Filed under: Culture and Catholicism, Vatican II | Tags: Benedict XVI, Catholic, Christianity, Islam, SSPX, third party, Vatican II, Wall Street
The pictures from Baghdad are unbearably hard to view. Catholics on the steps of their altar, the blood pooled around them. Killed in the very act of worship. Killed ironically during the holy sacrifice of the Mass, in which the Body and Blood of Christ are offered once again to His Father for the salvation of the world. This time they, too, were sacrificed. The attack on 31 October comes after many months of increased violence against Catholics, generally perpetuated by Muslims, but also by Hindus.
When one uses the term ‘increased’ one indicates that there was a preceding period in which there was less violence, and it is true that there preceded this period one in which Catholics and Muslims, and Catholics and Hindus, lived in a state of mutual tolerance occasionally punctuated by breaks in that norm. This escalation is recent. It is new, and it is well to ask ourselves why.
The reason is Vatican II. Don’t sigh! Read on!
At Vatican II, we abandoned the traditional teaching that the state and the Church had a mutual interest in agreeing upon a shared framework of values covering not only morals, but also economics. The Western world, torn by protestant heresy, had abandoned the model in sections long before Vatican II, but the Church had never explicitly renounced what had been Her goal since Henry VIII destroyed England with his lust and pride. It was not an illusary goal, even in the 1960’s; there were still Catholic states living and thriving when Vatican II hit–the Church voluntarily dissolved them in favor of the secular model! The traditional goal in the sixteenth century had been the restoration of the Church as the official and only recognized church in England. Later, a certain section of the British priesthood, weary of martyrdoms and suckers for a good cigar, opted for a novel solution that would enable them to return to their comfortable lives; they wisely called it ‘freedom of religion,’ knowing what suckers we are for the term. That has been a banner of liberal political and religious groups ever since. But the Church had held on, and not only had never adopted ‘freedom of religion,’ many popes wrote passionate encyclicals warning against it. At Vatican II it became almost by slight of hand the banner of the Catholic Church.
Freedom of religion is not the same thing as tolerance, it’s important to note. The Western world tolerated other religions within its borders when the Catholic Church was officially the one Church with which the state fully cooperated in their single mission of making the best of living a full life and getting to heaven. There were periods, it is true, when under extreme deformation by political pressures, in certain sections of the world, tolerance was violated. But there is no historian who argues that the pax romana Christiana was illusionary. It was a rich, amiable, durable civilization. Freedom of religion on the other hand, means that no matter how crazy the spiritualist or cannibalist or terrorist “the faith” is, it’s allowed. That’s secularism. It is not sustainable, and we are caught in its death agony. Islam rightly rejects secularism and the chaos-causing, society-destroying, faith-killing idiocacy of “freedom of religion.”
In Pakistan, the Taliban has issued a fatwa against a Catholic cabinet minister, according to Catholiculture. The minister, Shabhaz Bhatti, is leading an effort to change the strict blasphemy law in place there. “My life mission is to protect religious freedom, minority rights, justice and equality,” Bhatti told the Fides news agency in the interview cited. That mission derives from Vatican II, not from Catholicism. It carries a cultural message: we will make evil equal, just as it is in the West. We will make all religions equal–equally meaningless. That is what secularism does, according to, not the Taliban, but Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII. The Taliban agrees. What Muslims hear when they hear “religious freedom” is “religious riot” and eventually, in reaction, an atheistic society, as in the West, and who are we, with our falling religious populations and our flailing doctrines, to disagree? Let us observe the blasphemy law, not dismantle it so that Pakistani art exhibits can feature ants crawling over Mohammad as ours feature them crawling over Christ. Let us enact a few of our own! Bhatti is representing liberalism’s agenda, not the traditional Faith’s. But his Church pinned him to it with the changes that clicked into place in Vatican II.
Before Vatican II, Christianity tolerated Islam. And Islam tolerated Christians. Saddam Hussein tolerated Christians. Those Christians never called for ‘religious freedom’ there. It is a bitter cliché that things were better for Catholics in Iraq before Bush’s war. (If it’s fair to call it a cliché now with the spilled blood in Baghdad still wet. What shall we call it now?)
Islam rejects freedom of religion. They also reject the notion of ‘free market’. Very many behaviors come under those two broad categories – family life and financial life, but we know more about the one. We are all aware of the ‘horror’ of veiled women, but less of the financial practices that our war is waged to change. Lending money at interest is forbidden under sharia law, only one policy that Western banks can’t wait to undo. The war’s not just “about oil.” It’s about an entire market that heretofore has been closed to the West. The Western financial world calls the economics of Islam primitive,’ and primitive means there are just too many little capitalists selling their roles and spices and fabrics from too many little stores. By God, they need a Walmart or two. But that’s not Catholic economic policy–up until Vatican II, that is. Catholics also prefer (used to prefer) lots of little capitalists selling their locally made products from lots of little stores.
Referencing last year’s Gallup poll of 1 billion Muslims from around the world, hatred of the religious points of other faiths was not the perceived reason among Muslims for Islam’s war on the West. The Gallup poll designers managed to ask enough of the right kind of questions for us to be able to say that Islam is not rejecting Catholicism, it is rejecting secularism, but Catholics put themselves entirely in that camp with Vatican II. Islam’s contentions with Catholicism over theological points of the Faith, which are very important to us both, are not on the table, it is the tenets of secularism – democracy, liberalism, loosened morals, family planning, ruinous lending practices, concentration of ownership, oligarchy style and a hundred more indicators – with which Islam is at war. The Church itself influenced the state, in the heyday when the two cooperated, to forbid lending at interest in Europe. That was the standard economic practice during medievalism and it amounts to the Catholic economic preference, along with other policies loosely grouped under the heading of distributism. One thing for sure: traditional Catholicism never supported the free market philosophy that is driving our war now by both parties. It is simply a protestant philosophy. But Vatican II bewitched us. We’ve been had.
The best the Vatican has to offer now is the kind of advice the Holy Father recently offered to the leaders of the G 20 summit in Seoul: “Some countries should not be favored at the expense of others,” not very helpful, since absolute equality is infinitely harder to achieve than developing a list of solid indicators based on those abandoned Catholic economic principles (they were abandoned when secularism was embraced, because they do not work in a secularist state, because the valueless secularist state is as dangerous as a loaded gun, as every 20th-century pope taught until the hippie era) that would give us a basis for a wise discrimination in the allocation of whatever assets will be left after the shooting is over.
But they are killing Catholics. They are killing Catholics at the foot of the altar. The Vatican is talking martyrdom, for the cause of ‘freedom of religion.’ And that would be accurate. But that is not our cause. Our cause is Christ, the Alpha and the Omega. Before Vatican II, we would have died for that cause. Now we are expected to die for a consortium of gods in the name of religious freedom. And had Vatican II left the traditional teaching in place, which was the clear rejection of liberalism and specifically of freedom of religion, as it was charged to do, the Church could now persuasively plead with Islam for the lives of Her people, and vow Her stateless neutrality in the struggle between Islam and the West. The Vatican could have called for the tolerance it demonstrates toward Islam to be reciprocated.
We closed our cause with secularism’s, at Vatican II, when the americanist term “religious freedom” replaced “religious tolerance.” And thus those Catholics, those Iraqi Catholics (lying there in their blood with their rosaries still clutched in their hands, looking like somebody’s nice uncles and aunties) died for the West’s cause. They died so that homosexuals can be ‘free’ in Iraq. They died so that women can be ‘free’ there to dress like the poor whores here at home. Those Iraqi Catholics died for abortion rights. They died so that raw porn can greet the shopper at the door at the local magazine store, as it does here, right off the busy Metra stop in Evanston in the center of town. They died so that religious chaos can reign in Iraq as it does here. They died so that their children can as easily desert their faith and lose their immoral souls there as they do here at home– because an’ equal faith’ is a useless and disposable one, as the popes warned. They died so that banks can engage in predatory lending practices, and so that an incoherent political “democracy” can prevail, a democracy that is as great a mockery of democracy as calling what we have a “free market” when compared to the true free market of broad small ownership. They died so that Planned Parenthood can come in and wreck Iraq like it’s wrecked South Korea, among others. It is secondary that these men and women and children are Catholic. They did not die because they are Catholic; they died because they represent ‘religious freedom’ to Islam when they should represent if anything only the tolerance that worked far better than the absolute right that secularism makes of it.
Except their Church sold them out. And now will sell them out again, some elements among us using them to whip up more hatred, possibly to support horrible actions. Their deaths may lead to the last cataclysm.
We must pray again that the policies of Vatican II are completely clarified and its evil spirit banished once and for all. We must pray again that the reasoned protests of so many good theologians prevails. We must pray for the Holy Father, that the good in him wins. We might pray also for a third political party that offers Catholics the traditional Faith’s moral and financial alternatives to secularism, including the restoration of small capitalism. If we were working on that, rather than throwing ourselves into the soft dead arms of secularism, at least we’d be dying well. Now? Not so much.
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