A Centenary Meditation on a Quest for “Purification” Gone Mad (2018 Gardone Lectures) by Dr. John Rao

A Centenary Meditation on a Quest for “Purification” Gone Mad (2018 Gardone Lectures) by Dr. John Rao

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Excerpt from the Preface: 

"The text that follows embodies the four historical conferences that I delivered to introduce the 2018 Summer Symposium of the Roman Forum—a Catholic academic organization founded by Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand to defend the Church’s Magisterium against the ever-increasing assaults upon it in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Held at Gardone Riviera on Lake Garda in northern Italy since 1993, the Summer Symposium is designed to facilitate detailed discussion of topics that have both permanent importance as well as contemporary urgency, led by a faculty coming from all continents in an atmosphere nurturing the fullness of the Catholic life: spiritual and liturgical, intellectual and fraternal, serious and joyful at one and the same time.

2018 was the centennial of the armistice concluding the “War to End All Wars”, the Paris Peace Conference of the following year intended by President Woodrow Wilson of the United States to “Make the World Safe for Democracy” with the aid of a League of Nations guaranteeing peace the globe over. Unfortunately, 1918-1919 provided to be an entry into a terrible period of disruptions rather than an epoch where the lion would lie down with the lamb. The theme for the twenty-sixth annual Summer Symposium derived from these expressed hopes and real failures, with the complete picture of this strange era being painted by our international faculty under the title of “The Fittest and the Weakest: The Interwar Era, the Foundations of Late Modernity, and the Resilience of Catholic Christianity”.

...As noted above, the following text only provides a schematic historical introduction to the theme in question. It is only lightly footnoted, except where direct citations require more precise documentation. Readers interested in pursuing their study of the issues in question are urged to do two things: listen to the recordings of the other speakers at the 2018 gathering, all of which are available through Keep the Faith, Inc., and consult the works provided in a brief concluding bibliography. Both, together, will provide sufficient armament for Catholic militants eager to battle for the Church in a war that, alas, cannot come to an end until the end of time."

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Praise for A Centenary Meditation on a Quest

The years after World War I were a time of hope and opportunity, with many yearning for a purification of a decadent western civilization. John Rao masterfully shows how the hopes came to nought, the opportunities were squandered, and the errors made by churchmen at the time led to the crisis of the present. —Pater Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist., vice-rector of the Leopoldinum Seminary, Heiligenkreuz, Austria

John Rao sheds new and important light on Catholicism in the twentieth century. He surveys with impressive range the very diverse institutional and intellectual culture of western Catholicism within this period—a culture that moved as the century progressed through an increasing prioritisation of accommodation with secular modernity to outright compromise and surrender, and that did so by a variety of routes reflective of a rapidly changing and increasingly chaotic non-Catholic world. There is growing interest in the history of development and change within the Church that led up to the Second Vatican Council. John Rao makes a vital and original contribution to this history, and accompanies it with a call to repentance and restoration based on genuine understanding of the past. —Dr. Thomas Pink, Professor of Philosophy, King's College London

Dr. John Rao has written a book that is sweeping, gripping, and insightful in its historical analysis of the "infection of modernity" and the Catholic Church's uneven efforts to purify social spaces and culture of the viral ideology stemming from the so-called Enlightenment. The whole confused panorama of modernity unfolds before the reader from the Catholic revival of the nineteenth century to a gradual Catholic surrender to the "Pluralist Magisterium" in the twentieth. Along the way we meet a kaleidoscopic array of the leading characters, heroes and villains, in the drama of the modern age. Particularly trenchant is Dr. Rao's diagnosis of the personalism that came to insinuate itself into the mind and liturgy of the Church of Christ. No student of history and no traditional Catholic should find this book absent from his library. —Rev. Richard A. Munkelt, Ph.D., priest, author, and educator

Size: 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN: 9781999472979 | $14.95 USD

144 pages

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