Skip to comments.Supreme Knight criticizes use of Pope's encyclical for political agendas
Posted on 07/07/2009 3:31:19 PM PDT by NYer
.- The head of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson, has responded to Pope Benedicts newly-released encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Love in Truth), by denouncing attempts to use it to further political agendas rather than viewing it from the Churchs comprehensive understanding of the human person.
In an interview with CNA on Tuesday morning, Carl Anderson, leader of the worlds largest lay Catholic organization, decried the spin masters who will try to spin the encyclical in one direction or the other and emphasized that the Catholic reader should read the encyclical in its entirety in order to understand the underlying ethical and anthropological foundations that guide it.
What this encyclical makes very clear is that there is a consistent ethics in the Catholic Church because there is a consistent view of the human person, Anderson told CNA, explaining that this consistency is seen in Pope Benedicts assertion that social issues cannot be separated from life issues.
While the idea that we are morally responsible for one another as part of one human family is not new to Christianity, Anderson said that the Pope challenges us in this encyclical to take this seriously as a fundamental understanding of what it means to be a Christian.
Anderson also responded to some analyses of the encyclical that try to describe it as promoting either a liberal or conservative political viewpoint by saying, I think thats precisely the wrong way to look at the encyclical, and I think that Benedict would be very disappointed if thats the kind of analysis we give it.
What we ought to be doing is reading the encyclical and seeing what we can learn from it, what we might change as a way of doing our work as a result from it, and not to see whether or not it validates one position, he added.
Anderson explained that when we divide the encyclical or use it to justify one position over another, we fall into an error that I think Benedict himself would be the first one to attempt to correct.
He observed that the issues dealt with by the Pope, such as defense of marriage, protection of human life, and a call to reform the United Nations, are not really questions of the political right or left. Rather, they flow from a comprehensive and consistent understanding of the human person.
In addition, Anderson noted that many Americans may see the Popes call for just redistribution as a left-leaning proposal, but when viewed in a global perspective, the idea takes on a new light.
When you look in Africa where you see dictators that are presidents of countries that retire from office with billions of dollars in their Swiss bank accounts while their people are living on one dollar a day, is that just redistribution? Is that a question of the left or is that a question of the right?
Explaining that these topics are human issues rather than those belonging to any political party, Anderson said that discussions of right and left have no place in analyzing the Popes encyclical and putting it into practice.
I think Christians, particularly Catholics, have to move beyond that if they want to truly see with the eyes of the Gospel, he told CNA. Because there was a Gospel before there was a left and a right, and there will be a Gospel after.
Calling on Catholics to read Caritas in Veritate and incorporate it into their lives, Anderson highlighted the encyclicals sense of urgency. We really do have a moral obligation to help those in need, he said, adding that this obligation is comprehensive, and therefore, not only is the ethic consistent, it has to be applied consistently in all the things we do.
We cannot contain that responsibility to Sunday morning, Anderson said as he invited Catholics to make the Popes words a reality in their everyday lives. Lets put it into practice! Lets find ways to make the encyclical count, he said, encouraging people to leave behind their divisions and unite to put Benedicts words into action.
Those in government have a responsibility, those in the private sector have a responsibility, and we ought to work together from a consistent ethic and a consistent attitude to try to solve these problems.
It's amazing how intelligent folks will believe the msm spin, yet won't make the time to read the encyclical and draw their own conclusions. I thought Freepers were above this nonsense.
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list
He has no education or experience in these matters.
Please cite the passage in the encyclical where he is wrong.
Thanks for the ping. Keep me in the loop.
He may as well have mentioned Obama or Clinton by name if his intent was to rile up Freepers.
Of course wealth is redistributed constantly in any kind of economic system from free market to socialist.
The reaction by many Freepers to this encyclical shows that conservatives are just as susceptible to Pavlovian conditioning as liberals.
You are looking at this encyclical through your 'political lenses'. Take those off and put on the ones of faith. Then reread what the pope has written.
The “social justice Catholics” will use this letter to justify their allegiance to Obama. Never mind that the pope’s whole argument hinges on the acceptance of the concept of natural law, which liberal Catholics do not accept.
I THINK that the Supreme Knight is wrong making a PC useless comment.
Pope’s last encyclique appears to be a great teaching which place human being at the centre and thye top of economy.
As far as i heard it is highlighting PERSONNAL RESPONSABILITY and human’s dignity and these are core CONSERVATIVE values
And these threads that post the teurh -- including this one.
Don’t take things out of context!
I appreciate what you say about personal responsibility, but this document explicitly calls for state involvement, and uses the word redistribution repeatedly. I’ll give the authors the benefit of the doubt about what they are calling for, but I think their language choice is questionable (redistribution) and falls into the hands of those who advocate socialism
35. “But the social doctrine of the Church has unceasingly highlighted the importance of distributive justice and social justice for the market economy...”
36.”Therefore, it must be borne in mind that grave imbalances are produced when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution.”
