Jesuitical 16: Loyola Marymount and the Atheist Dean



Part 16 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.

Well, Loyola Marymount out in Los Angeles went for a twofer for their dean:  a pro-abort and an atheist:

On April 16, the Jesuit university announced the appointment of Robbin Crabtree as dean of its Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. The position oversees bioethics, theological studies, philosophy and Catholic studies at the university. The dean is also involved in faculty hiring decisions.

Founded in 1911, Loyola Marymount University is located in Los Angeles. It has about 9,500 students in its undergraduate, graduate and law programs.

RenewLMU, a group of students, alumni, faculty, donors and other university supporters concerned about the university’s Catholic mission, questioned whether Crabtree was an appropriate choice to oversee “mission critical” departments.

Loyola Marymount University President David Burcham, in an April 16 letter to the Loyola Marymount Board of Regents, said that criticisms of her candidacy have been “exaggerated and inaccurate.”

Crabtree is presently dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University, a Jesuit institution in Connecticut.


Links to Pro-Abortion Groups

Her curriculum vitae notes her service on the advisory board and media-relations committee for Planned Parenthood of Putnam County in Indiana from 1991-1993.

In 2001 and 2002, she was a member of the New Mexico group Las Adelitas Women in Politics. While Crabtree’s curriculum vitae describes the group as an organization to promote women’s candidates for public office in New Mexico, the group has been involved in promoting pro-abortion candidates.

Burcham said that Crabtree’s involvement with the “budding” political organization was “brief,” and the organization “changed significantly” since she left it. He said her involvement with Planned Parenthood consisted of serving as an “outside consultant” to a new Planned Parenthood-sponsored women’s health center. This work was in communications and “aimed at engaging underserved women in the community to increase their awareness of the clinic’s basic health-care services.”

Burcham said the university’s only “litmus test” in hiring is that “a candidate must fully support our mission of academic excellence in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions and commit himself/herself to furthering this mission through [his or her] professional life at LMU.”

The university president’s comments were largely echoed in an April 16 letter from Jesuit Father Robert Caro to alumni and parents. He said that concerns being raised about Crabtree’s past associations “do not reflect her recent involvements or reputation and appear to ignore her distinguished record.”

RenewLMU objected that there is no indication that Crabtree has disavowed these groups or their philosophical positions.

Go here to National Catholic Register to read the rest.  One of the comments defending the administration is a hoot and illustrates the “Francis Effect” I guess:

Posted by Tidbit on Saturday, May 3, 2014 9:48 AM (EDT):

Reading the comments here, one begins to believe that readers have not understood Pope Francis at all. He has praised the Jesuits for their faithful service to the Church, and has urged them to open windows and take down defenses. That is exactly what LMU is doing. Whoever is not with the pope is not with God.

I preferred it when CINOs (Catholics In Name Only) did not also simultaneously claim to be ultramontanists.






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  1. In other words, she’s gone out of her way to promote the horrors of the time. The institution has a predictably unwieldy board of trustees (46 members) of which nine are Jesuits and four others are women religious. Blow it up.

  2. The old saw of ‘responding in “charity and love” ‘ chokehold rises again and again. No reminders of the love of God in these worldly catholic institution situations which seem to be a deadly epidemic. Swift ‘justice’ for defenders of the faith of two thousand years is simultaneously a popular activity.

  3. “[T]he university’s only “litmus test” in hiring is that “a candidate must fully support our mission of academic excellence in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions and commit himself/herself to furthering this mission through [his or her] professional life at LMU.”

    How can it be otherwise? “If,” says Pope St. Gregory, “we refuse to believe a confession of faith made in conformity to the sentiments of the Church, we cast a doubt over the faith of all Catholics whatsoever.” The same pope added,to those who opposed this doctrine, “that your object is to make these persons heretics in spite of themselves; because to refuse to credit those who testify by their confession that they are in the true faith, is not to purge heresy, but to create it- hoc non est haeresim purgare, sed facere.”

  4. I believe that as the Church moves forward there will be further ‘discernment’ concerning the actual Catholic identity of Catholic institutions [health care and education]. The problem is that Ex Corde Ecclesiae has been ignored on many sides.

