Pius XI

Inside Story – I

Inside Story – I posted in Eleison Comments on October 18, 2014

After 1917 it was made clear to the world by Our Lady of Fatima that the salvation of Church and world (“a period of peace”) depended upon two things: not only upon the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart by the Pope with all the bishops of the world, but also upon Catholics making reparation to her Heart by receiving Confession and Communion and by meditating for 15 minutes and praying a rosary on each first Saturday of the month. Therefore let no Catholic think that there is nothing they can do to help Church and world out of their present appalling crisis. Every single Catholic responding to her second request will help the Pope to respond to her first request.

But this response has not yet been sufficient. For instance in the 1930’s, Pope Pius XI was well aware of Our Lady’s first request, but he never performed the Consecration of Russia. Why not? According to Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity in the second of his excellent three volumes on The Whole Truth About Fatima, it was because Pius XI was engaged at that time in diplomatic contacts with the Russian authorities in Moscow, and he thought that his own diplomacy was a better way of dealing with Communists than Our Lady’s Consecration. He preferred the human to the divine way of dealing with the problem, and so of course the problem remained unsolved. The world plunged into World War II, and the Church was broken from within by Vatican II.

Now in the 2010’s a parallel story has been coming to light of Our Lady appealing through a messenger to Bishop Fellay for the Society of St Pius X to organize a Rosary Crusade to pray for the Consecration of Russia to take place. If this story is true (as I believe it is, and some other priests also believe), it is worth telling in a few issues of these Comments, not to discredit Bishop Fellay (whose preference for human means is as understandable as that of Pius XI – God is their judge), but in order to emphasize how urgent the Consecration of Russia remains, and especially the devout practice of the five first Saturdays, even nigh on 100 years later. But is the story true? In particular, how reliable is the messenger?

I myself have met with her several times, and I believe her story has every likelihood of being true, firstly because she is a serious adult person who gives every sign of telling the truth, but mainly because what she tells is an inside story that corresponds to, and explains, a large number of public facts and well-known events on the outside, so to speak. As to the messenger, readers are entitled to distrust my personal judgment, but as to the perfect correspondence between inside story and outside facts, readers can judge for themselves.

The story begins on Good Shepherd Sunday of 2004, when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the messenger and gave her a message to be passed on to the Bishop of the Society of St Pius X. In it she asked for the SSPX to lead the faithful in a Rosary Crusade for the Consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, that same Consecration that Heaven has been asking for since the 1920’s. The understanding in the 2000’s was that if this were done as she asked, it would at last obtain, through her, the graces to bring about the much needed Consecration.

In June of 2006 the messenger gave the message in person to Bishop Fellay. He discussed it with her, but did not yet know that it was in fact a directive from the Mother of God. And so on his way back to Switzerland he took a first important decision. As Americans say, “Stay tuned”!

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.

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.

Christmas Fear

Christmas Fear posted in Eleison Comments on December 26, 2009

So Christmas Day has come and gone once more, reminding us of the great joywhichOur Lord brought to the entire world by His Incarnation and Birth, but especially to his Mother. At last she holds him safe in her arms where she tends to him like a mother, but where she also adores him as her God. Alas, who that has an inkling of religion cannot lament how the world around us cashes in on the joy, but in large part forgets the God?

In this respect the joy of Christmas today resembles the smile of the Cheshire Cat, especially in capitalist lands (but Pius XI observed back in 1931 that capitalism was extending all over the world – “Quadragesimo Anno,” 103–104). Readers of “Alice in Wonderland” will remember how the smile of the Cat could still be seen when the rest of the Cat had disappeared. The substance is gone, but the effects linger, at least for a while. Belief in the Divine Child is being killed off all the time, thanks especially to Vatican II, yet the joy of Christmas is lingering. This is partly because God, being supremely generous, commemorates each year the Birth of his Son amongst men with a flood of actual graces, to which many souls respond by being a little nicer than they are at any other time of year, but it is partly also because joy is enjoyable. This is rather less secure.

For as the true worship of God continues to disappear, and with it any true grasp of what the coming of the Saviour meant, indispensable for our eternal happiness, so the joy of Christmas is being reduced to the commercialism and carousing we all know. The smile cannot indefinitely survive the Cat. Even the nicest of NIFs (Nice Internal Feelings) cannot survive indefinitely without their object. If Jesus Christ is not God, let alone the one and only Saviour of mankind, why rejoice in his birth? I love my Nifs, but if they are based only on themselves, sooner or later they will collapse, leaving only a sour taste of disillusion behind them. I may love feeling all “Christmassy,” but if I am reacting to my feelings instead of to what they are based on, I am heading for some emotional collapse or other.

It is the difference between sentimentality and sentiments. Our Lord was full of sentiments, when for instance he met the widow of Naim, distraught over her only son being carried to the grave (Lk. VII, 11–15). But there was no trace of sentimentality in Our Lord (nor, I declare, in “The Poem of the Man-God”), because the sentiments are never being sought out for their own sake. His sentiments were always stirred directly by a real object, eg the widow’s grief, which put him vividly in mind of what would be his own Mother’s desolation when he himself was being carried to the grave.

