Wednesday 16th October 2019

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Sexual Revolution And The Death Of The West

July 9, 2019 Frontpage No Comments


Great news! Blessed Cardinal Newman is going to be canonized on October 13!
For those of you who have ever participated in a Newman Center at a college or university, or have donated to the Cardinal Newman Society, or have read his book The Idea of a University then you can understand the absolute joy (and even giddiness) we all might feel at this announcement.
Personally, if it kicks off a revival of the old Newman Bookstore at Catholic University, then I’m absolutely set on this. Sadly, we might never see the likes of this unique place again after the Paulist Fathers jacked up their rent and then sold their building (that’s another story).
But the Newman Bookstore at CUA was more than just unique. If it was Catholic and in print? You could find it. De Lubac sat next to Jacques Maritain, Thomas Aquinas next to Augustine, iconography and patristics were seated comfortably next to barely touched Gather hymnals and well-loved Adoremus hymnals. Piles of National Catholic Reporter newspapers lay undisturbed next to copies of New Oxford Review that could barely be kept in the store.
For many of us who have passed through the Catholic University of America, this is our primary impression of Cardinal Newman’s charism — a free and open space for ideas where the truth always seemed to win out, not because the thumb was on the scale but because it was the truth.
So I’ll be looking forward to October 13 with all the eagerness of a college freshman. So excited…so excited!

+ + +

“Western Civilization is dead, there’s nothing we can do about it, and we haven’t hit rock bottom yet.” So began a conversation with a dear friend whose opinions on the comings and goings of the world I respect mightily.
Often there is a conversation that runs as follows. What makes Western Civilization what it is? The West…or the Church? The premise being that “the West” is really a combination of two things: Greco-Roman culture and the Catholic Church.
For those of us who come from the Anglo-Saxon (or Anglo-Celtic) tradition, we might wince a bit at this alliance between Jerusalem and Athens/Rome. After all, our forebears add a twist to these norms, as we believe and share a practice of self-governance, family and clan tradition, and the notion of individual rights against the tyranny of the collective.
Thus it is three traditions that link us, yet without Catholicism all of this doesn’t work. As Professor Brad Stephan Gregory remarks in The Unintended Reformation it was the Protestant revolt that led to the French Revolution. The demise of the West did not occur with the removal of Roman civil law, nor did it occur with the abnegation of Anglo-Saxon ideas of self-governance. Rather, the glue that held the balance between the individual and society — or the “mediator” between hand and head — was the heart of the Church.
No small wonder why the West is collapsing in a heap of itself. Recall the long history of Rome against barbarians, how the Germans and Celts fought back the legions of Caesar, Augustus, Trajan, and Diocletian. Consider as well that Constantine and Justinian integralized the Church to the state, that ultimately the arrangement ended with the Great Schism of 1054 when the split between East and West became manifest.
One hesitates to whisper the word Christendom anymore, but when we speak of the West? This is the word we should be using. No, it should not ape the caesaropapism the Elizabethan scribblers accused the Catholic Church of during the sixteenth century, but rather the mediating influence of the Catholic Church on the squabbling powers of Europe.
Today, the Catholic Church still exerts this influence, not as an imposition but as a mediator and facilitator. When Pope Benedict XVI talks about Catholics as a leaven in the world, this is a good place for Christendom to be.
Whether or not the West is doomed to collapse is anyone’s guess. The late Whittaker Chambers certainly thought it was doomed to do so unless — against all odds — it revived itself in a rejuvenation of spirit. Not community, not individualism . . . but spirit in the face of dialectical materialism. If there’s a bogeyman to point toward? Perhaps in the pointing there is also a solution.

+ + +

A writer who has asked for their names to be respectfully withheld mentions that the reason why the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s impacted the world (and the Church) so radically isn’t because of anything the Second Vatican Council did, but rather because of the baby boom in the West following the Second World War — in short, the thesis of Justice Robert Bork — where the influx of children overwhelmed our institutions and the result was a race to our baser inclinations.
That’s an interesting thought. Quite honestly, I am moderately ashamed not to be aware of Bork’s argument if for no other reason than I am a tremendous fan of the man. One wonders whether this extends any hope that — with contracting birthrates in the Western world — does this mean the Church has an opportunity to elbow out the secular creeds that have seen fit to replace sacred ones?
That seems rather doubtful, though the dice are indeed loaded in our favor.

