The magisterial sources of the Tradinista! manifesto: part II

This is part two of the magisterial commentary on the Tradinista! manifesto. Part one can be found here, which contains an introduction to the methods and goals of our project.

11. Racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and similar forms of oppression must be eradicated.

Fontes: Pius XI, Encyclical Letter on Christian Marriage «Casti connubii» (Dec. 31, 1930) at ¶ 71; Pius XI, Encyclical Letter on the Church and the German Reich «Mit brennender Sorge» (Mar. 14, 1937) at ¶ 8; Pius XII, Address to 26th Congress of Italian Association of Urology (1953); Paul VI, «Populorum progressio»; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (Oct. 1, 1986), at nos. 9–11; Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, The Church and Racism: Towards a More Fraternal Society (Nov. 3, 1988); Benedict XVI, Address on the Occasion of Christmas Greetings to the Roman Curia (Dec. 21, 2012); ST IIa IIae q.111 a.2 co.

Comment: The Church’s condemnation of racism, misogyny, other similar forms of oppression is clear and requires no further explanation. The question of homophobia and transphobia is, however, somewhat more complex. Following the clear teaching of Scripture, the Church has consistently taught that certain behaviors are objectively sinful. These include homosexual acts. Likewise, according to traditional Church teaching, certain acts performed by transsexual persons are objectively sinful. In particular, human beings are not the outright owners of their bodies, but mere trustees and administrators. It follows, then, that people are not free to alter their bodies at will, or to mutilate them, except to avoid serious and lasting damage. Insofar as it denies the truth about the human person, such conduct is also a kind of dissimulation. We should always bear in mind that everyone is called by grace to adoption as a son or daughter of God––to live in accordance with the natural law and the divine law. But, without denying or diminishing the truth about human sexuality, the Church also teaches that it is intolerable that homosexual persons are subjected to violent malice in word and deed. Likewise, and for the same reasons, it is intolerable that transsexual persons are subjected to such malice. This is fundamentally what the Manifesto condemns, not any number of extreme interpretations of “homophobia” or “transphobia” that seek to equate Catholic teaching about human sexuality with bigotry or violence. In any event, the Tradinista Collective calls upon all Christians to stand with men and women subjected, for whatever reason, to violent malice in word and deed, which is ultimately incompatible with orderly society and the common good.

12. Marriage and family life should be specially supported by the polity to promote the common good.

Fontes: Leo XIII, «Rerum novarum» at ¶¶ 12–14; Pius XI, «Casti connubii» at ¶¶ 31–34; Paul VI, «Humanae vitae» at nos. 8–9; John Paul II, «Familiaris consortio»; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Replies to Certain Questions of the Day «Donum vitae» (Feb. 22, 1987); Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction «Dignitas personae» on Certain Bioethical Questions (Sept. 8, 2008); Francis, «Laudato si’».

Comment: This point requires no serious explanation in magisterial terms. All Christians are required by divine revelation and the infallible ordinary magisterium of the Church to believe that marriage is the indissoluble union of one man and one woman, ordered towards the generation of offspring. It has been long taught, furthermore, that the family is prior to the state and has rights and duties that are proper to itself and that, as Leo XIII teaches us, do not depend on the state. Therefore, in a meaningful sense, the family—husband, wife, and children—forms the foundation of society. The State must defend the rights of the family by opposing all of the modern vices that seek to undermine the family––either by attempting to redefine it impermissibly, or by allowing behaviors and technologies that attempt to separate marriage from its natural end or to interfere in the conjugal act.

13. Abortion is a horrifying crime which must be eradicated immediately.

Fontes: Pius XI, «Casti connubii» at ¶¶ 64–66; Second Vatican Council, «Gaudium et Spes» at no. 51; Paul VI, «Humanae vitae» at no. 14; St. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life «Evangelium vitae» (Mar. 25, 1995) at no. 58

Comment: This point also requires no serious explanation in magisterial terms. Since «Casti connubii»—and continuing through «Humanae vitae», «Evangelium vitae», and even «Laudato si’»—the Church has consistently, indeed infallibly, articulated an ethic of life. Abortion is an inhuman abomination, an unspeakable crime, as the fathers of the Second Vatican Council and St. John Paul tell us. Confronted by the demonic glee with which the subjects of liberalism, even the purported leftists among them, have embraced the death of innocents for mere convenience or ultimately eugenic reasons, the Tradinista Collective calls upon all Christians and men of good will to fight for the restoration of an ethic of life in civil society.

14. Anthropogenic climate change threatens the common good of all mankind, and must be fought.

Fontes: St. John Paul II, «Message of His Holiness for the World Day of Peace», (January 1, 1990); Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter on Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth «Caritas in veritate» (June 29, 2009); Francis, «Laudato si’»; Francis, Address of the Holy Father at the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements.

