A reflection on modernism, in our times of lean

A REFLECTION ON MODERNISM, IN OUR TIMES OF COWS MAGRE

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modernism, Today more than ever marries the more confusing syncretism, which, strombazzato give skillful impostors, who know how to make it venerable to the crowds the unwary, go to put together and to pick up in philosophy and theology, in complete disregard of the principle of non-contradiction, perhaps with the excuse of dialectic, the most outlandish and absurd theories, that even a seminarian of the first half of the last century, format on St. Thomas and on Gredt, He could easily have refuted.

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Author John Cavalcoli OP
Author
John Cavalcoli, OP

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Pope Pius X
the Holy Pontiff Pius X

The polemic against modernism and its repository of heresies today is found almost exclusively in traditionalist circles, who denounce acutely the return of this phenomenon, for example in rahnerismo; but then they fall our arms when some of these traditionalists accuse modernism Vatican II and all the following Popes.

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It's obvious then we need to urgently clarify what is meant by this word. It has a very clear historical reference: the famous encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis the Holy Pontiff Pius X. There it gives a very clear definition and articulate about what the Pope meant by “modernism”. It is a small treatise on the subject, in which, however, they show almost exclusively errors, without acknowledging any positive instance, as often it happened in the Magisterium of the Church of the past. The Church, indeed, exceptions, appeared more than Mater et Magistra, a conscientious traffic warden always ready to report fines.

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Ernesto-buonaiuti
the Roman priest Ernesto Buonaiuti, considered one of the main fathers of modernism

However it is worth noting that, as in many phenomena of the history of spirit, to “modernism” You can mean one of two things: before, modernism in the historical sense, now enclosed in the times of St. Pius X, and here the story does not repeat; This modernism is well described by the Pope, to which I refer to the encyclical and not even need to summarize here the nature [cf. text WHO].

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Second, some perennial trend and therefore present the spirit still, which originates or cue from the description made by the encyclical, but basically it is independent, and it transcends the historical contingencies; for which in some way already it existed before, a modernism in a wider sense, as idolatry of modernity or of this time, as a false way of being modern, as the effect is not a critique of modernity in the light of the Gospel, but as critical examination - a certain “historical-critical method” in exegesis - of the Gospel in the light of a real or supposed modernity.

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The modernist is a historicist phenomenalist, an evolutionary relativism which does not interest objective truth, Universal, absolute and eternal, which he does not believe, and who judges with contempt “abstract”, illusionary, harmful or at least useless. For him, the truth is the daughter of time and relative to the time. Does not exist the truth, but various truths concrete and changing according to the various cultures, of view and their different time points.

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romolo-Murri
the Marches priest Romolo Murri, excommunicated for heresy modernist manifest in 1909, then revoked the excommunication 1943

modernism, Today more than ever marries the more confusing syncretism, strombazzato give skillful impostors, who know how to make it venerable to the crowds the unwary, go to put together and to pick up in philosophy and theology, in complete disregard of the principle of non-contradiction, perhaps with the excuse of dialectic, the most outlandish and absurd theories [1], that even a seminarian of the first half of the last century, format on St. Thomas and on Gredt, He could easily have refuted.

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Thus, If modernism of St. Pius X times stood by influences especially European, empiristici, positivisti, vitalisti, immanentisti, Kantian and Protestant, that of today enriches western influences from Hegel to Marx to Freud to Husserl to Heidegger, ranging across the whole world thought, ancient and modern, including errors of other religions, sectarian conceptions, bizarre and superstitious as the belief in extraterrestrials, l'astrologia, l'ufology, the divinazione and lo spiritualism, to say nothing of Satanism, and even ancient pagan worldviews as Gnosticism, hermeticism, the magic, l'esotericism, i presocratici, Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism. There is still little sympathy for Muhammad, but soon we can expect a synthesis of the Gospel with the Koran.

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The most important operation and misleading the modernists to fifty years, as you know and as I showed for many years in my publications, operation conducted with extreme skills, with the use of dishonest theologians and scholars but also an abundance of economic means, not without the connivance of certain circles of the church hierarchy, It is to present the public with the innocuous title “Progressives”, as interpreters and authentic advocates, safe and advanced, the new doctrines of the Council, also against the official interpretation of the Popes and the Church, which, from them made believe how backward, reactionary and conservative, almost always it remained as a vox clamantis in deserto. Indeed the modernists have the audacity to claim that the new doctrines of the Council, from them interpreted the use of dolphins, They are not advanced enough, and that the Council would retain the outdated views, from which they, which are considered to be the so-called “protagonists”[2] Council, feel free him from duty for a real confrontation with the modern world. For this they will take the liberty to assert their ideas even against the Council itself, understood by them as if the regeneration of the Church and the discovery of the true gospel after 2000 years of lies and legends told by the pre-conciliar Church.

