29. October, 2013Blog Post 70 comments

On September 21, in a blog post dissecting Pope Francis’ interview in America Magazine, I wrote, “Pope Francis is a modernist.”

The outpouring of indignation that I received in the aftermath prompted a more thoroughgoing examination of what it means to say that someone is a “modernist,” in which I made the distinction between the material modernist and the formal modernist, Pope Francis being the former.

Anyone who would like to argue otherwise is welcome to have at it. I would only ask that they do so while bearing in mind:

- A modernist is not going to call a press conference to announce his affinity for modernist thought, not typically anyway, but we’ll return to this point momentarily.

- Modernists most often deal in subtly and nuance, frequently cloaking their agenda in the language of Catholic doctrine, often while surreptitiously redefining terms.

- Modernists will often make statements that are irreconcilable with the Faith in one breath, while professing Catholic understandings of the truth in the next.

- Lastly, for those who wish to understand what modernism is and how it can be identified, in spite of its tendency to lurk in the shadows, there is no substitute for reading, slowly, studiously and prayerfully, the Encyclical of Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis.

All of that said, let’s return to the topic at hand.

Over the last few days, two members of Pope Francis’ select group of eight cardinals, commonly referred to as the C-8, chosen to advise the pope on the reform of the Roman Curia, made news with comments relative to modernism and the current pontificate.

First among them is Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, who has been a good friend to Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II over the years, and to whom I will always remain grateful.

In an interview with Vatican Insider, Cardinal Pell was asked to comment on charges leveled by the Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, on October 5th, that Pope Francis is “a genuine modernist.”

“To put it politely,” Cardinal Pell replied, “I think that’s absolute rubbish!  Francis said he’s a loyal son of the Church, and his record shows that.  He’s very, very concerned for the day-to-day life of the people, and for those who are suffering, those not well off and those in difficult situations.  He’s a completely faithful exponent of Christ’s teaching and the Church’s tradition.”

I would politely disagree, and there’s a reasonably good chance that at least one of his fellow G-8 members; namely, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, would as well, provided he and the pope are of like mind, which all indications are is a fairly safe bet.

In a speech delivered at the University of Dallas on October 26th, Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga said:

The Second Vatican Council was the main event in the Church in the 20th Century. In principle, it meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism, which was condemned in the First Vatican Council. On the contrary: neither the world is the realm of evil and sin –these are conclusions clearly achieved in Vatican II—nor is the Church the sole refuge of good and virtue. Modernism was, most of the time, a reaction against injustices and abuses that disparaged the dignity and the rights of the person. (Thanks to Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia for providing the full text of the speech.)

Did you catch that? According to this Prince of the Church, a man who is one of just eight handpicked cardinal-advisers to the pope, the Church, thanks to Vatican II, no longer harbors any hostility toward modernism, that which Pope St. Pius X called the “synthesis of all heresies.”

He even plainly acknowledged, lest there be any doubt whatsoever, that the modernism of which he speaks is that same  dreadful heresy that was condemned by the First Vatican Council, on which note it states:

“If anyone says: it may happen that to doctrines put forward by the Church, sometimes, as knowledge advances, a meaning should be given different from what the Church has understood and understands, let him be anathema.”

In perfect conformity with the church-of-man agenda of which I have written in the past, the justification for this bold public rejection of the Catholic faith is guess what? “The dignity and the rights of the person.”

If that’s not outrageous enough, Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga suggests that modernism – once condemned by an ecumenical council of the Holy Catholic Church – was but a justifiable response to the arrogance of the Catholic Church back when her prelates were faithful enough to profess her as the solitary custodian of the fulness of truth, goodness and virtue.

So, if modernism was justifiable, that would make the condemnation at Vatican I, as well as the threefold offensive against modernism of Pope St. Pius X (Pascendi, Syllabus, and Oath) what? Unjustifiable?

Don’t gloss over this point. What we have here is a cardinal of the Catholic Church publicly stating that the solemn condemnations issued at the First Vatican Council, and strengthened by Pope St. Pus X, have been overturned by Vatican II, a pastoral assembly unlike its dogmatic predecessors in kind, having openly declared absolutely nothing as properly binding. (See the Nota Praevia in Lumen Gentium.)

Folks, it doesn’t get much more black and white than this. This is material heresy.

While, as I said, modernists don’t typically go about waving flags to make the task of identifying them easy, we can at least be grateful to Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga for stepping out of the shadows.

So, now the question is, when will Pope Francis – if indeed he is not a like-minded modernist in his own right – condemn this outrage in an equally public way?

  1. aged parent October 29, 2013 6:51 pm

    That is a pretty brazen declaration coming from a Prince of the Church. Incredible. It makes one shudder to think of what other such men Francis might give a red hat to if this is the kind of Churchmen he respects.

    I thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  2. I am not Spartacus October 29, 2013 6:55 pm

    Vatican Two was an opportunity for the new theologians , progeny of the modernists, to gather together from all over the world and to pool their progressivism to a point where it became a flood that washed-away the Church that I was born into in the 1940s; and yet, and yet, these words still have the capacity to make me sit-up and take notice at the confidence in the confession that there was a radical rupture; and that honesty is refreshing because I am so sick of the claims of continuity.

