2017 St. Joseph Lecture: The Church between Francis and Trump

2017 St. Joseph Lecture: The Church between Francis and Trump


Good afternoon and welcome. My name is Fr. Gabriel Pivarnik. I’m the Director for the Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies and the Vice President for Mission and Ministry here at Providence College. Each year, the Center sponsors four endowed lectures made possible by the generous donation of the Quinn family. The Quinn Family Lectures give us an insight into the relationship between faith and the many different disciplines we have here at the College. The St. Joseph Lecture looks specifically at the intersection of history, politics, and the role of theology within, if you will, the life of the state. It’s indeed my pleasure to welcome here with us this afternoon Dr. Massimo Faggioli. He is a professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University — that other basketball school. [laughter] He was born and raised in Italy, with summer holidays spent in France, and was multilingual in five languages by the time he graduated from high school. If my information is correct, you picked up your sixth language as an undergraduate? And may have seven now? Or did you stop at six? [laughter] His interest in theology grew out of his experience with the boy scouts, which I am going to find out what that’s all about over dinner. Because I was a boy scout, but I had no interest in theology after being a boy scout. [laughter] He was educated at Laurea University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Also studied at the Theological Institute of the Catholic Archdiocese of Ferrara, and at Eberhard Karls University, in Tübingen, Germany. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Turin. And his areas of expertise include, but are not limited to: Church History, the History of Christianity, American Catholicism, Historical Theology and Ecclesiology, and Catholicism and World/European Politics. Since 2013, he has served as a media expert on a wide range of theological, religious, and Church-related issues for national and international news outlets, including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Sun Times and Tribune, the National Catholic Reporter, and the Washington Post. Massimo and his wife, Dr. Sarah Christopher Faggioli, were part of a five person team that translated America magazine’s “A Big Heart Open to God:” “An Interview with Pope Francis” into English. He is also a contributing editor to Commonweal, a widely published author. His most recent book, “Catholicism and Citizenship: Political Cultures of the Church in the Twenty-First Century” is available next week. Again, that title is “Catholicism and Citizenship.” We’ll take orders right after this lecture. To give you an idea, though, the breadth of what he has written, because it is kind of an enormous task to talk about all the things that Massimo has written: Several books on the Second Vatican Council, a book on Pope Francis, a book on John XXIII, a book on the rising laity in the ecclesial movements since Vatican II – the list goes on, and on, and on. It’s indeed my pleasure to welcome Dr. Massimo Faggioli. [Applause] Good afternoon, and thank you for being here on a Friday afternoon with me, and it’s my great pleasure to be here because, as you know, the University of Bologna and Bologna is very important Dominican place, so it’s a great honor to be here and it is a special week, it is a special day to talk about these things because so many things are happening, and I’m not referring to Capitol Hill today, but I mean, Pope Francis met with all the leaders of the European Union this afternoon, Rome time. On Sunday it will be the 50th Anniversary of the Encyclical “Populorum Progressio” of Pope Paul VI, 1967, one of the most important teachings of the papacy on social issues in this last century. So I am very happy to talk about the issue of how Catholics perceive the role, the function, and their position in the state and in politics in general, which is kind of a new issue, not just because of what happen in our political system in this last couple of years. It is not just an American issue, it is a European issue, it’s an Asian issue. Just think of the Philippines, an enormously important Catholic country. So, what I am going to do here is to frame my remarks in a few parts: the first part, a brief introduction on why is the issue of the state and of government important for the Catholic Church and for Catholic theology. Second, what has been the take of Catholicism and of Catholic theology viz-a-viz the political authority in the state in the 20th century. Third part, what’s happening to the authority, to the legitimacy of the state, of the nation state, today. And the last part, what that means, so what’s happening, in American Catholicism especially, why is this an issue that I find particularly interesting and relevant for American Catholicism. Again, in light of the recent developments but also in light of the special role of America in Catholic history, which is an exceptional or even if we do not want to use the exceptional term because it is burdened with the meanings, it’s exceptional, it’s unique, it’s very special. So why is this the issue of the state very important for the Catholic Church, nation state, much more for the Catholic Church than for other churches? Because it is something that is the beginning of the second millennium, when you have basically the Catholic Church and the empire in Europe vying for supremacy and what happens in the 11th and 12th century is both the Emperor and the Pope trying to