Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The current national debate about health care reform should concern all of us. There is much at stake in this political struggle, and also much confusion and inaccurate information being thrown around. My brother bishops have described some clear “goal-posts” to mark out what is acceptable reform, and what must be rejected. First and most important, the Church will not accept any legislation that mandates coverage, public or private, for abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic stem-cell research. We refuse to be made complicit in these evils, which frankly contradict what “health care” should mean. We refuse to allow our own parish, school, and diocesan health insurance plans to be forced to include these evils. As a corollary of this, we insist equally on adequate protection of individual rights of conscience for patients and health care providers not to be made complicit in these evils. A so-called reform that imposes these evils on us would be far worse than keeping the health care system we now have.
Second, the Catholic Church does not teach that “health care” as such, without distinction, is a natural right. The “natural right” of health care is the divine bounty of food, water, and air without which all of us quickly die. This bounty comes from God directly. None of us own it, and none of us can morally withhold it from others. The remainder of health care is a political, not a natural, right, because it comes from our human efforts, creativity, and compassion. As a political right, health care should be apportioned according to need, not ability to pay or to benefit from the care. We reject the rationing of care. Those who are sickest should get the most care, regardless of age, status, or wealth. But how to do this is not self-evident. The decisions that we must collectively make about how to administer health care therefore fall under “prudential judgment.”
Third, in that category of prudential judgment, the Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care. Unlike a prudential concern like national defense, for which government monopolization is objectively good – it both limits violence overall and prevents the obvious abuses to which private armies are susceptible – health care should not be subject to federal monopolization. Preserving patient choice (through a flourishing private sector) is the only way to prevent a health care monopoly from denying care arbitrarily, as we learned from HMOs in the recent past. While a government monopoly would not be motivated by profit, it would be motivated by such bureaucratic standards as quotas and defined “best procedures,” which are equally beyond the influence of most citizens. The proper role of the government is to regulate the private sector, in order to foster healthy competition and to curtail abuses. Therefore any legislation that undermines the viability of the private sector is suspect. Private, religious hospitals and nursing homes, in particular, should be protected, because these are the ones most vigorously offering actual health care to the poorest of the poor.
The best way in practice to approach this balance of public and private roles is to spread the risks and costs of health care over the largest number of people. This is the principle underlying Medicaid and Medicare taxes, for example. But this principle assumes that the pool of taxable workers is sufficiently large, compared to those who draw the benefits, to be reasonably inexpensive and just. This assumption is at root a pro-life assumption! Indeed, we were a culture of life when such programs began. Only if we again foster a culture of life can we perpetuate the economic justice of taxing workers to pay health care for the poor. Without a growing population of youth, our growing population of retirees is outstripping our distribution systems. In a culture of death such as we have now, taxation to redistribute costs of medical care becomes both unjust and unsustainable.
Fourth, preventative care is a moral obligation of the individual to God and to his or her family and loved ones, not a right to be demanded from society. The gift of life comes only from God; to spurn that gift by seriously mistreating our own health is morally wrong. The most effective preventative care for most people is essentially free – good diet, moderate exercise, and sufficient sleep. But pre-natal and neo-natal care are examples of preventative care requiring medical expertise, and therefore cost; and this sort of care should be made available to all as far as possible.
Within these limits, the Church has been advocating for decades that health care be made more accessible to all, especially to the poor. Will the current health care reform proposals achieve these goals?
The current House reform bill, HR 3200, does not meet the first or the fourth standard. As Cardinal Justin Rigali has written for the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-life Activities, this bill circumvents the Hyde amendment (which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions) by drawing funding from new sources not covered by the Hyde amendment, and by creatively manipulating how federal funds covered by the Hyde amendment are accounted. It also provides a “public insurance option” without adequate limits, so that smaller employers especially will have a financial incentive to push all their employees into this public insurance. This will effectively prevent those employees from choosing any private insurance plans. This will saddle the working classes with additional taxes for inefficient and immoral entitlements. The Senate bill, HELP, is better than the House bill, as I understand it. It subsidizes care for the poor, rather than tending to monopolize care. But, it designates the limit of four times federal poverty level for the public insurance option, which still includes more than half of all workers. This would impinge on the vitality of the private sector. It also does not meet the first standard of explicitly excluding mandatory abortion coverage.
