“Today all around us everything indicates that the punishments from God are imminent…”

XII

Today all around us everything indicates that the punishments from God are imminent: even so – thanks be to God – it is not too late for us. We are capable of impeding them if we believe that this is also a time of grace and recognize what is necessary for our true peace. Beloved faithful! First of all let us recollect ourselves in an act of humility and repentance. Are we not also somewhat responsible for the catastrophes besetting us? […] If we examine ourselves, every one of us has to confess that we have fallen short […] that we have sinned against the Lord […].”

From the Pastoral Letter of Pope Pius XII to the Dutch Bishops, July 26th, 1942

[H/T to RORATE CAELI for the above]

Comment:

“Are we not also somewhat responsible for the catastrophes besetting us?” asks Pastor Angelicus, Pius XII in 1942. He was referring to the seven deadly sins of men that had tragically flung the world into the worst war ever known to date, with the eventual loss of well over 50 million lives.

What would this holy Pope say to us today where grave sin abounds as acceptable behaviour as never before, even being written into the law and constitutions of many formerly-Christian countries, and with many of the Church’s own ‘shepherds’ failing to preach Her precepts to the ‘flock’? If sin is the cause of all disasters, with war as the worst of its subsequent “punishments”, as Our Lady of Fatima told the little seers in 1917, (and also in her messages at Akita, Quito, Ruanda, La Salette, Garabandal, etc.), then surely are we not heading towards an even greater catastrophe if we continue on this downward spiral of dissent to Christ’s teachings? 

Be not deceived: God is not mocked; for whatever a man shall sow, that also shall he reap. (Galatians 6:7)

May we repent before it is too late, returning to Christ in humble recognition of our sins, and turning our lives around in obedience to God’s laws as always taught by Mother Church. Advent is a good time to start the metamorphosis. Nineveh was spared destruction upon the sincere repentance of enough of its inhabitants; may we with due repentance beg God’s mercy and forgiveness for our troubled and sinful world. With the same plea given by Pope Pius XII in 1942, may it not be “too late” for us today.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to “Today all around us everything indicates that the punishments from God are imminent…”

  1. When the punishments come – and I agree with Kathleen that everything indicates they are imminent – many people will return to God.

    Many others, though, will say that the catastrophes prove there is no God, otherwise “why would He let such terrible things happen?”

    The famous headline in yesterday’s New York Daily News, “God Isn’t Fixing This,” was a criticism of conservative US politicians who suggest prayer is more effective than gun control laws in stopping mass murders.

    However, I think there is also a secondary meaning. “God Isn’t Fixing This” is also the complaint of a self-indulgent people who blame God for the consequences of their own selfish behavior.

    And of course, it is not only a complaint, it is also a statement of their disbelief in the very existence of God, a disbelief which will only make the suffering worse.

  2. Michael says:

    Some complementary considerations from Fr. John Hunwicke:

    In every previous Christian age, and in both East and West, men and women when under affliction have prayed for divine assistance so that they could worship God in “joy and exultation”; or so that “Ecclesia tua tranquilla devotione laetetur”.

    Few of our neighbours, now, pray at all; in as far as hopes are expressed, they seem to me generally to be hopes for a return to Business as Usual; hopes that a decadent Western society may be able to continue its corrupt and sinfully hedonistic way of life without any ill-mannered and murderous interruptions or any vulgar reminders of its own decadence.

    I am most certainly not saying that everybody who goes out for a Friday Night On the Town in a city like Paris or London or Oxford is manifestly in a state of mortal sin … Of course all of them aren’t. But … well, if I were to design one of those great baroque pictures abounding in allegorical figures of Virtues and Vices, I think I might portray Decadence and Atrocity in covert alliance.

    Perhaps we will not be free from our present woes until, as a society, we can again pray and hope for … peace indeed, but peace-with-the-intention-that, as a community, we will be able joyously to throng our churches; so that in every part of our lives, communally and individually, we may serve Christ our King.