replace the other. And this is a foundational moment because that struggle ends up in a compromise. There is no winner and there is no loser – there is a compromise. The famous conqueror that of 1122. And that is very important because from now on, you have the Catholic Church realizing that it has to operate in a world where there is a political authority that is distinct from religious authority. So, I say distinct and not separated because separation means that quite a particular constitutional wording of the relationship. But distinct, so there is a Pope and there is an Emperor. So both Pope and Emperor have both religious and political authority. The Emperor is not a lay person in the middle ages, but they are distinct. And this is very important because it helps the Catholic Church develop the idea that there is an “other.” So this is something, for example, that is not really part in the same way of the Protestant idea of the political authority of Martin Luther or Calvin, for example. This is one of the issues typical of American Christianity. There’s not the same understanding of distinction of the Church and the State, or the Empire, or the political authority. The second step you have between the 16th and the 17th century, the transition of the empire to nation-states. And that is another adaptation the Catholic Church has to go through because dealing with one empire, one emperor, is more adaptable to the Catholic Church. Why? Because the Catholic Church has one emperor, who is the Pope. He is not the emperor, but, okay. So, the adaptation to the nation-states, this is not a peaceful transition. It is part of one century of religious wars in Europe between the mid 16th century and the mid 17th century. So you have the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648. You have one Catholic Church, but several nation-states and the Catholic Church understands that the state will be the counterpart for a very long time. The third step, the Age of the Revolution, the 19th century. When democracy really tries to take over the role of religion in public life. So you have the revolutions, the democratic revolutions, after the French Revolution, 1789. And then 1848, 1849 Europe, you have parliaments. And so the legitimacy of authority is no longer in the hands of a king that has a “divine blessing”, but is in the hands of parliaments. And that is a democratic legitimacy. The religious blessing is absent or much, much more limited. So that is a big – that drives the Catholic Church to a big reaction. So you have one of the most carefully hidden papal documents in Church history, the “Syllabus” of Pope Pius IX, 1864, who says democracy is heresy, it is incompatible with Christianity, with the Catholic Church. Freedom of conscious is incompatible with the Catholic Church. The separation of Church and state is incompatible. It’s a reaction. Already a couple of decades after, the papacy understands that democracy is not going to go away. So this very pragmatic adaptation to the fact that Catholics must become citizens of their nations, of their countries. It starts with France, the birthplace of the hated French Revolution, and it becomes part of all European countries. So, it is a very pragmatic adaptation that is driven by necessity. There is not real theological re-understanding of the state for a long time and of politics, until the most dramatic moment in modern history for the Western Hemisphere, at least: The period of World War I and World War II, which we can see as two different wars or one war with 30…20 years intermission. And that is a very important moment of reflection for the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church understands that some of the reactions against democracy, against human rights, against freedom and so on, against the social upheavals of Marxism, of Communism, they had driven towards the horrors of Fascism and of Nazis. And this is something that takes quite some time in the Catholic Church to be digested and be understood. But it happens and it begins with a very famous speech of Pope Pius XII, the Christmas 1944 radio message where he basically says we have seen something lately and maybe democracy is not the worst system in the world. He doesn’t say that in these words, but there is cleary an acknowledgment that there is a compatibility between democracy and the Christian faith and with Catholicism. This is the beginning of a slow theological evolution that will lead the Catholic Church to the Second Vatican Council – my second step. The Second Vatican Council, the most important gathering of the Catholic Church, it is less than five centuries after the Council of Trent. It redefines a lot of the culture of the Catholic Church, of doctrines, of ideas, of understanding of the modern world – the liturgical reform, many changes, one of these which I think has been underestimated so far, but I think we are going to rediscover that because what is happening in our world, is a development in the political culture of the Catholic Church. So the Catholic Church, for one century and a half, more or less, after the French Revolution, has a pragmatic, inevitable, peaceful acceptance of democracy. But there is no real understanding why democracy may not be inherently an enemy of the Catholic Church. That happens at the Second Vatican Council because Vatican II happens just 15 years after the end of World War II. Most of those 2,500 bishops in the Vatican for this four year long discussion on the Catholic Church, they had been trained between World War I and World War II, or some of them, they have fought in the trenches