Britain Chooses to Brexit
Britain has voted to exit the European Union, leaving behind a project with Catholic origins but which many believe has lost its way and departed from its founders' original vision.
The EU was born out of the desire to bring peace and stability to the continent after two catastrophic world wars but became increasingly criticized, above all in Britain, for becoming a bureaucratic, undemocratic monolith. Among the many other criticisms, Catholics have resented the way it has increasingly promoted and imposed secular values on member states, although in the weeks leading up to the poll they appeared to be as divided as the rest of the country on how to vote.
But what has happened in today’s historic referendum result is reflective of a widespread movement in global politics — especially in the West — that can be divided primarily along two lines: those wishing to retain the socio-economic and political status quo of a steadily increasing and subtle cultural Marxism, and the other feeling disenchanted, disenfranchised and betrayed by political elites who pay them no heed.
This has clearly been witnessed in this year’s U.S. Presidential Election but it’s also been present here in Italy where populist comedian Beppe Grillo and his “Five Star” Party — Italy’s closest political party to Britain’s UK Independence Party (UKIP) that led the Brexit campaign — has been gaining popularity. This week Rome elected its first female mayor, Virginia Raggi, a member of Grillo’s party.
But the widespread political phenomenon is leading Catholics preferring not to vote as they refuse, according to Emmanuele Barbieri writing in Corrispondenza Romana, “to choose between the false political order” of the government of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and “the moral anarchy” of Grillo’s Five stars. Like UKIP, the Italian party is no particular friend of the Catholic Church, and did not oppose recent same-sex union legislation in Italy.
Barbieri notes that in the referendum on June 23, Britain showed “two wings of the same revolutionary culture”. But he also observes that neither side has “called into question the liberal-Marxist ideology, which permeates the Western political class in all its expressions.” Quoting author Corrado Gnerre, he adds that fighting such ideologies is “not only the Catholic way but also a duty.”
Certainly, although a victory for democracy, leaving the EU won't be a panacea for the country's problems but instead simply take another form. And whether it's resentment of the EU, anger at establishment politicians or a general loss of faith in institutions (including, it must be said, some of the institutional Church in the West), one can't help feeling what people really want, whether they know it or not, is freedom from sin, whether it be structural or personal. And for that, only one Person has the answer.