By Patricius Anthony

                                 TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Network   
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  Copyright 2007 P. Anthony.  Reproduction prohibited without authorization.

Father Fahey and the Economists: A Comment

By Patricius Anthony

It is of little surprise that the modern conservative movement has largely ignored Fr. Fahey. One reason is that any positive commentary on his life and works would mean a discussion of "politically incorrect" matters, which the priest courageously tackled, and the Right scrupulously avoids. When Fr. Fahey's name does surface, he is oftentimes labeled an "anti-Semite," or he is dismissed on the grounds that he held faulty economic ideas.

Rarely is there a discussion of the tremendous amount of empirical research that the priest conducted in areas of history, finance, economics, and culture. The reason for the neglect is that Fr. Fahey did not undertake "standard" inquiries into these fields, but instead focused on the groups, organizations, and individuals who were de-Christianizing Western society.

While the elucidation of sound economic theory is all well and good, investigative research is no less vital. In Fr. Fahey's case, empirical work did not lead to a cushy academic post, media appearances for book promotions, or gaining favor and acknowledgement from ecclesiastics. Instead, what the priest faced, similar to his Divine Master, was hatred and calumny from the principalities and powers of this world, the hostility of which continues to this day.

While it would appear that Fr. Fahey would be an inspiration for the modern conservative/libertarian movement, its neglect of him and others of his thinking explains, in part, why the Right has failed to prevent the disintegration of Western society. Such groups do not seek the reconstitution of Christendom as it existed under the leadership of Charlemagne, kingly saints such as Henry or Louis IX, or the spiritual guidance of the likes of Saint Charles Borromeo or Gregory the Great. Instead, the tenets of modern conservatism are grounded on the ideals of religious pluralism, separation of Church and State, political liberty, and economic freedom for the creation of material well being. Such a mindset blinds those on the Right to the cause of the Western malaise, which is not a lack of political liberty, but, as Fr. Fahey often spoke, a spiritual crisis that stems, in large part, from the rejection of Almighty God and His Church, which began on a wholesale manner with the so called "Reformation."

The various strains of conservatism are impotent to turn around a generation fed on MTV, vile movies and the continuous stream of raw sewage that flows through the electronic box that sits in nearly every household. Only a return to religiously-united Christendom, as Fr. Fahey tirelessly fought for, can halt the cultural rot. The abolition of the income tax, a return to the gold standard, and the deregulation of industry are commendable goals, but they will do nothing to combat the forces that seek to destroy Western man. None of these actions, even if achieved, will stop the cultural decadence that one witnesses throughout daily life, of body piercing, tattoos, skimpily-dressed women, and slovenly-attired men. Not to mention the more egregious forms of immorality, now accepted and even celebrated in the post-modern world.

The heroic stand that Fr. Fahey took to expose the forces that have undermined Western society and his great devotion to the restoration of Christ the King (a concept which is an anathema to economists) far outweighs any supposed erroneous economic notions that he may have held. More important than the enlightenment of the masses through the dissemination of economic theory, which some argue will make men stalwarts of liberty, Fr. Fahey was a devoted disciple of Christ, whose life as a Catholic priest, care of his flock, and inspiration that his life and work gave and continue to give have merited more heavenly graces than all the treatises, books, articles, conferences, and lectures of the practitioners of the "dismal science."

It is thus fitting to quote two of the Church's great Saints and their views on those who choose to serve as Christ's vicars on earth. "The dignity of the priesthood," said the Angelic Doctor, "surpasses even that of the angels." St. Francis of Assisi is reported to have remarked: "If I saw an angel and a priest, I would bend my knee first to the priest and then to the angel."