Traditionalists: Modernists in the guise of ‘true’ Catholics
© Copyright 2012, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author. All emphasis within quotes is the author’s unless indicated otherwise.)
You’ve heard the old saw that a lie repeated often enough is accepted as the truth. When Rev. Altenbach in the 1970s began crusading for the restoration of the Catholic Mass he revived the phrase “It is the Mass that matters.” Latin Mass enthusiasts have mouthed that same phrase for the past four decades. Ironically, it was never a Catholic phrase to begin with. In the Catholic Encyclopedia under “Mass,” Adrian Fortescue ascribes its origins to the Reformers, not 16th century Catholics. The fact that it was the Mass that mattered so much to these clerics emerging after the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae should have told us something about them then. That it did not says something about us. It demonstrates that most of those exiting the anti-Church in Rome either never fully understood the errors of Modernism or had forgotten whatever they had known at one time. In reality they probably didn’t sit back and give the situation much thought; they simply followed the lead of whoever stepped in to direct them. That is the herd mentality that predominates today, and much of the damage to the Church had been accomplished in this regard long before the false V2 council. Ironically the willingness to be led by fellow laymen or priests versus bishops, who alone have the full power of governing their diocese directly from the Roman Pontiff, already, had taken hold even among those considering themselves true Catholics. And this even though Catholics believed that Modernism was the very thing they were fighting and they themselves were free from it.
What needs to be understood about Modernism from the outset is that it is precisely what Pope St. Pius X tells us it is in “Pascendi Dominici Gregis” — “the synthesis of all heresies.” If what we see in Traditionalists not only corresponds to the actual Traditionalist heresy condemned in the 1800s by Pope Pius IX but also to Liberalism, to Gallicanism, to anti-Scholasticism and Fideism and other heresies, we need only remember that Modernism encompassed ALL these heresies. And by Traditionalist here we mean anything from the conservative Novus Ordo indult aspirants to sedevacantists and deluded conclavists. This is why we have been so hard-pressed all these years to categorize these people; they keep morphing from one sect and one heresy to another, and then back again. If this were not the case, these self-proclaimed remnant Catholics would have responded to the following observation made long ago by a Jesuit priest, but pointed out in articles and correspondence by Catacomb Catholics for decades: “It may be asked, ‘why I should tell CATHOLICS what they already admit?’ I will reply that many Catholics, otherwise well educated men, form confused notions and even fall into serious mistakes regarding various points of Catholic doctrine. They fail to realize all that is contained in the truths which they hold, and often, unwittingly entertain opinions which are far from being sound. They, at times, culpably or inculpably, shut their eyes to truths that either form part of the Catholic faith or are closely bound up with it,” (“The Relations of the Church to Society,” by Rev. Edmund J. O’Reilly, S. J., 1892).
Because those describing themselves as Traditionalists have not duly examined what they teach and believe, but instead have only ramped up their attacks against those who dare to criticize or correct them, we now can say that even Modernism itself has evolved into a far more dangerous species, known as neo-Modernism, which is defined quite well by one Traditional-minded blogger as follows: “The post-conciliar theological principle is neo-modernism, and the theology that is based on it is known as the nouvelle theologie. It is the idea that old dogmas or beliefs must be retained, yet not the traditional ‘formulas’: dogmas must be expressed and interpreted in a new way in every age so as to meet the ‘needs of modern man’. This is still a denial of the traditional and common sense notion of truth as adaequatio intellectus et rei (insofar as it is still an attempt to make the terminology that expresses the faith correspond with our modern lifestyle) and consequently of the immutability of Catholic dogma, yet it is not as radical as modernism. It is more subtle and much more deceptive than modernism because it claims that the faith must be retained; it is only the ‘formulas’ of faith that must be abandoned — they use the term ‘formula’ to distinguish the supposedly mutable words of our creeds, dogmas, etc. from their admittedly immutable meanings. Therefore, neo-Modernism can effectively slip under the radar of most pre-conciliar condemnations (except Humani generis, which condemns it directly) insofar as its practitioners claim that their new and unintelligible theological terminology really expresses the same faith of all times. In other words, neo-modernism is supposed to be ‘dynamic orthodoxy’: supposedly orthodox in meaning, yet always changing in expression to adapt to modern life (cf. Franciscan University of Steubenville’s mission statement).
“Take extra ecclesiam nulla salus as a clear example of a dogma that has received a brutal neo-modernist re-interpretation: they claim that the old ‘formula’ that ‘there is no salvation outside the Church’ must be abandoned; rather it is more meaningful to modern man to say that salvation is not in, but through, the Church; people who are not in the Church may still be saved through the Church; thus, to them the dogma that ‘there is no salvation outside the Church’ means that there is salvation outside the Church. Hence see Pope Pius XII condemning those who ‘reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation.’ (Humani generis),” http://iteadthomam.blogspot.com/2010/09/modernism-vs-neo-modernism-what-is.html The reverse of this false teaching is the over-reaction by the Feeneyites who claim no one at all can be saved without water Baptism; this is the classic pendulum swing to the extreme right that so often follows the fulminations of heretics. Another good example of this phenomenon was the Conclavist movement, formed initially to champion the papacy against Traditionalists who were behaving as though all jurisdiction issues from themselves. Yet these Conclavists proceeded too far, with the laity invalidly electing Traditional “clerics” and even laymen as “pope.”
Traditionalists definitely have put this new twist on Modernism resulting in neo-Modernism, for they never openly admit that what they teach is contrary to any papal teaching, any dogma. They imply that they accept all Church dogma and practice the Catholic faith yet their actions override their implied beliefs. The only reason that it hasn’t been so identified to date is because most believed that adherence to Tradition could not be Modernist; that only novelty and actual innovation qualify as Modernism. Those involved in such sects are either generally so ill-instructed in the faith or so confused by their “leaders’” rhetoric that they literally cannot exercise their intellects to address any objections raised against their membership in what is clearly an heretical sect. In defending the faith they debase themselves and demure to these “leaders” or designated “apologists,” for they are “poor simple folks” who obviously cannot be expected to defend their faith — so much for Holy Scripture instructing Christians to be able to give a reason for the faith that is in them. What these sect leaders do is so clearly of the Modernist persuasion that it begs to be identified as such. And we can know what they are in many different ways, including Pope St. Pius X’s description of their behavior when attacked as follows: “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…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,” (“Pascendi Dominici Gregis,” para. 42).
