By: Tony Capobianco
In a previous Virgo Potens article, the consequences of abandoning Tradition were discussed. This article looks at the monstrosity that led many in the human element of the Church to abandon Tradition. Each of the following questions have one answer. What caused so many clerics and laity to abandon Tradition? What was the primary cause of the revolutionary changes within the Church over the past century? What has caused the phenomenon of personal interpretation of Scripture to become more common than using traditional Scripture commentaries? How is it that reason and the intellect have frequently become subjugated to the emotions? What has seduced many to abandon numerous traditional pius practices in favor of novelties which are often inferior? Why are so many Catholics confused about what they ought to believe? What caused the errant idea that Dogma can evolve in such a way that it contradicts the clear sense in which the Church has always and everywhere understood it? How is it that it has become common to label faithful Catholics as being rigid? What is it that has caused some churchmen to advocate for what appears to be pantheism? What has prevented Shepherds from teaching that the Catholic Church is the Ark of Salvation, outside of which there is no salvation? What is the cause of the ongoing great apostasy? What is the name of the plague of heresies rampaging through the City of God?
The insidious heresy of Modernism is the answer to all of the above questions. Modernism is a spiritual, philosophical, and intellectual pestilence which has infected and continues to infect and corrupt the good, the true, and the beautiful. Much like any effective virus, Modernism seeks to evade the defense of the body’s immune system by hiding in plain sight. This hiding in plain sight is accomplished by deceiving the body and through such deception, the body’s immune system is unable to differentiate between the virus and what are truly healthy components of the body. Due to the inability of the natural defenses to recognize the deadly alien invader, the virus replicates itself and spreads throughout the body as it corrupts and ultimately destroys what was once a healthy body. If we relate this analogy to the Mystical Body of Christ while applying the language of St. Robert Bellarmine, we might say that catholics infected with Modernism are like bad humours or ulcers within the body. After having infected the host body, the virus seeks to spread from one host, to another, to another, until there is nothing and no one left to contaminate. In this analogy, Modernism is no mere virus, it is a devastating plague which resembles the bubonic plague or the Black Death.
The Black Death pandemic between 1347-1351 is estimated to have killed 1/3 of Europe’s population. The plague of Modernism, the most terrible heresy of all time, relentlessly and diabolically assaults the Traditional Catholic Faith as it scourges and seeks to crucify the Mystical Body of Christ. This plague can potentially corrupt everything. This plague corrupts the good into bad, the beautiful into the hideous, the truth into lies, and life into death. In short Modernism is as Pope St. Pius X said, “the synthesis of all heresies”. If an individual heresy is likened to a deadly virus then Modernism ought to be likened to the synthesis of every historically deadly disease. That is to say, the plague of Modernism could be likened to the synthesis of the Black Death, Ebola, Smallpox, AIDS, and the Super Flu outbreak of 1918. Modernism is a plague from the pit of Hell. To fight this plague, we must first identify it, study it, find the remedy, administer the remedy, and then send Modernism back to the pit of Hell from which it came.
Is comparing Modernism to one of the most terrifying plagues in history a bit hyperbolic? Could this heresy really cause so much destruction? Could Modernism really have the capacity to corrupt nearly every Catholic Truth? It would seem that arguably the greatest Pope of the past 200 years wouldn’t consider the language of this article to be hyperbolic. Pope St. Pius X wrote a Papal Encyclical called Pascendi Dominici Gregis in which he delivers a devastating condemnation of Modernism as he brings the darkness of the Modernist errors into the light. Pascendi Dominici Gregis is quite possibly the the most important and simultaneously the most ignored papal encyclical of the past 150-200 years. Rather than attempting to analyze what Modernism is and what its dangers are myself, the following lengthy excerpts from Pascendi Dominici Gregis by Pope St. Pius X will be presented as a crash course on Modernism. The following excerpts from Pascendi Dominici Gregis will be presented in a questions and answers format.
Why was Pascendi Dominici Gregis written?
In what way is this Modernist attack from within the Church more dangerous than attacks from without?
What is the heresy of Modernism?
In Modernism, is there to be anything stable, anything immutable in the Church? Do the Modernists have forerunners to their doctrines? Are the methods and doctrines of Modernism made for edification or destruction?
