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Cardinal Ratzinger Discovers America
The Remnant Newspaper ^ | December 15 | John Rao

Posted on 12/12/2004 8:54:32 AM PST by Land of the Irish

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Cardinal Ratzinger

Discovers America

 

John Rao, Ph.D.

REMNANT COLUMNIST, New York

 

 

Cardinal Ratzinger has discovered America. Troubled by the total secularization of European life—reflected, most recently, in the battles over European unification and the continental chorus of criticism accompanying Professor Rocco Buttiglione’s reiteration of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality—the 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 1890’s, 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 XIII’s 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 country’s orthodoxy. But the crises warned against by St. Pius X’s pontificate precisely involve the sort of philosophical, theological, and exegetical issues that Americanism sweeps aside as a horrendous waste of time and energy. Modernism’s 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 World’s 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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TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic
KEYWORDS: americanism; catholic; ratzinger; secularization
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1 posted on 12/12/2004 8:54:33 AM PST by Land of the Irish
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To: Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Andrew65; AniGrrl; apologia_pro_vita_sua; attagirl; BearWash; ...

Ping


2 posted on 12/12/2004 8:55:41 AM PST by Land of the Irish (Tradidi quod et accepi)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Land of the Irish
"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 forked tongued prince needs to read our Declaration of Independence. It is through this document that passage of the Constitution was made possible. Had the Constitutional Convention balked at the inclusion of the ten amendments to that document, there would not have a ratification of it by the states.

It is by and through our Creator - not the state - that American Citizens gained their freedom from state interference into their religious choices, and their ability to assemble for any other purpose.

4 posted on 12/12/2004 9:16:16 AM PST by Robert Drobot (God, family, country. All else is meaningless.)
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To: Land of the Irish
Troubled by the total secularization of European life—reflected, most recently, in the battles over European unification and the continental chorus of criticism accompanying Professor Rocco Buttiglione’s reiteration of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality—the cardinal now suggests that the United States may perhaps offer the better model of Church-State relations for a desacralized world.

I guess you would prefer the post-Christian European model, with churches a museum pieces and any speach condemning abortion or homosexual activity is outlawed. Frankly, I prefer the United States, where for the moment at least, the Church has legal freedom of cult, and the Church still has some orthodox vibrancy left to pass on to future generations.

5 posted on 12/12/2004 9:32:02 AM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam
Frankly, I prefer the United States, where for the moment at least, the Church has legal freedom of cult, and the Church still has some orthodox vibrancy left to pass on to future generations.

Oh, I'm sure you prefer the "orthodox vibrancy" of Amchurch. You fit right in.


6 posted on 12/12/2004 12:09:41 PM PST by Land of the Irish (Tradidi quod et accepi)
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To: Great Prophet Zarquon
Yeah! Let's burn everyone who doesn't go to Latin Mass at the stake!
Two words: Id-jit.

You're right. Apparently American yahooism is the answer.

7 posted on 12/12/2004 1:51:50 PM PST by TradicalRC (I'd rather live in a Christian theocracy than a secular democracy.)
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To: Land of the Irish

Even that sweet little Altar boy, carrying the Cross with dignity knows those behind him lack reverence, and are quite out there.


8 posted on 12/12/2004 1:57:12 PM PST by AlbionGirl
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To: Unam Sanctam
I guess you would prefer the post-Christian European model, with churches a museum pieces and any speach condemning abortion or homosexual activity is outlawed. Frankly, I prefer the United States, where for the moment at least, the Church has legal freedom of cult, and the Church still has some orthodox vibrancy left to pass on to future generations.

This is the same logic that praises unwed motherhood because at least they didn't have an abortion. The key phrase is "for the moment at least". America has been slavishly adopting the European model one modernist idea at a time. Obviously, Ratzinger believes that it is the state which makes religion possible, when it is God that makes all possible as Christ said to Pilate.

9 posted on 12/12/2004 2:02:24 PM PST by TradicalRC (I'd rather live in a Christian theocracy than a secular democracy.)
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To: Land of the Irish

I thought it was sad when women turned away from the Scriptural tenet of covering their heads. Now we have men that have also turned away by covering theirs.


