Eleison Comments – Number CDXCV (495)

Eleison Comments

                      Vatican “War”

To Vatican Two will Catholics wake up ever?

They surely wake up better late than never!

In today’s crisis of the Church, of an unprecedented gravity in all Church history, it is most important that Catholics should give due importance both to the Traditional movement and to the Catholic Church outside the Traditional movement. Tradition in its broadest sense, meaning everything which Our Lord entrusted to his Church to be handed down (tradendum in Latin) to world’s end, is indispensable to the Church, and the Traditional movement has played an indispensable part in preserving Traditional doctrine and sacraments from their destruction by the Conciliar Revolution over the last half-century. But to survive, the Traditional movement had to place itself outside the normal hierarchical structure of the Church, and that structure is very much part of Tradition – “Peter, feed my sheep” (Jn XXI, 17). Therefore however deep is the Conciliar corruption in Rome, Catholics must still be looking to Rome.

Hence the interest of the following report from inside Rome by the Founder and Director of an American Novus Ordo publication, LifeSiteNews. Steve Jalsevac normally visits Rome twice a year with colleagues to talk with all kinds of contacts in Rome, the better to be able to assess how the situation in the Church is developing. From his late November visit he published on December 16 a “deeply worrying” report of his impressions of the situation in Rome today. Extracts follow:

“Our Nov. 16–23 visit to Rome was the most dramatic of many such twice-per-year work trips we have taken there during the past 10 years. After meeting with cardinals, bishops and other Vatican agency and dicastery staff, our new Rome reporter John-Henry Westen, Jan Bentz, and I saw a consistent pattern of widespread anxiety and very real fear among faithful Church servants. We have never encountered this before. Many were afraid of being removed from their positions, fired from their jobs in Vatican agencies or of encountering severe public or private reprimands and personal accusations from those around the Pope or even from Francis himself. They are also fearful and anxious about the great damage being done to the Church and being helpless to stop it.

“. . .  Catholic universities in Rome are watched and professors’ lectures screened to ensure they fall in line with a liberal interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. Clerics are reported to Superiors if they are overheard expressing concerns about Pope Francis. Many are afraid to speak openly, even though in the past they were always very willing. Vatican reporters told us they were warned numerous times not to report on the dubia (the questions raised by Cardinal Burke and three other Cardinals as to doctrine contained in Amoris Laetitia). I have heard reports that the Vatican is like an occupied state. Certain sources I’ve spoken with have a fear that communications with Vatican officials are being monitored; some have even reported suspicious anomalies in their telephone conversations in which, after a dropped call, the audio of the last moments of their conversation has played over and over again on a loop, as though they are hearing a recording. Some individuals who work within the Vatican are advising their contacts on the outside not to share sensitive information via email or their Vatican-issued cell phones.

“We have to wonder where all of this is going. It is deeply, deeply concerning. The common phrase we kept hearing that week in Rome is that there is a “war” going on in the Church – a war of the “The Spirit of Vatican II” progressives against the orthodox Catholics. One person after another shockingly used the word “war.” I have never experienced anything like this in my lifetime and I am sure most, if not all regular LifeSite readers, can say the same thing.”

Traditionalists may say that the four Cardinals and Mr Jalsevac are victims of Vatican II, waking up a little late, but let nobody say that they do not mean or intend to be Catholic. The Church will only be healed when true Doctrine and the true Hierarchy come together again, so let Traditionalists pray urgently for these souls waking up to the Conciliar war. May God give them light and strength.

Kyrie eleison.

 

 

 

Eleison Comments – Issue CDLX (460)

Eleison Comments

                        Benedict’s Feelings

When Benedict makes Redemption all so nice, Then Christ becomes no more than sugar and spice.