I encourage all of you to make you voice heard to our representatives in Congress. Tell them what they need to hear from us: no health care reform is better than the wrong sort of health care reform. Insist that they not permit themselves to be railroaded into the current too-costly and pro-abortion health care proposals. Insist on their support for proposals that respect the life and dignity of every human person, especially the unborn. And above all, pray for them, and for our country.
Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless Bishop of Sioux City
Monday, August 17, 2009
He went on to say: “I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.”
Norman Mattoon Thomas (November 20, 1884 – December 19, 1968) was a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.
While the socialist ideology is not on the Republican platform per se it has become pervasive in recent years. Blogmaster
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
James Madison was the Fourth President of the U.S., principal author of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, wrote one third of the Federalist Papers, and whose strongest political theory was that the new republic needed checks and balances to protect individual rights from the tyranny of the majority.
Caritas in Veritate: Introduction "9. Love in truth caritas in veritate is a great challenge for the Church in a world that is becoming progressively and pervasively globalized. The risk for our time is that the de facto interdependence of people and nations is not matched by ethical interaction of consciences and minds that would give rise to truly human development. Only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and faith, is it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanizing value. The sharing of goods and resources, from which authentic development proceeds, is not guaranteed by merely technical progress and relationships of utility, but by the potential of love that overcomes evil with good (cf. Rom 12:21), opening up the path towards reciprocity of consciences and liberties.
The Church does not have technical solutions to offer10 and does not claim to interfere in any way in the politics of States. 11 She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance, for a society that is attuned to man, to his dignity, to his vocation. Without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values sometimes even the meanings with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce. Her social doctrine is a particular dimension of this proclamation: it is a service to the truth which sets us free. Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church's social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations.12" Pope Benedict XVI
What could be more damaging to human development, truth, and freedom, when Godless Socialist/Statists become the distributors of three fourths of the Church’s social doctrine by leaving out the fourth pillar---subsidarity? (Common good, solidarity, and dignity being regulated by progressive and pervasive national and global powers)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
My May 31, 2009 blog entry defined the Church’s social doctrine into four parts: common good, human dignity, solidarity, and subsidiarity.
Almost exclusively the issue of subsidiarity is missing from the “common rhetoric” when discussions of this new encyclical are presented.
In this new encyclical Pope Benedict mentions the terms common good 20 times, solidarity 40 times, dignity 15 times, and subsidiarity 12 times.
“57…A particular manifestation of charity and a guiding criterion for fraternal cooperation between believers and non-believers is undoubtedly the principle of subsidiarity,137 an expression of inalienable human freedom. Subsidiarity is first and foremost a form of assistance to the human person via the autonomy of intermediate bodies. Such assistance is offered when individuals or groups are unable to accomplish something on their own, and it is always designed to achieve their emancipation, because it fosters freedom and participation through assumption of responsibility. Subsidiarity respects personal dignity by recognizing in the person a subject who is always capable of giving something to others. By considering reciprocity as the heart of what it is to be a human being, subsidiarity is the most effective antidote against any form of all-encompassing welfare state. It is able to take account both of the manifold articulation of plans and therefore of the plurality of subjects as well as the coordination of those plans. Hence the principle of subsidiarity is particularly well-suited to managing globalization and directing it towards authentic human development. In order not to produce a dangerous universal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity, articulated into several layers and involving different levels that can work together. Globalization certainly requires authority, insofar as it poses the problem of a global common good that needs to be pursued. This authority, however, must be organized in a subsidiary and stratified way,138 if it is not to infringe upon freedom and if it is to yield effective results in practice.”
Caritus In Veritate
Sunday, June 7, 2009
“…Is there anything more tragic, is there anything more opposed to belief in the existence of a good God and Redeemer of mankind, than world hunger? Shouldn’t it be the first test of the Redeemer, before the world’s gaze and on the world’s behalf, to give it bread and to end all hunger?...
