Monday, January 09, 2012

Pope Praises Green/Left Policies

The Pope seems to have cut new ground today in his New Years address to the Diplomatic Corps by praising the October decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union banning the commercial patenting of embryonic stem cells and commending a resolution adopted in the same month by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe condemning prenatal selection on the basis of sex.

Both these resolutions were put forward by a coalition Socialist and Green politicians. Increasingly the Holy Father has been talking in terms of human ecology, of respect for the environment and generally taking up the green cause in order to speak of the sanctity of human life and of natural law.

Unlike our own British political parties, of both right or left, whose only real policies seem to be about reducing everyone to a customer or consumer, where market forces are left to run riot and the only "big" political idea, again for right and left, seems to be "equalities", there is a maturity amongst some European Socialists which tends to see the Common Good and Catholic Social Teaching as the guiding principle.

Michael Merrick has an interesting examination of the decline of British Catholic Socialism that is worth reading, Like what he says about the need to read Humanae Vitae along with Rerum Novarum.


Fr Ray Blake said...

I love you but I am not publishing that it was insulting and I don't think you have bothered to read the Merrick piece.

George said...

I liked the article. And that's a good part of the reason I like your blog, Father -- faithful Catholicism mixed with social justice.

The other thing I like about the article is the notion (not stated loudly, but strongly implied) that it taints the Church to be tied to either of the political sides.

What we need is a new Conservatism - a return to traditional Conservatism - the Conservatism of the counter-revolution; the Conservatism challenging Modernism and Liberalism (of the Right and the Left); the Conservatism calling men, families, and nations back to Christ and His Church.

But can this happen when the leaders of the Church Militant shy away from these views; and often proclaim the exact opposite: princes of the Church advocate secularism and deny the social and political rights of Christ and the Catholic Church.

Until there's an authentic Catholic option, I will continue voting for the naturalists/secularists of the political Right. Although both the Right and the Left are dragging us into social disintegration, the abortion and sodomic-marriage issues are of greater importance morally than the many sins championed by the poltiical Right.

gemoftheocean said...

I've read the article in question and his logic is poor and he provides NO examples, just typical leftist cant.

The leftist ideology is a Godless one which seeks to replace God with the state as 'lady bountiful.'

Ask Cubans, ask Nicaraguans, ask the Former Soviet Bloc, ask the Chinese, ask how many bodies are stacked up how high on the altar of Marxism. And don't even go there with me with trying to counter with 'Hitler' [National SOCIALIST party, remember?]

It hasn't been possible for DECADES to be a good practicing Catholic and support the left-wing Democrat party in the US. They never met an abortion they didn't like. Ask Pelosi ('I'm a good Catholic but okay with partial birth abortion'), see if Ted Kennedy will pick up the hot line -- and realize it's the Marxist Obama who foisted his left wing system on us which will REQUIRE all Catholic institutions to provide abortions for their employees if they desire them.

Again -- in Britain you now have TWO left wing major parties. IT is the left wing who stir up class envy and uniformity. They want everyone to be equally miserable. They reach for the lowest common denominator every time.

Fr Ray Blake said...

There good Socialists and bad ones, to introduce an ad Hitlerium argument is plain silly, rather like saying all Democrats or Republicans are to be dismissed because some tin-pot dictator calls his regime the Democratic Republic of ....!

I am not quite sure I recognise Britain in your description.

I think when European Catholics talk of Socialism we mean something based on the Church's social teaching and the thought of, in England, men like Belloc and Ward.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for this link. I think the terminology underlying what is 'left' and 'right' is now so confused that the whole idea has become totally useless.

Perhaps a simple dimensional view might simplify this. We should view the political spectrum not as a single contimnuum but as a coordinate system with, e.g. two independent axes: left-right (in the original sense if it is still useful) and liberal-conservative (very crudely). Then some "left" turn out to be "left liberal," some other "right liberal," still other "right conservative," and finally other "left conservative".

The Christian church was always leaning to the political "left": opposed wild unrestricted capitalism, human exploitation, the cult of money, supported the idea of freedom (yes, the true view of what is freedom) and human dignity, brotherhood among peple etc etc. Do not forget that the first Christianws were essentially "communists" having common property. The Catholic Social teaching (see encyclicals) is also essentially "left."

