Rorate Caeli

The "American Pantheon"

The seal of Bishop John Carroll

If you think religious liberty is a new concept in the Church, a Conciliar invention, you'll want to listen to this thought-provoking sermon. This is a solid reflection on how the Church conquered the pagan gods and turned their pantheon into the Basilica of St. Mary of the Martyrs, and how a new, virtual pantheon has been erected in the United States of America. Click here to listen to this quick sermon, brought to you through our partnership with Audio Sancto.


Mark Duch said...

Given the Catholic definition of liberty, is there not a difference between religious liberty and religious license? Can we not support one without supporting the other?

John R said...

This sermon would have been better timed had it preceded that Americanist nonsense "fortnight for freedom". I wish Rorate had devoted some space to counter that initiative, of which even some TLM parishes participated, praying for, among other things, "liberty of conscience for all believers".

I'm glad to see both Arcbbishop Carroll and Cardinal Gibbons taken to task. Americanism has been with the hierarchy here since day one, and praying for and defending "religious liberty" is the latest devolution in this long history.

New Catholic said...

As posted earlier here, and as explained by Benedict XVI in his Dec 22, 2005 address, the Conciliar text was a pragmatic solution for a practical consideration of the age (... hac nostra aetate...). Which is why it should not necessarily be incompatible with the specifically theological aspects of the matter as presented in earlier documents.

This is not an invitation to debate the matter, just a statement of position.

Adfero said...

John R, as you know, the Fortnight for Freedom was basically a NO invention, while maybe a full unknowing trad parishes participated.

The problem is, most Catholics have no exposure to the message in this sermon. They do not have ears to hear this message, sadly.

They see this not as contraception as a moral evil that offends God and all men must agree. They simply fight for the religious liberty to not have to comply with the law. We have many years to go before the majority are even open to the message of this sermon.

So for us to spend time on it, with the little time we have, just wasn't worth it.

Ezekiel Mossback said...

It is direly important that we finally rid ourselves of Americanism, and that we learn the true meaning of liberty, as opposed to license: that freedom is found in the worship of God in love with Jesus, Our King.

However, this sermon does seem to favor a very 'impositional' approach, appealing to the precedent of Constantine and the conversion of the Pantheon.

Is it a matter of faith that the State has the authority to impose the Gospel? True, the Church must preach the Gospel undiluted, but isn't our history mostly one of conversion, not State imposition?

I don't mean conversion as in 'dialogue' or pluralism. Obviously in community, culture, and society, custom and law come into play as the people convert to Christ. There will always be increasingly Christian customs that form and discipline the members of the community, that will be experienced as impositional by some, or all at one time or another.

I mean: is it proper to the State to impose the Gospel? Or should it simply protect the rights of the Church?

Jacob said...

Yesterday I finished reading The Rise and Fall of Triumph by Mark D. Popowski. In his book, Popowski does an excellent job of summing up the philosophical writings of Catholics Brent Bozell (not the currently living neocon son), Frederick Wilhelmsen of the University of Dallas, and many others as published in the magazine Triumph from 1966 to 1976.

Their efforts were directed towards showing that The American Experiment(tm) is fundamentally flawed (both the conservative and liberal views of it) and at war with natural law and Christianity. Popowski:
"The editors sought to lead an exodus of American Catholics from the American state and society and to establish a Catholic tribe—not for isolation but for confrontation—in order to fortify and order their ranks from which they could lead sallies into American society to convert it to the Roman Catholic faith."

This review looks at Popowski's book and describes well the thoughts and motives of Triumph and its parent organzation, the Society for a Christian Commonwealth.

One of the comments to that review alludes to an historical detail about which I would love to learn more. The woman who posted the comment said that she had been in contact with one of the contributors of the magazine who had back in the day done research that including a "surprising link with Freemasons in the Irish American Church hierarchy."

Adfero said...

Ezekiel Mossback, I'm not taking a position here, but there's a middle ground between the state forcing one to be Catholic, and simply not allowing one to openly confess another faith, worship false gods, or preach against the true Faith.

benedictus said...

Adfero said: "The problem is, most Catholics have no exposure to the message in this sermon. They do not have ears to hear this message, sadly."

Very true. There is an article at Crisis that attempts to gently introduce the concept of a Catholic society to those who are unfamiliar with it. I don't agree with it a 100%, but I think author does a pretty good job of broaching the subject in a way that won't provoke knee-jerk reactions.

Kathleen said...

In regard to Mr. Mossback's question, Father Robert Hugh Benson wrote two books that do a good job of showing where the two alternatives lead.

Lord of the World ( ) depicts a logical conclusion of the road we are currently on.

The Dawn of All ( ) depicts a society where Christ is King.

Reading them both provides a good deal to consider in relation to Mr. Mossback's question.

Eric said...

Modern Tolerance (ie acceptance) eventually eats its own children.

And as far as +Carroll... he was a Jesuit, after all. They tend to act and ask questions later (though they usually die before they get around to the asking). Read Carroll through Francis.

And this sermon shouldn't be taken as practical instruction on the best way to achieve the social kingship of Christ. That is a very complicated discussion indeed.

John L said...

I will publicise myself by indicating a paper I wrote that sums up Catholic teaching on religion on the state, with references to the relevant magisterial documents; it is here - I was struck when researching this piece by the massive amount of magisterial material on it; it is to be found in at least ten papal encyclicals.

thewhitelilyblog said...

@Jacob, thank you for the reference to the book. I just purchased it. Are you able to help organize, and if so, how may I contact you?

@ John L, thank you also for your reference, which I have bookmarked.

Thanks to Rorate for posting this, the only guide to the Way Out of Here (Dylan reference)!

Eric said...

@ John L. - "I do not think that this new interpretation is not accurate..."

I think this double negative at the beginning of your paper is a typo. FYI