Pius XII and the Politics of the Mystical Body

Pope Pius XII exhorts the faithful to participate in daily Mass, frequent confession, personal prayer, mortification, and works of mercy. These practices are not minor, weak, or irrelevant responses to a world crisis; on the contrary, the pope believes they are powerfully efficacious and necessary, strengthening the bonds uniting the mystical body of Christ and sowing the seeds of peace. His counsel is spiritual in nature, but socio-political in its effects.
William McCormick, SJ, has written a new and welcome interpretation of Thomas Aquinas as a political thinker. His reading of Aquinas suggests that the political common good, as an intermediary between human and divine things, is a subject for ongoing inquiry, sensitive to the exigencies of a fallen world. McCormick holds that the “pedagogy of politics” unfolds teleologically as a community—in and through common deliberation and action—comes to greater knowledge of itself and its own ends.