Wednesday 18th October 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

A Book Review . . . A Unique Look At Subsidiarity

December 9, 2013 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

Subsidiarity, by Peter J. Floriani, Penn Street Productions, Reading, PA, 2012. The book can be ordered online at Amazon.com.

I had a colleague during my years teaching in a high school in a suburb of New York City who was your typical angry fallen-away Catholic. He wanted nothing to do with the Church, the Pope, the hierarchy, his local parish, or Catholic dogma and doctrine. Except for one thing: He thought “subsidiarity” was flawless thinking, the application of common sense to how we organize our government and the economy.
Readers of The Wanderer will be familiar with Pius XI’s articulation of the principle in the 1931 encyclical Quadragesimo Anno: “It is an injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of right order for a larger and higher organization to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies.”
You can see why my former colleague was impressed. Why have the federal government handle a societal responsibility that can be performed by a state government? Why let a state government have responsibility over an activity that can be handled by a town government? Why involve the government at all in providing for a societal need if private charities and organizations are capable of dealing with the task at hand? Having the responsibility handled by “smaller and lower bodies” keeps things less expensive and give us more control over the process.
What’s not to like?
What Peter Floriani seeks to do with his book Subsidiarity is demonstrate the wisdom of subsidiarity by illustrating how he applied it to his company, which put together a software package and the necessary hardware to carry cable television commercials to some 80 remote television stations around the country. His software was designed to “insert” the correct commercial at each station at exactly the correct time.
It is a process that has always intrigued me. I’ll be watching a cable program and suddenly a commercial for a local car dealer or restaurant will pop up on my screen. I know that particular commercial is not being sent to viewers living thousands of miles away, that they are getting commercials for their local businesses, but how does it all get sorted out?
Floriani shows us how in his book; specifically, how he delegated decision-making authority to the people in his company — in ad sales, traffic, operations field services, and the tech shop — at levels below his office at corporate headquarters, while still keeping them focused on the central task of the business. He shows us with specific examples how these people at the lower levels of the business were better equipped to handle decisions affecting their particular responsibilities than executives at the home office. He maintains that this is the point the Popes have been making when they apply the principle of subsidiarity to national economies.
It is a theme that will intrigue many readers — but not all. Floriani goes into great detail about the technical aspects of organizing these “insertions” of commercials precisely when they are needed by local television stations. Those not highly interested in computer programming and technical matters may find his discussion of these things over their heads. (I did, much of the time.)
Also some may find Floriani’s proposition — that he was applying subsidiarity when he organized his company operations with a great deal of delegated authority to subordinates — a stretch. The Popes’ major concern when they made the case for subsidiarity was not how to more efficiently organize an enterprise, but the danger of totalitarian socialism inherent in central governments assuming power over all aspects of our economic life.
Dr. Stanley Jaki, the late Benedictine priest and scholar, made this point to Floriani when they met at a conference on G.K. Chesterton and discussed Floriani’s book. I am on Jaki’s side on this one, but readers of Subsidiarity well might think differently.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Callista Gingrich confirmed as US Ambassador to the Vatican

Washington D.C., Oct 16, 2017 / 04:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. The vote was 70-23. In a…Continue Reading

Pope Francis canonizes 35 new saints

(Vatican Radio) Inviting all faithful to practice Christian love every day, Pope Francis on Sunday canonized 35 new saints, nearly all of them martyrs, holding them up as models who “point the way”. To the over 35,000 pilgrims gathered in…Continue Reading

President Trump: Our ‘religious heritage’ will be ‘cherished, protected, and defended’

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump said this morning that his administration is “stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values” in a rousing speech at the Values Voter Summit. In his first major speech to a socially conservative conference…Continue Reading

Capuchin Priest Who Ministered Under Soviet Rule Moves Closer to Sainthood

VATICAN CITY — On Monday, Pope Francis advanced nine causes for sainthood, including a Capuchin priest who ministered underground across the Soviet Union for nearly 40 years. Father Serafin Kaszuba was born June 17, 1910, in Zamarstynów, near Lviv, in…Continue Reading

