Monthly Archives: July 2016

First Priest-martyr of the 21st Century in France

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

From Rorate Caeli

During the 9 am Mass this morning in the parish church of Saint Steven (Saint-Etienne), in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, in the outskirts of Rouen, Normandy, France, two assailants invaded the church, held most of those inside — including the priest and two nuns — hostage, and, before being killed by special operations forces, slit the throat of the priest.

Martyr! The martyred priest was Father Jacques Hamel, 84 years old — may he pray for us in heaven!

So many Christians have been martyred in recent years outside Europe, also victims of Islam: It is fitting that the first priest-martyr of Western Europe in many years comes from the Eldest Daughter.

…and I recall my wife asking me “do you really need that license to conceal and carry?”         My answer  – OH YES!!!, yes I do!     Yes, yes I do.


Little Blessings – A Beginning to a Series of Posts

By Allan Gillis

At the behest of the lovely and gracious Mrs. Gillis, I begin here a posting – the first in an upcoming regular series.  She mentioned that much of what I write or highlight is – or could be construed as; “negative”.  I respond to her by pointing out that it is my inclination to be vigilant and always aware of current “conditions”.  Conditions that may engender discomfort, irritation, danger or peril so that one may be prepared and/or be able to avoid such pain or loss.  (“mostly it’s a guy thing”… is what I usually tell her).   But here I digress.  I must yield to my better-half’s always-good counsel.  In an effort to continue to promote domestic bliss and mutual understanding here at Chateau Ghillie’, I shall hereto and forthwith begin an offering to you dear readers of a regular series of postings that I shall dub “Little Blessings”.

Yesterday, I took an old, old friend sailing out on my little J/24.  It was a glorious day.  I mean just glorious!  The winds from the southeast just shot me out of the inner harbor on a “beam reach” past the airport and then they shifted to a sweet stiff 5-10 knots – veering further from the south.  Heeling slightly after wolfing down a couple of hard-boiled eggs and French bread (washed down with a wonderful, cold Roman Frascati), we made our way speedily past Spectacle Island and then past Long Island to the waters off of East Weymouth and Hingham.

The wind then seemed to quiet a bit and we were moving out toward Hull and the Nantasket Roads, past the southern shore of George’s Island when we got hungry again.  So, out came the pasta salad, the bread and humus and the fried chicken! (more Roman white wine – then we busted out the Argentinean red).  Moving out of the “outer harbor” we were working against a strong flood tide…  slowing us to a crawl.  So, we took advantage of the sweet warm n’ strong sunlight to bathe in the cool salt water as we barely moved with my “doused” mainsail a-top the cabin roof.

J Boat!

Being two old goombas, being two husbands, both of us fathers and grandfathers as well as two brothers who know well the saving grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ – we were both just relishing the gift of the day.

The scene around us – always shifting, with the clouds building high (we made it back to the dock safely with plenty of time to spare before a squall with a deluge of wind and hale!), the sea sometimes calm, sometimes white-capped – sometimes grey, sometimes green – all the while the sun up high and strong (GREAT conditions for good sailing wind).  The waters where busy with many, many pleasure boats, both power and sail.  People greeting one another warmly and happily as the day seemed so fine.  One just had to be so thankful to God for His creation – as we made our way north again – returning along the same way, the winds shifted easterly and we “reached” up to Castle Island at a good and comfortable clip.  John yanked out his old guitar from below deck and we sipped some dark rum singing old songs and marveling at the day.

I doused the mainsail again as we approached the dock and we glided in perfectly – sailing in on the jib only – to my spot – without firing up the little 4 horse motor at all (I really do pride myself as an excellent helmsman!). Tying off the stern, bow and spring-lines, we struggled like two old tired men flaking the jib and rolling and covering the mainsail.

We noticed that it was quite warm on land as opposed to what we felt out on the water as we then just sat on the boat – hot, tired and happy. We finished the provisioned libations as a nice refreshing mixture of freezing-cold San Pelligrino sparkling water and cold white wine. Talking more about the kids, the wives, our jobs, old girlfriends and how sweet and sour it can be as we faced middle age.

