Pope Francis and the Western temptation to gnostic suicide

Pope Francis embraces the Arab invasion of Europe precisely as an Arab invasion:

The only continent that can bring about a certain unity to the world is Europe,” the Pope adds. “China has perhaps a more ancient, deeper, culture. But only Europe has a vocation towards universality and service.” … “If Europe wants to rejuvenate, it is necessary for it to find anew its cultural roots. Of all Western countries, the European roots are the strongest and deepest. By the way of colonization, these roots even reached the New World. But, by forgetting its history, Europe weakens itself. It is then that it risks becoming an empty place.
[La Vie:] Europe, an empty place? The expression is strong. … Because in the history of civilizations, emptiness always calls fullness to itself. Incidentally, the Pope becomes clinical [in his diagnosis]:
We can speak today of an Arab invasion. It is a social fact.” … “How many invasions Europe has known throughout its history! It has always known how to overcome itself, moving forward to find itself as if made greater by the exchange between cultures.
Or, as white nationalists and identitarians accurately summarize it, “Africa for Africans.  Asia for Asians.  Europe for everyone.”

I am pleased at least that Catholic leaders are following my advice of qualifying their anti-cultural statements so they don’t generalize their genocidal hatred of whites into a supposed universal duty for the destruction of peoples.  What’s interesting is the pope even obliges us with a reason why only the West must be subject to multicultural elimination.
Depending on how you read it, it is either insulting to the West or insulting to everyone else.  What is this “vocation towards universality and service” that only Europe is burdened with?  Why can’t Europe be happy as one people among many?  Are our artistic heritage and distinct customs not as satisfying as those of others?  Is it arrogance, that we can’t bear that any other people should excel in their own ways that we don’t?  Either way, a “vocation towards universality” sounds like a spiritual defect.  On the other hand, if it means a striving toward transcendence, toward objective truth, what would Francis be saying about other civilizations?  That the Muslims and the Chinese hold to their beliefs and their morals not because they think them true and right, but just because they are theirs, as a means of collective self-assertion?  But this is preposterous!
Unfortunately, the pope gives no justification for Europe’s unilateral “vocation towards service”.  Why do we exist to serve other peoples rather than vice versa?  Why does this “exchange between cultures” seem to go only one way?
As for His Holiness’s entreaty that Europe has been invaded before, that these rejuvenate it by allowing it to “overcome itself”, I will just point out that the matter in my body has been in many prior organisms, passing from one to another sometimes by consumption, and the tiger that hunts me may be in many ways a more youthful and energetic creature than I am, but that doesn’t mean I have to cooperate.
I sense that the heart of the matter is a false opposition between the universal and the particular, a very close analogy to the ancient Gnostics’ false opposition between spirit and material/bodily existence.  Just as matter restricts form to its instantiation in a particular body, the instantiation of civilization in a particular people in a particular place with a particular history is in a sense a restriction, but a “restriction” that makes that civilization a real thing rather than an abstraction.
Historically, cultures (which I’ll define for this post as pieces of civilizations, limited perhaps by geography or language) know themselves as particular, but this is usually not true of civilizations.  After all, a civilization is the largest significantly integrated cultural unit, so the existence of two distinct civilizations would seem to require that communication between them be infrequent.  Often, a civilization will simply think of itself as the civilization.  For example, the ancient Greeks and Chinese and 19th century Europeans knew about other peoples but thought of them as barbarians.  Even when there are two closely-matched rival civilizations, like Rome and Persia or Christendom and the Islamic Ummah, each would see the other as radically defective.  These civilizations had either a defining worldview/religion (e.g. Islam) or a defining organizational type (e.g. the polis) regarded as universally applicable to all civilized peoples and according to whose criteria any really distinct rival civilization could be judged partially barbaric.
Over the last two centuries, the great world civilizations have been coming into greater and greater contact.  They are each confronted as never before by their own particularity, and they are being forced to learn to value themselves as such.  One might say that the major civilizations are converting into very large cultures within a single world-civilization, and the West seems to be having the most difficulty adjusting.
This shows that conservatism is needed by our people especially now, because the reconciliation of the universal and the particular is one of the great signs of the genius of our school.

