Monday, December 30, 2013



It is always pleasant to recall one of those actors whose presence in a film has the effect of elevating it in the eye of the viewer to something special, and in bringing to it a certain distinction.  Such actors, whether handling substantial roles or mere cameos, could often times make an indifferent film something worth watching or a good film even better.  These types were quite simply incapable of giving a bad performance and could elicit in even some of the more cynical film goers or film makers the very warmest of feelings.  Actors such as these are not mere actors; they are some of our oldest and dearest of friends.

For such as I the Christmas Season brings fond memories of many things not the least of which are kindly thoughts about the former Scottish choir master and church organist turned thespian, Finlay Currie.

As Abel Magwitch in "Great Expectations"

His acting career began when he met and married New York-born stage performer Maude Courtney, with whom he had a successful music hall career in the 1890s singing and playing with her many of the old songs of eras past.  The stage would be their home for decades, yet it was only a matter of time before the fledging British film industry would discover this gigantic personality.  And yet it would be thirty five years before Currie would act in a motion picture.

Most of those who cherish classic films or simply the art of picture-making remember him best in David Lean's superb version of GREAT EXPECTATIONS, most particularly in the striking opening sequence.

"Great Expectations": Magwitch confronts the boy

No one-dimensional performance here.  As Abel Magwitch, the escaped convict who befriends young "Pip", Currie paints a thoroughly convincing portrait of a man who led a life of evil that ended in redemption.  He terrifies us at first but over the course of the movie our initial fear undergoes significant changes.  Currie makes it all believable.  And in the end, when Currie's Magwitch has completed his life's work, there is nothing left but deep-down human warmth.  It is one of the great moments in cinema found in a motion picture filled with great moments. His role became the cement that held the story and the film together.  Dickens would have been delighted with him.

[If this magnificent film is not in your personal collection you owe it to yourself to add it.]

Currie's imposing frame and presence were well used by numerous film impresarios.  He could really play almost any part, be it serious or humorous, and inject it with life.  One cherishes Mr Currie's contribution to films such as TRIO, SLEEPING CAR TO TRIESTE, I KNOW WHERE I AM GOING, TREASURE ISLAND(1950) and IVANHOE (1952) to skim only the surface.  When his name comes up in the credits I smile, knowing that the ensuing film will be something worthwhile or, at any rate, all the better for his participation in it.  All of these films just mentioned are available on video or dvd. 

The British cinema of the 1930s through the 1960s had the great fortune of having at its command some of the greatest acting talents of both stage and screen.  There was richness in abundance.  The calibre of people available then was just simply incredible.  It is impossible to view an English film from that era and not find brilliant, professional, wonderful acting.  And of such individuality...unlike today when one cannot distinguish the difference between a Depp or a deCaprio.

Currie's craggy features turned up with regularity throughout the golden years of English cinema  wherein it seemed audiences could not get enough of him.  As the 1950s approached and as the man's advanced years approached as well one would expect a slowing down of pace, even retirement.  Not so.  Mr Currie became, in his 70s, a very busy actor in international films, busier than he had been in the previous two decades. Giving up the profession he loved was impossible for this man.  When MGM made their epic version of QUO VADIS in 1950 their choice of Currie to play St Peter the Apostle was for that cautious studio a bit of a gamble but one that paid dividends and then some.  The choice was particularly inspired.

Currie as St Peter in "Quo Vadis"
With those strong and noble features and his larger-than-life presence he brought strength to a very difficult role, one which would have been a mere throw away in any other production on the same theme.  The actors who have portrayed the part since have been varied and most of them were younger so as to conform to the depiction of Christ's life on earth.  Noteworthy among these actors would be Gary Raymond in THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD.  But in QUO VADIS we have a Peter living in the year 64 A.D. and as such a mature man was required, a man with a face careworn.  Mr Currie brings it off with his usual towering conviction.

With QUO VADIS Finlay Currie now found himself in demand for big epics.  Capitalizing on his role as St Peter producer Sam Zimbalist called on him once more for his next Biblical epic, BEN HUR.  In that film Currie finds himself playing one of the Three Wise Men, Balthasar, whom the screen writers find ways to include into the story at various points throughout the picture.  It is Currie's voice which also supplies the opening narration for the Nativity sequence.

As Balthasar in "Ben Hur"
More epics followed: THE BLACK ROSE, ROB ROY, ST JOAN, SOLOMON AND SHEBA (as King David) and THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.  By this time in his career even cameramen were calling him "dear, old Finlay Currie" when called upon to photograph a picture he was in.  He could be a fiery Scot but that was part bluster on his part according to those who worked with him  And how game he was!  Cinematographer Wilkie Cooper related to this writer his admiration for a man who when playing the survivor of a sinking ocean liner in the 1957 movie SEVEN WAVES AWAY was, at nearly 80, willing and able to jump right in to the cold water with the other younger actors playing the stranded passengers.

His sense of humor was always with him even if under the surface.  When invited to big movie premieres he would arrive in his full kilt, accompanied by his wife to the delight of everyone present.

He was a dedicated teacher of the arts of acting to the young who would come to him for advice.  He was never too proud to accept small roles, even brief bit parts, because he acted only for the sheer joy of acting.

"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

I loved him as the old steamboat Captain in the beautifully done 1960 version of HUCKLEBERRY FINN and I have the softest of spots in my heart for his lovely portrayal of Pope Innocent III in the 1962 FRANCIS OF ASSISI.  He brought an immense power and yet gentleness to that portrayal of one of Catholicism's great Pontiffs (Indeed I think he would have made a better Pope than some we've had!  Pope Finlay I has a nice ring to it.).  His career of 70-odd years ended with his death at age 90 on May 9, 1968.

This fiery, old Scot Protestant was a man who was always dear to this writer's heart and I had always wondered and hoped if he would ever have been granted the grace of Faith. 

It was therefore a moment of deep emotion and great joy when I discovered via the internet that God did grant him that grace.  This good man and great actor converted to the Catholic faith in his lifetime and died in the bosom of the Church.

RIP, dear, old Finlay Currie.

I believe it is time to sit down and enjoy one of his grand films.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


It is necessary for the good of souls and the good of the Church that religious orders be true to their founding charisms, the primary one being to "teach all nations" as Jesus Christ commanded of his followers.  When they deviate from this clear path it is necessary for Rome to step in to make the necessary corrections.  We know that right now the Franciscans and their correction are very much on the minds of those in Rome so I offer as a case in point, the Franciscans of......


We note from the parish bulletin of St Francis of Assisi Parish in Milwaukee that the Franciscans who administer the parish had on the 28th of December a celebration of something called "Kwaanza" (or "Kwanzaa" or "Kwaanzaa" or however the idiotic thing is spelled).  I was under the apparently mistaken impression that December 28th was the Third Day of Christmas and that it should have been honored as such.  We leap to the conclusion that these Franciscans find it more compelling to honor some ridiculous created-out-of-thin-air "festival" than to continue the honoring of the Divine Infancy.

I am at a loss to understand how participating in such nonsense will help parishioners better understand and live the Catholic Faith.  I am  reasonably certain that if I inquired I would hear a whole litany of maudlin excuses and vomitous claptrap from the parish about the needs of responding to local cultures, etc., etc., etc. One can hope that the pastor of the Church has a good heart at least; but it is evident that he is sorely lacking in a proper formation.  He cannot be totally blamed for failing to pass along something he was never taught.

Reading this parish bulletin is not for the faint of heart, for in addition to the above silliness we note that the parish offers a Gospel Music Workshop. Good Lord, can you imagine what that's like?  I shudder to think of how awful their regular Masses must be. So what is in fact happening is that instead of teaching local pagans the truths of the Faith the Faithful at St Francis parish are absorbing the culture and beliefs of the local pagans.  This is always the inevitable result of "inculturation" anyway, whether it happens in Bombay or Milwaukee.

