Reasons Why Neither Political Party Can Afford
It is our purpose in discussing this subject, to show the political and temporal aspects of the Catholic Church, rather than taking issue with her in regard to spiritual matters. The Roman Church is one of the few groups among what the world terms 'Christianity' whose complexion is made up of both political and spiritual interests. It is this peculiar combination of interests that makes the Roman Catholic Church somewhat of a 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' organization.
That the Roman Catholic Church does not confine her activities to purely spiritual matters is admitted by her own writers.
"The Church, as a perfect society, sovereign and independent, has supreme spiritual authority over her members, legislative, judiical and executive, by divine law. Her authority is independent of the civil authority of the State, and is of a higher order. Though instituted for a spiritual end, the Church has the right to use material and temporal means to secure that end, and in the use of such means as are necessary she has exclusive authority." (Page 41, A Catholic Dictionary, by Attwater, published by The Macmillan Co., Second Edition, Revised, 1949.)
"Catholics must unite their strength toward the common aim, and the Catholic hierarchy has the right and the duty of guiding them." (Pope John XXIII, quoted in The St. Louis Review, Dec. 12, 1958, from an item entitled, "Pope on Politics.")
From the foregoing authentic Catholic quotations, we note the following points: (1) The Catholic Church claims the "Right to use material and temporal means" to secure her goal of supreme spiritual authority over her memhers. (2) She asserts that she has "Exclusive authority in the use of such means" either temporal or otherwise. (3) Pope John XXIII insists that "the Catholic hierarchy has the right and duty of guiding" Catholics in their voting and choosing of elective officials.
Thus, by her own admission, her kingdom becomes of this world and resorts to political or temporal force and pressure, in an effort to reach some predetermined 'spiritual' goal.
"The relations of Church and state are based on the following principles: (A) Each is a perfect society, supreme in its own domain, the Church in spiritual things, the state in material and temporal things. (b) Each is juridically independent of the other. But because of the nobler end of the Church-the glory of God and the salvation of souls-the state is bound to further that end by refraining from all interference with the Church's legitimate authority and by aiding her positively . . . (c) The Church has the absolute right, independently of the state, to those material and temporal things which are necessary to her spiritual ends, e.g., church buildings, funds. (d) The Church is a society of a higher order than the state, so that in a conflict of rights over mixed matters the Church must prevail." (Page 97, A Catholic Dictionary, by Attwater.)
From this quotation it is established: (1) The state is "bound" to further the purpose of the Catholic Church, by aiding her positively." (2) The Church "must prevail" in any "conflict" between herself and the state over 'mixed' matters. Obviously, if the Catholic Church refrained from political, temporal, and material pursuits, she would not "conflict" with the state.
"The inalienable right of all men to worship God according to the teaching of the Catholic Church. No state can justifiably prevent the exercise of this right; and indeed it has a duty to foster this true worship, and Christ established one form and content of public worship in establishing one only Church, to which all are commanded to submit . . ." (Page 201, Ibid.)
Let us note that (1) Roman Catholicism's concept of religious freedom is the freedom (?) to accept religion "according to the teaching of the Catholic Church," rather than the freedom of worship granted by the U. S. Constitution, of being privileged to choose and follow any form of worship. (2) The state "has a duty to foster this TRUE worship." Such a fostering by the state of one religion is completely contrary to the Bill of Rights and the American concept of freedom of worship.
"From what has been said it follows that it is quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, of writing, or of worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature to man. For, if nature had really granted them, it would be lawful to refuse obedience to God, and there would be no restraint on human liberty. It likewise follows that freedom in these things may be tolerated wherever there is just cause, but only with such moderation as will prevent its degenerating into license and excess." (The Church Speaks To The Modern World, published 1954, by Doubleday & Co., page 80.)
Notice, please, that the foregoing quotation was published as recentlv as the year 1954, and that it is the statement, originally, of Pope Leo XIII. This Catholic teaching states that "it is quite unlawful to demand or defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, speech, writing or worship."
But, let us look at the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble . . ."
No man can serve two masters! Therefore, can a Roman Catholic political candidate resolve the conflict between the teachings of his avowed religion, and that of the Constitution of the United States?
"Whenever there exists, or there is reason to fear, an unjust oppression of the people on the one hand, or a deprivation of the liberty of the Church on the other, it is lawful to seek for such a change of government as will bring about due liberty of action." (The Church Speaks To The Modern World, page 80-81.)
In the above statement, two reasons are given for "lawfully seeking to change government." (1) Unjust oppression of the people. (2) Depriving the Roman Catholic Church of her 'liberty' is given as the second reason for seeking a change of government. This second reason would depend upon Catholicism's definition as to what constituted the 'restriction of her liberty.' Was, for example, the removal of government subsidies from the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina, sufficient 'deprivation' to justify a 'lawful change' of government . . . say, a revolt ?
During World War II, a pamphlet was published by the Paulist Press, entitled "God In Society," we copy from page 32:
"All men of good will must enter the battle for LASTING PEACE. It is the NEW CRUSADE to rescue the spirit of man from error, doubt and sin. It is a world-wide battle for truth, justice and love.
"There are five stages in this battle. We must restore to the human person his dignity and rights; we must restore matrimony and the family to their God-given place in Society; the dignity and rights of Labor must be respected; our JURIDICAL ORDER must be rebuilt; THE CORRECT IDEA of the State must be brought back to the modern world." (Emphasis from the pamphlet, not ours. LWM.)
