finger status - life goes on. Another busted finger status report, since the original one rolled off of the 50-entry BLOG update records.
Website Status as of 02/05/2009. No more Bookstore; no more Contact Me; no more complexity.
Website Status 03-09-2009. Just a note to bring you up to date on website status 03-09-2009.
Website Status 04/06/2009. Busy driving daily now; most website work will be weekend and as available.
The Plastic Bags and Eco Doom theory: will plastic bags end life as we know it? Plastic Bag and Eco Doom predictions tell us that plastic grocery and garbage bags will still be buried in the land fills and dumps a thousand years from now. Well … so what?
Farewell Smokey Biorseth; Rest In Peace. Hello Coal Biorseth; Welcome Home. As we were laying our beloved Smokey Biorseth to rest in his grave beside the lilies, a carbon-copy of Smokey, in younger form, emerged from the lilies.
Honky Biorseth really runs this house. If you want to know what's in any cabinet in the house, just ask Honky Biorseth.
Kill the illegal alien marketplace, and illegal aliens will leave on their own. Why should we "imagine" life with no Mexico? Shouldn't the Mexicans be trying to imagine no such thing as the USA?
More Marxist infiltration of higher education. Public school and the media are not the only places dominated by Marxist thought; even Catholic institutions are infected.
Of Families and Fortunes, and Inheritance Vs. Redistribution. Families and Fortunes are despised by Marxists, because Marxism demonizes the family, demonizes fortunes, and even demonizes profit.
Website Status Update 11/09/10. Just a Website status update; where we are and where we’re going.
Regarding the 2010 Tax Deal Pledge Breaker: Pledge? What Pledge? How can Republican deal makers even face us? We need to hang a Tea Party target on all professional politicians for 2012.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem, and for deliverance of Israel from harm. To pray for peace in Jerusalem is to pray for deliverance from Obama.
A tale of Promised Financial Melt-Down Debt Ceiling Nonsense and Happy Marxists. Everyone, on both sides, believes the Debt Ceiling Nonsense. Why?
God and Nature: on the Nature of Things, established by the Creator of Things. God and Nature: on man’s Perversion of the Nature of Things, even with the best of intentions.
Our Ohio voter Guide for the 2012 Election. The 2l012 Ohio Voter Guide – The Choices Have Never Been Clearer, or more critical.
Evangelization enters the animal kingdom with the first bear prayer. It is fitting that the first bear prayer would be a prayer of thanksgiving.
Is the Internet down in Lithuania? Sudden loss of Lithanian traffic suggests the internet is down in Lithuania.
The rise of the Femi Nazi Green Beret, and the decline of military victory. The first Femi Nazi Green Beret will be awarded out of fairness, not excellence.
Food Insurance: Is this stuff really any good? All of us conspiracy-theorizing, global-calamity doomsday-preppers need their Food Insurance.
We just had to try to do Robert Irvine's Plastic Wrapped Baby Back Ribs. Put plastic wrapped baby back ribs in the oven? What? Are you nuts?
Thoughts on the first Eucharist, established by the Last Supper. The first Eucharist was recognized by the Apostles for what it was on that holiest Holy Thursday.
Tea-Party-Candidates-04-18-2014. The Constitution is not going to be restored to legal preeminence unless we replace leadership incumbents of BOTH PARTIES.
Ecce homo; Behold the man. Ecce Homo. Behold the Innocent Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world.
If you can't find the page you're looking for, try the