If history should come to recognize the 21st Century as the era which saw the decline and fall of western civilization– something pessimists like me regard as a distinct possibility– it’s good to see that there are some gutsy individuals who risk their all to prevent such a calamity. One of them made his appearance in the Culture War last week.
His name is David Mulroney. He’s a Canadian, a distinguished diplomat, former ambassador to China. author of a definitive book on Canada-China relations, and a member of Corpus Christi Catholic parish in Toronto. That last connection, he appears to take very seriously; he is what might be called a traditionalist Christian. Nations, societies, cultures, civilizations, all these endlessly change, come and go, here today and gone tomorrow. But God is changeless. To a Catholic, therefore, as to any practising Christian, his church greatly matters.
And Mr. Mulroney has a lifelong connection with it. He’s a “cradle Catholic,” attended St. Michael’s College School for Boys in Toronto, and St. Michael’s College itself, one of the affiliated colleges which together compose the University of Toronto. In those days, it was hard to become more Catholic than “St. Mike’s.” It had been founded in 1852 and is still run by the erudite Basilian Order of priests, assisted by the tireless Sisters of St. Joseph, both orders obligated to set before the students models for Christian devotion.
Mr. Mulroney spent 30 years in the diplomatic service, holding offices up to the cabinet advisory level. His mother, his aunt, his uncle, his sister, and his daughter had all attended St. Michael’s. It was unsurprising therefore that upon retirement from the diplomatic service, he was named president and vice-chancellor — unsurprising, but also unusual. The post was usually filled by an academic. Mr. Mulroney wasn’t one.
Whether he knew before accepting the position, or was horrified to discover it after, he soon saw that the St. Michael’s for which he was now responsible vastly differed from the St. Michael’s he had himself attended some 40 years earlier. The cultural change which had so transformed the whole society had swept deeply into St. Michael’s.
This article continues at [Ted Byfield Blog] One man’s war to save from ruin a once-great Christian institution