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jacques-maritain
the French philosopher Jacques Maritain

the Maritain, on the other hand, already he stated in 1966 in his famous declaration, that modernism of today is pneumonia in comparison with hayfever modernism of St. Pius X times [3]. If therefore these already said that modernism is the sum of all heresies, one wonders what the Holy Pontiff would say of modernism, if he were alive today.

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Today, in fact modernists, for the above reasons, far they outnumber, influential and dangerous than those of St. Pius X times. They reached many places of power and therefore are often arrogant and overbearing. They have not only affected the lower clergy, the laity and theologians, but also the same hierarchy, Church to the Holy See and the institutions and bodies dependent on it, including the Roman Curia and especially the Pontifical Universities.

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For this, i Papi post-conciliar, loyal, infallible teachers of the faith, They found themselves isolated, restrained and sometimes opposed by dark forces present among their own employees, as can be deduced from certain delays, lack of information, reticence, silences, hesitations, shyness in their pastoral work and discipline and in their doctrinal magisterium, in particular as regards the order of the errors and of the scandals. Expenses, like me, He worked for years among the collaborators of St. John Paul II as a theologian advisor to the Secretary of State, He knows something.

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modernism
a poster of pictorial art in the twentieth century modernism

With the advent of Pope Francis, certainly open to modernity, modernists have changed tactics: no charges to conservatism or backwardness Pope, as they had done up to Benedict XVI, but an extreme effort to corner the figure of the Pontiff, interpreting and exploiting certain choices, certain gestures or words of Pope, that actually, misinterpreted or taken out of context, would seem to play in their favor.

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The Pope, on the other hand, for now - barring some significant reference [4] - He prefers to remain silent and to treat them with great kindness, recovering their positive sides, relying and leveraging on their conscience, so at some point they realize they themselves, the negative consequences to which they lead their ideas, that they put in a bind.

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But we must say, for the duty of honesty and justice, that the purpose of acquiring the old modernism than today is not without some positive instance, as in all historical phenomena, even more aberrant. The intervention of St. Pius X was certainly an effective cure, but he not seriously confronted the instance of the modernists, He remained more than ever valid and at the same time unresolved.

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maurice-blondel
the French philosopher Maurice Blondel

Today all the historians of the Church recognize that, if one part were provident Thomistic revival promoted by Pope Leo XIII in the late nineteenth century, as well as its rich humanism and the openings of the great Pope - just think about the Rerum Novarum —, other, Catholic theology and the Magisterium of the Church needed more attention, consideration and benevolence towards the modern culture of the last centuries, even if he born outside and maybe also against the Church, in order to take in the Catholic wisdom, how valid it, even amid so many mistakes, he had generated. Some spirits sensitive to the needs of the Church, but undisciplined, come Maurice Blondel [5], Lucien Laberthonnière [6], Eduard Le Roy [7], Alfred Loisy [8] e George Tyrrell [9] They began to feel more strongly the duty of Catholic thought to use the achievements of modern thought. but Senonchè, unable to understand and appreciate the values ​​already acquired by Christian wisdom, considered them outdated and believed to be able to express and enrich the Christian truth in categories derived from modernity, in contrast with those values. He was born on modernism [10].

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Action taken by Saint Pius X They were very energetic and the moment seemed to have won the modernist. In parallel to the wise and beneficent of the holy Pontiff it worked but also a body of information and repression, the Sodalitium Pianum, led by Bishop. Umberto Benigni, which he does not always knew to be transported with due restraint, so that even innocent people were affected, now venerated in the Church, as the Blessed Cardinal Andrea Carlo Ferrari, Archbishop of Milan, and two Dominicans learned theologians, Father Juan Gonzalez Arintero, theologian of spirituality, e l’esegeta Joseph Lagrange, of which is in progress Cause of Beatification. Expenses, as the great Dominican theologian Antonin-Dalmace Sertillanges, He attempted a dialogue with the modernists, He was suspected of Modernism.

