S. Is action necessary for the restoration of social order?
T. Undoubtedly, for we must not forget the words of Christ to His Apostles: "Go into the whole world; teach all nations." Christ did not say, "Stay where you are, do penance." He said: "Go, teach," which means to say---strive by preaching and by every means to bring the truth to souls.
S. Are there other means for spreading the truth besides preaching?
T. "Every means" you say. We see the enemies of Christ make use of other means. Every means that can serve their purpose is employed. To capture the working class they make use of all kinds of activities, political and economic associations of all sorts, as, for example, communist clubs, newspapers, lectures, classes, advertisements, pamphlets, etc.
S. Granted that we must use such means as these, on whom lies the responsibility of doing so?
T. Obviously, on the ecclesiastical authorities. It belongs to the Pope, the Bishops and the clergy to instruct and to teach.
S. Have laymen no place in this work?
T. Clearly laymen are called in strict charity to enlighten their neighbour and to labour, not only for the good of individuals, but for the restoration of society as a whole. As Leo XIII has said: "Such co-operation on the part of the laity has seemed to the Fathers of the Vatican Council so opportune and fruitful of good that they thought well to invite it. 'All faithful Christians, but those chiefly who are in a prominent position, or engaged in teaching, we entreat, by the Compassion of Jesus Christ, and enjoin by the authority of the same God and Saviour, that they bring aid to ward off and eliminate these errors from Holy Church, and contribute their zealous help in spreading abroad the light of undefiled faith' (Const. Dei Filius). Let each one therefore bear in mind that he both can and should, so far as may be, preach the Catholic faith by the authority of his example, and by open and constant profession of the obligations it imposes. In respect consequently to the duties that bind us to God and the Church, it should be borne earnestly in mind that in propagating Christian truth and warding off errors, the zeal of the laity should, as far as possible, be brought actively into play."

Pius XI also has made innumerable appeals to the self-sacrifice of the laity. In the Encyclical "Ubi Arcano Dei," the Pope writes to the Bishops, "Recall, moreover, to the minds of your faithful subjects in Christ, that it is by promoting, under your direction and that of your clergy, the knowledge and love of Christ, they become truly worthy of the title of 'a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people' (1 Peter ii. 9), and that closely united with Christ and with Us, they will best succeed in bringing about a common peace amongst men, by devoting all their energies to the propagation and restoration of the Kingdom of Christ." [1] It is to Pope Pius XI that we owe the definition, so admirable in its conciseness, of Catholic Action, namely, the "participation and collaboration of the laity with the Apostolic Hierarchy."

It would not be possible for the Popes to set out their teaching more clearly or to express their will more emphatically. It is clear that in work which concerns them so closely as the rebuilding of the social order in Christ the laity must be the Bishops' right arm. In the past the Church had the help of the secular arm, that is, the civil authority, for the carrying out of its work; the civil authority has withdrawn its help; therefore, until nations return once more to Christ, Catholic lay folk must help the Church and particularly must strive to secure for the Church, for Jesus Christ and for God, their rightful place in the life of this world. The apostolate of the Catholic laity is required now more than ever before, to come to the aid of and prolong the apostolate of the clergy amongst the masses, in order to bring them to Christ and maintain them faithful to Him.

S. What must be the immediate goal of our action?
T. The immediate goal must be the liberation of the intelligence from error. According to the modem point of view there is not and cannot be such a thing as truth or error. To intellects so badly contaminated we must bring back the fundamental notions of the real existence of truth and of its inviolable claims and of the injustice of error. [Emphasis by the Web Master.]
S. If this is so we must declare war to the death against the modern theories of liberty and legislation, theories admitted even by certain theologians.
T. As we have shown, certain Catholics, either through weakness or through ignorance, are guided solely by modern principles. To save the Catholic Faith, they argue practically that every opinion has a right to existence. Their method of apologetics would be to say to unbelievers "we respect your faith, you should respect ours." These Catholics forget not only that reason is against them, as we have shown, but also that the Popes have authoritatively condemned principles of this sort.
[Emphasis by the Web Master.]

