Prepare for the Skyline of Tomorrow

by Steve Ray on April 18, 2007

Europe is full of magnificent churches—Gothic, Baroque and even modern. Their steeples and crosses still dominate much of the skyline. They stand as impressive monuments to the Christian faith that built the free world and brought beauty and justice out of a pagan, barbarian wilderness.

Notre Dame.jpgToday the churches in Europe are becoming museum pieces recalling the lost faith and  collapsing backbone of Europe. (Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral to left

Paganism is on the rise – and along with it something just as alarming. The skyline will soon change, not only for Europe but for the whole Western World, including the United States. You will soon see new structures piercing the sky!

But before I tell you how your view of today’s horizon will change, let me tell you about what happened to Turkey. Then you will see that it can happen—and if we don’t move quickly, it will happen again.

Janet and I are now in Turkey with our Skyline Productions video crew working on our next documentary Apostolic Fathers for the Footprints of God series. We are driving/flying with our crew from one Christian site to another. This country is often called the Second Holy Land—why? Because it contains more Christian sites than anywhere other than Israel.

For a few examples: Antioch is where we were first called Christians, Tarsus was the home town of St. Paul, and Lystra the home city of St. Timothy.

JohnsTomb.jpgBut, Turkey is also home to the Seven Church of Revelation. The Blessed Virgin Mary lived here with the Apostle St. John. Selçuk still boasts the tomb of St. John (see picture to right). Istanbul (Constantinople) was once a proud patriarchate of the Catholic Church and home to Ecumenical Councils.

Actually, the first Seven Ecumenical Councils were held here, including Constantinople, Chalcedon, and Nicea—from which we got Nicene Creed recited each Sunday. And don't forget the Council of Ephesus which defined Mary as the Theotokos, the Mother of God.

And if you remember your New Testament, you will recognize cities that were in today’s Turkey: Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians. Turkey is also the land of martyrs, Fathers and Doctors of the Church like Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, and Basil the Great to name just a few.

So, when I look out over the horizon from my hotel room window, do I see the beautiful churches that once marked the skyline of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey)?

Nope. Sorry. I see something else.

skyline.jpgFrom my window just now, I counted no less than nineteen minarets! What are minarets? They are the tall slender towers above an Islamic mosque from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer (Notice two pictures from my hotel window–one wide shot with no less than five minarets; the second at the bottom of this blog showing a large mosque across the river. There is only one Catholic Church within a hundred miles of where I am now).

What happened to the churches? Let's go to Istanbul together and I will show you! I have frequently visited the Hagia Sophia—the Church of Holy Wisdom. It was the glory of Christendom and for over a thousand years it had the largest dome — until St. Peter's was built in Rome. Many people thought the dome stayed up by a direct miracle of God. How else could something so expansive stay up without crashing down?

Hagia1.jpgBut when the Muslims conquered Contantinople they defaced the church, painted over the golden icons of our Blessed Mother and turned the spectacular church into a mosque. The crosses came down and the minarets went up.

Today the Hagia Sophia is a museum! (picture of modern Hagia Sophia to left)

It has been predicted that within fifty years Europe’s skyline will change. It will become a Muslim empire. Steeples will come down and minarets will go up. No longer will you hear bells – you will hear muezzin wailing from the balconies of slender minarets.

And America? We are losing our faith too, and our backbone. Will we be far behind Europe? I don’t think so. Islam has 1 billion followers, many of who will stop at nothing short of world domination. They won’t call it that, of course. They will say the world is now as Allah willed it.

Skyline3.jpgAnd like the Hagia Sophia—your church, and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC and St. Patrick’s in New York will still pierce the skyline, but no longer as steeples. They will sport the latest in minarets. And our grandchildren’s’ children will wonder why we caved in so easily—why we lost our faith and our backbone.

Oh, so you don't believe it can happen to us? Neither did the Byzantine Empire, the powerhouse of Christianity in the East! But, the East fell to Islam and the West may fall as well. Maybe not by military might, but by religious indifference, population control, and secularism. Islam can overtake us by persistence, population growth, and religious fervor.

What was once part of a powerful Christian Empire is now 99% Muslim. Out of a population of about 75 million, there are only 60,000 Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestants, etc.). The past screams to us but will we listen. 