of World War I, except the French Jesuits. Very interesting experiences. How the experience of World War I, World War II, opened the eyes of these bishops and of these theologians, starting with John XXIII, the Pope, who in 1959 says well the world has changed quite a bit since the Council of Trent in these last four centuries, we have to renew the language of our faith. And so one of the big changes is how the Catholic Church looks at politics, democracy, and constitutionalism. And that is one of the most interesting things to see because Vatican II is very clear in some of its documents about the need to redevelop a Christian theological understanding of what is democracy, of what are human rights, why should we be in favor or against something. And so especially two documents are very important of the Second Vatican Council. One is the constitution on the Church in the modern world “Gaudium et Spes”, the last document published by the Second Vatican Council on December 1965. And there is a whole chapter on the Church and politics. And I just want to quote a couple of paragraphs. One says – Gaudium et Spes §42 – “The Church has no fiercer desire than that in pursuit of the welfare of all. She may be able to develop herself freely under any kind of government which grants recognition of the basic rights of person and family, to the demands of the common good and to the free exercise of her own mission.” A few paragraphs later: “The ‘Church’ is not identified in any way with the political community, nor bound to any political system. She is at once a sign and a safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person. The Church and the political community, in their own fields, are autonomous and independent from each other.” This is one of the most difficult texts of the Second Vatican Council to be received by American Christians. And by American Catholics included. Why is that? Because Vatican II realizes that there is a world out there in which nations will not necessarily identify themselves as Christian nations. And they acknowledge the danger which had been exactly the danger of the Catholic Church under Fascism in Italy, under Nazism in Germany, and under Francism in Spain, to concede legitimacy to any dictator willing to deny democracy but willing also to endorse “The Christian Nation” label, for Italy, for Germany, for Spain. They knew exactly, and they couldn’t say that in terms of a request of forgiveness. I mean, John Paul II comes 30 years later – 20 years later – but this is their way to understand what the Catholic Church has to do in the modern world. So there is this idea of distinction of the Church and of the political community. And so the Second Vatican Council doesn’t talk about the nation-state, saying “we are in favor of the nation state.” It talks about political community, but it’s very clear that the nation-state is what they are thinking about. Even more important, the other document of the council, also because it is the most American document of the Second Vatican Council, “The Declaration on Religious Freedom”, whose main thinker was an American Jesuit, John Courtney Murray, says, it goes deeper, this document, acknowledging the new understanding of the political authority for the Catholic Church. And I quote, “In order that relationship of peace and harmony be established and maintained within the whole of mankind, it is necessary that religious freedom be everywhere provided with an effective constitutional guarantee.” So this document says: First, the Catholic Church believes that religious freedom is an individual right for all people, no matter what their religion is, which is something we are discovering lately. So there is a – the Catholic Church is not available to endorse a political system only because it gives a privilege to Catholics. That was a huge deal. Also because Vatican II takes places when the dictatorship in Spain is still going on. I mean, dictatorship in Spain ends in 1975, 10 years after the end of Second Vatican Council. The Spanish Bishops were terrified when they read this. So there is first the idea of religious liberty because it is a fundamental human right. So it is obvious for us today to think that the Catholic Church is in favor of human rights. Actually, it is quite a new thing. Why? Because before Vatican II, with the interest of the Church was, first of all, to guarantee the rights of Catholics. Those were the rights. If you were a non-Catholic, if you’re a Baptist in Italy in 1950s, you could have ended up in jail for being a Protestant, in Italy – in the 1950s, after Fascism, after World War II. And so Vatican II interacts with that, but there is a second element. It talks here of constitutional guarantee. The Catholic Church says “it is a good thing that there are fundamental rights that have a constitutional guarantee.” That is one of the most shocking things because the idea of the constitution, which is a human document, voted by humans, until the early 20th century was seen as incompatible with the supremacy of the Catholic teaching. So what most Catholics knew of rights, of freedom was that there are God-given rights and the Church tells you what are these rights. They’re constitutional rights, but these are part of a constitutional guarantee that was voted, that was drafted, that was voted by humans. And this is not really important. At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church says, “Well, from what we know, of the history of constitutions, mid-60s, we know that they contain a guarantee of rights that we believe is a good thing.” And so the Catholic Church