© Copyright 2015, 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.)
In articles on this site there has been frequent mention of the pre-conditioning of the clergy and faithful that took place several decades before the advent of the neo-Modernism that resurged among once Catholic bishops and priests to destroy the juridical Church. Those who read these articles consistently will realize that if the destruction of the ”juridical Church” is mentioned, it is always in conjunction with the continued existence of the “Mystical Body of Christ.” For the Church Christ founded on earth could never fail nor has it failed — it is only the exterior façade of that Church that has temporarily disappeared with its earthly head, as Holy Scripture foretold. Yet Christ is the true head of the Church, of His Mystical Body, and the main timbers and foundation stones that were His Church are still intact, awaiting reconstruction at a future date and reunion with its visible head. The only Apostle Christ ever vested with infallibility was St. Peter and his successors, and Catholics must fix this idea firmly in their heads. Because the reason Catholic thinking today is so irremediably skewed is precisely because of the preconditioning of their parents and grandparents mentioned above, a subtle deviation from the true faith that eroded the authority of the papacy and filtered down to those who later would witness Vatican 2. And that un-Catholic pre-conditioning accounts for the inability of Traditionalists to appreciate the fact that they are not behaving as Catholics today because their progenitors ceased being truly Catholic, without their knowledge, long ago.
It was author Will Herberg in the mid-1950s, (“Protestant, Catholic, Jew,” 1955) who chronicled the amalgamation of American religious sects of every stripe into an indifferent sort of civic religion, something he believed was already very much in evidence. His work demonstrated that already at that time, the Americanist mindset that we see among both Novus Ordo and Traditionalist Catholics was already in place and that religion, as Herberg said, was one based on man’s needs, not God’s due. He and even those touted as Catholic scholars such as Fr. Bruce Vawter, (in an article written for “The Commonweal” in 1964), called this state religiosity — a “caricature of religion,” projecting religious practice without religious conviction. “It is not man who serves God but God who is mobilized and made to serve man… a religiousness without religion, a way of… belonging rather than a way of reorienting life to God…religiousness without real inner conviction,” Herberg wrote. And it should be added here that in the case of Catholics, it is religiousness without the benefit of that knowledge of dogma concerning the truths of faith, more necessary to the Catholic by far than “Mass and Sacraments,” if they wish to practice what Christ imparted to His Apostles while on earth.
Herberg describes the then evolving Judaeo-Christian religious consciousness of his time as a sort of “religious naricissism,” where “the church becomes a kind of emotional service station to relieve us of our worries.” (Whatever happened to working out our salvation “in fear and trembling”?) He quoted Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle of Washington on this problem as follows: “At first glance, piety [religiosity] seems to be everywhere, [but many persons appear to be] turning to religion as they would to a benign sedative to soothe their minds and settle their nerves.” In other words what O’Boyle and Herberg were viewing was the beginning of the Great Apostasy, a gradual slipping away from the Catholic faith occurring quietly over many years as a result of the misidentification of a “blind religious feeling” as faith itself. And the descent into neo-Modernism that they observed was initiated, in the “Catholic progressive” sphere, by the Modernists of the “new theology,” who destroyed the unity of faith by attacking the integral truths Christ bequeathed to His Church. And the destruction did not stop there. The enemies of the Church used mental conditioning to reshape the psyches of their followers and induce “floating” states that makes the intellect vulnerable to truly diabolical manipulation, even possession.
Ironically, even modern-day descriptions of narcissistic behavior fit the Traditionalist mindset and approach. Many of the people who challenge what is posted on this site correspond to the narcissistic profiles found on psychology sites. They are quick to criticize and name-call, and in fact rush in to verbally crush their opponents even without provocation. They can be shown any number of theological proofs, proofs which according to the laws and teachings of the very Church they claim membership in prove them wrong. But they will never admit they have erred or become heretics or schismatics and they refuse to produce proofs of their own from the continual magisterium demonstrating what they are doing is Catholic. They twist to suit their own purposes whatever is written or spoken and if that is not sufficient they simply lie, to themselves as well as others, as narcissists do. Their sense of entitlement (to Mass and Sacraments, also their pseudo-clerical guru of the moment) is so compelling that they will happily choose their needs over love of God and obedience to Him, comitting sacrilege rather than deprive themselves of their narcissistic supply. Just as the narcissist manipulates and cruelly torments those s/he loves, Traditionalist narcissists claim they love our Lord, yet crucify Him once again. In short, they are not only brainwashed by their cultistic mentors but suffer from a frightening mental condition as well. And the game goes on.
