Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fighting for a theocracy? Fr Spadaro speaks

Vatican II called for a practical ecumenism. In Unitatis redintegratio 12, the Council Fathers proclaimed:

In these days when cooperation in social matters is so widespread, all men without exception are called to work together, with much greater reason all those who believe in God, but most of all, all Christians in that they bear the name of Christ. Cooperation among Christians vividly expresses the relationship which in fact already unites them, and it sets in clearer relief the features of Christ the Servant. This cooperation, which has already begun in many countries, should be developed more and more, particularly in regions where a social and technical evolution is taking place be it in a just evaluation of the dignity of the human person, the establishment of the blessings of peace, the application of Gospel principles to social life...

The official channels of ecumenism, such as the 'ARCIC' talks between Catholic and Anglican theologians, have been spectacular failures in practical, just as in theoretical terms, but this passage is not aimed primarily at such efforts, but at ordinary believers at the coalface, as it were, of social and political activism. Such collaborative efforts must, indeed, be seen in the context of the mission of the laity as expressed in another Vatican II document Apostolicam actuositatem, which also talks about cooperation with 'men of good will' (8, 10, 11), and proposes as a proper role of the laity the attempt (19):

to infuse a Christian spirit into the temporal order
When they see this in action, however, not all of the current generation of churchmen are entirely pleased.

Fr Antonio Spadaro, writing with a Presbyterian minister who, in another heart-warming act of ecumenical collaboration, has been appointed editor of the Argentinian edition of L'Ossovotore Romano (Marcelo Figueroa), finds collaboration between Catholics and Evangelical Christians in the United States extremely disturbing. His description of politically active Evangelical Christians as 'Manichaean' and 'Apocalyptic', and as connected with the 'Prosperity Gospel', must, I think, be set aside as a somewhat misguided hyperbole. So must the stuff about them seeing President Trump as a new Constantine, and their wallowing in racism (er, we're talking about American evangelicals?) and Islamophobia. All the same, he is surely serious when he lists the concrete political aims of this coalition: they have

shared objectives ... around such themes as abortion, same-sex marriage, religious education in schools and other matters generally considered moral or tied to values.

This does indeed have some connection with the real world, though the most politically charged issue of the last American election is missing from the list: that of the freedom to manifest one's religious beliefs.

Fr Spadaro thinks that this rather brief list of concrete political aims is part of:

an ecumenism of conflict that unites them in the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state.

What, exactly, constitutes a theocracy? I always thought 'theocracy' referred to 'rule by priests', or by some equivalent, specialised religious elite, and I suppose the role of the Shi'ite clergy in the constitution of Iran might be an example, though even Iran obviously isn't a pure theocracy. There are some historical cases of such things, though not terribly many. But Fr Spadaro seems to have something quite different in view: simply a country where the Natural Law is observed on such matters and abortion and same-sex marriage.

This raises the question of what a nation would be like whose 'temporal order' was 'infused' by 'the Gospel spirit'. Would it permit the killing of the unborn? The adoption of children without regard for their psychological need for a mother and father? Easy divorce and no-questions-asked remarriage? These are, after all, questions not of the Divine Law imposed upon and known to Christians through Revelation, but the Natural Law knowable by all. 

It is not difficult to imagine what Fr Spadaro would say. He sees the 'spirit of the Gospel' through the lens of political liberalism, as do many mainstream Catholic and Protestant liberals. Ask any liberal Catholic whether Jesus Christ would have approved of legal restrictions on divorce and adultery, and they will insist that he would not. Ask them if they thought that Christ would have wanted abortion to be legal, and they generally become evasive. There is absolutely no historical or theological justification for such views, since Our Lord lived in a society shaped by the moral legislation of the Old Law and demanded stricter, not looser, standards for his own followers (Matthew 5:19 and following). But that is the liberal Christian mindset.

Liberal Christianity has no discernible political influence, except in fostering the political ambivalence of nominally Christian voters. The Evangelical / conservative Catholic collaboration may, perhaps, be of some political weight, on the other hand. I am reminded of C.S. Lewis remarking (in his essay on 'Chrisian Reunion'):

I have, however, a strong premonition as to the way in which reunion will not come. It will not come at the edges. 'Liberal' Romans and 'high' Anglicans will not be the ones who meet first. For the odd thing is that the nearer you get to the heart of each communion, the less you notice its difference from the other.

