Catholicism and Nationalism Do Not Really Mix – UPDATED

The neighborhood where I grew up was a block of “mutts”, and my own family boasted Irish-Italian-English-Scots-German muttage, but if you asked any of us “what are you?” the answer, our answer would have been “Catholic” and our Catholicism precluded all of our other labels, including “American.” Our culture was American, yes, but it was first-and-foremost “Catholic”. We didn’t have a flag hanging out the door, but we had a Saint Jude on the doorstep, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the kitchen. While we were not a particularly “holy” bunch — there were no daily communicants among us and when we went to confession of a Saturday we didn’t have to invent any sins — even so our every day was shot-through with Catholicism. It was the central reference of our lives; whether at school or work or play, whatever was happening of a moment could be instantly connected to our faith, whether it be a consciousness of sin, a wide-eyed gasp at a God-created creature or sunset, a lost coin that had us calling “Tony, Tony, look around…”

We were American, yes, but we were Catholic first. Not American-Catholics but Catholics who happened to be Americans. Patriots, yes — all of the men in my family served in the armed forces and political issues were discussed seriously, campaigns were volunteered-for and votes were cast with great pride — but even so, Catholics first.

That has changed, obviously, for most Catholics, and over at his blog, Father Dwight Longenecker is running a very good series that looks at how our changing sense of ourselves — evolved from Catholics in America to American Catholics — is weakening the church and our own faith. He calls it What is Killing American Catholicism?.

From Part I:

I’m all for cultural customs and so forth, but the problem is that the immigrant Catholics–in a foreign land–clung to their culture for security and happiness and part of that culture was their Catholicism. The didn’t distinguish their culture from their Catholicism. Then, after a few generations, when they were all really American and stopped being Italian or Irish or German they also stopped being Catholic. The Catholic faith wasn’t much deeper than Mama’s special spaghetti sauce or stories of the Blarney stone.

Of course they didn’t all stop being Catholic. Something else happened which was even more subtle and insidious. They became Americans and because their mindset was that their Catholic faith was something which blended with their culture, instead of being Italian-Catholics or Polish Catholics they became American Catholics. Just as nationalism and love of culture blended with their Catholic faith when they were ethnic minorities, now it blended seamlessly with their new American culture. Just as Catholicism gave their former culture God’s approval, not their Catholicism gave American values and culture God’s approval.

Thus we have what I call AmChurch: the American Catholic church which is happily and blissfully blended with everything wonderful about America. Except that the “wonderful” values of most Americans are unapologetically materialistic, hedonistic and self centered. Thus at least 50% of American Catholics live like their American neighbors–going to the mall, getting as much stuff as possible, giving as little as possible, having a neat and tidy two children and a double income, and basically smiling their way to success like everyone else.

This is no benign situation. America is certainly a great nation but we Catholics have begun to forget that all nations pass and governments evolve away from their founding ideals, but the church goes on. What Longenecker is talking about is something more and more Catholics are thoughtfully musing on, as does Russell Shaw in his book, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America which I wrote about here and at First Things:

Shaw argues that the present struggles of the Church to be who she is amid governmental mandates and the ascendant “state religion” of secular humanism are the legacy of Baltimore’s Cardinal James Gibbons and other early churchmen who found America to be so accommodating to religion as to warrant a reciprocal accommodation to nationalism.

Thus was born the notion of American Catholicism—something broader, less provincial than the Irish-Catholic or German-Catholic or Italian-Catholic cultural models—Catholicism, fully assimilated into a new age and era; e pluribus unum, comfortable with new customs and ready to travel with them.

Shaw notes that for a long while, this made sense, and politically, economically, and socially it carried Catholics far. Yet the early Americanization of the Church, writes Shaw, “included not just (as is commonly said) the idea that American-style separation of church and state supplied a model for adoption by the Church everywhere, but also a subjective, individualistic approach to Church doctrine and discipline widely present among American Catholics now.”

That is where Father Dwight appears to be heading as in Part II of his series he begins to sketch out some specifics:

Too many American Catholics have soaked up the materialistic spirit of the American age totally uncritically. They have chosen the way of materialism, hedonism, utilitarianism and consumerism, and this has dulled their commitment to Christ and the gospel. What are all these “ism’s”? Materialism is not simply buying lots of stuff at the mall. It is also a philosophy that the physical world is really all that matters. This translates into an attitude about the church in which all that matters is the good works of feeding the poor and doing peace and justice. While these things are important–to focus on them alone makes the church, (as Pope Francis says) no more than an NGO–just another charity.