In his letter to the Bishop of Troyes, Pius VII explicitly attacks the introduction of modern principles into the French Constitution and expresses his grief in the strongest terms: "a fresh subject of anxiety, by which our heart is still more keenly afflicted, and which we confess brings upon us torment, anguish and extreme anguish, is the Twenty-second Article of the Constitution. Not only does this article allow liberty of worship and of conscience---to use the very terms of the article---but it promises support and protection to this liberty, and further, to the ministers of what it calls the denominations. There is no need of lengthy discourse, speaking as we are to a Bishop such as yourself, to make you see clearly with what a mortal wound the Catholic religion in France is stricken by this article. By the very fact of the proclamation of liberty for all cults without any distinction, truth is confounded with error, and on the same level as heretical sects, and even Jewish perfidy, is placed the Holy and Immaculate Bride of Christ, the Church, outside of which there is no salvation. Furthermore, by promising favour and support to the heretical sects and their ministers, one tolerates and favours not only their persons but even their errors. This is in effect the disastrous and even deplorable heresy of which St.  Augustine speaks in those terms: 'it affirms that all heretics are on the right road and speak truth'---an absurdity so monstrous that I cannot believe that any sect really holds it.

"Our astonishment has been no less on reading the Twenty-third Article of the Constitution, which maintains and allows freedom of the Press---a freedom which threatens faith and morals with the greatest perils and with certain ruin. If anyone could doubt it the experience of the past would of itself be sufficient to enlighten him. It is a fact established beyond dispute that the liberty of the Press has been the principle which first degraded the morals of the nations, then corrupted and overthrew their faith, and, finally, gave rise to seditions, upheavals, revolts. One would have good reason to fear that these same disastrous results would again follow in these present times, considering the great wickedness of men, if, which may it please God to prevent, everyone was given the liberty to print whatever he liked." [2]

In his turn Gregory XVI writes, "from poisonous principle, of indifferentism flows the false and absurd maxim, or rather madness, that one must give and guarantee to every man freedom of conscience. The way for this error, of all the most contagious, has been prepared and made level by that absolute unfettered liberty of opinion which is everywhere threatening the ruin of Church and State, and which certain men, with the utmost effrontery, dare to represent as being advantageous to religion. 'Oh! what more fatal to the soul than liberty of error' said St. Augustine (St. Aug., Ep. 166). As see withdrawn from men every restraint strong enough to keep them in the paths of truth, inclined as they already are toward their ruin by a natural tendency towards evil, We say; in, truth, that there is opening that profound abyss from which St. John saw a cloud 'f smoke rising, which obscured the sun, and beheld locusts issuing forth to lay waste the earth.

"From this comes indeed the lack of mental stability, from this the ever increasing corruption of youth, from this the contempt amongst the people for inviolable rights, for the most holy things and the most sacred laws; from this, the most destructive of all scourges that can ravage States. For experience teaches and the most remote antiquity confirms the lesson, that to bring to destruction the richest, the most powerful, the most glorious and flourishing States, nothing more has been needed than this unbridled liberty of opinion, this license in public speech, this craze for innovations.
"With this indifferentism is linked up the liberty of the Press, that most fatal and deplorable liberty, a liberty which cannot  be too dreaded, but which, nevertheless, certain men dare, with much eloquence and great audacity, to ask for and to favour everywhere. We tremble, Venerable Brothers, as we consider with what monstrous doctrines, or rather with what prodigious errors, we are overwhelmed---errors propagated far and wide by an immense multitude of books, pamphlets and other writings, small indeed in volume; but of vast proportions in malice, from which issues that curse which covers the face of the earth and which brings tears to our eyes. Yet, alas! it grieves Us to find men carried away by such an excessive impudence, that they obstinately affirm that the flood of errors which is the result of liberty of the Press, is sufficiently made up for by the publication of a few books printed to defend truth and religion, in the midst of this deluge of iniquity. But it is undoubtedly a crime, and a crime condemned by every form of law, to commit a certain and very great evil, in the hope that, perhaps, some good might result from it. What sane man will dare to say that it is permitted to disseminate poisons everywhere, to sell them publicly, to hawk them about---nay more, to swallow, them greedily,---under the pretext that there exists some remedy which has occasionally snatched from death those who have used them?" (Encyclical Letter Mirari Vos, 15th August, 1832.) [3]

