Heaven

Francis Godless

Francis Godless posted in Eleison Comments on October 19, 2013

Catholics who retain any real sense of their faith are being scandalized by the words and deeds of the man presently seated on the Chair of Peter. One almost wonders if he was put there to destroy what remains of the Catholic Church. Like a true child of Vatican II, he is turning away from God towards man. Here for example are the first nine of eleven key quotes extracted (not by me) from an interview given by Francis on September 24 to the atheist editor of an Italian newspaper.

Quotes 2 to 5 concern the Church (I summarize): 2 The Church administration must be more horizontal, less vertical. 3 The Roman Curia is too self-serving. It must go out to the people. 4 The Pope must no longer be a king surrounded by flattering courtiers. 5 Too many priests are self-serving, and obstacles to Christianity. Now quotes like these will obviously please a modern democratic public that has never liked being told by the official Church what to do, but are these quotes fair or just towards the countless Popes, Curias, Administrations and Priests that went before Francis for 1900 years to maintain the structure of the Church for the salvation of souls? Will Francis on the contrary leave any structure still standing, any souls saved, behind him?

Quotes 1 and 6 concern the world: 1 On my watch the Church will stay out of politics. To leave democratic men to throw themselves into Hell? 6 The world’s two worst problems today are the unemployment of the young and the loneliness of the old. Now these are two real human problems of today, but why? Is it not because churchmen like Francis leave, precisely, politics to the politicians, putting money in front of young people? And because churchmen like him refuse to enforce those Church laws which, by holding the family together, help it to look after old people?

Quotes 7 to 9 concern religion: 9 Jesus gave us only one way of salvation, love of one another. But love of neighbour without love of God coming first turns into hatred of neighbour, for example Communism. 7a Converting people makes no sense. It makes the greatest of sense, if, as is the case, nobody can get to Heaven without believing in God and in his Divine Son, Jesus Christ! 7b We must all mix together and move one another to the Good. But we must all move one another towards God. What else is the Good? If Francis will not mention God, who will believe in God?

Quote 8 is the gravest of all: 8a “I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God.” This is gravely misleading. True, God is the God of all men, but he instituted for all men one religion, and one religion only, and that is the Catholic religion. Thus the God of Catholicism is the one and only true God. 8b “Jesus is his incarnation, my teacher and my pastor, but God the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator.” Also gravely misleading. Does not that “but” suggest that Jesus is not the Creator? Does Francis believe that Jesus is anything more than just a man? 8c “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them.” This is not misleading at all. This is the denial of all objective morality, the denial of all principles of Catholic morality. This is an invitation to all men to do as they like. Coming from the man who is to all appearances the Catholic Pope, it is sheer insanity.

Pope Francis may plead that he is trying to get through to modern man, but to get through to him without God is just like jumping into a dangerous river to help a drowning man without a rope tied to the bank. One will only drown with him. Your Holiness, you are not helping but drowning!

Kyrie eleison.

N.B. Error in the American address last week – not 6051 Watson Street, but 9051. Apologies.

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday posted in Eleison Comments on March 30, 2013

Holy Saturday in the life of Our Lord was that day between his appalling death on the Cross and his glorious Resurrection, when his human body, lifeless without its human soul, lay in the dark tomb, unseen to human eye. Our Lord’s enemies seemed so successfully to have crushed him that the Incarnate God was in complete eclipse, and only the faith of Our Lady in her Divine Son remained unshaken. All his other followers she had to sustain, because even the most devout of them felt bewildered and lost.

Now as being the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church follows the life’s course of his physical body. Down all its 2,000 years of history the Church has always been persecuted by the enemies of Christ, and in many parts of the world at various times it has been virtually wiped out. Yet surely it has never been going into complete eclipse like it seems to be doing today. God designed his Church as a monarchy, to be held together by the Pope, and we have just seen a Pope resigning, no doubt in part because he himself, mesmerized by modern democratic thinking, never fully believed in his own supreme office. Taking the papal tiara off his coat of arms, and signing himself always as “Bishop of Rome,” whatever were his intentions when he resigned in February, he surely helped, humanly speaking, to undermine the divine institution of the Papacy.

