Rorate Caeli

Democracy - but inasmuch...

The Church values the democratic system inasmuch as it ensures the participation of citizens in making political choices, guarantees to the governed the possibility both of electing and holding accountable those who govern them, and of replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate. Thus she cannot encourage the formation of narrow ruling groups which usurp the power of the State for individual interests or for ideological ends.

... [I]f there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.

Even in countries with democratic forms of government, these rights are not always fully respected. Here we are referring not only to the scandal of abortion, but also to different aspects of a crisis within democracies themselves, which seem at times to have lost the ability to make decisions aimed at the common good. Certain demands which arise within society are sometimes not examined in accordance with criteria of justice and morality, but rather on the basis of the electoral or financial power of the groups promoting them. With time, such distortions of political conduct create distrust and apathy, with a subsequent decline in the political participation and civic spirit of the general population, which feels abused and disillusioned.

John Paul II
Centesimus Annus


From this class war there result frequent interruptions of work, the causes for which most often can be laid to mutual provocations. There result, too, revolutions, riots, and forcible repression of one side or other by the government, all of which cannot but end in general discontent and in grave damage to the common welfare.

To these evils we must add the contests between political parties, many of which struggles do not originate in a real difference of opinion concerning the public good or in a laudable and disinterested search for what would best promote the common welfare, but in the desire for power and for the protection of some private interest which inevitably result in injury to the citizens as a whole. From this course there often arise robberies of what belongs rightly to the people, and even conspiracies against and attacks on the supreme authority of the state, as well as on its representatives. These political struggles also beget threats of popular action and, at times, eventuate in open rebellion and other disorders which are all the more deplorable and harmful since they come from a public to whom it has been given, in our modern democratic states, to participate in very large measure in public life and in the affairs of government. Now, these different forms of government are not of themselves contrary to the principles of the Catholic Faith, which can easily be reconciled with any reasonable and just system of government. Such governments, however, are the most exposed to the danger of being overthrown by one faction or another.

Pius XI
Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio


  1. There has been a lot of "New Catholic" posts lately. Where is Jordans and the other posters? Let's have a little variety here!

  2. Anonymous2:56 AM

    I worked on Capitol Hill for over a decade.

    Wanna fix the system? Two words: Catholic Monarchy.

  3. Steve3:18 AM

    "Wanna fix the system? Two words: Catholic Monarchy."

    Actually it's three words: Russian Catholic Monarchy.

  4. Andrew, it's nice to be missed, but life has been awfully busy for me in recent months, and often it's all I can do to try to help moderate comments and maybe post a comment or two.

    And, after all, New Catholic is the blog founder and owner, so it's only right if he is also the most prolific contributor.

  5. Well, I, for one, particularly enjoy New Catholic's posts and this one is no exception. Perfectly on target!

  6. Peterman5:18 AM

    Actually Steve its: "FRENCH Catholic Monarchy" for it takes the Great French, Catholic Monarch first to restore everything including in Russia.

    A Russian Catholic Monarchy would of course solve problems but there is the matter of that consecration our Lady wanted. No consecration, welcome back Mr Putin.

  7. I concur, Andrew... Unfortunately, Adfero and Pascal have been very busy lately - but, even so, you will find several of their posts in this frontpage of the blog, not to mention several by Francesca Romana, that I post under my name but that are exclusively hers (she is so shy she will not even post under her own name).


  8. a little off topic but what does the top image represent? or rather who?

  9. Dear Cunjo, it is Père Joseph, the "Grey Eminence" - though it is intended more as a celebration of the traditional Breviaries of the Latin Church (see more details in the comment thread of the post below).


  10. Barbara12:27 PM

    All wrong! I say there should be an ITALIAN CATHOLIC MONARCHY! That should keep us all on our toes!



  11. Necessitas legem non habet.

    In the event of a sovereign default and a probable global liquidity crisis, the description of citizens feeling "abused and disillusioned" would be a wishful understatement. More than likely Pius' last sentence would come true.

  12. We repeat the words of Pius XI: "the principles of the Catholic Faith... can easily be reconciled with any reasonable and just system of government."

  13. \\We repeat the words of Pius XI: "the principles of the Catholic Faith... can easily be reconciled with any reasonable and just system of government."\\

    Anything that involves human beings is going to have problems.

    In any case, how would a Russian, Italian, or French Catholic monarchy help the United States?

    Most holy Theotokos, save us!