Dig Up the Bar: A Word on Pro-Life Feminism

Written by Hilary White (and  first published in the Remnant Magazine)

50f69bbeaf4c316098eabbd8a56bef4e_L“I spent a long time in the pro-life movement, and I met a lot of good people who have given their lives to the struggle against abortion. But among them, I have met very few who understood how their own acceptance of the new mores of the Sexual Revolution have affected them and the movement.” . . . Hilary White

In front of the entrances of many Italian churches, including St. Peter’s Basilica, visitors will find a sign that asks them to remember that the building they are entering is not a museum, not a tourist attraction, but a holy place.

At St. Peter’s the long, serpentine queue is punctuated along its length by signs showing stick figures wearing shorts, short skirts and sleeveless t-shirts covered with a big red slashed circle. Italian churches expect a base-line level of modesty and respect from visitors, even if they are expected to know nothing about the Faith for which they are built.

And the message gets through. By the time the long stream of tourists have made it around the edges of St. Peter’s Piazza to the metal detectors in the colonnade, the Vatican gendarmes rarely have to offer the women in tank-tops one of those rather horrible disposable shawl-things to go over their shoulders. Indeed, one of the most bustling street trades around the Vatican for illegal Bangladeshi immigrants is in cheap silk shawls with which it is common to see American women rather shamefacedly and awkwardly draping themselves.

I say “shamefacedly” because until they have been confronted with the unacceptability of their attire for a church, it seems never to have occurred to them. The expression on the faces of some of the young American ladies when handed these cheap little cover-up things at the Basilica of Mary Major, can be priceless: “You want me to … to wear this?”

The disgust and angry contempt is only too evident when they come out the doors after their stroll around the Basilica and dump the offending object into the bin provided. It is clear that on some level at least they know they have just been rebuked by a whole country, by Italy, and by the Catholic Church: “Your ‘normal’ is too scandalous for this church. Clean up your act.” It is easy to imagine that the shock comes from the fact that this was the first time in their lives they’ve heard a word about it.

It’s a funny thing about Italy, but even when the culture has almost entirely forgotten its catechism lessons, the rule of modestly covering up inside churches remains deeply engrained. In the town where I live in Umbria, the church on the piazza is very famous and attracts huge crowds of visitors throughout the year. Tour groups troop into the ancient marble church on rotation, often chattering out loud during the monks’ Offices, oblivious to the stern looks they get. The Italian habit of treating the Basilica of San Benedetto, and the chanting of the Divine Office, as some kind of Disneyfied theme park ride, marching up to the altar rail to gawk and snap photos, is one that the monks themselves mostly take in stride, however much it may annoy the rest of us.

But in the year I have lived here, I have yet to see any of these worthy ladies in the state of scandalous undress that appears to be the norm for tourists from Anglo nations. All through this ferociously hot summer they have swarmed in, loud and disruptive as ever but not one with bared shoulders, shorts or skirts above the knee.

Most of the tourists are middle aged, of the generation that mostly abandoned any similitude of practice of or adherence to the Catholic religion, but none of them would dream of entering a church, even in the sweltering Italian summer, without carrying a scarf in her bag to toss over her shoulders. Hanging about the church steps after Mass one day, one of the monks remarked, “We don’t really worry about that much with the Italians. They still know.”

In fact, it’s a funny thing about Italy as a whole, that the sexual revolution has mainly failed to produce the kind of moral chaos that has so characterized the life of the Anglo, Germanic and other western nations. Why this might be is anyone’s guess, but Italy has a comparatively low rate of out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and consequently a comparatively low rate of abortion. The rate had risen from about 6.5% in 1990 to about 17% by 2007, which seems like a lot until you see that in Germany for the same period the numbers were 15.1% to 32%. Britain’s percentage of unwed motherhood rose from 11.5% in 1980 to 43.7 by 2006.