+ + +

Another writer suggests that the post hoc ergo propter hoc link between the “sexual revolution” and the Second Vatican Council is not that at all, but rather that the two are intrinsically linked; the latter being a surrender to the former.
Part of this is that I — and many other Catholics who were raised in the John Paul II era — have no conception of a pre-Vatican II Catholicism. The Catholicism we were raised with was one of 1960s era pastels and Gather hymnals, one where we couldn’t quite figure out what our parents were trying to reform, but saw on the news how John Paul II could rally millions to Christ with a witness aimed straight against the black heart of Soviet Communism.
When the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, we rejoiced. This is the power of a Catholic Church with no allegiances save but to Christ? After all, if the rosary and Our Lady of Fatima could end Communism, why couldn’t we end abortion as well?
To this generation, the dignity of human life is our imperative; a commitment to family its only guarantee. Slowly we are excavating the things we have lost, but it comes in fits and starts.
Hence today’s problem. Too often we find tradition, but we have very few mediators. Ergo, when we rediscover the old forms, we tend to obey its rules rather than appreciate why those traditions were kept in the first place. Others find the immense beauty and mercy of the Church…but fail to appreciate the core of why we built traditions around these values, these cores, the Eucharistic Mass.
The voices that ask for mediation in tradition are few: pilloried by the political left within the Church as traditionalists; slammed by the political right as compromisers. We are neither, and the rich monastic tradition of the Western Rite is almost an imperative to keep so that such mediation can be revived in any meaningful form. All the more reason to protect a celibate priesthood, if for no other reason than it is only in the Western Rite where Catholicism nearly died out in several instances: the Roman persecutions, the Arian heresy, the condition of the Church during the times of St. Francis Assisi; the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era. Perhaps even the modern day?
What is appreciated (and what I learn from nearly all of you who write to me) is that in very small ways, we are all passing down the Faith of Our Fathers. There was indeed an interruption in that mediation from one generation to the next…and it is painful to watch those who failed in the 1970s attempt yet again to try to impose such changes in the 2010s.
In any event, it was Patrick Buchanan who opened my eyes to the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy of blaming the ills of the present day on the Second Vatican Council. Yet thanks to many of you, the separation of cart and horse seems mostly artificial at this rate. The changes are manifest, and for every John Paul II we can point to a Theodore McCarrick. If there could be any stronger comparison between a successful mediation of tradition and a total abandonment of both mediation and tradition, the examples of these two men (or one saint, the other very much otherwise) could not be held in greater contrast.

+ + +

Closing note? I want to thank each and every one of you for reading this column, but especially to those who take the time to write little letters of encouragement, criticism, correction, and best of all your own insight into these questions we are facing today.
The Wanderer is a special publication that exists nowhere else in the United States, and for myself? It really is the beating heart of what an honest Catholicism truly represents — in the world but not of the world. In short, you (yes you!) are a tremendous encouragement to this person. Thank you for being who you are.

+ + +

First Teachers encourages readers to submit their thoughts, views, opinions, and insights to the author directly, either via e-mail or by mail. Please send any correspondence to Shaun Kenney c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, VA 23084 or by e-mail to

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Within 5 year of gay "marriage" being legal, we have:

* Transgender kids
* Gay sex taught to pre school
* 150 genders
* Drag Q. story hour
* Decriminalization of knowingly transmitting AIDS
* Grown men in girl's bathroom.

This is NOT progress. Not born that way

Load More...