    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/our-lady-moslems-and-great-patriarch.html

  3. toad says:

    “if I were to design one of those great baroque pictures abounding in allegorical figures of Virtues and Vices, I think I might portray Decadence and Atrocity in covert alliance.”
    I’d be very interested in knowing how the author would set about depicting the two in “covert” alliance.
    Difficult visual impost.
    Wiser to stick to “Dignity and Impudence,” possibly.
    http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/landseer-dignity-and-impudence-n00604
    Aah! – Lully!

  4. Thank you for the good quote by Father Hunwicke, Michael. He’s absolutely right.

  5. ginnyfree says:

    Little know fact: The world has been on its last day ever since Jesus Ascended into Heaven. So the next time someone tells you the world is about to end, tell them “I know!” and let it go at that. Be vigilant and alert for ye know not the day nor the hour……………………In Ginnyspeak: keep yourself free of as much sin as possible and you won’t ever have to worry about the “Punishments of God” being immanent nor any of the myriad of “warnings” that many these days promote and pass along. God bless. Ginnyfree

  6. toad says:

    “Many others, though, will say that the catastrophes prove there is no God, “
    …Then many will be in error. “Punishments,” like war, leprosy, or earthquakes neither prove nor disprove the existence of God.
    The existence of man-made nightmares – like war, torture, and violence regarding mere differences of opinion, might well be put froward as a “proof” that the human race is congenitally insane.*
    …But even that is far from conclusive.

    * I believe that. But, then, who’s to blame for the situation?
    God? I think not.

  7. Michael says:

    The world has been on its last day ever since Jesus Ascended into Heaven. So the next time someone tells you the world is about to end, tell them “I know!”

    True indeed Ginny – we never know the day or the hour. But this post wasn’t about the end of the world, but temporal punishments in the time of this mortal life. Repentance is still the recommended course of action with respect to both potential catastrophes in the world and the End Times naturally, but the post is concerned with the former not the latter.

  8. toad says:

    “Are we not also somewhat responsible for the catastrophes besetting us?” asks Pastor Angelicus, Pius XII in 1942.
    Good question. Were we not responsible, in our role as Head of the Catholic Church on Earth, to unequivocally, ringingly, and universally denounce the catastrophe of genocidal National Socialism – besetting us – and publicly excommunicating anyone supporting it, and also anyone who was still, stubbornly, still a part of it, thereafter?
    …Regardless of the possible consequences to ourselves on Earth, such as death? What does that matter in the light of eternity?

    (Be nice if you did run this. Makes a few interesting points I suggest. But I’m not optimistic.)

  9. Robert says:

    Well if you go back to the Fathers of the Church and then fast forward to 12/13 century this gives excellent proof of these times. The Fathers believed that the Church would recreate in itself the Life of Christ so that it in turn would be resurrected.
    Christ came to restore ALL things that had been losted through Sin.
    The existence of the Franciscans and the Dominicans was to revitalise the Church. Remember St Francis rebuilding the Church on Holy Poverty.
    St Vincent Ferrer explains that the Church like the Moon (reflects the Sun of Christ) waxes and wanes this includes exclipses. That the Dominican and Franciscan and Carmelite are very important (think of the vision of the Rosary and the Scapular – One Day I will save the world)
    In Our Days from over 200 years ago Catholic Rome was forced into a prison called the Vatican. Peter was chained (and this answers the croaks of Toad, Pius XII was a prisoner in the Vatican! But Pius XII obeyed Heaven and was also a visionary. The Great Marian Dogma of the Assumption.
    What we see today and accept without questioning is Vatican Catholicism (is say Vatican because it is a City State). Rome is now Italy a member of Europe. Is Vatican a member of Europe?
    So if Christ restores All things and we have actually seen the West in Apostacy (this means a spiritual Famine) with Anti Christian Laws and No immediate prospect of Conversion back to Christ then we can say truly that Gods punishment isn’t imminent its actually be being realised before Our eyes (WW I and WW II and now WWW III ). Where now is the Triumph Of Fatima?

