Converts and Kingdoms
Why Christian Civilization
Has Fallen Apart
Plus: What We Can Do About It
Dear Friend of Catholic Answers,
It seems that the Church faces long odds. Consider just a few of the things confronting it:
- Much of society is indifferent toward God or hostile to the Catholic message.
- The Church is suffering horrible divisions in the wake of the recent ecumenical council.
- Political leaders who were raised Catholic are working to undermine the Church.
- They create laws and policies to reward those who abandon their Christian principles.
- They are trying to push the Church entirely out of public life.
With all these factors—and numerous others—it seems that the Church faces long odds, indeed.
But I’m not talking about the Church of our day.
I’m talking about the Church of more than 1,600 years ago, during the reign of the Roman emperor known as Julian the Apostate, the last of the pagan emperors.
The Church in Julian’s day, back in the mid-300s, had to deal with each of the factors I just named.
The Church had just emerged from the age of persecutions and was still wounded from that experience. The First Council of Nicaea was held in A.D. 325, and was followed by turmoil and division. In some quarters heresy was rampant. In fact, the Arian crisis, which the council was called to address, actually worsened in the decades after the council.
What’s more, the Emperor Julian abandoned the Catholic faith, become a pagan, and was doing everything he could to destroy Christianity.
But you know what?
God guided the Church through those times. What’s more, the Church’s greatest success was still ahead of it.
That’s why it’s vitally important for us to understand how the Church dealt with periods like this, because in our day the Church faces a similar situation. . . .
Dark Days Are Here Again
Christendom—or Christian civilization—has fallen apart. It hasn’t been crushed by military defeat. Rather, it has fallen apart spiritually, and the reason is plain: People have turned their backs on God—in huge numbers.
The situation is dire, and the popes of our day have reacted with alarm.
John Paul II declared:
Whole countries and nations where religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing . . . are now put to a hard test and in some cases are undergoing a radical transformation as a result of the constant spread of indifferentism, secularism, and atheism.
Mending of the Christian fabric of society is urgently needed in all parts of the world.
More recently, Benedict XVI warned of “an abandonment of the faith—a phenomenon progressively more manifest in societies and cultures which for centuries seemed to be permeated by the gospel.”
He said this was fueled by “a troubling loss of the sense of the sacred,” that in some regions “there is clearly a distancing of society from the faith in every respect,” and that other areas “have almost completely abandoned the Christian religion.”
Both popes have called urgently for a “New Evangelization”—that is, a re-evangelization of formerly Christian lands. These nations need to be reclaimed from the spiritual darkness that is swallowing them and brought back into the light of Christ.
Pope Benedict is so concerned about the task that he created a department at the Vatican to encourage Catholics to evangelize.
If we are to do this, if we are to make our civilization truly Christian once again, then we need to ask ourselves a very important question . . .
How Was It Done the First Time?
How did all those pagan lands become Christian in the first place? How did our forebears get through dark days like those of Julian the Apostate—and thrive in spite of them?
What was the secret of their success? And what vital lessons can they teach us in our own fight to restore the faith?
To answer these questions, Catholic Answers has just published a dynamic new book, Converts and Kingdoms: How the Church Converted the Pagan West—and How We Can Do It Again.
This book, by best-selling author Diane Moczar, tells the thrilling and dramatic stories of how Catholic civilization was forged and how the Faith marched triumphantly throughout the nations, converting kings and commoners alike.
It covers powerful, decisive heroes such as:
- The emperor who put his trust in the one God—and changed the course of civilization.
- The would-be hermit who became an accidental missionary—and helped birth the quintessential Catholic kingdom.
- Pious monarchs who repelled barbarian invaders—and then welcomed them into the Catholic family.
- The former slave boy who returned to the land of his pagan captors—and turned it into an island of saints and scholars.
- The Marian miracle that crushed the demons of human sacrifice—and opened the door to a new Catholic continent.
With story after exciting story, Converts and Kingdoms reveals the dramatic tale of how the Catholic faith turned an upside-down world right side up.
If we want to win souls for Christ as part of the New Evangelization, then we must learn the lessons of the past. That’s why I’m hoping you’ll read Diane Moczar’s important new book. In fact, in a moment I am going to tell you how you can get a free copy, but first . . .
I Need to Ask for Your Help
As you know, Catholic Answers spreads the gospel through a wide variety of apostolic efforts. Whether it is answering questions on our radio program, through our website, or one on one over the phone, our apologists do a lot.
They also spend countless hours traveling all over the country to deliver the Catholic message to men and women and to participate in the New Evangelization called for by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Catholic Answers has reached millions of people, and we intend to reach millions more. But this is possible only through your support.
Without the generous donations of people like you, Catholic Answers would grind to a halt.
I need to ask if you can make a donation at this time to help Catholic Answers keep doing its work. Please be as generous as you can. [Click here to donate.]
If you have been financially blessed, perhaps you could give $1,000 . . . or $500 . . . or $250.
Maybe you could give $100 . . . or $75 . . . or $40.
Whatever amount you can help with, we truly appreciate it.
As a special thank you for your donation of $40 or more, Catholic Answers would like to send you a free copy of Diane Moczar’s new book, Converts and Kingdoms: How the Church Converted the Pagan West—and How We Can Do It Again. I know that you will find it exciting and informative.
We also will include for anyone sending $40 or more, an exclusive audio interview with Dr. Moczar on CD. This interview is available only through this special offer. [Click here to donate.]
May I hear from you today?
President, Catholic Answers
P.S. Don’t forget that, as a special thank-you for your donation of $40 or more, Catholic Answers will send you a free copy of the new book, Converts and Kingdoms: How the Church Converted the Pagan West—and How We Can Do It Again by Diane Moczar.
To all who donate $40 or more we will send an exclusive audio interview with Dr. Moczar on CD. This interview is available only through this special offer.
Thank you for your generosity!