The Decline and Fall of the Catholic West

Emmet Scott’s latest essay concerns the decline of the Catholic Church and its relationship to the demographic decline that helped prompt the current “refugee” crisis.

The Decline and Fall of the Catholic West

by Emmet Scott

Recent events have forcefully highlighted, to all but the most wilfully ignorant, that Western Civilization is — especially in Europe — in the midst of an existential crisis. The tides of humanity now pouring into Europe from the Middle East, southern Asia and northern as well as sub-Saharan Africa, will, if the process continues even for another year or so, make the continent virtually unrecognizable in a generation. North America is undergoing its own “Third World” invasion, but, since most of its immigrants derive from Latin America, the situation there is different. Latin Americans are, ultimately, not too different from North Americans culturally. The immigration to Europe, however, is coming overwhelmingly from Sunni Islam, and that makes it an entirely different ball game. We are witnessing nothing less than the birth of the long-predicted Eurabia.

The possibility, even likelihood, that Europe would eventually cease to be “European” has been understood for at least half a century, ever since the commencement of large scale Third World immigration in the 1960s and ‘70s — initially into France and Britain and later into virtually all western European states. Now, whilst it is true that the ruling elites have encouraged this process for economic and ideological reasons, it is also true that a primary cause of the influx has been the massive decline in Europe’s birth rate since the 1970s.

The drop in European (and American) birth rates is a complex and controversial topic and may well have more than a single cause. Nonetheless, one thing is very clear: the process has coincided almost precisely with an unprecedented and rapid abandonment of the Catholic faith amongst the Catholic populations of Europe and America, an abandonment which commenced with the implementation of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, from 1965 onwards. I’ll look at those reforms presently, but for the moment wish merely to look at a few of the statistics.

Until the late 1960s the Catholic Church in Europe and the Americas was experiencing an almost unprecedented growth and expansion, a growth driven primarily by demographics, but also by conversions. In the years leading up to 1965, for example, conversions to Catholicism were running at around 150,000 per year in the United States alone. Catholic seminaries were packed and new ones were being opened every year. Demographics were also favourable: almost all regions of Catholic Europe and the Americas (North and South) had high birth rates. Indeed, during the first half of the twentieth century and even during much of the nineteenth, birthrates among Catholics and in Catholic regions were substantially higher than among Protestants and among those who practiced no religion. Some were extremely high. Quebec, for example, with its conservative French-speaking Catholicism, had one of the highest birth-rates in the world. Catholic parts of Europe presented a similar picture: During the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, for example, the birth-rate in the Catholic south of the Netherlands was almost twice that of the Protestant north. By the mid-1960s the Netherlands was well on the way to becoming a predominantly Catholic country for the first time since the seventeenth century. And the same was true of many traditionally Protestant regions of Europe. The Catholic Church in Scotland, for example, which had been reduced to little more than a remnant by the eighteenth century, experienced a rapid and largely demographically-driven growth during the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. By the mid-1960s Catholics formed a fifth of Scotland’s population, and the numbers were growing rapidly.

Until the mid-1960s Italy was proverbially a family-orientated society. During the latter half of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century the country experienced a massive population increase, and only large-scale emigration to North and South America prevented the country from overtaking France and Germany in terms of population.

But the Catholic population explosion came to a rapid — almost a sudden — end in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and whilst a whole kaleidoscope of opinions regarding this have been expressed and put into print, one fact is undeniable: The demographic nose-dive was accompanied by the wholesale abandonment of the faith by vast numbers of Catholics. One of the best studies to date is entitled “From Empty Pews to Empty Cradles: Fertility Decline Among European Catholics” (by Eli Berman, Laurence R. Iannaccone and Giuseppe Ragusa). The title of the article expresses the major point quite succinctly. From the late 1960s until the present the Catholic Church has experienced a mass apostasy quite unprecedented in its history. In Europe, the apostasy has generally taken the form of rejection of all religion or simple non-practice. The vast majority of Catholics in Italy and Spain, for example, whilst still “Catholic” for statistical purposes, are in fact Catholics in name only and never — or very rarely — attend church services. There has also been some leakage to various strands of evangelical Protestantism and to other faiths such as Buddhism and Islam, but the numbers are not large. In the Americas, however, the situation is quite different: Both in North America and Latin America great numbers of Catholics have converted to evangelical Protestantism since the early 1970s. So enormous has this movement been in Latin America that at least three countries, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, are now predominantly Protestant. Uruguay in South America is also now a majority non-Catholic country, though in this case most Catholics have become secularists or atheists. In 1960, 90% of Latin Americans identified themselves as Catholic: by 2013 that figure had reached 69% and was dropping rapidly. (More recent estimates put the figure at around 63% as of May 2016)

North America presents a similar picture. In spite of massive, mainly-Catholic, Hispanic immigration, the Catholic Church in the United States is currently losing almost half a million adherents every year, some to evangelical churches, many to secularism. Altogether, 41% of those born Catholic in the United States have left the church.

