Monday 26th September 2022

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Checks And Balances… The Government And The Church

July 31, 2022 Featured Today No Comments

By DONALD DeMARCO

After visiting the United States, G.K. Chesterton made the observation that “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth in the Declaration of Independence with dogmatic and even theological lucidity….It enunciates that all men are created equal in their claim to justice, and that governments exist to give them that justice, and that authority is for that reason just.”
America was not founded on the divine right of kings.
America sought to protect itself against any one branch of government or any one individual from gaining too much power. Therefore, it divided power among three branches: the executive, the judiciary, and the legislative. Each branch would serve as a check on the other two, but together, they would form a strong democratic form of government.
This tripartite system did not originate with America’s founding fathers. The Greek historian Polybius noted that the ancient Roman constitution contained a kind of checks and balances system in the form of these three major divisions: the monarchy, the aristocracy, and democracy. The framers of the U.S. Constitution were influenced by Baron de Montesquieu and William Blackstone and adopted a modified system.
John Adams described America’s system of checks and balances as follows: “It is by balancing each of these powers against the other two, that the efforts in human nature toward tyranny can alone be checked and restrained, and any degree of freedom preserved in the Constitution.”
In the current heated reaction over the Dobbs verdict, President Biden has accused five Supreme Court justices of coming to a decision that is “outrageous” and has charged them with exercising “raw political power.” Justice Byron White had called the Roe v. Wade decision in 1972 “an exercise of raw judicial power.” In denigrating the Supreme Court’s recent decision (as well as the legitimacy of White’s claim), the president has overstepped his bounds and has violated the spirit of the system of checks and balances.
Overturning Roe v. Wade was inevitable since it is clear that the Constitution has no provision for abortion. Nor is there the slightest bit of evidence that the Founding Fathers, eager to establish “Domestic Tranquility,” would approve abortion, which at that time was regarded as an abomination.
Biden, who swore to uphold the Constitution, has no respect for the content of Alito’s 79-page document. His lashing out against a perfectly sound decision is an act that not only oversteps the bounds of his executive office, but disparages the Constitution itself. The system of checks and balances has thereby been shaken. The Supreme Court should not usurp the duties of the legislature, nor should the legislature contradict the Constitution. By the same token, the executive branch should not interfere with decisions made by the judiciary. The question America is now facing is whether a Benedict Arnold now occupies the White House?
An interesting parallel exists between the checks and balances of the U.S. government and the tripartite integrity of the Catholic Church. For the Church, the Magisterium is the authentic interpreter of Sacred Scripture. Protestantism broke away from the Catholic Church when the interpretation of the Bible was left to the individual. Sola Scriptura replaced the Magisterium. This is a rupture comparable to the executive branch attempting to replace the Supreme Court, thereby giving too much power to the president. In this case, a proper interpretation of the Constitution would be lost.
The Dei Verbum document of Vatican II states the following: “The task of an authentic interpretation of the Word of God…has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from a single deposit of faith.”
Dr. Kenneth R. Craycraft holds a chair of moral theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology, the seminary for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He offers a concise summary of the three-part synthesis that corresponds to the Catholic Church’s system of checks and balances. “It is clear, therefore, that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others.”
Certain “liberal” theologians have called for a “second magisterium” which would replace the Catholic Church with an altogether different church. Others have argued that tradition is antiquated and no longer relevant.
Similarly, judicial activists want to change the Constitution so that America would no longer be America but an altogether different nation with an entirely different government. Both the Catholic Church and the United States government are currently experiencing a crisis of identity. The Church continues to oppose the divisive force of heresy, while the United States government endeavors to remain faithful to the Constitution and in so doing, preserve its system of checks and balances.
In both cases, there is a dissatisfaction with what one is and a desire to become something that one is not. It is the effect of pride running amok. In the final analysis, it is humility that will save both the Church and the United States of America.

  • + + (Dr. Donald DeMarco is professor emeritus, St. Jerome’s University, and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College. He is a regular columnist for St. Austin Review and is the author of 41 books. He is a former corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy of Life. Some of his recent books, The 12 Supporting Pillars of the Culture of Life and Why They Are Crumbling, Glimmers of Hope in a Darkening World, and Restoring Philosophy and Returning to Common Sense are posted on amazon.com.)
Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…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

Catechism

Today . . .

Bishops, priests and scholars correct Pope Francis’ statement on Holy Communion

(LifeSiteNews) — Four bishops, several priests, and numerous Catholic scholars have signed a statement rebuking Pope Francis for a recent statement about the reception of Holy Communion, according to which “everyone is invited to the supper of the wedding of the Lamb (Re 19:9). To be admitted to the feast all that is required is the wedding garment of faith which comes from the hearing of his Word.” The Pope wrote these words in his…Continue Reading

A futuristic Nur-Sultan ready welcomes Pope Francis to Kazakhstan

As Pope Francis prepares to depart for Kazakhstan on Tuesday, our correspondent in Nur-Sultan takes a look at his upcoming participation in the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, as well as the small Catholic community’s great joy to receive the Holy Father.