37.”Economic life undoubtedly requires contracts, in order to regulate relations of exchange between goods of equivalent value. But it also needs just laws and forms of redistribution governed by politics...”
39. “In this way he was applying on a global scale the insights and aspirations contained in Rerum Novarum, written when, as a result of the Industrial Revolution, the idea was first proposed somewhat ahead of its time that the civil order, for its self-regulation, also needed intervention from the State for purposes of redistribution.
 ...For from the time that the Bishop of Rome had gotten to be acknowledged for bishop universal, by pretense of succession to St. Peter, their whole hierarchy (or kingdom of darkness) may be compared not unfitly to the kingdom of fairies (that is, to the old wives' fables in England, concerning ghosts and spirits and the feats they play in the night). And if a man consider the original of this ecclesiastical dominion, he will easily perceive that the Papacy is no other than the ghost of the deceased Roman empire sitting crowned upon the grave thereof. For so did the Papacy start out of the ruins of that heathen power.
 The language also which they use (both in the churches and in their public acts) being Latin, which is not commonly used by any nation now in the world, what is it but the ghost of the old Roman language?
 The fairies, in what nation soever they converse, have but one universal king, which some poets of ours call King Oberon; but the Scripture calls Beelzebub, prince of demons. The ecclesiastics likewise, in whose dominions soever they be found, acknowledge but one universal king, the Pope.
 The ecclesiastics are spiritual men and ghostly fathers. The fairies and ghosts inhabit darkness, solitudes, and graves. The ecclesiastics walk in obscurity of doctrine, in monasteries, churches, and church-yards.
Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan: with selected variants from the Latin edition of 1668. Ed. Edwin Curley. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994.
I wish a were wrong, but I sincerely believe that I am not wrong, in thinking that (1)the current Pope’s messages on economic issues are INTENTIONALLY euphemistic enough that Marxists will find common cause with them, (2)that Benedict knows this, and (3)he is, in terms of political philosophy, active on the side of “democratic” socialists. He is part of that generation of European Roman Catholic intellectuals who have made common cause with Marxists in Europe on so-called “social justice” issues, only to see the socialists resulting victories produce socialist majorities that compromise family and life issues in the end.
If I were a lay member of the Catholic Church, I would be praying for an “American” Catholic Church, devoid of ALL Europe’s influences.
“Obama: Social Justice in Catholic Church Has Had ‘Profound Influence’ on Me”
Actually, with Obama (1) being neither Catholic educated, nor (2) having any major personal, life-experience, close Catholic leaders as mentors or peers, nor (3) ever being a practicing Catholic, I believe Obama’s Marxist leanings have often found concordance with Roman Catholic “social justice” teaching; and that is what is closer to the truth - not that he was influenced by Catholic “social justice” teaching, but that he found IT often agreed with his thinking.
Now, American Catholics, try to envision just where his concordance with the Pope in Rome hopes to take us.
Please, please wake up.
The Catholic haters and the headline only, readers have been busy today trying to make everyone believe that Pope Benedict is calling for the dreaded “One World Government!!!!”.
Good article, NYer. Thanks for the post. The Supreme Knight is spot on!
Maybe you should read posts before responding to them.
I'm not the one taking things out of context. It is those that see the word "redistribution" and immediately think "communist" that are taking things out of context.
Is anyone capable of reading comprehension any more?
“I appreciate what you say about personal responsibility, but this document explicitly calls for state involvement, and uses the word redistribution repeatedly. Ill give the authors the benefit of the doubt about what they are calling for, but I think their language choice is questionable (redistribution) and falls into the hands of those who advocate socialism”
Been a while since you’ve read On Wealth and Poverty, hasn’t it. Its a great little book by one of our guys. You may want to re-read it and compare it to what the Pope has written, remembering that +John Chrysostomos had never heard of socialism, but had an intimate familiarity with The Faith.
Absolutely no way would I. The American Catholic Church since Vatican II can be equated with the "smoke of Satan" entering the Church.
Came to this discussion late and I am too tired to read the encyclical with any degree of comprehension.
I will try to read it tomorrow and then come back and comment.
Thanks for the link!
Are Catholics really going to just sit there and let the Pope bat them around just because he’s the Pope? What absurdity, truly.
Benedict just issued the most radical leftwing Encyclical in the history of the RCC, full of ambitions larger than anything the Holy Roman Emperor could have dreamed up at the height of medieval papal power. It’s a shocking document that calls for an armed world government. And yet here we have denizens of a right wing website trying to tell us, “Nothing to see here. Move along.”
“Subsidiarity” makes it all OK. Yeah, right. Keep telling yourself that.
It’s actually funny. I guess you guys are just going to follow Benedict right over a cliff and into Obama’s lap, because rest assured, nobody is happier with the Pope’s ideas than Barack Obama and the far left wing of the Democratic Party.
Thanks i didn’t read it already but heard about it.
Shamefully in many cases that kind of papal teachings are not specific enough to be relevant.
