Fr. Paul D. Scalia: The Impious Public Square

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July 6, 2020

*Image: Aeneas Carrying [his father] Anchises by Carle van Loo, 1729 [Musée du Louvre, Paris]

By Fr. Paul D. Scalia, The Catholic Thing, July 5, 2020

Fr. Paul Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Va, where he serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy. His new book is That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion.

Fr. Paul D. ScaliaWe all sense that the current crisis in our nation is more than just a passing bit of social unrest. The anger legitimately directed at racism and police brutality has somehow morphed into an indiscriminate rejection of the past, a desire to sever us from all that came before. Thus the vandalism and toppling of statues of the Founding Fathers, Christopher Columbus, Ulysses S. Grant – and Stevie Ray Vaughn (is nothing sacred?!).

This renunciation might seem all-of-a-sudden to many people. In fact, it’s been prepared for years by bad education and, even more, the erosion and weakening of that foundational virtue, piety.

By piety I mean reverence for the people, wisdom, principles, and institutions that precede us and have shaped who we are. Piety looks to our parents: Honor your father and your mother.  It extends to our community, town, and country.  Most of all it looks to God – to the Source of all life and good. And this looking back to sources contains a blessing for the future: Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Ex 20:12) …