48 Responses

  1. Oh please. You aren’t a Catholic are you? You don’t know the meaning of Rome or of the Holy Empire do you?

  2. I think this goes hand-in-hand with the Pope’s “I don’t get involved in politics” when it comes to legalized sodomy or fetus murder, but feels obliged at other times, and content to wear atheist symbols of mass murder so as not to offend anyone. He’s apparently embraced or become fully convinced of the West’s suicide cult. It’s in the air everywhere, and he’s just applying it to the institution he’s the head of now. No going back, he’s told the traditionalists, only forwards to Arab invasion and the equivalency of belief systems (did you see his inter-religious dialogue video?)

  3. How should a Catholic to respond if the Pope is advocating the replacement of Christians with Arabs? He’s delusional if he thinks the modern church is going to magically convert devout Muslims to wishy-washy all-religions-are-great post Vatican-II Catholics – and he doesn’t seem delusional, but clear in his intentions and purposes.

  4. George:
    If you READ WHAT THE POPE SAID, you’ll see he didn’t say that.

  5. @HR

    I take it you read French, and perhaps can get some context out of it that is lost in translation. Could you do us the benefit of explaining what we’re missing?

    P.S. Bonald is a Catholic.

  6. As far as I (reading the translation) can tell, Pope Francis is basically hoping that Arabs will be the new Germans, and we’ll convert them and reinvigorate Catholic civilization (FWIW, Roman law, custom, etc did spread to areas it had never reached when Rome fell). One pertitent difference though, is that Rome had already been converted for a century or so before the barbarians stormed in. The next Constantine must be stuck in traffic somewhere. Another pertinent difference is that the German tribes didn’t have any unifying religion or culture that they were strongly committed to embracing and spreading, so they were therefore open to adopting Roman ways and beliefs.

  7. A Catholic is one who believes, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter is the Vicar of Christ, and follows him. As to explaining, I did that in my latest post at The War for Christendom.

  8. How can they convert Muslims? They don’t even seem interested in converting Catholics. I kid. I think.

    There is a universal mission in the west, but it is bound up in the great commission. One-world type of thinking is incredibly spiritually dangerous. I seem to recall something about friendship with the world in the Bible…

  9. I would have liked to have heard something explicit about converting them. Given what else he says, the natural reading, I think, is mine: the Arab invasion is good because it helps us pursue our “vocation to universalism” by diluting away the limitations of our white European-ness.

    Anyway, we know what happens when Arabs conquer Christian lands. Just look at North Africa.

  10. Bonald – the obvious conclusion of this, then, is that sacrificing whiteness on the alter of multiculturalism is a greater good than trying to preserve Christendom?

    I feel the conclusion is hard to avoid, when we consider his calls for dialogue make no suggestions we should convert and enlighten the infidels and heretics – but more simply suggest that all religious are largely similar.

    A clearer teaching would be appreciated, especially if traditional teachings are cast in a questionable light.

  11. In this I think it is easier to assume, in his private opinions, Pope Francis is frequently or consistently in error. We have already received corrections from Rome on his apparent teaching that non-Catholics may take of communion if their conscious so indicates.

  12. Arkansas Reactionary wrote, “FWIW, Roman law, custom, etc did spread to areas it had never reached when Rome fell…”

    Indeed. Not only did it spread to areas that had never been conquered by Rome, but it became the law of the barbarian conquerors of the Empire.

    Often it took a long time. The Reception of the Civil Law throughout the German lands, in Scotland, in the Netherlands took place in the 16th century. In France, north of the Loire, Germanic (Frankish and Burundian) law survived until the Code of 1804. Japan adopted it in the 19th century and Turkey in the 20th

    Even England, the country that preserved and disseminated German customary law (“Common Law”) had its Divorce, Probate and Admiralty Division (“Wrecks of marriages, wrecks of will and wrecks of ships” as one wag put it). The connecting link, of course, is that these areas of the law were wholly Roman.