When two months ago an interview given in October of last year by Benedict XVI to a Jesuit priest was published in Italy, some misguidedly “pious” Catholics took it to mean that the former Pope was returning to Traditional doctrine on the absolute need to belong to the Catholic Church for salvation. Alas, the interview shows in reality an unrepentant modernist measuring not modern man by Catholic Truth, but that Truth by what modern man can or cannot understand and accept. In fairness, the interviewer raised four serious questions, and Benedict did not dodge them. Here is another cruelly brief but not essentially unjust summary of the interview, with comments added in italics:—

Q. Does FAITH come through a community, which is in turn a gift of God?

A. Faith is a personal living contact with God, mediated through a living community, because in order to believe I need witnesses to God, i.e. the Church, which is not just a set of ideas (true, but a set of ideas is the very object of faith believed in. Benedict shares in modern subjectivism).Through the Church’s sacraments (in accordance with the Faith’s objective parameters) I enter into living contact with Christ.

Q. Can modern man understand Paul’s JUSTIFICATION by FAITH? (Notice modern man’s priority)

A. For modern man, God cannot let most men suffer eternal damnation (same comment).The concern for personal salvation has mostly disappeared (so what? So the doctrine must change?). But modern man still perceives his own need of mercy, so he does know his own unworthiness. In fact he expects a saving love, which is God’s mercy, which justifies him (so man sins, expects God’s mercy, and that justifies him? This is sheer Protestantism!). On the contrary the classic idea of God the Father killing his own Son to satisfy his own justice is incomprehensible today. Rather, the Father and the Son had the same will (but Jesus as God and man had two wills!), and the mass of the world’s evil was overcome as it needed to be by God’s sharing in the world’s suffering, in which Father and Son shared alike (but the Father as God could not suffer, and only as man could Christ suffer! This new doctrine empties out the Incarnation, the Cross, mankind’s sin, God’s justice, our Redemption! What is left of Catholicism?).

Q. Has the Church’s teaching on HELL evolved in modern times?

A. “On this point we are faced with a profound evolution of dogma” (sic! But dogma cannot evolve. As a modern man, Benedict has no notion of a truth unchanging and unchangeable).“After Vatican II, the conviction that the unbaptised are forever lost was finally abandoned” (as though Vatican II could change Church teaching!). But then arises a problem why still be a Christian (good question!)? Rahner’s solution of all men being anonymous Christians leaves out the drama of conversion (only “drama” – not “absolute necessity”?). The Pluralists’ solution whereby all religions suffice for salvation is inadequate (true). De Lubac’s solution is that Christ and the Church somehow stand in for all mankind, let us say by believing in, practicing and suffering for the truth. At least a few souls are needed to do so.

Q. If evil must be repaired, does the sacrament of CONFESSION repair it?

A. Christ alone can repair evil, but Confession does always put us back on the side of Christ. In view of such an interview, can anyone still doubt that the Society of St Pius X leaders are seriously deluded who think the Society can safely put itself under these Romans? From humanism and Protestantism a false view of the Redemption has soaked into modern bones, and from modern bones finally into the Catholic churchmen. Vatican II teaches and preaches a Christianity without the Cross. It is highly popular, but utterly false. May God have mercy on these churchmen!

Kyrie eleison.

Eleison Comments – Number CDLV – (455)

Eleison Comments

                  Archbishop’s Legacy – II

     Structure, or none? The Faith is where?

             Wherever it is, I must go there!

In 2012 the Archbishop’s successors at the head of his Society of St Pius X, having failed to understand his fundamental putting of Catholic Truth before Catholic Authority, claimed falsely to be following his example when at the Society’s General Chapter of that summer they prepared to put Truth back under Authority by opening the door to some political and non-doctrinal agreement with the liars of Rome – “Catholicism is Revolutionary” is a monstrous lie. For years now these successors have been spreading rumours that the agreement is imminent, but Rome has them where it wants them, by their own fault, and risks continuing to extract concessions such as, possibly, the disastrous interview of March 2 granted by the Superior General to a professional predator. Conciliar Rome never forgets what the SSPX seems no longer to want to remember – Catholic Tradition and Vatican II are absolutely irreconcilable.

However, the Archbishop has disciples who have not forgotten this. They are going under the name of the “Resistance,” which is a movement rather than an organization, as is only logical. Clinging to Truth against the false Authority both of Rome and now of the SSPX, any internal authority amongst them can at best be supplied, i.e. an abnormal authority supplied invisibly by the Church in case of emergency for the salvation of souls. But such authority, by the invisibility of its transmission (contrast the visible ceremonies by which many kinds of authority amongst men are transmitted), is that much weaker and more contestable than normal authority in the Church, which descends always, ultimately, from the Pope. Therefore the “Resistance” has the strength of Truth but a weakness of Authority normally essential to protect Catholic Truth.

