Page 1, 18th February 1949

18th February 1949
Page 1
Page 1, 18th February 1949 — The Pope Reminds Rulers

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The Pope Reminds Rulers


On Saturday last the Pope issued an Apostolic Exhortation " to the Bishops of the whole world on the rise of evil, the neglect of God and militant atheism."

He calls upon the Bishops and priests throughout the world to celebrate a second Votive Mass for the remission of sins, and on all the faithful to go to Holy Communion on Passion Sunday, April 3, in reparation for the crimes of the enemies of God.

" The conflict between the good and the wicked, in whose ever tangled strands of human actions and motives history is woven, has seldom, if ever, been so acute as it is to-day,writes the Pope.

Referring to impiety " incredible and without parallel," the Pope continues: " It is producing evils without number, especially in those countries where a conspiracy has been formed against the Lord and against Christ.' It deprives man of God and thereby robs him of his spiritual dignity, makes him the ignoble tool of materialism and utterly destroys all trace of virtue, love, hope and beauty of soul within him. We speak of atheism, or rather, hatred of God.

"With supreme insolence, the enemies of the name of God avail themselves of every kind of help and advantage.

" Books, periodicals, the Press, the radio, organisations, public meetings and private interviews, education and culture, all are at their service to spread ridicule of sacred things.

" We consider, venerable brethren, that this does not take place without the insidious machinations of the infernal enemy, whose nature it is to hate God and injure man." The Pope then calls on all Christians to " raise aloft the standard of St. Michael the Archangel " and renewing his cry, " Who is like to God ? " to oppose to the blasphemers their energetic purpose to proclaim, to love and to preach God's Name.

" There is," the Holy Father continues, " no benefit which love of God does not bring to men, while on the other hand rejection of God brings about disasters.

" Who does not fear and abhor strikes and civil discords and wars which fought in future with new weapons, will cause immense destruction ? In order that such disaster be warded off, we welcome with approval the steps that have been taken to unite states together in ever closer alliances, QUICKSAND UNLESS . . .

" But this will be a faltering attempt, founded on quicksand, unless there prevails everywhere a strong sense of the brotherhood of men, which renders mutual contracts sacred and secure, strengthens pacts and welds communities together.

" Experience clearly teaches that men do not look upon one another as brothers unless they recognise that they are all sons of the same Father, " Without reverence for the Supreme Lawgiver and Divine Judge, right and wrong are mere words; the moral law collapses; if there is no sanction to be feared, iniquity goes to all extremes in deeds of daring and arrogance; men like wild beasts engage in mutual slaughter and their one joy is the base pleasure they take in practising these cruelties."

The Pope then goes on to develop the thought that it is to man's "advantage to recognise and serve God " and he calls " all sinners " to repentance and all Christians to prayer as " a protection and a remedy for the criminal impiety that contaminates our times."

Chief among all acts of prayer must be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass says the Pope.

" If atheism and hatred of God, which contaminates our times and merit a truly fearful punishment, is a grievous sin, we can, in the Fount of Christ's Blood, which the chalice of the New Testament contains, wash away the abominable crime, efface its consequences. implore pardon for the guilty and furthermore provide a splendid triumph for the Church."

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