Tag: Letters From the Rector

Website Launch

Website Launch posted in Eleison Comments on October 11, 2014

On the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary a website has just been launched on the Internet which could be of serious interest to regular readers of these Eleison Comments. It will be found at www.stmarcelinitiative.com. It will present the latest issue and all back-issues of the Comments in English and Italian back to 2007, and the latest issue and back-issues for the last five years or so in French, German and Spanish. And for readers who prefer reading on paper to reading on an electronic screen, the website will offer various means of choosing back-issues and printing them together.

A second section of the website, “Books and Talks,” will make available recorded conferences and sermons of Bishop Williamson, copies on paper of the first two of the four volumes of his “Rector’s Letters” written in the USA between 1983 and 2003, and all extant literature seminars of Dr. White. Again, modern electronics will provide a variety of ways of reaching and downloading these recordings, but only a few are on video as well as on audio. Orders to purchase can also be made by telephone by dialling +1 844 SMI SHOP, i.e., 1 (844) 764–7467.

Catholics – and non-Catholics! – not yet familiar with the literature recordings of Dr. White should seize this opportunity to see how he uses the classics of world literature as a bridge to connect the Faith to the world around us. The gap between these two grows greater every day. Conciliar Catholics have tried to adapt yesterday’s Faith to today’s world and many have lost their Faith in the process. Traditional Catholics are liable to scorn both today’s world as irredeemably lost, and world literature as irredeemably “unspiritual,” and the Faith of many of them has become quite detached from reality in the process. Dr. White has both a strong faith and a firm grip on the real world around us today, and his mastery of world literature has enabled him to make sense of both for countless souls, old and young, who felt otherwise hopelessly schizophrenic. Strongly recommended.

A third section of the website concerns “Donations.” It will present a similar variety of electronic means of donating to help maintain an oasis of, one hopes, good sense amidst today’s wasteland of nonsense. It should allow benefactors to donate what they want, when they want, on the schedule they want, and with ease. To set up the website has actually been quite an expense on its own. We think it should prove well worth while, but it has been one more reason for us to appeal to your generosity. We thank you in advance.

A fourth section is entitled “Information.” It will tell a little about the St Marcel Initiative, about how the website operates, and about what Bishop Williamson has been doing and hopes to do. However, news of his future engagements must be released with a measure of caution, because he does not have only friends around the world.

The Internet has serious drawbacks and dangers, but there is no question that, by an astonishing variety of electronic means, truths can be found on it that can be found nowhere else. We gently hope that this new website will contribute to that fund of truth. A lot of work has gone into putting it together, and besides the contribution of the many workers, that of many benefactors has also been indispensable. We sincerely thank all concerned. May God repay each of them, each of yourselves.

Kyrie eleison.

Rector’s Letters – II

Rector’s Letters – II posted in Eleison Comments on April 23, 2011

Several readers of “Eleison Comments” may not be familiar with the “Letters from the Rector” referred to here a little while back (EC 190, March 5). Written between 1983 and 2003 as monthly newsletters from St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary where priests are trained in the USA for the Society of St Pius X, the Letters have been brought together in four paperback volumes, available through the Internet at truerestorationpress.com/4volsletters. A Scottish convert of 18 years back read them recently. Here are some of her comments. They are interesting:—

“These Letters have both astounded and astonished me . . . I was a New Age “dippy hippy” that ran from the New Age Devil into the Catholic Church, only to discover that he was right there in her sanctuaries . . . It is not just that the cardinals, bishops and priests of the Conciliar Church are lily-livered and mealy-mouthed in their defence of Catholicism. There are many who seem to take a positive and malicious delight in tearing her traditions and beliefs to pieces.”

On the contrary, “These Letters are wonderfully and gloriously Catholic . . . They explain the folly of the Conservative and Ecclesia Dei Catholics attempting to solve the crisis of the Church without criticizing the Council. Are not such Catholics considering the appearances of the Conciliar reforms, e.g. in liturgy and discipline, while ignoring their essence, the fundamental internal shift in thinking on Church doctrine that has taken place, as demonstrated by the Council’s documents on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism?