Modernists present themselves as reformers, what are their aims? What do they wish to change in the Church? Do Modernists desire the suppression of celibacy of the clergy?
Modernists listen to the teaching of their Protestant masters. To where does Modernism lead?
What is the doctrine of Immanence as believed by the Modernists? Where does the Modernist doctrine of Immanence lead?
In what ways are curiosity and pride the moral causes of Modernism? What is the intellectual cause of Modernism?
How do Modernists make new recruits? After having infiltrated professorships in seminaries and universities what impact do Modernists have on these positions?
The Holy Father, Pope St. Pius X, identifies and rebukes the entire errant system of Modernism with holy precision. He sees in Modernism serious and sinister errors which lead to the destruction of the Catholic Faith and indeed all religion. The Catholic Church, of course, will remain intact until Judgement Day but this doesn’t mean that heresies will not seduce a significant number of the human element of the Church. Objectively speaking, Modernism leads to apostasy and atheism. It is for this reason that Modernism, which is the synthesis of all heresies, is more terrifying than the worst pandemics in history. The Black Death only caused physical death whereas Modernism causes the loss of Faith and eternal damnation. The terrible Black Plague or Bubonic Plague held deadly influence over the body but it held no such influence over the soul and eternal life. On the other hand, the plague of Modernism can influence spiritual realities and lead to what is known as the second death. As sorrowful as physical death is to the Lord God Who is The Author of Life, it is the damnation of souls which is more sorrowful. Modernism has the potential to separate a great number of souls from Christ and His Church.
Pope St. Pius X explained that pride was a chief cause of Modernism. The deadly sin of pride finds an abode in Modernism. Pride was the sin which caused Lucifer to rebel against God and to be cast down from heaven. Pride is the deadly vice by which Modernists emulate their spiritual father, the Devil. Modernists puff themselves up with pride as they arrogantly scoff at Tradition. It is pride which causes the Modernist to have contempt for the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas and scholasticism. It is pride which tempts the Modernist to believe that they have a better understanding of Sacred Scripture than all of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. It is pride which causes the Modernists to embrace Immanentism. It is the Modernist doctrine of Immanence which reeks of Gnosticism. Authentic and holy Catholic mystics have described their mystical visions as if they were looking into a mirror and the mirror was God and the visions were in God. Contrarily, the Modernist while contemplating some idea in his mind, would seem to gaze into the mirror and see not God but himself as he insanely makes a god of himself. The Modernist becomes intoxicated by what he perceives as his own brilliance and enlightenment. Drunk with self love and pride, the Modernist desires and seeks to reinterpret the past, destroy Tradition, and create a new church made in his image and likeness. It would seem as though within the disordered mind of the Modernist there is a hall of mirrors, as if in a maze of mirrors in a funhouse, in which the Modernist has become willingly trapped as he has fallen in love with the many reflections of himself in the maze of mirrors.
Tradition has been maliciously assaulted by the Modernists as they have attempted to destroy the Church from within. Sorrowfully, despite the dire warnings of Pope St. Pius X, much of the Modernist agenda has come to its rotten fruition and currently more of the Modernist agenda is being openly promoted at the highest levels of the Church. Modernists believe in the evolution of dogma and doctrine in such a way that dogma and doctrine become mere signs of religion that are adaptable to the particular situation that the Church finds itself at a particular time. As such the Modernist will label those who believe and defend the immutable Truth of the authentic and traditional Catholic Faith as being rigid. For a Catholic the Truth and the principle of judgement are found in an external source or that is to say that the Truth is found in Divine Revelation contained in the Sacred Deposit of Faith. However, the Modernist holds that truth is imminent or within oneself as the Modernist makes the principle of judgement interior to man. Modernism turns man inward only to find man. Modernism sets up within man an altar to himself as man becomes the object of worship. Thus it is apparent that the champions of Modernism are Satan and pride.
Hopefully this article on Modernism will inspire those who have not yet read Pascendi Dominici Gregis by Pope St. Pius X, to do so. The current crisis in the Church cannot be properly understood without first understanding the heresy of Modernism. The remedy of this plague of Modernism will be the topic of an upcoming article. The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. Our Lady is the Destroyer of Heresies and She Crushes the head of the ancient serpent.
Pope St. Pius X, pray for us.
Virgin Most Powerful, pray for us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.