70 – Our faith is revolutionary – A Christian who is not revolutionary is not a Christian! – Help me to keep making a racket!

Throughout the ages, stories of heroes – whether true or legendary – have thrilled the hearts of the young.   As a result of the disinterested courage and idealism characteristic of their age-group, adolescents dream of great undertakings. To such hearts, burning with desire for heroism, the Church has always presented models that would stimulate true valor, perfect audacity, and authentic generosity – in a word, sanctity. Who is not touched by the courageous lives of young people such as Saint Agnes, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, and Saint Maria Goretti? Or by the youthful resolutions carried on to maturity with the determination of a Saint Ignatius or Saint Francis? Which of them did not face risks with heroic bravery? These saints are an example for youth, and adults, of all times. They fought and won the greatest of all battles – the struggle against oneself, against one’s passions and weaknesses – with the arms of prayer, sacrifice, and virtue.

At a certain point in history, there suddenly appeared another type of ‘heroism’ characterized by a dubious abnegation with regard to dangerous utopias, the difficult achievement of which would be at the cost of uncertain means, and would give even more uncertain fruits. Historians tend to reveal how behind this so-called disinterestedness there were often concealed corrupt personal interests, or the desire to satisfy the worst passions. All this because in these ‘puppet-heroes’ there was no real giving of themselves to an ideal, but rather egoism manipulated by hidden hands, with very specific ideological intentions. The cry of ‘revolution’– whether to the sound of the bayonet and guillotine, under the hammer and sickle, or in any of the thousand and one facets shown throughout the last centuries – has been the perfect excuse to maneuver the most perverse instincts, often with the desire to destroy the Catholic Church, good customs, or venerable and millenary institutions. Because of all of this, the word ‘revolution’ has connotations that no Catholic can accept…

Which brings to mind the young saints mentioned earlier…would it be conceivable that one of them brandish the flag of some revolution? Can this be considered the war-cry of sanctity?
Lately, we have heard another variant of the word ‘revolution’. Now the expression used is ‘hacer lío’, which signifies ‘make a racket, or make a mess, or even stir up hell!’ Within the Church ‘making a racket’ is insistently being promoted. Making a racket on the streets, in the diocese, in families, in society…. Stirring up, making a racket, a mess… was this Jesus’ plan for his Church? What to think of all this? And the most surprising was to hear at the end of his trip to the Continent of Hope, the one who should be the ‘Sweet Christ on Earth’ say: ‘help me to keep making a mess’ (Paraguay, July 11, 2015).

Francis

Dear friends, faith is revolutionary and today I ask you: are you open to entering into this revolutionary wave of faith? Only by entering into this wave will your young lives make sense and so be fruitful! (Homily for Youth in Brazil, Waterfront of Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, 25 July, 2013)

Let me tell you what I hope will be the outcome of World Youth Day: I hope there will be noise [lío]. Here there will be noise, I’m quite sure. Here in Rio there will be plenty of noise, no doubt about that. But I want you to make yourselves heard [quiero lío] in your dioceses. [Note: The original Spanish lío is better translated as ‘make a racket’] (Meeting with young people from Argentina in Rio de Janeiro, 25 July, 2013)

In this day and age unless Christians are revolutionaries they are not Christians. (Address To Participants in the Ecclesial Convention of the Diocese of Rome, June 17, 2013)

With all frankness I tell you: I don’t know exactly why young people protest, first of all. Secondly, I don’t like a young person who doesn’t protest, because a young person has the illusion of a utopia, and a utopia is not always wrong, isn’t it? A utopia is to breathe and to look forward, right? A young person has more freshness and less life experience, isn’t it? Sometimes life experience slows us down. But the young person has more freshness to say things his way… A young person is essentially non-conformist, and this is very beautiful. But this is in general, all youth. I would say, in general, we have to listen to the young people, give them space to express themselves, and take care of them so they don’t get manipulated. (Interview with ‘O Globo’, Rio de Janeiro, July 29, 2013)

