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Modernism

Described as the "synthesis of all heresies" by Pope Pius X. Modernism is defined as, "A belief who's foundation is from agnosticism and Immanence. From these principles, allied with various evolutionary doctrines, Modernism tended to demolish dogmas (which it called variable symbols), Sacraments (which it reduced to faith-nourishing signs), the authenticity and genuineness of the Scriptures, the Church, and ecclesiastical authority and discipline. It would reduce Christ to human dimensions, and make inspiration a common gift of mankind." (Definition from A Catholic Dictionary, 1951)
 

References to Modernism in Scripture:

  • I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30
  • "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them." Matthew 7:15-20
     

Catholic Church Teaching on Modernism in the Church:

  • "We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, and, what is much more sad, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, animated by a false zeal for the Church, lacking the solid safeguards of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, put themselves forward as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the Person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious audacity, they degrade to the condition of a simple and ordinary man." Encyclical "On the Doctrine of the Modernists" by Pope Pius X, SEPTEMBER 8, 1907
  • "For, as We have said, they put into operation their designs for her undoing, not from without but from within. Hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain from the very fact that their knowledge of her is more intimate. Moreover, they lay the ax not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fibers. And once having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to diffuse poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth which they leave untouched, none that they do not strive to corrupt. Further, none is more skillful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious devices; for they play the double part of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and as audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance" Encyclical "On the Doctrine of the Modernists" by Pope Pius X, SEPTEMBER 8, 1907
  • In the conflict between different religions, the most that Modernists can maintain is that the Catholic has more truth because it is more vivid, and that it deserves with more reason the name of Christian because it corresponds more fully with the origins of Christianity" ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE MODERNISTS
    ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X, SEPTEMBER 8, 1907
  • These reasons suffice to show superabundantly by how many roads Modernism leads to atheism and to the annihilation of all religion. The error of Protestantism made the first step on this path; that of Modernism makes the second; atheism makes the next" ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE MODERNISTS
    ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X, SEPTEMBER 8, 1907

     

Summary

Modernism first started to become prevalent in the early 20th century, and Pope Pius X immediately brought the world's attention to it, condemning it with two encyclicals, (On the Doctrine of the Modernists in 1907) and (The Oath Against Modernism in 1910). Today modernism is very common in the Catholic Church, and Catholics must avoid it all costs. Any Catholic that should dare to approve of Modernism or be a part of it cannot call themselves Catholic!

 

 

 

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