under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic
By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
LIFE UNDER THE BANE OF SUBJECTIVISM
III—TURN OF THE TIDE
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Reversing Subjectivism’s Influence
Now, no evil is greater than the good of which it is a privation. No matter how universal its extent, then, the evil of subjectivism can be remedied and its harm reversed. The principal power on earth capable of applying that remedy, of reversing that harm, is the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church was founded by Almighty God for the good of mankind: first (principally), for the eternal salvation of all men; second (instrumentally), to aid them in the ordering of their lives so as to dispose them to embrace that salvation. She is a mother guiding men to avoid the evils which are incident to their flawed existence: she is a teacher correcting error and proclaiming the truth—Mater et Magistra. Though she may seem to exercise little influence on this man or that, yet she does influence them through her teaching and the example of her members.
The Church, as English author Hilaire Belloc remarked early in the twentieth century, is the one thing in this world different from all other. She must, of necessity, involve herself in the material; yet she is not material. Men comprise her members and her ministers; yet she is not something human. Her Founder and Head is God the Son, Jesus Christ, second person of the Blessed Trinity. Her soul is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The end and reason for her existence is union with God the Father of man, the creature He made in His own image. While her members are fallible and defectible, she is infallible and indefectible. It is this quasi-Divine character of the Catholic Church which underlies Our Lord’s promise that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.
Yet the Church has herself suffered from the subjectivist blight—or rather, her bishops, priests and members have suffered from it. And before she can exercise again the influence for good she exercised in ages past, that blight must be removed.
Subjectivism’s Attack On Religion—Modernism
It was not long before this evil precipitated a new heresy within the Catholic fold, a heresy Pope Pius X was to categorise as “the synthesis of all heresies”—Modernism. Why he so described it may be shortly related. Heresy is the obstinate post baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with Divine and Catholic faith. He who holds what he chooses to hold and rejects what he chooses to reject of the Catholic Church’s teaching, as St Thomas says, no longer adheres to the Church as to an infallible rule but to his own will. Now, while every heresy causes the loss of the Catholic faith, its particular character is determined by the ground on which it is advanced. Here the ground could not be more universal, for Modernisminsists that all assertion of the existence of being which transcends the material is illusory.
Hence, the Modernist joins the Gnostic heretic in his assertion of the possession of a knowledge higher than that provided by Divine revelation, for he is possessed of a knowledge higher even than that of the ancient Gnostic, the knowledge (as he thinks) that there is nothing transcendent. He joins the Pelagian in his insistence that the Church is in error in asserting man cannot aspire to heaven without the assistance of God’s grace—for he knows that all assertion of ‘God’s grace’ is an illusion. He joins the Arian in denying the Divinity of Christ—for he knows that all assertion of ‘Divinity’, whether by Christ or anyone else, is illusory. And so on, for each of the other heresies. In Modernism Protestantism reaches its fulfilment for the heresy ends, as Pius X noted, in atheism.
In his signal encyclical, Pascendi (8.9.1907), the saintly pope condemned Modernism comprehensively, establishing structures to ensure its suppression. But its proponents persisted and the enormous social upheavals caused by two cataclysmic wars—where the Protestant principle dominated the Catholic—permitted Modernism to endure as a latent force among the Catholic faithful. Bishops and seminary heads, ignoring the strictures imposed by successive popes (notably Pius XII in Humani Generis, 12.8.1950) against allowing scope to modern philosophy in their students’ studies, failed in their duties. The result was the defective formation of a great number of young priests and religious. The more exposed they were to the novelties and shifting ground of modern philosophy, the more were they attracted to Modernism’s simplistic explanations. The heresy’s momentum grew and, during the pontificate of John XXIII, it resurfaced to find expression in attitudes favourable to Protestantism among bishops and their periti at the Second Vatican Council.
Subjectivism’s Attack on Religion—Freemasonry
32. Because of the connection between them, in whatever country Protestantism predominated there occurred an inclination to follow Masonic doctrine, as in respect of that most basic of issues, the right and obligation to educate children. It is God, and God alone, Who gives parents the power to bring children into the world. It is God alone who endows them with the entitlement to educate them. No one, no group of men, no society, no state authority, is entitled to deprive parents of this entitlement. In Protestant dominated countries the state tended to establish school systems. While there is nothing intrinsically evil in such a system—parents can delegate the exercise of their right to educate their children to others, even to teachers employed by the state—it opens the way for abuse. For, inevitably, such school systems are funded from the public purse, that is, from taxes levied on the populace at large. Such a system is inherently unjust. For, consistent with their obligations, the costs of education of children are properly to be borne by their parents, and by no one else.
The parents of children who chose to have their children educated other than in a state run system soon realised the injustice. Not only were they paying for their own children’s education, they were assisting through their taxes, to pay for the education of the children of all others.
