All Gets Revealed on the Last Day
Thomas A. Droleskey
Why would a man devote time and energy to his "fringe" work when so few people agree with it and are willing to support it? That seems to be thrust of a notice in Karl Keating's "e-letter" that was sent to me from a reader in Florida. My wife and I read the notice that Keating wrote about me with great amusement. It appears as though Mr. Keating, the publisher of This Rock, evidently believes that one must be stark raving mad to eschew respectability in the eyes of others and material prosperity in order to chart out a path that makes no sense at all to those who love la dolce vita and the applause of the crowd.
Here is Karl Keating's e-notice:
A DECLINE AT THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM
He may be "on the road," but he will not be mistaken for Charles Kuralt.
Thomas Droleskey, his wife, and their four-year-old daughter "now live in their motor home" as he "travels the nation to give lectures in behalf of the Social Reign of Christ the King and Mary our Queen." It was not always so.
Once a political activist, Droleskey ran for lieutenant governor of New York on the Right to Life Party ticket in 1986. In 1998 he opposed Sen. Alfonse D'Amato in the Republic Party primary and received 37 percent of the vote. In between he was active in other political races.
From 1992 to 2000 Droleskey wrote for "The Wanderer," the most conservative of the four nationally-circulated weekly Catholic newspapers. From 2001 to 2003 he was a contributor to "Latin Mass" magazine.
During most of these years he worked as an adjunct professor of political science at Long Island University. As a side venture he produced a small-circulation newsletter called "Christ or Chaos." It was replaced in 2004 by a web site of the same name, http://www.christorchaos.com.
Along the way, Droleskey also replaced his opinions.
When he ran for political office he was styled a political conservative. When he wrote for "The Wanderer," he was a religious conservative. By the time he wrote for "Latin Mass," he was a Traditionalist Catholic. Later, when he wrote for "The Remnant" and "Catholic Family News," he was identified with their more strident form of Traditionalism. He has left all that behind.
Now he writes for nobody except the few who visit his web site, where he posts, every day or two, essays of yawning length. Two weeks ago, for example, he uploaded six articles totaling 66,000 words--enough text to flesh out a book of 240 pages.
His September 9 essay was about "Joseph Ratzinger." Droleskey refuses to call him "Pope Benedict" because he doesn't believe that he is a pope. To Droleskey, who recently revealed himself to be a sedevacantist, the last real pope apparently was Pius XII, who died in 1958. (Droleskey was six at the time.)
Droleskey insists that "Joseph Ratzinger is a Modernist. He has been a Modernist throughout his entire priesthood. ... Joseph Ratzinger is an enemy of the good of souls. ... An enemy of the good of souls is an enemy of God Himself." This is why Benedict XVI should not be considered a pope at all, says Droleskey, and this is why Droleskey now is on the fringe of the fringe.
It is not clear how he makes a living. He no longer teaches. He no longer writes for periodicals that once might have paid him (very modest) stipends. For two years he promoted his Christ the King College, but it never got off the ground. First it was going to be a real brick-and-mortar school, then it was reduced to a web-based distance-learning school, and then, last July, it was closed down for a lack of students.
The main page of Droleskey's web site leads off with an appeal printed in big, red letters: "We still need donations. Please make one if you support this site and your means permit you to do so. Oh, pretty please, we really do need more than a little bit of help right now!" He can't be getting much support this way.
Droleskey tours the country in his motor home, giving lectures. He was scheduled to speak two Sundays ago at a sedevacantist church in Ohio. Over the next month he is scheduled speak at five other venues of the same stripe. In none of them can he hope to turn up a large crowd. There are not many Traditionalist Catholics in America (they may not constitute even one percent of the Catholic population), and there are far fewer sedevacantists, just a few thousand in all. It is for this latter group that Droleskey now writes and speaks.
Once he was able to get the attention of a third of New York's Republican voters. Now he struggles to get anyone's attention. It is not likely that many of those voters would recognize the candidate of 1998 in the itinerant essayist of 2006. What happened?
