Death in Belgistan

I point the readership’s attention at a blog which lead me to a piece in the Italian Il Foglio.

The situation in Belgium is described.   Belgium has nearly completely abandoned the Catholic Faith.

Giulio Meotti:
Belgium is Committing Suicide

As the capital of the European Union goes, so goes Europe. And the details are worse than you can imagine.

Belgium has the highest per capita number of Islamic terrorists gone to fight in Syria and Iraq than any other European country. Brussels is the capital of the holy war, as well as of the European Union.

The first European citizen to die on the battlefields of jihad was Muriel Degauque, a Belgian Catholic girl. Originally from Charleroi, she converted to Islam, changed her name to Myriam and died near Baghdad as a human bomb.

Two days before September 11, two Tunisians recruited in Belgium managed to kill the Afghan commander Massoud, enemy of al Qaeda and the Taliban.
And the terror cell of Madrid’s 2004 bombings came from the town of Maaseik.

How could Maaseik, the city of the Christian painter Van Eyck, become the center of Islamic terrorism in Europe?

They call it “Belgistan“, it is the sad evolution of a wealthy, bored and skeptical country, a world of cafes, theaters, municipal clubs, wine, witty conversations, carillons, libraries, prosperous cooperatives.
Brussels was destined to become, like London, Paris or Athens, the place par excellence of Europe’s national merger. Homo Belgicus should have been the highest example of synthesis of the European everyman. Yet, the country is sick.

Belgium doesn’t only hold the record for jihadists in Europe, it is also the European country with the highest suicide rate. The most notorious suicide is the Nobel Prize laureate in Medicine, Christian de Duve, who, two years ago, killed himself in front of his four children.

Six suicides a day. With a suicide rate estimated at more than 20 per 100,000 inhabitants, Belgium breaks all records in Western Europe. The world average is 14.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. Suicide is indeed the first cause of mortality among Belgians between 25-44 and the second leading cause, after vehicle accidents, between 15-24.

The tragic statistic would grow if we counted the thousands of deaths that occur under the law of euthanasia, with six deaths per day. Belgium is also the site of the first “supermarket of death.” In Flémalle, a Belgian town not far from Liege. The tombstones? In the fourth row. The crowns? In the right corner. The coffins? To the left.

A country dominated by nihilism, where Islam is already the first religion. In the schools of the capital of Europe, the teaching of the Muslim religion has exceeded that of students of Catholic faith. A full 43 percent is studying Islam, and the same figure stood at 41.4 in high schools; 27.9 percent are following courses of “secular morality” (atheism), and only 23.3 percent opted for studies in the Catholic faith.

Already today, in Brussels, one in three people is Muslim, the most common name is Mohammed, and by 2035 it will be a city with a Muslim majority.

The great moments of life, such as baptisms, weddings and funerals in Belgium are no longer tied to Christianity, this in a country whose symbols have long been the cathedral of Antwerp, the dog of St. Hubert and the University of Leuven (founded by Pope Martin V).

In Brussels today only 7.2 percent of marriages are Catholic, only 14.8 percent of children are baptized, and there only 22.6 percent of funerals were Catholic. It is the end of Catholicism.


Read and weep over the rest over there.

If they have gone down this road, can we?

So, by all means, let’s listen to advice from the bishops of Belgium about what we need to do in the face of the dictatorship of relativism, shifting/plummeting demographics, and the erosion of Catholic identity.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Bosco says:

    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    Pray the Rosary. Fast and do penance.

  2. gramma10 says:

    What a pity. A relative by marriage of mine is from Belgium and lives here. Recently his grandparents who live over there both old and frail, committed legal suicide.
    This is all most horribly disturbing. It is a result of people not knowing Jesus our Savior intimately. Very sad.
    We must share the Good News, better.
    But we all better wake up. The smoke of satan is waifting into the church. These bishops are caught in his trap.
    Beware the wolf in sheeps clothing!!

  3. Clinton says:

    Perhaps these implosions of the Faith could be reversed if there were consequences for
    bishops who seem content to merely preside over decline. If, for example, a bishop
    would face the loss of his vote in his nation’s episcopal conference, or be disqualified from
    holding office in the conference if his diocese wasn’t ‘performing’, then perhaps our dear
    shepherds would rediscover their enthusiasm for the New Evangelization. Maybe those
    dioceses that have stagnating numbers of converts, baptisms, weddings and ordinations
    should see the arrival of an Auxiliary with the power to relieve the bishop of duties he
    cannot or will not fulfill– a bit like what happened in Seattle in the 80’s, when +Wuerl
    was sent by Pope John Paul II to relieve +Hunthausen of many of his duties.

