From the perspective of Catholic Tradition

Louis Veuillot

Journalist and writer, b. at Boynes, Loiret, 11 Oct., 1813; d. inParis, 7 April, 1883. 

  Liberal Illusion

Study Outline



 What glorious title did Leo XIII bestow upon Louis Veuillot?

 “Lay Father of the Church” (p. i)

By what title is Leo XIII’s Encyclical on Liberalism known?

 “Libertas praestantissimum” (p. vi)

To what organization does the Pope refer when he speaks of the “widely-spread and powerful organization” of those who style themselves Liberals?

 The Freemasons (p. vii)

Is the Liberal principle of the ‘absolute sovereignty of the people’ compatible with the sovereignty of God?

 No, because the former, as such, could not be subject to any authority, including that of God.

Is the Masonic principle of the separation of Church and State a sound principle? 

 No, because it either makes the Church a non-entity in the eyes of the state, or it perverts the nature of the Divine society and subjects Her jurisdiction to the state (p. viii).  This separation may only be tolerated in practice due to necessity (p. ix).

What kind of liberty did the paganizing Humanists of the 15th century seek to revive?

An unhampered liberty and a life modeled on licentious lines of Grecian paganism (p. x).

On what ground did Luther reconcile pagan liberty with Christian faith?

 On the ground that Man’s will-power had been so ruined by original sin that it was useless to struggle against temptation.  Man, he said, ought to act with absolute freedom and merely retain an unwavering faith that God, in view of the merits of Christ, would not take account of his wicked deeds (pp. x-xi).

Why is the Calvinist Rousseau regarded as the Father of political Liberalism? 

 Because his particular concept of individual liberty required a new concept of society and thus a new concept of politics.  These concepts are founded in Liberalism (pp. xi-xiii).

Which of his works became the bible of Freemasonry and the French Revolution? 

 “du Contrat Social” (p. xiv).

Of the three kinds of Liberalism — political, economic and religious — which is the root-principle of the other two?

Religious Liberalism? (p. xvii).

Who was the first Grand Master of the Grand Orient whose slanders compassed the death of Louis XVI?

Philip, Duke of Chartres & Orleans (pp. xiv-xv).

Why do we speak of Rousseau’s principle of perfect individualism as a pulverizing principle?

Because it led to the disruption of all partial associations within the State, the dissolution of the occupational groups (the guilds), and even of the domestic group (the family).  Liberalism has spared no effort to break down all organization within the body politic and to extirpate all social organs.

Who is reputed to be the Father of economic Liberalism, and in what words was he pilloried by Ruskin?

 Adam Smith (p. xvi).  Ruskin called Smith, “the half-bred and half-witted Scotsman who taught the deliberate blasphemy:  Thou shalt hate the Lord they God, damn His laws and covet thy neighbor’s goods” (p. xvii).

What Liberal-economist formulated the Iron Law of Wages?

 David Ricardo (p. xvii).

What are the three kinds of religious Liberalism?

 Absolute, Moderate and Catholic (p. xviii).

What logical application does atheistic Communism make of the Liberal ideal of a secularized society or State?

 When religion is demoted, materialism takes its place as the ideology of promises and rewards.  Hence, hedonism is preached as the proper goal of man, who is free from sin, accountability and judgment, and whose summit of existence is not the afterlife, but this world (p. xxii).



 Liberal Catholics (chapters 1-4)

Of what else is a liberal Catholic full, besides beautiful illusions? ¾ Devotion, busy with good works, learning, enthusiasm (p. 1).
Why does he style the ordinary Catholic intolerant? ¾ Because he is sympathetic with a Church that “interferes too much with the human mind,” and which “sets up an even more oppressive secular power which serves the Church herself more faithfully than it serves the world.”  In the past, Catholic governments have intervened to “impose” the faith; this gave rise to the “violent measures” that have revolted the human conscience and “plunged it into unbelief.”

The Church suffers by reason of the “unlawful” support she has seen fit to accept from the State.  The time has come for her to “change her attitude.”  The thing for the Church to do is to renounce all power of her own to “coerce conscience” and to deny such power to governments (p. 2).


Is toleration of all religions, regardless of their truth or falseness, the ideal regime for a State?


To what sort of embarrassment do “intolerant” Catholics expose their “liberal” brothers? ¾ They cause their liberal brothers to be suspect in their sincerity (p. 4).


Does the liberal Catholic suffer from an inferiority complex, and why do we speak of him as a flesh-potter?


To what evidence is his mind closed, to what is it open?
Is any man free from the obligation to acknowledge the truth? ¾ The duty to uphold justice, and by consequence to acknowledge the truth, is of the very essence of government, irrespective of all constitutions and all political forms (p. 7).