Certainly by Benedict XVI’s resignation and by the succeeding conclave the enemies of Christ will have been doing all they could for their part to undo the Papacy. By a just punishment of God for the universal apostasy of our age, they have received from him a great power over his Church. They have been working for centuries to get a stranglehold over the Vatican, and they are now entrenched there. With no intention of giving way to a pious little Society, they are, as Anne Catherine Emmerich saw in a vision 200 years ago, dismantling the Church stone by stone. Humanly speaking, today’s followers of Our Lord have as little seeming hope as they had on the original Holy Saturday.

But no more than Our Lord himself is the Catholic Church a merely human affair. In 1846 Our Lady of Salette said about our own times: “The righteous will suffer greatly. Their prayers, penance and their tears will rise up to Heaven, and all of God’s people will beg for forgiveness and mercy and will plead for my help and intercession. And then Jesus Christ in an act of his justice and great mercy will command his Angels to have all his enemies put to death. Suddenly the persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ and all those given over to sin will perish, and the earth will become desert-like. And then peace will be made, and man will be reconciled with God, Jesus Christ will be served, worshipped and glorified. Charity will flourish everywhere . . . The Gospel will be preached everywhere . . . and man will live in fear of God.”

In other words, God will most certainly resurrect his Church from its present distress. When the eclipse becomes still darker, as it is sure to do, let us merely hold more closely than ever to the Mother of God, and let us resolve now not to weigh upon her then by our disbelief, as did Our Lord’s Apostles and disciples on the first Holy Saturday. Let us undertake to rejoice her Immaculate Heart with our unshakeable faith in her Divine Son and his one true Church.

Kyrie eleison.

Two Journeys

Two Journeys posted in Eleison Comments on January 19, 2013

Journeys since mid-December, to North America and France, have enabled me to observe within the Society of St Pius X a dangerous state of indetermination. Where the District Superior is not blind, the danger is for the moment held back somewhat, so that resistance is puzzled. Where however the District Superior is a willing servant of SSPX headquarters, there the movement towards the Newchurch forges ahead, but also the Resistance is taking shape. What is at stake?

Ever since the breakout of Protestantism, the world has been sliding further and further away from God. Thanks to the Council of Trent (1545–1563), the Catholic Church held firm, but thanks to the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) the official Catholic Church joined in the slide. Then thanks mainly (but not only!) to Archbishop Lefebvre (1905–1991), relics of the Church of Trent gathered themselves together to form amidst the desert of modernity a Catholic oasis, the SSPX. But where the mighty Church had not been able to resist, it was, sure enough, merely a matter of time before the puny SSPX would be tempted in its turn to join in the slide.

However, just as at Vatican II the Church’s official leadership was obliged to pretend that it was not breaking with the Tridentine Church (such is, for instance, Benedict XVI’s “hermeneutic of continuity”), so the SSPX’s official leadership is now obliged to pretend that it is not breaking with Archbishop Lefebvre. Thus, like most politicians of the last 500 years, these SSPX leaders are talking to the right while walking to the left, because that is what a large number of people want, namely the appearance of Christianity without its substance (cf. II Tim. III, 1–5, especially verse 5). Like Descartes, such leaders “advance behind a mask,” seeking to disguise their move to the left beneath words to the right, or words clearly ambiguous.

What happened in the SSPX last spring, as Fr Chazal says, is that the mask came off, because the SSPX leadership must have calculated that the time had come for it to make its open move back into the mainstream Church. Alas for these leaders, there emerged between March and June enough resistance to block at the SSPX General Chapter in July any immediate attempt to join the Newchurch. And so from that Chapter onwards, the mask has gone back on. But liberals do not convert, short of a miracle of grace, because leftwardness is their real religion. That is why the SSPX leaders are surely waiting for the modern world, flesh and devil to continue their work of pulling SSPX clergy and laity to the left so that within a few years at most there will no longer be any significant resistance, as there was last summer, to the SSPX rejoining the Newchurch.

This leaves the SSPX betwixt and between. However, as the common sense of Archbishop Lefebvre remarked, superiors mould subjects and not the other way round. That is why, unless the present SSPX leaders are displaced by a miracle, the SSPX is doomed to be dissolved within the Newchurch. One can hardly say the punishment would not have been deserved. But let us pray to the Mother of God for some miracles of her Divine Son’s mercy.

Kyrie eleison.

Christ Born

Christ Born posted in Eleison Comments on December 22, 2012

The appeal of the divine baby in the arms of his Virgin Mother still makes of Christmas the most popular of Christian Feasts, but as the world turns away from God, so the heart and soul of the Nativity Scene fade out, and “Christmassy” feelings become more and more fake. Truly Christendom is burnt out. It is time to turn back with the liturgy of Mother Church to the ages before Christ when wise men rejoiced intensely in the expectation of his coming. For them, it alone made sense of the unhappiness of mankind being ravaged by the consequences of original sin. It was their great hope, and it could not be shaken. The Christ would come, and with him the gates of Heaven would be open once more to souls of good will. Here are the Antiphons of the fourth Sunday of Advent, composed from texts of the Old Testament.

“Blow the trumpet in Sion, because the day of the Lord is near: behold, he will come to save us, allelujah, allelujah.” If men do not want to be saved, then they can hardly understand what they were born for, and they must die in a greater or lesser degree of despair. But if we want to be happy for all eternity, and if we know that Jesus Christ alone makes that possible, then how must we rejoice that he came!

“Behold, the desired of all nations will come, and the house of the Lord will be filled with glory, allelujah.” As original sin is universal, so the Magi came from strange and distant lands to adore their Saviour in Bethlehem, and they could have come from all nations of the world in desire of him. Since their time, Christians have indeed come from all nations to find their Saviour in his Catholic Church, and they have filled it with the glory of beautiful ceremonies, buildings, vestments, art and music, ever since.

“The crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways smooth: come, O Lord, and do not delay.” Four thousand years on from the Fall of Adam and Eve, the world had become quite crooked. Two thousand years ago the most astonishing transformation of mankind began with Our Lord being born. For centuries we have taken for granted that smooth ways of civilization will remain smooth, but with men’s spurning of Christ those ways are turning rougher than ever – see any newspaper of today. Come, O Lord, come back, and do not delay, because otherwise we shall all be devouring one another like wild beasts.

“The Lord will come, go to meet him, saying:”Great is his beginning, and of his kingdom there will be no end: God, Mighty, Lord of all, Prince of Peace, allelujah, allelujah.” With such words maybe the Magi greeted the Christ Child when after long travels they found him. Converts of today, after long travails in the desert of godlessness, may still find similar words to remind us of how the Child in the crib should be greeted. Without him the world cannot have peace, and it stands on the brink of another terrible war. Divine Child, come, do not delay, or we perish.

“Thy Almighty Word, O Lord, will leap from thy royal throne, allelujah.” Christmas is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity descending all the way from Heaven, being clothed in a feeble human nature and being born of a human Mother to buy us back from slavery to the Devil and re-open the gates of Heaven for souls of good will, ready to believe. Divine Child, I believe. Help thou my unbelief, and help with special graces on the Feast of your birth millions and millions of unbelieving souls.

Kyrie eleison.

“Marcellus Initiative”

“Marcellus Initiative” posted in Eleison Comments on November 10, 2012

After last week’s presentation of details of the “Marcellus Initiative” set up to facilitate donations to the cause of an « expelled » bishop, a few readers reasonably asked what the “Initiative” would be for. To begin with, it will cover his personal expenses of moving out of Wimbledon, maybe out of London, and then living elsewhere. Over and above those expenses, the word “Initiative” was chosen deliberately to leave options open. However, it is important that nobody should think that their donations will any time soon go to the setting up of a replacement for the Society of St Pius X or a substitute seminary. There are good reasons for not hurrying to do either.

As for an alternative to the SSPX, we must learn the lessons to be drawn from its present severe crisis. The Catholic Church runs on authority, from the Pope downwards, but our Revolutionary world has today so broken down men’s natural sense of authority that few know how to command, and most men obey either too little or too much. We have, so to speak, run out of that peasant common sense that enabled Catholic authority to function. Thus as God alone could establish Moses’ authority by a sensational chastisement of rebels (cf. Numbers XVI), so in our day surely God alone will be able to restore the Pope’s authority. Will it be by “a rain of fire,” such as Our Lady of Akita forewarned in Japan in 1973? Be that as it may, oases of the Faith remain an immediate and practical possibility, and I will do my best to serve them.

