I keep hearing about how the former Cardinal Ratzinger, as a German of a certain outlook and age, is not what many American Catholics would consider a conservative in the political sense. I don’t know about that, but I don’t find anything to argue with in this paragraph from Deus Caritas Est:
The State which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.
I think Russell Kirk would wholeheartedly embrace that. Would that the current standard-bearers for conservatism in this country would agree.
Heck, would that the people running Catholic Charities in Boston would agree. The way they lobby the State House, they think that the State should provide for all needs.