Monsignor Charles Pope recently penned a column for National Catholic Register under the title, Vote as a Catholic with a Catholic Moral Vision, subtitle:
Be Catholic. Vote as a Catholic with a Catholic moral vision. Advance the Kingdom of God.
No argument here. Catholics are called to “be Catholic” in everything they do.
There is, however, a fatal flaw to be found in Msgr. Pope’s dissertation; one that is revealed in its opening sentences:
Satan is no idiot. He has successfully convinced most Catholics that moral issues are political issues.
I have a different view:
Satan is no idiot. He has successfully convinced most Catholics to behave as if moral issues belong to the Church while political issues belong to the State.
The fundamental difference between the two is substantial, and it concerns that which is missing entirely from Msgr. Pope’s approach to matters of governance and civil affairs; namely, the immutable doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church on the Social Kingship of Christ.
Msgr. Pope points to “abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and same sex ‘marriage’” as examples of the kinds of moral issues that are not, as he sees it, political.
The reason he gives is simple; the aforementioned are “non-negotiable issues because there is no room for nuance or degree of support.”
Non-negotiable? Yes, of course. Non-political? Not exactly.
It is the right, and indeed an obligation, of the State to do such things as to formally recognize family bonds and to address matters of public health in service to the common good. This necessarily entails making moral judgments.
The question is how is the State called to do so?
Here in the United States and other so-called “democracies,” most people (Catholics and their pastors included) would suggest that it is the duty of the citizens, through their engagement in the political process, to influence the way in which the State governs.
To Monsignor Pope’s credit, he obviously feels compelled to form the citizens within his reach so they might “vote as a Catholic with a Catholic moral vision.”
At the same time, however, Monsignor Pope goes on to say:
On the eve of an election and as a priest I frequently am baited to comment more directly on politics by naming names, and parties. I will not do so. The temporal order belongs to the laity, not the clergy.
Nonsense. The temporal order belongs to Jesus Christ to whom “all authority in Heaven and on earth” has been given; the Same who speaks through His Holy Catholic Church in the voice of the sacred hierarchy of which Monsignor Charles Pope is a member.
With no intent of being flippant, but simply to illustrate just how untenable Msgr. Pope’s claim is, consider a priest standing before Our Lord at his particular judgement:
Christ: So, my son, why didn’t you comment more directly on politics by naming the names and the parties that plainly opposed my Kingdom?
Priest: The temporal order belongs to the laity, not the clergy.
To be fair, Msgr. Pope isn’t the exception, he is the rule in this post-conciliar age when the Social Kingship of Christ is treated, even to the highest places in Rome, as an outdated relic of a bygone era.
It is for this reason that he apparently does not realize he is exercising his ministry with one proverbial hand tied behind his back:
“As a priest,” Msgr. Pope declares, “I must convey the moral teachings and insist that Catholics connect the dots when it comes to voting.”
Fine, but as a member of the sacred hierarchy (and one who ministers in Washington, D.C., no less) he also must insist that those who exercise civil authority uphold the moral teachings of the Holy Catholic Church, whether they are Catholic or not, simply because they have a solemn obligation to acknowledge the authority of Christ the King.
“[Satan] has successfully shut down a huge amount of moral exhortation and reflection,” Msgr. Pope laments.
Indeed he has! Our pastors are scared to death of the accusation that they are “being political.”
“The Catholic position on these matters [abortion, marriage, etc.] currently coincides with one political party’s platform over another,” Msgr. Pope says.
My God, are there any soldiers for Christ in the hierarchy?
Why not simply say, “The Democrat party and Hillary Clinton’s position on abortion and homosex are an abomination before God. Those who support their efforts risk eternal death.”
Apparently that would be just a little too “political.”
“I, and I pray every other faithful Catholic, will vigorously and confidently refute the charge of ‘being political’ when we teach on these non-negotiable truths,” Msgr. Pope writes, as if the Catholic Church has no business weighing in on matters political.
In truth, the Catholic Church and her members; in particular, those in the sacred hierarchy, have every right and duty to “be political” on occasion, even as the Church is not in the business of politics.
Pope Leo XIII clarifies:
In political affairs, and all matters civil, the laws aim at securing the common good, and are not framed according to the delusive caprices and opinions of the mass of the people, but by truth and by justice … [in] submission to the will of God, exercising His sovereignty through the medium of men. (Immortale Dei – 18)
The Church and the State are both perfect societies with a jurisdiction that is proper to each, but there is considerable overlap between them as well, and make no mistake, the Church in such cases is the higher authority inasmuch as her pastors are “the medium of men” through which Christ the King exercises His sovereignty.