You’ll want to keep an eye out for additions to the series — perhaps subscribe to is RSS feed.

I think in this Year of Faith, we do well to ponder the threat to our souls when we too-nearly connect the temporal things of nationalism and ideology to the eternal thing of holiness and religion, or, even worse, when we displace what is of primal importance: the worship of God and our fitness for heaven, with an over-attention to the vagaries and illusions of our ever-passing age.

In fact, someone ought to write a book about that.

Oh, wait… ;-)

UPDATE: Jeff Miller reviews Shaw’s book here

Related:
Exile: The Past is Prologue

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Victor Savard

    (((In fact, someone ought to write a book about that.)))

    I was planning on writing a book about that when our Canadian Federal Elections starts but still no one has sent me that million U.S. dollar that sinner vic asks for NOW!

    As for your new book Anchoress, I almost bought “IT” last night but as I was just about to pay for the book me, myself and I remembered that today my wife had birthday and spent all my money on her gift instead. Truth be known, “I” remembered that “ME”, “ME” and “ME” would have to read “IT” and you know that “I” don’t read books yet!

    I tried my luck at recording but sinner vic made me sound like the dog year that “I” was born in and long story short this “ONE TAKE” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyewa3dc7Z8 was all that even sinner vic was prepared to suffer through if YA know what “I” mean folks?

    Come on Anchoress, you know where am headed and Father Dwight appears to be heading well YA know NOW? http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=18142394&postID=2414475152680413798

    Peace

  • Win Nelson

    :) Guilt can be helpful, it’s a grace to understand where we fail and what we have to work on. It’s probably not right to treat a person as a statistic, but it’s also true that all of us fall short, which is why God’s love and mercy are so wonderful and how prayer can and does transform us if only we open our hearts.

  • http://twitter.com/GG84P BHappy

    I have to admit this post made me rather angry. I look around my parish and see so many giving, loving people. In the last 20 years we have built and paid for a new church, school and parish center because our old church was falling apart and filled to capacity every weekend. Our daily Mass chapel is so full each day that people often have to carry chairs in from the hall.
    I watched the hundreds of thousands who came to Washington D.C, for the Walk for Life, mostly Catholics. We are a giving, loving people. Do we care about our country? Of course, we vote, we contribute to charities, we are foster parents, we pray at abortion clinics…
    I see so many young families at my parish. Young couples that are seeking to raise their children in the church. Why are we always beating each other up instead of looking at what is good in the American Catholic Church? Its always easier to ring one’s hands and say Woe is Me. Let’s celebrate and encourage what the Holy Spirit is doing in our Church and among our people. He is always renewing, always enlightening. Let’s move forward with him and stop looking back at the good old days. I was there, they weren’t that good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001299617319 Terry Carlino

    Great, my parish does those kinds of activities too, and yet when I ask how many voted for and support the political party whose platform espouses the intrinsic evils of abortion and same-sex “marriage” I find far too many doing so. When I ask those who don’t, how they can support the use of “enhanced” interrogation techniques or the death penalty I again find way too many willing to make a secular based argument of why its alright to do that, in contradiction to the latest thinking of the Church on these matters.
    It’s not about how many people we send to the March for Life or even how many charities we give too. It’s certainly not about the supposed “good old days”, its about the Church in America thinking that its about the good old days or how much we do for charity or the unborn, all good things in themselves, rather than eternity and where we’re going to spend it.

  • http://twitter.com/GG84P BHappy

    Ah yes, we are an imperfect people living in an imperfect world. We have to vote our consciences to the best of our abilities. Its difficult. We see things we like and dislike in both parties. So, is the answer to be above the fray and not be involved. Very, very few people suffer the death penalty, except in abortion clinics.
    We are talking about whether or not the church is alive. Do we trust the Holy Spirit? Do we trust Jesus who said He would never leave us or foresake us? We are human beings, living in a fallen world. The church’s mission is to see us safely through the battles we face and to lead others to the path of salvation,peace, and joy.
    All of these “sins” have been with us from the fall, we just have more access to information now and we are overwhelmed by it. Our task is to trust in God and to show the world a better way. Through our commitment to Christ we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us.
    I

  • Peggy M

    I am so disgusted with the current state of our culture that I find it easy to turn my back on America. I am consciously orienting my life (my mindset, my POV, etc.) to “citizenship” in the church, so that if asked what I am, I will say “Catholic” and not “American”.

