Americanism, a forgotten heresy
In 1899 Pope Leo XIII wrote to Baltimore’s Cardinal James Gibbons a Letter, known as Testem Benevolentiae. In this letter the Pontiff addressed the heresy of Americanism. In this way he started the Letter: “We send to you by this letter a renewed expression of that good will which we have not failed during the course of our pontificate to manifest frequently to you and to your colleagues in the episcopate and to the whole American people, availing ourselves of every opportunity offered us by the progress of your church or whatever you have done for safeguarding and promoting Catholic interests. Moreover, we have often considered and admired the noble gifts of your nation which enable the American people to be alive to every good work which promotes the good of humanity and the splendor of civilization. Although this letter is not intended, as preceding ones, to repeat the words of praise so often spoken, but rather to call attention to some things to be avoided and corrected; still because it is conceived in that same spirit of apostolic charity which has inspired all our letters, we shall expect that you will take it as another proof of our love; the more so because it is intended to suppress certain contentions which have arisen lately among you to the detriment of the peace of many souls.
It is known to you, beloved son, that the biography of Isaac Thomas Hecker, especially through the action of those who under took to translate or interpret it in a foreign language, has excited not a little controversy, on account of certain opinions brought forward concerning the way of leading Christian life.
We, therefore, on account of our apostolic office, having to guard the integrity of the faith and the security of the faithful, are desirous of writing to you more at length concerning this whole matter.”
With musician and writer Aurelio Porfiri, host of this live streaming program, will discuss about this ‘”orgotten heresy” history professor John C. Rao, the editor of Culture Wars Magazine E. Michael Jones, philosopher Sebastian Morello and writer David A. Wemhoff.