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Desire to Destroy -
A Ray of Light in the Prevailing Darkness


Michael J. Matt

Book-review on Animus Delendi I [Desire to Destroy I] by Atila Sinke Guimarães
(Los Angeles: TIA, 2000), 503 pp.


Animus Delendi I

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Having touched just briefly, elsewhere in this issue, on the futility of Traditional Catholics attempting to frame their positions in such as way as to prevent the enemy from laughing, I am now eager to point to a new book that is so scholarly in its approach and so irrefutable in its documentation that it just might reduce the enemy to tears of frustration rather than tears from laughter. I am referring to Atila Sinke Guimarães’ new book, Animus Delendi – I (Desire to Destroy). This book is the eagerly awaited second volume (though fourth part) of the 11-volume series Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabacthani? (My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?) of which the incomparable In the Murky Waters of Vatican II was the first.

The reader of Desire to Destroy has the stage set at the outset for what’s to come when he reads the rather unsettling quote from Cardinal Giuseppe Siri (just inside the cover of the book): “If the Church were not divine, this Council [Vatican II] would have buried her.” From this point on, the reader is schooled, not so much in an historical recount of the events of the Council, but rather in the underlying philosophy that animated it and the men who conjured up its “spirit” in the Council’s aftermath.

The reviewer of Desire to Destroy would have quite a time deciding which of the countless passages taken from leading progressivist thinkers, popes and theologians provides the most convincing evidentiary “giveaway” of just how real the planned destruction of the Church (as we knew it) from within actually was. The case that this destruction was planned and premeditated is made (according to evidence brought forward by the progressivists themselves) again and again and again in this book.

We’ve all read quotations, for example, from Pope Paul VI or Cardinal Ratzinger which speak of the Church passing through a period of auto-destruction or auto-demolition. Many Traditionalists have cited these quotes as evidence that Vatican II failed and that even high-ranking ecclesial officials are as much as admitting that we have to return to tradition. Au contraire, says Mr. Guimaraes. Yes, this auto-destruction is pointed out by some of these modern churchmen, but this is not the same as saying that they lament it or that it in any way means that they are pining away for a resurgence of Catholic tradition.

One dimension of Desire to Destroy is to show that, far from lamenting the Church’s auto-destruction, men such as Paul VI and Cardinal Ratzinger are commentating on an ongoing process by which the ancient medieval fortress, the Catholic Church, is destroying her former self so that she can be born again into something much better. The Council and especially the infamous “spirit of the Council” were about bringing down - destroying - the old hierarchical Church and setting the stage for the “natural” development of so-called “small communities” that, in the future, will become the pieces that constitute the whole of the modern Catholic Church. So the vocation crisis, for example, could be seen as a kind of prerequisite for this evolutionary process. With a strong priesthood, the Church could not change herself. With a universal priest shortage, on the other hand…well, anything is possible.

And, so, the priesthood in America is now being called a “homosexual profession.” Seminaries are rumored to be recruiting homosexuals because of their “pastoral sensitivity.” The priesthood is being destroyed, and yet hardly a bishop or a cardinal or a pope is doing anything to counter the crisis. Why? Because the old “patriarchal” sacerdotal Catholic Church is being purged; she is morphing herself into the “people’s church.” For this to happen, the priesthood has to be…shall we say…revamped in accordance with the spirit of Vatican II.

That’s right! The revolution was planned at every level. The Church closings had to happen. The crisis in the priesthood was a vital part of the process. The discarding of liturgical traditions as a means of separating Catholics from the old Church was a key component to permanent change. It was all planned, anticipated and orchestrated at the very highest levels of the post-conciliar epoch.

This is not to say that all the men who were behind the Council were necessarily in league with Satan. No, many of them truly believed that they were doing the right thing by helping to build this new kind of Catholic Church. They believed that the time had come for the old Church, the papacy and the hierarchical system to go and that, for the future survival of the Church in the modern world, she must purge herself of her former self and adopt a progressivist, sort of Protestantized new face. She had to become “more human,” “more real,” and more acceptable to the non-Catholic world. Many of these men were duped. Many were used. Some were malicious. But in the end, the progressivist desire to destroy was nevertheless realized - churches were dynamited, sanctuaries were bulldozed, statues pulverized, catechisms scrapped, the papal tiara sold, popes were elected (not crowned), etc., etc. All of it was planned. All of it was intentional. All of it is now well documented.

In this powerful new book, the movers and shakers like Chenu, Ratzinger, Congar, Schillebeeckx, Rahner, Hans Kung and Bas are placed in the proper context of the roles they played in drawing up the philosophical blueprint for the “cleansing” of the “medieval” Church and the setting up of the new and progressive Church composed of the countless “small communities” that we see forming at the parish level already.

Yes, Paul VI spoke of the Church going through a “mysterious process of auto-demolition.” But, once again, was he merely commentating, or was he lamenting? Since he did nothing to forestall this “mysterious process,” it seems evident that he was commentating.

This was the purpose of the Council - to bring about the total revamping of the Church as the world had always known her. And to do this, old errors, which were for centuries condemned, now came to be tolerated in the Church by this mysterious “spirit of the Council” as though they were new and progressive. The ambiguous and weak 16 documents of the Council were twisted and turned until error was, as far as the man in the pew could tell, institutionalized in the name of the Council. Finally, Catholics didn’t know what was officially being taught or denied. Chaos was installed.

