Skip to comments.Catholics & The Government
Posted on 06/20/2013 4:55:29 PM PDT by markomalley
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Hello everyone and welcome to The Vortex where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed. Im Michael Voris reporting to you from the annual Acton Institute where many hundreds of individuals gather every summer here in Grand Rapids Michigan.
There are dozens of classes that get into the nitty-gritty of these types of issues but there is an overall theme - to examine in broad terms the relationship between Christianity, the Government and Economics.
And there is an interesting jumping off point in this type of discussion. The relationship between the Church and the State is not one of equals.
As a follower of Jesus Christ .. no Christian can admit or support the idea that the state is superior .. or even that they are equal. Thats quite a statement. The state is subordinate to the Church. Period.
This is not earth-shaking news to the faithful Catholic but it is shattering news to the general population who has come to view the state as the guardian and protector and even the grantor of their individual liberty.
Such a view is not Catholic .. is not rooted in faith in Jesus Christ. But so many people simply travel along the road paved by the western democracies which has led to the conclusion by the general populace that liberty means doing whatever you want and that governments role is to protect this false notion.
Government has taken on this mantle the advancement of whatever someone wants to do as his right and using the powers of the state to enforce that even over and above the questions of morality.
A sure mark of the ascendancy of the state over the Church is when immorality is given the protection of the law.
From that point .. the next step is the outlawing of what is moral.
For some time now .. western democracies have been well situated in the first phase when immorality is enshrined in law. Divorce and re-marriage, contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage and so forth.
But these cannot co-exist with a strong current of morality that says divorce, contraception, abortion, same-sex marriage.
So the state steps in and says not only that what is immoral is legal, but it MUST eventually say that what is moral is illegal. And that is the second phase that we are now heading into.
But its important to pause and think for a moment how we have arrived at this point this transition from phase one to the second phase. It is rooted in a belief born from the Age of the Enlightenment where man is the one who determines what is moral a rejection of the idea of OBJECTIVE morality.
Once that threshold is crossed then the now morally-relative man will go about the business of installing a government that enforces this belief. It might not happen overnight, but it WILL happen.
When individuals who see the world from a relative standpoint band together and eventually form a majority .. they will sooner or later put in a government that presses these moral relativisms.
But when Man cuts himself loose form the moorings of objective morality which binds ALL men by a creed of something greater than himself he eventually becomes a slave because having severed his life from the law of God SOME men will feel no restraints and will live by the code of might makes right.
They will not think twice about taking the LEGITIMATE wealth of others and giving to others who do not deserve it.
They will not think twice about denying some in the society the right to life a right that the state MERELY has custodianship over, not the right to grant or deny.
They will capriciously grant this right or that right like the right to marry whoever you want so that they can destabilize a God-based society.
A state that sees itself as supreme over the Church .. will HAVE to eventually eliminate the Church because the Church stands in opposition to that view. We have seen that in Nazi Germany, Marxist Russia, Communist China, Chavezs Venezuela and so forth.
But the Church does NOT automatically see the state as an enemy. It recognizes that the need for a state is self-evident roads must be paved, order established among quarreling parties, criminals punished, etc.
Everything that bears in mind that the final end of man is Heaven and constructs a society where this end is best able to be encouraged. In short the common good must be given an environment in which it can flourish.
And the Church has worked with various forms of government over the millennia to achieve the common good.
But this has happened effectively ONLY when it is recognized that the state is at the service the Church which hands on the objectively moral standards and truths about man which the Church is ALSO at the service of.
When the state regresses to a point where it assumes an attitude of superiority over the Church then its Nellie bar the doors.
America has passed a point of no return .. because too many have handed over to the state a false decision making power in the area of morality. Having done this, the state will re- define liberty and freedom and reduce it to little else than a historical footnote.
And all this because God and His laws were rejected. The nation as a nation is beyond salvation. But you as a person are not. Despite the movements of the state to assume unto itself all power it cannot touch the End of Man which is your gaining Heaven.
That is very much still within your reach in fact, given the direction in which the west is heading it may be more EASILY within your reach.
GOD Love you.
Im Michael Voris
wish we’d all heard more homilies on what a gift liberty is and that it requires sober responsibility to protect instead of all those ones I heard about how America is “too individualist” how much “the rich owe to the poor” etc etc.
Not just for Catholics. I guess we’re beginning to learn that even if morality can’t be “legislated” (a shaky argument at best), immorality assuredly can be. But Might Makes Right, wrong-headed and unpopular even in liberal environments though it is, thrives in this so-called enlightened culture. Bring back classical philosophy, oh, academe!
praying for the day when more church-goers take an interest in what their state legislatures are doing.
