A Protestant potential convert just made my day as I read his comment about him being encouraged by my blog, though obviously put off by the antics of FrancisChurch.
It is consoling – and at the same time another proof of the Church's nature – that even in the midst of the present chaos the Church keeps – with God's Grace – attracting souls to Her. It goes to show that the Only Church keeps being the bearer of a Truth only superficially scratched by the generation of Reprobates currently running the earthly Jerusalem.
I also reflect that for one who comments, others might be reading and thinking of conversion. To him, or to them, I would like to suggest the following readings:
1. Iota Unum. A fundamental work explaining in details the various aspects of Church Doctrine properly taught as it compares them with the sabotage of the Vatican II era. The link on my own site should be working, but I suggest everyone to buy the paper book and keep it near. Not cheap, but money well spent.
2. Hundred Years of Modernism. A clear, accessible explanation of the birth, growth and apparent triumph (but unavoidable, ultimate defeat) of this most pernicious carnivore plant.
3. The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church. This books also explains, in the traditional question-answer format, the heresies of the modern times as compared to the truths of all times.
There are many other sources, but these three books should be an axcellent start. The reader should be aware that there is matter of legitimate disagreement on some issues (I do think that you should attend a Novus Ordo Mass, rather than no Mass, if no reasonable Traditional Mass alternative is available). However, what the reader will find is pure gold.
A last caveat to the potential Convert: these books – as every other book on the matter – must be read in a spirit of obedience, not confrontation. They will be a wonderful help to people who already have a desire to convert and wish to be taken by hand and led to the complex, difficult, hard, ultimately wonderful land of Catholicism. If you choose not to see you will remain blind. If you choose to open your heart to Truth, you will rewarded extremely generously. If you don't feel you can read these book in order to learn, you must pray more, and pray that you may open your heart to Catholicism, until you are given the grace to do so.
In the midst of very possibly the darkest times ever faced by the Church, souls keep being attracted to Her eternal truths. If I were a Protestant I would shout: “praise the Lord!”. But I am a Catholic, and will therefore say: welcome here, good man. Pray that your heart may be opened to the Truth. Immerse yourself in it.
Say a Hail Mary for me, a sinner, as you cry tears of consolation and joy.
Rorate Caeli has some reflections about Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who died 21 years ago.
I disagree with their statement that without him the struggle for the preservation of traditional Catholicism would have been lost – my take is the Holy Ghost allows the Church to undergo periods of confusion, not to lose Her mission and identity – but I think it cannot be put in doubt that this man gave a huge contribution to the vocal defence of what Catholicism had always been and should have remained.
Twenty-one years after his death, we see Archbishop Lefebvre – though of course not perfect – more and more vindicated not only among conservative Catholics (who certainly have always loved him to a degree, even those who disagree with the SSPX stance) but among mainstream Catholics and the Vatican hierarchy, as the problems he foretold punctually exploded with devastating force and as the drunkenness (I keep describing it this way, as it seems to me a very fitting description) of V II slowly but surely makes place for a long due soberness.
Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX were not the only ones to vocally oppose the systematic destruction of Catholic liturgical tradition and orthodox thinking during and following the Council, and I only need to remind you of Romano Amerio’s wonderful Iota Unum to show opposition came from several corners, and was extremely strongly worded.
Still, it cannot be denied that it was this organisation which carried – and still carries – the flag in the most recognisable of ways, spreading all over the West whilst the people of the tambourines ravaged the very essence of Catholicism and the Vatican looked on in culpable impotence.
Therefore, on this day one Eternal Rest or three for this brave man is, I think, more than appropriate.
Thank God for Archbishop Lefebvre, and his brave soldiers of Christ.
Iota Unum is a ruthless analysis of what has happened before, during and after the Second Vatican Council, and examines the rupture of sound Catholic tradition in a vast number of issues. The book is the more relevant, because it was written in times when only very few dared to say of Vatican II what today is acknowledged by a vast number of people.
Romano Amerio lived to the end of his days surrounded by the hostility and mockery of the then largely unopposed Vatican-II crowd, his works ignored in the best of cases. From his book a lot of energy transpires, a sincere love for the Church, and a fundamental optimism that Her indefectibility would allow her to survive. Still, this book written in bleak years can’t avoid giving a bleak portrait of the Church’s situation of those times, and Amerio doesn’t leave any wound untouched; but there is no bitterness, no personal polemic, no private score settling. This man loved the Church dearly, and was ready to be mocked to the end of his days for it.
Reading the book today, we can’t avoid noticing a marked improvement of the situation. But the contrast with the pre-Vatican II Church and sound theology is still shocking. I have already mentioned Amerio’s work and cogent arguments talking about the role of the Pope, and I also had the one about Veterum Sapientia (“on the promotion of the study of Latin”, no less…) from him.
Please say a prayer for Romano Amerio and for the generous people at Angelus Press.