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  • Rick Santorum and the Kingship of Christ, Part Two

    by William Fahey

    parochial-schools2

    “Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?”
    —John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 16, 1821)

    In the first part of this essay, we began with an overview of the relations between the Church and the Roman imperial State in late antiquity, since this established for Catholics the practical and theoretical foundations of the Catholic Social Teaching on this matter.

    This second part will treat the experience of Roman Catholics during the Founding era, since this period establishes the particular milieu in which American political rhetoric was forged and continues to find its orientation; but first, let us link the two worlds—the rich Catholic traditions worked over centuries and culminating in Bellarmine, and the new revolutionary climate of a zealous Protestantism.

    St. Robert Bellarmine, Papist & Patriot?

    St. Robert Bellarmine, with whom we concluded the last section, has been identified by early twentieth-century Catholic scholars as influential on the debates concerning the limits of State (or Crown) authority in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Some years ago, I had the great pleasure of visiting several of the ancient libraries of Great Britain looking at anti-Bellarmine pamphlets, most of which had been generated during the reign of King James I (VI).  We may safely conclude on the basis of the numerous academic and political enemies that Bellarmine had in the English-speaking world that his works would have been widely-circulated or referenced by both Royalist and Parliamentarian apologists of the early modern period.  That a work is oft cited does not mean that its critics understand it, of course.  It has long been a common place to assert that because the likes of Johannes Althusius, Algernon Sidney, Robert Filmer, of John Locke read Bellarmine, and because the Founders read Althusius, Sidney, Filmer, and Locke, it is probable that Bellarmine influenced the Founding—at least indirectly.   This view was not merely held in Catholic academic circles.  In 1917, Gaillard Hunt, editor of the collected writings of James Madison pointed to Bellarmine as a crucial source for key ideas in both the Virginia Declaration of Rights as well as the Declaration of Independence.

    Bellarmine’s championing of the indirect power of the Papacy over all the states of Christian Europe set him into collision with the advocates of those regimes.  In particular, Bellarmine had penned a large body of work to refute the views of William Barclay and other apostate Catholics, who had sold their birth-right for the pottage of court appointments and public recognition in Britain.  As a result, it is reasonable to believe that those trawling for ideas on how to curtail State power, would be familiar with Bellarmine’s devastating arguments. On the other hand, apologists for the new Protestant (or Anglican) regime, would not have liked Bellarmine’s continued insistence that the Church—especially through the Papacy—had a superior role in the relationship between church and state.  One need go no further than “the judicious” Hooker to see the impossibility of the Anglican position.  Relying on the scholastics, Hooker saw that the temporal and spiritual realm were distinct, but not separate.  Yet, he could find no way to countenance the prick of Catholic critics that the Anglican sect was but the fabrication of a lecherous prince, so that the church and the state must also be separate.  Somehow, the embrace of two divergent approaches won the moderate sounding name of via media.  In fact, Hooker’s Law of Ecclesiastical Polity spawned a worm that would slowly eat its way into the traditional understanding of a distinct, but not separate church-state relation.

    It is a stretch to see St. Robert’s hand firmly guiding those gathered in Philadelphia who prayed to the Father of Lights in summer of 1776. Nevertheless, to him some gratitude should be shown for limiting revolutionary ideas and contributing to that portion of political theory which was not a departure from the tradition established by Aristotle, purified by St. Augustine, and renewed by St. Thomas.

    If there was direct transmitter of these traditional ideas into the America milieu, it may well have been John Carroll, who in the 1750s and ‘60s had been trained as a Jesuit at St. Omer in French Flanders and were, like students at Jesuit institutions throughout Europe, he would have read Bellarmine’s works. 

    From Mixed to Confused: The American Experience

    Let us turn to John Carroll and his apparent care for advancing a policy of separation.  Carroll, as a priest, accompanied the American expedition to encourage dissension and rebellion in Quebec in 1775.  Although the freedom to exercise religion granted by the British Crown to Catholics in Quebec was a key policy igniting the American Revolution, the colonists suddenly saw the wisdom of finding a way to accommodate Catholic worship and practices when the utility of French and Spanish arms, expertise, and gold were critical.

    Through the Quebec Act of June 1774, King George granted that “his Majesty’s subjects, professing the religion of the church of Rome . . . may have, hold, and enjoy the free exercise of the religion of the Church of Rome.”  This formal recognition of the Catholic Faith and the growing tolerance towards Catholicism in the British Empire (outside of Ireland) infuriated many of the American colonists, and support for a formal “separation of Church and State” could well be considered an outgrowth of this virulent anti-Catholicism.

    There was great fear throughout Protestant churches that “establishment” of religion was heading towards the colonies.  King George’s growing tolerance towards Roman Catholics was twisted into political cause by both colonists and royal-critics in the British Isles.  Anti-Catholicism was de rigueur in the British political tradition, especially for those who sided against the Crown.

