The Faith of Europe and the Pointless Pope

Defending a Nullity

Well, that didn’t take long.

The façade of #Unity that the French people displayed to the world after the attacks on the leftist magazine Charlie Hebdo lasted about as long as Lindy West’s diet. Marine Le Pen, leading candidate for President of the Republic even before what Steve Sailer termed “the recent unpleasantness,” was banned from the massive “Unity March.” Franco-Cameroonian (is that a thing now?) comedian and provocateur Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala was banned and then arrested for unapproved opinions and even the mainstream American press is rolling its eyes at French claims of support for “free speech.” The Washington Post noted the inconvenient truth that the lovable “moderate” Muslims couldn’t refrain from shrieking the Takbīr during the “minute of silence” offered for the slaughtered satirists whose own love of liberty did not extend to the democratic movements of the French Right.

The core leaders of Europe, Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande, are now openly aligned with the Islamic colonization project. The political alliance outlined in Houellebecq’s Submission is already a reality as the European establishment has explicitly chosen to support their newly imported underclass instead of their increasingly restive co-ethnics. The only thing missing is an independent Muslim political and cultural movement that is not simply a subdivision of the usual leftist identity politics. And as the Muslim population increases and Whites (especially White women) convert to get on the winning team, such a movement seems all but inevitable.

What the West is slowly learning, even as it kicks, screams, and whines about it all the way, is that you can’t defeat a faith with a nullity. And liberalism–classical or otherwise–is a nullity. It always was. The advance of “freedom” in the West has marched in step with an expansion of state power into the everyday life of citizens beyond anything that a medieval prince or king would have dared attempt.

Yet the emerging plan of the Western establishment to the “new normal” of occasional Islamic terrorism is to redouble its efforts to ensure that America remains a Hollow Empire and Europe a banal theme park. The likely result of the Charlie Hebdo attacks are more concessions to devout Muslims and greater restrictions on speech. As Pat Buchanan judged, this was a triumph for terrorism, and all the hashtags and handwritten notes posted by sad faced herbs on their crappy blogs won’t change the fact.

Naturally, such “satirists” that remain will simply redouble their attacks on easy targets like White Christians who don’t find it especially difficult to remember what sex they are. SJW’s will focus on the truly important issues, like an insufficient number of affirmative action nominees at the Oscars. And reporters will warn that every Republican in flyover country who mumbles a prayer to his American Jesus is the beginning of an “American Theocracy” even as the press smiles benevolently on what would be called “hate rallies” if they were composed of Whites or Christians.

The Faith Was Europe, Europe Was the Faith

The West wasn’t always a nullity or even “the West.” It was Christendom–an entire civilization largely created and defined by the longest lasting institution in the world, the Roman Catholic Church. The Church, as Belloc described, saved what could be saved from the collapsing Roman Empire. The pagans Julian wanted so badly to save rejected their emperor’s attempt to shock life into a dead creed. Even today, beardless priests dressed in Roman vestments administer an institution headed by a man who bears the title once held by Julius Caesar, Pontifex Maximus. Gibbons famously jibed that the Church “defended by violence the empire which she had acquired by fraud,” but what empire has functioned differently? The “religion of empire,” as H.W. Crocker III called Catholicism in his history Triumph, prevented the wholesale fragmentation and probable extinction of the European “thing” after the collapse of the Western Empire.

Of course, what allowed the Church to accomplish this seemingly miraculous feat is the same thing required by any successful movement or institution–hypocrisy. The Church historian Eusebius slyly ignored the personal crimes of Constantine the Great and discovered the divine hand even in the creation of the initially pagan Roman Empire. The high culture the Church was able to cultivate depended on its successful assimilation of the pagan philosophers of Greece and Rome. As for the Germanic warriors who proved the Sword arm of the Faith, they embraced a hierarchical, militant creed which they intuitively understood as an echo of the relationship between themselves and their temporal (war)lord, a cultural belief we find in literature like the Heliand and the Dream of the Rood. The Faith was less a rational, coherent and abstract creed than a cultural construct between the Christian, the Germanic, and the Classical. The West would be defined the same way.

