October 20, 2015
So we have examined the writings of the mid to late eighteenth century popes, during those decades which preceded the French Revolution, and it seems clear that from the early 1760s on they knew that something was up. Something very dangerous had clearly been lurking in a dark corner and now was rearing its head. But what was it? Who was doing this? And what were their objectives?
I have recently come across two works that may help explain this. They were both published in France during the 1850s and to my knowledge no English translation has ever been made of either of them. My French language skills are good enough to make it through, but it is slow going, so their may well be long gaps between posts.
The first is Clement XIII et Clement XIV by the Jesuit Father Gustave Xavier Lacroix de Ravigan published in 1854. It is a history of the suppression of the Jesuits that occurred in 1773 after a bitter and deceitful fifteen year propaganda campaign against the order. The suppression of the Jesuits was rapidly overshadowed by the events of the disastrous years 1789-1815, from which the human race has yet to recover, but it is key to understanding the history of the last 250 years.
De Ravigan’s analysis is based on documentary evidence that he publishes in a second volume, much of which would probably otherwise have been lost in the wars and revolutions which ravaged Europe during the first half of the twentieth century, and it paints a fascinating picture of the suppression. This was all planned as part of a war against the pope and the Church of Rome. And it was led by those who wished to dismantle the Catholic Church and all she had given to the world and to erase the memory of Jesus Christ and his Teaching from human history.
The name of Voltaire, born François-Marie Arouet, crops up everywhere. He was the leader and public face of a group called the Encyclopedists, or as they styled themselves ‘the Philosophers.’ That name was a cover and a lie. They had no interest in philosophy. They did not seek wisdom, but license. They sought not to build, but to destroy. They are the precursors to Robespierre and Marx and Lenin and Stalin and Hitler and Pol Pot and Mao Tse-Tung. And it was to this specific group that Pius VI was referring when he wrote in 1775:
These accursed philosophers proceed to destroy the bonds of union among men, both those which unite them to their rulers, and those which urge them to their duty. They keep proclaiming that man is born free and subject to no one, and that society accordingly is a crowd of foolish men who stupidly yield to priests who deceive them and to kings who oppress them, so that the harmony of priest and ruler is only a monstrous conspiracy against the innate liberty of man.
That radical individualism of the eighteenth century would metastasize during the nineteenth century and eventually morph into the radical collectivism that murdered more than 100 million people during the first half of the twentieth century. It then morphed back into individualism personified by the growing and now almost complete slavery to sexual impulses that has permeated the formerly Catholic world since the Second World War.
I will speak more of Voltaire in posts to come when it comes time to examine the suppression of the Jesuits in detail. He had his own precursors but he seems to be the first public figure who began to marshal the forces that hated the Catholic Church into a covert war against her. But we shall see.
Please pray three Hail Marys in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.