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However, when you say “modernism”, We should be warned that we must be very cautious in the use of the term, starting from a exact concept modernism, especially if we refer to particular cases or persons, so as not to hurt anyone. In fact modernism, as all diseases of the spirit, that, similarly to those of the physical, They are subject to degrees of entities, contemplates the acute stages and forms myths, not to say that sometimes, indeed often, It presents only traces or mild symptoms. However, it must assess in each case the extent of this morbid affection and express themselves accordingly with the necessary nuance and precision to the respect due to people affected by the disease. Who is suffering from a cancer in the early stages is not in the same conditions of those affected by metastases.

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congar-ratzinger
the Dominican Yves Congar, together with a young Joseph Ratzinger in a photo of the early sixties

Recall that in the meantime 1904, near Paris, a Le Saulchoir, the Dominicans, clearly they warned that the crisis was coming up, They founded a School of Theology [11], which started with a good renewal of theology program, that matched speculation in the school of St. Thomas (Gardeil, Roland-Gosselin, Shortcut) the historical foundation of theology (Chenu, Mandonnet). Initially it produced excellent publications; but senonchè, at a certain point, in the forties, in it he was heard, especially in Chenu, the trend typical of modernism historicist, so much so that it was censured by Rome in Chenu 1944. Then there arose the so-called new theology, which also he was successful outside of the Dominican Order, as for example in the de Lubac, Jesuit, which for some time they had started in Leuven reckless and imprudent experiments contacts with Kant in the work of Joseph Maréchal.

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Modernism of the Jesuits [12] was compounded by the fact that in the de Lubac their traditional voluntarism, joined the repudiation of the conceptual distinctions, against the backdrop of a dynamic vision of the spirit as self-transcendence, eventually blur the distinction between the natural supernatural so that nature seemed to require the supernatural to settle in root his aspirations and his tendency to transcendence. the natura, in short, it was deprived of its own autonomy and ontological and existential consistency and seemed nothing more than a vague aspiration to grace, whose function seemed to run out nel'attuare the potential and meet the needs of nature. The power-act scheme, that only applies within the same essence, It was applied to express the relationship of nature with grace, instead they are to each other essentially different. In these conditions, moreover, it was easy to flip the ratio and falling into naturalism and activism of a super-powerful nature and in Pelagianism, that was always the risk of voluntarism Jesuitical.

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karl Rahner fuma
the German Jesuit Karl Rahner, that made penetrate modernism in theology as a Trojan horse

fainted, more generally, under the influence of evolutionism dogmatic Modernist, the perception of the distinction in the dogmatic concepts, between the immutable meaning of the dogma - the Word of God that does not pass - and the progressive clarification of that meaning thanks to historical-critical research and logical deduction, ie advance or progress towards the fullness of truth. The improvement and development of theological knowledge was exchanged for a replacement process of a concept to another, judged obsolete and therefore false, the illusion of an impossible fidelity to the original meaning of the dogma, and the Word of God. The progressive instance annulled that conservation: the same thing is happening today among the modernists, who do not understand that a refusal to advance from a safe starting point and without a fixed base and solid, on which rise, and believe that knowledge is more advanced than the one that canceled the previous results, and when you cancel the concept that you would like to better understand, it means taking off the ground under their feet and end up in the void of the chat, when not really heresy. On the other hand the solution was not and is not even in today remain locked in their acquired notions and simply repeat them, contemplarli e commentarli, rejecting as danger or treachery on asking questions about what is still unknown, the new problems, for which the solutions are not ready, abandoning opinions that prove incorrect, The set new research goals or take note of the progress made by others or by the Church: see the new doctrines of Vatican II.

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The rise of new theology, that basically was a renewed form of modernism, provoked, as is known, the intervention of Pius XII with Humani Generis, which reaffirmed the unchanging value of dogmatic concepts and the distinction between natural and supernatural. It was a stern reminder to the Saulchoir School. Some great Dominican theologians, as Garrigou-Lagrange, Browne and Cordovani tried to dissuade friends from Chenu and continue on the, but there was nothing to do. St. John XXIII, with its open-minded, He recovered later the healthy aspects of School, but now it had taken a modernist fold, that led to the closure in the years immediately after the Council. Sad and instructive outcome of an initiative started so well, so brave, forward-looking and promising, splendid example of the insight of the Dominican theology, are, Alas, he had not suggested the modernist poison.