10 posted on 12/12/2004 2:05:59 PM PST by TradicalRC (I'd rather live in a Christian theocracy than a secular democracy.)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Unam Sanctam; Land of the Irish; TradicalRC
I guess you would prefer the post-Christian European model

No. I--and, I suspect, LOTI--prefer Christian monarchy, the last significant example of which (the Austro-Hungarian empire) was destroyed thanks in part to the United States in 1918.

Modern Europe is indeed a mess, but that is largely a result of the abolition of monarchies and rejection of traditional political and social values which began with the French Revolution and was virtually completed by World War I, though Rome's apparent surrender to the modern world at Vatican II made things worse.

Traditionalists (or, in my case, their non-Catholic sympathizers) are sometimes accused of claiming that everything was perfect before the Council. Please note that as a monarchist I am obviously aware that the world's problems did not begin in 1962. But Vatican II, with its implication that the Church to a certain extent approved of the great upheavals of the 18th and 20th centuries, did not help, to say the least. And now we see a prominent Cardinal claiming that the American system is preferable to the old European ideal of a Catholic state, a position which Leo XIII condemned.

12 posted on 12/12/2004 3:04:43 PM PST by royalcello
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To: Great Prophet Zarquon
neo-Catho-bogo-royalist imperialistic foolishness (of the sort spread these days on the pages of "Crisis")

What on earth are you talking about? I wasn't aware that Crisis had become a hotbed of monarchism, but if so, good for them!

What makes you so sure that Jesus Christ would prefer Americanism to monarchy? If so, why is He called "King of Kings"? Why did the Church for centuries bless kingship with sacramental coronation ceremonies, which have no republican equivalent? Why has the Church canonized so many kings and queens, most recently beatifying the last Emperor of Austria? How many presidents or politicians have been canonized? (I'll answer this one: zero.) Why did the Church until Vatican II clearly understand herself as a monarchy, complete with the papal tiara and coronation ceremony?

If none of these facts convince you, I would ask you to keep this Bible verse in mind: Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. (1 Peter 2:17)

To see why "American yahooism" is the wrong choice, you might also familiarize yourself with the writings of the great Catholic monarchist Charles Coulombe.

13 posted on 12/12/2004 3:17:59 PM PST by royalcello
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To: Land of the Irish

Careful; nothing will enrage Catholic Americanists more than criticism of their favorite heresy. I sometimes get the idea that even some traditionalists are embarrassed by John Rao. I think he's great, even though I haven't always fully understood some of his previous articles. This one is quite clear.


14 posted on 12/12/2004 3:19:47 PM PST by royalcello
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To: B-Chan; kjvail; Guelph4ever

Another important thread for our side, even if this great article by John Rao doesn't specifically mention monarchy.


15 posted on 12/12/2004 3:24:19 PM PST by royalcello
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To: royalcello
Modern Europe is indeed a mess, but that is largely a result of the abolition of monarchies

Democratic states, with open trade, do not make war on each other.

You can't say the same about monarchies, can you?

And now we see a prominent Cardinal claiming that the American system is preferable to the old European ideal of a Catholic state, a position which Leo XIII condemned.

Even Catholic states fomented war; in fact, Catholic states were little better than their secular counterparts when it came to aggression.

I'd have no problem with the British model, where the monarch is a mere figurehead. Modern states can no longer entrust power to a single unchecked individual, Catholic or otherwise.

16 posted on 12/12/2004 3:37:41 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: royalcello
Why did the Church for centuries bless kingship with sacramental coronation ceremonies, which have no republican equivalent?

'Splain. There is nothing any more "sacramental" about placing a crown than taking an oath and proclaiming "so help me God."

17 posted on 12/12/2004 3:43:37 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: Land of the Irish; Marcellinus
This is brilliance, right here:

"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."

18 posted on 12/12/2004 4:03:58 PM PST by pascendi (Quicumque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem)
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To: royalcello; Unam Sanctam
No. I--and, I suspect, LOTI--prefer Christian monarchy, the last significant example of which (the Austro-Hungarian empire) was destroyed thanks in part to the United States in 1918.

You are correct, royalcello. Unam gave me a choice between two evils, neither of which I choose as "models".