Surely resistant Catholics, inside or outside of Tradition, have to take into account the many consequences of this split between Truth and Authority, imposed by Vatican II on the entire Church. God’s Supreme Shepherd being supremely struck by Conciliar folly, how can God’s sheep not be supremely scattered (cf. Zach. XIII, 7: Mt. XXVI, 31)? Not to be suffering, Catholics would have to not belong to the Catholic Church. Is that what they want? Then Catholics for the time being should be neither surprised by betrayals nor disappointed by divisions. The Devil is being given for the moment almost a free hand to cause divisions (“diabolein” in Greek), and when Catholics are all fighting for eternal salvation the divisions are frequently bitter. Patience.

Next, from Conciliar Popes there can no longer be the lifeblood of true Catholic Authority flowing down into Catholic institutions, and so Catholic persons can no longer depend upon Catholic institutions like they should normally be able to do. Rather, any such institutions have to depend for Truth upon the persons, as we have seen the SSPX depending on Archbishop Lefebvre . But persons without institutional backing or control are always liable to be fallible, and so it seems unwise to expect that any grouping of Catholics today for Truth is going to attract large numbers. Catholics may naturally long for structure, hierarchy, Superiors and obedience, but these cannot be fabricated out of thin air. Surely remnants are the order of the day. Patience.

In conclusion, Catholics striving to keep the Faith must take their well-deserved punishment, renounce all human illusions and fabrications, and beg in prayer for Almighty God to intervene. When enough souls turn to him for his solution instead of theirs, they will recognize that his Providence provided it for them in the form of the Devotion of the First Saturdays of the month, to make reparation to his Mother. For when enough reparation is made, then he will give to his Vicar on earth the grace to Consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and then order begins to be restored, as he has promised. 

For the practice of that Devotion, do not miss next week’s “Comments.”

Kyrie eleison.

Eleison Comments by Bishop Williamson – Number CDXLIX – (449)

Eleison Comments

       February 20, 2016

              Bishops

The SSPX is no way “out of the woods.”

Resistant bishops must “deliver the goods!”

Ever since the General Chapter of July, 2012, when under Bishop Fellay’s direction the Society of St Pius X took a decisive lurch towards a compromise agreement with Conciliar Rome, Catholics of Tradition have wondered where the two other SSPX bishops stand, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais (Bp. T) and Bishop de Galarreta (Bp. G), because both have been rather discreet in public since that time. However, firm words spoken by each of them last month have raised hopes for the future of the SSPX. Are the hopes justified? Catholics may need to remain on their guard . . .

The Confirmations sermon of Bp. T given on January 31 in Saarbrücken in Germany could not have been more upright or clear. For instance: In the SSPX’s confrontation with Rome, it may never go in for compromise or double-dealing. We can never negotiate with Rome so long as the representatives of the Newchurch (sic) cling to the errors of Vatican II. Any talk of ours with Rome must be unambiguous, and have as its purpose the conversion of the Newchurch representatives back to our one and only truth of Catholic Tradition. No compromise or double-dealing until they have got over their Conciliar errors, and have converted back to the Truth.

Admirable words! Uprightness is not Bp.T’s problem. He is no politician, God bless him. His problem is that when it comes to putting words into action, his “Fiftiesism” makes him obey his Superior and fall back in line with the politicians of SSPX HQ in Menzingen. Nothing indicates that this will not happen again this time, but we may always pray that, as the proverb says, “Even a worm will turn.” Bp. T is far from a worm, but he is hiding from himself, or genuinely cannot see, the full malice of Menzingen’s action. It is not just the unity and welfare of the SSPX which is at stake, but the Catholic Faith.

