Monday, April 4, 2022

Brian Holdsworth on Catholic History and Recent Scandals

His video:

Aren't You Embarrassed to be Catholic?
2nd April 2022 | Brian Holdsworth

My comments, and debate with A Reasonable Man:

4:00 Yeah, let's have an accurate understanding of what was imposed on innocent Azteks ... (duh!)

Like, they can't go on with sacrificing men each day, how horrible is that? And they can't keep cocoa to their kings and priests either, it becomes a common fare, oh the horror of it.

9:46 Wait, are you crying for Catholics being associated with Don John of Austria delivering galley slaves from the Turks or John III Sobieski delivering Vienna from the Turks?

I mean, those things were actually deeds of war, and Popes prayed the Rosary for Christian victory.

And instituted feasts to the Blessed Virgin:

  • Our Lady of the Rosary on 7.X (previously St. Bridget's day)
  • Our Lady Help of Christians (there is a street in Vienna called Maria Hilferstrasse).

I mean, are you trying to explain that as failures of individuals? I for my part am celebrating that.

13:08 One could describe European colonialism as in these stages:

  • it began with Crusades, on a fairly high moral ground, at first not even allowing Christians to capture slaves (that changed when Portugal had a permission to retaliate against "Moors" - and extended it into African societies South of the Muslim commonwealth)
  • then you had Conquistadors, more or less concerned with Crusading ethics, but always having some hope to gain territory and riches for the mother country - I mean both Spanish Conquistadors and people from other parts of similar times
  • then you had Colonial Wars, and France lost both Indian and American parts (like Québec)
  • then you had 19th C expansions, with a sentiment of cultural and in the end racial superiority
  • which sentiment helped to breed abuses and provoke decolonisation, not saying that one always happened in correct ways.

The Reasonable Man
You should really decouple your last two points, as they have very little to do with Catholicism and Christendom. As you can see by the date you gave, 19th century, it should be pretty obvious that colonialism predicated on racial superiority was first an entirely protestant thing, then an entirely secular state thing. You don't even need to compare the histories of the different empires. Just take a look at how populations look in places administrated by the english for centuries vs the spanish.

In the case of the english, you always find segregation and sometimes even genocide. To them, other populations were at best markets to exploit, at worst, pests to be exterminated. In case of the Spanish, other populations were always souls to be saved, even if sometimes there might be abuses.

No seriously, compare how much Native population and mixed native/european population is there in Latin America today and compare with North America, it's pretty obvious from where did racism come, and it isn't the Catholic Faith or Church, there's no reason why the Church should accept any responsibilities for atrocities caused by first heretical, then outright apostate States, such as the British Empire.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@The Reasonable Man I was giving a brief overview over the history of colonialism.

In the case of the taking of Algers, 1830, obviously most participants were Catholics. They were arguably more thinking in terms of cultural than racial supremacy, as well as paying back for a longstanding but not long since grudge of piracy.

However, by III Republic, one laïcard called Jules Ferry (of Jewish background, I have gathered), was clearly speaking in terms of racial supremacy, and was not clearly pushed back by the local Catholic establishment - partly arguably because they had more burning matters to complain of.

When it comes to decolonisation, the British Empire acted with a bit more grace than the French. And I put that as the last act.

I am not the least concerned in putting blame on Catholicism, and as you can see, I consider Colonialism was better off the more Catholic and the further back it was.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@The Reasonable Man My main point was, while Crusades and 19th C. colonialism had very important differences, they certainly had a kind of continuity between them (a bit like the national centralism of Richelieu was, on Belloc's view, continued, completed, in Bismarck - in this case, it was however not a completion, but a retreat from ideals).

The Reasonable Man
@Hans-Georg Lundahl I'm just pointing out that while European Colonialism is often conflated into one huge basket, it really shouldn't be.

Also the fact is that after the French Revolution, while there is still a Catholic identity there and there were and obviously still are many devout Catholics in France, we are talking about a French State already heavily influenced by the ideas of the French Revolution: Secularism, national pride, etc... all things that lead to Colonialism as justified by "cultural/national" superiority, rather than the conversion and building up of pagans. In that sense, the French colonisation of Algeria in the 19th century resembles much more the Secular/Protestant style of colonisation that the British practiced at the time, rather than the Catholic style of Spain and Portugal, not just at the time, but especially of earlier centuries.

While not necessarily directly responsible, secularism also does little to stifle the morphing of the superior culture narrative into the superior race narrative.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@The Reasonable Man Totally agreed on the last one.

Secularism has however used Darwinism as a hobby horse for a while, and that one certainly has contributed, so secularism is indirectly responsible.

The Reasonable Man
@Hans-Georg Lundahl Well, i respectfully disagree that the spirit of the crusades has a continuity with the 19th century style of colonialism. Although i could see it the following way:

The crusades certainly did inform Portuguese and Spanish Colonization in the americas (The Reconquista was a crusade), English, Dutch and French Colonization mainly came about as an answer in order to disrupt and supplant Portuguese and Spanish colonization. Portugal's colonies in Brazil, for example, had to deal with French Huguenot and Dutch Invasions.