never says “we are making a revolution today.” Don’t expect that. But this is nothing less than that. Because there is an intellectual revolution saying, “there are human rights that don’t need to be granted by the Church.” That’s a huge thing. So it’s one step in acknowledging that there is a compatibility between democracy and Christianity, between democracy and Catholicism. What Vatican II rejects is that there is a freedom of the Church that is more important than the freedom of the person. That’s a huge change. So that is what is still sometimes used by some who advocate religious freedom, they seem to sometimes advocate the freedom of the Church. But religious freedom is another thing. Its bigger. The freedom of the Church, to teach, to preach, to educate, is very important. But religious freedom, by the Second Vatican Council, is much bigger than that. And I don’t think we have made this distinction clear enough. So this is Vatican II. The 60s, very hopeful period. I was born in 1970, so I don’t – I was not there. But it was a moment of great hope. The colonization, discovery of new vaccines of medicines, I mean, the horizon looked very bright, very hopeful. And so the Catholic Church at Vatican II was part of that environment. Now, it’s been 50 years and so I am one of the young scholars studying the Second Vatican Council and one of the important things to do right now is to save the Second Vatican Council from either the nostalgists, those who say “well in the 60s, everything was so much better.” And so on… the Beatles and so on… But also those who say Vatican II was the beginning of the end. It was the destruction of real Catholicism. So, my attempt in the last few years is to know what Vatican II said, in that context, but also from a theological point of view, to look at what the Second Vatican Council doesn’t really work anymore in this context. So we – and that is a typical problem of all Church teachings. I mean after Trent, after Nicaea… So now 50 years after the Second Vatican Council, what has changed in the relationship between the Catholic Church and democracy? And of the nation state and of the political authority? One thing has changed for sure. One thing has changed for sure. In the 60s, after World War II, in the midst of the Cold War, Soviet Union, and Communism against the free world, there was a very clear dichotomy. And the idea was that there was a clear connection between these three things, all together: Democracy, capitalism, human rights. And if you had democracy, you were living in a capitalist country. Or if you were living in a capitalist country, you were living in a democracy, and that meant the respect of human rights, fundamental human rights of civil rights, political rights, and so on. This is clearly no longer true. It’s no longer true. So, we have capitalism today in many countries that are non-democratic, or they were or used to be democratic, or tried to be democratic, or are para-democratic. That’s one big problem that is very different from the age of the Second Vatican Council. Another big problem is that in some areas of the world, we have the so-called “failed states.” In African and in the “failed states.” In African and in the Middle East, there are a number of states that are there just in name. So it’s a huge difference from the way the Catholic Church was looking at the state in the 1960s. Decolonization, the colonial empires are fragmented and giving birth to new states, that was the great hope. So our horizon is bleaker. It’s much more complicated that the horizon of the bishops at the Second Vatican Council. It is more complicated. Why is this issue of the Catholic Church looking at the state, the political authority today relevant for the Church, for the Catholic Church? Because the re-definition of the power of the state being weaker than before, weaker than before. For example, is it more powerful today, one political party or congress, or is it more powerful a big corporation like Google? Or Apple? Or Exxon? That’s a new thing. So, this is relevant for this is relevant for the Catholic Church not just because the Catholic Church knows who is the interlocutor, who is the counterpart, or who is the partner. The Catholic Church needs to learn that the crisis of the nation state, it’s also part of the crisis of the churches in controlling religion. So there is one very important church historian, the most important church historian of these last 50 years, in Italy, Paulo Prado, who in his last article said, “In a world of today, we have the Church and state both are in crisis because religious power is no longer totally controlled by the Church. And political power is no longer controlled by the state.” And this has huge consequences because for at least five centuries, the nation-state and the Church, they were in a very difficult, but very solid marriage. And now these two spouses, Church and state, they are radically being changed by how the global economy works, the globalization of culture works. So this is very, very important. These two actors have changed and this is part of the difficult situation of Catholics when they have to understand what is politics for me? What’s politics for me? Is it more important to vote in a certain way, or to vote at all? Or is it more important to shop in a certain way? Or to have a certain lifestyle and voting is passé, it is no longer relevant. This is a very important question. And so this is a global question. All Catholics are part of that, consciously or unconsciously. It strikes me, for example, that two very important countries to understand the role of Catholics