Modernists Say Nothing Original

One of the most wearying aspects of the constant stream of apostate statements and actions concerns the utter and complete lack of anything resembling original thought. Everything that the conciliar revolutionaries say and do was championed long before them by various and sundry heretics. This is why Pope Saint Pius X could write the following about Modernism as the “synthesis of all heresies”:

38. It remains for Us now to say a few words about the Modernist as reformer. From all that has preceded, it is abundantly clear how great and how eager is the passion of such men for innovation. In all Catholicism there is absolutely nothing on which it does not fasten. They wish philosophy to be reformed, especially in the ecclesiastical seminaries. They wish the scholastic philosophy to be relegated to the history of philosophy and to be classed among absolute systems, and the young men to be taught modern philosophy which alone is true and suited to the times in which we live. They desire the reform of theology: rational theology is to have modern philosophy for its foundation, and positive theology is to be founded on the history of dogma. As for history, it must be written and taught only according to their methods and modern principles. Dogmas and their evolution, they affirm, are to be harmonized with science and history. In the Catechism no dogmas are to be inserted except those that have been reformed and are within the capacity of the people. Regarding worship, they say, the number of external devotions is to he reduced, and steps must be taken to prevent their further increase, though, indeed, some of the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head. They cry out that ecclesiastical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic departments They insist that both outwardly and inwardly it must be brought into harmony with the modern conscience which now wholly tends towards democracy; a share in ecclesiastical government should therefore be given to the lower ranks of the clergy and even to the laity and authority which is too much concentrated should be decentralized. The Roman Congregations and especially the index and the Holy Office, must be likewise modified The ecclesiastical authority must alter its line of conduct in the social and political world; while keeping outside political organizations it must adapt itself to them in order to penetrate them with its spirit. With regard to morals, they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are more important than the passive, and are to be more encouraged in practice. They ask that the clergy should return to their primitive humility and poverty, and that in their ideas and action they should admit the principles of Modernism; and there are some who, gladly listening to the teaching of their Protestant masters, would desire the suppression of the celibacy of the clergy. What is there left in the Church which is not to be reformed by them and according to their principles?

39. It may, perhaps, seem to some, Venerable Brethren, that We have dealt at too great length on this exposition of the doctrines of the Modernists. But it was necessary that We should do so, both in order to meet their customary charge that We do not understand their ideas, and to show that their system does not consist in scattered and unconnected theories, but, as it were, in a closely connected whole, so that it is not possible to admit one without admitting all. For this reason, too, We have had to give to this exposition a somewhat didactic form, and not to shrink from employing certain unwonted terms which the Modernists have brought into use. And now with Our eyes fixed upon the whole system, no one will be surprised that We should define it to be the synthesis of all heresies. Undoubtedly, were anyone to attempt the task of collecting together all the errors that have been broached against the faith and to concentrate into one the sap and substance of them all, he could not succeed in doing so better than the Modernists have done. Nay, they have gone farther than this, for, as We have already intimated, their system means the destruction not of the Catholic religion alone, but of all religion. Hence the rationalists are not wanting in their applause, and the most frank and sincere among them congratulate themselves on having found in the Modernists the most valuable of all allies. (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907.)

Despite all of the complexity that they use to make it appear that they alone have the ability to understand the “hidden meaning” of the Gospel, the method of Modernists is really quite simple to understand. Modernists simply project onto God and His Divine Revelation their own false beliefs. As unfettered by their heretical ancestors in Orthodoxy and Protestantism, Modernists claim that they are “stripping away” a version of the Gospel that had been “corrupted” by Scholasticism and by the Church’s general councils of the Second Millennium, especially the Councils of  Florence and Trent and the [First] Vatican Council.

In other words, everything about Divine Revelation is reduced to a supposedly “pure” reading of the Gospels that just happens that is able to be reinterpreted according to the “needs” of the times. Open contradictions of the defined teaching of the Catholic Church are called “legitimate developments of doctrine” even though such an exercise defies logic and the anathemas of Holy Mother Church.

Indeed, Pope Saint Pius X explained that Scholasticism is one of the chief obstacles that Modernists have to remove in order for their rationalistic system of heresies to seem “sensible” even though it is based on inherent sets of contradictions that lead to endless changes and adaptations:

Would that they had but displayed less zeal and energy in propagating it! But such is their activity and such their unwearying labor on behalf of their cause, that one cannot but be pained to see them waste such energy in endeavoring to ruin the Church when they might have been of such service to her had their efforts been better directed. Their artifices to delude men's minds are of two kinds, the first to remove obstacles from their path, the second to devise and apply actively and patiently every resource that can serve their purpose. They recognize that the three chief difficulties which stand in their way are the scholastic method of philosophy, the authority and tradition of the Fathers, and the magisterium of the Church, and on these they wage unrelenting war. Against scholastic philosophy and theology they use the weapons of ridicule and contempt. Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is tending to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for the scholastic method. Let the Modernists and their admirers remember the proposition condemned by Pius IX: "The method and principles which have served the ancient doctors of scholasticism when treating of theology no longer correspond with the exigencies of our time or the progress of science." They exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority. But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those "who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind...or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church"; nor that of the declaration of the fourth Council of Constantinople: "We therefore profess to preserve and guard the rules bequeathed to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, by the Holy and most illustrious Apostles, by the orthodox Councils, both general and local, and by everyone of those divine interpreters, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church." Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: "I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church.'' (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907.)

Pope Pius XII, our last true pope thus far, explained the "new theologians" who attempted to recycle and repackage Modernism had the same hatred for Scholasticism as the foundation for the a clear explication of the truths contained in the Sacred Deposit Faith:

In theology some want to reduce to a minimum the meaning of dogmas; and to free dogma itself from terminology long established in the Church and from philosophical concepts held by Catholic teachers, to bring about a return in the explanation of Catholic doctrine to the way of speaking used in Holy Scripture and by the Fathers of the Church. They cherish the hope that when dogma is stripped of the elements which they hold to be extrinsic to divine revelation, it will compare advantageously with the dogmatic opinions of those who are separated from the unity of the Church and that in this way they will gradually arrive at a mutual assimilation of Catholic dogma with the tenets of the dissidents.

