Tag: Middle Ages

Modernism’s Malice – II

Modernism’s Malice – II posted in Eleison Comments on March 14, 2020

The malice of modernism is a huge subject, no less than that of a whole world turning against its Creator at the end of a process lasting several centuries, when at the height of the Middle Ages Christendom tipped over from rising to falling instead. The rise had begun in 33AD of course, when Our Incarnate Lord founded God’s one true Church by His sacrifice on the Cross. The Middle Ages might be dated from the Pontificate of Gregory the Great (590–604), lasting nearly a millennium until the outbreak of Protestantism and the onset of the modern age in 1517.

But there was a huge difference, naturally, between mankind’s attitude towards Christ and His Church before and after the Middle Ages: before the Middle Ages Christianity was proving itself steadily more and more to be the best foundation for civilisation, whereas after the Middle Ages it had amply proved itself, so that after the Middle Ages its superiority to all other religions had to be recognised even while it was being in practice refused. This means that all substitutes for Catholicism that have followed the Middle Ages are characterised by a hypocrisy that needed to be steadily more subtle in order to pass itself off as the true replacement for Catholicism.

Thus Luther brutally rejected Catholicism but still pretended that his revolution was a “Reformation,” and after the Catholic Church threw off Luther, the revolutionary Jansenists created in the 16th century a Protestant form of Catholicism. The Jansenists in turn morphed into liberals in the 18th century, pretending to have in their Freemasonry a superiorly enlightened cult to that of Protestants or Catholics, and when the true Church resolutely threw off Freemasonry from the 18th century onwards, then the liberals disguised themselves as liberal Catholics in the 19th century and as “up-dated” or superiorly Catholic liberals in the 20th century. St Pius X rapidly diagnosed and dismissed this Modernism in Pascendi, but by passing itself off still more subtly as an up-dated Catholicism, it swept almost the whole Church with it at Vatican II (1962–1965), and in the 21st century the disguise was so good that even the official Society of St Pius X, founded to resist that Neo-modernism, was essentially swept away also.

Humanly speaking, it is daunting to realise in 2020 how little Catholic resistance is left to this rise of the Devil and of his attacks against the Church, but this is what the all-wise God has chosen to allow, and without question He is still looking after His “little flock,” as Our Lord calls it: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Lk. XII, 32–34). In other words, renounce money and materialism, because Our Lord warns us that we cannot serve two gods at the same time, and if we serve Mammon, we cannot serve God (Mt. VI, 24).

And if we recognise how vulnerable we are to the subtle errors and lies and blasphemies of the Devil which have overwhelmed the world all around us, then by way of antidote let us pray the Rosary of Our Lady, preferably all 15 Mysteries a day, because She and She alone has him under her feet, as any good image of Her, picture or statue, reminds us, and so overwhelming is the evil today that 15 Mysteries are not too many, if they are at all reasonable and possible.

How it is that a humble Jewish maiden is more than a match for Satan with all his “pomps and works” is God’s secret, revealed both by Our Lord – “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to infants” (MT. XI, 25) – and by St Paul – “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (I Cor. 18–30). Next week, a closer look into the hypocrisy of modernism.

Kyrie eleison.

“Rigged Video-Game” – II

“Rigged Video-Game” – II posted in Eleison Comments on August 25, 2018

The story is told of the great Catholic monarch of Spain, Queen Isabella (1451–1504), that when asked once what she wanted to see in a painting, she replied “a priest saying Mass, a woman giving birth and a criminal being hanged.” In other words, everybody has a part to play in life, and they should play that part and not another. We can only imagine what she would have said about a world in which priests celebrate eucharistic picnics, women freely contraceive and abort, and criminals are sentenced to shorter and shorter sentences in prisons resembling luxury hotels. Today “Nothing is but what is not” (Macbeth, I, 3).

Today many people sense that modern life is false, but few can see why “nothing is but what is not,” or why “Nothing is real, And nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields for ever” (Beatles). They observe police oppressing, journalists lying, pharmacy poisoning, lawyers cheating, politicians betraying, women self-sterilising, youth suiciding, teachers corrupting, doctors killing, and so on and so on, and worst of all, priests apostatising. It is not difficult to see around us a disordered world which is the exact opposite of the right order that Queen Isabella had in mind for Spain. But the disorder is so disguised as to resemble in the present the right order of the past, so that few people can work out where the disorder comes from, and many give up the attempt to track it down, settling down instead among the material comforts that it has to offer. For instance many a Rock musician makes good money by screaming at the bad fruits of materialism, but few if any go after its roots, so that most end up as quite comfortable materialists, part and parcel of the falsity that they recognised correctly in their money-making days.

In the words of the old song, “Why, why, why, Delilah?” Because people have so gotten rid of the presence of God in their lives that they have no inkling that His absence is the problem. And if ever they do have an inkling, then for the same reason that they got rid of Him in the first place, they will now look anywhere rather than in His direction for the solution. Yet it was Christ who created, towards world’s end, that Christendom which lifted civilisation to unprecedented heights in the Middle Ages, and of which “Western civilisation” is the Christ-less successor. But, as readers of these “Comments” know, Christ-endom without Christ is “-endom,” better spelt as “end-doom.”

But “end-doom” has to compete with the Middle Ages, otherwise men will want to go back to Christ. Hence the appearances of Christian law, hospitals, parliaments, etc., must be maintained even while the substance is emptied out. Hence over the last 500 years a series of “conservatives” who conserve nothing but the last conquest by the liberals. Hence a long procession of hypocritical politicians outwardly right-wingers but in fact left-wingers, because that is what the peoples want – leaders who will appear to be rendering homage to the remnants of God and of Christ, but who in reality are serving the Devil by making way for ever more freedom from God and from Christ.

Hence the Church’s Second Vatican Council, maintaining the outward appearance of Catholicism even while replacing it with the reality of modernism. Hence the Society of St Pius X’s Chapter of six years ago, pretending to maintain Catholic Tradition even while preparing to subordinate it to Vatican II. Hence the Society’s Chapter of 2018, dethroning the architect of the 2012 Chapter only to reinstate him right next to the throne. Hence a Chapter representing not the reality of the situation of Church or Society, but that which risks turning into another video-game, rigged to tranquillise those resisting the Society’s march towards Conciliar Rome even while protecting that march. Please God, we are wrong.

And so, is there a solution if the whole world is rigging video-games? It is impossible that Heaven could have left us without one. Ever since the Middle Ages Our Lady has given to all of us the Rosary. More recently, She has given us the devotion of the First Saturdays. We neglect Her remedies at our peril.

Kyrie eleison.

Deep Problem

Deep Problem posted in Eleison Comments on November 17, 2012

Many Catholics do not conceive of the full depth of the problem posed by the Conciliar Revolution of Vatican II (1962–1965) in the Catholic Church. If they knew more Church history, they might be less tempted either by liberalism to think that the Council was not all that bad, or by “sedevacantism” to think that the Church authorities are no longer its authorities. Did Our Lord question the religious authority of Caiphas or the civil authority of Pontius Pilate?

The problem is deep because it is buried beneath centuries and centuries of Church history. When in the early 1400’s St Vincent Ferrer (1357–1419) preached all over Europe that the end of the world was at hand, we today know that he was out by over 600 years. Yet God confirmed his preaching by granting him to work thousands of miracles and thousands upon thousands of conversions. Was God confirming untruth? Perish the thought! The truth is that the Saint was correctly discerning, implicit in the decadence of the end of the Middle Ages, the explicit and near total corruption of our own times, dress rehearsal for the total corruption of the end of the world.

It has merely taken time, God’s own time, several centuries, for that implicit corruption to become explicit, because God has chosen at regular intervals to raise Saints to hold up the downward slide, notably the crop of famous Saints that led the Counter-Reformation in the 16th century. However, he would not take away men’s free-will, so that if they chose not to stay on the heights of the Middle Ages, he would not force them to do so. Instead he would allow his Church, at least to some extent, to adapt to the times, because it exists to save present souls and not past glories.

Two examples might be Molinist theology, made virtually necessary by Luther and Calvin to guarantee the protection of free-will, and the Concordat of 1801, made necessary by the Revolutionary State to enable the Church in France to function at all in public. Now both Molinism and the Concordat were compromises with the world of their time, but both enabled many souls to be saved, while the Church allowed neither to undermine the principles which remained sacred, of God as Pure Act and of Christ as the King of Society respectively. However both compromises allowed for a certain humanising of the divine Church, and both contributed to a gradual secularising of Christendom. Compromises do have consequences.

Thus if a slow process of humanizing and secularizing were to go too far in that world from which alone men and women are called by God to serve in his Church, they could hardly enter his service without a strong dose of radio-active liberalism in their bones, calling for a vigorous antidote in their religious formation. Naturally they would share the instinctive conviction of almost all their contemporaries that the revolutionary principles and ideals of the world from which they came were normal, while their religious formation opposed to that world might seem pious but fundamentally abnormal. Such churchmen and churchwomen could be a disaster waiting to happen. That disaster struck in mid-20th century. A large proportion of the world’s 2000 Catholic bishops rejoiced instead of revolting when John XXIII made clear that he was abandoning the anti-modern Church.

So nobody who wants to save his soul should follow them or their successors, but on the other hand the latter are so convinced that they are normal in relation to modern times that they are not as guilty as they would have been in previous times for destroying Christ’s Church. Blessed are the Catholic souls that can abhor their errors, but still honour their office.

Kyrie eleison.

Angelism – II

Angelism – II posted in Eleison Comments on February 18, 2012

Alert readers of these “Comments” may have picked up on an apparent contradiction. On the one hand the “Comments” have repeatedly condemned anything modern in the arts (e.g. EC 114, 120, 144, 157, etc.). On the other hand last week the Anglo-American poet T.S.Eliot was called an “arch-modernist,” and praised for launching a new style of poetry more true to modern times, certainly chaotic.

As the “Comments” have often said, modernity in the arts is characterized by disharmony and ugliness, because modern man chooses more and more to live without or against the God who has planted order and beauty throughout his creation. This beauty and order are now so buried beneath the pomps and works of godless man that it is easy for artists to believe they are no longer there. If then their art is to be true to what they perceive of their surroundings and society, only an exceptional modern artist will convey anything of the divine order underlying the disordered surface of modern life. Most modern artists have given up on order and, like their customers, wallow in the disorder.

But Eliot was born and reared in the late 19th century when society was still relatively ordered, and he received in the USA a good classical education when only a few secret villains yet dreamt of replacing education with training in inhuman subjects. So Eliot may have had little or no access in his youth to true religion, but he was well introduced to its by-products since the Middle Ages, the classics of Western music and literature. Sensing and seeking in them an order missing around him, Eliot was thus able to grasp the deep-down disorder of the rising 20th century, a disorder which merely burst out in the first World War (1914–1918). Hence the “Waste Land” of 1922.

But in that poem he is far from wallowing in the disorder. On the contrary he clearly hates it, showing how empty it is of human warmth and value. So the “Waste Land” may bear little trace of Western religion, but it does finish on scraps of Eastern religion, and as Scruton says, Eliot was certainly tracking the religious depths of the problem. In fact a few years later Eliot nearly became a Catholic, but he was scared off by Pius XI’s condemnation in 1926 of the “Action française,” a condemnation in which he recognized more of the problem and not its solution. So out of gratitude to England for all it had given him of traditional order, he settled for a solution less than complete, combining Anglicanism with high culture, and a Rosary always in his pocket. However God does write straight with crooked lines. How many souls in search of order would have stayed away from Shakespeare or Eliot if they thought that either of them, by being fully Catholic, had answers only pre-fabricated, not true to life.

That is sad, but it is so. Now souls may well be deceiving themselves in one way or another if they shy away from Catholic authors or artists on the grounds that these are untrue to real life, but it is up to Catholics to give them no such excuse. Let us Catholics show by our example that we do not have minds made cosy by artificial solutions necessarily false to the depths of the modern problem. We are not angels, but earthy creatures invited to Heaven if we will pick up our modern cross and follow Our Lord Jesus Christ. Such followers can alone remake the Church, and the world!

Kyrie eleison.

Delinquent Finance – II

Delinquent Finance – II posted in Eleison Comments on February 4, 2012

Delinquent finance has today a religious significance because it is playing a major part in the enslaving of the entire world by the conscious or unconscious enemies of God, the smartest of whom have to be well aware that their ultimate purpose is to send every single soul down to Hell. However, before we present any other piece of their financial machinery, it is necessary to understand the full delinquency of fractional reserve banking, first introduced in the “Eleison Comments” of October 29, last year.

Fractional reserve banking means that a bank need only hold in reserve, ready to be paid out to customers, a small fraction of the money they put into circulation. It arose in Europe in the late Middle Ages when bankers observed that if they took in as deposits, say, 100 ounces of gold and gave out 100 slips of paper certifying that the owner of the certificate could claim so much gold from the bank, then almost never at any one time would more than, say, ten customers ever bring in a certificate to claim back a deposit of gold. And as long as the people had confidence that the bank could and would always have gold to give in return for certificates, then these pieces of paper could happily serve as money, and as such they would circulate amongst the people.

However, the bankers realized meanwhile that in the normal run of business, they needed to hold in reserve only ten ounces of gold for 100 certificates, or, if they held 100 ounces of gold deposited with the bank, then they could issue 1000 paper certificates. Of these, 900 would have nothing at the bank to back them. They would be “funny money,” created by the bank out of thin air, but that would not matter so long as not more than a proportion of one customer out of ten wanted to cash in his paper for a piece of gold.

If they did, then the bank would not have the gold for all the certificates, and either it rapidly borrowed some gold from elsewhere to hand out, or the people risked realizing what a confidence trick had been played on them. If their confidence in the bank then vanished, everybody would want their money back at once – bank runs are only made possible by fractional reserve banking – and large numbers of customers would be left holding in their hands nothing but worthless pieces of paper. The bank would of course be bankrupt, and one could hope it would disappear altogether.

Thus wherever there is fractional reserve banking, the bank is intrinsically fragile, and it is, ultimately, playing a confidence trick on its customers. Extrinsically, it may protect itself by having a guarantee of support in case of need from, often, a central bank, but that guarantee is only as sure as the guarantor, and in the meantime it gives a dangerous power to any central bank. Thereby hangs another tale of financial delinquency, but that of compound interest must come first.

Power is at stake, and ultimately souls. Let nobody say these questions have nothing to do with religion. Think of the Golden Calf.

Kyrie eleison.

Delinquent Finance I

Delinquent Finance I posted in Eleison Comments on October 29, 2011

The imminent collapse of global finance, and/or the advent of global finance on the way to global government which that collapse has been designed to bring on, should be making souls think: how did we get into this mess, and how do we get out of it? If Almighty God has had no part to play in such a serious crisis, then obviously he is not serious but just a feel-good Sunday pastime. On the other hand if he is as important as once the builders of medieval cathedrals obviously thought, then neglecting him will have had a central part to play in today’s triumph of finance over reality.

Indeed one must go back to the Middle Ages to understand where today’s disaster has come from. As the Faith began to droop after the high Middle Ages, so men became more and more interested in Mammon, the other great motivator of their lives (Mt.VI, 24). Thus money, natured to be the servant of the exchange of real goods and services, was unhooked from nature to become modern finance, master of the global economy. A key step in this process, leading directly to today’s mountains of unpayable debt in all directions, enslaving the world to the visible bankers, or rather to their invisible controllers, was the post-medieval spread of fractional reserve banking.

When money serves the economy, a wise State will ensure that its total quantity in circulation goes up and down with the total quantity of real goods to be exchanged in that economy, so that its value will remain steady. Too much money chasing too few goods will mean its value drops by inflation. Too little money pursued by too many goods will mean its value rising, by deflation. Either way its changing value destabilizes all exchanging of goods. Now if banks, in which depositors deposit real money, need keep only a fraction of that real money in reserve to back a much larger quantity of paper money which they can put into circulation, then by putting too much or too little into circulation, they can play with the value of money and make fortunes by lending out cheap money and demanding back expensive money. Thus financiers can take over control from the State.

Worse, if fractional reserve banking enables banks to disconnect money from reality and fabricate it at will, and if they can charge even slight compound interest on their funny money, then logically they can – and do! – suck all real value out of an economy, reducing most depositors to borrowers and most borrowers to hopeless debt-slaves, or mortgage-slaves, taking care only not to kill off completely the goose laying the golden eggs for their benefit. The divinely inspired wisdom of the law-giver Moses was to put brakes on all lenders’ power by cancelling all debts every seven years (Deut.XV,1–2), and by restoring all property to its original owners every 50 years (Levit.XXV, 10)!

And why did Moses, great man of God and therefore man of deep “spirituality,” concern himself with such materialistic questions? Because as bad economics can turn men to despair, towards Hell, away from God – look around you, today and above all tomorrow – so good economics make possible a wise prosperity which in no way worships Mammon, but makes it rather easier to trust in the goodness of God and to worship and love him. Man is soul and body.

Moses would surely have smashed fractional reserve banking, like he smashed the Golden Calf!

Kyrie eleison.