Last week’s “Comments” went so far as to suggest that to get a handle on the liberal mentality is a good way to keep the Faith today. Seeing how liberalism dissolves the Truth, one understands how it is undermining the Faith and destroying the Church. At the same time seeing how it corrupts minds, one understands how today’s churchmen are “diabolically disoriented” without necessarily being fully aware of how they are destroying the Church. Thus one need be neither liberal nor sedevacantist. So let us look at another classic text of Archbishop Lefebvre where he examines “The Catholic Liberal Mentality” in Chapter XVI of They Have Uncrowned Him:—
“A sickness of the mind. ‘Rather than a confusion of mind, liberal Catholicism is a sickness of the mind’ (Fr. A. Roussel in his book Liberalism and Catholicism): the mind is unable simply to rest in the truth. It can venture no statement without thinking immediately of the counter-statement, which it feels equally obliged to make. Pope Paul VI was a classic example of such a split mind, of a two-faced being – it could even be read physically on his features – perpetually tossed between two contradictory positions and driven by a balancing movement, swinging regularly between Tradition and novelty – would some people call it intellectual schizophrenia?
“I think that Fr Clérissac saw deepest into the nature of this sickness. It is ‘a lack of integrity of the mind’ ( Mystery of the Church, Chapter VII). It is a mind ‘lacking trust in the truth . . . . When liberalism prevails, this lack of integrity in the mind shows psychologically in two clear characteristics: liberals are malleable and anxious: malleable, because they too easily take on the state of mind of those around them; anxious, because for fear of clashing with different states of mind they are continually concerned to justify themselves; they seem to suffer themselves from the doubts they are fighting against; they do not have enough confidence in the truth; they are too concerned to be justifying their position, demonstrating or adapting or even apologizing.’
“Too concerned to be in harmony with the world, to be apologizing! That is so well said: they want to apologize for the whole past of the Church, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and so on. When it comes to justifying and demonstrating, they go about it very timidly, especially when the rights of Jesus Christ are involved, but when it comes to adapting to the world, they go at it, that is their basic principle. They start out from what they consider to be a practical principle, for them an undeniable fact, namely that the Church cannot be understood in the actual surroundings where it has to fulfil its divine mission without its getting in harmony with them.”
Since the time of Fr Clérissac and of Archbishop Lefebvre, the dissolution of minds and hearts by liberalism has only made great advances. In the 21st century, there are even fewer traces left of yesteryear’s framework of objective truth and objective morality than there were in the 20th century. This being so, for the Church to adapt to its surroundings becomes more and more deadly for Catholic Faith and morals, which are nothing if not objective. How we have had to suffer from a mind continually alternating statements with counter-statements, continually anxious to win over both of two parties completely opposed to one another, to reconcile irreconcilables, lacking not only confidence in the truth but even, as it seems, any knowledge of the truth, were it not that this mind can do such a good imitation of the truth. Such a mind used to be said to belong to a “liar.” Today?
We can only cry out, like the Psalmist: Lord, your own Catholics have become a mockery to non-Catholics. For your own honour and glory, hasten to our rescue!