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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So, you advocate the Pope as earthly ruler? The Papal States were a stellar example of why Popes are spiritual rulers.
There's the problem right there- he's an "American Catholic" - sorry I prefer to put my allegiance to the Church first than any man made institution.
Most "Americanists" do not believe that the U.S. is man-made, but rather that it is, in fact, a divinely ordained "shining city on a hill" with a mission to refashion the world in its image. Ask any random Evangelical.
We have inherited this view from the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay colony, and it has increasingly dictated our domestic and foreign policy.
Sinky: Freedom of religion is not "wrong." Nor is freedom of the press. For any American Catholic to maintain otherwise is simply unbelieveable.
ME: Let's try this approach. I follow the magisterium of the Church, which includes all of the teaching of the predecessors of the current Pope, Paul VI and John XXIII. The only teaching authority they have is to "hand on" (traditio) what they have received from the Apostles. This is called the Deposit of Faith.
It matters NOT ONE IOTA whether American Catholics think Pope Leo XIII's "freedom of the press" or "freedom of religion" is wrong. It matters not, because the laity are NOT those vested with authority by Christ. It is the magisterium, which includes the "universal" and "eternal" magisterial teaching: not just your errant understanding of "religious freedom."
It doesn't matter whether or not YOU believe it or not either--even though you are allegedly an ordained man. YOU are wrong, NOT Pope Leo XIII, Pius IX and X (Saint), nor Gregory. Look in the mirror. Freedom of the press (to promulgate error) is condemned. It is counter to Catholic doctrine. Get it?
The Pope has "indirect" temporal authority bestowed upon him by Christ.
If you have a problem with it, take it up with Jesus Christ!
You read newspapers? You read all this stuff posted here?
If you do, according to you, you are participating in material sin.
It is counter to Catholic doctrine. Get it?
No, I don't get it. But, you better get off FR.
Too much freedom goin' on out dere!!!
And after Austria declared war, Germany invaded Belgium, in accordance with a very detailed mobilization plan arranged long in advance. I'm glad to know that you are more loyal to Kaiser Wilhelm than your own nation, if indeed you are an American. A humanitarian intervention on the side of the allies was eminently justified, as it was in World War II. Germany was the clear aggressor and disruptor of the peace.
Abortion is an injustice. Destroying the benefits and freedoms of a democratic system rather than addressing efforts to resolve this single injustice would itself be an injustice as well as an act of lunacy. I'm so glad to know that fascism is alive and well here on Free Republic. (Actually, come to think of it, wouldn't both the words "free" and "republic" be anathema to the likes of you?)
Your argument is false. It assumes that the only available options are Catholic autocracy, fascism, communism and extreme secularist democracy. The fact is there is another option, which Europeans were free to choose but have not, which is liberal democracy with full freedom of religion, as we have in this country. There is no reason that Europe had to choose either fascism or communism. And your trashing of constitutional republics makes things like fascism and communism much more likely, since it was in precisely the interwar period when propagandists incited the public against liberal democracy and those extremist ideologies grew up.
"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."
I have a feeling these royals would not want to go back to the good old days of divine rights and ultimate responsibility. And they are quite happy enjoying the quiet comfortable life and letting others dictate the agenda. It is incredible that in just a hundred years we have seen monarchies rendered so impotent.
And yes it is alive and well here at FR - neo-con philsophy is very similar to fascism.
Actually, come to think of it, wouldn't both the words "free" and "republic" be anathema to the likes of you?
We've already addressed the "free" part - you didn't hear because you choose not to hear so I won't bother to repeat it. As for "republic" sure, its anathema, I make no apoligies for that.
LOL, this is like when the Democrats accused the Bush administration of planning to attack Iraq prior to 9/11 because there were "plans" for doing so somewhere in a vault. Every government maintains battle plans for virtually any continency - the militaries of the world hire people that do very little besides create strategies and plans to be filed and likely never used.
It's one thing to have plans in a vault, quite another to get them out of the vault soon after one's administration takes power....prior to 9/11.
Actually, the Papal States WERE a stellar example of the Pope as a temporal ruler. When the Italian liberals invaded to "liberate" them, they were quite shocked to find that, instead of oppressed, impoverished slaves yearning for freedom, the people they met were cold toward them and refused to participate in their "elections" to vote out the Pontiff.
The Pope is a temporal as well as a spiritual ruler, in fact, before good ol' Paul VI did away with it, whenever a Pope was crowned they were given the title of "the ruler of the rulers of the world", because no other authority can be higher than that given by Christ Himself to St Peter.
Christ did not give any temporal authority to Peter.
I'm not defending the administration, my post is only meant to demonstrate it is patently absurd to conclude that the existance of a plan constitutes an intention to use it.
18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. 20 Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.
18 "Thou art Peter"... As St. Peter, by divine revelation, here made a solemn profession of his faith of the divinity of Christ; so in recompense of this faith and profession, our Lord here declares to him the dignity to which he is pleased to raise him: viz., that he to whom he had already given the name of Peter, signifying a rock, St. John 1. 42, should be a rock indeed, of invincible strength, for the support of the building of the church; in which building he should be, next to Christ himself, the chief foundation stone, in quality of chief pastor, ruler, and governor ; and should have accordingly all fulness of ecclesiastical power, signified by the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
Christ's three-fold mission - to teach, to heal and to rule
Actually, Germany did nothing until Russia mobilized against them FIRST, just like France mobilized against Germany FIRST (truth be known it was the French ambassador who was pushing the Russians to attack Austria in the first place).
The simple fact is that the problems were totally between Austria and Servia and no one else. It was Russia, prodded on by the French, who stuck their nose in and started to spread the hostilities. When Russia, unprovoked, moved against Austria, Germany was bound to defend their ally. An ally, by the way, whose war against Serbia was totally justified. The Germans gave the French ample opportunity to declare their neutrality and keep peace in the West -they failed to do so. The French were looking for any opportunity to get Alsace-Lorraine back from Germany after the spanking they got in 1870; just as Britain was looking for any opportunity to remove German economic/colonial competition.
Frankly, I see nothing "humanitarian" about American fat cats getting rich selling arms, ammunition and all manner of supplies to the British while thousands of Germans are starving to death, all the while pretending to be "neutral". I see no sense in condemning Germany for invading Belgium when before the war, Wilson had invaded numerous countries in Latin America for the sake of American business interests. The warring powers were all on the verge of exhaustion by the time America declared war anyway, it could not have gone on much longer regardless of what the US did. All Wilson accomplished was to give the Allies overpowering force in the final days to inflict on the Central Powers the most atrocious, humiliating and ultimately dangerous peace terms they could force out.
OK. I see your point. Maybe bringing up the Bush administration wasn't a good example.