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Unformatted text preview: Permission to use this article granted 5y American Spectator. ' hoirs of cacophony. not angels, . proclaimcdthe good news of ' JohrPaul‘s second visit to the United 'SlatcslhispastSépternbcn Those today, whoimost earnestly and. in-c'a'ses. vi- 650qu protest the Roman Catholic pontiff. are not fundamentalists‘like ‘ Bob-Jones. noreven Ku'KIuXIKlanncr's.‘ : Theyja're '(iuorder or fanaticism) femi- nists}: homomuals, and assorted .dr'sun! Catholics who persist in 's‘o'sm. * ' ing themselves though they “disser‘tt‘?.- . ' from some of the Church’s fundamen- ’ ' tal doctrines. such as the sinfulness of ' pretnarital sex. the prohibitionagainst’ ' contraceptives. and the absolute out- luwing of abortion. The most bitter and intractable of these protesters} 1 might be epitomized ‘hy the latde nun . of lesbian inclinations whoseimilk or "humankindness is curdled' because: Church law does not permit her to be " Ordained. The most frenetic and non~' plussed of his antagonists are the net-~ work intelligentsia. Those folk do not understand the ' , phenomenon of John Paul at ’all. Of 1 last fall's visit Tbrn Brokaw of'NBC gloomin predicted (just as the Alitalia version or Shepherd One was touching . down) that it would be fraught with ‘boni‘rontntiof on account of the Ho— ly Father‘s “u-aditional views." His brethren of the tube kept asking. rhet- ofically and of others. Will not the iPope cut and trim just‘a teensy bit on ‘ . the doctrinal issues to accommodate V ‘ his “restive’ flock? Oh, they were a 'Theycannotreellycreditsome- - one who will compromise neither jot nortittle Theydon‘t ltnowltow tohan- die-indeed, what to think of—this ' K 1 man who has been elevated to thestn- tus..ol'_Pope. because hedoesnot name ' Reid Buckleyis a novelist awfounder' » QRheMIeySdrodq/PublkSpm/q— ing. His lunar encyclr'mt Speaking in Public: Buckley’s fichnique to Win- ' ningArguments and Getting Your Point Across will 'be published this spring by Hm & Rom THEAMERICAN SPECTATOR MAY l938 \ _ 'Rcid Buckley IDOES THEL'POPE LOVE AMERICA? ' I in the wake of Sol/icitudo Rei SOcialis, conservatives are crying “foul!” But during his visit to the us last fall, John Paul left hints they missed. in. and cures nothing for. Gallup polls. 'He is addressed‘as “His Holiness," a courtesy that theyunctucusly observe He. is—his._miter proclaims him—'ka qullrrlsl-(en--incomprehensible status. ' an impossible'chim. a stumbling block and an absurdity to Messrs. Jennings and Rather ‘andwlsrokawx .whose' (Christ‘s) truth cannot.‘be;trimmed by human'ayency'. But surely. . 4 " ‘ ‘KBCffea’tu «a‘f‘Special Report" thot‘ night. in which ,unehorntafifiter Jennings: «pruned: Why Catholis."onoe‘so;docilé to (he'dicta‘tcs ’ ‘olffthe Vatican. enteritis; refiéllious. ’tenunedrnostly'l'romf‘ ' {cyclicaILSo'Ilicimdo Rei Socr'alis (“The “Social Concerns of the Church"). he '- “has srnitteng‘e-Because they—we right- “ _ _ “ wingers—have mislaidthemaningof mobile.:Knd.the'rel‘ore‘_—.+the V inference—ho "longer: peasantéstupid ' submissive-to archaic motel doctrines I imposed from onfihighrfl‘hispop’énal- ysis was on the'othe’r television channels: ill-educated. unsophisticated. primitive folk—you know. like Juan Valdez. who picks Folger coffee beans ' in Colombia—«relohn Paul's kind of Catholic) o t's easy to ridicule the superficiality of media types. which is to ridicule them for filling the mold their telegenic fprot‘ession require; The only people in . our society who understand John Paul Jess are intellectual Roman Catholic I liberal-democratic defenders of. the capitalist system by which we flourish. whom. Withrhis recently published en- liberty. the social and political right of "self-determination. which derives from the precious gift offree will. in that gift inhered moral obligation. ' "The only freedom thatiruly can satisfy is the freedom to do what we ought. . ..