Tag: reality

Modernism’s Malice – III

Modernism’s Malice – III posted in Eleison Comments on March 21, 2020

If there is any one thing that a Catholic priest needs to know and to understand thoroughly today, it is the one key sentence at the heart of St Pius X’s great Encyclical letter, Pascendi, written in 1907 to defend the Church and mankind from the deadly threat of modernism. Modernism is that movement of thought and action by which men give up changing the world to fit Christ and His Church, and work instead on changing Christ and His Church to fit the modern world. And what is the key sentence from Pascendi by which this is to be done? Here it is, from paragraph 6 (or thereabouts) of the Encyclical:

“Human reason is confined entirely within the field of phenomena, i.e. things perceptible to the senses and in the manner in which they are perceptible; it has no right and no power to go beyond these limits.”

In other words the human mind, which in fact is all day long reading behind what appears to the senses, is finally declared by modern man to be incapable of reading behind the appearances! In other words what looks to me like a door might be a wall, what looks to me like a wall might in fact be the door. From which it would follow that I might better try to walk through the wall than through the door! Of course this is such utter stupidity that nobody will be surprised to know that even modern followers of Immanuel Kant (1732–1804) who invented the stupidity, rarely actually try to walk through walls. In other words they succeed in living by not taking their own philosophy seriously. Here is why modern philosophy has gotten for itself such a bad name. Yet the utterly stupid Kant reigns supreme in the philosophy department of almost all “universities” of our own time! How can that possibly be?

Because Kant is the great Liberator. It is he who once and for all liberated the mind from reality. It is he who decreed that the mind is free from external reality because it has no access to it! The mind cannot get to reality as it is in itself, the “Ding an sich,” because it cannot get behind what the senses show to it. No matter if I can only live by assuming 24/7 both that my senses are telling me what is real around me, and that my mind or intellect is capable of deciphering or of “intelliging” what my senses tell me. From Kant onwards, reality around me is of less and less interest. What matters is “transcendental philosophy” as he calls it, i.e. thinking which will climb the heights and plumb the depths of my fantasy quite independently of humdrum day-to-day reality such as doors and walls. My mind has taken off! My mind is free from reality! Henceforth anything I want is “true”! In fact the word “Truth” has taken on a quite different meaning. In fact all words take on a transcendental meaning. Liberty reigns in my head!

Yet if you insist on pulling me back to what you call the real world, then I can still choose to assume, like all poor non-universitarians, that to continue to survive (“ugh!”) in the humdrum world (“ugh!”), it is best not to try to walk through what look like walls, and best not to try eating stones. In other words my mind is transcendentally superior to, and free from, all your base “common sense” (“ugh!”), but I can still operate in accordance with it – when I choose to – for purposes of daily living (“ugh!”).

Now liberty is the real religion of modern man, and it is the apparent religion, that which has all the trappings but none of the substance of religion, in the lives of far too many Catholics. As St Paul says, “In the end times . . . men will be . . . holding the form of religion but denying the power of it” (II Tim. III, 1–5), in other words keeping the appearances but denying the substance. What are such Catholics? They are precisely Kantian Catholics, or modernists, because almost everybody today is Kantian, because almost everybody today worships liberty, and it is Kant who finally gave them the key to get out of the prison of God’s reality and to escape into clouds of transcendental modernity. I can always submit to God again for as long as I choose, but He can no longer keep me in bonds. I am free, I am free, I am free!

The incredible perversity, pride and perfidy of Kant should be coming into view. More than ever,

Lord, have mercy.

Further Undermining

Further Undermining posted in Eleison Comments on July 13, 2019

These “Comments” have more than once recommended the Internet site of the American commentator on worldwide political and economic developments, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, because he may lack the fullness of perspective provided by the one true religion, but he sees a great deal of worldly truth, and he tells it on his site – paulcraigroberts.org – to the point that one asks oneself, when is he going to be assassinated? But murder is always messy, and the murder of a messenger always risks giving credit to his message. Be that as it may, Dr Roberts’ articles are widely read all over the world, and a recent article reinforces on a very practical level the starting of Fr Calderón’s dissection of the “new man” of Vatican II (see these “Comments” of June 22) by modern man’s being cut off from objective truth by subjectivism. Read Dr Roberts’ article, slightly resumed below, for a typical advance today of that cutting off—

Dr Roberts begins by quoting a truth-telling site, Zero Hedge, which reports that “the ability to falsify reality is growing by leaps and bounds. Thoughtless geeks have now developed technology that makes fake reality indistinguishable from real reality.I don’t think we’re well prepared at all. And I don’t think the public is aware of what’s coming,” said the Chairman of the U.S.A. House Intelligence Committee. He was discussing the rapid advance of synthesis technology. This new artificial intelligence capability allows competent programmers to create audio and video of anyone, saying absolutely anything. The creations are called “deepfakes” and however outrageous they may be, they’re virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. No sooner had we adjusted to a world where our reality seemed fake, than things that are fake became our reality.

