The Church and Unbelievers

“At the present time, more than in any previous age, we find Catholics turning into unbelievers . . . Catholicism seen from the inside seems to be losing, but seen from the outside, to be gaining. There is a reason for this. Our contemporaries are naturally little disposed to belief, but once they accept religion at all, there is a hidden instinct within them which unconsciously urges them toward Catholicism. Many of the doctrines and customs of the Roman Church astonish them, but they feel a secret admiration for its discipline, and its extraordinary unity attracts them. If Catholicism could ultimately escape from the political animosities to which it has given rise, I am almost certain that the same spirit of the age which now seems so contrary to it would turn into a powerful ally and that it would suddenly make great conquests.”

From Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”, 1835

You know that old saying, “there’s nothing new under the sun?”

Found while perusing reading Magnificat, tonight.

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