Pope Pius IX
NATURALISM AND ABSOLUTE RATIONALISM
1. There exists
no Supreme, all-wise, all-provident Divine Being, distinct from the universe,
and God is identical with the nature of things, and is, therefore, subject
to changes. In effect, God is produced in man and in the world, and all things
are God and have the very substance of God, and God is one and the same thing
with the world, and, therefore, spirit with matter, necessity with liberty,
good with evil, justice with injustice.Allocution "Maxima quidem,"
June 9, 1862.
2. All action of God upon man and the world is to be denied.Ibid.
3. Human reason, without any reference whatsoever to God, is the sole arbiter
of truth and falsehood, and of good and evil; it is law to itself, and suffices,
by its natural force, to secure the welfare of men and of nations.Ibid.
4. All the truths of religion proceed from the innate strength of human reason;
hence reason is the ultimate standard by which man can and ought to arrive
at the knowledge of all truths of every kind.Ibid. and Encyclical "Qui
pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846, etc.
5. Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to a continual and
indefinite progress, corresponding with the advancement of human
6. The faith of Christ is in opposition to human reason and divine revelation
not only is not useful, but is even hurtful to the perfection of man.Ibid.
7. The prophecies and miracles set forth and recorded in the Sacred Scriptures
are the fiction of poets, and the mysteries of the Christian faith the result
of philosophical investigations. In the books of the Old and the New Testament
there are contained mythical inventions, and Jesus Christ is Himself a myth.
8. As human reason
is placed on a level with religion itself, so theological must be treated
in the same manner as philosophical sciences.Allocution "Singulari
quadam," Dec. 9, 1854.
9. All the dogmas of the Christian religion are indiscriminately the object
of natural science or philosophy, and human reason, enlightened solely in
an historical way, is able, by its own natural strength and principles, to
attain to the true science of even the most abstruse dogmas; provided only
that such dogmas be proposed to reason itself as its object.Letters
to the Archbishop of Munich, "Gravissimas inter," Dec. 11, 1862, and "Tuas
libenter," Dec. 21, 1863.
10. As the philosopher is one thing, and philosophy another, so it is the
right and duty of the philosopher to subject himself to the authority which
he shall have proved to be true; but philosophy neither can nor ought to
submit to any such authority.Ibid., Dec. 11, 1862.
11. The Church not only ought never to pass judgment on philosophy, but ought
to tolerate the errors of philosophy, leaving it to correct itself.Ibid.,
Dec. 21, 1863.
12. The decrees of the Apostolic See and of the Roman congregations impede
the true progress of science.Ibid.
13. The method and principles by which the old scholastic doctors cultivated
theology are no longer suitable to the demands of our times and to the progress
of the sciences.Ibid.
14. Philosophy is to be treated without taking any account of supernatural
15. Every man is
free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason,
he shall consider true.Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862; Damnatio
"Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.
16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of
eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation.Encyclical "Qui
pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846.
17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all
those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ.Encyclical "Quanto
conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.
18. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian
religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic
Church.Encyclical "Noscitis," Dec. 8, 1849.
COMMUNISM, SECRET SOCIETIES, BIBLICAL SOCIETIES, CLERICO-LIBERAL SOCIETIES
Pests of this kind
are frequently reprobated in the severest terms in the Encyclical "Qui pluribus,"
Nov. 9, 1846, Allocution "Quibus quantisque," April 20, 1849, Encyclical
"Noscitis et nobiscum," Dec. 8, 1849, Allocution "Singulari quadam," Dec.
9, 1854, Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863.
V. ERRORS CONCERNING
THE CHURCH AND HER RIGHTS
19. The Church
is not a true and perfect society, entirely free- nor is she endowed with
proper and perpetual rights of her own, conferred upon her by her Divine
Founder; but it appertains to the civil power to define what are the rights
of the Church, and the limits within which she may exercise those
rights.Allocution "Singulari quadam," Dec. 9, 1854, etc.
20. The ecclesiastical power ought not to exercise its authority without
the permission and assent of the civil government.Allocution "Meminit
unusquisque," Sept. 30, 1861.
21. The Church has not the power of defining dogmatically that the religion
of the Catholic Church is the only true religion.Damnatio "Multiplices
inter," June 10, 1851.
22. The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound
is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as
dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church.Letter to
the Archbishop of Munich, "Tuas libenter," Dec. 21, 1863.
23. Roman pontiffs and ecumenical councils have wandered outside the limits
of their powers, have usurped the rights of princes, and have even erred
in defining matters of faith and morals.Damnatio "Multiplices inter,"
June 10, 1851.
24. The Church has not the power of using force, nor has she any temporal
power, direct or indirect.Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22,
25. Besides the power inherent in the episcopate, other temporal power has
been attributed to it by the civil authority granted either explicitly or
tacitly, which on that account is revocable by the civil authority whenever
it thinks fit.Ibid.
26. The Church has no innate and legitimate right of acquiring and possessing
property.Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856; Encyclical
"Incredibili," Sept. 7, 1863.
