Saturday, May 05, 2007

Benedict's Hopeful Vision?

Gil Bailie continues to chronicle the pathetic downfall of Europe in his recent blog, ”Surrendering Europe”. For many of us, the difficulty lies in seeing how the gaping maw of secular and nihilistic Europe that long ago jettisoned its healthy Christian moorings can possibly pull itself back from the edge of self-annihilation via childlessness, rejection of life-long marriage, and the disposal of the family. The futuristic dystopian vision of childlessness and civil war is aptly and fearfully depicted in Alfonso Cuarón's film, Children of Men (2006).

Perhaps it is living long enough to recall a time when the definition of marriage was obvious, families with three or more children routine, and abortion a shameful aberration; but it is a dismaying time. Add to that the Saracen not outside the gate, but demanding shariah on European streets and in its municipalities ... well, it is no wonder that death knells are sounding across the blogosphere.

It is providential that we have a Pope who has taken it upon himself to help Europe come to itself, "slopping the swine" and bereft as it presently is "in a far country." We see in Benedict XVI God's man and Saint Peter's successor a man who loves what once was Christendom and has decidedly not given up on it.

That said, however, Hilaire Belloc, the great and largely forgotten 20th century man of letters (1st History, Oxford) and friend of Chesterton, saw the sad state of England coming more than a half century ago. According to Paul Likoudis (Ed. @ The Wanderer):

"England's condition was especially serious, Belloc warned, for the effort to cut the English from the traditions of the race through a 'Reformation' was now four centuries old and England was on the precipice of a brutal neo-paganism as a consequence ... To Belloc, only a person who thinks with the Church could see, looming on the horizon, the Neopagan Barbarian ready to storm the broken gates of Christendom" (Saint Austin Review, Sept.-Oct. 2003, 9-10).

England's cliffs of Dover long ago turned their backs on Mother Church. Only time will tell if BXVI will live long enough to see his hopes fulfilled, and the Father welcome his footsore and beaten down prodigal trapsing back to the gladsome Farm of truth, goodness, and beauty. Only time will tell; till then let us watch and pray "more than watchmen for the morning -- more than watchmen for the morning."


David Nybakke said...

A major issue I have with some blogs is that they do not seem to be balanced with, what I will call, Catholic "teaching" posts. Athos, your previous post "Throwing Stones & Political Power" is an excellent example of a teaching post. My experience of doing faith group studies after faith group studies (Catholic and ecumenical Christian group studies – the last 2 were on “Mere Christianity” and “Simply Christian”) over the past number of years is that basically no one really knows the fundamentals of being Christian or Catholic or Christ. I do these studies to continue my education for I am still unsure about many things in the faith. Our culture has done very well in masking the understanding of what it means to be Christian (at the same time Christian churches had fallen asleep, not providing a “passing-on-the-faith” education to its members).

So I am all for these posts about the fall of Christianity in Europe and the cultural stakes that are in jeopardy, however I would propose that we (and we ask others to) spend just as much time and energy explaining Creeds, doctrines, and Church teachings – and we, the 3 Massketeers, can especially do this from a Girardian point of view as our blog is committed to his theories.

Athos said...

I'm glad you liked Part I, Aramis. I will do my best to apply the hand torch of Girard's MT while informing it to the best of my ability with the Catholic faith and truth to which I submit.