This is not to say that things are peachy in Italy. Far from it. The Italian birth rate is unsustainable and marriage has all but dropped off the radar for most young people, even though they mostly come from intact families. Whatever is wrong with Italian society, however, the general western frenzy of all-in promiscuity is, in the main, absent here.

While it may be true that Italian priests don’t often preach against sexual promiscuity or the evils of the Sexual Revolution, the absence of the topic seems to be predicated on the assumption that the congregation already knows. The moral bar in Italy is still sitting at least at knee height, and there are always the nonnas watching.

With the general dissolution of the family, and often vast physical distances from the grandmothers, it seems that the moral bar in North American and British Catholic churches is so low we have actually dug a trench and buried it. When was the last time you, a Tradition-minded Catholic who probably attends at least a very conservative Novus Ordo parish, heard a priest condemn as evil, as sinful, as harmful, as morally abhorrent, sexual activity outside marriage? A few times perhaps? In traditionalist parishes perhaps at least a few times a year?

Now, how often have we heard our priests joining the general chorus of support for “single mothers, who have, thank God, received the support and care necessary to help her make a decision for life.” [Cue mandatory applause.] That is, we praise a woman as “courageous” and “countercultural” for not being willing to have her inconvenient child killed. That, ladies and gentlemen, is where the moral bar sits in the Church now: buried and long since out of sight.

I spent a long time in the pro-life movement, and I met a lot of good people who have given their lives to the struggle against abortion. But among them, I have met very, very few who understood how their own acceptance, whether reluctant or not, of the new mores of the Sexual Revolution have affected them and the movement: the standards of dress and behaviour, the resignation to an expectation of sexual activity before marriage, that is so ubiquitous in our Anglo countries that we hardly even notice it. Most pro-life people simply never stop to consider how the entire package is connected together to produce a culture in which abortion is more or less accepted along with teen sex.

Why have we gone 50 years with abortion? Seriously, think about it. Why have these Christian nations – it is not often remembered that when abortion was legalised in Canada the country was about 50% Catholic – simply shrugged and accepted abortion as an unshakable social reality? Is it possible because the logic is too demanding? Has the realization dawned that the only way to stop abortion is to roll back all the other glorious gains of the entire social revolution of the 20th century?

One of the first things I observed in my working life in the pro-life movement was that the older generation, my mother’s age, wanted to cherry pick abortion, to separate it out from the rest of Modernia’s New Paradigm, and excise it carefully like a tumor that had just inexplicably grown from nowhere, preserving all the rest of Modernia intact and untouched. By the late 1990s many of these people who had started the pro-life movement in the 70s, behaved as though they were beaten. There was an aura of depressed and surly resignation among them. They knew that their work had not worked, and abortion rates simply continued to rise, with more and more legal concessions being made throughout the western world.

These were the same people who in the 60s and 70s had helped to usher in the New Paradigm in all its many facets. They were the young women who had abandoned children at home to take jobs. Who took advantage of the new No Fault Divorce laws and were working through their second or third “marriages”. They were the supporters of government day care benefits and “equal pay for equal work” and the whole roster of social upheaval that gave us the contemporary situation. For that generation, they entered the pro-life movement as a fight to get a single law repealed. Once this was accomplished, they figured they could all get back to enjoying the beneficent effects of Modernia. Abortion was just a weird anomaly in an otherwise glorious new world.

During a conversation I had with one of them in Prince Edward Island, one of the last places in the western world where abortion is still illegal, I had to explain that it was Feminism that had ushered in the abortion culture she was fighting. She looked at me dumbfounded, as though I had said the Care Bears were really abortionists. It had never in her decades of work crossed her mind that abortion was not a strange, disconnected legal aberration that had fallen on the world for no apparent reason. The notion that it was connected in any way with the “progression” and “modernization” of society, the “emancipation” of women and the advance of “equality,” sounded to her like sheer insanity. And this was someone who went to Mass every week, and always had.

