Since the Church has allowed itself to be muzzled and excluded, where do men and women turn?
State-sponsored 'forums' enroll families with compatibility problems in group psychotherapy sessions, designed to reestablish dialogue by breaking down their inhibitions. Reality shows allow couples in crisis to air their dirty laundry on television in front of millions of spectators. And the canons of "It is no longer to the Church that people turn for guidelines of behavior," says De Jaeghere, "it is to their psychiatrist.prevailing thought are determined in talk shows organized on the sets of the big networks, where hand-picked experts rub elbows with real people invited to represent the sentiments of those with day-by-day experiences in real life.
"It is not the Church that comforts the afflicted, it is the psychological support units that arrive on the spot after horrifying accidents (recently to comfort a company of firemen that had lost one of its members) to help victims of catastrophe 'cope with their mourning.'  Where once an illuminated 'chapel of rest' was set up and a Funeral Mass celebrated, we now have a 'sympathy march' and keep a minute of silence.
"It is not to the Church that people turn to give to charity, it is to television, which does all the organizing and which channels into charitable organizations having no religious connotation, the great outpourings of solidarity aroused by tidal waves (the tsunami), incurable diseases (telethons, AIDS benefits), or the misery of extreme poverty ... For young people who show a little generosity, a little concern for giving themselves to a cause greater than their appetite for well-being, the example to follow is the doctor in Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), not the missionary. The new hero is the doctor, a tolerant lay person, a 'whirligig,' dashing off to care for the needy in times of emergency and then returning to his office and his profane occupations, having thus managed to blend personal enrichment with dedication.
"It is no longer to the Church that people turn for Faith, Hope and Charity: under the pretext of confining Catholicism to the private sector, it has been dispossessed of its rightful goods, its most precious virtues ...
The crowning touch to this marginalization: Catholicism is excluded from History.
"Even the role it has played in ages past is contested," says Mr. De Jaeghere, "as if it were not enough to deny it all influence upon the course of current events; moreover, the people's memory had to be purged of even the remembrance of the contribution it has made in our collective adventures.
"This is the reason for the campaign launched in France against John Paul II's visit on the occasion of the 15th centennial of the Baptism of Clovis in 1996. It is also the reason for the refusal by the French authorities to include any reference to the Christian heritage in European institutions. Lionel Jospin, Prime Minister at the time, personally intervened to assure that there would be no Christian reference in the Treaty of Nice. Jacques Chirac took over from there, opposing (against the formal request of Italy, Ireland, Malta, Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Portugal, with the insistent support of the Holy See) any similar reference in the drafting of the European Constitution.
"In both cases they made a sort of Stalinist revision of History, denying factual evidence. They proclaimed that France was not born at the baptistry of Rheims, but at the oath taken on June 20, 1789.  That Europe owed nothing of its identity to Christianity ... But History teaches us that Clovis was certain of success in reconstituting the territory of Gaul beneath his scepter precisely because his choice was Catholic Christianity, which had remained the religion of the Gallo-Roman populace since the preaching of Saint Martin. History also teaches us that Europe found its unity when it established a civilization with its principle and foundation in Christianity, and that it lost its unity when Christianity was divided by the Reformation, opening the way for the secularization of the nations ...
"But it was not enough to have ostracized Catholicism from our public life and expurgated it from our social life; History had to be rewritten --- for fear that in studying it, Christians might begin to wonder whether anyone has the right to sell off the heritage of so many centuries, and whether christianity really merited the fate it has been dealt."
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15. In no way do we wish to discredit the praiseworthy efforts of various humanitarian organizations, but merely point out the blatant absence of the Church in a field where it once led the way, not excluding the precious support of many laymen.
16. The Tennis Court Oath; this event is regarded as the birth of the French Revolution.