News Release

Santorum “The Catholic Theocrat”

BETTY CLERMONT, bettyclermont at yahoo.com
Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America and just wrote the piece “Santorum — The Catholic Theocrat.” She said today: “GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently stated on ABC: ‘I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.’ Santorum also recently told a Michigan audience, ‘I’m for separation of church and state: The state has no business telling the church what do to’ — without ever criticizing the obstructionism of some religious leaders to civil government.

“Since Santorum surged ahead in the GOP primaries, and especially since his attacks against JKF’s speech about the separation of church and state, the majority opinion has been that Santorum isn’t in the ‘real’ Catholic political tradition as formulated by former American Catholic leaders.

“However, looking at the entire history of the Roman Catholic Church, Santorum is very much espousing the tradition of alliances between church and state. Prelates defended the ‘divine right of kings’ and monarchs gave the hierarchs privilege, royal titles, land and money. After the Vatican received over a billion dollars (in today’s money) from the 1929 Lateran Treaty, the financial genius Bernardino Nogara, who Cardinal Francis Spellman called ‘the greatest thing to happen to the Church since Jesus Christ,’ made the Holy See a powerful plutocracy.

“Since then, Rome has backed the corporatists except for the brief combined pontificates of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, when Liberation Theology and a progressive U.S. episcopate were allowed to develop. John Paul II returned the Church to business as usual. The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy supports wealth and power and the high and mighty make sure the prelates are heard, obeyed and paid.”

In “Santorum — The Catholic Theocrat,” Clermont writes: “Many have also incorrectly suggested that because Santorum is Catholic and has links to Opus Dei that he has the backing of the Catholic Church. But as in Reagan and both Bush presidents, as well as the U.S. episcopate’s vicious assault against the Catholic John Kerry in 2004, it makes no difference if an American politician is or is not Catholic or even a member of Opus Dei in order to get the backing of the Catholic Church. As we have seen by the sex-abuse scandals, the pre-eminent concern of Church hierarchies is the retention and growth of their own influence and money. Therefore, they will support any pro-business candidate willing to partner with them who they think is electable.”