Skip to comments.Cardinal Ratzinger Discovers America
Posted on 12/12/2004 8:54:32 AM PST by Land of the Irish
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John Rao, Ph.D.
REMNANT COLUMNIST, New York
Cardinal Ratzinger has discovered America. Troubled by the total secularization of European lifereflected, most recently, in the battles over European unification and the continental chorus of criticism accompanying Professor Rocco Buttigliones reiteration of the Churchs teaching on homosexualitythe cardinal now suggests that the United States may perhaps offer the better model of Church-State relations for a desacralized world. According to a November 25, 2004, report on Zenit.com, the Cardinal, responding to the secularization of Europe, made the following comments on Vatican Radio:
I think that from many points of view the American model is the better one. Europe has remained bogged down. People who did not want to belong to a state church, went to the United States and intentionally constituted a state that does not impose a church and which simply is not perceived as religiously neutral, but as a space within which religions can move and also enjoy organizational freedom without being simply relegated to the private sphere One can undoubtedly learn from the United States [and this] process by which the state makes room for religion, which is not imposed, but which, thanks to the state, lives, exists and has a public creative force. It certainly is a positive way.
This, of course, was the position of the Americanists of the 1890s, who argued that things spiritual thrived in the United States to a degree that Europeans, passive and obedient to their manipulative governments, could never match. Cardinal Ratzinger has apparently arrived at a similar judgment in typical contemporary Catholic fashion: much later than everybody else, and naively uncritical.
It seems to be the fate of the post-conciliar Church to take up the banner of erroneous causes just as their poisons are beginning to become somewhat clearer to the rest of the outside world. I hope that His Eminence has been misquoted. If not, I pray that a deeper study of the system in the United States will reveal to him just how much the so-called religious character of America is, at best, heretical, and, at worst, a spiritualized secularism emerging from errors inherent in Protestant thought.
One still hears the argument that the threat of Americanism was exaggerated at the time of Leo XIIIs encyclicals against it, and that, in any case, it disappeared shortly thereafter. Certainly many people in Rome as well as the United States wanted to make believe this was the case, using the Modernist crisis, and undoubted American loyalty to the Papacy throughout it, as proof positive of the countrys orthodoxy. But the crises warned against by St. Pius Xs pontificate precisely involve the sort of philosophical, theological, and exegetical issues that Americanism sweeps aside as a horrendous waste of time and energy. Modernisms intellectual character stood in the way of the Yankee pragmatism that simply wanted to get the job done without worrying about anything as fruitlessly divisive as unpaid thought. It was part and parcel of all that pretentious European cultural hoo-ha responsible for the Old Worlds ideologies, revolutions, wars, and bad plumbing. Americans could recite the Creed and memorize catechisms better and in larger numbers than anywhere else. Confident in their orthodoxy and the Catholic-friendly character of their political and social system, they could move on to devote themselves to the practical realities of daily life. Criticisms of what the practical life might actually mean in the long run could be disregarded as unpatriotic, communist, and useless for short or long-term fund raising.
America, with Catholic Americans in lock-step, thus marched forward to nurture what St. Cyril of Alexandria called dypsychia: a two-spirited existence. On the one hand, it loudly proclaimed outward commitment to many traditional doctrines and moral values making it look spiritually healthy. On the other, it allowed the practical life, to which it was really devoted, to be defined by whatever the strongest and most successful men considered to be most important, silencing discussion of the gross contradiction by laughing such fruitless intellectual quibbles out of the parlors of a polite, common-sense guided society. It marched this approach into Europe in 1945, ironically linking up with one strain of Modernism that itself encouraged Catholic abandonment to the direction of anti-intellectual vital energies and mystique. Vitalism and Americanism in tandem then gave us Vatican II which, concerned only with getting the practical pastoral job done, has destroyed Catholic doctrine infinitely more effectively than any mere straightforward heretic like Arius could have done. Under the less parochial sounding name of Pluralism, it is the very force which Cardinal Ratzinger is criticizing inside the European Union, and which is now spreading high-minded moral values, freedom, and democracy around the globe through the work of well-paid mercenaries and five hundred pound bombs.
If, heaven forbid, Cardinal Ratzinger honestly believes that true religion prospers under our system better than under any other, he is urging upon Catholics that spiritual and intellectual euthanasia which Americanism-Vitalism-Pluralism infallibly guarantees. The fate of many conservative Catholic enthusiasts for this false God, in their response to the war in Iraq, should be one among an endless number of warnings to him. No one is more publicly committed to orthodoxy than they are. No one praises the name and authority of the Pope more than they do. And yet never have I heard so many sophistic arguments reducing to total emptiness both profound Catholic teachings regarding the innocence of human life, as well as the value of the intellect in understanding how to apply those teachings to practical circumstances, as I have heard coming from their circles.
May God save His Eminence from adulation of a system that waves the flag of moral righteousness and then tells us that we are simply not permitted to use our faith and reason to recognize a wicked, fraudulent war for the anti-Catholic disaster that it is; an evil that a number of Catholics are some day legitimately going to have to apologize for having helped to justify. May God save His Eminence from a religiosity which will eventually line fundamentalist Catholic terrorists against the wall along with other divisive enemies of the system who cannot live or die under a regime of dypsychia.
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Take all the time you need. I'm just going to just kind of wait it out until I hear you explain to me why a monarchist has no place in your Americanist society.
Could I run for office?
But no one could prevent them from trying, is that correct?