I laid in bed later, recalling the day to my Sweetest before we slept and I told her how I felt.  I felt like my seams were bursting with gratitude to God for the beautiful day and for her sweetness and all that I have in my life.

To whom much is given – much will be expected.  May God have mercy on my soul.

Marion Marechal-Le Pen has spoken the truth again in France.

By Augustinus

Marion Marechal -Le Pen has spoken the truth again in France.

She has thrown down the guantlet to her fellow citizens…telling them that it is time to make a choice regarding Islam. ” Either we kill Islamism or it will kill us again and again. You are with us and against Islamism, or you are against us and for Islamism… Those who choose the status quo become complicit with our enemies.”

She has been vilified by the left in France and Europe because she is a staunch Catholic against abortion and for traditional marriage and so forth. She has received death threats almost daily from Islamists and from European leftists for being a “bigoted Catholic”. But those threats have not silenced her.

How I wish there was a politician of her honesty and courage here in America. Trump has said some things that reflect common sense such as tightening our borders and using better criteria to screen Muslim immigrants and so forth but he is no Marion Marechal-Le Pen! Marion is rooted in her religious convictions. All of her political positions flow from her Catholic vision of culture and social life. Trump appears to have no strong religious vision.

Sometimes I prefer individuals without any strong vision at all-religious or otherwise. After all it is the maniacs who are driven by strong visions to reform the broken world who are willing to mow down villages and create a heap of corpses in order to create that utopian vision. The ones filled with passionate intensity are often the most dangerous.

On the other hand the first duty of any thinking man is to divine the times; to understand the historical moment and that is what Marion has that no other politician, European or American, has–the ability to see the present danger clearly and soberly. Churchill had it with regard to Hitler in the 1930s. Eisenhower had it with regard to the Soviet Union in the 1950s.

Who in America sees the danger of Islam? As Cardinal Burke pointed out recently Islam is not like Christianity. It has no consistent tradition of the “two swords” or Pope versus Emperor – of separation of religion and state. While Christ said render unto Caesar what is Caesars….Mohammed was from the beginning both religious Head AND political/military ruler.

Even if the majority of Muslims are well-meaning decent human beings who just want to live their lives in peace and do the best for their kids (and I believe this IS the case), their religious ideology, unfortunately, militates against their own wishes to be left in peace. Inherent in Islamic Koranic theology and “scripture”, hadiths (traditions), doctrine, law, and history is that Islam must rule. The Umma must be established worldwide. Historically military conquest has been the way Islam has spread and the conquered peoples were given the choice of conversion or death. In some “tolerant” places the conquered were allowed to live but not to reproduce. That is why Christianity died out in all formerly Byzantine cities conquered by Islam down through the centuries.

Marion Marechal Le Pen is right we are now approaching the time where every Christian has to choose sides: Islam or Christianity.

Another One Bites The Dust!

By Allan Gillis

I just realized the slight of hand here in this document!

Here is the letter dated July 12th from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Divine Worship as it addresses the issue of celebrating Mass ad orientem. The Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli, Chairman, clarifies that there will be no expected changes to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, but points out existing rubrics in “the Order of Mass which reflect the real possibility that the celebrant might be facing away from the assembly.”       Ya think?

check this out:

July 12, 2016       Your Eminence / Your Excellency:

As you are no doubt aware, some comments made at a London talk on July 7 by His Eminence Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, quickly became the source of much speculation and debate concerning the proper orientation of the priest celebrant in relation to the assembly during the celebration of the Eucharist in the Ordinary Form. [Did Sarah step in it or what?!]  In the whirlwind of media attention which has followed, there has been no small amount of confusion as to whether his remarks, in which he encouraged bishops and priests to celebrate Mass ad orientem when feasible beginning on the first Sunday of Advent of this year, constitute an actual change to the rubrics of the liturgy. In a statement released on Monday, July 11, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the outgoing Director of the Holy See Press Office, has clarified on behalf of the Holy See that no liturgical directives concerning the orientation of the priest in respect to the assembly at Mass were to be anticipated before Advent of this year. As a result, no changes to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal are expected at this time, nor is there a new mandate for the celebrant to face away from the assembly. As a final comment, n. 299 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal does show a preference for the celebrant’s facing the people “whenever possible” in the placement and orientation of the altar. That configuration will most likely continue to be the norm at most parishes, [here’s the kicker! – wait for it…] as it has been for decades now. [Did you get that?]  However, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has clarified on earlier occasions that this does not prohibit the celebration of the Eucharist in the Ordinary Form ad orientem. In fact, there are rubrics in the Order of Mass which reflect the real possibility that the celebrant might be facing away from the assembly (see for example n. 29 before the Prayer over the Offerings: “Standing in the middle of the altar, facing the people, extending then joining his hands, he says …”). Although permitted, the decision whether or not to preside ad orientem should take into consideration the physical configuration of the altar [why? …they didn’t have the same consideration back in 1970!] and sanctuary space, and, most especially, the pastoral welfare of the faith community [I HATE that term!] being served. Such an important decision should always be made with the supervision and guidance of the local bishop.

