This was written almost exactly a year ago, one of my last pre-blog rantings, and I never put it up since I felt it had too many identifying details in it. I did re-use the bit about John Kerry a while ago. It seemed appropriate to post it this week.
I have not been to church since September 2001 while living at home, only once in Armidale during the conference here in February 2002, and several times over Christmas 2002, when we were in Townsville. In both Armidale and Townsville I resolved to go to church regularly when I returned to Sydney, but I did not. I have not communicated for a longer time- I am not sure when. I know where, at the Chapel of the Resurrection at the University of Sydney, in 2000 or 2001.
I have written elsewhere of the one problem I have, the snag I am caught on. There are many things that I should write, but tonight I want to write about this coincidence of dates, if it is a coincidence. I went to St. Patricks, Guildford, where I had not been before, about ten days after September 11th 2001, and that was the last time I left my home and went to church. The homily did not mention what had happened in the United States- and why should it? Why should 3000 Americans be of more importance than 100,000 Algerians, or 600,000 Rwandans? They are not, of course. I know this, and I do not believe there was any singular horror or awfulness in the events of that day. Worse things have been done with machetes, with debt, with surgical instruments. They are being done now, to people who are much less legitimate targets for politically-motivated murder, in vastly greater numbers. But I have not been back to church since.
I have a sense of the impotence of the church that I did not have before. I do not want Catholics to blow themselves up in nightclubs, or hijack planes into buildings. But it seems we are incapable of doing anything. We raise money (mostly for schools and church buildings, which are futile) and we make pale and watery condemnations of the evils of the world. The children of the culture of death can ignore us, and mock us with impunity. We are a whited sepulchre, an empty shell.
There seems to be a qualitative difference between the motivating power of Catholicism and Islam. The senile religion of fatalism- as Chesterton called it- breeds men with an insane audacity; but we are cowards. There are no more Catholic knights-errant, and our Pontiff condemns just wars. I wish we were Crusaders, as Osama bin Laden calls us. When he calls us Crusaders and Zionists he gives us better names than we deserve. Crusaders and Zionists are cognates with Mujahideen. They sacrifice their own comfort and give their own lives in the service of a noble ideal. The Catholic church is inward-looking, impotent to change the pagan world, incompetent to bring Catholics (such as I) to church, impotent even to make orthodox those who do go to church. Humanae vitae could have been based on universal moral principles, on the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic bedrock of the Noachian commandments; it could have been proclaimed fearlessly to the nations. Instead, it is based entirely on a peculiarly catholic philosophy of marriage, defined by celibates. Is it any wonder it has failed?
John Kerry, the Democrat candidate for president of the United States, is a ‘pro choice’ Catholic. Can there be a more loathsome thing? Either he is a moral idiot, who has never understood one jot or tittle of the meaning behind the ritual, or he is a moral pygmy who would stifle any qualm that opposed his pursuit of power, or he is a moral coward, so paralysed by polls that he does not dare to vote his conscience, or he is a pure blackguard and devil worshipper, a perverted maniac prostrate before the altar of Moloch.
Pius XII opposed fascism and nazism, to the extent that it was practicable. The dictators detested him for it. He saved 100,000, 200,000 lives, perhaps, in Italy and Bulgaria. But he did not go down as a martyr; he did not condemn evil as the Vicar of Christ on earth should condemn evil. He did not denounce as a true prophet should denounce, beyond the extent that is practicable- and now he is a scandal, a stumbling block to the Jews and to the pagans.
Our Popes now oppose the culture of death, to the extent that it is practicable. The worshippers of Moloch hate them…
I want to see a Papacy that is impractical in its denunciations of evil. I want excommunications more numerous than autumn leaves upon the pseudo-Catholics of the decadent west. I want a refusal to meet with leaders of nations where abortion is legal. I want a general absolution for all those who take up arms in the just war against the murderers of the unborn. But this is not likely to happen. I suppose I am describing a Caliph, rather than a Pope. I suppose the impotence of the Popes will be a stumbling block to the non-Catholics of the 22nd century. And where am I to go?