Make no mistake, history is written by the victors. One need only observe the power exercised over popular imagination by the all-conquering secular humanists of our day, whose agnosticism and atheism currently underpin Western culture.
A major part of reinforcing their secular status quo is the prevalence of studiously false, anti-Catholic depictions of epochal eras and events. Long debunked caricatures and clichés - from the so-called ‘Dark Ages’ to the Crusades to the Reformation and beyond - still dominate their revisionist films, documentaries, literature and texts. For if the licentious liberal ticket to ignore the precepts of the Decalogue and the natural law is not to be invalidated, God and any sense of the divine or miraculous or supernatural must be driven from the public square and excluded from science and history.
In this context, the diabolic fury unleashed by Mel Gibson’s The Passion was perfectly understandable. Momentarily, the secular hegemony lost control of public consciousness and panicked, only to make things worse for themselves by intensifying the focus on Jesus Christ, Lord of history, the despised salvific figure they know could bring down the phoney socio-historical edifice they have constructed over centuries.
Whenever the ideological liberal take on history is exposed for the self-serving sham it is, similar outrage follows.
Take Simon Schama’s weighty tome Citizens . Swimming against the overwhelming tide of received liberal wisdom, this unusually objective and honest appraisal from a renowned academic dispelled one republican myth after another while confirming everything the Church had ever held about the intrinsically anti-Catholic, depraved and bestial nature of the French Revolution.
"I have returned [Revolutionary violence] to the centre of the story," writes Schama, "since it seems to me that it was not merely an unfortunate by-product of politics, or the disagreeable instrument by which other more virtuous ends were accomplished or vicious ones were thwarted. In some depressingly unavoidable sense, violence was the Revolution itself."
Conditioned by eons of secularist propaganda about the allegedly liberating and glorious nature of the Revolution, Schama’s naked truth was too much to bear for many, whose astonishment, indignation and denial knew no bounds.
Similarly, Eric Rohmer’s damning film portrait of the Revolution, L’Anglaise et le Duc ("The Englishwoman and the Duke"), left the secularised masses open-mouthed and apoplectic. He uses the eyewitness accounts of Grace Elliott, a young Scots countess living in Paris during the Terror, to depict the unspeakably bloody atrocities perpetrated by the sans-culottes (revolutionary zealots). For once, the Jacobins are not portrayed as the virtuous freedom fighters paraded in films like Jean Renoir’s classic La Marseillaise, but, rather, the drunk, stupid, vicious, sadistic thugs that they were.
And so, on cue, French film buffs rounded on Rohmer, their erstwhile favourite director. Within a week of its release in September 2001 they had variously dismissed his film as "neo-monarchist", "revisionist", "heretical" and "counter-revolutionary."
France Soir’s incredulous film critic wrote: "How can one not be shocked by this portrait of the typical revolutionary? How can one forget that this period also gave birth to the Declaration of the Rights of Man, from which we still benefit? The film lacks all balance."
Reflecting her upbringing in a French educational system in which the crimes of the Terror are glossed over as a necessary if unfortunate stage in the birth of the Republic, another secular automaton, a teacher, parroted: "This is a film made by an intellectual who is a Catholic and in all probability a monarchist. It’s just a polemic against 1789."
But Rohmer was not for turning. The film "could have been an awful lot more violent," he said. "I am showing mass murderers, the pits of society, people who killed for pleasure and under the influence of alcohol. I think Grace Elliot was mostly right about the Revolution - it was the end of a world, of a refined civilisation."
Now, if all that rings a bell, it is because the ongoing perversion and denial of historical reality by the secular hegemony, and their derision of upholders of that reality, is precisely mirrored by postconciliar Modernists in the ecclesiastical realm.
Modernism, after all, is nothing less than the secularisation of faith and morals: the insidious heresy behind the rise of two generations of hybrid ‘Catholics’ - Roman Protestants - and their ongoing convergence with the worldlings.
The expulsion of the divine and miraculous and supernatural from history, especially Biblical history, therefore, is just as vital to ecclesiastical liberals, for whom Vatican II’s Conciliar Revolution approximates the French Revolution.
Cardinal Ratzinger himself refers to Vatican II as "a countersyllabus" representing an attempt by the Church "at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789" [see "The War Against Being – Part III", CO, October 2003]. A largely unreconstructed pre-conciliar Modernist (from the moderate, rightist, faction - the more dangerously insinuating group, in fact, which sought to reconcile progressive historical criticism and theology, rather than radically re-interpret Catholicism like the leftists) Ratzinger waxes lyrical about the "quiet but persistent struggle" during which "exegesis and Church history adopted more and more the postulates of liberal science."
