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Cutting out the heart for “Liberty”

The Cuore Verde, Umbria, the green heart of Italy.

The big horseshoe of the Tiber Valley

The internet really is the ultimate free-association engine – with each thought finding illustration as your mind drifts along from topic to topic. I started out looking into the medieval concept of the “hortus conclusus” – the garden enclosed that creates a bridge between the mystical tradition and monastic gardening practices.

I discovered that there is a medieval monastic garden in Perugia, maintained on the property of the old Benedictine Monastery of St. Peter there, a massively important institution in Perugia’s history.

San Pietro is now the site of the “Foundation for Agrarian Education in Perugia” where I sent an email earlier today to ask if there is someone there I can interview about the garden and about medieval gardening practices in general.

But this caught my attention: the Foundation “is linked to the suppression of most of the religious corporations in Umbria , which occurred following the issuance of the decree Pepoli of 11 December 1860, which led to the expropriation of the property of the religious favor of the nascent Italian state.”

We Catholic ex-pat refugees often wonder what calamity befell Italy that nearly wiped out the practice of the Catholic religion here. Why, we have to wonder, are the Italian bishops so supine, so suicidally collusive, in the face of secularist aggression? Well, it seems clear that Vatican II was in fact the last straw, not the first assault.

Things toodled along pretty well, up to a very particular period.

Did you catch those dates? When did the modernist catastrophe really start?

What happened to all the little monasteries and convents? Why are they all ruined and closed and abandoned?

It wasn’t an accident.

The history of the Church in Italy is not a happy one, and of course has a lot to do with the 1000 year conflict between the Pope and the Emperor, that spilled over into various iterations through the ages, culminating in the catastrophe of the secularist/freemasonic revolt of 1870 and the disastrous farce of unification, an artificial construct that has little actual social reality.

It’s no wonder that Italian politics is the way it is. They’ve had hundreds of years of this or that foreign or domestic ideological power declaring itself to be the rulers of this country. It’s not surprising that the ordinary people have developed their unique Italian form of mental stoicism, a kind of aggressive indifference to politics at the national and international level, and the instinct to simply ignore the larger issues and preserve the family and one’s private holdings, to be concerned exclusively with the local area, to protect the local interests.

It is also enlightening to see where the current suppression of the Catholic Faith within the Church’s own institutions came from. It was, of course, in part the work of Modernist and Neo-Modernist theologians mainly from northern Europe. But a study could be usefully made of how the anti-clerical and secularist suppressions of the 19th century affected the situation in Italy and Germany to generate a kind of episcopal hopelessness, a sort of culture of ecclesiastical despair in response to the apparently unending stream of catastrophes of the modern period in Europe.

Read the rest here.