Thus far the Franciscans in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee under Jerome Listecki go on their merry way with their foot-stomping, hallelujah-shouting, fried chicken-chomping celebrations of a "holiday" the likes of which having somehow escaped the notice of historians for seven millenia.  Along this happy hand-clapping way the message of Christ, not to mention that of St. Francis of Assisi, has somehow been lost in the fog.  Strangely, as of now, Rome has not swooped down on them like a vulture as they are wont to do with other Franciscans.

Perhaps the Vatican, so concerned by Franciscans just now, could explain.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Pope St Pius X
We present now Part Three of Arnaud de Lassus' great study of the diabolic disorientation known as Modernism.  You can find Part One here and Part Two here.

Once you have availed yourself of the studies of de Lassus on this important subject you will no longer be left with any doubt as to what has occurred in the past and continues to occur in Holy Church.

Once again we are grateful not only to Arnaud de Lassus but to Anthony Fraser over at APROPOS for permission to use his translation.

by Arnaud de Lassus

III Neo-Modernism in the Conciliar and post conciliar eras

By virtue of the absence of disciplinary measures arising from the encyclical Humani generis of 1950, the neo-Modernists were able to continue to develop their action in the bosom of the Church in the years 1950-58 (the end of Pius XII’s pontificate). They knew how to take advantage of the excitement arising from The Second Vatican Council. So much, that in 1967, in his book Le Paysan de la Garonne, Jacques Maritain was able to compare the Modernism at the time of St Pius X as a mild hay fever if one was to compare it with the Modernism then triumphant (cf. the quotation from Maritain below).

The neo-Modernism of the conciliar and post-conciliar eras is an immense subject and we will only touch on some aspects here: those which allow us to see better the continuity of the Modernist phenomenon since the beginning of the 20th century. One may find a more complete analysis in the AFS brochure Le modernisme hier et aujourd’hui especially on the subject of the Modernist philosophical society of today.

• Reasons for the success of neo-Modernism

Here is how Fr Calmel explains them in his preface to the Catéchisme sur le modernisme du Père Lemius [Fr Lemius’ Catechism on Modernism] (p.102 of No 12 of Sel de la Terre).

‘How do we explain how the virus has penetrated so far into the organism. One may enumerate three principal reasons:

Firstly the imposture of Vatican II, the only one of all the Councils which refused to be doctrinal;
Secondly, the progressive occupation of the most elevated positions by Modernist prelates;
Thirdly, the debility of the theological life amongst all the Christian people, and beginning at its head.

A council which betrayed, prelates who betrayed, a Christian people incapable of resisting the treason, because they were spiritually debilitated. Here, at least in part, is what has passed between the two Modernisms; that of St Pius X who was a saint; that of Paul VI who rather evokes Honorius I.’

• The neo-Modernist mindset

We find in it, as in the Modernism of St Pius X’s time, the love of novelties in all domains where they have no raison d’être.

One of the key words of Vatican II was Aggiornamento (update):

‘The insistence which is made in the texts of the Council to this claim of Aggiornamento for adaptation to the world has created in the Catholic world a climate of constant tension towards the new, an agitation (which perdures today )towards some indeterminate thing, which one always firmly desires. This agitation (or “mobilism” as Amerio calls it (43) is not Catholic; it is typical, to the contrary, of the spirit of the world; at any rate it surely does not come from the Holy Spirit: “The word novus occurs two hundred and twelve times in Vatican II; much more frequently than in any other Council…Paul VI repeatedly proclaimed the newness of the conciliar thought: ‘The important words of the council are newness and updating…the word newness has been given to us as an order, as a program.’ (L’Osservatore Romano, 3rd July 1974)” (44). And when the “new”, as one sees it, reveals itself for what it is, indeed: a cheap and even banal adaptation of the Church’s doctrine and thought towards profane doctrines, the anxiety did not come to a stop, but to the contrary it grew, because the novelty of such an adaptation (treacherous) is such that it not content with something definite; it is condemned to surpass continually its objectives, in discussing and in criticising everything and wishing all to dissolve in a something new yet to be realised, ad infinitum.’ (45)

This irrepressible desire for novelty, for modernity as been translated into facts. Thus, we have had a new Mass, a new liturgical calendar, a new catechism, new doctrines on many points, a new exegesis, a new canon law…

We can find in Romano Amerio’s book Iota Unum, much more developed explanations on the Modernist mindset, especially in chapters V (The Post-Conciliar period), XVI (Dialogue) and XVII (Mobilism). (46)

• Neo-Modernist philosophical errors linked with those of Modernism
We will deal here with the loss of the sense of truth and with immanentism (everything coming from within, from conscience). 

The loss of the sense of truth

We will give by way of example a text of Abbé Delzant, of the Jean Bart centre (47) entitled Croire dans un monde scientifique (Believing in a scientific world) and published in 1975.

Abbé Delzant distinguishes three worlds, world A (which we have moved from), world B ( or the intermediary world) and world C (the world to which we tend) and he presents them as follows in quoting the expressions unique to each of them:

World A: “Christendom”, “submission to authority of the Church”, “It is necessary to teach doctrine, dogma, to transmit the truths of the faith, to put into practice the moral laws”, “the age of metaphysics”. The key words in this type of explanation are “substance”, “soul”, “raison d’etre”, “good”, it is the age of “the imaginary”, which “is no longer suitable”.
World B: “encounter, dialogue, witness, presence, incarnation, engagement, progress, mandate, mission…” “Discern the signs of the time”, “put at a distance the instruments or objects of faith”.
World C: “diaspora” “more discussion ! a hypothesis, an analysis, a work, a production…”, “Change of ‘system’”. To dare “other things”, the age “connections and relations”. “order of mutual recognition”, “the order of alliance”.’
Here are two other more concise explanations of this evolution of a system of thought to another which produces neo-Modernism:

‘For the philosophical categories of being and of substance are substituted, so as to think of the world, those of exchange, of relation, of communication.’

‘The modern man tends to value research much more than discovery, the question rather than the reply (…)

He has a keen conscience that the truth is not something to be received as fact, that it is to be conquered progressively. Man does not receive the truth, he builds it.’

One finds here the same conception of truth among the neo-Modernists at the time of Pius XII (cf. p.156 below): truth will be in conformity with the exigencies of action and human life which is always evolving.


Let’s remind ourselves of the definition which one may give to this philosophical and theological error: (50)

If conscience is the source of religion, freedom of conscience in the liberal sense (the claimed right to think and to believe what one wishes, even in religion and morality) is the rule - the freedom of conscience dear to Protestants, since it follows from one of the principal foundations of their religion, interior illumination. (51)

Here are some expressions of this error in some recent texts:

‘The social doctrine of the Church is set in reference to the natural law and to the rights of people, as an expression of the collective conscience of humanity.’ (The Diocesan Bulletin of Metz, 1st May1968).

‘The norm for the regulation of births according to the encyclical Humanae vitae of 1968 represents a position which cannot be substituted for the responsibility of the conscience of the faithful.’
(Declaration of Cologne, by 163 Professors of theology, 25th January 1989; a declaration entitled Contre la mise sous tutelle, pour une catholicité ouverte – Against being put under supervision – for an open Catholicity)

‘The Church’s word is neither an ideology, nor a doctrine; neither is it a third way. The Church, respectful of human autonomy, only claims solely to help man today to make his own response. In this sense, the Church has no response to the problems of society. It is no longer, as it appeared in the past, mistress of truth in that which concerns ethical questions or social relationships for example.’

(Pastoral Guide for Catholic Teaching 1989).

One finds in these texts the tendency to make conscience into the supreme rule in religion and morals, (52)a typical Protestant tendency. (cf. Pascendi §8 &23)

Neo-Modernist theological errors akin to those of Modernism

We will limit our consideration here to the confusion of the natural with the supernatural.

This error, already present in Modernism (see below p.148) constitutes the foundation for what we call the New Theology. (53)

Fr de Lubac (54) (1896-1991) has contributed to substantiate it in using the Modernist method which consists in maintaining two incompatible concepts one with the other. Here is how this was presented by Cardinal Joseph Siri in his book Gethsemane:

‘He (Fr de Lubac) unfolds and interlaces syllogisms and speculations with an astonishing sagacity, thus endeavouring to bring together in balance the two concepts: on the one hand the supernatural implied in nature from the creation, and on the other hand the gratuitousness of the supernatural, of grace.’ (55)

The thesis of the supernatural implied in nature can only benefit from such ambiguity.

