Thursday, January 21st A.D. 2010
Saint Agnes, Virgin & Martyr
To the Catholic (and to most Christians and Jews) it is clear that there is such a thing as absolute truth. Almighty God created the universe, He knows Himself and His creation completely (He is omniscient), His creation follows physical laws that are consistent apart from occasional miracles, and He is unchanging "without shadow of change or alteration."
Therefore truths of faith must be absolute because they deal with the unchanging God and the things of God (i.e. there will never be a fourth Person of the Trinity, the Blessed Virgin will always remain Immaculately Conceived, etc.). Some of the truths about God have been revealed to us; there may be others that are unrevealed, but they are absolute truths nonetheless.
Moral truths must also be absolute, for they constitute the behavior which the unchanging God expects of His intelligent creatures (i.e. murder, theft or worshipping strange gods will never become virtues).
The material things of the universe are subject to nearly constant change, but the omniscient God knows their status at all times. While man may have difficulty knowing the truths of the material universe, he may approximate them through the natural sciences, and is confident that the truth about any (and every) given material object at any given time is known in the mind of God. A number of people might conduct the same experiment in chemistry or physics and be unanimous in reporting the same results--but even in natural science the possibility that someone may obtain different results if the experiment is performed enough times, so honest scientists speak more in terms of "high probability" than in terms of observational truth (the water might freeze the ten-billionth time you heat it, but probably not). When we speak of scientific laws we are speaking tentatively, for some better description may come along later. Scientific theories do not usually get raised to the level of "truths", apart from politicized science (e.g. evolution, global warming), and in such case they are more properly called "political dogmas."
An obvious consequence of absolute truth is that in the spheres of faith and morals something cannot both be and not be, for that would be an impossible contradiction. In the sphere of physical truth, apart from possible miracles, things can both be and not be, but only at different times in their existence, otherwise there would again be impossible contradiction. This is sometimes called the "non-contradiction principle."
The Christian understands that the soul is a direct creation of God which forms him in his essence as a human being and endows him with individual rights to life, liberty, property, and so forth
For the Modernist, the "truths" about the material world are generally considered most reliable. Extreme Modernists will go so far as to deny the reality of anything that cannot be observed through scientific means--not that all such observations must actually be made, but they must be described at least in theory (e.g. even though an observation cannot be conducted at the center of the Sun, we can at least conceive of it being conducted if we had the proper tools).
On the level of the individual, Modernism holds religion at the level of "sentiment," a subjective set of beliefs that are acquired through natural means, and most likely not through revelation. The Modernist denies that an individual man has human nature or essence as a divine gift, and sees it as something which man develops for himself through "authentic" action in society: Consequently, Modernists generally deny that man has natural God-given rights--holding instead that rights come from the society, perhaps depending on the degree to which the individual has "authentically" developed.
In order to perfect himself in his specific order, the person must do good and avoid evil, be concerned for the transmission and preservation of life, refine and develop the riches of the material world, cultivate social life, seek truth, practice good and contemplate beauty.
(Pope John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, #51, misquoting Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 94, a. 2. (Aquinas referred to preservation, not perfection).
On the level of the society, the Modernist envisions a "dialogue" between the "acting persons." (This suggests an "elite," somewhat more important to society than those who are not "acting persons.") The "dialogue" is a bringing together of all of the "sentiments" in a temporary accord that all can live with. It is based on the Hegelian "dialectic" (thesis + antithesis → synthesis) later adopted by Marx in his "dialectic materialism," but in the case of religious Modernists seems to have some sort of spiritual dimension. It is temporary in that new individuals with new "sentiments" may arrive to change the "dialogue."
Most significant here is the replacement of "absolute truth" as the Catholic would call it, with a consensus of sentiments--the replacement of unchanging truth, with something quite flexible, which the Modernist still pretends to refer to as truth! It is also conceivable for one group of "acting persons" to dialogue with several other groups of "acting persons," so that several different "flexible truths" in existence at the same time. (e.g. the Conciliar Church might be in dialogue separately with Lutherans, Jews, and Buddhists, agreeing on many points with each, even though the other three might have no grounds for agreement with each other. Some even seem to "dialogue" with themselves, producing new "truth" whenever ii is convenient. With "flexible truth," and "multiple truth," the "non-contradiction principle" of classical western religion and philosophy is out the window.