19 posted on 12/12/2004 4:15:26 PM PST by Land of the Irish (Tradidi quod et accepi)
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To: sinkspur
I will quote from two articles by the American Catholic monarchist writer Charles Coulombe.

From "Coronations in Catholic Theology":

Whence, indeed, came the authority of Kingship itself? True it was, that in most countries, the Crown was passed along by hereditary right...But in both sets of cases, the added charism, so to speak, required something more...The anointing of holy oil...took place at the rite of coronation. While the coronation was not itself held generally to confer the Kingship, it nevertheless seemed to be necessary for the royal personage to enjoy the fullness of the graces thereof.

From The Lord of the Rings: A Catholic View:

...it will be necessary to describe a little of the uniquely Catholic world view. In fine, it is a sacramental one. At the heart of all Catholic life is a miracle, a mystery, the Blessed Sacrament. Surrounded traditionally by ritual and awe, it has been the formative aspect of Catholic art, drama, and poetry. The coronation of Kings, swearing of oaths, marriages, celebrations of feast-days, all have a Eucharistic character."

Read both articles; they're worth it.

I would add that the existence of a monarchy, with a religious coronation ceremony marking the beginning of each sovereign's reign, allows the Church to shape the character of the State in a way that is not really possible in republics. By anointing the king or queen, the archbishop confers a type of grace upon the living icon of the nation while making it clear that king is still subordinant to God. Sadly, Europe's surviving continental monarchies have abolished their coronation ceremonies, replacing them with secular "inaugurations" similar to those of presidents. Only the (Anglican) British monarchy, ironically, retains what was originally a thoroughly Catholic ceremony. Did you know that the rite with which Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953 was essentially the same service used for King Edgar in 973, almost a thousand years earlier? I find that incredibly inspiring, moving, and comforting. What can republics offer to compare to that kind of continuity?

From The Rulers of Britain: "Edgar waited to be officially crowned until he was thirty--the age when a man might be ordained a priest. The ceremony emphasized the sacred nature of kingship, and of the monarch as Christ's deputy."

20 posted on 12/12/2004 4:16:05 PM PST by royalcello
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To: sinkspur
Democratic states, with open trade, do not make war on each other.

Neo-con propoganda - here's a clue jacobin France was a deomcracy, nazi Germany was a democracy, the USSR was a democracy, hell Iraq was a democracy with mandatory sufferage! In fact every modern tyranny has used the languague, forms and idealogy of egalitarian democracy. Every modern tyranny has come to power by agitating the masses with promises of paradise lost or paradise to come. You see a microcosm of this in America with both parties constant appeals to "the working family", "the common man", the "disadvantaged" or "the poor". It's nothing but recycled jacobin and marxist propoganda.

Monarchs can never claim their actions were "the will of the people" or some such nonsense. Finally and most convincingly is the factor of time preference. This concept has been fully explored in Hans Hermann Hoppe's Democracy: The God that Failed

It was jacobin France that pioneered the concept of total war - nation vs nation. In short the plague of nationalism:

"With its ideal of equality, democracy’s revival from antiquity was closely connected with “nationalism,” a term most Europeans equated with what Americans might call ethnicism (not to be confused with racism, which is not a linguistic -cultural concept but a biological one). The basic drive is the craving for sameness, the twin of equality. (Whatever is the same is also equal, although it is not necessarily true the other way around.) After 1789, differences became suspect, and were to be rejected and eradicated.

The social pyramid in the new horizontalism was now upturned, and quantity, not quality, had its day. Everybody had the same rights —a truly microscopic share in decisions, effective only if it, were part of a majority—but also the same obligations. One could vote for a representative, but, in turn, a male had the duty to defend his country (or to participate in its aggressions), which might mean drudgery in barracks, captivity, wounds, mutilation, or even death, a bad deal indeed. The draftee almost ceased to be a real person a she was dragged out of his privacy and became an “individual,” the meaning of which is only the last indivisible part of a collective whole. Hippolyte Taine described the results of this return to the stage of primitive tribes with these ringing words, taken from his Origines de la France contemporaine:

One puts in the hands of each adult a ballot, but on the back of each soldier a knapsack: with what promises of massacre and bankruptcy for the Twentieth Century, with what exasperation of ill will and distrust, with what loss of wholesome effort, by what a perversion of productive discoveries, accompanied by what an improvement in the means of destruction, by what recoil toward the inferior and unhealthy forms of the old combative societies, by what a backward step toward egoistic and brutal instincts, toward the sentiments, manner and morality of ancient cities and barbaric tribes, we know all too well.