Pope Francis appoints new head of Vatican security

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2019 / 04:39 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Tuesday appointed the second-in-command of Vatican security to head the City State’s national police force, after the resignation of the former chief Oct. 14. The pope named Oct. 15,…Continue Reading

Ecological ritual performed in Vatican gardens for pope’s tree planting ceremony

Vatican City, Oct 4, 2019 / 10:30 am (CNA).- Pope Francis witnessed an indigenous performance at a tree planting ceremony in the Vatican gardens Friday, during which people held hands and bowed before carved images of pregnant women, one of…Continue Reading

Young man stuns courtroom by forgiving brother’s murderer, urging her to seek Christ

DALLAS, Texas, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In an incredible display of human compassion, a young man whose brother was shot and killed forgave the cop who had been found guilty of his murder. Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger shot and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Ouellet defends priestly celibacy ahead of Amazon synod

Rome, Italy, Oct 2, 2019 / 11:35 am (CNA).- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, presented a book Wednesday arguing that in the face of challenges, the Church should not grab at quick solutions, but seek to…Continue Reading

President Trump Defends Religious Freedom at UN, Announces Campaign to Protect Churches

President Donald Trump urged nations across the world to protect religious freedom Monday in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. Trump, the first U.S. president to highlight religious freedom at the UN, said America will set aside $25…Continue Reading

Archbishop Harry Flynn dies at 86

Minneapolis, Minn., Sep 23, 2019 / 03:40 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Harry Flynn, a former leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has died. Flynn died Sunday in the St. Paul rectory where he had spent his final days…Continue Reading

Missouri AG refers 12 former Catholic priests for potential prosecution after abuse probe

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Friday that his office had referred 12 former Roman Catholic priests for possible criminal prosecution following a 13-month probe of how diocesan leaders handled allegations of child abuse. The investigation reviewed personnel records for every priest serving…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider call for prayer crusade, cite dangers of Amazon Synod

Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have issued an eight-page declaration warning against six “serious theological errors and heresies” they say are contained in the Amazonian Synod working document, and calling for prayer and fasting to prevent them being approved. Cardinal Burke, patron…Continue Reading

Leader of Jesuit order: Satan doesn’t exist as ‘personal’ reality, only ‘symbolic’

August 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The devil is a not a personal reality but a symbol for evil, the head of the Jesuit order said this week. Satan, the devil whom the Catholic Church says was behind the fall of…Continue Reading

American Catholics Must Stand with Hong Kong

The autonomous territory of Hong Kong is in a fight for its life. For over two months, the citizens of Hong Kong have persisted in protesting an attempt by the Hong Kong chief executive to impose an amendment to the…Continue Reading

German archbishop in Auschwitz: Stand up against hubris of the politically powerful

Krakow, Poland, Aug 14, 2019 / 02:31 pm (CNA).- On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, a German archbishop has called for a stand against hubris and arrogance of those in political power. Speaking…Continue Reading

Vatican ‘struggling to put out fire’ of public scandal over JPII Institute purge

ROME, August 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The “firefighters for the new direction” being taken at the John Paul II Institute in Rome are “struggling” to put out a blaze of public scandal, as controversy sparked by a recent purge of professors threatens to reach the door of the Pope’s…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

What are you willing to die for, Chaput asks students

Washington D.C., Oct 14, 2019 / 10:30 am (CNA).- It is important to consider what we are willing to die for, Archbishop Charles Chaput reminded students and faculty in a speech at the University of Notre Dame on Friday. “It’s a good thing, a vital thing, to consider what we’re willing to die for,” Chaput said in a lecture given to the Constitutional Studies Program at the university on Oct. 11. “To even ask that…Continue Reading


Does Pope Francis profess the Nicene Creed?

