In these troubled times ask yourself once again why the world and our nation is roiling about in so much confusion, bewilderment and fear: It is because Christ is forgotten. He has been dethroned, deposed, denied and rejected.
There are many forms of this atheism, but secularism is one. Secularism is not explicitly atheistic. It is atheistic by default. The secularist does not deny God. He simply does not admit God to the table. He does not reject God. He ignores God.
How does this affect Catholics? We can fall into the trap of secularism by expecting the secular rulers of our country to be the answer to our problems. They’re not. They may be able to put a band aid on the cancer, but Donald Trump or Joe Biden or any other secular political leader cannot be our savior and cannot be our king.
In 1947, in the wake of the devastation of the second world war the Catholic bishops of America issued a statement warning against secularism.
Here is an excerpt:
Secularism which exiles God from human life clears the way for the acceptance of godless subversive ideologies — just as religion, which keeps God in human life, has been the one outstanding opponent of totalitarian tyranny. Religion has been its first victim; for tyrants persecute what they fear. Thus secularism, as the solvent of practical religious influence in the everyday life of men and nations, is not indeed the most patent, but in a very true sense the most insidious hindrance to world reconstruction within the strong framework of God’s natural law. There would be more hope for a just and lasting peace if the leaders of the nations were really convinced that secularism which disregards God, as well as militant atheism which utterly denies Him, offer no sound basis for stable international agreements for enduring respect for human rights or for freedom under law.
In the dark days ahead we dare not follow the secularist philosophy. We must be true to our historic Christian culture. If all who believe in God would make that belief practical in their workaday lives, if they would see to it that their children are definitely imbued with that belief and trained in the observance of God’s way of life, if they would look across the real differences which unfortunately divide them, to the, common danger that threatens, if they would steadfastly refuse to let a common enemy capitalize on those differences to the detriment of social unity, we might begin to see a way out of the chaos that impends. Secularism holds out no valid promise of better things for our country or for the world. During our own lives it has been the bridge between a decaying devotion to Christian culture and the revolutionary forces which have brought on what is perhaps the gravest crisis in all history. The tragic evil is not that our Christian culture is no longer capable of producing peace and reasonable prosperity, but that we are allowing secularism to divorce Christian truth from life. The fact of God and the fact of the responsibility of men and nations to God for their actions are supreme realities, calling insistently for recognition in a truly realistic ordering of life in the individual, in the family, in the school, in economic activity, and in the international community.
You can read the whole document here.
In the aftermath of the first world war Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical Quas Primas asserting the sovereignty of Christ the King and teaching clearly that his kingship applies to all of the faithful in our daily lives.
The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.
You can read Pope Pius XI’s encyclical here.