14 May, 2021

Peter’s House Is Broken

The meek shall inherit the earth? Not if the Church has its way.

Illustration by Sorit
Peter’s House Is Broken

The Catholic church is an ancient monolith and has been in the game of power, wealth, cadre- and institution-building for so long that nothing can change it except its own perceptions of survival. It is an inflexible iron-frame with a cold sense of history that can rebuff its enemies with a bizarre patience. At the same time, it is also a highly malleable—almost amoebic—system that bends to the times with strategies so subtle that they remain invisible for centuries. It is the canniest self-perpetuating bureaucracy of the world. That is how it has withstood the turbulent forces of history ever since Emperor Constantine transformed it into the master of the Roman Empire in AD 313 through the Edict of Milan. One signature made the underdog top dog. The Church has never looked back.

It survived the tempestuous challenge of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Its expertise in conducting immense and long-standing wars is simply mind-boggling. The Crusades are just one example. It emerged unscathed from the second world war thanks...

More from Paul Zacharia

Latest Magazine

May 17, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section