Unam Sanctam. Behold your Americanist principles.
"It is too early to say whether or not the liberation of Iraq will be successful, but the signs are promising."
I am glad you have so nicely convinced yourself of the merits of modern warfare and the use of weak states to act out the psychotic ambitions of half-educated American leaders whatever their current popularity. The "liberation" of Iraq will only replace one faction with another but this time protected by a permanent force until it loses favour (as Saddam did). This notion of democracy is useless among the Arab nations. It is alien to their traditions and religion. And bribing or bombing them to win their hearts and minds does not deserve any success. America has nothing else to offer except lots of graves and the joyful cries from the unthinking masses back home fed on war games and overblown vanity.
"If the Monarchy is preserved, we may hope in time for better. If not, it will be much harder."
But it is not. As time goes on, the more nominal monarchies become. Catholicism (and Christianity) is going the same way. The image and glitter is fine for romantic moments even to Americans but it seems populations return to their politicians for vision, protection and guidance on living. These paternal and spiritual roles, once the preserve of priests and princes, are now theirs and confirmed in endless statutes. Things are so far advanced that remnant monarchies and humbled churches almost pay homage to these achievements of the common man!
"Of the ten reigning European sovereigns, five are Protestant and five are Catholic. I am not sure what you mean by "worse.""
Except for Spain, countries with large Catholic populations have lost their monarchies. It is only where monarchs have followed religious and political trends (from protestantism to liberalism to socialism)they still exist but in name only. By worse I mean the tendency for young royals in particular to shed any Christian attachment and become "defenders of all faiths" and none. It gets worse and worse.
"What about the real, historical monarchs that the Church has canonized .... "
Fine if subsequent popes do not rescind these listings in response to historical revision or political pressure.
-½?-?s Catholic royals, like most Catholics today, lack a traditional understanding of the Faith, that is not their fault, but rather the result of the post-Vatican II crisis, as you know perfectly well.
Today's enfeebled constitutional monarchies can still serve as a rallying point, even involuntarily, for those opposed to the Brave New World of multiculturalism and the European Union. The Left understands this; we should too.
The pluralist and democratic attitudes that you criticize in contemporary royals are also present among the Novus Ordo hierarchy and even the Pope. Abandoning monarchy today because King Juan Carlos is no St. Ferdinand III would make about as much sense as abandoning Catholicism because Pope John Paul II is no St. Pius X.
I'm not sure what happened with the first line of that post. It should read: "If Catholic royals..."
But you'll notice if you read through this thread that I'm not alone. In fact, even with Zviadist gone, I believe we have more allies here now than you did back when you were heroically carrying the banner for King Charles I in 1999. I suspect this is because the Religion forum is now known for its Catholic discussions and so attracts traditionalists, who are likely to also have sound views on history and government, and do not join FR in order to cheer on Bush and his Wilsonian adventurism. That is what makes this discussion more rewarding than talking to a brick wall.
The hypocrisy that you've confronted is actually enshrined into law in many of the European republics that were once monarchies. Consider...
*The French constitution has a clause stipulating that the monarchy cannot be restored even if a majority of the people wanted it to be. As Mayor of Paris in 1993, Jacques Chirac prevented royalists from laying a wreath on the spot where King Louis XVI was executed to mark the bicentennial.
*In Greece in the early 1980s, a group of men who tried to start a royalist organization were arrested and charged with treason.
*German monarchists have been harassed by the "Office for the Protection of the Constitution" which views all advocates of changing the constitution as potential neo-Nazis, essentially making it impossible for anyone with monarchist views to gain influence in German politics.
*The Portugese government has refused to hold a referendum on restoring the monarchy despite substantial public support for doing so.
*In Austria, when right-wing Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Riess-Passer publicly addressed Archduke Otto and Archduchess Regina as "Your Imperial Highnesses" on their golden wedding anniversary, she was reprimanded and furiously denounced by socialists who pointed out that the use of titles is illegal in Austria.
In contrast, in the United Kingdom, open and avowed republicans serve in Parliament, hold Cabinet posts, and are vastly overrepresented in the media. Clearly it is much better to be a republican in a monarchy than to be a monarchist in a republic. As you have pointed out, the democrats do not even live by their own principles.
People used to say that only Anglo-Saxons could practice democracy, but that has been shown to be false in continental Europe, Japan, southeast Asia, Africa and South America.
In this country, popular elections are a conservatice force that promote morality, decency and freedom, and hamper the inhuman and evil programs of elites. If the elites ruled this country, John Kerry would be president today, and the country would be much the worse for it. Thanks God for the democratic element in our constitution.
Abortion is not freedom, but license. Fight against abortion, by all means, but that doesn't mean junk the United States constitution, which you seem to hate so much. And your much vaunted "Catholic monarchies" of Belgium and Spain are happily dechristianizing themselves as fast as possible by enacting abortion and same sex "marriage" to the broadest degree, so your "Catholic monarchy" is no panacea, no solution whatsoever, and is in fact worse that the United States constitution, which still allows for the free exercise of relgion and will continue to do so, if judges and good people rally to the defense of the constitutioni, rather than spitting on it as you so-called "traditionalists" are doing on this thread. Your lack of patriotism and disloyalty to our constitution is, frankly, disgusting. It is creepy. You all are like a bunch of latter-day Father Coughlins, deriding our constitution. Father Coughlin hated our constitution too, and looked fondly on his beloved Hitler and the Nazis.