Fraternally yours in Christ, Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli Chairman


I sense a double-standard here.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if they find Cardinal Sarah in the trunk of a Cadillac somewhere…   or at least banished to the job of “Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of The Knights Who Say Ni”.

The clash of religions

By Augustinus

We have all heard about the clash of civilizations but if you really study history you will see that it is religion that soaks the earth in blood. “Civilizations” are an abstraction–a fiction invented by historians searching for a clue as to how to understand historical change. The things that move the earth and cause historical change are the things that people are willing to die for-family, tribe and religion. Actually, all we need to say is religion as religion is the thing that makes the other two values, family and tribe, possible.

If you were a seasoned diplomat, surveying the balance of forces today in the world you would of course look at nation states and the economic and military forces associated with each nation state. But nation states can crumble overnight and then tribal and religious loyalities remain and take over. So a seasoned diplomat has to look at the religious forces within each nation to really understand its stability and ability to project force.

What then is the balance of power within the world today? What ideas command men’s loyalities around the world today? The religion called neoliberalism or secularism has largely captured the world’s elites and it therefore rules the world today. It is the bithchild of internationalist Marxist-Leninist communism and what was left of Protestant Christianity in Europe and the Americas. Like all new religious movements the neoliberals cherish their new gods and rituals and they look with disdain on traditional religions. They are allied with the remaining communist regimes like China and Vietnam and they attempt to stamp out the old religions in every nation state where they hold power which includes most of western Europe, most of the America’s and most of Asia and the south Pacific. In the past 20 years neoliberalism has attempted to make inroads into the middle east. It has failed for the most part… with most of the Shia states rejecting the religion. The Sunni states partially embraced the heresy as it was in their economic interests to do so being the world’s largest oil producers. But because the Shia states rejected the religion they needed to be destroyed, thus the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Afghanistan and Libya were special cases. The Afghans sided with the rejectionist camp within Islam and therefore had to be destroyed and  Gaddafi was not a reliable ally to the neoliberals so Libya had to be destroyed. Israel was created after WWII under the influence of the neoliberal ideology calling itself a socialist state but the inherent contradictions between neoliberal ideals and the ethnocentrism of Judaism made it impossible to maintain the illusion forever and in recent years Israel has rejected the ideology of neoliberalism–especially its central religious tenet “diversity”.

Other opponents to neoliberalism include the Orthodox communions in eastern Europe and Russia.  Large swaths of the Muslim world (e.g. Pakistan), and the traditional Hindus in India vacillate back and forth between embracing the neoliberal ideology and rejecting it outright.

Within the belly of the beast in North America and Europe the protestant communities have largely embraced the heresy wholesale and therefore these communities are disappearing altogether. The Roman Catholic church is divided. Its official doctrine is in obvious contradiction to all of the neoliberal doctrines so the catholic church has been under constant attack from the neoliberals for decades.

The crisis in the Church is due to the embrace of neoliberalism by many in the Church in obvious and flagrant contradiction to settled dogma and doctrine. So what is to be done?

The first step in any war is to identify the enemy. The main enemy today is the heresy neoliberalism. But there are signs that it is crumbling. The brexit vote and the awakening of many in Europe concerning the dangers of Islam are signs of life yet in Europe. The situation is more bleak in America as even the most conservative Christian groups embrace many of the tenets of the neoliberal ideology.