27. The sacred ministers of the Church and the Roman pontiff are to be absolutely
excluded from every charge and dominion over temporal affairs.Allocution
"Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.
28. It is not lawful for bishops to publish even letters Apostolic without
the permission of Government.Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.
29. Favours granted by the Roman pontiff ought to be considered null, unless
they have been sought for through the civil government.Ibid.
30. The immunity of the Church and of ecclesiastical persons derived its
origin from civil law.Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.
31. The ecclesiastical forum or tribunal for the temporal causes, whether
civil or criminal, of clerics, ought by all means to be abolished, even without
consulting and against the protest of the Holy See.Allocution "Nunquam
fore," Dec. 15, 1856; Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.
32. The personal immunity by which clerics are exonerated from military
conscription and service in the army may be abolished without violation either
of natural right or equity. Its abolition is called for by civil progress,
especially in a society framed on the model of a liberal government.Letter
to the Bishop of Monreale "Singularis nobisque," Sept. 29, 1864.
33. It does not appertain exclusively to the power of ecclesiastical jurisdiction
by right, proper and innate, to direct the teaching of theological
questions.Letter to the Archbishop of Munich, "Tuas libenter," Dec.
34. The teaching of those who compare the Sovereign Pontiff to a prince,
free and acting in the universal Church, is a doctrine which prevailed in
the Middle Ages.Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.
35. There is nothing to prevent the decree of a general council, or the act
of all peoples, from transferring the supreme pontificate from the bishop
and city of Rome to another bishop and another city.Ibid.
36. The definition of a national council does not admit of any subsequent
discussion, and the civil authority car assume this principle as the basis
of its acts.Ibid.
37. National churches, withdrawn from the authority of the Roman pontiff
and altogether separated, can be established.Allocution "Multis
gravibusque," Dec. 17, 1860.
38. The Roman pontiffs have, by their too arbitrary conduct, contributed
to the division of the Church into Eastern and Western.Apostolic Letter
"Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.
VI. ERRORS ABOUT
CIVIL SOCIETY, CONSIDERED BOTH IN ITSELF AND IN ITS RELATION TO THE CHURCH
39. The State,
as being the origin and source of all rights, is endowed with a certain right
not circumscribed by any limits.Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9,
40. The teaching of the Catholic Church is hostile to the well- being and
interests of society.Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846; Allocution
"Quibus quantisque," April 20, 1849.
41. The civil government, even when in the hands of an infidel sovereign,
has a right to an indirect negative power over religious affairs. It therefore
possesses not only the right called that of "exsequatur," but also that of
appeal, called "appellatio ab abusu."Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae,"
Aug. 22, 1851
42. In the case of conflicting laws enacted by the two powers, the civil
43. The secular Dower has authority to rescind, declare and render null,
solemn conventions, commonly called concordats, entered into with the Apostolic
See, regarding the use of rights appertaining to ecclesiastical immunity,
without the consent of the Apostolic See, and even in spite of its
protest.Allocution "Multis gravibusque," Dec. 17, 1860; Allocution
"In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850.
44. The civil authority may interfere in matters relating to religion, morality
and spiritual government: hence, it can pass judgment on the instructions
issued for the guidance of consciences, conformably with their mission, by
the pastors of the Church. Further, it has the right to make enactments regarding
the administration of the divine sacraments, and the dispositions necessary
for receiving them.Allocutions "In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850, and
"Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.
45. The entire government of public schools in which the youth- of a Christian
state is educated, except (to a certain extent) in the case of episcopal
seminaries, may and ought to appertain to the civil power, and belong to
it so far that no other authority whatsoever shall be recognized as having
any right to interfere in the discipline of the schools, the arrangement
of the studies, the conferring of degrees, in the choice or approval of the
teachers.Allocutions "Quibus luctuosissimis," Sept. 5, 1851, and "In
consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850.
46. Moreover, even in ecclesiastical seminaries, the method of studies to
be adopted is subject to the civil authority.Allocution "Nunquam fore,"
Dec. 15, 1856.
47. The best theory of civil society requires that popular schools open to
children of every class of the people, and, generally, all public institutes
intended for instruction in letters and philosophical sciences and for carrying
on the education of youth, should be freed from all ecclesiastical authority,
control and interference, and should be fully subjected to the civil and
political power at the pleasure of the rulers, and according to the standard
of the prevalent opinions of the age.Epistle to the Archbishop of Freiburg,
"Cum non sine," July 14, 1864.
48. Catholics may approve of the system of educating youth unconnected with
Catholic faith and the power of the Church, and which regards the knowledge
of merely natural things, and only, or at least primarily, the ends of earthly
49. The civil power may prevent the prelates of the Church and the faithful
from communicating freely and mutually with the Roman pontiff.Allocution
"Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.
50. Lay authority possesses of itself the right of presenting bishops, and
may require of them to undertake the administration of the diocese before
they receive canonical institution, and the Letters Apostolic from the Holy
See.Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.
51. And, further, the lay government has the right of deposing bishops from
their pastoral functions, and is not bound to obey the Roman pontiff in those
things which relate to the institution of bishoprics and the appointment
of bishops.Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852, Damnatio "Multiplices
inter," June 10, 1851.
