To Seek a False Unity Is to Work |
against the Faith
Today when we see so many Catholics tempted to compromise with Progressivism presented in Traditionalist clothes, it seems timely to remember the teaching of a great saint, St. Hilary of Poitiers, who faced a similar situation.
When the Emperor of Byzantium, Constantius, obliged all the Bishops to sign a Semi-Arian formula, the resistance to that heretical onslaught was maintained by St. Athanasius in the East and St. Hilary in the West. The invective of St. Hilary against Constantius may help to encourage present day Catholics not to give up the right position. St. Hilary was Bishop of Poitiers, France, from 353 to 368. In his work, Book against Constantius, he pronounced that the Emperor’s deceptive ploys made him similar to the Antichrist. His timely words follow:
St. Hilary of Poitiers
Today we have to fight against a disguised persecutor, against an enemy who flatters us and curries our favor, that is, against Constantius, the Antichrist, who does not slaughter his victims in order to give them true life [through martyrdom], but overwhelms them with riches in order to give them death. He does not dispute from fear of being defeated, but flatters in order to dominate. He confesses Christ in order to renege on Him. He seeks a false unity so that there will not be true peace. He persecutes certain errors in order to better destroy the doctrine of Christ. He honors the Bishops so that they cease to be Bishops. He constructs churches at the same that he destroys the faith.
Let them cease from accusing me of detraction and calumny, for the duty of the Ministers of Truth is to speak what is the truth. If we say false things, we consent that our words be called infamous; but if we demonstrate that all that we say is true, then we do not surpass the liberty and modesty of the Apostles; we do not accuse except after meditating long on what we have to say.
Now, then, I say to you loudly and clearly, Constantius, what I would have said to Nero, what Decius and Maximianus would have heard from my mouth: You fight against God, you oppress the Church, you persecute the Saints, you hate the preachers of Christ, you extirpate Religion. You are a tyrant if not in human things at least in those divine. Behold what I say in common to you and to them: hear now what applies to you. Under the mask of a Christian, you are a new enemy of Christ, a precursor of the Anti-Christ, you already work his perfidious deeds.
You, the cruelest of all tyrants, assault us with the greatest possible danger for ourselves. O, the most criminal of men! We recognize you under your sheep’s clothing as a rapacious wolf! With the gold of the State, you adorn the sanctuary of God; you offer Him what you rob from the temples of the Gentiles, what you extort by your laws and taxes. You receive the Bishops with the same kiss with which Christ was betrayed. You lower your head for the blessing, but your feet step on the faith. You pardon the taxes of the Clergy in order to make them deny their Creed. You give up your rights in order to make God lose His.”
(Liber contra Constantium, P.L., X, c 577-587,
apud Prosper Guéranger, L’Année Liturgique, ed. 1948, vol. 1, p. 609)
Posted March 14, 2009
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