Robert Royal notes that the progressive future can’t be great since it doesn’t concern itself with the future of children and societies fertile enough to reproduce themselves.
Last week, when the leader of the free world was (depending on which sources you paid attention to) either destroying America’s carefully constructed system of international alliances or shaking up the policy establishment at home and abroad to deal with the new world environment, something equally consequential – and more fundamental – took place, almost unnoticed, in Hungary.
I’ve mentioned in passing several times in recent days that I spoke at the Eleventh World Congress for Families that has just finished in Budapest. But it’s difficult to convey what an inspiring and hopeful – and unexpected – event it was.
We almost never hear about it, mired as we are in our political obsessions, but there are thousands of family and marriage activists and organizations at work around the world. Most of them were present in Budapest last week. And most important of all, outside of Western Europe, North America, and their offshoots in places like Australia and New Zealand, countries are not at all following the absurd and suicidal trends on marriage and children that we (falsely) believe have gripped the whole world.
Hungary is a leading example in Europe itself. Prime Minister and former anti-Soviet dissident Viktor Orban has succeeded in starting to reverse the disastrous trends in marriage and births that Hungary, like Western Europe, had been showing for years. This has been the result partly of social commitment, partly of specific policies.
The 2011 Hungarian Constitution, the first one adopted since it regained freedom after the fall of the Soviet Union, states this:
Article L (1) Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman established by voluntary decision, and the family as the basis of the survival of the nation. Family ties shall be based on marriage and/or the relationship between parents and children. (2) Hungary shall encourage the commitment to have children.
That may seem an empty gesture given the dominant culture of our international elites, but ten years ago, Hungary had a marriage rate of around 3.6 per thousand, the same as Southern European countries like Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Now it’s nearly 4.75, and steadily climbing.
EDITORS NOTE: Friends: Today we end nine years and tomorrow begin our tenth year of daily publication. I’ve been reading the very kind notes you’ve been sending along with your donations and am deeply grateful to all of you for your loyalty and encouragement over the years. As you know, we’re in a immense struggle, both in our society and in our Church – a struggle even worse than when we began in 2008. (By the way, I’ll be on EWTN again this evening at 8 PM ET – there are rebroadcasts and YouTube if you can’t tune in tonight – to talk with Raymond Arroyo and Fr. Gerald Murray about several recent developments in the Church.) Yet there are also hopeful signs and I write about one of the most hopeful in this column. Good and evil will be at war until the Second Coming. In the meantime, we all have to do our part. Mine is to call on you at this special moment to do yours, to make a financial contribution so that our special Thing may be even more present, more energetic, more effective in bringing Catholic truth to a world that is in turmoil for lack of it. – Robert Royal