Moreover they assert that when Catholic doctrine has been reduced to this condition, a way will be found to satisfy modern needs, that will permit of dogma being expressed also by the concepts of modern philosophy, whether of immanentism or idealism or existentialism or any other system. Some more audacious affirm that this can and must be done, because they hold that the mysteries of faith are never expressed by truly adequate concepts but only by approximate and ever changeable notions, in which the truth is to some extent expressed, but is necessarily distorted. Wherefore they do not consider it absurd, but altogether necessary, that theology should substitute new concepts in place of the old ones in keeping with the various philosophies which in the course of time it uses as its instruments, so that it should give human expression to divine truths in various ways which are even somewhat opposed, but still equivalent, as they say. They add that the history of dogmas consists in the reporting of the various forms in which revealed truth has been clothed, forms that have succeeded one another in accordance with the different teachings and opinions that have arisen over the course of the centuries.

It is evident from what We have already said, that such tentatives not only lead to what they call dogmatic relativism, but that they actually contain it. The contempt of doctrine commonly taught and of the terms in which it is expressed strongly favor it. Everyone is aware that the terminology employed in the schools and even that used by the Teaching Authority of the Church itself is capable of being perfected and polished; and we know also that the Church itself has not always used the same terms in the same way. It is also manifest that the Church cannot be bound to every system of philosophy that has existed for a short space of time. Nevertheless, the things that have been composed through common effort by Catholic teachers over the course of the centuries to bring about some understanding of dogma are certainly not based on any such weak foundation. These things are based on principles and notions deduced from a true knowledge of created things. In the process of deducing, this knowledge, like a star, gave enlightenment to the human mind through the Church. Hence it is not astonishing that some of these notions have not only been used by the Oecumenical Councils, but even sanctioned by them, so that it is wrong to depart from them.

Unfortunately these advocates of novelty easily pass from despising scholastic theology to the neglect of and even contempt for the Teaching Authority of the Church itself, which gives such authoritative approval to scholastic theology. This Teaching Authority is represented by them as a hindrance to progress and an obstacle in the way of science. Some non Catholics consider it as an unjust restraint preventing some more qualified theologians from reforming their subject. And although this sacred Office of Teacher in matters of faith and morals must be the proximate and universal criterion of truth for all theologians, since to it has been entrusted by Christ Our Lord the whole deposit of faith -- Sacred Scripture and divine Tradition -- to be preserved, guarded and interpreted, still the duty that is incumbent on the faithful to flee also those errors which more or less approach heresy, and accordingly "to keep also the constitutions and decrees by which such evil opinions are proscribed and forbidden by the Holy See," is sometimes as little known as if it did not exist. What is expounded in the Encyclical Letters of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the nature and constitution of the Church, is deliberately and habitually neglected by some with the idea of giving force to a certain vague notion which they profess to have found in the ancient Fathers, especially the Greeks. The Popes, they assert, do not wish to pass judgment on what is a matter of dispute among theologians, so recourse must be had to the early sources, and the recent constitutions and decrees of the Teaching Church must be explained from the writings of the ancients. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)

While Pope Pius XII noted later in Humani Generis that certain scholastic aids may be divested in the study of philosophy, he reiterated the fact that the method of Saint Thomas Aquinas was to be taught to priests so that the path to error not be introduced into their minds and thus become part of their own preaching to the faithful:

30. Of course this philosophy deals with much that neither directly nor indirectly touches faith or morals, and which consequently the Church leaves to the free discussion of experts. But this does not hold for many other things, especially those principles and fundamental tenets to which We have just referred. However, even in these fundamental questions, we may clothe our philosophy in a more convenient and richer dress, make it more vigorous with a more effective terminology, divest it of certain scholastic aids found less useful, prudently enrich it with the fruits of progress of the human mind. But never may we overthrow it, or contaminate it with false principles, or regard it as a great, but obsolete, relic. For truth and its philosophic expression cannot change from day to day, least of all where there is question of self-evident principles of the human mind or of those propositions which are supported by the wisdom of the ages and by divine revelation. Whatever new truth the sincere human mind is able to find, certainly cannot be opposed to truth already acquired, since God, the highest Truth, has created and guides the human intellect, not that it may daily oppose new truths to rightly established ones, but rather that, having eliminated errors which may have crept in, it may build truth upon truth in the same order and structure that exist in reality, the source of truth. Let no Christian therefore, whether philosopher or theologian, embrace eagerly and lightly whatever novelty happens to be thought up from day to day, but rather let him weigh it with painstaking care and a balanced judgment, lest he lose or corrupt the truth he already has, with grave danger and damage to his faith.

31. If one considers all this well, he will easily see why the Church demands that future priests be instructed in philosophy "according to the method, doctrine, and principles of the Angelic Doctor,"[8] since, as we well know from the experience of centuries, the method of Aquinas is singularly preeminent both for teaching students and for bringing truth to light; his doctrine is in harmony with divine revelation, and is most effective both for safeguarding the foundation of the faith, and for reaping, safely and usefully, the fruits of sound progress.[9]

32. How deplorable it is then that this philosophy, received and honored by the Church, is scorned by some, who shamelessly call it outmoded in form and rationalistic, as they say, in its method of thought. They say that this philosophy upholds the erroneous notion that there can be a metaphysic that is absolutely true; whereas in fact, they say, reality, especially transcendent reality, cannot better be expressed than by disparate teachings, which mutually complete each other, although they are in a way mutually opposed. Our traditional philosophy, then, with its clear exposition and solution of questions, its accurate definition of terms, its clear-cut distinctions, can be, they concede, useful as a preparation for scholastic theology, a preparation quite in accord with medieval mentality; but this philosophy hardly offers a method of philosophizing suited to the needs of our modern culture. They allege, finally, that our perennial philosophy is only a philosophy of immutable essences, while the contemporary mind must look to the existence of things and to life, which is ever in flux. While scorning our philosophy, they extol other philosophies of all kinds, ancient and modern, oriental and occidental, by which they seem to imply that any kind of philosophy or theory, with a few additions and corrections if need be, can be reconciled with Catholic dogma. No Catholic can doubt how false this is, especially where there is question of those fictitious theories they call immanentism, or idealism, or materialism, whether historic or dialectic, or even existentialism, whether atheistic or simply the type that denies the validity of the reason in the field of metaphysics.

33. Finally, they reproach this philosophy taught in our schools for regarding only the intellect in the process of cognition, while neglecting the function of the will and the emotions. This is simply not true. Never has Christian philosophy denied the usefulness and efficacy of good dispositions of soul for perceiving and embracing moral and religious truths. In fact, it has always taught that the lack of these dispositions of good will can be the reason why the intellect, influenced by the passions and evil inclinations, can be so obscured that it cannot see clearly. Indeed St. Thomas holds that the intellect can in some way perceive higher goods of the moral order, whether natural or supernatural, inasmuch as it experiences a certain "connaturality" with these goods, whether this "connaturality" be purely natural, or the result of grace;[10] and it is clear how much even this somewhat obscure perception can help the reason in its investigations. However it is one thing to admit the power of the dispositions of the will in helping reason to gain a more certain and firm knowledge of moral truths; it is quite another thing to say, as these innovators do, indiscriminately mingling cognition and act of will, that the appetitive and affective faculties have a certain power of understanding, and that man, since he cannot by using his reason decide with certainty what is true and is to be accepted, turns to his will, by which he freely chooses among opposite opinions.

34. It is not surprising that these new opinions endanger the two philosophical sciences which by their very nature are closely connected with the doctrine of faith, that is, theodicy and ethics; they hold that the function of these two sciences is not to prove with certitude anything about God or any other transcendental being, but rather to show that the truths which faith teaches about a personal God and about His precepts, are perfectly consistent with the necessities of life and are therefore to be accepted by all, in order to avoid despair and to attain eternal salvation. All these opinions and affirmations are openly contrary to the documents of Our Predecessors Leo XIII and Pius X, and cannot be reconciled with the decrees of the Vatican Council. It would indeed be unnecessary to deplore these aberrations from the truth, if all, even in the field of philosophy, directed their attention with the proper reverence to the Teaching Authority of the Church, which by divine institution has the mission not only to guard and interpret the deposit of divinely revealed truth, but also to keep watch over the philosophical sciences themselves, in order that Catholic dogmas may suffer no harm because of erroneous opinions. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)

One can see that Pope Pius XII took careful pains to make the proper distinctions concerning methods of intellectual inquiry while at the same time explaining that the whole basis of the “new theology” was founded in a rejection of Scholasticism because of its metaphysical certitude concerning the nature of truth. The “new theologians” sought to replace certitude with paradox, contradiction, uncertainty, ambiguity, thereby leading the way open for the triumph of the senses. To put the matter more plainly, Pope Pius XII condemned the same Modernist principle of the “religious reality” springing from within human beings that had been condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominci Gregis.

This is all important to understand and to keep in mind when there is a temptation to think that something a conciliar revolutionary has said is new. Nothing these men say or do is new. Nothing. Even though they fashion themselves to be champions of novelty and originality, the conciliar revolutionaries are positively boring in their unswervingly rigid adherence to every single Modernist precept, admitting that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has made it more possible for Modernism to the “peripheries” of venality and vulgarity.

To wit, the general secretary of counterfeit church of conciliarism’s “Synod of Bishops,” Lorenzo Baldisseri said nothing new when he endorsed the Modernist principle of dogmatic evolutionism last month:

ROME: Last week, the debate about next October’s Synod on the Family came into view once again as the Secretary General of the Synod, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, opened a three-day (January 22 -25) international conference of lay and family movements in Rome. 

Cardinal Baldisseri called the 300 conference participants, representing 80 different organizations, to enter into the synod process by reflecting on the preparatory document, called the Lineamenta. The document contains the final report from last October’s preparatory assembly (the Extraordinary Synod of 2014), together with 46 questions intended to facilitate its reception and examine the themes treated in it.

The Secretary General of the Synod called participants to consider carefully how devoted Catholic families can help those who are not living the “fullness of Christian marriage.” The mission of the organizations assembled, he suggested, could be deepened by evangelization efforts to those in irregular marital situations. Caring for wounded families, he said, demands a search for courageous pastoral choices. 

Following his presentation, Cardinal Baldisseri fielded questions. The first came from a representative from a Venezuelan-based family organization, who wished to remain anonymous. The representative’s question was more of a statement. 

He expressed “concern” and “shock” over Cardinal Kasper’s proposal at last February’s Extraordinary Consistory of Cardinals, in which Cardinal Kasper argued that the Catholic Church ought to study the Eastern Orthodox Church’s allowance of divorce and remarriage. Cardinal Kasper speculated that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics might be allowed to receive the Holy Eucharist, after a penitential process in the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Baldisseri responded by saying, “We shouldn’t be shocked that there is a different position from the ‘common doctrine.’”

He cited the example of the many contrasting positions that were in evidence at Vatican II.  “Therefore, there’s no reason to be scandalized that there is a cardinal or a theologian saying something that’s different than the so-called ‘common doctrine.’ This doesn’t imply a going against. It means reflecting. Because dogma has its own evolution; that is a development, not a change.” 

The cardinal added that it is “right that there is a reaction” and that “this is exactly what we want today. We want to discuss things, but not in order to call things into doubt, but rather to view it in a new context, and with a new awareness. Otherwise, what’s theology doing but repeating what was said in the last century, or 20 centuries ago?” 