It's hard for me to say, not knowing Droleskey and having read only a sampling of his essays. In them there may be clues, perhaps even a well-hidden full explanation--though I doubt it. Sometimes all we can say is that whatever happened happened. A man changes his mind, changes his allegiances, changes even his faith (though he may think he has stood firm while all else around him has been changing).
Droleskey is a bright man. His having taught at a college shows that he has intellectual skills. Although his current writing suffers from logorrhea, I recollect thinking well of his long-ago articles in "The Wanderer." He has the courage of his convictions, as shown by his having devoted countless hours to political campaigns that had not even the remotest chance of success.
Some readers will ask, "If Droleskey is so marginal and can influence so few, why bring him up? Why not ignore him?" Partly because his is not a unique case--other people, also bright and diligent, have taken similar journeys--and partly because I can't help but feel for a person who so clearly wants to take the right path and who so clearly has missed it.
In my years in Catholic apologetics I have known or been aware of more than a handful of talented people who squandered their talents by becoming more Catholic than the pope. Droleskey is not the only one and is not the best-known one. I have mentioned others in earlier E-Letters, and I have mentioned them--and I mention Droleskey now--because orthodox Catholics are far more likely to be swayed by arguments made by people at that end of the spectrum than by people at Joan Chittister's end.
Mr. Keating has a short memory. We did meet, albeit briefly, when we were speakers at a Catholic Rendezvous at the Salisbury Inn in Lakeville, Connecticut, in November of 1987. He spoke at the conference, was genial and cordial with his hosts and his fellow speakers. All well and good. He then went back to San Diego and wrote a blistering review of the whole weekend experience, which he published in This Rock.
Mr. Keating is as entitled to express his views concerning my own work. And while I am very content to take "my lumps" in the public forum, seeing humiliation and misunderstanding as the path to be more united to Our Lord through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, there are a few points that I want to make for the sake of Catholic truth and to point out that there might be, just possibly, a preoccupation on Mr. Keating's part with money and material success as the measure of a man's work. He reveals an awful lot more about himself in his note about me than he realizes.
First, Mr. Keating does not inform his readers why I have called Benedict XVI an enemy of souls. I have called him an enemy of souls because he does not believe that the Catholic Church has a mission to seek with urgency the conversion of non-Catholics to her maternal bosom, thus revealing that he believes souls are perfectly safe unto eternity in other religions. When was there a time in the history of the Catholic Church prior to the death of Pope Pius XII that any pope expressed anything, whether before or after assuming the Throne of Saint Peter, that reaffirmed others in religions that do not provide them the safe harbor of salvation offered by the true Church, the Catholic Church?
Second, Mr. Keating makes it appear as though there is something wrong with one who takes a course of action that will appeal to only a handful of people. Did the Apostles, for instance, believe that they would receive a warm welcome from all who listened to them? Did they have a bountiful income from their not-for-profit organizations? Or were they content to trust totally in God as they went about the business of preaching the Gospel that had been entrusted to them? What, therefore, should it matter to any Catholic, no matter his stance in the midst of the crisis caused by conciliarism, that he is not popular or that his work will not be received well by others? Are popularity and material success the standard of "being on the right path?"
To wit, my running for public office on the Right to Life Party line in New York, which Mr. Keating seems to think was the highlight of my professional career, closed the doors to the continuation of my academic career as a full-time college professor. Feminists at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, wanted the College's then president, the late Miles Tomeraasen, to cancel my signed contract in the summer of 1992 because they had found out that I run for lieutenant governor of New York six years before. Long, long before my embrace of the Tradition of my childhood, doors were slammed shut in my face simply because I was known as a Catholic willing to defend the Faith as best I knew how at the time. This was not the path to career success or popularity in the academic world. So what? The only thing that mattered to me was teaching and speaking as a Catholic.
Unlike Mr. Keating, who seems to place a great value on money, which he references frequently in his note about me, there are Catholics who place a higher premium on, yes, being more Catholic than a "pope" who has spent his entire life deconstructing the authentic Tradition of the Catholic Church in favor of the "new theology" that was specifically and categorically condemned by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950. Money--or the lack thereof--makes one not one whit bitter than anyone else. There are faithful Catholics who have made a fortune honestly by using the talents that God has given them. Many of these people have used their wealth to support the apostolic work of others. Deo gratias! Others have, either voluntarily or because of the consequences of the decisions that they have made, forsaken such fortune to try, despite their sins and failings, to use their talents in behalf of the immutable teaching of the immutable God. The rich and the poor alike are called to be detached from the things of this world and to recognize, as Holy Job did, that all we have, both spiritually and materially, comes to us as a gratuitous gift from God and can be taken away in a flash.
