Home Articles Golden Oldies Speaking Schedule About Christ or Chaos Links Donations Contact Us
May 19, 2004

More Than a Matter of Governance

Pope John Paul II wonders in his new autobiography whether he has been too soft on Church dissidents. There is no need for anyone, including the Holy Father, to wonder about his governance of the Church in the past twenty-six years. It has been deplorably weak, yielding more and more ground to curial cardinals and national episcopal conferences and local ordinaries in the midst of an unprecedented revolution against almost everything contained in the Deposit of Faith and expressed so beautifully and perfectly in the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. No, the problems of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II are far more than those touching his governance of the Church; the real essence of problems of the current pontificate touch upon the Holy Father's expression of the Faith and his refusal to speak as a Catholic in the midst of his crusade to advance the agenda of the false ecumenism that has been institutionalized in the Church since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII in 1958.

There is no need to catalogue once more the problems of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II or of the conciliar and postconciliar eras. Many have done a good deal of work in this regard. Attila Guimaraes has published several books containing a good deal of documentation about the disconnect between the authentic patrimony of the Church and the current pontificate. Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., and Christopher Ferrara have done so in their very readable and irrefutable The Great Facade. The Devil's Final Battle, which was edited by Father Paul Kramer, also provides a good deal of solid information, some of which will be referred to below. Indeed, to state the obvious about the pontificate of Pope John Paul II is to engage in an exercise of tedious redundancy. It is to attempt to repeat over and over again points that people must have the grace to be open to see and to accept. There comes a point when the law of diminishing returns makes such efforts counter-productive. All of the information is there. It is up to individuals to view it dispassionately and to accept it for what it is, which has happened in many cases as a result of the books mentioned in this paragraph.

A few observations, though, are in order concerning the refusal of Pope John Paul II to advance the Social Reign of Christ the King. It is this aspect of the current pontificate (and of the entire conciliar and postconciliar eras) that demonstrates more than anything else that the Holy Father has a false belief that an appeal to a "brotherhood" or "solidarity" found in the "civilization of love" can unite men and their nations despite their denominational differences. As is pointed out in The Devil's Final Battle, this novel approach to the addressing of those outside of the true Church has much in common with the ethos of Freemasonry. Freemasons do not need to have a lodge brother on the Papal throne if the general spirit of "toleration" and "brotherhood" that has gained currency among many intellectuals, including Catholic bishops and priests and theologians, is advanced as a guiding principle of modern man. The ethos of Freemasonry, which seeks to eliminate all mention of the Holy Name from public discourse and all discussion of the Incarnation as essential to the good of men and their societies, has been adopted as the foundation of the civil state and popular culture in the past three and one-half centuries.

To wit, Pope John Paul II, who recently addressed God merely as "the Almighty" in an audience with the Mohammedan President of Senegal, was questioned early in his pontificate by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre about the doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King. The inestimable Michael Davies recounted the exchange in his Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre. The Archbishop asked the Pope as to whether Pope Pius XI's Quas Primas, which instituted the Feast of Christ the King to emphasize the immutable doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning Our Lord's right to reign as King of nations as well as of individual men, was still binding. The Holy Father hemmed and hawed, saying that Pius XI would have written his encyclical letter "differently" if he were alive then (the early 1980s). In other words, Pope John Paul II felt fully justified in ignoring the doctrine, so beautifully summarized in a letter of Saint Louis IX, King of France, to his son, of the Social Kingship of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in order to promote a regime of novelty concerning the brotherhood of men that seeks "dialogue" with others while the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is meant to be an expression of the timelessness of God and His eternal truths as a propitiatory offering for human sins offered at the hands of an alter Christus, is imbued with earthbound concepts of  "inculturation" so as to appeal to various whims of time and place.

The novel, un-Catholic approach of Pope John Paul II to dealing with the evils of our contemporary era is founded on a view that avoiding a frank discussion of the proximate causes of these evils will unite men of disparate backgrounds. Thus, even the Holy Father's recent defense of the absolute right of brain-damaged patients to the provision of food and water was couched in the language of "human solidarity" when it should have been made quite simply by pointing out the principles found in any Catholic moral theology book prior to the 1950s: that it is never permissible to take any action that has as its direct and immediate end the death of an innocent human being.

This is true also of the Holy Father's spirited opposition to abortion, based for the most part on appeals to the proper use of human freedom more than to the primacy of the Divine positive law and the natural law and the right of the true Church to interpose herself when those in civil authority propose to violate (or have in fact violated) those laws. I am sorry to admit that my own Christ in the Voting Booth, which was published in 1998, included any such quotes from Pope John Paul II. I should have relied more than I did upon Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI. It is wrong to concede any ground to the regime of novelty, and the Holy Father's abstruse and tortured, bordering on the inaccessible, use of natural philosophy to arrive at points stated clearly in the living tradition of the Church has been most certainly an important part of the great facade of his own pontificate.

It is the devil himself who seeks to convince Catholics that it is neither expedient or prudent to make public advertence to the Holy Name of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man in the contemporary world. The devil uses various instruments, some of which work together and some of which simply share the same intellectual or philosophical bents. Pope Leo XIII catalogued the essential philosophical unity of these forces, sometimes collaborative and sometimes divergent, in all of his great encyclical letters on the State, including Humanum Genus, in which he discussed the ethos of Freemasonry. Of concern to Pope Leo XIII was not the particularities of who belonged to this lodge or that lodge but to explain how the general world view of Freemasonry was the foundation of popular sovereignty and thus the modern state and what passes for "popular culture." Each of us is an instrument of the devil to sow disorder into our own lives and thus that of the Church and the world by means of our sins. It is nevertheless true, though, that certain organized forces have sought to popularize ideas hostile to the Incarnation and Redemptive Act of the God-Man, sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly.

