Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Catholicism and American Classical Liberalism"

A conservative blog for peace links to Ius Honorarium's debunking of the "the 'traditionalist critique' of the United States, particularly the American Founding, by Catholics of various stripes... as a deeply incoherent dialogue which fails to appreciate, on the one hand, the role of Catholicism in America from the colonial period through the first-half of the 20th C. and, on the other, the admixture of intentional and accidental 'pre-modern' elements in the American Constitution" — Catholicized America. Tolle, lege.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would think that whatever Catholic or Pre-modern influence was in the American Constitution was more than outdone in writing and practice by the modern influence occurring throughout Europe before that time.

I'll give it a couple of readings before I comment further, but then I'll post on my blog.

October 9, 2011 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

The founders as a whole, particularly those who were Federalists, were deeply read in the Roman classical tradition. Latin literacy was common among those who had formal education -- in fact, most formal education during the late colonial period was little more than learning Latin and classical history (along with mathematics and rhetoric). John Adams and Alexander Hamilton in particular were deeply read in Roman law and Latin literature, and since Roman law and literature was full of the Stoic version of natural law theory, it is not surprising to me at all that many natural law ideas showed up in the Constitution.

October 9, 2011 at 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Mark,

Perhaps, but as the writer notes, many of the ideas of Locke and Montesquieu were in the Constitution as well. Much of that legacy found itself in a positivist conception of the law (one that says that law is whatever the legislature agrees to), as noted in the Latin Mass article "Surviving in the Legal Colosseum" by Christopher Ferrara. [Vol 19, No 2, Spring 2010]

On another topic, I have to agree with Jus Honorarium on the possibility of the U.S becoming a Catholic country pre-Vat II. Given the influence of Modernism and the various schools aiming at Catholicism in the US in the decades prior to the 1960s, especially those that found favor with elite foundations (Rockefeller, Ford, etc.) and the CIA, this would require a rock solid episcopate able to stand tall against the powers that be. Such, sadly, was not to be found due to the history of accommodation to Americanism by the ancestor to the USCCB.

The USCCB's ancestral organization was the National Catholic War Council, organized with the express purpose of showing that Catholics were good Americans able to loyally follow Wilson's mad dream of making Europe "safe for democracy" by destroying the Axis powers, especially the Hapsburg crown which was the one nation that attempted to stop the madness of that war. It all went downhill from there, which is why it is no surprise that the USCCB charity arm was informed by the teachings of cultural communist Sal Alinsky.

October 9, 2011 at 10:01 PM  

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