quotes from encyclicals
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809
    I thought it might be interesting to post some quotes from 100 years ago. It is often said, 'hindsight' is 20/20. Thoughts?

    From Pascendi Dominici Gregis

    1. One of the primary obligations assigned by Christ to the office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord's flock is that of guarding with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and the gainsaying of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body, for owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking "men speaking perverse things,"[1] "vain talkers and seducers,"[2] "erring and driving into error."[3] It must, however, be confessed that these latter days have witnessed a notable increase in the number of the enemies of the Cross of Christ, who, by arts entirely new and full of deceit, are striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, as far as in them lies, utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ. Wherefore We may no longer keep silence, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be set down to lack of diligence in the discharge of Our office.

    2. That We should act without delay in this matter is made imperative especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church's open enemies; but, what is to be most dreaded and deplored, in her very bosom, and are the more mischievous the less they keep in the open. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, and, what is much more sad, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, animated by a false zeal for the Church, lacking the solid safeguards of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, put themselves forward as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the Person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious audacity, they degrade to the condition of a simple and ordinary mall.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809
    I think this is telling:

    It must, however, be confessed that these latter days have witnessed a notable increase in the number of the enemies of the Cross of Christ, who, by arts entirely new and full of deceit, are striving to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, as far as in them lies, utterly to subvert the very Kingdom of Christ.

    arts entirely new and full of deceit... do I hear 'novel hymn texts' and 'banal music' in this one? it wasn't the case back then so much, but, boy has this evolved into a monster or what?!
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,595
    Francis, I am not so sure that novel hymn texts and banal music are what St Pius X meant here - he addressed that in Tra le Sollicitudine. To me, after reading Pascendi last year, I surmised that he was referring to the 'art' of meandering, ambiguous speech used by the Modernists that allow them to subtly undermine the Faith, while at the same time appear to uphold the traditional, orthodox teaching of the Church.
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  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    meandering, ambiguous speech used by the Modernists that allow them to subtly undermine the Faith, while at the same time appear to uphold the traditional, orthodox teaching of the Church

    Ever heard proponents of banal music try to justify its use?

    Meandering, ambiguous speech used by contemporary liturgists that allow them to subtly undermine the faith, while at the same time appearing to uphold the intended instructions on worship by the council.

    And, you know... lex orandi, lex vivendi, lex credendi...
    Thanked by 1francis
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809

    Exactly my point with 20/20 hindsight. What he was speaking about was much more subtle, cloaked and harder to uncover, nevertheless, it was still there, operating much more in a clandestine manner. Now it is blatant and obvious and in fact, is the status quo AND it is pervasive in our hymnals and the whole Church thinks nothing of it! Boiling frog syndrome for sure.

    What he saw and addressed wasn't about our hymnals at all. If he ever thought it would have come full term to the attrocious state of the loss of faith in our hymnals, if he was here today, I am sure he would have had a book burning.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809
    ...and to drive the point home for us all, this is the next paragraph:

    3. Although they express their astonishment that We should number them amongst the enemies of the Church, no one will be reasonably surprised that We should do so, if, leaving out of account the internal disposition of the soul, of which God alone is the Judge, he considers their tenets, their manner of speech, and their action. Nor indeed would he be wrong in regarding them as the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church. For, as We have said, they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within. Hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain from the very fact that their knowledge of her is more intimate. Moreover, they lay the ax not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibers. And once having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to diffuse poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth which they leave untouched, none that they do not strive to corrupt. Further, none is more skillful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious devices; for they play the double part of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and as audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance To this must be added the fact, which indeed is well calculated to deceive souls, that they lead a life of the greatest activity, of assiduous and ardent application to every branch of learning, and that they possess, as a rule, a reputation for irreproachable morality. Finally, there is the fact which is all but fatal to the hope of cure that their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.

    Well, the part about irreproachable morality has truly been exposed as a chinc in the armor.

    Remember, back at that time the American Bishops also had been given a formal stern warning from the pope in another of his encyclicals which I will also mention in this thread. So, America was already running adrift in this direction way back then, and it is now coming full circle.

    The stern warning toward America was addressed in the encyclical, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae. It can be read here.