One sees the consequences of such a thesis.

If nature can identify itself with the supernatural, can we not conclude that all the world is in a state of grace, that the whole world is saved, that no one is in hell? We will therefore see the disappearance of the prediction of the last times. (56) Salvation being universal, all religions may be considered as means of attaining it.

De Lubac was made Cardinal in 1991. One can judge his influence by these words of Cardinal Ratzinger, at a speech given at the French Embassy at the Vatican on 11th May 1998:

‘In 1948, we learned of the book Surnaturel by Father Henri de Lubac: this book, with its new anthropology, with its profound sensitivity for modern man and his profound message of the Christian faith was an event for us. It opened up to us a new vision of the world and presented a new synthesis between modernity and tradition. A little later, I discovered other French theologians such as Congar, Daniélou, Chenu: my thinking was formed in contact with these masters and in whom I found an exemplary synthesis between spirituality and science, between intuition and methodological rigor (…).’ (Osservatore Romano French Edition, 19th May 1998) (57)

• Neo-Modernist methods of arguing

Few in-depth studies exist on this subject. The best – to our knowledge – seems to be Romano Amerio’s account in his book Iota Unum. It has been summarised in the article Concile ou conciliabule (Council or confabulation) in the June 2000 issue of Courrier de Rome.

Here is some evidence of methods of arguing presented by Romano Amerio:

o Circiterisms

‘The “circiterism” is something which occurs frequently in the arguments of the innovators. It consists in referring to an indistinct and confused term as if it were something well established and defined, and then extracting or excluding from it the element one needs to extract or exclude. The term spirit of the council or indeed the council is just such an expression. I remember instances in pastoral practice, of priestly innovators violating quite definite rules which had been in no way altered since the council, and replying to the faithful, who were amazed at their arbitrary proceedings, by referring them to “the council”.’ (58)

o Part taken for the whole

‘To this they add another technique, characteristic of those who disseminate error: that of hiding one truth behind another so as to be able to behave as if the hidden truth were not only hidden but non-existent. (59)

An example: the definition of the Church as “the people of God on a journey” (a greatly privileged definition – let’s remember – in the conciliar texts) a formula which is not false in itself, but an incomplete formula, used in a manner to make us forget that the Church invisible is part of the Church and that it is even the most important part. Ah well! This definition has led in fact to the elimination of the cult of the Saints. With this method, one can use a part of the truth as if it acts as the whole truth (pars pro toto) and force it until it comes to represent a new doctrine which is wholly unacceptable.’ (60)

o An obvious contradiction

This is a method of arguing based on the use of the conjunction “but”, which signifies opposition:

‘For example to attack the principle of religious life they write: “The foundations of the religious life are not in question, but the style of its realisation”.61 Again to get round the dogma of the virginity of Our Lady in partu (while giving birth) they say that doubts are possible “Not concerning the belief itself, the dogmatic credentials of which are not contested by anyone, but as to its exact object, which does not necessarily include the miracle of giving birth without rupture of the body.” (62) And to attack the enclosure of nuns they write, “Enclosure must be maintained but it must be adapted according to the circumstances of place and time” (63)

And thus while appearing to maintain one’s position on the virginity of Our Lady on the religious life and on the enclosure of nuns, one is asserting that what is more important than a principle, are the ways of adapting it to times and places. But what sort of principle is inferior rather than superior to its realisations. Is it not obvious that there are styles which destroy rather than express, the fundamentals they are meant to embody?’ (64)

o Another example

‘So too at the Synod of Bishops in 1980, French Language Group B wrote: “The group adheres without reserve to Humanae vitae, but the dichotomy between the rigidity of law and pastoral flexibility must be overcome”. Thus adherence to the encyclical becomes purely verbal, because bending the law to conform with human weakness is more important than the encyclical’s teaching.’ (65)

• The systematic recourse to ambiguity

What R. Amerio calls the “obvious contradiction” only constitutes one of the forms of ambiguity of which the Modernists are fond. One could say that ambiguity to them was connatural. Ambiguity introduced voluntarily in a text has as its aim to permit several interpretations. Thus, one may go from an orthodox sense to a heterodox sense (contrary to traditional doctrine).

It is a fact that one finds ambiguity throughout the life of the Church today: ambiguity in the new liturgy, in the new catechism, in numerous pontifical texts, in conciliar texts…

Let’s confine ourselves to this last field of ambiguity. Here is how it was presented by Jean Madiran and Fr Calmel:

‘The conciliar texts have been completed (in the case of the Nota praevia 66) or even drawn up in a manner which is sufficiently traditional to be able to be voted on almost unanimously, and nevertheless in a manner sufficiently cunning to allow, as the sequel was to demonstrate, subsequent developments which at the time the council Fathers would have refused.

We have known for a long time that (the conciliar texts) are compromise texts. We also know that a Modernist fraction wished to impose a heretical doctrine.

Prevented from succeeding, it succeeded all the same in adopting informal texts; these texts present the double advantage for Modernism of not being able to be accused of clearly heretical propositions but nevertheless are able to be used in a sense opposed to the faith. We will wait later to combat them direct? We gave this a thought for a moment. The difficulty is that they do not give us chance to argue; they are too spineless. When you try to challenge a formula which appears worrying to you, there – in the same page - you will find another entirely irreproachable. When you seek to back up your preaching or your teaching on a solid text, impossible to get around, likely to transmit to your audience the traditional content of the faith and morality, you will soon note that the text you have chosen on the subject for example on the liturgy, or regarding the duties of societies regarding the true religion, that this text is insidiously weakened by a second text which, in reality, extenuates the first so that it has the air of complementing it. Decrees succeed the constitutions, and messages in the declarations without giving the spirit, save in the rare exception, a sufficient hold.’

Fr Calmel’s judgement on the systematic use of ambiguity (through a mixture of truth and falsehood) is remarkably like that of St Pius X in §18 quoted below, p. 149. Which goes to show that the Modernist continuity is found not only in doctrines but also in methods of arguing and – as we are going to see – in behaviour.

Neo-Modernist behaviour and methods

On the whole, the behaviour of the neo-Modernists of the conciliar and post-conciliar era is the same as that of Modernists at the time of St Pius X, with this difference however that their action has less need to be hidden since the resistance to oppose them in the Church has become very weak.

o The wish to remain in the Church

We who remain in the Church, we have very good motives to do so …It’s a matter not only of interpreting the reality of the Church, but to change it. (Hans Kung, 1967) (67)

Amongst the Modernist leaders there are not only those who remain in the Church, but those who have occupied important posts, let’s take the case of Fr de Lubac who was an expert at the Second Vatican Council and a member of the International Theological Commission before being named a cardinal.

• The hope for a council to exploit

Well before Vatican II, the neo-Modernists had wished for the opening of a council, because they had foreseen the part that they would be able to play.

In 1923 Pius XI had consulted Cardinal Billot on the opportunity of convoking a council; the Cardinal’s reply was wholly unfavourable:

‘Finally here is the principal reason which makes me absolutely opposed. The resumption of the Council is desired by the worst enemies of the Church, that is to say the Modernists who, as some indications suggest, are preparing to profit from the general state of the Church to carry out a revolution, the new 89 (68), the object of their dreams and hopes.’

• The manipulation of the Second Vatican Council

Cardinal Billot’s forecasts would be realised 40 years later. The neo-Modernist’s expectations were fulfilled in the Second Vatican Council; they knew how to manipulate it as can be seen from the quotations from Jean Madiran and Fr Calmel given below, p. 170.

Fr Ralph Wiltgen’s book The Rhine flows into the Tiber is most informative about their activities at the Council.

