The Catholic State…no longer relevant?
The end of the state is certainly not of itself ordained to the aim of the Church, however it must not oppose her. The state must nevertheless, in its pursuit of its own end, prudently favor the aims of the Church according to her needs and desires. Therefore, civil legislation must be established in perfect harmony with that of the Church.
Archbishop Lefebvre: “But the social Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, what are you doing about that?”
The Swiss Nuncio: “You know, that is impossible now; perhaps in the distant future?…Right now, this Reign is in individuals; we have to open ourselves up to the masses.”
The Church, in her great state of confusion today, does not in practice support the idea of the Catholic State. For the current Curia and Pope, the Catholic state, for all means and purposes is an anachronism – no longer relevant. Formerly Catholic states have been ordered to remove the enthronement of the Church as the one true religion and instead have substituted religious liberty under the guise of “toleration.” Today it is argued that the Catholic state is no longer practical or even to be desired. How may we test this?
We know that what is true is true and what is false is false. These realities exist outside of individuals and so they are not dependent on either the rise and fall of the tides of history or on the current philosophy – political or social –in vogue. Hence if Our Lord is meant to rule over Society then this truth is always true, no matter how far man has “progressed.” We live in society and are hence responsible to God not only as individuals, but also as a group of individuals (e.g. the sin of abortion is a sin of the human race, not of any one person or nation).
This sense of community is not restricted to economic or social affairs exclusively. In his book The Kingship of Christ according to the Principles of St Thomas Aquinas Fr. Denis Fahey quotes Pius VII: “By the fact that the freedom of all forms of worship without distinction is proclaimed, truth is confused with error, and the holy…Spouse of Christ…is placed on the same level as heretical sects and Jewish perfidy” (49). Further on Fr. Fahey comments “…men have become possessed with so arrogant a sense of their own powers, as already to consider themselves able to banish from social life the authority and empire of God” (70).
We must see the truth of the Church’s teaching as it has been passed down to us. We can examine the teachings of the popes from Gregory XVI right up to the Council and we would clearly see that they too would have written as Pope Pius did above. The Papacy since 1960 refuses to do so. However, just because a state of affairs which is unfavorable to the Reign of Our Lord exists does not in any way denigrate its truth. It is true even if no one in the world were to believe it. Hence it may be so that the Catholic State today is an anachronism.
Nowhere do we find its champions in prominent positions of states, nations are largely secular and growing more so everyday, and the utter loss of connection with what is real and absolute has progressed so far that it is unutterable, unthinkable to the liberal modern mind that there is such a thing as one, true religion – and further, that that religion should be protected and nurtured by the state. We see that in the infidel Moslem states an attitude of truth over error prevails – although in their false religion they are deceived – they do not “tolerate” other religions. As Catholics we can look back to the early 1970s and the last days of the Franco Regime to see the last of the major Catholic states fade away. The Italian Concordat has been renegotiated to dethrone Our Lord, and even a leader like Garcia Moreno could not escape assassination. We must pray, but we must act as well so that we may affect a change. Ideas have consequences, and those consequences demand action – most especially if it is the wish of Our Lord to reign over all. May His Kingdom Come!
Fahey, Denis. The Kingship of Christ according to the Principles of St. Thomas Aquinas. Christian Book Club of America, Palmdale
Lefebvre, Marcel. Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Angelus Press, Kansas City
Roussel, A. Liberalism and Catholicism, Angelus Press, Kansas City
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