Msgr. Pope envisions a conundrum for Catholics here in the U.S.:
But all this illustrates a problem at the intersection of Catholic moral teaching and politics. The non-negotiable issues are largely listed on one party’s platform and the negotiable (in terms of their details and applications) are listed on the competing party’s platform.
I would disagree with the implication that the Republican party is on the wrong side of immigration and poverty, but be that as it may, the real crisis at hand concerns the fact that no one in the sacred hierarchy, the pope included, is willing to insist upon the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King, and the problem created extends well beyond the United States.
“There must, accordingly, exist between these two powers – the Church and the State – a certain orderly connection, which may be compared to the union of the soul and body in man.” (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei – 14)
With the voice of the Church having fallen all but silent, the nations of the entire earth are quickly losing their soul; the very definition of which is death.
So, what are we to do?
None of us can force our pastors to once more proclaim the Social Kingship of Christ, but we can proclaim this immutable doctrine ourselves; teaching others what our churchmen refuse to teach. First, we need to understand it.
With this in mind, I invite you to download a free copy of the Traditio Faith Formation Quas Primas guide, and to share it as far and wide as possible, that as many as possible may come to know what it truly means to advance the Kingdom of God.
Thank you for this excellent download.
A much needed article, thank you. The moral issues/Church vs. the political issues/State reminds me of those who think “if it’s legal – it’s not sin”.
First, thank you for the free gift, Louie.
Secondly, you said, “Our pastors are scared to death of the accusation that they are ‘being political.’”
This seems to be the heresy of “Americanism” which Pope Leo XIII condemned in 1899. Our bishops are subservient to “America” first, ignoring their “solemn obligation to acknowledge the authority of Christ the King.”
Satan is accomplishing much in this country. With this election, he is able to advance much through deception, with willing accomplices in every arena.
The deception is so great and wide and deep, and we often do not even know when we are being deceived.
For example, the debates on Monday night were rigged in favor of Saul Alinsky’s girl.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Archbishop Lefebvre, when giving a talk to the seminarians on Aug.29, 1976, on the subject of Social Kingship of Christ, said…”But it is one thing for a thing to no longer possible, and another to accept it as a matter of principle, and consequently, no longer seek the social reign of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It’s possible that Monsignor Pope sees the Social Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ as an impossibility, and doesn’t even consider its importance, since there are no Catholic confessional states left. He’s hardly the only one, of course, who doesn’t consider it a reality at all. The social reign of our Lord Jesus Christ hasn’t been a reality, unfortunately, for a long time now.
Archbishop Lefebvre also mentioned, in the same talk, that a Vatican ambassador visited him in June, 1976, and asked Archbishop Lefebvre..”Why are you against the Council?” The Archbishop answered..”Is it possible to accept the Council, while in the name of the Council you say that all the Catholic states must be destroyed, that there must no longer be Catholic states left where our Lord Jesus Christ reigns?”
Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, SSPX:
“At the French Seminary in Rome, Fr. Marc Voegtli, following the teaching of Fr. Deschamps, taught the young Marcel Lefebvre the liberal, Freemasonic agenda in three points:
1. The banishment of Christ the King from government by the secularization of the State;
2. eliminating the Mass which would result from the persecution of the Church by legal means, and ultimately the secularization of the Church itself, the supreme plot of initiated Masons; in order
3. finally to suppress the grace of Jesus Christ High Priest in souls—the very secularization of Catholic souls. All of this happened after the Second Vatican Council…
What Archbishop Lefebvre did is reverse this satanic program in order to come up with the Catholic program, which is that of the Society of St. Pius X, also in three points:
1. Restore to the faithful the Mass—the true Mass, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass—which is the source and expression of the reign of Jesus Christ.
2. By the grace of the Mass, form an elite of faithful Catholics living in the state of grace; and
3. through the work of this elite in public institutions—not just in ecclesiastical organizations, but also in openly Catholic civil organizations—re-crown our Lord Jesus Christ in society: “Omnia instaurare in Christo—Establish all things in Christ,” according to the motto of St. Pius X.
This is the program Archbishop Lefebvre tried to explain to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Benedict XVI, in a meeting they had in Rome on July 14, 1987:
‘Eminence… you are working to dechristianize society and the Church, and we are working to Christianize them. For us, our Lord Jesus Christ is everything, He is our life. The Church is our Lord Jesus Christ; the priest is another Christ; the Mass is the triumph of Jesus Christ on the cross; in our seminaries everything tends towards the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. But You! You are doing the opposite: you have just wanted to prove to me that our Lord Jesus Christ cannot, and must not, reign over society.