This precisely describes both the simple folks mentioned above; who often are second or third generation Traditionalists, as well as the cloaks of secrecy neo-Modernists themselves wrap first around their own operations and then cast over the objections of their opponents. The gall and hatred they vent on their adversaries is easily evidenced in their vicious attacks on those who dare to question them. For this reason, and those listed below, it is obvious that Traditionalists actively involved in operating and organizing these sects, while masquerading as Catholics all these years, in fact have been Modernists, according to Pope St. Pius X’s very definitions in “Pascendi”:
- The “conflicting forces” of the Modernist concept of doctrinal evolution tends “one toward progress and the other toward conservation.” Those who remained in the Novus Ordo anti-Church favor progress; those who left it to become Traditionalists favor conservatism.
- “Some of the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent” concerning the progressive reforms the more radical Novus Ordo-type modernists proposed, who grudgingly tolerate the Latin Mass. It all goes back to the Modernist idea of collective conscience, and shaping the symbolic forms to suit what the people want. Concerning such forms, Pope Pius XII also says in “Humani Generis”: “Wherefore they do not consider it absurd, but altogether necessary, that theology should substitute new concepts in place of the old ones in keeping with the various philosophies which in the course of time it uses as its instruments, so that it should give human expression to divine truths in various ways which are even somewhat opposed, but still equivalent, as they say. They add that the history of dogmas consists in the reporting of the various forms in which revealed truth has been clothed, forms that have succeeded one another in accordance with the different teachings and opinions that have arisen over the course of the centuries.”
- The collective conscience, or false “sensus catholicus” referred to by Traditionalists, justifies both the need for progressivism and conservatism. This is true because both “needs” come from the people, which Modernism teaches comprises (their) church. “The Church…is the product of the collective conscience, that is to say, of the society of individual consciences.” According to the Modernists, authority must shape itself to the collective conscience, “…for it is madness to think that the sentiment of liberty, as it is now spread abroad, can surrender…The ecclesiastical magisterium must be subordinate to them, and should therefore take democratic forms…The proper course for the Catholic will be to proclaim publicly his profound respect for authority — and continue to follow his own bent.” How this actually took place is explained below.
Why did those exiting Vatican II call themselves Traditionalists?
If Catholics would do their homework, they would discover that the Traditionalist label used to distinguish “Latin-Mass Catholics” from Novus Ordo church members was first used over 100 years ago to describe a heresy condemned by Pope Pius IX — Traditionalism. This heresy, related to Fideism, pretends that Catholics are imbued with a sense of divine revelation that will guide them in discerning truths of faith; that they need not study these truths to arrive at certitude concerning what is and is not revealed. Pope St. Pius X defines Fideism as “a certain special sense…which Modernists give the name of faith.” Fideists claim that certitude must depend on authority without first determining whether such authority is valid, and no better description of traditionalist reliance on floating priests is available. The Catholic Encyclopedia under this topic states that Fideism teaches there is no need of intellectual assent based on objective evidence, observing that “Denying intellectual knowledge, [fideism] ruins faith itself,” (http://www.newadvent.org/).
Pascal Parente defines Traditionalism as “A philosophico-religious system, which depreciates human reason and establishes the tradition of mankind, which is bound up with language, as the criterion of truth and certainty.” As a part of this heresy, Parente defines, “a worse fideism, because it is naturalistic…than that derived from Kantianism,” (“Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology,” 1951).
It was the 18th century philosopher Descartes who portrayed truth as relative and subjective, something within the individual. To him the conscience was the sole judge of right and wrong, whether rightly formed or not. Descartes totally discarded the teaching of the Church that truth is synonymous with God the Father and His Son. One hundred years later, Jean Jacques Rousseau finished the equation by maintaining that man and his conscience are essentially good; there is no need to obey the laws and the teachings of the Church, only conscience.
One Traditionalist (Lucio Mascarenhas; no approval or recommendation whatever of his Conclavist stance or other works is intended here) rightly opines that Traditionalism has evolved into the heresy also called Perennialism or philosophia perrennis, still known as Traditionalism by others, (“St. Augustine, “City of God”). However he fails to credit this heresy to its rightful source, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, born in Germany in 1770. Basically Hegel was a doctrinal evolutionist as are the Modernists, believing that nothing actually “is” but only is in the process of perpetually “becoming.” Hegel is best known for his ideas on the philosophia perennis, that “all previous systems of thought — religious, mythological, philosophical — aim at and partially unveil the same doctrine,” the teaching that a grand synthesis of opposing beliefs would culminate in unity and equality,” (“What is the Hegelian Dialectic?,” by Niki Raapana and Nordica Friedrich, http://nord.twu.net/acl/agenda21.html). This was also the teaching of the popular mythologist and lecturer Joseph Campbell, who died in 1987.
Mascarenhas lays this Perennialism at the door of one Ananda Coomeraswamy, longtime friend of Aleister Crowley and a devoted curate, student and critic of Eastern art. Coomeraswamy also was the father of Rama Coomeraswamy, a convert to the Catholic faith who was at one time a “monsignor” associated with the Society of St. Pius X. Using the definitions offered by neo-Traditionalists themselves, Mascarenhas arrived at the following conclusions. This heresy “did not originate among true pagans, but among apostates from the pseudo-Christian sects who wished to return to and restore paganism… [Ananda] Coomeraswamy sees the world divided into two camps or parties: those for God and those against Christianity. Christianity itself represents the Tradition of Truth that God first imparted to Adam and Eve in the Garden, before their Fall, when they were on intimate terms with Him. It was continued in the traditions of a Savior-Redeemer to come, again imparted by Him to Adam and Eve after the Fall, and continued by Abel, Seth, and their descendants, by Methuselah and Enoch, and by Noe, Shem and Japhetha, by Abram, Isaac and Jacob-Israel, by Moses, Josue and the line of the prophets and judges down to Samuel, by Kings David and Solomon, by the prophets, and by Christ Himself, the Incarnate, Theandric God.
“On the opposite side is the False Tradition, made by rebellious man. Before the Deluge, men had rebelled also, but this Tradition, which originates fundamentally in the Rebellion of Satan, once the Angel of Light, and his allies the Fallen Angels, was continued after the Deluge, in the Tradition of Ham, Canaan, and of Nimrod, etc. Most of the ancient Paganisms — e.g. Hinduism, the native paganisms of the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Celts, Teutons, Shintoism, Taoism, Vodunism, the sundry ‘Animisms,’ etc. — demonstrate a sharp similarity and prove a common origin in the rebellious Tradition of Paganism and Idolatry since the commencement of the Post-Deluvian period.” He includes among these systems “various Greek philosophies such as Zoroastrianism, Jainism and Buddhism, Sikhism, etc.” Mascarenhas ends by telling us that Perennialism pretends that both traditions originated in one Tradition, and has as its aim the reunion of the two Traditions. This explains why the five antipopes, Roncalli through Ratzinger, have championed ecumenism and the amalgamation of the world’s religions. Rama Coomeraswamy, writing on Perennialism, at one and the same time seems to both reject and admit the broader liberal view of the ecumenists, quoting from his father on the commonality of symbolism found in both ancient Judaism and pagan religions. Like Wojtyla, he quotes St. Justin and St. Augustine in confirmation of his work, and without defining invincible ignorance, states that even those suffering this malady prior to the birth of Christ were saved. But without a true pope to decide on the interpretation to be assigned to what the Fathers meant and wrote, no certainty can be had concerning the distinction he is trying to make.