    “Everything is different nothing has changed” was the operative slogan for the past one-half century.

    I am, frankly, quite happy to see the Hive buzzing so loudly and proudly; they have won (on one level) and I have lost. but their words have no sting as far as I am concerned.

    I don’t think that many realise that Modernism had won a silent revolution within the seminaries prior to the explosion of the V2 rocket and that the majority of the Fathers arrived for V2 already opposed to the Roman Rite, the Real Mass ,and so they were easy marks for the modernists conspirators to roll for those conspirators were clever enough not to make it plain what they were truly all about.

    All of this spate of doctrinal insanity is actually good news seen in the right perspective.

    You’ve got totally control, men, work your wills. You are destined to lose.

    In the meantime, those of us who watched the Hierarchy PASS on Tradition will bide our time, keeping the Faith of all time, and passing-on to our families the real Faith.

  3. Capt. Donnie October 29, 2013 7:03 pm

    Do not hold your breath Louie. There will be no correction. No rebuke. New Church has won the day. I patiently await a new Athanasius as the chastisement continues. Holy Mother of God, Pray for us.

  4. CatholicMom October 29, 2013 7:17 pm

    Thank you for bringing these important things to light, I pray you will help wake up the massive numbers of our Catholic brothers and sisters to what is happening in the church.

  5. I am not Spartacus October 29, 2013 7:23 pm

    The Cardinal avers: “The new thought of the Vatican II Council had been slowly brewing in the Christian conscience, and the time had come to articulate it clearly before the universal Church…”

    Professor Roberto de Mattei rhetorically imprisoned this claim in his great book, “The Second Vatican Council (an untold story)” when he observed: “…To admit the existence of conspiracies is simply to admit that history is shaped by men’s freedom and is not the result of a World Spirit or Reason that is immanent in history, of which men are only the instrument…”

    Sorry, Cardinal, maybe your subtext was that V2 was the work of the Holy Ghost who, over time, guided the collective intellect of the Church, or, maybe it was what Dr Mattei described, but such a criminal tactic can’t pass for a law-abiding reason anymore.

    The structures of the visible catholic church and the sacraments of the visible church were changed by men for reasons having mainly to do with ecumenism and modernism; it was not the work of the Holy Ghost or something that had been “slowly brewing”… “SLOWLY BREWING, Good Lord, what’n'hell kind of a justification for massive destruction is that?

    It seems obvious that the new theologians are convinced of their genius and that they were doing the work of the Holy Ghose but, Dr. Mattei cites a much more believable explanation for their sense of exuberance and triumph at achieving such a unrighteous rupture – he cites Melissa White and her category of “collective effervescence….a result of individuals gathering together, in this case to worship, to discuss, and to engage in changing an ancient institution in which they all fervently believed.”

    Isn’t it odd that modernists were convinced that The Holy Ghost was leading them to make great changes in the Church they had been condemned for opposing; it takes a liberal….

  6. bocephus68 October 29, 2013 7:51 pm

    I think Sonny and Cher summed it up best when they sang that song “The Beat goes on”…..

    Beam me up Scotty!!
    Check Please!!

    Keep up the good fight there Louie!!

  7. Augustine October 29, 2013 8:39 pm

    Can a pope ever be a heretic? I truly don’t know the answer to this and would like to know. Have there ever been pope’s who were heretics?

  8. linda stella zentner October 29, 2013 8:59 pm

    a couple of recent sermons on Audio Sancto may be helpful in addressing your query, plus I am sure Mr. V. and learned commentors on this site will be able to address it for you too.

    I have a question as well.

    I am a convert of over 25 years. I had a Catholic Dad who died young, but not before instilling in me a deep love for the Faith as a tiny girl in the 50′s. So my question to others here is, –
    is it wrong, sinful to miss a former Pontiff very deeply? And I often wish those younger than myself could have the experience I had then, of occasionally hearing the beloved voice of Pius XII. When I heard him on the radio it was as if the whole world stood still. Oh, he was so, to state the obvious, C a t h o l i c.

    Please help me here.

    Pray, pray much for the Holy Father. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

  9. Craig V October 29, 2013 9:20 pm

    “…So, now the question is, when will Pope Francis – if indeed he is not a like-minded modernist in his own right – condemn this outrage in an equally public way?”

    He won’t. Unless and until the Good Lord miraculously converts the Pope and removes the blinders from his eyes, he won’t and can’t. We should all be praying for this to happen.
    The clock is ticking, in my personal opinion, toward the much prophesied chastisement (we’re already in it spiritually, but the physical side is a coming) Humanly speaking, there’s no way out. It will take Divine Intervention to prevent it and nothing else. All we can do is pray, pray, pray and prepare for the worst. Maybe we’ll be surprised at a miraculous turn-around, but don’t hold your breath.