For us, our Lord Jesus Christ is everything!’ “
How many so-called “catholic” politicians who vote against Catholic teaching have been publicly excommunicated? Biden? Cuomo? Pelosi? Kaine? Kerry? and the list goes on. How would this truly Catholic act by our Bishops have changed the face of American politics? Why are these politicians allowed to receive Holy Communion?
Is there a Bishop or prelate out there who puts his money where his mouth is? As far as I’m concerned, Msgr. Pope has not earned the right to give advice on this issue or any issue.
Tip. You might want to throw in a Senator Kirk, Senator Collins, or Mayor Giuliani if you don’t want to just come off as a Republican masquerading as a Catholic.
Yes! A thousand times, yes! Louie Verrecchio is infinitely more clear-headed and forthright than the quivering weasels composing today’s hierarchy. We must see to it that his words are spread more and more, whether here or in book form. This takes cash. Will you join me in contributing this cash? I’m talking significant cash, not just $5 here and there. Serious cash. Do it! Don’t wait. Do it now!
My comment applies to all “catholic” politicians regardless of party. Thanks for adding to the list, Ganganelli.
They are all excommunicated already. Whether or not the formal declaration of excommunication against them is levied is of no consequence. Whether or not the willfully ignorant masses have not heard this unnecessary proclamation is also of no consequence. God will never be mocked by the those who reject His word and those who, of sound mind, dont bother to seek His word.
Tip….who cares about party affiliations? If they reject Catholicism then they are the enemy: what do “party affiliations” have to do with our Faith?? You gangenelli, are a modernist and have no respect for our Church. You were that 3-4 years ago when I first encountered you on this site, and you remain the same today.
Oh I’m sure it was just oversight that my2cents happened to mention 5 Democrats and zero Republicans. What a coincidence!
We have only the Catholic Faith to rely upon. What one or the other party argues for or against is truly a waste of time as far as we (True Catholics) are concerned. Both of the candidates are surely degenerates (so we vote for the better of the two evils)…..and if you vote for hillary I dont know how you will justify that vote before God. He is the ultimate judge but I believe you will be damned (if you dont contritely repent) if you vote for her.
Do good by stealth,
And blush to find it fame.
Good post, Mary. Archbishop Lefebvre saw the importance back then of “establishing all things in Christ.” He was one of the few who did.
IMO, Monsignor Pope can hardly be blamed for his stance, since the Church (well, conciliar church, that is) hasn’t taught the Reign of Christ the King for a very long time. We don’t have an example from the Popes since the Council to provide the hierarchy with what it means to “establish all things in Christ.” Of course the don’t “get it.”
But we do have the example of Archbishop Lefebvre in never giving up on the proper teaching of the Church….”For us, Lord Jesus Christ is everything!”
Actually, it was a coincidence. I mentioned the most prominent that I knew. Sleep well, Ganganelli, I wasn’t picking on your Democrats!
Excerpts from an interview in which Archbishop Lefevre is asked about his Father, René Lefebvre:
” ….At the end of the second war there was another occupation. He was sixty-two years old, but where would he be found? In the service of France, of course. But his patriotism proved to be fatal for him. The Germans, who had put him under surveillance, distrusted him more than anyone else: arrest, trial and deportation to Sonnenburg followed, and finally death. His comrades in captivity reported his extraordinary courage in the midst of indescribable privations, under the fists of his jailers and, even, of his male nurses, in a repugnant cell. They told, above all, how his unshakeable faith was of immense help to all those around him.
Sometimes your father was allowed to write from prison to his family. Your family was good enough to let me see the text of a letter he wrote on September 9, 1941. This document in some way constitutes his testament. Here are the most moving passages:
“I am awaiting the hour of Providence. What is certain is that here we are gaining some small merits and getting a good foretaste of Purgatory. I am sorry for those who are in my circumstances but lack the comfort of religion.
“There were terrible moments, but I have felt God’s help. I could see that I was helped in the moments when I felt the lowest. For all this, I thank God. Suffering purifies.
“It will be a great sacrifice not to be able to see my children before I die. I bless them with all my heart and confide them to Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, who was so good to me. She loves my family, who will always remain consecrated to her and who will always seek through her the extension of the reign of her Divine Son.”…
…”Be of good courage and patience, for the situation will clear up and we shall have good days for Our Dear Country, returned to its beautiful traditions, which the disorder will have reduced to ruin.
“You know that I am dying a Catholic, a Frenchman and a monarchist. For I think that it is only with the establishment of Christian monarchies that Europe and the world can retain their stability and true peace.”