"Hermeneutics" refers to the interpretation of texts, and usually to the interpretation of the Scriptures. It may refer to the theory of how texts are interpreted, or it may be a specific set of instructions for interpretation. Together with the other $50 dollar word, "exegesis," it sounds quite scholarly. Pope Benedict XVI, in calling for an "hermeneutic of continuity," in his 2005 Christmas address, gave the instruction that the interpretation of the texts of Vatican II and the Conciliar Church is to be conducted as though the new texts were organic developments of the pre-Vatican teachings of the Church. The only problem is that they are not! The "hermeneutic of continuity" is a false directive, instructing Catholics and other readers that they must ignore the non-contradiction principle. Such an instruction could only be possible for those who accept the "flexible truth" of Modernism.
I assume that John Paul II thought he was telling the (flexible) truth when he appropriated the quotation above from Saint Thomas on preservation, and misapplied it to perfection. In Modernist scholarship the texts of the past may be accommodated to support the new consensus. In the classical Western scholarship of the authentic Catholic Church, it very likely would have drawn a red "F," circled at the top of the paper, unless he had been very careful about explaining that he was comparing preservation with perfection. For those of us who do not share the concept of a flexible truth, the citation seems simply dishonest.
Pope Benedict XVI's Motu proprio "Summorum pontificum," with its nonsense about the Roman Rite having an "ordinary" and an "extraordinary form" is a prime example of his "hermeneutic." The Novus Ordo is simply not another form of the Roman Mass, let alone should it be called the ordinary form of anything holy.
Pope Benedict was guilty of a similar thing in his recent encyclical Caritas in veritate. He tries to pretend continuity between the old and the new, telling us that "It is not a case of two typologies of social doctrine, one pre-conciliar and one post-conciliar, differing from one another: on the contrary, there is a single teaching, consistent and at the same time ever new' (para 12). Much worse he defamed the saintly Pope Leo XIII (para. 39) when he wrote of Pope Paul VI that:
In this way he was applying on a global scale the insights and aspirations contained in Rerum Novarum, written when, as a result of the Industrial Revolution, the idea was first proposed — somewhat ahead of its time — that the civil order, for its self-regulation, also needed intervention from the State for purposes of redistribution. (Emphasis mine)
Now, in reality--that is reality without "flexible truth"--Pope Leo XIII, spelled out in no uncertain terms that redistribution was a disaster for the economy and for the worker:
4. To remedy these wrongs the socialists, working on the poor man's envy of the rich, are striving to do away with private property, and contend that individual possessions should become the common property of all, to be administered by the State or by municipal bodies. They hold that by thus transferring property from private individuals to the community, the present mischievous state of things will be set to rights, inasmuch as each citizen will then get his fair share of whatever there is to enjoy. But their contentions are so clearly powerless to end the controversy that were they carried into effect the working man himself would be among the first to suffer. They are, moreover, emphatically unjust, for they would rob the lawful possessor, distort the functions of the State, and create utter confusion in the community.
5. It is surely undeniable that, when a man engages in remunerative labor, the impelling reason and motive of his work is to obtain property, and thereafter to hold it as his very own. If one man hires out to another his strength or skill, he does so for the purpose of receiving in return what is necessary for the satisfaction of his needs; he therefore expressly intends to acquire a right full and real, not only to the remuneration, but also to the disposal of such remuneration, just as he pleases. Thus, if he lives sparingly, saves money, and, for greater security, invests his savings in land, the land, in such case, is only his wages under another form; and, consequently, a working man's little estate thus purchased should be as completely at his full disposal as are the wages he receives for his labor. But it is precisely in such power of disposal that ownership obtains, whether the property consist of land or chattels. Socialists, therefore, by endeavoring to transfer the possessions of individuals to the community at large, strike at the interests of every wage-earner, since they would deprive him of the liberty of disposing of his wages, and thereby of all hope and possibility of increasing his resources and of bettering his condition in life. (Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, emphasis supplied).