It's not just that liberal Romans and High Anglicans did and still do cordially dislike each other. Lewis' point is that it is when Catholics and Evangelicals come to appreciate the depth and strength of each others' Christian Faith that reunion becomes conceivable, not when they are united in leaving their own traditions behind, because that doesn't actually give them anything in common. Again, liberals of different ecclesial groups who have no theological objections to each other equally have no interest or incentive in seeking a visible unity.

But Fr Spadaro might care to consider another aspect of the practical ecumenism of US politics: that Evangelicals and conservative Catholics alike saw Hillary Clinton as a threat to their very existence. As Lewis Carroll wrote ('The Hunting of the Snark'):

But the valley grew narrow and narrower still,
And the evening got darker and colder,
Till (merely from nervousness, not from good will)
They marched along shoulder to shoulder.

Update: this post by Tim Stanley on the Spadaro article is worth reading.

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1 comment:

  1. Catholics needs to work for the separation of State and secularism and the non separation of Church and State even if opposed by Fr.Spadero s.j and the Vatican
    Fr.Antonio Spadero in La Civilita Cattolica does not support the Social Reign of Jesus Christ the King over all political legislation.Catholic laity need to do the opposite.Even if they are opposed by the Vatican.Support the Social Reign of Christ the King leading to a theocracy hated and feared by the leftsists, socialists, communists, liberals, satanists and Satan himself.
    Catholics need to work for a separation of secularism and state.There should be a separation of leftist ideology and the State.It is clear that the Left is of Satan and is being supported by La Civita Cattolica and the present magisterium of Pope Franics.Perhaps they are being threathen and lied to by the enemies of the Church.
    The leftist ideology seeks freedom only for the things of Satan or what Satan would approve directly or indirectly.Fr.Spadero has to obey to stay at La Civilita Cattolica.He supports the non separation of the State and the leftist ' religion'.Instead he should oppose their immorality, support for abortion, contraception, restrictions on Judeo Christian values etc.Immorality must be separated from the Government.
    Why vote for the leftists or the right wing when both are the creation of secularism.Secularism is sectarian and discriminatory.It represents one particular lobby.
    Instead with Feeneyite Vatican Council II the Catholic Church affirms the Social Reign of Christ the King.
    Feeneyite extra ecclesiam nulla salus (EENS) is a foundational dogma. Upon it is also based the traditional teaching on the Social Reign of Christ the King over all political legislation and the non separation of Church and state.
    Since there is no known salvation outside the Church, all political and social legislation must be focused on Jesus as he is known in the Catholic Church.This is a priority for salvation.
    When Catholics accept the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus as it was interpreted by Fr. Leonard Feeney then Vatican Council II would pastorally be in harmony with Tradition.This was observed by a Polish Catholic, on Gloria TV.He made the connection between Vatican Council II(Feeneyite) and the Fr. Leonard Feeney case.Catholics do not know about it.Since Fr.Antonio Spadero and the leftist media will not tell them about it.
    For Fr. Leonard Feeney there were no exceptions to the dogma EENS. The baptism of desire etc were not relevant or exceptions.This is the reasoning we need to adopt with Vatican Council II.It is a fact of life. There are no known exceptins.There cannot be any exception in 2017.
    With the Feeneyite approach, the centuries-old approach, Vatican Council II has a continuity with the dogma EENS, the Syllabus of Errors, the Catechism of Pope Pius X (Feeneyite),the Catechism of the Catholic Church(Feeneyite) and the rest of Tradition.All these magisterial documents are interpreted with hypothetical cases not being explicit in the present times.So we are back to the old ecclesiology which supported a Catholic theocracy.

    The Vatican, which is continously threathened by the Left
    does not support in any way the few Catholic political organisations which affirm the Social Reign of Christ the King over all political legislation.In Italy they are Militia Christi and Forza Nuova.Instead the Vatican supports the ideology of the leftist Partito Democratico, whose leaders are reportedly Masons and Communists.They interpret Vatican Council II with an irrational premise to create a non traditional conclusion which is a rupture with Tradition.1
    Vatican Council II actually says all need faith and baptism for salvation(AG 7).All. So it is a priority that all people enter the Catholic Church, to avoid the fires of Hell.This aspect of Vatican Council II would be scary for Fr.Spadero.Extra ecclesiam nulla salus is the foundation for a theocracy. The Masons know it.