The alternative political "left" parasitised on these ideas to the degree the whole intellectual building is now totally confused and basically destroyed. This is probably why people of Orthodox Russia were so quickly and easily turned to its opposite (of their Christian beliefs) by communism. We really have many many common ideas and values and these ideas were (and still are) supported by many people. I do not think it coincidental that most Russian revolutionary leaders were students of Orthodox seminaries (even the most odious ones - Stalin and Dzerzhinsky were studying for priesthood when young).

Such sacred cows of the "left" as the ideas of "liberty," "tolerance," etc. etc are not bad and wromg things in itself, they are just used inappropriately in the wrong context and outside of the true hierarchy of values. It is literally madness.

I like the conclusion Michael Merrick draws in the slightly obscure essay "As such, painting 'the Left' as the bogeyman that assaults a Catholic vision of the good life is not just simplistic but genuinely dangerous." This is indeed dangerous because it promotes and strengthens the "left and right" confusion.

Evagrius said...

To anathematise the left wing without reservation is to anathematise many, many Catholics, including but not limited to Chesterton and Belloc.

In Britain we have two neoliberal parties, not two left-wing parties. This can easily be shown by the complete disregard by both parties for the needs of the poor, or of anyone outside a narrow metropolitan elite.

One thing we could do with less of when it comes to discussing the faith and politics is less screeching, swivel-eyed American rhetoric.

nickbris said...

The wealthiest nation in the World is Capitalist USA and more people live in POVERT there than the whole population of the UK.

Any attempt by an enlightened President to change this state of affairs gets him branded as a Communist by somebody who calls themself Catholic.

Physiocrat said...

We need Chestertonian Distributism, and we need to formulate a practical legal and fiscal framework that will bring about such a society, where large families supporting themselves partly on their smallholdings - like the Bevans of the 1970s - are a commonplace.

Chesterton and his circle described the vision but took it no further.

gemoftheocean said...

Nickbris: I'm sorry but you are 100% out of kilter if you think Obama has ANYTHING good in mind for Christians-or anyone else for that matter. While in Illinois your hero supported allowing aborted babies who'd managed to survive an abortion to be LEFT ON SHELVES TO DIE. His rotten 'deathcare' he and his minions foisted on the US will be FORCING Catholic institutions to pay for abortions and birth control. He has done many other things disgusting to the faithful. Ask any *real* Catholic in the US if you could be a 'loyal democrat' and be a Good Catholic and they would laugh in your face.
Go to youtube and google 'Pelosi' [faux Catholic] + 'Santorum' [practicing Catholic] and partial birth abortion - watch the Democrat author of Obamacare defend partial birth abortion. Of course, your UK Leftists have recently been piling the label 'God botherer' on Santorum in the last 2 weeks.
It's the democrat party that is the champion of the Gay/Lesbian agenda, pushing homosexual adoption of children & gay marriage. They LOVE the breakup of of the family, because they think THEY will step into the 'God role' and dole out taxpayer money so they can stay in perpetual political power. It's not about 'helping people' it's about *control.* Not all republicans are pure as the driven snow - but I could give you money for every 'Rat congressman that actually VOTES prolife and not break a sweat about losing much. Don't listen to what these people say -- watch how they vote. As for the US having more 'poor' people in the country than the entire population of the UK -- well, someone's been blowing cigarette smoke up your kilt. Poverty HAS greatly increased the last few years. Directly attributable to the policies of your hero Barrack. The 'man' chokes jobs on purpose. That's what Marxists do. Very silly of you to claim what you did about US poverty rates when such things are easily checked via google. And you simply are wrong. You leftists should learn that you don't control all the media any more. Percentage of US in poverty as estimated by the US Census Bureau was 15.1 percent of the population. [And US poverty rates DO NOT count any assistance the person is receiving from Uncle Sam -- i.e. food stamps/section 8 housing bennies, which can be considerable.] Population of US to date: close to 313 million. Which would make 47 million in poverty. Your entire population is 62.3 million -- so you were only off by 15 million people -- but what's a huge statistical error by a leftist? Not surprising. BTW, you thought you'd get away by being sly with thinking people wouldn't know the population of the US is roughly 5 times greater than the UK. Oh, % of people currently estimated to be living in poverty in the UK? 21.8 percent.

gemoftheocean said...

