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LIBERTY OF RELIGIOUS CONSCIENCE THREATENED BY ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND THE APOSTATE PAPACY (PART 1)

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LIBERTY OF RELIGIOUS CONSCIENCE THREATENED BY ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND THE APOSTATE PAPACY (PART 1)

Post by sol_drethedon on Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:57 pm

LIBERTY OF RELIGIOUS CONSCIENCE THREATENED BY ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND THE APOSTATE PAPACY

Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far great favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is in ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference between the doctrines that separate the reformed churches
from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all we don't differ widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a greater understanding with Rome. The time was when protestants placed a higher value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor property and that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed!

The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been maligned, and the Protestant world are inclined to support the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the church of today by the the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as a result of the barbarism of the times and plead that the influence of modern civilization has changed her sentiments.

Have these persons forgotten the claims of infallibility put forward for eight hundred years by this haughty power? So far from being relinquished, this claim was affirmed in the nineteenth century with greater positiveness than ever before. As Rome asserts that the "church never erred and nor will it according to the Scriptures ever err" (John L. von Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, book 3, century II, part 2, chapter 2, section9, note 17), how can she renounce the principle which governed her course in past ages?

The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in the persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented. Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution.

A well-known writer speaks thus of the attitude of the papal hierarchy as regards freedom of conscience and of the perils that especially threaten the United States from the success of her policy:

"There are many who are disposed to attribute any fear of Roman Catholicism in the United States to bigotry or childishness. Such see nothing in the character and attitude of Romanism that is hostile to our free institutions or find nothing portentous in its growth. Let us then, first compare dsome of the fundamental principles of government with those of the Catholic Church.

"The Constitution of the United States guarantees liberty of conscience. Nothing is dearer or more fundamental. Pope Pius IX in his Encyclical Letter of August 15, 1854, said:"The absurd and erroneous doctrines or ravings in defense of liberty of conscience are a most pestilential error-- a pest of all others, most to be dreaded in a state.' The same pope, in his Encyclical letter of December 8, 1864, anathematized 'those who assert the liberty of conscience and of religious worship,' also 'all such as maintain that the church may not employ force.'

"The pacific tone of Rome in the United States does not imply a change of heart. She is tolerant where she is helpless. Says Bishop O'Connor: 'Religious liberty is merely endured until the opposite can be carried into effect without peril to the Catholic world.'.... The archbishop of St. Louis once said: 'Heresy and unbelief are crimes; and in Christian countries,as in Italy and Spain, where all the people are Catholics, and where the Catholic religion is an essential part of the law of the land, they are punished as other crimes.'....

"Every cardinal, archbishop, and bishop in the Catholic church takes an oath of allegiance to the pope, in which occur the following words: 'Heretics, schismatics, and rebels to our said lord (the pope), or his aforesaid successors, I will to my utmost persecute and oppose'"--Josiah Strong, Our Country, ch.5, pars.2-4.
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