  10. I am not Spartacus October 29, 2013 9:25 pm

    Dear LSZ. It is commendable to miss a Pope. I miss Pope Saint Pius X and he died before I was born

  11. general350 October 29, 2013 9:40 pm

    Louis: Pope Francis is just another cleric deeply marinated in the re-packaged Modernism of Vatican II. I doubt very much if the members of the G8 have even read Pascendi, or even know what it is. They love their shape-shifting lex credendi, that is the Spirit (Spell) of Vatican II, and the Novus Ordo, the centerpiece of a shape-shifting lex orandi. Pope Francis and the G8? ………..carousel Catholicism…weeeeeeeeeee away we go………. virtually no yesterday and no tomorrow

  12. I am not Spartacus October 29, 2013 9:42 pm

    She must do this service living in the world, herself a part of the world and in solidarity with it…

    It is an inescapable and ineluctable teaching of Catholic Tradition that the enemies of the Catholic Church are the WORLD, the fFesh, and the Devil.

    To see how outrageously evil this is, substitute one of the other two identified enemies and say what the Cardinal said.

    This is just an embarrassing public Creed for ANY Catholic, least of all a Cardinal, to Confess; and Confession is just what he requires.

    This is masonic humanism soaring on wax wings. Good Lord. Please tell me this is April 1st. I can’t read anymore…wadda sad day

  13. Sheena October 29, 2013 9:43 pm

    It is a shame that both Cardinal Burke and now Cardinal Pell who I thought would have known better are buying into this garbage. Just last week I saw on one blog site that privately not just in the Vatican and Rome but even in other parts of the world America Poland even Latin America there is a growing uneasiness and even wariness with Francis and moreover a quiet but growing revolution against his mess of the Papacy. Not only that but there is also what the author of the weekly magazine Focus called a creeping nostalgia for the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. I originally thought that modernism was too far out there but you can’t deny that when even Protestants are complaining about him we have a very serious problem since Protestants are not Traditionalists.

  14. I am not Spartacus October 29, 2013 9:51 pm

    Instead, she should go out into the common arena, plainly and humbly, and share in the common search for truth.”

    Shitteth me thou? Come on, this has GOT to be a joke…

    OK, seriously, whoever wrote this crap should have first pried his lips off The Bong, switched-off the Lava Lamp, and taken “Eat a Peach” off the stereo.

    Sorry, Mr. V. I can’t help myself. I won’t post anymore but I HAVE to go back and read the rest of this whatever’nhell it is; It reads like something lifted from a Monty Python Script….

  15. MMC October 29, 2013 10:13 pm

    So Vatican II now says the world is “okee-dokee”? That’s not what Scripture says:
    ” You must not love this passing world or anything that is in the world. The love of the Father cannot be in any man who loves the world, because nothing the world has to offer- the sensual body, the lustful eye, pride in possessions- could ever come from the Father but only from the world; and the world, with all it craves for, is coming to an end; but anyone who does the will of God remains forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 This “world” has wrought the slaughter of hundreds of millions, the sexual exploitation of children, greed, porn, violence and utter evil. This prince of the Church needs to read Scripture again. God bless~

  16. Marietta October 29, 2013 10:45 pm

    “So, now the question is, when will Pope Francis – if indeed he is not a like-minded modernist in his own right – condemn this outrage in an equally public way?”
    Don’t think so. Pope Francis sows the confusion (i.e., the “unearned God”) and his underlings sort it out. Cardinal Madriaga did so very nicely – better than the Pope himself can explain himself. Francis is the Obama of the Vatican.
    Formerly conservative Cardinal Pell must have found himself in a quandary – to defend or not to defend what this Pope has been preaching? For a long time, Pell was silent. Then being one of the G-8′s, he realized he has to defend the Pope? How? – by attacking Bishop Fellay. There’s no other way.

  17. Kathleen October 29, 2013 11:36 pm

    Thank you, again, Mr. Verrecchio, for your courage in continuing to provide us information like this.

    May God have mercy on us.

    You remain in my prayers, Mr. Verrecchio.

  18. Michael Leon October 30, 2013 12:14 am

    Hello Louie. It is not easy being the bearer of bad news. But as Catholics, we live for the Truth — the one True God, the one True Faith… the Way, the Truth and the Life. Without the Truth we are nothing. God bless you. You are in our prayers.
    “Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me?” — John 8:46

  19. Nell October 30, 2013 12:55 am

    Yes, the modernists have been unleashed and are emboldened. Because of circumstances beyond my control I have not been able to attend the TLM that is 45 minutes from me so I have been parish hopping in the hope I can find somewhere to attend a Mass. In three weeks @ three different places this is what I have experienced:
    -A call(right after communion) to join a meditation group in which we come closer to the God within ourselves.
    -A Homily in which the Priest compared people who say devotions to the Pharisees and ending with “It means absolutely nothing to say devotions unless you have a burning heart, like Jesus, for the poor”.
    -Instead of a Homily we had someone talk to us about how to apply to get free health care.

    It has been an utter nightmare.

  20. Tradical October 30, 2013 2:16 am

    When I read Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga’s words, I just about gagged.