But all is not lost. Recall the global dominance of the Arian heresy in the early years of the Church. The Arianists had captured all of the elite among the the remaining Roman aristocracy including several Emperors and their families. It also commanded the loyalty of the most powerful military nations at that time the Germanic tribes. it also commanded the loyalty of most of the magisterium of the Church, all of Northern Europe, Spain and northern Africa and most of the middle east and Arabia. Yet it took only a handful of Church Fathers to defeat the heresy in Councils and then in publications and then in the pews. Arianism temporarily faded from Europe but never from the middle east and Arabia. It was revived in the form of Islam and then implicitly in the form of reformation Protestantism in Northern Europe in the modern age. The neoliberals, and the liberal protestant congregations. the Jews, and Islam all share the Arian ideology concerning Christ. He was a great guy but he was not divine –he was not God….

So the battle over the nature and person of Jesus is once again the pivot of world history.

When Will the French Nation Wake Up?

St. Louis IX

Saint Louis IX, King of France


By Allan Gillis

The Pew Research Center reveals that Islam is the second-most widely professed religion in France behind Catholic Christianity by number of worshippers. With an estimated total of 5 to 10 percent of the national population, France has the largest number of Muslims in Western Europe.
The Muslim share of Europe’s total population has been increasing steadily. In recent decades, the Muslim share of the population throughout Europe grew about 1 percentage point a decade, from 4% in 1990 to 6% in 2010. This pattern is expected to continue through 2030, when Muslims are projected to make up 8% of Europe’s population. Muslims are younger than other Europeans. In 2010, the median age of Muslims throughout Europe was 32, eight years younger than the median for all Europeans (40). By contrast, the median age of religiously unaffiliated people in Europe, including atheists, agnostics and those with no religion in particular, was 37. The median age of European Christians was 42. Muslims are making babies a lot faster and more often than Europeans anyway – so this shift will continue to bring Europe and especially France to a dangerous tipping point.

There are places all across Europe, including cities in France that are known as “No-Go Zones” – places where Muslim immigrants essentially rule the geographical territory and the local and federal governments have just relinquished jurisdiction – and non-Muslims know (or learn quickly) not to go there for fear of their life and limbs.

Historically, a nation or even a village – a society – protects itself from invaders that kill, rape and plunder the lives and goods of the society. There have evolved mechanisms like palisades, moats and walls, lookout towers to modern radar posts – giving warning of imminent hostile invaders.  Invaders who may not share the same methods, history, ethics, language, customs – or religion.  Invaders who mean all harm and tumult.  Invaders who may fully intend and ascribe to a common modum which ultimately and corporately dictates death and destruction to their intended quary.

The French nation as well as all of Europe is the intended quary of the Muslim meme.  I do not say that it is the quary of “radical Islam”. That is just a little piece of verbal chicanery – a pipe-dream.  Islam in and of itself is “radical” as a religion as compared to the One True Religion…   that of the Church of Jesus Christ.  Politically, France has been poisoned by a leftist and most certainly self-destructive program of “internationalism”.  “Diversity” is a mindset that is insidious as it undermines order, culture and religion.

France has historically been dubbed the “Eldest Daughter of The Church”.  Sadly, she has been sorely unfaithful.  She has been quite frankly, murderous in her revolution and concomitant anti-church legislative enactments locally and federally since 1789.  It is of some significant import that she should be struck yesterday on the day commemorating Bastille Day.  We know that the Muslims remember dates on the calendar – we know what September 11th meant to them historically as they hit us back on the day commemorating the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

When will France wake up and repent and return to the embrace of Mother Church?  When will she stop this foolish national suicide-pact and restrict immigration?  She may be lost without some quick, common sense leadership.  Perhaps Marine Le Pen will prevail and lead France to some sanity.

Saint Denis pray with us for France!

Saint Louis IX, King of France pray with us for France!

The Good Samaritan and the Street Corner Confrontation

Last Sunday’s Gospel of the Good Samaritan never loses it’s ability to help us see the world in a different way. While most commentators like to focus on the activities of the Good Samaritan in the story Jesus tells, I like to focus on the interaction between Jesus and the “Student of the Law”.