The teachings of Pius IX are so well known that we need not insist on them here. It is sufficient to recall the Propositions condemned by the Syllabus:---

Proposition 77---"At the present day it is no longer advantageous that the Catholic religion should be considered as the only religion of the State to the exclusion of all other denominations" (Allocution Nemo Vestrum, 26th July, 1855).

Proposition 78---"Accordingly it is a matter for commendation that in certain Catholic countries the law has provided that foreigners who come to live there enjoy the public exercise of their particular form of religious worship" (Allocution Acerbissimum, 27th September, 1852}.

Proposition 79---"It is false to hold that the according of liberty to all religious denominations and the complete power granted to all to manifest outwardly and publicly all their thoughts and opinions, more easily bring about the corruption of morals and ideas among peoples and spread the pest of Indifferentism" (Allocution" Nunquam fore, 15th December, 1856).

Leo XIII has not been less definite in his teaching: "Liberty, being one of the elements of man's perfection, should have truth and goodness for its object. But the nature of goodness and truth cannot be changed at the will of man. [Emphasis by the Web Master.] These, remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than are the essences of things. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its perfection, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth, may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favour and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only passport to Heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the power of making laws; from the training of youth, from domestic society, is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; [Ibid.] and already, perhaps, more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of, the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals" (Encyclical Letter Immortale Dei, November 1st, 1885).

In his Encyclical Letter "Libertas," on Human Liberty, June 20th, 1888, Leo XIII condemns these same liberties in the following terms: "There are others, somewhat more moderate, though not more consistent, who affirm that the morality of individuals is to be guided by the Divine law, but not the morality of the State, so that in public affairs the commandments of God may be passed over, and may be entirely disregarded in the framing of laws. Hence follows the fatal theory of the need of' separation of Church and State. But the absurdity of such a position is manifest. Nature herself proclaims the necessity of the State providing means and opportunities whereby the community may be enabled to live properly, that is to say, according to the laws of God. For since God is the source of all goodness and justice, it is absolutely ridiculous that the State should pay no attention to these laws or render them abortive by contrary enactments. Besides those who are in authority owe it to the common wealth not only to provide for its external well-being and the conveniences of life, but still more to consult the welfare of men's souls in the wisdom of their legislation.
[Ibid.] But, for the increase of such benefits, nothing more suitable can be conceived than the laws which have God for their author; and, therefore, they who in the government of the State take no account of these laws, abuse political power by using it to deviate from its proper end and from what nature itself prescribes. And, what is still more important, and what We have more than once pointed out, although the civil authority has not the same proximate end as the spiritual, nor proceeds on the same lines, nevertheless, in the exercise of their separate powers they must occasionally meet. For their subjects are the same, and not infrequently they deal with the same objects, though in different ways. Whenever this occurs, since a state of conflict is absurd and manifestly repugnant to the most wise ordinance of God, there must necessarily exist some order or mode of procedure to remove the occasions of difference and contention, and to secure harmony in all things. This harmony has been not inaptly compared to that which exists between the body and the soul for the well-being of both one and the other, the separation of which brings irremediable harm to the body, since it extinguishes its very life.
"To make this more evident, the growth of liberty ascribed to our age must be considered apart in its various details. And, first, let us examine that liberty in individuals which is so opposed to the virtue of religion, namely, the liberty of worship, as it is called. This is based on the principle that every man is free to profess as he may choose any religion or none. But, assuredly, of all the duties which man has to fulfill, that, without doubt, is the chiefest and holiest which commands him to worship God with devotion and piety. This follows of necessity from the truth that we are ever in the power of God, are ever guided by His will and providence, and having come forth from Him, must return to Him. Add to which, no true virtue can exist without religion, for moral virtue is concerned with those things which lead to God as man's supreme and ultimate good; and, therefore, religion, which (as St. Thomas , says) 'performs those actions which are directly and immediately ordained for the Divine honour' (Summa, IIa,
IIae, q. lxxxi. , art. 6), rules and tempers all virtues. And if it be asked which of the many conflicting religions it is necessary to adopt, reason and the natural law unhesitatingly tell us to practise that one which God enjoins, and which men can easily recognise by certain exterior notes, whereby Divine Providence has willed that it should be distinguished, because, in a matter of such moment, the most terrible error would have as its consequence the gravest disaster. Wherefore, when a liberty such as We have described is offered to man, the power is given him to pervert or abandon with impunity the most sacred of duties, and to exchange the unchangeable good for evil; which, as We have said, is no liberty, but its degradation, and the subjection of the soul to the slavery of sin.

