Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Two Catholic quotes

Catholic social teaching is sometimes too universalistic to fit in well with traditionalism. But sometimes there is a considerable overlap. Here, for instance, is Pope Paul VI analysing liberalism back in 1971:
35. On another side, we are witnessing a renewal of the liberal ideology. This current asserts itself both in the name of economic efficiency, and for the defense of the individual against the increasingly overwhelming hold of organizations, and as a reaction against the totalitarian tendencies of political powers. Certainly, personal initiative must be maintained and developed. But do not Christians who take this path tend to idealize liberalism in their turn, making it a proclamation in favor of freedom? They would like a new model, more adapted to present-day conditions, while easily forgetting that at the very root of philosophical liberalism is an erroneous affirmation of the autonomy of the individual in his activity, his motivation and the exercise of his liberty. Hence, the liberal ideology likewise calls for careful discernment on their part.

The part that I bolded is the starting point for my own criticisms of liberalism. So I can at least claim the support of Catholic social teaching in this respect.

Here's another good quote, this time from Pope Benedict (at the time Cardinal Ratzinger) in 1986:
[O]ne cannot abstract from the historical situation of the nation or attack the cultural identity of the people. Consequently, one cannot passively accept, still less actively support, groups which by force or by the manipulation of public opinion take over the State apparatus and unjustly impose on the collectivity an imported ideology contrary to the culture of the people.


  1. "imported ideology contrary to the culture of the people."

    This phrase is crucial. It demonstrates both the alien nature of liberalism from European and Christian cultures and the imported quality of it which implies that this ideology did not take hold of the state apparatus entirely from within.
    Liberalism is thus a foreign ideology maintained by force and coercion which will inevitably collapse in time leaving a desert of destruction in its wake.

  2. "[O]ne cannot abstract from the historical situation of the nation or attack the cultural identity of the people."

    And yet today the Church is enthusiastically doing exactly that - attacking the cultural identity of the people. The Church has basically declared war on the historical identity of Europe and North America. What a difference 30 years makes!

    My own diocese has a considerable Hispanic component, but I still think I will say something to the local Pastor and Bishop.

    If you attend Mass on September 8th, it is likely the priest's homily will be less about spiritual matters and more about the political imperative of passing an amnesty law for the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants. Last week, the Catholic Church announced a massive, coordinated effort to press Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship. Catholics make up the largest single religious group in Congress.

    “We want to try to pull out all the stops,” Kevin Appleby, the director of migration policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the New York Times. Appleby said the immigration issue was at a now-or-never moment. “They have to hear the message that we want this done, and if you’re not successful during the summer, you’re not going to win by the end of the year.”

    The Church is planning advertising, phone calls and marches targeting 60 Catholic House Republicans. Over 130 members of the House are Catholic, including Speaker John Boehner.

    The Church's effort in support of amnesty seems broader and more coordinated than its actions against an ObamaCare mandate requiring coverage of contraception. In recent years, the Church has been more vocal in its criticism of abortion, but even that seems muted in comparison with current plans on immigration reform.

    Bishops and priests in the major dioceses in the country will coordinate their messages and homilies throughout September. More than a dozen have committed to holding special Masses or other events on September 8th, the day before Congress returns from recess.