Pope Benedict: Faith and the Future

In 2009 Ignatius press released this prophetic little volume, written by our pope over 1969-1970 — while the world was in the first throes of the social revolution. I thought I’d share a few of Joseph Ratzinger’s prescient thoughts. They seem timely:

“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members.”

He goes on, saying: [the church]

“It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution – when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already with Gobel, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”

The book is only 160 pages. It’s available on Kindle, too.

I am frankly very consoled by these thoughts.
At the dawn of the social revolution, Ratzinger saw all of this, and now he is our Pope, leading us through these first serious labor pains. Who knows if he will be with us through the delivery — I very much doubt it — but seeing him in Peter’s chair at this time reminds us that God has his hand in all things, even in the pastoral weaknesses of the past few decades that have helped us get to this place.

By the way, if you still have not read this brief but also prophetic document, written by Pope Paul VI, the time to read it is now. More on it here

And here is Elizabeth Duffy:

“Putting her on birth control would give her a pass to continue with that behavior. Then this unsavory guy would be hanging around wanting sex, which is not safe for her, or our family.”

The role of a guardian is not to provide a scuba suit so that a child can keep swimming in toxic water. It’s to pull the child out of toxic water, prevent her from making unhealthy alliances with poor potential mates at a vulnerable time in her life, and teach her about true love, so that the girl who is unfit to be a parent at 14, will be fit when she reaches adulthood.

This is where conscience clauses come in. Rather than thinking like Margaret Sanger, who advocated the use of birth control “to stop the multiplication of the unfit” the Catholic sexual ethic looks beyond the good of the state to see the ultimate good of the person.

And check out Obama, Athanasius and the Bishops

And correcting George Will and Jay Carney

Two related pieces, from 2009:
The Coming “Catholic Church of America”
The Shadow of the Jackboot

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Ann

    Thank you. I often think of Catholic prophecy these days. Even the vision in Myles Connolly’s “Mr. Blue.”

  • Chris

    A Church forced out of the public square, forced out of the marketplace, would more closely resemble the Church that retreated into monasteries and preserved the history and culture of Western civilization while the Barbarians sacked Rome and the countryside, over and over. Our home life will need to become more monastic, more prayer-centered, more contemplative. Whereas we can barely turn on the television without entering into an occasion of sin; whereas our First Amendment rights of Free Speech and Freedom of Religion are being systematically sent to the scaffold; whereas we are increasingly rejected by family, friends, and neighbors, it will be imperative to put on the necessary spiritual armor that will protect ourselves and our loved ones from falling into this diabolical bargain offered by the society that wants us gone.

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  • Manny

    When I saw George Will’s comment the other day about the Bishop’s getting what they deserved, I thought it odd, but I just couldn’t remember for sure which side of the argument they were on. I’m glad you and NRO straightened that out.

    I know the Church will probably get smaller, but it won’t (I pray) get as tiny as our Pope speculates. The way he talks it sounds like it’s going to be less than a few million people. If so, then the atheists run wild and rough shod over the few religious people remaining. God forbid that happens. But don’t see it that small. The Pope is projecting a straight line transition from the cultural revolution of the sixties, and there is already ample evidence that the religion is making a resurgence.

  • Katherine

    Ok I have some reading to do. How is it that you fall like mana into my world?

  • Arnold

    I would guess that the actual number of affiliated Catholics will gradually approximate the number of those actually practicing the faith. Over time the official numbers will adjust to that reality. The resulting Church will not be tiny but it will be more compact and God willing, much more fervent and loyal to the Gospel.

  • Annie

    Thank you for sharing this book today! I will have to get a copy for myself promptly. It is just what I needed to hear as I feel attacked, rejected and misunderstood in these strange days. For me, the answer to these fearful feelings is to return to our family life with more gusto, to treat my husband and daughter with greater respect and love, to do my small duties with more generosity, and to be joyful in the Truth in my own little corner of the world. I do not feel I can fight the big fight. I hope my bishops and pastors will, and that our prayers will change hearts. I will be faithful here, and pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide us.
    “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”

  • Mark

    Last night, after returning home after my beloved funeral, I was watching a DVD on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and it was amazing how similar their choices were then to what our choices seem to be coming down today. I noted that bishops had signed the Concordant of 1933 with the evil party called the Nazi’s and could not help thinking of how our Bishops in the past have in many ways come into an agreement to look the other way with the party of death today. Their document to provide cover was called the “seamless garment”. It would give the bishops cover to continue hang out with Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi and allow them to produce a voting guide that had such great impact that 54% of Catholics used it as cover to vote for the most pro abortion candidate in history and one now seen to have no regard to Catholic religious liberty that he stuffs it right up the the bishops rear end. Same think Hitler did to the bishops back then when they started to whine a little about the death camps.