"This kind of liberty, if considered in relation to the State, clearly implies that there is no reason why the State should offer any homage to God, or should desire any public recognition of Him; that no one form of worship is to be preferred to another, but that all stand on an equal footing, no account being taken of the religion of the people, even if they profess the Catholic faith. But, to justify this, it must needs be taken as true that the State has no duties towards God, or that such duties, if they exist, can be abandoned with impunity, both of which assertions are manifestly false. For it can- not be doubted but that, by the will of God, men are united in civil society; whether its component parts be considered; or its form, which implies authority; or in its cause; or the abundance of the vast services which it renders to man. God it is who has made man for society, and has placed him in the company of others like himself, so that what was wanting to his nature, and beyond his attainment, if left to his own resources, he might obtain by association with others. Wherefore civil society must acknowledge God as its source and author, and must obey and reverence His power and authority. Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness namely, to treat, as it is said, the various religions alike, and to bestow upon them indiscriminately equal rights and privileges."

S. In these conditions what is your opinion concerning elections?
T. In many cases elections serve a useful purpose. Thus, to give the Church a Head, procedure is by election, and so in many instances. But here a difficulty arises from the fact that elections, which exist to provide countries and communities with law makers and legislators, may place at their head evil men, who will act so as to become public evildoers and destroyers of souls. We have sufficiently established the need of putting God and Christ His Son at the head and foundation of every social organisation. Now, a country's will to give itself to God is manifested by its legislation. To be in accord with the Divine plan every country must, by its elections, signify its firm will to live for Christ and His service.
S. In that case you definitely subject the affairs of State to God and to Jesus Christ?
T. Undoubtedly, the affairs of State are subject to God and to Jesus Christ, on Whom they depend absolutely.

The authority of temporal rulers is a share in the Universal Temporal Kingship of Christ. State officials and rulers will have to give an account of their stewardship on the Last Day. Pope Pius XI, in the Encyclical Quas Primas says that by the celebration of the Feast of the Kingship of Christ, rulers "will be led to reflect on that last judgment, in which Christ, Who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will severely avenge such insults; for His kingly dignity demands that the constitution of the whole State should conform to the Divine Commandments and Christian principles, whether in the making of laws, the administration of justice, or in the moulding of the minds of the young on sound doctrine and upright morals." This judgment will turn, firstly, on whether they sought the common good of their subjects or their own selfish ends, and secondly, on whether they sought the common good in such a manner as to respect and favour the ordered tendency of their subjects to their final supernatural end, namely, union with 'he Blessed Trinity for all eternity. "For public authority exists for the welfare of those whom it governs; and although its proximate end is to lead men to the prosperity found in this life, yet, in so doing, it ought not to diminish, but rather to increase, man's capability of attaining to the supreme good in which his everlasting happiness consists: which never can be attained if religion be disregarded" (Encyclical Letter of Pope Leo XIII, Libertas, on Human Liberty). The great Pontiff has here made his own what has been so excellently laid down by St. Thomas Aquinas (De Regimine Principum, lib. i, c. 15): "As the rectitude of this present life has for end eternal happiness, a ruler ought to procure the common good of the people in the manner best suited to the attainment by them of the happiness of Heaven. Accordingly, he ought to command what leads to eternal happiness and forbid as far as it is possible what is contrary thereto ...

