Friday, December 16, 2005


Anna Haycraft (A.K.A. Alice Thomas Ellis)
The Post Vatican II Chesterton

The more I read of this lady, the more I like her. An English convert, raised a Secular Humanist. There must be something in that British water...

But anyhow, her criticism of the Second Vatican Council and it's subsequent "fruits" are just as thought provoking (and hilarious) as anything that good ol' Gilbert ever wrote. Just a few examples:

She declared that the Second Vatican Council had unleashed a "tide of sewage", and lashed out at guitars and ecumenical priests - all the "Protestantised happy-clappy stuff" which would end in the "triumph of Chaos and old night".

"Nowhere have I found any evidence of Vatican II having had a beneficial influence."

"In place of the old rigours we have sentimentality, confusion, untruth, meaningless talk of renewal and improvement, and sharing and caring where once these were taken for granted and practised in a specifically and recognisably Catholic fashion."

"Now the Church has lost its head, priests feel free to say what they think themselves, and they don't have any thoughts at all except for some rubbish about the brotherhood of man. They seem to regard Our Lord as a sort of beaten egg to bind us all together."

How she viewed The Church since Vatican II (and my personal favorite) - "It is as though one's revered, dignified and darling old mother had slapped on a mini-skirt and fishnet tights and started ogling strangers. A kind of menopausal madness, a sudden yearning to be attractive to all. It is tragic and hilarious and awfully embarrassing. And of course, those who knew her before feel a great sense of betrayal and can't bring themselves to go and see her any more."

On Ecumenism - "I have never been in favour of ecumenism, either wide or narrow, for it reminds me of those promiscuous bouquets concocted by florists wherein bullied blossoms, chronologically and geographically incompatible, wilt miserably.... It may seem like a sweet idea, but it doesn't work."

Her personal feelings on the post-conciliar Church, she found herself "in uncharted territory in an almost dreamlike state of disorientation, in an atmosphere so unfamiliar that it seemed unreal. New or re-ordered churches of Lutheran barrenness, all Catholic culture, all tradition lost."

On her on-going battle with ultra-liberal Liverpool Archbishop Derek Worlock (and this applies to every other cleric in Western Europe and North America) -
"But look what he did for the ecumenical movement," his friends cry. "And look what he did to the Church," we respond....Ecumenism seems to mean taking something pure and strong, mixing it up with something weak and polluted, slashing it about, watching the churches empty and then congratulating yourself on your progress.

Was this gal great, or what? May His Perpetual Light shine upon you, Anna.

3 Comments:

Blogger onionboy said...

Evidence that Second Vatican Counsil has had beneficial effect: I, a former Protestant minister who resigned to convert to the Roman Catholic church, bringing my whole family{!} with me {and they are all coming of their own volition} could not, I think, have approached the Catholic Church in a pre VII setting. Because we can understand the Mass I can embrace it fully, because there is a passion in our parish for reaching those without a Catholic faith, because of so many other reasons I, we, are so grateful for that important council.

I'll grant that I would prefer that our church had a Cruxified Lord on the cross after years of looking at an empty one or worse none at all; that while I am glad there is a Life Teen Mass for young people I do not attend it very often often because after years of choruses and more recently all out seeker services it seriously fails to speak to my contemplative soul.

I know I am not even a Catholic yet, but I wouldn't be becoming one without the room and vision of the Second Vatican Council.

The peace of Christ be with you...
Owen

1:02 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Dear Owen,
Interesting points you've raised. I've mulled over exactly what to ask you. I think I can best sum it up by simply asking you, was the nearly 2,000 years of Catholicism prior to the Second Vatican Council so unpalatable (or even theologicalyy incorrect?) that you believe that your current conversion would be impossible?

Dominus Tecum,
The Caveman

2:44 PM  
Blogger islandcatholic said...

NSD,
Yes I've heard of this lady before. It's insightful, funny and tragic stuff. I like your favorite "menopausal madness" illustration too.
What I am trying to grasp is Benedict XVI's earnest and constant yearning for the authentic spirit of reform intended by Vatican II.
As with other Church Councils, historically speaking, the fruits can take a century or more before coming to maturity and blessing the Church.
In the meanwhile we watch and pray.

12:07 PM  

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