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Friday, 20 April 2012

Another posting on kulturkampf

I find it disturbing, yet have some thankfulness, that more and more Catholic writers are using the word, kulturkmapf, which those of us who had real Catholic education learned in Catholic World History over 50 years ago. The Popes of the 19th century fought against the Bismarck movement to change social and political life, partly by emphasizing Thomism in the face of the other isms which grew up after the Reformation: godless republicanism a la the French Revolution, socialism, communism, relativism, secularism, and so on. I remember studying the great year of revolution, 1848, as a disaster for the Church, not something to celebrate. That the uprisings petered out is a lie, as the movements, in a mercurial manner, just changed and went, in some cases, underground, until a mere decade or so later. One only needs to remember when Marx' work was published, February 21, 1848, to realize how quickly the Church responded through the Popes. de Tocqueville, who we all studied in the old days of Classical Education based on Christianity, wrote of those times. That there was a certain respite for Catholicism in some countries did not change the movement away from Faith and Reason to one of relativism and secularism.

That we Catholics have seen at least one-hundred and fifty years of systematic erosion of a Catholic political and societal philosophy from which to work is dawning on more and more writers.

Those of us who saw this, primarily educators, in the 1970s, created the homeschooling movement and the movement of Classical Education, lost in kulturkampf in the States and sadly, in Europe, including Great Britain. One must be honest and state that the earliest Republicanism in Ireland was not Catholic in philosophy, but secular and liberal. When one weeps at the demise of religion in Ireland, one has to be honest and state that this is not a new thing, at least in the approach to politics.

Americanism was highly supported as a heresy by the Irish clergy, including bishops, in the States. That republicanism was associated with some Modernist heresies cannot be denied.

Kulturkampf is being discussed because it has succeeded. Catholics no longer think like Catholics nor can they criticize intellectual and political discussions which are not Catholic, such as the separation of Church and State position of the Church which is not the same as that believed by most American Catholics.

One writes and talks about problems when the time to change is long gone. We have had almost 200 years to create leaders in the Church who see clearly the dangers of materialism, pragmatism, even the pantheism of our times. That the educational systems and especially the history books ignore these issues indicates that the enemy has won the day in kulturkampf.

I have been looking at the GCSE history books which hardly touch on such issues, and ignore religion entirely, including barely a reference to the Holocaust. Without a religious viewpoint or a Western philosophy based on Christianity, anything goes, all ideas are equal and the socialist and communist agendas are considered as plausible alternatives to any other economic and societal systems. The great Popes of the 19th century warned us but who was paying attention?

Social engineering has worked in Europe and I am sure in most places in America. We only write and discuss what is obvious unless we are either philosophers, intellectuals, or revolutionaries.

I pray that it is not too late to create an intellectual class of Catholics who understand politics from the viewpoint of Catholic social teaching and not either communism or socialism.

The pastoral experts in the Church began to talk about community after it had disappeared. Now we are discussing the destruction of Western culture in the wake of its demise.

Catholicism became more and more anti-intellectual in the last sixty years. I partly blame the charismatic movement and other movements which have underestimated the need for a Faith corresponding to Reason. That our present Pope has stressed this is still being ignored. Too many of the faithful simply do not want to bother to learn how to of the themes of this blog.

Catholics have ignore and now lost the great intellectual tradition which the Church created.


ColdStanding said...

This has been very much on my mind of late. I am getting some mileage off of asking the question qui bono? To me it is the antidote to, what I call, the rebel's dilemma. The rebel's dilemma is when an individual, in a state of dissatisfaction, is tempted (yes real by the devil) to rebel or break with authority. The question should arise (and would were it not that we now all consider ourselves to be the Pope): Qui Bono? Who will benefit from my being incited to rebellion? The misdirection inherent in the temptation can be ferreted out by this technique (if one has the patience to stick with the process).

Much more needs to be said. Thank you for your posting. I have found it very stimulating and will spend some time unpacking the implications.

Anonymous said...

You are not merely right.

You are dangerously right.

Let's begin with this observation:

"Kulturkampf is being discussed because it has succeeded. Catholics no longer think like Catholics nor can they criticize intellectual and political discussions which are not Catholic, such as the separation of Church and State position of the Church which is not the same as that believed by most American Catholics."

What, please, is the position of the Church on separation of Church and State, and how, exactly, does it differ from that believed by most Catholics?

The incredible spectacle of the USCCB insisting upon religious freedom- not the liberty of the True Faith- as the basis for its rejection of forced contraception and abortion coverage- leads me to hypothesize that the real problem is something rather much more terrifying.

The real problem- under this hypothesis- is that the Church's position on separation of Church and State is not the Church's previous position on separation of Church and State.

Because the Church's position on the Church is not the same as the Church's previous position on the Church.

Because the Church no longer upholds, promulgates, or in practice believes Her Own dogma concerning Her Own necessity for the salvation of each and every human creature.

The Church in her hierarchical leadership no longer believes in Her Own infallibility, considering the infallible teachings of previous Popes and Councils to be essentially and practically irrelevant to whatever (non-infallible!) reformulation seems best to express the opinions of Her most influential thinkers and prelates at a given moment in time.

Now one might object "this hypothesis is implausible! It supposes that the Church has departed the True Faith!"


For two reasons.

First, these "developments in doctrine" (they are not developments, but reversals, and hence perversions) have never been taught at the level of magisterial authority capable of reversing the earlier, infallible formulations.

This fact provides us with confidence that the Holy Ghost will not permit the reversal of these dogmatic teachings, but will permit their abandonment in prudential practice.

Second, "When there Son of Man comes, will He find faith on Earth?" is a question that, it seems, Our Lord was not advancing in any kind of a rhetorical sense.

Supertradmum said...

I shall post a longer article on the complete Church-State position from the Catholic point of view. I am fighting the bad Internet connections in both France and England, depending where I am, at the moment.

As to Church-State relations, it has undergone several stages of change since Medieval times, but the Americans and most Europeans do not understand it, or do not want to do so. That the Popes, especially Pius IX and X were so strong against Freemasonry and the Modernist errors were because the Holy Spirit revealed the real hostility of these groups against the Catholic culture. Sadly, in Ireland, the Republican Movement fell into heresy long ago and aligns itself with the left still, which is something one never hears in the American media. Such alliances are part of the success of kulturkampf.

That the Marxist and communists saw the response of the Church as threatening, even in the 19th century, is revealing. Americans have been so asleep.