We Christians have something very lovely, a guide to action, a program we could call revolutionary. I earnestly recommend that you read it: the Beatitudes in Saint Matthew chapter 5 (cf. Mt 5:3) and in Saint Luke chapter 6 (cf. Lk 6:20); and the Last Judgment passage in Saint Matthew chapter 25. This is what I told the young people at Rio de Janeiro: With these passages, you have the plan of action. (Address to the participants in the World Meeting of Popular Movements, Rome, October 28, 2014)

The Church, her sons and daughters, are part of the identity of the peoples of Latin America. An identity which here, as in other countries, some powers are committed to erasing, at times because our faith is revolutionary, because our faith challenges the tyranny of mammon. (Address, Participation at the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, July 9, 2015)

‘Giving of oneself’ means letting all the power of that love which is God’s Holy Spirit take root in our lives, opening our hearts to his creative power. And giving of oneself even in the most difficult moments as on that Holy Thursday of the Lord when he perceived how they weaved a plot to betray him; but he gave himself, he gave himself for us with his plan of salvation. When we give of ourselves, we discover our true identity as children of God in the image of the Father and, like him, givers of life; we discover that we are brothers and sisters of Jesus, to whom we bear witness. This is what it means to evangelize; this is the new revolution – for our faith is always revolutionary –, this is our deepest and most enduring cry. (Homily, Holy Mass for the Evangelization of Peoples, Bicentenary Park, Quito, Ecuador, July 7, 2015)

‘Help me to keep making a mess’. (The Pope meets with the daughters of his first boss, Zenit, July 11, 2015)

Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of Contents

I – The characteristics of a true Christian
II – Virtues that should characterize the youth of the Church
III – Obedience is one of the most important traits of Catholics


I – The characteristics of a true Christian


John Paul II
– This idea of Christ as a revolutionary, the subversive man from Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechesis

Benedict XVI
– Christians should deepen their knowledge of the faith and live consistently with it

John Paul II
– We need a praying and adoring faith, shown in moral integrity of life
– The attachment to Christ should be strengthened by unshakable fidelity to the Gospel
– The Church needs prayerful souls who ceaselessly sing the praises of the Most Holy Trinity
– Be convinced Christians!

Vatican Council II
– ‘Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect’

Pius XI
– The true Christian lives according to the eternal principles of justice

Leo XIII
– Faith must preserve and nourish the moral life


II – Virtues that should characterize the youth of the Church


Sacred Scripture
– Parents should not permit insolence in their children

John Paul II
– Obedience without reserve is the mark of the saints
– Young people should be willing to live and die for Christ
– The faith of a young person should be strong, joyful, and hardworking

John XXIII
– The formation of youth requires piety in order to combat indiscipline

Pius XII
– Formation of youth: in prayer, in sacrifice and in the fulfillment of duties
– Youth should prepare themselves for the narrow way

Pius XI
– The young person’s battlefield is his own interior

Saint Augustine
– Young men: be humble


III – Obedience is one of the most important traits of Catholics


Sacred Scripture
– Whoever resists authority brings judgment upon himself

Paul VI
– Catholics owe obedience to the constituted authority

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church
– To refuses to obey authority is to resist God, who appointed it

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
– For centuries Christians have distinguished themselves by the fulfillment of their duties

Pius XII
– It is necessary to dissipate the atmosphere of independence and excessive liberty

Pius X
– A vice common to the enemies of the faith: repudiating all respect and obedience for the authority

Pius IX
– To resist authority is to resist the ordering made by God Himself
– The very nature of human society obligates its members to obey the lawfully established authority

Gregory XVI
– Certain teachings are being spread: the torches of treason are being lit everywhere


I – The characteristics of a true Christian


John Paul II

  • This idea of Christ as a revolutionary, the subversive man from Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechesis

In fact, today there occur in many places —the phenomenon is not a new one— ‘re-readings’ of the Gospel, the result of theoretical speculations rather than authentic meditation on the word of God and a true commitment to the Gospel. They cause confusion by diverging from the central criteria of the faith of the Church, and some people have the temerity to pass them on, under the guise of catechesis, to the Christian communities. In some cases either Christ’s divinity is passed over in silence, or some people in fact fall into forms of interpretation at variance with the Church’s faith. Christ is said to be merely a ‘prophet’, one who proclaimed God’s Kingdom and love, but not the true Son of God, and therefore not the centre and object of the very Gospel message. In other cases people claim to show Jesus as politically committed, as one who fought against Roman oppression and the authorities, and also as one involved in the class struggle. This idea of Christ as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive man from Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechesis. (John Paul II. Address, Third General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate, no. I.4, January 28, 1979)