    This paragraph is the one that puts a lump in the throat:

    From the foregoing it is manifest, beloved son, that we are not able to give approval to those views which, in their collective sense, are called by some "Americanism." But if by this name are to be understood certain endowments of mind which belong to the American people, just as other characteristics belong to various other nations, and if, moreover, by it is designated your political condition and the laws and customs by which you are governed, there is no reason to take exception to the name. But if this is to be so understood that the doctrines which have been adverted to above are not only indicated, but exalted, there can be no manner of doubt that our venerable brethren, the bishops of America, would be the first to repudiate and condemn it as being most injurious to themselves and to their country. For it would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive and would have the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world.

    This earlier paragraph in the same document is, sadly, and extremely accurate in that we have done 'in flying colors' exactly what we were warned not to do, and has truly dealt a somewhat fatal blow:

    The underlying principle of these new opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. The Vatican Council says concerning this point: "For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them." -Constitutio de Fide Catholica, Chapter iv.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809
    MORE! This one is on innovation!!! We all LOVE innovation.

    13. Dogma is not only able, but ought to evolve and to be changed. This is strongly affirmed by the Modernists, and clearly flows from their principles. For among the chief points of their teaching is the following, which they deduce from the principle of vital immanence, namely, that religious formulas if they are to be really religious and not merely intellectual speculations, ought to be living and to live the life of the religious sense. This is not to be understood to mean that these formulas, especially if merely imaginative, were to be invented for the religious sense. Their origin matters nothing, any more than their number or quality. What is necessary is that the religious sense—with some modification when needful— should vitally assimilate them. In other words, it is necessary that the primitive formula be accepted and sanctioned by the heart; and similarly the subsequent work from which are brought forth the .secondary formulas must proceed under the guidance of the heart. Hence it comes that these formulas, in order to be living, should be, and should remain, adapted to the faith and to him who believes. Wherefore, if for any reason this adaptation should cease to exist, they lose their first meaning and accordingly need to be changed. In view of the fact that the character and lot of dogmatic formulas are so unstable, it is no wonder that Modernists should regard them so lightly and in such open disrespect, and have no consideration or praise for anything but the religious sense and for the religious life. In this way, with consummate audacity, they criticize the Church, as having strayed from the true path by failing to distinguish between the religious and moral sense of formulas and their surface meaning, and by clinging vainly and tenaciously to meaningless formulas, while religion itself is allowed to go to ruin. "Blind'- they are, and "leaders of the blind" puffed up with the proud name of science, they have reached that pitch of folly at which they pervert the eternal concept of truth and the true meaning of religion; in introducing a new system in which "they are seen to be under the sway of a blind and unchecked passion for novelty, thinking not at all of finding some solid foundation of truth, but despising the holy and apostolic traditions, they embrace other and vain, futile, uncertain doctrines, unapproved by the Church, on which, in the height of their vanity, they think they can base and maintain truth itself."[8]

    Resistance is futile! Jeez, I love the BORG. Great concept, however, not at all original. And the queen, she is one wicked chic.
  • Lest we imagine that banal music is a thing only of our own time, one will offer the observation that drums, cymbals and bells were common features of Italian church organs in the not so distant past; not to mention tawdry warmed over Palestrina, weepy purple prose, and other schmaltzy music which can only be described as the maudlin expressions of a put-on white-eyed spirituality. These were all the XIXth and early XXth century predecessors of today's saccharin Ed Sullivan 'presiders', cheap rock-pop songs, over-heated rock-bands, and cluelessly dumb combos which insinuate themselves into our lives and worship and imagine vainly that they are modern.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809

    It seems you are using the M word as though Modern is always BETTER than [ ]. If you fill in the blank, you could put just about anything there I suppose. If you think about it, another word for modern could be 'digital' or 'electronic'.
  • Francis -
    Actually, I draw a clear distinction between truly modern music, such as Britten, Poulenc, Messiaen, Lauridson, Whitacre, Part, etc., and that which is so called 'contemporary' and not usually very modern at all. By this definition some modern music, while not being better than, is a fit descendent of Tallis, et al., whilst contemporary music has a rather different pedigree into which I shant delve, and the composers of which fail utterly (and usually deliberately) to be of the lineage of Monteverdi, et al. Further, it could, by this reasoning, be argued that some modern music is better than some renaissance music and vice versa. Please note that I said of the purveyors and clientelle of 'contemporary' music that they 'vainly imagine themselves to be modern'.

