Monday, July 21, 2008

Purpose and intended audience of this web log ('blog')

I have started this blog out of frustration at the vast majority of Catholic, and even ostensibly Traditional, bloggers who will rail against 'secularism' while appearing to be quite content with its key tenets, including:
  • the separation of Church and State
  • the freedom of citizens to disseminate heresy and foment schism
  • liberal democracy
  • 'multiculturalism'

I fail to see how any of these principles is compatible with the Social Reign of Christ; in fact, they constitute what one might call the Social Reign of Pontius Pilate, with the State purporting to be neutral at the same time as it promotes grave injustice, permitting all manner of sociopaths and degenerates to prosper. Those who think that secular, liberal democracy can be 'redeemed' in some sense merely by tinkering around the edges (e.g., anti-abortion and anti-'gay marriage' laws or constitutional reform, getting more Catholics into Parliament, lobbying) are seriously deluded; they have succumbed to the great Catholic double-think of our day, in which secularism (once called 'Americanism' but now globalised) is simultaneously denounced and accomodated.

It goes without saying that the other ideologies of the twentieth century (Nazism, Communism, the Social Reign of Barabbas, if you will) are likewise incompatible with Christ's Social Kingship. The alternative to all this madness is nothing new; it was practised and taught for some fifteen hundred years before that ignoble document Dignitatis Humanæ repudiated it. I am speaking, of course, of the Confessional State, in which:

  • The State confesses Christ, i.e., Christianity (viz. Catholicism) is the State Religion
  • The Church of Christ (viz., the Catholic Church) is the Established Church
  • The State authorities co-operate with the national hierarchy, at a minimum by majority membership of the Ordinaries in Parliament's house of review

Now this is not to identify the Social Reign of Christ with the Confessional State, any more than secular humanism can, strictly speaking, be identified with secular, liberal democracy, but it is to recognise that the Confessional State provides the best conditions for the Social Reign of Christ to flourish. Of course, the Confessional State will not be restored overnight, so in the meantime I hope to offer trenchant observations on the ills of a society, indeed a world, sick with relativism, positivism and utilitarianism, and to raise the alarm when malefactors try to smuggle these twisted values aboard the Barque of Peter.

Intended audience:

This blog welcomes Catholics, whether Traditional or not, as well as heretics, schismatics, apostates and infidels; in a word, everyone. Just as the U.S. Army defends democracy without practising it, so to do I defend censorship without practising it, except in the case of blasphemy or foul language. Please try to keep your comments on-topic, though if you have another topic that you would like me to blog on, then let me know. And unlike at certain other blogs, which have degenerated into mutual admiration societies, I want vigorous discussion, not obsequious flatterers.

Reginaldvs Cantvar

Cardinalis Polvs


Cardinal Pole said...


Anonymous said...

Indeed. It is really not that hard to see where you're coming from. I once blogged that Australia is an Atheistic Confessional state (in spite of the constitution, which says we are a nation under God).

When I realised this, I realised, also, that I would rather live in a Catholic Confessional state.

I havev not yet read Dignitatis Humanae, but will obviously have to include it on my list.

I'm not sure we can become a Catholic Confessional State before the conversion of large numbers of our population. So, what to do in the meantime?

Finally, although I'm not rabidly into the "separation of Church and state" secularist dogma, it would be of interest to me if you would enlarge upon this. My understanding of such a separation is merely the avoidance of a true theocracy (ie priests should not be in civil governance, though Catholics certainly should) and also so that the Church is free of guvvermint interference. Also, to my mind, this understanding of the relationship between Church and State is founded upon the Gospel; "render unto Caesar... etc."

Are you happy to expound further, Your Eminence?

Anonymous said...

My blog post

Cardinal Pole said...

"Are you happy to expound further, Your Eminence?"

Of course! But just call me 'Canterbury', or, if you prefer, 'Pole'.

You are right that Australia is, to all intents and purposes, an atheist Confessional State, with evolution taught in schools (substituting for salvation history and eschatology), Aboriginal rituals at all major State (and even spiritual) occasions (substituting for religious ceremonies), and so on. The next phase will be offering non-Christian 'ethics' or 'philosophy' courses to schoolchildren to rival Scripture classes (see here

and the comments here

One can well imagine the kind of 'ethics' that will be taught: preference utilitarianism or secular/evolutionary humanism, in a word, relativism.