If we seek to identify the cause of Catholicism’s collapse in its traditional European and American heartlands, we need look no further than the Second Vatican Council: For the collapse, both in terms of practice and in terms of birth-rate, began within about five years of the Council’s close and the implementation of its reforms.

What then was the Second Vatican Council, and why was it so devastating?

Before examining the ideological agenda behind the reforms introduced at Vatican 2, we need to say something about what those reforms meant for Catholics in the pews. To begin with, almost overnight, the ordinary Catholic saw the sweeping away of traditions and practices that had endured for centuries, or rather, one and a half millennia. The mass, the central act of Catholic worship, was transformed. Latin, the language of church liturgy since the time of Constantine and earlier, was dropped, to be replaced by the vernacular of the country. Gregorian chant and traditional church music in general were abandoned and replaced by a variety of Pentecostal-like hymns, as well as new compositions which sounded very much like junk pop music — usually played on guitars.

Church buildings did not escape the reformers’ zeal. Old and venerable churches had marble and teak altars ripped out, to be replaced by stark tables in avant-garde minimalist style. In the UK and Ireland and throughout the Americas, churches up to 150 years old were demolished and replaced by what has been called the “ecclesiastical wigwam,” round or semi-circular structures of barn-like emptiness which left the congregation facing each other rather than the altar.

But the Vatican 2 reformers did not stop there: The very content of Catholic teaching changed beyond recognition. Instead of personal responsibility and moral accountability, priests and bishops now spoke only of love and forgiveness. Congregations were encouraged to believe that God would forgive everything, even if forgiveness was not asked. The faithful became used to hearing priests speak of the need to “love yourself” and to reject the whole idea of guilt. Indeed, for many Vatican 2 priests and theologians it seemed that feeling guilty was the only sin a man or woman could commit. In many parishes, sermons (now called “homilies”) centred on the need to fight for social justice, and in some parts of Latin America the word “fight” was interpreted in the most literal sense possible. Everywhere, “social action” replaced the call to personal holiness, and in keeping with this world-centred outlook, the idea of the supernatural was downplayed and even denied. Thus many priests interpreted Christ’s feeding of the 5,000 as not a miracle at all, but a “social miracle” in that, when the crowd saw the generosity of Jesus in distributing the five loaves and two fishes, they responded by bringing out their own (concealed) food hampers and sharing them with their neighbours.

In short, by the late 1960s the Catholic Church looked and sounded, to all intents and purposes, like a liberal Protestant congregation, barely distinguishable, in terms of doctrine, from the Lutherans or Anglicans/Episcopalians. Indeed, in some respects, Catholic bishops and clergy went even further than their liberal Protestant counterparts. All reference to the “hot button” issues of what has now become known as the Culture Wars, was studiously omitted from sermons and church circulars. The present writer, who is a practising Catholic, has not heard a word about sexual morality, abortion, pornography or homosexuality, from the pulpit in forty years. Nor has he heard the word “Hell” or even “Purgatory” mentioned in the same period. These teachings, which are about accountability and personal morality, were quietly dropped, though never officially removed from church doctrine. Thus, whilst it is commonly perceived that Catholics are conservative on all these issues, in reality rank and file Catholics, as well as Catholic clergymen, are now actually much more liberal than evangelical Protestants, and almost as liberal as atheists and agnostics. This was dramatically revealed in May 2015 when Ireland — possibly the most Catholic country in the world — became the first country to legalize gay “marriage” by popular vote. This result was widely perceived by the mainstream media as signalling a rejection of the Catholic Church by Ireland’s people, but this was not the case: Ireland still has a very high rate of church attendance and remains one of the most Catholic countries in the world. In fact, Ireland’s people voted for Gay Marriage because they were directed to do so by their bishops and priests. In the weeks and months before the vote the issue was not mentioned from the pulpits except by a few priests who actually advocated a “yes” vote.

I am aware that some readers, especially those who are not Catholic, will be astonished by what I have just said. Yet these are the facts. In America, too, Catholics are more likely to vote for the gay- and abortion-friendly Democrats than for the traditionally-minded Republicans, whilst numerous studies have found that throughout Latin America the attitude of Catholics towards the “hot-button” issues is significantly more liberal than that of their evangelical fellow countrymen.