Antipope Karol Wojtyla used a similar approach in his first “encyclical.” He quoted St. Justin completely out of context to proclaim: “The Fathers of the Church rightly saw in the various religions as it were so many reflections of the one truth, “seeds of the Word,” attesting that though the routes taken may be different, there is but one single goal to which the human spirit has expressed in its quest for God…tending towards God,” (To fully appreciate the injustice done to St. Justin’s text, see St. Justin’s Apologia I, Ch. 46, 1-4; Apologia II, Ch. 7, (8), 1-4; 10, 1-3; 13, 3-4). Both men fail to mention that everything changed with the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and the birth of Christ. No longer was there any confusion concerning the means necessary to salvation. As noted above, Coomeraswamy also quotes St. Justin in defense of this teaching. But selective passages of this Church Father will not change the one statement not quoted, which brings all into focus: “The truth which men in all lands have rightly spoken belongs to us Christians…All writers by means of the engrafted seed of the Word planted in them had a dim glimpse of the truth. For the seed of something and its imitation, given in proportion to one’s capacity, is one thing, but the thing itself which is shared and imitated according to His grace is another.” (St. Justin, Apologia II, Ch. 13).
Seeds may die in the ground as many did with Jews and pagans alike. God’s law — the natural law — is written on the hearts of all men, but not all heed it. In order for there to be any fruitfulness, there must be cooperation with grace. The seedling must erupt from the earth of the soul and bear the fruit of good works for faith to exist. This is all the Fathers meant, and it is expressed quite succinctly in all the teachings of the Church throughout the centuries. Yes, as Coomeraswamy attests in denying his adherence to a Perennialism or pseudo-Traditionalism contrary to Catholic belief: Wisdom and the Word have always existed; no one is denying this. But the Word made Flesh makes all the difference in the salvation of those born in A.D. Christianity. “Truths found in other religions” will never be more than just the seed, and then only the seed that never grew. Why go looking for them at all when the branches of the mature tree bearing the luscious fruits of teaching and belief hang within our reach? And why investigate teachings proximate to heresy when the Truth abides in Christ’s Church forever? Is it mere coincidence that Joseph Ratzinger also professed the same error while engaged in studies for his doctorate in theology, as he details in his Memoirs? Not likely.
World War II provided an excellent opportunity for those anti-priests who had infiltrated the clergy — and especially the teaching posts in the seminaries and Catholic universities — to become entrenched in their positions with little scrutiny or opposition. The unsettled times that followed during the reconstruction of Europe served as a good cover for their continued operation. Ratzinger’s shocking account of his worldly seminary days demonstrates the laxity found post-war in many of these institutions. “We wanted not only to do theology in the narrow sense but to listen to the voice of man today,” (Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, pg. 42). Dostoyevsky, Jewish author Martin Buber, Wust, Einstein and the existentialist Romano Guardini were some of the authors Ratzinger became acquainted with as a seminarian. This hunger for secular authors proved a great danger to his faith. During Ratzinger’s study of theology at the University of Munich, the future church leader expressed the opinion that the symbolism advocated by the Modernist Alfred Loisy, who questioned the credibility of the Gospels, was “far from being resolved today.” But this was not the observation that later caught the attention of his theology professor.
In studying to gain his professor’s chair at a German university, Ratzinger was required to author a scholarly tome that presented, and then defended a thesis for approval by an academic committee. In the course of the academic committee’s perusal of his work on St. Bonaventure, one professor discovered that Ratzinger’s views on revelation exhibited “a dangerous Modernism that had to lead to the subjectivization of the concept of revelation,” (Ibid., pg. 109). Although Ratzinger somehow managed to obtain the chair despite the accusation, his views on this topic need to be dissected and explained. His basic contention, according to his own later account in his Memoirs, was that revelation “precedes Scripture,” but is “not identical with it;” is something more than just what is contained in the text. He includes in the Scripture text itself the added human element, outside of God revealing the Church (and prior to Her existence, others) interpreting Scripture as a “receiving subject,” a thing itself that is incorporated into the revelation. He identifies this as “the fundamental sense of tradition,” (Ibid., pgs. 108-09). Ratzinger’s philosophy reflects only that of the world, convinced that the Sillon’s “divine democracy,” condemned by Pope St. Pius X, is the only viable form of government. In his memoirs, Ratzinger records that already the “idea of an ecclesial sovereignty of the people in which the people itself determines what it wants to understand by Church,” (Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, pgs. 132-134), permeated Vatican II from its earliest beginnings. And now that very idea also permeates Traditionalists, who in reality are only the flip side of the Novus Ordo Modernist coin. Proof that this is true can be taken from dozens of examples where Traditionalists openly state that “the Church” provides jurisdiction for their “priests.” The word Church must refer to the body of the faithful themselves, because the “Church” of Pope Pius XII is interpreted only as the papacy, since the Vatican Council infallibly decreed that the Pope, alone, possesses the fullness of jurisdiction.
Although Ratzinger later was perceived as a “conservative,” his attendance at the false Vatican II council left no doubt in the minds of those defending the true Church that he was a modernist and a liberal then and has not shifted his position since. In 1969, Paul VI appointed Ratzinger to the International Theological Commission. The French publication Informations Catholique Internationales reported on the appointment, commenting that Ratzinger was “previously suspect [of heresy] by the Holy Office,” (Issue # 336, May 15, 1969). So certainly he already was a dangerous man, and obviously had fostered the Modernist heresy since his seminary days. His observation concerning the sovereign people is yet another example of this, for it is as Modernistic as his views on Tradition. During the 20th century, the Popes repeatedly warned that the type of democracy that results in unbridled materialism and mob rule was not the type of democracy the Church judges as an indifferent form of government, but one that will lead to tyranny, even socialism. Popular acclamation of John Paul 2 as a “saint” and the continued endorsement of collegiality, increasingly de-emphasizing papal authority and championing the “People of God” as divine in and of themselves, is indisputably the manifestation of this “divine democracy.” And Traditionalists’ claim of supplied jurisdiction from a headless Church, clearly illustrating their rejection of the definitions of the Vatican Council, places them in the same category, since it champions the Gallicanist ideal of people over Pope.