Progressivism vs. Integralism
In describing the Machiavellian battle waged between these two opposing forces in the Church prior to the death of Pope Pius XII, one Internet author writing for Unam Sanctam (not a recommended site) identifies those forces as liberal progressivism (the new theology) and “restorationist” integralism, (a return to the pre-1959 Church). In reality, these two opposing forces are explained by Pope St. Pius X in his condemnation of the Modernists, Pascendi Dominici Gregis. There he teaches that the evolution of the Church promoted by Modernists is comprised of Tradition as a conserving force and another force, tending to progress. It is Tradition which holds together the Church, and religious authority which must protect Tradition (p. 75 of St. Pius X’s “Pascendi…” as presented in “A Catechism of Modernism” by Rev. J. B. Lemius). The Modernists believed the laity must advocate for progress as their consciences dictate and a compromise must be reached with authority. (Shades of Lefebvrism!) For as the Pope also notes, concerning the reform of the liturgy, “the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head.” In other words, as long as Traditionalists want and need the Sacraments in the context of the Latin Tridentine and their vagrant clergy, this is just fine with the Modernists. Traditionalists operate outside of authority and in contradiction of its established norms, and therefore pose no threat. In the end all will be reunited and allowed to follow their own preferences.
Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton explains why integralism is a deterrent to modernism, not, as some Traditionalists believe today, an equally dangerous aberration of the religious “right.” In 1948 he wrote: “[The Catholic unfamiliar with modernism] might possibly come to the dangerously false conclusion that modernism and integralism, as we know them, are two contrary false doctrines, one, as it were to the left, and the other to the right, of genuine Catholic teaching. Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth. Modernism, in the technical language of Catholic doctrine, is the name applied to the definite series of errors condemned in the decree Lamentabili Sane Exitu, the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, and in the motu proprio Sacra Antistitum. Pope Pius X spoke of Modernism as the ‘conglomeration of all heresies.’ Integralism, on the other hand, is essentially the teaching or the attitude of those who worked for the presentation of an integral Catholicism, of Catholic dogma set forth accurately and in its entirety. Most frequently the name of integralism was applied to the doctrine and the viewpoint of those Catholic writers who entered into controversy against the modernists during the first decade of the present century. Understood in this fashion, integralism was nothing else than the contradiction of heretical modernism. It was thus basically only the exposition of Catholic truth,” (The American Ecclesiastical Review, “Two Currents in Contemporary Catholic Thought”).
In a later article on integralism for The American Ecclesiastical Review, (“Integralism and Reform,” February 1952), Msgr. Fenton reviews Rev. Yves Congar’s comments in his book “The Church,” concerning Catholic integralists. Congar describes integralists as those who “proceed from an attitude of the right,’ which stresses ‘the determination of things by way of authority…It is instinctively for what is done and defined, and what has only to be imposed and received.’” Fenton comments: “The religious proposition of the integralists is also represented as characterized by a rigidity of doctrine. All that this expression would seem to mean is a resistance to any teaching which the integralist regards as involving a change in Catholic doctrine. Certainly there can be little to stigmatize in this attitude. And just as certainly the designation of the activity of the integralists under these terms makes it difficult to see how Fr. Congar can believe that theirs is not a primarily doctrinal position,” and here Fenton reminds Congar that it was these very integralists who fought the Modernists in Pope St. Pius X’s time.
The Unam Sanctam author notes in his article: “What [neo-Modernists] have forgotten is that the Church is fundamentally understood as a Body, and in a Body, there is nothing extrinsic. Sure, there are members of more or less centrality. A man can still live with no fingers, but he cannot live with no head.” He describes a process that little by little changed everything that could be changed, including the systematic dismembering of that Body to the point that it left the Church, as She once existed, unable to function. This was at first attributed to the nouvelle theologiens (new theologians) in the Church, the author notes, a clever change of terms that avoids identification with the Modernists while still conveying the idea of novelty or newness — something conservatives rightly disparaged as always condemned by the Church and liberalized Catholics endorsed as an opportunity to bring doctrine into sync with “the times.” But as Pope Pius X taught in the oath against Modernism: “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 purport. 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.”
