Catholic Culture Podcasts
Catholic Culture Podcasts


By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 09, 2012

When the future Cardinal William Allen wrote his defense of Regnans in Excelsis—the Bull by which Pope St. Pius V absolved Englishmen of their obedience to Queen Elizabeth in 1570—he complained that the Queen’s government went out of its way to trip up and punish peaceful Catholic subjects. The Catholics in England, as a general rule, did not act against the Queen based on the fact that they were no longer obligated under God to be her loyal subjects.

But the Queen’s ministers devised many questions that they insisted Catholics must answer a certain way to stay out of trouble, no matter how peaceful they were, such as “whether the Bull of Pius V against the Queen’s Majesty be a lawful sentence and ought to be obeyed by the subjects of England?” and “Whether the Pope have power to discharge any of her Majesty’s subjects of any Christian prince from their allegiance?” These questions were clearly designed to put Catholics between a rock and a hard place.

One cannot help but wonder whether there is a move afoot to do the same thing to Catholics today, this time in the United States. Are you contemplating mounting a revolution against our government, be it ever so Godless? I’m not. Do you resent political stratagems designed to back you into a corner? I do.

Apparently it is not enough that we do not wage war against those who commit the abominations of abortion, sterilization and contraception (and many other evils). Now we must be made to state that these things are not evil but good, so good that we are willing to prove our agreement by paying for them. In the old days, this was called persecution. In the new days, it hasn’t changed.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: bnewman - Mar. 09, 2012 10:49 PM ET USA

    It always starts with an appently noble aim: to "modernise the Church" In practice what is meant is that the Catholic Church should drop any of its values that clash with secular values. Rather than the Church teaching Christ to the Nation State, the Nation State wants to teach the Church: some Catholics fall for that and many still do. But of course the State has the power of coercion: police, legal system, army.There is an iron fist behind the glove, and eventually the gloves will come off.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Mar. 09, 2012 4:09 PM ET USA

    Two historic marks of the despot: 1) obsession with legitimacy, and 2) obsession with violating the free will of others. The two are in direct contradiction and proof of madness.