  10. toad says:

    Toad was ill-advised to re-open the Pius Xll controversy. Pointless. Apologies to all.

  11. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 17:57 yesterday

    Were we not responsible, in our role as Head of the Catholic Church on Earth, to unequivocally, ringingly, and universally denounce the catastrophe of genocidal National Socialism…

    Well, Toad, I would have thought that like everyone else you would know that is exactly what the Catholic Church did do! From the very start of his pontificate Pope Pius XII spoke out in no uncertain terms against National Socialism. Hitler was furious, and when after the above-mentioned Pastoral Letter was obeyed by the Dutch bishops to protect the Jews in Holland, he commanded harsh reprisals from his Nazis, with many Dutch Jews being shipped off to Auschwitz in retaliation.
    Realising that to openly confront Hitler was doing more harm than good, Pius XII wisely changed his tactics. He later managed to save hundreds of thousands of Jews by ordering the Church to provide them with sanctuary and aid, while at the same time providing moral and intellectual leadership in opposition to the violent racism of Nazi ideology.

    Overall one could say that the Catholic Church did more than any other institution (if you want to call it that) in the world to relieve the persecution and genocide of millions – and not just of the Jews.

    One prominent Jewish Rabbi, who was so moved by Pius XII and the kindness of Catholics to his people, that he converted to Catholicism after the war and famously announced his reasons publicly. Others have also asked why the ‘safe’ Jewish community in America did zero all to help their suffering brethren in Europe, whilst so many Catholics in danger themselves risked their lives to save Jews!

    But you never hear these stories now, do you? Malicious and twisted plays and books like The Deputy and Hitler's Pope have duped the mostly anti-Catholic world into seeing this exceptional and holy Pope in a sinister and false light, totally obscuring the true facts of his courageous stand against the evil of his day.

  12. kathleen says:

    @ Michael

    Like Robert John, I thank you for that excellent article from Fr. Hunwicke that compliments very well (as you say) the subject of this post. Father’s clear insightful thoughts are always so enriching, aren’t they?
    I heard him talk in Brompton Oratory last year after we had participated in the annual Rosary Crusade – a truly magnificent homily!

    Also thank you for clearing up that mistaken idea that a coming punishment for our sins – a view held by many in the Church today, fortified by warnings from Our Blessed Lady in recognised apparition sites – has nothing to do with the world coming to an end!
    An end of an era perhaps, but this old world will more than likely be living on for many millennium still to come!😉

    Don’t you often wonder how our descendants in the distant future will judge our generation and the terrible happenings of the twentieth century?

  13. toad says:

    “Realising that to openly confront Hitler was doing more harm than good, Pius XII wisely changed his tactics.”
    Well since you don’t want to drop it, Kathleen, as you say, the Pope decided not to openly confront one of he worst crimes in history.
    Some think that was a mistake on his part, and that it was his duty as Pope to openly confront genocide. Matter of opinion.

    Presumably, Pius excommunicated all Nazi Party members, but was that privately- or publicly?

  14. kathleen says:

    What a stupid thing to say, Toad. Pope Pius XII was reduced by the Nazis to a virtual prisoner in the Vatican during the war, under the constant threat of a Nazi take-over and possible murder of all its inhabitants. He had a duty to all Catholics in the whole world and had no option but to act prudently. He had strongly denounced the crimes of Nazism – Hitler knew he was an enemy of the Third Reich – but all the same, Pius never failed to do all he possibly and humanly could to save lives, both Catholic and those from other faiths.

    Toad, you have a terrible memory! We have discussed this topic at length in the past, and you even came around to agreeing that the criticism hurled at Pope Pius XII was biased, distorted and improper. Why are you now bringing up the same old secular lies that you were honest enough to reject when the evidence that showed them up for what they were was put before you?

  15. toad says:

    Kathleen,I’ve never thought that Pius was complicit in Nazism. I’m well prepared to believe he secretly did whatever was within his power.
    But public papal condemnation of Hitler might have produced beneficial results. I think it would have. However, that’s guesswork.

