James Schall S.J.—Blithe Christianity and the Last Free Election

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We should be clear, as writers like Paul Rahe have pointed out, that this subjection of Catholicism to the control of the state is being carried out by officials that many of them voted for in great numbers and with enthusiasm. We have not been able to imagine that the Catholic Church in its essential moral teaching would come to be seen as an enemy of democracy and human “rights.” Yet, these new versions of democracy and human “rights” embody positions that diametrically oppose human life, marriage, basic morality, and the nature of transcendence. No one who cannot accept this new version of “rights” will be a member of the new state that has come to exist before our very eyes. The “inversion” of morals is almost complete. It is “sinister.”

As George Rutler remarks, St. Paul would not have been much surprised at this turn of events. There is a “logic” already in place that, if allowed to go further by the continuation of the present regime, will reduce the Catholic presence to a mere shell, perhaps a “remnant,” to recall an Old Testament term. True, there will still be institutions that call themselves “Catholic.” Willingly, they will accept the funds of the state on its own terms. We may even anticipate a situation in which we see two churches calling themselves “catholic,” one accepting government funds and terms, the other, much reduced, not accepting them.

Rutler’s term, “post-comfortable Catholicism” is both a witty and an accurate description of where we are. If this is indeed our “last free election,” we will not be overly surprised if most of us accept it, well, comfortably.

Read it all.

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Posted July 24, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. brian_in_brooklyn wrote:

Can this “Catholic” priest write a single paragraph without “scare quotes?”


July 24, 12:37 pm | [comment link]
2. Anglicanum wrote:

*That’s* what you took from this?

July 24, 1:11 pm | [comment link]
3. Dan Crawford wrote:

Frs. Schall and Rutler see clearly that the way ahead for Catholicism is a political alliance with oligarchs. There was a short time in the history of Catholicism when it remembered its LORD avoided such entanglements.

July 24, 4:08 pm | [comment link]
4. Frances S Scott wrote:

It is not just the Roman Catholics who will be marginalized, it is that all catholic Christians will suffer the same fate.
If we stand together against the government, we will be persecuted, if we compromise we will lose our place as witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus and we may lose our future in heaven.

July 24, 6:54 pm | [comment link]
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