The hierarchical, sacral and monarchic characteristics of the Church were destroyed, while man-centered liturgies were being concocted out of whole cloth. The pope -stripped of his crown and his coronation - became a man of the people…a kind of superstar for the masses…similar to a president at worst, and, at best, to what Mr. Guimaraes terms a “constitutional monarch.” Mr. Guimaraes puts it quite succinctly, really: the “pope-king” was suppressed while the “pope-president” was established.

The investing of Pope John Paul II

Abandonment of the monarchical symbols. John Paul II was invested as Pope without tiara or the coronation oath
This book will leave the reader stunned. The brazenness of the plot to destroy the old Church is staggering in its audacity. And, yet, the premise of this monumental book - that the infamous spirit of the Council (and, to a large extent, the Council itself) guided this planned auto-destruction towards fruition - is not substantiated by the opinions and conjectures of Mr. Guimarães. Rather, it is substantiated by, of all things, a slew of quotation marks - that is, the spoken and written words of some of the most important men in the Church during the Council and immediately afterwards. This book is heavy with quotations and footnotes and, as such, stands completely on it own - sans the opinions of its author - in its frightening indictments. Mr. Guimarães has merely done the research and the compilation; the progressivists did the rest. Mr. Guimarães stands by silently, like a conscientious reporter with his microphone turned on, recording all that they said, all that they boasted about and all that they admitted to. When they had finally finished talking, it’s as if he sat down and wrote it all down. Voila - Desire to Destroy emerges!

Indeed, after all they admitted, little commentary is required. But, because of the exhaustive compilation of the self-incriminating evidence that the progressivists have brought against themselves since the Council, the book is a gold mine. It’s the perfect case because it convicts the accused, not with idle allegation on the part of a biased prosecutor, but rather with the actual words spoken by the accused themselves.

In citing Mr. Guimarães’ copious use of footnotes, I don’t want to leave the reader with the impression that this book is a laborious read. In one sense, the book is like reading transcripts of the Nuremberg trials - it’s as riveting as it is damaging to the enemy. Every page is laden with quotable quotes, every chapter with cohesive lines of proof that the plot to destroy the Church was very real and brazenly admitted to by its powerful proponents.

Added to all this, the book features a nice Index that transforms the Desire to Destroy into a who’s who and what’s what for the Traditional Catholic reader. From Liberation Theology to the French Revolution as model for the new Church, to the minds behind Gaudium et Spes, to the Holy See’s finances, to Ecumenism, to modern canonizations, to kenosis, to the Enlightenment, to conciliarism, to collegiality - at a glance this book can put the reader in touch with from-the-horse’s-mouth quotations as to how these ideas developed into the progressivists’ weapons of destruction during and after the Council.

Reading Desire to Destroy is like turning on a light in a dark room - all at once, everything makes sense. The trajectory of the revolution is suddenly made perfectly clear. The confusion of the last thirty years emerges, not as something that was in any sense random, but rather as the controlled chaos that was such an integral part of the process of the auto-destruction of the Church.

It does us no good to cite statistics to our bishops, for example, on plummeting Mass attendance rates, or on the priest shortages, or on the loss of Faith in our youth. All of this is part of the “purging process” which the Council initiated. For the progressivists, these statistics point to the Council’s success… not to its failure. It has to get darker before the dawn can break, the progressivists admit.

his explains their refusal to return to the pre-Council ways, despite the downward-spiraling statistics that became shockingly evident only after the close of the Council; it also explains their hatred of the old Mass, of the old image of the priesthood, of Latin, of tradition itself, indeed of Traditional Catholics and our entire movement…. We’re all part of the old Church that they’ve come to regard as dangerously passé, and which they truly believe they have a duty to destroy.

If you only buy one book for the rest of this year, make sure it’s Atila Guimarães’ Animus Delendi (Desire to Destroy); remove yourself from the darkness once and for all. Nothing that happened to the Church since Vatican II happened by accident. Everything was part of a brilliant strategy that was conceived of by the progressivists who took control of the Council; all of it was designed to change the face of the Catholic Church forever.

Read this book and you will understand other things that aren’t even mentioned by the author. For example, why the Indult Mass will probably not last much longer (given its unexpected success, especially in the U.S.), why the fight for the traditions of the Church must go so much farther than merely restoring the Latin Mass, why we cannot abandon the Church, and why an international Catholic counterrevolution - that has the restoration of the Tridentine Mass as only one of its many components - must take hold within the Church, and must be imbued with a sense of urgency to rebuild which exceeds and surpasses the progressivists’ sense of urgency to destroy.

Atila Guimarães has, with this book, stood up at the head of millions of scattered (and scattering) Traditional Catholics, and, with the Catholic sword of truth, he has pointed directly to the heart of the enemy and called for an accounting. In fact, with this book, the enemy of the old Church has been served with a declaration of war. It’s as if Guimaraes is saying to them: We know what you are, we know where you are, we know who you are, and we know what you’ve done …. Prepare for the Traditional Catholic counterattack!

I can’t recommend this book highly enough, and I salute its author for firing such a deadly arrow from the Traditionalist bow into the heart of the progressivist beast. This book leaves the enemies of Catholic tradition exposed and vulnerable. It also leaves the reader filled with hope that all is not lost and that the time is now to “repel the boarders” and return fire for fire. This is a thoroughly Catholic book!


Michael J. Matt is the editor of The Remnant.
This book review was first published in that newspaper, January 31, 2001

More on this book
Animus Delendi I



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