for the democratic revolutions against dictatorship in the 20th century: Poland and the Philippines. Now, they are drifting towards a non-democratic, or authoritarian, non-constitutional system. In just 30 years, two very important countries, Poland and the Philippines, not to talk about the crisis of the European Union which is also a ethological crisis. So this is a global crisis. But, why is this issue particularly important for American Catholics? For Catholics in the United States? I think that the issue is even more serious here because one of the crises in the reception of the second Vatican council in American Catholicism, so there are very strong trends saying Vatican II destroyed real Catholicism, it’s time to go back to the pre-Vatican II period. Why is that dangerous? Not just because the counter-liturgical reform and all this things, but also because the denial of the importance of the Second Vatican Council and of 20th century Catholicism altogether. It means denying or forgetting the development of Catholics and understanding democracy. That’s the most serious and dramatic thing. Example: It strikes me that whenever there is a Catholic social teaching argument to be made about some bills, or some policies, the usual instinct is to use “Rerum Novarum” of Pope Leo XIII, 1891. And I love that document, it is a very important document. It’s balanced, anti-communism, anti-total free market, its balanced. But it’s a document of the Catholic Church that says nothing of the importance of democratic values, of human rights. It says nothing. And this is typical of a certain approach which says “the 20th century has been a lost century for Catholicism.” Now, I don’t want to go into this nostalgic worldview of Catholicism, where the past, way back, was ideal, was an ideal situation. But, if we stop at the consequences of this, for the civic quality of Catholics, I think that that could lead to a disaster. I’m not saying that if American Catholics read only “Rerum Novarum”, they will become fascists. I’m not saying that. But, the theology that is behind a certain appropriation of the lessons of the 20th century, World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the nuclear age, that culminates in documents of the Second Vatican Council on the encyclical of Pope John, “Pacem in Terris”, the first Church document, who says, “having more women in the public square is a good thing.” – 1963. So, if we go back to the 19th century, I’m afraid we will not be able to make a Catholic case about some important issues, important values, that are in danger, are in peril, no matter which political party is advancing that bill. This is a very bipartisan discourse. With “Rerum Novarum”, you have a late 19th century mental framework, a late 19th century market system, a late 19th century international political system, there is no UN, no WTO, no World Bank, there is nothing like that. So this is why I think this is a very important problem. Here I wrote, recently, that listening to some Church leaders responding to some of the policies of this administration, I sense what I called a “Constitutional Agnosticism” of the bishops. That when their constitutional values are in peril, I don’t think they realize that. I don’t think they are sympathetic to this administration. I don’t think that. I think there is a deeper theological problem that if you get rid of 20th century Catholic theology, you will become blind to some constitutional issues that are important for Catholics also. So, when you frame your statements on religious freedom, in terms of freedom of the Church, or in terms of freedom of Catholics, you are not saying what the Catholic Church says on the issue. You are misrepresenting what is the Catholic teaching on religious liberty. You are quoting a pope of the 19th century, or the 18th century, or the 14th century. But this is not the Catholic Church of today. In this, Pope Francis is clearly a pope having some problems with the Catholic Church in the west because of this reason. Because his world-view, his theology, was shaped in Latin America, in the 1960-70s, where the Catholic Church was a major actor fighting for democracy and human rights. This is something that really makes a huge difference between how North American bishops look at the 20th century, and how Latin American Bishops look at the 20th century. So, for most North American bishops the last 50 years is secularization, loss of faith, the defeat on culture war issues, on gay marriage, and so on. That’s the North American perspective. The Latin American perspective is a church that rescued itself from being enslaved to dictators. That’s a huge difference. And there is no way to minimize this gap between Pope Francis and most, or many North American bishops. It’s not a matter of being left or right, it is a matter of looking at this past 50 years in a completely different way. And if you look at Pope Francis, the most social encyclical of Pope Francis, “Laudato Si”, on creation, on the environment, it was a lot of church, of documents of the tradition of the Catholic Church. He never quotes “Rerum Novarum”. He always quotes documents post Vatican II, of this last 50 years, who clearly build on Rerum Novarum. But it doesn’t stop there. So this is why I think this is a problem that has an impact globally, but especially on the Catholic Church in the west. My final point is this. This is particularly important because this historiographical take on these last 50 years, I mean, 50 years of weakening of the faith, of secularization in the Northern Hemisphere, is matched on another side of the theological