  13. If we are going to have an honest conversation about the Muslim invasion we should at least be willing to concede that a) Europe is no longer Christian b) the Anti-Christian Euro/American elites have been at war in Muslim lands for at least a century (though often they do their fighting through proxies).

    Its become popular in reactionary circles to think that Islam has some special properties that allow is to resist liberal influence. This is false. For example Western elites have subsidized Wahhabism because it is useful for the purposes of world domination, just as they used to subsidize projects like the World Council of Churches in Christian countries.

    Anyway, obviously it is true that we need to stop and reverse the destruction of our traditional way of life (to the extent that this can be done), we need to reconstruct Christendom wherever we can, and that needs to start by encouraging rootedness. I also agree that the Pope is either a coward or a useful idiot himself in that he is unable or unwilling to say this.

    However, we shouldn’t pretend that the elites are actually on the side of “Islam” against “Christianity”. Certain Islamic groups and certain Christian groups (dispensationalism, ecumenicism, probably the whole “mega-Church phenomenon) are useful idiots. There really is a common cause we could make with certain Muslim groups, particularly the Shia, though I don’t have any opinion on the usefulness of political or cultural alliance.

  14. @Bonald

    I think we should be very careful about declaring wicked interpretations to be the “natural reading” of the Pope’s words.

    Has he himself said expressly that we need to dilute white-Europesnness? If not I’d think it more prudent to interpret him as simply being wrong, rather than vicious.

  15. How can of you call yourselves Rightists when you wholeheartedly subscribe to Leftist Nationalism? I’ll bet not one in ten of you has ever read Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn or Pope Leo XIII or has any understanding of the Sacrétemporal Catholic Tradition. Do any of you know the meaning of King Saint Stephen’s words, “a kingdom where only one language is spoken and only one custom is followed is weak and fragile”?

  16. What precisely do you mean by “Leftist Nationalism,” and how does an aversion to cultural and civilizational suicide match up with that?

    It may be worth noting that the civilization to Bonald refers, that of the Europe, does, for whatever it might be worth worth, include many customs and languages.

  17. I think we can do pretty well at the game of “more Right than thou”. We’re certainly to the right of the classical liberal Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. His biggest insight, appearing even in the title of his book “Liberty or Equality”, is that liberty and equality conflict, and he thinks we should choose liberty. My fellow reactionaries and I reject both.

    I’m surprised King Stephen would say something so stupid. He really thinks it’s an advantage that his subjects can’t talk to each other, that they lack even that basic bond? Unity is strength. Diversity is weakness. That doesn’t necessarily mean diversity is bad (and attempting to eliminate it usually is), but if strength is your chosen metric, there’s no question.

  18. Leftist nationalism is basically the idea that some nations (e.g. the Kurds) are “oppressed” by others who rule over them, and need to establish their own ethnic states in order to stop being oppressed. It has absolutely no relation to opposing having already existing countries be overrun by foreigners.

  19. Leftist nationalism might refer to the nationalism of the Young Europe variety circa 1830s which grew out of the French Revolution.

  20. Bonald:

    I’m sorry but you have completely failed to convince me with your parroted Leftist statements. I leave it to greater minds than you or I (yes I mean v. Kuehnelt-Leddihn) to decide what constitutes the Right way of thinking. You’ve obviously never read his books The Menace of the Herd or Leftism, or any of the encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII either. I’m sick of your crowd, so I leave and your fellows to react as much as you please, while we of Christendom are fighting for the Common Good, Freedom, and the return of the Emperor.

  21. Hapsburg Restorationist,

    I have Leftism (hasn’t everybody?) but not The Menace of the Herd, and I would not be surprised to learn that I still have Leftist bugs in my software.

    I wish you the best of luck on your own excellent monarchist blog. I hope you don’t mind me adding you to my blogroll.

