By Roberto de Mattei
As summer draws to an end, Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality is imminent amid general indifference, despite the grave consequences that it could have. And not even the dramatic and symbolic death of Putin’s latest victim, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has reawakened the attention of European public opinion to the grave problems that are gathering on the horizon. Yet the warning signs are not in short supply, and they do not concern only the economic aspects of the future, to which all are most sensitive.
An article by Jean-Pierre Maugendre in the magazine, Renaissance Catholique (no. 177, May–July 2023) has made me reflect, and I will try to summarise its essential points, in part because it presents a serious and cogent confirmation of the concerns of General Roberto Vannacci, in his book Il mondo al contrario (The world upside down), which has given rise to an unjustified scandal in Italy.
Maugendre dwells on the situation in France and starts out by affirming that a significant part of its national territory is now in a state of secession, the political equivalent of religious schism. He writes:
“The question is no longer whether a civil war, or rather an ethnic-religious war, will come about on French soil, but when and with what probability of success for the various participants.”
The conditions for civil war have been put in place by immigration, which has a longer history and broader dimensions in France than in Italy and other European states, which are nonetheless travelling the same path.
In recent decades, Maugendre states, the tools of assimilation that in the early twentieth century had worked for Polish, Spanish and Italian immigrants have failed in France. Neither education, nor military service, nor the Church have succeeded in “frenchifying” these waves of immigrants.
The responsibilities lie with the free-market right, which sees human beings only as producers and consumers, and with the socialist left, steeped in the grand utopias of human rights. Both of these, right and left, have agreed on one mantra: the Republic and its religion — secularism — would resolve all problems.
This is not what has happened. Over the years, Islam has tightened its grip on the immigrant populations, some of which wanted nothing more than to be Westernised. Maugendre writes:
“Become French! Why should they do so? Is this truly to be hoped and desired? Who is proud of being or becoming French? In effect, many of these young immigrants of the second or third generation, when asked to characterise themselves, proclaim the nationality of their parents. How many of the thousands of Moroccan fans who invaded and occupied the Champs Elysées during the World Cup last December were ‘French on paper’? Who among these immigrants could be so rash as to abandon the comfort brought to them by the Ummah, an Islamic community in full demographic and political expansion, and hitch their fate to a country whose contempt for natural law (marriage for all, gender theory, LGBT dictatorship, etc.) is an object of scandal and contempt for populations that are still firmly attached to certain elements of natural law? … The recent attacks on public buildings, police forces, fire brigades, schools, libraries and so forth — all symbols of France and its institutions — demonstrate, on the part of many of these young people, a hatred towards our country that even the most complacent commentators can no longer conceal.”
Maugendre cites facts that are plain for all to see.
“The ethno-religious division foreseen and feared by some is no longer a danger or a prophecy but a reality. In the legislative elections of June 2022, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s NUPES, the pro-immigrant left-wing party, won in all twelve districts of Seine Saint-Denis. Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National won in seven of the eight districts of Var. The rift is evident. Pouring billions of euros into the outskirts to rebuild the 1,059 burned-out buildings or to promote sex education in schools will not solve the problems posed by the secession of many parts of our national territory. It is already very late, and the band of the destitute that presides over the fate of our unfortunate country is not capable of either slackening the flow of new immigrants or enforcing the OQTF (Obligation de Quitter le Territoire Français) issued by the courts. It is to be feared that our country’s fate is that of Lebanon, that is, the fragmentation of France along ethnic and religious lines. One neighbourhood or city will be populated by Moroccans, another by Algerians, another by Malians, yet another by ethnic Frenchmen, etc., each ruled by its own law. History is relentless. It has its laws, as merciless as those of physics”.
Citing a prophecy of Marshal Juin, Maugendre writes:
“France is in a state of mortal sin, and one day it will be punished. But we also know that it is always possible to heal, even from mortal sin. As long as one repents and makes amends. On 29 July 1916, the now sainted Charles de Foucauld prophesied from his hermitage in Tamanrasset, ‘If we do not succeed in making these people French, they will drive us out. The only way to make them French is for them to become Christians.’”
These predictions have not lost any of their timeliness and do not concern France alone. Maugendre states:
“The situation of the Church in France, which should be responsible for this mission of evangelisation, but is bent above all on breaking with Tradition and converting to a synodality that is as indigestible as it is decidedly revolutionary, certainly does not give rise to optimism. Yet we know that nothing is impossible for God and that it is in in the humble execution of our domestic duties that the times of the Resurrection are prepared”.
These are words that Maugendre relates to France, but that we could apply to Italy and to the whole of Europe.