AA-1025 - The Memoirs of an Anti-Apostle
In the 1960's, a French Catholic nurse, Marie Carre, attended an auto-crash victim who was brought into her hospital in a city she purposely does not name. The man lingered there near death for a few hours and then died. He had no identification on him, but he had a briefcase in which there was a set of quasi-biographical notes. She kept these notes and read them, and because of their extraordinary content, decided to publish them. The result is this little book, AA-1025The Memoirs of an Anti-Apostle, about a Communist who purposely entered the Catholic priesthood (along with many, many others) with the intent to subvert and destroy the Church from within. This little book, his strange yet fascinating and illuminating set of biographical notes, tells of his commission to enter the priesthood, his various experiences in the seminary, and the means and methods he used and promoted to help effect from within the auto-dissolution of the Catholic Church.
How The Ambitious One Who Thought Himself Stronger Than All Meets "Raven Hair" and Fears His First Weakness
At the end of two years of seminary life, I was seriously asking myself if I could keep it up. The will that exercises itself alone is not always sufficient, and I was very young to feed myself only on my hatred.
Nevertheless, I saw this hatred increase; and at first reserved for God, it now extended to all of my surroundings. If only they could have guessed to what degree I hated them all. Even today, I admire myself for having been able to tolerate them. Surely, I am and remain a loner. If sociability is not indispensible to me, on the other hand, a small oasis of human warmth was lacking in my youth. In fact, I had only my professor of singing, whom I visited every Saturday. On certain matters we understood each other without having to spell things out, but he never knew the reality of my mission in all its extensiveness.
The marvelous thing about it was that I could really relax at his house. Without him, I might not have had the strength to resist. Happily, this writing will never be published, for it is not a good example to my comrades. I had also received the order to accept certain invitations to worldly affairs. They came to me without my knowing why and how they reached me. I was therefore obliged to obey. I never dared, when I wrote to the Uncle, to ask of him the value of these deeply frivolous occupations. Anyway, he knew my disgust for this kind of thing, and he already had told me that it would do me some good to know the ways of the world. Let us admit that, but I never made any useful discovery there.
One evening, I was assisting at a grand reception that was particularly brilliant. My gaze fell upon the profile of a young girl, and suddenly, all that surrounded her vanished, my own senses included. She had a long neck, more slanting than the tower of Pisa, a very large and black hairdo that I would have liked to dishevel, and a childlike and at the same time wilfull profile. I looked at her breathlessly.
It was as if the two of us were alone, although she did not see me. I was yelling at her interiorly to turn her head around a little, in order that I could steal a look at her, but she did not do so. I do not know how long my ecstasy lasted, but I was brought back to earth by an unknown young man. He had understood all, maybe better than I did. He was good-hearted, since he said to me: "Do you wish me to introduce you to Miss X?" He knew me by name, but mistook me for a university student. In all this social life, no one could recognize me as a seminarian.
A little later, this obliging young man introduced me to "Raven Hair." (I will never give her another name). I had recovered my calm, thanks to a discreet breathing exercise. Nevertheless, I was now a different man, totally different. One hundredth of a second had sufficed. During the evening, I did not try to understand what was happening to me. I was too busy enjoying those new feelings. I spoke with "Raven Hair" for a few moments, moments during which I could not "eat" her all up, because what was dominating my inner self was the desire to take this young girl all for myself and to hide her in a small house, far from all, a little house in whichi she would promise to wait for me. She had very large dark eyes that looked at you with an embarrassing seriousness.
And when she was invited to dance, I had to hold both my hands behind my back in order not to kill the one who took her away from me. Dancing is a diabolical invention. I do not understand how a man can tolerate his wife dancing with another man. I looked at her waltzing; her dress was marvelous, but my eyes were as if hypnotized by her bent neck, which seemed to present itself to the axe of an executioner. I do not know why this young girl seemed destined to die a violent death. This feeling increased the fury with which I would have liked to snatch her away from all those people. What was she doing in the midst of all these fools? What was her occupation in life?