    The climate then in which John Carroll operated was a Protestant world where—from the Mayflower Compact onward—religion and civil power were tightly intertwined, but where the ever-fractious nature of Protestantism and the constant terror of “papism” made an enduring role for Christianity in the civil order a source of constant anxiety rather than consolation.

    To his credit, Fr. John Carroll had deep misgivings about participating in the Quebec gambit.  His reservations illustrate how disquieting men of the Eighteenth Century found the strain of balancing the temporal and spiritual order and preserving their individual integrity.

    “I have observed that when ministers of religion leave the duties of their profession to take a busy part in political matters, they generally fall into contempt, and sometimes even bring discredit to the cause in whose service they are engaged.”

    Carroll had studied with English and Irish Catholics long-used to persecution at the hands of the established church of England.  Carroll may well have thought it nearly impossible for Bellarmine’s teaching ever to be re-established in Britain, and in the colonies men faced the daunting task of finding a way for Catholics to flourish on Protestant shores.  Certainly, the establishment of a church—at least in his mind—would have meant Anglicanism and thus a life for Catholics that careened between precarious toleration and open persecution.

    Towards a Tolerable Constitution: Catholics and John Adams Quell the Terror

    The Carrolls and the vast majority of Catholics in the thirteen colonies actively supported the war effort, just as the vast majority of Catholics in Quebec supported the British Crown.  After the war, prominent Catholics in the United States backed a federal model of government, so long as that government established no particular religion but created the circumstance for religious freedom.  The Carrolls and other Catholics contributed steadily in their own small way to achieve the First Amendment—a document that said nothing of the separation of Church and State.

    Some Founders, such as Jefferson and Madison, were clearly in favor of a robust “separation” and understood the First Amendment as such.   Some wished each new State to determine its own established religion.  Others, like John Adams, had been open to establishment of something very broad, such as was envisioned in the 1780 Constitution of Massachusetts, largely authored by Adams himself.

    In its second article, the Massachusetts Constitution affirmed that “no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, or for his religious profession or sentiments, provided he doth not disturb the public peace or obstruct others in their religious worship.”

    The third article invested the legislature with the authority to see to the support of worship and religious education because “the happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God and of the public instructions in piety, religion, and morality.” The goal was to ensure there would be “public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.”

    The article ends by asserting that “every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of any sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.”

    Clearly, the first Massachusetts Constitution supported a quasi-establishment of Protestantism as the State Religion while granting, at least implicitly, religious freedom to “other denominations of Christians”—presumably Catholics.  In any case, it demonstrates clearly that some of the founding generation did not see the separation of church and state as vitally important or even sensible in creating a culture that would support “good order and the preservation of civil government.”

    To his credit, Adams, who understood the difficulties of a pan-Protestant establishment, did not retreat into a position of “separation,” but advanced toleration.  Adams was tolerant even of Catholicism, which he personally reviled as evidenced in a passage from a letter to Jefferson:

    “I do not like the reappearance of the Jesuits…. Shall we not have regular swarms of them here, in as many disguises as only a king of the gypsies can assume, dressed as printers, publishers, writers and schoolmasters? If ever there was a body of men who merited damnation on earth and in Hell, it is this society of Loyola’s. Nevertheless, we are compelled by our system of religious toleration to offer them an asylum.”(May 5, 1816)

    Anti-Catholic comments such as this abound in the writings of Adams and most of the Founders.  I include them not to demonstrate their bigotry, which was common for the age.  Adams makes equally harsh comments about Protestant sects and is perpetually troubled at the history of Christianity since the Reformation.  I include them to demonstrate the incredible pressure that would have existed for Catholics in America to embrace any arrangement that would allow them to live their faith without fear of reprisals.

    John Carroll reluctantly led American Catholics in a pamphlet war in which he threw his support behind the neutrality of no establishment.  In the circumstances that faced Catholics in America, Carroll supported the idea of “general toleration,” as he called it.  Klugewicz goes too far in asserting that Carroll, or any other Catholic, was a “champion of separation of church of state, out of self-interest if not out of principle.”

    Carroll may have had both a practical and evangelistic goal in mind, however, in so supporting toleration:  “if we have the wisdom and temper to preserve, America may come to exhibit a proof to the world, that general and equal toleration, by giving free circulation to fair argument, is the most effectual method to bring all denominations of Christians to a unity of faith.”

    This remark does not strictly express the Catholic teaching on the matter, but neither does it speak of “separation,” which would have been contrary to Catholic teaching.

    John Carroll’s stance reveals something about the challenges that would face the application of Church’s teaching in a modern, pluralistic, political society.  The Holy See might well have recognized unique American difficulties and was likely to have been accommodating for what was belligerent missionary territory.  Perhaps the apparent indifference of the new Americans towards one particular form of Christianity and their constitutional hostility to an established Church seemed tolerable when compared to the gross abuse Pius was suffering at the hands of the governments of the great European states.  Yet general toleration was not and is not a positive teaching of the Church; it can, however, can be permitted, or put into effect as policy, for a higher good.

