Monday, May 21, 2007
THE INFLUENCE OF FELICITE DE LAMENNAIS (1782-1854)
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Having forthwith declared that out of deference to the pope he would not resume the publication of "L'Avenir" Lamennais suppressed the "General Agency", went back to La Chênaie, and there apparently kept silence. In his heart, however, he cherished deep resentment, the echoes of which reached the outer world through his correspondence. Rome was stirred by this behavior, and demanded frank and full adhesion to the Encyclical "Mirari vos". After seeming to yield, Lamennais ended by refusing to submit without reserve or qualification. Little by little, he began by renouncing his ecclesiastical functions (December, 1833) and ended by abandoning all outward profession of Christianity. The amelioration of humanity, devotion to the welfare of the people and of popular liberties, dominated him more and more. In May, 1834, he published the "Paroles d'un croyant", through the apocalyptic diction of which resounds a violent cry of rage against the established social order: in it he denounces what he calls the conspiracy of kings and priests against the people. In this way he loudly declared his rupture with the Church, and set up the symbol of his new faith. Gregory XVI hastened to condemn in the Encyclical "Singulari nos" (15 July, 1834) this book, "small in size, but immense in perversity", and at the same time censured the philosophical system of Lamennais.
From the book ADAM MICKIEWICZ: POET OF POLAND A symposium, edited by Manfred Kridl with a Foreword by Ernest J. Simmons, Columbia University Press, 1951:
Felicite De Lamennais (1782-1854), first apologist of Catholicism, afterwards revolutionary democrat, was in close touch with Mickiewicz in the years 1830-1834. The Catholic writings of Lamennais, especially ESSAI SUR L'INDIFFERENCE EN MAITERE DE RELIGION (Paris, 1817-1823), were studied by Mickiewicz during his stay in Rome and contributed to the formation of his Catholic faith and conception of life. The situation was reversed when Mickiewicz published his BOOKS OF THE POLISH PILGRIMS (1832) which in turn influenced Lamennais's PAROLES D'UN CROYANT (1834). Lamennais became acquainted with the BOOKS through a French translation edited with a preface by his friend Count Charles Montalembert. Lamennais's letters to the latter from January to May, 1833, are full of questions about the progress of the translation and demonstrate his eagerness to read it.(p. 194)
A letter to Countess Senftt of May 9, 1833, contains remarks about the "general evil" which affects everybody and at the time especially the Poles. "Their great poet Mickiewicz," writes Lamennais, "wrote for them an enchanting work...one of the most beautiful written in recent times." (p. 195)
Charles De Montalembert (1810-1870), French Catholic writer and politician, closely related to Lamennais, was one of the prominent representatives of liberal, progressive Catholicism. We give below his Preface to the French translation of Mickiewicz's BOOKS OF THE POLISH PILGRIMS... (p. 195)
Karol Wojtyla deepened his understanding of this singular way of reading history in his adolescent encounter with the great poet/dramatist of Polish Romanticism, including Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Slowacki, and Cyprian Kamil Norwid. (George Weigel, WITNESS TO HOPE, p. 34)
This particular night, November 28, 1942, the Rhapsodic Theater, an avant-garde troupe committed to a "theater of the living word" without props or elaborate costumes, was performing an adaptation of Adam Mickiewicz's epic poem PAN TADEUSZ, a classic of the Polish Romantic tradition.
The apartment blinds were drawn; the lights were lowered; a clandestine act of cultural resistance began. It did not go unchallenged. During the performance, Nazi megaphones outside began blaring the news of another victory by the invincible Wehrmacht. To some in the audience, that rasping, intrusive propaganda, interrupting a brief respite from the terrors of life in occupied Poland, seemed an apt metaphor for the hopelessness of their situation.'
The twenty-two-year-old actor then speaking, an underground seminary student named Karol Wojtyla, paid no attention whatsoever to the racket outside. Unfazed, he continued his recitation as if the harsh static of the principalities and powers of the age simply did not exist... (ibid, p. 1)
More than a million Poles had gathered on the grounds surrounding the shrine [shrine of the Black Madonna at Czestochowa] on June 4 when John Paul--speaking from the ramparts of the Pauline monastery where the Swedish invasion had been broken in 1655--began his sermon at an outdoor Mass by quoting an epic he had once performed in the Rhapsodic Theater, Adam Mickiewicz's PAN TADEUSZ... (ibid. p. 309)
Catholicism, modified and divested of certain objectionable features, will become the right wing and conservative portion of the Religion of the entire worlld, while the radical portion of that Church, and of all other churches, will secede, rear the standard of Free Thought, proclaim the Religion of Reason, espouse the Reformatory men and principles of the age, declare itself a Positive, Eclectic and Progressive Faith, abjuring the doctrines of Original Sin, the Adamic, Mosaic, Hebraic Atonement theories, and everything affirmative of Miracle, Final Judgment, and a Hell. This party will be in a minority, and the left wing of the grand Religious system of the world; it will constantly receive accessions of recruits from the other and barbaric element of society; but so rapid will be the human march that the right flank of the grand army will constantly crowd the left and occupy its ground, while the latter will as constantly move on toward new fields, as new ideas are developed and seen. (Paschal Beverly Randolph, RAVALETTE: THE ROSICRUCIAN'S STORY, p. 261)
The theology of Lamennais, condemned by Pope Gregory XVI in the encyclical "Mirari Vos", influenced the thinking of Adam Mickiewicz who in turn influenced John Paul II. This reflects the prophecy of Randolph that both right and left will march to the left, the right occupying the ground that the left has abandoned for increasingly more left-leaning beliefs. The prophecy was given during the Sleep of Siliam, a particularly deep trance state. During this same event a deamon spoke through Randolph, saying among other things "for you I have broken the power of ages--the Papacy..." (ibid, p. 258). Indeed, it would appear that the prophecy was accurate given the European Union's rejection of the Christian base of European civilization.