We often see Gospel as a dry proclamation, but this incident seems to come to life every time I read it. My feeling is that this is much more of a street corner confrontation than a proclamation. The student is pushing Jesus by asking what he must do to get to heaven with full knowledge of Jesus’ answer. It is after Jesus reminds him about loving God and our neighbor that the student pushes again with a well planned response. “Then who is my neighbor?” Now things are getting a little edgy as Jesus launches into the parable which uses the hated Samaritan as the only one who responds with kindness.

This edgy confrontation is what amazes me, over and over again. The story is much deeper than the parable Jesus tells. It gets to the deep rooted need to identify someone who is not like us; someone who is NOT our neighbor. It is the loophole to hate, because if we have an “other” who we can stand above, then we can be better than them and be righteous. We have identity as someone who is better than, more correct than, more holy than the “other”.  For some of us, that is all the identity they have and they cling to it, because what is left of us when there is no longer an “other” to hate?

Richard Rohr talks about this at length, partly because he is reflecting the teaching of St Francis. The recognition and letting go of our enslavement to possessions is the heart of the Franciscan response and no possession is as precious to us as our need to hate and be better than someone else. Our world bases identity and self esteem on what we look like, what job we have, what power we have over others and our ability to purchase. Without someone to be lesser, we cannot be greater.

This was the point of Jesus parable. There is no “other”. There is no one we can legitimately hate. In a short, street corner discussion, Jesus calls us all out with a radical readjustment of our identity and a lesson on the meaning of being a Christian.

Years ago, I was speaking to my Spiritual Director and complaining about a change in job responsibilities when he provided some of the best advice I ever received. He said, “By the time you die, everything you have and possess will be taken from you. Everything, except your relationship with Jesus.  Put your time and effort in building that relationship”.


Frankie doesn’t need a spin-doctor? Who you kiddin’ Father?!

Catholic World News
Father Lombardi: Pope does not a need spin doctor

'We're losing the war, Your Majesty — What shall we do?' 'Fire the generals and hire some spin doctors!'

July 12, 2016
Pope Francis does not need a spin doctor, his outgoing spokesman told an Italian interviewer.
Father Federico Lombardi, who will step down in May from his post as director of the Vatican press office, told Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa: “The Pope does not even need interpreters.” When asked whether the Pontiff needs a “spin doctor,” he replied: “I think not, at least I have never had that attitude.” Father Lombardi denied that he worries about the consequences of the Pope’s frequent extemporaneous remarks, although he has often been called upon to clarify papal statements. [ ya think? ]
Asked what has been the most difficult aspect of his tenure as the chief Vatican spokesman, Father Lombardi answered that it was coping with sex-abuse scandal, which he found “very painful.”


So, Father Lombardi is being “replaced” by an accomplished American journalist and “media-relations” guru!   How cool is that Frankie?   The thing is – as much as Lombardi wants to deny it – Greg Burke is EXACTLY what they won’t admit is needed; a spin doctor! and over at the leftist CRUX they’re “lathering” all over themselves because a woman was named as Vice-Director of the Vatican Press Office.  It’s a riot!

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

Apologies, apologies… and St. Peter’s Barque is listing!