    What it comes down to is: truth in advertising. Are they truly Catholic or not.

    However, this reform will take time. It won’t come or happen overnight.

  5. Botolph writes. “….What it comes down to is: truth in advertising. Are they truly Catholic or not. However, this reform will take time. It won’t come or happen overnight.”
    All the Church need do, as a revolutionary first step, is reimpose the “Oath Against Modernism” to be sworn to and signed off upon by all relevant faculty and administrators of Catholic universities and colleges, and make it a condition of new and continued employment.
    It’s just not that difficult to do….that is if the Church is really committed to restoring Catholicism to its schools.

  6. Slainte,

    Actually the oath against modernism has been transformed into an oath taken by bishops, new pastors [I can’t speak for heads of schools at any level] in which the person taking the oath swears to believe all that the Catholic Church teaches [I am sure the oath is online someplace, but I heard it at an installation of a pastor]. This oath is more encompassing.

  7. Botolph,

    The Franciscan University of Steubenville is leading the way with its Oath of Fidelity for faculty and administrators. I hope that my alma mater Fordham University follows suit. See,
    “Background on the Oath of Fidelity at Franciscan University

    The following was read by Father Sean Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, on Thursday, August 22, 2013, before the profession of faith and Oath of Fidelity ceremony.

    In March of 1989 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a directive to Catholic colleges and universities, requiring those directly connected with teaching Catholic doctrine on faith and morals to profess their adherence to the teaching authority of the Church. Later that spring the theology faculty and the priests serving at Franciscan University voted unanimously to approach the bishop of the diocese and express their desire to pledge fidelity to the Magisterium in accordance with the new directive. Most Rev. Albert Ottenweller gave his consent and administered the Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity that spring at the Baccalaureate Mass. Every year since that time, new theology faculty, priests and other appropriate personnel at Franciscan University have taken the Oath.

    This year, given that our philosophy professors will be taking the oath of fidelity, some clarifications should be given regarding the distinctive nature of philosophy and how philosophers serve the mission of the university. These are important clarifications for us all in order to avoid a certain misunderstanding that could arise from this action.

    One might think that, since both philosophers and theologians take the oath, philosophy starts in faith in just the same way that theology does. This misunderstanding is called fideism and it is foreign to our great Catholic tradition. Philosophy as Catholics practice it is a certain work of reason. In his great encyclical Fides et Ratio Blessed John Paul II taught that “philosophy must remain true to its own principles and methods,” indeed that “a philosophy which did not [do so] would serve little purpose”(49). He also says that “the content of Revelation can never debase the discoveries and legitimate autonomy of reason” (79). Thus, according to Blessed John Paul, philosophy has the ability to address not only fellow believers, but all men and women of good will. Indeed, a Catholic university has a special call to engage in dialogue with the surrounding culture, and philosophy is especially suited for such a task, as stated in Ex Corde Ecclesiae (43).

    At the same time, refusing to absolutize reason or philosophy, the philosophers agree with Blessed John Paul when in Fides et Ratio he goes on to say that, while “the value of philosophy’s autonomy remains unimpaired when theology calls upon it,” we must also acknowledge “the profound transformations which philosophy itself must undergo” in relation to revelation. (77) In this regard, “philosophy, like theology, comes more directly under the authority of the Magisterium and its discernment, because of the implications it has for the understanding of Revelation. The truths of faith make certain demands which philosophy must respect.” (77).

    And so, on today’s occasion, the philosophers wish both: 1) to declare their readiness to serve the faith of the Church directly in taking the oath of fidelity and profession of faith and 2) to highlight their special role in serving the Church by being true to the genius of philosophy and to the philosophical commitment to reason.

    The Oath of Fidelity

    Candidates recite:

    I, N., with firm faith believe and profess each and everything that is contained in the Symbol of faith, namely:

    I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

    With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.

    I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.

    Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.

    I, N., in assuming the office of ………, promise that in my words and in my actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church.
    With great care and fidelity I shall carry out the duties incumbent on me toward the Church, both universal and particular, in which, according to the provisions of the law, I have been called to exercise my service.

    In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it.

    I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.