Yet a “Catholic” Church is necessarily “universal.” After the fragmentation of Europe in the Reformation and the Peace of Westphalia, the key concession had been made that there was no longer a true “Faith” to define Western man. Many European nations (England and Sweden among others) defined themselves in opposition to Popery. And thus, even exemplars of what we would call “Western Man” like Bismarck or Gustuvus Adolphus were not faithful sons of the Church, but bitter enemies. The Pontifex of the Eternal City becomes the nominal spiritual leader of hordes of Haitians or indigenous Mexican peasants who, in the eyes of the Vatican, are spiritually superior to the mostly Protestant populations of Northern Europe.

Nationalism theoretically provides a replacement to religious faith as a unifying creed. But the nations of the past all believed God was on their side, even though it was impossible for all of them to be right at once. Even privileging blood over sect or local polity (the original intent of “Deutschland über alles”) doesn’t disguise the reality that Authority, broadly defined, requires some sort of link to the divine in order for it to survive and have some kind of legitimacy.

This is nothing new to a student of Evola or de Maistre, but it isn’t going to have much of a following against a country of consumers frantically upvoting three year “Hitchslaps” against religion on YouTube and tweeting #JeSuisCharlie before they hunt for “racists” to get fired. Still, even the hard Left seems determined to cloak its policy preferences in religious language whenever it has the opportunity.

Most Christian denominations, especially the high church Protestants, have long since surrendered to liberalism even in its most extreme varieties, and your typical mainline Protestant cleric is a living parody of European New Right pagan arguments against Christianity. Huckster “reverends” and crossdressing female “clergy” in faux Roman collars are a staple of your typical black street protest or immigrant “rights” rally. And while many of the leftist clergy and religious organizations are motivated purely by money, others most likely believe their own propaganda, conflating the god of the Bible with the spirit of equality conjured by the Tumblr of an obese furry. Removing the tax exempt status from American churches and halting government payments to religious organizations would be a devastating strike against the organizational capacity of the Left. It would cause far less distress to American Christians who place their faith in the next world rather than the Social Gospel as defined by the Huffington Post “Gay Voices” section.

The spiritual core of the contemporary West is thus a kind of depraved burlesque show, with God alternately denied, turned against us, or somehow both simultaneously. The authentic religious divides of the past have long since lost their relevance. However, we live with the consequences as Europe remains a Broken Empire and Europeans feel free to continue fighting against each other while ignoring the existential Other that threatens all of them. There is only one institution that could even hypothetically serve as a kind of Center for organizing European resistance and reconstituting identity. That is the Church. And the Church has joined the other side, not just in terms of race, but in terms of religion.

Pope Francis the Last?

In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Catholic League President Bill Donohue pointed out that the “free speech” champions were deliberately and pointlessly provoking Muslims, and Muslims had a “right to be angry.” Immigration liberal Hugh Hewitt, with far more passion and righteous indignation than he has ever summoned against an avowed leftist, screeched that this was “repugnant” and “morally offensive.” Hewitt said this “as a Catholic,” a phrase which now inevitably precedes or follows a profession of faith in egalitarianism and liberalism. He intoned, “I doubt very much he will find even one bishop, archbishop or cardinal to stand alongside him in seconding his statement of yesterday.”

On Thursday, Pope Francis stated, “You cannot insult other people’s faith,” and made the comparison to hitting someone who insulted your mother. Of course, this goes and screws up the Narrative of “free speech” conservatives defending a West solely defined by “freedom” for everyone except those who oppose Third World immigration. It also will upset the kinds of “dedicated Catholics” like Stephen Colbert or Andrew Sullivan who define the Faith of Rome as the Human Rights Campaign with more incense and nicer buildings.

Catholic conservatives may charge (and liberal Catholics may hope) that Francis is actually changing Church doctrines, especially on issues like homosexuality with his comments like “Who am I to judge?” (Answer: the Pope). This isn’t really true–in any event, it would be beyond the Pope to simply reverse Church teachings. We can expect the progressive press to savagely turn on the Pontiff when they figure out that the Pope’s rhetoric has more to do with PR than changing theology. Even the Church of the self-deprecating Pope calmly excommunicates silly females who “identify as bishops” or who want to cosplay as “priests.”

They shouldn’t be too upset. Pope Francis simply transitioning to a Catholicism of “values” akin to the conservatism of the AmericanRight. Instead of grounding Catholicism in the culture of Europe and the Magisterium of the Church, the Church of Francis consists a vaguely benevolent spiritualism that calls for universal respect but doesn’t impose too many demands. It’s the faith of the “Cool Pope,” as he is called by Gawker, the creed of a “saint” in the eyes of noted Christian ascetic Elton John.

