Chad Pecknold’s Cardinal Laghi Lecture concerns the rise and fall of the heresy Pope Leo XIII called “Americanism”—and what it means for the Catholic mission to America today
Beautiful speech, Professor: cogent and concise. It took me back to my undergraduate days, particularly a class called the American Catholic Experience in which we discussed John Courtney Murray's influence on the Church and the evolution of American Catholicism.
There is so work to be done to reverse the precipitous decline of morals and virtues in today's culture that it's easy to get discouraged and deem the problem as irreversible. Lectures and discussions like this one are vital to provide hope to the dwindling faithful. Godspeed.
Thank you for this lecture, Prof Pecknold. I am not qualified to speak in substance on the subject of Catholicism. The fullest extent of my knowledge is the 6 years I was schooled in my formative years in a Catholic primary school run by the St Vincent Nuns in a foreign land. I still remember their white bonnets, ever so white and pristinely ironed. They were strict disciplinarians and great teachers. We attended mass in a Catholic Cathedral where the priest was a Jesuit from Portugal.
I just wanted to briefly say of course there is no shame in the mission of the Church, of being a Catholic and spreading the teachings of the Church. Catholics have every reason to be proud that they are Catholic. The America we see today, inebriated to the point of lost in aimless meanderings in the moral desert of indifferentism, is hostile to any moral principle or tenet that defines what is good and what is just. As you put it, hypothesis became thesis. The concern is not even about a slippery slope any more. It is about a perpendicular fall into the chasm of bottomless darkness. More than ever in America’s history since its founding does America need to re-visit the teachings of the Church, to let known the moral authority of the Church. Catholics in America do not need anyone’s permission or approval to teach a faith that embraces the values of social justice and dignity of the human person. Social justice, from my own reading, embraces Common Good. Common Good is not "good" for a select few in accordance to the whims of flavor-of-the-month “Liberalism”.
Really enjoyed this talk Professor. I resonated with the line “The Catholic Church did not convert ancient Rome when it was ascendent, but precisely when it was most dispersed and brittle.” Seems to me ever since the infamous Cogito that launched modernity this is the best time in hundreds of years to evangelize as it’s pretty much just a cage match between us and Liberalism. Of course I have a bad feeling it’s going to be very similar to the previous fight against paganism in terms of persecution but I suppose that’s Gods will. RE: Converting Nations does the principle of subsidiary apply here or is there room for strategy? What I mean is, should we as Americans try to target the big bad whale that is our secular/protestant nation primarily or is it more prudent to target the Hungary, Poland, and Croatias of the world and try to create our own “based domino theory.” Thanks and God bless!
Thank you for this lecture. Very interesting to read it and differentiate between Vatican 2's claims on religious liberty, on the one hand, from distorting portrayals of Vatican 2 among "liberals" and "rad trads" alike, who, oddly, are in significant ways on the same page.
At the same time, it's daunting to consider the ideological dynamics of personal autonomy grounded in purported "freedoms" and "rights" (Americanism). It often seems like, in order to articulate the Church's teaching, Catholics have to speak a language different from Americans and contemporary Westerners who use the same and similar terms but with profoundly different meanings (Ger. "ein falscher Freund"). With many people, I've found that it's difficult to have a discussion because of the constant qualification and definition and differentiation that's needed.
That was such a pleasure to read, close argumentation and the beautiful archaic language.
I always thought religion would come into my life, but it didn’t. I remain an atheist. As such I find the Post Liberal Order perfect for me, it broadens and deepens my perspective .
I don’t believe in religion’s assertion of the supernatural nor do I believe in “ the common theory central to liberalism, and it’s associated political movements, that liberty requires the throwing off of all unchosen constraints which the liberal counts as coercion and arbitrary oppression.”
Liberalism stripped of Christian principles is a fearsome thing: unbridled chaos. So for me, every time, every way, your archaic truth over today’s disorder. You have my (atheist) vote.
This is so great. Thank you for making it free so it can be shared widely!
I often think of political Catholicism as a project for the youth because it’s hard for people to see their own error when it has been held for so long. But since it has gotten this crazy even my mom has been reading Pope Leo XIII on Americanism. This walks us through and really reveals the significance of Testem Benevolentiae.
Great talk. Thanks. But who are the two clerics in the photo? And what do you have against captions?