Pius VI repeatedly condemned the false concept of liberty and equality. In the Secret Consistory of June 17, 1793, quoting the words of the encyclical Inscrutabilie Divinae Sapientiae of December 25, 1775, he declared:
“‘The most perfidious philosophers go farther. They dissolve all those bonds by which human beings are joined to one another and to their rulers and by which they are maintained in their sense of duty; they keep screaming and proclaiming to the point of nausea that human beings are born free and not subject to the rule of anyone, and that society is therefore a multitude of foolish human beings whose stupidity prostates them before priests, by whom they are deceived, and before kings, by whom they are oppressed; to such a point that concord between the priesthood and the empire is nothing other than a giant conspiracy against man’s innate liberty.’
“To this false and mendacious name of liberty, those vaunted patrons of the human race have added the equally deceptive name of equality, as if among human beings who have come together in civil society, although they are subject to various emotions and follow diverse and uncertain impulses according to their individual whims, there ought not be one who by means of authority and force might prevail upon, oblige, moderate, and recall them from their perverse ways of acting to a sense of duty, lest society itself, from the reckless and contrary impetus of many desires, should fall into anarchy and be utterly dissolved. It is like harmony, which derives from the agreement of many sounds and which, if it does not consist of a suitable combination of strings and voices, disintegrates into a disturbed and clearly dissonant clatter.” (Pii VI Pont. Max. Acta [Rome: Typis S. Congreg. De Propaganda Fide, 1871], Vol. 2, pp. 26-27.)
Christ is Risen!
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