Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Only Divorce-Free City in the World

The family is one of the institutions most affected by the crisis in our decadent times. Religious and moral sentiments have practically disappeared as if torn to bits. The divorces rate is overwhelming — an estimated 50% of marriages fall apart. Added to this, there are illicit unions, which are common and seemingly without consequences.
That is why it does so much good to hear — lo and behold! — that despite the malice of the times, there is a city in this world that has not surrendered to universal depravity and in which family bonds are so strong that there is no record of divorce.

This privileged city is Siroki-Brijeg. Located in Bosnia, its approximately 26,000 inhabitants of Croatian origin, have always been ready to defend their Catholic faith even in the face of the worst adversities. This is what happened, for example, during the Muslim invasion centuries ago. Then,  the country fell under the boot of atheist Communism when the faith was tested in every possible way.
Reports from several trusted Catholic sites say that “Siroki-Brijeg is remarkable … for in the collective memory of all there has never been a single divorce among the Croatian Catholics of the city.”1
What is the explanation for such a remarkable fact?
First, consistent with its profound Croatian tradition, the population of this city is almost 100% Catholic, and they live their faith very seriously. They consider it a point of honor to defend the indissolubility of marriage and the monogamous family formed by the union of a man and a woman – as stated in the country’s Constitution – with the blessings of Holy Mother Church.
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However, what marks this profoundly religious attitude is that they see marriage as a cross indissolubly united to the Cross of Christ. This leads spouses to face their union without romanticism, false expectations, or illusions. Realistically, they know that in this valley of tears everyone has defects. There is no mutual understanding without a mutual exercise of patience.
In this ceremony, the priest blesses the crucifix presented by the bride and groom. He then places the fiancee’s right hand upon that of the groom, .covers them with a stole. The couple then makes their vows with their hands clasping the crucifix. The priest tells them they have found the ideal “partner” with whom they must share their lives with the following words: “You have found your cross! It is a cross that you must love and take with you every day of your lives. Know how to appreciate it.”This Catholic view of marriage is what prevents the incidence of divorce and separations. However, this attitude finds physical expression in a custom. During their married life, the spouses find strength by praying together before the crucifix they hold together during the religious wedding ceremony.
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After kissing the cross, the spouses enthrone it in a place of honor in their homes, showing their profound belief that a family must be born of the cross.
When trials, misunderstandings, disagreements and difficulties common to all marriages arise, both spouses kneel before the crucifix and with unwavering faith ask for strength to endure them, for Our Lord’s yoke “is easy, and his burden, light.” This attitude is consistent with the belief that the cross will give them strength to overcome daily trials if they grounded their marriage on it.
The spouses are keenly aware that if one abandons the other, they will abandon Christ. Experience teaches that the source of perseverance through which they will gain eternal life can only come from the Cross of Christ rather than any external factor.
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The children born of these strong unions learn from a tender age to venerate the family crucifix and direct their early prayers to the cross.
In this way, these Catholics learn to practice, from an early age, that which the immortal Portuguese author Luis de Camões already celebrates with the words: “Thou, who carefully looks for rest in this tempestuous sea of the world, do not expect to find any rest except in Jesus Christ crucified.” Children thus acquire a consistent formation to face the vicissitudes of life with a supernatural spirit.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

This Is the Danger of Not Taking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Seriously