“New theologians” and the jurisdiction controversy
A prime example of this practice of adapting dogma to suit “the times” or the “needs of the people” by the new theologians is seen in Rev. Francis Miaskiewicz’s Canon Law thesis “Supplied Jurisdiction According to Canon 209,” (Catholic University of America, 1940), where he goes into the problems surrounding the interpretive and ignorance theories and explains why they were not tenable, even then. He refutes the canonist Rev. James Kelly for his erroneous views on common error re the “interpretative theory” as regards supplied jurisdiction. Kelly cites the Jesuit canonists Wernz-Vidal as sharing his opinion, and the canon law commentary written by these two Jesuits is favored by a good number of Traditionalists, although Miaskiewicz says Wernz-Vidal do not share Kelly’s opinion. Miaskiewicz writes: “Once there was a public fact that could lead others into error, [these men teach] common error is already present …[This] reflects an attempt on their part to close a gap in logic without the aid of a logical connecting link,” (pg. 139). “If any and all jurisdictional activity is to be considered as valid because of the verification of common ignorance, what jurisdictional act could ever be considered as invalid? The difficulties of the interpretive theory are difficulties resulting from an attempt to break away from a traditionally accepted doctrine. They are difficulties which border closer and closer upon pure absurdity according as the individual authors venture to reduce common error to greater and greater insignificance. And it must be said that for such veering away from the traditional concept no limit can properly be set, precisely because it seems that the interpretive school has substituted its personal feeling of how they would want the law to be interpreted for the ordinary legal and objective norms which the law maintains must be followed…” As will be duly noted below, it is precisely the ignorance of Traditionalists these Modernists fed upon so eagerly, and nothing is more indicative of the Modernist mindset than their reliance on feelings versus clear facts and traditional Church teaching as the basis for their own opinions and conclusions.
While failing to identify the progressive/conservative struggle as an actual process used by the Modernists to facilitate change, as Pope Pius X taught, the author of the Unam Sanctam article continues to describe the “diabolic” watering down of doctrine in precisely the manner suggested by Fenton. What his description amounts to is actually the desired synthesis or alchemic dilution of dogma by Communist means: thesis, antithesis synthesis. The author describes this dilution process as follows: “It became common in the 1940’s and 1950’s to attach the label ‘integralism’ to those who favored the strict approach of Pius X and who still refused to accept the regime of pluralistic liberal democracy. Progressive Modernism was still acknowledged as heretical, but condemned, but the nouvelle theologiens also began trotting out critiques of an ‘integralist’ counter-reaction which went too far in the other direction and was not a suitable response to the demands of modern man.” This we see in Msgr. Fenton’s article addressing Congar above. In other words, integralism, in order to be successfully demonized later, had to be managed and properly channeled. It found its supposed outlet in Traditionalism, but the adherence to the dogmas essential to the true meaning of the word were missing in Traditional practice. At best it was a selective adherence to some dogmas only, at the expense of minimizing or ignoring others.
Eventually integralism would be anathematized as “radical” and its proponents as fanatics; this happened to Msgr. Fenton when he was relieved of his duties at the Catholic University of America in the 1960s. Once the false Vatican 2 council was concluded, then progressivism in the Church was given full sway. When progressivism receded somewhat during the reign of JP2, something the Unam Sanctam author calls “evangelical” Catholicism emerged among the Novus Ordo crowd to replace integralism, as if this was possible. The real struggle was one of obedience to the continual magisterium; as one writer categorized it, progressives denied authority and integralists fought to uphold it, something the writer portrayed as two undesirable extremes. This was the real motive behind the synthesis; the dismantling of authority, as Fenton was well aware. But the supposition that Traditionalists could be identified with integralism was false. Traditionalists recognized no authority other than their priests and the occasional bishop; they fostered all the goals and beliefs of Modernism. The Modernists used the movement as their necessary antithesis, and that was all. In order to avoid the appearance of radicalism, they shunned the strict observance of dogma to maintain their very existence, for dogma required them to continue their operations only if they were headed by a canonically elected pope. This was the very essence of Herberg’s religiosity — the appearance of religion without its substance.