"Two things are required for a good life on the part of the people. The chief requisite is virtuous action. The other requisite, which is secondary and quasi-instrumental in character, is a sufficiency of material goods, the use of which is necessary for virtuous action." Political life, being the social life of man, is both moral and material. As such (formaliter) it is moral: as a prerequisite thereto, it is material and must take account of the production and distribution of wealth.  Man as man does not live on bread alone nor even is that his chief need. The State must look after roads and railways, treaties regarding imports and exports and such like.. That however, is not its whole domain. Its principal care must be to combat with all its might everything that tends to lower the moral dignity of man, everything that is an obstacle to his reaching eternal happiness.

The Spiritual Kingship of our Divine Lord Jesus Christ, includes needless to say, the right of intervention in temporal affairs in so far as  the interests of the Divine Life of Souls, which comes from our Lord as Priest, demand it. We must here insist upon the fact that the Spiritual Kingship of our Lord is participated in by the Heads of the Catholic Church, the Pope and the Bishops. Temporal affairs as such, matters purely political, do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Church, which is concerned with the Divine Life of Souls. Yet, in so far as temporal affairs, political and economic programmes, for example, interfere with that Divine Life and with the eternal salvation of Souls, the Church (that is the Pope and the Bishops) has the right to pronounce judgment thereon. The Church accordingly pronounces judgment on matters that are either purely spiritual, like the administration of the Sacraments, or partially spiritual (mixed matters, like the programmes
of schools, the effects of marriage) or matters which though temporal by nature on account of the spiritual interests involved, are yet accidentally spiritual.  A passage in the Encyclical Letter of Pope, Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, expresses clearly this distinction: "Whatever therefore, in things human is of a sacred character, whatever belongs either of its own nature or by reason of the end to which it is referred, to the salvation of souls or to the worship of God, is subject to the power and judgment of the Church." The full import of the phrase italicised should be carefully weighed. (Cf. La Jurisdiction de l' Eglise sur la Cite, by l' Abbe Ch. Journet, pp. 79-83.)

Concerning the manner in which this right should be exercised, the Church alone is judge. "From the tranquillity of public order, which is the immediate purpose of civil society, man expects that he may be able to secure all his needful well-being, and still more that he may find that sheltering care required for the perfection of his moral life, which consists mainly in the knowledge and practice of virtue ... The Church cannot stand by indifferent as to the import and significance of laws enacted by the State, not so far indeed as they refer to the State, but in so far as passing beyond their due limits, they trench upon the rights of the Church. By God has the duty been assigned to the Church not only to offer resistance, if, at any time the State rule should run counter to religion, but, further, to make a strong endeavour that the power of the Gospel may pervade the laws and institutions of the nations. And inasmuch as the destiny of the State depends mainly on the disposition of those who are at the head of affairs, it follows that the Church cannot give countenance or favour to those whom she knows to be imbued with a spirit of hostility to her; who refuse openly to respect her rights; who make it their aim and purpose to tear asunder the alliance that should, by the very nature of things, connect the interests of religion with those of the State, on the contrary, She is (as She is bound to be) the upholder of those who are themselves imbued with correct ideas about the relations between Church and State, and who strive to have them work in perfect accord for the common good. These precepts contain the abiding rule by which every Catholic should shape his conduct in regard to public life. In short, ... it is fit and proper to give support to men of acknowledged worth who will faithfully safeguard Catholic interests, and on n account is it permitted to prefer to them such as are hostile to religion" (Encyclical Letter, Sapientiae Christianae, of Pope Leo XIII, On the Chief Duties of Catholics as Citizens).

