In 1886 there appeared in Spain a little work
under the title
El Liberalismo es Pecado: "Liberalism Is A Sin," by Don Felix Sarda
y Salvany, a priest of Barcelona and editor of a journal called La
Popular. The book excited considerable commotion. It was vigorously
assailed by the Liberals. A Spanish Bishop, of a Liberal turn,
an answer to Dr. Sarda's work by another Spanish priest. Both books
sent to Rome praying the Sacred Congregation of the Index to put Dr.
work under the ban. The following letter, dated January 10, 1887, from
the Sacred Congregation itself, explains the result of its
of the two volumes:
Most Excellent Sir:
The Sacred Congregation of the Index has received the
the little work bearing the title "El Liberalismo es Pecade" by Don
Sarda y Salvany, a priest of your diocese; the denunciation [pg. iii]
accompanied at the same time by another little work entitled "El
del Integrismo," that is "a refutation of the errors contained in the
work El Liberalismo es Pecado." The author of the second work is D. de
Pazos, a canon of the diocese of Vich.
Wherefore the Sacred Congregation has carefully examined
and decided as follows: In the first not only is nothing found
to sound doctrine, but its author, D. Felix Sarda merits great praise
his exposition and defense of the sound doctrine therein set forth with
solidity, order and lucidity, and without personal offense to anyone. [Emphasis
The same judgment, however, cannot be passed on the
other work by
D. de Pazos, for in matter it needs corrections. Moreover his injurious
manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against
person of D. Sarda, than against the latter's supposed errors. [Emphasis
Therefore the Sacred Congregation has commanded D. de Pazos,
by his own Bishop, to withdraw his book, as far as he can, from
and in future, if any discussion of the subject should arise, to
from all expressions personally injurious, according to the precept of
true Christian charity; and this all the more [iv] since Our Holy
Leo XIII, while he urgently recommends castigation of error, neither
nor approves expressions personally injurious, especially when directed
against those who are eminent for their doctrine and their piety.
In communicating to you this order of the Sacred
Congregation of the
Index, that you may be able to make it known to the illustrious priest
of your diocese, D. Sarda, for his peace of mind, I pray God to grant
all happiness and prosperity and subscribe myself with great respect,
Your most obedient servant,
Fr. Jerome Scheri, O.P.
Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Index.
To the Most Rev. Jacobo Catala et Alboso, Bishop of
The following short chapters on Liberalism are mainly and
Dr. Sarda's book, put into English . . . Their need and their use will
be best understood and appreciated by their perusal.