In 132 AD Emperor Hadrian punished a Jewish insurrection by leveling all of Jerusalem. His engineers selected Calvary as the site of the Forum and capital of the new city Aelia Capitolina. He erected a statue of Jupiter over the Holy Sepulcher, and of Venus over the spot where Christ was crucified. In Bethlehem, Hadrian built a temple to Adonis over the site of the Manger.
There will always be something in man eager to bury Christ’s victory over Satan. Whether it be Roman emperors building cities over Calvary. Or, Jacobin fanatics enthroning the Goddess Reason on the high altar of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. Or, Joseph Stalin exploding 72,884 churches in Russia.
It must not be thought that this fever is restricted to the more obvious enemies of the Church. They are too easily recognizable, leaving us to a deceptive somnolence.
The most formidable enemies of Christ are the ones who bear His title and anointed privileges.
Their betrayals are far more lethal, for they are more unexpected. Invested with trust by God’s ‘little ones”, they are more easily led away to bury Christ’s victory. Their naivete serves the aims of the trahison de clercs.
No Roman emperor could bury Christ more effectively than one cleric who preaches a Christ without the Cross or a religion of sentimentality, rather than redemption. Outrages against Christ don’t come principally from blowing up churches but refashioning the exacting moral teaching of Christ. Can anything more securely bury Christ’s victory than this proposition of the German Synodal Way, winning their bishop’s vote by a majority 176-14:
“(we call for) the blessing of same-sex couples on the basis of a reevaluation of homosexuality as a norm variant of human sexuality.”
Christian-loathing Roman emperors could never outdo this.
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