In that case, I could see it, as the evolution of a reaction to something inspired by the crusading spirit, but otherwise, the crusading spirit has absolutely nothing to do with British or Dutch colonisation in my opinion. French colonization efforts seems to fall in an intermediary point I suppose. To be fair, I am much less familiar with French colonisation history in general, compared to Portuguese/Spanish/British/Dutch colonisation.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@The Reasonable Man I didn't say the Crusading spirit was kept up in 19th C. colonialism.

I am also not saying the Apocalyptic Crusading spirit in Richelieu's Centralism and Anti-Habsburg zeal was kept up in Bismarck's centralism.

Except in the form (both cases) as a very distorted shadow of things that once were.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@The Reasonable Man Again, not sure you have heard of Rev Bryan Houghton, he ended up in Ecclesia Dei context, and in discussing the Jesuits and contemplative prayer, he remarked, "it's easier to copy a plan than to revive a spirit" - meaning Jesuits before dissolution were readily much more contemplative, if you will hesychastic, than those revived after Napoleonic wars.

The same applies to the Crusading model, which is different from the Crusading spirit. The distinction is, one can copy that you find a state in place inadequate and worthy of dissolution, and yet fail to copy the strict restrictions on why and when this would apply.

13:26 "a defensive war" ... "to Islamic"

Not exclusively to Islamic expansionism, and therefore more than just one defensive war - cfr Northern Crusades.

Finland became a Swedish "colony" if you will, and remained so to Napoleonic wars, in small part before Sweden became Christian, but after that in defense of Christian Finns who were (usually, not the Tavasts in a Dominican run Republic) Swedish subjects against pagan neighbours who wanted to loot Christians (and take slaves from among them).

16:16 Brilliant comparison.

I'm copying it.

Spanish Inquisition, 3 Centuries, 5 K dead.
French Revolution, 3-4 Years, 27 K dead.

Not to mention, "loi Chapelier" was not too kind to trades union like rights either.

If you want local democracy, the Basque Fueros are fairly ideal, they were protected by the Inquisition.

And similar local democracy was rather actually ousted in favour of centralism, not just by the French Revolution, but by that one too. It ranged from Richelieu, over Lewis XIV, to the Jacobins and Napoleon.

17:18 starvation - noting that both Capitalistic Potato Famine and Communistic Holodomor come in here

Wars. I had a book about the 30 Years War.

The 17th C was the bloodiest century in internal European wars prior to ... 20th.

From 13th to 16th, it goes up each century, even more so in the 17th (30 years, 80 years, English Revolution, part of Nordic wars, defense against Turks at Vienna, "Glorious" Revolution (which wasn't as bloodless in Scotland and Ireland) and with it Glencoe ...

Then it goes down in the 18th (but not below 16th) and, untypically, down in the 19th as well, until 20th provides the next skyrocket with two world wars and the Revolutionary wars in Russia.

The book was written and published and printed before the 20th C was over and before the Balkan wars.

25:43 There is one thing in keeping an employment, if that's what you would like to call for instance incardination.

It's another to get "employed" in the first place.

Also, credally, "firing" a priest who committed homosexual acts either with consenting adults or with children is not anything like problematic, historically. 1568 Pope Pius V issued De horrendo scelere which stated they should immediately be cut off from sacerdotal service (or seminary studies) on condemnation for the act, those who could be laicised should be so, those who had made final vows should keep to themselves, making penance in celibate solitude, but not in monasteries.

It is disengenious to rake together homosexual offenders, who are often very good at melting in, with disruptive people, for instance like Luther, and the tolerance for that has been lowered all over the field since companies became bigger, since school systems became obligatory and you couldn't just take children out of a school they didn't feel good in.

Your explanation is basically taken from the attitude of false charity extended to pedophile (and often homosexual) priests over recent decades, prior to your "Pope Francis" and has little to do with past centuries.

And citing "disruptive" or "difficult personalities" is a very low shot against people sometimes so labelled, which has been the case with me, in contexts like such horrible abuses, as committed by people shielded by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, as alleged (very probably in some cases falsely) against residential schools. I do not seek employment in the Church, I seek making a living as a writer - as a colleague of yourself or of Chesterton.

The kind of psychological explanations you give really don't hold. If I don't go to Mass, it's because I hold to Pope Michael, who has no Church in Paris in communion with him. I am avoiding communicatio in sacris with heretics and schismatics. People who speak of "disruptive" about someone who likes arguing things through on the internet may have applies it to my work as a debater, if that explanation were true, I would have been wasting 20 years of my adult life over defending something I don't really believe - even if some of the early traces are wiped out, by internet admin deletion abuses. I don't think this kind of explanation is all that much more convincing about lots of other cases than myself either. If anything, smooth people like "Pope Francis" who refuse to defend the faith in a militant way, are more suspect of secretly or not so secretly believing something different from the Catholic creed.

27:45 I am, so far, facing the kind of persecution you simply imagine as possibly upcoming.

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