• Opposition between moderate neo-Modernists and radical neo-Modernists

After the Second Vatican Council an opposition more apparent than real was systematised between moderate neo-Modernists and radical neo-Modernists, tendencies illustrated by the revues Concilium and Communio. (69) The latter seek to apply the Council in order, to pursue Modernist objectives in a gradual and pragmatic manner. The former seek to arrive rapidly at the ultimate consequences of the Council.

We say that it is an opposition more apparent than real; it has deceived and continues to deceive many of the faithful who take as a truly doctrinal reaction, a false reaction mixing the truth and falsehood and – an incontestable sign of its fallacious character – always showing itself loyal to the Council texts.

• The keeping-in-place of well organised resources

Even when there are many of their men installed in posts of command, the neo-Modernists always keep in place discreet resources which, most often, keep the reality of power in their sector.

Among the books dealing with this subject, less well known it is true to say, with precise information is the book by G Adler and G Vogeleisen Un siècle de catéchèse en France 1893-1980, written in 1981 and that of Jean-Claude Didelot Clérocratie dans l’Église de France. (70)

In a note by G Adler and G Vogeleisen, one can see outlined the Modernist resource acting in France in the domain of catechesis. (71)

‘A curious phenomenon punctuates the catechetical movement; it is the periodic polarisation of its agents or writings around certain words or expressions. This craze phenomenon presents many characteristics;
a. the appearance of these expressions is difficult, if nigh impossible, to figure out. Circulating first of all in restricted circles, they appear in the future on the scene on the occasion of a book launch, a congress, or an article or in their use by a person “unknown” in catechetical “circles”. They are picked up in diocese after diocese thanks above all to the Diocesan networks. This is the creative period where these expressions mobilise and stimulate action.
b. functioning in a symbolic way, these words carry a hope, a conviction. They are signs of recognition and assure a certain sharing between those “who think like us” and others.
c. when these terms are reused in a standard manner in the meeting of the leaders or in the official texts of the hierarchy, they arrive at the end of their career, becoming dead stars from which creative spurt has been exhausted.’

A revealing text: one sees the initiative of a restricted circle ‘They are picked up in diocese after diocese thanks above all to the Diocesan networks’ to be taken up finally in the official documents of the hierarchy. This is the method of philosophical societies. (72)

• Neo-Modernism in 2007

In restoring the Mass of all times, in depriving the new Mass of its de facto monopoly in the Latin Church, the Motu Proprio of 7th July 2007 presents incontestably as a weighty anti-Modernist measure. At an interval of 100 years, it echoes the decree Lamentabili of 3rd July 1907 and of the encyclical Pascendi of 8th September 1907.

Will the recovery in the liturgical domain be accompanied by a recovery in the doctrinal domain, and especially a return to the doctrine of Christ the King which today has been abandoned? Will the Motu Proprio be the start of a general anti-Modernist reaction? It is too soon to tell.

For the time being, fidelity to the Second Vatican Council appears to be one of the norms of the new pontificate (73). Now this council, made by Modernists, is of a Modernist spirit. It constitutes on many points, a rupture with the past; in so far as it breaks with the past, it cannot be interpreted in the sense of continuity. By the very fact of this fidelity to Vatican II, Modernist errors remain strongly present in the Church.

In doctrinal matters, nothing is settled; the basic problems remain. We have therefore, more than ever, to fight Modernist excesses.


The analysis which we have presented on the neo-Modernism of the conciliar and post-conciliar era has only given some aspects of this complex phenomenon. But these suffice to demonstrate the continuity of the phenomenon since the beginning of the 20th century.

A common essence exists, a spirit common to the Modernism of St Pius X’s time, the neo-Modernism of St Pius XII’s time and that of the conciliar and post-conciliar era; the first of these common characteristics being the loss of the sense of truth, such as we have indicated on pages 143, 155, and 159 below.

Here are three quotations with sum up the essentials:

‘Blind that they are, and leaders of the blind, inflated with a boastful science, they have reached that pitch of folly where they pervert the eternal concept of truth.’
(Pascendi §14)

‘The heart of Modernism is really this: that the religious soul draws the object and motive of its own faith from within itself, and not from outside.’ (74)

‘Modern Catholicism (for the Modernists) can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism.’

Modernism has not essentially changed; it has perfected itself. What has changed is its attitude regarding the Roman authorities. Saint Pius X and Pius XII fought it. Through his teaching and his governance, Paul VI now fought it, now favoured such or such aspect of Modernism (let us compare for example his encyclical Mysterium fidei of 3rd September 1965 and the New Mass). One finds the same with Pope John Paul II. (76)

Modernism today must be fought more methodically than in the past: in its doctrines, in its fallacious arguments; in its networks to which it devotes a thousand active and competent persons. (77)

It is less easy to fight today than yesteryear due to the support it has from authority; we meet here the classical difficulty: in opposing an abuse of power, one must avoid calling into question the principle of authority. (78)

Be that as it may, to fight is necessary - and all the more urgent as most of the faithful see no necessity for same. There is a blindness there which risks being prolonged if we remain passive.


Some Secret Societies at work in the Church

Secret societies, Masonic or not, exist in the bosom of the Church today. To affirm this fact one is often seen as a crank, believing in the “mythology” of “secret societies”, an adept of “conspiracy theory”.

But this reality has deep historical roots. Already in 1775, Pope Pius VI wrote in his encyclical Instructabili (25th December 1775):

‘Freemasons will attempt even to pervade the sanctuary.’

In the 20th century the Rampolla (79), Tondi (80) and Bugnini (81) affairs show the presence, at high level, of ecclesiastics linked to secret societies or semi-secret societies.

[One has only to consider the infiltration of the Church by Communist informers such as the Polish Dominican, Konrad Hejmo, who infiltrated the Vatican at the highest level, to accustom oneself to the fact that external bodies, societies or states seek to infiltrate the Church for their own ends. If such be the case, why are people so hesitant about believing in Masonic infiltration of the Church – particularly where the adepts of that organisation have boasted of their intention to do just that? Added by Editor, Apropos]

The studies on Modernism published on the occasion of the centenary of the encyclical Pascendi of St Pius X (8th September 1907) encourage us to return to this important subject. In his Motu Proprio Sacrorum Antistitum of Ist September 1910, ‘establishing laws to repel the peril of Modernism’ saint Pius X actually wrote :

‘(The Modernists) have not ceased (…) to look for new adepts and to group them into a secret association.’

‘A secret association’, ‘clandestinum foedus’- as the Latin says. Jean Madiran comments thus on these two words in his book L’intégrisme, histoire d’une histoire:

‘This is about a secret society
Now historians have never made mention of this secret society.
The stories of the Modernist crisis, the assessments of Modernism, the judgements passed are radically invalidated through systematic ignorance and concealment of such an important element of appraisal.

Until his death, Saint Pius X had fought with great energy this secret society installed at the interior of the Church. He had fought it without the power to defeat it or suppress it; he himself had said: “a secret society which succeeds in surviving when one fights it, will it not prosper when no one fights it?” After the death of St Pius X, we were occupied with other things, comprising doctrinal, social and juridical Modernism (…) but we were not occupied with this secret society installed in the bosom of the Church. The normal consequence of such abstention is that the secret society reinforces its installation, advances its progress, develops its power; its occult power has become greater; it has become much stronger in pushing its adepts forward, in liquidating its opponents, and in stopping people from talking about it: to impose a public silence about itself is the common objective of all secret societies. Did it take place? It is still a plausible hypothesis; a hypothesis which one cannot dismiss a priori; a hypothesis which merits more reflection.’

And today, in 2007, the facts seem to have been borne out according to Jean Madiran’s hypothesis of 1964.

What conclusion can we draw from this? That one must weigh heavily ‘such an important element of appraisal’. This presupposes that the characteristics of secret societies are sufficiently known (ideology, organisation, methods of work, weak points) at a general level. This presupposes using the facts thus acquired to understand better the crisis in the Church. It is not necessary to see secret societies everywhere, but to take account of the fact that we are dealing with adversaries – ecclesiastical or lay – who advance most often hidden.

Such is the lesson valuable as much today, as that given us by St Pius X in speaking of ‘clandestinum foedus’.

