Christ's Faithful People
BY FR. DON FELIX SARDA Y SALVANY
TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED
FOR AMERICAN READERSHIP BY CONDE B. PALLEN, Ph.D., LL.D.
Liberalism "is, therefore, the radical and universal denial of all divine truth and Christian dogma, the primal type of all heresy, and the supreme rebellion against the authority of God and His Church. As with Lucifer, its maxim is, 'I will not serve.'" (Ch. 3).
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, INC. Rockford, Illinois 61105
F. G. Holweck
St. Louis, June 26th, 1899
Imprimatur: +John J. Kain
Archbishop of St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
June 30, 1899
Originally published in English in 1899 by B. Herder Book Co., St. Louis, Missouri under the title What Is Liberalism? and reprinted in 1979 and 1989 by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc. Retypeset by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc. in 1993, under the title Liberalism Is a Sin, which is a translation of the original Spanish title, El Liberalismo es Pecado.
The type in this book is the property of TAN Books and Publishers, Inc., and may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without written permission of the Publisher.
(This restriction applies only to the type, not to quotations from the book.)
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 92-82526.
Printed and bound in the United States of America.
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, INC.
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"Liberalism, whether in the doctrinal or practical order, is a sin. In the doctrinal order, it is heresy, and consequently a mortal sin against faith. In the practical order, it is a sin against the commandments of God and of the Church, for it virtually transgresses all commandments. To be more precise: in the doctrinal order, Liberalism strikes at the very foundations of faith; it is heresy radical and universal, because within it are comprehended all heresies. In the practical order it is a radical and universal infraction of the divine law, since it sanctions and authorizes all infractions of that law." (Ch. 3).
In 1886 there appeared in Spain a little work under the title El Liberalismo es Pecado, "Liberalism Is a Sin," by Don Felix Sarda y Salvany, a priest of Barcelona and editor of a journal called La Revista Popular. The book excited considerable commotion. It was vigorously assailed by the Liberals. A Spanish Bishop of a Liberal turn instigated an answer to Dr. Sarda's work by way of another Spanish priest. Both books were sent to Rome, praying the Sacred Congregation of the Index to put Dr. Sarda's work under the ban. The following letter, under date of January 10, 1887, from the Sacred Congregation itself, explains the result of its consideration of the two volumes:
Liberalism is the root of heresy, the tree of evil in whose branches all the harpies of infidelity find ample shelter; it is today the evil of all evils. (Ch. 4).
"The theater, literature, public and private morals are all saturated with obscenity and impurity. The result is inevitable; a corrupt generation necessarily begets a revolutionary generation. Liberalism is the program of naturalism. Free-thought begets free morals, or immorality. Restraint is thrown off and a free rein given to the passions. Whoever thinks what he pleases will do what he pleases. Liberalism in the intellectual order is license in the moral order. Disorder in the intellect begets disorder in the heart, and vice-versa. Thus does Liberalism propagate immorality, and immorality Liberalism." (Ch. 26).
TO THE MOST REV. JACOBO CATALA ET ALBOSO, Bishop of Barcelona
Most Excellent Sir:
The Sacred Congregation of the Index has received the denunciation of the little work bearing the title El Liberalismo es Pecado by Don Felix Sarda y Salvany, a priest of your diocese; the denunciation was accompanied at the same time by another little work, entitled El Proceso del Integrismo, that is, "A refutation of the errors contained in the little work El Liberalismo es Pecado." The author of the second work is D. de Pazos, a canon of the diocese of Vich.
Whereupon, the Sacred Congregation has carefully examined both works and decided as follows:
In the first, not only is nothing found contrary to sound doctrine, but its author, D. Felix Sarda, merits great praise for his exposition and defense of the sound doctrine therein set forth with solidity, order and lucidity, and without personal offense to anyone.
The same judgment, however, cannot be passed on the other work, that by D. de Pazos, for in matter it needs corrections. Moreover, his injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against the person of D. Sarda than against the latter's supposed errors.
Therefore, the Sacred Congregation has commanded D. de Pazos, admonished by his own Bishop, to withdraw his book, as far as he can, from circulation, and in the future, if any discussion of the subject should arise, to abstain from all expressions personally injurious, according to the precept of true Christian charity; and this all the more since Our Holy Father, Leo XIII, whereas he urgently recommends castigation of error, neither desires nor approves expressions personally injurious, especially when directed against those who are eminent for their doctrine and their piety.
In communicating to you this order of the Sacred Congregation of the Index, that you may be able to make it known to the illustrious priest of your diocese, D. Sarda, for his peace of mind, I pray God to grant you all happiness and prosperity, and subscribe myself with great respect,
Your most obedient servant,
FR. JEROME SECHERI, O.P.
Secretary of the Sacred Congregation Of the Index.
The following short chapters on Liberalism are mainly and substantially Dr. Sarda's book, put into English and adapted to our American conditions. Their need and their use will be best understood and appreciated by their perusal.