After seven issues of these “Comments” considering separately the Prologue and six Parts of the 1968 book of Jean Madiran (1920–2013), The Heresy of the 20th Century, it will be worth stitching the Parts together again so as to highlight some of the main lessons for ourselves in the situation of Church and world today, and to arrive at a general conclusion: how did the Church get into its present confusion?
Right from the Prologue Madiran made several key points: the problem was the leading churchmen, the bishops, who had been slipping anchor for at least 100 years previously, in the name of progress, until in the 20th century they were positively subverting Christianity, in a process leading to Communism. The drama started long before Vatican II. At its root is the bishops’ loss of Faith . The end result will be the triumph of Communism. In 2020 the Covid-lie is placing Communism right at our doors.
In Part I Madiran laid bare, as did Pius X in his 1907 Encyclical Pascendi, the philosophical underpinning by the bishops of their implicit apostasy through their adopting of the subjectivism of modern philosophy, by which any truth at all, including Catholic dogma, becomes optional. Forget objective reality. From now on the object answers to my mind, and no longer my mind to the object. I am liberated from reality.These insane principles are at the heart of the craziness of today’s Church and world, in all domains.
In Part II Madiran declared that the newbishops were wanting a newreligion, and this newreligion could only be at war with the Catholic religion. The newbishops had no right whatsoever to be imposing their false religion, and even as a Catholic layman Madiran had every right to be opposing them. In 2021 it is marvellous to see an Archbishop Viganò taking exactly this position, as did Archbishop Lefebvre. There is an objective and unchanging Catholic Truth which entitles Catholics not to follow their erring bishops.
In Parts III, IV and V Madiran lays out the content of the 20th century heresy in seven Propositions, culled from writings of the Bishop of Metz who, says Madiran, best brought that heresy into focus: 1 All is changing today, so that the very concept of salvation by Christ needs today to be changed, 2 towards being more social, because 3 faith today listens to the world, and 4 the socialising of today’s world is a grace. 5 For indeed no age has been so fraternal, 6 nor has so looked forward, i.e. hoped, as our own.Madiran comments that this fraternal and hopeful socialising is tantamount to a newreligion, and the newreligion is Communism. And indeed ever since Vatican II, the churchmen have been turning more and more to the Left, and their religion of man has been their newcrusade, and man has been their newgod. And Jesus Christ, His Blessed Mother, Heaven and Hell are in real life more and more forgotten.
In Part V Madiran presents the seventh Proposition from the Bishop of Metz: 7 Natural law comes from inside man, in other words there is no objective law for man coming from outside or from above him. In other words, says Madiran, there is no nature, no supernature, no ten Commandments, no true charity, no possibility of society, let alone Christian society. Such sheer subversion allows only of Communism. Here is where we are, and much more so in 2021 than in 1968. In this Part Madiran is getting at the very roots of modern man’s disorientation and dislocation, which make a police State into the only society possible.
In Part VI Madiran finished his book soon after living through the student riots in Paris of spring 1968, and they provided him with a resounding conclusion. In Part II on the bishops he had written that the Newchurch by teaching only things modern was turning today’s youth into tomorrow’s barbarians, and here they were, filling the streets of Paris in 1968 (and streets of the USA in 2020) with chaos. Madiran holds the bishops responsible. Communism is a false solution. God alone is the true solution.