Old Heresies

I often see people on CAF getting upset about what the heresies of modernism having infected the Church. Now without getting into whether or not female alter servers or the playing of guitars amount to heresy or involve the spirit of heresy, I often wonder if those same people so hyper-vigilant against modernism are as wary of the old heresies like Janenism and Catharism, not to mention Manicheanism, which strongly influenced the Cathars.

Indeed, I think that there is little worry that many posters on this forum might become infected by modernism, insofar as it really does exist in the contemporary Church, and yet such things seems to preoccupy the minds of many posters. But I can definitely see the spirit of these earlier heresies rearing their heads here, and yet none are wary. Though it does not, I think, usually lead to embracing these heresies, but rather, the life-hating nature of these heretical spirits may simply drive people to atheism. Indeed, I believe there was a poster here who once called for the whitewashing of the Sistine Chapel roof - and one day, as it seems from that poster’s history, the pressure of this way of thinking caught up with the poster and they wholly lost their faith.

I understand your point, and I agree that we should be wary of all heresy, but modernism is a far more insidious and ‘nuanced’ heresy, and I do believe the greatest threat to the Church today.

For instance the evolution dogmas(vs the development of doctrine) in areas such as contraception,abortion and ‘women priests’ all stem from the modernist heresy which recasts the church as a conventional(almost man-made rather than God-given) organisation where contradicting views can be held at the same time!

Modernism facilitates the old heresies, and allows them a place in the church. Why not be a puritanical Jansenist, whitewashing the roof of the Sistine and a Catholic in good standing? Why not be a Pelagian working out your own Salvation and not needing confession or the sacraments to do so(a common modern problem) and a Catholic in good standing? Mature nuanced modernism, with its Hegelian and Bergsonian philosophy and theology allows for this!

Give me an Arius, a Nestorius or a Cornelius Jansen any day at least they nailed their colours to the mast!

You are right that modernism is a problem in the Catholic Church. However, we should be just as much opposed to modernism as we are to Arianism, Nestorianism, Jansenism, or any other heresy that rears its ugly head. All heresies are destructive to the soul and to the Church and thus we must be equally opposed to all of them. Now, I might be wrong here and if I am I invite you or anyone else to correct me but I think I am right. Nevertheless, I have been wrong many times in the past.

I have heard a couple of these Heresy but not all.

could someone give like a list with a little definition of each?

I think if you reflect on your own opinion, you will realize what modes of thinking may be subtly and insidiously infecting your own faith.

Also, also you say that modernism is allowed in the Church, I will note that you are quite incorrect and the Church does not allow modernism, nor have women been named priests or contraception been allowed. If you are of the opinion that the post-Councilar Church is somehow infested with heresy because of the vernacular Mass or taking communion in the hand rather than on the tongue, IF, since I don’t know that such is the case, I will only ask you consider the source of your displeasure doesn’t spring from Manichean tendencies.

The common thread between all these heresies that I mentioned is a hatred of the physical world. In the Jansenist, it was more mild, but still basically Calvinist in its tendencies. Though, indeed, I have seen many many CAF posters out-Calvin Calvin. There is one poster in particular who seems to believe that without monastic discipline, everyone is doomed to hell.

You misunderstand me Kevin, I never said that modernism was allowed by the Church, I never even said it was widespread in the Church, I said is was present in the Church. Big Difference.

If you re-read my post you will see I never said that either. The ideologies of those fringe groups which advocate contraception, abortion and ‘women priests’ all stem from the modernist heresy which recasts the church as a conventional(almost man-made rather than God-given) organisation where contradicting views can be held at the same time!(that would be Hegelian philosophy at play). Such is Heresy(regardless of its content), it separates one from Christ’s Church.

Of Course the Church does not and never will allow these thing, because she cannot, but there is a view within some groups in the church that she can.

Rest assured I am not. I have no problem with vernacular in the Mass nor with the reception of communion in the hand, nor do I have any manichean dualism or contempt for material reality thank you.

I don’t know much about the various heresies, and probably couldn’t pronounce half of 'em properly, but I’m thankful that God has drawn me recently to regularly reading the Catechism. There’s also my continuing devotion to Our Lady and the Rosary. With the Trinity, Mary, and the Church’s guidance I’m hopeful that this stubborn, sometimes thick-skulled man won’t wander off the narrow path. :gopray2:

Please just a quick one: a number of posters have mentioned contraception as one of the teaching that is being corrupted. I was in a discussion about that yesterday, and wondered where the teaching on contraception originated. Is it true it is based on Genesis 38? Of course I’m not talking about abortive birth control, but barrier methods and withdrawal?

If the answer is complicated, then don’t mind me – I don’t wish to derail the thread.


To keep it very brief, its not simply based on “Onanism” as per Genesis 38, but rather it also stems from the Churches whole view of what a human being is,our inclinations to sin, the tendency to treat the other person as an object, and the Marital Act is for.

From the Earliest days the Church was against abortifacients and Contraceptives(in so far as such things existed this includes of course withdrawal) Humanae Vitae built on *Casti Connubii *(1930), the Doctors and Fathers of the Church(St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas immediately come to Mind) and Scripture to state its contents.

I’m sorry - I realized I had probably been uncharitable after I wrote some of this. But when I see how hung up many people get on matters that the Church has accepted as legitimate liturgical forms as many times as I have, ones dander starts to raise as an automatic response.

Nevertheless, I think that, in response to modernism, many raise matters not of dogma but traditional discipline to the level of dogma. And while it may be true that for the general catholic population modernism is the greater danger, I still think posters on CAF are perhaps more prone, not to the heresies themselves, but the ways of thinking that lead people to them.

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