While I was involved in the movement, I saw the explosion of what I have called the “Wailing Women” strategy, in which women who have had abortions stand in front of the microphones at marches and rallies and declare themselves to be the deeply wounded victims of abortion. This weepy strategy came out of the warm friendly non-confrontational end of the pro-life movement, the ones who were tired of being screamed at and called fascists by large bare-breasted women with rings in their tattooed noses.

The Wailing Women were proof that we’re the nice pro-lifers, interested in the needs of the woman and the deep, deep woundedness of her deeply felt feelings. We’re not those mean pro-lifers who are always talking about mean stuff like principles and laws. A manifestation, in other words, of Stockholm Syndrome; pro-lifers turning dhimmi before their feminist superiors.

During the reign of Pope John Paul II, while the pro-life movement – or at least the March for Life in Washington – was somewhat more socially acceptable in Catholic circles, the Wailing Women strategy flowed out of the pro-life movement and into the general life of the dioceses and parishes. They have indeed been a gift to the bishops, even more valuable in its way than Bernardin’s Seamless Garment. Not only can they weave together their (very mild) opposition to abortion with their (VERY LOUD) opposition to immigration restrictions and border controls, now they can do it while standing at the back of the stage at the March for Life and looking deeply, deeply concerned while the poor, poor women wail into the microphone.

And it was eagerly taken up by priests who also didn’t like to be shouted at and called fascists, though more usually by the other members of the diocesan councils. Women who have abortions are now victims, competing for a spot on the Church’s Victim Hierarchy ladder, and as such, could of course never be held accountable for their own actions or decisions. It was eagerly accepted as a nice spoonful of warm, friendly and deeply, deeply caring sugar, for the nasty, bitter medicine of being forced to be (very, very quietly) against abortion.

Since the Wailing Women have appeared we have seen nearly all of the pro-life work and propaganda of the mainstream Novusordoist Catholic Church consumed by this sweet, sticky pudding of a strategy. It’s all about the women, you see. The poor, poor, suffering women who were obviously forced into having abortions, naturally mostly by wicked socioeconomic pressure, that the bishops are only too eager to talk about. What they need is more opportunities! Which the government has to give them! (And no one has to talk about the bitter medicine ever again. Win!)

But what is the actual medicine? Is it even enough to talk about how abortion is a bad thing? When Pope Francis was first elected, and we Traddie reporters were sitting around the table in Roberto’s drinking our disbelief away, we started getting emails and text messages of the new pope’s previous assertions that abortion is a bad thing. See? Everything’s going to be fine! He’s pro-life, just like us! Squeee!

Mr. Michael Matt, present on the opposite side of the table, was heard to wryly express the misgivings of the rest of us: “I need a little more from a pope than that he thinks it’s bad to kill babies.” The world, to expand the point, needs a little more from the Church than the occasional reiteration that abortion is a bad thing.

Can we please talk about the way we really should be living our lives? Can we hear now and then that the Sexual Revolution has been a culture-destroying catastrophe that has led to millions of destroyed families, ruined lives and damned souls, and by now, billions of deaths.

Can we hear how we would all be happier if modesty were once again just the normal way of living, and not singled out in homilies like it was a peculiar cultural artifact of Fundamentalist Protestants and Amish people?

Can we have some attempt to give young people some idea of how to conduct their daily lives in sexual sanity, with reserve and self-respect and common sense?

Can we please dig up that bar? ■

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28 Responses to Dig Up the Bar: A Word on Pro-Life Feminism

  1. Toad says:

    If we are made in God’s image, we must suppose He made us naked. In whcih case, how can wearing anything to cover our nakedness be considered “immodest”? Surely God “wants” us to go around naked, like Adam and Eve did?
    Don’t talk tripe, Toad. On a wet November evening? With no wooly vest? No thanks. The whole concept of “immodesty” is idiotic. Taste is the only yardstick.
    Fine for young folk with nice figures to go around wearing as little as they like.
    No good for fat old Toads. Too revolting, but not sinful.

