Liberalism Is a Sin

News: Commentary
by Paul Brock  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 9, 2021   

A denial of Christ

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Liberalismo es Pecado (Liberalism Is a Sin) was written at the end of the 19th century by Félix Sardà y Salvany, a popular Catholic priest in Spain. 

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Dr. Félix Sardà y Salvany

In defining what liberalism is, Sardà starts with Protestantism, saying it "naturally begets toleration of error." He continues, saying ,"Liberalism denies the absolute jurisdiction of Jesus Christ. ... It's the supreme rebellion against the authority of God and His Church." 

Sardà's work angered liberal prelates in Spain, and so they wrote a rebuttal. Both works were then sent to the Vatican's Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books).

After carefully examining both books, the Vatican not only sided with Sarda, but declared: "Dr. Felix Sardà merits great praise for his exposition and defense of the sound doctrine therein set forth with solidity, order and lucidity." 

On the other hand with the rebuttal, the Vatican ordered it to be removed from public circulation, announcing: "It needs corrections." And of the liberal author, the Vatican continued: "Moreover his injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against the person of Dr. Sardà, than against the latter's supposed errors." 

Today's Interpretation, Strategies

Liberalism is defined by today's standards as the "willingness to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one's own." 

Fr. Chad Ripperger, probably the most well-known exorcist in the Church right now, destroys this mindset by saying: "Someone who has an erroneous position, you respect the individual because they have certain rights, and they have the dignity of the human being, etc. — that does not mean you respect their position." 

In Catholicism, there are different opinions on how to best deal with the evil of liberalism.

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One proposed solution is Integralism, which says that in civil society, Catholicism should be the foundation of public law and public policy.

The other proposed solution is based on one's understanding of toleration, which comes from St. Thomas Aquinas, who says: "Those who are in authority rightly tolerate certain evils, lest certain goods be lost or certain greater evils be incurred." 

Faithful Catholics have often disagreed on what the best approach is to counter the sin of liberalism and one of its applications: Americanism. 

As the First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The United States, therefore, was not set up as a Catholic Integralist would like.

Popes: Condemning Error

Today’s Integralist shares the same sentiment as Pope Pius IX in his 1864 encyclical on Condemning Current Errors, in which he condemns the following error:

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Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII

The best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones. 

About 30 years later, his successor — Leo XIII — would call the United States out by name, not to condemn, but rather to show a sign of sympathy and praise, referring to America as a "well-ordered republic." 

And four years after that, in 1899, Pope Leo addressed the heresy of Americanism, a false evangelization that waters down Catholic truths to win over non-Catholics.

The Pope wrote to Cdl. James Gibbons, the archbishop of Baltimore at the time, in which he starts off, again, praising America: "We have often considered and admired the noble gifts of your nation, which enable the American people to be alive to every good work, which promotes the good of humanity and the splendor of civilization." 

Pope Leo goes on to condemn the underlying principle of the heresy of Americanism, which states: "In order to more easily attract those who differ from Her, the Church should shape Her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of Her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions." 

Heeding to the teachings laid out by Pope Leo and many others, faithful Catholics have often disagreed on what the best approach is to counter the sin of liberalism and one of its applications: Americanism. 

Watch the full episode of Mic'd Up—Liberalism Is a Sin.

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