A colleague recently passed on to me some video of the Sons of Odin fighting Antifa protesters up in Toronto. The video's been taken down by CensorTube at this point. It's funny how, in the video, there was a masked Muslim woman complaining about how unsafe she feels amid this "in your face" tactic, when it's really a brownshirt tactic introduced by Antifa leftists themselves, most notably in Berkeley.
But this Sons of Odin business reeks of the struggle to claim a white identity--which I cannot fault or argue against. There's definitely a war against whites in the West. It is undeniable.
Yet the idea of hearkening back to some magical time and place when pagan Northern European people were the best and greatest creatures to grace the Earth is a misplaced hope. The height of Northern European culture actually came after its conversion to Catholicism. It's best heroes include King Olaf Haraldsson, and Saint King Eric, not to mention St. Bridget and Queen Christina of Sweden. The first diocese on North America was actually in Greenland, before Christopher Columbus ever discovered the continent. The most resistance to the Protestant Revolts came from the Scandinavians. And let's not forget to mention their fine quality of crusaders. It took a lot of blood for the Protestants to rip Catholicism from their homeland--a heritage that the Scandinavians are rediscovering to this day.
Charles Coulombe lays it out in this TumblarHouse discussion with Vincent Frankini. The video is included, but so is the transcript. I only ask that you excuse the parts of the transcript, where I had a difficult time hearing Coulombe's pronunciation and did not know how to look the names up. This happens at the very end of the segment I transcribed.
Gabriel says: "I've come across more than a few people today who like to believe the Norse never really converted in the medieval era. That it was only a superficial thing, and their Northern hearts still beat pagan through and through. Where did this myth of the unconquered North come from? This absurd myth has for too long buried the Catholic Scandinavia of old, at least in the minds of men."
That's very true. Where's it come from? Wishful thinking. Basically, it's the same sort of idea where you've got people who are Episcopalian or Unitarian, or whatever, and they love Saint Francis. Because, in their case, they love the peacefulness and the sweetness, but they don't want to think about what the man actually believed. They admire the man and his deeds, but they reject what he believed. Refusing to realize that, in fact, it's what he believed that made him what he was. It's sort of like the Cao Dai religion, who made St. Vincent De Paul a sort of a god, while, of course, rejecting Catholicism.
Vincent Frankini: How does that apply to Scandinavia?
Well, there's a sort of neo-pagan, nordic thing running around that would like to—they like the vikings and Norse paganry, but the truth is that Scandinavia really reached its apex under Catholicism.
Vincent Frankini: When was that?
Well, roughly from about—depending upon where and when, because Scandanavia is a big place—but roughly from about 800 to 1000, depending upon where you were. And, of course, it's nonsense. Like any other people, the Norse became very Catholic very quickly. They produced a great many wonderful saints. Probably the best known is St. Bridget of Sweden. They produced, later on, a great many tremendous Catholic scholars. And it's interesting that if you look at who defended the Faith in Scandinavia during the Reformation—this is an area that people haven't done a great deal of research on. But quite as many, if not more, Scandinavians fought and died for the Catholic Faith during the Reformation as English or Scots.
See, we don't know that, because all we know is English. And the image that we have of the vikings is one that we create and make up for ourselves. But it's not real. (I'm not saying reality's an important thing!) When, for instance, the Norse came to Greenland, they were Catholic. And, in fact, Greenland had a bishop. That's why we say that the first diocese of the New World was Santo Domingo, that's true in terms of continuous existence. But it's not true in terms of the very first one that existed. That was the diocese of Garðar [Gardar] in Greenland. And, in fact, the Norse Catholics remained in Greenland until, so far as we can tell, the early 1400s.
So, you're saying that our current image of vikings as barbarians is a fabrication, and that they were more Catholic?