Forever lauding the "brilliance" of the supposedly "generous sentiments" that "inspired" the French Revolution [John Paul II, Feb. 1984; Nov. 1989] or the "positive heritage that came from the time of the Revolution", as the French Bishops’ Conference also perversely yet predictably chanted on the eve of the 1989 bicentenary celebrations, both moderate and hardcore liberals have co-opted the French Revolution to advance corrosive ideas found in Gaudium et spes, Nostra aetate and other Council documents. Ecumenical dialogue and tolerance, social justice, democratic collegiality, the ‘universal brotherhood’ of the ‘single world community’, human rights, the dignity of man, etc. ad nauseam - all such notions have been developed under the pretext of reclaiming the Christian sense of the Revolutionary slogans "liberty", "equality" and "fraternity."
As Hans Küng declared: "… the motto of the French Revolution – liberty, equality and fraternity – have come to play a singular role in the Council’s texts." Which is cause for rejoicing according to religious commentator Henri Fesquet, who wrote: "This liberation of Catholic thinking, long a prisoner of the negative current of the Counter-Reformation, somehow permitted it to work together with the trilogy of the French Revolution, which turned around the secular world before it was taken up by Catholicism, which had long deformed it. ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity’: this glorious motto was, after all, that of Vatican II."
Fesquet, along with the Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger, Cardinal Kasper and all the rest, considers this pivotal embrace of the ideas of 1789 by the Church an "intellectual enrichment." Yet how can one enrich oneself by self-delusion: by turning intellectual, philosophical and historical somersaults that fly in the face of all we know about the Revolution and the sewer of errors and vices it has discharged in a foul and impure flood upon humanity?
Pontiffs since the time of the Revolution itself have denounced the false utopian foundations of 1789. St. Pius X, for one, demolished its infamous trilogy of liberty, equality and fraternity in Notre Charge Apostolique, his Apostolic Letter of 1910 condemning Le Sillon, a Modernist lay movement constructed on the same beguiling foundations. While in his 1906 encyclical Vehementer nos, the Pope Saint reaffirmed the decidedly unequal and hierarchical nature of the Catholic Church, which completely opposes the bogus equality promulgated by the French Revolution.
Appealing to Sacred Scripture and the tradition of the Fathers, he confirmed the Church as "essentially an unequal society, that is, a society comprising two categories of persons, the pastors and the flock, those who occupy a rank in the different degrees of the Hierarchy and the multitude of the faithful …[and] the one duty of the multitude is to allow themselves to be led, and, like a docile flock, to follow the pastors."
Benedict XV also spoke of the "malevolent influence" and "perverse doctrines" of those who spread the revolutionary notions of equality and liberty. "They were false prophets," he said, "who posed as vindicators of the rights of the people, foretelling the coming of an age of liberty, fraternity and equality. Who can fail to see that they were disguised as wolves in vestimentis ovium!"
Since these kinds of unequivocal papal condemnations diametrically oppose today’s attempted Catholic reconciliation with the principles of the Revolution, one might reasonably assume that the sheep’s clothing now cloaks wolves at the highest levels of the Church.
Nor does special pleading about ‘Christianising’ the Revolution for the greater good mitigate such treachery. That pivotal Modernist rationalisation was demolished by Don Prosper Guéranger, who, in setting out general principles for the Catholic historian, criticised the ideas of the French Revolution:
"To make a profession of faith by means of naturalism is as senseless as it is in politics to make order by means of disorder. This development of method has been disastrous and the conquests it has achieved are unworthy of that name. What a great success, to come to an agreement about the use of certain words that are as sonorous as they are perfidious, when an abyss divides us regarding the meaning of such words!
"It would be the greatest disgrace for the Christian historian to adopt as a standard of judgement these modern ideas and transpose them onto an evaluation of the past. On the contrary, he should consider such ideas within their own context, that is, as hostile to the supernatural principle. He should take into account the damage caused by modern paganism and, in order not to be himself overcome, should relentlessly keep his eyes on the immutable revealed truth, which manifests itself in the teaching and practice of the Church. The lord of Champagny calls it ‘a sentiment that is inimical to the faith, a hyper-stimulation of the pagan spirit. It was the puff of air that unleashed the tempest of 1789.’ If you still admire the conquests of that time, I fear greatly for your historical judgment and the tone of your writings, whatever be your intentions of orthodoxy."
