Roman Catholic Church Teaching on Slavery

And a little American history of it.

Vic Biorseth,

This Catholic American Thinker 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 in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Ohio. 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. 

A lie

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

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

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.

Where that leaves us

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.


Sarcastic Acronym 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" it over a link without clicking just to see the simple acronym interpretation. Click any footnote link to see the acronym and a detailed explanation; "Hover" the mouse over it just to see the simple interpretation.)

SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
GESGOEAEOT2 Gradually, Ever So Gradually, Over Eons And Eons Of Time
PEWAG3 Punctuated Equilibrium's Wild-Assed Guess
TTRSTF4 Them There Real Scientifical-Type Fellers
TTRSPTF5 Them There Real Smart Perfesser-Type Fellers
TTRSJTF6 Them There Real Smart Journalistical-Type Fellers
SNRTACBT7 Surely No Right Thinking Adult Could Believe Today
STNSEACPB8 Surely Today No Serious Educated Adult Could Possibly Believe
WDN9 We Don't Know
BMDFP10 Baboons, Mongrel Dogs, Filthy Pigs and ...
HBAACOTE11 Human Beings Are A Cancer On The Earth
ACLU12 Anti-Christian Litigation Union
FLORMPORIF13 Flagrant Liar, Or, Mindless Parrot, Or, Innocent Fool
MEJTML14 Marxist Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
IEJTML15 Islamic Ends-Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
MPAV16 Marxist Principles And Values
WBESSWG17 Wise, Benign, Elite, Super-Scientific World Governance
TRMITM18 The Reason Man's In This Mess
IYI19 Intellectual Yet Idiotic
TTRSCBTF20 Them There Real Smart Catholic Bishop Type Fellers
IACMPVND21 Illegal-Alien-Criminal Marxocrat-Party-Voting Nation-Destroyers
PEJTML22 Palestinian Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
PSYOP23 "Psychological Operation" Mind Trick
CDC24 Covid Developmentally Challenged
LGBTQ+25 Every Letter Represents A Serious Psychotic sexual Identity Disorder
HEJTML26 Hedonist Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
SEJTML27 Scientistic Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar

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Date: Tue Mar 02 15:42:12 2010
From: Kidd
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
From: Jasmine

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 Judeo-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, 2012
Converted Page to SBI! Release 3.0 BB 2.0.

Date:  Fri Feb 01 12:38:32 2013
From:  jj
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  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:

  1. The fact that all who are properly Baptised are "imperfect" Catholics, whether they know it or not, for there is only one Church into which one may be Baptized in that manner.  
  2. There is the matter of "Invincible Ignorance" of the Church Christ founded. 
  3. There is the matter of the Natural Law, which God had graven on the hearts of man.

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 Judeo-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? 



Date:   Thu Nov 06 2014
From:  Vic Biorseth

Changes pursuant to changing the website URL and name from 
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.

Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages.  . 



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Related WebPages

The Purpose of this grouping of links is to organize all site Cafeteria Catholic webpages in one place for easier reference.

LPMP Cafeteria Catholic Pages.
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Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.—Winston Churchill

Note the Military Assault Rifle common to the American Founding Era.

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.—Ayn Rand

Atheist Genesis:

In the beginning there was nothing, and nothing happened to nothing.
And then nothing accidentally exploded and created everything.
And then some bits of everything accidentally encountered other bits of everything and formed some new kinds of everything.
And then some bits of everything accidentally arranged themselves into self-replicating bits of everything.
And then some self-replicating bits of everything accidentally arranged themselves into dinosaurs.

(See The Darwinism Pages)

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