Pope Pius XIII?

I just read a Jewish rabbi’s blog on the next pope’s potential name. The rabbi, who views John XXIII as a beacon of modernization, argues that the new pope should take the name of John XXIV. While I as a Catholic appreciate the fact that the papal conclave is so important that even rabbis feel they need to blog about their feelings on the subject, I think there is a far more suitable name for the upcoming pope: Pius XIII.

Pope Pius XII speaks to a crowd in Rome following an American air attack on the city, August 1943.

The cries of shock and protest that would quickly follow such a choice are all too predictable. “Pius?” “The last Pius was Hitler’s lackey!” “This is a clear indicator that the new pope will try to take us back to the 19th century.” Ignoring the fact that Pius XII’s fallacious legacy as a closeted Nazi is the result of Soviet directed character assassination, the last statement I hypothesized would be the most telling. Yes, a pope taking the name of Pius would be a clear indicator of his approach to the papacy, but it would symbolize the arrival of a pope that the Church sorely needs in the 21st century.

The selection of a new pope should serve as a reminder to Catholics that there is a fundamental decision that must be made: will the Church influence the world or will the world influence the Church? Take a quick glance through a list of mainstream Protestant churches and you will realize just how little relevancy those churches that have decided to let the world influence their dogma truly hold. Stripped of meaning, they serve more as meeting places for city-dwelling progressives rather than houses of God. One needs look no further than the amount of time spent covering the election of the newest  Archbishop of Canterbury compared to the amount of ink and pixels that have been used on Pope Benedict’s resignation. This should serve as a reminder that the secular media cares about the Catholic Church only as long as it stands against the current Godless culture. If it were perceived to have fallen as the last redoubt of traditionalism the world would cease to care.

In a modern era where hedonism and doubt are celebrated as virtues, the world and the Catholic Church need a voice of sanity that stands up for reason and virtue. Neglecting these has led the world to a troubled place; unmoored from history and tradition, we stand vulnerable to forces that stand for evil and are unafraid of making their voices heard. Likewise, the Church has been under internal attacks by the so-called Catholic progressives over the 50 years since the closing of the Second Vatican Council. I have faith in Christ’s words that “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against the Church that he founded. But I am also aware that it takes men of strength and courage to stand up and prevent the triumph of evil. The taking of the name Pius XIII would indicate that the next pope is keenly aware of the problems facing the Church and is ready to proactively respond to them.

– Urbanus

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An Exordium

I, along with the two other writers, am quite excited to welcome you to this blog. I had been considering writing a blog for some time, but realized that it would never come to fruition if I waited to have the time to do it. Thus, I recently set aside time, spoke with some close friends, and started what I hope will become an influential, conservative voice in our corner of the internet.

First, let it be clear from the outset that this blog’s focus is on religion and politics: namely, Catholicism and conservatism. We do not intend to fuse religion and politics together, as was the case in the Marxist ‘liberation theology’ movement. Rather, we hold that the traditional conservatism advocated by Burke, Eliot, Kirk, and Buckley is a natural consequence of the Catholic faith. Not every post will attempt to justify in light of the Church’s teaching a certain political position we may hold, as we recognize that many of our readers may not be Catholic or it is obvious that said position is in accordance with Magisterial teaching.

Second, we hope that this blog encourages those conservatives who read our posts, especially students who find themselves surrounded by liberal academia and peers, to hold fast to their beliefs. It is a fact that much of American higher education is dominated by liberals; William F. Buckley, Jr. launched himself into the forefront of the conservative movement by addressing this fact in his book God and Man at Yale. We all agree with Mr. Buckley’s sentiments on the notion that truth will not prevail in the classroom under the auspices of academic freedom:

What is more, truth can never win unless it is promulgated. Truth does not carry within itself an antitoxin to falsehood. The cause of truth must be championed, and it must be championed dynamically.

William F. Buckley, Jr. with President Reagan

William F. Buckley, Jr. with President Reagan

We will do our utmost to champion the causes of truth, both politically and religiously.

Finally, I realize that most are probably not familiar with the title of this blog, Contra Mundum. It comes from a quote from St. Athanasius (296-373), a Doctor of the Church. He was vehemently outspoken against the heretic Arius; in fact, he was the only person with the courage to fight the Arian heresy and firmly defend the banner of orthodoxy. He declared that should all of the world accept the Arian heresy, then let it be ‘Athanasius contra mundum’ (Athanasius against the world). This reflects our conviction in our religious and political beliefs, as well as our willingness to stand ‘contra mundum.’

-Vigilius