Joe Biden Calls MAGA Americans Violent, Ignores Leftist Violence Against Churches, Pregnancy Centers

Illuminated with blood-red lights, draped in inky shadows, and flanked by U.S. Marines, President Biden launched into an angry screed Thursday night, using dangerous and inciting rhetoric to attack so-called “MAGA Republicans.” It was a terrifying sight that drew praise and flowery language from the “journalists” of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 as they lauded the “full frontal attack” and asserted he was “reclaiming patriotism.” “President Biden finishing a 24-minute speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He said as…Continue Reading

Pope Francis creates 20 cardinals for the Catholic Church

Rome Newsroom, Aug 27, 2022 / 08:31 am Pope Francis created 20 new cardinals for the Catholic Church during a liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica Saturday. “Jesus calls us by name; he looks us in the eye and he asks: Can I count on you?” Pope Francis said in a homily addressed to the College of Cardinals and its new members on Aug. 27. “The Lord,” he said, “wants to bestow on us his own…Continue Reading

Toyota Sponsors Lesson on ‘First Steps’ of Drag Artistry for Children

Toyota sponsored an event for “LGBTQ+ Youth” that featured a performance from a drag performer and a workshop on “the first steps of becoming a fabulous drag performer.” The event, called “Models of Pride,” was hosted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and was intended for those 24 years and younger. No minimum age was listed on the website. The Los Angeles LGBT Center described it as “the world’s largest free conference for LGBTQ+ youth…Continue Reading

Biden Is Losing The Race For The Cure

By STEPHEN MOORE President Joe Biden recently announced, with great fanfare, his Cancer Moonshot initiative. Biden used soaring and promising rhetoric about, at last, finding a cure for one of the world’s leading killers.Speaking at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on September 12, the president declared:“Beating cancer is something we…Continue Reading

Becoming Pro-Life The Hard Way

By DONALD DeMARCO “Aujourd’hui Maman est morte. Ou, hier, peut-etre; je ne sais pas.” (Today my mother died. Or was it yesterday, I don’t know.) + + This is the celebrated opening of Nobel Laureate Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger. It immediately establishes the main character as a person who, being emotionally unmoved by the…Continue Reading

The Queen: End Of An Era

By JOHN J. METLZER The Queen has died; the page of history has turned. The passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest serving monarch, has shocked and saddened much of the world despite the sovereign’s declining health and her 96 years of age. Just months after having joyfully celebrated her platinum Jubilee commemorating 70 years…Continue Reading

The “Secure Border” Of Kamala Harris

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY When Donald Trump was president in fiscal 2019, the Border Patrol did not encounter a single individual on the terrorist watchlist trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border between the legal ports of entry.In the first ten months of this fiscal year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, they encountered…Continue Reading

Welcome to the Green New Deal, California

By DAVID HARSANYI If California, our most populous state, were its own nation, it would rank as the world’s fifth largest economy and boast the highest average household income (outside a handful of “countries” like Monaco or Luxemburg). And, yet, the governor is begging its citizens to stop using their appliances, turn off their lights…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

How Long, O Lord?

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time Readings:Hab. 1:2-3, 2:2-42 Tim. 1:6-8, 13-14Luke 17:5-10 The first reading today, from the Prophet Habakkuk, is very apropos for our time. As it was in his day, so too it is in ours: people crying to God for help, but nothing seems to happen; people crying out “violence,” but God does…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I don’t use rosary beads to say the rosary since I pray in the car or while doing gardening or housework. Is it okay to pray the rosary daily with my fingers? Also, I have seen pictures of St. Joseph with lilies, and I have been told that is the way he was chosen to be the husband of…Continue Reading

Future Bleak for Vatican II Mass

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK My parish is forced back into compliance with the “unique liturgical expression of the Roman rite” this month, as expressed by Pope Francis in Traditionis custodes, with the banning of the traditional Latin Mass in my as well as in other parish churches. This in order to open us to the full experience of the…Continue Reading

Crazy! . . . A Homily For The 24th Sunday Of The Year

(Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this on September 10 and it is posted here with permission.) + + The three parables in this Sunday’s lengthy Gospel challenge conventional thinking. They describe people doing things that we most likely would not do. All three of them — especially the first two — seem crazy. Who would ever do what the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Brandmueller… Pope Francis Prevented Crucial Dialogue Among Cardinals At Consistory

By SANDRO MAGISTER (Wanderer Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews reprinted this article from L’Espresso on August 31. Fr. Kevin M. Cusick alluded to Cardinal Brandmueller’s remarks in his Wanderer column dated September 8.) + + (L’Espresso) — On August 29, a consistory saw the cardinals gathered with Pope Francis. It was behind closed doors, but above all it was broken down, at…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Bridget

By DEB PIROCH “Oh my friends, I love my sheep so tenderly that were it possible I would die many other times for each one of them that same death I suffered for the redemption of all” — Words attributed to Christ, Revelations of St. Bridget. + + In 1999, Pope St. John Paul II issued a moto proprio, making…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence O’Toole

By DEB PIROCH This Irish saint existed parallel to the life of St. Thomas Becket. Some of his biography can be difficult to follow, given Gaelic history and language, so we try to anglicize everything possible in this article. But his feast fast approaches, November 14, a time to acquaint ourselves with his holy life.Lawrence was the youngest of four…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)