I found this presentation by Roberto de Mattei which appears at the Remnant a very important analysis of our situation in this world which has thrown off the shackles of Christianity and has overshadowed the light of the Good with its absence of light; the darkness of evil. __ Scoop
A Shadow Moves About the Ruins by Roberto de Mattei
THE PANORAMA WE have before us is one of ruins: moral ruins, political ruins, economic ruins; the Church’s ruins, the ruins of the whole of society.
In this scene, a silent shadow moves about the ruins like a ghost: Josef Ratzinger, who after his resignation from the papacy, wished to keep the title of Pope (Emeritus) and the name of Benedict XVI.
I believe that the abdication of Benedict XVI, on February 28, 2013, will go down in history as an even more disastrous event than the pontificate of Pope Francis, to which it opened the doors.
The pontificate of Pope Francis certainly represents a leap forward in the process of the Church’s auto-demolition, following the Second Vatican Council. However, this is only a stage, the last one of this process: we could say that it represents its ripe fruit.
The essence of the Second Vatican Council was the triumph of pastoral theology over doctrine, the transformation of pastoral theology into a theology of praxis, the application of the philosophy of Marxist practice to the life of the Church. For the Communists, the true philosopher is not Karl Marx, the Revolution’s theorist, but Lenin who carried out the Revolution, proving Marx’s thought. For Neo-Modernists, the true theologian is not Karl Rahner, the principal ideologue of the revolution in the Church, but Pope Francis, who is fulfilling this revolution, putting Rahner’s thought into pastoral practice. There is no rupture, therefore, between the Second Vatican Council and Pope Francis, but historical continuity. Pope Francis represents Vatican II in action.
Benedict XVI’s renunciation of the papacy represents a historic rupture, but in another sense. For starters, it is the first papal resignation in history which has taken place without clear reasons, without valid motives. It is a gratuitous, arbitrary act, rendered contradictory by the way in which it took place. Today in the Church, there is a situation of apparent diarchy and of real confusion, in which many doubt that he who is the pope – Francis – is truly pope, and he who is not the pope – Benedict – is a non-pope. This is a historic novelty without precedent. Benedict XVI is the one responsible for it.
But the gesture of Benedict XVI also has a symbolic reach, which must be understood in its deepest sense.
There are symbolic gestures that express the metaphysical significance of a historic occurrence. Such is the example of the humiliation of Canossa, in January, 1077. Pope Saint Gregory VII refusing to receive Henry IV and leaving him for three days in the cold outside of the Canossa castle, affirmed the primacy of the Papacy over political power with this gesture, proclaiming the freedom of the Church before the world, and forcing the world to bow before the Church. It was an act of courage that gave glory to God, and honored the Church.
Benedict XVI’s act of papal resignation was not only an admission of impotence, but a gesture of surrender. It was an act that expressed the defeatist spirit of the churchmen of our time, whose main sin isn’t moral corruption but cowardice. I say this with all the respect due to the figure of Benedict XVI, and with a certain compassion for this elder, made to watch the historical consequences of his decision by Providence. But we must have the courage to say it, if we do not want to be accomplices to this spirit of resignation and lack of confidence in the supernatural aid of Grace, which sadly today has spread among many Catholics, faced with an advancing revolutionary course.
Every soul has a vocation, every man has a mission to carry out. Renouncing the carrying out of one’s mission carries a grave responsibility. Resignation as the Vicar of Christ entails an immense responsibility: it is forsaking the highest mission which a man can have on this earth: governing the Church of Christ. It is an escape from the wolves, on the part of he who in his homily on April 24, 2005, said: “Pray for me, that I will not flee for fear of the wolves.”
And yet, Benedict XVI during his pontificate, carried out a courageous gesture: the concession of the motu proprioSummorum Pontificum, on July 7, 2007. Thanks to this action, the number of priests who offer the old Mass multiplied throughout the world, and for this, we must be grateful to him. But what was important in that motu proprio was not so much the de factoaspect, or rather, the permission to celebrate Mass according to the ancient Roman rite for every priest, but the de jure recognition that that Rite had not been abrogated, and could never be abrogated.
With that act, Benedict XVI bowed to the Tradition of the Church, he admitted that no one – not even the Pope – could undermine it; that everyone – including the Pope – had to submit themselves to it.
