There are creatures so slippery they defy gravity: they backslide upwards! The Clintons epitomise the breed. No amount of corruption and criminality could halt their inexorable rise. Even the rock-bottom Lewinsky scandal leading to Bill’s historic impeachment was a mere dip and pause before resurgence.
The champagne-socialist project known as “New Labour” features similar disgraced characters who will not be denied: like the grasping Blairs and their best friend, the serpentine Peter Mandelson. A Machiavellian sodomite from the Clintonite school of spin and smear known as the Prince of Darkness, Mandelson was described by one writer as a “cancer on British life [who] represents everything rotten about our so-called democracy - arrogance, cynical contempt for the paying public, institutionalised dishonesty, an exaggerated sense of entitlement and the complete absence of shame.”
Evicted from the Cabinet in 1998 for lies and subterfuge pertaining to the mortgage on his impossibly expensive London home, he was brought back by Mr Blair within a year as Northern Ireland Secretary, only to be forced to quit a second time in 2001 following allegations of further dubious dealings. He then slithered up to a lucrative EU Trade Commissioner post in Brussels before his hitherto worst enemy Gordon Brown invited him back to Westminster for a third time in 2008, handing him a seat in the House of Lords and effectively anointing him deputy Prime Minister. This unelected recidivist is now a member of 80 per cent of the 43 Cabinet committees and sub-committees, has 11 ministers who report to him on everything from trade to universities and manufacturing, and is tipped as a front runner to replace Mr Brown in time for the next election!
Prime Minister Mandelson? I wouldn’t bet against it any more than I would have dared wager back in the 90s against Vincent Nichols’ ascension to Westminster despite his major contribution to the demise of the local Church, briefly recapped last month and again herein. His chief sponsor, after all, was Merseyside’s very own Prince of Darkness: Mandelson’s scheming ecclesiastical twin, Archbishop Derek Worlock.
As in the State, the dregs have been rising in the Church for a very long time; the robust clerical cream being sent to Coventry at the faintest whiff of problematic orthodoxy. Ever since episcopates bureaucratised and collegial unity degenerated to Cabinet solidarity, reducing apostolic successors to acquiescent functionaries, it’s been all about who you know and how you play “The Game” [see “On the Westminster Succession and Fear of God,” CO, Aug/Sept 1999].
Consequently, just as party politics is now a degraded profession attracting mediocrities bare of wit, inspiration or independence of mind, so Rome has connived to fill our hierarchies with far too many prelates of a similar time-serving disposition. A glance at the moribund state of almost any diocese anywhere in the West will testify to the lukewarmness of the greater number. This makes the rise of the gravity-defying backsliders - ambitious operators imbued with that Mandelsonian/Worlockian arrogance and sense of entitlement - depressingly predictable.
And so, as he slid effortlessly up to the High Altar of Westminster cathedral on 21 May 2009 (no stumbling on the steps like his predecessor), Vincent Gerald Nichols turned to look out over the British Establishment assembled before him and reflect upon his debt to Derek and Basil: the episcopal Game duly played out with Rome; the baton passed on; the magic circle preserved; destiny fulfilled.
The shameful presence of this low-life prelate conjured the ghost of Cardinal Hume from his resting place in St. George’s Chapel and memories of a similar trans-Atlantic tie-in: namely, Basil’s close and enduring friendship with the dissolute Rembert Weakland. An episcopal sodomite renowned for his flagrant corruption of the faith and morals of his Milwaukee flock, Weakland also did his bit for Britain, delivering the keynote address to the 1995 National Conference of Priests of England and Wales, titled “A Renewed Priesthood in a Renewed Church.” (He meant, of course, ‘A Counterfeit Priesthood in a Counterfeit Church’... but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
It is altogether telling that both prelates come up on the same page of Amazon, where we are informed that customers who bought books by or about Basil also bought Rembert’s sodomy-sanctioning autobiography (as well as Ted Kennedy’s memoirs and a book about the Eucharist by homosexual apologist Timothy Radcliffe). Guilt by association? Hardly. Subverting Church teaching at every turn, Cardinal Hume was a veritable ‘Godfather to the Gays’ while pushing sodomitical propaganda on Catholic children through AIDS education [cf. CO, Feb. 1998 and June/July 2007]. He pursued this obsession with his other perverted American buddy, Cardinal Joseph Bernadin of Chicago - whose “Story of Stephen,” a description of a young homosexual dying of AIDS, was even included in a Canadian kindergarten-to-grade-12 AIDS programme, which course also featured platitudes by Hume. (Presumably, “Stephen” was based on Steven Cook, one of the seminarians who accused Bernadin of coercing him into homosexual acts, and whose mother, sister and male lover inherited not only the considerable hush money he received before dying of AIDS but also the “costly chalice” Bernadin had bequeathed him.)
