Editorial by John-Henry Westen
July 8, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Newspapers, blogs, talk-shows on radio and television are full of discussion over Pope Benedict XVI's supposed call for a "new world order" or a "one-world government." These ideas are, however, neither based in reality nor a clear reading of the Pope's latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, the release of which yesterday spawned the heated discussion.
The Pope actually speaks directly against a one-world government, and, as would be expected from those who have read his previous writings, calls for massive reform of the United Nations. Confusion seems to have come from paragraph 67 of the encyclical, which has some choice pull-quotes which have spiced the pages of the world's news, from the New York Times to those of conspiracy theorist bloggers seeing the Pope as the Anti-Christ.
The key quote which has led to the charge reads: "To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago."
However, in paragraph 41, the Holy Father specifically differentiates his concept of a world political authority from that of a one-world government. "We must," he says "promote a dispersed political authority." He explains that "The integrated economy of the present day does not make the role of States redundant, but rather it commits governments to greater collaboration with one another. Both wisdom and prudence suggest not being too precipitous in declaring the demise of the State. In terms of the resolution of the current crisis, the State's role seems destined to grow, as it regains many of its competences. In some nations, moreover, the construction or reconstruction of the State remains a key factor in their development."
Later in the encyclical (57) he speaks of the opposite concept to one- world government -subsidiarity (the principle of Catholic social teaching which states that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority) - as being essential. "In order not to produce a dangerous universal power of a tyrannical nature, the governance of globalization must be marked by subsidiarity," says the Pope.
Another of the key quotes which is being extracted for shock value from the encyclical is this: "In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth."
Since long before his papacy, Joseph Ratzinger has vigorously fought the United Nations' vision of a 'New World Order'. As early as 1997, and repeated subsequently, Ratzinger took public aim at such a vision, noting that the philosophy coming from UN conferences and the Millennium Summit "proposes strategies to reduce the number of guests at the table of humanity, so that the presumed happiness [we] have attained will not be affected."
"At the base of this New World Order", he said is the ideology of "women's empowerment," which erroneously sees "the principal obstacles to [a woman's] fulfillment [as] the family and maternity." The then-cardinal advised that "at this stage of the development of the new image of the new world, Christians - and not just them but in any case they even more than others - have the duty to protest."
Benedict XVI in fact repeats those criticisms in the new encyclical. In Caritas in Veritate, the Pope slams "practices of demographic control, on the part of governments that often promote contraception and even go so far as to impose abortion." He also denounces international economic bodies such as the IMF and World Bank (without specifically naming them) for their lending practices which tie aid to so-called 'family planning.' "There is reason to suspect that development aid is sometimes linked to specific health-care policies which de facto involve the imposition of strong birth control measures," says the encyclical.
Any vision of a proper ordering of the world, of international economics or political cooperation, suggests the Pope, must be based on a "moral order." That includes first and foremost "the fundamental right to life" from conception to natural death, the recognition of the family based on marriage between one man and one woman as the basis of society and freedom for faith and cooperation among all peoples based on principles of natural law.
See related LifeSiteNews articles:
Best Pro-Life Quotes from Pope Benedict XVI's New Encyclical
LifeSiteNews.com NewsBytes - Various Reports on Papal Social Encyclical Caritas in Veritate