The well-known and notorious “European paganism versus Europeanised Christianity” question has been addressed and dealt-with many a time here at West Coast Reactionaries, as well as by me and others in a series of podcasts on my YouTube channel. The overall direction the debate has moved towards appears to be that whilst Christianity — especially in the West — has by-and-large collapsed in exoteric terms, to turn to any external, id est foreign, alternative is either distasteful individually or impossible collectively.
The two most oft-mentioned alternatives to Christianity in Europe are the pre-Christian pagan religiousity which our ancestors practised, and an Islam which — at the moment — is perceived as a strong and masculine force (though with its chaotic and petty accretions) which is seemingly fit demographically as well as esoterically (according to Rene Guenon) to replace Christianity.
I have said it more than once that I believe — with Paul Andersen — that Europe’s Christian tradition is a synthetic mix of the pre-established German and Latin paganism reconfigured through a sort of Semitic solar monotheism, where God walked the Earth as man in order to lead us upwards on the proper path; and this is partly why the tradition has entertained the very possibility of undergoing collapse and various stages of degeneration (the Reformation, Vatican II, et cetera), because it did not come to Europe in a “pure” form, it was an imported force which was tweaked and re-interpreted and so forth by different groups and people. The Arians were once considered Christians; that is no longer the case — even a group like the Knight’s Templar was eventually crushed by the Catholic Church itself. The infighting, various splinters and different sects of European Christianity speak of an underlying “roughness” to its exotericism and ways in which the religion filters through the general culture and ethos of the people. Paul believes that these things can be remedied, though it would be no easy task of course to essentially come up with a “new” Christianity (not to mention heretical as Nick Steves has said). Nick noted that a religion is never “cut to fit” a given people as Truth is of course not questionable, thus active attempts to sort of fit Christianity into the box of Europe are in vain. I see this whole affair as a misunderstanding. Christianity — Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism, et cetera included — does not need to be changed at a doctrinal level, at the esoteric level. What must be changed is actually Europe. The box is not big enough.
Despite the great intentions of your open letter, it fails to fundamentally understand the nature of the Church as a feminine being. Your calls for a “muscular” and “masculine” Roman Catholicism is tantamount to demanding a feminist Church. Allow me to elaborate.
In Western Christendom, you correctly perceive a lack of masculinity and spiritual virility. However, the Catholic response is not that it is the Church that lacks masculinity, but society itself — what we in the West used to call “The Empire.” In traditional (as opposed to traditionalist) Catholicism, especially if one reads Dante whom Benedict XV in his encyclical IN PRAECLARA SUMMORUM calls “the most eloquent singer of the Christian idea,” the ideal society is composed of a feminine element (the Papacy) and a masculine element (The Emperor) — what Dante would call “the two suns.” The understanding was that the Emperor himself was the highest seat of earthly authority and that the pretensions of the Papacy for secularization was a usurpation. This can be understood in the analogue of the family which has both a mother and a father. This is why the Roman Church is referred to as “Holy Mother Church.”
Thus, if we take the analogue of the family, one never complains that the wife or mother does not contain enough masculinity! Indeed, she would rely on the father — the husband to provide the necessary virility to protect the family. What you are witnessing is not a cowardly Church, but one who is fulfilling her vocation as a woman. And, just like women in the analogue of the family require men to govern them, so, too, does the Church require an Empire in order to flourish. You were correct to note that the Church readily endorsed the virile actions of the Crusaders, but this was because those actions were performed for the sake of “Christendom” which was just another idea of the European Ecumene — the Imperium; the masculine aspect. If the man abandons the family, is the solution to ask the woman to become a man? No! This is the secret meaning behind the passage of my namesake: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27) The Church is a widow and the poor European nations are the orphans.