Are we to conclude that the 'modern world' is not as correct as the world of the dark ages? Just what does the Roman Catholic hierarchy think it will require to "correct the State" . . . the Government of the United States? Is our Government so incorrect that Catholicism is in any way deprived of her liberties?
Another statement in this "God In Society" pamphlet, says:
"The Papal Peace is radical. It goes back to roots. The roots of Christian (Meaning Roman Catholic-LWM) tradition. For 400 years men have tried to follow other traditions. Their failure is written in a welter of blood. The Papal Peace aims at re-making, rebuilding the world on the Christian (Catholic-LWM) Tradition." (Page 31.)
Now we know!! What happened 400 years ago that Roman Catholicism is trying to remake and rebuild? It was in 1517 that Martin Luther first publicly opposed the power of the Roman Church. He was excommunicated in 1521. Subsequently, the German nation almost entirely left the fold of Catholicism. Protestantism was born!
However, for fear that someone may question our conclusion as to what was referred to 400 years ago, we copy from page 18, of "God In Society":
"In the past 400 years the Christian (Catholic-LWM) Tradition became the lost horizon. It was first dimmed out by Protestantism. The dim out grew darker and darker until Rationalism, Naturalism, Liberalism, Unbridled Capitalism turned the dim out into a black-out . . ."
Now, in addition to Protestantism, it appears that the Catholic Church is also fighting that which it terms "Unbridled Capitalism." By this expression, are we to assume that Capitalism is not sufficient1y 'bridled' by the democratic system of government . . . our American free-enterprise system?
In case the reader thinks that we have selected some isolated radical booklet from which our quotations are taken, let us go again to the Catholic Dictionary as formerly quoted:
". . . Modern large-scale business could not be developed or continued without the system of capitalism, but it is the destroyer of all small industries and of independent individual responsibility and control. The capitalist system is not in itself unlawful, but easily becomes the cause of abuses which the Church unequivocally condemns." (Page 73.)
May we remind you that we are citing Catholic Church-approved publications, from which we are demonstrating our contention that a Roman Catholic political candidate cannot honorably and loyally serve both his espoused religion and the Constitution and Governmental principles upon which this Nation stands!
"The theory that the political, economic and personal freedom proper to man without distinction of class or race can only be maintained when property in the means of production, is widely distributed. Distributists, hold that large concentrations of wealth or property are bad, and they seek to promote the revival of ownership of land, workshops, etc. by individuals and are generally opposed to monopolies and amalgamations. They hold that the 'smaller-holder' small shop-keeper, the peasant and the artist-craftsman are the normal men and that Capitalism (the rule of the money lender) and Industrialism (the rule of the machine) can be deliberately undermined and gradually abolished. Distribution has no religious affiliation but its theory is claimed to be in special harmony with Catholic teaching as to the nature of man and his needs." (A Catholic Dictionary, by Attwater, page 152.)
So, the above-given definition and description of 'Distributism' is claimed to be "in special harmony with Catholic teaching," which includes the thought that "Capitalism and industrialism can be deliberately undermined and gradually abolished"! Certainly the Catholic Church delves into the material and temporal realm!
Question: Is not the goal of Communism that of 'deliberately undermining' and 'abolishing' Capitalism and Industrialism'? We assume that Communism would not undermine it as gradually as Catholicism is willing to do. Nor do we charge the Catholic Political Philosophy with being entirely in harmony with Communism. But the two systems are amazingly similar in several respects:
(1) Both are un-democratic in structure.
(2) Both oppose the separation of Church and State.
(3) Both tend to deify their leaders.
(4) Both oppose free public schools.
(5) Both suppress ' freedom of thought, speech and worship.
(6) Followers of either ideology must pay homage to a foreign temporal ruler; i.e., the Kremlin at Moscow, or the Vatican at Rome.
(7) Both use violence in the achievements of their goals.
Due to her involvements with the various dictatorial governments of the past and present, the Vatican cannot afford to endorse Capitalism, Industrialism, or even a Democracy!
". . . There is no best form of government. There is no best form of society. Because Americans want the democratic form of government, that does not prove it the best form. Nor does it mean that
every other people in the world must adopt it, in order to secure the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Democracy is not the only right form of government, the only way of peace, the only path to freedom. The way of peace and freedom is the way of justice securing the common welfare; the way of good will expressed in the co-operation of all classes in the State, under whatever form of government the people of the State may choose." (God In Society, pages 13-14.)
It is interesting to note that the author of the above statement fails to recognize the import of his last clause . . . "whatever form of Government the People of the State may choose." We have yet to hear of a dictatorship or monarchy wherein the "choice of Government" is left to the people. Yet, in a Democracy, that is exactly what the people are privileged to do.
In view of the exact quotations contained in this treatise, taken from authentic Roman Catholic Church-approved publications, we have, we believe, completely established our premise, which serves as the title of this article. Neither Political Party Can Afford A Roman Catholic Presidential Candidate!
Think of the inner turmoil and mental conflict which must plague the public official who is torn between two loves: (1) The religio-political movement through which he has been conditioned and indoctrinated from his (or her) babyhood, and (2) The Country whose Constitution he has sworn to uphold against all foes. Will he, can he, honorably serve his Nation? If so, he will find himself in conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church! Will he, can he, remain faithful and loyal to the Roman Catholic Church, with the Roman Pontiff as its "Infallible" head? . . . And yet faithfully uphold the principles of our Democracy? We pity the man who tries to serve two masters!
(Note: In the event some representative of the Roman Catholic Church would care to enter into a written debate, using a proposition dealing with these issues, we would be very pleased to accommodate him in this respect.)
Truth Magazine III:6, pp. 17-20