To emphasise how uncatholic is the attitude of mind which professes a readiness to accept the dogmatic teaching of the Church while rejecting the right of the Pope and the Bishops to lay down what is morally right and morally wrong in the conduct of life, another passage from the Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae must be quoted. "In defining the limits of the obedience owed to the pastors of souls, but most of all to the authority of the Roman Pontiff, it must not be supposed that it is only to be yielded in relation to dogmas of which the obstinate denial cannot be disjoined from the crime of heresy. Nay, further, it is not enough sincerely and firmly to assent to doctrines which, though not defined by any solemn pronouncement of the Church, are by her proposed to belief, as divinely revealed, in her common and universal teaching, and which the Vatican Council declared are to be believed with Catholic and Divine Faith. [Emphasis by the Web Master.] But, this likewise must be reckoned amongst the duties of Christians, that they allow themselves to be ruled and directed by the authority and leadership of Bishops, and above all of the Apostolic See ... She (the Church) is not an association of Christians brought together by chance, but is a divinely established and admirably constituted society, having for its direct and proximate purpose to lead the world to peace and holiness."

The Kingdom of God on earth in its essence is the Church, but in its integrity the Kingdom of God on earth is the Church and the temporal social order, which it ever strives to bring into existence by its contact with the world. The Church, supernatural and supra-national organisation, is ever seeking to Catholicise the political and economic organisation of the world. A truly Catholic social order would be opposed on the one hand to Protestant liberalism and on the other hand, to Jewish Marxism. Now, politics is the science which has for object the organisatIon of the State in view of the complete common good of the citizens in the natural order and the means that conduce to it. Political Action, by the fact that it is human action, is subject to the laws of morality. That is a truth known by the light of natural reason. The final end of end of man is, however, not merely natural, therefore the State, charged with the temporal social order, must ever act so as not only to hinder but to favour the attaining of man's supreme end, the vision of God in Three Divine Persons. Political thought and political action, therefore, in an ordered State, will respect the jurisdiction and guidance of the Catholic Church, the divinely instituted guardian of the moral order, remembering that what is morally wrong cannot be really politically good. Thus the natural or temporal common good of the State will be always aimed at in the way best calculated to favour the true development of human persons, in and through the Mystical Body of Christ. The civil power will then have a purer and higher notion of its proper end, acquired in the full light of Catholic truth, and political action, both in rulers and ruled will come fully under the influence of supernatural life. The political work or action to be accomplished will not cease to be natural, but it will come more and more completely under the influence of the supernatural life of grace, participation in the Inner Life of the Blessed Trinity. Thus, the Church, charged with the diffusion of that Supernatural Life through the Sacraments; will see a social order truly Christian take the place of the present disorder. The Kingdom of God in its integrity will again be seen on earth.

When the social organisation of the world is out of harmony with the supernatural end of man, it is very difficult, except for the Saints and the Martyrs, to avoid mortal sin and preserve charity. When, however, there is a return to full Catholic social order, thousands of Christians, sustained by the framework of society, can live and die in union with our Divine Lord. They would have been too feeble to breast alone and continually the demoralising current of a disordered world. (Cf. the splendid article by M. l' Abb
é Journet in Nova et Vetera, Oct.-Dec., 1931, p. 377.)
S. But you will be accused of preaching politics from the pulpit?

T. Accusations brought against truth and against the mission of truth are to be held as of little account. Obviously there is necessary a certain degree of prudence, but, as we have shown, prudence must not be transformed into approval of error and a veritable betrayal of the truth. It is highly imprudent to desire to be agreeable to those who will not accept the entire dependence of political thought and action on God. We should never cease to preach from the pulpit and to proclaim everywhere that all political action must be subject to God and to Jesus Christ. The silence of preachers is always desired by those who find their own advantage therein. Therefore, instead of keeping silence, for fear of wounding certain opinions or pretended convictions, we must find in them rather a call to do battle for the truth.