But anyway i persist to think that personal responsability remains the first principle in the principles hierarchy if you look at the whole picture
And again! :)
I’m a bit surprised at your response, MA. You know who +John Chrysostomos was preaching to in his Homilies, it was to the ruling elites of the Empire, the government. Homily L on Matthew is a good example:
“Do you really wish to pay homage to Christs body? Then do not neglect him when he is naked. At the same time that you honor him here [in Church] with hangings made of silk, do not ignore him outside when he perishes from cold and nakedness. For the One who said This is my body
also said When I was hungry you gave me nothing to eat.
For is there any point in his table being laden with golden cups while he himself is perishing from hunger? First fill him when he is hungry and then set his table with lavish ornaments. Are you making a golden cup for him at the very moment when you refuse to give him a cup of cold water? Do you decorate his table with cloths flecked with gold, while at the same time you neglect to give him what is necessary for him to cover himself?
Im saying all this not to forbid your gifts of munificence, but to admonish you to perform those other duties at the same time, or rather before, you do these. No one was ever condemned for neglecting to be munificent: for the neglect of others hell
itself is threatened, as well as unquenchable fire....”
Here at sec. 4 he isn’t speaking to the local shoemaker, MA. It was the imperial nobility and the great merchants who decorated the churches of The City and they, MA, were the government.
Well, most of the DUmmies hate it, just because it came from the Pope. Mention the word Catholic over there and most of them turn into the filthy rabid dogs that they are.
Some biblical paraphrases, not “interpretations” to be discarded as “my opinion”, but real biblical principles:
Work or don’t eat.
Stop stealing, be productive so that you can give to the poor.
Giving should be voluntary, without coercion.
All of these principles are antithetical to socialism.
“Absolutely no way would I. The American Catholic Church since Vatican II can be equated with the “smoke of Satan” entering the Church.”
I’m sorry, but the intellectual trails for that smoke lead back to and have always been stronger in Europe.
When I say “American” I mean devoid of all Marxists and their liberal fellow travelers. In Europe the Catholic Marxists need no liberal fellow travelers, they are a majority without them.
I don’t go to DU. It’s a long standing policy of mine that helps keep my digestive tract in good working order.
In any case, whoever’s dissing the Encyclical at DU is just having a knee jerk reaction based on past gripes about abortion, etc. The document has only been out seven days and the import of what the Pope has said hasn’t fully rippled through the chattering class yet.
And here’s what the Pope has said. He has proposed a global political structure backed up by the “authority to ensure compliance,” which can only mean authority from the barrel of a gun, just as all law is ultimately enforced, if it comes to it, by physical coercion.
The Pope’s defenders seem to claim that a principle of “subsidiarity,” also mentioned in the Encyclical, should mollify concerns that the “world authority” might become a “tyranny.” They’re living in a dream world if they think subsidiarity negates hierarchy. That’s kind of like saying a mail room supervisor can tell the CEO to take a hike if he doesn’t like what the CEO wants him to do. Or perhaps, better yet, an altar boy can tell the Pope he’s removing the Sacraments from the Roman Catholic religion whether the Pope likes it or not.
POWER assigns to the OFFICE, and the higher the office’s place in the hierarchy, the more power it accrues. Catholic clergy understand hierarchy very well. They just about invented it in its modern form. The Pope wants to superimpose a hierarchy above all other hierarchies, a world hierarchy exercising ultimate authority on the most important issues, and all his silly disclaimers about subsidiarity are mere window dressing, catnip for innocents who don’t understand the uses and functions of power.
Some excellent analysis , here
How would you interpret this? "The articulation of political authority at the local, national and international levels is one of the best ways of giving direction to the process of economic globalization. "
Yes, and I was nearly one of them as I expressed yesterday that I was concerned about the MSM comments I read and hoped the Holy Father was (once again) quoted out of context. I have since read much about it and have more to read. EWTN news (among others) has several newslink articles on it. I had a sinking feeling the MSM were quick to get access and were having a field day taking it out of context.
It’s amazing how intelligent folks will believe the msm spin, yet won’t make the time to read the encyclical and draw their own conclusions. I thought Freepers were above this nonsense.
Fair enough. Try as I might, though, the LSM takes me in every now and again.
Still, when I read this: Anderson also responded to some analyses of the encyclical that try to describe it as promoting either a liberal or conservative political viewpoint by saying, I think thats precisely the wrong way to look at the encyclical, and I think that Benedict would be very disappointed if thats the kind of analysis we give it, I am a bit disappointed. Its rather frustrating that so many people fail to recognize that liberalism is evil, while conservatism is congruent with the consistent ethics in the Catholic Church.
Liberalism and conservatism are not morally equivalent, and it is not appropriate to treat them as equals, as Anderson appears to be trying to do.
So many people buy into the picture of the sensible center, with things becoming increasingly deranged as one moves away in either direction. Looks to me like the continuum extends from Satan on the left to God on the right.
authority to ensure compliance,
That’s in paragraph 67. I am troubled by that paragraph.