It was in 2014 that I wrote in Aristocracy of the Spirit:
I had a long conversation with two friends in London a few days ago about the notion that the Church, in particular the Roman Catholic Church was, using computer language, in a state of complete system failure. No amount of work would repair the system other that a complete hard reboot. Roman Catholicism has painted itself into a corner with its notion of Papal infallibility that no amount of apologetics can save it from inevitable decline. Perhaps such a view is exaggerated, because it seems to be finished in most of Europe, but an evangelical and charismatic form seems to be growing in China, Africa and South America.
I found an entry in Facebook this morning that I cannot find, but the substance consists of saying that even devout and practising Catholic people would recommend the total collapse of institutional Catholicism as the only condition for the renewal of Catholicism and Christianity. The idea is going around, and it is tempting. I was listening to someone on YouTube who used to be a therapist, and the job certainly took its toll on his own spiritual and emotional life. He didn’t seem to be bitter, but he sees revolution in the air. I am brought to think of Wordsworth’s rapture on seeing the French Revolution – that is until they rolled out the guillotine! Indeed.
Only churchmen would be concerned to see the Church cleansed and reformed. The secular world would see it destroyed, taxed and fined out of existence. So would the more fundamentalist forms of Islam and Evangelical Christianity (though they have their own problems). A short while ago, I read about the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). It is a provision of American Federal law and there are equivalents of it in Europe (dealing with the Mafia in Italy, for example) and other parts of the world. The real issues are going on in the USA, but the Vatican is implied. Normally, the Vatican is a sovereign state and has diplomatic immunity. Would sending the troops in to invade the Vatican cause a war these days? A couple of thunder flashes (non-lethal hand grenades used for military training) and rifle shots in the air would do the job. Perhaps an idea or two could be left in the comments to this posting.
Then there is the question of whether this is an American problem or a world-wide one, or one that only concerns the American Church and the Vatican. We all need to watch the news, relevant blogs and the more credible entries in Facebook. There is a lot of hysteria and red herrings like homosexuality and clericalism being blamed for everything. I blame narcissistic and sociopath personalities, remembering that each person on this earth has a choice between good and evil. Psychopaths collaborating together in some kind of secret organisation is the very essence of a malaise in human nature described by the Polish psychiatrist Dr Andrzej Łobaczewski in Political Ponerology. I do believe that everything will click when someone reads this book (which is in English). If this has happened in the institutional Church, then all that can be done is for the UN and the USA to declare war on the Vatican and occupy the territory and positions of power after an unconditional surrender.
The future of it all would be most uncertain. Perhaps parishes that own their property as associations or rent a church that are not involved in crime or cover-up would find a way to continue. It may be like 1905 in France. The Church still exists in France but has no political power or immunity. The cathedrals belong to the State and parish churches older than 1905 belong to the municipal authority of each commune. The buildings are allocated rent-free to the diocesan and parochial associations that administer money and material tasks. The Law of 1905 has been used by traditionalists to their advantage, taking churches like Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris or Saint Louis du Port Marly near Versailles by force. The situation of the first church is tolerated by the Mairie of Paris and the second has been regularised with the Bishop of Versailles.
In America after massive bankruptcy and selling real-estate to pay the legal fees, fines, compensation, you name it? Perhaps some of the parishes could raise money to buy a few buildings for sale, just like traditionalist RC groups and continuing Anglican churches. Who knows? That’s America. What about the Vatican? That is a matter of international law and it will take time to pan out.
I don’t wish anyone any evil unless they are personally guilty of crimes against human persons or have covered-up for them from a position of authority. May the dirty secrets be blown open for the world to see, that sin may be overcome by repentance and a renewal brought about by divine grace and the innocent seeking a way forward in humility. Tremendous damage will be done, as happened at the end of World War II when Berlin was flattened and thousands of innocent German civilians were left homeless and starving.
I now begin work on my article in the next Blue Flower which will revolve around the antithesis of psychopathy and evil totalitarianism, the nobility of the human spirit at its highest and most beautiful. May we transcend the evil of this world as we yearn for the Βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ (Kingdom of God).