Europe and America after COVID: An Interview with Pierre Manent

I would venture to say that Europeans and Americans are confronting a spiritual conundrum. How does an immense civilization examine its conscience? How do nations and societies confess and atone for their sins?
The humanitarian proposal is hard to refuse, because it postulates that we can achieve justice if everyone simply becomes aware of their essential human likeness. The Christian proposal is hard to accept, because it affirms that all human beings are prisoners of an injustice from which they cannot escape by their own efforts.
The book of Acts shows that the Catholic Church has the form of a city in which a specific work is conducted. That work of sanctification has its source in the sacrifice of the Mass, which the state must allow the Church to continue celebrating as much as possible. This essay originally appeared in French and is translated here for the first time.