Those Christians who refuse to govern themselves will be ruled by evil men.
Who or what is the arbiter of that?
So, since you object to the statement:
I guess that means that you are in favor of Obama-style redistribution?
Interesting. Didn't realize that the management around here had gotten so tolerant of left-wing views.
Actually, they are superior in their own area. The Church (Pope) is superior in things spiritual and the State (King or Govt) is superior in things temporal.
This subject was explained quite successfully by St. Robert Bellarmine and Francisco Suarez in the early 1600s when they responded to James I's claim that he had a divine right to force the Catholics to swear allegiance to him because of his "spiritual" superiority.
The Church was given her command by Jesus Himself, whereas the king receives his authority from man and not God. Therefore, the Church is superior in the spiritual realm and the king has no divine right to rule.
Bellarmine made another very interesting point which was quite novel at the time: If the Pope is superior in things spiritual and the king is superior in things temporal, then the Pope has indirect spiritual authority over the king in things spiritual. So, each has primary authority but in different arenas.
For your consideration:
…However, one sword ought to be subordinated to the other and temporal authority, subjected to spiritual power. For since the Apostle said: 'There is no power except from God and the things that are, are ordained of God' [Rom 13:1-2], but they would not be ordained if one sword were not subordinated to the other and if the inferior one, as it were, were not led upwards by the other.
For, according to the Blessed Dionysius, it is a law of the divinity that the lowest things reach the highest place by intermediaries. Then, according to the order of the universe, all things are not led back to order equally and immediately, but the lowest by the intermediary, and the inferior by the superior. Hence we must recognize the more clearly that spiritual power surpasses in dignity and in nobility any temporal power whatever, as spiritual things surpass the temporal. This we see very clearly also by the payment, benediction, and consecration of the tithes, but the acceptance of power itself and by the government even of things. For with truth as our witness, it belongs to spiritual power to establish the terrestrial power and to pass judgement if it has not been good. Thus is accomplished the prophecy of Jeremias concerning the Church and the ecclesiastical power: 'Behold to-day I have placed you over nations, and over kingdoms' and the rest.
Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam (One God, One Faith, One Spiritual Authority) November 18, 1302
This says close to the same thing you're asserting, but showing that there is a more direct link.
A sure mark of the ascendancy of the state over the Church is when immorality is given the protection of the law. From that point .. the next step is the outlawing of what is moral....
....the Church does NOT automatically see the state as an enemy. It recognizes that the need for a state is self-evident roads must be paved, order established among quarreling parties, criminals punished, etc. Everything that bears in mind that the final end of man is Heaven and constructs a society where this end is best able to be encouraged. In short the common good must be given an environment in which it can flourish. And the Church has worked with various forms of government over the millennia to achieve the common good. But this has happened effectively ONLY when it is recognized that the state is at the service the Church which hands on the objectively moral standards and truths about man which the Church is ALSO at the service of.
When the state regresses to a point where it assumes an attitude of superiority over the Church then its Nellie bar the doors. America has passed a point of no return .. because too many have handed over to the state a false decision making power in the area of morality. Having done this, the state will re- define liberty and freedom and reduce it to little else than a historical footnote. And all this because God and His laws were rejected. The nation as a nation is beyond salvation.
Ping for later.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Bellarmine was the first to clarify the idea that the Pope does not have direct authority over a temporal sovereign. The Pope at the time did not like that idea at all, however it later became the standard Church thinking. John Locke and Algernon Sidney got on board and furthered Bellarmine's understanding that the king does not have a divine right to rule. Therefore, the king has no authority to interfere in things spiritual.
The easiest way to think about this is the authority within a single church in America. The church is sovereign in things spiritual, but is indirectly submissive to temporal authority. For example, when a church builds its building, it must abide by the temporal-based fire codes. Now the temporal authority has no direct authority over the spiritual aspect of the church as in preaching or helping people spiritually, but it can tell the church that its building is not with the fire code. The temporal realm has direct authority over the people when excersizing its temporal authority, like enforcing laws that relate to the temporal realm.
Now what our Founders did was to make the concrete distinction between the spiritual and temporal realms by law and influence where each works directly within its area and indirectly when it deals with the other. Their intent was to further the moral fabric of the people, by making both realms responsible for encouraging good moral behavior, one directing spiritually and the other by providing for good laws which enforce the temporal action.