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Catholic Church and politics aims to cover subjects of where the Catholic Church and politics share common ground.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Politics is a set of activities associated with the governance of a country or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group.
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, "the separation of church and state does not require division between belief and public action, between moral principles and political choices, but protects the right of believers and religious groups to practice their faith and act on their values in public life."
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is the episcopal conference of the Catholic Church in the United States. Founded in 1966 as the joint National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and United States Catholic Conference (USCC), it is composed of all active and retired members of the Catholic hierarchy in the United States and the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands. In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the bishops in the six dioceses form their own episcopal conference, the Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference. The bishops in U.S. insular areas in the Pacific Ocean – the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Territory of American Samoa, and the Territory of Guam – are members of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific.
As a program and a movement, political Catholicism - a political and cultural conception which promotes the ideas and social teaching of the Catholic Church in public life through government action - was started by Prussian Catholics in the second half of the 19th century, as a response to secular social concepts. The main reason were the measures by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to limit the influence of Catholic Church, first in Prussia, and then in united Germany. That struggle is known in history as the Kulturkampf .
Catholic social teaching is the Catholic doctrines on matters of human dignity and common good in society. The ideas address oppression, the role of the state, subsidiarity, social organization, concern for social justice, and issues of wealth distribution. Its foundations are widely considered to have been laid by Pope Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical letter Rerum novarum, which advocated economic distributism. Its roots can be traced to the writings of Catholic thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo, and is also derived from concepts present in the Bible and the cultures of the ancient Near East.
Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital first in Königsberg and then, in 1701, in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890 and was the first Chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890. In 1862, King Wilhelm I appointed him as Minister President of Prussia, a position he would hold until 1890, with the exception of a short break in 1873. He provoked three short, decisive wars against Denmark, Austria, and France. Following the victory against Austria, he abolished the supranational German Confederation and instead formed the North German Confederation as the first German national state in 1867, leading it as Federal Chancellor. This aligned the smaller North German states behind Prussia. Later receiving the support of the independent South German states in the Confederation's defeat of France, he formed the German Empire in 1871, unifying Germany with himself as Imperial Chancellor, while retaining control of Prussia at the same time. The new German nation excluded Austria, which had been Prussia's main opponent for predominance among the German states.
From Germany, political Catholic social movements spread in Austria-Hungary, especially in today's Austria, Ukraine, Slovenia and Croatia. Catholic Action was the name of many groups of lay Catholics who were attempting to encourage a Catholic influence on political society.
Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in Central and Eastern Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed when the Austrian Empire adopted a new constitution; as a result Austria (Cisleithania) and Hungary (Transleithania) were placed on equal footing. It dissolved into several new states at the end of the First World War.
The Christian Social Movement in Ukraine was a political movement that existed in Western Ukraine from the end of the 19th century until the 1930s.
Croatian Catholic movement (HKP) is a form of political Catholicism which was active in the first half of the 20th century in Croatia. The movement was a response to increasing liberalism, with a new, aggressive approach, as the Church and religion lost influence.
Political changes in Spain during the second half of the nineteenth century led to the development of Catholic Integrism and Carlism struggling against a separation of church and state. The clearest expression of this struggle arose with the 1884 publication of the book Liberalism is a Sin . The book was rapidly referred to Rome, where it received a positive, albeit cautious welcome.
Carlism is a Traditionalist and Legitimist political movement in Spain aimed at establishing an alternative branch of the Bourbon dynasty – one descended from Don Carlos, Count of Molina (1788–1855) – on the Spanish throne.
Liberalism is a Sin is a controversial book written by Félix Sardà y Salvany in 1884, which became a rallying point for conservative political movements such as Integrism and Carlism.
After the 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum (Of New Things) by Pope Leo XIII, political Catholic movements got a new impulse for development, and they spread the area of their involvement. With this encyclical, the Catholic Church expanded its interest in social, economical, political and cultural issues, and it called for a drastic conversion of Western society in the 19th century in the face of capitalist influences. Following the release of the document, the labour movement which had previously floundered began to flourish in Europe and later in North America. Mary Harris Jones, better known as "Mother Jones", and the National Catholic Welfare Council were central in the campaign to end child labour in the United States during the early 20th century.
An encyclical was originally a circular letter sent to all the churches of a particular area in the ancient Roman Church. At that time, the word could be used for a letter sent out by any bishop. The word comes from Late Latin encyclios.
Rerum novarum, or Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor, is an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on 15 May 1891. It was an open letter, passed to all Catholic patriarchs, primates, archbishops and bishops, that addressed the condition of the working classes.
Pope Leo XIII was head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death. He was the oldest pope, and had the third-longest confirmed pontificate, behind that of Pius IX and John Paul II.
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In the 20th century, Catholic political movements became very strong in Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Ireland, France and Latin America. What these movements had in common was a defense of the acquired rights of the Catholic Church (attacked by anticlerical politicians) and a defense of Christian faith and moral values (threatened by increasing secularization). Members of opposing schools of thought called such attempts clericalism.
These Catholic movements developed various forms of Christian democratic ideology, generally promoting a morally and socially conservative agenda whilst supporting a middle ground third way between unrestrained capitalism and state socialism. Freemasons were seen mainly as enemies and vehement opponents of political Catholicism. A special situation occurred in Mexico, where an atheistic president ruled in the 1920s and oppressed the Church and Catholics. This led to the open Christian revolution of 1926 to 1929, known as the Cristero War.
Some of the earliest important political parties were:
Most of these parties in Europe joined together in White International (1922). Franco's mixture of Catholicism and nationalism received its own brand of National Catholicism and it inspired similar movements throughout Europe.
In addition to political parties, Catholic/Christian trade unions were created, which fought for worker's rights: the earliest include:
After World War II, more unions were formed, including:
Until the Second Vatican Council, the Church did not always accept the model of modern democracy and its expansion into social and economic realms because it was wary of anticlerical socialistic tendencies. When Catholic social activists were perceived to be too extreme in social conflicts, the Church hierarchy tried to stop their excesses; occasions of this included the Worker-priest movement in France in the 1940s and 1950s, and liberation theology in Latin America in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. But some movements were strongly supported by the Church - in Australia the Catholic Social Studies Movement during the 1940s and 1950s, from which the National Civic Council has developed.
Catholic clergy and lay activists sometimes tended to support far-right leaders such Francisco Franco and António de Oliveira Salazar, as well as the military regimes in Latin America. As a result, many workers involved in the labor movement joined social democratic and communist parties, which were sometimes secular and called for revolution against old values, which included religion and the Church.
In recent times, after the Second World War, Christian engagement in politics became weaker and even "Demo-Christian" parties by name lost some of their Christianity. Stronger Christian involvement in Europe on the beginning of the 21st century has produced some new small parties, for example those joined in the European Christian Political Movement. According to New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, part of the younger generation of Catholics are now showing a renewed interest in forms of political Catholicism such as a revived Catholic Integralism or Tradinista! socialism.
Catholics are called to participate in the political process, be informed voters, and to encourage elected officials to act on behalf of the common good. There are limits to official Catholic Church political activity. The Church engages in issue-related activity, not partisan political candidate activities. This restriction does not apply to individuals or group provided they do not represent themselves as acting in an official Church capacity.
Every two years the USCCB produces "Faithful Citizenship" guides, to provide guidelines and explanations of Catholic teaching to Catholic voters.
The Social Democratic Party of Germany, is a social-democratic political party in Germany.
In politics, integralism or integrism is the set of theoretical concepts and practical policies that advocate a fully integrated social and political order, based on converging patrimonial (inherited) political, cultural, religious, and national traditions of a particular state, or some other political entity. Some forms of integralism are focused on achieving political and social integration, and also national or ethnic unity, while others were more focused on achieving religious and cultural uniformity. In the political and social history of the 19th and 20th centuries, integralism was often related to traditionalist conservatism and similar political movements on the right wing of a political spectrum, but it was also adopted by various centrist movements as a tool of political, national and cultural integration.
Social conservatism is the belief that society is built upon a fragile network of relationships which need to be upheld through duty, traditional values and established institutions. This can include moral issues. Social conservatism is generally skeptical of social change, and believes in maintaining the status quo concerning social issues such as family life, sexual relations, and patriotism.
The Christian left is a range of centre-left and left-wing Christian political and social movements that largely embrace social justice viewpoints and uphold a social gospel. Given the inherent diversity in international political thought, the term can have different meanings and applications in different countries. Although there is some overlap, the Christian left is distinct from liberal Christianity, meaning not all Christian leftists are liberal Christians, and vice versa. Some Christian leftists have socially conservative views on social issues but lean left on economic issues.
Christian democracy is a political ideology that emerged in 19th-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching as well as Neo-Calvinism. Christian democratic political ideology advocates for a commitment to social market principles and qualified interventionism. It was conceived as a combination of modern democratic ideas and traditional Christian values, incorporating the social teachings espoused by the Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal traditions in various parts of the world. After World War II, the Protestant and Catholic movements of the Social Gospel and Neo-Thomism, respectively, played a role in shaping Christian democracy. Christian democracy continues to be influential in Europe and Latin America, although it is also present in other parts of the world.
Political colours are colours used to represent a political ideology, movement or party, either officially or unofficially. Parties in different countries with similar ideologies sometimes use similar colours. For example, the colour red symbolises left-wing ideologies in many countries while the colour yellow is most commonly associated with liberalism and right-libertarianism. However, the political associations of a given colour vary from country to country: red is also the colour associated with the conservative Republican Party in the United States. Politicians making public appearances will often identify themselves by wearing rosettes, flowers or ties in the colour of their political party.
The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions is a pro-democracy labour and political group in the Hong Kong. It was established in 1990. It has 160,000 members in 61 affiliates and has representation in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (LegCo) to challenge government policies and push for legal protection of worker and trade union rights. It is one of the two most influential labour groups in Hong Kong..
The Christian Social Party was a major conservative political party in the Cisleithanian crown lands of Austria-Hungary and in the First Republic of Austria, from 1891 to 1934. The party was also affiliated with Austrian nationalism that sought to keep Catholic Austria out of the state of Germany founded in 1871, that it viewed as Protestant Prussian-dominated, and identified Austrians on the basis of their predominantly Catholic religious identity as opposed to the predominantly Protestant religious identity of the Prussians. It is a predecessor of the contemporary Austrian People's Party.
Catholic Action was the name of many groups of lay Catholics who were attempting to encourage a Catholic influence on society.
This article gives an overview of socialism in the Netherlands, including communism and social democracy. It is limited to communist, socialist, and social-democratic parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ means a reference to another party in that scheme.
This article gives an overview of christian democracy in the Netherlands, which is also called confessionalism, including political Catholicism and Protestantism. It is limited to Christian democratic parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ means a reference to another party in that scheme.
National liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal policies and issues with elements of nationalism. There is also an unrelated series of European political parties called "national liberalist" that were especially active in the 19th century in several national contexts such as Central Europe, the Nordic countries and Southeast Europe.
Pillarisation is the politico-denominational segregation of a society, or the separation of a society into groups by religion and associated political beliefs. These societies were "vertically" divided into two or more groups known as pillars. The best-known examples of this have historically occurred in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Centre-left politics or center-left politics, also referred to as moderate-left politics, are political views that lean to the left-wing on the left–right political spectrum, but closer to the centre than other left-wing politics. Those on the centre-left believe in working within the established systems to improve social justice. The centre-left promotes a degree of social equality that it believes is achievable through promoting equal opportunity. The centre-left has promoted luck egalitarianism, which emphasizes the achievement of equality requires personal responsibility in areas in control by the individual person through their abilities and talents as well as social responsibility in areas outside control by the individual person in their abilities or talents.
The labour movement or labor movement consists of two main wings, the trade union movement or labor union movement, also called trade unionism or labor unionism on the one hand, and the political labour movement on the other.
The World Movement of Christian Workers is the Catholic Church's officially recognized association for Catholic workingmen and women. It is a member organization of Vatican's Conference of International Catholic Organizations. The World Movement of Christian Workers (WMCW/MMTC) does not have individual members but is a federation of various national movements. The affiliate in the United States is the Catholic Labor Network. In the UK, it is the Movement of Christian Workers.