As for the separation of Church and State, this is a false doctrine that deposes the Church from Her rightful supremacy. Just because there is indeed a differentiation of powers between Church and State does not mean that there should be any kind of separation of them. We can verify this both from the State's point-of-view (the State's proper end is the temporal common good, and this is perfected only in the Catholic social order) and from the Church's point of view (the State is indirectly subordinate to the Church, and owes the Church the 'cura religionis' or 'ministerial function'). Thus there should be mutual concord and unanimity of action between Church and State. I am thinking of writing a lengthy review of Msgr. Lefebvre's 'Religious Liberty Questioned' that would sum all this up.

As for 'render unto Cæsar ...' I see this more as a general injunction to detach oneself from the things of this world rather than a distillation of Catholic social teaching, which is developed more fully in St. Paul's Letters. (It is worth bearing in mind also that Our Lord was speaking, presumably, of taxation for revenue rather than taxation as a behavioural (dis)incentive. What would He make of the 'Carbon Trading' impost with which we are about to be burdened?)

Anonymous said...

What would He make of the 'Carbon Trading' impost with which we are about to be burdened?

Only the Good Lord knows!

Thankyou for these reflections, Pole, they are most enlightening.

Finally, though, in practice, surely Australia could only become a confessional state after most of the population is converted? How else could it come about?

It would, though, be something which Catholics should be aware of.

Terra said...


Good to see you blogging, and an excellent start.

I too am interested in hearing more on your rationale for having bishops in the house of review - isn't this really an Anglo-centric concept, and one more appropriate to a protestant sensiblity than a catholic one? The English bishops were surely originally in the house of Lords because of their secular role (as large landowners) than their religious one?

I agree the Church wants to entrench in some way the right to judge what the state does, but I wonder if that isn't better done at arm's length in some way. I'm not arguing for a rigorous separation of Church and State, but I do some advantages in models that make it clear where the lines broadly are - for example, bishops, as a general principle shouldn't act as the Loyal Opposition to the Government, but rather provide advice on principles and if necessary condemnation! Likewise the we surely don't want to see caesaro-papism rearing its head.

Cardinal Pole said...

Firstly, Louise:

I can agree that, if a Catholic Confessional State is to be established securely, then it is probably necessary that there be a certain 'critical mass' of Catholics in the populace. Notwithstanding this, the State still derives her authority from God, not her subjects, and therefore owes God His recognition.

Secondly, Terra:

It is probably right that my opinion on an episcopal presence in the upper house reflects my Anglophile tendencies (and I think you're right about the origins of the Lords Spirituals' presence in the House of Lords being based on land ownership (as much as one-third of England, as I recall)), but nonetheless, I think that having the Ordinaries in the upper house--not necessarily with a mandate of their own as a loyal opposition, but at least being able to exercise a legislative veto--would be a move favourable to the common good and public morality. We can joke from time to time about the inadequacy of certain of our own Lords Spiritual, but at least they could be relied on to vote against:
pro-abortion laws
'gay marriage'
and the horrifying 'human-animal hybrids' laws that we see in the U.K.

Cardinal Pole said...

Two more things, Terra:

1) Does this mean that I am welcome to comment on your blog? (I have been itching to do so but have refrained since ... well ... you know)

2)Why does having the Ordinaries in the upper house suggest to you a "protestant sensiblity"? The contrary was what occurred to me, since it originated during Catholic times, and it was in England under the Protestants (first the Henrician Anglicans, then the later, overtly Protestant ones) that the legislative power of the Lords Spiritual began to decline after its zenith.

Terra said...

1. On commenting on by blog. Certainly! I haven't banned anyone (yet), but I reserve the right to reject individual comments that don't comply with the guidelines I've suggested or are off-topic.

2. On Protestant sensibilities. My view is that the reformation led to the reinvention (picking up on the direction where the Orthodox had gone) of the absolute monarchy, where there was no distinction between Church and State, and State had rights to regulate the Church. The Western model has always seen some distinction, with for example the state agreeing to enforce Church court decisions, but with the two legal systems being essentially separate. The times when the lines have been crossed have generally led to less than wonderful results (consider for exampel the Spanish, as opposed to Roman Inquisition).

As for vetoeing laws - the traditional solution for those who pas immoral laws has been to excommunicate them (as St Ambrose did to the then Emperor, and St Gregory VII likewise to Henry IV) and if necessary urge loyal catholics to rebel against their heretic rulers (as per Elizabeth).