    I have a patriotic friend who says that he has not lost hope in America—he says he loves the country, but not the government. I don’t know that i would make that distinction. I think it is always a mistake to put too much faith in princes and other temporal things.

    I look forward to reading Fr. Dwight’s series, as it might help get me a visa out of here.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    “I’m all for cultural customs and so forth, but the problem
    is that the immigrant Catholics–in a foreign land–clung to their culture for
    security and happiness and part of that culture was their Catholicism. The
    didn’t distinguish their culture from their Catholicism. Then, after a few
    generations, when they were all really American and stopped being Italian or
    Irish or German they also stopped being Catholic. The Catholic faith wasn’t
    much deeper than Mama’s special spaghetti sauce or stories of the Blarney
    stone.”

    I read Fr. Longenecker’s piece and yours here yesterday
    and have had a night to sleep on it.
    With the line of thinking that our individual ethnic identities have
    undermined our Catholicism, I’ve come to the conclusion that I wholeheartedly
    disagree.

    What Fr. Longenecker is identifying are concurrent
    situations, ethnic minorities blending into the overarching culture and the diminishment
    of Catholicism in the nation. They are
    not, in my opinion, causal in nature.
    Why? There are two pieces of data
    that Father is not taking into account. (1)
    Over the same time, all religions in the US have lost vibrancy, Protestants,
    Judaism, Orthodox. The most vibrant are
    the Evangelicals who are the most nationalistic. (2) European countries, which have a much
    more uniform demographic, lacking the hybrid identities, have lost religious
    vibrancy at an even greater rate than in the US. That would be the opposite of Fr. Longenecker’s
    argument. I would argue the opposite of
    Father’s argument, that our ethnic identities maintained our Catholicism and
    postponed the great demise of religion overall.
    Why? Because our identities,
    wrapped together between ethnic and Catholicism, provided sacrementals (as
    defined in 1668 in the CCC) which bound
    us to our faith. Sacrementals such as
    the feast of San Janero (or other of the myriad Italian feasts) or yes
    spaghetti sauce or the Blarney Stone.

    The reasons why Catholicism has diminished in vibrancy is the same reason all religions in the Western world have diminished. Religion has been losing the argument since the Enlightenment over whether a metaphysical world exists. The argument of an empirical based understanding as the sole basis of conceptualizing the world has won out because science keeps supporting empirical physics. Metaphysics can only argue through reason, and given all the false reasonings that are possible, reason based arguments don’t carry the same weight as empiricism.

    The reason why we have in this past generation seen such a drop in religious faith is because of the sexual revolution of fifty years ago. Now I would argue that the average person wouldn’t care about physics and metaphysical arguments. But when a culture has been “liberated” sexually and believe that sexual exploration is not just justifiable but beneficial, then those that oppose the sexual revolution stand in opposition to what is pleasurable and beneficial. Christianity and Judaism stand in opposition, and those that seek a reason to turn away from their religions can find it in the empirical argument. There’s a third reason too in that the world has become smaller and other religions are very much in our reach. The question that all religions have a hard time answering is why is your religion the true revelation when the other guys claim the same thing? The lack of a clear argument makes people throw their hands up and say it’s all made up. Now I don’t believe that. I believe Christianity is true and that Catholicism is the proper form of living Christianity, but I can see why others don’t.

  • valleys of neptune

    Not a bad one. But even popes are shaped by their ethnic and national background. Francis has already expressed views on the Falkland Islands that are fairly normal for Argentinians to hold, but are entirely wrong and can’t make the slightest pretence of having a valid basis, and can only be explained as a statement of nationalism.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/falkland-islands-david-cameron-rebukespope-francis-with-white-smoke-jibe-8537014.html

    (Granted, he seems to accept that these are just his opinions and he won’t do anything to try and bring this state of affairs around, but the point is that’s what he thinks).

