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Friday 20 April 2012

In matters of Faith, Morals, and Religious Freedom, the Catholic Church determines the boundaries of any State, not the other way around.

Fascinating that Gramsci and others who did not want the authority and influence of the Church in Europe, South America, and North America understood what most of our priests do not understand about a cohesive, comprehensive approach to Church-State relations. Here is Gramsci in Notebook 5, written in 1930-1931:

The position of the church (referring to the Concordat) is based on the following grounds, which  were accepted, necessarily , with the acceptance of two distinct instruments-the treaty and the concordat-in (establishing) the relations between church and State: the treaty determines the relations between two states; the concordat determines the relations between two sovereignties with the "same state". In other words, it is conceded that withing the same state there are two sovereignties, since they deal with each other on equal footing (each within its own sphere). Naturally, the church maintains that there is no confusion of sovereignties, but it does so because it maintains that in the  "spiritual" sphere the state has no competence to exercise sovereignty, and should it arrogate such a competence unto itself, it would be guilty of usurpation. Furthermore, the  church also maintains that there cannot be a dual sovereignty within the same sphere of purposes, but it does so precisely because it upholds the distinction between ultimate purposes, and it declares itself the sole sovereign of the spiritual realm.

Yes, and this is what so many Americanist bishops and priests, who have fallen into a false idea of the role of the Church is society cannot verbalize or even conceptualize. It is the duty of the State to protect the Church in areas of Faith and Morals. This is much larger than an issue of "religious liberty" or the American Constitution, although the written Constitution is a great help. 

Until seminaries teach the Catholic political philosophy and not socialism or communism, which is done in some cases, until priests and bishops learn to articulate the Catholic position of the Church as being a sovereignty in Her own right, as the Institution created by Christ on earth for order and spiritual growth, the conversation and activity of bishops is merely putting out fires, such as "civil unions" and "abortion" or "contraception", instead of a united, institutional stand. I have heard one priest in a seminarian refer to the Church as the "invisible Church", which is Protestant heresy and not Church teaching. We are not only visible, but an institution.

Too many bishops in both Europe and America have sold out to the idea that the Church needs the existing political parties to enunciate the Catholic position. NOT so. The Church must not rely on the socialists or communists, the Democrats or the Republicans to uphold the Teaching Magisterium in the world. The Catholic Church in America has been too influenced by Protestantism, which insists on a complete separation of Church and State, and the Church in Europe is too influenced by socialism and communism.

These situations mean that the Church has been terribly weakened in the political and social spheres. That the teaching of the Church gives certain rights and sovereignty to the various States, be they monarchies, democracies or whatever, is a practical solution to the end of Christendom. 
However, the Church must never back down when facing opposition and fall into a siege mentality, when the Truth is on Her side, as it were. In fact, the definition of the State comes from Catholic teaching; that is, the Church determines the boundaries of any State, not the other way around.

Our seminaries in the States have become too anti-intellectual, too individualized, too un-spiritual and too psychological in formation and training. One only has to look at what the required courses are and what the electives are to see the problems. My two friends, one a transitional deacon, and one who will be ordained a transitional deacon next year, have NEVER had a course on either the History of the Catholic Church, or an entire course on the Church's social teaching, the latter which was only a small section of a larger course, emphasizing only the pastoral aspects and not the doctrinal ones. 

This is unbelievably stupid! Without an understanding of the Church's teaching on Church-State relationships, the priests will fall into individual, ad hoc, ideals. And, with the majority of South American and Central American seminaries being sold on Liberation Theology to this day, as I have discovered when teaching young men from those seminaries, what chance is there for a Catholic view of politics entering the level of parish catechesis? 

Liberalism infected the Church a long time ago. The effects in Europe, perhaps, are more obvious than in America. However, the naivete of the seminary training and the lack of obedience in not applying the Oath and Promise of Blessed John Paul II and the implementation of  Ex Corde Ecclesiae in the seminaries will have serious consequence for the Church in America, as well as in Europe. I have put the link to the CDF's document many times on this blog. Here is it again.

Not only should instructors and pastoral care assistants, such as psychologists and counselors need to be under these documents, but the boards and administrators as well. Disobedience is a sign of both Americanism and other modernist heresies in a seminary.