One of the most immediate and degrading consequences of general military service in time of war was the “indoctrination” of the draftees. They were in the vast majority innocent, and largely even unwilling, civilians whose enthusiasm for fighting and killing was limited. They were, therefore, taught to hate the enemy, degraded to the point of wickedness, and stripped of all virtue. This had been different in previous ages when soldiers were men— gentlemen as well as ruffians—who loved to fight and offered their services to anybody who led and paid them well. Prince Eugene of nally to Baron Gideon Loudon (Laudon), born in Livonia, but of Scottish origin, whose father was an officer in the Swedish services. Loudon, however, served first in the Russian Army, and then offered his experience to Frederick II of Prussia. Rebuffed, Loudon joined the largely Austrian army of the Holy Roman Emperor, and defeated Frederick in battle. As late as the mid-nineteenth century, the vast majority of “recruits” had scant education (mass illiteracy prevailed for generations), and had to serve long stretches in the army, frequently three, sometimes four years. Those who had bachelor’s degrees (aged 18 to 19 years) served only one year, received a commission, and became reserve officers. The idea was to have trained soldiers under arms, as well as in a reserve capacity, periodically called to maneuvers. The loss of time for all was considerable.

Yet if one major power adopted that system, it forced other countries on the same continent, to keep from being outnumbered, to do exactly the same. And since the European monarchies had painfully experienced the numerical superiority of the French armies in the Napoleonic wars, and, as “constitutional” monarchies, were drifting into the democratic cauldron, they too were now victims of a phenomenon called “militarism,” resulting in the “Armed Horde.” England, relying on its “splendid isolation,” was an exception to the rule, but the United States, politically already a victim of the “French School,” during the War Between the States drafted not only its citizens but also foreigners on its soil. Although they could not vote, they earned money; thus, cash was redeemed with blood. Voluntary military service, however, is a different matter. On a lower level, it might rely on the desire to fight, on a higher one the fascination of army life, and on the highest the wish to Savoy had vainly offered his services to France, but ended up as the glorious military hero of the Habsburgs. The same happened fidefend one’s country or bring to life a great ideal.

In the book from which we quoted Taine, American author Hoffman Nickerson writes:

During the last century-and-a-half, civilization has recreated the armed horde. Previously a rarity, it has become the accepted instrument of any great military effort. It has not, however, come alone. Exactly a hundred fifty years ago in 1789—shortly after the United States had sought to protect themselves against democracy by their Federal Constitution—the French Revolution began. From that time to our day, democratic ideas have come to dominate politics just as the mass army has dominated war. It is the thesis of this book that the two are inseparably connected with each other and with a third thing, barbarism"

Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Monarchy and War

(formatting may be screwy due to the original text is a PDF)

This is an important point the effect of which on Europe in the 20th Century, indeed the whole world, cannot be be underestimated.

Under the rules of the ancien regime war between states was a very different thing, it had the character of intercine feuds, civilian massacres were extrodinarily rare (no Dresdens) and the common people were rarely interested in or affected by the outcome. (no "re-education camps" or radical changes in daily life).

Modern states can no longer entrust power to a single unchecked individual, Catholic or otherwise.

As opposed to investing it in an easily manipulated, amorphous blob called "the people"?

In the first place the notion of the modern state needs to go in it's entirity, it has been responsible for too much blood. Small, decentralized, and independent societies are the only way for the preservation of humanity or anything resembling civilization.

21 posted on 12/12/2004 4:17:08 PM PST by kjvail (Judica me Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta)
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To: Land of the Irish; royalcello
Classic "either / or" sales tactic. Modernists always employ this one.

In fact, most of Modernism consists of a bag of cheap sales tricks. It's a yawner after it becomes too familiar.

