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The Salvation of Souls – Not the Constitution – Is the Supreme Law

In the liturgy of December 28, Holy Mother Church honors the Holy Innocents, whose blood was spilled on account of Christ, the True and Eternal King (cf. Matthew 2:16-18). Thus, this is a most appropriate time for the following reflection.
 

A Terrible Supreme Court Decision

Earlier this year, many were dismayed when a law in Louisiana that would have prevented the deaths of more unborn children by abortion, was overturned.[1] What was especially scandalous was that some of the alleged Catholic justices ruled in a way that will allow even more innocent lives to be murdered.

Justice Clarence Thomas, arguably the most faithful Catholic on the bench, wrote in his dissent to the decision: “Today a majority of the Court perpetuates its ill-founded abortion jurisprudence by enjoining a perfectly legitimate state law and doing so without jurisdiction.” He was joined by the recent Trump-appointed justices, though neither went as far as Justice Thomas in calling for an undoing of the legalization of abortion. And similar disappointments have also arisen in the past month concerning the election in the United States and the apparent defeat of President Trump to a baptized Catholic who favors enshrining abortion rights into law.
 

An Ancient and Unchanging Principle

These setbacks remind us that the salvation of souls – not the US Constitution or even any modern political system, political party, or candidate – is the supreme law. Salus Animarum Suprema Lex (The Salvation of Souls is the Supreme Law). These words, originally found in the secular writing of Cicero in Ancient Rome, have fallen so far out of the secular mind that no contemporary government can truthfully claim they operate with these principles.

Sadly, even many in the Catholic Church no longer live according to this supreme admonition, preferring instead to follow leaders who have given in to the demands of a secular, and at least deist-in-principle, worldview. Many act as if God is in Heaven unmindful of our activities and we on earth can do as we please – so long as it does not hurt others – in direct contradiction to the Church’s teachings on the Kingship of Christ.[2]
 

The Faith Is Unique in Directing Men’s Hearts

We cannot rely on secular institutions to do what can be done only by the Church. Our efforts as Catholics must be directed at converting souls, hearts, and minds to the Traditional Catholic Faith. Only then will life be protected. Secular laws enacted by governments that are not founded on Catholic principles will never do what authentic evangelization – and God’s grace – alone can do.

Secular laws are not a replacement for divine law. We must make abortion unthinkable in America, Canada, Ireland, and everywhere – and not primarily by passing legal restrictions (although these are certainly good and meritorious since they help prevent the weak and pressured from murdering their children). Our focus must instead be anchored in Catholic doctrine.
 

The Evil of Abortion Endures into Eternity

By helping form another generation of true Traditional Catholics we can make abortion unthinkable. Abortion is a two-fold murder – first, it destroys sanctifying grace in the soul of the mother who murders her child. It also destroys any grace in those who perform or help foster, encourage, fund, or support the murder of human life in any way.

But it even more tragically sentences the child (a truly human life with an immortal soul) to an eternity away from God. Baptism is necessary for salvation. These aborted babies are not baptized. We are not aware in any way of how aborted children can go to Heaven. While we trust in God’s mercy that they will spend an eternity in Limbo, away from the fires of hell, they will ultimately never see the face of God in Heaven, since they were deprived of holy Baptism.

This reality – which is hardly taught anymore, even by Catholic priests who fear offending people – must be proclaimed even more loudly. How many souls have been deprived of Heaven because of secular governments divorced from God’s laws and founded on the false principle of man’s rights?
 

A Grave Problem of Modern Secular States

The United States was founded on the notion that the government derives its ability to govern from the consent of the people – directly contrary to the affirmation of Our Lord and His Church that all authority comes from God (cf., Romans 13:1), and that governments traditionally obtained the ability to govern by divine right, leading to the consecration and coronation of the monarch.

The failures of America and the world as a whole – including formerly Catholic nations such as Ireland, Spain, and Italy – to prevent divorce, artificial contraception, and abortion all stem from the rapid onset of modernism, which continues to obscure the truths of life, government, and God. The errors of the French Revolution and the so-called ‘Enlightenment’ continue to pollute our minds, our schools, our institutions, and even our seminaries and priests.

There is only one supreme law and that is not the United States Constitution. It is not a document of the United States, the United Nations, or the European Union. It is also not the Code of Canon Law. It is not a document published by the Vatican. The Supreme Law of the Church is the Salvation of Souls.
 

Building on a Firm Foundation

And that law must be the cornerstone of all efforts or else they will fail. As King David reminds us, all our efforts, if not based on the Lord’s true law and true Church, will fail: “Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it” (Psalms 126:1).

All Catholics must work for the salvation of souls with an ardent and generous spirit. This is not optional. This commitment must underscore our day-to-day lives. We must be missionaries to our families, our friends, and everyone we meet. Everyone must know that we are Catholics. And our efforts at converting others by our example, our charity, and our unwavering commitment to the Faith will be our tools to make abortion, divorce, artificial contraception, euthanasia, and sin itself unthinkable.

A Catholic worldview must understand that we are not deists. God desires us to consecrate all of our homes, our families, our businesses, our nations, and everyone to Him. And we are to live out this reality in practice in all facets of our life – public and private. May we consecrate all facets of our lives to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.

As we begin another year, we pray for the conversion of all civil leaders throughout the world to do the will of God and save souls.


 

Prayer for Our Government by Archbishop John Carroll (1791)

We pray, O almighty and eternal God, Who through Jesus Christ has revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy name.

We pray Thee, Who alone are good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, the pope, the vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of His Church; our own bishop, all other bishops, prelates and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise among us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray, O God of might, wisdom and justice, through Whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the president of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality.

Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for His Excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thine unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed, who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.

Amen.


[1] On June 29, 2020 the Supreme Court rendered a 5-4 decision to strike down the Louisiana law, June Medical Services LLC v. Russo. The crucial fifth vote came from Chief Justice John Roberts, a baptized Catholic. In addition to his having been educated in schools that are Catholic in name, this was even more troubling since he voted to uphold an essentially identical Texas law in 2016. However, at that time he was in the dissenting minority and so the Texas Law was nevertheless struck down (a victory for the pro-death abortionists). What a travesty that this time, when his same opinion from 2016 would have upheld a good law, he betrayed the Faith and granted another victory to the pro-death abortionists. (Read more on this decision at LifeSiteNews.)

[2] The last two episodes (#23 and #24) of The Fatima Center’s catechism series, Basics of the Catholic Faith, have dealt with the Church’s teaching on the Kingship of Christ. You can view them here.

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