On the contrary Bp. G is a politician. Unfortunately we do not have the full text of the conference he gave in Bailly, France, on January 17, because his exact words count, so we can only quote from a summary of his main thoughts: Rome’s latest theological and canonical proposals for a Rome-SSPX agreement remain unacceptable, but the Pope certainly wants an agreement and he is perfectly capable of overriding his own officials and of imposing a “unilateral” recognition on the SSPX. Such a recognition could definitely harm the SSPX internally, but if the SSPX had done nothing to obtain it, then there is nothing that the SSPX could do about it. However, Providence would once more watch over the Archbishop’s work.

But, your Excellency, Menzingen has now for many years been doing all it can by political negotiation to arrive at official recognition by Rome, and its eventual “unilateral” arrival would be a mere pretense to deceive Traditionalists so as to sell out the SSPX under cover of claiming, no doubt with Rome’s permission behind th e scenes , that it was all Rome’s fault. But the fact would remain that the Archbishop’s Society would finally be betrayed, and you with your own “No, no, a thousand times no . . . but possibly, yes” would have to answer for not having done all you could and should have done to block its betrayal.

In brief, that emergency lighting system of the Universal Church in Conciliar darkness, which is the SSPX, is itself flickering and in danger of no longer giving light. Therefore that repair team to sustain the emergency lighting, which is the “Resistance,” is still needed, and that team needs a sufficiency of good foremen. A third bishop for the “Resistance” is planned, as last year for March 19 at the monastery near Nova Friburgo in Brazil. He is its Prior, Fr Thomas Aquinas, faithful warrior and veteran of the post-Conciliar war for the Faith. May God be with him, and with all the humble and faithful servants of God.

Kyrie eleison.

Eleison Comments – Issue CDXIX – (419)

Eleison Comments

Trust Pleads

Over the Church now madness seems to reign.

The Psalmist’s trust we need, amidst our pain.

When in modern times the world began to turn its back on God, did it really think that he would not notice or that he would not care? Today’s madness is reaching a climax in which more and more souls must be realizing that for him to step in has become an absolute necessity, and that it will be a great act of mercy. However, in order not to lose heart in the meantime, let us see how even in Old Testament times the Psalmist urged God to step in, without doubting for a moment in his power to do so. The Psalms are a divinely inspired school of prayer for all time, and they apply just as much to the New Testament as to the Old. Here is Psalm 73 (74, modern numbering):—

  1. THE ANXIETY [1] O God, why hast thou cast us off unto the end: why is thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of thy pasture? [2] Remember thy congregation (Catholics) which thou hast possessed from the beginning. The sceptre of thy inheritance which thou hast redeemed: Mount Sion (the Catholic Church) in which thou hast dwelt. [3] Lift up thy hands against their pride unto the end; see what things the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary (e.g. of the Novus Ordo). [4] And they that hate thee have made their boasts, in the midst of thy solemnity (e.g. liturgy). They have set up their ensigns for signs, [5] And they knew not (God) both in the going out and on the highest top. As with axes in a wood of trees, [6] they have cut down at once the gates of they solemnity, with axe and hatchet they have brought it down. [7] They have set fire to thy sanctuary: they have defiled the dwelling place of thy name on the earth. [8] They said in their heart, the whole kindred of them together: Let us abolish all the festival days of God (Catholic Feast-days) from the land. [9] Our signs we have not seen, there is now no prophet: and God will know us no more. [10] How long, O God, shall the enemy reproach: is the adversary to provoke thy name for ever? [11] Why dost thou turn away thy hand: and thy right hand out of the midst of thy bosom for ever?
  1. THE TRUST [12] But God is our king before ages: he hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth. [13] Thou by thy strength didst make the sea firm: thou didst crush the heads of the dragons in the waters. [14] Thou hast broken the heads of the dragon: thou hast given him to be meat for the people of the Ethiopians. [15] Thou hast broken up the fountains and the torrents: thou hast dried up the Ethan rivers. [16] Thine is the day, and thine is the night: thou hast made the dawn and the sun. [17] Thou hast made all the borders of the earth: the summer and the spring were formed by thee.
  1. THE PLEA [18] Remember this, the enemy hath reproached the Lord: and a foolish people hath provoked thy name. [19] Deliver not up to beasts the souls that confess to thee (Catholics keeping the Faith): and forget not to the end the souls of thy poor. [20] Have regard to thy covenant (the Catholic Church): for they that are the obscure of the earth (humble Catholics) have been filled with dwellings of iniquity (e.g the New World Order). [21] Let not the humble be turned away with confusion: the poor and needy shall praise thy name. [22] Arise, O God, judge thy own cause: remember thy reproaches with which the foolish man hath reproached thee all day long. [23] Forget not the voices of thy enemies: the pride of them that hate thee is continually rising.

Kyrie eleison.

Eleison Comments – Issue CDXVII – (417)

Eleison Comments

Conciliar Popes – IV

Of “mind-rot” did the Archbishop never speak?

With other words he too said minds are weak.

Many readers of these “Comments” presently find they are treating too often of sedevacantism, or of the position that the See of Rome is vacant, i.e. no Pope since Vatican II has been a real Pope. Now if a Catholic needs to hold that opinion in order not to lose his Catholic faith, let him hold it, because his faith is paramount (Heb. XI, 6). But the opinion in itself is dangerous precisely because it can be the beginning of a slide towards losing the faith, and that is why these “Comments” are so insistent on discouraging sedevacantism. From an opinion it becomes all too easily a dogma, then the super-dogma and the measure of whether one is Catholic or not, from where it can slide into complete disbelief in the structural Church and into “home-aloning,” even to loss of one’s Catholic faith. Consider what Archbishop Lefebvre said (slightly adapted, and with emphasis added) in late 1979 in a conference to Écône seminarians:—

“We must be prudent. It is obvious that if Pope Paul VI was not Pope, then the Cardinals he appointed are not Cardinals, so they cannot have elected John-Paul I, and they cannot have validly elected John-Paul II, that much is clear. I don’t think one can say such things. I think these are exaggerations, arguing in a manner too absolute and too rapid. I think the reality is more complex.

“I think that those who argue like this are in a certain way forgetting moral theology and ethics. They are being too speculative. Moral theology and ethics teach us to reason and to judge of people and their acts according to a whole context of circumstances which we must take into account: “Who, what, where, by what means, why, how, when” – all seven circumstances must be examined if we are to judge of the morality of an act. So we cannot remain in the pure stratosphere, one might say, in the realm of pure dogmatic theology, by pronouncing, for instance, that such an act is heretical, therefore whoever did it is a heretic. But was this person aware of what he was doing, did he do it truly by himself, was he not deceived or forced into doing it?

“I think that here is how to solve the grave problems posed by John XXIII, Paul VI and John-Paul I. The latter is quoted in the newspapers as having said that he had thought at first that the Council’s new definition of religious liberty was unacceptable because the Church taught the opposite, but on further study of the Council document and all its contents he had realized that the Church was mistaken beforehand. Now I have no idea what were John-Paul I’s exact words, but to say that the Church could be mistaken on such a matter as religious liberty just boggles the mind! However, I put it down to liberal minds. Liberalism is like that. Liberalism both makes a statement and then contradicts it, and if one shows that what it said is not true, then it comes up with another ambiguous formula with a double meaning. The liberal mind is continually floating around, with expressions that are not clear, with things that can be taken two ways . . . . How many things there are like that in the Council, expressions equivocal and unclear, altogether typical of minds adrift, liberal minds . . . . As I see it, I think that the fact that the Pope is a liberal is enough to explain the situation in which we find ourselves.”

Bravo, your Excellency! Is not the Archbishop saying here exactly what these “Comments” have so often been saying? And the reason why these “Comments” have been saying it so often is because they see here the key to avoiding liberalism without having to resort to sedevacantism.

Kyrie eleison.

Eleison Comments – Issue CDXVI – (416)

Eleison Comments

Conciliar Popes – III

The Church officials’ minds no longer work?

Measures extreme God may not have to shirk.

Readers of these “Comments,” “Conciliar Popes I” and “II” of six and four weeks ago respectively, may well have carried away the impression that the “Comments” hold that Pope Francis “may be inculpable for his ignorance of his blasphemies and heresies,” as one reader put it. That is a mistaken impression. While today’s universal liberalism may excuse “partly” and “relatively” the Conciliar Popes’ destruction of the Catholic Church, it certainly does not excuse it completely. Their culpability, at least partial, is common sense, and proof of it is not difficult to follow.