    Benedict, meanwhile, was not only thoroughly German but belonged politically to the tradition ot Christian Democracy which has traditionally been the main alternative to (my own preference) social democracy in Europe. It is actually the philosophy of the current German government and is far more Catholic than Anglo-American conservatism. Does anyone remember how much his statements on economic issues used to outrage right-wing Americans? And then you’ve got the fact that John Paul was Polish in every possible sense.

    You wouldn’t really want to say that the Catholic church has done any better than the allegedly international and united Anglican church in transcending national boundaries. Unless you’re going to totally overhaul your life it’s very difficult to abide by or even grasp the idea of a world religion.

    (I used to be called “dry valleys” a while back. But I couldn’t really think of anything to say for several months, although I carried on reading)

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I apoligize for the way the lines posted. I wrote my comment up in Word and pasted it in. I never had a problem with your old comment box system but apparently Disqus is different.

  • Norcalo

    The country scares me. The Church is better.

  • Strife

    ‘My country, right or wrong,’ is a thing that no patriot would
    think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, ‘My
    mother, drunk or sober.’ -G.K.Chesterton

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Agreed up to a point- but I will never see the sexual revolution as being justified empirically. It creates too much chaos.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    For that matter, 98% of Catholics voted for the lesser evil- but still voted for evil. The Republicans may not support abortion, same sex marriage and euthanasia, but instead they support usury, union destruction, unjust wages, and no-fault divorce.

  • Imp the Vladaler

    Love Chesterton; always hated that quote.

    “My mother, drunk or sober”? Damn right. She’s still your mother. The Fourth Commandment doesn’t get repealed when Mom goes on a bender.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    I no longer believe that Catholicism is compatible with the Constitution; or that one can participate in what America has become and remain Catholic.

    The usury of the poor in our financial institutions, the widespread withholding of wages for labor performed, the genocide of abortion, the prevalence of no-fault divorce, the widespread use of contraception and shocking lack of generosity for the next generation, the advent of same sex marriage, and finally the current interpretation of the First Amendment restricting religion to mere private affairs, all are against Catholicism. And all exist in the Constitution, supposedly, according to various judges.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    But isn’t “totally overhaul your life” exactly what Christ calls us to do?

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    As an added prefatory note, Bl. Pius XII really disliked the word Catholicism
    because he considered that it put our holy religion, founded upon and
    guided by the self-revelation of God Almighty, to a mere ideology, the
    work of a human crank, reducing everything to one very silly thing or
    another, like economic class conflict or sexual urges. He did not like
    to hear “Catholicism” added in with a list of terms like “nationalism,
    Marxism, nihilism, millenarianism, Catholicism, and fatalism.” It’s not
    the same kind of thing. That saintly pope’s point was that our Christian
    faith and our Catholic Church stand over the world, serving it not only
    from below, by tending the poor, but also from above, by proclaiming to
    it God’s pronouncement upon its thoughts, words, and deeds. Christian
    faith, Catholic religion, are not ideologies. They are the standard by
    which mere ideologies are to be judged.

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    Right. Well, I love my country and my countrymen. That’s why it’s so upsetting to see them crashing down a hill into a lake, like a horde of possessed swine.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    No I didn’t mean to say it was justified empirically. What I meant to say is those who are upset at the Church and religion because of sexual restrictions use empiricism to justify rejecting the church. People search for an argument to justify their beliefs and feelings and the Enlightenment argument is there at their fingertips.

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    What Chesty means in that quotation, I think, is not that you stop loving her when she’s drunk; rather, you care that she’s drunk because you love her.

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    Well, that’s not a problem of the Constitution, as written, is it, Ted? It’s a problem of our country deciding to ignore it entirely without being able (yet) to take the plunge and ‘fess up to long longer caring a jot or tittle for what it actually says.

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    Manny, that is a very sharp analysis.

