"One of the key principles of Catholic social thought is known as the principle of subsidiarity," the Acton Institute explains. "This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization . . . [It] is a bulwark of limited government and personal freedom. It conflicts with the passion for centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State . . . In spite of this clear warning, the United States Catholic Bishops remain staunch defenders of a statist approach to social problems." Photo series features Tiny expressing her personal freedom this evening in a rousing game of superball on the court that is the dining room's parquet floor.
"He has wedded Catholic intellectualism with evangelical political savvy to forge a powerful electoral coalition," writes Daniel Burke in what for us was an eye-opening WaPo article [via The Anchoress] that makes the case for George W. Bush as "the nation's first Catholic president":
Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI's election in 2005, President Bush met with a small circle of advisers in the Oval Office . . . the president remarked that he had read one of the new pontiff's books about faith and culture in Western Europe.
Save for one other soul, Bush was the only non-Catholic in the room. But his interest in the pope's writings was no surprise to those around him. As the White House prepares to welcome Benedict on Tuesday, many in Bush's inner circle expect the pontiff to find a kindred spirit in the president . . .
Yes, there was John F. Kennedy. But where Kennedy sought to divorce his religion from his office, Bush has welcomed Roman Catholic doctrine and teachings into the White House and based many important domestic policy decisions on them.
"His political base is solidly evangelical. Yet this Protestant president has surrounded himself with Roman Catholic intellectuals, speechwriters, professors, priests, bishops and politicians" [Who knew?]:
Bush has also placed Catholics in prominent roles in the federal government and relied on Catholic tradition to make a public case for everything from his faith-based initiative to antiabortion legislation . . . Even before he got to the White House, Bush and his political guru Karl Rove invited Catholic intellectuals to Texas to instruct the candidate on the church's social teachings . . . Many Catholics close to him believe that the approximately 300 judges he has seated on the federal bench -- most notably Catholics John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court -- may yet be his greatest legacy.
"Bush also used Catholic doctrine and rhetoric to push his faith-based initiative, a movement to open federal funding to grass-roots religious groups that provide social services to their communities":
Much of that initiative is based on the Catholic principle of "subsidiarity" -- the idea that local people are in the best position to solve local problems."The president probably knows absolutely nothing about the Catholic catechism, but he's very familiar with the principle of subsidiarity," said H. James Towey, former director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives . . . "It's the sense that the government is not the savior and that problems like poverty have spiritual roots."
Update: Mind of Mog links:
I never knew he surrounded himself with so many Catholics and was influenced by their doctrine. Her post’s a must read. And not just for the cat pics which are exquisite.
That doesn’t bode well for that border fence. But I can see where he’s coming from. One could do with far worse role models.
I admire the Pope cause he hasn’t gone around changing church doctrine to follow the whims of the people and holds to moral values.
Like St. Peter himself, Papa Ratzi is a rock.