Banishing God

Many fear that the God under Whom many nations were founded is being pushed out of society for fear of offending some members of society. This was addressed by William Bernard Ullathorne, a Benedictine monk and Roman Catholic priest who ministered in Australia from 1833 until 1840 and then returned to his native England, where he was ordained a bishop in 1847 and served as bishop of Birmingham from 1850 until 1888. Here are excerpts from his Advent Pastoral Letter of 1875:

“Everywhere we hear and the publications of the day circulate the same as interesting news that the necessity for a dogmatic belief, the profession of a fixed creed, the certainty of any doctrines whatever that have a right to command the submission of the human understanding, is slipping away more and more out of the minds of men. The cold sophistry of certain men, esteemed by not a few to be the thinkers of the age, has even gone so far as to proclaim that God cannot be known by man, and that all that is left for man to do is to reverence in some negative way what he can neither approach nor understand. In short, God is to be sent into exile from the world He has made, and the creature is no longer to be allowed to know his Creator. Such is the last notion brought forward with respect to religion in England, and dreadful is it to reflect that it has found a following. But once throw aside the divine authority of the Church and put man’s private opinion in its place, and what is there that man will not put in the place of God’s revealed truth? What truth implanted in our nature will not be driven off by the pride of self-opinion?”

“If a Catholic bishop speaks of the absolute necessity of faith, and of submission to the divine authority implanted by Christ in the Church, there is an outcry ever ready of priestly tyranny and usurpation.”

“Yet, can Almighty God be indifferent to what men say of Him on this earth? . . . You know that to reject God’s truth is to reject the God of truth.”

Quotations from Michael F. Glancey, Characteristics From the Writings of Archbishop Ullathorne (London: Burns & Oates, 1889).

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