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Editorial: We Do Not Need Conservativism We Need a Classical Christian Revival Comments

I am afraid we will be fooled again if, after this election, we buy the idea that conservatism is the solution to what is needed in this Nation - and in the West. The collapse of Western civilization will not be remedied by conservativism. Political movements alone are inadequate for the task. Continue Reading

41 - 50 of 62 Comments

  1. Deacon Keith Fournier
    2 years ago

    To Thomas Masty: I actually have read several of the works of Russell Kirk. He was a genuinely brilliant Catholic thinker. being CATHOLIC is what informed his "brand" of political conservatism.The political labels are so elastic these days they are increasingly problematic for our work in the broader cultural mission. I simply think it is time to once again affirm that "Catholic" is the noun which identifies us, period. After informing our social, cultural, economic and political participation with the truths and principles offered by the body of teachiong called Social Doctrine, we do not easily "fit" in the leastic labels. We are certainly NOT what is called "liberal" these days. However, the Russell Kirk brand of conservatism is hard to find.

  2. starzec
    2 years ago

    As I often do, I read your articles with a willingness to at least hear the message. While not for the same reasons, I agree with the premise more tradionalism must take hold but I worry about whose tradition.

    I agree with William of NH. Where I grew up, there were private schools, parochial schools and public schools. Private schools were for the well to do children of the local doctors, lawyers and higher up managers at the local factories. Parochial schools were for the Catholics and primarily the poor Catholics. Public schools were, as they are now, the catch all. In contrast, I live in an area where there are very few private schools that are out of reach for even the most well to do and Catholic (parochial) schools now serve as what private schools once did. Where all schools seem to suffer from paying deference to the wealthiest in the community, I have first hand experience and can cite several anecdotal instances that local Catholic Schools have a very serious problem with this.

    Yes, I hold Catholic Schools to a higher standard. Why? Because they profess to be the standard bearer. Christ did not push the poor out of the way to bow to the rich; actually quite the opposite. Yet on a daily basis, I witnessed the red carpet treatment for the offspring of prominent local business people. It was sickening. When my son was being bullied and I instructed him to "turn the other cheek". When it did not cease, I went to the school only to be told the family of bullies were more important because they give more to the church.

    Now I ask you: What is the tradition based upon if not the teachings of Christ? From the principal's office through the parish priest's office, the message was clear: some people are more equal. Not exactly the Christian message or is it? I am more than a little worried about this traditionalist approach.

    If we are truly all equal in the eyes of the Lord, why do we allow the egotistical to prevail? But if you look at the traditional in general and Catholic Tradition specifically, there has never been a egalitarian society. Catholics have always had a non-democratic leadership or I did not receive my ballot to elect the Pope in 2005 (I assume the former). Catholic hierarchy is not even a democratic republic like the US and many other countries. So when you speak of a traditionalist approach, I pray you are not speaking of a hierarchy such as that in the Catholic Church.

    I pray that a traditionalist approach invokes the very nature of Christ; a kind man who helped the poor and fed the hungry and did not ask for the receipt for tax purposes; A man who went out his way to point out the rich and say that they already have their treasure and will have a very trying time getting to Heaven where the poor's treasure awaits; A man who was more than willing to heal the sick, and; A man who taught peace between humankind that we should love our neighbors and “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets" (Matthew 7:12)

  3. Andrew M. Greenwell
    2 years ago

    Amen, Deacon.
    "Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you." It seems to be that among "all these things" that follow in the train of the imitatio and sequela Christi, would be a just social and political order. But a just social and political order follow; they do not lead.

  4. Janusz
    2 years ago

    "We do not need conservatism" - sure, let's print more money and continue spending money that we do not have! This a shear insanity! God does not punish anybody - he just takes ones brains away and the person does the rest.........

  5. abey
    2 years ago

    Christian revival should include teaching the Scriptures & Gospels to be more Authentic to the Apostolic Faith in the Father & the Son to identifying Christian Heretical teachings in trying to disconnect Christ from The God of Abraham which is to separating Christ from the Father through false interpretations of Biblical versus like negating the Law of God using the word Grace to separating Law from Grace when in the truth the Law is fulfilled in the Grace without mixture, the law that is to be written in the hearts of men to the new Covenant & to the words of Jesus "Think not I come to destroy the law & the prophets but to fulfill" To these Heretical teachings hidden in Gnosis are popular Evangelists like Joseph Prince. It is with this regard that knowing the preexistence of Christ is of utter importance again to His words "Before Abraham was I am" & to the words of St. Paul " the rock that gave water to Israel at Horeb & that same Rock that followed Israel in the wilderness

  6. mike robertson
    2 years ago

    Voting against the Catholic democrats is the surest way to arrive at the conclusion the writer of this fine article desires.Of course prayer comes first. But we did not say of Jim Crow laws, just pray until people change their hearts, then we can legislate.

