Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What the Church Gets Paid to do

George Weigel writes on the attitude of contempt toward the Catholic Church held by the "ruling classes" of 21st century Europe here.

Taking an even broader tack, Gil Bailie often quips that attacking the Church is "what the world gets paid to do."

Reading with great appreciation Regine Pernoud's fine little book from Ignatius Press, >Those Terrible Middle Ages! I came across words from her that are especially pertinent in light of the above:

Without taking anything away from the admiration aroused by the Parthenon and the Venus de Milo, what is surprising today is that such a narrowness of view could have been the law for some four centuries. Yet so it was: the classical vision imposed almost uniformly on the West admitted no other design, no other criterion than classical antiquity. Once again, the principle had been set down that perfect Beauty had been attained during the century of Pericles and that, consequently, the closer one came to the works of that time, the better one would attain Perfection ... What is strange is its exclusive and absolute character, producing as a consequence an anathema on the Middle Ages. All that was not in conformity with Greek or Latin modelling was mercilessly rejected ... [27-8].

Pernoud limns the kind of analogous narrowness, to use her word, that is being equally imposed today by secularists and the "ruling classes" - to use Weigel's phrase - today against all-things-ecclesial in general and Catholic in particular.

If the so-called Renaissance strictures against the Gothic lasted for four centuries, we had best be ready to hunker down and take the slings and arrows of secularist attacks for some time to come. (If the New York Times non-stop slander and mud-slinging is any indicator, that is.)

I might approach this from a mimetic theory point of view, but it is unnecessary when the Magisterium of the Church understands it quite well in its own nomenclature from Our Lord Himself:

The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name -- he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, 'I am going away and I will come back to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world 14 is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me. Get up, let us go. - Jn 14,26b-31

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