We’re outgunned,” said a UC Berkeley digital-forensics expert, “The number of people now working on video-synthesis outnumber those working on detecting deepfakes by 100–1.” . . . . Already two-thirds of Americans say altered images and videos have become a major problem for understanding the basic facts of current events. Misinformation researchers warn of growing “reality apathy” whereby it takes so much effort to distinguish between what is real and what is fake that we simply give up and rely on our base instincts, tribal biases, impulses. Immersed in our leaders’ deceits, we come to believe in nothing.

For instance, two oil tankers burst into flames, billowing smoke. On cue, a suspicious Iranian Revolutionary Guard boat appeared on grainy video. Viral images flooded earth’s nine billion screens. Each side told a different story. No one quite knew who to trust. Conspiracy theories filled the void, as we each clung to what we most want to believe. https://​www.​zerohedge.​com/​news/​2019-06-16/​hedge-fund-cio-i-dont-think-public-aware-whats-coming Dr Roberts goes on, Why is it that tech geeks take pride in developing technology that makes truth even harder to find? What is wrong with their character as humans that they create methods of destroying the ability to know truth? How is this different from releasing an undetectable substance into the air that wipes out life? The only use of this technology is to allow the police state complete control. It is now possible to put words and deeds into the mouths and actions of anyone, and to use the faked evidence to convict them of the simulated crime. Without truth, there is no liberty, no freedom, no independent thought, and no awareness. There is only The Matrix. How has America so lost its way that corporations, investors, and scientists are motivated to develop truth-destroying technology? Aren’t these mindless idiots our real enemies? The most difficult thing in the world today is to ascertain the truth. And Dr Roberts’ article ends with a plea for support, which he surely deserves.

Readers, hold on to truth for dear life, because it is being undermined fast, as the world is putting liberty in front of truth, and fantasy in front of reality. The consequences will be humanly disastrous for us all.

Kyrie eleison.

Doctrinal Feelings

Doctrinal Feelings posted in Eleison Comments on May 21, 2016

Last week’s “Comments” (EC 461) will not have been to everyone’s taste. Readers may have guessed that the unnamed author of the long quote was of the same sex as the also quoted St Theresa of Avila (“suffer, or die”) and St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (“suffer and not die”), and the anonymous quote may have seemed excessively emotional. But the contrast with Pope Benedict’s feelings quoted the week before (EC 460) was deliberate. Whereas the man’s text showed feelings governing doctrine, the woman’s text showed doctrine governing feelings. Better, obviously, the woman putting God first, like Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane (“Father, let this chalice pass me by, but not my will . . .” ), than the man putting feelings first, and changing the Catholic doctrine and religion into the Conciliar religion.

The surprising contrast highlights that the primacy of God means that doctrine comes first, whereas the primacy of feelings means that man comes first. But life is not about avoiding suffering, it is about getting to Heaven. If then I disbelieve in God and worship Mammon instead (Mt. VI, 24), I will disbelieve in any after-life and I will pay for more and more expensive drugs to avoid suffering in this life, because there is no other life. And so the Western “democracies” create one ruinous welfare State after another, because the surest way for a “democratic” politician to get elected or not is to take a stand for or against free medicine. Care for the body is all that is left in the life of many a man who has no God. Thus godlessness ruins the State: “Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps. CXXVI, 1), whereas “Happy is that people whose God is the Lord” (Ps. CXLIII, 15). Religion governs politics and economics alike, any false religion for their ill, the true religion for their true good.

On the basis of his October interview (EC 460), Benedict might reply: “Yes, but what use is a religion that fewer and fewer people believe in? On modern man the Catholic religion of all time has lost its grip. Yesterday’s doctrine may be as true as true can be, but of what use is it if it no longer speaks to man as he is today, where he is today? Doctrine is for souls, but how can I speak to contemporary man of redemptive suffering or of the Redemption, when suffering makes no sense to him at all? The Council was absolutely necessary to recast doctrine in a form intelligible to men as they are today.”

And to this position implicit in Benedict’s interview, here might be an answer: “Your Holiness, doctrine is for souls, yes, but to save them from eternal punishment and not to prepare them for it. Doctrine consists of words, words express concepts, concepts are ultimately of things real being conceived. Your Holiness, are God, man’s immortal soul, death, Judgment, and the inevitability of eternal salvation or damnation realities outside my mind? If they are realities independent of myself, have any of them changed since modern times? And if they have not changed at all, then do not the doctrines expressing them express also, together with the doctrine of original sin, a real danger for every man alive of falling into Hell? In which case however unpleasant the realities may feel, what possible service do I do for my fellow-men by making the doctines feel nicer, so as to disguise the eternal danger instead of warning him about it? Of what importance are his feelings compared with the importance of his grasping, and assimilating, the true doctrines, so as to be blissfully happy and not utterly tormented for all eternity for all eternity?