The left’s new darling is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“AOC”). The 29-year-old congresswoman from New York catapulted into the political scene in November as the face of a new “democratic” socialism. The media hang on to her every word and fawn over every gesture. Her “New Green Deal” is the talk of the nation. Conservatives take note of and ridicule her antics, hyperbole and errors.
She is the center of attention wherever she goes. She shocks, amuses, alarms and flabbergasts the public. The political circus around her is such that many say that she must not be taken seriously.
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A New Style of Politician
At first glance, this might seem a logical conclusion. She represents a new kind of political persona that has entered Congress and no longer reflects the seriousness and gravity that used to characterize public officials. This new way of being a politician cares little for rules, procedures and standards. Indeed, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s written and spoken statements are riddled with factual, mathematical and even grammatical errors. AOC, as she is known, is famous for her Twitter analysis, spontaneity and brash style that takes on the establishment. It is hard to take someone like this seriously.
She and others like her are the products of these postmodern times when politics has taken on an ever-shallower character. In this new political world, there is no truth but rather each has his or her own “truth.” All must be choreographed to present the best possible image and greatest possible emotional impact. Selective outrage and assumed righteousness are the order of the day. Things take on the appearance of entertainment rather than political discourse.
This new style of politician is theatrical and communicates a dynamism that comes with all that is sensational, personal and emotional. AOC manages to engage (and enrage) every kind of public. Her rashness enthuses the left. Her radicalism fascinates the center. Her outlandishness enflames the right.
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A Public Avid for Entertainment
The appearance of this new style of politician should not be surprising. It reflects a culture in which people are avid for entertainment and stimulation. People with this mentality want everything to be instant, effortless and without consequences.
This mentality is transforming every field. Thus, reporting has become news-entertainment that distorts reality and provides the “fake” news that plays to the frenzy of the moment. AOC represents a kind of politician-entertainer that acts upon the national stage providing moments of drama and comedy to a public eager for a momentary thrill or quick Facebook post.
To stand out amid the frenetic intemperance of the day, AOC presents a spectacle that is sensational, shallow and even bizarre. She must submit proposals that are on the edge of absurdity. They must be just crazy enough to incite conservative outcry, yet just credible enough to excite liberal commentary.
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Both the congresswoman and the public coincide to create the almost surreal atmosphere of the American political scene where almost anything is possible, nothing is certain, and all is quickly forgotten.
A Serious Response
The serious response to AOC is to take her seriously—very seriously. This is because she represents not only herself but a whole class of politicians of the left that will bring the nation to ruin. There are three reasons why her ideology must be opposed.
The first reason is that her ideas are very dangerous to the common good. Just because her persona is shallow does not mean that her ideas are harmless. Any serious response to AOC must separate the shallow persona from her toxic ideology. The superficial exterior only camouflages a philosophy that has brought untold misery to billions.

She is a socialist and proudly so. It must be remembered that socialism was the banner under which the Soviets enslaved nations. Hitler employed national socialism to wreak havoc upon the world. Repressive regimes in ChinaCuba, North Korea and Venezuela all invoke socialism. Efforts to “reinvent” socialism have always failed.
Socialism can never be an option for America no matter how it is packaged—be it democratic, communistic, Nordic, third way, nationalistic, Bolivarian, or “for the twenty-first century.”
The notion of proudly marching under the banner of socialism, whatever the brand, must be very seriously, deliberately, and efficaciously opposed.
Accepting the Unacceptable
A second reason to oppose AOC’s ideology is its radicalism. Just because many see her ideas as absurd does not mean that she sees them that way. She believes fervently in her dangerous ideas. People have the mistaken idea that extremist visions like hers can never be adopted because they are outrageous, impractical and illogical.
However, they fail to realize the historical role of figures like AOC in the process of getting bad ideas accepted. For the left, extremist ideas serve as an energizing standard around which they might gather and attract idealists.
For society in general, the outlandish standard serves to intimidate and fascinate. When extremists propose their sweeping revolutionary ideas, they make less socialist ideas appear reasonable to moderates. They scare the indecisive political center into gradually accepting unacceptable alternatives. If unopposed, history has shown that radical Jacobins can eventually reach beyond their outrageous goals and bring misery and chaos upon the nation.
The Wrong Model for the Future
Finally, the AOC model and ideology must be opposed because the future of the United States cannot be based on a political circus. The nation will not survive if it follows a shallow and emotional narrative in which acts have no consequences and truth has no meaning. The national agenda must be based on reality and not the utopian fantasy some desire. Given America’s leadership role in the world, such attitudes can have grave consequences.
The only model that will work for America is one in which political thought is grounded on principles. Society must be governed by ordered liberty, informed by natural law. America needs principled leaders who are not afraid to take a stand and confide in God.
If the AOC model becomes the new normal, it will lead to America’s ruin. Despite the appearances to the contrary, she, and her ideology should be taken seriously—very seriously.

As seen on CNSNews.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Why Catholic Millennials Need These Four Urgent Life Skills