Prepare to see the new skyline; prepare to be awakened at 4 AM with the wail of the muezzin.

St. Ignatius, pray for us. Sts. Polycarp, Irenaeus and John Chysostom, pray for us!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott Montgomery April 18, 2007 at 4:18 PM

The rapid spread of Islam throughout Europe and the United States is one of the many negative fruits of the Second Vatican Council. For more than 1900 years prior to Vatican II, the Popes and Church Fathers taught with one voice that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. This produced a missionary zeal among those in religious life which was perfectly in keeping with the command of our Lord to “preach the Gospel to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. The result was a Christian society (especially in Europe) which recognized the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ and produced a harmonious marriage between Church and State – - a marriage that was considered essential because the proper role of government is to create a well-ordered society that will help man to achieve his final end: eternal beatitude in Heaven.
With the Modernist revolution that reached its zenith during the Second Vatican Council, however, everything has changed. Religious liberty, universal salvation, and false ecumenism have become the order of the day. This has killed the missionary spirit of the Church, as we are now being told by those in authority that there is truth in all religions and that Catholic proselytizing represents nothing more than shameful triumphalism. Rather than seeking to convert all men to the one true faith established by Christ for the salvation of souls, we should strive to find common ground with those outside the Church. Additionally, secular democracy and the Masonic principle of separation of Church and State are now being hailed by more and more Catholics as the ideal system under which men are to be governed.
If the Apostles had marched under this same banner of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality, the Catholic faith would not have spread beyond the confines of the Upper Room! Add to this general disorientation a New Order of Mass and a new theology that are a significant departure from the constant practice and teaching of the Church throughout most of its history, and you have laid the groundwork for the Islamic resurgence and Catholic decline that we are witnessing in our day.
Only when we return to the complete deposit of faith that the most Holy Trinity has given us – - and to the Sacred Liturgy that lifted countless souls to Heaven and produced several generations of Martyrs, Doctors, Confessors, and Holy Virgins – - will we be able to stem the tide of this assault against our faith and begin the necessary work of restoring all things in Christ (Instaurare Omnia In Christo).

Our Lady of Lepanto, pray for us!

Paul April 18, 2007 at 8:08 PM

Beware of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. These things have come in the wake of the Council, but if one reads what the Council wrote, and looks at the teachings of the Council Fathers, they did not intend this outcome. The Council was protected by the Holy Spirit — the actions of local bishops, Oregon Catholic Press, and petty bureaucrats that (mis)interpreted the Council and twisted its enforcement for their own ends were not. If we really believe that the Church is what She professes to be, then we must remain confident that she retains the infallibility promised by Christ, and that He will be our strength, even in the face of the infidel. Men have failed, but Christ and His Church endures.

An Authentic Roman Catholic April 18, 2007 at 10:47 PM

Scott Montgomery is guilty of the heresy of Feeneyism, which PREDATES Vatican II. Don’t listen to his rubbish. Go back to your fake pope in New Hampshire and leave us Catholics alone.

Steve Ray April 19, 2007 at 12:01 AM

I will make it clear that I completely disagree with Scott’s view of Vatican II as he states above, though I respect his right as an American to make them. I oppose and condemn even the suggestion that Vatican II promoted or introduced anything evil or unholy, incorrect or heretical. That many poeple on the left and the right have attempted to use, abuse and hijack the the Council and have attempted to twist it like a rubber nose, is obvious. I agree with Paul above, that the Council and it decrees and conclusions, if read in context and as they were intended, are right, correct, holy and the leading of the Holy Spirit — as He promised to do with his Church.

I leave Scott’s comments above for now, only for the sake of discussion.

Kevin Cary April 19, 2007 at 12:39 AM

This may seem nitpicky, but I think it is worth pointing out that it is Our Lady of the Rosary, not of Lepanto. I imagine that this is due to the fact that Don John, Pope St. Pius V and others placed the focus of the victory on the intercession of Our Lady, not on their efforts. In other words, instead of remembering the battle primarily, we remember how God came and answered the prayers of Mary on our behalf. The focus is shifted more to recognizing the work of God (through Mary), rather than the specific battle (though the battle was certainly historic, and is not to be forgotten or neglected by any means).