Similarly, my work for The Wanderer closed a lot more doors than they opened. Archbishop Thomas Kelly, O.P., of Louisville, Kentucky, personally forbade me to speak in the undercroft of his cathedral in 1995. That undercroft was used for meetings by adherents of various Eastern "religions" (Hinduism, Buddhism), I was told at the time. However, I was unfit because I wrote for the hated Wanderer. Indeed, my association with The Wanderer, a newspaper known for its criticism of the bishops, made me, shall we say, not very welcome in some "conservative" Catholic colleges, where any criticism of a bishop, no matter how justified, was discouraged as a sign of "disobedience."
Third, everything around us has changed. We have seen the spectacle of the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church undermined and contradicted by the conciliar popes and bishops. This is without precedent in the history of the Church. Am I on the "fringe" for pointing out that God and His teaching are immutable, that no one, including a pope, has any authority to contradict the defined dogmas of the Church and to contradict the binding nature of teaching contained in the Church's Ordinary Magisterium?
Consider two examples to illustrate the fact that Mr. Keating is unwilling to provide to his readers.
The first comes from Pope Eugene IV's Papal Bull Cantate Domino, issued during the Council of Florence in 1441:
The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic Law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to divine worship at that time, after our Lord's coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts that they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time (the promulgation of the Gospel) observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors. . .
It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.
Does Mr. Keating want to contend that Benedict XVI believes in Cantate Domino? Where is the dogmatic proof that this dogmatic statement has been superseded?
Similarly, the clear statement provided by Pope Saint Pius X in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906, makes it clear that the separation of Church and State, which Benedict exalts as good in principle, not merely as a necessity of extenuating circumstances, is "absolutely false," reiterating the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church:
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error."
Was Pope Saint Pius X wrong? Had the Holy Ghost failed Pope Saint Pius X? Can the consistent doctrine of the Catholic Church be understood in different ways at different times, in full violation of the proposition that was anathematized by the First Vatican Council?
Hence, that meaning of the sacred dogmata is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be an abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.... If anyone says that it is possible that at some given time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmata propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has always understood and understands: let him be anathema.”
There is no reconciling the above papal pronouncements with the beliefs of Benedict XVI, who believes that Jews are saved by their "expectant waiting" for the Messiah and that the Church had to make a reconciliation with the "principles of 1789," a little matter that was condemned by Pope Leo XIII in Custodi Di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892:
Everyone should avoid familiarity or friendship with anyone suspected of belonging to masonry or to affiliated groups. Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God.
Pope Saint Pius X, yes, one of those "outdated" preconciliar popes who lived before the "enlightenment" of the Second Vatican Council, said the same thing in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
Our Apostolic Mandate requires from Us that We watch over the purity of the Faith and the integrity of Catholic discipline. It requires from Us that We protect the faithful from evil and error; especially so when evil and error are presented in dynamic language which, concealing vague notions and ambiguous expressions with emotional and high-sounding words, is likely to set ablaze the hearts of men in pursuit of ideals which, whilst attractive, are nonetheless nefarious. Such were not so long ago the doctrines of the so-called philosophers of the 18th century, the doctrines of the Revolution and Liberalism which have been so often condemned; such are even today the theories of the Sillon which, under the glowing appearance of generosity, are all too often wanting in clarity, logic and truth. These theories do not belong to the Catholic or, for that matter, to the French Spirit. . . .
And now, overwhelmed with the deepest sadness, We ask Ourselves, Venerable Brethren, what has become of the Catholicism of the Sillon? Alas! this organization which formerly afforded such promising expectations, this limpid and impetuous stream, has been harnessed in its course by the modern enemies of the Church, and is now no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer.