Well, you know, "barbarian" is a term. I mean, as far they're concerned—whatever that means. They would consider us as infanticides, as disgusting and barbaric. They might consider our same-sex marriage a trifle over the top. So, I mean, "barbaric" is not really a helpful term. It doesn't describe anything. When they were vikings in the sense of pagans, they were cruel and nasty. When they became Christian they had better qualities. They became Catholic. Their better qualities were baptized. There were some very fine crusaders who came out of Scandinavia to fight in the Holy Land. That's another aspect that people aren't aware of.
You see, again, nobody knows this stuff. They only know what they think they know. They only know what they want to know. But again, that kind of neo-paganry is as imaginary as Wicca. Or as Unitarian as Saint Francis. Again, the different groups glom on to different things. But it's all phony. (Not that phony is bad! I mean, as an American, it's my birthright! And I'd be the last one to attack anyone for being phony!)
Second question. "What were some of the achievements of medieval Catholic Scandinavia, what did the Catholic Norsemen bring to the table in olde Christendome?"
That's a good question. I've touched on some of it already. But I would point out, too, that during the Humanist movement, there were some really brilliant Humanists that came out of Scandinavia. Most of whom, by the way, rallied to the Church during the Reformation. And then, of course, the shrines that exist in Scandinavia beforehand. Most of which, of course, are gone now. The Shrine of St. Olav Haraldsson in Trondheim, which has actually just been rebooted. The shrine of St. Canute, in Odense, the Shrine of St. Eric Uppsala. People from all over Europe went to these places.
One of the interesting stories, though, from the Reformation in Scandihoovia, was in Iceland, where there had been two bishops. Holar and Skalholt. Bishop Holar died before things got exciting, when the king of Denmark wanted to impose the Reformation on Iceland. That left the bishop of Skalholt to deal with it. Now, Jon Arason, that was his name, was probably not a shining example of a good bishop. Not with his seven illegitimate sons..and his mistress. The Lutherans made a deal. They said, "You join the Lutheran church, and stay bishop. You can marry your woman, and all your sons will be legitimized. And, hey! One of them could inherit the diocese after you!" He refused. And he led an army against the Protestants. He was defeated. And his sons were given the chance to apostatize again, and they refused. And they were all killed. They were all martyred.
So, what the Scandinavians brought—you look at St. Bridget, and what she gave, you look at what the missionaries did, you look at the things the crusaders did—there certainly was a brilliant, militant, warlike spirit from the Scandinavians. And that was what they particularly brought to the Church. Not just in terms of open warfare. But in their prayer life, there was a wonderful version of the Gospel in Saxon called Heliand, in which our Lord becomes a sort of a war chieftan, and the Apostles become his war band. Like Beowulf. They brought that,
Of course, some of the later converts were extraordinary people. Probably at the top of the list would be Queen Christina, who gave up the throne. She was the daughter of Gustavus II Adolphus, the "Protestant lion of the North." She took all that bravery and ferocity and turned it over to the Faith. Turned her back on her country, on her throne, for the sake of religion. It was THAT that they brought to the Church.
Sounds like there's a great deal that we don't know about Catholic Scandinavia. Are there any good books or resources?
You know, there are. The Old Catholic Encyclopedia actually has a lot of stuff. There's a lot online. You'd be surprised. Especially, today in Scandinavia there's a movement underway to restore a number of the old shrines from the old pilgrimages. This is coming from non-Catholics. You know, it's people discovering their own heritage. It was taken from them.
So, yeah, there's actually a lot of material out there. It's just that we are very Anglo-centric on the one hand. Most people are just not attuned to Catholicism outside of their own sphere. In Northern Europe, Northern Germany, there are a lot of Catholics who have fought and died for the Faith that you never heard of. One of the most interesting characters of that period was Dietrich von __???__ who was the last Catholic bishop of Brandenburg. The first __???__ elector he lived under backed him up against the Reformation. But after he died, he was on his own! But, he managed to hold the faith here and there, in Brandenburg until he died, because when he died they were all over.