22 posted on 12/12/2004 4:21:44 PM PST by pascendi (Quicumque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem)
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To: sinkspur
I don't condone all the wars waged by various kings. However, as Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn explains in "Monarchy and War", the French Revolution and the ideologies proceeding from it made warfare much worse.

We'll see how "peaceful" democratic Europe remains when the Muslim population becomes large enough that Islamic states are a real possibility. I think that eventually Europeans are going to wake up and realize that multiculturalism hasn't worked, but by then it will be too late to settle the issue peacefully.

The kings of old may have had many faults, but at least they never would have allowed their societies to be gradually taken over by Muslim and other immigrants from the Third World, or sold out their nations' independence to the sovereignty-destroying European Union.

23 posted on 12/12/2004 4:25:54 PM PST by royalcello
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To: sinkspur
I'd have no problem with the British model, where the monarch is a mere figurehead. Modern states can no longer entrust power to a single unchecked individual, Catholic or otherwise.

I'm glad you do not object to the British monarchy. But that monarchy's total lack of power has allowed Tony Blair and New Labour to run roughshod over the constitution (demonstrating a total lack of respect for Britain's heritage), erode the country's independence in favour of the EU, and unleash previously unimagined authoritaranism, with deplorable consequences to British civil liberties, as exemplified by the absurd fox-hunting ban.

Ideally, I would prefer a system in which both the Crown and Parliament had real power, each acting as a check on the other. Britain actually more or less operated this way for many centuries before the Crown was totally emasculated. It is a myth that traditional monarchists like me want to "entrust power to a single individual." The power of medieval monarchs, while theoretically supreme, was in practice rather severely limited and decentralized, by the aristocracy, the Church, and common law. Royal absolutism of the Louis XIV variety developed as a byproduct of the Protestant "Reformation."

24 posted on 12/12/2004 4:34:04 PM PST by royalcello
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To: pascendi; kjvail; royalcello
You boys try to sell your buggywhips to modern populations. Democratic Republics are so far superior to monarchies that peoples of non-democratic states never turn back once they've tasted freedom. "Subjects" are not free, since they cannot determine their own futures; they are at the mercy of the "monarch".

No thanks.

25 posted on 12/12/2004 4:34:50 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: royalcello
The kings of old may have had many faults, but at least they never would have allowed their societies to be gradually taken over by Muslim and other immigrants from the Third World,

Yep. Can't allow the darkies to pollute the lily-white world of the Euro-Americans.

I suspect an American monarch would still be mandating colored drinking fountains.

I don't trust unencumbered authority, especially when those who possess it claim that they are "enlightened by God."

26 posted on 12/12/2004 4:41:06 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: Land of the Irish

Following the rejection of Christian references by a secular Europe, Ratzinger is now scouring the globe in search of terra firma that is prepared to accommodate the latest abridged version of Catholicism. So, goodbye Catholic or even Christian states and hello free tolerant democratic ones! America should suit him down to the ground with its superficial religious aspect and just the minimum reference to God without any Catholic dogma or tradition to worry about. If the ambition of modern Rome is to be treated like any other religion and to invite regulation by secular authorities, its eventual demise will come sooner than later.


27 posted on 12/12/2004 4:46:09 PM PST by Wessex
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To: sinkspur; kjvail; pascendi
Democratic Republics are so far superior to monarchies that peoples of non-democratic states never turn back once they've tasted freedom.

Not quite true...

England: monarchy overthrown 1649, replaced by the Puritan republic of Oliver Cromwell (perhaps not a democrat by today's standards, but certainly one by those of the 17th century); restored 1660 to the virtually unanimous joy of the people
France: monarchy overthrown 1792; restored 1814/15 (sadly, the French didn't learn their lesson)
Greece: monarchy overthrown 1924, restored 1935 (only lasted 39 more years, but still an example that disproves your assertion)
Spain: monarchy overthrown 1931 and replaced by a liberal democratic republic; this led to civil war and the monarchy was eventually restored in 1975 thanks to General Franco, and is quite popular today.
Cambodia: monarchy overthrown 1970, restored 1993

Too bad that your "Democratic Republics" that replace monarchies usually turn into horrific tyrannies: France, Russia, Germany, China, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania...were those regimes your idea of "tasting freedom and not turning back"?

