Books in Brief: February 2021

Catholic & Identitarian, by Julien Langella (Arktos Media; 338 pp., $38.95). French commando Dominique Venner committed suicide inside Notre-Dame Cathedral in 2013 as an act of protest against unrestricted Islamic immigration. One cannot but censure Venner’s sacrilegious act. Yet, calling attention to the existential threat to the West in general and France in particular is a legitimate aim. In a disorienting age that has confused the touchstones of family, faith, nationality, vocation, and even sex, the question of identity is undeniably paramount.

Given the Catholic ecclesial bureaucracy’s flamboyant embrace of globalist ideology, it is quite radical enough to point out that, as French activist Julien Langella puts it in this book, “the teachings and traditions of the Church have always respected ethnic and national borders and protected the integrity of authentic human roots.” For the benefit of those unaware of the Catholic tradition’s relationship to patriotism, Langella shows how the local, particular loyalties frequently denounced in modern homilies as “racism” have been affirmed not only by popes and Church Doctors, but by Biblical figures such as the Maccabees, Saint Paul, and Christ Himself.

Pope Pius XII declared in his Summi Pontificatus (1939) that the Church cannot “attack or underestimate” the cultural characteristics that each people “retains...

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