    So we must stop the agenda supported on Election Day by Catholic democrats-first by continued prayer and sacrifice. (I thank Catholic Online for allowing me to write these notes on your site. You are helping reduce the physical and emotional pain I suffered from the election which was welcomed by Catholic democrats. I have offered my pain up to God). But we must fight, including at the ballot box ,to defeat candidates supported by Catholic democrats. They have shoved down our throats an evil administration which supports infanticide even after a baby girl survives the attempt to murder her in her mom's womb. They support an evil administration which equates sodomy (which God calls an abomination) with Holy Matrimony. They support an evil administration which has declared war on the Church and her institutions under the guise of "healthcare". And they support an evil administration which is imposing a naive and destructive economic policy of punishing the creation of jobs, eliminating the ability for the poor to work during welfare (workfare) and working their way out of poverty thru a job-producing economy, and they are heading us towards a Greek-like collapse in the process. The evil man supported by Catholic democrats just ran a vulgar, divisive and hateful campaign.

    I am facing unemployment and need for the wealthy and businesses to do better, not worse. The Catholic democrats "social justice" and "compassion" is hurting us severely.

    So pray first always, and then act.

  7. Rob
    2 years ago

    DLL, I think you said something very profound and that statement is that "Christianity is based on strong moral teachings." The question I would ask is that correct? Is that the right orientation? I know what you mean, but I think it's important to say that Christianity is based on faith in Jesus Christ. The moment that faith is professed then our journey to live as a follower begins.

    I think we have made a terrible assumption about our fellow catholics and christians in general. Our zeal to teach morals, rules, etc almost assumes that someone has had an encounter with Christ and professed faith. We've left relationship with Christ out of the equation and we jump straight into practice and expect immediate perfection. Thus all the commentary about only a "true" catholic would do x or wouldn't do y. Well there are lots of things we should do (but don't) and shouldn't do (but do) and that's why we have confession. We are all trying to make our way given the specific life experiences and history we've all be given to deal with.

    But the demonization of others who don't think like us, act like us or behave like us has to stop. Well I guess it doesn't have to stop, but it sure isn't productive. Call a spade a spade, but really question the orientation of your heart to others as you do it.

  8. Thomas Masty
    2 years ago

    Sadly, the deacon fails to recognize true conservatism which strives to preserve that which is best in society. Had he read the works of Dr. Russell Kirk's (Catholic philosopher and author of over 33 books) "Roots of American Order" or "The Conservative Mind" he would have realized that the conservative movement was hijacked by the "new right." The "old right" never would have made the same mistakes as prudence was the most highly prized virtue.

    The modern conservative movement was started by Dr. Kirk's first book published in the early 1950's and many conservative leaders were brought to the a conservative philosophy by reading those missives.

    Dr. Kirk often spoke of the need to return to what he called "classical liberalism" and the foundational ideas of the "permanent things." This article fails to understand that distinction.

  9. Tom McGuire
    2 years ago

    True conservatism, nor progressivism, socialism, communism, secularism, and any other kind of ism is the basis of our hope. Our hope is in Jesus Christ the redeemer of all. Would it not be great if we could go back to the Gospel stories and and learn how Jesus dined with sinners. To do that we need to live now not I but Christ lives in me. I am constantly falling short of what Jesus calls me to be: I need to confess my sins, resolve to not sin again, as I seek the forgiveness.

    I was encouraged when Cardinal Dolan called the Church, especially Church leaders, to repentance in his remarks at the Bishops meeting this week. His call is the call made by many Bishops in the Synod on New Evangelization, especially many Asian Bishops. The call to repentance echoes the call of Jesus found throughout the Gospels.

    What if in our seeking forgiveness we made resolutions to

    1. Never think or give the impression that we possesses the whole truth.

    2. Never judged other persons. Judgment of the person is God's.

    3. Never identify our vision of the reign of God with any political or geographical entity.

    4. Never think the Western vision of Christianity is the way of the future in our world Church.

    5. Never fail to sit and dine with the sinner as Jesus so often did.

  10. Mathew Thankachen O.Praem
    2 years ago

    This article reflects the ' apolitical nature of Catholic stand' of Deacon Keith Fournier, in no uncertain terms, crisp in style, lucid and clear cut ideas, sharp as double edged sword, diving into the heart of any rational being of the meaning of human dignity and freedom, abounding the boundaries of Catholicism, Conservatism or Liberalism. Rather a sincere attempt to respect the " core of American Constitution" and " Natural Law". Truly " Catholic Christian Revival" is the "revival of Humanity" for Jesus came not to save the " Catholics" but as the "Savior of the world" and the very word "Catholics" connotes, " Universal". And so his statement, " we do charity not for the Catholics, but because we are Catholics" is very much true. By very nature, " Love reaches out". Taken to true sense of charity, it is not fair to complain that the " rich are taxed to feed the poor" unless such " welfare projects" are used as a " vote banks", nevertheless, enabling them to stand on their legs. In most countries, the Parliaments, Legislatures, Executives and Judiciary are independent and if ever the Fundamental tenets of the Constitution is violated or misinterpreted by the government, the Judiciary enforces and defends the Constitutions. Why not such challenges are not taken up by the Legal system in the US is a question mark if ever violated by the Political community or government. Congrats to Deacon Fournier for the clarification of your stand in the post election arena.

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