On the Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI
a magnificent, insightful tribute to this future saint and Doctor of the Church
A fitting read, particularly for this morning.
I am confused by Catholic teaching on the judgement of the dead and the idea of atonement after death. From my possibly limited understanding of Paul Corinthians 15 and Jesus admonition to the pharisees in John 8 there is a distinct instruction that if one dies in sin without repentance that unfortunately we die in our sins and are judged accordingly effectively for damnation. Is my confusion warranted?
Great essay. I do have a difference on this point however:
“ Benedict famously observes that state power has been usurped by market power, disorienting our social and civic life. This disorientation has occurred precisely because our “structures, institutions, culture and ethos” have excluded God.”
I think while there is a shade of truth here, in that materialism dominates the ruling class and state, with a revolving door to today’s business class,I think the causation here is essentially the reverse.
Parliamentary democracy, and proto-Enlightenment Roman theories of sovereignty, expanded the state’s reach to the individual directly, to “liberate him.” This meant the exclusion of all wholesome intermediating institutions, including the Church. These institutions are most definitely “market”, in that they were all non-state.
Therefore, from the foundation of a conceit that government should be a godless, secular democracy to prevent formal religious conflict (as if that were the only conflict), the remaining businesses that weren’t crowded out by the state’s arrogation of power now had the incentive to infiltrate and capture what they could in the state—but the capture goes both ways, as the state itself becomes a self-contained entity interested in its own perpetuation, and corrupts and directs business. We see that today in the US more than ever. And the 20th century saw the horrors of socialism and communism, offshoots of this kind of thinking.
As Jeff Deist pointed out, in Adam Smith’s time, “parties could use local, manorial, county, ecclesiastical, merchant, chancery (equitable relief versus money damages), and common law venues [for courts and dilute resolution].” (See https://mises.org/wire/realistic-market-private-governance)
The post-liberal solution is most definitely not to increase monopoly power like an enlightened natural law despot. It will be decentralization and nations by consent. But then, those nations should be striving to govern by the natural law principles that give rise to human flourishing. They should be founded as essentially Christian governance structures.