    However, in addition to comparing the words and actions of the Pope et al to those ascribed to Modernists in Pascendi, it is also important to compare them to the proscribed errors of the Modernists as found in Lamentabili Sane. The second syllabus.

    In this syllabus, we find the specific errors of the Modernists are identified and condemned.


    With respect to the following words of the Cardinal:

    “On the contrary: neither the world is the realm of evil and sin –these are conclusions clearly achieved in Vatican II—nor is the Church the sole refuge of good and virtue”

    The latter part of the quote appears to be consistent with a denial of a dogma … but who am I to judge?

    God Bless and keep us all sane!!!

  21. roguehop October 30, 2013 2:21 am

    capt. donnie said: I patiently await a new Athanasius as the chastisement continues. Amen, amen. St Athanasius, pray for us.

  22. Alphonsus Jr. October 30, 2013 2:43 am

    “Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God.”

    -James 4:4

  23. I am not Spartacus October 30, 2013 12:43 pm

    He who hears you hears me

    Church is the pilar and foundation of truth

    Church speaks with voice of Christ

    Church guided by Holy Ghost into all truth

    If he refuses to hear the Church treat him as a publican

    And following the explosion of the revolutionary V2 rocket, ALL of this has had the anointing of defenestration.

    And the Cardinal Pells of the world are the Girondists who will surrender to the most radical programs of the modernist Jacobins and the conservative catholic will be expected to follow the Cardinal Pells due to their reputation.

    Well, you have to grant that the modernists know what they are doing.

  24. Samwise October 30, 2013 1:41 pm

    Since when is the ‘oath against modernism’ diametrically opposed to the dignity of the human person?

  25. c matt October 30, 2013 1:57 pm

    “The dignity and the rights of the person.”

    This has been one of the slickest ploys of modernists and I thank you Louie for pointing it out. A Catholic cannot argue that the person has dignity and certain rights because he is made in the imago dei. And because God is the source of this dignity, the person owes God the duty of right worship, embodied in the Cathilic faith. Thus, God is of primary importance, and man’s dignity and rights flow as a secondary effect. The modernist takes this truth, de-emphasizing, if not completely ignoring the source, thereby inverting the importance. And viola – man becomes the primary focus. The slickness of the moderninst is that he does not outright deny the Catholic truth that God is the source, but allows that others arrive at the same “goal” (i.e., the dignity/rights of man) through different paths. Thus, we “share” the same goals, only we get there through different paths. Isn’t that nice? can’t we all just get along? NO – they have subsituted the ultimate goal – union with God – with its secondary effect – dignity of man.

    Like IANS says – they really know what they are doing.

  26. Samwise October 30, 2013 3:09 pm

    @c matt:
    You are referring to Pius X’s warning against “vital immanence” and “sentimentality” in PASCENDI.
    Let’s get this clear: the Pope and the Bishops are neither removing God as the ‘sourece of dignity of the human person’, nor are they compromising the faith and objective absolute truth by saying that private revelation, sentimentality, and diversity of religion results in salvation–(nor are they denying the rich tradition and history of the Catholic Church)
    Rather, they are doing exactly what St. Pius X’s motto states “restoring all things to Christ”–and this, my friends, takes a long time. It endures mistakes in speech and translation (Francis), and it puts up with incessant scepticism (this site)

  27. Joe October 30, 2013 3:19 pm


    Yes, the Pope can be a heretic, although I have never heard of a Pope defining heresy Ex Cathedra (I believe Bellarmine taught that if a Pope did so, he was simply no longer the Pope, but I have no support for this). An example is Pope Honorius I (Pope from 625-638), who was condemned and anathamized by name at the Third Counsel of Constantinople. During his life Honorius informally and tacitly adhered to the Monophysite heresy in a series of letters. As the Catholic Encyclopedia states:

    “He [Honorius] was a heretic, not in intention, but in fact; and he is to be considered to have been condemned in the sense in which Origen and Theodore of Mopsuestia, who died in Catholic communion, never having resisted the Church, have been condemned. ” Importantly, Honorius I never taught heresy Ex Cathedra. You can read more about him here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07452b.htm

    Another example is John XXII (Pope from 1316-1334). John XXII preached that the souls of the blessed do not see the Beatific Vision until the last judgment. He was widely condemned as a heretic by many French theologians. He eventually recanted his views. Again, from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

    “Before his elevation to the Holy See, he had written a work on this question, in which he stated that the souls of the blessed departed do not see God until after the Last Judgment. After becoming pope, he advanced the same teaching in his sermons. In this he met with strong opposition, many theologians, who adhered to the usual opinion that the blessed departed did see God before the Resurrection of the Body and the Last Judgment, even calling his view heretical. A great commotion was aroused in the University of Paris when the General of the Minorites and a Dominican tried to disseminate there the pope’s view . . . Before his death he withdrew his former opinion, and declared his belief that souls separated from their bodies enjoyed in heaven the Beatific Vision.” You can read more about John XXII here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08431a.htm

    Perhaps as John XXII aged he did not like the grim prospect he had laid out for himself . . . Again, John XXII never defined any heretical doctrine or dogma Ex Cathedra.