  2. kathleen says:

    Hilary White is absolutely brilliant, isn’t she! In the same way as the indomitable Ann Barnhardt, she is as fearless and courageous as a man in speaking out for God’s Truth, no matter how un-PC it might appear to be. And with typical feminine intuition and perceptiveness she uncovers the real problem behind the evil of Abortion… The radical feminist movement!
    In other words, unless we are prepared to obey the whole of the Church’s Moral Law, including its teachings on modesty in dress and behaviour, and against, er, ‘Modernia’, the battle to save the lives of the unborn will continue to be an uphill struggle.

  3. Toad says:

    What the heck constitutes ‘modesty in dress’? In Victorian times, they covered the legs of chairs for fear of driving men mad with lust. Today. the Muslim nut-cases cover their women from head to toe, (eyes left showing, so they an see where they are going, otherwise they’d be covered up as well.
    IIs this what we want? Are the Muslim loonies doing the right thing ? Is it really ‘immodest’ to enter a church in today’s Italy with uncovered shoulders? What’s wrong with totally naked flesh – providing it’s not wrinkly and iugly, like mine? That’s not immodesty, that’s aesthetics. A different beast.
    Where do we draw the line? With the mad Muslims – who are even more obsessed with ‘immodesty’ than even us fundamental Christian crackpots? Surely God made us sexually attractive in order to insure the planet would not lack sufficient people to kill one another over differences of opinion?

    Sorry, I’ve blown this up as big as I can,- and I still can’t read it. properly . I’m probabo#ly done in.
    Oh, well. God bless all.

  4. Toad says:

    ‘..she is as fearless and courageous as a man ..’
    Crikey! That piece of sexist nonsense puts you women in your place, doesn’t it ? Kathleen – you should hang your head in shame. Silly girl.

  5. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 20:39 yesterday

    Well actually yes, you are right for once, and I admit I expressed that badly. Fearlessness and courage are not qualities more attributable to one sex above the other. (Although my dentist affirms that women, on the whole, are far braver than men when it comes to bearing pain! 😉 )
    Still, it’s good to see the “girls” (Hilary White, Ann Barnhardt, etc.) defending Catholic Truth with the same vigour and enthusiasm that many of our well-known male Catholic Apologists do.

    P.S. And what do you think of this fearless “girl”, Brigitte Gabriel, who gives a fiery response to a Muslim woman claiming all Muslims are portrayed badly?

  6. Toad says:

    “…women on the whole, are far braver than men when it comes to bearing pain! 😉 )”
    Absolutely no argument on that.
    I’d go further (too far, in fact) and suggest that only women should be allowed to be priests. Because they are generally saner and nicer than men.

  7. Michael says:


    I read an article yesterday by Ed West at the Catholic Herald which, whilst an interesting review of our current cultural confusion in itself, contains some interesting points about three-quarters of the way down re the negative effect the Sexual Revolution has had on women in general:


    Also, on a completely irrelevant note (well, with respect to this particular post anyway) here is a quiz I found today that you and others may like:


    It is highly accurate, involving a rigorous assessment of character, as you’ll find out… 🙂

  8. Michael says:

    P.S. I haven’t time to watch that video just now, but will check it out tomorrow!

  9. Toad says:

    Toad got Torquemada

  10. Robert says:

    What on earth do you mean by Adam and Eve were naked! Before the Fall they were not self aware! They were clothed in Rightousness!
    What happened after the Fall? Self awareness see SELF the fruit of the Fall.
    The Trinity is selfless. But Man is self centred.

  11. kathleen says:

    Michael @ 12:56

    Thank you for that link from Ed West. It is indeed a “paradox” (and a trick of the Devil’s no doubt) that the sexual revolution, that was heralded as a final “liberation” for women, has in fact brought so many nothing but unhappiness!