    With Christian obedience I shall follow what the Bishops, as authentic doctors and teachers of the faith, declare, or what they, as those who govern the Church, establish. I shall also faithfully assist the diocesan Bishops, so that the apostolic activity, exercised in the name and by mandate of the Church, may be carried out in communion with the Church.

    So help me God, and God’s Holy Gospels on which I place my hand.”

  8. Slainte,

    Yes, thank you! The Profession of Faith and the further elaboration concerning faith in all that that the Catholic Church teaches, is exactly what I was referring to. It is a much more comprehensive oath than the oath against Modernism, yet, for those concerned that the oath established by Saint Pius X has been forgotten, incorporates it [no modernist could take this ‘new’ oath]

    [Of course many people are indeed confused as to exactly what Modernism is; that is a very distinct and different issue; hint: is not about ‘being modern’ or mentioning ‘the modern world’ modernism is far more insidious and dangerous than that]

  9. Botolph,

    I note with interest that Fr. Sheridan stipulated to some minor concessions to philosophers in connection with the University’s administering the Oath of Fidelity.
    Might it be possible that philosophers, rather than lawyers, are the source of more than a few woes for the church and for society? Was Voltaire a philosopher?
    Indeed lawyers with a philosophy background may be the most troubling creatures of all. 🙂

  10. Slainte,

    I believe Voltaire to be both a lawyer as well as a philosopher. I know him from the philosophical side of the fence.

    To answer your question concerning whether philosophers rather than lawyers are the source of more than a few woes in the Church and in society,

    My first comment is from Saint John Chrysostom who stated something to the effect that the road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops and priests—-they are the biggest problem. Bad Shepherds are the worst problem in the Church-and they do not have to be as notorious as Pope Alexander [Borgias]. Do not mistake my point, I am neither anti-hierarchical nor anti-clerical [I am anti-clericalism]. We cannot and do not have Church without the Shepherds, and we need to be in communion with them period. Otherwise we end up Donatists [another whole issue]

    However, to your point, it probably is better to respond in this manner. You do not and cannot have theology without philosophy. I am amazed how few people, even among those really educated about Church issues realize this. While Tertullian asked “What does Jerusalem (theology) have to do with Athens [philosophy]”‘ It is important to recognize that in the Catholic tradition, faith and reason go together like the two wings of a dove [St John Paul II’s image in Fides et Ratio [Faith and Reason]. The original apologists, such as Saint Justin, were philosophers. Origen, was thoroughly a neo-platonist. Augustine was a neo-platonist (before he branched out and formed what can be called Augustinian philosophy). Thomas Aquinas united the older Augustinian tradition with Aristotelian philosophical categories etc. St Bonaventure, a Franciscan contemporary of Aquinas maintained and ‘updated’ the Augustinian philosophical approach. A Franciscan disciple of Bonaventure, Blessed (note he is a blessed) Duns Scotus in seeking to make God approachable (as he saw it) made all being, equivocal (equal) so that God is a (Supreme) Being [among all others but sharing Being in common with everything else.] Because of Duns Scotus a school of thought arose in which the freedom and will of God versus the Mind of God and participating in being became the focus [you lawyers ought to start hearing some familiar territory here]. Duns Scotus’ disciple William of Occam gave us two distinct schools: nominalism [which eventually gave rise to the Reformation] and Occam’s razor which was a major advance in the philosophy we now call ‘science’. See how this works and where it is going. With Scotus and Occam Western Philosophy broke down into various distinct and aggressively competing schools of thought leading into the Enlightenment and the Modern Era. Even nihilism and post-modernism can be traced back to the Franciscan William of Occam [who BTW was in trouble for ‘heresy’ and was the real life friar behind William of Baskerville in “Ecco’s “Name of the Rose” [Sean Connery plays a very affable and likable role but William was far more like a porcupine lol]

    This has implications even for today. For example it is very safe to say that Saint John Paul was a phenomenologist (complicated roots but goes back to Kant and Descartes by way of Heidegger and Husserl) who definitely was rooted in the Thomistic school. Whereas Pope Benedict is thoroughly Augustinian. A lot of statements concerning preferences of people toward one or the other actually reveals to me the ‘philosophical’ roots of the person speaking or writing (for example-in here). I sort of enjoy it. Yet the same people probably have had little or no philosophy. Is this helpful? Clear enough?