Many complain that young people are not getting the basic life skills so needed to survive in the world. Parents and schools no longer teach skills like cooking, laundry, budgeting, or car repair as in times past.
At the same time, our culture encourages young people to extend their adolescence well into their twenties. They postpone future responsibilities indefinitely as seen in a third of young adults between 18 and 34 that now rely upon their parents for room, board or financial support.
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The result is a surge of young people ill-prepared to be adults. Indeed, young people doing adult-like things has given rise to the new verb “to adult.” Making one’s bed in the morning is an exercise in adulting as would be arriving on time for work.
Marketers would be amiss if they did not take notice of an opportunity. Hence, adulting classes have sprung up all over the country.
The Rise of Adulting Classes
The Adulting Collective of Portland, Maine, for example, offers a wide variety of classes which include bicycle safety, gift-giving, budgeting, and nutritional planning. Other courses can be found at the Brooklyn Brainery or the online Society of Grownups. The target demographic is that 93-million-strong sector of people in their twenties and early thirties who missed out on the art of taking care of themselves that was once learned in the home and school.
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As one who has worked with and taught young people, I think we need to be careful about writing them all off as melting snowflakes or incurable cell phone addicts. Not all millennials are equally in need of adulting. Some have developed good work ethics and practical skills from heroic parents.
However, many still need help. What I see in the young generation is not something new, but a logical consequence of defects from prior generations, starting with my own boomer generation. The sixties started the destruction of the morals and rules that had restrained our passions and bad tendencies. They devastated the social framework that kept order in society. The result was lives without structure or rules.
This is now complicated by new technologies that help make people progressively more impulsive and distracted. Today’s frenzied lifestyles leave many people without time to fix, teach, or learn. Despite all their online connections, young people are more isolated and lonely than previous generations.
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Are Adulting Classes the Solution?
Adulting classes claim to help millennials develop those skills left behind, and ease them into full adulthood. The tasks can be as simple as fixing a car, writing letters, cleaning house, digging a hole, changing a tire, cooking, sewing, preparing for job interviews, or managing money.
As much as these abilities are needed, I believe they do not represent the life skills that millennial Catholics desperately need to survive in this world. I would like to note that many millennials (following in the footsteps of their parents) hardly think about those skills that develop the more spiritual side of the human condition.
These more spiritual skills lead to wisdom, perfection, and sanctification. Learning these skills will give millennials the means to deal with the other more practical tasks. The higher resolves the lower. It is a case of “Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).

Thus, I would propose four adulting classes for Catholic millennials, based on my observation over the years of what young people need. This is not to say older people do not need these same skills, but rather they are specially required by young adults who have yet to assume adult responsibilities.
A Schedule Class
The first adulting class would be developing a sense of schedule. A schedule class would put a person’s life in order by developing the idea of method and routine in flighty souls.
The postmodern tendency is to walk away from problems that become difficult, especially those that involve regular attendance. The spiritual writer, Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, notes that “a soul cannot lead an interior life without the schedule we have referred to, and with the firm resolution to keep it all the time, especially where the rigorously fixed hour of rising is concerned.”
A schedule avoids the pitfalls of postmodern life with its constant cyber-distractions and impulsive wanderings. I cannot help but think that such lessons could contribute toward preventing people from leaving jobs, commitments, and marriages that tire them and keep them from living spontaneous lives without a course…or a cross.
Schedules provide a framework of order, and it is a much-needed commodity for millennials who aspire to become adults.