    With “Humiliation and Prayer”: Catholics as Citizens

    In 1798, while across the Atlantic, France and Europe were swallowed into madness, Fr. John Thayer, a New England convert and Catholic missionary, preached on the need for national calm.  Napoleon’s revolutionary imperialism had brought him into naval conflict with a nation indebted to France for its freedom.  Americans were divided between those whose young national pride was provoked by French impunity, and those whose Republican sympathies and political memory cried out for armed support of France.

    Thayer addressed the small Catholic community in Boston amidst the confusion of loyalties—should Americans support Adams in his decision to side with England against France, or should they pursue the more radical path of the Jeffersonian Republicans?  Thayer called for acts of “humiliation and prayer” in support of Adams.  I would suggest that he did so for he knew clearly the strong differences that were emerging between the Jeffersonians—who desired a state free of religious entanglement and the Federalists who conceded on the issue of establishment, but would not concede on the central importance of religion to a stable regime.

    Thayer also praised the young American Constitution, which, he said, “unites a proper degree of energy with all liberty… Praise be God, that this happy constitution, under which persons of all denominations enjoy security for their lives, property, and liberty—whether spiritual or political, is still unimpaired and in full operation.”  The sermon goes on hailing the virtues of the Federal government, which “protects us.”  Thayer was giving a common expression to the Catholic gratitude for a toleration and support.

    A glance at Democracy in America reveals an interesting observation made shortly after Thayer’s time.  In his brief reflection on the progress of Catholics in the early Republic, Alexis de Tocqueville noted that the Catholic Church engendered and would continue to engender both hatred and silent admiration.  Many Catholics would be swallowed up, he predicted, in the indifferentism and pantheism that the new American democracy encouraged.

    Indeed, Papal condemnations of the absolute separation of Church and State made a similar argument: when the Church is made to be an equal indifferently with any other “belief system,” souls would be lost as Error reigned free.  Tocqueville contended that an age was coming when men would try to sustain religious submission to religious teaching in certain areas of their lives, but hold back in others.  In the end, he concluded, the numbers of those who tried to balance both religious identity and a kind of periodic heterodoxy would decline, and that “our descendants will tend increasingly to divide into only two parts, some leaving Christianity entirely and the others embracing the Church of Rome.”  Prescient words.

    While the general tenor of American thought spoke of “toleration,” Jefferson and Madison were famous for their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution as advancing a full separation between Church and State.   It must be admitted that certain early documents, such as the 1796 Treaty of Tripoli, which states that “the United States is not, in any sense, founded upon the Christian religion,” provide some support for “separationists” victories, but the majority did not.

    For a trust-worthy contextualization of the First Amendment and the sentiments towards religion in public life, it is surely better to rely on the influential 1840 Exposition of the Constitution by Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.  In his Exposition, Story reflected that, at the time of the founding, “the general, if not universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State” so long as private conscience was not violated.  Story concluded that “an attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.”  Clearly, this study—perhaps the most important examination of the U.S. Constitution written—argues in favor of the position that Klugewicz critically associates with “knee-jerk negative reaction” of many Catholics and “social conservatives”—such as Senator Santorum.

    Perhaps this is an opportune moment in American history for a broader conversation about the meaning of expressions like “church and state” “separation,” and “religious liberty.”  It certainly would be helpful for Catholics to be equipped with an accurate understanding of their own Social Teaching.  It could prevent the grave embarrassment suffered by thoughtful and practicing Catholics when they see rampant ignorance of the Social Teachings or when they witness the enduring conservative principles of the western political tradition trashed by co-religionists holding public office.  Perhaps the likes of Pelosi and Sibelius will yield to a learned Catholic community that actually embraces and practices the Faith, but that can only happen if the Faith and the fullness of the Faith is understood.  The Holy Father has, after all, made regular mention of the creative minorities that alone will hold true to the Faith and renew society.

    The third part of this essay will review the teaching of the Church with respect to the separation of church and state and end with a consideration of Kennedy’s 1960 Houston speech as a decisive moment in American politics.

    The views expressed by the authors and editorial staff are not necessarily the views of
    Sophia Institute, Holy Spirit College, or the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

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    • Brian A. Cook

      How do you explain Islamic states that impose religion through every violent and oppressive means?  I’m afraid that the Church is routinely accused of behaving like Islamic states, even making alliances with the likes of Iran and Saudi Arabia.  

      • Michael Ferguson

        Mr. Cook,

        What explanation is necessary? To begin with, no one in our tradition argues for imposing religion through violent and oppressive means. Just as the popes have been consistent in explaining, defending, and promoting the Social Kingship of Christ, so they have been just as adamant in explaining that the Faith can never be imposed.

