by Elisabeth Hellenbroich
“In politics one should be prepared that from one moment to the next you may lose everything (Ján Čarnogurský in a discussion with the author Vladimír Palko)
“The lions are coming” is the title of a 500 pages long book which was published in German language last year. The book, which was originally published in Slovakia in 2012, written by former Slovak Interior Minister (2002-2006) Vladimír Palko professor for mathematics at the Paneuropean University in Bratislava, is a wake- up call. It is specifically addressing committed Christian democratic politicians, journalists, jurists and the average citizen, by calling upon them to come out more vociferous in the defense of the inalienable rights and the defense of the dignity of man. The book describes in detail how in the last 25 years in particular in Europe the awareness of justice has been systematically undermined. It presents various legal “cases” which demonstrate how in Europe – often with the help of the “European Court of Human Rights” in Strasbourg and in the framework of UN documents – nations in East and Western Europe, after the fall of communism, were becoming increasingly “secularized” and dechristianized, denying the existence of a higher “natural law” for the state.
The cases which the author illustrates in the various chapters of his book range from the legalization and practice of abortion, which in Western Europe started in the mid- seventies, to the “Euthanasia” laws passed in the Netherlands and Belgium, the laws for equalizing “gay” marriages with the traditional institution of marriage and allowing homosexual couples to “adopt” children, the rejection of the traditional Christian matrimony and family, the tolerance of pedophilia and the raging debate about the right for direct active euthanasia, to the raving fight for the “gender ideology” in educational institutions. It also shows in numerous examples taken from the day to day life in the US, Canada and Great Britain how professional doctors, nurses, teachers and priests refused on the basis of their “conscientious objections” to follow the newly adopted laws. As result they were systematically denounced by the press, fired from their work, thrown into jail or had to pay fines.
The author at the end of his book highlights the political fight which the founder of the Slovak Christian Democratic Party KDH, Dr. Ján Čarnogurský, bravely weighed after the fall of communism in the beginning 1990ies. Being an “outstanding catholic politician” who began to reconstruct his country after the fall of communism 1989 in the footsteps of the work of the architects of Europe, Christian democratic politicians, like Konrad Adenauer, de Gaulle and de Gasperi, Čarnogurský tried to bring his “vision” into the EU debate, a vision which was centered on the principle of sovereignty and a “conscience clause”. For Čarnogurský this concretely had relevance concerning the question which model Slovakia would adopt after the fall of communism. According to his view a Slovakia which was to become member of the EU in 2004, should -while adopting the “western parliamentary model”- particularly assert its sovereignty in matters of “culture and ethics”. And that this principle should be valid for all EU states.
Dr. Čarnogurský didn’t succeed given the fact that his engagement in defense of a culture of life was rejected by those Christian democrats who had in the meantime transmuted into luke-warm “liberals” tolerating in their respective nations the manifestation of an increasingly growing “anthropological revolution”, where former communists unite with socialist, greenies, liberals and lukewarm Christian democrats.
Hence the irony, as Palko states in his book, that after the fall of communism communist functionaries from the eastern European countries acquired top positions within the EU bureaucracy. Nobody seemed to have any problems with the fact that the former communist from Latvia, Andris Piebalgs, became Commissioner, like Siim Kallas from Estonia, Dalia Grybauskaite from Lithuania, Danuta Hübner from Poland and Lászlo Kovács from Hungary.
The Dr. Rocco Buttiglione case
Noteworthy and exemplary for the kind of “paradigm” change in Europe which occurred in the last decades, is the case of Dr. Rocco Buttiglione. This Italian Christian Democrat and former minister, member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and university professor for political science and philosophy was proposed in 2004 by EU commission president Barroso for the nomination of European Commissioner with the portfolio of Justice, Freedom and Security. His nomination was brutally rejected in 2004 by an alliance of Socialists and Greenies. During his hearing before the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Buttiglione was asked about his stance on homosexuality and women.
The Roman Catholic in reference to the Catholic Church Catechism responded that he considered it a sin but that his personal opinion would not prevent him to fight against the discrimination of homosexuals. He also stated his belief that the “family” exists in order to allow women to have children, and that the family has to be protected by the care which the father is taking for the family. This hearing caused a storm of indignation, in particular on the side of the EU Greenie faction which at that time was chaired by Daniel Cohn Bendit. (Cohn-Bendit, who is known to have in the 70ies published a book, which people read as defense of pedophilia, which caused many scandals until recently). Cohn Bendit rejected Buttiglione and called him a total “incompetent”. The tragic irony which the case illustrates is that the “EPP (European Peoples Party) simply watched the elimination of Rocco Buttigliones candidacy without doing anything”, as Palko notes.
The causa Buttiglione is an illustration for how far the “anthropological revolution” which had its origins in the US and GB, going back to the 1920ies/ 30ies (Palko mentions names of people like H.G. Wells, Margaret Sanger, Antonio Gramsci or Frankfurt school representative Herbert Marcuse) has spread into the various governmental institutions and parties, infecting them with a new form of “cultural relativism” that “relativize” the principles of Christian faith. It defends a culture which negates the role of the traditional family and hails a culture of death.
