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Full Version: John Zmirak thought provoking article
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I found this and wanted to pass it on. Here's how it starts.

Let me start with a few vignettes. I was an eyewitness, or heard a detailed firsthand account, of each of these events, or else will provide a link to document it.

- Just after the Chinese government crushed the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square, a seminarian explained to me that he wished he “could have driven one of the tanks” that ran over the demonstrators and their makeshift Statue of Liberty. “Americanism is a far greater threat to the Church than communism,” he explained.  He is now a priest — I saw him on the altar in October.

This stopped me because I know after two beers I'd be right there with the new priest. This article is longish and makes me think because it make me lokk at the issue from the other way round. See what you think, maybe there is something here.

http://www.aleteia.org/en/politics/artic...0653729792

tim
What's most interesting to me is that Zmirak appears to have reversed trajectory -- over time he had appeared to be moving away from the kind of positions that would produce this paragraph:

"We are witnessing the collapse of a magnificent synthesis: the alliance of freedom and faith that American Catholics pioneered in the 19th century in the face of hostile Protestant neighbors and ill-considered, fallible papal statements that endorsed book burning, denounced religious liberty, and condemned the Catholics in Ireland and Poland for rising against their “legitimate” oppressors.

That synthesis reached its intellectual apex in the work of Rev. John Courtney Murray, S.J., and was reflected in the Vatican II constitution Dignitatis Humanae, which affirmed human liberty and denied that the State had the right to suppress even false religions."

As for the actual argument, it's so muddled that it's not clear where to even try to critique. Goes from a laughably weak list of anecdotes to the Glenn Beck school of historical interpretation. So far below the work Zmirak has often produced that it makes me wonder if something weird isn't going on with him. There can be intelligent defenses of right-liberalism within a Catholic context out there, though I don't find them convincing, but this really isn't one.
What's most interesting to me is that Zmirak appears to have reversed trajectory -- over time he had appeared to be moving away from the kind of positions that would produce this paragraph:

"We are witnessing the collapse of a magnificent synthesis: the alliance of freedom and faith that American Catholics pioneered in the 19th century in the face of hostile Protestant neighbors and ill-considered, fallible papal statements that endorsed book burning, denounced religious liberty, and condemned the Catholics in Ireland and Poland for rising against their “legitimate” oppressors.

That synthesis reached its intellectual apex in the work of Rev. John Courtney Murray, S.J., and was reflected in the Vatican II constitution Dignitatis Humanae, which affirmed human liberty and denied that the State had the right to suppress even false religions."

As for the actual argument, it's so muddled that it's not clear where to even try to critique. Goes from a laughably weak list of anecdotes to the Glenn Beck school of historical interpretation. So far below the work Zmirak has often produced that it makes me wonder if something weird isn't going on with him. There can be intelligent defenses of right-liberalism within a Catholic context out there, though I don't find them convincing, but this really isn't one. It is very interesting to see him writing this article though, thanks for the link.
Tim, while i do not espouse that Catholics should become advocates of Authoritarian Rule, I do support the idea that Americanism has infected and helped in disassembling The Church in the US. The U.S. Government was founded on numerous ideals which had their beginning with the renaissance philosophers, mixed with calvinism and masonic ideology. Catholics as a whole would do well to separate themselves from association with either of the two parties at play in U.S. Government, voting for candidates that come closest to following Church teachings regardless of affiliation.
The article was an interesting read. I do not agree with some of Mr. Zmirak's  conclusions concerning Catholic Monarchies, but I do acknowledge that many were less than desirable in their results. Democracy, as exists in the U.S. is, in my opinion, anathema to the Church. It produces a statism that supplants our allegiance to the Church and to God. If you study history, and read the numerous editorials written in the new York Times during the mass immigration of Irish, Italian and Polish into the U.S., you will see the hatred leveled at Catholics. For decades there was a ghetto mentality within the immigrant communities until they assimilated, and adopted a more American viewpoint, at least in public.
As an anecdotal point, I was born, raised and still live in the deep South. When I worked as a Firefighter, a good friend of mine was up for a lieutenant position, and since he was Catholic, it was suggested to him his chances would be much improved were he to join the local Masonic Lodge. This was in the late 70's, in a fairly large Southern city. Even in a group as tightly nit as the Fire Dept., Catholics were seen as "different", even though we were raised here.
My personal position is we as Catholics should avoid any statist ideology, while being good citizens. Several Popes have written excellant Encyclicals on this, as I know you are aware. Render unto Caesar .
My take away was after the wars the Vatican as a state was gone and Christendom as the Monarchies were also, making the so called freedom of religion a necessity.He is what I term a burbanite. He's too young to know what a ghetto parish actually meant, good and bad, and he is enamored of the success of last two generations of Catholics. He's in the free trade Catholic boat with the likes of Fr. Siroco, Raymond Arroyo or George Weigel. What pinched my toes was freedom of religion was a necessity in the post war age. Unlike hansel und gretel the crumbs have been eaten by vermin and there is no way to find our way back.

tim
The list of anecdotes in the article sound made up to fit the writer's agenda. Had all thd right boogeymen, even Franco and 9-11 truthers.

Anyhoo, the constant condemnation of "religious liberty" from the magisterium was in principle and on moral grounds. What are we, Mormans now, that we change doctrine to fit the political climate of the day? I'm thinking about the mormon's polygamy dance, but it could equally well be anagolous to protestants and contraception, etc.

These folks have fallen to the modernist principle that truth can change. Moral relativism.
This article has a wrong view of the inquisition, it was meant to remove heresy and witchcraft charges from being tried by the state and transfered to Church courts... It was an attempt to give more justice, not less...

With friends like this Zmirak, the church doesn't need enemies...

He needs to get a right understanding of philosophy, and give up the existentialist clap trap of the modernists that influenced V2.

Religious liberty is wrong according to natural law, God has His rights and He must be worshipped publically, it is a dictate of natural reason and one of the commandments.