April 24, 2009

Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water

To fulfill my esteemed colleague Robert Stacy McCain’s prediction that “daring to think that perhaps Leo XIII could have been mistaken about political economy will, of course, get you denounced in a hurry by the same kind of devout Catholics who praise your writings on marriage, abortion and homosexuality”, I should like to denounce his suggestion about Leo XIII. Mr. McCain is, as he admits, a proud Protestant, and Protestantism (along with Socialism, Capitalism, & Liberalism) is on the side of the Revolution (the writings of Dr. John C. Rao on this theme are worth reading).

It is no surprise then when a Protestant or a conservative (in the American sense of the word) condemns the ideas of Catholic social thought ? its day in the sun, alas, has not yet come ? but blaming Leo XIII for “liberation theology” is a bit like blaming Evelyn Waugh for the rise of foppery in England after the 1981 “Brideshead Revisited” miniseries. “Liberation theology” and prancing about college with a teddy bear are both worthy of condemnation, but we musn’t commit the schoolboy error of throwing the baby out with the bath water by ridding ourselves of Catholic social teaching or the novels of Evelyn Waugh.

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