Benedict XVI

  • Christians should deepen their knowledge of the faith and live consistently with it

For the future of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean it is important that Christians have a deeper knowledge and adopt an appropriate lifestyle as Jesus’ disciples, simple and joyful with a firm faith rooted in the depths of their heart and nourished by prayer and the sacraments. In fact, the Christian faith is nourished above all by the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist, in which is brought about a unique and special community encounter with Christ, his life and his Word. […] In a special way, the frequently recurring phenomena of exploitation and injustice, corruption and violence, are a pressing appeal to Christians to live their faith consistently and to strive to receive a firm doctrinal and spiritual formation, thereby helping to build a more just, more human and more Christian society. (Benedict XVI. Address to the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Commission For Latin America, January 20, 2007)

John Paul II

  • We need a praying and adoring faith, shown in moral integrity of life

The mystical doctor, [Saint John of the Cross], overcoming these obstacles, helps, with his example and his doctrine, to strengthen the Christian faith with the fundamental qualities of the adult faith, as Vatican Council II wishes: a personal faith, free and convinced, embraced with the whole being; an ecclesial faith, confessed and celebrated in the communion of the Church; a praying and adoring faith, matured in the experience of communion with God; a faith that is solid and committed, shown in moral integrity of life and in the dimension of service. This is the faith we need, and of which the Saint of Fontiveros gives his personal testimony and his always current teachings. (John Paul II. Apostolic letter Master in the Faith, no. 7, December 14, 1990)

  • The attachment to Christ should be strengthened by unshakable fidelity to the Gospel

My thoughts then turn to Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Co-Patron of the Diocese, whom I had the opportunity to honor in Castiglione delle Stiviere, his birthplace, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of his death. Still today, this ardent young man, follower of Christ, addresses a pressing exhortation to us of coherence and fidelity to the Gospel, reminding us that God must have priority in our lives. […] Following in the footsteps of so many Saints and Blesseds, may the Christians of Mantua proceed in their journey of faith, every day building up their attachment to Christ and reinforcing the bonds of a fraternal union, strengthened by their unshakable fidelity to the Gospel. (John Paul II. To the Bishop of Mantua, no. 3, June 10, 2004)

  • The Church needs prayerful souls who ceaselessly sing the praises of the Most Holy Trinity

In this time of great shifts and changes, Croatia needs men and women with a living faith, who can bear witness to the love of God for man, and who are prepared to devote their energies to the service of the Gospel. Your nation needs apostles who will go among the people bearing the Good News; Croatia needs prayerful souls who ceaselessly sing the praises of the Most Holy Trinity and raise petitions to ‘God our Saviour, who wills that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth’ (cf. 1 Tim 2:4). (John Paul II. Message to the Bishops’ Conference of Croatia, no. 3, October 4, 1998)

  • Be convinced Christians!

What was the interior strength that formed your saints, and therefore continues to be valid to raise an authentic Christian? The response is simple: the conviction of the faith! The Saints were and are people entirely convinced of the absolute, decisive and exclusive value of the message of Christ. This conviction led them to embrace and follow Him, without hesitation, without uncertainty, without useless regression, even in the midst of struggles and suffering, with the help of the grace of God, always invoked and never rejected. Conviction! This is the great word! This is the secret and the strength of the Saints! The Saints acted as a consequence. And so it should be with all Christians in all times, but especially today in our times, so demanding and critical, in which when logical and personalized convictions are lacking, the faith is debilitated and finally gives way. […] Dearest faithful of Umbria: This is the exhortation I wish to make to you, together with your bishops, in the ever lively remembrance of your Saints: Be convinced Christians! (John Paul II. Address to pilgrims form the Umbria region, no. 2-3, May 17, 1980)