“…Marxism---quite understandably---made this very point the core of its promise of salvation: It would see to it that no one went hungry anymore and that the “desert would become bread….”
“…When this ordering of goods is no longer respected, but turned on its head, the result is not justice or concern for human suffering. The result is rather ruin and destruction even of material goods themselves. When God is regarded as a secondary matter that can be set aside temporarily or permanently on account of more important things, it is precisely these supposedly more important things that come to nothing. It is not just the negative outcome of the Marxist experiment that proves this….”
“…The aid offered by the West to developing countries has been purely technically and materially based, and not only has left God out of the picture, but has driven men away from God. And this aid, proudly claiming to “know better,” is itself what first turned the “third world” into what we mean today by that term...”
“…The idea was that we could turn stones into bread; instead, our “aid” has only given stones in place of bread. The issue is the primacy of God. The issue is acknowledging that he is a reality, that he is the reality without which nothing else can be good. History cannot be detached from God and then run smoothly on purely material lines….”
Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI, pages 30-34
Analysis and application of Subsidiarity
1.) If the “West” has done this to third world countries what has it done to itself?
Jesus having fasted in the desert during these temptations exemplifies the physical needs and the physical evils that we all experience in this life. His mission as well as ours is to point the way to the heavenly Kingdom; not to make all physical evils go away here on earth.
Of course all creation is good, even material things developed by man, when it’s used for God’s purpose. When Jesus fed and healed in the scriptures he did so to point to the Heavenly Kingdom---as should all of his followers.
2.) If the Marxist experiment failed how could any state power created by man with the intent of removing physical evils or needs ever succeed? Did Jesus prescribe any type of state authority for the purposes of addressing physical needs and/or physical evils?
CCC 2431 The responsibility of the state. "Economic activity, especially the activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and honestly. . .
“Do you get your rights and liberties from the Federal Government in Washington? If you got your rights and liberties from the Federal Government in Washington, the Federal Government in Washington could take them away. Our Founding Fathers had to face this question, and it was one of the very first that they answered. They sought for some basis and ground of human rights and liberties, and they found it and set it down in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: It is a self-evident principle that the Creator has endowed man with certain inalienable rights. They cannot be taken away. And among them is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." —Bishop Fulton Sheen
When a state sets itself up as absolute as God, when it claims sovereignty over the soul, when it destroys freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, then the state has ceased to be political and has begun to be a counter-Church.—Bishop Fulton Sheen
Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. — John Adams
A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy... While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security. —John Adams
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
A study guide for Subsidiarity with His Holiness Benedict XVI using his address to the 14th Session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences was established in 1994 by Pope John Paul II. It is headquartered in the Casina Pio IV in the Vatican.
The four fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching: the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity and solidarity (cf. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 160-163).
“Inspiring Christians to embrace more readily their obligation to enhance solidarity with and among their fellow citizens, and to act upon the principle of subsidiarity by promoting family life, voluntary associations, private initiative, and a public order that facilitates the healthy functioning of society’s most basic communities.”
U.S. Constitution History:
A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."
The word "republic" comes from the Latin res publica — which means simply "the public thing(s)," or more simply "the law(s)." As opposed to a pure democracy which always ends in mob, I mean, majority rule.
“We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Ben Franklin at the birth of our nation.
Outline by Paragraphs
1) The Academy is committed to research, dialogue, and teaching in the areas of law, economics, politics and the various other social sciences.
2) The purpose of Catholic social teachings is to foster sustainable growth, development, and protecting the environment, reduce inequalities in distribution, and expanding education opportunities.
3) Defining Human dignity, common good, solidarity, and subsidiarity.
4) Simple definitions are only the beginning to understanding the social doctrine.
5) A graphic analogy of the fundamental principles of social teaching.
6) These fundamental principals have the potential to place humanity to its supernatural destiny.
