there is a divine unity, that life is more worth living if one has faith in a lofty objective which transcends the individual, and that confidence can be placed in a leadership to which the fullness of power has been given.
Viewed purely as a form of control, a state professing totalitarian claims may develop the fullness of state power; and the consciously sought out analogy with the Church may seem, when superficially regarded, to insure permanence and solidity also. Enthusiasm derived from pure secularism frees itself, when it assumes a form of conduct like that of the Church, of that odium which a mere profanation or a crude, blasphemous attack on sacred things always arouses. Without that odium, secularization of religion can be brought about all the more readily, by merely rendering the profane sacred. The noiseless metamorphosis of faith into a tolerated, yes, even simulated, Christian- ity for the sake of mass-appeal reaches the same end as does destruc- tion of Christianity by force, though the method may be more hu- mane. That there are eyes which see all this, which know how to tell the difference between a face and a mask, is proved by the fact that the Holy See adopted the course it did against the nationalism in Catholic dress of 1'Action Fran^aise.
The thousand-year-old primacy of Christianity among the baptized peoples has given way to the political primacy of national being during a long process which, despite certain interruptions, is a logical develop- ment. Since an Empire comprising all the people is possible only if there exists a real, spiritual Empire, universally recognized as existing above the level of the secular, the loss of that spiritual Empire has also necessarily meant the decline of the secular Empire, The dead body of Christendom has since undergone a kind of chemical decom- position. An aggregate of nations seeking hope in a kind of desperate autonomy clings to an illusion of a community of peoples which in a League of Nations uses the illusionistic language of spirits conjured up from a bygone Christian age, though as a matter of fact the real cementing agents are only such blessings of civilization as technical advancement, world trade and transportation. The idea of the com- munity of peoples, as something more than a conventional assumption resorted to in the hope of rescuing civilization, is wholly alive only in die Catholic Church whose sacraments and teachings are valid for all