Vatican Council II

  • ‘Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect’

The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached holiness of life to each and every one of His disciples of every condition. He Himself stands as the author and consummator of this holiness of life: ‘Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect’ (Mt. 5:48). Indeed He sent the Holy Spirit upon all men that He might move them inwardly to love God with their whole heart and their whole soul, with all their mind and all their strength (cf. Mk 12:30) and that they might love each other as Christ loves them (cf. Jn 13.34; 15:12). The followers of Christ are called by God, not because of their works, but according to His own purpose and grace. They are justified in the Lord Jesus, because in the baptism of faith they truly become sons of God and sharers in the divine nature. In this way they are really made holy. Then too, by God’s gift, they must hold on to and complete in their lives this holiness they have received. They are warned by the Apostle to live ‘as becomes saints’ (Eph. 5:3), and to put on ‘as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience’ (Col 3:12), and to possess the fruit of the Spirit in holiness (cf. Gal 5:22; Rom 6:22). Since truly we all offend in many things (cf. Jas 3:2) we all need God’s mercies continually and we all must daily pray: ‘Forgive us our debts’ (1Mt 6:12, Cfr. S. Irenaeus, adv. Haer, 111 24, 1: PG 7, 966 B; Harvey 2, 13i, ed. Sagnard, Sources Chr., p 398). (Vatican Council II. Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 40, November 21, 1964)

Pius XI

  • The true Christian lives according to the eternal principles of justice

Hence the true Christian, product of Christian education, is the supernatural man who thinks, judges and acts constantly and consistently in accordance with right reason illumined by the supernatural light of the example and teaching of Christ; in other words, to use the current term, the true and finished man of character. For, it is not every kind of consistency and firmness of conduct based on subjective principles that makes true character, but only constancy in following the eternal principles of justice, as is admitted even by the pagan poet when he praises as one and the same ‘the man who is just and firm of purpose’ (Horatio, Odae III, 3, 1: lustum et tenacem propositi virum). And on the other hand, there cannot be full justice except in giving to God what is due to God, as the true Christian does. (Pius XI. Encyclical Divini illus Magistri, no. 96, December 31, 1929)

Leo XIII

  • Faith must preserve and nourish the moral life

This justice, in order to be advantageous to salvation, is nourished by Christian faith. ‘The just man liveth by faith’ (Gal 3:2). ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God’ (Heb 10:6). Consequently Jesus Christ, the creator and preserver of faith, also preserves and nourishes our moral life. This He does chiefly by the ministry of His Church. To Her, in His wise and merciful counsel, He has entrusted certain agencies which engender the supernatural life, protect it, and revive it if it should fail. This generative and conservative power of the virtues that make for salvation is therefore lost, whenever morality is dissociated from divine faith. A system of morality based exclusively on human reason robs man of his highest dignity and lowers him from the supernatural to the merely natural life. Not but that man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. (Leo XIII. Encyclical Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, no. 11, November 1, 1900)


II – Virtues that should characterize the youth of the Church


Sacred Scripture

  • Parents should not permit insolence in their children

Give him not his own way in his youth, and close not your eyes to his follies. Bend him to the yoke when he is young, thrash his sides while he is still small, lest he become stubborn, disobey you, and leave you disconsolate. Discipline your son, make heavy his yoke, lest his folly humiliate you. (Sir 30:11-13)

John Paul II

  • Obedience without reserve is the mark of the saints

Dearest brethren, my thoughts go directly to Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, and to the example he left us. Yesterday, commemorating in Castiglione delle Stiviere the four hundredth anniversary of his death, I remembered how his life was entirely fulfilled because he lived in total and constant fidelity to God, in the generous fulfillment of the divine will. His existence was a yes without reserve to Christ, renewed in joy and in sorrow, imitating Mary, the Virgin of the Annunciation. How can we fail to recall that at just ten years of age, in the Church of the Annunciation in Florence, he offered himself totally to God? The Fiat of Mary became his Fiat, he commended himself to the cares of his Mother and, as an obedient son, he followed her footsteps with humility and docile abandon. (John Paul II. Angelus, Pastoral visit to Mantua, no. 1-2, June 23, 1991)