Why Modernism made a comeback
In retrospect, what happened was exactly what those who orchestrated the demise of the Church was hoping would happen. Thanks in great part to the attitude of Lefebvre, that true popes may be severely criticized and chastised while yet regarded as popes; also with the creation of several laughable Traditionalist antipopes, authority became a joke, and the popes became second-class potentates that Traditonalists could either ignore or function without. What remained was a deep-seated distrust of all authority, consistent with the anti-establishment sentiments of the 1960s and 70s. And those promoting the new theology were only too happy to allow the rising anti-authority tide in the secular sphere to carry them to where they wished to go. That this anti-authority stance was nothing else but the revival of Modernism as described in St. Pius X’s Pascendi did not escape the likes of Msgr. Fenton and a scant few others, who stepped in to defend integralism. But Fenton would only later discover, as his diaries testify, that the damage had been done beforehand in the development of religiosity and Americanism, aided and abetted by his arch-foe John Courtney Murray. In part, at least, the success of Modernism’s reoccurrence can be laid at the door of the herd mentality and agnostic atmosphere of public schools, which half of Catholics in the country attended then. But that is only in part.
The other part is the abysmal and seemingly voluntary ignorance evidenced by the majority of Catholics where dogma is concerned. This was another concern raised by Pope St. Pius X during his reign — the catechization of the faithful. This pope said in Pascendi: “[Concerning] the intellectual causes of Modernism, the first one which presents itself, and the chief one, is ignorance.” And no wonder, for already in 1905, he had written in Acerbo Nimis: “It is a common complaint, unfortunately too well founded, that there are large numbers of Christians in our own time who are entirely ignorant of those truths necessary for salvation. And when we mention Christians, We refer not only to the masses or to those in the lower walks of life — We refer to those especially who do not lack culture or talents and, indeed, are possessed of abundant knowledge regarding things of the world but live rashly and imprudently with regard to religion. It is hard to find words to describe how profound is the darkness in which they are engulfed and, what is most deplorable of all, how tranquilly they repose there…The Council of Trent, treating of the duties of pastors of souls, decreed that their first and most important work is the instruction of the faithful,” and yet Traditionalist clergy would have you believe it is providing the faithful with Mass and Sacraments! Pope St. Pius X ordered bishops to see that priests instructed both adults and children in their catechisms weekly, but this command was generally ignored. And Modernists were only too happy to fill the void.
Had the bishops seen to it that the pastors faithfully carried out these instructions, there would not have been so many uneducated Catholics in the 1950s, unaware of what was happening to their Church. But the bishops, even then, were not obeying the pope, or were lax in such obedience. Later the dire shortage of priests forced Popes Pius XI and Pius XII to recruit catechists from the laity and encourage the laity to become involved in Catholic Action. But rather than address the woeful lack of doctrinal knowledge St. Pius X describes, many of those who should have engaged in Catholic Action to promote dogmatic teaching instead promoted liturgical renewal and ecumenical activities, something Pope Pius XII warned about on several occasions. A love of novelty and brotherhood was afoot and it could be traced to the secret influence of those Modernists within the Church itself, aided and abetted by Freemasons and Communists outside the Church, who silently infiltrated learning and teaching institutions following the death of Pope St. Pius X. Thanks to the war years and the disruption this caused at all levels, priests and bishops promoting Modernist ideas were able to float just far enough below the radar to remain undetected and stay out of trouble. By the time they triumphantly emerged, the damage was done.
During this time period, Catholic children attended Catholic schools, their parents attended Church-sponsored lectures and retreats, they read Catholic publications and little by little the liberal/Modernist poison was disseminated, as Herberg documented, into the body Catholic. Rather than suspect a new offensive by the Modernists on the spiritual front, Catholics who saw the lax attitude of the clergy and questioned the new theology were given a political reason for what they were experiencing: the Communists were making inroads into the clergy, an answer that fit in perfectly with the Cold War that America was then waging. Catholic Action became little more than a Catholic demand for equality on a social level, both at the secular and Church level. Rather than concentrating on studying papal documents in Catholic Action circles that dealt with truths of faith, Catholics preoccupied with trying to make a living wage to support their families or inching up a notch on the social ladder concentrated instead on the many social encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII and their emphasis on the social order and the working man.
