Rorate Caeli

In Defense of the Romanitas of the Catholic Church

At a time when the authentic Romanitas of the Catholic Church is under fierce attack, a new release from Os Justi Press is a timely antidote.

Dr. Alan Fimister, Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Director of Graduate Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut and the author of Robert Schuman: Neo-Scholastic Humanism and the Reunification of Europe and (with Fr Thomas Crean O.P.) Integralism: A Manual of Political Philosophy (2020), has written a detailed treatment, the first of its kind, entitled: The Iron Sceptre of the Son of Man: 'Romanitas' as a Note of the Church.

Here's the back-cover description:

Three days before His Passion, Our Lord warned the High Priests: “the Kingdom of God is taken from you and given to a nation that will bear the fruit thereof.” What is this nation? Who are the people of the Messiah? What is the Kingdom inherited by the saints of the Most High, and why does the Messiah rule the nations “with an iron sceptre”? 

       The Church Fathers, East and West, are clear in their answer: the people of the Messiah are the Romans. Although in its pagan form it is Babylon and the Beast, the Roman Empire is translated by the power of the Cross from the temporal to the spiritual order and becomes what the Apostle calls “the restrainer”: the power that holds back the coming of the Antichrist. The removal of this restrainer signals the commencement of the final persecution of the Church and the end of all mortal things.

       Guided by the teachings of the Fathers, St Thomas Aquinas, and St John Henry Newman, The Iron Sceptre of the Son of Man explores the essentially Roman character, the Romanitas, of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and demonstrates how a true understanding of this fifth Note of the Church can guide us in the most vital and perilous of all discernments.

It is important to make it clear that this book is not an anti-Eastern polemic; on the contrary, it makes constant use of Eastern Patristic sources and continually references the "Byzantine Empire" as the true Roman Empire in the East. Romanitas here has a double sense: the political-cultural role of the transformed and Christianized Roman empire (in both its Eastern and Western manifestations), and the theological-religious role of the See of Peter in Rome, with attention to the dynamic interplay between them. The tensions involved in the concept are well explored, as is the breakdown of political Romanitas in modern times. Of particular interest is the detailed Scriptural exegesis of Old and New Testament texts on the kingship of Christ and His heavenly-earthly imperium.

Table of Contents:

1 The Church is Roman
2 Which Rome?
3 Why the Church is Roman: Prophecy
4 Why the Church is Roman: Fulfilment
5 How the Church is Roman
Index of Proper Names

The Iron Sceptre of the Son of Man is available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook from the publisher here, from any Amazon site (e.g., here and here), and from Barnes & Noble.