  • Young people should be willing to live and die for Christ

‘We die for Christ. All of us. We die willingly for not denying our holy Faith!’ Were they perhaps deluded? Were they behind the times? No, dear young people, they were men, authentic men, strong, decisive and coherent, deeply rooted in their history, they were men who intensely loved their city, who were strongly linked to their families, among them were young people, like yourselves, who, like yourselves desired joy, happiness. […] And they, with lucidity and firmness, opted for Christ! […] Faced with the suggestions of certain contemporary ideologies that exalt and proclaim theoretical and practical atheism, and I ask you, young people of Otranto and of Pulla: Are you willing to repeat, with full conviction and conscience, the words of the Blessed Martyrs: ‘We choose to die any kind of death for Christ, rather than denying him’? To be willing to die for Christ implies the decision to accept with generosity and coherence the demands of Christian life, that is, it means living for Christ. The Blessed Martyrs left us – and above all, have left you – two fundamental testimonies: love of the earthly homeland, and the authenticity of the Christian faith. (John Paul II. Address to youth, no. 2-3, October 5, 1980)

  • The faith of a young person should be strong, joyful, and hardworking

Be young people of faith! Of true, profound Christian faith! […] May your faith, young people, be sure, that is to say, based on the word of Christ, on the deep knowledge of the Gospel message, and especially in the life, the person, and the work of Christ; and in the same way, on the interior testimony of the Holy Spirit.
May your faith be strong; may it not waver, not vacillate when faced with doubts, with uncertainties that philosophical systems or fashionable currents suggest to you; my it not compromise with certain conceptions that wish to present Christianity as if it were merely an ideology of a historical character, and therefore, put on the same level as many others that have already been surpassed.
May your faith be joyful, as based on the certainty of possessing a divine gift. When you pray and dialogue with God, and when you speak to people, show the joy of this enviable possession.
May your faith be hardworking, may it be shown and made visible in active and generous charity towards the brothers who live crushed by suffering and necessity; may it be shown in your serene adhesion to the teaching of the Church, Mother and Master of the truth; may it be expressed in your willingness towards all the initiatives of apostolate in which you are invited to participate for the expansion and the building of the Kingdom of Christ. (John Paul II. Address to youth, no. 3, October 5, 1980)

John XXIII

  • The formation of youth requires piety in order to combat indiscipline

We advise young people, also, to contemplate attentively this glorious Saint [Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother] as he, for the short time he lived on earth, experienced and overcame his own difficulties. This exhortation is all the more opportune for young people, given that young people are, by nature, adverse to discipline, lovers of pleasure, forgetful of the things of the other life (Col 3:1), and too avid for material goods. Although Saint Gabriel, in his life in the word, was not withdrawn from diversions, nonetheless, they never separated him from God. Through his example, our dear young people will learn to ‘serve the Lord with gladness’ (cf. Psalm 99:1), at the same time as ordering the affections of the heart and the actions of life according to the norms of modesty and temperance. May he be for them, in a special way, teacher of integrity of customs today, when so many dangers threaten the virtue of chastity, and on all sides there arise incentives to evil, through the progress of modern technology. Therefore, to be victorious in the fight for chastity, honor with lively piety the Immaculate Virgin Mary and confide in her protection, as Saint Gabriel did. (John XXIII. Letter to the Superior General of the Passionists on the Centenary of Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, February 27, 1962)

Pius XII

  • Formation of youth: in prayer, in sacrifice and in the fulfillment of duties

Young ladies of Spanish Catholic Action! […] And all – dearest daughters, older and younger; daughters that the Pope esteems so much– be at all moments obedient, faithful and generous; make of your youth, in imitation of Mary Most Holy, a perfumed and pure flower; be the joy and consolation of all; do not let yourselves be seduced by the alluring invitations of a corrupt world, the first echoes of which you may be hearing now; be formed solidly in prayer, in sacrifice and in the fulfillment of your daily duties; in such a way that you will never be unworthy of those who, in much more difficult times, have gone before you. […] But Spain is much more beautiful in the Christian virtues that characterize her, in the purity of her customs, in the integrity of the family, in fidelity to the Church, in her firm adhesion to a Faith for which she has shown she knows how to die; Spain is much more beautiful in her Saints. May this flame never die out in Spanish hearts, may this longing for sanctity live and grow, and to obtain it, be saints yourselves and then sanctify all those around you. (Pius XII. Radio message to girls, aspirants and young ladies of Spanish Catholic Action, November 27, 1955)