Theology, he said, “is meant to be investigated” and therefore “we shouldn’t be concerned.” (Aleteia.)

Lorenzo Baldisseri is a walking, talking caricature of Modernism and the “new theology,” a man who acts as though what he thinks is the Catholic Church is betraying her mission if she speaks with the same voice over the course of the centuries. Such a man hath not the Catholic Faith, something that readers of this site know so very well.

What is interesting to note, however, is that many “conservative” commentators have seized on Baldisseri’s endorsement of dogmatic evolutionism as something “new” even though the conciliar “popes” have taught the same thing, albeit by not being so bold as to call it by its proper name as Baldisseri did last month.

“Saint John Paul II” masqueraded the Modernist principle of dogmatic evolutionism by referring to as “living tradition,” meaning that everything in Sacred Deposit of Faith was open to reinterpretation and “adaptation” as the circumstances require:

5. Today the Church rejoices at the renewed confirmation of the prophet Joel's words which we have just heard: "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh" (Acts 2:17). You, present here, are the tangible proof of this "outpouring" of the Spirit. Each movement is different from the others, but they are all united in the same communion and for the same mission. Some charisms given by the Spirit burst in like an impetuous wind, which seizes people and carries them to new ways of missionary commitment to the radical service of the Gospel, by ceaselessly proclaiming the truths of faith, accepting the living stream of tradition as a gift and instilling in each person an ardent desire for holiness.

Today, I would like to cry out to all of you gathered here in St Peter's Square and to all Christians: Open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Spirit! Accept gratefully and obediently the charisms which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us! Do not forget that every charism is given for the common good, that is, for the benefit of the whole Church.  (Meeting with ecclesial movements and new communities.)

is not therefore a matter of inventing a "new programme". The programme already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its centre in Christ himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with him transform history until its fulfilment in the heavenly Jerusalem. This is a programme which does not change with shifts of times and cultures, even though it takes account of time and culture for the sake of true dialogue and effective communication. This programme for all times is our programme for the Third Millennium.

But it must be translated into pastoral initiatives adapted to the circumstances of each community. The Jubilee has given us the extraordinary opportunity to travel together for a number of years on a journey common to the whole Church, a catechetical journey on the theme of the Trinity, accompanied by precise pastoral undertakings designed to ensure that the Jubilee would be a fruitful event. I am grateful for the sincere and widespread acceptance of what I proposed in my Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente. But now it is no longer an immediate goal that we face, but the larger and more demanding challenge of normal pastoral activity. With its universal and indispensable provisions, the programme of the Gospel must continue to take root, as it has always done, in the life of the Church everywhere. It is in the local churches that the specific features of a detailed pastoral plan can be identified — goals and methods, formation and enrichment of the people involved, the search for the necessary resources — which will enable the proclamation of Christ to reach people, mould communities, and have a deep and incisive influence in bringing Gospel values to bear in society and culture.

I therefore earnestly exhort the Pastors of the particular Churches, with the help of all sectors of God's People, confidently to plan the stages of the journey ahead, harmonizing the choices of each diocesan community with those of neighbouring Churches and of the universal Church. (Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte.)

It should be noted furthermore that Karol Joseph Wojtyla/John Paul II note specifically in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, July 2, 1988, that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre had placed the  Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (more commonly known as the Society of Saint Pius X) into schism with what is purported to be the Catholic Church by consecrating four priests as bishops without a “papal” mandate and for refusing to accept what the “canonized pope” said was “the living character of tradition”:

4. The root of this schismatic act can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition. Incomplete, because it does not take sufficiently into account the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, "comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth".(5)

But especially contradictory is a notion of Tradition which opposes the universal Magisterium of the Church possessed by the Bishop of Rome and the Body of Bishops. It is impossible to remain faithful to the Tradition while breaking the ecclesial bond with him to whom, in the person of the Apostle Peter, Christ himself entrusted the ministry of unity in his Church.(6)

5. Faced with the situation that has arisen I deem it my duty to inform all the Catholic faithful of some aspects which this sad event has highlighted.

a) The outcome of the movement promoted by Mons. Lefebvre can and must be, for all the Catholic faithful, a motive for sincere reflection concerning their own fidelity to the Church's Tradition, authentically interpreted by the ecclesiastical Magisterium, ordinary and extraordinary, especially in the Ecumenical Councils from Nicaea to Vatican II. From this reflection all should draw a renewed and efficacious conviction of the necessity of strengthening still more their fidelity by rejecting erroneous interpretations and arbitrary and unauthorized applications in matters of doctrine, liturgy and discipline.

To the bishops especially it pertains, by reason of their pastoral mission, to exercise the important duty of a clear-sighted vigilance full of charity and firmness, so that this fidelity may be everywhere safeguarded.(7)

However, it is necessary that all the Pastors and the other faithful have a new awareness, not only of the lawfulness but also of the richness for the Church of a diversity of charisms, traditions of spirituality and apostolate, which also constitutes the beauty of unity in variety: of that blended "harmony" which the earthly Church raises up to Heaven under the impulse of the Holy Spirit.

b) Moreover, I should like to remind theologians and other experts in the ecclesiastical sciences that they should feel themselves called upon to answer in the present circumstances. Indeed, the extent and depth of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council call for a renewed commitment to deeper study in order to reveal clearly the Council's continuity with Tradition, especially in points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new, have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church. (Karol Wojytla/John Paul II, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, July 2, 1988.)

Wojtyla/John Paul II was absolutely correct to state that the teaching of the universal magisterium of the Catholic Church cannot be contrary to Tradition. Some in the Society of Saint Pius X have posited a nonexistent conflict between the “authoritative magisterium” and the “governing magisterium.” There is no such distinction as no such division in the magisterium exists. It is a fabrication. The universal ordinary magisterium of the Catholic Church cannot teach error, something that was reviewed most recently in Monsignor Joseph Clifford Fenton Calls Out Tricks of Shoddy Minimism.

