Leo XIII

Horrible Fall – I

Horrible Fall – I posted in Eleison Comments on June 8, 2013

The fall of the Society of St Pius X from what it was under Archbishop Lefebvre between 1970 and 1991 to what it has become over the last, say, 15 years, is little short of horrible. In a brief series let us see firstly why the horror is normal in the poor world around us, because to understand is to forgive, and we are all in need of forgiveness; secondly let us face the horror, not in order to be discouraged but on the contrary in order to gird our loins for worse almost certainly to come; and thirdly let us see what we can do to gird our loins, because beneath God’s Heaven he cannot have left us with nothing that we can do (but in this connection it is important not to pour into the sand the little water that we have). Let us begin with three fine Catholic minds taking the measure of our age, to see why horror is today the norm.

In his great Encyclical letter of 1884 on Freemasonry, Pope Leo XIII marks how its evil principles advance from (#13) disregarding to (#14) injuring to (#15) destroying the Catholic Church, and then from (#16) the ruin of all positive religions to (#17) the ruin of all natural religion to (#18) the ruin of great natural truths such as God’s Creation and Providence and the immortality of the soul. In the 21st century we have, logically, gone further still, namely to the ruin of the very notion of truth. Minds have been turned into mush, even the minds of Popes, Cardinals and Bishops.

In his great Encyclical letter of 1907 on Modernism, Pope St Pius X saw clearly the same ruin of all truth and thought by the modernists. It is beneath the dignity of Popes to shout, but in Pascendi Pius X uses the strongest expressions available to him to castigate the mind-rot by which the modernists rot out the Catholic Faith. In so many words he says that modernism is the end of the line. His dramatic warning obtained for the Church a reprieve of half a century, but with Vatican II the Faith-rot that he had flung out of the Church was by John XXIII and Paul VI made official doctrine within the Church! If Popes lose their minds, how should mere Superiors not do so?

A third Catholic mind, measuring the havoc wrought upon Catholic doctrine by Vatican II, was that of Romano Amerio, an Italian layman whose analysis of modern errors, Iota Unum, was highly praised by Archbishop Lefebvre. At one point Amerio says (could somebody find me the reference?) that if things continue on the same path as now, eventually it will become impossible to speak or write any more, all that will remain is to keep silent! This may seem unimaginable, but only recently a very good commentator in the USA, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, almost stopped writing, because it had seemed to him that there was no longer any public able or willing to think.

Truly, in this present dress rehearsal for the Antichrist, if these days were not shortened, as Our Lord says (Mt. XXIV, 22), we could all of us lose our minds and our faith. Then who may still feel inclined to throw the first stone at a Pope or Bishop today losing his mind?

However, while Our Lord forbids us to judge-condemn (Mt. VII, 1), because God alone has that perfect knowledge of all the circumstances which is necessary if one is to judge without error, at the same time Our Lord commands us to judge-discern between true shepherds and mercenaries, or between sheep and wolves in sheeps’ clothing (Mt. VII, 15). Such is our responsibility as Catholics, and that is why we will soon take another look at the horror now taking place within the Society of St Pius X.

Kyrie eleison.

“Enlightenment” Darkness

“Enlightenment” Darkness posted in Eleison Comments on April 28, 2012

Whether or not the Society of St Pius X finally decides to by-pass the doctrinal disagreement and to enter into a purely practical agreement with the authorities of the Conciliar Church in Rome, souls concerned for their eternal welfare must understand as fully as possible what is at stake. In this connection a friend of mine just sent me an admirable synthesis of the heart of the matter:—

“From 2009 to 2011 so-called “Doctrinal Discussions” took place between Vatican experts and four theologians of the SSPX. These discussions made clear just how firmly the Roman authorities are attached to the teachings of Vatican II. That Council attempted to reconcile Catholic doctrine with the concept of man as developed by the “Enlightenment” of the 18th century.

“Thus the Council declares that by reason of the dignity of his nature, the human person has the right to practise the religion of his choice. Accordingly society must protect religious liberty and organize the peaceful co-existence of the various religions. These are invited to take part in ecumenical dialogue, since they all possess their own part of truth.

“In effect, such principles deny that Christ is truly God, and they deny that his Revelation, the deposit of which is guarded by the Church, must be accepted by all men and all societies. Thus the doctrine of religious liberty, as expressed in the Conciliar document Dignitatis Humanae#2, contradicts the teachings of Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, of Pius IX in Quanta Cura, of Leo XIII in Immortale Dei and of Pius XI in Quas Primas. The doctrine expressed in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium #8, according to which divine Providence uses non-Catholic sects as means of salvation, contradicts the teachings of Pius IX in the Syllabus, of Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum and of Pius XI in Mortalium Animos.

“These novel doctrines which along with many others contradict the formal and unanimous teachings of Popes before the Council, can only be qualified in the light of Catholic dogma as heretical.

“Therefore since the unity of the Church rests on the integrity of the Faith, it is clear that the SSPX cannot come to any agreement – be it only “practical” – with those who hold such doctrines.”

When my friend accuses the 18th century movement of intellectual emancipation known as the “Enlightenment” of being at the root of the churchmen’s 20th century collapse, he is making essentially the same point as Archbishop Lefebvre when he said to priests of his, half a year before he died in 1991: “The more one analyzes the documents of Vatican II . . . the more one realizes that what is at stake is . . . a wholesale perversion of the mind, a whole new philosophy based on modern philosophy, on subjectivism . . . It is a wholly different version of Revelation, of Faith, of philosophy . . . It is truly frightening.”