    I’ve been thinking more and more about some articles about liberalism that I read in First Things a little bit ago. One of them basically argued that modern “conservatives” and modern “liberals” parted ways in the mid-19th century when modern “liberals” began to apply scientific principles (whether chemistry or sociology) not just to the the natural world, but to human nature. “Conservatives” in the US, descendents of the same Enlightenment worldview, had agreed up to this point, but at this point, had no systematic philosophical basis for objecting. Since then, they have been applying the brakes with increasing vigor, but with fewer and fewer rational bases for objection. In short, having bought into the Enlightenment privatization of religion, “conservatives” cannot say, “Man is made in the image of his Creator and not subject to scientific/sociological meddling.”

    We lose by accepting the premises of the Enlightenment. A great project for an American Catholic would be to re-found the legal conclusions of the Constitution of the United States upon premises of Christianity, rather than the Enlightenment. I think it possible.

    Written charter? Like Magna Carta.

    Division of power? Limited rule is a Christian premise, not a pagan or Enlightenment.

    Elections? Like the medieval parliaments and monastery chapters, papal elections.

    Religious freedom? Back to most Church Fathers’ rejection of coercion as a means of converting people, yeah.

    It should be doable.

  • http://twitter.com/spiffy74 Ron Turner

    “entirely wrong” if you’re an imperialist, you mean

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    Well, yeah, everyone does. We’re allowed to vote for the lesser of two evils. Also, “union destruction” is not, um, exactly what was being voted for.

  • Sharon W

    French Revolution = ideologues, American Revolution = Pragmatists

    Christ tells the parable of the wheat and the tares, and also states that the poor you will have with you ALWAYS. I’ve been reading your comments and they just strike me as criticism. This side of heaven, you will NEVER find perfection. Yes, America is guilty of great sin, but please name for me the place on earth where there is a greater expression of love and service to God and sacrificial giving, etc. I’m a student of history, and I see the leaven leavening the lump but in the context of what Christ said above. Can’t wait to hear your answers to where this utopia exists or is being fashioned.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    And thus my saying I’ve posted often elsewhere- the real problem with empiricists is that they are never skeptical about their own empiricism.

    If the destruction of the family through divorce, abortion, and euthanasia doesn’t give them reason enough to reject moral relativism, it’s because they are so relativist that they’ve lost any hope of being sane.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    The fiscal libertines have found their liberty in Article I Sections 8 and 10 of the US Constitution- and used it to force their economics on the whole country. The 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th Amendments have been cited by the other side in support of sexual liberty.

    These would ALL have to be amended to make the Constitution compatible with Catholicism, and I’d make the case that you’d end up with a very different form of government than what we currently have.

    And then you’d still have the problem that really, under Catholicism, Canon Law is supposed to be higher than national laws and should not be contradicted by national laws.

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    Right, like I said Ted, the problem has to do with their “reinterpretation” of all sorts of things in the Constitution, right? Not what the text actually says, or really, what the Framers seem to have intended.

    You wrote, These would ALL have to be amended to make the Constitution compatible with Catholicism, and I’d make the case that you’d end up with a very different form of government than what we currently have.

    What would need to be amended, and how?

    And then you’d still have the problem that really, under Catholicism, Canon Law is supposed to be higher than national laws and should not be contradicted by national laws.

    I’m not sure it’s even a question of which law is higher, Ted. For instance, can. 1 (the very first canon) states, The canons
    of this Code regard only the Latin Church.
    The Code does not even speak, for the most part, to civil/secular affairs, and does not pertain to those outside of the Roman rite.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Thanks Ryan. I would say that Conservatives would buy into the Enlightenment when it comes to the physical world. But the empirical side of the Enlightenment ruled out any possibility of a metaphysical world. That’s where we part company. We include a metaphysical world.

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    Yeah, Manny. I’ll go a step further. They claim to rule out a metaphysical world, but that, in itself, is a metaphysical statement. That’s the problem one continually bumps into with atheists who cannot see that their materialism is at least as dogmatic as my Aristotelian/Thomist realism.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    We could start by encouraging subsidiarity in economic matters- that each *city*, *county*, *township*, and *parish* should have the right to print it’s own money, set it’s own laws and tariffs, and provide for it’s own defense.

    That would end the fiscal libertinism right there- because to sell in a new town, you’d have to first convince the locals you have something unique and worthwhile to offer enough to handle the local taxes and money exchanges.

    I’d love to see the right to life exempted from Amendments 1,3,4,5, and 9- the state has a vested interest in the next generation being born, and we should NOT be bigoted against the unborn. In addition, society should have the right to require heterosexual monogamy, as a protection against disease.