The sight of Cardinal Murphy O’Connor ensconced in the sanctuary also recalled the scarred victims of yet another scandal-ridden tenure. Not only the hordes corrupted by his protestantising ‘renewal’ programmes, but also his complicity in clerical sexual abuse [see “Cormac-RENEW-Abuse,” CO, Feb. 2003]. As a conservative newspaper columnist once righteously thundered: “His moral judgement is either naive or warped. In either case, he is totally unfit for the duties the Pope has placed upon him.” His reception of the unrepentant Blair into the Church sealed that inglorious assessment.
Yet on 21 May there he was, centre stage, presenting the crosier to the same prelate from whom he received his own crook in March 2000. A tableau of Modernist continuity, it telegraphed the common threads of liberal solidarity connecting all the “totally unfit” hirelings foisted upon shepherdless flocks for forty years: ongoing complicity in systemic liturgical abuse, false catechesis and classroom sex education; continuing failure to shout Church teaching on the intrinsic moral evil and abortifacient nature of contraception from the rooftops; relentless facilitation of the sodomitical cult under cover of ‘Pastoral Provision’.... In other words, it signalled business-as-usual and, therefore, further degradation of the sacred office and holy Faith that Archbishop Nichols was being consecrated to uphold and defend.
Captured in excruciating close-up on the 2006 documentary “Deliver Us From Evil,” the slippery dissembling of Cardinal Mahoney under legal scrutiny spoke volumes. “I have taken depositions from Catholic bishops across this country for 23 years,” said the interrogating attorney acting on behalf of yet another family whose children Oliver O’Grady abused. “And what I have found is deception, perjury, denial and deceit.”
That neatly sums up the workaday experience of faithful laity across the West in their dealings with prelates who hide behind their episcopal office, behaving like self-serving politicians instead of selfless Shepherds. As thick as thieves, they run their own show. “We get letters from Rome [in response to orthodox complainants],” yawned Bishop Hollis of Portsmouth in 2004. “But it really doesn’t terribly matter.” As if to prove his point he went on to support legalised prostitution in 2007. Rome blinked. The laity shrugged. And the local Church took another convergent stride towards Anglican irrelevance.
To do justice to the fantastical world of Mr Rowan Williams and his message would take a very large book indeed. Suffice to say that a man who claims that active homosexual relationships are “comparable to marriage” in the eyes of God, who supports every imaginable heresy and politically-correct idiocy, has nothing whatsoever to offer the Holy Catholic Church.
As for the Anglican circus he oversees, it has so gravely damaged the cause of religion that his talk about “witnessing to the Christian faith in our nation,” “making the Good News compelling and attractive” and “the God-given task of Anglican communities” is hilarious and delusory beyond words.
New depths of degradation and godless self-parody are reached on a weekly basis. Consider the decision of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathederal to play John Lennon’s atheistic anthem “Imagine” on its church bells last May, described by one disgusted Anglican as “the cathedral authorities’ complete capitulation to popular culture and their abandonment of Christian principles.” Or the senior chaplain at Sandhurst military academy (formerly secretary for ecumenism for the Archbishop of Canterbury) dropping the Apostles’ Creed from his Anglican services last January to avoid upsetting atheistic cadets, despite the fact that attendance at the services is not even compulsory.
True to the feel-good factor which drives and shapes the ecumenical free-for-all, at his own installation in 2000 Cormac recalled how he had been moved to tears when he saw the Pope and Anglican and Free Church leaders praying together at Canterbury Cathedral: “I thought to myself this is how it ought to be... in common prayer, in a communion that is real.”
Emotive nonsense, of course. There can be no “real communion” without Protestant conversion and return to the one true Church. Although many non-Catholics “loudly preach fraternal Communion in Christ Jesus,” wrote Pius XI in Mortalium Animos (1928), “yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor.”
