Parochial Political Groups

Context to this post: I have seen, depending on the Maronite parish, political organizations of one or both of two factions related to Lebanese politics with formal presences in the parish. I have seen a wide range of responses from the pastor - everything from allowing the groups to use the parish for official chapter meetings with the pastor as the chaplain to the priest refusing to celebrate mass until all insignia from either faction was put away. I haven’t come to a definitive conclusion, but it just seems to allow either group is divisive and counterintuitive to the objective of a parish (while active engagement in politics is a civil duty, this just seems like aggressive hegemony).

So my question is do Latin parishes allow political groups? If so, where (i.e. what country) and to what extent? How does the pastor react? If not, why? Is it conceivable that such groups would ever be permitted to exist?

Could you give more detail on what you mean by political group? There are different kinds. In the US we are encouraged to form parish-level groups to study the political stances of various candidates and compare them to the Church’s positions. The USCCB promotes its “faithful citizenship” printed materials in part to facilitate such study groups. (source) But it sounds like you are talking about more than that?

The USCCB’s document on the Do’s and Don’ts of parish politics includes this rule: “Do not make available the use of church facilities, assets, or members for partisan political purposes.”

Yes. Basically to contextualize what I’m writing about is imagine in your country’s recent collective memory (i.e. within the last 20yrs.) there was a civil war with one major political party on each side, constituents of which still want to wring the necks of the other side (quite literally). Now imagine local chapters for one of the political parties forming at the church, and using the church facilities for meetings. I’d make a hypothetical analogous case but even if I said, but the complications of factions from a recent, prolonged civil war and transported from another country are two conditions of the circumstances that make an analog particularly difficult to give.

I’ve no idea of the relationships of such groups with local RC parishes, but some years ago, during the conflict in Ulster, there were IRA (Irish Republican Army) support groups in the US (and elsewhere outside of Ulster I presume). Perhaps that’s what you’re looking for by way of an analogy?

I think he means within the church setting rather than secular “parish”?

That’s how I interpreted it. To me that would be like having “St. Paul’s Parish Democrat Association” and “St. Paul’s Parish Republican Association”. In the US and Canada I think that might lead to loss of tax-free status.

Malphono understood my question with his analogy - it would be like a Roman parish with an IRA party association.

When I lived in Italy I saw evidence that the Catholic Church was supportive of the Christian Democrats.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.