    Before going to bed finally, I pulled out the New Testament and opened it in random to Mathew 23:24 and I found it ironic that Jesus had this to say to the Church leaders of the Jewish community. “You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.” It stood out as if highlighted. For decades the Bishops and especially the full USCCB has danced with the party that was building death camps and who have so far killed 54 million innocent babies. Now, they seem awake on this issue of birth control and religious liberty which comparatively to the camel they have been sleeping through, is while important sifting gnats by comparison. When they had the opportunity and obligation to teach about birth control, they went to sleep. When some spoke out, they came up with “seamless garment” Concordant that became the rally cry for supporting the party of death. When information started to become available about the huge problems to womens health caused by birth control use and abortion from WHO studies and those at Mayo Clininc and elsewhere, and they were brought to the attention of the slumbering bishops wrapped warmly in their seamless garments, they could not be bothered. The explosing of cancer to women under 50 since the birth control was started in 1960 and abortion added in huge number1973 is alarming and yet now we see a government who says they care about women almost in total denial. In fact, they are doubling down to make sure as many women including those as young as 12 are provided these pills for free. If we had this type of reports coming in with any other perscription product, the government would be hyperventaliting. Maybe many more need to be given sight and maybe this gnat that Obama has thrust down our throats will wake us up to the camel inside Obamacare.

    God Bless all

  • Ellen

    I think of Robert Benson’s Lord of the World (free for kindle). Here’s what Father Barron wrote about the book:

    The Lord of the World is an apocalypse. It tells the story of the cataclysmic struggle between a radically secularist society and the one credible alternative to it, namely, the Catholic church. In Benson’s imagined future, Europe and America are dominated by a rationalist regime bent on making life as technologically convenient and politically harmonious as possible. The leaders of this government see the Catholic church, with its stress on the supernatural, on divisive dogma, and on the enduring power of sin, as the principle obstacle to progress. A great messianic figure—Julian Felsenburg—emerges from the heart of the secularist political structure, and he prosecutes a progressively brutal persecution of the church, culminating in the elimination of the Pope, the curia, and most of the bishops of the world. He then establishes an alternative liturgy, predicated upon the worship of an idealized humanity and the rhythms of nature. (In a delicious touch, Benson imagines a former Catholic priest as the master of ceremonies of the new secular liturgy). In the meantime, one surviving Cardinal—an Englishman who bears a striking physical resemblance to Felsenburg—becomes the Pope and takes up his administration of the church in simple quarters in Jesus’ home town of Nazareth. The novel concludes with the climactic struggle between Felsenburg’s secular power and the spiritual power of the church.

  • Katherine

    My Anchoress, I followed your links and read what was there. I am humbled and gratefull and headed to noon Mass. Thank you.

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  • Iris Celeste

    I just asked my pastor to have 12 Masses said for the intentions of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the USA, before Easter (and yes, I gave a donation for it.) He is going to try to do it when he can have 2 priest celebrants, since all of the masses in that time frame already have intensions. I requested he try to do it when there is heavy attendace so that there can be lots of prayer going up for Our Lady’s intensions for the USA. Remember that God preffers that we pray for changes of hearts… I suggest that anyone inclined to do the same do so as quickly as possible.

  • http://catholicsacristan.blogspot.com Wendell

    Thank you for your post which has brought to our attention Pope Benedict’s (Card. Ratzinger’s) book. Catholics must be presented with more opportunities by blogs such as this one to be reminded that we are in the world but not of it.
    Given the signs of the times and the sage discernment of the popes, can there be much doubt that a harvest is being prepared and that Catholics are being sifted, tested on our willingness to live and share the Faith with integrity? If we ignore the direction the signs are pointing, then we do so at our own peril and the peril of the world. For the sake of souls, Catholics must be faithful to Christ.
    God alone knows the full extent of the challenge ahead. However, He hasn’t left us without good and holy shepherds. For the sake of souls, let us hope that more people, by the grace of God, heed Jesus’ call to faithfulness in Him.