Reading Is Important
A second adulting class would be a reading course. I am not saying that millennials do not read. I suspect they read a lot. What concerns me is what they read, where they read it and how it is read.
I have seen studies that report many young people do not read a single book during a year. Others never read a newspaper. Many start and do not finish their books.
My experience is that reading is a habit that can be acquired with much coaxing. I have personally helped young people who never read a book become avid readers by constantly encouraging them to read the right books.
Millennials need to read the right books to fill their minds with the perennial truths they need to deal with life. Thus, a reading course would feature the classical books, extremely interesting stories, biographies, and history long abandoned by postmodern educators. It would also include those tried and true religious books and saints’ lives that have been taken off the reading lists of Catholics for decades.
The course would start by asking students to routinely finish their books and then develop the habit of reading and savoring good books. Once they start reading, they would gradually develop their appetites for profound commentary and populate their minds with the interesting material that develops strong personalities.
I might add that good reading skills that tend to improve writing skills that I notice have become ruleless and sloppy in our digital age.
Lessons on Failure
Postmodern life tends to be shallow because people are afraid of failure. Studies show millennials and Generation Z behind them are adverse to risk. One very important adulting class would be a class on failure.
Students would be taught the value of lessons learned from failure. They would be required to read tales of spectacular failures and defeats that nevertheless developed character. They would learn about the defeat of Leonidas at Thermopylae or the failed expedition of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton in Antarctica. They would especially read the accounts of martyrs like Saint Isaac Jogues or heroes like Saint Louis IX who also suffered setbacks and defeats. They would thus learn that even failure can be fruitful.
In Catholic theology, this lesson is found in the concept of the cross of Christ and the need for us to carry our crosses. Thus, Catholics would gain much by tapping into the rich literature about the Cross of Christ.
Indeed, after Original Sin, we all must suffer. Those who do not resolve to embrace the cross of suffering, do their duty, and carry its weight until the end will not develop their character. Those who accept suffering and often failure—the cross—are transformed by the experience. They become adults.
Learning to Pray
The final adulting class would be on prayer. Many people and especially young people have very superficial notions of prayer and spiritual life. At best, many consider prayer a kind of dispenser of God’s favors for those who ask. At worst, prayer is deemed a psychological crutch that helps people deal with times of difficulty. As with reading, many never pray at all.
I notice many young people have a very vague notion of what prayer entails. They are unaware of the ends of prayer: adoration, reparation, thanksgiving, and petition. They limit their prayer to petition without employing it to know, love, and adore God.
Prayer is necessary for salvation. It helps us obtain goals that are impossible without it. Prayer is a great and powerful means to deal with adversity. This unique adulting course would include the learning of the rosary and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It would open up the treasures of the Church regarding this necessary means for salvation. It would introduce students to the concept of spiritual life and the action of grace in souls.
The Important Spiritual Side
There are many more adulting classes that might be taught such as the art of conversation, norms of courtesy, and leisure. All these things involve our now lost Christian tradition that seeks to look beyond material well-being. Barry Goldwater rightly affirmed this universally recognized outlook in his Conscience of a Conservative(ghostwritten by Catholic convert L. Brent Bozell, Jr.) that every man is a unique and “spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires.”
If we are to solve the problems of a childish world, we must address this superior spiritual side of man’s nature. Focusing on this spiritual side gives rise to political, social, cultural, and religious activities and solutions that tower far above the practical skills now offered to adulting youth.
As seen on Crisis Magazine.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Martyr in St. Louis: This is a Glorious Way to Die

