This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the breakup of the Soviet Union, the world’s first communist state. In 1991, the Western world was euphoric at the supposed “death” of communism and the end of the Cold War. The suddenness with which both the USSR and the Berlin Wall fell led some observers to believe that liberal democracy had triumphed over totalitarianism once and for all. The world, they thought, was entering a new era of peace and progress.
The vast majority of Catholics shared his optimistic, materialistic conclusions. Communism, the narrative went, was defeated thanks to Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II. With the great enemy of the Church gone, Catholics could now confidently engage in a perpetual “new evangelization” with a world that was friendly, even respectful to the Church. A Catholic “end of history,” if you will. Never mind that several communist countries such as China, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam survived and that communist ideas—the “errors of Russia” as Our Lady of Fatima said—continued to spread.
By 2021, it could not be clearer that such a dream was naïve, at best. The world is not evolving towards a liberal democratic utopia. There is no broad, peaceful, democratic “consensus.” Instead, the Western world is engaged in a war for the very survival of the Church and Western civilization. Communism, Marxism, and socialism are back with a vengeance and vying to take over America. The outcome of this great battle will decide the fate of the nation and the world for centuries to come. By the grace of God, many Catholics are waking up to the reality of the crisis and taking action.