What is modernism

This is a break off from another thread.

[quote=Sure]Modernism is a heresy. Are you insinuating that the Mass is heretical?


What is the heresy of modernism?

Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies.

See Pascendi Dominici Gregis for more details:

“And now, can anybody who takes a survey of the whole system be surprised that We should define it as the synthesis of all heresies? Were one to attempt the task of collecting together all the errors that have been broached against the faith and to concentrate the sap and substance of them all into one, he could not better succeed than the Modernists have done. Nay, they have done more than this, for, as we have already intimated, their system means the destruction not of the Catholic religion alone but of all religion.”

Which Mass is heretical?

Don’t worry JKirk. No one declared your beloved Novus Ordo to be heretical.

LOL! I wasn’t worried! Trent already covered that, Pax.

I was simply going to post this:

“No threads are to be started and no discussion within threads to be posted that unfavorably compare the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) and the Novus Ordo Mass (NO/NOM), or any other legitimate rites of the Church. I will immediately remove such threads and close those that stray into discussing this topic.”

Plus, you know, the bits where Pope Benedict has said that the OF possesses “spiritual richness and the theological depth.”

But do carry on, I didn’t intend to interrupt the hurling of anathemas.

Simply put, Modernism is a heresy which professes that the Church ought to change over time to conform to the current social enviroment.

Out of curiosity, has anyone actually read any works by Modernists to get a better idea of their teachings condemned in the encyclical Pascendi by St. Pius X?

There are lots of modernistic works out there. Just read Hans Kung. Lots of articles out there too.

It would be better to read guys like Alfred Loisy and George Tyrrell who’s doctrines were primarily the target of Pascendi and the syllabus of the Holy Office that preceded it. The Modernists were trying to explain how the Church’s theology went from an acorn to the oak that it had become (Cardinal Newman and others have offered the orthodox explanation.)

In my limited knowledge, it seems Hans Kung is kind of a different animal (no less unclean of course). For a current example of modernism, Richard McBrien’s book “Catholicism” has a lot of modernists elements in it (so much so, that even the American Bishops Committee on Doctrine criticized it).

We have to distinguish between those who assert the actual Modernist philosophy and those who assert the need for changes for other reasons, like the Church erred from the doctrines of the Early Church (from what I have read of Kung, he has fallen more in the latter category).

The philosophy of the modernists is different. What it holds is that the dogmas of the faith are not revealed by God externally and handed down by the Church, but rather they are produced in the consciousness of the Church generally, and then, after a struggle, accepted and proclaimed by the authority. Dogmas are not eternal truths so much as they are boundaries for the community’s membership. Since the consciousness of the Church produced the dogmas, if the consciousness “feels” they should be changed, deleted, added to, or given new meanings, than that is what should happen.

For an example, the Modernists claim the Divinity of Christ and His Miracles in the Gospel accounts were produced from religious sentiment in the Church’s consciousness and not historical reality. Again, to the Modernist, this is not a bad thing, but a good one. It’s not that the Church was wrong to do so, but rather both positions are true since they express the consciousness of the Church at that time even though they be at odds.

In our time, the Modernism has really given way to something else–it’s more of a reversion to Rationalism, although Modernism still is there. In our day, the folks that we tend to label as Modernists just basically say, “The Church has been wrong all these years, and I have the right answer.” They reduce everything to natural truths which, rather than being received in faith, are to be judged and evaluated with natural reason–and since natural reason can err, it therefore is always subject to debate and correction.

For example, the pro-women priest crowd won’t say that it was the will of the consciousness of the Church to have an all male priesthood in the past, but now the consciousness feels women should be priests. Rather, they will simply say the Church was wrong and oppressive all along to have an male-only priesthood and therefore needs to correct its error. On the other hand, McBrien uses the modernist approach to argue for a change in Church teaching in regard to contraception saying it was the right thing for the Church at one time but now the consciousness of the Church says otherwise (he uses usury to try and show this has been done in the past–of course, he totally misunderstands the principles involved in the Church’s doctrine on usury).

At least with the Rationalists there is some semblance of an objective reality and truth, but with the Modernists even that goes out the window. They’re much more difficult to evangelize.

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