  22. I always find it funny when liberals act as if they are rebels fighting against the established order of things, when in fact the established order of things has been quite liberal for quite sometimes.

    P.S. HR, just throwing up names and whining that people won’t agree with you is a really awful form of debate.

  23. I don’t mind but with your views (especially of the Pontiff) you can hardly expect me to do the same. Best wishes and so long.

  24. A.R.

    I did debate you and presented you with evidence, but all you could do was repeat your stale formula over and over again.

    So long (Seriously this time).

  25. You kept quoting Leddihn and insisting that protecting freedom is the purpose of government, and then demanded I accept your viewpoint when I refuted your arguments and you couldn’t come up with anything new to say.

  26. If anyone’s interested in reading that exchange for themselves, it was on my post “How not to be a right-liberal”, I did censor HR’s last comment, because it contained nothing but a demand for me to agree with him (no argument at all, not even a bad one), but besides that everything that he presented is still there.

  27. AR:

    (You keep responding so how can I be expected to leave?)

    I gave you logic, I gave you Pope Leo XIII, and Thomas Aquinas. All you gave me was your OWN definition repeated over and again, without adequately refuting my points. You accepted my premises, but failed to accept their logical conclusions.

  28. You kept throwing up names. Throwing up names and quotes that do not say what you wish them to say, does not prove your point. The fact is that nothing you quoted from Leo or Aquinas said anything like “the purpose of government is to protect freedom”. As it is, I’m not going to allow you to spam my blog with quotes that have nothing to do with the topic of discussion.

  29. I may be wrong, but the last part of the Popes statement “How many invasions Europe has known throughout its history! It has always known how to overcome itself, moving forward to find itself as if made greater by the exchange between cultures” suggests to me that Pope Francis thinks liberalism will be the salvation of Europe. Now, while the Pope “appears to” understand Europe is being invaded by Arab hordes, he believes that, unlike his ancestors who defended Europe with sword and bravery, we can defeat the Arabs this time by being accommodating, peaceful and by being liberal. Thus I think Francis wants to ‘protect’ Europe, but only liberal Europe, not the Traditional Europe all of us prefer.

  30. Arkansas Reactionary

    You have given me no quotes. The point I am making is NOT “the purpose of government is to protect freedom” but that it is part of the Common Good which Government must promote to promote Freedom, that the Church has always taught so, that the Church “has self-consciously promoted Freedom” and that you are a schismatic in opposition to Church and Christendom. Furthermore, are you not employing a straw man in arguing against my style of argument and not against my argument?

  31. I’ve just seen some more of the pope’s interview here (https://paworldandtimes.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/pope-francis-squres-the-circle/). Important quote:
    “The best globalization would be quite a polyhedron. All are united, but every people, every nation, retains its identity, its culture, its wealth.”
    Unfortunately, this doesn’t help the West, because of our being cursed with a “vocation toward universalism and service”, i.e. rediscovering our culture means letting the Other move here and take our stuff. (I’m quite sure he doesn’t mean Europeans get to keep their wealth, except for the spiritual wealth of being welcome to Arabs.) But it is a very clear statement that non-Western cultures are allowed to preserve themselves. We should play this up. Western cultural genocide is the exception to Catholic policy; affirming peoples’ communal identities and cultures is the rule.

  32. Bonald:

    Do you know anything of the Holy Empire?

  33. It’s no good, why am I still here? I’m just getting myself angry over the loss of a few souls.

  34. “The point I am making is . . . that you are a schismatic in opposition to Church and Christendom.”

    And I am not obliged to be childishly insulted on my own blog. So don’t expect to be allowed to comment there.

  35. Indeed, and in healthier times such an exception wouldn’t exist. But it does, and I think the reason why Europe alone has this “Vocation toward universalism and service” is that liberals think we aren’t “enriched” enough.
    As Francis said before, he believes Europe was enriched every time it was invaded. But as Europe repelled these invaders each time, Europe experienced an ‘enrichment’ in faith and identity. Now that Europe faces another invasion from the Arab world, Francis (at least from what I can infer) thinks letting them in will give us a better enrichment, as it isn’t nasty old white culture, but something the liberal sees as poor, oppressed and better than the culture of old.
    But I may well have misread what he has said.