  16. SteveD says:

    When the Dutch bishops condemned the Nazi’s, the Germans rounded up all the Jews who had converted to Catholicism in Holland and transported them to concentration camps. They made their point but at what cost?

  17. Crow says:

    Toad, two books to read on Pope Pius XII; The Myth of Hitler’s Pope, by Rabbi David Dalin, and the Defamation of Pius, by McInerny. Both are available from Amazon. Further, Pinchas Lapide, Three Popes and the Jews, and The Pope’s Jews by Gordon Thomas.
    There has been an article reproduced in this site about the performance by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in thanksgiving to Pope Pius XII for his actions in saving the Jews and standing up against the Nazi state and, as Kathleen mentioned, the Chief Rabbi of Rome converted to Catholicism and changed his name to Eugenio, in honour of Pope Pius XII. The future Pope Pius XII, under Pope Pius XI, authored the Papal Encyclical, Mit Brennen Sorge, which condemned the growing menace of the Nazi State, as a result of which, any Catholic was under no illusion that to be a member of the Nazi Party was in direct conflict with the teachings of the Church. This was at a time, it must be remembered, when the Catholic Church, (with no armies), was, as the New York Times stated, the only voice raised against the Nazi machine. Although there is a collective amnesia prevailing today in these countries, it is relevant to note that there was a lot of sympathy with the Nazis in the United Kingdom and America. The Duke of Windsor was a fan. Pope Pius XII in fact, spent his family fortune in personally saving the Jews and in arranging for their passage to South America be because the U.S. would not take them. I think it is important that this wonderful man be given the credit he is due.

  18. toad says:

    Very perceptive comment, Crow.
    I was, as I said, unwise to respond to a mention of Pius Xll, and will say no more the matter.
    Pope Pius was undoubtedly a saintly man. And he looked the part.
    And the Nazis and Fascism, under various aliases, are making a comeback in the UK and the Western countries. In fact, they never went very far away.
    Hard to get more Fascist than Isis.

  19. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 09:58, December 5th:

    Thank you (and Robert John) – Fr. Hunwicke is indeed always worth checking out, and I have always imagined him to be an excellent preacher, as you have validated here!

    Don’t you often wonder how our descendants in the distant future will judge our generation and the terrible happenings of the twentieth century?

    I do. In fact, on another thread recently (the Tasmania one), I made a similar point with respect to the sort of things we are foisting upon our children in the name of some misconceived, totalitarian concept of ‘equality and diversity’. Truly, I think future generations* will look back and shake their heads, quite possibly with accompanying tears.

    *Whether those future generations are people looking at our long-gone culture from an ‘outsider’ point of view, or that our culture, through common repentance and renovation of our societies, will have been able to salvage Western civilisation is of course something we cannot know.

  20. toad says:

    “Don’t you often wonder how our descendants in the distant future will judge our generation and the terrible happenings of the twentieth century?”
    People in this twenty-first century rightly judge it with revulsion. But this century is not looking too clever these days. I don’t think the 20th Century was particularly more horrible than most others. Pluses and minuses. Certainly the wise men of the Enlightenment, who saw a sort of future earthly paradise – could not have been more wrong.
    Mankind was born insane, and will perish that way. Repent!

  21. kathleen says:

    I don’t think the 20th Century was particularly more horrible than most others.

    Well, Toad, you therefore disagree with all the other analysts and statisticians. They all agree that the twentieth century was by far the bloodiest century ever known to Mankind. Even taking into account earlier bloody wars, revolutions, genocides, disease and famines, invasions by barbarian tribes like the Monguls, or the warring spread of Islam into Christian lands… and a very large etcetera of mass killings of past centuries, the twentieth century (so far) was the worst ever.

    But do you know who killed more men than anyone or anything else? The diabolical ideology of atheistic Communism! This was the greatest ‘murderer’ of all… with atheistic Nazism taking second place. Nor should the millions of lives wiped out by abortion in the twentieth century be forgotten.
    Take God out of life, and this is what you are left with – death and destruction!