Therefore, while your polemics make good points, they should be aimed not at the woman who is being constantly pulled here and there by the ideologies of the world, but the impotence of the so called “traditional” men who have yet to resurrect the Empire who adored the Church like a man loves his wife. Real men do not let their wives and mothers fight their battles for them! Real men do not complain when their wives and mothers are not “muscular” enough to fight foreign invaders. If you consider yourself to be a man, then protect the Church rather than complain about her.
Mark’s response is agreeable enough, though I would disagree with him regarding how “robust” a Church must be. The Church — any Church — is a feminine entity. It is a passive entity, that which receives and transmutes, that which interprets and relays. The Empire James speaks of is the masculine side of any true civilisation. One must have both the Priestly element and the Warrior element present in the society, and the realisation of these things within the social order births a civilisation in the proper sense.
The Church in Europe is declining and degenerating — and I hold this to be the case all the way back historically — because of Kali Yuga informing the social zeitgeist. It has little to do with specific events in the Church or the actions of the Church per se, but the natural ebb and flow of the moving world of Kali. The Empire and the Church traditionally work in tandem, but it appears the domain of action (the Empire) has fallen first, and the domain of contemplation (the Church) falls with it.
The animating spirit in any religious order must necessarily find some contextualisation beyond its mere potentiality. Whether in prayer or Jihad “the demon of action,” to quote Guenon, must rear its head. How to restore the Church is perhaps not the question in need for asking; instead we must ask “How do we restore the Empire?” Alas, I believe the only answer lies with God, and it will reveal itself with time.
Things brings us onto another point regarding Europe’s religion. Whatever has happened has happened for a reason — there are no accidents. The Age of Destruction must come and pass; the wheel must turn; it is unavoidable. Regarding the religion of Europe, perhaps it is necessary that it falls apart to be replaced by something we are yet to see? I do not think for a second that Islam will fill the void, but perhaps its presence will act as a catalyst through which the European soul can be refound and recontextualised, fit for the next age and its men.
Whether we are in this process proper or not, however, is quite irrelevant. One’s actions are aligned with principle, not potential. European men should be inwardly strong first and foremost, not liberalised, weak and effeminate. Religion — Christianity — can facilitate this, as it did with the Crusades, with Charles Martel, with the Iron Guard, with Charlemagne, et cetera. It is not that Christian doctrine has changed, but that man has changed. And so can he be changed for the better.
NOTE: After sharing this article with James, he had this to say:
You know, over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the role of Christianity in the world and how to resolve it with my intrinsic understanding of eternal truths. I find that the figure is hidden in the mystery of the Crucifixion itself — and I’ve spoken about this to various friends of mine in my circle.
The way in which the Church degenerates and decays over the ages should not be surprising to Christians, but it is. That is because the body of Christ was always destined to die and decay. The crucifixion is a microcosm of the era in which “God is dead” because for three days, He was indeed dead; and the decay in which the Church is undergoing is the same as that of the body of Christ when it was nailed and entombed.
That is the secret and hidden meaning of the crucifixion: that it is happening in macrocosm today in the modern age; the modern age is the first act of the Easter Triduum and this is also why most of the apostles — being unable to understand this mystical death of the Catholic Church — have gone astray denying Christ thrice (as Saint Peter did; the first Pope). Only Saint John, the mystical apostle, the one whom Jesus loved, stayed to the end at the cross, loyal to the body that was dying.
This is the position I wish to emulate; to be the apostle who sees the decay of the Church but does not waver from the decay, because the rest of the exoteric religion still believes like Saint Peter does; e.g. “God forbid, Lord that you should go to Jerusalem and die.” Right now, the Church must go to Jerusalem and die because she is the body of Christ. And since the body of Christ underwent torture and crucifixion so must the Church. So when I see people jeer at the Church and tell her “Stop being so weak; change the world!” I also hear those words from the gospels, “If He is the chosen one, let Him come down from the cross.”
People do not understand that something utterly mystical is happening in the modern age. Just as the modern age is the darkest of all times, so was the crucifixion the darkest time. It is the time when God is dead.