7) The eyes of faith to see solidarity with the whole earth and with heaven.
8) The viewing the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity in light of the Gospel.
9) Subsidiarity encourages men and women to enter freely into life-giving relationships.
10) Jesus has taught us how to live here on earth and has shown us the way to perfect communion with one another and God.
"But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm... But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity."
James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788
Using the Pope’s Cover for analysis and application of Subsidiarity.
Read Luke 10:25-37 and the Pope’s cover.
Benedict chooses the Good Samaritan parable to introduce Catholic social doctrine. The topical relevance is clear; to become a brother to all we meet. The Church teaches that we must provide for our neighbors through works of Mercy. There are fourteen such works. Spiritual works include convert, instruct, counsel, comfort, bear wrongs, forgive, and pray. Corporal works are to feed, give drink, clothe, shelter, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. In these fourteen works we also have a blue print for examples in subsidiarity.
Just imagine how many of the works of Mercy could have been performed by all three who passed by instead of just several works by the Good Samaritan alone. The good works by the Samaritan may have been wasted because the other two didn’t attempt to convert, instruct, counsel, forgive, or pray for example. This is a great example of subsidiarity in the Gospel! Society and its works start and end at the lowest order. And everyone has been given special and different talents in works of mercy.
This Samaritan parable was a response from Jesus to a Jewish lawyer who was testing him and trying to justify himself. Why didn’t Jesus just tell the lawyer to petition the Roman authorities to legislate a welfare state to provide for all of the down trodden? Being a lawyer Jesus could have asked him to author the legislation himself. The Rabbi and the Levite where prominent members in Jewish society, Jesus could have admonished them for lack of political will or government oversight in protecting and providing for its people and visitors. No, Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself and all of humanity is your neighbor. Works of Mercy is where the rubber hits the road and any assistance from any higher order is just that---assistance.
Questions for understanding
1.) Review the outline provided, does the Pope highlight any possible forms of government? Why or why not? CCC 2245, 2246
A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.
James Madison, Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788
Alexander Hamilton, speech at the New York Ratifying Convention, June, 1788
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The Catholic Catechism has four parts:
- The Profession of Faith
- The Church Liturgy and the Seven Sacraments
- Life in Christ
- Christian Prayer
Simply put, government that governs least governs best with as much local control as possible.
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." --James Madison, Federalist No. 45. Chief author of both the Federalist papers and the U.S. Constitution.
Part Three, Life in Christ
The Person and Society
I. The Person and Society
1878 All men in fraternity are called to God
1879 Man was designed to be social
1880 Society is a group of persons
1881 Human persons define a community
1882 Societies begin with the family and go on to include international levels
1883 Definition of Subsidiarity
1884 God has granted free will
1885 True social order rejects collectivism
1886 Society and the human vocation
1887 Means and ends
1888 Spiritual, morality, and conversion
1889 Charity and grace
Part Three, Life in Christ
II. The Family and Society
2207 Original cell of social life---the family
2208 Family needs/requirements
2209 The family must be helped and defended
2210 Importance of family for society well being
2211 Political community is responsible to honor the family
2212 The fourth commandment illuminates other relationships
2213 Communities are made up of persons
IV. The Family and the Kingdom
2232 God’s kingdom is everyone’s ends
2233 Be a disciple
V. The Authorities in civil society
2234 Honor society’s authorities
Duties of Civil Authorities
2235 Authorities serve persons and natural law
2236 Authorities’ are to facilitate freedom and responsibility of all
2237 Authorities are to respect the individual
The Duties of Citizens
2238 Servants of God
2239 The spirit of a good society
2240 Submission to authority and co-responsibility
2241 Obligations of prosperous nations
2242 When citizens are not obliged to follow directives
2243 Armed resistance to oppression
The political community and the Church
2244 Political hierarchy of values
2245 Church and state
2246 Church relationship to politics
Part Three, Life in Christ
The Seventh Commandment
III. The Social Doctrine of the Church
2419 Proclaiming the Gospel
2420 Church makes moral judgments
