but they, too, follow the fashion of approving “global interventionism.”rnThey did so during the three centuries of thernCrusades, although they try to forget this. To be liberated thenrnwere the True Cross, the Holy Land, and Christians living underrnMuslim rule. In the perspective of the year 1087, this wasrnjust as essential and urgent as putting Mr. Aristide back in hisrnpresidential palace seems now. The Holy Roman Emperor andrnthe kings of France and England were then the chief crusaders;rn”the U.N. will be at the center of the new internationalrnorder,” write the American bishops, in The Harvest of JusticernIs Sown in Peace. In other words, back to the Crusades withrnGeneral Schwarzkopf instead of Richard the Lionhearted, withrnbombers instead of arrows.rnNever before, even when it was persecuted by Caesar, didrnthe Church occupy such an ambiguous position as in ourrncentury. The “contract” the Church signed in several stagesrn(separation from the state; alienation of the bourgeoisie, the intellectuals,rnand the proletariat; acceptance of desacralization;rnfinally, Vatican II) with the new hegemonic power, liberalism,rnhas compelled it to surrender power over morals and culture.rnIn morals, the Church’s voice is not more influential thanrnthat of the sects or industrial interests; in culture, we see nornartistic, architectural, or musical style inspired by a sense of thernsacred. On the contrary, liturgy has itself been cleansed ofrnLatin and elements of veneration; the neutral and the uglyrndominate words and gestures. It was expected that the faithrnwould instantly reflourish in ex-communist lands. True, BorisrnYeltsin is flanked today by the Patriarch of Moscow; old churchesrnand monasteries are restored; divine service in them comesrnto life. However, in the race between a newly resuscitated religionrnand the invading Western lifestyle, the latter seems tornwin. We can only laugh at Jacques Maritain’s predictionrn(1951): “When people will have the common will to live togetherrnin a world-society, they will want to project a commonrntask. What task? That of conquering liberty.”rn^ ^ ‘ ‘ ^ ^ n s t e a d of referring, asrn^ ^ y in the past, to thernf^_^ Church’s associationrnwith the throne (from the Pharaoh tornthe Bourbons and the Habsburgs), thernbishops today invoke new potentates inrnflattering terms: the United Nations, thernCommon Market, NATO, and ‘globalrndemocracy.’rnThe reaction of Eastern Europe’s churchmen is varied.rnTheir reflexes, shaped by 40 years of fear and treachery, are terriblyrnstrong but increasingly matched, although in a diffusernform, by a new fear of the devastating Western influence. Underrncommunism, there were small protective shells: family.rnfriendship, circles of study and music. Now drugs, sex, crime,rnhunger for wealth and luxury undo those ties. In this ocean ofrnfilth the Church in Eastern Europe also loses its moorings.rnWhat the Communist Party apparatus with its “peace-priests”rnwas unable to achieve is today accomplished by new conflictsrnbetween traditionalists and adepts of Vatican II, between liberalsrnand conservatives, between “modernizing” priests foreverrndissatisfied with the “old structure” and Rome’s carefulrnpolicy of not rocking the boat.rnPolitical, even ideological alliances are inevitable in EasternrnEurope under the circumstances, and they are not basically differentrnfrom those that the Church feels obliged to make in thernWest. In the West, the Church has had its right and leftrnwings, and the controversy is still not settled. In Eastern Europe,rnthe left, at least communism so named, is not yet respectable-rnsounding, while ri^t denotes fascism (this is whatrnCommunist Party propaganda had pounded into the man-inthe-rnstreet), an even less acceptable label. Caught in the web ofrna constantly rewritten history, the Church has chosen a cautiouslyrnliberal-socialistic path that paints gray on gray, blocksrnpeople’s desire to identify themselves with “Rome,” andrnassimilates the Church to the churches of Western Europe, allrnsinging the praises of the Common Market, United Europe,rnand the United Nations. If The Harvest of justice is a middleof-rnthe-road document, so are the pastoral letters of mostrnEastern European bishops.rnWith one difference. The nations of Eastern Europe havernnot yet been broken on the wheel of material, democratic, andrnpluralist progress. It is one thing to yearn for consumer goodsrnwhen bread and milk cost more every week and one’s telephonernis usually out of order, another to consent to the nation’srndegradation and humiliation. Soviet occupation did not meanrnthese things, since Russia is regarded as the plague: it kills, itrndoes not degrade. But to be an old Catholic nation, and onernrun by freemasons, cosmopolite parliamentarians, and thernmedia-mob, to be threatened by century-old enemies at one’srnborders—this is intolerable. The Church, mealymouthed onrnthese issues, would only create antagonism. Thus the EasternrnEuropean Church seems to have chosen. Its words and gesturesrnare liberal, democratic, pluralist, as are some members of thernclergy, but when it comes, for example, to reclaiming schoolsrnconfiscated by the party-state, the bishops know well how to securerntheir due. The same is true of the religious rights of minorities,rnsuch as those of Magyars in Transylvania.rnAll in all, the separation of church and state has settledrnnothing, historically. If it is true that the former used to be excessivelyrntied to the latter (was the reverse not true also?), it isrnequally true that little progress has been made since: today,rnchurches arc subordinated to liberal civil society, its publicrnopinion and ruling ideologues. A document like The Harvestrnof justice reads like a United Nations bulletin when speechesrnhave been delivered by all 184 members. What the bishopsrnomit in their liberal enthusiasm is that today’s clear and presentrndanger is not the situation in Bosnia or Haiti—that kind ofrnthreat to an area will always be in generous supply—but oneworldism,rnone clique speaking like Big Brother in the name ofrnhumanity, humanitarianism, and humanitarian intervention.rnThe Church ought to know better: in past centuries it neverrnsucceeded in uniting even pockets of Christian Europe. Whyrnwould the United Nations, the Europe concocted at Brussels,rnNATO, or some other acronymic organization save the worid,rnbring peace, and harvest justice? crn22/CHRONICLESrnrnrn