 The Ageless Church and the Modern Age

(chapters 5-10)

1.     Do the mass of men think with their reason or with their feelings?

Is it safe for reason to attack nonsense without first enlisting the aid of sentiment?
To what does treason in the matter of words ultimately lead?


What danger lurks in the toning down of “intolerant” expressions and the playing up of popular ones?


Is modern man able to take care of himself and mature enough to dispense with Divine direction?


Has the Church failed to keep pace with the times? Is she a poor straggler in the wake of human progress?


Has mankind outgrown the Church?


Has the Holy Ghost deserted her, so that she no longer enjoys enlightenment from on high?


Has God retracted His promise to be with the Church forever and changed His mind about having a Kingdom on Earth?
Does the eternal and unchangeable God change with the times?


Is the Rock of Peter a rolling stone that can be dislodged from its position?


Is it adamant or is it a plastic jelly taking any and every form impressed upon it?

Has the modern age repealed the royal rights of Christ the King, or are these inviolable and everlasting?


Is the universal Church of a particular time, a particular place, a particular race, or is she of all times, all places and all races?
What are the royal rights of Christians as Children of God — co-heirs with Christ the King?


By what twofold power should Christian society be governed and what is the relation that ought to obtain between Church and State?


Which is the superior society, the Church or the State?


Is the State in duty bound to protect the Church in the discharge of her Divine mission to preach the gospel to every creature?



Christian Theocracy (chapters 11-21)


Do free-thinkers grant Catholics full freedom to believe in the infallibility of the Church?


What does the “tolerant” man mean by saying that the only thing he cannot tolerate is Catholic “intolerance”?


When liberals threaten to persecute Catholics because of their theocracy, to what end does the liberal Catholic make capital of this unjust intimidation?


Would the common people be the losers if the Church were to regain her moral power to coerce despots, dictators, autocrats, tyrants?


What happens to human freedom when the Church’s power over the consciences of civil rulers declines?


Through whom does Christ reign on Earth?


Have Christians, through whom Christ exercises His royal rights to reign over all mankind, any right to renounce or abate those rights?


Did God, in giving man free will, give him the license to disregard Divine truth and the Divine commandments?


Has the State the right to refuse official worship to God, and may Catholics positively approve of a godless State?
In what sense do Catholic upholders of Liberalism resemble the Christian maker of idols excoriated by Tertullian (De Idolatria, 6)?


Is it worthwhile to buy Masonic friendship by surrendering the divine rights of the Church?
On what condition did the Tempter promise Christ dominion over the whole world?
What did Gregory VII mean when he said of Henry IV: “The king of nothing promises to fill Our hands”?
Did God respect the “right” of freedom of worship in the case of the Jews who consecrated themselves to Beelphegor?
Do we have to go with the stream?
Has force a use as well as an abuse, or should all coercion be abolished?
What choice will liberal Catholics eventually have to face?
Is the Church a supernatural institution and has she any reason to fear mere numbers on the side of those opposed to her?



 Catholic Independence (chapters 22-29)


Which was the first great declaration of independence and how was it simultaneously a profession of dependence upon God?


To which result does rebellion against God lead — to liberty or to slavery?
When Antichrist asks the last Christian how he wishes to be treated, what will his answer be?
When the infidel Saracen ordered St. Louis to knight him, what reply did he receive?
What like reply ought we to give to godless Liberals demanding that we venerate their godless constitutions as something sacred?
Is it possible for error to have equal rights with truth, for vice to have equal rights with virtue?



Catholic Liberalism a Contradiction in Terms

(chapters 30-36)

 Do Masonic liberals trust liberal Catholics as liberal Catholics trust Masonic liberals?
Why do the concessions and compromises of liberal Catholics fail to disarm the suspicions of orthodox liberals?
What principle of Liberalism raises an impassable barrier between Catholics and Liberals?
Do liberal Catholics accept unreservedly such Liberal principles as the Secularization of Society, or the Sovereignty of the People?
Do the Masons detect this false note in Catholic professions of liberalism?
What, then, must the liberal Catholic do in order to remain liberal?
What were the latter-day Protestants forced to do in order to remain Protestants?
Why have liberal Catholics merit neither with God nor with men?
What other evil consequences flow from the principle of the secularization of society?



 Conclusion (chapters 37-39)

 Why does Veuillot plead with all Catholics, liberal and non-liberal, to forget their differences and to unite in a solid phalanx around the Holy Father?

What crimes docs Liberalism commit in the name of liberty, fraternity and equality?
What kind of liberty, fraternity and equality should Cat