Modern formulations are necessary even in defense of very ancient truths.
— William F. Buckley
The Modernists in the Church are clearly in control, and moral relativism is the order of the day. While this may bring the Church leadership into line with the current popular culture, which some desperately desire, it is problematic for the future, and the past. Eternal truths do not, after all, “evolve” into principles that contradict Christ’s words. Dogma does not “develop” into its own opposite. Everyone cannot have their own truth and still call it truth.
In the name of the eternal, and of tradition, we will begin an examination and discussion of some of the truths set out before modernism by looking to the encyclicals of the popes, beginning with Pope Pius XII and working back. We will pick one or two encyclicals from each, look at them piece by piece, and we hope, begin a social media discussion of how they applies today.
If you’re new to these ideas, understand that modernism is the belief that newer is always better, that our knowledge in the present day is so much more pure than it was in the past that there is no longer any reason to turn back to tradition. To them, Vatican II is the real beginning of the Catholic faith–at least the Catholic faith worth listening to. Modernists believe that things must be developed, updated, modernized even when updating them begins to contradict eternal truths the Church has always maintained.
Why? Because, to the Modernist the past need not apply. To the Modernist, there are no eternal truths, only archaic and likely ignorant claims by people who lack the sophistication of the present day. However, to the Traditionalist, with their respect for, and consideration of, the past and the eternal, modernism is the mother of heresies, an attempting to “develop” doctrines across the board not for the purpose of bringing them to their fullness, but rather to force their growth toward the conclusions of the current culture, flawed or no.
So we will turn to the encyclicals one by one as long as there is energy to do so, and hopefully then weave them back into the current debates and discussions. We begin with Mystici Corporis Christi, an encyclical by Pius XII on the mystical body of Christ.
Traditium does not claim to be an expert in this area, and everyone is energetically welcome to participate. We expect folks with more expertise to jump in and educate us as we go. Our purpose is only to get a conversation started. Please feel free to become a member of WordPress to join in the discussion by responding to posts here, or to jump in wherever they may wander in the social media. We’ll start with a new post about Mystici Corporis Christi tomorrow here on Traditium.org.
Turn Your eyes to the most prominent place and there You will find the face of suffering. It is not hidden, not swept away, not tucked into a corner. There is pain, all of the pain, beaten and bloody. It is a tangible suffering You are quixotically invited to join with Your own. It is blood You are bizarrely asked not to turn away from but to wash Yourself in. It is anointed flesh and that same precious blood You are preposterously told to believe is eternally offered as sustenance. Imagine such a scene. Do not look away from it. And know one thing: Truth such as this will never submit to the times.
It is an age where the people’s seers wear labcoats, and all that can be seen can be measured and categorized, but You know that there are echoes at the very depths of Your being, parts of You that understand that all of the explanations They offer are not enough, parts of You that instinctively know that not everything can be measured, not everything can be seen, not everything can be explained. There is always a piece of You, a piece which They would deny even exists, an indispensable piece that looks at their explanations, smiles knowingly and says “there is more than just this.”
The efforts by many to explain the Faith in terms the current age will understand, these are valiant and necessary efforts, but to the degree the World considers them subversive efforts, They are precisely right. The Faith is not of this world, it is beyond the natural, it includes all that You admit and all that You deny. The dogma it declares, dimly here, loudly there, should be among the gravest of concerns to those who breathe deeply of the times. Because We are out to change this world, to make straight the path to the new one. As many times as needed, as difficult as it may be. Forever and ever.
Whether a moral, ethical or philosophical statement can be absolutely true is the central issue of our time. We live in a culture bombarded by messages from television, books, radio, magazines and more. The discoveries of archaeology and technology in the last 100 years have placed the entire past and a vision of the future at our doorsteps.
We each have at our fingertips an opportunity Aristotle or Voltaire would practically have given their lives for: We can wade into an almost endless supply of facts and piece together what is true or not true about life, death, the world, the soul and the progressive income tax.
Where science ends, we can rely upon the greatest philosophers and thinkers humanity has ever known to see over the edge. We can climb onto their shoulders and peer out further towards the truth.
The only thing holding us back is a malignant theory of our own invention: The idea that there is no truth to find. As the world has grown smaller and the perspectives of all the cultures have come into focus, some among us have decided that because there are so many belief systems, all of them must be equal.