Arnaud de Lassus.


43 R. Amerio, Iota Unum, p.359-366.

44 Romano Amerio, Iota Unum, p. 112

45 Courrier de Rome No. 224 (June 2000), p.5, article Réflexions sur l’invalidité possible de Vatican II. Our emphasis.

46 Published by Sarto House and distributed by The Angelus Press, 2918 Tracy Ave, Kansas City MO 6419 USA.

 47 Pastoral, liturgical and sacramental centre for the dioceses of the Paris region.

48 O Dubuisson and E Germain, Catéchèse de l’Eucharistie; changement ou permanence? Catéchèse No 76 (July 1979). These authors played an important role in the elaboration of the New Catechism. On this subject see the AFS brochure, La catéchèse française d’après ses documents.

49 Régine du Charlat, a card, Révélation et vérité du dossier La Foi mot à mot, Adult Service of the National Centre for Religious Education (1973)

50 Cardinal Mercier’s Pastoral Letter for Easter 1908; quoted by Romano Amerio,
, p.39.

51 The other principal foundations of Protestantism are: sola scriptura Scripture is the sole source of Revelation and exclusive authority in matters of faith, and sola fide, justification by faith alone. See pp.6-14 of the supplement to Apropos No. 10. The Rudiments of Protestantism by Arnaud de Lassus.

52 Here are some reminders on the role of conscience in morality: ‘the (moral) conscience is an act of practical intelligence which judges the honesty or malice of an act which one must make at the time.’ (Berthier).
Human acts have a double rule: the conscience, a proximate and interior rule and the moral law, a distant rule, exterior and supreme; ‘The individual conscience is not the supreme moral criterion; it must conform to the moral law.’ (John Paul II, 18th August 1983).

53 See the book La nouvelle théologie, published by Courrier de Rome, BP 156, 78001 Versailles cedex.

54 [Henri Rambaud in The Strange Faith of Teilhard de Chardin, advises us ‘Fr de Lubac has guaranteed Teilhard’s “absolute loyalty to Catholicism”. According to the former, Teilhard’s wording might well offend orthodoxy here and there …but he never had any intention of offending against orthodoxy. “Fr Teilhard has always been careful to remain, in his inner self and in his writings, theologically and traditionally in agreement with the Faith of the Church”.’ Rambaud remarks that de Lubac has misled countless people regarding Teilhard and suggests that were such people to read Teilhard rather than de Lubac’s assessment, ‘They would discover a Catholic very different from the one described by Fr de Lubac, and they would probably find the severity of Rome more understandable.’ Note added by Editor, Apropos.]

55 Cardinal Joseph Siri, Gethsemane – Reflections on the Contemporary Theological Movement, p. 61. One will find a very good critique of Fr de Lubac’s thesis in this book. See also in AFS No. 187 (October 2006), the dossier, A propos du cardinal de Lubac: la gratuité de l’ordre surnaturel’.

56 On the last times, see the article Trois études du Père Emmanuel in No. 139 (October 1998) of AFS, and the brochure ‘Du nombre des élus’ by Dom Bernard Maréchaux OSB (Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes, 4920 Avrille).

57 See the article in No 138 (August 1998) of AFS, Renouveau charismatique et nouvelle théologie.

58 Iota Unum p. 104.

59 Iota unum p. 104.

60 Courrier de Rome, June 2000, p.1-2.

61 [ A quotation from the Report of the Union des supérieurs de France, 3 vols, cited in Itinéraires No. 155, 1971, p.43 – note by Romano Amerio in the text]

62 [ See J.H. Nicolas, La virginité de Marie, Fribourg, Switzerland 1957, p.18 who argues against the unorthodox thesis of A. Mitterer, Dogma und Biologie, Vienna 1952. – footnote by R. Amerio in the text.]

63 [Supérieurs de France op.cit. footnote by R. Amerio in the text.]

64 Iota Unum, p.106.

65 Ibid. p. 106.

66 A nota praevia is a preliminary note of explanation added to the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, to clarify the sense of certain words and expressions which one finds there.

 67 Compare this with what Teilhard de Chardin said – see below, p. 17.

68 [An allusion to the French Revolution of 1789. Archbishop Lefebvre in his book, An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, writes: ‘It was Cardinal Suenens who exclaimed, “Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church” and among other unguarded declarations he added, “One cannot understand the French or the Russian revolutions unless one knows something of the old regimes which they brought to an end….It is the same in church affairs: a reaction can only be judged in relation to the state of things that preceded it.”’ p.105. – Editor Apropos.]

69 St Pius X had already made the distinction between ‘more moderate modernists’ and ‘modernists – he wrote - that we may call integral’ in observing that the second were more coherent than the first ‘with the rest of their doctrine’. Cf. Courrier de Rome No.203 (July-August 1998, p.6)

70 Regarding this book see the article by François Desjars, A propos de “Clérocratie dans L’Eglise de France” in No.99 (February 1992) of AFS and that of Ennemond Beth Evangélisation et structures – En lisant le communiqué du conseil permanent de l’épiscopat français in no. 100 of AFS. J.C. Didelot is interested essentially in the structures of a particular clerical bureaucracy and doesn’t deal with the ideology behind the action.

71 In 1984, there were in France 150,000 catechists, 70,000 leaders, (figures published by the Episcopal Commission for Religious Teaching following an enquiry cf. “Thabor”, p.262). The numbers today must be of the same magnitude.

72 On these philosophical societies and their methods of working see the study by Augustin Cochin and the last 40 pages of Francois Furet’s book Penser la révolution française. On the application of these methods in the Church please see the brochure by Jean Madiran, Structures et techniques des sociétés de pensée dans le catholicisme (Supplement to Itinéraires No. 79).

73 Cf. this text of Benedict XVI: However, the great legacy of the Council which opened up a new road endures; it is still a magna carta of the Church's journey, very essential and fundamental. (Meeting with the clergy of the dioceses of Belluno-Feltre and Treviso, 24th July 2007).

74 Pastoral Letter for Easter 1908; quoted by Romano Amerio, Iota unum, p.39.

75 Decree Lamentabili of 3rd July 1907 – the last proposition condemned in the decree.

76 It suffices here to cite, some measures coming to the support of Modernism, the praise and favours which have been given to some of its greatest leaders:
- the letter of the Secretary of State on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Teilhard de Chardin (Osservatore Romano 10th June 1981);
- The elevation to dignity of Cardinal, Fathers De Lubac and Urs von Balthazar;
- The eulogy to Fr de Lubac by Cardinal Ratzinger (text below).

77 On the doctrinal level, we come back to the books already mentioned Iota Unum and La nouvelle théologie (published by Courrier de Rome) and to the brochures which feature under the heading “Crisis in the Church” in the AFS catalogue. In matters of exegesis we return to Mgr Spadafora’s study published in No. 156-165 of Courrier de Rome.

78 See the brochure The Social Doctrine of the Church in the current doctrinal crisis – the fourth part in particular entitled How to deal with current deficiencies in authority.

79 Cf. AFS no. 191 June 2007 p. 136-138 and the last edition of the AFS brochure, Elementary Knowledge of Freemasonry (2007) [Cardinal Rampolla was early favourite to succeed Pope Leo XIII but was the subject of a veto by the Austrian-Hungarian emperor voiced by Cardinal Puzyna of Krakow. No reason was given but several writers assert it was because of the Cardinal’s membership of a Masonic order.]

80 See Pour qu’il règne by Jean Ousset, p.260 [Professor Tondi, Professor at the Gregorian University, Rome, admitted in two revolutionary publications, L’Unita and El Paese that he had adhered to Communism for many years. - Editor Apropos]

81 Cf. The dossier, Quelques aspects de la pénétration maçonnique dans l’Eglise, in No. 161 of AFS p. 33. [Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, the architect of the New Mass, was demoted, from Secretary of The Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, to Apostolic Pro Nuncio in Iran following evidence being presented to Pope Paul VI that Bugnini was a Freemason. As Michael Davies reports in Pope Paul’s New Mass: ‘A Roman priest of the very highest reputation came into possession of evidence which he considered proved Msgr. Bugnini to be a Freemason. He had this information placed into the hands of Paul VI with the warning that if action were not taken at once he would be bound in conscience to make the matter public. Msgr Bugnini was then dismissed and his entire congregation dissolved.’ p. 505.]