        There are really two issues at hand. First there is the principle: Christ can and must reign over societies. In those societies that have been largely evangelized, and who are largely made up of Catholic citizens, the State has not only the option, but duty to protect and promote the Catholic religion, and to oppose and diminish attempts to undermine that; namely the public promotion of false religions. After the principle, you have the practical side. In that case, as Dr. Fahey notes, the Church has often promoted religious toleration as an option, in some cases absolutely demanded by prudence. This doesn’t affect the principle, and it certainly doesn’t turn Christendom into the Islamic world.

    • Michael Ferguson

      It’s good that this sort of discussion is finally being held. For too long, American Catholics (too often more American than Catholic) have asserted that ours is the best possible system for Catholics to flourish; that the American experiment is one in which Catholics can not only live their faith freely, but best evangelize the surrounding culture. 

      That this has been proven false should be manifestly evident in our day. Instead of a flourishing, we see the true fruits of this idea: Catholics voting pro-abortion at a rate equal to their non-Catholic neighbors, Catholic politicians openly mocking and disregarding the Church’s teachings, all in the name of American Pluralism.

      The only way back to sanity is the approach Dr. Fahey seems to be taking: a true formation in Catholic social principles, which ends with Christ, not as one member of the parliament of religions, but as King reigning over even civil society, exercised through public recognition of the rights of Our Lord and of His Church.

      Kudos to Crisis for bringing this discussion to the fore!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-R-Schuh/100001894380487 John R Schuh

        I think it a good time for all to read Metaxis’ biography of Bonhoeffer.  Certainly too many German Christians, Catholic as well as Protestant, was taken in by Nazi Socialism.  

        • Michael Ferguson

          But, Mr. Schuh,

          What does this have to do with whether or not Christ should have a Social Kingship?

    • Brian A. Cook

      Pardon the spamming, but I hope that you will explain something else as well.  How do you explain the altar-and-throne regime in France?  Was it not a deeply backward regime that failed to lift up the people?  Was not the Church associated, whether rightly or wrongly, with this backward regime, inviting revolutionaries to slaughter religious and other pious Catholics?   Didn’t a later generation of nostalgic Catholics in France pile on a Jewish captain falsely convicted of treason and, by extension, the Jewish people? 

      I’m sorry if this is not strictly relevant.  However, I have been asking many difficult questions about the Faith lately.  I have been asking whether the “social kingship of Christ” does in fact bring peace and harmony to the earth.  In fact, a couple of days ago I went to Confession to ask for a renewed faith in Christ’s presence in the Church.  I invite you to pray for me as I continue seeking the truth. 

      • Michael Ferguson

        Mr. Cook,

        Please be assured of my prayers. I think it’s both good and important that you’re seeking to more fully understand your Faith. 

        I think the simple answer to your question (and I hope it’s not too simplistic) is that the abuse of a thing does not prove that the thing is evil, in itself. We can point to hundreds of thousands of examples of abuse of marriage, sex, friendship, etc. and yet, it doesn’t affect the intrinsic goodness of each of those things. If anything, the goodness of the thing itself makes the offense that much more hideous.

        So too with many (not all, or even most) of the events done in the name of union (though not a strict unity) between Church and State. But I would say that this is often not a question of the Church overwhelming the State, or of the Church’s complicity in State actions. Almost always it’s when the State breaks its part of the deal; when the State usurps authority of the Church and makes Christ, not King, but a subject of the temporal authority.

        • Christopher Morgan

          Isn’t this the big problem though; it never works out the way it should in reality. The state, being what it is, overruns the Church, and both the state and the Church end up with egg on their faces.

          I can’t believe that anyone doubts it’s a good thing that the popes don’t run papal states anymore, or that the Church has a true freedom to preach and operate without being entangled in the state. Ultimately, doesn’t Acton’s statement that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” mean that the Church should never fully ally with the state?

          • Michael Ferguson

            I don’t think Acton is really a role model for Catholic social principles. And that quote is particularly bad. Did or did not God create authority. Does the government exercise authority from God, as Christ himself asserted to Pilate? If that’s the case, how can we possibly argue that “power tends to corrupt?” Isn’t this asserting an intrinsic flaw/evil in government itself?

            Wouldn’t it be better to assert that men in power, because of their fallen human natures, have an inclination (not a guarantee) toward sin? And yet, doesn’t this natural inclination towards sin on the part of the governing and the governed only cry out more loudly for the Church to exercise an influential, and subduing role over the State? Isn’t that really what we’re talking about with the Kingship of Christ?

            • Cord_Hamrick

               God certainly did create authority.

              But for absolute power to corrupt, it would have to be placed in the hands of a corruptible human.

              I see no sign that God has anywhere placed absolute power in the hands of any corruptible human.