In actuality, the Papacy has simply become redundant. It’s easy to forget, but in the early days of the papacy of Benedict XVI, there was some hope that Ratzinger would reorient the Church to the spiritual reconquest of Europe, or at least the confrontation of Islam. Liberals feared that he would return the Church to confronting liberalism in the same way as Pope Pius IX condemned the heresy of “Americanism” and promulgated the Syllabus of Errors.

That isn’t exactly how it worked out. In 2004, then Cardinal Ratzinger had opposed Turkish entry to the European Union. By 2006, he supported it. The Regensburg Lecture in which Benedict XVI quoted a Byzantine Emperor’s condemnation of Islam turned out to be a fiasco, and “God’s Rottweiler” spent the remainder of his papacy muttering the same ecumenical banalities as John Paul II. When Benedict re-implemented traditional Catholic prayers calling for the conversion of the Jews (which would seem to be common sense for any faith which seeks converts), Jewish leaders told him to change it–and he did. Though as a Cardinal Ratzinger had bemoaned the falling European birthrate, as Pope he called for more protection of immigrants in First World countries. The fearsome intellect that had so inspired conservative Catholics as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith gave us nothing as Pope that we wouldn’t hear from a typical celebrity guest on Ellen.

Benedict’s resignation and the rise of Francis (who had fiercely opposed his predecessor’s comments on Islam) was the final sign that the Church has largely given up on trying to oppose modernity. Instead, the Church will try to coexist with it in the manner of the insufferable bumper sticker. Francis hasn’t exactly repudiated doctrine, but he has undermined its foundations. He permitted Jews and Muslims to conduct their ceremonies within the Vatican, begging the question of what, therefore, is the point of the Church’s claim to Truth. He decided the “proper reading of the Koran is opposed to every form of violence”–surely news to the latest cover subject of Charlie Hebdo, wherever the Prophet is today.

Rather than confronting the utter collapse of the family and social norms, the Holy Father is thinking of ways to surrender to it. Francis has systematically shifted power in the bureaucracy away from the traditionalist orders, appointed more Cardinals from the Third World to vote in the College, and occupies himself by making trite pronouncements about “inequality” as the root of all social evil. Worst of all, he has displayed an almost autistic level obsession with importing Third World immigrants into the West, including massive Muslim immigration into Europe. Seeing as how European Catholic priests amuse themselves by converting their churches into makeshift mosques to house illegal immigrants, this isn’t particularly surprising.

There is an implicit strategy in all of this. Without changing the things that can’t be changed, Pope Francis and his supporters are transforming the Church from a living religious institution sustained by sincere belief in its own authority into a large charity that has some moral suggestions for you. If you are interested of course. No biggie.

The Holy Father’s tut-tutting about “insulting religion” because he wants to make sure religion as such still has some sort of a respectable hearing within the media. Alliance with Muslims on the grounds that they are “people of faith” is therefore to be preferred over standing for a European Civilization which was built by the Church but doesn’t have enough people in the pews. Thus, universalism and ecumenicalism ultimately leads to self-denial and suicide. It fails to defend the Faith and the European Culture that was both the Church’s parent and child.

Such a course was perhaps inevitable after the catastrophic reforms of Vatican II which (again without technically violating Catholic dogma) gutted Catholic culture and its links to Europe with the removal of the universal Latin Mass, undermined any sense of hierarchy or authority, and introduced a spirit of poisonous egalitarianism into the Church of Rome. And without the claim of authority, what is the point of listening to a group of old men who claim to possess the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven? Post Vatican II, what sense does it make to speak of a “Catholic country” or even a “Catholic population?” The anti-Catholic “Know Nothings” of the American Party in the 19th century at least recognized the Roman Church as a political force to be feared; today, a person’s identification as a “Catholic” is of far less importance than what football team he follows.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that an Irish “priest” can stand before his ostensibly Catholic congregation, proclaim himself a homosexual, call for same-sex marriage, and receive a standing ovation. Why not? If Catholicism is simply just another choice one can make, why not sexuality? And, inevitably, why not simply ignore what the Church has to say if you disagree with and still “identify” as a Catholic in the same way certain crazed women “identify” as bishops? When Muslims are hanging out with Cool Pope in the Vatican, what’s to fear about excommunication?

