Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 12, 1961
NUMBER 23, PAGE 8,13b

United States Constitution Vs Catholic "Human Liberty"

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri

The FIRST AMENDMENT to the Constitution of the United States, reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

From this First Amendment the American people have the promise and assurance that they shall have the "Four Freedoms;" (1) Freedom of worship; (2) Freedom of speech; (3) Freedom of the press; and (4) Freedom of peaceable assembly: Inasmuch as the American people have enjoyed the privileges granted and safeguarded by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, for such a long period of time, we sometimes lose sight of the importance of the "Four Freedoms." There is no question but what many unsuspecting citizens have no conception as to the difference that exists between the principles of the First Amendment and the principles set forth in Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical Letter, entitled "Libertas Humana," which was written on June 20, 1888 A. D. This Papal pronouncement on the subject of "Human Liberty" is quite the opposite in principle to the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

Excerpts From Pope Leo's "Human Liberty"

"False Liberty of Worship. To make this more evident, the growth of liberty ascribed to our age must be considered apart in its various details. And, first, let us examine that liberty in individuals which is so opposed to the virtue of religion, namely the liberty of worship, as it is called. This is based on the principle that every man is free to profess as he may choose any religion or none."

"One True Religion. But, assuredly, of all the duties which man has to fulfiII, that, without doubt, is the chiefest and holiest which commands him to worship God with devotion and piety .... And if it be asked which of the many conflicting religions it is necessary to adopt, reason and the natural law unhesitatingly tell us to practice that one which God enjoins, and which men can easily recognize by certain exterior notes, whereby divine Providence has willed that it should be distinguished .... Wherefore, when a liberty such as we have described (like the four freedoms. L.W.M.) is offered to man, the power is given him to pervert or abandon with impunity the most sacred of duties, and to exchange the unchangeable good for evil; which, as We have said, is no liberty, but its degradation, and the abject submission of the soul to sin."

Thus, by the foregoing, we can easily see that the Pope deplores such a thing as "Freedom of Worship" which our Constitution allows. Also, did you notice, that when the Pope uses the pronoun "We" in reference to himself, he capitalizes it? In this sense, he elevates himself to the status of God, inasmuch as the same practice is followed in respect to pronouns used in reference to God.

Liberty Of Speech And Press

Quoting again from the Pope: "We must now consider briefly liberty of speech, and liberty of the press. It is hardly necessary to say that there can be no such right as this, if it be not used in moderation, and if it pass beyond the bounds and end all true liberty. .... If unbridled license of speech and of writing be granted to all, nothing will remain sacred and inviolate; even the highest and truest mandates of natures, justly held to be the common and noblest heritage of the human race, will not be spared. Thus, truth being gradually obscured by darkness, pernicious and manifold error, as too often happens, will easily prevail."

Quoting From The Bible

"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Cor. 3:17)

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Gal. 5:1)

"For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another." (Gal. 5:13)

"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:25)

"So speak ye and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12)

Liberty Of Teaching

Quoting again from Pope Leo XIII: "A like judgment must be passed upon what is called liberty of teaching. There can be no doubt that truth alone should imbue the minds of men; for in it are found the well-being, the end, and the perfection of every intelligent nature; and therefore nothing but truth should be taught both to the ignorant and to the educated, so as to bring knowledge to those who have it not, and to preserve it in those who possess it. For this reason it is plainly the duty of all who teach to banish error from the mind, and by sure safeguards to close the entry to all false convictions. From this it follows, as is evident, that the liberty of which We have been speaking, is greatly opposed to reason, and tends absolutely to pervert men's minds, in as much as it claims for itself the right of teaching whatever it pleases — a liberty which the State cannot grant without failing in its duty. And the more so, because the authority of teachers has great weight with their hearers, who can rarely decide for themselves as to the truth or falsehood of the instruction given to them."

Analysis Of The Previous Papal Paragraph

According to the Pope's statements, ONLY what HE defines as TRUTH should be taught to mankind, because, in HIS estimation, truth cannot compete with what he terms "error." HE further indicates total CENSORSHIP.... "error must be banished by sure (censorship) safeguards to close the entry to all false convictions."

....liberty of which We (note capitalization - L.W. M.) have been speaking, is greatly opposed to reason .... Thus, according to the Pope, LIBERTY IS AN UNREASONABLE THING! Only, it's not very often that we can find such an admission in print!

The United States has FAILED IN ITS DUTY, by granting religious liberty! least that is the Pope's reasoning. By taking the same principle still farther, the BILL OF RIGHTS IS A FAILURE, in the eyes of Papal power. It is an UNREASONABLE thing!

Finally .... and please notice this ...."hearers ....can rarely decide for themselves as to the truth or falsehood of the instruction given them." In other words, says the Pope, let ME do your reasoning and thinking for you're not quite capable.... so, I'll do the deciding.... you just blindly follow! Now if that isn't what the Pope teaches, will some enlightened Papal follower set me straight?

No Unconditional Liberty

Copying again the Papal pronouncement: "From what has been said, it follows that it is quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, of writing, or of worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature to man. .... It likewise follows that freedom in these things may be tolerated (emphasis mine, L.W.M.) wherever there is just cause; but only with such moderation as will prevent its degenerating into license and excess."

Comment on Preceding Paragraph According to the Pope, IT IS UNLAWFUL TO DEFEND OR GRANT unconditional FREEDOM of THOUGHT, SPEECH, WRITING OR WORSHIP. They may only be tolerated (allowed under duress) for "just cause" .... namely, when civil government is not shackled by Rome.

Am I wrong then in concluding that in the eyes of the Pope, American Catholics are engaging in an "unlawful thing" when they serve in the armed forces of this Nation, and uphold the Cause of Freedom? Are American Catholics doing an "unlawful thing" in the estimation of their "Bishop of Bishops" when they strive to uphold the FREEDOM OF SPEECH, FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, AND THE FREEDOM OF WORSHIP? I'd sincerely like for some enlightened Catholic to instruct me concerning these matters!

Concluding Catholic Quotation

Our final quotation from the Pope, says: ".... It is not of itself wrong to prefer a democratic form of government, if only the Catholic doctrine be maintained as to the origin and exercise of power. Of these various forms of government, the Church does not reject any that are fitted to procure the welfare of the subject; she wishes only — and this nature itself requires — that they should be constituted without involving wrong to any one, and especially without violating the rights of the Church."

Now that's real charitable of the Pope! It's not wrong per se to "prefer" a democratic form of government. And, as to the violation of the "rights" of the church just who, pray tell, is to determine exactly WHAT "rights" the Church has? For the Church of the New Testament, it is a simple matter to determine its rights. But with the chameleon-like character of Catholicism, including its changeable dogmas and tenets, WHO can equitably define just WHAT it's RIGHTS consist of?


In view of these questions from a Papal Encyclical Letter, is it any wonder that thinking Americans identify and compare the similar characteristics of Rule from Rome, and Rule from Moscow? Both philosophies depend upon CENSORSHIP, and THOUGHT CONTROL.