    In your second link to that quiz I was given St Dominic, much to my surprise. (I think I must have answered some of those questions wrongly!) 😉 How about you?

  12. kathleen says:

    @ Toad

    Perhaps you could just stop baiting Robert for a while*, and instead learn a thing or two from reading this wonderful article by Alice von Hildebrand comparing ‘nakedness’ with ‘nudity’ (and that we also published on CP&S last year). She explains so beautifully how God created the perfect bodies of Adam and Eve; they lost their innocence after the Fall, and from then on Man’s tendency to sin (concupiscence) entered the world.

    “Adam’s vision of Eve’s beauty, which reflected God, was blurred and he now perceived her as a temptress who attracted him by promising him the gratification of a feeling until now unknown to him: lust. This explains why Adam put the blame on Eve – not a very gentlemanly conduct! They both realized they were “naked”, – an illegitimate uncovering of one’s body awakening in the other sex a violent craving for sexual satisfaction. Adam no longer saw Eve as his sweet wife, a person united to him by the bonds of spousal love: she had become a temptress. Now they realized they were stripped of the white garment of innocence, and perceiving their misery, they were rightfully ashamed.

    In our contemporary “anti-culture” (as Dietrich von Hildebrand dubbed it) where pornography and sexual perversions have made deep inroads, it is crucial that we should perceive the essential difference between nudity and nakedness.”


    * I see your last imprudent comment got sent into “trash”!

  13. Toad says:

    “* I see your last imprudent comment got sent into “trash”!
    Thanks for telling me, Kathleen. I hadn’t noticed. Once I write them I forget them, anyway.
    As long as it keeps Mr and Mrs Moderator suitably amused.

    In my time I’ve painted and drawn many “nudes.” Never attempted a “naked.”
    Anyone name Alice is OK with me. I will read it – pronto. (and fully clothed.)

  14. Toad says:

    “Now they realized they were stripped of the white garment of innocence, and perceiving their misery, they were rightfully ashamed.”
    Duly pondering your reply, Kathleen, I wonder then, how it is people in very hot places like the Amazon Basin, Borneo and parts of lower Africa walked around naked without a trace of shame. Until “civilised” missionary came and told them it was sinful to do so?

    [Last part of comment deleted by a Moderator]

  15. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 22:17, November 10th:

    Yes – it is bizarre isn’t it. One of the things, IMO, that characterises the downright oddness of contemporary culture in the West is that, contrary to (e.g.) some of the oppressive regimes mentioned by Brigitte Gabriel in the video you linked to above, where dictatorships killed their own people and either rose to or consolidate their power through force, we have introduced some decidedly corrosive elements into our societies ourselves and do so gleefully, with the only pay-off being that we get to act like adolescents for the entirety of our lives, and are supported in mutually destructive lifestyle choices by media, government, and the ever-powerful force of political correctness – which we dare not try to speak against of course, most often for fear of being ostracised, but sometimes even for fear or losing employment.

    What is becoming increasingly worrying with respect to the whole PC thing – that Gabriel draws attention to (there are other issues surrounding the question of Islam’s relationship to its more extreme expressions of course, but this was the main focus of her response) – is the extent to which it stifles debate. Witness here:


    where yet another student union in the UK has barred a speaker from its campus, just because some people might feel ‘uncomfortable’ at what they have to say – and in this case they’ve actually stopped someone from giving testimony about why they decided to fight with the Kurds against ISIS/L! Ironically, in defending the decision to ban this speaker, the head of the union said that there were ‘two sides to every story’ – yet clearly he didn’t want one of those sides being told! Madness. We could go on of course – people who ‘identify’ as a different sex to that which they were born as demanding to use the opposite sex changing rooms, and being defended in this by governments, for example. We are poisoning ourselves from within, just so more people can do what they like when they like, no matter how unhealthy or plainly contrary to truth these things may be.