Similar arguments apply to the re-starting of a classical Catholic seminary. One cannot make bricks without straw, says the old proverb. It is more and more difficult to make Catholic priests out of modern young men, say I. Supernatural qualities of faith, good will and piety go a long way, but grace builds on nature, and the natural foundations, such as a solid home and a truly human education, are more and more lacking. Of course there are still good families where the parents have understood what their religion requires of them to put their children on the path to Heaven, and where they are doing their heroic best. But our wicked world is set upon destroying all common sense and natural decency, of gender, family and country. With the best of good will, the children of today’s social environment remain in general more or less severely handicapped when it comes to perceiving or following a call of God.

Does that mean that God has given up on his Church, or that he means to leave us without priests for tomorrow? Of course not. But it does mean that no Catholic organisation set up tomorrow to save souls can be allowed to lose its vision of the soul-destroying nature of the Conciliar Church and the modern world. It does mean that priests can no longer be formed tomorrow to have a perfect knowledge of St Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiaewhile having little to no idea of how it applies in real life today.

By hook or by crook, tomorrow’s Congregations and seminaries must keep their grip on reality, and not get lost in dreams of how “normal” they are, or need to be. Can it be done? With God’s help, yes. But God is God, and for the salvation of souls tomorrow it may be that he will no longer resort to the classical Congregation or seminary of yesterday. For myself, I shall attempt to follow his Providence in the ordaining of priests – or in the consecrating of bishops. God’s will be done.

Kyrie eleison.

Home Reading

Home Reading posted in Eleison Comments on October 20, 2012

When a while back these “Comments” advised readers to fortify their homes in case public bastions of the Faith might, due to the wickedness of the times, prove to be a thing of the past, a few readers wrote in to ask just how homes might be fortified. In fact various spiritual and material means of defending home and family have been suggested in previous numbers of the “Comments,” notably of course the Holy Rosary, but one fortification has gone unmentioned which I think I would try in place of television if I had a family to defend: reading aloud each night to the children selected chapters from Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man-God. And when we had reached the end of the five volumes in English, I imagine us starting again from the beginning, and so on, until all the children had left home!

Yet the Poem has many and eloquent enemies. It consists of episodes from the lives of Our Lord and Our Lady, from her immaculate conception through to her assumption into Heaven, as seen in visions received, believably from Heaven, during the Second World War in northern Italy by Maria Valtorta, an unmarried woman of mature age lying in a sick-bed, permanently crippled from an injury to her back inflicted several years earlier. Notes included in the Italian edition (running to over four thousand pages in ten volumes) show how afraid she was of being deceived by the Devil, and many people are not in fact convinced that the Poem truly came from God. Let us look at three main objections.

Firstly, the Poemwas put on the Church’s Index of forbidden books in the 1950’s, which was before Rome went neo-modernist in the 1960’s. The reason given for the condemnation was the romanticizing and sentimentalizing of the Gospel events. Secondly the Poem is accused of countless doctrinal errors. Thirdly Archbishop Lefebvre objected to the Poem that its giving so many physical details of Our Lord’s daily life makes him too material, and brings us too far down from the spiritual level of the four Gospels.

But firstly, how could the modernists have taken over Rome in the 1960’s, as they did, had they not already been well established within Rome in the 1950’s? The Poem, like the Gospels (e.g. Jn.XI, 35, etc.), is full of sentiment but always proportional to its object. The Poemis for any sane judge, in my opinion, neither sentimental nor romanticized. Secondly, the seeming doctrinal errors are not difficult to explain, one by one, as is done by a competent theologian in the notes to be found in the Italian edition of the Poem. And thirdly, with all due respect to Archbishop Lefebvre, I would argue that modern man needs the material detail for him to believe again in the reality of the Gospels. Has not too much “spirituality” kicked Our Lord upstairs, so to speak, while cinema and television have taken over modern man’s sense of reality on the ground floor? As Our Lord was true man and true God, so the Poem is at every moment both fully spiritual and fully material.

From non-electronic reading of the Poem in the home, I can imagine many benefits, besides the real live contact between parents reading and children listening. Children soak in from their surroundings like sponges soak in water. From the reading of chapters of the Poem selected according to the children’s age, I can imagine almost no end to how much they could learn about Our Lord and Our Lady. And the questions they would ask! And the answers that the parents would have to come up with! I do believe the Poem could greatly fortify a home.

Kyrie eleison.