Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Marìa Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli

Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Marìa Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli
1876
1958

Italian Pope, leadership of Catholic Church during World War II included his decision to stay silent in public about the fate of the Jews

Author Quotes

There is, then, a Franciscan doctrine in accordance with which God is holy, is great, and above all, is good, indeed the supreme Good. For in this doctrine, God is love. He lives by love, creates for love, becomes flesh and redeems, that is, he saves and makes holy, for love... meeting of uncreated Love with created love. Similarly, there is a method of loving Him and of imitating Him: in reality it sees the Man-God, and prefers to consider Him in His holy Humanity, because this reveals Him more clearly and, as it were, allows Him to be touched.

Natural law even more than mere compassion compels States to secure people a chance of immigration, because the Creator demands that the goods of this world should be at the service of all mankind. Therefore no state whose territory is in a condition to feed more people, has the right to refuse admission to foreigners without good and acceptable reasons.

A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God.

What a wonderful vision, which makes us contemplate the human race in the unity of its origin in God in the unity of its nature, composed equally in all men of a material body and a spiritual soul; in the unity of its immediate end and its mission in the world; in the unity of its dwelling, the earth, whose benefits all men, by right of nature, may use to sustain and develop life; in the unity of the redemption.

The Church welcomes technological progress and receives it with love, for it is an indubitable fact that technological progress comes from God and, therefore, can and must lead to Him.

The Church teaches that a valid marriage bond is indissoluble, that is, it’s unable to be broken: “The love of the spouses requires, of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life: ‘so they are no longer two, but one flesh.

The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish acts. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.

Salvation and justice are not to be found in revolution, but in evolution through concord. Violence has ever achieved only destruction, not construction; the kindling of passions, not their pacification; the accumulation of hate and destruction, not the reconciliation of the contending parties; and it has reduced men and parties to the difficult task of building slowly after sad experience on the ruins of discord.

Private property is a natural fruit of labor, a product of intense activity of man, acquired through his energetic determination to ensure and develop with his own strength his own existence and that of his family, and to create for himself and his own an existence of just freedom, not only economic, but also political, cultural and religious.

On the other hand, how different and much more faithful a reflection of limitless visions is the language of an outstanding modern scientist, Sir Edmund Whittaker, member of the Pontifical Academy of Science, when he speaks of the above-mentioned inquiries into the age of the world: "These different calculations point to the conclusion that there was a time, some nine or ten billion years ago, prior to which the cosmos, if it existed, existed in a form totally different from anything we know, and this form constitutes the very last limit of science. We refer to it perhaps not improperly as creation. It provides a unifying background, suggested by geological evidence, for that explanation of the world according to which every organism existing on the earth had a beginning in time. Were this conclusion to be confirmed by future research, it might well be considered as the most outstanding discovery of our times, since it represents a fundamental change in the scientific conception of the universe, similar to the one brought about four centuries ago by Copernicus."

Nevertheless, in the face of the undeniable mutability of even inanimate nature, there still rises the enigma of the unexplored microcosm. It seemed, in fact, that, unlike the organic world, inorganic matter was in a certain sense immutable. Its tiniest parts, the chemical atoms, were indeed capable of combining in most diversified manners, but they appeared to be endowed with a privilege of eternal stability and indestructibility, since they emerged unchanged from every chemical synthesis and analysis. A hundred years ago, the elementary particles were still regarded as simple, indivisible, and indestructible. The same idea prevailed regarding the material energy and forces of the cosmos, especially on the basis of the fundamental laws of the conservation of mass and energy. Some natural scientists went so far as to consider themselves authorized to formulate in the name of their science a fantastic monastic philosophy, whose sorry memory is linked up, among others, with the name of Ernst Haeckel. But in the very lifetime of the latter, toward the end of the last century, even this over-simplified conception of the chemical atom was shattered by modern science. The growing knowledge of the periodic system of chemical elements, the discovery of the corpuscular radiations of radio active elements, along with many other similar facts, have demonstrated that the microcosm of the chemical atom, with dimensions as small as ten-millionths of a millimeter, is a theater of continuous mutations, no less than the macrocosm known to all. It was in the sphere of electronics that the character of mutability was first established. From the electronic structure of the atom there emanate radiations of light and heat which are absorbed by outside bodies, corresponding to the energy level of the electronic orbits. In the exterior parts of this sphere there takes place the ionization of the atom and the transformation of energy in the synthesis and analysis of chemical combinations. At that time, however, it was possible to suppose that these chemico-physical transformations provided one last refuge for stability, since they did not reach the very nucleus of the atom, which is the seat of its mass and of the positive electric charge which determine the place of the chemical atom in the natural system of the elements, and where it seemed science had found, so to speak, an example of an absolutely stable and invariable being.

Labor is not merely the fatigue of body without sense or value; nor is it merely a humiliating servitude. It is a service of God, a gift of God, the vigor and fullness of human life, the gauge of eternal rest.

It is undeniable that when a mind enlightened and enriched with modern scientific knowledge weighs this problem calmly, it feels drawn to break through the circle of completely independent or autochthonous matter, whether uncreated or self-created, and to ascend to a creating Spirit. With the same clear and critical look with which it examines and passes judgment on facts, it perceives and recognizes the work of creative omnipotence, whose power, set in motion by the mighty "Fiat" pronounced billions of years ago by the Creating Spirit, spread out over the universe, calling into existence with a gesture of generous love matter bursting with energy. In fact, it would seem that present-day science, with one sweeping step back across millions of centuries, has succeeded in bearing witness to that primordial "Fiat lux" uttered at the moment when, along with matter, there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and radiation, while the particles of chemical elements split and formed into millions of galaxies. It is quite true that the facts established up to the present time are not an absolute proof of creation in time, as are the proofs drawn from metaphysics and Revelation in what concerns simple creation or those founded on Revelation if there be question of creation in time. The pertinent facts of the natural sciences, to which We have referred, are awaiting still further research and confirmation, and the theories founded on them are in need of further development and proof before they can provide a sure foundation for arguments which, of themselves, are outside the proper sphere of the natural sciences. This notwithstanding, it is worthy of note that modern scholars in these fields regard the idea of the creation of the universe as entirely compatible with their scientific conceptions and that they are even led spontaneously to this conclusion by their scientific research. Just a few decades ago, any such "hypothesis" was rejected as entirely irreconcilable with the present state of science. As late as 1911, the celebrated physicist Svante Arhenius declared that "the opinion that something can come from nothing is at variance with the present-day state of science, according to which matter is immutable." In this same vein we find the statement of Plato: "Matter exists. Nothing can come from nothing, hence matter is eternal. We cannot admit the creation of matter."

It is also helpful to consider, on the other hand, if and to what degree these proofs have been weakened, as is not infrequently affirmed by the fact that modern physics has formulated new basic principles, ruled out or modified certain ancient ideas, whose content was perhaps judged in the past to be fixed and definitive, such as time, space, motion, causality, substance all of which concepts are supremely important for the question which now occupies us. The question, then, is not one of revising the philosophical proofs, but rather of inquiring into the physical foundations from which they flow although limitations of time will oblige Us to restrict Our attention to only some few of these foundations. There is no reason to be fearful of surprises. Not even science itself aims to go outside that world which today, as yesterday, presents itself through these "five modes of being" whence the philosophical demonstration of the existence of God proceeds and draws its force.

In fact, it seems that present-day science, with one sweeping step back across millions of centuries, has succeeded in bearing witness to that primordial 'Fiat lux' Let there be light uttered at the moment when, along with matter, there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and radiation, while the particles of the chemical elements split and formed into millions of galaxies ... Hence, creation took place in time, therefore, there is a Creator, God exists!

If the scientist turns his attention from the present state of the universe to the future, even the very remote future, he finds himself constrained to recognize, both in the macrocosm and in the microcosm, that the world is growing old. In the course of billions of years, even the apparently inexhaustible quantities of atomic nuclei lost utilizable energy and, so to speak, matter becomes like an extinct and scoriform volcano. And the thought comes spontaneously that if this present cosmos, today so pulsating with rhythm and life is, as we have seen, insufficient to explain itself, with still less reason, will any such explanation be forthcoming from the cosmos over which, in its own way, the shadow of death will have passed. Let us now turn our attention to the past. The farther back we go, the more matter presents itself as always more enriched with free energy, and as a theater of vast cosmic disturbances. Thus everything seems to indicate that the material universe had in finite times a mighty beginning, provided as it was with an indescribably vast abundance of energy reserves, in virtue of which, at first rapidly and then with increasing slowness, it evolved into its present state. This naturally brings to mind two questions: Is science in a position to state when this mighty beginning of the cosmos took place? And, secondly, what was the initial or primitive state of the universe? The most competent experts in atomic physics, in collaboration with astronomers and astrophysicists, have attempted to shed light on these two difficult but extremely interesting problems.

If a worker is deprived of hope to acquire some personal property, what other natural stimulus can be offered him that will inspire him to hard work, labor, saving and sobriety today, when so many nations and men have lost everything and all they have left is their capacity for work?

Hitler is not only an untrustworthy scoundrel but a fundamentally wicked person.

God has no intention of setting a limit to the efforts of man to conquer space.

God did not create a human family made up of segregated, dissociated, mutually independent members. No; he would have them all united by the bond of total love of Him and consequent self-dedication to assisting each other to maintain that bond intact.

From these "modes of being" of the world around us which, in greater or lesser degrees of comprehension, are noted with equal evidence by both the philosopher and the human mind in general, there are two which modern science has, in a marvelous degree, fathomed, verified and deepened beyond all expectations: (1) the mutability of things, including their origin and their end; and (2) the teleological order which stands out in every corner of the cosmos.

For, by your research, your unveiling of the secrets of nature, and your teaching of men to direct the forces of nature toward their own welfare, you preach at the same time, in the language of figures, formulae and discoveries, the inexpressible harmony of the work of an all-wise God. In fact, according to the measure of its progress, and contrary to affirmations advanced in the past, true science discovers God in an ever-increasing degree-as though God were waiting behind every door opened by science. We would even say that from this progressive discovery of God, which is realized in the increase of knowledge, there flow benefits not only for the scientist himself when he reflects as a philosopher-and how can he escape such reflection?-but also for those who share in these new discoveries or make them the object of their own considerations. Genuine philosophers profit from these discoveries in a very special way, because when they take these scientific conquests as the basis for their rational speculations, their conclusions thereby acquire greater certainty, while they are provided with clearer illustrations in the midst of possible shadows and more convincing assistance in establishing an ever more satisfying response to difficulties and objections.

Conclusion: What, then, is the importance of modern science for the argument for the existence of God based on the mutability of the cosmos? By means of exact and detailed research into the macrocosm and the microcosm, it has considerably broadened and deepened the empirical foundation on which this argument rests, and from which it concludes to the existence of an Ens a se, immutable by His very nature. It has, besides, followed the course and the direction of cosmic developments, and, just as it was able to get a glimpse of the term toward which these developments were inexorably leading, so also has it pointed to their beginning in time some five billion years ago. Thus, with that concreteness which is characteristic of physical proofs, it has confirmed the contingency of the universe and also the well-founded deduction as to the epoch when the cosmos came forth from the hands of the Creator. Hence, creation took place in time. Therefore, there is a Creator. Therefore, God exists! Although it is neither explicit nor complete, this is the reply we were awaiting from science, and which the present human generation is awaiting from it. It is a reply which bursts forth from nature and calm consideration of only one aspect of the universe; namely, its mutability. But this is already enough to make the entire human race, which is the peak and the rational expression of both the macrocosm and the microcosm, become conscious of its exalted Maker, realize that it belongs to Him in space and in time and then, falling on its knees before His sovereign majesty, begin to invoke His name: Rerum, Deus, tenax vigor,-Immotus in te permanens, -- Lucis diurnae tempora successibus determinans (Hymn for None). (A free English translation is: "O God, creation's secret force/Thyself unmoved, yet motion's source/Who from the morn till evening's ray/Through every change dost guide the day.") The knowledge of God as sole Creator, now shared by many modern scientists, is indeed, the extreme limit to which human reason can attain. Nevertheless, as you are well aware, it does not constitute the last frontier of truth. In harmonious cooperation, because all three are instruments of truth, like rays of the same sun, science, philosophy, and, with still greater reason, Revelation, contemplate the substance of this Creator whom science has met along its path unveil His outlines and point out His features. Revelation, above all, makes His presence, so to speak, immediate, vitalizing, and loving, like that presence of which either the simple faithful or the scientist is aware in his inner soul when he recites unhesitatingly the concise terms of the ancient Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth." Today, after so many centuries which were centuries of civilization because they were centuries of religion, the need is not so much to reveal God for the first time as it is rather to recognize Him as a Father, reverence Him as a lawgiver, and fear Him as a Judge. If they would be saved, the nations must adore the Son, the loving Redeemer of mankind, and bow to the loving inspirations of the Spirit, the fruitful Sanctifier of souls. This persuasion, taking its remote inspiration from science, is crowned by Faith which, being ever more deeply rooted in the consciousness of the people, will truly be able to assure basic progress for the march of civilization. This is a vision of the whole, of the present as of the future, of matter as of the spirit, of time as of eternity, which, as it illuminates the mind, will spare to the men of today a long tempestuous night. It is that Faith which at this moment inspires Us to raise toward Him Whom we have just invoked as Vigor, Immotus, and Pater, a fervent prayer for all His children entrusted to Our care: Largire lumen vespere,-Quo vita nusquam decidat, (Hymn for None)-light for the life of time, light for the life of eternity.

Bodily pain affects man as a whole down to the deepest layers of his moral being. It forces him to face again the fundamental questions of his fate, of his attitude toward God and fellow man, of his individual and collective responsibility and of the sense of his pilgrimage on earth.

Because of this divine law of human solidarity and charity, and because God loved the whole human race, we are assured, that all men are truly brethren, without excluding the rich variety of persons, cultures and societies, even if they do not belong to the Catholic Church or share the Christian faith Divine precepts contradict belief in "superiority". Superior and inferior cultures do not exist and different levels of development within and between nations are source for enrichment and not discrimination of the human race.

Author Picture
First Name
Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Marìa Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli
Birth Date
1876
Death Date
1958
Bio

Italian Pope, leadership of Catholic Church during World War II included his decision to stay silent in public about the fate of the Jews