Monday, April 7, 2008

Aidan Nichols - The Realm

Dominican Aidan Nichols is interviewed on his new book, The Realm: An Unfashionable Essay on the Conversion of England (Family Publications). Fr Nichols:
Protestantism was central to the attempt to remake English identity under Elizabeth Tudor; to the reaction against the Catholicizing tendencies of the Stuarts after the Restoration of the monarchy; and to the project of welding England and Scotland together as a united “Britain” over and against France, after the union of Parliaments at the beginning of the 18th century.

But the almost 1,000 years of Catholic Christianity that preceded any of that are responsible for the origins of the English literary imagination, for the principles of the common law, for the concept of a covenanted people under God which permeates the induction of a sovereign, and for the range of virtues which have been commended -- and sometimes practiced -- in English culture and society.

What the faith of the Catholic Church can offer today is an intellectual, moral, and imaginative framework for the salvaging of these virtues, and their re-energizing by sacramental grace...

The single most urgent need is the re-launching of an adequate doctrinal catechesis at all levels.

Putting anything else first is like trying to make bricks without straw.

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