This injustice was felt particularly by Catholic parents who were fundamentally opposed to the education of their children in secular institutions. Something of this injustice was retrieved by the device of ‘state aid’, whereby a refund of part of the moneys of which the parents should never have been deprived was returned by way of ‘grant’, or ‘subsidy’. But this provided only a material, not a formal, restoration of justice as the state invariably regarded itself as entitled to impose conditions on these returns. Moreover, because of perceived favouritism, the existence of these ‘grants’ bred a spirit of resentment among those who were blind to the issues. Things were further obscured with the increasing intrusion of government into people’s lives through socialism. Even as the state contributed to the needs of (chiefly) Catholic parents, it embedded the Masonic claim of state entitlement in the detail. The way was open for the further intrusion of Masonic principle.
America’s Bishops Embrace Masonic Principle
Before proceeding further, let us remind ourselves of the issues at stake. Freemasonry is of the Devil. It arose out of the rejection of the Divine authority in the Church God had founded, the Catholic Church. Its whole being, and the program it endorses (summarised above) is aimed at the suppression of the authority God gave to His Church and, by this means, to remove God’s authority from among men. Hence, when Freemasonry calls for separation of Church and state, that is, calls for the removal of religious influence upon civil government, its focus is not the separation from government of the influence of any particular religion, but only of the one that has the right to have its principles incorporated in the operations of the state, the religion founded by God, the Catholic religion.
34. How did America’s Catholic bishops address this entrenchment of Masonic principle? They issued a pastoral letter the following year entitled The Christian In Action. The reader of this pastoral letter will be bemused to discover that the American bishops did not—
Nor did they reiterate the warnings the Church had issued for two centuries about the evils of Freemasonry ; nor warn of the further evils that would flow from the continued toleration of Masonic influence in the running of their country. Instead they treated the ruling of the Supreme Court as a matter of faulty interpretation. Far from rejecting Masonic principle, they adopted it, explicitly acknowledging the licitness of two critical elements each of which the Church had repeatedly condemned, separation of Church and state and religious liberty. There were to be grave consequences not only for America, but for the rest of the world.
Advance Of The Masonic Program
Of the elements of the Masonic program listed above, items i, ii, iii, v, vi, x, xi, xii and xiii have been put in place; and the children so formed have been disposed thereby to endorse the remaining elements of the program, and any passing ideology.
In every city or town in western countries one may see churches reflecting the presence of adherents of the Catholic faith and of the various Protestant denominations. Each will have, more or less, a measure of grandeur, testifying to the faith of its members in God. It is sobering to reflect that none of them have had more influence on the societies they serve than the adherents of the idolatry practised in the dowdy Masonic Temples to be found in their midst.
The Devastation Of Catholicism
Man’s very nature and existence are given him by God, as is his disposition to live in society. So, too, the order and subordination under authority which arises in society, no matter what form it may take, is derived from its Author.
There was a time when, universally, states were governed by the rule of Christ’s Church, and man and society flourished together.
In the forty five years since 1965, these concordats have been systematically dismantled at the instigation of the Vatican to the detriment of the citizens of the countries involved, and of the world at large. In lieu of the Catholic principle they represented, the Vatican has substituted the Masonic principle of separation of Church and state. Item iv in the Masonic program set out above has been implemented.
37. After 1965, priests were invited to embrace the secular in the administration of the sacred. Many, in consequence, embraced the secular completely. In the next twenty years 46,000 priests, on one assessment, abandoned their vocations. Another, which compares figures published by the Vatican Secretary of State for 1969 and 1976, shows the number of priests fell in those seven years alone by 70,000. The loss to the Catholic faithful was traumatic. Millions abandoned their faith. This loss might be regarded as reflecting the implementation of any of the elements of the Masonic program set out above, but the most telling is that listed as item xi, those things grasped by the natural light of reason—the existence of God, the immateriality of the human soul, and its immortality—can no longer be considered certain.
Of no less concern was the slide by those priests who remained in the practice of their priesthood into Modernism, or semi-Modernism. The pride characteristic of this heresy marked their attitude of systematic disobedience to the Church’s directives and to the teachings and practice of the Catholic faith. By their misrepresentation of the faith, these priests worked greater harm among the faithful than the bad example of those who had abandoned their vocations. Many among them, bishops included, eventually lost their way and abandoned the faith.
38. The permission of the incursion of the secular into the realm of the sacred had another tragic effect. By the nature of his vocation the religious devotes himself to God: his life and conduct are marked by this exclusivity which is manifested especially through the vow of chastity. It is for this reason that, while characteristic of the secular, sexual expression is anathema in the realm of the sacred. Inevitably after 1965, religious men and women began to compromise the chaste ideal to which they had bound themselves. Great numbers of brothers and nuns rejected their vocations, leaving convents and monasteries abandoned and desolate throughout the world. Item ix of the Masonic program set out above was implemented.
