Statement on Federalization and Bureaucracy

"1. The growth of bureaucracy in the United States is one of the most significant aftereffects of the war. This growth must be resolutely checked. Federal assistance and federal direction are in some cases beneficial and even necessary; but extreme bureaucracy is foreign to everything American. It is unconstitutional and undemocratic. It means officialism, red tape, and prodigal waste of public money. It spells hordes of so-called experts and self-perpetuating cliques of politicians to regulate every detail of daily life. It would eventually sovietize our form of government.

"2. The forward-looking forces in our national life must resolutely stand against further encroachments on individual and state liberty. The press, the home, the school, and the Church have no greater enemy at the present time than the paternalistic and bureaucratic government which certain self-seeking elements are attempting to foist upon us."

Issued by the Administratative Council of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, January 26, 1922

Pastoral Letters of the United States Catholic Bishops (4 volumes), edited by Hugh J. Nolan; Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference 1983; volume 1, page 334


  1. Well, this is timely! In case I am mistaken, those self-seeking elements wouldn't be progressives, now would they? This is very timely and remarkably predictive.

  2. That was 1922. This is 2014: the USCCB staff numbers well into the 100's and chancery-staff in most Dioceses is (minimally) a dozen or so.

    Bureaucracy is a virus. It catches, and sometimes kills.


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