The role of women in rebuilding Christian civilisation (Part II)
16 March 2022
by Maria Madise
This short series of articles considers how the revolution against Christian civilisation has sought to instrumentalise women and womanhood and, consequently, how its restoration is dependent on the role that women will play. In the first part, we looked at how the choice between the way of Eve and the way of Mary has been placed before each woman and, furthermore, how love of sacrifice and perseverance are what the revolution seeks to destroy in every single woman as well as in every culture. In the attacks against Christian civilisation, these are intrinsically related, because the woman who can nurture souls, can also nurture the culture. The second part of this article will look more closely at how each episode of the revolution sought to appeal to women and to deform their authentic mission.
Woman and revolutions
Let us recall that revolution is the attack on God’s order. It is a movement that aims to destroy a legitimate order and replace it with an illegitimate power. It is the subversion of the moral order and denial of God. Dr Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira explained in his important work Revolution and Counter-Revolution that all significant revolutions in history – whether the Protestant Reformation, the French or Communist revolutions, or any of the more localised and smaller-scale forms of revolution – are fruits of the same tree: the denial of God and His order.1 He also argues that each instance of revolution incorporates all those previous to it, so that the key elements of the Reformation can be seen in the French Revolution, and the key elements of both the Reformation and French Revolution are seen in the Communist Revolution and so on. Given that the aim of revolution is to destroy the Christian order, naturally, the aim of the counter-revolution is to stop the revolution and to restore the authentic Christian civilisation in its beauty, goodness and truth.
How, then, did each episode of the revolution seek to appeal to women and deform their mission? The Reformation and the French Revolution tempted the woman to rebel against her position in society. The Communist revolution turned the rebellion against her position in the family. The sexual revolution incited rebellion against her very womanhood. In the current phase of the revolution we see an attempt to spread these errors in the Church.
We cannot study these attempts fully in the scope of this article. However, we can identify some of the key elements in the main episodes of the revolution in connection with women in order to strengthen our commitment to Our Lady’s counter-revolutionary army today.
Early progress of the revolution against Christian civilisation
Some of the essential factors in the Protestant revolution which Dr Corrêa de Oliveira identifies are: loss of the love of sacrifice, loss of true devotion to the Cross; the rise of sensuality and regard for man’s own merits; the rise of the natural above the supernatural.2 He goes on to explain:
“Pride begot the spirit of doubt, free examination and naturalistic interpretation of Scripture, and revolt against superiority which wrought ecclesiastical egalitarianism… On the moral plane, the triumph of sensuality was affirmed by the suppression of priestly celibacy and by the introduction of divorce.” 3
This first distinct episode of the revolution in the Christian world laid out the plan for destroying the protective walls of Christian morality – enshrined in the commandments and sanctified by the sacraments.
We could make two observations here in connection to women. Firstly, the long-term consequence of the growth of pride and sensuality became evident in the later stages of the revolution, especially in the Communist and sexual revolution, when divorce, combined with its allies, contraception and abortion, ensnared women in moral chaos. Though it took time to reach this point, we should not miss the first blow to the sacramental order of marriage, which made all further blows possible.
Secondly, we cannot ignore the inevitable and immediate conflict between these developments and the Blessed Virgin who is a constant reminder of God’s order. From this early episode of the revolution in the Christian world, statues of Our Lady, her images and devotions had to be violently removed in pursuit of the design that so wholly contradicted her.
Like the Reformation, the French Revolution entered into a direct conflict with the blessed Virgin. A “Goddess of Reason” was enthroned in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. A temple of Philosophy was erected in the nave and decorated with busts of philosophers. At its base was an altar dedicated to Reason, and before it a torch of truth. The true Seat of Wisdom, however, was driven from her own cathedral.
