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Issues raised by Brexit are important for Catholic Church’s consideration

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Samuel Gregg, Research Director for Acton Institute, recently published an article titled “Catholicism and Global Institutions: It’s Time for a Rethink” in The Catholic World Report which calls for the Catholic Church to reform its approach to supranational bodies, and think critically before engaging with issues raised by Brexit.

Gregg shrewdly justifies his call for the Catholic Church to reform its treatment of political organizations. Gregg points out that many Catholics are increasingly suspicious about the Europeans Union’s growth of power and recognize that some United Nation agencies “directly violate Catholic teaching on human life”- and while this is true, he organizes additional points which strengthen his case.

Some of the most important factors which the Catholic Church should consider is first the lack of prioritizing decentralization among EU officials, and secondly the tendency of supranational institutions “not only to dilute national sovereignty but even national identity” through Kantian institutional internationalism. Lastly, Gregg explains that even if the Kantian liberalism were taken out of supranational bodies, the EU has only shown signs to approach change by implementing ‘top-down’ centralization.

In his September 2015 State of the Union address, the European Commission’s President, Jean-Claude Juncker, listed the EU’s many challenges, ranging from migration to bankrupt member-states. Juncker insisted, however, no less than six times that the solution was “more Europe.” That’s euro-code for more top-down centralization. Words like federalism, decentralization, devolution, and subsidiarity don’t appear in the text.

Gregg highlights important issues crucial for the Catholic Church’s consideration.

The issue today, however, is whether the Catholic Church will substantially engage some of the major problems with supranational organizations highlighted by Brexit. It certainly has the resources to do so. Catholicism has a distinguished history of thinking through international relations questions

Read Gregg’s whole article here.

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Caroline Roberts Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.