2421 History of the social doctrine
2422 Composition of the social doctrine
2423 Social teaching principles
2424 Profit as the exclusive norm
2425 Church rejects certain governments
IV. Economic and Social Justice
2426 Economic activity
2427 Human work
2428 Primordial value
2429 Economic initiative
2430 Rights and duties of social partners
2431 The responsibility of the state
2432 The responsibility of private business
2433 Access to employment
2434 Just wage
2435 Recourse to strike
2436 Social security and unemployment
V. Justice and Solidarity among Nations
2437 Inequality of resources
2438 Solidarity of Nations is required
2439 Rich nations have moral responsibility
2440 Direct aid and reform
2441 God, self-awareness, full development
2442 Pastors and politics
"It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe." --James Madison
Questions for Understanding
1.) What is the end and purpose of individuals, societies, and nations? CCC 1878, 2232, 2233, 2238
2.) What does history consistently show when ideology trumps God’s purpose? CCC 2244
3.) What defines community? CCC 1881
4.) What is the basic building block of society? CCC 2207
5.) Scanning thru the preceding Catechism outline what common themes can be derived? CCC 1878, 2207, 2232, 2419, 2441
6.) What are the responsibilities of citizenship? CCC 1878, 1889, 2208, 2234, 2239, 2242, 2243
Questions for Application
In Congress, July 4, 1776. The Unamimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America."...Governments are instituted among Men, driving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and institute new Government..."
1.) Does this preceding statement uphold Subsidiarity principles? Why or why not?
2.) The first Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, limits the federal government by establishing basic individual rights while limiting the power of the federal authorities. Are there any amendments contrary to Subsidiarity principles? How do any uphold Subsidiarity principles?
3.) What subsidiarity arguments can be made to justify nazism, communism, fascism, imperialism, socialism, capitalism or any other ism?
4.) CCC 2211 lists the responsibilities of a government to its citizens. What form of government that exists or has existed before best fits these requirements?
5.) Google “european union constitution does not acknowledge god” on the internet. How does this debate reconcile with Church teaching?
"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained." --George Washington
CCC 1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of Subsidiarity, according to which the internal life of 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 co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.
Subsidiarity in the Catechism
Life in Christ
The Person in Society CCC 1878 - 1896
Life in Christ
The Family and Society CCC 2207 - 2213
Life in Christ
The Social Doctrine of the Church CCC 2419 - 2449
Catholic Social Teaching
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Pius XI
Pope John XXIII
Mater et Magistra
Pacem in Terris
Gaudium et Spes
Pope Paul VI
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It’s interesting to note what Pope Leo XIII’s legacy was in the context of the time period of his pontificate. Pope Leo is known most for his Social Justice Encyclicals and the creation of the St. Michael Prayer. And during this time period he also lived to see major changes in the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Western Civilization being transformed by the Industrial Revolution.
The link between the Pope’s Social Justice Encyclicals and the Industrial Revolution is clear and present.
Less clear is Pope Leo’s creation of the St. Michael Prayer. It is said to be inspired by a prophetic vision he received of the coming century of sorrow and war. The World Wars raged using the Industrial age’s technology and for the control of the wealth it produced.
And clearly the horrors of nazism, communism, fascism, imperialism, and socialism where fueled by this same Industrial Revolution. It was all too easy for Evil to practice “wickedness and snares” with the tools of new powerful weapons, the mass production of these devices, and man’s fallen nature.
Charity is clearly superior to welfare (socialist state), why is it not more widely practiced then to immigrate to these great beacons of prosperity (Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Brazil, USSR, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.) This argument is superfluous.
When the redistributionist argument is unveiled it is nothing but socialism cloaked in a sheen of objectivity.
John Wayne’s characters where an embodiment of what it means to be an American, but that can-do, take-charge, self-assured attitude is being replace by big daddy government does it best---since when has this worked?
John Wayne, Why I love Her!
John Wayne, Pledge of Allegiance
Life in Christ
Man’s Vocation Life in the Spirit
CCC 1700 The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son1 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.