What, then, was the agenda behind Vatican 2? Whole libraries of books have been written on the subject, but one thing comes across very clearly: A powerful group of senior prelates in the church, with the at least partial approval of the Roman Pontiff, moved the Catholic Church in the direction of liberal Protestantism. The schemes and conflicts of the time were outlined in 1967 by the Vatican insider Ralph M. Wiltgen in a book named The Rhine Flows into the Tiber. The problem was that liberal Protestantism had already, by the mid-20th century, been thoroughly secularized and de-sacramentalized. By the late 19th century many liberal Protestants had come under the influence of Marxist thinking and had espoused the idea of working with communists for the good of the poor (Lenin’s “useful idiots”). Many Catholic clergymen and theologians were attracted in the same direction, but such movements were vigorously resisted by the Vatican. Until 1961, that is. With the election of John XXIII the progressives now had a man on the papal throne sympathetic to their cause; and when John XXIII died another man in the same mould, Paul VI, carried the reforms through to their conclusion.

Essentially, then, at Vatican 2 the Catholic Church became infected with the secularist spirit of the age, the progressivist, socialist mind-set which saw the purpose of Christianity as building heaven on earth rather than preparing the faithful for heaven after death. When the Frankfurt School of Marxist ideologues suggested a march through the institutions of the West they did not mention the church, but in the end they did not have to infiltrate the latter institution; its own theologians embraced Marxism voluntarily.

What then if Vatican 2 had not happened; if the Catholic Church had stuck to its guns in the early 1960s? What would the modern West now look like? Would, for example, the birth-rate among Catholics have declined in any case? The answer to that is almost certainly yes, but it is almost equally certain that the decline would have been much slower than actually occurred, which would in turn have meant far fewer Third World immigrants in Europe and North America. As regards the Culture Wars, the outcome would probably have been very different. It is extremely unlikely that a combative and expanding Catholic Church would have passively observed the introduction of abortion on demand and the advent of widespread family breakdown and illegitimacy as it did in the middle to late 1970s. The sexualization of popular culture, which the media and Hollywood in particular promoted during the 1970s and ’80s, would most certainly have been resisted tooth and nail by a confident Catholic hierarchy. Catholic bishops would have directed their congregations to vote for politicians who upheld traditional Christian values, rather than maintain a neutral silence as has now become normal at election time.

As it is, the future looks bleak, particularly for Europe. The Catholic Church has now effectively joined the camp of the leftist social progressives, all the more so since the start of the pontificate of Francis. Its alliance with the prevailing culture, now more open than ever, has accelerated its already rapid decline and its journey into utter irrelevance. The Europe that Vatican 2 has helped create is a Europe in its death-throes, a Europe on the brink of major intercommunal violence and war. Indeed, it now seems inevitable that we shall shortly witness social disintegration in many parts of the continent and the perpetration of atrocities unheard of since the end of World War 2.

Previous posts by Emmet Scott:

2016   Jul   13   The Myth of the Primeval Matriarchy
    Aug   1   The Sunni-Shia Divide and Islam’s Puzzling Origins

45 thoughts on “The Decline and Fall of the Catholic West

  1. Alice von Hildebrand, wife of theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand, revealed in January 2016 interview with Church Militant that Bella Dodd, a former Communist agent who had returned to the Catholic Church, admitted that she (Dodd) alone had recruited 1,100 Communists to infiltrate the seminaries in the 1920s and ’30s. Dodd testified of this infiltration to Congress in 1953, as well as that of political parties and unions. So this really wasn’t a secret; it was public knowledge, just not disseminated widely.

    An irony of Vatican II was that the documents produced by it did not fundamentally alter the magisterium, although vague language was inserted into some of the documents by liberal prelates. Rather it was what has become known as “The Spirit of Vatican II,” not the actual documents, that disobedience Bishops used as an excuse to implement “progressive” changes at the diocesan level, e.g. facing the congregation and speaking in the vernacular, communion in the hand, etc. This rebellion by the Bishops of the time is famously symbolized by the “Winnipeg Statement” that openly defied Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae and encyclical’s reaffirmation of Church teaching on contraception (the prescience of this document is striking).

    The Catholic Church didn’t suddenly “get Marxism,” to pervert a phrase. It was infiltrated and purposely subverted. It has been my contention that this is the “patriarchy,” and by extension God, that is the fundamental target of the Left and feminism.

    Related URL

  2. Today, as we are unable to put our finger on precisely why Rome declined and fell – there are myriad theories for causes – a man alive a thousand plus years hence will be racking his brain to identify exactly what caused the decline and fall of the West. Like Rome, myriad theories for causes will be proposed, none being uncontested.

    On the other hand, can or should we be talking about causes? Are we on the wrong track if we begin searching for a cause or causes? Because, if one contemplates the cause of an event for example, doesn’t that contemplation assume the event to be determined? If it is true that human history is determined, doesn’t that mean we are determined in our actions? Or are we agents of our own actions? Do we make choices, or are we compelled to take an action? I am wondering!