Comment: As a thesis of natural reason and scientific inquiry, this is not something that bears of significant magisterial defense, except to observe that it is within the province of the popes to address such matters. We note, furthermore, that all of the popes of recent times have been deeply concerned about the environment and the threat to our common home posed by climate change, which, they affirm, should be fought.

15. We reject nationalism and the nation-state.

Fontes: Pius XI, «Quadragesimo anno» at ¶ 89; Pius XI, «Mit brennender Sorge»; John XXIII, «Pacem in Terris» at ¶¶ 132–137; Benedict XVI, «Caritas in veritate» (June 29, 2009) at no. 67.

Comment: The popes have long recognized that supranational government is in some real sense necessary to address the problems confronting the modern world. Furthermore, the popes have recognized that the nature of modern life brings nations into closer relationships, economic and otherwise, that require transnational action to regulate. This is a mandate of the common good; that is, because of the close connections between countries and the international nature of some problems today, the common good of humanity requires supranational government. However, the demands of subsidiarity must be applied to limit the jurisdiction of supranational government to those issues that are truly international in scope. Pius XI reminds us that we cannot, as today we so often do, make an idol of nationality, subverting the true order of subsidiarity and offending the common good. What we oppose is the contemporary paradigm of taking the nation-state as the normative model for the application of political power. Societies both higher and lower than the "nation" exist and ought to be respected, as the principle of subsidiarity teaches us.

16. Warfare is justified only by careful moral analysis.

Fontes: Second Vatican Council, «Gaudium et Spes» at nos. 80–81; ST IIa IIae q.40 a.1 co.; Alfredo Card. Ottaviani, Institutiones Iuris Publici Ecclesiastici I.1.iii.3 (1947).

Comment: The Church has not changed its analysis of warfare, and therefore it must be admitted that under certain circumstances, warfare may be just. St. Thomas Aquinas outlines three requirements for a just war: sovereign authority, a just cause (i.e., that those who are attacked deserve to be attacked), and a rightful intention on the part of the belligerents. It is obvious that some conflicts could be just under the saint’s standard. It falls to the leadership of a polity to weigh St. Thomas’s factors in concrete circumstances. However, the nature of modern warfare, when considered under this traditional analysis, is such that it is impossible to imagine circumstances under which warfare, offensive or defensive, may be permissible. Modern war entails the inevitable involvement of noncombatants, terrible privations visited upon innocent men, women, and children, and the threat of terrifying weapons with the potential to eliminate entire cities indiscriminately. Obviously, the Second Vatican Council had nuclear weapons in mind when it condemned indiscriminate scientific warfare. Some have objected that increasingly precise technology permits limited conflicts that may more readily satisfy the requirements for a just war. However, despite these technologically advanced conventional weapons, one needs only to look at recent conflicts to see that modern war becomes almost inevitably total war, involving noncombatants and bringing horrifying privations, which the Church forbids absolutely.

17. All societies should generously welcome migrants fleeing hardship.

Fontes: Pius XII, Radio Message on the 50th Anniversary of Rerum Novarum «La solennità della Pentecoste» (June 1, 1941); Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution on the Spiritual Care of Migrants «Exsul Familia Nazarethana» (Aug. 1, 1952); St. John XXIII, «Pacem in Terris» at ¶ 25; Paul VI, «Populorum progressio» at nos. 67–69; Paul VI, «Octogesima adveniens» (May 14, 1971) at no. 17.

Comment: A crucial part of Pius XII’s social magisterium was the recognition and development of a natural right of migration. Pius XII grounds the matter in terms of the Gospels, calling upon us to remember that Our Lord, Our Lady, and St. Joseph were exiles in Egypt, fleeing the regime of Herod and the petty monarch’s murderous plans for the true King. And today, too, there are murderous regimes and hostile situations of all kinds that lead men, women, and children to exercise their right of migration. Under such circumstances, the Church teaches that men, women, and children ought to be welcomed by countries and permitted to build lives for themselves. Indeed, Paul VI summarized the consequences of the natural right of migration when he called for migrants to be aided in integration, provided with professional development, and supplied with decent housing, so that their families may, at an opportune moment, join them. Civil authorities possess the capacity to positively determine a particular regime of migration with an eye toward the common good of their particular society; however, higher common goods must be respected, and the natural rights of migrants elaborated by the Magisterium cannot be abrogated.

18. In everything possible, we stand with the poor and the marginalized.

Fontes: Leo XIII, «Rerum novarum» at ¶ 37.

Comment: From Holy Scripture to the earliest magisterial interventions to the present day, the popes have recognized that the poor and oppressed require special aid by Christians. Ignoring the plight of the poor and oppressed—even if the plight is in some sense culpably attributable to them—is simply not an option.

19. Liberalism is failed.

20. We strive toward a genuine polity animated by Christian socialist principles.

Comment: These points, largely in the nature of diagnosis and prognosis, do not require magisterial context.