But in our apostate world the mass of men want only to be told fables (II Tim. IV, 4) to put a cushion under their sins. The result is that to keep the moral world in balance, there must be a number of mystic souls, known to God alone, who are taking upon themselves acute suffering, for Christ and for their fellow-men, and it is a fair bet that most of them are women.

Kyrie eleison.


GREC – III posted in Eleison Comments on April 6, 2013

Wishing to put himself in the place of God, modern man seeks to replace God’s order of the world with his own. But God’s order is real, outside of and independent of man’s mind. So modern man unhooks his mind from that reality, and selects from it only such pieces as he wishes to build into his own fantasy. Now the highest order of God’s Creation is best expressed in his Church’s doctrine. Therefore all churchmen or laymen today undergoing the influence of everything “normal” in the world around them suffer from a deep refusal or ignorance of the nature and necessity of doctrine.

Here is the essential problem of GREC, as presented in two previous issues of “Eleison Comments” (294 and 295). The Groupe de Réflexion Entre Catholiques was founded in 1997 in the salons of Paris to promote friendly meetings and exchanges between Catholics of Tradition and Catholics of the mainstream Church, in order to create a climate of mutual trust and respect which would facilitate a reconciliation between them, and an end to their unnecessary estrangement. Such a purpose gravely overlooks the importance of doctrine, not necessarily with malice aforethought, of which God is judge, but whatever foolish men may think, doctrine can no more be left out of account than can reality.

In Fr. Lelong’s book on GREC, For the Necessary Reconciliation, he tells how two Society of St Pius X priests and its Superior General “made a decisive contribution to the launching and continuance of GREC.” Even before it was launched, Fr. Du Chalard gave to Fr Lelong a friendly reception in his SSPX priory, and “in following years never ceased to support GREC in a discrete and attentive way.” At the launching of GREC, Fr. Lorans, then Rector of the SSPX Institute in Paris and exercising from Paris a decisive influence from then until now on SSPX publications, welcomed the idea of “dialogue between Catholics,” and very soon obtained from the SSPX Superior General in Switzerland approval for his participation in GREC. From then on Fr. Lorans played a leading part in all of its activities.

Those activities began on a small scale and in private. In May of 2000 was held GREC’s first public meeting to which Fr. Lorans contributed, with 150 people attending. Meetings became more and more frequent, with SSPX priests participating. Church authorities at the highest level were regularly consulted and kept informed. Fr. Lorans for his part made possible “a contact of deepening trust” and friendly exchanges with the SSPX Superior General. From 2004 GREC meetings were opened wider still to the public, and in September of that year a “theological working group” was set up with Fr. Lorans participating, and another SSPX priest and a theologian from Rome, both of whom would later be taking part in the Doctrinal Discussions between Rome and the SSPX from 2009 to 2011. GREC may well have seen in these Discussions the realization of its fondest hopes – at last the theologians were meeting in a climate which GREC had done so much to create “for the necessary reconciliation.”

Thanks be to God, the Discussions gave back to doctrine its proper primacy. They demonstrated that between Catholic and Conciliar doctrine is an unbridgeable gulf. But was GREC’s way of thinking then blocked within the SSPX? Far from it! SSPX Headquarters switched overnight from “We pursue no practical agreement without a doctrinal agreement” to “There can be no doctrinal agreement, so we pursue a practical agreement”! Alas, the springtime uprising of protest last year from within the SSPX was smothered and confused again at the General Chapter of July, but SSPX HQ’s continued pursuit of a practical agreement has hardly been smothered.

“Our help is in the name of the Lord,” in particular in the Consecration of Russia. Nowhere else.

Kyrie eleison.

Fourth Trial

Fourth Trial posted in Eleison Comments on February 9, 2013

A reader asks about my latest trial and condemnation for “Holocaust denial” by the Regional Court of Regensburg in South Germany on January 16. Readers will remember that my original offence was on November 1, 2008, to have told a Swedish interviewer for Swedish TV in the privacy of the sacristy of the German Seminary of the Society of St Pius X, but on German soil, that I believed neither that “Six Million Jews” died under Hitler’s rule in the Second World War, nor that one single Jew died in a “gas-chamber.”

For expressing these beliefs in Germany, where “holocaust denial” is a statutory crime, I was tried and condemned by the Regensburg Regional Court in 2010, and the punishment was to be a fine of

“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.