Notre Dame student fears losing birth control coverage under university health plan

The Trump administration’s plan to roll back mandatory insurance coverage for birth control faces a new federal court challenge. Washington state’s attorney general sued Monday to stop the new rules from taking effect. California and Massachusetts have already filed similar complaints. Last…Continue Reading

European Nation to Unite in Prayer for Its Salvation

On Saturday, October 7, up to one million Poles are expected to line the country’s border to pray the rosary. They will be joined in prayer by many others in Poland and throughout the world. This extraordinary display of public…Continue Reading

A big-money Catholic group just said it’s yanking all of its cash out of fossil fuels

A coalition of 40 Catholic institutions on Tuesday announced a decision to pull their money from — or block future investment in — fossil fuels. The Global Catholic Climate Movement called it the biggest collective announcement of divestment by Catholic…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Returned to Vatican Court, but not as Prefect

VATICAN CITY, September 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews): Pope Francis has reinstated Cardinal Burke as a member of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court. Cardinal Burke, dismissed as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura nearly three years ago, has been appointed to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke to offer Mass at conference exactly 100 years after major Fatima miracle

BUCKFAST ABBEY, United Kingdom, September 29, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Exactly 100 years after the “miracle of the sun” at Fatima, Cardinal Raymond Burke will offer Mass at a Marian conference celebrating the centennial of the messages of Our Lady to…Continue Reading

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POPE AND CARDINAL A ‘CARICATURE’ SAYS BURKE, BUT CATHOLICS WANT CLEARER PRESENTATION OF DOCTRINE

‘I find universally that there’s a great deal of confusion, also people feeling that the Church is not a secure point of reference’ Cardinal Raymond Burke has told an Australian newspaper that media portrayals of his relationship with Pope Francis…Continue Reading

Chicago cardinal extends invite to Fr. Martin amid cancellations

After a series of speaking appearances were canceled in recent weeks, Jesuit Fr. James Martin received a fresh offer Friday from Cardinal Blase Cupich to address his Chicago archdiocese over two nights during the coming Lenten season. The Windy City…Continue Reading

Pope Francis, Fr. Martin, and Faith without Reason

As anyone who follows things Catholic knows, a “filial correction” of Pope Francis was made public yesterday. The document, initially signed by forty scholars, priests, and bishops, had been delivered privately to the pope in July. No response was forthcoming.…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope invites prisoners to lunch, they break free instead

Bologna, Italy, Oct 17, 2017 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- They were supposed to be having lunch with Pope Francis. During his Oct. 1 trip to Bologna, the Holy Father was scheduled to dine with 20 prisoners from a local drug rehabilitation facility, along with refugees and the poor of the area, during a “Lunch of Solidarity” at San Petronio Basilica. Instead, two of the Italian prisoners shirked their invitation for what they saw as…Continue Reading

A biblical interpretation of Fatima’s Miracle of the Sun

BUCKFAST ABBEY, England, October 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Miracle of the Sun which took place in Fatima, Portugal, exactly one hundred years ago today (on October 13, 1917), was one of the most extraordinary events of the 20th century. An estimated 70,000 people witnessed the Miracle of the Sun, both believers drawn by the Blessed Virgin Mary’s promise to the three shepherd children the previous July that she would perform a miracle in October,…Continue Reading

“Together Around the Table”: German Catholic Initiative Invites Protestants to Communion

Ecumenism has gone wrong one more time in Germany and has escalated into denial of the truth about the Eucharist: in the German Diocese, Stuttgart-Rottenburg, an initiative by a Catholic theologian has invited Protestants to receive Communion on a large scale. “Here on sight, we begin with a hospitable Church by inviting each other openly and cordially to Communion and the Celebration of the Last Supper [Abendmahl]” reads the “Ravensburger Manifesto” signed on October 8.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: ‘The apostasy of faith in our time rightly and profoundly frightens us’