  11. Thank you Botolph for such a thorough and comprehensive explanation. Philosophy is, in my opinion, the best major to prepare a young person for law school and the practice. It helps one to think and communicate clearly which is also essential for theologians.
    My comment was tongue in cheek and a slight poke at my profession.

  12. Botolph wrote, “Of course many people are indeed confused as to exactly what Modernism is…”

    That is why it is important to distinguish the historical movement known as “Modernism” and “Modernism” as defined in Lamentabili and Pascendi (1907)

    As Roger D Haight SJ, an historian of the movement in France explains, “Surveying the writings of the period, the authors of the Encyclical drew together those specific themes and ideas which seemed to constitute a threat or be contrary to Catholic teaching. These ideas were interpreted in a most extreme way and organized into a coherent system or doctrine which is called “Modernism.””

    He points out that “In constructing the abstract and coherent system, the Encyclical draws together ideas from the actual movement of thought, especially from the writings of Alfred Loisy and George Tyrrell. As a consequence, Loisy and Tyrrell are often considered the archetypal “Modernists” and their thought is ipso facto considered heterodox and condemned. The Encyclical, however, precisely because it was describing a self-consistent mosaic out of the pieces of the period, did not have to be faithful to the context or integrity of anyone’s thought. It is not surprising, then, that neither Loisy nor Tyrrell recognized their integral positions in the Encyclical account of “Modernism,” because indeed it does not represent them. The result is that, historically, it must be honestly asked not only whether or not Loisy and Tyrrell were “Modernists,” but also whether or not there were any “Modernists” at all.”

    Even Joseph Ratzinger (as he then was) thought that the individual articles of Lamentabil should not be “over-valued.” The value of the text lies simply in its condemnation of a “radically evolutionist and historicist direction” for the interpretation of doctrine – in a word, and for want of a better word, “Modernism.” Individual propositions may have, taken in themselves, an acceptable sense.

  13. Time for another suppression of the Jesuits. It seems they need it from time to time.

  14. Modernism, MPS, is a rebellion against He who is Truth, His Revelations, His Natural Law, His bride the Catholic Church, His Magisterium, and the Tradition of the Catholic Church.
    Modernism is the tainted fruit of the Deceiver…a false enlightenment that causes men to wrongly conclude that they are self sufficient without God. Its target is the destruction of the people of God and His Church by infiltrating and altering the deposit of faith with false subjective ideologies. It subtley subverts Catholicism under the banner of making the Church contemporary…of keeping up with the times.
    The seeds of Modernism…this false ideology… were manifest in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the forbidden tree so that they could be as gods. The seeds were also present when Luther, King Henry VIII, and Calvin rebelled against God during the Reformation willfully tearing apart His Church and dividing His children for half a millenium. Its effects are discernable during the Enlightenment when man chose to surrender his identity and dependence on God in favor of individualism and a radical self autonomy rooted in pure rationalism. It is apparent today as the Catholic Church is relentlessly assaulted by an unbridled and disordered Liberalism intent upon conforming the Church to the world by replacing God’s law with man’s laws under threat of persecution and civil fines for non-compliance.
    We witness the effects of Modernism when our fellow Catholics, imbued with cultural and moral relativism, attack Pope Francis or walk out of Church when a brave priest catechizes from the pulpit by presenting God’s law on divorce, same sex marriage, and abortion. We lament the progressive decay of Modernism when intelligent Catholics mischaracterize Church teachings to justify personal sin and then decline to recant when corrected. We experience it when Catholic politicians and their supporters choose to conform to a dysfunctional culture instead of choosing obedience to the Word.
    Modernism requires for its continued survival that men and women should voluntarily participate in the greatest of all vices, Pride, while rejecting a virtue treasured by Our Lord Jesus Christ, Humility.
    It is incumbent that the hierarchy of the Church protect its youngest and most vulnerable members from those “teachers” of Catholicism who are, in fact, purveyors of false ideologies. Oaths against Modernism and Fidelity to the Magisterium are a proportionate response to protect the young from being misled while restoring the Faith for a new generation.