The genius of ancient Rome, now so clearly revived, lay in its political adaptability to syncretic religion, extending even to the Emperors’ insistence that they themselves were gods. Polytheism was the ultimate concession to the masses, as long as these emperors also were accorded their pound of flesh. Assisi and other Wojtyla-inspired and Ratzinger sanctioned expressions of religious liberty can only be viewed as a return to syncretism and preparation for a One World religion, and in December of 2012 Ratzinger announced that this religion would be headed by none other than Rome, as seen here and elsewhere on the web, (http://truth11.com/2012/12/10/vatican-calls-for-world-government-and-a-new-world-order/). Man is “divine,” Tradition is divine; ergo all men must become one with Tradition if they indeed be the equals of God. As Paul 6 announced in 1965 before the UN assembly, “The glory of God is man alive.” And here we find ourselves referring back to the seed and the fruit-laden tree. Ratzinger would admit that the seed is the equivalent of the full-grown tree, and with the “great John Paul II” would have us believe that revelation actually contains, from “the various religions…so many reflections of the one truth…’seeds of the Word,’” (“Redemptor Hominis,” 1978).
This “fundamental sense of tradition” is none other than the new Perennialism (versus Pope Pius XII’s true Perennialism, explained below) or the Traditionalism of Coomeraswamy and his son; it is a blatant attempt to admit to revelation the “truths” of other religions and the human experience of the Modernists, a “tradition” not intended by the Church and indeed condemned by Her. It is an evil tradition that originated “fundamentally in the Rebellion of Satan,” as Mascarenhas wrote. St. Thomas Aquinas, who Ratzinger could not stomach, tells us that supernatural truth has and retains its own existence, regardless of man’s perception or rejection of it. Subjectivism (and Augustine Bonnetty’s Traditionalism) both teach that the beliefs and practices of men and women throughout the centuries constitutes its OWN tradition, which then must somehow be reflected in revelation. The Sacred Congregation of the Index, during the reign of Pope Pius IX prescribed the following propositions to the Traditionalist Bonnetty for belief: “Although faith is above reason, nevertheless no true dissension, no disagreement can ever be found between them, since both arise from the same immutable source of truth, the most excellent and great God, and thus bring mutual help to each other…Faith is posterior to revelation…The use of reason precedes faith and leads men to it by the help of revelation and of grace…The method which St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure and other scholastics after them used does not lead to rationalism, nor has it been the reason why philosophy is falling into naturalism and pantheism,” (DZ 1649, 1650, 1651, 1652).
Pope Pius XII’s teaching on philosophia perennis dispels all misunderstanding on this subject. Philosophia perennis is the living and forever applicable teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, which Pope Pius XII describes as “a teaching in full harmony with divine revelation…singularly effective in establishing with certainty the foundations of faith and for gathering the fruits of true progress,” (as stated in Pius XII’s infallible encyclical “Humani Generis”). In his “The Perennial Philosophy,” address, given at the 4th International Thomistic Conference in Sept. 1955, Pope Pius XII teaches that philosophia perennis “affirms that there exists in a material body a unifying principle which reveals itself more effectively the more one closely examines the inner constitution of the body. Bodies cannot be made of particles each one of which preserves its own individuality and which have been put together to form an aggregate.” In other words, this unifying principle already must be present in all particles which make up the body; unity cannot be superimposed from without on a mass of particles that is both at one and the same time a true part of something else while remaining its own entity. Basically what the pope has just said tells us is that to teach otherwise is contrary to the order God established in nature itself. God created the microcosm (souls of each individual fashioned after His own image and likeness). Christ created the macrocosm (setting St. Peter over the Church He founded that was born from the wound made in His side on the Cross). All begins with God and issues from Him; God created us, He sent His Son to save us, and Christ incorporated us into His own Mystical Body. He then sent us the Holy Ghost to teach us all things. Catholics could no more be individualists and believe as they please to be Catholic than the Trinity could be divided.
God gives us our reason to find Him; He also gives us free will, but some choose not to research or to understand what they find. Man stands outside of revelation; he cannot be led to it if he already is a part of it. Faith is secondary to revelation in that man cannot believe unless he first uses his reason to know and love God by reading and believing what God Himself has said. And finally, it is interesting that the Traditionalists first attacked St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure, since these are the very philosophers Ratzinger esteems the least. Traditionalism, Liberalism, Modernism, Americanism: all are inter-related heresies, and Americanism, especially, was the “heresy of action,” referred to in “Pascendi,” that relates back to the right of all Catholics to determine what is best for all, and what all will believe, supplanting the magisterium as the living voice of our Lord on earth. “ALL” men in the “canon” of the Novus Ordo missae is the triumph of Americanists, of democracy, because it is the living symbol of the Novus Ordo anti-church that all men are equal and equally worthy of salvation.
Modernism. Liberalism and Americanism were the heresies that Ratzinger dallied with as a theology professor, even praising one of his professors for “A characteristic fruitfulness [which] came from the balance between liberalism and dogma.” Liberalism, according to Rev. Felix Sarda, is characterized by “the absolute independence of the individual…Any institution, no matter what be its character, that is established in complete independence of the magisterium of the Faith is free-thinking…and every freethinker is a logical Liberal…Liberalism is heresy and all the works of liberalism, (are) heretical works…(these are) the greatest sins known in the code of the Christian Law,” (“Liberalism is a Sin,” 1899; 1979, TAN). Sarda reminded Catholics that Liberalism was condemned both by Pope Gregory XVI in “Mirari Vos” and Pope Pius IX in his “Syllabus of Errors.” Likewise Henry Cardinal Manning wrote that the Vatican Council confirmed the Syllabus as infallible and modern theologians prior to Vatican 2 concurred in this statement.
While on the topic of free thought, Rev. Frederick Faber speaks of Traditionalists old and new when he describes certain Catholics who see no need to study their faith or pursue Christian perfection. “The teaching of spiritual books and the doctrines of perfection do not recommend themselves to them…They consider that unless they are under the vows of some monastic order, they should aim at nothing more than avoiding mortal sin and the edification of those around them. They are good people. They go to Mass, say the Rosary…frequent the Sacraments. Yet when anyone talks to them of serving God out of personal love to him, of constantly looking out to see what more they can do for God, they feel as if they were listening to an unknown language. They have a jealousy, almost a dislike of such truths…Such doctrines have a sound in their ears of being ultra and extravagant, poetical and fanciful, or peculiar and eccentric. Such people are completely out of harmony with a considerable and important part of the Catholic system…They think differently from the saints and holy men,” (“Creator and Creature,” 1857). Rev. Faber finishes his commentary by lamenting that he is afraid at heart they are unbelievers.