  36. Arkansas Reactionary:

    I apologize for being discourteous, but I trust I am only stating the facts.

    “So don’t expect to be allowed to comment there.”

    I expect nothing less than to not be allowed to even look at the site.

  37. I understand that most of Europe is in apostasy. Perhaps the Pope thinks Europeans being replaced with a more God-fearing people (in the form of Muslims) is a positive change. Even if so, he’s being dishonest, but that seems to be the most positive spin to put on it… maybe Europe is even deserving, to some degree, of the punishment for falling into sin and spreading its errors to so much of the world – after the all the good it did before – by replacing or displacing those Christian virtues with enlightenment philosophy.

    I can’t see how this wont lead to what’s left of Christian Europe (not just the ethnicities themselves) being devastated, though perhaps a much smaller church with many martyrs and more devout believers will emerge through these trials and persecutions, as the Pope points out will happen…

  38. I might even go along with that reasoning, particularly if one adds that liberalism is very aggressive, and if I had to choose between liberalism or Islam ruling the world, I would choose Islam.

  39. @George/ Bonald – That is a legitimate point of view which might be argued — however, nobody actually *is* arguing it (I mean, nobody with power, in authority – including no religious leaders) – So if they do believe it, they are being calculatedly dishonest and deceptive… which cannot and will not lead to good.

  40. A New Outsider wrote, “But as Europe repelled these invaders each time…”

    Hardly.

    Europe was successfully overrun by the Celts, by the Italo-Hellenic tribes and the Germanic peoples, by the Slavs, as far West as the Elbe.

    The only autochthonous language in Europe is Basque (Euskara)

  41. ArkansasReactionary wrote, “Leftist nationalism is basically the idea that some nations (e.g. the Kurds) are “oppressed” by others who rule over them…”

    I think it is wider than that. The aim may well be one of unification. One thinks of Fichte’s famous aphorism that “frontiers should depend, not on dynasties and treaties, but on language and nationality.” Nationalists objected, not only to the dynastic state, but to the confessional state.

    This was particularly true in the German lands, where nationalists argued that nationality is defined by descent and birth, and it is neither revocable nor attainable at will. A man may lose his citizenship but not his nationality. The term “nationality,” as it came to be defined in German legal practice, especially by the Pandektists, does not refer to citizenship and legal status, but to. Underlying this is the assumption that the nation is a tribal unit, a unit of common descent and blood and not of voluntary adherence and association. From this, the legal definition of minorities as permanent aliens logically followed.

    In the same way, in France, many liberals, beginning with the Abbé Sieyès, saw the Revolution as a Gallo-Roman revolt against their Frankish overlords, a view shared by the Catholic historian, Lord Acton.

  42. Would it be wise to conclude that the Pope has been entirely co-opted by Modernity at this point. With prior Popes, there could at least be some question, but after a statement like this, the Pope has essentially designated himself a hostile enemy, even to his own seat of power which would certainly be wiped away without hesitation by the ‘Arab invasion’.

    Yes, Europe has been invaded before, and we responded with valiant force! The Universal mission is to make everyone AWARE of Christianity and the events of Jesus’ life. It is NOT to commit suicide while proclaiming that we do so out of love. What madness is this?

    As I understand Catholicism, admittedly from an external perspective, the Church itself supersedes the Pope in terms of importance. And then what of a Pope who finds himself the enemy of all prior Popes and Church scholars?

    I disagree with the Restorationist that this is an appeal to Nationalism. It is instead an appeal to common sense. If the Pope has deviated from his predecessors on something hardly of superficial significance, but in fact of a magnitude which does involve life and death of not just individuals, but entire groups of people, then it would seem sensible to grant the weight of opinion to his predecessors.To do otherwise would be to honor Pope Francis while spitting on the legacy of at the very lowest count, 250 faithful predecessors.