  15. Modernism certainly did exist, however, somewhat like Al Quaeda it has morphed into other forms. Fundamental to Modernism which continued in spite of and in some cases as a response to Vatican I’s teaching on Divine Revelation and the teaching office of the Church vis a vis the infallibility of the pope when teaching on matters of faith and morals ex cathedra, is a real denial of anything obejctively and substantially revealed. Modernism believed that faith was not based on Revelation, the Word of God [both in Scripture and Tradition] but on ‘enlightened interpretations’ put forward not by the Magisterium of the Church but by theologians whose scientific knowledge was a sure basis of what we really can believed.

    Dei Verbum, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, in the Second Vatican Council sealed Modernism’s fate within the Catholic Church, even if skirmishes still take place. Dei Verbum is the interpretive Constitution, by which all the others texts of Vatican II must be interpreted-something which many forget or ignore from the two extreme spectrums of the Church.

  16. For those who read Spanish a good book on Modernism is:

    Alfredo Sáenz, S.J. El Modernismo: Crisis en las venas de la Iglesia. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Gladius, 2011. ISBN 978-987-659-029-7

    He takes a very different stance from Fr. Haight, S.J..

  17. Slainté
    The abstract system which Pascendi describes is certainly a menace not only to Catholicism but to Christianity itself. Fortunately, it was held by no one.
    The authors of Pascendi (Cardinal Vivès y Tuto, a Capuchin, Fr. Lemius, of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and Fr. Enrico Rosa, a Jesuit journalist on “La Civiltà Cattolica.”) assembled a patchwork of excerpts from writers, mainly in the fields of biblical criticism and the history of dogma, of which they were almost entirely ignorant and inferred from them a philosophy that the writers in question never professed and indignantly repudiated.
    At the time, it proved a useful weapon for Umberto Benigni and his “Sodalitium Pianum” to discredit those who opposed his ambitions. He and his followers were discredited under Benedict XV, who, following his election, discovered that, as Archbishop of Bologna, he had been denounced as a Modernist to his predecessor by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Merry del Val. Benigni went on to make a career for himself in the Fascist party through his Entente romaine de Défense social.
    Whilst retaining the Anti-Modernist Oath, Benedict XV made clear that no one was to be examined as to the sense in which he understood it (a favourite tactic of Benigni), for that would be to propose a new test of orthodoxy, in addition to the oath itself. This pretty well ended the witch-hunt.

  18. MPS and Botolph,
    Father Haight, S.J, whom MPS references in defense of your claim that modernism doesn’t exist, was banned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (“CDF”) from teaching Theology in Catholic and non-Catholic institutions and from future writing endeavors. He is hardly a credible source to support any theological position.
    The reasons for the CDF sanctions imposed against Fr. Haight are set forth in the Notice issued iby the CDF in connection with its review of Haight’s book entitled “Jesus Symbol of God”.
    Father Haight is fortunate that the Society of Jesus did not release him from his vows in light of his profound misunderstanding and/or mischaracterization of Catholicism and his subsequent refusal to recant erroneous theological positions.
    He has no doubt confused many students (including priests whom he instructed) in the proper understanding of the Faith.
    It is not a witch hunt to ensure that those who teach Theology and Philosophy in Catholic colleges and universities should correctly understand the Catholic Faith and that those who would teach heresy are precluded from doing so.
    Yet another reason to universalize the Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium.

  19. Slainte,

    Just to be clear, I did not promote Fr Haight SJ in any way I think you know that but some others reading your response could get that notion. I know well the fruit of Fr Haight SJ, and it is not good.

  20. Sorry Botolph, I wrote the post to MPS initially and then thought to include you at the last moment since we were discussing a related issue in earlier posts.
    I take issue with MPS’ position that modernism did not exist and his reference to Fr. Haight to support his claim. I was not familiar with Fr. Haight’s story and relied upon the CDF notification to draw conclusions.
    Thanks for your contribution earlier…and apologies for any confusion.