Unfortunately, for “Saint John Paul II,” however, his very argument in favor of the continuity between the “Second” Vatican Council and the Tradition of the Catholic Church is based upon an admission that that false council’s texts might be too obscure to understand properly “especially in points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new, have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church.” Holy Mother Church teaches clearly. There is nothing “new” in her teaching. The “Polish Pope” was trying to have it both ways by referring to the “living character of Tradition” to call the Society of Saint Pius X to obedience while at the same time unwittingly admitting that that there are “new” points of doctrine that need to be “understood.” This is not from the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, Who is immutable. (Obviously, the Society of Saint Pius X is still trying to having both ways by claiming fealty to the man they believe is the Vicar of Christ on earth while disobeying him openly and refusing to accept the orthodoxy of at least some of his teachings. See the post at Novus Ordo Watch Wire: Twelve Inconvenient Questions for the Society of Saint Pius X.)

Reference to what Wojtyla/John Paul II called “living tradition,” which is nothing other than dogmatic evolutionism writ large, was made just about eight years ago in an interview given by a former student of Ratzinger/Benedict and who had been appointed to the sees of Portland and San Francisco by the “sainted pontiff,” Wiliam Levada, who headed the counterfeit church of conciliarism’s very misnamed Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith from May 13, 2005, to June 30, 2012:

The role of the Church in that dialogue between an individual and his or her God, says the Cardinal, is not to be the first interlocutor, but the role is indispensable. "We believe that the apostles and their successors received the mission to interpret revelation in new circumstances and in the light of new challenges. That creates a living tradition that is much larger than the simple and strict passing of existing answers, insights and convictions from one generation to another.

But at the end of the day there has to be an instance that can decide whether a specific lifestyle is coherent with the principles and values of our faith, that can judge whether our actions are in accordance with the commandment to love your neighbor. The mission of the Church is not to prohibit people from thinking, investigate different hypotheses, or collect knowledge. Its mission is to give those processes orientation". ( Levada Gives Rare Interview: "I Am Not Responsible for the Crusades, Past or Present.)

This same apostate view of dogmatic truth was expressed around the same time Levada, who had been in seminary with Roger "Cardinal" Mahony and Tod Brown and George Niederauer, was given by "Archbishop"  Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., after he had been appointed vice president of "Pontifical" Commission Ecclesia Dei. Di Noia did his best imitation of John Glover Roberts, Jr., the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, by claiming that the words of the documents of the "Second" Vatican Council do not matter, that they can be understood as part of what he says is the Catholic Church's "living tradition" and can be understood differently now than had been intended when they were issued, making a specific comparison with the the Supreme Court's interpretation of Constitution of the United States of America to prove his point:

What would the Society of St. Pius X bring that would positively impact the Church if they reconcile?

The traditionalists that are now in the Church, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, have brought what the Pope has insisted upon: that in the solemnity of the way in which they celebrate the liturgy, especially in the area of the liturgy, they are a testimony to the continuing liveliness of liturgical tradition previous to the Council, which is the message of Summorum Pontificum. The thing is: They can’t say that the Novus Ordo is invalid, but their celebration of the 1962 Missal is something that remains attractive and nourishes faith, even of those who have no experience of it. So that’s a very important factor.

I’ve tried to find an analogy for this. Let’s say the American Constitution can be read in at least two ways: Historians read it, and they are interested in historical context: in the framers, intentions of the framers, the backgrounds of framers and all of that historical work about the Constitution. So, you have a Constitution you can study historically and shed a great deal of light on the meaning of it.

However, when the Supreme Court uses the Constitution, when it’s read as an institutional living document upon which institutions of a country are based, it’s a different reading. So what the framers thought, including not only experts upon whom they’re dependent — they are parallel to the bishops, and the experts are parallel to the periti [theologians who serve participants at an ecumenical council].

Those documents have an independence from all of them. I often say that what Council Fathers intended doesn’t matter because it’s how you apply it today that matters. It’s a living document. ("Archbishop Di Noia" Ecclesia Dei and the Society of St. Pius X.)


"Archbishop" Di Noia, who is from the United States of America and once served Holy Mass for the then Father Robert Fidelis McKenna, O.P., in New Haven, Connecticut, falsely equates the Constitution of the United States of America, whose composition was not guided by God the Holy Ghost, with Apostolic or Sacred Tradition, which is so guided. Indeed, each of Holy Mother Church's twenty true councils were so guided. Infallibly. The Fathers of Holy Mother Church's true general councils  used language that was precise and clear because it was formulated with the guidance and infallible protection of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. The very notion of "living tradition" that Di Noia, who was in perfect conformity with the conciliar "popes" and and their curial appointees, wanted the Society of Saint Pius X to accept and that serves as the cornerstone of the whole foundation of the counterfeit church of conciliarism makes a mockery of all truth just as much as Chief Justice John Glover Roberts, Jr., did in the combined cases of National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. and Department of Health and Human Services, et al. v. Florida, et al. on Thursday, June 28, 2012. It is a farce of dogmatic truth and an act of blasphemy against God the Holy Ghost. (For a review of how the Supreme Court Associate Justice William Brennan defined a "living constitution," see the appendix below, followed by Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani's rejection of the concept of a "living tradition" in the Catholic Church.)

Therefore, those who are “shocked, shocked, shocked” at Lorenzo Baldiserri’s endorsement of dogmatic evolutionism have no reason to be shocked, especially when the master of paradox and contradiction himself, Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, has spent his entire priestly life endorsing this Modernist precept with the most lavish praise imaginable:


1971: "In theses 10-12, the difficult problem of the relationship between language and thought is debated, which in post-conciliar discussions was the immediate departure point of the dispute. 

The identity of the Christian substance as such, the Christian 'thing' was not directly ... censured, but it was pointed out that no formula, no matter how valid and indispensable it may have been in its time, can fully express the thought mentioned in it and declare it unequivocally forever, since language is constantly in movement and the content of its meaning changes." (Fr. Ratzinger: Dogmatic formulas must always change.)

