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They should be full of people and full of life

Yes, they should be.

But it’s not likely they will.

“Across Spain there are almost 3000 abandoned villages.”

Italy is the same. As soon as you are out of the three major conurbations of Milan, Rome and Naples, you find a completely different story.

Originally a center along ancient trade routes, Civita di Bagnoregio was prosperous from Roman times through the late Middle Ages. But after a devastating earthquake in 1695, most residents fled for lower ground, and so began the city’s long decline. By the end of World War II, nearly all of its inhabitants had left in search of work in cities or abroad. For the last half century, its population has hovered around 10 or so full-time residents.

These rural places were once intricately tied to the countryside around them, their inhabitants working as farmers and merchants, craftsmen and shepherds. But when these towns die, it’s not just the population that suffers: so too do the unique traditions and skills associated with each place, as well as the landscape that supported them.

This is the same reason we have so little hope of rebuilding the damaged villages and churches of the Valnerina. In one little place about 15 km from Norcia where the monks used to go from time to time to say Mass, there were 32 people still in full time residence. And that was considered crowded.

Something not often admitted by anyone, even historians, was that this was done to Italy (and presumably Spain) on purpose. Since the take-over by the secularists in the 19th century the mania for “modernisation” was seen in changes to laws that eventually made it all but impossible for country people to stay in the country in their ancestral towns. Something similar was done from the 17th century onwards in England with the Enclosures and the ousting of the country people and the mass shift of whole populations into the cities at the start of the Industrial Revolution.

The destruction of the traditional (Catholic) way of life hasn’t been either an accident of history or a natural development.



5 thoughts on “They should be full of people and full of life”

  1. Benjamin Van Dyck says:


    Citation: “Since the take-over by the secularists in the 19th century the mania for “modernisation” was seen in changes to laws that eventually made it all but impossible for country people to stay in the country in their ancestral towns.”

    This is the truth. One needs to understand Europe in its traditions and historical roots to understand how devastating the industrialist revolution has been. My own country, Belgium, grew organically as a social cohesion of agricultural cells, tied closely to the leadership of our Bishops, priests, and nobles of the land, and this was especially the case in this country because the sovereign civil authority always resided in foreign lands (Charlemagne in France, the division of the land between the Kings of France and the Holy Roman Emperors, Belgica Regia of the Habsburgs in Spain and later in Austria…). Societies truly thrive when they are based upon a composition of economically autonomous localities which exist in natural harmony with each other. But the European governments wanted mass production of goods, so as to gain money to pay off their debts to the Jews, and that vile abuse of the countries that were entrusted to them came to be called “the economical system”.

    When industrialism destroyed the aforementioned tight social cohesion in my country, it destroyed our society in its natural organism and thus alienated my people from its historical identity, which alienation served as a vehicle to draw it away from the ancestral Faith. To take men and women away from their sunbathed fields, and from the shadows of their trees, to place them in the galleys of stinking machinery, where they cannot hear the sound of tolling church bells due to the noise of sterile and cold machines, has a destructive psychological effect. It is one thing to oppose the fictive climate mythology of the contemporary Green communists, and another to despise the natural environment which served as the cradle and home of so many succeeding Christian generations. In those days of increasing industrialism, the Catholic reactionaries condemned the growing reign of factories poisoning their land and the traditional fibre of their society. Our counter-revolutionary poet, Father Guido Gezelle, rightfully lamented the death of normal life and the rise of enslavement to the machine.

    It is sad how the counter-revolutionary principles of living close to nature have been distorted and perverted by the revolutionary climate mythologists of our days.

  2. Martha says:

    Makes you wonder what another few generations will do; the rural MN town I live in has dropped in population by about 10% every ten years. No one has more than one or two kids (we have 9, so we’re the local nutters), and the kids all leave when they graduate high school. Sad times.

  3. Andrew N says:

    Your penultimate paragraph is unclear: “Something not often admitted by anyone, even historians, was that this was done to Italy (and presumably Spain) on purpose. ”
    If you mean that this was done on purpose by the secularists, i would be sceptical. If you mean that the leaders and shepherds of the faithful should have foreseen this eventual development, I agree. Some undoubtedly did. Some even encouraged attempts at reversal. But John XIII decided that prophets of doom should be ignored, and so the Church of Christ was forced into aggiornamento, which practically meant total capitulation to secular ideas.
    Without the integrity of the Faith, why should anyone accept hardship in their life, or suffering, if easement is available at no APPARENT cost?
    Hence no faithful, no vocations, and finally no faith at all within this secularized church. And death follows in all its forms. The zeitgeist now is confusion and lies; depression, or despair as consequence, and suicide offered for all.

  4. Luciano says:

    My home town one hour northwest of Venice went from a population of over 2000 to now less than 500. Thank you VII, materialism, hedonism and destructive modern Catholicism

  5. Michael Dowd says:

    We are witnessing the stealth death of Western civilization. Most of it intentionally driven by secularism where a second or third TV is thought the way to happiness. Who will care for these folks once they get old in their miasma of sadness and sickness? No one, of course, as no one will care. Their great hope will be suicide via euthanasia. This is future for those who no longer believe in God and do His will.

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