LISTEN: Are American and Catholic Principles Compatible?
Catholic critics have been uneasy about America lately — some going so far as to say that our founding by secular deists led directly to the current state of American culture.
They shouldn’t, says Kevin Vance in his Valentines Day 2023 address, “Is American Democracy Worth Saving?”
Listen to his remarks on YouTube at this link or by scrolling down on this page.
“A lot of attention is being given to a particular critique given by some Catholics that America is built on moral relativism of John Locke and therefore that many of the problems that we face in our country today are with us on account of our founding principles rather than in spite of them,” he said.
“So the question I’m going to address is whether this critique is correct or not.”
First, his talk examines the significant Catholic influences on America’s founding principles — especially St. Robert Bellarmine, a Doctor of the Church whose work against the divine rights of kings was extremely influential in his time — and was known and referenced by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others.
Second, he takes “a brief look at how American Catholics in history have understood the principles of the founding.”
As it turns out, the U.S. bishops’ views and Catholic academia’s understanding of the founding principles has been significant throughout American history. Catholics have long recognized and appreciated the compatibility of American principles with Catholic understandings of natural law, consent and public virtue.
Last, Vance quoted Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and St. John Paul II on the connection on their appreciation for the founding principles. Listen on YouTube at this link or below.