Today, there is an open fight between two camps and two standards, that of Tradition and that of Revolution. The first, as Saint Ignatius recalled in his meditation on the two standards, is held by Christ, “our High Captain and Lord,” the second by “Lucifer, the mortal enemy of our human nature.” The standard of those who love the Truth of the Gospel, recognizing Jesus Christ as King of Heaven and earth, and the standard of he who claims to transform the Church and construct a new religion based on his own opinion.
“But,” affirms Pope Saint Pius X in the encyclical E supremi apostolato, “no one of sound mind can doubt the issue of this contest between man and the Most High. Man, abusing his liberty, can violate the right and the majesty of the Creator of the Universe; but the victory will ever be with God – nay, defeat is at hand at the moment when man, under the delusion of his triumph, rises up with most audacity.”
We must have confidence in victory, but we need to be convinced that we cannot win without fighting. And today the battle is, first of all, that of words which break silence, defeat falsehood, and destroy hypocrisy, as Archbishop Carlo Mara Viganò did with his courageous testimony.
The Benedict Option
On September 11, 2018 in Rome, a presentation of Rod Dreher’s book The Benedict Option, was held at the Chamber of Deputies. Among the presenters was Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Papal Household.
Dreher is an ambiguous character, he presents himself as Catholic, but he left the Church to join the Orthodox religion. The title of his book is also ambiguous because the “Benedict option” of which he speaks is not that of Saint Benedict, but that of Benedict XVI. In a recent interview with the daily newspaper “Il Giornale,” a journalist asked him: “There are some who think that the ‘Benedict option,’ means ‘Ratzinger option.’” Dreher responded: “Well, I mean Saint Benedict but it is true that Benedict XVI is the second Benedict of the Benedict option”
Archbishop Georg Gänswein, for his part praised the “marvelous inspiration of the book,” which would represent a confirmation of the prophethood of Benedict XVI. I hold that between the “seeds of renewal” and the post-modern world, a peaceful coexistence cannot exist, but only war, and I have defined Dreher’s exit strategy as ‘catacombist’: the illusion of saving one’s self, forming “arks of salvation,” of privileged islands, where one can live the Faith, renouncing to fight the modern world.
The Benedict option appears as a fruit of the refusal of the militant conception of Christianity, which spread after the Second Vatican Council. Walls must be substituted by bridges, so that opposed world visions will not exist, and the different religious confessions can unite based on a generic sentiment of transcendence. This exist strategy from the modern world is very different than that of the true Saint Benedict.
The Benedictine monks were conquerors. They left the world to conquer it. This is why Pius XII defined Saint Benedict as “the father of Europe,” affirming that “while the barbarian hordes flooded the provinces, he who was called the last of the Romans, reconciling Romanity and the Gospel, brought true aid to unite the peoples of Europe under the banner of the auspice of Christ and to give a happy structure to Christian society. In fact, from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Baltic, legions of Benedictines were dispersed, who with the Cross, books, and plow tamed those rough and uncivilized peoples.”.
The vocation of the monks was complimentary to that of the knights. Monks and knights constituted the Christian society of the medieval age. The highest expression of the medieval age was the monk-knights, like the Templars, whose rule was written by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. We need these men, but above all this spirit, today. The prospective of Rod Dreher and Archbishop Gänswein seems to be to the contrary: that of preparing Catholics to patiently put up with persecution, awaiting better times, to return in spirit to the era of the catacombs, because the possibility of an imminent triumph of the Church over the modern world cannot be seen. But is this truly so?
The Constantinian Shift and the Social Reign of Christ
Throughout the history of the Church, there has perhaps never been a more tragic moment than the dawn of the fourth century. A dawn red with blood when the age of the persecutions reached its culmination under the Emperor Diocletian.
From one end of the Roman Empire to the other, with the exception of Constantius Chlorus’ Britany, Christians were torn apart, crucified, decapitated. Christianity had to be extirpated from the face of the earth. Christians were defenseless, they had only the strength of their Faith and the help of the Holy Ghost, which fortified them. Who would have ever said that the hour of resurrection, known only to God, was so close? Who would have imagined that the blood of the martyrs would be transformed into the purple of the Christian empire of Constantine? And yet, that’s what happened.
