The possibility of changing society

Before one undertakes any errand of social justice one has to wonder if such an errand is possible.

Now people can change but we all know that people don’t always realize this capacity.

And certain nations have certain characters which better dispose them to certain purposes.

The study of history combined with some introspection bears this out. Americans for instance, go back and forth on anti-abortion laws and likewise with prohibition of alcohol etc.

So my question is, is the dream of a Catholic state a la the middle ages but upgraded with modern tech. practical in America at any time in the future or now? Our history seems to bear out a certain moralization of the secular (a civil war over the morality of slavery and colonial submission) and a certain secularization of morality (sodomy laws have gone unenforced, liberty is considered the highest value). Given this I don’t think that morality in any future america will be of a greater magnitude than the morality seen today, and further I don’t see how a Catholic state could be established except if it is able to piggy back on what we would call secular issues (like if Catholicism was needed to roll-back the gov. or if it could be of some practical worldly use).

I’ll make a try at your question. But also consider there is another active thread concerning a preferred “Catholic nation” as discussed in a Michael Voris video, if you would like to join that.

No, there should be no “dream” of a Catholic state. It is superfluous. All the Catholic Church will ever need is a level playing ground, where Catholicism can be preached and observed faithfully. Whatever the government, the Church can exist and prosper.

There are two forms of government where the Church will, perhaps, flourish underground: Muslim-ruled nations and atheistic nations. But, even there, the blood of the martyrs will cause the Church to grow and become stronger.

The Holy Spirit will be with the Church always, as Jesus declared. The Holy Spirit was not directed by Jesus to establish a Catholic nation.

Peace.

There are plenty of Catholics out there who want a Catholic state. I have a thread in the philosophy section that is my most viewed thread called “Should Catholics support democracy anymore”. There’s a lot of good reasons on there why we should push for a Catholic state.

The answer to your question: is it practical in AMERICA anytime in the future or now, is of course no. There is just too much hostility among atheists and liberals to this idea in this country. Even if a movement got off the ground to make a certain part of America into a Catholic state… it wouldn’t only fail. But, I am fully convinced that it would be violent and bloody, and Catholics would die over it.

That is to say, in this country.

If you were to ask the question: Is a Catholic State practical anytime in the [near] future or now, somewhere in the world? I would say yes.

We had less than 3 months ago a new nation created: South Sudan. Nations change all the time. And, it is my firm belief that the Catholic Church has the power to get a Catholic state formed somewhere. We have to worry about organizing the people who support it.

Because, there isn’t a question of whether or not Catholics support the idea. In a number threads on this forum and elsewhere, I have seen that many Catholics responding say they would favor to live in a Catholic state. I’ve said elsewhere, that it could be as high as 10% of Catholics. But, I am confident that it is AT LEAST greater than 1% of Catholics.

Worldwide, 1% of 1.2 billion is 12 million people. Then, you look at nations which have less than 1 million people. Obviously, a Catholic State wouldn’t start off with millions of people there. But, would likely be an enclave with a few thousand or even less than a thousand to start off.

Let no one forget: Vatican City is a theocracy. The Church has also a LONG history of favoring Catholic monarchs. The Church supported the Catholic States of the past. That is historical fact, irregardless of how bad that sits with people who think democracy is great, even if every democratic government has evil laws on the books.

Every country other than the Vatican, and the Philippines has divorce as being legal. Therefore, every country other than those 2 has legalized something which God hates, and is against His law. :bible1:Scripture says: do not change a letter of the law (somewhere in Romans)

I am against te thinkin of “pushing for” a Catholic state or any other type of state. What happens in these situatikns is that people have an idealozed version in their minds of what they think should be and they go after it and eventually everything goes to poeces because the pushers-for keep pushing until they push themselves right into sinful behavior.

Much better to instead focus on prayer and mortification in the direction of converting others individually.

I think a Catholic state would be great - we used to have them, back in the day. Some countries still are Catholic nations (see wikipedia). Switzerland has Catholic cantons. And the Church supports a Catholic nation for countries that are traditionally Catholic (see newadvent).

but in America, this will never happen, and probably shouldn’t happen. What we need is an opportunity to spread the faith and not be shoved down by secularism/atheism.

This quote is attributed to Leo Tolstoy and expresses what I wanted to say much better than I said it!

