This issue of “Eleison Comments” for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, 2017, is the 500th issue from the first which appeared on July 6, 2007. For nine and a half years the “Comments” have appeared on the Internet once a week, usually on Saturdays unless there is some delay or other, and every week during that time with few exceptions. Also on Saturdays it goes out on an electronic mailing-list to thousands of subscribers. In English, French, German, Italian and Spanish it is accessible on stmarcelinitiative.com, and let it here be said that if anybody ceases to receive the “Comments” by e-mail when he has wished to continue receiving them, it will never be because he has been struck off by the mailing-list’s administrators. Usually it will be by some electronic misfortune, for instance when somebody’s computer switches the “Comments” to Spam. On other sites the “Comments” appear each week in Czech, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese.
The “Comments” are never long, although occasionally they have a Supplement. In English they rarely exceed 700 words, containing about as much material as can be made to fit on an A4 page in size 12 lettering. This brevity has the advantage of assuring readers with little time to spare that reading them will never take more than a few minutes each week. On the other hand the brevity has the disadvantage that the “Comments” will rarely go into a subject in any great depth. Occasionally a few issues will appear in a row on the same subject to examine it in a little more detail, but even then the contents are hardly scholarly, nor do they pretend to be. Scholars are liable to use rather more than 700 words to prove a point, and many readers today have little time for much more than 700 words.
What the “Comments” do attempt to do is to argue from the reality of the modern world around us to establish some reasonable and coherent connection between on the one hand the Catholic faith without which we cannot be saved (Heb. XI, 6), and on the other hand the ever darkening scene of world and Church which we all know. Whether the “Comments” achieve that purpose, readers must judge for themselves. They are certainly not infallible, coming as they do from a Catholic bishop cut loose from any official structure and twice declared “excommunicated” (1988 and 2015) by official Rome (which might, alas, be more of an honour than a dishonour – God knows). But if he himself had to go over all back issues he might find judgments that he would change in the light of subsequent events. He can bend over backwards to be kind to the churchmen responsible for Vatican II and its aftermath, but as Don Putti, the founder of Sisi Nono, once said to him, “Sono tutti delinquenti” – objectively, they are all delinquents.
Thus while many readers may find the “Comments” to be rather dark and too pessimistic, their author may suspect that if he erred, it was where he was a little too optimistic. Paradoxically, the supposed arch-conservative of the SSPX and arch-critic of the Newchurch can seem to go quite easy on the practitioners of the Novus Ordo religion. He would say he was following St Augustine: “Slay the errors, but love those erring.” Others might be less kind and say that underneath he has been a flaming liberal all along – such are the delights of our modern age. In any case he does not expect the “Comments” to reach their thousandth issue. He fully expects the electronics on which they depend to be in a near future either knocked out of the sky by war, or crippled on the ground by agents of the New World Order, to the lies of which the Internet has done so much harm, despite the Internet’s manifold miseries.
Meanwhile all honour and thanks go to Almighty God and to Our Lady of Lourdes for every little way in which the first 500 issues may have helped souls, and may souls pray that more light and warmth come from as many more issues of the “Comments” as Providence will provide for.