Wednesday, July 15, 2009

John Zmirak: The Pope and Global Tyranny

An insightful column from friend, John Zmirak, today at Zenit:

Encyclical Does Not Advocate World-State

By John Zmirak

MERRIMACK, New Hampshire, JULY 14, 2009 ( Much of the buzz around Benedict XVI's complex and multi-faceted new encyclical in the secular press has centered on just one paragraph, number 67.

Taken out of context, without the countervailing statements in the rest of the document, and removed from the organic whole of Catholic social teaching, it is being trumpeted by many as the Pope's call for an international government -- one with sovereign powers akin to those the U.S. federal government wields over the 50 states, or the European Union (some fear) will soon exercise over member nations.

To most of us, such a prospect is not a dream but a nightmare. As I wrote in my early comments on "Caritas in Veritate" at "Perhaps I am too Augustinian, but I cannot help deeply suspecting that any such state would by its very nature begin or (more likely) end as a tyranny. The very monopoly of its power, and the fact that there was not one square inch of the earth from which anyone could escape its clutches, would remove any check or balance from its bureaucrats."

Surely Benedict XVI is not so naïve as to willingly lay the groundwork for such a dystopia. And indeed, throughout the document he insists on the centrality of what the Church calls subsidiarity -- the principle that any vital social service that can be done by private individuals should be. Failing that, civic organizations -- whose centrality he trumpets throughout the document -- should take up the slack.

As cited above, see also from John Zmirak, "Your Life Is a Gift."


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