Traditionalism Vs. Modernism
Fr. Peter Carota
Anyone serious about discovering what the problem in the catholic church is today has to try to understand Modernism. It is very complex and difficult to understand. But I am going to try to delve into it a bit and continue to try to make it sensible to the average traditional catholic. I will not do this is one writing and it will not be easy to explain.
One definition of Catholic Modernism is the attempt to re-interpret the teachings of the catholic church by taking into account new philosophical and scientific thought and concepts. It has a lot to do with Darwin’s evolution and the evolution of truth. There by making ancient beliefs looked down upon and archaic (including catholic beliefs).
St. Pope Pius X promulgated his papal encyclical letter Pascendi dominici gregis directed against the heresy of Modernism on September 8, 1907.
Pope St. Pius the X then on September 1, 1910 required that every bishop, priest, religious superior, seminarian and professors of Theology and Philosophy swear the oath against modernism. The swearing of this oath was ended by the Pope Paul VI and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) in July 1967.
Why was it abolished? To think that in the time of Pope St. Pius X in 1910, he found this oath necessary, and then all of a sudden in 1967 it is longer needed is preposterous. More than ever it was needed when all things were being re-evaluated and revolutionized.
A few things that are contained in the oath are:
“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……”
“I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport…”.
“I reject the method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostalic See…”
“I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernist who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition….”
“I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way….”
One definition of “Catholic Modernism is the attempt to re-interpret the teachings of the catholic church by taking into account new philosophical and scientific thought and concepts.” The Modernist and the Humanist worked hand in hand. As in the French Revolution, secularism was promoted and set religious teaching were seen as detriments to the advancement of science and human endeavors.
When Vatican II idealistically wanted to dialogue with “modern man” and be open to the world of science, sociology, psychology, and anthropology, much naiveté about the perfection of science and social sciences was accepted. When religious orders became involved in psychological experimentation much harm was done and many orders ceased from existing.
Another example of the church’s naiveté to modern social studies was the theory that sex abusers, once they had been in therapy, were able to go back to parishes and not repeat this crime. But over and over again the so called “healed abuser” continued to abuse in these other parishes.
So as you can see, tradition lovers have nothing in common with those who always want “the new”. Society and the Church have not evolved. We are still made up of sinners who want to promote their new agenda. Man is still the same, before and today. We need God’s grace to live a loving selfless life. More education is good, but it has not made the world a safer place to live in.
As we walk down the modernist world in the church and in society, things only get worse. More drugs, divorce, sexually transmitted disease, murders and theft. As we walk up the traditional path to heaven, there are happier families, a deeper experience of God, true intellectual development, and charity.
When will the modernist admit that all that is new is not always better and that tradition has so much to teach us. It is like the youth that think they know everything and do not need parents and older people. What an illusion.
There is nothing wrong with good science and social science as long as it goes on proven facts, not theories. We can learn from un-bias studies. But Divine Tradition from heaven is by far more accurate and helpful for us to be happy healthy people. Thank God we are traditional.