Letter on the Needy Immigrant

Pater Edmund,

I agree with much in your “Needy Immigrant” post as far as your analysis of the rise of the nation state and the ideal of Christendom, but I take issue with the tenor and general framework of your piece because I think it fundamentally misapprehends the reason why most Americans (and probably most Europeans) oppose immigration, even when using “what benefits us” sort of language. I fear it will be used as further support for the position that the refusal to accept immigration on any grounds is tantamount to rejecting Christ. Continue reading

Dubium: When Is Any Government “Legitimate”?

Mr. Daniel Lendman published a note recently here on The Josias that proposed that a government is illegitimate insofar as it is not “operating in accord with the laws and rules which properly govern” it. A state that redefines marriage contrary to the natural law does so illegitimately, and makes an illegitimate law. Lendman argues that this has implications for the legitimacy of the government as a whole, and may at some point abrogate citizens’ duty to obey the law. Continue reading

Dubium: Is Integralism Essentially Bound Up with Racism, Nationalism, and Totalitarianism?

Dubium: Is integralism essentially bound up with racism, nationalism, and totalitarianism?

Responsum: Negative.

Before proceeding to the explanation, it is important to identify exactly what is meant by the term “integralism.” An earlier article, “Catholic Integralism and the Social Kingship of Christ,” set forth the core principles of integralism and its inextricable bond to the Catholic Church’s doctrine of the Kingship of Christ. A more detailed and theologically refined explication of “the integralist thesis” is available on Pater Edmund Waldstein’s blog, Sancrucensis. P. Edmund closes his discussion and defense of integralism with the following passage from Thomistic philosopher-theologian Charles De Koninck’s seminal work, On the Primacy of the Common Good:

Continue reading

Dubium: Can the State Limit Non-Catholic Religions?

Dubium: Does your interpretation of Dignitatis Humanæ imply that the state cannot, even as the arm of the Church, limit the public profession of non Catholic religions if the professors are unbaptized (apart, of course, from the considerations of public order)? Put differently, has the church never allowed that exercise to the state?

Responsum: Affirmative. The state cannot, even as arm of the Church, limit the profession of false religions by the unbaptized, except insofar as they disturb public order.

For the most part the Church has been very careful of the distinction between the baptized and the un-baptized. Even anti-Catholic authors have remarked on this. For example, Thomas Hobbes:

From hence it is, that in all Dominions where the Popes Ecclesiasticall power is entirely received, Jewes, Turkes, and Gentiles, are in the Roman Church tolerated in their Religion, as farre forth, as in the exercise and profession thereof they offend not against the civill power: whereas in a Christian, though a stranger, not to be of the Roman religion, is Capitall; because the Pope pretendeth that all Christians are his Subjects. For otherwise it were as much against the law of Nations to persecute a Christian stranger, for professing the Religion of his owne country, as an Infidell… (Leviathan, ch. 44, Of Spirituall Darknesse from Misinterpretation of Scripture; cf. Thomas Pink, “Suarez and Bellarmine on the Church as Coercive Lawgiver,” p. 188).