MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH
Pope St. Pius X, Pray for us!
September 3, 2010
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chapel celebrated the feast of St. Pius X with Holy Mass and the veneration of his first class relic. Pope Pius X was canonized on May 29, 1954 -he was Pope for only 11 years. He lived during a difficult time not only for the Church, but in an age where even civil society (the state) had seemingly lost all sense. What does this great pontiff and his feast mean for us today?
Pope St. Pius X lived in a period when liberalism had actually reached into the life of the Church and infected the minds of many clerics, theologians and laity. This great pope (known for his kindness, his ability to deal warmly with everyone) was at the same time not a pope who tolerated liberalism well! The Holy Father spent his pontificate in a positive program of not only condemning the errors of liberalism, but of working tirelessly to "restore all things in Christ." While we see and behold today the destructive results of liberal modernism in left field, we also find a movement out in "right field" which is called by the name of "traditionalist" that seemingly does not use that name well: tradition is about restoring all things in Christ! What "tradition" do some represent? Is it in line with this warm and kind-hearted pontiff? Tradition is about restoration, restoration as in the mind and spirit of Pope St. Pius X. Tradition is not about holding on to antiques and building religious museums with Roman Vestments. We pray that souls might begin to live the Catholic faith, think of a Catholic tomorrow. Catholic restoration is about getting minds to think in accord with Christ and His One True Church.
WHERE TO BEGIN?
The so-called "Protestant Reformation" was none other than the first liberal modernist assault against the Roman Catholic Church. The Mass was attacked along with the Sacraments. This reformation was not about "restoring the Bible" to the laity, since all the "reformers" ripped Scripture to shreds and invented their own "scriptures." Like the modernists of today, doctrine had little meaning for them, at least in the way it was understood by the Church founded by Jesus Christ.
Cardinal Ratzinger and a Lutheran Ministress
What can be gained with such joint-prayer sessions?
What "unity" is being prayed for?
Would Pope St. Pius X have approved of
As you might be aware, a great assault on the Catholic religion was taking place during the pontificate of Pope Pius X. The long awaited "French revolution in the Church" was on the advance against the bark of Peter.
The reality is this revolt began at the time of the so-called Protestant "reformation" -headed up by the immoral priest-monk, Martin Luther. Like the Protestant deformation of the Church previously, the Modernist deforming of the Church was led primarily by clergy.
Pope St. Pius X had a difficult task, as the enemies of the Catholic religion had taken root now, within the fold. What was first planted as seed at the reformation, was now coming into full bloom. Pope St. Pius X did everything possible to destroy the vicious heresy of modernist liberalism. He worked tirelessly towards this end. Pope St. Pius called all men to the "one true Church" and did not have the time or thought, like the modern popes, to go and engage in fruitless "dialogue." Modernism is a crafty heresy, because often enough, the modernist clergy are careful enough to "cloud" their words so that they can be interpreted in any number of ways. Modernism went "underground" during the reign of Pope Pius X, only to come up for the fresh air of Vatican II.
It was the humble and Catholic spirit of Pope St. Pius X that attracted the Anglican Community of Franciscans in Graymoor, New York. These sincere Anglicans realized that they could not possibly be Catholic and at the same time, remain outside the Church in a false denomination that embraced so many heresies. The spirit of Fr. Paul and Mother Lurana was one of "good will" in which and they had a most sincere desire to completely embrace the Catholic faith and submit to the Church of Jesus Christ. This is very much unlike the spirit of the various splinter Anglican groups today. If souls are truly converted to Christ, they would seek to be immediately united to Him in His Mystical Body. The Church is not about corporate reunion. Are the modern-day Anglican groups convinced of Catholic dogma, or are they simply running away from the sinking ship of a denomination that dresses Catholic, but tolerates grave immorality? Why are they running to the "New Church" which engages in dialogue with the very people the "traditional Anglicans" are leaving? Is that what traditional, ala Anglican, is all about?
Sadly, many of those who attend the "New Mass" are not aware that the religion being taught and practiced in the "New Church" institution is exactly the "religion" that the great popes, especially Pope St. Pius X, condemned. Even back in 1887, as the Bishop of Mantua, the future Pope Pius X denounced what was called "modern Christianity." Prior to him, Pope Leo XIII (in his condemnation of Americanism) condemned the modernist idea that:
"The Church ought to adapt herself more to our advanced civilization and, relaxing her ancient rigor, show some indulgence to modern popular theories and methods. Many think that this is to be understood not only with regard to the rule of life, but also to the doctrines which constitute the Deposit of Faith. For they contend that it is opportune, in order to work in a more attractive way upon the wills of those who are not in accord with us, to keep silence on certain points of doctrine as being of lesser importance, or to soften them until they have no longer the sense to which the Church has always held."
