What is moderate Modernism?

What is moderate Modernism?

Pascendi Dominici Gregis says, “And here We cannot but deplore once more, and grievously, that there are Catholics who, while rejecting immanence as a doctrine, employ it as a method of apologetics, and who do this so imprudently that they seem to admit that there is in human nature a true and rigorous necessity with regard to the supernatural order - and not merely a capacity and a suitability for the supernatural, order - and not merely a capacity and a suitability for the supernatural, such as has at all times been emphasized by Catholic apologists. Truth to tell it is only the moderate Modernists who make this appeal to an exigency for the Catholic religion.

I’ve read that it might be an attack on Blondel, but Pope John Paul II approved his work. Pius X is saying what moderate Modernists do is imprudent, but is “moderate modernism” in itself (whatever it is) incompatible with Catholicism? :confused:

And please, let’s not turn this thread into a pre/post Vatican II thread. :tsktsk:

Would you mind explaining immanence? The Catholic Encyclopedia was a bit too hard to understand. I found this on Wiki. Is it close?

Wiki: According to Christian theology, the transcendent God, who cannot be approached or seen in essence or being, becomes immanent primarily in the God-man Jesus the Christ, who is the incarnate Second Person of the Trinity.

What is the concern expressed? (I don’t want conflict either! Just the facts so that I can understand. :slight_smile: )

It’s the idea that religion is based on the experience of man and that it comes from within him, rather than being based on something (or rather, someone–God) “out there”. Hence, no religion is divine, since religion is from man.

Thank you. I will have to research this a bit! :slight_smile:

I can see why it could be imprudent at that time for an argument that focuses on the individual to be used for apologetics, because of the currents of thought at that time and the stagnation of theology in the Church (we need to remember that this is why Leo XIII called for a Thomistic revival that Pius X further promoted). But an argument that focuses on the individual could be considered very Augustinian in nature, too. And that would be completely orthodox.

For instance, Pope Benedict said the following in his Message for the 26th World Youth Day (2011):

Part of being young is desiring something beyond everyday life and a secure job, a yearning for something really truly greater. Is this simply an empty dream that fades away as we become older? No! Men and women were created for something great, for infinity. Nothing else will ever be enough. Saint Augustine was right when he said “our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you”. The desire for a more meaningful life is a sign that God created us and that we bear his “imprint”. God is life, and that is why every creature reaches out towards life. Because human beings are made in the image of God, we do this in a unique and special way. We reach out for love, joy and peace. So we can see how absurd it is to think that we can truly live by removing God from the picture! God is the source of life. To set God aside is to separate ourselves from that source and, inevitably, to deprive ourselves of fulfilment and joy: “without the Creator, the creature fades into nothingness” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 36).

Clearly by looking inward we find that only what comes from outside of us in Jesus Christ can satisfy our longing for peace. Is that what St. Pius X means? Is he just calling “moderate Modernism” imprudent for that time, as an imprudent way of doing apologetics? After all, he said that they reject immanence as a doctrine. Or is moderate modernism something else?

I’m confused.

Re: modernism Jimmy Akin discusses that encyclical ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/MODERSM.TXT

"Pope Piux X dubbed Modernism “the synthesis of all heresies.”

Are you asking, does “moderate” modernism make modernism less of a synthesis for all heresy?

Probably this. St. Pius X, five years after Pascendi, wrote a letter to the Bishop of Aix charging him to reassure Blondel “against all attacks against his orthodoxy, which in the mind of the Pontiff was certain.”

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.