I must succeed in getting her to wish nothing else but to wait for me. Any means would be good to attain this end. She belonged to me, that's all. But she left with an aged couple whom I did not know. How could I manage to see her again? She did not pay attention to me, only maybe at the last second when her look met mine. What did this look mean? Can you find out how to meet me again? ... Maybe ... in any case, I did not bother any further about what she could think. I had taken the decision of directing her thoughts because I considered that she belonged to me forever. That she would not agree to that would only be an amusing challenge. I knew her name and nothing else, I entrusted my singing professor with the task of finding her.
This affair seemed to amuse him considerably. He even said to me, "So you are becoming more human?" I could not understand what he found to be inhuman in me, and I was somewhat vexed by what he had said. He did not want to explain himself. His efforts were lengthy and I had to calm myself down by working with a tenfold zeal. It was during those days that I launched on the market (we could almost say) the program that would allow Catholics to be accepted by Protestants.
Catholics had hoped too much for the return of Protestantism to the fold of the Mother Church. It was time that they should lose their arrogance. Charity made it a duty for them. When charity is at stake - I pretended, laughing up my sleeve - nothing wrong can happen. I prophesied with assurance - so that this would be repeated in the same tones - the suppression of Latin, of priestly vestments, of statues and images, of candles and prie-dieu (so that they could kneel no more).
And I also started a very active campaign for the suppression of the Sign of the Cross. This Sign is practiced only in Roman and Greek Churches. It is time that the latter take notice that they offend other people, who have as many qualities and as much holiness as they have. This Sign, and also genuflections, are all ridiculous customs. I also prophesied (and we were then in 1940) the disappearance of altars, replaced by a completely bare table, and also of all the crucifixes, in order that Christ be considered as a man, not as a God. I insisted that Mass be only a community meal, to which all would be invited, even unbelievers. And I came to the following prophecy: Baptism for the modern man has become ridiculously magical. Whether given by immersion or not, Baptism must be abandoned in favor of an adult religion.
I searched for the means of suppressing the Pope, but I could not find the possibility of doing so. As long as we would not say that the play on words of Christ, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it," was invented by a zealous Roman (but how can we prove that - it is not enough that this were possible), a Pope would always be in power. I consoled myself by hoping that we would surely succeed in making him look foolish. The important thing was to cry out against him every time that he started something new and even when he revived old customs too hard to be followed.
Moreover, all that is permitted among Protestants, even if only in one sect, must be authorized among Catholics, that is, the remarriage of divorcees, polygamy, contraception and euthanasia. The universal Church, having to accept all religious and even the unbelieving philosophers, it was urgent that Christian churches should give up their own proprieties. So I asked them to perform an immense cleaning out. All that excited heart and mind to worship an invisible God must be unmercifully suppressed. One must not believe that I ignored, as do some whom I will not name, the power of gestures and of all that speaks to the senses.
A thoughtful mind would have noticed that I was suppressing all that is lovable in a religion which is, on the other hand, quite strict. To leave them severity was a nice enough trick. I would secretly insinuate that this cruel God might, after all, be a human invention - a God cruel enough to send His only Son to be crucified!!! But I had to be careful that my hatred did not appear in my writings.
As I was overjoyed with these orders and prophecies, my singing professor had me called on the phone. He had found her and was inviting me that same evening to a concert where I could see her again. Happily, I easily got permission to go out. I had a very nice voice and churchmen were always lenient toward musicians. I saw her again - more beautiful than the first time - so beautiful, so beautiful - how not to become crazy? She readily consented to come for a cup of tea on the following Saturday at the house of my singing professor. I pretended to reside at a University Center. My singing professor bore the name of Achille and he asked me to call him Uncle Achille. I understand that he wished thereby to give me the illusion of having a family. But I was not very grateful to him for that because his attitude revealed to me that he hoped to see me think seriously of getting married.