Our Divine Lord's aim is ever the---to unite all men in the life of the Mystical Body. He wants all to be members of one fold, so that, animated with the Divine Life of grace and charity, they may renew His offering of Himself on Calvary, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. For that end, the Catholic Church seeks to bring the political and economic life of man into harmony with their supernatural end. But the tendency to section life is, alas, deeply rooted in our fallen nature. Men tend to lead a double life, ready in Church to sing the Credo and profess their faith, but not liking to have their political and economic ideals called in question. Unless their faith in the life of the Mystical Body is deep, even Catholics, when their political or economic ideas are declared to be out of harmony with right order, are prone to talk about impudent and unwarranted interference on the part of the heads of the Church.

Priests, therefore, must preach unflinchingly the doctrine of the Mystical Body of our Divine Lord Jesus Christ, with the rights of the Pope and the Bishops who participate in the Spiritual Kingship of Christ the King. But they must always point out also that the Church does not interfere in merely political matters and is above all party-politics.

They themselves, in the discharge of their sacerdotal functions, must remember what St. Paul said of his own action: "I became all things to all men that I might save all." (1. Cor. ix, 22).

The Holy See has on more than one occasion enunciated these principles. Let us turn first to the Encyclical Letter,
Sapientiae Christianae, of Pope Leo XIII, from which we have already quoted: "A notable difference exists between every kind of civil rule and that of the Kingdom of Christ. If this latter bear a certain likeness and character to a civil kingdom, it is distinguished from it by its origin, principle, and essence. The Church, therefore, possesses the right to exist and to protect Herself by institutions and laws in accordance with Her nature. And since She is not only a perfect society in herself, but superior to every other society of human growth, She resolutely refuses, prompted alike by right and by duty, to link Herself to any mere party and to subject Herself to the fleeting exigencies of politics. On like grounds the Church, always the guardian of Her own right and most observant of that of others, holds that it is not Her province to decide which is the best amongst many diverse forms of government and the civil institutions of Christian States, and amid the various kinds of State rule she does not disapprove of any, provided, the respect due to religion and the observance of good morals, be upheld.. By such standard of conduct should the thoughts and mode of acting of every Catholic be directed. There is no doubt but that in the sphere of politics ample matter may exist for legitimate difference of opinion, and that, the single reserve being made of the rights of justice and truth, all may strive to bring into actual working the ideas believed likely to be more conducive than others to the general welfare. But to attempt to involve the Church in party strife, and seek to bring her support to bear against those who take opposite views, is only worthy of partisans. Religion should, on the contrary, be accounted by everyone as holy and inviolate; nay in the very public order of States---which cannot be severed from the laws influencing morals and from religious duties---it is always urgent, and indeed the main preoccupation, to take thought how best to consult the interests of Catholicism. Whenever these appear by reason of the efforts of adversaries to be in danger, all differences of opinion among Catholics should forthwith cease, so that, like thoughts and counsels prevailing, they may hasten to the aid of religion, the general and supreme good to which all else should be referred. This is not now the time and place to inquire whether and how far the inertness and internal dissensions of Catholics have contributed to the present condition of things; but it is certain at least that the perverse-minded would exhibit less boldness, and would not have brought about such an accumulation of ills, if the faith which worketh by charity (Ep. ad Gal. v. 6), had been generally more energetic and lively in the souls of men, and had there not been so universal a drifting away from the divinely established rule of morality throughout Christianity. May at least the lessons afforded by the memory of the past have the good result of leading to a wiser mode of acting in the future."

A passage from the Letter of Cardinal Gasparri, then Secretary of State of Pope Pius XI, to the Italian Hierarchy, 2nd October, 1922, elaborates certain points more in detail: "The Holy See ... faithful to its principle of not allowing itself to be drawn into merely political struggles, has always remained and intends always to remain outside the Popular Party (Partito Popolare) as it remains outside all other political parties. It is determined to disapprove and condemn the Popular Party like other parties in case they take up an attitude opposed to the principles of religion and of Christian morality. Certainly nobody would deny the right of Bishops and parish priests to have, as private citizens, their personal opinions and political preferences, so long as these are in harmony with the dictates of an upright conscience and with the interests of religion. It is no less evident that as Bishops and parish priests, they must remain completely aloof from party-struggles, keeping themselves on a plane superior to every purely political contention ... In doubtful cases, as well as in all those where the action of the Bishop or the parish priest might compromise the religious interests committed to their care, the enlightened zeal of faithful pastors of souls will not hesitate to stand aside." [4]

