F O R C H U R C H A N D P O P E
THE ONLINE MAGAZINE OF PRO ECCLESIA ET PONTIFICE
by GRAHAM MOORHOUSE
It is not a hyperbole to describe the liberal mindset as psychotic. What do I mean by psychotic? I mean it has an inherent inability to confront, deal or cope with reality. A classic extreme example would be the lunatic claiming to be Napoleon Bonaparte....
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History has numerous examples of Catholics resorting to arms to defend themselves and their altars. One could, for example, cite the 700-year war, the Reconquista, the Spanish fought to free themselves from Islamic aggression and occupation, a war finally won by Queen Isabel and her Prince Consort, Ferdinand. To be defeated by a woman must have been a real kicker, given that the Koran is very emphatic that women, including Muslim women, are seriously inferior to men.
One could cite numerous examples of Catholics willing to defend themselves and their altars when backed into a corner and left with no other option. Indeed, had our forefathers not had this courage, Europe would now be under the cruel bondage of Islam, with beheadings, floggings, amputations and stoning laid on as free public entertainment in our squares and car parks for the titillation of sexual sadists and psychopaths.
In this essay I am going to concentrate on the sacrifices made by the Vendéans during the French Revolution; these Catholics sacrificed everything, including their lives. The blood of martyrs such as the Abbé Nöel Pinot and the sacrifice of the Vendéans played a major role in the restoration of the Church in France.
Contrary to the spin of the zeitgeist, the French Revolution was at core an anti-Catholic uprising plotted and fostered by Freemasons, indeed, Masons boasted that the Revolution had been planned in their lodges.
On the 2nd November 1789, barely four months after the Revolution had started, the Church's possessions were nationalized. The justification was so that they could be "placed at the disposal of the nation." The Archbishop of Aix en Provence, protested that the Church's wealth had been given for clearly defined purposes, including the maintenance of hospitals and schools; and he declared that the proposal jeopardized the entire social and educational systems of France. The Archbishop was proved right: for by 1847 the number of hospitals in France had been almost halved and there were only twelve thousand students in colleges. There had been over four times as many under the Catholic monarchy. The poor suffered terribly as a result of the end of monastic charity and the confiscation of endowments established for the relief of poverty.
Three months after the nationalisation of Church property, monastic vows were outlawed and the religious orders suppressed. A life dedicated to God through prayer was considered to be useless by the atheist intelligentsia and of no value to society.
Five months later, a bill to take the Church into state control, entitled "The Civil Constitution of the Clergy" was passed, which denied the Holy See any power over the Church in France, which was to become no more than a state agency. Bishops and priests were commanded to swear an oath of loyalty to the Constitution under pain of losing their offices if they refused. All who refused and continued to exercise their priestly functions would be prosecuted.
The last straw for both the priests and people of the Vendée was the requirement that all the clergy must take this oath of loyalty to the Revolutionary Constitution. Only one in six of their clergy took the oath and, of those who did, many recanted. The fact that five out of every six priests refused to take the oath is truly amazing given that a refusal to do so meant immediate impoverishment. Clergy who took the oath were called “juring clergy”, “jurors”, or “constitutional priests”. Those who refused the oath were the non-juring clergy, or non-jurors. The word "juror" is derived from the French verb "jurer," to take an oath.
Out of 125 French Bishops, 118 refused to take the oath. The Bishop of the suppressed Diocese of Senez declared “… If God wishes to test His own, the eighteenth century, like the first century, will have its martyrs.” The juring clergy were referred to by the Vendéans as “intrus" (intruders), usually abbreviated to “truts” or “trutons”. One can well imagine the distain with which this word would have been spat out by the French.
Resentment towards juring priests in the Vendée was so great that they frequently needed an armed escort to conduct them to their installation through crowds of parishioners shouting: "Ne jurez pas, Ne vous damnez pas!" (Do not take the oath; do not damn yourself!) When a juring priest was able to take possession of his new parish, he would find that his predecessor had removed all the sacred vessels, Mass vestments, and keys.
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What the priest could not take with him, the people hid. Juring priests were hooted at, jeered at, and even kicked when they appeared in public. The faithful would not assist at their Masses as they considered their church to have been profaned by their very presence. When a juring priest was installed as the parish priest of May-sur-Evre, he was followed into the church by women, who scrubbed away every trace of his footprint from the stone floor. Assisting at the Mass of a juring priest was considered to be an endorsement of the Revolution. No Catholic wanted to be seen in the presence of a juror, since he was considered to be the carrier of a spiritual plague. Children who made their First Communion with them were said to become "food for the Devil."
Parents of newly-born children would refuse to have them baptized by juring priests and would have to be literally marched to the church at gunpoint by National Guards, who would act as godfathers, since no one else would be present. National Guards also had to act as servers, crucifers, or candle-bearers during the Mass, as the sacristan and altar boys refused to be present. The position of the intrus was not helped by the fact that the non-juring curé would often remain in or near his parish, usually hiding in the home of a parishioner. He exhorted his people to resist the government and the intrus, and offered Mass for them in secret. Another means widely adopted to outwit the jurers was to multiply the already numerous and very popular local pilgrimages. The faithful would march along the country lanes, usually at night, to pray at roadside shrines and chapels, where, by a happy coincidence, they would happen to meet their non-juring curé, who would administer the sacraments to them.
At Vieillevigne in the district of Clisson, an attempt was made to force the nonjuring Curé to take the oath. His parishioners reacted so violently that the authorities found it necessary to declare martial law and mobilise troops. Peace was restored without recourse to arms, and the authorities prudently decided to allow the nonjuring curé to remain in his parish.
One bishop wrote to his clergy, "When you are deprived of your freedom and can no longer exercise your duties, you must exercise them in secret. ... You will still retain all your obligations to your flock, but you will fulfil them in the manner which God deems most fit." The missionary order founded by Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673- 1716), was particularly active in persuading the faithful not to accept the juring priests. The preaching of this saint and his priests had played no little part in ensuring that the Vendéans were among the most fervent Catholics in France.
2 May 1791 - at Saint Christophe de Lignerons a priest who had taken the oath was confronted by hostile parishioners when he arrived with a military escort. A fight broke out and a young peasant named Barillon died on the bayonets of the National Guard. Barillon is honoured as the first martyr of the Vendée.
22-24 August 1792 - what is considered the first battle in the uprising of the Vendée took place in Bressuire, when outraged peasants attempted to prevent the eviction of a convent of nuns. Armed only with clubs and farm tools, the Catholics were slaughtered by the well-armed National Guard. One hundred peasants died, five hundred were captured, and most of these prisoners were butchered in a truly barbaric manner. The National Guard, known as the Blues, les Bleus, cut off the ears from the corpses and pinned them to their hats as cockades, in mockery of the white cockades worn by Catholics.
The republican authorities made an effort to show leniency at the trial of the surviving peasants. They were told that they had been betrayed by their leaders and needed only to shout "Vive la Nation" to be freed. "No Monsieur," they replied, "our officers have not betrayed us; we will shout 'Vive le roi'." Napoleon himself commented on this trial in his memoirs, remarking: "They died courageously. A long war was to result from the heroism of these brave peasants." Indeed it was: in the ensuing war something in the order of a quarter of a million Catholics gave their lives for the Faith: some on the battlefield, but many more were slaughtered in cold blood.
Now compare the reaction of the Catholics in The Vendée to apostate clergy with our reaction today to our own faithless post-Conciliar traitors, be they cardinals, priests or bishops. We seemingly never grow tired of licking their boots; we applaud them at the drop of a hat, and throw coins into the coffers whenever asked. We are rotten with worldly respect and terrified of appearing zealous for Christ. Yet the clerics we are dealing with are far worse than the juring priests in France. At least they were acting under duress and many signed the oath because they saw it as the only way they could continue to minister to their flocks. What excuses have our traitors for scourging Christ anew in His body the Church?
There are of course a handful of honourable exceptions: Michael Matt (the editor of the Remnant) relates how his father would stand up at Mass and loudly denounce the priest as a heretic, before leading his entire family of some ten children out of the church, followed at the rear by his wife, undoubtedly with a baby in arms. All ten children practise the faith today. If we had had a thousand such men in England, how different would the Church be today?
We need to love our Blessed Savour enough to care deeply about the wounds being afflicted anew on His Body by the traitors within the gates. When a priest like Michael Howard, for example, invites the sodomy-promoting cleric, Timothy Radcliffe, to address our young people, we should be beside ourselves with holy rage!
We should take a leaf out of the book of the Catholics of the Vendée and treat the enemy within intent on destroying the Church with undisguised hostility. Do not make them welcome in your home, do not allow them to baptise your children or marry your daughters. Do not allow your sons to serve their Masses, indeed, avoid their Masses entirely. And above all, don't put a brass farthing into their collection plates. If your bishop doesn't allow the Faith to be taught in his so-called Catholic schools, why on earth would any genuine Catholic want to contribute to his coffers, let alone his education fund?
Most importantly, let these snakes in the grass know why you are so acting. Make a New Year's resolution to protest at least twelve times a year, either in person or by letter. Write and tell these post-Conciliar Judases why you are not putting any money in their plates. Tell your bishop why you will not have your sons and daughters confirmed by him, or allow your children to attend his corrupt schools. Get up half an hour early on a Sunday and take your family to a church served by an orthodox priest, and let the quisling modernist know why he will not be seeing you at Mass. Seek to motivate others to become equally militant.
Yes, of course it will sometimes need courage, but courage is one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. And you will not need anything like as much courage to confront an apostate priest or bishop as you will to confront Our Lord at your day of judgement when He asks you why you were apathetic in the face of widespread apostasy.
How do you recognise the faithless traitors in dog-collars? Most genuine Catholics have a nose for this sort of thing and are able to say with confidence “No. I know that is not true. I know the sound of The Good Shepherd’s voice, and that is not it.” I would suggest one other simple test: if he allows the Tablet to be sold in his church or cathedral, he clearly lacks any real, personal, genuine commitment to the Catholic faith and, if he is in bed with the enemy, he is the enemy. Can you seriously imagine St John Fisher, for example, facilitating the sale of an anti-Catholic rag in any church over which he had control? One has merely to pose the question to know the answer.
Postscript The Victory of the Vendée In 1801 Napoleon signed a concordat with the Holy See. This Concordat was presented to the French legislature in April 1802 and was passed almost unanimously; complete religious liberty was restored to Catholics throughout France - This triumph was fittingly described as the "Victory of the Vendée."