    And by the way, you are quite right in saying that “this [current] century is not looking too clever these days” either!!😦

  22. toad says:

    My point, Kathleen – is that, while the last century was all that you say, it also made life better than it has ever been for a great many people (no, not those under Communism or Fascism, but the likes of me.) . Swings and roundabouts.
    I also believe that if, say, 16th century armies had had the means of wiping out enemies with aerial bombs, machine guns poison gas, and whatever, they probably would have cheerfully done so.
    A marked disadvantage of contemporary evolution, perhaps.
    So, mankind may not actually be getting “worse” century by century – just getting more skilled at behaving worse.

    Nor does religion seem ever to make any difference, one way or the other – to mankind’s insane behaviour.

  23. Robert says:

    The Twentieth Century and “Certainly the wise men of the Enlightenment, who saw a sort of future earthly paradise – could not have been more wrong”.
    The wise men were enlightened by What? The knowledge of Good? or the knowledge of EVIL?
    For Light we can see in 20th Century St Padre Pio the first priest to carry the stigmata.
    Today every Country in the world has Divorce Laws, Abortion, Anti Christian, a Anti Christian material version of Marriage. It isn’t necessary to prove Mans Disobedience to Heaven in the 20th century. The evidence however is very sadly of disobedience to Heaven within the highest of the Curia. The world was awaiting the third secret of Fatima in 1960!
    What happened? Silence! That visible Disobedience was from the Curia that had already confirmed Fatima!
    This Disobedience persisted and persisted for what more than 40 years! We were even told that Fatima was now in the Past. Garabandal? well lets set the record straight. Has never ever been condemned by the Church.
    Disobedience where Heaven should have been placed first!
    I do not think it is necessary to prove to anybody the Faith, nor the existence of God.
    The Twentieth Century is all about visible Disobedience where there should have been Obedience.

  24. toad says:

    “Certainly the wise men of the Enlightenment, who saw a sort of future earthly paradise – could not have been more wrong”.(said Toad) “The wise men were enlightened by What? The knowledge of Good? or the knowledge of EVIL?”
    Neither, Roger. They unwisely thought that humans would inevitably and eventually become enlightened

    [Moderator: the remainder of this comment has been deleted owing to its incivility.]

  25. toad says:

    Hardened old lag Toad adds a new crime to his deplorable lexicon of heresy, scepticism, liberalism, modernism, and blasphemy* – that of “Incivility.”
    Does that mean “Political Incorrectness”? If so, guilty.

    I get the impression that it’s perfectly politically correct on CP&S to be politically incorrect about Muslims, gays, ‘transgender people,’ Lutheran women, and the like – but politically incorrect to be politically incorrect about Catholics. Can this possibly be so?
    …I ask with what I pray is appropriate civility.

    *And not forgetting: Failing to leave the bathroom in the condition in which he found it.

  26. Robert says:

    Toad
    St Thomas More was highly critical of the human failings of the temporal Church in his day. So am I with a published list of Masonic members of the Curia in 1960’s!
    Politics means of the City, the affairs of the State if you wish. How convenient to split Church and State so that the State can then wallow in whatever preclavity is flavour of the Day. It is NOT about political correctness its SIn. SIN being imposed by on Christ (His mystical Body is the Church).
    SIN forced upon the Church is a denial of Free Will.
    Couldn’t care a less about Political correctness its about legalising SIN. The Wise Men of the Enlightenment? Well the Faith tells Us that this is a Fallen world. That means that the Cross (penance) is built into the world. The cure for the Fallen world? is Christ and in Him and through Him in Gods time All will be restored. Here is naïve stupidity that legalised SIN can cure the world of its Falleness.
    So we are back to a Creator and a Fallen world. That’s the Faith, obviously naturalism much prefers Evolution where there is no such thing as SIN.

