Fascism and the Church


Fascism and the Church.


On 11 April 1963, Pope John XXIII issued the encyclical “Pacem in Terrris,” his formula for “universal peace.” Early on, he states that Private property is a right, but that that right “entails a social obligation as well.[1]

Things start to become interesting on item 25: “The Right to Emigrate and Immigrate,” since all people enjoy citizenship in that universal society, the common, world-wide fellowship of men.

He claims that state officials do not derive their authority from the consent of the governed, but from God: “Hence it is from Him that State officials derive their dignity, for they share to some extent in the authority of God Himself,” citing Pious XII, the one who condemned the US for insisting on establishing a government without the wise counsel of the church, that is, of himself.

If you make it as far as item 94, you’ll find this jewel:

  1. A special instance of this clash of interests is furnished by that political trend (which since the nineteenth century has become widespread throughout the world and has gained in strength) as a result of which men of similar ethnic background are anxious for political autonomy and unification into a single nation. For many reasons this cannot always be effected, and consequently minority peoples are often obliged to live within the territories of a nation of a different ethnic origin. This situation gives rise to serious problems.
  2. It is quite clear that any attempt to check the vitality and growth of these ethnic minorities is a flagrant violation of justice; the more so if such perverse efforts are aimed at their very extinction.
  3. Indeed, the best interests of justice are served by those public authorities who do all they can to improve the human conditions of the members of these minority groups, especially in what concerns their language, culture, ancient traditions, and their economic activity and enterprise.
  4. It is worth noting, however, that these minority groups, in reaction, perhaps, to the enforced hardships of their present situation, or to historical circumstances, frequently tend to magnify unduly characteristics proper to their own people. They even rate them above those human values which are common to all mankind, as though the good of the entire human family should subserve the interests of their own particular groups. A more reasonable attitude for such people to adopt would be to recognize the advantages, too, which accrue to them from their own special situation. They should realize that their constant association with a people steeped in a different civilization from their own has no small part to play in the development of their own particular genius and spirit. Little by little they can absorb into their very being those virtues which characterize the other nation. But for this to happen these minority groups must enter into some kind of association with the people in whose midst they are living, and learn to share their customs and way of life. It will never happen if they sow seeds of disaffection which can only produce a harvest of evils, stifling the political development of nations.

Any notion that immigrants must integrate into their new home is thus rejected. The idea of the American “melting pot” firmly replaced for that of the “salad bowl” a stupid argument that was raging in our colleges when I attended NYU in the early 80s.

Following his dictum on immigrants, we find this beauty on refugees: “…we must include his right to enter a country in which he hopes to be able to provide more fittingly for himself and his dependents. It is therefore the duty of State officials to accept such immigrants…

That is, the duty of the state is no longer to protect its borders and regulate immigration, but to open its doors to any and all desiring to come hither. Residence in industrialized nations, according to the Pontiff, is a basic human right of all inhabitants on Earth.

He also envisioned the UN as an arbiter of last resort: “May the day be not long delayed when every human being can find in this organization [UN] an effective safeguard of his personal rights…

And thus, a few of the issues that plague our political discourse today entered the political arena: From the division of our society into “minorities” to the movements to protect illegal migrants and refugees, the following decades saw a rise in all kinds of domestic organizations promoting these issues. Not surprisingly, behind every action to create “Sanctuary Cities” to mobilizing marches for the rights of illegal aliens, the hand of the church is clearly discernible.

Paul VI

In 1971, Paul VI added his two cents to the discussion in an Apostolic letter, “Octogesima Adviens.” [2] In it, to the already stated problems of minorities, refugees and the obligation of industrialized nations to pony up to ease the “suffering” of underdeveloped countries (echoes of which are more than clearly discernible in the recently gutted Paris Accords), the Robed One added this:

  1. While the horizon of man is thus being modified according to the images that are chosen for him, another transformation is making itself felt, one which is the dramatic and unexpected consequence of human activity. Man is suddenly becoming aware that by an ill-considered exploitation of nature he risks destroying it and becoming in his turn the victim of this degradation. Not only is the material environment becoming a permanent menace – pollution and refuse, new illness and absolute destructive capacity – but the human framework is no longer under man’s control, thus creating an environment for tomorrow which may well be intolerable. This is a wide-ranging social problem which concerns the entire human family.

The Christian must turn to these new perceptions in order to take on responsibility, together with the rest of men, for a destiny which from now on is shared by all.