  16. Michael says:

    Oh, and to return to the original topic, look who Nancy Pelosi has chosen as the Democrat representatives on the committee set up to investigate Planned Parenthood…


  17. Toad says:

    “where dictatorships killed their own people and either rose to or consolidate their power through force, we have introduced some decidedly corrosive elements into our societies ourselves and do so gleefully, with the only pay-off being that we get to act like adolescents for the entirety of our lives,”
    I am generally in agreement with your perceptive comment, Michael. When "democratic" and "politically correct," procedures involve being inoffensive to Isis maniacs, and ordering bakers to make cakes against their will – something is horribly wrong."Two sides to every argument?" Whatever next?
    But, re your words above, I'd sooner get to "act like an adolescent"* for the rest of my life than to be shot and flung into a ditch, drowned in a bath of human excrement, or thrown alive out of a helicopter from 5,000 feet. as per S pain, Argentina, or Chile, for example. We need a sense of proportion here.
    But then, unlike the PC gang, I'm highly in favour of baiting, and being as offensive as possible, to anyone whom I think will benefit from it. They are welcome to do likewise to me. I won’t mind a bit. Everything has its price.

    * I do it anyway.

  18. kathleen says:

    @ Michael

    Yes, I saw that excellent article by Brendan O’Neill in ‘The Spectator’. This whole PC thing and ‘free speech’ has become a joke in the cowering, spineless West, and we shall (and indeed, already are) paying dearly for it. Thankfully we do still have a few outspoken, courageous journalists, Church leaders and apologists, defenders of Life, etc.,… and politicians (an even smaller number of these by all accounts!) who make sure to get the Truth to us. As we saw in an article on CP&S a while back, the Catholic blogosphere is doing a tremendous amount of good in that field.

    It is truly deplorable that the liberal, PC powers-that-be are cowardly putting impediments on the general public voicing their concerns about some of the current and looming threats to our Faith and even our way of life in all free countries. ISIS is most certainly one of these threats, with their unspeakable savagery, and continual funding for weapons from supposedly ‘friendly’ Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia!
    Yet there is another threat hanging over us that so many Westerners are scared of mentioning – not PC, you know – this increasing wave of bellicose Muslim migration pouring into Europe. Anyone who dares to protest is branded a ‘racist’ or ‘uncharitable’, but what sort of charity are we showing our future generations (especially women) once the brutal, heretical religion of Islam gets the upper hand?
    And it will do unless we do something now to halt this ‘Trojan horse’ and turn it back.
    And unless we revive our Europe’s holy Christian (read Catholic) heritage to combat the errors of the Sexual Revolution that brought in so many evils, including that of militant feminism, that Hilary White reveals so intuitively.

    Re the link below: this is a hard-hitting report. Be warned!


  19. Michael says:

    Kathleen @09:10:

    Yes, it is becoming ridiculous now – the extent to which people will allow genuine problems to continue to develop just because they know that anything deemed politically incorrect will be seized upon and result in them being labelled as bigoted or suchlike. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t do anyone any favours – by refusing to actually discuss the manifest problems with mass immigration (and with the particular problems of Islam – a religion with its own rule of law and political assumptions leaning heavily towards the theocratic – fitting into Western society) they get pushed under the carpet and fester, people become increasingly resentful that they can’t discuss it, and hey presto, you have the perfect recipe for far-right movements to flourish. Then it becomes even more difficult to discuss the problem sensibly!

    It is telling that now even ultra-liberal Sweden* has decided to introduce border checks – finally they have realised that their open doors policy is not working and that they are letting thousands of people slip under the radar, who end up disappearing into the system. In the UK, there is a similar problem, wherein immigrants become part of an exploitative, low-wage economy, but also that many, who have been sold on the idea of Europe as a land of milk and honey, cannot find work at all and end up on benefits – many of these then fall into alcohol and/or drug abuse, because of the ease with which such things can be procured and the desperation that the disparity between their projected view of European life and the reality creates.