Ratzinger’s concessions to the SSPX were predictable; he must obey the collective conscience. Eventually, even the sedevacantist heretics who claim to preserve Tradition by their use of the Latin Mass, but who implicitly preserve the Gallicanist tradition of lay superiority to the pope and secretly cooperate with the Novus Ordo in various ways will be embraced by the Novus Ordo as well. Their triumph will be the readmittance of the full-blown Tridentine mass, not that of John 23, now that there are no longer any true priests left to offer it. Like the other ritualists of the past — the High Anglicans, Old Catholics, Old Roman Catholics, Jansenists and others who refused to accept the Vatican Council’s definition of infallibility and the pope’s supreme jurisdiction in the Church — they are not interested in Catholic dogma. The Tradition they claim to align with is NOT that Tradition as understood by most Catholics. For the neo-Modernists use the same language, but as explained above they assign to it an entirely different meaning. Tradition to them is what has just been explained; it is not the unwritten teaching of Christ and his Apostles or even the true “sensus Catholicus” passed down through the ages in Catholic practice. Instead it is the result of a “double need,” which Pope St. Pius X’s “Pascendi,” condemning Modernism, describes below:
- “For them the Sacraments are the resultant of a double need, for…everything in their system is explained by impulses or necessities…The first need is that of giving some manifestation to religion; the second is that of propagating it, which could not be done without some sensible forms and consecrating acts, and these are called Sacraments…The Sacraments are mere symbols and signs, though not devoid of a certain efficacy…What the phrases are to the ideas, the Sacraments are to the religious sentiment — that and nothing more.”
- Modernists claim to arrive at knowing by experiencing a “kind of intuition of the heart which puts man in immediate contact with the very reality of God… [But] everything that leads the heart captive proves a hindrance instead of a help to the discovery of the truth…The vast majority of mankind hold and always will hold firmly that sentiment and experience alone, when not enlightened and guided by reason, do not lead to the knowledge of God.” This amounts to claiming that they arrive at certitude through the senses or experience, when such certitude, the scholastic philosophers teach, can be gained only by exercising the intellect.
In “Humani Generis,” Pope Pius XII readily identifies the source of these “feelings”, noting that: “Now the human intellect, in gaining the knowledge of such truths is hampered both by the activity of the senses and the imagination, and by evil passions arising from original sin. Hence men easily persuade themselves in such matters that what they do not wish to believe is false or at least doubtful…Man can, whether from prejudice or passion or bad faith, refuse and resist not only the evidence of the external proofs that are available, but also the impulses of actual grace.”
- From Pope St. Pius X’s Oath Against Modernism: “Fifthly, I hold as certain and sincerely profess that faith is not a blind religious sense evolving from the hidden recesses of subliminal consciousness and morally formed by the influence of heart and will, but that it is a real assent of the intellect to objective truth learned by hearing, an assent to wherein we believe to be true whatever has been spoken, testified, and revealed by the personal God, Who is the perfection of Truth.”
- So following the lead of the all-knowing “priests” and lay experts, without confirming the truth on one’s own, will not lead to salvation; nor will “feelings” replace the rules the Church uses to arrive at certitude and discern the truth. As Rev. A.C. Cotter S. J. says concerning certitude: “Certitude is not based on blind instinct, feeling, impulse, personal satisfaction (as modernists say, at least with regard to religion). Such affections cannot be the motives for assent,” (“ABC of Scholastic Philosophy,” 1949).
- “The Modernists would be speaking more clearly were they to affirm that [the Mass and] Sacraments were given us by Christ primarily to foster the faith,” and here Pope St. Pius X warns Catholics this has been condemned by the Council of Trent: “If anyone says these Sacraments are instituted for the nourishing of faith alone, let him be anathema,” (DZ 848).
- Concerning the importance attached to external elements of worship, Pope Pius X teaches: “Given this doctrine of experience united with that of symbolism, every religion, even that of paganism, must be held to be true… If experiences have so much force and value in their estimation, why do they not attach equal weight to the experience that so many thousands of Catholics have that the Modernists are on the wrong path? Is it that the Catholic experiences are the only ones which are false and deceptive?…For if all the intellectual elements, as they call them, of religion are nothing more than mere symbols of God, will not the very name of God or of divine personality be also a symbol, and if this be admitted, the personality of God will become a matter of doubt and the gate will be opened to pantheism?” And here we see the dangers of Coomeraswamy’s philosophia perrennis, which panders to the pagan’s experience of the Christian religion before Christ’s birth.
- Dogmatic formulas also are reduced by the Modernists to “symbols…which must…be adapted to man in his relation to the religious sentiment.” These formulas must be “animated by the very life of religious sentiment” and are to be “adapted to the faith of him who believes.” In other words, Modernists advocate letting the “guidance of the heart” dictate what each person is to believe.
Traditionalists and necessity
Today’s Traditionalists, prompted by their “priests,” have feigned abhorrence for and freedom from the heresy of Modernism; yet they manifest this very heresy in their actions and their inability to discern the truth. They follow Ratzinger in spirit, at least, whether or not they claim allegiance to him or the other Vatican 2 antipopes.
Proof of this can be found in Pope St. Pius X’s “Pascendi…” above, and the very Oath Against Modernism, reprinted and circulated following Vatican 2 by numerous “Traditionalist” publications. In “Pascendi,” St. Pius X identifies Modernism with Fideism, which he further explains as an impulse that moves one who is already religious minded through the means of a certain special sentiment to union with God. One’s desires and tendencies, then, erroneously determine belief, not the assent of the will guided by the intellect. Necessity is the driving force of the Modernists, as St. Pius X explained above. And the phrase so oft-quoted by Traditionalists, that “necessity knows no law,” proves that they hold necessity and their compulsions as superior to the law, and consider it an essential component of their belief system.
How often have we heard Traditionalists attempt to justify their urgent need for Mass and Sacraments and the graces they bring? How many of them have insisted that they “must have the Sacraments,” because the Sacrament of the Eucharist is essential to salvation? And when questioned as to how they know this is even true or whether what they are doing is pleasing to God, have they not often responded that they simply know or “feel” they are doing the right thing? The following telling comment by one Traditionalist concerning this need demonstrates the common thinking of all Traditionalists: “I personally know the powerful effects of receiving the Holy Eucharist, true to Form, validly distributed by Fr. X and other true priests… One cannot possibly grow in grace and achieve higher and higher states or holiness and perfection if what they have in fact received was a farce, [and here it must be noted that none of us ever know for certain whether we are attaining “higher states of perfection” or not, according to the writings of the best spiritual masters. — ED.]. I have personally witnessed this… (X), who was not Catholic, as well as two (others), succumbed to the majesty of the very presence of the Holy Eucharist the first time he attended Mass, and made comment of it afterward, having never known about Catholicism or attended a Mass. If the Eucharist produces such movement in a person’s soul, it must be true,” even though Church law and papal teaching clearly states that it does not and cannot produce ANY effect. This is unquestionably the collective conscience subordinating the magisterium to its own needs. As St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, it is truth and external facts that must move us to belief, not “funny internal feelings.” Sadly, should the Mass or Sacraments Traditionalists believe they possess be removed as a danger to their faith, owing to the grave doubtfulness surrounding the validity of their priests, they no doubt would seek out others.