“The Rector’s Letters on Pluralism and on the Liberal view of human dignity wonderfully explain the nature of this shift. As they repeatedly demonstrate, it is impossible to understand the modern world and the situation of the Church within it if one does not understand this radical shift in the thinking of modern Rome. And if the Ecclesia Dei people object that any such radical criticism of the Council amounts to saying that we have no valid Pope, the Letters provide arguments amply demonstrating the wisdom of the position of the SSPX, veering neither to the left with the Liberals, nor to the right with the “Sedevacantists.”

“As for reaching out to the modern world, the men of the Conciliar Church have little useful to say. They are too wrapped up in their revolutionary dream to be capable of addressing its wretched consequences. They could never write Letters like those of the Rector on Pink Floyd, the Unabomber, Oliver Stone or the Children in the Forest, because the mainstream Church, instead of being deeply dissatisfied with today’s materialistic world, always seems to be going along with it. The Letters should be read for the historical record alone, but maybe their true worth will not be apparent until later, perhaps only when the 6th Age of the Church has dawned with the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

And here is the feminine clincher: “What’s more, and I never thought I would say this, the Letters on Slacks have encouraged me to consider re-thinking my ‘wardrobe solutions’.” When women stop wearing trousers, truly the Church will rise again!

Kyrie eleison.

Stay Awake!

Stay Awake! posted in Eleison Comments on April 16, 2011

In a situation of the world so serious that there are even rumours of Japan’s recent peacetime disaster, with its estimated 27,000 people dead, being not an act of God but an act of man (look up HAARP tsunami on the Internet), what can a Catholic do to save his soul? In all truth he cannot do much for the world, but the very least he can do for himself is watch, or stay awake.

It is Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane who puts watching, i.e. keeping our eyes open and not falling asleep, even in front of praying (Mt. XXVI,41). The reason is obvious. If, like Peter, James and John, I do not keep watch (Mt.XXVI,43), I will cease to pray, maybe, as in their case, when Our Lord most needs it. How many Catholics in the 1950’s and 1960’s, especially the clergy, were not watching the signs of the times in Church and world, and so were caught completely on the wrong foot by Vatican II? That is why “Eleison Comments,” as “Letters from the Rector” used to do, are constantly turning on economics and politics, to get Catholics to wake up to their religion and its demands, far outweighed by its promises (I Cor. II,9).

Thus an expert on Wall Street (see JSmineset.com, March 30, 2011) may say, “The financial system is screwed up beyond repair. On top of that there is no desire to repair anything because the wise guys know it is impossible. It is the world that the flushing of Lehman has created. It is not a brave new world” . . . Jim Sinclair says it does not matter how much “funny money,” as one can call it, the central banks go on creating . . .”The damage is done and there is no solution . . . please get physically self-reliant” (his words, my underlining).

Still, even Traditional Catholics are being tempted to doze off, not to say fall asleep. Here are two recent testimonies. The first is from a teacher in a Traditional school:— “I feel awfully alone in the battle, not the battle with external enemies in the world, but the battle inside the Society of St Pius X, which is being waged with such subtlety that nobody seems aware of it. It is the same as it was in the mainstream Church in the 1960’s, the same slow gradual shift in behaviour.”

The second comes from an inside observer of today’s Traditional Catholic scene in the USA:— “ It appears to me that Catholic militancy is declining. I see many Traditional Catholics, especially family fathers, accepting the ways of the world. The fight is no longer important to them. They are happy to have their beautiful Mass on Sunday, but on Monday send their children to public school. Each November they go out and vote for the lesser of two evils, watch (conservative?) Fox News and declare the (conservative?) Republican Party to be the answer to all of the world’s problems. In my humble opinion this lack of militancy is becoming more and more pervasive in the Traditional Catholic world. Are we (the laity) returning to the same set of circumstances that led to Vatican II? Is the Sunday Catholic now the predominant majority in the Traditional movement? I’m afraid that the answer to both of these questions may be, yes.”

For is it not so much easier to give up trying to swim against today’s current, so much cosier to fall into the arms of Sleep? The very least one can do for oneself is throw out that television set.

Kyrie eleison.

Future Discussions

Future Discussions posted in Eleison Comments on March 5, 2011

To the relief of some, to the disappointment of others, it looks as though the doctrinal Discussions held over the last year and a half between theologians of Rome and representatives of the Society of St Pius X will after all come to an end this spring, because the main subjects of discussion will by then have been covered, without any real prospect of agreement opening up. Such is the conclusion tentatively to be drawn from remarks of the Society’s Superior General, Bishop Fellay, made in the course of an interview he gave on February 2.

