Truths & Duties: A Catholic Political Catechism, Part II


What is said in the video, above, in Italian, I repeat here in English.

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

As I explained in the Introduction to this Catechism on Catholic Politics, Catholics have a duty to participate in politics. In this second part, I want to  list the truths of our holy Faith and the truths of natural political philosophy, which motivate and guide and explain the duty of Catholics to take an active and leading role in the political life of their nations.

Principles of our Holy Faith

  1. God has created the world. But not just any god. Our God. Our God has created everything, for His honor and glory.  Since God has created everything, His is the sovereignty over everything. Since He is our God, it is our responsibility to care for and rule over all creation and lead it back unto His honor and glory.
  2. God has created man.  And not just any god. Our God has created mankind. Our God has created us. He has created each man for His honor and glory.  And hence it is the responsibility of every man to seek Him and live in this world in accord with His will. Thus, our responsibility for creation means also a responsibility to care for all men, believers or not.
  3. Our God made man to His own likeness and similitude. Each man. This means that the dignity of the individual human being is greater than the dignity of any other earthly creature and thus greater than anything man can make with his own hands, whether that be the State or a robot or any thing. It also means that the individual, being made in the likeness of the One God Who is unique, represents and embodies his dignity as an individual, and not just as a member of any collective or as a mere human being. This means that he is the fundamental context of all duty and right. It also means that in politics, we Catholics must respect individuals as individuals, and not just as creatures or humans, but as persons made in the image and likeness of God. This also means that each of us has been made to share in a community of truth, justice and life, both in this world and in the world to come. Hence all politics must aim at the preservation, defense and service of truth, justice and life.
  4. Our God created the human family. Thus Catholic politics must serve and benefit the family as the fundamental institution of human existence and human society, and as the fundamental unit of political life.
  5. God created man and woman that they might accomplish His will which is to be fruitful and fill the earth and rule over all the living things of the land, sea and air. Thus, the family is prior and takes precedence to all of the environment and creation. And it must be protected, preserved, defended and supported, for the future of the nation, culture, society and economy.
  6. However, our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned and fell. And hence it is that now without God we cannot attain our end or fulfill the duties He has given us in the way He wants us to. For this reason, in politics, we Catholics must recognize that the State cannot save mankind, that there are problems which no law can solve perfectly or completely, and that there are many problems which no law can solve in any way, as the root of the problem transcends the physical and material and human world.
  7. But the Son of God, Jesus Christ, became man and died on the Cross to redeem us. Hence, the Divine Plan that all come to know God through Jesus Christ is the preeminent solution to all human problems which transcend nature and mankind. Hence it is that Catholics in politics need to protect the mission of the Church and the freedom of Catholics to live their faith in all parts of society, for their liberty to do so is the very hope and salvation of the whole body politic.
  8. Only Catholics who have passed from death to life, from sin to salvation in Baptism and by the practice of their faith can have the spiritual requisites and capacities to act in politics in a way which is free from sin and which can liberate the whole of society from the sins and vices which sprout up out of the sin of Adam and Even. By grace and faith, Catholics alone can fulfill the Divine plan for mankind, and hence the Divine Plan for man in society and politics.
  9. Hence, it is a solemn and grave duty for every Catholic who is faithful to bring this world and the family back to God and into the right order with all things.
  10. And this is what it means to be a faithful Catholic in politics. This is also what Catholic politics means.

Principles of Christian Political Philosophy

  1. The word politics comes from the Greek for city, “polis”. And this is not just a truth of etymology, this is a truth of human society. Because the first public society is the city in which the human family lives and exists and works and worships and buys and sells etc.. Thus there is no true politics which does not benefit the city. And every political ideology which subordinates the good of the local community to some other purpose, is fundamentally politically exploitive.
  2. God alone is God. The State cannot be God, nor has it the rights of God. Therefore the State cannot demand of individuals as much or more than what God asks of them.
  3. The corrollary is that law cannot save mankind and hence cannot save society. For that reason there has to be a limit to legislation, norms, decrees, regulations, and there always has to be recognized as more important individual human responsibility and initiative.
  4. God alone is sovereign, and since He has made each man in His image and likeness, His sovereignty is served by individual responsibility. And thus it is that the State cannot claim an authority above God, nor an authority which represses individual human dignity or responsibility.
  5. Since society needs law and order, and since only by the Christian dispensation can each individual have in himself the spiritual means of keeping law and observing order, the Christian by his religion is bound gravely to come to the assistance of the public order, since no one else can do so fully or perfectly as he can.
  6. Our God is Truth. Thus truth itself must be at the center and focus of all Catholic political thought and action.
  7. Every truth directs man to God Who is Truth, just as every window opens up to show the view of a portion of heaven.
  8. Every truth is the foundation or point of reference for every just law, and there can be no justice or law apart from truth. Hence Catholics must militate for laws founded upon truth and oppose all errors and misconceptions as principles of law.
  9. Since the French Revolution the Catholic Order has been shattered. Now every secularist seeks some portion of that order, fixing his gaze on some partial truth. The politics which arise in a secular mindset therefore are incomplete and are incapable of being compatible with one another, because they reject the whole vision of the truth which is contained only in the Catholic approach to politics.
  10. Hence, Catholics in politics need to support and promote every just cause founded on the truth, reintegrating them as friends of one another and opposing the instrumentalization of partial truth against integral truth.
  11. A Catholic Political party by its very nature must oppose therefore every political ideology, since political ideologies are created in the minds of men with limited visions of reality, of humanity, of life, and are aimed and the special interests of one group and not that of the whole of society.

Catholic Politics must put into practice and define itself by these truths of the Faith and of political philosophy, and by doing so, can easily win back its nation for sanity, humanity, life, prosperity and above all Jesus Christ.


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5 thoughts on “Truths & Duties: A Catholic Political Catechism, Part II”

  1. Is there such a thing as Catholic politics any more? Certainly the “Catholic” politics of Bergoglio would have to be condemned using the above rationale.

    Voting Republican is the go place for at lease some Catholic thinking. Voting Democrat should be a mortal sin.

  2. Br. Bugnolo,

    What sources do you recommend for studying Catholic political philosophy?

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