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“Good News” Update

Go Italy!

by Christopher A. Ferrara

It is said routinely that America is “the most religious nation on earth.” This myth is based primarily on statistics showing a higher rate of attendance at various churches here than in Europe. But behind the myth is the reality that, as the late Harold Bloom noted, America is “religion-mad country” wherein, paradoxically enough, religion has no power to resist the demands of politics.

Bloom provoked widespread outrage but no serious refutation when he wrote in 1991 that what passes for religion in America “masks itself as Protestant Christianity but has ceased to be Christian…. I do not think the Christian God has been retained by us…” It is hard to argue with that assessment given the diabolical plague of American politicians who talk about “my faith” even as they defend America’s regime of abortion-on-demand throughout the nine months of pregnancy.

Consider, by way of comparison, Italy, where Mass attendance is at an all-time low, yet, as reports, “Nearly 70 percent of Italian gynecologists now refuse to perform abortions on moral grounds and the number is increasing….”

Breitbart further notes that “Abortion was legalized in 1978 in Italy but pressure from the Vatican… enabled doctors to claim a ‘conscientious objection’ clause and refuse to carry out terminations. Between 2003 and 2007 the number of gynecologists claiming the conscience clause to avoid carrying out abortions rose from 58.7 percent to 69.2 percent, according to the report.”

What is to account for this in a nation that, if Mass attendance is any indication, is “less religious” than America? The answer, quite obviously, is the innate Catholicism of the Italian people, the indelible mark of Baptism and Confirmation on their souls.

This is not to suggest that failure to attend Mass is any way excusable, or that it does not represent a grave crisis that must be addressed by Church authorities. But it does say that, unlike the Heinz 57 Varieties of Protestantism that characterize our “religion-mad” nation, Roman Catholicism penetrates into the very being, the very souls, of its members, and thus causes Italy to be — in comparison with the “religious” United States — a pro-life nation, despite Italy’s own American-style liberalized abortion law.

Once a Catholic, always a Catholic. The courageous stand of the Italian medical profession illustrates the truth of that old saying. Now if only Italy can recover the practice of the Faith — what a glorious revival we would see in the Catholic country of my ancestors. For this to happen, we will have to await the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That is an event which, as Italy’s own Antonio Socci has written, will produce “an overthrow of the mentality dominating modernity” — a mentality that includes, in this country, the idea of a “personal faith” in what Bloom called “the American Jesus,” who never seems to have any real effect on American law or politics.