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PopeWatch: Free Nations

The Pope doesn’t think much of loyalty to one’s country:

“The State cannot be conceived of as the sole and exclusive guardian of the common good,” the Pope told participants in a workshop organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, “not allowing intermediate bodies of civil society to express, in freedom, their full potential.”

“This would this be a violation of the principle of subsidiarity which, combined with that of solidarity, constitutes a cornerstone of the social doctrine of the Church,” he said.

“The challenge here,” Francis added, “is how to bring individual rights into accord with the common good.”

“I think the position of civil society is to ‘pull’ the State and the market forward so they will rethink their raison-d’être and their way of working,” he said.

Last February, the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that the Holy See is concerned over growing populist and nationalist movements, both in Europe and in the United States, adding that many of them “are born of fear, which is not a good counsellor.”

The Cardinal also recalled comments by Pope Francis, saying that “there is a risk of history repeating itself.”

In March, Pope Francis addressed more than 20 European heads of state, calling solidarity “the most effective antidote to modern forms of populism,” while denouncing nationalism as a new strain of selfishness.

In his speech, the Pope advocated a stronger, consolidated Europe against the rising tide of populist movements.

The pontiff contrasted solidarity, which draw us “closer to our neighbors,” with populism, which is “the fruit of a selfishness that hems people in and prevents them from overcoming and ‘looking beyond’ their own narrow vision.”

“There is a need to start thinking once again as Europeans,” Francis said, “so as to avert the opposite dangers of a dreary uniformity or the triumph of particularisms.”

 

What is striking about this Pope is how hostile he often appears to be to elected governments.  He is much more supportive of transnational organizations like the UN, with a bureaucracy not subject to elections, and left wing pressure groups.  I think that Pope Francis understands that the direction he wants to have the planet go in doesn’t have a prayer if it has to depend upon the free choice of voters.  He said as much in Laudato Si.   Go here to read about it.  The Pope simply does not really care that much about political liberty but is  entirely results oriented, and if that means ignoring what a population wants, so be it.

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

14 Comments

  1. The first sentence isn’t a bad premise. Unfortunately, he seems to draw rather odd conclusions from that premise.

  2. My guess would be that about 1/2 of it is Argentina. Jorge Luis Borges once said that the Argentine is not a citizen but an inhabitant, there to exploit what is available. An Argentine flag-rank officer once said that the problem from which his country suffered was ‘a lack of patriotism often poorly replaced with foggy concepts of nationalism’.

    The other 1/2 is the usual shizz from our haut bourgeois, who fancy they’re above all that.

  3. My impression is that the Church, in general, does not favor democracies or a “federal” style “small government,” because, honestly, has She (or the hierarchy) really ever dealt with one? Does She understand the concept of local government and weak central power? For pretty much all her existence it’s been monarchies and central control. Bishops and cardinals came from the upper crust.
    .
    Perhaps I am wrong on this, but that’s my understanding.

  4. That is a good description of the Church circa 1900, but not now. Both John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were quite friendly to democracies, for example. Pope Francis is simply in favor of authoritarian governments that impose his preferred policies. His relative silence in regard to Venezuela speaks volumes.

  5. The sovereign person made in he image of The Supreme Sovereign Being institutes and constitutes the sovereign nation, country and state. The citizen in his sovereignty is the foundation of the nation, county and state. WHO is the citizen of the United Nations? especially without the free will act of the sovereign citizen? Who is the citizen without patriotism and love of God and country? What group or national group is congregated of sovereign citizens who are autonomous in their personhood to overturn the free will of any free man? There is none. Therefore, imposing or proposing groups or congregations of individuals of un-elected officials to overturn the free will of the sovereign person, the sovereign person with good will for the common good and the individual who would dare to overturn the free will of the sovereign person with good will for the common good is totalitarianism and tyranny.

  6. That is a good description of the Church circa 1900,

    Rerum Novarum was issued in 1891. Popular Liberal Action in France was formed in 1901.

    The Church had a long history of dealing with states in which elective conciliar bodies – local, provincial, and national – were crucial components of the political landscape. The clergy deputies in the French Estates-General in 1789 were congenial to the project of erecting a constitutional system. Trouble was that continental liberalism took on an anti-clerical and masonic cast almost immediately thereafter, starting with the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Factional struggles in Latin America also commonly turned on an axis of Catholic v. anti-clerical.

  7. My impression is that the Church, in general, does not favor democracies or a “federal” style “small government,” because, honestly, has She (or the hierarchy) really ever dealt with one? Does She understand the concept of local government and weak central power? For pretty much all her existence it’s been monarchies and central control. Bishops and cardinals came from the upper crust.

    Medieval and Renaissance monarchies tended to be haphazardly governed with extensive discretion exercised by local grandees of one sort or another (seigneurs, bishops, abbots, guilds, communal councils, etc). Not sure you could find an example of one truly ‘centralized’. Central governments could be astonishingly small. There was an article in History Today a while back on the Restoration monarchy in Britain, ca. 1670. Britain had a population of north of 5 million at the time, similar to Denmark today. The author’s count of headquarters employees of the crown was 600.

  8. His relative silence in regard to Venezuela speaks volumes.

    About his knowledge and judgment. Venezuela is a country which has in the realm of political economy been doubling down on stupid for 40-odd years.

  9. I’m assuming that if “nations” are now evil, the Vatican will immediately relinquish its nation status and stop dealing with the UN?

  10. Historically, just as the Catholic Church itself is a kingdom not of this world (except for Pope Francis) , it prefers to deal with kingdoms of this world as it making getting things done so much easier. However, I don’t believe Christ ever intended the Catholic Church ti become a political state as it is now. This is much too tempting for Pope’s like Francis.

  11. When reading the ideas of this Pope seems that I have to keep this in mind Gods Word :
    Matthew 10:26
    “So do not be afraid of them,
    for there is nothing concealed that
    will not be disclosed, or hidden that will
    not be made known.

  12. Clarity is getting harder and harder! People speak past each other and when they do talk to each other they are misunderstood.
    It doesn’t make sense to me that he speaks of concern for subsidiarity while wanting a stronger consolidated Europe, avoiding “particularities”
    Isn’t he the same pope who thinks different dioceses can interpret language and applications of amoris L according to their current bishop’s reading?

    There is a difference between patriotism and the nationalism that has been so decried by the globalists. Patriotism is, to me a”religious sense”… a love of family, our fathers and tradition. Nationalism can be more chauvinistic and threaten international respect.
    “Populism”, to me, is still democracy but it is a term now denigrated by elitists who are used to their positions, insulated from the concerns of the general populace.

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