    As for your mention of digital and electronic, when descriptive of musical instruments one must carefully assess whether the instrument at issue is a legitimate and unique instrument in its own right, such as an Ondes Martinot, or is actually a synthesiser, a simulacrum, of an instrument of which it is, inelluctably, an ontological fake. It isn't, then, that being digital or electronic is inherently a negative: it depends upon the use to which such technology is put, i.e., is it a real invention that adds to our array of instruments and sounds, or is it a simulation, a synthesiser (a synthetic thing), which usurps that of which it is a skillfully marketed and inherently deceitful substitute? In conclusion, one arrives at the logic that an Ondes Marinot is a modern instrument, whilst a digital piano or organ (or whatever) is not a modern 'instrument' but the synthesiser of an instrument which is at once ancient and modern. To refer to it without the modifiers 'digital piano simulacrum' is to prevaricate and deceive, to prey on the credulity of the ignorant and undiscerning.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,508
    Some random thoughts and YMMV.

    Pius X said, if my memory serves accurately, that he was not able to suppress Modernism and that it would reappear in a more virulent form. He was able to drive it under ground temporarily. Some have said one of those underground places was in the seminaries.

    Interestingly, I think Pius X would be eaten alive today, since the climate has certainly changed since his time - climate change you can believe in. Some of our post-Vatican II "saints" who have held the papacy have squandered away much of the authority once attached to the office. They have ranged from "pastoral" to downright inept to fuzzy minded. Pius X would be dismissed today as not relevant and the "faithful" would faithfully ignore him.

    One of the things I noticed when teaching was that every time we got a new principal it became fashionable to trash all the efforts of the previous one. That tendency exists in music, as well. I don't see that there was a golden age of music and believe great music was written in every age. It is still being written. The inferior stuff was always there even in the time of Palestrina, it just didn't survive.

    A side story and ymmv concerning it. An organist of great ability resides in my town. He grew up as a Baptist in Alabama. At some point he decided that he needed to trash any semblance of Romantic music and his past, and specialize in forerunners of Bach. He also converted to Lutheranism. He rejects any music with feeling not realizing that in the time of those forerunners of Bach, the music of the day had emotional impact on its hearers. So in becoming this Mr. Spock-like creature of rationality he is making an attempt to rationalize himself into a position of superiority. He thanks God he is not like those Publicans. A bit ridiculous, would you say?

    Again, music is a continuum. Some of it lasts, some of it doesn't. Styles go into fashion and go out of it. Pride, ego and craziness are always with us.
  • kenstb
    Posts: 358
    Francis, my friend... I often agree with you but there are a few things that seem to have been overlooked in your argument. Disobedience to the authority of the pope is nothing new to the western hemisphere. Consider for example, that Pope Eugene IV forbade slavery in the encyclical "Sicut Dudum" in 1435. Pope Gregory X forbade the forced baptism of Jews in 1272. The Vicars of Christ have for the most part spoken out forcefully in defense of the faith and of justice. While I agree that in most of what you have said, you are correct, I always feel a bit worried when book burnings are mentioned.

    While Pius X was a saint, he did not necessarily have great foresight with respect to the effect of his policies on the church. During his pontificate, the desire to rid the church of modernists led to what amounts to a witch hunt which did great damage to some very decent people. His immediate successor was exiled from Rome during his pontificate and left in Bologna for nearly seven years before being raised to the cardinalate. And lest we think of Pius X as if he was oblivious to politics, let us remember that Giacomo Della Chiesa did not become a cardinal until his mentor, Cardinal Rampolla passed to the next world.

    It should also be noted that where music is concerned, the human race doesn't exist in a vacuum. Tastes in music change over time as do styles of expression. If memory serves, St. Alphonsus De Ligouri used to frequent the theatre and remove his spectacles so that he could enjoy the music without having his morals corrupted by the actors and dancers. I disagree with the inclusion of "electronic" or "digital" in the list of those things which might be held up for exclusion. Music does not exclude. Imagine how much Mozart or Bach could have created with the technology at our disposal. There is good music IMHO of all kinds. Some are to my liking and others are less so, but it is art and it should be heard.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809
    I didn't say electric was bad. I use it all the time. Even on the digital organs I play all the time. But MJO makes an excellent point. Digital organs are a sorry substitute (as he says, a simulicrum) for the real thing. No bones about that!