Many who remained, effete and largely directionless, abandoned the traditional structure of religious life and began to conduct themselves like members of some secular corporation. Others gave themselves over to novelty, subverting the holiness of their calling to the demands of passing ideologies. With this loss of holiness of life from its midst, the welfare of all members of society suffered, and suffers still.
39. Due in large measure to the abandonment of their vocations by members of the religious teaching orders, Catholic education languished, then failed completely. The school children who now passed through these Catholic schools were deprived of the knowledge and the discipline of the faith essential to its practice. Statistics demonstrate an almost total failure of adherence to the faith in former students. Catholic schools have become little more than state schools by another name. As with their secular peers, Catholic school children suffered the implementation of items i, ii, iii, v, vi, x, xi, xii and xiii of the Masonic program set out above.
But for these children the effects were worse than for their peers in state schools. For, misled by teachers infected as well by Modernism as by Masonic principle, they believed that the religion conveyed to them so poorly was the Catholic faith, when it was nothing but a parody of the faith.
40. Just when it was essential that appropriate discipline be applied to the conduct of priests and religious to limit the harm that was occurring, a lassitude marked by an unwillingness to exercise authority descended upon Vatican authorities. As breaches of discipline went unpunished, the harm was compounded. The effect of this was the tacit endorsement of the Masonic principles that—
This abandonment of authority communicated itself to the Church’s bishops who allowed breaches of the Church’s laws to go uncorrected.
The Second Vatican Council
What was the aim of the Council? A perusal of the Pope’s Opening Speech reveals a number of relevant passages:
Nowhere did Pope John XXIII expose a doctrinal or disciplinary issue that needed addressing. Indeed, in the third passage cited he denied any such need. He focussed instead upon the perceived need to accommodate the Church to “the requirements and opportunities of [the] time”; “to bringing the Church up to date where required”; to achieving “a doctrinal penetration and formation of consciousness… studied and expounded through the methods of research and the literary forms of modern thought”; and “to ensur[ing] that the work of all… correspond[ed] to modern expectations and the needs of the various peoples of the world...” This, as a careful analysis of them will show, marked a radical departure from the focus of each of the previous twenty Ecumenical Councils of the Church.
Pope John XXIII asserted that the Second Vatican Council was an ecumenical council; that is, a council whose determinations would be infallible and, therefore, binding upon the Church. Consistent with the subjectivist principle, it was sufficient for him to assert it for it to be held to be true. The assertion was endorsed by innumerable bishops and priests, and by subsequent popes. But merely because the Pope asserted it, it did not follow that it was true if it was denied by reality.
Now, it will be objected immediately that the cases cannot be compared. The Pope is, after all, Christ’s Vicar on earth: he does not always speak infallibly but even his passing words should be treated with respect. A pope is infallible “in very rare situations,” as Pope Benedict XVI said in the first public statement he made after his elevation in 2005. He is infallible in those circumstances defined in the Decree Pastor Aeternus (1870) by the Vatican Council: namely, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is—
Pope John’s pronouncement that the Second Vatican Council was an ecumenical council did not fall within those circumstances. It was not, then, eo ipso infallible. It had to be weighed against the reality that makes a council of the Church ecumenical to determine whether or not it was true.
But there was a problem. While the Church has defined when a pope is infallible, she has not yet defined when a council is infallible (that is, ecumenical). In other words, she has not formally identified the reality to which a council must conform in order to be an ecumenical council.
When Is A Council Ecumenical?
A pope can summon the world’s bishops to meet together in council for any number of reasons as, for example,—
It is not the summoning of the bishops—the conforming to the legalities—that makes a council ecumenical, even a summoning (reflecting the Church’s universality) from every jurisdiction. The summoning, the gathering, is merely the matter. The council only becomes ecumenical when this matter is accompanied by the appropriate form. An ecumenical council’s form is determined by its final cause which, remotely taken, is the good of the Church; and, proximately taken, is the need to determine some issue whose clarification is essential for the Church to carry out her Divine mission of the salvation of men. Only when a council is formed by this essential determination does it become an ecumenical council.
The Reality Of Vatican II
44. What Pope John XXIII essayed in summoning the Church’s bishops to the Vatican in 1962 may be seen from the extracts from the Opening Speech quoted above. It was to accommodate the Church’s teaching to the demands of the secular world. Indeed, he coined a particular word to encapsulate this aim—aggiornamento. He called the Council “to bring the Church up to date”. But the Church had no such need. The Church is outside time: the Church is timeless.
