Eleison Comments #484: Iron Rations (Commentary Follows)

Eleison Comments #484: Iron Rations (Commentary Follows)



When Catholic institutions fall to bits,

The priests must help the home to take the hits.
 
In military affairs, it is normal for generals and soldiers alike to have in mind rather the last war than the one they are now fighting. Who imagined trench warfare before World War I? Yet by World War II the inter-war development of tanks had made trenches obsolete. Similarly in religious affairs. The 21st is no longer the 20th century. Surely Resistant Catholics since 2012 are unwise to be hoping for anything like the establishment and expansion of the Society of St Pius X in the last century. For example, from two admirable Resistants of today come a general and a particular lament, neither perhaps altogether wise . . .
 
The general lament is that the “Resistance” is falling apart rather than making headway. These “Comments” often put inverted commas around the word “Resistance,” precisely to suggest that the Catholic resistance to the Conciliarisation of the SSPX is not yet any kind of organisation but rather a vague movement with a precise aim, to save the Catholic Faith, but with as yet little structure to help it to do so. However, let Resistants take heart, because while man proposes, God disposes, so that what can look like a human failure may not be a failure from the standpoint of Almighty God.
 
Thus in the 1970’s Archbishop Lefebvre proposed to rally half a dozen Catholic bishops so as to throw up a real roadblock in the way of the Conciliarists then destroying the Church, but God disposed differently. In this purpose of his the Archbishop would fail, but in trying he would succeed in building a worldwide treasure-house to safeguard the treasures of the Church’s doctrine, Mass and priesthood for better times. Similarly now there are Resistants proposing to build a replacement for the endangered SSPX, and their apparent weakness (at least up till now) may suggest that any such large-scale replacement is not in the plans or dispositions of Almighty God. However, in trying, Resistants are ensuring (at least for now) the survival of the Catholic Faith, which is certainly a disposition of Providence.
 
The particular lament is that if only the “Resistance” had schools, many SSPX parents would swell the ranks of the “Resistance” as they cannot now do, because their children would immediately be thrown out of the SSPX schools to which there is presently no decent alternative. But again, we are fighting for the Faith in the 21st, not in the 20thcentury. Back in the 1980’s there were still enough like-minded Catholic parents and teachers and priests to form that triangular frame within which the children almost have to grow up straight. But today? Today one learns of an SSPX boys’ school that has been in serious difficulties because of an outbreak within its walls of that sin against nature which cries to Heaven for vengeance. But what walls can stop adolescents from getting to know of that sin’s glorification among the mass of their country’s male adults, and of a new word invented to condemn the new vice of its condemnation – “homophobia”? And since when are adolescents not to imitate their adults? In fact, how can anyone run a boys’ school since the invention of the Internet, with pocket access to it? Are Catholic institutions still possible?
 
In today’s religious war, surely the order of the day is iron rations, meaning the soldiers’ strict necessary for survival, here to keep the Faith. This war must be won in the home, or it will be lost. God gives to parents a natural power to form their children that overwhelms by, say, five to two the power of any institution to deform them, but only as long as parents take hold of their power. A small rudder can steer a big ship, but not if the steersman lets go of it. If parents let go of their children, they cannot blame the world for steering them to Hell. And if any parents have wanted SSPX schools to qualify their children for the world rather than for Heaven, may not here be one important reason why the SSPX has slidden?
 
Kyrie eleison.


Commentary:

1) I think the jury is still out on whether or not the Resistance will be able to emulate another international society along the lines of the SSPX.  Certainly the framework for precisely such a structure was recently canonically erected in Bishop Faure’s SAJM.  The main obstacle, then, seems to be these: A) The lack of interest among current Resistance priests, many of whom seem to like their newfound autonomy (liberalism); B) The quality of young men, raised in the poisonous atmosphere of the post-conciliar world.

2) As regards the preference for autonomy among former SSPX priests, I think they need to reflect, and ask themselves: “I was once part of a formal congregation.  I left for reasons I attributed to liberalism.  I became independent because there was no canonically erected alternative.  But now there is.  How then do I justify my continued independence?”

3) As regards the quality of young men entering the Resistance seminaries, tainted as we all are by the post-conciliar world, I cannot speak with much first-hand knowledge.  I do know one seminarian in Avrille quite well, and have a very favorable opinion of him.  Another I know only through correspondence on ABLF3.com, but he also favorably impresses me.  Certainly, the pool of acceptable material continues to diminish, but I think our Lord continues to allow them to find their way to the seminary, and I believe this to be a cause of hope.

4) The seminary itself, staffed as it is by the Avrille Dominicans and others, provides a solid formation, so that the quality of formation is not at issue.  And over time, the organic growth from ordinations (coupled with defections from the SSPX after the deal is signed) will gradually improve today’s abysmal situation.

5) I agree with Bishop Williamson that, before the institution of the seminary in Avrille (and expecially the canonical erection of the SAJM), the outlook was bleak.  But the three most important pieces (bishops, seminary, and congregation) are now in place to finally begin building, rather than simply maintaining.

6) Perhaps His Excellency will be proven right, and the enterprise will be foiled.  But if so, at least the attempt to restore a sense of normalcy, hope, and restoration of Tradition will not be aborted before it is ever attempted.  We will put in the effort, and God will decide whether we are to succeed or fail.

7) Other promising signs of restoration would include two new Resistance schools in the United Stated, founded by Fr. Zendejas.  I don’t know how he does it, but they are in operation (one in the Houston, Texas area, and I believe the other somewhere near Danbury, CT?).  Lord willing, the parents who have made these enterprises possible will not fall victim to the (correct) diagnosis Bishop Williamson cites above, and have retained enough Catholic common sense to pass on to their children, to protect and insulate them from the pollution of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

8) His Excellency says, “This war must be won in the home, or it will be lost. God gives to parents a natural power to form their children that overwhelms by, say, five to two the power of any institution to deform them, but only as long as parents take hold of their power. A small rudder can steer a big ship, but not if the steersman lets go of it. If parents let go of their children, they cannot blame the world for steering them to Hell. And if any parents have wanted SSPX schools to qualify their children for the world rather than for Heaven, may not here be one important reason why the SSPX has slidden?”

I could not agree more.

But presuming parents are doing their duty in this regard, then everything is possible…including the restoration and resurgence of Tradition.




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