Eighty years on, this lament applies equally to rebellious Western hierarchies. Ecumenical dovetailing has seen Cardinal Cormac, for one, touting a thoroughly protestantised papacy - “A Pope ... who will preside not with jurisdiction but with love” - and insisting that the Vicar of Christ is reliant on the episcopal college - “Never Peter without the eleven” - rather than vice versa. His espousal of such views saw him awarded a Lambeth Doctorate in Divinity by George Carey in 2000, in recognition of his work for Christian unity. This only spurred him on to greater follies. By 2005 he was pushing “universal salvation” - the idea that everyone is saved regardless of belief - and implying that hell might be empty.
The countless prelates who share his views have reached this heretical point due in large part to their penchant for “common prayer” and other ecumenical activities against the wise counsel of Pius XI, who went on to warn about a pernicious over-familiarity:
In 1820, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich clearly foresaw the false ecumenism giving rise to this “false Christianity” in our time. She envisioned a “Church of Darkness” which she referred to as a “Counterfeit Church”:
Its syncretic marks have crystallised since Vatican II but they all boil down to one overriding characteristic: disdain for Catholic evangelisation and conversion. Hence the endless nature of hail-fellow-well-met ecumenical “dialogue,” wherein absolute claims to absolute truth are studiously avoided for fear of causing offence and terminating discussion: a process serving to pervert Catholic truths not convert non-Catholic souls.
False-charity injures faith
“The new school would act as a significant reminder that what unites Christian denominations is greater than what divides them,” boasted a 2007 diocesan report of one proposed merger in Portsmouth. “The schools have held joint Advent and Ash Wednesday acts of worship.”
Unfamiliar with Pius XI and the “dangerous fallacies” forewarned in his prophetic encyclical, the joint Headteacher, a Catholic, saw instead the green shoots of an ecumenical dawn: “To hear [the pupils] talk about learning about faith from each other makes me proud and very excited for the future,” she enthused.
Well, like that Headteacher, Cardinal Cormac himself was once a Catholic. And he, too, was excited by ecumenical prospects, immersing himself in years of “dialogue” and even crying with joy at the sight of a joint prayer session. Yet he rapidly found himself signing up to various documents which contradict most major tenets of Catholic belief, losing the Catholic plot and finally declaring at Downside Abbey that unity can be more important than truth [See The Wages of Ecumenism, CO, Nov. 2002].
Similarly, every child and teacher in a joint school subjected to the same big-tent religion as Cormac will compromise and capitulate. Why? Because although viewed as the charitable glue essential to uniting Christians in the fight against irreligion, ecumenical ‘caring and sharing’ is in fact the spiritual battery acid that dissolves Catholic faith and belief. (Lacking any doctrinal lines of demarcation to dissolve, sola scriptura Protestantism, on the contrary, is impervious.)
On this point, Pius XI is adamant. Indeed he goes even further, insisting that the “outward appearance of good” in the ecumenical refrain that Christ willed his followers to be “one” not only distorts the idea of true religion, it leads ultimately to “naturalism and atheism” and to “altogether abandoning revealed religion.”
“How does it happen that this charity [fostering Christian love and unity] tends to injure faith?” he asks in Mortalium Animos. He answers by explaining that St John, “who never ceased” to remind his followers of the new commitment to love one another, “altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ’s teaching: ‘If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you’ [2 Jn 10].”
The Douay Rheims helpfully explains that this admonition of St. John “is in general, to forewarn the faithful of the dangers which may arise from a familiarity with those who have prevaricated and gone from the true faith, and with such as teach false doctrine. But this is not forbidding a charity for all men, by which we ought to wish and pray for the eternal salvation of every one, even of our enemies.”
Quite simply, then, praying for the heretical Rowan Williams and the conversion of all Protestants, not with them, and certainly not within the corrosive confines of joint schools and ecumenical gatherings, is true ecumenism borne of true charity. “For the union of Christianity can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it,” proclaimed Pius XI, “for in the past they have unhappily left it.”
After decades of promoting ecumenism in defiance of Pius XI - Cardinal Kasper stating in 2001, for example, that “we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and return to being ‘Catholics’” - Rome sought to turn back the remorseless ecumenical tide and return Christ and His one true Church to the centre of evangelisation. By stating the Catholic case less directly than Mortalium Animos and not seeking to extricate the Church from the ecumenical juggernaut, it expected a smoother reception. Its surprise at the furious backlash is a measure of how far removed it is from the irreparable damage caused by its scorched-earth ecumenical policy of forty years.