              The Pope is the most plausible candidate, of course.

              But even if we grant the fact that Popes have on two or three occasions deposed Catholic kings by absolving all their Catholic subjects from oaths of fealty to those kings…even that does not seem to place in the hands of the Pope even a titular authority to select any or all magistrates, legislators, or executive officeholders in any government in Christendom, or to abolish the laws of any state, or write new laws for states as he chooses.

              He is certainly to go into all the world baptizing persons of all nations and teaching them whatsoever Jesus commanded him…but that authority, tremendous that it is when backed up by a charism of infallibility on faith and morals, seems required to be very indirect in the sphere of secular government.

              I don’t think we need to worry about Papoceasarism any time soon. In history, Caesaropapism has more often been the problem.

      • William Edmund Fahey

        Dear Mr. Cook,

        Of course, I shall pray for you.  I think you raise some good questions.

        Now, calling France of the 16th-18th centuries “deeply backward” is unusual.  The French Crown financed the missions in the French-speaking part of the New World, in addition to providing considerable support for most of the great religious orders in French-speaking Europe.  Most historians (secular and Catholic) would look at this period as one of the greatest moments in Western culture.  As to the Faith: Jean de Brebeuf, Jane Frances de Chantal, Antoine Daniel, Louis de Montfort, Vincent de Paul… these are a handful of some of our greatest saints, and most belong to religious orders sustained by the French State.  I think a better understanding—or at least a sincere Catholic perspective—on the period that troubles you can be found in William Bush, _To Quell the Terror_ and Christopher Blum, _Critics of the Enlightenment_; as well as the popular books: Warren Carroll, _Guillotine & the Cross_, or Michael Davies, _For Throne & Altar_.  No one denies that the Ancien Regime of France had corruption and abuses.  No one would deny that any Age is missing these things.  Yet we should also keep in mind the number of saints, the incredible culture, the advances undertaken for the sake of the Church and society that came directly from such a culture and by men and women associated with the regime.  I, too, am disturbed at the revolutionary ideas and culture that erupted in the 18th century, some of it advanced by Frenchmen.  I do not think that the revolutionaries would have been gentle with the Church had She not be co-operating with the State.  The Church stood for things that the men of the Revolution hated: marriage (against divorce), the family (against libertine sexuality), an established sense of political order and virtue (against a perpetually self-creating and unfettered ideal of “liberty”), and ultimate God (against a divinized “Man”).

        • Brian A. Cook

          Didn’t the altar-and-throne regime reach a point where the rich gorged themselves, the clergy went along, and the larger populace nearly starved?  Didn’t anti-Enlightenment intellectuals promote near-totalitarian and fanatically anti-humanist ideas?  Didn’t anti-Dreyfusard Catholics publicly slime the Jews as conspirators and create a climate of hatred for anyone who disagreed?  Didn’t the Nazi-backed Vichy regime promote the exact opposites of liberty, fraternity, and equality?  

          I know that you were writing about American liberalism and anti-Catholicism, but this aside brings up more questions for me.  The more I look into these matters, the more questions come up in my mind, it seems.  I do often pray for patience in seeking truth when I pray for friends, family, and other ongoing petitions.  

          • William Edmund Fahey

            Dear Mr. Cook,
             
            I believe some of your questions could be addressed by reading some history.  This is why I made the suggestions that I did.   Your statements do seemed to be inspired by  anti-Catholic sources.  Were there corrupt Churchmen in the Ancien Regime… of course, just as there are corrupt clerics in all periods of American history, in the Middle Ages, in the Patristic period, and… amongst Our Lord’s own followers.  If you were to turn to Simon Schama’s _Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution_ you would observe many of the things that you would learn if you examined the books I recommended the other day.  Schama was educated at Cambridge and has an illustrious teaching career at places like Oxford University and Harvard; so, he is no apologist for any religion.   His book would not support your view.  Some priests were corrupt, yes, but the vast majority was not.  How you have concluded that those anti-Enlightenment political writers lead to totalitarianism is unclear to me.  Louis Bonald, Emile Keller, Fredric Leplay, and others were stalwarts against the ideologies that directly lead to totalitarianism.  Perhaps some of their ideas were also embraced by bad men, but I have not heard this.  The Nazis and the Communists adopted beliefs and practices very much at odds with the things the anti-Enlightenment thinkers stood for: faith, marriage, family, private property, tradition, etc.  Usually it was the traditionalists who resisted totalitarianism—for example in Russia, Spain, Bavaria or Austria.  As to France the Dreyfuss Affair, I know little worth commenting on.  It was a messy business with Catholics (liberal and conservative) on both sides, and the result of the whole thing was that Socialists and liberals were able in 1905 to bring about once again the separation of church and state in France.  Anti-Semitism is not something I am defending certainly, I abhor it; nor do I think it has anything whatsoever to do with the Catholic Church’s position on the relationship between the temporal and spiritual realms.  That is not to say that anti-Semites could not abuse the Church’s teaching and bend it to their own ends. To my knowledge, the Church has condemned such attempts.  So, for example Charles Maurras—who was an agnostic (at best) and not a Roman Catholic—and his movement Action Francaise met with Church criticism.  Large elements of the movement were formally condemned in 1926 and many of Maurras’s books were placed by the Holy See on the Index of Forbidden books.   Maurras, as you probably know, supported Petain and the Vichy government, but he actually condemned Petain for his collaboration with the Nazis.  A study of history is very humbling, because—when done with care—it always reveals the mixed motives of men, the tragedy of human weakness, the great value of prudence and tradition in political matters, and in all things the need to take care in forming a final opinion by your own lights.

      • Cord_Hamrick

         Brian:

        I’ll pray for you, too. (Just did.)

        I fear that in other replies to other comments you posted, I may have been misunderstanding “where you were coming from” and posted irrelevancies. I’m sorry if that was the case.

        I’m a pretty recent convert (Easter 2010) having grown up in Evangelical circles. (Granted, I was reading nonstop for the preceding four years as I tried to make up my mind, and haven’t let up too much since then!)

        But, perhaps because my entry into full communion is only two years ago, I may be missing something: What do you understand the phrase “the social kingship of Christ” to mean, and how would you expect it to bring peace and harmony to the earth? And, why would you imagine that if it didn’t, that this meant Christ was somehow not present in the Church?

        By asking these questions, I do not by any means wish to belittle your concerns or suggest that they are irrelevant or ill-founded. It’s just that I literally don’t know what your concerns are.

        I will say this: Jesus says, “The poor ye shall always have with you” and speaks of there being both wheat and tares in the Church itself (let alone outside it!) right up until the end of time. On the last day comes the New Heaven and the New Earth, but on the next-to-last day we can still apparently expect “wars and rumors of wars.”

        So I don’t expect peace and harmony on the earth until a split second after Christ’s return on the last day; to expect otherwise would seem to contradict Christ.

        So while we strive in small ways to make things better within our own sphere of influence, and are dismayed (but without despair!) when things go wrong both in and outside the Church; still, this is all “par for the course” as they say. No human-driven immanentizing the eschaton for us! We’re Catholics, not “Twelver” Shia Muslims.

        Anyhow, I don’t know if any of that is relevant to your concerns. Can you help me understand them a bit better…or is that prodding a bit too deeply? (In which case, you still have my prayers.)

    • Bill Russell

        Of various forms of government, plutocracy, democracy, aristocracy, et c, theocracy has seemed ripest for corruption.   The Papal States in the nineteenth century were unsurpassed as a model for bad government, which is why Garibaldi and crew were able to bring them down, however corrupt they may have been themselves. Thank goodness there were no investigative journalists in the Papal States then. -  Ireland is a modern example of the dangers of a clericalist state, with the appalling results we now see.   Perhaps Boston was the most clericalist society on a civic scale in the United States, and it has imploded.  Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

      • William Edmund Fahey

        Dear Mr. Russell,
         
        I believe the financial and military resources given by anti-papal regimes had something to do with Garibaldi’s successes, as well as the fact that the Papal States had long abandoned any serious attempt to maintain a military force, but my article is not a defense of the Papal States.  Today’s portion is a simple look at the development of “Church and State” relations in the U.S.  My point here is that the liberal and anti-religious part of our political tradition typically advances a hard separation between Church and State.  This is not the Catholic position.  With respect to the first and third parts of the essay, I am simply setting out the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church.  I think you and I both agree that History stands as a good corrective to mere rhetoric and ideology.  I find that Catholics in the U.S. are being overwhelmed by rhetoric neither native to their Faith nor beneficial to the well-being of the Country in the long run.  I am not calling for the restoration of the Papal States, and in fact I explicitly reject theocracy.  Regarding the Archdiocese of Boston, I do not think Paul Shanley and company were corrupted by any association with political power, so I do not see the logic of your criticism there.  Clericalism is not the same as a Church that has a traditional position of co-operating with those responsible for leadership in the temporal realm.  The corruption manifest itself in Boston seems quite virulent in places like the Diocese of Palm Beach, a place not at all like Boston.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-R-Schuh/100001894380487 John R Schuh

        The papal states were badly ruled, not because they were clericalist but because they served primarily as a buffer between the pope’s city of Rome and the princes of Italy.  

    • Mima

      Thank you, Dr. Fahey and Crisis.   You’ve given me a valuable “education” of my Faith, and a rational perspective.  I’ll stay tuned for the third part.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-R-Schuh/100001894380487 John R Schuh

      Storey’s commentary is, surprisingly, unknown to the average lawyer.  Natural enough given the positivism of most lawyers, who seldom look backward but always forward to their next client with deep pockets.