by: Norman Fulkerson

Monday, November 19, 2018, might have seemed like a normal day for Jamie Schmidt. Little did she know when she entered Catholic Supply, a religious goods store in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, that this ordinary day would be her last. Nor did her family ever dream her life would come to a heroic end with her being compared to Saint Maria Goretti.[1]
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In many ways, 53-year-old Jamie Schmidt could be considered an average Catholic lady, which only serves to make her final moments more outstanding. She was a mother of three who married her high school sweetheart. She sang in the choir at her parish Church, St. Anthony of Padua in High Ridge, Missouri. Friends described her as a giving person: someone who was always there if you needed help. She was also a devotee of Our Lady who actually made and distributed rosaries.
We know this because her reason for stopping at Catholic Supply was to purchase material for her rosary-making apostolate. There were only two other people in the store—both female employees—at the time of her arrival at 3:30 in the afternoon.
Moments later, Thomas Bruce entered. He looked around a bit then explained he was going to make a purchase but needed to get a credit card from his car. When he returned, he had a gun, and the three women were faced with their worst nightmare.
“In the Name of God…”
After forcing the ladies into a corner of the store, he proceeded to sexually assault the two employees. He then turned the gun on Jamie with the intention of doing the same to her, but she had other plans.
What happened next was an act of Christian testimony one would only expect to find among early Church martyrs in the Roman Coliseum, not from a twenty-first-century Catholic lady in a modern American city.
Thomas Bruce turned to Jamie and from what we know of the exchange that followed, ordered her to disrobe. In such a situation, she could have responded in a way that might pacify her assailant. One can only speculate as to what was going through her head at that critical moment.
However, when one considers the perverse acts she was forced to witness, it is likely Jamie understood there would be no reasoning with such a man. The thought also might have occurred to her that God had placed her in that situation because He wanted to test her fidelity to Him. While this is pure conjecture, her categorical response, as recounted by the two employees, is a documented fact.
“In the name of God,” she said, “I will not take my clothes off!” Using that type of phraseology was the equivalent to taking an oath before her Creator. It was thus an unequivocal, categorical, no, an absolute refusal to a man with a loaded gun who was clearly not going to accept opposition.
A Glorious End
Sadly the outcome was what one would expect under the circumstances. She was shot at point-blank range. As she lay mortally wounded on the floor, for what would turn out to be her last moments on Earth, she was in need of immediate spiritual strength and touchingly turned to God. As life drained from her body, the two employees could hear her murmuring the Our Father, the prayer composed by Our Lord Himself, in a faint voice.
The assailant fled the scene but was later apprehended. Jamie lived long enough to be taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. However, she did not cease praying and with her dying breath was heard whispering that same prayer as her short life came to a glorious end.
It would be reasonable for a person who relishes the memory of this brave lady’s heroic sacrifice to ask, why does such a story move us so much? It is because what we see with Jamie’s heroic defense of purity is the overarching luminosity of that which was best in her: honor.[2]
A World That Is Devastated and Without Honor
This forgotten quality has several defining characteristics. First of all, it is the virtue whereby we esteem that which is excellent. This is not a difficult thing to do in the soul-stirring case of a Catholic wife and mother who looks down the barrel of a loaded gun and unhesitatingly chooses death to dishonor.
Secondly, honor is also the quality that drives a person to live up to that excellence in all things. For example, those who care about their honor will not only maintain their purity, they will also seek to practice all virtues because of the love of principle, whether it is convenient to do so or not.
Finally, there are moments in a person’s life that could be defined as an “H-hour” or the all-or-nothing moment. It is a circumstance that asks a person to go above and beyond what they, or anyone who knows them, think they are capable of achieving. When faithful in those moments, the fullness of honor is seen, and along with it, a series of other qualities and virtues appear in the background, as it were, like an angel.
It is for this reason that Jamie’s heroism is particularly refreshing. The days we live in are not much different from the world defined in the Book of Maccabees as being “devastated and without honor.” Therefore, it is in licentious and self-centered days like our own that honor has more brilliance for the simple fact that it stands in stark contrast to the decadence that surrounds us.
Bypassing the Pleasures of Life to Do God’s Will
America should be very grateful to Mrs. Schmidt for her outstanding example of purity, so very needed in our dissolute times. With her last act, she provided a breath of fresh air in an ugly world. Although she might have been just an “average” lady leading up to the tragic events of November 19, in one monumental and decisive moment she was catapulted into the pantheon of greatness. It is for this reason that she has been likened to Saint Maria Goretti, the 12-year-old girl, who also chose death rather than submit to an equally perverse proposition.
Sadly there are those who, upon hearing Jamie’s story will callously ask, “What was it all worth?” She missed the opportunity to enjoy Thanksgiving with her family and the joyous season of Christmas. She will not see her children grow old nor will she ever be able to caress her grandchildren. While these heart-wrenching considerations are legitimate, especially for mothers reading this article, the all-important lesson of Jamie’s life could be lost. Her final words, while succinct, were at the same time a manifesto on the obligation we all have of being faithful to God’s will no matter how painful it may be.
However, there are those who will discard such reflections and look upon Jamie as the defeated one who lost out on life’s pleasures. We can thus contrast this attitude with that found in the poignant letter of French King Francis I to his mother after suffering a crushing defeat during the Battle of Pavia in 1525. He had lost militarily but maintained that which he considered most precious.
What the king reputedly said in that letter can be aptly applied to the unforgettable Jamie Schmidt. From the place in eternity she now occupies, Jamie can justly say to those she left behind, “All is lost, save honor.”

[2] The concepts of Honor given here were developed by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in a series of meetings on the subject given in 1976. He was able to make voluminous commentaries on this subject because he was, in a very eminent way, a man of honor.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Catholic Church Against Every Error: The Unending Conflict


This article was written before World War II in the face of an impending crisis. Although the world situation has changed since then and even worsened, the same “unending conflict” between the Church and Her enemies continues.
Taken from the newspaper, Legionário, October 15, 1939
“The Unending Conflict” is the title of an essay by Hilaire Belloc, a well-known English Catholic writer and intimate friend of the late Chesterton, published in the London journal The Universe. Belloc demonstrates that all controversies in these hectic times are basically reduced to only one: the conflict between the Catholic Church and Her enemies.

