Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Some points of Traditional socio-political doctrine

1 On the relationship between Christ the King and the State
1.1 ERROR: "the best plan for public society, and civil progress absolutely requires that human society be established and governed with no regard to religion, as if it did not exist, or at least, without making distinction between the true and the false religions." Quanta Cura, Dz. 1689
1.2 ERROR: “The laws of morals by no means need divine sanction, and there is not the least need that human laws conform to the natural law, or receive the power of binding from God.” Syllabus Errorum, no. 56
1.3 The State can recognise that God exists, that Christ is God and that the Catholic Church is His Church (Immortale Dei §6, Libertas §21)
1.4 Recognising that the State derives its blessings, its authority and its very existence from Christ, the State must, in justice, do Him homage (Immortale Dei §6, Libertas §21)

2 On the relationship between Christ’s Church and the State
2.1 ERROR: "the best plan for public society, and civil progress absolutely requires that human society be established and governed with no regard to religion, as if it did not exist, or at least, without making distinction between the true and the false religions." Quanta Cura, Dz. 1689
2.2 ERROR: “The Church is to be separated from the state, and the state from the Church.” Syllabus Errorum, no. 55
2.3 The State must not only not hinder the Church in her mission, but also positively assist her (Immortale Dei §6, Libertas §21)
2.4 This is because the highest good of the State’s subjects is their salvation (Immortale Dei §6, Libertas §21) and also because of the temporal blessings that follow from promoting the Church’s mission (Immortale Dei §1, 19)
2.5 There is a differentiation of the powers of the Church and of the State (Immortale Dei §10, 13, 14) (though the State’s purpose, the common good, is indirectly subordinate to the Church’s purpose, the salvation of souls—Immortale Dei §6, Libertas §21) and the Church has exclusive competence in sacred matters (Immortale Dei §11).
2.6 But ideally there should not be a separation of powers (Immortale Dei §14, 21, 22, Libertas §18, 38, Longinqua Oceani §6).
2.7 The union of Church and State is like the union between body and soul (Immortale Dei §14, Libertas §18, 38)
2.8 The union of Church and State is ideally one in which there is “between these two powers a certain orderly connection, which may be compared to the union of the soul and body in man (Immortale Dei §14)”, that Church and State should be “happily united in concord and friendly interchange of good offices (Immortale Dei §21)”, that between the two there should be “complete harmony” (Immortale Dei §35).
2.9 Successful Church-State relations during the Middle Ages exemplify this ideal (Immortale Dei §21, 22)
2.10 Union of Church and State is desirable for the individual good of the State’s subjects (Immortale Dei §6, Libertas §21), for the common good (Immortale Dei §6, Libertas §21, though with limitations to be described in §4.3 of this post), and because of the frequent overlap between civil and sacred matters (Immortale Dei §14, §35, Libertas §18)

3 Condemnation of modern errors
3.1 ERROR: "liberty of conscience and of worship is the proper right of every man, and should be proclaimed and asserted by law in every correctly established society; that the right to all manner of liberty rests in the citizens, not to be restrained by either ecclesiastical or civil authority; and that by this right they can manifest openly and publicly and declare their own concepts, whatever they be, by voice, by print, or in any other way." Described as “insanity”, Quanta Cura, Dz. 1690
3.2 ERROR: “The will of the people, manifested as they say by public opinion, or in some other way, constitutes the supreme law, freed from all divine and human right; and, that deeds consummated in the political order, by the very fact that they have been consummated, have the force of right.” Quanta Cura, Dz. 1691
3.2 ERROR: “The laws of morals by no means need divine sanction, and there is not the least need that human laws conform to the natural law, or receive the power of binding from God.” Syllabus Errorum, no. 56
3.3 ERROR: “. Other powers should not be recognized except those which have their basis in the material (physical side of man), and all moral discipline and honesty should be employed to accumulate and increase wealth in any way whatsoever, and to satisfy man's pleasures.” Syllabus Errorum, no. 58
3.4 ERROR: “Right consists in a physical fact; all the duties of men are an empty name, and all human deeds have the force of right.” Syllabus Errorum, no. 59
3.5 ERROR: “Authority is nothing more than numbers and the sum of material strengths.” Syllabus Errorum, no. 60.
3.6 Leo XIII reiterated the teaching of Bl. Pius IX in condemning the principles of democracy and liberalism (Immortale Dei §24, 25, 26 and 32), particularly the false liberties of worship (Libertas §20, 21), speech (Libertas §23) and conscience (Libertas §30).