28 posted on 12/12/2004 4:46:55 PM PST by royalcello
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To: royalcello
The power of medieval monarchs, while theoretically supreme, was in practice rather severely limited and decentralized, by the aristocracy, the Church, and common law.

Ah, yes. The aristocracy "limited" the monarch when he wasn't greasing their palms. The Church "limited" the monarch when, well, he wasn't acceding to the wishes of whichever powerful Cardinal or Bishop was the local Pope.

As for "common law," that's laughable. It was ignored, on a regular basis.

For all the faults of the American Constitutional Republic, every single individual in authority is answerable, ultimately, to the people.

Imperfect? Yes. Preferable? Absolutely.

29 posted on 12/12/2004 4:47:01 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: sinkspur
Would you like to live in an Islamic theocracy? That's where Europe's headed, thanks to open immigration.

Once again, the authority of traditional monarchs was not "unencumbered," especially when compared to that of 20th-century dictators and even modern democratic states, which in some ways exert more control over the lives of their citizens than medieval kings ever would have desired.

30 posted on 12/12/2004 4:49:38 PM PST by royalcello
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To: royalcello
Too bad that your "Democratic Republics" that replace monarchies usually turn into horrific tyrannies: France, Russia, Germany, China, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania...were those regimes your idea of "tasting freedom and not turning back"?

Not a single one of those "democracies" have the checks and balances of our Constitution. Of course, the modern European Republics are based on the American model.

31 posted on 12/12/2004 4:55:56 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: royalcello
Would you like to live in an Islamic theocracy?

If I were a Muslim, I wouldn't want to live in a Catholic theocracy.

Would you deport Muslims in your monarchy?

32 posted on 12/12/2004 4:57:47 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: sinkspur
How can our rulers be said to be "answerable to the people" (whatever that means) when the only way of voicing displeasure with them is to vote for one (only one!) other candidate who may be just as bad for different reasons? If the American political system gave alternative parties and views a chance, I might have a more favorable view of it. But the Democratic/Republican duopoly disgusts me and certainly does not give me the impression that those in authority are in any way "answerable" to me or to Americans in general.

Polls routinely show that a majority of Americans oppose amnesty for illegal aliens and support greater restrictions on immigration. And yet both parties remain essentially committed to open borders. This does not look like "accountability" to me.

What about Americans who oppose both abortion and an aggressive foreign policy, or who are against affirmative action but also believe in environmental protection? Our system effectively disenfranchises them. Anyone whose views do not fit neatly into either the Democratic or Republican categories has no way of effectively making his rulers "answerable" to him without compromising on essential principles.

I'd rather have a head of state who no one chose than a head of state who others voted for but I did not.

33 posted on 12/12/2004 5:00:11 PM PST by royalcello
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To: sinkspur
If I were a Muslim, I wouldn't want to live in a Catholic theocracy.

OK, if you convert to Islam, than don't.

Would you deport Muslims in your monarchy?

Ferdinand and Isabella did. Deporting Muslims may be necessary if Europe is avoid losing its civilization and becoming just an extension of the Islamic world. Previous generations of Europeans--fighting under great Catholic kings like Charles Martel of the Franks and Jan Sobieski of Poland--gave their lives to keep Islam out of Europe. To allow Islam to gain a foothold there is to spit on their sacrifice. Why are you so eager to reverse the victories of Lepanto (1571) and Vienna (1683)?

34 posted on 12/12/2004 5:05:47 PM PST by royalcello
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To: Goetz_von_Berlichingen

Interesting discussion here if you're still around.


35 posted on 12/12/2004 5:12:31 PM PST by royalcello
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To: royalcello

"Spain: monarchy overthrown 1931 and replaced by a liberal democratic republic; this led to civil war and the monarchy was eventually restored in 1975 thanks to General Franco, and is quite popular today."

Am no longer impressed with these European monarchs. They will rubberstamp anything that ensures their survival. Their power has gone; most are protestant or worse and I get fed up with them extolling the virues of democracy and poverty! The best monarchs are mythical like King Arthur. They are not weighed down by human failings and the judgments of history.