Conservatives are hardly better. Crocker’s Triumph (endorsed by Sean Hannity, among others), a book which savors the bloody adventures of knightly orders and warrior popes, ends with a call to rally to the Church because it “is the only substantial institution with a well-articulated philosophy opposed to artificial genetic engineering of humans.” American Catholic writers like Kathryn Jean Lopez specialize in explaining how the latest idiotic leftist thing the Pope said isn’t actually leftist. And conservative Catholicism in this country is largely interested in proving to progressives that it is the followers of Rome who are the true egalitarians, especially when it comes to abortion.

WND, widely read by American evangelicals, is promoting the idea that the Last Pope is already at hand. The vague prophecy of St. Malachy is hardly convincing, especially when we are supposed to believe “Peter the Roman” is an Argentinian guy named Jorge. But in a larger sense, they’re right and Francis is the last. The Church is no longer a culture unto itself or even a real oppositional subculture. The Vicar of Christ has simply become the head of just another annoying NGO.

The European Faith

The problem with all of this is that belief, not a right wing culture of critique, is what is needed. The crazed religious infighting within what passes for the Identitarian or White advocacy movement can hardly stack up against the confidence of resurgent Islam, or the famously self-obsessed Tribe that substitutes its own ethnos in place of God.

But the Holy Mother Church, however far She has fallen, still has lessons to teach us. The history of the Church and its remarkable ability to assimilate an astonishing number of philosophies, orders, and cultures under a united authority suggests a model that can be followed. And even in the ruin that is post-Christian Europe, traditionalist religion, both Christian and pagan, is asserting itself.

Perhaps these diverse and even mutually hostile creeds within what passes for the “movement” can be united into a common institution or identity, if not a common confession. The coming conflict against our occupiers of government, media, and mosque will serve as crucible and catalyst. And France, with its active European New Right pagan movement and Traditionalist Catholics who haven’t quite forgiven the Revolution, is as good a place as any to search for a beginning.

Ross Douthet observes in the New York Times:

[There’s] the possibility that there’s some sense in France of an ideological or religious vacuum waiting to be filled, and that the role that ideas still play in French culture makes some sort of unexpected filling-up perhaps more likely than elsewhere in the end-of-history West…. (France is also a country with a very strong traditionalist Catholic presence — there might be as many French priests in various Latin Mass orders, separated and not, by 2040 as there are priests in the diocesan clergy and non-traditionalist orders… it wouldn’t be altogether surprising to see the French at the vanguard of some post-secular, or post-post-Christian, developments.

Is there any kind of logical coherence to my proposed hypothetical creed that could somehow unite the Pagan Identitarian, the Latin Mass Catholic, the secular Nationalist, and the tribal Traditionalist who could care less about people’s sexual practices? Of course not.

But one could (at the risk of blasphemy) make such a claim about the Church that turned the teachings of a Jewish rabbi into the faith of Empire. Constantine largely accomplished it by forcing squabbling priests and theologians into a room and threatening them until they hammered out a common creed. As Richard Spencer has accurately described, the critical division and marker of identity that separates “us” from “them” is not religion, but race. And that is something to go on. We have more in common with each other than with our universalist or deracinated co-confessionals.

As a heathen, I’m filled with cold rage when I read the story of St. Boniface chopping down Donar’s Oak, much as I imagine the pious man rejoices in this tale of his God’s victory over the dark spirits of the North. But the genius of the West is that there is a common civilizational identity that can transcend these divisions. And that transcending those divisions is as imperative as a sense of transcendence itself is to the survival of a people and civilization.

Plinto Corrêa de Oliveira, author of Revolution and Counter-Revolution and founder of the Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, wrote, “When still very young, I marveled at the ruins of Christendom and gave them my heart. I turned my back on all I could expect and made of that past, so full of blessings, my future.”

But we are not moved by just the glory of the Cathedrals and the memory of the immortal Crusaders, but the ruins of ancient Greece, the dream of Rome, the sagas of the North, and the conquest of the American West. All of these experiences and remnants, victories and defeats, are part of our common soul.

Europe extends wherever her sons and daughters reside. Europe Belongs to Us. And in the end, the God we serve is Europa Herself.