lizard: very surprised you quote the canard re: the original Christians being communists. Not quite. Although it is true the very first ones lived communally, that was because they thought the 2nd coming very near. Quite a difference voluntarily joining your goods in common with others, quite another thing being forced to it. Also you'll find your reading of the scripture rather selective -- you seem to have forgotten the passages from Paul and others in the Christian community admonishing people to remember to distinguish between the truly needed (widows/orphan types) and the able bodied who needed to pull their own weight. 1st Tim, Chapter 5 is rather instructive -- i.e. one's own FAMILY should be the first to help a family member who needs it (in this case widows) so that, as Paul writes: 'If any woman believer has widowed relatives, she must assist them; the church is not to be burdened so that it is able to help true widows.' There are also many admonishments for the clergy to pull their own weight too, and Paul used his own practices as an example. I don't think anyone has a problem helping those truly in need. Nice rant about money though and 'capitalism.' Well, in the US we call it working hard -- I think you'd be hard pressed in Socialist Europe to find many poor people creating jobs. It's not 'money' per se that's the problem. It's the LOVE of money. Loving hard work and the fruits of your labor? Not a problem -- as Paul says: 2 Tim 2:6 'the Hard working farmer ought to have the FIRST share of the crop.'

gemoftheocean said...

Fr. Blake: As for Belloc - he eventually abandoned the Fabian Socialism of his salad days. Belloc, Chesterton et al wouldn't be caught dead signing on to your labour party of today - nor dare I say what passes for your 'conservative' one. [BTW, neither Belloc nor Mrs. Ward were for women's suffrage -- so much for 'compassion' for the 50 percent of the people whom they wouldn't even personally give the vote to.] I recognize the hoary hand of the Godless left in your NHS system every day -- but thanks to their ineptitude they did NOT get middazolan, which they wanted, on hand in my late husband's and my apartment -- (I later found out this would have knocked my husband unconscious when he was in his last hours - a thing your NHS system didn't tell us] and had he been given a shot of it, he'd have not had the grace to be conscious for his last rites or been aware of his parents being present, along with myself, at his death. Nope, don't think much of your socialist Liverpool Pathways. Who knows how many Catholics and others have had their lives snuffed short (and sacraments done without?) by it. I fear many more to come. And I fear the same for my own country should Obama's weltenschang prevail. THe push for Euthanasia is upon us. And as far as I can tell in your country, anyone who runs as anti-abortion is a 'God botherer.'

nickbris said...

Well Done Karen,you sound as confused as Lemuel Gulliver was in Brobdingnag.

The People will decide in November and my money is on Obama,the other bunch of Flat-Earthers have been too busy showing their true colours and the majority of Americans are not that stupid.

gemoftheocean said...

Nick, if I didn't know for a fact that you know Fr. Blake personally, I'd put you down as an atheist troll.

You forget Zero will have to run on his record: Fast and Furious - thousands of guns that HIS ADMINISTRATION was involved in getting to Mexican drug cartels - resulting in the death of hundreds of Mexican and US citizens, including the death of a US border patrol agent -- for this alone he should be in an orange jumpsuit. b) millions more people reliant on food stamps and other government assistance programs to get by. c) him choking off and killing millions of jobs. Official government unemployment figures being close to 9 percent. when you add in the the numbers for people who've run past 99 weeks of unemployment insurance and also those underemployed (working part time jobs - who'd like to be full time) the figure is closer to 16 percent. NO American president in modern times has won re-election with such a dismal numbers d) a record low of American of working age with a full time job e) millions losing their homes while this bozo doubles down on stupid decisions -- he loves abortion and hates Christianity. He is a jackal and you are really whacked in the head if you support him. You have NO CLUE how much this 'man' is despised. I mean that seriously. You are monumentally ignorant of what the 'man' stands for and I truly feel sorry for you if you drank the Kool-Aide. But perhaps you hate the US (you seem like you do) and support the 'man' because you know he drags the US down.) Typical of a lot of the Euroleft.

How can you support a man who loves abortion more than NARAL? Yet, you claim to be Catholic. Neither of your major parties these days really push pro-life in the UK, do you. 'God botherers' all to your leftist press. so keep supporting the left wing -- eventually your great grand-daughters will be in burqas and it will be all academic.

The left wing is no place for the modern day *practicing* Catholic.

George said...

American or British -- we're all under the rule of East Anglia: