What are Catholics To Do? Here are the Top 5 Places for Voluntary Exile

Over the past few years, Catholics have seen a non-stop assault on traditional values. With the reversal of DOMA by the Supreme Court, the aggressively anti-Catholic liberal agenda will only become stronger. As Christians, it is our duty to bear witness and to stand up for our beliefs, but what if things get really bad–like secret catacombs, beheadings, burning at the stake, and thrown to the lions bad? What are the best places to hide away from the increasingly hostile secular culture? As a service to our readers, we present the top five places for faithful Catholics to spend a peaceful self-imposed exile!

5. Andorra

Encamp, Andorra, as seen from the Vall dels Cortals

Encamp, Andorra, as seen from the Vall dels Cortals

Like the Vatican, Andorra is one of few countries on earth to have a cleric as the head of state. In this case, Archbishop Joan Enric Vives i Sicilia currently shares the title of co-prince of Andorra with Francois Hollande (who also holds the title of honorary canon of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the mother church of all Christendom). The main industries in Andorra are banking (thanks to extremely low tax rates), sheep, and tobacco products. The population is over 90% Catholic and the constitution provides special privileges to Catholics. Nestled in the mountainous Pyrenees, Andorra is an excellent place to get away from it all. The landlocked nation has no railways, ports, or airports whatsoever. The only access is by road or helicopter. As a fun bit of trivia, Andorra remained in a state of war with Imperial Germany from World War I until 1958 due to a small oversight in the Treaty of Versailles and despite the fact that Andorra did not actually take part in the fighting.

4. San Marino

The Guaita Fortress and part of the City of San Marino

The Guaita Fortress and part of the City of San Marino

San Marino has all the beauty and culture of Italy, but without a scoundrel whoremonger for a Prime Minister. San Marino, like Italy, is also 95% Catholic. Although national defense is provided by the Italian military, San Marino maintains its own mostly volunteer military and although the duties are almost entirely ceremonial, it is considered a great privilege to serve. The skyline of San Marino is dominated by three ancient towers which overlook the city from craggy mountain peaks. The most popular sports are metric football and formula one racing and every year on the 3rd of September, the micronation celebrates the Feast of San Marino which marks the independence of the tiny republic from the Roman Empire in the year 301 A.D.

3. Malta

Valletta skyline, Malta

Valletta skyline, Malta

The island nation off the coast of Sicily has a population of over 425,000 of which 98% is Catholic and Roman Catholicism is the state religion. Long the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller, Malta has historically been a stopping point for voyages between Rome and the Holy Land ever since St. Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked there in around the year 60 A.D. To this day, Malta has a diverse but very small population of religious minorities which reflects its status as the strategic crossroads of the Mediterranean. The main language is Maltese, but English is also very widely spoken. Maltese culture places a strong emphasis on marriage and family and there are many traditions associated with motherhood.

2. Wallis and Futuna

Beach on Ile Aloka, Wallis and Futuna

Beach on Ile Aloka, Wallis and Futuna

Wallis and Futuna is a cluster of tiny volcanic islands pretty much as far away from anywhere you can get. Technically still part of France, the islands have been self-governing since 2003. Of the population of roughly 15,000 people, 99% are Catholic. Prior to their conversion, the native Wallisian people are reported to have practiced cannibalism, but nowadays the main ingredients of the local cuisine mainly consist of pork, chicken, fish, coconuts, mangoes, and figs. Like other Polynesian cultures, Kava is a popular beverage. The locals still perform traditional music, dancing, and rituals associated with their ancient pagan beliefs, but Roman Catholicism is the official state religion.

1. St. Pierre and Miquelon

Houses, Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Houses, Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Our top choice is this tiny island community off the coast of Newfoundland. Saint-Pierre and Miquelon has a population of about 6,000 of which over 99% are Catholic. The only territory in the world that is more Catholic is the Vatican, but of course you must be a cleric or a Swiss guard to claim Vatican citizenship. That makes Saint-Pierre and Miquelon the most Catholic country in the world that is open to the laity. The downside: the average winter temperatures are in the teens. The major industries of Saint-Pierre are all centered on fishing which makes sense, because St. Peter is the patron of fishermen. The most popular sport in Saint-Pierre is hockey and every year there is a heritage festival with traditional activities like lumberjack skills and the ancient Celtic sport of stone heaving. Keeping the Friday fast will be a cinch as the local cuisine is pretty much all seafood all the time.

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Categories:Humor Religious Liberty

50 thoughts on “What are Catholics To Do? Here are the Top 5 Places for Voluntary Exile

  1. Chris says:

    Very funny! Another bit of trivia, at one point (in the early 2000s I believe) Andorra had the longest life expectancy in the world.

  2. Brenda says:

    I like this post! I was just thinking the other day that maybe we should consider moving to Malta . . . it was just a thought.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not to mention that San Marino was founded by Catholicism’s own St. Marinus as he (you guessed it) fled persecution! It’s fitting, right?

  4. Kevin says:

    I think this is one of the most honest posts I’ve read on this blog. You guys are basically Donatists anyway: purity tests, doctrine elitists. You really do want to withdraw from society. I know you’ll find Pio Nono there with you.

    1. Slats says:

      Kevin, with all due respect, there are some blogs out there which have very specific and rigid litmus tests on liturgical approaches, conciliar interpretations, etc. This site does expect Catholics to be Catholic – and for this country to allow us to be Catholic – on issues like believing abortion and same-gender genital activity are grave matter. That’s not “doctrinal elitism;” it’s not even minimal Catholicism. If a baptized Catholic fails to hold those two positions, I think it’s pretty obvious and basic that they aren’t even participating in the basic intra-Catholic heart-and-mind discourse. If you think that’s Donatism, I would suggest that you’re engaging in your own brand of doctrinal puritanism, just from the other end.

  5. Am says:

    Wait. I hope this isn’t tongue and cheek. Is it meant to be? I thought this post was awesome!!

  6. Joshua Mercer says:

    You would seem to agree with Benjamin Franklin, who said: “Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”

    I agree with Thomas Paine’s response: “Where liberty is not, that is my home.”

    I think you meant this post somewhat (or possibly completely) tongue in cheek. And nothing is certainly final in this country, we have turned things around before. But if things get worse, and the Church is persecuted, I’ve stay and fight. This is my home.

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