Alice von Hildebrand on Church Conspiracies

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There is a very good interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, re-published last Friday an Rorate Caeli by our own Peter Kwasniewski. It’s an old one — from 2001 — but I found that reading it again brought new points to light, and it was very worthwhile.

Not least among the considerations she brings forward is the reality of conspiracies that happen within and against the Church:

I can only tell you what I know. It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican “who were working for us.”
Many a time I have heard Americans say that Europeans “smell conspiracy wherever they go.” But from the beginning, the Evil One has “conspired” against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That some people are tempted to blow this undeniable fact out of proportion is no reason for denying its reality. On the other hand, I, European born, am tempted to say that many Americans are naïve; living in a country that has been blessed by peace, and knowing little about history, they are more likely than Europeans (whose history is a tumultuous one) to fall prey to illusions.Rousseau has had an enormous influence in the United States. When Christ said to His apostles at the Last Supper that “one of you will betray Me,” the apostles were stunned. Judas had played his hand so artfully that no one suspected him, for a cunning conspirator knows how to cover his tracks with a show of orthodoxy.
I’ve always been very impressed with von Hildebrand, since the first time I met her at a taping of EWTN’s Franciscan University Presents, which I served as the Floor Manager for while in college. Her her small stature and demure appearance belied her conviction, her clarity, and the force of her personality. When she spoke, she dominated the panel, and I recall being moved by her perfect balance between critical thought and docility to Holy Mother Church.

 

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