We know only too well the dark workshops in which are elaborated these mischievous doctrines which ought not to seduce clear-thinking minds. The leaders of the Sillon have not been able to guard against these doctrines. The exaltation of their sentiments, the undiscriminating good-will of their hearts, their philosophical mysticism, mixed with a measure of illuminism, have carried them away towards another Gospel which they thought was the true Gospel of Our Savior. To such an extent that they speak of Our Lord Jesus Christ with a familiarity supremely disrespectful, and that - their ideal being akin to that of the Revolution - they fear not to draw between the Gospel and the Revolution blasphemous comparisons for which the excuse cannot be made that they are due to some confused and over-hasty composition.
The philosophy of the Sillon condemned by Pope Saint Pius X is the same held by the former Joseph Ratzinger and enshrined in the ethos of the Second Vatican Council, at which he played a major role as a "peritus" (expert). Indeed, the then Cardinal Ratzinger said that the Church's pronouncements of the Nineteenth Century were outdated and that an "official reconciliation" with the "principles of 1789" had to be made:
If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text (Gaudium et Spes) as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty, and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of countersyllabus. Harnack, as we know, interpreted the Syllabus of Pius IX as nothing less than a declaration of war against his generation. This is correct insofar as the Syllabus established a line of demarcation against the determining forces of the nineteenth century: against the scientific and political world view of liberalism. In the struggle against modernism the twofold delimitation was ratified and strengthened. Since then many things have changed. The new ecclesiastical policy of Pius XI produced a certain openness toward a liberal understanding of the state. In a quiet but persistent struggle, exegesis and Church history adopted more and more the postulates of liberal science, and liberalism, too, was obliged to undergo many significant changes in the great political upheavals of the twentieth century. As a result, the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution and was, to a large extent, corrected via facti, especially in Central Europe, but there was still no basic statement of the relationship that should exist between the Church and the world that had come into existence after 1789. In fact, an attitude that was largely pre-revolutionary continued to exist in countries with strong Catholic majorities. Hardly anyone will deny today that the Spanish and Italian Concordat strove to preserve too much of a view of the world that no longer corresponded to the facts. Hardly anyone will deny today that, in the field of education and with respect to the historico-critical method in modern science, anachronisms existed that corresponded closely to this adherence to an obsolete Church-state relationship. Only a careful investigation of the different ways in which acceptance of the new era was accomplished in various parts of the Church could unravel the complicated network of causes that formed the background of the "Pastoral Constitution". and only thus can the dramatic history of its influence be brought to light.
Let us be content to say here that the text serves as a countersyllabus and, as such, represents on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789. Only from this perspective can we understand, on the one hand, the ghetto-mentality, of which we have spoken above; only from this perspective can we understand, on the other hand, the meaning of the remarkable meeting of the Church and the world. Basically, the word "world" means the spirit of the modern era, in contrast to which the Church's group-consciousness saw itself as a separate subject that now, after a war that had been in turn both hot and cold, was intent on dialogue and cooperation.
Joseph Ratzinger called as "obsolete" the consistent teaching of the Church on her relationship with the civil state that was reiterated so forcefully by Popes Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius X. He endorses a "reconciliation" with the very principles that Popes Leo XIII said without equivocation were from Belial. Oh, yes, I am the problem here, not conciliarism and its apologists. Silly little schismatic me. How stupid of me to eschew popularity and material prosperity for so unnecessarily pointing out such things.