With Vatican II the ordination which had marked each of the previous twenty Ecumenical Councils was reversed: instead of the resolution of an issue giving legitimacy to a Council, a Council resolved to give legitimacy to an issue. More precisely, instead of the resolution of a doctrinal issue giving legitimacy to the Second Vatican Council, the Second Vatican Council resolved to give legitimacy to a secular issue. What was the result? The end essential for an ecumenical council being absent, the formality ensuring that the determinations of the Council would be infallible was likewise absent. The Second Vatican Council was not an ecumenical council of the Church.
It was the Council’s initiative of licensing the entry of the secular into the realm of the sacred that enabled the subjectivist evils of Freemasonry and Modernism to make the inroads into Christ’s Church detailed above. Now appears the significance of the attendance of members of the American episcopacy. For they brought to the Council their endorsement of those elements of Masonic doctrine, separation of Church and state and religious liberty which the Church had long condemned. Here is the cause of the effects that led Pope Paul VI on 29th June 1972 to lament, “through some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” Vatican II was not just a fissure: it was a gate thrown wide open!
Vatican II’s Contribution To The Greatest Scandal
Corruptio optimi pessima—once embarked on this course, the depths of degradation to which these consecrated persons could descend was measured only by the heights to which they had originally aspired. The resulting evils have tarnished not only the victims and their families, but also the bishops and priests who sought, foolishly, to protect the offenders. The scandal to the Church has been immense.
Christ’s Church Will Triumph
46. The Catholic Church has Christ’s guarantee of infallibility: it is she, and no philosopher or theologian, who will determine the issues at stake—
These issues must be determined, we contend, before the restoration to its fulness of the salutary influence of the Church upon the world. At the heart of the business is the exposure of that intellectual imposture which grounds the denial of the authority of God, and of reality—subjectivism.
47. We shall end this project where we began it, with Chestertonian good sense and the prospect of a return of mankind to sanity.
The apotheosis is upon us. Modern man is hard at work, decorating his body with the marks of Satan, gathering with his fellows for the charge down the Gardarene slope. Who can save him? Only his Creator and Redeemer. Twenty centuries ago Almighty God established the means of man’s salvation, the Catholic Church. That is the means He will use.
48. It is only a matter of time before Christ stirs His Church to action to expose the lies that have for so long afflicted the world, lies which have infiltrated, at the last, the minds even of those whom He has chosen to speak in His name.
 The reality of evil is the absence of due good. In giving this lack, this negative, the appearance of something positive, the mind creates, as it were, a reality in mind. Hence evil is a mental construction. In the same way is darkness a mental construction. The reality is the lack of light in the ambient air. We clothe that negative with the marks of a positive by labelling it as if it were a reality.
 Matthew 16: 18; and cf. Matthew 28: 20.
 Implicit in this claim was the contention that being is confined to the experimentally verifiable. Deism is the intellectual root of those variants of the Protestant spirit Unitarianism and Freemasonry.
 Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2089.
 Summa Theologiae II-II, q. 5, a. 3
 In the encyclical Humanum Genus (20.4.1884).
 Deism was the forerunner of Freemasonry.
 Men may opine on the varieties of religion to which to give their adherence. But the Devil sees things with crystal clarity. He knows that there is only one religion which will lead them infallibly to God.
 Cf. Pastoral Letters of the United States Catholic Bishops, Hugh J Nolan Editor, Washington DC, 1983, pp. 82-9.
 Immortale Dei, nn. 19 and 22; Longinqua oceani (6.1.1895).
 Clement XII, Bull In Eminenti (28.4.1738); Benedict XIV, Constitution Providas (18.3.1751); Pius VII, Constitution Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo (13.9.1821); Leo XII, Apostolic Constitution Quo Graviora (13.3.1826); Leo XIII, Encyclical Humanum Genus (20.4.1884).
 Leo XIII, Humanum Genus (20.4.1884); Immortale Dei (1.11.1885); and Libertas praestantissimum (20.6.1888).
 Anyone who doubts this sea change should attend his local library and study a copy of a 1965 newspaper, comparing its content with that of a current issue.
 Figure quoted by George Weigel in The Courage to be Catholic, New York, 2002, p.27.
 Cf. Romano Amerio, Iota Unum, A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the XXth Century, Sarto House, transl. from 2nd Italian Edition by Fr John P. Parsons, Kansas City, 1996, p.182.
 Notably in the absence of a Catholic hospital system.
 Opening Speech in The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M Abbott S J, General Editor; London, 1966, p.710 at p. 715.
 The assertion reinforced by legislation passed by a compliant parliament.
 Pope and bishops do not make themselves infallible: God alone does that; and He does not bestow that charism without adequate reason. Infallibility is like virtue: it cannot be abused: it exists only for the welfare of the Church and the Catholic faithful.
 As may be seen, for instance, in a perusal of The Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena (c. 1382) or of the Life of Saint Teresa (c. 1565).
 G K Chesterton, Orthodoxy, London, 1908; my copy, Fontana Books, 1963, pp. 33-4.