*The movement of humanity toward the good takes place, not thanks to the tormentors, but to the tormented. As fire does not put out fire, so evil does not put out evil. Only the good meeting the evil, and not becoming contaminated by it, vanquishes the evil. Every step in advance has been made only in the name of non-resistance to evil. And if this progress is slow, it is so because the clearness, simplicity, rationality, inevitableness, and obligatoriness of Christ’s teaching have been concealed from the majority of men in a most cunning and dangerous manner; they have been concealed under a false teaching which falsely calls itself his teaching. *

The interesting thing is that I had just heard Fr Barron’s sermon on the readings which included the parable of the cockles and the wheat, and he said something very interesting: that evil often entwines itself with good so much that great violence wod be needed to separate them, violence which could be destructive of the good as well. At the same time, bad things can bring about great good: so without the Roman persecutions, we wouldn’t have had the martyrs. (I hope I was accurate in my reporting of these points–if I wasn’t please blame me and not him!)

Has anyone discussed what exactly a “Catholic State” would look like? Does anyone believe actual, practicing Catholics could come to an agreement on what it should look like?

From what I read in the Catechism and some of the social teaching, frankly, I think a lot of people would trade in abortion and gay “marriage” for the political and economic consequences of a “Catholic” state. But, from what I see in these forums (not this thread, yet), the political and economic consequences favored by *most *Catholics, rather than reflecting Catholicism, would simply be the establishment of a one-party (i.e., Republican) state.

Anyway, I’d be really curious to hear what people think a Catholic State would look like.

Yes, there are a lot of people who lean towards libertarianism, but oddly enough, I think reflects more a desire for subsidiarity and smaller community than it does enmity to Catholic social teaching. As a general rule, it’s not that those people don’t want to help the poor, it’s that they see the results of the War on Poverty are abyssmal.

For me, personally, a Catholic state would look sort of like what the OP described: medieval with modern technology. That’s because in my ideal world, there would be no corporations or stock ownership. Instead we would have businesses owned by one or two persons who run the business or possiblly cooperatives (my mind is not yet made up about that).

Let me posit a few questions to you who might favor a Catholic state:

  1. Do you restrict the membership to Catholics,only? On what Biblical or Church-supported truth would you base this exclusion?

(Aha, you see where I’m going already, don’t you, intelligent posters?!!!)

  1. If you do not restrict immigration, how will you apply laws to those who do not believe Catholic teaching (divorce, remarriage, gay marriage, atheists, Muslims)? On what Biblical or Church supported truth would you deny them “equal citizen rights”, presuming you had a Constitution or some sort?

  2. When immigration floods this Catholic country, when the bulk of people are non-practicing Catholics (there will be at least some), and the majority become “non-Catholic”, so to speak, how will you prevent lawful changes in the political/ruling structure of this Catholic country?

My point is you cannot, and should not, build a wall around a country to keep out non-Catholics and keep “inside” Catholics safe to practice their Faith openly. Our challenge by the LORD is not to withdraw from the world, but to convert it (“Go and teach all nations…”). Hard to do that from inside a fort.

Look at Ireland as an example. St. Patrick converted it once (I think completely), and it looks like Pope Benedict is on his way to converting it again…if that is even possible.

The only successful Catholic “nation” will be Heaven, ruled by the Trinity. One on earth is sort of a dream that has no realistic hope of coming true.

Sorry for the “reality check”.

Peace.

St Francis
Yes, there are a lot of people who lean towards libertarianism, but oddly enough, I think reflects more a desire for subsidiarity and smaller community than it does enmity to Catholic social teaching.

Since the original meaning comes from the French libertaire, meaning “anarchist”, we need not consider the more fringe ideas. Neither does a Catholic State warrant consideration in today’s world. Subsidiarity, however, is a vital key along with solidarity.

Surely the pressing task is to apply the principles taught by the Church today, such as by Bl John Paul II when he asserts boldly that “In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of State, the so-called “Welfare State”. This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands, by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoked very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the “Social Assistance State”. Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.100

“By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.

“In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbors to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need.” Centesimus Annus, 1991, 43].

There are, but I’m referring to those who are staunch republicans. Most libertarians, too, are just republicans who don’t like the label, I think!

I’d agree, except that they want subsidiarity in political issues, but want a free-market, neoliberal capitalistic economy (which is the opposite of subsidiarity!).

