Bishop Athanasius Schneider gave an address on 16 May 2019 at the Rome Life Forum on the theme “City of man vs City of God – Global One World Order vs Christendom.” Consider the theme of this Forum: a Global one world order (city of man) vs. the decentralized governance that was an inherent feature of “Christendom” (City of God) – in other words, the European Middle Ages.
Before getting into this address, a brief discussion on the topic: it is an examination of political universalism vs. political decentralization. This distinction is a point of conflict not only in the libertarian world, but in the West more broadly.
The universalists see and value no meaningful difference in culture, yet are known for championing “diversity”; those for decentralization see and value meaningful differences in culture, yet are known for being enemies of “diversity.” I know, it doesn’t make any sense. The universalists look forward to one law for all; those for decentralization understand that this is a wish for global totalitarianism.
On to Bishop Schneider (and for those who find this too “Christian,” keep in mind the context of universalism vs. decentralization):
Ultimately it is the replacement of the kingship of God and concretely of the kingship of Jesus Christ by the kingship of Satan or the kingship of godless or atheist men.
It was the Enlightenment that finally freed man from any connection to God. “God is dead,” as Nietzsche infamously observed, to be replaced by man’s reason. The consequence of this, according to Schneider?
The city of Man contains in its root the impulse to totalitarianism, to a global totalitarianism which will demand total submission and which will not tolerate the reign of the true king of this world and of humankind, who is the Incarnate God, Jesus Christ.
I can see a lot of eyes rolling out there: “bionic has finally fallen off of the deep end.” Hey, I have fallen off of more deep ends than you know, but on this one? I don’t think so. Christianity has proven to be a necessary, but not sufficient, foundation for liberty; this plays out in the dividing line of universalism vs. decentralization or “woke” vs. “deplorable.”
If you had to read that about six times, join the club. It makes no sense to me – the Vatican is attacking a gesture toward the Christian faith. Even the Vatican has declared war on Christianity. Let’s get some details:
The Catholic Italian politician [Matteo Salvini] with whom Pope Francis reportedly refuses to meet because of his immigration stance held and kissed a rosary during a political rally over the weekend and invoked the Blessed Mother…this while Francis has met on repeated occasions with supporters of abortion and other issues in conflict with Church teaching.
The universalist pope vs. the decentralizing politician.
Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro…issued several critical tweets, spreading the criticism on Facebook as well, saying Christians should be outraged.
Christians should be outraged that a politician invoked Mary? Well, OK, I mean I know this might not sit very well with many Protestants, but still…outraged?
Bishop Domenico Mogavero, of Mazara del Vallo…said Salvini can no longer call himself a Christian…
Invoking Mary – does this make him a Muslim? A Jew?
There are at least a few with contrary views:
Catholic Herald columnist and associate professor of theology for the Catholic University of America C.C. Pecknold…acknowledged a globalist effort to de-Christianize the West via mass migration. [He] noted that Salvini quoted Sarah in his speech, along with G.K. Chesterton, Pope Saint John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI.
Quoting any of those three will get you thrown out of polite company.
Returning to Schneider:
Never has it been so capitally important to understand clearly the true foundations of all social life as in these days when humanity, diseased by the poison of social errors and perversions and tossed by a fever of conflicting desires, doctrines, and aims, has become the unhappy prey of a disorder created by itself, and is experiencing the disruptive effects of false social theories that neglect and contravene the laws of God.
If you like, you may replace that last part with “the laws of liberty,” or “the laws of economics”; because the same poison has consumed all three – and all three have their common roots in Natural Law grounded in a Christian ethic and worldview.
Schneider quotes Juan Donoso Cortés, a Catholic Spanish politician, who gave a speech to the Spanish Parliament on January 4, 1849:
“When the religious thermometer is high, the thermometer of political repression is low; and, when the religious thermometer low, the political thermometer—political repression—tyranny is high.”
Something will provide governance: a common culture and tradition or a tyrannical state. There is no third option.
“Today, the way is prepared for a gigantic, colossal, universal, and immense tyrant; everything is ready for it. …there are no moral resistances because all wills are divided and all patriotisms are dead.”
Universalism – whether libertarian or otherwise – is ushering in this tyranny.