The great Queen of Spain, Isabella the Catholic, is reported once to have commissioned a painting that would show a priest at the altar, a woman giving birth and a criminal being hanged. In other words, let everyone do what they are meant to do, and not something else. But these “Comments” suggested last week that today people are not being what they are: teachers often no longer teach, doctors often no longer heal, policemen often no longer protect, and – worst of all, I could have added – priests are often no longer men of God. A modern word used by an Italian friend to describe this maladjustment to reality, widespread today, is “pathological.”
Now “pathological” is a word belonging to that jargon of psychiatrists which is well named as “psychobabble,” because it dresses up in brand-new words, each of many syllables, what are merely good old miseries of fallen human nature. Now psychiatrists, themselves godless, cannot solve problems of godlessness, but at least they are trying, so to speak. So the novelty of psychobabble serves at least to suggest that the miseries being piled up in human beings today by the past centuries piling up the apostasy, do have something unprecedented about them. My friend writes:—
“Pathology may mean an occasional or congenital ailment, by extension an abnormal or distorted way of being, which, whether innate or acquired, has become part of an individual’s constitution. The same concept can be applied by extension to a group of individuals or a society. In this way one may speak of the pathological, i.e. sick, abnormal, condition of the modern world. As such, whether the condition is acquired or inborn, it is not seen for what it is by the person or persons concerned, nay, since they see it as normal they use it as a shield, and even boast about it. Abnormality becoming normal, and vice versa, is the drama of the modern world and modern man.”
Then we should find the priest neglecting the altar, women not giving birth and criminals not being hanged. But that is exactly the world around us – the psychobabble fits! So here is what the same friend has to say about how Catholics must react to this pathological condition of the modern world:
“Catholics must understand that we are living in an unprecedented situation in which all sense of objective reality is steadily being lost. This means for the Church that points of reference still valid 50 years ago no longer apply. Different solutions are called for which not only take into account the possibility of ever increasing disorder, but also remain elastic enough to adapt to a continually worsening situation. If then doctrine is primary and decisive, Catholics and future priests must be taught doctrinally how unique these end-times are. The Gospels tell us of their coming in the future, but they are with us here now, and they are liable to get only worse, until such time as God says enough is enough.”
In brief, centuries of increasing apostasy have piled up in the human race a refusal of reality which can be called “pathological,” and which is causing unheard of levels of distress in people, distress unalleviated by an equally unprecedented level of material prosperity. The Catholic Church fought this apostasy, but when at Vatican II it gave up the fight, the pathological fantasy took over the world, and it lurched towards the Antichrist. Archbishop Lefebvre created a fortress of sanity inside the crumbling Church, but now the same pathology is well on its way to taking over his Society.
Teachers, teach! Doctors, heal! Women, give birth! Priests, study everything that Archbishop Lefebvre said and did. And Queen Isabella, please pray for us.