German Catholic group receives LGBT award for supporting gay agenda


COLOGNE, Germany, July 7, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — At the beginning of July, Cologne is swamped with LGBT “pride” events. Every year, gays and lesbians meet in the city for two weeks for events to promote public awareness for their cause and to foster their political agenda with extravagant demonstrations.
Marriage equality rights and gender education are at the top of the list. The Christopher Street Day Parade (CSD) on July 3 is a spectacle of unrestrained nudity and flamboyance. The parade mimics the famous traditional carnival parade of Cologne, but instead of candy, condoms are thrown from the floats into the crowd.
The Catholic Committee in Cologne continues to actively seek “dialogue” between Church and the LGBT groups in a non-discriminatory fashion. Hannelore Bartscherer, chairwoman of the committee, explained that the process of dialogue began 10 years ago to help foster “integration.”
“We have talked about what the goal of the CSD in Cologne was in a nutshell. The topics of equality and participation in society surfaced. Therefore, we began a dialogue about values and all that supports us,” Bartscherer explained.
This year, the committee’s commitment was confirmed with the “Come-Together-Heart,” an LGBT award.
This award is given after a soccer tournament, the “Come-Together-Cup,” which is organized once a year by gay and lesbian activist groups that invite soccer clubs from the region to participate. The prize is given at the end to persons with special merit. In addition to the sporting event, Bartscherer also voluntarily supports the “Run of Colours,” which is a fundraiser for people with homosexual tendencies who have AIDS.
“It is the job of the Catholic Committee of Cologne to stir into politics, to pipe up. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender individuals are visibly present in Cologne. They are a natural part of society. They must stay welcome in the Church,” Bartscherer said in an interview with Cologne’s “Domradio.”
In response to the question about the committee supporting her, she said, “Yes, and it has been so from the get go.” She added: “Which values do we talk about with gays and lesbians as Christians? Responsibility, relation, and fidelity.”
Pope Francis recently made a comment that was received by the media as an invitation to Christians to apologize to people with homosexual tendencies. Asked about the impact of this statement, Bartscherer responded: “You have no idea how much they [LGBTs] like to hear that [from the Pope].” She went on to say that no homosexual may be excluded from full participation in Church activities, especially those saying: ‘That is also my Church! I belong to it, too.’ People who say that cannot be excluded.”
A similar, yet almost more scandalous, approach from the local Church toward the LGBT lobby can be seen in Frankfurt, where the Christopher Street Day will take place July 15-17. At the event, a “Liebfrauenkirche,” a Catholic monastery church run by Capuchins, is organizing an ecumenical prayer service. Collaborating in this initiative are “Project Gay and Catholic,” “Ecumenical work group of homosexuals and Church,” and the “LGBT Ministry of the Anglican/Episcopal churches in Frankfurt.”

Holy Mary, Mother of God – Pray for us!

Brought to you from LifeSite news by Allan Gillis

Reflections on America on Independence Day 2016

By Augustinus

What should a Catholic think of America? To the extent that America has promoted the modernist heresy around the world then the Catholic has to view the USA in a negative light. For many the USA embodies modernism or the flight from traditional values and the embrace of an ideology that promotes a pulverized, homogenized, mindless people capable only of servile state worship.

On the other hand America has also constituted a bulwark against the deadliest heresies of the 20th century (Naziism and Communism) and it has arranged its political system (as de Tocqueville pointed out in the early 19th century) to allow a multitude of political structures interposed between the citizen and the state. Those intermediate structures buffer the citizen against the worst excesses of state power so they are absolutely essential to a free people. They include local polities (cities, counties, states), many levels of a judiciary, all kinds of business and civic associations, all kinds of non-profits, institutionalized political parties and most crucially of all… all kinds of religious groups.

Consistent with its principles of subsidiarity, solidarity and collegiality the Catholic Church thrives in those intermediate zones between the individual citizen and the power of the sword or state. The Church has learned that it pays too high a price when it is too closely allied with the state power or when it rules directly….and conversely it pays too high a price when it exerts no influence at all on the state power. Its optimal play is in between those two extremes. It can then check the arbitrary power of the state while still informing and infusing its political culture with real Christian values. The state in this case will NOT be a Christian state but maybe Christian state is a contradiction in terms if we recall that the modern state is really an inherently evil Leviathan designed only to accrue power.  That does not mean we cannot use the state for some good ends. it simply means that there can be no long term alliance with the beast without the alliance corrupting the non-state partner.

To play its optimal role in the political life of a people or country the Church needs to operate in that that legally protected intermediate zone in between the summits of power and the individual citizen. That zone provides an opening for a real civic culture where reasoned debate can happen and where consensus around fundamental values can be worked out. The Church always thrives where there is real reasoned debate and the Church therefore thrived in America in the 20th century after 19th century persecutions ceased and then right up to the modern era.

As everyone knows the turning point came in the 1960s. It was then that the Church’s influence on American life began to peak (with the election of Kennedy) and then abruptly and catastrophically collapse right after Kennedy;s asassination. It is no secret that America itself went into decline as well around that time.