    • I know that much of the social sciences are premised on the belief that human actions are determined, for example, it seems to be universal that as the price of an item goes up, people will buy less of it, and maybe more of it as the price falls.

      • I think you’re confusing reasons and causes, William. Buying less of an item if the price goes up is simply rational action by many individuals. They are free to go against the grain, whereas a determined cause is like the law of gravity – it’s impersonal, non-human, applies everywhere, at all times, without exception. It’s not ‘free’. What happens to civilisations is the result of multiple freely chosen individual actions, which could have been otherwise. They have determined results (for example, mass migration into Europe) but the actions that made this migration happen were the freely chosen acts of individuals.

        • Diotima, thank you for that. In my opinion, that’s an excellent point you made and I think it has clarified my thinking more. The difference between cause and reason may be essential to understand the events happening. I will use Aristotle’s third and fourth causes in an effort to understand the difference and to apply them.

          Aristotle’s third cause is what we call the scientific cause. It is what brought something about. This is what conforms to our idea of causation. We define causation as a relationship between two events occurring in close proximity in time and space where one event always precedes the other and whose relationship can be logically explained. The price of milk tripled overnight and people have begun buying less of it. We can say that the dramatic rise in the cost of milk caused people to buy less of it. The dramatic increase in the price of milk brought about the decline in its sale.

          Aristotle’s fourth cause is what’s called the final cause. It conforms to our idea of reason. It is why something occurred. It is the reason for the thing happening. Why did sales of milk decline? It’s not because the price of milk went up. One reason for the decline is that people wanted to and decided to spend less money on milk than what was being asked.

          One commenter made the connection between the introduction of birth control and the decline of the birthrate. He argued that birthrate went down because of birth control. That may be a cause, following on the actual definition of causation, but is it the reason why?

          • From an economic point of view, industrial society made children a net expense rather than a net asset. In agrarian societies even young children could perform economically significant tasks. But as industrialization progressed, work required steadily more skill and maturity, leaving little way for the young to contribute financially to the family. Even farm work now involves machinery that must be operated by an adult

            In addition, better public and individual health means lower infant mortality. As a result, it’s no longer necessary to have seven or eight children in hopes of having one or two survive to adulthood.

            But do we want to return to the enormous levels of human suffering and privation that characterized the pre-industrial world? I’ve heard some calls to roll back this or that technology the writer believes is the cause of our social ills, and every time I have a strong feeling that the person has no notion of the level of human suffering that would result.

          • Algebra by words instead of figures and letters, then.

            re. the birthrate though, I still think people have fewer children due to insecurity, financial and/or otherwise.

    • Rome declined over approx a 700 year period, incrementally from the time they imported slaves from defeated territories
      ( At its peak slaves accounted for 1/5th of the population) and by incorporating foreign ( mercenary ) fighters in their army and navy.
      Many barbarian revolts consequently weakened the Roman state from within making it more vulnerable to outside attacks.

      History is now repeating itself within the EU due the stupidity of Merkel, Hollande, Juncker, Tusk, Sutherland and others who have opened their borders to millions of young, able bodied young Muslims who overtly display their contempt for our western values.

      Coupled with the current communist Pope and a President of the USA ( a Muslim in all but name) contemptuous of his own
      Christian citizens I fear the odds are definitely against any western recovery.

  3. Such a shameful reality you present. As a practicing Catholic and one who has wondered why and how such a historically and important grounded institution is so silent on such “recent” wretched issues, you have explained it all so perfectly, and I sadly say “thank you”.

  4. Catholicism shot itself in the foot,or head, when Vatican I I reaffirmed the anathemas pronounced by the Council of Trent. Those anathemas, damnations if you will, directly contradicted Biblical doctrine, especially as pertains to salvation. John XXIII had promised to set them aside and have the church embrace biblical doctrine, a move that would end the schism between Catholic and Protestant over the source of salvation, the Catholic Church or Jesus Christ. Pope John died mysteriously days before the announcement would be formally made. I was rather young at the time but I could sense that all was not well. We learned later, much to our chagrin and disappointment, that the new pope had co-opted Vatican II and pushed his own agenda through. The results were so distasteful that within five years I left and never looked back. We only learned later how corrupt the Curia was.
    Your article is spot on for the most part. It is sad that the warm breath of Spring that John had brought with him became a howling Sirocco that blew away all that was precious and left only a miserable apostasy in its wake.