“ This. said the Pope in his rejoinder to President Reagan’s words of greeting in Miami. is the freedom that sets us free And these words he repeated on the marrow to the students of the University of South Carolina. of whom 98 percent (or something) hail from Protestant homes. and of whom probably 80 percent debauch on all available occasions. and of whom . maybe 1 percent understood what he was talking about. yet who cheered him wildly. From the first hour of his visit. - the Pope gave every signal that indeed he was not going to bend Church teaching to accommodate happy Prot- cstant pagans or bitterly estranged Catholics. also in‘many cases pagan. He came on an ecumenical mission. But items herelfirstofull toewngelize. that increasing near-majority or his flock who are sorely in needot' instruc- tion in the tenets of their faith and in complextcachings on moral and sexu- al and aka socialrplrilasopltkal issues. John Poul was on a mission to his own. his faithluL who help to constitute and. ‘ merely by choosing to exist in it; to an indefinable degree tolerate and con- done a society that he has no illusions about. ' ‘ I John Paul, you see. was on a mission to another group also of'Peter Jen- nings's acculturated. educated. and sophisticated Catholics—good folk. decent .Ind moral folk. who pledge their intellectual allegiance to the grave errors against charity and justice irre- mediably at the root of our society. which is its irredoernable (pate Michnci Naval: end George Gildcr) material- ism. 'Hewas here not only wielding a sword ofcontradiction. but wielding ii in rebuke. ' V' ' ‘1' l. , At theplan‘esidecerentoniesin Mia- mi that tithtrPresittent Rattan quoted (stumbling so badly over the pronun- ciation of the name that it was pain- fully evidenthehad never himselfread the man) Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain on the Constitution. when; is; 200th anniversary. he reminded the Pope. we were in I987 celebrating. say- ing of it: ' Tum Fathers wereneither meta- phystaansnor lheologianrflrut their phi- losophy of fife and their" poliical philo- Soplly..thetrnotionol‘natutallawahdhu- m'nlhts. werepermeatcd withconcepts worbdouthratistianreasonandbaeked IIP bran ultshahble Nights feeling. “From the first. um" concluded Reagan. “ our nation embraced the be- lief that the individual is sacred—and that as God Himself respects human liberty. so too must the state . . .” .To which the Pope tactfully (and ominously) replied: ‘ WethanltyoultheAmericanpeoplelt‘orthe' goodness and sanctity. the kindness and WMMthhHI youhavehelpedthecn-V tireworld . i . ‘ Hethen dedared that he had come as pastor of American Catholics. to "prth the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen to me.“ imposing his authority. he set the tone for his mission: ~ tmuatmtaormemmthcoct. and the dyinl: those who are strugglint with the problem of each day; those who‘ are rising and falling and stumbling on the. journey of life: those who are seeking and dkcwhgandntosenotyetfmding. m}- deep meaning of [emphasis added) “life. liberty and the pursuit of happiness ». .z" ' God bless America. . ' - ' - He was giVing notice; by, “the deep meaning of ' the pursuit or happiness" that he was invoking the-Almighty's blessing on a specific 'stian perv spectivc of America—With he gently slapped Ronald n's glih' ness on the wrist. advertinc to that meaning no longer comprehended by our hedonistic society. Whatthe-phtase is now etclusivelytahen to'signil‘y—the -p pursuit of worldly goods and plea- sures—does not recommend itself to the Holy Father. He does not—he can- not-love our present society. and though in Sollkimdo Ret' he recognizes thephilosophicalandeconomicirnpor- lane: of private initiative. and the i. and nobility of the political {for all its faults) to WP pl .our uotlt to the ntonsupusly 6"“ antics; ideolow that'has dealt death to human beings by the millions upon millions and:th has imposed more sufferinsonthispoorslobemthepasl seventy-one years than anylhtns ‘0 compare in all history? , John Paul is nevertheless comet on the insist profound of philosophical John Paul’s conception of liberty isn’t the kind that stump speeches are made‘of. or of the. :- Stl'ipe mostlyapplietl to ccléfir'ation of our - freedom under the Constitution- " necessary political freedom under which alone it may prosper. he has shocked and angered conservatch Catholics by insisting on what is to them the absurdity and outright slan— der ot' amoral equivalence between our liberal democratic system andl'Sovict Communism. “I arn.-referrittg;" he writes. “totwn opposinsfblocs. corn- monly known as the fist and the west." And inztttatet‘ashion he con- tinue. tracing the historical roots or both systcms‘to tprineipl way conducing to moral or. each in its way exploitive‘and. 