Although one could, I suppose, take issue with the conclusions of Father Denis Fahey in The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World, can one really disparage his scholarship and his knowledge of intellectual and political history and economics? Can one say with a straight face that Father E. Cahill, S.J., who wrote The Framework of the Christian State, replete with its massive bibliography, did not address some of the proximate causes of modernity and the modern state, that Father Cahill was himself ignorant of the common threads of the intellectual currents that have been mutating since the days of Niccolo Machiavelli? Can one not read such works as George O'Brien's An Essay on the Economic Effects of the Reformation and Father Vincent McNabb's The Church and the Land and simply dismiss as mere screeds these scholarly reviews of the effects of one of the other principal forces of modernity, the Protestant Revolt, on the entirety of our politics and economics and culture?

Well, obviously, the Holy Father would do so, as would his reflexive defenders. After all, the reductio ab absurdem of the entirety of the Catholic Faith to the person of the Vicar of Christ has resulted in the very un-Catholic novelty of suspending rational thought in the belief that if a particular pope says something then it must be so, regardless of whether what a pope says is so is actually consonant with what has been taught always, everywhere and by everyone as part of the Church's doctrine and authentic tradition. If a pope chooses to speak or to write without referencing the Social Reign of Christ the King, therefore, he must have a good reason. The Holy Ghost is guiding him infallibly or at least efficaciously in this regard, his defenders would protest.

There is quite an irony in all of this: some of the critics of the regime of novelty of the past forty years, men and women who have rightly and convincingly criticized the Second Vatican Council and the conciliar and postconciliar pontificates, make the same error of the Holy Father himself when they speak or write on matters of current events. They, too, refuse to speak or to write of the doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King, placing their trust in this or that philosophy, especially conservatism or any of its variations. Some speak of what it is to be a "true" conservative in order to fight the errors of liberalism, errors that are merely the result of the multifaceted range of forces set loose upon the world in a variety of forms from the time of the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Freemasonry, which does not only "wish the Church ill" but has indeed attacked her head on with violent fury, especially in Latin America in the wake of the American and French Revolutions and in Italy during the Risorgimento and thereafter. Communism itself is merely a mutation of these forces. Consider, for example, George O'Brien's observation in An Essay on the Economic Effects of the Reformation:

The actual opposition which exists between socialists and Protestants is founded on the remnants of the Catholic element which, as we have already shown, modern Protestantism still contains; but as this remnant is rapidly receding before the great destructive element of Protestantism, this opposition is becoming more and more feeble. Obviously, the advance of this destructive element at the expense of the conservative element, not only tends to remove the inherent opposition between Protestantism and socialism, but also tends to weaken the weapons with which the former can withstand the latter. The more the principle of private judgment is admitted, the more hopeless it becomes to attempt to impose one's own opinion on other people. "If socialism," says Nicolas, "is the grown-up son of private judgment; if it is private judgment, passed from the religious order to the philosophical, political, and social order; if it is the growing insurrection against the Church, the State, and the home--evidently we can combat it only in its principle, private judgment, and by its contrary, authority. But the Protestant professes the principle of private judgment; how, then, can he invoke it?" Socialism, in a word, is social Protestantism; just as Protestantism was religious socialism."

We must never tire of pointing out these truths. The principle error of modernity (and thus all modern religious and intellectual movements) is the denial of the fact that the Word became Flesh in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb and entrusted to His true Church, the Catholic Church, the Deposit of Faith that is to guide men individually and their nations collectively. We cannot fight the multifaceted and inter-related errors of modernity by aping the errors of Pope John Paul II, seeking to find some interdenominational, non-denominational or philosophical common ground with the errors contained in Protestantism and Freemasonry and the whole of our contemporary politics and economics. We cannot fight secularism with secularism. We can only fight secularism with Catholicism. Our cause is not the conservative cause or the American cause. It is the Catholic cause and none other. For only the Catholic Faith can direct a nation to serving the common good of all men in civil matters in light of their eternal destiny.

Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe saw Freemasons parading through the streets of Rome in early 1917, the very year that Our Lady appeared to Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin, Lucia dos Santos. He decided then and there to found the Knights of the Immaculata to fight the influence of international Freemasonry and Zionism in the modern world with the breastplate of total consecration to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart and with the Miraculous Medal. Was Saint Maximilian Kolbe simply a nutty "conspiracy theorist" who overemphasized the danger of those who had perverted politics and economics and culture? Has the Church been right to emphasize only the fact of Saint Maximilian's giving up of his life in Auschwitz and downplaying, if not apologizing for, his work against Freemasonry and Zionism? Are those so impressed with the alleged intellectual muscle of "true conservatism" willing to be remain silent in conservative journals about the necessity of converting the whole world to the true Faith and subordinating everything in every nation's popular culture and law to the Social Reign of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen? The great popes of tradition and Saint Maximilian Kolbe show us how to combat the errors of modernity, not Edmund Burke or Willmoore Kendall or Russell Kirk or Robert Welch or Ronald Reagan or F. Clifton White or William F. Buckley, Jr.

May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, help us always to speak and to write frankly and unapologetically as confessional Catholics who seek openly to advance the Social Reign of Christ the King. We must thus learn lessons that have been lost on this Holy Father, whose stewardship of the Church is more than a matter of governance, and on those who do not want to take the Faith "too far" in opposing errors that can only be fought by a faithful adherence to Our Lady's Fatima requests and our exhortations to all others to do the same.











© Copyright 2004, Christ or Chaos, Inc. All rights reserved.