On October 28, 312, the history of the Roman Empire and of the whole Church changed. A young leader, Constantine, battling with Maxentius to win the throne of Rome, had a vision. A blazing Cross appeared in the sky with the words In hoc signo vinces: in this sign, in the name of this sign – the Cross – you will conquer. And then, Eusebius and Lactantius recount, the Lord appeared to Constantine during the night, exhorting him to print this Cross on the standards of his legions. Under the sign of the Cross, Constantine faced Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge, at the gates of Rome, annihilated the enemy army and ascended the imperial throne. This date signaled an epochal turning point, destined to go down in history as the “Constantinian shift.”
There is no historian who denies the weight of this event. It was the birth, following three centuries of Christianity, of Christian civilization. A civilization born from the sacrifice of Calvary, from the grace of Pentecost, from the mission which Jesus Christ entrusted to His disciples: that of converting not only individual souls, but peoples, nations, the masses. But this civilization, this triumph of the visible Church, has its origin in a battle which had at its front two armies: one which raised the symbols of paganism, the other which fought in the name of the Cross of Christ.
We can say that there has never been a deeper, or more profound or faster social metamorphosis in human history, than that brought about by the victory at the Milvian Bridge. A most profound change because paganism which had dominated mankind for millennia, was inexorably condemned to death, while a new civilization rose from its ruins, the social fruit of Christianity.
This change took place thanks to a battle which may be defined as the first holy war of the Christian era. A war fought for Christ, and in the Name of Christ, and the promise of victory was tied to the Christian character of this battle. The motto in hoc signo vinces joins the symbol of the Cross to victory: not only an interior victory over disordered passions and sin, but a historic victory which confirms how Christianity received from Christ the mission to plant the Cross in the public domain, of conquering not only souls but society, its institutions, and customs, in this way creating Christendom.
Starting in the fourth century, the Church made herself visible, she raised her banner – the banner of the Cross – she began a triumphant march through history, the goal being the social reign of Christ, the prefiguration of His eternal reign in Heaven. This reign was only partially brought about in the medieval age; we still await its fulfillment, because the Church exists in history, she fights and wins in history. The social reign of Christ will be a total upheaval. Evil – although it will not disappear because it is destined to accompany the history of the Church until the end times of the antichrist – will be reduced to a situation like that in which good is today: isolated, condemned, charged, abhorred.
Pius XII in the encyclical Summi Pontificatus of October 20, 1939, sketching a plan for his pontificate, affirmed that only the acknowledgment of the social reign of Christ could allow man to return to that degree of civility which medieval Christian Europe enjoyed. “In the recognition of the royal prerogatives of Christ and in the return of individuals and of society to the law of His truth and of His love lies the only way to salvation.”
The reign of Christ cannot be separated from that of His divine Mother, Mary, because as the theologians recall, Mary in Her role as Mother of God has been associated with the work of the Divine Redeemer. “Christ is King from all eternity, Mary became Queen at the moment in which She conceived the Father’s Only-Begotten Son. Christ is King because He is God and Man-God; Mary is Queen because She is His Mother and Associate.”.
The Marian theophany of the last two centuries, from Rue du Bac to Lourdes to Fatima, bears witness to the role which Our Lady must have in the establishment of the social reign of Christ, which is also the social reign of Mary, the triumph of the Church over the revolution it assails.
A Fluid Church in a Fluid Society
The modernists reject the social reign of Christ, accusing the “Constantinian shift” of having betrayed the Gospel’s ideals, as a compromise of Christians with power. This anti-Constantinian mythology developed in the radical schism of the Reformation, between the Anabaptists and the Theosophists who placed themselves at Luther’s left. These saw in the “Constantinian bond” of Church and state, a sacrilegious union which needed to be destroyed and substituted by the principle of religious liberty, intended as the right to profess any religion held to be true.
The ideas of the radical reformers were expressed in Holland in the 1600’s especially, and from there, spread to England where they constituted one of the intellectual foundations of Masonry which saw the light with the institution of the Grand Lodge in London in 1717. Masonry organized the French Revolution, that intended to break the Constantinian bond of altar and throne, in the name of the supreme ideals of absolute liberty, equality and fraternity. In the 1800’s, liberalism denied the public role of the Church in society, seeking to confine the Christian presence to the strict freedom of individual consciences, to bring it back to the catacombs. These texts were repeatedly condemned by the Papal Magisterium but the anti-Constantinian mythology penetrated the Catholic Church on the inside, through modernism.
