In 1967 philosopher Dietrich Von Hildebrand published “A Trojan Horse in the City of God.” Von Hildebrand’s sobering message was largely ignored in the euphoric optimism and radical reform that swept through the Catholic Church in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council.
Hildebrand called out those, acting under the cover of the “spirit of Vatican II”, that were striking at the spiritual patrimony of the Catholic Church. He warned of the consequence of their efforts to radically deform the Church’s liturgy, theology, and architecture.
Hildebrand exhibited a similar courage and prophetic insight many years before Vatican II.
Dietrich, born in 1889 was raised in Florence, Italy. In his private and preparatory education for university he developed a passion for philosophy and theology leading to a conversion to Catholicism in 1914. He served as a surgical assistant during the First World War and later settled in Germany for a teaching position at the University of Munich.
Hildebrand was a vocal opponent of the Nazi’s as they rose to power in the 1930’s. The Nazis were not pleased and targeted him for death. Hildebrand fled to Austria and later France before emigrating with his wife and son to the United States in 1940.
Today’s Trojan Horse
Were he alive today I am confident Dietrich Von Hildebrand would be warning of another Trojan Horse that is intimately attacking the heart of the Church and her members – internet pornography.
The sexual revolution and abortion, operating in a culture saturated with consumer capitalism, have elevated the unrestricted entitlements and passions of the autonomous self to the level of idolatry.
All who participate in the unborn child’s death have desecrated this gift of life, made in the image and likeness of God. Men and women are wounded by their role in the abortion decision and procedure.
Pornography, like abortion, is another fruit of the sexual revolution that attacks the spiritual and emotional health of God’s children.
It is important to note that regular porn users often require more graphic context to experience the same level of pleasure and excitement. This has led the industry to develop increasingly perverse, misogynistic and abusive content for their consumers.
As the media and entertainment elites fan the flames of Trump hatred and Russia obsession, the real enemy of the republic continues to gather in strength and influence.
What to Do
Catholic News Agency has a very important article, What Can Priests Practically Do To Combat the Porn Epidemic, that presents a challenging call to the Church to respond this growing problem.
The author Mary Rezac offers some practical strategies, including the important work of prevention, for churches to respond to this crisis. [I would only add that Permanent Deacons may be a great resource to assist pastors in implementing the author’s suggestions.]
Please read Rezac’s article, share it with your parish pastor, deacons and ministry leaders. Consider ways that God may be calling you to get involved.