How could he have such absurd thoughts? It was a sign that he felt my lack of a priestly vocation, but had absolutely not guessed the power and seriousness of my socialist vocation. To think of it, I saw that this incomprehension, a sign of my strength of character and of the quality of my dissimulation, could only favor my designs. To be a really great man, it is very advantageous to appear to be ordinary and even dumb. Those who show off before crowds are not those who really pull the strings.
My "Raven Hair" seemed to enjoy herself at Uncle Achille's house. I displayed all the charms of my Slav temperament. Nobody had taught me that little game, but I found out that it was instinctive. I must say that I took great pride in it. The woman of my dreams wore, on that day, a very simple blue dress and had around her neck just one jewel, a large medal of the Virgin, called the Miraculous Medal. My eyes kept returning all the time to that object and were scorched by it; I would have liked to snatch it away from her and to throw it out the window.
How An Anti-religious Zeal Would Like to Drag "Raven Hair" In Its Wake
I had to face the truth, I was simply in love for the first time; in love like a poor chap whose intelligence does not dominate his instincts. I saw only one remedy: an always greater zeal for the defense and the advancement of the great cause of the proletariat. It was at that time that I launched the grand campaign of Biblical dialogue. It aimed at arousing Catholics to an assiduous and thoughtful reading of God's word, insisting fully on the freedom of examination practiced by Protestants for four centuries.
I showed that this liberty had given us many generations of truly adult beings and masters of their lives. By these very pious means, I excited Catholics, therefore, to throw off the yoke of papism and the Protestants to become the masters of this new generation. Although I gave to Protestants the dominating position, I also weakened them, without giving their pride the liberty to guess it. This weakening would come naturally from the emulation of diverse sects. In this contest, the Catholics could not act the part of arbitrator, because they would be preoccupied only by the desire of reforming themselves.
It was child's play to persuade them that they must implement a return to the sources and a brilliant modernization. I suggested that the zeal to give us, in all languages, new Biblical translations in modern style must not be slowed down. There also, I noted a lively competition. I did not mention the financial aspect of the problem, but the number of translations allowed us to notice that this aspect had not escaped the vigilance of Churchmen. The modernization of God's Word often allowed the Church's obstinacy to diminish. And that was done in a very natural way. Every time that a word seemed rarely used and risked not being understood, it was replaced by a word altogether simple - and, of course, always to the detriment of the real meaning. How could I complain about this? Besides, these new translations facilitated the Biblical dialogue upon which we laid great hope.
One of my preferred dialogues concerned the Pope, because this personage is really an obstacle for me. When I say, "this personage," I mean also the texts upon which his title is based. Those texts are also as embarrassing for me as they are for the separated Christians (as they say). I am very grateful to the one who thought that the word "prevail" has become incomprehensible to modern man and has replaced it by "be able." Instead of "the gates of Hell will never prevail against it" (the Church), he has written: "The gates of Hell will never be able to do anything against it." This makes my Biblical dialogue meetings much easier, at least in French-speaking countries. Everyone notices very quickly that this prophecy, which claims that Hell can do nothing against the Church, is absolutely false, and everyone breathes easier because thus vanishes this age-old belief in a divine protection which would definitely always favor the efforts of Catholics (and by implication: never those of heretics!)
I like to launch my dialogues in the labyrinth of the Old Testament. The Book of Genesis, all by itself, is enough to make an honest man become crazy. The older I grow, the more I notice that only the faith of the coalman and the faith of a child can survive in a world in which intelligence takes priority over anything else. I even have reason to ask this question: "Are there any more coalmen, and above all, are there any more children?" It seems today, at least in the white race, that childhood dies at birth and is replaced, I must say, by small, quite annoying adults. I do not know if I must rejoice over this. That faith loses ground by it is all right, but will my faith gain anything by it? Many question marks arise here.Taken from AA-1025 - The Memoirs of an Anti-Apostle by TAN Books & Publishers, Inc.
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