Parable of Lazarus and the rich man.
The history of society is well represented with government bureaucrats and utopian ideologies represented by the rich man and Lazarus being the common man. This parable is not just about feeding, clothing, or giving medical assistance. It’s about restoring a person’s human dignity by helping him provide for himself. And most important of all it’s about honoring God.
Jesus is not just asking us as individuals to assist our neighbors but to enter into a covenantal relationship under God with our neighbor. Not under a state or government ideology.
September 19, 2010 Luke 16: 1-13
“no servant can serve two masters”…”You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
No where is this more important than in politics and politicians. People in these positions of power should be our greatest servants, creating politics that protect the Sovereignty of the basic building block of society---individuals and the family. Human development towards eternity is the goal.
In the proper order of things, we the people, are to use mammon to serve the Truth, the Light, and the Master. Key word being, we, not government, they work for us.
September 12, 2010 Luke 15: 1-32
Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son.
The human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject, and the object of every social organization. These rights also demand participation (duties) from the person. Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. It allows man to be charitable as he shares his blessings with others.
September 5, 2010 Luke 14: 25 – 33
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
The worst effects of individuals and society living only for the present time is that we live beyond our means and suffer the consequences of gluttony. Prudence is required.
August 29, 2010 Luke 14: 1, 7 – 14
"When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
The greater the size and scope of principalities, politics, and the centrality of these powers; the smaller the rights and liberties of the common man. The corruption of worldly idol worship knows no bounds.
August 22, 2010 Luke 13: 22 – 30
“There you will weep and gnash your teeth…And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."
This time is short and eternity is forever; the promises of utopia by men in authority in this time and place are lies, as the prince of this world embodies.
August 15, 2010
Luke 1:39-56 Mary’s Magnificat
God chooses lowly humble servants just as He himself was as the son of man; why should we ever expect anything more than this. He has scattered the proud in their conceit, He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and the rich He has sent away empty.
August 8, 2010 Luke 12: 32-48
“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master's return from a wedding…Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
The higher the position of authority one attains the greater the service to others.
August 1, 2010 Luke 12: 13-21
“Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
This individual lesson is exponentially greater when the state consumes and hordes great wealth and power for itself; for it’s rare that the state relinquishes such power without awful hardship and loss of life.
July 25, 2010 Luke Luke 11:1-13
The Lord’s Prayer and cooperation between friends.
All levels of society must work their parts respectively with God’s purpose the ultimate goal. For if we lived our Christian faith as we should, there would be very little need for government in our daily lives.
July 18, 2010 Luke 10:38-42
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.”
Work and Faith go together, when singularly focused we do not live out our Christian lives completely. Jesus himself worked as a carpenter for many years supporting his family and society at large. We sanctify our present world when we strive to attain an integrated life orientated towards God. Church social teaching has four basic elements: from the first three, subsidiarity, solidarity, and human dignity we can plot the various points of Catholic social teaching that give shape to the fourth---the common good. And all work towards the realization of eternity with our creator.
July 11, 2010 Luke 10:25 The Good Samaritan parable.
The topical relevance is clear; to become a brother to all we meet. The Church teaches that we must provide for our neighbors through works of Mercy. There are fourteen such works. Spiritual works include convert, instruct, counsel, comfort, bear wrongs, forgive, and pray. Corporal works are to feed, give drink, clothe, shelter, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. In these fourteen works we also have a blue print for examples in subsidiarity.
Just imagine how many of the works of Mercy could have been performed by all three who passed by instead of just several works by the Good Samaritan alone. The good works by the Samaritan may have been wasted because the other two didn’t attempt to convert, instruct, counsel, forgive, and pray for example. This is a great example of subsidiarity in the Gospel! Society and its works start and end at the lowest order. And everyone has been given special and different talents in works of mercy. Not the politically organized body.
July 4, 2010 Luke 10: 1-20 The mission of the seventy disciples---it’s the same for us.