  21. Slainte,

    No problem. Just a clarification. Modernism did indeed and still does exist (although as I noted it has morphed). Fundamentally Modernism denies Revelation has any real ‘objective content’ so that it can all be explained away according to ‘interpretations’ which attempt (attempted) make Christianity palatable to the Modern world. It arises out of the maelstrom of the Enlightenment in which due to a lack of a Magisterium Protestant theologians using various sciences etc began radically questioning even the most fundamental doctrines [thus the first to go was the Trinity—>Unitiarians and “salvation”—->Universalits (who now are united in one ‘church’] Further ‘higher criticism’ of Scripture sought to divide the “jesus of history’ from the “Christ of faith’ [and the Church and all those ‘dogmas’]. Whereas the Reformation was a revolt of faith against reason as well as authority, the Enlightenment was a revolt against faith as well as authority (and not just the Church’s authority: American, French revolutions]. The Enlightenment’s creed was in the triumph of reason over every tradition etc.

    In the 1800’s the Protestant churches split precisely over this issue. They had already split faith AND reason in the Reformation. One group chose faith alone, Scripture alone etc and became the fundamentalists; the other group chose reason over faith and became the Mainline Protestant churches. Vatican I condemned both extremes, condemning fideism (faith alone) and rationalism (reason alone) and put forward the Church’s fundamental teaching on Revelation as it comes to us in Scripture and Tradition. In response Vatican I taught that Catholics use both faith and reason in ‘grasping’ Revelation, always subject to the Magisterium of the Church.

    With the election of Pope Leo XIII, the Church entered a new era [which in no way was a break with the past]. He recognized that the Tridentine era of the Church was fast receding in history, and that while we keep the teachings, new ways of approaching issues were needed. Among the many things he put forward was a call to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [relationship with Christ] [BTW I owe this to George Weigel-I didn;t connect this piece], renewal of Scripture studies in response to the hyper critical method used in the universities; renewal of studies of Thomas Aquinas (no longer relying soley on Suarez’s interpretation of Thomas); The first social doctrine encyclical, Rerum Novarum (being discussed by others here)-to which the Protestants responded with their so-called ‘Social Gospel”; for a renewed devotion to and openness to the Holy Spirit, which while gaining little traction in the Catholic world was taken in and exploded by certain Protestants giving us Pentecostalism

    In the meantime Catholics in France had split down the middle. There were those who felt that the French Revolution was straight out of hell [to which I have a certain agreement] and that the Church could not dialogue with ‘the world’ of revolutions [1789, 1848, 1870], the Modern World-they became known as Conservatives [the actual origin of this term] The other half of French Catholics while bemoaning the damage of the French Revolution did not believe the whole world was going to hell in a handbasket and could and should be dialogued with-they became known as ‘liberal Catholics’

    Among the liberal Catholics [but by no means all] however, some sought to transform theology so that it became a means of making Catholic teaching palatable to “the Modern World’. These were/are the Modernists. What I mean by this is not simply ‘making what the Church teaches understandable to the Modern world’ [a completely orthodox Catholic response] but emptying the teaching of the Church of any real absolute meaning and conforming it to the thinking and values of the Modern World. That is Modernism. As an important aside that is NOT what happened in Vatican II [although some interpreters after the Council took things in that direction]

    In 1966 the World Council of Churches met in Upsaala, Sweden, and wishing to keep up with the Catholic CHurch’s Vatican II wanted to make their own statement concerning the relationship of ‘the church’ and the modern world. What they came up with was horrendous. They declared that the World sets the agenda of the church [while found in the protestant world-that is Modernism!] Vatican II never even came a bit toward that kind of rubbish.

    The nonsense [nunsense-pun lol] we see in the LCWR is a morphed version of Modernism, thus the tough statements from the American bishops and now the Congregation of the Faith. To declare that they have moved beyond Jesus?!!!???? what is that?????

    Slainte, “modernism’ did exist and still does. However, many people identify modernism with any development within the Church etc. The term gets thrown around too loosely. But it did and indeed does exist. Hope this helps in some way to clarify things.

  22. “Modernism,” the coherent philosophical/theological system described in Pascendi, was never embraced by anyone, for the simple reason that people like Loisy, Tyrrell, Le Roy and Baron von Hügel were not primarily philosophers or systematic theologians. They formed, not so much a movement as a coterie or clique, in close contact with each other, so guilt by association was perhaps inevitable.