'perjalistic. each in its way‘hostile tohat'n'nan soli~ darity and subjecting htln'tanit'y to “structures of sin.” , Conservative Catholics are outraged. V ' ‘ . account (the - pradica'l materialism which appears in theWestinthefoI-m Surely lohrt Paul, the Polish-patriot who was brought up. under the brutal heel of Marxism, and whoIhas wit» ncssed his brave fellow countrymen martyred on its brutal staid-s. should above all people know the difference! How could the Pope compare the gen- levcls. We may be Beauty and the Beast.» but we are of thc samcfsl'ock. tiring his extraordinary conversa- tions WithAltth£ Frossard, the Catholic French author (Be Not Afmr‘a'l. "St. Martin's Press, 1986).".lohn Paul that “.12. . two1sorts of materialism cartbestoted. thcoietical and practical. The second sort ‘_{the - practical: our liberaljca’pitalist_system in 'Americalgis' the the first .[Ma'rxisnu secular humanism] naturally goes Totalitarian Marxist determinism is'a‘grave' danger ' tor humankind; but “when you speak of. that threatens than in the world you also lakefinto known asélt'he consumer society?" A “mercilessiwar has been declared" on xman'sspiritual dimmsions. Under the subjugation of both species ofrriateri— alis'm‘. rn'at'ris in danger of being cut . "‘off From his own depths.” There is “the; danger or a ‘fundamentaljllw sion.’ that of mung-imagining that. thanks "to theetclusivédevdopntent of material civilization. heihas become in- creasingly- the ‘masfer' 'ol'the visible 1 ' Workh-~ evenol' the cosmos. witllout'no- "cin‘g “that at the same time‘ he} has Inade‘himselfidepeudgtt on this world. that helm ‘ Wot the energiesliberatcd.;tltht he 21$ the object-oh]! of mlptglatm‘ must" "‘ Which Mango nothing. precisely becauaeheba's'com- " Newly '_delivued up to-the ‘world' his 9“qu j and his :tibe'ny. the “’9'”? has taken possession of-hl'mi” “'5 this that titerpeHIcanSthn-he 1° vows folk Where: ‘rrhe True-h :s‘hall set you free.” we V {99 conscious of the truth of our condition. our contingency. nds that wentust putonourselves in om! to liberate ourselves from ' ’ensIaVement tohttntan desires, then ' are we free. Andthatisthetruernean- insandsolenon-aisticvalueol' human freedom. the‘actof personal will that ' bring us into concordance with the ' desires of our Creator. “Freedom” as conceived by most modern liberal dan- oeratic Americans is a transmogrified _ term. an invitation to enslavcment; a - subjugation of the will to error. ' John ,Putl's conception of liberty isn’t the kind that stump _ madeot‘,n0rol‘thestripentostly' ape plied to celebration of our freedom under the constitution. On a yet more profound level. what is true liberty-to the.l>ope? It‘s a kind of metaphysical superconductor to transcendence. it is “the ‘ftssureorbreachinbeingaswe have calledtit, which opensrnan‘ to the infinite-this is; liberty. Without it, man would be melosed in tlte'worldol‘ - nature and robbed. of his transcen- dence’. He would be a 'finite’ and loom- plete' being, totally ddermined by ex- ternal forces and subject to the limits imposed on animate natuie and there- fare to a death without hope ” Deter- minism “is precide this: manvenvisag- ing his own freedom as alunction ot“ the world and of what the world per-' mits him. Onthis laddeterrninism. of whatever school [totalitarian or in the liberal democratic “permissive t'y”], is a denial of freedom. “As a datial of freedom.” he con- tinues,".‘detaminism is consequentlya . denial of responsibility, andtherel'ore of morality. [The] ‘breach’ in being s which reveals man's transcendence is . walled up. . . .‘His specific and irre~ dueeahle [sic] spiritual dimension is - deniedtto admit-thisis to regard the _epiphenomenon as the fundamental phenomenon of humanity." fiecutsdoser in hiscritieism ofthe philosopth bent of our society, which is far from the perception of a Denial of Woman. _ he said to M. Fressard. “be-theme- tice of a totally society. in which everything is permitted precisely because the foundation ‘of man's true freedom isdatied. ltcar't also bethe ' practice of a valentine ‘ ‘ mart is only part.ol'- the 'whole. the property of the state. deprived,“ his ' subjective diameter where thelaws are and theobiect “collective “l think-thatin thesetwo situations comciousof‘thentlesand mech- . - of his God; or convince himself that .God ' 7 alone hirn committee" "1 _ ' ‘ "Buyshockinglytozour' »ears,it"aeetnstometintmanbecomes " moreeasilyawareol’thisinthesecond ‘ case than. in the first. in a totalitarian ‘ ’ ‘ratherthan in a‘world ollax