In the new social order of our day the citizens must publicly offer sacrifice to the god of relativism by renouncing absolute moral values and accepting all religions as equally true. In order to be “good” citizens they must tolerate evil by refusing to condemn abortion, perverse sexual actions and euthanasia as always and everywhere -without any exception whatsoever – immoral and against the dignity of man. If they do not, they will be stripped of any possibility of professional promotion and then dragged into the Coliseum of the mass-media to be mauled by the savage accusations of fascism and intolerance. Maybe the jaws of the lions in the old Coliseum weren’t quite so bad a deal after all.
The main weapons of the Dictatorship of Relativism are formal and informal education and the passing of legislation on the basis of personal “rights”. Through control of formal education, it can manipulate conscience by teacher-training and textbooks; by using mass-media it can create a “climate of opinion” gradually clouding the moral conscience of the masses before going on to darken the reputation of supporters of the Natural Law and making acceptance of its ideology the test for professional promotion. Finally it sets up the guillotine in the public square by passing legislation to criminalize any opposition to the ideology with penalties of fines and imprisonment.
Only one center of power blocks the path of the juggernaut: the Catholic Church. She always has been and always will be an irreconcilable enemy of totalitarianism because she asserts that man shall bend the knee to God alone and to the Natural Law as the guardian of man’s dignity and the supreme authority for any state’s positive laws. Standing beneath the words of the Lord of History, the Church declares: “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”(Luke 20:25)
Totalitarianism in turn has never hesitated in recognizing Catholicism as the enemy because the Church is not merely a philosophy or a anemic theology but “an imperial power, a counter-Kingdom which occupies ground and claims to rule over those whom this world’s governments had once ruled without rival” (Christopher Dawson).
Nevertheless in each conflict with Catholicism, totalitarianism has hoped that the Church would be “flexible” and allow itself to be emasculated: a state-church nodding its head to the dictatorship, staying in the sacristies and being seen but not heard in the political, economic and cultural nerve-centers of society.
“The Catholic beliefs that most deeply irritate the orthodoxies of the West”, said Archbishop Charles Chaput, “are those concerning abortion, sexuality and the marriage of man and woman. This is no accident. These Christian beliefs express the truth about human fertility, meaning and destiny. These truths are subversive in a world that would have us believe that God is not necessary and that human life has no inherent nature or purpose. Thus the Church must be punished because, despite all the sins and weaknesses of her people, she is still the bride of Jesus Christ; still a source of beauty, meaning and hope that refuses to die — and still the most compelling and dangerous heretic of the world’s new order”. (August 25, 2010)
Another voice clarifying the issues at stake is the highly-respected Senator Marcello Pera, one of Europe’s leading intellectuals, president of the Italian senate from 2001-2006 and an agnostic, who recently wrote an open letter to the editor of Corriere della Sera entitled “An Attack on the Pope and on Democracy”:
“There is a war on…. This war of secularism against Christianity is a total war. One has to look back to Nazism or communism to find anything like it. The methods change but the goal is the same: today as yesterday the aim is the destruction of religion. Then the price paid by Europe was the loss of her freedom. It is incredible that Germany,once more a democratic country, and still beating her breast in memory of the hardship she inflicted on the rest of Europe, should forget and not understand that her democracy would be lost if Christianity were to be vanquished again. The destruction of religion back then brought about the destruction of reason. Today it would not lead to the triumph of secular reason but to barbarianism.
“From an ethical angle it is the barbarianism of those who kill the fetus because its life might endanger the mother’s psychic health; those who consider an embryo a “cluster of cells” useful for experimentation; those who would kill an old person because he has no family to look after him; those who would hasten the death of a child because he is unconscious and incurable; those who think that “parent A” and “parent B” are the same as “father” and “mother” […]
“Or looking at the political side of the secularist war against Christianity, barbarianism will mean the destruction of Europe. Because, once Christianity is vanquished, we will be left with multiculturalism which claims that each group has a right to its own culture; with relativism which claims that every culture is as good as any other, and pacifism which denies the existence of evil.(MARCELLO PERA, An Attack on the Pope and on Democracy, March 10, 2010 )
We are therefore at the intersection of history where a vacuum exists with only a “senile, toothless and confused culture” (Peter Kreeft) that slouches towards totalitarianism confronting the Catholic Church as the great enemy. That the Catholic Church is the “greatest danger we face” is evident to many trying to create the new globalist ethic:
“The great conflict of the 21st century will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face.” (Robert Reich)
In a world where the natural law and ancient traditions have been exiled, one fortress, one “Helms Deep”, still holds out. The Catholic Church alone refuses to kneel before the world and is increasingly recognized by upright thinking men as the only option to chaos. Only the truth of Christ integrally contained within the Catholic Faith can fully remedy this desperate situation. Only if Christians give the fullness of the Faith to the men and women living under the Dictatorship of Relativism will they have the moral fiber required to avert the disaster threatened by the unleashing of the forces of technology from the guidance of the truths of the Natural Law.
Evelyn Waugh, the author of Brideshead Revisited, upon his conversion in 1930, keenly perceived the nature of the Western crisis:
“In the present phase of European history the essential issue is no longer between Catholicism, on one side, and Protestantism, on the other, but between Christianity and Chaos. … In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the choice before any educated European was between Christianity, in whatever form it was presented to him….and….. a polite and highly attractive skepticism. So great, indeed, was the inherited, subconscious power of Christianity that it was nearly two centuries before the real nature of this loss of faith became apparent. Today we can see it on all sides as the active negation of all that Western culture has stood for. Civilization…the whole moral and artistic organization of Europe—has not in itself the power of survival. It came into being through Christianity, and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance….. It is no longer possible, as it was in the time of Gibbon, to accept the benefits of civilization and at the same time deny the supernatural basis on which it rests….. Christianity… is in greater need of combative strength than it has been for centuries.”