(1) Work with your neighbor to assist and spread the good news to other neighbors. (2) Know that most people are attached to this world and time, misinformed, and exposed to devious doctrine. (3) Pray to the lord for conversions. (4) Be prepared to be like a lamb among wolves. (5) Do not have unhealthy attachments to this world and its institutions. (6) Do not procrastinate.(7) Make sure there is peace in your heart so you can bestow peace to others. (8) Faith, virtues, and morality will be rejected in part and even in whole by many. (9) Do not boast or be prideful of your work. (10) Know that your good works and name are written in heaven.
6/27/2010 Luke9: 51-62 Jesus sent disciples to villages ahead of him to prepare his way. “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” Pride, material wealth, social status, utopian schemes, and other vain glories of this world not only poison us now but for eternity. Jesus chose simple men to be messengers of his good news.
6/20/2010 Luke 9:18-24 “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” To follow Christ is to imitate him in both his ignominy and in His fearless spreading of the truth no matter the costs. Only in following Jesus standing up for truth do we achieve fullness of life here and now and for eternity. When the state no longer respects these inalienable rights it must be rejected
6/13/2010 Luke 7:36-50 A Pharisee questions Jesus about the sinful woman who is weeping while bathing His feet. How Many times do we witness worldly powers and authorities with a lack of humility, honesty, and repentance? Pride, wealth, and protection of their “position” in this time and place inhibits too often virtuous behavior
6/6/2010 Luke 9:11-17 The multiplication of loaves of bread and fish miracle. Apostles recognize that the people must feed and find shelter for themselves as individual freedom and human dignity requires. Jesus performs the miracle to foreshadow the Eucharist and not establish a collective form of governance.
5/30/2010 John 16:12-15 “Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that He will take from what is mine and declare it to you.” Jesus announces individual, not collective, gifts and responsibilities to His disciples.
5/23/2010 John 14:15-26 Conferring of the Holy Spirit “Keep my word, and my Father will love him…Those who do not love me do not keep my words” A Blessing or a curse we bring upon ourselves. Only a society of virtuous people can expect a virtuous form of self-government.
5/16/2010 John 17:20-26 "Father, I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me."
Jesus prays for his established Church and his humble disciples that they may continue his revealed purpose. He did not choose from among the haughty and powerful institutions of men.
5/09/10 John 14:23-29 “The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you” Jesus prepares not only His Church but anyone who loves Him for His physical absence to continue His work. The Holy Spirit acts internally within each of us to influence our neighbors and human institutions such as government. “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed (Quote from U.S. Declaration of Independence).”
5/02/10 John 13:31-35 “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, you also should love one another.” The source and meaning of love is telling us to love one another. Powers and principalities of this world cannot love. Turning over the social doctrine to an all encompassing bureaucratic government degenerates love into a weak sentimentality.
4/25/10 John 10:27-30 “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.”
Human history is a long story of examples of what happens when tyrannical powers and principalities no longer hear His voice, know Him, or follow Him. Selfishness, greed, and inhumanity reign. What more reason could there be to limit the size of government.
4/18/2010 John 21:1-19 Simon Peter, do you love me, then follow me.
A simple fisherman will lead the Church against the powers and principalities of this world. Christ's kingdom is not built on earthly powers, but by love and faith, and who does not rule from an earthly standard throne, but from the throne of the Cross. The Church militant always stands against totalitarianism, following the Master in martyrdom when confronted with the absolute claims of earthly powers is correct.
4/11/2010 John 20:19-31 Jesus is risen; He encourages His disciples, have faith.
This time is a temporary home, don’t look for salvation here in this time like Judas Iscariot, our father’s house is our goal and eternity. The promises of powers and principalities of this time are misguided and devious.
4/04/2010 Easter Sunday Luke 24:1-12
This time and place is just a temporary home. It's in vain to look to worldly powers for salvation. Focus on your Father's house.
3/28/2010 Palm Sunday Luke 19:28-40
Lo, a son of a carpenter, our creator, our savior,our king; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.