“The end of the Constantinian era” was announced by one of the fathers of the Nouvelle Théologie, the Dominican Marie-Dominique Chenu, in a famous conference held in 1961. Chenu aspired to free the Church from what he defined as the three decisive factors of her compromise with power: the primacy of Roman law, the Greek-Roman logos, and the liturgical language of Latin. The Church no longer had to face the problem of Christianizing the world but accepting its secularist development, breaking every tie with Tradition, renewing her doctrine through (pastoral) praxis.
The modernists deny the social reign of Christ because they deny the visible dimension of the Church. They want to liquidate the structures of the Church, they want a fluid church in a fluid society, like a river which runs in a perpetual flow. According to Father Roger-Thomas Calmel: “Doctrines, rites, and the interior life are subjected to a process of such a radical and refined liquefaction which no longer allows for a distinction between Catholics and non-Catholics. Because ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ the definite and the definitive are considered outdated, the question arises as to what it is that impedes non-Christian religions to also be part of the new universal church, constantly updated by ecumenical interpretations.”.
The fluid church requires fluid Catholics without an identity, without a mission to carry out, incapable of fighting: because fighting means resistance, resistance means staying, staying means being: and Tradition is nothing else than being which opposes itself to becoming which flows toward the sea of nothingness. Tradition is that which is stable in the perennial becoming of things, and that which is unchangeable in a changing world, and it is such because it has in itself a reflection of eternity.
The anti-Christian revolution which spans history, hates being in all its expressions, and counteracts it with the denial of all that in reality is stable, permanent, and objective, beginning with human nature, dissolved by gender theory.
So, the ruinous horizon before us is an expression of this revolutionary process, it is the result of a process of liquefying society and the Church, carried out by agents of chaos, by societies which would like to recreate or destroy the world. This route, however, leads to an inevitable defeat of the revolution.
In fact, the revolution, like evil, does not have its own nature, but exists only insofar as it is the privation and a deficiency of good. “The being of evil,” – explains Saint Thomas – “consists precisely in being the privation of good.”. Evil, which is the privation of being, can spread, like darkness in the night, following daylight. But the darkness does not have in itself the power to defeat the light in a total and definitive way, because it (darkness) draws its very existence from the light. Infinite light, which is God, exists. “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness,” says Saint John (1 John 1:5). Absolute darkness does not exist, because radical nothingness cannot exist. Our existence is the living negation of nothingness. Evil advances when good recedes. Error is affirmed only when the truth is extinguished. The revolution wins only when Tradition surrenders. All revolutions throughout history have taken place only when an authentic opposition is lacking. For this reason, every abdication is an act of surrender and retreat.
However, if there is an evil dynamic, there is a dynamic of goodness. A remnant – even a minimal one – of light cannot be extinguished, and this remnant has in itself the irresistible strength of daybreak, the possibility of a new day with the sunrise. This is the drama of evil: it cannot destroy the last remnant of good that survives, it is destined to be destroyed by this remnant. Evil cannot stand even the smallest surviving good, because it glimpses its defeat in the good which exists. The dynamism of evil is destined to shatter itself against that which stays, which remains solid in society’s liquefaction. Therefore, the final step in the process of today’s self-dissolution eroding the rock on which the Church was founded, is destined to witness the death of the revolution and the sprouting of the beginning of an opposed life: a mandatory itinerary of restoration of faith and morals, of truth and of the social order to which it corresponds: this principle is the Catholic counter-revolution.
Social philosophy has several laws which should be remembered. One of them is that history is made by minorities who fight to establish a project, an idea – right or malformed as the case may be. The strength of these minorities is proportionate to the strength of their passions, which can be ordered to good or can be disordered. These have an immense, propelling force, because they advance ideas, they put them into action. The strength of a warrior is proportionate to the breadth and intensity of his love; and there is no higher love than that which a man can have for the Church and Christian civilization, the love which drove the noblest of history’s ventures: the heroic deeds of the Crusades. In our dramatic, historic time we need to rediscover the perennial spirit of the Crusades, not that of the catacombs.
(Order a poster print of this original Remnant artwork from The Remnant’s Store )
The Spirit of Crusade
Please read the rest here: https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4286-church-in-crisis-the-final-act-of-vatican-ii