Monday, March 21, 2011

St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, Pray For Us


This week, "Catholics in Latin America and throughout the world will celebrate... [t]he 16th century bishop [who] upheld the rights of Peru's indigenous peoples, and became one of the first canonized saints of the Americas" — St. Turibius, patron of Latin America, remembered March 23. Click on the link for a brief hagiography.

"The Origins of International Law" is the title given to the seventh chapter of Thomas E. Woods' tome, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, in which the author explains how in the aftermath of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, Francisco de Vitoria, noting the abuses he saw, came to the conclusion that "[t]he treatment to which all human beings were entitled... derives from their status as men rather than as members of the faithful in the state of grace." The chapter concludes with this profound statement from Peruvian libertarian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa:
    Father Las Casas was the most active, although not the only one, of those nonconformists who rebelled against abuses inflicted upon the Indians. They fought against their fellow men and against the policies of their own country in the name of the moral principle that to them was higher than any principle of nation or state. This self-determination could not have been possible among the Incas or any of the other pre-Hispanic cultures. In these cultures, as in the other great civilizations of history foreign to the West, the individual could not morally question the social organism of which he was part, because he existed only as an integral atom of that organism and because for him the dictates of the state could not be separated from morality. The first culture to interrogate and question itself, the first to break up the masses into individual beings who with time gradually gained the right to think and act for themselves, was to become, thanks to that unknown exercise, freedom, the most powerful civilization of our world.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

You know, in university environments there is a lot of snootiness about French and German contributions to jurisprudence, philosophy, etc. Lots of emphasis in graduate school on learning French and German. But so little attention is paid to the Spanish contribution to western civilization. Why that is, I don't know, but it is a shame. The Spanish writers are so critically important, not just in understanding international law, but in economics, political theory, etc.

1:45 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Well pointed out. Must be la layenda negra rearing her ugly head. Can't acknowledge Spain; she's too Catholic and barbaric!

Tom Woods' book is highly recommendable. Let us remember the School of Salamanca and all its contributions to our civilizations. Classical liberals should also remember that the word "liberal" was first used in Spain.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Francis Xavier said...

Might it be because Spain's glory days are so far behind us?

Germany and France predominated the 18th and 19th century, during which Spain largely was an intellectual embarrassment.

When a family member was there in the 70s, the poorer people literally lived in caves.

12:46 AM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.