November 11, 2012

Blessed Eugene Bossilkov, CP, Bishop and Martyr

Now sometimes I don't think the threats to our religious freedom in the United States are as grave as some of us are making them out to be. Or at least not yet. Nevertheless I was thinking about these things as I read about Blessed Eugene Bossilkov, CP, bishop and martyr, in the Martyrology today.

He was executed by the government of Bulgaria, by this sentence (via Wikipedia and this site, note links oddly placed in lower-right corner):

By virtue of articles 70 and 83 of the penal code, the court condemns the accused, Eugene Bossilkov, to be sentenced to death by firing squad, and all his goods confiscated...Dr.Eugene Bossilkov, Catholic bishop; completed his religious studies in Italy and was trained by the Vatican for counter-revolutionary activities and espionage. He is one of the directors of a clandestine Catholic organization. He was in touch with diplomats from the imperialist countries and gave them information of a confidential nature. The accused convoked a diocesan council in which it was decided to combat communism through religious conferences, held in Bulgaria, activities called 'a mission.' No appeal of his sentence is possible. The High Court, Sophia, Bulgaria, October 3, 1952

The sentence was carried out 60 years ago today. That's not so long ago. Switch out Communism for some of the errors of our own time which one is not allowed to question, update 'mission' to 'New Evangelization,' and the same sentence would be ready for new martyrs.

I was brought up with the standard liberal doctrine that the 'separation of church and state' was for the protection of civil government from religion. And I wouldn't deny that sometimes this is a good thing. But it's also to protect people's legitimate desire to be faithful to God from the excesses of human power, which so easily decides that it doesn't need to refer itself to its Creator.

Blessed Eugene, pray for us.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Father Charles for this post. Francis Cardinal George, the current Archbishop of Chicago, has publicly stated that he expects to die in his bed, but expects his successor to die in prison, and his successor's successor to die a martyr in the public square. This is certainly a dire view, but one can see that the growing secularism and authoritarianism in the U.S. could result in persecutions of tne Church like we have never seen, and never thought we would see, in the U.S.

Greg said...

Timely post. It has been difficult to sound the alarm sufficiently. My prayer is that we do not allow events to overtake us as we stumble about unawares.

Louis M said...

Just to be clear, nowhere in the Constitution or Declaration does the phrase "separation of Church and State" exist.
It has been confused (intentionally, I think--I mean when it was first used, not by anyone here)with the no Establishment provision.