James Bogle Interview on Catholic Culture: What everyone seeks!


Another outstanding, positive interview from The Remnant, here with James Bogle, who speaks with tangible joy and passion about the beauty and importance of Catholic faith and culture.

Michael Matt interviews the former president of Una Voce International--English barrister, Lt. Colonel James Bogle on the situation in the Church under Pope Francis, silent bishops, religious liberty, racism and Catholic culture. What built Europe? Why are so many people from all over the world fascinated by Europe? What brings tourists flocking to Europe’s greatest attractions? Two words: Catholic Church--the only completely non-racist religion in the world!

Bogle explains that there is a crisis of leadership in the Church today, and also a crisis of moral fibre. Leaders are afraid to lead and be openly & publicly Catholic. Why? They're afraid of being criticised by the secular media. This can only mean that they are suffering from a crisis of their own faith; they don't believe quite as much as perhaps as they should.

Of course, the more we fail to engage with the culture, the less important our position becomes and the fewer people consider the Church has anything relevant to say. Our position is further eroded by a constant giving of ground on key issues of social and moral teaching. The dominant secular culture is attacking the Church from many angles and the Church seems powerless under the present leadership to do anything but seek compromise with the secular position. If we believe in the truth of the Church, we must stand up and engage with the culture and have the courage to argue against the social and moral decline that surrounds us.

Meanwhile, those Catholics who do have the strength, knowledge and courage to stand up for the faith are virulently attacked by the media. Bogle cites Cardinal Pell's persecution as an example of a Macarthyesque witch hunt. Of course that facilitated by an approach which fails to say what we know is true. Failing to engage with the culture allows someone else to say things about you that are false.

It is very interesting that Bogle names Pell in this regard, as this is very much what the Cardinal said to me when I had the honour of having a chat with him a few years ago.

Bogle considers we are already and will continue to see increasing incursions into religious liberty in the west; Catholics will not be able to even state their beliefs. This has come about as a result of a crisis in confidence. Correctly Bogle asserts that a failure to engage with issues in the public sphere means that religious rights are being eroded at a furious rate.

The only people who can stem that are Catholic spokesmen, especially bishops. But bishops are not carrying out their duty!

With regard to education: if Catholic schools accept the secular culture and abandon the principles of faith they will decrease in importance; this is already happening. In the UK we have an incredibly generous set up with state religious schools but we are frittering away that incredible inheritance. I cannot agree more with this sentiment as a Catholic father and a former governor. Bogle is right on the money.

Bogle considers Pope Francis merciful approach is belied by the words he speaks. In practice, his approach is extremely dictatorial. The dissonance between his words and actions are noticeable and lead to people feeling alienated by his rhetoric. If the Pope is compromising in an attempt to seek compromise with anti-Catholic secular sentiment he is damaging the faith and doing a disservice to the Church. There is a crisis of confidence in the Church which is palpable; there's clearly a certain loss of confidence which is leading in a desire to compromise. By contrast, if what you are seeking is for the the organisation to grow, you must have confidence in yourself and the fact that this is lacking is exemplified by a lot of priests and bishops as well as laymen.

What is attractive about the Catholic faith is the truths of the faith, but also importantly the culture that our religion has produced; the palaces and the churches of Europe that people flock to and which is perhaps epitomised by the atmosphere at the Roman Forum: we have to remind ourselves of our cherished catholic culture, which is universal and completely inclusive. People are searching for this reality but if you want the real thing, you have to get it in the Catholic Church.

This culture is our trump card, unfortunately as the world beats a path to our door looking for this, we seem to be retreating from the things we should be most proud of. The Catholic faith respected everyone's contribution to the culture. You don't get a mono-culture as you do in some places in the new world, just five minutes down the road you have differences in customs and language. This is subsidiarity and real multiculturalism - a product of Catholic civilisation.

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