“Sacrament of Tears”, Adrian von Ziegler, from the album “Mortualia”, 2012.
So we are continuing on the theme of “Where Western Civ went wrong, also known as “the decline and fall of modern English culture”, live and in living colour on all sides and from all directions in all media. This post was inspired by my own observations and attention to media coverage of current events and by a couple of interesting websites I have visited.
I post this as a tentative answer to the common question shouted and whispered on all sides: “WHAT IS WRONG?” My thesis is “We, the Children of Mammon, the modern protagonists of the Cult of Self Delusion, abandoned the Faith of our Fathers, that is the Catholic Faith and Catholic Morals”. We willingly threw away the wisdom of millennia for a pocket full of hand mirrors.
This post is partly sourced from the preface by Thomas A. Nelson to a translation of a book by Dr. Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany entitled “El Liberalismo es Pecado”, published in 1886 and translated and adapted for U.S. (English) readership by Conde B. Pallen, Ph.D., L.L.D. under the title What Is Liberalism? and published in English in 1899. The preface by Thomas A. Nelson is from the TAN publication of the latest printing, March 10, 1993. so this little book has been in print continuously for over a hundred years. Must be something good about it to resist being banished to the dustbin of history for so many years
A second source of inspiration is information and writing found at the Cor Jesu Sacratissimum website. Both sites make interesting reading and leave me with a sense of relief that I am not alone and nuts and that there have been others in the last two centuries observing and writing about what I think of as the 2nd fall of mankind. It’s anyone’s guess whether we will get a 3rd chance or not – I rather lean towards NOT, but that is just my optimism shining through the smoky cloud of corruption covering the world today.
By the year 304 A.D., “Catholicism” had pretty well permeated and converted the ancient Roman world, so that 8 years later, with the victory of Constantine the Great at the battle of the Malvian Bridge and with his succession as Roman Emperor in that year, Catholicism became the official religion of all civilized society. And as the Roman world more and more influenced its neighbors, especially the northern European peoples, the civilization that developed there was Roman-Catholicized civilization.
For just a minute or two to give us context and a sense of just how long 2000 years of Catholic Faith really is let’s wander down a time line of Catholic Truth from Constantine the Great through 2013 and Pope Francis and whatever is going on now – a perceived rebirth of the spirit of Vatican II in all it’s mundane glory. Bear with me as I do not share the modern belief that anything that has been around for a long time is necessarily obsolete and must be discarded. Some things have a long history because they bear important Truths for the present, all the little presents that make up the past and the future.
|312AD||Roman emperor Constantine receives a vision of a flaming cross with the words
‘In hoc signo vinces’ : ‘By this sign conquer’.
Defeats rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.
|313||Edict of Milan issued by Constantine – Christianity becomes a legal religion within the Roman empire.|
|325||Constantine calls the first ecumenical council at Nicea.
Arian heresy which declared Christ was a created being is refuted. Nicene Creed is drawn up, declaring Christ to be “…Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father…”
|367||Saint Athanasius is the first to list all 27 New Testament books in his festal letter.|
|381||Ecumenical Council at Constantinople revises the Nicene creed to its current form.|
|c.382||Saint Jerome begins a translation of the Bible into Latin.|
|397||Synod at Carthage ratifies the 27 books of the New Testament as sacred scripture.|
|431||Ecumenical council held at Ephesus refutes Nestorianism.
(The doctrine that Christ was two persons (one human, the other divine) in one body). Mary is declared Theotokos i.e. ‘God-bearer’ or more commonly, ‘Mother of God’.