DEVON, England, October 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The crisis in the world 100 years ago when Our Lady appeared at Fatima continues today and has also infected the life of the Church, Cardinal Raymond Burke said yesterday. Addressing a Fatima conference in England coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the final apparition, Cardinal Burke said the faithful should be realistic about the great evils besetting the world and the Church, but be full of hope…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood sues Missouri for requiring women be informed about abortion risks

October 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are pushing back against a law that tightens abortion regulations in Missouri, filing suit against the state this week to block a requirement that abortionists themselves inform mothers of the medical risks. Planned Parenthood Great Plains, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri are seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction blocking the…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic. . . The Many Assaults On The Rule Of Law

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Spiritual Riches Of A Heroic Priest

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN With God in America, by Walter J. Ciszek, SJ; editors John M. Dejak and Marc Lindeijer, SJ. (Loyola Press: Chicago 60657, 2016), 253 pp.; $19.95. Available from www.loyolapress.com or call 1-800-621-1008. An anthology of Fr. Walter Ciszek’s unpublished works in the form of writings delivered at retreats, reflections on biblical passages, letters…Continue Reading

On The Importance Of Placing Second

By DONALD DeMARCO The second, to be mathematically precise, is the time required for a cesium-133 atom to complete 9,192,631,770 oscillations. A lot more can happen within a second than most people realize. Science’s notion of exactitude has little in common with the ordinary man’s understanding of life. Fascinating as this fact is, as well…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… What God Has Planned For Us

By REY FLORES God has very interesting ways of bringing people together. The reasons are sometimes a complete mystery, until He reveals His plan to us in His own time. It is then that we realize that many of the hardships and pains that we go through are part of His bringing us closer to…Continue Reading

Our Lady Of Fatima: The September Apparition

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.) + + + The Mother of God’s appearance to the three shepherd children at Fatima on August 19…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Two Academics Enter the Lists Against The Filial Correction

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK, M.A. The battle is joined and the duel of the academics over the fate of the Filial Correction is heating up. On one side of the ring we have Robert Fastiggi, Ph.D., and Dawn Eden Goldstein, STD. On the other side we have, as of this writing, 235 signatories of the Correction. Many of these…Continue Reading

The Sacred Liturgy . . . The Liturgy Of The Church Militant

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 3 Have you, Wanderer reader, even attended Mass in one of the Eastern Rites of the Church? If you haven’t, look online for a parish of the Byzantine Rite to see how beautiful the worship of God can be among our Eastern Rite brethren. Just make sure it is Catholic, and not Orthodox, because both…Continue Reading

Scriptural Basis Of The Sacrament Of Holy Orders

By DON FIER Part 3 In our previous installment on the scriptural background for the Sacrament of Holy Orders, we examined the circumstances leading to a shift in the Old Testament from a priesthood entrusted to the heads of households and patriarchs to a ministerial priesthood divinely delegated to Aaron and his descendants within the tribe of Levi. Likewise, we…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Writing in a recent parish bulletin about “the current mania for tearing down statues and stifling free speech by cultural ingénues ignorant of history and logic,” Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City pointed out that those concerned about some of our Founding Fathers owning slaves ought to be concerned about the…Continue Reading

There Is Only One True God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 45:1, 4-6 1 Thess. 1:1-5b Matt. 22:15-21 In the Gospel reading today, the Pharisees and the Herodians, who would normally be bitter enemies, found a common enemy and teamed up to trap Him. Although they acknowledged that our Lord taught the way of God in accordance with…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Edward The Confessor

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Middle Ages, England not only endured the raids of the Vikings, but also suffered from the raids initiated by Denmark and Normandy to control the small kingdom across the straights. Battles and intrigues were frequent, leaving little peace until the time of King Edward the Confessor. Even his reign experienced the plots and conspiracies so…Continue Reading