I recently read wikipedia’s article on anti-catholicism and all anti-catholic sentiments practically amount to state/church relations with anti-catholics emphasizing the dominance of state/temporal power over church. All the way from protestantism to its successor liberalism (the dominant religion of the modern west). So it can be said that in terms of church/state relations leftism is rebellion against authority and so Leftism amounts to power (temporal) rebelling against authority (spiritual). Non Serviam seems to be a fitting term.
Historically, Catholics in Protestant countries were frequently (and almost always baselessly) suspected of conspiring against the state in furtherance of papal interests or to establish a political hegemony under the “Papacy“, with Protestants sometimes questioning Catholic individuals’ loyalty to the state and suspecting Catholics of ultimately maintaining loyalty to the Vatican rather than maintaining loyalty to their domiciled countries.
Since the catholic church and the papacy demands submission of all temporal power onto its authority, states in rebellion demand the opposite in that catholics must pay undivided obedience unto them and this is probably where the anti-catholic sentiments and persecutions arise from since the pope is always #1. Nationalism/Patriotism can be seen as a further advancement of the original rebellion of the temporal power (monarchs/aristocracy) against the spiritual authority in that the primacy of the person’s loyalty be exclusively in the state.
“The idea of a national church first appeared in protestant countries; or to be more exact, it was perhaps above all to realize this idea that Protestantism was instigated, for it seems clear that Luther was hardly anything more, at least politically, than an instrument of the ambitions of certain German Princes; and its moreover quite likely that if the revolt against rome had taken place without such support its consequences would have been quite as negligible as those of many other short-lived incidents of dissent.
Protestantism was in this respect rather more an outcome than a point of departure; but if in reality it was above all the work of princes and sovereigns, who first of all used it for political ends, its individualist tendencies were not long in turning back upon them, for they were directly preparing the way for the democratic and egalitarian conceptions characteristic of the present epoch.”
Tethered from the immovable rock of the catholic church’s deposit of faith, there can be nothing but permanent instability that moderns positively consider to be progress where the only thing over the horizon is the next iconoclasm and revolution.
Institutional anti-Catholicism in Britain and Ireland began with the English Reformation under Henry VIII. The Act of Supremacy of 1534 declared the English crown to be ‘the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England’ in place of the pope. Any act of allegiance to the latter was considered treasonous because the papacy claimed both spiritual and political power over its followers. It was under this act that saints Thomas More and John Fisher were executed and became martyrs to the Catholic faith.
This is a very clear example of the Temporal Power’s rebellion against Spiritual Authority by usurping the spiritual as its own and in doing so undermines its own legitimacy. The temporal power acting outside its role in its relations of the spiritual. Hence what leads after is perpetual revolution which is also called class struggle since there is no central immovable axis that keeps things in stability.
As punishment for the rebellion of 1641, almost all lands owned by Irish Catholics were confiscated and given to Protestant settlers. Under the penal laws, no Irish Catholic could sit in the Parliament of Ireland, even though some 90% of Ireland’s population was native Irish Catholic when the first of these bans was introduced in 1691. Catholic / Protestant strife has been blamed for much of “The Troubles“, the ongoing struggle in Northern Ireland. Laws that restricted the rights of Irish Catholics The Irish potato famine was due in part to Anti-Catholic laws. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish Catholics had been prohibited by the penal laws from purchasing or leasing land, from voting, from holding political office, from living in or within 5 miles (8 km) of a corporate town, from obtaining education, from entering a profession, and from doing many other things that were necessary for a person to succeed and prosper in society.
This seems to be the instance of the temporal powers in seeking to enlarge its power over the people, enacted laws to empower protestants already in its fold and to harm the catholics who were not.
Main article: Kulturkampf
The powerful German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck forged an alliance with secular liberals in 1871–1878 to launch a Kulturkampf (literally, “culture struggle”) in parts of the German Empire to destroy the power of the Catholic Church and crush the Polish minority. Catholics were numerous in the South (Bavaria) and west (Rhineland) and fought back. Bismarck intended to end Catholics’ loyalty with Rome (ultramontanism) and subordinate all Germans to the power of his state.
Priests and bishops who resisted the Kulturkampf were arrested or removed from their positions. By the height of anti-Catholic legislation, half of the Prussian bishops were in prison or in exile, a quarter of the parishes had no priest, half the monks and nuns had left Prussia, a third of the monasteries and convents were closed, 1800 parish priests were imprisoned or exiled, and thousands of laymen were imprisoned for helping the priests. There were anti-Polish elements in Greater Poland Silesia. The Catholics refused to comply; they strengthened their Centre Party.
It can be seen that the rise of secularism which is then taught as a crowning achievement of western civilization and its flourishing coming from enlightened intellectuals is actually the result of historical struggles which is seen in the instance of Bismarck in further centralization of his power which requires the removal of catholicism and its influences. Secularism in its goal of minimizing the church’s influence and power over society can be seen as a way for temporal power increase its independence and expand its prerogative while also appealing to those ideologically who are anti-clerical or anti-religious, anti-catholic.