  27. Michael says:

    Kathleen,

    In further response to your question about what people will think of our times in future generations, this article provides some food for thought as well:

    http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/abortionists-and-planned-parenthood-shooter-are-just-two-sides-of-the-same-coin/

    In reflecting upon the hypocrisy and blinkered nature of the responses to the Colorado shootings, the author is able to draw further attention to not only what Planned Parenthood does, but what its very existence (and widespread acceptance) says about our culture.

    This in turn also made me think about the debate above regarding the comparative behaviours of different cultures. Whilst it is clear that in more recent times people have had more means at their disposal for acts of destruction and murder, it seems even clearer to me that the real difference between then (whether that ‘then’ be the Middle Ages, or whatever) and now is the fundamental beliefs we have about God, the universe, human nature and what it is bound by. Rather than waffling on about this myself, I shall quote a something from the Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart in his book Atheist Delusions, which I think sums up these fundamental differences rather well:

    Our modern concept of freedom can. however, lead to other, more terrible things as well: for what the will may will, when it is subordinate to nothing but its own native exuberance, is practically without limit…Moreover, if there really is no transcendent source of the good to which the will is naturally drawn, but only the power of the will to decide what ends it desires – by which to create and determine itself for itself – then no human project can be said to be inherently irrational, or (for that matter) inherently abominable. If freedom of the will is our supreme value, after all, then it is for all intents and purposes our god. And certain kinds of gods (as our pagan forebears understood) expect to be fed.

    I do not think I can be accused of alarmism when I talk this way, inasmuch as my remarks emerge not from premonition but from retrospection. The whole record of the modern attempt to erect a new and more rational human reality upon the ruins of the “age of faith” is thronged, from beginning to end, with lists of sacrificial victims – or, I suppose I should say, not lists but statistical registers, since so many of those victims must remain forever nameless. From the days of the Jacobin Club and the massacres in the Vendee to the great revolutionary socialisms, nationalist and internationalist, of the twentieth century, with their one hundred million or so murders, the will to lead modern humanity onward into a postreligious promised land of liberty, justice and equality has always been accompanied by a willingness to kill without measure, for the sake of that distant dawn. And something of the special ethos generated by this modern idea of the supremacy of the will over nature declared itself with particular vividness at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth, when the rise of “scientific” racial theories and the new “progressive” politics of eugenics encouraged a large number of educated and idealistic men and women to begin conceiving of humanity as merely another kind of technology, an object to be manipulated, revised, and perfected by the shaping hand of scientific pragmatism.

    Much of what Hart writes above has all too familiar echoes in contemporary culture as well, and the common thread connecting all these tragedies and atrocities in the successive ‘brave new worlds’ attempted throughout the centuries of the Modern Era is what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said in recounting a story about what had happened to his beloved Russia:

    “Men have forgotten God. That is why all this has happened.”

  28. Robert says:

    Yes SELF is a product of the Fall. Self centred is Self Idolatry and the 20 the century is dominated by personages whose SELF Interest became the destruction of Millions. Some call this Fascism but the same holds for Communism.
    Disobedience to God that is the key to 20th century and Our present times.

  29. toad says:

    “Moreover, if there really is no transcendent source of the good to which the will is naturally drawn, but only the power of the will to decide what ends it desires – by which to create and determine itself for itself – then no human project can be said to be inherently irrational, or (for that matter) inherently abominable.”
    1: The bit in simple italics is a patent, and blatant non-sequitur.
    2: The second bit, in bold italics, is simple logical nonsense. Many people who don’t believe that “the good” has a ‘transcendent’ source – that it is to say, in fact – just an agreed mode of civilised conduct – still believe that several human projects, such as murder, stealing, adultery, and lying – are wrong.
    …If for no other reason than that they provoke more problems than they are worth.
    Nothing to do with God.

  30. toad says:

    Kudos for running my comment above. It ought to encourage a good debate.
    …Ought to. Most likely won’t.

  31. GC says:

    Indeed Toad. I sometimes sit and ponder myself to what extent Nazis and Marxists, murderers/enslavers en masse, together with our Liberals/capitalists, were the brood of the Enlightenment?