[Il senso cristiano della Storia, 1892, quoted in Animus Delendi I, Atila Sinke Guimarães, 2000, p.207.]
Far from heeding this Catholic wisdom, of course, Modernists simply shrug off the anarchy ignited by their perverse accommodation with the iniquitous verbiage of the Revolution. Just as the Terror was the bloody purge we had to have - the unfortunate but inevitable and ultimately worthwhile cost of nihilistic modern democracy - the collapse of Catholic life and worship, reckon the Modernists, are the necessary birth pangs of a brave new democratic Church of their own heretical designs.
Hence the great divide between Catholic realists and Modernist fantasists when it comes to assessing both profane and ecclesiastical history, especially the current state of the Church.
On the one hand, for instance, the great Bishop Graber of Regensburg lamented the bald fact that "Today we are living through a type of French Revolution being re-enacted in the Church, with the same slogans of liberty, equality and fraternity and the same tumultuous impetuosity with which these words were received in that epoch."
On the other, Father Chenu, one of the infamous liberal periti of the Council, preferred to lambaste the Church for "the longstanding obscurantism in which Christians floundered for more than a century before discerning the values of liberty tumultuously proclaimed by the French Revolution."
Undisturbed by rivers of Revolutionary blood and oblivious to the apocalyptic cost of the postconciliar meltdown, Fr Chenu typifies the Modernist cleric: lost in a fantasy world of his own progressive imaginings.
Paralleling their secular counterparts, these clerical progeny of 1789 are masters of distorting Church history in such a way as to disparage Catholic tradition and its defenders for their own Modernist ends, all the while presenting themselves as loyal sons of the Church and portraying postconciliar heresy, dissolution and decay as progress and renewal.
A recent talk by an English prelate exemplified this corrupting mindset and modus operandi.
Addressing a small number of his ageing remnant flock in a Sussex parish church last July, Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton stood as a virtual caricature of the Modernist churchmen exposed and condemned out of hand by St. Pius X in his landmark 1907 encyclical Pascendi ("On the Doctrines of the Modernists").
Indeed, the very title of his lecture - "All Change" - encapsulated the false evolutionary (Teilhardian-Hegelian) philosophy, process theology and love of novelty which define "the synthesis of all heresies," as Pius X labelled Modernism. It also embodied the link between the French Revolution and Vatican II: "What they have in common," explained Fr. Chenu, "is the idea of change, of evolution in the structures."
Not that Bishop Conry would have recognised his personification of all that.
A man forever poised, it seems, between a cliché and an indiscretion, whose library appears limited to a ready-reckoner of Modernist errors (i.e. The Tablet), and who takes his lead not from the Church Fathers, Popes or saints but so-called cultural anthropologist Gerry Arbuckle, whose pretentious Modernist claptrap he expounded during his talk, Conry has surely never even read Pascendi. If he did, he would see himself as in a mirror. But he simply wouldn’t have the intellectual wherewithal to digest St. Pius X’s scintillating critique.
After all, here is a prelate who kicked off his episcopal tenure three years ago with a one-and-a-half page Pastoral Letter in which the same word "change" appeared no less than ten times!
He is, in other words, a seriously limited, one dimensional character - a British episcopal archetype - whose mind and mouth are crammed and overflowing with naught but liberal cant.
As his voice rose and fell - mocking, quizzical, patronising and dismissive in turns when it came to Roman authority, alleged papal blunders of history, the Old Mass, pious liturgical traditions and just about anything preconciliar - the Bishop regaled his audience with a potted history of the Reformation in the worst tradition of Modernist propagandists: the preconciliar Church and popes cast as "rigid" reactionary forces holding back the great evolutionary tide of history which finally broke through at Vatican II, washing away our ancient counter-revolutionary prejudices and bathing us in revolutionary openness and light.
Smug, smirky and smackable, he reeled off fibs, half-truths, clichés and put-downs as freely as a New Labour spin-meister:
It is said that Bishop Conry’s audience was terribly impressed by his erudition!
These people need to look beyond the pseudo-history peddled by episcopal pseuds and seek out some authentic analyses of the past, such as Eamon Duffy’s Voices of Morebath. They will then discover how, like the sixteenth century subjects of that study, they have been conned over several decades by the likes of Conry: how they’ve been eased, after the fashion of their Reformation forebears, "into a slow and settled conformity to a new [Protestant] order of things."
