JOBS FOR THE BOYS… & GIRLS
Last June, Brother Bernardo of Corleone was declared a saint. A 17th century resident of the Sicilian town which gave its name to the criminal dynasty in The Godfather, the famous novel and film, he turned to the Faith after nearly killing a man in a duel. Local Corleone officials celebrated the canonisation with a feast dedicated to the fight against the Mafia, while Brother Bernardo is set to become the patron saint of victims of the Mafia. This event, it seemed to me, leant a certain perverse symmetry to 2001, occurring as it did smack in the middle of a twelve month period which saw England's Modernist Mafia consolidate its control of the local Church - with a vengeance! Never before has the spiritually corrupt and corrupting network of liberal mafiosi in this country so shamelessly doled out episcopal 'jobs for the boys' as during the last twelve months. And never has the arrogant assertion of their late 'Godfather' been so brutally confirmed: "Archbishop Derek [Worlock] did say to me once," blurted Father Peter Morgan over Liverpool's airwaves on 13 May 1996, "that as long as the bishops stuck together, there's no way in which a man of a conservative ilk could be imposed on any diocese in our country."
The late Archbishop, a planner-organiser par excellence, knew well the bullet-proof nature of the episcopal closed-shop he had engineered. Yet even he and his partner in crime, Cardinal Hume, might have shaken their heads in joyous bemusement at Rome's recent appointments. In retrospect, and as forewarned in this magazine at the time, the elevations during 2000 of arch-Modernists Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and Vincent Nichols to the primary sees of Westminster and Birmingham were a sign of the dis-appointments to come. Starting in December 2000 and continuing throughout last year, liberal time-servers from the inner-circle lined up for their mitres in recompense for faithfully toeing the Worlockian Party Line. They ranged from clerics of the workaday 'social gospel-ecumenical' stripe - like Westminster Cathedral Administrator, Mgr George Stack (Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster); General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference, Mgr Arthur Roche (Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster); and former Secretary of ARCIC, Mgr. Kevin McDonald (Bishop of Northampton) - through to committed liberal ideologues - such as Dominican Malcolm McMahon (Bishop of Nottingham); Vicar General of Portsmouth, Mgr Declan Lang (Bishop of Clifton); and Director of the Catholic Media Office, Mgr Kieran Conry (Bishop of Arundel and Brighton).
Clearly, none of these men would consider themselves Modernists, let alone spiritual racketeers enmeshed in England's Modernist Mob. They would either deride such a quaint term or take it as a complimentary reference to their thoroughly modern preoccupation with "community" and "change" and "personal experience" and "the future" (and on and on...). They would not identify Modernism with heresy - even those few who still believe in the possibility of "heresy"! And almost certainly none of their number would have read Pope St. Pius X's masterly and scathing encyclical Pascendi (1907), wherein the great Pope Saint exposes the many guises of the Modernist: as a philosopher, a believer, a theologian, a critic, an apologist, a reformer. Were they to do so, they would see themselves as in a mirror. They would suddenly perceive how their multifarious and apparently disjointed acts of disobedience and dissent - often disguised as questioning and uncertainty but now increasingly blatant - hang together to form that "synthesis of all heresies" Pius identified as Modernism. Such was the case some years ago with one ex-Modernist priest who recalled: "When I read Pascendi it was like turning on a light. All my mental positions were there and they were all condemned! I thought, 'My God, I've cherished these ideas.' I was astounded." (1)
As St. Pius X explains, however, ignorance and pride rouse in Modernists such disobedience and complete disrespect for authority that conversions are a rarity. In fact, this truly paternal and warm-hearted pontiff wrote Pascendi only after all his kindly and quiet efforts to convert the Modernists had proved fruitless and convinced him that it would be "a crime" to remain silent. And so he set out "to expose before the whole Church in their true colours those men who had assumed this bad disguise." One can thus imagine the Saint's reaction to the utterances and Pastorals of those clerics newly inducted into England's episcopal Brotherhood.