    A penny for your thoughts? And to Mr Fisher, of course.

  32. kathleen says:

    Michael @ 12:08 yesterday

    Thank you for that excellent excerpt from David B. Hart’s book Atheist Delusions, and the fantastic (even if very long😉 ) link to the straight-talking The Blaze article. This article, through its analysis on the truth about the Colorado shooting perpetrated by a “nutcase”, also reveals some staggering figures that make PP’s tearful complaint against pro-lifers an absolute joke… albeit, a very twisted and nasty one.

    These disturbing and very appropriate points made in both the link and your excerpt to the topic of this article – and the following questions about where are we heading in our self-destructive downward spiral?, and also how will our era be judged by distant future generations? – very self-evident!! (The ‘gender theory’ madness being thrust down our throats, with dire punishments threatened for anyone who dares to oppose it, is another big problem for all remaining Christian, sane and upright citizens in the West.)

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s words say it all: we have indeed “forgotten God” and His Divine Laws, so is it any wonder we are in such “a mess”, getting crazier by the day and heading for disaster?

    All this despite the ‘toads’ of the world* convincing themselves it has nothing to do with our having abandoned our Christian roots!

    * Some of those fooling themselves have even infiltrated the very Bride of Christ Herself! Now when the Rock wobbles, that really should get us worried…

  33. toad says:

    “Indeed Toad. I sometimes sit and ponder myself to what extent Nazis and Marxists, murderers/enslavers en masse, together with our Liberals/capitalists, were the brood of the Enlightenment?”

    We are all the brood of the Enlightenment, GC. Even you. As we are all the brood, of The vengeful God of the Old Testament, and the forgiving God of Christianity, and even the God of Islam. (Kathleen will particularly appreciate that, in sunny Al Andaluz), and the brood of the Renaissance. We are also the brood of Darwinian Evolution and of the theory of relativity.
    To put it briefly, we are all the brood of everything that has happened so far.
    For better or worse.
    Mostly worse, I suspect.

  34. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 09:48:

    Indeed! As Hart makes clear in that passage (and more so over the course of the whole book of course, as well as making many other salient points about the relative virtues of Christian history, what preceded it and what came after it) once a culture has decided that there is no longer any transcendent source of Truth and Goodness to which we are accountable, the direction our society goes in (and the range of acceptable behaviour therein) is only limited by what any given leadership decides for itself is allowable.

    Any subsequent attempt to criticise the excesses of a particular society (be it Stalinist, National Socialist, Maoist, or whatever) by individuals or groups who accept that premise that there is no objective standard we can be held to is simply inconsistent. Once God is removed from the equation, the only limit to what can be done is whatever the most powerful says it is, and thus the ‘will to power’ (good old Nietzsche) becomes the only consistent framework within which we can operate. The key word is definitely ‘consistency’ here I think!

    The common assumption of that very premise (i.e.; relativism) is also the reason, as you say, that we are in such a mess*, as well one of the principal reasons we cannot effectively counter ISIS’ ‘existential threat’. And yes, that this way of thinking has entered into the bosom of the Church itself is very worrying… But she will survive it, I have no doubt🙂

    *As the article on Planned Parenthood and Colorado makes very plain!

  35. Michael says:

    Making some similar points slightly more forcefully, here is Peter Hitchens talking about the 2011 riots in London:

    In discussing that one particular event, he manages to sum up a great deal of what has gone wrong in the West, and in keeping with much of what we’ve been talking about above.

  36. toad says:

    Hitchens was both right and wrong, here, I think.
    Yes, the kids involved have no serious moral standards, because they have never been seriously taught any. But they don’t (or didn’t) riot solely out of ignorance or evil , they did so because they can clearly see that the economic dice are loaded against them.
    Bob Dylan (hardly a notable intellectual) put it succinctly:
    “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got noting to lose.”
    Would they be better off with a Catholic, or Lutheran, or Anglican, moral grounding?
    Yes, almost certainly. ….How about a Muslim one? Hmm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s