The Catholic Church belongs to God. He founded it and he designed it to function with human beings as his instruments. These human officials of his Church he will never allow completely to destroy it, but nor will he take away their free-will, with the result that each of them can greatly merit or demerit by the way in which he uses or abuses his office. However, upon that use or abuse depends the salvation of many other souls besides his own. How then can one imagine God not offering to these officials all the grace they need to fulfill their official duties for the good of souls? If then the Conciliar Popes, Cardinals and Bishops are all truly appointed Church officials, as they appear to be and as few deny who are not sedevacantists, then they are receiving from God grace sufficient to run the Church well. If then, broadly speaking, they are running it into the ground, they must be refusing graces of state, graces of their office. And if they are refusing the grace of God in the fulfillment of their duty, they cannot be wholly blameless. They may not be to blame for the mushy world around them, but God’s grace would ultimately lead their minds out of the mush, if they wanted. They do not want, because then they would have to confront that mushy world.

Let us imagine a concrete example which must have happened in real life in the 1970’s many times. A little old grandmother manages to approach the Holy Father. In a flood of tears she explains that her grandson was a good boy when he entered the (Conciliar) seminary, but there he lost not only his vocation but also his faith and even his virtue. If, as is most likely, the Conciliar Pope relies on officials around him to brush her off, he is not innocent, because little old grandmothers can be unmistakably genuine. But these Popes prefer their Conciliar dream, in harmony with the world.

And here is a real example from Brazil, probably in the 1980’s. John-Paul II was holding a meeting of diocesan bishops to discuss the apostolate in their dioceses. At a given moment a young bishop stood up to say that the flock in his diocese was being ravaged by ecumenism’s promoting the invasion of Protestant sects from the USA, a familiar disaster for many years now throughout Latin America. The Pope listened to the bi shop’s testimony, but within a short time he was back to promoting exactly that ecumenism which the bishop had just denounced. When confronted with the Catholic reality, the Pope preferred his Conciliar dream. How could he be completely innocent?

It would follow that these Popes are neither wholly innocent nor wholly guilty of the Church’s present devastation. How much are they the one, how much the other? God alone knows. But if a good Pope was appointed, and protected by God, to sift the Church officials, clean out the bad ones and promote the good ones, he would appoint a tribunal or inquisition – yes, inquisition – to force each official to choose openly between Truth or mush. Would it be an easy task? No, because mush-merchants have no difficulty in pretending that they love truth, and they can easily believe themselves that they deal only in truth. They can fit their minds to anything, and to the opposite of anything. Then what can be done? A Chastisement, to clean out the Augean stables.

Kyrie eleison.

Eleison Comments – Number CDXIII – (413)

Eleison Comments

Daily Grind

Have old means ceased to work, or do they call
For new force being put behind them all?

Not a few e-mails that cross my electronic desk are worth sharing with readers of these “Comments.” Let me quote here from two (abbreviated and adapted as usual). The first is by a young layman, a former seminarian from Winona and now the father of a large family. He is one Catholic that could never be accused of underestimating the power of today’s universal apostasy, although he is resolute that something still can, and therefore must, be done. He writes:—

“Today’s institutionalized liberalism and the modern crowd’s deafening call for Barabbas may very well result in a crop of martyrs. I can appreciate where you are coming from when you wonder whether God still wants today a traditional institution like a seminary, and so on. In the 19th century Don Bosco had to invent a new kind of lay ‘co-operator’ for his work with boys, neither a Confraternity nor a Third Order, because he said that the devil had changed his tactics, so he had had to do so as well. Good Catholics were taken by surprise, but his new adaptation of old means proved successful.