Yes, how stupid and practically imprudent of me to point out that Pope Saint Pius X stated in Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907, that the Modernists desire exactly that Benedict XVI believes is in full conformity with Catholic doctrine, the separation of Church and State:
But it is not only within her own household that the Church must come to terms. Besides her relations with those within, she has others with those who are outside. The Church does not occupy the world all by herself; there are other societies in the world., with which she must necessarily have dealings and contact. The rights and duties of the Church towards civil societies must [according to the Modernists], therefore, be determined, and determined, of course, by her own nature, that, to wit, which the Modernists have already described to us. The rules to be applied in this matter are clearly those which have been laid down for science and faith, though in the latter case the question turned upon the object, while in the present case we have one of ends. In the same way, then, as faith and science are alien to each other by reason of the diversity of their objects, Church and State are strangers by reason of the diversity of their ends, that of the Church being spiritual while that of the State is temporal. Formerly it was possible to subordinate the temporal to the spiritual and to speak of some questions as mixed, conceding to the Church the position of queen and mistress in all such, because the Church was then regarded as having been instituted immediately by God as the author of the supernatural order. But this doctrine is today repudiated alike by philosophers and historians. The state must [according to the Modernists], therefore, be separated from the Church, and the Catholic from the citizen. Every Catholic, from the fact that he is also a citizen, has the right and the duty to work for the common good in the way he thinks best, without troubling himself about the authority of the Church, without paying any heed to its wishes, its counsels, its orders -- nay, even in spite of its rebukes. For the Church to trace out and prescribe for the citizen any line of action, on any pretext whatsoever, is to be guilty of an abuse of authority, against which one is bound to protest with all one's might. Venerable Brethren, the principles from which these doctrines spring have been solemnly condemned by Our predecessor, Pius VI, in his Apostolic Constitution Auctorem fidei.
Is Benedict XVI free to ignore the condemnation of the separation of Church and State? He is not. Pope Pius XI noted the that the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church reiterated so forcefully by his immediate predecessors binds all Catholics and that those who dissent from it are indeed Modernists. This is what he wrote in Ubi Aracano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:
Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.
There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism.
It is necessary ever to keep in mind these teachings and pronouncements which We have made; it is no less necessary to reawaken that spirit of faith, of supernatural love, and of Christian discipline which alone can bring to these principles correct understanding, and can lead to their observance. This is particularly important in the case of youth, and especially those who aspire to the priesthood, so that in the almost universal confusion in which we live they at least, as the Apostle writes, will not be "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive." (Ephesians iv, 14)
The bishops and priests in the sedevacantist venues in which we now assist at Holy Mass and in which I have spoken and will continue to speak in upcoming months dissent from not one whit of the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church. Can the same be said of Benedict and his fellow conciliarists?
It is also evident that Mr. Karl Keating lacks a sense of humor. The appeal on the "home page" of this site that includes a "pretty please" request for contributions is made tongue-in-cheek. It replaced something along the lines of an equally facetious reference to the "freeloaders" who go on the site without contributing anything. Lighten up, Mr. Keating. While I take my work seriously, I don't take myself so seriously that I can't have a bit of fun as I attempt to point out the obvious fact that we do indeed have few supporters.
Mr. Keating also seems to be confused about how we make a living. Well, there's no confusion here. We don't make a living, if by that you mean having regular, predictable income. Our Lady gives us just what we need to keep us going from month to month. We come awfully close to bottoming out sometimes. As my dear wife says, "There are some times we go 'belly up.'" That's all right. This keeps us on our knees. And it is does not matter at all how many people come to my talks or who read this site. Everything is in God's Holy Providence.
Indeed, I was approached by a classmate of mine from Oyster Bay High School during our class of 1969's twenty-sixth year reunion in August of 1995. The man, a very wealthy attorney, asked me, "Tom, are you a success?" Missing not a beat, I told him, "Oh, no, Peter. I'm a terrible failure. I have no full-time job. I have no regular income. I have no savings. I have no health insurance. I'm a miserable failure in this world. And I'm terribly happy. How are you?" Is money the measure of one's success? I hope not.
Finally, I am very sorry that Mr. Keating's researchers did not unearth the thing that I am probably most known for in this passing world. Ah, yes, Mr. Keating is very correct in assessing the small number of traditional Catholics in this country, a testament to the success of the conciliarist revolution, to be sure. His people, though, surely missed the ball, pun intended, when they failed to unearth the fact that I am probably best known--and to millions upon millions of people--as The Lone Ranger of Shea Stadium!
Although I walked out of Shea Stadium for good on July 16, 2002, when a certain product once popularized by Bob Dole was being advertised in full view of children, who were asking their parents about the nature of the product and why it was being advertised in the ball park that day, I am still known as the man who dressed up in a hat-and-mask at the big ball park in Queens, which has only two more years of life in it before it will be torn down for a new facility that is now under construction, for the better part of twenty-six years, keeping up the act over the years solely because the fans around me said that it brought a smile to their faces.