82 L’intégrisme, histoire d’une histoire, 1964, Chapter XXIV, “La société secrète des modernistes. p. 248

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Christmas Eve in the Holy Land could have been a little better for the inhabitants, both Christian and Muslim.  The bulldozers were active again.

Christmas Eve, Palestine, 2013

As per usual, the world looks away.

Amazingly, however, the UN said something about it:

Happily, and more to the point, the Latin Patriarch said something at his Midnight Mass: 

But when some young, exasperated citizen of Palestine acts in haste against these injustices, revenge is swift.  Consider:

The "Berlin Wall" in Palestine, euphemistically called a "security fence"(!) by the occupying power, needed some repairs the other day.  This separation wall, an outrage not only to the historic inhabitants of that land but also to the rest of the world (the USA government excluded), has created a seething hatred for the injustice it represents. Israeli repair man, working on the repairs, was shot by a sniper and later died.

So in retaliation the world leader who meets with Popes, presidents and Kings unleashed his military forces and ordered an air strike on Gaza which resulted in, of course, the killing of innocents including a three-year-old girl (pictured below).  "Do not test Israel's resolve", said Netanyahu afterwards.  Despite the fact that no one in the world (excluding the USA government) believes the Israeli story that the air strikes were hitting "terrorists targets", the Israelis continue to spout this nonsense.  This was typical Godless revenge, way out of all proportion to the crime committed. It does not seem to matter to the occupiers that God does the avenging when He and He only deems it just. Perhaps Mr Netanyahu believes he is doing God's work for him? Perhaps he thinks he is wiser?  Perhaps he thinks he is God?

The 3-year-old who "tested Israel's resolve"

Mr Netanyahu can think of himself any way he wants.  To the rest of humanity he is simply a war criminal.

Perhaps one day we can dust off the judge's bench at Nuremburg.

If you are able on these Twelve Days of Christmas, remember these people when you pray and if possible buy their products.  Those are just two things that will help them.  And always remember that many of these persecuted people are Christians.


Everyday life in the Holy Land:

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


"Blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold...."

Adoration of the Christ Child by Carl Marr

An English Carol, So Blest a Sight, sung by soloist Donna Carter, with the Robert Shaw Chorale:

May the Blessings of the Christ Child be upon all our readers and their families.

Monday, December 23, 2013


We saw this little tid-bit at

And here's another item:

The incident in question gives rise to a certain reality that Catholics must recognize: it is probably time now that we begin to offend those of other faiths.  Not to offend them with brick-bats but to offend them with truth.  I say it again: the more ridiculous these petty insults to Our Lord and Our Lady become the more we should begin offending those of other faiths.

One can be offensive in a constructive way, as in going on the offensive to inform our fellows that they are in serious error if they are not in the Church.  Now to be sure there is an art and a science to this activity; we must have the science first, i.e., we need to know what we're talking about.  We need to understand our history and the ups and downs that the Church has gone through.  And we have to have the Art, i.e., we have to present this information in a clear, understandable, charitable manner.  That is how to offend those not of the True Faith.

Yet something nags.  I do wonder which "faith" finds Jesus and Mary so utterly offensive that it demands their complete obliteration from public discourse.  Is it those of the atheist faith?  The B'hai's?  What "faith" is so adamant about crushing the very mention of the names Jesus and Mary?  Even your average Muslim has a respect for Jesus, and an equal respect for Mary, so which religious group are we talking about?

It is critical to a true understanding of the nature of the times we we live in that whenever one of these petty-fogging officials starts a religious extermination program under the specious claim that they don't want to offend those of other faiths it is a sign that this other mysterious and unnamed faith has the public in a sort of stranglehold.  Fear is a very powerful deterrent.  The frightened will cower and do the unspoken bidding of their Masters.

So let them.

Christmas is coming anyway, and as Charles Lamb wrote to Bernard Barton:

"Old Christmas is a-coming to the confusion of Puritans, Muggletonians, Anabaptists, Quakers and that unwassailing Crew.  He cometh not with his wonted gait; he is shrunk nine inches in his girth, but is yet a lusty fellow".

Saturday, December 21, 2013


George Bernard Shaw, Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton
At a literary dinner party many years ago, one attended by a number of notable writers (among them George Bernard Shaw, I believe), the assorted guests were having much fun at the expense of Hilaire Belloc and his full-blooded Catholicism.

The tone was merry but not a little sarcastic and the various writers threw barbs and veiled insults at the Church in a fashion that was unrelenting.  It was attacked as a sickly, man-made religion devoid of any moral authority.  Belloc quietly listened, enjoyed his wine and his cigars while listening to all this, but at last he got up and addressed his fellow scribblers.

"The Catholic Church is an institution that I am bound to hold divine - but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight".

Friday, December 20, 2013


The smug visage of a spiritually dry man

So.  Our Christmas present from the Holy Father is none other than Donald Cardinal Wuerl, who will now be more influential than he ever was in appointing new Bishops.

George Neumyer writes about the smug Cardinal at the American Spectator.

The "Jadot Faction" has returned with a vengeance.  It was the extremely strange Jean Jadot who gave us such exemplary prelates as John Quinn, Kenneth Untener, Raymond Hunthausen, Peter Gerety, Bernard Law, James Hickey and Rembert Weakland among other notables.

These men were called Jadot's, well....."boys".  I wonder why?

Now we have the homo-friendly Donald Wuerl influencing new Bishops.  His decisions will be with us for a long time.  Apparently that certain Mafia in the Church - the one that Pope Francis said that he would see what he could do about it - is still more than a little influential.

He has risen to the position because of his service to the Church we are told.  One example of that service was his public humiliation and hounding of a good priest for refusing Holy Communion to an obnoxious, extremely fat and loud-mouthed lesbian Buddhist last year.

Why do men such as Wuerl rise to such prominence in the Holy Catholic Church?

Why in a stagnant pond does scum rise to the top?

Thursday, December 19, 2013


The homo crowd is all atwitter, stomping their feet, clenching their fists, pulling out their ear rings and foaming at the mouth over a recent column by Patrick Buchanan which asks, not unreasonably, "Is Putin One of Us?"  You should see them becoming unglued on the internet.  They are like 11-year-old girls having a fit.

Mr Buchanan's article is worth reading:

Nearly all the Google entries on the article are hysterical, drooling attacks on both Buchanan and Vladimir Putin for their anti-sodomite stance.  I added a comment on one site which brought immediate response.  With an originality and freshness that is characteristic of this crowd I was accused of "bigotry", "being judgmental", "going against the teachings of Jesus", etc., ad nauseum.  The poor dears.  Watching them yelp is most amusing, like watching cockroaches come out of the woodwork if someone drops a piece of bread on the floor.

But moving out of that internet bath house swamp for a moment let us consider the following words, spoken recently:
“In many countries today, moral and ethical norms are being reconsidered.”

“They’re now requiring not only the proper acknowledgment of freedom of conscience, political views and private life, but also the mandatory acknowledgment of the equality of good and evil.” 

Who said those words?  Putin did, just a few days ago.

No wonder the Mincing Ones are twitching and twirling and having what is now called a "hissy fit" (or would that be, "sissy fit"?); someone lifted up the rock under which they were hiding.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


While the world's two most egregious police states smile in secret, children are beheaded by Islamic radicals in Adra.  Women, children, Christian, Muslim, it makes no difference: the US/Israel-backed fanatics in Syria massacred as many of the population as they could.

A report from RT Today:

Let us be clear.  These outrages are favored and manipulated by the two most hated nations on the planet, and they are doing so for a multitude of evil purposes one of which, not surprisingly, is to spit upon the Holy Season now before us by an increase in murder and rapine, the more horrible and outrageous the better from their point of view.  Indeed these terrible deeds have multiplied tenfold in recent weeks, as money and support pours into the insurgents from the taxpayers of the United States.

