Translated from the French Third Edition by Michael J. Miller
When nineteenth century Christendom shifted its allegiance from a divine vertical authority to the horizontal revolutionary ideals of egalitarian democracy and false liberty, Dom Guéranger’s erudite polemical masterpiece contributed more than any other contemporary work to uphold the papal monarchy in all of its divinely ordained prerogatives. This labor of the holy abbot helped to restore in Catholic Europe the spiritual sword, as well as the magisterial cathedra, to the Vicar of Christ the King. And he did so, not by any clever manipulative abuse of language, but simply by appealing to the simplicity and clarity of the gospels, universal Christian tradition, and the common consensus fidelis. The brilliant hypothetical scenario, drawn by the author, of a college of a dozen apostles, called by Christ, but without a “Cephas” (a Rock) in Peter and his successors, presents even the infant “collegial” church in such an unenviable plight that one might pity them even more than one might pity the Methodists or Seventh Day Adventists, had any of them been at the marriage feast of Cana.
“You have rendered an extremely useful service to the Church by undertaking to refute the main proposition (of the Gallican conciliarists), and by demonstrating their hostile, impetuous , and contrived character; you have accomplished this with such solid arguments, such brilliance, and such an abundance of evidence drawn from sacred antiquity and ecclesiastical science, that — conveying many things in few words — you have proved empty the pretense of wisdom of those who have wrapped their opinion in ignorant talk.” — Brief of Blessed Pope Pius IX to Dom Guéranger concerning the publication of The Papal Monarchy.
Introduction to the 1st English Edition – Gary Potter
No decade of the 19th century in France was without its heroes of the Catholic Faith. This is not to speak of the many saints produced in that nation during those hundred years, numerous of them long since canonized and others yet to be. But, we speak of bishops, priests, religious and laymen who set about rebuilding and then fortifying a Church whose total destruction was sought by the Revolution that had exploded politically in 1789, was already spreading around the world, and intended to become – as by our day it has generally succeeded in doing most everywhere in ex-Christendom – the dominating influence in the lives of individual men by substituting itself for the Faith in the life of society. In the middle of the century, Dom Prosper Guéranger, Abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Solesmes, was in the first rank of these heroes. He marched there alongside such fellow warriors as Edouard Cardinal Pie, Bishop of Poitiers; Ven. Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon, founder of the Assumptionist Fathers; and Louis Veuillot, the journalist. Besides being fellow warriors, they were all personal friends.
Born in 1805 and deceased 70 years later in 1875, Dom Guéranger’s chief contributions to the renewal of the Church in his time and within France were the revival of French Benedictine monasticism, which he accomplished nearly single-handedly, and helping establish the Roman liturgy in place of the hodgepodge of diocesan rites that had prevailed since the rise of Gallicanism. For the Universal Church Militant he oversaw the rescue of pure Gregorian Chant, a precious treasure that was almost lost. More importantly, together with Louis Veuillot he did as much as anyone to beat back opposition to the definition as dogmas of two Catholic beliefs which, once defined, became de fide – “of the Faith”. That is to speak of beliefs men must hold in order to be able legitimately to call themselves Catholic.
Building Something Beautiful For God –
To Last A Thousand Years
Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey is a Benedictine community belonging to the Solesmes Congregation and, like other monasteries of the Solesmes Congregation, is to be counted among the institutes entirely ordered towards contemplation. It was founded in 1999 from the Abbey of Our Lady of Fontgombault in France and is located in the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Clear Creek became an abbey in 2010 and counts 55 monks, who devote themselves to God alone in the hidden life, in silence and solitude, in constant prayer and willing penance.
After twenty years of existence, we are happy, by the grace of God, to have completed two large buildings and a sizable portion of our abbatial church. We started building the “Chapter House” to accommodate the growing number of monks and provide a Sacristy, Infirmary, classrooms and the Chapter itself. Please help us continue this arduous, but important work for the glory of God.
Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey
5804 W Monastery Road
Hulbert, OK 74441-5698
Phone (918) 772-2454