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
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.
SOCIALISM, COMMUNISM, SECRET SOCIETIES, BIBLICAL 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.
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,
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, 1851.
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.
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. 21, 1863.
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.
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.
ABOUT CIVIL SOCIETY, CONSIDERED BOTH IN ITSELF AND IN ITS RELATION TO
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
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 law prevails.—Ibid.
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
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 social life.—Ibid.
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, 1862.
57. The science of philosophical things and morals and also civil laws
may and ought to keep aloof from divine and ecclesiastical
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. 10, 1863.
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 "Cum Catholica."
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,
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 benediction alone.—Ibid.
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, 1851.
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 power.—Ibid.
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 be valid.
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.
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.
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.