The Church, then, insists upon the importance of taking part in political action in order to restore the rule of Christ the King in public life, but she will not identify Catholic politics with party-politics. The highest ends and aims of a political party will be always more circumscribed than the universal ends and aims of the Church and besides a political party is continually in the obligation of taking up and deciding a number of questions which Catholics are free to discuss and about which they may differ. The distinction between Catholic Action, to which it belongs to proclaim and defend Catholic political doctrine, and political parties is forcibly insisted upon by the Sovereign Pontiff. In his address to the assembly of the Italian Catholic Federation, 30th October, 1926, Pope Pius XI, stated this in unequivocal terms: "Catholic Action is on a plane above and outside any political party. It does not intend to advance the political ideas of a party nor is it a political party. Catholics have nevertheless understood that this does not mean that they should take no interest in politics, when by politics is meant the common good in opposition to individual and particular goods. The common goods are the goods of the State, of the nation, of the community, in the full sense of the term. How could a Catholic fail to be interested in those things which are of the greatest importance ... and on which depend the very goods bestowed by God---family goods, personal goods and the interests of religion itself? We cannot leave those things out of consideration. Hence we must draw the following conclusion: Catholic Action, while not engaging in party politics, aims at preparing men to act as good politicians, to work for the common good according to right principles. It seeks then to prepare the consciences of citizens politically and equip them, in that respect also, as Christians and Catholics. As this formation progresses, great decisions and great actions in the Christian and Catholic sense are prepared also at the same time. Thus, consequently, not only does Catholic Action not prevent individual Catholics from engaging in political action in order to promote the common welfare, but it imposes upon them the duty of so doing, for it obliges them to intervene in politics with a more enlightened conscience and a clearer grasp of the importance of the issues at stake."

Catholics must endeavour to assimilate and promote the realisation of Catholic political and economic doctrine: that is, the province of Catholic Action. But in order to bring about the realisation of Catholic political teaching, they must nearly always enter into a political party and help to direct and guide it: in that they act on their own responsibility, except, of course, the Church commands Catholics to adopt a certain attitude in a political affair, because of its morally necessary connection with the good of souls. All, especially the young, should prepare themselves to take part in the political life of their country by an attentive study of philosophy, social science and religion. Catholic young men should "take part in politics when necessary, because it is necessary, with a fitting preparation, a complete preparation, religious, cultural, economic, social. This preparation will be all the better, inasmuch as Catholic Action, without itself taking part in politics, seeks to train Catholics to make the best use of opportunities of political action" (Pius XI, Allocution to Italian Catholic Students, 9th September, 1924). In his Letter to the Catholics of Lombardy at the end of 1921, the then Cardinal Ratti had insisted upon "the study of sound Catholic philosophy" in Catholic associations in order to get a grasp of social and political questions. (Cf. La Cit
é Chrétienne, vol. ii., by Henri Brun, p. 122.)

1. Authorised Translation: Browne and Nolan.

2. Translated from the original.

3. Translated from the original.

4. No. 32, of the Maynooth Statutes (1927) touches on these latter points in almost identical terms; ..We earnestly recommend the clergy, especially Parish-Priests and those having the care of souls, without prejudice to the right they enjoy as private citizens to give their support to any line of political action which is in harmOny with the dictates of an upright conscience and with the teaching of the Church, to remain aloof from contentious political disputes and from divisions in local administrative bodies, If it be doubtful whether their ministry would suffer in any way from the exercise of the afore- said civil right, they should abstain from any intervention whatsoever," (Cf. Statutes 33, 35, 36, 37, of the same Plenary Synod. Cf. also the Letter of Cardinal Gasparri to the Italian Hierarchy (25th April, 1923).