“ZION HAS BECOME A DESERT”: SOME THOUGHTS ON NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame is burning…but the truth is that for many traditionalist Christians the holy places of Western Europe long ago became places of torture. I myself will no longer visit these secular mausoleums except perhaps in the very early morning out of the so-called tourist season. Before I submit under a hail of accusations of ‘hubris’, “non-inclusiveness” and “nastiness”, I do not say that there is nothing sacred here, nor do I say that some humble souls do still manage to turn their Rosary beads amidst the throng of Erasmus students with selfie sticks and teenagers in baseball caps ‘posing’ next to a ‘cute’ statue of the Mother of God. Yes, there doubtless are such holy souls, and may they continue to ask for God’s patience, that He not send His cleansing fire upon us all. The Smoke of Satan finally proclaimed victory over the Catholic Church in the swinging sixties (it had overcome the secular protestants many centuries before this). The smoke has only grown thicker since then. It is choking the Remnant to death. It is difficult for a secular, western liberal to understand how it feels to us traditional Christians on entering one of these places. Liberals like feelings, so let me put it like this. Sixteen million people visited Notre Dame every year. That’s 44,000 a day. People who in their own towns would never even dream of entering a church, suddenly ‘on vacation’ are seized with this church-visiting craze out of boredom. Watching them strolling about on the Holy of Holies in hot-pants and crop-tops screaming at each other is for us like being forced to watch a group of laughing yobs urinating on our mothers’ graves. No, it is much worse than that. I wish I could think of an analogy, but I cannot. Nothing is more apt here than the beautiful Advent antiphon, Rorate Caeli:
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above
And let the clouds rain the Just One!
Do not be angry, O Lord,
Nor remember our iniquity forever:
Behold the Holy City is made a desert,
Zion has become a desert,
Jerusalem is desolate:
The house of thy holiness and thy glory,
Where our fathers praised thee.
We have sinned, and we are made
Like unto our uncleanness,
And we have all fallen like a leaf:
And our iniquities
Have carried us away like the wind.
Thou hast hidden thy face from us
And thou hast crushed us
In the hand of our iniquity.
In English cathedrals, where it now seems the norm to ask for payment to enter, my request to “pray and not pay” always brings out a flustered panic in the “staff” – praying? In a church? You must be MAD. How did all this happen? In fact, Notre Dame is peculiarly at one of the several ‘turning points’ in this age-old struggle between the Devil and God. In 1793 whilst Catholics in France were suffering “the first modern genocide” at the hands of the new Revolutionary State, a “temple of Reason” was placed on the altar of Notre Dame with a whore dressed up as the Goddess of Reason.
This is the true lineage of the European Union, the Euro elite, the world of Macron and his ilk but also of the new organisation previously known as the Catholic Church.
In the sixties, in the ‘spirit of the age’ the Freemason Roncalli (since “canonised” by the Newchurch) finally threw open the doors of the Catholic Church to the Christian Atheists. The religion of the Newchurch was turned away from God to centre on MAN. Now it was man’s turn to be the centre of attention. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the actual 180 degree turn of the altar away from the East to look West towards the congregation. The Mass became “a meal” at which people spoke about ‘social justice issues’ and ran about shaking hands. And the churches and seminaries emptied almost overnight – who wants to get up on Sunday to worship BREAD? The ancient and venerable holy places – many of them dating back to well before the Great Schism were turned into tourist attractions. It is true that these venerable Catholic edifices still have a long way to go before they reach the total Godlessness of the Northern Protestant cathedrals, but they are half way there. One is reminded of our great St John of Shangai’s visit to Westminster Abbey; “At one time it may have been a holy place. Despite the devastation wreaked by Henry VIII, the Abbey had miraculously been preserved as a working church. Now, however, it no longer possesses the holiness it once had as an ancient church. Now people simply go to see it as one of London’s tourist attractions. Vladyka also went to see it, but after spending only a short time there, he left, saying: ‘There is no grace here’.”
For me, the true crime of this Newchurch is in this: Even secularists these days admit to the chronic spiritual starvation of the modern West. Very often the way to Christianity is not through moral lecturing or argument but through beauty – The Via Pulchritudinis. Despised though it might be by the socialist Christian Atheists, there is nothing at all wrong with this entry point into the Great Commission. Even simple things such as insisting on silence, modest attire, no cameras and so on would have made some of those sixteen million people think “Here, there is something!”. Because in truth, people don’t find their way to the doors of a church to hear about global warming or ‘LGBT rights’ – they can do that much more easily just by breathing in the air that surrounds them. No, when people come to church they want to be challenged, they crave something difficult – fasting, penance, repentance. But instead they were given more of the same – a mess of potage. It is a crime of great enormity. I will end with words of the late great Professor Herman Englehardt; “These post-traditional Christians born of Vatican II will not experience what it is like to turn to the East led by the priest, looking to a window behind the altar as the sun rises, just as the priest intones a cardinal battle cry in the culture wars that separates traditional Christianity from the dominant secular culture, including its post-traditional Christianities: “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen” (Liturgikon 1994, p. 258).”