debate in Catholicism in the west, by some thinkers, like, I mean very respected, very important, I have huge respect for them, like Alasdair MacIntyre, William Cavanaugh, and Stanley Hauerwas, who have a huge impact on Catholicism, who in this last 20 years, basically, have said, for Catholics, the political authority doesn’t matter. It’s not something that should concern them. It is the famous metaphor of MacIntyre, who said we should look at the political authority of the state like the authority of the telephone company. Would you die for your telephone company? Would you fight for your telephone company? So he was making a pacifist argument. But, the whole picture is that he says the Catholic Church is nothing to interact with the political authority, or very little. So I think that this is a very interesting idea. I tend to disagree that the authority of the state, of the nation-state, the political authority, is indifferent. It is not indifferent. We all know that the authority of the nation-state has a huge impact on the lives of all of us. The economy, defense, the environment, healthcare, as you know. And I don’t think, and I think, that it could be easily seen as a luxury to say I don’t need the state to be respectful of these human rights or be respectful for the environment. The mentality of the self-sufficiency, of the retreat, and I understand that it’s frustrating for a Christian, and for a Catholic especially, sometimes to be in public life. And my position is quite extraordinary because I am on a green card. So you can be sure that I have no political future in this country. You can be sure of that. But, I think that when we say the political sphere the political authority, is not something that should call us, as Catholics to say something, to think something, to do something. I think we, it is a slippery slope. And it can become very dangerous. And so I, I have learned a lot in these last few years in this country. I arrived in the US in 2008; my wife is American, our children were born here, and so I am the only member of the family who is not an American citizen. But I have developed the idea that, and this is my project for the next decade or so, to understand the deep differences in how one Roman Catholic Church, which is one Church, how differently behaves, it looks at things in different contexts on some fundamental issues. I just want to end with one example. I understand, I think that American Catholics have developed, or are developing, a kind of detachment from the foundational documents of this republic. And I think that’s dangerous, because the Catholic Church can have a huge impact, beneficial impact, on public life. And here – I just want to mention one article of the Italian constitution, 1947, on private property. And it’s, the article, on the economy and on private property, that talks of private properly only and always in terms of compatibility with a social function of property. It says private property is good, but it always has to have a social function for the common good. Now, I don’t think that will ever happen in a country like the United States, for evident culture reasons. But, I don’t think that the constitutional agnosticism, that ignoring what politics, what law, what kind of impact they have. I don’t think it’s going to be beneficial. And actually, I don’t think it is consistent with the real identity of Catholicism. I sense sometimes that, in the Catholic Church in the US, sometimes there is at work more like a Calvanist ethos, a seperationist ethos, this is not Catholic. I say that with all due respect. I am not accusing of heresy, anybody. I’m just saying there are a few features of American Catholicism that sometimes look more American than Catholic. And I say that as a European Catholic knowing that there are many things of European Catholics that are more European than Catholic. But this is my function. I came here at 37 and one of the bad things is that it’s too late to become a – I’m not a tongue speaker – but it’s too late also to absorb everything. I tend to be, I mean aware of – my European glasses. I mean they help me see things from a Catholic perspective that I find may be useful at this time. So, I thank you for your patience, and I am very curious to hear your questions and comments. [Applause] [Fr. Pivarnik] We have time for a few questions. Yes [Question inaudible] Well, as you know, Vatican II doesn’t say directly we are catching up with the Enlightenment. The Catholic Church is very a proud institution. But there is clearly an acknowledgment that on some issues, there has been a delay. I’ll give you one example: So you know the case of Galileo, right? So, when was Galileo silenced by the Catholic Church? I guess 1619, more or less? Early 17th century. The Catholic Church has rehabilitated Galileo officially 373 years after his condemnation, so 1992. But at Vatican II, there is, in “Gaudium Et Spes”, in a footnote, a reference, not to Galileo directly, but to a biography of Galileo. The Catholic Church was very embarrassed at that time. So, there is no question, that is part of it. I mean, there is clearly the idea that we have to learn something from the Enlightenment. But that is just one side of the issue. The other side is this, is that, if you want to give one simple definition of what Vatican II is, and what Catholicism is in the 20th century, basically, it is this: The Catholic Church wants to look more like Jesus and less like Charlemagne, or the Emperor. So, when the document on religious liberty makes the argument for religion freedom, which is a document against Soviet Russia, but