Charlie's Blog: PRINT--The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism by John Zmirak


PRINT--The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism by John Zmirak

It is intrinsically impossible for the pope, as pope, to speak with authority on the details of climate science. Nor is he better suited than you or I to evaluate the so-called “consensus” of actual scientists. He might as well be picking stocks or rewriting the scores of Broadway musicals, for which he has equal divine authority: none.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism came to me at a fortuitous time because I was struggling a bit in my faith as a newbie Catholic. I was drinking deep from the Catholic fountain, but there is a difference between drinking and drowning. John Zmirak kept me from drowning. I will now elaborate.

As a Catholic, I believe that the Roman Catholic Church speaks authoritatively on matters of faith and morals. The Church does not err in this regard though some priests and bishops do their damnedest to change this to the peril of their immortal souls. I think John Zmirak shares this same belief in the Church's teaching authority. The Guide clarifies the limits of this teaching authority and declares what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

My interior struggle came as a result of reading Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton. Both of these men were fine writers and fine Catholics. But they did err in believing the Catholic Church taught more than what it taught or should have taught. Belloc expressed that Catholicism was a complete worldview, and you didn't need any other. Then, Chesterton and Belloc attempted to make this the case with their disastrous theories about Distributism. For both of them, Distributism never left the page as neither abandoned writing to go live in the shire tending crops. Today, Distributists repeat the error by writing a great deal about something they do not do themselves and which doesn't actually work in reality. Their only argument is that we should abandon capitalism for distributism because the Catholic Church teaches this. The problem is that the Church doesn't teach this, and even if it did, it would be wrong.

When it comes to economics, I believe you are better off with the guys at the Acton Institute than with the folks at The Distributist Review. The Acton people believe in capitalism as found in Smith, Mises, and Hayek but informed by Catholic teaching on faith and morals. This is no different than how Aquinas redeemed Aristotle.

Zmirak taught me in the Guide how to hold to the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church but recognize its limits. The alternative to this is to believe that the teaching of the Catholic Church is unlimited and then try and change those teachings. This is the approach of the modernists, the Society of Judas, and Pope Francis. The reality is that these heretics take the garbage of Marxist progressivism and try to dress it up in Catholic infallibility. This is the same modus operandi these same scoundrels did on the Supreme Court with the Constitution. They basically rewrite that document while claiming constitutional authority. Yes, they are utterly wicked and evil in this regard.

The Catholic Church is not an authority on something like climate change. The Catholic Church can teach that it is moral and right to take care of the environment out of respect for God and for the sake of others. But it can't make the call on whether or not humanity is causing global warming. That is for the scientists to work out. The same also applies to politics and economics. The Catholic Church can't teach authoritatively on these things except to say that governments and economies have a moral duty to serve the common good of humanity. That's it.

If you struggle with these issues or how to reconcile your politics with your faith, I absolutely recommend The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. John Zmirak did a good thing when he wrote this volume. It has helped me a great deal on a lot of issues. It will certainly help you, too.