According to Dr Corrêa de Oliveira, the French Revolution was “the heir of Renaissance neopaganism and Protestantism, with which it had a profound affinity”.4
“The political work of the French Revolution was but the transposition of the ‘reform’, which the more radical Protestant sects had adopted in the matter of ecclesiastical organisation, to the sphere of the State; the revolt against the King corresponded to the revolt against the Pope; the revolt of the common people against the nobles, to the revolt of the ecclesiastical ‘common people’ – the faithful – against the ‘aristocracy’ of the Church – the clergy.” 5
Central to the French Revolution was the emergence of the Freemasonic lodges and the role they played in spreading revolutionary ideas. When the instruction of Alta Vendita (Italian high lodge) came to light, it revealed a strategic plan to subvert the Catholic Church. Both Pope Pius IX and Pope Leo XIII ordered this revolutionary document to be made public. Also, the letters, which have survived from the members of the lodge, leave little room for doubt of their plan:
“Catholicism does not fear a very sharp sword any more than the monarchies feared it. But, these two foundations of Social Order can collapse under corruption; let us never tire of corrupting them… from the blood of martyrs Christians are born; let us not make martyrs; but, let us popularise vice among the multitudes; may they breathe it through their five senses; may they drink it and be saturated. Make vicious hearts and there will be no more Catholics.
“It is corruption on a large scale which we have undertaken… a corruption that should one day enable us to lead the Church to its grave. Lately, I heard one of our friends laughing philosophically at our projects saying: ‘To destroy Catholicism, we should do away with women.’ The idea is good in a certain way, but since we cannot get rid of women, let us corrupt them along with the Church. Corruptio optimi, pessima. [“The corruption of the best is the worst of all”] The best dagger with which to strike the Church is corruption.” 6
Notably, in this correspondence, women were considered to have an important role in the universal corruption of Catholicism. In hindsight, we see how this programme of corruption was determinedly pursued and in association with the feminist movement in the 1960s, these efforts bore ample fruit. In remarkable continuity with the Masonic letters of the previous century, the magazine L’Humanisme wrote at that time:
“The first conquest to be done is the conquest of women. Woman must be freed from the chains of the Church and from the law. […] To break down Catholicism, we must begin by suppressing the dignity of women, we must corrupt them together with the Church. We spread the practice of nudity: first the arms, then the legs, then all the rest. In the end, people will go around naked, or almost, without batting an eyelid. And, once modesty has been removed, the sense of the sacred will be extinguished, morality will be weakened and faith will die of asphyxiation.”7
Until recently, the Church zealously protected the purity of her daughters. In his address to a group of Catholic girls, Pope Pius XII lamented:
“Many women… give in to the tyranny of fashion, even when it is immodest, and in such a way as not to even appear to suspect what is unbecoming. They have lost the very concept of danger: they have lost the instinct of modesty.” 8
Later, the same Pope commented on the inherent connection between the morals of an individual and the morals of the culture and the nation, so well-known to the enemies of the Church:
“It is often said, almost with passive resignation, that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilisation.” 9
Our Lady herself issued warnings against the corruption of her daughters. She said in Fatima:
“Certain fashions are to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much. Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions. Our Lord is always the same.”
Already much earlier, 1594-1634, in Quito, Ecuador, Our Lady of Good Success had said:
“Unbridled passions will give way to a total corruption of customs because Satan will reign through the Masonic sects, targeting the children in particular to ensure general corruption. In those times the atmosphere will be saturated with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy sea, will engulf the streets and public places with incredible license… Innocence will scarcely be found in children, or modesty in women.”10
The Communist Revolution instrumentalised women to its enormous profit. In his article “A Great Beginning” (1919), Vladimir Lenin asserted that “we have far more organising talent among the working and peasant women than we are aware of.”11 And the party vowed that it is principally important to employ these talents in state business and social work. With that manoeuvre, the family was left to be mothered by the state.
