Cardinal Pell laid to rest

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Kevin Donnelly

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Kevin Donnelly

2 February 2023

4:30 AM

The world, and not just the Christian world, will be a lesser place after the loss of Cardinal George Pell in early January and Pope Benedict XVI late last year. Both men, in addition to their intense faith and willingness to defend the Church’s teachings, provided a powerful critique of the threats to Western Civilisation represented by Woke ideology.

In last year’s speech at Campion College’s fundraising dinner, Pell argued:

‘The tribal power politics of the advancing “Cancel Culture” is threatening to overthrow the foundations of liberalism, which has allowed the Churches to survive in Australia even as the Judaeo-Christian legal foundations on life, marriage, family, and sexuality were undermined’.

In Christianity Is Good For Us, Cardinal Pell especially criticises the way tertiary education has been captured by the cultural-left when writing, ‘Our universities have been conquered by a reactionary left-wing wave, which is not only hostile to Christianity, but to the Western culture (including) the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, modern science, and the French and American Revolutions.’

Given the rise of Woke ideology illustrated by the belief there is nothing inherently true or worthwhile about knowledge and the search for wisdom and truth (such concepts are Euro-centric, binary, and oppressive) Cardinal Pell argues the only alternative is chaos.

Cardinal Pell suggests, ‘If there is only my truth and your truth, which is established by power and not discussion and debate … this is a great regression.’ In his chapter Christianity Matters, the late Cardinal also warns about the prevailing ‘agnostic drift across the Western world’. A world where ‘cancel culture and Woke activists’ prevail.

In concluding his chapter, Cardinal Pell refers to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s belief the disasters of the 20th century occurred because ‘men have forgotten God’ and because ‘Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit of hate for their own society’.

Recent examples include the University of Sydney academics refusing to entertain funding from the Paul Ramsay Foundation to establish a centre for Western Civilisation and the dominance of neo-Marxist-inspired post-colonial theory directed at eradicating white supremacism from the curriculum.

Such has been Cardinal Pell’s strength and conviction in defending conservative teachings against the prevailing cultural-left orthodoxy it should not surprise he became the target of so much vitriol and personal abuse.

As detailed by the American academic Michael Liccione in his essay Ratzinger and Del Noce on 1968 and Beyond, Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, was one of the few commentators who understood the destructive nature of the late 1960s cultural revolution.

While couched in terms of liberation, freedom, and the possibility of building a worldly utopia, Ratzinger realised what was offered was nihilistic and opposed to Christ’s teachings. In his Introduction to Christianity: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow’ Ratzinger writes:

‘The year 1968 marked the rebellion of a new generation, which not only considered post-war reconstruction in Europe as inadequate, full of injustice, full of selfishness and greed, but also viewed the entire course of history since the triumph of Christianity as a mistake and a failure’.

Ratzinger especially warns about the impact of Woke, neo-Marxist-inspired philosophies and movements when he writes in a homily delivered in April 2005, ‘We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognise anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.’

Whether the belief individual freedom is one’s primary goal devoid of any external responsibilities or constraints or that sexuality and gender are fluid and limitless and not God-ordained, it’s clear what Ratzinger warned about is now all pervasive and dominant.

Across the Western world state-sanctioned suicide is common, abortion on demand is widespread, children are taught they have the right to transition anywhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum and the prevailing ethos is one where materialism and narcissism prevail.

Long before Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe, Ratzinger in his chapter in Without Roots published in 2006 and co-written with the Italian academic Marcello Pera, warns of Europe’s denial of its Christian heritage and the rise of what he terms ‘absolute secularism’.

Predating the rise of post-colonial theory where neo-Marxist inspired activists vilify and attack Western civilisation as capitalist, imperialist, structurally racist, and guilty of white supremacism, Ratzinger warns about ‘a peculiar Western self-hatred that is nothing short of pathological’.

We live in a time of great social and intellectual unease and uncertainty where once-accepted truths and beliefs no longer apply. As noted by Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Pell, as a result we now live in a barren, soulless word without the solace and meaning Christianity provides.

The Pontifical Funeral Mass for His Eminence George Cardinal Pell AC will be held at St Mary’s Cathedral today Thursday 2nd February. Dr Kevin Donnelly is a senior fellow at the ACU’s PM Glynn Institute and author of Christianity Is Good For Us.

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Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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