    Problem with substitutes is that the whole church has accepted substitutes on every level. Vestments, candles, architecture, furniture, organs, altars, art, and now we are looking at a substitute theology. That is where we have to be very careful. That is where we exchange the Gospel that was once given to us for another gospel.

    I don't think there was a witch hunt. I think there was a revolution. When you find yourself in a revolution, words no longer matter and it becomes a war and you are forced to choose sides or die in the middle thinking.

    1 6 I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel.
    1 7 Which is not another: only there are some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
    1 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.
    1 9 As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.
    1 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
    1 11 For I give you to understand, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
    1 12 For neither did I receive it of man: nor did I learn it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.


    The fact that he repeated verse 18 with verse 19 shows the seriousness of his thinking and the severity of the error.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809

    This one is about the notion of false religions. It reminds me of the ultimate error of Assisi and promoting world peace under the guise of fraternalism, brotherhood and dialogue in the end, to which dogma must yield (see paragraph 13 above):

    14. Thus far, Venerable Brethren, We have considered the Modernist as a philosopher. Now if We proceed to consider him as a believer, and seek to know how the believer, according to Modernism, is marked off from the philosopher, it must be observed that, although the philosopher recognizes the reality of the divine as the object of faith, still this reality is not to be found by him but in the heart of the believer, as an object of feeling and affirmation, and therefore confined within the sphere of phenomena; but the question as to whether in itself it exists outside that feeling and affirmation is one which the philosopher passes over and neglects. For the Modernist believer, on the contrary, it is an established and certain fact that the reality of the divine does really exist in itself and quite independently of the person who believes in it. If you ask on what foundation this assertion of the believer rests, he answers: In the personal experience of the individual. On this head the Modernists differ from the Rationalists only to fall into the views of the Protestants and pseudo-mystics. The following is their manner of stating the question: In the religious sense one must recognize a kind of intuition of the heart which puts man in immediate contact with the reality of God, and infuses such a persuasion of God's existence and His action both within and without man as far to exceed any scientific conviction. They assert, therefore, the existence of a real experience, and one of a kind that surpasses all rational experience. If this experience is denied by some, like the Rationalists, they say that this arises from the fact that such persons are unwilling to put themselves in the moral state necessary to produce it. It is this experience which makes the person who acquires it to be properly and truly a believer.

    How far this position is removed from that of Catholic teaching! We have already seen how its fallacies have been condemned by the Vatican Council. Later on, we shall see how these errors, combined with those which we have already mentioned, open wide the way to Atheism. Here it is well to note at once that, given this doctrine of experience united with that of symbolism, every religion, even that of paganism, must be held to be true. What is to prevent such experiences from being found in any religion? In fact, that they are so is maintained by not a few. On what grounds can Modernists deny the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam? Will they claim a monopoly of true experiences for Catholics alone? Indeed, Modernists do not deny, but actually maintain, some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true. That they cannot feel otherwise is obvious. For on what ground, according to their theories, could falsity be predicated of any religion whatsoever? Certainly it would be either on account of the falsity of the religious .sense or on account of the falsity of the formula pronounced by the mind. Now the religious sense, although it maybe more perfect or less perfect, is always one and the same; and the intellectual formula, in order to be true, has but to respond to the religious sense and to the believer, whatever be the intellectual capacity of the latter. In the conflict between different religions, the most that Modernists can maintain is that the Catholic has more truth because it is more vivid, and that it deserves with more reason the name of Christian because it corresponds more fully with the origins of Christianity. No one will find it unreasonable that these consequences flow from the premises. But what is most amazing is that there are Catholics and priests, who, We would fain believe, abhor such enormities, and yet act as if they fully approved of them. For they lavish such praise and bestow such public honor on the teachers of these errors as to convey the belief that their admiration is not meant merely for the persons, who are perhaps not devoid of a certain merit, but rather for the sake of the errors which these persons openly profess and which they do all in their power to propagate.
  • G
    Posts: 1,389
    Meandering, ambiguous speech used by contemporary liturgists that allow them to subtly undermine the faith, while at the same time appearing to uphold the intended instructions on worship by the council.