52. Government can, by its own right, alter the age prescribed by the Church
for the religious profession of women and men; and may require of all religious
orders to admit no person to take solemn vows without its
permission.Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.
53. The laws enacted for the protection of religious orders and regarding
their rights and duties ought to be abolished; nay, more, civil Government
may lend its assistance to all who desire to renounce the obligation which
they have undertaken of a religious life, and to break their vows. Government
may also suppress the said religious orders, as likewise collegiate churches
and simple benefices, even those of advowson and subject their property and
revenues to the administration and pleasure of the civil power.Allocutions
"Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852; "Probe memineritis," Jan. 22, 1855; "Cum
saepe," July 26, 1855.
54. Kings and princes are not only exempt from the jurisdiction of the Church,
but are superior to the Church in deciding questions of
jurisdiction.Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.
55. The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the
Church.Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.
CONCERNING NATURAL AND CHRISTIAN ETHICS
56. Moral laws
do not stand in need of the divine sanction, and it is not at all necessary
that human laws should be made conformable to the laws of nature and receive
their power of binding from God.Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9,
57. The science of philosophical things and morals and also civil laws may
and ought to keep aloof from divine and ecclesiastical authority.Ibid.
58. No other forces are to be recognized except those which reside in matter,
and all the rectitude and excellence of morality ought to be placed in the
accumulation and increase of riches by every possible means, and the
gratification of pleasure.Ibid.; Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug.
59. Right consists in the material fact. All human duties are an empty word,
and all human facts have the force of right.Allocution "Maxima quidem,"
June 9, 1862.
60. Authority is nothing else but numbers and the sum total of material
61. The injustice of an act when successful inflicts no injury on the sanctity
of right.Allocution "Jamdudum cernimus," March 18, 1861.
62. The principle of non-intervention, as it is called, ought to be proclaimed
and observed.Allocution "Novos et ante," Sept. 28, 1860.
63. It is lawful to refuse obedience to legitimate princes, and even to rebel
against them.Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1864; Allocution "Quibusque
vestrum," Oct. 4, 1847; "Noscitis et Nobiscum," Dec. 8, 1849; Apostolic Letter
64. The violation of any solemn oath, as well as any wicked and flagitious
action repugnant to the eternal law, is not only not blamable but is altogether
lawful and worthy of the highest praise when done through love of
country.Allocution "Quibus quantisque," April 20, 1849.
CONCERNING CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
65. The doctrine
that Christ has raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament cannot be at
all tolerated.Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.
66. The Sacrament of Marriage is only a something accessory to the contract
and separate from it, and the sacrament itself consists in the nuptial
67. By the law of nature, the marriage tie is not indissoluble, and in many
cases divorce properly so called may be decreed by the civil
authority.Ibid.; Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.
68. The Church has not the power of establishing diriment impediments of
marriage, but such a power belongs to the civil authority by which existing
impediments are to be removed.Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10,
69. In the dark ages the Church began to establish diriment impediments,
not by her own right, but by using a power borrowed from the
State.Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.
70. The canons of the Council of Trent, which anathematize those who dare
to deny to the Church the right of establishing diriment impediments, either
are not dogmatic or must be understood as referring to such borrowed
71. The form of solemnizing marriage prescribed by the Council of Trent,
under pain of nullity, does not bind in cases where the civil law lays down
another form, and declares that when this new form is used the marriage shall
72. Boniface VIII was the first who declared that the vow of chastity taken
at ordination renders marriage void.Ibid.
73. In force of a merely civil contract there may exist between Christians
a real marriage, and it is false to say either that the marriage contract
between Christians is always a sacrament, or that there is no contract if
the sacrament be excluded.Ibid.; Letter to the King of Sardinia, Sept.
9, 1852; Allocutions "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852, "Multis gravibusque,"
Dec. 17, 1860.
74. Matrimonial causes and espousals belong by their nature to civil
tribunals.Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9 1846; Damnatio "Multiplices
inter," June 10, 1851, "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851; Allocution
"Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.
IX. ERRORS REGARDING
THE CIVIL POWER OF THE SOVEREIGN PONTIFF
75. The children
of the Christian and Catholic Church are divided amongst themselves about
the compatibility of the temporal with the spiritual power."Ad
Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.
76. The abolition of the temporal power of which the Apostolic See is possessed
would contribute in the greatest degree to the liberty and prosperity of
the Church.Allocutions "Quibus quantisque," April 20, 1849, "Si semper
antea," May 20, 1850.
X. ERRORS HAVING
REFERENCE TO MODERN LIBERALISM
77. In the present
day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as
the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of
worship.Allocution "Nemo vestrum," July 26, 1855.
78. Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries,
that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of
their own peculiar worship.Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.
p 79. Moreover, it is false that the civil liberty of every form of worship,
and the full power, given to all, of overtly and publicly manifesting any
opinions whatsoever and thoughts, conduce more easily to corrupt the morals
and minds of the people, and to propagate the pest of
indifferentism.Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.
80. The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms
with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.Allocution "Jamdudum
cernimus," March 18, 1861.