A Certain Democracy Goes So Far in Perversity as to Attribute Sovereignty to the People in Society and to Aim at the Suppression and Leveling of the Classes

August 29, 2011

From the apostolic letter Notre charge apostolique of Saint Pius X, August 25, 1910:

“The Sillon, impelled by an ill-understood love of the weak, has fallen into error.

Marc Sagnier, founder of Le Sillon

“In effect, the Sillon puts forward as a programme the elevation and regeneration of the working classes. But in this matter the principles of Catholic doctrine are fixed, and the history of Christian civilization attests their beneficent fruitfulness. Our predecessor of happy memory reminded them of this in masterly pages which Catholics occupied with social questions ought to study and keep always under their eyes.

Notably he taught that Christian democracy ought ‘to maintain the diversity of classes which is assuredly a fitting characteristic of a well-constituted State, and to wish for human society the form and character that God, its Author, impressed upon it’ [encyclical Graves de Communi re]. He denounced a “certain democracy which goes so far in perversity as to attribute in society sovereignty to the people and to aim at the suppression and the leveling down of the classes.”


Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History (York, Penn.: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, 1993), Documents V, pp. 481-482.


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