We have long wanted to whack the charge of "totalitarianism" through this column, that is hurled at the Catholic Church, by the Oxnamites in particular, who assume that she is the enemy of human liberty, when she is POPE PIUS XIIits progenitor and defender. The time seemed propitious for dealing with the subject upon reading the recent defense of "liberty and human dignity" by our Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, in an address to the auto workers of Turin and Rome. The Associated Press report of it was headlined POPE ASSAILS DICTATOR RULE AGAIN. REAFFIRMS OPPOSITION TO TOTALITARIANISM.

State totalitarianism is an autocratic, despotic, tyrannous, dictatorial assumption of power, such as was exercised by the Pharaohs of Egypt in pre-Christian times; and is exercised today by Stalin and his Politburo in the Soviet Union. Such state absolutism is objectionable to liberty-loving people, as it is an invasion of domestic, economic, political, religious and educational rights. In a word, it is an infringement on the "liberty and human dignity" proclaimed by our Holy Father.

There is an exercise of total power to which no reasonable objection can be raised, as it furthers "liberty and human dignity." It is the totalitarianism of the one and only Sovereign, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Tim. 6-16), as the Lord God is omnipotent (Apoc. 19 :6). This totalitarian principle, that abides in its fulLness in God, may be, and has been, delegated by God to certain personages, particularly His priests. The Mosaic Law, for instance, which is God-proclaimed Law, was in the keeping of the priestly sons of Levi (Deut. 31.9), and the judges, who exercised the authority to "show thee the truth of the judgment," that the Jews were compelled to obey or die (Deut. 17:8-12). The exercise of this delegated power ceased with the institution of a more perfect priesthood that displaced the Levitical priesthood, and finally caused Simichah, the solemn act of ordination, to cease being administered in Jewry.

To delegate total power to oneself, to declare "I am the State," as Louis XIV is assumed to have done, may rightly be resented, as it would be a usurpation of power. But who, save ignorant, anti-Christians or blasphemous persons would question the right of Christ to say, as He did, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life"? Who can reasonably question the right of Christ to set aside and to enlarge upon the pronouncements of Moses, the Lawgiver? to declare, as He did in the Sermon on the Mount: "You have heard it said of old. ... But I say"? etc.

Dr. Trude Rosmarin, editor of The Jewish Spectator, asked in her Rejection of Jesus: "Who is this 'I' ?". She correctly said that "none of the prophets of Israel ever employed the pronoun of the first person to express his views and teachings. The 'I' of the prophets is God." The answer is that if Christ were mere man; if Christ is not true God as well as true man, then did He deserve the condemnation He suffered for assuming to be the "I," according to the Mosaic Law.

We long ago concluded, while studying things Catholic, that if God, the Father, could delegate His authority to the Levitical priesthood, then Christ; Who is one with the Father, could delegate His authority to teach, judge, and govern in matters of faith and morals, and to command us to "hear the Church," or to suffer condemnation for not so doing. This Christ did, as Holy Writ assures us, when He established His Church, that was made up in the beginning of an Apostolic Band, in which Peter, Christ's Vicar, was the supreme earthly authority. To designate the exercise of such Christ-delegated power by the bishops of the Catholic Church, who are the successors of the Apostles, and the priests, as "totalitarianism" in the derogatory sense of the term, is to offend the Giver of that power, Jesus Christ Our Lord. This is an offense that only invincible ignorance can excuse.

Protestant self-evaluation: There are ministers who yearn for
a little "ecclesiastical totalitarianism" in Protestantism that they envisage in the Catholic Church, in order that their dissident churches may no longer be guilty of the "sin of disunity." They do not realize; in fact the ministers we have talked with strenuously reject the claim that Catholic Church unity is due mainly to the Holy Ghost indwelling, Who safeguards her from error in matters of faith and morals. One such minister, Rev. Nicholas M. Feringo, said in The Living Church, under the caption: TOTALITARIANISM, ROME, CANTERBURY. ..." I wonder if what I Mr. Morehouse (the Editor of this P. E. Church publication) calls the totalitarianism of the Roman Church is not rather a good thing. When I hear of the bickerings of vestries, the opinions of lay-popes, the wranglings of diocesan conventions, even some of the pussy-footing pronouncements of Lambert, our election of bishops when we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and everyone is putting forth his candidate before the 'amen' is said, I feel that a little of this so-called totalitarianism would be a blessing. I am afraid that the King of Heaven will be found to be decidedly totalitarian" (Oct. 10, 1948).
The unity of the Catholic Church, dubbed "totalitarianism" in the Stalinistic sense of the term, has aroused fear in the hearts of some ministers who know not that she stands for "liberty and human dignity." They want a "strong Protestant Church," something that is so far from being a reality that the delegates in the recent Amsterdam Council of Churches Convention refrained from discussing an adjustment of their doctrinal differences, in order to remain federated. One of these ministers, Rev. John R. Weinback, called for "An Awakened Protestantism," through Zion's Herald, saying: "A strong Protestant Church is one chief bulwark against two kinds of totalitarianism, that of the state and the Roman Catholic Church. Both of these are tremendous potential threats to freedom of worship in America."

Ministers who conjure up the ghost of "Roman Catholic totalitarianism" should get back into the world of reality, by studying the following "Thoughtful Verse" that came to our desk:

The Lord gave us two ends to use;
One to think with, one to sit with.
The war depends on which we choose;
Heads we win, tails we lose!

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