    Neither of these would be popular enough to enact, however. But without them, you have a system inherently opposed to Catholicism. Little wonder when you consider that the majority of the people writing it were Enlightenment Protestants who were looking to be free of the past.

    I’d have to say the current libertine attitudes were inherent in the intents of the Founders, implicitly if not explicitly (ever read Thomas Jefferson’s hack job of a Deist Bible?)

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Any town in Spain where the Mondragon Corporation is the major employer- when it comes to economic matters if that is what you are concerned about.

    Of course- you need the CHURCH to be ruling for that to happen.

    I’m for a Catholic theocracy at this point. Be better than this vale of sin and moral relativism in which harming your neighbor, and heck, killing your own children is celebrated.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    That’s why I can only bring myself to vote 3rd party if at all. I cannot reconcile the attitude that it is ok to do evil to accomplish good with my understanding of Catholicism.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Oh, and from that standpoint. Revolutionaries=Heretics, ever since the revolt of Martin Luther.

  • valleys of neptune

    That’s an argument I’m more than willing to have in another place (as if Kirchner were anything other than an imperialist!?), but my point is that virtually everyone is influenced by their own culture, and that includes churchmen as much as anyone else.

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    Ted, you are right that subsidiarity and local autonomy and leadership are good and have been terribly overwhelmed by the centralization of effective power at the national level. This tendency is (1) against the spirit of the Constitution as written; (2) not opposed to the Catholic faith. The Catholic faith just doesn’t speak to such practical arrangements. It articulates both the need for subsidiarity and solidarity, for freedom and cohesion, and then leave it to different peoples to sort out how exactly we implement things for ourselves.

    The Enlightenment, in Great Britain, the United States, and in France, are all flavored by two basic tendencies. On the one hand, Enlightenment thinkers wanted to be freed of irrational constraints, and on the other hand, they also wanted to restore ancient liberties and usages that had been trampled beneath the rise of the nation-state and the centralized, absolute monarchs. You see this tendency in the United States very clearly. They wanted “free trade” which included the morally innocuous but novel abolition of trade barriers; many of them also wanted, as part of “free trade”, a share in the growing restoration of that most pagan of practices – slavery. On the flip side, though, the Founders and Framers also abhorred the relatively modern consolidation of power in the hands of Parliament and the monarchy, and wanted to see a restoration of the sort of local autonomy that had been the norm in England before Tudors and the Stuarts.

    It’s not fair to judge all our Founders as libertines because of Thomas Jefferson who was, to be fair, a libertine.

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    How would you expect a Catholic theocracy to happen, Ted?

  • http://www.withouthavingseen.com Ryan Haber

    It’s not OK to will evil in order to accomplish a good. It is perfectly licit to choose the lesser of two evils in order to mitigate harm, though.

  • Alex

    GREATEST DANGER = WORLDLY CHURCH

    The “greatest danger” for the Church is if it becomes worldly, since this prevents her from communicating the message of the Cross.

    At his daily Mass on April 30, Pope Francis spoke the following words in his homily:

    “When the Church becomes worldly, when she has the spirit of the world within herself … it is a weak Church, a defeated Church, unable to transmit the Gospel, the message of the Cross, the scandal of the Cross … She cannot transmit this if she is worldly,”.

  • Strife

    “It is the essence of love to be sensitive, it is a part of its doom; and anyone who objects to the one must certainly get rid of the other. This
    sensitiveness, rising sometimes to an almost morbid sensitiveness, was
    the mark of all great lovers like Dante and all great patriots like
    Chatham. ‘My country, right or wrong,’ is a thing that no patriot would
    think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, ‘My
    mother, drunk or sober.’ No doubt if a decent man’s mother took to drink
    he would share her troubles to the last; but to talk as if he would be
    in a state of gay indifference as to whether his mother took to drink or
    not is certainly not the language of men who know the great mystery.” -G.K.Chesterton

  • Strife

    Theodore said – “The usury of the poor in our financial institutions, the widespread withholding of wages for labor performed”

    What?

    If the so-called “poor” are truly poor, then what relationship do they have with financial institutions in the first place?

    And “withholding of wages”?

    I question your definition of “poor”.


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