3/21/2010 Scribes, Pharisees, and the adulteress John 8:1-11
When ruling authorities, scribes and Pharisees, no longer prescribe to God’s precepts corruption and tyranny prevail. The self-righteous "intellectual elite" of the time are taken to school by the son of a carpenter. All glory to God!
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton
3/14/2010 The Prodigal Son Luke 15:1-32 The Prodigal Son can represent us when we trust solely in worldly powers and their promises of material wealth, lust, and greed. Our hearts and lives are surely troubled until they rest in our Father’s precepts and Church teachings. The family is the original cell of social life. While other social bodies do have a duty of helping they should take care not to usurp the family’s prerogatives.
3/07/2010 Luke 13:1-9 Who are the worst sinners, repentance, and the fig tree? "We The People" fertilize and till the soil. The greater society represents the fruit of our labor or lack there of. Only a moral society with a well-developed conscience will nourish a tree that bears great fruit.
2/28,/2010 Luke 9:28-36
The Transfiguration scene with God, Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Peter, John, and James.
God reveals himself and his plan for humanity in a carpenter, slave, prophet, and three fishermen.
2/21/2010 Luke 4: 1-13
Jesus is tempted with food, health, and vain glory after fasting in the desert.
What could be more the role of the basic building block of society, the family, than feeding and administering to the health one's own and their neighbor? It’s only the vain glory of man to rule the world, promise no physical evils, and to micro-manage the every day needs of humanity. Praise and glory belong to God.
2/14/2010 Beatitudes and Woes, Luke 6:17-26
Cursed is the one who trusts solely in human institutions, who seeks his salvation in this time and world, whose heart turns away from the Lord. Blessed is the one who trusts and has hope in the Lord, being one among his fellow men, sharing ones ability and talent in the simplest form possible; to solve problems of the human condition while living in this world and all created things, and at the same time establishing a spiritual and material environment, which promotes both individual and general societal development.
2/7/10, Luke 5:1-11
"Don't be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men."
Jesus chose fishermen to start His Church and with Peter, the first Bishop, to lead His Church in His absence. Jesus could not have selected men from a community of any lower order and education.
1/31/10, Luke 4:21-30
"Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
God chose to reveal Himself as the son of a common carpenter and not a son of a powerful political authority or religious leader.
The family is the original cell of social life.
The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:
the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family's own moral and religious convictions. the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution of the family.
the freedom to profess one's faith, to hand it on, and raise one's children in it, with the necessary means and institutions.
the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and housing, and the right to emigrate.
in keeping with the country's institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits.
the protection of security and health, especially with respect to dangers like drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.
the freedom to form associations with other families and so to have representation before civil authority.
In Congress, July 4, 1776. The Unamimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.
"...Governments are instituted amoung Men, driving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and institute new Government..."
“suitable social policies for the redistribution of income” is found under, The Social Doctrine of the Church, para. 303 is under Chapter 6, Biblical Human Work and The Rights of Workers under section IV, subset b.
This is all about just wages not government tax and spend programs!
Chapter 8, The Political Community, Part V., section VI, subset B. The Church and The Political Community
Para. 424 “The Church respects the legitimate autonomy of the democratic order and is not entitled to express preferences for this or that institutional or constitutional solution”, nor does it belong to her to enter into questions of the merit of political programmes, except as concerns their religious or moral implications.
So clearly Jesus is not a Communist, Socialist, or a laissez-faire capitalist.
The following sounds like free market ideology to me!
419. The political community is responsible for regulating its relations with civil society according to the principle of subsidiarity. It is essential that the growth of democratic life begin within the fabric of society. The activities of civil society — above all volunteer organizations and cooperative endeavours in the private-social sector, all of which are succinctly known as the “third sector”, to distinquish from the State and the market — represent the most appropriate ways to develop the social dimension of the person, who finds in these activities the necessary space to express himself fully. The progressive expansion of social initiatives beyond the State- controlled sphere creates new areas for the active presence and direct action of citizens, integrating the functions of the State. This important phenomenon has often come about largely through informal means and has given rise to new and positive ways of exercising personal rights, which have brought about a qualitative enrichment of democratic life.