Those of us in the reality based community have to chuckle at any mention of a "hermeneutic of continuity" if we just consider the events of the past forty-odd years. Since Vatican II they have changed everything—the Mass and Sacraments, even the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, and the Vulgate Bible—but they are saying that everything is as it was before. The priest has become "president of the assembly"; he who used to do what Christ did as alter Christus now "narrates the words of institution"; words which have been given the heretical ring of universal salvation, and which the Vatican admits are incorrectly translated, but remain so nonetheless. Some of their "presiders" employ cake or cookies and grape juice instead of bread and wine. Some believe not in the sacrificial nature of the Mass; none are given explicitly "the power to offer Mass for the living and the dead." The essential form for the "ordination" of their bishops no longer mentions the "fullness of the priesthood." Vatican officials deny the reality of apostolic succession. Yet they expect us to believe that they have a sacrificing priesthood? This is hardly a possibility, certainly not a probability, and in no way a certainty. The only way one can believe the contradiction that "everything has changed, yet nothing has changed" is by employing the Modernist's flexible "truth."
Note that, apart from the cake and cookie recipes, all of the changes mentioned in the paragraph above were made with the personal authority of the Pope or of high officials of the Roman Curia. They are not the innovations and abuses of the lunatic fringe, although many such innovations are tacitly accepted by the Holy See.
In a recent sermon a Novus Ordo clergyman referred to those celebrating the Novus Ordo in Latin as " ... remaining faithful to the Holy Father and to the Church’s orthodox doctrine, sound discipline, and holy traditions." In the post-Conciliar time frame such as statement requires the Modernist's flexible "truth." (Unless, of course, we agree that phrases like "faithful to the Holy Father" (like "faithful to the Magisterium") are ambiguous enough to be meaningless.)
But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to God. ~ Pope Leo XIII, Libertas Præstantissimum, para 13.
Let us consider a few examples of this contradiction:
An alarmingly large proportion of contemporary Catholics have practically no knowledge or belief in the essential sacrificial character of the Mass, and do not even believe in the great mysterium fidei, the Real Presence of the true Body and Blood of Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. A humanized, Protestantized style of worship has led all too many to a humanized, Protestantized belief that the Eucharistic bread and wine merely symbolize the Lord’s Body and Blood.
It was not some group of vandals who forced Pope Paul VI at knife point to foist the Novus Ordo on the Catholic world. None of the horrible things described by Father Xxxxxxxx came as a surprise. When first presented to the October 1967 Synod of Bishops in Rome, of 183 bishops voting, 43 voted against it, and another 62 expressed substantial reservations. In September of 1969 the Intervention of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci gave an item by item description of the important prayers of the Mass that had been removed, modified, or replaced, leaving a rite far less theologically expressive, ambiguous, and more acceptable to Protestants. The Ottaviani Intervention dealt with Father Harrison's Latin Novus Ordo, for the translations were yet to come. Patrick Henry Omlor had dealt with the purposeful mistranslation of "pro multis" as "for you and for all men" in the October 1967 all English "translation" of the Canon by March of 1968. Indeed it had been dealt with in the Catechism of the Council of Trent in 1566!
T The Novus Ordo in Latin is bad enough, but most Conciliar clergy and laity don't have even that. In many churches it is prohibited. The official vernacular translations are abominable, and further destroy the belief of Conciliar Catholics. And a lot of very crazy stuff has been added to the Great Sacrilege: Clowns, demons, GLBT, solemn-high-eggman ritual, liturgical dancers, dancing Jesuits, "gay" nuns, guitar liturgies, transgendered nuns (a specialty of Archbishop Burke, patron of the Latin Novus Ordo at Saint Mary of Victories), Halloween liturgies, Earth worship, starship liturgies, churches designed in the nether world, StarWars vestments, O'Malley-O'Bama -Swimmer-"Mass," Acrobat "Mass," Bob Dylan Eucharistic Congress, Balloon "Mass", Cheesehead "Mass",
Send him mail
This article can be viewed full screen at: