Uncommon Sense

January 6, 2019

As an Authoritarian Trump is a Piker

Filed under: Culture,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 1:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

You really have to go to the church to find real authoritarians. Take for example Pope Pius IX. I quote from a fascination book Prisoner of the Vatican: The Popes, the Kings, and Garibaldi’s Rebels in the Struggle to Rule Modern Italy, by David I. Kertzer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Kindle Edition).

“In December 1864, as part of his effort to combat liberalism, the pope issued what may well be the most controversial papal document of modern times, the encyclical Quanta cura, with an accompanying Syllabus of Errors. While the encyclical itself received relatively little attention, the Syllabus— listing the eighty propositions associated with modern life that no good Catholic could subscribe to— was another story. It held that no Catholic could believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or freedom of religion. Catholics were forbidden to believe that the pope could live without a state of his own or that there could be a separation of church and state. The last proposition attracted the most attention, for it rejected the view that ‘the Roman Pontiff can and should reconcile himself to progress, liberalism, and modern civilization.’”

“The pope soon followed this gathering with a much more ambitious event, summoning all of the world’s bishops and cardinals for a grand Ecumenical Council. The first such council to be held in Rome in over 350 years, it had two goals: to endorse the Syllabus and with it the pope’s condemnation of the modern age, and to sanctify the principle— not previously an official part of Church doctrine—that the pope was infallible.”

Old Pius IX got his infallibility … by vote (although he threatened to proclaim it himself if it were not voted in).  but it was somewhat truncated only to Ex Cathedra pronouncements and so didn’t include encyclicals like Quanta cura.

Can you imagine The Donald proclaiming himself infallible and publishing a list of what Real Americans must believe? I can imagine it but that would be quickly followed by the appearance of a straightjacket as Mr. Trump was being lead away.

“It held that no Catholic could believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or freedom of religion.” Amazing. We were still licking our wounds from the Civil War so I suspect that U.S. citizens barely noticed and it does make some sense of the bias against Catholics felt in various parts of this country.

Oh, and Pius IX was all for religious tolerance … for Catholics … but not for anyone else and stated so outright. His point was that the One True Church™ should not be treated like all of the imposters.

They just don’t make authoritarians like they used to.


  1. …but that would be quickly followed by the appearance of a straightjacket as Mr. Trump was being lead away

    I’m wouldn’t bet on it in today’s political climate!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — January 6, 2019 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  2. The President’s acts are only limited by the congress and the sumpteme court. So except for those controls he is infallible.
    The surpreme Court is infallible. There is no appeal to their rulings. To change their rulings we have to wait for them to die and be replaced by new justices appointed by the president and approved by the congress.

    That is one of the flaws in our system.


    Comment by OG — January 6, 2019 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

  3. Charming fellow. The orange menace would do similar in a heartbeat.


    Comment by john zande — January 6, 2019 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

  4. In his own eyes tRump IS infallible, and he pretty much demands worship from those around him. No wonder the far right religious wackaloons love him so. tRump is every bit the asshole in the magic books.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shelldigger — January 7, 2019 @ 5:55 am | Reply

  5. They still make plenty of authoritarians, although it’s now fashionable for modern authoritarians to pay lip service to freedom (while jailing and disappearing critics and opponents). Though thanks to Christianity and Islam, there’s still plenty of good old-fashioned Middle Ages authoritarians.


    Comment by List of X — January 11, 2019 @ 10:57 am | Reply

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