Lizzie Scalia is consoled

by Benedict.

Just a note to people who are ready to throw in the towel over the minor league persecution our Tyrant has launched:

There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church. The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilisation. No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre. The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday, when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series, from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable. The republic of Venice came next in antiquity. But the republic of Venice was modern when compared with the Papacy; and the republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacy remains. The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique, but full of life and youthful vigour. The Catholic Church is still sending forth to the farthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustin, and still confronting hostile kings with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila. The number of her children is greater than in any former age. Her acquisitions in the New World have more than compensated for what she has lost in the Old. Her spiritual ascendency extends over the vast countries which lie between the plains of the Missouri and Cape Horn, countries which a century hence, may not improbably contain a population as large as that which now inhabits Europe. The members of her communion are certainly not fewer than a hundred and fifty millions; and it will be difficult to show that all other Christian sects united amount to a hundred and twenty millions. Nor do we see any sign which indicates that the term of her long dominion is approaching. She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s.

Since this was penned by Macauley, the British Empire has gone to pieces, Europe has committed suicide in two global wars, the Soviet Empire has come and gone, the Japanese Empire likewise, the Chinese Communist experiment is daily menaced by a growing Church, and the thousand year Reich vanished like a mayfly in 12 years. Don’t over-estimate the odds that our fantastically ephemeral cult of celebrity, hedonism and imperialism is likely to inflict lasting damage on the Church.

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  • We just have to keep praying. Thank you for posting this piece.

  • The Deuce

    Even though I’m not Catholic, I agree with Benedict, and I’m consoled by his words too, but I’m still afraid of what’s coming, and more afraid for my loved ones than for myself. Like CP says, we have to keep praying.

  • Michael

    The London Bridge he wrote about is in Lake Havasu, Arizona and is the site of drunken boating parties every weekend during the summer.

  • Eoin Suibhne

    Don’t over-estimate the odds that our fantastically ephemeral cult of celebrity, hedonism and imperialism is likely to inflict lasting damage on the Church.

    On the “big C” church, no. “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” On the “little c”church, however, it can inflict great lasting damage.

    I am thinking of something Pope Benedict said early in his pontificate about the Church being smaller in the not-too-distant future. I also am reminded of this quotation of Tolkien’s: “I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’ — though it contains (and in a legend may contain more clearly and movingly) some samples or glimpses of final victory.”

  • Chris

    The story of History:

    Chapter 1: The Cross
    Chapter 2: Death
    Chapter 3: Resurrection

    The (not) End

  • Ye Olde Statistician

    Down through the centuries, the Catholic Church has learned much from successive secular orders. From the East it learned a sense of the great mystery and transcendence of God—a more mystical and contemplative cast of mind. From the ancient Greeks it learned to love reason, proportion, and beauty. From the Romans it learned stoic virtue, universal administration, and a practical sense of law. From the French it learned the upward flare of the Gothic and the brilliance of idées claires and rapid wordplay. From the Germans, metaphysics, formidable historical learning, and metahistorical thinking. And from the Anglo-Americans, a dose of common sense and a passion for the religious liberty of the individual conscience.
    — Michael Novak, “Remembering the Secular Age”

    To which we might add that my old parish, once a thoroughly German one, is now staffed by Apostles of Jesus, sent as missionaries from East Africa. The pagan babies we once “ransomed” with our pennies are coming home.

  • Ted Seeber

    It is not the Church I fear for. It is the Tyranny of Liberalism itself, for it seems to have embraced self-extinction as a mandatory sacrifice of it’s adherents.