We arrived last night at around 1:00am and crashed for a few hours after a 12 hours bus trip. This morning we heard Mass at St. Mary, Mother of God parish in Washington, DC. The beautiful church was built by our German forbears in the 19th century and – thank God – seems to have survived the Iconoclasm of the 60s and 70s.
How did they survive it? I wondered. Maybe it was that militant German spirit which was fighting against Liberalism in the German states in the 19th century. After the Kulturkampf targeted Catholics following Vatican I, many German Catholics fled to these United States. At that time the great Hugo Klapproth was publishing Der Wanderer and – like Pius X’s “model layman,” Louis Veuillot – was admonishing the Irish Bishops for their Liberalism, the form which was eventually condemned as “Americanism” by Leo XIII.
I was happy to find Mary’s side altar which seemed to be used for the Holy Sacrifice regularly. An enormous miraculous medal hung on the wall behind the altar. Thank God that something inspired bishop John Carroll to consecrate these United States to the Immaculate Conception. That doctrine, said Bl. Pius IX when he dogmatized it, will “confute those who deny that human nature was corrupted by the first sin and who amplify the powers of human reason in order to deny or diminish the benefits of revelation.”
This is issue with Modernity. The original sin of Liberalism is based on the lie that Locke’s “state of nature” was not the state of fallen nature. The original sin of Liberalism is to deny that Original Sin exists; to deny that Original Sin is the real problem to be solved.
If men are fallen, they need supernatural grace, and no political arrangement will solve it. No economic solution will solve it. Nothing can ever overcome the effects of Original Sin except divine grace, dispensed by the Mystical Body of Christ.
Until the original sin of Liberalism is overcome, the effects of Original Sin will continue to destroy our societies. This is the reason for the “moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ” (Dignitatus Humanae, 1). As Pius XI adroitly put it in his encyclical against Communism: “everything must crumble that is not grounded on the one corner stone which is Christ Jesus” (Divini Redemptoris, 38).
But Locke’s works, upon which so much of the Liberal (dis)order has been based (including these United States), was written to justify an anti-Catholic revolution – the “Ugly Revolution” of 1688. The revolution of the United States was modeled after this anti-Catholic revolution, and the Declaration of Independence implicitly condemns Catholicism.
At the same time, because the Carroll family joined George Washington and the Patriot cause, they were able to overturn the Puritan anti-Catholic legacy in Maryland, which had forced that Catholic colony – founded by Lord Baltimore – to persecute Catholics. Because of the Revolutionary War and the Catholics’ support of Washington, the English (now “American”) Catholics – led by the Carroll family – were able to build churches again and hold political office. No doubt our fathers thanked God for the establishment of these United States in which they could freely and publicly celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass once more.
Today I thank God we have that freedom in this country, when, as Luis Medina points out, so few traditionally Catholic countries in the COVID-era have the freedom to access the Holy Sacraments. This is the great legacy of English common law – what Fimister and Fr. Crean say is “co-natural” with Christendom – which defends the liberties of the people against the encroachment of the centralized, bureaucratic modern state.
I thought upon this legacy and prayed before the Miraculous Medal of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of the United States. Then I turned and was overjoyed to find myself before a first class relic of Bl. Karl of Austria, the last Catholic Emperor. I had no idea this shrine was here!
What a joy to kneel before him and ask for prayers for our work here at OnePeterFive to unite the clan and rebuild Christendom! I happened to bring a copy of our contributing editor’s new biography of the saint with me on the trip. This is the legacy of lay rulership in the Church that we must recapture. And by his prayers, we will do our small part in that at OnePeterFive.
We offered up the Holy Sacrifice to God for the unborn, and the conversion of hearts. Father preached on the importance of the change not only of the law which allows the unborn holocaust, but more than that – the conversion of hearts. One of the lies of Liberalism is that law comes from the people. If the people simply vote something in, then it becomes a law. But the essence of law is that it must always be in harmony with the Justice of God. A law may be passed which is unjust, making it no law at all.
Today we are confronted with many unjust laws – inside or outside the Church – which contradict the laws of God. We must disobey these laws in order to obey God.
Right now there are unjust laws trying to force the vaccine in DC. When our group needed supplies or food, we just drove over the river and gave our sales tax to the state of Virginia.
But it was a court case in these United States which changed the law, not a legislative process. Still, the injustice of their decision was not because they were “unelected officials” – to claim such is to believe the lies of Liberalism.
