Mammon – Mennonites

There are a surprising amount of pro-choice Catholic members at the Pontifical Academy for Life. It would seem that one would have been a surprising number, but there are now two.

In 2017, Nigel Biggar was elected the first. Biggar, a former Regius professor at Oxford and Anglican, was appointed in 2017. He supports the right to an abortion for up to 18 weeks, but he also supports same-sex marriages and euthanasia.

Advertisement

Mariana Mazzucato was appointed as the second on October 15. Mazzucato, an Italian economist at University of London, is an atheist. She consistently decried the Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe V. Wade in the months before her appointment. Mazzucato was kind enough to praise Ana Kasparian for saying, “I don’t care that your are a Christian.” I don’t care about what the Bible says. It’s like a circus, trying to figure out what your mythical book has on these very real political issues.

It is not clear why Biggar was asked by the Academy. (Cough cough.) Mazzucato’s appointment has been less mysterious. Pope Francis is a huge fan of her book The Value of Everything. The Holy Father stated, “I see thinking that’s not ideological” and said that it “moves beyond the polarization between state socialism and free market capitalism, and has at its core a concern that all humanity have access land, lodging, or labor.”

It seems like Mazzucato’s economic views are very similar to Catholic social teaching. That is, I believe, why she was elected to the Academy.

It doesn’t work for conservative Catholics. According to them, all Academy members should be expected to support the Church’s unequivocal opposition to abortion. Once upon a time, all new appointments had to sign a promise to do so. In 2017, Archbishop Paglia renounced the pledge when he appointed Professor Biggar.

Paglia’s supporters would argue that the Academy’s statutes require members to “promote, defend the principles regarding life and dignity of the human being interpreted in conformity the Magisterium Church.” But the Vatican clearly doesn’t care that much.

Advertisement

What then? There are only two possibilities. First, Paglia & Co. want to subvert the Church’s teachings about abortion. Pope Francis could be either conspiring with them or being a puppet-pontiff. While I don’t rule out the possibility, I think it’s more likely.

Francis and his associates adhere to seamless clothing theology. They believe that to truly be pro-life Catholics must have a wider view of “life issues”. We must uphold all human dignity from conception to natural death. As strongly as we oppose abortion and euthanasia, we must also oppose racism, poverty, xenophobia and economic inequality.

According to its founding documents the Pontifical Academy for Life exists in order to promote “the study and information and formation on principal problems of biomedicine, and of law relative to the promotion, defense, and preservation of life.”

Here’s the truth: despite all the nonsense you may have to say about this theology it’s not “seamless”. It has become a bizarre amalgamation of religious religions and political politics since Paglia took control. Its members are all unique individuals. Some members are conservative, some progressive, and some are centrist. The majority of the members are Catholics. However, a few are Protestants, Jewish, Muslim and Shinto. Our Mariana, at least one, doesn’t believe in God.

They are united by Archbishop Paglia’s belief that they have each staked out a more or less Christian position in their respective “fieldsof expertise.” He is trying to make them all one worldview. It’s Frankenstein’s monster in Catholic social teaching.

Paglia is the official body-snatcher of Vatican. He has replaced John Paul’s culture and life with a politics for the undead.

Christians do not need a collection of secular ideologies, which, at 40,000 feet, bear a certain resemblance with the Gospel. We need the Gospel.

It was for this reason that I was disappointed to hear the Pennsylvania GOP trying to win Mennonite vote during this week’s elections. This is unprecedented as they traditionally don’t vote.

The New Testament is alive and well for Old-School Mennonites. It is forbidden for them to carry arms, take oaths or serve in public office. Many of them, such as the Amish, are completely isolated from the modern world. They live in close-knit agrarian communities that are largely self-sufficient. They can still vote in theory. They don’t see it as a point.

John D. Roth , a Mennonite scholar, writes in Plough that “the most powerful seduction in political engagement, especially in democracies is the illusion that power is in Washington.” However, this is not the Christian view. Roth says that Christians believe history is carried forward through the church and not the state. It is better to spend your time building the Kingdom of God than trying to guide the City of Man.

This is a bit too much, but it’s only a small amount.

Although I don’t have the time or desire to shave my moustache yet, I love the Amish. It gives me great comfort to know that they exist, and their simple speech and simple lifestyle. I know I am not the only one.

People like me, papists who rant about Wendell Berry or the Benedict Option, get slapped with the label “Catholic Amish”. It’s a dream of mine. I wish I could live up to it one day. The old-school Mennonites live by St. Benedict’s ora and labora rule, which is work and prayer. They are committed to Paul’s commandment to “live quietly, to manage your own affairs and to work with you hands, as we charged, so that you can command respect from outsiders and be dependent upon nobody.”

Despite not making any effort to preach, the Amish are the fastest-growing religious group within the United States. Why? They are very fertile. Between 1992 and 2000, their population grew nearly 180 percent. Meanwhile, the Catholic population increased about 16 percent in the same timeframe, thanks only to immigration from South America. The declining Catholic Church, while the Amish are still thriving.

Religion is not a numbers game. The Great Commission isn’t exempt from having many children. All Christians are required to “make disciples in all nations” – not so that we can win, but so that we can save lives. This is not what the Amish do. Catholics don’t do that, either.

God speaks to Israel in the Book of Jeremiah

You should build a house and live in it; you should also plant gardens and eat the fruits of them. Take ye wives and have children; and get wives for your sons. Give your daughters to husbands so that they can bear sons or daughters. Ask for the peace in the city where I have taken you captives and pray to the Lord for it.

This is what the Mennonites excel at. It’s everything they do. They pray and work. They have large families. They are looking for peace.

The ordinary witness of everyday Christians is more valuable than any economists in the entire world, and most archbishops.

More Stories

Read More

Read More

Read More
Stay informed by joining TruthRow

24/7 coverage from 1000+ journalists. Subscriber-exclusive events. Unmatched political and international news.

You can cancel anytime