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Questioning Integralism

Should Catholicism be integrated into public law and policy?

March 3, 2023  0


In the last few months, traditional Catholics have come under scrutiny from both the government and mainstream media outlets.

In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Aidan O'Connor takes a closer look at the latest assault on Catholics.

In a recent article published by the Washington Post, a conservative professor is taking aim at a specific group of Catholics who are critical of America's founding principles.

Executive director of the conservative think tank Civitas Institute, Justin Dyer, penned the article and warns his readers about a conservative idea associated with "integralism," meaning the integration of the Catholic faith with public law and policy.

In the article titled "The Catholic Right Wing Takes a Wrong Turn," Dyer criticizes intellectuals who look to the past for ideas to shape a better political future.

He writes, "The most radical of these visions flies under the flag of 'integralism' and takes its bearings from an old current in Catholic social thought."

Dyer condemns Catholics who look critically at America's founding and who point out the deist, Enlightenment, heretical and even Masonic influence on many of the founding fathers.

Dominican Fr. Thomas Crean's book Integralism: A Manual of Political Philosophy, is mentioned in the article.

Father Crean spoke to Church Militant and had this to say: 

The claim of integralism is that the greatest goods are not material goods. Those are goods. The greatest goods are divine life, eternal life and the love of God. And, therefore, in a Catholic society laws would do things to protect those. They won't force people to become Christians because that's against Christianity.

In a brief description of his book, Fr. Crean describes integralism as an "integration of faith and reason for political, economic and individual civic life."

Integralism is often described as the idea that the principles of the Catholic faith should be the foundation for public law and policy in society.

The Washington Post article, however, isn't alone in aiming at so-called radical conservative Catholics.

Last week, a writer for Law and Liberty, a traditional magazine, attempted to coin the term "critical Catholic theory."

He equates CCT with the Marxist critical race theory, claiming some traditional Catholics are attempting to undermine the foundations of America.

This, after a recently leaked FBI report, which names Church Militant, framed so-called radical traditional Catholics as potentially dangerous.

The now-retracted report relied heavily on the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center's so-called research.

The SPLC lists Church Militant as a hate group and uses the term "integrism" in regard to "radical traditional Catholics."

While radical Marxist groups and mainstream publications seem to be focusing on so-called radical Catholics, many are asking if integralism is really that extreme.

In his encyclical Quanta Cura Pope Pius IX warned about indifference toward religion in society, insisting that religious neutrality of civil power cannot be embraced as ideal.

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