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giovanni-xxiii-opening-of-council
the Holy Father John XXIII signing the act of opening of the Council Ecumenical Vatican II

But how and why even today, after their defeat inflicted by St. Pius X, the modernists they've got live, albeit often disguised and in a different form, although it rejected their plea - you understand - the nickname “Modernist”? How and with what excuses they could come back with so much strength and ability to seduce? Where to take their arguments? Their most compelling argument is an undeniable historical truth accompanied by a genuine evangelical instance, to which I have already mentioned: the fact that St. Pius X was not able or did not think to meet their just demands: ammodernare healthily Christian vita, so that the Church may welcome the values ​​of the modern world, that move with the times, who can speak of Christ persuasively to our contemporaries, then a new apologetics and a new missionary zeal, without the possession of an immutable truth becomes at ristagnazione, of stiffness, of closures, of backwardness and stagnation, unlike ma, stimulus and incentive for the opening of the new, and constantly advancing and progress towards the fullness of truth and of God's kingdom. It was necessary to break some old habits no longer beneficial or ideas and, in continuity and fidelity to the Gospel, invent new methods of evangelization, and open new roads in search of truth and progress of holiness. All these instances were implemented from San Giovanni XXIII, who heard them so important, urgent and can not be postponed, so tied to the fate of the Church, that decided to convene a council to solve them on purpose. Certain, He did not say this explicitly, but, after the fact, especially after fifty years by the Council, the thing we understand very well now.

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john-franzoni
some of “rotten fruits” Council: Dom Giovanni Franzoni, Ordinary time Abbot of St. Paul Outside the Walls and dell'assise member of Vatican II, that will end up leaving later the priesthood and the Catholic Church

The Second Vatican Council It has a definite progressive character and innovative, which is not found in other Councils. Which causes lefevriani to judge a council “anomalous”, betraying the Tradition, and he changed the essence of the Church, while the modernists is a novelty absolute and revolutionary, a kind of reinterpretation of Christianity. Wrong one to the other, because they confuse what a council is substantial or essential with what is accidental, changing or contingent. Mistaken for lefevriani, that make absolute certain accidents, uses or of past councils mode, that are not found in the Vatican II - for example the canons -, up to not recognize the Second Vatican Council as a regular and legitimate all other, why reject or misunderstand its doctrines. Wrong modernists, which reduce the substantial or permanent all'accidentale, ie to the changing, they do not see the continuity between the last council and the previous [13].

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An ecumenical council, in its essence or permanent substance, It is a meeting of the bishops under Pope, organized with the consent of the Pope and approved by the Pope, in which they deal with the most important affairs of the Church, is of order disciplinary pastoral and doctrinal. accidental elements instead, that can change, They are for example the style of the language, The voting system, ways of proceeding, the quality of representation, headquarters, the language used, the division of matter, and things like. It is not according to these things that you have to judge whether a council is a true Council, or is or is not in continuity with previous, but considering the very essence and legitimacy of the Council.

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marcel-Lefebvre
some of “rotten fruits” Council: Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, dell'assise member of Vatican II, that after the council accused of modernism, come to perform an act of schism by consecrating four new bishops without papal mandate

As to the authority of his teachings, are primarily infallible dogmatic definitions (Such a definition is in order) proposals defining how (method of defining); as well as those who deal directly or indirectly related to issues of faith or faith. Are fallible or changing pastoral teachings, legal or disciplinary. Obviously there is no doubt that the Council worked crypto-modernist, who threw the mask, come Rahner [14], only after they felt sure of impunity, He is having achieved great prestige and presenting itself as the authoritative interpreters of the Council. these members, the Council, They gave a valuable contribution, but kept it hidden their modernism, which came to light only after the Council. The lefevriani, instead, not having understood the value of the new council and their continuity with tradition, They began to deny the infallibility of the doctrines of the Council and even to accuse them or fallibility or false, exchanging for the modernistic doctrines of the Council.

