Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


All the ammunition you ever needed to fight progressive “Catholicism”

August 8th, 2012, Promulgated by benanderson

Have you ever read something and thought, “wow, he nailed it!”. Have you ever been further shocked to find out that something so relevant was written over a hundred years ago? Were you even more convicted when you realized it was written by a pope? And finally, how much more affirming was it when you realized it was written by a canonized saint? I had this moment recently when I finally buckled down and read PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS, 1907, St. Pius X. This particular encyclical has been mentioned on this blog before, but last week was the first time I read it in its entirety. The more I read official Church documents, the more I realize that’s all we really need to do – learn what Holy Mother Church teaches. It’s not my opinion versus your opinion. It’s not the post-V2 Church versus the pre-V2 Church (they’re the same Church). It’s not what my priest says versus what your priest says. It all comes down to… what does the Magisterium say? I’d highly encourage you to read at least the paragraphs 1-3, 42-49 (“Gravity of the Situation”, “Methods of Propagandism,” and “Remedies”). Many good Catholics seem to want to sweep liberal nonsense under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist – to just be content that Fr. Bob means well and that he’s genuinely “nice”. But that is not the answer – Liberalism/Modernism/Progressivism must be confronted head on and it must be driven out of Holy Mother Church. The stuff in between those paragraphs is excellent as well as he dissects modernism. Here’s some of my favorite excerpts (neglecting paras 1-3 here because you really ought to read those in their entirety):

note: some of the snippets read backwards in that he is describing what he condemns.

But what is amazing is that there are Catholics and priests who, We would fain believe, abhor such enormities yet act as if they fully approved of them

bladders with the spirit of vanity strive by profane novelties to cross the boundaries fixed by the Fathers, twisting the sense of the heavenly pages

Hence in their books you find some things which might well be expressed by a Catholic, but in the next page you find other things which might have been dictated by a rationalist

feeling no horror at treading in the footsteps of Luther, they are wont to display a certain contempt for Catholic doctrines, or the Holy Fathers, for the Ecumenical Councils, for the ecclesiastical magisterium; and should they be rebuked for this, they complain that they are being deprived of their liberty.

They would also have the believer avail himself of the formulas only in as far as they are useful to him, for they are given to be a help and not a hindrance; with proper regard, however, for the social respect due to formulas which the public magisterium has deemed suitable for expressing the common consciousness until such time as the same magisterium provide otherwise

Every Catholic, from the fact that he is also a citizen, has the right and the duty to work for the common good in the way he thinks best, without troubling himself about the authority of the Church, without paying any heed to its wishes, its counsels, its orders – nay, even in spite of its reprimands. To trace out and prescribe for the citizen any line of conduct, on any pretext whatsoever, is to be guilty of an abuse of ecclesiastical authority, against which one is bound to act with all one’s might.

The principles from which these doctrines spring have been solemnly condemned by our predecessor Pius VI. in his Constitution Auctorem fidei.

For as faith is to be subordinated to science, as far as phenomenal elements are concerned, so too in temporal matters the Church must be subject to the State. They do not say this openly as yet – but they will say it when they wish to be logical on this head.

And thus, here again a way must be found to save the full rights of authority on the one hand and of liberty on the other. In the meanwhile the proper course for the Catholic will be to proclaim publicly his profound respect for authority – and continue to follow his own bent.

Since the end of the Church is entirely spiritual, the religious authority should strip itself of all that external pomp which adorns it in the eyes of the public. And here they forget that while religion is essentially for the soul, it is not exclusively for the soul, and that the honour paid to authority is reflected back on Jesus Christ who instituted it

Hence, studying more closely the ideas of the Modernists, evolution is described as resulting from the conflict of two forces, one of them tending towards progress, the other towards conservation.

With all this in mind, one understands how it is that the Modernists express astonishment when they are reprimanded or punished.

it is necessary for them to remain within the ranks of the Church in order that they may gradually transform the collective conscience – thus unconsciously avowing that the common conscience is not with them, and that they have no right to claim to be its interpreters.

Syllabus of Pius IX

Let one of them but open his mouth and the others applaud him in chorus, proclaiming that science has made another step forward; let an outsider but hint at a desire to inspect the new discovery with his own eyes, and they are on him in a body; deny it – and you are an ignoramus; embrace it and defend it – and there is no praise too warm for you.

The impudence and the domineering of some, and the thoughtlessness and imprudence of others, have combined to generate a pestilence in the air which penetrates everywhere and spreads the contagion.