In my view America went into decline right after the Catholic Church went into decline at the mid-1960s precisely because the decline of the Church triggered the decline of America. Most analyses of American decline agree that it started in the 1960s but most analysts say the decline was due to international economic forces and not to anything so “inconsequentially cultural” as the decline of the Church in America. After all, they say, the decline into political, cultural and economic stagnation was worldwide–it did not just happen in America.

I agree. The cultural decline was worldwide. But that this just strengthens the case for ripple effects from Vatican II. After all the Church then and now was and is a global player. Its influence extends around the globe. Most importantly intellectuals around the globe saw it at that time as a touchstone of orthodoxy in the West and the West was pre-eminent among global powers and had been pre-eminent for centuries. I suggest that Vatican II triggered the worldwide intellectual flight from orthodoxy and the resultant worldwide cultural decline and the worldwide drift into secularism that we see regnant everywhere today among political elites (not among ordinary people thank God).

I know this sounds unreasonable so lets return to the American case for a moment. Ask yourself, dear reader, a simple question: “Why, right at the peak of the Church’s influence in American life, did it suddenly collapse in terms of its influence?” In the space of less than 10 years the churches were abandoned. Priests, monks and nuns left religious life in droves, Catholic school systems all around the country went into steep decline in terms of enrollees. The political elite stopped listening to and worrying about the opinions of Bishops and Catholic laity stopped attending mass en masse!

Nothing else can explain so precipitous a decline in so short a period of time than THE major event in Catholic intellectual life at the time…Vatican II. The church went into precipitous decline in America because it sabotaged itself–it inflicted the damage on itself. Vatican II had similar effects in countries all around the world. The Church is the one true Church and therefore the entire world depends, whether they acknowledge it or not, on its spiritual capital. When that capital is squandered the world’s loses it spiritual North Star and it drifts in ignorance.

Now I am NOT one the those people who think Vatican Ii was invalid or a total disaster as I believe it produced some really wonderful documents and recovered some beautiful pieces of authentic catholic tradition. BUT the evidence is overwhelming that its efforts in many of its documents amounted to an inappropriate emphasis of some interpretations of some key Catholic positions. All of that language in these key documents was designed to appease the protestants. The ambiguous language of official documents from Vatican II allowed public interpretations of those documents to be slanted towards a more protestant understanding of things. Things like the nature of the Eucharistic sacrifice and the doctrine Extra ecclesiam nulla salus–no salvation outside the church were given non-orthodox portestant interpretations in the press and in intellectual circles.

Everyone therefore thought that the Church was “modernizing” and protestantizing itself! After all if the Church herself says that it is not the one thing necessary for salvation then why should anyone be Catholic? Why should anyone listen to it? Why dedicate your life to it? Why die for it?

Why did the Church Fathers at Vatican II allow the inappropriate emphases on key doctrinal issues in its documents? For the sake of ecumenical dialog with protestants mostly.  When you read the documents themselves however they are orthodox. But it is clear that they can be interpreted in manifold ways. It was the public interpretation of these documents that caused the cultural disaster. Why did the erroneous public reception of Vatican II documents win the war of interpretation? The Bishops who should have guided the interpretation of the documents were lax while the loudest voices on Vatican II were the protestants who shouted from the rooftops that the Roman Church was finally coming round to its point of view. Heretical Catholic theologians also played a very negative role. In any case the end result was that the world including Catholic priests and nuns and laity believed what they read in the press about the decisions of the Church fathers at Vatican II. The world therefore concluded that the Roman Church had now decided that it was just one more faith among the bevy of religions in the world parliament of religions.

The world therefore no longer had a spiritual North Star and it went into a permanent cultural decline–as did America. America today is at its lowest moral ebb–even minor restrictions against abortion on demand are struck down by a supreme court and the majority decision striking down those minor restrictions was written by a practicing Catholic (Stephen Breyer). But that is just one of the symptoms of moral and cultural decay in America today. the precious intermediate zone between the state power and the citizen is narrowing and narrowing down dramatically.

Nonetheless, America has a lot of inner spiritual resources it can and will call upon to shake off its moral stupor, pull itself out of its malaise and self-doubt and once more take its role at the head of the free nations of the world. But it can only do that if it recalls its Christian character and that can only happen when the Catholic Church revives itself….as it surely will. The only question is when will the Catholic Church revive and WHO will revive it?