Modernism Episode 2


These conversations do not purport to be exhaustive. Rather, we will pull out some errors that seem exceptionally pernicious, and I urge our listeners to read the document for themselves. It is brief, certainly compared to Amoris Latitiae, it is cogent, it is readable. I found this to be a very nice change to more recent Vatican documents.

Definition Modernism

If we find it difficult to define the term, it is because it is.

  1. But since the Modernists (as they are commonly and rightly called) employ a very clever artifice, namely, to present their doctrines without order and systematic arrangement into one whole, scattered and disjointed one from another, so as to appear to be in doubt and uncertainty, while they are in reality firm and steadfast, it will be of advantage, Venerable Brethren, to bring their teachings together here into one group, and to point out the connexion between them, and thus to pass to an examination of the sources of the errors, and to prescribe remedies for averting the evil.

Pius X clearly states,

#39 “We should define it as the synthesis of all heresies? Were one to attempt the task of collecting together all the errors that have been broached against the faith and to concentrate the sap and substance of them all into one, he could not better succeed than the Modernists have done. Nay, they have done more than this, for, as we have already intimated, their system means the destruction not of the Catholic religion alone but of all religion.”

If all are religions then none is.

This is a serious warning from a worried father. Given the frequent revelations of apostasy, destruction of lives and homes it behooves us as educators to reexamine this Encyclical letter.

I have a series of essays describing the historical ascent of Modern Philosophy. Pius gives to the flock the highlights of abbreviated attempt.

By their fruits, you will know them. Good ideas have good fruit. Bad ideas have rotten fruit.

Three Planks of Modernism

Agnosticism its Philosophical Foundation First Plank (Kantianism)

#6 =  human reason is confined entirely within the field of phenomena, that is to say, to things that are perceptible to the senses, and in the manner in which they are perceptible; it has no right and no power to transgress these limits.

For a fuller consideration I refer to my previous essays:

rejects man’s ability to know and reduces all sense impressions to mere “phenomena,” whereas the “neumena” or ding an zich, (“the thing in itself,” or reality as it is) are ever elusive of our intellectual grasp. Once this sort of philosophy is introduced into Catholic theology – fides quaerens intellectum – the faith cannot find understanding because the very criteria for so doing are rejected. Kantianism is fundamentally contraceptive of theology, as it is of all sound thought. Dogma, which is a divine revelation from God to the intellect of man, is, in the end, rendered meaningless, since the mind cannot really know anything external to itself. Thus, the pope laments the fact that “Natural Theology,…the motives of credibility, [and]… external revelation”#5  are all rendered impotent in the Modernist system. If man cannot know truth, it is the end of all revelation and, consequently, of all religion: “By [Agnosticism] every avenue that leads to God is barred.”#39[1]

Agnosticism contrary to faith substance of that hoped for. faith seeking understanding. First have to have a body of faith before seeking. Nothing leads to nothing.

Enlightenment substance, subjective opinion is their objective truth.

We recognize this heresy when such statements as “we cannot know love”

How does one measure love, where is the ruler or scale? Yet, theology proposes that we can and do know love. 1 Jn defines love as Jesus expiation on the cross for our salvation. (1Jn4:10)

Another example of Agnosticism is that God cannot be known by the light of natural Reason. Two other heresies immediately come into play, Moral Relevatism and Atheism. If we cannot know God, because only those facts which can be measured count, then ideas such as we cannot know what is right or wrong is immediate. My friends, this is the tyranny of moral relevatism that BXVI warned against.

Two errors immediately arise. Tyranny because no freedom, premised on nothingess, not knowing.

God creates from His goodness. God is knowable, from Natural Law, substantive, creative, beautiful ‘heavens tell glory of God’

Begin with God, end with God.

Begin with doubt of God, end with not having God.

#6 scientific and historic Atheism, which is a doctrine of positive denial; fixed and established principle among them that both science and history must be atheistic: and within their boundaries there is room for nothing but phenomena; God and all that is divine are utterly excluded. Not so for ancient history.

How often have I seen Darwinism presented in Natural Science Museums as established fact, rather that a purported theory. Neglecting the concept of kind begetting kinds.

Genome discovered, evolution between species disproven, inherent inelasticity. Strong case for microevolution but not macro evolution. Find first parents, primary parent in population. Real knowledge does not get in the way of Modernism.

It has been my experience, scientific or otherwise, that to have an evolution of more complex change, energy and intentionality must be present. Yet, pond scum given enough time and some energy morphs into a man and a woman. This is a belief system not science even by the modernists own prescriptions.

Agnosticism leads directly to Aetheism, a heresy that totally rejects God. Do we not find this rampant within halls of supposed learning.

Sara rightly points out that these proponents of Modernism are not philosophers but are Sophists.