    • John O’Brien

      I think it is a mistake to begin with the assumption that the Founding the result of  “the new revolutionary climate of a zealous Protestantism”. The Founding was not revolutionary, but a restoration of the rights of Englishmen. It was  not the invention of something new, novel, or foreign, as was the French Revolution.   Natural Law, not zealous Protesantism (whatever that is) was at its philosophical core. The Quebec Act had to do with the governing of newly aquired Quebec (1763), an area devoid of potential English administrators in need of some adjustments so that local French Catholics could govern. Colonial objections to the Quebec Act had to do with access to the rich lands beyond the Appalachans in the Ohio River Valley that had been denied to the English  colonists by the Line of Proclaimation (1763), lands now seemingly open to French Canadian Catholics to the exclusion of the English colonists of the 13 colonies (1774). Just a reminder, the Federalists argued the Constitution of itself protected religious liberty (the no religious test clause, for example) adequately without a further Bill of Rights.  In order to secure ratification of the Constitution, the promise of a Bill of Rights, with the 1st Ammendment protecting non-establishment of religion by the Federal Government,  among other rights of a free  press and rights of association,  was conceded to the Anti-Federalists  and promised to be first action of the new government when formed.

      While it is true in a cultural sense to say America is a Protestant Country, it is distinctly and factually wrong to suggest it was founded on the principles of Protestantism.

      • William Edmund Fahey

        Dear Mr. O’Brien,
        Thank you for your reflection.  Let me begin with your concluding remark, a kind of thesis to your short review of early American history: “While it is true in a cultural sense to say America is a Protestant Country, it is distinctly and factually wrong to suggest it was founded on the principles of Protestantism.”  I can think of no greater illustration of triumph of a Protestant illusion than to say that one can have political principles and institutions free of the culture in which they were born.  Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that such a statement is the triumph of a kind of secularism.  I am not sure that you will find serious historians, or many historian of any stripe to support your central thesis.

        Now, some particulars.  I agree with you a bit.  Many Americans wrote passionately that theirs was a Revolution to restore rights.  Adams has some wonderful expression that I can’t recall exactly to the effect of the Revolution was a breach of law to re-establish law.  Such an understanding (the “conservative revolution”) was common place among American cold-war Conservative writers and their imitators.  There is some truth to this.  Of course, when you say something like “The Founding was not revolutionary” you are being somewhat ideological and certainly ahistorical.  Those who fought in whatever you wish to call the events on the eastern seaboard of North America from the 1770s through 1780s, and then continued the business of establishing a new nation well into the early 19th century (“the founding”) called what they did a “revolution.”  (Mrs. Mercy Otis Warren, _History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution_ [1805]) is but one of numerous, endless examples.  Thomas Paine certainly was using the expression by 1777; Franklin followed suite; it was common place before the War was over. The men and women of the 18th and 19th century called it a “Revolution.”  I think they knew what they were about.  What do you make of the following remark by perhaps the most conservative of the Founders, John Adams: “The American Revolution was not a common event. Its effects and consequences have already been awful over a great part of the globe. And when and where are they to cease? But what do we mean be the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.” (Letter to Hezekiah Niles, 1818).

        Natural Law.  Well, I would agree that the Colonist thought they were fighting for Natural Rights, but Natural Law… no. Maybe Nature’s Law.  Peter Stanlis (_Burke and Natural Law), Leo Strauss (_Natural Rights and History_), and Murray Rothbard (_The Ethics of Liberty_), and the Founders themselves have convinced me that Natural Right is not the same as Natural Law, though there is some overlap.  To condense: Natural Law looks at man as a social animal and locates his virtuous action within the community; Natural Rights looks at man as an individual and locates his virtue in himself.  The key political thinker loved by the Founders was, of course, John Locke, who developed strands from the early philosophic tradition into a political individualism.  Of course, all that follows after the Catholic culture of the Middle Ages draws upon it, but the Founders did not articulate a love of Natural Law in the way, say a Thomist would use that expression.