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:
“Yes, my father was a monarchist but I do not think that this constitutes a blemish. As far as I am concerned, I have never lent my name to any kind of political party whatever. Besides, the example of so many monarchs who betrayed their mission, as have so many bishops, certainly does not encourage one to be a monarchist! In the meantime this is the fact and we cannot deny it: the Church is a monarchy.
As far as my sermon at Lille is concerned, it was an echo of what all the Sovereign Pontiffs have always alleged, and that which they always have condemned, except since Vatican II. That’s why the sermon was Catholic, not political.
There were certainly abuses to be reformed in 1889, but there is a wide abyss between those reforms and destroying religion itself and, furthermore, tearing down kings because they upheld religion. The last Council has acted in nearly the same fashion, but in order to put through some useful reforms it has gone in search of the leading principles of liberalism. And these principles, logically enough, have given the deathblow to the Church.
To get back to my father, do you think he asked, while he was risking his life in 1914 to save the wounded, “Are you a royalist?” And that he abandoned those who were not? Many of the people who testified with great emotion to the physical and moral help he gave them in the German Sonnenburg Prison held political opinions, which were diametrically opposed to his.
Besides, there is one fact, which is of special significance for his social ideas: In 1920 he entered the city council of Tourcoing, where he remained to the day of his arrest in 1941. Would one have had confidence in him for so many years, especially during the major social trouble which marked that period, if he were not a just man and profoundly human? In fact – and all opinions tend to agree on this point – he was a moderate and tender man. Considering himself a brother in Jesus Christ to his fellowmen, he thought that he had to set an example to his brethren, whatever the cost. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful lesson he could give me and I shall remember it to my dying days in my heart and in my spirit.”
Thank you for this quote maryiloveher. Even though I had viewed the biographical documentary on Archbishop LeFebvre’s life, I do not believe the film ever covered these very strong influences of his father. It explains where his integrity came from. Also it demonstrated to me the importance of having a strong father in a child’s life.
Michael F Poulin
Are we all entirely blameless if we choose not to learn the true faith? It is a choice. Never before in history, prior to the Internet, were so many of the records of the Church for the almost 2000 years prior to Vatican II and after available to everyone with either no cost or very little cost as they are since. Sermons of some of the Doctors and Fathers of the Church, the Saints and holy men are also available.
In this “age of information”, there is no excuse for anyone who cares about the Truth to be blameless for not knowing it and more is the blame of those like Msgr. Pope who, as a shepherd leading the flock, has an added grave responsibility not to lead the flock astray.
Obama received 54% of the Catholic vote !!! and Hilary will probably receive the same, if not more !!! Vicarious liability !!!
When I was a seventh grader , at Holy Name parish in Springfield MA, the pastor invited a Jesuit to Mass to give a homily. I remember him saying something like -him and his Communist buddies were both “seeking the same goals” i.e. social justice, paradise on earth, wealth distribution, yada yada….
My little seventh grade mind chaffed at this thinking: “what a load of crap!” I thought. Surely the pastor knows Communists are atheists! WRONG! He and the rest of the parish lapped this “Communists-are our-allies in making the world a better place” stuff up like thirsty camels.
Fortunately I have retained my BS detector intact , and being better tuned today, the alarms are going off all over the place.
“The Rights of Truth and the “non-rights” of Error,” a report complied by R. P. Philippe in the year 1922, and given to the League of Apostolic Nations in 1923. The first paragraph reads thus:
“If there is such a thing as a fundamental truth, it is certainly that of the rights of Truth, and the non-rights of error. It is astonishing that such a subject must be dealt with, but the intellectual decadence of our times has reached the point that we no longer wish to acknowledge Truth, but are willing to convince ourselves that Truth doesn’t exist. What is said about Truth must also be said of the authority which is based on the truth of the existence of a Supreme Being upon Whom we all depend.
By banishing in one fell swoop Truth and the authority of this Truth, the enemies of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church overthrow, upturn and destroy from top to bottom, not only Christian Order, but all order, be it simply natural, civil, familial, religious, or any other.
Order based on nothingness cannot be sustained. That is why we establish at one and the same time both the rights of Truth and the injustice of error. We will not get involved here in overly speculative considerations. Rather, we will limit ourselves to reproducing the simple facts of philosophy and theology.”
The rest of the article can be found on the Dominicans of Avrille website, for those who may be interested.
He’s at it again !!! https://www.yahoo.com/news/study-pray-vote-pope-tells-americans-ahead-elections-221531538.html