“The massive turn away of Christianity in Europe and America, the moral collapse of the Euro- American West – caused by the anthropological revolution, the de-Christianization of former Christian parties in the West, the modern persecution of Christians in the west and the problematic internal state of the catholic church” is seen by Palko as an illustrative example for the malaise of our times.
The case of Ján Čarnogurský and his fight for the sovereignty of the state
In the final part of the book Palko devotes attention to the genesis of the Slovak Christian Democratic Party KDH and its founder Dr. Ján Čarnogurský. When the events precipitated in November 1989 in Prague, the young lawyer Čarnogurský –who had defended many people that had been suppressed under communism and who together with the other catholic dissident Dr. František Mikloško had played a role in the famous “candle light demonstrations” in March 1988,that was organized by the underground Church-was sitting in prison. He was considered by many Slovak people a “natural leader” when in 1991 he became Prime Minister of the Slovak government.
As Palko states, Čarnogurský from the beginning of 1989 was convinced that a simple takeover of the western parliamentary democracy model in itself had no future. What he demanded was a “paradigm change” which would give Slovakia and those nations that got rid of communism after 1989 the possibility to bring their own contribution into the reconstruction of a unified Europe, and reaffirm their vision concerning man and society. This was meant not as a rejection of the western parliamentarian model but rather as an “enlargement”.
Čarnogurský who also became later Justice Minister formulated his own paradigm. As Palko writes, “his idea was that Slovakia is anchored in the EU structures, while not taking over the entire western model—since he saw in this model aside many advantages the increase of new ideological threats, threatening the freedom of Christianity.” Palko makes reference to a speech which in August 1991 Ján Čarnogurský as Prime Minister gave in New York. In this speech he stated that: “After communism we must win against liberalism. Those who were communists yesterday from one day to the next have become convinced liberals. Liberalism has evolved into becoming the biggest challenge for the Catholic social Doctrine in the next decades. The fight against liberalism may seem hopeless today as much as the fight against socialism 100 years ago, but the church must seek this fight for the sake of the true human values”.
In his function as chairman of the KDH, his party was an equal partner among the chairmen of the other European Christian democratic sister parties (EUCD, later EPP) and he was convinced that the “West could learn from Slovakia and tried it for the first time in 1993.” At that time, as Palko recalls, the Netherland parliament introduced a law that would decriminalize Euthanasia. The deputies of the Netherland Christian Democrats (CDA) also voted in favor of the law. Čarnogurský at the time wrote a letter to the EUCD and demanded the CDA to clarify its position during a conference of the EUCD: The CDA chairman Wim van Welzen had to justify himself in the EUCD. These events as well as others were contributing factors for “Čarnogurský who understood that the anthropological revolution had a global character and that therefore the global institutions had become ideological battle fields.”
During the 1994 the UN conference in Cairo which discussed new forms of population control and introduced the notion of “gender” in its final documents, the Slovak government delegation which had also been instructed by Dr. Čarnogurský, was the only one who stood side by side with the delegation of the Holy See chaired by Archbishop Renato Martini.
Sovereignty of European nation states in matters of cultural and ethical questions
There was another important fight in which Ján Čarnogurský engaged for the sake of Slovakia. After having founded the KDH, Čarnogurský was among the first to demand Slovakia’s entry into the EU (the country together with 9 other States joined the EU in May 2004). But he also recognized more and more that the EU as well as the UN were becoming instruments of a “global anthropological revolution” and were turned into becoming increasingly anti- Christian. Hence he decided to discuss this problem on an international level. The solution, as he suggested, was to introduce a principle which can be called
“Sovereignty of EU member states in matters of cultural and ethical questions.”
It meant that questions concerning the protection of human life, family, institution of marriage and other aspects, cannot be decided upon by the institutions of the EU, but are sovereign matters of the single member states. Čarnogurský tried to win the support from all sister parties in the EPP and suggested during a conference of the EPP held in 1995 in Nice, that the EPP should support this principle of sovereignty of member states and push it through in the EU. The session was chaired at that time by former Belgian Prime Minister Wilfried Martens. There was no reaction, neither from Martens’ party nor from the others. As Čarnogurský commented later “his vision for this kind of Europe” had simply found no interest. This issue was nonetheless later introduced into a parliamentary debate in Slovakia and despite many protests, the Slovak parliament passed it (59 to101) in 2002 with reverberations in Poland, which discussed and passed the same clause in the Sejm in 2003.
In 2006 various KDH ministers, including Palko as Interior minister, left the government when their fight for “conscience clause” was turned down by the Dzurinda government. Dzurinda at that time was applauded by many Christian democrats in the West for having opened towards the “mainstream”.
A wake up call
Palko’s book is entitled “the lions are coming”. It’s a metaphor for the lions in the roman Circus arena that in a period of rampant paganism were devouring Christians alive. In modern times these lions are represented by the “mainstream opinion” which becomes increasingly “intolerant” against opinions that are voiced on the ground of Christian faith. One should also study the book on the background of the recent family synod in Rome (October 2014) and the eighth world family congress which will take place in Philadelphia in September 2015.
The book is an important voice against those lobbyists in Brussels and elsewhere as well as those international media networks, which manifest more and more intolerance, trying to prevent people in Europe to mobilize for a Europe that is based on the wealth of Europe’s cultural heritage.
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