St. Augustine: In an authority so high, admit but one officious lie, and there will not remain a single passage of those apparently difficult to practise or to believe, which on the same most pernicious rule may not be explained as a lie uttered by the author wilfully and to serve a purpose. (Epist. 28).

summary description of the apologetic method of the Modernists, in perfect harmony, as you may see, with their doctrines – methods and doctrines brimming over with errors, made not for edification but for destruction, not for the formation of Catholics but for the plunging of Catholics into heresy; methods and doctrines that would be fatal to any religion.

The ecclesiastical authority must change its line of conduct in the social and political world; while keeping outside political and social organization, it must adapt itself to those which exist 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, both in the estimation in which they must be held and in the exercise of them. The clergy are asked to return to their ancient lowliness and poverty, and in their ideas and action to be guided by the principles of Modernism; and there are some who, echoing the teaching of their Protestant masters, would like the suppression of ecclesiastical celibacy. What is there left in the Church which is not to be reformed according to their principles?

We should define it as the synthesis of all heresies

if experiences have so much value in their eyes, why do they not attach equal weight to the experience that thousands upon thousands of Catholics have that the Modernists are on the wrong road?

Modernism leads to the annihilation of all religion.

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 fruit outside the Church wherein truth is found without the slightest shadow of error (Ep. Encycl. Singulari nos, 7 Kal. Jul. 1834).

Hence, Venerable Brethren, it will be your first duty to thwart such proud men, to employ them only in the lowest and obscurest offices

have embraced the one with all its false glamour because their ignorance of the other has left them without the means of being able to recognise confusion of thought

They recognise that the three chief difficulties for them are scholastic philosophy, the authority of the fathers and tradition, and the magisterium of the Church, and on these they wage unrelenting war

the proposition condemned by Pius IX: The method and principles which have served the doctors of scholasticism when treating of theology no longer correspond with the exigencies of our time or the progress of science (Syll. Prop. 13).

But for Catholics the second Council of Nicea will always have the force of law, where it condemns those who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind … or endeavour by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church;

the scholarship of a writer is in direct proportion to the recklessness of his attacks on antiquittradition and the ecclesiastical magisterium; when one of their number falls under the condemnations of the Church the rest of them, to the horror of good Catholics, gather round him, heap public praise upon him, venerate him almost as a martyr to truth.

If you carefully search for the cause of those errors you will find that it lies in the fact that in these days when the natural sciences absorb so much study, the more severe and lofty studies have been proportionately neglected

Anybody who in any way is found to be imbued with Modernism is to be excluded without compunction from these offices, and those who already occupy them are to be withdrawn.

Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty!

It is also the duty of the bishops to prevent writings infected with Modernism or favourable to it from being read when they have been published, and to hinder their publication when they have not. No book or paper or periodical of this kind must ever be permitted to seminarists or university students.

We are pleased to name “the Council of Vigilance,” be instituted without delay.


4 Responses to “All the ammunition you ever needed to fight progressive “Catholicism””

  1. avatar Abaccio says:

    My favorite encyclical!

  2. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    I believe that Father Robert Mc Namara, deceased diocesan historian, might have written about the impact of the pope’s writings on our very own diocese in his comprehensive history of the diocese.

  3. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    Of course, we must keep in mind that the implementation of the encyclical against modernism was not always implemented in the the fairest fashion so we must be VERY careful in judging and condemning people. One of my grandmother’s dearest friends was reported to the Holy Office while he was a professor at St Bernards on Lake Avenue. He was put through a very critical investigation and underwent personal trauma and eventually found to be innocent as he had been all along. In reparation, he was named by the pope to the bishopric of San Francisco and became known as Archbishop Hannon. A while later, on a trip to Rome, he inquired as to who had reported him to the Holy Office. Evidently professional rivalry and envy had motivated the culprit who was another professor at St Bernard’s.

  4. avatar Scott W. says:

    Not trying to be disputatious Raymond, but your anecdote doesn’t support you premise; at least as you have described it. You didn’t mention whether the culprit invoked PDG when he turned in your grandma’s friend, but assuming he did, you told us that the culprit turned him in out of rivalry and envy. In other words, conspiratorially and quite possibly canonically criminally (but I don’t know enough on that end). Well, that doesn’t in anyway make PDG flammable material. At least it doesn’t make it anymore dangerous than any other encyclical.

Leave a Reply

Log in | Register

You must be logged in to post a comment.

-Return to main page-