The influential Communist women Inessa Armand (1874-1920), a member of the executive committee of the Bolshevik party, and Lenin’s lover; and Alexandra Kollontai (1872-1952), the first Soviet People’s Commissar for Social Welfare, argued that sexual liberation was a necessary premise for the realisation of a socialist society. Kollontai wrote, in 1920, in the journal Kommunistka:
“In place of the individual and egoistic family, a great universal family of workers will develop, in which … men and women, will above all be comrades … These new relations will ensure for humanity all the joys of a love unknown in the commercial society, of a love that is free and based on the true social equality of the partners … The red flag of the social revolution, which flies above Russia and is now being hoisted aloft in other countries of the world, proclaims the approach of the heaven on earth.” 12
In 1921 she explained:
“The economic subjugation of women in marriage and the family is done away with, and responsibility for the care of the children and their physical and spiritual education is assumed by the social collective. The family teaches and instils egoism thus weakening the ties of the collective and hindering the construction of communism.” 13
Nothing like the powerful alliance of Communism and feminism has employed women more ferociously in the destruction of the family. To assume their responsibilities as “talented organisers” they were either to abort their children or hand them over to the Communist educational model that in the words of Kollontai, would “take upon itself all the duties involved in the education of a child.”14 Once the family was out of the way, immorality and liberalism would pave the way to “free love”. Incidentally, sex education in our schools today is the fruit of the seeds sown at this stage of the revolution.
Lenin congratulated himself on the progress made with regard to the position of women. He claimed:
“In this field, not a single democratic party in the world, not even in the most advanced bourgeois republic, has done in decades so much as a hundredth part of what we did in our very first year in power. We really razed to the ground the infamous laws placing women in a position of inequality.”15
The speed of the Bolshevik attack on the true mission of women and the family was remarkable indeed. On 17 December 1917, a few weeks after Bolsheviks seized power, divorce was introduced; in 1920 abortion was legalised without restriction (Soviet Russia was the first country in the world to allow this); in 1922 prostitution and homosexuality were decriminalised.16 In 1923 Leon Trotsky wrote: “The first period of family destruction is still far from being achieved. The disintegration process is in full swing.”17
Communist movements grew out of the French Revolution, which was the heir to the Protestant revolution – and nothing could be more logical, as Dr Corrêa de Oliveira explains:
“The normal fruit of deism is atheism. Sensuality, revolting against the fragile obstacles of divorce, tends of itself toward free love. Pride, enemy of all superiority, finally had to attack the last inequality – that of wealth. Drunk with dreams of a one-world republic, of the suppression of all ecclesiastical or civil authority, of the abolition of any Church, and of the abolition of the State itself after a transitional dictatorship of the workers, the revolutionary process now brings us the twentieth-century neo-barbarian – its most recent and extreme product.” 18
On the eve of the Communists’ seizure of power, the Blessed Virgin appeared in Fatima. Her Immaculate Heart desired the Consecration of Russia, to prevent it from spreading its errors throughout the world. But the world had rejected the humble Virgin and enthroned the common woman worker instead.
In the realm of the family, the sexual revolution was the refinement and globalisation of the Communist revolution. When considering the territories and populations conquered by Communist regimes, we see that at this stage, the revolution had truly built an empire. Dr Corrêa de Oliveira also points out that through its networks and infiltration of every social and professional sphere “the Third Revolution applies with devastating efficacy the tactics of psychological conquest.” 19
What the sexual revolution added to the refinement and spread of the revolution was contraception. In her book Adam and Eve after the Pill, Mary Eberstadt notes:
“[I]t may be possible to imagine the Pill being invented without the sexual revolution that followed, but imagining the sexual revolution without the Pill and other modern contraceptives simply cannot be done.”20
The pill redefined the most fundamental human relationships. It is perhaps the single greatest change in the relationship between men and women since the Fall. The individual and social consequences of contraception predicted by Humanae Vitae (1968), including 1) lower moral standards; 2) greater infidelity; 3) less respect for women by men; and 4) coercive use of reproductive technology by governments, are all fully vindicated today.
Nothing has ever done more for woman than Christianity. But nothing has enslaved and harmed women more than “sexual liberation”. There is ample empirical evidence, presented by Eberstadt in her book, that people in faithful married relationships “score better on all kinds of measures of well-being”. Other data “testifies to the proposition that families headed by a married couple are better off than those headed by a cohabiting couple.”21 Children who grow up with both of their biological parents do better emotionally, financially, educationally, mentally than children who grow up with a single parent.22 The best research tells us that lifelong, faithful marriage is better for children, better for adults and better for society.
The ideological principle that women need to be freed from marriage and their own fertility in order to enjoy unrestricted sexual relations, along with its permanent back-up plan, abortion, is a lie that subjects them to a grave injustice. It robs them of their right to be honoured and protected as women.
