On March 19 a little over one month ago Dom Thomas Aquinas was quietly consecrated bishop for the benefit of souls all over the world wishing to keep the true Catholic faith. As when Bishop Faure was consecrated just one year before, the ceremony was beautifully organised by the monks of the Monastery of the Holy Cross in the mountains behind Rio de Janeiro, in the Monastery’s steel barn cathedral, handsomely decorated for the occasion as last year. The weather was dry and warm without being too warm. St Joseph made everything run smoothly. We owe him great thanks.
There were slightly more people attending than last year, but more of them were from nearby in Brazil. There were no journalists present and the event passed with barely a mention even in Traditional Catholic news sources. Was there a conspiracy of silence? Had a word gone out to pay no attention? It does not matter. What does matter is what Almighty God may be suggesting, namely the survival of the Faith is not right now calling for publicity or for making oneself known but rather perhaps for sliding into the shadows, from which the Church can gently lower itself into the catacombs to wait for its resurrection after the storm in the world, which promises to be humanly terrible, has played itself out.
In any case we have now another bishop, firmly in the line of Archbishop Lefebvre, and on the western side of the Atlantic. Like Bishop Faure he knew the Archbishop well and was a confidant of his. Bishop Thomas Aquinas never worked with the Archbishop directly from within the SSPX, but because he was not a member of the Society, the Archbishop may have felt that much more free to share his thoughts and ideas with him. Certainly he gave to the young monk invaluable advice on more than one occasion, which Bishop Thomas has never forgotten. Believing Catholics are not mistaken – there have been few exceptions to their overwhelmingly positive reaction to God’s gift of another true shepherd of souls.
At the time of the consecration the two consecrating bishops made a Declaration which has not yet had much publicity. It gives the in-depth background of the consecration, showing how such an apparently strange event is not really strange at all, but quite natural in the circumstances. Here is the first part of the Declaration. The second part will have to follow in next week’s “Eleison Comments.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ having warned us that at his Second Coming the faith will almost have disappeared from the face of the earth (Lk. XVIII, 8), it follows that from the Church’s triumph in the Middle Ages onwards it could only experience a long decline down to the end of the world. Three upheavals in particular marked out stages of this decline: Protestantism refusing the Church in the 16th century; Liberalism refusing Jesus Christ in the 18th century; and Communism refusing God altogether in the 20th century.
Worst of all, however, was when this Revolution by stages managed to penetrate inside the Church, thanks to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). Wishing to bring the Church back in contact with the modern world that had moved so far away from it, Paul VI succeeded in getting the Council Fathers to adopt “the values of 200 years of liberal culture” (Cardinal Ratzinger).
What the Fathers adopted was the triple ideal of the French Revolution in particular: liberty, equality and fraternity, in the triple form of religious liberty whose emphasis on human dignity implied lifting man above God; collegiality whose promotion of democracy undermined and levelled down all authority within the Church; and ecumenism whose praise of false religions implied the denial of the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And in the half-century following Vatican II the deadly consequences for the Church of adopting the Revolutionary “values” have become only more and more obvious, culminating in the appalling scandals disgracing almost day by day the pontificate of the reigning Pope.