Yet if a prelate can always rely on such shallow, starry-eyed adulation from the general run of his pliable flock, you can’t fool all the faithful all of the time. And the reality is that it will take a lengthy critique to deal with all the sniping, sneering, undermining, duplicity, ignorance and falsehoods, stated or implied, by Bishop Conry. Suffice to say, for now, that St. Pius X might have been summarising the Conry lecture when he lamented in Pascendi that the Modernists:
exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority.  … They are to be found… in the ranks of the clergy … If they treat of biblical questions, it is upon Modernist principles; if they write history, they carefully, and with ill-concealed satisfaction, drag into the light, on the plea of telling the whole truth, everything that appears to cast a stain upon the Church. Under the sway of certain a priori conceptions they destroy as far as they can the pious traditions of the people … They are possessed by the empty desire of having their names upon the lips of the public, and they know they would never succeed in this were they to say only what has always been said by all men. Meanwhile it may be that they have persuaded themselves that in all this they are really serving God and the Church. In reality they only offend both  … [R]emembering the admonitions of Leo XIII: "It is impossible to approve in Catholic publications a style inspired by unsound novelty which seems to deride the piety of the faithful and dwells on the introduction of a new order of Christian life, on new directions of the Church, on new aspirations of the modern soul, on a new social vocation of the clergy, on a new Christian civilization, and many other things of the same kind." [Instruction of the Sacred Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, January 27, 1902.] Language of the kind here indicated is not to be tolerated either in books or in lectures .
As long as the Modernists dominate the Church, they will continue to make up history, past and present, as they go along: to contrive, as St. Pius X explains, a false division and separation between human and divine elements (the Christ of history and the Christ of faith; the Church of history and the Church of faith; sacraments of history and sacraments of faith, etc.) which is the method by which they set aside human intelligence and introduce religious sentiment - faith as a fuzzy feeling - to fill the vacuum.
This, in turn, enables the Modernists to utilise Vatican II as a subjectivised historical ground zero by which to rationalise their ‘modernisation’ of the Faith through endless ‘change,’ in the same way that the secularists have always justified and utilised 1789.
Utterly destructive of all religion and reinforced by ecumenical ‘dialogue,’ this process manifests itself at every level of Church life today. It is epitomised by the purely subjective, sentimental pap which replaces Catholic authority, morals and doctrine in endless programmes like the pervasive RCIA [Rite of Christian Initiation into Apostasy!], or Westminster’s current At Your Word, Lord (RENEW) extravaganza, or Bishop Conry’s intrusive, quasi-Marxist consciousness-raising exercise Listening 2004 – My Family My Church, which includes a Nanny State-style questionnaire eking out personal information about "family life at home," and enjoins participants to "Listen, share & accept all experiences & feelings."
And, of course, there’s the ubiquitous Pastoral Plan, like the Diocese of East Anglia’s archetypical Forward and Outward Together 2004.
Testimony to the sterile corporate mindset that has leached the evangelical salt out of the postconciliar Church, this monster document compromises 70 pages packed with vacuous sound-bites and jargon about "greater lay involvement," "needs and skills audits," "formation and training," "welcoming and including," "a community of mission," "renewing our parishes," "parishes clusters" blah blah blah. It also includes Bishop Michael Evans’ personal guidelines on East Anglian "Youth Masses" (a drastic flight of fancy considering the near-geriatric median age of parishioners) in which he advocates as a model the liturgy of the syncretic Taize movement ("simple setting, careful use of subdued lighting and colour, candlelight, meditative songs...") as well as suggesting "forms of drama and mime during one or other Scripture reading" etc. [See pp. 53-54 for more on Bishop Evans.]
To top it all off, an endless array of conferences reinforce the feel-good factor up and down the country.
A four day gathering of 450 people at Exeter University last July on the theme of "communicating faith" (not "the Faith," naturally) left Bishops Budd and Lang "feeling inspired, energised and joyful." [See "Blasphemy in Bristol," CO, Dec. 2002, to appreciate Bishop Lang’s take on "communicating faith" and precisely what brings him "joy".]
Titled "Loud and Clear", the conference was yet another plastic product of bureaucratic contrivance: "the idea of the faith formation departments of Portsmouth, Clifton and Plymouth dioceses, which shared the two years of preparations."