Consider the following meditation taken from the popular pre-1958 book, “My Daily Bread,” concerning the role feelings should play in one’s spiritual life: “Many people judge their closeness to God by their feelings. If they feel devout, they believe they are pleasing Him, and if they feel dejected and gloomy, they think that He has abandoned them. These standards are false and deceitful. I may be proving my best love for God when I least feel like pleasing Him. As long as I fulfill what He expects of me, I do love Him, no matter how I feel. Jesus Himself said: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” There is the test of true goodness and holiness. As long as I am following His holy Will, I am following God’s wonderful plan for my salvation and the salvation of those with whom I deal. At times feelings may help me to serve God with more enthusiasm, but it is my will that really shows how much I am worth in His eyes. In time of desolation, I should cling to my resolutions and go on with my religious practices as I did when I enjoyed doing these things. That is the way of intelligent love, the way in which God wants to be loved.”
There also is another heresy involved here that can be traced to the Council of Basle and the heretics Wycliffe and Hus. The 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia identifies it as Utraquism, and defines it as the belief that “Man, in order to be saved, must receive Holy Communion when he wishes and where he wishes, under the forms of bread (and wine)…That this is of Divine precept, continued the Hussite, is further evident from tradition.” The article’s author, Joseph Hughes goes on to explain that reception of the Eucharist is not by necessity of means (“an imperative must”) but by necessity of precept, meaning, “an obligation imposed by a command, and for good reasons that which is prescribed may be dispensed with. The Hussites contended that the Eucharist was a necessary means to salvation, so that those who died without having received the Eucharist, (the young, the insane) could not be saved…(But) the Catholic Church denies the Eucharist is necessary as a means to salvation…(it) is a precept; from it dispensations are possible,” (http://www.newadvent.org/). While Traditionalists do not insist on receiving Communion under both kinds, most of them will probably tell you they need to receive the Eucharist to be saved. One well-respected Traditional author even stated as much in a work dating back to the 1970s. But even if the majority of Traditionalists only are mistaken about necessity of means, they hold an opinion that at least smacks of heresy or is proximate to it. And it is because they simply do not understand the finer points of faith that they cannot make the necessary distinctions.
Truly Modernism was a synthesis that embraced many heretical “isms.” Take away the Mass and Sacraments of the Traditionalists, and what have they left? Because they have not based their faith on sound doctrine and the papacy, they are broken reeds and empty vessels. And the reason they are not able to think and believe rightly on this subject is clearly detailed in Pascendi: it is because the Modernists — and with them Traditionalists — fail to faithfully follow the scholastic method of philosophy and even dare to impugn the verity of Holy Scripture.
- “The Modernists grant…that certain arguments adduced in the Sacred Books, like those, for example which are based on the prophecies, have no rational foundation to rest on…They are ready to…proclaim that Christ Himself manifestly erred in determining the time when the coming of the kingdom of God was to take place. They tell us that we must not be surprised at this, since even Christ was subject to the laws of life!” So now we understand why even sedevacantists can impudently claim that the Great Apostasy has not concluded; Antichrist has not reigned or now reigns and the Continual Sacrifice has not yet ceased, since they yet have their “precious priests,” vessels of corruption.
- “[Concerning] the intellectual causes of Modernism, the first one which presents itself, and the chief one, is ignorance…For scholastic philosophy and theology, they have only ridicule and contempt…and there is no surer sign that a man is on the road to Modernism than when he begins to show a dislike for this system.”
- In their war against scholastic philosophy, the Modernists “exercise all their ingenuity in diminishing the force and falsifying the character of Tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight…But for Catholics, the Second Council of Nicaea 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 endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church.” The instruments of Tradition include the writings of the Fathers, the professions of faith, the sacred books of worship and the constant practice of the Church (“Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology,” by Msgr. Pascal Parente, 1945). The organ of Tradition is the living magisterium, and the bishops in communion with the pope; only the magisterium can definitively decree what belongs to Tradition, (ibid. Parente).
- Their refusal to use the safe means of scholasticism prescribed by the continual magisterium, whereby to study moral and theological questions makes it almost impossible to address their errors. “[Their contempt for authority] almost destroys any hope of a cure: their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint. Relying on a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy…In their writings and addresses they seem not infrequently to advocate now one doctrine, now another…In their books you will find some things that might well be expressed by a Catholic, but in the next page you find other things which might have been dictated by a rationalist. When they write history they make no mention of the divinity of Christ, but when they are in the pulpit, they express it clearly.” And here it is that we see how on the one hand Traditionalists can sternly spout the evils of the Novus Ordo popes and their heresies, and on the other hand sinfully cooperate with them both in prayer and financial endeavors.
Scholasticism and Sacred Scripture scorned
The sainted pope goes on to explain that the Modernists are devoid of logic, which is why
they regard dogma so lightly and scorn the scholastic philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.
In order to rebuff those who attempt to follow the Church’s example and refute errors by means of Scholastic disputation, they pretended that no one, far less a layperson, could argue from Scholastic principles. This error is specifically condemned by Clement VI, that “from one matter another matter cannot be inferred,” (DZ 554). Pope St Pius X notes: “There is no surer sign that a man tends to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for the Scholastic method,” (“Pascendi Dominici Gregis,” 1907).
The following popes have made it clear that St. Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy is the only one Catholics may follow:
• “We command you to follow the doctrine of St. Thomas as the Catholic doctrine, and study to embrace it with all your power,” Pope Urban V, letter to the Academy of Toulouse.
• Innocent VI: ‘His teaching above that of others, the canonical writings alone excepted, enjoys such a precision of language, an order of matters, a truth of conclusions, that those who hold to it are never found swerving from the path of truth, and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.’” The Fathers of Trent made it part of the order of conclave to lay upon the altar, together with Sacred Scripture and the decrees of the Supreme Pontiffs, the “Summa” of Thomas Aquinas, whence to seek counsel, reason, and inspiration.
• Pope Pius IX condemned the following Modernist proposition in his Syllabus: “The methods and principle according to which the ancient scholastic Doctors treated theology are by no means suited to the necessities of our times and the progress of the sciences,” (DZ 1713).