rality. Nola-tireless, even in a per- ; ‘vesociety.heeventuallybeeomes .of‘it. lnbothttasesthetramition ‘frenslavmt to freedom is totally a AMEleAN sracrsroa’ MAY m 3' ‘ 3;. V boundupwiththediscaveryoi'God." . Andnowhecomesdownharshlyon wwllthatwehavehecome‘inccn- mst‘totheidealizationofaMaritain A or. beforehirn. ofs1ocquwille—ex- ',Phiniulohn mumm- _orovalol‘oursoclety, whichnohoop- la. no sentimaitality, no fervent wel- comesnogushinpabout themed- nes‘sol'indiyidual liberty onoursoil— :pemeived by hime be material, car- nal. andcoitternptibly superficial—are abletosweepasideMesetmsystems based on principles,” he I declares, “are in one way or mother programmatically Atheism is the guarantee of their existence and tdeVelopIijustasGodistheguatan- ,te'e oihuman freedom . . ." . bus the Holy Father asserts that V ' we—to the degree that we assent to the secular determinism of the American system—are as much the philosophical enemy of Christ as the ,totalitarian' determinism of the East. This will 'atplain John Paul's warmth with the old..th young, children; the ‘ affliqed. dontraste’d against thedistant, diffrdentp even f‘somber" side of his ‘ character he displayed when treating ._ :With bishopsinlosAn-. spies-loin: Out‘the law tritium-And “in'thecorrectnessmhisattitude toward President Reagan (he was.manirestly . warmer with Jimmy Canerl). chief of the materialist. f‘consumerist.” pro- grammatieally atheistic liberal demo; craticstarefl‘hel’opecannotseem to approve of Hes-ideal Reagan, the chief ' of a philosophically corrupted society ll“! 193, been, '50 Prodiully favored by ’ God. His this unalterahle philosophical "View ofthe of transcendent «(humannature that provides the corn~ , menstuately unaltuable foundation for those “antiquated” and “restrictive" and “authoritarian” doctrines on hu- man sexuality, in which his distressed critics on the right join. ' “Youasltnte.” heteilsM.Frossard. . “th principls the clutch teaches in ' = the domain of seatu‘airnorality. Seeing ~- :thatsthese difficult. you, the fearthat young people. for "this won-,- will turn away from‘ the ,Churdi. lreplplthecturdrldemands r 'whatthedignityol' the person and the 3 V lrlonot-deny '~_rhatthey.aredemands.3utthatisth’e point, that man fulfills hint- ;Vsell' only to the orient that he knows .' ‘howto him- self..-. . l'nlhe . menhappy. ‘ .hotmkemenhappy. [Emphasis‘add- «ed.l,lt never ha done." ' HepreseshispositionwithMHos sardmtelteyisthewayweunder! -'standhumanfreedom. lifteedomis ' the wility ‘todoanything l‘wish‘ (or Transmitqu memos MAY Ices ’by'American Spectator; rather. ‘anything i fancy'xthen it is clear that. confronted with-freedom in thissertsenotonlyarristian'morali- ty..'.butanyhuniansystanoimoral- itycanheoonaidetedrestrictive My neighbor'sfreedornisthenanirritation and a threat to mine; thatis what makesSanresas't‘l-lellis‘oth‘er'people' Ontheotherhand.ii'.freedom...is etpressed in responsibilitxigthat is. in . the perception of thetruth about hu- man dignity—that oftothers-and also mine—then morality will scan ‘libetating‘ in the of those who apply it conscientiously and honestly . .. I.” 0 our capitalistic “consumerifl” econo- mydependsroritscaminuins ty on an insatiable desire for more and more redundant goods. else the factories cease production. the paydrecks stop. and ourArnerican tray of 'lifeof ever mounting consumer credit collapses. Our-utterly selfish.” vlllflf- and—when all is said and done—repulsive way of life hatthenar'ewetodo‘! Thede- ot‘ that other materi- ‘alist‘ way. Marxism. is no alternative. though it has proved attractive to many a The Popegcannot' seem to approve of I'President Reagan; the of a" philrisophically; ~ corrupted: that has been so prodigally , j favoredrby God. _ ' o What's sauce for moral man, is sauce foreconomic man. “One cannot wish 4,. freedom to purely'-and_,.simply' in: the-latitude to act as Ione‘szhes. sucha [marque]: use of il't‘eedorn might seern:§-a_l “first ,flihera‘ting.’ but subsequently it alwaysturnsou'tito he enslaving. Moreover; it is normally ecclistic-l indium-fl . ‘ condo-nun: tion. striking at'the'rpot of ouriliberal democratic not surprise not‘lthe most . strenuous of ratiocinatire aerobatics can do more than the (out ofthe dung hep cometh gold) happy marten: aI-fruitsofthe ofour soci- ety. which, the Pope‘nc‘methe‘lesspoints out in Sallic'iludo do not of_ their own transfer nor attend to the wretch- ed of the earth. and Which—our socie- ty in its worship oil‘Gumps-Banana Republic—l; Matrimony—is no less de- testable to Christ. ' Michael Naval: notes in TheSpin't or Democratic Capitalism how degraded and deprivedol‘ was titeoondi- tion of the, average French peasant‘or English yeornan in the late eighteenth century.