Not to be outdone in chutzpah, the other most-hated nation flexes its arrogant muscles in a little town minutes away from Bethlehem.  What an amazing coincidence that this should occur days before Christmas:

and this:

Calling on Our Lady Help of Christians every day for these people is about the only thing citizens can do.  It will do more good than writing letters to the puppets in Congress.  Most of them are in favor of these outrages anyway, as they lust after AIPAC dollars and support. And they are far too busy saving us from those evil incandescent light bulbs to worry over lesser matters.

But let these two nations enjoy their arrogance and their mirth.  As they say, God is not mocked forever.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Wearily I ask if we could stop replaying over and over the 1968 film THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN?  Pope Francis seems bent on imitating the Pope in that awful Morris West novel, you know the Pope (played by Anthony Quinn in the film) who ran around the streets of Rome hugging and kissing the poor, saying Jewish prayers for a dying Jew, giving away the Church's treasures to "the Poor" (no doubt eventually ending up in New York pawn shops and in the possession of billionaires), rejecting the papal tiara, protecting theological dissenters (see Oskar Werner's portrayal of a Tielhard-like theologian) and allowing fresh winds to blow into the old and dusty Church?

Dear Holy Father, could you turn off that movie for awhile?  I think we've had our fill.

Perhaps instead of  - or in addition to - running around Rome at night helping the poor you might begin to glance at a problem in the Church that has every possibility of destroying not only the faith of millions but of destroying the Church itself.  I refer, of course, to the slime of sex perversion among the clergy.  Could you harness some of the ferocity you are using in suppressing the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and apply it to the sodomites?

I understand Your Holiness has just elevated the disgusting Cardinal Wuerl to yet another high position of authority.  And the equally execrable Vincent Nichols as well.  Well, with that we now know with a fair amount of certainty which direction you want to take the Church in. So with that in mind allow me to mention this:  no matter how many miscreants, queers, idiots and simpering heretics you appoint to high positions we will not allow it to take our Catholic Faith away from us.  We will not give in to the despair that your appointments and projects are creating in others.  Please know that we will not be driven out of the Church by watching grinning creeps like Wuerl, et al, lording it over us (he has his reward now).

Your papacy thus far has been a combination of a few hopeful signs, much media hoopla and any amount of uninformed commentary.

But now it is simply boring.

And please stop replaying that cruddy film.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


We continue with Arnaud de Lassus' monumental study of one of the worst scourges the Church has had to suffer in its two millenia of history.  You can read Part One here.  Part Three follows here.

by Arnaud de Lassus

II - Neo-Modernism during the papacy of Pius XII

Vigorously fought by Saint Pius X, Modernism pursued its activities in a discrete manner. It reappeared in force at the time of the Action Française affair (1926). It profited from the passion for novelties which characterised the immediate post-war period (1940-45) to reinforce its position; from this was born the movement of ideas which would be called Neo-Modernism.

• General climate in the years 1945-1958

It was marked by:

• Increased penetration of Catholic milieus by Protestant and Marxist ideas, a penetration facilitated by the double victory over Germany by the USA and the USSR;
• The weakening of traditional Catholic milieus resulting in a double purging, that (of an ecclesiastical nature) which followed the condemnation of Action Française in 1926 (33) and that (of a political origin) which accompanied the liberation of 1944-45;
• A certain intellectual deterioration of leading Catholic milieus, allowing the success of inconsistent systems like those of Teilhard de Chardin. (34)

How the weakening of traditional Catholic milieus was effected.

It was principally by an ecclesiastical path, in discrediting Action Française by an arbitrary condemnation, that this weakening had occurred in the years preceding the pontificate of Pius XII (Pope from 1939 to 1958).

It was effected by a classic method which the Modernists had used in the case already cited (that of Action Française in 1926) and resumed several times later (in 1962 against La Cité Catholique, in 1966 against Itinéraires, and in 1969 against the Abbé de Nantes):

‘Condemnations of this sort have never been gratuitous. One learns after the blow that they have served, in each occasion, to prepare the paths for a well planned Modernist offensive. The condemnation of Action Française in 1926 served to install a Catholic Action in the form of philosophical societies, and the instilling of a Masonic ethos in Christian temporal structures. In 1962 to open the doors to the conciliar plot there was a worldwide campaign against La Cité Catholique with the watchword universally taken up: “The integrists are the worst enemies of the Church, more dangerous than the Communists”. This was the hateful and vengeful reversal of the sentence of St Pius X on the Modernists, the worst enemies of the Church. This reversal contained in substance the opening to the world, the opening to the Left, the replacement of Tradition by Modernism, the historic compromise with Communism. In 1966, to inaugurate the post-conciliar era and to prepare for the suppression of the Catechism, we saw the condemnation of Itinéraires by the French episcopate. During the summer of 1969, a reprimand by cardinals occurred while consideration was taking place of the means necessary to ensure that the celebration of the traditional Mass would not be stopped; the disqualification of the Abbé de Nantes came to present an analogous diversion with the precedents of 1966, 1962 and 1926, seeking once more to focus the faithful on the defence of unjustly attacked individuals, during which the essential evil blows were delivered elsewhere. (35)

We know the results of these arbitrary condemnations:

To weaken the traditional milieu with a view to breaking it up;
To purge (If it had not already been done) - or at least to neutralise – those persons holding posts of influence and who were hostile to Modernism;
To operate a diversion ‘seeking once more to focus the faithful on the defence of unjustly attacked individuals, during which the essential evil blows were delivered elsewhere.’

Such was the case with the condemnation of Action Française in 1926. In the years 1927-1930, many churchmen who were fundamentally anti-Modernist had resigned their posts at the time of this affair ( for example, take Cardinal Billot and Abbé Le Floch, Director of the French Seminary in Rome). The posts left empty were often occupied by Modernists.

Elsewhere, at the end of 1927, the anti-Modernist reaction (at the religious level) and counter-revolutionary action (at the political level) weakened. So much so that Jean Calbrette in his book la crise actuelle du catholicisme français (The current crisis in French Catholicism) p.29, was able to write with proof to support it:

‘Just as the Dreyfus affair has torn France apart, the Action Française affair has broken apart Catholicism. It has resulted in what Dansette calls with pride a “second ralliement (36)” – to democratism.’

A ralliement to democratism, in other words to the ideas which had been condemned by St Pius X in his letter on the Sillon of 25th August 1910.

The neo-Modernist doctrines of the period 1945-1958

These had developed under the influence
• Of an old Modernist current which had always remained;
• Of the general climate which prevailed after the 1940-45 war;
• Of new thinkers such as Fr de Lubac, Fr Teilhard de Chardin, Emmanuel Mounier…

From this we have the system – called neo-Modernism – made up of errors in philosophy, theology, exegesis, bringing in its trail errors in the liturgy, the priesthood, the Magisterium; a system which helped spread Marxist ideas in Catholic circles.

One found there tendencies which had marked Modernism at the beginning of the century, in particular:

• A passion for novelties
• A contempt for scholastic philosophy and by contrast the promotion of erroneous philosophical systems (idealism, immanentism…);
• Confusing the natural with the supernatural (to which Fr de Lubac had brought a new lustre).

The loss of the sense of truth

This is what resulted from the contempt for scholastic theology indicated above; one finds, in the neo-Modernism, of the time of Pius XII, a concept of truth as harmful as the agnosticism described in Pascendi (§6) (37). It was explained thus by Fr Garrigou-Lagrange O.P. in the appendix to his works La synthèse thomiste. (38)

‘Where is the new theology going? It is returning to Modernism. Because it has accepted the proposition that was made to it39: that of substituting the traditional definition of truth: adaequatio rei et intellectus (the conformity of intelligence with the thing), as if it was chimerical, with the subjective definition: adaequatio realis mentis et vitae (the conformity of intelligence with life) (…) Truth is no longer the conformity of judgement with extramental reality and its immutable laws, but the conformity of judgement with the exigencies of action and human life which is always evolving. For the philosophy of being or ontology has been substituted the philosophy of action which defines truth no longer as a function of being but of action.’ (40)

Neo-Modernist methods and behaviour

These are the same as those outlined below:

• To act within the bosom of the Church

A method exposed by Fr Teilhard de Chardin:

‘I still do not see any better means of bringing about what I anticipate than to work towards the reformation from within: that is, by remaining sincerely attached to the “phylum” whose development I expect to see…I find only the Roman stem, taken in its entirety, can provide a biological support vast enough and varied enough to carry out and underpin the transformation to which I look forward.’

