Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Political Doctrine of Imperial Catholicism

By Jean DuBois

PATRIARCHAL SEE 24 June 2020 (ORCNS) - The Patriarchal Curia recently released a Patriarchal Constitution of Rutherford I entitled "The Political Doctrine of Imperial Catholicism," which detailed and clarified doctrinal elements of the Catholic faith pertaining to the civil state. A Patriarchal Constitution is the highest form of legal proclamation within the Imperial Patriarchate. The complete text of the constitution is below.

_________________________________

The church and the state are necessarily intertwined. Although it is true that the civil state has no authority whatsoever over the Holy Church, it is entirely a fallacy to believe that Christian people should not look to their faith when serving in government roles or when voting were indeed when considering the legitimacy of government positions or actions. It is indeed the role and the right of the Church hierarchy to guide, advise, and when necessary, criticise and admonish the civil government. As all things on earth are under God, they rightly fall under the jurisdiction of His Holy Church, and therefore the civil government likewise falls under the jurisdiction of the Church.
The Church Militant, i.e., the Holy Catholic Church here on earth, is concerned with the spiritual well-being of all mankind, the salvation of all mankind, the establishment of the Kingdom of God here on earth, and the condition of humanity. The nature and application of that follows directly from the social doctrine and general doctrine of the faith. Any legitimate government must follow those principles and has among its rightful aims the implementation of the goals of the church aforementioned, as well as the care of those specific people placed in its temporal care. No government that does not yield to the principles of the faith may be considered legitimate. No laws, edicts, directives, regulations, or policies that in any way challenge the authority of the Church or the principles of the doctrine of the faith or the Law of God may be considered legitimate or indeed lawful, and therefore are rightly disobeyed according to the ancient tradition of the Catholic Church. Indeed, any legitimate government is but a temporal wing of the Church. The civil state is a social institution, and therefore falls squarely under the social doctrine and the general doctrine of Christ’s Holy Church. That is the essence of the political doctrine of Imperial Catholicism.

I. Spirituality of Life

Humanity lives in a world that is inherently materialistic. Even those who do not worship material things necessarily make use of material things nonetheless. Material things may be used for good or for bad purposes. It is the underlying intent of use that makes such a determination. Imperial Catholicism considers that a purely material life is intrinsically disordered, selfish, vapid, and temporary, for it is the chasing of momentary pleasure and the avoidance of temporary pain without any deeper meaning. 

Imperial Catholicism says that civil life must be ordered under the acknowledgment that all humans are inherently spiritual. This is a rejection of materialism and utilitarianism, as well as any other philosophy that indicates that decisions may be moral if they are merely guided by pleasure and pain or in any way are not guided by a spiritually-based moral code. That is, humanity and the civil state must be guided by reasoning rooted in the doctrine of the faith, which is the true and authentic source of all morality.

Therefore, Imperial Catholicism also promotes an awareness of one’s own inner spirituality, each person being a creation of God in His image. Each action taken by an individual must, therefore, have some deeper meaning rather than a simple response to physical stimulus. Both individuals and the civil state, therefore, at their best when they seek in all that they do to be their best in the glorification of God, for to do so is to live a life of purpose. By surrendering to the moral code, by giving meaning to each thing that one does for the glory of God, both humanity and the civil state are elevated. The notion of freedom in Imperial Catholicism is one in which endeavours, whether they be artistic, scientific, governmental, or something else, are free and legitimate to be pursued provided they are done soberly within the framework of the moral code. 

II. Sacred and Temporal Tradition

In accordance with the necessity of tradition as an essential pillar of the Catholic Faith, the political thought of Imperial Catholicism necessarily must be rooted strongly in tradition. That tradition must be the tradition of the Holy Church, the various peoples associated with the territory of the specific civil state, and the associated history of both the church and state.

Imperial Catholicism, following from the doctrinal position that the faith exists jointly over all time and space, meaning that we are all part of the same church as those who came before us and those who will come after us, asserts that individuals and humanity as a whole are irrelevant except in the context of history. Life, therefore, must be lived with a sense of tradition and the knowledge of history, applying both diligently to the specific circumstances of modern life.