4 On the relationship between offenders of the Catholic religion and the State
4.1 ERROR: "the best condition of society is the one in which there is no acknowledgment by the government of the duty of restraining, by established penalties, offenders of the Catholic religion, except insofar as the public peace demands.” Quanta Cura, Dz. 1689
4.2 ERROR: “For it is false that the civil liberty of every cult, and likewise, the full power granted to all of manifesting openly and publicly any kind of opinions and ideas, more easily leads to the corruption of the morals and minds of the people, and to the spread of the evil of indifferentism.” Syllabus Errorum, no. 79
4.3 Leo XIII teaches that ideally whatever “is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law” (Libertas §32), but that the State’s higher purpose is not repression of error, but the common good, so it may tolerate offences against the Catholic religion if it expects by this tolerance to procure a greater benefit to the common good or avert a greater damage to the common good (Immortale Dei §36, Libertas §33).
4.4 Nonetheless, “to judge aright, we must acknowledge that, the more a State is driven to tolerate evil, the further is it from perfection; and that the tolerance of evil which is dictated by political prudence should be strictly confined to the limits which its justifying cause, the public welfare, requires.” (Libertas §34, cf. Longinqua Oceani §6)

5 And the summary of the summary: the best conditions for society are when the State honours Christ, unites itself to and co-operates with His Church, and restrains offenders of the Catholic religion. But if, in the prevailing circumstances, there is a departure from one or more of these conditions then departures from the other conditions may be tolerated as well.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Blaise, Bishop, Martyr, A.D. 2009

4 comments:

Louise said...

IOW, since things are so bad now (although they could deteriorate far worse still) there are many things which we must put up with, for the sake of the common good. And so, our efforts to restrain the encroaching evils must be largely at the edges (eg "gay marriage," gay adoption, restrictions on abortion etc) in an effort to contain the evil and then roll it back. Is that right?

If this happens simultaneously with evangelisation, so that more and more people come back to or into the Church, or deepen their faith and understanding, then slowly we can work towards a more ideal society, wherein the Kingship of Christ can eventually truly be seen?

Am I right in thinking that a Consitutional Democracy would be alright provided membership in the Parliament be restricted to practicing Catholics and where a formal relationship between Church and State exists?

Cardinal Pole said...

"IOW, since things are so bad now (although they could deteriorate far worse still) there are many things which we must put up with, for the sake of the common good. And so, our efforts to restrain the encroaching evils must be largely at the edges (eg "gay marriage," gay adoption, restrictions on abortion etc) in an effort to contain the evil and then roll it back. Is that right?

"If this happens simultaneously with evangelisation, so that more and more people come back to or into the Church, or deepen their faith and understanding, then slowly we can work towards a more ideal society, wherein the Kingship of Christ can eventually truly be seen?"

Precisely right.

Regarding your last paragraph: democracy is a legitimate form of government, but not a legitimate principle of government (the State's authority comes from God, not the populace). The precise features of that form of democracy might be different in different circumstances; it's a matter of a prudential judgement about which would conduce most to the common good in the given circumstances. Many different forms of government are legitimate, so long as they preserves the underlying principles: that the State's authority is from God, conferred for the care of the common good.

Cardinal Pole said...

"preserve", not "preserves", that should be.

Louise said...

democracy is a legitimate form of government, but not a legitimate principle of government

Yes, I see the difference, thankyou. Well, I can only say that if I have understood you properly, it must be because you set out the argument so well.