In Primarily Catholic Countries
Anti-clericalism is a historical movement that opposes religious (generally Catholic) institutional power and influence in all aspects of public and political life, and the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen. It suggests a more active and partisan role than mere laïcité. The goal of anticlericalism is sometimes to reduce religion to a purely private belief-system with no public profile or influence. However, many times it has included outright suppression of all aspects of faith.
Reading this above paragraph shows the usefulness of protestant christianity in the role of anti-clericalism and removal of catholic institutional power with protestantism’s idea of a universal priesthood and free individual interpretation of the bible to obtain truth. Protestantism’s rise which coincides with the rebellion of the temporal powers (monarchs/princes) shows that it was a struggle of hierarchy rather than theological disagreements.
Anticlericalism has at times been violent, leading to murders and the desecration, destruction and seizure of church property. Anticlericalism in one form or another has existed throughout most of Christian history, and it is considered to be one of the major popular forces underlying the 16th century reformation. Some of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire, continually attacked the Catholic Church, both its leadership and its priests, claiming that many of its clergy were morally corrupt. These assaults in part led to the suppression of the Jesuits, and played a major part in the wholesale attacks on the very existence of the Church during the French Revolution in the Reign of Terror and the program of dechristianization. Similar attacks on the Church occurred in Mexico and in Spain during the twentieth century.
Per Rene Guenon: “It is worth noting that Protestantism suppresses the clergy, and though it claims to uphold the authority of the Bible, it in fact ruins it by ‘free inquiry.’
From here protestantism’s usage in increasing temporal power and the dominance of the material over the spiritual eventually gives way to liberalism, as the below paragraph elaborates:
“Protestantism naturally begets toleration of error. Rejecting the principle of authority in religion, it has neither criterion nor definition of faith. On the principle that every individual or sect may interpret the deposit of revelation according to the dictates of private judgement, it gives birth to endless differences and contradictions. Impelled by the law of its own impotence, through lack of any decisive voice of authority in matters of faith, it is forced to recognize as valid and orthodox any belief that springs from the exercise of private judgement. Therefore does it finally arrive, by force of its own premises, at the conclusion that one creed is as good as another; it then seeks to (16) shelter its inconsistency under the false plea of liberty of conscience. Belief is not imposed by a legitimately and divinely constituted authority, but springs directly and freely from the unrestricted exercise of the individual’s reason or caprice upon the subjectmatter of revelation. The individual or sect interprets as it pleases, rejecting or accepting what it chooses. This is popularly called liberty of conscience. Accepting this principle, Infidelity on the same plea rejects all revelation, and Protestantism, which handed over the premise, is powerless to protest against the conclusion; for it is clear that one, who under the plea of rational liberty has the right to repudiate any part of revelation that may displease him, can not logically quarrel with one, who on the same ground repudiates the whole. If one creed is as good as another on the plea of rational liberty, on the same plea no creed is as good as any. Taking the field with this fatal weapon of Rationalism, Infidelity has stormed and taken the very citadel of Protestantism helpless against the foe of its own making.”
When Protestantism is fast losing its power, sinking into the abyss out of sheer impotence, Liberalism, even more formidable and more dangerous, fills the ranks of this decaying heresy with enemies still more resourceful, implacable and obstinate. Protestantism is now a dead dog; Liberalism a living lion going about seeking whom he may devour. Its dreadful doctrine is permeating society to the core;”
“The idea of a national church first appeared in protestant countries; or to be more exact, it was perhaps above all to realize this idea that Protestantism was instigated, for it seems clear that Luther was hardly anything more, at least politically, than an instrument of the ambitions of certain German Princes; and its moreover quite likely that if the revolt against rome had taken place without such support its consequences would have been quite as negligible as those of many other short-lived incidents of dissent.” -Rene Guenon
During the French Revolution (1789–95) clergy and religious were persecuted and church property was destroyed and confiscated by the new government as part of a process of Dechristianization, the aim of which was the destruction of Catholic practices and the destruction of the very faith itself, culminating in the imposition of the atheistic Cult of Reason and then the deistic Cult of the Supreme Being.
France’s Third Republic (1871–1940) was cemented by anti-clericalism, the desire to secularise the State and social life, faithful to the French Revolution. This was the position of the radicals and socialists.[
There seems to be a natural intercourse that comes with the desire for power which is concomitant with anti-religion, as they seem to naturally coincide.
Following the Revolution of 1860, Liberal President Benito Juárez issued a decree nationalizing church property, separating church and state, and suppressing religious orders.
Following the revolution of 1910, the new Mexican Constitution of 1917 contained further anti-clerical provisions. Article 3 called for secular education in the schools and prohibited the Church from engaging in primary education; Article 5 outlawed monastic orders; Article 24 forbade public worship outside the confines of churches; and Article 27 placed restrictions on the right of religious organizations to hold property. Article 130 deprived clergy members of basic political rights.
Separating church and state is anti-catholic by default, and this is a feature in all modern constitutional republics that we have today. This is a further example of the state monopolizing its influence and power at the expense of the church.
And finally the Anti-Catholicism in The United States and Nazi Germany, although I decided to reserve those for a separate post because I believe that they deserve their own analysis and explanations.