This demonstrates Catholics’ indifference to the teaching of Leo’s predecessor Pope Pius IX, who condemned Modernism’s forerunner, liberalism, in his Syllabus as well as some Modernist principles in their infancy. These condemnations included the notion that Divine revelation is imperfect and must be subject to progress (DZ 1705); that all men are free to choose their own religion (DZ 1715) and that the Church has no right to teach that Catholicism is the only true religion (DZ 1721); that there is good hope for salvation of those not Catholic, (DZ 1718); the Church is to be separated from the state, and the state from the Church (DZ 1755); it is false that civil liberties granting the exercise of every idea and opinion leads to the corruption of minds and morals and eventually to indifferentism, (DZ 1779) and finally that the Roman Pontiff should adapt himself to progress, liberalism and modern times, (DZ 1780). And if they referenced the Syllabus at all, it was to argue in favor of the Americanist interpretation of these teachings.
All the above can be seen as what later became the basis for ecumenism and the successful Americanization of Catholics in this country as chronicled by Herberg. The secular community replaced the Catholic community, allowing the participation of Catholics but only according to democratic principles. The community movement, still very much in vogue now, was not identified, (as it should have been by wary Catholics), with the “commune” principles of Communism, from whence it really sprang. Today it is known as communitarianism, the new and accepted word for Communism. What happened to the Church globally in the 1960s had been condemned only 100 years prior in the 1860s. The new church classified the above errors as not binding on Catholics, even though the preamble to the Syllabus clearly states that these “errors of our age” were initially condemned in encyclicals, constitutions and the bull, Quanta Cura. The Freemasons and Modernists picked up the ball with the Syllabus’ last condemned proposition, (DZ 1780), and ran with it. The next century would be devoted to undermining the Church from within, in order to form the clergy necessary to bring about the election of the “pontiff” open to their designs, per the instructions of the Alta Vendita. Their first near-victory was the attempted election of suspected Freemason Cardinal Mariano Rampolla in 1903, a loss that set them back over 50 years.
Traditionalists’ parents and grandparents instructed in Modernism
Their next incursion into the ranks of the clergy was far more calculated and almost impossible to detect, and for that reason it was all the more lethal. They hid under the cover of war and social unrest, and their operations were often attributed to their Communist and Masonic allies. By the time the smoke cleared in the late 1940s, many of them were already in the drivers’ seat as parish priests, bishops, religious superiors, cardinals and Vatican officials. The young adults living then and the children born to them, who came under the tutelage of these men, were ripe for the picking. Already Novus Ordo-style masses had been offered in Germany and France, beginning in the 1920s. Pope Pius XII was forced to condemn false notions of the Church in Mystici Corporis, errors taught concerning the liturgy in Mediator Dei, anti-scholastic, anti-magisterial trends among theologians in Humani Generis and clarified Church teaching concerning lay participation in Church affairs in other papal documents. The ecumenical movement Pius XII condemned as antiquarianism continued to gather steam in the 1950s, and finally met with success under John 23rd. The black paganism he warned against, a paganism more sinister that its precursor because it worshipped the gods of self, Hollywood and the political realm, pervaded Catholic ranks.
How, exactly, did these insidious errors become an actual part of Catholic teaching even before the death of Pope Pius XII? Part of the problem has been attributed to a softening of the content in some of the catechisms and theological manuals, where the treatment of authority, infallibility, doctrinal development, salvation outside the Church, the ordinary magisterium, and other truths of faith were concerned. Many point to seminarians not properly screened by their bishops who should never have become priests, and whose formation left much to be desired. Why the doctrinal decline began is not as important as the fact that it actually happened, for whatever reason. And there is no doubt that it did happen and can be proven to have happened. As St. Pius X illustrates in Pascendi, the errors of the Modernists can be seen to correspond without fail to nearly every “hitch” in Traditional belief. We have to realize that at the time those who were infected with this heresy were learning their “faith,” they believed it to truly BE Catholicism, as taught to them prior to the reign of the antipopes beginning with John 23rd. They did not realize that what they were imbibing was not the true faith. This is why they keep insisting they are Catholics.
And these same people then passed these errors from generation to generation, believing they were passing on Catholicism. The Traditionalist priests and lay leaders who sought out those who departed from the Novus Ordo in the 1960s and 1970s knew they were dealing with people who did not base their beliefs on the doctrinal content of their faith but instead on their social and emotional needs, just as Herberg described in his work. If these “clerics” had not possessed Modernist leanings themselves they would have known Canon Law and Church teaching on jurisdiction, and when their jurisdiction expired, or they learned they could no longer provide Mass and Sacraments, they would have explained this to the faithful, but none did. And because none of them did, and Catholics truly believed they were able to function, they also believed that this must be in keeping with Church law and teaching. Owing to a false idea of authority originating in the error of fideism, they believed they were not obligated themselves to figure things out. But Christ would scarcely have warned them to beware of false shepherds and hirelings had He not expected them to be able to successfully identify them.
Eventually those who had recently left the Novus Ordo became wary of the Traditionalist movement in the 1970s, but even these Catholics fell into their traps. Some groups over-emphasized the part played by the Jews in destroying the Church, others relied on “older priests” validly ordained, but who had been excommunicated nonetheless for communicatio in sacris and could not function, and others who, even at that early date, embraced the material-formal mindset. Because of a Catholic education devoid of the proper emphasis on the teachings of the Roman Pontiff, but especially because they ultimately felt betrayed and abandoned by the hierarchy, they relied more on the teachings of older theologians, some of these not sound themselves, and took the defensive versus the offensive stance, bouncing off every new development issuing from Rome. Neither those actively involved with the Traditionalists nor those on the sidelines seemed to particularly worry about the fact that they themselves might be laboring under excommunication for once attending the Novus Ordo or Eastern rite services, or perhaps even resorting to the Orthodox or Old Catholics.
Chapel-goers didn’t worry because they just knew in their heart (Lemius, p. 38) that God would never be so cruel as to deprive them of their Mass and Sacraments, or make it impossible for them to avail themselves of these means of grace. Forget the fact that God had done exactly that in previous times, in the case of people very likely more deserving of His mercy than this perverse generation; or that Holy Scripture tells us He will allow Antichrist to take away the Holy Sacrifice. These people exhibited the entitlement syndrome so common today; psychologically speaking, the very prerequisite necessary to the diagnosis of “religious narcissism” described by Herberg. They were quick to invoke their “right” to these means of grace, and totally indifferent to the fact that in order to merit these rights, they had corresponding obligations. One prominent champion of the Latin Tridentine Mass, a man revered for his orthodoxy, told a friend in the early days that without the Mass to attend he feared he would lose his faith. If faith was such a fragile thing, even for those who professed it most vocally, then the nourishment required to make it strong and resilient had been lacking for some time previously. Pope St. Pius X tells us there were many lay Catholics, also priests who secretly embraced Modernism in the early 20th century, and that their entire purpose was to destroy the Church, (p. 14, 32). So it only stands to reason that after the first blows dealt by Pope St. Pius X, they lay low for a time, only to rise again with a vengeance when the Popes were distracted by war.
Errors Modernists and Traditionalists have in common
The Italian bishop, Geremia Bonomelli of Cremona, wrote an excellent treatise on the necessity of both interior and exterior devotion in the early 20th century, outlining the very symptoms of Modernism most noticeable among Traditionalists exiting the Novus Ordo in the 1960s-70s. He explained that interior devotion is prayer said silently with meditation and spiritual reading. Exterior devotion is public or vocal prayer, Sunday devotions, and singing. But, Bonomelli cautioned, these two methods “must not be considered as separate or separable things, but only distinct from each other…Exterior worship is derived from interior devotion. Both are a necessity and a duty of man towards God…but interior worship comes first in order of time and intrinsic value; exterior worship comes second in both these respects,” (“On Religious Worship,” 1906, B. Herder publishers). Pope Pius X notes in Pascendi that this attachment to the exterior part of religion is only Americanism, which stresses the need for action, (Lemius, p. 110), and this is exactly the point made by Herberg in his work, (see pg. 1 above). The pope condemns the following Modernist errors, also taken from Lemius’ work.
- The “need for the divine,” which Modernists confuse with the faith, (p. 25).
- The “double need” (p. 59), the first of these being “giving some [external] manifestation for religion;” the second, “is that of propagating it, which could not be done with some sensible form and consecrating acts, and these are called Sacraments.” Pope St. Pius X points out that the notion the Sacraments fostered and strengthened the faith is condemned by the Council of Trent, (DZ 848).
- The belief that they may choose democratically what to believe or not believe in way of dogma and may even critique it; their pretended obedience to doctrine and acceptance of papal authority, (p. 69-70).
- They have no use for logic or scholasticism, (pgs. 123-25).
- The identification of Tradition with whatever Catholics hold in way of a “common mind” or collective experience of what went before (false “sensus catholicus,” p. 63-76). We read in the Catholic Encyclopedia under Tradition: “Tradition, in the double meaning of the word… is Divine truth coming down to us in the mind of the Church and it is the guardianship and transmission of this Divine truth by the organ of the living magisterium, by ecclesiastical preaching, by the profession of it made by all in the Christian life.”
- Modernists use Traditionalists’ perceived need for the Mass and Sacraments to make it appear they are conserving Tradition while paying lip service to authority, (p. 75).
- The laity must advocate for progress (or conservation) as their consciences dictate and a compromise must be reached with authority, (p. 75). This will accomplish the desired synthesis.
- Traditionalists’ operation outside of authority and in contradiction of its established norms is to be used as a way to facilitate their eventual reabsorption into the Novus Ordo, where they will be allowed to celebrate their Latin Mass and follow their own preferences, (p. 76). The material pope theorists are currently working for this reunion.
- Traditionalists regarded dogma so lightly and believed it should be adaptable to the circumstances (p. 38-39) because they were imbued with the false idea of being able to choose what to believe from among these dogmas, (p. 64-65). This is the democratic idea of governance by the people, versus accepting without question what the Supreme Pontiff teaches as Christ’s Vicar on earth.
- The Modernists ignore the condemnations of the Church, (p. 103). They come to each other’s aid when attacked, and vent their fury on those who defend Catholic dogma, (pgs. 128-29). They are incorrigible and refuse to desist from their heresy, (pgs. 15, 17).
- “When an adversary rises up against them with an erudition and force that render him redoubtable, they try to make a conspiracy of silence around him to nullify the effects of his attack,” (p. 128-29). That describes to a “T” what Traditionalists have done for years regarding this site and the articles published here.
Pope St. Pius X did not hesitate to point out that the Modernists chief aim was to remove the magisterium and destroy the Church. And it was the Modernists’ presentation of Mass and Sacraments divorced from the “guardianship and transmission of this Divine truth [Tradition] by the organ of the living magisterium,” (Catholic Encyclopedia) that convinced ignorant Catholics following them they need no longer worry about obeying anyone other than these priests. By dividing the Mass and Sacraments from the necessity of the papacy and obedience to papal teaching; by communicating in worship with those not in communion with Rome, “Traditionalists” successfully gutted the faith of Tradition and retained only its external practices, demolishing the very integralism necessary for the Church’s survival. Stay-at-home advocates have not said it; those teaching with Church approval said it shortly before it became a reality. No Traditionalist can ever explain away their ignorance of the true meaning of Tradition and their open invitation to unlawful pastors to minister to them in violation of Church law and teaching. What we hear in way of objections to our “rigid” stance is exactly what Msgr. Fenton pointed out in 1952 as the claim of the new-theology advocate Yves Congar: “The religious proposition of the integralists is…represented as characterized by a rigidity of doctrine. All this expression would seem to mean is a resistance to any teaching which the integralist regards as involving a change in Catholic doctrine.” What Traditionalists claim about this site and stay-at-home Catholics is no different, then, than what Congar accused the “integralists” of in 1952, as reported by Msgr. Fenton.
Traditionalists have not yet tumbled to the fact that their Modernist non-clergy have used them as dupes to perpetuate the Modernist agenda all these years by falsifying the true teaching of the Church concerning Tradition. And stay-at-home Catholics may only now realize that what they have been fighting in trying to reach their separated brethren is something that was transmitted to them by parents and grandparents as THE Catholic faith decades ago, when in fact it was Modernism all along.
Many tears have been shed, families split apart, friends lost because of this insidious disease deliberately spread by closet progressives. And unfortunately Pope St. Pius X had little hope for the return of those who succumbed to the Modernist mindset, commenting in Pascendi that they are not easily deterred and prefer to continue on their chosen path: “Their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds…this almost destroys all hope of a cure… [But] it may be they have persuaded themselves that they are really serving God and the Church.” Having seen the destruction wrought by their accursed intransigence, however, and the feeble hope of repairing the damage done, it is difficult to believe that today. At least we know now why they are so unlikely to convert and that rather than fear they are a product of our own shortcomings, we can lay their loss up to those “serpents in the bosom of the Church” as Pope St. Pius X described them. The only question left to answer is this: now that the real problem has been identified, will they continue to cling to their Modernist errors, as Pope St. Pius X feared, or will they finally depart from them, knowing their origin?
“Forgive them Father…” for truly, “they know not what they do.”