    Then of course there are the cultural clashes that introducing large numbers of people with very different ideas about how to live, treat women, etc, into an area that has previously experienced little or no cultural changes. These are big problems, but nobody wants to talk about them. And so the faultlines continue to grow; the resentments continue to fester; and Benedict Cumberbatch continues to screech at the government and advocate an open doors policy to rapturous applause from other people who will never actually have their lives affected by these things.

    *Also, there is the issue that, in countries like Sweden, where extremists long ago realised they could get a pretty easy ride, have set up mosques, etc, where they can preach messages of hate and violence, and recruit others to their cause. So when genuine asylum seekers arrive, trying to escape Islamist terror in their own countries, they find the very same thing in the land they have come to to seek refuge! Again, all because we don’t want to have a full and frank discussion about the complexities of the situation, let alone do anything about it.

  20. kathleen says:

    ‘Nail on head’ there, Michael (as they say 😉 ), but it takes sheer guts to say these things in public where you know the verbal thrashing you are going to receive afterwards will be fierce and furious. And that’s if you are even allowed to give such a speech in the first place!

    The appalling consequences of Sweden’s ‘open door’ policy was even on the main news here yesterday, mentioning its inevitable necessity to impose border checks from now on. There has been an enormous increase of crime rates in liberal Sweden: especially in violation of women (even little girls!), robbery with violence, vandalism, terrorisation of ordinary pedestrians, etc. all due to the floods of islamic immigrants (with an estimated 80% of them young males) pouring into their country with no control. The difficulty now will be getting rid (sending back) of all the ones already there!

    Sweden is one of the countries that fell most heavily for the lies and propaganda of the Sexual Revolution – and just look at the result! Not that the rest of most other European countries fall far behind them unfortunately.

  21. GC says:

    Michael and kathleen, Fr Schall wrote an interesting brief article recently for the Catholic Thing commenting on these things:

    … the modern state is built on the centralization of power and the absorption of all “lesser” communities, including religion, into its orbit. It ends with an absolute “diversity,” a no-hate-speech doctrine that no longer allows the most fundamental human questions even to be broached within its projected worldwide confines.

    What replaced the old European nations, Christendom, was a secular humanism devoted to a “universalism” that sought to downplay or rid itself of its Christian heritage. In many ways, it has “peacefully” accomplished this purging. The Church itself in old European lands seems confused and open to the doctrines of this humanism, as the recent Synod on the Family often demonstrated.

  22. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 10:52:

    This is true – and even now they don’t want to admit that a.) they were wrong to have such a ridiculous policy in the first place, or b.) that there might be some connection between the crimes you’ve listed and the cultural assumptions of the group that represents the majority of the perpetrators. In the (in)famous Rotheram case in the UK, people who had dealt with the cases involved openly admitted (when the truth came out) that they had been scared to say or do anything for fear of being labelled as racist*, but no lessons have actually been learnt from this apparently.

    And yes, the Sexual Revolution is behind all this. We in the West have, to justify doing what we want when we want in our sex lives, bought into a relativist approach to ethics wholesale and left ourselves without any means to judge difficult situations other than how it might make me/you/us/them feel. And precisely because we don’t want to let go of what that revolution achieved (a perennial responsibility-free adolescence), we won’t shine a light on the way our public debate has devolved into sentimentalism and relativism and will instead continue to deliberately obscure the truth.

  23. Michael says:

    GC @ 11:49:

    An excellent article, thank you, and a neat coincidence insofar as I was reading an essay on this very issue yesterday! Another pertinent passage is, IMO, the following:

    Articles of peace require the state to deny speech or organization of any view that might cause unsettlement in any citizen’s soul. Instead of a continent of different nations and peoples, we are left with a soul-less state that cares for little else but to be left undisturbed in its prosperity by any “transcendent” issues that might undermine individual souls or civic peace.