Bishop McMahon, for one, couldn't even get through his Episcopal Ordination Mass on 8 December 2000 without saturating his address with vacuous Modernist cliches about "confidence in the future" - the word "future" featuring 10 times in a five minute talk designed to soften up his new flock to constant "change" and "new structures and new ways of being the Catholic church [sic]." Nor could he resist a final insidious assertion that the "daunting mission" of reshaping the "uncertain future" of "the church" - "can only be carried out together with those other Christians who share the same baptism and the same gospels and who with us form the Church of Christ." This statement turns the doctrine of the one true holy Catholic Church, and membership thereof, on its head. To wit: this is heresy! [cf. Ott, Ch. 5, No. 19]. Three months later, further undermining the divine authority he had just received, Bishop McMahon proceeded to ignore not only John Paul II's infallible pronouncement of the ordinary Magisterium on the impossibility of women priests ["Explanatory Note" to Ad Tuendam Fidem, No. 11, para. 4], but also the supreme pontiff's request that futile debate about the matter cease altogether. When asked during an interview with a parish youth group: "What do you think of women as priests?" Bishop McMahon replied as if the Holy Father had never spoken: "… in other denominations women have made very good priests and ministers. There is no doubt about that!" he enthused. "In the Catholic Church we would want to be sure that this is the will of the Holy Spirit before we ordained women as priests… so I look forward to the day when we will have women priests." It goes without saying that in the same interview he promoted married clergy and made no attempt to provide his impressionable young interrogators with the compelling arguments for celibacy. The interview was published in the youth group's parish magazine and later reprinted in the diocesan paper. (And Bishop McMahon has the cheek to label Christian Order "scurrilous and very damaging to the Church"!)
One could just as easily lay bare the Modernism of his fellow initiates, not to mention the liberal credentials of recent key administrative appointees like Father Andrew Summersgill (Secretary to the Bishops Conference) and Mgr Peter Grant (Private Secretary to the Nuncio), both sponsored and planted by the egregious liberal wheeler-dealer, and current Godfather, Bishop David Konstant of Leeds. Naturally, these two are being groomed for future blooding into the episcopal inner sanctum, thus perpetuating the Modernist hegemony - as per Mgr Conry, the former favoured son of Cardinal Hume's Westminster reign and now, despite serious questions about the propriety of his appointment (see following article), Bishop Conry. His first Pastoral last October - in which the word "change" appeared 10 times and "community" 9 times in barely one-and-a-half pages - was lifted straight from the same Modernist hymn sheet as Bishop McMahon's Ordination address. Studiously ignoring the numerous, well-documented examples of flourishing priestly and Religious vocations in solidly orthodox dioceses abroad [cf. "The Problem with Clones," CO, March 2001; "A Self-imposed Shortage", Catholic World Report, February 2001], the Bishop takes the priest shortage and need to reduce the number of parishes served as a fait accompli ("we cannot create more priests out of thin air"), rather than looking to increase the number of priests by firstly exorcising English seminaries of the "three h's": heterodoxy, heresy and homosexuality. Bishop Conry's shocking but quintessentially Modernist attitude reflects the same urgent episcopal push now evident up and down the country, clearly designed to pave the way for lay-run parishes ("we have a little time to prepare for profound changes in the diocese").
As this expanding flotilla of liberal appointments sailed on through the year and the 'priestless parish' agenda towed in its wake gathered force, the now familiar sequence of shock, righteous anger, exasperation, dismay and helplessness washed over the heavy hearted faithful in predictable waves. Yet Rome was not finished. In October, it all reached an astonishing climax - with the elevation to Cardiff of Bishop Peter 'Roman Catholic Christianity' Smith of East Anglia. If ever there was a final straw, this was it. Here was a prelate renowned in Rome: for having put his friendship with a notorious dissenter ahead of his episcopal duty to protect the purity of the Faith; for having ignored the advice of his own censor about the heretical nature of the RE textbook Roman Catholic Christianity written by his dissident friend; for having been personally rebuked by Cardinal Ratzinger over his support for this text; for having been forced by the Congregation for Clergy both to withdraw the Imprimatur from Roman Catholic Christianity and remove it from use in Catholic schools; and for having done so through a public statement so begrudging as to constitute a veritable act of defiance, especially in his continued insistence that the author of the condemned text "is a very faithful Catholic" who "remains in good standing in the Church" - despite her having publicly rejected or questioned virtually every basic tenet of the Faith (2). (In keeping with this contempt, Roman Catholic Christianity continues to be used in many schools in East Anglia.)