‘until.lthe adVent or the indus- ' trial andthe 'replacanent of 'rnqcaritilisr‘n by capitalism unleashed the energies that liberated at least the advanced nations from hasic’tnaterial molt istl'ie attire free . markithatdeaervethhéiedit tor this enormous good. But we'havev-pro- gressedinourprivileacdmsocie ' .ties from. relief of want and release from privation to an avidity ofi'encesL sive and unnecesary consuniption ,- (just contenrpla' te a moment. thede- bot‘tstut‘l'ed withthosecatalogmhatis nothing. less than revolting .when framed in the beside the awful images of‘famine elsewhere in the world. Andthe rub is: Permission to use this 210015". continuing-j.if,,._. _ f, .' . Christians of "the {suffering Third World. “And the multitude of them that wereof one heart and of onesoul: neither said‘any of them that oughtiof'the things which he possessed was..hisown;_but they had all things common. . . . Neither was there ‘any among them that lacked; for as many J as we‘re possesorsolflands or houses sold-{them and brought the prices of _ theth'ings that were sold. and down at the apostle's' feet: and distribu- tion was-made unto every man accord- "13:35. “he had need}? This is an ideal ’ stateof limited duration presupposing an _ uninterrupted .‘stream of ‘ divine Grace-pouring on a_beleaguercd-oom- munity that was upheld by the belief of an’jrruninent Second Coming. It is' not in practical prescription for nothing an economy; Actsdoesnot relatewhat the early disciples did once they had to heart. 'sold off all their tapital possessions and consumed the proceeds. St. Paul preached-this we do luveon record— that those who shirlt work should not expecttohel‘ed...fromwhichwe may infer that even then there were Ill! soulswillinglotalteadvantageol‘the community. Paul was a great believa' in work. artisans are nevertheless not let off the hook. John Paul is preaching nothing new in Catholic social doctrine. From the aberrations of Clement of Aletandria to Paul Vl's MIorunr Progrer (of which. indeed, Sallicitudo Rel is presented as an the Church hastaught that of this world. including the gifts of the talents and energies and invention that conjure from mete dust whole industries. are _ heldinpomlnon.intmst,tobeusedby us for the ~cotnrnonr'good. deriving as they do from thesole Creator. ll' we possess two coats. and our neighbor , has none. weare to give him our second . . . not go on accumulating m- lonsddmmrgésdcbwtombyCare din and Bill Blass. To object that this hard doctrine is otherworldly and im- is bothicorrect and irrelevant. John Paul is not addressing himself - to the wisdom "of this world. What ‘. would’be the point 'ot'hisdoing so? He is" no political no economist: it isneithera political noran economic ‘ system that he is criticizing. He is the Vicar of He‘ is telling In what Christ wants and upects from us. And his diagnosis or. the philosophical er- ror we suffer from is correct. We have utterly surrendered ourselves to the deterririnism' of, our culture; that “breach” in being through which our transcendent destiny is revealed to us has been obscured.‘and we have be-. come swine We are enslaved to ‘base nature. andwe groan from ills of the soul forwhichthereisnoremedyinthc materialist, determinist’dirnension. To the world. John Paul's exhortations may be the stuff at idle dreamers. but hisdiagnos‘ocfthoseillsisnolesscon- dign: and that his sole. impractical. . ridiculous. yet sovereign remedy is to. summon its-all as. individuals and tie-- tions to sanctity__should not surprise.- because no other cure for our condi- . John in Sdliciludm 4‘The Church's socialzdoctrine is not a ‘lhird . ' _ way' betweens-libetal capitalism and ’Marxistcollectivisnt...ltsnninaim. isto interpret [the complex realities or“ human edsteocfiideterntining their conformity with or divergence from ' the. . . Gospel... . It therefore be- . longs to the field. notol' ideology. but of theology, and particularly of moral theology." it is. this non- prograrnmatic dimension that his critie ‘ cisrns are to be considered—1nd taken - l, i ‘ . 2| t. ...
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