Thursday, April 09, 2009


Melancholicus has spent much of Holy Thursday reading (or rather re-reading) the late Archbishop’s book Open Letter to Confused Catholics.

The Archbishop wrote this work in the 1980s, at a time when the conciliar revolution with all its excesses was going full tilt and there seemed to be no end in sight. It was still a tremendously topical work when Melancholicus first encountered it about the year 2000, and he found it most alarming reading.

Melancholicus first read the Open Letter online, but shortly afterwards obtained his own copy, rushed by special post hot off the presses of St. Mary’s, Kansas City. It was a defining moment, for it was one of those seminal sources which prompted him to try his vocation in the United States with the FSSP rather than risking his soul with his home archdiocese of Dublin.

Today Melancholicus re-read almost the complete text in a single sitting and, as topical as it had seemed when he first read it ten years ago, it left him this time round with the distinct impression he was reading a chronicle of a lost world.

With all due respect to the Archbishop, to whom in fairness Traditionalists everywhere owe so much, there is a great deal in the Open Letter that is now obsolete and dated, almost as dated even as the insane ravings of the modernists the Open Letter condemned over twenty years ago.

Reading through the grim chapters describing post-conciliar madness and seemingly inarrestable decline, Melancholicus was struck by the realization of how many of the front-rank revolutionaries, soi disant theologians and egregious bishops named by the Archbishop are now dead, or at least in senectitude and quiescent retirement. Each passing year thins their ranks still further, and since they have not inspired the generations that came after them to step into their shoes and take up the cudgels in defence of neo-modernism, their precious revolution will die with them.

What a difference has been made by the passage of a mere ten years!

The day after the bomb fell, the city of Hiroshima was unrecognizable, a scorched and flattened wasteland of charred debris. Observers on the scene were astounded at how quickly nature recovered from the shock; within a fortnight, the wasteland was abloom with flowers and green shoots and all manner of growing things.

Life finds a way. It will return even to the sterile wastes of the conciliar church, whereafter the latter will look less and less like the conciliar church and more like the Catholic one.

The conciliar revolutionaries having done their work, we, the orthodox, shall be left with the wreckage. But not only with the wreckage; we still have our faith, and the help of Divine grace, which no revolutionary can ever tear from us. It will be our task to painstakingly rebuild what has been destroyed by the malice and negligence of the last forty years. It will be an immense task. But we shall bear that burden gladly.

When the Lord in His agony on the cross cried out His consummatum est, bowed His head, and gave up the ghost, it seemed to His disciples as though the malice of hell had triumphed, and that evil had won.

But just as the Lord rose again on the third day in His glorified body, so shall He rise again in His mystical body, which is our holy Church. The Church can never be destroyed, and she will never fail, regardless of how many Neros or Diocletians or Muhammads or Luthers or Robespierres or Hitlers or Stalins or Weaklands or Küngs the angel of light may hurl against her.

We have the promise of Our Lord Himself, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

That so much of what the Archbishop said in his Open Letter now belongs to a vanishing past is surely a cause for great hope.

Melancholicus thinks that the Archbishop’s heart would thrill for joy, were he only here to see it for himself.

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