1990: "The text [of the document Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial Vocation] also presents the various types of bonds that rise from the different degrees of magisterial teaching. It affirms - perhaps for the first time with this clarity - that there are decisions of the magisterium that cannot be the last word on the matter as such, but are, in a substantial fixation of the problem, above all an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of provisional disposition. The nucleus remains valid, but the particulars, which the circumstances of the times influenced, may need further correction.

In this regard, one may think of the declarations of Popes in the last century [19th century] about religious liberty, as well as the anti-Modernist decisions at the beginning of this century, above all, the decisions of the Biblical Commission of the time [on evolutionism]. As a cry of alarm in the face of hasty and superficial adaptations, they will remain fully justified. A personage such as Johann Baptist Metz said, for example, that the Church's anti-Modernist decisions render the great service of preserving her from falling into the liberal-bourgeois world. But in the details of the determinations they contain, they became obsolete after having fulfilled their pastoral mission at their proper time

(Joseph Ratzinger, "Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesial Vocation," published with the title "Rinnovato dialogo fra Magistero e Teologia," in L'Osservatore Romano, June 27, 1990, p. 6, cited at Card. Ratzinger: The teachings of the Popes against Modernism are obsolete)

Secondly, it was necessary to give a new definition to the relationship between the Church and the modern State that would make room impartially for citizens of various religions and ideologies, merely assuming responsibility for an orderly and tolerant coexistence among them and for the freedom to practise their own religion.

Thirdly, linked more generally to this was the problem of religious tolerance - a question that required a new definition of the relationship between the Christian faith and the world religions. In particular, before the recent crimes of the Nazi regime and, in general, with a retrospective look at a long and difficult history, it was necessary to evaluate and define in a new way the relationship between the Church and the faith of Israel.

These are all subjects of great importance - they were the great themes of the second part of the Council - on which it is impossible to reflect more broadly in this context. It is clear that in all these sectors, which all together form a single problem, some kind of discontinuity might emerge. Indeed, a discontinuity had been revealed but in which, after the various distinctions between concrete historical situations and their requirements had been made, the continuity of principles proved not to have been abandoned. It is easy to miss this fact at a first glance.

It is precisely in this combination of continuity and discontinuity at different levels that the very nature of true reform consists. In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church's decisions on contingent matters - for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible - should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. It was necessary to learn to recognize that in these decisions it is only the principles that express the permanent aspect, since they remain as an undercurrent, motivating decisions from within.  

On the other hand, not so permanent are the practical forms that depend on the historical situation and are therefore subject to change.

Basic decisions, therefore, continue to be well-grounded, whereas the way they are applied to new contexts can change. Thus, for example, if religious freedom were to be considered an expression of the human inability to discover the truth and thus become a canonization of relativism, then this social and historical necessity is raised inappropriately to the metaphysical level and thus stripped of its true meaning. Consequently, it cannot be accepted by those who believe that the human person is capable of knowing the truth about God and, on the basis of the inner dignity of the truth, is bound to this knowledge.

It is quite different, on the other hand, to perceive religious freedom as a need that derives from human coexistence, or indeed, as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction.

The Second Vatican Council, recognizing and making its own an essential principle of the modern State with the Decree on Religious Freedom, has recovered the deepest patrimony of the Church. By so doing she can be conscious of being in full harmony with the teaching of Jesus himself (cf. Mt 22: 21), as well as with the Church of the martyrs of all time. The ancient Church naturally prayed for the emperors and political leaders out of duty (cf. I Tm 2: 2); but while she prayed for the emperors, she refused to worship them and thereby clearly rejected the religion of the State.

The martyrs of the early Church died for their faith in that God who was revealed in Jesus Christ, and for this very reason they also died for freedom of conscience and the freedom to profess one's own faith - a profession that no State can impose but which, instead, can only be claimed with God's grace in freedom of conscience. A missionary Church known for proclaiming her message to all peoples must necessarily work for the freedom of the faith. She desires to transmit the gift of the truth that exists for one and all. (Christmas greetings to the Members of the Roman Curia and Prelature, December 22, 2005.)

What was that Pope Pius XII wrote in Humani Generis about how the "new theologians" deny that the true meaning of doctrines may be known and understood with metaphysical certitude?

Let me remind you:

34. It is not surprising that these new opinions endanger the two philosophical sciences which by their very nature are closely connected with the doctrine of faith, that is, theodicy and ethics; they hold that the function of these two sciences is not to prove with certitude anything about God or any other transcendental being, but rather to show that the truths which faith teaches about a personal God and about His precepts, are perfectly consistent with the necessities of life and are therefore to be accepted by all, in order to avoid despair and to attain eternal salvation. All these opinions and affirmations are openly contrary to the documents of Our Predecessors Leo XIII and Pius X, and cannot be reconciled with the decrees of the Vatican Council. It would indeed be unnecessary to deplore these aberrations from the truth, if all, even in the field of philosophy, directed their attention with the proper reverence to the Teaching Authority of the Church, which by divine institution has the mission not only to guard and interpret the deposit of divinely revealed truth, but also to keep watch over the philosophical sciences themselves, in order that Catholic dogmas may suffer no harm because of erroneous opinions. (Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950.)

For the likes of men such as the conciliar revolutionaries to be correct, the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity not only hid the true meaning of doctrines for over nineteen hundred years, He permitted true popes and the Fathers of Holy Mother Church's twenty true general councils to condemn propositions that have, we are supposed to believe, only recently been "discovered" as having been true. Blasphemous.

What more can be said?

The Modernist precept of dogmatic evolutonism, no matter how it is labeled ("living tradition," "hermeneutic of continuity," or by Lorenzo Baldisseri's open admission of such evolutionism) was condemned solemnly by the [First] Vatican Council and by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, and The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910, and by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950. (See Appendix C below.) There is simply not a thing in the world new about what Lorenzo Baldiserri said last month, which is what makes commenatries such as these so tiresome to compose.