Now let anyone disappointed be sure that there are Romans and important priests of the SSPX who will hardly give up their efforts to build a bridge between the churchmen of Vatican II and the churchmen of Catholic Tradition. But howsoever it be with such strivings to unite all Catholics of good will, strivings that ebb and flow, yesterday, today and tomorrow, Our Lord’s words are an anchorage: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mt. XXIV, 35). For on his life the Church’s life is modelled, and in his life there was an ebb and flow of human strivings and sufferings, culminating in the dreadful crucifixion, but while he felt every human urge to shy away from the crucifying will of his Father – “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me . . .” – still his human mind and heart were anchored in that divine will – “ . . .nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt.XXVI, 39).

So the same unchanging divine will that directed and anchored Our Lord’s human mind and will, must anchor also the life of his Church. So Popes, Councils, religious Congregations and Societies may come and go, but in order to be Catholic they must submit to that divine will to which Our Lord submitted, and they must tell the exact same truths that Our Lord transmitted from his Father to his Church. Like no other institution upon earth, the Catholic Church is so built around Truth that its survival is proportional to its fidelity to that Truth. It is because the Conciliar Church is putting human interests in the place of divine Truth, that it is disintegrating, and any Catholic Congregation or Society that would do the same will likewise fall apart.

It follows that whoever is faithful to the fullness of revealed Truth is in effect – not in principle, but in practice – in the driving-seat of the Church (See “Letters from the Rector” Vol. IV, p.164). Furthermore, whoever has that Truth and pretends he is not in the driving-seat would be what Our Lord would have called himself, had he denied his Father, “a liar” (Jn.VIII, 55). That is because any messenger disowning the divineness of his divine message is no true lover of his fellow-men, as he and they may like to think, but he has for his father the Father of Lies (Jn.VIII, 44).

There is a Truth, even if most people can barely recognize it. The right and ability of the Romans to govern the Church depends on their being faithful to that Truth. The right and ability of the SSPX to stand up to unfaithful Romans depends on the SSPX’s own faithfulness to the Truth. For now the SSPX has been faithful, so for now the SSPX will survive, but may Rome, by returning to the Truth, make that survival unnecessary!

Kyrie eleison.

Rector’s Letters – I

Rector’s Letters – I posted in Eleison Comments on August 8, 2009

Let me be forgiven for suggesting why readers of “Eleison Comments” could be interested in taking a look at one or all four Volumes of “Letters from the Rector,” now in print and available from True Restoration Press in the USA: in brief, they present a combination not always to be found, of some grasp of the true Faith with some grasp of our false modern world.

It was logical that as the modern world fell into apostasy and distanced itself more and more from God, so the temptation for Catholic minds, unless they were willing to be stretched, was either to cling hold of the world and let go of God, like Vatican II, or cling hold of God and let go of the modern world, like many a Catholic “Fiftiesist” giving up the effort to deal with modernity and retreating into some imaginary and often sentimentalized refuge of supposed pre-Conciliar Catholicism.

But Catholicism cannot be unreal if it is to lead to the real Heaven! The 1950’s are over. Done with. Gone. Of course not all Catholics of the 1950’s were living in unreality. Archbishop Lefebvre is an outstanding example of refusing unreality. But too many of them had disconnected their Faith from surrounding reality, which is why when it dramatically closed in on them in the 1960’s, their faith bent, and they more or less happily launched into the Vatican II religion of man, a religion truly modern but falsely Catholic, however clever the disguise. Reality will not be disregarded!

Then what maybe characterizes the “Letters from the Rector” is that while they proclaim the true Faith of the unchanging Church, at the same time they tackle head on, in the light of that Faith, a variety of modern problems which, while they existed before the Council, have grown immeasurably worse since: Faith twisted, men unmanned, women in trousers, families disintegrating, rampant sentimentality, mendacious media, treacherous politics, etc, etc, and, worst of all, Catholic churchmen who have lost their way. Alas, it was logical that they too would finally slip anchor, under pressure from – surrounding reality, that they had not cared to handle.

The “Letters” offer an analysis of many such problems. Their author would claim no infallibility for his solutions, but he would claim that unless Catholics tackle the problems he raises, they risk before long launching more or less happily into

Vatican II-B.

Kyrie eleison.