    • Many things you say are very disputable as being historically true, especially since:

      Session 6, Chapter VI, Decree Concerning Justification (January 13, 1547):

      Now, they are disposed to that justice when, aroused and aided by divine grace, receiving faith by hearing, they are moved freely toward God, believing to be true what has been divinely revealed and promised, especially that the sinner is justified by God by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; and when, understanding themselves to be sinners, they, by turning themselves from the fear of divine justice, by which they are salutarily aroused, to consider the mercy of God, are raised to hope, trusting that God will be propitious to them for Christ’s sake; and they begin to love Him as the fountain of all justice, and on that account are moved against sin by a certain hatred and detestation, that is, by that repentance that must be performed before baptism; finally, when they resolve (desire) to receive baptism, to begin a new life and to keep the commandments of God.

      Session 6, Chapter VII, Decree Concerning Justification (Jan. 13, 1547):

      This disposition or preparation is followed by justification itself,…

      Session 6, Chapter VIII, Decree Concerning Justification (Jan. 13, 1547):

      But when the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely, these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God and to come to the fellowship of His sons;…

      [Bishops and representatives of the church at the Council of Trent]

      • OK, but how about this one, “If any man believe that he is saved by grace through faith alone, let him be anathema.” Decree #3 if memory serves.
        What you posted is refreshing news to me. All I ever heard when I was growing up was that Salvation was through the Catholic Church and the keeping of the Sacraments and NOT through Jesus Christ by Grace alone through Faith alone.
        I am reading though Galatians this week and what Paul was saying to the Galatians about the Judaizers could have easily been said about the Catholic Church in 1500AD who put a price on Martin Luther’s head for proclaiming the Gospel as it had been written apart form Church dogma.
        I wholeheartedly agree with Session 6 Chapter VIII. It is a pity that what was decreed isn’t preached from the church pulpit. What is interesting is that the Calvary Chapel movement began shortly after the failure that was Vatican II. It is almost as if the lampstand that is described in Revelation was taken from the Catholic Church and passed to someone who could be trusted with it as the Calvary Chapel ethos is to preach the Word, in season and out of season and proclaim the whole counsel of God.
        Thanks for sharing those decrees. Is there an online source for them?

        • The Gospel isn’t about an institution, but about salvation in Jesus Christ alone. God doesn’t give us grace in little “sacremental” doses, but fully and completely when he took on our flesh in Jesus Christ, perfectly fulfilled the moral law of God in his life, paid the price of our sins on the cross, conquered death in his resurrection, and ascended to Heaven from whence he reigns by his Word and Spirit. His vicar on earth is not some successor to Peter (and the Antiochenes and Church of the East have as good a claim to being Peter’s successors as Rome), but the Holy Spirit.

          It is time that Evangelical Protestants stepped up to the plate. And I’ll note that the supposed “Evangelical” churches of Germany and Scandinavia probably have Luther, Melenchthon, Bugenhagen, Petri, and the rest rolling in their graves.

          • Scriptures are not coterminous with the Church, but the Church is still necessary in some form or another. Because we came here to argue.

            And it is inevitable that the various factions will quibble and quiver into ever-smaller shards. We human beings are born social and scared – our desires to move toward one another, to move against one another, and to move away are inextricably bound.

            Thus, “the vicar on earth” is whoever I, you, he, her says he/she/it is.

            Please, can we for once not go there?? Please. Or, if that’s not possible, maybe I could ‘splain your dogma to others and you could do the same for me. Just for some variety in this eternal argument.

            Actually, since all the hyper-rationalists have ruled matters of ‘faith’ to be essentially trivial and not worth serious discussion, faith-filled brawls are not longer possible. Instead we are free to fight passionately about which of the 17 genders is the one true Gender, superior to all the rest.

            And once gender distinctions are ruled off the turf we will find something else to fight over. Homo Disputatus R Us…

  5. Catholic and other birth rates did not go down because of Vatican 2 and the end of the Latin mass

    Birth rates went down starting 1960 because of the invention of 95 percent reliable birth control.

    Before the poll and the IUD the rhythm method, diaphragms, spermicide foams and condoms were used.

    They were not reliable, especially for a married couple who lived together.
    Most children born before 1960 were the result of no birth control or failed birth control

    Babies are not created by some priest saying have more Catholics They are created by people having sex with either no birth control or failed birth control

    With the advent of the pill and the IUD a woman could no longer just get pregnant She had to take affirmative action to get pregnant by having the IUD removed or stop taking the pill.