Lent begins in less than two days from now as it is well after Midnight on Monday, February 16, 2015. Now is the time to beg Our Lady to send us the graces that we need to make the best Lent of our lives as we seek to make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world as the consecrated slaves of her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, especially by praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.

Lift high the Cross during these times of apostasy and betrayal, praying fervently never to fall for the tricks of the Modernists or the tricks of shoddy minimism of those who want to stay in “full communion” with them even while rejecting their teacher, whether wholly or in part.

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.



Appendix A

The Late Associate Justice William Brennan's Understanding of a "Living Constitution"


[Thomas A. Droleskey preface: As has been noted in numerous articles on this site, the principal means by which Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI sought to "reconcile" conciliarism with Catholicism is by claiming that that the dogmatic statements of Holy Mother Church's true dogmatic councils, each of which met under the infallible guidance of God the Holy Ghost, and the past procurements of our true popes, each of whom was merely teaching what was contained in the Deposit of Faith without any deviation or alteration whatsoever, can be interpreted anew because those statements and pronouncements were "conditioned" by the historical circumstances in which they were made. The retired "Petrine Minister" has been thoroughly consistent in this condemned view throughout the course of his priestly life, which began on June 29, 1951.

[Is the text Constitution of the United States of America, written by men who did not recognize the authority of the Catholic Church to govern men in all that pertains to the good of their immortal souls and thus who believed that they could provide the foundation for a just republic without any regard for what she teaches in the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, more "immutable" in its meaning than, say, the decrees of the Council of Florence on the fact that all non-Catholics, including Jews, need to convert to the Catholic Faith or those of the Council of Trent on the Doctrine of Justification?

[Are the words of the framers, each of whom was a product of Modernity--and to the extent that some of them might have been influenced by the writing of Saint Robert Bellarmine they did so through the filter provided by Protestantism and the "Enlightenment," more binding on the consciences of succeeding generations than the condemnations of religious liberty made by Popes Pius VI, Pope Pius VII, Gregory XVI, and Pius IX?

[Why should the words of the Constitution be any more "hallowed" than those given us to by the Fathers of true councils and by our true popes? And although I, for one, as a student of the Constitution and its original intent can make arguments about the authentic meaning of the document's words from the standpoint, what does original intent mean to those who make the words of Sacred Scripture serve whatever purposes they desire?

[Please read, therefore, the Catholic pro-abort William Brennan's words below as they are words of a son of Modernity. And these words are identical in their spirit to the words of sons of Modernism by way of the New Theology, Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis, William Levada, Lorenzo Baldiserri, et al. Brennan, of course, died in "good standing" in the counterfeit church of conciliarism and was given a "Mass of Christian Burial" at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew, Washington, District of Columbia, on July 29, 1997.]


To remain faithful to the content of the Constitution, therefore, an approach to interpreting the text must account for the existence of these substantive value choices, and must accept the ambiguity inherent in the effort to apply them to modern circumstances. The Framers discerned fundamental principles through struggles against particular malefactions of the Crown; the struggle shapes the particular contours of the articulated principles. But our acceptance of the fundamental principles has not and should not bind us to those precise, at times anachronistic, contours. Successive generations of Americans have continued to respect these fundamental choices and adopt them as their own guide to evaluating quite different historical practices. Each generation has the choice to overrule or add to the fundamental principles enunciated by the Framers; the Constitution can be amended or it can be ignored. Yet with respect to its fundamental principles, the text has suffered neither fate. Thus, if I may borrow the words of an esteemed predecessor, Justice Robert Jackson, the burden of judicial interpretation is to translate "the majestic generalities of the Bill of Rights, conceived as part of the pattern of liberal government in the eighteenth century, into concrete restraints on officials dealing with the problems of the twentieth century." Board of Education v. Barnette, [319 U.S. 624, 639 (1943),] We current Justices read the Constitution in the only way that we can: as Twentieth Century Americans. We look to the history of the time of framing and to the intervening history of interpretation. But the ultimate question must be, what do the words of the text mean in our time. For the genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs. What the constitutional fundamentals meant to the wisdom of other times cannot be their measure to the vision of our time. Similarly, what those fundamentals mean for us, our descendants will learn, cannot be the measure to the vision of their time. This realization is not, I assure you, a novel one of my own creation. Permit me to quote from one of the opinions of our Court, Weems v. United States, [217 U.S. 349,] written nearly a century ago:

"Time works changes, brings into existence new conditions and purposes. Therefore, a principle to be vital must be capable of wider application than the mischief which gave it birth. This is peculiarly true of constitutions. They are not ephemeral enactments, designed to meet passing occasions. They are, to use the words of Chief Justice John Marshall, 'designed to approach immortality as nearly as human institutions can approach it.' The future is their care and provision or events of good and bad tendencies of which no prophesy can be made. In the application of a constitution, therefore, our contemplation cannot be only of what has been, but of what may be."

Interpretation must account for the transformative purpose of the text. Our Constitution was not intended to preserve a preexisting society but to make a new one, to put in place new principles that the prior political community had not sufficiently recognized. Thus, for example, when we interpret the Civil War Amendments to the charter—abolishing slavery, guaranteeing blacks equality under law, and guaranteeing blacks the right to vote—we must remember that those who put them in place had no desire to enshrine the status quo. Their goal was to make over their world, to eliminate all vestige of slave caste. ("Constitutional Interpretation by Justice William J. Brennan, Jr")

Appendix B

Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani on the Modernist Methodology to Dispense with the True Social Teaching of the Catholic Church

Here the problem presents itself of how the Church and the lay state are to live together. Some Catholics are propagating ideas with regard to this point which are not quite correct. Many of these Catholics undoubtedly love the Church and rightly intend to find a mode of possible adaptation to the circumstances of the times. But it is none the less true that their position reminds one of that of the faint-hearted soldier who wants to conquer without fighting, or of that of the simple, unsuspecting person who accepts a hand, treacherously held out to him, without taking account of the fact that this hand will subsequently pull him across the Rubicon towards error and injustice.