also against a certain establishment of the Protestant religion in the U.S. There is chapter one, which is why human rights constitutionally are good. But there is chapter two saying why do we teach that? Because it’s what Jesus did, basically. And so there is a huge theological, purely theological argument that goes usually under the name ‘resourcement’. So, going back to the sources. Why? Because the Catholic Church until Vatican II was basically working in an intellectual environment that was the one of Medieval Christendom, of an established Catholic society. Jesus and the early Church don’t operate in either environment. And so you have the enlightenment values, some way, and there is no question that the document on religious liberty is a fruit, is a gift of the Catholic Church in the west to the global Catholic Church at Vatican II. I’m reading now the Vatican II diary of Henri de Lubac and there is a discussion on the floor and there are all these bishops who don’t know what they are talking about. And other bishops shout. So, it was the only word not in Latin in that debate: Murray, Murray. Call John Courtney Murray. And so there are two sides of the issue. So that’s why I am disturbed when I hear some who say that Vatican II was a liberal sell-out, was giving up the Catholic tradition because we embrace modern Enlightenment values. They have missed the whole theological development. I would say sometimes they have missed Jesus, and they are still looking for a new Constantine, a new emperor, who gives them safety from historical social change. At huge cost, I would say. [Question inaudible] I am not. I am not. Yeah No – I’ve been – going back to the sources is one of the markers of the Catholic intellectual endeavor in the 20th century. What is not working anymore in these last 20/30 years is the idea that if we read critically, the Scripture, we do. So we don’t teach what Leviticus says you can sell your daughter as a slave. So, we interpret critically. We, in the Catholic Church, it has become paradoxically much more difficult to read historically-critically Church documents, then Scripture, which is the word of God, and should be treated with a different kind of respect. So, my job as a Church historian is to show that there are continuities but discontinuities. Because the appeal to the original sources, I mean, frozen in one moment, it is typical of the traditionalist mentality. And so, what Vatican II does is not saying this is the new Trent. So what Vatican II says is this is the way to read the whole tradition and it gives you a code to operate with the tradition as it evolves. And so some have taken Vatican II as a code, that there is not update for that code. Or they have taken Vatican II as the destruction of the code. That’s a huge problem because it is like having a broken operating system in the computer of the global institution of the Catholic Church. And so you have to be able to read those documents with the perspective of faith. So, the Church history is not – it’s not criminal history. But the same time, you should not become a laughingstock saying, well between Pope Pius IX, 1864, and “Gaudium Et Spes”, nothing changes. There is continuity. This is something that we have heard in this last decade. But, she is right. So, going back to – has become the first step. So now institutions work. The problem of the Catholic Church is that we have a huge tradition and… [Question inaudible] Right… yeah… yeah, [Inaudible question continues] I would be very curious, for example, to see if there is a constitutional convention for the U.S., let’s say, 2018. We have a constitutional convention, let’s re-write the constitution I don’t know if I have to…[laughter] But, I would be very curious to see the Catholic contribution to that. Because the American Constitution, as I wrote recently, has many fathers, but no Catholic was at conception of that document. At the end of the 18th century. Which is a fundamental difference between the American Constitution and the European constitutions of the post-World War II periods. Now, I’m not saying that was good for European Catholicism. But there were some fundamental values, healthcare, work, private property, defense, peace, that are taken from the Catholic tradition, much more than… So, I don’t know if I am hoping for that constitutional convention but if that happens, this is what I would be looking for. Yes? [Question inaudible] [laughter] [inaudible question continues] Well, that’s a very good question. I think, I think you are right. I think that happens because the clergy perceives that this Church is very polarized and this is the single most shocking thing that I have seen in this country. The American political system is a two-party system and that has basically created a two-party church. That’s a huge problem that is nowhere else, nowhere else. So that’s, I take that as a good sign that they don’t want to create a GOP Parish or the Democratic Parish. I mean, they exist sometimes, but this is… Now, a second factor is this, is that is it is part of the legacy of how the Catholic magisterium has looked at the politics in this last decade, which was basically cautioning Catholics from making of the Church an agent of social change. They didn’t want that. That was the Latin American model, or the other American experience, where you had massive theology of the people expressing thirst for democracy, human rights, and so on, but that was not polarized. So, the push-back of the Vatican against the liberation theology in the 80s was not an argument in favor of Fascism, was an argument saying, making