    And that is why YOU should always be the first person, in such a discussion, to lay claim to the words "vibrant" and "uplifting."

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,046
    Except that there are significant limitations on that "ban" on slavery. It's limited to a specific place and specific persons. This allowed enslavement of other peoples later. Modernism in the early Modern era, or not?

    To compare 1600 versus today, if a person buys or sells a chattle slave or holds descendants thereof in bound service, would he or she have to confess it as grave matter in (i) 1600, or (ii) today? Very likely not absent additional facts in 1600, certainly yes today. Is that Modernism at work?
  • kenstb
    Posts: 358
    Liam, you are wrong about the significant limitations on the ban on slavery. While you say that this specificity of time and place allowed the enslavement of other peoples later, the documents disagree with you. Unfortunately, several other popes have had to repeat the anathemas which Eugene imposed during subsequent generations. You are correct that many sought to avoid the papal ban by convincing themselves that the pope spoke only to that specific situation. Eugene IV condemned the reducing of people in the Canary Islands to slavery. Yet we know that popes speak not only for the here and now, but for the future as well.

    In 1537, Paul III, condemned those who made slaves of Native Americans in South America, stating: "Therefore, We, . . . noting that the Indians themselves indeed are true men and are not only capable of the Christian faith, but, as has been made known to us, promptly hasten to the faith' and wishing to provide suitable remedies for them, by our Apostolic Authority decree and declare by these present letters that the same Indians and all other peoples—even though they are outside the faith—who shall hereafter come to the knowledge of Christians have not been deprived or should not be deprived of their liberty or of their possessions. Rather they are to be able to use and enjoy this liberty and this ownership of property freely and licitly, and are not to be reduced to slavery, and that whatever happens to the contrary is to be considered null and void." (emphasis added by me)

    While you are quite right that many (for reasons of profit) ignored the words of the pope, his words could not be more clear.
  • kenstb
    Posts: 358
    It is in fact a terrible work of propaganda to claim that the popes ignored this sin, or turned a blind eye to it. Eugene IV and Paul III spoke out vigorously against slavery the moment that its reality came to their attention. Their teaching was continued by Gregory XIV in 1591 and by Urban VIII in 1639. Pope Gregory XVI made this clear in 1839 when he said, ""There were to be found subsequently among the faithful some who, shamefully blinded by the desire of sordid gain, in lonely and distant countries did not hesitate to reduce to slavery (in servitutem redigere) Indians, Blacks and other unfortunate peoples, or else, by instituting or expanding the trade in those who had been made slaves by others, aided the crime of others. Certainly many Roman Pontiffs of glorious memory, Our Predecessors, did not fail, according to the duties of their office, to blame severely this way of acting as dangerous for the spiritual welfare of those who did such things and a shame to the Christian name." "The slave trade, although it has been somewhat diminished, is still carried on by numerous Christians. Therefore, desiring to remove such a great shame from all Christian peoples ... and walking in the footsteps of Our Predecessors, We, by apostolic authority, warn and strongly exhort in the Lord faithful Christians of every condition that no one in the future dare to bother unjustly, despoil of their possessions, or reduce to slavery (in servitutem redigere) Indians, Blacks or other such peoples. Nor are they to lend aid and favor to those who give themselves up to these practices, or exercise that inhuman traffic by which the Blacks, as if they were not humans but rather mere animals, having been brought into slavery in no matter what way, are, without any distinction and contrary to the rights of justice and humanity, bought, sold and sometimes given over to the hardest labor."

    While history tells us that those involved in the slave trade ignored the popes, it is a great comfort to many of us to know that the Vicars of Christ lived up to their duties to speak against this horrible practice. It was not the effect of modernism (as you put it)
    that woke the church up to the injustice of slavery.

  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809

    one is about the modernist idea of reforming the church.

    38. It remains for Us now to say a few words about the Modernist as reformer. From all that has preceded, it is abundantly clear how great and how eager is the passion of such men for innovation. In all Catholicism there is absolutely nothing on which it does not fasten. They wish philosophy to be reformed, especially in the ecclesiastical seminaries. They wish the scholastic philosophy to be relegated to the history of philosophy and to be classed among absolute systems, and the young men to be taught modern philosophy which alone is true and suited to the times in which we live. They desire the reform of theology: rational theology is to have modern philosophy for its foundation, andpositive theology is to be founded on the history of dogma. As for history, it must be written and taught only according to their methods and modern principles. Dogmas and their evolution, they affirm, are to be harmonized with science and history. In the Catechism no dogmas are to be inserted except those that have been reformed and are within the capacity of the people. Regarding worship, they say, the number of external devotions is to be reduced, and steps must be taken to prevent their further increase, though, indeed, some of the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head. They cry out that ecclesiastical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic departments They insist that both outwardly and inwardly it must be brought into harmony with the modern conscience which now wholly tends towards democracy; a share in ecclesiastical government should therefore be given to the lower ranks of the clergy and even to the laity and authority which is too much concentrated should be decentralized The Roman Congregations and especially the index and the Holy Office, must be likewise modified The ecclesiastical authority must alter its line of conduct in the social and political world; while keeping outside political organizations it must adapt itself to them in order to penetrate them with its spirit. With regard to morals, they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are more important than the passive, and are to be more encouraged in practice. They ask that the clergy should return to their primitive humility and poverty, and that in their ideas and action they should admit the principles of Modernism; and there are some who, gladly listening to the teaching of their Protestant masters, would desire the suppression of the celibacy of the clergy. What is there left in the Church which is not to be reformed by them and according to their principles?
  • kenstb
    Posts: 358
    Very nice. Prophetic even...
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809
    How to deal with those who are modernists within the ranks of the church.

    40. To penetrate still deeper into the meaning of Modernism and to find a suitable remedy for so deep a sore, it behooves Us, Venerable Brethren, to investigate the causes which have engendered it and which foster its growth. That the proximate and immediate cause consists in an error of the mind cannot be open to doubt. We recognize that the remote causes may be reduced to two: curiosity and pride. Curiosity by itself, if not prudently regulated, suffices to account for all errors. Such is the opinion of Our predecessor, Gregory XVI, who wrote: "A lamentable spectacle is that presented by the aberrations of human reason when it yields to the spirit of novelty, when against the warning of the Apostle it seeks to know beyond what it is meant to know, and when relying too much on itself it thinks it can find the truth outside the Catholic Church wherein truth is found without the slightest shadow of error."[21]

    But it is pride which exercises an incomparably greater sway over the soul to blind it and lead it into error, and pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and lurking in its every aspect. It is pride which fills Modernists with that self-assurance by which they consider themselves and pose as the rule for all. It is pride which puffs them up with that vainglory which allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge, and makes them say, elated and inflated with presumption, "We are not as the rest of men," and which, lest they should seem as other men, leads them to embrace and to devise novelties even of the most absurd kind. It is pride which rouses in them the spirit of disobedience and causes them to demand a compromise between authority and liberty. It is owing to their pride that they seek to be the reformers of others while they forget to reform themselves, and that they are found to be utterly wanting in respect for authority, even for the supreme authority. Truly there is no road which leads so directly and so quickly to Modernism as pride. When a Catholic layman or a priest forgets the precept of the Christian life which obliges us to renounce ourselves if we would follow Christ and neglects to tear pride from his heart, then it is he who most of all is a fully ripe subject for the errors of Modernism. For this reason, Venerable Brethren, it will be your first duty to resist such victims of pride, to employ them only in the lowest and obscurest offices. The higher they try to rise, the lower let them be placed, so that the lowliness of their position may limit their power of causing damage. Examine most carefully your young clerics by yourselves and by the directors of your seminaries, and when you find the spirit of pride among them reject them without compunction from the priesthood. Would to God that this had always been done with the vigilance and constancy which were required!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809
    41. If we pass on from the moral to the intellectual causes of Modernism, the first and the chief which presents itself is ignorance. Yes, these very Modernists who seek to be esteemed as Doctors of the Church, who speak so loftily of modern philosophy and show such contempt for scholasticism, have embraced the one with all its false glamour, precisely because their ignorance of the other has left them without the means of being able to recognize confusion of thought and to refute sophistry. Their whole system, containing as it does errors so many and so great, has been born of the union between faith and false philosophy.

