Saturday, September 11, 2021

New Encyclical on Peaceful Resistance to Evil

By Jean DuBois

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 11 September 2021 (NRom)

Today a new encyclical was released that discussed the issue of those in power who force their will on others around the world. The concept of peaceful, nonviolent non-cooperation was proposed as the appropriate Christian response during this current time in history. The complete text of the encyclical follows:

Those in worldly power, whether in government, companies, or institutions, who seek to dictate and force their will upon others ultimately cannot do so in the long run without the cooperation of those whom they wish to dominate. Without that cooperation, those in power become powerless. Indeed, peaceful, nonviolent non-cooperation can be more powerful than the sword.

Neither popular vote nor absolute power by itself determines what is right and just. Also, policies are not inherently in public best interest simply because they are proclaimed. Frequently the stated goal of public interest is nothing more than a mask for self interests. History provides plenty of examples of public interest, public benefit, and even public health being exploited as justifications for the most horrendous acts against human dignity.

The Church fathers have, through the ages, been quite clear on the rights of individuals not to follow dictates that are against the laws of God; to be free to follow their own conscience through the help of God, the intercession of the saints, and the guidance of the Holy Church; and ultimately to enjoy freedom that can only come through Christ. The Holy Church has, through her history, consistently fought in various ways in favour of the poor, the downtrodden, and the oppressed. In the world today, it is no surprise that we find yet another iteration and another variation of the selfsame story that plays out in every generation in the history of mankind.

Today We profess that the best course of action and course of resistance against those in the world who would unjustly dictate and force their will on others is peaceful, nonviolent non-cooperation. The small number of those in leadership roles in government, industry, schools, and institutions cannot force the masses of people to do their will without the cooperation of the people. Through fear and intimidation, and through mechanisms such as peer pressure and self-conscious insecurity, efforts to control and dictate may be successful for a time, but it cannot stand in the long run without cooperation. Indeed, a peaceful, nonviolent army of the righteous ultimately must be victorious.

This We teach solemnly as shepherd of the faithful. This We proclaim as the duty of all. This We state is the truth for which we must stand. It is in part for this purpose that the Church of Christ on earth is and must remain a completely sovereign entity, above all civil states. In this peaceful, nonviolent non-cooperation with evil, domination, and injustice, by the help of God and the intercession of Saints Peter, Mark, and Stephen, We will suffer any peril or threat before We relinquish Our Apostolic Office or allow Our sacred oath to be violated. This course of action likewise is the right and duty of the baptismal oath of each and every one of the faithful. May Almighty God in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Michael the Archangel, and all the saints be with each of you now and forever.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Archfather Writes On Human Kindness

FIRENZE-NUOVA ROMA 7 September 2021 (NRom)

Patriarchal Letter of His Holiness and Eminence
Papa Rutherford I
on Human Kindness

7 September 2021

Laudetur Jesus Christus!

We have hopefully all been taught the Golden Rule that we should do unto others as we would have others do unto us. History, though, shows that this spirit of Christian brotherhood, responsibility, and kindness has not yet penetrated the hearts of mankind in the almost 2000 years since the Incarnation.

The lesson of how we should treat others has not been learned on a wide scale thoughout history, especially by those in positions of authority. The world today is no different, as we see horrid examples of people mistreating their fellow man, even behaving in ways that they surely would not like to receive if the tables were turned. Politicians and those in positions of power in industry and institutions likewise have forgotten to follow the Golden Rule – or else they are intentionally disregarding it.

Some have said that this poor behaviour by politicians is simply what they must do as a matter of political expediency. However, We wholeheartedly reject that as an excuse, for to accept it would be to tolerate and be complicit in some of the worst behaviour of humanity throughout our collective history to the present. Acknowledging that politicians act in their political best interests or those in, for example, the corporate world act in their own financial interests or those of their stockholders may perhaps be a true realisation, but it is also irrelevant to the question of moral correctness and eternal truth. The choices we face in life are very often not easy, but they are invariably simple. We can choose to do the right thing, or we can choose to do the wrong thing. Very often, if not most of the time, the right thing is set aside by those in power and even by individuals because it is not the easy or popular thing to do. The decisions we face in life are important enough for individuals in general, but they become extraordinarily more important for those in positions of power and authority. The responsibility of people in power, whether in government, industry, or other institutions, to do the right thing, even if it is not easy, popular, profitable or politically expedient, is, again, dramatically higher due to the probable further reach of the consequences of their actions. That is not, of course, to say that the actions of individuals do not influence others, either positively or negatively, but simply a realisation that the decisions of those in positions of power and influence normally have wider ranging impact, either good or bad.

A recent discovery in the Ukraine of a mass grave filled with thousands of bodies from Stalin’s Great Purge underscores where power unchecked by righteous and moral responsibility can lead. Stalin in fact is estimated to have killed more of his own people than Hitler’s forces ever did in the Holocaust against the Jews, Slavs, and Catholics. It is a stark and poignant example of a complete abdication of the responsibility of a leader towards the people in his care. Yet, so many of the worst leaders in history claimed to be doing the right thing for the public good and public benefit, demanding total obedience and total agreement. Their actions, however, tell a different story – a story in violation of the Golden Rule.

The world of today is replete with examples of those in power treating others as they would surely not wish to be treated. Expediency cannot excuse it. The same is true of individuals in general. It might be said that such examples are not on the same level as the extremes of Stalin or Hitler, and while that is feasibly true, it does not change the impurity of underlying intent. One cannot excuse an ethical treatment of others by saying that it is nothing compared to the acts of others such as Stalin or Hitler. It is the same darkness behind both. When we realise this as individuals, we can begin to change our own behaviour towards others. When we realise this as a society, we will demand that governments, corporations, and institutions change the way that they treat their citizens, employees, clients, and others. Indeed, when we realise this as a society, we will no longer tolerate mistreatment, but our own treatment of others necessarily will improve. Let us each seek to allow Christ to into our hearts that we may live the Golden Rule and, leading by example, promote it in others.