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The Effects of Communism

 
 

August 27, 2018

The young philosopher knows that for every effect there is an equal and corresponding cause; for every action, there is a reaction. The idea is so basic many in society understand it without taking one class.

The actions of the individual have consequences as the young Catholic child learns in his catechism class. If he sins, God is offended; the soul is affected in either a venial or mortal manner. If it a matter of a mortal sin, the person must confess before receiving the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.

When a federal government chooses to approve laws which are immoral, the nation suffers spiritually. The laws concerning abortion, homosexuality and divorce are three well-known examples. These “laws” have changed society in the United States in a relatively short period of time.

There have been many different forms of governments in the past. Some have worked for the common good and some have not. Interestingly, Holy Mother Church has never said there is one form of government which it recommends over another. Although, it has said the monarchy provides us with the best example of the Kingship of Christ.

Going back over many centuries there have been governments which have written Catholic constitutions and dedicated their governmental work to the Blessed Trinity and the Blessed Mother. There have been others, though, which have denied God by forming an atheistic and totalitarian government. There have also been a variety of governments which have been mixtures of total freedom to total slavery.

There are three components to a government which desires to be good and just. The first, it must dedicate all of its work to God, recognizing Him as the Creator of Heaven and Earth and the Supreme Sovereign over all nations. It must recognize the Roman Catholic Church as the One True Church through which all men are saved. Secondly, it must allow the citizens of this nation the live freely, having the basic human right given to all men. Thirdly, it must work toward the common good, i.e., helping all citizens of the nation not just the elite and powerful.

In the mid to late 1980’s, several countries in Europe which had lived under Communist rule for many years were now given a freedom which they had not seen for thirty to forty years. There were differing opinions during those years about the truth of what was really occurring. The different opinions are not the subject of this article. The fact of their new-found freedom and the lingering effects of Communists is the point of concern.

As of July 2018, this writer has now visited a group of Czech Catholics four times to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to administer the Sacraments. With each visit one has learned more about their situation as Czech Catholics who are quite open about rejecting Modernism, Vatican II and the current Modernist heretic in Rome, Jorge Bergoglio.

It has been a blessing that there are several members who are able to speak English to varying degrees, making it possible to speak directly to them about matters of the Faith, but also the history of the now Czech Republic. It is the Catholic Faith in relationship to the former Communist rule.

The Czech Republic, which many still refer to as Czechoslovokia, has a very long Catholic history. Christianity was brought to the region by Saints Cyril and Methodius in the middle of the ninth century after they had successfully converted many in the Ukraine. The lasting effect of these two saints is still evident today in the Czech Republic with their Feast Day, which is celebrated in the Czech Republic on July 5, being a national holiday.

When one travels throughout the country, a nation which is small in comparison with our states, being about the size of Kentucky, you will see a number of monasteries, some of which are eight to nine-hundred years old. Castles which contain Catholic churches or chapels, also can be found in different parts of the country.

When a tourist goes through Prague, the capital, one sees many Catholic statues, some of which are over five-hundred years old. Most would consider St. Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral the center of the public display of the Catholic Faith in Prague and perhaps in all of the Czech Republic.

St. Vitus Cathedral is the largest and the most important church in Prague. Apart from religious services, coronations of Czech kings and queens also took place here. The cathedral is a place of burial of several patron saints, sovereigns, noblemen and archbishops.

What was so surprising when you first visit Prague is the fact that the Nazis and Communists did not destroy these public displays of Catholicism. The Nazis controlled then-Czechoslovakia from 1939-1945. Three years later, in 1948, the Communists invaded Easter Europe, taking with it, Czechoslovakia. For roughly forty years, the Soviet Communists controlled Eastern Europe with an iron fist, thus the term “Iron Curtain” was used to describe those countries “given” to Stalin at Yalta from Winston Churchill and the traitor Franklin Roosevelt. The treachery of these godless men changed all aspects of life in Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulargia, Yugoslavia and Albania.

The long-term effect of godless and totalitarian rule can be seen in the Czech Republic today. In the 19th century when this region was still a part of the Austrian-Hungarian Holy Roman Empire, the Czech region was 96% Catholic. After World War I, the number of practicing Catholics declined.

Prior to the Nazis control in 1939, approximately seventy percent of Czech Catholics attended Mass regularly and were practicing Catholics. Fifty years later (1989) there were very few Catholics practicing the Faith. In fact, the Czech Republic has some of the highest numbers of atheists, agnostics, and people with religious indifference of any nation in the world.

Before the second half of the 20th century, Christianity, more specifically the Roman Catholic Church, dominated the country. Since then, state religious affiliations have declined. Today, many people in the Czech Republic do not identify with any religion.

It is quite clear to the honest person that a nation cannot be under the rule of godless, totalitarian dictators for a length of time and not be adversely affected. Both Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin persecuted the Church and had clergy and religious put to death. The freedom to publicly practice the Faith in its proper and full sense was not allowed by these evil men.

While visiting the Czech Catholics in July 2018, I was taken into Germany for the first time. As we approached the Czech and German border, it was pointed out to me a row of housing near the road where Communist soldiers once lived. These men guarded the border between then-Czechoslovakia behind the Iron Curtain and free West Germany. Anyone attempting to escape the “paradise of the people” was shot on sight. I must say that hearing and seeing these things which one has only read or heard about was quite sobering. Apparently there were people who were able to escape.

Today the scene is quite different from those sad, tragic years of enslavement by the Communists, but not entirely so. When one drives from one country to the next, it is no different than doing the same in the United States. There are no longer any passport checks or soldiers preventing anyone from going from one country to the next. The principle expressway in the Czech Republic (with a speed limit of 85 mph, but many cars going faster!) is filled with semi-trailers from the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, England and even Turkey.

For a continent that fought to defeat the Nazis and the Communists, they are now being controlled by an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels, Belgium and is quite frankly, a socialist super-state. The recent demands requiring each country to take in so many Moslems is an example of the heavy-handed rule of the European Union.

In addition, the EU does not allow a nation like the Czech Republic to grow all of the crops needed to feed the people of its country but requires that certain foods to be “imported” from other European nations. Sounds like socialist control to this writer!

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland are a group of nations which stand together against the Moslem invasion. They have closed their border to this anti-Christian war against once-Catholic Europe. Poland Hungary especially have been quite vocals about maintaining their Catholic history and traditions. Austria has recently closed several mosques and expelled its members and imams. Italy is now standing up against this quiet war.

One does not know what the future holds but one is certainly able to learn from the past. Godless, totalitarian men and governments produce no good fruit despite their empty lies. Through prayer and action, it is hoped that many will be converted or reconverted to the True Faith. The world has seen the destructiveness of the Communists. That destruction lingers today, some thirty years after its “fall” in Europe.

It is quite interesting that our work takes us to one of the most godless nations in once-Catholic Europe. A nation that has a very long and distinguished history. A nation that is the geographical center of Europe and a capital (Prague) that once was the home of the Holy Roman Emperor (Charles IV).

Men, governments and nations come and go but the Catholic Faith endures into eternity. May the Faith be renewed in the Czech Republic and all of Europe where it once flourished from capital to capital. Through prayer, penance and sacrifice may this continent once again vanquish its enemies and process through the streets of Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, Madrid, Paris, London, Rome and the others proclaiming Christ’s Kingship in each nation and throughout this beloved continent.

Fr. Joseph Noonan, OFM