“I mention this because to keep the Faith today is like walking against the wildest rapids. Keeping all my family and myself on track for Heaven takes all that I am and all that I have. To adapt words of St Paul (II Cor. 11, 28–29), “Which of them is weak, and I am not weak?” I remember your telling us seminarians years ago that wherever we found ourselves later, we would have to bring order into flying chaos. That chaos is more intense now than it was 25 years ago, because daily life has greatly changed over the last 15, 30, 45 years. The world is now eating souls for lunch in a sophisticated and relentless way. Parents must adapt tried and true principles to meet the Devil’s new tactics, because what worked before won’t necessarily work today. It is these ‘slings and arrows’ of parenting today that make me wonder whether the need for different means to achieve the same ends might not apply to seminaries and vocations also.”

The second email comes from a “Resistance” priest who says that the old means are still good, but they do need to be faithfully applied. He writes:—

“It is incredible how many of our people are not doing the basic things of Catholic life. They want to be pleasing to God. Now special Catholic initiatives and undertakings are not bad in themselves, but they are far less important, difficult and meritorious than the daily grind. Our people want to avoid mortal sin, and that’s about it. How many times do I hear they “forgot” to say their morning/evening prayers, or those before/after meals. And the reading of the Bible, lives of the saints, catechism! This is why I work, in season and out of season, to try to convince my people to have a steady and regular Catholic life, to convince them that this is what is truly pleasing t o God.

“The same applies to the ‘Resistance.’ I have told my people that the real test will be that of keeping going, of perseverance. It was relatively easy, two to three years ago, when we were in a pitched battle, hacking to left and to right, but now it is more like trench warfare. And we will hold our ground as a movement if every priest and Catholic layman holds his ground in his daily life.”

God created no soul for Hell (I Tim. II, 4). It follows that every soul can find the means to get to Heaven, if it wants. These means may be difficult, but they will not be complicated, otherwise they would be inaccessible to many. The old-fashioned means, especially the daily Rosary, are not complicated, but they do need to be applied.

Kyrie eleison.

Eleison Comments – Number CDXI – (411)

Eleison Comments

Eliot Weekend

Catholics, do not be narrow. Our Lord said

That sheep outside his fold have him as head.

The weekend seminar held here in Broadstairs at the beginning of May on poems and plays of the famous modern poet, T.S. Eliot (1888–1965), was a great success. Eliot is a writer difficult to understand, because he insisted on making sense of the senseless modern world, but Dr David White’s six lectures (in 36 hours!) inspired in his more than two dozen Catholic listeners a real interest in Eliot. He was chosen as subject of the literary seminar because he wrote part of his most famous poem, the Waste Land, in nearby Margate. A high point of the seminar was an excursion to the seaside pavilion where Eliot did the actual writing, and where Dr White recited the Waste Land to seminar participants in front of a grey sea, beneath a grey sky – the atmospherics were perfect!

Many Catholics object to writers who are not openly Catholic, however famous they may be. But in the mid-1920’s, soon after writing the Waste Land, Eliot nearly became a Catholic, and from then on until his death the solution he presented in his writings for the modern world’s problems centered around Our Lord Jesus Christ. This may not be obvious at first view, either because he was writing for lukewarm Christians, or because he was still himself wrestling with modernity, but let his real belief in Christ be illustrated by a poem from his Four Quartets, singled out by Dr White for explanation, section IV of the fourth quartet, “Little Gidding”:

  1. The dove descending breaks the air
  2. With flame of incandescent terror
  3. Of which the tongues declare
  4. The one discharge from sin and error.
  5. The only hope, or else despair
  6. Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre –
  7. To be redeemed from fire by fire.
  8. Who then devised the torment? Love.
  9. Love is the unfamiliar Name
  10. Behind the hands that wove
  11. The intolerable shirt of flame
  12. Which human power cannot remove.
  13. We only live, only suspire
  14. Consumed by either fire or fire.

During the Second World war, Eliot was living in London, and at night he acted as an Air Raid Warden, patrolling the streets to minimize the danger and damage of German air raids. The first of the poem’s two verses is like those plastic double images which contain two pictures, depending on how you tilt the plastic. The second verse draws the tremendous lesson from the double image.