According to a report in Portsmouth People of September 2004, the co-director of the Plymouth ‘department’ told his workshop participants that "For communicating faith, storytelling was far better than the linear method of learning, which assumes that people need to have knowledge in order to receive. A story communicates through images and feelings rather than facts and eyewitness accounts (the Gospels, he pointed out, can be unreliable in that department)."
So much for biblical inerrancy, the magisterium and 2,000 years of Catholic history and wisdom! Not to say encyclicals like Catechesi tradendae or, indeed, the Resurrection!
Meanwhile, the remaining episcopal attendee, Bishop Crispian Hollis, threw a wobbly, demanding that his workshop not be recorded!
In November 2002, during the first Mass offered in Winchester College Chapel for over 400 years, this prelate had:
And now, two years on, this son of Cranmer was telling participants how "very inhibited" he would have felt "if any session – or indeed this session – had been taped" because (wait for it): "There are plenty of people who would accuse us of selling our past, being liberal with our doctrines, or careless with the way we formulate things." - Never!
There are simply too many of these costly and corrupting plans, programmes and conferences, sporting too many puerile titles, to mention. They support a mushrooming industry of ecclesiastical civil servants who rely on constantly dreaming up and funding, at vast lay expense, more of the same in order to justify their jobs - the prime purpose of which is to promote the social gospel, maintaining the appearance of a terribly busy and socially relevant Church while distracting attention from the present historical reality: the wholesale degradation and dissolution of the Church in these Isles.
A local Church of such abject ignorance and intellectual poverty that the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Brian Noble, has personally vetted and approved a short catechism which contradicts a raft of Catholic teachings and practices - even rejecting transubstantiation while suggesting that St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas denied the real physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist! ("Catechesis has gone a bit, a bit wonky somewhere," ventured the culpably clueless Bishop Conry during his aforementioned talk. I wonder where?!)
A Church where scandal has reached such epidemic proportions that one scarcely flinches upon reading a grandmother’s recent report of a Catholic school subjecting her 12-year-old granddaughter to a "very graphic picture of two people in a compromising situation, and an angel dropping a condom [and] a devil also dropping a condom."
And why would one flinch? This is a Church so compromised and morally corrupt that the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the bishops’ overseas aid agency CAFOD draw press headlines for publicly supporting the use of condoms as even morally obligatory in certain circumstances ["Catholics back AIDS condoms," The Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2004].
Meanwhile, complaining that a recent BBC Panorama programme was "talking nonsense on condoms," Bishop Conry commented: "People get very confused about programmes like that. They come out thinking, well what does the Church think." But which view of which Church, My Lord? The secular view of the dissident local Church you oversee with the Cardinal? Or the crystal clear teaching of the universal Church?
The ensuing articles provide a further glimpse of all this putrefaction piling up behind the glitzy Modernist façade of bogus renewal and ‘vibrant faith-filled communities’ constantly projected by effete English bishops - of whom even the harshest criticism is far too lenient.
Responding to those who said his portrayal of the French Revolution "lacks all balance," Eric Rohmer insisted that his film "could have been an awful lot more violent. I am showing mass murderers, the pits of society." Similarly, despite their cheery hail-fellow-well-met personas, our smiley Modernist prelates of the Conciliar Revolution, too, are overseers of the spiritual "mass murder" of souls entrusted to their care and may also be labelled, emphatically, "the pits."
Publicly scornful of Rome ("We get [admonitory] letters from Rome. But it doesn’t really matter. I’ve stopped looking over my shoulders," crowed Bishop Hollis at the Exeter conference) these men are laws unto themselves:
Vapid and deluded, gaily unpacking the foundations of the Faith laid by the Catholic giants who went before them, these Modernist pygmies are able to manipulate past and present realities to suit and vindicate themselves because history is indeed written by the victors, and Modernism is in the ascendancy.
Never mind our factual portraits of their historic failure and treachery, they and their lackeys consider themselves as the vanguard; pioneers of an historic new dawn of ecumenical liberté, egalité and fraternité. Repeat it loud enough and often enough, they believe, and we’ll all acquiesce in the big lie.
But as a 24-year-old French student said in defence of Rohmer’s L’Anglaise et le Duc: "It was about time someone looked at the Revolution from a different perspective. As we grow up, there is so much pompous rubbish talked in school about how liberty, equality and fraternity arrived in 1789, but no one bothers to remember all the innocent people who were butchered. I think it’s a good film."
It’s a good film because it’s true. As are the following articles and letters, which fly in the face of "so much pompous rubbish" blathered by episcopal Modernists who, like their secular soulmates, are not making history; they’re faking it.