• In his “The Perennial Philosophy,” address quoted above, Pius XII stated: “With no difficulty we make our own these telling words: ‘To depart rashly and unadvisedly from the wisdom of the Angelic Doctor is dangerous and contrary to our will,’ (Pope Leo XIII, “Aeterni Patris,” August 4, 1874). In “Humani Generis” Pius also wrote: “Unfortunately these advocates of novelty easily pass from despising scholastic theology to the neglect of and even contempt for the Teaching Authority of the Church itself, which gives such authoritative approval to scholastic theology.”
Logic is the basis of scholastic philosophy and the teachings of the continual magisterium constitute the entire scope of scholastic theology. Who can question the soundness of logic, or possibly impugn revealed truth as defined by the supreme magisterium? None but the Modernists, whose audacity extends even to dethroning Christ as God, reducing Him to a mere man.
“They (the Modernists) propose to remove the ecclesiastical magisterium itself by sacrilegiously falsifying its origin, character and rights, and by freely repeating the calumnies of its adversaries.” One of the propositions contained in St. Pius X’s Oath Against the Errors of Modernism reads: “I admit and recognize the external arguments of revelation, that is, divine facts, and especially miracles and prophecies, as very certain signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion…I accept sincerely the doctrine of faith transmitted from the Apostles though the orthodox fathers, always in the same sense and interpretation, even to us…” (DZ 2145). It is clear that Traditionalists believe themselves incapable of understanding and acting on such arguments. They claim that they cannot possibly assess the situation today and need not pay the slightest attention to any arguments whatsoever, whether based on divinely revealed truths or not, that would pose a solution for the crisis in the Church. They are content with their symbolism, and as long as they can pass for Catholic, this is enough for them. They have no interest in the infallibly declared fact by Pope St. Pius X and other popes that they have been duped by some of the most diabolical propagandists the Church has ever known. On this subject, St. Pius X writes:
“For the Modernists, both as authors and propagandists, there is to be nothing stable, nothing immutable in the Church…In the Syllabus of Pius IX, it is enunciated in these terms: ‘Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the progress of human reason,’” (“Pascendi”). The Vatican Council decreed: “The sense of the Sacred Dogmas which Our Holy Mother Church has once declared [is never] to be abandoned on plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth,” (DZ 1800).
And “Pascendi” then recounts the many ways in which the Modernists, followed by their Traditionalist progeny, insult the person and the office of the papacy and the hierarchy:
- “The Modernists admit that three chief difficulties bar the way for them: scholastic philosophy, the authority of the Fathers and Tradition and the magisterium of the Church. On these they wage unrelenting war…They propose to remove the ecclesiastical magisterium itself by sacrilegiously falsifying its origin, character and rights, and by freely repeating the calumnies of its adversaries. 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…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,” (condemned in Pope Pius VI’s “Auctorem Fidei”). This is nothing less than Americanism, the heresy already condemned by Pope Leo XIII: “[That the] Church should come closer to the civilization of this advanced age, and relaxing its old severity show indulgence to those opinions and theories of the people which have recently been introduced…Many think this should be understood even in regard to the doctrines in which the deposit of faith is contained…On this subject the Vatican Synod says, ‘For there is to be no receding… [since the Church has continually adhered to] ‘the same doctrine, in the same sense, and in the same mind,’ (DZ 1800).” And in reality, Americanism was only a manifestation of that “synthesis of heresies” — the very reincarnation of Babylon itself — that Pope Leo XIII’s successor, Pope St. Pius X, would later condemn as Modernism.
- We also read from Pope Pius XII’s “Humani Generis”: “There is also a certain historicism, which attributing value only to the events of man’s life, overthrows the foundation of all truth and absolute law, both on the level of philosophical speculations and especially to Christian dogmas…But history teaches that many matters that formerly were open to discussion, no longer now admit of discussion.” This refers to the appeal to past practices of the Church, now formally condemned, which those of the Novus Ordo persuasion use to justify liturgical change, (for example, communion in the hand and lay distribution of communion). But it also applies to those practices on which Traditionalists ground their episcopal consecrations without papal mandate, and the contention that their bishops have received from Christ directly, without the necessary jurisdiction which can come only from the Roman Pontiff, the exercise of episcopal orders. This necessity of papal authorization of episcopal functions is unquestionably defined in “Mystici Corporis and “Ad Sinarum Gentum.” Futhermore, this quote corresponds directly to Pope Pius XII’s teaching in “Ad Apostolorum Principis,” where he states: “”We are aware that those who belittle obedience in order to justify themselves with regard to those functions which they have unrighteously assumed defend their position by recalling a usage which prevailed in ages past. Yet everyone sees that all ecclesiastical discipline is overthrown if it is in any way lawful for one to restore arrangements which are no longer valid because the supreme authority of the Church long ago decreed otherwise.” Pope St. Pius X also refers to the manipulation of historical events by Modernists to justify their beliefs.
Rejection of the papacy
It is the one and only Vatican Council in particular and its definition of infallibility and the primacy as truths to be accepted as revealed by Our Lord that Traditionalists have especially spurned. In their “higher” understanding of how the Church must operate in “these times,” they fail to appreciate the fact that in reality the situation is INDEED different than the times encountered during the Western Schism, Reformation in England and the exile of those priests in France following the Revolution who refused to swear fealty to the state. For in those times at least a true pope existed to appoint bishops who then could delegate jurisdiction to priests. Intellectually accepting the fact that without such jurisdiction, one cannot justify receiving the Sacraments or attending Mass requires a true spirit of obedience and humility. But humility is not something readily associated with Modernism. Pride and the Jansenistic “petite eglise” (little church) mentality of previous ages (so suggestive of the Traditional movement) were only a preview of the “synthesis of all heresies” that would later present itself as Modernism. And the cause of this heresy, according to St. Pius X in “Pascendi” was “curiosity and pride…Pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and an occasion to flaunt itself in all its aspects…It is pride which rouses in them the spirit of disobedience and causes them to demand a compromise between authority and liberty.” It is precisely for this reason that there is talk in Rome today about absorbing the Traditionalist sect: they were never really dispossessed in the first place.