One most interesting aspect about our present times is that no one realizes the nature of the great struggle now involving all the nations of Europe, and some countries in America and Asia.
Everywhere you will hear that this is a fight between communism and what is commonly called “fascism.” Those same people who are quick to make this claim will say that the struggle is between a traditional old world and a rising brand-new world. Others, with a narrower vision, call it “a struggle between certain races or nations.” This latter claim is false since the struggle involves a universal movement. Still, others believe that it is merely a war between rich and poor.
All these explanations are imperfect to some degree, when not outright absurd. What we are witnessing is a conflict between the Catholic Church and Her enemies.
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We Are Headed for Chaos
Most of the more serious and intelligent observers of this fight certainly do not recognize this truth. However, it is the central truth of this whole struggle. People do not perceive this because they generally look at the indirect effects of events. Since any social event originates from profound, underlying causes, they fail to see the first causes, because they are not easy to perceive.
We must understand that the present modern conflict revolves around the Faith. Our fight is is yet another example of the struggle between the Faith and the world that has unfolded throughout the ages. Without understanding this, we will never comprehend the nature of the danger threatening the Earth. This is because the threat that weighs on the modern world is not the possibility of falling into the clutches of this or that race, or this or that philosophy. It is the danger of losing that which created our civilization.
Faith built our civilization. To the degree we lose the creative force of our Faith, our civilization will increasingly crumble. If this force is completely lost, our whole civilization will be lost, and we will move toward chaos.
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A few Questions to Dr. Inge
English writer Dr. William Ralph Inge, an Anglican professor of theology at Cambridge, has written an extraordinary statement. He wrote that unless the world submits once again to the teachings of Our Lord, it is doomed to perish. “Nothing can save us,” Dr. Inge said, “but the laws and doctrines of Christ.” As everyone knows, he is a very intelligent person, and almost as importantly, an extremely cultured man. He got very close to the truth since his words certainly expressed truth.
However, Dr. Inge failed to add the one extra clause that would have given full meaning to his thought. He did not say that a particular institution has preserved an uninterrupted tradition of that Divine teaching which he rightly considers the only and most necessary remedy for modern evils. He did not say this because he does not believe it. Dr. Inge does not believe that the Catholic Church speaks with the voice of Christ or that She is the one who possesses the whole tradition of Christ. Yet, like any other man, Dr. Inge would be hard-pressed to explain who else in the entire world can lay claim to this title. It is only the Church that can do this, which according to Her own definition is One, Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic.
Consider any of the principal themes that have led men to war, past, present or future. State these themes in the form of questions: “What is the true doctrine about private property, based on the authority of Christ?” Or, “What is the true doctrine on marriage?” Or yet, “What is the true doctrine on war?” From the authority of the Church, we find answers to these and all other questions we may ask. Outside the Church, we will obtain an assortment of contradictory assertions. No one can cite a final authority anywhere, except for Catholics when we state what we accept as a sound philosophy of life.
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The Church’s Answer
Note also, that on every capital question in which an answer is indispensable to guide humanity, the Church’s response is based on several principles that support Her position, and prevent both the falsehood of exaggeration or the fallacy of treating universal matters as if they were isolated subjects. Thus, for example, in relation to private property, the Church affirms the right of ownership. She does not say, like the Communists: “The ownership of the means of production is immoral.” Rather, She affirms that property is a moral institution both in relation to consumer goods and means of production. The Church also affirms that every human being has the right to live according to human norms. Every human being is entitled to what the Church calls “human bread.” That is to say, that human dignity must always be maintained. When economic pressure becomes oppressive, producing a situation “akin to slavery,” it is immoral.
The Church teaches yet more: Faith presupposes a stable society; therefore, it does not allow for unfettered or unrestrained competition. Church doctrine on private property rests on a whole network of interrelated propositions, which if applied entirely, produces a stable and happy society.
The Family and the State
Let us look at another analogous point of contention. Does the individual exist for the State or the State for the individual? The conflict between tyranny and freedom revolves around this issue. The Church offers a perfectly clear answer.
The State exists for the family and to improve both the physical and especially the spiritual life of the individual. However, the State has the right to demand that citizens defend the nation from aggression and obey reasonable laws. Civil authority comes from God. The abuse of authority does not come from God. Indeed, when authority acts contrary to the law of God, it loses all its validity.
In Her long history, the Church has never produced or inspired a society that supported tyranny as a ruling principle, nor has She produced a society in which the authority of civil magistrates was denied.
At the root of the Church’s entire policy and social teaching lies Her clear doctrine on the family, an institution created for the salvation of the individual.
False Solutions
The tragic danger of our time lies in false solutions lacking effective authority to implement them. It also lies in false solutions based on insufficient principles, or false solutions springing from extremism that proposes to heal the mortal suffering that afflicts us all.
Thus, for example, some might say that man under industrial capitalism, is allegedly a victim of injustice. As a solution, those opposed to the Faith exclaim, “Let us end private ownership of the means of production, and this injustice will disappear!” However, this will only cause worse suffering; for slavery is the only possible alternative to private property as a social institution.
Married life always has some tribulations, and sometimes couples suffer tragic and almost unbearable trials. Those contrary to the Faith will exclaim, “Let us put an end to marriage through fast-track divorce, and then the evils of marriage will vanish.” Abolishing marriage will only give rise to far worse, inhumane evils because it will destroy the basic cell or unit of social life. This will soon result in the annihilation of society itself.