• The methodology of philosophical societies

Let’s go back to Jean Madiran’s remark:

‘The condemnation of Action Française in 1926 served to install a Catholic Action in the form of philosophical societies, and the instilling of a Masonic ethos in Christian temporal structures.’

This has been noted by an author who would never be classed as anti-Modernist, Joseph Follet, in Chronique sociale of 30th October 1958:

‘In certain groups of Catholic Action, in particular at the local level, I have been able to verify the observations made by Augustin Cochin on the philosophical societies (41) which preceded the French Revolution – notably the tendency for the group to close in on itself in an ideological orthodoxy (I’m not speaking here, of course of Catholic orthodoxy, but of a added or supererogatory group orthodoxy) inspired by a small central group of which the members found themselves, some in relation to others, in a state of constant one-upmanship.’

If a part of Catholic Action was oriented towards Modernism and towards an opening to socialism and to communism, it is that it has been remote-controlled in this sense, something made possible by the technique of philosophical societies and directing nuclei.

Can one not see behind all this the “clandestinum foedus”, otherwise known as the secret society of Modernists?

Pius XII’s counter-attack: the encyclical Humani generis

By his encyclical Humani generis, of 12th August 1950, bearing the sub-title ‘Concerning some false opinions threatening to undermine the foundations of Catholic doctrine’, Pius XII reacted vigorously on the intellectual level.

• Content of the encyclical

Msgr P. Parente synthesizes the content in the Catholic Encyclopedia as follows:

‘Pius XII had had a prompt and precise intuition of the danger and in the encyclical Humani generis, he diagnosed the virus and its way of development; he had known himself to apply useful remedies, detecting very quickly the march of modern culture in the direction of universal evolutionism, existentialism and historicism, which led towards the negation or devaluation of the absolute in being and in thought, to the benefit of a philosophy of contingence, of a positivism and of a relativism, which made metaphysics and thus theology impossible.

"Under the pretext of a return to sources, scorn was cast upon systematic theology with its technical notions and terminology; the more simple and more flexible language of the Fathers was preferred. The solid doctrinal corpus defined by the Church in the course of the centuries was neglected in favour of an appeal to Scripture, in explaining it by an arbitrary symbolism, as if Jesus Christ had not instituted the Church the sole depository and interpreter of the Word of God. By this process dogmatic formulae were devalued, reducing their content to a minimum so that they could be adapted to no matter what philosophical or religious system. Dogmatic relativism which had already begun to produce its poisoned fruits.

"Even more audacious was the attack against scholastic philosophy, which, according to the innovators, did not respond to the exigencies of modern thought irritated by rigid metaphysics and fixed outlines. The enemy of immutable truth, it all tended towards the flux of life in the future. The devaluation of reason and first principles, of theodicy and ethics, the fideist option of truth through sentiment and will, the alliance of the most opposed systems in the attempt to express an elusive truth. Such was the vital philosophy which they wanted to substitute for scholastic philosophy.
From there comes the famous “living tradition” invented in our days against the immutable, unique
apostolic tradition, the depositum fidei as St Paul said.
Humani generis confirmed Catholic doctrine, defined clearly by the First Vatican Council, and then by St Pius X, reaffirming the validity of Thomism, the immutability of doctrine, the primordial importance of the pontifical Magisterium, the norm of truth, the absolute inerrancy of Sacred Scripture, the historic value of the first chapters of Genesis …

• The attitude towards truth

In the encyclical, Pius XII put in relief the attitude which the faithful must have regarding truth (philosophical and religious):

‘God, the highest Truth, has created and guides the human intellect, not that it may daily oppose new truths to rightly established ones, but rather that, having eliminated errors which may have crept in, it may build truth upon truth in the same order and structure that exist in reality, the source of truth.’ (Humani Generis §30).

• Despite the encyclical, Modernism continued on its way

Badly helped by certain episcopates, in which many held to certain Modernist positions, scarcely able to count on the support of milieus controlled by Catholic Action, having only a little support from the traditional milieus weakened as we explained below, Pius XII was not able to create a strong anti-Modernist reaction. The encyclical was not accompanied by disciplinary measures. Modernism continued to progress.


Go to Part Three here.


33 See No. 128 of AFS (December 1996) the article, Un anniversaire instructif – La condamnation de l’Action Française.

34 Cf. this remark by Etienne Gilson: ‘Fr Teilhard de Chardin’s thought does not seem to me to have attained the minimum degree of consistency to enable one to speak of it in terms of a doctrine; that is why I speak only of the case of Teilhard de Chardin’. (Les tribulations de Sophie, p.73).
Regarding Teilhard de Chardin, see the brochure by Dom Frenau, Pensée philosophique et religieuse du père Teilhard de Chardin and the article by Daniel Jacob Une figure moderne de l’Anti-Christ available from AFS.

35 Jean Madiran, Éditions et chroniques, Vol III, p. 177 (Article Mutinerie à bord of Dec. 1978 – our emphasis.

36 [ The first “Ralliement” or rallying was that of Leo XIII towards the French Republic. See “The Ralliement (1892)” pp. 271-272 in the article “The Fundamentals of Democracy” in Apropos 19/20 Pentecost 1999. Ed. Apropos.]

37 See p.143.

38 This appendix is reproduced in appendix V of the book La nouvelle théologie published by Courrier de Rome.

39 In particular by Maurice Blondel (1861-1949). Regarding his philosophy see Chapter 3 of La nouvelle théologie.

40 Text quoted in La nouvelle théologie p.193 [Regarding action, one should recall the influence of Maurice Blondel’s book, l’Action. Published when he was only thirty-two years of age, Maurice Blondel's 1893 work, entitled l’Action., has been very influential upon this new orientation of thought and its newly proposed criterion of truth, especially in Modernist circles. Later in his life, Maurice Blondel (1861-1949) revised his seminal, but deleterious, book, l'Action: Essai d'une Critique de la Vie et d'une Science de la Pratique, and expanded the original single volume into two volumes, publishing them sequentially in 1936 and 1937, respectively. Literally rendered, the full English title of the original 1893 volume is: Action: An Essay on a Critique of Life and on a Science of the Practical. The title itself already implies a Policy (and Strategy) of Expediency! Addition to footnote by Editor of Apropos]

41 We know the structure and techniques of philosophical societies were systematically adopted by Freemasonry. On this subject see Apropos 22 (Elementary Guide to Freemasonry by Arnaud de Lassus) pp. 97-98, and the brochure, Groupes réducteurs et noyaux dirigeants by Adrien Loubier (available from AFS). See also pp. 227-242 of Fundamentals of Democracy by Arnaud de Lassus which appeared in Apropos 19/20. ‘Philosophical societies’ was translated as ‘consensus societies’ in the last.]

42 Msgr. Spadafora, Dom Francesco Putti, founder of Si Si No No, héraut de la foi catholique, p.148. Published by Les amis de St François de Sales, Case postale 2346, 1950-Sion 2, Suisse. Our emphasis.


It would seem the people of Iceland are not squeamish about dealing with bankers who commit fraud and then walk away with millions, like in the US, the UK, the EU, etc.  They put them in jail:

Hilaire Belloc would have been pleased.  And let us not forget that he knew that breed well:

"The bankers can decide, of two competitors, which shall survive. As the great majority of enterprises lie in debt to the banks-any one of two competing industries can be killed by the bankers saying: “I will no longer lend you this money”….This power makes the banks the masters of the greater part of modern industry."
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