    I am certainly not stating or implying that Francis is a heretic. He says a lot of good stuff too, but unfortunately he also says some very confusing and ambiguous things too. My intention was simply to answer Augustine’s question.

  28. c matt October 30, 2013 3:19 pm

    I don’t see how anyone can read Pascendi, especially paragraphs 27 and 28, and not feel discomfort at the current situation.

  29. paul morphy October 30, 2013 3:21 pm

    It would appear that confusion is being deliberately sown.
    This Pope is right, while this other Pope is wrong.
    Vatican II replaces The Bible, Vatican II is right and the Bible is wrong……..

    The doctrine and dogma of the Church needs to be asserted repeatedly and without confusion.
    I wish Pope Francis would see to it that what has held for 2,000 is continued.

  30. Gerard M October 30, 2013 4:21 pm

    Actually the good Cardinal is wrong on many points. Vatican I didnt actually condemn modernism. It issued two dogmatic constitutions one on the nature of the catholic faith and a second on the petrine office. Modernism as a system of thought was identified and specifically condemned by Pius X in Pascendi in 1907. Inceidentally John Paul II in Ratio et Fidei taught that that condemnation was still “pertinent”. Finally modernism has nothing to do with “helping people”. Its a system of thought. It clearly had no altruistic underpinnings. I am truly convinced that the cardinal isnt refering to the modernist heresy as such but to generic modernism. But it is surprising he has such an imprecise, sloppy way of speaking. Or maybe not.. In any event we can see the fruits of either modernism properly so called or generic moderism in our separted brethren especially the very modernistic church of England which is even now on the virtual point of collapse.

  31. I am not Spartacus October 30, 2013 5:07 pm

    Dear samwise. Does a pagan man who worships the Great Thumb have the same dignity as a Baptised man?

  32. Mary October 30, 2013 5:51 pm

    To answer Augustines question: “Can a pope be a heretic.” The answer is that if a pope falls into heresy he falls from office and out of the Church and his see becomes vacant. If a heretic is elected pope the election is null and void. See “Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio” by Pope Paul IV. Also: “A pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction… This principle is most certain. The non-Christian cannot in any way be Pope, as Cajetan himself admits (ib. c. 26). The reason for this is that he cannot be head of what he is not a member; now he who is not a Christian is not a member of the Church, and a manifest heretic is not a Christian…” (De Romano Pontifice, II, 30, St. Robert Bellarmine, Bp, & Doctor of the Church).

  33. Samwise October 30, 2013 5:52 pm

    @I am not Spartacus,

    Let me ask you: What price did Jesus pay for all men, regardless of whether they would ultimately reject him and end in hell, or accept him and live to worship Him forever?

  34. S.Armaticus October 30, 2013 5:56 pm

    @ samwise,
    To quote ++ Pell, what you say is “absolute rubbish”. And your mother wears combat boots!
    Hey, I like this post conciliar arguementation. If it feels good, do it. Baby:) Brings out one’s inner hippie.

  35. c matt October 30, 2013 6:10 pm


    Oddly enough, I wrote my 1:57 pm never having read Pascendi. My other comment was after having read it. I am not saying that the Pope and Bishops are deliberately denying God as the source, but the “off the cuff” comments/interviews imply God as the source, rather than expressly state God as the source. In this way, they confirm modernist thinking. And modernists such as Scalfari go away from an interview with the HF justified in their modernism.

  36. Lawrence October 30, 2013 6:16 pm

    “We control the seminaries, the academic departments of theology, the catechetical and liturgical institutions, the publishing houses, the magazines that matter and the chanceries. Most of the bishops are now on our side and those that aren’t have been neutralized. Anybody who wants a future in the hierarchy or the Catholic academy has no choice but to co-operate.” ― Fr. Hans Küng , Famed Modernist

  37. Samwise October 30, 2013 6:23 pm

    @c matt,

    Commenting w/o information is itself modernistic–aka, concensus vs. “consonance between intellect and objective reality” (Fides et Ratio, paragraph 56 against modernism)

    An exemplary warning to anyone who is easily persuaded by the ideology of this site vs reality

  38. Augustine October 30, 2013 6:33 pm

    Thanks for the response Mary. So is Pope Francis a heretic or just a modernist?

  39. Samwise October 30, 2013 6:36 pm

    If the sole text, that is, the criterion for judging a modernist from one in conformity with tradition is PASCENDI and its subsequent Oath Against Modernism, then how could one accuse another of modernism without it?

    The answer: it’s becoming popular to accuse others of modernism! out of pride!

    I enjoy Latin Mass, I pray against modernism–but that doesn’t mean it lurks behind every bush! And, I am informed of its errors!

