Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 10, 1952

That Clark Nomination Again

Herbert Fraser, Aurora, Colorado

In a preceding article this writer pointed out that in the event an ambassador is sent to the Vatican he must be recognized as a representative of one political power to another. It was shown that, with the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church having authority to function in the realm of political matters, citizens of one political power serve as official electors of, and official chief advisers to, the supreme ruler of another political power. The fact that the Vatican is a political state does not mean, however, that it is not inseparably connected with religion. While the organization of the Vatican is political and religious, a clear distinction between the religious and the political is impossible. The claim of Roman Catholicism is that the Church has authority only in the realm of "Faith and Morals." This assurance has served to allay fears of many who had been informed that the Catholic Church has been bent on dominating economic, educational, and political fields. What they do not realize is that the term "Faith and Morals" means a great deal more to the hierarchy than to others. It is entirely within the field of "Faith and Morals," to the hierarchy, when the Church takes an official stand in temporal matters. This is clear from the following: " is Our right and Our duty to deal authoritatively with social and economic problems." (Pope Pius XI, in his encyclical letter on "Reconstructing the Social Order"). Again: "And first of all education belongs preeminently to the Church...Hence the Church was set by her Divine Author as the pillar and ground of truth, in order to teach the divine faith to men, and keep whole and inviolate the deposit confided to her; to direct and fashion men, in all their actions individually and socially'. (Emphasis mine, H.F.) (Encyclical letter by Leo XIII on "The Condition of Labor".) These statements are too clear to be misunderstood. They teach that the Roman Catholic Church, as a Church, is authorized to deal with social and economic problems, and to dominate education in matters that pertain to all the actions of man, both individual and social.

It also lies within the scope of the function of the Church, according to Catholicism, to expect the civil government to use its power to enforce the laws of the Church. Hear Leo XIII again, in his encyclical letter on "The Condition of Labor": "Whenever the general interest of any particular class suffers; or is threatened with, evils which can in no other way be met, the public authority must step in to meet them. Now, among the interests of the public, as of private individuals, are these: that peace and good order should be maintained; that family life should be carried on in accordance with God's laws and those of nature; that Religion should be reverenced and obeyed..." (Emphasis mine, H.F.) Nothing could be clearer than this pronouncement that the civil authority is obligated, on occasion, to enforce the laws of the Roman Catholic Church! In view of these statements from popes themselves, who can honestly believe that the hierarchy divorces the economic and political fields from the field of "Faith and Morals"? History bears out the contention that the Roman Catholic Church has used its "authority" to deal with political issues, even to exalting and deposing rulers. Pius V stated that God has constituted the pope "prince over all nations and all kingdoms, that he might pluck up, destroy, dissipate, ruinate, plant, and build."

One of the most familiarly known facts of history is the crowning of Charlemagne as temporal ruler by Leo III in 800 A.D. And Pius V stated that he "deprives the queen (Elizabeth, H.F.) of her pretended right to the kingdom, and of all dominion, dignity, and privileges whatsoever: and absolves all the nobles, subjects, and people of the kingdom, and whoever else have sworn to her, from their oath, and all duty whatsoever, in regard of dominion, fidelity, and obedience." The Catholic Church has many, many times projected itself officially into political issues in different countries. This official claim to authority in civil affairs has never been officially repudiated.

But of what practical value is all of this to us today, especially in view of the steps being taken to so closely connect the government of the United States with the Vatican? Simply this. The political aims of the hierarchy should be kept in mind, so that any tendency leading to its assumption of its desired political power can be checked. It is also in order to inquire as to what loyalty the government of the United States can expect of anyone, clergyman or layman, who, in full knowledge of these things, still accepts the overlordship of the pope!

If any should doubt that the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Vatican would mean union of church and state, we have but to refer to the office of the diplomat who, in all likelihood, would be sent from the Vatican to the United States. The papal nuncio is to the Vatican what the ambassador is to the government of the United States. He is, therefore, a political officer. But, as before stated, it is impossible to divorce the religious from the political in the organization of the Vatican. The papal nuncio, being a representative of the Vatican, is a religious officer as well as a political officer. As further proof of this, we refer to the period between 1870 and 1929, when the pope had no direct temporal power, having been deprived of the "Church States." He had no political domain. Prior to this time there were papal nuncios in many of the capitals of the world, representing the pope. But when the pope lost all temporal power the office of papal nuncio was not vacated. Nuncios continued to operate officially in all those countries where they were tolerated! The papal nuncio is a religious officer! A representative from the Vatican to the United States government would be a representative from a church as well as from a political state. This would destroy the constitutional requirement of separation of church and state. Only those intent on covering up the real issue, or those ignorant of the makeup of the Vatican, would deny it.