So how does one get one’s mind back in subjection to God’s reality? One way might be to get hold of the papal Encyclicals mentioned by my friend above, and study them. They were written for bishops, but Conciliar bishops are not reliable. Today’s laity must take in hand their own formation – and their own Rosary.

Kyrie eleison.

Ancestral Pride

Ancestral Pride posted in Eleison Comments on October 15, 2011

In his second volume on the life of Jesus published several months ago, Pope Benedict XVI made remarks enabling journalists to jump to the conclusion that the Jews must no longer be held responsible for deicide, i.e. the killing of God. Worse, on May 17 the executive director of the US Bishops’ Conference’s Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs said that one cannot charge the Jewish people with deicide at any time in history without falling out of communion with the Catholic Church. Against what many people today want to believe, it is time to recall, however briefly, what the true Church always used to teach on the judicial murder of Jesus.

Firstly, the killing of Jesus was truly “deicide,” i.e. the killing of God, because Jesus was the one of the three divine Persons who in addition to his divine nature had taken a human nature. What was killed on the Cross? Only the human nature. But who was killed on the Cross in his human nature? None other than the second divine Person, i.e. God. So God was killed, deicide was committed.

Secondly, Jesus died on the Cross to save all of us sinful human beings from our sins, and in this sense all men were and are the purpose of his death. But only the Jews (leaders and people) were the prime agents of the deicide because it is obvious from the Gospels that the Gentile most involved, Pontius Pilate, would never have condemned Jesus to death had not the Jewish leaders roused the Jewish people to clamour for his crucifixion (Mt. XXVII, 20). Certainly the learned leaders were more guilty than the unlearned people, says St Thomas Aquinas (Summa III, 47, 5), but they all cried together for Jesus’ blood to come down upon them and their children (Mt. XXVII, 25).

Thirdly, at least Pope Leo XIII considered there to be a real solidarity between the Jews clamouring then for Jesus to be killed and the collectivity of Jews of modern times. Did he not in his Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus have the entire Church, from the end of the 19th century onwards, pray to God that he turn his “eyes of mercy towards the children of that race, once God’s chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour; may it now descend upon them a laver (i.e. washing) of redemption and life”?

But Leo XIII is by no means alone in observing such a continuity amongst Jews down the centuries. Do they themselves not lay claim today to the land of Palestine on the grounds that it is theirs by right from the God of the Old Testament? Has there ever been a race-people-nation on the face of the earth more proudly self-identifying as identical down the ages? Originally raised by God to cradle the Messiah, alas, when he came they refused, collectively, to recognize him. Collectively also, meaning there are always noble exceptions, they have remained faithful to that rejection, so that they changed their religion from that of Abraham and Moses and the Old Testament to that of Anas, Caiphas and the Talmud. Tragically, their very messianic training by God drives them to go on rejecting the one whom they hold to be a false messiah. Until they convert at the end of the world, as the Church has always taught they will do (cf. Rom. XI, 26–27), they seem bound to choose to go on acting, collectively, as enemies of the true Messiah. How can the Pope let go of such ancient truths?

Kyrie eleison.

Money-Men Supreme?

Money-Men Supreme? posted in Eleison Comments on November 1, 2008

There is a fascination in reading commentaries on the ever-evolving crisis of global finance. How much more do the commentators tell than they say, of a natural order being violated and taking its revenge! Yet nobody seems to know how the crisis will play out – except the master violators?

To get a glimpse of that natural order, it may be necessary to step back a few centuries. Let us briefly for our purposes define (1) religion as man’s relations to his God, (2) politics as his social relations to his fellow-men, (3) economics as the art of distributing goods between producers and consumers, and (4) finance as the art of handling money. Then the natural order is that as money exists to facilitate the exchange of goods essential to any society, so finance should serve economics. And as the State is ultimately responsible for the well-being of all its citizens, especially those most in need of protection (Leo XIII, “Rerum Novarum”), so the material goods of economics should come under the common good of politics. But politics can only adjust and ensure the common good of all men in any society if it is properly understood what man is here on earth for, and so politics should come under the true religion.

However, modern times, especially since Protestantism, have step by step turned this natural order upside down. England is a clear example. Firstly, politics in the persons of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, etc., virtually stamped out the true religion of God in England. Then within a hundred years the Bank of England was founded, the world’s first central bank, and the English government and people were off in pursuit of economics and the wealth of nations. But having made free enterprise sacrosanct meant freedom for the major money-men to gobble up the minor money-men, and so free enterprise capitalism turned progressively into the finance capitalism now reigning supreme, not only in England but all over the world.

Thus what we can observe today is both politics and economics vainly struggling against this overthrow of their natural priority over finance. To clean up the mess created by the financiers through derivatives in particular, the politicians are resorting to huge bailouts by the State, in a desperate effort to keep money circulating. On the contrary old-fashioned economists are appealing for a return to free enterprise, as though the mass of today’s citizens do not want to be nannied by the State.

But when the most decent of politicians and economists themselves believe in little but money, how can they possibly get their necks out of the noose prepared for them by the Masters of Money? These most likely think – by means of a slipknot around Vatican finances? – that they have the Lord God himself on a leash! Little, literally, do they know. Poor things!

Kyrie eleison.