Much more could be added about Archbishop Smith, such as his unqualified support for Father Rafael Estaban. On 5 November 1994, this White Father openly dissented from Church teachings at an official diocesan function and boasted that he was proclaiming "wonderful beautiful heresies... my own heresies." Again, on 13 May 2000, during a similar address in the presence of then-Bishop Smith, he mocked orthodox groups for their concern over dissent and confusion in the Church and stated: "I'm concerned that there is not enough dissent and confusion." Bishop Smith responded to complainants by affirming that Fr Estaban is a "first class priest in good standing with the Church"! (So much for a Bishop's God-given role to "confirm the Faith of the disciples and correct their error 'in season and out'." [2 Tim 4:2].)
Future historians may thus look upon 2001 as the terminal year in the life of the local Church. And viewing the last several years as a whole (the post-Worlock era), they might be as perplexed as we are about the simultaneous appointment of so many orthodox-leaning and even solidly orthodox prelates to the equally troubled Church in Australia. In any event, Archbishop Smith's elevation at the end of a ghastly year told us all we needed to know about the present balance of power in Rome - including, it would appear, the decreasing influence of Cardinal Ratzinger's Congregation. Well might the Bishops of England and Wales think they are now untouchable. It certainly looks that way. A recent Vatican visitor to these shores is reported to have said: "England is a club that we can't break into" [Catholic World Report, October 2001]. While another curial official admitted to a private orthodox delegation this year that "humanly speaking, England is lost." For mine, such remarks, are disingenuous. As the Vatican's antipodean strategy reveals, where there's a will there's a way. Yet they have accepted the de-facto schism of England and Wales and effectively ceded control of this tiny patch of the universal Church to the Modernist Mob.
If you are wondering how it has come to this, you need to read or re-read "On the Westminster Succession and the Fear of God" from our August/September 1999 number, printed just before the damn broke and the liberal episcopal flood. You will find there the rules of 'The Game' which Archbishop Worlock and Cardinal Hume mastered in cultivating and finally institutionalising Modernism as the acceptable face of Catholicism in these Isles; supplanting the Faith with pseudo-faith. Surely, somewhere in eternity, they are being toasted for their success [pun intended]: not only for the Modernist zeal of their liberal progeny but their relative youth. Most of the main protagonists are only in their early to late fifties. Barring Divine intervention, for which we must pray, they will be around for decades. This augurs well for the radical feminists, who, as reported herein, already have the hierarchy in their pocket. They will now augment their influence, since younger liberal prelates raised on politically correct feminist notions are often so emasculated as to out-feminise the feminists. The fact is that 'jobs for the boys' now come hand in hand with 'jobs for the girls.' In this sense we can be sure that the feminist agenda will dovetail nicely with the drive for priestless parishes, since the Modernist idyll is a parish run along Lutheran lines by a salaried 'lay ministry team' or 'pastoral worker.' Feminist (and homosexual) featherbedding at diocesan expense, already rife in some places, looks set to reach new levels.
It is cold comfort that the Modernist Mafia are more likely to smile us to death than riddle us with bullets. In fact their erroneous ideas make them far more deadly than the Corleone dons in the dark glasses. Their weapons of choice are the homily, the Pastoral, the parish newsletter, the diocesan paper and their personal influence, all aimed at the life of the soul. So perhaps, like the Sicilians, the faithful Catholics of England and Wales should also adopt Bernardo of Corleone as their patron saint. Because they too are victims of local mafiosi - and their real suffering may have only just begun. Brother Bernardo, pray for us!
(1) Death of a Catholic Parish, Michael McGrade, 1992, pp. 276-280. (Reprinted as "Return of a Prodigal Son" in CO, May 1996)
(2) For full documentation and extensive critiques relating to this saga see CO, November 1996 and April 1998.