Cdl. Burke: God doesn’t make one-world government ‘just and legitimate’

By Dorothy Cummings McLean

ROME, May 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Cardinal Raymond Burke said today that patriotism is required by natural law and that God “in accord with the order written upon the human heart, does not make just and legitimate a single global government.”

Cardinal Burke gave an address to the Rome Life Forum this morning in Rome titled “Filial piety and national patriotism as essential virtues of citizens of heaven at work on earth” (read full talk below or here). His talk comes at a time when there is not only a push from secular authorities but also from top leaders within the Church for a supranational legally constituted body to implement “climate change” policies and enforce UN Sustainable Development Goals around the world.

Near the end of his talk, the cardinal said that “divine law” enables us to see that a one world government would be “totalitarian.”

“Before the challenges of our time, there are those who propose and work for a single global government, that is, for the elimination of individual national governments, so that all of humanity would be under the control of a single political authority. For those who are convinced that the only way to achieve the common good is the concentration of all government in a single authority, loyalty to one’s homeland or patriotism has become an evil,” he said.

“The divine authority, in accord with the order written upon the human heart, does not make just and legitimate a single global government. In fact, the divine law illumines our minds and hearts to see that such a government would be, by definition, totalitarian, assuming the divine authority over the governance of the world,” he added.

The Cardinal said that the “sinful pride which inspires the pursuit of a single global government has been likened to the pride of our ancient ancestors, after the Deluge, who thought that they could unite heaven with earth by their forces alone, building the Tower of Babel.” 

“On the contrary, God meets us and orders our lives for the good in the family and in the homeland.”

Burke began his talk by introducing the twin concepts of piety and patriotism. Our relationship with our homeland “demands of us the practise of that part of piety is called patriotism,” he said. Love of one’s own country is not a sin but, the cardinal said, included in the Fourth Commandment, which is to love one’s mother and father. St. Thomas Aquinas reflected this relationship when he taught that “man is debtor chiefly to his parents and his country, after God. Wherefore just as it belongs to religion to give worship to God, so does it belong to piety, in the second place, to give worship to one’s parents and one’s country.”

Burke drew from this that patriotism is required by natural law. He cited the New Catholic Encyclopedia to illustrate how “the practice of patriotism is a form of the charity by which we live fully the truth of our being in its relationship with God and with the rest of His Creation.”

Looking at the historical relationship between piety and patriotism, the cardinal observed how the Latin adjective “pius,” ascribed to Roman heroes, indicated, in the words of Anthony Esolen, doing “your duty by your father and mother, your elders, your household gods, the city and state, and the great gods above.” The cardinal stated that this old pagan virtue has now perfected through the “grace of Christ”:

“Through the grace of Christ, the piety of the pagan world is elevated and perfected to be a response to God, our Creator and Redeemer, who has desired to bring us to life in Christ in the family and in a homeland,” Burke said.

The cardinal spoke also of honor due to civil leaders as being “intimately connected with the honor due to parents and the pastors of the Church” and attested to in the Letters of St. Peter and St. Paul. The Catechism of the Council of Trent, he said, explained how the “honor given to civil rulers is essentially connected to the honor which we owe, above all, to God.”

But this Catechism also recognizes that some civil rulers are evil and thus underscores that the honor shown them is not for their misdeeds but for “the authority from God which they possess.” It also states that the commands of civil rulers, if contrary to the moral law, should not be obeyed.

Cardinal Burke reflected that today many governments, not recognizing that their authority comes from God, make laws contrary to the moral law:

“In our time, many governments fail to or refuse to recognize that their authority comes from God, and, therefore, make laws which violate directly and grievously the moral law, for example, regarding the respect owed to all human life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, regarding the integrity of human sexuality ordered to marriage and the family, and regarding the free exercise of religion itself,” he said.

“In many societies, there dominates an anti-life, anti-family, and anti-religious culture in open rebellion before the good order with which God has created us.”

This has created a challenge for patriotism, the cardinal stated: how “to show due respect for our homeland and its government, while at the same time refusing to comply with unjust laws.” He praised Christians who have bravely live this out, despite great suffering, and said that Christian citizens are now being “frequently” called to be martyrs:

“The Christian citizen must frequently fulfill the demands of patriotism today by martyrdom, which is often white but sometimes red,” Burke said.

“His witness to the truth of the moral law regularly meets with the white martyrdom of indifference, ridicule and persecution, and even, in some circumstance, with the red martyrdom of death.”

The cardinal noted also that the 1992 Catechism of St. John Paul II spoke of the duties of civil authorities, citizens and even immigrants to their new countries. Civil authorities must protect the God-given rights of the individual (which do not include anything outside the moral order); citizens must pay taxes, vote and defend their country, and immigrants must “respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” 

After reiterating the divine edict against obeying immoral commands from civil authorities, Burke brought up the question of armed resistance to an unjust government, which is permissible under certain circumstances. He then returned to the subject of patriotism, saying it teaches us to recognize our “natural condition as members of a family and citizens of a homeland.”

“Our personal identity comes principally from the family but also, and indeed because the family thrives only in wider society, from our homeland. That natural condition defines our rights and duties as a citizen,” he said.

The cardinal also asserted that patriotism leads to a love of neighbor that respects his love for his own homeland and unique traditions:

“It is clear that we and our homelands have responsibilities within the international community, but those responsibilities can only be fulfilled through a sound life in the family and in the homeland,” he said.

“Patriotism, in fact, fosters the virtue of charity which clearly embraces citizens of other nations, recognizing and respecting their distinct cultural and historical identity.”

Full transcript of talk at: