French Revolution

French Tour

French Tour posted in Eleison Comments on April 12, 2014

Good news again, this time from France, once more small in quantity but high in quality. A handful of good priests are gathering together and taking action to make sure that the Faith will continue to be defended along the lines laid down by Archbishop Lefebvre, steering between sedevacantism on the right and conciliarism – from above. SSPX HQ will be left to disarm its followers, while a remainder of happy priests will continue to take arms with the true religion for the next stage in their persecution.

This is what I observed on a fourth lecture tour since last autumn of centres in France where the laity are interested in the anti-liberal doctrine of the Catholic Popes between Pius VI (1717–1799) and Pius XII (1876–1958). That doctrine was not new, even at the beginning of the century and a half over which it was elaborated. It was merely that particular part of the Church’s timeless teaching which needed to be refreshed from the moment when the Christian social order of 15 centuries was undermined and supplanted by the French Revolution of 1789.

That Revolution was Freemasonic liberalism making war on God by seeking to overthrow throne and altar. Since then the Catholic thrones have been virtually overthrown by “democracy,” while the Catholic altars were virtually overthrown at Vatican II by that Council’s conversion to the religion of man. Archbishop Lefebvre however, cleaving to the religion of God, wished that his seminarians would be thoroughly familiar with the Church’s anti-Revolutionary doctrine in order to know how to take their Catholic stand in the midst of a liberal world. It follows that Catholic lay-folk who can see how the Archbishop’s Society of St Pius X is being cunningly transformed into the Newsociety, are interested in the Popes’ Encyclical Letters of those 150 years before Vatican II. On the first of my four lecture tours there were five stops. On the latest, between end March and early April, there were nine, and there risk being more invitations. There are, all the time, more French lay-folk waking up to how the Society is being misled.

Alas, all too many SSPX priests are still spellbound by a master of seduction, lost in his worldly dream. I met a few of them on this latest tour. They are no doubt good men, they have been good priests, they have their eyes open and see many things, but when they are exposed once more to that seducer, their vision clouds over and their will is puzzled. The Greek verb “diaballein” from which come the English words “diabolical” and “devil,” means to turn upside down, to throw into confusion.

These confused priests contrast with the half dozen mentioned above who have seen clear and are taking action on what they see. The tension by which they were tortured for as long as they tried to remain loyal to diabolical leaders is a thing of the past. They are serene, and happily making plans for the continuation of the Archbishop’s work. Fr. de Mérode, ordained many years ago, has left the SSPX of his own accord, has bought one house in Lourdes and is buying another in the Southwest of France. These will act both as bases for an apostolate to many interested souls in the region, and as refuges for priests needing somewhere to recover. I can add that I met a venerable soul in Lyon who is offering a studio of hers in that city to any priest similarly looking for a roof. Also the “Resistance” House in Broadstairs, England, is now open and can receive priestly visitors. One has already come by. Discretion guaranteed.

Outside, Archbishop, of its structure bent

Your noble work continues, as you meant.

Kyrie eleison.

Liberals Innocent?

Liberals Innocent? posted in Eleison Comments on February 23, 2013

Four weeks ago “Eleison Comments” answered the question whether liberalism is as horrible as it is supposed to be in the affirmative: implicitly, liberalism is war on God. There remained the question whether the many liberals who deny they are liberals are right to deny it. The answer is surely that all of us today are so soaked in liberalism that few of us realize how liberal we are.

Liberalism in its broadest sense is man’s liberating himself from the law of God, which a man does with every sin that he commits. Therefore in its broadest sense every sinner is a liberal, and so whoever admits he is a sinner must admit he is a liberal in this broad sense. However, it is one thing to break God’s law while still admitting that God is God and his law is his law. Such a sinner is merely a practical liberal. It is quite another to break God’s law while denying that God is God or that his law is his law. Such a liberal in principle is the liberalism of modern times.

It burst upon the scene with the French Revolution of 1789. The charter of that Revolution, the Declaration of Human Rights, was in effect a declaration of man’s independence from God. From now on, if any man obeyed God’s law, he was doing so purely by his own choice, and not as under any command or commandment of God. In that apparent obedience he would not be behaving like a liberal in practice, but underneath, in everything he did, he would be a liberal in principle. This is the modern liberalism of which Catholics today often accuse their adversaries. Are these adversaries right, almost as often to deny it? Subjectively, yes. Objectively, no.

Subjectively, yes, because ever since 1789 men have drunk more and more deeply of the false principles of the Revolution, so that if they are accused of liberating themselves from the law of God, they can sincerely reply, “What law? What God? What are you talking about?” To such an extent have God and his law been apparently wiped out. But objectively, no, because God and his law have most certainly not ceased to exist, and deep down inside themselves even modern men know it. It is “inexcusable” to say that he does not exist (Rom. I, 20), and his law is written on all men’s hearts (Rom. II, 15), whatever they may say with their mouths. The “sincerely” just mentioned needs inverted commas – it is worth only what it is worth before God’s judgment seat.

Then may those authorities of the Society of St Pius X presently seeking to blend the Society into the Conciliar Church deny that they are liberals? Subjectively they are no doubt persuaded that they are doing their best for the Church, but objectively they are unrepentedly seeking to put Archbishop Lefebvre’s anti-Revolutionary work under the control of Church officials intent upon making the liberal Revolution triumph once and for all. They say we must rejoin the visible Church because that is the Catholic Church. But the Anglican “church” is still visible, all over England. Does that make it Catholic? And the present SSPX leaders cannot be unaware of how they distort and suppress words of the Archbishop to make him fit their vision of the Church.

The sad truth is that these liberals never really understood what the Archbishop was all about. While he was alive they were spellbound, like so many of us, by his Catholic charisma, but they never grasped that faith. which was to his charisma as root is to fruit. They loved the fruit – all credit to them for that – but not long after he was gone, the fruit without the root began to wilt and die. It was inevitable that unless they understood his faith, they would change his Society into their own. That is what we have seen and are seeing. Heaven help us!

Kyrie eleison.

Contamination

Contamination posted in Eleison Comments on February 5, 2011

If liberalism in its broadest sense be defined as the liberation of man from God (see last week’s “Eleison Comments”), then the liberal Catholicism of the 19th century arising out of the French Revolution (1789) was, broadly, the successful liberating of politics from God, while the liberal Modernism of the early 20th century was the unsuccessful attempt to liberate the Catholic Church from God, attempt scotched by St. Pius X. However, that attempt succeeded half a century later way beyond even most liberals’ dreams, at the Second Vatican Council. Here below is another recent testimony I received, from Italy, observing how liberal Traditionalism is now at work to liberate Catholic Tradition from God (if only we had half the Devil’s perseverance!):—

“After the unchaining of the Tridentine Mass by Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio of 2007, a great quantity of Catholics came closer to Tradition, but their quality varied widely. As was inevitable, the increase in numbers brought towards Tradition many Catholics who had never been convinced of its importance, and whose idea of Tradition was still basically subjective, meaning it is optional for Catholics and not obligatory. In this respect even if Benedict did say some useful things in his charter speech of December 22, 2005, its effect was disastrous.

“Confidence in the Pope then made any critical thinking about the modern liturgy, catechesis or doctrine take second place. To draw distinctions or to clear up confusion made one widely unpopular. However, the announcement of Assisi III dealt a sharp blow to this broad and very fluffy spectrum of Tradition, and Catholics had to make up their minds. Contrasts came out into the open, and the first divisions emerged.

“Benedict XVI has succeeded in infecting the promising potential of young Catholics connected or close to Tradition, and he has succeeded in creating divisions. Much of that potential is now ruined, even if one may put one’s hope in God that many other youngsters will come to talk and behave in a properly Catholic way. So just how many Catholics will embrace whole-heartedly the Church’s just cause? We shall have to wait for the dust to settle, and for men of good will and fresh vigour to make their appearance.

“Witnessing to Tradition calls more than ever for clear and firm statements. Hesitating or vacillating only does damage. Meanwhile let us fight on, sharpening the tone wherever called for, and openly pointing out the evils of Benedict XVI’s Conciliar Newchurch. Public opinion in Italy is far from concerning itself with the Church’s true problems. Catholics here have learned for centuries to believe that what the Pope says is Gospel. They are children of our age.”

Surely this testimony suggests that the marginalization of Econe by the mainstream Church in 1975, and its outright condemnation with the “excommunications” of 1988, each helped to save Catholic Tradition from contamination. Will the Lord God for the same purpose need to permit another such division and marginalization? We devoutly hope not!

Kyrie eleison.

Sixpenny Art

Sixpenny Art posted in Eleison Comments on December 4, 2010

The French painter Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) repudiates modern society for the sake of art, yet the art he made himself free to create does not seem to have brought him peace (EC 175). The English novelist Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) writes a version of Gauguin’s life a few years later which seems to confirm both the repudiation and the lack of peace (EC 176). But why is the modern artist at odds with the society that he reflects, and that supports him? And why is the modern art he produces normally so ugly? And why do people persist in supporting ugly art?

The artist as rebel goes back to the Romantics. Romanticism flourished alongside the French Revolution, which merely broke out in 1789, but has been pulling down throne and altar ever since. Modern artists, reflecting the society in which they live, as artists cannot help doing, steadily more repudiate God. Now if God does not exist, then surely the arts should have flourished serenely in their new-found liberty from that illusion of God that has dominated men’s minds from time immemorial. Yet is modern art serene? Or is it not rather suicidal?

On the other hand, if God exists, and if the artist’s talent is a gift from God to be used for his glory, as countless artists from the past used to proclaim, then the godless artist will be at war with his own gift, and his gift will be at war with his society, and society will be at war with his gift. Is this not rather what we observe all around us, for instance the deep scorn of modern materialists for all the arts, beneath a pretence of respect?

If God exists, at any rate the questions asked above are easy to answer. Firstly, the artist is at odds with modern society because the breath of God within him that is his talent knows that his society is despicable insofar as it is godless. The fact that society supports him despite his scorn makes it merely more despicable. As Wagner once said when his increased orchestra meant eliminating a row of seats in the theatre, “Fewer listeners? So much the better!” Secondly, how can a gift from God that is turned against him produce anything harmonious or beautiful? For anyone to find modern art beautiful he must reverse the meaning of words: “Fair is foul and foul is fair” (Macbeth) – yet when did even a modern artist mistake ugliness for beauty in a woman? And thirdly, modern people will persist in their reversing the meaning of words because they are making war on God, and have no intention of letting up. “Rather the Turk than the tiara,” said the Greeks just before the catastrophic fall of Constantinople in 1453. “Rather Communism than Catholicism,” said American Senators after World War II, and they had their wish.

In brief, Wagner, Gauguin and Maugham and thousands of modern artists of all kinds are right to scorn our sixpenny Christendom, but the answer is not to make even more war on God with modern art. The answer is to stop making war on God, to give him again the glory due to him and to put Christ back into Christendom. How much more ugliness will it take for men to turn back to the tiara and to choose once more Catholicism? Will even World War III be enough?

Kyrie eleison.