36 posted on 12/12/2004 5:15:52 PM PST by Wessex
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To: Land of the Irish; royalcello

Good luck in your program of a Christian monarchy. Given that there is not a chance of a snowball in heck that such a thing would be voted in peacefully in these United States, I guess you would have to destroy democracy by force. Are you going to get a bunch of brownshirts together and have an antidemocratic putsch? I'm glad to know that not only do you reject the legitimate authority of the Pope, you also reject the legitimate authority of the Constitution of the United States. The Catholic Church can thrive under a regime of true freedom of religion, and has done so in the past, even here in the United States, whose constitutional structure you so despise. Sure, join the Church and state together -- it has worked out so well for the Church throughout history. Emperor Joseph of Austria was quite the reformer -- closing monasteries right and left and "reforming" the Church as he sees fit. And I guess you like the Erastianism of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Churches as well. Yes, and particularly with the left in ascendant in Western nations -- yeah, that's a great idea -- let's wed the Church and the state. Just see for how many seconds it will take for the state to start restructuring the Church and telling it what to do -- bless same sex "marriages" and abortions. I bet you'll love people like Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero and John Kerry restructuring the Church under the union of Church and State under a modern Christian monarchy -- real practical folks you are, with practical solutions to protect the Church in the modern world, I must say!


37 posted on 12/12/2004 5:16:04 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: sinkspur
The aristocracy "limited" the monarch when he wasn't greasing their palms. The Church "limited" the monarch when, well, he wasn't acceding to the wishes of whichever powerful Cardinal or Bishop was the local Pope.

Local pope? I thought you were a Catholic, you know nothing of Catholic history. Guess they don't teach that in modernist parishes these days.

As for "common law," that's laughable. It was ignored, on a regular basis.

You make vague assertions with nothing to back them up, you are operating entirely on modern democratic programming. England had a common law system - continential Europe has always followed Roman legal code. Read a book and start with this one Liberty or Equality . Then try learning the history of your church instead of libeling Her. Try Christoper Dawson or Hilaire Belloc first, Harry Crocker III is good for an easy to read summary.

For all the faults of the American Constitutional Republic, every single individual in authority is answerable, ultimately, to the people.

Now your just being silly. You actually buy this claptrap?

America was designed as a republic but with the imposition of dogmatic egalitarianism it has degenerated to an indirect democracy at the federal level with numerous features of a direct democracy at the state level. Why do you think America is becoming more and more socialist and why Europe is completely socialist? There are always more poor people than rich therefore politicans that crave power will pander to them.

Political equality demands economic equality - it's fallen human nature - greed and envy.

38 posted on 12/12/2004 5:16:26 PM PST by kjvail (Judica me Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta)
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To: sinkspur

Why did the American Constitution's alleged "checks and balances" fail to prevent the nationwide legalization of abortion on demand, to give only the most obvious example? What atrocity committed by monarchs comes close to this?


39 posted on 12/12/2004 5:17:40 PM PST by royalcello
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To: pascendi

It is not "modernist" to be loyal to and support our democratic constitution. In fact, the Catholic Church did quite well in this country thank you very much for a couple of centuries under such constitution -- certainly better than the Church is doing today in many of your former Catholic monarchies in Europe.


40 posted on 12/12/2004 5:21:03 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: Land of the Irish

I have never been into a single mass in this country in which the liturgy was anything remotely like that picture. A cheap shot, once again.


41 posted on 12/12/2004 5:22:10 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: royalcello
What about Americans who oppose both abortion and an aggressive foreign policy, or who are against affirmative action but also believe in environmental protection? Our system effectively disenfranchises them. Anyone whose views do not fit neatly into either the Democratic or Republican categories has no way of effectively making his rulers "answerable" to him without compromising on essential principles.

Yes he does. He can work to convince a majority of Americans to his views. Or, do you assume that other Americans should just roll over because you are "enlightened"?

I'd rather have a head of state who no one chose than a head of state who others voted for but I did not.

You would, in essence, prefer a tyranny, as long as that tyrant agreed with you.

42 posted on 12/12/2004 5:23:24 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: royalcello

You have very intelligently elucidated the very real cause for the Catholic Monarchial state, and the sad disapperance of it thanks to American Imperialism in WWI, etc.

