chapter  Chapter 4
6 Pages

Get Religion into Politics

WithMichael M. Winter

Great achievements for human betterment, like the abolition of slavery and the establishment of National Health Services, could not have been realized without the intervention of political forces. Clearly the problem hinges upon the deceptively simple question of when the Church should intervene in political and social matters and when it should remain silent. The related question is who should do the intervention, and who has the right to initiate action in the name of the Church. In 1926 Cardinal Bourne warned English Catholics that to take part in the General Strike would be sinful, declaring that it would be contrary to the obedience which was owing to the lawfully constituted government. In the latter days of colonial rule in what was then Northern Rhodesia, a Catholic labour activist named Charles Mzingele was trying to start a trade union among the exploited black workers.