    42. Would that they had but displayed less zeal and energy in propagating it! But such is their activity and such their unwearying labor on behalf of their cause, that one cannot but be pained to see them waste such energy in endeavoring to ruin the Church when they might have been of such service to her had their efforts been better directed. Their artifices to delude men's minds are of two kinds, the first to remove obstacles from their path, the second to devise and apply actively and patiently every resource that can serve their purpose. They recognize that the three chief difficulties which stand in their way are the scholastic method of philosophy, the authority and tradition of the Fathers, and the magisterium of the Church, and on these they wage unrelenting war. Against scholastic philosophy and theology they use the weapons of ridicule and contempt. Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is tending to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for the scholastic method. Let the Modernists and their admirers remember the proposition condemned by Pius IX: "The method and principles which have served the ancient doctors of scholasticism when treating of theology no longer correspond with the exigencies of our time or the progress of science."[22] They exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority. But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those "who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind...or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church"; nor that of the declaration of the fourth Council of Constantinople: "We therefore profess to preserve and guard the rules bequeathed to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, by the Holy and most illustrious Apostles, by the orthodox Councils, both general and local, and by everyone of those divine interpreters, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church." Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: "I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church.''

    The Modernists pass judgment on the holy Fathers of the Church even as they do upon tradition. With consummate temerity they assure the public that the Fathers, while personally most worthy of all veneration, were entirely ignorant of history and criticism, for which they are only excusable on account of the time in which they lived. Finally, the Modernists try in every way to diminish and weaken the authority of the ecclesiastical magisterium itself by sacrilegiously falsifying its origin, character, and rights, and by freely repeating the calumnies of its adversaries. To the entire band of Modernists may be applied those words which Our predecessor sorrowfully wrote: "To bring contempt and odium on the mystic Spouse of Christ, who is the true light, the children of darkness have been wont to cast in her face before the world a stupid calumny, and perverting the meaning and force of things and words, to depict her as the friend of darkness and ignorance, and the enemy of light, science, and progress.''[23] This being so, Venerable Brethren, there is little reason to wonder that the Modernists vent all their bitterness and hatred on Catholics who zealously fight the battles of the Church. There is no species of insult which they do not heap upon them, but their usual course is to charge them with ignorance or obstinacy. When an adversary rises up against them with an erudition and force that renders them redoubtable, they seek to make a conspiracy of silence around him to nullify the effects of his attack. This policy towards Catholics is the more invidious in that they belaud with admiration which knows no bounds the writers who range themselves on their side, hailing their works, exuding novelty in every page, with a chorus of applause. For them the scholarship of a writer is in direct proportion to the recklessness of his attacks on antiquity, and of his efforts to undermine tradition and the ecclesiastical magisterium. When one of their number falls under the condemnations of the Church the rest of them, to the disgust of good Catholics, gather round him, loudly and publicly applaud him, and hold him up in veneration as almost a martyr for truth. The young, excited and confused by all this clamor of praise and abuse, some of them afraid of being branded as ignorant, others ambitious to rank among the learned, and both classes goaded internally by curiosity and pride, not infrequently surrender and give themselves up to Modernism.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,902
    Heh. Sent a chunk of that last post to a friend who is involved in the gunfight over "Common Core" in our Archdiocese. Interesting that the secular AND church worlds suffer from Modernists, eh?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809
    hmmm... didn't even think about common core issues. will have to send this portion out to my buds who are teachers.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809
    (These days it seems like this is the norm, not the exception)

    43. And here we have already some of the artifices employed by Modernists to exploit their wares. What efforts do they not make to win new recruits! They seize upon professorships in the seminaries and universities, and gradually make of them chairs of pestilence. In sermons from the pulpit they disseminate their doctrines, although possibly in utterances which are veiled. In congresses they express their teachings more openly. In their social gatherings they introduce them and commend them to others. Under their own names and under pseudonyms they publish numbers of books, newspapers, reviews, and sometimes one and the same writer adopts a variety of pseudonyms to trap the incautious reader into believing in a multitude of Modernist writers. In short, with feverish activity they leave nothing untried in act, speech, and writing. And with what result? We have to deplore the spectacle of many young men, once full of promise and capable of rendering great services to the Church, now gone astray. It is also a subject of grief to Us that many others who, while they certainly do not go so far as the former, have yet been so infected by breathing a poisoned atmosphere, as to think, speak, and write with a degree of laxity which ill becomes a Catholic. They are to be found among the laity, and in the ranks of the clergy, and they are not wanting even in the last place where one might expect to meet them, in religious communities If they treat of biblical questions, it is upon Modernist principles; if they write history, they carefully, and with ill-concealed satisfaction, drag into the light, on the plea of telling the whole truth, everything that appears to cast a stain upon the Church. Under the sway of certain a priori conceptions they destroy as far as they can the pious traditions of the people, and bring into disrespect certain relics highly venerable from their antiquity. They are possessed by the empty desire of having their names upon the lips of the public, and they know they would never succeed in this were they to say only what has always been said by all men. Meanwhile it may be that they have persuaded themselves that in all this they are really serving God and the Church. In reality they only offend both, less perhaps by their works in themselves than by the spirit in which they write, and by the encouragement they thus give to the aims of the Modernists.
  • Dear colleagues! Sorry for reviving an old thread. For quite a while I had in mind adding to the preceding magisterial quotations against modernism another one attributed to St.Pius X:
    "Kindness is for fools! They (the modernists) want them to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses, but they ought to be beaten with fists! In a duel you don't count or measure the blows, you strike as you can! War is not made with charity, it is a struggle, a duel."
    which is found in some traditional Catholic sites. I thought it would be appropriate in light of the recent somewhat similar utterances of our Pope Francis. It, thought I, would contribute towards establishing hermeneutic of continuity between the reigning Pontiff and St. Pius X, and perhaps even to St. Nicolas. And what about launching a movement (a lio?) under slogan "Punch a modernist in your neighbourhood"?

    Alas, only today I noticed that everywhere in internet this quote appears without source. Except for Wikipedia which points to the infamous book Hitler's Pope by J. Cornwell. If somebody of you has access to this book could you look into p. 37 and find out where it comes from. Speech, private letter, audience? Thanks in advance.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,296
    Google Books has enough fragments of it on-line to show the quotation. The footnote says: "Quoted in C. Falconi, Popes of the Twentieth Century (London, 1967), 54."
    As it happens, Eamon Duffy quotes the same page in his history of the popes (though I can't see the page where he does so).

    Regardless of St. Pius' comment, *on this forum* everyone is to be treated with kindness, and accusations of heresy are excluded, per the forum etiquette guidelines. If you want to rant and make accusations, set up your own blog.
    Thanked by 1Andris Amolins
  • Andris,

    Don't apologize for resurrecting an old thread. Some folk around here do it as a matter of course, every January 1st.
  • Andris,

    Don't apologize for resurrecting an old thread. Some folk around here do it as a matter of course, every January 1st.

    And sometimes it causes problems, as in the case of the original purpose for that thread.

    Really, going back and resurrecting an old thread reminds me of walking into a family gathering, and saying "Remember that conversation we had 4 Christmases ago about the market share of sugar? You said this, and Uncle Rick, now dead, said this, well I have an interesting contribution to make to that conversation now ..."

    If you're dying to say something about the market share of sugar, just start a new conversation about it with the people gathered around the fireplace right now.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,809

    I am quite grateful you have resurrected this thread. The stuff in it is more pertinent now than when it was written... dead popes or not!
    Thanked by 1Andris Amolins
  • I don't get the antipathy towards commenting on old threads. to me its more like being in a pub. The conversations meander, people come in and go out, people remind you of comments that were made while you were at the bar etc. If you want to have a conversation in real time with someone, I don't think an online forum is the place. An online forum is a conversation of a different sort, more long drawn out, which can offer the opportunity to be more reflective. I don't feel it s useful to be driven by urgency.
  • Dear Mr. Chonak,
    Many thanks for the references. In Duffy's 2006 edition, the citation (shorter) is on p. 329. In the 2015 edition, page numbers are not seen in Google Books. The Falconi's book itself I have not found yet.