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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Is Western Culture in its Death Throes?

Yes, according to Mike Voris of Real Catholic TV who spoke last night in Front Royal addressing the topic R.I.P. Western Civilization. Voris, with a background in history, described how the disintegration of a civilization comes about. First the culture collapses morally, then economically, and then the government is overthrown. It was chillingly obvious that we are well on the way and that the demise of the Roman Empire has much to teach us. St. Augustine wrote the City of God as Rome imploded and the barbarians ushered in the dark ages. Christians, Voris said, need to reflect on what's coming next and be about the business of saving souls.

The talk was not a survivalist manifesto. Rather, Voris emphasized the need to evangelize and save souls. He described the deliberate destruction of the institutions: media, entertainment, schools, government, and the churches. The corrupters openly publicized their intentions from communist Antonio Gramsky who created the Frankford school in the 1920s to achieve a bloodless revolution in the U.S., to secularists who wrote The Humanist Manifesto outlining the death of religion, to gay activists who in After the Ball laid out a blueprint for sodomite approval. These and others openly described how to infiltrate and corrupt and they have succeeded perhaps even beyond their expectations.

While several generations were perverted parents were mostly clueless bystanders unaware of the revolution in their own homes where MTV and movies preached the siren song of hedonism. Meanwhile science created the pill and the Christian churches (beginning with the Lambeth Conference of 1930) approved contraception severing the pleasure of sexual relations from life-giving potential. Contraception, Voris said, is the root of abortion, but how many clerics preached about it? Silence of the clergy contributed mightily to the perversion and breakdown of the culture. 

Voris' thesis was no surprise to me. A friend and I have often discussed how the March for Life should be held on the anniversary of the 1965 landmark Supreme Court ruling Griswold vs. Connecticut (June 7) that overthrew laws banning contraception and enshrining a "right to privacy." My friend said, "The Lord never planned for us to march in the snow. We should be marching in June." But the response to Griswold from the churches was absolute silence. And that silence, except for a few outposts where courageous clergy preach the truth, continues.

Prophets have been warning about the collapse of western civilization for years. Certainly, G.K. Chesterton saw it coming in the early decades of the 20th century. Archbishop Fulton Sheen who died in 1979 often said the clock was nearing midnight. John Paul II and Mother Teresa warned that abortion was the preluded to nuclear war.

We are clearly on the brink and the culture is dying -- literally. Few children are born today except among serious believers. But unless those children are raised in the faith "to be martyrs" as Fr. John Hardon often advised home schoolers, they will likely become casualties of the culture. I remember Father's chilling prophecy that only "heroic Catholic families will survive." We are called as families to imitate the monks who preserved western values during those years when the barbarians burned books for fuel. Ora et labora was the motto of the monks. It must become ours too as we struggle to keep the vision of the true, the good, and the beautiful alive. And we must not be afraid. God never abandons his people. With our little family boats secured to the pillars of the Eucharist and the rosary our spiritual survival, the only one that counts in the end, is guaranteed. So work and pray with confidence. Above all strive to know, love, and serve God who wishes us to be happy with Him in heaven. And influence as many people as you can to do the same.


S. Petersen said...

You're laboring under the Whig (Anglo-Saxon Protestant) revision of history. Read Belloc's "Europe and the Faith". (I use quotation marks for the book title because I've never learned how to use those "HTML tags".)

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Can you elaborate. What's the revision? Clearly Rome collapsed under its moral depravity and its policy of bread and circuses as well as incorporating so many foreigners into the army who couldn't care less about Rome. Where's the revision?

Ray Schneider said...

Western culture is obviously collapsing. It has been collapsing my entire life and it began in the schools. I received that last whiff of a classical education, already watered down. Virtue was taught but only in a cursory manner. C.S. Lewis did not write "The Abolition of Man" without evidence and compared to our own day, Lewis's warning was prescient and early. We have already collapsed morally and it is only the momentum of a once greater culture that propels us forward. We will go down soon enough. It is not clear what will replace us since there is no robust culture obviously in the offing.

Ray Schneider said...

BTW Europe And The Faith is available free as a Kindle book at SEE HERE I meant to show you all the e-book readers yesterday Mary, but somehow the topic didn't come up.