The mechanism of voting does not prevent unjust laws. No political system in itself prevents the effects of Original Sin. Only a society founded upon the cornerstone which is Christ Jesus, which grows as the organic society, infused with divine grace, can have some share in the transformation of all things by the Gospel. This is what we can know of Christendom in this vale of tears as we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
The Law and Hearts of Men
We will overturn Roe v. Wade or die trying. That much is certain. But what happens if the law changes? Will the hearts of the people be changed?
But even a law made solely in the name of the people’s vote – or the judges’ vote – can guide the citizens. Law that is enshrined and is also according to God’s Law can still orient the people toward eternal truth.
But in the Liberal disorder, human persons are not protected as persons, according to the doctrine of the Church (especially expounded in the 20th century). The person is more than a “rational animal,” but a unique, transcendent soul, made in the Image of God, who is born into community and is made for community – ultimately the Divine Community Which is the Blessed Trinity.
The Liberal disorder destroys the person by making him into an individual.
An individual has no community. No history. No roots. He is the “rugged individual” of American secularism. Without a community, history or roots, the individual is prey to the oligarchs, who turn a multitude of individuals into “the masses,” making them easily manipulated.
We saw this when the Marxists burned cities in 2020.
Pius XII understood this already in 1944 during the war when he reflected on Democracy in his Christmas Radio message. He contrasted that community of persons which constitute “a people” – that which has history, roots, and meaning – with “the masses”:
‘The people’ lives by the fullness of life in the men that compose it, each of whom—at his proper place and in his own way—is a person conscious of his own responsibility and of his own views. ‘The masses,’ on the contrary, wait for the impulse from outside, an easy plaything in the hands of anyone who exploits their instincts and impressions; ready to follow in turn, today this flag, tomorrow another.
Pius XII concludes: “the masses—as we have just defined them—are the capital enemy of true democracy and of its ideal of liberty and equality.”
And so it has gone.
By swallowing Liberalism, the people have lost their roots and become “the masses,” easily manipulated into whatever ends the elites have for them to do. As Dr. Morse shows, the ideologues helped manipulate these masses to impose upon this country the sexual revolution of the 50s, 60s, and the ultimately the unborn holocaust hideously enshrined with Roe v. Wade.
Yet here we are to defend these children from murder. Here we are to save this mother from despair and her child from death without baptism. Here we are to turn that derelict father into a man of God by the Gospel.
The transcendent dignity of the human person is worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. Holy Mother Church will wrap her arms of mercy over every person ground down under the emptiness and alienation of Liberalism.
We march because the conversion of this nation is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.
We glory in the impossible. We glory in the cross.
“We have come,” Father said in his sermon, “to bear witness to the dignity of human life. This is the life of the martyr. The martyr bears witness.” His red vestments signaled the feast of the martyrs Saints Fabian and Sebastian.
The martyrs stood up and died to bear witness to a Heavenly Kingdom, and by doing so, subordinated the Roman Empire to the King of Kings, liberating it from Satan.
By God, our witness will do the same. We will overturn Roe v. Wade or die trying.
I was told tonight that there’s a law in DC that no building can be taller than the capitol. If you construct a building taller, you pay a fine. The cross on the top of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is higher, so the Catholic Church pays a fine of $1 every year to the District of Columbia. The tallest building in DC is the throne of His Majesty with His standard, the Holy Cross.
Well, that’s a start. 🙂
Jesus is King!
T. S. Flanders
Ss. Fabian and Sebastian
Photo by Kip Williams on Unsplash.
 Pio IX, Allocution Singulari quadam at the Consistory of 9 December 1854 in De Mattei, Blessed Pius IX, 104 n25.
 That is, the British Parliament’s Quebec Act, which gave toleration to French Christendom in Canada. Thus the Continental Congress in 1774 condemned the Parliament “establishing the Roman Catholic religion in the Province of Quebec, abolishing the equitable system of English laws, and erecting a tyranny [read: Catholicism] there” (Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, 1774). This grievance made it into the Declaration of Independence as: “Abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government [read: Catholicism], and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies.”
 Pius XII, “Christmas Message” (1944), 23-24.
Timothy Flanders is the editor-in-chief of OnePeterFive. He is the author of City of God versus City of Man: The Battles of the Church from Antiquity to the Present and Introduction to the Holy Bible for Traditional Catholics. His writings have appeared at OnePeterFive and Crisis, as well as in Catholic Family News. In 2019 he founded The Meaning of Catholic, a lay apostolate dedicated to uniting Catholics against the enemies of Holy Church. He holds a degree in classical languages from Grand Valley State University and has done graduate work with the Catholic University of Ukraine. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.