    This article has various facts about the decline of Catholicism

    But discussing lowered birth rates since 1960 when for the first time in history 95 percent effective almost failure safe birth came on the market is just plain [insulting characterization], unrealistic, and [insulting characterization]

    [insulting paragraph redacted]

    I really doubt the author [insults redacted]

    Interesting that both the pill and Vatican 2 happened at the same time, but it was the pill, not those ghastly horrible new versions of the mass that led to low birth rates

    It’s not just the [insulting characterization] of the author about human reproduction that concerns me but the editor who let this [insulting substantive] be published. One must assume that no one who works at Gates of Vienna has ever heard of birth control or even sex

    The de line of Catholicism due to Vatican 3 is one thing. Low birth rates are another thing and are caused by the fact that throughout human history no reliable birth control was avaliable until the pill went in the market on the early 1960’s

    • The pill didn’t “take” everywhere and yet the birth rates dropped. Iran is an example of a plummeting birthrate based on despair.

      OTOH, devout Muslims in many places continue to have large families. As do Orthodox Jews and some Christians.

      To “assume” means that one makes a donkey of someone or other…I had four children and would have had more had it been possible.

      • You cannot deny that the pill and IUDs were the first reliable birth control.
        That is why the birth rate went down in Europe and America, reliable birth control.

        8 grandchildren here. I did my part to create White children.

        The article would have been better if the author had not blamed the end of the Latin mass on the decline in birth rates.

        The 2 issues are not related.

        • Pope Paul VI did declare birth control an anathema as it interfered and opposed the will of God in the procreation of children. One can only imagine what he thought of abortion on demand, shudder. My mother was a (overly) devout Catholic so I got to hear all the latest.

  6. An astonishing backgrounder on Tim Kaine, Hillary’s choice for vice president:

    According to the media, Tim Kaine took a life transforming “mission” trip to Latin America in 1980. Conveniently left out of these stories, are the radical reality of the Cold War in Latin America and Tim Kaine’s Soviet sympathizing mentors. In fact, whatever Kaine’s intentions, he more likely met Karl Marx than Jesus Christ while there.

    Connect the dots with a little history, and an alarming picture emerges of Kaine’s adventures with radicals and revolutionaries in 1980s Latin America.

    Reports indicate that in Honduras, “Mr. Kaine embraced an interpretation of the gospel, known as liberation theology…”

    This wasn’t mainstream “Catholic thought” at the time. It was a radical, Marxist-based ideology at odds with the Church, the pope, and the United States, but supportive of (and supported by) the Soviet Union.
    To counter Vatican opposition to this theology, now published documents from the Soviet and East German archives show “active measures” were undertaken to undermine the Vatican and the pope — key barriers to a Soviet influence in Latin America.

    The documents are detailed in books by former Associated Press Berlin bureau chief, John Koehler and the Mitrokhin Archive data published by Cambridge University Professor Christopher Andrew.

    Tim Kaine’s political formation wasn’t pro-American or pro-Catholic, it was pro-Soviet.

    Journalistic and academic research has now shown that Liberation Theology itself was quite possibly a product of a Kremlin disinformation campaign designed to undermine the Church and bring Catholic countries into the Soviet sphere. The top-ranking Soviet Bloc defector of the Cold War, Gen. Ion Pacepa admits that he was personally involved in the operation.


    Read the rest…Kaine is to the left of Francis. Worked with the Sandanistas. “A fool” is putting it charitably.

    Hillary is ill; if she is elected Tim Kaine just has to wait his turn…

  7. Brilliant. Thank you. My usual off-the-cuff sound bite: imagine if the stuffy old church had simply put the idea of the real joy front and centre, in the way the hassidism decided.

  8. One of the most significant developments of Vatican II, beginning with John XXIII, was the emergence of ‘papalotry’. As Christ’s teaching was steadily undermined, so the holders of the papal office became the focus rather than the keepers and facilitators of the faith. Up to that point popes were little known as individuals. From John XXIII onwards popes have been lauded or excoriated as personalities in their own right, not only by the secular media, but by Catholics themselves (particularly priests) based on subjective judgements. For example, in the two Catholic churches near me Benedict was never mentioned in ‘bidding’ prayers by the congregation because he was regarded as regressively conservative (which he wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination) while Francis, seen as caring and ‘humane’ and tolerating sin as just one of those unimportant little flaws, is top of the list every Sunday. We have reached the stage where a mere man has largely replaced the divine as master of the Catholic faith. The old maxim of “in the world but not of it” as been turned on its head.

  9. Excellent….the crass desire for materialism in the Church by replacing God with man is the cause of cultural decline. Vatican II placed Man at the center of the universe and his comfort is not only desired but demanded. So wrong….yet I remain….assured that this too shall pass…probably at a high cost.

  10. It’s been well known that when Kaine was in S America the Maryknoll order of missionaries were very Marxist and revolutionary

    My comment that the decline in Catholic as well as other birth rates had more to do with reliable birth control: the pill and IUD had more to do with the decline in birth rates than the end of the Latin mass seems to have been rejected. Well, I made it again and hope that the moderator lets it be posted.

