11 November 2011

Remembering the Murder-Suicide of Christendom

The above photo is of Pope St. Pius X consecrating his successor as bishop, whose later papal name became Pope Benedict XV.  These two popes of peace were ignored by the powers of the day, and thus Christendom died.  Already struck, perhaps mortally, in 1517 and 1789, Christendom--by any definition-- ended 93 years ago today.


StGuyFawkes said...


That Christendom died 93 years ago is a proposition that needs a little more showing or elaboration.

Here are some words which I'm sure you know by heart which might hearten you in these dark times.

"At least five times, therefore, with the Arian and the Albigensian, with the Humanist sceptic, after Voltaire and after Darwin, the Faith has to all appearance gone to the dogs. In each of these five cases it was the dog that died."

G.K. Chesterton, "The Everlasting Man", Chapter 6, "The Five Deaths of the Faith"

Anonymous said...

Didn't Jesus promise his Church would endure forever? Beware despair. By any definition.

StGuyFawkes said...

Dear Tim and Anon 11/11/11 17:43,

I suspect Tim is referring to the dissolution of "Christendom" not the Church. He places the date of that dissolution at the end of the Austro-Hungarian empire which was a result of the 1st World War, an event the Popes warned us would lead to civilization's peril.

Fun fact to know and tell. Islamicists point to the end of their Caliphate, that is their true hold on secular and a Islamic civilization, at the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, also a result of the 1st World War.

Whittaker Chambers was on his deathbed having just received last rites when he began to sputter to the priest about "the end of the West and Christendom."

The good Father hushed him with "Oh, the hell with the West."

It's the Church that counts, not Christendom in the long run.

Christendom will return. Probably not in our lifetimes however.

St. Guy

X said...

Whittaker Chambers died a Quaker, not a Catholic. I've never heard anything about him receiving the Last Rites. He was never a Catholic and his body was cremated. I don't know where you got this story but it's almost certainly apocryphal. If you were familiar with Chambers at all you would know that that statement would be much more likely to have been said by him than to him.
Also, Christendom will NOT return short of an act of God. The Faith in Europe is dead. In my opinion it was the ending of the prohibitions on usury which led to it's corruption and ultimate downfall. It's why they hate Islam.

StGuyFawkes said...

Dear X,

I've only read Chamber's essays collected in "Ghosts on the Roof." Regarding his biographical details I know little other than his performance in the Hiss case.

My story about Chamber's and "Last Rites" is probably apocryphal, although I'm sure I read it somewhere. Thanks for the correction.

On the issue of "Christendom" I think one has to distinguish between the Church and the culture and civilization she builds around Herself. The Church may lose her reign over the surrounding world and yet survive to re-build another world on the ruins of the last.

That was Chesterton's point. She rose once in the ashes of Rome, she might arise again in the ashes of liberal democracies and totalitarian police states.

This is especially the case when you consider the extent that "Christendom", at least the way it is defined here, is mostly a positive arrangement between the Church and government.

Because the Church has lost Her paradigmatic relationship with the monarchies of Old Europe doesn't mean that she cannot find Her way to lead and tutor democracies.

St. Guy

Anonymous said...

Absolutely right ... only if you're a complete xenophobe. Yes, the religion that belonged to European ancestry and migrated to America and became part of the white middle class is dying out. Through your narcissistic lens that only values this white culture, I can see why you say Christendom has died.

But the Catholic church is booming in third world countries, with Catholics now topping 1.1 billion people. And there, where Christ's message to the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the lame, the crippled ... that message that Jesus is there, with them, resonates more than ever.

The Jesus known in poverty and not in power is what is keeping Catholicism alive on this planet. Not the one that is trying to mesh capitalism or communism with Christianity, not the one supposedly is trying to rule countries or become a political entity, but the one where Jesus touches lepers, dines with sinners, mourns alongside those who are lame and cripled ... that is the Jesus that is vibrantly alive around the rest of the world. We are too rich a nation to know that Jesus, and too materialistic a nation to create space for Him.

Sorry that your myopic world lives, and dies, only in a white, European world. And for our Catholic faith to continue exploding across the world, the "Christendom" you mourn needs to die for our Catholic faith to continue.


Anonymous said...

Pewkneeler ... wow - what a foment. Take out the word 'white' and substitute it with 'black' and you'd be run out of town on a rail, though it is well known that your version of racism is acceptable in today's culture.


Badger Catholic said...

Bl. Charles, ora pro nobis!

Anonymous said...

Pope Gregory XVII, ora pro nobis.


Anonymous said...

Good try, but it doesn't work. Blacks have never conquered and ruled the world. And whites were not sold by the millions as products (slaves) to help make them rich.

Indeed, if Africans treated an entire continent the way Europeans treated them, I'd totally be fomenting about that. But the reality is - they didn't.


Anonymous said...

Whites as well as blacks are sold into slavery today, at a disturbing rate, including Africa. Also, it was the Africans whom captured and sold other blacks in slavery to the whites. So all are not free from sin.

Black & White

Peggy IL said...

I think it's pretty fair to say that much of a continent, Africa, is today being treated pretty badly, eg, slavery, war that includes children, famine, murder, rape, separation of families, and so forth...at the hands of fellow Africans. Some of the aggressors are Muslim, others are rivalrous tribes in competition for power.

Slavery long existed before Africans sold their fellows to European & American traders. For several centuries, various peoples have been enslaved by other peoples, usually conquerors.

Anonymous said...


My point was to expose the narrow-minded prejudice against an entire race of people based on their color. You're right - that doesn't work. White Europeans are composed of scores of sovereign nations, cultures and histories - many of which had nothing to do with becoming rich on slavery as you say, but you seem comfortable in lumping them all together.

And contrary to your assertion that ... let's give it a name - Traditionalism - is dying out, one only needs to look at the seminaries that are teaching and practicing orthodox Catholicism that are burgeoning in numbers to witness that indeed it is growing.