“In varietate concordia”, E pluribus unum” and “In necessariis unitas”

In the slimy, slithery scrawl of the head of catholics for Choice to Hell’s Bible (aka The New York Times – HERE) cites a Latin phrase “in varietate concordia” which he renders as “unity in diversity.”

What the writer, dissident Jon O’Brien, doesn’t tell you is that in varietate concordia is the motto of the European Union.

Quite a different concept than that expressed in the secular “e pluribus unum“.  The former implies conformity.

The European Union renders the Latin as “United in Diversity”, which has its origins as a Communist slogan from the 1960’s to 80’s to reconcile differences within European Communism as the Soviet Bloc became shaky.

It doesn’t surprise me that this faux-catholic, Soros-funded pro-abortion disaster of an organization would revel in a Communist slogan.

But that is not the real point of this post.

The phrase in varietate concordia, reminded me of the old chestnut sometimes attributed, incorrectly, to St. Augustine of Hippo: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.  I wrote about this phrase years ago, HERE.

At that time, 2006, I pointed out that the phrase appeared in a 1959 encyclical of Pope John XXIII entitled Ad Petri cathedramHERE.

Then I pointed out that it seemed to appear for the first time in Germany, in 1627 and 1628, among peaceful divines of the Lutheran and German Reformed churches, and found a hearty welcome among moderate divines In England, and that its authorship had been traced to Rupertus Meldinus.

I received an email with more information:

The information you post there is out of date, given that in 1999 a Dutch scholar named H. J. M. Nellen stumbled on the phrase in a 1617 work by the renegade Catholic bishop De Dominis.

He referred me HERE.

This informs us that the an apostate catholic bishop, Marco Antonio De Dominis, used it in a work in 1617 in De republica ecclesiastica libri X, London/Hannover 1617-1622) “on p. 676 of the first volume published in London in 1617, at the end of chapter 8 of book 4, which treats of the papacy” (H. J. M. Nellen, “De zinspreuk ‘In necessariis unitas, in non necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas,'” Nederlands archief voor kerkgeschidenis 79, no. 1 (1999): 106, 104 (99-106)).  Cf. HERE.

In any event, it is also hard to have a lot of pride in the origin of this phrase.

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  1. Unwilling says:

    I have met many heretical Latin tags in my life that are good slogans, so I don’t feel offended at “in varietate concordia” etc. being called one…

  2. sperisho says:

    Here, Fr. Z, is a link to the very page in Google Books:


    See ll. 3 and 2 from the bottom of p. 676.

  3. sperisho says:


    vnitatem in necessarijs, in non necessarijs libertatem, in omnibus caritatem.

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