Confounding all distinctions

This is one of my favourite passages from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and it comes back to my mind a lot in these days:

On doctrinal points the Catholic faith places all human capacities upon the same level; it subjects the wise and ignorant, the man of genius and the vulgar crowd, to the details of the same creed; it imposes the same observances upon the rich and the needy, it inflicts the same austerities upon the strong and the weak; it listens to no compromise with mortal man, but, reducing all the human race to the same standard, it confounds all the distinctions of society at the foot of the same altar, even as they are confounded in the sight of God. If Catholicism predisposes the faithful to obedience, it certainly does not prepare them for inequality; but the contrary may be said of Protestantism, which generally tends to make men independent more than to render them equal. Catholicism is like an absolute monarchy; if the sovereign be removed, all the other classes of society are more equal than in republics.

I was so pleased to see that Peter Kwasniewski quoted it in his beautiful piece, “How the Traditional Liturgy Contributes to Racial and Ethnic Integration.”

There is much more to say on this, but it’s late and I wanted to post something quick, so enjoy Tocqueville and Peter’s piece.

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