    St. Pius X, pray for us! Pray against this false hermeneutic of rupture that you did not intend. Pray for repentance from Church leaders for leading others to believe in this false interpretation (including SSPX and Francis). Pray for: “RESTORATION IN CHRIST”

  40. Samwise October 30, 2013 6:43 pm

    I firmly believe that St. Pius X would have gladly attended VCII and approved of its longsuffering outcome (correctly interpreted in continuity with the Magisterium).
    He would be appalled at the ‘fingerpointing’ and suspiscion that has twisted his words against those who succeeded him. Not to say that modernism isn’t alive and well and deserving criticism–but certainly not a weapon for individuals to ruin reputations and declare invalid what the Magisterium declares valid

  41. Mary October 30, 2013 6:49 pm

    Augustine: Modernism has been condemned by the Church therefore it is a heresy. “Not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church as does schism or heresy or apostasy.” (Mystici Corporis, 23, Pope Pius XII).

  42. MMC October 30, 2013 8:38 pm

    Our Lord died on the Cross b/c it was His Father’s will. The Father willed it out of LOVE not the “dignity” of man. Man’s dignity is completely dependent on God…and per St. Thomas Aquinas it can be lost:

    The fact that the Father loved man in his sin enough to die on the cross is in no way a reflection of man’s so called ‘dignity’ but rather of the Father’s freaking AWESOMENESS. :+) God bless~

  43. I am not Spartacus October 30, 2013 9:10 pm

    Samwise October 30, 2013 5:52 pm

    Dear Sam. I knew you couldn’t answer :)

  44. I am not Spartacus October 30, 2013 9:19 pm

    Dear Samwise. That Vatican Two is so imprecise and written in such a fashion that it is open to differring interrpetations

    Dear samwise. Pope Saint Pius X would have walked out of V2 had he been a Bishop and he would not have called it had he been Pope.
    V2 was a clear rupture with the past and that is attested to in the diaries of of influential participants ay V2 and the documents of V2 are open to completely different interpretations by serious catholics within the Hierarchy and despite pleas that he issue a syllabus defining what is and is not binding that request was rejected by Bishop Emeritus Ratzinger when he was Pontiff.
    Confusion and uncertainty amidst one- half century claims of continuity – cui bono?

  45. c matt October 30, 2013 9:22 pm


    Fair enough – my pointing out that I saw leanings of modernism before reading Pascendi was to simply show that, even without the benefit of that document, an unlearned person as myself could still see issues. After reading Pascendi, it only further confirmed my intuition.

    If one can see modernism in a particular statement, and then independently see elsewhere that similar statements have been considered modernism by others, it is what is often referred to as “confirmation.” Concensus would denote active communication among those reaching the concensus. St. Pius did not invent nor define modernism, he recognized it and called it out. One can identify modernism independent of St. Pius, just as one can identify various philosophies independent of a particular work on that specific philosophy. What Pascendi provides is a convenient exposition of modernism, just as many authors can provide a convenient exposition of Platonism, Thomism or any other school of thought. To say it requires knowledge of Pascendi to detect modernism is no more valid than it requires knowledge of Ed Feser’s writings to detect anti-Thomism. It is convenient and helpful, to say the least, but it does not invalidate criticism of modernism that Pascendi was not read first. What I don’t see, Samwise, is an argument that Francis’ words do not smack of modernism – what I see is “you didn’t read Pascendi first, therefore you can’t possibly know Francis words are modernist” as if Pascendi is the only source of knowing about modernism. Even without the benefit of Pascendi, my humble intellect detected modernist leanings. So the question remains, are they or aren’t they modernist?

  46. Janet October 30, 2013 11:11 pm

    @Augustine, there is a small book called The Papacy from Angelus Press that details two heretic popes and what happened to them. This book also describes the process by which a pope may be declared a manifest heretic and deposed (the cardinals have to do it) and gives a clear explanation as to why the pope has power and authority until this happens, no matter how outrageous he is, either morally or doctrinally, which is why we are not bleeps, I hope you know what this protocol means, not to mention the actual word. Bleeps misunderstand the authority of the pope in a most protestant way, saying he loses authority if he screws up. No, he only loses authority when deposed by those who gave him authority, same as the town sheriff or a high school principal. It’s an excellent resource. One conclusion I have drawn is that it is very important now–bless bloggers–that there is an awareness of the doctrine being pushed by Pope Francis and his staff among the cardinals, which begins with us, blogging, writing letters, writing songs, writing poems, writing movies, novels (I have one almost finished set on earth’s first space colony in which modernism and a pope’s response to it is a plot element), making up recipes, graffiti–all those things, eventually the cardinals will get wind of it. Make a noise.

  47. Janet October 30, 2013 11:26 pm

    Maradiaga is the One. He is good looking, charismatic, and plays to the crowd, especially to women–his masses (I attended one in New Orleans in 2007) have to be seen to be believed, full of political posturing and rousing cheers for The Church on the Move, prelates leaning on the walls of the sanctuary chatting up senioritas, the faithful grooming themselves and visiting. I have dreaded this moment ever since I went to his mass. He is utterly chilling.

  48. Codgitator (Cadgertator) October 31, 2013 12:47 am

    I believe the complexities and risk of modernism (not modernity) are just as bad as Mr. Verrecchio argues: http://ebougis.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/heres-to-the-hermeneutic-of-continuity/

  49. Samwise October 31, 2013 11:57 am


    Man ‘lost’ his dignity by sinning, Jesus accomplished the Father’s will of love for the sake of glorifying the blessed Trinity who created man out of the dust of the earth–BUT DID NOT CREATE OR INTEND SIN.
    Nevertheless, the happy fault resulted in so great a Redeemer for man

    Man’s dignity/worth is dependent entirely on God. Baptism by blood, desire, or water are all valid for restoring man to full dignity in the paschal mystery of Christ.

    @I am not Spartacus,
    ditto^. unlike some, I don’t have 24/7 computer access–I like to interact with the real world

  50. Samwise October 31, 2013 11:59 am

    @c matt,

    define Modernism w/o Pascendi!

  51. c matt October 31, 2013 1:45 pm

    Easy enough: Man is the measure of all things. That, in essence, is what it boils down to. I found it interesting that you yourself immediately thought I was referring to Pascendi with my comment, even though I had not yet read it. So it seems one can detect moderinsm without having read Pascendi. Although Pascendi is a phenomenal aid because it does lay it out in a nice complete package.

    Still, the real question is whether or not Francis’ statements smack of modernism – not who read what when. Again, it just struck me odd that I had concerns similar to what Pascendi points out, and arrived at them independently, as it were. You can call it consensus; I call it confirmation that something may be amiss.

  52. I am not Spartacus October 31, 2013 1:59 pm

    Dear samwise. I think you are confessing that a Baptised man has more dignity than a pagan man who worships the Great Thumb, right?

    Noe, try to imagine a modern cleric confessing that.

    Be careful, samwise, you never known where making distinctions may lead you….

  53. Leo October 31, 2013 3:02 pm

    Samwise said:
    “I firmly believe that St. Pius X would have gladly attended VCII and approved of its longsuffering outcome (correctly interpreted in continuity with the Magisterium).
    He would be appalled at the ‘fingerpointing’ and suspiscion that has twisted his words against those who succeeded him.”

    Samwise needs to heed to his own preachy pithiness, e.g.:
    “Commenting w/o information is itself modernistic–aka, concensus vs. “consonance between intellect and objective reality” (Fides et Ratio, paragraph 56 against modernism)
    An exemplary warning to anyone who is easily persuaded by the ideology of this site vs reality”

  54. Leo October 31, 2013 3:07 pm

    The Great Thumb, eh?

    What a thing is man devoid of grace,
    Adoring garlick with a solemn face.
    -George Herbert (slightly paraphrased, probably; college was a long time ago.)

  55. Samwise October 31, 2013 3:44 pm

    @ I am not Spartacus,

    what if the ‘Great thumb’ worshipper realizes the folly of his worsip on his death bed, repents, and is then martyred by other thumb worshippers for believing in the Triune God–aka, baptism by blood.
    Or, same scenario, but the repentant thumb worshipper has no opportunity for formal baptism at his death bed, and is still baptized by desire.

    If you don’t believe in ‘desire or blood’ baptism, what do you say about the dignity of stillborns? Are you a limbo believer? Do you, Spartacus, judge before the appointed time?

  56. Samwise October 31, 2013 3:50 pm

    Has anyone been able to define modernism w/o Pascendi yet?

  57. susan October 31, 2013 5:51 pm

    “Has anyone been able to define modernism w/o Pascendi yet?”

    why on earth do you discount what Pascendi says?…it is a consumate and masterful analysis of that very topic, with the sole purpose of exposing and expounding upon it.

    I have a funny feeling that “samwise” is the nom de plume for Clare NJ….or perhaps mark shea?


  58. lifealertfan October 31, 2013 6:16 pm

    Would St. Pius X have allowed altar girls and stand next to the Dalai Lama holding a plant?

  59. Codgitator (Cadgertator) October 31, 2013 6:49 pm

    I don’t understand how one, for the sake of argument, needs more than Pascendi. I mean, what more do we to know someone is a heretic on the hypostatic union than Leo the Great’s Tome, or what more do we need to know someone is a heretic on the Bible than Trent’s 4th session on the Canon, or what more is needed to establish that one is a heretic on contraception than Humanae Vitae, etc? It’s a specious pseudo-argument, samwise. There’s such a thing as the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium (IOM), and modernism certainly falls under its scope, even if Pascendi is the most concentrated exposition of its unacceptability according to the IOM.