  • Youth should prepare themselves for the narrow way

Spirit of faith and sacrifice; life of piety and of continual progress in the forefront; adhesion, respect and love of the Church; a heart as big as the world; and if in other times the battle-cry: ‘For Saint James and for Spain! (¡Santiago y cierra España!)’ conquered the enemies of the faith, if still yesterday the Apostle did not abandon those who invoked him, be certain that today and always his spirit and his protection will lead you again to victory in spiritual battles and will help you overcome the snares that are laid everywhere for you, especially for you, young people, because they know you are a powerful and gallant force in the present and a radiant and sure promise for the future. ‘Igitur via peregrinalis est res optima sed augusta’ ‘The pilgrim’s way is excellent, but narrow’, as was stated in the sermon of the Codex Calixtinus (Codex Calistinus l. I c. XVII, Sermo beati Calixte Pape, fol. 80); but it would be the first time that danger would scare, disarm, or make youth retreat, and much less a youth like yours, nourished on solid faith, and matured in the ardent climate of sacrifice. (Pius XII. Radio message to youth gathered in Compostela, August 28, 1948)

  • Youth should prepare themselves for the narrow way

Spirit of faith and sacrifice; life of piety and of continual progress in the forefront; adhesion, respect and love of the Church; a heart as big as the world; and if in other times the battle-cry: ‘For Saint James and for Spain! (¡Santiago y cierra España!)’ conquered the enemies of the faith, if still yesterday the Apostle did not abandon those who invoked him, be certain that today and always his spirit and his protection will lead you again to victory in spiritual battles and will help you overcome the snares that are laid everywhere for you, especially for you, young people, because they know you are a powerful and gallant force in the present and a radiant and sure promise for the future. ‘Igitur via peregrinalis est res optima sed augusta’ ‘The pilgrim’s way is excellent, but narrow’, as was stated in the sermon of the Codex Calixtinus (Codex Calistinus l. I c. XVII, Sermo beati Calixte Pape, fol. 80); but it would be the first time that danger would scare, disarm, or make youth retreat, and much less a youth like yours, nourished on solid faith, and matured in the ardent climate of sacrifice. (Pius XII. Radio message to youth gathered in Compostela, August 28, 1948)

Pius XI

  • The young person’s battlefield is his own interior

Young people are, by nature, inclined to exterior works, and are always willing to throw themselves into the battlefield of action. It is necessary to make them understand that before thinking of others and of the Catholic cause, it behooves them to fight for their own interior perfection, through study, and the practice of virtue. (Pius XI. Apostolic Letter Singulare illud, June 13, 1926)

Saint Augustine

  • Young men: be humble

‘I write unto you, young men’. Again and again consider that you are young men: fight, that you may overcome: overcome, that you may be crowned: be lowly, that you fall not in the fight. (Saint Augustine. Homily on the first Epistle of John, no. 2, 7)


III – Obedience is one of the most important traits of Catholics


 

Sacred Scripture

  • Whoever resists authority brings judgment upon himself

Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. (Rom 13:1-2)

Paul VI

  • Catholics owe obedience to the constituted authority

The presence of Catholics in all the States seeks to represent a constructive element of active collaboration and of effective obedience to the constituted authority; it seeks to represent an active element of sure progress within order and love. (Paul VI. Address to the President of the Republic of Somalia, October 7, 1963)