    Aside from the implications for politics and for how we can have public discussions about policy, etc, this approach (which has been referred to as ‘programmatic’ secularism, as opposed to ‘procedural’ secularism, which simply does not privilege any one religion or ideology, but allows various opinions a voice in the public square) impinges upon the question of happiness too – for if it is considered that all we are concerned with is security and/or material prosperity, what becomes of the other parts of our lives, parts which one might argue are much more important?

    I would suggest that it is because this non-practical, non-instrumental aspects of our existence are so consistently ignored, and that, more specifically, the spiritual dimension is thus discouraged, that so many people are, despite their prosperity, deeply unhappy nowadays. The way we run our societies may be good enough for homo economicus, but not for mankind.

  24. kathleen says:

    Link given by GC @ 11:49 yesterday – (and sorry about the delay in getting back to you)…

    I agree with Michael – that really is an excellent, concise article by Fr Schall, filling in all the gaps in our recent discussions on this topic.

    Might be a good idea to earmark this interesting site for any further insightful articles from Fr Schall.

    If there is one encouraging thing coming out of these difficult times for the Church, with ‘enemies’ infiltrated into Her highest ranks, it must surely be the comfort of knowing that there are thousands of brave, holy priests, bishops and religious, plus millions of faithful laity from all corners of the Earth, who are fighting the good fight with us and against the forces of Satan and his minions, whose evil desire it is to destroy the Family, the bedrock of Christianity.

    “And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard?” (Luke 18:7).

    P.S. However, it still looks likely that Europe, the once ‘cradle of Christianity’, will be passing on the ‘baton’ to other younger and more vibrantly zealous Catholic continents in time. Africa? Asia?
    If this comes about, we will only have ourselves to blame.

  25. Michael says:

    However, it still looks likely that Europe, the once ‘cradle of Christianity’, will be passing on the ‘baton’ to other younger and more vibrantly zealous Catholic continents in time. Africa? Asia?
    If this comes about, we will only have ourselves to blame.

    Absolutely. I fear that it may be too late for Europe. In the aftermath of the terrible events in Paris last night, there are already voices claiming that the attacks were Hollande’s fault for joining air strikes against ISIS in Syria, as opposed say, to the fact that there are huge numbers of people out there in the Muslim world (many of them born and bred in European countries) who hate the West and want to usher in a new world according to their lights. And in terms of demographics, and of confidence/consistency of worldview, they will probably be successful. Certainly if we keep putting our pampered heads in the sand:


    I recommend following the link on the New Jersey schoolboard article too.

  26. Robert says:

    Islam came sweeping out of the desert in 9 century. Beloc says its essential a heresy.
    So logically as Christendom (the west) has been reduced into a spiritual desert! (this is what the Apostacy has created), do you wonder that Islam finds the ground fertile?
    Guerilla warfare simply ties down armies with a few fighters locking up thousands. It simply follows that we will see increasingly dictatorial policies in a embattered Europe that finds itself on the front line of a global guerrilla war! A War that it cannot win!!
    Catholics know the answer which is the Rosary! Fatima far from being in the past is before Us.
    The Rosary and a return to the Faith!

  27. Toad says:

    “The Rosary and a return to the Faith!”
    ..plus a few drones wouldn’t hurt.

    Do we agree Isis takes its religion too seriously?

  28. Toad says:

    First, I don’t consider myself bound to Christian principles, such as “turn thee other cheek,” aand “Forgive them, as they know not what they do,” Extirpate the bastards as quickly and painfully as possible is my theory. Only way.
    If saying the Rosary will kill them, let’s all get on it, right now.
    But what are Catholics so steamed up about? How do we know this isn’t part of God’s wonderous and mysterious plan? We all want to get to Heaven, don’t we? Maybe we’ll simply get there sooner than we thought. Thanks to Isis. How bad is that?

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