No one had envisaged “the problems that came from the publication of the document,” admitted Cardinal Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, who described “the language and timing of the declaration” as “inopportune” before proceeding to play it down and undermine any traditional interpretation.
For traditional journals like this one the extended Dominus Iesus fracas was one long we-told-you-so moment. But we didn’t need it to expose Rome’s naivety and remoteness or the subversive colours of ecumenical gurus like Cardinal Cassidy and Cardinal Kasper. To remind us how far from Catholic fundamentals we have strayed and how disinterested the Vatican is in restoring orthodoxy to a dying English outpost where ecumenical Modernism rules the roost, the 21 May panto was more than enough.
But then so did the press cutting from the Fenland Citizen of 29 April 2009 which turned up in the CO mailbag just a few weeks earlier. “The children of All Saints’ School in March were privy to a historic moment as a bishop from both the Anglican and Catholic faiths took mass [sic] together,” it read. The authentic one, Bishop Michael Evans of East Anglia, was shown standing beside his faux episcopal friend at a card-table ‘altar.’ The caption read: “UNITED: Anglican and Catholic bishops face the camera at the Easter Mass at All Saints’ School, March.”
Explained the clueless Head of this Cambridgeshire joint school: “It really was a unique occasion.... It’s something that’s unlikely to be repeated. The children were very excited and I hope it’s something they’ll remember in years to come.”
On the contrary, like her so-called Inter-Church School, Inter-Church Concelebrations are destined to become commonplace. Barring Vatican intervention, her pupils will merely recall the event the way we reflect upon the days of black-and-white TV and wonder how we coped. Much the way writer Michael McGough fondly recalls the ecumenical dissolution of Catholic faith and idenity in his own life:
The enemies of the Church have long predicted all of this, including the diabolic descent to ‘concelebrations.’ A 1986 Masonic commentary, quoted by Archbishop Lefebvre in his Open Letter to Confused Catholics, crowed:
“A Covenant between Two Cathedrals,” it trumpeted, describing yet another “historic event,” this one at Brentwood cathedral on 30 November 2008. During a combined Advent service, Bishop Thomas McMahon had “signed a pledge to encourage pulpit exchanges, a united service on Pentecost Sunday afternoon, shared study days, retreats and pilgrimages; regular public prayer for each other; working towards an exchange of cycles of prayer; exchange of items of common interest for the diocesan newsletters or journals, and a deepening link between the two cathedrals through music....”
This is the hierarchy’s manifesto: integration without end, dialogue as infinity, parish life as a frenetic Taizé Community where standing firm in Catholic truth is going backwards faster than a Formula 1 racing car in reverse. The seeds of hostility to orthodox declarations like Dominus Iesus are planted here, in this full-throttle, ecumenical self-mutilation at the grassroots.
Describing the convenant as “a binding commitment,” the Anglican ‘bishop’ said: “It marks a new chapter in the journey we have travelled on from the past.” It surely does: the latest advance on the road to apostasy, as flagged by Pius XI and confirmed in the very same newsletter. On page 3, a Catholic apostate, penned his first column on ecumenical affairs for the Brentford News, sketching the linear progression from mainstream Modernism (RCIA) to the ecumenical currency of the Counterfeit Church:
Without a hint of irony, he truly concludes that “the core biblical text [of ecumenism] should be Hebrews 11:8 which says: by faith Abraham set out not knowing where he was going”! This aimlessness, however, this exaltation of dialogue as an end in itself, applies only to the rank and file caught up in the never-ending “journey.” The bishops themselves know precisely where they are heading, as so vividly presaged by the ‘concelebration’ at All Saints school.
In fact, the dumbed-down, protestantised laity haven’t a clue about the bishop’s “visionary” plans or what he and his brethren are “doing.” But they would not be too bothered to discover that it involves not merely joint schools and the sort of faith-swapping recounted above, but the ultimate extension of such ecumenical flexibility: recognition of Anglican Orders.
Indeed, reversing Leo XIII’s negative ruling in Apostolicae Curae (1896), in which he declared those Orders “absolutely null and void,” has been the perennial goal of British ecumenists. Though generally unspoken, it is ever present, as flagged in One Bread One Body, the 1998 teaching document of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of England & Wales, Ireland and Scotland. While restating the prohibition on intercommunion, it also quietly declared that the “difficulties with regard to Anglican orders... remain unresolved” [para. 117].