That most governments have now become so secularized, become socialist, or even communist in philosophy indicates that the Church must be on the offensive, not the defensive. That most adult Catholics themselves cannot think outside the materialist philosophical systems shows how far the rot of bad or absent catechesis has set in. If the laity do not insist on good teaching, it may not happen. 

Last year's huge kerfuffle over the unapproved economic document released from the Vatican, shows how far the Church has been lax in the area of political and economic intellectual life. We have become so protestant that we cannot see how Reason has been thrown out the door for an emphasis on personal, experiential religion, which ignores political philosophy and social doctrines. I partly blame the charismatic movements in the States for this anti-intellectualism, and mostly the seminaries, who no longer teach leadership training or even push for high standards of academic success.

St. Anselm, we need one reformer of the seminaries like you now. St. Pius IX, we need you now to inspire Catholic politicians and bishops to understand their own Faith.

I am so happy...

I am finally on Fr. Z's bloglist. Sigh. Now, if I could only earn a gold star once on his blog. But, I do not have the right kind of a sense of humor, or the brilliance of many of his stalwart followers. One can dream.

Another posting on kulturkampf

I find it disturbing, yet have some thankfulness, that more and more Catholic writers are using the word, kulturkmapf, which those of us who had real Catholic education learned in Catholic World History over 50 years ago. The Popes of the 19th century fought against the Bismarck movement to change social and political life, partly by emphasizing Thomism in the face of the other isms which grew up after the Reformation: godless republicanism a la the French Revolution, socialism, communism, relativism, secularism, and so on. I remember studying the great year of revolution, 1848, as a disaster for the Church, not something to celebrate. That the uprisings petered out is a lie, as the movements, in a mercurial manner, just changed and went, in some cases, underground, until a mere decade or so later. One only needs to remember when Marx' work was published, February 21, 1848, to realize how quickly the Church responded through the Popes. de Tocqueville, who we all studied in the old days of Classical Education based on Christianity, wrote of those times. That there was a certain respite for Catholicism in some countries did not change the movement away from Faith and Reason to one of relativism and secularism.

That we Catholics have seen at least one-hundred and fifty years of systematic erosion of a Catholic political and societal philosophy from which to work is dawning on more and more writers.

Those of us who saw this, primarily educators, in the 1970s, created the homeschooling movement and the movement of Classical Education, lost in kulturkampf in the States and sadly, in Europe, including Great Britain. One must be honest and state that the earliest Republicanism in Ireland was not Catholic in philosophy, but secular and liberal. When one weeps at the demise of religion in Ireland, one has to be honest and state that this is not a new thing, at least in the approach to politics.

Americanism was highly supported as a heresy by the Irish clergy, including bishops, in the States. That republicanism was associated with some Modernist heresies cannot be denied.

Kulturkampf is being discussed because it has succeeded. Catholics no longer think like Catholics nor can they criticize intellectual and political discussions which are not Catholic, such as the separation of Church and State position of the Church which is not the same as that believed by most American Catholics.

One writes and talks about problems when the time to change is long gone. We have had almost 200 years to create leaders in the Church who see clearly the dangers of materialism, pragmatism, even the pantheism of our times. That the educational systems and especially the history books ignore these issues indicates that the enemy has won the day in kulturkampf.

I have been looking at the GCSE history books which hardly touch on such issues, and ignore religion entirely, including barely a reference to the Holocaust. Without a religious viewpoint or a Western philosophy based on Christianity, anything goes, all ideas are equal and the socialist and communist agendas are considered as plausible alternatives to any other economic and societal systems. The great Popes of the 19th century warned us but who was paying attention?

Social engineering has worked in Europe and I am sure in most places in America. We only write and discuss what is obvious unless we are either philosophers, intellectuals, or revolutionaries.

I pray that it is not too late to create an intellectual class of Catholics who understand politics from the viewpoint of Catholic social teaching and not either communism or socialism.

The pastoral experts in the Church began to talk about community after it had disappeared. Now we are discussing the destruction of Western culture in the wake of its demise.

Catholicism became more and more anti-intellectual in the last sixty years. I partly blame the charismatic movement and other movements which have underestimated the need for a Faith corresponding to Reason. That our present Pope has stressed this is still being ignored. Too many of the faithful simply do not want to bother to learn how to of the themes of this blog.

Catholics have ignore and now lost the great intellectual tradition which the Church created.

A Reminder--Freedom Is Not Free

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?" -Thomas Jefferson