Orestes A. Brownson

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Like the Founding Fathers before Him, Brownson believed that God had a plan for America, that it was to be a model and beacon to the world.  

However, unlike the Founders, Brownson insisted on the centrality of the Church in human affairs. He wrote “The American Republic” in 1865 to further his vision of a great America achieved by cooperation between Church and State.

Without Her, America could not achieve her manifest destiny to be a beacon of justice and authentic freedom.



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Orestes A. Brownson
The American Republic Volume 85

Orestes Brownson was a Catholic convert and one of a few American Catholic intellectuals to be critical of  Protestantism, which he identified with Capitalism. 

Although he favored “rule by law”, he was careful to make the  distinction between secular law and the Law of God and likewise between the voice of the people and the Voice of God.

He loved America and, like many others, saw her as a “model for the world.”  This model however, to be effective, had to first successfully integrate the Catholic faith.  This earned him the repute of non-Catholics and even of upwardly mobile Catholics and members of the hierarchy who were protecting their respective flocks while working to make Catholicism more American while seemingly less concerned about making America more Catholic.

His ideas might be more relevant now than when he wrote them!


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