Pastoral accompaniment

[There will be electronic silence through the Canadian Thanksgiving
weekend; the noise resuming on Tuesday, October 13th.


There is, it turns out, a very easy way to reverse the plummeting birthrates in all the Western countries. It is to encourage Muslim immigration. Not only does this cause an immediate population rise, but as we have seen in countries such as France, England, Netherlands, Sweden, the fecundity of that population soon improves, swelling again to replacement levels, and overtopping the huge numbers lost to abortion. The poorer the Muslims the better, for alas, their own wealthy “middle classes,” not only in Europe but in the Middle East, will no more hesitate than our parents did to buy into the social and material ethic of the Swinging Sixties — the pill, mass baby-snuffing, “human rights,” total consumerism, satanic music, and quickie divorce — leading invariably to the disintegration of family and religious life.

Now, clever (as well as gentle) reader may spot a weakness in this plan. It seems to involve the Islamicization of what once was a Christian continent. And this is something which even post-Christians tend to look on as a Bad Thing. These latter may sometimes be more horrified than the surviving Christians, as we discover in French, Dutch, and other national political cultures, where the whole point of the populist opposition is to preserve the brothelization of public life against the threat of Shariah. They console themselves, however, with the thought that, thanks to their own contraceptive practices, they will not have horses in any future race. They will anyway not personally live to see and hear the blare from mosques in quite every direction; and with any luck, the pension schemes will hold up until euthanasia becomes, for them, the more comfortable option.

Christians tend to take a longer view. This is evident even in the discussions that leach out of the current Family Synod in Rome, where the conflict between the Catholic Christian, and post-Christian factions, reveals contrasting temporal orientations. Faithful Catholics all over the world look to the future of their own people, and beyond this to Futurity in the classical sense.

Whereas, the Danneels, Kaspers, Marxes, Baldisseris, Fortes and the like, in the party of decadence, hardly think about children, or Heaven for that matter. (If they did, they would mention these things sometimes.) Like other factotums of the Culture of Death, they need to be reminded that children even exist, or that the relation between sex and procreation is anything more than the hypothesis of a defunct ideology. The task as they present it is to return, even in their eighties, to that fondly remembered ’sixties era (“bliss was it in that dawn to be alive”); and more practically, to the spiritual equivalent of “palliative care.” They want their own sterile constituency to be made to feel as comfortable as possible in their last days, and therefore they demand a Church that will be more “welcoming” to adulterers, fornicators, sodomites, &c, as it finds them among the casualties of post-modern life.

Hence the attraction of “field hospital” as metaphor: the Church you need never go to, because it comes to you. Which applies soothing ointments to your various wounds, and whispers sweet words of encouragement in your ear as you proceed to the hereafter. All you have to do is lie there and bleed.

So far as I can see, from the evidence, there is no risk whatever that the Church will be suddenly taken over by an influx from the depraved secular culture, attracted because the Church will now permit them to do what they are already doing as a matter of course. On the contrary, the converts we find are looking for Christ, and take a view of sin that is oppositional. And in Europe, in the few places where parishes are growing, it is because these “brown people” are coming in: converts often from the Islamic folds, attracted uncannily to chant, and polyphony, and other outward signs of something that is beautiful, and good. They do not want less religion, but more; and have discovered a place where something unambiguously and transcendently religious (as opposed to worldly, political, and violent) is hidden.

They have found, in other words, the only part of contemporary Europe that is not foetid and worthless.

Likewise, the “old stock” European youth — the ones who turn out in their unexpected millions for World Youth Days and such events — are magnetically attracted to Sacraments, of all things; and seek precisely those “old fashioned values” that it is the cause of Church liberals to smear and destroy.

I am belabouring the obvious, as usual, in this Idlepost, because it is so frequently overlooked. We worry, perhaps, more than we should that the Catholic Church is falling into the hands of very devils. She is, at this moment, and our implacable resistance is required; yet we should always realize that, as in the cosmos at large, the Enemy is trapped in a holding action. For all the sound and fury, the hoof-clop of the Beast, he has no future, even in this world. And while I would myself prefer to see a few dozen “progressive” bishops defrocked and publicly excommunicated (the auto-da-fé having gone out of style), I am prepared to wait for this generation of vipers to die off, by natural processes. For they have made no arrangement to replace themselves, and what they now propose cannot save them.

The very provision of regular Synods of Bishops, and for the standing Vatican bureaucracy that supports them, was among the several catastrophic mistakes made by Blessed Pope Paul VI in the wake of Vatican II. Simple solutions are often the best, and I should think in a future papacy, the simple decision to eliminate these divisive and foolish Synods will be taken. This will save a lot of money, for the world media as well as for the Church, and more pointedly spare the Catholic faithful that unpleasant and unnecessary sense of betrayal that follows from listening to their bishops “debate” the Christian faith.

From what I see, there is actually quite a lot of money to be saved, if we follow the paper trails to many similarly unedifying “talking shop” operations, sponsored through the Holy See and the national episcopal bureaucracies; and I do not think that e.g. the good tithe-payers of Germany should have to bear such a disproportionate share in these destructive expenses.

Rather their interests and ours would be much better served if we put the cash into “outreach” instead. For there is a crying need, in America, too, but especially in Europe, to kindle mission among the Muslim migrants.

They are the future, after all; the sterile of Europe are the past, approaching extinction. We should shift our attention to growing once again, as we do in Africa wherever the true faith is proclaimed; and Mother Mary can lead us to the unprecedented opportunities emerging among peoples who have not yet turned their backs on children, family, and religious belief. They have come half way to us, already — to Europe, often at great risk — and ours is to “accompany them pastorally” the rest of the way into Holy Church, and to the feet of Mary’s Son, Our Lord.