        Zealous Protestantism. By “zealous,” I mean spirited, committed, energetic, and enthusiastic.  By “Protestant,” I mean pretty much every part of Christianity other than Catholicism and Orthodoxy.  Take a look at Ronald Knox, _Enthusiasm_ and Louis Bouyer, _The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism_ if you are still not sure.  But perhaps you are trying to point out to me a redundancy?  True, Protestantism is always zealous, when authentic.  By nature it seeks to tear down what stands before it in order to rediscover some pure original state of things.  It combats the “corruptions” of the old, and give birth to the purity of the new.  If you want to dig in deep you could plow through the 1500+ pages (itself only a sampling) of _Political Sermons of the American Founding Era_, edited by Ellis Sandoz.  A nice overview of enthusiastic Protestantism (and concomitant anti-Catholicism) in colonial New England can be found in Thomas Kidd, _The Protestant Interest_ (Yale, 2004).  For a Catholic perspective, Donald D’Elia _The Spirits of ’76_ (Christendom Press, 1983) is worth finding; Gordon Wood’s classic “Conspiracy and the Paranoid Style,” though not entirely focused on Protestantism, does demonstrate the coloring that Evangelical millennialism had on the American ideas and rhetoric of the Colonial and Founding periods; this is reprinted with a number of his essays in _The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States_(Penguin, 2011).  While secularist and Marxist historians of the late 19th and early 20th century tried to deny the fundamental Protestant background to the Founding, that blindness was largely swept away by the middle of the last century.  Harvard Fellow John C. Miller, in his _Origins of the American Revolution_ (Little and Brown, 1943) discussed Protestantism (and anti-Catholicism) as one of three sources of the Revolution.  The following remarks may interest you: “Pope-baiting” and concern over the “execrable conspiracies of English papists” was “grist, grinding steadily in the mills of colonial propagandists, [and] prepared the American mind for the outburst against the Quebec Act and against Great Britain itself as virtually a Roman Catholic Power.  In a world apparently slipping beneath a yoke of Popery, the American patriots were resolved to keep North American a refuge for Protestantism.”  And so on.  Miller does a good job capturing the spirit of what I dubbed “zealous Protestantism.” A fascinating, but very long book on the Protestant context for the founding is Kevin Philips’s _The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, and the Triumph of Anglo-America._ (Basic Books, 1999).  Philips contends that the English Civil War, the American Revolution, and the American Civil War are all a working out of the divisiveness of English Protestantism.

        As to the Quebec Act.  In part, I heartily agree with you.  Part of the Colonial reaction to the Quebec Act, as you say, “had to do with access to the rich lands beyond the Appalachans in the Ohio River Valley.”  The British Crown took those lands which, by and large, had been French territory (including what we now call the Midwest) and kept them as an administrative unit centered north of the St. Lawrence.  A number of men who would soon be identified as “patriots” and “founders” stood to lose quite a bit of money because the imperial spoils system didn’t go the way they wanted—this is particularly true of the Virginian planters.  I did not want to draw attention to the greed and fickleness of these men, as their thwarted financial ambition didn’t play directly into my essay.  I will, however, restore a section of my original essay that I dropped for reasons of space (you will now laugh).  Here it is:
         
         …For those not familiar with the period, King George granted through the Quebec Act of June 1774 that “his Majesty’s subjects, professing the religion of the church of Rome . . . may have, hold, and enjoy the free exercise of the religion of the Church of Rome.”  This formal recognition of the Catholic Faith and the growing tolerance towards Catholicism in the British Empire (outside of Ireland) infuriated many of the American colonists, and the formal “separation of Church and State” could well be considered an outgrowth of this virulent anti-Catholicism.  As Congregationalist minister Ebenezer Baldwin would say upon hearing of the Quebec Act: “Where hath it ever been known that civil and ecclesiastical tyranny and despotism have not yet gone hand in hand together. . . . Those princes on the British throne since the reformation, who have been most disposed to trample upon the rights of the people, and to rule in an arbitrary and despotic manner, have ever caressed the papists and shewn favourable disposition towards the bloody religion of Rome, as that religion is the surest prop to tyranny and despotism.”  In a word, the great fear of Baldwin and other low-church Protestants was that “establishment” of religion was heading towards the colonies. 
         
        In his _Origins and Progress of the American Rebellion_ (1783), the American Loyalist historian Peter Oliver, no great lover of Roman Catholicism, would skewer the men of the Continental Congress for their face with respect to Catholic toleration.  Unlike propagandist like Mercy Warren Otis, Oliver knew in first-hand how much these men reviled Catholics and how much King George’s growing tolerance towards Roman Catholics had been twisted into political cause by both colonists and royal-critics in the British Isles.
         
        The Suffolk Resolves, passed by the Continental Congress in 1774 make the following remark: “That the late act of parliament for establishing the Roman Catholic religion and the French laws in that extensive country, now called Canada, is dangerous in an extreme degree to the Protestant religion and to the civil rights and liberties of all America; and, therefore, as men and Protestant Christians, we are indispensubly obliged to take all proper measures for our security.” 
        I believe these underscore several points of my essay and raise some problems for your particular analysis, but I admit they are just pieces of evidence and there is always more evidence.
         
        I completely agree with your summary point on the interplay between the Federalists and the anti-Federalist, but don’t see how the remark contradicts anything in my article.
         
        I will close by saying that I am not a specialist in the field of Colonial history or the Founding.  I was blessed to be a Salvatori Fellow at the Heritage Foundation—and that gave me a good background in the period and the various modes of historiography.  Really, I am just a history buff, and my family has been in New England since before the Revolution, so I feel a deep interest in learning about these things.
         
        I hope my response clarifies some things.