Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Retreat? Crickets.

The Jews retreated further and further into their ghettos in Poland and Germany, hoping that their getting out of the way would "solve" the "problem" they represented to their approaching enemy.  Will Catholics do the same in the United States?  Retreat into growing ghettos to get out of the way of the march of their own government?   The time has come to find out.  

The U.S. Army has now categorized Catholics as "extremists" alongside such groups as al Qaeda, Hamas and the KKK.  You can read about it here .  I have been saying for some time that the position of much of the U.S. hierarchy is that all the Church asks is to be let alone, and I have said that because that is *exactly* what many U.S. bishops and the USCCB itself have said, as I demonstrate in the paper linked above.  Where are the bishops when Catholics are now being lumped in with al Qaeda?  You can search the USCCB's prolix website in vain.  The Army has apparently now removed the document in which the categorization appeared, but that is surely cold comfort, as is the fact that the Army asserted that the source of the characterization was "not in the chain of command." Surely decisions about what the U.S. Army considers "extremism' -- and deserving of military treatment as such -- should be made at the core of the chain of command.

Catholics should be expressing loud outrage at their own govenment's falsely accusing Catholics of the characteristics and aims that mark al Qaeda and the KKK, but all I hear is the sound of crickets chirping. This silence, especially in its studied, even "principled" form, is an example of an ideology I have castigated here at MOJ before: the liberal's militant insistence that "the Church be sufficiently nothing so as to live at peace with the rest of the world" (Louis Veuillot).  The Church can indeed live in a *true* peace with the world if, but only if, she is allowed to go about her work of freely preaching the Gospel and correcting and transforming culture.  No true peace is purchased by reducing the Church to sufficiently nothing that her voice is silenced.  It is the U.S. state that today is the unjust agressor as it targets the Church; in response, the Church must insist upon her freedom to teach the world the peace of the Gospel, the peace that the world knows not. The Church's ways are not those of al Qaeda and the KKK, and Catholics must now insist upon as much to a U.S. government that demonstrably cannot think clearly enough not to equate the Church and al Quaeda.          


Brennan, Patrick | Permalink