  60. Codgitator (Cadgertator) October 31, 2013 6:57 pm

    “In our own century too the Magisterium has revisited the theme on a number of occasions, warning against the lure of rationalism. Here the pronouncements of Pope Saint Pius X are pertinent, stressing as they did that at the basis of Modernism were philosophical claims which were phenomenist, agnostic and immanentist. … In theological enquiry, historicism tends to appear for the most part under the guise of “modernism”. Rightly concerned to make theological discourse relevant and understandable to our time, some theologians use only the most recent opinions and philosophical language, ignoring the critical evaluation which ought to be made of them in the light of the tradition. By exchanging relevance for truth, this form of modernism shows itself incapable of satisfying the demands of truth to which theology is called to respond.” — John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, #54, #87

    In any case, all clerics and periti at Vatican II had been ordained on condition of affirming the Oath against Modernism, so, unless they all voted, in violation of their sacred vow, to embrace Modernism in the V2 documents, they ratified those documents on a basis that included their vow against Modernism. Hence, V2 is either a sham, or it includes the premise that Modernism is incompatible with its aims. The clear charter of John XXIII shows he wanted to make the V2 declarations clearly and unflinchingly in accord with the immediate and ancient Tradition, which INCLUDED anti-Modernism. Either way, Madriaga is just blowing smoke, and, as Pope Francis’s closest advisor, may be doing so at the behest of Pope Francis (just as we are to understand that Francis has spoken through Müller’s recent statement on marriage and communion).

  61. Codgitator (Cadgertator) October 31, 2013 7:00 pm

    I keep misspelling Maradiaga’s name!

  62. Codgitator (Cadgertator) October 31, 2013 8:17 pm

    Meanwhile, the claim that the papacy of a man who denounces “restorationism” whenever he gets the chance is slyly working to achieve the motto of St. Pius X is just a side of balderdash for main dish of poppycock you’re serving up, samwise.

  63. Samwise November 1, 2013 12:48 am

    @ Susan,
    It would just be nice to say what modernism is in one sentence of our own words–so that, as arguers, we can agree on terms…
    HAHA, I’m no Catholic Answer guy. I’m just a 27 year old dad/banker from Ohio w/ a 7month old and a wife from Michigan.

    I’m from the JPII generation, Karol Wojtyla and the council mean a lot to me–but not when it’s misinterpreted by hippies or outright denied.

  64. Codgitator (Cadgertator) November 1, 2013 4:22 am

    No, Sarah, it couldn’t be Mark Shea: he hasn’t threatened to ban anyone from this thread.

    (By the way, samwise, I think balderdash and poppycock are fun old words, and did NOT mean to come across as baiting or berating you. Even so, my objections to your point still stand. :) )

  65. Edu November 1, 2013 9:57 am

    Dear MMC,

    Thanks to your reference from the 1st letter of St James showing crystal clear cardinal Maradiaga’s blatant heresy.

    I have always been a little wary of cardinal Pell ever since Reading the following comments form Wikipedia, so it didn’t really come as that much of a surprise when I read his comments about Bishop Fellay’s denouncement of Bergoglio as a genuine modernist. Well, anyway, this is what Pell had to say about hell:

    “We Catholics generally [???????????????] believe that there is a hell. I hope nobody is there [how can he "hope" God doesn't condemn the wicked?????????]. I certainly believe in a place of purification. I think it will be like getting up in the morning and you throw the curtains back and the light is just too much [what about "getting up" and finding out you are in a place of everlasting torment, without being consumed by an unquenchable fire????????]. God’s light would be too much for us. But I believe [this is merely Pell's "belief"??? What about the teaching of the church and holy scripture????] on behalf of the innocent victims in history that the scales of justice should work out. And if they don’t, life is radically unjust, the law of the jungle prevails.”

  66. Catholic at Rome November 1, 2013 10:25 am


    the most outrageous statement of the Honduran Cardinal in that discourse, published now at the Diocese of Miami website, is that he asserts that

    Jesus was a layman…

    upon that basis he redefines the whole notion of ecclesiality…in a sense which is nothing short of complete apostasy and rejection of Scripture and Tradition

  67. MMC November 1, 2013 5:17 pm

    Edu: would love to take credit for the James quote but that was Alphonsus Jr.’s spot on Scripture reference. I used 1 John 2: 15-17. Both reveal the truth about the world and how Catholics should see it. Michael Voris is doing a great week of Vortex’s on hell this week and Dallas Area Catholic/TA also noted that the watering down of the dogma of hell has been a major impetus for the loss of faith these past decades. Granted, so was destroying the sacred mass, allowing heretics/apostates/dissidents to run free/no discipline, modernism, men who practiced and promoted homosexual behavior/same sex attraction in the priesthood, as well as the dropping of catechesis. God bless~

  68. Paul November 2, 2013 5:52 am

    @ Susan & Lifealertplan:

    The thought occurred to me that Mark Shea holding a plant would be redundant. Then I realized I was conflating two distinct posts.


  69. I am not Spartacus November 2, 2013 11:27 am

    Mr. Shea ? The Tubby Cat was just coughing-up another Hate Ball. That is what he does and he has had to publicly apologise for befouling the alleys of the internet with his fetid odor and he has made more apologies for such actions (with promises never to do it again ) than Mickey Rooney has been married with the difference being that Mickey Rooney’s vows are longer lasting than the promises of The Tubby Cat.

  70. deravago November 2, 2013 1:01 pm

    Thanks, Louie, for following truth and logic and calling it like it is regardless of the consequences. That’s exactly what’s been generally lacking in the Catholic Church these past 50 years. Unlike so many Churchmen, you are not lukewarm. God bless you!

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