We love and honor our country because it has given us life, sustenance, traditions and fundamental orientation analogous to our earthly parents and families.
Young Catholics can integrate patriotism with their faith in Scouts’ projects.
Patriotism calls into play a love for one’s homeland and a commitment to caring for it and its people. But it does not require turning one’s back to lands that others call home.
Reflecting on the swell of nationalism seen in the months during the 2016 presidential campaign, Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego called for a rearticulation of what patriotism is and an engagement with Catholic social teaching principles in a January 2017 article titled, “What is the Catholic response to the rise of nationalism?” in America Magazine.
True patriotism requires its citizens to make culture, society and government more noble, Bishop McElroy wrote.
“As Pope Francis reminded us in his address to Congress, America’s greatness lies in the freedom proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln, the justice lived out by Dorothy Day, the poignant dream of racial equality articulated by Martin Luther King Jr. and the spiritual richness of Thomas Merton,” he added.
Bishop McElroy highlighted three areas where Catholic social teaching could guide foreign policy that would contribute to the good of humanity as a whole: the global economy, the environment and refugees.
Catholics must bring the church’s vision of social teaching into public dialogue, Bishop McElroy said.
This dialogue, Bishop McElroy concluded, must be enriched by a patriotism that “recognizes that every member of our society constitutes equally ‘the people,'” that “sees greatness not in power or wealth but as a moral and spiritual aspiration founded in justice, freedom and solidarity,” and that “advances America’s aims in the world in a manner that enhances the dignity and integral human development of all peoples.”