Of thieves and Nancy Pelosi

While I tip my biretta to Dominic Bettinelli, I do so with irritated amusement.  o{]:¬\

I am not irritated at Dominic, of course, but at Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

The Rep from CA did something truly dopey on the floor of the House.  She cited Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical (there is only one so far, so you know what it is) and Benedict’s quotation of St. Augustine in her argument against repealing the "death tax".  Grrr…. Here is what she said:

Pope Benedict just recently put out his new encyclical, “God is Love.” And in his encyclical, he quoted Saint Augustine when he wrote, this is in the Pope’s encyclical. You can find it there. He talked about the role that politicians have and that a government should be just, and we should be promoting justice. And he goes on, Pope Benedict does, to quote Saint Augustine. He says: “A state that is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves.” This is the Pope saying this in an encyclical, quoting a saint. “A state which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves.”

I ask this Congress, is it justice to steal from the middle class to give tax cuts to the ultra-superrich?

It is not just. And it is an injustice we cannot afford. Americans can no longer afford President Bush and the Republicans. It is time for a new direction. We can begin by rejecting this estate tax giveaway to the wealthy and insist on a vote to increase the minimum wage. That would be a real values judgment.


I respond: Congresswoman, I know Pope Benedict.  Congresswoman, you are no Pope Benedict. 

The citation, by the way, is from DCE 28a and in turn from De civitate Dei, 4,4: Remota itaque iustitia quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia.

Whose is the thief?

The Pope was talking about the proper ordering of society in terms of a distinction of what belongs to the Church and of what belongs to the State.  The Church doesn’t impose on the State, but the Church must have freedom and autonomy.  He explains that the Justice which is for the ordering of society must be rooted in ethics.  Of course the whole point of this is to underscore what is due to every human being on the basis of reason and natural law. Benedict wants to form the consciences of politicians and give them  greater insight into the "authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly, even when this might involve conflict with situations of personal interest."

I wonder if she will quote him about abortion?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Paul Marat says:

    Saint Augustine. He says: “A state that is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves”. Pelosi made her point, and made it well. Why does the Church tend to side in issues with wealth and power, even
    indirectly as they sit on their vaste mountains of earthly riches? Because poverty is equated these days
    with a failure have favor in the eyes of God. Because the cult started thousands of years ago became based
    on power.

    I am constantly amazed at the way the Church uses the world, reframes, re-contextualizes, using sophisticated
    cons, which were formally cloaked in latin to mystify the uneducated, to avoid the true issues of humanity
    To this day it feeds like a carnivore on the poor who should be buying food for their children instead of
    giving to the Church, learning to think for themselves instead of being instructed to live like little
    children. Those days are fading and the Church is grasping more firmly to its intolerance to a religion
    that began its spread 3000 years ago like a virus. There is no such thing as religion, my friend. Only one’s
    personal relationship with God. Nothing else is needed. The military like structures of Churches which regulate people to laws
    and morals create by men are anti-God and against humanity no matter how well intentioned some in the
    ranks may be. As the generations roll on, people are becoming less stupid than they used to be, when
    the rituals of the Church become more irrelevant when more people are realizing they themselves have the only
    direct communication with God.

  2. Paul Marat: “people are becoming less stupid than they used to be”

    Not judging by your comments, they’re not!

    The chestnut that riches or poverty equate to God’s favor or displeasure is part and parcel of a fundamentalist Protestant worldview, but not the Catholic tradition or theology.

    Moreover, through its institutions and works of charity by individuals Holy Church is the greatest benefactor and supporter of the poor that the world has ever seen. Your description of “carnivore” better applies to atheistic communism and those who claim there is no religion.

    People who say there is no religion and who attack those good gifts God has blessed us with for our salvation are stealing and trampling the spiritual bread all people require for their souls. “Man does not live on bread alone.” Ingrate!

    Christianity began approximately 2000 years ago, around the time Jesus was alive, rather than the 3000 years you claim. Nevertheless, I am ready to stipulate that the roots of Christianity are truly in the love and plan of God before the creation of the universe.

    God also knew you before the world was created and, knowing you, has a plan for you too. I would get with the program before it’s too late and you wind up in hell.

    There is still time for you. I will remember you when I say my Rosary this evening, asking God to give you grace and peace through the intercession of your and my Blessed Mother, Mary the ever-virgin Mother of God.


  3. paula says:

    Another poor soul who can’t bear to look beyond himself and his own small miseries;
    God help him.

  4. Clare Krishan says:

    Don’t want to throw a cat among the pigeons, I’m not a fan of ‘large’ anything certainly not private estates that dwarf many a nation state (subsidiarity is where its at in my book), I just wanted to put it out there that Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett were interviewed on PBS this evening and lauded what wonderful things they were going to do for ‘family planning’ and women’s ‘reproductive rights’ with all the money their (now joint and humongous) Foundation is going to give away… what does a Catholic to say about that?

  5. Clare Krishan says:

    More on those with vast personal fortunes and how they use them:
    today Fr. Thomas Euteneuer writes on “The Hell of Gates Shall Not Prevail” at Catholic Exchange
    “In what seems like a well-scripted one-two punch of the culture of death, the world’s two richest men have dazzled our fawning media and society with their dangerous magic in the past several weeks.” and
    “We ought not to forget who these two men are. It was Warren Buffett who funded the deadly abortion drug RU-486 and has sent suction machines to the Third World to make sure that the poor would not proliferate in his eugenic vision of a white-dominated world. He has an unfiltered bias toward population control and abortion. Mr. Gates is hardly less of an anti-lifer though his philanthropy tends to be better-disguised. He dedicates millions to Planned Parenthood and their abortion machine. He funds condom-distribution efforts, youth education and “reproductive health” schemes all of which are disguised in compassionate terms as AIDS programs and women’s rights initiatives. Needless to say, chastity is not his main concern. “

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