26 November 2008

Modernist Heresy - Alive and Well

St. Pope Pius X spoke of the heresy of Modernism as the "synthesis of all heresies." He wrote the encyclical letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis condemning its errors and "in order to expose before the whole Church, in their true colors, those men who have assumed this bad disguise."
While it did great damage to the movement it was not fully destroyed but driven underground where it has reappeared in recent times, most recently in that period following Vatican II, by those invoking the "spirit of Vatican II." Evidence of this is found in many place and frequently the articles and comments made by readers of the National Catholic Reporter. While not imputing or suggesting any of these people is guilty of heresy it nonetheless true that their statements resemble those that were previously condemned.

In an effort to make the encyclical more understandable to the average layman, the Rev. J. B. Lemius O.M.I. prepared "A Catechism of Modernism" in the question and answer format common to the catechetical method of instruction. This small treatise was warmly received by Pope Pius X and he gave his hopes of it being widely distributed. It was originally published in 1908 for the Society of the Propagation of the Faith in NY.

Q. Is it not, then, the duty of the Church to shape herself to democratic forms?
A. We are living in an age when the sense of liberty has reached its fullest development, and when the public conscience in the civil order introduced popular government. Now there are not two consciences in man, any more than there are two lives. It is for the ecclesiastical authority, therefore, to shape itself to democratic forms, unless it wishes to provoke and foment in intestine conflict in the consciences of mankind.

Q. What finally is the great anxiety of the Modernists?
A. Their one great anxiety is, in consequence, to find a way of conciliation between the authority of the Church and the liberty of believers.

Now let us look at the, CHARTER OF THE RIGHTS OF CATHOLICS IN THE CHURCH, which belong to an organization called Association for Rights of Catholics in the Church. It's members are a venerable who's who of dissident Catholic groups: CCC (Coalition of Concerned Canadian Catholics) CITI (Celibacy is the Issue) CORPUS (a national association for a married priesthood) CORPUS-Baltimore CTA (Call to Action) Dignity/USA FCM (Federation of Christian Ministries) New Ways Ministry Pax Christi-Maine Quixote Center Renewal Coordinating Committee WOC (Women's Ordination Conference) Christenrechte in der Kirche (Germany) Droits et Libertes dans les Eglises (France) European Conference for Human Rights in the Church (federation of eight national organizations)

Here are a few of their demands:


The Church as a People of God, and not individual Christians only, is called to give witness to the love commandment. This responsibility entails, especially, the renewal of the Church's own structural organization where it is seen to foster injustice and to deny to some Catholics the rights of persons and the freedom of Christians.2 "Justice is love's absolute minimum" (Paul VI). The institutional Church, as a human society, can therefore no longer justify an authoritarian and patriarchal order appropriate to earlier stages of human development.

No. 28. All married Catholics have the right to determine in conscience the size of their families and the appropriate methods of family planning.
No. 29. All Catholic parents have the right to see to the education of their children in all areas of life. (C. 226:2)
No. 30. All married Catholics have the right to withdraw from a marriage which has irretrievably broken down. All such Catholics retain the radical right to remarry.
No. 31. All Catholics who are divorced and remarried and who are in conscience reconciled to the Church have the right to the same ministries, including all sacraments, as do other Catholics.

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