Did Pope Francis really really say that Jesus is not God? Eugenio Scalfari, who made this sensational claim, cannot be treated as a reliable witness. He is an atheist, a Marxist, not a Christian. Although he has interviewed Pope Francis several times, he has not recorded the sessions or taken notes. He boasts of the ability to reconstruct conversations from memory: a technique that would be inappropriate for any responsible journalist, let alone one of Scalfari’s…Continue Reading

Müller Accuses: From This Synod They Have Driven Out Jesus

The Synod on the Amazon has begun. “But it will have consequences for the universal Church,” warns Cardinal Gerhard Müller, in a lengthy interview with Matteo Matzuzzi for the newspaper “Il Foglio,” released on the very day of the opening of the work. “If one listens to the voices of some of the protagonists of this assembly, one understands easily that the agenda is entirely European.” European, and above all German. Also in Germany, in fact,…Continue Reading



Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… American Criminal Justice In Disarray

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bi-monthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Can Ruth Bader Ginsburg Make A Man Into A Woman?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of Creators Syndicate,, distributes his column.) + + + Judging by the argument that one lawyer made to Justice Neil Gorsuch, Tuesday, October 8 must have been an interesting day in the restrooms at the U.S. Supreme Court. “There are transgender…Continue Reading

This Bud’s For You

By DONALD DeMARCO The purpose of commercial advertising is to persuade consumers to purchase something that they do not need. This is not to say that advertising products are not useful, but to point out that they are inspired by sales and are not grounded in natural desires. By contrast, nature has equipped human beings…Continue Reading

Is Trump At Last Ending Our “Endless Wars”?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The backstage struggle between the Bush interventionists and the America-firsters who first backed Donald Trump for president just exploded into open warfare, which could sunder the Republican Party. At issue is Trump’s decision to let the Turkish army enter Northern Syria, to create a corridor between Syrian Kurds and the Turkish…Continue Reading

A New And Orthodox Papal Document On Sacred Scripture

  By Fr. BRIAN W. HARRISON, OS Increasingly, over the six years of the Francis pontificate, a lot of us have been asking, wearily, “Can anything good come out of Domus Sanctae Marthae”? Well, something just did. Everyone watching Rome lately has been focusing on the Ominous Amazon — the synod starting this Sunday, October 6 [Editor’s…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Our Motive Must Be Love

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Exodus 17:8-13 2 Tim. 3:14-4:2 Luke 18:1-8 In the Gospel reading today, St. Luke describes a parable spoken by our Lord to teach us the importance of praying always without growing weary. In anything we do as human beings, we grow weary after a time. However, repeatedly doing…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . True Compassion Is Sharing Fullness Of Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK True love will always be found in the world through those who share the truth. This is at whatever cost to themselves in terms of the comforts of human respect or material gain. Selflessness of love speaks the word the other needs to hear in a disinterested way, regardless of the effect upon the one…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. The Catholic bishops of Massachusetts recently issued a statement on climate change that repeats all of the propaganda from the global warming extremists. Could you look at this statement and tell me if you agree with me? — T.L.H., Massachusetts. A. Yes, we do agree and have written to the bishops stating our concerns about their statement. Here are…Continue Reading

The Phantom Of A German National Church Shows Itself

By WALTER CARDINAL BRANDMUELLER (Editor’s Note: Walter Cardinal Brandmueller’s October 1 statement appears below. Please see page 1A of this week’s issue for a news story about the statement. LifeSiteNews published both the story and the text. Maike Hickson translated Brandmueller’s text from the original German.) + + + “Without Judah, without Rome, we shall build Germany’s Dome [Cathedral]” —…Continue Reading

Faith Is The Foundation For Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 2 Kings 5:14-17 2 Tim. 2:8-13 Luke 17:11-19 Today, as we commemorate the anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun” at Fatima in 1917, we are reminded of the great love God has for us by bearing with us in our frailty and calling us back to Himself…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Francis Borgia

By CAROLE BRESLIN The mere sight of the name Borgia brings to mind the family that was influential in both the Church and society — notorious for their political maneuvering and murder. But God can bring good out of evil and even from this family: Francis Borgia had great influence in the development of the Society of Jesus and served…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… The Martyrs Of Turon

  By CAROLE BRESLIN The complex roots of the Spanish Civil War (February 1936 to April 1939) sprouted many years before hostilities broke out. Little by little the Catholic Church had lost its influence and then it became a prime target for both the revolutionaries and the government. Of Church personnel, those executed during the Spanish Civil War included 12…Continue Reading