Apropos is the successor magazine to Approaches which was edited by the late Hamish Fraser (1913-1986), a convert to the Catholic Church from Communism. Approaches was dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and in Hamish Fraser’s own words was:
" First inspired by the need to promote Catholic lay initiatives in the temporal order: initiatives juridically distinct from the hierarchy yet in a spirit of uncompromising fidelity to the authentic social doctrine of the Teaching Church "
However, Fraser soon realised that a revolution had been unleashed within the Catholic Church itself following the Second Vatican Council. Although Approaches still had the primary aim of promoting lay initiatives, it became clear, increasingly so as time went on, that not only was the authentic social doctrine of the Church under attack from within the Church itself, but also the very tenets of faith and morals.Thus the aim of Approaches was extended. As Hamish Fraser stated: 'However, so long as post conciliar anarchy continues to engender the subversion of both Church and State, which is inevitable until Russia is collegially consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the first priority of Approaches must be to rally support for the authentic Pontifical Magisterium as a means of containing disorder in the Church, and simultaneously to expose the various forces of organised naturalism engaged in totalitarian subversion of the temporal order.'
Out in the Cold
This latter expression of aims did not mean that Hamish Fraser was a papolatrist. His use of the adjective "authentic" in relation to the Pontifical Magisterium meant that he was not to accept uncritically any papal or episcopal policy. Indeed in the climate of Modernism within the Church his often direct and uncompromising stand brought him into conflict with ecclesiastical authorities.In the early years he ploughed a lone furrow and he became increasingly isolated as his traditionalist stance (in fact nothing less than the Faith he had been baptised into)was abandoned byhis peers who progressively embraced the neo-Modernist changes forced upon the Church in accordance with the so-called "spirit of Vatican II". These included changes in the liturgy and catechism not to mention the policies of appeasement vis a vis Communism and liberalism arising from the Council's decree on Religious Liberty. Many have acknowledged that Hamish Fraser provided the basic nucleus of post-conciliar resistance to neo-Modernism in the Anglophone world and there is no doubt that many traditionalist initiatives were inspired by his example.
Following Hamish Fraser's death on 17 th October 1986, his son Anthony, and Geoffrey Lawman, who had co-operated with Hamish for many years, undertook to continue the work of Approaches as far as they were able.They did so by publishing the review Apropos which is dedicated to the memory of Hamish. Apropos was edited by Anthony, with Geoffrey as co-editor. It made its aims those of Approaches and further dedicated itself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in acknowledgement of Hamish's great devotion to the Sacred Heart and of his admiration for that great lay apostle of the Sacred Heart, and martyr, Gabriel Garcia Moreno, President of Ecuador. Indeed to his family it was of no little significance that Hamish died on the feast of St Margaret-Mary Alacoque that great apostle of the Sacred Heart. Geoffrey Lawman died in 1995 and Apropos is dedicated to his memory also. Apropos continued to be edited by Anthony S Fraser. Apropos ceased print publication in February 2013 but will continue, as far as possible, on the web. Articles will be posted on-line both from the archive and from new contributions.
Apropos was not a weekly, monthly or quarterly review. It was a periodical in the true sense in that it appeared periodically. It has a close association with the French review Action Familiale et Scolaire and published translations from that prestigious journal on a regular basis. Contributors to Apropos included Arnaud de Lassus, Michael Davies, Solange Hertz, and Professor Robert Hickson among others.
Apropos is not associated with any particular groups within the Catholic Church and Traditionalist movement. However it does call for the unrestricted use of the Tridentine Mass and reiterates that call to the Pope made by the great French Catholic writer, Jean Madiran: 'Give us back the Mass, the Catechism and the Scriptures'. Apropos therefore supports all those who have like aims.
Apropos is therefore counter-revolutionary in both religious and political arenas. It is traditionalist in terms of the Catholic Church in that it seeks the restoration of order within the Church, the social Kingship of Christ the King and a return to sound doctrine and the traditional liturgy of the Church. It is also loyal to the authentic Magisterium of the Church.