Catalan Independence and the Catholic Church

by Krisztina Nemes     

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Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey

Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey

The Benedictines of Montserrat maintain a publishing house, A Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, dedicated to enhancing awareness and appreciation of Catalan culture. The publishing house boasts more than 3000 books in areas such as history, art, language, literature, religion, and music. In addition to monographs, the Abbey also publishes important periodicals. One of these is Qüestions de Vida Cristiana. Founded in 1958, it was the first periodical granted permission to print, despite a general prohibition on publications in the Catalan language. The journal never limited itself strictly to religious themes, but attempted to address topics of contemporary concern from the perspectives of theology, philosophy, literature, and so on. When, in 2013, supporters of Catalan independence formed a living chain 400 kilometers long along the Catalonian border (Via Catalana), the editors of the journal decided to devote their 247 issue (from 2014) to the question of Catalonian independence. Catalans today believe that the right to determine their destiny should be included among the list of human rights. College professors, theologians, politicians, sociologists, writers, and historians express their opinion on this question in the volume. This review considers contributions especially interesting from the point of view of the church and theology.

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Illiberal Democracy and the Dignity of the Human Person

by Christianus

Photo by László Beliczay/MTI Source: http://www.kormany.hu/

Photo by László Beliczay/MTI Source: http://www.kormany.hu/

Political crises are nothing new under the sun. They are as old as politics, and when viewed from faith, they represent an occasion not for fear, but to commit ourselves again to the common good and the cause of human dignity. For Christian politicians a “Western crisis” cannot be reason to turn from the West and toward Eastern, non-Christian political arrangements for the solution to political, social, and economic ills. In times of crisis, the Christian politician should look to the teaching of the Church and the wisdom of its tradition to find those moral principles indispensable for a just society. Important among these are respect for human dignity, solidarity with the weak, regard for subsidiarity, and adherence to the rule of law. Since these principles are central to liberal democracies, a plan to replace a liberal democracy with an “illiberal” one cannot be considered a Christian democratic program.

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Good and Bad Ways to Think About Religion and Politics

by Robert Benne

Robert Benne Source: https://www.luther.edu/

Robert Benne
Source: https://www.luther.edu/

Could anyone imagine an American government ordering Martin Luther King, Jr. not to use Christian rhetoric to inspire the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s?  Precisely this is what some militant atheists, secularists, and even a few religious leaders would like to happen today.  These folks are what I call “separationists,” those who believe religiously-based moral values ought not have a place in public discourse or policy-making.  While most of them merely disapprove of the interaction of religion and politics, others are so hostile to religion—especially conservative Christianity—that they would formally prohibit it.

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