You comment about having a non elected king as sovereign is quite spot on.

One more very important point: in a monarchy there is no such thing as "politics" for the average man. He only needs to kn0ow one thing: "God save our Christian King!". Politics did not exists for the masses - and to a very great extent this was a good thing. Great things were left for great men to decide - and a king, historically, had to rule with equity. It was his duty, and what he was rasied to do. The state/monarch was to protect the comman man, so that he need only concern himself about living his life.....not how to fund mass transit! That was the job of hte king.

Since the dissolution of Western Monarachies over the past century man has experienced nothing but war and political madness and instability. to change the government every few years (i.e. US, Israel) is sheer madness. It by itself does nothing to contriubute to political stability, and peace of mind for the citizen.

A simple reality check would assure any American that his opinion does not count, and that there really is no such thing as representative government (at least not as it functions here at present).

Regardless of any good an noble intentions in the US Constitution, real political power is very far removed from the average man - he truly has no redress of greivances; merely the very flimsy apperance of the same.

The king - like a US President or any leader - only governed because the will of Christ allowed him to. No man has power, except it is allowed by Christ. The difference is that a king - unlike a US President - is crrowned by a bishop (or the Pope in former times), and pledges his service to his nation by an oath to Almighty God, ackknowledging that his power comes from above.


43 posted on 12/12/2004 5:23:46 PM PST by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux! St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle!)
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To: Robert Drobot

Of course freedom comes from God, but it certainly helps to have a state that has laws that will implement true religious freedom , particularly as a Catholic confessional state is a practical impossibility in the modern day.


44 posted on 12/12/2004 5:24:08 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam
Are you going to get a bunch of brownshirts together and have an antidemocratic putsch?

No. I accept that the United States was founded as a republic and will in all likelihood remain one. To get back to the original topic of this article, what I object to is the belief that the American model is ideal or should necessarily be exported to other countries. This is the idea that inspired Woodrow Wilson's evil crusade to "make the world safe for democracy" in 1917-18, with disastrous results.

45 posted on 12/12/2004 5:24:09 PM PST by royalcello
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To: TradicalRC

Oh yes, modern Europe has such a great record on religious freedom for Christians. The Swedes have imprisoned a pastor who dares to speak out against homosexual activity. "Hate" speech laws are spreading like wildfire, outlawing expression of Christian doctrine. Buttiglione is denied political office solely because of his Catholic views. Sorry if I don't think the Europeans are in any position to judge the US on this matter.


46 posted on 12/12/2004 5:27:03 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: sinkspur
He can work to convince a majority of Americans to his views.

Convincing a king might be easier. And as I point out above, the support of a majority of Americans hasn't helped the cause of immigration reform.

You would, in essence, prefer a tyranny, as long as that tyrant agreed with you.

Since I do not equate Monarchy with Tyranny, and in fact believe that historically Tyranny has generally been the consequence of abolishing Monarchies, no, I would not.

47 posted on 12/12/2004 5:28:36 PM PST by royalcello
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To: royalcello
Why are you so eager to reverse the victories of Lepanto (1571) and Vienna (1683)?

I'm not. That's why I'm surprised at your opposition to democratizing the Muslim world. However imperfect that effort, it is far superior to the never-ending slaughter that your segregation would entail.

Perhaps I'm naive. I believe this American experiment to be beneficial, not only to Americans, but to the rest of the world as well.

You would do far better to appeal to the better angels of your fellow Americans with your ideas than to pine for some worldly savior.

Seems that Jesus dispelled the notion that we are going to create a worldly kingdom.

48 posted on 12/12/2004 5:31:06 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: royalcello

If "Americanism" meant support by Catholics of the United States constitution, why is not every single Catholic in the United States from Leo XIII onwards who is loyal to this country and its constitution excommunicated as a heretic? Americanism was a much more circumscribed notion. You paint with too broad a brush.


49 posted on 12/12/2004 5:31:09 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: kjvail
jacobin France was a deomcracy, nazi Germany was a democracy, the USSR was a democracy

None of these were democracies. I guess you simply don't understand what a democratic constitution is.

50 posted on 12/12/2004 5:33:39 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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