    Earlier this year I read about the threatened closure of a parish in a major US Archdiocese.
    The parish plant was beautiful, well-attended and growing, and in the black financially.
    Why then was the chancery toying with closing it down? According to the archdiocesan
    official quoted in the article, it was simply because the chancery had already decided to
    close several other, poorer parishes that had more minorities in their demographics, and
    by closing this healthy parish archdiocesan officials thought to avoid being accused of
    discrimination. In short, the Archdiocese was willing to wipe out a thriving parish merely
    to avoid possible political inconvenience for chancery bureaucrats. Such breathtakingly
    callous behavior is indeed possible when there are no consequences for bishops who
    have other priorities before growing and keeping a healthy diocese.

    Also, if bishops faced consequences for not making quotas of converts, baptisms, ordinations
    and Mass attendance, then perhaps choices over allocation of diocesan resources and use
    of certain programs would be based less on ideology and more on effectiveness. Sr. Pantsuit’s
    execrable take on RCIA might hit all the right notes with her friends in Sinsinawa, but if
    the bishop is going to feel the heat when his convert numbers drop, Sister’s bad catechesis
    won’t see the light of day.

    In our day we’re seeing declining Catholic demographics, and it follows, declining resources.
    It seems only right that as we tighten our belts in the Church, that we try to maximize
    our resources, and seek out the more effective of our alternatives. I think the days are past
    when we could afford to keep on with bishops who are content to preside over an implosion of
    Catholic demographics on their watch (Rochester, NY is a classic and depressing example).
    If a bishop’s diocese is and remains a basket case, then His Excellency’s career and prestige
    should suffer because of it.

  4. jacobi says:

    I know Belgium fairly well. The picture painted by Meotti is correct. In 1990 while there, I met Belgians who were literally fleeing north Brussels because it had become Muslim. And that 25 years ago. Heavens knows what it is like now.The Belgian government has always had a strict policy of non intervention and of course it is too late now in any case. Intervention would mean outright war.

    The Catholic Church in Belgium is a basket case. I remember in the late eighties being in a large Belgian church for Sunday Mass with about ten (very) oldies in the congregation, stony faced, being lectured and driven about the New Mass, by a young woman in the pulpit, a picture that sticks in my mind.

    Why? My explanation, for what it is worth, is that the Belgian capacity to sit out occupation which has worked in the past under political and temporary occupation has this time let them down badly under the Relativist occupation in Catholicism and the ever growing Muslim occupation, which is not in any way temporary.

  5. Ben Kenobi says:

    Fantastic article Father Z. Thanks for putting this up.

  6. PA mom says:

    Does Belgium have the Old Mass?

  7. philologus says:

    I wonder what the denizens of Leuven say about the crisis.

  8. Imrahil says:

    Suicide is indeed the first cause of mortality among Belgians between 25-44 and the second leading cause, after vehicle accidents, between 15-24.

    I won’t whitewash the state of affairs. But this particular argument is a void one. People who die have got to die of something, especially young people; and it’s kind-of natural that suicide is among the first places where young people are concerned. The fact that an untold number more, or less, people killed themselves compared with vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, cancer, heartattacks, etc. etc. contains zero releveant information until we know, e. g., how safe traffic is in a country, and so on.

  9. Imrahil says:

    Also, likewise, a picture is sharply incomplete when it tries to depict a country by statistics on its capital – especially if said capital is a historically-Flemish French-speaking condominium with lots and lots of bureaucracy of not the state itself but a confederation it belongs to.

    But even if not all that is the case – would it be accurate to imply, “the United States are such and such”, and then quote the statistics for Washington, D. C.?

    If, e. g., you only look at Berlin to describe the state of the Church in Germany, you get a sharply different (not necessarily, though probably, worse – that’s detail work, then; but certainly fundamentally different) picture than if you take the ex-West German countryside into account.

  10. Fatherof7 says:

    The land between Green Bay and Lake Michigan was settled nearly exclusively by Belgian Catholics. The only Church approved Marian apparition site in the country occurred when Our Lady appeared to a young Belgian immigrant. The small towns that dot the landscape ensured that there was always a church within walking distance, and small road side chapels existed for people to pray along the way. I feel it is a safe assumption that 19th century Belgium was very similar. What is occurring now is very sad.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  11. robtbrown says:

    Belgium is the home of Edward Schillebeecks and Cardinal Daneels. The former was one of the architects of the present mess. The latter is an out of touch liberal who was invited by the Pope to the preparatory Synod.

  12. Bosco says:

    Europe as a whole has gone the way of Belgium, Father Z. I offer for your information a link to a piece published in The Telegraph (UK) today. It seems that if you are a Catholic you should choose your grave site (and your neighbours) with extreme care.

    “Grandfather’s body could be exhumed after relatives of Muslim buried alongside complain he was an unbeliever” – The Telegraph

  13. austrobrady says:

    My camp refers to this phenomenon as ethno-masochism.

  14. Thorfinn says:

    Indeed, knowing the Lord intimately makes all the difference: “…and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

    There was a murder-suicide in a nearby town recently, a husband and wife. The local TV station quoted the (unsurprised) neighbors approvingly: “the husband did it out of love because his wife was old and sick … how wonderful that they could go together.”

    It’s tough raising children in a toxic culture.

  15. UncleBlobb says:

    As a Caucasian man, I am not allowed to think things like this, much less express them in public, but it seems to be the suicide of Caucasian people in general. Europe is the native land of Caucasian people. May we now consider ourselves a minority? Even so, it seems like the end for us.

  16. GregH says:

    I am assuming there probably hasn’t been an ordination in Brussels in probably about a decade and that the average age of whatever priests are left is probably 74.

  17. jacobi says:

    @ PA mom,
    Yes there are two traditional Mass sites near the centre of Brussels, one FSSP and SSPX. There may be others.

    The Church in Belgium may be a basket case, but it will survive – although much smaller than before as Benedict said.

  18. Kathleen10 says:

    Offhand I can’t think of who it was that said this, but there was a Muslim leader of sorts not long ago who declared that Muslims would take over without having to fire a shot.

  19. DonL says:

    One out of three is Islamic? They must be breeding like rabbits….

  20. Matt Robare says:

    Do not despair.

    “I have said that Asia and the ancient world had an air of being too old to die. Christendom has had the very opposite fate. Christendom has had a series of revolutions and in each one of them Christianity has died. Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a god who knew the way out of the grave. But the first extraordinary fact which marks this history is this: that Europe has been turned upside down over and over again; and that at the end of each of these revolutions the same religion has again been found on top. The Faith is always converting the age, not as an old religion but as a new religion. . . .

    “Arianism, as has been said, had every human appearance of being the natural way in which that particular superstition of Constantine might be expected to peter out. All the ordinary stages had been passed through; the creed had become a respectable thing, had become a ritual thing, had then been modified into a rational thing; and the rationalists were ready to dissipate the last remains of it, just as they do to-day. When Christianity rose again suddenly and threw them, it was almost as unexpected as Christ rising from the dead. But there are many other examples of the same thing, even about the same time. The rush of missionaries from Ireland, for instance, has all the air of an unexpected onslaught of young men on an old world, and even on a Church that showed signs of growing old. Some of them were martyred on the coast of Cornwall; and the chief authority on Cornish antiquities told me that he did not believe for a moment that they were martyred by heathens but (as he expressed it with some humour) `by rather slack Christians.’ . . .

    “To sum up, in so far as it is true that recent centuries have seen an attenuation of Christian doctrine, recent centuries have only seen what the most remote centuries have seen. And even the modern example has only ended as the medieval and pre-medieval examples ended. It is already clear, and grows clearer every day, that it is not going to end in the disappearance of the diminished creed; but rather in the return of those parts of it that had really disappeared. It is going to end as the Arian compromise ended, as the attempts at a compromise with Nominalism and even with Albigensianism ended. But the point to seize in the modern case, as in all the other cases, is that what returns is not in that sense a simplified theology; not according to that view a purified theology; it is simply theology. It is that enthusiasm for theological studies that marked the most doctrinal ages; it is the divine science. An old Don with D.D. after his name may have become the typical figure of a bore; but that was because he was himself bored with his theology, not because he was excited about it. It was precisely because he was admittedly more interested in the Latin of Plautus than in the Latin of Augustine, in the Greek of Xenophon than in the Greek of Chrysostom. It was precisely because he was more interested in a dead tradition than in a decidedly living tradition. In short, it was precisely because he was himself a type of the time in which Christian faith was weak. It was not because men would not hail, if they could, the wonderful and almost wild vision of a Doctor of Divinity. . . .”

    — GK Chesterton, “The Everlasting Man.” II, 6 The Five Deaths of the Faith. Read the whole thing:

  21. Gail F says:

    The Church has seemed near death many times, but doesn’t die. However, it can’t be pleasant for people living during those times, which perhaps we are.

  22. Mr. Graves says:

    In addition to FSSP and SSPX, there is another group, very orthodox, active in Belgium, The Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. They appear to be very orthodox, and — Deo gratias — offer the TLM in our region of the Walloon. Here is a link to their webpage:

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