Catholic Action

Our Business

Catholic Bourgeois
used to tell the clergy
“Mind your own business
and don’t butt in
on our business.”
Catholic bourgeois
by keeping up
with non-Catholic bourgeois
have made a mess
of their own business.
And now the Holy Father
tells Catholic bourgeois
“The Bishop’s business
is your business.”

The Bishop’s Voice

The Bishop’s business
is to teach
the Christian Doctrine.
The Holy Father
appoints a Bishop
to a seat (a cathedral)
so people may hear the truth
that will set them free.
Clergy, teachers, journalists
are the amplifiers
of the Bishop’s voice.
Fathers and mothers
must also be
the Bishop’s voice.
Bishop O’Hara
is fostering the teaching
of Christian Doctrine
by fathers and mothers.
Everything connected
with the teaching
of Christian Doctrine
can be called
Catholic Action No. 1.

Works of Mercy

But the Bishop,
although he is a Bishop,
cannot teach
an empty stomach.
Some people
are Bishop-shy
because they are hungry,
shivering or sleepy.
So the Bishop
asks the faithful
to feed the hungry,
clothe the naked,
shelter the homeless
at a sacrifice.
Feeding the hungry,
clothing the naked,
sheltering the homeless
at a sacrifice
was the daily practice
of the first Christians.
The daily practice
of the Works of Mercy
is what we can call
Catholic Action No. 2.

Social Reconstruction

We are asked
by the Holy Father
to reconstruct
the social order.
Reconstructing the social order
means the creation
of a Catholic society
within the shell
of a non-Catholic society
with the philosophy
of a Catholic society.
Catholic bourgeois
made the mistake
of trying to keep up
with non-Catholic bourgeois.
Catholic reconstructors
must create
a Catholic technique
in harmony
with Catholic thought.
Social reconstruction
by Catholic laymen and women
is what we can call
Catholic Action No. 3.

Three Kinds

Catholic Action No. 1,
or the teaching
of Christian Doctrine,
must be carried out
with the Bishop’s supervision.
Catholic Action No. 2,
or the daily practice
of the Works of Mercy,
can be carried out
with or without
the Bishop’s supervision.
Catholic Action No. 3,
or the reconstruction
of the social order,
through the foundation
of new Catholic institutions,
must be left
to the initiative
of Catholic men and women.
The function of the Bishops
is to be
not directors
but moderators.
Political action
is not to be considered
as Catholic Action.