    The words of the current pontiff put him at odds with the survival of his flock, and if you need evidence of that, ask the Copts beheaded on a beach in Libya. It would seem prudent thus, for faithful Catholics in an aware nation like Poland, to observe something of a Papal Necrocracy. We live in a time of intense spiritual degeneration and tumult, and leaders from times less blind must take precedence over those willingly sewing their eyelids shut today.

    Holy Scripture commands us against suicide, and I would consider that command to be completely binding, regardless of if we pull the trigger of our own volition, or in service to some authority.

  43. It brings me sorrow Benedict lives yet gave up leading the church. He seemed like a gift from the Holy Spirit to stem some of the decay, reopening the church’s treasury, and actually speaking rationally, sanely, and clearly on the modern issues facing us.

    He even stated many in the church have “passed over from self-criticsm to self-destruction” post Vatican 2, and these fruits present themselves to us today.

  44. As to the debate AR and THR were having, perhaps this quote will help shine some light on the subject:

    “The principle of Christian civilization is the existence of evil in the heart of man, and the necessity of authority in order to combat it and to establish the reign of virtue. The principle of revolutionary civilization is the immaculate conception of man and his right to liberty and equality. See there, the two roads; ‘they are not only different,’ a certain author of many evil books acknowledged, ‘but two very divergent lines,’ the author, Michelot, concluded, ‘that must always remain apart, even unto infinity.’”

    — Msgr. Henri Delassus, Americanism and the Anti-Christian Conspiracy

    And yes, I shamelessly ripped this off a post from “The Thinking Housewife”…

  45. […] As for His Holiness’s entreaty that Europe has been invaded before, that these rejuvenate it by allowing it to “overcome itself”, I will just point out that the matter in my body has been in many prior organisms, passing from one to another sometimes by consumption, and the tiger that hunts me may be in many ways a more youthful and energetic creature than I am, but that doesn’t mean I have to cooperate. I sense that the heart of the matter is a false opposition between the universal and the particular, a very close analogy to the ancient Gnostics’ false opposition between spirit and material/bodily existence. Just as matter restricts form to its instantiation in a particular body, the instantiation of civilization in a particular people in a particular place with a particular history is in a sense a restriction, but a “restriction” that makes that civilization a real thing rather than an abstraction. Historically, cultures (which I’ll define for this post as pieces of civilizations, limited perhaps by geography or language) know themselves as particular, but this is usually not true of civilizations. After all, a civilization is the largest significantly integrated cultural unit, so the existence of two distinct civilizations would seem to require that communication between them be infrequent. Often, a civilization will simply think of itself as the civilization. For example, the ancient Greeks and Chinese and 19th century Europeans knew about other peoples but thought of them as barbarians. Even when there are two closely-matched rival civilizations, like Rome and Persia or Christendom and the Islamic Ummah, each would see the other as radically defective. These civilizations had either a defining worldview/religion (e.g. Islam) or a defining organizational type (e.g. the polis) regarded as universally applicable to all civilized peoples and according to whose criteria any really distinct rival civilization could be judged partially barbaric. Over the last two centuries, the great world civilizations have been coming into greater and greater contact. They are each confronted as never before by their own particularity, and they are being forced to learn to value themselves as such. One might say that the major civilizations are converting into very large cultures within a single world-civilization, and the West seems to be having the most difficulty adjusting. This shows that conservatism is needed by our people especially now, because the reconciliation of the universal and the particular is one of the great signs of the genius of our school. […]

  46. […] Pope Francis and the Western temptation to gnostic suicide. A fisking of Pope Francis’ expectedly incoherent musings on the ethnic crises of the West […]

  47. […] is a pitiful state, with it under constant secularist assault and choosing to aid their enemies by stabbing themselves. When we consider what the reaction was to modernism a century ago and compare it with today, it is […]

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