David DiFranco April 19, 2007 at 7:35 AM

Steve,

Your article about the conquest of Islam in Turkey (and potentially here) was brought to my attention today. I just wanted to tell you how well written I thought it was (some of your best ever) and to thank you for so accurately voicing what I have been preaching to friends for years.

The incredulous reactions I typically receive on this topic are maddening so it is good to hear from someone who knows his history enough to agree with me. And, I may add, that where I live in Michigan the change has begun already. An enormous mosque looms prominently on our city’s busiest road. It was recently built where it effectively upstages the two smaller adjacent Christian churches.

David

Mark Thompson-Kolar April 21, 2007 at 5:52 PM

Steve,
Thanks for writing this. So many Westerners / Christians / Americans have little grasp of non-European Middle Ages history, so the events of the relentless decline of Byzantium aren’t even broadly known. They’re frankly a little scary — that glorious Constantinople and its Christian empire could be done in by an centuries-long expansion of Islam to the extreme that very few Christians even remain in Turkey, Syria and Egypt ought to serve as a caution to us about staying strong in our faith.

May the Lord bless you and your travels.

Mark

Thom October 10, 2007 at 3:05 AM

I to am afraid of seeing minarets around St. Pauls, St. Peters and Notre Dame. We need to wake up and see that Islam has a long memory and they have not forgotten the Crusades. We need only look at the remains of the Byzantine Empire to see our future. We can think of ourselves as open minded and accepting. But this will be our doom. Radical Islam looks at our Liberals as the key to their success in world domination. It is the well meaning, live and let live left, that will bring on our demise. Ironically it is those that value personal freedom, womens rights and gay rights that will hand the keys of our future to the enslavement of the Western World by Islamic Extemist. Extremist that hate the very rights the left embraces….We must protect our Faith and Judeo/Christian beliefs, Christ was not a profit but our salvation and our Lord for ever and ever…Peace be with you all, May the Lord guide our path…

Joshua Mercer April 1, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Two major changes occured in the 1960s. The first was the Second Vatican Council and the second was the perverse Sexual Revolution. Much like the Protestant Revolution and the French Revolution, the Sexual Revolution caused major havoc and unrest in society and saw a precipitous drop in vocations.

Nothing is more important to how man lives his life than understanding his relationship with God. Second to that, it is how man looks at woman and how woman looks at man.

The Sexual Revolution’s aim was to eradicate all traces of Christian morality from human sexuality. It reduced man to beastly appetite and woman to an object. It is actual fitting that the phrase of the 1970s was “Battle of the Sexes” because hostility and emnity is the fruit of the contraceptive lifestyle.

It is the Sexual Revolution that has devastated the American landscape like no war could: abortion, divorce, pornography and homosexuality.

I’m continually stumped that people looking to diagnose the ills of the last few decades would look first to the Second Vatican Council, and not the Sexual Revolution.

Many people held false hope that the Second Vatican Council would capitulate or surrender to the Sexual Revolution. Our profound thanks to the Magisterium that they did not. (The Holy Spirit kept His promise.)

Immediately, there was widespread dissent of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and Americans were misled about the Council’s teachings.

John Paul the Great decided against direct combat with many dissident bishops and theologians. Instead, he forged ahead on a new strategy of illuminating the Council’s teachings and taking the dynamic orthodoxy of the Council directly to the people.

You may certainly question his strategy and even consider it a mistake. After all, I think that Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae is wonderful, but I wish it had come sooner than eight years after The Pill had exploded on the scene.

That’s a question of tactics, though. Not doctrine.

And there’s simply no way to read the Documents of the Second Vatican Council and believe them to be outside of the teachings of the Church.

Dave Russell April 17, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Very sobering article Steve. I just saw the fifteen minute documentary from a film maker in the Netherlands called “Fitna,” wherein he paints a dark picture of a new dark ages coming in the form of Islam. Keep your powder dry, you may need it.

Bob Morgan February 17, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Just to add to this forum–

This is not just a Muslim World View as opposed to the Christian World View. It is much deeper than this.

In the past it was Nazism, Communism, etc.

” For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the directors of this world of darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in high places.” Eph 6:12

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