Thursday, February 26, 2009

The one thing necessary

The British historian Christopher Dawson, writing in 1938, aptly expressed the enduring role of this tradition, not only for Catholics, but for anyone who is both grateful for the moral, material, and political achievements of Western culture and concerned about the perils that beset it today.

If Christianity is necessary to Europe, the Catholic Church is no less necessary to Christianity, for without it the latter would become no more than a mass of divergent opinions dissolving under the pressure of rationalist criticism and secularist culture. It was by virtue of the Catholic ideal of spiritual unity that the social unity of European culture emerged from the welter of barbarism, and the modern world stands no less in need of such an ideal if it is to realize in the future the wider unity of a world civilization.

Many of Christianity's enemies and most of its friends—whatever their creedal affiliation—have today begun to recognize the point Dawson was making.

Taken from A "Roamin' Catholic" and the Cultural Crisis | Interview with Gil Bailie, Cornerstone Forum