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

  • To refuses to obey authority is to resist God, who appointed it

Authority that governs according to reason places citizens in a relationship not so much of subjection to another person as of obedience to the moral order and, therefore, to God himself who is its ultimate source (cf. John XXIII, Pacem in Terris). Whoever refuses to obey an authority that is acting in accordance with the moral order ‘resists what God has appointed’ (Rom 13:2). Analogously, whenever public authority — which has its foundation in human nature and belongs to the order pre-ordained by God (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 74) — fails to seek the common good, it abandons its proper purpose and so delegitimizes itself. (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 398, June 29, 2004)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

  • For centuries Christians have distinguished themselves by the fulfilment of their duties

The commitment of Christians in the world has found a variety of expressions in the course of the past 2000 years. One such expression has been Christian involvement in political life: Christians, as one Early Church writer stated, ‘play their full role as citizens’ (Letter to Diognetus, 5,5; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2240). (Congregation For The Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, no.1, November 24, 2002)

Pius XII

  • It is necessary to dissipate the atmosphere of independence and excessive liberty

Promote, in the souls of children and youth, the hierarchical spirit, which does not deny to each age its due development, to dissipate, as much as possible, that atmosphere of independence and excessive liberty that in our days the youth breathe and which seeks to lead it to reject all authority and all control, seek to foment and form the sense of responsibility and recalling that liberty is not the only human value, although it is counted among the first, but rather that it has its intrinsic limits in the obligatory norms of honesty, and extrinsic limits in the corresponding rights of others, of each one individually as well as of society taken as a whole. (Pius XII. Radio message to participants in the Inter-American Congress of Catholic Education, October 6, 1948)

Pius X

  • A vice common to the enemies of the faith: repudiating all respect and obedience for authority

What truly is the point of departure of the enemies of religion for the sowing of the great and serious errors by which the faith of so many is shaken? They begin by denying that man has fallen by sin and been cast down from his former position. […] It is moreover a vice common to the enemies of the faith of our time especially that they repudiate and proclaim the necessity of repudiating all respect and obedience for the authority of the Church, and even of any human power, in the idea that it will thus be more easy to make an end of faith. Here we have the origin of Anarchism, than which nothing is more pernicious and pestilent to the order of things whether natural or supernatural. (Pius X. Encyclical Ad Diem illud Laetissimum, no. 22, February 2, 1904)

Pius IX

  • To resist authority is to resist the ordering made by God Himself

Take pains to impress on the Christian people a due obedience and subjection to rulers and governments. Do this by teaching, in accordance with the warning of the Apostle (Rom 12:1-2), that all authority comes from God. Whoever resists authority resists the ordering made by God Himself, consequently achieving his own condemnation; disobeying authority is always sinful except when an order is given which is opposed to the laws of God and the Church. (Pius IX. Encyclical Qui Pluribus, no. 22, November 19, 1846)

  • The very nature of human society obligates its members to obey the lawfully established authority

Therefore, warn your faithful that the very nature of human society obligates its members to obey its lawfully established authority; nothing in the precepts of the Lord on this subject, which are proclaimed in holy scripture, can be altered. For it is written: ‘Be subject to every human institution for God’s sake, to the king as supreme or to governors as sent by him to punish wrongdoers and to praise those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing right, you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Be as free men, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but be as servants of God’ (1Pet 2:13f). And again: ‘Let ever soul be subject to the higher authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, he who resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur their own condemnation’ (Rom 13:1f). (Pius IX. Encyclical Nostis et nobiscum, no. 19, November 19, 1846)

Gregory XVI

  • Certain teachings are being spread: the torches of treason are being lit everywhere

We have learned that certain teachings are being spread among the common people in writings which attack the trust and submission due to princes; the torches of treason are being lit everywhere. Care must be taken lest the people, being deceived, are led away from the straight path. May all recall, according to the admonition of the apostle that ‘there is no authority except from God; what authority there is has been appointed by God. Therefore he who resists authority resists the ordinances of God; and those who resist bring on themselves condemnation’ (Rom 13.2). Therefore both divine and human laws cry out against those who strive by treason and sedition to drive the people from confidence in their princes and force them from their government. (Gregory XVI. Encyclical Mirari Vos, no. 17, August 15, 1832)


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 We are all equal – everyone! When this is not acknowledged, that society is unjust

 

 

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