Imperial Catholicism, then, necessarily rejects progressivism and modernism. Progressivism promotes the idea that everything that is new is inherently better than everything that is old, and the ideas of today are inherently better and superior to the ideas of yesterday. Such a philosophy is arrogant, for it fails to place oneself in the overall historical context. History is a compass, for one must know where one has been in order to know where one is and where one is going.

Additionally, the political doctrine of Imperial Catholicism allows that certain traditions may change over time, but only in specific evolutionary manners that do not in fact remove them from the overall context of the tradition and history from whence they came.

III. Individuality and Society

The faith teaches both the individual and the collective. Imperial Catholicism, then asserts that a civil state is indeed a collective, but the collective society is comprised of individuals, each possessing individual dignity and worth. Imperial Catholicism, therefore, rejects outright all Marxist ideas of communism and socialism as being offensive to the dignity of Christ and all humanity created in the image of God.

Imperial Catholicism also places a limited confidence in democratic forms of government, such as democracies and republics. Such forms of government have a strong potential mob rule, as well as a majority determination of morality, when in reality morality is not subject to popular vote. Democracy has the strong potential to become a tyranny itself under the guise of political freedom. The state deludes its people into believing that the people themselves have sovereignty, when in reality it is the state itself that takes on the mantle of that selfsame type of supreme ruler that democracy claims to abhor. 

Furthermore, democratic states also have the significant potential to act only in the interests of the majority or a minority, which itself becomes effectively a majority for voting purposes, to the detriment of various minorities. Therefore, Imperial Catholicism necessarily asserts that democracies and republics must ensure that the desires, customs, etc. that do no harm that inherent to individuals or minority groups may continue to be expressed and lived even if they contradict the majority wish, custom, or law. This is especially of the utmost importance regarding spiritual custom, for many democracies and republics, even one in particular that claims to have been founded on principles of religious freedom, fail to respect the rights of Catholics to live according to their faith and to express their faith openly publicly. No government that forsakes the Catholic Church and the spiritual liberty of individuals thereof may rightly consider itself legitimate.

The civil state has an inherent duty to protect the rights of individuals, extending those rights as much as possible, and individuals have a duty, stemming from love of neighbour, to be a responsible member of society. Imperial Catholicism further acknowledges that temporal states are temporary creations, and therefore loyalty must be to the Church first. In an authentic sense of patriotism cannot come from flag worship, state worship, or anything that replaces God, but may only legitimately, according to the Catholic doctrine, come from a love of neighbour.

Imperial Catholicism respects the individual dignity and spiritual worth of all individuals. However, it is an affront to God to suggest that all individuals are carbon copies of each other, and therefore the idea of egalitarianism so often touted by democracies, socialist states, and communist states, among others, must necessarily be rejected outright. There are both natural inherent differences in ability, given by God, as well as differences in environment and development of those natural abilities, both of which differentiate one individual from another.

IV. Church and State

It is a key principle of Imperial Catholicism that the Holy Church and her hierarchy are always and everywhere superior in dignity and authority to the civil state. That authority comes from God Himself and may not rightly be challenged or modified by any civil authority. Therefore, again, the loyalty of any citizen must first be to the Church above any civil state.

Furthermore, recalling the temporary nature of civil states, which is well understood through a study of history, Imperial Catholicism promotes the notion summed up in the statement: Ecclesia Patria Nostra, i.e., the Church is Our Country. Everywhere we must remember that our duty is first to God and His Holy Church. This has a further implication as well, specifically that we must not fail to consider our Christian brethren on other sides of civil borders to be anything other than our brothers and sisters in Christ. That must likewise continue even in the case of conflict and warfare, where perhaps it could be said to be of even greater significance and importance. 

V. Summary of Purpose

Ultimately Imperial Catholicism asserts that individuals and society must seek spiritual ends even to the detriment of material or political ends, for material and political purposes only have meaning and legitimacy if they serve a deeper, profound, spiritual purpose. Imperial Catholicism in the modern era continues and builds upon its legacy from the Holy Roman Empire, which was itself the temporal wing of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, as well as its legacy from the Roman Empire, and from other civilisations that have both influenced it and been influenced by it, including the Spanish Empire, the French kingdom, and the Merovingian dynasty. It is the spiritual that must dictate and guide our individual decisions as well as our collective decisions as a society. Freedom and liberty are notions that are meaningless without Christ. Likewise, order of the state and society are meaningless and illegitimate without God, the source of all order and goodness in the universe.