8/31/2019

Are Catholicism and America compatible?

"The ancients and medievals are not poster children for authentic self-government, the practice of virtue, the proper exercise of liberty, and the balance of the individual with the community, even if they promoted these ideas. We ought not be too nostalgic for their age. We certainly would not say that Catholicism is incompatible with monarchy or aristocracy because of the failures of monarchs, any more than we would argue that Catholicism is incompatible with the papacy due to the grim machinations and personal infidelities of certain popes. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine reminds us that “the coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be discerned in the perspective of a determined and definitive social, economic, or political organization.” Nor does the Church offer a one-size-fits-all social democratic blueprint. In the words of John Paul II, “Since it is not an ideology, the Christian faith does not presume to imprison changing socio-political realities in a rigid schema, and it recognizes that human life is realized in history in conditions that are diverse and imperfect.” America's Catholic critics need to recognize that the only authentic instantiation of the Kingdom of God is heaven. All else is to be sanctified and transformed by Catholics, working with and trying to expand what is well and good. The current state of affairs cries out for sanctification, redemption, and restoration, not despair and abandonment."