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June-July 2001



"Church adds new members", rang out the headline of a report in the Catholic Herald last April. "More people than ever are expected to join the Church this Easter, with numbers of baptisms and receptions expected to rise for another year," ran the breathless introduction to a jaunty piece which claimed that "the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is being hailed as a success as the dioceses of England and Wales are seeing a gradual rise in the number of adults converting to Catholicism." Among the "success" stories paraded in the article was the archdiocese of Liverpool, which this year apparently herded 86 converts into its grotesque cathedral; hardly a figure to turn our Protestant and Muslim competitors green with envy, yet more than enough to make Sister Maeve, a long-time RCIA catechist for the Westminster diocese, "excited about the way things are going." Never mind that in the very same edition of the Herald a letter to the editor voiced concern about "a class of candidates under instruction for the Sacrament of Confirmation in church, none of whom genuflected in front of the tabernacle because they have no idea what the Blessed Sacrament is". No, we can safely disregard that scandalous happening because, well, Sister insists "it is an exciting time for catechesis."

So there you have it: the Establishment's illusory spin on what is happening in England and Wales. Illusory, because in the closeted world of the episcopate and its diocesan and media functionaries, appearance is everything and substance nothing at all. In this case, the simple truth behind the spin is that Sr. Maeve's beloved RCIA is a Modernist catechetical programme repackaging English Protestants as Roman Protestants; just as classroom catechesis of the same liberal stripe is transforming cradle Catholics into Catholic illiterates oblivious to the Real Presence. The real story behind the Herald article, therefore, is about inverted comma 'converts' joining the ranks of inverted comma 'Catholics', and the spurious "Church adds new members" headline should actually have read: "Church loses new members before they start!" But that, of course, is the sort of bare knuckle analysis you are only going to find in Christian Order. Which is why in this edition we are running the text of my interview with a Polish journal late last year: so that once again the plain truth about the parlous state of the Church in England and Wales might be placed on public record and spread as far afield as possible.

It was never the intention to reprint the interview in these pages, because although the information and views provided were certainly news to the Poles, they constitute little more than a summary assessment of what our readers well know about the British scene. But faced with this interminable dissembling by our treacherous 'Catholic' press which would have the naive and ill-informed believe that things are on the up; riled by the shameless assertion of our disgraced Cardinal that his dissident, scandal-ridden local Church is a "moral force" in British life; exasperated by Roman curial officials still clueless about the state of decay on this side of the Channel despite concerted efforts to inform them; alarmed by the darkness of Calvary now descending on these Isles as one shocking episcopal appointment after another drives nail after nail into the local Body of Christ - confronted by all of that, not to mention the insufferable smugness that insulates the English and Welsh bishops and their boot-licking bureaucrats from the plaints of the faithful, what is left but to shout the truth from the rooftops ad nauseam until someone - anyone! - takes notice, even if only those who might learn from our demise.

The fact is that while the Catholic world acknowledges the catastrophic collapse in countries like France and Holland, the accepted wisdom about our small corner of the universal Church, comprising the British Isles and Ireland, is that we are still faring pretty well amid the post-conciliar strife and better than most. Moreover, our bishops are viewed benignly in comparison with overseas mavericks. Could any notions be further from the truth and more in need of very pointed correction? Hence the interview and articles which follow: urgent correctives addressed to whomsoever it may concern, at home and abroad.


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