HOW CAN YOU DETECT A MODERNIST?
Who could deny that the thinking condemned by Pope Leo XIII is the prevalent spirit of the "New Church" since Vatican Council II? This is nothing more or less than the spirit of modernism that has infected great portions of the Catholic Church. In his encyclical letter (Pascendi) St. Pius X tells us how we can know a modernist by their anti-Catholic attitude towards the Magesterium of the Church. The liberal-modernist believes in "evolution of doctrine." Pope St. Pius X explains and provides us with an example of what a Modernist believes:
"First of all, they lay down the general principle that in a living religion everything is subject to change, and must in fact change, and in this way they pass to what may be said to be, among their chief doctrines, that of evolution. To the laws of evolution everything is subject -dogma, Church, worship, the books we revere as sacred, even faith itself, and the penalty of disobedience is death."
AN EXAMPLE OF MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH
As an example of modernism at work in the Church: we take a few lines penned by a diocesan priest as he informs us that "The doctrine of Original Sin, developed by St. Augustine, becomes a driving force in the understanding of Baptism." He further informed his flock that "an unfortunate side effect of Pelagianism and the Church's response is that the understanding of Baptism becomes narrowed and limited. Little by little, Baptism no longer is seen as a rite of initiation into a community of faith. Rather, it is a sacrament that takes on a certain urgency -an urgency to remove the stain of Original Sin and avoid a place called limbo." (emphasis not in the original) These words of Fr. W. Conway, a priest in good standing in a local diocese, are of course classic modernism. I guess this sacerdos would not find a sense of urgency in the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved...he who believes not shall be condemned." Actually, Our Lord was not talking about "a place called limbo" -He was talking about a placed called Hell. We thank the good Lord that such thinking, as exhibited in the thoughts and words of Rev. Conway, was not that of the great missionaries of the Catholic Faith: they would have all just stayed home! Why bother converting and baptizing anyone? No sense of urgency? As a side note, we need not worry about a place called "limbo" -at least anymore, as I've been informed this is passe as well. These poor priests spend time on Tielhard and his bogus doctrine, write about ridiculous "cosmic liturgies" or plan the next looney liturgy. Is that why they were ordained? What happened to these men? In a word: MODERNISM. Truth be told, most of these modernist priests are just grumpy old men, not exactly like their younger "happy go lucky" counterparts who, thankfully, don't spend much time witting. The older modernist clergy still "have a cause" to promote, while the younger fellows are just along for the ride. The ride is often in a fancy car...not much of the "Mother Theresa" type to be found among them, but yet they all seem to love her. Why not emulate her?
Some typical modernist Catholic clergy at a "New Mass." When doctrine goes out the door, when the Church is not really necessary for salvation, if all religions, both the true one and the false ones are equal, it really does not matter how you worship, let alone give attention to something called "rubrics."
We of the true Church must be seen as petty to care about such matters!
What the Church teaches on Baptism
No sense of urgency?
"The time when the law of Baptism was made also admits of no doubt....After the Resurrection of Our Lord, when He gave to His Apostles the command to go and "teach all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," the law of Baptism became obligatory on all who are to be saved."
Catechism of the Council of Trent
"He who believes and is baptized will be saved..."
Our Lord Jesus Christ
"If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with Me."
St. John 13:8
It is no small coincidence that we see the Sacraments are treated with such little respect in the "New Church" by her modernist clergy. No wonder they have little time for "Last Rites" or visiting the sick and dying. To their credit, some (sincere but confused) laity act as "extra ordinary ministers" and visit the sick and dying. But can they absolve? Can they provide Extreme Unction? I recall one such "extra-ordinary minister" walking around with a large ciborium under his armpit. What respect!
GETTING THE DRIFT OF MODERNISM
Pope St. Pius X called modernism the "synthesis and poisoning of all heresies which tend to undermine the fundamentals of the Faith and to annihilate Christianity." Pope St. Pius X required those who were candidates for ordination to take an "Oath against Modernism." Pope Paul VI, who was to bemoan the "smoke of Satan" in the Church, discarded the Oath against Modernism. We see the results of this wonderful change. So much for renewal. It was after this that we began to see all the modernist "dud" priests like the one on the left, and the one below. If dogma on faith and morals is "relevant" according to the times, why bother being a priest, a goodpriest? So we see, the new priesthood of vacations, fun, parties, frolicking around and worse. The new priesthood is a dud priesthood.
What can a dud priesthood formed in modernism accomplish?
Where would Pope St. Pius X feel more at home: with the dud clergy and their looney liturgies, or with those who offer the True Mass and teach the Catholic faith?
-the same faith that Pope St. Pius X defended and for which he went to great lengths to preserve against the modern errors of his day.
Who teaches in the spirit of Pope St. Pius X today?
While some would describe the pontificate of Pope Pius X as "negative" as regards his intent to remove modernism from the Church, we also see he was concerned with the restoration of ecclesiastical music, with encouraging souls to attend Holy Mass and receive the Blessed Sacrament frequently. In 1905 Pope St. Pius X wrote about "frequent Communion." This was nothing new, but rather it was an urging of his that the faithful take seriously what the Council of Trent said as regards daily Mass and daily reception of Communion. Pope St. Pius X wished that the young receive Holy Communion as soon as possible. This was nothing new, as the Eastern Rites have children receive Holy Communion after their Baptism...but, some might say, this has no urgency either.
"Holy Communion is the shortest and surest way to Heaven."
-Pope St. Pius X
It is said that Pope St. Pius X died of a broken heart. Pope Pius warned of a "general apostasy" and that their would be a great departure from the true faith. We have lived to see these words come true. In his first encyclical letter (October 4, 1903) he wrote:
"We are terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of human society today...so extreme is the general perversion that all who consider these matters have a right to fear that we are experiencing the foretaste and the beginnings of the evils of the evils which are to come at the end of time..."
MODERNISM IN THE CHURCH
As we continue with a presentation on modernism, it is important that we understand what "charity" is all about. Charity of course must always be associated with the faith, the true faith. St. Pius X said in "Pascendi" for example, "it would be a monstrous error to conceive of a charity without faith." Again, charity is always connected to the faith. Unfortunately we find today that both the liberal modernist and the traditionalist modernist have an incorrect notion of Catholic charity. The "charity" that is popular today is the "charity" of the world. The charity of today is the idea that "we just all get along" and forget about our differences, even if our differences might be what decides that some go to heaven, and others to go to hell. This is not charity! The world today around us does not know charity, it does not know the Catholic Faith, the commandments.
(An article on "Charity" and the true understanding/practice of charity will be uploaded soon). This wil not be part of the material presented on Modernism.
To understand the heart of the heresy of modernism, we need to first take a look back into the history of the Church to appreciate what Pope St. Pius X taught, as to why he rightly called modernism as the "sewer collector of all heresy." The fact is the Church has dealt with this spiritual disease previously, but under a variety of names. To understand the mind of the modernist popes, bishops, priests, religious, laity, we must delve a little into the past thoughts and ideas of those who taught dissent. If we are to understand or comprehend what "modernism" is truly all about, we need to look at the foundation. A study of the historical characters associated with this heresy leads us to conclude that the heresy of modernism today (in whatever form it takes) is really and ultimately an attack on the Church and her salvific role in the world. The fact is that modernism is really a belief in universal salvation: everyone is going to be saved one way or another. It is not so strange for example, that the New Church of Vatican II (although you don't hear much reported about it) is very deep in dialogue with the "Polish National Catholic Church." The Polish National Church was founded by an excommunicated modernist priest (Francis Hodur). While the sect he created (in an effort to win over the Polish people) retained the Tridentine Mass, the traditional Rites (in Polish) and much of the appearance of Catholicism, they taught new doctrines under these external images: they denied a belief in hell and original sin, for example. (I have the Catechism of the Polish National Church). Francis Hodur (seen above) was a modernist who preached universal salvation. Like Origen of old, he believed perhaps in a period of purgation, but all would eventually be saved. (to be continued) (We've received a great deal of interest on this topic and specifically on the teachings of the "Old Catholic" and "Polish National" denominations which were none other than early modernist movements. As this article continues, we want to portay the teachings of these denominations accurately, as well as the current dialogue that exists between them and Rome).
The Oath Against Modernism
Pope Saint Pius X
from the Motu Proprio Sacrorum Antistitum. Sept. 1, 1910
To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.
I ... firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.
And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:19), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that therefore, His existence can also be demonstrated.
Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.
Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when He lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.
Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same explanation. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another, different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.
Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, Our Creator and Lord.
Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas.
I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion.
I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality -- that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful.
Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and sup- reme norm.
Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historical-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.
Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact -- one to be put on par with the ordinary facts of history -- the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages, a school begun by Christ and His apostles.
I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God, and these holy Gospels of God which I touch with my hand.