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!