August 29, 2017

Is a New “Oath Against Modernism” Needed in the Era of Francis? (Implemented By Faithful Bishops)

Pope Francis & Pope St. Pius X

Pope Saint Pius X’s papacy was both courageous and immensely consequential. The Modernist crisis in biblical exegesis occurred during his reign. Using new methods of historical and literary criticism scholars challenged the meaning of Scripture. Such methodology led to erroneous conclusions that called into question many Church dogmas. St. Pius X published the encyclical, Pascendi dominici gregis, denouncing the Modernist heresy. He also instituted the Oath Against Modernism to be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries. The oath addressed five solemn tenets central to the Catholic Faith. It reads in part:

"I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time… 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. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue" 

During the papacy of Pope Francis, there is genuine uncertainty, if not confusion, surrounding the Faith. Indeed, as his predecessor Cardinal Ratzinger observed before becoming Pope Benedict XVI: "having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine", seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires." [Source]

The dictatorship of relativism has continued apace in the face of papal ambiguity. As one long time Vatican observer recently noted: "Pope Francis has sparked controversy from the day he was elected as St. Peter’s successor. But in the past several months the controversy has become so intense, confusion among the faithful so widespread, administration at the Vatican so arbitrary — and the Pope’s diatribes against his (real or imagined) foes so manic — that today the universal Church is rushing toward a crisis." Even when asked to clarify, the Holy Father demures. It seems, in some instances, pastoral discretion trumps doctrine.

In light of these and other concerns, should faithful bishops institute a new oath against modernism in all its present iterations, or perhaps, more aptly an oath against the dictatorship of relativism? The question must be asked because, in the era of Francis, debates that were considered closed now seem to be open, giving false hope to those who seek to undo the Church's teaching and beliefs.

Prayer for the Holy Father Pope Francis

Almighty God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Pope Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

No comments :