In the Pontiff’s mind, industrialization and the taming of the environment was an “exploitation of nature” that had gotten out of hand threatening the entire human family. Of course, this is nonsense. Technological advances have done more to solve these problems than to create them, and opposition to science and development have a more ancient root. Ask Galileo.

Paulo VI couples this with Leo XIII’s call for “social justice”, the underpinning of modern Fascism: “Justice, therefore, demands that the interests of the working classes should be carefully watched over by the administration.” It is spelled out in Rerum Novarum[3], which as early as 1891 lays the foundation of the Church’s opposition to Capitalism and promotes a mixed economy, regulated by the state as the “Christian” thing to do. One can say, without fear of error, that this singular theory, coupled with Socialist discourse, forms the basis of Italian Fascism, perhaps the reason why Mussolini found it so easy to reach an Agreement, the Lateran Treaty with Pope Pious XI[4], returning to the Church what it had lost in 1871: sovereign territory. By 1933, the Perfect Fascist, according to the government slogans, was an Italian who loved God, the Fatherland and Family, in that order.

It was the same Pious XI who gave us in 1931 “Quadragesimo Ano”[5] a long document celebrating the 40th anniversary of “Rerum Novarum.”

In Quadragesimo Ano, Pious XI expanded the former proposing a “reconstruction of the social order” along the lines of Italian Fascism, “For if the class struggle abstains from enmities and mutual hatred, it gradually changes into an honest discussion of differences founded on a desire for justice, and if this is not that blessed social peace which we all seek, it can and ought to be the point of departure from which to move forward to the mutual cooperation of the Industries and Professions…For certain kinds of property, it is rightly contended, ought to be reserved to the State since they carry with them a dominating power so great that cannot without danger to the general welfare be entrusted to private individuals.”

This social doctrine was successively restated and somewhat amplified by all successors to the throne of Peter.

John Paul II in “Redemptor Hominis”[6]: “to see no other meaning in their natural environment than what serves for immediate use and consumption.” And under whose reign, Italy was forced to renew the accords of the Lateran Treaty, due to expire, but only after years of violence, assassinations and open sedition forced the Italian government to capitulate and not only confirm the extraterritoriality of the Vatican, but deliver its educational system for good measure. This grotesque treaty, signed at Villa Madama in 1984[7], will be the subject of another blog soon.

Benedict XVI, in a letter to the diplomatic corps at the Vatican[8]: “eliminating the structural causes of the dysfunctions of the world economy and correcting models of growth which have proved incapable of ensuring respect for the environment.

And last, but not least, the guy who calls Capitalism “the dung of the devil”[9], Francis, whose Encyclical, Laudato Sí[10], is the most unabashed defense of Fascism to see the light since Mussolini was hanged upside down at a gas station in Milan.

And now the route map is complete.

Whenever you wonder where all the venomous and divisive nonsense that plagues our political discourse, from irrational “environmentalism” — with all the “global warming” garbage included — to the defense of unchecked immigration, the unqualified acceptance of refugees, and the balkanization of our society into myriad minority islands came from, all you need to do is look in the general direction of Rome.

So much was recognized by Howard Dean, still smarting from his defeat in the Democratic primary but having received the consolation prize of Chairman of the DNC, was happy to declare in an interview in C-Span: “I don’t know why Catholics don’t vote massively for the Democratic Party. After all, our platform is the Social Doctrine of the Church.” If you think he was kidding, read the Social Doctrine[11].  At least in this point he was in agreement with former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachov, who in an interview with Italian and Spanish newspapers said that the 1991 coup marked the end of “Stalinist socialism” but not of “true socialism” which he said is “tied to the concepts of social justice, freedom, equality, the general framework of human values. In short: we promote the cause of Christ. The search for truth, humanity, justice and spirituality are eternal values.”

And so we now have an alliance of the Democratic Party, European Socialism and the Catholic Church culminating more than two centuries of activism dedicated to the sole purpose of undermining the government of man by man.

[1] http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-xxiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_j-xxiii_enc_11041963_pacem.html

[2] http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/apost_letters/documents/hf_p-vi_apl_19710514_octogesima-adveniens.html

[3] http://w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum.html

[4] http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-841.843

[5] http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19310515_quadragesimo-anno.html

[6] http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_04031979_redemptor-hominis.html

[7] http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/archivio/documents/rc_seg-st_19850603_santa-sede-italia_it.html an English translation can be found here: http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-39221.843

[8] http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2007/january/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20070108_diplomatic-corps.html

[9] https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/world/americas/in-fiery-speeches-francis-excoriates-global-capitalism.html?mcubz=1

[10] http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html#_ftn10