Tag: Psychobabble

Pathological Condition

Pathological Condition posted in Eleison Comments on August 17, 2013

The great Queen of Spain, Isabella the Catholic, is reported once to have commissioned a painting that would show a priest at the altar, a woman giving birth and a criminal being hanged. In other words, let everyone do what they are meant to do, and not something else. But these “Comments” suggested last week that today people are not being what they are: teachers often no longer teach, doctors often no longer heal, policemen often no longer protect, and – worst of all, I could have added – priests are often no longer men of God. A modern word used by an Italian friend to describe this maladjustment to reality, widespread today, is “pathological.”

Now “pathological” is a word belonging to that jargon of psychiatrists which is well named as “psychobabble,” because it dresses up in brand-new words, each of many syllables, what are merely good old miseries of fallen human nature. Now psychiatrists, themselves godless, cannot solve problems of godlessness, but at least they are trying, so to speak. So the novelty of psychobabble serves at least to suggest that the miseries being piled up in human beings today by the past centuries piling up the apostasy, do have something unprecedented about them. My friend writes:—

“Pathology may mean an occasional or congenital ailment, by extension an abnormal or distorted way of being, which, whether innate or acquired, has become part of an individual’s constitution. The same concept can be applied by extension to a group of individuals or a society. In this way one may speak of the pathological, i.e. sick, abnormal, condition of the modern world. As such, whether the condition is acquired or inborn, it is not seen for what it is by the person or persons concerned, nay, since they see it as normal they use it as a shield, and even boast about it. Abnormality becoming normal, and vice versa, is the drama of the modern world and modern man.”

Then we should find the priest neglecting the altar, women not giving birth and criminals not being hanged. But that is exactly the world around us – the psychobabble fits! So here is what the same friend has to say about how Catholics must react to this pathological condition of the modern world:

“Catholics must understand that we are living in an unprecedented situation in which all sense of objective reality is steadily being lost. This means for the Church that points of reference still valid 50 years ago no longer apply. Different solutions are called for which not only take into account the possibility of ever increasing disorder, but also remain elastic enough to adapt to a continually worsening situation. If then doctrine is primary and decisive, Catholics and future priests must be taught doctrinally how unique these end-times are. The Gospels tell us of their coming in the future, but they are with us here now, and they are liable to get only worse, until such time as God says enough is enough.”

In brief, centuries of increasing apostasy have piled up in the human race a refusal of reality which can be called “pathological,” and which is causing unheard of levels of distress in people, distress unalleviated by an equally unprecedented level of material prosperity. The Catholic Church fought this apostasy, but when at Vatican II it gave up the fight, the pathological fantasy took over the world, and it lurched towards the Antichrist. Archbishop Lefebvre created a fortress of sanity inside the crumbling Church, but now the same pathology is well on its way to taking over his Society.

Teachers, teach! Doctors, heal! Women, give birth! Priests, study everything that Archbishop Lefebvre said and did. And Queen Isabella, please pray for us.

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.

Doctrine Underestimated

Doctrine Underestimated posted in Eleison Comments on September 25, 2010

In a generally thoughtful magazine from the USA, “Culture Wars,” the Editor recently took me personally to task, together with the Society of St Pius X as a whole, for wilfully cutting ourselves off from the mainstream Catholic Church. Let me present as briefly and as fairly as possible E. Michael Jones’ argument, with its main steps lettered to facilitate the answer:—

His main point is that the problem of Vatican II is not doctrinal: “(A) The Council documents are not themselves responsible for any of the craziness following the Council in the name of its “spirit.” As for the documents themselves, they are sometimes ambiguous, but (B) God is always with His Church, which is why (C) only something Catholic can gain the assent of the world’s assembled bishops, as happened at Vatican II. (D) Therefore it can and must suffice to interpret the ambiguities in the light of Tradition, as Archbishop Lefebvre himself once proposed to do.

“Therefore (E) Vatican II is Traditional, and any problem between Rome and the SSPX cannot be doctrinal. (F) Therefore the SSPX’s real problem is that it refuses communion out of a fear of contamination, (G) proceeding from its schismatic lack of charity. (H) The ensuing guilt they cover up by pretending that the Church is in an unprecedented emergency, brought on by the anti-doctrine of Vatican II. (I) Therefore the SSPX is saying that the Church has failed in its mission, and that the SSPX is the Church. Nonsense! SSPX bishops, sign over to Rome!”

REPLY: the problem of Vatican II is ESSENTIALLY doctrinal. (A) Alas, the Vatican II documents are indeed responsible for the “spirit” of Vatican II and its crazy aftermath. Their very ambiguity, recognized by E.M.J., let the craziness loose. (B) God is indeed with His Church, but He leaves His churchmen free to choose to do it great, but never fatal, damage (cf.Lk. XVIII, 8). (C) Thus the mass of Catholic bishops He let fall in the appalling Arian crisis of the fourth century. What happened once is happening again, only worse. (D) At an early stage in the post-Conciliar fight for Tradition, it may have been reasonable to appeal for Vatican II to be interpreted in the light of Tradition, but that stage is long past. The ambiguity’s bitter fruits have long since proved that the subtly poisoned Conciliar documents cannot be salvaged.

Thus (E) the Council is not Traditional, and the Rome-SSPX clash is ESSENTIALLY doctrinal, so (F) there is good reason to fear contamination, because of Vatican II’s false doctrine – it is leading souls to Hell. (G) Nor is there a schismatic mentality amongst (non-sedevacantist) Traditionalists, even though (H) the Church is in the thick of the worst emergency of her entire history. (I) But just as in the Arian crisis the few bishops who kept the Faith proved that the Church had not absolutely failed, so today the SSPX belongs to the Church and is keeping the Faith, without remotely pretending to replace, or to be on its own, the Church.

Michael, when, in all Church history, were her assembled bishops deliberately ambiguous? You admit the ambiguity of Vatican II. When did churchmen ever resort to ambiguity unless it was to pave the way for heresy? In Our Lord’s Church, yes is to be yes, and no is to be no (Mt.V, 37).

Kyrie eleison.