    Decline in birth rates since the birth control pill put on the market in the early 1960s is the reason for the decline in birth rates in Europe and America, not Vatican 2

    Vatican 2 is responsible for the destruction of the Catholic church

    2 entirely different issues that have nothing to do with each other.

    • I approved your comment after having to perform extensive redaction. Next time I might not be so patient or have so much spare time. I advise you to learn to disagree without insulting those with whom you diagree.

      While you were at it, of course, you insulted me, the editor. But that’s all right; I’ve been insulted by a lot of people over the past 12 years, some of whom were highly acclaimed intellectuals and not just bottom-feeding internet trolls.

      • Well, sorry but I was shocked by the fact that the author did not know that the birth control pill and the IUD are reliable unlike the pre 1960 methods which were not reliable and thus led to bigger families.

        Sorry for insulting you.

  11. I never understood why a decline in a country’s native population demanded a HUGE influx of foreign what-evers charging across a country’s borders in order to redress some kind of ‘balance’ or something.
    Fewer people–SO WHAT???
    What’s WRONG with a bit more space/less crowding?
    The good OLD U, s, of A (1940’s) built:
    10,000+ of different TYPES of four-engine heavy bombers.
    Ditto twin-engine.
    Ditto MANY types of single-engine fighters and other transports. (10K+ of EACH)
    One HUNDRED aircraft carriers.
    HUNDREDS of ships of MANY different types.
    Spent (gave) OVER one third of its pre-war GOP in aid to the dear ‘ol USSR–not to mention ACTUAL allies in addition.
    INCREASED its civilian GOP at the same time, whilst fielding 10+millions in the US military.

    Our population at the time: about one hundred forty million, MUCH LESS than half our present population.
    So who NEEDS more people?
    Bazillions of Mehhiccans? Somalis? “Central American” whatevers?
    What’s in it for US?

    • I agree with your first sentence, it has me mystified too; and most of the world’s countries desperately need fewer people if we are to survive and actually have some room for animals and wilderness areas.

      An amazing number of thoughtless people still say “Canada and the USA were made through immigration”, oblivious to the enormous difference between the Europeans who flooded to N. America over the centuries, and the dross now flooding in from north and west Africa and the middle east, people who bring nothing to Canada, which only needs literate and skilled people, and USA which actually has an unemployment figure of well over 20%, not the laughable 4-5% quoted by the Obama loons.

    • Ask one more question. Why aren’t all of these people who have said the world is overpopulated saying stop! Europe was doing the right thing. If alive, where is the person who put up the Georgia Guide Stones? Just another thing thrown out to manipulate people? Reduce the population of the useful idiots? That last part is just a thought.

    • I’ve wondered precisely the same thing on occasion. Presumably population levels and birthrates would presumably stabilize at new (lower) levels, at some point (likely within a generation or two). So would that be such a horrendous thing for Western nations? I guess so, since GDP would decline, industrial production would decline, housing starts would decline, etc. – we can’t have that now, can we? We want growth, and more growth, continual growth … it’s the cancer model, as many have noted.

    • Flintlock, WW2 aviation is a particular interest of mine. In 1939-45, around 630,000 military aircraft were constructed worldwide- 300,000 in the US alone; the most-produced US heavy bomber, the B-24 Liberator, numbering around 18,000 alone. Rooseveldt, whatever his faults enumerated here on Gov, foresaw the necessity, and also vastly expanded the training of aircrew.

      I can’t speak to the construction of naval ships, but the US and the Soviet Union made the most tanks too (the initial superiority of the Soviet T-34s taking the Nazis by surprise). The Germans made the best tanks, but (fortunately) not enough; Panzer crews in Normandy in 1944 used to say “a Panther is worth five Shermans, but the enemy always has six”. Shermans were used by the Brits and Canadians as well as the Americans, but mostly had overwhelming air support; when this was unavailable (as in the “Battle of the Bulge”, due to adverse weather) the Germans made a major pushback.

  12. I was raised a Catholic, but decided to leave the church after the news of all the priests buggering little boys and the church continued to enable these sick predators.

    No excuse, no forgiveness for this pure evil that went to the top.

  13. Excellent article. Sad to see empty pews in my parish. Some priests forgot their role as stated..”The very content of Catholic teaching changed beyond recognition. Instead of personal responsibility and moral accountability, priests and bishops now spoke only of love and forgiveness. Congregations were encouraged to believe that God would forgive everything, even if forgiveness was not asked. ” So true…from CS Lewis…inch by inch.

  14. I’m currently in the process of converting to Catholicism from Evangelical Protestantism. To say the state of the church is distressing is an understatement.

    It’s interesting, isn’t it – that here in Europe we are told that we need young immigrants to fill a demographic gap. Yet our leaders do not suggest that we have more children ourselves. It’s easier to use immigration to kick the ball down the road than it is to take a hard look at where a toxic cocktail of feminism and consumerism has got us.

  15. There is book by Charles Adams, “For Good and Evil : The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilisation”.

    The legalisation of the Condom and the Pill (Yes, they were forbidden by the Catholic governments in Europe) had little influence on the birth rate. They effect quickly vanished.

    What really had a HUGE effect on the birth rate was the VAT, the value added (sales-) tax of more than 20% that was levied on almost any commercial transaction, except food, there it was only 6%.

    In the 60ies the economy boomed, it was the entrepreneurs that profited first and most. Instead of waiting for the rest of the population to wake up and start doing bussiness also, they raised taxes on goods, on labour, and on income. Immediately, birth rates collapsed. (1973) Then they started importing muslems. Then unemployment rose into the double figures.

    Today they obliged Greece Spain, Portugal and Poland to have the same sales tax, to the name of “European Tax Harmonisation” guaranteeing that those economies will stay in the pits forever.

    A document of some 100 pages, written by hundreds of leftist economist (=debtists, as economy means savings), the word taxes is not mentioned once, they blame the level of education, and declare themselves impotent to cure it.

    These taxes were and are mostly levied by Christian governments, and strangly coincide with the abandonment of the faith. Tax day, the day you start working for yourself and stop working for the taxman, was the 3th of januari in the Roman Empire, today it is the 15th of November.

    Uwe Hayek

  16. After reading this quite interesting analysis I wonder why the author has obviously forgotten to mention the development of the antibaby-pill. Nearly 40% of women in the age braket 20 to 40 took this pill already in 1965 in the USA. In later years it spread to Europe and elsewhere. I think the combination of this two developments lead to a new life style in which the rearing of children was second choice. One should also not forget the ONE child policy of the Cinese government and its forced implementation. Personally I am not that pessimistic about the outlook of Europe. Maybe that I do not
    know so much about fertility rates and the dynamics of demographics in general.

  17. Just a personal note – my family had an experience with a rogue priest. When I went to confront the church with evidence about his sexual behavior, they said “we will punish him, who is it?” I told them and they said” Oh, he is untouchable – raises too much money for the archdiocese.”

    Been going to other Christian churches since and quite happily.

    Celibacy makes the church a pile of hypocrisy. Get rid of it. There is nothing at all biblical about it. The again the bible never stopped the Catholic Church in anything whatsoever.

  18. Humans have an incredible capacity to misunderstand cause and effect. As much as I admire Emmet Scott’s two books on Islam, I have several issues with his article.

    a) We’ve all heard that correlation is not causation, yet this article correlates falling birth rates with the reforms of the Second Vatican Council as if they were causative. As several commenters have pointed out, the increased reliability of birth control and other factors may have played a large role.

    b) Not everyone is Catholic so the decline in birth rates is not entirely due to Catholic issues.

    c) The article presents a ‘false dilemma’ (either/or fallacy) that the influx of Muslim immigrants/refugees is a result of falling birth rates and overlooks the policies of politicians (supported of the Church) who simply use falling birth rates as an excuse to open the gates.

    d) In fighting the “Islamization’ of the West we must not lose sight of our real adversaries and I don’t necessarily mean Muslims. I suspect Muslims are simply a tool used by those we are not allowed to criticize and who are notorious for using others to fight their battles, the object of which is the destabilization of the West for their own nefarious purposes.

  19. @William:
    “Today, as we are unable to put our finger on precisely why Rome declined and fell – there are myriad theories for causes – a man alive a thousand plus years hence will be racking his brain to identify exactly what caused the decline and fall of the West. Like Rome, myriad theories for causes will be proposed, none being uncontested.”

    A short pamphlet, “The Fate of Empires” was written by Sir John Glubb in 1977.

    We are approaching the end of the cycle that was followed by Rome, and a dozen other fallen empires. You might hope that, with the benefit of Glubb’s insight, we would not be destined to follow the same course. However, this knowledge is unwanted, possibly even “damned”, because it does not fit the Narrative. Therefore our decline and fall are probably unstoppable.

  20. Interesting that an article that discusses Latin America extensively doesn’t mention the right-wing military dictators sponsored by the US. It seems that we would rather adhere to myths that Castro killed more people than Pinochet.

    The answer for the decline of the Catholic Church there is that the people do not perceive the Church to be on their side, but that the Church sided with the dictators. It is not part of some insidious Marxist plot or liberal propaganda, but human nature. They simply do not see the Catholic Church as a sympathetic party, particular the John Paul II papacy. (Surely the author should acknowledge a salutary effect on his influence on Latin America and why he didn’t influence the decline of Catholicism.)

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