Obstacle and target
In this light we can better understand the effort of Modernist prelates to stifle Summorum Pontificum and its place in God’s providential plan to preserve the Faith in those times, since the Fathers unanimously teach that “the Church shall be scattered, driven into the wilderness... hidden in catacombs, in dens... in lurking places [and] for a time... swept, as it were, from the face of the earth.”
Designed to accommodate Protestant sensibilities, as freely admitted by its creators, the flexible nature of the option-filled New Mass naturally facilitates ecumenical degradation of true worship which in turn corrupts true belief. Its freewheeling structure emboldens, or at the very least does nothing to deter the likes of Cardinal Murphy O’Connor from touting an eviscerated papacy without jurisdiction. Similarly, the extreme ecumenical agenda he was chosen to further and cement does not allow Archbishop Nichols to embrace the Benedictine reform of Summorum Pontificum. He begrudgingly allows the Old Mass but cannot bring himself to offer it, preferring instead to huff and puff against the straw man of traditionalist aversion to the Novus Ordo.
It is only before the inflexible rubrics and unyielding prayers and formulations of the Old Mass that ecumaniacs are saved from themselves. Constant exposure to a God-centred orientation, to silence and the liberating rules of liturgical law, requiring discipline and obedience, is simply incompatible with the ecumenical mindset. The sheer God-centred objectivity of the Mass of Campion, Fisher and Moore kills the subjective ecumenical agenda stone dead. Thus, it forms an insurmountable obstacle to the Counterfeit Church and, together with the rock of Peter, is the principle target of episcopal subversion.
The Installation pantomime is the comprehensive response to that question! Popes who continue to sanction dynastic Modernism in the Hume/Worlock line are not about to ride to our rescue. At the same time, since the local hierarchy is now too rotten to purge and reform itself, only Rome can save us. Catch-22!
This mysterious darkening of hierarchical minds and souls has long been foreseen. “The Church will be punished because the majority of her members, high and low, will become so perverted,” prophesied the great patron saint of Switzerland, St. Nicholas von Flüe, 500 years ago. “The Church will sink deeper and deeper until she will at last seem to be extinguished, and the succession of Peter and other Apostles to have expired. But, after this, she will be victoriously exalted in the sight of all doubters.”
In our own day, it was best and most simply explained by Cardinal Ciappi, the papal theologian to five consecutive Popes, who said: “In the Third Secret we read, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church begins at the top.”
The rise of the backsliders and consequent ecumenical sellout they have engineered, all facilitated by Rome, only makes sense in such prophetic light.
There are so many head-buriers who Just Don’t Get It with grinning prelates and Modernist perversion and dissolution that you could never build enough cathedrals and pews to seat them all. The thousands packed into Westminster for the Mass of Installation were just a representative fraction of these: clerics and laity revelling in the spectacle and media spotlight on the Faith, either oblivious or indifferent to prelates who have made their ecumenical peace with a cynical secularism.
Post-conciliar resistance to Modernism in this country could be penned on the back of a fag packet. Counter-revolutionaries get knocked over in a sycophantic stampede to welcome the latest smiley-faced bishop and his facile calls for more of the same. For most of the laity “change” is a narcotic which numbs their guilty conscience; “dialogue” an escape from the catechism which shaped it. They don’t frequent the pews looking for correction and a Catholic cause. Appeasement and reassurance at magisterial expense will do, with a copy of the Tablet to reinforce the Social Gospel on the way out.
Battle-scarred but unbowed, the combative remnant expects no justice this side of heaven. Like the English Catholics of yore, squeezed between a sleazy political class increasingly hostile to Catholicism and a treacherous hierarchy not fit for Catholic purpose, they accept the privilege of suffering joyfully with Christ: praying for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the conversion of sinners, saying their daily Rosary, practicing the Five First Saturdays devotion [see June/July 2008] and fulfilling their baptismal duty to resist Modernism in all its guises, especially its ecumenical face.
To sustain them in their thankless task of correcting the wayward and rebuking Shepherds who imperil souls, they need only look to the prophets and saints for inspiration, courage and hope. Like the sorely tried yet unyielding Jeremiah. Or St Maximilian Kolbe, who exhorted the Knights of his Militia Immaculata to look Modernism in the face and fight its Masonic agenda to the death: