Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Breaking the Chains of Mediocrity

Breaking the Chains of Mediocrity was the first book conceived for the Collected Works of Carol Jackson Robinson (1911-2002).

From the Introduction:

"The articles in this little book, Breaking the Chains of Mediocrity, will discomfort the complacent Catholic. Though written seventy years ago, their urgent call has not lost any relevance: the Catholic life does not consist in a mechanical, mediocre practice of the Faith — one that simply meets the minimum requirements of being a Catholic in “good standing” — but in a fully-realised Catholicism that penetrates into every facet of one’s existence. Unabashedly Catholic, the ideas formulated in this work may well challenge the reader to confront his own spiritual mediocrity.

Robinson’s diagnoses and prescriptions were conditioned by her time and place, but they remain valid for us today, because human nature and our conditions are fundamentally similar. Indeed, when Robinson writes of “perfecting men and their talents rather than deadening the human thing in the interests of mechanical monsters,” can we not say today, having witnessed the brutalising effects of systems that do not allow for this perfection, that her words were prescient?

This book touches upon only a fraction of the ideas Robinson explored throughout her nearly fifty years of writing, much of which has only been rediscovered recently. We hope that with this book, the first volume in our Collected Works series, Carol Robinson should be ranked among the most perceptive of 20th century American Catholic essayists. Her insights have remained in obscurity far too long."

Paperback.  60pp

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Liberalism: A Critique of its Basic Principles and Various Forms

Cardinal Billot's treatise on Liberalism, part of a larger work on the Church and her relations with society, appeared a few years before World War I and was translated into English in the early 1920's.

This new translation by Thomas Stork includes an extensive introduction on the trajectory of Liberalism in the United States, and a foreword by Fr. Thomas Crean, O.P.  

"In an age where Liberalism, in one form or another, dominates the world, both inside and outside the Church, spreading confusion from an already diabolically disoriented secular world into the daily life of Catholics themselves, nothing could be more timely than this translation of Cardinal Billot's magisterial expression of why the Church must oppose Liberalism in all its many open and subtle forms." – John Rao (D.Phil., Oxford); Associate Professor of History, St. John's University

Paperback. 110 pp.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Eleison Comments vol. 2

From the Introduction of the book, presented by Rev. Fr. Paul Morgan, former District Superior of the SSPX in Britain.
"It’s eleven o’clock at night and the community at Saint George’s House in Wimbledon are about to retire.
Best check for any phone messages just in case.
“Hello Father. It’s Bishop Williamson here. I’m calling from Buenos Aires. I’ll be arriving in London Heathrow tomorrow morning around six. Please organize an armed police escort as things are somewhat heating up. See you soon.”
Talk about a sticky wicket, as the Americans would have us Brits say. Or Flippn’ ‘eck! as Yorkshiremen do say.
How on earth to organize anything at such an hour, let alone an armed police escort? British Bobbies don’t carry weapons…
A wing and a prayer.
An hour later the phone rings. “Allo Father. It’s Kevin here. I just ‘eared about the Bishop ‘aving a spot of bother at the airport in Argentina. Can I do anything to ‘elp?”
“Only if you can organize an armed police escort” I reply sarcastically.
“I’ll sort something. Can’t go in person as I’m, hem, known to the authorities, hem. Leave it to me. Goodnight,” comes the reply.
Cor blimey!
Another wing and a prayer.
Arriving at the airport in good time we learn that the airport security people are somewhat unhelpful. But when one of Kevin’s associates flashes his credentials to the police he is immediately saluted. Who are these quiet ‘associates’ with their cool composure and military bearing one wonders…
The Police Inspector takes charge and barks out the orders. “Yes you can park your car in a restricted area in front of the side exit. Yes you can drive the wrong way down a one-way route. No, you cannot meet him at the Gate. Yes, you can stand at the arrivals door. Keep things moving swiftly. No stopping en route to the vehicle. Get somebody else to collect the baggage…”
A mob of journalists gather. Other passengers and personnel enquire as to which celebrity is expected.
Father Jean-Michel Faure is the first to emerge. “Keep smiling” he had advised the Bishop. He follows his own counsel to a cue. As luck would have it he is a passable Bishop Williamson lookalike. He serves as a decoy for some of the media. Then follows the Bishop in a scrum of armed police officers with our associates. Manu militariae.
Pointed elbows and rough footwork force a unceremonious passage through the throng. There is the crunch of photographic equipment and microphones underfoot.
The distinguished visitor is bundled into the back seat of my Landrover accompanied by one of the associates. “Well done Father. How did you manage to organise the police escort?” asks the Bishop breezily.
We dodge the media and speed off. The Press proceed to interrogate a young confrere who is left standing on the pavement. His Irish charm foils their loaded questions…
Saint George’s House, SSPX-GB District Headquarters in South London, provides a welcome safe haven. Journalists remain outside for days. Curtains remain closed for the duration. Any visitors are fully vetted prior to admission. Kevin makes a full debriefing. His associates eventually take their leave..
Thus began an internal exile lasting from early 2009 to late 2012. Far from moldering away in a London garret, Bishop Williamson refused to be silenced. He chose instead to continue writing and speaking, thus challenging the politically correct opinions of the day, both religious and secular.
This tenacity would eventually lead to his expulsion from the NewSociety. Soft Bp.exit or hard Bp.exit scenarios having both been envisaged. Yet undaunted, and at a different London address, he would now continue unfettered in his apostolate of the written word not least by his weekly Eleison Comments translated by the author into several languages.
May this compilation of articles serve for their preservation and diffusion for the benefit of many both now and in the future.
And to Bishop Richard Williamson in this his eightieth year, we wish him ‘ad multos annos!’
Hardback. 380pp