    There were a number of issues that needed to be addressed: theological questions like the nature of Revelation; the relationship of nature and grace; the development of doctrine and philosophical questions around action theory and the nature of language. Ressourcement Théologie in France did much to place them in their true perspective, as did the works of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger.

    Many writers of unimpeachable orthodoxy fell under suspicion. The philosopher, Maurice Blondel, was widely suspected of Modernism, indeed of being one of the leading lights of the movement and there was a proposal to place his works on the Index (which was never done). Indeed, Pope St Pius X told the Archbishop of Aix, “I am sure of Blondel’s orthodoxy and I charge you to tell him so.” Thomas O’Dwyer, Bishop of Limerick even felt obliged to publish a pamphlet defending Bl John Henry Newman from a similar charge and he received a letter commending it from the Pope (10 March 1908) Abbé Henri Brémond, a friend of Tyrrell and of Maud Petre was expelled from the Society of Jesus, only to be incardinated in the diocese of Aix. His writings on poetry, symbolism and romanticism, as well as his 11-volume history of French mystical and devotional writings spanning 400 years earned him election to the Académie française, the Légion d’ honneur and a eulogy from the French Symbolist poet, Paul Valéry. Even the great Marie-Joseph Lagrange, doyen of Catholic exegetes and the founder of the École Biblique fell under suspicion and delayed publication of his magisterial « Critique textuelle; II, La critique rationnelle » until 1936. The story of Cardinal Henri de Lubac is too well known to bear repetition.

  23. Michael Paterson-Seymour,

    You seem to be losing contact with ecclesial reality. Your arguments concerning the non-existence are almost humorous-almost is a key word. Your mechanism for taking the heat off Loisy and company is that they were neither philosophers or systematic theologians. Since when does a certain degree make or break the issue of teaching something contradictory to the Catholic Faith.

    As for the rest of your post concerning Blessed John Cardinal Newman and Henri De Lubac etc.-no one in this post claimed they were modernists etc-so what is your point?

    You simply are in denial concerning the the reality of Modernism which does not assist the truth which can clarify issues in peoples minds about what is and what is not Modernism. You are in denial, and it is time to awake from your self-imposed defense mechanisms

  24. Botolph

    As I said above, “The abstract system which Pascendi describes is certainly a menace not only to Catholicism but to Christianity itself.” That system is what is usually known as “Modernism” and I condemn it as heretical.

    Pascendi does not require us to condemn the system in the sense of any particular author (as the Five Propositions were condemned, “in the sense of Jansen”)

    I am no more required to believe that any individual embraced that system, any more than I am required to believe that Origen or Evagrius Ponticus held the propositions condemned in the 5th Ecumenical Council, or that Pope Honorius held the monothelite heresy condemned in the 6th. Popes and Councils are infallible in matters of faith and morals; not on questions of fact.

  25. Botolph, thank you for explaining modernism and its historical progression in such detail. Your summary has helped me to widen my understanding of the subject.
    MPS, thank you for a very vigorous counterpoint on the issue. Since this subject is out of my field, I appreciate the nuanced dimensions you have presented. But I have a request….
    MPS, if you are game, I invite you, in the interest of Truth, to act as a disinterested Avocat and make the most credible and reasoned arguments that you are able in defense of (i) the truth of the claims of Pascendi Dominici Gregis, (ii) that modernism did and continues to exist as a matter of fact (providing concrete factual examples); and (iii) why Loisy, Tyrrell, and Cardinal de Lubac erred in their theological conclusions.
    I recognize that by requesting your participation in this exercise, MPS, that I am asking you to act against your own well considered opinions. However, I believe that your efforts will help others to gain a better understanding of the subject matter while providing some common ground for further discussion.
    Thanks MPS if you agree to do this…and thanks even if you are unable at this time. 

  26. MPS

    Again you argue, I swear for the sake of argument. I named no one as a Modernist. I don;t remember anyone else saying so and so was a Modernist. Yet you claim it does not exist-contrary to Pascendi. However, I would claim that it exists even today where Revelation is eclipsed and or explained away for the sake of making Christianity [since the Catholic Church cannot and does not do this] conformable to the prevailing culture

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