This is the anniversary of the death of Hamish Fraser who died on this day in 1986. Your prayers are requested for the repose of his soul and for the repose of the souls of all deceased Approaches and Apropos readers, subscribers and benefactors.
Thoughts for the Day
‘When the Pharisees gave Him no reply to His question, “Is it lawful to do good upon the Sabbath?” He looked at, them full of anger. It was holy wrath. The man who does not in his heart protest against obvious baseness and does not passionately try to suppress it whenever he can, is not a moral man. The more purely and intensely someone is sensitive to good and evil, the more sharply and decisively his feeling will, be expressed. So Jesus’ infinitely pure and high-minded spirit more than any other would react to every baseness and wickedness with a bitterness without like or peer… (Fr. Karl Adam; The Christ of Faith; Mentor Omega paperback p.284.)
‘Paul expresses himself most forcibly on the missionary’s duty not to care in the least whether men think well or ill of him…A real servant of Christ must necessarily give offence sometimes. Too much tenderness on this score means scaling down the demands of Christ, softening the Gospel for fear of shocking human sensibilities: which is a dereliction of duty.’
(The Lord of History, Cardinal Jean Daniélou S.J.. Longmans, Green and Co. Ltd. 1958, p. 505.)
The logic of contraception – same-sex “marriage”
‘And if there is nothing intrinsically wrong with contraceptive intercourse, and if it could become general practice everywhere where there is intercourse but ought to be no begetting, then it’s very difficult to see the objection to this morality; for the ground of objection to fornication and adultery was that sexual intercourse is only right in the sort of set up that typically provides children with a father and mother to care for them. If you can turn intercourse into something other than a reproductive act (I don’t mean of course that every act is reproductive any more than every acorn leads to an oak tree but it’s the reproductive type of act) then why, if you can change it, should it be restricted to the married? Restricted, that is, to partners bound in a formal, legal union whose purpose is the bringing up of children? For if that is not its fundamental purpose there is no reason why for example “marriage” should not have to be between people of opposite sexes. But then, of course, it becomes unclear why you should have a ceremony, why you should have a formality at all. And so we must grant that children are in this general way the main point of the existence of such an arrangement. But if sexual union can be deliberately and totally divorced from fertility, then we may wonder why sexual union has got to be married union. If the expression of love between the partners is the point, then it shouldn’t be so narrowly confined. (G. E. M. Anscombe, Faith in a Hard Ground – Essays on Religion, Philosophy and Ethics, Edited by Mary Geach and Luke Gormally, Digital version by Andrews UK Ltd, 2012.)
Dossier on Catechetics
We have posted Approaches No.23 on the website. This issue was devoted almost entirely to Michael Davies’ Dossier on Catechetics, a collection of articles and observations on the state of Catechetics in the early 1970s. We had hoped to have posted this for the anniversary of Michael’s death but the scanning and editing took much longer than first anticipated. It can be seen that many of the problems aired in the dossier then are still with us to this day. The new catechetics if disastrous in terms of doctrine were certainly not lacking in efficacy in spreading Modernism. However the dossier was a child of that time. As we state in a note in same: ‘I suspect that both the Editor, Hamish Fraser, and the author, Michael Davies, were they alive, would not agree with all that it contains, particularly regarding Vatican II, because at that time, as Hamish Fraser indicated in a later Approaches: ‘…like so many other orthodox Catholics, we could not bring ourselves to believe that anything but good could come of the Council as such…What we did not then realise was that the real significance of Vatican 2 was to be found not in what was positively affirmed in the official documents, all of which were capable of being interpreted in a perfectly orthodox sense, but rather in what was omitted, or else stated so equivocally as to be of real value only to the forces of subversion.’
The dossier thus gives the lie to those who maintain that traditionalists were predisposed to oppose the Council from the very beginning. Orthodox Catholics were disposed to embrace the Council in good faith. It was only when the forces of subversion began to show their hand, and use what Michael Davies described as “time bombs” in the conciliar documents, that orthodox Catholics began to question aspects not only of the “spirit of the Council” but of the Council documents themselves. Pope Paul VI who had hitherto gained their support because of his Credo, Mysterium Fidei and Humanae Vitae quickly lost same as soon as the Novus Ordo was imposed in an almost totalitarian manner, and as its defects and effects were made manifest. The dossier must therefore be read with such in mind, making allowances for the era in which it appeared.’
A poem for the day
On the feast day of this saint of the Sacred Heart. It was written by a priest subscriber who wishes to remain anonymous.
The Sacred Heart
The Sacred Heart, a throne of fire,
Filled, o’er brimmed with LOVE’s desire
Thus fountains forth compassionate streams
Of Mercy’s LOVE – to me it seems.
The first for sinners, sweetsome craves,
Their loathsome leprosy it bathes:
Do they but whisper “mercy please!”
Their sickly dreadful soul’s disease is Gone!
is gone! Who can say more?
Each grateful leper kneel! adore!
The second stream – love’s treasure chest
Pours forth to thrill each fervent breast,
Is strength and life: confirms the weak
To bear their cross and so to seek
The face of Him, who rent by love,
Stooped down to hell to win their love;
Who gave His life, that they might live
As “other Christs”, and so to give
Themselves as treasure God has priced
Their heartbeat cost: the Sacrificed.
