In Paris in May of 1968 there occurred student riots so radical and long-lasting as to get attention from media all over the world. For theoretical subversion and practical destruction of everything that had till then made up the Western way of life, they were comparable to the riots that ravaged many cities of the United States last summer (of 2020). In fact the Paris riots inspired the sixth and last Part of Jean Madiran’s book, The Heresy of the 20th century, because they were a picture-book illustration of what his whole book had been trying to say: Catholic civilisation is turning Communist, and it is a great betrayal, and the Catholic bishops are the traitors. Hence the three Chapters of Part Six of the book: 1) May ‘68 is the bishops’ final betrayal, 2) They repudiate the true Catholics, 3) They betray real Christianity.
In Chapter One Madiran tells how when in Paris in the springtime of 1968 the revolting students, like the summer rioters in the USA, threatened to tear down Western civilisation, the French bishops’ official comment was, “It is a wide-ranging movement calling for a new society,” and they were ready to welcome it in the name of Vatican II. In their official declaration one month later they declared: “The 1968 Revolution divides the people for and against, but we bishops are for.” In fact, says Madiran, for those revolting the end justifies the means, so they made such use of force, lies and trickery to get their way that they provoked an even more “wide-ranging” counter-movement, but what do modern bishops care about the radical subversion of all natural law and Christian civilisation? None of them believe that Communism is a betrayal. But it is a movement of reform? That is just a lie and a trap, says Madiran.
In the second Chapter he tells how to ingratiate themselves with the Revolutionaries on the left, the bishops had to bring to them on a platter the heads of the most faithful Catholics on the right, otherwise known as the “integrists,” or followers of integral Catholicism. (Here exactly is why in the 1970’s Pope Paul VI made such strenuous efforts to cripple Archbishop Lefebvre, but God had other ideas. However, just a few more years, and what had been his Society was longing for the approval of modernised Rome.) Back in the 1960’s the French bishops set out on a long course of talking out of both sides of their mouth.
To the left they would say, “Oh, please don’t take us for conservatives or integrists, we’re revolutionaries just like you,” while to the right they would say, “Oh please don’t think we’re changing anything.” And ever since these bishops have been trying to go in two directions at once – a recipe for paralysis. But they always avoid taking on “integrists” in straight argument – they have given up the high ground of truth.
In the last Chapter of his entire book, Madiran finalises his condemnation of the paltry French bishops. The modern world is not good, running on lies in all domains: Evolution, Six Million, Nine-Eleven, Covid, and those are just a few of the outstanding falsehoods. But what had gone wrong? The students hardly knew because they had mostly been told that the modern world is wonderful. But if that is true, then instinctively they want to tear it down. However, the Catholic Church, while it also disbelieves in modernity, knows exactly what went wrong, and in 1864 published a major list of 80 of the errors – Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors. Here is the doctrine that the bishops should have been teaching the students, because had these learnt it well, they could have been rebuilding all “Western civilisation” ever since the 1960’s. As it was, at Vatican II the world’s bishops preferred to join the Communists instead of fighting them, and the students were turned into barbarians, and all Christian civilisation was betrayed.
Referring to the bishops, Madiran adds one final word to his book – “Wretches!”
The analysis of The Heresy of the 20th century is clear. The lessons in the 2020’s for the USA in particular are plentiful. Perhaps only full-scale disaster will enable mankind to learn them. Yet, as Bishop Butler said in the 18th century, “Things are what they are. Their consequences will be what they will be. Why then should we seek to deceive ourselves?”