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The Popes Against Modern Errors: 16 Papal Documents Paperback – November 17, 1999
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"For, once ascribe to human reason the only authority to decide what is true and what is good, and the real distinction between good and evil is destroyed..." Pope Leo XIII's encyclical "On the Nature of True Liberty" brilliantly explains and defends the concept of natural law, and how popular notions of liberty and tolerance are perverted when natural law is ignored, and how this perversion gravely harms man and society. Though written in 1888, this document perfectly describes what ails the government-citizen relationship in the USA and exactly how we can fix it.
"It is owing to their pride that they [modernists] seek to be reformers of others while they forget to reform themselves..." Pope St. Pius X's deeply philosophical encyclical "On Modernism" probes the essence of modern thought, revealing all of its hypocrisy, inconsistency, and spiritual dangers.
"The social question will be much nearer a solution when all those concerned, less demanding as regards their respective rights, shall fulfill their duties more exactingly." Although Pope St. Pius X's 1910 encyclical "Our Apostiolic Mandate" directly concerns the Church's proper response to a now obscure French Catholic social movement, it makes important points about how responsibility must accompany liberty--points sorely in need of making in the USA today.
I think Catholics who read these documents will gain a much better understanding of the Faith and valuable insight into the "culture of death" that seeks to destroy it. For non-Catholics, the book could also be most helpful in understanding the role of the Pope in the Church and society--a role that is often misunderstood or viewed in the worst possible light. With Pope John Paul II's passing, we were all reminded of his crucial role in bringing down communism. This kind of historic and positive Papal influence is nothing new: Pope Leo XIII's "On the Condition of the Working Class", a monumental encylical from 1891, was enormously influential in bringing justice to the working classes in the West, and sturdying our defenses against the coming onslaught of communism, a challenge Pope Leo saw a good many years before most did. One can hardly read such documents and not sense the presence of truth, and perhaps the divine.