The first mistake of these people is precisely that of not accepting fully the "arms of truth" and the teaching which the Roman Pontiffs, in the course of this last century, and in particular the reigning Pontiff, Pius XII, by means of encyclicals, allocutions and instructions of all kinds, have given to Catholics on this subject.

To justify themselves, these people affirm that, in the body of teaching given in the Church, a distinction must be made between what is permanent and what is transitory, this latter being due to the influence of particular passing conditions. Unfortunately, however, they include in this second zone the principles laid down in the Pontifical documents, principles on which the teaching of the Church has remained constant, as they form part of the patrimony of Catholic doctrine.

In this matter, the pendulum theory, elaborated by certain writers in an attempt to sift the teaching set forth in Encyclical Letters at different times, cannot be applied. "The Church," it has been written, "takes account of the rhythm of the world's history after the fashion of a swinging pendulum which, desirous of keeping the proper measure, maintains its movement by reversing it when it judges that it has gone as far as it should.... From this point of view a whole history of the Encyclicals could be written. Thus in the field of Biblical studies, the Encyclical, Divino Afflante Spiritu, comes after the Encyclicals Spiritus Paraclitus and Providentissimus.  In the field of Theology or Politics, the Encyclicals, Summi Pontificatus, Non abbiamo bisogno and Ubi Arcano Deo, come after the Encyclical, Immortale Dei."

Now if this were to be understood in the sense that the general and fundamental principles of public Ecclesiastical Law, solemnly affirmed in the Encyclical Letter, Immortale Dei, are merely the reflection of historic moments of the past, while the swing of the pendulum of the doctrinal Encyclicals of Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII has passed in the opposite direction to different positions, the statement would have to be qualified as completely erroneous, not only because it misrepresents the teaching of the Encyclicals themselves, but also because it is theoretically inadmissible. In the Encyclical Letter, Humani Generis, the reigning Pontiff teaches us that we must recognize in the Encyclicals the ordinary magisterium of the Church: "Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand assent, in that, when writing such Letters, the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their teaching authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say "He who heareth you heareth Me" (St. Luke 10:16); and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already belongs for other reasons to Catholic doctrine."

Because they are afraid of being accused of wanting to return to the Middle Ages, some of our writers no longer dare to maintain the doctrinal positions that are constantly affirmed in the Encyclicals as belonging to the life and legislation of the Church in all ages.  For them is meant the warning of Pope Leo XIII who, recommending concord and unity in the combat against error, adds that "care must be taken never to connive, in anyway, at false opinions, never to withstand them less strenuously than truth allows." (Duties of the Catholic State in Regard to Religion.)

Appendix C

The Catholic Church's Condemnation of the Evolution of Dogma

  • For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward
    • not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence,
    • but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.
  • Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.

God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth.

The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either: the dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the mind of the church, or unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions of reason.

Therefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false. . . .

3. If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the church which is different from that which the church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.

And so in the performance of our supreme pastoral office, we beseech for the love of Jesus Christ and we command, by the authority of him who is also our God and saviour, all faithful Christians, especially those in authority or who have the duty of teaching, that they contribute their zeal and labour to the warding off and elimination of these errors from the church and to the spreading of the light of the pure faith.

But since it is not enough to avoid the contamination of heresy unless those errors are carefully shunned which approach it in greater or less degree, we warn all of their duty to observe the constitutions and decrees in which such wrong opinions, though not expressly mentioned in this document, have been banned and forbidden by this holy see. (Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session III, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter 4, On Faith and Reason, April 24, 1870. SESSION 3 : 24 April 1.)

Hence it is quite impossible [the Modernists assert] to maintain that they [dogmatic statements] absolutely contain the truth: for, in so far as they are symbols, they are the images of truth, and so must be adapted to the religious sense in its relation to man; and as instruments, they are the vehicles of truth, and must therefore in their turn be adapted to man in his relation to the religious sense. But the object of the religious sense, as something contained in the absolute, possesses an infinite variety of aspects, of which now one, now another, may present itself. In like manner he who believes can avail himself of varying conditions. Consequently, the formulas which we call dogma must be subject to these vicissitudes, and are, therefore, liable to change. Thus the way is open to the intrinsic evolution of dogma. Here we have an immense structure of sophisms which ruin and wreck all religion.

It is thus, Venerable Brethren, that for the Modernists, whether as authors or propagandists, there is to be nothing stable, nothing immutable in the Church. Nor, indeed, are they without forerunners in their doctrines, for it was of these that Our predecessor Pius IX wrote: 'These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts.' On the subject of revelation and dogma in particular, the doctrine of the Modernists offers nothing new. We find it condemned in the Syllabus of Pius IX, where it is enunciated in these terms: ''Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the progress of human reason'; and condemned still more solemnly in the Vatican Council: ''The doctrine of the faith which God has revealed has not been proposed to human intelligences to be perfected by them as if it were a philosophical system, but as a divine deposit entrusted to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence also that sense of the sacred dogmas is to be perpetually retained which our Holy Mother the Church has once declared, nor is this sense ever to be abandoned on plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth.' Nor is the development of our knowledge, even concerning the faith, barred by this pronouncement; on the contrary, it is supported and maintained. For the same Council continues: 'Let intelligence and science and wisdom, therefore, increase and progress abundantly and vigorously in individuals, and in the mass, in the believer and in the whole Church, throughout the ages and the centuries -- but only in its own kind, that is, according to the same dogma, the same sense, the same acceptation.' (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominci Gregis, September 8, 1907.)

Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. . . .

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. (The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910; see also Nothing Stable, Nothing Secure.)