And they see free-market capitalism as a great hope, which it’s not, and which the Church does not endorse (capitalism is a tool, not an end in itself, and Republicans see it as an end in itself).

The trouble here, of course, is that you can’t have both of these things!! How would we work on the economic scales necessary to fund research and development, and to create viable energy resources, to create the technologies that we really like (I’m thinking mostly of medicine here), if we have a more medieval economic and political system? I think we’d have to give up the vast majority of the technology, and revert to a much lower (and more realistic) standard of living, which would at least be sustainable! Of course, how to defend such a state?

I agree–and I think this is consistent with catholicism. Most of the catholics I see in here don’t agree, I don’t think–they are pro-modern corporation!

If we can can apply subsidiarity to economics, I think we can do it with politics–but it has to be economics first! Otherwise, there will be no means to pull back those corporations.

And the word gay once meant cheerful and lighthearted. Today in the US the wrod libertarian signifies something other than that to which the French applied their word from which we derived our word. I choose to use it because it is slightly more intense than what I have found most Republicans to be for. The fringe I avoided in this way was free-market anarchy.

  1. No, it wouldn’t have to be only for Catholics, but it would be in a traditionally Catholic area, so naturally most people would be Catholic.

  2. Why can’t it restrict immigration to some extent? Either way, if it is a Catholic country, there naturally shouldn’t be a ton of immigrants who aren’t Catholic.

  3. Why are you assuming most will be non-practicing? That’s a pessimistic approach.

  4. I agree.

  5. Ireland and other Christian countries became non-practicing because of secularism, not because of being a Catholic state. In fact, Catholic states have more devout Catholics than non-Catholic states.

  6. The only completely successful Catholic nation will be in heaven.

  7. It’s ok

I think that you are misunderstanding what I am saying–which may be because of a lack of clarity on my part for which I apologize.

The first post of this thread I thought referred to a situation in which Catholics would get together and advocate for a system which would be imposed. I am against that.

Then your previous post seemed to me to suggest a situation in which a Catholic state had developed and what that would be like.

We once had a Catholic society or sets of Catholic societies in Europe. These societies had developed over the course of centuries. They were not imposed from above or outside.

The many “isms” which advocate imposition from above or outside the society by persuasion or force are based on a secular idealized idea of man. They believe that man can be perfected from outside by creating a certain environment. This flies in the face of the reality of human nature and of human powers.

It also has two additional aspects which are very dangerous: one is that the vision of this society is an entirely imagined perfection, and two, that it is believed to be the highest good (There are also other aspects of this last point which I won’t go into). The combination of these two aspects leads to the advocates’ lacking any boundaries in imposing their system.

This is entirely antithetical to the way Catholicism ought to work. We accept that we will never see perfection in this world, we accept that there are boundaries which we must not cross, even to accomplish a good, we believe that our power is limited and that human nature is weakened by concupiscence, which can only be strengthened with God’s help.

RE:"The trouble here, of course, is that you can’t have both of these things!! How would we work on the economic scales necessary to fund research and development, and to create viable energy resources, to create the technologies that we really like (I’m thinking mostly of medicine here), if we have a more medieval economic and political system? I think we’d have to give up the vast majority of the technology, and revert to a much lower (and more realistic) standard of living, which would at least be sustainable! Of course, how to defend such a state? "

I think that technology and medieval society are compatible. For instance, Russia represented a backwards political society with an advanced economic society. Also, the modern world is in many ways a feudal society -states rights, parliaments, common law- but we also have advanced technology. And corporations/joint stock companies, are compatible with Catholicism since they are fairly neutral forms of business organization and legal classification (a single person can incorporate apparently), that is, they don’t necessarily have to be unwieldy in size. And again, the medieval world experienced advances in technology that the ancient world didn’t -crop rotation, water power, optics, large blast furnaces.

So technology and medieval society are compatible.

A lot od R&D was done before big corporations got into the act. Pasteur, Fleming, Watts, Diesel, Delamare Deboutteville, the Wright Brothers…

And the original car manufacturing was all split up into small companies, which were eventtually swallowed up into the large corporations in which all the parts were manufactured by single companies, which have now started contracting out to smaller companies…

If we can can apply subsidiarity to economics, I think we can do it with politics–but it has to be economics first! Otherwise, there will be no means to pull back those corporations.

Again you are thinking of gaining power and imposing a fully-planned system rather than develiping a aystem through the individual actions of many people over a long period of time.

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