An article in the July 30, 2006, edition of The New York Daily News, came to my attention recently. Written by John Michael Lauinger, the article detailed the activities of a fan, Edwin (Cowbell Man) Boison, who walks around Shea Stadium ringing a cow bell, shades of Hilda Chester at Ebbets Field during the heydays of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Mr. Lauinger noted the following in his article:
As such, Boison, who lives in the Bronx, is heir to a superfan tradition pioneered at Shea by the likes of Karl (Sign Man) Ehrhardt and Thomas Droleskey, the self-proclaimed "Lone Ranger of Shea Stadium."
It is nice to know that I am remembered after being away for four years. I do indeed miss the ball park personnel and the fans who sat near my season seat. I could not, however, continue to patronize a sport while it participated in the further coarsening of popular culture. My timing, as always, was, humanly speaking, terrible. We were in the midst of promoting my book, There Is No Cure for This Condition, about the early years of the Mets and what led up to my "act" at Shea Stadium in 1976 when I walked out, thereby forfeiting a radio interview with Ed Coleman on WFAN Radio before a Mets' game later in 2002. Although the book was favorably reviewed by Andy Esposito in the official newspaper of the Mets, Inside Pitch, in October of 2002, sales dropped quickly after my departure and subsequent protest. We've got plenty of copies in reserve in a storage facility in Bethpage, Long Island, New York, for those who are interested.
I am sorry that Mr. Keating did not point any of this out to his readers. It's just never been about the "money," you see. It never will be. Although Holy Poverty found me over the years without my looking for it deliberately, I am glad that it did. It was good enough for the Holy Family of Nazareth. I am blessed beyond all telling to have a wife and a daughter content to live an uncertain and often tenuous life as I write what I believe I must for the good of souls.
Yes, I guess, we in the Droleskey family must be stupid or crazy or both for taking seriously these words of Our Lord, which He uttered during the Sermon on the Mount:
Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment?
Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith?
Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. (Mt. 6. 25-34)
The Sisters of Mercy who taught at Saint Aloysius School in Great Neck, New York, during the time I was there (1956-1962) impressed the fact upon me that we were baptized and confirmed to be soldiers in the Army of Christ, that we must resist the tendency to succumb to human respect and to seek popularity at the cost of the truths of the Catholic Faith, thus placing our souls in jeopardy. Although I am aware that the essays I have written comparing the consistent teaching of the Church with the novelties and innovations of conciliarism have angered many people, including former friends and colleagues who no longer speak to me and whose friiendship is indeed dearly missed, I am also aware that I am fully answerable for each of my actions and words and thoughts to God Himself at the moment of my Particular Judgment, something that I do not take lightly at all. The Particular Judgment rendered on my soul--and on each of our souls--will made manifest to all on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead. Those who think they see everything so clearly now may just have a few surprises in store for them at that time. May we never been too quick to judge people on the basis of popularity or material success.
Actually, Mr. Keating has done us quite a favor. His very amusing note about us should be read as an introduction to my next few talks. The two or three people who attend those talks will find his note quite informative. There is nothing but a smile on my face as reflect on how truly blessed I am to have a family that is willing to take a path considered utter madness by so many as I simply point out the perennial teaching of the Church to, yes, very, very small groups of people. While people can disagree about the conclusions I have reached concerning the nature of our ecclesiastical situation, anyone who refuses to see the conflict between the authentic teaching of the Church and the novelties and innovations of the past forty years that have so devastated souls, both in and out of the Church, is being willfully blind to the truth of our situation.
May Our Lady, to whose Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart we must be totally consecrated (you do agree with this, Mr. Keating, right?), help us to pray for each other, especially those with whom we disagree and/or who think ill of us and our work, as we stand by the foot of her Divine Son's Holy Cross each day at the unbloody representation of the Sacrifice of Calvary that is the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. May our prayers and penances and mortifications and humiliations be offered to the Blessed Trinity through that same Immaculate Heart to bring about the day in which Tradition will be restored in the Church and Christendom in the world.
Vivat Christus Rex! Vivat Maria Regina Immaculata!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Januarius, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Cupertino, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.