Heroism and Genius: How Catholic Priests Helped Build—and Can Help Rebuild—Western Civilization
“Every chancellery in Europe, every court in Europe, was ruled by these learned, trained and accomplished men—the priesthood of that great and dominant body.”
— President Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom
With stubborn facts historians have handed in their verdict: from the genius of Christianity and the cultures of the Jews, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Germanic peoples, the Catholic Church built a new and original civilization, embodying within its structures the Christian vision of God and man, time and eternity.
Its construction and maintenance, amid attrition and cultural earthquakes, is a saga spread over seventeen hundred years. Although Catholic priests do not hold a monopoly on the struggles or the achievements involved, nevertheless, from A.D. 300 to 1000, because they numbered so many men of heroism and genius in their ranks, and due to their leadership positions, they became the pioneers and irreplaceable builders of a new culture and Christian socio-political order.
Heroism and Genius presents some of these formidable men: Fathers of Western Culture, of free-enterprise economics, and of the institution of chivalry; leaders of nations, statesmen, and defiers of tyrants; music composers, pioneers of universal education, and architects of some of the world’s loveliest buildings; and, enigmatically, the clandestine revolutionaries behind the explosion of the culture of romantic love bonded to Christian marriage whose aura still enchants the air of the West.