I am referring to the USA. There may already be such a party in some other nations or states.
In the USA at present, there is no political party whose members support both Catholic Social Doctrine and Catholic Pro-Life Doctrine.
There are two major political parties in the USA at present.
In one of these parties, most elected officials who are Catholic strongly and fervently dissent from Catholic Pro-Life Doctrine.
In the other party most elected officials who are Catholic strongly and fervently dissent from Catholic Social Doctrine.
I think this makes many Catholics feel conflicted and divided.
I think it also causes many Catholics to be misinformed about the actual content and seriousness of Catholic Pro-Life Doctrine and Catholic Social Doctrine.
Because the mass media (especially TV, radio, newspaper, news web sites) are dominated by reporting on political news and give little attention to religious news, many Catholics often never hear an authentically and complete Catholic position on Pro-Life and Social issues.
Thus, if there were a new party that was dedicated to compete fidelity to the Catholic Social Doctrine and Catholic Pro-Life Doctrine, that would, at least, cause there to more often be an authentic and faithful Catholic point of view in mass media discussions on issues related to actions and policies of the secular government…
Any such party could be run entirely by lay people. Bishops and priests would have no involvement. No one would even have to be Catholic to be a member. They’d only have to agree to support the doctrines of the Catholic Church pertaining to Social and Pro-Life issues.
I also don’t like the hateful, race-bating anti-Mexican attitude I hear in some political rhetoric. Such an attitude is un-Catholic.
The pope and bishops have pointed out Catholic Social Doctrine that pertains to the issue of migration of peoples across national borders.
To me, it seems that some politicians are willing to set aside Catholic Social Doctrine or set aside Catholic Pro-Life Doctrine, and instead manipulate the fears and prejudices and lusts and greed of votes in order to get the power and fame that goes with government office.
John Rao describes how the Jesuits who ran Civita Catoloca (a magazine founded in the mid1800s from which came Pope Leo’s (inspiration? some of his ideas?) wrt social justice, including the term social justice.
During the period between the wars (ww1 and WW2), these men considered this very question, and rejected it. They concluded that the ideas of political parties too often became subsumed by political considerations.
What they suggested was a group which would pressure *all * (Italy) the political parties to move in a more Catholoc direction.
I think that this would be a great idea, but I think we would have to work on everybody’s ideas on social justice in the economic realm! The two main schools of thought in this area are based too much on “Enlightenment” thinking and not enough on Catholic thinking.
As a previous poster noted, Catholic political parties don’t seem to work out because they tend to become just another political party, compromising the purity of their Catholic vision. I think that poster’s observation that Catholics ought to function more like an organized group to pressure politicians and parties to act in ways consistent with Catholic principles, is a good one.
While I share the frustrations with both parties, I think that a party on the lines of a European style Christian-Democratic party would be a terrible idea in the context of the United States. For one thing, I think it could have a serious corrupting influence on the Church, itself, and I think it would tend to play into the hands of those who mistrust the Church, both secular, and Protestant.
We, Catholics, need to speak-up, and let our politicians know that we won’t just go along.
Catholics have a platform to have a substantial influence on American politics. We are the largest religious denomination in the US and have 5 of the 9 Supreme Court justices.
I have heard Catholic politicians in office in Washington, D.C. say that, as a MATTER OF PRINCIPLE (not just based on prudence in a given set of circumstances), no government in the USA should EVER pass or maintain the legality or constitutionality of:
-Minimum Wage or Just Wage laws
-Social Security Retirement programs
-Social Security Disability programs
-Unemployment Insurance programs
-Laws requiring business owners to negotiate with Labor Unions
-Child labor laws (I heard that in 2012, from the mouth of a leading national Catholic politician)
-Laws forbidding sexual discrimination in hiring
-Laws forbidding racial discrimination in hiring
-Food stamp-type programs (that instead, as a MATTER of PRINCIPLE, all aid to the poor SHOULD be through private charity)
All those principled positions violate Catholic Social Doctrine. I think more examples could be found.
Catholic Social Doctrine does not require that any government pass laws such as those in the list above. It just ways that doing so is legitimate if the government chooses to do so. By contrast, many Catholic politicians hold, as a matter of principle, such laws are ALWAYS illegitimate. These politicians seem to view Ayn Rand as a greater authority in political and economic matters than the Catholic popes.
I have heard many Catholic politicians say that, as a MATTER OF PRINCIPLE, all economics matters must be handed by the FREE MARKET and/or by PRIVATE CHARITY, and that the secular government MUST NEVER get involved in economic redistribution. Catholic Social Doctrine clearly says that it is a heresy to say that ALL human needs can be met by the Free Market.
I have heard Catholic politicians say that as a MATTER of PRINCIPLE the rights to Private Property can NEVER be violated by the government taxing Private Property to meet urgent serious human needs. That is the Ebeneezer Scrooge position. Catholic Social Doctrine says the opposite, the Private Property rights are NOT absolute.
Some Catholic politicians make the claim that they are faithful to the Catholic Social Teachings of the Popes, but not of the Catholic bishops appointed and maintained by the popes to serve in the dioceses of the United States. They claim or insinuate the the U.S. Catholic bishops are a bunch of liberals. Yet, to my knowledge, no Pope has ever approved of or endorsed this distinction or this viewpoint. I have never heard of a pope chastising the U.S. bishops for being liberal and for misrepresenting Catholic Social Teaching. I have heard Pope Benedict XVI say that every Catholic owes as much obedience to his bishop and the college of bishops in general as to the pope. Blessed Pope John Paul II famously told the bishops that EVERY bishop is a Vicar of Christ. Since the popes must approve and appoint every bishop, would it not be odd if most of them turned out to be unreliable dissenters?
Finally, there was the infamous case of Catholic writer and right wing think tank employee George Weigel’s vicious attack on Pope Benedict’s Social Doctrine encyclical “Caritas in veritate” (June 29, 2009). That attack was published in the National Review. When you read that attack, you can see how many far right political conservatives cannot stand certain elements of Catholic Social Doctrine.
Thus, I think there is some legitimate basis for the assertion that most Catholic politicians at the national level in the USA seriously dissent from EITHER Catholic Pro-Life Doctrine or Catholic Social Doctrine, or both.
I am not claiming to be right. Just claiming that I have seen considerable evidence to this effect. If some group of true experts researched the matter and found that most Catholics in public office support Catholic Social Doctrine, then I would happily submit to their conclusion.
No, there simply are not enough Catholics, even if we were to combine both observant and fallen-away Catholics, to win a simple majority nationwide. Add to that the strong belief in ‘separation of church and state’ in America, and you have a recipe for failure outside of local elections.
Plurality is the name of the game here, and social conservatives are more successful at the polls when they band together.
This takes the award as the stupidest thing I have ever seen on CAF! Inflammatory beyond belief. I happen to live in the South and I can tell you that “hating Mexicans” is not a part of any political party or the general population.
I think there should be a separation between “Tea” and “State” The “Tea Party” I’m just not sure of. In the beginning many Catholics were members of the Democratic Party. But in recent years many Catholics did not leave the Democratic Party. Instead the Democratic Party left them because of some things the Party now believes in that are contrary to Catholic doctrine.
There is no “Tea Party.” It is a movement that is based upon fiscal responsibility. It is NOT a party and should never become a party, unless one of the previous parties dissolves. Tea Party Movement supporters work to get fiscally responsible representatives into office.
Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s! I think the church need not get any more involved in these crazy politics than it has to. What happened to separation of church and state? I think we should not vote and pray instead. Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy, Amen. Leave the politics to the kooks, our king is not of this world.