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A Rare Voice of Episcopal Sanity (Retired, of Course)

by Christopher A. Ferrara
January 18, 2017

Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompeii, has received considerable publicity for his frank remarks on the condition of the Church and its relation to the threat of Islam.  In an interview with La Fede Quotidiana (Faith Daily), the Archbishop stated what “radical traditionalists” and “Fatimists” have been stating for decades: the obvious.

“Italy and Europe live in a pagan and atheistic way, they pass laws that go against God and they have morals that correspond to their paganism. All of this moral and religious decadence, as well as that of the Faith, favors Islam,” the Monsignor told the Catholic daily. The decline of the Catholic Church since the beginning of the imaginary “renewal” of Vatican II is at the heart of the situation, Liberati added:  “even the Church today barely functions, the seminaries are empty, the parishes just holding on, there is no real Christian life. All of this paves the way for Islam.”

That much is obvious. Equally obvious, but never mentioned by a Vatican apparatus intent on prostrating itself before the Muslim advance, is that Italy, like the rest of Europe, has more regard for arrogant, violence-prone, military-age, able-bodied male Muslim “refugees” than it does for the sick, the lame, the poor, the suffering, and the homeless among the Italian people. 

“In the exercise of charity,” Liberati continued, “it is always necessary to help those who are most near. In Italy, on the contrary, we rush to aid those coming from outside and forget the poor and aged in our own house, who are rummaging in the garbage” while the Muslim “refugees” contemptuously toss the food that is provided to them in the garbage, “chatter on the cell phone, and stage riots.”

Treading deeper into the dangerous domain of the obvious, Liberati argued that  countries which severely restrict the inflow of “refugees” — including Hungary, which built a literal wall to keep them out — “are right when they want to protect themselves from an uncontrolled flow, an invasion that could endanger traditions and religious values.”  Indeed, Liberati warned, “In 10 years we will all be Muslims because of our stupidity.”

Europe has lost the faith and the Church is in decline. We are now witnessing what Christopher Dawson called “the reversal of the spiritual revolution which gave birth to Western culture and a return to the psychological situation of the old pagan world…” (Understanding Europe, p.14).  Into the neo-pagan void rush the Muslim masses, intent on conquering a spiritually exhausted West by dint of immigration.

All of this is preeminently obvious, and thus verboten speech both in civil society and in a Church that has been invaded by worldly thinking.  We live in a time when to state the obvious about the moral depravity of our civilization, the decline of the Church and the threat of Islam is to risk figurative decapitation at the hands of secular and ecclesial elites — including the current Pope, under whom conservative heads have been rolling left and right — and even literal decapitation at the hands of a Muslim “refugee.”

Come to think of it, among the few voices of sanity among the Catholic hierarchy today — that is, the few who are willing to state the obvious — almost none currently hold a position of authority in the Church. They are almost all prelates emeritus — e.g., Monsignor Liberati and Cardinals Brandmuller, Burke, Caffarra and Meisner, who presented Pope Francis with obvious objections which he refuses to answer while his collaborators demand unlimited Muslim immigration and Holy Communion for public adulterers.

On the other hand, among the prelates who still hold office — including, sad to say, Cardinal Müller, who has just run for the tall grass rather than state the obvious about Amoris Laetitia —almost none are willing to expose their necks to the ever-swinging blade of conformity to the Zeitgeist, which swiftly beheads anyone who speaks out against it.

Today it seems the custodians of the obvious, meaning those who are willing to state the obvious whether or not they are safely retired, are to be found mostly among the members of the laity who hold on to the faith of their fathers. That faith includes the Church’s militant opposition to what Pius XI called “the darkness of Islam” at the same time Hilaire Belloc was predicting that Islam would rise again in a spiritually debilitated Europe.

The laity will have to keep the Faith in this age of apostasy and compromise with error. So it was during the Arian crisis. So it is today.