Wednesday, January 02, 2008
THREEFOLDING - FR. ROBERT SIRICO
The Wall Street Journal has an article online titled "Liberty Theology" penned by the Acton Institute's Fr. Robert A. Sirico. In it he denounces liberation theology, but says the Church still has a role to play in South America in opposition to governments that are attempting to become dictatorial. One short paragraph gives his position away. He is introducing a concept called "Threefolding":
There is only one way toward liberation, and that is a genuine liberalization of economic and political life, one that separates the state, not only from the Church, but also from the culture and the commercial life of the nation.
It would seem that the Church is still dabbling in politics in South America, though Sirico lauds adherence to Benedict's policy of a separation between the Church and state:
It is important to note that Church leaders who are challenging the likes of Mr. Chávez are not recommending Church involvement in politics. Their understanding, in line with the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI, is that the relationship between the Church and the state in Latin America is complex and there should be a clean separation. But they also know the importance of preserving freedom and pluralism.
You can read about Threefolding, including the way that it is shaping globalization, and discover its source in the Philippine Agenda 21, in this cached version of a GlobeNet3 article.
Agenda 21 is the work of, among others, Nacanor Perlas, an Anthroposophist from the Philippines. In this article Perlas spells out his plan:
The substance of conscious threefolding will increasingly include consideration of the seven dimensions of development. Politics and economics will remain as important considerations. But increasingly ecological, social, cultural, human and spiritual considerations will enter into the program details of comprehensive sustainable development efforts.
In conscious threefolding, civil society is in a critical engagement mode. Philippine Agenda 21 (PA21) is an exemplar of conscious threefolding at work. PA21 articulates a conscious threefolding image of society and has an understanding of the three key institutions of society and the realms from which they are active in. Civitas in the Philippines, through its civil society, convinced the McWorld government of the Philippines to officially adopt PA21 as its framework of sustainable development for the country.
The slow and uneven implementation of PA21, however, is an object lesson of what can happen when the worldview of Civitas tries to find expression in the governments and businesses of McWorld. Most of the agencies of the McWorld government in the Philippines actively or passively resist PA21even if there are several directives from the Office of the President to mainstream PA21. The few in McWorld government or business that see the value of PA21 have conceptual and operational difficulties in translating PA21 in action.
It portends a power shift. In my opinion it does not portend any better options for the disenfranchised. The jargon used in Perlas' explanation of it is such that the poor are unlikely to understand what they are getting into. Heck, I've been college educated and I don't understand it, but I do have an uneasy feeling as I read it that there's a lot they are not telling us.
Evidence of Perlas' Anthroposophical connections are given in Footnote 2 of this report to the Anthroposophical Siciety in Australia which reads:
2. CADI Center for Alternative Development Initiatives, instrumental in putting the principles of threefolding society on the Philippines Governments agenda. Nicanor Perlas, chairman of CADI is also Chairman of the Anthroposophical Group, that organised the "Shaping the Future" conference , October ‘98. See Pacifica Journal., numbers 9 and 10 with an extensive report by Terry M. Boardman. Ben Cherry and Siegfried Gutbrot, who attended the conference, explained to me how the civil society groups represented the cultural sphere providing the economic sphere with principles, concepts and practices as an alternative and counter weight to the unhealthy trend of ‘elite’ globalisation.......
Anthroposophy is a system of theosophy that uses Christian terminology. It is not Christian except in the gnostic sense. It is certainly not compatible with Catholicism.
Perlas' biography given here indicates that he has worked with Mikhail Gorbachev and is a member of the Club of Budapest.
What exactly is Fr. Robert Sirico pushing in his Wall Street Journal Article? And does it oppose the Catholic Church?
Is Nicanor Perlas' CADI in the Philippines part of the same organization as CADI in Romania? The Acton Institute is involved with CADI in Romania, as the following websites clearly indicate:
The CADI website header lists the Acton Institute logo and indicates Robert Sirico is a member of the Academic Council.
Another page in the website features John Couretas, Acton Institute, Ottawa.