Neither Smoke in the Temple, the writer Eugenio Corti collects numerous interventions relating to the most significant events of the last thirty years of the last century. Prophet of his time, he talks about the risks for the Christian faith when the “smoke of Satan” begins to spread even in the Church.
“This book is the answer of a man of faith not resigned to simply taking note of the ecclesial and social difficulties, but decided instead to commit himself to the end in the good fight to give God the place he deserves within humanity”. So the late Cesare Cavalleri presents Smoke in the Temple (pp. 296) by Eugenio Corti, published in a new edition by Ares, who edited theopwas ormnia of the writer from Brianza.
It’s about a collection of factual analyses occurred mainly in the years between 1970 and 2000; it is the counterpoint of a free man who gives voice to the unease of so many Catholics who, in the footsteps of Saint Paul VI, see the “smoke of Satan” entering the temple of God. «The Church is no longer trusted; we trust the first profane prophet who comes to speak to us from some newspaper or some social motion to run after him and ask him if he has the formula for true life», continues Cavalleri in the preface to the volume. Hence “the writer’s persuasion that at the origin of the serious problems facing the Church there is the interweaving of two phenomena: the blurring of the vertical line that binds man to God and the abandonment of that line horizontal that defines the Christian life in its social outcomes, that is to say culture».
In commenting on a quote from the philosopher Jacques Maritain, Corti reflects on the political dimension in a broader sense of the Church: «The Church (even if we instinctively repulse us to mix categories such as right and left with a reality in many respects supernatural) insofar as it receives its authority from above, can never be considered a left-wing organization, but if ever its opposite. Let us then explain better why a “leftist” policy (don’t get us wrong: we repeat that it is disturbing for us too to use this profane phrasebook for the Church) – such as the one precisely advocated with so much authority by Maritain himself – could lead to a state of semi-paralysis, and the choice of many wrong men above all for the key posts of culture, mass media, etc. The only comfort for us is knowing that the Church will not be able to collapse anyway, as the Savior will always be with her”.
Corti therefore also harshly criticizes that «group of “enlightened” Catholics, who pose as teachers of the bishops and the Pope, and indeed, on occasion, even as “correctors” of the sacred scriptures”, so similar to contemporary “adult Catholics” who take positions on ethical issues in stark contrast to the magisterium of the church. From here, on the political level, the writer from Brianza bitterly observes that “Christian politicians now almost only speak the language of others”, so what was once valid for the Christian Democrats is still valid today for many politicians who relegate their faith to only the private sphere, preventing its repercussions in the social sphere.
Compared to the media exploitation of the Second Vatican Council, Corti observes with concern, “how then everyone without exception applauded the Church: everyone competed in praising her, you no longer heard a single crucify. Even those who until recently had insulted and slandered converted to the applause».
Attentive and profound connoisseur of communist ideology, whose madness he has experienced even on his own skin, he asks himself provocatively, in the light of the millions of victims it has claimed: “Would we like to bring Christians to collaborate with these people, with these ‘historical movements’?”. On the other hand, «Marx may well have been moved by a great impulse of humanitarian generosity, and so was Lenin, who attempted to implement Marx’s utopia in the very painful Russian reality, and so after them the Chinese revolutionaries: but from that starting generosity resulted only in deaths, and pains, and misery. It can also be understood that such a destruction of man – literally never seen before in history – can be ignored by secularist visionaries, still dazzled by Marx’s gigantic attempt to initiate a non-Christian redemption of humanity. , albeit with difficulty. But how is it possible that scholars, especially Christians, do not realize this?», asks the writer reflecting on the repercussions of this ideological system.
In this regard he observes acutely that «in the whole world communism has gained more hold, beyond the countries where it has imposed itself with violence, in Christian and more properly Catholic ones: in Italy, France, Spain, Latin America. In Protestant countries, however, where people hardly go to church anymore and believe less and less in transcendence, the hold is much smaller. This is because in Catholics there is the expectation of redemption, and it has remained even in those who believe less and less. Communism presents itself precisely as a redemption brought by man to man: above all as such it is felt at the popular level». Yet the “non-Christian ideas have resulted in tragic aberrations, including enormous exterminations”.
As an authoritative witness of the tragic fallout of communism, Corti points out saint John Paul II«a shepherd with the mindset of the pastor and not of the intellectual (albeit with all the respect due to this), who also personally experienced the supremely tragic reality of that communism that many Catholic intellectuals, from Maritain onwards, deluded themselves that they could fit into the ” new Christianity”.
In commenting instead on the exploitation of the “Seveso case” by abortionists, he affirms, data in hand, that «more than a year and a half after the toxic gas leak in Seveso, we can objectively state that the only human victims of dioxin have been the children killed in the womb by the frenzied campaign of the abortionists”. And he adds a heartfelt appeal that is extremely topical: “For the future, we Catholics must wake up: we must no longer allow anti-Christians to decide the life and death of our children”.