If we use the teachings of the Church to further unravel the imposture that is Traditional Catholicism, Traditionalists do not respond because it is precisely this teaching that they have traded in for their “needs.” Yet by proceeding methodically down the list of the teachings rejected by Traditionalists, we can gain a better understanding from what has been explained above, perhaps, of precisely how they reject it and what it means for those trying to convince them of their errors. The real root of those errors lies in their obvious anti-intellectualism and inability to think from a Catholic perspective, or in some cases, to think at all. The cause can be laid at the door of previous generations, and Traditional “priests” are only too happy to tolerate the situation because it serves their own agenda. All their hedging, intractability, and rationalization to preserve the status quo point to only one thing: most Traditionalists are more or less willing dupes in the grand design of their leaders to entirely falsify the origin, character and rights of the continual magisterium. Pope St. Pius X explained in “Pascendi” that the Modernists, by “a species of covenant and compromise” between religious authority and tradition, would use the laity to accomplish their goals. He condemns “the introduction of that most pernicious doctrine which would make of the laity the factor of progress in the Church.” And how truly prophetic this statement would be, although the church that is progressing here is scarcely Catholic.
The bottom line
As demonstrated above, Traditionalists are neo–Modernists, and as such they can embrace all the practices of Modernism without ever really acknowledging any of its core beliefs. To do this they must necessarily deny the definitions of the Vatican Council, the Council of Trent and those infallible truths found in other papal documents in order to retain their position, so they become heretics regardless of whether they formally accept the core teachings of Modernism or not. But remember — neo-Modernism “is more subtle and much more deceptive than modernism because it claims that the faith must be retained; it is only the ‘formulas’ of faith that must be abandoned — they use the term ‘formula’ to distinguish the supposedly mutable words of our creeds, dogmas, etc. from their admittedly immutable meanings.” Let’s put this statement to a test. What is the Church’s definition of canonical mission jurisdiction and what is the definition offered by Traditionalists; of apostolic succession and the definition of the words bishop and priest; of papal infallibility? In any of these cases and many, many more besides, the dogmatic definitions of the Church and the Traditionalist “understanding” today of what the Church taught concerning these dogmas are nearly always diametrically opposed. Quote the Traditionalist a verbatim definition of the Church taken from a papal pronouncement or the decrees of an ecumenical council and they will accuse you of offering them your personal opinion, “misinterpreting” what was said, taking everything out of context or relying on a bad translation. This is true even though other proofs, equally authoritative, can be produced which state the exact same thing on the very same subject.
Blinded by their attachment to symbolism they will read the above and convince themselves that if it were so, their “priests” would have told them. Like the Pythagoreans they are satisfied with “ipse dixit” (the teacher said so) and many are too slothful to investigate for themselves, as is the obligation of truth seekers to do. That and after all, their infernal feelings never play them wrong. Speaking truths of faith to them is a waste of time; they cannot make sense of them because they have never understood their faith as an organized whole, nor do they see the need to do this. Their predicament is not unlike that of addicts in need of a fix — the pathology simply compels them to seek out the drug that will take all their (spiritual) cares away, and they are not interested in discovering how that drug is contributing to their self-destruction. If they don’t like the analogy then let them produce the facts that prove they not only are allowed to avail themselves of Mass and Sacraments but that their clerics can actually deliver the goods. They cannot do it. Their minds have been successfully warped as Pope St. Pius X commented and pride and obstinacy will not let them admit they have made a mistake. It is as Arnold Lunn said concerning the new breed of non-Catholics in the 1930s: “Catholicism today fights alone against a vast array of heresies which agree only in their appeal from objective truth to subjective prejudice, from external facts to personal intuition…The new moral codes…all resolve themselves …to an appeal based on the authority of intuition, a funny feeling inside [FIF — funny internal feelings] that they are right and other people are mostly wrong,” (“Now I See”). And if this belief is that entrenched, after all these years, it will take someone much wiser, someone with truly God-given authority to lead such people to the true faith, when they already believe that they possess it.
Helplessly watching truth be assailed is a terrible thing. Standing by unable to be heard while others represent themselves as Catholics and are believed is heartbreaking. And yet this sorrow was not unknown, even to the early Christians. St. Augustine speaks of this very dilemma as follows: “There is that…heartache of seeing heretics, too, using the name and Sacraments, the Scripture and the Creed of genuine Christians…how many would-be converts are driven into perplexed hesitancy because of heretical dissension,” (“City of God”). Heartache or no, it is time to start treating Traditionalists like what they are — heretics who were never real Catholics from the beginning, for all their dog and pony show. They are not Catholics of any description at all; they are not convert material and they are not simply deluded and in need of enlightenment. They are hopelessly deluded victims of a false religion intended to replace the true Church and their intellects cannot perceive this, far less accept it. This is true because they are slaves to their emotions and their fears and the propaganda fed to them by their “leaders.” The combination of these three elements has had the same effect on them as any drug — it has deranged their intellectual faculties.
Pope Pius XII warns that: “Many…are urged by a great and ardent desire to do away with the barrier that divides good and honest men; these advocate an ‘eirenism’ according to which, by setting aside the questions which divide men, they aim not only at joining forces to repel the attacks of atheism, but also at reconciling things opposed to one another in the field of dogma…In theology some want to reduce to a minimum the meaning of dogmas; and to free dogma itself from terminology long established in the Church and from philosophical concepts held by Catholic teachers…[But] let them not think, indulging in a false ‘eirenism,’ that the dissident and the erring can happily be brought back to the bosom of the Church, if the whole truth found in the Church is not sincerely taught to all without corruption or diminution,” (“Humani Generis”). And let us not mistakenly think this either. For by continuing to call Traditionalists “Catholic,” and referring to them as somehow partially correct in their beliefs although misguided, even in private conversation, we do them no favors and injure our own faith.
The attention directed at these unfortunate souls must be spent instead on strengthening our faith and imparting the true faith to those who truly show an interest in learning it and practicing it. “Their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint…It is pride which fills Modernists with that confidence in themselves and leads them to hold themselves up as the rule for all…[This] begets their absolute want of respect for authority, not accepting the supreme authority.” And here Pope St. Pius X sums up their error in a nutshell. If those who once were of the Traditionalist/neo-Modernist persuasion think back and recall how it was they found the truth, they will remember that it was not because someone was sending them unsolicited e-mails and warning them of the danger they were in. In almost every case, they came to understand only gradually that they were in error and withdrew of their own accord; this is, perhaps, grace at work. In looking back on all the great heresies, it is easy to see that the Church never ran after the heretics to convert them once She had condemned them; even the great preachers such as St. Dominic and St. Vincent Ferrer at least required that they come to them for instruction and healing. It is no different today. If those among the Traditionalists or members of the Novus Ordo anti-church wish to know the truth, all they need to do is start pumping questions into a Google search engine. If they are of good will, it eventually will take them to all the right places. If not, then they must be classified, sadly, with those who aligned themselves with Lucifer so long ago, shouting, “We will not serve.”
So rather than plead with the neo-Modernists, debate them, or deliberately engage them (although if the truth is directly attacked it must be defended), the time wasted in such efforts would be far better spent in instructing our own; all the while praying that God remove the scales from the eyes of such non-believers, that finally they may see.