As Msgr Kevane wrote, how can they be “rational” at-large, especially after the Protestant Revolt, the so-called Enlightenment and that “penetration of Modern Philosophy into the seminaries which produced a phenomenon which comes soon to receive the name of modernism.” Writing in 1978, Msgr Eugene Kevane referred to the phenomenon of Religious Modernism “in which priests and professors on the level, of Catholic higher education have been engaged for approximately 200 years.” The Faith and Theologies, in The Teaching Church in Our Time, Daughters of St Paul, 1978, p 34].
St John Paul II in Centesimus Annus, 13, 1991:
“The atheism of which we are speaking is also closely connected with the rationalism of the Enlightenment, which views human and social reality in a mechanistic way. Thus there is a denial of the supreme insight concerning man’s true greatness, his transcendence in respect to earthly realities, the contradiction in his heart between the desire for the fullness of what is good and his own inability to attain it and, above all, the need for salvation which results from this situation.”
The so-called “Enlightenment” was exposed for its degradation by St John Paul II:
“The rationalism of the Enlightenment put to one side the true God – in particular, God the Redeemer.
“The consequence was that man was supposed to live by reason alone, as if God did not exist…as if God were not interested in the world. The rationalism of the Enlightenment was able to accept a God outside of the world primarily because it was an unverifiable hypothesis. It was crucial, however, that such a God be expelled from the world.”
Crossing The Threshold Of Hope, St John Paul II, Random House Australia, 1994, p 53.]
December 19, 2012
What the Reformation has Wrought
by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap
Contemporary Problems Developed Over Centuries
“Brad Gregory, the Notre Dame historian, seeks to show how we got this way in his recent book The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society. His answers are surprising, and for some readers, controversial. But his book is also important—and in its explanatory power, brilliant.
“Gregory also chronicles the secular philosophers who stepped into the breach. In the place of sola scriptura, the Enlightenment offered wisdom sola ratio. From Descartes, through Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Hume, Hegel, and others, on to Heidegger and Levinas and their successors, the great end-run around revealed religion and its traditions began, seeking truth based on human reason alone.
“But as Gregory shows, the philosophers fared no better than the Reformers. Competing ideas proliferated. Truth, and answers to life’s big questions, remained disputed. In more recent times, Nietzsche, Foucault, and the post-modernists have been honest enough to say so, scorning the Enlightenment as much as they scorned Christianity. We can see the results in today’s pervasive spirit of irony and skepticism.”