Behold the third stream: living glow,
Inspires the perfect here below,
Helps them to build His Body now,
By works of diamond worth: thus show
His weaker brethren that the toil
Gains us eternal joy-brimmed spoil:
Gains us the love of Mary-Mother
Wins us the Love of Christ: Blood Brother.
God’s gift: the Holy Ghost bestows:
The CHURCH in radiant glory grows!
Frankfurt School Marxism
We have reproduced the above article by Gerald Warner which appeared on Scotland on Sunday on 6th October 2013. It puts into perspective the latest controversy over Ralph Milliband, father of the current leader of the British Labour Party.
Gerald Warner: Impact of politically correct Britain
The War of Comrade Miliband generated much sound and fury, but all the belligerents and observers ignored its most salient aspect – that this imagined inquest on a supposedly dead creed was being conducted in the context of a society now dominated by Marxism. The Party Line is currently termed Political Correctness, but the outcome is the same: the reconfiguration of language to police thought and impose an ideology, the harassing of religion, the destruction of marriage and the family, and the coercive remodelling of culture to accommodate a fanatical aberration that defies human nature itself.Political correctness is cultural Marxism. The term was coined by Anton Semyonovich Makarenko, Lenin’s education guru and favourite wordsmith (he also invented the phrase “dictatorship of the proletariat”). From the beginning, Marxists recognised there was a lot more involved in imposing totalitarian social control than nationalisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange. In Hungary in 1919, during the short-lived but murderous Communist dictatorship of Bela Kun, his deputy “commissar for culture”, Georg Lukacs, introduced a programme of “cultural terrorism” under which he imposed pornographic sex education on schoolchildren, promoting promiscuity, denouncing the family and encouraging pupils to mock their parents and religion. The question Lukacs posed was: “Who will save us from Western Civilisation?”Four years later, Lukacs was one of the founders of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, from which emerged the obscenity known today as Frankfurt School Marxism, dedicated to the destruction of civilisation. Max Horkheimer, its sometime director, followed up Lukacs’ experiment by grafting Freudianism onto Marxism. In this he was followed by Herbert Marcuse, an admirer of the Marquis de Sade, who expressed his belief in “polymorphous perversity”. This was complemented by the cultural Marxism of Gramsci and other adherents such as Adorno. Whether or not the Frankfurt Marxists had become sceptical of the command economy as an economic instrument, their main target was “the culture”. Hitler’s accession to power drove the Frankfurt School prophets to seek refuge in America, for whose current state of debilitation they are ultimately responsible. Their pretentious vapourings found favour in academic circles. Idiocies such as “deconstruction”, whereby the texts of great writers were shredded by literary pygmies and reinterpreted in the light of Marxist neuroses, and “critical theory” set about debauching the classical literary canon and vandalising knowledge. Under this impetus, academic campuses, for half a century, have remained the unreformed temples of anti-culture; university library shelves still groan beneath the weight of delusory Marxist tomes. In the US, college campuses have become, in the words of Robert Lind, “small ivy-covered North Koreas”.By corrupting the educators, Frankfurt Marxism secured its ascendancy over the elites. Education, the media, publishing, politics – all the commanding heights have been occupied by the cultural Marxist forces of anti-civilisation. The targets are vestigial Christianity, traditional institutions, national identity, the family – seen as an intolerable rival to the intruder state – and relations between men and women. The instruments of subversion are mass immigration and multiculturalism, to abolish homogeneity and national identity; the imposition of politically correct language (foreseen by Orwell as “Newspeak”) to prevent the articulation of dissident ideas; hate laws (also predicted by Orwell as “thought crime”); feminism, designed to alienate women from traditional motherhood and family roles; and promotion of the homosexual agenda (because anti-family). The introduction of “aggravated” offences has ended equality under the law.Initially espousing advocacy, the agenda has become blatantly coercive. Bans and prohibitions proliferate exponentially. Hideous neologisms such as “homophobia” or “Islamophobia” are intruded into public discussion (“discourse” in PC terminology) to distort debate; last week the ludicrous Bonnie Greer promoted a new absurdity: “gynophobia”. Their common adherence to cultural Marxism has made all three political parties complicit in a de facto one-party state: a Conservative prime minister has a minister for equalities. Tory politicians are routinely described as “socially liberal”; politics is about society – if they are socially liberal, they are liberal per se. Saul Alinsky, the Marxist activist, was the inspiration for David Cameron’s “Big Society”.The PC Terror threatens the employment and career prospects – on occasion the liberty – of those who do not conform. Public opinion is brainwashed by such devices as the “availability cascade”, collective belief moulded via the availability in the public forum of PC views; the “reputational cascade”, threatening social disapproval of dissidents; or the “chilling effect” on contrary viewpoints – the old Trotskyite “dysphoria” of 1970s campuses redeployed. In the tradition of Lukacs and Marcuse, society is offered a Faustian bargain: release from personal responsibility and legitimisation of hedonism if the public will embrace libertinism in exchange for liberty. Unless this totalitarian menace is quickly overthrown, Britain will confront a Marxist lunar landscape beyond the grimmest nightmares conceived by Ralph Miliband.