Thus 1) the “dove descending” is both the Holy Ghost descending at Pentecost and the enemy bombers coming down on London. 2) The “flame of terror” is both the fire of the Holy Ghost and the enemy’s incendiary bombs. 3) The “tongues” are both those of the Holy Ghost on the heads of the Apostles and those of the fire-bombs, while 4) the “discharge” is both the Redemption by Christ and the releasing of the bombs by human politics. 5) The first of these is our only hope, the second is the hopelessness of war. 6) On which funeral pyre do we choose to burn? 7) The fire of Redemption is to save us from the fire of damnation. Second verse: thus 8) it is God who designs World Wars to save us from eternal fire. 9) He is not well known, but it is 10) his Love which is allowing the politicians to cause 11) the torments of war, 12) which are redeemable by Christ alone. 13) In conclusion, human life ends only 14) in fire, either that of divine Love or that of eternal damnation.

The Third World War is coming. When it comes, how many Catholic preachers are there who will dare to preach that it is the divine Love which will have been behind its appalling sufferings, no less being necessary in order to put us back, by God’s design, on track to Heaven? The non-Catholic Eliot was saying it 70 years ago.

Kyrie eleison.

Eleison Comments: Conciliar Popes I – Number CDX – (410)

Eleison Comments
Conciliar Popes I

The world has always known bad Popes, but never 

As in today’s world more corrupt than ever.

Whenever the claim is put forward that the Conciliar Popes may be at least partly in good faith, there are usually Catholics that protest. They will say that the Popes are intelligent and educated churchmen, so it is impossible that they do not fully realize what they are doing. The “mentevacantist” theory, according to which these Popes have vacant minds, partly ignorant of the consequences of their own actions, is for these critics absurd. One can understand the protest, but let me quote a friend who understands “mentevacantism” as it needs to be understood:—

“The idea that Popes can be mistaken in good faith because they hold that certain errors are not opposed to the Faith, gets little serious attention, because people have a concept of the papacy too detached from the world, whereas the whole history of the Popes is a history of men of their time being liable to share in all the good and bad habits and vices of their time. The difference lies in the power of the error, which has never been so mighty as it is today, mankind never having been, as one must not forget, so degenerate as today.

“For indeed liberalism is now everywhere and it is overwhelming, no longer a mere thought, or way of thinking, but a very way of being that permeates every man alive, be he an absolute liberal in himself, or an agent of liberalism and its subversion, or merely one of its tools. Such is the case of the Conciliar Popes. They think they are drawing close to the world to heal it. They do not realize that it is the world which is drawing them to itself to infect and control them.

“In such a situation as this, one can certainly speak of liberal Popes but not of non-Catholic Popes, insofar as there is lacking the prime requisite for such a condemnation, namely the personal will on their part to be liberals and not Catholics. All one can do is recognize the fact that in these Popes there is the personal will to be Catholics and not anti-Catholic liberals, since for them there is no contradiction between the two, far from it. According to their theologian and thinker, Joseph Ratzinger, liberalism is one of the good by-products of Catholicism, needing only to be cleansed of certain alien distortions imported into it. And so as for destroying the Church, it stands to reason that Popes believing in such a compromised Catholicism cannot help one of the consequences of their actions being the destruction of the Church.

“Concerning Archbishop Lefebvre, given that he grew up in a Church quite different from today’s Church, I can only conclude that for him it was impossible for a Catholic acting as an instrument of subversion not to realize what he was doing. Still less could a Pope not realize. From reading between the lines of certain of the Archbishop’s writings, I do believe that while his vision of the world certainly included the process of degeneration reaching down to the end of time, it did not include that process involving in any clear manner the Church as well.”

I can just hear readers objecting to this kind of analysis: “Oh, Excellency, please stop defending the Conciliar Popes. It’s black or white. If they’re black, I’ll be a happy sedevacantist. If they’re white, I’ll be a happy liberal. Your greys do nothing but confuse me!”

Dear reader, black is black, white is white, but rarely in real life do we find pure white, and never pure black (whatever is, has the goodness of being). If you want to understand this relative excusing of the Conciliar Popes, the key is to grasp that the world has never been so deeply bad as it is today. From this unprecedented degeneracy it is obvious that Conciliar Popes are in this respect more excusable for going astray in the Faith than any of their predecessors.

Kyrie eleison.