  • Left Coast Conservative

    Thank you for posting this. Mark Mallett has been talking about the same thing lately.
    On another note – remember the era of the “Spiritual Bouquet”? It would be nice (on many levels) to bring that back for our priests and bishops, in particular. We made spiritual bouquet cards for the 4th grade St. Valentine’s party – all 25 kids gave a card to Father and then a fair number of kids gave them to their parents or siblings. We made the cards using a jpg of an old holy card and then noted the number of Hail Mary’s, Our Father’s and Communion’s. Father was very touched and many of the parents were as well. Let me know if you want the files – they are .pub files to print on Avery business cards but can be converted to any size you want.

  • joe

    I read these words of Frank Sheed yesterday. The last line answers the question of why it matters to me if the Church loses social influence.
    “Life is not only getting: it is giving as well, and a Catholic can hardly be easily satisfied… with what he is giving. The most obvious fact of our day is that we are surrounded by millions who are starved for the food that Christ… wanted them to have…
    If spiritual starvation is to be relieved, it [will be through] the work of the laity, who are in daily contact with starvation’s victims. We must come to an understanding of [the Truth], so that we know [it in itself and in its] power to nourish; we must bend every effort to mastering [its] utterance… [P]rimarily and overwhelmingly for the sake of these others, since it is intolerable that men should be perishing… But not only for their sake. For our own sake too: for it is not good for us, or our children, to be the sane minority in a society that is losing contact with God.

  • kevin

    I have a different view slightly. I think Benedict has an investment in backing and filling after the disastrous consequences of Vatican II. He was a peritus there and perhaps has a hard time acknowledging his own role in the extraordinarily harsh treatment of “conservative” cardinals and bishops who, seeing the disaster coming over the horizon, tried to end it quickly. So I don’t agree with Ratzinger’s comment, which to me is a tad defeatist and a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

    On the HHS Mandate, the shame of Holy Cross College: Christopher Matthews.

    MSNBC is now officially PRAVDA for the Obama White House.

  • doc

    Hell, Kevin, they’re all branches of Pravda, ABCNNBCBS, NYT, WaPo, Time, Newsweek (do they even matter any more?) ,Politico, LAT…etc. Matthews just happens to have an infamous nerve condition in his legs. Let them all go the way of Newsweek and be sold for a buck.

  • kevin

    And pro-legal abortion like him and Obama get the honorary degrees. Those 30 pieces of silver are still very attractive. Pathetic.

  • Adam

    Elizabeth, do you read Emily Yoffe’s “Dear Prudence” column over at Slate? One of her readers sent in a question today that…well, I’d rather not repeat it for the sake of your more sensitive viewers who don’t want to hear about it. Suffice it to say that it’s one of those situations that can only exist in a godless, pro-gay, pro-contraception, culture of death society like ours. What’s particularly telling is that Ms. Yoffe doesn’t outright oppose the reader’s situation, so much as tells him “Well, get some legal advice and be prepared for people to disagree with it.” A lot of her readers’ comments at the bottom of the article take a similar position: “Well, that’s disgusting, but I can’t think of what’s wrong with it.”

    If you have the stomach for it, read the article if only for an indicator of where secular society is going. We’re slipping from shame to ambivalence, with demand for approval and participation to follow.

  • Mark

    Just got an email with a link to the open full bore attack on the Catholic Church at the emmy’s. Having been out of touch with the world a lot over the last week, I guess I missed all the outrage in the media over this open attack on the Church.


    It turned my stomach to watch it and yet I was hoping that the audience might somehow not give it wild applause…just joking. The evidence continues to mount that the evil one is going all out to drive the Catholic Church out of America. It takes such courage for the left to bash the Catholic Church. Of course Islam does not agree with the left in any way, but we also know those on the left are cowards who tremble in fear if Islam tells them to never touch their faith even with a simple cartoon. Imagine if this were a full blown attack on Islam on national TV with this video going all over the world today?

  • kevin

    Mark, I watched the video (most of it). Here are my reactions: one, like many in the music industry today she has no talent. None. She makes Madonna, who at least could dance and come up with catchy tunes, look like Mozart. The Catholic trappings, as grotesque as they are, are used to disguise her utter lack of talent.

    Best way to fight back when we see things like this, in my book, is to ridicule the performers. And it’s true in this case, this woman literally has no talent. She will fade away quickly.

  • Dan C

    From what the demographics are noting it is the poor who are notably absent in a high percentage from our pews.

    The educated and the wealthy, despite an anti-elite PR campaign, are present in higher proportions.

    This is an enormous danger to our Church. Graver than Obama.

  • Peggy

    thank you for recommending “Faith and the Future”. I went to the local Pauline bookstore (might as well support the good sisters!) and started reading it at a local cafe. It is hard to believe he wrote it in 1970. I appreciate having some comfort like this right now, so thanks again.

  • Lawrence Cunningham

    “Faith and the Future” is a very sobering but realistic picture of the Western Church in Europe but it is not coming from a single voice crying out in the desert; it is, rather, part of a larger conversation that has engaged perceptive theologians for a long time. The late Karl Rahner was saying the same thing 60 years ago as he imagined the church “in the diaspora.” In the future, Rahner wrote, Christians will have to be mystics or they would not be Christians at all.

  • kevin

    Funny that he was having those visions when the Church was remarkably strong and unified before Vatican II. I’m sorry but I just don’t get the defeatism and gloom; and even it is warranted now, that doesn’t mean it can’t change. It won’t change if the hierarchy fails to take decisive action to discipline radical dissenters like Pelosi and Sebelius who are confusing everyone at this point. They have to stop issuing statements written by committees that make everyone’s eyes glaze over after the 3rd paragraph. Reading the Glendon/Garvey letter would be a good refresher on how to communicate clearly and concisely.

    [I don't see defeatism and gloom; I read Benedict's words and see hope and victory -admin]

  • http://whiterosebrian.deviantart.com Brian A. Cook

    I know that this is not quite on-topic, but I thought I should show you something, Elizabeth. I know that I have sometimes posted critical comments on this ‘blog. That is because I have tried to bring other ideas to what could otherwise be an echo-chamber (overall, I respect you more than many other Catholic ‘bloggers). I am, however, beginning to honestly believe that religious freedom is under attack–I am perfectly aware that liberals can be just as authoritarian as reactionaries. I came across this cartoon on a website that I frequently visit. I was startled. If I did not know better, I would swear that this was a deliberate revival of an old nativist meme.


    [Thanks, Brian. And you're not wrong. This IS a deliberate revival of the old tune.-admin]

  • http://www.divinemercyliving.com Teli Tru

    I have to wonder at how the Anchoress has managed to find her way through the slings and arrows of the huge beauracracy that the Church has erected. Some time ago, having fallen to suspicion of false prophets and seers, the Church has shut its doors for the most part.

    Did the Church wait until the prophetess died to make determination about her writings?

    My congratualtions on being blessed with having found an ear that hears and an eye that saw what she had to say was not from her but from above. I can only add, be diligent and pray for God’s guardian to keep you safe in your work on earth.

  • http://www.divinemercyliving.com Teli Tru

    Nice to see the Ignatius press print about a prophetess.

  • dry valleys

    The Church is already smaller than it thinks it is, or wants to be. There was a survey that came out on Tuesday of self-styled Christians in Britain, and hardly any of them are what I’d call Christians, in all honesty.


    I’ve read the whole thing, but even a skim will reveal something a lot of people aren’t going to want to hear. And lest anyone say this is somehow a European thing that wouldn’t happen in America, it does happen in America, and there are more than enough cafeteria Catholics. They are identifying with a tradition, and maybe with a church, for cultural reasons. I don’t mean as in culture wars (where they generally disagree with the Vatican anyway) but as in it’s just part of being Irish, Italian, Polish, Mexican, etc. to be a “Catholic”. (In the same way that many/most Jews are secular, and in fact many leading atheists are Jewish, but they still identify with their tribe, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that).

    Very well. Let’s say that Pelosi and her associates aren’t really Catholics, they are in fact atheists. The reason they aren’t openly so is that atheists are one of the most unpopular groups in the USA, and surveys show that an avowed atheist is even more likely to lose votes than an avowed Muslim.

    Your preferred situation would be for most/all people to take the Church’s teachings seriously, but since they don’t, isn’t it better for the church to be smaller and more strongly defined? I do think a lot of conservatives who are hyping religion are doing so to get elected, and are privately unbelievers, who don’t in fact care about abortion or gay mariage or anything other than protecting the interests of the 1%.

    Is it not better if there are fewer people in the pews, but every last one of them is there out of a personal conviction? That they’ve known the outside world and rejected it? That is what I am trying to say. It isn’t an election or a popularity contest, it’s a faith.

    Did you hear about the delegation from the British government that went to Rome a few days ago? They had this Sayeeda Warsi (a Muslim minister) speaking up for the pope, and saying there should essentially be a kind of ecumenism between religions against secularism. I’ve followed this woman closely and I’ve decided it’s a shame Benedict couldn’t have kept her, because I’ve yet to identify any case of her being any use to us.

  • Alicia

    I think Kevin is on target here. Cardinal Ratzinger seems almost to be longing for the end of the Church as he knows it. It sounds very repristinatory and self-selecting (and thus very Protestant). It certainly doesn’t come across with the “hermeneutic of continuity.”

  • Bender

    **he was having those visions when the Church was remarkably strong and unified before Vatican II**

    Except that the Church was NOT remarkably strong and unified before Vatican II.

    If the Church had been so strong and influential in the world, then all of the ideologies of modernity that were so destructive of marriage and family would not have taken hold and flourished. The seeds of easy divorce, the sexual revolution, a contraceptive society, and abortion all took root decades before Vatican II, during the “Golden Age” of Catholicism, all attempts of the Magisterium to beat them back falling short, the world no longer being willing to listen to the arguments of some 13th century theologian. Pope John, and Pope Pius before him, saw this clearly.

    Vatican II was not the cause of disunity and weakness, Vatican II was the solution to it. The calling of the Council was cheered far and wide as nearly all of the bishops of the world saw the crucial need for a New Pentecost, a renewed prayer for the assistance of the Holy Spirit to better position the Church to address — and defeat — the evils of the modern age.

    One of the fruits of Vatican II was Humanae Vitae, as well as its progeny Theology of the Body (which had been a work in progress since the Council).

  • Mark

    Bender, I do not think there was anything in the documents of Vatican II that had any impact at all on the problem. The Church by the time Vatican II came about had already been under attack for a generation or more. However, if one looks back to the USA in the 15 years or so before Vatican II, you see a completely different attitude toward the Catholic Church. When was the last time you saw a very positive movie about the Catholic Church. There are no major stars playing the part of priests in a postive light as you saw in those years with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Remeber that Bishop Fulton Sheen was in prime time and killing everything in the ratings teaching solid Catholic teacing. Parish schools were overflowing and filled with religious and parishes had major powerful pastors and in many cases one or two assitant priests. Churchs were full for every mass and dressed as if they were going on a visit to see God.

    But we were under attack as were every other insitution. In many ways you could go back to WWI and what many saw as a useless slaughter and it seeds gave us WWII. During those wars, many saw things that left them changed for life. Many also saw racial injustice for the first time in their lives with segregated troops and many who returned were determined to stop the injustice to their fellow vets. The first major civil rights legislation in almost 60 years came with Ike, who also saw the black soldiers as veterans who needed to be respected. He sent the guard to bring students to school in Arkansas after the democratic governor used state troops to block the doors. JFK wanted to see the issue go away, but MLK and the freedom riders forced him to act and with national TV, the terror arm of the Democratic Party was now fully exposed.

    But the real disease started with Margaret Sanger and the Nazi’s who borrowed some of her evil moral values. Her writing was about eliminating the undesirables, the poor and people of color, and she saw birth control and abortion as essential tools to make that happen. Planned Parenthood has tried to whitewash her past, but her writing is still there to be examined. One of the instructors at the local seminary gave a talk about her and her influence on that entire evil game plan from then all the way to this day where the attack on the Catholic Church and religious liberty continues. The fly in the ointment for them was the Catholic Church. It was also a problem for the atheist Communist Party. Their weapon was to open dissent to Catholic teaching and in fact to all forms of authority which exploded in the 1960′s fueled by Vietnam. A Catholic hating supreme court led by Hugo Black, a former KKK member, used a lie to bring about the wall of separation of Church and state rather than what was actually in the bill of Rights as written. They needed to have the constitution / bill of rights rejected and used the lie rather than trying to have it modified with amendment. This pattern set up much of what was to follow in a court that not only was actively legislating, a power not provided to them in the Constitution, but going further to distort the very document with lies. Each lie gave them more room. Now they could go after prayer in schools and anything that tied our government down from making laws that in any way infringed on religious liberts. This assult of course started in the 1940′s.

    The other side has a plan and work the plan relentlessly. Catholic leadership was at the same time distracted with some of the biggest changes to the Church in centuries. and within the ranks, were open dissenters who were allowed to have some room as Vatican II was sorted out and digested. When some in the pews complained about what was going on, many church leaders either were part of the open dissent and partners in the attack, or attributed the concerns to those who simply did not like change. They were also not use to even being questioned, let alone attacked. Those in dissent were also doing things which in hind sight one can see as the seeds of major trouble such as abuse and new priests coming out with poor seminary training and lifestyles at odds with Catholic teaching. Many nuns saw new avenues that would allow them to continue to do what they saw as their vocation outside the convents and left their habits behind. Many orders simply changed losing the habit, but also the core mission they had once tried to reach. Instead of teaching kids, they ended up protesting war and nuclear weapons and the environment with no real rules or restrictions and little authority challenge. So Vatican II could not have come at a worse time and we are still struggling to bring it back to that which was written and intended. This is the essence of why the Pope believes what he wrote in this book. when you have had open dissent and the children running free and living on the drugs of this world led by Satan, you may never be able to save them from themselves. You can expend great energy as we are seeing in the battles here to bring those already in decay back to life, or simply point to Christ and be there when they find their life empty and they are alone, and concentrate on the next generation, the youth of JP II, the springtime of the Church. Many of the great new prisest and now Bishops are in place because of JPII, we love you. And now we have the gift of Pope Benedict who you can see from this writing is in tune with that same thought. Maybe our focus and the focus of blogs such as this is to reinforce solid teaching that the young generation so loves such as Theology of the Body and place our trust in Christ. I absolutely love the on fire young people that came of age under JPII. They want to have the Church in its fullness, not in cafeteria style, and they are adjusting their lives to match so that it does not force them into conflict with following Christ. So arguing with someone lost in abortion and the pill despite the clear writing of Humanae Vitae and it clear prediction truths we see today could be a waste of time. They cannot understand something as clear as Proportionate Reason and like the Germans who looked the other way and cheered on Hitler, we see them cheering on Obama and his death camps and cannot see that big government poverty programs do not touch the death of 1% of the slaughtered babies. I for one have made a decision now to move on to join in with those who are sacrificing everything for Christ and His Church. Anchoress, I think your talent should also join in this cause and think your posting of this book was a good sign that you belong with the new springtime of the Church and not with the lost. Jesus will tend to them and stay with them in case they knock, but how many endless arguments have any value talking with those who are far from giving Christ 100% of your heart, mind and soul? I will check back to read what Anchoress writes, but do not see any sense in wasting time on those lost and unwilling to hear.

  • Bender

    The United States is not — and wasn’t pre-Vatican II — the center of the Catholic universe.

  • dry valleys

    And those who think otherwise are more interested in nationalism than in what is, in fact, a world religion.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    No, America was never the heart of Catholicism.

    But, then, no country is—no, not even Rome.

    America was a country where anybody, and everybody, could practice their religion, free from government meddling, or from having bureaucrats put pressure on you if you had the “wrong” beliefs about life, love, marriage, God. (Sheesh, progressives are always whining about “Getting the government our of our bedroom!” What this administration is doing now puts government right, smack, dab, in there! And no one’s allowed to protest, or opt out.) I’m not Catholic, but I can’t help but be saddened by what’s happening in my country (and my church shares many Catholic beliefs on marriage, etc., and will soon be in the firing line too.)

    A small church is persecuted church—look at the Copts in Egypt.

    We need to pray, to be spared “The time of trial.”