of the Church an agent of social change, it can have consequences that are, we all know what happened, so what’s happening to Islam today, started 30 years ago, or 40 years ago, with making of Islam an agent of political change. Now, I don’t think that will happen with Catholicism. We have safeguards, we have…but So, I think that is the single most important issue. And now, you have to have – you have to be a very good preacher to be able to stay away from partisanship and say something that really changes people’s views on things. You have to be very good and it’s not easy. It is part of how clergy has been shaped in these last few decades. So, Vatican II changes a lot of things. If there is one thing that doesn’t change at all, it is the seminary model. That’s basically still the model of the Council of Trent, 1563. It hasn’t changed. And we need to rethink that clearly. So, but again, I sense that in this country, because when I go to my parish in Italy or when I travel, you don’t see that. Because the Church is more fragmented, there is no country in the world where all Catholics vote for one single party. But you have a fragmentation in 4, 5, 3, 4, 5, 6 parities. And the problem in the U.S. is that the political polarization has become theological. So, you basically excommunicate those who don’t agree with you on this bill, which is unique of this country. And so it is clear that the religious identity of many Catholics is shaped not by theology but by their politics. And this is a huge problem for homily liturgy and formation. I think stepping back is a good first step. But it should be the first step. That’s this moment, so, it is clear, I didn’t say that – it was somebody else, I don’t remember his name – but, if in the Catholic Church we will have a schism that will start in the United States. And I agree with that. So, it’s a real problem. I agree with you completely. Yes, thank you. [Question inaudible] She speaks Italian – thank you. (laughs) [Question inaudible] It is a very good question. So she asked: Recently, Pope Francis defended the rights of native indigenous people against the overstepping of legal power of the state or the country. So what should Catholics do about that? So, first of all, Pope Francis has said something very courageous because he said there are rights of nations that are not states that have been violated. This is something that the Catholic Church is sometimes uncomfortable with. Why? Because the Catholic Church doesn’t want to break nation-states and make revolutions in states So, usually – but Pope Francis – so there is a red line in his speeches about that. So he is the first Pope who invited in the Vatican the world movement of social change, of Catholics, non-Catholics, Atheists, Jews, and so on. So, yes, encouraged all of us, and Catholics to be active. So, in this sense, Pope Francis’ message on this is exactly the opposite of the retreat or of the Benedict option that we have heard about maybe. So, he is saying there is a social activism that the Church, of Francis, for the time being, is not afraid of. And we are behind you. That is extraordinary, because usually how the papacy has encouraged Catholics to do things was through voting, or in the political parties, Catholic parties, and so on. But, Pope Francis is saying you have to find ways of being socially active that are new, that are creative. In this sense, he has been criticized for this thing, among many others, by some commentators like Ross Douthat of the “New York Times”, saying, ‘well, Pope Francis is a populist’. No, Pope Francis has encouraged Catholics to live as Catholics voting and being represented, but when that doesn’t work, there are other ways that Catholics can use and he is very much a child of ‘Populorum Progressio’, of this encyclical of ’67, that is the most radical because this encyclical said when there is a clear situation of social injustice, Catholics have a right to revolt. That’s not exactly the traditional view of Catholics staying put. But Pope Francis comes from there and his awareness of the right of native peoples is much more coming from the Latin American perspective than from the North American perspective, which is still mostly a wide Catholic perspective on where power is and who should we stay behind. So this is one of the thing that makes Pope Francis a very radical advocate. He is not a populist. Populism means you encourage people to bypass representation and parliament. He has never said that, he has never said that. But he has said there are situations when your representatives are corrupt or ineffective or too weak, and you have to do something and the Church is behind you. This is new. It is not something that can be said, ‘well, we said that before’. We didn’t. And that’s a huge shock. A few years ago, there was an article by George Weigel, one of the most important Catholic commentators in this country, who was commenting Pope Benedict social encyclical, 2009. Which was not as radical as Pope Francis but George Weigel said, take two pens: One red and one gold. With the gold pen, you can underline those things that are in line with market capitalism. And with the red pen, you can underline and discard all those passages that sound communism. And that was Pope Benedict, right? So, you can imagine how shocking it is for some Catholics of the establishment looking at Pope Francis. They are afraid that he is a populist but they are, I think, misrepresenting what he is and what he is saying. So, thank you very much [Italian] (laughter) Thank you very much. [Applause]

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