|449||At Ephesus, Pope Leo I delivers his ‘Tome’, defending orthodox Christian belief. Leo also asserts Papal supremacy.|
|451||Ecumenical council at Chalcedon affirms Christ as having two distinct natures united in one person (known as the ‘Hypostatic Union’).|
|553||Ecumenical council at Constantinople affirms teaching of previous councils.|
|563||Columba establishes a monastery at Iona.|
|589||Insertion of the filioque (Latin: ‘and the son’) into the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed at a council in Toledo.|
|597||Following a mission authorised by Pope Gregory I, St. Augustine becomes the first Archbishop of Canterbury.|
|664||Synod of Whitby ratifies the authority of the Pope in England.|
|680-81||Ecumenical council at Constantinople rejects Monothelite heresy of one will in Christ.|
|731||Bede writes his Ecclesiastical History.|
|787||Ecumenical council at Nicea ends the controversy over the use of icons in worship.|
|800||Charlemagne is crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope Leo III.|
|988||Conversion of Prince Vladimir in Kiev. Growth of Christianity in Russia.|
|1054||Great Schism – Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic churches separate.|
|1095||Pope Urban II authorises the first Crusade to recover the Holy Land from Moslems.|
|1099||Crusaders conquer Jerusalem.|
|1182||Massacre of Latin inhabitants of Constantinople.|
|1187||Jerusalem recaptured by a Moslem army led by Saladin.|
|1189||Third Crusade led by Richard the Lionheart of England.|
|1204||Sack of Constantinople during the fourth crusade.|
|1216/23||Papal approval of the Dominican and Franciscan mendicant (‘begging’) orders.|
|1266-73||Thomas Aquinas writes his great work of systematic Theology: Summa Theologiae.|
|1305||Papacy moved to Avignon following a dispute with Philip IV of France.|
|c.1341||Defence of Orthodox spirituality by Gregory Palamas. Rise of Hesychasm.|
|c.1376||John Wycliffe writes ‘Civil Dominion’, arguing for reform of the church.|
|1378||Following the return of the Papacy to Rome, rival claimants (Antipopes) emerge. Dispute ends in 1417 with election of Martin V.|
|c.1380||John Wycliffe translates the Bible into Middle English.|
|1453||Constantinople falls to the Ottoman Turks.|
|1517||Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses in Wittenburg, Germany; beginning the Protestant reformation.|
|1521||Diet of Worms – Luther’s final breach with the Catholic church.|
|1525||William Tyndale completes his translation of the Bible into English.|
|1534||Ignatius of Loyola founds the Jesuits.|
|1534||Act of Supremacy passed – Henry VIII becomes supreme head of the English church.|
|1536||John Calvin publishes his Institutes of the Christian Religion.|
|1545-63||Council of Trent – Roman Catholic counter reformation.|
|1549||Thomas Cranmer publishes the Book of Common Prayer in England (later revised in 1662).|
|1555||Peace of Augsburg ends religious wars in Germany.|
|1611||Publication of the King James Version of the Bible.|
|1618-48||Protestant/Catholic conflict in Germany (Thirty Years War).|
|1730-60||The ‘Great Awakening’ – A revival movement among Protestants in the USA.|
|1738||John and Charles Wesley converted. They lead an Evangelical revival in England and form the Methodist church.|
|1854||Dogma of the Immaculate conception of Mary proclaimed by the Roman Catholic church.|
|1870-1||First Vatican council. Dogma of Papal infallibility proclaimed.|
|1906||Azusa street revival in Los Angeles. Beginnings of the Pentecostal movement.|
|1910||World mission conference held in Edinburgh.|
|1918||Billy Graham born. Later becomes one of the most prominent evangelists in Christian history.|
|1948||Formation of the World Council of Churches.|
|1950||Dogma of the Assumption of Mary proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church.|
|1962-5||Second Vatican council. Major reforms in the Roman Catholic church are initiated.
Mutual anathemas of 1054 between Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches lifted.
|1997||Death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta – founder of the ‘Missionaries of Charity’.|
|1999||Signing of the Joint Declaration on Justification by the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches.|
|2005||Death of Pope John Paul II, who is succeeded by Pope Benedict XVI.|
|2006||World Methodist Council adopts the Lutheran/Catholic Joint Declaration on Justification.|
|2011||Beatification of Pope John Paul II.|
|2013||Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, who is succeeded by Pope Francis.|
By the time William of Normandy had conquered Britain the Catholic Church had been spreading in Britain for about 469 years. By the time of the Protestant Reformation, starting in 1517 and continuing throughout that century, European civilization had already been well formed by the Catholic religion for almost 1,200 years in some regions and at least 400 years in the newest parts of the Catholic world.
I am not making this up. Don’t take my word for it. Just read any pre-“Public School” system “Social Studies” history (see Magical Thinking” in previous post) to discover undisputed facts about our historical past. As Hilaire Belloc points out in his “Essays of a Catholic”, these new Protestants did not abandon their Catholic moral customs. They continued to live by the truths and moral customs which their Catholic forefathers had lived by for more than a thousand years.
The problem was that they now rejected as true the religious-philosophical truths taught by the the Catholic Church, which had wholly created their customary and traditional ethic, and they had set themselves up as the sole arbiters of truth and right values. In essence they declared themselves demi-gods. Not quite full gods YET, but definitely perfectible by their own efforts, because once you have sola scriptura and personal interpretation as the sole basis of right thinking and virtue then the rest of the story was more or less inevitable given man’s natural proclivities. ahhh, such a wonderful sin is pride, no?