Subjectivism is the plague of our times, i.e. man shutting out objective reality in order to re-arrange it how he likes it subjectively within himself. Subjectivism is the heart and soul of the Neo-modernism now desolating the Church. And subjectivism cutting off the mind from its outside object necessarily engenders sentimentality in the heart, because it takes away from the heart all outside object for its sentiments. Capitalist Christmas will finally be killed by sentimentality. Either men return to the true God, to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to the true importance of his Birth, or the collapse of some of their nicest Nifs, the “Christmassy” Nifs, risks leaving the little that remains of “Western Civilization” with one more reason for suicidal sourness.

Kyrie eleison.

Providence’s 2009

Providence’s 2009 posted in Eleison Comments on December 27, 2008

In mid-November last year “Eleison Comments” recommended “fastening seat-belts” for the year 2008, because a couple of private revelations and above all “pressure building towards a third World War” together constituted “at least an orange alert.” Was the alert justified? What about 2009?

As for the alert, WW III has still been postponed, but it is surely not cancelled. “The justice of God grinds slow,” says the old proverb, “but it grinds exceeding small.” In other words, the Lord God may take his time – “He dealeth patiently for your sake” says St. Peter, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance” (II Pet.III,9) – yet God does not miss the least little detail. The year 2008 has seen only the stepping up of the offences against him – indifference, blasphemy, immorality, etc, etc. At a given moment he is going to say, “Enough!” In 2009?

Possibly. In any case it is worth recalling that in 1917, under Pope Benedict XV, Our Lady said at Fatima that if Russia were not consecrated to her Immaculate Heart in the way she would come to ask, then another more terrible war than WW I, then raging, would break out “under the reign of the next pope.” This would be Pius XI. Yet Pius XI died in February of 1939, whereas WW II was declared by England and France only in September of that year, under Pius XII. Had Our Lady made a mistake?

That is not likely. What happened was that in January of 1938, while Pius XI was still pope, exactly when the unusual red light foretold by Our Lady to be the warning sign of “the more terrible war” was seen all over Europe’s night-sky, Stalin was being told in Russia how, by making an alliance with Hitler (the subsequent Ribbentrop Pact), he would enable Hitler to launch an exhausting war to the West (declared ten days after the Pact!) which would open the way for Russia to take over all Europe from the East. In other words, WW II broke out in public under Pius XII only because it had been previously planned and decided in private under Pius XI. So Our Lady was not mistaken. And God knows how for well over a century his enemies have been planning WW III.

So as for the coming year, let souls still asleep in economics or politics wake up to how it is God’s justice that is closing in, and let souls awake but who may be discouraged or frightened by what they see around them, take heart! Shortly before dying of a horribly painful tuberculosis, St Therese of Lisieux said, “I am more convinced than ever that Providence watches over the least little detail of our lives.” How could it be otherwise?

Kyrie eleison.

Decortisone

Decortisone posted in Eleison Comments on January 5, 2008

The essential illness of today’s world is godlessness. Purely natural philosophy without a supernatural dimension is by no means sufficient as medicine, but it can well analyze how human nature has been ravaged over the last 500 years by mankind’s turning away from the true God of supernatural Revelation.

Such a philosopher was the Belgian Marcel de Corte. Born in 1905, his writing career as a philosopher began in the 1930’s with serious studies of the tried and true philosophy of Aristotle, but from World War II onwards he turned his attention more and more closely to the world crumbling around him. He died in 1994.

In his last three full-scale books, “End of a Civilization” (1949), “Man against Man” (1962), and “The Mind in Danger of Death” (1968), he shows a close familiarity with modern poets and thinkers such as Kant, Marx and Nietzsche, but he had not abandoned Aristotle, on the contrary. In the light of that age-old philosophy, illuminated from above by his Catholic Faith, he makes a profound natural diagnosis of the modern illness.

The central point of that diagnosis is that out of the Renaissance dividing Faith from life, and out of the Reformation dividing spirit from flesh, there arose RATIONALISM, in which abstract thinking first spurns, and then returns to crush, concrete human living. That is a deep-down explanation of why we now find ourselves in a world of computers, electronics, technology and science which has less and less understanding of, or sympathy for, flesh-and-blood human beings. However, the man who pretends to be an angel turns into a beast, says the old saying, which is why we observe today the electronics being filled with more and more bestial material.

De Corte’s remedy? To restore the wholeness of man by the humble living of ordinary concrete daily lives, which today, he says, can only be done with the grace of God. And he comes back to “the greatest Saint of modern times” (said Pius XI), St. Therese of Lisieux and her “Little Way.”

God was there first, of course! He gave the solution which the philosopher afterwards understood. May God have mercy upon us.

Kyrie eleison.