As a result of continued offences against God, woman “was severely punished in the very domain of her glory – to give life”.23 Only she is no longer suffering in the pain of childbirth, but rather in the fruitless pain of the sacrifice of her children on the altars of the revolution. The moral blindness of our society has grown to the extent that the killing of fifty million unborn children worldwide each year is no longer considered a crime that cries out to heaven. Consequently, millions of women walk the earth who are wounded to the core: in their femininity, motherhood and ability to love, to say nothing of those who share these wounds, even if they also share responsibility for inflicting them.
After being tempted to rebel against God, against man, against her family and children, the woman is incited to rebel against her own nature and against womanhood. G.K. Chesterton wrote that the feminist is someone who “dislikes the chief feminine characteristics” and that “feminists want to destroy womanhood”.24 Alice von Hildebrand added, “the new age philosophy of feminism, in waging war on femininity, is in fact waging war on Christianity. For in the divine plan both are intimately linked.”25 Feminism leaves the culture without femininity, without the mother and without the queen.
The last part of this article will consider some of the attempts to spread the revolution in the Church through women and will draw some practical conclusions for the role of women in fulfilling our hope to restore a truly Christian civilisation.
- See Dr Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), Spring Grove 2008.
- Dr Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, TFP, Spring Grove 2008, pp. 14-16.
- Ibid., p. 16.
- Ibid., p. 17.
- Letter of Vindice to Nubius [pen-names of two leaders of the Italian ‘Alta Vendita’], dated 9August 1838, International Review of Freemasonry, 1928; quoted by Robert T. Hart in Those Who Serve God Should Not Follow the Fashions, Little Flowers Family Press 2017, p. 6.
- Quoted by Virginia Coda Nunziante in Countering the Challenges of Today’s Society as Catholic Women, Voice of the Family 2018; https://voiceofthefamily.com/countering-the-challenges-of-todays-society-as-catholic-women/
- Pius XII, Address to a group of Catholic Action girls on 6 Oct. 1940, quoted by Robert T. Hart inThose Who Serve God Should Not Follow the Fashions, Little Flowers Family Press 2017, p. 5.
- Pope Pius XII, Address to a Congress of the “Latin Union of High Fashion”, 8 Nov. 1957; quoted by Robert T. Hart in Those Who Serve God Should Not Follow the Fashions, Little Flowers Family Press 2017, p. 26.
- Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success About Our Times, TFP 2000.
- Vladimir Lenin, A Great Beginning, Marxists Internet Archive, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/jun/19.htm
- Alexandra Kollontai, Communism and the Family, first published in Komunistka, No. 2, 1920, https://www.marxists.org/archive/kollonta/1920/communism-family.htm
- Alexandra Kollontai, Theses on Communist Morality in the Sphere of Marital Relations, first published in Kommunistka, No. 12, 1921, https://www.marxists.org/archive/kollonta/1920/communism-family.htm
- Vladimir Lenin, A Great Beginning, Marxists Internet Archive, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/jun/19.htm
- Cf. Givanni Cadevilla, Dalla Rivoluzione bolscevica alla Federazione Russa, Froanco Angeli, Rome 1996; quoted by Prof. Roberto de Mattei, A History of Revolutions and their Consequences for the Family, Voice of the Family 2017, https://voiceofthefamily.com/roberto-de-mattei-a-history-of-revolutions-and-their-effects-on-the-family/
- Leon Trotskij, Problems of everyday life, Monad Press, New York 1986, p. 37, quoted by Prof. Roberto de Mattei, A History of Revolutions and their Consequences for the Family, Voice of the Family 2017, https://voiceofthefamily.com/roberto-de-mattei-a-history-of-revolutions-and-their-effects-on-the-family/
- Dr Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, TFP, Spring Grove 2008, p. 18.
- Ibid, p. 130.
- Mary Eberstadt, Adam and Eve before the Pill. Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, Ignatius Press, San Francisco 2012, p. 12.
- Ibid., p. 25.
- Ibid., p. 27-30.
- Alice von Hildebrand, The Privilege of Being a Woman, Sapientia Press, Ave Maria 2002, p. x.
- Quoted in ibid., p. 2 and p. 8.
- Ibid, p. 32.