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March 2007

An Enduring Legacy


The 11th of March marks the tenth anniversary of the death of our founding editor, Father Paul Crane, S.J. [RIP]. For nearly forty years he promoted and defended the Faith in the pages of Christian Order, while providing a public forum for Catholic contributors the world over to do likewise.

The Social Teaching of the Church was his area of special expertise and the original focus of the magazine which he established in 1960. Soon, however, the debasement of the liturgy, heretical catechesis and false ecumenism saw him rise to attack the neo-Modernists as they laid waste to every area of Catholic life. He thereby inspired the besieged faithful - sheep without shepherds - to stand their ground and fight the Liberal wreckers, particularly in respect of the Mass and traditional piety.

Initially, he himself had accepted the liturgical changes "without understanding them out of loyalty to the Holy See." Yet he was quick to see the light and, especially, the clerical contempt with which the New Mass had been foisted on the people in utter disregard for their profound attachment to cherished traditions. By April 1974 he was pointing out to the hierarchy that "the New Mass has not succeeded in a single one of its objectives, which appear to have been to stem the leakage, bring back the lapsed, and indeed draw converts into the Church. It is now less than four years since the New Mass was introduced into the Church, yet there is no sign that it has achieved any lasting success; on the contrary, it seems to me that its sole effect, really, has been to open the road still wider to anarchy."

As usual, how right he was. The liturgical anarchy unleashed by the New Mass has continued to widen and deepen ever since. Cornelia Ferreira’s report in this edition is recent striking testimony to that ongoing fact. In the process, the banality and sacrilege introduced to parish sanctuaries and pews has destroyed the pivotal notion of the Mass as the unbloody re-presentation of Calvary. Two generations raised on clichés about ‘Eucharist as community meal’ and who have acted out those self-centred dictums every Sunday for years, now have little if any comprehension of religious sacrifice per se, never mind its association with Christ and the Holy Mass.

This pervasive theological-liturgical ignorance - in response to which we offer Mr Calderon’s timely instruction herein - also serves to confirm Fr Crane’s constant call for the restoration of the Old Mass: each offering of which confirms the centrality of sacrifice to Catholic worship and constitutes a living lesson in Catholic catechesis that publicly rebukes the entire Modernist enterprise. Thus, nearly twenty years after the following commentary in which he laid the blame for the Lefebvre split squarely at the feet of Rome and the Bishops, he would have looked forward to a motu proprio from Pope Benedict as the next belated step in this essential liturgical restoration - though without harbouring any illusions whatsoever about its problematic implementation under a treacherous episcopate and timorous Vatican.

Deprived of robust Catholic leaders and surrounded, instead, by girly-man clerics of the Modernist school, Fr Crane restored our respect for the priesthood; a true pastor of souls steeped in the Faith of our Fathers who would not yield one inch to the revolutionaries. How we looked forward each month to yet another dose of his stylish prose and uncompromising, educational, spine-stiffening Catholic analysis. It is precisely in order that present and future generations can also enjoy and benefit from Father’s writings, and those of all our wonderful contributors, that we have recently commenced the computer scanning of every issue of Christian Order since its inception, with a view to progressively uploading thousands of articles on our website over the next several years. In this way, Fr Crane’s legacy of Catholic instruction and analysis will endure, as CO’s historic chronicle of revolution and counter-revolution continues to serve the Church and souls from cyberspace.

The basic scanning (of about 30,000 pages) should be finalised in 6-8 months. We have set aside the remaining funds from our recent advertising appeal to help meet the cost, but will need another £1,500 to cover it completely. Contributions to this exciting venture will be gratefully received, therefore, and should be sent to Christian Order, "Crane Legacy", PO Box 14754, London SE19 2ZJ.

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