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While Pope John XXIII said at the Council the already mentioned pastoral orientation, Blessed Paul VI had the idea to take advantage of the council to let him add a dogmatic matter relating ecclesiology. And so it was that the Council deepened the mystery of the Church with new important contributions dogmatic, touching all its essential components, the origin of the Church by divine revelation, the various classes, ministries and offices, to the Church's relationship with the world, and with all men of good will, even non-Catholics, up to non-believers, to reach the end of the eschatological Church, until the Mariology, understood as a symbol, figure, type, paradigm, and the model of ecclesiology. And here we must say that never, throughout the history of councils, an Ecumenical Council has provided us with a doctrine so rich and authoritative on Madonna, after the Council of Ephesus. The Second Vatican Council presents us with Mary as a mother caring for the benefit of all mankind, to which she carries out its mission and street guide to reach her son in a journey of conversion and penance for our sins. An eminent manner in which Madonna plays this saving activities, as is known, are the Marian apparitions and messages, among which the most famous among thousands are Lourdes and Fatima, to which we can add Medjugorje, although its authenticity and attitude to take are currently before the Holy See, unlike the two first places, that they are approved and recommended by the Church for a long time. However, This extraordinary phenomenon, quite unique in the history of the Church, by the 1981 he was born, He has continued to show signs of credibility and produce fruit for millions of pilgrims, that since then is happening in that place, where we have the most diverse and characteristic manifestations of Christian piety: the Eucharistic Liturgies celebrated by many priests and followed by huge crowds with exemplary devotion and meditation, the preaching of God's Word, adoration, to meditation, to personal and communal prayer, confessions without number, the harsh penitential practices, the acts of charity, human solidarity, and reconciliation, ecumenical dialogues, the conversion phenomena and to the improvement of life intentions, the generous hospitality from the locals. As for the daily messages, you count, They are based on the most perfect orthodoxy and love for Christ, for the Church, for the Pope, for Bishops, for priests, for religious, for the salvation and sanctification of souls, for the conversion of sinners. In each of them clear shine affection, the tenderness, wisdom, haste, sometimes just severity of the Mother.

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pio-xii-in-prayer-1944-for-salvation-to-rome
vintage photo: the Venerable Pope Pius XII in prayer before Our Lady of Divine Love in 1944 to ask the intercession for the salvation of Rome during the Second World War.

The messages, as is known, never enter into themes, issues or practical problems, but always they offer moral and spiritual incentives, that can serve all, urging always the fundamental duties of Christians, First the confident prayer, humble and insistent. therefore arouses surprise warned against modernism, that Our Lady did, not for the first time, precisely in the recent Solemnity of the Annunciation. Here are the words:

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"Dear children!! Even today, the Most High has allowed me to be with you and guide you on the path of conversion. Many hearts were closed to the grace and do not want to listen to my call. you children, pray and fight against temptation and against all the evil plans that Satan offers you through modernism. Be strong in prayer and with the cross in his hands pray that the evil will not use and do not win in you. I am with you and pray for you. Thank you for responding to my call".

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Note the severity with which Maria qualification modernism: is an "evil plan of Satan". This fact is modernism, that hiding behind a fascinating appearances also in piety, It is the main enemy of the Church, we can and must defeat the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Varazze, 31 March 2015

Article archive published 13 December 2016

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Notes

[1] One example among thousands: the mess between Christianity and Buddhism found in the book of Raimundo Panikkar, seductive title, but misleading: The silence of God. The Buddha's reply, Tassel,Turin 1992.

[2] Famous is the phrase quoted by Don Dossetti: “The Council I did”, and so likewise the reputation that has made Rahner to be the '”Icon of the Council”.

[3] The peasant of the Garonne, Desclée Brewer, Paris 1966, p.16.

[4] For instance, the hint of fake progressives who is matched to that of the “Traditionalists” in his address to the term of the Synod of Bishops on the Family.

[5] Cf M.Blondel L’Action. Test Review of life and a science of practice, 1893

[6] CF Christian realism and idealism greek, Vallecchi Edtore, Florence 1949.

[7] CF Dogma and criticism, 1907.

[8] CF The Gospel and the Church, 2and edition, Bellevue, Alfred Loisy, 1903

[9] CF Christianity at the crossroads, Enrico Voghera, Rome 1910.

[10] Cf C.Tresmontant, The modernist crisis, Editions du Seuil, Paris 1979

[11] Cf M.-D.Chenu, the Saulchoir. A school of theology, Marietti, Casale Monferrato (AL) 1982.

[12] Cf M.Martin, The Jesuits, Sugar Editions, Milan 1988; In,Caruso, Between magnitudes and squalor, Viverein editions, Monopoli (BA) 1988.

[13] See my book Progress in the continuity, Editions Faith&Culture, Verona 2011.

[14] See my book Karl Rahner. The Second betrayed, Editions Faith&Culture, Verona 2009.

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