Rorate Caeli

What they have wrought: a "culture" built on the "license of base fornicating women"

From the book of prophet Pius XI:

[S]ince, in order that the deceits of the enemy may be avoided, it is necessary first of all that they be laid bare; since much is to be gained by denouncing these fallacies for the sake of the unwary, even though We prefer not to name these iniquities "as becometh saints," yet for the welfare of souls We cannot remain altogether silent.

To begin at the very source of these evils, their basic principle lies in this, that matrimony is repeatedly declared to be not instituted by the Author of nature nor raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a true sacrament, but invented by man. Some confidently assert that they have found no evidence of the existence of matrimony in nature or in her laws, but regard it merely as the means of producing life and of gratifying in one way or another a vehement impulse; on the other hand, others recognize that certain beginnings or, as it were, seeds of true wedlock are found in the nature of man since, unless men were bound together by some form of permanent tie, the dignity of husband and wife or the natural end of propagating and rearing the offspring would not receive satisfactory provision. At the same time they maintain that in all beyond this germinal idea matrimony, through various concurrent causes, is invented solely by the mind of man, established solely by his will.

How grievously all these err and how shamelessly they leave the ways of honesty is already evident from what we have set forth here regarding the origin and nature of wedlock, its purposes and the good inherent in it. The evil of this teaching is plainly seen from the consequences which its advocates deduce from it, namely, that the laws, institutions and customs by which wedlock is governed, since they take their origin solely from the will of man, are subject entirely to him, hence can and must be founded, changed and abrogated according to human caprice and the shifting circumstances of human affairs; that the generative power which is grounded in nature itself is more sacred and has wider range than matrimony - hence it may be exercised both outside as well as within the confines of wedlock, and though the purpose of matrimony be set aside, as though to suggest that the license of a base fornicating woman should enjoy the same rights as the chaste motherhood of a lawfully wedded wife.

Armed with these principles, some men go so far as to concoct new species of unions, suited, as they say, to the present temper of men and the times, which various new forms of matrimony they presume to label "temporary," "experimental," and "companionate." These offer all the indulgence of matrimony and its rights without, however, the indissoluble bond, and without offspring, unless later the parties alter their cohabitation into a matrimony in the full sense of the law.

Indeed there are some who desire and insist that these practices be legitimatized by the law or, at least, excused by their general acceptance among the people. They do not seem even to suspect that these proposals partake of nothing of the modern "culture" in which they glory so much, but are simply hateful abominations which beyond all question reduce our truly cultured nations to the barbarous standards of savage peoples.
Pius XI


newguy40 said...

Powerful words and teaching.

Thank you.

As Oliver says so eloquently, "More, please."

Pater, O.S.B. said...

Would that our pastors spoke like this today! Enough with this rambling social science phenomenological transcendental-thomist nonsense!!

Kindred Spirit said...

Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

Pertinacious Papist said...

The underlined portion is a splash of ice-cold water on our contemporary sensibilities, sodden in the hot tub of lewd sitcoms and sports bars, and shocked to see things put in crystal-clear perspective. We need more such clarity.

Brian said...

Of course our culture has become so much more "enlightened" since the time of Pope Pius XI. We now understand that statements such as "the license of base fornicating women" constitute "waging a 'war on women.'"

If you don't believe me, just ask third-year Georgetown University law student, Sandra Fluke, who is backed by Catholic members of Congress and the administration and faculty at her Roman Catholic university.

Matthew said...

Pater, O.S.B.: I heartily agree!

A woman expects her university to fund her sexual escapades (to the tune of 2-3x/day according to Mr. Werling's estimate) and is so shameless as to demand in front of a nation's political leaders that her Catholic university ought to consent to and fund this enterprise. In saner ages, she would have shamed her Father, her Family, her Society, and Her Country, and caused grave scandal to all those who heard her remarks. Instead, Mr. Limbaugh (a blowhard neocon who I usually cannot stand) calls it like it is, albeit in a crass manner, and you have the President himself telephoning her to offer her his "sympathies" for Mr. Limbaugh's analysis.

Lord have mercy upon us in this sick age.

Gratias said...

American Liberals/Progressives have succeeded in turning the federally-funded abortion issue into free contraception. They lie so well.

My consolation is that historically most political regimes that have confronted openly the Catholic Church have failed. The Spanish Communists/Anarchists tried it in the 1930s and Argentine Dictator Juan Peron in the 1950s. President Obama is now promoting STDs from the pulpit of the White House.

Ms. Sandra Fluke brings shame to her family and her Jesuit University.

beng said...

This encyclic was somewhat a respond and anticipation of the Anglican's Lambeth Conference of 1930.

The Lambeth conference marked the beginning of Protestants laxity concerning contraception.

The Anglican at the time must have thought that Pius XI was a reactionary with his "extreme" prophecy.

And here we are today...

Pius XI was neither reactionary nor extreme. He was spot on! (as the Brits say).

Gratias said...

It so happens that the 30-year old agitator Ms. Sandra Fluke is a past president of Law Students for Reproductive Justice,

Luka said...

Dear families, be courageous! Do not give in to that secularized mentality which proposes living together as a preparation, or even a substitute for marriage! Show by the witness of your lives that it is possible, like Christ, to love without reserve, and do not be afraid to make a commitment to another person! Dear families, rejoice in fatherhood and motherhood! Openness to life is a sign of openness to the future, confidence in the future, just as respect for the natural moral law frees people, rather than demeaning them!

Pope Benedict XVI,
Holy Mass on the occasion of the National Day of Croatian Catholic Families, Zagreb Hippodrome
Sunday, 5 June 2011

Christine said...


Barbara said...

The Church, our wise Mother, has always known that we need sanctifying grace in all relationships, but most especially in relationships of such an intimate nature such as matrimony. It’s also a question of being in deep friendship with Our Lord Himself and having Him first in ones’s life. The great cause of our joy and bearing of all suffering….

The Church’s teachings are always refreshing, invigorating, surprising and we are always safe with them. At present, we are definitely in some kind of a cultural and religious war (I experience this sometimes head on WITHOUT even looking for it)) and we need all the wise counsel and spiritual arms that we can get, so thank you for this excerpt from Pope Pius XI.